Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review roundup

1. Nobody's Angel by Jack Clark: Wow, talk about edge of your seat thrillers. Ignore the lackluster cover and summary (a novel about a serial killer stalking taxi drivers?). It's the best page-turned I've read in recent memory. And no sooner do I finish reading it than I see that a serial killer really was stalking taxi drivers in Iraq. $8 at B&N and Amazon.

2. I received a copy of Sad Monsters: Growling on the Outside, Crying on the Inside by Frank Lesser (who writes for The Colbert Report), with illustrations by Willie Real. It's a collection of short segments examining monsters struggling in the modern world. For example, from an entry from Godzilla's journal:

Kept wondering what happens to people after I stomp on them. Do they have souls that live on, that I can also stomp on?
Another segment features advice on dating genies:
A lot of genies think humans are only interested in one thing: wishes. Prove him wrong. When your genie offers you three wishes, shrug and tell him, "No thanks, I'm cool right now." He'll be puzzled . . . and intrigued.
Preorder for $10 at B&N and Amazon.

3. Robin Year One by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Javier Pulido and Marcos Martin: I have no idea what took me so long to read this since Batgirl Year One by Dixon and Martin is possibly my alltime favorite Batman comic. This one is also outstanding. Both collections are rare in that they manage to tell exciting Batman stories that are neither childish nor disturbing. Highly recommended if you like comic books at all. $12 at B&N and Amazon.

4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution: I'm completely mystified as to how this game has received such sterling reviews. Gamemplay is crawling and sneaking through a small handful of identically ugly locations over and over. The cliched story can be summed up in a sentence, yet is told through excruciatingly long cutscenes in which unconvincing avatars lecture at each other. And that atrocious wall-smashing animation, wow.

7 comments:

  1. I haven't played it yet, but I suspect that the critical acclaim that Deus Ex: Human Revolution has been garnering is partly due to nostalgia for the original game. Did you play that one, John?

    "Gamemplay is crawling and sneaking through a small handful of identically ugly locations over and over. The cliched story can be summed up in a sentence, yet is told through excruciatingly long cutscenes in which unconvincing avatars lecture at each other." That's an accurate summary for the first Deus Ex as well.

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  2. Robin Year One and Batgirl Year one are great! They should get a lot more love, and are great examples of the kind of comics DC should be doing. If more of the new 52 where along these lines, I think it would be much more exciting.

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  3. You just have poor taste in games, John. That's all. /trollin

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  4. I didn't play the original game way back when, but more recently--but I pretty much loved it. DX3 does an excellent job at recreating that experience. I know sandbox games let you "do what you want, when you want" but DX3's freedom hits a different note for me. I wouldn't give it 10/10, but it deserves praise IMO. Anyways, opinions can differ.

    However, I will agree that the story is incredibly lacking. You really need to read the emails/eBooks you find to get a good feel of the setting and plot, and even then things just occurred. I just finished it last night and the ending...meh. Same with the boss fights. I also kinda wish the game's science was a little...harder.

    Batgirl Year One at a decent price is a pretty difficult find... But I did enjoy Robin Year One a lot. I'm a big fan of Nightwing and really enjoyed Chuck Dixon's work on that series.

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  5. Not everyone is completely glowing over Human Revolution. I've seen some complaints about the boss battles, at least.

    And there is this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoFe8hRy42o

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  6. All of the Hard Case books are worth reading. As an avid collector I have to say they also look really great on the shelf. Of course with the new size (not that I am opposed) I have to rethink my bookshelves.

    Also, that Batgirl has fallen out of print is criminal. Shows DC has no clue.

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  7. 1. Never played the other DE games.

    2. Batgirl's expensive because it's much longer than typical collections.

    3. I haven't liked all the HCC books I've read. Nobody's Angel and The Confession are my favorites.

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