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81  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Orbis. aka PlayStation 4? The rumors are put to rest. on: February 19, 2014, 04:23:07 AM
Yeah but both my nephew and I are on the westocast of Canuckistan, and typically Nintendo and Sony consoles are a bit more popular here. I think that's a result of having the largest per capita Asian population in North America. I know for sure I can't get PS4s at any of the big box stores in mine or my nephew's city. Ebgames.ca didn't seem to have them online or in store and none of the Canuckistan Big box online retailers had them either.
82  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Orbis. aka PlayStation 4? The rumors are put to rest. on: February 18, 2014, 08:06:14 PM
How long has the PS4 been out now? Reason I ask; I made a bet with my nephew last May that he wouldn't be able to get one 3 months after it's release. I checked around at all his local retailers and the bigger online stores and it isn't available, so I'm thinking I'm looking good for this bet. If I win I get my PS3 back from him, plus the extra controller he bought last year and his entire PS3 library. His gaming buddies have PS4's, so he won't be going completely without. I really just want to give him the gears with a loud "told you so!" and remind him he should have preordered.  icon_razz
83  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: February 18, 2014, 07:03:58 PM

Quote from: Crawley on February 17, 2014, 05:11:37 AM

Watched Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. This is the big budget Hansel & Gretel movie with Jeremy Renner - I noticed Netflix previously had several low budget versions on it. I dunno why I put this on my Netflix queue as it didn't look all the great from the trailers. So going in my expectations were pretty low. But it was actually a fun flick...

Agreed. I actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I put down my liking it to it reminding me of some of the settings and archetypes in P'n'P RPG's I've played. I really thought my son would appreciate it as much, but it only registered and "it's OK I guess" from him.
84  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Here come the remakes of mediocre 80's movies on: February 12, 2014, 06:03:57 AM
I'm really down on the whole Hollywood remake trend. To me it seems similar to the state of Hollywood in the early 70's before the baby boomers grabbed the industry, revitalized it and ran with it. Back in that time though they weren't making remakes, just crappy, boring formula movies. With few exceptions these current remakes aren't panning out and the way I see it they're tying up a lot of money that could be put towards more creative and original films. These latest remakes of mediocre films are that much more annoying.
85  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: How and where do you store your board games on: February 05, 2014, 05:06:33 PM

Quote from: hepcat on February 03, 2014, 02:09:26 PM

And don't get me started on miniatures.  I got into Malifaux early last year and Warmahordes shortly thereafter...and now I've got about a hundred minis that are taking up a ton of surface area.  I should buy a minis bag, but those things are like 100 bucks by the time you purchase the bag and the trays.  Money that I could spend on yet more minis!

I find the Plano storage units are good for this and fairly low cost as most Walmarts carry them. I have 3 for the roughly 1000 Star Wars Mini's I have and the best thing about them is that they stack on top of 1 another. As well, don't forget, RPG GM's will often be interested in any mini's you're looking to move. There's also a number of online retailers like coolstuffinc.com that have generous buy back lists/services.
86  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: [KickStarter] Mob Town on: February 05, 2014, 05:00:55 PM
The city location building play-mechanic looks very interesting, but I'm afraid the game looks a bit too light for my group. I'm going to mention it to the family boardgame cooridnators at my local gaming society on Friday, to see if they might opt in a few times on the kickstarter.
87  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman on: February 03, 2014, 08:32:13 AM
I was really saddened to hear this - IMO one of the best actors of his generation. I really liked his lead performance in Capote which netted him all the top awards, but I also really liked all the smaller roles. One of his most memorable performances for me was the small role he played in Magnolia as the nurse Phil Pharma. I also thought he was the only actor that turned in a decent performance in Twister - a mostly forgettable movie. I really liked him again last month when I watched him turn in another terrific performance in Hunger Games Catching fire.

What's such a shame about this, is that you knew he was just going to get better and he probably hadn't delivered his best performance yet.
88  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2013 -- Superbowl on: February 03, 2014, 07:28:16 AM
I just got back from watching the game with friends and family in my favorite sports pub over in Victoria. Oh man was that ever an awesome game!!! There's no way I would have ever predicted the Seahawks would beat the Broncos so soundly. So very happy I finally decided to follow a NFL team from season to end.
89  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 31, 2014, 04:22:16 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 31, 2014, 04:12:56 PM

Interesting... maybe they pulled it, yup DVD only now. Just checked my account and I streamed it on Netflix back in July of last year. Didn't recall it being that long ago.  icon_neutral

It disappeared on Netflix Canuckistan recently too.   icon_confused
90  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 31, 2014, 04:04:00 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on January 31, 2014, 01:25:36 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 31, 2014, 03:03:51 AM

Quote from: kronovan on January 30, 2014, 07:35:16 PM

  • The Last Exile; don't know how to describe, but it's for sure epic.
  • Darker Than Black; somewhat dark urban arcana (may also be on Netflix)

I loved The Last Exile and went to the trouble of tracking down a copy of 'The Murata Range Complete Set Edition' on DVD back in 2008. And yes, Darker Than Black is on Netflix.

Darker Than Black isn't on Netflix for me.

If you're also considering any of the others in the list I posted, I'd recommend viewing those before Darker than Black. It's an excellent anime, but it's a small notch below the others I listed.
91  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 30, 2014, 08:10:53 PM

Quote from: Razgon on January 30, 2014, 07:53:35 PM

Is any of the anime kinda like epic western adventures without the heroes being kids with spikey hair and big swords or small girls? Not judging, its just not for me.

No, not really. You have to remember that anime features and series are primarily funded by Japanese companies and any production has to sell well in that maket. That market has really only proven to have a taste for westerns that have some twist on them or are cross-genre. So there's Trigun which has a lot of comedy, some steampunk and yeah, the wacky anti-hero with weird hair. There's also a fair amount of space cowboy like Cowboy Beebop and Oultaw Star. Usually when a Japanese producer gets an itch to produce something along the lines of a Western, it's almost always a Samurai movie - usually with a revenge story. Those are afterall the western equivalents for that culture.
92  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 30, 2014, 07:35:16 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on January 30, 2014, 01:14:23 PM

It's been a long time since I did the anime thing, but I've added it to the queue.  

Is there anything else in the last, say, 10 years that is "must see"?

Of the ones listed here, I would put Bebop and Escaflowne in that category.

If you're looking for series, these are the animes in the past 10 years that have impressed me the most:

  • The Last Exile; don't know how to describe, but it's for sure epic.
  • Samurai 7; a sort of steampunk retelling of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai
  • Samurai Champloo; Samurai revenge with hip hop thrown in (may already be on Netflix because it's available on netflix.ca)
  • Planetes;  blue collar sanitation workers on a space station -has to be seen to be believed
  • Darker Than Black; somewhat dark urban arcana (may also be on Netflix)
  • Technolyze; somewhat dark cyberpunk
  • Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2; IMO better than the 1st series
  • Gungrave; urban arcana/horror
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit; historical fantasy set in feudal Japan and China

[Edit] I didn't include Attack of the Titans on my list because I already mentioned how excellent it is. Added 1 I missed. slywink

93  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 29, 2014, 08:19:19 PM

Quote from: Siljanus on January 29, 2014, 06:42:15 PM

Quote from: hepcat on January 29, 2014, 06:39:18 PM

I started watching Attack on Titan last night.  I only made it through the first episode, but it seems like it might be fun.  I always appreciate subtitled with original dialog on foreign shows too.  The majority of voice actors they use for things without a real budget are just awful and take me out of the show while watching.

(ended up deleting my original post by accident and reposting which referenced the lack of dubbing)

Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by the subtitles.  Sometimes you get a winner like Cowboy Bebop.  But other times the voice acting falls a bit flat.

I've watched so many anime series that I've lost count - have close to 200 DVD/BRD anime volumes in my movie library. That said, this series really impressed me. I loved how the studio (Production I.G) captured the original style of the manga and I also really liked the direction - it was Tetsuro Araki who also did great stuff with Gungrave and Black Lagoon, so I shouldn't have been too surprised.

To me what was really great about this series is how it blended genres so well. The impressive/frightening titans gave it a sort of mythical fantasy flavor, but the other aspects of it seemed to be some sort of take on sword & sorcery and steampunk - maybe "sword & steampunk." slywink  At times it reminded me of Vision of Escaflowne, but that was probably due more to the overall quality of it. I agree with the other positive comments here - IMO this is definitely an anime to see, even if you don't particularly care for the medium.
94  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2013 -- Superbowl on: January 29, 2014, 07:46:56 PM
The Sherman gesture was definitely inappropriate, but I can tell you he can do no wrong in the eyes of some of the fans here in Vancouver. He's known to attend Canucks games wearing a team jersey. Needless to say I'm seeing a lot of Seahawks-Sherman jerseys being sported around town. I think if the Hawks win the bowl, he'll need to be invited to a corporate suite to watch games; unless he doesn't mind being mobbed. Heck, that's probably true now even if they don't win.

I'm not so impressed with his off-field behavior, but I'm also not much of a Canucks fan.
95  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Nightfall: A Deck Building Game I can Enjoy, Despite Not Being a Card Game Fan on: January 29, 2014, 07:26:49 PM
The theme is what does it for me. My kids  -particularly my daughter- can't get enough of horror-themed games like this. My gaming group enjoys it, but it's hitting the table more often with my kids. I love how the Dark Rages expansion enhanced the theme by intro'ing the avatars.
96  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] The Raid 2: Berandal on: January 24, 2014, 06:11:42 PM
The 1st film didn't get a screening in my city and I have no expectation of this making the silver screen either. I was mildly surprised when the 1st made it to Netflix. This sounds very promising and I'll almost certainly buy the BRD.
97  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2013 -- Superbowl on: January 20, 2014, 05:03:17 AM

Quote from: The Grue on January 20, 2014, 04:52:09 AM

Unless you're talking about some other roughing the kicker penalty (I was only able to watch the second half of the game), I think it was running into the kicker and was called correctly as the 5-yard kind.

I'm not sure about the NFL rule, but in the CFL the running into the kicker rule is called contacting the kicker and it's usually only called when a defending player makes contact with the kicker's kicking leg. Even when the contact is minimal, it's almost always called roughing the kicker here when contact is made with the plant leg. That's probably something that's different between the 2 leagues though.

[edit] Looks like Leo beat me to it.   slywink So it sounds like the rules on this are the same; just different wording.
98  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2013 -- Championship Weekend on: January 20, 2014, 03:16:37 AM

Quote from: naednek on January 20, 2014, 03:00:07 AM

Quote from: kronovan on January 20, 2014, 02:53:10 AM

Awesome! Hawks movin on to the Superbowl!  Oh man what a great game - a real defensive masterpiece.

just curious...  And I'm trying to be polite here.  How did you feel about the officiating on that game?  

I mainly want to see if it's just me being too attached to the team

I thought the officiating in that game was worse than any of the CFL playoff games I watched this year. It wasn't poor enough to ruin a game where 2 D's played a heckuva game though. The kicker call surprised me, but that no doubt has a lot due to me primarily being a CFL fan where with only 3 downs the officials HAVE to make that call correctly. I haven't watched enough NFL games to know if that sort of ruling is uncommon. The missed turnover call at the 1 yard line was IMO worse - a player holds onto a ball like Bowman did through all that pain, you owe it to him to get that call right. Not that it would have been a game changer, since as it turned out 49ers ended up with better field position and Kaepernick through an interception on the next drive.
99  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2013 -- Championship Weekend on: January 20, 2014, 02:53:10 AM
Awesome! Hawks movin on to the Superbowl!  Oh man what a great game - a real defensive masterpiece.
100  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Games similar to HeroQuest? on: January 15, 2014, 09:16:07 PM
It's been so long since I've played Hero Quest, but I'd 2nd your idea that the D&D Adventure games might scratch the same itch. As well, gaming friends that I know that owned and liked HQ also seem to enjoy Mage Knight.
101  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Games for Windows Live going away in 2014? on: January 13, 2014, 06:34:17 PM
Interesting wiki. I'm going to have to check into what my options are for Section 8 Prejudice, although it's more or less mplay only and that's probably dried up by now anyways.
102  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Looper on: January 13, 2014, 06:25:41 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on January 13, 2014, 06:07:54 PM

10/10 - kronovan reaches enlightenment, sprouts wings, and flies to the top of Mount Olympus to begin his rule over the remaining mortals

lol IIRC I think I made a post at this, or some website, that Inception was a 10/10. And yeah I did something similar to what you describe, but...sigh...it was all just in a dream.  Tongue
103  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 13, 2014, 06:11:05 PM

Quote from: USMC Kato on January 13, 2014, 02:08:13 AM

Watched the "Flight of the Intruder" last night. Still holds up very well smile

Yeah, I have this one in my library and it gets pulled out at least once a year. It's got one of my favorite Tom Sizemore performances, although I admittedly like him in just about any military themed movie. I only read the sequel to the Coont's novel, so that's probably has helped me to continue to enjoy it.
104  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Looper on: January 13, 2014, 06:02:19 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on January 13, 2014, 04:53:34 PM

8/10 is your 'absolutely loved it' rating?!

My love for it had a lot to do with the theme. There were a few rough edges, that brought it down a point for me. And yeah...there's very few movies I'd ever give 9/10 for, so maybe I do use the GT scale.  slywink
105  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Nightfall: A Deck Building Game I can Enjoy, Despite Not Being a Card Game Fan on: January 13, 2014, 05:41:29 PM
I picked up these 2 base/starter sets for this Deck Building Game:



As well as this expansion and promo:



...for about $40 in a Boxing Day Sale.

Admittedly, I'm not that big of a card game fan with the exception of the 2 Asian games Gang of Four and Tichu. I've got my fingers bloodied in the past with a few constructor deck games like Magic tG and Yu-gi-oh, but the power creep and PtW aspect of those was a turn off. I really enjoy the added strategy of a DBG game, but Dominion just didn't gel with my gaming group. Rune Age faired a bit better with them, but I don't get it off the shelf often. I'd sat down to the Coldest War a while back and really enjoyed it, but that group sort of evaporated and the player with the game moved away.Then I noticed one of my FLG's offered a 66% discount of the series in a Boxing Day sale and I immediately jumped on it.

Man oh man are my gaming group and I are loving it. It's got a really nice card chaining mechanic, a lot of meat to it and some very nice artwork. The chaining is challenging and cool, because it resolves in reverse order to how the cards were played, so what was a good idea at the start or middle, may end up in being a pain in the butt in the end.  The Dark Rages expansion added an avatar feature, which allows you to be something like a Vampire overlord or Lycanthrope warlord and get perks while playing cards along their lines of affinity while getting penalties by playing oppositional cards. This game is much more aggressive than other DBG's in that any card you play in a chain must be used to attack opponents when it's your turn. Needless to say social interaction is pretty damn important in this game. I could see the more aggressive nature of it possibly turning off the Dominion crowd who are used to a tamer game, but it really works for my group who tend to be more wargamers.

[Edit] Doh! - I just found Bullwinkle's post with its detailed review of this from a few years ago. Oh well...that thread was from 2011 so maybe it was better to not raise it from the dead, despite that being a very appropriate theme for this game.   Tongue
106  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] Looper on: January 13, 2014, 04:48:11 PM
I finally got around to watching this on the weekend and I absolutely loved it - one of the few SciFi films I've seen in a while I'd give an 8/10.  I thought the performance by Willis was good and those by Gordon-Levitt and Blunt were very good, but the one turned in by Pierce Gagnon was excellent. That was one of the scariest kids I've seen in a movie in some time. Definitely going to add this one to my library.
107  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Netflix Instant Watch recommendation thread on: January 06, 2014, 08:05:14 PM

Quote from: forgeforsaken on January 06, 2014, 07:46:43 PM

The Last Stand went up over the weekend.  It was the first American movie directed by Kim Jee-Woon, who did the absolutely amazing The Good, the Bad, the Weird.  The Last Stand is kind of ok action fair with Schwarzenegger, but lacks the magic of Kim's Korean films.  If you havent watched The Good, the Bad, the Weird yet, check it out, it's great and also on Netflix.

Sadly, the only Kim Jee-Woon we have on Netflix Canuckistan is his short piece in The Doomsday Book which is far from his best. I enjoyed The Good, the Bad, the Weird as well as his A Tale of Two Sisters, and I really enjoyed his A Bittersweet Life - his best film IMO. I keep hoping we get some of his better movies, but so far we've been shut out.  icon_frown

[Edit] Almost forgot to mention - but 2 excellent Korean films we have on netflix.ca are A Company Man and The Man from Nowhere. Don't know if they're on Netflix USA, but if they are you might enjoy them too.
108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hey Microsoft! on: January 06, 2014, 07:54:00 PM

Quote from: Purge on January 06, 2014, 04:43:48 AM

You have this vast wealth of hardware experience. You've been making controllers, keyboards and mice for the better part of three decades.

Yes they do, but from my experience they've haven't been particularly good at it. I've yet to own a piece of MS hardware that wasn't deficient or prematurely defective. And that includes non-gaming hardware form many moons ago, like the 80286 CPU upgrades they manufactured in the 80's. Even their mice and keyboards have been a disappointment for me. If you're wanting a decent fighter stick for the XB1, I wouldn't count on MS delivering it.
109  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on: January 06, 2014, 07:17:34 PM
I saw this movie last week and really enjoyed it. Watching it I figured out why I liked this and the 1st movie so much - IMO they've got a 70's dystopian vibe to them. Some of my favorite dystopian-themed movies are 70's films like Rollerball, Logans Run, THX 1138 and Soylent Green. Admittedly it might just be the nostalgia of my childhood, but I swear there's scene settings and art direction in this and the 1st film that pay homage to 70's movies like those.

I thought the performances by Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson were good. For me the story and plot were descent and in particular the details and twists around the environmental arena were clever. I can see where some may find the story silly, but there's few Dystopian-themed novels and movies I've read and viewed that didn't have some element of that and a strong need to suspend disbelief. I haven't read the Hunger Games books and doubt I ever will, so that may very well allow me to appreciate this more than many others.
110  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2013 -- Wild Card Weekend on: January 06, 2014, 12:50:52 AM
Now that was a great game, especially after that Colts-Chiefs circus yesterday.  Great win by the 49ers.
111  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hobbit finds a director on: January 03, 2014, 03:42:49 AM
Wot! Useless! How could anyone think stuff like this was useless:

"Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!"


Besides all that fun, didn't he have a meth lab and psylicybe mushroom farm in his basement? I mean the guy was the most fun character in the entire trilogy.  icon_biggrin
112  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hobbit finds a director on: January 03, 2014, 01:52:47 AM
I've read the Hobbit and LotR trilogy enough times -mostly to children- that I've lost count. Having read it that many times I couldn't care less how much The Hobbit diverges from the original story. I was more concerned about content being dropped in the 1st trilogy movies and was miffed a bit when Tom Bombadil and the barrow wraiths sections weren't there in the Fellowship. As long as the extra content adds something and doesn't drag on too much I'm OK with it. So far I've enjoyed both movies, so it's worked for me.
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Adventures of Tintin [movie] on: January 03, 2014, 01:41:42 AM
I've still only watched it once even though it's been on netflix.ca for a while. I agree about the editing - it was very good. Here's hoping Jackson equals Spielberg's directing for the 2nd movie.
114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hobbit finds a director on: December 31, 2013, 07:20:03 PM
I agree with both of you - Smaug is very well done and definitely one of the best beasts I've ever seen in a film. Actually, IMO all the production values are top rate for this. I agree with YellowKing's interpretation about the character's behavior discussed in heloder's spoiler. I thought his behavior was quite clearly explained by events and dialog in the film. My kids and I really enjoyed the female elf protagonist Tauriel  (think I spelled that correctly) that they added to the story. I'm not sure if she was an actual character in the Silmarilion or any of Tolkien's other works, but she was a nice inclusion.

Very enjoyable movie, and if the quality continues to improve, as it did with this and Jackson's films in the LotR trilogy, I can't wait for the final movie.
115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Homeworld HD Survey on: December 31, 2013, 06:04:40 PM
I missed the originals, but I was under the impression that Homeworld 2 was just a re-skinning of the original with better graphics. One of my gaming buddies in my BattleTech group was on the dev team for that and he told me it sold terribly. I guess there's some market for this, but wouldn't many of the potential buyers just be holding out for the next edition of other space RTS's that have released in the interim?
116  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wtf. on: December 31, 2013, 05:47:27 PM
So much wrong about that article, don't even no where to begin. I go by which console is harder to come by in my area to determine who's leading. Having followed the trends closely in the past 2 previous gens, my city isn't much different than other NA cities other than Nintendo's consoles seem to be a bit more popular here. The trends in my city also haven't been much different than the EU for the past 2 gens. PS4's aren't available in any of my local stores, whereas I can walk into any big box retailer and pick up an XBox One.

So I'm saying the PS4 is leading the XBox One, no need to dive into a full blown diatribe full of inaccuracies and fluff.
117  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/Ps3] Doom 3 remastered in BFG Edition on: December 31, 2013, 05:05:47 PM
Something that came up last year when we were discussing this was whether the BFG edition had online co-op like the original 360 edition. I did some posting in forums when Doom3 was being discounted in a Steam sale. I found out that there's a good fan co-op patch for the original Doom3 (Last man Standing) but it apparently isn't compatible with BFG. I never did buy either version, but I think if I do get one it'd be the original with the expansion.
118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What Collector's Edition purchase do you regret most? on: December 31, 2013, 04:55:43 PM
As a rule, I don't buy them because so many are preorder and I like to read reviews and impressions before I buy. The only ones I've bought are some of the Halo and Legend of Zelda CE's and I didn't regret any of those. If it can be counted as a CE, I did buy the Metal Gear HD collection for 360 and it reminded me how much I really dislike some of the games in that series. I traded it in the same month I bought it.
119  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [xbox 360]Games with Gold on: December 30, 2013, 10:17:15 PM
Awesome, only played a bit of my friends Sleeping Dogs, so IN for that!
120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Crowdsourced! Best video game novels / comics on: December 24, 2013, 12:34:51 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on December 24, 2013, 12:28:40 AM

I've never really found myself drawn to books based on games.  I think at least partly because I assume they are mediocre at best...

Actually that's really not the case - at least for Fantasy and SciFi novels. One of the main reasons being that with digital media being much more dominant now, the traditional publishers are less willing to risk the cost of publishing anything for that genre. Whereas for many of the game companies (video and tabletop) novels are in a sense "icing on the cake" for their existing settings and intellectual properties. The game companies have far less to lose and they attract many good writers who are aware of that.
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