Robert Wm. Gomez's

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Nintendo Wii (9/10)

Twilight Princess CoverI have written about The Ocarina of Time on this Web site before. That game is considered one of the best games ever, and I don't dispute that assertion. Twilight Princess is nearly as good. In fact, it is practically the same game... or at least that's what it feels like. Now, lack of originality isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case. Nintendo has been able to play with the zany Zelda mechanics in their DS versions of the series, and quite frankly, they don't work quite as well as the tried and true format laid out back on the N64.

2010 Best of the Year

Well it's the first day of the New Year. This day means different things to different people. For my wife it means washing off the post-New-Year's-Eve-bash Sharpie moustache that she woke up with this morning. For me it means it's time to assess what I thought was the best of the media I consumed this past year.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (9/10)

Book two in the Mistborn series continues this the storyline directly after the climactic events of the first novel. This one is on par with that story. It may lack the more instinctually satisfying "kill the main bad guy" over-arching plot, but the characters continue to grow and the writing may even be a bit better here. The Mistborn are like Jedi, but Sanderson does a great job laying out the ground rules for how their powers work.

Racing the Beam by Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost (9/10)

Racing the Beam is a fairly accessible look at the technology behind the Atari 2600 video game console. Apparently the 2600 was an incredibly very difficult system for which to write programs. Basically, it was designed to handle Pong and Combat style games. The fact that games as complicated and awesome as Pitfall! and Yar's Revenge were developed on a system that supported a background, 2 sprites, 2 missiles and a "ball" gives you new appreciation for the games on the system. Okay, E.T.

In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks by Adam Carolla (8/10)

I decided to try this one out on a whim. I like Adam Carolla and his humor translated pretty well into book form (although I would much rather hear him tell these stories as a monologue or audiobook). I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times. He jumps from subject to subject and off into tangents so it's a good book to just pick up and read from any point.

Devil Born Without Horns by Michael A. Lucas (9/10)

Michael Lucas is best known as the schtick-loving bassist of The Phantom Surfers. This book was self-published under his own Rudos and Rubes monicker. The cover of this book makes it look like it's some sort of hard-boiled crime thriller. But, while the crime element eventually comes into play, the story mostly revolves around the protagonist's relationship with the dysfunctional employees at the high-end furniture store for which he works. The book is darkly comic and is filled with many strange and vivid characters.

Black Mama White Mama (7/10)

And here we go again with what I thought was going to be another sleazy women in prison movie. To my surprise, the prison portion of the film is only the first fifteen minutes or so. What this really is is a women on the run movie. You know the kind that got parodied in cartoons all the time where the two main characters dislike each other but happen to be chained together as they try to escape. This was another sleazefest that turned out to have a rather engaging and dark plot. The supporting cast of thugs, cops and revolutionaries add to the fun and the climax pulls no punches.

Women in Cages (6/10)

This was another grind house era women in prison movie. I suppose the twist here is that Pam Grier is the bad guy in this one. Despite the obvious sleeze factor here, I found this to actually be a rather well plotted and entertaining film. The acting is, hands down, some of the worst I have seen... And I have seen Troll 2. Nonetheless, I like this one.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (5/10)

This was a slight twist on a typical teen slasher movie. A very, very slight twist which you will see coming from a million miles away. These are some of the most grating, annoying and dumb film teenagers since Hostel. Hostel at least made you root for the frat-boys, despite their dickheadedness, with pure adrenaline infused tension. This movie just lumbers along with no suspense or horror to drive the plot along. Better casting may have made this one work, but, as it is, yawn.