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.
Kyle Baron – Editor in Chief
Pinball Arcade is the reason my World Gone Sour review was in late and it’s also why I finally GET pinball after a childhood spent playing Space Cadet Pinball for windows.
The tables in Pinball Arcade are all authentic real-world pinball tables, and the incredibly smart designs attest to this; even the most crowded tables, like the trapdoor and magnet laden Theatre of Magic table, have enough visibility and well placed nooks and pathways so that no lost ball feels cheap.
Simple tables, like the 1980s Black Hole, have so much empty space that you’ll quickly teach yourself why it’s important to use tilt to make sure your ball doesn’t fly straight for the gutter.
Oh, and did I mention that Black Hole is a pinball table with a mini pinball table in it? The four tables included in the console versions (six tables, if you’re using an iPhone or Android), all have really cool features like this that give them character, complete with a written history and a snapshot of the flyers used to advertise them back in the day.
Additional tables are to be released as DLC, though the smart phone versions are already ahead on DLC. The PSN version also includes a free Playstation Vita. Not too shabby.
Pinball Arcade serves as both a history lesson on pinball and an excellent assortment of masterfully designed classics that feel just right.
Don Parsons – Publisher Relations Liaison and Review Staff
I’m not a fan of the Planet of the Apes movies; none have interested me, until I saw the preview to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. This prequel sets the stage for the rest of the movies and does it well. Franco, the male lead, did a fantastic job of selling the emotional bond between himself and the catalyst-primate. I won’t spoil the plot too much, though anyone who is even familiar with the series can probably guess the details. I highly recommend it even if you never wanted to see any of them before; I personally loved the movie.
I have had my reviews caught up for the past week, so I decided to take the plunge into Mass Effect 2. Yes, Mass Effect 2- not Mass Effect 3. I was interested when it came out, but never got around to playing it. Now that I am 20 hours deep, I am hitting myself for not partaking in this space odyssey sooner! I am constantly amazed at the characters and story-telling Bioware presents. The high points of brilliance are so frequent that it is really hard to moderate my playtime to a just few hours a night. On the flip side, everything is so perfectly paced that I can sit down and play through a mission and stop to do something else that night. I could go on and on and on and on… but I’m sure you’ve all felt the same connection, so I won’t.
Chris Scott – Reviews Editor
This week saw me visit with two of the masters of horror in two different mediums. I first spent some time with Stephen King and his return to the world of The Dark Tower and his latest release, The Wind Through the Keyhole. Considered to be The Dark Tower 4.5 by King, Keyhole reintroduces readers to the Gunslinger Roland and his ka-tet as they journey along the Path of the Beam. After so long away, I worried that maybe I had moved on from the Tower but shortly into the book I was once again fully invested. King’s writing is the best it has been in the last eight years and it has left me hoping he has more tales to tell in Mid-World.
The second master of horror I spent time with was Edgar Allan Poe but it was not with his heralded works of gothic literature that I spent time with but rather John Cusack’s personification of the poet in The Raven. Cusack is solid as Poe but the rest of the movie leaves plenty to be desired. While my review is coming this week, my short take on it is that you should probably read some of Poe’s works, many of which can be obtained for free, instead of spending money on this film.
So that is what we have been up to, what about you? Fill us in by dropping us a comment.