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Showing posts from November, 2015

Review - "Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon"

I've gotten a bit of a third wind when it comes to the Pokemon franchise as a whole.

When I was a kid, I lapped up pretty much anything and everything I could related to the series. The cards, the anime, the games, the toys, the bedspreads, the toothbrushes (really!)... I was obsessed, like most kids of my generation. I fell out of it until the beginning of high school, when a few of my friends got me hooked again, and I obsessively went to GameStop at each launch to buy both versions, even sleeping in my clothes and shoes one night so I could be ready as soon as I got up. Going into college, though, interest starting withering up again. I just felt like the series was repeating itself, and that not enough was really there to keep me going. I even wrote a super hipster blog post about it on my favorite gaming site. I was done for good... probably.

But now, as I'm writing this, I just got back from McDonald's, where I bought two of their new Pokemon Happy Meal toys; I'…

What's The Deal With Censorship?

In what feels like the five-millionth instance of this topic in 2015, consumers are up in arms against Lab Zero's excellent fighter, Skullgirls. With a recent update, around 15 or so frames of animation were altered on certain characters, removing panty shots that were previously visible during certain moves. Putting the question of who the hell actually pays attention to that when playing a fighter aside, it speaks to a larger concern that's been popping up in recent months.

This larger concern is that video games are somehow being censored in the name of "political correctness." Nintendo removing outfits in certain games, Capcom altering booty slaps on R. Mika, Ninja Theory removing a line of dialogue from DmC: Devil May Cry and now the whole Skullgirls thing... all of this is, allegedly, part of some larger social justice scheme to censor video games and shame human sexuality.

But the real question we should all be asking, in my opinion, is what censorship even i…

Fried Take - "Rise of the Tomb Raider" (2015)

Tomb Raider II is often considered to be the finest of Lara Croft's many adventures, and for good reason. Core Design took everything that worked with its 1996 landmark game, then polished it into an epic adventure that spanned the globe. Pretty much all of the weird little quirks, bugs, and things that just flat-out didn't work in the first game were gone, and what we were left with was one of finest video games to date. Speaking personally, there were action/adventure games before Tomb Raider II, and then there were ones after it. The difference was night and day. It was just that damn good.

Taking that into consideration, would it be fair to consider Rise of the Tomb Raider a new Tomb Raider II? It's a sequel to 2013's dynamite reboot, and a second step in the bold new direction that series started walking in. I only ask because I can't think of playing another game of this variety without inevitably comparing it to the sublime feat that Crystal Dynamics has ach…

Fried Take - "Call of Duty: Black Ops III" (2015)

It's November, so that means it's time for more Call of Duty. We've been doing this song and dance for almost a decade at this point, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Treyarch's back in the saddle this time around, so that gives reason to be excited; thefirst Black Ops is one of the highest points of the franchise, and the follow-up introduced a remarkably fresh take on the single-player component of the series.

Five years after the initial entry in the sub-series, though, does Call of Duty: Black Ops III deliver the shot in the arm that last year's above-average Advanced Warfare did, or does it lazily slum it like 2013's embarrassing Ghosts?

Impressions - "Ash Vs Evil Dead"

Some people piss and moan about the 2013 Evil Dead flick, but for my money, it was a stellar continuation of the franchise. It wasn't a strict reboot, nor was it a PG-13-ified take on the gory cult classic. To me, it felt like a killer continuation of one of my favorite series, and like something that took place in the same canonical universe as the original trilogy.

That being said, an after-credits tease featuring national treasure Bruce Campbell left me wanting more of the classic Evil Dead; the one that featured Ash Williams, one of the most lovable douchebags to ever grace the silver screen. Now, after over a decade of false starts and empty promises, Campbell and series creator Sam Raimi are back in the saddle, only this time, it's on cable. Does that affect the camp, the carnage, and the schlocky charm that the franchise is known for?