Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon:
This standalone expansion pack is essentially a reskinning of Far Cry 3 with every single bad 80s action movie trope you can possibly cram in. It starts out funny but the humor starts to grate fairly quickly, and eventually you realize that you're just playing Far Cry 3 with different skins. Additionally, the first save point is unforgivably far into the game (probably about 45 minutes), which means you end up sitting through the extended introduction way too many times if you can't play for long periods of time.

Final Grade: C-

Stay Awhile and Listen: How Two Blizzards Unleashed Diablo and Forged a Video-Game Empire by David Craddock:
This Kindle book is based on exhaustive interviews around the original Diablo creators. The stories and quotes are individually engaging, but the whole is less impressive. Often, there are too many distracting asides and sidebar quotes to maintain a cohesive storyline. It's obvious that the story is clear to the author, but he tells it from so many different angles that it often feels like he's telling around the story. Still, this is probably a must-read for anyone who got lost in the original Diablo in 1996.

Final Grade: B

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson:
This coffee table book is an easy-to-read, engaging survey of all sorts of science topics, from the Big Bang to quarks. Although it is fun to read, it's surprisingly light on scientific insights. The author seems to feel that science itself isn't interesting enough on its own and must be spiced up with anecdotes of the involved scientists or unnecessary analogies.

Final Grade: C

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