I get it. I get the draw of it all. The challenge that feels insurmountable, before rearranging itself into beatable patterns over time, all funnelling into the dramatic catharsis of victory. Soulsborne games (is that moniker still current, given the latest entry?) demand precision, dedication and care, and reward players with drips of mythic story … Continue reading I’ve given up on Sekiro, and I’m not sorry
With all the inevitability of a purple half-giant snapping his fingers, the Avengers saga rumbles to a close, the world's box offices crumbling before it.
Are DC finally beginning to figure it out? If they can't have the world-beating, all-conquering cinematic mega franchise that Marvel have built, could they at least have a few films that aren't absolutely hideous? The closest conclusion available is now a hard "maybe". Zachary Levy is the titular Shazam, the title itself referring to the … Continue reading Shazam!
I may, eventually, get a tattoo marking the importance of another author’s work on my body. I may find another set of chronicles that I can’t stop myself reading annually, regardless of the outrageous commitment of time they demand. I may discover another written universe comparable in its inexplicability and allure. But for now, Gene … Continue reading Terminus Est: Gene Wolfe, 1931-2019
With a near-perfectly pitched level of difficulty, Celeste is an enjoyable, simply-told parable of self-belief and perseverance. Its emotional insight has been overstated, but it is nonetheless a compelling package. Players take control of Madeline, a young woman seeking to climb the mysterious Celeste Mountain. It doesn't take long to realise that she's seeking a … Continue reading Celeste
With Avengers Infinity War and Endgame undeniable in the force of their cultural dominance, the risk of alternate Marvel entries falling into the cracks is real. Ant-Man and The Wasp was a casualty last year, and Captain Marvel is another unfortunate. Sandwiched between titanic film releases, the culminations of years of setup and creeping development, … Continue reading Captain Marvel
2018 was a good year for games. Red Dead Redemption II, oddly reluctantly and despite its overlong story, offered extended periods of exploratory calm that offered glimpses of gaming's true potential. Hollow Knight's Switch port paired a sublime game with the perfect platform, and offered a superlative sense of discovery and risk. Spider-Man wonderfully perfected its … Continue reading God of War – 2018’s Game of the Year
Lacking some of the cynicism of other franchise-launchers, Mortal Engines is nonetheless an limited adaptation of the first of Philip Reeve's excellent YA novels. Now looking certain for commercial doom, it's a creditable maiden voyage in intentions but not execution. Reeve's setting is the film's primary strength, a nuclear post-apocalypse in which surviving cities have been … Continue reading Mortal Engines
The "In Association with Marvel" revival continues for Spider-Man, a character so long underserved by creative stultification at Sony. Now, between this dazzlingly realised animation and Tom Holland's new live action Peter Parker, the webslinger is getting a run of worthy film outings. This new story splinter follows Miles Morales, well-established as Spider-Man in the … Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Creed was a small-scale miracle of a film, perfectly cast and with the right director, finding all of its component parts at the apt time. Its newly-released sequel is, sadly, the film the first threatened to be, inoffensive and totally unessential. Minus the now-stratospherically successful Ryan Coogler in the director's chair, Creed II does reunite the principal cast … Continue reading Creed II