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Review

Review

Adventure Game Moebius: Empire Rising Gets Tangled Up In Itself

I have to be honest. I haven’t finished playing Moebius. I would guess that I have about an hour or two left. As I write this, I don’t think that’s going to change, even though I can’t tell you whether or not I recommend a game that I haven’t played through. There are folks who will dig this game, and more power to you. There is some good stuff in there, and I did enjoy parts of it. But I reached my limit. I didn’t finish it, even though it’s my job to do so.

Well, actually — no. My job is to tell you about my experience in a game. That much I can do.

Mild spoilers ahead, plus two puzzle solutions.

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Review

Comics Review: Lumberjanes

From Nimona creator Noelle Stevenson, first-time comic author Grace Ellis, and artist Brooke Allen comes Lumberjanes! Produced by Boom! Studios, this first book is a delightful camp adventure in the weird-but-true style of Psychonauts and other such strange adventures.

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Review

Love Eternal for the Only Lovers Left Alive

As regular readers are no doubt aware, I tend not to fangirl about things. Sure, I get excited about the odd property and its conversion into piles of cold hard Hollywood cash, but I’m generally not one for jumping up and down and squealing in delight. Nothing against it; it’s just not my style. But imagine my surprise and elation when I first heard about Only Lovers Left Alive, a new Jim Jarmusch art-house ditty about nothing other than a sophisticated set of vampires, starring a host of my favorite contemporary actors, top billed by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. Words could not express my anticipation. For months I nibbled on teaser posters and the occasional leaked GIF, judiciously avoiding the trailer until I just couldn’t take it anymore and caved.

I was not disappointed.

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Review

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Oculus May Be The Scariest Movie Of All

When we first heard there was going to be a horror film starring both Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan and Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff, we knew it was a must-see. Lucky for us, we were invited to an early screening of Relativity Media’s Oculus to see the horror for ourselves. We’re not ashamed to say, we’re still shaking in our boots. 

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Review

Review: The Wolf Among Us, Episode Three

The thing that sucked me into Fables was how intimately familiar it was with the inner workings of the stories it drew from. There have been many contemporary stories with old-school fairy tale characters, but Fables had an eye for tiny details. It delighted in turning some tropes on their heads while preserving others for posterity (with varying degrees of success). Reading those comics was like falling along a Mobius strip, going from reimaginings to classic story and back again.

Until episode three, I didn’t realize that this was the thing I’d been missing from The Wolf Among Us. In all other ways, it felt like a Fables story. Same characters, similar-enough artwork, the correct balance of darkness, magic, and wry humor. But it was missing that secret ingredient — something that became apparent the minute it was mixed back in.

Mild spoilers for all three episodes of The Wolf Among Us, as well as for those who haven’t read the comics.

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Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Delivers Big Ideas, Bigger Explosions

Whether punching out Hitler or hanging up his shield, Captain America has always been a barometer for America’s political atmosphere, a reliable gauge for what’s on the minds of the nation. In his latest adventure, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he is again, standing as a voice of reason in a high-octane action drama that concerns itself with the all-too-pertinent debate of freedom versus security. Those who found the first Cap adventure distasteful in its hamminess will be pleased to know that CA:TWS contains nothing of the kind, being a grim-faced thrill ride with no time to talk and no room for cheese. The jokes in Winter Soldier are spare and barely land, a testament to the film’s hard edge. But, unlike some of its dark-and-gritty peers in the superhero genre, a touch of darkness serves this sequel well, working for its covert ops setting instead of against it.

Is the price of knowing SPOILERS a price you’re willing to pay?

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Review

Exploration Game Ether One Is A Head Trip Well Worth Taking

I’m walking through Pinwheel, a sleepy English seaside village. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, and I can almost taste crisp ocean salt mingling with the rich air exhaled by the trees up the hill. There are no cars to be seen on the town’s winding stone roads. Just a bicycle here and there, and a small clutch of boats resting in the harbor. The quiet is broken only by occasional trill of birdsong, or the sound of the gentle river rushing. This is a town I want to live in, I think. This is how towns should be.

Except there’s nobody there. I’m not walking through the town itself, but through decades of memories, fragmented and fading. There’s a painful quality to this place, like thinking back on good times shared with a family member who has died. The colorful bunting, the birthday presents, the guitar resting by the window. Pleasant remembrances, but ones that represent something lost. I don’t know these memories, but part of me wants to let them lie.

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Review

Review: Scarlett Johansson’s Under The Skin Has A Special Message For Men

In the chilling science-fiction thriller Under The SkinThe AvengersScarlett Johansson plays a black widow of another kind. She’s an extraterrestrial predator. With a camouflage of plump red lips, snug fitting acid washed jeans, a curvy figure and a battered van, she trolls the streets of Scotland looking for would-be lovers. But when she lures them back to her lair, these men discover they are just fresh meat in the literal sense. On its surface, this feature is a slick and sick bit of horror. But under the skin it is a lesson in rape culture targeted specifically at men.

The gender dynamics of horror typically play out with killers being male and their victims being female. Under The Skin turns the tables on this traditional setup, and with it creates a reverse of contemporary rape culture where violence against women is so common that women are casually warned to be ever alert for those who might harm them. In rape culture, the blame for what might befall women is thereby put on their shoulders in place of their potential rapist. By and large men don’t worry about their safety in the same way when walking home late at night. But in the world of Under The Skin, they absolutely should.

As this review explores specific themes of the movie, heavy spoilers for Under The Skin lurk below:

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Review

Tumblr Reviews Tom Hiddleston’s The Pirate Fairy: An Affectionate Parody

Why Tom Hiddleston followed up a string of successful indies and Hollywood blockbusters with a supporting role in the direct-to-DVD Disney movie The Pirate Fairy is a mystery for the ages. Was it the paycheck? The opportunity to sing in a Disney movie? Is he literally just that happy to do any kind of movie whatsoever? Can we expect infomercials next?

What we do know is that if Hiddleston’s in it, Tumblr’s freaking out over it. I say that with affection, not derision. But, like many Tumblr users (no, you cannot know my username), I carry around with me at all times a strong love of self-derision and satire*.

To that end, here’s the Official The Mary Sue Review of The Pirate Fairy…as written by Tumblr. Or, well, “Tumblr.”

*In fact, Tumblr loves satire so much that it sometimes takes satirical news stories a little too much to heart.

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Review

Review: BioShock Infinite‘s Burial At Sea DLC

The story opens with Booker DeWitt, passed out at his desk. Empty bottles and betting sheets lie in plain sight. A woman enters his office. He does not know her. The player can see that she knows him. She offers him a job, with little room for refusal. There’s a missing girl that needs to be found.

And so it begins. Again.

Warning: Massive ending spoilers for BioShock Infinite. Minor spoilers for Burial At Sea.

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