Talking ’bout Escapism and the American Dream as I See it

Did you notice what day it was this morning when you pulled yourself out of bed?

That’s right it’s Saturday and you know what that means….a brand new episode of The OrNERDnary Podcast for your earholes.

This week I take you on a journey detailing why I feel escapism can be a healthy thing and how I choose to do so.  I also take a little meandering journey down the well trod path of what I view the American Dream to be for myself and why.

And of course there is plenty of babbling about movies, tv, video games and more.

Check out, give it a like, tell your friends.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

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This Week on The OrNERDnary Podcast…

Once again we find ourselves looking at a Saturday morning.

And once again The OrNERDnary Podcast is here ready for you to devote a tiny portion of your morning letting it into your mind through your earholes.

This week we are tackling the thorny subject of fandoms expecting too much of creators/artists and turning into a bunch of hostile entitled clowns as well as why the internet could potentially be awesome if we weren’t such asshats.

I also talk about a variety of things from Overwatch’s latest event, the Death Wish trailer controversy, casting news and admitting that I’ve never seen a certain classic Sci-Fi film among other things.

Please listen and enjoy.

And of course don’t forget to share with your nerdy, pop-culture minded friends.

Also don’t forget to hit the “Ask PolyNerdic” link at the top of the page to drop me a line and hit me with something you want to hear me speak about in coming episodes.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

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PolyNerdic Review: Virginia

This is Virginia.

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It is a fine state, located on the east coast of the United States of America and has the historical significance of being the first English colony in the so called “new world” of mainland North America.

It however is not what we are here to talk about today.

This is about Virginia, the first person, mystery-adventure game.

In the game you play Anne Tarver, a newly graduated special agent in the FBI.

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You are assigned your first case and a new partner in the beginning moments of the game.  The case is to investigate the disappearance of a young boy in the town of Kingdom, Virginia and your new partner is Maria Halperin, the catch being that you are also being assigned the job of investigating Agent Halperin for Internal Affairs.

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You very quickly get the feeling that your new partner is a bit of a outsider in the office when you find yourself trekking all the way to the basement to meet her for the first time.  Your first car ride together also seems a little tense as at no point in the ride to Kingdom, Virginia do you see Halperin speak with you.

Or at least the appearance of speaking with you since the game makes a couple of interesting stylistic choices, one of which is the utter lack of dialogue, spoken or printed on screen.  At no point in the game is there any voice acting and other than the words printed in official files there is nothing to read on screen.  It is entirely up to the player to  interpret what is going on through the animations of the characters and occasionally the score.

It is worth mentioning that the score to the game is beautiful and accompanies the action onscreen perfectly throughout.  Which is good since it’s largely all there is to hear for the length of the game.

The other major stylistic choice they made was to use cinematic editing throughout the game.  Whereas most games pride themselves on giving the player full control and lots of environmental input, Virginia does the opposite, limiting your interactivity with the environment and cutting out a lot of “needless” moments.  You’ll find yourself walking down a hall one moment and it will cut to you in the back of a cab and a moment later cut to you in an elevator.  The game is edited a lot like a movie and as such requires the limitation of what you are actually doing in game.

The lack of dialogue and the cinematic editing are largely effective but I can understand why many may find it off putting.

As for the story itself, I felt it was apparent that the writers were inspired in part by Twin Peaks or the X-Files, especially given the use of bizarre dream and dreamlike sequences.

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Weird dream sequences with glowing red doors are a big part of the plot.

The townsfolk of Kingdom aren’t nearly as bizarre or quirky as the citizens of Twin Peaks but there are certainly a few really strange moments that occur during the course of the story that feel like they could have happened in David Lynch’s classic show.  Unfortunately the story collapses under the weight of it’s own strangeness in the closing moments of the game, leaving one wondering what exactly they just saw and which parts were real or imagined.

There are many theories out there as to how much of the game was real life and how much is fantasy but I’ll leave those to any who wish to search them out.

In the end I felt the game was largely enjoyable, in part because of the majority of its story but certainly because of its interesting presentation.

Final Verdict: 6 out of 10.  Virginia is a fascinating little game that takes a novel approach to its story telling, it is unfortunate that the story fails to maintain its momentum all the way through to the end.

For those who are interested in checking Virginia out without playing it yourselves you can view my entire 90 some odd minute play through below.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

 

 

 

Posted in PolyNerdic Plays, Uncategorized, Video Game Reviews, Video Games | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Catching Up on All Things PolyNerdic

Once again the weekend has slipped past us and Monday has reared its ugly head as we all drag ourselves back into work for yet another work week.

But fear not dear reader as I, your friendly neighborhood aging nerd, have put together a few things for you to either listen to or watch to help soften the blow of leaving leisure behind for labor.

Up first is this week’s episode of The OrNERDnary Podcast, the weekly nerd culture podcast we unleash upon the world every Saturday morning.  This week’s episode was a simple discussion of my thoughts on a variety of shows, movies, games and such.

And if that isn’t your style feel free to check out last week’s show where I went deep into the goings on of San Diego Comic-Con 2017.

Feel like watching something of a similar length to the average mini-series and/or in the mood for some zombie apocalypse action?

Then you should check out my play-through of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier.  It was a fantastic game about a small family trying to survive the hellish landscape of Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead universe.  Truly gripping stuff that delivered a boat load of emotional moments and had me on the edge of my seat for a good chunk of the weekend.

And lastly if long form entertainment isn’t your thing this Monday morning (or whatever day you come across this) I have a quick little jaunt into the absurdly cute world of Slime Rancher by way of a new PolyNerdic Play Test.

Make sure you like the videos and podcasts, subscribe to the channels and stay tuned for more as we move ever closer to the end of summer and the inevitable surge of video games that come each and every fall.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

Posted in Nerd Life and Culture, Opinion, Podcasting PolyNerdic, PolyNerdic Play Test, PolyNerdic Plays, Uncategorized, Video Game Opinions, Video Games | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The OrNERDnary Podcast #9 Is On Time and Ready for Your Ears

It’s Saturday and as always that means it’s new podcast day.

The good news is that this week it’s actually on time.

Episode #9 of The OrNERDnary Podcast has arrived for your listening pleasure.

In this week’s episode I revert to the odds and ends format after last week’s massive SDCC 2017 episode.

This week I discuss Rick and Morty, Death Note, The Dark Tower, NieR Automata and more.

Check it out, give it a like and tell your friends.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

 

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The OrNERDnary Podcast #8: A SDCC 2017 Recap

I know it’s a little late this morning, I overslept and missed my usual upload time AND its a slightly longer than usual episode so I think those factors are teaming up to create the delay.

Note: I also just had to reupload it as the initial upload failed, which apparently was the cause of the delay as the 2nd attempt uploaded in practically a heartbeat.

But The OrNERDnary Podcast has finally uploaded and is ready to please your earholes.

As for the episode description itself:

Brace yourself folks this week’s episode is a long one thanks to the tidal wave of awesome nerdy news that came out of San Diego Comic-Con 2017.

I don’t cover everything here but I do go over my favorite bits of news and speculation. Talking extensively about a number of trailers and the rumors that this year’s Con unleashed on us.

I go over the Justice League trailer and the news surrounding the reshoots. The Ben Affleck Batman rumors, the Flashpoint movie and what it COULD mean for the DCeU. This leads to a bit of ranting about both the DC New 52 continuity and the ending of Batman v Superman as well. New DC animated movies are announced and I touch on the Captain Marvel MCU movie news.

In short we cover a lot of ground here.

So give it a listen and enjoy my views on what was a pretty awesome barrage of nerdy goodness.

In lieu of the links here are the videos I mentioned in the podcast:

Movieverse: The Kingsmen: The Gold Circle Trailer Reaction:

Movieverse: The Defenders Trailer Reaction:

Movieverse: Pacific Rim Uprising Trailer Reaction:

Movieverse: Ready Player One Trailer Reaction:

Movieverse: Thor Ragnarok Trailer Reaction:

Movieverse: Justice League Trailer Reaction:

PolyNerdic Play Test: Serial Cleaner:

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

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PolyNerdic Play Test: Serial Cleaner

Ever find yourself dreaming of being Victor “The Wolf” Wolfe from Pulp Fiction?

How about Mike Erhmantraut from Breaking Bad?

Those men are “fixers”, a job that often has them cleaning up the aftermath of violent crimes to keep wealthy clients off the radar and out of jail.

In Serial Cleaner you play as Bob, a man who cleans crime scenes for a living, gathering bodies, picking up evidence and cleaning massive amounts of blood right out from under the noses of the police officers on the scene.

Serial Cleaner takes a ridiculous concept marries it to an interesting art style and adds a simple gameplay style that is as often challenging as it is fun.

(Sorry about the pixelation and drops in audio, my internet isn’t great and I’ve noticed it does that when I am streaming at certain times of the day when more people are home in the building/neighborhood.  Hurray for Spectrum!)

*Breaking news: during the recording I picked up a film reel which unlocks bonus levels.  After recording I took a look at the bonus level:

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It was Monty Python and the Holy Grail themed!  Including a body drop off point that is a white bunny in a cave that can be heard devouring what you drop into it.

This game gets it.

-Shad (@PolyNerdic)

Posted in PolyNerdic Play Test, Quick Look, Uncategorized, Video Game Opinions, Video Games | Tagged , | Leave a comment