Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Video Game Character of the Month - October 2019 - Pokémon - Ghetsis

Video Game Character of the Month
October 2019
Pokémon
Ghetsis
Overview:
Pokémon. A 'game for children' they say. Well, besides the fact that it could be seen as an animal enslavement and battle simulator, and the fact that a ten-year-old running around the world on their own throws up some moral questions at the very least (and some legal ones in today's society), you've got the villains of the games to prove this wrong. Theft, kidnapping, squatting (both versions), blinding style choices and mass genocide. Hang on, did I read that right? Mass genocide? Oh. Um. Can't really give the award to someone with that motive. Mass segregation? Wow. That's. Um. I can't really... *Icicles form near Kyurem*...

The video game character of the month award goes to Ghetsis! And now some more information on the mastermind that is Ghetsis.

Some spoilers ahead:


Sunday, 1 September 2019

Video Game Character of the Month - September 2019 - Rabbid Peach - Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Video Game Character of the Month
September 2019
Rabbid Peach
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Overview:
Eenie meenie miney mo. Which Rabbid should be awarded for going toe to toe with all of Mario's classic foes? Well, Rabbid Mario already has a vastly popular counterpart in Mario and so his name would be swept under the search rankings, Rabbid Luigi has a YouTube channel so the same there... Rabbid Yoshi? Yeah, that could be good. So, for this month's Video Game Character of the Month, we have Rabbid Yoshi Peach! Oh, guess it's Rabbid Peach then... Can I have my phone back now? 
And now for some more info on Rabbid Peach 
Some minor spoilers ahead:

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Film Review No. 50 The Lion King (PG)

Strong Points:
The photorealistic graphics are incredible
Some new jokes and altered lines work well...
A huge technical achievement
The songs and story still contain the magic
Timon and Pumbaa lift the film up to new heights, with their animal friends
Singing was great from all
Subverted expectations
Little extra scenes filling in the transitions were great and didn't slow the pace down

Weak Points:
...Although some lines were oddly removed
Some of the new song additions don't really live up to the originals
Animals aren't anthropomorphised, so there isn't much emotion around the eyes
Photorealism removed the ability of animation to have clever, non-realistic ways to show a shot

Some minor spoilers ahead:

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Video Game Character of the Month - August 2019 - Solaire of Astora - Dark Souls

Video Game Character of the Month
August 2019
Solaire of Astora
Dark Souls
Overview:
While you may have taught us to 'praise the sun', don't think that we've forgotten to praise you! But while we can't get you your own sun (whatever that means), we can give you an award that shines like one. I am, of course, talking about the prestigious Video Game Character of the Month Award, now in its sixth (!) year! An award even tougher to achieve than beating Dark Souls itself. Praise the sun!
And now for a little bit of info on Solaire:
Warning: spoilers ahead

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Film Review No. 49 Pokémon Detective Pikachu (PG)

Strong Points:
Brilliant designs for the Pokémon
Detailed animation and world-building
Ryan Reynolds is brilliant as Pikachu
Funny
Use of more than the first 151 Pokémon
Small details show the seriousness the filmmakers had with the film
Doesn’t push for a franchise
Some twists and turns I didn’t guess
A mostly well-connected screenplay combining drama, meta-comedy and cheese...

Weak Points:
Some cliché or stilted dialogue
Not a lot of Pokémon battles
...Sometimes crosses the line between knowingly cheesy and cringe-inducing
Most of the human cast doesn’t get a lot to do
Opening minutes crammed a lot of exposition and explanation into itself
Could have done with the classic Pokémon narrator

Some spoilers ahead:

Monday, 1 July 2019

Video Game Character of the Month - July 2019 - Nana and Popo - Ice Climbers

Video Game Character of the Month
July 2019
Nana and Popo
Ice Climbers
Overview:
Looking at the ever-increasing Smash Bros. roster, I’m reminded just how many great characters we have in the world of video games. Complex characterisation, detailed designs, fully formed faces (I didn’t mean to start this alliteration, but we’ll keep going), contrasting colours (OK, we’ll stop now)... But there’s one character which I feel doesn’t get nearly enough recognition, even for just hanging in there. Well, actually, there are two characters. That right, the Ice Climbers are the newest recipients of the Video Game Character of the Month Award:
And now for some more information on the Ice Climbers:

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Video Game Character of the Month - June 2019 - Professor Willow - Pokémon Go

Video Game Character of the Month
June 2019
Professor Willow
Pokémon Go
Overview:
Ah, the professors of Pokémon. Always there to offer advice, a double-edged compliment, the tools to enslave creatures of any region, a friendly smile and confusing conspiracies about our own parents. Oh, and of course, to expand our knowledge of the various types of trees in the world. Now, while all of the professors in the Pokémon universe are probably deserving of this reward, I've decided to give it to Professor Willow of Pokémon Go fame specifically, for one reason. The love of Pokémon Go has transcended the core series much like the first games all those years ago, so to award an honour such as this to the incumbent Professor allows an even greater audience to notice and hopefully fall in love with the entire series through our blog. SEO. Ah, the cynical nature of the world...
And now for some more information on Professor Willow:

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Film Review No. 48 Tolkien (12+)

Strong Points:
Great, confident acting from the cast, young and old
Confidence in the audience to have references to Tolkien’s work in the background to find as well as in the foreground
Great cinematography
Nice production design
Focussed on different areas of Tolkien’s life than you might expect
Good, subtle but apparent score
The right amount of fantasy

Weak Points:
The opening ‘montage’/set up didn’t engross me
Slightly ‘by the numbers’
A lot of information was passed on all at once
Pacing issues

Note: as I only have a passing knowledge of Tolkien’s life, I won’t be commenting on any potential historical inaccuracies (I’ll leave that for the comments). However, remember this isn’t a documentary, it’s a dramatic biopic and should be treated as such.

Some spoilers ahead:

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Review No. 148 Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee - Nintendo Switch (7+)

Strong Points:
Streamlined approach to the games
Great graphics and art style
References to other games in the series and general lore
Legendaries are an event to catch again
Catch mechanics add a different style to catching Pokémon...
Small cutscenes show visual flair and small changes in gameplay show creativity
Pokémon in the overworld means you can pick Pokémon you want
Customising appearance of Trainer and Partner Pokémon is nice
Rideable Pokémon help to speed the game up (and have some nice visual gags)
Pokémon Go comparability is well implemented
Catch combos reward perseverance...
Master Trainers offer a tough endgame...
Shiny catching is improved and visual
Pokémon Box and secret techniques being taught to partner are efficient...

Weak Points:
Unreliable motion controls
Barebones co-op
Removal of many conveniences and well-established features
Some lag in areas such as Viridian Forest doesn’t bode well for the sequels
...although they don’t offer a lot of depth
A slight jump in animation between walking and running (allows rideable Pokémon to get out of Pokéball)
... although catching every Pokémon in sight so as to transfer removes the special bond between trainer and Pokémon
Partner Pokémon becomes an unstoppable machine by the end, and you are pushed towards not changing your team
...albeit a slightly tedious one
...Although the need to go through multiple menus isn't
Actual Pokémon battles against legendary Pokémon and minibosses feel tacked on

Nitpicks:
Eevee gets more costumes than Pikachu

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Video Game Character of the Month - May 2019 - Aqua - Kingdom Hearts

Video Game Character of the Month
May 2019
Aqua
Kingdom Hearts
Overview:
Is it done? Can I come out now? Yes, that's right, dear readers, I've finally finished enough of Kingdom Hearts 3 that I feel comfortable searching keywords (pun intended) involving the franchise. And, therefore, I think it's time to give Master Aqua another award. And this one is even harder to achieve than the Mark of Mastery. It's the Video Game Character of the Month Award!
And now for a little bit of info on Aqua:
Major spoilers ahead: