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

Hands-On with Go-Tcha, the Pokemon Go Plus Subsititue

With Raid battles and improved Gyms at the forefront of Niantic’s plan for the summer, I have been on the lookout for ways to improve my game. I had been using the Pokemon Go Plus with varying levels of success and I was content with knowing that this was as good as it was going to get. Enter in Go-Tcha, a weird little wearable that acts just like your Plus assessor with a few more bells and whistles. The major improvement is that Go-Tcha is automatic. That’s right! When you enter that range of a Pokemon or PokeStop the device will automatically attempt to add the item or Pokemon to your collection. The interesting part is that it manages to do so even when I am driving around town.

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The device itself is tinier than I thought it was going to be, with one touch screen button for all of the features. You cycle through them with the red button and hold the button when you want to change the setting. With the Go-Tcha you can…

  • Automatically catch every Pokemon you come across
  • Only catch Pokemon you have never come across
  • Automatically collect from PokeStops (except the ones attached to Gyms)

In order to put the Go-Tcha to the ultimate test, I decided to do a head to head battle with my friends PokeGo Plus. After several hours of play, I noticed that the Go-Tcha seemed to have a better catch rate, with me catching three out of four of the Pokemon I encountered. PokeStops were read quicker than on the PokeGo Plus and the device would show the number of items I received on its screen.  Also, the form factor of the Go-Tcha made it a little less obvious that I was playing Pokemon Go which may or may not appeal to certain people who like to play on the DL.

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After owning the Go-Tcha for a week I have discovered the devices biggest weakness, it is way too tiny. That coupled with the terrible rubber that the device sits in makes it very easy to lose. In fact, I lost mine. One second it was on my wrist, the next the Go-Tcha was nowhere to be found. The device could benefit from a higher quality wrist strap, something that will make your $40 dollar investment safe.

However, I will buy the Go-Tcha again. Why, because it is just that good. Being able to hit PokeStops automatically while driving from place to place is a Pokemon Go players wet dream. It puts the game on autopilot and allows you to focus on the meat of the game. Catching Pokemon. I wouldn’t recommend the auto-catch feature unless you just need to fill your box with every useless Pokemon you can find, but for the price, the Go-Tcha is a worthwhile purchase.

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: Lovesick (Scrotal Recall)

What Is “Scrotal Recall” About? I know, i know, it sounds worst than it actually is. Netflix has the weird habit of having amazing television hidden in plain sight. On this instance i was laying in bed when I got the email from Netflix. “New Shows You Might Like: Scrotal Recall…”. Scrotal Recall? You mean the Recall of your Scrotum? Who the hell made this show? Naturally, I had to find out.

Dylan is diagnosed with chlamydia and must then contact all of his previous sexual partners to inform them that he has the disease. Dylan’s best friends are Luke, the womanizer, playboy who thinks with the wrong head, and Evie, who for years has harbored a secret crush on Dylan but has now moved on and has become recently engaged. The majority of each episode of the show is told through a flashback, showing Dylan’s generally unsuccessful encounters with a number of women. Right off of the bat this show surprised me with its wit. Yes, it has the sexual jokes and innuendos but the plot lines tend to take a turn in fresh and interesting ways.

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The Good? Surprisingly, this show isn’t all that bad. In fact, for a romantic comedy, it is extremely well acted and though out. for the most part these types of show like to rest on certain tropes and character types but this show blows all of them out of the water. Because of the situation Dylan is in he is forced to reexamine the relationships of his past and see how they are doing in the future. This brings a certain dual layer to the show because we get to see how far all the characters have come.

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The Bad? Because the show is only 6 episodes long the plot doesn’t really get taken care of. He only gets to 6 of the more than 20 women on his list of calls he has to make and he never finds out who gave him the STD in the first place. The show kinda ignores that plot to favor the Dylan/Evie will they won’t they angle and I wish it would have kept to the prior. It was very interesting meeting all of the different woman and seeing the effect they had on Dylan’s life. Given 6-12 more episodes this show could have really shined.

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Why You Should Watch It? “Scrotal Recall” is interesting, fresh, and a great take on the romantic comedy genre. Because the show is mostly out of order it provides and abstract view into the line of a 20 something who is just trying to figure out who he wants to be with.

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What Would You Rate It? 4.5/5

Is It Fun?

Graphics this. Graphics that. My possessor has this much power. I can overclock. Etc. When did being a gamer become a measuring contest over who has the better device to play said game. I’m not that old, 23 to be exact, but I remember a time where all anyone cared about was whether the game was fun or not. It wasn’t that long ago, I promise.

When I was 15 I used to sit on the floor of my living room with a bowl of Captain Crunch and watch X-Play. At the time my family did not have the money to buy me the things I was really into, video games to be exact, so I would live vicariously through the misadventures of Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb. I had a blast learning about all of the ways that video games were affecting the world, but I had a glaring problem with the show. Almost every game that I liked received a average to low score.

Why? Why did X-Play hate Saints Row so much when I had the time of my life playing it. So what if it is basically a rip off of Grand Theft Auto, it was fun. Isn’t that all that gaming should be about? I think so. So now I am going to do my own game reviews. No scores are going to be rewarded. I am not going to harp on graphics unless it directly interferes with my fun having experience. I am going to go over what I liked and what I did not like about the game and at the end tell you if its fun and why. That is all. Stay tuned for the misadventures of a over worked gamer, and make sure you Pause For Snacks.

Review: Archie #1 (2015)

Everyone’s beloved red-head is back and looks better than ever! Change is coming to Riverdale in this can’t-miss kick-off to Archie’s new ongoing series! Familiar faces return in new and unexpected ways in this must-read #1 issue! As the new school year approaches, you’d think Archie Andrews would be looking forward to classes and fun — but nothing is as it seems in the little town of Riverdale. But is this a one-off or a sign of bigger changes awaiting for America’s favorite teens — and the entire town?

The tone and attitude of Archie are captured perfectly in this first issue. As someone who has been an Archie fan for over a decade it was incredibly easy to jump into this first issue and get a feel for the characters. Everyone feels surprisingly fresh yet familiar. Jughead has instantly become my new favorite as his character is surprisingly self aware, not like he wasn’t to some degree before. This first issue also manages to set up the crazy Archie world in a real and understandable way. By the end of it Archie Andrews doesn’t seems like a hormone crazed teenager who is trying to date everything that moves, he seems like a normal guy.1213a47379f5cdb8cae7949944bba872

Did I mention that the artwork in the title is gorgeous, because it is. Every aspect of Riverdale is vibrant and lively. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples do a spectacular job at bringing a place I have known for all of my adult years to life with even more energy than I remembered.

Overall, its been a great start to what is essentially a reboot to a property that is decades old. Archie is going to be on fire this year, and this reader can’t wait to see where this story goes.