Tag Archives: Sequel

Completed #4 – Giana Sisters: Dream Runners


This isn’t very good. It isn’t a very good game, and it isn’t a very good experience for an achievement hunter, despite being quick and relatively easy, depending on how the game’s randomness is feeling at the time. It took me under an hour, which is the quickest I’ve ever done it, and it still frustrated me a great deal. These are the sacrifices I make so you don’t have to, I guess.

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Review – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2

What’s this?

If you need me to tell you, there’s a strong chance you and I won’t get on. Still, allow me to direct you to my review of the first half of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which contains all the blathering about artwork, animation and voice acting that you could ever hope to read. All that stuff’s more or less the same in this half, so I won’t bother reiterating the points. Much more to discuss, this time, including old Miller’s unsurprisingly simplistic view of America’s Cold War foreign policy.

Sorry… what?

All in good time, folks. Until then, the story so far: Batman’s using his state pension to fund a return to vigilantism, despite the national government having implemented a ban on such activity. In Part 1, he wrested control of Gotham City back from a gang of studded, visor-clad street-punks known as “the Mutants”, mostly by tricking their leader into a muddy puddle and punching him repeatedly. Here, in Part 2, Miller’s story is irradiated by the fallout from Batman’s resurgence, and starts to sprout new, unexpected appendages. A previously-institutionalized Joker (Michael Emerson), Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime, has joined the media circus, using the pretence of a talk show to butcher the host and the entire studio audience; the Sons of Batman, a well-meaning unofficial fan club, have taken up arms to help clear Gotham of its criminal dregs; and in the Oval Office, a satirised Ronald Reagan despatches his pet steroidal Superman (Mark Valley) to bring Batman to justice.

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Review – Spider-Man: Homecoming

What’s this?

It’s the sixth Spider-Man movie since the dawn of the new millennium, the second live-action reboot of the character, and the sixteenth entry into the money-printing multimedia monopoly otherwise known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it’s mostly a teen-romance story, and a pleasantly cosmopolitan coming-of-age drama, just with some superhero shenanigans grafted on, like the sentient robotic arms of a mad scientist. (A reference that should clue you in to the fact that, since watching Spider-Man: Homecoming, I’ve been thinking a lot about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, and how much more like it I wish this movie was.)

Oh, here we go.

I’ll stop you there, if you don’t mind. My love for Raimi’s second ­Spidey instalment notwithstanding, I don’t worship at the altar of those movies in the same way that a lot of my contemporaries do. The first, from 2002, is a functional origin story but little more than that, and the third, from 2007, is a violent crime against good taste and decency. Homecoming is superior to both of them, and, of course, to the two horrific Amazing Spider-Man travesties, although at this point that should go without saying. But if you expect me to not compare a new Spider-Man movie with the definitive Spider-Man movie, then, well… perhaps reviews aren’t for you.

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Review – Despicable Me 3

What’s this?

The third one. Well, the fourth one, technically, but it has the number three on the end of the title, so whatever.

Oh, I can see how this is going to go.

Yeah, sorry. It’s just difficult for me to muster any real enthusiasm for such a blatant slab of brainless corporate product. Despite what I or anyone else might say about these movies, they’re guaranteed to make an astronomical amount of box office dollars, thus ensuring that the franchise continues in various forms way beyond the point of artistic tenability. (A point that, if we’re being honest, was located somewhere around the end of the first movie.)

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Review – Cars 3

What’s this?

The third instalment of Pixar’s Cars franchise – the least ambitious and involving world the company has dreamed up, but still, bizarrely, the most profitable – that’s also, structurally and thematically, an automotive Rocky IV where the cars drive themselves.

I’m sorry?

It’s almost as if someone at Disney finally sat down and realised that these are essentially sports movies, and that the emotional and dramatic stakes of sports movies are pre-packaged. So Cars 3 is about racing, the winning and losing of races, and the psychology of racers. There’s no getting bogged down in small-town ennui or genre spoofs like the previous two; this franchise has finally recognised that romanticising the sub-culture of NASCAR racing only really works if you keep all of the focus on the NASCAR racing itself.

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Review – Transformers: The Last Knight

What’s this?

You know what this is: the FIFTH of Michael Bay’s inexplicably-successful Transformers movies. I’ve never met a single person who genuinely likes these things, and yet they still continue to pull in astronomical Box Office figures, so there must be someone, somewhere, who’s going to see them. This review is for those people, whoever and wherever they might be.

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Final Thoughts – Duke Nukem Forever

I feel that I might have been a little hasty in my criticism of Duke Nukem ForeverThat is far from an apology, and I’m in no way about to retract the majority of the statements that I made about it. It’s simply an admission. I always try to be objective and professional when I give my opinions, but the mood surrounding the game’s release felt so incendiary that I was compelled to rush. There are things I said that I perhaps shouldn’t have, and things I didn’t say which were worth mentioning. So, that’s what this post is for.

Full disclosure: When I wrote my last post about this game, I hadn’t even reached the end. That’s something that rarely ever happens, and when it does I clarify that I’m not in a position to judge the quality of the whole product. I didn’t do that in this case. On the one hand, that was pretty unprofessional. On the other, it is also what convinced me to return to Duke Nukem Forever and claw through everything the game had to offer.

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