New additions to the media collection in September 2018

September 2018 was again a good month for the media collection with all sorts of movies, games, books, and a surprising number of magazines.

Three Retrogamer magazines in one month, how did this happen? Well, as Future plc or My Favourite Magazines still haven’t sorted out the huge delivery problems and I even wrote to the magazine’s editor in chief, it was replacement time again.

It might not be worse than missing out on each single issue, but having no subscriber-only covers as replacements is simply fraud according to my book, as this is one of the reasons why people subscribe to it. And after customer service first denied they didn’t have these in stock, I still received them as replacements. Speaking of an organization that doesn’t know what it’s doing, where its deliveries disappear and what they have in their warehouses.

The Games TM magazines were also very late, but at least they arrived… one week or so after the replacements, so yes, maybe 1 month, sometimes 3 weeks, not what “Allow up to 14 days for delivery” means in customer service talk…

If it would be as easy as picking up the LEGO mag each month, but as the UK magazines are simply too expensive and difficult to buy, this isn’t really a viable option.

Another fun take on a well-known TV show in the form of a storybook for children thanks to Quirk Books.

The sequel to the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book I bought last month and hopefully more entertaining to read, as the original was just as tedious to go through than Jane Austen’s original story.

Two more King books, even though I already had Tommyknockers. Unfortunately I realized (many years after its original purchase) that it was a misprint, making quite a few pages losing some text. I got The Dark Half in preparation for the BD I bought in July 2018, and hopefully the adaptation is a bit more suspenseful and fun.

Usually I’m not a big fan of those personality tests or quizzes found in magazines, but as it’s from Quirk Books, it can be an interesting read and maybe provide some good movie recommendations along the way.

It’s trash movie time again, including some lovely mediabooks.

Schlock is perhaps one of my favorite horror comedies, and it was very difficult to get a copy of this except for a very expensive VHS (or watching it on YouTube). Even if Arrow Video will release it in the UK, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the very fun German dubbing. Hopefully everyone will now experience this awesomely surreal funny as hell movie that is difficult to categorize, come to think of it.

The Barbarians is one of those movies I barely remember from my childhood, but after having watched one of the best animal-like grunt/laughs of the talentless actors I’ve ever heard, I had to get this. Fortunately, after a bit of waiting, I still received my copy, as it’s not in stock at the moment and maybe out of print. With no other worldwide release, this might be the only way to watch it again, now uncut as well.

I remember having watched the first (Iron Man) and a bit of the second one (Body Hammer which is still not available in Germany), but I didn’t quite get them. The former one was too hectic with its camera work, the latter too boring. But maybe giving the first another chance and seeing if the third installment is just as over-the-top will change my opinions about this strange experimental sci-fi/horror series.

Speaking of weird movies, these three certainly belong to that category as well. I was a bit disappointed about The Greasy Strangler, as “one of the sickest”, “one of the most disgusting” movies this certainly isn’t. It had its moments, but it was only a bit strange, not that outrageous as people make it out to be. The same could be said about Leatherface as well, although at least there was no hype built around it. While it can’t hold up a candle to the Michael Bay productions, it still was entertainingly sick, especially close to the end. More about this maybe in one of a future Halloween special with all of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. Freaks of Nature was surprisingly cool, but that’s all I have to say or write about it, because there will be something in the upcoming Halloween movie special week ;-).

The only 3D movie this month, which completes the Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton collection.

I don’t know how many digital copy versions I have of this game, but the only physical one was on Xbox 360 when Alan Wake was still an exclusive. Now it’s not really the PC version I already reviewed (and which was unfortunately removed from digital platforms due to music license problems), but this very special collector’s box edition.

Nordic Games (or THQ Nordic now) fortunately decided to use a more robust method to hold the discs in place than what I got in April 2018, and it’s great to finally have the soundtrack and some of the bonus material on a DVD.

Opening the box already reveals some beautiful artwork and the stickers, one of the many physical goodies.

A very big manual is almost a rarity these days, but having The Alan Wake Files with lots of background information about the comprehensive lore of the fictional writer’s world is even better.

Bright Falls has always been one of those locations one would like to visit in real life, and these postcards add to this perfect illusion.

Finally a double-sided poster completes the heavy package that was totally worth the price of just 10 Euros.

Only one Xbox One game this month, and it’s another exclusive, now completing my Halo collection.

Last but not least many more PS4 exclusive titles, including Eagle Flight that convinced me to buy the PSVR equipment in June 2018, and Ratchet & Clank, an action-platformer series I loved to play on the PS2.

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.

Advertisements
Posted in Book reviews, Books, Collecting, Game reviews, Gaming, Movie reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

GOG release: “Inked”

Somnium Games and Starbreeze Publishing AB bring the act of telling and drawing a story together with hand-drawn puzzle-platformer Inked that is now available on GOG.

If one has seen and played so many games, either AAA or indie titles, it’s difficult to get excited or impressed by new ones if they don’t have something especially memorable to draw one’s attention away from the flood of other releases. Inked is one such game that doesn’t only look beautiful with a visual style that creates the illusion of watching an artist draw on the page, but it’s the story itself that complements the form. The relationship between the ronin Nameless Hero with a strange bird and the comic book artist Adam is constantly commented on, while the puzzles and scenery change with every idea that springs to mind and is put on paper.

In order to help the ronin reach his ultimate goal of finding his lost love Aiko, the hero has to move geometrical shapes and jump over obstacles, while also overcoming other dangers along the way. But it seems that there’s something much deeper, as the tale about love and relationships doesn’t only have a special meaning on paper, but also for Adam in the real world as well. It’s all a bit cryptic, but as with every meta-fictional story, that’s to be expected. Exploring the wonderfully drawn world might just be as intriguing as exploring the true intent of the artist to tell this story.

Inked was originally released in April 2018, but is now available DRM-free on GOG with a 10% launch discount that will last until October 18th, 1pm UTC. There’s also an art & music bundle that can be bought separately and includes a digital art book and the soundtrack.

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

Posted in Game release news, Gaming | Leave a comment

Game release: “My Memory of Us” (PC,PS4,Xbox One)

Juggler Games and IMGN.pro‘s puzzle-platformer My Memory of Us tells a thought-provoking story about war and friendship, but with an unexpected robot invasion twist.

War stories in games are still a mixed bag, as can be seen with the Call of Duty series leaning more towards Hollywood blockbuster action (although there’s nothing wrong with that), but there have been other examples of portraying the historical horror in a more subtle way, like This War of Mine. Still, it doesn’t always have to be all realism, as the idea of oppression and still trying to think positive no matter how worse it gets can be presented in a more fantastic fashion. My Memory of Us is about the friendship of a boy and a girl who are from different cultural backgrounds, and as a war breaks out because of an evil robot king who wants to separate people in its Fascist regime, the two still try to stay together and escape the ghetto-like confinements of the city they live in.

Based on life in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII and real war stories, the game still feels different because of the enemy being shown as robots, so robot guard dogs as well as robot soldiers have to be evaded and tricked along the way. The art direction is also quite unique: In addition to a dialogue system that uses symbols as its language, there is a wonderful European graphic novel sketch style with great background and character design that mixes black and white and some prominent warm colors, which is reminiscent of film noir comic adaptation Sin City. Of course it’s not all about the visuals, as there’s still a game at the heart of the experience. Puzzles and platform sections are solved and completed with the pair mechanics, as the boy can sneak and the girl can run better. Being able to either control one or both characters is also a nice twist of the puzzle-platformer formula.

The game is out now on PC as well as on PS4 and Xbox One, with the PC version having a 10% launch discount that will last until October 16th, 2pm UTC. There’s also a collector’s edition which includes a digital art book and the soundtrack.

Buy the standard edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the collector’s edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the game for PS4 on
the PSN store

Buy the game for Xbox One on
the Xbox store

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

Posted in Game release news, Gaming | Leave a comment

Game release: “Pathfinder: Kingmaker” (PC)

Owlcat Games and Deep Silver‘s Pathfinder: Kingmaker brings the tabletop game to the masses in the form of a classic isometric fantasy RPG with management/simulation mechanics.

The subtitle Kingmaker sums up the general plot and goal of the game: building a kingdom in the Fallen Lands and keeping it alive. This means conquering new regions and thinking about which allies are trustworthy for protection. So it’s not only classic exploration with fighting in dungeons and in the wilds, but also more like a medieval life simulation that has an impact on the player’s character as well. Every choice one makes and the way how the character treats his or her subjects shows visually in how the capital city will look like in the process, so seeking war all the time won’t be such a good idea when trying to make friends with neighbors, and one’s people won’t necessarily regard the player as a very nice guy, either.

Speaking of character, as the game is still an RPG, one of the first that is set in the Pathfinder tabletop universe, it’s clear that the character class hasn’t only an effect on the kingdom, but also on the interaction between friends and foes on the battlefield. So abilities, skills, spells, and weapon types have to be taken into consideration when choosing between 14 classes. Of course personality plays a big role, too, as one doesn’t travel alone, but has various companions with their individual background stories that complement their behavior in dialogues and during fight sequences. It might not seem like the most original gameplay ideas, but managing a kingdom and seeing it grow or fall apart might just be different enough to give this new game a go. It should also be mentioned that Inon Zur, the composer of the amazing Syberia soundtrack, contributed to the music, while Chris Avellone, known for projects like Icewind Dale, Fallout 2 or Planescape: Torment, to name but a few, was involved in this game as well, so RPG fans shouldn’t worry about its quality.

The game has already been out on PC since the end of September, but as it’s usually the case with these types of games, it’s always good to wait a bit, as there have been quite a few hotfixes released since then. The only question now remains which version to buy, as there are three more in addition to the standard one called the Explorer Edition: The Noble Edition offers 2 in-game items that make the game a bit easier, two additional portraits, a digital art book, and the official soundtrack, while the Royale Edition adds a digital module for board game adventures, a digital map of the Stolen Lands, and the Red Panda pet that doesn’t only look cute, but helps with increasing one’s negative effect resistance, to the mix. Finally if one’s wallet is big enough, there’s the Imperial Edition that includes the season pass for the first three packages of post-release DLC.

Buy the standard (Explorer) edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the Noble Edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the Royal Edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the Imperial Edition for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

Posted in Game release news, Gaming | Leave a comment

Netflix watchlist: September 2018

Netflix offered a refreshingly humorous but still gory take on the zombie apocalypse in September 2018.

TV shows:
Z Nation (Season 1) [9/10]
Z Nation (Season 2) [8/10]

After having been rather disappointed with the second season of The Walking Dead on Amazon Prime Video last month and fallen almost asleep during most of the episodes, I thought that at least Z Nation, the Asylum/Scyfy Channel version of the the zombie outbreak, would be unintentionally or intentionally funny and therefore entertaining. What I didn’t expect was that it was so good that it blew the AMC series right out of the hype water. Non-stop action, surprisingly well-down splatter effects, and a cast that might not be the most fleshed out, but one that is quirky enough to make the audience wish they’d survive. Having a man who was bitten by multiple zombies survive and be the only chance humanity has for a cure might be a lot of nonsense, but as the series doesn’t take itself too seriously, that’s okay, especially since this man isn’t the most cooperative and simply doesn’t want to be the hero. What also makes the first season so much fun is that despite its low budget, there are always some great ideas and twists in each episode, while the characters one meets and the situations the survivors find themselves in (e.g. against radioactive zombies or a zombie tornado) become weirder and weirder, but also more disgusting and violent (so the 16+ age rating is more than just a joke). What is even more important is that the series features lots of zombies and not a lot of talking, even if it has actor DJ Squalls who is well-known for his light comedies, but who does a great job of playing the only military link to the outside world slowly going crazy and still holding his ground, making for an especially surreal episode and a fantastic ending.

If the first season of Z Nation was already crazy, then the second one follows the template of the Sharknado movies, i.e. going even wilder with its ideas. Unfortunately it also tries to be a bit more serious and cinematic than the low budget allows. An unnecessary number of slow motion sequences and more dramatic scenes that don’t quite work make it obvious that the people behind the show wanted to add more seriousness to proceedings. But if this means seeing a big cheese rolling down the hill and picking up zombies and cows along the way or an alien attack, then it becomes clear that this is still a series that relies more on over-the-top trash fun. Still, the post-apocalyptic Mad Max atmosphere means that there’s something of an identity crisis at times. Of course the first season had its fair share of serious and comic events, but this time, it doesn’t quite add up. It’s all very entertaining stuff, but with more talking going on and a storyline that isn’t that engaging, one wonders if the series can keep up the fast pacing and inventiveness, and even if there’s a lot of action going on and one gets to care for the characters with all their little quirks, this season feels a bit dragged out than the preceding one. However, telling all the background stories in the pre-finale episode is quite brave, presenting an unusually gory and fun origin story that hasn’t been done in this way in any other series, at least not this late.

So Netflix in September 2018 offered a really pleasant surprise with Z Nation, a series that deserves much more attention than the zombie comic adaptation everyone’s talking and raving about.

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.

Posted in TV | Leave a comment