Sunday, March 31, 2013


This past week at the Game Developers Conference, Hideo Kojima, father/deoxyribonucleic acid/Krishna of the Metal Gear (Solid) franchise, admitted to the worst kept (probably intentionally…so shifty, the Kojima!) secret in video games for those of us who have been paying attention--  The Phantom Pain, first announced at the VGAs (the classiest of all venues in which to announce AAA video games), is in fact Metal Gear Solid V, follow-up to 2010’s excellent sneak-on-the-go-a-thon (Not) Metal Gear Solid (5): Peace Walker.

(That was one sentence…By the by, how do you guys feel about parenthetical references?  I’m for ‘em.)

This follows up the PAX Prime news from way-back 2012 that there would be a NEW Metal Gear Solid game entitled Metal Gear Solid:  Ground Zeroes.  As it turns out, these two games-cum-pretentious-double-album comprise Metal Gear Solid V…Ground Zeroes acts as the prologue, then the Phantom Pain picks up the story proper after the events of GZ.

So, for all of you that haven’t been paying attention to Metal Gear Solid for the past 15 years (shame on you!), let’s get you caught up:

“Previously, on LOST Metal Gear Solid…”

Friday, March 29, 2013

Who's Down Wit O-P-N!? Google Apparently.

Google has been built around one central rule, which many are familiar with, "Don't Be Evil." Though lots of folk have questioned and doubted the actions of Big-G in the past, on account of privacy rules changes, and data collection.  The running of an empire is messy business (And yes I think Google is an empire), but they seem to be trying to prove that one can be a just ruler over the large tracks internet, rather than turning into a gulag running dictator.
Recently Google showed its mettle, by announcing it's agreement to a Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN).  The OPN effectively states that Google will not litigate against any developer, or distributor of open source code, under certain patents, though they will retaliate if sued. This isn't a first for Google, as they are also a member of OIN a Linux cooperative, which counts Red Hat as a member too, and have a similar agenda to what the OPN is aiming at.
This move is to prevent more patent wars, something that occurs within the tech industry frequently; often for no purpose but to crush possible competition with a brigade of well paid, pen wielding lawyers, in order to have a company go bankrupt defending themselves in court.
If you would like to read more, Duane Valz has written 'Taking a stand on open source and patents' for Google's Public Policy Blog.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


So here is a game you may have heard of, but never played; ANTICHAMBER  a FPMF (First Person Mind Fuck).  I try to avoid salty language when writing, but this game is so stupefying, I find it hard to grasp any language other then the most crass after playing, but I will do my best.  This is simply due to the rewiring that this game does to any initiated gamer.

The ques and signals within the game's environment are all misleading at first glance, pleading with the player to abandon their understanding of reality real or virtual. At no point does this become discouraging, with the use of small signs scattered across the Escher-esque tunnels, with clues or morale lifting advice inscribed on them. Your progress is also tracked by the reading of the black signs while in the maze.

Of the many design tricks that the game employs to fascinate and amuse, the reshaping that levels take while you travel through them, is utterly flabbergasting.  Walk down a path, to arrive back where it began, only to turn around and find a completely different level behind you, or peek through a window to be seamlessly transported to the room beyond.  I don't want to spoil anymore since coming across these within the game is honestly elating.

Monday, March 25, 2013


The gaming world can be a rough place, with a lot of hurtful things said over head sets across long distances, and for many people that hits very close to home. David Gil is trying to tell their story in a documentary about the LGBTQ community and gaming. The documentary GAMING IN COLOR is so exciting to me as a gamer and human, but it needs some help so head over to KickStarter to share some love. We are community of all different types of people, and that is a beautiful thing. Learning about one another only makes it better, giving us all the chance to all be aware of ourselves and others, to open the doors wide in our community, so no one has to game alone.

A Trek-ebration!

Hulu is doing a limited run of ALL the STAR TREK series for FREE, so check it out.

War In The Palm Of Our Hands

June 2007 was when the first app was fired, and the battle for mobile gamer's thumbs began.  At the end of this coming June the iPhone will be celebrating six years on the market, with the inevitable release of some newer and shinier model, with a few more features.  The capability Apple has to make a new or at least new-ish devices annually, while maintaining the regular sales is impressive.  This reminds me of the former ubiquitous handheld gaming device the GameBoy, now re-branded as the DS/3DS, and the  juggernaut behind them Nintendo.  The GameBoy business model is a clear ancestor to the iPhone; with the many various upgrades some minor, Pocket, SP, and XL (including the most ridiculous and infuriating one Colored GameBoy re-branded as 'Play it Loud' due to confusion, not to be mixed up with the GameBoy Color an actual color upgrade.); other more of significant upgrades Color, DSi and 3DS are released about every other year. Now the largest similarities between these products are not just the business model but, touch screens, cameras, online stores, and some of the same market share.

There is a significant sorrow that comes with the witnessing of Nintendo's ship burning up on re-entry to the new gaming landscape.  Personally I have owned many GameBoy products, from the Pocket that I carried in the butt pocket of my jean shorts, all summer vacation long; Color GB that received Pelican battery pack & magnifier screen attachments, to make it even cooler in my adolescent eyes; to the gift SP, from my very first girlfriend; last the three DS Lite's I bought myself, because I loved them so much, that anytime I lost one, I bought another as soon as possible.  Heck there are two more that I gave as gifts to past girlfriends, who wanted to get into gaming, but had no desire to play on standard consoles.  That was part of what put Nintendo among the stars in the past decade. GameBoy was a product for both the serious and causal gamer who wanted a fun relaxing experience, with great new and familiar IP games, on a higher quality, but lower cost device, with long battery life. Now nearly everyone you know, owns a personal gaming console; yes it is in the shape of a smartphone, but it is a viable gaming platform.  

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Guilty pleasure RIDDICK is back, as Vin Diesel released a 22 second long trailer for the next film on his Facebook profile. Check it out in the link.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Welcome friends from Australia, Spain, and Germany

We have no idea who you wonderful individuals are, but we at Loaded Dice are happy to have your eyes and ears.  Drop us a line, and lets us know what kind of Geekery we in the US are missing out on internationally.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Elder Scrolls Online

Last year at E3, we had the chance to see Bathesda's first obligatory step into the MMO arena with Elder Scrolls Online (ESO), following BioWare's not hugely successful STAR WARS: The Old Republic that has now gone Free-To-Playish.  I have a deep love for MMO's in theory, but in reality I Hate Them, that may be too harsh. I'm left feeling empty inside by the ever repetitive nature of the genre, and this is only amplified by how much lighter my wallet is after, several months of $15 fees to play a game every month.  Though I have hope, the simple desire run free in a digital utopia that doesn't leave me heavily varnish in ennui after a few weeks of play, with no endgame in sight, and my gears ground down to a fine mirrored finish. I'll my stow my MMO issues for now, so I can once again swoon over one the newest one that will fix my jaded view, ESO.

We here at the Loaded Dice have limited resources but thankfully the internet exists. That being said Revision3 has gotten some great early looks at ESO, which are found below.

The main points of what we know about ESO so far.
-Story takes place 700 years before Skyrim.
-4 Classes Templar, Sorcerer, Dragon Knight, and "Night Blade" which may be a leak.
-Classes will be more flexible as they are in standard ES games
-Races will consist of all the previously playable one excluding Imperials who shall be NPCs
-The races are tied to specific Factions
-The world is broken into 3 Factions Aldmeri Dominion, Ebonheart Pact, and Daggerfall Covenant
-You will be able to change faction as part of your Lvl 50 endgame. This will be scaled up for challenge.
-PvP includes giant events (100 PCs) like Keep Sieges. These allow factions to gain territory and resources.
-FIRST PERSON view will be in the game, but it is still in the works.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cube is the Answer

Years ago, you used to play Magic: The Gathering.  Every day after school you and your friends would gather around the kitchen table, shuffle up piles of cardboard spells, and lay waste to one another.  It was amazing.

But then something horrible happened.  The game lost its luster.  For most people, Magic got too expensive, too competitive, or both.  For whatever reason, you packed up your precious cardboard spells, shoved them under a bed, and moved on to some other hobby. 

The story above applies to many gamers out there.  If it didn’t happen to you, I bet you know someone who knows what I’m talking about.  Here’s my version of the story, in brief:

I got hooked on Magic in 9th grade.  I got really into competitive play and even won a few local tournaments.  Then, Wizards of the Coast began releasing the now infamous Urza’s Block.  The power level of cards went through the roof, so much so that Wizards actually banned cards that were currently in print for Type II (what is now called Standard).  The game changed.  It was no longer fun. My playgroup started losing interest.   I had barely any money, and was afraid to invest it in cards for fear of seeing them banned weeks later.  At this point I packed up my spells and called it quits.

If you didn’t play during Urza’s Block, just check out these two masterpieces:
"What could possibly go wrong?"

I bet Wizards of the Coast R&D never predicted they'd be refunding packs for people who opened Memory Jars.  Well guess what - it happened.

"I get it, you're emo because some really mean wizards pissed you off.  So WTF is cube?

Alright.  Let’s get down to business.  Why am I waxing poetic about how thousands of nerds quit Magic?  Cube.

Cube is a format created by magic players for magic players.  Sure, Wizards of the Coast has cube draft in Magic Online, and I’m sure those greedy fucks would have you believe they invented the format.  Trust me, they didn’t.  Cubing was invented by some really brilliant people years ago and has only recently come to the forefront of alternative Magic formats.  Here’s how it works:

-Assemble a pool of around 300-700 cards.  No duplicates.
-Draft these cards with your friends, build decks, and smash face.

Cube is amazing because it avoids all the horrible things I mentioned in the story above.  You won’t get priced out of the game.  You won’t have to deal with overpowered cards, unless of course you want to.  In fact, if you do it right, you’ll never have to pay for a Magic card again.  Cube is the answer!


Go under your bed, and find that box of cards you so hastily packed up years ago.  Now go through them.  Remember this?  How about this?  What about this guy?  Nothing could escape this!  And how could you forget the lusty rendezvous you had with this winged harlot in your basement?  She may not tap, but you sure tapped the shit out of…well…yourself.

As you go through the cards, sort them by color.  Only take out the ones you liked playing with, or ones you think are awesome.  And don’t forget the Artifacts and non-basic Lands.  If you find any of these or these, feel free to mail them to me.  They’re worthless.  Really.  ;)

Once you get about 30-40 cards per color you can begin playing with your cube.  Now let me pause.  A lot of cube enthusiasts are reading this, and I can hear the mouth-breathing rage already:

*Simpsons Comic Book Guy Voice*:  “Serra Angel is simply suboptimal at that converted mana cost! You should be using the exact cube list from!” 

Listen dude.  I KNOW.  Let me get the kids started, then they can decide what cards are best.  That’s the best thing about cube…its your baby and you can raise it however you want.  Hmm.  This implies you actually had sex with…something.  But let’s not get too cerebral here.


Find three friends.  I know.  I ask a lot.

Anyway, if you can get past the first step, shuffle up your entire cube.  Deal out piles of 15 face-down cards.  You’ll need three of these ‘packs’ per player.  Everyone ‘opens’ a pack, drafts a card, and passes the remaining pack to the left.  Do this until all cards are drafted.  The next pack gets passed to the right, and the third and final goes back to the left.  When you’re done, everybody builds 40 card decks out of what they drafted.  Make sure you provide basic land for everyone to use.  Then, game on.

Many of you are like, “Did you really have to explain booster draft?”.  Well yes, yes I did.  This article is not for the ravaging hordes of 12-year olds who take their overblown allowances to huge events and dump hundreds of dollars into booster draft side-events.  This article is for the old school players, the ones who probably didn’t give a damn about any organized play outside of their kitchen table back in the day.  So if you’re too ‘pro’ for this article, simply Alt-Tab to and overpay on some preorder cards or something.  Leave me and my cubists alone!


Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a cube.  This is no ordinary stack of cards.  It is the source of endless entertainment.  No two cube drafts are the same!  The replay value is infinite. 

Of course, if you want to invest some money in your cube, go to for the best prices on bulk sleeves.  If you’re playing with nice cards, you won’t regret it.

Check out my next article for tips on how to optimize your cube without spending your hard-earned dough.  Until then, get your cube on!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why PAX East is Important

On the last cast I told the story of Matty G taking me to my first PAX East, it ending with my scratching my neck like a crackhead, driving away from Boston, trying to get in a game of Magic Cards on the center console with his brother Stacks.

This was back in 2010, and I haven't looked back since.

For those of you not in the know, PAX stands for Penny Arcade Expo, which started, as an offshoot of the wonderful web comic Penny Arcade, back in 2004 and has grown into a tri-annual, 3 day gaming festival attended by tens of thousands.  You may be asking yourself how a gigantic gaming expo can grow out of a web comic, even one related specifically to gaming.  Without giving away the answer, which inevitably will end up succumbing to the mundane nature of details, you should merely take in the broad strokes:  This is something special.

PAX East is the Eastern wing of PAX (how shockingly well appellated) which started in Washington State and has spread as far as Australia. The first installment of East was in 2010, which I was lucky enough to attend, and it has grown exponentially since.

On a personal note, PAX East ignited not only a fire in me, but a larger understanding of myself.  Although that is a personal journey that likely has little interest to you, dear reader, the result of that personal journey has put me in such a place that I am able to convey to you what makes PAX East, and really, being a nerd, so special.  Or at least try.

The thing to know about PAX is that in a way that is incredibly authentic, and more or less singularly unique in my experience, it is a convention truly for the average neckbeard, nerd, dork, geek or whatever your preferred nomenclature might be.  Compare this with the celebrated E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) and you'll see a stark contrast.  E3 is generated by the industry to sell things to you.  The industry is present at PAX, and they are very interested in selling things to you, but this is far from the focus.  The "Expo Floor" of PAX takes up approximately 1/16th of the total space (number pulled out of my ass).  In comparison, the area to play tabletop games, for FREE is possibly twice as large.

To put things succinctly:  While attending PAX, you are a gamer.  You are not a consumer, a customer or a target demographic.  Not only does this transmogrification allow you to enjoy our mutual hobby without the shackles of that creeping feeling of gleefully pre-order a video game due to the sweet pre-order bonus (knowing that you're being suckered, manipulated or marketed to, willingly or not), but even more remarkably it allows you to experience something that our mutual hobby, due to its roots in isolationist behavior, social ostricisation and Player 1/Player 2 gameplay, is sometimes lacking:  Community.

ThreadbareGeek #1

Spring is nearly upon us, which means it is time to shake off the long-johns and pack away the winter coats (Though it is currently snowing outside right now, so maybe hold off a little longer).

My first rule for being a stylish geek, keep it subtle. We know you like Star Trek, but DON'T over do it.
1. I always AVOID text on tees, unless it is a band's name.  

        2. Hoodies are great for the gym, or touch football, but to look more put together, try a cardigan.
3. Last, if you dress more down on top with a tee, then dress up on the bottom, and lose the jeans. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Season 2 Ep.4

Podcast Powered By Podbean
Loaded Dice Cast Season 2 Episode 4: Nerd Missionary
Oh hey,  this new format is working out great.  This podcast we are joined by logo designer and all around nerd baller Geoff, to help Kevin write a bit of the D&D campaign he is going to unleash on his flag football team.   Vince has a tremendous idea involving medieval fast food, and we hopefully gain some insight into what goes into making a D&D campaign.  Our draft is a pretty classic one:  Best RPGs of all time. Some unconventional choices in this one.  Let us know what you think.  Finally we downscope a conversation about Cockatrice and SimCity and the tension between consumers and producers when it comes to managing intellectual property.  It sounds like a snoozer, but it is actually a pretty great discussion.  Spoilers:  Derek is wrong!  Oh, and what do you know,? For the first time ever:  Show Notes:
Kevin's Blog Post on SimCity
Geoff's Loaded Dice Logo, after Derek's insightful commentary
The New Loaded Dice Logo Going Forward
And for those who need a Flash version of the Loaded Dice Cast

A Reckoning is Coming! Season 5

Well you have waited long enough it seems, and the the most sporadic [Adult Swim] show The Venture Bros. will be here in just over two months, airing May 19 at midnight.  If you are unfamiliar with this series, you should be, at least if you always wanted to watch a darkly comedic, troubled and action packed episode of Johnny Quest.  It has been about two years since the last season, but as fans already know, it is worth the wait, as painful as it may be.  [AS] dropped a preview of the coming season on YouTube, and it seems as if the Christopher McCulloch and Doc Hammer are bring us the goods as usual.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Farcry from pricey.

So Stream is doing another great sale, on a fine franchise FARCRY , marking down the whole series bundle to 50% off, and the full DLC package at 40% off. I am not a huge FPS player but I did enjoy the first of the series, and at this price I am more than ready to try out the newest installment.

Friday, March 15, 2013

TV killed the Movie Character

There is a flurry of TV shows based off movies, their universes, and key characters headed our way.  This year we have A&E's Bates Motel, bringing the world of Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO, to the modern age, and the small screen next week.  This is the second time televisions will be graced with a show called Bates Motel, the first being a made for TV movie. To continue that big bad theme, NBC has HANNIBAL bringing the finest (and hungriest) villain, Hannibal Lecter to prime-time this April, in what looks like a procedural horror series.  My word I hope it is better than the film, by the same name, because while Silence of the Lambs, and Red Dragon are great films, Hannibal eat it, big time).  Then we have SHIELD being filmed this year, (the pilot just recently wrapped)  this is a Marvel Film Universe based show that will follow the adventures of the soon to be resurrected Agent Coulson (As mentioned by Mr. Whedon at SXSW, because Comics!) in the post Avengers movie timeline. The biggest question is how much super powered hi-jinks will be taking place, and if we can expect any other Marvel heroes to pop by to help save the world.  I will be honest this sounds a little to familiar, like there has been a show about HEROES, and a bad-ass super-powerless character, who kicks lots of ass (tortoise rims anyone?).
The use of film material, to inspire television shows is nothing terribly new. Shows like Clueless, Casablanca, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, being very awful examples of this sad trend, and likely created to milk their names for every cent. All three of those films, shouldn't be thought of as IPs in the first place, and it cheapens their original glory, at least no one but me remembers those atrocities.  I throw a lot of humbug at most crossing IPs into different mediums, because there is something unique in the way that a certain medium tells a story, and if you are going to change how that story is being told, attention must be payed to the qualities that don't work in the new fashion retelling.  The reason that there are no excellent video-game based films, is due to the simple fact that games are an interactive form of entertainment, and films are not, you can't tell those stories the same way.  The same thing goes for lots of other story forms.  Many people were pissed about the changes to Watchmen when it became a film, but let me say a giant squid monster fits in fine with inky comic pages, but would not have played well on the big screen.  In my mind it was a fine choice that allowed it to be publicly successful, as a big budget film.  Let me get back to the topic at hand; all of these new TV properties may end up being good, or great, but the thing I wonder about is whether more original creations are being passed over to take advantage of an easier project to green-light and make buck on.
Of these shows, I have high hopes for SHIELD, on account of the simple similarity between the way comics, and episodic television tell stories. Though I am not going to expect to much from the other two shows, they just seem to loose in concept to provide strong series, but hey I could be wrong.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

SimCity: Layers of Garbage

As card carrying members of the greater society of internet reactionaries, we here at Loaded Dice wanted to hold off for a bit on the whole SimCity thing.  Last night on the cast, it was about to be discussed, but we thought it was best left for some bloggery.  Here it goes:

I want to start with an apology, because I have very clearly done something wrong, which likely affects you.  I pre-ordered this pile of sewage.  The Deluxe Version.  The $80 version.  Like a true, recividist idiot.  I even crowed about it on the podcast when we talked about how this is a different case than Aliens:Colonial Marines.  I ignored the warnings about always online DRM, I bought into the carefully tailored marketing message.  I hungered for videos on the game, thinking they were a gift to me, rather than a carefully designed illusion to part a fool and his money.  So now, EA gets to stuff my $80 in their pocket and can say to themselves "Welp, we got that going for us, which is nice."  I'm sorry for encouraging them.  You have my word, I won't do it again.

I'm pretty sure the internet at large is by now aware of the initial wave of problems with this game.  The launch week (month?) issues associated with the forced always online nature of the game led to a debacle that made Blizzard's incredibly blunderous launch of Diablo 3 look like a well executed professional production of Swan Lake in comparison.  As of this writing they are still trying to strip out all the glorious functionality that made online play so "key" to this installment in the series, (regional trading!  Worldwide Marketplace! Online Leaderboards!) so their servers can handle the basic tasks of scanning your retinas, probing you through the orifice of your choice and whatever else they can do to ensure their game is not falling victim to the wanton tender attentions of internet pirates.

The irony, of course, is that as of this writing, their ingenious DRM equivalent of trapping Batman and Robin in a giant clam has somehow failed.  SimCity, despite EA and Maxis' most sincerely delivered protestations that due to the ultra complex nature of the simulation (more on that juicy one later) could not possibly be contained purely on your puny several thousand dollar gaming PC, and simply must be simultaneously run on whatever duct tape constructed weevil infested pizza box farm that they call servers, has been hacked to run in offline mode successfully, as well as any number of other basic pieces of functionality that we were told were clearly impossible.  See HERE for some evidence, and see this Blue's News rundown for further info.  It should be noted that Rock, Paper, Shotgun has been all over this story from the beginning.

Are you ready for the fun part?  Because here comes the fun part (After the break):

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Much Ado

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff, and if Whedon has anything to say about it,  Much Ado About Nothing, shall be made of very stern stuff indeed, at least I hope.  As the resident theater nerd at Loaded Dice, I am pretty pumped to see this classic in a new setting for Joss Whedon's film adaptation.  I have probably seen two drastically different period takes on Much Ado in the the past; one as Victorian, which was an uninspired snoozeville, and the other set in WW2 era Europe that could have been really great if the direction choice and setting had been more solidified, but I digress.  It will be loads of fun to see the King of The Nerds: Joss Whedon, do something completely different, albeit with a cast of wonderful and familiar faces; Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, and Clarck Gregg.  From the look of the trailer, Mr. Whedon is clearly fond of playing with Shakespearean works, as most of us in the venn-diagram of geeks and theater beasts usually do. Give the trailer a view, cause you might just like, even if it doesn't have a giant super powered battle sequence over Manhattan.


Perhaps Avengers 2 will be a mediation on Tony Stark as Macbeth, betraying back stabbing SOB (try and clean out those damn spots  Pepper Potts, you know nothing gets gamma radiation blood out).
So what other MARVEL and Shakespeare characters can we match. Deadpool as Mercutio (minus the dying part, since he can't)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kevin on Kevin

Evan's post inspired me to write one of my own about the illustrious and prolific Mr. Kevin Smith.  Kevin Smith, is in many ways a personal hero of mine.  The birth of Loaded Dice Cast can be traced directly to him and his series of podcasts known as Smodcast.

I doubt there's many in my generation that don't hold Clerks, and possibly the other members of the "Jersey Trilogy" somewhere in their pantheon of influential movies.  In my mind, those three films have to be considered in any serious accounting of the cultural touchstones of what you might call the millennial generation.  It would be nice to stop the conversation there, but we can't.  Kevin Smith has directed some stinkers.

As he's transitioned into middle age, he's flirted with abandoning his career as a writer and director in favor of a career as a prolific podcaster.  The same pattern has emerged.  The hour I spend listening to his flagship podcast, Smodcast, is hands down the most hilarious hour of my week.  Fatman on Batman is an engaging study in passion, pot smoking,  and an engrossing interview style.  However, Smith does other podcasts, that to my mind, are just not in the same universe.  Jay and Silent Bob Get Old is a prime example.  Born of a desire to keep Mewes (as in Jay) off the drugs by giving him a microphone and an audience, this live show (which, it should be noted, often gets sell out audiences, so take my tastes with a grain of salt) is often a wreck of format.  Formulaic, oftentimes awkward, and, for some reason consistently containing large swaths of visual content.  I salute Kevin wanting to help out his friend, and I wish him all the best, but it's not worth an hour and a half of my time each week.

So here is why Smith is one of my heroes: He is an average guy from Jersey who consistently overcomes his fear of failure by employing and harnessing a truly singular passion for creative expression.  It would be great to lionize him; to say he is unafraid to fail, but I think this is not only untrue, but does him a disservice.  The man knows Jersey Girl was a joke and Cop Out was ridiculous, and yet he goes and he makes fresh content every day, and ultimately, makes the world a better place for it.

Will Clerks III be his best movie ever?  Sorry, Kev, I doubt it.  But that doesn't mean I'm not rooting for you.  I pretty much hated Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, so I hope you get back to your roots.  I hope you get back to saying something important, or at least relevant.  I hope I don't have to sit through a two hour self referential dick joke fest.  Say something new, say something from the heart.  I know I'll be rooting for it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

MARVEL Comics Freebies!

So Marvel is currently giving away a bunch (700 to be specific) of digital issues of their comics; including NOW! titles. If you are like me and have been out of the comic book game for monetary reasons check it out, go to The Marvel Store or comiXology   to grab some of this digital swag while you can. Be warned the servers are really slow right now due to the high traffic from this offer, but hell FREE COMICS. I am wondering if this is because the new direction isn't doing so well, or if this is to promote the digital format that they have been working hard to build up. Either way I like it.

Batman Year Zero

This morning something pretty big was announced.  DC Comics (via Associated Press) announced the next storyline for Scott Snyder's flagship Batman Book.  Batman: The Zero Year.  This is something I'm very excited about.

Snyder, along with artist Greg Capullo, has done a really good job on the book ever since he came on at the start of the New 52 DC Relaunch back in 2011.  He's written two major arcs: The Court of Owls, and Death of The Family.  Both were satisfying for a couple of reasons.

First, they felt big and important.  This was not "Batman fights the riddler.....again."  Snyder has a way of setting the stakes high and getting the reader to buy in.

Capullo's visuals have been top notch and aided the pacing and tone tremendously.  I always hate to see a talented writer paired with an artist that doesn't fit his style.  However, that is not an issue here.

Finally, Snyder is a man who is talented at big arcs.  It has been tremendously rewarding to watch these stories develop over a fairly large timespan, and yet feel not only internally consistent, but infused with a sense of constant forward momentum.

If there is to be any criticism, it simultaneously is not Snyder's fault, but more promisingly, may be alleviated, at least temporarily, by this new arc.  DC needs to sell bat-books, and so you need bat characters.  Although the New 52 was supposed to be a fresh reboot of the entire DC Universe, because of this aforementioned need, the Batman title was saddled with a murky, unclear continuity (analyzed as effectively as is possible here) in which he has a ten year old son conceived while he was Batman (probably), 3-4 Robins, some of which have died and come back to life, and only been operating as Batman for, seemingly, a couple of years.  Because: Comics.

Zero Year ( A clever hat tip to Frank Miller's Batman:Year One...available in movie form on Netflix) has the opportunity to pare all this silliness down by taking us back to Bat Basics. Batman in his simplest form.  No Robins 1-4.  No pre-existing rogue's gallery.  No "Bat Family" to be saddled with.

(Interesting Thought:  In Death of the Family, Joker's point to Batman is this extended Bat Family has made him weak and diluted.  The Joker wants to, in essence, remove him of these burdens so he can go back to being the Batman, Joker loves.  Good writing or Snyder actually BLOWING YOUR MIND WITH META COMMENTARY?)

Let's see what Snyder does.  I, for one, am really looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Smith Wars: Revenge of the Clerks

So, it has come; the day that we all hadn't really expected-or at least I hadn't.  Kevin Smith released the hounds of an inevitable CLERKS 3.  To tell the truth, the sequel was a bit unexpected, and pretty superfluous, escaping what I love about CLERKS.  Growing up with the Askewniverse (aka New Jersey) the continuation of CLERKS was always Mall Rats, and Chasing Amy.  I will not grumble about it, because I enjoyed the second Clerks film, but to be honest Abc, 123 musical numbers, and Goodbye Horses dance references are always pretty rad where I come from(which is not actually NJ but as close as you can get without ever truly knowing how to negotiate a damn jug-handle on the highway.)  

So Mr. Smith has declared that this will be the best movie he will ever make.  Those are pretty big words considering it has only been a few days in the making, and still in the first draft.  As to what we can expect, (which isn't much considering there is no date for production to start and nary an awesome action figure tie-in yet), I will be assume that Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, and Jason Mewes will be involved, since if any of them were missing it wouldn't be much of a Clerks movie.  I wouldn't mind having a return of Rosario Dawson-she was a great addition to the cast-because sometimes you do go ass to mouth (she is not the ass in this scenario).  

Now for a little outlandish speculation, as we like to do here at Loaded Dice. Perhaps the full title of the movie will be CLERKS 3-D.  Also I will predict that a certain George Lucas shall be directing, since he has all this free time, now that that he has handed the albatross about his neck (oh ... that is his neck), over to Disney.  Finally, it will also turn out that the entire series of Kevin Smith films was just a masismic weed dream of Jay's the whole time.
So hit us with your hopes, and fear of the eventual CLERKS 3 kids, and by all means toss in your own outlandish BS.

Yeah Yeah I know cheap shot at Lucas, gobble.

Good gracious I hope Suzanne returns.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Season 2 Ep.3

S2 E3- LDC BLOPS 12:According to the Prophesy

                    Podcast Powered By Podbean

Loaded Dice Cast has a new episode!   In which we switch the format slightly.  Dubs, Turkey, Vin, Derek, and Kevin all join together to lambaste everyone involved in Aliens:Colonial Marine, which was universally regarded as a semi fraudulent steaming pile of dog-shit.  No prisoners are taken, including those who pre-ordered it.  Speaking of crappy First Person Shooters, we draft the best and worst the cornerstone genre has to offer in the form of tropes, cliches, mechanics and guns.  Kevin makes a fool of himself as he once again proves he is an uneducated idiot and can not pronounce nuclear (noo-kyuh-ler).  This transitions smoothly, as if we planned it, into our final topic of the evening.  Prompted by Kevin's twitter feed going nuclear (see what I did there?) we discuss the announcement the PS4... How WEIRD was that PS4 unveiling?  We talk launch titles, the overall thrust of the presentation, and the idea that they did not actually unveil a PS4.  The rest of the cast gangs up on Dubs as the sole champion of the inferior console slave race, and get into a squabble about hardware, game design and the future of consoles.  Ultimately we all decide to agree on our overriding sentiment: "That was dumb."  Haters gonna hate I guess.