SW Edge of the Empire Beginner Game art"A Look at the Edge" is a series of reviews covering the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Roleplaying Game by Fantasy Flight Games, which will review newly released products and supplemental online content and discuss experiences playing and running the game.



When Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) announced the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire game back at GenCon 2012 with the release of the game's Beta, my nerd heart just about burst in my chest I was so excited. Star Wars brought me into geekdom, Star Wars roleplaying was my introduction to the GM's chair, and many of my fondest gaming moments have been set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. My gaming tastes have changed significantly from the rules crunchy d20 systems used for the last two Star Wars games, so I was even more delighted when I learned that FFG is taking Star Wars to a rules light, almost indie game design, which has a greater emphasis on roleplaying and characters than tactics and micromanaging. The Beta book was a fantastic way to kick off Edge of the Empire, but now we finally have the first true product in the new Star Wars line of games, the Beginner Game.

 

LEGO LOTRThe LEGO games have remained pretty consistent with many of their features over the years, but there have been some very noticeable changes with each production, such as the inclusion of voice actors for LEGO Batman 2, but there are several differences in this latest addition to the LEGO game roster.  Likewise, the level of frustration has grown with the differences, and I believe that the game plays way more like a traditional RPG (if you can believe that) than should be possible.  But, regardless of the frustration and annoyance that completing this—and the other LEGO games—brings about, I still had way too much fun with all of the jokes thrown in.

SPOILERS BELOW

Assasins Creed 3Beginning in 2007, the Assassin's Creed series has spent a lot of time building up to this much-anticipated sequel. Assassins' Creed III (AC3) wraps up the modern-day story of Desmond Miles and introduces a new ancestor, Connor, a man of mixed Native-American and English heritage, who struggles to preserve his tribe while fighting in the Revolutionary War to free the Colonies from British rule.

DishonoredSkulking through shadows, lining up your perfect kill, and, oh yeah, freezing time and teleporting across rooms to your heart's content. Dishonored is another in a growing trend of assassin games, but it offers plenty of new concepts to the genre. After the Empress is murdered and the blame pinned on you, her protector, you don a mask and set out to eliminate those behind the conspiracy that killed her and ruined your life, one by one . . .

 

FTL with ReviewFTL is a rogue-like space exploration and survival game that began as a Kickstarter earlier this year. You play as a Federation starship with the mission to deliver vital information to the fleet with the Rebel armada in hot pursuit. The interface is relatively simple with you moving crew members from stations aboard the ship and repairing damage while making use of the ship's systems like weapons, shields, and engines to overcome obstacles before jumping to the next star system. The game has some RPG elements where systems can be upgraded and new items bought at stores to increase your effectiveness.

 

Borderlands2 with ReviewBorderlands 2 is the successor to what was one of the most popular new IPs in 2009. Maintaining the same first-person shooter/RPG gameplay as the first, players take on the role of a Vault Hunter on the planet Pandora and have to fight their way through bandits, robots, and alien beasts while looting and leveling to their heart's content. Borderlands 2 surpasses its predecessor in almost every way, delivering the same great combat and offbeat sense of humor with more guns, great characters, guns, varied quests, more diverse settings, and, oh yes, guns.

 

School Daze with ReviewSchool Daze is an RPG which takes high school and makes it fun. Think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, Saved by the Bell, The Breakfast Club, Veronica Mars, etc. How many great TV shows and movies took the setting of high school and made it fun?  Now, you can too!


I first talked about School Daze when it was in its Kickstarter phase back in March. The rules haven't changed since then, though creator Tracy Barnett has added a lot of fluff to the setting for the book's official release.

 

Star Trek OnlineSo, you want to play one of those massive, multiplayer online roleplaying games, but you don’t have the funds to shell out on a monthly basis to get your Jedi skills trained or to raid the Horde? What do you do?  Look for those rare, yet still satisfying, free-to-play games such as DC Universe Online or Star Trek Online, where you can get all of the gameplay multiuser interaction—both the good and the bad—without having to become a case study for a psychology course.  But, even if it’s free-to-play, is it still worth your precious Geek time?  In this case, yes, it is. Star Trek Online is great for people who are casual RPGers, as well as the die-hard Trekkies who enjoy spotting the little cameos and references within the game.  So, give it a try—in fact, I’ve gone ahead and done it for you, so you can see what I think of it.

SPOILERS BELOW

 

DD Playtest 2aWizards of the Coast (WOTC) is hard at work on the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, currently called D&D Next, and has a huge playtest underway. If you're looking for some more background on how this edition is shaping up and what was included in the first playtest packet, check out Jason Enright's excellent post about his first impressions. On August 13, Wizards released packet 2, which included all of the necessary rules for creating and running a D&D Next character up to the fifth level.  Overall, this packet is a great next step for the playtest for those of us who had exhausted the resources provided in packet 1. I took the time to go over the new information and even roll up a few characters of my own to see how these rules worked together and thought I'd share my impressions.

 

Amazing Spider-Man VGSpidey has had it rough when it comes to video games. Like most superhero games, it's pretty difficult to capture the feeling of actually being that hero. 'Till this day, poor Superman has not once had anything decent in this regard but lucky for us, Spider-man has. The Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man video games beautifully captured what it felt like to really BE Spider-Man. As a life long Spidey fan, these games were like a dream come true. Web-slinging through the city of Manhattan never felt more rewarding. Of course, those games came out back in 2004 and 2005, and almost every Spidey game that has followed has paled in comparison. The one exception would be Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, which sacrificed the open world of the previously mentioned games yet still delivered a unique gaming experience playing as 4 different variations of our hero. It's follow up, also by Shattered Dimensions developer Beenox, was a disaster that decided to limit our hero to indoors only. And, don't even get me started on the Spider-Man 3 movie game.

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