Another walking simulator but this time with a horror theme. The whole point of this “game” is to make your way through an old haunted house and get hit with a jump scare every four minutes. At first this is very thrilling. After the fiftieth time, not so much. Technically there are about three puzzles in the game. Mostly you encounter a lock, look around the room, get hit with a jump scare, and then see the combination in the aftermath. On top of this, the story is lame and required too much effort searching around for notes and clues for me to care. Glad I didn’t have to pay for this one.
This is a track from my second computer music release called, Upgrade Downgrade (2001). The music was created in MadTracker 2 on a Windows 98 PC. The voice was from AnalogX’s SayIt software and most of the samples were probably found online somewhere.
Daughters of Darkness rivals Argento’s best work from the 70s in terms of style and design. Every frame is a masterpiece of bold colors (mostly red) and stark composition. Even the plain Helvetica opening credits are a visual treat. The story doesn’t quite hold up to the visuals, but it had enough going for it to keep me interested. Despite the vampire elements, this is definitely not a horror movie. It would make a nice double feature with The Duke of Burgundy.
I agreed with many of his main points on stereotyping, democracy, propaganda, and the inability for a potential voter to actually understand beyond their personal realm. But, man-o-man, this is not what I would call a “fun” read. Lots of 1920s news references and lots of rambling prose. I know I’m not the target audience here, but geez liven it up Walter. For what it’s worth, the book was very Hayekian in it’s view of the limits of knowledge. The final section puts forth the idea of establishing another layer of government called “intelligence agencies” which would independently gather “facts” for the public to use in determining opinions. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
The Witness is from the same developer who created the superb Braid. It feels like a cross between that game and Myst. Once again the game play centers around puzzle solving, but instead of time manipulation, you are solving mazes. I know what your thinking, “Mazes? Are you kidding me. Ever since the ‘Twisty maze of passages, all alike’ mazes have been the bane of every video gamer’s existence.” At first I thought the same thing. The first dozen puzzles are so easy that I assumed this was just going to be another boring walking simulator with challenges thrown in just to extend the experience a few more minutes. But then you encounter the next set of mazes which sprinkle in a few new rules (which you have to discover on your own) and things start to get more challenging. Get a little further, then you have an epiphany and realize not everything is what it seems. Perspective and your place in the 3-D environment start to matter. At that point I was sold and fully immersed myself in the world (this would make an incredible VR game).The open world structure allows you to try various challenges long before you know how they can be beaten. The island is big and there’s always easier puzzles to work on while you think things through. By the end of the game you will realize that the solution to everything has been right in front of you all along.
There really isn’t a story here but there are several audio and video clips to find that have an arty, philosophical sensibility that are more about mood than narrative. I didn’t manage to find everything. Note that if you are a 100% gamer, if you get to the ending, all the puzzles will be reset. Find everything you can before rushing to the conclusion.
A supposed sequel to The Spiritual Boxer which I’ve seen but never posted a review. Both movies are comedies but this one is really ridiculous. This is the first Chinese hopping vampire movie I’ve ever watched. As far as movie monsters go, they’re probably the lamest ever imagined. Just weird and goofy. If you can look past the bonkers premise, it’s entertaining as far as these things go. Gordon Liu is an added bonus.
Like The Flying Guillotine, the title here refers to a deadly decapitation weapon. The dragon missile is two boomerang swords that spin, hover and grind their way through stone, trees and skulls. Lo Lieh is at the center of the story and it’s unclear as to whether or not he’s the bad guy or a good guy trapped in a bad job. That is until his cuts off his mother’s head. From then on, seemingly minor characters are now the heroes as they try to enact revenge. The story has a weird structure, but it’s pretty simple and it keeps the stakes high as character’s heads get sheared off one-by-one.
I went into this book knowing nothing of the many Mrs. Peregrine books/movies/after-dinner mints. Unless Shirley Temple is the main character, I’m not one for reading YA fiction. These stories are decidedly Shirley Temple-free, and, as such, lack any references to The Good Ship Lollipop. There are a few ships in it, and for the most part they are good-ish. The rest of the book is comprised of a dozen or so wacky fables which involve various “peculiar” characters. They were okay as far as these things go.
I bought this mostly because of Andrew Davidson’s excellent wood engraved illustrations. The book design in combination with the illustrations makes for a nice package (despite the illegible gold ink in the footnotes).
An average and confusing Shaw Bros. film. I guess this is a continuation of the Deadly Venoms franchise? The titular House of Traps isn’t that impressive. Only 4 traps! I couldn’t really tell who was who. Only redeeming part is an over-the-top nail-bed torture scene.
A Story About My Uncle is a game based entirely around a single game mechanic, a grappling beam. Players shoot a beam at a distant surface, they are pulled towards the target, and then they must use inertia and timing to fling themselves towards their goal. That’s about it. We’ve seen this before in just about every Zelda game, so this is nowhere near as revolutionary as the one-mechanic behind the extraordinary Portal. Still, when it clicks, swinging across a map and carefully timing your shots can be thrilling.
The game has a kid-friendly feel in its bedtime story tone and non-violent game play. Unfortunately, as a violence craving adult, this meant that the narrative left quite a bit to be desired for me. I enjoyed it for what it was and it ended just when it was starting to become too repetitive. Fine by me.