Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wonder Woman

Finally, DC puts out another good superhero movie!

Growing up on the isle of Themyscira, home of warrior women Amazons, Dianna (Gal Gadot) had always wanted to join their ranks - eventually undergoing training despite her mother, the Queen's, protests.

Out of love, vital information is with held from her and when an opportunity to leave the sheltered isle comes calling, in the form of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), she goes to fulfill her mission of protecting the world from the God of War, in the middle of World War I. Those poor, poor Nazis.

I have to admit, this movie does have all the things I'm looking for in a superhero flick with good effects, nice camera work, explosions, nice eye candy (so much eye candy lol), a body count, good acting all around, a decent bad guy and most importantly a decent story!


There are nice funny bits, "war is hell" bits, and a good dose of "girl (em)power(ment)" all done without any viscera. I particularly like the artsy part near the beginning of the film. I can't really flaw this movie and while it doesn't beat my favorite (The Dark Knight, I'm a Batman fan), I also have no reason to not give it five god killers out of five. Highly recommend it and yes, I would definitely watch it again. :)

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Boyka: Undisputed

Boyka's "gift" from God is beating the hell out of other people!

The Undisputed series is an interesting one as it gets better with each subsequent movie. While the first one is very ho hum, it picks up quickly in the 2nd which introduces Scott Adkins character of Yuri Boyka as an antagonist.

He's clearly the favored character since in movies 3 and 4 (this one), he has advanced to protagonist stature, and given his fighting ability it's easy to see why. As a fighting movie, a shallow plot is to be expected, but the fight scenes and tight camera work make everything a joy to watch.

It helps that all the fighters have great athleticism too!

I'm surprised I haven't done reviews for any of this series yet, but for fans of martial arts you will definitely enjoy this. If you haven't seen any of the Undisputed series, I'll score them below:

Undisputed I - Two fists out of five. (Note: No Boyka in this movie)
Undisputed II: Last Man Standing - Three knees out of five.
Undisputed III: Redemption - Four shins our of five.
Boyka: Undisputed (IV) - Four spines out of five.

The first movie can be skipped and the second is not bad, but the last two I highly recommend and would definitely watch again in a heart beat as they are among my favorite martial arts movies. :)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Today I Sighed: Where to Find Time?

Seems that I'm back in a "so much to do and not enough time too lazy to do it" phase at the moment, with my gaming addiction strangling out most other things once more. Thanks Neverwinter Online. Lol. At least I've got Chult done now, along with the long outstanding Tyranny of Dragons (thanks to the Linu improvement).

This leaves the Storm King's Thunder, the Day of the Dungeon Master event (too many dice required), and the PvP campaigns (no interest in that, so no biggie) unfinished. All that is also eating into my blogging time, which is annoying since I want to continue the Fate of Heroes story at some point.

I did do something different last weekend by attending Comic Con where I was surprised at how many people purchase boxes of random gear. That is, you get a box but don't know what's inside it. Haven't these guys played MMOs? Lol.

I also learned that the world of war gaming is very varied if this list is anything to go by, and that for each kick ass "good guy", there are psychos to balance it out.

In honor of one of our guild mates who has left I'm putting her favorite bands up here as my closing musical numbers: If these Trees could Talk and Explosions in the Sky. If that's too heavy for you, perhaps you'd enjoy this piece from the Eurovision Choir contest instead.

And as a bonus for bird lovers: here's a live feed for some roosting Peregrine Falcons.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Neverwinter Online: Tomb of Annihilation

Where dinosaurs are worse than dragons!

Now that I've finished the campaign, apart from the titular dungeon itself, I am fairly confident when saying that this is one of the better campaigns to date. Cryptic expanded on the good idea of letting people do "what" they want from the River District and included a "when" they want too. That is, players can pick a (small) variety of things to do during the span of a week to advance the campaign, instead of the stressful and rigid dailies from campaigns before.

That's perhaps the best feature for me, as it makes it easy to alt through it - and still have time to catch up on other campaigns! The new zones are also quite pretty and the monsters suitably dangerous. Though the dinosaurs do have a large detection range I've worked out paths that can get you into almost all the areas without drawing any aggro. It does involve jumping off cliffs and almost never following the road but it works.

It's a pretty place.

The new hunt mechanic is pretty fun too, especially when accompanied by some guildies. The only downside is the limitation of only being able to carry one lure type at a time, which makes "grinding" hunts a bit of a chore though I suppose that may have been intentional. Definitely a good module, and while not one new players can access right away due to a high iLevel suggestion (for good reason), it's certainly one worth working towards and looking forward to. :)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Shadows Over Camelot

Join the Knights of the Round Table and save Camelot from doom!

With invaders all around and magic items slowly slipping from reach, Camelot is in need of 3 to 7 (8 with the Merlin's Company Expansion) brave knights of the round table to save it. The mechanics of this coop/semi-coop game are simple. On your turn you do something bad, then do something good - and complete quests by playing poker. Sounds odd but it's a pretty decent system.

The other fun thing is that the game encourages the lack of sharing information by hiding cards from your allies and speaking in character. So no "I am running out of cards to help here", instead its "My friends, I will soon need to travel elsewhere" or some other nonsense. It's silly, but one of the best things of the game is this silliness. The very first win my group had happened when on the brink of winning (or losing) a war, Guinevere tried to call all of us off the field so my brother controlling King Arthur killed her with Excalibur. "Silence thou unfaithful strumpet!"

Other than everything trying to kill us, it's a pretty place!

The artwork is pretty cool and the game can feel oppressive at times but it seems to me that if the knights are really working as a team, the game is comparatively easy when compared to Arkham/Eldrich Horror or Xenoshyft. I guess that's why it has the traitor "feature" where one knight actually works for the bad guys (in secret) which I've not yet tried since my regular players prefer full co-op.

Currently I give this game three siege engines out of five (full co-op only). It's a fun two hour(ish) romp once people know how to play with quick setup and quick cleanup after. However if you are really looking for a full cooperative game, I'd recommend going for any of the D&D board games instead.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Justice League Dark

Aka "Batman meets Constantine".

When people start having waking nightmares and killing each other, the Justice League springs into action to try stop the madness. And by that I mean, Batman alone decides to investigate. I suppose the rest *could* be trying to keep the peace but we don't really see that. It is totally understandable though to make room for the more mystical powered heroes he teams up with, the most notable being Zatanna and Constantine.

Facial expressions: Determined, Determined, Determined, and Batman.

There's a bit of slowness during the introduction of these newbies, but the fun gradually picks up pace as the team faces more absurd characters and challenges such as: demons, ghosts, wizards, shit monsters... etc. Even Batman isn't impressed (which is hilarious). While the story is definitely out there, it works towards a very satisfactory ending.

Not a bad outing for this Justice League movie. Not fantastic, but not bad. I'd definitely watch it again and hope they make more of this "Dark" series. All up I give it three magic spells out of five. If you like Justice League and/or the Constantine TV show, you'll probably like this.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Shin Gojira

Toxic dumping creates a rampaging monstrosity - again!

After his stint in the US, this Godzilla reboot returns him to Japanese waters where he not so promptly begins to rampage across miniature cities - much like most of the gigantic foes in say... Power Rangers. Of course, the CGI makes this much better than it sounds, but the feel of a "guy in a suit" rampaging in a mini-city is still there. Not that the movie ever explains why it is doing this.

Maybe he's just looking for a sweet roll.

Instead it focuses on the many aspects of the government debating and organizing on how to handle this threat. Indeed, at least 50% of this movie is "let's have a meeting" followed by "let's have another meeting in a different room, with slightly different people". There are so many people that I can't honestly name a single of their names, not even the protagonist. The female lead(?) stands out for having the worst engrish in the film, which isn't really a positive. Why is she even speaking English to a cast of Japanese speakers anyway?

As cool as Godzilla's sections are (despite how quirky he looks), it keeps getting tempered with what I find as boring bureaucracy which is a shame. I give it 2 lazers out of five, and have no intention of watching it again.