994 Eye Of Fire.


You regulars will likely not be surprised to hear that I was never much of a joiner. That hasn’t really changed over the years. I’m registered as a republican for voting purposes, but I don’t like much about any political party. Sometimes you just can’t avoid being part of something if you need to get stuff done. What does this have to do with anything? Well, you might have noticed the new style ads that are randomly appearing across the top banner, assuming you have turned your ad blocker off so I can get compensated for my work. Those are being provided by, or controlled by, or however you want to put it, by a group that I am tentatively a part of now.

A representative appeared, like Satan at the crossroads during the QC incident. He was not alone, but he had the best hat. Jaunty head wear plays a major role in all my decision making. Anyway, after I pitted the monkeys against each other, in the Thunderdome, Hiveworks won out. They have their wagons hitched to several content creators that I expect many of you are already aware of. The little rotaty thing under the page links to them. Honestly, most of them don’t need any help, but these are the conditions by which I must abide. If the group proves itself worthy I intend to allow them to repair this ridiculous excuse for a website. No matter how you slice it WordPress is not an ideal way to present comics. Having wrestled with it in several forms over several years I can say that without reservation. It has hindered me at every turn and become more of an antagonist than a content management system. For the moment we have a truce, but how long will the peace hold? How long do we have between failures? (See what I did there?)

If any of the ads are sucky let me know with a screenshot. I can report them. Also be careful about mousing over them. Some of them instantly launch into annoying drop down video files. The political ones seem especially prone to this. I had trouble with a Romeny add when I was putting the code in. The old Project Wonderful banner is in the rotation too, so if you still want to have your banner up there it’ll show up as long as you’re paying more than the other ads. It stops charging when it’s not showing. Of course there are still all the other Project Wonderful spots available too. For now anyway. I have been assured that these new ads will pay many times more than the old ones. A fairytale I’ve been told before. I’ll belive it once I’m “in the chinks” as Shakespeare might say.

It has also come to my attention that an alternate Internet provider has extended its range to include my area. On Monday I will pit one against the other and see who is superior. Honestly, it wouldn’t take much for the new provider to achieve victory. On paper they offer so much more bandwidth than I use it seems like a foregone conclusion. That said, if they can’t live up to the claims, it is better to have crippled net service than none at all. I don’t fancy driving to town every other day to try and upload pages. Not that I have a device that could actually do that anymore anyway. As you no doubt recall I gave my laptop to my grandmother so she might avail herself of the various internet scams of which she has become so very fond.

In other news, Skylanders Giants has appeared at the local Walmart. The vast selection of new product was at once enticing, and horrifying. There is SO MUCH and it is SO EXPENSIVE. There are 8 giant figures at $15 each. $120 not including tax… FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUCK! That is brutal. BRUTAL. The game itself is, like, $60 for the basic, no portal, set. There are at least 8 new skylanders at $10 a shot, and the same number of lightcore figures for something like $13. Prices vary by site and whatnot. There is also at least one legendary giant, and a set of legendary regular skylanders. Some of the starter packs come with exclusives. Walmart, for example, comes with a glow in the dark Cynder. It is available no other way. Some of the characters are reissues of the original skylanders that are slightly enhanced, and some of them have more than one pose available. There are two versions of nearly every figure. Thankfully the old figures are compatible with the new game, and the new figures of old characters are backwards compatible. The boxes clearly mark what can be used with what. Which was a wise choice.

What does all this mean? The completionist in me will have to accept that there is no way we will get all these toys. It is unlikely that many people at all will have a complete base set. I didn’t even get the full set of the original figures. I got the base ones, the legends, and Dark Spyro, which was insane. I could have gotten a few of the chase figures, but they had no in game differences. The legends actually count as seperate characters in game, as does dark Spyro. Although only Dark Spyro is functionally unique in the 3DS version of the game.

What’s worse is that the scalping has already started. In fact it hasn’t just started, it’s in full on ultimate douchebag super saiyan 3 mode. In this Skylanders is the worst possible combination of toy collecting and game collecting. It is going to be a Christmas massacre while these people try to take as much advantage of shoppers as they can.

As far as me goes, I have a plan. Get the new characters in whatever pose is the most enticing. For some of them there is a choice between light core and regular. I’m not married to the idea that lightcore is superior. As far as I know the character is functionally identical between the figures. I will try to get the giants if I can, but in the event that I can’t I’ll just get the one I like best. Right now that’s a robot golem looking guy with a hammer I don’t know the name of. I would have gone with the undead one, but he looks dumb. I will probably forego the legendaries unless they become readily available like they did with the original set, and even then they are low on the list. As far as the game itself is concerned I may just wait it out and see if I can get one on clearance once the fervor dies down. There are still stacks of clearance copies of the original out here. It’s half assed Walmart clearance, but still. If a person shops around you might find a good deal. In fact if they sell a used version someplace with no figures that would be fine. The 3DS version comes with the same giant as the console versions, which is crap. What am I gonna do with two of the damn things? Almost everyone will have it. That goes for the regulars skylanders too. One of them is a reissue, so it’s superfluous. The other is available as a single, as far as I know. I’m not sure if the 3DS comes with a regular skylander. The box images look like you just get a giant. I didn’t think they could be used to play the regular game. Maybe I was misinformed. In any case the portable version was the cheapest and easiest to get last go round, maybe that will hold true this time. If nothing else I already have more than enough figures to play the game once I get it. Everything apart from that is just hunting and gathering basically.

The reissue figures won’t be bothered with except for the characters that are my absolute favorites, which amounts to Stealth Elf, and Hex. Hex has a lightcore version and a standard version. I already have the latter. She appeared to be the shortpacked figure in the wave I saw, since there was only one of her. I wanted a new one to test on my old stuff. As far as the game is concerned it was just another regular Hex. I never had a double figure so I didn’t know what it would do. I think the new one has a new power available in the new game, so I guess I can level it up in one and then get the new levels in two just to see what the deal is. Once I get the game anyway.

Where these skylanders sit in relation to my other obsessins remains to be seen. I suspect if it comes down to a choice between a cool Transformer or a Skylander the Transformer will win, but cool transformers are getting kind of rare. There’s also the issue of if I can get any of these at all. XD All of this is really just speculation, but I have a plan anyway.

The games I’ve been looking forward to are so long released that they are actually pretty reasonably priced now. The ones that aren’t Nintendo games, because everyone knows that Nintedo has a different set of rules from the rest of the fucking world. Skyward Sword can just wait, I guess. With Mass Effect 3 and Batman2 however it’s just a matter of time. Once everyone falls out of love with the game of the year versions they’re mine. It may be another year, but whatever.

Keen eyed readers might recognize the second panel as an updated drawing from a while ago.