Archive for the 'What I’m Playing' Category


Play This: Santa Rockstar 3

Today was my last day of work for the year. Our Christmas vacation has begun, which is nice. It also means I’m absolutely exhausted. So I haven’t really had a lot of time to read, watch, play with, eat, or otherwise experience a lot of Christmas stuff for you guys.

So today, I’d just like to point you to an online game I discovered a few weeks ago: Santa Rockstar 3. This is, apparently, the third iteration of this “Guitar Hero” knock-off where you play as Santa Claus and rock it to assorted Christmas songs. It’s a fun little way to kill time, if you’ve got time to kill. Which I really haven’t lately. I need a nap.

Also, let me remind you that I wrote a Christmas book, which you can get for $2.99 on any major eBook platform.

And as longtime readers of this site know, it’s my little tradition to write a new Christmas short story every year. But this year, that’s not what happened.

I wrote two.

“Lucky Penny” and “The Stowaway” will be available as a free eBook sometime in the next couple of days — I’ll let you know. My little Christmas gift to you. (And like all Christmas gifts it will be a limited time only. Get it while it’s free, because in January the price will go up to a wallet-crushing 99 cents.)

Okay, Love you guys. I’m going to bed.


An update or two

My New Year’s resolution, made almost two weeks ago, was to produce at least a page of fiction writing every day. So far, I’ve managed to accomplish that, between Tales of the Curtain and the yet-untitled Christmas Eve project. I haven’t produced as much as I would like — I blame a combination of work, online responsibilities, and stupid procrastination — but I’ve made it to my goal each day. So that’s something.

DC Universe online launched this week, but I haven’t been able to play it yet… or even load it on to my computer. Why? Because Best Buy doesn’t seem to know how to hold a pre-order. I don’t buy a lot of video games, but I pre-ordered this one, put some money down, and worked under the bizarre assumption that my pre-ordering and money down would somehow translate into a physical copy of the game being reserved for me. When I arrived at the store, though, I was told that they were out, but fear not! There were a whopping six copies coming in late Thursday night, so I could try again on Friday. Try, of course, there didn’t seem to be any indication that one of these six copies would be designated as mine either. The whole thing reminded me of a certain Seinfeld episode, which Jason from BSI Comics had conveniently supplied a YouTube link to by the time I got home from the store (having vented my frustration on Twitter). Jerry’s reaction here pretty much sums up my feelings perfectly.


DC Universe Online-A Non-Gamer’s Perspective

Things to write, work to do… I’m busy tonight, so rather than trying to duplicate my efforts and turn out yet another piece of internet brilliance, would anyone mind if I just use this occasion to direct you to my CX Pulp review of the upcoming DC Universe Online video game? I was lucky enough to crack into the beta test of the game for a while back in November, and with the game coming out this week, I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

I’m not a gamer, you should know. I don’t play an awful lot of video games, so if you’re looking for a really in-depth look into the playability or comparison to other games, this is not the place you should start. These are the thoughts on the game of a guy who loves the comics. Hope you’re cool with that.

DC Universe Online — A Non-Gamer’s Perspective


What I’m Playing: LEGO Batman

Here’s something I haven’t had many chances to post here — today I’m going to talk a little bit about a video game I’m playing.

I know. It surprised me too.

I don’t play a lot of video games, folks. I’m usually doing something else and, to be frank, I’m not that good at them. So it’s got to be something I really want to play to take my time. If DC Universe Online finally comes out next year, I’m gonna be all over that bad boy.

But last year I got a chance to play the LEGO Star Wars game for a few minutes and I thought it was fun. When I heard LEGO Batman was going to be available for PC (I have no X-Box, no Playstation, no Wii… I’m a heathen) I thought it’d be fun to give it a spin. And when I found it on sale yesterday, I picked it up. I’ve spent most of the afternoon spinning through the LEGO-ized version of Gotham City.

As far as sheer gameplay goes, this is a lot of fun. The designs are great and the animated “story’ sequences that provide the plot of the game are really funny. Robin comes across a little buffoonish, which bothers me as a fan of Tim Drake, but it works with the tone of the game. The plot, basically, is that a mass breakout occurs at Arkham Asylum, releasing nearly all of Batman’s foes at once, so he and his allies have to cut loose to capture them.

The game contains 30 levels — 15 you play as the heroes and 15 as the villains, and you tag-team with another character in every level. So far, I’ve only played the first “story” of five hero levels, featuring Batman and Robin tracking down the Riddler and Two-Face (who have also recruited Clayface, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Freeze in their scheme). The controls took a little getting used to, but once I got the hang of it, I did fine. There’s a lot of action — a lot of times where you just go around and beat up villains — and that’s fine. You also find yourself building things out of LEGOs to create weapons, vehicles, and other things. Plus, almost everything is breakable, since it’s all made of LEGO. The game totally simulates the LEGO experience — sometimes you’re the kid getting to put together crazy things, sometimes you’re the jerk who shows up and just starts breaking everything. The level where you pilot the Batmobile and try to capture Two-Face in his armored car features more destruction than the last three Michael Bay movies.

It’s not all punching and breaking, though. There’s some strategy involved here too. All of the characters can find alternate suits with different abilities — Batman has a”Glider” suit, for instance, Robin has an “electromagnetic” suit, and so on. You need certain suits to open certain doors or activate certain devices. What’s more, once you’ve beaten a level, you can go back in “free play” mode, which allows you to trade off between any of the suits or characters you’ve unlocked and find different items or locations that you couldn’t get to the first time you played the level.

Like I said, I don’t play a lot of video games, but I really had fun with this one… and I’ve really only gone through a sixth of the game. I expect to have a lot of fun playing through the rest.

On a totally unrelated note, I caught Frank Miller’s version of The Spirit last night. In a nutshell… there were some things to like about the movie, but not nearly enough to counter terrible performances by usually-good actors, horrendous dialogue, and a painful disrespect for the history of one of the greatest comic book characters ever created. You can read more details (although mostly spoiler-free ones) at my review at

Hmm. The poster says “My city screams.” Not as much as the fans, Mr. Miller.

June 2023

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