The Tale of the Lizard Wizard

After a solid week and a half of barely playing any other video games, my Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim review went up this morning. I really enjoyed it, and I’m pretty proud of this review in particular. I think it captures the essence of why the game was so engaging for me. Also, though I didn’t use the phrase, Bryan caught that my Argonian mage was a Lizard Wizard. The tone of my review was too serious to mention that, but I’m glad someone noticed it. I would often sing to myself “lizard wizaaaaaard!” like a jingle while blasting fools with fire.

His proper name is Lacertus, after the lizard genus Lacerta, mixed with ancient Roman naming conventions. Yes, I really did put that amount of thought into it, and if you’re going to spend several dozen hours with a character, you should too.

I had a very, very brief encounter with the Rayman: Origins demo yesterday, and man is that a fun, charming game. Mario 3D Land might have a run for its money in the platformer category this year. I say this without having played either to completion, though, so take my speculation with a grain of salt.

The big news today was that Marvel is going to start offering digital copies as a freebie with the physical copies of its Ultimates line. I only own an iPhone, not an iPad, but as someone who is at least considering a Kindle Fire this is great news. Plus, it’s just smart business. The Marvel Ultimates books are generally pretty thick, so they feel more-or-less worth the extra buck, but this is really the direction comics are going. Hopefully DC will follow suit.

Speaking of comics! Thanks to my internet crapping out on me last night, I didn’t do my usual New Comic Wednesday wrap-up. So despite my fingers seizing up a bit from NaNoWriMo (1/3 down!), I’ll do that tonight. Probably a bit more brief than usual.

Ultimate Spider-Man #4: Continues to be my favorite current series. The writing is so sharp and clever, and the characters so likable, that it’s really one you shouldn’t be missing. This issue in particular had emotional weight, and it’s going to serve as the lynchpin. Years down the road, when I hope Miles Morales is still at least a Spider-Man (if not the Spider-Man) in Ultimates continuity, this is going to be the issue that people look back on as the turning point of his hero arc. This is the “Uncle Ben has been shot” moment, and it was done fantastically with due respect to the Peter Parker character. Fantastic art, too.

Batman & Robin #3: One of my favorites of the DC books, having a Robin dynamic — especially it being his own son — really adds a cool wrinkle to Batman’s character. This one deals very specifically with Damien’s pull towards what can only be referred to as “the dark side,” so some interesting character stuff. Also, one of the best splash pages in recent Bats comics.

Batgirl #3: I had been feeling a little done with Batgirl, and figured I’d give up on it this week, but I grabbed it because of a good deal at the comic shop that essentially let me get it for a buck. This is probably my favorite of her books so far. They had been boring me a bit during the main story but then roping me in with interesting endings. This one was a lot more consistent throughout and had some great interactions with Nightwing. Unfortunately, by necessity of the story, that plot point ends when the issue does, so the characters playing off each other won’t go into the next issue. Too bad.

Batwoman #3: I applaud DC for making a complex lesbian character. That said, I felt totally lost because I hadn’t read the first two issues. Well written, and a really interesting art style that’s more painterly than a lot of comics, but I basically didn’t understand anything about anything. I might have to read up a bit on what was happening so far and then come back to this one.

And with that, story time.

  • People complain about doing stories on units shipped, but I think they can be valuable if you keep the proper context in mind. No, this doesn’t mean that 4 million people own Uncharted 3, but it does mean that retailers had enough confidence to buy that many copies thinking they could sell them. From Sony’s perspective, that’s a big win, and it shows how much the retail stores will be pushing copies.
  • I’m not saying that all the bad press about Team Bondi’s management was correct, but reading the interview that served as fodder for this story, some of his responses seemed awfully curt.
  • Timing seems about right for God of War 4. My favorite part of this story is how my editor gave me carte blanche to speculate on what the plot could be about. Usually I stick to straight facts, so that was pretty fun.
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