Sunday, December 27, 2015

Thor: the Dark World Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at

Before I say anything, know that I haven't been disappointed by any of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So when I say that Thor: The Dark World is way better than the original Thor, I want you to understand that I'm not hating on the original; the second is just so good!

I think that part of it is that in the first movie we watched him wandering around on Earth for quite a while without his hammer, which really isn't as cool as watching Thor bringing order to the nine realms and celebrating with his fellow Asgardians. The enemy he faces is also much more high-stakes than before, even when compared to The Avengers. This is only possible because they largely moved away from Earth in this movie, though it does play a large role towards the end.

We also get to see a lot more of Thor's family, and how Loki's actions during The Avengers are affecting all of them. I can appreciate them all more now as people, which is always a critical part in how much I get invested in a story.

Speaking of getting invested in a story: as with any action movie, tons of people die during the huge battles that take place. But it isn't often that an action movie takes the time to have a memorial scene for the characters they just killed, and it really touched me.

The movie also doesn't disappoint from a comedy standpoint. There were plenty of good one-liners and hilarious moments of character interaction that even had me laughing the second time I saw the movie.

Overall, definitely a worthy addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dishonored: Knife of Dunwall, Brigmore Witches Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks Please see this post at

Dishonored was one of my favorite games from last year; when I heard that they were coming out with DLC that would expand on the story, I was super excited.

As you know, at the beginning of Dishonored the Empress was assassinated. In these DLCs you are playing as Daud, the guy who assassinated her. It picks up soon after the assassination, when the Outsider pays Daud a visit and tells him that important things were happening with someone named Delilah. Over the course of the two DLCs this vague hint plays out into a conspiracy that threatens the entire empire.

Daud of course has many of the same powers as Corvo, with a few additions. The most notable is that he can call in a fellow assassin to help him out. I personally did not use that power because I was going for a low chaos playthrough. I thought it was very clever of Arkane to introduce Daud as the player character. No matter how you played the main game, you could justify playing Daud however you wanted. He is an assassin, so going high chaos makes sense; on the other hand, maybe he is tired of killing and is looking for redemption. I of course followed the latter course.

Each DLC has three chapters and took me over five hours to play, so price-to-gametime it is very reasonable. The Knife of Dunwall of course ends on a cliffhanger, which confused me at the time because I didn't know that The Brigmore Witches was coming as well.

Delilah, as it turns out, is another individual who has been given powers by the Outsider. Like Daud, she has a lot of followers who she shares some of her powers with. This only comes into play in the final couple of maps where you have to contend with people who can teleport.

Well somebody had to eat the babies.

I wanted her to be comfortable when she wakes up.

I'm really glad that Arkane gave us the opportunity to flesh out Daud's character and learn more about him. It gives the decision I made in the core game a lot more meaning. If you enjoyed Dishonored at all, you should definitely get The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches.