Saturday, March 28, 2020

Celeste (PS4)

In the mid-2010s, Maddy Thorson (nee Matt Thorson) and Noel Berry developed Celeste, aka Celeste Classic, in a four-day game jam for the Pico-8 fantasy console. The game’s popularity, enough to become one of the most popular games on the Pico-8, was enough to justify developing it into a full game with over 200 screens across eight Chapters (as opposed to the original’s 30 screens). This version of the game released in 2018 to rave reviews, with critics calling it one of the year’s top games. After hearing all the praise, I was one of those who decided to go for a physical copy through Limited Run Games, only to wait several months for the DLC Chapter, Farewell, to release so the discs could finally be printed and shipped. Soon after I got my copy, I found the opportunity to play it and persisted through a difficult, but rewarding experience.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Concrete Genie

When Concrete Genie was first announced, I found its concept of a street artist whose drawings come to life intriguing, as well as its appropriately sketchy art style, though what hooked me was the fact it was compatible with PlayStation VR. Among other games, I would receive this one as a Christmas gift, and so wanted to check this one out as quickly as I could. After finally getting to see what the game is like, I quickly found out it’s not 100% playable in VR, however this did not detract from what I found to be an overall worthy experience.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Stubs - Sabrina

Sabrina (1954) Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden. Directed by Billy Wilder. Screenplay by Billy Wilder, Samuel Taylor, Ernest Lehman Based on the play Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor (New York, 11 Nov 1953). Produced by Billy Wilder. Black and White Runtime: 112 minutes. USA Romantic Comedy

Humphrey Bogart made a career out of doing films other actors turned down. Several of his films at Warner Bros. were his because the likes of George Raft turned them down. Even though he had reached his own stardom status, with films like The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1944), he was still not always every studio’s first choice. With Sabrina, the actor’s first film at Paramount, Bogart was second-choice to Cary Grant, who like Raft had done prior in Bogart’s career, turned down the role.  To his credit, Bogart could take almost any role and make you forget anyone else had ever been considered for it.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Darksiders Genesis

As a longtime follower of the Darksiders franchise, I await the day when all four Horsemen finally have their own games and then one final game to tie everything together. That plan was delayed by the struggles of THQ, but now that Darksiders III seems to have been successful, I have renewed faith in a future with Darksiders IV. In the meantime, Darksiders Genesis has come along to help bolster the franchise with a new game without another long gap between sequels, as well as offer a new gameplay style and a story that takes place before the original game. With that in mind, I had a lot of fun with this game, more consistently than Darksiders III, but there are still some things Airship Syndicate needs to fix.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Darksiders III - The Apocalypse Keeps Going, And It's Not So Awesome

When I wrote my Darksiders II review back in 2012, I said I hoped that that game would get THQ back on their feet. Needless to say, THQ went bankrupt in 2012 and liquidated all of their assets, leading to massive layoffs while several properties were auctioned off. The “THQ” trademark would then transfer to Nordic Games, now pronounced “THQ Nordic”. THQ Nordic was fortunately interested in doing something with THQ’s properties, which included Darksiders III, developed by Gunfire Games and released in late 2018. With a new studio at the helm, the franchise was certainly given new life, but I felt like they somehow kept holding their own ambitious vision back.