Friday, December 19, 2014

MadCap's Game Reviews - "Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas"

What do you mean I've reviewed this before?

...what? That? No, you must be thinking of something else entirely.

That game where you maneuver an equestrian avatar through deadly dangers to catch floating butterflies and blow up stars is completely different through this game...where you have a suspiciously similar character dressed up in a festive holiday sweater and antlers running to catch floating presents and blowing up snowflakes with supersonic speed.

...okay, so it's a bit of a cheat. Sue me.

The Flash game Robot Unicorn Attack was a surprise smash hit of the long, long ago time of the early 2010s, so it's only natural that Adult Swim would want to push a festive holiday version of it, Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas (and, much like Star Trek Into Darkness, I'm wondering where the colon is supposed to go).  And with such wonderful games such as Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition out of my grasp at the moment, I find myself occupied with...well...this.  And, of course, 'tis the season, right? So, naturally, I want to spend my Christmas with a robot unicorn.

This game, for all the aesthetic differences, controls and plays exactly like the game its based from.  The unicorn runs forever to the right, forcing the player to either blitz their way through obstacles and capture the floating objects of the unicorn's desire, all the while avoiding pitfalls and solid surfaces while racking up points. And, to answer myself from the previous review, there is no end to it.  The game just goes on and one, the platforms becoming more elaborate and the speed of the unicorn growing faster and faster until the player's manual dexterity cannot keep up and the unicorn inevitably comes into contact with one of the aforementioned dangers.

There is literally no point to it at all, but it's very addicting. Much like the first game, I found myself coming back every so often when I had the time to kill for no other reason than to get a little further on the goat (or, in this case, unicorn) path to nowhere. Normally I'm not someone who worries about that sort of thing. I don't one hundred percent most, if any, games I play, and I rarely go out of my way in anything other than an RPG. But this, like the first one, is pleasantly addictive, which is - in the end, the point.

I will say, I do like the look of the world we're present with - a snowy wonderland in place of the majestic rainbow one we had in the original game.  The unicorn and the world about him are wonderfully festive, and even the soundtrack joins in on it, though this sadly means that we lose the very addictive "Always" by Erasure. And while The Darkness is not a bad band, "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" just doesn't have the same memorability of "Always". Perhaps because that song, and the game it was attached to in general, were so ridiculously over the top as to be memorable in the extreme.

Not bad, just not really memorable.

And that's this game in a nutshell. It's a holiday version of a game that's already fairly good, and while the change in scenery and feel is nice, I have to say I prefer the original. Even if it's the Holiday season.

Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas is now available from Spiritonin Media Games and Adult Swim, on Flash, iOS, and Android.

For the latest on the MadCapMunchkin, be sure to follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin.

I might even review
actual games again soon...oh, the joy...

Friday, November 28, 2014

MadCap's Trailer Reactions - "Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens"

I've got a meh feeling about this one.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm definitely excited for this movie.  I've been a fan of the Star Wars films every since I was able to sit up and look at a flickering screen on the television.  My generation actually stands as one of the last few to have seen the original films before the 1997 re-releases...and, of course, the dreaded Prequel Trilogy.  Before Doctor Who, before Star Trek, and before virtually everything else, there was always Star Wars.

Then the prequels happened.  Oh, lord did the Prequels happen.  But it's been nine years since the last of those, and will be ten by the time that this film actually comes out - a film that could, perhaps, save the franchise from the Lucas-ification (yes, that is a word, leave me alone, spellcheck) that it suffered? Will we be able to forget about the nine year old boy who thought things were totally "wizard"? Will we be able to leave behind the sand, coarse and rough and irritating and getting everywhere? Will yousa be able to forgive George for creating Jar Jar Binks?

Yeah, I could spend this entire write up bashing the prequels, but let's go for some taste, shall we?

It's a teaser trailer that Abrams and company have brought to us, and I'm normally rather against them.  Why? Because they have nothing of substance.  I know that the movie is coming out, there's no need to torment me with vague imagery.  Give me something of substance to speculate on, please.  As it looks, we have something like that, though not a great deal.

The camera opens over the sands of a desert planet (presumably Tatooine) with a voice-over speaking of an awakening in Force, with some shots of our three main leads - from the look of it an Imperial Stormtrooper, a desert-dwelling speeder block riding woman, and a Rebel/New Republic X-Wing pilot.  The voice also speaks of the dark side, showing a sinister figure all in black with his/her back to the camera, activating a red-bladed lightsaber.  Suddenly, the screen goes black and the voice speaks, "...and the light..."

And then, to the glorious John Williams's score of the main theme, the Millennium Falcon makes a long-awaited return to the franchise as it soars over the dunes of the desert world, and the title card is shown.

So...why am I not foaming at the mouth excited? Because that doesn't really tell me anything I didn't already know.  Beyond a shot of some Stormtroopers moving off a drop ship and the Falcon flying into battle, I haven't seen any familiar characters I care about.  No Luke, no Leia, no Han or Chewbacca (who is alive again, which I will get excited about).  The new characters are interesting, but we're not given any details on them besides the bits we can piece together from their short snippets.

And then, of course, there's the clear antagonist for the film.  Who we also know nothing about, and who has the utterly stupidest lightsaber I have ever seen in my life.  The saber looks very much like the standard one-bladed, the crimson blade shooting out from the hilt as you would expect.  The blade also, however, has two miniature blades that shoot out to the sides to form a crossguard as you would see on a longsword.


If it were that weapon, I could understand the need to do such a thing, but putting it on a lightsaber only makes it all the more dangerous for the wielder.  Consider how lightsaber combat has been done even in the Original Trilogy.  The crossguard would only serve to slice off the wielder's hand in combat, leaving them completely defenseless.  And don't we have enough hands cut off in this franchise already? Or is Abrams purposefully tempting the Rule of Three? Seriously, if this was an attempt to do something different, I can understand that, but it doesn't even fall into the "Cool, but Impractical" category, it just looks really stupid.

That being said, the teaser - for what it does show - does actually look pretty good.  Despite the cleaner look of the Prequels to it, I will say that it at least makes more sense for things to look more advanced after the Original Trilogy than before it (one hang up of the Prequels that I admittedly have never been able to get over, irrational as it may be).

So, will the Star Wars franchise be able to rise again under the watchful care of the House of Mouse? No idea.  If the Marvel films that have been produced are any indication, though, we have next to nothing to worry about (so long as Drew Pearce and Shane Black have nothing to do with any of them).  As for the teaser, though, it doesn't really perform its function for me at least.  I'm excited for the movie, but this did nothing to deepen my appetite for the film...which is also still an entire year away from coming out, and thus might contribute to my apathy.

I'll still see it, but the teaser did little for me.  Perhaps the full trailer will do more.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to be released on December 18, 2015, by Walt Disney Pictures, Lucasfilm, and Bad Robot Productions.

For the latest from the MadCapMunchkin, be sure to follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin.

MadCap's Game Reviews - "Terraria"'s just Minecraft in 2-D 16-bit style. What's all the fuss about?

No, really, I don't get it.

At all.

Terraria is now available from Re-Logic on several platforms.

For the latest from the MadCapMunchkin, be sure to follow him on Twitter @MadCapMunchkin.