Closing Thoughts – Ryse: Son of Rome

Coming hot off of my playthrough of The Order: 1886, Ryse is an odd beast to play now. It’s hard to imagine a more cynical showpiece game than The Order, and the reception for Ryse back in 2013 left me expecting a similar experience. Needless to say, I was surprised to find a game largely devoid of pure QTE sequences, with a combat system that tries something new and very nearly succeeds. The end result is an imperfect spectacle that looks amazing, plays decently, and feels like an odd amalgam of character action games and a Call of Duty-campaign.

3/5

Closing Thoughts are reviews-in-brief, meant for games I play that are either too old or too small to write a full review for. That, or it’s the only part you would have read in a full review anyway. The world may never know.

Closing Thoughts – Costume Quest 2

This sequel’s time-travel plot starts on uneven ground, but the experience quickly coalesces into something more enjoyable than the first game. Costume Quest 2 is a Western take on JRPG tropes, and unfortunately, like the first game, it can’t quite keep those tropes entertaining throughout the entire game. While I found the costumes and kids adorable, and the story endearing, I once again found it a bit hard to praise a 7-hour RPG that overstays its welcome. When a game like Persona 3/4 can keep it’s turn-based battles engaging for dozens of hours, it’s easy to see that Costume Quest 2 falls short.

3/5

Closing Thoughts are reviews-in-brief, meant for games I play that are either too old or too small to write a full review for. That, or it’s the only part you would have read in a full review anyway. The world may never know.

Tak3n – Film Review

Whether you call it Taken 3 or the more absurdly appropriate Tak3n, Liam Neeson’s latest continues the fine tradition of devaluing the charms of the first film. The original Taken wasn’t very good either, but it had good quotes, good moments, and enough to merit required viewing from any action/revenge movie fan. The concessions you have to make — the “not very good” part — have had a brighter light shone on them with every passing sequel.

Continue reading Tak3n – Film Review

Destiny’s Iron Banner is better, but still needs some work

I’ve put a lot of time into Destiny’s Iron Banner “Reforged” over the last three days. The event, set to run through November 24th, is a twist on Crucible PvP where the gear you bring into battle can give you a big advantage. A level 30 player is going to have an easier time, and that’s the whole idea — to reward the players who have spent dozens of hours leveling and raiding to get the best stuff.

It’s also an opportunity for those who have been unlucky with raid gear drops to finally (maybe), get those boots or gloves they’ve needed to reach level 30. That’s been the case for me, and I’m happy to report that the grind through Iron Banner’s reputation ranks is pretty reasonable if you’re dedicated and can do some of the tougher bounties. Continue reading Destiny’s Iron Banner is better, but still needs some work

Interstellar – Film Review

A review should be your own take on a film — your subjective opinion. Unfortunately, I went into Interstellar expecting the next Prometheus or Gravity. The reviews under RottenTomatoes 74% consensus describe another preposterous sci-fi film with big ideas that handles them in sloppy ways. I was ready to see characters making nonsensical, frustrating decisions in the style of Prometheus. I figured the adherence to the rules of space travel would start and stop with the needs of the plot, just as Gravity handled it.

Continue reading Interstellar – Film Review

Nightcrawler – Film Review

I can’t help but imagine Jake Gyllenhaal’s turn as Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler, forced to go on a roadtrip with Ryan Gosling’s character from Drive. Would the driver ever speak a word as Lou Bloom prattled on about the state of the job market? How long would it take before one of them killed the other?

They’re two characters impaired by neurological issues that keep them from connecting with the general populace, yet they channel that strangeness in entirely different ways. The driver is an idealistic fantasy — a stranger who takes matters into his own hands to save people. Lou Bloom is the sad truth, the thing you’re more likely to get: a slimy, manipulative, exploitative sociopath who sees would-be connections as opportunities to get ahead. Continue reading Nightcrawler – Film Review

Everyone hates Hatred

Hatred, the new mass-murder shooter from Polish dev Destructive Creations, seems to be universally hated by the press, despite the fact that no one has had a chance to play it or assess it on any fair terms beyond the trailer. The almost universal reaction against the game rubbed me the wrong way when I first saw it. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing a game on its own merits, but when those merits have yet to be revealed, the carpet-bombing of hate against the game starts to sound like a call for censorship — even if that’s not the intention at all.

Continue reading Everyone hates Hatred

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