Robert Wm. Gomez's

April 2018

Spelunky on PC (4/10)

Spelunky will bore you

Games journalists (I can't believe that's really a thing) seem to love this game, I thought it was tiresome. Every game a new world is generated that you're supposed to jump around looking for treasure, secrets and rare upgrades. If you die, that's it. Permadeath. A game for shut-ins and the insane. So, why didn't I like it? My problem is that I don't find you basic platform-game mechanics all that interesting and, without a narrative hook, I lose interest fast. Believe me, I tried to like this one but no thanks. Sayonara, uninstalled-ed!

No Holds Barred by Barry Devlin (6/10)

No Holds Barred by Barry DevlinThe ridiculous plot of this pulp trash novel is as follows: disgraced big city reporter winds up in small town; proves his investigative reporting skills in the local paper; is hired by rich media baron to do press for his corrupt political campaign...

Eye of the Beholder on MS-DOS (7/10)

Big ol' space squid gonna get you! Eye of the Beholder, Screenshot

Eye of the Beholder is a real-time RPG dungeon crawl that borrows heavily from the mechanics of Dungeon Master. It's a completely mouse-driven experience in which the objects in the environment can all be used, picked up or thrown with a click. Combat is also real-time and is generally just a mad scramble backwards as you click your various party members' weapon hands and hope for "good rolls".

While the fights are frantic and fun, the real meat of the game-play is exploration, mapping, and puzzle solving. I went through a dozen sheets of graph paper drawing out each floor knowing full-well I could just grab the maps from the Web (the GOG.com version even includes a complete hint book). As tedious as it might sound to modern gamers, the act of plotting out the layout is oddly satisfying. I wish it could be done in-game à la Etrian Odyssey, but, if it's any consolation, I now have 11 floors worth of half-erased, taped together graph paper maps that are suitable for framing. Perfect for any lair!

Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans by Ben Shapiro (4/10)

I generally like the various Ben Shapiro "Destroys" videos I come across on the webs. He is an excellent debater and can take down just about anyone who crosses him. However, this book is not really worth the read. He has nothing original to add to the crowded field of conservative political screeds. The book is just a litany of left-wing hypocrisy and "they do it too, but much worse" finger pointing. I get it. Partisans disagree vehemently on issues. Welcome to reality, Ben. Now make YOUR case.