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Dogma, Skylanders, Buffy and Sherlock

Brad Gallaway's picture

Dragon's Dogma Screenshot

Haven't had much free time in front of the consoles lately, but what little time I have had has been going into Dragon's Dogma.

I finally finished it off earlier this evening (more or less. maybe less.) and the endgame is fairly strange... I didn't get much dramatic buildup before the final encounter, so I was a little surprised when it came. I am happy to report that going toe-to-toe with the Dragon was even more epic than I had hoped for, though. Skyrim's reptiles look utterly pathetic compared to the leather-winged badasses in Dogma.

After the Dragon, well... let's just say that some pretty interesting stuff happens that will keep you playing after the Dragon has been turned to dust.

Overall, it's a very unusual title in many ways and I'm going to do my best to reflect that in the review I just started writing.

Did I like it? Absolutely, but there's no question that certain aspects of it are in dire need of help. It's not going to be a game that clicks with everyone, and players have to overlook a certain amount of roughness and bad decision-making in order to enjoy what's there, but when the game comes together... wow.

Look for my final evaluation coming soon.

When not playing Dogma, I was able to get a little more time in with Skylanders in co-op... my 3yo loves messing around with it, and the wife and I have been making progress bit by bit when I'm between reviews.

It's funny to recall the first time I saw it at PAX last year, and I have to admit that I didn't get it at the time.

To be fair, it was set up at an unimpressive kiosk and there weren't any PR reps around to explain what made it so special, so I had little reason to think it was anything other than a standard kids' game nestled in between the other crap that Activision was hawking.

And now? I've been playing it on and off for the last six months, gone through it twice, and I'm only two figures short of a complete collection. Who knew, right?

I'm planning on doing a late-to-the-party review for it fairly soon. Although it's a solid enough dungeon-crawler, it's a fantastic kids/family game, and the amount of work that went into each of the characters is pretty impressive.

I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel, Giants, coming later this year—With all the cash I've invested in the franchise, you better believe I want to get some more use out of these figs!

If you're a Kirby Krackle fan like I am, then you might be interested to know that they've just released a free single over at Bandcamp. It's a cover of Izrael Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Over The Rainbow", so check it out.

Also, I have to plug Chairlift's "Something" album just one more time. I've been listening to it pretty continuously and it really sucks that I've only met one other person who's even heard of this group, let alone this particular album. These guys are good!

So a while ago, I had mentioned that the wife and I were watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never watched it when it was on, so I figured that since the entire series was on Netflix, I'd give it a try. We got hooked immediately, and we watched the first four seasons pretty much back-to-back.

At that point, we took a break to catch up on some other shows, and we just started watching season five... and then... we stopped.

I don't know what happened exactly, but the writing in season five has been absolutely terrible, and the introduction of Buffy's "sister" Dawn was a really hard thing to swallow. Apparently there's an explanation for it later (we only watched the first two episodes in the season) but I have to say that neither one of us is very motivated to keep watching.

It sucks to have lost all enthusiasm since we are such big fans of the show up until this point, but it's just bad. Bad bad bad.

What's not bad is season two of Sherlock.

I think the second cluster of episodes was really solid and didn't have a clunker like the Asian-themed episode was in the first season. This is some great TV, and I highly recommend it if you haven't already jumped aboard.

I've gotta say, the quality of the show is a bit galling, though—it's so clever and tightly-scripted, yet the same person behind Sherlock (Steven Moffatt) is the same guy who ran Doctor Who into the ground with all of the endless Amy Pond/River Song bullshit. It blows my mind that the same person can make one thing so great and make one thing so wretched... What gives?!?

Category Tags
Platform(s): Xbox 360   Wii   PS3   Wii U  
Series: Dragon's Dogma   Skylanders  
Genre(s): Role-Playing   Open World  

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Buffy S6!!!

I'm such a big Buffy fan that I never really noticed before, but you're right; season 5 *is* the weakest of them all. Don't despair, though. The season picks up, Dawn becomes an interesting character, and the show returns to form. Especially in season 6, which many feel rocks them all (me included). Don't quit now or you'll deprive yourself of more groovy slayage! P.S. the first half of season 7 is weak too. Again, don't be put off, the series finale is worth it.

skylanders

I have really been pleasantly surprised by Skylanders as well. I also play it with my 3yr old and its been a blast watching him learn how video games work. It is a super rare accomplishment that the game is able to be accessible enough to small kids without boring parents to tears. My son has especially loved making up his own names for the characters. Its a nice touch that they allow you to customize them. I would recommend that game to any parent who is looking to share the hobby with their kids.

I thought the Buffy season

I thought the Buffy season with the secret army story line was the weakest actually. I love the villain in Dawns first season- like all Buffy seasons it starts of disjointed and slow but picks up also has probably one of the best episodes of the whole show - The Body, ep16. Also the wonderful season 6 is my personal favourite.
ps - your Recaptcha are too difficult!

Skylanders

I'm glad to hear someone say that about Skylanders. My two nieces are around the age to start playing video games and I thought that one looked like it had potential, but I'd always a little nervous about games marketed to children. I've seen some games with potential end up falling short in ways that felt like they thought "kids won't notice" (like the very linear, repetitive progression in Kinnectamals). I might have to give that one a try with them sometime.

Because I respect your take on games so much, I'll forgive you for being so very wrong about River Song ;)

Don't Give Up On Buffy!

Brad, listen to me. There's few things I'll ever write to you about more passionately. Do NOT stop watching Buffy, for a few reasons:

1. The end fight of Season 5 is so much like a boss battle in a video game (in all the right ways), it's scary.

2. Dawn gets better. They do explain her.

3. The end of Season 5 closes perfectly. Although you'd be missing out to skip Season 6 and 7, I could live with you stopping after 5.

So give it a chance. And then watch Angel (which it's possible you'll enjoy even more) and Firefly, if you haven't. Joss Whedon is excellent, as is much of his writing staff.

Also, what's with the consistent love through Season 4? I thought Season 4 got pretty stupid. Although I liked Adam, he was a pretty weak "big bad" when compared with the others, and Riley sucks. Like really, annoyingly sucks.

Finally, keep this in mind. Buffy is an amazing show with bad episodes. Some of them are just not of the same quality. But truck through and I promise you and your wife will be rewarded with some unforgettable episodes. Like another comment pointed out, you'd be crazy to not watch the episode "The Body". It's a television masterpiece.

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