Let’s discuss some nostalgia porn, as it isn’t all created equal. First, let me mention Meddling Kids which is a novel I read last year that blew me away. A group of twenty-somethings that bear a remarkable similarity to a group of teenage detective sleuths and their snack-hungry dog have all grown up and are dealing with the PTSD of the things they saw as kids. From being faced with murder to the supernatural, they have grown-up like the kids from It have – repressing everything.
The nostalgia in Meddling Kids is biting and funny and a new take on tropes as the not-Scooby Gang bump into Lovecraftian Lore, it analyzes not simply what the characters would be like if they actually had to deal with fantastical Hanna-Barbara cartoon mysteries, but talks about the relationships of these people. Why is the book smart nerd friends with the stoner and the ‘nice guy’. It takes its premise through brutality and emotional turmoil and makes these fictional kids feel like they could fit in a real-ish world. It stunned me, and I highly recommend it.
Now, let’s discuss the other side of nostalgia porn, and the reason I picked this topic to talk about. I enjoyed Ready Player One, the book. I caught it early on the hype train and it tickles quite a few of my weird sub-sub-genre’s of stories. It hits on ‘movies as game’ like It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Midnight Madness, and Jumanji. It features one of my particular eras of nerddom that doesn’t get a lot of notice, 1980s computer culture – and mixes it with science fiction, comics, Brat Pack pop culture, and a thousand other things that were the bread and butter of my pre-teen youth. There was one thing that stuck in my craw about it though, and that was we are watching a ‘day after the day after tomorrow’ type world and the creators of said world seem obsessed with this era of culture. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand that this is a love letter to that era, but in a book about video games with the grand master video game makers of all time.. you would think they also liked things a bit more ambitious than NETHACK. All of that said – I enjoyed RP1. I thought it was cute and fun and itched the popcorny itches it was designed to itch, even though it is not without its flaws…. unlike its sequel….
You see, Ready Player Two is now out and it has given up on everything that even remotely made RP1 enjoyable and doubled down on the thing that made it annoying. Yes, there’s another fetch quest. Yes, the band gets back together. Yes, the stakes are raised… and it is because of those things that everything else falls off a cliff. Without delving too deeply into spoiler territory, RP2 puts lives at stake. It isn’t about an evil corporation and a young plucky hero… it’s about millions of lives in peril and our, now infinitely rich and yet somehow still remarkably naive, hero – with his encyclopedic knowledge of everything his idols have ever done, spends literal chapters spilling about movies and music. He goes into explicit detail about the life of John Hughes and into deep Tolkien ephemera. He whines about his lack of romance and realizes all of the mistakes he’s made and the missteps he’s taken (none of which that we get to see, mind you) — all while telling us about the trees on Chewbacca’s home planet. There are millions of lives depending on his journey and he can’t help but idly giggle like a schoolgirl because he sees a computer generated Juliette Lewis — a Juliette Lewis that he literally could have delivered to his virtual bedroom and programmed to ride his Natural Born Killer from Dusk Til Dawn.
Nostalgia porn has its place to make a story taste the way it’s supposed to taste, like one of my all time favorite movies, Super 8 or something as charming as La La Land… but when your narrative only serves to plate nostalgia instead of tell a good story dressed in it — all I want to do is go find a new story that doesn’t need to tell me all of the stories that it relies on.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!
Hey hey Somethings! PCR here, and today I’m listing out my “Top 5 Favorite Swords”! These could be from movies, TV, Comics, Video Games… not limiting myself here. I am also grouping “Lightsabers” as an honorable mention as a whole.
On to the list in no particular order!
5 – D’Artagnan’s/Top Dollar’s/Inigo Montoya’s Rapier
While not the same prop, they all have an amazingly similar style and look to them. The large, swept-hilted basket hilt is very distinctive and back in my Ren-Faire days, it was my favorite kind of weapon to wield.
4 – Highlander’s Ivory Katana
While there should have been only one (movie), this sword quickly became iconic. I know when that movie came out, if you picked up *any* katana, you were immediately acting out one of the many scenes from “Highlander”
The title character from First Comic’s “Dreadstar”, Vanth’s weapon was more than just a sword, it was a part of him. Made of energy, he could manifest the sword as a weapon of unbelievable power, or he could absorb it into himself to become nigh invulnerable.
Forged by legendary swordsmith Hattori Hanzo from 1000 layered Japanese steel, this sword was able to dispatch the Crazy 88, O-Ren Ishii, and undoubtedly been able to, as Hanzo stated when presenting it to her… cut God himself.
1 – Sword of Omens
Able to grant “sight beyond sight”, Lion-O’s sword.. containing the Eye of Thundera was more than just a mere sword. Nearly a sentient being in it’s own right, The Sword of Omens was instrumental in defeating Mumm-Ra on many occasions, as well as summoning the ThunderCats to Lion-O’s side when needed.
- Kurgan’s Sword
In the last two or three months, I’ve started going back to X-Men. You have to understand, there was a time where I drank down everything ‘X’, and when I needed new furniture, I was able to put my mattress on the longboxes I had so many filled with Charles Xavier’s team of racial allegory.
Now, I will admit, I am not currently brought up to speed… I stopped reading what I previously had said was a couple of years ago, but honestly is almost coming up on a decade. Somewhere shortly after Hope Summers saved the world I got super busy and life happened and comics just fell to the wayside. I’ve found during our current Under-The-Dome sheik lifestyle, comics and logic puzzles have helped me caulk up the boring minutes.
So to celebrate that, here are my three favorite X-Men and why!
#3 – JAMIE MADROX
Oh yes, the Multiple Man, the only comic book character that shares my name. Maddrox, for a long time, just felt like ‘another tough do-gooder’ in his younger years, but after Peter David took back X-Factor and we got ‘Multiple Man, Private Dick’ and the much more traditional soap opera of David’s runs, Jamie really came into his own as a complicated and, in many ways, man broken into hundreds of pieces. He’s layered and at times completely wrong in his choices… but that’s what makes good character.
#2 – ROGUE & GAMBIT
The middle spot here is a bit of a revolving door of characters. I always love Maddrox, and #1 is kind of a non-shocker if you know anything about me… but this middle spot really could be taken up by ‘whomever I am really loving right now’. It’s been Blink, it’s been Colossus, it’s been Maggott (oh yes, you read that right). But Rogue and Gambit, at their best, are a fantastically brutal story about the things you can’t have and the toxicity of relationships. Some writers have done them well, other writers have been complete garbage to them and can’t help but treat them like a ‘forbidden fruit’ trope.
When they’re good, they’re great, though – and in my trawling through the X-verse, I have been keeping an eye on where they end up. Sadly, with the way comic books work, their world will never be perfect, and if it feels that it is, it won’t be for long. He’s too broken and she’s too uncomfortable with who she is and there will never be a writer that wants you to feel that they are an ideal that has been achieved when there is so much more gristle on the bone in their dysfunction.
#1 – EMMA FROST
Are you surprised? If you know anything about me, you shouldn’t be. Emma has been one of my favorite characters since Generation X and, honestly, probably before that (but I’ll blame that on teenage me seeing a woman clad in white lingerie and thinking that was the cat’s pajamas. The truth is, Emma, when done correctly, is a tragically beautiful character. From her Hellions being brutalized to her making amends and being the teacher for the next generation of mutants. Followed up by being Cyclops’s therapeutic ‘other woman’. She is cold and calculating, brutal and unforgiving, and that’s even after you get to know her. The emotions of Emma and the feelings beneath her coldness has been attempted to be explored in an individual series and many many flashbacks that all don’t seem to make much sense when you blend them together, but the heart of her character is true – it is easier to be cold, than hurt…
At her best, she doesn’t care about what’s best for the ‘Dream of Mutants’ and she doesn’t care what’s the best legal choice. Emma does what’s best for those she has placed beneath her, the kids that are using her as her template. Every story that includes some concept of ‘will Emma be evil?’ doesn’t get Emma at all (I’m looking at you Whedon) and where I loathe her secondary mutation as it feels a tad to ‘on the money’ – when Emma wants something, you’re doing what Emma wants which is the fear everyone has about the Psi-Level-Mutants because if she wanted to, she could rule the world and you wouldn’t even know she was doing it.
So what about you – who’s your favorite X? Who am I completely wrong about? I’ll tell you right now.. I will happily write more X Reviews if you want, as it’s how I cut my teeth as an internet presence and I do miss it sometimes. See you next time.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!
Hey all you Somethings!
We haven’t talked much Music lately, and we’re always looking to give listeners an insight into what makes us “Us”, so I’ve compiled a list of 10 albums that, as a catalogue, speak volumes as to the person I am. In no particular order….
10 – Eat ‘Em and Smile – David Lee Roth. The year was 1986, and an impressionable PCR was just entering High School. Between Yankee Rose (with Steve Vai’s ‘talking guitar’, and the frequency of the video on MTV), Shy Boy, Tobacco Road and I’m Just a Gigolo.. this album quickly became one of the soundtracks of my High School years.
9 – Passion and Warfare – Steve Vai. A second shout out on this list to Steve Vai. Up until now, my musical interests had been rather… vanilla? Commercial? Mainstream? Whatever the word, 1990 hit and this album caught my eyes and ears. Liberty, Erotic Nightmares, The Audience Is Listening and The Animal spoke to ‘college Rob’ in ways other primarily instrumental music hadn’t.
8 – Raising Hell – Run DMC. I remember recording the Raising Hell concert off WBLS when they aired it live (Fun Fact : Beastie Boys opened for them. More on that later). Full transparency, I love EVERY Run DMC album, but this is the one that started that love for me.
7 – Disney’s Robin Hood Album – Various. I had this on vinyl. I listened to it endlessly. I can still quote 90% of the movie word for word in the accents. Fight me.
6 – License To Ill – Beastie Boys. The ‘sampling’ issue had been around for a while, but when License came out I was old enough to understand it. Sampling from Led Zeppelin for Rhymin’ and Stealin’ felt almost like… well… stealin’, but the beats they dropped for other songs such as She’s Crafty, No Sleep Till Brooklyn, and the rap/rock of Fight For Your Right. turned me in to a longtime fan.
5 – BomBARDed – The Library Bards. The story of how we met Bonnie and Xander has been told before, but meeting them in person was one of the best things this show has ever done, and we were happy to support both of their albums, the newest of which is BomBARDed which can be found at https://librarybards.
4 – Running With Scissors – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. Much like Run DMC, I love ALL of Al’s albums, but for my money, this is probably my favorite in no small part to seeing him live and watching him do The Saga Begins and All About the Pentiums live. The man is an unstoppable force when performing live and it remains one of my top concerts ever.
3 – Appetite For Destruction – Guns n’ Roses. Not a bad song on the entire album. My current workout jam.
2 – Un-Led-Ed – Dread Zeppelin. Take a reggae band that does Led Zeppelin covers and give it an Elvis impersonator as a lead singer and you have this bit of genius. First introduced to this band when it was background music at a party I was at, my brain kept saying “I know this song… but not… THIS.. song…”. Once I was able to focus, I was hooked. Seeing them live (with Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors) was hilarious.
1 – Sunshine On Leith – The Proclaimers. This album was unexpected. Originally purchased for one song and one song only (I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)) the rest of this album I absolutely adored. From Cap In Hand, My Old Friend The Blues and Sunshine On Leith showing off their soulful side, to Then I Met You and Oh, Jean being more raucous and rambunctious, this album is still a go to for me on long road trips.
Music From The Elder – KISS. My favorite album from one of my favorite bands.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles. My top Beatles album.
Disraeli Gears – Cream. For my money, the definitive Cream album.
Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!
How many movies have you seen the past year? If you are anything like good ol’ Hatton here, you have probably seen a lot. I have been getting annoyed with myself at just how many damned movies I’ve digested in the last year because.. honestly, why the hell shouldn’t I? I’ve found in recent months that it is harder to settle in to a television show (although I most certainly have), but I can convince myself to give up 2 hours to movies about almost anything. So here are a few of the movies I’ve watched that I’ve loved, and also a couple that I’ve hated. If you have any interest you can read my shorter reviews on these and every movie I watch over on Letterboxd (which is basically like GoodReads, but for movies (which is basically Raveller, but with books (which is basically … ok, I’ve run out, but about yarn).
SOUL – Yeah, there was no way that Pixar’s journey into the afterlife, what it means to live, the soul, and jazz wasn’t going to make a list of movies I enjoyed. It’s just rich in color and tone, it makes the music feel like a living and breathing character while the performances of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey are so emotional in both the good and the bad, I would believe that they are best friends outside of work. I also would watch that talk show. Anyway, Soul is beautiful and the music, from a genre that I don’t usually have anything to say, makes the world live.
VFW – In the ‘weird subgenre’ tropes that exist out there, the ‘a group have to defend their place from evil’ is one you don’t hear a lot from. Things like Breakin‘ 2 or Revenge of the Nerds, obviously 1980’s fair and Home Alone being the most famous. (I do hope you are now sitting there and trying to find the connection between those 3 movies, and I assure you.. it’s there. They’re movies about a group of like-minded people defending a THING, a PLACE, an IDEA from evil. Well, in VFW it’s a bunch of veterans defending their watering hole from evil drugged out punks. It’s an action movie riot – and stars so many actors you know from that action movie thing they did that time. The film looks dated, the locales look old… this movie could be from 1993 Cinemax and you wouldn’t know the damned difference. It’s brilliant.
SPONTANEOUS – This is, by far, the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. Part of that, I’m sure, is because I wasn’t expecting it. The premise is that there are kids in a high school that occasionally blow up, so the rest of the class has to deal with it. It sounded like it was going to be a perfect little silly horror comedy, but it isn’t what I got. It is a movie with humor that actually made me laugh out loud, and the emotional weight of a Heathers or a Pump Up The Volume. The movie is a breakdown of the modern teenage experience in ways I can’t empathize, but I certainly can sympathize. If you go look up one thing on this blog post today – This should be the one.
GIRLS WITH BALLS – A weird French Canadian film about a volleyball team fighting deliverance style backwoods types that turn out to be a cult? I mean, it isn’t the worst premise in the world… sadly, the movie it got is just a series of scenes that may have had plots, but somehow they don’t now. The same 5 bad guys dying over and over again due to, I am sure, budget reasons. Moments of suspense ruined by these girls yelling at each other over their status in the team, but the comedy being ruined by not having a punchline. This movie fails at fundamentally everything, it doesn’t even fit the mark for a ‘so bad its good’ because it knows its bad… so there is intent, which makes it even dumber. The poster is actually much cooler than the movie
STARFISH – The world is ending and this girl may or may not have the answer to fix it? I mean, that feels like a good slug line for a reasonable film… but this movie just.. walks around. Takes a nap. Reads a book. Feeds the fish. Ignores the monster outside. Doesn’t tell you much about what’s going on. Takes another nap. Ends. Seriously, won’t lie, that’s pretty much the whole thing. The worst kind of ‘horror as art’ and ‘I don’t have to explain it to you, Warren…
30 MILES FROM NOWHERE – A bunch of 30 – 40 somethings all meet in the woods after one of their own’s funeral. I actually am most disappointed by this one, as I find the premise is wonderful. It is the sort of premise you hear about a great play… there is a history the viewer isn’t aware of, tensions we can’t see, there is so much that could be happening before the story even starts that it is rife with things to reveal — but 30 Miles just starts the film with everyone acting nice, but hating each other. It is less ‘Friends reconnected’ and more ‘We have to do this’ – which would be fine, that is a reasonable direction, but none of them respond to anything reasonably. They just do dumb plot-pushing things and yell at each other!
That’s that! A few movies to tide you over until we’re allowed outside – I mean, even the bad ones take up time… it’s an angry, want to crush and destroy, time.. but it’s time.
So what have you seen during the world of lockdown? What great or horrible thing had you previously missed? Let us know!
Been playing a fair amount of Freddy on Dead By Daylight lately, and that got me thinking about the “Nightmare” franchise, so here’s my take on ranking all nine movies from worst to best!
#9 – Freddy’s Dead : The Final Nightmare
This movie was trash. Most of their plots and ‘revelations’ were lifted from other movies that the viewer had known for a while (Wait… you can PULL FREDDY OUT OF A DREAM?!?!?…) which made things very boring for me, and the times they tried to be original (Freddy having a daughter.. his power coming from ‘Dream Demons’…) were so schlocky that this movie easily falls to the bottom of the list.
#8 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
Regardless of the possible ‘subtext’ of this movie… it was a huge downgrade from the original with lackluster acting, cheesy visuals, and ZERO memorable scenes. The lack of memorable scenes gives it JUST enough of a boost over the AMAZINGLY memorable(ly bad) Final Nightmare to have this one clock in at number 8.
#7 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 Remake)
Rebooting a beloved franchise that had fallen off in recent years? Casting Jackie Earl Haley (who was amazing as Rorschach in ‘Watchmen’) as Freddy? I’m in! At least… I wanted to be in. It felt like a college film project based on the original. Visually it was close (although, I wasn’t a fan of Freddy’s ‘new’ look), but it lacked the heart and… dare I say charm.. .of the original. All in all, the title was accurate, though not in the way that was intended.
#6 – Freddy VS Jason
It was a bold move to even attempt this movie as it had the potential to ruin two different, beloved horror franchises…however, out of all the matchups that could have been made… the ‘immovable object’ of Jason paired up with the wise-cracking Freddy was the perfect match. While the ending was to be expected, it was a valid homage to both fan bases and well done.
#5 – Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
This movie is underrated. Arriving 3 years after ‘The end of the franchise’, I love the metaness of it. I love seeing the principle cast back. While it’s the poorest performing movie of the lot, and falls a bit outside of the continuity of the franchise, it was an amazingly bold direction to go in and I applaud the choice.
#4 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Child
The wrap up of the ‘middle trilogy’, “The Dream Child” uses Alice’s unborn baby’s dreams to fuel Freddy’s ability and was the poorest performing of said trilogy. The gas was starting to run out of the series, which lead to the inevitable “Final Nightmare” debacle.
#3 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : The Dream Master
This was the mid point of the “Dream….” trilogy and it effectively put Renny Harlan on the map. Pulling in nearly $50 mil on a $6.5 mil budget, it was the highest grossing film of the series in the U.S. until Freddy VS Jason came out… even with Patricia Arquette’s role recast to Tuesday Knight.
#2 – A Nightmare on Elm Street : Dream Warriors
Spots 2 and 1 are close enough for me to almost be interchangeable… (almost). With a great cast (Langenkamp, Arquette, Fishburn…) it revitalized the franchise after the dismal “Freddy’s Revenge” and really drove the series for the next two films. Had this movie tanked, it easily could have relegated “Nightmare” movies to late-Saturday-night-schlockfests until it died with a whimper. Instead, it lit a fire in the fandom and shifted the series from straight horror/slasher to more Horror/SciFi/Fantasy which was a wise choice.
And the number one is!
#1 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
This is the one that started it all, and therefore deserves top spot on the list. With an original concept for a slasher/killer and amazing practical effects, this movie put not only Freddy, but Langenkamp and a young Johnny Depp on viewer’s radar. Without the impact this movie had, none of the others would have been made, and therefore takes its rightful spot at the top of my list.
Have you listened to our recent episode about Cobra Kai & Evil? Well, if you haven’t – take a minute – go listen now… I’ll wait.
Now that you’re caught up – since that episode, I’ve binged down Evil and figured it seems only right to discuss it. (And I challenge my podcasting partner to do the same with a certain karate oriented program)
The only information I had walking in was what Rob had told me – the show was about a man of faith trying to debunk exorcisms with a tech and a shrink on his side. The premise felt like the type of show I would dig, add in that there are lengthy background mysteries going on the whole way through and a villain in Ben Linus—- I mean Michael Emerson, it was an easy sell.
So, with all that, was it worth the time and effort – and the answer is a yes, but not without qualifications.
Both Mike Colter, playing David Acosta and Katja Herbers, playing Kristen Bouchard are three-dimensional characters who spend the season fighting demons (internal, external, and imagined) and come across as three-dimensional layered and conflicted people. To round out their trio is Ben Shakir, as performed by former Daily Show alum Aasif Mandvi, the skeptic tech expert who is enjoyable to watch, even though out of the three, his character feels the most stereotypical.
One of the main factors the show wants you to question throughout is ‘what is real and what is supernatural’ – is this person possessed or do they have an identity disorder? Is that person pulling secrets from the aether or is someone being stalked? That, it does well. Even weird creepy things from the first half of the show get more concrete answers later. To the point where it lulls you into a false sense of security when you see something that you are certain must be supernatural.
The only problem the show suffers from is one that a lot of shows do – and that is the ‘nothing is normal’ issue. It’s a minor gripe, but its one that never ceases to be notable. A perfect example is an episode near the end of the season where David is invited to a woman’s house because she is having a crisis of faith. It also just so happens that she has a man chained up in her basement for offenses he may or may not have committed. Why was David called? Why would she invite David over? Can’t David just go to someone’s house and tell them about his Lord and Savior and provide them a bounty of pamphlets and associated literatures?
A lot of that is simply the buffalo of television – nary a minute can be spent not developing a plot lest they lose our attentions which is reasonable. It wouldn’t be an interesting episode if he just so happened to visit a an old friend, they talked about their favorite episode of Friends and there was no possible demon infestation… but when the weird shit is the only thing you see, it makes it feel like these characters just stumble place to place and every portion of their life is an interconnected plot of intrigue.
I will give it this though – the last ten minutes of its first season makes you re-evaluate what you’ve just watched. Not in a ‘Fight Club’ way, but in a ‘Oh, this is a story about Sam Gamgee’ sort of way. It makes you look at one particular character’s journey in a new light… and also makes you wonder what Baphomet charges for in-patient office visits. (When you watch the show, that will make you laugh..)
So was Rob right? Is Evil a show for me? The answer is yes. I’m not riveted, but I’m enjoying it. It’s a show that teeters on the edge of too much. The villain is too smart and gets what he wants too easily. The ramifications of actions are brushed aside when they’re not necessary… but it is telling an interesting story, and that’s all that really matters.
I love me some movies. I also love me some well filmed movies. Even better? Movies that have scenes that just, for one reason or another, stick with you for years after you watch them. With that in mind, here’s some of mine.
End Chase. Near Dark is a great vampire movie, and while there are a number of good scenes in it, the image of Jesse and Diamondback in the station wagon, huddled under blankets to block the sun, smiling as they smoulder and start to catch fire as they try to run over Caleb is just a great visual scene.
Cesar’s Death. Bound is another movie that is chock-full of great scenes, but the best one for me is Cesar’s death. The top-down camera angle as it pulls back and we see Cesar, his blood pooling into the large puddle of white paint, then pulling back further and the white paint puddle framed by the dark floor… the way it was filmed, the contrast… it reminds me of the scene in The Untouchables after Capone killed that guy with a bat at the banquet table, just some great cinematography.
Men With Brooms
“The Juggernaut’s Entrance”. Years ago, after seeing curling for the first time on the Olympics, a friend of mine and I found a place in NJ and took lessons. It was there we learned about a fun little movie called ‘Men With Brooms’. If you’ve played curling or are familiar with it, this movie is great, and the cast is pretty impressive. The scene I loved the most was when Alexander “The Juggernaut” Yount and his squad enter the bonspiel in matching silver lamé tracksuits with cheerleaders and pyro going off at the entrance. The fact that curling in and of itself is such a subdued/great sportsmanship sport made their entrance scene completely hilarious.
28 Days Later
Deserted London. I know you’ve probably seen this movie, but I had to include it for the scenes of deserted London. It wasn’t a huge scene to be honest, established to get the point across of how empty everything was… but the scenes of London Bridge… just… EMPTY… it hit on a scale of not only what kind of undertaking it was to get that scene filmed, but how absolutely terrifying it would be to be in that position of being there and just… being completely alone.
Sidewalk scene. This is a visually amazing movie from Jim Jarmusch with Forest Whitaker in the lead. There’s a scene in the movie where he’s walking down a fairly busy sidewalk while people and businesses are interacting around him and.. the cinematography is nothing short of stunning in my opinion. The way that people are talking to each other, bringing trash to the curb, waving to people driving by… but do so in a way that NONE of them actually make visual contact with Whitaker as he walks… one pace… never changing speed…it was such an amazing way to show how his character walks through society under the radar.
Since PCR went and did the games he’s been playing – I decided maybe I should do the same thing.. it seems only fair.
So here are some of the games that have taken up a majority of my time while I’ve been sequestered to the inside world. Surprisingly, I’ve beaten a few of them, which is shocking for someone like me that gets distracted by the next bright thing that crosses my p
GOD OF WAR
I was never a God of War guy. I had the trilogy on my Vita, but they were always passing the time sort of games. I know there are some diehards out there that are all about that Kratos life, but Sony had a sale early in 2020 and I had heard enough great things that it seemed a worthy way to waste some time in this lockdown which should obviously only last a couple months, am I right?
So for nights on end, I spent hours grinding away at creating my favorite minmax set of powers and armor, and in the end – I beat every Valkyrie, which if you aren’t aware… is a feat. The game is gorgeous from top to bottom with the conversations between Kratos and Boy never feeling like redundant chores or protection quests – it is an exquisite story, and other than a bit of repetition in enemies that you only start to notice as you reach the end of your 20 hours of gameplay.
SACKBOY’S BIG ADVENTURE
I fall in love with every Little Big Planet game. They are cute. They have great little extra challenges that actually strain your fingers. They have a mix of weird british sense of humor and childlike wonder. I understand completely why they have a hard time finding a major audience, because they are just a little too kid-like for adults and a little too hard for kids.
That said – this game is still on rotation as I try and squeeze out the last few gems… but the sign of a good game is going back to levels that you’ve already beaten and achieved everything and go and play them just because you love the level design. (Which is precisely what I’ve done with every single one of the half-dozen music levels)
MINECRAFT / DEAD BY DAYLIGHT / 7 DAYS TO DIE
So, I’m lumping all of these into the same category. I enjoy each one for their own reason (MC because it is unendingly creative, DBD because it is this hot mix of horror and strategy, and 7DD because I haven’t played enough of it to have eked out all of its secrets) — but they all fall into ‘games I play to hang with friends’. I am mostly an extrovert, and I’m going to tell you that this has been a big old slice of hell to be trapped inside with little contact with the outside world.
These are the games that have kept me in contact with people I may not have had a chance to talk to otherwise.
CRACKING THE CRYPTIC SUDOKU
I’m putting a link to the company that makes these games, and at first you may think.. wait, that’s a bit of money for some sudoku puzzles, doesn’t my local paper have a new game in each and every paper? The answer is yes – but those aren’t handcreated by masters of puzzles. Spend some time on the youtube channel, Cracking the Cryptic and you’ll get it.
Yes, you have to be a certain type of person to want to grind away at super difficult and altogether confusing variations of number puzzles, but – yeah – I’m 100% that guy. I get the occasional free Google money from doing surveys, and the last $20 or so I’ve earned there has paid to have every one of these apps on my phone.
There is a whole other slew of games that fall under the ‘play until distracted’ that would make this article waaaay too long. So here’s the short versions and a quick few words.
FINAL FANTASY XV – I decided to beat one of the newer generations. This one seemed as good as any… it is the most gorgeous piece of unintelligible mess I’ve ever played.
LEVELHEAD – It’s like MarioMaker, but for PC – and has the most welcoming online community I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with
DEMONCRAWL – It’s Minesweeper, but with roleplaying elements. Perfect to lose an hour in occasionally.
Lastly, the games that are on my ‘going to try next’ list…
SPIDER-MAN: MILES – That’s next on the list, but I loved the original, so it’s a no-brainer.
RETURN OF OBRA DINN – Every reviewer I respect said that Obra Dinn is an amazing piece of adventure gaming that must be tried… and it was on Steam sale over Christmas, so it awaits me.
If you haven’t noticed – I fill the vast hole in my soul with digital enjoyment… what have you been up to?
Hey Somethings! Been spending a fair more time on my PC over the past few months, mostly due to working from home and many of the social things I’d been doing previously having been shuttered, so I decided to put together a list of what’s been keeping me sane lately.
Now, I’ll start by saying ‘I’m not a hardcore gamer’. Consoles were never really my thing.. my last console was an XBox One S… prior to that.. a PS2 and a Dreamcast. I do most of my gaming PC, but I’m much more a ‘casual gamer’ That being said, here’s what I’ve been playing lately…
Elite Dangerous : Horizons
This game is SLICK. It’s a space sim that has combat, exploration, resource and commodity trading, all with some stunning visuals and great ships. It’s a bit of a ‘thrown in the deep end’ to start, but fairly easy to catch up with as well as having great resources online. The single player is fun, but forming a “Wing” with friends who play is where it’s at.
Dead By Daylight
Been playing this game for almost a year now, and to be fair I don’t play it as much as I did when I started. It’s a PVP based “Survivors vs Killers/Hunters” game (for those unaware) and… let’s just say that I’ve turned off the ‘post game chat’. Back in my OG Xbox days, I will admit my friends and I used to talk a lot of trash over Xbox Live…(a LOT of trash). 70% of DBD post game chat is… beyond that. The Cross-System play means you often wait less time for matches to pop, and the console players (currently) can’t chat. On the upside, they have a number of licensed properties… so if you ever wanted to play AS Freddy Kruger (The Nightmare in the game), or try to escape from Amanda from SAW, it’s certainly worth checking out.
I had played a fair amount of Rocket League back on the ole Xbox One S, and picked it up once again off Steam recently. Since it’s migration to Epic Games, the game has added a lot, and I mean a LOT. Weekly challenges for cosmetic drops, new game modes, it’s definitely been keeping it fresh and still something I’ll get in at least a few matches a day on.
7 Days To Die
Long-time friends from NH had been playing this for years when they introduced me to this roughly 4 years ago. While we don’t go in for public servers, we do have quite a bit of fun on a local private server. For those unaware… think Minecraft, but not 8-bit looking. Oh, and with lots of zombies that know EXACTLY where you are every 7 days and will stop at nothing to feast on your brain. While we had taken a bit of a break earlier this year, we’ve introduced some new friends to it and that has brought the excitement level back a lot. One of our ‘5-6 nights a week’ gaming games. Come for the zombie killing, stay for the camaraderie.
What are YOUR go-to gaming jams? Let us know!