Friday, October 2, 2015

Media of the Month: September '15, "The Exact Same Show, Only One is Good, and the Other is 'Rick and Morty'"

HEY. HEY LISTEN. It's the end of another month, and that means I get to talk about some of the cool stuff I've been poking around in for the past 30-ish days. Which is actually something I enjoy. I like doing things and then telling all of you (between eight and ten of you, going by the math of views/posts) about it. I consider myself a one-man review site. Very belated reviews, but all the same. So let's get on with it, y'all!

The Green Helmet and Other Poems
W. B. Yeats

Look. I love Yeats, but this is not his best collection of poetry. This is from more or less his "teen years" where he wasn't writing the love-poems of his youth, the Celtic nationalist work of his middle age, or the mystic poems of his elderly years. And...yeah. There are a few gems, but overall, this is not the collection to read if you want Yeats at his finest. 


Wow. This...this is INCREDIBLY heavy-handed. Hey, Voltaire. We get it. Socrates is the hero. You don't need to open the piece with two citizens saying that their sworn enemies are those "who think they've fulfilled all their duties when they've adored divinity, helped humanity, cultivated friendship and studied philosophy..." Even Stephen Colbert thinks you might be laying it on a bit thick.

Voluspa (The Song of the Sybil)
Anonymous Norse Dude

This edda is fascinating for two main reasons. One, because of the section about dwarves which mentions "Fili, Kili, Gandalf, Thrain, Thror, Nori Bofur, Bombur, Dwalin, Bifur, Dori, Ori, Durin,.." You get the picture. Naughty naughty Tolkien... Naughty. 
Two, this edda does a bloody brilliant job prophesying Ragnarok in some incredible language. John the Revelator's got nothing on this Sybil gal. 

Counter-Attack and Other Poems
Siegfried Sassoon

These poems are...brutal. These are the poems of a man whose illusions and dreams and chivalry were destroyed by WWI's trench warfare. His poems are bitter, beautiful, poisonous invectives against the "War to End All Wars." This is NOT his best collection of poetry, but it's still pretty excellent. 

BoJack Horseman

Ostensibly, this is a comedy. And yes. It has some very funny bits. Particularly the running gag with the banners/shirts/cake that Mr. Peanut Butter can't get to have the right phrases. And also a lot of other funny bits. But this is also a show that's massively full of pathos and horrible people who don't want to admit that they're horrible, and it makes me feel for them--I never thought I would identify with a horse-headed dude. This show woke something up in me. A deep, deep fear that _I_ am BoJack Horseman. And yet I laughed. And yet I laughed. Great characters, great writing, great animation, great music, great show. 

Rick and Morty

This is, on paper, pretty much the exact same show as BoJack Horseman. Right down to Rick and Morty being BoJack and Todd. Except, instead of making me laugh and identify with the awful character(s)--in this case, Rick--it just makes me hate him. Hate him so, so much. I identified with BoJack from episode one. I loathed Rick from episode one. Take the final sentence about BoJack and replace "great" with "terrible." That's Rick and Morty


Much like BoJack Horseman (I'm just going to compare everything to BoJack Horseman because why not?), this is ostensibly a comedy. And yes, I laughed. But I also cried. I do not cry much. In particular, I do not cry about the relationships and crippling social issues of anime characters. So right there, that alone is a mark of favor. I blew through three seasons of this show in ~48 hours. 36 episodes at 30 minutes apiece, 16 hours of work, 14 hours of sleep, goes into 48 do the math on that. I'm a writer. I don't math so good. Anyway. Copy and paste the last sentence about BoJack. That's Wagnaria/Working!! (Side note: Working!! is the actual title, but it's a lot easier to find it under the westernized title, Wagnaria. I wonder why...) The characters are zany, the emotion is emotional, and this is good. 

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

You know what I like? Lord of the Rings. You know what else I like? The platonic ideal of Assassin's Creed. This is the best possible combination of those two. I stab orcs, I fight orcs, I sneakses and I wraithses, and I collects the memories of the preciousssss, yessss, GOLLUM. This game is pretty great. It's like a better version of Assassin's Creed. And the Nemesis system is incredible. Great game. Better than Mad Max, which couldn't even play the intro cutscene, while this game rolls along on HIGH SETTINGS. 

Mad Max

Couldn't even play the intro cutscene without glitching out. I can run Shadow of Mordor on high settings. I can run Fallout: New Vegas on high settings, with graphical upgrade patches. But Mad Max? NOOOOOOOPE. BAH. Literally. I exaggerate not. The intro cutscene lagged, didn't render vehicles properly, and was generally a glitchy mess. BAH. 

The Bridge

M.C. Escher meets half-baked physics platformer puzzles that, on average, took me 5 seconds to figure out and five minutes to make the controls do what I wanted. Very clearly wanted to be Fez or Braid or something. Very clearly is not. 

Alien: Isolation

Please don't put camera-bob in your games. First Mass Effect, then Gears of War, then Arkham Asylum, then Alien: Isolation... So many great games (and also Gears of War) rendered unplayable for me, thanks to that bloody camera bob! ARGH. Thankfully only the first Mass Effect had that issue. The second two are fine. Still. It irks me.