Things that are Awesome

My last post was such an emotional roller-coaster that I figured I should post something a bit more upbeat. Here are some random, and not-so-random, awesome things:

  1. Pinball Arcade
    As you know, I love pinball, and this game recreates real pinball tables in virtual form, and it’s coming out in less than an hour. The game launches with 4 tables (Tales of the Arabian Nights, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Black Hole and Theatre of Magic), and they’re working on more tables to release later on. I was a beta tester for the game, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s coming out for iPhones/iPads today, and other consoles and platforms later on.
  2. “The Losers”
    This is a comic series I ripped through about a week ago. It came out a few years ago, and tells the story of a group of CIA officers that were screwed over by a superior, and want to right some wrongs. There was a movie based on the comic which starred Idris Elba (who is also awesome). It’s only 32 issues, so it was a quick read.
  3. Archaia Entertainment
    This is a small comic company, but they’re awesome. They take a lot of foreign comics and translate them to English, then release them.I’ve read the three volumes of “The Killer” that they’ve put out, and managed to track down “Secret History” (volume 1 was out of print, but Chapters actually had a copy in stock). They’ve also started releasing comics based on some Jim Henson properties – Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller, The Dark Crystal, and Tale of Sand (a screenplay that was never made into a movie). Their books are all really high quality, and the ones I’ve read have been excellent stories.
  4. My kid
    Yes, he poops a lot, and cries a lot, but Broderick is pretty awesome to have around. Kat has gone out with him a few times and left me at home, and it’s really weird not having him around.
  5. Books
    I’ve been trying to read more lately, and thankfully a writer friend (Lee Goldberg), and some of his friends had a big Kindle book giveaway last week. There were 75 books for free, and many of them were short stories. While I enjoy novels, short stories can be a blast as well, simply because you can read them in much less time (which is something I’m short of). I have so many books that I bought and haven’t read yet – I hope to make time for them sooner rather than later.
  6. Twitter
    I’ve met a ton of really awesome people on Twitter! Both virtually, and in person. Edmonton has a wonderful Twitter community. If you aren’t on Twitter, you should give it a shot.
  7. Kat
    This wasn’t a list of things in order, but I saved the best to the last. She’s an awesome wife, and a super awesome mother, and I can’t imagine going through life without anyone else by my side. She makes me laugh, she makes our house pretty, she pushes me, and makes me a better person, and for that she is the most awesome.
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I love pinball!

Playing pinball, shortly after our wedding

Pinball is awesome – I love it – and I’ve recently been feeding my addiction with a new iOS game from Zen Studios called “Zen Pinball.” Now, I already own Zen Pinball on the PS3, along with all 11 of the tables they’ve released, plus Marvel Pinball, a game from the same company featuring Marvel-themes pinball tables (6 tables for that).

Anyway, last week they released Zen Pinball for iOS as a Universal app (meaning the same app runs on the iPad and the iPhone), and I’m in heaven. My favorite table from the PS3 version is “Sorcerer’s Lair,” and they’ve bundled that for free with the iOS game, and the game itself is a free download! They’ve also made Wolverine and Captain America tables available for download at just $1.99 each. Though I own them both, I jumped at the opportunity to buy them again because I could now play them “on the go.”

The game plays beautifully on the iPad, with its nice large screen. It’s a bit more difficult on the iPhone, because the table is quiet detailed, and the screen is very small, but it’s still a blast to play. I used to routinely drop $20 into pinball machines as a teen, so these tables are a steal at $2. I expect we’ll see a lot more tables released for the game in the coming months, especially considering the backlog of tables they have from the console release, and Marvel Pinball (which will get another 4 tables added to it next week).

Also coming in 2012 is “Pinball Arcade,” a new game from Farsight Studios. These guys have been around for a long time, and they’ve released a number of games under the “Pinball Hall of Fame” series (Williams, Bally and Gottlieb). While Zen Studios focuses on creating new tables, Farsight focuses on recreating existing tables in digital form. This is great for fans of the classic pinball machines, as it gives us an opportunity to play games that cost thousands of dollars, for just a few bucks. While they’ve released a few trailers showing off the first four tables, and promised lots more available as downloadable content, they haven’t mentioned a price yet. The game will be available on PS3, X-Box 360, iOS, Android and Nintendo 3DS. I expect I’ll buy all the tables on the PS3 and iOS, and I’ll love playing them all.

That photo was taken at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, just a few hours after Kat and I were married. Look closely and you can see the ball is still in play (down near the flippers).

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