Friday, November 09, 2018

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

American Vandal, Season Two:
I figured it would be hard to follow up the "Who Drew the Dicks?" mystery of Season One, but Season Two opens with an unfortunate laxative incident at a preppy private school and seeks to determine who the "Turd Burglar" is in the style of a crime documentary. This season is actually better than the first, and has a satisfying ending that actually raises relevant questions about society. It's more than just turds all the way down.

Final Grade: A

Unguilded by Jane Glatt:
Magic of Thieves made me hesitant to continue reading the Secrets and Spells anthology, but I'm glad I did. Unguilded shares a few of the broad story strokes of the previous story but weaves them together much more effectively. The protagonist is one worth rooting for and the magic system is just different enough from the norm to be intriguing. A few of the villains are rather moustache-twirly, but I enjoyed the world-building and resolution. I added the sequels to my reading list based on the strength of this story.

Final Grade: B

Shake the Spirit by Elle King:
Elle King's second album is good, though a little more swear-y. Her voice is also super-over-sampled throughout as if she sang too close to an awful microphone or just required 800 filters to correct something about her voice. I still prefer the 1st album but this one isn't bad.

Final Grade: B-

Mage's Tale (Oculus Rift):
This is an innovative dungeon-crawler by the team that rebooted The Bard's Tale. It has an initial wow/fun factor as you hurl fireballs and maneuver through a dungeon with a sarcastic imp helping you, but this wears off somewhat quickly. The interface is totally motion-based (for example, the Save / Load / Options menu is navigated by grabbing the "Save" potion and drinking it) which is "neat" for about 5 minutes and then just gets in the way of years of established UX design principles. I ran out of steam about 4 hours in, not helped by the very long load times.

Final Grade: C

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