Monday 4 December 2023

Fear the Walking Dead and Alien: Covenant

Idiots and monsters.

Fear the Walking Dead

This eight season show was one of the first major spin-offs for the Walking Dead, touting to start the story at the very beginning of the zombie apocalypse while following a family trying to escape the insanity and forming a band of survivors that were usually at odds with each other. Yes, people have stupid moments but some of the naivety can be hand waved due to these folks having little experience in the apocalypse.

And then at season four they decided to drop all of that and just do time skips to catch up with the main series to explain how characters from there are ending up here. The main character focus shifts and it basically becomes the regular Walking Dead, just in a different part of the USA. Idiotic moments are much more difficult to ignore now since characters should have known better and plot armor becomes more and more apparent as less and less important characters perish despite plane crashes, nuclear strikes and other absurd things.  

While the quality certainly takes a hit it's still just around the level of the "bad" seasons of the main show so I guess if you are a fan then this one is worth looking into (odds are you've watched it already) but otherwise you aren't really missing much.

Alien: Covenant

This sci-fi sequel to Prometheus stars Michael Fassbender as a synthetic aboard a colonization vessel of two thousand plus people in cryosleep who are frequently put in danger by the twelve or so crew whose job is to simply get from point A to point B. Through a multitude of bad decisions things don't go well for them, keeping in line with the Alien franchise. At least in this one after people make bad calls they usually die, unlike in Fear (above) where the main cast keeps getting to live to make more bad decisions.

Outside of that the effects are pretty nice though, as are the stage settings and the creatures themselves. You don't really need to have watched Prometheus either to get the gist of what's going on. I guess I'll rate it a... meh?

Sunday 3 December 2023

The Flash (2023)

After the events of Justice League, the Flash (Ezra Miller) is left feeling like the "Janitor" of the team until he works out that he can travel back in time to try change the past and change his and more importantly his parent's fates. It's almost like someone read my review of the Justice League and took the "use cameos instead of an ensemble cast" to heart and for the most part it works, the only issue being that some of those cameos are more interesting / better acted than the protagonist.

While I enjoyed Ezra's goofiness and humor that might not be everyone's cup of tea, but a bigger problem here is the CGI quality which is odd since most superhero flicks have amazing budgets for this. It might just be that due to the excessive CGI required in the movie there are noticeable aspects especially when it comes to people. Especially when compared to say Star Wars that's doing magic for the human faces some people here would be closer to video game quality.

Lastly, this was clearly made with DC movie fans in mind as there are a lot of inclusions that a regular movie goer wouldn't catch or simply be puzzled over. That's great news for someone like me, but I suppose someone going in blind will just have to take everything at face value spectacle. All up, despite me expecting a bad movie this was actually fine. Not amazing, but still enthralling enough to keep us glued to the screen rather than doing anything else.

Thursday 30 November 2023

Pathfinder: Thistlebottom

[Part of the Party Time journal

Close to where the pantsless bugbear was slain we find the mercenary Orik barricaded in his room who convinces us he wants out of the bad guy's team. Kyra (Rose) convinces him to work for us instead and he takes point while slaying a giant octopus and on the next level down is the one who kicks in the door to his ex-boss' room after Merisiel (mom) disarms a hallway trap in the way.

His ex-boss is super angry at this and nearly kills him and King Fat Mouth while her pet dog, which flies and is as terrifying as the ones in the chapel, hops over the defensive line and mauls Ezren (Juris) almost to death! Lucky the mage can land some tazer prods (wand of shocking grasp) to weaken the creature before Valeros (me) slays it. A ridiculous critical from Shay (GM DL) unexpectedly slays the boss lady and the party rests before delving deeper to the section not even she and her minions reached.

Opening a massive evil door the party is greeted by... empty space? Merisiel precieves something huge cloaked in the air so Ezren sends a flaming sphere up there to explode it, and it hits - revealing a barghest that these Lamashtu cultists were trying to free! It mauls Shay and Orik severely but in turn gets caned by magics from Fat Mouth,  Kyra and Ezren (who blinds it), while Valeros, Shay and Merisiel (flanking back stab bonus) hack away at it (Orik's non-magic sword can only nick it).  Ultimately it is Kyra's summoned celestial eagle that slays the fiend with its beak and talons that can smite evil!

After defeating such a horrendous foe, clearing out the remaining rooms of a trio of shadows and a gigantic crab is something of an after thought with the party's soaring morale. With that, the dungeon is clear and the quest is complete! King Fat Mouth is allowed to take whatever he can carry and get out of there (no doubt to Shay's protests) while the rest of the party returns to Sandpoint victorious!

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Gloomhaven: Treasure and the Trials of the Terrible Turd Tunnels

[Part of the Party Time journal

With the path now clear to find the poison in the lower levels Juris makes the call to... sail away from Gloomhaven and search for treasure! Haha, well adventuring needs funds you know? As a bonus there are also no "road encounters" for ocean centered missions! Thus we take a ship to some nearby islands to the East, first landing on a small vermling infested one which immediately proves too scary as they have pet bears so we run and sail a little further south where a treasure map DL purchased leads us to a reefed vessel which is now home to ugly crab things and lumbering frost demons.

Said crabs and demons are actually easy foes to handle, to the point where I'm almost a room ahead of the others and opening doors to let more monsters get involved with the fray. Of course, I almost overextend TOO much and finish the adventure exactly just before I exhaust out but not before we enact Jim's plan of leaving the last enemy alive to loot as much as we could which lets us leave with a fair bit of coin. Yep, any gold or treasure you don't pick up mid-combat / before the mission is over is just abandoned! It's one of the odd systems in Gloomhaven I'm not too happy with since obviously you should be able to loot after clearing out a spot but whatever. We return to the city richer and wonder why everyone is getting even more sick. Oh right! The poison...

We paddle through the muck into the ancient cistern and find while Juris slays many night demons in the depths, DL has terrible luck with his attacks. The source of the poison, four contaminated water pipes, each spawn an extra imp per round and DL is the first to fall while I scurry and shut off the rear two valves before following suit. Juris shuts another down before he too drops leaving Jim to cleanse the final one - which he does! But then... all the imps get their turn and knock him back forcing us to retreat. Despite completing the objective, I guess the win condition is only checked at the end of a round. Mission fail!

Tuesday 28 November 2023

The Killer Security

Two movies with killing.

The Killer

Michael Fassbender stars as the titular character, a killer whose outward silence is compensated by almost continuous monologing to himself and/or the audience. You know how I like making fun of movies that waste lots of time showing people going from one place to another with Attack Force taking the cake? This movie does that in spades and is so freaking slow that I almost wish I was watching Attack Force instead! Whoever edited this is the real killer, as they kill the audience with boredom. Had they cut out most of the inane traveling scenes and skipped "chapter 1" altogether then they might have had an ok movie. As it is, this is garbage. Not recommended.


A down on his luck veteran (played by Antonio Banderas) manages to finally get a job as a shopping mall security guard and on his first night must defend the place against a siege from heavily armed gangsters. Does that sound implausible? It only gets wilder from here, and the plot really has this tonal clashing going on between being kid friendly and Die Hard violent. Lucky for me it scales more towards the later and violent deaths abound which is GREAT. While the story is only ankle deep the action certainly makes this one interesting for almost all of its running time. Does that make this a good movie? Nope - its just ok especially due to the shenanigans towards the end but it certainly is miles better than The Killer!

Monday 27 November 2023

Doom Patrol

Characters destined to lose?

Focusing on a DC superhero group that is anything but, this four season show starts of insanely strong with characters so deeply flawed its almost like everything they do is growth. Unfortunately everything goes wrong at season three mark where, despite still having a few moments of awesomeness, the  script really just circles that shitter with characters stringing out expletives just to be edgy, fill time, and/or try "cover" poor writing every few sentences to the point that my wife gave up on it. It also seems to suffer a similar problem which Titans did in that characters reverse their growth/progress each season which is annoying. Usually I'd say check out the first few seasons then drop out when it gets bad but in this case, maybe just avoid it altogether.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Golden Light and Turnip Boy commits Tax Evasion

Two crazy games.

Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

The title turns out to be the quest hook for Turnip Boy to go on a quest around Veggieville while dodging horrible vegetarians (horribly cute) snails, rabbits and the like. I ended up liking this one way more than I thought I would as the tone is so light and the required skill level is absolutely minimal while still having a pretty decent story. I only had to learn how to dodge towards the end! Anyway, there's also "after game" content in the form of a train "arena" if you really liked the combat offered here. I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm recommending this, as it is a fun and super light game.

Golden Light

The total opposite of the above, this first person game features possibly intentional bad graphics and the most mental setup I've played for awhile. I mean, its the only game I've played where there's a key bind to HIT YOURSELF, as well as one where you can eat your own weapons. Mmmm, that was a tasty axe!?! It feels like the objective is to SUFFER collect keys to get the elevators down down down and down while avoiding the monsters lurking around who have so far all been of the mimic variety. Levels are cluttered with garbage and some of that garbage will move around on its own - possibly transforming into something more hideous to try eat you. Definitely an unsettling game, and not one for me.