Movie Monday: Hitch

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with another movie produced by Will Smith. It’s Hitch!

Plot: The plot is okay, honestly it’s too much Romcom for my tastes. That isn’t to say this is a bad movie, just that I wasn’t highly impressed by the story and it’s tone. However the plot is solid, and there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, just that I personally don’t like Romcoms.

Casting: Will Smith does an awesome job at portraying the titular Hitch and the rest of the cast is also pretty great. Eva Mendes and Kevin James are the other two main characters of the movie and they did a great job of acting the part.

Cinematography: The special effects are relatively tame, but I will say that the seafood allergy scene was pretty well done in terms of makeup and special effects. That said if you ever have such a allergic reaction what happens is absolutely not what you should do in such a situation. Call 9-1-1, or your local equivalent, and follow the instructions given to you by the operator.

Music: I honestly don’t remember pretty much any of it, since Hitch isn’t a sweeping fantasy epic or sci-fi soap opera the generic musical production was low on my radar.

Overall: A good movie, if you enjoy Romantic Comedies. Otherwise you might want to watch something else.

For those who like: Romance, Comedies, Drama, Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, particularly the Romantic Comedy part.

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Serial Saturday: Azeal Neralum by Kazi

This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with another series I got asked to review by it’s author.  It’s Azeal Neralum by Kazi.

Plot: Let me get this out of the way, I would normally have never bothered with reading this series, and I must have either missed the Grimdark genre tag or it was added after I had bookmarked it as a potential series to read. Either way I find the overly dark nature of the “genre” usually makes stories I tend to despise. Azeal Neralum isn’t an exception to my distaste. I honestly don’t enjoy the overly dark fantasy epic craze that’s seem to come up in the past decade. Even one of my most adored series, Mistborn, is a bit too dark for me. While I’ve read the entire thing once, I probably won’t ever do that again due to that darkness.  However other than the tone there are other serious issues I have with Azeal Neralum. Mainly the constant switching of points of view that is happening, and the lack of forward progress with regards to the main character. I don’t care about some random fort getting slaughtered, what does it have to do with the main character? If the answer to that question is “nothing” in the next 30 chapters I’ve just wasted my time reading extraneous world building that could’ve been experienced through the main characters point of view instead.

Characters: Azeal is a mediocre main character, he’s got nothing extremely likable about him that makes me interested in him as a character and the rest of the cast is just as bad. It’s even worse with the most recent chapters that the author wrote. I don’t give a rat’s ass about some “hero” or gallant general that is dying if he’s being introduced out of the blue and has no noticeable connection with the protagonist. If I had met that character 100 chapters before and grew attached to him I might feel a bit of sympathy over his death, but the way the author the author brings up these characters out of the blue is more than a bit annoying.

Grammar: The grammar is okay, but the writing itself seems off. I can’t put it into words much better than it feels just a bit wrong when I read it. Either the way the author writes is grating on my internal sense of how a book is supposed to read, or the issue is something else, but I just find it’s “flow” to be not pleasing to the eye.

Overall: If for some reason you love dark fantasy, Azeal Neralum might be up your alley after a few editing passes have been done by the author. Otherwise steer clear of this.

For those who like: Fantasy, Grimdark, LitRPG.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Tensura Episode 01 Impressions

Hey all I’m back with another new series for this week’s Anime Sunday. It’s my Tensura Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot: This first episode is pretty focused on the Mikami’s life in Modern Day Japan, and while it does get us to the first big plot point it’s taking it’s time. So those wanting a ton of action will probably be disappointed. I wasn’t one of those people however as I’m really happy they’re taking a slow pace with the series and doing the story justice. I will admit I’ve read the Light Novels this is adapted from, and seeing it take such a slow pace when compared to the frenetic pace other adaptations have done in the past is really good.

Characters: Mikami is a pretty standard dude, honestly he’s kind of boring. Thankfully the rest of the story will make up for that, and Veldora was awesome to see in the Anime. Veldora was a very fun character. We don’t get to meet much of the cast though, but since it’s just the first episode that’s okay.

Art: The art is pretty awesome, and while it’s not ufotable quality Studio 8-Bit did a pretty darn good job.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not that intense in this first episode so who knows how the rest of the series will handle music.

Overall: An excellent adaptation, with good pacing and excellent artwork.

For those who like: Isekai, Tensei, Fantasy, Magic, Drama, Action, Adventure,Awesome Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Outstanding Artwork, Good Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Gex Enter the Gecko

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with the sequel to Gex. It’s Gex Enter the Gecko!

Plot: The plot is just as nonsensical as the first one, with Gex being tasked once more to save the world. It’s not an amazing story, but it was fun as a kid and it’s not the worst plot in a platformer I’ve ever played.

Gameplay: This was the first entry in the Gex series that was in 3D and it did pretty well in making the transition. It kept the feel of the original game fairly well, but was different enough to draw in newcomers. That being said both the GameBoy Color and Nintendo 64 versions were much worse versions, so play the PC or PlayStation versions if you’ve never played this before. The constant pop culture references were great and pretty funny.

Art: Sadly this portion of the game has aged incredibly poorly, but back in the day it was pretty awesome.

Music: The music was okay from what I can remember, but I don’t remember much of it.

Overall: Give this a spin if you love Platformers, as it was a fun game for the younger crowd.

Video Game Tuesday: Setting Expectations

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the importance of a very key factor when discussing future games or plans for content. It’s all about Setting Expectations!

Expectations?: So recently we’ve had two really good examples of how NOT to set fan expectations both prior to announcing something and afterwards. The Diablo Immortal Issue, and Final Fantasy XV’s cancellation of almost every future DLC and PC support.

Diablo Immortal: Let’s get this one out of the way first. Blizzard royally screwed up with the announcement of Diablo Immortal at the recent Blizzcon. I don’t think I remember them screwing up so bad, ever. There was the Real ID fiasco that occurred years ago, but that wasn’t as bad I think. They could and had plans to announce not only Diablo Immortal, but also Diablo 4 as well at the end of that announcement. Instead they just announced Immortal, which was a huge freaking mistake. First hardcore gamers in general, and PC gamers in particular, all hate the idea of Mobile games, add in the fact that Blizzard was teaming up with NetEase to make Diablo Immortal and the whole situation looked like a huge betrayal of the Diablo fanbase. One of the developers incredibly poor response during a particularly pointed question during a Q&A session later only exacerbated the issue. They should have gone with their first plan, as it was would have been much better. People would’ve been upset, and arguably rightly so in some views. Having multiple teams working on separate projects for Diablo could be seen as overly ambitious, and division of potential labor towards the quicker goal of completing Diablo 4, as well as the blatant cash grab that was the initial response to Diablo Immortal. I don’t agree with the direction of making a Diablo game for mobile, first it seems like it could easily be a poor clone, and while the demo available was apparently okay, that was a controlled demo that was made to showcase the best of the game. The rest of the game could easily be a huge disappointment, and the response from the people who played the demo doesn’t rule out that possibility. The Blizzard seal of quality has meaning, and if they handle this poorly they could end up repeating Bungie’s mistakes that cost them pretty much every shred of credibility with the gaming community.

Final Fantasy XV: The loss of Director Hajime Tabata seems to be the root issue of this issue, and frankly it’s a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to playing the second wave of DLC, and because it was announced I hadn’t touched the first wave of DLC. Now I’m not sure I will for a good while. I’ll probably have fun with the Final Fantasy XIV crossover stuff, but I’m highly saddened that Square Enix is cutting back on the entire DLC plan they had for 2019 and beyond. Unlike many, I was looking forward to seeing a different ending that would’ve been included in the Noctis DLC, as while I really enjoyed most of the game and the story, the later portions of the story were incredibly depressing. Knowing that we lost this DLC is highly discouraging and a huge black mark on Square Enix’s record of making Final Fantasy games for me.

How can Developers handle expectation better?: Honestly, knowing their consumers better would prevent many of these issues in my opinion. Nintendo lost many hardcore gamers with their decision to cater to the casual market with the Wii, and they are still feeling the repercussions of that decision still. Granted that the Switch is a huge success, but they lost a lot of trust with the decision to pursue gimmicky controls with the DS and Wii. Others should take note of their mistakes and keep them in mind when they are planning announcements.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Serial Saturday: Azarinth Healer Chapters 01-09 by Rhaegar

This week for Serial Saturday I’m covering another new series. It’s Azarinth Healer Chapters 01-09 by Rhaegar!

Plot: The plot is pretty great, and considering that the author states upfront that he’s a complete amateur it’s refreshingly well written. It is a LitRPG mixed with Isekai elements, but don’t expect our hero to be going off to slay demon lords to save the world. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a very fun read and these first few chapters are a great start.

Characters: We really only get to meet Ilea in these first few chapters, and that’s okay as she’s quirky and intelligent and very much a badass. The cast does fill out later on.

Grammar: The grammar is very well done, and given that the author went through the trouble of revising their errors out of the early chapters is a very good sign for the longevity of the series, at least in my opinion.

Overall: A fun read, and well worth the read.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Isekai, Fantasy, Magic, Action, Adventure, Female Leads, Interesting Plot, Good Grammar.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Seishun Buta Yarou Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering a new series from the Fall 2018 season. It’s my Seishun Buta Yarou Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot: The plot of this first episode is very intriguing and it sets the stage for the series really well. I will say that this is an adaptation of a Light Novel Series, but I haven’t read it. I don’t tend to enjoy the romantic comedy series, but hopefully this avoids most of the faults of those Anime. This first episode shows that it could go very well, but that could end up being just a short reprieve from another poorly done romantic comedy.

Characters: Mai and Sakuta are our main characters and they are both very interesting. Mai isn’t a terrible person and is actually incredibly likable from the get go, if a bit surprising in her choice of garb. Sakuta on the other hand is also fairly forthright in his interests with Mai, and it’s a refreshing change of pace from other romantic comedies that always have awkward love polygons for no purpose beyond making drama.

Art: The art is okay, but nothing spectacular. It’s not egregiously bad, but it’s not amazing either.

Music: I enjoyed the musical score, and the opening theme. Not much more to be said about that.

Overall: This could prove to be a delightful series if this first episode is indicative of the rest of the series.

For those who like: Romance, Supernatural, School Life, Drama.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.