A Short Hike – Review (PC)

If I am to be honest, I am a little burned out of playing video games. I currently have no deadlines on when I need to publish things and I still find myself dropping games after a few play sessions. The only one that I have stuck with in recent memory is Marvel’s Spiderman (In all fairness, it was amazing). I do not know if I can contribute this development to working longer hours than I am used to or just being older but games just do not hold my attention like they used to. Enter A Short Hike by developer adamgryu , a little indie game that I picked up on the sole fact that it was free. I never really intended to play it just like all of the other free games that I never really intended to play, but between another rabbit hole of youtube content and staring at a blank wall I decided to give it a shot. Man oh man am I glad that I did.

A Short Hike is just as the name implies as you play an anthropomorphic bird, Claire, who is out on a vacation with her Aunt May to the beautiful and picturesque Hawk Peak Provincial Park. She wakes up after arriving at the camping spot only to realize that her phone does not have reception. She is expecting an important call later on and the only way she is going to receive it is if she goes on a short hike to the top of Hawk Peak. From the moment you take control of Claire, you have the freedom to do whatever you want. The ultimate goal is to climb to the summit of Hawk Peak, but the game does not force you to that goal. You come across a host of different characters during your time camping. From the fisherman who teaches you the calming nature of fishing, to the climbers club that trains you how to get to the top of the mountain faster, everyone here seems to be enjoying there time and they all have interesting things to say. Because of this I found myself going out of my way to talk to every character to see if there was anything that I could do for them.

I may have spent a little to much time searching for collectibles in order to trade for other collectibles that I might need. In my play through I never found a use for the fish I was collecting, or beat a certian hiker in a foot race even though I had at least 6 golden feathers, but I still found this weird joy in doing the activities. I also played about an hour of beachstickball until I was able to get the 20+ hits because I was that determined. The game found subtle ways to make me want to participate in its activities beyond the rewards I would get from them. I ended up doing it because Claire and I were on the same journey of relaxation.

Aside from the smaller activities your goal is to get to the top of the mountain, and you accomplish this by collecting feathers. The feathers act as your stamina gauge and dictate how long you can climb as well as how long you can glide, with you using one ever time you flap your wings. The gauge refills when you touch the ground so if you mess up a climb you can normally reset and try again without much fuss. That being said when you get closer to the peak of the mountain it does get colder and that will effect your feathers. It seems like you only need 7 feathers to get to the top and I finished my game with 11. Once you reach the top the game will trigger a cut scene that I will not spoil here, but I will say that it hit me straight in the feels. And once that is done you will be able to glide down while taking in an awe inspiring aerial view of your adventure.

I went into A Short Hike looking for something to take away my repetitive boredom and left it feeling shockingly relaxed. Right from the start you and Claire are along for this ride together and it is your decision how she spends her time at Hawk Peak. The game does not take itself too seriously nor does it make you feel like you have to accomplish anything at all. A Short Hike is a game designed to get you lost in its characters and organic story telling, and it leaves the rest up to you.

A Short Hike is available on Steam for $7.99

Full Metal Furies – Review (PC)

The beat’em up genre is one that has always been challenging yet enjoyable. From Double Dragon to Streets of Rage and even Scott Pilgrim vs The World, being able to clear out a screen full of enemies is oddly satisfying. Following in the footsteps of those amazing games comes Full Metal Furies by Cellar Door Games.  In Full Metal Furies you control two of four playable characters (Yes I did say two). With the Sniper class you have the ability to take out ranged targets but you can’t move when you fire. This puts you as a disadvantage with quick enemies and makes  you think about when you want to attempt to attack. The Tank uses a giant shield in order to block attacks and a dash ability to get closer to her targets. The Engineer does high damage with her pistol and has a turret that reminded me of Borderlands. However, you can’t do any melee damage. The Fighter uses a giant hammer that she swings around wildly. These unique play styles would make for great game play by itself but the kicker here is that when you play single player you control two characters at the same time. 

In combat you are tasked with managing your own attacks and making sure you counter your opponents with the right skills. Each hero is color coded and the enemies will have shields that will match those colors. What this means for game play is that you will not be able to burn through levels with just one character. You are going to have to make sure you are switching between characters in order to destroy shields and deal damage. Levels are a little on the short side, and the over world map reminds me of something out of Castle Crashers but this adds to the accessibility of the game. The level structure makes for the perfect Nintendo Switch experience.

The story is almost your standard affair at this point. Beings are fighting over power and your characters are stuck in the middle. Go into Full Metal Furies expecting lots of jokes and wise cracks. Enemies are over the top and it is very easy to get surrounded in this game. Placement is everything and if you are not careful you will get backed into a corner and knocked out before you know it. Believe me, it happened to me more than I would care to admit. The thing that ended up working for me was finding two characters that worked together, the Sniper and the Figher, and using them to balance each other out. While using the Fighter I would create distance between me and my target and then switch over to the Sniper in order to pick off my targets at a distance. Having to balance two different characters with two separate fighting styles in the same fight is stressful  at first but becomes second nature with practice.

Throughout the game you will collect gold that you can spend on upgrades to skills for each character and beating bosses will allow you to get modifiers that changes the way a skill works for that character. Each upgrade has funny and cheeky text that goes along with it that adds to the life of the world that the game takes place in. In fact, my only real complaint on this game would have to be the random difficulty spikes. Since the switching system is something you have to get used to, you might find yourself dying over and over again due to punishing enemies. This is something I eventually got over until the game decided to smack me down again later on. The jarring change in difficulty made for choppy game play at times and took me right out of the fun the game supplies in droves. 

Over all Full Metal Furies is an amazing experience and one I can’t wait to come to systems like the Nintendo Switch. Its bite size game play is perfect for a console you can pick up and take with you. Pick up Full Metal Furies is you are into fast paced game play with interesting systems and a light but slightly hilarious narrative. 

Full Metal Furies is available on Steam for $19.99

Nexomon – Review (Mobile)

The mobile arena has a lot of Pokemon rip off games. Like a lot of Pokemon rip off games. Serious, stop reading this and type in Pokemon into your app store and start scrolling. I’ll wait. Are you back? Great! The main problem with the market over saturation is that a lot of them aren’t actually any good. The stories are either generic or nonexistent, the characters are carbon copies of existing characters, and the monsters are kinda boring. Things is the biggest reason for why I wanted to tell you about Nexomon, a Monster RPG that I have found to be actually quite good. So good I bought it, with my own money.

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Nexomon starts off like  almost every other Pokemon game. After a brief encounter with the bad guys who have stolen creatures called Nexomon from the population you embark on an adventure to stop their evil plan once and for all. I was prepared for the standard affair. Enter an area, capture a few creatures, beat some baddies, and then fight a boss all before moving on to another area to do the same thing. I wasn’t however prepared for the amazing story that was going to follow. Nexomon does a great job of not only making fun of itself but the genre of monsters catching as a whole. It has no problem calling out the stupidity of the main character as well as the characters around them. (One of my favorite parts talks about how a fishing pole is still called a fishing pole when “fish” don’t actually exist, the world only has Nexomon.)

The plot is so good that I’m not going to spoil it in this review. All I can say is that it is something that I have wanted a Pokemon game to do for a long time. Nexomon has shown that is isn’t afraid to take a slightly gritty and realistic view to a world that is populated with literal monsters. Its this feel that separates this game from the other piles of games like it.

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Battles are fought one on one with you being able to switch out if your Nexomon takes to much of a beating. The creature designs are actually really cool, with the art work taking a slightly more realistic tone to that of Pokemon. Each Nexomon can only use four moves, but here is the kicker, every move your Nexomon learns it knows forever. So, if you switch to a move you end up not liking you can can the moves back to something you are more familiar with. This allows you to take more risk in your team compositions. There are seven types of Nexomon for you to find and when you start your adventure you can pick from one of the seven types. You also have a bag for storing items and a Nexopad with an way more useful database than Pokemon has ever had. The database in the game not only tells you all the creatures stat values but also when it evolves. This makes is super easy to build my team to my liking and know exactly what goal I am working towards.

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Creatures are captured using Nexotraps, which can be found in the game, bought with in game currency, or bought with real money. At first, I was skeptical about this. If you can buy the capture device with real money than it must be hard to get in the game, right? This could not be further from the truth. The in game currency is made increasingly easy to farm considering that every battle nets you money, even the random encounters. Once I got to the point where my main could one hit most creatures I encountered I started farming for in game loot in order to stock up on traps for future fights.

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Now lets talk about something we all love, micro-transactions. Yes, even though the game is $2.99 it does contain micro-transactions in order to obtain an in-game loot called Diamonds. Diamonds can be used to buy different avatar skins for your character, pets to follow them, and Golden Nexotraps which function as the Master Ball of the game. You can also buy game modifiers that help with the overall experience like Skates to move faster and an Exp. Share to level up your party faster. These things are nice but don’t effect the game. What is a little pay to win is the Nexomon Boxes that give you rare Nexomon in exchange for diamonds. This coupled with the PVP that is in beta seems like a recipe for disaster but I haven’t seen it abused yet. Honestly, it is really easy to ignore the store stuff and go about your adventure so it doesn’t bother me too much.

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The most impressive thing about the whole game in my book is the size of the map. After spending about seven hours playing the game I finally got access to the fast travel aspect of the game, and looking at the map shocked me. I figured that I was at least half way done with the game, I was mistaken. The world of Nexomon still has many other regions to explore and sights to see. And with constant updates to the game, the $2.99 admission fee is well worth the ride.

FINAL VERDICT: Worth the Buy

Divinity Original Sin II – Review (PC)

Back in the PS2 era of gaming there was a little known rpg called Champions of Norrath. By “little known” I mean that I played it with my brothers but no one else knew what I was talking about. They were all tied up with Kingdom Hearts II or whatever. In Champions of Norrath you are tasked with freeing the land of Norrath from the tyranny of the demon/monster Innoruuk. While traveling through Norrath my tiny 10 year old self was blown away by the level of detail and options that I was able to put into my character. This was the first time I came across Skill Trees and actual Character Progression. It was in this game the I started to see all the hype behind table top games. Being sucked into a character is easier when I feel like I have had a hand in molding how that character reacts to the world. It was this feeling within me that got amplified with the release of Divinity Origin Sin II.

I don’t know why I missed the first Divinity game but I knew when I saw Divinity II in action that I had to be apart of that world. Lets for one second forget about all the praise the game has gotten. Ignore all the spectacular things you have heard about this game. At its core, Divinity Original Sin II is about one thing, interaction. This first presented it self in the games opening moments. You, as a character and slave, are on a ship being transported to an island for those who use Source Magic. The problem with Source magic is that it attracts creatures that feed on its power, thus you and several others like you have been enslaved in order to be cleansed of this disease. 

While on the boat things don’t going quite according to plan as a powerful Source user damages the vessel. From this point on the choices you make are your own. Because I created an elf I had the ability to eat body parts of the dead an see visions, usually of their last moments alive. This changed the way I solved quest as I was always looking for something to eat in order to gain clues. On my quest I came across several locked doors. I turned to find clues to where keys could possibly be, but when I couldn’t find anything I decided to knock the door down with my weapon. In any other game I would have been swatting at the door in vein, not this one. It took no time for me to break down the door with my weapon.

With the door destroyed so too was my thought process on how this world was supposed to work. I tried the same strategy with treasure chest to varying degrees of success. I found that the best way to dispatch with enemies was to sneak between their lines of sight and make a beeline for the strongest one. This put the others into a small state of confusion as they seem to be processing what just happened. Taking away their time to prepare for the battle by getting into a defensive formation turned the tide of battle my way a lot. I learned that fire was my most powerful ally and my most loathe foe. I learned to plan out every avenue of attack and not to be afraid of trying something crazy. During a rescue mission I teleported the person I was trying to save out of his prison only for him to be killed by his jailer. I scrapped that idea entirely and had to try something new. This is the mindset that D:OS II injects into your brain, one of infinite possibilities. 

The story is your classic fantasy affair with a multiplayer twist if you want it. After killing or talking your way to freedom you are tasked with looking for the powerful Source user who trashed your ship in the beginning. However, the main story wasn’t what drew me into the world I was playing in. What really got to me what they depth of the NPC’s around me. Not only did they all have their own lives, dreams, and secrets but they also had unique personalities and responded differently to you depending on who you were playing as. D:OS II has a underline racism running through it with other characters being violent to races they deem are less than. There was a woman I met very early on who wouldn’t say anything to me because I was a elf. I also had an interesting conversation with a kid who thought I killed people and ate them for fun. I mean, I do. Sometimes. But this kid didn’t need to know about what my elf did in his spare time. 

Combat is a beautiful and frustrating process. On the one hand you can enter a fight doing everything right and end up destroying all the opposition with minimal effort. On the other hand I have entered fights I didn’t even know were there by triggering traps that I didn’t see coming in order to defend myself against waves of monsters I wasn’t prepared for. Live by the sword I suppose. In this game I learned just how important save scumming is. If I even sneezed the wrong way I would reload and earlier save. 

If I had to give the game any criticism it would have to be the map and direction system. While playing an open world like Skyrim it would seem like getting lost would happen all the time. However, I always seemed to know where I was going and how I was going to get there. Quest were laid out and I never got frustrated. Divinity Original Sin II is another story all together. I frequently get lost while playing. I get it, it is apart of the experience. When I was younger I wouldn’t have minded playing four hours and only progressing one mission because I seemed to just be walking in circles. As an adult with limited time this sort of thing erks me to no end. I would like to know exactly where I’m going and where I want to go next. Maybe put the mindless exploration in a harder difficulty. I’m not saying it doesn’t deserve a place in the game, what I’m saying is I don’t have the time I used to devote to getting lost. 

If you have not played Divinity Original Sin II I can not recommend it enough. If you want a deeply involving game that will force you to think outside the box when it comes to combat, looting, mission, interactions, and a whole host of other features than this is the game for you.

Divinity Original Sin II is available on Steam for $44.99

Disgaea 5 Complete Edition – Review (Switch)

The Nintendo Switch has slowing been building its collection of games throughout its five month lifespan. With new games hitting the store almost every week, it looks like Nintendo is trying to keep its promise when it comes to an abundance of third party support. And, among those games, is Disgaea 5 Complete Edition. Disgaea 5 was originally released on the Playstation 4 in 2015. The game was then ported to the Nintendo Switch in early 2017.

Disgaea 5 is a tactical role-playing game that gives you the task of defeating the demon emperor Void Dark, whose goal is to conquer the Netherworlds. Void Dark’s army The Lost hops from Netherworld to Netherworld taking down its Overlords. Overlords are the strongest demons in their respective Netherworlds. Our main character Killa runs into the Overlord of Gorgeous Seraphina while fighting Void Darks army and the two reluctantly join together. The two recruit other demons to their cause and eventually form a rebel army in order to oppose Void Dark.

Disgaea 5’s battles are fought out on a grid map. Maps have random items on them that can change the pace of battle and it is good to have a healthy collection of warriors at your disposal. You can spawn units into battle using a stationary spawn point and you can even spawn them out of battle to protect them. You do have a set number of characters that you can send into battle and once those characters are defeated you lose. Characters can be recruited at your pocket Netherworld Base. You can recruit mercenaries at higher levels and with better skills but it will cost more. At your base you can do things like buy items, weapons, take on missions, manage skils, and talk to the demons that you have already recruited. Its in this pocket world that a lot of the hilarious dialog takes place. From blown out of proportion pissing contest to laundry arguments, Disgaea 5 is not short on conversation.

In battle your army can use different skills and abilities in order to take advantage of the field around them. Characters can attack, defend, use special abilities, and even lift other characters and throw them through the air in order to clear large distances. The Prinny, a race of demon penguins that serve as Seraphina’s servants, explode when thrown making them useful to clear out group of enemies. However, the explosion kills them so you sacrifice a unit in the process.

The story of Disgaea 5 was the primary draw of the game for me. Every character has their own primary goal driving them but they also change and grow as the story moves forward. Seraphina believes that every man was designed to serve her and originally teams up with Killla so that she can make him fall in love with her but her personality changes and she becomes much more of a team player as the hours pile on in the game. You also learn a lot more about the mysterious Killa and why he wants to take down Void Dark in the first place. Dialogue is plentiful in this game but it doesn’t feel like a huge drag like it does in other Japanese RPG’s. It could be because the characters don’t feel like one dimensional placeholders.

The thing that makes Disgaea 5 Complete Edition a real winner for me has to be the form factor. Being on the Nintendo Switch I was literally able to play it anywhere. From the car to the bedroom. This freedom of control has me waiting for other games that I already own to come to the Switch so I can play it there as well.

If you couldn’t tell, Disgaea 5 is amazing. A gripping story, hilarious characters, and an interesting combat system is what sets this franchise apart from the several other games that do relatively the same thing. If you are a Switch user that loves RPG’s this is a must buy.

Disgaea 5 Complete Edition is available on Nintendo Switch for $59.99

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Review (Switch)

It won’t be hard to believe that you have heard the words Zelda Breath of the Wild a lot. From t.v. to youtube everyone seems to be talking about Nintendo’s new flagship title. In short, Zelda Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece. However, don’t get me wrong, the game being a masterpiece doesn’t mean that it is without flaws. From the beginning, BotW drops you off in a world that is begging to be explored. From the snowy peaks in the northwest corner of the map to the rainforest in the southeast corner, every environment in BotW is full of life and character. In most of the open-world RPG’s I have played I tend to death grip the fast travel system and never let go. What is the point of traveling on some boring road when I can instantly be at my objective? That is a mistake when it comes to this game, rewarding exploration is the first thing that locked me into BotW’s world. 

Breath of the Wild features 120 Shrines as well as 900 korok seeds. Each shrine features a puzzle that you have to solve in order to obtain a spirit orb. With every 4 spirit orbs, you obtain you can upgrade your heart containers or your stamina. The korok seeds on the other hand allow you to upgrade the bag space of your weapons. Most of the puzzles throughout the map are simple, logic-based that get progressively difficult as you enter into hard areas. Others can be either combat challenges or tests that involve doing something in the outside world. For instance, I had to carry a ball to the center of a swirling piece of land. Now, I decided to carry it the entire way, but there were at least two other ways I could have solved that problem that I could think of. 

It is that freedom of choice that turns Zelda Breath of the Wild from a simple open-world adventure into an epic that will stand the test of time. The first thing I did in BotW was climb a tree. I walked out of the starter cave and had the instant urge to climb a tree, so I did. It was this small detail that let me know I was in for something special. And these small details are littered throughout the game. If a monster is lit on fire than there is a chance that the items they drop will be destroyed. Fire creates an updraft that you can ride on to get an aerial attack in. Wolves will try to circle around you before attacking, and if they sense too much danger they will run. The entire world isn’t reliant on you and travelers will try to fight off monsters on their own. These types of things bring a level of believability to the world. 

Monster encounters vary not only between types of monsters but by classes of monsters as well. A simple Bokoblin tends to run into your weapon by accident sometimes but later versions of this monster can not only see your attack coming but it can also learn to target your blind spots. I have never died more in a Zelda game, but every death felt justified as I learned what the game was expecting from me. Once you learn the dance, monsters will never be a problem again. Weapon degrading is a big topic of debate in BotW. Weapons in the beginning of the game will in fact break if you look at them wrong. So much so that I developed a habit of holding on to my better weapons for harder situations. This method of play is fine, but it is highly unnecessary. The rate in which you get weapons is incredibly quick with a new sword or ax around every corner. 

As I said before, Zelda Breath of the Wild is not without its flaws. While dealing with mobs of Bokoblins the game sometimes tends to lag. It has happened a total of 5 times over my 40+ hours with the game. It never happens with any creature other than the Bokoblins, for me at least. The cooking system is in serious need of a recipe book like Skyrim has because losing track of the thousands of combinations is a thing you will do. Made an awesome potion by accident, good luck duplicating the process after 10 hours of game play has gone by. Speaking of potions, what was the point of giving us an awesome potion system if you were just going to give us really easy armor that makes every potion obsolete. It would be different if you could stack effects but it is only one effect at a time. 

The main story is surprisingly easy. For reference, it took me 4 years to beat Ocarina of Time. Maybe that game was hard, maybe I suck, I like to go with the former. That being said the main story took me about 10 hours in total. The bar to beat the end boss was set very low. However, it was in that final fight that I realized that beating the end boss wasn’t why I was playing. Sure, it was the reason that Link was doing what Link was doing but I had genuinely been sucked into the world. 

The Nintendo Switch’s launch superstar seems to have managed to live up to the expectations of the general populous, and that is a great sign of things to come. I still have several hours ahead of me but I am looking forward to them with a big grin on my face. Every time I see someone discover something else I hadn’t found it makes me want to jump back in headfirst and see what else I can find. Sure, Zelda Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece, but above everything else, it is a fun experience that you don’t want to pass up.

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of The Wild is available on Nintendo Switch for $59.99

Review: The Young Kieslowski

Another weekend alone. Another random movie on Netflix. I figured I would keep with the tradition of picking at random so I selected the first movie that look visually appealing. I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover but is it ok for movies? By the way, this review will have some spoilers. You have been warned.

With that being said, I give you “The Young Kieslowski”

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For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. That is the theme of this wonderful film. We open the movie on Brian Kieslowski, (Ryan Malgarini), who is having an American Pie style awkward conversation with his mother about sex. That is until she throws out the fact that she has cancer and that she only wants him to know what he is doing. How she feels she should be able to say anything she needs to say on the subject because she might not be around much longer. This is when I stopped laughing.

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Brian is a virgin, but he isn’t actively trying to get laid. It isn’t a game to him. He seems to know that sex is a serious responsibility. So when he meets Leslie Mallard (Haley Lu Richardson) I didn’t quite know where it was going to go. Leslie seemed sure of herself, for a drunk person, and proudly declares herself to be a virgin waiting for marriage. That was the moment I knew this was going to go downhill fast.

Growing up in a church I knew girls like Leslie. I knew the type. I also knew what would eventually happen to them. Most of them had kids, at around the age of 17-20. One is a lesbian. Turns out she didn’t want to have sex with guys anyway. Beside the point. I said all that to say, I know where this is going.

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When I was younger the thought of having children stopped me from having sex. The thought of having a smaller version of me running around halted me in my tracks. That amount of stress isn’t good on someone growing up. Brian doesn’t want to be a father in college, but he doesn’t know how to tell Leslie that he wants her to get an abortion.

This sort of divide will destroy a couple before they even get started. If you don’t have a level of friendship that starts your relationship at least have a level of honesty.

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Brian is the young Kieslowski, but he isn’t a child anymore. He threw that life away when he got Leslie pregnant. Now, he doesn’t have time to be a child. He doesn’t have time to watch his life unfold in front of him because he has to take care of someone else. The crushing wave of reality is drowning him. He has to deal with what Leslie wants. What his parents want for him. What Leslie’s father wants for them. But, no matter how nosey or opinionated everyone seems to be, they all have a point. Kids become your life. Think about this choice before you act because you have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.

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What gets me about this movie is that no one is acting weirdly, or out of character. Sadly, that is how life works. Everyone has an opinion about how life should work out and sometimes everyone has a point. Sometimes, even if the action seem ridiculous, if you put yourself in another person’s shoes they are easier to understand.

The ending was one I saw coming, but the journey was well worth it. Life becomes easier when we stand together then when we are divided. However, what will stick with me is a line Brian’s mother said. “I think, whats really bothering you is if your with her it feels like you never had a choice. But you do have a choice.” And thats just it. I have sabotaged multiple of my relationships because of that feeling. The feeling of being trapped. It also applies to life. No matter what the situation is, you always have a choice.

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Review: Pretend We’re Kissing

I realized a long time ago that I had a unreasonable amount of time on my hands for a 20 something. I don’t party, much. I only drink on occasion. And I spend most of my free time either gaming or watching random movies on Netflix. Yes, I have a girlfriend, but considering she has a life as well this leaves me with insane amounts of free time. So, I am going to try a new try of movie reviewish thing. This is more my raw thoughts towards the movie and how I felt about it rather than giving it a traditional grade.

With that being said, I give you “Pretend We’re Kissing”

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If I had to describe this movie in one word it would be awkward. Seriously, no joke, they could have changed the name of the movie to Awkward and it would have been just fine. The main character Benny, Dov Tiefenbach, is a introvert who kinda meets a girl at a concert and never says anything to her. He then sees the girl later and she makes the first move. We spend most of the movie in the mind of the main character as we get to hear the things he stops himself from saying. We also get an introduction to his newly nudist roommate Autumn, Zoe Kravitz, who is mooching off of him.

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I can tell you right now that Autumn is a completely useless character. If you took her out of the movie entirely it wouldn’t have changed the overall plot. She seems to only be there to be ridiculous. The story manages to somehow only get more awkward from there. After getting the girl Benny manages to somehow out awkward himself and mess that up to. There was a sex scene that made me wince in pain. Pain! Why am I watching this? While we are in that vein, some of the scenes drag on a little to long. I swear Autumn was hugging Benny for a solid three minutes. The sad part is that I know exactly what its like to be Benny. To be stuck inside your own head. Its a beautifully painful experience.

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Sex scene number two and I’m still wincing. I understand the story that they are trying to tell, but it doesn’t stop it from making me want to claw my eyes out. This is the classic tale of be careful what you wish for. Benny wanted the girl, he got the girl, then he fucked it up. He was so focused on getting something he never had before that when he got it he didn’t know what to do with it. He wasn’t ready.

In all honesty, as much as I want to rag on this movie it is a perfect example of relationships in real life. Sometimes you don’t get a second chance, and you have to just make sure that you are better for the next person.

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Review: AFK Season 1

What is “AFK” About? What would you do if you woke up in the body of a video game character? It would be an amazing feeling to physically enter a world you have already spent so much time in, right? Well, for the players in AFK, the video game world is far from the fantasy they were previously living. Everywhere they turn, chaos is in full effect. What of your parents? The people you left behind? Would you ever be able to return to the real world?

Enter Q, a tough as nails girl/elf who finds herself in the body of the character she was playing in an MMO. After being “saved” by Jack, a power gamer who is all to excited to be in this situation, the two venture off with the hopes of staying alive. Several other characters enter the fray like Steven, a guy stuck playing a girl, Maybel, a girl stuck playing a guy Gnome, Brendon, a 15 year old stuck in the body of a grown wizard, and V’Rugga, a enemy faction character who can’t speak english.

The mission is simple, ban together to survive their new reality or die trying.

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The Good? The characters in the world of AFK have this overall feeling of being lost. This feeling is then translated throughout everything they say or do. You have to keep in mind, these kids have no clue what they are doing. It would be weird it they were all upbeat about the situation.

The costume and character design are amazing. You can tell that the creators took inspiration from The World of Warcraft. The way the characters interact with one another is both realistic and hilarious. Q doesn’t want to be apart of this world and just wants to find a way out. She doesn’t find this fun or amusing. She knows how dangerous this world is. She also knows that acts of heroism will get you killed more often then not.

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The Bad? AFK can seem a little bit slow. Much like the first half of the new Stars Wars movie, the characters are stumbling around this new environment while trying to survive. It can seem like a jumbled mess of storylines that don’t seem to be working together at all at times, and the can be disheartening to people looking for “heroes” to step up and take action. This isn’t that story, not at first.

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Why You Should Watch It? AFK is a beautiful experience set it a magical land that feels familiar. There are several characters to root for, and against, and it never feels like anyone is acting out of character. The costumes are fantastic, the character design is amazing, and the story comes to a conclusion you might not have saw coming. All in all I am looking forward to this getting another season, hopefully with a better sense of direction. 4/5

Where Is It? AFK is available on youtube.

Review: LARPs

What Is LARPs About? Have you ever wanted to be someone that you are not? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to role-play? If so, then LARPs is the series for you. In its first season, we are introduced to five wildly different characters who all share the same hobby of Larping, or Live Action Role-Playing. Arthur plays the ninja assassin Noctus. Will play the carefree archer Biff. Shane plays the fire loving Astra. Brittany plays the magical elf Corillia. And Evan is there ever so prepared Dungeon Master. (Kat joins the team in season two as the healer Ellowyn.)

Our story picks up with Shane joining a LARP ran by Evan. Brittany, Evan’s sister, has a crush on Will but doesn’t know how to go about it. Arthur doesn’t want anything to mess up the game. Meanwhile, Shane is trying her best to mesh with the group. Inside the LARP, the band of heroes is tasked with protecting an artifact of immense power called the Eleventh Eye from falling into the wrong hands. Each episode starts with a word that is used in Role-playing, and that word is the central idea of the episode. This started a fun little side game of trying to see how each term would fit into each episode.

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The Good? LARPs is an expertly crafted experience. Right off the bat, I was getting “The Guild” flashbacks. Watching the way the game interacted with each of the character’s lives and watching how they, in turn, changed because of the characters they were playing was awesome. Being a tabletop gamer myself, I was able to relate to each of the characters. From Noctis’s self-preservation to Biff’s nonchalant additive I have seen it all.

The combat in LARPs is sharp and at some times brutal. These players are really getting tossed around and knocked off their feet. That just goes to show how committed they were to make this feel as authentic as possible. The outfits also look spectacular, and the music choices fit the mood perfectly. I actually added some of the tracks from the show to my personal playlist on Spotify.

Most importantly, these actors have amazing chemistry. From the verbal back and forth of Arthur and Evan to every Will one-liner, it feels like this group has known each other for a long time. It doesn’t feel overacted or blown out of proportion, it feels like your pals all hanging around and gaming on a Saturday night.

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The Bad? Because we are thrown into the middle of this world that is already in motion you kinda have to hit the ground running. In the first season, I had a harder than usual time trying to figure out how the characters knew each other. And certain guesses I had were only fully confirmed in the second season of the show.

Also, the main problem of the show doesn’t get reviled to the very end of the last episode of the first season, which kinda made it less impactful. Since you are able to jump right into season two right after watching season one it isn’t that bad anymore but at the time it just threw me off. Because of the way the show was going, it just felt shoehorned in at the end instead of getting the proper attention it deserved. It would have had a greater effect if it would have been hinted at a little better earlier.

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Why You Should Watch It? All in all, LARPs in an amazing series.The onscreen combat between the characters is fantastic and a welcome treat. LARPs is well written, well acted, and contains a storyline that can be enjoyed by all. 4.5/5