It’s official – Wizards has figured out that every other CCG in the damned world, including several of its own, sells at the $3.29 price point for just 10 or 11 cards. As the article points out, Yu-Gi-Oh is committing highway robbery on that score, but only one game at a time gets to be Yu-Gi-Oh. The Darksteel expansion hits in February for $3.69 per 15-card pack, and probably features an intelligent talking sword or something.
Archive for December, 2003
All 64 remaining retail stores will close in 60 days, quoth the press release. That’s all; I just wanted to say “bupkis” in a headline. Did I spell it right?
I’m pretty sure this product is newish. The manager of the store where I saw it on the shelf said that FanPro has only barely been promoting it, but it’s hard to know if I was unaware of it for that reason, or because it’s old-ass news. In any case, it is yet again possible to buy an inexpensive box with everything you need to play basic original BattleTech, and I think that’s pretty neat. [Update: yeah, it's been out a while; distribution has been spotty apparently.]
About a week or so before the convention, it was announced that actor Val Kilmer would be appearing at Gen Con SoCal. On the industry mailing lists, talk suddenly shifted to a flurry of excited emails about The Saint, The Doors, Val’s cameo as Elvis in True Romance, and the few game products based on Willow. There wasn’t time to properly advertise his appearance, but gamers were certainly excited at the prospect of seeing him.
I’m not sure who gave me this wicked cold, Shatner or Mickey, but I’d like to get a look back at last weekend’s Gen Con SoCal started, fever or no. We’ll get into more details about union woes, how my buddies and I did in the True Dungeon, our talk with Peter Adkison, and so on. However, my aching joints and cough aren’t going to let me do much right now. I’ll settle for making a Val Kilmer post (heh), and letting resident reviewer Merwin give you his take on the convention. We’ll get down to the brass tacks as soon as I can see straight again.
Allan and I have never been RPGA types, and organized D&D play has never really made sense to me. If this page at GR is any indication, it’s making less sense to other folks as well. But wasn’t this the mainstay of OrganizedPlay’s business? Should Ryan Dancey be allowed to have time on his hands?
Right, so, Allan’s been at the other Gen Con and now he’s at the other thing in Anaheim and we haven’t been posting really. Apparently the only news from the show is that a bunch of retailers and publishers are kinda pissed off. That, and some computer game stuff: Blizzard chose the show to unveil a bunch of details on World of WarCraft, which has a good shot at being the next fantasy online game of choice in my opinion. You’ll just have to have hardware that could arm wrestle RoboCop to run the thing, is all.
We aim to have our last 12 Games Of list for you in the next couple days. Don’t worry, it’s the PDF list; downloadables mean you don’t have to budget much shopping time.
Mike Selinker dropped us a note about Axis & Allies D-Day, a new “standalone expansion” for Axis & Allies set to hit next May, to coincide with D-Day’s 60th anniversary. “Standalone expansion” is apparently what A&A Europe and A&A Pacific are called, as well. Well, okay: Selinker was really writing us to complain that we said A&A was getting split into two parts in its upcoming revision, which it’s not. We didn’t actually say it was, but in the resulting confusion, well, I don’t even know what we did say. You should clearly just be listening to Selinker instead of me, which just got easier thanks to his new series of columns at the AH site.
Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates is formally out of beta today, so if you’re curious to check out the first major, professional massively multiplayer online RPG that doesn’t hew so close to the traditions thereof, check it out. No Tolkien anywhere to be found up in here, and no lame hack-and-slash gameplay or level grinding either. Those on not-so-current machines are especially encouraged to investigate.
Atlas Games has announced the impending arrival of more schoolyard ass-kickings. Specifically, Atlas plans to release both an expansion deck and a sequel to the classic-yet-twisted card game, Lunch Money. Details aren’t available yet for the sequel, but the expansion, called Lunch Money: Sticks and Stones, will be a 55-card set that can be added to the original 110-card game. According to Atlas, Sticks and Stones will “bring new mechanics into the game, and the added cards also make it easier to accomodate larger groups of players.” Sticks and Stones should be available by the time the GAMA Trade Show rolls around (next March).
Yup, here it comes. Thank god CMGs have a slightly higher barrier to entry, financially speaking, or else it’d have been 1994 all over again last year, swarms of little plastic guys overwhelming us all. This original CMG (that is, the anime isn’t out yet) comes from Bandai, who are apparently all done licking their wounds from the Digimon and Gundam CCGs a few years ago (and have also announced plans to reenter that fray). What did we do to deserve it all? I know: this is punishment for all those failed Setting Search entries.
It was on the schedule but it’s not done, so James Ernest has taken a tip from the online gaming industry and decided to let us all be his QA engineers. Jacob Marley, Esquire requires the usual pawns and stones as well as 400 chips in 4 colors, which if you play One False Step For Mankind you’ve taken care of. Oh, and you need to print it out. This PDF edition will only be available for the month of December, so screw up your courage and fire up your browser. Then tighten up your shorts and prepare to face the Anthony Gallela star vehicle The Man Between, now available on DVD for your gift-buying needs.
Our buddy Aeon, of Ninja Burger fame, is running a contest over at RPGnet where you can win a copy of the new Ninja Burger card game by Steve Jackson Games. He’s set it up to celebrate the Day of the Ninja, which is tomorrow. Why tomorrow, you ask? I’ll let Aeon tell you:
I’m going to try and coordinate the efforts of the thousands of Ninja Burger fans, my friends, and maybe some of my enemies, to make Friday, December 5th the Day of the Ninja. Why that Friday? Because it’s opening day for the new Tom Cruise movie, The Last Samurai, and everyone knows that ninja will be celebrating the fact that there’s only one last samurai left to do away with. And it’s Tom Cruise, at that.
Sounds good to me. As long as my burger and fries arrive in 30 minutes or less.
The second of our 2003 Gift Lists is up for all to see. Games Under the Tree: 12 Games of $40 or less is our selections for the slightly bigger ticket items on your gift giving list. You know, the games that will make a true gamer drop what he’s doing just to drool. Follow our suggestions, and you can’t go wrong. Don’t forget about the next two Gift List sections, arriving in the days ahead.
That’s the rumor, anyway. Allegedly this’ll be out next year at Gen Con (the real one). You know, at least a few of these games had to have been conceived when it was already apparent that Mage Knight was starting to flag commercially. Did they think they could somehow freeze time long enough to pick up some of the former Mage Knight players before they went on to other pastimes? Is this just a niche play for adult HeroClix buyers and other otaku? I guess what I’m trying to say is “why, God, why,” but I don’t really wanna come out and say it. Anyway, this will be sold in configs similar to D&D Miniatures; who knows, it might be similarly D20-derived as well. Further updates as they happen and we resignedly accept the slow slide into the oblivion of creativity in the game industry.