Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Disposable Income: April 2009

Welp, it's that time of the month again.

That's right: I start menstruating.

Also I make blog posts!

So like I mentioned earlier, video game releases spiked considerably for the month of March, but slowed back down for April. That's actually fine, because with the exception of one game that I bought early on, there were a couple of other things I bought that managed to hold my attention for the rest of the month. Hit the jump to find out what those things are!

Rhythm Heaven

So first off is the one game I bought in April, Rhythm Heaven for the DS. This is actually the sequel to a pretty quirky GBA game that only came out in Japan. That game was called "Rhythm Tengoku", and it was basically a collection of rhythm-based minigames by the guys who made Wario Ware. The combination of Wario Ware and shaking it to funky music made me really excited of course, so I've been looking forward to the series' US debut for quite a while now.

Well it turns out that I suck at this game. The quirky music and visuals are great, but it's also really hard and requires very precise inputs. In some cases that can be difficult to do since once of the controls is "flick the stylus across the touch screen", and during certain fast-paced and hectic songs the game will generally confuse you "flicking" with you "tapping". Additionally it's frustrating that a single mistake during a song is generally the difference between a "Superb" rating and a "Just OK" one.

The game's got a lot of style, but unfortunately for Nintendo I played Henry Hatsworth last month, which not only oozes its own brand of style, but also has really solid gameplay that manages to be really challenging without being obnoxious.

I don't regret this purchase, though! As long as it encourages NOA to take more risks besides "Wii Party Games 5".

Scott Pilgrim Volumes 2 through 5

Scott Pilgim is a series I've known about for a pretty long while, but never really bothered to get into. I bought the first volume of the series like three years ago and it was a pretty fun little comic! It's basically about this Canadian kid named Scott Pilgrim who falls in love with a pretty awesome girl, but in order to go out with her he has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends. It was presented pretty hilariously and there were a ton of video game references which were great, but at the time I didn't have a job so I couldn't afford any of the subsequent volumes. By the time I did have a job, I had pretty much forgotten about the series.

Well, fairly recently there's an announcement that it's getting turned into a live action film. Usually film adaptations of comics make me respond with an "eh" or a "I hope that will be cool! It probably won't be though", but due to the talent involved my reaction was more like "The main character is played by Michael Cera, who has basically perfected playing that type of role? Fuck yes! The director is Edgar Wright, the Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz guy!? Double fuck yes! There will be an asian girl with a knife!?!? aaaaaa i am ordering these books online right now while I am talking"

So I've read the entire series so far, which almost completes the story. There's one volume left, which is apparently trying to get released before the movie, and I hope it does because this series has been totally awesome. The fight scenes are great, the dialogue is hilarious, and there was a Monkey Island reference somewhere which instantly makes it the best comic book ever made. I want to go into more detail but I am hoping that you, the reader, will check it out and I don't want to spoil things!

A Bunch of DnD 4.0 Stuff

Remember when last month I said I'd been playing the latest edition of Dungeons and Dragons recently and I'd been enjoying myself? Well I've been getting really into it lately and I decided that I wanted to Dungeon Master a session of the game myself. A good amount of my friends are into roleplaying but haven't played 4.0 yet, so I figured this summer would be an awesome opportunity for everyone to try it out. As a result, I've been buying a bunch of stuff in preparation, and there's a few more things I'll be getting in May before the adventure I'll run in early June.

Core Rulebook Set: This includes the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual in one convenient package. I already had my own copy of the Player's Handbook, but buying this set was actually cheaper than buying the remaining two books separately, so it was almost like getting a spare copy for free! Which is great, since two books spread amongst 4-6 players will make character creation and whatnot a speedier process than it would be with everyone having to share one book. Plus the DMG and MM have been awesome for my adventure designing purposes.

Dungeon Master's Screen: It's a screen! For dungeon mastering! Oh boy! (It is well designed and I like it.)

Arcane Power: This is a book I actually bought for the sessions I'm a player in instead of for DMing purposes. This book is basically kind of an expansion pack for the non-god-oriented magic-casting classes like Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers and Bards. The god-oriented magic classes get their own supplemental book called Divine Power. Anyways my character is a Warlock, so I bought the book to give him access to the neat new powers and feats and stuff that it offers. And I think it was a worthy purchase! A lot of fun new stuff that still keeps things balanced. I might get the other character-related expansions as well so that the players in my upcoming adventure can use them if they like.

Minatures: I got a handful of same-looking miniatures that I can use for groups of monsters. Next month I'm getting the mat that my players and I will be using for combat, which will help me know whether or not I need to buy more miniatures. I'm secretly hoping that the squares are big enough for me to recycle minis from other tabletop games I own. I already know that the HeroClix minis are too big, so my heroes won't be fighting Batman anytime soon, but maybe my Heroscape stuff? The fantasy-oriented stuff would fit in just fine, while the sci-fi and world war II minis would fit in just hilariously!

Anyways, that's all for this month. Tune in next time my vagina starts bleeding! Read more!