Entertainment Rex: July 2021

I’m wrestling with whether or not to get PlayStation Now.

I feel like… I’m already paying for PS Plus, which is its own $60/month thing. Do I really need Now? It looks like a bulk of the games on Now end up becoming Plus giveaways as it is.

But then… Fallout New Vegas is on Now, and I really kind of want to replay that. I had the Ultimate Edition for the PS3, but after several hours, it started running choppy as hell until it was completely unplayable.

So I’ve been looking over the Now catalog. They just added Red Dead Redemption 2! And they have the original RDR, which I have for PS3, but only played a bit of (and none of Undead Nightmare, which is also there). I see Jump Force, which I’ve always been a bit curious about. Detroit Become Human is one I have almost bought several times.

There are reasons!

Then again, I have already accrued so many games I haven’t played yet. I keep hearing great things about Horizon Zero Dawn, and Plus gave that out a few months back. There’s actually a huge number of PS Plus games in my Library I’ve never touched. I bought SOMA and the Amnesia collection back when they were, like, $3 each around Christmas. I bought the second TellTale Batman game after I finished the first…

I should play the games I have. Right? I should do that.

AND YET!

Fallout New Vegas, man. I’ve been wanting to replay that for months. Hell, over a year, actually when I talked about it on my previous podcast.

Look, I know how this book ends. I struggle with this for a few weeks, and then I end up buying PS Now anyway. I should just cut to the chase on this one.

Hmmmmm… maybe I’ll play Batman first and see how I feel after that.


MOVIES

Only one really terrible rating this go-around, and even that is mostly tongue-in-cheek. X-Men Apocalypse is not necessarily that low of a movie, but it commits the unforgivable sin of issuing the promise of a decent amount of Jubilee but then not delivering upon said promise. It’s not like this movie showed restraint or greater foresight anywhere else; they REALLY couldn’t have included her in the final fight scene? Come on, movie.

I am kind of impressed with Netflix’ little Fear Street experiment, and as of this writing, I am still waiting for the conclusion to air on 7/16. I do think the third part looks like probably the weakest based on what we have seen, but I like the formula here, and I thought 1978 was a step up from 1994, so hopefully it will climb again for its last installment.

Speaking of new movies… Black Widow! I should have written a whole review on Widow after I saw it, but I’ve been frightfully busy these last several days. And I don’t know how long I could stretch out “eh, it was okay” to get a whole article. It really was just FINE. I reranked the MCU to my tastes in its wake, and I have Widow coming in at #17, only besting Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America: First Avenger, and Dr. Strange. The fight editing was ROUGH in Black Widow… even for an MCU movie. It was so shaky and so quickly cut that I couldn’t help but sit there and think “I certainly hope Shang-Chi is better than this”.

David Harbour’s Red Guardian was the highlight of the movie, but by the time he really comes into play, I was already pretty much bored with the flick. The first act is a slog here.

Best of the Best is a fun little 80’s karate flick I somehow had never heard of before. I caught it as part of a video review with Pint O Comics, and our discussion on it was a blast. There are a whole bunch of sequels, apparently, and maybe I’ll watch part 2 someday. But as a single flick, the original was fun. The bar fight scene was a riot.

For everything else… well, you’ve got yourself a little preview of a few future episodes of the Stew World Order podcast… where folks kept randomly drawing Frank Miller movies.


GAMING

See the source image

Speaking of PlayStation Plus from the beginning here, they gave us a free Call of Duty this month (which is, like, the third Call of Duty they have given out in the last 14 months), with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

As someone who has perennially been as competent at first person shooters as the guy who made the NFL’s color rush jerseys was at knowing what color blind people want to watch, I never figured I would care much for Calls of Duty. But last year PS Plus gave away CoD World War 2, and damned if I didn’t drop a TON of time into that! I dragged my skill level kicking and screaming from “Just The Dirt Fucking Worst” to “Not Half-Bad!” over the course of a few months. So when I saw a new edition come out for free, I thought, “Oh hey, these are fun for me now!”

Turns out my competency did not translate across Calls! I no longer have the maps memorized! I don’t understand how the “Specialists” thing works when the previous game I played was all “So pick your gun and go”! I have not yet unlocked better weapons (or whatever Specialists get), so I’m hopelessly spraying bullets while everyone else kills me as soon as they see me.

Do I feel like dedicating the time and energy to become good at this Call, too? Well, not yet. Maybe eventually, but I instead pivoted to a PS game I have had for a few months but not yet completed…

See the source image

I had dropped off playing the remake of Final Fantasy 7 a few months back, but just in the last weekend, I got back to it with abandon. I finished up the game last night, actually, which is what led to my “What do I play now” lament that kicked us off here. I think the game took right around 30 hours for me to best which is… all right, I suppose. It feels like a bit of a rip-off and that they should have covered more of the original game in this first offering of the remake, but I also see that this is a good cutting line.

What’s nice about this game is how intuitive it was! Even after having not played it for a few months, I picked it up and was able to play effectively right away. Compare that to, say, The Witcher 3 where I had abandoned that game for a few months, and when I came back, I had no idea what on Earth I was doing. Something about having two swords and casting runes somehow? So I just gave up trying. FF7 wins that comparison.

I do hope they have more hours of gameplay in the future installments when I might be more likely to buy the game upon release. Sixty dollars for 30 hours isn’t the world’s best investment, you know? If I wanted to be wasting my time-to-enjoyment dollars, I’d go back to buying comic books regularly!


All right, here’s the thing: I can WANT to video game all damn day, but I’m sitting on three completely unedited episodes of the podcast, AND I’m recording two more this week. And I still have articles to write to finish out July. And I have to finalize my episodes being published on 7/15 and 8/1.

So I should quit worrying about what game I am or am not playing and DO MY WORK.

So I’ll focus on that.

Or I’ll play video games because no one should ever give me responsibility.

We’ll see!

Until next time… take care!

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