Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cave Story

I’ve been away from writing for a bit because I’ve been completely enamored with 2 games: Cave Story and Nier. Strangely enough I’ve been suspect of both of these games because of fan boy reviews of the former and critical revulsion of the latter. Either way what I’ve learned is that reviews on GameFAQs should never be read.

Cave Story is a 2D platformer where you play an amnesiac robot that finds himself in a self-referential cave. In this cave (which is actually a floating island) there are creatures that are being used as weapons against their will. Your job is to change their grammatical modifier from “oppressed” to “liberated”.

I like this game for several reasons. First and for most, it has a pseudo-8-bit stylization and game play. I love when things are pixelated on purpose. Your control options are move, jump and shoot which is kind of nice considering how every game I play now has to have some cryptic Gordian set of controls. It's hard to remember which random shoulder button reloads your gun on a controller with 16 buttons when someone is filling your torso with daylight.

One thing I do hate about Cave Story is the fact that Nintendo has this insufferable habit of pretending that everyone on the planet has enough disposable income to buy a DSi and a Wii and a Xbox and a PS3 and a PSP and every other iteration of everything ever made… Ever. Yeah, it’s only $10 but I’ve never paid that much for a DSiware game. Even still, Cave Story isn’t even that long and a high ticket price wont attract the casual gamer who is usually looking for the biggest bang for the buck. And the casual gamer is who spends the most on the gaming industry (either them or the obnoxiously frugal parents of bleary-eyes troll spawn).

This is espically annoying when you realize that Cave Story was originally released as freeware for the PC.

Cave Story will be released on 3d format for the 3DS.

Probably for a lot of money...

Stay tuned of my review of Nier.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pixels on the Silver Screen – Laura Croft: Tomb Raider

The first thing worth noting about Tomb Raider is that I fell asleep watching it 3 times before I actually completed it. Yeah, I know. How could I ever get bored of watching Angelina Jolie’s audition tape for Cirque du Soleil? She runs up pyramids, flips around on bungies in a mansion and does everything in her power to destroy some ancient science project.

The only thing more impressive than Jolie’s Indiana Jones impression is Daniel Craig’s not James Bond impression. That’s right ladies Craig makes his appearance known by being naked and grinning like a hipster at an Arcade Fire show.

Actually, now that I think about it both Jolie and Craig appear naked (with strategically placed tables, hand guns and tombs to preserve feigned modesty). This came across as really weird to me mainly because I think Craig looks like a slightly downsy tree and Jolie has the face of Mother Brain from Captian N. However, Tomb Raider relentlessly throws their sexuality in your face.

It’s like, “ Look how sexy archeology can be. LOOK, DAMNIT!”

As I trudge through the notes I took while watching the movie I come to the conclusion that I have no idea exactly what this movie is about. I do not blame my note taking. There are clocks,the Illuminati and some mild time travel. Which, for the record, if I was going to go back in time I don’t think I’d waste it on turning a knife around (and cutting myself in the process(yeah, that happened)).

The best way to describe this movie is aggressively forgettable. I realized towards the end that I had actually seen this movie before. And like the first time, Tomb Raider slips from my memory. I’m just happy that I have the movie on DVD to remind myself not to watch it.

Seriously, I put a Post-It on the DVD to remind myself.

But like Yoda’s death rattle that expounded on Luke’s family tree, there is another…

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tomes: I Don't Care About Your Band

I just finished the Julie Klausner book I Don’t Care About Your Band. How was it, one may ask? Well, hold on to your britches because I’ll let you know! But first, I shall explain the format of this review.

Like most books I Don’t Care About Your Band has a beginning, a middle and lastly, an end. Many books follow this sort of format so I will waste no time explaining these elementary aspects. I shall begin, as it is chronologically intuitive, with the beginning.

Many of us know Julie Klausner (and if you don’t go here) as a comedian and writer for shows and shorts such as the now defunct Best Week Ever, Fat Guy Stuck in Internet or the recent Tom Schaprling directed music video, “Moves: The Rise and Rise of the New Pornographers”. So, as I sat down to read this book I expected to have gut-busting bursts of laughter. What I got was somewhat unexpected.

While, getting excited about this book I decided to ignore the fact that it’s a memoire. Though this lead to a bit of confusion about the tone, I found the writing quippy and smart, using references that any somewhat socially aware individual could process. Though I find that I’m pretty well versed in pop culture I feel like she tried to keep it as accessible as possible.

The middle of the book goes into a long inventory of her sexual escapades and wacky adventures with boys. Some are interesting others I could do without. Generally, I’m not a fan of people talking in depth about what they do between the sheets. However, it’s worth reading for the sake of putting the end into context.

The book takes an amazing turn towards the final chapters. Mrs. Klausner does an amazing job of saying something that is both insightful and profound. I just turned 30 and I’ve been trying to find a voice for how being 30 feels. This book does exactly that. The final chapters of the book are so good that I actually posted a quote from it on my Facebook, which is not something I do.

I think that some people may find it a little risqué. Others may find her to be a pretentious Manhattanite. The truth is that there is something I found both inspiring and validating about her point of view. I like it and I think most of you will as well.

Unless you’re grossed out about a lot of sex talk which there is a lot of.

Rating using before mentioned divisions:

Beginning 4/5
Middle 3/5
End 5/5