The Lost Lighthouse Reviews: Eldritch Horror

Name: Eldritch Horror
Players: 1-8
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Tagline: “A Board Game Of Global Mystery”

So, this was probably one of the most anticipated board games of the year. It’s pretty much a squeal to one of FFGs most successful titles, Arkham Horror. A quick run down of Arkham Horror: you and a team of investigators solve “mysteries” around the fictional town of Arkham, trying to slay monsters and close gates. All in a desperate bid to prevent an eldritch god from consuming our world.

Where Arkham Horror was set in one place, Eldritch Horror is a global affair. The first thing you can tell when opening the box is that, once again, FFG is giving you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s bursting with great components and the card style is simply superb. The board itself is presented very nicely and it even includes a useful legend for travel routes. You also get a quick reference guide for anything you might get stuck on mid-game. This is a great idea! Through play testing they have clearly found points in the game where you might get a tad confused and supplied this to help keep the game going at a fast pace.

Eldritch HorrorThe game itself seems to me like Arkham Horror with slimmed lined rules and a slightly faster pace. You are against the clock to save the world, in this case the clock is the well named “doom track”. You also have a cool “omen track” which dictates exactly how f**ked you are! The main aim is to solve 3 “mystery” cards, I like these a lot. They really add to the narrative. The game play is spilt into 3 phases: the action phase, the encounter phase and the mythos phase.

In phase one you perform actions like travel, buying items, resting etc. In phase two you have an “encounter”. This is my favourite phase, FFG have done amazingly here. Depending on where you are on the map you have a specific encounter for that location, and there are a lot! Very cool. Phase 3 is the mythos phase. This is where the bad stuff happens! This can be anything from gates spawning, monsters appearing, the omen chart changing and the doom track counting down!

Now, did I enjoy it? I hate to use a cliche but it’s not you, it’s me. I think I want more out of this game. At some points I had lots of fun but during most of it I found I was just going through the motions: move here, pick up a card, roll some dice, move here, pick up a card, roll some dice. Maybe I was just having a off day. There are two mechanics I hate in this game, and I really mean HATE! The first of which is the “delayed” mechanic. If you get “delayed” you basically miss you next turn, all games can be improved by losing the “miss a go mechanic”. The worst thing though is that, at points, this game encourages you to become delayed by giving you reward if you do so! The second thing I hate is very occasionally, depending on cards you draw, if you fail a test you may have to shuffle a solved mystery back in the deck! Bear in mind these mysteries can take around an hour to solve if you’re not doing well.

I feel I’m putting too much of a negative vibe into this review. I do enjoy this game. The problem is it’s a very narrative game, why is this a problem? If your players really dig the Lovecraftian mythos etched into this game then it’s not, what so ever. In fact it’s a good thing. But if you are playing with people who don’t know their Yog-Sothoth from their Dunwich horror then the narrative won’t impact on them nearly as much. Also I would not want to play with more then 4 players, maybe 5-6 if they are experienced with the game. On the plus side you can go globe trotting with a bull whip and a bottle of whiskey! Who doesn’t want that?!

Overall I would recommend this game if you enjoy anything Lovecraft. If you don’t then maybe try something else.

Gary

The Lost Lighthouse: Weekly Rapture Ep.4 The Episode We Mention Jizz A Lot

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Hello faithful listeners. We sent Adam to Vegas and gave him all the money we’ve made from the website so far (£0) and we’re hoping he can, at minimum, triple it! For this reason I’m afraid he’s absent for this episode. Fear not though, as we have recruited podcast veteran Chris Tomlin to fill in for him.

We kind of discuss Titanfall, Terry Crews as a possible Luke Cage and the shit-hot shortlist for the new Dr Doom. We also discuss the Guild Ball Kickstarter.

The main talking point this week is our top 3 inventions from games, TV and Film that we want in real life.

I’d like to make a point of saying this is an extra explicit podcast and we say the word “jizz” A LOT! What can I say, Chris brings out the worst/best in me.

To check out The Black Sun Guild Ball episode here and to check out The Black Sun podcast click here

The Weekly Rapture Ep.4

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The Lost Lighthouse

Review: Tom Baker’s Ultimate Sci-fi Quiz

So, I was the lucky competition winner. Last year I won Welcome to Rapture’s competition to win the truly spectacular Tom Baker’s Ultimate Sci-Fi Quiz (with a note at the bottom telling me it has a “Galaxy of Clips and Images”). Damn I felt lucky! After many months of chasing, begging and threatening they finally sent it out to me… Last week. Now is my chance to sit down and see what I think! But I won’t be selfish with this, I feel bad for having robbed the rest of the listeners of this DVD quiz, so I’ll finish rambling and get on with a review of it!

It begins with a generic looking alien race (weird how aliens can look ‘generic’ but they are the green, featureless big eyed martian type). They tell me that this quiz will push my feeble brain to the limits. I am trembling with anticipation.

I am immediately faced with a problem. There is a two player mode! Of course my girlfriend has no interest in this and think it’s a waste of time (I’ll show her!), so I think I’ll have to miss out on the opportunity to share this experience with someone else directly for now.

One player mode is go. So the aim of the game is to answer questions, apparently right answers power my ship and move me towards Earth.

Appearance wise my spaceship already looks pretty phallic. I guess my character is over compensating for something?

Tom Baker did the intro, his voice is of course pretty majestic. My ship, AKA Amy is now trying to boss me into taking the quiz. She also insults you when you answer something incorrectly. I feel my self-esteem shattering by the second.

So the gameplay revolves around answering questions within a time limit. Then a clip seems to play, one of them had dinosaurs, so that was cool.

Well the first section was Literature, other than the Jurassic Park question the only ones I got right I did through blind luck. I am way out of my depth on this one. I pretty much nailed the Crazy Science section. My favourite answer was to the question “Why does the Terminatrix have the advantage over the Terminator?” “Because she has large breasts?” Hearing Tom Baker say Large Breasts is now in my top 3 sound bits ever. I hopped around the other sections and answered what I could, each one is virtually the same as the others of course.

In the end, it seems my casual sci-fi knowledge fell just short of getting me home safely. I died just short of Earth, 2,000 lightyears (two right answers). To be fair, if I had noticed the second page of categories relating to more modern things I’ve actually watched or read then maybe I would have made it. But no, I’m just doomed to drift into nothingness forever, with Amy… sigh….

Overall, this DVD quiz was certainly an experience. It took half an hour to finish, although I don’t think I’ve still got the best out of it having not tried to two player mode. For that I’ll need a volunteer! Once I’ve found a victim we’ll give it a play through and give a second review, I’m sure you’ll all be right on the edge of your seats, brimming with excitement and anticipation until then! Overall I’ll give this a three brain slug rating.

That’s all for now! I’ll be back with more articles later!

Kit

I don’t know who these Welcome To Rapture clowns are, but they sound like jerks!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 3 – The Floods

Welcome again folks to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse. This week we discuss Batman: Arkham Knight, Paddington Bear for some reason, our general indifference to the Transformers 4 trailer and the exiting news that we are finally getting those hoverboards we were promised, while Adam buys a lot of things and Gary deals with the floods.
Our main talking point this week was the Mass Effect series from Bioware. We talk about why we love the games, the most enjoyable sections, our favourite (and least favourite) characters and why choosing the female Commander Shepard is the only logical choice. We also touch on the end of the trilogy (without spoilers) and the outcry that led to Bioware releasing the ‘Extended Cut’ ending.
If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

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Enjoy!

3 Awesome Fictional Swords

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I don’t think this needs an introduction. Josh, tell us about swords!

Swords seem to appear in many of my major interests; reading, television, movies, and games. Often taking quite a pivotal role in the epic tale where the hero draws upon the power of a mighty sword to slay a mythical dragon. So I’m going to take this chance to list a few of the most awesome and badass blades. They aren’t all conventional and probably won’t appear in many people’s list. Also about that hero I mentioned, they also probably weren’t wielded by him. Read on to find out more.

Image Sourced from: http://mugen.wikia.com

Image Sourced from: http://mugen.wikia.com

Frostmourne –Video Game – Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft
“Whomsoever takes up this blade shall wield power eternal. Just as the blade rends flesh, so must power scar the spirit.”

Frostmourne is the cursed blade wielded by the Lich King. It’s power of corruption are beyond measure. Upon taking hold of the forsaken blade you forfeit your soul to the Lich King, in trade for his immense power and command of the undead scourge. Not a bad trade really if you want to go on a bloody crusade slaying thousands. Humans, orcs, elves and even demons fear this blade as many of their kin have been laid to rest, before being reanimated, and commanded by its wielder. Not a bad trade indeed.

Image Sourced From: http://forum.malazanempire.com/ (username: caladanbrood)

Image Sourced From: http://forum.malazanempire.com/ (username: caladanbrood)

Dragnipur – Book – Steven Erikson “Malazan Book of the Fallen”

This sword is my personal favorite on the list. Its badassary knows no bounds. From the outside the sword doesn’t seem too special, it is a silver hilted bastard sword, with an inky black blade that absorbs light. Now I know you’re saying that’s really not that badass. What makes the sword really cool is that everyone slain by the blade gets trapped in a magical realm. These souls are chained and forced to pull an immense cart pursued by the forces of chaos. But as the souls within the sword fall from lack of strength they add to the weight of the cart making it heavier, meaning Dragnipur’s thirst for souls can never be quenched. What makes it even more awesome is that the guy that carries it can turn into a dragon and took the sword from an elder god before trapping him for eternity to drag the cart.

Image Sourced from:  http://www.comicvine.com/ (username: Archaon)

Image Sourced from: http://www.comicvine.com/ (username: Archaon)

The Slayer of Kings – Game – Warhammer

The Slayer of Kings is the blade wielded by Archaon, Lord of the End Times. Yes, I know what you are thinking, anyone with a name like that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of. What makes him scarier is his sword, not only does it have a demon imprisoned in it, but a demon driven insane with rage and fury. Got to say that’s a pretty awesome sword. Once the demon imprisoned in the sword is unleashed it’s anger is all consuming meaning that it may even turn on the wielder. Really, to be using a sword of this incredible power you got to be a badass who feels he can hold his own against one pissed off demon.

So that ends my list of 3 awesome swords, I know there are a lot out there that didn’t get a mention, but these are swords that I think are amazing. I would love to hear if any of these swords would make your list or what sword would.

Josh

So do you have a favorite fictional blade?

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Contrarian Commenters

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Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

I am an individual pretty much consistently consumed with rage. Anger is the only basic emotion I have mastered, and I am known for my misanthropy and fury. I’ve decided to turn this into a semi regular article called ‘Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back’ in which I will discuss something that has irked me particularly that comes under the umbrella of topics that The Lost Lighthouse covers, really as an outlet. I won’t as a general rule rant about every day occurrences, mainly because I live in London and really don’t have time to write a new article every time something pisses me off, which averages out about once every 37 minutes. I’ll also round off each instalment with a list of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, to end on a positive.

So the thing that has been p*****g me off this week is people that are intentionally contrary or combative in comments threads for no f*****g reason. I know comments are a wretched hive of scum and villainy at the best of times, and a shower of c***s the rest of the time, but for now I specifically mean someone who reads an article or a comment from someone else, then contradicts or points out something totally f*****g pointless for no other reason than making themselves look better or to p**s people off. I’m not just talking general internet trolls either (though I f*****g hate those time and space wasters too).

One example of what I mean was when finishing a recent game, there was a particularly great story moment that was both natural and unique in its own way, for which the developers received a fair few deserved pats on the back including from the LGBT community for the particular story elements involved. Even the majority of the comments were particularly positive for once, nothing heinously homophobic. But then some d**k starts saying how it isn’t a big deal at all saying (paraphrasing) “Oh my god, why are people praising this? This should be something that is happening everywhere already, this isn’t newsworthy”. Correct, it should be something that should be accepted. It would be great if one day we don’t need a news report about LGBT issues in games (or other media too really, gay superheroes make news headlines) highlighting the achievements of those willing to push the boundaries to include this stuff, because those boundaries will have already been pushed and this will be as acceptable and expected as anything else in the media we consume. But we aren’t there yet, so the people that get us closer to that absolutely should get the props they deserve. It just struck me as someone being contrary ostensibly just to show how much more progressive they are, so progressive in fact that they don’t even care about the issue.

Another recent example was following the very sad news of Harold Ramis passing away, on a retrospective piece looking at his career. The piece was on a relatively nerdy website, so there was a focus on Ghostbusters and his role as Egon Spengler in both the article and the comments. Then some p***k decides to intentionally rile people up/try to make themselves look more knowledgeable or insightful by pointing out that Ghostbusters wasn’t the only thing he ever did (something clearly discussed in the article) and that it wasn’t that great anyway. It being that sort of site, of course there would be an Egon focus because that is the role that meant the most to people like us. That is what people will miss the most. Being contrary and arsey about it specifically in that forum doesn’t achieve anything. I guess I don’t post opinions often enough in comments threads, but I really see it in the same way as in normal conversation. If I don’t have something positive or interesting to add to a discussion, on or offline, I just don’t f*****g say anything! Just because you don’t have to open your mouth to say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the same level of basic thought about what you are saying as you would if you were verbalising it

Maybe my problem is just a larger one with comment threads. They can be full of pointless little fan-boy wars that don’t hurt anyone, or they can be minefields of the most deplorable arseholes that use the anonymity of the internet and hide behind cowardly little prefaces like “I’m not (blank) but…” to be disgustingly prejudiced against people they have never and will never meet based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. Spouting toxic s**t about any of that stuff isn’t acceptable in a group conversation, why should it be OK just because you’ve got a witty username concealing your real identity? Anyway there are much better reasons to hate someone, like their personality. Or how s**t their witty username is.

*Disclaimer – rants can and will stray off topic, and then end abruptly.*

What I’m playing – Mass Effect 3 Insanity playthrough

What I’m reading – Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks and Rachelle Rosenberg

What I’m listening to – Altered State by Tesseract, Something Witchy (new He Is Legend track), Howlin’ Wolf: The Collection

What I’m watching – Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2

Some Motherf*****s Are Always Trying To Ice Skate Uphill

Adam takes a look back on one of his favourite action trilogies for no apparent reason.

After re-watching the Blade trilogy recently, I decided to do a very timely retrospective about why I enjoy it so much, because this website is all about bleeding edge stories and breaking news. Blade II was one of the first comic book films I saw and really responded to. My Dad and I rented it from Blockbuster (remember when that was a thing?) when I was about 14 on a weekend when my Mum was away visiting her folks, and as an 18-rated film that really reflects my Dad’s approach to parenting (he also bought me Doom II when I was about 7). We both loved it.

So I obviously watched them out of order, but I got hold of Blade very soon after so lets start there. I am of the opinion that the first Blade film has one of the best opening scenes in any film. It opens with some clueless moron being lured into a secret club which turns out to be full of vampires. The sprinklers start spraying blood all over the revellers, and their intended victim is knocked to the ground. Things are looking bad for him as he crawls through the blood, when he arrives at a pair of unblemished boots. Everyone backs off from this newcomer, as the camera pans up to the only man who has ever managed to wear sunglasses indoors without looking like a d**k. It being fairly clear that this is our titular character Blade (Wesley Snipes), we are then treated to an excellent action scene in which he dispatches half of the clubgoers with a dizzying array of fantastic weapons, including a badass sword and a throwing glaive. Even if the rest of the film was s**t it wouldn’t matter.

header_blade

We are soon introduced to several other characters, including Blade’s friend and mentor Whistler (played for some reason by country singer Kris Kristofferson) and the big bad Deacon Frost who is trying to turn himself into a vampire god. The film culminates with another pretty decent fight, with some now pretty shonky looking special effects (it was 1998 admittedly) and an excellent victory line of “Some motherf*****s are always trying to ice skate uphill”.  Everyone should check out the alternate scene in the DVD extras “La Magra”, in which Blade basically fights a blood tornado with Frost’s face occasionally poking out to taunt him. They claim it is unfinished, but I can’t think of any “finishing” that would make it not s**t.

Blade II came out in 2002, and starts off again with a great couple of scenes, one with Blade hunting down vamps to discover the whereabouts of Whistler, and another setting up the threat of the film,“Reapers”, which are a new breed of vampires who hunt other the normal kind and have faces that are a terrifying combination of the Sarlac and very aggressive female genitalia. The vampires panic and recruit Blade to help them kill the reapers for reasons, teaming him up with a squad trained to hunt him that includes Ron Perlman and Danny John Jules which is excellent. Blade also picks up a new tech sidekick played by Norman Reedus, long before he became a one man zombie killing machine. Shockingly they betray him, even though he says “You obviously… do not know… who you are F*****G WITH!”. Also somewhat predictably, the vampires plans go to s**t because they were idiotic anyway, Blade takes a swim in a pool of very thin blood and once again kicks all sorts of ass (throwing a suplex into one of the fights for good measure). The special effects are considerably better, but seem to be overused in the last fight and don’t quite look right, but it is still a fun smack down.

Blade-II-003

Blade Trinity then came out in 2004. Despite some issues with plot holes (and a weird scene introducing a really cool weapon that is never used in the film), I saw it a couple of times in the cinema. 17 year old me thought it was a brilliant film, and to be honest 25 year old me still enjoys the hell out of it. The film opens with another hunt, with Blade getting filmed killing a human. The FBI rock up and arrest him, then he gets sprung by a group called the Nightstalkers. The only two properly fleshed out members are the ones on the posters, Jessica Biel playing Abigail Whistler (sponsored by Apple) and Ryan Reynolds playing Hannibal King. Reynolds gets a lot of flak for some of the poor films he’s been in, but he is the best part of this film (also one of the only good things in the Green Lantern film, and before the film goes to shit he plays a great Wade Wilson in X Men Origins: Wolverine). Consistently funny, has a great brawling fight with Triple H (who is not terrible in this) and he delivers with excellent venom what remains my favourite ever insult – “you c**k-juggling thunderc**t!”. The films plays out with Blade fighting Dracula (or Drake, whatever) because why not, when asked “are you ready to die?” responds with “I was born ready motherf****r”, then we get a keep fighting the good fight sort of ending. Definitely the weakest of the three, but a very easy watch.

So there are some thoughts on a trilogy that I have always had a lot of time for. They may be a bit cheesy and predictable, but they are brilliantly stylish and violent vampire flicks that were some of my favourite action films growing up, and even now I think they are incredibly fun to watch.