[EXPRESSO] Belle (2021) | Every Me And Every U

You know what, i did have some expectations from Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle, as i did quite like Mirai, and i hoped the streak would continue… and it kinda did.

That it, when i wasn’t baffled by the script “skipping” to the main scenes but forgetting to introduce actually crucial information that would lead to said scenes, as Hosoda’s ambition it’s sadly overreaching, and the final result really lacks cohesion, coming off as both overwrought and undeveloped in some aspects. Which is a goddamn shame because the premise, the themes and the overall concept are pretty damn good, but are elaborated on in a way where there’s too much to it.

Belle it’s about the 17 yo Suzu, a very timid and shy girl who has lost her mother and lives with her father in a rural small town. One day she receives an invite to “U”, an advanced and immersive social network with millions of users, receives the avatar of “Belle” and – with the help of her tech savvy friend – becomes a sensational hit singer. But soon she meets with a reviled user with the avatar of a dragon-like beast, hunted by U’s “police force”.

The animation is pretty good, the visuals are quite nice and sometimes pretty dazzling, the music – a big part of the movie – it’s also good, some scenes are quite good, so it’s frustrating how it’s dragged down by the oversprawling script, which makes some questionable choices and really could have used more than a trimming to flesh out the characters betters… and to explain how the hell some characters – out of the blue – know plot crucial information, among other things.

Overall, it’s a decent movie, but it’s too all over the place for its own good and ambition.

[EXPRESSO] Pikmin Bloom iOS | Flower Fitness

Remember that mobile Pikmin game from Niantic that was announced some time ago?

Well, i kinda forgot, but it’s out now pretty much everywhere, so here we are with “Pikmin Go”.

Yeah, it uses pretty much the same augmented reality format, with the need to keep the app open and walking to hatch stuff. Here instead of eggs you have Pikmin seeds, each requiring a certain amount of steps to be taken in order to “harvest” the Pikmin, and you can use nectars to make the collected Pikmins grow flowers and award you with petals, which are needed.

To be honest, i was amazed when i played for the first time, went through the tutorial phase and realized…. that was it. Look, i have been playing Pokemon Go since launch, so i’m not that picky on regards to gameplay, but there is something as too damn simple, even a mobile game like this.

Yes, you can use up petals to plant flowers while moving, which helps in growing both your seeds, and the big flowers on the map, were you can sent the Pikmin into expeditions, to gain nectar, Pikmin cosmetic accessories and more Pikmin seeds, but that’s really it.

Not that i wanted combat from a Pikmin game, and it being very close to an idle game makes some sense, but still, i feel bamboozled, i can’t really imagine it appealing to the main Pikmin fanbase, neither so much to casual players.

I can’t really be to angry or confused about this, i really can’t since even the marketing frames it as something akin to a fitness app than a game, but it doesn’t make for an engaging activity, as there’s no stakes or big goals to work towards, even as a casual thing to fiddle with while walking.

#E32021 Conferences Recap/Review/Thing

As already pointed out, E3 coming back this year was kind of a big deal, as the pandemic made it impossible to be held as usual in 2020, and even with the usual croc of shit that the event is and promotes… it’s a ritual, it’s a tradition for many people with huge interest in videogames, it’s a communal experience.

But i wonder if one year of non holding the event made many companies just forgot what the hell the expo was even supposed to be, like old people forgetting something they usually did out of habit because they had to stop doing it for a reason or others.

Mind you, E3 history is full of cringy – and often legendary – conferences often full of people that barely could speak english or had any PR experiences, overblown lies and hype for everything, announcements of announcement without nothing to show for titles of interest, so it’s telling this year’s output was a complete mess.

I don’t think that’s too hyperbolic to say.

Continua a leggere “#E32021 Conferences Recap/Review/Thing”

#E32021 Wholesome Direct [Highlights]

Yeah, sorry but due to very limited time on my part, i will kinda have more “double feature” posts.

Especially since this E3 there’s way more conferences and showcase stuff to see, despite Sony basically being absent and EA delaying their crap to a direct thing in July.

Meaning i won’t have to cover it.

Also, since i’m on the subject, i won’t comment or watch the Warner Bros event, as they announced it’s all gonna be about Back 4 Blood and….i don’t really care about it, same for the PC Gaming Show, the Razer one and the final E3 Awards thingie.

And my time is limited, sadly.

Continua a leggere “#E32021 Wholesome Direct [Highlights]”

#E32021 Koch Primetime Gaming Stream & IGN EXPO [Highlights]

Yeah, compressing both together for my own convenience and because i really don’t have much to say about the Koch Primetime Stream (originally aired on Twitch) they had. I can say it was quite bad as a showcase for Koch Media new gaming label, named “Prime Matter”, 2 hours of mostly boredom thanks to the shit format of having basically an awkward interview relay race between various developers, with a lot of very dry talk and very little footage shown.

Continua a leggere “#E32021 Koch Primetime Gaming Stream & IGN EXPO [Highlights]”

#E32021 Summer Game Fest [Highlights]

Changed my mind, i will write small recaps/highlights of the various conferences, starting with this one.

Which is reall Geoff Khiley hosting “The Games Awards” by another name… yay?

Even more due to the event being sponsored by Prime Gaming…YAY.

Yeah, i didn’t miss this part of the E3 so much.

Continua a leggere “#E32021 Summer Game Fest [Highlights]”

[EXPRESSO] Run Godzilla iOS | Tamakaiju

Toho plans to release not one, not two, but THREE Godzilla mobile games this year worlwide, and the first one is the already available Run Godzilla, which isn’t an endless runner (despite the title kinda implying it), but more a simulator-raising game where you take care of your very own kaiju in order to… make it run like a horse.

I’ve seen people describe it as basically Uma Musume but with kaijus instead of horse girls… and it’s not that far off. And by that i mean it’s basically a stat building game where you increase the stats of the monster before taking on races, where you can just tap a button to encourage the monster to go faster, but that’s about it, you don’t control the kaiju directly.

Strenghtening the monster is done via a typical idle game setup, as you juggle resources to have enough people praying for the monster to grow, extend the time they will stay in the group, pick up apples and gems to recruit more people, and change weather to influence the growth of a some stats over others. The kaiju itself has an “expiration date” which can’t be extended, but the following generation/monster will inherit some experience points, and the loop repeats.

It’s more complex to look at than to actually play, just a thing you’re supposed to tinker with on a somewhat regular base, as timers keep running regardless, so you might come back to find the your digital “pet kaiju” (one you don’t have to feed or “poopscoop”) already dead/expired.

It’s a thing to thinker with more than play, and while it’s very honest about it, outside of the initial novelty it’s hard to care for long if you have at least another free-to-play game/app you keep coming back to regularly.

Dino December #6: The Jurassic Games (2018)

If there are laws in genre cinema, one might be that every kind of movie can be made worse, better, or both by including dinosaurs. Even if it can’t, somewill randomly mix dinosaurs with any other subject, so the “dinosaur singularity” will happen, regardless.

Basketball with dinosaurs. Coming of age stories with or about dinosaurs. The decadence of men and its social constructs, with goofy dinosaurs in office suits and vests. Dinosaurs with other dinosaurs. Dinosaurs with guns, or dinosaurs that are also guns. The sky and the abyss stretch open wide forever, and the dino universe expands.

Continua a leggere “Dino December #6: The Jurassic Games (2018)”

Musings on Animal Crossing New Horizons “live service” model

So, i was gonna write this editorial this summer, when the July update for the game reintroduced scuba diving (seen before in AC: New Leaf), but i held off on publishing, waiting to see if it the issues i had with the game had any legs… and now i feel they do.

It’s worth noting i bought the game and played it since launch day, and i have spent like 300 hours on AC New Leaf alone, and a lot on the original AC on Gamecube, not to brag (i’m pretty sure there are a lot of way more dedicated AC players), but to give what i’m about to say some confidence. As in, i know what i’m talking about. Continua a leggere “Musings on Animal Crossing New Horizons “live service” model”