So, I “beat” Mass Effect Andromeda, which is to say, after 95 hours of play (in a week and half), I faced the climactic battle against the big bad. I still have some unresolved missions, but it lets you resolve them after that. I could have had the fight much sooner, and still gone on and done the other things. It would have made sense. “You saved the cluster, but there is still work to do” is a theme after the action. That kind of sums up the game in general. Exploring and building is the job, saving the galaxy is something you had to do along the way.
Here is my review of Unknown Armies 3rd edition, which should be coming out in digital in March, and in print later this year. Do you like subjective reality, emotional trauma, and secret masters of the universe in your horror? Have I got a game for you!
This is the review of the Rifts Wormwood setting I had promised. Sorry for the delay. Easily one of my favorite setting books. Oddly, not available in the pdf listings for Rifts.
I talk about the Savage Rifts product and getting the kickstarter reward. This is a basic review.
It is that time again. Time for another round-up of comic book shows..
Let’s start with Gotham. It still feels like the show is rushing along too fast. We have full on supervillains all over the place. The Riddler is exposed, complete with his signature question mark, and promptly arrested. He may not be sporting the outfit, but his basic motif is there. Same with the Penguin, who goes back to his villainous ways. Dinner with Cobblepot is the reality show no one is asking for. If anything, he is more brutal than ever. This would be great if Batman existed yet, but at this point it all feels rushed.
Supergirl was a bit overstuffed this week. Too many balls in the air. They offhandedly introduced Maxima, and then moved on. Myriad is on line, Non(the low rent Zod) shows up, people are thrown off buildings to get the classics superhero choice moment, Indigo shows up(presumably to vamp), and there is the cliffhanger ending. The show definitely didn’t take time to let things breathe. Maxwell Lord shows up and make choices that they laid little foundation for. The show has been a mix of wonderful, and ham handed all season. All of that said, I still enjoyed the season finale.
Agents of Shield was fine. This is a transitional episode through most of it. The episode did not seem to be set for much action, but giving us insight to various character backgrounds. Malik’s a bad guy, but like most bad guys, he doesn’t see himself that way. We are given a bit of bait and switch on how the episode was going for him. The new Hive/Grant Ward bad guy is bad at villainy. He has the whole cruelty thing down, but he has overestimated the value of fear. Some things trump fear. Also, fear can lead to irrational panic. He is way too arrogant. The cliffhanger ending does not look like it will end well for our heroes. Next episode should be interesting. We get our full on Secret Warriors group rolling. Not quite avengers assemble, but it should still be fun.
Lucifer was largely a crap episode until the last 15 minutes. I am so bored by the mystery solving aspects of this show. The bits I do like are the parts where it gets weird and supernatural. After a few solid episodes, this one was merely okay. I didn’t hate it, but I couldn’t find anything interesting to say about it.
Legends of Tomorrow was a fun western romp. Hanging out in 1877 in disguise goes about as well as you might expect.
Staring down an evil cowboy….Check.
A bunch of modern city kids knowing how ride a horse….Check?
Discussion of impact on history trumped by doing the correct thing….Check?…Sort of.
Jonah Freaking Hex!!!!!….Check!
I am a little sad we didn’t get more of the classic DC Western Heroes, and there were a few bits I wish had been better, but it was a fun episode.
iZombie is one of my favorite shows ever. The two part finale delivered on the promise of the season. The various people have had arcs. The bad guys are really terrible. They brought poor Rob Thomas into this. They saved they full on zombie apocalypse for the end. High body count and jokes galore. They maintain a sense of humor without losing the stakes. That is the genius of this show. It is a fun and humourous show, but still manages to maintain the darkness. There is an innate reality to the motivations of the characters, and the humor that is there is largely incidental. There are of course a range of in jokes, as well. The whole Rob Thomas thing is there because the head of the show is also naled Rob Thomas.
The next season looks like it will be interesting. The finale clears out one problem, and sets up the problems of next season. No spoilers, but it is a nice reveal at the end.
Next week is the return of Arrow and Flash. I look forward to seeing how they round out the season on both shows.
It has been a few weeks since I last did one of these, so I may run a bit longer than some of my previous round ups. Why so long between postings? Well, Daredevil dropped, and Batman V Superman, plus I had some health issues. It was hard to keep up. Also, I didn’t want to talk about Daredevil till I watched the whole run.
Let’s start with the ones I watch all the time.
Non-spoiler review in brief. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate Batman V Superman, either. There were pieces of a good movie that never seemed to come together to become anything more. It also felt like it should have been a couple of films. There are too many plot threads to form a consistent theme, or point to the story.
I liked Ben Affleck as Batman. I think his performance as Batman was actually better than Christian Bale. It is just Christian Bale was paired with a better film maker. This Batman is much more Frank Miller inspired, but back when he was still good Frank Miller, and hadn’t gone crazy yet. This is an older, worn down Batman. He has fought his war on crime for 20 years, and he is not sure if he has made any difference. This is someone doing something different, and interesting with the character, as relates to movie portrayals, at least. Jeremy Irons as Alfred is perfect. He is the entirely British voice of reason in Batman’s life. In this, he is also the dissenting voice of the direction in this story. Batman here does stray a little too far into Punisher territory, but I do not blame that on the actors.
Superman…well, Superman suffers from the same problems he had in the last film. He should be the guy who inspires, not just hope that he will come save you, but inspire everyone else to be better people. He does not do that here. He is selfish in many ways, naive, and is encouraged to be selfish by many people. Yes, he still saves people, and people often see him as a savior, but he doesn’t inspire anyone. He makes them afraid. Some are afraid for him, and some are afraid of him. This movie is in many ways told around him, rather than about him. The actor, Henry Cavil, is fine. I think has the right range, and look to play the character. He could be a good Superman in a movie with someone else writing and directing. As it is, he is just disappointing.
Lex Luthor… What can I say about this characterization? It is a different take on the character. He is brilliant, but expressly crazy here. Luthor can be a mad genius, or played for comedy, but rarely do they make him truly mentally ill. Here he is. Jesse Eisenberg is going for more than manic, more than brilliant, he is deeply unhinged. Not comedic madness where sinking California for a real estate scheme seems a good idea, but with noticeable symptoms of actual mental illness. Unfortunately, this never amounts to much. He goes about his schemes, and only a bare hint of his motivations ever manifests. His plan makes little sense, and his actions all seem to have arbitrarily arrived.
Wonder Woman is the best thing in this movie. She looks like she is having fun in this movie. There is a joy in her appearance. She banters with Batman, is an international woman of mystery, and laughs at the thought of fighting monsters. Gal Gadot got a lot of flack when her casting was announced. I myself thought she didn’t look muscular enough. I wanted Wonder Woman to look like a tough amazonian warrior. I withdraw all of my complaints. She does a great job here, and I can’t wait to see her solo film.
All in all, I had fun at the movie. There were some nice visual moments, and some nice character moments through out. The fight…THE FIGHT..is entertainingly executed. The problem is that is all movie really has. It has single panel moments, but without the years of continuity to give those moments power. The storytelling is scattered. On top of that issue, you have Zach Sniders insistence that all this should be dark and joy less. Batman fights his war, but without the ethical restrictions which make that compelling. Superman is scary, and loses his sense of hope. It is not a coincidence that my favorite parts in this movie have Wonder Woman in them. She faces the darkness, and battle, with a defiant grin. She is the joy in a joyless world of DC movie heroes.
Should you watch it?
To this question I must shrug. It is skipable. The cast is good. The visuals are solid. It has entertaining bits, but it is also disappointing. This could have been much better. There are so many elements that just went nowhere. You could have made a movie about a dozen things that they start with, and never finish. Instead you get a muddled, dark mess. It isn’t that it is artless or bad. It is disappointing, and disappointment is always worse than bad. That said, if you go in with low expectations, like I did, you can find some surprisingly enjoyable bits.