Games I Hope Are Under the Tree

A certain holiday is right around the corner, and JK Geekly plans to take a break, but before we do your uncle Geekly will give into greed and list some of the games he hopes are under the tree. United States day of avarice, here I come.

I kept the term “games” vague because I’ll have some video and tabletop games on this list. No. I’m not changing beyond all recognition. Uncle Geekly may have a love of tabletop games, but there are plenty of video games coming out this year that can’t be ignored.


Batman: Gotham City Chronicles (Monolith Board Games)

Yeah, I’m all in with Batman: Gotham City Chronicles. I’m also at the mercy of when the game will be available in retail stores (Conan also made it into gaming stores), so this may be a pipe dream. There’s a reason Gotham City Chronicles surpassed its Kickstarter goal in less than a day. It’s excellent.

I’m not sure if I need to clarify more than that. Okay. The asymmetric villains (one) versus heroes (many) gameplay creates some great moments. Those moments happen to be classic Batman tales from the comics, not TV or movies. And there are miniatures. Lots and lots of high-quality miniatures of classic comic book characters.

spider-man ps4

Spider-Man (Sony)

I’m hoping the PS4’s Spider-Man does for the wallcrawler what Rocksteady’s Arkham series did for Batman. The web head hasn’t had a good video game in some time, and I wouldn’t mind taking on Green Goblin, Scorpion, or whoever the game has to throw at me. Plenty of reviews have been written about the game, but I’m trying to avoid them as much as possible. It’s gotten great reviews; that’s good enough for me.


The 7th Continent (Serious Poulp)

The 7th Continent is another Kickstarter board game, but unlike Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, this one most likely won’t see mass retail appeal. Players are stranded on an island and must find ways to survive. The features exploration and has great storytelling moments. It’s an event game. It’s also one that makes you talk about it well after game night.


Mega Man 11 (Capcom)

I don’t care if it receives good, great, indifferent, or poor reviews. I’ll probably look for Mega Man 11. It’s the first numbered entry for the Blue Bomber in over a decade, and it’s long overdue. Bring on Block Man, Fuse Man, Blast Man, Torch Man, and Impact Man.

Dinosaur Island

Dinosaur Island (Pandasaurus)

This one may be the most likely tabletop game to find its way under the tree, and I’m happy if does. Dinosaur Island is the board game version of Jurassic Park. The game mechanisms, of which there are numerous, blend together to make a great gaming experience. There are very few games that pack a lot of strategy in a small time frame (like Dinosaur Island), and Jonathan Gilmour is one of my favorite new game designers.

Your uncle Geekly could’ve added a few dozen more games, both board and video. If you disagree with a pick or two of mine, direct your anger at Jim. He likes hate mail that isn’t his hate mail. Or you could leave a comment.

My Favorite Innovative Video Games

I’m going a little off pattern with this latest favorite game mechanism in choosing several game innovations. This writeup skirts the boundaries of a list and the semi-weekly “My Favorite” series. I’m also kicking it old school with this video games as these are the first time a game style or game feature was used, so these won’t be so much modern innovative video games—I could see that as another writeup in the future—as much as it’ll be video games that shaped how they’re designed and played.

I could go on, but let’s talk about some games.

Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is an easy one to include, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t shaped modern video gaming in many ways. It’s one of the first open-world role-playing games. Without the original Legend of Zelda there would be no Bethesda as we know it. Sorry, no Fallout or Elder Scrolls. I played Morrowind a lot like I played The Legend of Zelda. I skipped the first dungeon and found one of the more difficult ones in the world and got my butt kicked. Who says I learned anything since I was a kid?

This game also created the first save file. Before The Legend of Zelda, players had to remember or write down codes to continue a game. When I first loaded the original Zelda, I wondered what a save file was. How far we’ve come.

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto III

Speaking of open world gaming, no game captured the idea of “sandbox” gameplay than GTA3. Players could go anywhere and do anything. Unfortunately for your uncle Geekly, all I wanted to do was drive around town and listen to the radio. What do you mean the DJ’s name is Michael Hunt, but you can call him Mike?

Oh. That’s naughty. And players could be as naughty as they wanted to be with this title. Freedom, beautiful freedom. Now if only players could take the role of a woman like they could in the first Grand Theft Auto.

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 didn’t try a lot of new things in terms of a platform game. All it did was become the first game to effectively immerse gamers in a 3D world. Players could make Mario jump, flip, and run in 3-dimensional space. If they didn’t like the camera view, they could move the camera for a better angle. You know, the things gamers take for granted today.



This title took the easy way out: let users create content. Okay, with a user-friendly creation tool, LittleBigPlanet ushered in the era of “user-created content” in video games. There have been other games that have put design in players’ hands for the PC, but LittleBigPlanet made it as easy as I can remember and brought this idea to consoles. Power to the people.


Super Tecmo Bowl

No. I’m not talking about the first Tecmo Bowl where players cheated by using the Raiders and Bo Jackson. I’m talking about the follow-up game Super Tecmo Bowl where the game kept track of players’ statistics for the first time—something sports gamers like—and it simulated a full season of games—another something sports gamers like. If only Super Tecmo Bowl used real names for every player.

This game gets bonus points for modders who update the classic with modern NFL rosters. J. J. Watt is in our featured image at the start of this post, and Stefon Diggs is in the one above. Those are actual screen grabs from a Super Tecmo Bowl with updated rosters. What?

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

Sure, I could focus on Metal Gear Solid’s stealth gameplay, which was revolutionary at the time, but I’m going to concentrate on MGS’s storytelling. The game played out like a series of short films that included some topical themes and did a lot with developing characters, even if the dialogue was wanting at times. Metal Gear Solid showed that video games could thrive as a storytelling medium.



Doom’s biggest contribution must be its immersion. There were first-person games before Doom, but this game was the one that immersed gamers in its world. It’s the first game that made the environments their own characters, but it didn’t stop there. Doom introduced the world to multiplayer gaming via the internet. It also popularized a “shareware model” or a “try before you buy” system that game companies still used today.

That’s my first list of innovative video games. I’m sure there are plenty more that I could make another fifty to hundred lists. If you have a problem with any of the games on this list or take issue with an omission or five, come at me with a thumb war. Or you could leave a comment.


Unpopular Opinion: Raiden Was the Right Choice for Metal Gear Solid 2

Metal Gear fans saw years’ worth of trailers and demos and previews that featured their favorite stealth, badass Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2. The graphics improved. The framerate looked amazing. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was the reason many people purchased a Playstation 2. Gamers smiled when they got to play Snake again for the first time in three years. It was two or three hours of gaming bliss, and then the game baited and switched Snake for Raiden. Gamers started off puzzled. After another eight or so hours of Bleach Blonde Ray-Ray, they became pissed. But despite the hate, Hideo Kojima’s choice of Raiden was for the best.

I’m not saying that I enjoyed Raiden’s incompetence or how he whined so much I wanted to reach into my television and choke him. He was insufferable. I wanted to play as Snake as much as any fan, but Raiden’s foibles are what made him the best choice.


Snake was a badass by the end of the first Metal Gear Solid. He was a badass during Metal Gear Solid 2, and he was going to be one at the end of the game. There’s nowhere for the Snake character to go. Raiden had a character arc.

He had to learn to be a special ops agent. He watched Snake in awe during one scene, and I’m sure gamers experienced that same awe. Raiden put gamers in a perspective that they would’ve never seen had they played as Snake. Heck, that moment of awe is one that I haven’t seen in any other video game before or since. It was an earned moment. It was brilliant.

Hideo’s choice of Raiden was a bold one, and it wasn’t just a bold choice for a video game. It was a bold writing and character choice. If anyone questions whether video game writers are concerned about character building, show them Metal Gear Solid 2. Very few writers of any kind would’ve taken this big a risk.

Even though I felt deceived by Kojima at the time, he made the best writing choice. He picked what was best for the story, the characters, and the world of Metal Gear Solid instead of catering to fans.

Do you think Kojima made the right choice with Bleach Blonde Ray-Ray? You can leave a comment or complaint below, but I may be in my cardboard box hiding.

Hilarious Video Game Glitches

Glitches can ruin a video game. Some give your character two heads—and that can be equally hilarious and terrifying—while others cause sharks to fly in the sky. Many video game glitches make a game unplayable, but there are those few that a pure comic gold. These are video game glitches that improve a game. Your uncle Geekly may play more tabletop games than video games, but he seen enough of these funny video game glitches.


Heavy Rain: Shaun!
Heavy Rain is an excellent game—it may be more of an experience than a game, but it’s excellent–and despite all its great moments, Heavy Rain lacks levity. Thankfully, one glitch provides some. One of the main characters, Ethan, looks for his missing son in the final act of the video game and it’s this scene where the game’s glitch can be activated.

You’ll have to watch for a dialogue option for “Shaun!.” If you see that the text is blurred, there’s a strong chance the dialogue will be locked for the rest of the act. You can press the “X” button and force Ethan to scream “Shaun!” for far too long and at inappropriate moments like in the middle of dialogue with another character.

“What do you think we should–”


“We could try–”


I’m pretty sure those weren’t dialogue options, but it was about that bad. Even better, Ethan’s mouth moves every time he yells so this isn’t just an audio glitch.


Crysis: Land Sharks—Ho!

This one’s very easy to activate. It’s a famous glitch, but Crysis’s land sharks deserve a mention. Go to the beach, take and few steps into the water and wait for a shark to attack.

Once you’ve baited the shark, walk on land, and the shark will follow you, often flying in the air. Sharknado has nothing on Crysis; these sharks are everywhere.


Skyrim: Basket Head

This glitch may be fixed depending on which version of Skyrim you own, but the basket head lives on in Bethesda glitch infamy. I prefer to play with it to be honest. All one has to do is grab a basket, bucket, or cauldron and place it over the head(s) of any shopkeeper. Skyrim takes line of sight literally.

The NPCs won’t be able to see you rob them blind, but keep an eye on the basket. While they won’t take off the basket, NPCs will shift and do their usual movements and that could cause what you placed over their heads to slip off.

Fastidious gamers can use a wheel of cheese to weigh down the basket, securing it to the shopkeep’s head. Ah, the power of cheese.


Fallout 4: Trash Can Rocket
As you can tell, I can make a list of nothing but Bethesda glitches. In fact, Fallout 4—at one point—had the same basket head glitch as Skyrim. You can give that a whirl if you want.

Fallout 4 offers the hard to find Freefall Legs (never take fall damage) and easier to find jetpack-equipped power armor for climbing up the Mass Fusion building (the largest building in the game), but the funniest way to climb the building is to pick up a trash can and stand with your back against the building’s wall. It’ll take some practice, but eventually, you’ll be able to jump while looking at the trash can you’re holding. This will cause the player to climb up the wall.

Jump. Jump. Jump! toward freedom.


Civilization: Warlord Gandhi

I went old school with this one. The first Civilization video game had an aggression level for each AI leader that spanned 1-255. The idea was that each leader had a baseline aggression (toward the player) at the beginning of the game and every action the player took would affect the leader’s disposition one way or the other.

Gandhi was supposed to be the most peaceful leader, so the designers gave him an aggression of 1. That makes sense. But what the designers didn’t do was create an endpoint.

As a result, if someone chose Democracy as their government, it reduces other leaders’ aggression by 2, and since Gandhi has 1 point of aggression and subtracting 2 from 1 makes an invalid negative value, his aggression rolls over to 255.

Yep. Gandhi declared war on me. Oh! He’s talking smack now.

This can only happen late game, so Gandhi nuked me to the Stone Age. After the shock wore off, I couldn’t help but laugh and do it again.

These are some of Uncle Geekly’s favorite video game glitches, but they are by no means the only ones. Are there any video game glitches that make you smile? Let us know in comments, and I’ll make not to tell Jim. Jim not tell you to tell. Comment to us Jim know.

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Geekly News: November 2, 2018

Elder Scrolls VI Release Window Announced

This bit of news doesn’t amount to much. It’s a slow news week, so eh. Bethesda announced that the Elder Scrolls VI Redfall will be a PS5 and Xbox (whatever they’ll call it) release. That’s pretty much what I figured. I said as much two or three weeks ago; this is just confirmation.

 Starfield may have a chance of gracing current consoles, but there was little to no chance Redfall would make the PS4 or Xbox One. Fallout 76 counts as one of Bethesda’s flagship releases and the company likes to release one flagship title every three or four years. That means that Starfield should come out around 2021—maybe 2020 because they’ve been working on it for 6 years already and 2020 sounds like an awesome release year. Okay, there’s little chance Starfield will be a current generation console release.

Elder Scrolls VI should be released three to four years after Starfield, so that puts its release year at 2023 through 2025. Oh boy.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on Hold (Again)

Okay, maybe this is a pretty busy week of news. The third volume of Guardians of the Galaxy may not survive the firing of James Gunn. Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened. James Gunn posted insensitive tweets and was eventually fired as the director of Guardians Vol. 3. Some of the franchise’s actors back Gunn and Disney/Marvel has had a devil of a time finding another director they like. This has led to a stop-start every week or two.

MCU boss Kevin Feige announced this week that the franchise is on an indefinite hold. If the sides can’t find common ground (Bautista has no contract that covers a third Guardians movie), there’s a good chance that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 may not happen at all. Don’t worry. The gang will make an appearance in Avengers 4.


Boba Fett Movie Cancelled

Kathleen Kennedy confirms that the Boba Fett Star Wars spinoff movie is “100% dead.” While the cancellation of a Boba Fett movie helmed by Logan director James Mangold may upset some, the reason for this move is a shift to the Jon Favreau penned live-action TV series The Mandalorian. I couldn’t see both projects taking off, so a little focus for the Fett man may be in order. Let’s hope The Mandalorian delivers.


Andy Muschietti to Direct Attack On Titan

It director Andy Muschietti has just signed on to make a new Attack On Titan live-action film adaptation. The first one didn’t land well with manga readers. Why must every movie have a love story—especially when there isn’t a love story in the original work? Muschietti is a big fan of the original manga and if his work on It is any indication, the new Attack On Titan film will get the blockbuster treatment with plenty of chills.

PlayStation Classic

PlayStation Classic Games List Confirmed

PlayStation announced that it’d join Nintendo with its line of diminutive classic systems with 20 preloaded games several months ago, but this week they announced the full list of games that’ll come with the system. They are as follows:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil (Director’s Cut)
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

A lot of these are classic games or the first game in genre defining series. The PlayStation Classic hits shelves on December 5, 2018.


Video Games

Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! and Drum Session! (Switch, PS4)

Drum ‘n’ Fun (Switch) and Drum Session (PS4) mark the first time that a Taiko no Tatsujin game made it to the West. This series is a huge arcade/rhythm game in the East and it’s only a matter of time to see if the States and other countries will take to its catchy beats.



Bohemian Rhapsody

This is the big one this week for me. I’m a sucker for biopics and I like Queen. I don’t watch too many biopics in theaters, but I may make an exception for Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic for Queen front man Freddie Mercury.

Nutcracker and the four realms

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Could this film be so bad that it’s good? I’m not sure. A lot of critics have called it “soulless” and “incoherent,” but the visual effects are good. It sounds like an impressive cast that includes Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman can’t help The Nutcracker and the Four Realms from becoming Disney’s worst reviewed film in history. Yikes!



This one won’t be for everyone. If this movie follows the 1977 original, Suspiria tackles some heady material, and its trailer depicts vampires who let the blood flow even more. This lends itself to multiple watches, once to get over the gore and the second to dig deeper into what the film is about, but a run time of two and a half hours may be a little long.

Nobody's Fool

Nobody’s Fool

This is the latest Tyler Perry comedy. In this one, Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) is released from prison and is reunited with her family. The family learns that she’s in an online relationship with a mystery man who may be “catfishing” her. It’s a fun premise, so I may watch it. It also doesn’t hurt that Whoopi Goldberg, Amber Riley (Glee), and Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen from Supergirl) are in the cast.



Eminem produces this odd fusion of comedy, battle rap. Eminem has a knack for the theatrical and it looks to continue here. Bodied has received a lot of praise and high marks, so it may be worth a watch.

The Front Runner
Hugh Jackman stars in Columbia Pictures’ THE FRONT RUNNER.

The Front Runner

This one starts early next week. It’s another biopic, this time based on Matt Bai’s All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid. In short, it’s Hugh Jackman portraying Senator Gary Hart during his 1988 presidential campaign where he’s caught up in an extramarital affair with Donna Rice.



Friday, November 2, 2018

Homecoming (Amazon)

I’ve talked about this one in the past. Julia Roberts stars as a caseworker who helps military members transition to civilian life. Years after she starts a new life as a waitress when a Department of Defense auditor questions why she left the program. There may be more to her being placed as a former caseworker than she realizes.

House of Cards (Netflix)

Today marks House of Cards’ final season. I lost interest a long time ago, and the Kevin Spacey scandal didn’t help, but hopefully Netflix’s first original series ends on a high note.

The Other Side of the Wind (Netflix)

This film may be the biggest thing Netflix has ever produced; it’s one of Orson Welles’s lost films. Being locked away in a Paris vault (due to legal issues) for decades didn’t prevent The Other Side of the Wind from influencing other films that came after it. It all but created the Mockumentary. What’s even better is that Netflix plans to release a follow up documentary on the film’s history which may be just as interesting.

Watergate (History)

History beats The Front Runner (Gary Hart) to the punch with this series about Watergate. This scandal may have marked the United States’ loss of innocence; it definitely gave birth to scandal journalism.

Mickey's 90th Spectacular

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mickey’s 90th Spectacular (ABC)

Mickey Mouse made his first appearance on May 15, 1928 (Plane Crazy), and Steamboat Willie was released around Thanksgiving of the same year. Mickey’s 90th Spectacular is a special that celebrates Mickey throughout the decades.

Outlander (Starz)

Based on the historical time travel book series of the same name, Outlander returns for a fourth season on Starz. The premise sounds interesting and it’s received good ratings, so I may give it a try.

Betrayal Legacy

Board Games

Betrayal Legacy

I may be a little late with this one, because tabletop games are difficult to track down with their new releases. Betrayal Legacy holds my interest with a death grip. Rob Daviau was involved with the original Betrayal at House on the Hill (think of a Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods in board game form) and he adds his patented legacy game mechanism to the mix. For the uninitiated, legacy games are games that change the board through multiple plays, so Betrayal Legacy should play out more like a movie and the choices players make will have lasting consequences.

I may pour a little cold water on this writeup with saying that legacy games aren’t always executed as well as they could be. Gamers may want to wait and read a review (a spoiler-free review as this board game will play like a movie) before purchasing it.

That’s all we have for Geekly news this week. Be kind to one another and stay geeky.


Geekly News: October 26, 2018

Iron Fist and Luke Cage Cancelled

I just missed Iron Fist’s cancellation last week, and Luke Cage joins it this week. This may or may not be a sign of things to come with Marvel-Netflix’s shows. Several factors led into the decision to cancel the Heroes for Hire (Luke and Danny). I’ll try to keep this brief.

Disney still intends on beginning its own streaming service soon and is looking to reclaim the licenses of many of their characters; this also incited the proposed Fox buy-out. Netflix ordered fewer episodes of future Luke Cage and Iron Fist seasons as an effort to lower costs (fewer episodes mean less money for the license), but lowering costs means that they would give Disney less money and that makes Disney less interested in maintaining the agreement. But the chief reason may be that Netflix has matured (as a television network of sorts) to a point where they don’t overpay for licenses they don’t need or want, and they’re less likely to continue shows that don’t earn them new subscribers or downloads. Early Marvel shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones brought in new subscribers, but Luke Cage and Iron Fist struggled.

Netflix still has the license to use Luke Cage and Iron Fist in their shows, so the cancellation of their individual series doesn’t mean that fans won’t see them on other Marvel-Netflix shows. Of course, things could change if Disney insists on reclaiming as many Marvel licenses as possible. The Mouse House could rescind their Netflix licenses or make the premiums for keeping any licenses untenable for Netflix.


Marvel Game Universe (MGU) Announced

And now for some lighter news. Spider-Man for the PS4 (released last month) is the official launch of an interconnected series of games that will feature Marvel Universe characters. The Marvel Game Universe, or MGU, will function in many ways like the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Spider-Man acting as 2008’s Iron Man.

Rumors swirl with numerous game developers attached to various Marvel properties. Sony’s Insomniac will continue with future Spider-Man games, but they’ll take on at least another character or two, Square Enix (of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest fame) will produce Marvel titles (and Sony hinted that they may be involved with the larger project), and Rock Steady (Batman Arkham series) has been mentioned as well. I’m not sure who’ll be in the final production line as far as developers, but the main Avengers and stars of future Marvel films are a safe bet for getting their own games, and if the results of future Marvel games are as good as Spider-Man, it’ll be a fun ride.


Video Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, Xbox One)

The long wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 is now over. This game is a prequel to the first Red Dead Redemption (2010) and follows the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan of the Dutch Van der Linde gang. Let’s hope this Western ends in a more positive light.

My Hero: One’s Justice (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

My Hero Academia gets the fighting game treatment. There’s a strong possibility that I’ll pick this one up on the secondary market. Plus Ultra!

Call of Cthulhu (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

This game will share more with the 1981 pen and paper role-playing game than the H. P. Lovecraft short story of the same name. What makes me interested is that Cyanide game studio contacted the original writers of the 1981 RPG, so this survival horror/role-playing game has some serious roots.



Hunter Killer

This one sounds like a good old-fashioned action adventure and that’s okay sometimes. The Russian president is captured and a U. S. submarine must rescue him while avoiding World War III.



Friday, October 26, 2018

Castlevania (Netflix)

The first season of this Netflix original anime followed the source material closely, but it dragged in a few places. I’m hoping the second season will build on a promising cliffhanger.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)

Sabrina the teenage witch has largely been a comedic character and in 2014, Archie Comics gave her a grittier reboot. I can’t wait to see how Kiernan Shipka and the rest bring this reimagining of the character to life.


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Stan Against Evil (IFC)

This series is still on? I kid—sort of—because this series can scratch the itch left by a dearth of new Evil Dead material. I’ve always liked John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”), so I may give this comedy-horror series another shot.

Tell Me a Story (CBS App)

I like the premise of Tell Me a Story. This series takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as dark and twisted psychological thrillers. Unfortunately, CBS is at it again with making some of its content only available on its streaming service. Ugh!

Board Games

5 Colors

This is an understated card game. The game is played with a deck of 100 cards, 20 cards of each of the titular 5 Colors. Players simultaneously play a card from their hand. The most played color gets scored and each player that played the most commonly played color gains points on the card they played. It’s simple to understand, but once players catch on with how to play, the strategy begins.



Atlandice has a lot more going on than 5 Colors. This game’s main feature is a rondel (a circular device that changes throughout a game) and in the center of the rondel is a doom clock. Players draft dice and items during their turn, trying to get the most points before rooms get swallowed by a flood and the doom clock ends the game.

It’s an interesting game with a lot going on. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and get a closer look.

That’s all we have for Geekly news this week. Be kind to one another and stay geeky.

3 Lists of 3 Video Games

Good old, uncle Geekly may be more into tabletop games, but he still plays the occasional video game. For all you video game fans, here’s a three lists of three. Hold your anger for the end.

Underrated or Overlooked Video Games or Video Game Franchises


Persona/Shin Megami Tensei

Persona may gain some traction in the States after 2017’s Persona 5, but this series has been cranking out old-school RPG hits for some time. Each game is a standalone experience that centers around a group of students battling otherworldly evils from another dimension in between class periods. With turn-based gameplay, unique monster designs, and Eastern humor the Persona series is one of the reasons I don’t mind other classic RPGs like Final Fantasy have shifted away from their roots. Persona does a great job of keeping the tradition alive.


World of Goo

World of Goo is an indie, puzzle game that didn’t set the world on fire like Angry Birds, but its physics engine may be just as good. Honestly, I prefer World of Goo. Players control the flow of goo to an exit point and the quicker a player can do that, the more points they earn. A minimum score is required to finish a level, of course, and like most puzzle games, World of Goo’s levels start easy and grow in difficulty. You also get new versions of goo. You can never have enough goo.

This game has been ported to plenty of newer systems, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find. It was even a Nintendo Switch launch title.


Dragon Quest

If you can’t tell, I’m a huge RPG fan and since I live in the states, Final Fantasy dominated the genre. But Dragon Quest is every bit the classic RPG franchise. Heck, if you lived on the other side of the planet, Dragon Quest would’ve been bigger than Final Fantasy. Yeah, it’s that huge.

The art design comes courtesy of Dragon Ball Z’s Akira Toriyama, so the worlds are gorgeous and character designs quirky, fun, and familiar. Turn-based battles? Yep. Random battles? Usually. Dragon Quest knows who their core audience is and does a great job of catering to it. If you get the chance, play Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King—by far one of the series’ best—and look out for Dragon Quest XI which should be out this holiday season.

Overrated Video Games or Video Game Franchises


Assassin’s Creed

The concept of someone going back in time and inhabiting the body of an assassin sounds neat. Assassin’s Creed does a great job of putting players in a certain timeline. But the story gets too convoluted for its own good and guest appearances by Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and the occasional pope doesn’t do enough to make the story or the characters interesting.

What’s left are some great set pieces, but “Cool, this game has sabres” and “I can kill someone with a bayonet in this one” and “Tomahawks! What?” can only make a game fun for so long.


The Sims

How has this one lasted this long? I’m fine with the life simulation, but after a while, a player must realize that The Sims is a life simulation. Oh, crap. I almost crapped myself. My sim got too tired and fell asleep on the kitchen floor. Hey, they’re getting frisky under those sheets. I guess that’s entertaining for a little while, but my enjoyment with the series has waned over the years.

Maybe I’m just bitter because I can no longer trick my sim into a swimming pool, remove the ladder so they can’t get out, and allow them to drown. Yeah, I may have issues.



No, not World of Warcraft, the original real-time strategy game Warcraft. Now, the first three games are classics—well, at least the third one—but one must admit that Warcraft III enjoys most of its continued success due to the mods the modding community has done in the years since its release. Heck, the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre may never have come to fruition without Warcraft III.

But Warcraft’s story began with some solid character development and with the juggernaut that was World of Warcraft and the subsequent Warcraft relaunch, Blizzard put more attention on character customization instead of development. A craptacular Warcraft movie had gamers flock to Warcraft III, but the story leading up to the third installment was canned, and the third one hasn’t aged well—in terms of story as well as graphics.

Upcoming Video Games to Look Out For


Starfield (2019?)

Not much is known about Bethesda’s big space game, except that it’s a big space game that may be in the mold of Elder Scrolls or Fallout. We don’t even have a release date. All I know is that I’m okay with a slightly longer wait for the Elder Scrolls VI if Starfield can live up to Bethesda’s high standards.

Hold on. Did I just say that I’m okay with a longer Elder Scrolls wait? Yep. I’d rather Bethesda not pull a BioWare with Mass Effect: Andromeda.


Wolfenstein: Youngblood (2019)

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus flew under the radar in 2017 and that’s a shame. Bethesda did a bang-up job with that one. Wolfenstein: Youngblood will be a cooperative game set in the 1980s. I’m not sure what more to expect, but it looks as if Bethesda plans to stretch their creative muscles.

Huh. That’s two Bethesda games in a row. I couldn’t possibly go for a third.


Kingdom Hearts III (2019)

I like RPGs, but Kingdom Hearts III is on this list for Season’s sake. She—like thousands of fans—has been waiting 13 years for the next numbered title of this Final Fantasy meets Disney game series. Square-Enix and Disney have leaked some of the worlds and characters. Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tangled, and Sleeping Beauty are some of the Disney properties that’ll make an appearance.

I didn’t want to like Kingdom Hearts because I have a complicated relationship with Disney, but the series works. That many fans can’t be wrong. Right?

Are there any video game series we missed with our lists? Which upcoming games do you look forward to the most? Let us know in the comments.

My Favorite Game Mechanics: Fallout Shelter

Old Uncle Geekly is trying a new trick. This week’s favorite game mechanic comes from video games, Fallout Shelter in particular.

On the surface Fallout Shelter shares a lot of commonalities with other free-to-play games/apps like Clash of Clans. Players download it for free and it offers in game purchases for players to get better at the game faster than they would by investing only time. But the one thing that separates this game from other free-to-play games is also the one thing that makes it uniquely Bethesda. The player competes against the game, not other players.

When one logs off of Clash of Clans or a Clash of Clans clone, logging back in allows them to see what other players did to their defenses while they were offline. This sometimes leads to players paying for repairs (tying up a worker to repair counts as “paying”) and regrouping. There’s usually a tournament included in games of this ilk and only the best players—or the ones willing to pay to win—fair well in these tournaments. There’s a reason people scoff at these games as “pay to win.” The only way to get ahead in a game like that is to pay something. Fallout Shelter eliminates that style of play.

Sure, you could pay to get better things faster in the game, but the only player you can see is yourself. Fallout Shelter allows players to do things at their own pace. It doesn’t apply the pressure of a tournament.

Now I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy the occasional competitive free-to-play game, but Fallout Shelter’s brand of leveling up your vault dwellers how you see fit and sending them out on missions or exploring the wastes fit with Bethesda’s gaming catalogue. This isn’t just a free-to-play game. This is a Bethesda free-to-play game.

Is it for everyone? No. Did some gamers download it because they saw the word Fallout? Of course. Am I a Bethesda fanboy? You know it. But it’s the Bethesda open-world RPG flavor of Fallout Shelter that makes me interested in the game, and I hope other free-to-play games follow suit.

Player versus environment may be my favorite game mechanic, but I promised at least one more mechanism and here it goes. When Fallout Shelter first hit the app store, it bragged about players not having to wait for construction. Again, games like Clash of Clans have players build items and then they must wait real-world minutes or even hours for those items to be constructed. It’s a time waster. Well, you could pay gems (which end up being real-world money) to instantly build an item, but that ruins the idea of “free-to-play.” Fallout Shelter doesn’t have players wait for construction. If you have the resources, you build the room within your vault immediately.


While immediate construction was a huge selling point for the game, it opened new game mechanisms: push your luck and managing vault dwellers. Players didn’t wait on construction, they waited on their rooms to produce resources like food and water that their people needed.

The more dwellers one sent to a room, the faster that room produced the resource. This is a clever way of adding yet another resource (workers) to the game system. One could also “push their luck” by rushing production in a room. If one succeeds, the game gives them more resources. If the rush fails, the game generates some crisis (radroaches, a room fire, or deathclaws) the player must resolve.

It’s subtle, but the push your luck and managing vault dwellers mechanisms are excellent additions. Come to think of it, they may be just as important as making Fallout Shelter player versus environment.

I guess I had more than one favorite mechanism for Fallout Shelter after all. I’m sure I got lost somewhere while I searched the wastes. If I did, slap upside the head with a radscorpion barb. Or you could always say something in the comments.

5 Great Mega Man Bosses

Mega Man doesn’t get as much love as other classic video game characters. Mario, Sonic, Link and even Samus have enjoyed more publicity and fame. Maybe this is due to the games being too difficult. I don’t know how many hours I wasted trying to time one jump. Perhaps it’s the character design or the fact that Capcom couldn’t decide on how to spell Mega Man (MegaMan or Megaman). It could even be that Mega Man’s enemies are more popular than the original character.

To celebrate the first new Mega Man game in over a decade good old Uncle Geekly will break down five of the best Mega Man bosses from the previous 10 numbered games. These are personal preferences and they’re not even in any kind of order. Seriously, not even in chronological order. Let’s get to these robot Highlanders.


Fire Man (Mega Man 1)

Fire Man’s theme music captures the frantic nature of a player jumping and dashing through a hazardous work zone and the industrial robots helping to defend his stage. Fire Man’s look is classic. He almost looks like a robot version of Firestorm. He even thinks he’s the hero, which gives him even more character. The “Flame of Justice” makes for a good Mega Man foil.

Metal Man (Mega Man 2)

I always liked the look of Metal Man’s circular blades cutting through the air. He’s another classic design, but what separates him from many Mega Man villains is his sardonic wit. I don’t know of many Mega Man villains who love tearing down fellow robots. “Sorry. Were you expecting some kind of formal intro first? I’m Metal Man, the robot that Cut Man should’ve been.” Oh! Take that, Cut Man.

Skull Man (Mega Man 4)

His name says it all: Skull Man. He has a skull or ghost motif and happens to have one of the most diverse strategies. While most Mega Man bosses will initiate an attack as soon as Mega Man enters their realm, Skull Man waits for the Blue Bomber to make the first move. His is one of the most difficult boss battles and that makes sense. Skull Man is one of a few robots with combat as their only function. This lack of a life outside combat plays into his character.

Elec Man (Mega Man 1)

I could’ve gone with Quick Man because speed kills in Mega Man, but I had to go with the robot who inspired Quick Man’s design: Elec Man. He’s the original speed demon and electricity boss. As the robot built to control the voltage of nuclear power plants, he was considered Dr. Light’s greatest creation. With that being the case Elec Man is an egomaniac. But in the most sadistic way.

Knight Man (Mega Man 6)

Sometimes you want a robot dressed up like a knight. Knight Man doesn’t have much in the way of backstory, but he’s one of the most unique robot designs in the series and the counterattacks players must time (he’s only vulnerable when he attacks) make his battle one of the series most memorable.

These are your uncle Geekly’s favorite Mega Man bosses. If you don’t like the robots I chose, I’ll challenge you to a duel with some of your favorite Mega Man bosses, or you can let us know in comments.

Geekly’s Free Video Game Summer: September 18, 2016


One more week after this one, where did the summer go? Hi, guys, it’s me, Kyle. I’ll get to the games in a bit, but I wanted to remind everyone that I’ll be taking a breather after next week before posting new free video game reviews in the autumn. Jim and I will be ramping up our TV show coverage, and I may need a few weeks to get prepared. Here’s another Geekly Free Video Game Summer post; I wanted to merge tabletop games with video games, so this week’s post will be free video games based on tabletop games.


Pokemon: Trading Card Game (TCG) Online

Pokemon: TCG Online does a great job of transferring the game from the table to your mobile device. That can be a good and bad thing. There have been countless releases of Pokemon: TCG in the past two decades and Pokemon: TCG Online has samples from many of those releases, which leads to unbalanced power with the decks players construct, especially when you challenge opponents online. Of course you could play block format (only the sets released in the past year) but you’re still subject to opponents who have been collecting cards a lot long than you. When you’re first starting out, you will lose—a lot.

The game also includes legacy (last several years) and unlimited (any card from any Pokemon release) and you’re likelihood of winning a game diminishes with each group of cards you add to the card pool, but you could play with that awesome Wobbufett—if you have that awesome Wobbufett, that is. The gameplay is the classic Pokemon: TCG gameplay.

Players summon Pokemon with one as their main Pokemon and up to five on their bench, should the main Pokemon get defeated. Pokemon need energy cards attached to them to perform their abilities so energy cards are the second most common, and the rest of a deck consists of trainer or support cards that do various things to support the Pokemon on your team. At the beginning of each match, both players draw ten cards from their deck and place them face down, which make up their rewards, and the first player to earn all ten of their reward cards wins.

Okay. Most of you probably didn’t need the gameplay refresher, but it is addictive—as most Pokemon products tend to be. I didn’t mind the trip down memory lane with Pokemon TCG Online. It’s a solid TCG and if you have any interest in Pokemon, I recommend it; you also don’t have to keep binders of cards: space saving idea.


Neuroshima Hex!

I covered the tabletop game Neuroshima Hex over a year ago (here’s a link) and not much is different with the app version, except that the app makes the game easier to play and more accessible, and that’s always a good thing. Players take command of a faction and the game is played 19 honeycomb grid. Instead of cards, players use hexagonal tiles to denote their forces. Each player starts the game with their headquarters tile with 20 hit points. Players win if they are the first player to lower their opponent’s HQ to zero hit points or if the tile draw pile is exhausted, whoever’s HQ has the most hit points wins.

Players take turns playing tiles. Most tiles are unit tiles. They’ll deal damage on whatever face (of the hexagon) they have a triangle. Short triangles are melee attacks and only work on adjacent units or if the HQ is adjacent. Long, skinny triangles are ranged attacks which hit the first enemy unit (or enemy HQ) in the direction the triangle is positioned. Every unit also has a number which denotes their initiative (how quickly they act); the higher the number, the faster the unit performs their attack. Once the board fills up with tiles or a player uses a combat tile (a burst symbol on the tile), the two armies fight. Units with the highest initiative perform their attacks first and play continues in initiative until every unit gets an action.

And it’s the computer’s calculations during combat that makes the Neuroshima Hex app more enjoyable than the original tabletop game. I almost always forget a unit or two, or an ability. Playing online negates human error, and my brain doesn’t have to crunch as many numbers. Neuroshima Hex packs a lot of game and strategy in a small amount of time (10-15 minutes). If you want a new-age Chess with a faint war theme, Neuroshima Hex might be right up your alley. I highly recommend it.


Summoner Wars

Oh, this is the game that put Plaid Hat Games (Dead of Winter, and Mice and Mystics) on the map. I enjoy Summoner Wars, and the free-to-play app does a great job of transitioning the game to mobile platforms.

Similar to Neuroshima Hex, players take control of a faction, each with strengths and weaknesses, only this time you’re playing in a fantasy world and you’re a summoner. Summoner Wars’ gameplay is miniatures without the miniatures. You manipulate cards, which represent your units, on a 6×8 grid. You have your customary attack, defense, health, and movement you’ll find in any miniatures game, and most units have special abilities you can exploit. The first player to lower their opponent’s summoner card’s health to zero wins.

Summoner Wars doesn’t try to reinvent miniatures battle. If you’re looking for a more in-depth miniatures game, you’d be better off looking elsewhere, but Summoner Wars is an accessible game for folks who are interested in miniatures as a game type, and it’s fun. If you want to play more than the fire elves, you’ll have to pay money to unlock other factions, but the free version of Summoner Wars offers a lot in terms of strategy and replayability. You may not be able to play as other factions, but you can play against them. This is another game I highly recommend.


Zombie Dice

There had to be one game I didn’t like in this group, and Zombie Dice is that game. I like the original tabletop version of Zombie Dice (I reviewed it a while ago; here’s a link), but the app version doesn’t measure up to the fun of rolling dice and pressing your luck. The pressing your luck aspect is still present but I tend to not like games that use a lot of dice rolling in a video game, especially when you can tell whether or not the games cheating.

Players take on the role of a zombie. You role dice, which denote humans, and the first zombie to eat 13 brains wins. Now, there are three results you can get on a zombie die: brains, shotgun blast, and footsteps. If you roll brains, you ate one brain. If you roll a shotgun blast, you got shot or hit by a human; you only get three shotgun blasts before you lose your turn. If you roll footsteps, your prey escaped. When it’s your turn you grab three dice and roll them. After any roll you can choose to keep your brain total and pass your turn or you can continue to roll, but if you roll three shotgun blasts, your turn ends, you lose any points you gained this turn (keeping your total for the game), and play goes to the zombie on your left.

Zombie Dice is a simple, press your luck game, but it’s a blast. The app isn’t as much fun. Since there are only three results, it’s easy to tell when you roll far too many shotgun blasts, while your computer opponent tends to roll far too many brains. Hmm. Feel free to pick up the physical copy of Zombie Dice (you can find it at most supermarkets today), but don’t bother playing the mobile app.


Boss Monster

Boss Monster is yet another tabletop game I’ve reviewed in the distant past (here’s a link), and this is another app that does a great job of capturing the essence of the original.

Players are the boss monster at the end of a video game. You build your dungeon, attract video game heroes to your dungeon, and collect souls. If your dungeon fails to defeat a hero, you receive a wound (or two if it’s an epic hero). If you receive five or more wounds, you lose. The first player to collect 10 hero souls or the last boss monster standing wins.

There isn’t much to add from the original review, except that the Boss Monster app runs slow. The original game can take a while to pay (about 20-30 minutes for a card game, which is a little on the long side), but the extra time it takes for heroes to travel through dungeons in the app makes a typical game run about the same time as the original, and there’s usually only one human character. That’s way too long for a solo-mobile game. I like Boss Monster but the game needs to speed up its processing power. I’ll still keep it in my permanent collection, but Boss Monster is one of those games I have to be in the mood to play. I’d prefer to play the original tabletop version.

That’s one more week down and only one more to go. I’ll try to get some free-to-play MMORPGs under my belt for next week. Let’s end the Free Video Game Summer with a bang. Until next we meet, thanks for reading.