Splatter Elf Logo 2

(dramatic pause)

The last Splatter Elf tale that was published is One Goblin Army in September 2016. It’s been almost a year since the last Splatter Elf release. To say it’s a passion project is an understatement. While in the past I would get upset with myself after having such a long writing dry spell, I don’t feel bad about it this time. That’s because I know I have more Splatter Elf in me and it might be released sooner rather than later. It’s fun to write and some people have even really enjoyed it. That’s enough for me to continue with the series.

Is it widely known? No, but I’ve a few ardent supporters. I’m glad for that, but I think the lack of overall interest comes from a few sources:

  1. They’re short stories. People like novels. I’ve yet to make a novel in the Splatter Elf world (yet that’s on the horizon). One Goblin Army has come the closest at novella length, but being it’s not the first in the series has probably caused some issues.
  2. They’re bloody. A lot of fantasy readers don’t like blood and gore, even if it’s down for schlocky effect. The words “Splatter Elf” evoke a certain feeling in readers. Either it is “That sounds awesome” or “Ew…yuck.”
  3. They have a lot of cursing. Another thing that can turn off readers is characters that curse a lot. Katzia curses. A lot. Other characters do as well. Some readers don’t like that. The cursing is actually toned down in some of the later stories because I have actually made that part of the universe. Bathbrady has said “Cursing curses a journey.” This is because the gods frown upon naughty language. Maybe that’s why Katzia ends a lot of her adventures beat to hell.
  4. I’m not a marketing juggernaut. Like most people, I don’t know what the shit I’m doing when it comes to marketing or selling a product. This might mean doing a number of things to re-boot the universe. These things are in the works soon-ish.

Despite these things, Splatter Elf has seeped more into another aspect of my life: gaming. I think the potential for some kind of Splatter Elf game could be great, that’s why I’ve been spending the lion share of 2017 making various games. Like novels, most of the games won’t see the light of day because they’re not ready or are too poorly conceived. Yet the more I work on games, the more I feel closer to reaching something I think could work really well for the Splatter Elf universe.

While the Splatter Elf content has slowed to a trickle publicly, it is still very much a part of my daily thought. In fact, few other projects have the staying power that this has had with me. I think this ties into the fact that it’s a low pressure, high fun world. I don’t feel the need to constantly create content, but when I put something out there, I’m pretty effing happy with it. That’s why if a Splatter Elf game does come to fruition, it’ll be at the top of my priorities.

Some might be wondering what’s going on with Katzia, Bathbrady, and Grinner, and rest assured that they’re adventures are not over. In fact, they’re only beginning.

If you’re new to Splatter Elf, you can check them out here. If you read them and liked them (or not) leave reviews. They keep the writer malaise at bay.

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Like most long challenges, sometimes they end with a whimper instead of a bang. Due to a bunch of other distractions, I crapped out a bit on my Final Fantasy challenge towards the end. That doesn’t mean I failed necessarily, I just saw no light at the end of the multiple tunnels and it made me think “Balancing these games is hard as shit.” Here are my final thoughts on, well, Final Fantasy Month.

Final Fantasy 1

As usual, Final Fantasy 1 leaves me in a lurch. Every time I play this game, I find myself in the same situation: leveling up near Elfheim, trying not to get poisoned and hoping to hell I run into Ogres so I can get money and level ups more quickly. Wolves? No thanks.

So I didn’t advance very far, trying a few journeys to the Marsh Cave in which every enemy beat the holy dog shit out of me. Especially the four Mindflayer looking dudes. 

That said, Final Fantasy 1 is still one of my favorites in the series. I will probably continue to play it even as March comes to a close. I just won’t be playing it every day.

Final Fantasy 2

I beat this game a few years back and thought “I probably won’t play that again.” Yet here I was playing it again. I don’t hate this game by any means, but I do think it has the steepest learning curve of the whole series. I think I’m somewhere near the Imperial City, Borsk or whatever the hell it’s called. I’m unlikely to finish my playthrough of this one, but it’ll taunt me like a stubborn hangnail anyway.

Final Fantasy 3

Being that I already had a copy of this for the DS, it seemed redundant to buy another version for my Vita. But it was on sale, so whatevs. This is another game that sorely needed a makeover after its release and I think they did a good job sprucing it up. It’s one I may come back to simply because I think it’s one of the few I’ve never beat. And if you fought the last boss, you might  know why. I remember getting my ass kicked my a huge turtle. Yeah, that’s about it.

Final Fantasy 4

Another one I beat not that long ago, it’s still a game I can play over and over again. I’m not a huge fan of the moon part of the game, but the characters and storyline are still enduring after all these years. I got a little stuck on the battle with “King Baron,” or Calamazoo the Shitty Tidal Wave Turtle (what is it with me and turtles kicking my ass). I will probably put this one on hold for now since I beat it not that long ago, but it’s a favorite that feels like a warm blanket now and again.

Final Fantasy 5

Criminally underrated, Final Fantasy 5 always shows me something new each time I play it. The job classes are fun and it’s nice to experiment with them. The characters are pretty good and the storyline is simple. It’s a game I don’t remember ever beating, but for some reason I think I did. I left off the game at the end of the month on a mountain (maybe). I was just starting to find a rhythm with my current group, so it’s likely I’ll come back to this one soonish.

Final Fantasy 6

My favorite still, playing this again made me happy as usual. However, it can sometimes be like watching a movie you’ve seen over and over again. The game doesn’t offer much in the way of replayability like some of the others on the list, that is until your characters get higher level. Playing through the early parts is always good to remember nice times with one of the best RPGs ever, but I’m less likely to go through this one again simply because I have so many games right now I’d love to get to playing.

Final Fantasy Tactics

Maybe I’m impatient with tactical games more than I thought or I’m playing too many casual games as of late. But one thing I noticed about Final Fantasy Tactics, one of my all-time favorites, is that it’s not an easy game to just pick up for a few hours. It requires dedication, something I’m not really able to give it right now. While I’ll always love this game and will likely give it a try again sometime in the future, for now I need to put this one on standby. 

So that’s my conclusion of my month of Final Fantasy! I had good times, bad times, and great memories. Starting next month I’ll be playing PC games again, so check out the website for news about that soon. 

Which games in the Final Fantasy series would you like to revisit? Comment below!

I made it through my second week of a different Final Fantasy game a day and I’m slowly realizing why I didn’t replay certain games in the series. I’m looking forward to playing some games over others and I’m having to grind a lot more in some as well. Let’s see how Week 2 panned out, shall we?

Final Fantasy 1

The one I typically look forward to the most is the original in the series. Why? Not sure. Maybe it’s nostaglia or anticipation of how my party will turn out once I get them leveled up. I tend to rush through the game every time I played it in the past, but I’m doing a bit more grinding than normal. My Red Mage, Jack of Alltrades, has taken the lead in the group for now. He’s reliable in several different situations, but doesn’t really excel at anything. Works for me! Akira, my Monk, is slowly building up his hand-to-hand strength and Kenji, my Thief, tends to be hit or miss. Pretty much the only reason anyone gets a Thief is to have a Ninja later on, so I’m holding out hope I made a good decision. And Tako is Tako. Low level Black Mages are pretty shit, but he packs a punch when the need arises. I’m killing ogres right now, trying to get coin for some upgrades before hunting down Astos the Dark Elf!

Final Fantasy 2

I think I played this one for about 30 minutes this week. Again, probably my least favorite in the series. It also has a “figure it out” dynamic that some of the other games don’t seem to have. That means no one seems to really tell you where to go. So I wandered around and got killed by a sorceror or some shit. Great. Try again next week.

Final Fantasy 3

This is another one that has a bit of a steep learning curve for people more familar with later games in the series. I actually had to look up a walkthrough for the first time this week in order to figure out where the hell I was supposed to go. At the end of my play session, I kind of figured it out, but still wandered around lost for most of the time.

Final Fantasy 4

I’ve been chugging along on this one. It’s much easier compared to the first three in the series and the characters are some of the best. Right now I just met Golbez the bastard asshat the first time and he zapped everyone in my party. Then he stole Rosa. Kain, sometimes friend, sometimes shithead, also Jumped on Cecil and splattered him everywhere. Good times. Now with encouragement from Rydia, I’m off to find Rosa!

Final Fantasy 5

I’m enjoying this one a lot more than I have in the past and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s dabbling with the different jobs in new ways that makes the game not get too repetative. Right now I have Bartz as a Sorceror, which allows him to cast magic on his sword and kill folks. I’ve changed Reina over from my main bruiser to a Time Mage, so hopefully she can get some good spells before I move her back to my main fighter. After having Galuf as a Monk for a long time, his punching ability is solid and now I have him as a Red Mage to balance him out more. Faris is my Blue Mage, but I’m still not sure the benefit of this job yet other than getting one lame ass dog bite attack. I’ll hold out hope that it’s going to be more beneficial in the long run. Storywise, I think I’m about to find out more about Galuf’s identity as I try to save the Fire Crystal. Woo hoo!

Final Fantasy 6

I didn’t get to play much this week on my favorite game in the series, but that’s fine. The game moves so smoothly that it never feels like I’m lost or don’t know what I’m doing. It gets grindy later on when trying to get Esper abilities, but for now I’m just enjoying the story. Terra is on her way with Edgar and Locke to South Figaro where we will eventually meet up with Banon, the leader of the Returners. Good times!

Final Fantasy Tactics

I was busy on Sunday, so I only got to watch some brief cutscene explaining something about Melee and Rendezvous. Didn’t get to play this one otherwise, but it’s still a great game that I’m looking forward to going through more later.

That’s all for Week 2! Look out for more updates next week and share any comments you have about the above games. Favorite characters or moments? Thanks!

For March I decided to play a different Final Fantasy game for each day of the week to celebrate 30 years of awesomness. To say Final Fantasy was a big part of my childhood is like saying sloths like hanging out in trees. I played the games from a young age up until now and I never get tired of some of them. This first week made me realize why I enjoyed the earlier games in the series so much and the difference graphics can make on a gaming experience.

Before the official challenge, I did a little playing on Final Fantasy 1 and 2.

Final Fantasy 1

I had earlier in the week gotten past the initial parts of the game so I could have a save point to jump right into. I went with a Monk, a Thief, a Red Mage, and a Black Mage. This is the first time I’ve tried this variation, so I was looking for a bit more challenge since I’ve heard Red Mages are pretty much useless later in the game and Monks and Thieves are hard going in the early part. Without the standard Fighter to bash the shit out of everything, I worried that I might not be able to deal. So far I’ve just been beating up goblins. No real challenge so far. I figure once I go after Garlard then I’ll see where my party stands. No deaths yet!

Final Fantasy 2

The game that tends to be a least favorite on many people’s lists, I have to agree with this. The fact that I’m playing the Playstation One version of it makes things even more difficult to manage. I had the PSP version years ago. No telling where it is now. I can’t say this game really does anything for me other than the before its time Elder Scrolls style leveling. Basically, if you use a sword, you get better at using a sword. Some people hated this style, but I think it’s one of the few strengths of the game. None of the characters are particularly memorable in this game to me and I didn’t get far enough this week to really say I’ve made an effort.

Wednesday, March 1st-Final Fantasy 3

The official beginning of the March challenge, this game is one of the few Final Fantasy games I never beat. I played it for DS and got brutalized by the final boss so many times I just said eff this ess. Now playing the PSP version on Vita I don’t notice much difference. I accidently killed myself by using the Auto Battle function once and then got slaughtered by a mummy and a skeleton after wandering into the Mithril Caves. Whoops. Luneth and Arc are the typical JRPG friends. One is the tough guy, the other is a wimp that will probably become badass later on. Note: The only cool Arc is Arc the Lad.

Thursday, March 2nd-Final Fantasy 4

Usually in my Top 3 Final Fantasy games of all time, I dearly love this game not only because of nostaglia, but just because the cast is fantastic. I played past Mist in which Cecil and Kain unknowingly murder a whole village and then say “Sorry.” Rydia is nice to Cecil too early considering he, um, murdered her mother (“Did I say sorry?”) and then I prepre to head off to cure Rosa from some disease only an ant/lion hybrid’s spit can cure. Or something.

Friday, March 3rd-Final Fantasy 5

A sleeper in the series, I think 5 should get more credit than it does. The characters are decent albeit stereotypical (the old man is always tired, the pirate woman talks like an asshat), but the job system is cool addition to the series. Right now I’m going with Bartz as a Black Mage, which is rare considering most people default him to the fighter position. I’m going with Faris as Blue Mage since people recommend having a Blue Mage. I haven’t figured out the point of it yet. Reina is my main Warrior, although I’ll probably bounce her around to white magic now and again to get her some paladin-level epicness. Then Galuf is my White Mage since he has beard. I dunno. Right now I just finished up the Wind Shrine, went through the canal, and working my way through the ship graveyard. Fun!

Saturday, March 4th-Final Fantasy 6

My favorite Final Fantasy of all time, I always love to play through this one. I’ve beat it a few times and I seem to always go with a very similar party to make my main one. So far I’ve just been using Terra and Locke, but I’m on my way to Figaro after being assisted by Moogles to escape Narshe’s asshole guards. I may try to use characters I’m not as fond of as my main party later in the game. Setzer, Relm, Gogo, Thiago, and such.

Sunday, March 5th-Final Fantasy Tactics

I played this game a little today, but I haven’t gotten very far only completing the initial prologue mission and rescuing Argath from the Corpse Brigade (awesome name). I forgot that this game uses some archaic English in order to sound Medieval, but it’s a welcome change. The game takes itself more seriously than others in the series I think, but it’s gameplay is excellent for anyone that likes tactical games. I usually go with Ramza as a heavy-hitting Knight or Ninja, but I may go the magic-user route with him this time.

That’s it for the first week. Which of these Final Fantasy games do you like the most? Let me know in the comments below!

With the 30th annviversary of Final Fantasy here in 2017, I thought I’d do something similar to what I did for Darkest Dungeon last year: I’m going to spend one month in March playing Final Fantasy games every day. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll beat any of them, but it’ll be interesting to see the pace I keep for each one. Since I’m a retro guy, I’m going to go for the older games for this challenge. In preparation for this challenge, I’ll post my thoughts about each of the games I’ll be playing since I’ve played, if not beat, all of them at some point in my life.

MONDAY: FINAL FANTASY I DAY

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I don’t even remember when I first picked this game up, but it was a life-changer for me. I think I must have saw a friend play it, as that was usually the case. It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s when I beat if for the first time since it’s one of those games you absolutely have to grind in. I vaguely remember trying to do the typical party, Fighter, Black Belt, White Mage, Black Mage and that never working out that great for me. Considering I’m in my mid-30s now, I’m not going to go the easy route. I’m going with a party that will most likely get me killed a shitload in the beginning.

  • AKIRA-Black Belt
  • KENJI-Thief
  • JACK-Red Mage
  • TAKO-Black Mage

Anyone that has played the first Final Fantasy might cringe at that selection, but I’m going to see how it works out for me. It’s doable, as any party is, even all Black Mages (which I imagine would be kickass in the later part of the game, dire in the beginning).

TUESDAY: FINAL FANTASY II DAY

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Considered by some to be their least favorite game in the series, I would have to agree. I beat it several years ago when it came out for PSP and I don’t recall being that excited about it other than that I had scratched another game off my list. This game involves a group of friends, Firion, Maria, Gus, and Leon fighting against the Emperor. The story isn’t bad and it does introduce a concept I quite like in that whatever skills you use, that’s how you get better (later used by Elder Scrolls, sort of). I’m not sure what kind of party I’ll go with this time, but I might try something like this:

  • FIRION-White Magic, Blunt Weapons
  • MARIA-Fighter, Sharp Weapons
  • GUS-Black Magic, Bare-fisted
  • LEON-White and Black Magic, Sharp Weapons

WEDNESDAY: FINAL FANTASY III DAY

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One of the few Final Fantasy games I rage-quit, Final Fantasy III was a game I spent a lot of time on with the DS. I got to the end of the game and the final boss kicked my ass so badly every time I tried, I just gave up. And this is one of those levels where I don’t think you can save for a long time before fighting the final boss. So yeah, quit that one. This time around, I’ll probably be more careful with how I level my party up. It’ll be interesting to say the least. Onion Knights all the way? My party will likely aim for once I get all the jobs is this:

  • LUNETH-Devout
  • ARC-Ninja
  • REFIA-Magus
  • INGUS-Dark Knight

THURSDAY: FINAL FANTASY IV DAY

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This was the game that probably made me fall in love with the series the most back when it was Final Fantasy II for SNES. I used to watch my friend play it a lot and thought it looked so awesome. I beat Final Fantasy IV on PSP when it was re-released a few years back, so I hesitated the most to buy a digital version of it as well. However, for the purposes of the challenge, I’d like to try playing the game again and try to get some of the hidden things and such. You don’t have as much control of your party in this game, so I’ll just roll with whatever I’m given. I’ll just list some of my favorites:

  • CECIL (Dark Knight version)
  • KAIN
  • TELLAH
  • EDGE
  • RYDIA
  • SPOONY BARD

FRIDAY: FINAL FANTASY V DAY

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I only have the Playstation One version of this game, so the graphics look pretty dated, but this is another I don’t remember if I beat it or not. I’m pretty sure I did, but my memory is fuzzy on it. It wasn’t released originally for the SNES in the U.S. for whatever reason, but I do remember the game bringing back jobs and that being a cool thing I enjoyed about it. My party for this go-around might be a little different than what I’d normally go for:

  • BARTZ (or BUTZ): Black Mage
  • REINA: Mage Knight (Physical)
  • GALUF: White Mage
  • FARIS: ¬†Blue Mage

SATURDAY: FINAL FANTASY VI DAY

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My favorite Final Fantasy of all time, this is one I always look forward to playing and I’ve beaten it a few times I think. Due to the huge cast and ability to customize them however you want with various magic and such, it’s hard to pick who I’d say my main party would be. This is another one I’d just roll with and see what works best. Part of my likes the games that allow more direct jobs, but Final Fantasy VI does offer a lot more variety and mix and match gameplay.

SUNDAY: FINAL FANTASY TACTICS

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No, I’m not picking Final Fantasy VII. I might save that for another “later entries” challenge since I own VII-X as well. Final Fantasy Tactics is one of my favorite games period, not only in the Final Fantasy series. I’m a huge fan of tactical games like Ogre Tactics, the early Fallout games, and the D&D Gold Box games, so it’s always fun to go back and play FF Tactics again. I have the War of the Lions PSP version, so there are the added cut scenes, but I’m not sure what else is different from the Playstation One version. I tend to go with mixed parties on this game as well, but I’m thinking of trying to not just make Ramza a Ninja like I always do. Let’s try something different!

So that’s my plan for March. I’ll play a little of these games each day and then give slight updates weekly on my blog. Should be another wild experiment that will sap my time. Yay!

What are some of your favorite Final Fantasy games? Share in the comments!

Board Game Haul 2017!

Posted: February 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

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Last year I went to America and picked up some cool ass games. In 2017 I did the same thing. I went with my bud Jody to a local game shop and played some games. I’m pretty well addicted to games these days and I’m looking forward to buying more at my OWN local game shop in Japan, Yellow Submarine in Yokohama where I got the Japanese version of Carcassonne. This doesn’t have any bearing on the game itself because there is no text, but just putting that out there. I specifically pick up games that can be used for two players, so you’ll notice all of these games have two players or more. Now I’ll briefly review the games I’ve played that I picked up in 2017. Wee!

Carcassonne

I’ll start with Carcassonne. I had to watch a Youtube video to get the rules of the game since the rules for my version were in Japanese. After a few playthroughs, me and my wife got it. I’ve since played it several times, even with my family back in Mississippi. It tends to slightly confuse new players with its scoring system and I’m still not 100 percent clear on it. That said, I do enjoy this game a lot and recommend it for people looking for something traditional to play.

Rory’s Story Cubes

I’ve heard of these before and spotted them at Wal-Mart. I had a gift card, so I figured why not pick them up. They look wonderful for coming up with story ideas and also playing a silly story-telling game. I also hope to use these for teaching down the line.

Tsuro

I played the other version of this game first, the one with sea serpents and boats, so I was a bit surprised when I realized I bought the original version that has stones and paths only. Making the paths can be a little stressful, in a fun way, especially when you find out your path sends others flying off the board. This is a great introductory game and I actually left this one with my brother and sister-in-law to keep with them so they can play it with other people.

Dead Man’s Draw

Another relatively easy game to pick up, but looks slightly overwhelming when first looking at it. I’ve played it several times now and it is always fun. I think it’s a great card game that can be picked up quickly. I just played it a few hours ago with my wife and she kicked my ass (as usual) after she got the gist of the rules. I love that you can blow up cards with the Cannon, see the next card with the Fortune Teller, and other sorts of skills the cards have. Fun, fun, fun!

Splendor

Considered the starter game of starter games, Splendor is an excellent resource collecting game. I think this is one of the best introductory games to get people interested in tabletop games. There are gems you collect in order to buy permanent resources. It’s fun and usually doesn’t take a long time to play. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a gateway tabletop game.

7 Wonders Duel

I haven’t played this one yet, but this looks like the most involved one I picked up. I’m interested to see how this one goes whenever I get around to playing it. It has more elements to keep up with than some other games, but it has won several awards, so I imagine once I get to play it, I expect it will be pretty good.

So that’s all this time. If you have any recommendations for two player games, I’m always looking for them. Share below!

 

Sometimes you need to just research things. Wikipedia is the fast and easy source, but social media is becoming a good place to find out about your favorite authors. For this week I’m part of a collective effort to get the word out about some 99 cent fantasy reads you can consume. I’ll tackle two writers a day and share some info about them so you can learn about who you’re reading. Hey, what a novel idea, right?

This first entry will look at gnome-lover Kenny Soward and the grimmest dude this side of Grimville, Michael R. Fletcher.

Kenny Soward

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  • The first book in his Gnome Saga series is 99 cents! Pick up Rough Magick now!
  • He loves Bob Ross.
  • He was on The Grim Tidings Podcast as part of our AUTHOR THUNDERDOME¬†with Seth Skorkowsky.
  • He writes urban fantasy as well such as Galefire I: Fade Rippers.
  • He writes books full of gnomes and still manages for all of them to be unique characters.
  • He likes cats. Maybe more than Bob Ross. I’m not sure.

Michael R. Fletcher

fire-and-flesh

  • Fire and Flesh, a short story in Fletcher’s world of Manifest Delusions is 99 cents as well. Of course Manifest Delusions started with the awesomely dark Beyond Redemption and was recently continued with Stabby award-winner The Mirror’s Truth.
  • He’s been on The Grim Tidings Podcast a shitload of times (and will be on there again soon). I think he holds the record for most appearances.
  • He loves whiskey drinks.
  • He often listens to the lamentations of his enemies.
  • He rocks out on the heavy metal guitar.
  • He’s GDAF.

So that’s two of the authors featured this week with me in the Ten Fantasy Reads for Under a Dollar. Stay tuned for another post in the near future on more of these authors.

When making the plunge into self-publishing a couple of years ago, I had to make several decisions. One of the easiest decisions was making my stories 99 cents. That seems to be the industry standard for selling shorts and Splatter Elf has flowed out of me best in the short form. I’ve tried various ways to promote my stories, but this is the first time I’m doing a 99 Cent Splatter Sandwich. Does it make sense? Shit if I know, but why not try something different?

I was approached by cool writer Peter Fugazzotto (who we interviewed on The Grim Tidings Podcast a while back) to be part in Ten Fantasy Reads for Under a Dollar back in December and I thought, “Hell, that sounds like a good idea.” When I saw the names listed with me later on I was like “Oh shit! That’s some nice company!”

I admittedly don’t know jack donkey turds about the publishing industry, but I’ve sat under the learning tree with some smart f-ing people by being part of The Grim Tidings Podcast. One thing that seems to stand out is that promotion should be a reminder of a sale, not spammy, and as creative as humanly possible. Therefore, I’ve decided that I’m going to do the following:

  1. Keep my first story “The Unicorn-Eater” at 99 cents. Think of it as a toll to enter the Splatter Elf gates of slimy hell.
  2. The second story “River of Blades” will be free from January 17th-January 20th.
  3. Ditto for the third story (novelette) “The Bog Wyvern.”
  4. And the regular priced 2.99 novella One Goblin Army will be available via Kindle Countdown from January 18th-January 22nd for 99 cents. (A little sloppy overlap.)
  5. Hence, the 99 Cent Splatter Sandwich. 99 Cents, Free AF, Free AF, and 99 Cents.
  6. Yum yum.

In addition to doing this weird ass sale, I’m going to research the other nine writers included in this Ten Fantasy Reads for Under a Dollar dealio and share what I’ve learned about the writers here on my new-fangled website. Some I’m very familiar with (looking at you, Fletch) while others I’m interested to learn more about.

Here’s the Ten (including my goofy ass!)

  • Scott Oden
  • Michael R. Fletcher
  • Peter Fugazzotto
  • Django Wexler
  • Kenny Soward
  • T. Frohock
  • J. Ray and S. Cushaway
  • Philip Overby (me!)
  • Charles Allen Gramlich
  • Brian Barr

So look out for me this week, January 16th-22nd slinging some Splatter Elf action your way!splatter-elf-2016

Overby’s Obsessions #3

Posted: December 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

overbys-obessions-3

Welcome to another Overby’s Obsessions in which I talk about things that geek me out at the moment or I just enjoy in general. This post is going to be heavy on games as I’m in “game mode” right now. I go through phases, as I’m sure most do. Phases in which they binge TV shows or get a lot of writing in. My current phase is all games. Games, games, games. Even more true than normal because my wife got me an early Christmas gift in my Playstation Vita, something I’ve been eyeing for some time. Why? Because of the wealth of awesome indie games that I thought would be better to play on a handheld than PC. And wow, I’m glad I waited.

So let’s get into the things that are rocking my batshit crazy world!

GAMES

Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines

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This was a game I picked up on a whim after a lot of “best RPGs of PS Vita” digging on Youtube and other websites. It hasn’t disappointed so far. While the difficulty is mostly easy, there is some wandering about that gets tiresome at times. The biggest takeaway is the art style and gameplay. The gameplay allows you to mate with gods and goddesses (yeah) and build up your town all while hunting various demons. It’s a fun time-spender that I’ve sunk several after work hours on.

Shovel Knight

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I was hitting Shovel Knight hard for a few weeks when I first got it. A beautiful retro-style game that takes all the elements I loved from 8-bit games (namely Mega Man) and plays with the tropes. I’ve run out of steam on the game in the last few weeks due to a difficult last stage, but it’s still one of my favorite indie games I’ve picked up so far.

Dragon Quest Builders

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This one was on sale a while back and I figured, what the hell, I’ll give it a try. I’ve always been a fan of various Dragon Quest games and the idea of a Minecraft-like blend seemed intriguing. I was never a big fan of Minecraft, but I think Dragon Quest Builders captures the elements people love about Minecraft and gives it the whimsical adventure of Dragon Quest as well. A huge plus from me on this game. I’ve spent numerous hours building and bashing slimes.

Tyranny

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On the PC, I picked up Tyranny. While I haven’t played this game much, I have loved it so far. You play a henchman (or in my case woman) of a dark overlord and have to mete out his justice across the realm. You can forge bonds with people in several ways, but so far I’ve been a pretty brutal adjudicator.

Other Games of Note: Darkest Dungeon (Vita version!), Volgarr the Viking, XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus, Dragon Fantasy Book 1, Hotline Miami

BOOKS

Fish Wielder

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I just reviewed this book on Amazon (link here) and I’ll add more of my thoughts on the old blog. This is the kind of story that I’d love to see more of. It relishes in fun violence, humorous dialogue, and off-the-wall characters. I really enjoyed what Mr. Hardison has put together with the world of Fish Wielder and hope to see more of this style of fiction from him in the forseeable future.

A Crown for Cold Silver

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My “longish read” is A Crown for Cold Silver. I’ve already mentioned it here several times but it remains and enjoyable story from top to bottom. While my reading has been slower as of late, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Alex Marshall’s stellar fantasy series.

Just Started/Upcoming Reads:

Hell Come to Hogtown

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I’ve had this book for a little while from indie author C.D. Gallant-King, but have just now gotten around to reading it (yeah, I said I’m slow). I just finished the first chapter and it seems to promise a lot of geekery and weirdness that I’d expect from him. The pro wrestler hasn’t shown up yet, so that should be a blast to read.

TV

Fuller House

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Most people that know me are aware of my obsession with Full House. That has transitioned over to Fuller House which I’ve talked about before on my website (comparing it to Star Wars no less). Season 2 has been my current watch-a-thon and it continues on that same surreal nostalgia mixed with self-aware nausea that makes it the train wreck I can’t stop watching. I say this as a fan as well. I actually like that this season, especially the nightmarish Thanksgiving episode, feels like it gives less of a shit about delivering anything new. Rehashing old storylines and making a fuss out of the innocuous (Gia vaping and Max getting chickens) keeps me saying WTF over and over again. There are certain characters even that I love to hate such as the more annoying than Kimmy, sort of husband Fernando and Joey Gladstone’s pack of screeching children. I can’t wait until Season 3.

That’s all for this week! Anything you’re obsessed with at the moment?

 

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Katzia stared at the big ass eyeball since there was little else she could do. It floated mid-air, looking down on her, but without eyelids or eyebrows it proved difficult to tell its mood. She tried clearing her throat a few times to see if it would drift away back into the recesses of the Necrogardenia Woods, but no such luck. Her hunt of a local Sap Troll had ended with a knife in its skull. After it twitched and attempted regeneration a number of times, Katzia hacked it to death with her warm-bladed sword Buttermaker. Then this eyeball appeared. That usually wasn’t a good sign. Shit was about to get real.

“So are you just going to float there or do something, asshole?” Calling an eyeball an asshole felt a bit strange, but Katzia felt justified in her remark.

The eyeball vibrated, a dull whirring sound emanating from its iris.

“Ugh.” Katzia clutched her stomach, the root soup she had for dinner threatening to come up. “Fine, just float there. But I have an early morning back to the Rolling City. This Sap Troll is worth quite a few jackcoins. Even hacked to pieces. You wouldn’t think so, but there’s a big market these days for Sap Troll parts. I think they make pancake syrup from them. Weird, I haven’t had any pancakes yet. I guess I should try some one of these days, huh?”

The eyeball whirred again, this time lower. An unamused whir. Good, her plan was working. But she had to swallow back a bit of vomit. This couldn’t go on for long or she’d be spraying chunks all over the forest.

“Are you not happy with my kill? That’s strange. I wouldn’t think a giant fucking eyeball would give a shit. I mean, you’re an eyeball. What do you care about one Sap Troll? Sure, there aren’t many left around these parts due to the pancake craze, but they are still incredibly violent. Did you know I saw a Sap Troll puke steaming sap all over one of my partners once? Jurric the Oakballs they called him. Curious nickname. Surprisingly enough I never asked why they called them that. Even after he was dead, I never asked his family either. Of course I had to go back and tell his family what happened. Shame that is, looking at his wife’s pinched face. Truly a remarkable sight his wife. I haven’t seen such–”

The eyeball didn’t whir this time, but slowly glided to the left.

“Wait, I’m telling you about Jurric’s wife,” Katzia said, waving Buttermaker at the eyeball. The yell0w-bladed sword glinted with light, shining it directly into the eyeball’s…eye. Or eyeball’s face. Whatever the fuck an eyeball has.

The eyeball kept moving.

Katzia followed, her voice getting louder. “Jurric’s wife, come to find out, was a shapeshifter. Can you believe it? All these years he’d been with a shapeshifter. No telling what kind of weird shit she was into. I had to kill her after that. Huge bounty on shapeshifters around that time. They’d been infiltrating a few of the smaller villages and fleecing people for all their money before splitting town. Bounty hunters from all around were wearing shapeshifter ears around their necks. It became quite a fashion item. So much so, that people in the Dragon Sputum Empire were begging for them. That meant I had to kill even more shapeshifters. You know how hard it is to kill a shapeshifter?”

The eyeball stopped. A small voice came from a pulsing vein. “Please stop following me.”

“But don’t you want to talk? That’s why you’re looking over me, right?”

“No,” the eyeball said. “I wanted you to leave my forest. I am a minor god here, Corgreezium, Watcher of the Living, Dead, and Nearly Dead. You killed one of the creatures in my jurisdiction.”

“Apologies, but I’m a hunter. I kill shit.”

“Yes, I realize this, but most hunters leave when they see me,” Corgreezium said. “I am a huge eyeball after all.”

“I’m not most hunters,” Katzia said. “I’ve seen things loads scarier than you. Scab golems, blister-eaters, hairless albino mole men, neon-colored pus giants. You’re not so scary. Off-putting, yes. Scary? Hardly.”

“Please do not come here again,” Corgreezium said. “If you hunt just seven meters to the west, you will be in Gorchaxi’s part of the woods. He is a giant ear, so he is much better at listening than me.”

“But I like talking to you,” Katzia said, plunging her sword into the earth and leaning on the pommel. “It’s rare I get to talk to anyone on these solo hunts. The Sap Troll didn’t talk much. Just screamed and gurgled.”

“I should be going.”

“To do what?”

“Um, to watch over the forest more.”

“Come on, you don’t need to do that,” Katzia said, waving the eyeball over. “You can sit with me a little longer.”

“I cannot sit,” Corgreezium said.

“You know what I mean. I have a lot of things I want to talk about. My father mostly. He’s such an asshole. You know he tries to undercut me every chance he gets? I find a new sword, he finds two. He actually has people he pays just to collect swords for him. Calls them his Blade Maids. They’re actually real maids as well. Clean his house and shit. He’s such a huge douche. He’s got Butlers, too. Shield Butlers. They go with the Blade Maids on adventures. It’s this whole bizarre housekeeping gimmick. It’s unbelievable how much he cheats. Granted, he’s old as shit, but make an effort, you know? If you’re going to be in the sword-collecting game, do like me. I have six swords right here. I can tell you how I found each of them. Let’s start with Buttermaker. Now this one was quite a hoot. Birgom the Bleeding Hat found it first, but I had to–”

Corgreezium disappeared into a cloud of sparkly dust.

Katzia’s ears popped, she shook her head and sniffed a few times. It smelled like apples for some reason. She sighed and walked back over to her camp site. She patted the bloody sack with the Sap Troll inside.

“Just me and you again, buddy.” Katzia whistled a few seconds and then remembered where her story left off before the eyeball had interrupted. “Oh, so like I was telling you before, this goat demon had a huge booger hanging out of its nose…”

For more Splatter Elf Flash check out the first episode of the short serial Cruds and Scumzy and you can buy the other shorts/novella at Amazon.com! (Click the picture below)

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