Drawn to Death Review

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Drawn to Death is a third-person shooter combined with a brawler arena multiplayer released for PS4 on April 4th, 2017. It was developed by David Jaffe’s studio The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency (@OfficialBartlet) and it was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. For more info check out the game’s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

Right out of the gate, Drawn to Death is an assault on your senses. Alternative rock blasts in your ears as a mess of lines and scratched out pages fill your screen. It’s loud, vulgar, angry and sometimes a little bit fun- once you get past being called a “dick” for the 100th time. With a broad range of characters, guns, modes and maps it might be worth wading through the crudeness to play. That said, there’s a lot to push past to enjoy Drawn to Death and I pushed past it so you might not have to. Continue reading

Logan Review

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Logan is a superhero drama film released in North America on March 3rd, 2017. It was directed by James Mangold (@mang0ld) and stars Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman), Dafne Keen (@DafneKeen) and Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew).

I grew up on the X-Men movies. My mom would rent each one as it came out and we’d watch it and nerd out over all the cool characters. Eventually, I was old enough to see them in theatres. They became events, my parents and I would see them on release and geek out afterwards the whole way home. I eagerly awaited each one, albeit a little less each time. And after 2016’s disappointing X-Men Apocalypse, I wondered if my love of this series was fading. These were the characters of my childhood- Professor X, Magneto, Storm and of course: Wolverine. These characters were so cool to my 10-year-old brain, so awesome and powerful. But as I grew up, the series didn’t really grow up with me. It floated in the mediocre middle ground of superhero storytelling that relied on flashy characters and drawn out action scenes to carry them rather than meaningful plots and dialogue. So I went into Logan with tempered expectations, but after the first scene these expectations were as shattered as the bones of several unfortunate thugs… Continue reading

Night in the Woods Review

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Night in the Woods is an adventure game released for PC & PS4 on February 21, 2017. It was lovingly developed by Alec Holowka (@infinite_ammo), Scott Benson (@bombsfall) and Bethany Hockenberry (@cleodee). Published by Finji (@FinjiCo). For more info check out the game’s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

The premise is simple enough: Mae Borowski is just a 20-year-old college dropout who’s returned to her hometown of Possum Springs to reconnect with her old friends and sort out her life. But Night in the Woods is anything but simple. Every detail of this handcrafted world begged to be appreciated and explored, every aspect of the glorious soundtrack had me stopping and putting down my controller just to listen. Every conversation I had with the lovable creatures of Possum Springs touched me in a different way. I laughed outright, I got angry at those who didn’t understand, and at one point I downright sobbed. The mysteries of both the town and Mae’s friends kept me hooked, eager for more. And I got more than I could’ve ever hoped for. Continue reading

Murasaki Baby Review

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Murasaki Baby is a side-scrolling puzzle platformer released for the PS Vita on September 16, 2014. It was developed by Italian studio @ovosonico and published by SCE. For more info check out Muraskai Baby’s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

Murasaki Baby is a really, really weird game. I’ve played a lot of video games and I’ve never quite experienced anything like this one. It’s a couple years old but I recently played it and was struck by my experience so I thought it’d be a good one to share. Done in the style of Edward Gorey’s darkest paintings, it’s best described as gothic dark fantasy. While the touch controls can get in the way, Murasaki Baby delivers some challenging puzzles that sometimes smartly use the Vita’s two touch pads. It’s a short but memorable experience, in part due to its style rarely seen in video games and in part to its clever puzzles. Continue reading

ABZÛ Review

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ABZÛ is an adventure game released for the PS4 and PC on August 2nd, 2016. It was developed by @GiantSquidology and published by @505_Games. For more info check out ABZÛ’s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

I like to take notes while I play a game for review. When I pulled myself away from my monitor after beating ABZÛ, all in one sitting, I went over my notes and noticed I had written the same word several times throughout my list: gorgeous. And if you take one thing away from this review let it be that ABZÛ is an indisputably gorgeous game. In a year of gorgeous indie games like Inside and Firewatch, we’re spoiled yet again by an indie title with visuals that put AAA games to shame. Continue reading

The Purge: Election Year Review

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The Purge: Election Year is a horror film released in North America on July 1st, 2016. It was directed by James DeMonaco and stars Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell and Mykelti Williamson (@mykeltiwmson).

Calling the third instalment in the Purge franchise “Election Year”, releasing it on the July 4th weekend and making the tagline “keep America great” was a brilliant marketing move that capitalised on the current drama surrounding the bid for the American presidency. It especially calls out the republican nominee Donald Trump. But Election Year is so much more than just a marketing move. Underneath, it is a politically charged movie both in its presentation of a tumultuous, dystopian future America but also as a commentary on the current presidential race. In fact, Election Year is so blatant in its connections to the rise of racist and elitist politics in the United States, I would say that the movie is attempting to suggest that a future America where Trump is president would not look too different from the America presented in the Election Year. And that poignant, terrifying suggestion is what takes The Purge: Election Year from a typical trope-laden action flick to a thought-provoking commentary on the current state of America. Continue reading

Inside Review

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Inside is a puzzle platformer adventure game released for the Xbox One on June 29, 2016, for PC on July 7, 2016 and for PS4 August 23, 2016. It was developed and published by @Playdead. For more info check out Inside‘s site. Screenshots taken by myself.

I want to preface my review by stating that I went into Inside with no knowledge about the content of the story, the gameplay or anything. My experience was infinitely better because of it. So while it may seem counterproductive to start a review by saying don’t read my review I’ll instead say read my review after you’ve beaten the game. It won’t take you long, it only took me a little over three hours. But an experience as truly unique and wonderful as Inside needs to be enjoyed fresh. So bookmark this review, go get Inside and play it. You’ll thank me. Continue reading