This is something that has come up recently for me, the idea of overwriting in a book. It’s probably been noticeable because I’ve been reading LitRPG books, which can often be self published or are very often done by younger writers. It’s been something that […]
Tag: Video Game
This weekend, Kristen and I had a chance to see a number of films. We went to the drive in theater and saw Incredibles 2 and Rampage, but the movie that I wanted to write about first is fairly recently released out of theaters (what do you call it now, released on video, DVD?) with the Alicia Vikander led Tomb Raider. We watched it on the home big screen, which is great, because it always has a bit of a movie quality to it because of that anyways.
A quick summary of the movie. Lara Croft is living a fairly simple life. She comes from a rich family, but can’t access the money completely because her father has gone missing, and is assumed dead, but she hasn’t signed the paperwork for it. Instead she’s barely scraping by with a bike courier job. Things change when she runs into trouble with the police on a biking game. She goes to complete the paperwork and finds that her father has left her a puzzle box which soon leads her to finding out what her father was really up to. That launches her into her first adventure to figure out if her father is really alive or not. Then action and adventure ensue.
My initial thoughts are that the movie is quite enjoyable. There are some near shot for shot scenes from the game, which is a fun nod to the people who have played the reboot of Tomb Raider. The reboot changes it from pixels with boobs and guns into a more realistic character who struggles and is still able to kick some ass. That turns it into a movie that can have a coherent plot, for the most part, and while you still get the action, she is now more of sympathetic character.
Along with more of a plot and a better plot than the original Tomb Raider movies, this movie also carries with it a lot better acting. Alicia Vikander does a very good job in the role of Lara Croft. I know there was some talk that she didn’t look enough Lara Croft like, but she matches up nicely to the video game reboot rendering of Lara Croft. We also get nice performances surrounding her role. Seeing Nick Frost in there as a cameo was a ton of fun, and a great role for him. Dominic West and Walton Goggins do a nice job in their roles as well as Lara’s father, whom we see a lot in flashbacks, and the villain of this movie. Daniel Wu in some ways steals the show in his scenes. He’s a very sympathetic character throughout the film. I don’t know that I’d really knock any performances in the movie as even those who maybe didn’t have as much screen time or weren’t as good actors, they didn’t detract from the film as often happens in action films.
Finally, I want to talk about the production quality of this film. As compared to another bigger budget action film in Rampage, which I may review later, Tomb Raider has very high production standards. The aesthetic throughout the whole thing is well done. It also doesn’t have any of the goofy moments where you look at the scene and just blatantly tell that something was green screened in there. I’ve noticed with too many decently budgeted movies as of late that we’re seeing that happen, and it’s something that shouldn’t be happening in a film. So I’m grateful that Tomb Raider doesn’t do that. I also appreciate that it kept the aesthetic very close to the games aesthetic. As I said, there were some scenes in the movie that reminded me so much of scenes in the game, and while that made bits of it predictable for me, it didn’t hurt the enjoyment of watching the movie for me.
In closing, Tomb Raider is an enjoyable film. Is it a masterpiece of modern cinema, certainly not. But it’s a fun movie that deserves a sequel in my opinion and compared to the original Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider movies, it is a masterpiece. This movie won’t be for everyone, but someone looking for a good female led action flick, this movie hits that nail on the head. And, I think, one of the strengths of the film, is that it treats it just as an action film and doesn’t make a big deal about that it is female lead, so the movie stands on its own as a movie.
Overall Grade: C+
Critical Grade: C
Casual Grade: B
The Xbox One adventures continue! Today, we’re talking about another game I’ve recently become acquainted with–Ori and the Blind Forest!
When I started playing this game, I was still reeling a bit from Life is Strange. Watching Peder play that game was a great experience, and I don’t regret it in the slightest: despite that, it was extraordinarily emotionally draining, even though I was just a spectator (it’s still haunting me a little, not gonna lie), and it had me craving something a lot more lighthearted.
I had a suspicion that OatBF would be just the thing, and I was right! I’ve wanted to play this game ever since a good friend recommended it to me a few years ago, which was back when it was only available as a PC game; I was thrilled to finally get the chance to try it out.
OatBF is a single-player platform game set in Nibel, a magical forest that was once powerful and full of life, but is now diminished and withering after a mysterious cataclysmic event. You play as Ori, a tiny, nimble guardian spirit, and his companion, Sein. Sein is a will-o’-the-wisp-like manifestation of the Spirit Tree of Nibel, who guides Ori through the forest and grants him extra powers (Sein is similar in many ways to Na’vi from Legend of Zelda, albeit infinitely less annoying…).
To progress through the world of the forest, you must solve a series of puzzles and get past lots of monsters, gaining special abilities and power-ups along the way. The story of the forest and the cause of its decline is slowly revealed along with the map, and you soon find that it’s Ori’s job to gather the three lost elements of the forest — Water, Wind, and Warmth. Only then can balance be returned to the forest so it can flourish once again.
The first thing you’ll notice about OatBF is that it is absolutely visually stunning. It’s a lush world painted in cool, luminescent blues, greens, and purples, and everything glows with magical potential. Even in tense, fast-paced moments, you can’t help but find it calming and inspiring. Add in a beautiful, peaceful soundtrack, and you’ve got a game I wish I could jump inside of and hang out in for a while.
Despite the relaxing and inviting atmosphere, though, this game definitely has its challenging side. It reminds me of other platform-style games I’ve played in that things flow along nicely until you hit a snag, and then you have to employ perfect precision to get past an obstacle, solve a puzzle, or defeat a monster who’s attacking you. I have to admit, this tarnishes my enjoyment of the game a bit — I’ve never been very good at video games that require a lot of precision, and even the loveliest background can start to look tiresome when you’ve attempted and failed the same tricky jump half a dozen times. However, the game is engaging enough overall that even I, in all my fumble-fingeredness, am willing to keep at it so I can find out where the story’s headed, and spend more time in the beautiful world of the game.
OatBF is a game that will appeal to veteran gamers who are looking for a delightful, atmospheric gaming experience that still affords plenty of challenge, and it’s enticing enough for gamers who (like me) might need to take some extra time and effort to get past the trickier bits (I will note that the game has an option to play on easy mode if you’d rather focus more on the story itself more than the challenging puzzles, and I’m kind of wishing I’d opted for it just to be able to get more immersed in the game — maybe next go-round!). It’s a world I want to keep on coming back to, with the hope of getting better and better at overcoming the challenges that lie ahead in Nibel!
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This might not be as old or off the wall title as Monkey Island 2 or Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, but it is a very unique game that takes storytelling to a very different level. Life is Strange is a cross between The Walking Dead game by Telltale […]
We have dates for the sale, or at least when it is going to happen.
This year’s winter sale, according to PayPal’s email, starts Tuesday, December 22.