Drabble Reviews Blog

For any and all info or discussion of podcasts and podcasting. Also community related miscellanea.
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normsherman
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by normsherman » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:16 am

strawman wrote: Charlie spoke to the wall, "How ironic!"
hehe, nice.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:10 pm

If solipsism is true, then you're a bastard.

Could be a t-shirt...
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by strawman » Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:01 pm

If solipsism is true, it IS a tee-shirt
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:54 pm

http://www.horrorsquad.com/2009/09/28/d ... et-teaser/

New Nightmare on Elm Street remake looks interesting. I'd normally right off anything from Platinum Dunes (Michael Bay) without a second thought, but their take on Friday the 13th really wasn't that bad. Also I've come to be a fan of Jackie Early Haley (Rorschach, that toucher from Little Children). Well cast.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:06 pm

All scores out of 5.

-- --

Zombieland
3

Not a bad movie, I had friends in the theater who left raving about it, I just wasn't as impressed. The movie felt really hollow to me. No sense of threat, no real conflict, one of those movies that just felt like 'a collection of scenes.' I kept waiting for the point, if never really came. 4 humor characters inhabiting a 'movie' world with 'movie' rules. Apparently this film mutated out of a TV series concept, and thus the 'pilot' feel permeating the finished product makes sense. Renter.

I will tease but not spoil: a really fun cameo in the second act.

-- --


Night of the Living Dorks
4

A counterpoint to Zombieland, the slightly older German import, available on the Netflix instant queue. Similarly a 'movie' world with 'movie' worlds, but more playfully inhabiting that space. This one comes highly recommended.

-- --

Dead Space : Extraction (video game, Nintendo Wii)
4

An interesting, semi-successful re-imaging of the arcade shooter. Surprisingly strong graphics for a Wii title. I'm hoping for a Natal / PS Motion Controls remake. A game where you see from the first person perspective, like you are behind the main characters eyes, not on an axis a la a FPS. Sort of like 'playing' Cloverfield. In the future I can see more media being delivered this way.

This game feels short (in a good way, you 'want more') so I recommend it as a rental and not a purchase. It has some nice scary moments, and while the shooting is happening it's interesting. A player who has beaten the original Dead Space gets a second level of enjoyment since the two stories have subtle overlap, but Extraction works as a stand-alone.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:32 pm

Why do you want a remake? Just for the HD graphics?
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:39 pm

Basically yeah. Additionally I'd just like more people to play this game - it's too good for just the 'hardcore wii audience' to enjoy (AKA 200,000 people). I mean, with Natal maybe they could do something with eye tracking and your character looking around, which would be awesome and far more desirable than the insensitive reticule pans, but that's not my primary thought.

I die a little inside every time I see janky clipping and muddy color. So many low poly faces. :::semi-spoiler::: you get a brief view of the end boss from Dead Space as you leave the colonies, and he looks like an Ocarina of Time reject. On 360 it was awe inspiring. On wii it's a pineapple. You can see the team squeezing every drop of blood out of the stone, and it's like why try so hard to win a 3 legged race? This could be AAA with a few more hours of gameplay and HD visuals.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:57 pm

Meh. Over a million people bought World At War on Wii. I think the hardcore audience is actually fairly substantial; there just aren't any games to serve us.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:07 pm

No one bought Deadly Creatures, No More Heroes, Mad World, (in relative terms) Metroid, House of the Dead : Overkill, or any of the EA sports titles (short of Tiger Woods Wii). For any one example you could site (World at War, Guitar Hero) there are 3 that went nowhere. The Wii audience doesn't really deserve A-level development talent or dedicated teams making mature games. I used to hold a torch but I doused it after seeing these sales. As usual Nintendo gets the ball rolling and watches it stop, creating a flighty, fickle audience in the process. Nintendo consoles sell Nintendo games and not much else. Why bother? We have the second generation of motion control coming in, I say be excited for that, forget 3rd party on Wii.

Tweeds, you have a big boy console now! Let it go. Let it go. Coming to terms doesn't make Mario disappear, it just makes all those awful budget family releases and outsourced ports more easily ignored.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:22 pm

True, but isn't that also the case for the HD systems? For every Gears of War that sells millions of copies, aren't there 3 decent 360 titles that sold squat? Is there no hardcore PS3 audience because Mirror's Edge sold poorly?

Deadly Creatures, No More Heroes and Madworld would not have sold well on any platform because they were weird, offbeat games. It's unreasonable to expect a bizarre-looking monochrome game whose main hook is vulgar humor, is very short and has no multiplayer component to be a big hit. There is a super tiny niche of people who would like Madworld, and that has nothing to do with it being Wii-exclusive. A disproportionate number of the "hardcore" titles on Wii have been weird games with narrow appeal.

I definitely see what you mean about the boss monster looking lame by comparison. The HD version looks like something ripped from a nightmare, echtoplasm still steaming off it. The Wii version looks like a botched kids' arts and crafts project. The reason for that is obviously because the monster in question is pretty much shapeless and relies entirely on textures to get its nastiness across. Wii does much better with geometry than with textures. Oh well.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:32 pm

Note: All Tweedy scores will henceforth be on a 1-100 scale.

Aliens of the Deep

I actually bought it for $2 because I thought it might be something the kids would enjoy. What a disappointment! I was expecting it to be about, you know, deep sea life? As implied by the title? Well, there were a few genuinely interesting shots of deep ocean beasties, but just a few. The substantial majority of this 45 minute documentary is is devoted to funding pleas from NASA and painfully lame attempts by James Cameron to pretend he's cool. (Deep sea exploration is "off the hook.") According to "Aliens," there is intelligent life on Europa, life that has expressive, forward-facing eyes despite the complete darkess of their environment. The Europans are friendly and eager to meet us, but that can only happen if you write your senator and tell him to fund NASA. (The first words that will be uttered by humans at first contact are "Right on.") When the movie isn't pimping NASA, it's got its cameras focussed on... actors. I assume these guys are real scientists (except for James Cameron himself, who seems to think I'm just interested in watching him make idle remarks as in watching badass sea creatures), but half their scenes are obviously reenactments, and all they do is make dumb comments about how the stuff they're seeing is "insane", "awesome", and "the bomb."

The movie is big on fancy graphics, but very light on factual content. We learn that creatures living around ocean vents survive by "chemeosynthesis", but it isn't really explained what that word means. We see lots of interesting equipment, but we aren't told how any of it works. At one point one of the actors/scientists admits that he has no idea what he's looking at, and that's about as close as "Aliens" comes to scientific exposition.

The 10 minutes of actual sea creature footage is very cool, but 10 minutes of cool mixed into 35 minutes of lame irrelevancy makes for a very poor documentary. You'll probably be better served by watching any given hour of Animal Planet.

Tweedy Score: 25/100


The Mathematics of Faith by Jonathan Wood

This story got off to a pretty slow start and I actually had doubts about finishing it, but about midway it picks up and stays that way. For heresy, a man is imprisoned in complete isolation. He's your typical Dawkins-type atheist who worships "reason" and laughs at "faith," but when you are isolated, how can you test what is fact and what is fiction? With no second opinions, how can you tell if what you perceive is real or a hallucination? The story takes two unexpected turns and the end genuinely surprised me. It loses a lot of points for its poor first act, but worth reading all the same.

Tweedy Score: 69/100
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:05 pm

So Mathematics of Faith is a fiction story with humanist elements? Or a first person perspective essay deal a la the aforementioned Dawkins?
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:35 pm

It's a fiction story with a humanist protagonist, written first-person. Whether or not the story itself is humanistic depends on your interpretation, since it avoids any cut-and-dry moralizing. We seem to be encouraged to view the protagonist's atheism as arrogant, but we're never offered any definitive affirmation of the gods' existence either. It's one of the stories that aims to make you question without making much attempt at providing answers.

If the start had been as good as the end, I'd have given it a "90."
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:14 pm

And I just realized that I never actually gave Braid a Tweedy score.

Braid gets 100/100 on the Tweedy scale. It is perfect.

(I was going to give it a 99, but all of the changes I could think of to make it "better" are things that would make it more satisfying and less confusing. But key themes in the game are frustration and futility, so, really, I think giving the game a definitive ending or an explanation of what the stars mean would actually diminish it, not enhance.)
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Re:

Post by myke_deschain » Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:41 am

Goldenrat wrote:READ:
A Canticle for Leibowitz: By Walter Miller. Just finished it. I thought it was really good. I love post-apocalyptic fiction and this was a pretty good work (yeah, 1961 Hugo winner). Actually it is three stand alone stories which take place ~500 years apart, all set in a Catholic monastery in New Mexico. The first story takes place about 500 years after a nuclear war wipes out most of humanity - a monk stumbles upon a fall out shelter and the story progresses from there. The next two stories show the further advancements of society. Old school, but good stuff.
Yea i know this is almost a year old... But its funny because i was actually meaning to put out a post asking if anyone could suggest a good post-apoc novel... So anyone? This is worth reading?
StalinSays wrote: Zombieland
3

Not a bad movie, I had friends in the theater who left raving about it, I just wasn't as impressed. The movie felt really hollow to me. No sense of threat, no real conflict, one of those movies that just felt like 'a collection of scenes.' I kept waiting for the point, if never really came. 4 humor characters inhabiting a 'movie' world with 'movie' rules. Apparently this film mutated out of a TV series concept, and thus the 'pilot' feel permeating the finished product makes sense. Renter.
heh.. once again kinda old post but i really feel ya on this one Stalin... I was really expecting more for some reason... Hell i even would have been happy with woody on an all out zombie kill-fest. But what i got was the wonder years with zombies...

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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:24 pm

Yep, that's pretty much it. They sold it as an instant cult classic, so I guess I was expecting something a little more out there. Like Evil Dead 2. The most favorable comparison I could draw to Zombieland is Superbad with zombies, but that's mostly because the main character is a full-on Michael Cera stand-in. Woody's character had so much promise be he was ultimately just blah. Sigh.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by myke_deschain » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:55 pm

oh yes, they were triing to push this movie as a Superbad-Zombie mash-up so hard though i thought they failed to deliver. I really was a bit turned off by the slapstick-esc type of jokes.. and the fact that they had to put a romantic interest in it is lame as well.. heh the last reason is why Orson Scott Card will never give the green-light to a Enders Game movie adaptation. on nearly every script that was offered up the writers would try to slip in a romantic interest even though the kid is young enough for elemetery school... Movies always have to settle with some mindless drabble in order to make a buck

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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by normsherman » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:31 am

StalinSays wrote:Yep, that's pretty much it. They sold it as an instant cult classic, so I guess I was expecting something a little more out there. Like Evil Dead 2. The most favorable comparison I could draw to Zombieland is Superbad with zombies, but that's mostly because the main character is a full-on Michael Cera stand-in. Woody's character had so much promise be he was ultimately just blah. Sigh.
for real-- is Michael Cera getting "too big" to play himself these days? C'mon.

Yes Myke, Canticle for Leibowitz is SO worth a read. One of my favorite books ever EVER ever.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by ROU Killing Time » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:44 pm

http://www.watchtheguild.com/

If you play WoW, this series is FTW.
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Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

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"Transition" by Iain M. Banks

Post by ROU Killing Time » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:11 am

(Also reviewing an older work here, "The Bridge" by Iain Banks.

I try never to miss a new Iain M. Banks novel or an Iain Banks* novel for that matter. I generally enjoy even his lesser works, so I did enjoy this, but I do have to put it in the tier 2 category of his novels. Enjoyable enough, but too many plot holes for my taste. Unlike "The Bridge" (my favorite of his surealist main-stream novels) the surrealism arising from the milieu, (it is a Heisenbergian Multi-worlds novel) didn't always work.) Also, there was really more sex than was necessary to carry the tale. (Don't read IMB if sex offends, he usually handles it well, but it was a tad on the gratuitous side this time.) The sex scenes in "The Bridge" made sense, after puzzling over all of the weird surreal dream-sequences I asked the woman who gave me the novel just what the "F" this whole thing was about anyway. She smiled and said "It's a love story." At the end I had to agree, and a very touching one, at that.


*Novels published with out the middle initial "M" are his main stream fiction, with the "M" are his SF novels.
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