January 28, 2016

Review Redux: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Here's a review from way back in 2010, with the crazy convoluted review system I came up with at the time.

January 27, 2016

The Installation 04 BOOTY Awards 2015

What a dang year that was, huh? I mean really, 2015 was one for the history books. It was just 12 months of one excellent game being released after another. When I started the BOOTY awards, I used to pick my top three games. Some years, I even struggled to come up with that many. A few years back, I bumped it up to five because the quality of games was really beginning to increase. But 2015? I'm not sure if I can even even pick just five games because there were so many good ones. Will I? Won't I? Find out within, after a million other awards!

January 22, 2016

Game Critique Redux: Super Meat Boy

In December 2010, one of my all-time favorite games was released. I remember hearing little murmurs here and there about this game earlier that year. It was another one of those New Grounds flash games that was about to make it to the big time. I mostly dismissed it, but the game stayed in the back of my mind, if only because of its weirdness. Finally, towards the end of October it released, and at the promotional price of $10, no less. So I thought "What the hell, why not give it a try?" and I downloaded the demo. I nearly passed it up because I thought it would be too difficult for me to enjoy. I've never been more wrong. And so a game I almost didn't give a chance ended up becoming my Game of the Year pick for 2010. I am, of course, talking about Super Meat Boy.

January 19, 2016

Review Redux: SteamWorld Dig

These days, I typically avoid anything with "dig" in the title because that implies that the game has some sort of crafting component. Show me a guy with an axe and you basically show me the door. I saw SteamWorld Dig on the 3DS eShop last year and completely ignored it. In the interim, I actually read what the game was about and became pretty interested. When I heard there would be a cross-buy version for the PS4 and Vita, I jumped right on it and got a PS+ discount to boot!

April Fools 2014 Redux: Samurai Jack is back!

Well, folks, it took about ten years of trying but old Genndy finally did it. He finally got a movie studio to buy into the idea of a Samurai Jack film for reals. Sony seems very pleased to have the man on board and already has him slated to direct a sequel to Hotel Transylvania as well as the upcoming Popeye animated film and Tartakovsky's own film tentitively titled Can You Imagine? which he will write and direct. After dropping hints about the possibility of a Samurai Jack film in 2012, it looks like Sony has decided to go through with it and is reportedly fast tracking it to a late 2015 or early 2016 release.

Genndy, however, is a busy man. So he's brought on fellow Samurai Jack alumnus Randy Myers to co-direct the movie that will be written by Tartakovsky and Paul Rudish. The film is tentatively titled "Samurai Jack: Back to the Past" and will star Phil LaMarr back as Jack with Greg Baldwin replacing Mako as the voice of Aku, once again taking over his role as he did with Uncle Iroh. Music will be handled by series composer James L. Venable. Although the plot is vague at this point, the Sony Pictures Animation press release notes that "Jack's journey will finally conclude as he manages to get back to the past and face off against the mighty Aku."

Plans for the film were apparently finalized after the recent resurgence in interest for the show. The comic book launched by IDW last November has been selling better than expected, and despite airing at 4am, the Toonami ratings for Samurai Jack reruns remain surprisingly solid, thanks in part to the show trending on Twitter every weekend.

I couldn't be happier about this! I've been waiting for ten years... and so has Genndy. He's had an ending written for about as long as the show's been off the air. Personally, I hope it connects back to "Jack and the Creatures" where Jack finally finds a portal but is blocked by an unstoppable warrior who says he can't use it yet. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

If you want some more tidbits, be sure to read the Sony Pictures Animation press release on their website.

(Even though this was a joke, it basically came true!)

January 18, 2016

Review Redux: Infamous Second Son

The transition from Xbox to PlayStaion has been weird. It’s a transition I think many of my fellow gamers have made. For me, as the last generation went on, I found myself finding the PlayStation exclusive games more and more appealing. So when I got a PS4 I almost felt obligated to jump right in to the system’s biggest franchises. Second Son is basically the first big release since the launch of the system in November 2013. Needless to say that most of us would buy anything at that point. I got my copy having seen a few bits of gameplay but not really knowing what to expect. It was Killzone, you see, that blew me away at the console’s announcement event. The first seconds of the game are off putting, but then everything changes.

Best Eps Redux: Space Dandy Season 1

Space Dandy is a pretty wild and crazy anime, but I think the show is at its best when it's more quiet and contemplative. Of course, that doesn't mean that the situations that Space Dandy gets into are any less ridiculous from episode to episode. If you've never seen Space Dandy, then count this as my list of personally recommended episodes.

Worth Watching Redux: Kill la Kill

When I set out to watch some anime, I usually give the first episode a go and see if it grabs me. Kill la Kill here was the talk of last anime season, with tons of memes and discussions all over the internet. I like to watch shows on my own time if I can help it, so I'm not really one to go for the weekly stream from Japan. But recently I noticed the entire series of Kill la Kill was on Netflix already, waiting to be streamed at my leisure. How could I resist? The show is from Hiroyuki Inaishi, one of the anime world's craziest minds, so I fully expected the new series from the creator and director of Gurren Lagann and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt to be totally nuts. Last time, Inaishi took to parodying mecha anime and this time he was taking on magical girl. That's literally all I knew going in to it. I wasn't expecting to be blown away.

January 17, 2016

Review Redux: Shovel Knight

The year was 198X. A small but dedicated development team was creating the ultimate NES game that drew from the most popular titles of the time while introducing some innovative new mechanics. Mere weeks away from shipping, the team came into work and their game was gone. Not a trace of it was found. No concept art, no music tracks, no design documents, no computer files. Nothing. Fast forward to 2013. New development studio Yacht Club Games asks for $75,000 to create a game called Shovel Knight. But Yacht Club held a dark secret. They didn't use the money to create Shovel Knight; they used the money to build a time machine. And with that time machine, they traveled back in time to 198X and stole the development materials for Shovel Knight, modified it to run on modern platforms, and took all the credit.

January 16, 2016

Worth Watching Redux: Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated.

It's been a long time coming, but Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc is the logical conclusion to Scooby Doo. I honestly don't think there's anywhere to go from here but down. See, Mystery Inc isn't like other iterations of the Doo. The original series was fun for what it was, but incredibly shallow with one dimensional characters and predictable plots. My favorite versions of Scooby were from the 80s and 90s, where Scooby and the gang would often have to take down actual supernatural forces. I always really liked the film trilogy staring Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy from the late 1980s and the first few revival films of the 1990s starting with Zombie Island. Unfortunately, after Cyber Chase in the early 2000s, the supernatural aspect was dropped again when the cartoon show was revived. Fast forward a decade and now we've got Mystery Inc, a complete reboot of everything Scooby Doo.

Impressions Redux: Hyper Light Drifter

When was the last time you played a game that didn't hold your hand? You're probably going to say Demon's Souls. But even Demon's Souls had tutorials. While I'm sure the final version of Hyper Light Drifter will have some sort of instructions on how to play the game, the Kickstarter alpha version does not.