Wednesday, June 29, 2022

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect (Xbox)

Within the sea of gaming, there’s usually at least one series you hear about on and off, but otherwise don’t pay too much attention to. For me, that was TimeSplitters, a series of FPS games developed by Free Radical Design. When the announcement came in 2021 that Free Radical was reformed by their new parent company explicitly to revive the series, I got a little more curious about the series, though I wouldn’t actually try any of the games out for myself until I had seen certain references to 2005’s Future Perfect, the third game, that caught my attention. Coincidentally, I found a physical Xbox copy out in the wild and now I’m glad that I gave this game a chance.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

After a brief revival in 2011, Beavis and Butt-Head remained dormant for several years until the announcement of a second revival meant for Comedy Central, later switched to Paramount+. This included a sequel film, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, which released on Paramount+ in late June 2022. With the first film, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996), still fresh in my head, I watched Do the Universe on the first day of its release and found myself laughing at the crass Texas duo once more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Bugsnax: The Isle of Bigsnax (DLC)

Two years after the release of Bugsnax, developer Young Horses’ best-selling game, they announced, and subsequently released, a free expansion called The Isle of Bugsnax through a free update. Since I enjoyed the original game, the idea of a few hours of extra content intrigued me, so I decided to check it out as soon as I could and found myself entertained once more by the world of Bugsnax, however briefly.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Hercules (1997)

Note: This review contains spoilers for Hercules (1997).

Towards the end of the Disney Renaissance, Disney released their 35th animated feature, Hercules, to good reviews from critics, but underperformed at the box office, especially in comparison to the Disney films that came before it. At the same time, the liberties taken with Greek mythology, especially the Hercules myths on which the film is based, angered Greece enough that the film didn’t have its planned premiere in the country. As a kid at the time, however, I was completely unaware of this and only remember watching it through someone else’s VHS copy, though only certain parts of the film stuck with me. Growing up, however, I got more familiar with the different elements of the film through the heavy representation in the Kingdom Hearts series until, eventually, I finally rewatched the film in time for its 25th anniversary. While I can see now how it’s not that great as an adaptation of the Hercules myth, I did still find it a great film in its own right.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Moss: Book II

From its initial announcement, I was hooked on the world of Moss (Book I), which I found to be an amazing showcase of third-person VR. When the ending of the game revealed itself to be an episodic release and that what I had played was Book I, I eagerly awaited for the next chapter in Quill’s journey. This would not happen until the release of Moss: Book II four years later, as a digital-only title despite Book I getting a physical release, though I made sure to play it as soon as possible so I could continue the story and get more mileage out of the PlayStation VR. While I found it to be quite the step up from the original game that takes more advantage of the PS4’s power, I wasn’t entirely sure it was quite worth the $40 price tag.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Stubs - Nanook of the North

Nanook of the North
(1922) Starring Allakariallak, Nyla, Cunayou. Directed by Robert J. Flaherty. Written by Robert J. Flaherty. Produced by Robert J. Flaherty. Run time: 79 minutes. USA. Black and White. Silent. Documentary.

The very earliest films, produced by the Lumière Brothers were what are known as "Actualités", short pictures of real people in real places. The first of these films was La sortie des usines Lumière (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory), (1895), was also the first film exhibited by the Lumières on December 28, 1895. These sorts of films were the precursors to what would become documentary films.

While not the first documentary, Nanook of the North by Robert J. Flaherty was the first full length documentary to achieve commercial success. As such, it would show the financial viability of the genre and would inspire other filmmakers and films to come.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Resistance: Burning Skies

Note: This review contains spoilers for Resistance: Burning Skies and other Resistance games.

When the PlayStation 3 and Vita digital storefront closures were announced, one Vita game that went on my radar was Resistance: Burning Skies, developed by Nihilistic Software and the final game in the Resistance franchise. I was originally going to buy the game digitally due to the higher aftermarket price on physical copies, however the later announced backpedaling on the store closures took some pressure off me. I would eventually buy a physical copy of the game anyway, however I was motivated to do so after finding a sealed copy in the wild, in part because I previously bought a physical copy of Resistance: Retribution, knowing I’d be paying a little over the MSRP of a digital version. While I did find the game worth playing, I’m not completely sure if the price was worth it.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Stubs - Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick (2022) Starring  Tom Cruise; Miles Teller; Jennifer Connelly; Jon Hamm; Glen Powell; Lewis Pullman; Ed Harris; Val Kilmer. Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, Christopher McQuarrie. Based on Characters by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison. USA Color Run time: 131 minutes. Action, Romance, Drama

It is rare that a sequel is better than the original. Spider-Man 2 comes to mind. Add to that shortlist, Top Gun: Maverick released recently. A vast improvement over the original film, Top Gun (1986), this is also one of the longest gaps between the original and its sequel; 36 years. As they say, things can age well with time.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

101 Dalmations (1961)

Note: This review contains spoilers for 101 Dalmatians (1961).

While not as well-represented as some of Disney's other franchises based on books, 101 Dalmatians (1961) (officially rendered as One Hundred and One Dalmatians in the title sequence), adapted from the Dodie Smith novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, was popular enough to spawn a veritable franchise of its own, including two different animated series continuations and two sets of live-action adaptations. Though I had seen the original movie before, I hadn't really explored the greater franchise any further, aside from some vague memory of the first TV series when it was on and maybe at least one of the older live-action films. After being convinced to give more of the franchise a chance, I thought it only fair to rewatch the original film again for context since it had been several years since my previous viewing, and found that the original 101 Dalmatians still holds up very nicely.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Resistance: Retribution

Insomniac Games is no stranger to handheld spin-offs of their games being developed by other studios, and Resistance is no exception. Following the release of Resistance 2, the first of these spin-offs, Resistance: Retribution (Retribution), was developed for the PSP by Bend Studio. When I first played the original Insomniac trilogy of games, I didn’t have any interest in playing this game, however news of the PlayStation Store closures (before that decision was reversed) led me to panic buy a physical copy with the intent of playing it at some point in the future. Now that I have, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the game to where I wonder why I didn’t play it sooner.