Author: Nicole Stephensen

The Age of Decadence
Iron Tower Studio

Reviewed on: PC
Street: 10.14

The Age of Decadence is an RPG set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world with little magic and lots of combat. Mankind has destroyed itself and only a few city-states are left with factions in them that battle against one another. You can play as any faction in the game, and you will hear the storyline of the game from a different perspective depending on which faction you choose. This means that Age of Decadence has plenty of playability—you can start over with a different character in another faction and get a different story each time. You also get to craft your own narrative based on the choices you make. Each time you play a different faction, you get another piece of the story, so in order to fully understand the game, you have to play as a few different characters. The theme of the game is the fall of the Roman Empire, but in Age of Decadence it’s not your typical Roman Empire, it’s much more technologically advanced.

 

If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons then you will understand the character building in this game very well. The stats and skills are set up exactly like Dungeons and Dragons, and, just like in D&D, you choose your attributes and skills, and it is always wise to choose a few skills to be good at instead of trying to distribute them across the board.

 

The combat in this game is completely unforgiving, which means that those of us who play RPGs casually may not like Age of Decadence. Make sure that you pay attention to the combat tutorial as it does have a bit of a steep learning curve. You have to learn how to distribute your skill points in order to become a better fighter, but also distribute them in a way that doesn’t make you an illiterate troll with a battle axe. Once you experiment a few times with different characters (after dying a lot) you’ll start to understand how to distribute your skill points in order to finally kick some ass (however, this does take some time).

 

Age of Decadence is very reminiscent of Fallout 1 and 2, both in gameplay and graphics. I can’t by any means say that the graphics in Age of Decadence are stunning or breathtaking, but they aren’t awful to look at, and the gameplay itself makes up tenfold for the outdated graphics. I also have to mention that it is a turn-based RPG, which would normally be an immediate NO for me, but I was able to look past that because the game itself is that fantastic.

 

Similar to games like Fallout 3 and Skyrim, the game is decided largely on the choices you make. Dialogue in this game is key and the way you interact with every NPC around you does change the way the game plays. There are also multiple endings to Age of Decadence, so if you are a completionist like I am, then you’ll have to play through a few times to get the whole story.

 

I’d absolutely recommend Age of Decadence to any RPG fan and maybe even to our casual gamers … but beware, you will die—a lot—and you will have to play as a few different characters before you finally start to make some progress through the game. The playtime and game content alone make Age of Decadence easily worth the $29.99 that it’s selling for on Steam. Age of Decadence is definitely up there with some of my other favorite RPG titles.

I was stoked for this intermediate cosplay panel, as someone who considers themselves an intermediate cosplayer I was excited to see some techniques that professional cosplayers use to build armor and props. This panel had a really fantastic line-up of professional cosplayers who used all kinds of techniques to build their cosplay—from EVA foam to thermal plastics, it was a great variety. They conducted this panel in a Q & A style where they took questions from their audience during the entire panel. I really hate to admit this, but I actually fell asleep during this panel—it was dreadfully boring. I know that the panelists had good intentions and knew their craft really well, but the entire panel was audience members asking them how to construct pieces of their cosplay or how to get started on constructing a cosplay at all.

 

First of all, this is an intermediate cosplay panel discussion, you shouldn’t be asking “How do I get started making cosplay” when we’re here to learn advanced cosplay techniques—go to the Cosplay 101 panel and ask those questions. Second of all, instead of telling people how to make pieces of their cosplay, they could have explained or even demonstrated how to work with difficult materials like EVA foam or mats. They would answer the audience’s questions by giving them a brief explanation of what type of materials they should be using to make their cosplay then instructing them to visit YouTube or their own personal Facebook/Twitter/YouTube channel to watch their tutorial on how to do the thing.

 

I honestly have no take-away from this panel, other than that I should just search YouTube for tutorials which is exactly what I was doing before I attended this panel on intermediate cosplay. I apologize for being so harsh, but I was very disappointed with this panel. They should do a more instructional and in depth style panel, then answer audience questions throughout the panel instead of purely a Q&A style panel where they only give brief instructions on how to do intermediate cosplay techniques. 

Read More: You can check out more Comic Con stories on SLUG’s Salt Lake Comic Con coverage page!

I’m still reeling from the Felicia Day panel, I’m not even done with Salt Lake Comic Con but I can already say in confidence that this was my favorite part of Comic Con. Maybe I’m a little biased because I already had a deep love for Felicia Day after reading her book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), and seeing her as Charlie from the popular television show Supernatural. She’s also appeared in a television show called The Guild, and has her own online web series that is pretty sweet. I’ve been to tons of celebrity panels over the years—not just at the Salt Lake Comic Con but also at the San Diego Comic Con which I have attended for 13 years consecutively—I can honestly say that Felicia’s panel was 1 of my top 3 favorite celebrity panel’s that I’ve ever been to.

 

Felicia Day didn’t have a moderator, she chose to do it Q & A style to allow her fans to ask her anything and everything—from personal stories, questions about her work, and even questions about her favorite video games and DLC. Q & A style panels are either a complete success or a total failure, there is no in-between and it’s usually the latter, but Felicia rocked her panel. She answered her fans questions while keeping the audience laughing, there was never a moment during her panel where I stopped to check Facebook on my phone or browse through my text messages. The only bad part of this panel was a fan who gave away a huge spoiler from season 10 of Supernatural that killed my interest in watching it. Salt Lake Comic Con needs to add a “no spoilers” rule to their guidelines on celebrity panel fan questions because this was an absolute bummer, but even with that buzzkill I still walked out of the Felicia Day panel starry eyed and bushy tailed. I hope that she comes back to Salt Lake Comic Con next year because I would gladly see her again.

 

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You can check out more Comic Con stories on SLUG’s Salt Lake Comic Con coverage page!

Doctor Who Ultimate Xperience
Doctor Who Ultimate Xperience
Karen Gillan and Billie Piper. Photo: Matt Brunk / unlifephotography.com

The most popular event of the entire convention featured the 11th doctor Matt Smith and two of his companions—Billie Piper and Karen Gillan. Well, technically Billie Piper wasn’t his companion, but she made a reappearance during his season as The Doctor. Fans of the show would ask them questions, they would respond, and it usually created a very exciting discussion. Fan’s asked questions from anything that had to do with Doctor Who to favorite sports teams and even more intense questions about handling domestic violence and abuse.

They managed to keep it lighthearted and upbeat regardless of how deep the questions were, and I can honestly say that there was not a moment during this panel that I felt bored. This panel’s success was not only due to Matt, Billie, and Karen, but largely in part to their fans and the variety of questions that they asked. I personally was not a huge fan of Matt Smith as The Doctor, but after learning more about him and watching him interact with his fans I suddenly want to go back to that season and watch it again.

I left this panel excited to watch Doctor Who, and that’s really what it’s all about. Also, who doesn’t love British accents? I also really loved them mentioning the differences between the U.S. and the U.K., like good plumbing and western movies. I felt like I got to know the actor’s quite a bit during this panel as well as learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of Doctor Who.

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The Holy Grail
The Holy Grail
Monty Python panel with SLUG’s Gavin Sheehan Photo: Matt Brunk / unlifephotography.com

Monty Python’s The Holy Grail was released in 1975, so this year marks the movie’s 40th anniversary. This panel featured more well-known X96 radio personalities such as Kerry Jackson and Bill Allred, who are both fans of the Monty Python series, as well as a few other guests from local podcasts.

The mix of younger panelists—who were not yet born when the movie was originally released—and the older panelists who got to witness the release first-hand, made for a very interesting panel. It was fun to hear the stories about the movie’s original release and how it was received by its audience. It was also interesting to hear about how people my own age were introduced to the series or movie. Not many people knew of Monty Python’s Flying Circus before watching The Holy Grail, so many people who watched The Holy Grail had no idea what they were in for.

The panel also took time to discuss why The Holy Grail was still popular four decades later. We can blame it on good writing and jokes, that much is true, but a lot of the jokes that they made about religion and politics are still applicable to today. There wasn’t a lot of interaction from the audience aside from the typical few questions they took from the audience toward the end of the panel to kill time. I’m not really sure what I’m expecting when I attend these panels, but they all really seem like college lectures to me. I will admit that this panel was more entertaining than yesterday’s, but it still had a lecture-y sort of feel about it. I really just liked listening to the older panelists reminisce about the release of the film and share some cool stories about how it was filmed.

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