Tag Archives: xbox

Video Game Rack Fighter’s Mass Effect: Andromeda Journal – First Thoughts

By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Video Game Correspondent


Hey 3.5 nerds.

Video Game Rack Fighter here, taking a break from Car Thief Mayhem to talk about Mass Effect: Andromeda.

This go around, a contingent of space travelers have left the Milky Way in search of greener pastures (and planets) in the Andromeda Galaxy.

I’m only an hour or two into the gameplay.  My initial thoughts:

  • I’m not as big a fan of the character face/body customization options this time.  In the last game, I had my own version of Shepard that I used in all three games.  This time, I couldn’t really make one that I liked so I just went with the default.  I admit it could be that I’m too impatient to work with the options until I find one I like.
  • I do like that you get a twin.  I don’t know for sure but I assume this is for those folks who wondered what they were missing out on when they played Mass Effect as male or female Shepard.  (Were you missing out on FemShep if you were ManShep and vice-versa?)  You can make the twins the same sex, but why not dip your toes in both waters?
  • I’m mildly concerned that there hasn’t been much of a chance to shop or visit space stations or make friends or hump anyone.  These were the most fun parts of the original and they must be reproduced here.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Are you playing?  What do you think?  I’ll keep posting my thoughts as I move forward.

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Video Game Rack Fighter Cat Demands…

…that you tell him your favorite video games.

Video Game Rack Fighter Cat, not to be confused with his owner, Video Game Rack Fighter.


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Video Game Rack Fighter’s Video Game of the Month – May 2016 – Halo 5

By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Video Game Reviewer


Ms. Video Game Rack Fighter – World’s Number One Car Thief Mayhem Champion; BQB’s Love Interest Until She Can Find a Man with a Blog That Has 7.5 Readers

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, 3.5 readers.

The Master Chief is at it again and this time he’s run afoul of UNSC (United Nations Space Command) in Halo 5.

Gotta level with you.  This game came out in October, so it’s a bit lame that I’m only now getting around to review it.

Then again, it’s equally lame that that nerd BQB only let me have a column in April.

Halo.  What a franchise. What a series. For at least 16 years or so, it’s been the number one reason why you need to have an X-Box.

There’s an intricate back story involving intergalactic intrigue, but if you don’t care about it, you can always just have fun turning aliens into go.

No offense, Alien Jones.  I’m not talking about good aliens.  I’m talking about douche aliens.

Aliens like the species who have formed the Covenant, an organization dedicated to wiping out humanity.

The Master Chief has come a long way and he’s still going. This time he’s disobeying UNSC command.  Throughout the game, you go back and forth, sometimes playing as the Master Chief, sometimes playing as Jameson Locke, the Spartan soldier ordered to bring the Chief in.

The Arbiter (an alien on the UNSC’s side) returns with Keith David lending his voice.  Meanwhile, Nathan Fillion of Firefly and last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer gives his voice and likeness to create a Spartan soldier on Locke’s team.

Halo really upped the video game ante back in the day.  Perhaps there are video game historians with better memories than mine but I believe it was one of the very first (some might even argue the first) game where a character could run around, or jump in a vehicle, or ride in a vehicle while a computerized character drives.  Essentially, the entire battlefield is immersive and along the way, you choose the best weapons, vehicles and overall approach that fits your strengths and weaknesses.

Do you need to have played the previous five? You’ve missed out if you haven’t but no, you’ll still catch the plot. If you don’t catch it, just shoot some aliens and keep running.

Or climb in your Warthog and drive in an epic race towards safety. No Halo game is ever complete without an epic Warthog chase.

STATUS: Rack worthy.




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Random Thoughts

  •  Is it me, or does WordPress change things around every five seconds?  I feel like no two visits to my dashboard are ever the same.  File under: nerd problems.
  • If you haven’t checked out Undesiredverse: Wanted yet, please do.  Give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  Tell me if it stinks.  Tell me if you like it.  Tell me if you think there are dishwasher instruction manuals that could get more sales.  I’d love your input, especially the negative kind to help it improve.
  • Did I mention you can read it on bookshelfbattle.com or on Wattpad?  If you’re on Wattpad, you might find that to be the better experience as all the Chapters are right there whereas they tend to get bumped down on this blog.
  • Call of Duty.  Halo 5.  Fallout 4.  Star Wars:  Battlefront.  I don’t think I’ll see Video Game Rack Fighter again until March:


Video Game Rack Fighter

  • I was sorry to hear about Charlie Sheen.  There are probably 10,000 jokes that could be made about how this is not surprising but Attorney Donnelly advises me that AIDS jokes have been unacceptable since 1990.
  • Alien Jones is still available for Ask the Alien.  Come to think of it, he might have one or two questions rolling around to get to.  Feel free to ask him yours and if he approves he’ll plug your book/blog.
  • Why do people eat pudding?  It has all the calories but none of the awesomeness of other desserts.  You might as well have had ice cream.  Eating pudding for dessert instead of the ice cream in your fridge is like taking your cousin on a date when Charlize Theron really wanted to go with you.
  • Sometimes I want to tape fallen leaves back onto trees.  It seems like a waste and also a shame the trees are left naked.
  • I just invented a time machine.  I used it to travel to ten seconds ago to get myself to change the subject and hey look!  A hippopotamus in a pink tutu!
  • Do you think that because I went back in time and changed the above random musing, that there will be disastrous effects on the world?  They say the smallest tinkering with the past can change the future in terrible ways.  Still, I can’t help but think that my life would be better now if I go back in time and tell myself to stop picking my nose so much.  It would have prevented my deviated septum, the various brain restorative surgeries, and also I might have gotten more chicks.  Then again, I might not have met Video Game Rack Fighter.  Oh well.  I guess I’ll stay a nose picker.




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In Honor of National Girlfriend Day

An Ode to Video Game Rack Fighter

aka Victoria Gloria

aka Victoria Gloria

By:  Bookshelf Q. Battler

Oh!  Player of pixelized fantasies!

Circumventer of fictional globes brought to life by the greatest minds of Seattle.

Oh how overjoyed am I, that YOU, would fight in MY Bookshelf Battle.

Ye, life is more interesting to those who hold an interest in anything.

Even if it’s making your thumb sticks sing.

I met her in a story,

Read by a mere 3.5 people.

I haven’t even finished it.

It’s like a half built steeple.

Will we ever, ever meet the Great Guru?

The answer is something I wish I knew.

Excavator of X-Box, Purveyor of Playstation,

Racking up the experience points in her online nation.

Video games are her version of crack.

And like my magic shelf, things are happening on her rack.

Will she write a column about what she knows best?

Become this blog’s first female columnist.

Put an end to the dude fest.

Will she ever press pause?

Not even if the Yeti ripped my head off with his claws.

BQB now accepting nominations for the post of Poet Laureate.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Ask the Alien – 7/12/15 – Special Guest Justin Sloan

Greetings Earth Losers!  A Happy Sunday to you all and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules of Comic Con Cosplay to read this fine column.

(Sorry, but all 3.5 of you can’t be Daenerys Targaryen.  2.5 of you are going to have to change.)

Huzzah!  My favorite Game of Thrones characters is doing great and...uh oh.

Huzzah! My favorite Game of Thrones character is doing great and…uh oh.

Speaking of, Bookshelf Q. Battler, a Game of Thrones fanboy if there ever was one, not only plotzed, but passed out and had to be resuscitated by the Yeti when he received this tweet:

Yes, that’s none other than Justin Sloan, a writer for Telltale Games, who’s worked on the Game of Thrones video game, as well as Tales from the Borderlands.

He’s an optioned screen writer, a USMC veteran, and a recent guest on the Self Publishing Podcast with Johnny, Sean and Dave:

Read more about that podcast on the Sterling and Stone site.

BQB informs me he enjoyed that podcast thoroughly, because it explains how one author managed to rise above the odds and land a sweet, sweet career as video game writer.  You don’t get there without rolling up your sleeves and putting a little elbow grease in, folks, and Justin can certainly attest to that.

(Plus, Dave doesn’t even complain about the lousy service at Target and Olive Garden once in the entire show.)

Teddy Bears in Monsterland

Teddy Bears in Monsterland

Anyway, long story short, BQB reached out to Justin to inform him he enjoyed his appearance on SPP and Justin, class act that he is, requested that one of his books be pitted against a classic on bookshelfbattle.com

After reviewing Justin’s Amazon Author Page, I, Alien Jones, humble intergalactic correspondent, will now pit one of his works against a classic and decide which one is better.

Teddy Bears in Monsterland vs. Hamlet

Hamlet.  It’s considered by scholars of English literature to be the quintessential piece of writing that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.

It’s routinely assigned in high school English classes and actors believe it is a great achievement when cast in a production of the Bard’s seminal work.

But, it’s severely lacking in the teddy bears vs. monsters department.

I’ve studied the entire play and not once do I see:

POLONIUS:  Come come, my son, for your ship doth prepare to embark and thou hast yet to encounter a teddy bear with magical powers.

LAERTES:  Fi on thee, oh father!  For I hath witnessed many bow tied teddy bears able to harness the power of the supernatural for the purposes of dispatching monsters most foul!

A great oversight on Shakespeare’s part, if you ask me.  I don’t know how he wasn’t laughed out of the industry for such an epic fail.

WINNER:  Teddy Bears in Monsterland (Book 1 of the Teddy Defenders Series, Recommended for Children ages 7-12)

Justin also mentioned that out of all of his works, he’s partial to Back By Sunrise, a Magical Children’s Fantasy Novel.

As an alien being with a superior intellect (which doesn’t take much when you’re around humans), I’m fairly certain Back by Sunrise would soundly defeat The Chronicles of Narnia.  Really, all a competitor has to do is offer Edmund a piece of candy and he’ll gladly sell out his entire family.

Are you an aspiring scribe?  Justin has some books about writing that you might want to check out as well.

Finally, and avert your eyes Game of Thrones fans if you don’t want to read a SPOILER but, come on Justin.  Seriously.  What’s next for Jon Snow?  Is there a resurrection afoot?  Maybe the Red Woman works a little hocus pocus?  Perhaps a little eye of newt gets dropped into a potion and Jon’s back to his old mopey know nothing self again?

Come on.  Spill the beans. The secret will be safe here.  Only 3.5 people read this blog anyway, and one of them is Bookshelf Q. Battler’s aunt.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have an inquiry for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle or leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, or other project in his answer.

Green alien image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Ask the Alien – 3/22/15 – Pixels

Greetings Earth Losers.  Alien Jones here to answer your questions and The Esteemed Brainy One
pump your planet full of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Why?  No offense, but your planet is dumb.  Very dumb.  There are no words to express its level of dumbositude.  So very, very, very dumb.

This week I answer a question from none other than Blogger-in-Chief, Bookshelf Q. Battler, who continues to be a Yeti hostage:

Alien Jones!  BQB here.

Pixels – WTF?

WTF indeed, BQB.  WTF indeed.

Feast your vision receptacles on this trailer, insignificant humans:

Pixels Trailer – Sony Pictures Entertainment

Coming to a theater near you this summer…assuming the North Koreans are cool with it.

To elaborate on BQB’s “WTF” I will ask and answer questions I assume are on the minds of this blog’s 3.5 readers:

Q.  In Pixels, 1980’s era humans place a time capsule on the Moon which contains, among other examples of Earth culture, 1980’s video games.  The aliens misunderstand and take the time capsule as a threat of war and respond by creating massive video game characters, which they use to attack Earth.  The trailer shows Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders attacking Earth.

Is it possible for such a misunderstanding to lead to an intergalactic war?

A.  Such misunderstandings happen all the time.  The Moloklaxons have been on a thousand year campaign, sweeping through the galaxy, taking one planet after another, all because an ambassador from the Intergalactic Diplomacy Organization broke wind in their ruler’s presence.  It wasn’t meant as an insult.  The ambassador had some bad tacos the night before and couldn’t help it.

Q.  But seriously, aliens think video games are real and respond with giant video game characters?

A.  Most species laugh at your video games because ours are so much better.  Few species would respond with war, though the Moloklaxons are willing to fight over anything.

Q.  What’s the point of this movie?  Is it serious?  Is it a comedy?  What the hell is going on?

A.  There are some serious looking Independence Day-esque scenes of monuments being attacked by video game inspired space ships.  On that note, it looks serious.  On the other hand, it stars Adam Sandler and it is about attacking video game characters, so it must be a comedy.

Q.  Is it going to be good?

A.  It will either be great or it will suck with the force of a thousand Dysons.  There will be no in between.  It will either be considered a unique and fun premise or will be Sandler and co’s attempt to run around with video game characters of their youth that sadly today’s kids don’t care much about.  Pac Man was fabulous for its time but today’s youngsters want Call of Duty.  

I fear young people will be like “Who’s Pac Man?” and old people will be like, “I’m so old because I used to play Pac Man!”

I will withhold judgment until I see it and will hope that it is excellent.

Q.  Is there a ray of hope?

A.  It stars Peter Dinklage in a role where he is not Tyrion Lannister.  He is always great as Tyrion but this will give him a chance to branch out.

Thank you for your time, 3.5 readers.  Kim Magennis, loyal Bookshelf Battle fan and proprietor of the Whimsy Blog  submitted some questions.  I have been a bit swamped this week, what with my ongoing diplomatic efforts to convince various worlds to stop trying to annihilate one another.  I will definitely get to those next week.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Submit it to Bookshelf Q. Battler via a tweet to @bookshelfbattle, leave it in the comment section on this site, or drop it off on the Bookshelf Battle Google + page. If AJ likes your question, he might promote your book, blog, or other project while providing his answer.

Submit your questions by midnight Friday each week for a chance to be featured in his Sunday column. And if you don’t like his response, just let him know and he’ll file it into the recycling bin of his monolithic super computer. No muss, no fuss, no problem.

Alien Image Courtesy of “Marauder” on openclipart.org

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Best Video Game Ever

What is the best video game ever?

I’m asking my 3.5 readers to put their choice in the comments and if they want to, explain why.

The Yeti votes for Tapper.  He loves Tapper.  So much Tapper.

"Pour the beverage on the right...slide it down to the left...the perfect game to help children develop obsessive compulsive disorder and alcoholism!" - Tapper, 1983, Game by Bally Midway

“Pour the beverage on the right…slide it down to the left…the perfect game to help children develop obsessive compulsive disorder and alcoholism!”
– Tapper, 1983, Game by Bally Midway

Hmmm…well, I suppose for the record, we must note that Tapper apparently did not work in a bar but rather, a soda fountain, where he poured sodas (in case you missed the big “soda” sign.)  So, no alcoholism.  Just raging caffeine addictions and sugar buzzes.

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Happy Veterans Day! (Literary War Quotes)

Happy Veterans Day!

For the past week, I’ve been offering “Literary War Quotes” – quotes from classic pieces of literature, as a tie in to my latest obsession with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.  I’m half-way through the campaign and have just learned that Kevin Spacey’s character is the bad guy.  Who knew?

It is probably about time to conclude this series of posts with this quote:

“You were just babies in the war – like the ones upstairs!  But you’re not going to write it that way, are you?  You’ll pretend that you were men instead of babies and you’ll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men.  And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them.  And they’ll be fought by babies like the babies upstairs.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

This quote, taken from Vonnegut’s 1969 novel, illustrates an ongoing problem in pop culture – glorification of violence.  In TV, in movies, heck even in video games like the one I’m playing now, war is portrayed as exciting, noble, adventurous and so on.  The heroic parts are played by actors who have never seen war.  And while it is all well and good to portray the heroic and exciting aspects of war, there needs to be balance – the dark side of war needs to be shown as well.

Vonnegut’s point may have made more sense in his day.  In his day, Sinatra or John Wayne would go on screen, do heroic deeds, give patriotic speeches, and then the audience would rarely ever see the blood and guts that occurs during war.  Today, movies have done a complete turnaround and some may argue they show too much.

But overall, wars are usually fought by young people who are just starting out in life and learning about things – this is something we should keep in mind and it can be hard to do when Hollywood often portrays soldiers as battle hardened veterans ready for anything.

This may seem like a silly point to argue but the public can’t be led to think that wars are all flag waving and patriotic adventures, there is a steep price in human suffering that gets paid as well.

That concludes my series of quotes from literature about war.  Sorry if it bummed you out, my intention was more to get people thinking.  At any rate, it is time to move on to more lighthearted topics.

PS – Equally fitting because today is Kurt Vonnegut’s Birthday!  Happy Birthday Kurt!

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Call of Duty

Dear Loyal Readers,

Due to circumstances beyond my control, book reviews will be on hold for the foreseeable future.  Thank you for your understanding.  Have a nice day.



“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
See that?  Sooner or later I always manage to tie it all into literature.  If you miss my witty commentary while I am trying to prevent video game-ized Kevin Spacey from conquering the world, feel free to follow me on twitter: @bookshelfbattle
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