Special Features presents: Top 3 Boardgame YouTube Channels

Hello everyone. Starting today I have decided to add a new category to my blog called Special Features. So what can you expect to find here? Honestly, pretty much anything. My blog has so far only concerned itself with writing reviews. Don’t worry I am not going to stop doing this, because it is still one of the things I enjoy doing the most. But sometimes I come across things like a very cool trailer, an interesting news story, or some other element that I feel like sharing. Ofcourse it would be weird if I would publish an item like that as a review, hence the new category. As always, everything that I am going to publish, will still be concerning itself with boardgames, books, manga, anime, movies, tv series etc. In short all the cool stuff. Kicking off this new feature will be a post about the top 3 Boardgame YouTube Channels ( well in my opinion ofcourse).

Those of you who have been following my blog must know by now that I love playing boardgames. The games I play usually take place in sci-fi/fantasy settings, and have a lot of cool elements to enjoy. One of the more annoying things that sometimes pop up when I buy a new game is a rules book that I truly need to read a 100 times before I can even understand what it is about. In the old days I could tear my hair out when this happened, but nowadays we have YouTube. Since boardgames are becoming ever more popular, there are now entire channels devoted to this fantastic medium. They contain news items, unboxing videos, and playthroughs of a certain game. This last feature is one of the best things that you can come across, as you don’t have to read the rulebook anymore to play a game. (Well at least if they are done right lol). There are three channels that are truly standing out from the crowd, and they all have their own qualities. If you like playing boardgames, these are the 3 channels you should definitely check out:

1. Watch it played

One of the oldest channels devoted to boardgames, it is hosted by the wonderful Rodney Smith. This guy is one of the kindest individuals you can come across, and his playthroughs are absolutely amazing. He has a very calm and patient way of explaining things, and if you don’t understand a game after watching one of his videos, chances are you never will. Besides making playthroughs, he also features news items and other things about the boardgame industry. You can check out one of his videos below.

2. Vitruvian Gamer

A somewhat newer channel,but steadily gaining more and more followers this is one of the more unique boardgame channels. The host of this channel, Kurt, for instance has a regular feature called All Aboard. In this video besides sharing news about boardgames , he welcomes every new subscribers to his channel. I think that is one of the nicest things you can do, and it definitely shows he cares about his viewers. In his playthrough videos there is a lot of humour as well, and they are an absolute joy to watch. This is one of his All Aboard videos.

3.Rahdo runs through…

Also one of the more older channels, this one has published a very impressive amount of playthrough videos. Hosted by Rahdo, a guy who has a very infectious enthusiasm, he can truly interest you in a boardgame that you may not have even noticed otherwise. His videos are fast, but a lot of fun to watch, and nearly every game he shows will feature three videos: a short walkthrough, an extended gameplay video, and his thoughts on the game. I always watch his videos with a smile on my face, and have bought a few games, just because I watched one of his videos. Check out one of his videos below.

 

And that’s it for this first special features post. Don’t worry I am not only going to be talking about boardgames in special features, but as mentioned above, it will concern itself with a lot of other things as well. Thank you for reading, and see you on the next post….

Another: The Other-Inga, Japanese Anime O.V.A. (2012)

This year one of the best things I have seen has been the Anime Another. (You can read my review of it here). The incredible story, dark atmosphere and music, there was so much to like about it, that it has truly been whispering in my mind for the past month. Now, don’t worry I am not going to bore you with a second review of this show, but I did find out that there actually was a 13th episode of the Animeseries. This Original Video Animation serves as a prequel to the original show, and ties up a few loose story threads.

In this 23 minute episode which you might also call, Episode 0, we see Mei Misaki and her “other half” as it were in the months before the start of the events in the Anime series. We see a Mei here, who has an almost completely different personality when  compared to the original show. As this is taking place in a different point in time, Mei is truly almost a happy girl, and lives her life to the fullest. It is a pretty sad and in the end heartbreaking episode, as we learn what has happened to Mei’s “other half”, and has caused her to finally become the Misaki that we know from the Anime.

So is this prequel worth watching? Well that is a pretty tough question to answer. This episode definitely does not have the same quality of the briljant Anime. It has a completely different tone, and apart from one scene, I can’t really say that this episode should have the label horror. I did enjoy finding out a little bit more about Mei Misaki’s past, and as such this episode did accomplish at least that goal. Other than that though, besides filling in a few other gaps from the main storyline, it doesn’t do much else. Being such a huge fan of the original Anime I felt a bit disappointed by this OVA. I do still think that when you have watched Another, you have to watch this one, as it does explain a few things that you did not already know. If you have not yet seen the original Anime, do not start with this episode.(even though it takes place before the series). It’s a bit like Star Wars where you should start with the original Trilogy first, before taking on the prequels.(Although some people might argue not starting with the prequels at all). Anyways, I am still glad I watched this one, if only to see Mei Misaki for one final time.

I give Another: The Other-Inga a 7 out of 10 score.

 

 

The Liebster Award

Hello everyone. I have just been nominated for my first ever blog award: The Liebster Award. Thank you so much Matthew for nominating me. If you haven’t already check out his awesome site featuring reviews, thoughts, and basically all kind of supercool stuff about the world of Anime and beyond. It is really worth your time to do so 😀 Now, this being my first award I actually had to Google a bit on how to do this ( don’t laugh please 😂) so if I have made any mistakes please be sure to let me know.

Here are the rules for the Liebster award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and answer the eleven questions they have written for you
  • Nominate 11 people and give them 11 different questions to answer

I am going to answer the same questions that Matthew, Matt-in the Hatt did, so here we go:

What is your favorite game genre?

I used to be a very obsessive and frankly quite scary online gamer. Those days are behind me now however, and these days I am playing oldschool games without a computer. I guess the more common word for it is boardgames. These I play in the sci-fi/fantasy and horrorgenres. My favorite game genre used to be the first person shooter however.

What is your favorite book genre?

That question is a bit tougher to answer, as I do read a lot of books in all kinds of genres. But I guess I do love the sci-fi/horror genre the most. At least I also think that most of my books are in that genre.

What region do you prefer for comics? ( Asia, America, Europe?)

Most of the comics I read are from Marvel. I just love the superhero stories they make, and I honestly prefer their universe to the DC universe. Lately I am slowly building up an appreciation for Japanese Manga as well.

Why did you start blogging? 

I used to write reviews of movies on my Facebook page, but those were usually short posts. One day I decided that wasn’t enough and I just wanted to reach out to more people, or like minded souls if you prefer, to share my thoughts with on movies, tv shows, Anime…in short all the cool stuff. So that’s why I started blogging. I am loving it so far, and am not regretting it for one bit.

What is the trashiest game you played, or book/comic you ever read? 

I had to dig deep for that one, but I think without a doubt that would have to be Onechanbara Bikini Squad, although I think the word trash is almost too kind a word for it 😀

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Have you ever tried surströmming and if not, how do you think it tastes? Have you ever tried    mämmi ?

Erm, can’t say that I have on both counts. As I don’t like fish, I imagine the first thing tasting pretty awful, and the second pretty awesome, as I like deserts a lot.

What is the most disgusting (tasting, looking and/or smelling) national delicacy you know of  (where you live?)

Thinking long and hard I can’t think of anything that was a National delicacy and that tasted awful. But I never say never, so I will probably come across something that will fill that bill in the future 😂

What is the funniest word you have heard (and if not in English what does it mean?) 

Living in Holland I think pretty much my entire language sounds funny, but if I have to pick a word I would say “poffertje” No there is not a real translation for it, as it is a national dish, but the best description would be a really small and very tasty pancake. If ever in Holland, make sure you eat some 😀

Please share one personal thing about you. Why that one in particular?

Although I sometimes mask it pretty well, I would say I can be a very shy and insecure person sometimes. But I have definitely made steps improving myself, and so I guess I can be proud of that too. So that is why I am sharing it as well😀

In the console war, where do you stand? 

Well….As I have stopped my gaming days I guess I could say nowhere, but having had my most interesting and quite frankly best gaming experiences on X-box, I would say at the side of the X-box 😀

Recounting the questions I am missing number 11, so I think will just make one up:

Which Anime series have you watched that really had you on the edge of your seat? (And if you don’t watch/like Anime, which tv series) 

The best Anime series I have seen all year for me has been Another. It had me hooked from the start and I could not stop watching it until I had finished it. I liked it so much in fact that I am currently reading the novel the series was based on.

Now as for my nominations (and I really hope I am doing this the right way, so I have just added the links to the nominated sites, hopefully everyone who is nominated will get a message 😀)

The 11 nominees

1. Brenda Rochelle’s Neverland

2.Blame Chocolate

3.Experience Film

4. Manga Corner

5. Lunastarz

6.Fujinsei

7. Raulconde001

8. Kdramakisses

9. The Maniacal Book Unicorn

10. Intense mode

11. Reeltime Dublin

Now I am following a lot of blogs, and if it were up to me, you would all get a reward, because I think you are all awesome. I can only choose 11 though, so if your name did not come up, please know that every blog I follow I do so, because I think it is awesome 😀

That’s all for now 😀

Brynhildr in the Darkness, Anime tv series (2014)

A strong friendship might last a lifetime. Living out your life, you will probably encounter a lot of people you will have a connection with. The most precious of these however, will be the ones that turn out to be true friends. People you can depend on, no matter what happens in your life. But even so, there will also be friends that will eventually leave your life. And I don’t mean because they die, but just because they maybe move away, leave your work, or that in some other way you just lose touch with. How many of you actually are still in contact with friends from your childhood? Do you even remember them, and when you would see them now, would you still recognise them?

In the Animeseries Brynhildr in the Darkness, the heart of the story is a childhood friendship between the young boy Murakami and the girl Kuroneko. The girl insists on believing in aliens and even vows that she has met them once. Even though Murakami has a small crush on her, he is definitely sceptical about her story. One day, Kuroneko just decides to show Murakami, but unfortunately an accident occurs and she dies. Murakami survives, allthough he was also hurt in the accident and left to recover in the hospital. Years later, Murakami, while at his school, encounters a new female transfer student, who is introduced in his class. But she bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost childhood friend. This girl is called Kurohaneko however and at first wants nothing to do with Murakami. But it is not long before strange and terrifying things begin to happen, and Murakami is about to find himself right in the middle of a secret and horrifying experiment. But for him just one question is important: is Kurohaneko somehow his long lost childhood friend?

Brynhildr in the Darkness is not a true classic, but there are enough elements in it that I think make it worth the watch. The show has a pretty dark underlying tone, but they do try to compensate that by bringing in some lighter elements, a bit of (mild) fanservice and a few laughs. There are a bunch of pretty funny characters thrown in the mix as well, especially the sex obsessed Kazumi, who sometimes does some pretty crazy things in her pursuit of the main hero of the story Murakami. For those of you that might think, after reading all this, that this show is some kind of fluffy love story, you are definitely  wrong. This is pretty much a horror/mystery type of show, with a few sci-fi aspects to spice it up. The show has 13 episodes, but the ending does not satisfy. You are left with a lot of questions that go unanswered, and that was truly a bit of a letdown. Still, I wasn’t bored for a bit while watching this, and the action, sometimes pretty gruesome deathscenes, and the characters make it a worthwhile watch.

I give Brynhildr in the Darkness a 7 out of 10 score.

The Walking Dead Season 6, American tv series (2015/2016)

There is such an enormous amount of tv series to choose from these days. Everybody though, has probably got one show that is his or her absolute favorite. For me that used to be 24. That realtime series starring Kiefer Sutherland in the role Jack Bauer, one of the most iconic characters ever, was the greatest thing to ever grace television screens. At least….that was what I used to think. I had never in my wildest dreams thought that a show would ever pass 24 as my personal number one show. But then in 2010, the Walking Dead premiered. A show that tells the story of the world facing a Zombie Apocalypse, and the people who try to survive in that world. After the first episode aired I was hooked, and to date I still am. I am going to apologise in advance. I will try and be as objective as I can with the review of season 6 of this show. And I do mean try, because when it comes to the Walking Dead, I usually lose my objectivity. So once again: my apologies.

Season 6 starts off with a big problem. And I do mean big…an enormous herd of thousands of zombies is threatening the community of Alexendria. Rick, the newly appointed saviour of the town has to come up with an incredible plan, in order to rescue everyone from this latest threat. Ofcourse in The Walking Dead nothing usually goes according to plan, and it is not before long that Rick, his friends, and everyone in the town of Alexendria might have to face the reality that the world truly belongs to the dead……

The thing I love the most about the Walking Dead are the characters. Yes the zombies are cool, the action is fantastic, and ofcourse the horror is terrifying. But the heart of this show is it’s ever expanding cast of characters. As in every season we gain a few new characters, but we also lose a couple of them, usually in totally unexpected and often heartwrenching ways. This season truly has been the most brutal one to date. The lines between good and evil  are beginning to fade, and our beloved cast has to really adapt in order to survive. This leads to certain situations where you begin to question the morality of some of the decisions that are being made. And I often asked myself the question: would I be able to that, if I would find myself in this same predicament.

Ofcourse one of THE most talked about things this season, was the enormous cliffhanger at the end. A lot of people hated it, and felt it went to far to leave people hanging for such a long time with an ending such as this. I honestly did not care about it. Yes, the ending was annoying, and I can’t wait for the season 7 premiere next week to start. But I truly felt it was the only way to end this utterly fantastic season, and any other ending would not have seem right. At least that is how I felt about it. So was this the best season of the Walking Dead to date? Thinking hard and long about it, I would say it probably was. There were so many shocking moments, fantastic action sequences, and terrific character driven storylines, that I wonder what they are going to come up with to top this one. One thing is for sure: episode 1 of season 7 will be a horrible experience no matter how it turns out….but it would take a herd of zombies to stop me from watching it next week.

I give season 6 of the Walking Dead a 9 out of 10 score.

Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children, American/UK/Belgian movie (2016)

There is a certain genre of movies that I like to call the “feel good movies”. Movies that when you watch them just make you feel happy, no matter how down you might be. A lot of these movies turned up in the golden days of the 80’s. Nowadays it seems that movies just have a darker tone, and the feel good movie is pretty much becoming a thing of the past. And I do say pretty much, because occasionally they do still turn up. And the movie Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar Children, a contestant for longest movie title ever, is one of them.

Jake is just an ordinary boy that lives out his ordinary and pretty much mundane life. He goes to school and does not have any real social life to speak of. The only one he is close with, is his grandfather, who almost everyone thinks is a bit of a crazy person. Ever since Jake was a boy, his grandfather has been telling him stories about other places that exist on Earth.One of those is a story about a orphanage for children that have special powers. One day it seems that something bad has happened to Jake’s grandfather. In trying to find out the truth about what has befallen him, Jake stumbles across a mystery across different timelines. Eventually he learns that his grandfather might not have been crazy after all, and that some stories, no matter how unreal they seem at first, might be true. But not every story may have a happy ending, as Jake is about to find out.

Tim Burton, the director of this movie, has always made films that transport you to fantastical places. A lot of these were made with an incredible amount of CGI effects, but Burton breaks that tradition with this film. Most of the places in this movie were practical sets, and that definitely shows. This movie was an unexpected surprise. A lot of the reviews for this movie were pretty mixed, but I just found this film an absolute delight to watch. The story and characters in this film, were simply amazing, and I just had a smile on my face pretty much throughout the entire film. Eva Green in the role of Miss Peregrine was superb, and truly carried the movie. At the end of this movie I left the theatre with a very satisfactory feeling, and it felt like I had been transported back to the era of the feelgood movie. A feeling I thought that might have been lost to the tides of time. Luckily Tim Burton proves that these movies are not a lost art, and I am glad he did. I highly recommend this film for the people who love fantasy, and just want to be transported away from their normal everyday lives, at least for a while….

I give this movie a 9 out of 10 score.

Attack on Titan the Movie: Part 2, Japanese movie (2015)

One has to wonder why live action movies are made based on popular animation franchises. The obvious answer is ofcourse to make money (duh). But let’s really think about this for a bit. The fans of an animated show, be it an Anime or normal cartoon, watch it because they like animation. When I was a kid I grew up on shows like Transformers, Heman, Gi-Joe and all those other great cartoons from the 80’s. All of the aforementioned cartoons have had live action adaptations. Did I enjoy them as much as the original cartoon? The answer to that is a resounding no. Yes, I did enjoy the Transformers movies, but the 80’s cartoon is still better. And now that I am into Anime, we ofcourse have had a great number of live action movies based on those series. All of these, though at times enjoyable in their own right, still do not bring the same level of excitement as the originals. So I guess my first answer to the question I asked is still true: to make money.

With the second part of the live-action adaptation of Attack on Titan, my view definitely has not changed for this. This second part continues, after a short recap of part 1, pretty much where the first movie ended. Eren and his group are still trying to complete their desperate mission to plug the hole of the great Outer Wall. They are joined in their efforts by the mysterious captain Shikishima. But it soon becomes clear that Shikishima might have completely different motives than Eren. With the Titans closing in, and the danger becoming ever greater, Eren will have to dig deep into himself to find the courage to save humanity. But first he will have to deal with his own inner turmoil…..

Where the first movie at least had some things in common with the original Manga/Anime, this second part just about rewrites every single storyline. We get an origin story of the Titans that I found pretty hard to swallow. I don’t mind trying something new, but this is taking things just a bit too far. Still, there are some bright points to be found. There are a couple of pretty cool fight scenes between the Titans, and the action displayed is just about enough to save the movie from being a total waste. This part is very short, and basically has no real storyline to speak off. And I guess that is the biggest shortcoming of these two movies. The original Manga/Anime had such an incredibly cool and moving storyline, and characters that you really cared about. In these adaptations we get characters that carry the same names, but have little to no substance to them. Obviously this could have been so much better, but this truly felt like hitching a ride on the succes of a fantastic franchise. Luckily season 2 of the Anime is on the horizon, and that will hopefully wash away the bitter aftertaste of these two movies.

I give Attack on Titan the Movie:part 2, a 6 out of 10 score.

Attack on Titan the Movie: Part 1, Japanese movie (2015)

With a succesful franchise you usually get a bunch of very loyal fans. That means that no matter what is brought out, the fans will go out to see it, buy it, read it, etc. That must have been what was going through the minds of the creators of the live action adaptation of Attack on Titan. For those of you who have never heard of it, (seriously where have you been hiding all this time), Attack on Titan is a hugely succesful Manga series. It has spawned an equally popular Anime series, that has a very loyal following,  and where everyone is eagerly awaiting the release of the second season. Last year, the next (logical) step was introduced: two live action movies based on this incredible franchise. And ofcourse, the fans flocked to the cinema, to see how their beloved series was brought to the big screen.

It has been 100 years since humanity was forced in exile because of the huge Titans, that almost wiped out the human race. Now living behind massive walls that have been build as a defence against these monstrosities, the last remnants of mankind live out their days in peace. A peace that is shattered when the Titans finally reappear and breach the walls. A young man called Eren is caught up in the chaos that ensues, and tries to escape together with his friend Mikasa. The two become seperated however, when the Titans attack and begin to devour the terrified population. Two years later, Eren is now part of the team that has been tasked with a dangerous mission: to plug the hole that was made in the Outer Wall. A mission that seems almost impossible to complete. Will Eren and his team succeed, or will this be the twilight of humankind?

This movie has received some very bad reviews and I can see where they are coming from. The biggest complaint is that this adaptation pretty much changes all the existing relationships between the characters. Everything is turned totally upside down and taken in a completely different direction. Now if you are a hardcore fan, I can understand how this would upset you. I love the Attack on Titan animeseries, and it is definitely in my personal top five of all time greats. As I was already prepared that this film would take things in a different direction, I think this did help me with watching this and getting a bit of enjoyment out of it. Because honestly I kind of did. Now, ofcourse this movie is leagues apart from the animeseries, in fact it doesn’t even come close. But still I did not find it as bad as I was thought to believe. There are some very cool, and scary scenes involving the Titans. Also it had a pretty interesting post apocalyptic feel to it, and the setpieces and vehicles certainly helped with portraying that atmosphere. Now whether or not you will enjoy this film, kind of depends what kind of fan you are. If you can appreciate the fact that they made an effort to take things in a different direction, and don’t expect too much from it, you might want to check it out. If you are a hardcore devotee of all things Titan, than you had better avoid this one.

I give Attack on Titan the Movie: part 1, a 7 out of 10 score.

Rideback, Anime tv series (2009)

Sometimes I just go out and buy stuff just because it is cheap and it kind of looks interesting. I admit it, I can be highly influenced by discounts and advertising. But it sometimes is very hard to resist, especially if it looks very promising. However, even though I can buy things on impulse, I usually have a lot of luck acquiring pretty cool and decent stuff. Need proof? How about the dvd set of the Anime series Rideback, a series I purchased pretty much  on a whim.

In Rideback we follow the young girl Rin, who has stepped in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a dancer. Unfortunately she suffers an injury on the stage, and eventually decides to quit dancing. Trading her dancing career for college life, she eventually winds up in Rideback club. A Rideback can be best described as a cross between a motorcycle and a robot. Rin is delighted with these machines, and has a particular connection to the red machine called Fuego. However, not everything in Rin’s world is so delightful. A tyrannical government, the GGP, rules the world with a very tight grip. When more and more people take up arms against them, Rin unknowingly gets caught up in this war as well. A war that will not leave everyone unscathed…..

Now the first thing I just have to say is that the Rideback itself has got to be the most awesome piece of machinery I have ever seen in a animated series. The way it looks, the way it sounds, and the way it is animated is absolutely briljant. The CG work for these motorcycle/robot hybrids is truly stunning. I also love the way this animated series develops it’s storyline. The first few episodes you think you are watching a nice, but pretty lighthearted tale about a girl who wants to live up to her dreams. It soon evolves into a very dark and brutal story, with big military action pieces, awesome fight scenes, and a few heartaches as well. Honestly I can find almost nothing that I did not like about this Anime. Sure, the storyline does slow down a bit in the middle, but not for long. I think that Animelovers who love sci-fi, will love this series. And did I already mention that the Rideback machine is freaking awesome? Sorry….forgive me my enthusiasm. Anyway, I highly recommend this wonderful 12 episode Anime series. So what have you got to lose? Just go along for the ride…..

I give Rideback a 9 out of 10 score.

Bone Tomahawk, American/Uk movie (2015)

Every movie buff out there, probably has a moviegenre that he or she is not particularly fond of. It’s not that you would never watch a movie in that genre, but you don’t exactly go out of your way to actively seek them out. For me, that moviegenre is the Western. It’s not that I have never seen a Western, and there are even a few that I did like, but it is a genre of movies that I usually avoid. These days, certain moviegenres get combined and sometimes that produces an interesting result. In Bone Tomahawk, the Western crosses paths with the Horror movie. So what is the result of this cocktail blend?

This movie starts off with two outlaws that have just killed and robbed a bunch of people. As the law is not far off, they quickly move away into a valley but enter something that looks like a graveyard. Unbeknownst to them however, it is the sacred ground of a bunch of cannibalistic Troglodytes, and soon they are attacked. One of them escapes to the sleepy town of Bright Hope, but unfortunately the Troglodytes manage to follow him. Matters soon become worse, as the cannibals kidnap the wife of one of the local ranchers, and a young deputy. Everything is brought to the attention of the town sheriff, and he is prepared to go after the Troglodytes in order to rescue the woman and his deputy. Accompanied by the woman’s husband, a local gunslinger and his oldest deputy, they all set off in pursuit of the Troglodytes. However, they most certainly are not prepared for the nightmare that awaits them.

Let’s start off with the good things first. The acting in this movie is nothing short of amazing. The cast including Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins portray their characters superbly. I especially liked Richard Jenkins in the role of the aging, and sometimes a little bit dense, deputy. Kurt Russel is always a decent actor, and he carries this movie with ease. Now this film is not your typical Western. Towards the end there are some pretty graphic and gory horrorscenes, that might put off some regular viewers. There is a lot of talking in this movie, and talking, and talking, and talking. The film clocks in at over 2 hours, and in my opinion that playing time could definitely have used a bit of trimming. It is a very slow moving film, but because the actors are so good, it still manages to keep your attention, albeit barely. Honestly this is one of those movies that I don’t quite know what to make off. I can’t say that I disliked it, and it is certainly one of the more unusual horrormovies out there. The slow pace however, is something that definitely might not be to the taste of everyone. It is worth it, to at least watch it once, if only for the incredible acting.

I give this movie a 7 out of 10 score.

Michels Book/Boardgame/Movie review Blog

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