Review Grab Bag (12-3-12)

Maybe it’s been over a year, but welcome again to the Review Grab Bag…  the Review Free-For-All.  If it can be reviewed, it’s fair game… good, great, bad or steaming pile of shit.

Today we’ve got 2 books, a Wii game and a movie (that’s an adaptation of a book about comic books and games! Everything is connected, in the great Circle of Reviews.   Ing-wing-yamma Ing-we-yamma-bahna.

This is a mystery novel set in Ireland during the middle ages while the Catholic Church is just starting to take root in Ireland.  It involves a mystery solving lawyer-nun, Sister Fidelma and her pious husband travelling across the Irish countryside to an abbey where a priest has died mysteriously after returning from the Holy Land.  Apparently, this is the 21st adventure of Sister Fidelma.  I’m not exactly sure how a book series about a lawyer-nun makes it to book #21.  Regardless, it was a decent read, with some interesting takes on how practices have changed in the church over the centuries.  The mystery itself isn’t as interesting or difficult to solve as a mystery should be, however.  The book’s worth a read if you see it in a thrift store or yard sale.  I wouldn’t search it out, unless you’re a huge fan of religious murder mysteries featuring a lawyer-nun. 3/5

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

This novel is the inspiration for the first season of the hit TV show Dexter.  The show’s first season followed the book quite closely, I discovered.  I was a huge fan of that season, so it’s no surprise that the opportunity to get an even more in depth look at the serial killer with a conscience was quite satisfying.  Lindsey’s writing is great, and Dexter is a fantastic and darkly humourous narrator. I’m not sure how exciting it would be to someone that’s not a fan of the show.  I’m also not sure all fans of the show would like it, since the story is largely the same, and thus, not surprising.  Regardless, I’ve rated it 5/5.

Kirby’s first outing on the Wii console was a step in a different direction.  Normally the pink puff with an appetite sucks up enemies and floats his way around in a cute platformer.  This time, he’s been sucked into some kind of Fabricville dimension where an evil fabric wizard is bent on destroying Fabricville, or something.  The story doesn’t matter, this game is about cute, but dynamic, gameplay.  It really shines in co-op mode, where you and a friend work together to restitch the world.  The stylized graphics are excellent, and the gameplay is solid for what is essentially a 2D platformer.  I wasn’t impressed with the sound, but that’s probably because I find the cutesy sounds that accompany cutesy games largely annoying.  Apparently the game has been called short by others, but I really wouldn’t know.  Since my wife and I rarely fire up the consoles any more, we still haven’t finished it.  Graphics: 9/10, Gameplay 8/10, Story: 5/10, Design 7/10, Sound 5/10, Overall:  7/10

I recently re-watched this, because the Blu-Ray essentially dropped in my lap.  This movie does a fantastic job at simultaneously hitting the target 20-somethings audience while smashing the nostalgia bone of anyone in their mid to late 30s who grew up on a Nintendo.  The movie pays homage to several different geek/hipster cultures, like videogaming, retro-gaming, anime/manga, being generallly unimpressed with things and dressing up and acting like a douche.  I don’t really think it’s a movie for everyone.  I do strongly believe, though, that it is a movie that if you do “get it”, it’s fucking amazing.  5/5

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7 comments on “Review Grab Bag (12-3-12)

    • Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it on and off for probably over a year now. With Friday being the 4th Anniversary of when Mel’s nagging and my annoyance at Christmas Music finally reached a boiling point, I figured a change of venue might make it easier to get back into regular updates. Plus the comment system over here is *so* much nicer.

  1. Nice review. I love Dexter the TV show, but I never thought about reading the book. I was also thinking about investing in Kirby’s epic yarn as well. Maybe I’ll try it out, but my hopes won’t be too high.

    Thanks for following my blog! You have a great one here!

    • Thanks for stopping by. If you love the series, the book is really worth reading. It’s not quite as good as the show is, but Dexter’s thoughts just flow so well as the narrator.

      Kirby definitely works best as a co-op effort, for people that like video games, but aren’t into super-hard challenges, or explosions and violence and that kind of stuff. Even if it doesn’t *play* like a Kirby game, it still very much feels like a Kirby game.

  2. Love the Epic Yarn review. I gotta say I loved that game, although it was really easy. My brother and I blazed through it on co-op mode and the graphics are my favorite part, plus I like the cuteness of Kirby haha.

    I’ll be checking out more of your reviews soon. Glad to follow you.

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