While the Vagary staff is comprised of a large group of like-minded individuals, that group has an eclectic range of tastes. What’s Up With Vagary is a chance for a selection of our staff to fill you in on what is sucking up the majority of their time during the past week.
Billy Milby – Podcast Host & Staff Contributor
In terms of absolutely fresh games that I’m playing there really isn’t much that I have to offer. The game I’m playing through currently is actually Uncharted 3. Despite all the divisive comments I had heard about it before hand, I am really enjoying it, though I will hold my judgment for when I finish it. I have also been playing some of the hot new demos, notably Resident Evil: Revelations. As you might have found out if you have a 3DS, it is an absolutely beautiful game, and from what I played, it is a nice return to a creepy demeanor. So, I will definitely be looking forward to the full release.
Some other great things I’ve checked out this week have been “The Artist” and the brand new restoration of the long lost hand colored version of the hundred years old, Georges Méliès’ film, Le Voyage dans de Lune; and the accompanying score/extended album by one of my favorite bands, Air. The Artist was so good my wife and I are dying to go back and see it again. My wife’s words after the film summed it up best; she said that she “had not connected with a film and characters that intensely in years”. That, I think, says a lot. As for the Air album and film, I purchased the CD/DVD Limited Edition that came with the movie as well. And while the album is obviously meant to go along with the film, it completely stands on its own. Air was actually approached by the restorers to create the soundtrack with only one month to complete it in order to make it in time for the Cannes Film Festival. Even though the album could stand to be longer (clocking in at just over 30 minutes), it is still twice as long as the film that inspired it! I’m just glad a film that is well over a hundred years olds can still be enjoyed.
Khristopher Reardon – News & Reviews Team
This week I decided to pick up Gotham City Impostors and I’ve been playing it pretty much every night. The game puts you in the high tops of a spunky Batman/Joker wannabe. I’m not a first person shooter fan and I shudder whenever someone mentions online multiplayer but I’ve been finding this title a lot of fun. I think it’s a combination of the game’s surreal character design, sense of humor and fast as hell gameplay that’s really grabbed me. The tweaks that Monolith instituted after the beta helped to maintain the balance that the game is looking for between its various weapons and gadgets. So far the game has been a blast.
I also saw the movie Chronicle. It is a movie about some teens who get telekinetic powers, all of it is shot in point of view (POV) from the camera like the Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield. I really felt a connection with the characters on screen, as there was a genuine nature to them that reeled me in. Maybe it is because they felt like people I’d expect to meet and befriend in real life. That kind of realism really made the drama that erupts between them during the movie more personal.
Additionally, the special effects were really good. The movie had a very steady camera for POV because one of the characters used his telekinesis to control it allowing for better shots and camera work. I got the effect of POV without the nausea. The action scenes were also quite intense. This is the first movie I think that has ever made me feel the action on screen. The last 10-20 minutes of the movie are especially intense and shook me in my seat a couple of times.
Chris Scott – Executive Editor Reviews
The past week has been a weird one for me, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII-2 and NeverDead for site content, which you will be able to read this week, but my personal time, has been spent primarily running through a new playthrough of Mass Effect, sampling Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and getting my handheld scares on with Resident Evil: Revelations. It takes a special game to get me to return to it after I’ve completed it and an even more special game for me to return to it four years later and hold my interest, Mass Effect fits that bill. Playing through it again, and spending time in The Old Republic, has made me realize that no matter how hard I try to play a roguish scoundrel, I always end up choosing the “good” thing to do. I can’t wait to take my Fem-Shep into Mass Effect 2.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a nice chaser to my adventures in space. Due to the pedigree the game has, comparisons to Skyrim are going to happen but Reckoning is not really that game. It is brighter, more cheery than Skyrim, and has a far more satisfying combat system. On the flip side it feels more confined and far less open than Skyrim. The closest comparison I can personally draw is to Microsoft’s Fable series, and Reckoning seems to be a far better game than any of the Fables, at least from the short amount of time I’ve spent with it. I can say this, I am glad I am not reviewing it.
Resident Evil is a series I have a long history with, dating back to the original big box Playstation release, before the introduction of the Dual Shock controller. I’ve soured on the series in recent years, starting around the release of RE4, a game most people praise to the highest, and nearly falling completely off the wagon with RE5. Revelations on the 3DS has the precarious responsibility of either driving me away from the series forever or drawing me back in. Currently, it is drawing me back. It is still a little too much of shooter and too little of a survival horror game for my tastes but at the very least the game gets the vibe of the classic Resident Evil games down. Setting the game on drifting cruise ship was an inspired choice and the narrow hallways deliver a true sense of terror that has been missing from the series for a long time. It also doesn’t hurt that the game looks absolutely phenomenal on the handheld.
So that is what we have been up to, what about you? Fill us in by dropping us a comment.