Friday, January 8, 2016

The New 2014 Thief Reboot Sucks

Dear game developers: if you're going to make a new game in an established series, especially one that's been dormant for years, please give it a title that distinguishes it from the previous entries in the series. Don't give it the exact same name as the original game, or the series in the general. When I type something like "Thief mechanics" or "Thief level design" into a search engine, how does it know which game I'm referring to? When I'm talking with people about the newest game in the series, what do I call it? The new Thief? The Thief reboot? Thief 2014? Thief 4? Thi4f.? It drove me nuts with Tomb Raider, and I'm not looking forward to being in this same situation again when Doom comes out in 2016. I mean really, this whole trend is getting ridiculous and needs to stop.

I pretty much knew from the beginning, when Eidos Montreal released the teaser with the title officially stylized as "Thi4f," that the game was going to be rubbish. Mind you, I pretty much expect to be disappointed by virtually all mainstream AAA games these days, but my cynicism kicks in even stronger when it comes to revivals of beloved classics, and Eidos Montreal's efforts with Deus Ex: Human Revolution left me more skeptical than optimistic that they could do a better job reviving Thief. Looking past the rubbish name, I find that the game itself is rubbish too. It's not just that this is a bad Thief game, and it most certainly is -- it's disappointing even as a game in general. The fact that this is supposedly "Thief" just makes it that much harder to stomach.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Movie Roundup: Mini-Reviews

I spent about 20 hours in the back seat of a car this Christmas season, traveling across the country to visit family, which meant I had a lot of free time to kill. In the past I would spend that time playing handheld video games or reading books, but year after year I found myself not having enough time to finish some of those games or books during the trip, and then would never get around to finishing them once I got back home. This year, I decided to take advantage of my big-ass smart phone and download a bunch of movies to watch. I've now watched 11 movies in the past week, including the new Star Trek Star Wars movie on the big screen.

I don't watch a lot of movies, so my critical eye is not trained enough to write a lot of proper reviews for the movies I actually do watch -- with rare exceptions. But, since it's been a while since my last article and it's taking me forever to finish my Thief 2014 review, I figured I'd throw out a bunch of mini reviews for the plethora of movies I watched this week. In the full article, you'll find brief synopses and spoiler-free reviews of, in no particular order: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Interstellar, Gravity, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Mist, Avenged, Forever's End, Exile, Ex Machina, I'll Follow You Down, and Under the Skin