Archive | Reviews

10 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a fantasy action/adventure movie tie-in to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe,  distributed by Warner Bros pictures in 2016.  It shares a title with one of Harry Potter’s textbooks in the Harry Potter series, written by Newt Scamander.  And it has also been published as a standalone book by J.K. Rowling in 2001.

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06 May 2019 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO REVIEW: Short Story Finalists

written by David Steffen It’s award season again, and these are the nominees for the Hugo Award, voted by supporting members of this year’s WorldCon. This category covers fiction of less than 7500 words. I love to use the Hugo Awards as a recommended reading list, and I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I do! […]

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26 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Monsters University

Monsters University is a computer-animated children’s movie comedy produced by Pixar, released in June 2013.  It is a prequel to 2001’s super-popular Monsters Inc, which starred monsters James “Sully” Sullivan and Mike Wazowski working in the scare factory scaring human children to produce power for the monster city and accidentally let a human child into the monster world.

As you might guess from the title, Monsters University takes place in Mike and Sully’s college days, as they’re just starting.  At the beginning of the movie they’re just starting school, both enrolled in the scarer program and they haven’t even met yet.  But they don’t quickly become friends like you might expect if you’ve seen the other movie.  Studious, hardworking model student Mike is constantly frustrated by lazy Sully who expects to cruise through college on his family name and reputation and his natural intimidating size.  But Monsters University is no easy ride, and least of all of the scare program, which Dean Abigail Hardscrabble watches over harshly.

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19 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is an animated action comedy science fiction movie released by Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2014, which is loosely based on the Marvel superhero team of the same name.

Hiro Hamada is a 14-year old high school graduate  living in San Fransokyo (a combination of San Francisco and Tokyo apparently?), who spends his free time building robots to fight on the illegal underground bot fighting circuits.  His big brother Tadashi shows him to the advanced research lab where Tadashi has been spending his time inventing a balloon robot with nursing capabilities, and Hiro quickly makes friends with the other young researchers as well as the lab’s director Robert Callaghan who invites Hiro to apply to join the lab by entering something in an inventing competition.

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12 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

written by David Steffen The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic science fiction/fantasy novel written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (also well known for writing Treasure Island), first published in 1886.  I’m assuming most people are familiar with at least the basic premise of the story, which is not […]

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08 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: McPixel

McPixel is a point and click puzzle humor game released by Sos in 2012.  The game is made up of dozen 20-second mini-levels where the main character McPixel has 20 seconds to save the day, usually by defusing a bomb.  Clear inspiration for the game is the 1980s show MacGyver (which was recently rebooted), known for putting its eponymous hero in tight spots where he had to improvise a solution to a deadly problem in minutes.  And to some extent maybe even MacGruber, the Saturday Night Live spoof of MacGyver in recent years–MacGruber came to mind more readily since MacGruber regularly fails to stop the explosions.

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05 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Kim Possible

written by David Steffen Kim Possible is a 2019 live action Disney Channel original movie about a pair of high school crimefighters Kim Possible (Sadie Stanley) and Ron Stoppable (Sean Giambrone), based on the 2002-2007 cartoon series of the same name. By day the two of them are just regular high school kids dealing with regular high school […]

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29 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge is a Metroid-style exploration and action side-scroller shooter game released on Steam in 2015 by Thomas Happ Games LLC.

The game starts after Trace is the victim of a lab accident, and wakes up in a mysterious alien world with no memory of how he got there. He begins exploring, with the guidance of a mysterious voice in his head that knows more about his situation than he does. As he goes he finds an arsenal of new weapons and items that both help in combat and help unlock new areas of the map that weren’t reachable before. As he explores wider and wider he finds out more about why he is here and what he is meant to do.

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25 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Life Goes On: Done to Death

Life Goes On: Done to death is a platformer puzzle game with a dark sense of humor, published on Steam in April 2014 by Infinite Monkeys Entertainment Ltd.

A king with an obsession with immortality sends the brave knights of his kingdom on a quest to find the Cup of Life.  There… is clearly a reason why this immortality-obsessed king didn’t go on the quest himself, since the path to the cup is so dangerous that it leaves a steady trail of dead knights, and each knight only makes their way through the obstacles by using the corpses of the knights that came before them as puzzle-solving tools.  At the end of each level is a cup, but it never seems to the Cup..

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11 March 2019 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Teslagrad

teslagradA man walks through the night, carrying a staff and a baby.  He knocks on a door, gives the baby to a woman there, and then keeps walking.  The baby becomes a man, and henchmen come pounding on the door.  The boy flees the men through the night, eventually finding refuge in the mysterious and deadly Tesla Tower.

Teslagrad is a Metroid-style platformer action/adventure puzzle game published by Rain Games in 2013.  As you might expect from the name, the obstacles and tools in Tesla Tower are based around electricity and magnetism–opening/closing electrical gates, changing the polarity of objects or of yourself to repel or attract in strategic ways to achieve your objectives.

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