Not content to wait until Mass Effect comes out on the Xbox 360 on Nov. 20, today I bought the novel that's supposed to lead into the game. I think I should score some geek points for reading a book about a video game that's not even out yet. I would have bought the novel sooner, except I haven't found it until today. I've been watching the book aisle at Wal-Mart for months, but I finally found it today at Books-A-Million. I had to ask the clerk if they had it, and they had only one copy. BioWare should prod their merchandisers a bit. Will they have Mass Effect action figures, too? It remains to be seen.
I've read only one chapter so far, but so far so good. I'm enjoying it. The author, Drew Karpyshyn, wrote "Star Wars: Darth Bane," and it was pretty good.
I also bought a Star Wars Insider magazine, a Heavy Metal magazine, and a collection of original Robert E. Howard Conan stories called "The Bloody Crown of Conan." I felt like falling back on the classics.
Speaking of Conan, I played the new Conan game demo that's a free download on Xbox Live. It's definitely worth a look. The game is an obvious "salute" to David Jaffe's God of War, but it's Conan. And it's fun, judging from the demo. I found the most screen shots for it at the THQ site for the game. The artwork is reminiscent of Frank Frazetta, who is my favorite artist, so that's a great big plus. Note that the Mature rating includes nudity, which is entirely appropriate for a Conan story, as any fan of Frank Frazetta's art knows.
And I recognized two actors' voices. Ron Perlman is doing the voice of Conan, and he's a great actor, but the way he's playing Conan, he sounds just like Hellboy. (Perlman is also in production doing the voice of Conan in an animated feature called "Conan: Red Nails," which looks promising. It has Clancy Brown in it, too, aka the Kurgan and Mr. Krabs.) I imagined Conan to be a little less snarky than Hellboy and more heavy and dark, but I've got to read the original Robert E. Howard before I form a firmer opinion. In the meantime, I respect Ron Perlman's interpretation. The guy played a really good caveman in 1981's "Quest for Fire" long before the Geico caveman, for crying out loud.
Furthermore, the woman from Farscape, Claudia Black, does the voice of the hot barbarian babe warrior queen. That's her character in the screen shot above, courtesy of THQ, God bless 'em. Could she be the cause of the nudity rating?
Life just gets better and better.