Hey all so quick announcement. I’ll be taking an involuntary hiatus for at least a week, possibly more due to the fact that I’ve not had internet during the past week and a half and I am currently off doing some housesitting for family. In the mean time feel free to check out the book and game reviews I’ve done for Game Industry News as well as my colleagues work there as well. There will be one upcoming book review of mine this coming week and I’ve had a game and book review this past week. Hopefully by the time I’m done with the house sitting my internet will have been fixed by my local ISP.
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that really took the Stealth genre and made it popular. It’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell!
Plot Synopsis: In April 2004, the President of Georgia is assassinated, allowing Georgian billionaire Kombayn Nikoladze to seize power with a bloodless coup d’état. In August 2004, former U.S. Navy SEAL officer and Gulf War veteran Sam Fisher is recruited by the National Security Agency to work within its newly formed division, “Third Echelon.” Working with his old friend Irving Lambert, Fisher is introduced to technical expert Anna “Grim” Grimsdóttír, and field runner Vernon Wilkes Jr. In October 2004, Fisher is dispatched to Tbilisi, Georgia to investigate the disappearance of two CIA officers.
Plot: The plot is pretty standard Military Thriller which should come as no surprise as this is part of the Tom Clancy franchise.
Gameplay: This game took the stealth genre and made it mainstream paving the way for future games like Assassin’s Creed. The main draw of the gameplay was the use of the light and shadows. You were encouraged to take your time and carefully move from shadow to shadow to get around. You couldn’t really go in with guns blazing and just shoot your way through the game. You had limited ammo, and even than your armaments were usually more non-lethal than anything else.
Artwork: Sadly the art has aged incredibly poorly, but at the time they were pretty damn good.
Music: I don’t remember any of the music sadly.
Overall: A fun game, but with a very aged art and gameplay compared to modern day games, it’s probably best left in the bargain bin.
For those who like: Military-Thrillers, Tom Clancy, Stealth.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.
This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m back with the first arc in another Isekai series. It’s House Magic Chapters 1-29 by Amaui Shiro!
Plot Synopsis: Living carefree at home is the greatest shortcut—- My house is the world’s greatest magic power spot, that being the case both my house and I were summoned to another world by some guys who were aiming for it. However, I’ve been living in this place for many years and my body is, apparently, abnormally overflowing with magic. Due to some unforeseen circumstances by those guys who summoned me, they quickly ran away….
Plot: The plot is really quite bland, which is made worse by the fact that the main character Daichi is a lazy ass bum. He wants nothing more than to sleep and that’s his driving goal in life.
Characters: Other than Daichi, who like I said above is very much a lazy bum and incredibly one dimensional, the rest of the cast is pretty okay. However due to how freaking dense the guy is, it makes only for a frustrating experience.
Overall: Skip this series, it’s really not that great.
For those who like: Fantasy, Isekai, Overpowered Protagonists, Lazy Protagonists.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or bland Plots.
This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the sequel to Gamer for Life. It’s Forming the Company, Alpha World Book 02, by Daniel Schinhofen!
Plot Synopsis: Having been given the option to live the rest of his life in the Virtual Reality game Alpha World in place of his prison sentence, Seamus is now known as the Summoner Alburet. He’s made friends and become close with multiple people, a thing he never thought to have again. However upon summoning his third demon it turns out to be Stacia…..
Plot: This entry in the series is quite good, but it also brought up a ton of questions about Alburet’s past and what really happened to get him into prison. The plot does keep plodding along and honestly was quite a fun entry.
Characters: We get to meet a few more people, including a certain expy of a favorite Archaeologist of mine and most likely many, many others. However my favorite has to be Alburet’s party. They are all great characters, and honestly I like the entire bunch of them.
Overall: A solid sequel and second entry in a series that’s shaping up to be one of the all time LitRPG greats.
This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with my answer to a question I’ve been asked by a few friends. It’s all about Is Cayde-6 Really Dead for Good?
Huh?: So in the upcoming Forsaken “Expansion” for Destiny 2 beloved character Cayde-6 is going to be killed, supposedly permanently. Many people, including his own voice actor Nathan Fillion, don’t buy that.
So what about you?: I don’t buy it for a second. There are multiple reasons, from gameplay to lore.
Gameplay: If they really kill Cayde for good, that will cause problems with people playing in the Tower. For those who haven’t done the expansion, Cayde will be showing up to do his usual giving out of activities and the like. But what happens when you have people who have done the expansion and haven’t done it in the same fireteam load into the Tower? If they really mean to kill him off they’ll remove him from the tower, which would require a completely separate instance of the Tower which would cause issues with players in fireteams. Otherwise the impact of Cayde’s loss will be meaningless if we can just waltz up to him and grab a treasure map from him like usual every week after he supposedly dies.
Storytelling: Cayde is a wiseass, and that’s a good thing because honestly Destiny needs someone to lighten stuff up. Cayde has always been the one to do that, and if you kill off that character you lose a huge part to the story. Things will get incredibly dark, and even some darker series like Game of Thrones need some lighter moments and characters interspersed to balance the story out.
Lore: First off, it’s supposed to be really freaking hard to kill a Guardian, which Cayde is. Even more is the fact that he’s an Exo, which means every time he dies he loses a few memories and gains a new number. Cayde’s died 5 times before, but Banshee the gunsmith has died 43 times. Finally, Time Travel has always been a thing in Destiny lore. It’s central to the plot, as both the Exo Stranger AND the Vex travel through time. We even get Cayde out of Vex time warp shenanigans in Destiny 2, and that isn’t even touching upon the whole Osiris expansion, which heavily touches upon the time travel aspect of the Vex in great detail. If Cayde were to die for good, we could just hijack a vex machine to prevent it. Boom done deal, Cayde doesn’t die. It wouldn’t be the first time we messed with the timeline in Destiny to our advantage, that’s the whole point of us going into the Vault of Glass back in Vanilla Destiny in the first place. So I’m not buying into the whole Cayde is really dead for good thing Bungie is spouting. Because from gameplay, storytelling, and lore standpoints, it’s total bullshit. Now Bungie could really kill off Cayde, but it’d be a huge mistake on their part. We’ll see how they decide to play their cards, but I would expect Cayde to be sticking around.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.
This week for Movie Monday I’m covering a movie I was taken to by my dad when I was much younger. It’s Bicentennial Man!
Plot Synopsis: The NDR series robot “Andrew” is introduced in 2005 into the Martin family home to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties…..
Plot: The plot was way over my head as a kid. I think I mostly enjoyed Robin Williams portraying Andrew. That being said it was an interesting movie and it’s story has always stuck with me throughout the years, and definitely impacted more than a few choices when I was playing games like Mass Effect or reading books like Otherlife Dreams. That said the script was pretty bad, and handled incredibly poorly.
Casting: Robin Williams plays Andrew and he does a good job, but unfortunately the script of the movie itself makes his performance one of the only bright points in the film. The rest of the cast is okay, but again the script overshadows their performances.
Special Effects: Okay, especially when you consider that Robin Williams actually wore a robot suit to portray Andrew. It was nominated for multiple awards for the special effects, but none of were winning nominations.
Music: I don’t remember the musical background of the movie at all, I was pretty young when I watched the movie.
Overall: Not a must watch by any stretch, this is probably one of Robin Williams poorer performances.
For those who like: Sci-Fi, Romance, Drama, Comedy, Robin Williams.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.
This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another old series. It’s my Big 0 Episode 01 Impressions!
Plot Synopsis: Roger Smith, top negotiator of Paradigm City, is hired to oversee the retrieval of R. Dorothy Wayneright, the kidnapped daughter of the wealthy scientist Miguel Soldano….
Plot: The plot is okay, but also a big stereotypical. Honestly it reminds me a bit of Metropolis. That being said I remember not really understanding the plot of this series when I was younger.
Characters: Roger is an okay main character, but he’s not all that interesting either. At least not in this first episode. Dorothy on the other hand was fairly interesting. The rest of the cast is okay, but nothing special either.
Art: The art is okay, but nothing noteworthy.
Music: Like the art, it’s okay but not noteworthy.
Overall: A skippable series, at least from what I remember of the rest of the episodes and my impressions after this first episode.
For those who like: Sci-Fi, Mecha, Drama, Action.
Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.