Tag Archives: review

The Legend of Korra: Books 1 and 2

 

I never wanted to watch The Legend of Korra. During the grand finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender I, for whatever reason, decided Zuko and Katar were meant to be together forever. When she kissed Aang I was so irrationally disappointed I wanted nothing to do with the franchise ever again. I wasn’t even that invested in the show in the first place–I only watched it to pass the time–which is why my reaction was so ridiculous. Even so, it wasn’t until the first two books (seasons) of Korra were put on Amazon Prime in late 2014 that I started watching it. My love of all things free overcame my dislike for Avatar‘s ending.

Continue reading The Legend of Korra: Books 1 and 2

A Pedigree To Die For

OverDrive is running the Big Library Read and the featured book is Laurien Berenson’s A Pedigree To Die For. It is a quick read, with pretty fleshed out characters and, well, dogs. Lots of dogs, mainly standard poodles. I am not a dog person (cats are our masters) but the amount of intrigue and devotion surrounding the fictional dog show enthusiasts in the novel was enough to keep the digital pages turning even for me.

Melanie Travis is teacher who finds herself out of work during the summer. She has a four-year old son to care for an a mooching younger brother. When her uncle passes away and one of his and his wife’s prized dogs goes missing, Melanie decides to humor her aunt’s theory about a murder taking place. After all, she has nothing else to do in the summer months.

She gets a crash course in dogs and dog shows which is a little awkward for me since she seems to have no issue at using the correct terminology for female canines. I know it’s what professionals call them, but seeing the b word thrown around so much is just odd and probably says something about our current culture and women. Whatever, I (kind of) got over it.

There is such a quirky cast of characters surrounding these dogs, and the family drama both on the surface and bubbling underneath provided additional substance to gnaw on. Melanie’s love life, or lack there of, was also refreshing as opposed to the tired cliché I was half-expecting.

Apparently there is a whole series of Melanie Travis books, and a quick look at their titles and cover art suggest they also revolve around dogs. I’m going to give the next book in the  series a try, so we’ll see if this cat person can handle all this dog business.

Hearthstone, You Are Addicting

Even though I am not the biggest fan of free-to-play, I can acknowledge when it seems to have been done right. And thus far in my playing, Blizzard’s Hearthstone seems to have hit the right balance. A watered down version of Magic: The Gathering it may be, but that actually is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. Hearthstone makes it easy to jump in and learn the ropes fast, and since the game tries to match you to another player of roughly equal skill, there is no fear of being crushed so completely in your beginning matches.

Fun with cards

This game was clearly made with tablets in mind, and the digital realm. It still manages to encompass the feeling of playing a physical collectible card game and a quick look in the store reveals it could very easily cost as much (or more).

I have not progressed terribly far in terms of ranks and the Arena does have a little bit of a paywall: you get in with gold so in theory you don’t have to actually use your own money if you win enough.

If one has access to a PC, Mac, or iPad, and one enjoys playing cards I would suggest giving it a try. That is one of the undeniable perks of free-to-play: no money down!

Gaming Backlog: Bioshock 2


Hot off finishing the first Bioshock, I plunged into the second entry. Now instead of voiceless Jack you are voiceless Delta, a Big Daddy. Playing as a Big Daddy was rather fun, although there were times when the combat felt clunky and limiting. However, the combat wasn’t exactly seamless in the original Bioshock either.

Once again I as the player am suppose to trust a voice on the other end of a radio. And once again I find myself not trusting any of them. I suppose I’m just not a huge fan of such a game mechanic, although I acknowledge the usefulness of such a thing.

The gameplay is rather same-y to the first. The maps have improved by leaps and bounds and you can now easily tell which floor you are on and that these stairs lead to this part. A few of the boss encounters seem a touch unbalanced: I played against one boss on easy and he was a pain. I can’t imagine how he was on harder difficulties. Again, you have the option of saving or harvesting Little Sisters, and unlike last time, harvesting seems a lot more morally bankrupt now that you are playing as a Big Daddy.

 

You can also adopt Little Sisters and guard them while they harvest ADAM from the dead. This is the most annoying part of the game for me, especially in the beginning when you don’t have that much health or plasmids and weak weapons. Once you get mini turrets it’s not so bad, but that first harvesting…sheesh! Now onto the story.

Delta is a Big Daddy in search of his Little Sister Eleanor. He lost her when Dr. Lamb used a mind control plasmid on him and forced him to shot himself in the head ten years ago. How Delta manages to be up and running around all these years later is explained in the game towards the end, but in general that didn’t bother me much. Instead I was distracted at trying to figure out if the crazed citizens I was shooting were around in the first game or if they somehow came after the fact.

The timeline was a bit sketchy to me, and this is probably because Rapture seemed to be on its last legs when I last left it ten years prior, and you don’t have to be a scientist to know that an underwater city would need a heck of a lot of maintenance to survive that long. But anyway that’s what google is there to explain, but it would have been nice to have a more cohesive explaination of the situation and how it tied back to the first time around in Rapture in the game itself.

The ending was satisfying but not nearly to the same degree as the first Bioshock. I have heard from other gamers that this didn’t feel as much as a sequel on its own, that the DLC Miranda’s Den felt more along those lines. I haven’t found myself wanting to spend money on DLC myself to test this out, but I can see what they mean. The connection between the two games could have been better, but it was still fun nonetheless.