Buying toys as presents for a toy collector is hard. Believe me, I know, because I'm the recipient very often - and the truth is that unless the buyer is a fellow collector and we communicate often about what we like, it is tough to get me something I don't already have. (Admittedly, it was tougher when toys were cheaper.)
I don't know how many casual readers we have who might check in on this site just to get a sense of what toy li'l Gallen or Cousin Poe might like to find under his tree, but this list is in large part for them. Parents, friends, lovers, wealthy benefactors - if your knowledge of collectible toys falls somewhere between "fuck" and "all," yet you wish to please the plastic addict close to your heart...we have some tips.More >>
WELCOME to the Topless Robot 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! All this week we've been showing you the best gifts you can buy for friends, neighbors, postmen, supers, nieces, nephews, loyal flatscans, good children, bad children, parents, teachers, coworkers, significant others and business partners. Today, we're looking at some awesome gifts for the comic-inclined in your life. We'll have gifts that are inexpensive but still great, that are good for buying in bulk for casual acquaintances. We'll have gifts that are so expensive only the truly frivolous would even think to ask for them. And we'll have everything in between.
Much like how David said it's hard to ask for RPG-related gifts this Christmas, I find myself saying the same thing for video game-related gifts...albeit for different reasons. The main two I can think of are that the most notable triple-A games we look forward to keep getting delayed until the following year (lookin' at you, Evolve), and it feels like we keep getting a smaller quantity of truly notable triple-A games each year. And it probably doesn't help that I've reached an age where I can pretty much just afford to purchase my own retail games instead of having to ask for them as gifts.
It probably doesn't help that there also seem to be way too many Scrooges in the gaming world these days, and by "Scrooges", I pretty much mean "Internet commenters". Everyone just seems so damn cynical when it comes to gaming these days, and not just because of recent events that shall go unnamed. No, everyone just seems more critical of modern gaming than ever, seeing the gaming world as being full of nothing but DLC, microtransactions, jerkhole players, overhyped titles, and a new gaming generation creating a new round of arguments from fanboys of all sides.
Poor, misguided folks. They miss the whole point.More >>
"Momaw Lisa" by sonicsnout
It's a new week, and the shortest one of the year, full of gift guides and other content to get the holidays off to a good start. In fact, today we're even going to have a whopping TWO list features! I'd say that it's because you deserve second helpings at Thanksgiving, but we all know that in fact this is likely to be a slow news week, and therefore a good time to showcase feature articles and editorials.
Here's your first of said features - a collection of the best and brightest reader-submitted and Kyle LeClair-compiled news tips over the weekend, to start your Monday off right. This week's tipsters included sonicsnout, troi, Citrus_King, skrag2112, SlyDante777, Dr.Gonzo82, Gallen_Dugall, rkwsuperstarMore >>
Solarbotics Happy Nerdy Holidays
It's hard to ask for RPG gifts for Christmas. The social stigma is fading year by year, so I no longer fear my parents calling an exorcist over my wish list, but there's still a maze of editions, similar-sounding games and supplements to ask people to dig through. This is in addition to the fact that RPGs still tend to be a little bit hard to find; arguably harder to find now than they were fifteen or so years ago before Barnes & Noble and Borders replaced so many independent booksellers...before closing most of their own locations..
People only have so much spare time, and playing more than one or two systems at once is pretty difficult; even if someone played two different games every week they would be playing at most 8-10 different games in a month, which is only a tiny portion of the massive amount of games available these days. Especially with Kickstarter helping to launch more RPGs than ever and many companies releasing their back catalogs through DrivethruRPG. The point being that it can be harder to find the right RPG for someone than finding a good costume in the New 52.
With all of that said, the list that follows tries to work around these challenges by providing ten system-neutral gifts for the RPG fan in your life. Even if that person is you. I don't judge. Even if I did judge, I probably wouldn't judge this time since I've already bought a lot of these things. They're pretty awesome.
It's become an annual event these past few years, along with Madden and Call of Duty: a new game in the Assassin's Creed franchise has become expected as we move closer to the winter months. While midnight launches might not be flooded with eager gamers, the fan base is large to ensure we can expect yearly games for some time.
That being said, it's now time for an admission: despite all of the great review, the ton of fan acclaim, and over seventy-three million copies sold, until Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, I absolutely despised the series.More >>
Los Angeles' AFI Fest - I'm sorry, AFI Fest 2014 Presented by Audi, as they generally ask us to say at least once per article, is like Comic-Con for movie bloggers, in ways that are good and bad. It delivers the first looks of the season at many high-profile awards contenders, at screenings that are nigh-impossible to get a ticket to; and makes even the press have to wait in long lines to try and see anything else.
Fortunately for this site's purposes, I'm less interested in covering the new Martin Luther King biopic than I am midnight movies about monsters, Paul Thomas Anderson's attempt at a stoner comedy, and tense tales of criminals killing each other all over the world. Here are my full reviews of seven films (in no particular order) coming to, if not theaters, then at least an on-demand service near you soon.
(This took me all week to finish. Buckle up, and please note that not all embedded trailers are SFW.)More >>
Sam Howzit, Flickr
Man, remember arcades? The noise of cabinets trying to outdo one another with their crappy blown-out speakers, the flashing lights, the Liquid Paper curse-words on the machines, the drug deals... arcades were the bomb.
It's Monday! And you may be miserable, but we've rounded up a whole bunch of stuff - 15 items in all - from the Weekend Open Thread to make you smile and grimace, compiled with the aid of Kyle LeClair.
This week's tipsters include troi, Dredder, Gallen_Dugall, skrag2112, Anyone00, SlyDante777, GhostRacer21.More >>
There are some movies that really could have used a sequel. Then there are the movies that we wish were left sequel-free. Los Angeles art gallery iam8bit plays with the dynamic between the sequels we want and the sequels we get in their latest group show. Called "Sequel," the show brings together a massive collection of prints for sequels that don't exist.
Liz Ohanesian Cobra 2 by Jim Rugg
"It's part social commentary on Hollywood's franchise fatigue," says Jon Gibson, who co-owns iam8bit, "part just fun, movie-lover antics." The artists, who hail from across the globe, had relatively free reign over what they did and the offerings reflected that. Some of the sequels were goofy what-if scenarios, like a sequel to The Shining called The Torrances that appeared more comedy than horror. Others seemed like they could actually work as a sequel. Below are 15 highlights from the show. "Sequel" runs until November 23 and prints are now available through the gallery's website.More >>