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Ramblings from the Marginalized » Games


Games December 23rd, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Pokemon Rumble

On December 2, 2009 Pokemon International released the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG): Rumble to coincide with the release of the Pokemon Rumble game on WiiWare. This game combines TCG strategy with a board game presentation, is fully compatible with all of your existing Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) cards and can be played with two to seven players.

The box contains 16 cards (same in every box), a set of energy dice, a targeting die, a Battle Royale Playmat, 14 player markers (two per player), and rules. The 16 cards are from an exclusive Pokémon Rumble set that can only be acquired in this box and each card has a foil Pokémon Rumble logo imprinted on it.

The game begins by laying out the Battle Royale Playmat and placing Pokemon cards (one face-up and one face-down) on each of the seven slots on the playmat. Players then take turns placing their player markers (max of two per slot, can't double up your own marker) on the playmat. The player markers have either a three or a five on the back side and these numbers come into play when the game ends for scoring purposes.

On a player's turn the four energy dice are rolled. The dice are six-siders that have a dash on one side and various energy symbols on the other five faces. There is also a special energy symbol that can be used as any type of energy. After rolling the dice the player scans the Pokémon on the playmat (not just ones with his/her marker) and chooses which attack to use. For example Rattata can use Bite for 20 damage at a cost of two colorless energy and Pikachu can use Volt Tackle which can cause 60 damage to another Pokémon but also causes 10 damage to Pikachu for a cost of one electric and two colorless energy. If both of these Pokémon are on the playmat and a player rolls enough energy they can use either of these attacks to injure or knock out other Pokémon.

After choosing what attack to use from which Pokémon a special red target die is cast. This is another six-sided die that is numbered from one to three (three ones, two twos, one three) and decides which Pokemon is hit with the attack. All attacks are made in a clockwise direction and the Pokémon launching the attack can not attack itself.

After rolling the target die and seeing which Pokemon is hit weaknesses and resistances are taken into consideration. This part of the game works exactly the same as the standard TCG system. When a Pokémon is weak or strong against an attack they suffer more or less damage. If a Pokémon is not knocked out from an attack, damage counters are placed on the card. If a Pokémon is knocked out from the attack the attacking player takes the card and flips the remaining card face-up. If that was the last Pokémon in that slot then the slot remains empty and is ignored for the rest of the game.

There are two ways for the game to end: If only one player still has markers on the playmat or if only one pile of Pokémon still has player markers on it. When the game ends any remaining player markers on the playmat are given back to their respective players and the number on the back is added to their score along with one point per Pokémon defeated. If a player knocked-out four Pokémon then four points would be added to their score. If this same player had their three point marker on the playmat at the end of the game their score would now be seven (four Pokémon + three point player marker). The player with the highest score is the winner.

The cards in the game are 100% compatible with the existing Pokémon TCG cards but not all Pokémon TCG cards can be used in Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG): Rumble. Any Pokémon that requires more than four energy for its attacks can not be used due to the number of dice in the game. Also special effects are not used in this game so Pokémon who rely on such things will be less powerful.

All in all I have to say that we played the game and found it enjoyable. The game is weighted more towards luck than strategy (dice) but some basic strategic skills will help. The learning curve is very low and even though the game suggests players be 10 or older this game can easily be played with younger players who enjoy collecting the Pokémon Trading Cards but are not able to play the game.

Put this one on your holiday shopping list for your Pokemon fans!

As an added bonus Pokémon International has also released a new collector tin for the holiday season. The Arceus tin is available now and includes a special foil Lv. X Arceus card and four booster packs from recent sets.

You can purchase this game through Funagain Games.

This is cross-posted on PokeFarm

Games February 20th, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Grail Quest Books is proud to announce that it has teamed with the game company, Decipher INC, to adapt its proprietary science fiction, WARS, into a comic book series and tie-in graphic novellas.

WARS is set in our Solar System during the late 24th century. The Earthers and Gongen are locked in a decade-old civil war, while the Mavericks engage both sides for their benefit. Then a rift in the fabric of the universe opens, allowing two more warring alien cultures to enter the system and increasing the stakes for control of the Solar System.

The comic series will take place in the months leading up to the appearance of The Mumon Rift. “There is a lot of interesting play-up between the three human factions before the celestial tear appears,” says Josh Radke, owner of Grail Quest Books and one of the main writers on the project. ” The Earthers and Gongen are two sides in a bitter war, and Sean and I plan to each focus on a side. The Mavericks–being mostly mercenaries and gangsters–will certainly play a role in the storytelling.”

Sean E Williams, who is also developing an animated series based on WARS‘ Gongen faction, will be writing the opening story arc for the comic book series. Sean will be using the comic title as an opportunity to lead-in to his animated series arc. “The Gongen struggle for independence against the Earthers immediately drew me to them; call it an underdog factor. And the fact they’ve managed to update sword technology and continue to use it in space is just plain cool. Decipher has created an amazing universe in WARS, with endless possibilities for storytelling.”

Collaborating with best-selling science fiction and Star Wars authour, Michael A Stackpole, the WARS story debuted as one of Decipher’s trading card games, the first set which released in October 2004. The property was also developed into a roleplaying game by Mongoose Publishing. Josh always felt that WARS was fertile ground for fictional development, and it was a property that he hoped he would have the opportunity to commercially nurture whenever his goal of owning a publishing company became a reality.

“I am very hard to pick up on science fiction,” Josh points out. “But WARS intrigued me right from the moment Decipher announced their card game five years ago. It has a strong space-fantasy element to it that I really think is the story’s essence. It’s a human conflict of survival through science and technology, sure, but to me the Earther-Gongen civil war is the larger story. Also the Gongen have allies which are certainly beyond science, and when The Rift appears it brings an ‘X factor’ that is nothing to do with physics or tech.”

Known worldwide since 1994 for its acclaimed, best-selling card games for Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek, Josh looks at this project as an opportunity to give something back to a company whose games have played a sizable role in his career success. “I have worked with Decipher’s games in a variety of volunteer capacities through the last decade or so, and I am thrilled to work with them to bring their WARS property to a broader audience of science fiction and fantasy fans. It is a real honour given all the amazing experiences, friends, opportunities, and memories Decipher has provided me through their games thus far. I think I speak for everyone involved when I say that we are all very excited.”

More information on the tie-in graphic novellas is forthcoming. Meanwhile, Decipher is very close to releasing its revolutionary new card game, Fight Klub (and when you sign up be sure to mention that “GrailQuestBooks” sent you).

Games February 8th, 2009 by HMTKSteve
Depleted Uranium Dice

I was Stumbling around the web today when I ran into this amazing piece of gaming history; depleted uranium dice!

No one knows when these dice were made though it is likely they are from the 1950's era. The dice are nickel coated and are just under an inch across.

These dice are heavy. Depleted uranium is heavier than lead so that little fact should give you an idea on just how heavy these little bad boys are!

Games January 28th, 2009 by HMTKSteve

On Tuseday January 27, 2009 Bethesda released the first of the DLC for Fallout 3. Clocking in at 800 Xbox Points and a 4 hour gameplay estimate the Operation Anchorage pack is the first of three planned for the game.

I should have time to play through this DLC over the weekend and I will report back on whether I consider it worth the expense.

Games January 26th, 2009 by HMTKSteve

It looks like Nintendo is finally running out of games to add to the Wii Shop Channel. Not bad for a console that has been on top of the sales chart for three Holiday seasons in a row!

So, what does Nintendo have for us today?

First up we have the WiiWare game Niki - Rock 'n' Ball. This jump and roll platformer clocks in at 500 Wii points, is for 1 to 2 players, rated E for Everyone and is developed by Bplus

Are you in love with those unforgettable arcade classics where the only goal is to vanquish all opponents to reach the next stage? Niki - Rock 'n' Ball is a new interpretation of those games with a completely innovative and unique gaming mechanism. Roll along with Niki through fantastic worlds, find all the ZeLeLi pearls, and liberate your village from cuddly-yet-evil monsters before it's too late. Timing is everything. Jump in the nick of time to avoid landing amid barbs. Hop across the stages thanks to the realistic gaming physics. Snap on the ZeLeLi amulet, transform yourself into Niki Rock, and force even the most obstinate monster to its knees. Explore all the stages and win valuable medals while dribbling through them, alone or with a friend. Use familiar controls in Retro style, or experience novel controls in the Wii style.

Up next we have a Virtual Console game that originally appeared on the Sega Master System -
Wonder Boyâ„¢ in Monster Land. This one player action game clocks in at 500 Wii Points and allows the full choice on controllers.

After the defeat of the evil king, the kingdom of Wonder Land was a paradise…for a time. The peace was broken when a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon struck without warning and took over Wonder Land with a swarm of evil, monstrous henchmen, turning the once-peaceful land into the utterly chaotic Monster Land. Unable to fight, the people now look to Wonder Boy. Realizing that he is Wonder Land's last hope, Wonder Boy sets out on an incredible journey to rid the country of the monsters and defeat the "invincible" evil dragon. Guide Wonder Boy through various environments and dungeons, and defeat enemies using Special Weapons and Spells.

Games January 23rd, 2009 by HMTKSteve

Are you ready to rumble?

I think everyone knows how successful the Nintendo Wii has been and along with it Wii Sports. I don't know how many stories I've read in the paper about senior citizens playing Wii Sports Bowling at senior centers all across the USA.

Since Wii Sports was released we have seen numerous third party games released that focus on just one element of the Wii Sports phenomenon. Some of these games have been very good while others were just trying to copy what already existed with very little improvement.

The one sports game with the most promise for a third party update has to be boxing. Holding a Wii remote in one hand and a nunchuk in the other makes for an excellent boxing game control scheme. Atari is preparing to accept the challenge of creating a boxing title that you will want to play. What game am I talking about? Ready 2 Rumble Revolution of course!


  • A roster of 18 wildly caricatured cartoony boxers, all parodies of celebrities from the worlds of sports, music and movies who enter the ring as larger-than-life "Rumble-ized" versions of themselves. Players will step right up and see if they can knock these super-sized egos down a peg or two!
  • Hosted by "The Voice of the Champions" Michael Buffer, famous for his "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" trademark call.
  • Characters are brought to life with hilarious moves, detailed facial animations, damage textures and fighting techniques including special moves, combos, extreme knockdowns and special "Rumble" combos.
  • An all new Championship Mode lets gamers create their own unique boxer and nurture his skills through mini-games, developing him as a fighter and creating a completely personalized Ready 2 Rumble Revolution experience.
  • Delivers a fun and intuitive experience in either single player or multiplayer mode.
  • The Wii controllers provide would-be pugilists with an intuitive and realistic feel. Using the Nunchuk controller as one glove and the Wii Remote controller as the other, players dodge, weave and throw the big punches to KO their opponents.

I have watched a few of the videos of the game play and I have to say that I am excited about this game. I have fond memories of getting destroyed by Mike Tyson on my NES back in the 80's. I also have fond memories of the day one of my friends finally took the champ down! The only thing missing from Mike Tyson's Punch Out was that you could not play as any character other than little Mac. All those great caricature characters were unplayable.

When Ready 2 Rumble Revolution comes out for the Wii in March of 2009 we will have a boxing game on the Wii to be proud of. Looking at the characters released to the viewing public so far I have to say that I just know this game is designed for people who want to have fun when they play a boxing game. One of the characters is an Elvis impersonator, how cool is that?

Oh yes, this is on my want list.

Games and video games December 14th, 2008 by HMTKSteve

My first experience with Fallout was with the original PC game way back in 1997 when Interplay released the original game. I still have my spiral bound Vault-Tec manual somewhere in my game room. I have to admit that I was never able to save the Vault. I tried hard to fix the water purifier but I just kept on getting killed by Rad Scorpions while trying to cross the desert.

I did not play any of the other games in the series because I moved away from PC gaming for most of the following eight years. I still dabbled in the occasional RPG game but with a growing family I found myself with little time to devote to PC gaming. As my daughter grew up I spent most of my gaming time among the Pokemon, Kirby and Spongebob.

When I heard about Fallout 3 being released in the FPS format I was nervous. I had developed a problem with FPS games (nausea) and I was worried that I would be unable to play this new version of the game. I was also concerned that some of the feel of the game would be gone with the move to real time and 3D. Those worries were all unfounded. Fallout 3 is not only a great game but it is also true to its roots. (more…)

Apple and Games and video games November 25th, 2008 by Force Drainer


Hi Folks,

At long last, the good people at GameRanger have answered the cries of millions and have made it so Mac gamers and PC gamers can finally play games together over the internet. Of course, since Apple’s Bootcamp was launched not too long ago, Intel Mac users have been able to do this more or less, but GameRanger closes the gap for all Mac users.

GameRanger is a free download which allows players the ability to play 500 games and demos with anyone in the world. It has some useful and fun features, like profiles, online chats, in game voice chats, and gaming ranks.

I am very much looking forward to fragging some PC users who play some of the Star Wars games. How about you?

To see a list of cross-platform games or to download the program, please goto www.GameRanger.com.



The Force Drainer

Paul Starybrat

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