Tag Archives: Marvel

Marvel SNAP January 2024: Planet Hulk

Introduction

I saw last month that they planned to bring Planet Hulk to Marvel SNAP January 2024. This made me incredibly excited. Planet Hulk is my favorite story in comics, maybe ever. I loved the entire Greg Pak run of Hulk and Planet Hulk especially.

Yes, Immortal Hulk brought the Green Goliath back to his former heights after some lean years. But, I still think I prefer Pak’s take on Hulk and it bore the “Incredible” modifier instead of the new “Immortal” tagline. I mean, honestly, I’m just splitting hairs at this point. So, let’s take a look at the update.

New Locations

The Great Portal plays right into the Skaar deck. By giving you another 10 cost card to play, you reduce his cost even more. But, we’ll discuss that in the next section. Crown City, too, favors a powerful deck, as +4 to adjacent locations is pretty damn good in a game that sometimes comes down to every point of power. That thing is gonna set off some intense battles in the middle.

New Cards

Caiera

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Ongoing: Your 1 and 6-Cost cards can’t be destroyed.

Wow. I say. Wow. I already played Skaar to finish up the weekend quest and that card is powerful in the right shell. Who doesn’t want a zero cost 11 power card? Throw in Shuri and Taskmaster and the numbers get big quick in that deck. If I ever pull Caiera, I’m putting her in my “Ones” deck because screw your Killmonger, Bud. Herc is fun, but expensive, so unless you put him with Zabu, you only get a couple of moves to take advantage of. As previously mentioned, I don’t play much disco except to finish quests, so Miek isn’t a priority. Beta Ray Bill, as in the comics, is just another version of Thor. But, the Grandmaster opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that I hope I get a chance to discover. Overall, a strong batch of cards that I’ll have a ton of fun with, I think.

The Verdict

I think that I’m going to enjoy Marvel SNAP January 2024 more than I did last month. And, honestly, that’s saying something. I branched out to play some Conquest last month and got the Thor Hellfire Gala variant. I pushed at the end of the month up to Gold in the main play mode. That’s probably my ceiling, but I already played a ton this weekend to finish the Skaar quest and I’m planning my Conquest, uh, conquest to get that Ghost Rider variant.

Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite First Impressions

Introduction

Would you believe it took this long for me to come up with Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite first impressions? Of course you do. You’ve been here long enough to know that we take a while to get around to things sometimes. Honestly, I fully intended to cover this game when it first released. If I look back at my notes, I’m sure I’ll find at least one mention of the game in there over the last five years.

Then, I fell victim to the online troll factory that slammed the game as “not as good as the others” and it fell off of my radar. I genuinely forgot it existed until I went searching for a way to play MvC 2 and found out that I can buy the deluxe edition on Steam for like 11 bucks. Or I could. Looks like I missed the sale by a day. Hmm, that puts a new wrinkle into things.

Well, Isn’t That A Pickle?

I’m not paying 40 bucks for something that will be 8 or 11 again most likely by the end of the month. Instead, I’m gonig to set up an alert for the next time it goes on sale and we’ll all have to wait for my Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite first impressions. Until then, I’ll keep playing X-Men Arcade.

X-Men Arcade (1992): Noob’s Way Back

Introduction

After I planned X-Men for this week to make up for my lack of planning when I missed the monthly order on DCBS for this month, I wondered how to fit a single title into a week’s worth of articles? Then, I came up with a brilliant idea. What better way to promote “New Decade, New Games” than with a discussion of decades old games? And, so, to start this week of X-Men, I bring you the 1992 classic X-Men arcade game.

Luckily, what’s old is new again and my generation gets to call the shots on retro. Therefore, arcades are back (mostly in the form of barcades, but kids are welcome at the one around here) and I don’t have to explain to kids these days what it means to wait your turn in a crowded and sweaty mass of people for your turn to get your ass kicked by the local Mortal Kombat II expert.

Even Grandpa Joe says, “Finish Them” to the kids these days.

About the Game

This game came out the same time as other games like it. You take a popular IP like X-Men, The Simpsons, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, slap a few of the characters on to a cabinet with 4 controllers, make it look like the cartoon of that same IP, and people played it for hours. My personal shame is I spent my future kid’s inheritance one quarter at a time and this game swallowed many of those quarters.

I have no idea even what genre they called it. Simply based on the mechanics, I’d call it a side scrolling beat ’em up because that’s what happens on the screen. You walk sideways, beat ’em up, then walk sideways some more, then beat ’em up, etc. Eventually, you arrive at a boss that takes more coordination (and often more quarters), and guess what. Yep, you beat ’em up, too. Take a look at my expert game play in the video below.

*insert video*

Sorry for the poor quality. Was testing out the streaming set up. Future videos will be better, I promise.

So What’s Fun About That?

Honestly, not much. Playing the game by yourself takes away most of the joy of these games. You want to play with at least one other person. Preferably, you find 3 other friends to play, but the magic of the arcade is that you can meet people and make friends very easily around these arcade cabinets. Because you are there face to face, it makes it much more difficult to throw random insults about the guy’s mother without getting your ass kicked.

Yes, I’m Gran Torinoing it again.

The Verdict

Playing the game again verified what I remember. While fun solo, playing X-Men Arcade with friends is the way to go. I wonder if anyone has figured out a way to play over network on MAME. If so, reach out and we can beat up some baddies as the X-Men!

Marvel SNAP December 2023: Hellfire Gala

Introduction

The first week of the month generally means time for comic reviews. I promise that they’re coming. The comics arrived in the mail. I sorted them. I need to read them and review them. Before the end of the week. Besides, when I logged in earlier, the game reminded me of the Marvel SNAP December 2023 update.

They went with the Hellfire Gala this time. Without a major TV or movie release, I suppose they decided to take a cue from the comics this time. Though, I think the Hellfire Gala was a couple of months ago because right now they’re doing the “Fall of X” story line in the books. I forgot to order my comics for December, so maybe next month I finally get caught up on X-Men then.

New Locations

Neither of these locations wows me a ton. I like the idea of extra energy but rarely feel like I get to use it regularly. Perhaps by exploiting that imbalance each turn, I can play cards a turn earlier. Feels like a “win more” strategy. The white palace gives you a copy of an expensive card. Big deal.

New Cards

Selene

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On Reveal: Afflict the lowest-Power card in each player’s hand with -3 Power.

None of these cards speaks to me like the ones from the previous month. I generally don’t play buff decks, so Shaw and Havok won’t see much play from me. I like the idea of Blob as a troll card at the end of the game. I see no utility in Selene at all. She just feels really underpowered. Maybe late game if you haven’t played either of your Gobbys and you hit one of their bigger cards with it. So, some utility, I suppose.

The Verdict

The previous month interested me more than Marvel SNAP December 2023. I will still spend cash on the rewards track because I always finish it and it feels like good value. But, I doubt that I’ll play any of the cards other that to complete the special quests that they give you monthly to entice you to play the cards. Hey, I don’t mind the treadmill.

Pictures SNAPed from Marvel SNAP Zone.

Higher Further Faster: Marvel SNAP

Introduction

Just like the new Marvels movie, Marvel SNAP challenges us to go “Higher Further Faster”. Somehow I missed the last two updates for the game. But, I remember in time for this one. The update releases in a couple of days. I must say. It looks fun.

In one of my previous updates, I said that X-23 might alone bring me back to the game. While I played enough over the last two months to finish the rewards track and get her card, I have yet to play her in any one of my decks. Oh well, however it happened, I came back to the game.

New Locations

The Djinn also gives you +2 energy next turn.

This feels like a location that people will rush. Me, a filthy casual, already have the idea of Quicksilver and Domino and you’re off to the races. I have a hunch that we might see some sort of nerf on this one in the first few days. Maybe you only get a Djinn the first time you play a card or something along those lines.

I’m sure there’s some utility to this location that I’m missing. But, it just feels like one of those annoying locations that will reward my opponent and punish me. Yes, I’m one of those players who sees conspiracy in these types of games. 200 cards in your Magic deck and you still draw every removal and your stupid Agony whatever. FOH.

New Cards

Martyr

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At the end of the game, move to a location that LOSES you the game (if possible)

Wow.

Seriously. I see only utility and almost no draw back for all of these cards. I’m putting Martyr in my “Ones” deck. I fill all of my locations with that deck regularly, so there’s no place for it to move. Annihilus is perfect tech against the goblins and also The Hood and that stupid location that takes one power away each turn. Ms. Marvel belongs in my “Ongoing” deck. The only one that will probably end up screwing with me is Gladiator. With my luck, he’s guaranteed to pull their highest power card every time.

The Verdict

This update lives up to its “Higher Further Faster” motto. I love every one of the new cards introduced. I’m not sure about the location that transforms, but the other one seems very exploitable. See you in a couple of days, SNAPers!

Marvel Comics September 2023: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

How have we made it two weeks into Spooktober and I am just now writing about Marvel Comics September 2023? Well, I got sick a couple of weeks ago. I had to take Tuesday off and spent the whole day in bed. Then, I tried to go in on Wednesday, but only made it two classes until I came home and spent the rest of that day on the couch, too.

I started to feel more like myself last Tuesday. However, last week was homecoming week. So, every day, we practiced lip sync. Then, on Friday, I marched in a parade and watched the football game. Saturday, I chaperoned the dance. Sunday and yesterday, I rested some more. So, overall, the illness and homecoming kept me busy enough to neglect 2 Generations Gaming.

Decent

Amazing Spider-Man #33 and #34 (Writer: Zeb Wells, Artist: Patrick Gleason) Rekrap finally did Chris in. He texted the other day to say that he can’t take it anymore. I said last month that I need to keep collecting, but nothing means that I need to keep reading. Well, I read these two issues. And, like last month, I like this story. And, following from last month, I want to put these in the good category, but I reserve judgement because just when things gain steam, something dumb happens.

Good

Dr. Strange 7

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Writer: Jed MacKay, Artist: Pasqual Ferry

Strange flirted with “Great” a few months ago. It lost some of its focus after the wedding issue, in my opinion. This issue finishes up the 5000 year war and brings us back to the main story. The end sets up a possible showdown between Strange and his evil doppleganger.

I liked J. Michael’s run on Spider-Man during and after Civil War. Seeing his name attached to Captain America made me happy beyond words. I texted Chris about it. He said he never liked any of the Captain America books. I enjoyed some of them. So far, this one is early, but I like what I read.

Panther took some time to get going, but I really enjoyed this issue. I’m not ready to put it into “Great” territory right now. But, if this keeps up, I might need to consider it. They finally explain key parts of the story and the action ramps up.

Since the “Just Another Avengers #1” issue, MacKay developed this story quite well over the last few issues. This one brings out the heart of the Avengers through their fight against the villains and a reveal about the entity behind them.

Great

Guardians of the Galaxy 6

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Writers: Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzig, Guest Artist: Alex Lins

Fantastic Four continues a run of fun one or two shots in the style of the original title. Granted, I only read a few of those early books. But, I know the basic structure of the story. This one gives off all the goofy vibes and suspense that you can ask for.

Al Ewing ends his time on Venom with a bang. Doom vs. Venom becomes a battle through time and space. I will miss Ewing’s take on the Lethal Protector, but I’m excited to see what he brings to Thor now. Maybe after that, he can come to Spidey and resurrect whatever is left.

Guardians of the Galaxy finally gives some insight into Grootfall. It also teases that the Guardians are dead at the end of the book. Call me old fashioned, but it still hooks me to start a story with the death of your main characters. Can’t wait to see where this goes.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics September 2023 bring some light with the Spidey getting reinvigorated with some old friends. Most of the other books follow a similar pattern as previous months. A few are on the cusp of being great. I feel a bit like a shill here, but what can I say? The books are in a good place right now and I hope they continue.

Images from the mothership.

Loki For All Time Preview

Introduction

I wrote in my Marvel SNAP article last month that I lost interest in the game for a bit. At the time, I theorized then that it might end up as one of the many games that came out with great promise but then ended up in the scrap heap of previously loved games. I think I also wrote that a card like X-23 alone could get me to play the game more. Well, with this Loki for All Time preview, I can confidently say that none of that is true.

I played more in this last month than the previous two combined. That much is true. But, I never opened X-23, so it had nothing to do with that card. I just remembered how much fun the game can be and also how quickly games go. I finish my quests in a game or two and it rarely takes more than 10 minutes.

Why a Preview?

Due to circumstances completely within my control, I moved some things around and rearranged my writing schedule for this month and next. I planned to do Dungeons and Dragons last week and then moved it to this week. I further moved it to next week because we took full advantage of the end of summer. Quinn and I never sat down to play either Roll Player Adventures or D&D, so I have no updates there. My DCBS order arrived the other day and when I sat down with my planner this afternoon, I decided to slot comics into this week. I mean, Marvel SNAP always has a new update every month.

While true, the updates don’t release precisely at the beginning of each month. Last month, for example, the article that I used as a resource for my Marvel SNAP article came out on August 9th. So, the official word for next month won’t come for another couple of days. I sort of painted myself into a corner here. Luckily, some information got data mined and I can at least talk about the new cards. Maybe when the other information releases, I can write an update talking about the stuff I missed.

The Trickster

On Reveal: Replace your hand with cards from your opponent’s starting deck. Give them -1 cost.

Our Loki for All Time preview starts, predictably, with the man of the hour, Loki. While not generally a fan of theft decks in any card game, I might make an exception with this card. I like that you are replacing your hand with their cards. Also, my “no fun police” sense tingles with the chance to beat those disco and destro decks at their own game. I never played Daken. I intend to play Loki day 1.

The Other Cards

Ongoing: Your cards with 1 or less Power cost 1 less. (minimum 1)

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If I’m being honest, none of these cards interest me very much. I can think of much more interesting things to do on turn 6 besides destroying my opponents cards played at a certain location on that turn. Maybe I see some utility with the location that destroys all the others, but that feels far too limited for my game play style. I play a “Ones” deck sometimes to finish the quest, but I think they all have more than one power. Besides, they can’t have their cost reduced below one. I suppose she allows for quicker Gobby and Hobby shenanigans. Some other utility. I might try a deck for a game or two with her if I end up opening her card. The only time I ever see a card that increases the cost of my cards is Iceman. I suppose that Wave gets hit by this one and that’s sometimes a popular play to lock you out of playing multiple cards later in the game. So, I might put Mobius in my Ongoing deck if I can find a slot for him.

The Verdict

The only card that looks remotely interesting to me is Loki. The others have limited (or almost no) functionality for my play style. When I come back in a couple of weeks with all of the information from the update, including the locations, I can give an update on my thoughts here in this Loki for All Time preview.

Note: Images snapped from Marvel SNAP Zone.

Marvel SNAP August 2023

Introduction

This game’s entry into “Games I Once Loved But Now Lie in the Trash Heap Forgotten” looms large. After once calling it my Mobile Game of the Year all the way in December, I played it less and less over time. To my credit, I gave it more of a chance than Chris, who stopped playing months ago. Funny because he first introduced me to the game. Well, join me to see if the Marvel SNAP August 2023 update brings me back from the brink.

I played so little last month that I didn’t even receive the level 50 reward from the rewards track. I bought the pass and then only played maybe once a day while over in Germany. Then, back in the States, I never got back into the habit of completing my daily quests to let them refresh every time. I will admit, though, that at least one card caught my eye this month.

New Locations

Every month brings a new seaons and a new update. Those updates introduce new cards and locations into the game. This month’s focus appears to be destruction.

I rarely play destruction decks. I play against them often. They don’t usually frustrate me as much as discard decks for some reason. However, a destruction deck with this location on the board opens the door for some shenanigans. You can replay cards that give a bonus when destroyed and then destroy them all over again. Fun!

This one requires a bit more strategery and finesse than the other one. It destroys the last card to “get” here, I assume by either playing or moving. Few cards give bonuses for both moving and destruction. But, an opponent can try to frustrate you by playing or moving a card later in the game and destroying that card instead. Oh, you could set up a combo with a card, then move it with another card and get the bonus. Yes, definitely more of a thinking man’s location.

New Cards

On Reveal: Destroy each card here with less Power than this.

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Silver Samurai feels out of place in this update. Especially when you consider that discarding a card does not destroy it. Lady Deathstrike feels underpowered for the cost. 5 energy to destroy cards with 2 or less power. Granted, it has some utility and combos with some of the cards in the destro decks. I’d have to play it more. Daken gives you a shard that doubles his power when it’s destroyed or discarded, so maybe that’s how you work Samurai into the deck. Finally, my favorite character ever since Logan and I discovered her solo comic book, X-23. She also causes all kinds of havoc on the board. I think this one single card might bring me back to playing the game with more consistency.

The Verdict

Overall, I like what I see in the Marvel SNAP August 2023 update. X-23 looks to single handedly bring me back into the game and build a destro deck. Plus, she has some pretty sweet variants. Okay, just like with my history in Hearthstone, every time I think I’m out, they pull me right back in. See you in game, SNAPers!

Images SNAPshotted from Marvel Snap Zone.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3: Great, Good, Decent

Introduction

Like Across the Spider-Verse, we planned on seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 as a family. Christine likes these ones, too. But, Aiden ended up going with his girlfriend. Liam saw it with some friends. Christine and I got busy at the end of the school year and I thought I might have to wait until it came to Disney+.

Then, Father’s Day arrived. We usually don’t do much for Father’s Day. I’m not big on these, or really any, holidays other than the fall and winter ones. Those ones are awesome and worth celebrating. I just wish Halloween lasted longer like the others do. Anyways, I did what all dads do on their day. I fell asleep on the couch for an afternoon nap. When I woke up, Christine said, “Liam and Quinn want to take you to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 for Father’s Day.” Well, count me in.

The Decent

Not Enough Cosmo: Look, I get that not every character gets to be a main, or even primary supporting character. But, they shafted us with the criminally underused Cosmo. I appreciate the screen time and the dedication to the running “bad dog” gag. We also laughed when the three of us compared the dog to our own, Lilo. I just wanted more.

It’s Over, Man: Hey, I also understand that all things (good or bad) must come to an end. And, this ending works. It doesn’t mean that I have to be happy about it. I liked the Guardians from my introduction to them in the 1990s. I always gravitated to the oddballs back then and they were the oddest. When Gunn brought them back in the movies, I geeked out hardcore. Vol 2 shot to the top of my MCU list and it’s still top 5. So, yeah, I will miss the group going forward.

The Good

Adam Warlock: The Soverign started with big bad potential in Vol 2, became a gag when they actually fought, and then redeemed themselves in the post credit scene by introducing Adam Warlock. He, in true Soverign fashion, came onto the screen as a flash of indestructable light, then got punked and exposed as a mere child, and finally saved the day in the end. I laughed audibly when they referenced “The Creation of Adam” in that scene.

Gamora: I think I read somewhere that James Gunn disagreed with the direction of Gamora’s character. Maybe the article meant the Guardians in general. I don’t remember exactly. Respectfully, I disagree with Gunn. I liked seeing Gamora back. They made it fun by having her join the Ravagers, I’d like to think as a way to honor Peter’s heritage there. Then, she and Peter start to rekindle something and that just hits me right in the “warm and fuzzies”. Hopelessly romantic, that’s me.

The Great

Story: While not as engaging as the second movie, I still liked (well, “liked” is a stretch) learning Rocket’s story and connecting the dots. While I understand the High Evolutionary filled an integral part of the plot, I honestly didn’t see what all the hype was about. People kept comparing him more favorably against Kang from Ant-Man. I think they just wanted another reason to shit on that movie. Because, honesly, I didn’t see that the High Evolutionary was any better than Kang. In fact, as I watched the movie, I thought maybe they were setting him up as a version of Kang. Maybe that gets revealed in one of the next movies. I already said I enjoyed the Peter and Gamora story and the Cosmo “bad dog” saga had me in stitches. Finally, Kraglin working to keep the legacy of Yondu alive (complete with a “force ghost” scene) made me cheer. Overall, a great story.

Themes: Vol 1 dealt with family and how, in spite of what people say, you choose your family. Vol 2 focused heavily on father/son relationships and that’s solely why it holds such a high place in my rankings. This one, as much of the media I consume lately, brought to light past trauma and how we deal with that and (hopefully) move on. I understand that we all, well, understand more about the role that trauma plays in our lives and how toxic the effects of that trauma can be if not dealt with. I, personally, talked about some of that in Noob’s Book Club especially with the death of my father. So, thank you James Gunn (and, unrelated to this but still relevant, Alanis Morrissette) for helping me and my family heal.

The Verdict

I still like Vol 2 just a tiny bit more than this one. The focus of fathers and sons, with the song played just in case you missed the theme, made me focus on the kids in my own life and how I can be a better father to them. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, with it’s theme of trauma also came at a good time, but I’m actually on the other side right now, so it only made me feel better about where I am versus where I was.

Marvel SNAP in the Spider-Verse

Introduction

I last wrote one of these articles in February. I think I knew at the time that they planned to release a new “season” every month. Somehow, March, April, and May went by without me writing anything about the game that last year I called the mobile game of the year. Well, better late than never. And, honestly, what better time to rejoin the game than Marvel SNAP in the Spider-Verse?

Heck, my wife just texted us all in the group chat not to make any plans for Friday because she wants to go to the movies as a family. I felt bad reminding her that I got invited to one last Conant graduation for the seniors this year. Aiden also wrote that he made plans with friends for Friday. Oh well, she said, there’s always Saturday. The movie she wanted to watch? Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

New Locations

I wrote a quick blurb about the four new locations in Quantumania. Since they only released two new locations this time, I have some more room to discuss each one. As we will see with the card release, movement is the theme of this season. This location fits right in with that. I have a move deck that I play for fun sometimes. Hitting this location with a Multiple Man gives me the warm and fuzzies all over.

Now, this thing just looks bananas. If you get this one as the first location, that’s five turns of things getting moved. I suppose you can play around it by focus firing on this location, but that leaves the other two wide open unless you have cards that make cards like Sinister. I get the feeling that before long, unless I’m playing my move deck, this will be one of those locations that I grumble about when I see it.

New Cards

Spider-Ham

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On Reveal: Transform the highest-cost card in your opponent’s hand into a Pig, keeping its Power and Cost.

Okay, I admit to not understanding the functionality of the Spider-Ham card. Does it remove all effects from the card and just retain the power and cost? If so, then it acts like a polymorph of sorts and I can see that being a fun way to mess with your opponent. Silk plays like a reverse Juggernaut and can work to free up some space if you painted yourself into a corner by placing too many cards in one location. Ghost Spider is going right into my move deck for sure. And Spider-Man 2099 feels a bit too expensive, but with Ghost Spider can really put a crimp on your opponent’s late game.

The Verdict

Marvel SNAP in the Spider-Verse feels a bit less than previous updates. Four new cards matches up with what we’ve seen in the past. But, as I said to a friend, unless they start releasing different versions of cards, they have to be running out of characters to add to the game. Then again, I just Googled “How many Marvel heroes are there?” and it gave me the answer of over 80,000. So, there’s that.

The update only provides two new locations compared to the four from Quantumania and three from the Nimrod seasons. However, the last two updates only gave two as well, so maybe they run out of locations far before characters. One big update that I don’t care all that much about but other players do according to this article, is the Conquest mode. Who knows? Before long, I’m sure I will join you all there, SNAPers.