|Back to Work Edition|
Vacation over. Back to work.
Pokemon Go (Android)
I evolved Croconaw into Feraligatr.
The Stanley Parable (PC)
I downloaded it and checked out as many paths as I could. It's an intriguing game with a lot of comical moments and some wonderful use of philosophy. It really didn't take long for me to have my fill, so I eventually uninstalled it and scratched this one off my backlog. I think my favorite thing was the broom closet.
A Story About My Uncle (PC)
I played through this entire game in just about one sitting (4 hours). I'm not going to write much about it here, as most of those details will emerge in my upcoming review.
Alone in the Dark (360)
I ventured a little further. I'm still in the burning building, and I... You know, I'm not sure what's happening. I rescued a couple of people, but then they disappeared. I entered a room and the building began to collapse. I fell through the floor at that point and had to restart. I couldn't tell where I was supposed to go or what the game expected of me. I moseyed into one part of the crumbling apartment and the whole world tilted. I fell out of it, along with another guy, the camera kept shifting and spinning around, I saw nothing but debris and occasional close-ups of Carnby and I got lost in the confusion.
The next thing I know, I'm outside on a ledge. I wandered to a variety of platforms, occasionally dying or getting set back because of glitches. One of them occurred when a huge chunk of floor fell on me. Rather than knocking me off the ledge, it lifted me up. I was standing on the piece of floor while it was falling. I then happened to land near the beginning of the outside sequence again.
I entered a room that had an annoying puzzle. I had to place a fire extinguisher on a platform, then jump on a rope to hoist the platform upward, thereby throwing the extinguisher onto an adjacent floor. Except the extinguisher kept flying in peculiar directions. During one attempt, I leaped onto the rope and fell straight into the environment and got stuck. I had to reload the last checkpoint, which thankfully wasn't far away.
I finally got the extinguisher and put out the fire, then decided enough was enough for that session. This game is exhausting and confusing. I have to ask myself if I'm really playing an Alone in the Dark title. Most of the time, it feels like a severely broken Uncharted with tacked on horror elements.
Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded (PC)
Fun fact: this game only gives you a finite number of lives. If you feel you aren't going to make it through the campaign with the chances allotted, then you must start over. Thankfully, you can import your character. The thing is I don't think anyone would want to be in that position, and I certainly wouldn't want to drag out a playthrough of a game like this. It should be a short, sweet tour de force of violence and mayhem.
I only died twice in one stage during my playthrough. I hit a point in the campaign where I thought I would likely die more often because the game regularly threw heavy foes equipped with either multi-firing, heat seeking rockets or plasma cannons my way. I had a fat stack of cash, though, so I decided to throw in on some improved implants (equipment that boosts your stats, similar to accessories in your standard RPG) and invest in an super powered shotgun.
Did I mention that shotguns are obscenely overpowered? Like, rocket launchers have nothing on shotties.
So I decided to push my way through the last block of levels, balls to the wall, rolling the dice on shotguns and implants that boosted my strength and accuracy. My damage output soared because of the latter statistic, and the former allowed me to carry more loot and earn a fatter stack of cash at the shop. With mass alien murder on my mind, I took on the swarms.
The gambit paid off. I tore into who crowds with shotgun blasts that felled numerous aliens, reducing them to clouds of blood and gore. I eventually got my hands on a semi-automatic shotgun with ten shots per round that even took out the rocket-equipped aliens with ease. Hell, it did so more quickly than my own rocket launcher.
By the time I reached the penultimate stage, I was able to buy the best shotgun available. This one offered twenty shots before reloading, with blasts that damaged massive chunks of enemy crowds. I also managed to nab a rapid fire laser that cut through hordes with ease. I fought three bosses during this stage, and not one of them lasted much longer than your average heavy. Of course, it didn't help their cause that they're super-vulnerable during a certain point, which allowed me to slay them in a flash.
I moved on to the final boss' lair. His underlings were surprisingly weak, and I bumped them off without breaking a sweat. When it came to the main antagonist himself, I plugged repeated shotgun shells into him and watched his life bar diminish quickly. He eventually hit the ground and started phase two of his attack, where he pelts you with rockets. That didn't matter, though. I wore advanced armor and had high hit points, so I could stand still while accepting missiles and the like for a little while before needing to retreat. I merely circled the boss and continued his beating until he dropped dead.
Even though the main big bad was deceased, a few more aliens appeared. I had the option to run to the back chamber and end the game, but I decided to go for a victory lap instead. That's when numerous teleporters appeared, which continuously spawn foes until destroyed. Dozens of rocket-shooting heavies and acid-spitting monsters popped up, but the level offered so many restorative power ups that it didn't much matter. I also hadn't lost a life at all, and had even earned two during this session. I cut through the swarm, destroyed the teleporters and put bullets in every alien in sight.
I traipsed to the back chamber to rescue my cohort and watched the closing cutscene. Now, to get my hands on Alien Shooter 2: Conscription...
Mutant, parasitic wasps wreck a garden party. Even bigger, more pissed off wasps burst from the bodies of the victims, which then descend upon the survivors holed up in a mansion, including a couple of caterers and Lance Henrikson.
I was to understand that this was a horror-comedy combo, and strangely it wasn't the least bit funny. There were attempts at humor, and almost all of them fall flat. Henrikson also had a really odd character with lines that often made no sense. There was also an obligatory love/lust story thrown in for good measure, despite the lack of chemistry between the two lead characters. On the flip side, the movie pays homage to splatter horror flicks of old and has a fair bit of mayhem. Unfortunately, its pacing doesn't hold up with some of the more exciting horror-comedies we've seen over the years. Ultimately, it's an average monster movie with hackneyed devices all over the place.
It Follows (2014)
A girl contracts a sexually transmitted curse that manifests as a succubus-like entity following her. No matter where she runs, she can't evade the being. She can, however, screw someone else and pass the curse along...
There's a lot of hoopla around this movie, with one side calling it an instant classic and the other saying it's extremely overrated. Personally, I thought it was entertaining, but not great. I wasn't fully invested in the protagonist or any of her boring friends, and I felt like the movie dragged in a few places. The scenes were 'it' approaches were the best, and were sometimes creepy. That, and the movie was beautifully shot. Honestly, though, the experience left much to be desired.
A pair of siblings aim to settle the score with a cursed mirror that tore their family apart.
Typically, I'd slate a film of this nature. It often plays tricks on you, only to ostensibly say "Just kidding" and undo its mayhem. However, that element plays into the film's favor, as it leaves you trying to reason fact from fiction, until the very end. So yeah, it's nothing new or amazing, but it's nonetheless effective and entertaining.
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