[Novel] Timescape (Gregory Benford)

Timescape

Book

An interesting hard sci-fi story about using tachyons to communicate through time.

Positive:
Negative:
An interesting, apocalyptic setting
The characters and plot, while not bad, aren’t memorable
Interesting ideas grounded in hard science
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[Anime] Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss

Anime

This impression is based on the first season of the show.

An imaginative horror show that initially tricks you with its cute outward appearance, but since most of its content hinges on the mystery of the Abyss, it’s pretty much useless in its current incomplete state.

It’s way too early to tell whether it’ll turn out to be amazing or will be a disappointment, so I wouldn’t really recommend picking it up until it’s finished. It honestly reminds me of the Southern Reach trilogy, and I can totally see it fizzling out in the same way.

Positive:
Negative:
Imaginative, fascinating setting
Boring, cliche characters
The mystery of the Abyss is extremely interesting
The plot feels like a simple adventure story with horror elements… so far
Lots of delicious horror scenes that don’t let the characters get off easy
So incomplete, it feels more like a trial than a full-fledged product

 

[Game] Nier: Automata

Nier- Automata

Game

It’s been a while since I’ve been so torn about something as Nier: Automata. It offers a fantastic thought-provoking setting that is a joy to explore, but the characters, plot, and even the story feel like they’re insignificant and not even all that interesting compared to what you can infer from the game’s lore and details spread across the world design and even side-quests.

I loved the narrative experience in Nier: Automata, but the best parts of it were various revelations about artificial intelligence and human condition that came about from simply observing the world than actually following the plot, so I’m not sure how to even judge it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The game-play, too, is actually pretty nicely crafted, but the overpowered healing items either make it a complete cakewalk or a nightmare if you play on a difficulty where you get one-shotted all the time.

I feel like there were multiple issues with design of this game, but the overall concept was just so good, it still turned out pretty amazing. It’s definitely a diamond in the rough, but it should be experienced by anyone interested in novel and unique concepts.

Positive:
Negative:
Fantastic soundtrack
The characters are simplistic and not all that interesting
Extremely well-crafted, thought-provoking dystopian setting
The plot is simplistic and not really all that interesting
Immersing melancholic atmosphere
The story feels insignificant compared to the vast lore
A narrative that sticks into your subconscious because of the details
The unbalanced difficulty ruins otherwise fairly enjoyable game-play
Thought-provoking on humankind and intelligence in general
A lot of tedious item fetching side-quests
Good general battle mechanics
The scrolling shooter parts and hacking keep the game-play fresh

 

[Novel] The Last Kingdom (Bernard Cornwell)

The Last Kingdom

Book

It reads almost like a fantasy novel at times, but The Last Kingdom is a very interesting depiction of the conflicts between English and the Danes in 9th century AD.

You can grab an audiobook or kindle on amazon.

Positive:
Negative:
Interesting, likable characters
Feels a bit more like a fantasy adventure than a historical novel
Relatively interesting plot
Doesn’t offer anything particularly memorable
Enlightening on 9th century England and Denmark

 

[Game] Call of Duty: WWII

Call of Duty - WWII

Game

Call of Duty: WWII delivers the same Call of Duty experience that pretty much all the other games in the series did. You’ll enjoy it as long as you’re not looking for something new.

You can get it on steam or amazon.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful visuals
Does little to separate itself from other games in the series
Polished, satisfying shooter game-play
Underwhelming final mission, especially compared to World at War
Lets you participate in historical battles
Reintroduction of archaic and tedious health pack mechanic

[Novel] Apocalypse of the Dead (Joe McKinney)

Apocalypse of the Dead

Book

I don’t know if it’s me having consumed too much zombie media in the recent years, but everything in Apocalypse of the Dead felt so generic I almost felt I was watching a new season of Walking Dead.

It’s a competent book, but I feel we’ve squeezed all the potential there was out of zombies a long time ago already, and all stories pertaining to them are starting to feel the same.

Positive:
Negative:
Okay characters
Feels extremely uninspired at this point
Written by a policeman, the scenes related to that kind of work feel authentic
The plot is not that interesting