Mini Review Mania

Been a while since I posted some min reviews, so here are some things I've consumed and what I thought about them.

Costume Quest
Costume Quest is a cute downloadable RPG about Halloween and trick or treating and monsters and adults just not understanding. It is easy in every sense of the word; easy on the eyes, easy to play, easy to enjoy. It was packed with humorous, pithy dialog and silly situations. I beat it in three relatively short sittings during the Halloween weekend, which was fitting given the game's setting.

The best part: The silly dialog. The witty banter between the kids is easy for young gamers to follow and funny for adults too.

The worst part: The fighting does get monotonous. Also, I think the dialog would have been even better if it was voiced by kids. In fact it would have upped the hilarious quotient significantly.

Overall: 8/10

 

Super Meat Boy
I knew from watching the Quick Look of this on GiantBomb that I would buy this game and I would love and hate it immediately. I resisted for a week or two after it was released, but then I caved in and hopped on the love/hate teeter totter. Addicting, infuriating, funny, and rewarding, Super Meat Boy might be one of the best platformers I've played in a long time.

The best part: The tight controls, the extra unlockable goodies, all the retro gaming references, and the rewarding feeling of beating an evil level.

The worst part: The merciless levels. The level designs are never cheap--any death is usually your fault--but they are evil, oh so very evil.

Overall: 9/10

 

24 Season 6
The user reviews on Netlfix for this season weren’t great, many calling it the worst season in the series. It certainly wasn’t the best, but I didn’t hate it. By now I’ve conditioned myself to ignore the impossible tech and some of the goofy dialog. This season had an exceptional amount of that stuff though, and the scenarios tread familiar ground—presidential double crossing, Jack killing his friends/acquaintances to get the job done, Chloe being annoying—all too often. On the plus side, I did watch the prequel of season 7 and I was very pleased with the drastic change in direction.

The best part: Ricky Schroder as the Jack Bauer wannabe

The worst part: Jack’s family drama was kind of ridiculous

Overall: 7/10

 

The Drawing of the Three: The Dark Tower II
I read the first book in this series out of curiosity. I’m a big fan of Stephen King, but I never felt compelled to read The Tower. The first book was very different from King’s other stuff, mainly because it was written by a very different King (he was 19 at the time). The second book is even more different, borderline weird. I got the feeling that he didn’t really know where the series was going when he wrote this. Like most of his work, the characters were vivid and interesting. Unfortunately, there are so many holes in the story and so many mysterious and vague plot points that it’s hard to care about what is going to happen. I’ll probably move on to the third book eventually, because as a writer, I like seeing how King’s style changes, but I don’t feel the need to read part three right now.

The best part: The gunslinger is a great character. I started playing Red Dead Redemption around the same time I started the first book in the series, so in my mind, the gunslinger looks and sounds like John Marston, which makes him extra awesome.

The worst part: Some of the world hopping detours are filled with too much exposition and back story. The one with Odetta Holmes in particular drained the book of all its momentum for a few boring chapters.

Overall: 7/10

 

True Blood, Season 2
I only watched spots of the first season, mainly because I have major vampire fatigue living with a Twilight fanatic. Brooke asked me to actually watch some of this season with her, and it took one episode to get me hooked. I already liked the premise of vampires trying to integrate into society—the weird societal and political tension is a neat idea—but the characters are what sold me on the show. Despite being the dreamy vampire lead, Bill Compton seems to play the straight-man role in this crazy show, where all the characters are ridiculous, in the best ways. My favorite is Jason Stackhouse. I would watch an entire show based on his idiot adventures.

The best part: Jason Stackhouse and the permanent “uhhh, what?”  expression on his face.

The worst part: Tara and her problems. Her cousin, Lafayette is great, and I enjoy whenever he’s on screen, but Tara is annoying. Two episodes into season three, and she’s still annoying.

Overall: 9/10

 

Rock Band 3
As far as gameplay goes, the third verse is same as the first. There are all kinds of little improvements—better career and goal structure, easier menus—that make this the best music game, but what really sets it apart is the keyboard controller. Playing the keys is stupidly fun. Brooke and I rocked out all weekend switching between the keys and drums. I took piano lessons for five years as a kid, and I did band all the way through school. I can still read music and I know how to stay on beat and all that, so I was hoping I would be able to throw down on Pro mode with the keys. Unfortunately I found it to be incredibly disorienting. I feel like I have to unlearn what I know before I can play pro keys. Playing it with just five keys is still a blast though.

The best part: Elton Jon’s Saturday Night on the keys is crazy fun. Also, the in-song goals when you’re doing road challenges are cool, they provide an extra reason to perform well.

The worst part: No complaints. I’m a little bummed it will cost me 10 bucks to transfer my Rock Band 2 songs, but I understand why.

Overall: 10/10

 

I could keep the mini reviews going, but this post is getting long enough. I’m almost finished with Alan Wake, which while flawed in some aspects, is still an excellent game. Not sure when I’ll finish it though since I just picked up Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. For the first time since Call of Duty 2, I passed on buying Call of Duty. I never play the multiplayer long because I usually spend more time dying that winning, and that’s not so fun. I will be exploring AC:B online though, so if you’re on 360, look for Yeah Write.