Thursday, May 03, 2012

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Terminator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Season Two:
This season of TSCC (free on Amazon Prime) suffered from 24-Syndrome: No TV show is interesting enough to stretch a plot over twenty episodes. The first season was a fun throwaway show, but this one dragged on without momentum. One episode about two-thirds of the way through was told completely through dream sequences, and it has been clinically proven that dream sequences always reduce the quality of a TV show by 50% (see also, The Sopranos and LOST). The final episode mixed things up very nicely and provided some interesting hooks for a follow-on season, but the show was thankfully cancelled before it could drag on any further.

Final Grade: C

Legend of Grimrock:
This $11 indy game on Steam is a throwback to grid-based dungeon crawlers like Bard's Tale, with a real-time combat mechanism thrown in. It's a good mix of reflex-based maneuvering and (often difficult) puzzles. I got a solid 10 hours of enjoyment out of it before I got bored -- I only made it to dungeon level 5, but felt like the character progression and skill trees didn't really offer anything exciting to work towards. Then the Diablo 3 beta came out and I stopped playing completely.

Final Grade: C+

Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan:
A fun, free hour of stand-up which has aged very well. I used to listen to Madigan on XM all of the time -- it's a good mix of (old) current events, and the usual topics without overdoing it on profanity and raunch.

Final Grade: B

The Fat Man on Game Audio: Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness by George Alistair Sanger:
The Fat Man was the music designer for most of computer games in my youth, and though this book has been out of print for years, a version is now available on the Kindle. With the exception of two chapters, the book is barely about working in the game audio industry, and is mostly a collection of stories and tall tales from The Fat Man's life. The content is eclectic and enjoyable, even without much of a nostalgia for the old computer game days, but the Kindle formatting is highly distracting. The layout makes me think the original book had a wacky, artsy look to it, which doesn't translate well on an e-book. Also, some of the text is actually the same color as the background, which means you can't always read every sentence.

Final Grade: B-

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