Three-and-a-half years after the release of the last instalment, and two years after my corresponding review
, Dave Gilbert has now released the newest episode of the Blackwell
series. He can be excused for the long wait time, having been busy growing his family, adapting to changing times by preparing mobile versions of his games, and building his studio, Wadjet Eye, into a well-respected and trusted indie publisher. So trusted that I pre-ordered their last two games (this one and Primordia
, 2012) without consideration to any reviews and will likely do so with the next one when it becomes available on GOG. Not that the early reviews would have dissuaded me, which were pretty glowing, promising the longest and most emotional series instalment.
As far as I can recall (unfortunately, The Blackwell Epiphany does not offer any kind of previously-on recap, perhaps so as not to bore people playing all five games in close succession), the ending to part 4 suggested the advent of a larger, more epic world. The main characters, medium Rosa Blackwell and her ghost sidekick Joey, were confronted with a shadowy conspiracy they intended to take down. There were also continued hints that Joey was withholding important information about his demise from Rosa, grounds for a future falling-out. The latter thread doesn’t really materialise: We do learn a few things about Joey’s past and how he was connected to previous game characters (whom I didn’t really remember, to be honest), and there’s an achievement promising “The hows and whys of Joey”, which however, I did not manage to get. But there’s nothing relationship-threatening there. I wonder whether this was something Gilbert planned but dropped, or whether I simply misinterpreted some dialogue two years ago. Continue reading
Posted in Contemporary, Interactive, Reviews, Spoiler-free, Uncategorized
Tagged adventure game, blackwell, blackwell epiphany, crackwell, dave gilbert, francisco gonzalez, wadjet eye games
Before I go into my review of the newest Disney feature, let me talk a bit about Tangled
(2010), its predecessor in the fairy tale genre. As a long-time Disney fan, I followed its arduous production fairly closely, and that process didn’t yield a great amount of optimism for the finished product: Numerous story retoolings, scale-backs of the visual style, the replacement of animation legend Glen Keane in the director’s chair (twice, basically), and an unnecessary title change later, the bad vibes climaxed with a horrid trailer
that made the film look like a not very good Shrek
-esque parody and a desperate appeal for boys and teenagers.
When I actually saw the film in December 2010, compelled by a release of the catchy soundtrack, good reviews and some slightly less loathsome trailers, I wasn’t just very pleasantly surprised. I absolutely adored Tangled. It had a thin veneer of modern “hipness”, sure, but what lay underneath was a really very traditional fairy tale plot with solid situational and character-based humour and a distinct lack of pop-culture references or insufferable pop songs. It wasn’t a radical shift at all, but a minor evolution of a formula Disney mastered in the early 1990s (and then kinda ran into the ground, sure, but never to the degree critics like to claim). If it was a rejection of anything, then of the Disney company’s previous attempts to break out of a perceived fairy tale ghetto.
Posted in Contemporary, Film, Reviews, Spoilers Below The Fold, Uncategorized
Tagged chris buck, disney, fairy tale, frozen, jennifer lee, kristen anderson-lopez, musical film, robert lopez, tangled