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Video Game Review: ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ Fails in Every Way

CHICAGO – How can something this hyped feel so rushed and blasé? Gearbox Software must be counting on the strong “Alien” franchise fanbase to carry sales but word of mouth is going to kill “Aliens: Colonial Marines” quicker than a Xenomorph can kill an unarmed civilian.

Video Game Review: Agent 47 is Aging in ‘Hitman HD Trilogy’

CHICAGO – Is there anything sadder than an aging assassin? In this case, no. Agent 47 has been upgraded to HD when he should have been upgraded in other ways. Unless you’re a total virgin to the series, you are likely to wonder what the heck you’re paying for. Even if you are a virgin you’ll probably walk away wondering why anyone would bother rendering these been-there-done-that titles in HD. The games have just plain aged that badly.

Video Game Review: ‘Meowzers: Action Cats’ is Purrfectly Serviceable

Meowzers: Action Cats

CHICAGO – It’s pretty safe to say the internet is the best things to happen to cats since the litter box. Unless you were born without a soul, the odds are you have a favorite LolCat Meme, too. There’s “I should buy a boat” cat, Lawyer Cat, Lime Cat, Monorail Cat, and everyone’s favorite, Grumpy Cat. With kittens as popular as ever, it was only a matter of time until someone made them the protagonists of a mobile game. “Meowzers: Action Cats” is one of those games, and like a kitten in a carrier, is a curious package.

Video Game Review: ‘Pixel People’ Pleases Passively

Pixel People

CHICAGO – What happens when you combine the city building of “Sim City”, the art-style of “Pocket Planes” and the pointless, but still somehow fascinating Commodore 64 game, “Little Computer People”?

Video Game Review: Trivia Goes Mobile with ‘You Don’t Know Jack’

You Don't Know Jack

CHICAGO – In this world, there are very few places for the creatively minded B-type personality to massage their fragile egos. Sure, you can write a 13,000 word diatribe defending the “Star Wars” Prequels, get a PHD, get a writing gig, kick-start that graphic novel you’ve been kicking around, etc., but the ability to have an honest-to-goodness pissing contest is sadly privilege of the proverbially macho. We can’t arm wrestle, we might as well have mittens for hands when it comes to catching any sort of ball, and we want people to like us. So we play trivia.

Video Game Review: ‘Super Meat Boy’ (In Case You Missed It)

CHICAGO – My relationship with “Super Meat Boy” isn’t unlike an early 90’s romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan. Despite spending years in my peripheral vision, and being told over and over and over again how great of a guy “Super Meat Boy” was (Yes, I’m Meg Ryan in this scenario), I didn’t have the special kind of feelings a lass needs to warrant a commitment.

Video Game Review: Story of ‘FTL: Faster Than Light’ is Stuck in Neutral

CHICAGO – Since the advent of fancy 3D gaming graphics, it seems most space simulations believe gamers want action pew-pew. “Freespace 2”, “Wing Commander”, “X-Wing vs. Tie Figher”, and a litany of other games essentially presented classic combat flight sim gameplay *in spaaceee*. Now, all those games are excellent in their own ways. “Descent: Freespace” in particular is a *must* play if you’ve ever enjoyed anything related to Sci-Fi.

Video Game Review: ‘Borderlands 2: Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt’ is Old Dog with New Tricks

CHICAGO – The odds are if you own a “Borderlands 2” Season Pass, or are a member of its “Premiere Club” you’re very likely very pleased at the constant stream of high quality content being delivered to your Xbox 360.

Video Game Review: New Hollywood Connection of ‘Retro City Rampage’

Retro City Rampage

CHICAGO – I’ve been gaming for two and a half decades. If I think about it, I haven’t even been potty trained that long. I played games before I rode a bike, kissed my first girl, danced my first jig, or wrote my first word. A controller is as familiar to my hands as a rifle to a rifleman.

Video Game Review: ‘Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth’ is Subpar

Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth

CHICAGO – Orcs, wizards, and dwarves, oh my. Between “Lord of the Rings: Guardians of Middle-Earth”, “WoW”, “Kingdoms of Amalur”, and about sixty thousand other games, movies, and TV shows featuring medieval fantasy, it’s pretty obvious this setting appeals to millions of people across the world. To these fans, the “Lord of The Rings” franchise is like the Holy Bible. So it pains me to say that the acronym-o-riffic XBLA MOBALOTR:GOME” is practically sacrilege.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Monica Raymund on set for 'Tanya'

    CHICAGOTV fans know Monica Raymund as paramedic Gabby Dawson on the long-running “Chicago Fire.” But the talented actor is expanding her range, debuting her first film as director, “Tanya,” at the Midwest Independent Film Festival on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. The short film – written by Sam Forman – will be part of “Female Filmmakers Night” at the Midwest Indie, and is part of Raymund’s involvement with Hidden Tears Project, an organization dedicated to raising consciousness by creating media on gender inequality, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

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