Robert Chesley

What I’ve been WPR’ing.

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Since I’ve been going through sort of a writer’s block period. I couldn’t really come up with some such to write about. I decided that I’m going to try to talk about what I’ve been doing this week. Since the site is Watch Play Read. Thats exactly what I’ve been doing. Fancy that.

Most recently, I watched the movie “Lymelife”. It was released in 2008. From the website description it is “Set in 1970s suburbia, this coming-of-age tale revolves around the exploits of a pair of Long Island families grappling with complex relationships, financial woes and an outbreak of lyme disease that’s “terrorizing” their community.” I wouldn’t necessarily call the “lyme disease” really anything more than a passing occurrence in the movie. It is mostly about one young man’s journey coming to grips with both learning the ways of love and learning how to cope with a family who is in disarray. There is a lot to like about this movie. From both Rory and Kirean Culkin’s brotherly moments to Emma Robert’s portrayal of a young women trying to figure out what she is supposed to be. Alec Baldwin plays a great role as a man who had it all and even after it all came crashing on him, learned what it is like to actually work for something better than himself. I couldn’t recommend this film enough. It has an “American Beauty” vibe to it that you don’t see too often from films. Great performances and great writing.

In the past little while, I also read Bryan O’Malley Lee’s “other” work. “Lost at Sea”. This road trip book predates “Scott Pilgrim”. It centers around the story of a girl who is just on the cusp of the rest of her life as she takes a risk on a long term relationship. We never actually get to see that relationship in more than flash backs and some expert imagery. I am a huge fan of the “Scott Pilgrim” novels, in fact, it would be safe to say that they could be considered some of my favorite out there. This is a little bit more “heartfelt” than the “Pilgrim” books. This shows what it is like to be an outsider, even among a group of friends, and it is also about nothing. There isn’t really a plot to this, just a road trip back home. While I fell in love with the book’s charm, something that Lee does an amazing job at, I felt like I didn’t get enough story from it. There are a few instances of great stories, the kinds you remember for years to come. Especially at the age determined from the novel. I felt like I was just another person in this car ride back to snowy Canada. And that is a great feeling. I would recommend it, just don’t think it has the same kinds of references that “Scott Pilgrim” has.

Speaking of “Scott Pilgrim” I have been playing the video game based on the movie based on the comic. Wow that was a mouthful. It very loosely follows the events of the movie and it has little references here and there to the Comic, my favorite of which is the Video store which to unlock the items in the shop you need to pay Scott’s Late Fees. It is an “old school brawler”. Much in the same style as those games from the Nintendo era, it side scrolls and you defeat all the enemies. I would compare the experience more akin to “River City Ransom” than say “Final Fight”. I love how you get to better your stats, something you don’t always get to do in these kinds of games. That being said, it can be pretty discouraging early on while you are “grinding” the levels. The game is also geared heavily towards multiplayer. You really should be going at this with at least a few friends with you. I would say you could get by with 2, but 3 or 4 is really where it is at. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to play this game with friends yet. This is another downside to the game, no online multiplayer. We live in the “Xbox Live” and “PSN” age. Everyone is connected. Most of my friends don’t live down the street from me anymore. While I love the charm that comes with playing games like that “old school”, it really is a bit of a let down that there isn’t online play, particularly when the age group this game is aimed at doesn’t live at home with their parents anymore. My favorite part of the game is the soundtrack. Written by “chiptune punkers” Anamanaguchi, it combines both pop-punk with classic NES soundboard to meld a sound that is highly unique but totally nostalgic. You’ll want to track down the soundtrack almost immediately after playing the game. As for the game itself, there is a lot to do and a lot to unlock, but you can get through the game proper in roughly a day. It is only 10 dollars on both PSN and Xbox Live. I would recommend it if you can find a few friends in your area code who can come over with pizza and kick it old school. I wouldn’t recommend this game over what I would consider the best in the genre, that title goes to the brilliant “Castle Crashers”. And if I could only have room for one of these on my system this week I’d go with “Castle Crashers”.

Robert Chesley is a geek of all natures. He mostly spends his time on the forums under the moniker Urzishra.

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