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Game Review: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)

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Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: the Last Jedi is a terrific middle entry that features more growth for the next generation of heroes, as well as a bittersweet end to a legend. As always, the space dogfights and lightsaber battles are thrilling, John Williams' score is perfect, and plot twists provide shock and/or delight. This movie has me looking forward to the next one.

Rian Johnson wrote and directed The Last Jedi, and I'm an unabashed fan of his previous work, particularly Brick and Looper. Here, he places heavy emphasis on the evolution of the main characters, plotting out their respective journeys as the Resistance hovers on the verge of annihilation: Poe ignores orders out of his zeal to ensure the survival of the fleeing Resistance; Finn and newcomer Rose Tico execute an unauthorized plan to save the home team, and Rey receives lessons about the Force from the now-reclusive Luke Skywalker.

All the young 'uns become better for it in the end: Poe learns to puts aside his impulsiveness a…

2017 List: Book Recommendations

Ho! Ho! Ho! As Christmas approaches and Mariah Carey's power grows, I want to take a moment to remind you, my ducklings, that books are our friends. They take us away from all this. With the various entertainment options available to us -- Netflix, Buzzfeed, PS4, YouTube, judging passersby -- nothing is quite as calming as sitting down with a great page-turner.

Here are 12 great books to check out, if you haven't, based on your nerd type:

Space Nerd (Sci-fi)

Top Pick!Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (2015)
This book feels especially relevant as we longingly cast our eyes heavenward and dream of escaping this hell planet. In Seveneves, a thinly-veiled Neil deGrasse Tyson character sounds the alarm about an impending extinction-type event for humanity. A Hillary-type president oversees the global program that will send small groups of people off planet to weather out the cataclysm. Astronauts already in space will never touch land again. Power struggles ensue. Philosophical questions…

Game Review: Eiyuu densetsu: sen no kiseki II / Trails of Cold Steel 2 (PS Vita)

Sen no kiseki II (Trails of Cold Steel 2) is a sequel that boasts many improvements over the original, notably the music, graphics, and combat. It picks up shortly after the cliffhanger ending of Sen no kiseki (review here), and resolves a number of mysteries from the first game. Overall, it's a terrific game with a couple of glaring flaws.

In the sequel, the chancellor's shooting ignites a civil war within the Erebonian Empire. As the Noble Faction pits its provincial armies against the imperial forces still loyal to the chancellor, protagonist Rean Schwarzer must reunite with Class VII, his comrades from Thors Military Academy. Together, they contribute to efforts to end the fighting and assist innocent civilians. Meanwhile, hidden forces plot an outcome that bodes ill for everyone, regardless of allegiance...

Sen no kiseki II is the seventh entry into the Eiyuu densetsu: kiseki (Legend of Heroes: Trails) series, which takes place on the continent of Zemuria. Characters from …

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok is a rollicking prelude to Asgard's end times. Headlined by the power antlers of Hela (Cate Blanchett), goddess of death, utter destruction has never been so appealing. In his third movie, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is determined to stop her and save his people...because that's what heroes do.

Humor is the standout in Thor: Ragnarok. There are so many quotable lines ("I have been falling for thirty minutes!"), absurd exchanges, and just plain goofy moments, like Thor's attempt to smash a window with an exercise ball. Jeff Goldblum is a riot as the Grandmaster, and Korg (Taika Waititi) is ridiculous. Even Hela will pause her murder spree long enough to make a dry observation. This movie is lighthearted despite its high stakes, and a lot of that is because of its lead.

Thor is uncomplicated. He's Odinson, the god of thunder, next in line to the throne, and a hero. He's sure of himself and his place in the world, and is as swaggeringly confident h…

We Stood in Line for the SNES Classic and Got Mario Run Instead?

On September 29, Junior and I lined up outside our local Gamestop for the chance to buy a fragment of my childhood: the SNES Classic. I was eager to show my little one the games that I grew up with, but also, I wanted to play Super Mario World. After playing so much JRPG (Sen no kiseki and Sen no kiseki II), I longed for the simplicity of mindless platforming.

Although we arrived a full 30 minutes before opening, there were more than a dozen people ahead of us already. Nerds. A small line formed behind us, too, and we all chatted nervously about our chances of getting one of the limited units.

The store opened on time, and we all inched forward. As we got closer to the store proper, my heart sank as I saw the sign posted on the door: only 20 units stocked. I didn't know how many people were in line ahead of us, but I was about to find out.

One by one, the early birds filed out, gripping their purchases. About midway through, I spotted one lady with a larger bag--she had purchased…

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a dumb, fun action movie. While bigger, louder, and more action-y than the original, it lacks the fresh premise, emotional arc, and character development of the first movie. However, it does feature an impressive array of talent, and a celebrity who’s having the cameo of his life. Overall, it’s an entertaining romp that sets up possible future movies in the franchise.

As in the first film, the Kingsman face a diabolical villain with global reach and a sinister solution to a real-world issue. Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore) wants the war on drugs to end—and will sacrifice millions to achieve her goal. If you’ve seen the trailers, you’ll know that most Kingsman agents and their bases of operation are the first casualties. Cut off from their resources, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) travel to Kentucky, USA for assistance from their “cousins,” the Statesmen.

The Statesmen provide a lot of laughs, especially their codenames: leader Champagne (Jef…