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August 2022 Retrospective

The Good

Season 1 of Shoresy

Season 1 of Shoresy was absolutely hilarious and is right up there with Trailer Park Boys, Corner Gas, and Letterkenny as one of my favourite Canadian comedies of all-time.

Do you like paninis?

Hitman 3

https://twitter.com/statuses/1562251050014298113

Last month I raved about how much I enjoyed Hitman 2 and I'd like to heap that same praise onto Hitman 3. Every single gameplay addition and enhancement was undeniably for the better. It is rare for a developer to continually innovate like IO Interactive has. While I still personally enjoy the Miami level from Hitman 2 the most, I replayed every Hitman 3 level multiple times and am still interested in going back and replaying them some more. I really don't think I can give a better recommendation then that.

I understand that Hitman's methodical playstyle is not for everyone but I am incredibly disappointed with myself for sleeping on it for so long. Do yourself a favour and at least give the demo a try.

Supposedly IO Interactive is now taking a break from the Hitman series and is making a James Bond game with a completely original story. Based on what I've seen from this Hitman trilogy I cannot think of a better studio for the job.

The Bad

Bayonetta 1

In preparation for Bayonetta 3's release this November I figured I would go back and replay the first game in the series. Oh what I mistake that was.

It has only been twelve years since the release of the first Bayonetta and every single aspect of the game has aged horribly. I did remember that it had insta-death quick time events, absolutely random and pointless mini-games, and multistage boss fights where if you died you had to start over. But I thought the combat was fun. Not just fun, but genre defining. Bayonetta's combat is maybe the shallowest and most indecipherable shit I have played in a decade. Combine that with enemies who have too much health and the game was a slog from beginning to end.

I know it is unfair to compare Bayonetta to a game that was released after it but Devil May Cry 5 apparently really has spoiled me when it comes to hash and slash games. I truly thought Bayonetta was a great game when it was released and now I'm questioning how PlatinumGames managed to survive it.

Because I stupidly bought the Bayonetta 1 and 2 digital bundle I'm going to give the second game a shot in September. Maybe it will be a huge leap forward and manage to get me excited for Bayonetta 3 again.

Season 1 of Tokyo Vice

Earlier this year I read Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan and absolutely loved it. The side of Japan that tourists see is an incredibly sanitized version that is in many ways detached from the reality of everyday life. The author of Tokyo Vice did an fantastic job at highlighting the hidden, seedy underbelly. I had very high hopes for HBO's adaption but unfortunately even thought it is set in Japan, it plays out like every other cliched western crime drama.

The first episode was great. It really set the stage and while the main character's life is in many ways monotonous, set against the exotic backdrop of Japan it is still quite intriguing. But as each episode passes, the importance of Japan diminishes and we devolve into the stereotypical police melodrama you'd expect to see in the West. I was hoping this would be like The Wire set in Tokyo, but in the end it was more like a drawn out episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. An immense, unbelievable criminal conspiracy overshadows Tokyo and the characters become hyperbolic versions of themselves.

The worst part is that by the end of the first season there is absolutely no resolution to any of the numerous plots. Literally in the final 10 minutes of last episode, four different cliffhangers are manufactured. Even if you are still interested in watching Tokyo Vice you should do yourself a favour and wait until the second season has been released.

Honourable Mentions

Read A Study in Scarlet

I read my first Sherlock Holmes novel this month, A Study in Scarlet, and was thoroughly entertained. After consuming so much other media about Sherlock Holmes it was quite bizarre to read what is suppose to be his origin story but already know so much about the character. I'll be interested to see if things begin to diverge in the second novel, The Sign of the Four.

The Batman

If you're like me and you passed on watching The Batman because the trailer didn't really do anything for you, I highly recommend you give it a shot. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. It is by no means perfect but Robert Pattinson portrays an excellent Batman and I cannot wait to see where he takes the character in a sequel.

Read Invincible Compendium Vol. 1

Back in May 2021 I watched the first season of Invincible on Amazon Prime Video and wrote

I'd say that about 50% of Season 1 of Invincible is really enjoyable and the other half is incredibly boring. I had this on in the background while I was doing other things and it was the animation style and the battles that managed to grab my attention.

I don't think I'll watch season 2 of Invincible but I really do now want to read the comics that it is based on.

It may have took me over a year but I finally read Invincible Compendium Vol. 1 and was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was. Everything in the TV show that bored me was over in a few minutes rather than being drawn out to 40. It is really interesting to see which elements of the comic they wanted to stretch out and elaborate on and what they just chose to ignore entirely.

I don't know when this change happened but I definitely prefer to read a story now rather than watch a TV or film about it. There is something about the pacing of modern cinema that I absolutely detest and would much rather consume these stories at my own pace.

Season 1 of The Sandman

Speaking of a story I'd rather read than watch, season 1 of The Sandman is a perfect example. I would say about 30% of what I've seen so far is interesting and the other 70% feels like filler. The show jackknifes between beautifully written and shot scenes that I'm enthralled by to the most boring and uninteresting crap that immediately has me reaching for my phone.

But the idea of The Sandman does makes me want to read the comic book it is based on. I want to know more about the world the Sandman inhabits and probably could have already read the entire series in the time I've spent watching the show.

Review August Goals

September Goals

#MonthlyRetrospective