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Thursday, July 31, 2014

WTF is... Anachronox?

These guys are all delightful and charismatic, I promise. Because I wouldn't keep playing if they weren't.
It's a delightful little gem I found in PC gamer's 25 greatest RPG's and simply had to have. It's as if Deus Ex tried to out do Final Fantasy VII and they hired Douglas Adams to write it. It's funny. Not funny for a 13 year old RPG. Funny, funny. Funny in a way that doesn't beat you over the head with desperation (as some insecure games are wont to do). The writing is sharp, the spoken dialogue, professional (the guy who played Marcus in borderlands is the lead, and he's wonderful), and the maddeningly ancient facial animation is heartfelt enough to shine through playstation era character models. A herculean feat from where I'm standing.

If you've been itching for some classic turn based JRPG magic, but with a more western tone, this is your jam. It's tough at first... I forgot games could look this muddy. But it has a heart and a killer sense of humor.

It's $7 on Steam and $6 on GOG. Take your pick.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PC Gamer's 25 greatest RPG's of all time.

So maybe I'm throwing this up here because I'm trying to avoid real review articles. Maybe it's because they've put some of my more obscure favorites in there (dredmor!!!! holy crap, I thought everyone forgot that ever existed.) And maybe, just maaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe my favorite game of all time is #12... and Fallout 3 isn't on the list at all. But this is a great list that doesn't have deus ex in the #1 spot and a game that came out 3 months ago is in the top 16.

Bet you're wondering what it is, huh?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

And down we go... (my impressions of the Crown of the Sunken king)

Though much easier to find than the original's DLC, From software has brought the pain. It starts off simple enough, tall and hard hitting toxic zombies with some new puzzle switches, it shakes things up considerably fifteen minutes in.

For one, and this is kind of a spoiler, I knew it was only a matter of time before player phantoms (those transparent ghosts running around that are actually other people playing the game) became enemies. I fell for it. Hard.

If you've got $25 to throw down for some more dark souls, go for it. I say this after only sampling the first course of three.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Whiplash Trailer: One half boiler plate relationship story, one half J.K. Simmons being a complete and total BAMF.

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone on the internet that isn't on Simmon's side. He's so lovable, especially when he's being an asshole. Whiplash looks to turn that around, giving him a character that is so caustically abusive in such a short amount of time, that this trailer scared me more than most horror movies.

Oh and Miles Teller.

He's in it too.

...he's ok.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gardians of the Galaxy: It's apparently really, REALLY good.

While it may be surprising to some people that Chris Pratt can carry a movie, It's no surprise to me and my fellow pawneeans. I love James Gunn and I loved all the trailers, but even still, I've fallen hard for some real pieces of sh*t. Yet I still want to believe.

But the film has been recently screened. And the word is thunderous.

That word is also amazeballs.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Superego is back for Season 4! ...and Paul F. Tompkins is along for the ride.

My favorite gaggle of improvisationalists are back after a what seems like a 2 year absence. It's only been one, but that's how much they've come to mean to me. I've tried to put into words how funny I think they are. How they're just as much fun when they miss their marks as when they hit it out of the improv park. How the word of the day calender makes me spit hot coffee out of my nose after I've heard them both at least 4 times each.

They return September 1, with only an agonizing two month hiatus between each episode... probably. It will feel like two months to me, anyway.

Musings about Planes: Fire and Rescue

You remember cars? The red headed step child of the Pixar family so ridiculously lucrative it's straight to video sequels still get a theatrical release?

You know the one.

Anywho, I was reading the reviews on RT and I stumbled across a pretty damn interesting insight from the National Catholic Register. Yeah.. they review movies. But more to the point, Stephan Greydanus  points out a stunning logical fallacy about the whole thing that just made me smile:

"Think of the climactic forest fire in Bambi, and then take away the deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, birds and people. A forest fire ... in an uninhabited forest"

The movie exists in the Cars universe. The one without people or animals. But planes are stopping forest fires. What are they rescuing? Car campers? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I had the weirdest argument today...

I've never been a big reader of peanuts, but I read enough to get the major themes. I liked it, but when a peanuts book was sitting right next to Calvin and Hobbes... there was no competition for me. But to the point, I was having a conversation and St. Paul Minnesota came up. "You know who's from St. Paul, right?"she said.

"Prince." I said.

"Charles Shulz!" She retorted. And then we went off on Peanuts for a while, and it got me to thinking. No one has ever tried to copy Shulz's success. You'd think peanuts rip offs would be a dime a dozen, but 50 years later, nobodies even taken a swing.
"You know why that is, right?" I said, smugly steering the conversation into waters it didn't need to go into. "Because the strip's all about Shulz's depression, and only someone as talented as him can make a sad and lonely child funny."

She disagreed. She just didn't see it, and I spent a solid 10 minutes trying to explain it to her. Lucy as the therapist, Lucy and the football, pig pen and dysentery.  But I couldn't get through. I guess some people see what they want to see. The fact I needed to make her childhood memory of her favorite comic strip sadder says enough about my issues.

Author: Charles Schulz.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Snowpiercer is Online!

I've been waiting about a year and a half for this! Supposedly it was released a few weeks ago, but it just made it to North Carolina, and now it's all over the internet too. For the price of a matinee, minus gas of course, you can bring Bong Joon-Ho's english opus home to you.

I've got it queued up in the tab next to this one and uh... the "hd" option leaves much to be desired. By which I mean, I don't want to see giant brown pixels in my "HD" black space, Google play! It's like they want us to see this as an inferior option.

...but that's ridiculous.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Fallout 4 continues to be under wraps at Gamescon '14

I'm sick of being angry. It's been four years since Fallout New Vegas was released, a game I'm not ashamed to call my favorite.It sold over 5 million copies by 2011, a number I'm sure is much, much, higher after 2 years of bargain basement steam sales.

We know it exists, yet Bethesda says nothing, and the silence is deafening. Just recently we heard it will be a no show to GC '14, they will instead be showing off The Evil Within and... ESO. Well there it is. Bethesda's ravenous white elephant. It's clear it still needs more subscribers, and I doubt their investors want anything drawing focus.

I'm too tired and disappointed to screed. It's too precocious of a franchise to waste, so 4 is inevitable, but this is getting ridiculous. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Alien Isolation Nostromo: a pre order bonus is officially more interesting than the game itself.

Did you want an original cast reunion with your survival horror alien game? Well you got it now, buckko!

I love this for a few reasons, an interactive re-imagining of one the greatest horror films ever made notwithstanding, this is not something Sigourney Weaver would do for just another paycheck. Or at least I'd like to think she wouldn't. The material released so far is damn impressive, so I'm choosing to believe the actors were coaxed on board by it's merit. Instead of the franchise's cloying, desperate, need for good word of mouth. I'm still going to wait for reviews, I don't think they'd dare embargo them this time until release.

But don't get me wrong, I'm still giddy abut this. My pen may be poisoned, but I can't stop smiling. Also the whole thing takes place right after John Hurt dies so... damn.

Oh well.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bob's Burgers has been appraised!

This is, flat out, the best show on fox. In fact, it's best animated show about a family since the golden age of the Simpsons. But enough about it's artistic merits, how much does Bob pay for that place a month?

Blogger Laura Allen crunched the numbers to figure it out. But before you scroll to the bottom and leave, know that there's much more scrumptious financial details in her origonal post. It's good reading. And yes, financial details are sometimes scrumptious.


Damn that's small...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

In which I eat crow about The Lone Ranger.

The Lone Ranger was not a good movie. But damnit if I didn't like it, and damnit if I didn't wind up respecting it. A film that hangs a lampshade that good on a white guy playing a native American needs a formal review. I mean Tonto winds being just as embarrassing to the other natives as he is to us. That kind of turn does not exist in completely cynical filming, and while this is a very cynical movie that hates it's own reason for existing... you know what? I'm gonna save that for the review.

Just know that I'm sorry for judging a book by it's cover, and that the critical consensus just seems political to me now. Unforgiven it ain't,  but it's better than the last 3 pirates movies combined. You forgot there was more than 3 didn't you? Well that happened, and we let it happen.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Crytek on Strike.

This is a first, that I'm aware of. A video game company has gone on strike. Long has it been known that working conditions in this industry are more than a little manipulative/emotionally abusive. But I believe this is a first. Long have the threats of bigger workloads and tarnished resume's from upper managers kept the code monkeys in their cubicles. But it sounds like Crytek UK has left the building. According to Kotaku's inside source, about 100 employees have walked out.

This probably won't end well. This is a shoe every major publisher knew was going to drop. They most likely have a contingency on top of contingency on top of a standing army of scabs. That's actually what the role of programer is, pretty much. A scab. The majority are ushered in during crunch time and let go when the project's done. It's a nifty way to side step health benefits.

The question is, will more companies file suit? The next Homefront game being canceled (probably) is one thing, but what about the next Assassin's Creed or COD? That could seriously get a union ball rolling, hopefully. But maybe not. I can't wait to see what happens next, though.