[EXPRESSO] The Peace Keepers SNES | The Suplexing Complex

Played via the SNES- Nintendo Switch Online’s service.

And i gotta say, despite Nintendo handling this service.. in a totally Nintendo way, sometimes there are surprises, like this forgotten SNES beat em up by Jaleco, actually the third of the Rushing Beat trilogy (which also includes Rival Turf and Brawl Brothers, the latter already released on the service), at least it was originally. I’d say this is a fairly obscure release, as i never even heard of its existence, even by name.

Playing it, i realized why it slipped into obscurity so easily. Just plain ol’ crap in a market – at the time – saturated with tons of titles like that, often better.

It’s hard to say The Peace Keepers is “bad”, as it pretty much plays like Final Fight (aside from a plot that throws movie clichès AND literary references into the pot, with mutants, villains named Iago and places called Ozymandias Island), but it’s not a fast paced affair. Also, the combination of slightly stiff controls and the screen never scrolling properly to the right leads to you dashing into enemies’ fists, not that the game really ever throws tons of foes at you. Which is “good” because each takes more hits than it should to go down in a game like this, making the throws (already a bit too efficient than punches, in a brawler) pretty much mandatory to get anywhere.

Branching paths leading to different bosses and endings are nice but aren’t enough to make the story seems more than a jumbled sequence of scenes. And for some stupid reason the game by default just has the sound effects and ambient noises, i almost went the whole game wondering if the game had no actual music. It does, but you have to change a setting in the options.

[EXPRESSO] Missing Link (2019) | Le Tour Du Sasquatch

Definitely one of the movies i’ve been looking forward to this year (again, came out last year in the US, but not here), always up to see what Laika Studios are doing next, and Kubo was great.

This latest feature is set in 1886, and sees cryptozoologist ante-litteram Sir Lionel Frost respond to a misterious letter that hints at the possibility of finding the fabled “missing link”, and embarks on a quest, as finding it would also give him recognition from his fellow adventurers, including his rival.

So the search for sasquatch begins in the Pacific North West…. and then begins again when Sir Lionel finds out who sent the letter, and why.

The plot offers an interesting variation on the old adventures flicks where British guys went around the world to “discover” and “civilize-colonize” all they could get their cane on, while maintining the old clichès like the bar fights, assassins sent after them by the main villain that epitomizes the old world of arrogant status-quo.

Not that Lionel himself is that much better, but it’s all to feed into the theme of family and what comes with a ugly duckling type story, one featuring a lovably awkward sasquatch and great characters.

You can see where the plot is going, but it’s a fun ride, the character designs and stopmotion animation are top notch as you would expected, the art direction amazing, the slapstick is quite decent, too. At times the dialogue tries to be a little too clever, but it’s mostly quite well and smartly written, just throwing a couple of puerile jokes because it has to (being a kids movie). Oddly some of the funniest moments are quite simple, in contrast to some of the more complex verbal gags that don’t fully land.

It’s pretty good, yes.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 – DLC Pack 2 PS4 [REVIEW]

Another season, another DLC Pack for Pirate Warriors 4, the game that keeps in making you wish there was more of it, not only for what concerns the roster of characters.

But i did that mini-essay for the review of the first Character Pack, and then a full-on editorial about the state of the musou sub-genre as a whole.

So i’m gonna keep this and the next one shorter.

This time the theme is “Worst Generation”, referring to 12 characters belonging to the so called “worst generation” of pirates (and Blackbeard), 11 of which come from nine top pirates crew, and firstly referred to as the Eleven Supernovas, the notable rising pirates from that generation that caught the attention of the World Nobles, and one of them is speculated will become the next Pirate King.

Compared to the first pack, this one was far easier to guess once the theme became clear, because most of the “Worst Generation” pirates were already playable in the base PW 4, some had been since Pirate Warriors 2, even.

Continua a leggere “One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 – DLC Pack 2 PS4 [REVIEW]”

Super Mario 3D All Stars NSWITCH [REVIEW]

I pointed this out in a previous post, and i have to yet again: the fact this was not only released with limited printing for retail copies, but with an expiration date of 6 months even for the digital version (still priced 60 bucks). It’s insane, even more since the collection doesn’t include Super Mario Galaxy 2, i’m pretty sure it would have fit in a Switch cartridge, but for whatever stupid reason is not in the collection. Maybe to be sold as a separate remaster for full price as well, who knows.

Only Nintendo could pull shit like this and get away with it.

Yes, i got a physical copy of it. No, i didn’t pay extra, i just placed my pre-order fast. Fuck scalpers.

Continua a leggere “Super Mario 3D All Stars NSWITCH [REVIEW]”

[EXPRESSO] Jack In The Box (2019) | Spring Daemon

I’ll be honest, i walked into this one expecting a turd of sorts.

I mean, it’s not like this promises more than it does, it’s called Jack In The Box and it’s about an evil Jack In The Box. As in, the clown in the box is evil, because it can’t be a pierrot or an evil possessed figure from Commedia Dell’Arte, something that isn’t your usual choice of evil clown. Then again, this specific angle isn’t overdone… i think.

The plot deals with a new museum curator, Casey, arriving in the little english town of Hawthorne, and while wading through the “lost and found” inventory, he notices an odd box with some mystical engraving, appearing to be a creepy jack-in-the-box toy from the victorian era. But as more mysterious murders keep occurings, the more Casey learns of old tales related to the “jack-in-the-box” being coinceived to contain and unleash demons, and of a previous murder related to the box…

Directed and written by Lawrence Fowler, who previously directed some shorts and something called Curse Of The Witch’s Doll, which looks as generic as this one. And there is a sequel to this one already in pre-production, set to release in 2021.

And….i’m not against a sequel, there is something here (even if the “jack-in-the-box” demon lore is a bit silly, just a tad), and for a relatively low budget independent british horror film, this is definitely more than presentable for theathers, the monster design, make-up and effects are quite convincing, and the museum setting is a nice touch. Acting is decent, to boot.

Shame the direction and script are not as strong, kinda generic, pedestrian at times, with some twists seen coming a mile away, flashbacks to things that happened 10 minutes before, and an ending that aggressively sets up a sequel.

Disgaea 6 saved me 500 bucks

Sorry for the kinda clickbaity title.

I was gonna write a quick article about the PS5 showcase… that didn’t really give out many important info, but i was so un-interested about the reveals and the launch of a next-gen coming soon. I was gonna write i would probably get a PS5 (the model with disc slot) mid-2021, that i was not gonna put on much interest or any pre-order until we hear more and see the things in action.

I’ve lived through 2 console generational changes, i’ve done and seen this song and dance before, and i’m at the point that with such a huge backlog of games to tend to, not much money and not much time… i’m gonna practice the waiting game harder than before. I could have changed my mind when Disgaea 6 dropped for the PS5… but it was just revealed properly in today’s Nintendo Direct Mini, and it’s gonna be a Switch exclusive when it launches in Summer 2021.

At least this first version is gonna be, i fully expected a “complete” or “revised” edition coming to PS5 and PC eventually, but whatever, i have been waiting forever to hear about the new main Disgaea installment, and since i have a Switch already, i will sit by the river and see how it will go down before investing in the “new gen”.

I kinda envy people that are genuinely excited about it, i sure don’t feel the “hype”.

[EXPRESSO] #Alive (2020) | SNS Zombies

No cinema for me this week, so guess i’ll dust off Netflix, see and review this new korean zombie movie, which comes with the hashtag already built in the title. The plot sees a streamer in Seoul waking up and logging on to do some online gaming (he’s shown playing PUBG), only to hear people chatting of something weird being broadcast on tv, and soon enough even in the very streets below him, as a zombie virus of sorts spreads.

He’s forced to barricade himself home, trying to use his tech savviness to understand what is exactly going on outside, all made harder by scarce rations and social medias (or the reception for phones) not working most the time.

It’s better than i expected, and being set in “the now” you get to see fun stuff like zombie (of the running and “contorsionist” variety) getting attacked by drones’s eliblades, and there are some cool action scenes, production values are fairly decent-good, same for the special effects. Problem is, there isn’t too much to the plot, there’s enough, but nothing special, and after a fairly fast start, the movie suffers from pacing problems.

I understand it would be more realistic to see characters barricade themselves into their apartments, and while this is to feed into the “surviving days and days into a zombie apocalypse”, this kinda backfires, as the plot doesn’t really moves forward or backwards, and it’s not until the third act where it picks up again. Thankfully the characters are likeable, given how much time you spend watching them try to communicate or concoct a plan, but they’re not good enough to gloss over the fairly typical twists and turns of the narrative. Not even with some cool “hip” music.

Decent, worth a watch, for sure, but nothing special.

[EXPRESSO] The Vigil (2019) | Ghost Orthodox

Directed and written by Keith Thomas (in his feature directorial debut here), this Blumhouse production tells of Yakov, a down on his luck fellow, who is contacted by a rabbi of his former Orthodox Jewish community, offering him 400 dollars to execute the rite of “shoimer”, consisting in keeping vigil to a recently deceased man, comforting his soul with prayers for a whole night.

The person who was supposed to keep vigil run away, but Yakov isn’t worried, as he has performed the rite a lot in the past, so he accepts, and enters the house of the departed, the recluse and odd Ruben Litvak, where the old widow is also resting. But as the night proceeds, strange events start happening,Yakov starts learning more of Ruben, his past, and demons from his own past start haunting him…

It’s an interesting premise that delivers an intriguing angle to this type of possession/exorcism movies, has a likeable main lead, great atmosphere and suspense, with an interesting choice for the entity (taken from Jewish folklore and demonology, i assume), and some ok scares, even though they’re definitely not the selling point. A simple premise that makes full use of the small house scenario, executed with elegance, sadly a bit lacking in the story department, or in the backstories to the characters (the Holocaust is involved), which are not bad, but are definitely the less inspired parts of the movie, the more typical.

Overall, though, The Vigil it’s more than sum of its parts, and definitely a good, really solid supernatural horror, a chiller, to be more specific, with some good visuals that mines religious elements from a different religion, instead of some brand of Christianity, and from a fairly ignorant prospective, they make for something you don’t see represented often in horror.

Recommended.

Review of Super Mario 3D All Stars coming later

I secured a physical copy of the collection, had to move fast, because i’ve been in this hobby long enough to have seen this happen before with my own very eyes, and i didn’t want to give money to Ebay scalpers. Which are already selling copies of the game for 120 bucks. As one could expected.

Still, the fact that even the digital version is priced 60 bucks and has an expiration date of 6 months it’s fuckin absurd. Only Nintendo could pull shit like this and get away with it. I understand those who decided not to bother with this All Stars collection, given the manifactured scarcity (if this doesn’t make that abundantly clear, nothing will), all the bullshit that follows in second hand marketplaces, the price, and the absurd lack of Super Mario Galaxy 2, which i would argue was even better than the first.

I guess that for another All Stars 3D Collection containing 3 games for 60 bucks, or a full priced port-remaster-thingie with extra content like for Super Mario 3D World.

I did want the collection as a physical cartridge, so i managed to pre-order it, and i will write a review once i got my hands on the game next week, and i play for a decent amount of times the games themselves. It will be one for the books, as in most of the people who have pre-ordered it are either collectors, people who already played the games on their original console releases and want to have them on Switch as well (because it’s easier than dusting off the Wii or Gamecube, even if you still have them at hand and working), and in general the “already converted”, so to say.

Putting this out now because i would like to focus on the collection itself more than the bullshit surrouding it, which of course i will address anyway.