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Zombies

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: January 2023

~ Game Over ~

Mega Man X (SNES) – The annual tradition continues.

The Night of the Scissors (PC) – A very short -and surprisingly easy- hide-and-seek style indie horror. There are like three items to find, one puzzle, and a killer who just doesn’t seem to be around all that often. Needs some more meat on its bones.

Nightmare of Decay (PC) – Indie survival horror FPS that wears its inspirations on its sleeve. I really liked it, though it could be a bit frustrating at times. See here!

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: January 2023

A List of Viddy Games from the Old Year

Happy 2023!

Here is a big ol’ list of all the video games that I spent a significant amount of time playing in 2022. It’s not a comprehensive list, as I left off a few little indie games that were more “experiences”, games that I gave up on after a single session, and games that aren’t really games (like Rocksmith and Fitness Boxing). If you’d like to know how I felt about any of them, I included the month in which I started playing each one, so you can conveniently look up the appropriate Month End Round-Up post.

Of note is that of the 75 games listed below, 53 were eligible for my “Top X of 2022” list. I’ve narrowed it down to the ones I liked best, and I was left with fifteen finalists. Now I have the unenviable task of deciding if I want my GOTY list to just be 15 games, or if I want to try to figure out which five to cut to make it a nice, round Top Ten. Or, should I add seven more games to make it the Top 22 of ’22? Find out in… I don’t know, like a week or two, maybe? I’m going to try to get it done before February, anyway.

Continue reading A List of Viddy Games from the Old Year

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: December 2022

~ Game Over ~

Pokémon Scarlet (Switch) – Paldean Pokédex complete!

Mars Moose: Cosmic Quest: City Sights (PS1) – More of a curio than anything. It’s a 10-minute game for wee bairns, but still, I played it.

Trombone Champ (PC) – A wacky game that I don’t think really lived up to its potential. It’s not exactly the rhythm game it first appears to be, but nor does it go nearly as off the deep end as similar games like Frog Fractions or Inscryption.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: December 2022

Nintendo Stats – 2022 Edition

I’ve grown to really enjoy how Nintendo compiles your play history and presents it in statistical data for the year. And apparently Steam did it this year, too!

Alas, Nintendo’s offering for 2022 was weak, with much less data than the last couple of years. What I got was a list of the 21 Switch games I played the most this year, and how many hours of each. No graphs, no in-depth breakdowns, nothing else. So, here are the top three…

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes the cake for sure, and I still have a ton of game left to play there. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s definitely going to rank high on my 2022 GOTY list. Monster Hunter Rise got second billing because the Sunbreak expansion came out this year and I spent a lot of time grinding away at that with my brother. Lastly, and just squeaking in there at the end of the year, is Pokémon Scarlet, which is even a few hours richer than what it says above, because I’ve played it a bunch since these stats were delivered. Also, the assertion that I only played Pokémon on 10 separate days cannot be right. It just can’t!

Continue reading Nintendo Stats – 2022 Edition

Desire: A Follow-up

You know that meme, “how it started/how it’s going”? I’m doing that today, but in text form!

Basically, I just want to take a quick look back at my “24 Days of Desire” feature and see how many of them have been fulfilled. It’s been almost a year now, I should have been able to get everything I wanted, right? Let’s see!

Day 1: Television – This was about me wanting to have cable, and if I recall correctly, it was specifically so I could watch the Chucky series. Well, I never got cable, because that would be stupid, and I still haven’t watched Chucky, because I don’t pirate TV shows or movies any more. Chucky is also on Paramount+, which has other things I want to watch, so I’m thinking about a subscription to that… But probably won’t bother.

Day 2: A better GPU – Ain’t got this. I’ve heard that prices are going down, but I haven’t bothered to look in many months. Besides, I only wanted it to beef up my Quest 2, so it’s right down at the bottom of my priority ladder.

Day 3: Star Wars sequels box set – I haven’t looked to see if this exists, and I don’t actually care enough to check. This was a filler episode, for sure.

Continue reading Desire: A Follow-up

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: October 2022

~ Game Over ~

Shovel Knight Dig (Switch) – A roguelite prequel to Shovel Knight, it’s not what I would have asked Yacht Club for, but it’s what we got. Looks great, sounds great, but unfortunately… roguelite. Somehow, I managed a winning run after only about two hours of gameplay, so that was a nice surprise. It’s got a few creepy enemies, but I wouldn’t call it even slightly spooky.

Resident Evil 2 (PC) – Played this many times, actually! Leon A (easy), Claire A (randomizer), Leon A (normal), and finally, the Kendo’s Cut mod. I wanted to get at least one B story run in, but just ran out of time. Needless to say, ’tis a fairly spooky game.

Power Wash Simulator (PC) – Finally loaded it up to play the last few stages added to the official release. Such a nice, satisfying way to waste time. Not at all spooky, though.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: October 2022

Nintendo Direct 9.13.2022

Yep, it’s that time again. Time to read my knee-jerk reactions to all the games that appear in Nintendo’s newest hype commercial. Let’s-a go!

Fire Emblem Engage – I like the trailer, and it looks amazing, but I just don’t really care about Fire Emblem that much. However, there’s only room for Square-Enix TRPGs in my life.

It Takes Two – Released on every other platform last year, it was a big hit, but I just can’t be bothered. It’s a co-op game, after all, and I have no co with whom to op.

Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse: One day, I’ll get into the Fatal Frame series. I’ve always been very interested, but never made the time. Probably won’t happen in 2022, though. Fun Fact: My ex-wife who wasn’t really into video games had played more Fatal Frames than I have.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC – A new Hero character, challenge battle mode, and… swimsuits… of course. Dammit, Japan. *smh*

Continue reading Nintendo Direct 9.13.2022

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: June 2022

~ Game Over ~

Monster Hunter Rise (Switch) – Worked my way up through the post-game elder dragons to prep for the Sunbreak expansion that launches… today!

LumbearJack (PC) – A cute indie game where you play as a bear, reclaiming the forest by destroying anything unnatural. My favourite part was slapping all the humans you meet along the way. YouTube video here.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge (Switch) – An exceptionally good throwback to the TMNT brawlers of the 90’s. Feels great, looks great, sounds great. I even recorded a playthrough for YouTube. 10/10 will play again.

~ Progress Notes ~

New Super Mario World 2: Around the World (PC) – World 14

Final Fantasy III (DS) – Cleared Goldor’s Manor

Elden Ring (PS5) – Exploring Leyndell, Royal Capital

Haunted Zombie School (Switch) – Stage 2

Nintendo 3DS by the Hours

Following yesterday’s remembrances of the Nintendo 3DS, I decided to open up the records app and take a good, long look at all of the games I played on the system throughout its lifetime. I definitely could transcribe the entire list of 254 games, but I settled on just listing any game or app that I used for over ten hours. That’s still 74 different pieces of software!

Continue reading Nintendo 3DS by the Hours

Spooktober Movie-Watch Round-Up 2021 – Week 2

~ Run ~

As I browse through Netflix’s library of horror films, I come across the image of a wheelchair-bound girl in what appears to be a well-lit, but slightly distorted grocery store. I wonder if this can’t be a mistake and maybe the film was tagged with the wrong genre. Alas! Run is definitely a horrifying film, and one that I found surprisingly enjoyable.

Run is the story of a young woman, Chloe, who lives out in the bush with her mother. Chloe has a long list of physical ailments. All of them, probably. And the story really kicks off when she discovers that the labels on her pill bottles are fake, and those bottles were originally prescriptions for her mother. From that point, she begins to wonder about what kind of medications she’s being given, and really her whole life situation.

The paragraph above covers roughly the first ten minutes of the film, and I honestly don’t want to write another word about what happens afterward. I’ll go ahead and say it now: Run is an excellent movie and I 100% think that you should make some time to watch it as soon as possible. Maybe even right after you’re done reading this post!

Run‘s strengths are twofold. Firstly, the two lead actresses are amazing. They do an incredible job of selling their characters, and Kiera Allen in particular was fantastic throughout. Secondly: the pacing is perfect. Normally, more grounded movies like this kind of bore me and I end up half-watching while noodling on my phone, but once the short setup was out of the way, the ball started rolling and never lost steam. The tension in the basement scene before the climax was thick enough to clobber someone with, and from that point on, I don’t think I blinked once until the credits started to roll.

I don’t know if it’ll be the one that I enjoy the most, but I have a strong feeling that Run will be the actual best film that I watch this Halloween season. Again, I highly recommend this one.

~ The Girl With All The Gifts ~

Content warning: This is a zombie movie, and I know that those are more uncool that ever these days. So if you’ve got a bias against the walking dead, then maybe just skip this mini-review.

When I read Netflix’s one-liner description of The Girl With All The Gifts, I figured, okay, it’s probably a pretty stock-standard zombie flick. But I haven’t watched one of those in years, so might as well! And because this has become part of my movie vetting process, I also looked up the Rotten Tomatoes score, which was a surprisingly high 88%! So off I went.

First thing to note: This movie has very similar high-level plot points to the video game The Last of Us. Firstly: the zombies in this film are created via fungal infection, not some random flesh-rotting disease. I actually like the ‘shroom zombies a lot better, because it kinda-sorta has a basis in reality, if you squint really hard and plug your ears and go LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU SCIENCE. Secondly: the movie is about protecting a young lady whose brain can be harvested to create a vaccine for the infection. Well, sort of.

Now, of course nothing ever works out in this kind of movie, and The Girl With All The Gifts is no different. No more than 20 minutes in, everything goes to hell as zombies swarm the super-secure military base where the vaccine-brain girl (Melanie) and a host of other children being held. Melanie, a few soldiers, and the doctor that wants to harvest Melanie’s brain escape and head out towards another super-secure military base. Spoiler, it continues to not go well.

It’s clear from the beginning that something is not quite normal about Melanie and her schoolyard chums. Halfway through the movie, we learn that she was born a mushroom-zombie, as she was still gestating when her mother was infected. “Second-generation” zomboes like her are somehow able to retain their intelligence, but still succumb quite easily to the desire to devour living flesh. Eventually this all culminates with Melanie having to choose between helping to protect humanity, or to side with the children of the ‘shrooms and become the next dominant species on Earth.

While I can’t say I was 100% invested in this one, I did quite like it. It messes around with a bunch of the hoary, old zombie tropes enough to feel unique, but then also plays every other zombie trope completely straight. But I did think that the twist on the usual character relationships (bolstered by the excellent cast) really did elevate it over the typical zombie fare. I can’t think of any other movie that had humans working together with a zombie who has access to her full mental faculties. There have to have been some! But I don’t believe that I’ve seen any.

The point I’m getting around to, though, is that yes, I would recommend The Girl With All The Gifts. Unless you’re one of those people who immediately writes off anything with zombies. This movie does an okay job of trying to be different, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near different enough to change hearts and minds that are clouded by discrimination.

Note: While looking up the poster, I learned that this film is based on a book, which probably explains why it’s been received better than most of its peers. Now where’s my Monster Island movie, dammit!?