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Drama and Unpredictability

WARNING: Before you read this article, there’s a chance for spoilers in My Hero Academia and WWE. The events being spoiled happened a bit under 2 weeks ago – You have been warned. If that doesn’t put you off, read on!

As a fan of My Hero Academia, I find myself often sat forward, wondering what’s going to happen next. It’s a series that plays well on the tired tropes of tournaments and succeeding someone in power. Also, as a fan of pro wrestling, the last big pay-per-view had a massive main event, where only a handful of people correctly guessed the outcome. Surprises are welcome in all media, but when does this become less of a surprise and more of a bad taste in the mouth? By analysing a few light spoilers, we’ll hopefully learn more.

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JapanCrate: Tasting Japan In A Box

The internet truly is a wonderous place, where you learn about all sorts of interesting services. You can learn about how to cook delicious foods, or stirring up a wonderful drink. But what’s that ad I see in the corner of my eye? JapanCrate? That sounds pretty delicious!

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UKGE 2017: Games and RPG’s

As Joel (terraphi) mentions in his article we were at UK Games Expo 2017. Over the three days I spoke to a lot of people and walked several miles wandering around the show but we both walked away feeling like the show was generally very good. Joel and I sat down and had a little chat at the end of day 2 about what we liked and didn’t like about the show.

Games

Let’s start with awesome Polish publisher Board And Dice, I managed to get a bit more of an in-depth look into two of their games. Pocket Mars is a worker placement game where you aim to take all of your astronauts from Earth and place them on Mars and bills itself as a big game in a small box. From the explanation I got I can definitely see why and it’s gone onto my wishlist for the future. The second game of theirs was SuperHot a card game based on the computer game of the same name. SuperHot is a deck building game with a difference, where you can play in a solo mode, co-op or against a second player who plays as an AI and there is even a 2 on 1 mode where two players can try to take down the AI. It’s very true in the way the game looks and feels which is a huge credit. The game and the designer have even implemented a mechanic that attempts to simulate time moving when you do.

Next, we will move onto Brain Crack Games, who are based in Southampton. I played their corporate greed based card game called Down Size where you have to build up funds in a company as fast as possible and then think about firing all of your employees. I also played a fantastic little exploration game called Mined Out where you mine for gems in a very unstable mine, both of these games again appeal to me because the boxes are quite small and portable and there is enough gameplay in there.

I also had a go at a nearly complete version of Grublin Games heist game called Perfect Crime. This one is a bit more long form but is a very novel new concept and as far as I know, the only board game that uses blueprints as part of the design. As suggested by the title you play the part of bank robbers who set out to plan and execute a perfect heist. One player plays as the bank and then all other players (maximum 5 including the Bank) act as the robbers to try and find their way to the vault. The team at Grublin are looking to get this complete for September and even though I don’t do long form games that much this one has me rather intrigued.

RPG’s

The thing with RPGs at a show like UKGE is that you have very limited time to absorb them. That is unless you have done some research beforehand, so I tend to go on instinct with these things. I did come across two RPG’s that caught my eye and with any luck, we might be able to get hold of copies of them to give them a full review.

First off we have an RPG called Sins. Sins is a really interesting sounding game with a simplified dice system that I feel really works with its premise. It’s being billed as “a high-octane, dark and driven game of cinematic proportions“. I love the fact that the creators have already embraced that music can be very influencial in setting a tone and they have released a few Spotify Playlists to help players and the GM alike. I spoke to the designer Sam who is a really nice guy and very enthusiastic about his own product. Rightfully so, the demo book he had was beautiful and when he explained the dice system my interest really accelerated.

The second RPG that I found is from the Italian game designers Tin Hat Games who we hope to get hold of their new board game Dungeon Digger that was kickstarted in an amazing 3 days. They have a really nice super being based RPG called Urban Heroes. Having seen the actual print book again I must say it’s beautifully put together. Urban Heroes has been around for a while and if we can’t get hold of a copy for review then I am more than willing to dig into my own pocket for a PDF version at only $19.99 (USD).

That’s not all folks?

There is so much more and Joel and I will be working on getting more posts up related to UKGE over the next few weeks/months. Trust us when I say we have plenty of content to write up. I certainly would say that UKGE was a great expo and well worth checking out. Speaking to some of the people who attended it I got confirmation from them that it was well worth the money even if you only went for a day trip. Did you go to UKGE and if so what was your experience of the show? Did you manage to pick up any bargains from the show? Tell us all about it in the comments section below or over on Facebook.


Gamer Question of the Month: Jun ’17

We were asked by the lovely team over at the Later Levels if I would like to take part in doing a monthly Q&A, to open discussion about video games amongst bloggers. If you’re interested in joining in the discussion, leave us a comment below, or reach out to Later Levels. Every month here on GeekOut South-West, we’ll be sharing what the question of the month is, as well as what our answers to this question is and our justification for the answers. We unfortunately missed last months question, as we were deep in development of some projects – However we’re back and this is the question of the month:

Which video game contains the most surprising plot twist?

A lot of games have plot twists that you really see coming, some games have plot twists you feel are going to happen, but just aren’t what you’d expect. I thought of quite a few, including the most fantastic would you kindly? scene in BioShock 1, which naturally has ended up on the poll (see below).

“Come and get me, loser! Spankety spankety spankety!” – Earthbound

Anyone who has played Earthbound will be aware of how the game ends, as it’s not exactly a hard game to beat. You play through as Ness and companions, as you fight through funny enemies, such as the New Age Retro Hippy who likes to measure the fight with his ruler. Whilst the game is colourful and cute, suddenly it turns dark and nasty, as it turns out that Porky/Pokey Minch, a boy who lived next door to you, has been helping strengthen a being of pure hatred, Giygas. The game gets really dark if you read into it.

What is your favourite plot twist in all of gaming? Got an answer for us, or do you think one of the picks of this ever expanding group of bloggers is the best choice? Let us know by voting in the official poll below.

 

That’s it from me this month, but as always these posts are made to get us chatting. I must ask you: What do you think is the most surprising plot twist in video games? Do you think this one sits up there, or is it no good to you? Remember to check out the original question over on Later Levels, then don’t forget to vote for your favourite Easter Egg over on this poll. Finally, leave us a comment below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


GeekOut South-West: What’s In Our Future?

We’ve certainly started to reach the end of life for our humble little website, but no matter what, we’re going to keep on growing and getting more and more people to join the cause. In case you’re wondering what happened to plans such as the new website, this article addresses those developments and hopefully provides answers for the future of our community. We’re going to keep on growing, is the jist of it, but if you’re a fan of what we do and were curious as to what we’re up to, let us tell you!

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Villains: Why Rushing A Bad Guy Is Bad

Countless times have I been subjected to seeing a plot rushed to the finish line, the moment it gets away from the starting post. A hero should be triumphant, they say, so they give you fifteen thousands of hours of hero development, but what about the protagonists of the developing world? I think rushing a story for the sake of a hero to save the day is one of the worst things a story can do. Here’s some examples of what I mean and how we can remedy this.

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Patreon: An Angry Rant

These days, it’s oh so easy to exploit people who read your website. Like a well published newspaper, your website runs like clockwork. So clearly then, you deserve the very best from your readers, as you provide them oh so many days, weeks, months of content. Ah give me a break, we’ve come so far and yet the greedy remain greedy, but the seriously hard working can get the reward they deserve. Patreon provides the hard working with a really stable platform to get paid for their work; however it’s also opened up a very lazy type of person. In this article, I’ll talk to you about Mr. X – An account I saw on Patreon whose name I have obfuscated so I’m not calling them out, but rather the attitude they have.

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Python: What A Non-Programmer Needs To Know

Python is an interpreted programming language – For those of you who don’t know what this means, this article is exactly for you. If you do know about Python, but just want to see if your knowledge is up to scratch, then again, this article might well be for you. If you’re a well-versed expert in Python who just wants to check to see if a website got their facts right… I guess this article is for you too – It’s a way to look at Python from a non-programmers perspective and to try to apply the knowledge to learning the basics needed, without it seeming like we’re just stringing words together to make things happen. Although isn’t that what programming is all about..?

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GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet 2 – The Second One

I am overly excited to bring you the second GeekOut Meet for Shrewsbury! We got off to a great start in March, and April is already shaping up to be even better, we already have a few new faces signing up on our Facebook and MeetUp pages, and I have a few extra plans to make the day just that little bit more interesting.

From 12:00 onwards we’ll be back in the basement of the Shrewsbury Coffee House, a few warm up games, cake and drinks (personally I recommend the brownies) while those willing and able to join us for the afternoon have chance to join us for a meet and greet, and those of us who are in it for the long haul can get settled in for the big games of the evening. We also have a heads-up from management, due to a staff holiday we may have to leave a little early, but this is Shrewsbury, we are not short of places to go.

We have the VIP section at Monty’s Tower from 18:00, and a spare table or two to catch any over-spill. This month’s feature game – at least from my library – Lego: Minotauros, a cat and mouse game of luck and cunning. Lego make some of the best everything so it would seem, toys, films and one of the most fun and simple board games I’ve ever had the privilege of building myself. It does not take very long however, so be sure to bring along anything you like.


Games available to play this month:

– Boss Monster
– Bucket of Doom
– Eight Minute Empires
– Fluxx (assorted)
– Lego: Minotaurus
– Love Letter
– Magic: the Gathering
– Munchkin
– Tsuro
– Zombie Dice


And of course by “anything you like” it needn’t be a board game, for a start we have loads, and we’re not just in it for the board gamers. Manga, TV, film, comics, anything and everything geeky is welcome to the table. I just finished binge-watching Legion, the FX television portal for the X-Men following the story of an incredibly powerful telepath with incredibly powerful mental health problems and I need someone to talk to for hours about that show.

Remember, as the GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet is still in its early stages you have a chance to shape its future. Come on down and let us know what you want to see from GeekOut in the future, we have our ideas and our themes, but ultimately it’s all about you.

As a final note, for April’s Shrewsbury Meet we have a calling card, something of a running joke carried over from Bristol, look for this at each venue:

Gordon the GeekOut Goat