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Showing posts from December, 2016

Game Review: Eiyuu Densetsu: Ao no Kiseki Evolution (PS Vita)

Ao no Kiseki Evolution is a JRPG that adheres to formula: the bland hero, the colorful supporting characters, the weirdly sexual henchman who turns out to be the final boss, the mini-games, the pointless exposition...see Every JRPG Ever for the full and accurate description. Despite that, Ao is a delightful game with a gentle message of friendship and family. It has so much packed into it that it takes a minimum of 40 hours to finish. It took me 80+ hours -- but hey, I was writing a walkthrough while playing! 

Ao no Kiseki Evolution is the sequel to Zero no Kiseki Evolution. Both games are part of the Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of Heroes) series. Ao follows the members of the Special Support Services (SSS), a small police group that handles odd jobs. The main setting is Crossbell, a small independent state located in the middle of the feuding Erebonia Empire and Calvard Republic.

Below is my feelings-based rating of the game:

Characters: 10/10
Ao primarily has six main characters. Your acti…

Movie Review: Rogue One (2016)

Rogue One is a fast-paced, sometimes amusing and often dark story of how the rebels got their hands on the Death Star plans. As with any campaign in a protracted war, there are numerous moving parts, goals and priorities shift, and trusting the right person is critical. With so much happening, Rogue One can feel rushed at certain points, but overall it tells its story well. Bonus points to the excellent soundtrack by Michael Giaccino.

Because stunning cinematography and graphics are a given these days, I look to the characters to judge a film's success. A good movie shouldn't need a character being an idiot to drive the plot. *cough*Fantastic Beasts*cough* Plus, let's face it, most of us went into this movie knowing what it's about and how it ends.

Rogue One delivers a solid cast -- Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is a steely, competent lead who is ably supported by an equally determined Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and the terrific duo of the blind Chirrut (Donnie Yen) and wel…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:


The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…