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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens feature

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

The biggest sensation of 2015, Star Wars – Force Awakens was easily the most anticipated movie of the last few years. A lot of expectation was put into it. It was the revival of a beloved franchise, and the first movie under the Disney umbrella. The direction was under the experienced JJ Abrams, famous for the Lost TV show and the Star Trek film reboot. There are not much people in the world that can claim to have worked in these both famous Sci-Fi universes.

It starts from the ashes of the old Galactic Empire; the First Order rises. Kinda lame, because it is essentially the same enemy, with the same military structure. Just a re-branding. In fact, if you start to think more deeply, the film tries so much to be a continuation of the universe, that it borrows several elements from other movies. The deja vù sensation is very present throughout the whole time. It is not bad or good by definition, but it makes me think about the artificial nature of the script: it was done to be a commercial success, at all costs.

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I liked very much the new characters, heroes and villains. Most are well-defined. Their motivations are clear, and their actions make sense. They are also mostly funny. It believes that Disney notice that the most beloved characters from the original movies were those that have a sense of humor, like Han Solo and Chewbacca, or R2-D2. Now almost all, even in dire straits, have fun of the danger. One noticeable exception is the main villain, Kylo Ren. The internal is so strong that makes the audience believe that he is not actually any powerful as it tries to imply.

My main overall criticism is that the movie is very focused on the characters and the intrinsic relationships among them, forgetting the major conflict (not going to tell about specifics, for the sake of spoiling the fun). All the problems that are not personal-related is solved in a so easy fashion that removed the credibility. The villains are so incompetent the heroes surpass them all the time, with no relevant drawback. At the end, it seems that everything was a minor headache episode.

Nostalgic and fun. Total recommendation. Sorry to say, but it is already a far better experience than Lucas’ second trilogy. Star Wars is stronger than ever.

My Rating: 8★★★★★★★★
Metacritic: 84
Rotten Tomatoes: 93
The Talos Principle feature

The Talos Principle

Like almost everybody else, I was not expecting this game being this good. From the makers of the fun but niche FPS Serious Sam, Croteam, a puzzle game this deep have to catch everybody by surprise.

The game is a series of 3D puzzles. You control a character using the ordinary 3D FPS control scheme. Nothing fancy. But there is no combat. None. Some puzzles require some action, like running an synchronizing with other moving elements, like elevators.

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The difficulty rate is really nice. At the beginning you face easy puzzles. Eventually one is harder, to keep you interested. Then a new tools or functionality is presented. And the cycle repeats, now mixing the usage of the tools in the levels.

The visuals are super clean but yet super nice. It allowed me to play in my notebook with any reservations. The whole universe feels right. The UI is super minimalistic.

The story is presented through an inside or head voice, in a God-speaking to you kinda way and through computers and holograms. Most of them does not clarify anything, but just expose someone’s opinions and points of view. It is up to you, the player, to figure out what the hack is going on. And it is deliberated dual, in the way that there is no one truth to the story. Every player will experience it in a personal way. The whole presentation is a follows the introspective and philosophical themes.

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The game is a blast. I struggled in some puzzles but most of them are doable. Some extras are given for those that keep the super hard out-of-the-box puzzles. I saw the solution of some of them on the internet, and my mind exploded. They were super bizarre. I felt that just finishing the game and doing one or other extra puzzle would suffice. But I enjoyed every moment.

And also, I saved the game just before the final moment because I wanted to experience the multiple endings of the game.

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Totally recommend it.

My Rating: 8★★★★★★★★
Metacritic: 85
Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi feature

Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi

Fuzzy Nation is a great story about fighting for what is right and getting personal revenge along the way. Scalzi created a very funny story about an underdog fighting against all odds and powerful enemies.

Jack Holloway is an anti-hero. You can think of him as Han Solo working as a lawyer. He is a former lawyer that was expelled from the job for a not-that-clear fact, losing a very important case on purpose, it seemed. He became then a geologist freelancer on a very distant planet, scanning underground for mineral richness. On the way, he discovered a very different thing. And it puts him in a position to work back as a lawyer, fighting against the former employer, that is no short of money and resources.

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Holloway is clever. But this is one of the main complaints I had. Holloway is so clever that you cannot follow what he is thinking. It is, in fact, intentional. The book hides inner thoughts of Holloway to deliver some surprising turns in the story. But sometimes it makes you feel like a mere passenger.

Despite any complaints, it is a solid title. I loved reading it and recommend it. I would not be surprised if it gets a movie adaptation eventually.

My Rating: 8★★★★★★★★
Goodreads: 4.07
Witcher Adventure (Beta) feature

Witcher Adventure (Beta)

Yesterday I played Witcher Adventure (still in Beta) again, this time I could play for a little longer. I am participating in the Beta program, to give the developers the much feedback as we can. The game is a digital implementation of the homonymous board game, launched by Fantasy Flight Games.

First and foremost, the beta label means that: the game is incomplete. The main mechanics are working, the graphics are there, but there are many details missing, things that you will notice when you try it.

I am particularly interested in the game because my next game, project Vaults Inc(EDIT 2021: not available anymore), can learn a lot from it.


Visuals are great. The game is really pretty and follows almost exactly the board game. There are also several similarities to Blizzard’s HeartStone by giving a plain card game a 3D vivid feeling. In the visual aspect, its a 10.


Witcher Adventure do not have a fixed story. Instead each player will have a mission and submissions during the match. Even being a very mechanic driven strategy game, the story elements work amazingly well. It is better than other games that just include some generic and irrelevant context.


The beta is all about the multiplayer aspect. The initial menu options are all very straightforward because the game has no other options to offer. Because there was not many players invited to the beta (at least I suppose), for several moments that I entered in the game lobby looking for a companion I was alone there.

The whole lobby feature is lacking a lot of robustness. It just says that there is or isn’t people waiting to play with you, nothing else. It could be strengthened by looking into Valve’s Alien Swarm, because they are similar in terms of important variables: number of players and scenario/match duration players voted for. The “waiting for other players to join” feels so lonely.

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The current game is full of bugs. It’s a bit unfair, because most games are full of bugs. In an action driven game, all the bugs are generally forgotten seconds later because the player’s attention is needed again But in the case of a strategy, turn-based, very slow paced games, the logic is pretty exposed. You can see and analyze quite precisely the output of a given command.

In Witcher Adventure, the forum is full of minor bugs, but there are a couple of critical ones, in which the whole match is compromised. The most critical ones were related to network. ALL of my plays stooped due to a player’s network problem. Yep, I could not go to a single match to the end…

I want to play it more (if there is any people online to do so)!

My Rating: 8★★★★★★★★
Metacritic: 68
Zeno Clash feature

Zeno Clash

Zeno Clash is the debut game from the Chilean developer Ace Team. It is an impressive piece of work that really explores the graphical capabilities of the Unreal engine. The game, while very strange looking, is very beautiful. The team used a very broad range of colors and textures and lights to give a unique feeling for each stage and characters. Don’t expect a very detailed environment, but it will catch your eyeballs nonetheless.

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The game is just like a first-person shooter, but without the shooter part. That s because the game is all about brawling. While there are weapons, most combats you will only punch and kick. It’s very fun to focus on close range combat. You do not need to worry about stealth and very precise aim, but timing is required. Get close, avoid being hit and give everything you get. It is hard but much more pleasant that firing with guns: a bit relaxing I dare to say.

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If the gameplay is a bit weird the story and theme are really crazy. The world of Zenozoik is populated by strange and ugly creatures. The whole theme is messed on purpose giving the player a  constant itchy feeling of surprise. The dialogs are very cryptic and never reveals the whole story. Several elements of the game, from the characters, places and dialogs all seem to be some sort of reference, like Matrix movies.I personally never found out any  direct reference, but I would bet that there are some link with the Biblic texts. I don’t know.

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The game is short, with some repeating stages and mechanics. But I found myself enjoying most of the ride. I know that a sequel is getting cooked and I’m anxious to see the much more experienced team diving again in this universe.

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It’s a classic of weirdness and I recommend to take a look. But be aware that is a love or hate product. My tip is: play a demo first. 😉

Gamespot: +Innovative, +Unique , -Shallow , -Weak Story

My Rating: 8★★★★★★★★
Metacritic: 77