POF Archive: December 2013

I have been writing this drivel for decades. Browse through my archives by clicking the links below.

Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures on PC (7/10)

Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventure

More episodic point-and-click adventure from Telltale Games. This series is definitely geared more towards younger gamers but there is much charm and witty story telling to keep older players entertained. If you enjoyed the movies and shorts, this is just like another cartoon in the Wallace and Gromit series. I thought the first episode, Fright of the Bumblebees, was the best and there is a nice bit of characterization and story that carries over from episode to episode. It's not quite on par with Sam and Max but it's still a worthy modern adventure game.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 12/31/2013 - 18:53

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PC (8/10)

Assassin's Creed IV Screenshot

I played the first Assassin's Creed several years ago and, while I thought it was an okay game, I was never compelled to continue on with the series. It was just too repetitive and item collection driven. The only reason I have AC4 is that it was bundled with my new video card. Black Flag is an absolutely beautiful game and it's no wonder EVGA bundled it with my GTX660 as a way to showcase that mid-range card's capabilities. Ever since the original FarCry I have been a sucker for games that are set on tropical islands.

At its core it is mostly the same game as AC1 but the narrative is much more…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 12/30/2013 - 23:21

Bloody Pit of Horror (6/10)

A ridiculous Gothic horror from 1965 that features a crazed executioner in crimson wresting tights who tortures and kills fashion models. There are quite a few wonderfully composed and filmed shots that look great as movie stills, but in context are stilted and boring.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 12/30/2013 - 19:31

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (8/10)

I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I am glad that they are making these Hobbit movies, I wish they weren't trying so hard to link the story of Bilbo with the previous films. It's not nearly as bad as baby Greedo in Star Wars Ep. I but there is just too much attempted fan-service in here. The weaker story and characters keep this from being a great fantasy film, but it is still an entertaining ride with lots of great art direction and effects. 

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 12/30/2013 - 19:26

Road House (8/10)

An eighties "classic" which I never got around to watching because I always thought the video box looked dull and stupid. Well the film is stupid, but it is not dull at all. I was surprised how well-paced it is as it moves from one cliché to the next. The actors play it for all it's worth as the spout out cheesy dialogue and memorable one-liners without winking to the audience like a modern action film would.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 12/30/2013 - 19:07

Baby Shark's Grass Widow Legacy by Robert Fate (10/10)

Another thoroughly enjoyable book in this series. This time Kristen is told to take some time off from all the revenge killing and, of course, she can't seem to avoid trouble with the local thugs. Lots of killin' and pool hustling ensues.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 11:25

Contract J.A.C.K. on PC (6/10)

Contract J.A.C.K.

Contract J.A.C.K. is billed as a prequel to the super-excellent shooter No One Lives Forever 2. What we really have here is a modest set of stand-alone expansion levels for NOLF 2. It uses the same game engine, graphics and features a new main character but really not much effort was put into the story or game-play. While there are a handful of funny character interactions, mostly this is a linear, run-and-gun shooter. Don't play this one expecting any of the dialogue or varied game-play that made NOLF 1+2 two of the best PC games ever created. J.A.C.K. is okay, I guess, but would rather…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:20

Foolish
Superchunk - CD (10/10)

For most people, this is Superchunk's finest moment. When this came out, I didn't like it and it took several listens before I was able to accept this more mellow offering. I still tend the prefer the more punky On the Mouth. Letting Laura do the cover art must have been some sort of ill conceived breakup stipulation with Mac.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 12/16/2013 - 09:29

FarCry Blood Dragon on PC (8/10)

Farcry Blood Dragon

When I heard that this game featured Michael Biehn as the main voice actor I was intrigued. When I saw that it was an over-the-top homage to eighties science fiction and action movies I had to have it. The game doesn't disappoint in the nostalgia department. In addition to the neon Tron-style art direction, there is tons of cheesy dialogue, 8-bit cut scenes (including a power rock training montage), and an incredibly cool synthesizer-based soundtrack. In terms of story, the game has nothing to do with FarCry other than it using the same game engine and open-world mechanics. There is a…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 18:54