Home // If It's Not A Toy It's Here // Features // Archive by category "J.’s Blog" (Page 4)

GenCon 2013: Rise of Augustus Review

Rise of Augustus Review

French publisher Hurrican, partnered with Asmodee, introduced Augustus to domestic audiences at GenCon 2013, now re-titled as Rise of Augustus (for some reason).  Nominated as the 2013 Spiel des Jahres “Game of the Year,” it got quite a bit of buzz – which is especially surprising considering what a light, luck-based game it appeared to be.  As it turns out though, Augustus is easily one of the most enjoyable filler titles on the market. 

Continue reading “GenCon 2013: Rise of Augustus Review” »

Movie Korner: From Up on Poppy Hill Blu-Ray Review

From Up on Poppy Hill Review

No other film studio, whether they produce animated or live-action movies, can come close to matching the cinematic experience that Studio Ghibli delivers or their bridled consistency – not only in unfailingly producing brilliant, heartfelt films time and time again, but still doing so using virtually one-hundred percent hand-drawn animation.  On September 3rd, domestic audiences will finally be able to own their recent masterpiece, From Up on Poppy Hill, on Blu-Ray and DVD courtesy of GKids and Cinedigm.

Continue reading “Movie Korner: From Up on Poppy Hill Blu-Ray Review” »

GenCon 2013: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Review

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game review

Paizo’s latest release, a card-based RPG/Adventure Game based on Pathfinder lore,  was one of the most highly anticipated titles debuting at GenCon this year; their booth attracting droves of fans looking to grab a copy or try out a quick demo.  While I had my doubts regarding how effectively a deep, cooperative role-playing experience could be translated into a card game, I can attest that, after both group and solo sessions, this game is incredible.

Continue reading “GenCon 2013: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Review” »

GenCon 2013: On the Floor with IELLO

IELLO

French game publisher Iello had a sensational presence at this year’s GenCon Indy, showing off several exciting new and soon-to-be-released products.  From ghosts & zombies to coal-powered theme parks to superheroes & fairy tales, the thematic elements of their upcoming catalogue run the gamut. 

Continue reading “GenCon 2013: On the Floor with IELLO” »

GenCon 2013: Three Little Pigs Will Hog Up Your Gaming Sessions

Three Little Pigs ReviewIf I had to pick the one game that most surprised me at GenCon Indy this year, it would be Iello’s Three Little Pigs.  I admittedly hadn’t given this title a second thought going into the conventional, writing it off as a simple kids’ game that would hold no appeal for me (being the elitist snob I am).  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Continue reading “GenCon 2013: Three Little Pigs Will Hog Up Your Gaming Sessions” »

GenCon 2013: Krosmaster Arena Has Universal Appeal

Krosmaster: Arena

Japanime Games hit GenCon 2013 in full force, showing off the excellent Kanzume Goddess and the latest standalone expansion of Tanto Cuore, offering demonstrations of each.  For many attendees though, this was their first opportunity to set eyes on the publisher’s latest title, Krosmaster: Arena, a flashy miniatures skirmish game that collectors will be obsessing over for the foreseeable future.

Continue reading “GenCon 2013: Krosmaster Arena Has Universal Appeal” »

GenCon 2013: A Night With Dungeons & Dragons

A Night with Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast hosted a keynote this weekend in the lavish Indiana Rooftop Ballroom followed immediately by their Sundering launch event, “A Night with D&D”.  Mike Mearls, senior manager on the research & design team, took the stage to discuss what’s on the horizon for everyone’s favorite fantasy RPG.

Continue reading “GenCon 2013: A Night With Dungeons & Dragons” »

Toy Fair 2013: Cryptozoic Has a Whole Lot in Store for 2013

We’ve seen some great-looking new games at this year’s Toy Fair, but no one could match the sheer volume of Cryptozoic’s output.  Showcasing a staggering amount of killer upcoming titles and expansions based on both established licenses and original designs, Cryptozoic is on point to really knock it out of the park in 2013.

Continue reading “Toy Fair 2013: Cryptozoic Has a Whole Lot in Store for 2013” »

Mage Knight: The Lost Legion Perfects an Already Great Game

Designer Vlaada Chvátil and publisher NECA/WizKids Games deliver The Lost Legion, an amazing expansion to the acclaimed Mage Knight Board Game.  This supplemental piece adds a great deal of variety to an already extensive rule set while avoiding the pitfalls that some game expansions stumble into.

Continue reading “Mage Knight: The Lost Legion Perfects an Already Great Game” »

The DC Comics Deck Building Game is Fast-Paced Fun

As the name suggests, Cryptozoic’s latest is a deck-building game steeped in the DC Universe, featuring tons of familiar characters and killer card art pulled straight from comic panels and covers.  It’s also the second game Cryptozoic has released that uses their “Cerberus Engine,” which allows for cross-title compatibility.  So how does it fare compared to other deck-builders out there?

Continue reading “The DC Comics Deck Building Game is Fast-Paced Fun” »

U.S.A. Luge Team Will Don the Armor of Shanhara

Valiant Entertainment has announced an incredible, first-of-its-kind partnership in their sponsorship of the U.S. Luge team.  Seeing how well they’ve handled the relaunch of several of their A-List comic series and the quality of their creative teams’ output, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Valiant would think outside the box with this kind of creative cross-promotional marketing… but it didn’t stop my jaw from dropping open when I saw what they had in store.

Continue reading “U.S.A. Luge Team Will Don the Armor of Shanhara” »

Frankenstein’s Monster is a Killer Piece from Mezco

Just in time for Halloween, the good people at Mezco have released an absolutely stunning figure based on Frankenstein’s iconic monster.  Although they went with a stylized and unique take on the beloved character, the monster retains all the classic charm that makes his design so timeless and wonderful.

Continue reading “Frankenstein’s Monster is a Killer Piece from Mezco” »

The Dark Knight Rises (Jason’s Take)

Now that a good many fans have had the opportunity to catch The Dark Knight Rises, I feel compelled to give my two spoiler-heavy cents. While my admittedly low expectations were boosted slightly from an initial wave of positive reactions from theatergoers, I walked away from the film underwhelmed not only by a poor screenplay but, for the first time in a Nolan film, questionable direction.

Continue reading “The Dark Knight Rises (Jason’s Take)” »

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Reviewed

By all rights, Mass Effect 3 should have been the gaming experience of a lifetime – the culmination of hundreds of hours spent, not only playing a game, but absorbing a world rich in established lore and complex characters.  Instead, gamers were subjected to a jarringly disappointing end to the trilogy rife with plot holes, self-contradictions, and lazy writing.  Fan outcry regarding the abysmal finale sequence specifically caused developer BioWare to announce that an extended cut of the game was in the works that would provide more closure and attempt to explain away some of the gaping plot holes.  Now that it’s out, let’s take a detailed look.

Continue reading “Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Reviewed” »

iOS is “Bullet Hell” Heaven

The Bullet Hell or “Shmup” genre is a niche for sure, but has one of the more passionate gaming communities dedicated to completing that perfect run.  Supported by apps from heavy-hitters Cave and Taito, iOS now hosts a larger variety of these titles than both XBLA & PSN and, thankfully, the touchscreen controls truly add to the experience.  In fact, mobile devices may be the perfect platform for modern shmup gaming.

Continue reading “iOS is “Bullet Hell” Heaven” »