Saturday, November 30, 2019

Transformers: Prime - The Game (3DS)

Note: The following review contains spoilers for Transformers: Prime - The Game and the Transformers: Prime cartoon.

In 2010, Hasbro launched what is known within Transformers fandom as the “Aligned” continuity family, which was intended to create a more unified Transformers universe rather than the regular reboot every five or so years. As some continuity kerfuffles (patched up largely through the Covenant of Primus book) and the advent of later continuities have proven, such as the current-airing Cyberverse cartoon on Cartoon Network and IDW’s Transformers comic receiving a complete continuity reboot earlier this year, this obviously didn’t pan out as well as intended. However, the central piece of fiction was the Transformers: Prime cartoon on The Hub Network (which I have talked about before). While the Prime cartoon was in its second Season, a video game adaptation telling an original story, dubbed Transformers: Prime – The Game, was released on Wii, DS and 3DS in October 2012, with a Wii U version released a month later as a launch title for the system. Unlike many previous Transformers games, what makes this game unique is that the story is the same across all platforms, with only the presentation being different. As I had been wanting to play the game for a while, I would eventually obtain the 3DS version, and even then I only got around to playing it recently; though it didn’t take as long to play as I thought it would, it was still overall a fun experience while it lasted.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Tarzan (1999)

In the midst of the Walt Disney Company’s countless releases, a number of them have fallen off the radar for one reason or another, even those once popular enough to spawn their own successful franchises. We’ve covered some of them on this blog before, but the one we’re looking at here is Tarzan (1999), released at the very end of what is known as the Disney Renaissance, a decade where the studio had been a critical and box office powerhouse. I remembered watching Disney’s Tarzan when it originally released in theaters, but was motivated to watch it again when I noticed we owned a sealed 2005 DVD copy, meaning it had been 14-20 years since we had last seen it. After finally re-watching the film, I can confidently say that it not only held up well after 20 years, it’s also an underrated Disney classic that deserves renewed recognition.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Accounting+ (PS VR)

In 2016, Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist (Dr. Langeskov) developer Crows Crows Crows released a VR game for PC called Accounting, in collaboration with Justin Roiland’s studio Squanchtendo (Squanch Games). In 2017, an updated version known as Accounting+ was released for PS VR, which is when I became more interested in actually playing it, even more so after experiencing Trover Saves the Universe. It wasn’t until a physical version was offered via Limited Run that I was actually able to get my hands on a copy of the game; upon getting around to playing it, I found the wait to be worth it.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Stubs - Thieves' Highway

Thieves' Highway (1949) Starring Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence Directed by Jules Dassin, Screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides. Based on the novel Thieves' Market by A. I. Bezzerides (New York, 1949). Produced by Robert Bassler. U.S.A. Black and White Drama, Film Noir

Film Noir, as we’ve previously discussed, is one of those genres that can be applied to films that don’t seem on the surface to really be what we would classically consider film noir. Case in point, Thieves' Highway, released by 20th Century Fox in 1949. According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department Collection in the Arts--Special Collections Library at UCLA, the studio purchased the rights to A. I. Bezzerides' unpublished novel The Red of My Blood in Jan 1948 for $37,500. Bezzerides was then hired at $1000 a week for 10 weeks to write the screenplay. The novel would eventually be published under the title Thieves’ Market.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Terminator: Dark Fate

The Terminator franchise is interesting in how it incorporates numerous alternate timelines. The original 1984 film The Terminator and its 1991 sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, was first followed up by 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and then 2009’s Terminator Salvation. Terminator 3 onward was first established as an alternate timeline by the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009), only for that series to itself be established as another alternate timeline by the events of Terminator Genisys (2015), which had intended to start its own trilogy. Now, in 2019, the sixth film in the franchise, Terminator: Dark Fate, saw creative control of the franchise return to James Cameron, who deemed the film as the true canonical sequel to Terminator 2, rendering Genisys as yet another alternate timeline.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Catherine: Full Body - Aged Like A Fine Wine

Eight years after the original release of Catherine (aka Catherine Classic), Atlus released an updated version titled Catherine: Full Body, which among other things included a number of quality-of-life changes, remastered graphics and its main selling point, a third possible love interest for Vincent named Rin (short for Qatherine). As much as I enjoyed the original game, it was also flawed in some areas, so I was curious to see what the Full Body version had to offer, pre-ordering the “Hearts Desire” Premium Edition to go with the “Love Is Over” Deluxe Edition I own for the Classic release. After going through it once to see what a Rin Route looked like, I will say I found the Full Body re-release to be superior to the original on a technical level in just about every way, though the execution of the additional story content is a little iffy.