Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Dragon Zombie Casino

I have long detested card games, except when they were used in drinking, but even then they seemed unnecessary. By extension I also saved a little loathing for boardgames as well. Monopoly takes too long, Risk is craps for the slight more intelligent, but less funded and Operation is a practice in frustration. As a young man there were a few times in my life that I fell head over heels for a game though. Axis and Allies was and is the bee's knees and gave me a taste for a slightly more complex, albeit geeky board game at a young age. In college I discovered Cheapass Games and their roster of "cheap", but crazy fun board games.

Most recently I found Zombies!!! (the three exclamation points are important) by way of Xbox live. The "Z" is not on xbox live arcade yet, but they are shopping the license around. The second article I read about this prompted me to buy the actual board game. Pre Kaden I got in two games of it and was impressed by the dollars to fun ratio. First, anything that includes zombies is fun and second the game is very well thought out and a depature from most everything you have probably played before.

I wasn't old enough and was probably too worried about girls and skateboarding anyway to be bitten by the Dungeons and Dragons bug in high or middle school. My nerdiness has grown like the Grinch's heart post college though. I rediscovered comics, started a 40k army and jumped with both feet into a MMO for going on five years. So the idea of going further into the cave to play a pen and paper rpg doesn't seem as daunting as it would have seven or eight years ago. The most simple and interesting way to describe it is interactive group based story telling. The dungeon master (DM) is essentially telling a story to the players, but the players control their actions. It ends up being a give and take improvisation that is rises or falls based on the people playing.

This past Friday and the Friday two weeks prior, I have gotten together with a group of like mined geeks to start a 4th edition campaign. I am playing as a cleric and starting to get addiceted to the game after only two sessions. I picked up a mini and two sets of dice on Thursday and started reading the DM and Monster Manual handbooks this weekend. In theory I would like to start up my own campaign late this summer or early this fall. We shall see.

I have seen a lot of Scorsese films and enjoyed the vast majority. So when Netflix, after canceling my account, sent me one last DVD I felt an obligation to watch it before sending it back the next day. It some how happened to be Casino at the top of my que, which I probably added two or three years ago and forgot about. In any case, I'm happy to have finally watched it. Pesci, DeNiro and Stone all shine equally bright in their rolls. Some of the narration gets a little old and the audio mix was hit and miss, but that could have been the DVD and not the film itself. Ultimately it can't live up to Raging Bull or Taxi Driver, but that is hard to take as a slight when he has made so many good movies.

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Recently Finished:

The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness