Category Archives: GAMES

Digital to Dice and Everything in Between.

Adult Game Night Strikes Back!

Greetings Programs! After a many-month sabbatical, the much loved Adult Game Night returns at Guardian Games. Did you miss the beer? The pizza? The games? Avoiding mass ownage from 12 year-olds?! We did too! Adult Game Night is back at 303 SE 3rd Ave., from 6pm to 10pm.

What do you need? Just $10 and a valid ID proving you’ve spent at least 21 years on this world.

Open gaming. Good friends. Good libations.

It all starts Thursday, January 20, at Guardian Games at 6pm.

And as always, may all your rolls be natural 20s. (Um, unless you play GURPS, in which I could care less).

Undead a Day – Tuesday – Undead Nightmare Review

From comic book companies, popular video games, and even Sears, many companies these days are just slapping zombies on their product for a jump in sales. Red Dead Redemption is no exception, but unlike Sears trying to sell the undead Eco-minded washers and dryers, Undead Nightmare delivers on it’s promise of a rootin’-tootin’ zombie killing good time!

Undead Nightmare isn’t some tacked on zombie patch of already established missions. Like Rockstar’s previous world-spanning DLCs, The Ballad of Gay Tony or The Lost and The Damned, Undead Nightmare takes full advantage of Red Dead’s massive world. The set-up follows the Red Dead story, you’ve done all the killing that needed killing and are looking forward to the quiet life of a family man. Fate, it would see, has something completely different in mind. That damn uncle of yours, he done went and got your wife and child infected with the Zombie Virus. Not able to blast a slug into your kin’s head, you hogtie them, get back on your horse, and go looking for a cure. Then all hell breaks loose, literally in some places.

Darn near every character returns in Undead Nightmare, each one of them aware and dealing with the apocalypse in their own way. The Sheriff of Armadillo doing his best to keep order and protect the citizens. Friggen Nigel West Dickens is still trying to make a quick buck, undead hordes (and your own safety) be damned. Undead Nightmare isn’t a simple, find the cure, fix your family, end game. Rockstar takes full advantage of Red Dead’s massive game world. You will find yourself spending hours just roaming the landscape, seeing how zombies slowing change the environment. A setting that already had it’s creepy moments raises the bar to 11 with endless nights of rain, grey clouds sitting low on the land, and disturbing howls in the distance. Rockstar clearly wants you to take in the environment and the new dangers found within Undead Nightmare as they disabled the convenient Campfire Travel Feature. No jumping to mission locations this time, you have to face the dangers. A little tedious at times, just give in to the setting and enjoy this altered landscape.

Undead Nightmare drastically changes how you enter a fight. Forget tactical hiding and planning ambushes against living foes. These are classic zombies. They aren’t that smart and one or two are easy to deal with; but as a horde? Utterly relentless and damn near unable to stop. This is made even more difficult by the extreme lack of ammunition. Undead Nightmare forces out your inner MacGyver as you look for ways to send them undead sons a bitches back to hell! Some of the new weapons include holy water, the zombie parts blunderbuss, and all manner of explosions. Some die hard Left 4 Dead players might cry foul with the inclusion of specialty zombies like the Bruisers, Bolters, and Retchers. Oh well, they add to the play experience and it isn’t like Valve has the lock on “strange undead” concept.

The perfect mix of Spaghetti Western and Fulci horror, Undead Nightmare is completely worth the 800 XBox Points or 9.99 on the PS3.

Undead Nightmare is the ass-kickin’ horror western you didn’t know you wanted, but totally needed. Get it friend… And aim for tha’ head.

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Undead a Day – Monday

First, good ‘ol Dan Halsted from Portland Grindhouse again brings some glorious disgusting flicks to the Hollywood Theatre with a Double-Fulci! Starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday:

HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY (1981) A terrifying tale of gore and sleaze!  A professor moves his wife and creepy ass son into an old cursed house.  It doesn’t take long before blood starts oozing from the walls and the son befriends the ghost of a little girl warning them to leave.  The real horror though is the living, rotting corpse hiding in the basement, who needs to kill to survive.  This is Lucio Fulci at his finest, meaning we’ll see decapitations, impalements, maggots, and the longest rabid bat attack in cinema history, all immersed in Fulci’s masterful atmosphere of terror.

Wait – Before we move on to the 2nd film in the Double Fulci Fright Fest… An intermission from Red Dead Redemption:

Got it? Good, get it! Back to Fulci…

ZOMBIE (1979) Fulci’s gut munching masterpiece about a doctor on a remote island whose experiments have caused the dead to return to life. A group of Americans visit the island in search of the doctor, and are drawn into a ferocious battle with the flesh eating walking dead. Backed by Fabio Frizzi’s synthesized soundtrack, zombies rise from the grave, humans are ruthlessly attacked, a zombie fights a shark, and all gory hell breaks loose! “We are going to EAT YOU!”

You can get your tickets at the door or at Grindhouse Film Fest.

See you all tomorrow with Undead a Day – Tuesday. Stay scared.480_zenegeek

Stabbin’, Whippin’, and Shootin’…

I’m not talking about your run of the mill monster hunter. Any ‘ol plumber can jump around and kick slow-moving turtles or stomp on fanged mushrooms. We’re talking about real monsters here. The beasts that walk the night. The creatures that stalk your nightmares. The creatures that make you hit the reset button over and over again!

Honorable MentionWanderThe Shadow of the Colossus

Look at that, right out the gate and we’re breaking the rules. Sure, the beasts in The Shadow of the Colossus weren’t all that evil. In fact, the more you think about it, the more you realize there is a good chance little Wander was the true villain. Still, it took some mighty skills to scale some of these beasts and take them down with not but a dagger and that annoying ass horse.

Number 5DanteDevil May Cry

Dante might have rated higher had he not fallen into the most annoying of video game character… Whiny bad ass with mommy issues. Okay, maybe the mommy issues was a bit harsh. But seriously, you sport twin hand cannons, a sword that shoots fire, and every sexy demon babe this side of the Fiend Folio wants to “possess you”, relax brother. Still, no denying that Dante can kick some serious monster butt when he needs to. After properly exfoliation and hair treatment of course.

Number 4AliceAmerican McGee’s Alice

You know all those sexy versions of Lewis Carroll’s character Hot Topic and Alan Moore both seem to enjoy so much? Yeah, this ain’t her. This Alice is broken. This Alice shoved an ax into the Jabberwock’s spiky face. This Alice whacked her family to take a stab at the Queen of Hearts. Okay, this Alice is also totally hot, but only in that sexy drama girl kinda’ way.

Number 3Jill ValentineResident Evil

No one played Chris Redfield on their first attempt at Resident Evil. You know why? Because Chris was yet another meat head in a long line of video game meat heads and gamers were sick of them. Plus, it was kinda’ cool to see a normal looking woman in  video game. I don’t think Lara Croft would have been able to dodge some of them close Hunter calls… Center of gravity all wonky and such. Sure, Jill couldn’t take as much damage as Chris, but all good gamers know the best way to absorb damage was to avoid it all together. Jill was faster. Jill could carry more inventory (read: guns). And, lest we forget her greatest skill… The Master of Unlocking!

Number 2Simon BelmontCastlevania

Quite possibly the oldest on this list, Simon Belmondo (as he was known in the first Castlevania) has been kicking monster butt since the NES hit American shores. Even non gamers know this famous whip-wielding hero of the night. Which is interesting when you consider the fact that Simon Belmont only stars in roughly 20% of the Castlevania franchise. He also has the distinction of being the first non Nintendo owned character to appear on the cover of Nintendo Power Magazine. I know. I still own it. I also still own the note from my pastor telling me that reading said issue in church was not acceptable. Oh sure, sitting around and praying to stop evil was fine, but taking up arms and actively hunting the buggers was inappropriate. Whatever. On a personal note, Simon Belmont can also account for 100% of my facial injuries during a certain night of trick or treating… Little hint from me to you. No amount of training or skill can help you swing a freaking ball and chain without stabbin’ some cheek bones. Also, cloaks get tangled in chains. Don’t ask.

Number 1ArthurGhosts and Goblins

Really thought Simon would be number 1, didn’t you? To be honest, I did too for a while. But you know what? Arthur from Ghosts and Goblins not only fights every manner of classic horror monster, he spends half the time in his damn skivvies. That takes some serious stones. As does designing one of the hardest games in all console history, only to tell you at the very end of the friggen game that you need to start all…over…again! The forced repeat in Ghosts and Goblins was responsible for more pubescent swearing than any 80s action flick or rough game of Frisbee Tron! (Indeed, only the last level of Ninja Gaiden prevents Ghosts and Goblins from being the hardest game ever made. We don’t count Battletoads, that was a glitch in the game that made it unbeatable. Jerks). Through it all, little ‘ol Arthur hopped and skipped his way into the hearts of gamers all over the country. I can’t wait for Marvel vs Capcom 3 to hit, so an all new generation of gamers can grin like dorks when they hear “Da-da-da—Dumm-dumm-dumm-dat-dadum”. You know what I’m talking about.

Wonder if I can pull off the Arthur in his drawers on Halloween. Hm…

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An All New RPG System!

One of the reasons GeekintheCity.com formed was to help promote local events, comics, bands, and other creative endeavors we thought Portland Geeks would dig. So, when I received the following press release from my friend Corvus, I was more than happy to pass the exciting news onto you.  And, unlike most press releases received by your friendly neighborhood Geek, you’re getting the whole she-bang… ‘Cause trust me, you are gonna’ want to know anything and everything about this exciting new game design:

Zakelro Story

Studio Announces The HoneyComb Engine RPG Platform

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Zakelro! Story Studio today formally announced the upcoming release of the HoneyComb Engine, targeted for release in late 2011. The HoneyComb Engine is an open and extensible RPG platform that is based on the studios’ exploration of story, play, and community. Zakelro! has launched an official website at honeycombengine.com and will regularly update the site with preview content and behind-the-scenes glimpses over the upcoming year

“I’ve spent the majority of my performance and game design careers figuring out how to get other people to share their stories through my work,” says Corvus Elrod, Semionaut, Narrative Designer, and Zakelro’s co-founder. “The HoneyComb Engine is based on this idea–that what makes role playing such a powerful experience is the ability to weave together the stories of the intelligent and creative people sitting around the gaming table with you.”

The HoneyComb Engine reflects this philosophy by focusing exclusively on providing a solid framework that can be easily applied to any storyworld you wish. This framework can be extended or interpreted in new ways to create variants that incorporate a wide variety of gameply styles, from hack-and-slash, to mysteries, to romantic comedies.

Thanks to the The HoneyComb Engine’s reliance on simple and elegant mathematics expressed through the movement of tokens upon the LifeWheel–the gameboard that serves as a character sheet–all players, both new and experienced alike, are able to easily grasp the complete rule set without the need to use a reference guide during play. Its highly visual, intuitive, and iconic design removes the traditional split between role playing and combat and places each player in control of their characters’ successes and failures. This turns every encounter into a rewarding role playing experience and lets everyone contribute meaningfully to the unfolding story.

To complement the HoneyComb Engine’s focus on visual and kinaesthetic play, the handbook is being written entirely in the style of a comic book. In the comic, you’ll join three gamers as they explore the HoneyComb Engine and talk about how they use it to play in a variety of unique storyworlds.

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Corvus said, “Writing and illustrating the handbook as a comic is incredibly exciting. We always knew that a traditional approach to the handbook simply wouldn’t work, but at first we couldn’t quite figure out how to approach it. Finally, as an experiment, we started storyboarding the content in order to gain a fresh perspective and before we knew it, we were writing a comic. And exploring the HoneyComb Engine from the ‘external’ perspective of the characters has been quite the revelation.”

The full HoneyComb Engine handbook, along with printable character sheets,  will be released for free on the website in Q4 2011, when it will also be available for purchase in print and PDF formats.

Zakelro Story Studio (www.zakelro.com) is a creative collaboration between Corvus Elrod and Rachel Zakariasen. It was founded in 2009 to explore participatory storytelling, which they define as the intersection of story, play, and community, through a variety of mediums, including games, fiber-arts, illustration, and performance. The HoneyComb Engine is their first RPG release.

A full press kit for this announcement is available for download at http://honeycombengine.com/presskit.zip. For further information about the HoneyComb Engine and Zakelro Story Studio, please contact Corvus Elrod via email at press@zakelro.com

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