Now Reading: Mind MGMT

Mind MGMT, put simply, is Matt Kindt’s tale of a secret organization of people with bizarre mental powers. The main plot is about a group of former members fighting against the Mind MGMT organization, which was formerly a beneficial one, but is now corrupt and evil, but the book also gets into the long history of the organization and its many weird members. As usual with Kindt, the powers these characters have are a lot more varied and unique than the usual telepathy/telekinesis/etc-type abilities you expect when you hear the term “mental powers”. Sure, there’s a little of that too, but mostly there’s a bunch of unconventional powers involving controlling and affecting minds through various mediums like books, music, and art.

This world and its characters are made even more dense by the unusual placement of pieces of side stories around the gutters of the pages and by Kindt’s dreamlike water colored art, which tends to contain a lot of double-imagery and other odd visual subtexts.

My only complaint is the same one I usually have about these kind of self-contained independent comics: the ending feels a bit sudden and condensed compared to all the slow build-up preceding it, a common problem with these kind of niche titles. Still definitely a worthwhile read though.

Now Playing: Final Fantasy Dimensions (2010)

Final Fantasy Dimensions is a mobile exclusive Final Fantasy game that’s based heavily on the old-timey Final Fantasy games of the NES and SNES days. The similarity to older Final Fantasy games is both the best and worst thing about this game. Yes, the retro look and mechanics and all the references to the old games are nice, but it brings all the old weaknesses with it too.

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Now Playing: Not A Hero (2015)

A Devolver Digital game with shooting, pixel graphics, and a nice chiptune soundtrack? What could go wrong? Shifty controls and outright cheating, that’s what. The game starts out decently, with fast paced shooting that feels a little like a side scrolling Hotline Miami, though a little more forgiving. There are multiple characters to be unlocked, though they all seem pretty useless once you unlock the fast running shotgun guy whose name I already forget.

There are comedic briefings between each mission that are amusing at first, but then get a bit grating after the first few times, when you just want to see your mission objectives, but are just given several minutes of jokes and nonsense that scrolls by way too slowly.

The biggest problem is that the button for the slide dash move is the same button used to take cover. Tap X to take cover, hold X to slide…except a lot of the time, even when you just tap X, you still end up sliding. When you are trying to take cover from a guy shooting a hail of bullets at you, but instead you slide directly into him, well…you can see how that might be a problem. A bit more than halfway through the game, the difficulty takes a huge, sudden leap too. It goes from walk in the park to Super Meat Boy type, one single wrong twitch and you’re dead, difficult. This suddenly turns that minor annoyance of a control issue into maddening mission failure after mission failure. I was trying to push through anyway, despite it becoming frustratingly un-fun to try to beat the missions with all the challenge objectives too, but then this happened in a ridiculously tough and strict secret challenge level:

I don’t even know how many times I had to try this level just to get this done, 50 times at least, and then it fucks me over like that? You can very clearly see that I got to the exit before the time ran out, but then the timer kept fucking clicking down anyway. No thanks, buddy. Quit and deleted the game before I ended up breaking another controller. Luckily, it was a free game this month, so all I lost was a few hours of my time, though I regret even that.

Now Playing: The Order – 1886 (2015)

Oh, The Order. That game that you always see in bargain bins everywhere, with a horrible reputation, yet it has such an interesting looking setting and plot and such nice graphics…how bad could it be? Well…it’s not BAD, there are even moments when it’s very fun, but holy shit is this game full of flaws.

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