Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Star Fox Adventures

Note: This review contains spoilers for Star Fox Adventures.

I admit I don’t have that much experience with the Star Fox series, and even then my only real exposure to it was the Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas, which contained exclusive Star Fox content. However, I felt motivated to play Rare’s take on the series, Star Fox Adventures, in particular because the only thing I had heard about from it was the original character Krystal, and so wanted to see what else there was to this game and understand the character in that context. After finally getting the chance to play it, I found it overall decent, though flawed.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Stubs - Batman: The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Voices by Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Tara Strong, Ray Wise Directed by Sam Liu. Screenplay by    Brian Azzarello. Based on Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland. Produced by Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Sam Register Run Time: 77 minutes US Color Animated, Superhero

Alan Moore, as a writer of comic books, is unparalleled. He has created some of the truly great and groundbreaking series, including Watchmen, which he co-created with Dave Gibbons in 1986, V For Vendetta, which he created with David Lloyd and Tony Weare in 1982, and Batman: The Killing Joke with Brian Bolland in 1988.

Batman: The Killing Joke Written by Alan Moore, the artwork is by Brian Bolland.

He is not, however, a fan of the adaptations of his work, having removed his name from productions of Watchmen (2011) and the animated version of Batman: The Killing Joke. I’m sure that while he doesn’t like the adaptations, he doesn’t mind the money that no doubt comes from the productions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Spec Ops: The Line (PS3)

Note: This review contains spoilers for Spec Ops: The Line.

While I have played shooter games before, such as some set in the Transformers universe, I don’t usually go for military shooters such as those in the Call of Duty series, so Spec Ops: The Line flew under my radar when it first came out in 2012. Sometime later, when I read more about it, I became more interested in checking it out upon learning that there was a lot more to it than it seemed. Though the gameplay is average, and a bit rough in places, the story alone is good enough to warrant a second playthrough, possibly more.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Chicken Little (2005)

In 1943, Walt Disney produced a short film based on the fable Chicken Little (aka Chicken Licken), which tells a story about the consequences of falling for hysteria. During the Walt Disney company’s more experimental years, they decided to release another take on the same source material in 2005, simply titled Chicken Little. I will admit I only recall ever seeing maybe parts of the movie beforehand, and even then, what I remember the most was the marketing for it around that time (I recall not being that enthusiastic about actually watching it when I was a kid), as well as a cameo appearance from some of the characters during a televised awards show. After watching it in full through a Disney XD airing, I will say it was somewhat better than I expected from it, however, it’s definitely not one of Disney’s stronger animated films.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Devolverland Expo - The Future's Future Has Been Canceled

Founded in 2009, Devolver Digital is an indie games publisher that has made a name for itself with the unique off-beat type of games that it publishes, and are the ones to finally bring the cult Japanese Xbox game Metal Wolf Chaos to the west as Metal Wolf Chaos XD. More recently, the publisher had an increased presence at E3 with their surprisingly well-crafted and funny pre-recorded press conferences that poke fun at the nature of press conferences (with some actual announcements thrown in), including a full-on parody of Nintendo Direct as Devolver Direct. Their last conference, also a Devolver Direct, ties up a four-year storyline and is a masterful satire of video game marketing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the handful of actual video game announcements was one for the immediately-released Devolverland Expo, billed as a “first-person marketing simulator”, which features some additional video game announcements under the guise of a game in which you explore an abandoned convention hall. Since the game is free on Steam, I decided to give it a try and got a lot more than what I bargained for.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

With the success of the 1998 anime Cowboy Bebop, worldwide demand for a continuation led to the development of a film, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (aka Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door), which released on September 1, 2001. Series director Shinichiro Watanabe had the idea for the film in his head while working on the original series, which he had already treated as a series of miniature films, so the transition to a feature felt natural. With an increased budget and runtime, the production team incorporated elements originally considered impossible in the anime. Though we wouldn’t watch it until more recently through a recording of a Starz broadcast, we firmly believe that this film holds up to this day as both a part of Cowboy Bebop and as a standalone cinematic experience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Little Nightmares: Secrets of the Maw (DLC)

Shortly after the release of Little Nightmares, a three-part DLC was released called Secrets of the Maw, which follows a different protagonist known as the Kid as he explores new areas of the Maw. My plan was to play the entire thing after all three episodes had been released, however I ended up putting it off for some time until I noticed that the Season Pass was discounted to $5 instead of $10. Even then, I couldn’t access the DLC right away until I learned that, despite purchasing the pass, I still had to claim and download each chapter individually. After finally getting to play through the DLC, I found it to be a worthy addition to the world of Little Nightmares.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated (PS4)

Around the time I got around to actually playing SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom on the PS2, THQ Nordic announced an HD remake of the game developed by Purple Lamp Studios, known as SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, for modern systems in a similar fashion to Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Since I was going to anyway, I played through the original game and thoroughly enjoyed it, anticipating what they would do to bring the game up to modern standards. Building the anticipation further was the announcement that they would reintroduce content that was cut from the original game, including an entire boss fight known as Robo-Squidward. After getting a chance to play the PS4 version of the remaster upon release, I had just as much, if not even more, fun as I did with the initial release even with some flaws.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Transformers: Devastation

While I haven’t played many games made by PlatinumGames, and I probably won’t, one game I was instantly attracted to was their take on Transformers in the form of Transformers: Devastation, thanks in part to the developers’ usual gameplay style and their attempts to capture the feeling of the 1984 The Transformers cartoon as close as possible. While I did play this game when it came out and liked it, I never gave the game a proper review since I was losing my enthusiasm for writing reviews at the time. After deciding to go back and do the game better justice, it’s still one of the better Transformers games out there and it manages to create a world with some interesting potential that will sadly never get properly fleshed out.