Review – Devil’s Hunt

There’s a graphic novel out there, you know the one, that posits that any person can go insane if they have a sufficiently bad day. Well, Desmond Pearce had an incredibly bad day, so he ended up an enforcer for Hell, and even worse, trapped in some form of messianic role in the coming war for the End of Days! This is Devil’s Hunt

The Good

Absolutely nothing…I had to force myself to keep playing.

The Bad

COMBAT….IN SPAAAAAAAACE: By which I mean the combat has no weight whatsoever, you flail, hit with sword, punch with oversized fists and none of it feels like it has any impact. It’s a combination of animation velocity, the lack of proper impactful sounds, reactions from enemies to your attacks and every other tiny detail that sells that the attack did a damn thing. You will find none of it in Devil’s Hunt and the result is that combat never felt exciting.

UFW – Ultimate Fighting Worthlessness: The combat design for this game is atrocious, the kind of thing you need to build from the ground up again to fix. I can see the intent is building something akin to God of War or Darksiders, with active unlockable special moves aside from different combos, only there are only 2 or 3 combos per combat tree, you can’t switch between them on the fly, the dodge is a ridiculous dash that overshoots and then leaves you vulnerable for a few seconds, there is no lock on to dash around enemies, the parry works only sometimes and only against the enemies that show a visible parry prompt that is confusing as all hell how it works. Oh, and the active powers feel like they’re firing or hitting enemies with foam darts, for all the good they do. It’s even worse when you transform into your “executor form,” which only flails wildly then kills enemies and never feels powerful AT ALL. It’s laughably bad.

Hell-puppy: If the intent was making you feel like a badass Hell knight in Desmond’s shoes, then they missed the mark entirely. Exploration is about going to the right spot on the map and pressing the interaction button and then watching Desmond perform the action very slowly. With a character and a title like this, you want to feel like a badass. You don’t want to interact and then control Desmond as he balances on a beam between a gap. No, you want to run and jump across the gap then keep running, never stopping. You want to kick down doors, not watch Desmond struggle to push them open with his shoulder. Besides the fact that it’s slow and boring, and repetitive, it creates a disconnect between what you can do and what you see the character do at specific times when he uses his abilities to move, throw or destroy impossibly large things. I mean, have some consistency in portrayal, will you? And watching Desmond shimmy his way between walls for the 10th time is the opposite of what I’m looking for when playing as the “Saviour and Destroyer.”

Puppet Show: Characters are stiff and nothing, absolutely nothing about them looks human. Watching a cutscene in this game is like watching mannequins. The characters are slow, they barely touch when they’re supposed to be hugging. It’s that kind of old animation that you’d think we’d have moved on by now. Hell, I know we have. Characters show no emotion whatsoever when they speak, they don’t react, they always have these lost blank stares that become uncomfortable after a while.

Bored of Hell: I’ve seen many a depiction of hell and you know which one I’m kinda over now? The fire and brimstone kind, with added guts and rivers of blood. It’s been done, it’s been done to death and by better people. If this game wanted to stand out and do something cool, then holy hell they needed a better representation of hell. I know they’re working from a novel, but come on, part of adaptation is taking some liberties and this game could’ve used some in its depiction of hell. There are two things that you will find interesting about it and it’s character designs for Lucifer and Belial, ‘cause one looks like a supermodel and the other a member of the Russian mob. And that’s about it. Everything else is tired and boring.

Torture of a tale: And I don’t mean it’s a tortuous tale, no I mean it’s torture to witness. The plot is bad, it’s bland, it’s boring, it’s simple and predictable and I lost count of clichés within the first ten minutes. The pacing is all over the place, the narrative is amateurish and nothing about it is engaging, least of all the protagonist who goes from being a massive a-hole to, well, a massive a-hole. There is no growth, there is no learning, there is no progress. It’s a story that just goes nowhere, and worse still it’s kinda the first in what might be a series or a trilogy and it’s completely underwhelming. Here’s a pro-tip, do not follow up your “badass” intro dream sequence—that is never clear that it’s a dream—with one hour of bland real world, mundane human life stuff that doesn’t so much set the stage as bore you to the brink of madness.

Fire the Orchestra: I only ever have to say things about music in games when it’s really good or in this case when it’s atrocious, human-rights-violation bad. Every single piece of music consists of the same one or two cords on an electric guitar being played over and over, with no variation, no switch up, no rhythm, nothing. It’s the most repetitive and headache inducing music I’ve listened to in a long time and never want to hear it again. And whoever decided that the credits shouldn’t have music but creature grunts should be sent to a mental facility. That person is clearly disturbed.


Perils of Nostalgia: Vampire the Masquerade – Redemption

Last week I had the sudden urge to go back to the Vampire the Masquerade video games, as I wait for hardcover Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition books to arrive in the mail. I have fond memories of both games and thought it would be amazing to relive some of them, perhaps try new builds or characters. I’ve yet to go back to Bloodlines, but Redemption isn’t what I remember… Continue reading Perils of Nostalgia: Vampire the Masquerade – Redemption

Review – Iron Fist Season 2

I disliked the first season of Iron Fist, I thought it was boring, focused more on corporate shenanigans and nebulous villains than on the martial arts badassery the character deserves. So I came to the 2nd season a bit dubious of how good it could be and gotta say, it pays to have low expectations!

This is a more violent season, but also very personal to the characters, with some much-needed character growth. Continue reading Review – Iron Fist Season 2

Review: Tomb Raider (2018)

I went to see Tomb Raider during the weekend. I suspected it would be a terrible film, not just because everything shown so far gave me that impression but because it’s a video game adaptation and they’re usually terrible.

But nothing prepared me for just how bad this film is. On the surface it’s a workable adventure film, full of action sequences to keep you entertained, and the set pieces are great, they’re impressive in fact. The problem is that nothing else is. Continue reading Review: Tomb Raider (2018)

First Impression – The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Over the past year I’ve seen announcements for The Ancient Magus’ Bride on several outlets, and on subscribing to Crunchyroll—which I highly recommend as it’s cheap and you get almost every series now airing—I kept noticing them mention The Ancient Magus’ Bride and limited screenings, which confused me as to whether this was a show or a film.

But then one weekend, a week ahead of the release of the first episode of the series, I saw The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star, the 3-episode OVA. I affected me in a way very few stories do, in both the tragic sense, as the character is but a child and the mistreatment of children, even in fiction, is one of the things that truly upsets me. But there is also so much wonder and hope and joy in the story to offset the sadness that in the end it left me smiling and wanting more of the story. Continue reading First Impression – The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Review: Fighting Fantasy Legends

Pick one, a barbarian, an elf or a dwarf. Now set them on an adventure that will test their skill and just how lucky they are. This is Fighting Fantasy Legends.

Continue reading Review: Fighting Fantasy Legends

Adaptations – Altering the Source

Yesterday I caught a few glimpses of The Killing Joke’s animated film adaptation, and while I won’t give you a review until I’ve seen it, the clip I saw got me thinking on the subject of adaptations and the ways people go about them.

TV Tropes has a vast list of different adaptation tropes, from Compressed Adaptation, where in the process of adapting the story to a new medium they cut out entire chunks of the story or universe hoping the overall experience remains the same, no matter how many holes there are. There’s Distillation, which is about simplifying complex elements of the source material to make the transitions easier. Pragmatic Adaptation is the most reasonable of all, where you cut out or remix the elements that just won’t work in the new medium. Continue reading Adaptations – Altering the Source

Review: Uncle Buck (2016)

Parents out-of-town, no one to watch them but their irresponsible no-good uncle. Yes, it’s Uncle Buck, but not the one you remember, with the amazing John Candy, but the remake…on TV no less…and no, not the 1990s disaster, but another one this year. Continue reading Review: Uncle Buck (2016)

Review: Warcraft: The Beginning

A father and chieftain doing the best for his people, a General and King doing their best to keep their kingdom safe, a Guardian with great secrets and an evil Warlock bent on conquering Azeroth, what do all these things mean? Warcraft!
Continue reading Review: Warcraft: The Beginning

Warcraft: The Beginning…and maybe also the end?

I love the world of Warcraft, the universe. I love the stories, the characters and its rich history—that is not without its retcons and mess-ups. Up until the moment I started country hopping, moving to a new place with frightening frequency (a little adventure I hope has ended), I collected and read every novel written in the universe. I enjoyed reading about the War of the Ancients by Richard A. Knaak, the man responsible for the entire Dragon lore in the Warcraft universe and many more stories. I loved reading Christie Golden’s stories on the Rise of the Horde and The Lich King. Jeff Grubb took me to Karazhan to meet Medivh and his increasingly erratic behaviour and possession by Sargeras. Continue reading Warcraft: The Beginning…and maybe also the end?