Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Dark Souls 2: No Deaths Playthrough Ending

A couple of days ago, I beat Dark Souls 2 without dying. It took 9 months of constant fuck-ups and swearing and resentment, blaming myself, my controller, the game(and to be fair, I'd say they were all valid targets of blame at different points). But it finally happened.

I set a goal for myself last year, and now I've achieved that goal.

Granted, I overleveled the fuck out of my character, and I wasn't going for some kind of insane world record or anything. The point wasn't to try and be the best person to ever play the game, just to see if I could beat every boss in the game without dying in a single playthrough.

Was it worth it? I mean, I didn't feel any different. I always knew I COULD do it, theoretically. I'm just surprised at how many bullshit deaths these games threw at me before I got this far. If nothing else, it provided a welcome distraction from the upcoming US election.

So umm... yeah. That's what I've been up to this year.



Monday, 4 July 2016

One: 2

Could someone explain what the hell happened to video game titles? What the fuck is a “Horizon: Zero Dawn” or a “Bravely Default”? Or “Kingdom Hearts: 218/2 Days > Destiny Divide = Fart” or whatever. Do they leave this up to a random number generator? What is the reason for this? How does this get past all of the people in corporate and all of the people who are paid to make sure you don't have a stupid-sounding brand?

Another one: Games in a long-running franchise that have the exact same title as the first game in the series, so talking about it is prefaced with confusion.

“Hey, have you played Doom?” 

“Yeah, I remember that game when I was a kid.” 

“No, not DOOM Doom. The new Doom. The one that’s also called Doom but came out more recently than the other game that’s called Doom.” 

Sonic the Hedgehog. Tomb Raider. Thief. Mortal Kombat. That’s like if the next big JRPG were called “Final Fantasy 2″. People get paid millions of dollars to come up with names for these products, and everyone apparently forgot that subtitles are a thing?

You know what the new Spider-Man reboot is called? “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. See, they put another word in there to distinguish it from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, as a small courtesy to anyone who tries to talk about this shit. Especially in an age where word-of-mouth social media regurgitation-as-free advertising is so important.

This reminds me: there’s an old PSX-era EA game I played a demo of called “One”. And I always thought, man, what are they gonna call the sequel?



Saturday, 18 June 2016

"When Marnie Was There" Review

by Alex Hill


"Anna" (Hailee Steinfeld) lives in a fog. Her isolation is shown and told matter-of-factly. An asthma attack, puberty and self-worth issues all come to a tipping point. A lot of Ghibli protagonists seem to have everything figured out before the story begins, all the more convenient for them to save the day. Anna can barely stand being alive in this state. She doesn't even know how to save herself.

Tell me if you've heard this one before: A person with an illness is advised to go to the country for the "fresh air", which conveniently allows the animators to draw pastoral scenes. This is not exactly treading new ground. It's pretty much how "The Secret World of Arrietty" and "My Neighbor Totoro" begin. Maybe this would be more of a problem for me if it weren't so damned charming.

"When Marnie Was There" is a familiar story told with warmth and sincerity. It could have been told with more clarity, but I also think uncertainty is at the heart of it all.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Fave Things Of 2015: Part 2

Part 1 of my list of... things of 2015 can be found here.

Now, onto some of the stuff last year that DIDN'T make me want to commit suicide!

5. Furiosa

Image altered to be less orange.

I wasn't crazy about Mad Max: Fury Road. I think I just got bored with the ceaseless car-chasing. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but eventually it felt like I was watching the same 30 seconds of movie over and over again. It didn't feel like there was any tension, and the title character of the movie is so thinly characterized that they might as well have replaced Tom Hardy with a dog.

But Charlize Theron as Furiosa is all kinds of kick-ass. I think a part of me has been waiting for that character to show up on film for a long time.


Monday, 16 May 2016

...Things Of 2015: Part 1

How does it just get worse every year?


This is the first time I couldn't even think of 10 good things. Just 2 great things, 3 okay things and a bunch of problematic shit. Literally one of the only good things to come out of 2015 was that a nice lady took me to see a movie with dinosaurs in it. It took until May of 2016 to come up with even that much to say.

I promise the second-half of this article will be more positive, but yeesh. I'm not sure how any of us survived 2015.


...Maybe? I think it was okay...

I dunno, I was pretty sick when I watched it. So I don't know if I actually liked it, or if I hallucinated a better movie.

I do remember a T-Rex and a raptor teaming up to fight a Super Dinosaur though. It was basically the "Bigger Jaws" scene from Family Guy but played straight. Maybe I just don't ask for a lot in a movie about dinosaurs.


Friday, 6 May 2016

Dark Souls 3: "Soul Of Cinder"

You guys, I just had a really good idea:

The final boss of Dark Souls 3 should have been SOLAIRE. 

You go in expecting Gwyn or some shit, you steel yourself for the final battle, and you walk through the fog gate… and there he is, just sitting by the fire.

You walk up to him, maybe have a friendly chat. Maybe he thinks you look familiar. Maybe you can tell him you’ve met before, in a past life/cycle. Like how you can tell the darkmoon lady that you’re a bird. It can just be to fuck around, or it can be to cement your own headcanon that your character is the same as from the first game. Maybe share some Siegbrau if you have any left. One last toast, especially to those who couldn't make it that far.

And THEN the fight begins.

Same moveset.

Same music. 

Praise the fuckin’ sun. 

I am retroactively pissed they didn’t go with that. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess. I need to go draw that shit…



Thursday, 28 April 2016

Kung Fu Panda 3: "Kai Leng"

Kung Fu Panda 3 is not a great film, but it's satisfying enough a conclusion to the franchise. A "Return of the Jedi", if you will. But there are problems. Relationships that should have been explored are still only after-thoughts(the Furious Five, Shifu, Oogway's motives, etc...) There are characters and setups introduced that seem like they were supposed to have more presence and purpose, but were quickly forgotten about. You know in the trailer where it looks like Po will finally meet a panda love-interest? Yeah, nothing happens there. And not in a way that expresses the love of friendship as being just as valid as romance, I mean that character really should have just been cut from the movie altogether. She doesn't add anything the film needed, and just kind of fades into the background gags by the end.

But the biggest disappointment with Kung Fu Panda 3 is with its' villain: "Kai", played by JK Simmons doing his best George Takei impression. Normally I'd ask why they didn't just get George, but this role would be a waste of his time too.