Have You Ever Been To A Video Game Music Concert?

Yesterday, after having recorded my weekly podcast, my friend Francis and I were sitting down, chatting, and browsing the interweb—yes, that word exists!

04.jpg

On my Facebook feed, Francis noticed an upcoming Ghibli show in Montreal. He screamed in excitement. I stared in confusion. I, for one, had no idea what Ghibli was. So I asked him. And he explained. Simple, right?

Now explain it to us.

My pleasure.

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio. The performers in Montreal will be playing scores from Studio Ghibli, heard in movies such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke—movies which I have yet to see but have heard of on numerous occasions.

While scrolling through the OVMF website, I saw a concert titled “NES Concert”. This drew my attention right away. I clicked on the link, read the description, and my heart-race increased: there is an NES Concert this October, in Montreal. Scores will be performed from games such as Kirby, Final Fantasy, Super Mario, Metroid, and more.

I asked Francis if he wanted to go, and he said yes. We will be buying our tickets in the coming days hopefully.

I have heard of many people who went to video game concerts in the past, but I have never gone to one. I am very excited for this NES Concert. Being able to hear an orchestra perform hits from classic video games is sure to send shivers down my spine—all the way to my coccyx.

Have you ever been to a video game music concert?

Chant-note: DO not REply; it is MIne, this FAcetious SOng that LAnguishes the TIp of the human DOgma.

Board Game Review: Hero Realms

Board game aficionado Jonathan here.

Two weeks ago, I went to the Randolph boutique to use my gift certificate to acquire a new board game. I received this 25$ gift card because I volunteered this past March at the annual Montreal Joue gaming pic3236535.pngfestival, in Montreal.

Really? I would have never guessed that Montreal Joue was in Montreal.

I was contacted in March a few days after Montreal Joue and was told that a 25$ gift certificate was waiting for me at the boutique to thank me for my volunteer work. I already have many games that I haven’t tried, so I didn’t rush out to get something new—to say the least, I didn’t have a clue as to what game I wanted.

I finally decided to go two weeks ago.

I leisurely walked around the store in athleisure, and couldn’t seem to find a game in the 25$ range. I decided to take one last walk around the store, in case a game decided to call me out or something—and one did.

Low and behold: Hero Realms stood before me.

The box was glaring at me from the shelf, calling my name.

I had heard about this game in the past, and I wanted to try it. To my luck, it was priced at 23,99$, which was exactly what I had to spend. So I decided to pick it up—and wow, am I happy I did.

I opened the game a few days after getting it, and played it many times in the first day—wait, can you guess how many times?

Hmmm, 5?

A little more.

Intense much? 10? 11? 100? 9000?

Exactly: 11 times.

What is Hero Realms?

Hero Realms is a 2 to 4 player deck-builder game in which each player has 50 hit points. Your goal is to be the last one with hit points remaining. To eliminate other players, you buy cards to strengthen your deck which will allow you do bigger combos as the game progresses.

Each turn, you draw 5 cards, and you can play them in any order you wish. Your possible actions are mainly:

  • Playing cards from your hand to get various bonuses;
  • Buying new cards using gold;
  • Attacking by adding up all your combat strength.

Once your turn is over, the next player takes his 5 cards, takes his turn, and so forth.

The game ends, as mentioned, when there is only one player left standing.

My Thoughts of Hero Realms

I think I already know the answer to this one.

Yup: I love it.

The game lasts about 15-30 minutes when playing with 2 players, and I enjoy starting off with a crummy deck and trying to build it into something epic. Each game feels different, even though there are only 80 or so different purchasable cards that come with game.

I tried the 4-player variant where each team of 2 players has a total of 75 hit points, and it was also a lot of fun. However, the 3-player variant wasn’t to my liking; I really prefer this game as a symmetrical 1 on 1 or 2 on 2.

Have you ever played Hero Realms? Or any other game 11 times in a day?

Hero-note: I wish I was playing right now, and that I could play 11 times.

What’s Your Favorite Convention?

For the past few years, I have been attending the Expo manger santé et vivre vert (henceforth called Expo Convention in this post for simplicity) convention held in Montreal. I must say is my favourite convention I have attended to date. I have been to some others—such as Montreal Commicon—and enjoyed them tremendously, but nothing compares to the Expo Convention for me.

1155193-plus-30-000-personnes-attendues.jpg

I am presently sitting on my couch writing this post because there is still some time left before meeting up with my friends for the convention. I am eager to slip on my boots shortly, walk over to the convention, and start tasting!

Here is a brief summary of what it is:

Frequency: it happens once a year, and normally lasts three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a heap of fun, for quite cheap too.

The space: It is held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, a center where many conventions are held (such as the famous Montreal Commicon). It takes place in a very large warehouse-style size room. The exact dimensions escape me; however, let me tell you one thing: it is huge. Each year I spend at least 5 hours there and it doesn’t even allow me to visit all the kiosques—let alone taste all the ones I do get a change to visit.

Fee: the entrance fee is definitely fair: 14$ for a regular entrance, which includes the day pass and food/product samples from every company offering them (almost all do offer a least a few). 14$ is the price of quick lunch, and every year I fill up on food here, tasting all kinds of stuff. I normally don’t even eat supper when I get home, because I’ve been munching on tasters for 4-5 straight hours. There are discounts for students and senior citizens, and it is free for everyone under the age of 16! I love how they trying to promote healthy lifestyles to adolescents by making this a cost-free experience.

The layout: there are hundreds of kiosques of all varieties, ranging from nuts and oils, new state-of-the-art home water filtration, natural body creams, and everything in between. In general, if you’d like to stop at each kiosque, get to learn about their products and taste some samples—normally they have many—you’d best plan more than one day at the Expo Convention.

The main concept of the convention: showcase products that are deemed healthy. Most of the food products are organic (I’m always skeptical to know what actually is a well certified organic product and what has less high standards, making it inevitably similar to the non-organic counterpart). All non-dietary products are in line with healthy methods of living, such as natural body creams and natural supplements.

And there we have it! If you’d like to read more about it, the link in the first paragraph brings you directly to the official website.

I have skipped out on breakfast this morning to be able to taste everything that appeals to me without becoming bloated too quickly (this happened in a previous year).

For you:

Which convention is your favorite? I am curious to know what other kinds of conventions are out there—I am sure there are plenty I have never even imagined existed!