As some of you already know, over the past year or so, GrrlGamer has been expanding from just a video game review site to include coverage of things like books, board games, trading card games, and even DVD's of a nerdier nature. This month sees a pretty big release of one such "nerdy" DVD - Iron Man. With that said, lookie what arrived to my door just a few minutes ago:
With an official release date of September 30th, I'd say receiving a full copy this early is pretty awesome, no? Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch this bad-boy!
Target's Halloween department has been coming together in bits and pieces since Friday. Didn't take long to figure out what this year's theme was...
As if it the 3-4 foot tall stuffed animal hanging from the ceiling wasn't enough of a clue, there are little pictures of him EVERYWHERE - on the walls, on the shelves beside the prices, and as actual merchandise itself (purses, candy, etc). Me being the geek that I am, I am stoked about the theme, and I am already trying to save up the needed funds to buy all of the actual merchandise stuff when it goes on clearance after the holiday proper.
I can't remember if I have mentioned this before, but one of the great things about my mom working at Target is the fact that after Holidays and other various promotions are over, she normally has the ability to claim various decorations as her own (since they would be thrown away anyway, Target doesn't care if employees have them). For instance, after last Valentine's Day, I got quite a few of the giant candy heart shaped cutouts that many of you may recall were hanging from the ceiling (since most Targets follow the same theme) - ones that said "Hot Stuff" and "Hello Romeo," etc.
Of course, the second I found out about this year's theme, I went absolutely nuts, demanding that my mom claim anything and everything in sight for me. Unfortunately, the electronics guy claimed the above stuffed animal the second he saw it in the back, before my mom even had a chance to look at it. Like I said, however, that's not the only piece of memorabilia around, so I hope to get this guy instead...(look left)
(<---) As you can see, this guy is also quite large (around 3 feet tall, if I had to guess), but is actually a flat bit of cardboard, even though he appears to be 3D. There are also a few other pictures of him, skiing down a mountain of candy corn or playing with some candy spiders.
All in all, a great theme, wouldn't you agree? BTW, I have more pictures from my outing to Target if you care enough to look at those yourself...
Haven't really been in a Giant Bomb mood lately - hate the fact that I'm not torn between two sites (this and GS) in order to keep up with all of my friends...But anyway, here's what I've been up to:
For all intents and purposes, my Gen Con coverage is complete, so make sure to check out those articles - new articles (other than the ones I posted about before, I mean) include coverage about the new World of Warcraft board game, a couple of trading card games (Blue Dragon and Universal Fighting System) and more!
As if I wasn't busy enough this week with finishing coverage and house-sitting once again for my uncle (meaning that I'm taking care of a bunch of dogs), I also found time to do a review for the new game in the Bangai-O franchise - Bangai-O Spirits for the DS. A huge bowl of mixed reactions with this one - while I found the game fun, I can easily see how many others wouldn't, but if you want to know why, you'll just have to read the review (See how I did that? Shameless self-promotion ftw!)
Hey, lookie - a good reason for me to test out the uncensored nature of Giant Bomb. But first:
Gen Con Pictures (almost 300, I believe, so settle in if you're interested in them all)
Now, to my pissed off rant:
Stargate Atlantis is getting pulled after this season, with the last (and coincidentally 100th) episode airing in Jan. There is a large "will it / won't it" rumor going on surrounding the show's ending in a cliffhanger, since we all know people love to be pricks like that. As for the franchise itself, it seems that Sci-Fi and MGM had a little pow-wow and decided that they should end arguably the largest show on the network and turn it into another "straight-to-DVD" franchise like they did after they canceled Stargate SG-1 a couple seasons back.
Sure, I'm glad that the franchise will live on, as DVD's are better than nothing, but how fucking retarded could one network be? Sure, Atlantis may have had less than stellar numbers last season, but they have launched up so far this year, and the show is definitely taking some turns in the right direction. So, let's see, what's the most obvious thing to do when a show is successful? Oh, that's right, let's cancel the damn thing. Even better, let's tell people at Comic-Con that the show is definitely going to be on TV for years to come and then change our minds just for shits and giggles.
Their excuse? They wanted to end the show on a high note, because if they ended the show after it had lost all of its popularity then they couldn't make successful movies out of the franchise (and that is all THEIR words, not mine). The real reason however, is fairly obvious to the fans, with that reason concerning the show's filming location. Since the show is filmed in Canada, Sci-Fi and MGM had always been able to count on filming the show for cheaper than they could in the States. Now, however, that "cheapness" no longer applies, and they are apparently having to spend more money per episode than their overflowing pockets will allow. Heaven forbid they actually keep the fans happy. Furthermore, it does make sense from a business standpoint, that the company is out to make the most money possible by spending the least of their own. Sure, getting upwards of 2 million viewers each week must be nice, but apparently 3 to 4 million in expected DVD sales at 20 bucks a pop is enough to royally piss anyone within earshot.
So, we're left with a shitpot full of spin, trying to convince people that Atlantis is moving in the right direction, and that the new Stargate Universe television show is the appropriate place to focus in terms of a television series. Yeah, cause I really want a show filled with "fresh young characters" and to have the show aimed at a "younger audience." - Again, their words.
Supposedly, the script for the first Stargate Atlantis movie is already in the works (I wouldn't be surprised if they are just saying that to avoid complete and total anarchy), but it'll never be the same as the TV show. After all, we've spent almost 100 episodes getting to know these characters and enjoying the little one-on-one moments that this episodic nature could provide. By slamming everything into a two-hour single mission, we're most likely going to miss those moments, and lose a lot of the character development that makes the show great. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy explosions and gunfights as much as the next person, but I REALLY love seeing relationships develop between characters who would literally kill and be killed for one another (and yes, I am a BIG John / Teyla fan for those that are familiar).
Now, I don't want to come off sounding ignorant, as if I thought the show would NEVER end. Hell, I'm not that stupid. It's just that the fans and the cast themselves deserved at least a season six, in order to tie up so many loose ends that have been dangling over the show's five year progression. Sure, some of these story arcs could be concluded before the show ends in January, but then we would also be losing out on some great adventures already in the works. All I know is, Kanaan or no Kanaan, something better happen between John and Teyla before all is said and done, or I just might explode.
In the end, my frustration comes not only as a fan who is going to miss their favorite show (and Atlantis honestly is my favorite show), but also as a regular person who feels bad for the cast and crew who have dedicated their lives to a show that has now had the proverbial rug pulled out from underneath them. I can just imagine how that phone call / meeting went. "So, yeah, hi. You're no longer going to have steady employment because we all decided to be greedy bastards and send the fans a big resounding fuck off!"
You can definitely add MGM and Sci-Fi to my list of things I hate...Oh yeah, and a huge FUCK YOU for good measure...stupid cunts...
So, I'm back from Gen Con (actually, got home late Sunday night, but whatever), my muscles are still hurting from lugging around a huge suitcase full (literally - pictures coming shortly as proof) of SWAG, and I've still got about 350 pictures to go through (got through about 200 yesterday), so I can't really share in any Gen Con news as of yet. However, have a look at this little gem, that gave me a heck of a laugh earlier:
So I'm sure that a lot of you have probably seen this before, but who cares? I liked it, and that's all that matters!
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As promised, here is my schedule for Gen Con Indy 2008 (August 13th - 17th), for all those that are interested enough in gaming to want to know what I'm doing, or what coverage you can eventually expect (btw, any time not covered in the schedule between 10 AM and 6 PM every day is to be assumed that I am in the dealer's hall working on meetings, demos, etc):
9-10 AM - Special hour in the dealer's hall, reserved for members of the press and VIG's (very important gamers - a bit complicated to explain here) - Quick stops by the Beyond Protocol MMORTS booth for a free t-shirt, the Winning Moves booth for a free board game, Fat Dragon Games booth for (hopefully) free dice and t-shirt, the Chainmaille Wench / Gamers for Humanity booth to meet some friends and donate to the cause, earning more free stuff
10-11AM - More dealer's hall goodness - continuing on booths listed in first hour
11-12PM - Pokemon Diamond / Pearl Meet-up in eGame arena (mainly to do a bunch of trading of the game specific Pokemon, and the ones that need to be traded to evolve)
12:30-1:30 PM - Meeting with Fantasy Flight Games over World of Warcraft, Starcraft, UFS, and perhaps Battlestar Gallactica board games (if there's time)
2-2:30 PM - Meeting with Seven Lights over the Continuum, an online collectible wargame
3-4 PM - Meeting with Sony Online Entertainment over Legends of Norrath and the new Star Wars Galaxies TCG
6-? PM - Dinner, Cardhalla, Consignment Store, etc.
10-11:15 AM - Dealer's hall goodness
11:30-1 PM - Gamer Wenches lunch (a gaming group of which I am a member)
1(ish)-2:30 PM - Gaia Online Meet-up for free goodies
3-5 PM - Women in Gaming Seminar (run by the Gamer Wenches)
6-? PM - Dinner, Cardhalla, Consignment Store, etc.
10-12 PM - Dealer's hall goodness
12-1 PM - Animal Crossing meet-up in eGame arena (mainly to track down the fruit that my town lacks)
1-2:30 PM - Gaia Online Panel discussing new MMO entitled "zOMG!" Plus, more free goodies
4-6 PM - Costume Contest (audience member only - no cosplay for this girl)
6-10 PM - Dinner, Cardhalla, Consignment Store, etc.
10:30 PM - Cardhalla deconstruction
11-1 AM - Hentai Dubbing (simply because a few other Gamer Wenches are going, and watching something hilarious like this couldn't be passed up on)
10-11 AM - Freaky Creatures meeting - PC game involved in the Dell / Intel Extreme Gaming Tour
11-12 PM - Pirates of the Burning Sea meeting - One of the highest rated MMO's to come out in recent time
12-4 PM - Lots of time spent in the dealer's hall, meeting up with friends for one last lunch, game, etc. and seeing the end of the con proper
4-5(ish) PM - Packing and beginning the drive home from Indianapolis
Apart from this set schedule, as I've noted above, I have quite a bit of free time for exploration throughout the hundreds of booths in the exhibit hall, and in that time, I will have "meetings" with the following companies, or will at least stop by the booth in the hopes of receiving press kits, swag, etc.:
Cryptic Studios - Star Trek Online and Champions Online
Matrix Games - PC games, mostly of the war and strategy genres
Bioware's Dragon Age - Demo/Trailer from E3 will apparently be available
World of Warcraft Darkmoon Faire - think of a simple 10 x 10 booth with a couple of posters for a game, and then blow that up to fit into tens of thousands of square feet of meeting and exhibit space; that essentially is the Darkmoon Faire
4kids - Perhaps have coverage of TMNT's 25th anniversary, along with the Chaotic TCG
Cloud Kingdom Games - riddle books for free swag!
Tiny Mantis - Thugs! online game
Gozer Games - Collateral Damage, anime themed board game
Upper Deck - anything and everything gaming
Wizkids - same as Upper Deck
Ape Games - duck, duck, GO! board game
X360 / Fable 2 booth - self-explanatory, no?
EA Mythic - Warhammer Online
Darkened Sky Studios - Chron X, an online TCG that is free to play
Shard Studios - RPG's
Konami Digital Entertainment - Blue Dragon RPTCG (role playing trading card game)
Bandai America - lots of variety in gaming
North Star Games - party games with the possibility of LOTS of swag!
There are actually a few more booths that I plan on hitting by the time the con is over, but that gives you a basic rundown of what I'll be doing once Thursday hits. I leave my house tomorrow, in order to spend the night with a friend who lives closer to Indy, and to be able to assure that I get into town on Weds to take care of press related matters before the place becomes a zoo on Thursday (over 40,000 attendees throughout the four days - I'd say that's pretty zoo-like, wouldn't you?).
At any rate, I've got tons of stuff to get done between now and then, so I'll simply say: until next time all!
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So, we’re less than three weeks away from my most anticipated trip of the year, that being my yearly trip to the Gen Con gaming convention held in Indianapolis, August 14-17.
Where my last two trips were one or two day affairs, this year I am doing it up right, coming into town on the 13 to not only get acclimated but also to take part in a few unofficial events (like The Stink, the Weds night gathering of the Gen Con Community forum members), and perhaps meet a few friends for lunch or a quick pickup game on the DS.
While I will post more specific info about my schedule in the days immediately before the Con, I wanted to give everyone a quick (or maybe not) update as to where everything stands as of today.
I am currently about 1/3 of the way through emailing the companies on the (still very unfinished) Gen Con exhibitors list, asking them what sorts of things to expect at their booths at the Con, and whether or not they are scheduling meetings.
So far, I have had people approach me from SimplyFun Games, Fantasy Flight, and Wizards of the Coast (among others), and am looking forward to hearing from companies like Upper Deck, Wizkids, Sony Online Entertainment, EA Mythic, and even Atari (among MANY others).
Apart from setting up actual meetings, I will probably spend the majority of my time in the exhibitor’s hall as I did last year – walking around collecting swag, talking to fellow gamers, and trying demos of random games along the way.
Then there’s the (as of now unannounced – give it a week or so) yearly press conference that is held on opening day to look forward to, plus the fact that all members of the press get into the exhibitor’s hall an hour before the general public. The latter of which is especially exciting seeing as how this hour has been pushed up from last year, from 10:00 AM to 9:00 AM meaning that I get yet ANOTHER hour to play around.
And none of this includes the literally thousands of side events that I could take part in, with some that I have actually chosen being a “Women in Gaming” interactive seminar, two Gaia Online meetups, and multiple gatherings for DS games. Of course there are more, but why spill all of the details now?
And of course, as usual, you can expect all of my coverage on the event [including loads of previews, some general convention coverage and possibly some interviews – along with (what I hope is) hundreds of pictures] to be posted on GrrlGamer in the update immediately following the event. With so many articles from my two-day trip last year, I can only imagine how my workload will grow with four (official) days of gaming goodness this year!
So, after seeing that everyone and their mother's brother's uncle are creating accounts over here, I figured I might as well try it out as well. You all might know me as "Brandyinindiana" on another site, and while I am not leaving that site, I did want to hurry up and claim my name before another Brandy decided she wanted it for herself (which is ridiculous, since we all know that I'm the most important Brandy around, hehe).
So, yeah, add me to your friends list if you wish - just make sure to let me know who you are on that "other site," as I'm not one to randomly accept people that I know I'll never communicate with again.