Media

November Media Roundup

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 in Media | 3 comments

Books
Been working through Cloud Atlas. Review next month.

Games
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Treyarch once again shows why they should be making every iteration of CoD. The franchise is back. I’ve yet to try singe player, but multiplayer is enjoyable again and they’ve done a really nice job on the prestige system (no longer feels like a punishment). 90
Extreme Road Trip 2 – Another free title in which you need to keep a flying (due to huge jumps and mines) car from crashing when it hits ground. Oddly addicting. 93
Punch Quest – Free title that’s great fun. Simple, 8-bit graphic style. “Fun” does the trick. 89

Movies/TV
The Art of the Steal – Documentary on The Barnes Foundation. Added strikes to Philadelphia. Very good watch. There’s now great art nearby that I refuse to see. 87
Battlestar Galactica – Friends ranted and raved about this, but I didn’t get it. Terrible acting, poor CG, weak story. Not sure what I was supposed to love about it other than it being in space and there being a hot blonde (I don’t find her all that hot, either). 72
Brave – Great animation, but overall uninspiring. 79
The Fountainhead – A classic (1948) on bucking trends. Liked this more than expected. 89
The Holiday – A Heather Seasonal Favorite. Was okay. Kept her happy so that’s more important than anything I may think 😉 78
The League (Season 3) – We absolutely loved the first two seasons of this. The third has the same writers, but is far worse. Overdone, not funny, and at many times difficult to endure. 77
MacHeads – Pretty bad documentary on the scary bits of the Mac world (the crazies). 62
Mansome – A slightly funny, but overall not very good look at what makes men men in today’s society. 68
Prometheus – Thrilling experience. Some stupid moments, but overall very good. 85
West Side Story – Nope, I’d never seen it, but I can play all the songs on a tuba. A classic. Amazing in Blu Ray. Does drag on a bit. 91

October Media Roundup

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 in Media | 0 comments

Look for this at the end of each month, a list of all the media I got through, a brief review, and a grade.

Books

  • Drop Dead Healthy – A fun/light read on living a healthier life. While it had a lot of opinion, and “fact” based on a single source or two, I couldn’t put it down. B+
  • It’s Not About the Bike – Lance Armstrong’s first book about his battle with cancer and later Le Tour. Very enjoyable read, especially certain sections following his recent newsworthiness. B+
  • The $100 Startup – Another one down in this subject. I maintain that IT isn’t my startup idea (I don’t enjoy the work enough), but there is something out there as this way of life (setting your own hours, mainly) is definitely for me. I’ve got that, more or less, in my current job so I’m pretty happy where I’m at. Anyway, the book. It was a slow read. Far too many sources are cited and you can get bogged down in details. C
Games (there are many more, but these are the ones worth noting for one reason or another)
  • Borderlands 2 (360) – Diablo 2 with guns. I’m having a lot more difficulty than many finding major differences between this and the original, but it was a good formula that didn’t need much changing. Run around, do missions that relate to a somewhat weak story, kill a lot of stuff, and get a lot of loot. A-
  • Carmageddon (iOS) – I played this incessantly as a kid. The premise was race around a track and kill pedestrians. That’s it. The developers opted to make this a port with no updates. The result is a failure in my eyes. I couldn’t stand playing. D
  • Dominant Species (iOS) – A board game adaptation. At $5 I expected something with polish. Instead I got a half-baked homebrew looking game that is not enjoyable to play. If I previously knew how to play the board game, maybe I’d have enjoyed it more, but I doubt it.  D+
  • Dungeon Village (iOS) – Another Kairosoft title. They all follow the same basic mechanic with a small twist and different theme. I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of the formula. This one is fantasy RPG themed. Rated a little worse than other titles because the goal is a bit more arbitrary. B+
  • Faster Than Light (Mac) – One of the best games I’ve played in a long time. Simple, addictive, and difficult. A+
  • Fleet (Board) – This is a card game that I found via Kickstarter. After several months of development, I got my hands on it. It’s a decent little game that I’ll play time and again, but is pretty flawed in that runaway games are common and there is no catchup mechanic. B-
  • Football Mogul 2013 (PC) – I’ve been playing games from this developer since back in high school when I ran my own video gaming website and received tons of free games for review. I loved the “engine” he used and have thusly played everything he’s produced. Unfortunately, he’s a baseball guy. The football franchise receives very little attention and lags greatly behind its brother in terms of features and fixed bugs. This latest release provides a somewhat broken experience with outdated roster updates. I can’t recommend it, but I was in the beta and have been submitting bugs incessantly so this one may get better. C-
  • God of Blades (iOS) – Simple platformer with a cool art-style and 70s prog-rock meets Choose Your Own Adventure feel. B
  • Madden 13 (360) – More of the same. Roster updates and an overall worse experience. The item that irks me the most is the user interface, which is hardly usable and confusing. C-
  • Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin (iOS) – A platformer from Disney (odd) that is a bit of a ripoff of Tri-achnid from the creator of Super Meat Boy before he was the bomb. It’s fun and I recommend it. I really only mentioned the ripoff bit to Nerd++. A-
  • Topia: World Build (iOS) – A really neat land morpher. I bought it in hopes that my money will go towards adding features. They have a great foundation with which to build on, but after morphing the land and having small animals kill each other for 30 minutes, you’re left bored. B
  • Trainz Simulator (iOS) – After watching a few too many train simulator meets dubstep videos on Youtube, I broke down and bought this. It’s… I don’t know what it is. I think it’s really well done from a simulation standpoint, but who the hell enjoys games like this? I suppose the thousands who have kept flight sim products alive over the years, but not me. After seeing how fast I could get the sweetest of trains that’s included (about 75mph… weak) and purposely derailing a handful of times, I uninstalled. C
Video
  • Avengers – Was expecting more. Really just a CG fap-fest with a weak story. As the culmination of so many superhero films, I expected this to take the cake. It did not. B
  • Dracula (1931) – Watched on Halloween night. Terrible, but in a good way. B+
  • Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead – A story of a guy who discovers juicing and wants the world to know. A feel-good film (assuming you’re not horribly obese). A-
  • Hell On Wheels – Pretty bad cycling documentary following a German team’s season/Tour in the early 00s. Unless you’re into German cycling, steer clear. C-
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Fun/odd film from Wes Anderson. If you’re a fan of his, you’ll probably like this. If you’re not, skip it. B
  • Once In A Lifetime – The story of American soccer before MLS. There actually was a league long ago, and one of the teams had international superstars on it! Who would have thunk it? B
  • Once Upon A Time In Anatolia – This won all sorts of awards internationally so I assumed we’d like it. We did not. It’s a slow, artistic snoozefest. We returned it before finishing and I hope to finish it via streaming some sleepy day soon. C-
  • Some Folks Call It A Sling Blade – A short that inspired the full movie. Interesting how so much can be fit into so little. B
Recommendations? Comments?