Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Microreview [video game]: Brigador: Up-Armored Edition by Stellar Jockeys (developer)

Extremely Stompy


GREAT LEADER HAS DIED. SOLO NOBRE MUST FALL.

Neon lights, an authority violently overthrown, and buildings that crumble like they're made out of ash under your mech's stomping feet, all to a synth soundtrack. Brigador knows exactly what it wants to be. The good news is that it mostly achieves its vision, with a couple hiccups.

You play as a mercenary collecting a paycheck by completing missions in support of the Solo Nobre Concern. They're offering a ticket offworld if you can help them overthrow the factions controlling the city of Solo Nobre. You'll do this in an isometric action game from a variety of mechs, tanks, and anti-grav vehicles with dozens of weapons.

At first look, Brigador might remind you of the classic Strike series (Jungle Strike, Desert Strike, Nuclear Strike, etc) of helicopter action games, due to the vehicle selection and third-person isometric perspective. That's not a terrible comparison, but Brigador offers a lot more. Not only are there more vehicles, weapons, and pilots, but more depth to the combat.

You're armed with two weapons, and an auxiliary ability. Each weapon has its own fire rates, and their own behaviors. There are the standard machine guns and cannons, but also mortars, lasers, and shotgun-type weapons. Your mouse controls not only set the direction of fire, but also the range of fire, so you can launch mortars over walls, spray smoke canisters in semi-circles or lines, and shoot over or past enemies. This is cool in a lot of ways for the level of control it gives you over the destruction you're going to rain down, but it complicates what is otherwise a fairly simple action game. Instead of just pointing in the direction of the bad guys and firing away, you've got to actually consider their distance and aim so that you're not shooting in front of or over them. If you can't get this and just treat it like any twin-stick shooter, you're going to have limited, frustrating success.

The campaign mode offers a couple dozen missions with premade pilot/vehicle/weapon combinations that are fun, but it's kind of training wheels for the operations mode, which is much more freeform. Operations mode lets you select any pilot, vehicle, weapon you desire, and go on a multi-map romp with an open set of objectives and building difficulty. Early options and low level pilots offer easy difficulty and a couple maps to stomp through, but unlocking high level pilots will greatly increase the resistance and later operations become endurance runs to see if you can manage to keep up your health and ammo count across several sprawling maps.

The music of Brigador is also notable for perfectly pairing this dystopian mech action with Makeup and Vanity Set's synth sounds. It's a beautifully drawn game with a moody soundtrack that comes together very well. However, some of the weapon sounds could use some work. In particular, big cannons don't really sound like the size they are. They nail the whirring sound of very large machine guns though, which is great.

Brigador is a great action game after you've figured out its quirks. It'll frequently overwhelm and stomp on you, but rarely to the point of frustration. Your implements of carnage come in a large variety, so there's a ton of action to be had. It's only slightly marred by disadvantaged by doing more than action games of this nature normally do when it comes to weapon control, but that's a gift once you've got the hang of it.

The Math

Baseline Assessment: 8/10

Bonuses: +1 the Makeup and Vanity Set soundtrack superbly fits the mood

Penalties: -1 controls might put off some people looking for a more simple action game

Nerd Coefficient: 8/10 (well worth your time and attention)

***

POSTED BY: brian, sci-fi/fantasy/video game dork and contributor since 2014

 Reference: Stellar Jockeys (developer). Brigador: Up-Armored Edition [Stellar Jockeys, 2016]

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Microreview [film]: They Live directed by John Carpenter

Cardboard Carpenter


I’ve always been a huge John Carpenter fan, and I have fond memories of They Live. So I recently decided to revisit the film and see if it has stood the test of time. Verdict: not a bad film, but not exactly good either.

They Live is the story of a drifter named John Nada (Rowdy Roddy Piper) who arrives in Los Angeles seeking work after an unspecified economic crisis. It’s never clear whether the film takes place in the present or near future, so the crisis is either the 1987 savings & loan crash or a stand-in for it. John  finds work on a construction site, where he meets Frank Armitage (Keith David). Armitage takes Nada to a homeless encampment straight out of Steinbeck. But the encampment, it turns out, is actually a cover for an underground movement seeking to expose the fact that the world is being taken over by aliens, who see humans, and the Earth, as resources to be exploited. After discovering a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see who is human and who is not, Nada embarks on a vision quest to destroy the transmitter that makes the aliens look human.

It’s pretty interesting to watch They Live in 2017. It serves as a reminder that the anxieties of the present—economic precarity, inequality, environmental degradation, the militarization of law enforcement and declining social mobility—were just as scary in 1988 as they are now. The anti-capitalist, anti-elite message of They Live might also resonate with viewers in 2017, given the emergence of “democratic socialism” (i.e. continental social democracy with a pointless new name) and economic populism in general. I also thought it was interesting that Carpenter made the connection between alien exploitation of the Earth and the historical exploitation of the developing world.

Beyond that, though, it's just not a great film. Carpenter's best films, like Halloween, Escape from New York and The Thing, have incredible presence. They are moody, full of atmosphere and deep shadows. For that, one can credit both his peculiar approach to direction and the memorable synth scores he made himself. They Live just doesn't match up. The music--such an integral part of his earlier work--does nothing to build tension. Worse, the film suffers from uncharacteristically poor direction. There are all these weird pauses throughout the film: between lines, in the middle of action scenes, and so forth. And it doesn't help that both Piper and co-star Meg Foster turn in the most wooden of wooden performances.


In the end, They Live has some neat ideas but suffers from execution problems that I found frustrating. It's okay, but not better than okay.


The Meat

Baseline Assessment: 6/10.

Bonuses: +1 for Keith David, the world's greatest character actor.

Penalties: -1 for weird pauses and sluggish pace; -1 for disappointed score from a great film composer.

Nerd Coefficient: 5/10. "Meh."

***

POSTED BY: The G--purveyor of nerdliness, genre fanatic and Nerds of a
Feather founder/administrator, since 2012. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

6 Books with Mira Grant


Photo by Carolyn Billingsley
Mira Grant is the pseudonym for author Seanan McGuire. She was awarded the 2010 John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2010. McGuire / Grant has gone on to garner 13 Hugo Award nominations, winning three of them, most recently for her spectacular novella Every Heart a Doorway, which was also a Nebula Award winner.

Today she shares her 6 books with us...

1. What book are you currently reading?

In Other Lands, by Sarah Reese Brennan.







 

2. What upcoming book you are really excited about?

The sequel to Winter Tide, by Ruthanna Emrys.









3. Is there a book you're currently itching to re-read?

I'm probably going to give John Dies at the End, by David Wong, another spin around the floor soon.








4. How about a book you've changed your mind about over time--either positively or negatively?

The Dead Zone, by Stephen King. I originally read it when I was way too young, and thought it was incredibly boring. Revisiting it as an adult was a revelation.






5. What's one book, which you read as a child or young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?

The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle.








6. And speaking of that, what's *your* latest book, and why is it awesome?

My latest book is Into the Drowning Deep, and it's awesome because it does for mermaids what Jurassic Park did for velociraptors.



 




POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.   

Friday, November 17, 2017

THE MONTHLY ROUND - A Taster's Guide to Speculative Short Fiction, 10/2017


First of all, let’s just say Happy Birthday to the Monthly Round, which turns three years old with this installment, debuting in the Long Ago of November 2014 (covering the short SFF of October 2014). Free party hats for all!

October. For me, it means a lot of things. Typically, the first snow of the year happens. There's Halloween, with its long shadows and spooky revelry. For many, the month probably means autumn and gorgeous colors, but for me it means the first touch of winter, and the heat kicking on, and the shutting away of the world in an effort to conserve warmth. It means the tastes on tap today have a definite slide toward the dark side. We start with light, and happiness, and hope, and we end with a wrenching bleakness, a facing of difficult realities. In between is a powerful month of short SFF, full of magic, stars, and strangeness.

Sit down. There’s a chill settling in, but a drink might shake a bit of fire into your limbs. Settle in and watch the pour with anticipation. Then, enjoy. Cheers!

Tasting Flight - October 2017
Art by Ashley Mackenzie
“Fandom for Robots” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny)
Tasting Notes: A surprising tang gives this a punch of sweetness that almost overpowers with its joy, settled only by the complexity of its profile and the lingering smiles it leaves in its wake.
Pairs with: Peach Hard Cider
Review: Computron has a fairly ordinary job...for the only sentient AI in existence. He teaches kids about robots and artificial intelligence, something that he’s rather singularly qualified to do. Only it really doesn’t seem like people consider him the marvel that he is, judging him on the retro-futurist aesthetic he has, imagining he’s outdated despite his uniqueness, despite the fact that he’s sentient. It’s not until he finds a show that features a character much like himself, an older-style robot named Cyro, that he begins to understand just how much he was yearning to see himself represented in media, to interact with other people who won’t think he’s strange because of the way he looks. Enter fandom. I love how this story explores the ways that fan spaces allow people to explore and celebrate themselves. No, fandom isn’t perfect, and Computron does have to deal with aspects of that, but at the same time it gives him this new purpose, this new feeling of belonging. Where he doesn’t have to fit all he has to say into a tiny window inside a larger presentation on robotics. Where he can really get into something and be appreciated for it and make connections through it and shatter the isolation that had dominated his life. It’s a story about being a fan, and how fun and freeing that can be. The story revels in Computron’s journey into fandom, writing fic and offering feedback and just being an all around pleasant person. And it’s a joyous story to experience, clever and cute and playing with the tropes of how AI mirror humans, but how they are distinct as well, and valuable in how they are different, able to contribute in ways that are surprising and wonderful.

Art by Geneva Benton
“Barbara in the Frame” by Emmalia Harrington (Fiyah)
Tasting Notes: With a nose like fresh baked goods and a rich copper pour, the taste is sweet but complex, a tugging disquiet that gives way to a positive warmth and the feeling of home.
Pairs with: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale
Review: For many, college is a freeing experience, a time of freedom and exploration. For Bab, though, a young trans woman who already had a bad college experience once, going back has been difficult, even if being in the correct dorms has been a huge improvement. The fear of being “found out” and rejected is strong, and coupled with anxiety and a few other issues, it means Bab is something of a hermit, staying in her room where her main company is a portrait of her grandfather’s great-aunt, Barbara. Which might seem very lonely indeed, except that it’s a very special portrait. The story blends magic and navigating the strange and obscure social landscape of college. For Bab, it means experiencing the push and pull of wanting friends but not wanting to expose herself to danger. Of needing connections and community and fearing that she’ll never truly belong. The story does an amazing job of capturing the voices of a solid cast and finding powerful resonance in situations that might seem at first low stakes. Because it shows how Bab can take nothing for granted, how her world sometimes feels like it’s closing in around her, and how it can take a friendly face and a reassuring presence to make the world a less painful place. Plus, well, it’s a story that combines magic and cooking, bringing people together by the foods they cook, by the ways they each bring something different to the experience, to the meal, in order to create a feeling of completeness, safety, and belonging. It’s a quieter kind of story, but one that shines with an indomitable heart.

Art by Dario Bijelac
“Claire Weinraub’s Top Five Sea Monster Stories (For Allie)” by Evan Berkow (Flash Fiction Online)
Tasting Notes: Strong and with a taste of the ocean, the pour is an inky oblivion, an impenetrable cloud in which anything might lurk, but which reveals slowly a soft texture, a tenderness only seen in hindsight, only experienced after everything has been bathed in dark.
Pairs with: Oyster Stout
Review: Some stories take a long time to lay the groundwork for devastation. To map it fully and without blinking. Others, like this one, manage with the broad strokes of memory and pain, the absence of a person who, for the main character, was everything. And okay, I might have a soft spot in my heart for stories that in some ways are built as reviews that might or might not actually exist, fleshing out a world and, more importantly, a relationship by the way the narrator describes what these stories meant. It’s a piece that seems quiet, reserved, and yet that packs the emotional punch of a freight train, driving relentlessly around the space once occupied by Allie, now empty. It’s a story of layers and time and grief, each story pulling back another veil, revealing more and more of what has happened and what it has meant for Claire. Framing the stories around stories is a great touch, too, because it looks at the power of fiction in these situations. Not only to draw the boundaries of despair and give that feeling of lurking danger, each story mentioned one of monsters, after all, and darkness. But it also allows a framework to begin to heal, to allow Claire the power to begin to conceive of a world that is better. To reach for a place where she no longer feels quite so much pain. Where she can continue, and where perhaps she can be reunited with Allie, or at least find some way to cope with what has happened. It’s a short but elegant read that opens up this huge hurt but also the even larger power of speculative fiction to give hope, to inspire. It centers the power of imagination as a redemptive impulse in humans, to use to navigate life’s travails and find a course to a better future.

Art by Tomislav Tikulin
“The Whalebone Parrot” by Darcie Little Badger (The Dark)
Tasting Notes: There’s a distinct ghostly quality to the feel of this, the pour a gold leeched of vibrance, the taste an echo of something bright dulled to bitter, everything about it reaching for a light and hope that seems ethereal, cold, and distant.
Pairs with: Pale Ale
Review: Erasure and family and colonial harm mix and mingle here as Emily—a young woman who grew up in an orphanage that stripped her of her Native American heritage, name, and language and tried to make her acceptable for the white society that consumed her land—visits her sister, Loretta, who is about to give birth to her first child. The story captures a nicely Gothic style, setting up the isolation and distance and haunted nature of place that Emily must inhabit. Her sister is married to a white man, supposedly liberal, and yet for all his kindness his world is defined by his language, that of empire and white dominance, and his view toward his wife and her sister is hardly free of either misogyny or racism. Instead he is an Intellectual, burdened by his own family issues and sure that those thorny problems of inheritance and pride supplant the very real dangers that Emily and Loretta face from a source he refuses to recognize. The source? The ghost of a parrot, which Emily knows is serious but which Albert believes, in Gothic tradition, is an indication that something Isn’t Right with Loretta, or Emily, or both, an entirely different kind of threat for them to Be Quiet or else end up in an institution. The weight of expectations and Albert’s refusal to truly risk himself, placing as primary importance the securing of his fortune, is something the story weaves into this malevolent force, revealing just how at risk the sisters are when they think the system will ultimately protect them. And I love how the story shows that it’s only by finding strength in each other and the heritage that everyone else seems to think is better off erased, that Emily and Loretta can hope to survive and overcome. By doing what they need to do, regardless of what they are allowed to do. It is an empowering, redemptive story that does not conceal the danger or the dark, but shows how it can be fought, and defeated.

“To Us May Grace Be Given” by L.S. Johnson (GigaNotoSaurus)
Tasting Notes: Brash and with the taste of blood, wine and beer meet and battle here, the pour a riot of ruddy copper, the first sip bitter, the experience memorable and strange and bold and unsettling even as it dances with promise.
Pairs with: Syrah IPA
Review: Sometimes there are situations that have no good options. Where the setting and circumstances have been twisted and corrupted into leaving only hard roads paved in loss and blood. For Addy, a young person being raised as a boy to make them less of a target for abuse and rape, the world seems mostly what their mother tells them, a pit of vipers and a landscape of monsters. Faced with the prospect of being forced off their land by a man with considerable pull in the frontier town, Addy’s mother hatches a plan, to use a monster to kill another monster. In so doing, though, she reveals the cruelty and violence in her own heart, and Addy is left in a situation where there is no way out without doing harm, without betraying someone. The story is fast, visceral, and unsettling as fuck. This is a setting where to survive is essentially to become a monster, where violence and abuse are so woven into the fabric of society that there is getting away from it. Addy is put into an impossible situation and wants only the uncomplicated love of their animals and for a bit of safety in a dangerous world. What they get is a conflict they never wanted and no way to avoid the chaos and the noise and the death that finds them. It’s a story that weaves together vampires and six-shooters, blood and magic and revenge. It has a power to it, and a momentum that cannot be denied or delayed. And it also has something, coated in mud and mire and all manner pain, but beautiful all the same—that in a world where everyone is a monster, you still have choose what kind of monster you’ll be. That a broken world is no excuse for not trying to do the right thing, even with the right thing is impossible. That for Addy, the most important thing is to be true to themself, and to see how far that will get them.

Art by RubĂ©n Castro
“My Struggle” by Lavie Tidhar (Apex)
Tasting Notes: Evoking an older German style, this updates and twists expectations, offering up a freshness that breathes with the feeling of autumn—of fading light, the coming of winter, and the crunch of dead leaves underfoot.
Pairs with: Oktoberfest
Review: So I don’t think I expected a story featuring Hitler (yes, Hitler) as a private detective in an alt-history noir mystery about the Spear of Destiny would ever make the Round. And yet this piece so deftly marries the offensive, monstrous narrative of Hitler, P.I., with a frame that makes it about the desire to rewrite history, about the many might-have-beens that could take the place of real-life atrocities. More than that, the story captures a tone and feel of a time and reveals through essentially making Hitler the “good guy” of the story just how dangerous and powerful stories can be, and how especially for stories of that time period, swapping Hitler with the main character doesn’t actually break the story. What does it say, in some ways, that this story exists, and that for some the urge might be to root of Hitler. Especially given recent events, the story seems to ask what people like this look like without the power over states. The answer is...they look familiar. And there’s the darkness and the horror of the story, the way that it builds this rather familiar narrative and makes it fun and almost farcical except for the parts that you can’t ignore or get around. Because, in the end, it’s a story with Hitler as one of the main characters. A story that is almost…fun as it spotlights celebrities and scandals of the era and builds a plot around greed and shades of fascism. And it doesn’t lose sight of how delicate a proposition that is, grounding the larger narrative not with Hitler but with a Jewish man trapped in the Berlin ghetto, trying to find distractions even as the reality of his life looms ever larger. It’s unrelenting and powerful and manages to make a story about Hitler subtle and nuanced, and it does it in breathtaking (and heartbreaking) fashion.

---

POSTED BY: Charles, avid reader, reviewer, and sometimes writer of speculative fiction. Contributor to Nerds of a Feather since 2014.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday Morning Superhero

This will be the final pre-Turkey day Thursday Morning Superhero and it has me reflecting back on 2017 and the books we were graced with. One of my most anticipated books of the year hasn't been released yet (Sword of Ages), but I find it fitting that this week we are treated to a pair of books from author Donny Cates. He has jumped out as one of my favorite new authors and someone that will have a big impact on this industry.



Pick of the Week:
Babyteeth #6 - The mystery grows as we learn a bit more about the Warlock Dancy and his connection to Sadie and her family. Sadie is clearly in need of help with her child, but she notes her concern about trusting someone who can easily alter people's minds in order to get them to do what he insists. In a particularly funny moment, Sadie spots a demon on the wing of the plane (straight out of the Twilight Zone) and Clark wakes up screaming! Being the potential Antichrist, his scream nearly brings down the plane before Dancy intervenes. Without spoiling anything, the location where Dancy brings Sadie and her family took me completely off guard and has me even more excited about unraveling the history between Dancy and his group. Mix in the seemingly unstoppable force that is headed Sadie's way and we have ourselves quite the impressive book.

The Rest:
Doctor Aphra #14 - Really entertaining story as both Aphra and Imperial officer Magna Tolvan are dealing with recent changes in command. The two come into contact as Aphra is on a team that is trying to steal data from the Clone Wars from the post that Tolvan is stationed. The two run into one another and there is clearly a mutual respect and possibly more between these two strong female characters. The evolution of Aphra from the time when she was Vader's partner continues to impress and I would love to see her work her way into another medium.



Darth Vader #8 - The inevitable run-in between Jocasta Nu, the Jedi librarian, and Darth Vader is nearly upon us. Nu is securing a database of all of the force sensitive children in the galaxy from a secret room in a Jedi archive when she is forced to detonate her ship after she is discovered. This draws the attention of Vader and what ensues next really has me excited for this series. The rage of Nu watching her books mistreated is a sight to behold. I love seeing a different side of a character that I previously knew little about.





Doctor Strange #381 - Donny Cates is taking over the Doctor Strange series and his first arc gives us a new sorcerer supreme, Loki! Things are working out about as well as you would expect between Loki and the other magical beings, but I fear he has grand plans for the magical gifts he has been bestowed with.  I have not read much Doctor Strange, but I am curious to see why Stephen Strange gave up his title and abilities and passed them on to Loki. There is likely a plan for this madness, but we will have to wait and see. I enjoyed Cates' debut on this title and look forward to continuing with the arc.





POSTED BY MIKE N. aka Victor Domashev -- comic guy, proudly raising nerdy kids, and Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2012.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nanoreviews: Vallista, Penric's Mission, Beyond the Empire



Brust, Steven. Vallista [Tor, 2017]
Vallista is something of a locked room mystery where the rules of the room keep changing because of magic and time travel. This is the fifteenth volume in the long running Vlad Taltos series of novels and Steven Brust's wit and charm are on full display here. I laughed. I had emotions. I was confused. I loved it. Steven Brust is spectacular. “Reader, I murdered him” was one of many lines I read aloud to my wife, and it's one that I'm going to leave here without context.
Score: 9/10


Bujold, Lois McMaster. Penric's Mission [Spectrum Literary Agency, 2016]
I'm left wondering quite what happens in the next chapter of Penric's Mission.  I would say that the ending is a touch abrupt, but the story of Penric's Mission is complete. It's just that Bujold begins another storyline late in the novella that is, presumably, going to be continued in a later book.  The Penric & Desdemona novellas are a continuing delight
Score: 8/10 


Wagers, K.B. Beyond the Empire [Orbit, 2017]
Let's not bury the lede here, Wagers stuck the landing with Beyond the Empire. Everything that you loved about Behind the Throne and After the Crown is in full force here, from the wit to the action to Hail questioning that she's the best choice to lead the empire but willing to do it anyways. There's scheming, plotting, murder, betrayal, and a whole lot of ass kicking. Beyond the Empire is a frigging delight and somebody should make a movie of these books. 
Score: 8/10


POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Writer / Editor of the mostly defunct Adventures in Reading since 2004. Minnesotan.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A (cranky) Casual Gamer's Manifesto (Updated)

I am a casual gamer. As in, very casual. Like it says in my bio-thing at the bottom, I'll play for a while, and then just sort of forget they exist. I loved Borderlands 2, and it took me, oh, about two years to actually play through it. Video games are in a cool place right now, they look amazing, they tell some amazing stories that are immersive, so I'm not knocking them or saying I have some great position on them.

THESE. I WANT TO PLAY AS THESE.


As that very casual gamer, I am stupid excited for Battlefront 2. The original two may be my favorite games of all time. Not because they are so immersive, tell great stories, etc, but because they don't. The best part, for me, is that you can literally play it for a few minutes, and then walk away, and not have to remember much when you pick it up again a few months later. And while the mutiplayer aspect that nearly every game has that side now, that's the beginning, middle and end of the first couple Battlefront titles. You can't do that with Fallout, Skyrim, etc.

The new one has a campaign, and it looks pretty awesome, but we're here for ground level troops dukeing it out on the best battlefields in the Star Wars galaxy.

At least, I thought that's why were all here. Apparently, I was wrong. It's all about getting the most powerful heroes and being able to wreck shop. If you pay attention to video games even a little bit (like, say, as little as i do), you've heard about this. It takes roughly 40 hours of gameplay (three years in Real Dean Time [RDT]) to unlock Luke or Vader. This I am fine with. Again, Battlefront is supposed to be about the troops, not the Jedi and Sith and whatnot.

The real problem comes in where the game has a micro transaction system wherein you can just buy credits outright, with your real monies, and thus unlock said heroes. All told, it costs about $800 to unlock all the heroes.

Eight. Hundred. Dollars.

In a sixty dollar game.

I have read comments such as: "that's like making me work a second job that pays less than minimum wage!" which, no. It's a game. No one is making you pay for heroes, players just want shortcuts. It's the same mentality that ruined the Old Republic MMORPG - players were so concerned with getting to level whatever as soon as possible, they never, you know, played the game. For me, and others like me, tagging along with our dinky lightsabers and level 12 or what have you, it got boring in a hurry - which is too bad, because the game itself was a delight.

I'm sure some of this sounds very "get off my lawn", and maybe it is. There are a million games out there - good, fun games - that are suited to getting the heroes, the upgrades, the best gun, armor, etc. That's not what this game is, though - or should be. Dice could have easily avoided the whole mess by not having microtransactions at all. By having heroes be earned in a reasonable manner, and not making them such a key part of the game.

And then make a game centered around Heroes that has good lightsaber controls and I am in. For, like, a month at least.

Update: All heroes have had their cost reduced by 75%. Enjoy your instant gratification. Kids these days...

-DESR

Dean is the author of the 3024AD series, is an aficionado of good drinks (extra dry martini; onions, not olives), good food and fine dress. When not holed up in his office tweeting obnoxiously writing, he can be found watching or playing sports, or in his natural habitat of a bookstore.
He also has an unhealthy obsession with old movies and goes through phases where he plays video games before kind of forgetting they exist.
He lives in the Pacific Northwest and likes the rain, thank you very much.