Friday, September 23, 2016

MacGyver Ain't MacGyver

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement....

I am a big fan of the original series MacGyver, I have all seven season on DVD.... and I was looking forward to the new series on CBS... but needless to say... I am not thrilled with what I saw tonight....

Prisoners of Conciergerie - Doctor Who Tales From The TARDIS

Script / Notes / Photos

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement… 

Way back on December 12, 2015, I posted the first episode of Tales From The TARDIS… and now we have reached the final episode of the true first season of Doctor Who with part six of The Reign of Terror, ‘Prisoners of Conciergerie’

And let me state this right off the bat here… The Reign of Terror is now officially my favorite Doctor Who story from the first season. Yes The Daleks and The Aztecs gets all the love, and despite Susan having very little to do, The Reign of Terror had near perfect pacing, got the elements of this being a historical story down without getting to bogged down by real history. It is the best story of the 1963-64 season.

So lets get to it, the episode opens with LeMaitre revealing to Jules that he has been the arranging the releases and recapturing of Ian, Susan and Barbara… and that he is in fact James Sterling, a British Spy… and this is actually more of a pun, because of there being a thing called a ‘sterling bond’, so James Bond, James Sterling. Basically he was placed deep undercover and was supposed to get with Webster but was too late, Ian gives him the message to return to England, but he can’t, he has to follow Paul Barras, and Ian recalls things Webster was muttering, including the name of an Inn where Barras is going to be meeting with someone. Jules, Ian and Barbara head off to get the info that Sterling needs.

They take over the inn with Ian and Barbara posing as the landlord and maid as Barrass arrives and he’s meeting with… Napoleon Bonaparte! Barras is plotting to have Robespierre arrested and executed, and having the general who is considered a hero by the people on board would help a new government get settled in more quickly.

However Napoleon is rather ambitious, and this terrifies Sterling who along with Ian head to stop Robespierre’s arrest, but they are too late, Robespierre is captured and depending on which version of events you believe, either shot his own jaw off in an attempt to kill himself or was shot by one of those who captured him.

At the same time, The Doctor is out witting the jailer, implying he was part of the coup to overthrow Robespierre and the the jailer was in league with LeMaitre who has been caught as a traitor, thus the jailer starts sucking up to the Doctor, and finally Susan is freed, and we get a happy reunion. They leave as Robespierre is brought in to be thrown into a cell before being introduced to madam guillotine.

And the episode ends with our heroes departing from Sterling and Jules, heading back to the TARDIS, where they actually discuss stopping Napoleon from coming to power or just telling him of things to come, but how Time will march on it’s destined path because it can’t be rewritten. An earlier scene has Barbara saying she learned that lesson with the Aztecs and that was a great call back to that story.

But the final line of the episode and the first season… an exchange between The Doctor and Ian

‘Our lives are important, at least to us, as we see so we learn’
“And what are we going to see and learn next Doctor?”
“Well unlike the that old adage my boy, our destiny is in the stars, lets go and search for them”

This episode in and of itself is a great closing chapter, it wraps everything up nice and neat, and flows perfectly with with the first five chapters. You get the taste of history with Napoleon to show what France will end up going with in the following years, and unlike with Marco Polo, our heroes are associated with a side tale that plays very little with actual historic events, and this is a formula that would be adapted for future stories in historical settings, setting the story around major events but not having direct involvement.

And with that… next week, we’ll be starting season two…. With The Planet of Giants!

Final Exam (Lets Play & Review)

Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement....

And Yes I do realize I did not do my usual intro in the game play video... not that anyone would notice.. but hey I did!

Anyway, tonight I finally took a crack at Final Exam, a 2.5 Side-scrolling Beat 'Em Up developed by Mighty Rocket Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. Released in 2013 for the PC, X-Box 360 and Playstation 3, this game had some 'mixed reviews' from the experts, but hey I'm a casual gamer, and a lot of the games I've enjoyed over the years I feel the experts were wrong about... same for the ones they said were good that I got sick in sort order. Also since I am a PC gamer, that is the version of the game I'm reviewing

That said, Final Exam on the surface appears to be your typical side-scrolling beat 'em up, you select one of four characters (each with various starting stats) and make your way through stages, taking out monsters... but there is some light puzzle work, and surprisingly objectives you need to advance. In the game play video of the tutorial and the first stage, you see it cane be as simple as defeating a horde of enemies, or having to achieve certain tasks (like finding a way through a subway, then finding alarms to turn off just to continue onward). So it ain't simply going from left to right, you end up going up, down, left, right, back tracking every so often... so the game isn't quite as linear as one would assume.

Sound quality is decent, nice background music to set the tone and the sound effects all convey either enemies are coming towards you (in case you don't see 'em coming) or other obstacles ... just as parts of a subway you have to avoid while surfing on top of a runaway subway car. The voice work of narrator in between stages is also solid in my view

Graphic quality, I say it's pretty decent for a low cost game at $9.99, the stages for the tutorial and the subway stage both look great, the monsters were well designed, and the lighting changing from room to room in some parts helps create a sense of atmosphere. However the one draw book is that the game feels 'far away', which I get because of the HD, 16:9 perspective and the space has to be filled, but it feels detached, particular when your chosen character is the only thing on screen.

The controls themselves are easy to learn, left analog stick to move, A to Jump, X to attack, B to interact (such as climb ladders, drop a level, pick up items use switches) LT to pick up objective items and grab enemies, RT to throw enemies use pistol weapons, RB to throw grenades.... Up on the D-Pad to use a health item, though at times I end up forgetting the controls as they seem a bit too complicated for a game like this in my opinion.

Overall Verdict: It's a fun button masher with light puzzle elements from what I saw, it's a cheap game from a couple of years ago, and it's a nice little time filler that I certainly continue to play to see if I can beat it. With Halloween just around the corner, this kind of fits the season.


9/22/2019 Sunday Night Overwatch