Netflix Originals and Void’s Nintendo Switch Corner
In this episode:
  • Netflix Originals tend to keep our attention more than most other TV shows. For the most part, network TV doesn’t interest us, and we binge Netflix Originals and look forward to them all year long. The only other network putting out content as good as some of these Netflix Originals is HBO.  And even that is only a few shows like West World and Game of Thrones.
  • Hulu and Amazon have original shows they produce, too, and they’re fantastic as well. But they’re few and far between compared to Netflix. Beej loves Casual on Hulu and Alpha House on Amazon. THere are others, too, that you should check out like 11-22-63 and The Man in the High Castle.
  • Are the non-streaming networks are in trouble? We think so. Netflix is quadrupling their content this year, putting an additional $6 Billion for new content in 2017--including over 600 hours of new Netflix Originals. Just as an example, The Crown was picked up for a full run of 6 seasons (10 episodes per seasons) with each episode averaging a budget of $2.5 Million. So yeah. They’re pretty confident in themselves.
Shows we discuss:
  • Netflix MCU: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the upcoming Defenders, Iron Fist, and Punisher (plus new seasons of the existing shows).
  • Terrace House
  • Comedy Specials
  • Kimmy Schmidt
  • Fuller House
  • Chef’s Table
  • Stranger Things
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The Crown
  • House of Cards
  • Marco Polo
  • Sense8
  • Bojack Horseman
  • Master of None
  • Grace and Frankie
  • THERE ARE SO MANY MORE THAT WE JUST DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR
Void’s Nintendo Switch Corner!
  • $300 in the US with console, dock, joycons, cables, and joycon battery base controller pak thingy.
  • Neon coloring… more colors later probably. Dual color...kind of ugly.
  • Battery life 2.5 to 6.5 hours depending on game / settings
  • Joycons look potentially over-engineered.  Why does Nintendo always need a new gimmick?  How much did this add to the price? $80 for a pair.
  • Dock is $90.  Expensive peripherals all around.  $70 pro controller. Maybe just buy a second Switch instead?
  • Weird Online Stuff (Nintendo being Nintendo)
  • Free for a limited time
  • Launch Games
  • 1, 2, Switch
  • Launch “Window” games
  • Has Been Heroes (March 2017)
  • I pre-ordered. I knew I was going to get this. I had the money put aside. I’m excited.  I also totally understand why most people would wait. My criteria is generally 2 games I want to play on day 1. For me the winners here are Zelda, 1 2 Switch (though I won’t buy it), Has Been Heroes, and Arms.
  • Longer term I know I’ll pick up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey.
Geeky Sponsor / Offer of the Week
Weekly Geekery
  • Void on The Comic Box podcast this week talking about Batman the Telltale Game
  • Beej - More Marvel Future Fight on mobile devices / Star Wars Force Arena on mobile phones / Agents of SHIELD Season 3 / Amazing Spider-man (2015) / Civil War II
  • Void - Stellaris / Acquisitions Inc Holiday Special / Silver Surfer comics by Dan Slott / Sherlock Season 4 / Revisiting stuff
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Music by CarboHydroM




Cthulhu Pandemic
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 January 2017, 10:00 am

I had a lot of fun with Cthulhu Pandemic.

I wasn't sure what I would think when I picked it up.  I was just hoping for a slight twist on the standard Pandemic formula.  This game gives that and more.

It still has the feel of controlled chaos and managing a node-based board of increasing tension.  But this time it's all Cthulhu themed.  Outbreaks are replaced with summoning rituals that bring forth Old Ones to change up board conditions.  Finding cures for diseases is replaced with shutting gates to another dimension.  And disease cubes are replaced by adorable little cultist figures.

I like that this game gives the same feel as Pandemic while really being it's own game.  This doesn't feel like a reskinning of the base game as much as a unique twist on it, which is fantastic.

While Cthulhu Pandemic won't be replacing Pandemic on my shelf but it also won't be shoved in a corner as a second-class citizen of a game.  It will sit right next to Pandemic and I anticipate it will be played just as often.


Overcooked
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 January 2017, 10:00 am

Overcooked is a multiplayer co-op game, one of my favorite genre's ever.  I picked it up on sale and then didn't get around to playing it until over the holiday break.

In one night my entire family was hooked.

Overcooked sees you take on the role of a chef trying to prepare meals under increasingly difficult circumstances.  The levels get crazy, but in a good way.  Like, having to run across ice flows between different halves of the kitchen.  Or cooking on a ship where the rocking of the waves moves your counters back and forth.  Or having a pedestrian crossing in the middle of your kitchen.


Even though the levels get tricky the best part of the game is that it has simple controls so anyone can jump in and be playing decently within a few minutes.  Where we're playing on PS4 one analog stick moves your character, the X button picks up and drops off items, and the Square button interacts with a work station (like for cutting).  That's it.  No crazy controls to master.

Just simple controlled chaos brought on by level design and having to coordinate with other people.

I love this game so much.  If I had played it before the end of the year it would have made my top list of 2016.  If it has staying power with my family it might very well make the top list of 2017.

But for now, I can definitely give it my full recommendation.  If you have anyone to play couch co-op games with (2 to 4 players) you should go pick up Overcooked.


Stellaris Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 January 2017, 10:00 am

Stellaris is a 4x space game from Paradox.  I've often picked up 4x games only to set them down after an hour or two out of frustration.  It's a genre I've always found interesting in the abstract but I have trouble finding a game that nails the execution.

So I was a little surprised that my first play session of Stellaris lasted four hours.  I was learning a lot and made some mistakes but overall it was great!  I came back to that same playthrough another night and played for another few hours before stalling out in the mid-game as all the alien cultures' borders filled in.

I immediately jumped over to a new game with slightly tweaked settings (for fun and variety) and proceeded to spend another six hours of so in that game.  And this time I made my own alien race!  That part was super fun.  The second round was much better since I could apply everything I learned the first time... but again I found myself stall out in the mid-game without much to do.

I looked around online and saw most people suggesting fighting with neighboring species to gain territory at this point in a playthrough.  I've never liked doing that in my 4x games so I mostly ended up sitting there researching technology until I stalled out completely.

Apparently there are endgame events that are a lot of fun if you have the patience to get to them but I haven't seen them.

But not all hope is lost.  This is a Paradox game and they're very well known for expanding and adding to their games over time.  There are already two expansions for Stellaris out as of me writing this.  I think I'm going to shelve Stellaris for the moment and wait for them to release some more expansions for it.  If they put out expansions for non-miltary mid-game choices I would be all over that.  Think things like trading, economy, and espionage.  It feels like some of the groundwork is laid for this stuff already, it's just not implemented yet.

Having already gotten 13 hours of play time out of Stellaris I definitely don't feel like I wasted my money.  I'm perfectly happy biding my time to see what else they do with the game in the future.


Magnificent 7 (2016) Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 January 2017, 10:00 am

This the the movie that finally solidified the fact that I just don't like Westerns.  I've always been ambivalent with Westerns but Magnificent 7 had enough actors that I like that it convinced me to give it a shot.

It is a very mediocre movie.  It's completely predictable.  The pacing is sooooo slow.  I think it's a stereotypical Western but made in 2016 instead of the golden age of Westerns.  It just completely and utterly failed to click with me.

I even held out for the end hoping something would redeem it.  Maybe the fight scenes would get better.  Maybe there would be a cool twist.  Maybe a character would actually have character development!  No on all counts.

At least now I've learned that while I don't mind a Western setting (see my love of Westworld) I do hate the genre of Westerns.  The genre styles and conventions just aren't for me.


S2E1 - Super Geekery - “Baby Monkey Astronaut”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2017, 9:44 pm

Super Geekery
In this episode:
  • We’re back with Season 2.
  • BJ is sick and it shows!  We hope he’s back to normal next week.  Send him well-wishes.
  • Besides that, we talk all about our geekery from the holiday break and spend some time catching up for the start of Season 2!
Weekly Geekery
  • The whole episode is weekly geekery!
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Music by CarboHydroM




Rogue One Novelization Non-Spoilery Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 January 2017, 10:00 am

I don't have a ton to say about the novelization of Rogue One, but I did read it.

Like most Star Wars movie novelizations it's essentially the movie in book form.  While books adapted to movies often work well it typically isn't as interesting the other way around.  But, I always read the Star Wars ones anyway just to get the bonus content and context to the universe.

The Rogue One novelization has a few scenes that either were never in the movie or were cut from it.  It also fleshes out a lot of characters' internal thinking about events, which is something you almost never get in a movie.

My favorite part is probably the admin documents used to break up the story randomly.  They give looks inside the building of the Death Star and inside the Rebellion.  It's just tiny vignettes but they're great!

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who isn't Star Wars obsessed in the same way I am.  But, I'm glad to have read it.  I always like learning new things about this universe.


Red Rising Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 January 2017, 10:00 am

Red Rising is a book I've owned for awhile but didn't pick up until very recently.  I probably bought it on sale because I've consistently seen it come up on lists of really good sci-fi.  Now I see why.

The world of Red Rising is in a caste driven future where humanity has expanded to all around our Solar System.  The main character is a "Red", basically the lowest caste in the whole class system.  He's a helldiver on Mars that mines for minerals required to terraform planets.  His caste is being oppressed by the leader caste, the Golds.  You can see where this is going, right?

I thought I could... and the first quarter of the book was predictable yet interesting.  But after that things get really shaken up.  So, if I've sold you on my slight info and two thumbs up alone... go buy it now and stop reading.  If not, I'm going to drop some spoilers to get you more interested.

It turns out that Mars is already terraformed and so are most planets.  The Reds have been led to believe that Mars is in it's early stages and no one could possibly live on the surface.  Instead, the surface is thriving and they are just being exploited through misinformation.

Darrow, the main character, joins up with a resistance group and is convinced to try to become a Gold.  His body and mind are reshaped through an arduous process and then he's set to infiltrate their ranks.  The book really picks up around here and doesn't let up until the end.

I loved this book.  I'm definitely going to pick up the second one and start reading it soon.


Orwell Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 January 2017, 10:00 am

Orwell is an indie game from last year that I picked up on the latest Steam sale.  It got a little bit of buzz for end of the year lists so I wanted to check it out.

Orwell is about information.  And privacy.  And freedom of speech.  All three of these things havve always been super interesting topics for me so that was a plus in it's favor right away.  But not only was it dealing with issues I care about, it also has unique gameplay.

Basically, you're a member of the new Orwell program that has been given access to everyone's digital information.  Once someone has been declared a person of interest you can dig into anything you want about them.  Often this means you need to figure out who they are first.  Sometimes you only have a username to start with, or an alias, or almost nothing.  But you slowly piece together a picture of who these people are by using the data that you find.

It's a look at what could be with such an interconnected informationally driven society.  There are analogs to chat messenger programs, social media, government databases.

This is a game that had a big impact on me and I immediately wanted to discuss it with others, but no one I know has played it.  You know that feeling you get after you finish an amazing book and just need to talk about it right away but you can't because no one else has read it yet?  That's how I felt wrapping up Orwell.

Orwell is one of the most fascinating games I've played in years.  If I had played it in 2016 it would have made my end of the year list for sure.


Nier: Automata and Gravity Rush 2 Demos
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 January 2017, 10:00 am

I tried out a few demos that were getting a lot of buzz, Nier: Automata and Gravity Rush 2.  I had played Gravity Rush on Vita so I was excited to start with that one.

What I found was a game that was functionally identical to the the first Gravity Rush.  Yeah, it had visual upgrades and looked much prettier.  But, besides that, there wasn't anything new about it compared to the first game.  I'll definitely be skipping the full game of Gravity Rush 2.

Nier: Automata, on the other hand, I knew almost nothing about.  I was going in completely blind but I heard a ton of good things about it.  I found this demo to also be a let down.  It was an extremely generic hack and slash game.  I don't know what everyone was freaking out about.  I mean... I guess it looks good?  For me, graphics matter less and less these days.  There was nothing compelling about Nier: Automata for me.  I'll keep an eye on the coverage for this one in case I missed something critical about it but I'm not expecting much.

Overall, both were a couple disappointments but I'm glad I tried them anyway.  It's nice to sample a game for free and realize you won't need to drop money on the full release later.


S1E47 - Best of the Rest 2016 - “Get yourself a cookie and listen to Hamilton”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 January 2017, 10:00 am

Best of the Rest 2016
In this episode:
  • Welcome to the Season 1 finale of the Geek to Geek Podcast. It has been one heck of a year, and we could not have done it without you fine folks backing us at every turn. We did not expect the kind of response we’ve had to the cast, but we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for listening to us ramble about geekery and for being our friends (and not just internet friends, either! Real friends!). Here’s to an amazing 2017, and Season 2 picks up next week! Keep listening and tell your friends!
  • Much like last week, we wanted to do our Best of 2016 list. Whereas we focused on video games last time, this week, we’re looking at pretty much everything else. From movies to books to music to podcasts to YouTube videos, we break down our top picks of the year so you can start 2017 off right.
  • Once again, we look at the few letdowns we had this year. This isn’t a negative podcast, so we don’t dwell on it. Beej was disappointed in Batman v Superman. It was a terrible movie that he knew was going to be terrible, but despite his low expectations, it was even worse than that. Void didn’t have much. So let’s get on to the awesome stuff, shall we?
  • We did a huge list of honorable mentions because we tend to sample a lot of stuff and try to experience as much cool things as we can possibly fit into our lives (hence the Weekly Geekery segment in each episode). A lot of our honorable mentions match up, including fantastic Netflix originals, superhero shows and comics, as well as some movies that we rank differently but still considered some of the best things that happened in 2016.
  • And then there are our Top 6 picks of the year, ranked in order of Supercoolitude (is that a word? It is now). What’s fun about these is how different they are. It really shows the different perspectives that we approach media and what we consider worthwhile (you can also see this in our Star Wars: Rogue One discussion a few weeks back). We very much agree that all of our Top 6 are amazing choices, but the value we place on each entry is decidedly different. We think you guys will enjoy the discussion we have about each.
Weekly Geekery
  • Beej - Grabbed an iPhone 7 Plus because Verizon had a deal and has finally realized how cool mobile gaming can be if you have a device that’s worth gaming on.
  • Void - Snagged himself an NES Classic because he’s one lucky son-of-a-gun. His kids are enjoying it almost as much as he is, and that’s staying a lot!
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Music by CarboHydroM




Warbands: Bushido Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 January 2017, 10:00 am

Warbands: Bushido is a really cool tactical miniatures game.  I picked it up in the winter Steam sale for cheap and had some fun playing around with it for a day or two.  It's still in beta right now which is why I decided to set it down for the moment, but it's one that I'm going to keep installed and then dive it deep once it hits a full release.

It's already obvious that the full release will have some type of single player campaign beyond the tutorial and looks like it will have new single player scenarios rolling out all the time.

The multiplayer is the only thing that's basically fully fleshed out right now, but it's fun too.  I would dive into this right now if I weren't worried about progress being reset when the game goes into full release.  You can collect minis to use in building your warband.  The more you level up the more points you have to spend on which figures can be in your warband at a given time.

Honestly, it feels a lot like some tabletop tactical mini games that I've sampled over the years... but digital!  I like it a lot and will definitely be coming back to it once it's officially complete and fully released.


Abzu Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 January 2017, 10:00 am

Abzu is a game very much in the vein of Journey.  It's a relaxing exploration game with no real way to lose, but it gives a beautiful world to explore that keeps things interesting.

It tells a very light story but I liked what was there.

The core moment to moment gameplay consists of swimming around under water on some kind of alien planet.  A lot of the creatures are obviously taken from earth oceans and the mix of familiar and alien is interesting.

Abzu wasn't a long game but I liked it.  I played the whole thing in one sitting of about 4 hours or so and enjoyed my time with it.  I would recommend picking it up for cheap on Steam sale whenever it hits a price that looks good to you.


Batman The Telltale Series
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 3 January 2017, 10:00 am

After being hit and miss with the last four or five Telltale game series that I've played I was very apprehensive going into Batman.  I picked up the season pass while it was on Steam sale for cheap but I waited until all the episodes came out before I even started playing.  I've learned that having momentum really helps on these games.

I played through all five episodes over the course of four consecutive nights.  I actually ended up loving this game.  It's probably my favorite Telltale game so far.  While I liked Game of Thrones for putting me in that world, Walking Dead for leaving such an impact, Tales from the Borderlands for being so funny... I love this game for letting me be Bruce Wayne and Batman.

And that's an important distinction to make.  This game truly lets you choose either Bruce or Batman to play.  While you will be forced into situations where you need to show up as one or the other you are often given a choice whether to confront a situations as Bruce Wayne or his superhero counterpart.  Not to mention the awesome fact that you can choose to play it as him being Bruce and Batman being the adopted persona or completely flip it around and do the opposite.  You can roleplay this Batman either way you want.  That's the best part of the game.


There are a lot of other cool things though.  The action and fight sequences are fun.  The detective sections make you feel like you're actually piecing things together while simultaneously not making you feel dumb.  All of the key choices and interactions with other characters feel meaningful too.

I can't believe I got this far in without mentioning other characters.  They come at Twoface from an angle I haven't seen before.  Gordon is still a lieutenant and part of this story has him and Batman teaming up while learning to trust each other (if you play it with those choices like I did).  And this game has my favorite incarnation of Catwoman that I've seen.

There are also some minor plot threads that could be picked up easily to kick off a Season 2, but this Season 1 story feels complete.  If a Season 2 doesn't get made it won't feel like a bunch of unresolved cliffhangers.

Needless to say, I would love another Telltale Batman game.  I really hope this did well enough to get a Season 2 in the future.  If not, I guess I'll just have to pay attention to what Telltale does with other superheroes in the future.  I know that they're Guardians of the Galaxy game is coming up pretty soon.


Guild of Dungeoneering
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 January 2017, 10:00 am

I've been sampling some little mobile time wasters lately.  Not many of them have stuck, but I played Guild of Dungeoneering for a long time.

It's an interesting mix of roguelike, card based combat, and deckbuilding.  It's kind of a weird blend.  After a few weeks I'm at the point where I feel like I've seen most permutations but until just now I was having a lot of fun with it.  It was totally worth the time and effort.

In Guild of Dungeoneering you draw up a hand of cards and use those cards to build a dungeon as you're exploring it.  So, you basically set the difficulty level and rewards on the fly based on what you lay down.  When you get into combat your currently equipped items determine the cards you have to work with to defeat the enemy.

Plus there's a whole other level on top of this one that involves base building and recruiting different characters to go into dungeons.

If you ever see this one on sale you should grab it and try it out.


NES Classic
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 December 2016, 10:00 am

I managed to snag an NES Classic the week before Christmas and I've been playing it since then.  I don't want to review it or give impressions of it the way I normally would with a game or system I'm just diving into.

The NES Classic is just pure nostalgia in and adorable little form factor.  It transports me back to being 5-10 years old again and I can't describe the joy I get from seeing my kids play it.  They're just so happy playing the same games I was at their age.  It's amazing.

If you have any nostalgia for the NES you should pick up a Classic as soon as they get their stock situation under control.  You won't regret it.


S1E46 - Best Video Games of 2016 - “A top 6… I guess?”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 December 2016, 10:00 am

Best Video Games of 2016
In this episode:
  • Like a great many other podcasts, we are hopping on the “best of” train, and we’re gonna be discussing our best video games of 2016. Now this isn’t only games that came out this year, but games that we played this year.
  • We were initially going to do a Top 5 each, but amazingly enough, there were more than 5 games we wanted to rank as we put together our best of 2016 lists. So...we have Top 6 lists for you! Hah! How’s that?
  • We also do honorable mentions because we played quite a few games this year. Void more than Beej, honestly because of his Gamefly experience. He went through over 50 games using Gamefly, and you’ll have to listen if you want to find out which--if any--of the B-tier titles made it into his list.
  • We also talk about the biggest letdowns of the year--but not much! We aren’t negative guys, and we didn’t want to dwell on things that aren’t fun to talk about. But we did want to mention the ones that were especially not worth our time so that you may be able to avoid them and spend your time playing the best video games of 2016 instead of the “meh” games of the year.
  • If you want our thoughts on No Man’s Sky months after the initial hubbub, or maybe Void’s lasting impression of virtual reality and the Vive. And what about that little game named Overwatch that came out this year? Are we still even thinking about that? And maybe you’ve heard about the cancellation of Disney Infinity--want to know how that affected your friendly, neighborhood podcast hosts?
  • And we want to know about your top video games of the year, too! We want to know which games kept your attention and which ones don’t quite make you stay up late for just another 5 minutes that turn into just another 5 hours. So tell us in the subreddit! reddit.com/r/geektogeekcast
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
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Music by CarboHydroM





FFXV Platinum!
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 December 2016, 10:00 am

I got my first Platinum trophy on PSN.  When I played through FFXV I did my normal thing of not caring about trophies at all.  I don't even look at them until after I finish a game, and FFXV was no different.

But what was different was that when I beat the main story of FFXV I was actually close to having all the trophies in the game organically.  With modern Playstation games if you get all the trophies you unlock the "Platinum" trophy to show you've 100% the challenges the developers put into the trophies.

I figured if I was going to do it for any game it should be a Final Fantasy.  So, after playing around with endgame content I wanted to experience I buckled down for a few nights and finished out the unique skills I needed to get to receive all the trophies.  While one of them was really tedious and dumb (Gladio's Survival Skill) I was really close to having the rest maxed out already.  Finishing it off wasn't too bad.

Now I have my first Platinum and it's for a game series I love!


Super Mario Run Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 December 2016, 10:00 am

I really like Super Mario Run.  It's a great first real game for Nintendo to put on iOS.  It really feels like a Mario game even though it's kind of an infinite runner.  But it's not an infinite runner.  It's Mario.

It was definitely worth the $10 price to open up the whole game.  One playthrough to the end of the levels doesn't take too long but the added value comes from the challenge of going back through the levels to gather colored coins.  If you manage to grab all 5 pink coins in one run you get a chance to try for the purples.  If you get the purples you can go for the black ones and those even remix the levels.

There's also a Toad Rally if you feel like competing for style points against other people on the internet.  I did a bit of that one, but Mario for me has always been about the single player platforming.  That platforming definitely finds a good home on iPhones and iPads.

Now I'm just really excited for the Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing that are coming to iOS early next year.


Guards! Guards! Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 December 2016, 10:00 am

Guards! Guards! was my very first Terry Pratchet novel.  He has multiple series that all gently interweave in the same setting and I was told this was a really good place to start.

And I really liked the beginning of the book.  It was fun to figure out the setting and it was actually really humorous which isn't something I normally go for it books.  But in the first third of this novel it worked for me.  I also loved the ending and the way all the stories wrapped up.

My problem was with the middle of the book.  I thought the whole novel could have been reduced in length by a third if a lot of the wasted time in the middle was cut out.  It's just a pacing thing.

Now I'm thinking about possibly reading more of Prachet's stuff.  I just wonder if it's better paced than this book.  I can tell there are a lot of things in his writing that I like, so I should probably give him at least another novel to try to hook me.  I'm just not sure which novel of his I should read next.


World of Warcraft Legion
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 December 2016, 10:00 am

Coming back to Legion with my Druid instead of the Demon Hunter was a great idea.  It started out with a bang.  It had a really cool intro with a decent story and fun cutscenes.  Then I immediately got thrown into my artifact weapon quest which is probably one of the best World of Warcraft quests I've ever played.

After that I was set up in my Druid class hall and I loved it.  The class hall idea is so good and I've always loved the Druid stuff in WoW so it completely clicked with me.

I was surprised to be given a choice of zones after that.  After researching a bit I learned that all the content in Legion scales to your level so you get to pick the order you do the zones in.  There was one that looked Druid themed so I dove into it and played through the whole zone.  It was a ton of fun.

After that I had a high enough item level that I started queuing for dungeons while working on the next zone.

But that's where I ran out of steam.  The druid zone had such a good story that I cared about.  It had lots of cutscenes, story development, and meaningful interaction with characters I've know since Warcraft 3.  The next zone I tried had almost none of that.  I thought maybe I could just grind some levels in the dungeon finder and then move on to a different zone but I quickly learned you're locked into your current zone until you finish it.  That's the way it seems anyway.

So after doing each dungeon once or twice and completely losing all momentum in the zone I was essentially trapped in... I put the game down.  I'm done with WoW again.  Probably for a few years.

I played for approximately seven days after being away for more than five years and that was enough for me.



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In this episode:
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story just released, and we had to do a podcast on it. Especially since we did a pre-release show last week! What is interesting, though, is that we have never disagreed so much about Star Wars. Despite being roughly the same level of fan (read: fanatic), the two of us look at both the SW universe and film/media in general in such different ways that our takeaways from Rogue One are starkly different.
  • From the characters to the plot, to pacing and even whether or not this Star Wars Story needed to be told at all, we disagree on almost every point. We do, however, totally understand why the other feels the way he does. We have a long discussion about the Star Wars universe, what makes each of us love it, and why. Much of our disagreement around Rogue One comes from its dark tone, which influences our enjoyment on a film-viewing level, not as a Star Wars fan.
  • We do, however, agree on a number of points about the movie. We found a lot to love about Rogue One, and more than anything else, it makes us excited for the new directions that the franchise will take. It’s a great sign that because we disagree about Rogue One, there will inevitably be an experimental Star Wars Story that flips our disagreement 180 degrees. There is a ripe future for Star Wars because of the precedent set with Rogue One, and we both can’t wait to see what new things Disney is going to bring us in the future.
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World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 December 2016, 10:00 am

After flying through Mists of Pandaria in one play session I jumped to Warlords of Draenor.  The story hooked me much more in this expansion.  It feels like the first time that the World of Warcraft team was actually good at telling a story instead of just setting up a scenario.

I bought into the premise and had a lot of fun the first night.  Playing through the start of the story with all the cutscenes and digging into garrison building was a ton of fun.

Then night two hit and I was essentially back to grinding on quests and the dungeon finder.  The leveling was slower than Mists so I actually got to sample all the zones.  I think I 100% the first zone and I did random quests in all the others.  But again, dungeon finder became the most fun because the drive of the story got lost in the shuffle.

Night three found me almost give up on WoW again.  I was getting bored.  Quests, gameplay, and dungeons were all blending together and just feeling the same.  But then a friend mentioned that I was only one level away from being able to jump over to Legion.  I figured if I bought the expansion and the game time I should at least give Legion a shot with the character I was enjoying the most.

So, in the end, I almost got bored enough of WoW after 4 nights to stop playing but Legion saved the day.  I jumped over to that and started on the intro quests that have a lot of story and cutscenes.  Now I'm invested for at least one more night.  I'm going to play Legion and see how far I make it.

My main problem is that the gameplay isn't changing at all.  This is the same game I've played before.  I can tell I'm not going to make it too much further before I set it down.  Hopefully I can sample a decent portion of Legion first.


World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 December 2016, 10:00 am

After my trials and tribulations the first day trying to get back into WoW I dove into Mists of Pandaria with my main Druid who was sitting at the end of Cataclysm content at level 85.

At this point it's obvious that they have made the experience grind in Mists of Pandaria much faster than it used to be.  I started shooting up levels just casually questing.  After only a few quest hubs I was able to queue for the dungeon finder and I started shooting up the levels even faster.

I liked the setting of Mists of Pandaria, it was nice and relaxing, but the quest design and the zone flow wasn't any better than WoW used to be.  I mostly did the dungeon finder and that rapidly made me hit the Mists of Pandaria level cap of 90 in one afternoon.  I never even left the first zone for questing.

But I had a ton of fun with the dungeon finder.  Dungeons were always my favorite part of WoW and it seems like that's still true.  I got to sample all the Mists of Pandaria dungeons that afternoon.

Then I was ready to jump into the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor, the next day.


Getting Back Into World of Warcraft
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 December 2016, 10:00 am

After finishing up FFXV I had an itch to play an MMO so I bit the bullet and finally resubscribed to World of Warcraft.  It's been five or six years since I last played so I thought the best course of action would be to pick up the latest expansion and create the newest class at high level so I could jump right into the game.

That means my first experience back was playing Legion as a Demon Hunter.  It did not go well.  The story was fine but I didn't actually like abilities and the way the Demon Hunter class played.  I did the entire intro which gets the Demon Hunter to level 100 and then I played enough of the expansion content to level up to 101... almost 102.  But the class never clicked with me.

I didn't want to give up on my attempt to get back into WoW since I had just paid for the expansion and a month of game time so I moved on to the Paladin I had boosted.

You see, to make a Demon Hunter you need a level 100 character on the server that you want to make it on.  I had no characters on the server my friends play on so I created a Paladin, which used to be my main alt, and boosted it to 100 with the free character boost I got in the expansion.

So I jumped over to that Paladin and it was ok but not great.  It seemed like it would be a fun alt to have, just like I used to do with a Paladin.  At this point I was about ready to give up and try a different MMO instead.

But then I thought... maybe I should just go back to my original character.  He's the character I've used since Vanilla WoW and he's sitting right at the end of Cataclysm content.  I figured I might as well give it a try.

And it clicked!  I guess in WoW I'm just a Druid at heart.  And I'm attached to that character too, which helps a lot.  I don't know how long I'll play.  I would guess less than the full month of game time.  But I'm at least going to sampled modern day WoW and see how it goes.


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