• Things I Like: Chants of Sennar

    I haven’t talked about video games lately, but I’ll talk about this one. These days I find myself gravitating towards smaller indie games rather than Triple AAA big shots like Nier: Automata or Starfield or Dragon’s Dogma. Who the hell wants to play one video game forever? That’s like eating the same thing for dinner over and over and over. I want to be exposed to all kinds of experiences. Unique ones. Artistic ones. But with the glut of games on Steam these days (seriously, just look at their “New and Trending” list) how am I supposed to discern what’s good from bad? The Triple AAA games always get the…

  • sad boy wall

    Maybe It’s Us (Why Is Recent Movies and TV So Disappointing)

    Are my expectations too high? Is it wrong to have high expectations of media? They can make magic… so why aren’t they? Why does it feel like everything anticipated in the last year/year and a half has been a disappointment? Why are they filling the void with Space Jam 2 and Trolls 3 and Five Nights at Freddy’s and another Saw movie and another Fast and Furious movie and Blue Beetle and Shazam 2 and another Indiana Jones and Disney live-action remakes and, of course, anything from Marvel. MOVIES Avatar 2 was more of the same, another bloated military rah-rah explosions and gunsfest. Lightyear puts its message before the story.…

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    The Truth About the Mario Movie That We Need to Acknowledge

    Look, the truth is, I didn’t much care for the new Mario movie. Granted, it’s for a different audience than a forty-year-old cis white software developer. It’s for the kids who think Minions are the shizznit and that the cops are like Paw Patrol. It’ll be on in the background of daycares for years to come with its bright and colorful visuals and catchy sound. But its storytelling is thinner than Kate Moss standing next to Cara Delevingne. Bowser does nothing but sing “peaches” over and over again. The maguffin has less of a purpose than the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Why do the Penguins have it? Why are there…

  • bookshelf books

    The Books I Read: March – April 2023

    Circe by Madeline Miller This was attempt number two at reading. Not the book’s fault, it was me. At the time, I wasn’t in the headspace to read something heavy and steeped in the Classics. But now, Greek mythology is having a renaissance (or did it ever disappear?) with God of War, Hades, Lore Olympus. That, combined with my own ambition to write a book about Medusa, I felt I had to give this one a second try for research. Madeline Miller is obviously versed in classics and Greek mythology so the text is not easy. I mean, it’s not Proust or anything, but you will feel like an adult…

  • t-shirt so many games so little time

    Late to the Game: Overwatch & Horizon: Zero Dawn & Monster Hunter: World

    So I want to talk about three games I’ve played recently. First, Overwatch. Ever since I got my new computer, I wanted to play this game. I frickin’ love the lore and stories and comics and videos around it, I thought “this must be an awesome game”. And though I expected that what’s actually in the game might be subdued compared to what’s in Blizzard’s videos, it was still worth playing. Not like Five Nights at Freddy’s or World of Warcraft. The story’s not just subdued, it’s completely absent. There’s a complete novel’s worth from these dynamic characters, but it’s nowhere in the game. There’s not even a campaign mode.…

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    Late to the Game: Resident Evil 6

    What a load. The start of the game is bonkers-go-nuts. It throws you in the middle of a terrorist/zombie attack with no instructions on where to go or how to play or why you’re there. It’s been a while since I played Resident Evil 5 and I just finished Resident Evil 2 so I’m used to its slower pace. But all of a sudden I’m falling out of a helicopter and climbing up skyscrapers. What kind of tutorial is this? Can you not give me at least a little context? Mise en Scene is for movies, not video games. Plus I hate when they throw you in without a chance…

  • Bad Writer — A Writing Video Game

    Sorry, I just saw this and I had to share. It combines two of my favorite things–writing and video games. And I’m sure it’s going to be just as exciting. Looks like some kind of Stardew Valley mod, but I’m sure it’s as riveting as writing a real novel. This is the equivalent of my Animal Crossing — Chore Simulator 2000 (and I mean that in a nice way).

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    Late to the Game: Grand Theft Auto IV

    This game sucks. I tried playing this many years ago, but an irritating video stuttering issue stopped me. I thought I just needed a new graphics card, so I archived it until I got a new computer. Now I got a new computer, and it still plays like crap. I haven’t dived (dove? diven?) into a GTA game in years. Not since Vice City on my PS2 (which I still have). But I don’t remember it like this. I remember vibrant cities and fun stunt ramps and zippy motorcycles and colorful characters (they were misogynist douchebags, but it’s GTA–you have to expect some “unenlightened” material, just like you can’t be…

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    Late to the Game: Transistor

    I really liked Bastion. I liked the atmosphere. I liked the art style. I liked the fantasy-Western aesthetic. I liked the music. I liked the simple hack-n-slash gameplay combined with the “earn upgrades to get new moves”. I’m a sucker for that kind of game–where the objective is “grow stronger to defeat your enemies”. So when I learned the same developers were creating a follow-up to their breakout hit, I jumped in feet first. It was going to be a little different–a computery cyberpunk feel and starring a slender well-to-do woman. But good art begets another. This game was called “Transistor” and released in 2014. I’ve attempted playing it three…

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    Late to the Game: Diablo

    So I bought some retro games over the Coronavirus outbreak because my computer is too slow to play anything new (and has been for several years now). One of them was called Diablo, which passed over my radar when it made its big splash in the nineties. I think I played the shareware version of it (ah, ♪shareware♪) , but never got interested. I wasn’t into PC games then. I had an N64 and the world was my oyster. After playing Dusk I’d realized how much I missed my old Doom and Quake clones, so I bought Heretic and Hexen and some others like Warcraft, Warcraft II, and Diablo. The…