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Messages - Barrington Boots

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General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 4 - Lawless vs Brink
« on: 02 September, 2022, 09:33:40 AM »
That sounds like a thrill straight out of the Summer Offensive.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 01 September, 2022, 09:41:55 AM »
Two days till Fighting Fantasy Fest!

This is probably the geekiest thing I will ever attend. Hoping to pick up some missing titles from my collection, and I'm aiming to pick up the two new books - I've decided against taking a load of stuff to get signed, but I will bring my ancient copy of Out of the Pit along..

General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 4 - Lawless vs Brink
« on: 01 September, 2022, 09:37:30 AM »
Lawless. Fantastic artwork, better characters and as AAA says, a lot more fun - but with emotional heft. Only 2000ad strip to make my wife cry.

Brink really is something special, but Lawless has consistently been a strip I buy a whole magazine just to read, it's that good.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 31 August, 2022, 04:46:07 PM »
Also, now that I'm mapping it out, something to avoid is trying to do do much.

For example, in the Super Strength path, part of the clue is held by The Mummy. To confront him though, you need to ignore the murders committed by the Ringmaster. I think this also negates stopping the Serpent, which means you can't get the clue to stop the president being assassinated, unless it's viable to carry over clues from one playthrough to the next (I doubt it is)
It's simply not the case where you can solve everything, which is a bit against the heroism concept.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 31 August, 2022, 02:35:13 PM »
I'm honestly unable to say if it's worth a go or not, given I have a heavy dose of nostalgia for it. I suspect the lack of overall plot and narrow path to success is detrimental, so I reckon it depends how much you enjoy the Superhero-y setting really.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 31 August, 2022, 12:21:40 PM »
Appointment with F.E.A.R

An old favourite of mine this one. As a kid I was super-into Superheroes and was desperate to complete this back in 1985, but never, ever did - partially because I wasn't able to really work out the clue bit, but partly because I never realised that the four different powers essentially give you four separate solutions.

Super strength is the obvious choice as it gives you automatically high skill but I seemed to remember ETS was always the best power to choose as you can be Batman (it actually was mainly useless) I tried both below.

I tied myself in knots trying to work it out and eventually the book ended up in my bookshelves, making several house moves with me but never seeing the light of day on it's aged pages - until now. The Silver Crusader is back, baby!

Super Strength Silver Crusader to the Rescue!

Silver Crusader foils Tormentor, saves jet! The villainous Tormentor is off to jail, and the Silver Crusader has part of the clue to track down F.E.A.R!
Silver Crusader saves woman from fountain beast in Radd square! A man gave him clue, but it made no sense, so he went to work!
Silver Crusader gets chewed out by his boss, goes shopping! He witnessed the kidnap of Millionaire Drew Swain, but when he rushed to help, he was gunned down by the Mantrapper's energy cannon and killed. What a useless goon!

Gadgets Silver Crusader to the Rescue!

Silver Crusader investigates bank robbery! The Alchemists were at work here. He also finds a clue to track down the notorious Ice Queen.
Silver Crusader stops shark attack! Children saved. He also gets s clue to track down a mysterious 'Menagerie Master'.
Silver Crusader catches Tiger Cat! Feline villain was attempting to rob a dairy! ThT'll teach her.
Silver Crusader catches Fire Warriors! Douses them with extinguisher from his utility belt and won without a fight.
Silver Crusader stops pickpocket! He also found the 1st part the clue to enable him to stop the FEAR meeting!
Silver Crusader skips work, goes shopping again! This time, forewarned with a clue, he witnesses the kidnapping, but is able to track down the Mantrapper and defeat him and his cronies. All in all, a good days work.

Day 2
Investigating mysterious attacks, the Silver Crusader tracks down The Ringmaster who was murdering the jury that convicted him. He easily defeats the Ringmaster's lions with his gadgets!
Silver Crusader goes to the museum, discovers the dreadful Mummy! He fails to do anything and runs away! (I remember the Mummy being unstoppable without strength or energy blasts)
Silver Crusader defeats The Devastator at the library with his deadly acid! Booklovers rejoice!
Silver Crusader stops a rampaging android at Whirls Court! Deciding to save the citizens instead of pursuing the Titantium Cyborg, he discovers the vital circuit jammer. Another good days work!

Day 3
The FEAR meeting is today and I don't have the right clues. Game over again.

Well, this certainly brought back some old feelings associated with this book - those of being pretty useless. The Silver Crusader is pretty hapless in that with some poor choices you can mess up murder investigations, fail to stop all sorts of rampaging enemies and completely miss all the clues so I never really got the feeling of being 'super', more like someone always struggling to catch up. I will finish this, but serious work is needed to find the true path as the sheer number of numerical clues given to you (if you see evidence of criminal x, add or subtract y from the paragraph) is very large and it all adds up to a tightly plotted and very difficult to navigate book.

Objectively then the book is a mixed bag: it's frustrating and the setting is a weird one - it's full of little jokes with the names of the various places you can go and references to other Superhero characters and genres, but it's also surprisingly grim in places with many of the villains, despite often looking and sounding goofy, being vicious killers and the whole thing felt a little jarring. Things also feel quite quick moving and throwaway, jumoing from one crazy situation to the next - all of which are unrelated so there's no 'big plot' here and nothing really to drive the story forward. I do like being able to choose your powers and the different ways it enables the story to play out, and I'm a huge fan of the comic style art.. of course the amazing Bolland cover (I think the only cover that has not been changed for the reprints?).

Although not the beloved classic I hoped it was going to in all honesty be, I have another appointment with FEAR in my future, I think.

Prog / Re: Prog 2297 - It Thinks......Therefore It Kills
« on: 31 August, 2022, 10:49:21 AM »
Tuesday Prog for me, which with a bank holiday and a postal strike is practically a Saturday Prog! Loving the cover. For me, great start and end and a middle that was - well - middling.

Dredd – Enjoyable start to a new Dredd tale. I like the fact that we've had several tales spinning out of the Atlantis event, I like Dredd tales about wacky robots, and I was a big fan of Sentientoid last time out. Violence and humour both on show here, all round cool stuff.

3rillers – This didn't do anything for me art or storywise until the last panel. Interesting to see where this heads next.

Skip Tracer– Totally bogus

Dexter – I've never felt disappointed to see Steve Yeowell in the Prog before, but Tazio Bettin was doing some really great stuff on the last few runs of this. If, like me, you're tired of SinDex there's nothing this week that'll change your mind really, but I did find the line 'Isn't technology meant to improve our lives?' to be very weighty and relevant considering what a mess we seem to be in nowdays.

Jaegir There's an unexpected twist which raises a few questions, and elsewhere Klaur is the absolute star of this strip. The murk of the swamp and the crazy colours of the miasma are superbly done. It's good to see Atalia back with some agency rather than back being captured. Class stuff.

General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 3 - Strontium Dog vs Halo Jones
« on: 31 August, 2022, 09:24:13 AM »
Strontium Dog

General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 2 - Kingdom vs Nemesis the Warlock
« on: 30 August, 2022, 03:21:00 PM »
Lots of love for Kingdom but I have to vote Nemesis here.
I find the warlock a mixed bag - having come to it a bit late I find some of the early stuff, dare I say it, a bit juvenile with stuff like Grobbendonk and the big invisible alien. Then it suddenly switches into pure horror when Nemesis is blowing up schoolkids and the like, becomes super engaging, and then slowly gets worse.
What is incredible though, aside from the art throughout, is Torquemada himself so my vote goes to him really.

General / Re: FFT - Quarter Final 1 - Savage vs Nikolai Dante
« on: 30 August, 2022, 10:57:10 AM »

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 26 August, 2022, 09:57:16 AM »
It's similar yes - not quite the same and not quite as good, but close enough (and the book was engaging enough) for me to not really notice.

Games / Re: Gamebooks
« on: 25 August, 2022, 01:03:00 PM »
I must have missed that, but I really struggled in that temple.
So I've now finished:

Way of the Tiger: Redeemer -quick review

So this is the last book in the series, written 30-odd years after by a different author but with the blessing of the original ones. As far as I know nobody here has played this book, so to avoid spoiling things I've kept a note of my paragraph's and I can put up my writeup under spoiler tags in another post anyone is interested, otherwise this is just an overview.
The book starts exactly where the cliffhanger of book 6 ends, with Avenger and various others trapped in the web of the Black Widow and facing death. The first half of the book concerns the escape from the Rift, and the second half the retaking of the city (yeah, that's happened again)

It's a real love letter to the series, with a lot of past lore and previous characters returning - including ones slain in previous books.
Various loose ends are resolved and there's a lot of continuity and resolution of arcs. A lot of care has been taken to capture the feel of the original books and it feels like it was written by a real fan of the books.

Mechanically there's a lot of detail in the Rift, where your choice of route and various interactions with characters can mean encounters vary considerably depending on who is alive and has done what or is accompanying you. The second section isn't as complex, but is satisfying. It doesn't end with a cinematic battle but it does end with two quite interesting fights in that one opponent auto hits you and the other you have high defence against, but one hit can kill (although it's possible to kill one of the two enemies earlier in the story, as I found out after he killed me in an one playthrough).

One totally awesome thing is that the book also ties in with Talisman of Death! I picked up the sword used by the shieldmaiden at the start of that book, and later encountered the spellcaster who teleports you out of the Rift. He is dying, but able to assist you once more..

If I had to complain, as with the other revised WotT books, the art is not great - it's obviously been painted in colour and reproduces poorly in black and white. There is also the sudden introduction of a character related to Avenger who is incredibly competent at everything. Other than that though, I found this a superb ending to the series and far superior to Inferno where there were some definite issues.

That's the end of my journey through Way of the Tiger! Kwon ftw!

Zenith, which is remarkable throughout, if we ignore the very last strip. Early Nemesis is superb too, but for me goes off the boil, never recovers and outstays it’s welcome. And the last story was even worse than Zenith’s.

Nicely put. Furthermore Zenith was running when I first got into the Prog and absolutely blew my mind with it's stark artwork, psuedo-Lovecraftian themes and brutal violence. Zenith for me please.

Prog / Re: Prog 2296 - Making a stand!
« on: 25 August, 2022, 09:01:22 AM »
Funt's review really nails it for me. I agree with the 'all ages' thing - as an adult reader the bulk of these is bland and uninteresting, but it always seems to me* that the storytelling and continuity would be a barrier to some younger readers.

Personally I'm always surprised there is less involvement from creators already working in childrens comics. Guys like Tom Paterson or Lew Stringer have been involved in them for decades, yet seem to have been sidelined. As ever I assume there's a market strategy and someone knows what they're doing..

* a guy in his 40s with no children, so ideally placed to comment on kids comics

Prog / Re: Prog 2296 - Making a stand!
« on: 24 August, 2022, 11:12:36 AM »
I found this one very bland with the exception of Splorers which was an absolute cut above. Lovely cover, but like Colin said, that tagline placement is awful.

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