Follow @Mr_McCrackelz

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hannibal's viewership is growing

Which is great, because you will not find better body horror anywhere else. Seriously, the first 3 episodes this season alone have some of the most spectacularly grotesque corpse displays I have ever seen. 

Sure it's pulpy and sure it takes place in a world where every tenth person is an drastically different serial killer. But that doesn't mean it isn't gorgeously photographed and decently acted. So here, watch this promo, I'm going to bed.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's like I never left.

Those turtle dudes ain't so tough. What's From gonna do? Throw 4 or 5 of them at me at onc- OH DEAR GOD, WHY !?

I'm absolutely satisfied with everything I've seen Dark Souls 2 doing so far. The atmosphere and enemy design is as scrumptious and eerie as ever. Never going for the easy blood/gore horror, strictly necrosis and eldritch stuff. I can see nothing has changed for the worse.

Well... the whole "loose 5% of your health every time you die which can only be reversed by an item so rare and expensive it's only helpful to people who have memorized the damn wiki" thing is starting to bug me. But it's probably a balance measure to let them pull off my absolute favorite thing about the sequel so far.

The fact that enemies will die for good! ...Eventually!

 Killed all those annoying grunts on the way to that boss that keeps swatting you away like so many hollow mayflies more than 10 times? Well after that, they're gone. I've often thought the worst thing about Dark Souls isn't it's crushing demand for all your attention and concentration at all times, it's the monotony. The 10 kill mark is the perfect time for a grunt to bow out, because it was never feasible to level grind anyway. And I was getting really sick of some of those zombie/knight's faces.

Anywho, I'm off to to let Puffy-McCfloaterson kill me again. See you tomorrow!

Thanks Kotaku! ...One of these days Puffy. One of these days.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dark Souls 2 is so hard...

You died.

It broke my damn controller. I was all over the place today trying to figure out why my DS character would go into uncontrollable seizures whenever more than one enemy was trying to kill him. "Your controller's broken, dumbass" was the subtext to Namco's silence in response to my tweet for help. And that was my first thought too.

But I popped in The Last of Us, ran through the power plant fight without a hitch, re-installed DS 2, realized that didn't change a thing, wiped a solitary tear of defeat from my cheek, and slinked back to Best Buy for an exchange. They were sold out. Good news for Namco, bad news for my wallet. Though since nobody else in town seemed to have one either, they offered me a cash refund. Best Buy did that, I sh*t thee not. No double store credit for this guy!

And if this were say... Thief, I'd have taken the money and ran. But this is Dark Souls, and I can't say no to it, because we never set up a safe word. So after a little more experimenting, I noticed I was getting the same problem in the PS3 menu now. Great! It was just breaking slowly! All I needed was a replacement. So after $120 I can let DS 2 metaphorically shove my face into a belt sander in peace.

And you know what the saddest part of this is? I'm getting the Steam version the second it hits the net. I'm seriously not this sh**ty with money, like, 99.6% of the time. Honest.

Monday, March 10, 2014

True Detective Season 1 Review: No Mask? No Mask!

When a show comes down the pike staring the kind of actors that TD had, it's easy to let expectations get the better of you. I can't say I was staring down the clock, shaking in anticipation, waiting for it to premiere. But come on, Woody Harrelson and Mathew Mcconaughey as antagonistic homicide partners? There was no way in hell I wasn't going to watch it all, whether I liked it or not. And I can safely say after the first hour I was definitely staring down the clock, shaking in anticipation, waiting for the next chapter of True Detective.

This was the best police procedural I've seen in a decade, maybe ever. Not just for what it did; reversing the buddy cop dynamic, heavily referencing 19th century horror stories, and having one of the all time greatest extended shots put to screen. But I'm more impressed about what TD didn't do. The central killer isn't some insidious mastermind toying with Rust and Marty, there is no humongous plot twist that changes everything you thought was true about the case, and everything you really need to know is laid out after three episodes. It was a "by the numbers" murder mystery. Which isn't to say it wasn't interesting, or even worse, predictable. But after years and years of the diminishing returns of genre reinventions, it was simply refreshing not to be f&*ked with. Artistically speaking.

"Oh, sorta like Blair Witch?" No. THIS IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT, BETTER, THING ...EMILY.

I've always felt that there's nothing wrong with being formulaic, only that mediocre talent is more drawn to it. True Detective was formulaic as hell, so why is every TV critic going nuts over it? Because it's formula done so well, it feels original. It revels in archetypes instead of stock characters, freewheeling metaphysical monologues instead of gruff musings of what kind of hero the city needs, and lets the bitter reality of actual murder case conviction rates sink in. I'd love to expand on "real" convictions but I've already said way too much.

But really; the reason you're going to watch TD, and the reason it's going to hold up years from now, is because of Woody and Mathew. They're at the best I've ever seen them (and I saw The Dallas Buyers Club). They don't reinvent the noir detective wheel, but their combined screen presence and the staggering number of different ways they can make their faces look haggard is nothing less than hypnotizing. I'd always wondered if the best and brightest of film actors could hold up on a television series. Would it break ground in terms of excellence? Or would you just be sick to death of them? In TD's case, it's the latter. The both of them ran a marathon and finished first. I can't imagine myself saying the same of Nicholas Cage.

 Venturing outside the two of them, the record's a bit spottier. Michelle Monaghan is great in the role of a cop wife (see again, my thoughts on the noir wheel) but that doesn't mean she fits on the show. It's set in Louisiana and most of the actors try to have an accent. Rust is supposed to be from Texas/Alaska, so Mathew gets a pass on his drawl, but Monaghan can't crack it. It's not as if there aren't people in rural LS. without an accent, but it feels like scenes with her take place in a different show entirely. A damn good show, to be fair. The way she facially hides her smoldering anger away form her children is award worthy. But in terms of the mood and flow of the investigation half, Marty's home life just doesn't gel.

"What? Like none of your little friend's dads don't stagger around their houses with neat whiskey."
And in case you're wondering if the show passes the Bechdel test... no. Not even close. The women in TD (aside from the Q&A sit downs) can be filed neatly into virgin and whore categories. That isn't to say the show doesn't have some pretty thought provoking points to make about the virgin-whore dichotomy. But they're more of a self aware lampshade instead of a serious attempt at some kind of critique.

That aside, something that really stuck with me, and will probably stick with the next season (which will reboot like American Horror Story) is that the show's reality is a "flat circle." That time will repeat itself again and again. This isn't Rust being a loopy dorm room philosopher... well it isn't just that. It's the mantra for the show itself. That the killer's victims will be victims again, and that Rust will metaphorically chase after him and stop him only after it's to late. Again.

You know who has the time and money for a CGI owl almost no one will ever notice? I'll give you a hint, it's not TV...
The show revels in the nihilism that police can only stop murderers but not murder. That after all the pain and suffering that came from "Carcosa," simply solving the case and throwing the perp behind bars doesn't really change anything.

The reason this show is destined for greatness instead of another "life sucks and then you die" noir mystery, is that it tries so hard to find the meaning of life past all the violence and horror. Finding the "stars against the night" to borrow an image from the finale. That fact I took all this soapbox prattling at at face value is the best evidence I can provide of True Detective's conviction and competence. You will buy into this world, and even if some bits and pieces feel contrived at times, you will at least acknowledge what everyone else sees in it.

And you will burn to know who the Yellow King is just as badly. I promise you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I have gazed upon the stick of truth...

Meet Clyde "New Kid-Douchebag" Parrish.
... and I saw that it was good. More than good. Take a big sigh of relief guys, the year of re-tooling was totally worth it. Polygon gave it an 8.5, IGN a 90. They're saying it only lasts about 10-12 hours, which bums me out. But it's really hard to be mad at a game that lets me be Facebook friends with Officer Barbrady. I mean... when was the last time he was even on the show? It feels like years.

I'm barely an hour into it and already I've seen some pretty deep cuts from the South Park bag of inside jokes. I don't want to spoil anything, but let's just say that no other game in history has had this much fun with their sellable junk and Cartman's mom's room is just... perfect.

The combat itself is based off the Super Mario RPG style of rhythm based attacking and blocking, which I love. Both in the case of superstar saga and the stick of truth. It's surprisingly deep and I've already died once so far on Normal. That never happened to me in superstar, but then again, I don't think Nintendo would be on board with a protagonist everyone defautly calls "douchebag."So you know, you're not in Kansas anymore. You in Colorado, bitches!

So if you really wanted an interactive South Park, you probably already bought it. If you were on the fence? Get it. Just... get it. You get to hear what Cartman thinks of you if your black player character chooses the warrior class. That was worth money to me at least.

Why yes, this is the inside of Tom's Rhinoplasty. And no, I didn't know Stan's mom worked there either.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dark Souls 2's PC release pokes through the clouds.

Update! April 25 is confirmed.

April 25. A good 6 weeks removed from the console date. Can't say I'm too thrilled about that, but maybe I should just be happy it's coming here at all. And they still beat the Amazon's place holder date by a month and then some.

But what's this? Namco still won't officially confirm this is the date!? I'm all for being thorough after the embarrassment of the last port. But I want a straight answer yesterday, whether it's what I want to hear or not. I won't wait forever for a version of Dark Souls 2 running at a silky smooth 60 frames... but I will wait a month or two.