Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

A bunch of very quick takes: Star Wars Edition

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 29, 2017

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. I have taken advantage of downtime to get work done, but also to recharge the ol’ batteries a bit. Nobody’s asking, but here are a bunch of take-aways from a bunch o’ stuff:

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – I liked it better than The Force Awakens, and better than the prequels. However, I originally thought The Force Awakens was better than Return of the Jedi, but after seeing it again, my opinion of it dropped. So we’ll see how this one holds up. The film takes a bunch of situations that echo those from both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but spins them off in new directions. The theme seems to be “out with the old, in with the new,” and at the end of the film it sure feels like they’ve hit the reset button on the whole franchise so they can start with a fairly clean slate with Episode 9.

I’m… strangely okay with that. There’ll always be A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back that I can go back and watch and feel the love all over again. Beyond that… Star Wars has just been another SF franchise for me for a while now, and this felt like a better-than-average entry.

Jumanji – They opened with a clip of Twisted Metal!!!!! It was going to be hard to dislike it after that. But it was funny, way over-the-top, owned its wild premise, and was just lots of fun. Definitely worth watching.

Wonder – a story of a fifth grader with major facial deformities who goes to a mainstream school for the first time, as perceived by several different characters. It was very good.

Bright – A Netflix original film starring Will Smith, it’s an urban fantasy cop movie. It was okay, but I’d hoped for better. I would have greatly preferred a PG-13 version, but they were clearly going for the “Game of Thrones” style mature audience for this one.

Vaporum – I haven’t played much of this one, but it’s a steampunk-based dungeon crawler for the PC. It’s available on GOG and Steam, and if you are into both Steampunk and Dungeon Crawlers, it seems like a pretty worthy entry!

Avorion – Again, I feel like I have only barely scratched the surface of this one, but while it feels impossible to actually build a decent-looking ship in this game, it seems like one of the best approaches to “Minecraft in Space” that I have played. Everything is built from the same building blocks, so you have the advantage of a highly destructable as well as constructable universe to play in. But even beyond that, it looks like they’ve layered on some decent procedural gameplay on top of that. This is Good.

Kart Chaser: The Boost VR – I got this one in a bundle and dreaded trying it out, because it looked like a quick way to lose my lunch. It’s not actually the case. Yeah, it’s an indie Mario Kart clone, with cute graphics but only half the charm. However, they put the eyepoint in a very predictable spot, and I was able to play for several races without getting sick. This isn’t a game play all day long, anyway. It’s fairly cool and polished for what it is, but unfortunately, there’s no multiplayer. It’s available on Steam.

X Rebirth VR Edition – This was launched at a discount for owners of the original game. To be honest, though, I didn’t play much of the original. I’ve liked EgoSoft’s games in the past, but never warmed up to X Rebirth. I’ll give them credit for sticking with the game after the initial release was kind of a mess. By all accounts from those players who stuck with the game, the company pulled out the stops to make things right again. And now there’s a VR version. I was having some trouble getting a handle on the controls. I’ll probably have to spend some time going through online tutorials and videos to really grok this one, but that’s almost to be expected with more complicated simulators (even space sims) like this one.

War Robots VR Skirmish Edition – I don’t understand this one at all. It’s like… a free VR game demo that’s an ad for a mobile game? Hello? Screw that. I want to play more of the VR game. I realize there’s more money in mobile, but wow. I recommend checking this one out if you have PC based VR. It’s free. It’s ridiculously short, but it’s a good starting point for what I’d like a VR Mecha game to feel like.

The Swamps of Venus – A collection of Leigh Brackett stories by Baen Publishing.  Turn off the part of you that says Venus really is a completely uninhabitable hell-world and imagine an inhabitable and inhabited hell-world, and enjoy these wonderful science fiction stories from the pulp era. They range from good to great. It includes one story, “Lorelei of the Red Mist,” co-written by Ray Bradbury.

Anyway, there’s a grab-bag o’ stuff

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