Video Game Review – XCOM: Chimera Squad

TL;DR – it is a game that is something old (The XCOM Setting) and something new (living rather than waring), something borrowed (SWAT mechanics), and something blue (the face of any enemy who just discovered Torque)  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

XCOM: Chimera Squad. Image Credit: Firaxis Games and 2K Games.

Review –

If there is one studio that is the king of turn-based strategy games it would be Firaxis Studios. While they are probably better known for their fundamental Civilization franchise, they have also delved into the world of science fiction, alien invasions, and reloading that autosave because your fully upgraded soldier just missed the one guy standing right next to them and now they are bleeding out on the floor. I have enjoyed the XCOM series in the past, okay not that one alien that pretends it’s a civilian, but other than that, so I was interested when I heard we were getting a sort of sequel/spin-off thingy. Well, I became even more interested when I got my hand on it and I found out just how fun it was.  

So to set the scene, It has been a couple of hears since the end of XCOM 2, and the world has sort of found a new equilibrium as humans, aliens, and hybrids live side by side. There is one place in the world that has been remarkably successful with this, the famous City 31. XCOM has moved from overthrowing an alien invasion to helping maintain order in a constantly fragmented world. Thus the Chimera Squad was created to help local police, but just as they arrive the mayor of City 31 Mayor Nightingale (Nika Futterman) is murdered in front of the squad and you have to work out who did it before the city tears itself apart.

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TV Review – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lights Out and Season Seven

TL;DR – A fun episode from start to finish and a great way to finish the season

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lights Out and Season Seven

It is the end of a season, but thankfully not the end of the series, so what does the show have in store for us. Well, a good season finally has to close a season, but also be a good episode in its own right, while also getting it ready to propel it into the future. Tonight we get an episode that I think does all of that and more.  

So to set the scene, it is the end of the day and the whole team is getting ready for a nice break, even longer for Santiago (Melissa Fumero) as this is the last day before she goes to on maternity leave. Everything is great right up until the moment the power goes out, not just in the precinct but in all of Brooklyn. There is a moment of quiet and then the whole city explodes in chaos and Holt (Andre Braugher) and Terry (Terry Crews) just so happened to be in an elevator, so Amy is in charge, but why does she need sweat pants? Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.         

 

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TV Review – Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045: Season 1

TL;DR – This is an ambitious return into the world of Ghost in the Shell that exceeds expectation in some areas but I am not sure the overarching story is going to work for everyone.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are a couple of shows that serve as a gateway into the world of anime. One of the greats is Ghost in the Shell a grand cyber-punk post-human jaunt into the future. For a lot of people, it was the movie that was their first contact, but for me, it was the Ghost in the Shell SAC. It was this, bright bold explosion, exploring religion, philosophy, what it meant to be alive. Since then I have wondered if anyone could capture that again, and the less said about that movie the better. Well, today we get a chance to see as we dive back into the world of Major Motoko Kusanagi (Atsuko Tanaka/Mary Elizabeth McGlynn).      

In the time since the show and movie, the world has become a very different place. The G4, that is America, China, Russia, and the European Union, moved the world into an economical system called Sustainable War, which sounds about as bad as it. This is escalated by the Global Simultaneous Default when all the world’s financial system collapsed at the same time. Since Section 9 had been disbanded, most of the team joined in on the sustainable war effort as a mercenary team called Ghost. They worked their way up from South America and at the start of the series they are travelling through the ruins of Palm Springs. They are there to stop a raid on the gated section of Los Angeles but there is more going on than they first thought. Now we will be looking at the series as a whole and as such there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.  

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TV Review – Win the Wilderness

TL;DR – This is a fascinating twist on the competition show format because it has real stakes that ground everything.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Win the Wilderness. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I’ve watched a lot of competition shows in my time, everything from trapping people on an island and watching them pick each other off, to sitting and loving people building Lego constructions. However, it has been a long time since I have watched something new, well today we have just that with the joint Netflix/BBC show Win the Wilderness.  

So to set the scene, in the deep in the Alaskan wilderness is a house on Ose Mountain, it is far from the nearest town and can only be accessed by plane. Living on Ose Mountain are Duane and Rena who built the house with their bare hands. However, Duane and Rena are getting too old to be able to have the energy to maintain the property and it is time to give their legacy to someone else. So, six couples from the United Kingdom Matt and Rachel, Mark and Emily, Chris and Tina, Theo and Bee, Laura and Jerome, and Pete and Jane have flown into central Alaska with one thing on their minds, to prove that they can continue that legacy.

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Movie Review – Rising High (Betonrausch)

TL;DR – An interesting concept and set up, that does not quite have the strength to get all the way to the end credits.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Rising High (Betonrausch). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There is something about a good con film that can really engage you. It can be the way they upend the system, the suave chaos of its, and the way they pull of the graft. There is that feeling that they could be caught out at any moment, making every moment feel tense, especially as it starts to spiral.

So to set the scene, we open in on a party in full swing, boobs, drugs, and dancing everywhere, it is a chaos of ecstasy and excess. In the morning, there is carnage across the house and only Viktor (David Kross) is awake looking at all he has made when police storm the property. Arrested and in custody, we hear all the charges laid against him, which is many, so what is there to do, well you can tell your whole story to the police which is what Viktor does.

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TV Review – Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Ransom

TL;DR – A fun family story but they may have picked the wrong story to focus on

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Ransom. Image Credit: NBC.

Review

This season in Brooklyn Nine-Nine we have enjoyed episodes focused on several common themes that happen inside police shows and films. We have of course the traditional heist episode with Valloweaster, the deducing who-done-it with Dillman, even a shooter on the run with Manhunter. This week we get another addition to that list because we got ourselves a kidnapping.

So to set the scene, when Jake (Andy Samberg) arrives at the 99, he is rushed into Holt’s (Andre Braugher) office to find the one Kevin Cozner (Marc Evan Jackson). This is not just a social call, because while Kevin was out walking Cheddar (Stewart) someone kidnapped the dog. Jake is a little sceptical that someone took the fluffy boy right up until the moment the kidnapper sends a ransom note. Meanwhile, Amy (Melissa Fumero) is on the hunt for a Snoog, the perfect pram for her coming bundle of joy, she just has to win the competition, what could go wrong? Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.      

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Movie Review – The Hunt

TL;DR – A film that is brilliantly bookended but a bit of a slog to get from start to finish.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Hunt. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

Many films have a rocky road from start to release, however, the problems usually lie either during or in the post-production process. Rarely do films have problems once they are ready to go, well sometimes it is threats from North Korea, and sometimes it is issues well outside anyone’s controls. Today we look at such a film that whose second attempt at a release got messy thanks to the world at the moment, but it is here now so let’s take a look.

So to set the scene, we open in on a forest as eleven strangers wake up, with no idea where they are or what happened to them, nor why they are wearing gags. One of the group, a young woman (Emma Roberts) notices one of the group run off into the woods, but everyone else is fixated on the box in the middle of the field. Inside is the keys to their escape, but also the start of the carnage as guns start going off everywhere. Now unlike a lot of films, it is a bit difficult to talk about this film without hitting [SPOILERS] real quick, so there will be some plot points that are spoilers that we will be discussing in the review.

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