Tag Archives: Harry Potter

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The Once and Future Franchises – Comparative Opinions Episode 55

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! In the wake of the bad reviews for both Valerian and The Dark Tower, hosts Holly and David talk about franchises (and adaptations) that have succeeded – like Harry Potter – and ones that overstayed their welcome or didn’t even get going. They speculate a bit on some franchises and adaptations in the works, and then go through some of the titles they would like to see adapted.

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Audio

Journalism in Fiction – Comparative Opinions Episode 44

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week, hosts Holly and David consider the prevalence of journalism, as well as reading and literacy in general, in science fiction, fantasy, and comics properties… as well as the seeming lack of such in the Star Wars universe. Short answer: there’s a whole lot of journalism in fiction!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

The Definition of Fantasy – Throwback Thursday

Last week, I shared the first in a series about defining Science Fiction, and next up in that series I tackled the definition of Fantasy, for a bit of compare and contrast. There’s more explicit comparing and contrasting to come later, so first, let’s explore Fantasy. What do you think of the definition given?


If I really want to talk about differences between Science Fiction and Fantasy, then I really need to have solid definitions of the two. I recently gave my working definition of Science Fiction, from one of Science Fiction’s greatest practitioners – Frank Herbert. So now, we need a definition for Fantasy.

So why not get that definition from J.R.R. Tolkien?

I don’t know the source, except that I found it circulating on Facebook. There is a signature in the lower left, so I will let that speak for the creator of this image. I found this on Doctor Who and the T.A.R.D.I.S. on Facebook, but this is mostly just a Facebook page that shares images from the fandoms, mostly Doctor Who. Actually, one I recommend, just know that there’s a lot of images that they share. Be ready.

Anyway, after the jump, check out the definition of Fantasy!
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Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle – First Impressions

This last weekend at Platypus-Con, we picked up Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, a cooperative 2-to-4 player deck-building board game. We liked it for the Harry Potter-ness, for the two-player-ness, the deck-building-ness, and for the cooperativeness. So basically, every part of it sounded good to us! Since we didn’t game as much over the weekend as originally intended, we cracked this one open and jumped right in.

Opening the box even is a treat. The game has seven boxes for the seven game modes, playing out thematically the seven books in the series (with art being stills from the movies). So you read some rules, crack open box one, and get started!

We’ve now played through book 4/game 4.

You play one of four heroes, the three you would expect, and Neville Longbottom. Each have a starting deck with mostly the same cards, but a couple of unique ones which help guide some of your deck selection. Your objective is to defeat the villain cards – all of them, one at a time. Your ticking clock is that you are defending locations from the book that the villains are claiming. You’re also managing character health, and then your money and fight resources.

The common goal of course makes the game cooperative, but there are a lot of cards – and more as you go along – that help multiple people or let you choose who to help. You can give others resources to use on their turn, or especially heal people up – or just straight-up card drawing.

The game gets harder as you go because in each book, you are adding more cards to the decks – more helpful cards for your characters to buy, yes, but also more dark event cards, and especially more villains. You just add them on in, more and more each game as you go along. Game 4 was not easy!


There’s a lot of games you can sort of compare this one to. Obviously most deck building games can be compared together just on this mechanic, although of those the best comparison is probably Legendary, the Marvel superhero deck building game. In Legendary, you’re also playing against a villain deck and such. There’s differences in how it plays out, elements that fit the themes differently, but it’s one comparison. I haven’t played much Legendary, but I will say I have enjoyed this game so far a lot more.

Another comparison is to the reveal-the-game-state sorts of games like Time Stories or Pandemic Legacy. The boxes for each book, complete with rules updates as you move forward, provide for a changing experience, increased difficulty, and surprises. We may have opened the rest and peaked ahead… Unlike the Legacy type games, the changes aren’t permanent (the cards say on the front which year they belong to so you can separate them back out if you want to). And unlike a game like Time Stories where you kind of “solve” the mysteries and hidden elements, the surprises in this are more for fun than anything else.

Which means for me, I think this game more resembles something like Level 7 Escape, where you’re cooperatively fighting your way through, and you move from one challenge to the next in an evolving game. You can go back and replay the whole thing from the top, or replay whichever game experience you want from the middle. Or just play the final battle over again! The gameplay itself is different, as that was a board exploration RPG sort of game, but it’s still a good comparison for overall feel.

The overall experience of the game, the box and its contents, the board and its laid-out areas, the cards… we’ve liked it all so far. The difficulty has definitely picked up with each successive game, and the advice we heard that experience deck-building players could probably start with year 3 wasn’t wrong. Still, it was fun to play those early years, with the limited spell roster and only a few friends and items!

Oh speaking of advice, we got that from noticing a how-to-play video on Geek & Sundry! I’ll leave you with that. Let me know if you have any questions or comments on the game!

Audio

Comparative Opinions: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Episode 23

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week, hosts Holly, David, and Julia tackle Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its place in the larger Harry Potter expanded universe. Spoilers? Yes! Possibly accurate speculation? Yes! Sorry this one ran even longer than normal, but… Harry Potter!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

https://www.facebook.com/ComparativeGeeks/

https://twitter.com/comparativegeek

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros