Wednesday 29 September 2021

September 2021 Review: Death Count

Now Month 3 of Lockdown 2, this one just flew by for me. Busy with work and dealing with the death of my grandmother who now joins her husband. It's also highlighted how weak I've grown though, as I really struggled and needed help lifting my corner of her coffin.

For those wondering: no this was not a Covid related death, but the tally of "people we knew who died due to Covid" is now at five, three of whom passed this month, one being my brother in law. Of the five this includes one who simply had the misfortune of their ambulance not being able to find a hospital with a free bed in time and one who probably had a fatal reaction to their second vaccine dose. I'm currently only on my first one of that, with the second shot coming next month.

All this has made me break my usual rule of not buying games for myself, which you can be sure I'll be posting about in the future. For now stay safe and take care, don't let that reaper get you.

Most Viewed Posts in the last 30 days:

State of Decay 2: Team Humanity
August 2021 Review: Lockdown 2 Month 2
GTFO: R5A2 - Recollect (Overload)

State of Decay 2: Leaderfall

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

No longer happy with the cramped Red Talon fairground fort, Hailey moves the team to Fort Marshall - a massive military space on the East end of town where they immediately reinstall the Haven protocol. They continue to help IzzBee crack some requisition code on CLEO which slowly brings her and Chavez back together again - revealing that a past decision of IzzBee's led to the destruction of their old base of Jurassic Junction (now covered in oil) where "lots of their friends died".

Eventually IzzBee does crack the code (repeatedly) and gets the months old Red Talon requisition drops to deploy adding to the groups arsenal. Somehow all this hardware does not save Poldo who is ripped in half by a surprise juggernaut ambush while travelling through the swamp. Hailey replaces him with druggie Timoteo, his best bud Daniel and Shan (who also gets juggernauted soon after) but is forced to turn away other plebs who come seeking refuge.

En garde!

Those rejects eventually form a group to attack the base and for some [CLEO controlled / Dr. Hoffman is happy] reason Hailey decides to try fight them with a cutlass, slaying the first two but getting killed by the last guy who smashes her face in with a shovel. Anselmo and Buck track the survivor back to his base and murder him and his remaining buddies while Zeb takes charge, hoping to establish a trade summit with their allies much like squidman Dan did back for Hamlet Squad.

Hearing one of their allies wants to attack the summit leads Zed and Timoteo on a trippy rampage that eliminates that enclave. At the Summit this is revealed to be a trick, and the ones that provided the false information attack instead - killing two other enclave allies at the "no weapons" meeting. Zeb survives using scavenged gear but is demoted as leader for this failure.

Insight: Fully exploring structures creates temporary safe zones where zombies can't spawn. To best leverage this, always go for quickly explored things first if you can, like the tiny sheds beside a house. You can also scout a bunch of areas first before looting to increase the safe zone radius. These temporary zones last around a day.

Monday 27 September 2021

Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049

Older is better.

Blade Runner (1982)

In the grim future of 2019, bio-engineered people known as "replicants" are used as slave labor for the human race, especially in off-world colonies. When a group of these arrive on Earth illegally it is up to Blade Runner Deckard (Harrison Ford) to track them down and retire them, fatally. It's a strange, cramped and dirty world we are introduced to here, complete with flying cars, glowstick umbrellas and constant rain. The plot is an interesting one, and watching Deckard get thrown around by the physically superior (but occasionally retarded) replicants makes for good viewing as everyone likes the underdog. Not super actiony, but sci-fi fans will definitely enjoy this. Three loaded questions out of five.

Kinda glad current technology isn't near where these films envisioned.

Blade Runner 2049

The replicants are more active than ever it seems, and our protagonist Blade Runner (this time played by Ryan Gosling) gets involved investigating a most peculiar case. While the effects are clearly more high budget than the previous scale models (which were fantastic and tactile) there are some really odd design decisions - particularly with the annoying moving lighting in one location. The plot also could have used some upgrades as there are more than a few scenes that could have been cut out or shortened. In the end, lots of questions are left unanswered and more than a few threads felt incomplete leaving this movie way more soulless than the last. Not recommended, I give it one and a half holograms with feelings out of five.

State of Decay 2: Odd Friends of Haven

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Hearing that Trumbull Valley is open again, Zeb, Hailey and Kraken from Hamlet Squad arrive to the radio welcome of Ray Santos, "the valley's protector", but find rumors of it being safe are false as it is home to plague hearts just like everywhere else. Luckily, since Kraken assisted an odd stranger named "Clutch pinya" (multiplayer for 15 minutes) she was gifted some godlike (definitely hacked) weaponry from him: a trio of automatic weapons with 999 bullets all in one clip!

Mmm, that looks legit...

Hailey and Zeb use these weapons and within the first day eliminate all the plague hearts around (standard difficulty only) and start doing jobs for bounty salesman Cash Beaumont and a group of scientists up in the mountains working on some computer gizmo called CLEO. This group includes Dr. Hoffman, IzzBee the hacker and reformed thug Mickey Wilkerson who comes along for some scavenging missions and find the grave of someone named Malik while doing so.

Taking the leadership position, Hailey decides to go recruit loner Al, gardener Poldo, sexter Raney, soldier Rhino, electician Buck, and lawman Anselmo to move from their checkpoint base to a Red Talon fort at the fairgrounds where ex-Red Talon Chavez and his buddy Beebo Bee assist in getting things running again and after over a week of helping the scientists they eventually them to visit the base to install CLEO's Haven defense protocol.

The zombies launch a siege during Haven's installation but are outmatched by the guns the team has. More so when the Haven finally activates as it boils the head of any zombie within safe zone distance to make their heads explode! Zombie sieges are now a thing of the past.

Insight: Haven is fueled by spare parts. LOTS if you don't have power and water. Only 25 per day if you do.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Stupid Kids: Safe (Mini Series) and Walker (TV)

Probably the same ones that enjoyed Yooka-Laylee.

Safe (Mini-Series)

When widower Tom (Michael C. Hall with a British accent) has one of his daughters go missing, he goes to great lengths to find her as the mysteries pile on. This thriller will keep you guessing and asking each episode until the end, and the casting is pretty great. 

My main problem with it is that most of the kids important to the story are fucking stupid. I mean, I was pretty stupid as a kid (and nothing has changed lol!) but these ones even make me look good. That said Safe is still worth a watch as it is very entertaining. Three and a half gated communities out of five.

No one's really safe when Dexter is around. :P

Walker (Season 1)

In this reboot Walker (Jared Padalecki) has less round house kicks and action pieces, but still goes after the bad guys in his spare time when not dealing with DRAMA. Now I've not watched much of the original series, but I can say without a doubt that I hate this ineffective main character and his conniving, "but it's for a good cause", criminal children who get away with things because "they're just kids". I purely watch every episode in hopes that they DIE HORRIBLE DEATHS. Luckily the rest of the cast is mostly decently written but not good enough for me to recommend this show. I'm going to stick with it (Season 2 confirmed) to see how much worse it can get. :P

Saturday 25 September 2021

State of Decay 2: The Gauntlet

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Despite how sneaky Quincy is (he's so sneaky that he lets all other companions sneak) it is new recruit Isaac, who joined to get away from his husband, who has the best solution to harvesting bloaters: he can produce scentblock, which effectively makes the users undetectable to zombies. With this, Helena and Keesha go on a harvesting spree while Quincy gains a new partner in Chavez, a Red-Talon merc abandoned in the region to help hacker IzzBee take control of the AI called CLEO to provide support drops for the team.

The girls harvesting results in 31 plague busters, while Quincy manages to make some extra ammo and masterwork rifles in preparation for the assault on Marshall back at base. Malik and Logan clear a pub near the outer most plague wall of Marshall for easy access to the gear then Captain Logan sends the civilian away to handle the siege personally.

Winners use high ground.

Using Malik's small car as a combat platform, Logan destroys the first wall but is thrown from the roof by a plague juggernaut! Luckily he has spare busters to take down the horde and the big guy (2 to down a jugg) before resupplying an working on the next three walls - all of which have great firing positions from on top of containers! It really comes down to using every single plague buster and bullet though, with some wiley-pete grenades at the end to defeat the gauntlet of plague walls - and destroying the last one seems to kill all the zombies in the area!

As expected, there is something in the middle of all of it - a CLEO drop pod which seems to be the source of the plague!? Dr. Hoffman gets to work in finding answers but none are revealed as this results in a map victory!

Insight: By now you know zombies are vertically challenged so always look for high perches to fight from. Pressing jump THEN forward lets you climb higher stuff than if you press forward AND jump.

Thursday 23 September 2021

Combo Breaker: Four game mixtures that don't quite work!


Mixes robots and food?

This puzzle game is all about delivering food in a restaurant with the catch that everything is automated. In your limited space you must place ingredient dispensers, food prep machines, grills to cook things, an assembler to put things all together and robotic arms and conveyor belts to move everything around to deliver finished plates to the diners - all while being within budget, minimizing ingredient waste and excess power usage.

Luckily you have as many test attempts as you need to get it right, because I'd rate this difficult on my puzzle scale - and I'm only a few kitchens in! Certainly not my cup of tea, as I have more fun with the Overcooked style of game play, but if you like puzzles (especially of the jigsaw variety) this one should be on your radar. Two smart robot arms out of five.


One of the protagonists would probably eat the other...

A kid's game where you play as a lizard and bat team, out to recover a book taken by the silly villain whose evil plan involves stealing all the books in the world. It's cute enough but this 3D platformer gets old quick as your controls are cameracentric but the camera position lags behind your turns. Easiest way to describe it is if you press the button to move left and hold it down in most games you just strafe left. In this game you go in a circle, which is horrible when coupled with moving platforms and timed events.

The final nail in the coffin is the stupidity of the pages though. Surely you can just grab it through those bars if it doesn't fly out on its own. Not recommended for anybody.

Oh noes, it's totally trapped.

Yoku's Island Express

A pinball platformer.

A cockroach tied to a circular rock makes for an odd hero, but this game does make him look kinda cute as he takes on his new job as island postmaster. True to form, most of the quests involve delivering stuff around the large island and while it is a pseudo-platformer there is no jumping. Instead, you can activate pinball like mechanics all over the island to send your little guy flying all over the place.

Where this falls down for me is the grinding. Some pinball levers need to be unlocked by fruit currency which you gather in larger pinball segments. This means having to repeat these until you get the required amount which can get old really fast. It's a shame because this is actually a fun concept and plays well, but alas - I have enough games that require grind. Sorry Yoku. Two fruits out of five.

Speed Brawl

Side scrolling brawler with a time limit!

This game has some nice cartoon style art and one of the best openings I've seen in a while. In it you play as a tag team of racing pugilists who need to complete each race course as quickly as possible. Obviously enemies block your path and you can't move on until they are all defeated - meaning you have to fight REALLY well.

It's an ok premise and while the controls take a little getting used to what kills it for me is the sound effects which boils down to the repeated yelling and grunts of your character. Yep, brawlers are noisy but this just gets painful really quickly. Two poles out of five. Not recommended.

State of Decay 2: Network Expedition

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Quincy and Helena arrive in Trumbull Valley in search of Ray Santos, an old friend of their boss. The first person they find is Malik though, and for the little task of clearing out his old base he is happy to provide information and so they do this, taking his small yet spacious car to Jurassic Junction - the biggest base ever! Quincy uses his stealth skills to farm up some plague samples and supplies afterwards before he and Helena head off to the coordinates Malik provides - finding Ray and his mechanic gang to be having easily solved radio problems.

Sometimes cars just fly off on their own. Best fix if you are at base is to quit and load.

One of Ray's associates, Keesha, also reveals they are having "rent" problems with Mickey - a scum bandit thug in the area who is easily scared off. Keesha decides to join their proactive group thanks to this and helps establish outposts in town while at the same time avoiding plague hearts as for a change, that doesn't seem to be the main goal here... instead that is spelled out when Keesha and Malik meet Captain Logan, the last soldier in the valley, and his ally Dr. Hoffman. They explain the military had come in and were wiped out trying destroy a new type of growth: a plague wall!

He demonstrates the resilience of one such plague wall at a downed aircraft. Only with Dr. Hoffman's newly invented "plague buster" grenades crafted from plague bloaters can the hard outer shell be exposed (temporarily) to damage the bulbous growth within. Like plague hearts, the walls also summon zombies to defend it but with the supply of "plague busters" the Captain brings, they aren't a problem (lethal to them too) as the plane wall is destroyed.

Logan then explains the town of Marshall is surounded by plague walls, and believe that whatever lies in the center is the key to undoing the blood plague. After collecting equipment to let them produce their own plague busters, the Network Expedition crew is tasked with the onerous task of harvesting plague bloaters.

Insight: Heartland has no customizable difficulty setting. All zeds have blood plague and you have a limited pool of fixed survivors, however all these survivors are pretty strong and the combat difficulty itself is below dread since you can ram your car into many enemies AND there are many cars available.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Birds of Prey and the Rise of the Black Swan

Two action movies that go in completely different directions.

Birds of Prey

"and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn" is a really long winded way to get the Harley Quinn name into this title which actually takes place in between Suicide Squad and The Suicide Squad. Told from Harley's point of view this takes place right after she gets dumped by the Joker which removes her "protection" from all the many people she has wronged. Margot Robbie does a great job again as Harley, but the intentional disjointed story telling at the start as well as her narrating the tale really does make it suffer a bit, along with the usual blind luck and idiot bad guys that seem to permeate superhero shows. There's also an obvious boys vs girls theme going on which should be expected.

That said it still is quite entertaining to watch if you can stick with it, and there are some really good fight scenes thrown in - especially one which lets Harley display her proficiency with a bat. If she wasn't crazy I'd say she should always be carrying one! Definitely one for Margot Robbie or Harley Quinn fans and one that should at least be on the radar for action fans. For kicks my wife also tried recreate the breakfast sandwich featured here and it was pretty good, so there's that too! Not the best superhero flick but not a terrible one either. I give it three diamonds out of five, and I'd only watch the bat fight scene again.

SAS: Rise of the Black Swan

Hunting season is open!

A band of train hijackers have a wrench thrown into their plans as SAS operative Tom Buckingham (Sam Heughan) happens to be onboard for a vacation. An excellent script, exciting action sequences and good acting all around make this a very enthralling movie with very few slow parts. Also, now I know about the Channel Train tunnel between England and France which is probably common knowledge to most people but that was a new one for me.

Yes the baddies do goof a bit, especially at the end, but that just makes for a more exiting tale. Highly recommended for action fans, Outlander fans, or simply fans of good movies as this "Die Hard on a train" will satisfy most viewers. I'd definitely watch it again and give it four train loos out of five.

Monday 20 September 2021

State of Decay 2: Lethal Zone

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Pretty good start!

Having lost contact with Sanctuary II, Team Humanity sends Umoren, Nestor and David to find out what happened but the trio get lost and crash into a Lethal Zone where it seems the only vehicle is the one they came in. Using caution and well placed outposts, they manage to recruit lichenologist Ursula who can craft medicines at will -since she's a lich- and move into a bridge fortress.

While foraging, David and Nestor run into too many zombies and Nestor saves David from a feral as they run back to base. Unfortunately Nestor is infected by the blood plague and with no cure available David shoots him in the head. Wandering hordes hear this and attack - killing David in the process before Umoren can take them all down. Umoren then goes to resupply with Cash Beaumont but also gets infected en route, so he brings his supplies as close as he can to base before heading off to a hill top graveyard to die.

Ursula reaches these supplies with new recruits Ana Maria and Keene, and the pair decide to move base back to the safer starter house. Ana Maria is infected en route and also ends up being put down by Ursula. With enough fuel and tool kits to repair the starter car now, Keene tries to make his way there but is jumped by a blood feral (all zombie types have the infection now) and while he wins the fight, he makes it back to the house only in time to turn and for Ursula to shoot him in the head.

Somehow, Ursula can maintain her solo survival (cost wise) indefinitely - so she figures why fight the plague hearts when she can just head far into the wilderness where there will surely be less zombies? COMMUNITY ABANDONED (map fail).

Insight: "Legacy characters" you bring into the new game always come with whatever is in their inventory so if you like planning ahead gear up like mad before finishing a legacy quest so that they can start with a leg up.

Sunday 19 September 2021

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Awesome story telling.

It is a very trying time for the De Rune family in France, with teenager Amicia having to protect her younger brother Hugo not only from the inquisition that is after them, but also from the English invaders and from a plague of hungry, yet light fearing, rats in the region. Due to being kids armed only with a sling, you are not going to be able to win any face to face fights here meaning this is mainly a stealth game.

They are very, very sneaky.

However, there is a LOT of killing here - especially as your projectiles become more and more deadly. While there is usually a non-violent or "good" approach to many of the puzzles I found it quite liberating when I could finally start killing all the bastards after the children. The rat puzzles are great too (not too hard) and the story and voice acting are really what hooked me into the game. Stay away only if you dislike stealth or animal cruelty. For everyone else, I highly recommend this. Five ignifers out of five.

State of Decay 2: Sanctuary II

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

The war against the plague hearts is going well with five destroyed now and no losses to Sanctuary II. Meanwhile ex-con Delara continues doing personal quests of collecting Donte's drug stashes. This bites the community terribly as a horde with two plague juggernauts follow her back into the base and smash Parniyan into paste before being killed off with loud gunfire. This only draws more and more hordes and specials into the base!

Erica, Beau and Little Joe are torn in half by juggernauts while Leland is crushed underfoot. Delara and Donte succumb to the swarm of plague zombies and both turn. Catherine gets her throat torn out by a feral and Krissy decides to flee to the nearby "Happy Campers" who aren't much better off as they are under attack by a plague juggernaut and three ferals themselves! She manages to recruit Alex from them before getting her face eaten by one of the ferals.

At least no zombification for her.

Somehow, Alex makes it to the police station and clears the left over zombies (the rest moved on or despawned) and recruits Dr. Jessica, body builder Dmitri, and city girl Bree as backup. It doesn't change their fate though, as they need to enter plague territory to loot more supplies. Alex and Dmitri are pounced on by ferals while Dr. Jessica gets caught by screamer hordes on top of her car. Eventually she tries make a run for it but is swarmed by the living dead.

Bree manages to get resupplied by Cash Beaumont then assaults the nearest plague heart in a dirty and cramped mens toilet at a local pub. While hiding in a stall provides excellent cover to destroy the heart, getting there she was scratched too many times and gains blood plague. Pinned in that tiny room she can do nothing as the timer runs out and the infection kills her right there at a rusty urinal. COMMUNITY LOST (map fail).

Insight: Much like the last game, all the "action" takes place near your active character. If you get far enough away from something, that something becomes dormant / inactive and in the case of most random zombies: despawn.

Saturday 18 September 2021

Zombie Army Trilogy

Because magical Hitler must be stopped!

This spin-off from Sniper Elite has slowly fixed a number of things for our co-op sessions, given I've written about it twice before. This trilogy has all the missions from the last two Nazi zombie games and adds five more, bringing the total to 15. Well 14 since Chapter 1 of Book 2 still had connection problems for three of us (DL, Jim and myself) right at the end so we had to skip it which thankfully is a valid option.

Indeed, you can pick whatever mission you want to try - no unlocking required - but must rely on the mission checkpoints to save your progress through it. The last book sees the sniper heroes return to a much better looking apocalypse graphics wise, and for a change there are other friendlies in a few missions. Also introduced are new enemies, such as the terrifying chainsaw elite and heavily armored zombies and giant zombies.

That's one big Fuhrer!

There's definitely a difficulty increase towards the final mission (to kill Hitler) with some ludicrous amounts of zombies needing to be killed (looking at you book 3 chapter 3 finale) but its all good fun and definitely one a co-op team would enjoy. I give it four relics out of five, but won't play it again. Killing the millions of zombies once was enough, thanks. :P

Insight: In the final chapter(s) most goals switch from kill the zombies to get "x" done, because the zombies won't stop spawning anymore which is especially true fighting Hitler (unless he's having a migraine, then you can relax and prepare first before the next phase). Jumping from the balcony there can be a real life (and time) saver!

Thursday 16 September 2021

BDO: Return to Port

[Part of my Adventures in Black Desert Online]

A visit to the Temerian Night Market (hmm, I wonder if there were any Witchers there?) proved to be just the thing my corsair needed as from it she gained a 7-day Fish Suit, a gun-harpoon-sword (awakening) which she now can defeat Garmoth with, and a cute yellow bikini. She also learned about a mystical infinite HP potion but was unable to find even the very first component while using all the boons I had saved from the Heidel Ball.

That's ok though, since her specialty is water based she was far more successful doing the dive and fishing quests at Port Ratt - recovering all the sunken temple treasure easily since she can "sprint" under water with her mermaid skills. The fish suit boosts even that, meaning where I struggled to reach the objectives in the deepest trench with breath potions, she can zip down there AND back to the surface without running out of air!

Perfect for ocean exploration.

Indeed the most annoying part for her was catching the elusive Skate fish, but with perseverance and the knowledge to camp at the South West corner of the small tree isle on the edge of the Juur Sea (South of Nada Island) she finally passed that part of the quest line. This means that since the rest of the Kingdom or Haso is closed, I'm done with Port Ratt for now and have sent both characters back to Velia just as this season comes to an end.

I'll definitely keep my corsair around for her swimming utility but I'll retire her from active questing now. As a bonus, I've also used Fughar's magical Time Piece to auto boost a striker character to my corsair's level 61. Not sure when I'll get to play him though, as another season is starting up immediately with another available time piece. All I know for sure is I hate the equipment enhancing in this game. The odds suck and without any clear method to improve them, it's just really takes the wind out of my sails.

It doesn't help that there are hordes of add on items that do different things, but only for particular pieces of gear. Why do I need an Advice of Valks, or Valks Cry, or Cron stone or Caphras stone, etc? It's just stupid. I wish they just treated weapons like ships: Sure, buy or make this best weapon in the game but there's a lifespan but after one week/so much use it is destroyed. Buy or make another one. Obviously the game designers here haven't heard of the KISS method.

Anywho if Black Desert interests you at all this season gives you a chance to permanently play for free. All you have to do is level a character up to level 50 before this event ends. Reaching level 50 is pretty fast and quite achievable in four to five days of casual game play, so give it a try!

Insight: If you log off or disconnect while on the ferry, expect to be in the drink when you return as it will happily drop you into the sea. Carry adventurers maps (teleport to nearest town) just in case you want to avoid a long swim.

State of Decay 2: Nightmare Zone

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Little Joe, Krissy, and Parniyan of Team Humanity abandon their destroyed vehicle and cautiously decide to go looting before heading to their target house base. The first thing they spot is a feral, and a plague horde with a plague screamer and plague bloater. Indeed, in Nightmare mode everything but ferals have the blood plague. They befriend the nearby enclaves "the Long Rangers" (who are useful as cover against the zed armies) and "wrench turners", mechanics who help repair vehicles. Leland and Erica of the latter group are recruited thanks to their useful skills as cars are very precious now.

Krissy manages to kill the first plague heart but it doesn't stop the plague in the area as the hearts are more numerous and closer to each other now so Leland recommends moving base to the local police station which seems to be very well fortified. Parniyan, voted leader of this group "Sanctuary II", agrees especially when the Long Rangers are wiped out by zeds and quickly befriends the nearby enclave of "Happy Campers" as well as recruits hopeless Beau, Catherine, ex-con Delara and her dealer-boyfriend Donte.

It's safest to attack plague hearts from outside AND on a vehicle!

To supplement their arms, Parniyan also starts doing bounty missions for traveling trader Cash Beaumont - someone that all the previous leaders had simply ignored (which is a mistake, as the progress of his missions carry over regardless of community). Over the radio they also hear members of the Network trying to save displaced locals flee from the captivity they found at the hands of Red-Talon, who apparently are looking for humans immune to the plague. It seems like dark days indeed, but Parniyan is sure of a light at the end of the tunnel.

Insight: Toilets are awesome for morale. Clean toilets more so. Also if you come across a locked door you DON'T want to bash, press the crouch key again to let it go.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Skyline, Beyond Skyline and Skylines

Don't look at the light!


Attending a birthday party in LA turns out to be full of surprises for Jarrod (Eric Balfour), the biggest one being that aliens decide to invade the very next day while everyone should still be having a hangover! Pity the aliens are in no mood for laughs as they send in hunters to catch those who eluded their opening, super effective vacuum cleaner attack. Never mind those poor saps, our unlucky protagonists are stuck in a posh penthouse of a huge building. Whatever should they do?

Silly decisions and bad luck drive the script at this point but you know what? It's still quite entertaining in a B-grade horror type of way. Most importantly, it sets up for the next movie. I just hope you enjoy your popcorn with cheese. Two fire doors out of five. Strangely I think I would watch this again!

Beyond Skyline

Set at the same time as the first movie (which is fortuitous as it means they can reuse CGI shots from last time), this one follows a group led by Mark (Frank Grillo) who is put through the wringer when the aliens arrive. Combat experience, iron will and a ton of HP from our main hero makes this a far more action orientated outing, especially in the surprising second half which randomly features some pretty good martial arts.

All up a better flick than its predecessor, though you might get confused if you don't watch that one first. This one gets three wrist blades out of five, and yep - I'd watch this one again too since I'm a Frank Grillo fan. The blooper reel during the credits is worth sticking around for.

Skylines (or Skylin3s)

What happens if you didn't watch  the first two movies first...

I sure hope you watched those first two movies before attempting this, otherwise you'll be reliant on the info dump narrator at the start to understand what's happening. Also, the aliens have learned to speak growly alien-english now so you'd best have those subtitles turned on as Rose (Lindsey Morgan) is recruited to travel to an alien planet to find a cure for an illness spreading on Earth.

While this movie leans heaviest into the Sci-fi genre of all three it still randomly features some epic martial arts sequences which always get thumbs up from me. The plot is way more flaky though, and I'm not sure they really needed all the "meanwhile back on Earth" segments which feel like filler. Two and a half tentacles out of five. Again stick around for the blooper reel, and yes I think I'd watch this one again too!

State of Decay 2: Team Fortress

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

As the sole survivor, Goose becomes the defacto leader of Team Fortress and recruits Doctor Drew, hard nose Mia, Len, and ex-con Bryson in the continuing battle against the plague hearts. Alas Bryson is killed by a feral after destroying his target and Len falls to the same southern fast food heart that Maddie did. They are replaced by Aaron, Adriana, Sera and old Mary who learn from past mistakes and successfully clear all remaining hearts from the map!

It's safer to attack plague hearts from outside if possible.

During this time, Goose also befriends a representative of "The Network", a large commune of cooperative individuals on the radio as well as an odd group that sells "mystery meat". While this meat isn't so mysterious to her, at least they are sociable enough unlike the numerous zombies all over the place and she lets them stay - taking two of them and Doctor Drew as backup when the inevitable bandit invasion arrives.

While the two cannibals are killed against the bandit scouts, Goose works out the bandit base location then makes good use of noise makers and stereos to let zombie hordes do most of the work. She and Drew then chase the remaining three survivors to the rooftop where it comes down to good shotgunning and taking cover to win the day. With that her legacy is secured (map victory)! She only can hope that the other away team (now going into the Nightmare zone) finds less losses than she did to achieve it.

Insight: One feral seems to consistently spawn when attack plague hearts on this difficulty and above so look out! Also if you are in a non exploded but upside down or on the side car - keep driving and turning, somehow the vehicle will right itself.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Spectral Travelers Batman Ninja

Two movies and a TV show where weird things happen!

Spectral (2016)

Having strange encounters with spectral beings in war torn Moldova, the US Army brings in a specialist engineer (James Badge Dale) to help investigate the phenomenon as it soon proves deadly - a trait befitting that of a horror movie. Only it's not really that scary. Given that it can't even be seen without special gear (great way to save on the FX budget btw) makes some serious scenes hilarious. The plot demands some stupid decisions too, even from the entities that fail to realize their full abilities.

I do have to give credit to the entity design though in that it is a unique one, and for all my dissing above it is actually a pretty entertaining movie. If you like the combination of horror and war, this will probably be right up your alley. I give it two and a half cameras out of five. Not sure I'd watch it again though.

Travelers (TV Show)

When the only way to try prevent a grim future for humanity is time travel, you know things are going to get strange really fast. The writing is superb and we found each episode to demand our full attention, not because our brains were melting trying to connect the pieces (though there is some of that) but more because we really loved all the characters and each mini-cliffhanger just wanted us to hit play on the next one.

It's now easily one of my favorite shows.

This is how you make an epic TV show. I only wish there were more than three seasons of it! Highly recommended to everyone, even those who aren't of a sci-fi slant. I'd would watch this entire series again and give it five messengers out of five.

Batman Ninja

When Grodds time machine sends Batman and a number of other well known Arkham regulars back to ancient Japan crazy hijinks ensue. How can Batman possibly survive as his toys run out? How did the Joker get so good at close combat? How much more absurd can the story get? Well, I can definitely answer the last one: A lot more absurd.

With most of the best story arc in act I, it only gets worse from there and it is surprisingly reflected in the art: mostly it is realy stylish high quality CGI but there's a segment in the middle where its like they ran out of budget and just went with line drawing, crayons, and stills. Why? It's not even one of those 10 second comedy bits that Japan likes doing. It's an entire segment that actually matters to the ridiculous story. All up, even as a Batman fan I disliked this one and give it one banana out of five. Not recommended as it just makes a monkey out of Batman.

State of Decay 2: The Dread Zone

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Des, Goose and cowgirl Maddie head to the dread zone and setup camp at a Firewatch tower. Since this is a higher difficulty than previous wins, the boons from the previous leaders cannot be used to help them forcing them to start from scratch. It is instantly obvious how much less stuff there is in each location, and how conversely there are far more zombies, plague hearts and a high infection rate. A plague juggernaut is even sighted right on day one but thankfully the girls can easily avoid it as they find fuel and tools to repair the initial vehicle they arrived in.

This car doesn't last long as when Des helps neighbor Casey to confront some thieves, Casey is killed, the car exploded and Des brought near death before a horde of plague zombies actually save her from the enemy shooters. The other two manage to hike and find a replacement vehicle (two actually, after a horde accident destroys the first). Des then takes on the first plague heart with molotovs as per usual and while she succeeds in destroying it, she also burns to death in the process.

Due to this loss Maddie recruits locals Yolanda and Taylor before moving base to a fortified truck stop. She also tries recruit Sharon who is hunting a southern plague heart at a fast food place. Unfortunately it is Sharon and Maddie on the menu as they are ambushed by hordes of hungry zombies. The other girls attack a different plague heart and while Yolanda's sword skills are awesome she still perishes to the hands of a feral. Goose finishes off that heart and takes a badly wounded Taylor back to the truck stop. Alas, Taylor now has the plague and without any remedy (rare to find samples on this mode) - Goose decides to euthanize her instead.

Bullets can also be the cure.

Insight: At this difficulty you should try avoid hitting things with your car, as not only are they great transportation devices but if you stand on the roof most zombies can't get to you. This is your safe spot for attacking plague hearts visible from the street, a lesson I learned during this play through.

Saturday 11 September 2021

The King (2019), Outlaw King & Kingdom (Korean TV Series)

People with heavy heads.

The King (2019) (geez so many movies have this title, putting the year is mandatory!)

Prince Hal (Timothée Chalamet) has no desire to be king or to war with anyone, but despite his best intentions fate has other plans for the young prince. Especially since this is basically a war flick! That said, the story and acting is decent and the fighting scenes are cramped, dirty, messy "do what needs to be done" type which is probably more realistic than flashy displays of swordsmanship.

I'm also glad they didn't try force a love story in there for the sake of it, this way we can just focus on Hal's growth and all the people influencing it. Good movie and one I can recommend. I give it three and a half Dauphins out of five and would probably watch it again.

Outlaw King

The English have all but conquered Scotland as the remaining nobility including Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) bend the knee to King Edward I. Anyone that knows history though can tell that Robert doesn't bend the knee for long and instigates a rebellion. While the action bits are good and the opening is one of the best I've seen in a while, later cuts are very strange but keep the film moving at a reasonably fast pace.

Not a great title nor promo pic, but an OK movie.

There's a fair bit of singing too as I suppose was the way back then, but there's actually enough to make mention of it. All up this film is better than what I thought it would be but could have been better still. Give it a watch and see if you like it - especially if you've watched Mel Gibson's Braveheart recently. I give it two and a half bogs out of five.

Kingdom (Seasons 1 & 2) & Kingdom: Ashin of the North

During the time of swords and funny hats in South Korea, the cure to "save" / revive their dying king quickly turns into a pandemic... of zombies! This one surprised me in that a) it is a period piece and b) they found a way to make their zombies unique. It also helps that the action scenes are very good and the secondary plot of succession helps move things along when the zombies don't. Definitely recommended for zombie fans to try out!

Ashin of the North is a prequel to the tale, and while it is decent there are more holes in the plot and much fewer zombies. If you enjoyed Kingdom then by all means you should broaden the world building by watching this. Otherwise you can probably skip this and not miss out on much, should a season three ever arrive.

Thursday 9 September 2021

State of Decay 2: Hamlet Squad

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Despite all their talk, Rev maintains her leadership and finds more ammo thanks to the assistance of Red-Talon over the radio. David and Little Joe join her army and warn about an opposing army entering the area and much like the bandits that Val dealt with - Rev takes Joe to get information from their scouts (violently) then attacks the stupid leaders who unlike the bandits, have no backup and are meeting in a shed? Rev softens them up by luring a speedy feral into them before executing the trio to secure her legacy (map victory).

"Tell me what I want to know and I'll shoot!"

A trading team named "Hamlet Squad" composed of squidman Dan of "Team Humanity" and "Stragglers" Lory and Beth are then sent to Meageher Valley where the starting house is AGAIN almost a carbon copy of the other starting houses. Lazy much? Dan is elected leader while Team Sanctuary again provides utilities Team Humanity delivers a HUGE stockpile of weapons, ammo and grenades (benefit of winning as warlord) to them. This, along with the fact that pretty much every neighboring enclave is some form  of military group, makes the plague hearts in the region a piece of cake.

Squidman Dan wastes no time in recruiting soldiers Zeb, Rocio, Hailey and Kraken and establishes a trade summit among all the remaining soldiers. Some idiot thieves try to crash the party and get themselves killed easily. The zombie horde that comes to checkout the gunfire afterwards takes longer to clear out but are not a problem for a room full of armed and trained soldiers (on this difficulty). Once Zeb and Dan kill the final juggernaut in melee, the summit is a success and Dan secures his legacy (map victory). These successes have let the survivors expand the territory greatly, but now find their borders next to zones where the blood plague is more intense.

Insight: Trader leaders seem to be rare, and that's possibly because their legacy quests are super easy. Also without fail, every single game one survivor is going to have a prepper aunt whose quests eventually provide a jeep and a .22 silenced rifle.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

F9 (Fast and Furious 9) and The Suicide Squad

A contrast of what to do with large casts.

F9 (Fast & Furious 9)

Plot armor front and center.

Dominic Torreto's (Vin Diesel) quiet life is interrupted when his crew come to him for help on an urgent mission which involves a lot of vehicles, explosions, and a few decent fight scenes. Plot wise though... the writers must have looked at the previous movies and said "how can we make this even more ludicrous?" They succeeded.

Gangsta's in space yo

Almost nothing makes sense in this film so if you watch it, it is purely for the spectacle of the action scenes and to see them use the "oh this character isn't actually dead" again trope which they've already previously done. Much like bloat of superhero shows these days if the writers are braver in pruning characters (especially favorites) I think it would make for a stronger series. As it stands I don't think I'd give it a second viewing and score this two space cars of five.

The Suicide Squad

A high death count makes for a great movie.

They're a fun bunch!

Much better than the previous Suicide Squad, this movie again throws criminals with special abilities into an important yet dangerous mission in a foreign country. It is funny, gory, violent and very entertaining. The main crew are quite likeable this time around, and surprisingly it is Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) who seems to be the odd-girl out with an unnecessary side plot but she is fantastic as usual so I'll let that slide. Not much else to say other than I highly recommend it and would definitely watch it again! Four starfish out of five!

Tuesday 7 September 2021

State of Decay 2: Team Humanity

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

With a surplus of fuel, Val sends out heart destroying teams armed with molotovs which does the job nicely while she plays peacekeeper between the enclaves of Rashida and Peyton. These two eventually join the Stragglers too as they end up saving each other more and more often. Soldier Umoren and squidman Dan also join, arriving with the warning that a large group of bandits is arriving into Drucker County. Umoren and Val deal with their many scouts and then find their base of operations, using long range sniping to take down all of them. With them gone Val is certain her legacy is secure (map victory) and they never had to move base once!

You'll need at least nine molotovs minimum per heart.

Downey isn't happy there though, so she takes the soldier Umoren and bad girl Rev from Team Sanctuary to Cascade Hills to settle into a house that looks a lot like the last base she was in. At least this one has higher walls. While Team Sanctuary continues to provide utilities to that region, the trio also get daily gifts from Val's Stragglers (benefit of winning as sheriff, you can have two benefits active). Surprisingly, it is Rev who earns the leadership of this group: team Humanity, as her goals align with that of Downey and Umoren. First job: build an army.  

Helping people around the hills they manage to recruit Nancy, Nestor, Lance, and stray cat Brandon. Alas, Nancy is exploded to death when she uses molotovs on a plague heart within an LPG warehouse, and Lance is killed in a firefight against people abducting doctors. Doctor Monique takes his place as the team moves into a huge container fortress that easily houses them all, even when soldier sisters Krissy and Parniyan arrive. Other than the heart in the LPG warehouse, the rest are pretty straightforward to clear with this team - even when low morale (out of meds) has them grumbling and considering exiling their leader Rev.

Insight: It took me a long time to work out that outposts have lockers that you can deposit and withdraw items to and from your main base. This makes looting easier as you don't always need to go back, unless you want to deposit rucksacks.

Monday 6 September 2021

State of Decay 2: The Stragglers

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

Splitting into pairs, all the plague hearts turn out to be easy to destroy without any particular tactics (easy mode), and team Sanctuary gains new recruits cowgirl Maddie and Des. With that done team Sanctuary moves base a few times over the next few days while Dr. Hurt tries to work out how to plug in electricity. Eventually this is sorted out when they move into the local fire station which has its own power supply. Soon enough, other people come to request entry into the team and while Dr. Hurt accepts bad girl Rev and good girl Goose - he is forced to turn away others.

This group of unwanteds eventually returns in a pitiful attack which gets them all killed, but the gunfight does draw in a lot of zombies including freak types of bloaters (poison gas), screamers (summon more zeds) and a juggernaut (fat tank). The base holds easily and with that, Dr. Hurt knows his legacy is secure (map victory)! It isn't long before Val and Downey want to run their own place though, so they and Downey's bro Jamaar head on to Drucker Country where they establish a base in a nice house, with utilities supplied by Team Sanctuary (benefit of winning as builder).

Dr. Hurt advises a buckshot diet to this juggernaut.

Val and Jamaar go assist new neighbors Rachel and Beth against thieves, "the Furies", and this time Val tries to make peace. The Furies seemingly accept handing over the goods, but immediately go hostile once Val picks them up. The ensuing fire fight draws zombies in and some of the Furies escape while Jamaar is turned into a blood zombie. Val shoots him in the face and takes the two new girls back to base to break the bad news to Downey. Not only did Val kill her brother, by default she is voted leader of this group: "the Stragglers". To reinforce her position, Val also quickly recruits Lory and ex-cop Katz before planning out how to clear the many plague hearts in this area.

Insight: Apparently, to learn electronics you need to read computer books, which is completely different from electrics - for which you need utility books. For me that was very obscure. Also if you recruit one person from an enclave, the rest of the enclave disbands so choose wisely whom you pick, or if its more beneficial to have a friendly enclave around (especially on harder difficulties).

Nightmare of the Wolf, Soul of the Dragon

Two animated movies, one set to the Witcher and the other to Batman!

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf

Focusing on a young Vesimir, this tale encompasses flash backs from Vesimir's pre-Witcher days all the way to why Kaer Morhen is the way it is in the time of the more widely known Geralt. The art and animation are good with gore aplenty and the story has some welcome surprises. If anything, my only question would be "where does Vesimir get all his hair gel?" but in this world of potions and sorcery I'm guessing he just makes it... from monster goo. :P All up a decent film especially for Witcher fans. Three medallions out of five and yep, I'd watch this again.

That would be a strange fight.

Batman: Soul of the Dragon

When super spy Richard Dragon discovers that bad dudes have gotten their hands on a dangerous magical gate, he seeks help from his old time friend and martial arts classmate in Nanda Parbat: Bruce Wayne. Set in the era of bell bottoms and funky groove, this interesting take is heavily focused on martial arts and has the animation to back it up. Obviously it's still a Batman / superhero show though so don't expect realism in any extent, but the story is still quite entertaining as Bats is paired up with characters who are regularly considered villains and each of those get equal screen time to the caped crusader. As I didn't expect much going into it, I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely watch this again. Three soul breakers out of five.

Saturday 4 September 2021

State of Decay 2: Team Sanctuary

[Part of the Diary of Zombies]

At some undisclosed location, Red-Talon soldiers desperately try to hold their position against hordes of zombies while their tech works on the relay to the AI code named CLEO to provide support against the growing undead illness. It does not go well for them.

Shouldn't have used all those wall repair kits earlier on...

At Providence Ridge, an odd group of survivors makes their way to a nearby Firewatch tower to serve as their base. Military girl Val, Dr. Hurt, Downey and her brother Jamaar decide to stop here as Jamaar has been infected by the new blood plague which is being spread by infected zombies recently. At least they are easy to spot, having blood red skin and glowing red eyes instead of the glowing yellow eyes the "regular" zombies do.

Luckily Dr. Hurt knows how to produce a cure if he can get his hands on some plague samples from the infected zeds, so Downey goes to work and finds another group of survivors that want to destroy the nearby plague heart which causes this infection. Joined by handyman William, old Dorothy and female soldier Parker they locate and destroy the horrible looking construct with melee weapons even as it calls waves of zombies to defend it. Fortunately the infection rate here is very minimal (easy mode) and everyone survives.

The next day there is already unrest at the camp as to who should lead. Downey's idea of taking control by force is outvoted immediately while Val blows her chance at becoming "sheriff" when she tries assist another pair of survivors against some thieves. Harsh words and gunfire are exchanged, after which Val takes survivor Douglas back to camp. By default, Dr. Hurt becomes leader as his plan is simply to build a big, self reliant base. His first mandate though: destroy all the remaining plague hearts in the area, because the best defense is a good offense. Thus team Sanctuary is born!

Insight: In Daybreak horde mode, your tech needs to survive seven waves of baddies which was clearly intended for multiplayer. Solo wise best I've done is reach the half way point of round 5. You can buy a lot of time if you fight outside the barricade, especially in the earlier rounds. It pays to learn the dodge counter (C forward through an attacking zed then E its back) as that helps in the main game too.

It's been a long time since I played State of Decay, but its nice to see that my tips for that game still mostly work for this one too! Settings wise I'll be starting from the easiest of easy modes and working my way up slowly using custom difficulty sliders through this story.

Snake Eyes and Black Widow

Movies with black clad protagonists!

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

More talkative, makes less sense.

When someone kills his dad, Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) dedicates his entire life to vengeance at any cost. This involves betraying a number of people many times and killing a lot of other people -because they were in his way- out of self defense *cough*. There are some nice action scenes (I particularly enjoyed the ones with Iko Uwais) but there are loads of over the top ones too.

It's one of those flicks where most of the bad guys keep forgetting to bring firearms and the only surprise in the plot is that they remembered to somehow link in G.I. Joe and Cobra to it, because if you don't see the title you can watch most of it without knowing it was a GI Joe flick. Anyway, this isn't something that I'd watch again or recommend and give it two disguise sheets out of five.

That would have been a twist!

Black Widow

Takes place after Captain America: Civil War.

Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) has no problem being in hiding due to her stance on the Sokovia Accords, but she doesn't actually get much downtime as a surprise mission comes up that involves reuniting with her "family". There are a few flash back segments to establish this newly revealed past and the story, humor and action segments are quite good. I do have to question Natasha's resilience though as some damage she takes during this film makes me wonder if she too took the super soldier serum.

Definitely a flick for Avenger or Scarlett fans, and one I'd watch again. I give this "passing the torch" three tight fitting suits out of five. It's pretty telling that whatever the next threat the entire Avengers team will need to face, whenever that rolls around there's going to be a drastically different line up based on what's happening in the MCU series as well.

Thursday 2 September 2021

Void Bastards Mothergunship in the Rebel Galaxy

A trio of space themed games!


Build your guns and shoot the baddies!

With Earth held hostage by an alien armada, the resistance has power armored soldiers like yourself going ship to ship pretending to deliver pizza but in reality on missions to find and eliminate the main Mothergunship. With a comedic plot and cartoon like graphics, enemies spawn out of thin air and launch slow but oversized missiles at you, meaning you really are reliant on that triple-jump ability and those future tech trampolines to get out of the way.

It is a fair bit silly, and it needs to be given the crazy combinations you have when creating weaponry which is the main draw of the game. With only three basic components and a single rule that turrets must all point the same way, this works wonderfully. Turret pieces handle what is fired and at what rate, mods add quirks like bouncing bullets, and connectors handle the obscure physics of making a rocket/grenade/laser/autocannon shotgun.

Ammo is infinite but takes energy to fire, so the bigger the gun expect a longer cool down after shooting. For what it is it works very well. Definitely an afternoon of fun at least, I give it two sockets out of five.

Rebel Galaxy

Where space is an ocean. Literally.

Following some obscure leads to find your aunt puts you in charge of a decent sized space craft and the game promptly dumps you out into the cold reaches of space to find your own way. At stations you can pick up missions and trade cargo to earn some creds which you can then spend on ship upgrades or hiring mercenaries. Most of the time though, you'll be out traveling from point A to B listening to some epic country rock. And fighting. Lots and lots of fighting.

Expect to see a lot of this.

The take here is that you are like a galleon. Broadside weapons are stronger than your 360 degree turrets, and while you can go forward and back or turn left and right YOU can't go up and down. Emphasis on YOU as everything else in the game can which gives the illusion of space. I can understand why they did that though - it makes the control scheme so much easier. If only the repeating missions weren't all a variety of fetch, kill or fetch AND kill quests then I might have stayed longer. Alas the positives don't outweight the negatives for me here so I can't recommend this one. One and a half stellar masses out of five.

Void Bastards

Everyone is a bastard in this void.

Based on the screenshot artwork I didn't expect much from this game but I am so glad I tried it out as the comic book style they have going actually works very well when coupled with actual interactivity. The premise is a prison ship has broken down in a hostile nebula and the AI has decided to use prisoners to do the dirty work of getting all the things needed for repair. Prisoners is plural because if you die, well the next one is sent out and yes, the entire game is a series of fetch quests... but I still played through the whole thing!

This is because the game play loop is very solid. Much like FTL you are flying from point to point in space, scavenging bits fuel and food to keep going as well as other stuff to make weapons, armor, and the like. The nebula is full of bad mutants though, who get worse the "deeper" you go. Of course, you don't actually NEED to go deeper despite the game pushing you that way. That said some of the most fun and scary missions I've taken were at the very depths, against enemies you need to run and/or hide from, with low O2, radiation leaks around and needing to activate the generator before being able to escape at a remote airlock. And yes, you can occasionally chuck enemies out into space.

Most ships also make sense (there's a type that warns you it won't) in that fuel will be found in the engines, food in the break room, staples in the office cubes etc. It's such a well designed game that I couldn't help enjoying myself. Definitely recommended despite the weak/slightly annoying story line. Three colon cleansers out of five.

Insight: You can build quest components yourself to shorten missions if you have enough parts.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

White House (X) has Fallen

Saving the president in four action movies!

White House Down

When terrorists attack the White House, rejected bodyguard hopeful (Channing Tatum) somehow becomes the only one capable of saving the President... but he has to save his own daughter too! Much less serious than the next few movies (below) with mostly bloodless deaths and tons of humor, this action flick is very entertaining for what it is. Even the bad guys have quirky personalities which make it all the more enjoyable. Recommended if you need a light, fun, no-brainer flick for the evening. Two and a half "cool" President's carrying rocket launchers out of five.

Olympus has Fallen

When terrorists attack the White House, disgraced agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) somehow becomes the only one capable of saving the President... as violently as possible! The body count and violence in this film almost makes White House Down look child friendly - and at the same time makes this even more epic as Agent Banning methodically takes down the bad guys at a good pace. It does portray the President as a bit of an idiot though. Three and a half broken protocols out of five.

I wonder if he's friends with Jack Bauer...

London has Fallen

A state funeral in London is the perfect place for angry terrorists to murder many leaders of the world. Luckily Agent Banning (Gerard Butler) is still on duty to protect the President against this threat as he continues to add to his kill count while flaunting heavy plot-armor. Seriously, if you have superior numbers shooting down a narrow alleyway and you fail to repel the enemy force - you deserve what's coming to you. Two and a half drone strikes out of five.

Angel has Fallen

An attack on the President frames Agent Banning (Gerard Butler) as the guilty party. Now on the run, he has to both kill the bad guys, prove his innocence, AND continue to save the President with his epic fugitive time management skills. No surprises plot wise but still a nice flick where the dumb bad guys get what's coming to them. Three awesome acting babies out of five.