Monday, 23 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: Chuck the Lost Black Orphan Girl

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Chuck (Finished)

When the titular regular nerd played by Zachary Levi "downloads" a ton of classified intel directly into his brain, he is thrown into the world of espionage, danger, and humorous shenanigans! This action comedy is one of my wife's favorites, with her staying up in the wee hours of the morning probably because of the underlying romance story. Lots of laughs and some lessons to be found, and might be worth a watch it you haven't seen it.

Stopping bombs with porn. It's great!

Lost Girl (Finished)

Proving that sex sells, this 5 season show is about a bi-sexual succubus who is looking for her place in the world. As expected, many other mythological creatures are present here too (most of whom are shagged by the main character), often just in "human form" to save the already lacking CGI budget.

Plot wise this one starts well, then sort of gets lost itself with many characters having severe lapses of judgement, and culminates with a ridiculous final showdown. One of the worst ones in my memory anyway. Still, Anna Silk (the succubus Bo) is easy on the eyes but my favorite is easily Kenzie - seemingly the only human around. Not really one I'd recommend though...

You said it Kenzie!

Orphan Black (Finished)

A show about clones, most of whom are played by the very talented Tatiana Maslany who manages to make each of them different. Following the unraveling mystery of how and why the clones came to be and how they interact with each other is great. Consistent is how I'd describe it. Never bad, but also never making it to my favorites list. If you haven't seen it, just watch the first episode - you should be able to tell from there if it is for you. If you prefer it with a Japanese twist, there's a remake called Orphan Black: 7 Genes - haven't seen that one myself though.

One actress, many personalities.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Oxenfree

A horror mystery involving meddling kids, but no Scooby.

When a bunch of teens go to an island and encounter the supernatural, all sorts of crazy things happen... In this game it's talking. A lot of talking. Yes, you will still walk around the map with nice, stylized graphics but there's rarely a gap of 10 seconds silence in this game - and that's a good thing.

Beware of triangles.

You will have to be quick with the mouse to select one of the many speak bubble prompts (or not) which can change how events play out. Fortunately the voice actors do a great job as they (and the script writers) are the highlight. It also seems designed to be replayed but I didn't care to go through the whole thing again despite the short length.

Still it's a fun distraction that I give 2.5 radios out of 5.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: The Black Sails of Spartacus

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Spartacus (Finished)

A modern take on an old tale, this complete story of Spartacus' slave rebellion is one I truly enjoy as it features gratuitous gore and nudity combined with good action pieces and decent acting. Despite changing the lead actor midway through (due to death) it is still a very entertaining watch. John Hannah's Batiatus especially gets the two thumbs up for the seasons he is in. If you haven't seen this one then I highly recommend watching it, provided you can take the graphic content.

The show is this much better when he's in it.

Black Sails (Finished)

This prequel to Treasure Island was made by the same folks who produced Spartacus, so the same level of violence and filth is present here (though the filth is more dirty, rather than sweaty/oily). The story mainly follows how Captain Flint and Long John Silver came to be, and it is mesmerizing to watch. The props team also definitely outdoes themselves here. If you liked Spartacus, then you will probably enjoy this too.

Pirates ahoy! Hard to pick favorites when they're all good.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Ban those Lockboxes II

Now the enemy starts to pay for their sins!

[Part of the Design Folder.]

An update from last time, I am overjoyed to hear the news that game companies are starting to pay the price for using loot boxes. Heavily, in Nexon's case. I hope this momentum continues and sweeps across to the West to force devs to make actual content instead of cheap gambling alternatives.

Anything that someone pays for that only gives that person (and only that person/small group of people) a chance to get something is shit. I don't care if its a box, or a key to access an instance or monster that has a chance to drop something. If its not available to people who don't purchase "the extra doohickey", it is WRONG. In a game, everyone should have an equal chance. Always. Regardless of real life stature.

The real life loot crates are equally stupid and hopefully are banned just as hard one day. You want a shirt? Buy a shirt - the exact one you want. Don't buy a box that might contain a shirt that may or may not even fit you. What's next? Mystery pizza?

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: Defiant Zoo Strain

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Zoo (Cancelled)

A global epidemic is mutating animals and giving them a penchant for killing people, so it's up to the most unlikely group (or just Billy Burke's Mitch Morgan sometimes) to save the world! While the effects are passable, the plot can get downright silly at times, but at least it's mostly fun. Alas the characters often make stupid decisions which is probably why this didn't make it past Season 3.

He's the hero the show needs.

Defiance (Finished)

Set in a future where a collection of aliens have come to Earth, this show focuses on a father and his adopted alien daughter finding their place in the city of Defiance which is home to all species and as such is open to all forms of trouble. Despite the setting, the show has meanders a bit at the start but it definitely improves as more alien culture is explained. Tony Curran's Datak Tarr and his wife Stahma, played by Jaime Murray, are stand outs for me here. The show also has a proper conclusion / ending, which is a good change from all the previous shows I've written about!

The best Castithans around.

The Strain (Finished)

This four season horror series is a tale of an ancient vampire's attempt at world domination, and is a good take on vampirism vs science, since the vampirism here is treated like an infection by Corey Stoll's CDC character Dr. Goodweather. There is a decent amount of action here, and some curious cases of plot armor. While I like most of the characters in the narrative, Richard Sammel's Eichhorst is by far my favourite and more than makes up for the very weak character/child actor of Goodweather's son. Definitely worth a watch.

In some ways more effective than the master.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Command and Conquer: Generals

Many steps forward, but just as many steps back.

Set in a period after the Russian menace but before the Tiberium future, this game and its expansion Zero Hour follows the very short campaigns of China, GLA (Terrorists) and the USA (who I played). So short that I actually played through -all- of the expansion missions as well this time.

While I appreciate the diverse units of each side and got the opportunity to "sample" China and GLA unit tree as "allies" during the USA campaign, I did find that it was on the easier side. Maybe my once woeful RTS skill is actually improving, but I have a feeling it's the in game "level up" perks that are very helpful.

Isometria ahoy!

As your units kill enemies and gain veteran ranks themselves (which makes them more useful), you also gain useful unlocks to stronger units or cool down abilities such as air drops and air strikes (for USA anyway). The voice acting is decent too, but the lack of having the mid mission live-action videos and a progression map really subtracts from the game, despite the in-game cut scenes.

Also, while everything is 3D modeled now, the result is they are actually worse than the sprites of its predecessors. All up I give this one 2 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: Seeker of Shannara, the Carter Chronicles

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Agent Carter (Cancelled)

AKA. The adventures of Captain America's girlfriend, this was a strange one to get into. Hayley Atwell did a good job portraying Peggy, but the episodes were very hit and miss for me. It was in the "not that bad" category when it got cancelled, and I think the events in Captain America: Winter Soldier nailed the coffin so to speak. A show for completionists, but not one I would recommend to anyone else.

Showing the proper way to deal with Hydra Nazis.

Legend of the Seeker (Cancelled)

Based off the Sword of Truth books, this series did the cardinal sin of going in a completely different direction. Sure, it can work if you veer off into tangents but not that far off the rails. I still found it interesting, and quite enjoyed Bridget Regan's Kahlan, Tabrett Bethell's Cara and Bruce Spence's Zedd - reason enough for me to want a 3rd season. They also had cool costumes, decent fight choreography and all that slow motion running. I can still picture it in my head. :P

Don't let this woman touch you.

The Shannara Chronicles (Cancelled)

Another fantasy story based on books, this one set interestingly on a future Earth. The story is decent, travels better than Legend of the Seeker and isn't shy in killing characters, while the sets and effects are good but not as good as Seeker. It also does suffer a little in pacing and in the acting department for the main cast outside Allanon (because Manu Bennet is awesome). It's a tough call for me to decide if it's better than Seeker, so I'll leave it up to you to watch both and decide for yourselves.

Post apocalyptic sword and sorcery.