Category: Gaming & Collectibles
A. Quinton — Jan. 15th 2017
From the “writing about games I’ve never played” department: Last week the League of Legends YouTube channel posted a teaser to announce an update to Warwick, body-snatcher and wolfman. This nasty steampunk-werewolf-lookin’ Champion has a bunch of new abilities, artwork and skins, which is good news for people already playing him, and even better news for people who weren’t playing him because his previous abilities, artwork and skins were bad. Bad for the purposes of the game, League of Legends.
In case the previous sentence didn’t make it clear, I don’t know anything about League of Legends. I learned that Warwick was a thing at all from this tweet, and the research I did to put together this post was so laden with insider terms like “meta”, “gank” and “jungling” that I developed a lot more empathy for my non-programmer friends who have to hear me talk about “Node”, “Sass-compiling” and “shadow DOMs”. If you’re a seasoned LoL player and you want to know how Warwick’s “newfound power allows him to clean up the streets of Zaun through brutal violence”, I suggest you check out this rundown on The Rift Herald or the official update page.
As an outsider looking in, what interests me most about this update (aside from the sudden appearance of artwork depicting this brick shit-house of a werewolf dressed in nana-jammies) is the level of thought that went into the mechanical and in-game reasoning for his updates, and the extent to which Riot explains it all on their site.
So what are our goals with the Warwick update? Currently Warwick is very beginner friendly. We actually want to embrace that and push it even further than it is now. We want Warwick’s gameplay to actually teach new junglers how to be an effective jungler. Right now Warwick can’t gank until level 6, but what if Warwick’s kit actually encouraged players to gank often and early? We also have heard loud and clear that player think Warwick’s kit is kind of boring and outdated. While we don’t want to raise Warwick’s skill floor, we do want to increase his skill ceiling a bit and add more depth to his gameplay. We also want to bring Warwick’s art and thematics up to modern Riot standards by giving him a proper place in our world. We think violence is an important theme for Warwick and we want to see how far we can push that thematic.
What I get from this is “we all heard Warwick was the boring character that newbies played, so we made him good again by emphasizing his capacity for violence and commissioning a bunch of kick-ass new art assets to show him off.” Riot, I may never play League of Legends, but I appreciate your honesty, and the results are a lot of fun to look at.
Here’s a selection of Warwick splash screens showing some of his new skins, and a final one showing his origin.
A. Quinton — Jan. 10th 2017
When someone mentions Captain America, the first thought that occurs to me is not “he’s been a werewolf at least twice“, and that’s coming from a person whose brain is calibrated to play “six degrees of lycanthropic separation” with all input. And yet in its 2016 Legends “Red Skull Build-a-Figure” group of action figures, Marvel has chosen to package its most patriotic Avenger with an alternate head depicting his “Capwolf” mode.
I thought it was strange that they would acknowledge such an obscure edge-case for a prominent character’s appearance until I saw that this is the 16th time Captain America has appeared as a Marvel Legends figure. I guess there’s only so many variants of costumes and battle damage you can pitch before you have to start searching the supernatural corners of a character’s history.
In addition to the werewolf head, this figure comes with Cap’s shield, two alternate hands (one for pointing and one for… dabbing?) and the cape for the Build-a-Figure Red Skull / Red Onslaught figure.
This figure has only been out for a few months, so comic shops and even big-box retailers should still have it. As usual, you can snag it on Amazon, too. Thank you to Somnilux and wereshere for the heads up!
A. Quinton — Dec. 5th 2016
In 2014 I reported that game company Sega and ad agency Hakuhodo DY Group were launching Stories International, a joint venture to produce film and TV shows based on Sega’s video game properties. Classic werewolf / were-bear / wear-tiger / were-dragon beat-em-up Altered Beast was among the game franchises mentioned at the time.
Today, as reported by Variety, Stories International has teamed up with Walking Dead and Dirk Gently production company Circle of Confusion to produce adaptations of ‘Altered Beast’ and ‘Streets of Rage'”.
From the Stories press release:
STORIES INTERNATIONAL has partnered with Circle of Confusion, executive producers of “The Walking Dead”, to produce filmed entertainment adaptations of “Altered Beast” and “Streets of Rage”, based on the respective SEGA video game franchises, and will explore opportunities for both titles in film and television.
We’re still at the “big companies agreeing to work with each other” stage, but it’s encouraging to see the production gigs going to a company that really seems to know what it’s doing.
A. Quinton — Oct. 11th 2016
That stunning two-foot-tall statue of The Howling‘s Eddie Quist from Pop Culture Shock is now available for pre-order from a variety of sources, but if you’re gonna get it, you’d be crazy not to get it direct from PCS. Their exclusive version has the same sticker price as other sites – $474.99 USD – but it comes with an alternate head (jaws closed, which is cool to see) and one of Eddie Quist’s smiley-face stickers. Plus, if you pay in full up front, you get 15% off.
Here are eight photos showing the werewolf statue’s different angles and details. For another 19(!) photos and more details, visit PCS. There are only 300 of this edition available, so act fast!
A. Quinton — Sep. 28th 2016
Here’s a first look at the upcoming 1:4 “The Howling” werewolf statue from PCS Collectibles, fresh out of their email newsletter (which I almost deleted out-of-hand because it led with another Street Fighter II statue instead of this beauty).
If there was a “Mount Rushmore” of cinematic werewolves, three portraits would be carved into it: Larry Talbot by Jack Pierce, David Kessler by Rick Baker and Eddie Quist by Rob Bottin. The first two have been merchandised in the past, but now, for the first time ever, PCS Collectibles is proud to present a 1:4 scale statue of Bottin’s seminal creature work from The Howling.
This gorgeous 24″ polystone statue captures Eddie Quist at his best, and will be available for pre-order at 3PM PST on Monday, October 10th. It’ll come in two versions, both priced at $474.99 USD:
- the retail version, which will be limited to an unknown quantity, available through channels like Diamond and Sideshow Collectibles.
- the PCS exclusive, limited to 300 pieces, available only through the PCS web site, and apparently exactly the same as the retail version except for the addition of a second, swappable head.
Here’s a (weirdly composited?) image from PCS showing the statue’s scale. Bloody Disgusting has an “exclusive” photo from an alternate angle, too. This thing looks incredible!
A. Quinton — Sep. 15th 2016
On December 6th, Red Storm Entertainment is releasing Werewolves Within for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. It’s a virtual reality version of the social engineering / social ostracization game Werewolf.
Werewolves Within is a fast-paced game of hidden roles and social deduction for five to eight players. In one game, a player might be a villager trying their hardest to cleanse the town of werewolves, while minutes later they could be the werewolf, lying and betraying friends in order to survive the vote.
I got excited at the potential, then watched the reveal trailer and remembered that Werewolf is mostly a game about sitting in a chair and pointing at people. If I’m going to play a virtual reality werewolf, the only furniture I want involved in the experience is the stack of overturned tables and bookshelves my victims use to try and barricade me out.
Thanks to Somnilux for the link!
A. Quinton — Sep. 13th 2016
Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about Pokémon. I like Rowlet because the character design is basically “AQ in bird form”, and I’m watching Griffin McElroy’s Nuzlocke Challenge because I’ll watch or listen to anything Griffin does, but that’s the extent of my exposure. Anything that’s accurate here came from knowledgable friends, Bulbapedia or Serebii.net, and anything that’s incorrect is my fault.
According to enthusiastic reports from online (thank you Sahoni, dog with glasses & nodnash, among others), we now have a Werewolf Pokémon Situation. Here’s what I’ve been able to put together, step-by-step, for Poké-nitwits like me.
- The upcoming 3DS games Pokémon Sun and Moon – out on November 18th – are debuting a ton of new Pokémon, including a canine-like Rock-type called Rockruff. According to ComicBook.com, a preview of Sun and Moon characters from a few months ago “hinted that Rockruff’s evolved form had a ‘secret’ separating it from other types of Pokémon”.
- Serebii.net got ahold of the October issue of CoroCoro, a Japanese children’s magazine which has exclusive rights to release little Pokémon sneak peeks. The magazine reveals that Rockruff evolves into a wolf-like Pokémon called Lugarugan – a name sure to set off alarm bells in any werewolf fan’s head.
- Lugarugan’s aforementioned “secret” seems to be that its appearance depends on whether it evolved during the game’s Day or Night periods. As depicted in Serebii’s scans of CoroCoro, Day-evolved Lugarugan looks like a quadrupedal wolf, but those that evolved at night look like a bipedal humanoid wolf – e.g. a werewolf. No further details about the difference between forms were given.
So there you have it – everything I’ve been given to know about Lugarugan, the werewolf Pokémon that’s blowing up Twitter, Tumblr and seemingly every other corner of the Internet. For a closer look at the CoroCoro scans and an English translation, visit these two Serebii.net posts. It would be disingenuous of me to say that I’m going to get into Pokémon because of Lugarugan, but I can’t deny feeling a twinge of FOMO at this news.
A. Quinton — Aug. 28th 2016
Let’s not mince words: Chloe Borders has designed the best plush werewolf I’ve ever seen, and I want him. This boy is so grumpy, cute and well-designed that I want three, in fact, and the only thing standing in my way is a 35-day Kickstarter campaign.
Writes Chloe (@ZennyBleats on Twitter):
For my first ever Kickstarter, and designed plush, I’d like to introduce the werewolf! The werewolf is 10 inches tall and made from soft minky fabric… All rewards are exclusive to this Kickstarter, so if you pledge, you can say you own something that’s one of a kind!
Chloe has a goal of $11,000 USD and she’s raised over 10% of that in the first few hours. Much like the other plush animal Kickstarter I’ve recently pledged to, this campaign is not bogged down with a ton of gimmicky extras. You can garnish your pledge with some werewolf stickers and/or buttons if you want, and there are some glow-in-the-dark stretch goals, but every pledge level above $5 is focussed on getting one (or more) of these boys into your house (and mine)!
Click over to the Kickstarter campaign for a look at the extras, and for your chance to get one of these werewolf plushes for an early-bird discount!
A. Quinton — Aug. 27th 2016
Hircine’s Ring is an artifact from Bethesda’s game Skyrim that gives the wearer a 10% chance to turn into a werewolf. If that sounds like something you wish you had, good news! Now you can walk around in real life with an expectant gleam in your eye (and on your finger). Bethesda’s online store is selling a replica of the Ring for $95, which is pretty cheap for something that randomly induces a lycanthropic transformation.
The real-life Hircine’s Ring is handmade in (ironic) solid sterling silver by RockLove Jewelry, presumably in limited quantities, since it’s already sold out in some sizes and close to selling out in others. It’s a little too ornate for my taste, but I’d wear one on each finger if it got results.
A. Quinton — Aug. 4th 2016
Thank you, PDX Werewolf. Without your post, I wouldn’t have learned about Werewolf Airline Simulator 2016 until I checked my “transportation hospitality simulation game” feed, which I only do on alternate Septembers.
This OS X / Windows game came out of April’s “Ludum Dare”, a thrice-yearly game jam in which “developers from around the world spend a weekend creating games based on a theme suggested by the community”. WAS 2016 features a bow-chicka-wow-ow musical score, infuriatingly callous passengers, and very nice, very 70s artwork. Its authors, the mysterious and unknowable Pestel Crew, describe the game thusly:
Werewolf Airline have chosen you to become a flight attendant of a first shapeshifter only flight crew. This is a great achievement for any shapeshifter and this is a great example for younger generation of shapeshifters that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it.
Try to keep all passengers happy and not get fired in the process. Use the powers of chainsaw werewolf, skating beaver and cute raccoon! Serve, cook and kill for the glory of Ludum Dare. Just one thing to remember, this is a non smoking flight.
I played this game for 10 minutes and I’m not very good at it, but I’m already looking forward to the new transformation modes in the 2017 update and the Merman Cruise Ship DLC.