Showing posts from March, 2015

Review - "Bloodborne" (PS4)

As I write this, my eyes are bloodshot from sinking several hours into Bloodborne yesterday. My mind is occupied by it. I want to just jump back in and tackle the last area that killed me, and if I get killed again, then I wanted to keep trying and trying until I get past it... then do it all over again in the next area. I'm hooked, to say the least.

The Bum Rap - "Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard"

(The Bum Rap is a column where I defend stuff the rest of society might not. Got an underappreciated fave? Drop me a line and maybe I'll do a write-up!)

Dead Head Fred is, to date, one of my standards for how comedy should be approached in a video game. The script is expertly crafted, a loving send-up both classic film noir and drive-in monster movies. This is supported by a fantastic art direction, which blends grotesque imagery with the artificial sheen of Eisenhower's idealistic America. Excellent music and a talented cast that includes John C. McGinley ties together the whole package. It's a damn shame that the world wasn't revisited, but unlike so many games, it does stand on its own as a work of art. And yes, I'd defend it as art. Fight me.

So why is the next effort from the same creative team so critically reviled? What went wrong? Or, more accurately, did anything really go wrong? Welcome back to The Bum Rap, and get ready for a loving defense of Eat Lead: T…

Review - "Final Fantasy Type-0 HD" (PS4)

I've been calling myself a "lapsed Final Fantasy fan" for quite some time now. This opinion has started many a flame war on the internet, and quite frankly, I've never understood why. It's hard to defend the sharp nose-dive in quality that the series has taken in recent years. Tetsuya Nomura and Motomu Toriyama have steered what was once supposed to be a series about grand, sweeping adventures into an edgy, grimdark pit occupied by pretty teenagers wearing lots of buckles and zippers.

Gone Too Fast: Sega's Sonic Problem

Let's not mince words. The years haven't been kind to Sonic The Hedgehog. You can look to several of his modern games, or to the numerous articles in this vein, or to the dismal sales of his latest outing as proof of this. Whether or not you like Sonic and his ragtag gang of anthropomorphic animal pals, you really can't deny that they've all seen better days. I mean, did you see either of those Sonic Boom games? Did you?

But unlike some overzealous writers online, who love to spit venom and trash the franchise at any chance they get, I write this from a more sympathetic stance. I don't believe that the curtain has dropped for the Sonic games yet, but it could at this pace. What, exactly, is wrong with Sonic? And can it be fixed?

Backlogged - "Girls Und Panzer" (2012)

Logic dictates that I should loathe Girls Und Panzer. On paper, it represents everything I hate about modern anime. There's a harem of cute girls that fit into very recognizable archetypes. The setting is a fetishistic take on a very niche interest, and uses aforementioned cute girls to pull in otaku audiences, to cynically rake in money from merchandise. Not to mention the style and format seems very similar to sub-KyoAni "let's make a club" garbage that needs to die already. Maybe that's why it took almost three years for me to watch it. Because I thought, despite its popularity, that it was just another one of those shows. Like I said, logic dictates that I, of all people, should hate it. So why do I love it so much?