Dawn of the Dead

dawn of the dead

George Romero broke unimaginable ground when he made NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – Movie and changed the horror genre as we know it by giving us the modern zombie. Dawn, the second part of the long running Dead series, brings us a true horror sequel. 4 survivors are on the run during the early days of the zombie takeover. They hop in a helicopter and get as far away from the city as fast as they can. It isn’t long before they start running out of fuel and supplies; the only refuge in site is a shopping mall. It’s up to them to hold up together and fortify the mall, but the question remains why the dead never stop coming?

Dawn of the Dead may very well be Romero’s masterpiece and it was a absolute joy to watch. The acting was great but Ken Foree steals the show as Peter; the four lead actors have great chemistry between them and you do care about them through the movie. The mall is a great setting and brings a lot of tension in both close quarters and the emptiness of it. There are some great, old school Tom Savini gore effects which make any horror film a bit more memorable and there is plenty of zombie attacks throughout the runtime. The zombies look goofy by today’s standard, mostly spray painted gray, but they manage to feel threatening just by the sheer number of them. What I truly love about the movie is all the different beats it’s successfully hits- it’s horror, action, comedy, and has a lot to say about greed and consumerism. Honestly, Dawn of the Dead is a horror must see that’s fun but also pretty smart. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Demons

demons

We’ve all seen a good horror movie that made us terrified of monsters, killers, or what have you but at the end of the day, the terrors are contained on screen. But what if you saw a movie where the monsters weren’t just on screen? Cheryl and her friend Kathy are given free tickets to a movie premiere at the Metropol theater by a masked stranger. The girls ditch class and head to the movies, not knowing what they were in store for. It turns out to be a horror movie at a packed house. But when a girl in the audience gets a cut similar to a girl on screen, all hell begins breaking loose as she begins to transform into a demonic fiend. As the bodies start rapidly piling up, the question is what started the demons and how can they be stopped?

Dario Argento is an Italian horror master and this a good example why. Demons is a fun, blood drenched meta horror show. Seriously, the squeamish should stay away as a lot of the kills don’t hold back. I love the rock score and colorful, claustrophobic setting. There is some beautiful camera work on display. The English dub is pretty corny but it gets the job done. The pacing is just right, fast but knowing when to to slow for some creepy, tense scenes. Some may get bothered at the lack of answers given but honestly I liked that and the downbeat ending. This movie may not be for everyone but damn if it ain’t a fun joyride. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ju-On: The Grudge

ju on

The Grudge, much like The Ring , was a huge hit when I was a kid. While I heard nothing good about the latest 2020 American incarnation, I wanted to go to the source and experience the film that spawned so many sequels both in Japan and America…

Ju-on follows a series of characters caught in the frightening aftermath of a deadly scene. It begins when caretaker Rika is asked to look in after a catatonic old woman while her family works. During her first stay, she discovers a little boy hiding in the house named Toshio. Things rapidly begin spiraling out of control as the old woman’s children turn up dead and people who’ve gone inside the house either die or go missing, a tragic and malevolent history of the house unfolds and those wronged won’t let themselves be forgotten…

I honestly enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I have to say I have to give the music and sounds a huge shout out, combined they do a really good job at building tension without acting as the gaudy jump scares that plague modern horror. Another thing I love, is the camera work and how a lot of things can be seen going on in the background and how there aren’t many ques pointing to it; I actually missed a few and found them rewinding back which was really cool. The imagery and atmosphere are well done; Kayko stands out for me and she grew more unsettling as the movie continued. The only real complaint I have is some of the shadow effects looked cheesy as hell and took me out, plainly being early CGI. In the end, I’d highly recommend this movie but I’m going to warn you, subtitles are a must. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ultracore Review (PS4)

As always, I want to give a huge shout out to the guys over at ININ games for tossing me a review code to this one. This game was set to release back in the 1990s but never saw the light of day. However thanks to some collaboration with the original team, we now get to see this beautiful game on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch 9 (and soon the Vita)

 

Ultracore is a simple game to describe. It is a Metroidvania style fast-paced action-filled bullet flying adventure. Of course, there is a story, and as always I’m not going to discuss it. You guys can go ahead and discover it for yourself. It has been a long time since I have simply played a game where all I needed to do was simply jump around kill enemies and, well let’s just say it, I more or less felt like I was playing Contra again.

The soundtrack was also excellent as well, it has that old school feel to it but with a new sound to it.

The game is simple to describe I will admit, but that doesn’t make the game itself easy. The usual challenges for this style of game are still there. There will be jumps that will test your skill and timing, enemies that you will need to know the pattern of.

There are also various weapons upgrades to use as you would expect from such a game.

The game isn’t perfect of course, it is a bit short and the controls are were a bit stiff for my taste. That being said, for fans of retro games and this style of game, this one is worth checking out. At 22.99 it felt like a fair price to me, I give it a 7/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Amazing Spider-man: Edge of Spider-verse

spiderverse

Spider-man is well known through comics for having one of the most diverse and fascinating multi-verses with alternate Spiders that hold there own as unique characters. Famous Spider variants include the Scarlet Spider, Miles Morales, and Silk aka Spider-Gwen. Edge of the Spider-verse isn’t really a cohesive story but five short stories featuring Spider-man Noir, Spider-Gwen, SP//dr, a terrifying Man-Spider, and a anime like Spider man from an advanced future. Honestly, I’d love to see more from all these variants except for the futuristic Spider-man, who didn’t really click with me. I really enjoyed the Man-Spider story, which felt like a take on Spider close to Tales from the Crypt or The Fly . I’m tied between wanting more of Noir and SP//dr ; Spider-Gwen I love the set up but some of the execution on her stories irks me. In the end, if you were ever curious of loved Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse and want to learn more, I’d pick this book up for a quick read. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Atomicrops Review (PS4)

 

As always, a huge shout out and thank you to the fine folks over at Raw Fury for tossing me a review copy of this game. It is always appreciated.

Atomicrops is a game unlike pretty much any other I have ever played. It starts out with you learning how to run a small farm, then someone just drops some nuclear weapons everywhere. You still have a farm but now everything is just mutated and trying to kill you and steal your crops, which are also alive. It’s cool tho, you have all the weapons you need to defend them.

The game takes place over the course of seasons as you would expect, tho you only have to survive a few days each season unlike games like Stardew Valley that each season lasts a full month. This is a good thing since this game is much more difficult, in fact, this game probably pissed me off more than any game I have ever reviewed, with no exceptions.

I mean that in a good way tho. As you play through the game you can only be hit so many times. There are ways to replenish your hearts but depending on how your run is going the roses needed to do so may be hard to come by or rarely dropped. This is part of the fun tho because while the enemies are closing in on you sometimes you have to choose, are you taking that hit and getting those seeds you need or are you going to let them go and possibly miss them?  Small tip, don’t take the hit.

The game starts out giving you just one character but you will unlock more, and they each have their own special skill to start with. You will also be able to unlock permanent upgrades for other playthroughs. See unlike other farming games you aren’t meant to run just one farm forever, you are meant to run a farm as long as possible until you inevitably fail, learn from it then start all over again. Obviously the better you get the longer those runs last, some people can make runs last for years at a time tho I am not one of them.

This game however is a good looking and fun game that is different from what most are used to. If you are looking for a challenge and something new, this is a game you are going to want to check out. The price is also more than reasonable. The game itself tho is a solid 8 out of 10 to me. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

peregrine

It’s been way too long since I did a book review but ever since I’ve been writing my own work like a madman. I know the book has spawned many sequels ( four to date if I’m not mistaken), a spin off book, and a movie by Tim Burton while I haven’t followed the series as closely as I wished, it was one of the first books that really got me into reading.

Jacob Portman grew up listening to his grandpa Abe’s miraculous stories of his youth and WWII; he told stories of a strange home for strange kids as well as monsters pretending to be human during the war. Jacob, loving his grandpa, thought these were the signs of dementia, old age, until Jacob sees one of the monsters  the day his grandfather dies. Jacob needs answers, convincing his parents to let him go to the island from his grandpa’s stories, discovering there might have been more to his stories than a old man’s fantasy…

I have so many feelings about this book but overall what I love is Ransom Riggs’s use of old distorted black and white photos in the series to bring a creepy, authentic feel to it you don’t usually get. The book starts off really strong and actually has a eerie vibe and it’s scattered throughout the book which is welcomed; Enoch’s power with the toy soldiers and the mice is pretty unsettling. The Peculiar characters are memorable and I like the hint of madness they possess because there predicament. I have mixed feelings on Jacob’s ability. One of my biggest complaints is that the book has a X men vibe and by the end feels a bit too much like a superhero story towards the end; the villains towards the end aren’t particularly memorable in my opinion and feel pretty generic. The lore can be a tad bit hard to follow and I actually had to read it twice before I had it completely straight- there is a lot of time travel and dimension play at work. In the end, while not perfect, it’s still a damn interesting and unique book I’d highly recommend checking out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Predator 2

predator 2

In the near future of 1997 ( I’m well aware it’s 2020) LA is a crime infested war-zone as the cops do battle against the raging drug cartels. Harrigan is a reckless cop with a good heart and a strong team. After a violent scene abruptly ends with skinned bodies and a blood bath, Harrigan is hungry for info but the feds bust in and seal the area. After his best friend is found dead, it’s up to Harrigan and his team to find this otherworldly killer who is unseen and leaving mutilated corpses throughout the streets while dealing with a conspiracy of the extraterrestrial sort. Can one man stand against the ultimate hunter?

While not as good as Predator , Predator 2 is still a damn entertaining sequel. I loved Danny Glover as Harrigan as well as a great supporting cast. There is plenty of action and gore with some cheesy goodness; Duke always busted a gut over King Willie’s pimp Cadillac. The Predator gets a huge leap forward with a vastly expanded arsenal including the introduction of its iconic disc, spear, and razor net as well as some great lore towards the end, including the Xenomorph skull mounted on the ship’s wall. The setting is a nice change of pace from the jungles of the first movie. The effects hold up surprisingly well. The only downside I have is there is nowhere near the suspense of the first but at the same time, it’s still a fun movie. In the end, I highly recommend the follow up to Predator. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth (New 52, vol. 1)

new 52 suicide squad

Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Voltaic, Black Spider, Diablo, and King Shark: these 6 have have 2 things currently in common. All are super criminals, while some do the deeds for money, others, blood-lust or redemption, they are considered extremely dangerous and a threat. The other thing: Amanda Waller has recruited them all to Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad. After proving themselves, their first mission is a bloody one involving a stadium where a nano-virus was released, turning the hundreds inside into bio-mechanical zombies. After surviving hordes of monsters, bounty hunters and a meta human prison break, the group is divided by possible treachery and Harley going the warpath after finding out her beloved Joker was allegedly skinned alive. Can the squad reel in the former Dr while uncovering the threat of Basilisk?

I have to say, this was my introduction to the concept of Suicide Squad years before the movie and I was instantly hooked. The Suicide Squad movie took some of the vibe this arc had but honestly, it didn’t do it justice. The chemistry between characters is interesting as well as a great line up; King Shark is hands down my favorite with some great gory moments as well as some great dark comedy moments. While I’m not thrilled with the part of Harley’s new origin where she takes the same chemical bath as Joker, her origin was nice to see and the dialogue was convincing.  There are a great many characters I didn’t mention that I love, like Captain Boomerang and Yo-yo that were cool to see. The art fits well and there are plenty of epic and graphic fight scenes to sink your teeth into. Honestly, this is a great read to intro you into the New 52. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Aquaman: The Drowning ( DC Rebirth, Vol.1)

aquaman rb v1

Things are finally at a turning point for Arthur Curry, the Aquaman, as Atlantis finally establishes an embassy on dry land as an attempt to cool tensions with the surface world and educate the masses of both lands. Before the opening, the US government is weary after a Atlantean extremist group called the Deluge are thwarted by Aquaman before launching a terror attack on the surface. During the embassy unveiling, Black Manta, Arthur’s nemesis returns for blood. Things spiral out of control. The US declares war on Atlantis after the Deluge reemerge; Manta is taken in by a naval tasked organization called N.E.M.O that plans on ruling the world, and he quickly gains control of it; every move Arthur and Mera make is met with hostility and all hell breaks loose, resulting with an altercation with the Man of Steel himself. Can DC’s black sheep stop a war from breaking out?

This is book is hands down the best I’ve read from DC Rebirth so far and honestly, I’m pretty glad it’s Aquaman. The story is well paced and easy to follow for newer readers but has a lot of great character moments from Aquaman to keep you engaged. The book showcases a lot of turmoil and pathos in Aquaman and the position he is put on having the fate of two worlds that mostly hate him on his shoulders. I love the showdown with Manta and the fight with Superman at the end is a badass surprise. The artwork is beautiful and the characters look great. Honestly, if you are curious about what DC Rebirth has to offer, this book is a pretty damn good place to start. May the gaming gods bring you glory.