Video Games with a Lot of Mods

I like a lot of mods for my video games. I can’t win half of the games in my library without them. Okay, I’m not that bad, but who wants to figure out the exact pressure point for a locked door when a mod with show you a color wheel with where you should place your bobby pin? Yep. That’s a Bethesda game or two, and they’ll make this list, but there are so many other modding communities out there. Which games have the most mods?

There are some your uncle Geekly likes more than most, so he decided to make a list of them. Here goes nothing.

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Fallout 3 / Fallout New Vegas

I could’ve put either one of these games or both on this list by themselves. Modders have made tons of mods for each of these games (unique weapons, new content, better graphics, show me where to place my lockpicks), but I put them together because of one ambitious mod: A Tale of Two Wastelands.

As the name implies, A Tale of Two Wastelands stitches the two games together into a single experience. Holy coconuts!

This means you can create a character for one of these games and ride a train from the Capital Wasteland to the Mojave Desert and back again. Imagine playing both games with the same character. You can.

Minecraft

Minecraft

What? Minecraft’s on this list, but players can build anything they can imagine. Why would you need to mod a game like that?

Because it’s awesome.

Sometimes thousands of options for textures aren’t good enough, you need millions. What’s it to you if I loaded Minecraft, and a game of Pokemon broke out on my computer? It’s my prerogative.

And gamers have as many options in this game as grains of sand in my shorts after I visit the beach, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Warcraft 3

Warcraft III

Other games may have passed Warcraft III with sheer number of mods, but the original video game—the OVG if you will—that introduced many gamers to modding is Warcraft III.

Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and perhaps multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) genre wouldn’t exist without someone modifying a map from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne. There’s also a lot more modding that happened with the expansions.

Just about any intellectual property can be found in the Warcraft III modding community: anime, comic books, Lord of the Rings, Mass Effect, and Star Wars to name a few. If you can think of it, there’s a good chance something like what you thought of exists.

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Sid Meier’s Civilization V

The Civilization franchise may have progressed beyond its heyday, but Civilization V’s modding community makes it memorable. I’ve lost count of how many cheats and historically accurate civs and specific scenarios I’ve downloaded. It’s in the hundreds.

And that’s if you don’t count video game character, comic book, and other sci-fi fantasy civilizations. Who wouldn’t like to play as Princess Peach and stomp Mario, Luigi, and Bowser? I’ve played at least a few dozen DC Comics versus Marvel Comics campaigns.

Civilization VI hasn’t been out as long, and some of the mods don’t work as well as Civ V, but I trust there will be tweaks made and more modders moving to the new game. If not, I’m okay with going back in time to Civ V.

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Skyrim

I could’ve added more Bethesda games but decided to stick with two franchises. Skyrim makes the list because of the volume of mods it has. One of 2017’s Skyrim the definitive edition’s biggest claims was that console players could use the thousands of mods available for PC gamers.

Additional content like side quests, companions, and houses are a nice touch, but the greatest mod may never come to fruition. One mod group is attempting to convert Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind to Skyrim’s graphic engine. It’s unlikely this mod will be released before Elder Scrolls VI and fans may not want it then, but a Morrowind add-on would be an incredible addition to an already stellar lineup of content.

There are so many games with so many mods. If you can think of one, reprogram me into a fire-breathing dragon. Or you can leave a comment. If you’d like to read more of our content, you can modify your email by subscribing.

Going for a Platinum Trophy or All the Trophies

Your uncle Geekly trophy hunts from time to time, but most of my PS4 trophies must meet certain criteria for me to pursue it. For those of you who don’t know, a PS4 platinum trophy is usually handed out when the player earns every other trophy (or accomplishment if you’re an X-Box player) the game has to offer. Not all games offer a platinum trophy—I’m looking at you, Apex Legends—and for those games I’ll collect all the trophies I can. Also, there are plenty of games that hand out a platinum after an hour or two or in the case of My Name is Mayo thirty minutes, but countless PS4 platinum trophies require work. Lots and lots of hours of grinding.

Like I said, I do trophy hunt at times, so you may see the My Name is Mayo platinum buried in my profile. I’m not proud of it. I sold out to gain a few Playstation levels and make my stats look good. But most of platinum trophies are legit. I promise.

If you’re wondering what My Name is Mayo is, it’s a game where one clicks on a jar of mayonnaise wearing provocative clothing. The jar even dons a leopard print bikini. Again, this isn’t the high point of my gaming trophies, but other game trophies are better. Honest. The following is a list for the more difficult games in which I choose to earn a platinum.

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I Have to Like the Game

Okay, this is a duh moment, but if I’m going to invest over a hundred hours to get every trophy a video game needs for a platinum trophy or get all the trophies the game has in its catalogue, I’d better like it. Heck. I better love the game. Skyrim? Sure. Persona 5? Of course. Final Fantasy XV? Yes—I liked it enough to earn the platinum, but it could’ve been better. Fallout 4? Why did I get that one? Nubla? It’s a very good puzzle game with an easy to get platinum, so this may have been another trophy hunter moment—but I don’t care. Where was I? Yes. I must like the game to even think about earning the game’s platinum. Earning a platinum trophy shows your love of the game to the world.

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No Online Multiplayer Trophies Needed

I like playing online video games every once and while, but I’m not any good at them and I won’t be able to unlock any online trophies—or at least most of them. As soon as I see that a game that can be played solo has an online component to its platinum trophy, I know I’m not getting the ultimate prize.

I liked the Magic: The Gathering video games from the PS3 but knew I would never get every trophy because I saw that I had to win X number of online matches and place in the top ten during an event. That’s not for me. I unlocked every other ridiculous trophy for those games except for the online ones, and the old Magic games aren’t even the most difficult of the bunch. Anything ultra-competitive like Fortnite, Overwatch, or Apex Legends will yield gold for me at best.

Speaking of gold, I stunk at the N64’s Goldeneye. I like the game. It deserves all the accolades it receives, but you know I’m no good at multiplayer games if I can’t win Goldeneye multiplayer while playing as Oddjob. Sure, Kyle, you can cheat by picking Oddjob. He starts with armor and a weapon (his hat) when no one else begins the game with either and must scrounge the map for both. I still lost consistently.

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No Hard Mode Required

There are people in the world who like to be challenged with video games. It’s great if you’re one of them. I’m not—most of the time. I may play a hard mode if a game offers one, but it’s a turnoff for me earning a platinum trophy if I must beat the game on the game’s most difficult setting to unlock it. Did I play PS4’s Spider-Man? Yes. I even played it on the unlockable ultimate difficulty setting, but I don’t like being told to play a certain way in order to earn a platinum trophy.

The Uncharted series is one of my favorites, but as soon as I see that I must finish the game on the most difficult setting, I know I’m not getting the game’s best trophy. Life is hard enough. Why must I play Nightmare Mode or Are You Kidding Me Mode or Ludicrous Mode or Geekly Must Die Mode? I’ll try the more difficult modes, but don’t expect me to do anything.

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No Speed Playthroughs

If you’re one of those people who can finish Super Mario Brothers in 2 minutes flat, good for you. You’re awesome and your reflexes are second to none. I’m not one of these people. But my lack of speed playthroughs goes beyond this. I don’t believe Final Fantasy VII has a speed playthrough trophy, but I’ve seen games of its ilk (other JRPGs and western RPGs) offering one for beating the game in under 20-25 hours. If I beat Final Fantasy VII or any game of that type that fast, I feel cheated.

I like to take my time. Give me a world and characters I can lose myself in and I’ll do just that.

A Maximum of 3 Playthroughs

If I can’t get all the trophies in three playthroughs, I’m out. Usually, I don’t like playing a game a third time. Persona 5 took me almost three playthroughs because I missed a minor something during my second play and I considered abandoning the game’s platinum since it would take me a third. After several grunts and groans, I fired up the game for another play and cursed at myself during the next twenty or so hours. I like earning the platinum in a single play whenever possible.

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2 Shiny Platinum Trophies for Every Embarrassment

Yes. I own some embarrassing platinums in my PS4 case, but your uncle Geekly strives for 2 platinums I don’t mind displaying for each one I hide behind the rest. I mentioned My Name is Mayo earlier, but I include Telltale Games platinum trophies in this group as well. All one must do to get most Telltale Game platinums is finish the game. That’s too easy. I’ll do it, but your trophy goes in the back row. I want trophies I don’t mind polishing in the front.

After taking a moment of silence for Telltale Games closing their doors late last year—I liked their games despite how easy it was to get their platinum trophies—let us know what criteria you look for when going for a game’s platinum in the comments. Do you even care if you ever earn a platinum? Which platinum trophies do you own?

Video Game Players Only Want Multiplayer Games

I’m not sure if this has come up or not in the past several years Uncle Geekly’s been doing this blog, but your uncle dislikes absolutes, so I’m being facetious with this writeup’s title. Okay. Maybe video games and what players want isn’t serious enough of a topic to warrant me calling it facetious, but it’s an important topic for geeks.

Anyway. Any absolute like this title is inherently flawed. One can’t make a blanket statement about a large group of people or things, because there are many exceptions to the norm. The title derives from video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) insisting that video game fans only want multiplayer experiences, but they’re doing so by saying that players don’t want games with a linear story, and if one looks at their recent track record, EA seldom publishes single-player games with linear stories.

Electronic Arts has been making games for decades. They’ve seen the video game climate change over the course of those years, and the comment EA makes every time they cancel a Star Wars game with a linear story or character driven game in the past decade or so is that players don’t want a single-player experience.

EA’s Patrick Soderlund illustrates the company’s attitude by stating in his blog “Our Visceral Studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come. We needed to pivot the design.”

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Let’s look beyond the fact that some Visceral Studio employees lost their jobs—Soderlund also stated that EA would shift as many Visceral Studio employees over to other projects as they could, which means that they didn’t do that for all their employees—and get to what Soderlund, speaking for EA, is saying. On the surface, it may sound to players as if EA wants to make games that resonate with players and grant players years of replay value but consider the source. Soderlund is a video game executive. He’s talking about monetization and making games that run like a service.

Do you think that I’m making a little bit of a leap there? Maybe, but EA has a long history of making great single-player, linear story games (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Deep Space). They even have a long history of producing great linear story Star Wars games that are single-player like Knights of the Old Republic and the Jedi Knight series, so EA has plenty of research to suggest the contrary to what Soderlund said. Players do want linear story, character-driven games, especially ones set in the Star Wars universe.

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EA’s 2018 release A Way Out reinforces that players want single-player, linear story, character-driven games. A Way Out sold as many copies (200,000 for about $1 million) in one week as EA thought it would sell in the entire fiscal year. The truth is that EA wants players to only want multiplayer games. A single-player linear story game needs to have a finite ending to be satisfying. If that’s the case, players won’t purchase skins or weapons for a character when they’ve already beaten the game, unless they plan to play the game a second time.

I get it on some level. AAA games cost a lot of money to make, so publishers want to watch their bottom line and produce games that can bring in consistent money over a long period of time, games like the ones Soderlund mentioned in his blog “experiences that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come.” But let’s cut EA a break—sort of—and say that they don’t understand that there is more than one video game audience.

ApexLegends

If EA knew there was more than one video game audience, they may not have released Apex Legends at the beginning of February 2019 when Anthem was scheduled for release later the same month. They’re both solely online games that will attract a similar audience. Video game companies can’t predict what another studio will do, but they can space out similar releases from their own stable of games. That’s why video game companies need single-player games as much as they do multiplayer games.

Some players like multiplayer games, almost exclusively; others prefer single-player games. I dig both game types, but I lean toward single-player experiences. Variety is paramount. EA can, and should, offer great multiplayer and single-player games. I’d hate to see the publisher behind classics like Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic never make another single-player, linear story, character-driven game. It’s single-player games like the ones EA has produced in the past that lead some to accept video games as art, or at the very least, examples of incredible storytelling.

Do you agree or disagree that gamers still want single-player experiences with linear stories? Do you think EA and other companies like it are off-base with their assessment of the video game market? Let us know in the comments.

Underused Intellectual Properties in Tabletop Gaming

Not every intellectual property gets the tabletop game treatment. They can’t all be Star Wars that has hundreds of games on boardgamegeek (BGG), granted a lot of those are Star Wars skinned versions of other games, but still, there are a lot of Star Wars games to choose from. That made your uncle Geekly wonder which intellectual properties could use a tabletop game or two. Here we go.

StarTrek

Star Trek

You know how I said that there are a lot Star Wars games out there. The same can’t be said of Star Trek. What’s worse is that most Star Trek games that are on the market are little more than rethemed Star Wars games. Now, I’m a little fuzzy, so perhaps someone can help me, but are Star Wars and Star Trek so similar that they’re interchangeable?

Yeah, that pissed off some fans. I don’t believe they are, but the real issue is that board game companies don’t seem to see a difference between Wars and Trek.

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Doctor Who

This is another overlooked intellectual geek culture property, and I’m not sure why. Sure, there’s an RPG and a handful of licensed games like Yahtzee with a TARDIS and a Dalek as the dice cup out there, but the time travel of Doctor Who is prime for some interesting game mechanisms that could bring certain game types into the 21st century.

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Literary Board Games

Board games have been turning to books lately for inspiration. The Cthulhu mythos has dominated the board game landscape for years, due its status in the public domain, but other classic works like 1984, Animal Farm, Moby Dick, and Beowulf as well as newer works like Cronin’s The Passage trilogy and Pratchett’s Discworld novels have received the board game treatment. There’s a wealth of classic works out there. Why not turn one into a game?

Why not a class/status struggle game based on Jane Austen? Or cast a gamer as Gatsby trying to impress Daisy? Or base a game on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein? There are shockingly few games based on Frankenstein.

Horror novels have generated a lot of buzz. There’s even a game adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, where one player assumes the role of the Torrance family and the other plays as the Overlook Hotel. You can’t tell me there isn’t at least one or two more King novels that wouldn’t make a good board game.

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Anime/Manga

Yes. Some anime and manga titles have received board or card games in the past, and some of those have been pretty good, but most of the time anime fans are left with cheap knock off games. Like some other properties on this list, anime games tend to be skinned versions of other games. It says something when there are more animes about board games than there are board games about anime.

To add insult to injury, countless games use anime style art, but have nothing to do with the source material. It’s about time there was at least one or two decent anime/manga games out there.

Note: I haven’t yet played Bauza’s Attack on Titan board game. I hold out hope that it’s good. I like Attack on Titan and Bauza as a designer.

 

Scooby-Doo

With so many horror board games doing well, why not make a game featuring Scooby Doo? Exploration and puzzle solving are huge in board gaming right now. Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scoob would make for some accessible characters for younger gamers, and older gamers would mind the link to Saturday morning cartoons.

I could’ve added more than these five, but your uncle Geekly wants to hear your thoughts. Are there any intellectual properties you’d like to see made into board games? Let us know in comments.

Death Note: The Anime is Better Than the Manga

Is there snow in forecast or is it Anime Season? I’m sure our resident anime/manga geek Season appreciates the joke at her name’s expense. She’s going to break down why the Death Note anime is better than the manga. Take it away, Anime Season.

Usually, it’s the other way around, right? The manga typically doesn’t include huge filler arcs and has a more consistent flow than the anime. Typically. In the case of Death Note, not only does the format in which it’s presented in the anime suit it better, the ending has a more accurate depiction of a certain character in the anime than the manga. Spoiler alert. Let’s get started.

The first issue with the Death Note manga is the type of storytelling Ohba is presenting. Death Note is a detective story with supernatural elements and is dialogue heavy. I mean very dialogue heavy. Page after page of the Death Note manga contains blocks of text as each of the characters expresses their thoughts. This doesn’t allow for good flow in the manga since it’s easy to zone out in the sea of text. I had to go back on several occasions just to appreciate the artwork (which Obata did an amazing job of). In Death Note 13: How to Read, Ohba states that he cut down on a lot of the text. Dude, what did you originally have? Never mind. I don’t want to know.

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As far as the anime goes with the dialogue, that much of it is fine. As a viewer, one doesn’t have to read the text (unless you’re watching it subbed) and can just listen and watch the characters’ reactions. Since it’s animated in this format, even if the characters talk a lot, they’re also moving and doing other things. For instance, L is always stacking or making something out of, say, coffee creamer pods, while he talks. This keeps the viewer engaged while progressing the story. The manga does show this, but since it’s depicted in a panel and the reader is focused on what L is saying, it gets lost. There is a segment in the manga (I believe it’s in volume 11—don’t quote me on that) that has several panels of pictures, showing what each of the characters is doing. More of that should have been included.

My second point contains major spoilers. Read at your own discretion. The ending in the anime made way more sense than the ending in the manga. For those who have seen Death Note in both formats and disagree with me, hear me out. In the anime, Light runs away, wounded, and collapses on a staircase in a warehouse, with Ryuk writing Light’s name down in his Death Note, killing him. In the manga, Light has a panic attack after getting shot several times and begs Ryuk to save him. Ryuk still writes Light’s name down in his Death Note and kills him. Ryuk killing Light was foreshadowed in both the manga and anime versions, so that was fine. Light freaking out in the manga and begging Ryuk for his life was not. That isn’t Light’s character. In Death Note 13: How to Read, Obata states that he wanted to express all of Light’s pent up emotions in one huge psychological breakdown. Basically, he wanted to draw Light in anguish just because he could. Again. That isn’t Light’s character.

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A cult dedicated to Light (Kira) was also shown at the tail end of the manga. Why? I can understand that people still worship his ideals, but this makes it look like there’s going to be a part two to the story. I don’t think there will be twelve years after the final volume was published, but this is unnecessary. This is something the reader can infer based on the general public’s reception to Light throughout the series.

I’d recommend the Death Note anime over the manga, but that doesn’t mean the manga is horrible. I don’t think the Death Note concept suits the manga as well as it does the anime. For those who have seen the anime and are looking for something to read the manga will definitely keep you occupied for a while.

Did we miss anything? Do you agree with our arguments? Do you prefer the Death Note anime or the manga? Let us know in the comments.

The Orville, Discovery, Neither, or Both?

Standard Issue Star Trek Geek Jim came back with another Trek article, but he insists it isn’t a Trek article. The Orville isn’t exactly Star Trek—or it is. I may have to watch these shows and find out what he means. Fortunately for those of us who haven’t purchased the CBS App, Jim has consumed these shows and is willing to share his thoughts. Enjoy.

If the headline drew you in, then you must have seen it, the Keyboard Commandos arguing that The Orville is the only “real Trek” on TV today, or Star Trek: Discovery’s backers denouncing The Orville as frat-boy humor for bitter Trek fans who never understood Gene Roddenberry’s vision to begin with. Both shows are well into their second seasons by now, and I’ve recently caught up with both, so I wanted to take a moment to stop and look at each show, get into what’s working and what’s not.

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The Orville: What’s Going Wrong?

Any show, in fact, any story, is about its characters. What happens is never as important as who it’s supposed to be happening to. The Orville offers some quality characters, and in the spirit of Star Trek, it puts them in not just physical jeopardy, but in ethical dilemmas that are sometimes hard for the viewer to reconcile. This, in and of itself, is a good thing, but legitimate criticism is due when those dilemmas don’t result in any noticeable changes to the characters involved. For example, not nearly as much has been made of the decision to change an infant’s gender at birth, in compliance with alien cultural practices, as the fact that Captain Mercer still pines for his ex-wife. This makes understanding the stakes on a week to week basis rather difficult and can be disengaging for an audience.

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The Orville: What’s Going Right?

Contrary to what I’d expected, this show is not a Star Trek spoof. I say that because it isn’t a show that makes fun of itself. They don’t mock the thought of an idealized future for humanity. They don’t poke fun at the concept of an interplanetary alliance. The jokes in the show tend to be situational, as in snarky comments about given situations. Failing that, the humor comes from the quirky personalities of ship’s crew. The charge that The Orville showcases “frat boy” humor is, I think, more the result of an unfair comparison. Star Trek is a franchise that takes itself quite seriously. Jokes in the original series were almost completely limited to nothing more than a wry quip that might earn a moment’s side-eye under the arched brow of a stoic vulcan. In later Trek, Data offered some light-hearted moments as he read poetry or pet his cat, but the show never aimed too hard at making anyone laugh. Next to these, it’s not hard for anything meant to be funny to look juvenile. In this way, McFarlane’s show writes a love letter Star Trek without trying to be Star Trek.

Let’s talk about the other one, shall we?

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Star Trek: Discovery: What’s Going Wrong?

I’m going to get some obvious points out the way. These are my primary objections to the show, and they’re far more about decisions made at the outset than anything any one episode has chosen to do. First, and I’ve said this before, having a show that depicts a utopian humanity that has conquered poverty and scarcity set behind a pay-wall is horrible. CBS should be airing this series on its network, and they’re insulting the material, and hurting its ratings by not doing so. Second, I am bored to death and beyond with prequels. Trek fans have been pining for a look at the post-Dominion War federation for years now. We’ve already gone back to Starfleet’s humble origins with Star Trek: Enterprise, and I believe audiences may well feel that anything that hasn’t been mentioned in fifty years of Trek before now, must not be all that interesting a part of the story. How can it be? It needs to either fit neatly into established canon, or ignore established canon.  The season-one premise of offering audiences a look at the Federation in wartime is nothing new. Remember what I just said about The Dominion War? We’ve seen Starfleet at war. It was in Deep Space Nine, and those were some of the best episodes the franchise has ever produced, but it’s done. Lastly, making Michael Burnham Spock’s foster sister and dragging Sarek into the story undermines the show even more. It’s one thing for Captain Janeway to namedrop Picard, or for Torres to namedrop Data. It’s fine that Deep Space Nine begins with an uncomfortable meeting between Picard and Sisko in the aftermath of the battle at Wolf 359. None of those characters, Janeway or Sisko, leaned on Picard to make them interesting. Likewise, Picard was interesting before he met Kirk in the Nexus. There’s nothing about Burnham that means she can’t be an interesting character who can carry a show on her own, but by making Sarek (and now also Spock) recurring figures so early in the series, she’s not being given a chance to forge her own identity. She’s borrowing one from them. I could redouble this argument with a criticism about making Captain Pike the new captain of the U.S.S. Discovery, but it’s something that bothers me for a lot of the reasons I’ve already mentioned.

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Star Trek: Discovery: What’s Going Right?

The “What’s Going Wrong” section of this write-up looks disproportionately long. I realize that, but when you discount the fact that the paywall and the setting as a prequel were always going to be points against it for me, the damage really isn’t all that bad. One of the common internet gripes about this show is its heavy-handed agenda, but let’s be honest. Star Trek has always had a heavy-handed agenda. In the interest of fairness, some people may be reacting to the feeling that politics are permeating everything nowadays. It’s become inescapable, and I find it exhausting in so much other media, but Star Trek has never been a place to go to escape social, ethical, or philosophical discussion. The fact that Discovery engages in this is probably the way in which it is truest to the spirit of the franchise. If you were to strip any Trek series of its social, political, and philosophical agendas, you’d be left with phaser battles and ship explosions to carry the series, which interestingly enough, leads to another complaint people make about Discovery. It’s too action-focused. I don’t agree here either. As I said, any Trek series features combat (which makes their claim of Starfleet not being a military outfit silly), but in the past, the limitations of television budget and special effects have hindered their ability to make the battle scenes impressive. With Netflix footing the bill for Discovery’s first season, the producers were able to add a lot of polish that fans of the franchise just aren’t used to seeing. That doesn’t mean the violence underneath that polish is anything new. So if you have a problem with agendas, and action sequences, why watch any Star Trek series? Without both of those, you don’t have much more than William Shatner or Jonathan Frakes making bedroom eyes at women in bodypaint and forehead prosthetics.

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So Which One Works?

They both work. I truly enjoy both shows so far. Neither is perfect, and I hope to see each improve, but as is the case with so much media in Geekdom these days, I wish people could enjoy these for what they are. Neither needs to be bad for the other to be good. You don’t have to like each for the same reasons, because they don’t offer the same things. They aren’t trying to. If The Orville took itself too seriously, it would be a shameless ripoff. If it didn’t pick a demographic to target, it would fail because nothing is all that funny to everyone. If Discovery didn’t deviate from past series, it would have no chance to add something new to the franchise. Because it’s playing to a modern crowd, it stands to draw new fans who may end up deciding to go back and watch what came before it, gaining new attention for the older shows and ensuring what Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer had to say won’t dissolve into obscurity as their audiences age out. We’re fans of science fiction. New shows keep science fiction thriving. Let’s be glad about that.

Tabletop Games That Would Make a Good Movie

Your uncle Geekly made a list like of tabletop games that would make a good movie three or four years ago, but a lot can happen over the course of years, Uncle Geekly’s a fickle bastard, so the list would’ve changed two weeks after the first one. Hungry, Hungry Hippos? Nah, too scary. Ouija? Ach! Hollywood already made a movie about that since the last list. Maybe the following five games would make a good movie.

And yes, there have been good board game movies. Clue was one, I think. Unfortunately, they’re rebooting it. Ugh!

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Scythe

At first glance, someone may think of Scythe as a war game, but it’s more of a cold war game. It’s set in an alternate sci-fi fantasy version of post-World War I Europe. The technology used to fight The Great War far exceeds our current tech. One look at a gargantuan Mech is a great cue, but despite its vast technology, this world is more of an agrarian continent destabilized by conflict.

Scythe’s story changes depending on how gamers play, but the overall concept has the makings of a political thriller with plenty of espionage. This is a cold war game after all. It’s just a cold war game with Mechs, and that’s awesome.

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Pandemic: Legacy

The original Pandemic made the first list of this type, and one could argue that there’s already a Pandemic movie out there (Contagion), but Pandemic: Legacy adds what at first can be viewed as a subtle layer of storytelling that becomes so pronounced toward the middle of the game (gamers play a finite number of games, usually 24, because there is a story that unfolds like a movie or TV show) that you realize you aren’t playing base game Pandemic anymore. I won’t spoil anything here.

But the fact that I could spoil a tabletop game for someone suggests that it could make a great movie or TV show. I’m not that picky.

gloomhaven

Gloomhaven

People have seen high fantasy movies where the heroes join forces to conquer a common evil or foe. Gloomhaven shakes things up by having these “heroes” motivated by selfish endeavors and that needs to happen more in high fantasy stories. The city of Gloomhaven is down on its luck. You can kind of guess that by its name. Its “heroes” or anti-heroes don’t mirror the world in which they live.

This has the potential to be a dark movie, but in the hands of the right people, Gloomhaven could have some of the deepest fantasy characters.

deadofwinter

Dead of Winter

Dead of Winter may come off as a Walking Dead clone, but like Walking Dead, the zombies aren’t the most engaging thing about the story. The survivors take center stage. In Dead of Winter, players don’t know who the traitor is in their midst, they don’t even know if there is a traitor. This set up has the trappings of a good psychological thriller.

The setting of a zombie-apocalypse in the bitter cold adds another layer of tension. Finding out that food rations go missing or there aren’t enough being produced as before or that items like coats and firewood go missing would call into question everyone’s loyalty.

fireballisland

Fireball Island

Sometimes you just want a dumb action movie about grabbing treasure and getting the heck off an island. Hire a resident actor of weird roles like Tim Curry, Johnny Depp, Neil Patrick Harris, or Jim Carrey and add them to the formula of a huge volcano god puking fireballs, and you’ll have yourself a hit. You just need a volcano god puking fireballs.

These five games can’t be the only ones good for a movie adaptation. Slap me upside the head with a VHS tape—those are ancient movie viewing devices for younger readers—or let me know about it in comments. If you like what we do, subscribe to our page to get updates and then you can let me know how wrong I am as soon as possible.