Tower Offense? Yes, Please; I'll Take ANOMALY 2.

ANOMALY 2 from 11 bit studios is going to be available for demo at PAX East this weekend and I’m stoked!
Why?
Obviously, I’m for anything thing that leads with “build war mechs,” but this glee is mainly because I’m a huge geek for tower defense games. Ninja Town is for real my favorite game. I lent it to my mom and then strongly considered buying a new copy because I missed it.
But ANOMALY 2 isn’t a tower defense game. It’s a tower offense game! You build troops to push through the enemy’s defenses and ultimately breach their base.
As the story goes, aliens came to Earth in the first ANOMALY Warzone Earth  game and they won. They beat everyone handily and now the planet is theirs and the responsibility to take it back is yours.
I plan to make a meal of this at PAX East and let you know how it preforms against expectations.
Check out the trailer and the official summary from 11 bit studios:
Continue reading “Tower Offense? Yes, Please; I'll Take ANOMALY 2.”

Kill 'em With Kindness

Sometimes my fellow, future post-apocalyptic queens and I like to daydream together about what our ideal post-apocalyptic world will be like. We plan to run the post-apocalyptic world not through strong-arming communities out of their supplies but through kindnessThis world often involves copious amounts of  moisturizer, rum, and POWER.

Some people will argue that kindness doesn’t go hand in hand with drunken, supple-skinned overlords. I beg to differ.
It’s not just you, I also doubt I could beat you in a fist fight or quick draw but I’m sure I could beat you in a game of which glass is filled with rum and which glass is filled with rum and poison!
Sharing is caring and I think you look tired and thirsty and I’m ever so grateful you helped me out of this pothole. I’m inclined to show you a bit of “kindness” in return (we talked about women in the post-apocalypse).

The rum isn’t only for entrapment purposes though, we believe in rewarding hard work be it by ourselves or by others. Loyalty is earned after all.

Continue reading “Kill 'em With Kindness”

Friends, frenemies, and neighbors

Sorry for the late post, you guys. I had a busy weekend and while I’ve been online via my phone, I haven’t been able to sit down at my computer. Which meant I wasn’t able to write my post. And my post had me thinking quite a bit, which is…unusual.
So, a bit of background: this past weekend, my bestest friend EVAH came down for a visit. There was much squeeing and much acting like high schoolers, since we haven’t actually seen each other in roughly two years (since right before I moved to Texas).
On the flip side of this, the mother of my daughter’s best friend now refuses to have anything do with us, because…I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with my “day” job? (I’m a local rep for a company that sells what I like to call “adult relationship aids” when I’m being PC about it.) For the record, she knew the nature of the job when I was still considering starting my business–and she didn’t have any issues then. So I have no idea what changed.
Continue reading “Friends, frenemies, and neighbors”

In the post apocalypse, I will be sleep deprived

I recently realized that in the post-apocalyptic world, I will be horribly sleep deprived. That is, assuming I actually survive and aren’t eaten by a horde of hungry zoo escapees because I’m too fuzzy brained to realize that the panda coming toward me has run out of bamboo shoots and hey, I’m Asian so I’m basically the same thing (only with more meat. And fat).
When did I come to this realization? I’d say it was probably the last time I was trying to do stuff with my kids, but zoned out because I was rather close to falling asleep. Or possibly the last time I slept in and was late for a session with my personal trainer (I haven’t the foggiest idea why I didn’t set up my appointment time later in the morning–clearly more evidence of my muddled, sleep deprived brain).
It’s probably not as big a deal now, when, in the grand scheme of things, life is fairly leisurely and easygoing. I mean, in comparison to what life will be like after the world bites the dust and we’re running around trying to fend off hungry pandas who may or may not know kung fu. That’s not to say it’s healthy though, because it’s not. After all, I’m less productive, end up sleeping through my alarm, and am just generally cranky. But I’m not running around trying to beat off…uh, things and having to stay on my toes and develop spidey senses just to stay alive.
But let’s face it: sleep deprivation means sluggishness and slow reaction time. When quick thinking and ingenuity might just save your life, having your brain go at the speed of molasses will probably get you killed.
Which means, of course, that I will most likely get eaten by an escaped zoo panda who has substituted me for bamboo.
That actually sounds like a terrible way to go. I should start getting some sleep then, shouldn’t I?

Review: Orchid Volume 1 (Dark Horse)

When I first heard about Orchid (blurb and facts are down below), the brain child of Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello, I had low expectations. Admittedly, I thought he was already skilled in one area, music, what were the chances he would be skilled in another completely unrelated one, comics.

I’d read interviews and press releases that made me think Orchid would be a heavy-handed political and social diatribe vilifying politicians and the rich and babying the rest of us, barely held together with pictures– pretty much a Chick Tract for social revolution.
When I finally got my hands and eyes on Orchid Volume 1[1. A copy of this title was provided for review by Dark Horse Comics.] I found myself wrapped up in a fast-paced action-adventure starring the quirky and blindly optimistic nerd, Simon, and the surly whore, Orchid, with nothing and everything to lose.
Volume one, covering issues 1-5, is a proper set up of the characters and why we should care about them. This post-apocalyptic world is vast, feeling vaster than the current world at times.
The first couple issues start with historical exposition set over elaborate, intricate scenes. I was reading on my kindle fire and often found myself zooming in to see what all was going on. Tom Morello (writer) and Scott Hepburn (artist) brought this somewhat over done setting new life. From fascinating creatures roaming the wild to the concept of people spending generations on “the derelict barges,” it all felt fresh and exciting.

But once the characters took center-stage it was hard to notice much else– though the art stays well done throughout– with the snappy dialogue and constant progress.
Orchid, Simon, and The Mask (this is an actual, literal mask but with so much legend and power it is pretty much a character in its own right) face more than their fair share of foes and near misses. At some points the adventuring hits a lull and I realized this is seriously heavy, seriously sad, and just generally serious.
That’s one of the greatest things about Orchid; it takes the path of children’s stories and parables, the lesson and the story work so well together that I didn’t realize I was being taught.
I was attached to the story and the characters and the world as not only a fantastic place but also the home of these people who deserved better. Before I knew it, after experiencing their world, watching their struggles, triumphs, and failures, and even getting a glimpse at the antagonists, I’d joined their revolution.
Almost every character — the exception being some villains who do seem to be more symbolic power hoarders than individuals– is fleshed out with a back story, from being a simple bridge folk whore to a nerd who wouldn’t be so out of place elsewhere where he was a slave specially trained because of his aptitude[2. I thought Simon was a time traveler when he was first introduced, until his manner of being was explained away sufficiently enough to re-suspend my disbelief].
You’ll be hard pressed to read Orchid and not to be moved or inspired on some level. Maybe simply by Simon’s unwavering courage and idealism, maybe by Orchid as a strong woman, or even by one of the “villains[3. Issue #5 SPOILER: I’m not willing to call Don Barrabas an actual villain so much as a survivor/victim/pawn who aligned with a man, Tomo Wolfe, willing to do right by him to accomplish much greater wrongs.]” who was somewhat of an ugly duckling (if the ugly duckling turned out to be a duck hunter-chef).
Sure, you might not feel you’re now expertly educated about class warfare or moved to “damn the man, save the empire.” But I can definitely say through Tom Morello telling Orchid’s story I felt heard, and seen, and important as a woman, and a person of color, and a nobody with no power or clout. Generally, as a person with things that can be or have been used to marginalize me. In Orchid, all those things that they use against us were the building blocks to make powerful characters, powerful ideas.
At the end of most comics the writer includes a short essay about their thoughts on the work. While I don’t really I care about nearly any issues, including class, in the real world, the passion Tom Morello shows for this project and this message is the kind of passion that can only create great things.

I’ve always been drawn to epic tales. Beowulf, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars. But for me, there was always something missing. I could never entirely get behind the goal. “C’mon, subjects! Let’s get the king back on the throne!” Or “To arms, vassals! Let’s return the princess to glory!” In my book, kings and princesses are the bad guys. But what was really missing from these epic tales was the unspoken but ever present dirty five-letter word: CLASS. Who rules and why? Who has a lot and who has nothing? And why the hell doesn’t somebody do something about it?! In Orchid the cool monsters, the narrow escapes, and epic battles are front and center, but somebody finally does something about the remorseless inequality that mirrors our own world. And that somebody is Orchid.

Orchid is successful as something new and different, something intriguing and engaging, and something worth reading.
I’d stand up to The Hangman for it.
[rating:5/5]
 

The facts about Orchid Volume 1 direct from Dark Horse:

When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves.
Delve into the first chapter of Orchid, the tale of a teenage prostitute who learns that she is more than the role society has imposed upon her.
CREATORS
Writer: Tom Morello
Artist: Scott Hepburn
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Genre: Action/Adventure

Publication Date: July 11, 2012
Format: FC, 112 pages; TP, 7″ x 10″
Price: $17.99
Age range: 14
ISBN-10: 1-59582-965-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-59582-965-8

 

5 Apocalyptic Lessons From Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach, the final installment-prequel in the Halo series by Bungie, chronicled the initial invasion and downfall of the human race on the planet Reach to the Covenant.

The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be pushed to the brink of destruction.
source

Known for it’s fairly short campaign mode and extensive multiplayer offerings, Halo: Reach is a perfect way to learn a few apocalypse life lessons. Continue reading “5 Apocalyptic Lessons From Halo: Reach”

This week in the real world

First of all, sorry for being absent as of late. I just didn’t have anything to say and so I didn’t say anything.  But I have been busy. Not buying a house like Char or getting good grades like Ann. Mostly I’ve been playing video games and reading comic books and I got a new phone (almost immediately after, my work phone died).
While its always important to plan for the worst the current situation can’t. Come second. Sometimes that means making steak for dinner instead of hardtack. Or just going for a drive because its nice out. However you can keep in the back of your mind all the lessons you’re. Learning while doing these things.
What I’ve learned from the pre-apocalyptic world: Continue reading “This week in the real world”

Winter and you in the post apocalypse

You might remember that awhile back, Jettica wrote about climate in the post apocalypse. She talks about different climate and weather possibilities for the post-apocalyptic world. (They’re all valid possibilities.)
One of the things she talks about is snow. I, personally, hate snow. Despise it. With the heat of a thousand fiery suns. But unfortunately, I’m moving back to Canada and snow will once again be a fact of life. For probably six months of the year.
Have I mentioned I hate snow?
Anyway. Snow usually comes during that most dreaded of seasons–winter. (Well, I dread it, anyway. I hate winter as much, if not more, than I hate snow.) Winter is hell on icy, locked up wheels for most of us now, when we still have central heating and cars with block heaters–can you imagine what it’ll be like during the post apocalypse?
Yeah. It’ll be bad. And I can’t say that you’ll survive. (Winter, it is a cold, harsh, unfeeling entity.)
I know Ann talked about surviving the winter months in this post, and she’s got some valid tips. But here are a few more things to keep in mind in terms of what you’ll need to have with you. You know, if you happen to get stuck in a part of the world where winter will be your post apocalypse hell. Like Canada.
Continue reading “Winter and you in the post apocalypse”

Pregnancy is Worse Than The Apocalypse

Sure, pregnancy is like the miracle of life or some nonsense (until the machines perfect their way of making more humans…) But unlike being pregnant, I kind of want an apocalypse. I wouldn’t have to go to work. I’m chubby so I don’t expect to be anybody’s sex slave. I could rough it if I had to – if I HAD to. I wouldn’t hate having to spend some quality time locked in a mall playing dress up and sniping zombies from the roof.

All these things sound perfectly acceptable to me—possibly awesome.
However, in a post-apocalyptic world my first stop would be CVS. Well, first a bookstore or library where I’d get a book about drugs, because fokklsncindine doesn’t mean shit to me. (Maybe I should just learn that mess in the present, just in case.) Then I head to the drug store to grab the basics like antibiotics and penicillin and THE PILL. Continue reading “Pregnancy is Worse Than The Apocalypse”

What Are Women Worth at The End of The World?

Many of the depictions of apocalyptic life we see are over the top and hyper-fictionalized.  In the few more realistic versions, there is a disquieting, reoccurring theme: women are weak and they can be broken, owned, and kept.
We see forced prostitution, the normalization of rape and capture for fun and profit, and maybe worse yet, women who stand up and act like people–especially strong people– are considered anomalous. If a woman speaks up, hunts, protects the group, or displays any skill outside of making babies, tears or meals she’s wowing the audience or they’re rolling their eyes.
The fact that a strong woman or girl invested in her survival is a novelty should be a red flag. If the apocalypse happened tomorrow, would the women you value today be seen as valuable people or just usable commodities?
Part of survival training needs to be not only developing the ability to stay alive but also the fortitude to fight for that life and your right to live it well and freely. I’ve mentioned before that part of a successful apocalyptic life, especially for women, will likely involve killing some jackholes who think they’re maleness affords them privileges to you femaleness. Continue reading “What Are Women Worth at The End of The World?”