Thursday, October 01, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Knick, Season One:
This Cinemax show about a surgeon at the turn of the century never really grabbed me. Maybe I'm too millenial to find period costumes interesting or maybe Clive Owen has all of the stage presence of a beige wall, but I gave up after 3 episodes.

Final Grade: Not Graded

Shift, Omnibus Edition by Hugh Howey:
The middle book of the Wool trilogy is very good, but may not satisfy all readers. It acts as a prequel to the first, providing plenty of intriguing backstory but never advancing the story significantly. The characters weren't as interesting as Book One, but it did get me excited to read the final book.

Final Grade: B+

What We Do In the Shadows:
This mockumentary about vampires living in the modern world is very funny without being overbearing. It probably would have been more successfully as a series of Youtube shorts, but it's only about 80 minutes long so it doesn't outstay its welcome.

Final Grade: B+

Heroes of the Storm:
I never played Defense of the Ancients or League of Legends, based on their reputations for being full of angry assholes, so I initially ignored Blizzard's entry into the genre when it first came out. In HotS, you pick a character from the Blizzard game worlds (Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft) and then fight against another team to demolish their base, with the aid of auto-pathing cannon fodder armies. The game is successful in many ways: the style and gameplay take me back to the Warcraft III days, and the community is generally pretty friendly. On the other hand, the UI is so streamlined so as not to scare new players that it feels slightly crippling -- information and statistics should be easily available in this type of game, even if some players don't ever look at them. Games generally last 10 - 20 minutes which is great for gamers on the go, but doesn't really give me reason to invest in getting any better. Overall, this is a decent (and FREE) game to mix into the rotation of casual gaming habits like Hearthstone, but not one that I would ever end up playing as much as a Diablo or a Starcraft.

Final Grade: B-

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