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Now Reading: Rachel Rising

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This is a surprisingly dark story from Terry Moore. Seems like every damn person in the town this takes place in is some kind of secret serial killer/abuser/rapist/necrophile/etc. As it turns out later in the story, there is a reason for that, but you’ll have to read it to find that out. This is a typically entertaining Terry Moore story, full of great black and white art and a thoroughly compelling story and cast of characters. The only downside is the same issue Echo had: this story was clearly meant to go on much longer than it did. There’s about 39 issues worth of build up and then everything (almost) is suddenly resolved in a single, final issue and it’s all over before you can even blink. It’s still a worthwhile read, but it sure would be nice to have a more natural conclusion to a Terry Moore story again. Maybe someday…

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Now Playing: Back To The Future – The Game (2010)

Back to the Future is an early Telltale title, back before the modern “Telltale formula” was established, and you can really see why no one really talks about these older games of theirs anymore. The good news is that this game follows more of a standard point and click adventure formula, a pretty well written plot, and has relatively high production quality for its time. The bad news is that it has an unhealthy amount of some of the worst qualities of point and click adventures, which stand out even more with some pretty awful controls.

This game was clearly not meant to be played with a controller and the conversion of its original mouse controls did not turn out well at all. Using a thumbstick to manually navigate a point and click character through awkward camera angles and mazes of invisible walls is about as much fun as navigating through the piles and piles of mostly pointless dialogue trees that make up the majority of the gameplay. The story and dialogue are good at their core, but they’re padded with sooooo much filler dialogue and backtracking in the worst point and click adventure kind of way that it all gets a bit old by the time you’re about halfway through.

This is one of those adventures where you’ll be stuck with nowhere to go and nothing to do and it will turn out that you missed a single line of dialogue in a character’s dialogue tree that’s necessary to make a new dialogue line appear in another character’s dialogue tree that in turn activates the event needed to proceed and blah blah blah and that’s basically the whole game. There are very few puzzles and they’re too basic and/or generic to be very enjoyable. I suffered through the rest of it anyway because I’m a huge fan of Back to the Future and it at least did a good job of capturing that Back to the Future feel, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else who didn’t feel the same way.

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Now Playing: The Walking Dead – Michonne (2016)

The Walking Dead – Michonne is a Telltale “miniseries”. So this apparently means that it’s not only a few episodes shorter than the usual Telltale game, but each episode also feels a bit shorter and smaller than usual. I’m not sure why they went this route with this game instead of just doing a little more and making it a full “season”. I guess they were just experimenting with a possible new format, but I can’t say I’m a huge fan of it.

Now, this game is not bad by any means, but it definitely suffers from the compressed format. All that same Telltale formula gameplay and storytelling is there, but with all the characters and plot being so much more rushed than usual, nothing really packs the usual punch of other modern Telltale games. No one, on either the friend or enemy side, was developed enough that I was surprised or felt that I cared at all when they suddenly died, and the brief plot was too simple for any of your timed choices to really feel like they mattered, and what good is the Telltale formula without the usual twists and tensions? Again, it wasn’t an outright unpleasant experience, there are much worse ways to spend three hours, but it wasn’t particularly memorable and I definitely wouldn’t classify it as a “must play” like the full Walking Dead games.

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Now Playing: Resident Evil 6 (2012)

Resident Evil 6 is kind of the ultimate culmination of all the games that came before it, packing in most of the major characters, several new ones, and various familiar and new types of monsters of all shapes and sizes, all in a lengthy, globe-spanning game made up of four inter-connecting campaigns. Eh, it’s got action in it though, so clearly IT SUCKS, BRO!

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Now Reading: Black Panther (the Priest run)

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So…Christopher Priest’s Black Panther run. Probably the only time anyone has really given a shit about Black Panther up until recently, at least in my lifetime. This run brought Black Panther up from being a near-forgotten C-list character, to basically being Marvel’s Batman, at least until the next creative teams came around and flushed that all down the toilet.

There’s plenty of action, and comedy, and some impressively complex political and sociological intrigue (maybe a little too complex for the typical mainstream reader in its final days…). This is basically THE Black Panther series to read, of all of them, and I would say the best example of the potential of Christopher Priest’s writing as well.

Things get a little weird in the last book, with the focus suddenly shifting to the “new Black Panther” and the formation of The Crew, a team of oddball Priest characters that would never be heard from again afterwards (as far as I remember), but even that part was still an above average read. Highly recommended to anyone interested in Black Panther or even just Marvel in general.

The Vita Report

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Roguelike game with a retro kind of Gameboy style to it. Sounds like a winner in theory. You fall down a ridiculously long well, jumping on creatures heads or shooting them as you go down, and that’s about it. Unfortunately I made the mistake of approaching it like other roguelikes and tried to approach things slowly and carefully, but apparently in this game it’s better to rush down as fast and crazy as possible so you can build up this combo meter and get better money and health bonuses and etc. I had already gotten used to getting through more than half the game in the slow, careful style, so I basically had to relearn how to play the “proper” way from scratch, and well, that kind of put me off of the game, so I just moved on. Maybe I’ll try it out again someday…

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