Kimmy Schmidt Is Still Unbreakable In Season 3!

Season 3 of Kimmy Schmidt is now on Netflix, and it is a return to form after the funny, yet slightly disappointing second season.  Now Kimmy is trying to move her life forward by going to college and continuing to do odd jobs, but her life in the bunker just won’t let her go.

Things like her bunker-mate’s cult threating to get violent to The Reverend needing to get a divorce so he can marry a very misguided woman just keep getting in the way, but it is all handled with Kimmy’s overly positive go-get-’em attitude.  That is not to say she still doesn’t have to deal with some issues, because she definitely does, but she and her show are moving forward quite well.

I was very happy to see Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt get back on track, and I hope it stays there.  The only problem is that now I have to wait another year for more Kimmy, and that doesn’t seem fair.  At least it is something to look forward too.

So I Hear You Want Overwatch In Your Quake!

Are you old enough to remember Quake?  The game where memorizing the map and running a circuit to maximize weapon and armor spawns was vital to staying alive and climbing the leader board?  Well Quake Champions is still that, except now you have the titular “Champions” with special abilities.  So while you are running your circuit, every now and then you can pop your ability and go invisible, teleport or leave a stream of plasma in your wake.

There are a couple of new modes: Duel, where you pick your three favorite Champions and then go one on one with another player.  Kill the other player’s three Champions and you win!  But since I am terrible, this is not a mode for me.  However, Sacrifice, which is center flag but like LawBreakers you need to guard the “soul” in your area for a while before you get the point, is a lot of fun.

My only reservation about Quake Champions is the price.  It is “Free”, but that only gets you one Champion.  There is going to be a deal to unlock all the Champions from the start, but they haven’t said how much that will be yet.  In my mind it should be like $20, and then they can nickel and dime you for chests and backpacks which give you Champion customizations and whatnot.

Quake Champions is a fun game, and it feels like its namesake.  I just hope that the free2play aspects of the game don’t ruin it.  If you can get the base heroes for a reasonable price I can see this becoming a hit.  If Bethesda overcharges for the Champions, there are a lot of other games to play, and the draw for Quake Champions will just not be there.  Especially considering  I can get Quake 3 for just a few bucks.

Phantom Dust Is Back! … And Well … Its Back!

Hey remember Phantom Dust from the original Xbox?  No?  Well you are not alone, but you should remember because it was an excellent game.  It is a third person action/RPG/Collectable Card Game!  Yes, it is all of those things.  Phantom Dust has had a troubled past, but now you can play it for free!  That is right, FREE!  And you should.

Phantom Dust was a Japanese game for the original Xbox, and as such it never really caught on, but those that did play it, loved it, and those diehards have been asking for a sequel/reboot for years.  It seemed in 2014 that those fans were getting their wish, but the reboot got canceled.  Then at E3 last year Microsoft revealed that they were rereleasing the title with achievements and Xbox Live play, but they didn’t really talk about it for a year until like a month ago when they did a gameplay video with Polygon.  Then two days ago they just released it … for free.

Since it is an old game it will run on anything with Windows 10, even with the high resolution turned on (though to go full screen you need to hit Alt-Enter, I had to go on Twitter to learn that), or of course you can play it on your Xbox One.  While the graphics are nothing fancy, they do hold up surprisingly well.  With the exception of the in-engine cut-scenes: they look terrible.  A word of warning, the single-player starts off slow.  I mean really slow.  The deck building component doesn’t come in for a few hours, and that is most of the fun.  Just getting random Skills and then spamming them at bots gets a little tedious, though it is a good reminder on how to play.

Oh yeah, how you play.  Pretty much you make an Arsenal (AKA Deck) then you hope the Skills (AKA Cards) that you selected show up in the order that you want them to in the form of orbs on the battlefield, so you design your Arsenal around Skills that compliment each other.  Then run around trying not to get hit with other player’s Skills while launching Skills of your own.  Though not all Skills are attacks.  Some are shields or let you fly, steal or wipe out other player’s Skills, that kind of thing.  Anyway, it is a great way to represent a card game in an action game.  The more matches or single-player you play, the more money you get, so the more Skills you can buy, or you can spend real cash on Skills as well.

Since Phantom Dust is a rerelease and not a reboot, don’t expect to be blown away, but the core gameplay holds up very well, and with the non-existent price of admission, you should give it a shot.  Though if you are going to grind through the single-player to get cash and Skills, remember to be patient.  It gets better, much better.

Even Digital Games Have A Shelf Life

Just seven years after its release Alan Wake has been removed from digital store fronts.  For some this is rather shocking.  I mean the whole point of buying games digitally is that they will always be available, but apparently always available is not the same thing as always for sale.  It turns out Alan Wake’s awesome soundtrack is what did it in.  It got to the point that renewing the licensing on the music made selling the game no longer profitable.

Of course Alan Wake is not alone in its demise.  Racing games are always disappearing from store fronts because car companies ask a king’s ransom for their cars’ likenesses in games, and just like music, those licenses expire.  We just notice less with racing game because there is always a newer and better one on the Horizon.  With Alan Wake, there is not another one coming.

While all of this make sense, it is strange to think that in this modern era where storage is cheap that digital items will not always be for sale.  Even more ponderous is that a song from 1963 is that main culprit.  All of this to say, if you have been meaning to buy a game for a few years now, maybe you should pick it up when it is on sale because it may disappear forever.  Though for a chilling game like Alan Wake, disappearing without a trace is a fitting end.

Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Second Verse Is The Same As The First!

If you are wondering if you will like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 or not, just ask yourself whether you liked the first one or not.  They didn’t change the formula very much.  It is still a rag-tag group of rouges cracking wise and saving the galaxy.  This time with more daddy issues.  That really is pretty much the whole review, but you came for more, so here we go.

“Daddy issues” should be the be the subtitle to the film.  It turns out the whole crew, except Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) and Drax (Dave Bautista), have them, and this film explores them.  Especially Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) because his long lost his birth dad shows up.  Drax, to be fair, has other family issues because he ‘was’ a Dad.

The concept of family is a common theme with group based action films (e.g. all of the Fast and Furious films), and it is easy to see why.  You get the built in drama of learning to love and live with the “new” family juxtaposed against all of the baggage from their old “real” family, and we get to see what happens when those “families” collide.  I am guessing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will not be the last film to use this setup.  I mean Vol. 3 comes out two years from now, and those “daddy issues” will not just go away.

If you are looking for a funny film filled with a lot of action and a great group of character’s, and you are not looking for something more from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 versus what we got in Vol. 1, you will be very happy.  If you did want something more, and you were hoping this film would push the massive and now lumbering MCU forward in any real way, you may feel a little disappointed.  Thankfully this crew is too fun to let that disappointment sink in too deep.