Tom Chick

Worst thing you’ll see in 42 years: The Car: Road to Revenge

, | Movie reviews

Although the 1977 horror movie The Car belongs in the killer car genre, the template was Jaws.  Move Amity from a coastal town into the desert. Change the shark to a demonic driverless car. Otherwise, pretty much everything else is the same.  A small-town sheriff, mysterious casualties, Fourth of July celebrations interrupted by a public attack, an old man with unique insight enlisted for a third act hunt, and everything resolved by an explosion.  The Car ended with the car vanquished. Or did it? The credits played over footage of the car driving around a city. Hmm. So it wasn’t buried forever in a desert canyon?

That’s where I come in.

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Top ten games of 2018

, | Features

First the usual disclaimer.  Here are the the notable games I didn’t get to play: Vermintide 2, Return of the Obra Dinn, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Forza 4, God of War: Dad Edition, Battlefield V, Pillars of Eternity II, Sea of Thieves, Dragon Quest XI, Bard’s Tale IV, The Long Dark, and whatever Yakuza game most recently came out.  There are a couple of games that might have been contenders if I’d spent more time with them. I really liked what I saw of Subnautica and Battletech, but for various reasons didn’t explore them as much as I would have liked.

Which is why I’ve enlisted the help of Nick Diamon and Jason McMaster for this year’s list.

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Ten most disappointing games of 2018. Okay, twelve.

, | Features

This is never a fun list to make, because these are all games I wanted to like.  Without exception, they are games I was looking forward to playing. What went wrong?  My expectations, the games themselves, or — most likely — some combination of the two?  This year’s list actually goes up to twelve because it includes two games I never even played.

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Top ten games of 2018 that are, uh, possibly good!

, | Features

These are games that I briefly tried, often during a livestream, and then made a mental note that, hey, that might be worth spending more time with!  At which point, they tumbled into the backlog never to be seen again. Until today. I have unearthed them for this list, which is, uh, games that are…uh, the ten games of 2018 that, well, uh…

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest with you.  I’m making this list in the hopes that you guys will check out these games and let me know if I was right.  Are they worth spending more time with? Based on my limited time, the answer could be yes. But it could also be no because I’ve only spent limited time with them. Look, I’ve done the work for the other three lists this year, so this one is on you.

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Cowboy Bebop: sophomore effort

, | TV reviews

The “bebop” in the title isn’t random.  In addition to the jazzy opening — after two episodes I can tell the opening theme is going to be running roughshod through my head for years to come — the ship is named the Bebop.  It’s a pretty nifty ship. It’s like a speedboat with twin shark-like tail fins. It seems to have a conning tower overlooking a deck equally suited for launching small craft or throwing yacht parties.  I think there are air scoops or something on the sides? I presume I’ll be seeing more of it, since it’s in the name of the actual series. In this second episode, we find out it can land in water and float like an actual ship.  But then we just watch a bunch of running around.

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Misunderstanding Terraforming Mars

, | Game reviews

Terraforming Mars is a great boardgame about an economic engine that traffics in money, metals, and energy, which are then funneled into projects to gradually turn Mars from a barren red board into a host for scientific marvels, lush forests, teeming cities, and sparkling oceans. It’s one of those lovely marriages of theme and mechanics that most boardgames aspire to.

Sadly, it’s a terrible videogame. Continue reading →