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Friday, April 18, 2014

My birthday

Hello everyone, and here's a rare unscheduled article for all of ya'll. My birthday is coming up (It's the 23rd) and on or around that time I'm going to put out a video detailing everything I got (Including stuff I bought myself) so I can show what all you can expect to eventually see on my channel. I just figured I'd let everyone know. Come to think of it, I probably should have announced this earlier in the month, but what can I say, I'm not really a presents hog because I like to shop for my own presents. I just want to have a video around that time period so I can make a new video, because I haven't been doing much other than releasing my backlog since I've gotten my hard-drives cleaned up a bit so that I can convert them. I'll see you guys on Sunday with a new review. Hint: It's an animated movie from 2012 that a lot of people were excited for.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tetris DS

Tetris DS was released in all major territories in 2006, and in Korea in 2007. Tetris is a game almost as old as modern gaming, and it's a good one at that. So very few things from the past, no matter how short a time ago it might have been hold up by modern standards, from TV shows and movies to videogames. In fact, some things didn't even hold up back in the day, but Tetris has been good pretty much since the start. Enough gushing about things I like, let's get on to the review; Tetris DS has several modes. Standard mode, which has settings for Marathon mode, an NES themed version of classic Tetris with music from various famous games from throughout the lifetime of the NES. Line Clear, where you choose the level and height, then clear a number of specified lines. Then there's vs the CPU, which lets you set the CPU AI level to your liking. The game mode has you and the CPU competing to push each others blocks to the top of the screen, and it's pretty fun to play. Moving on to Catch mode, which is themed around Metroid. You catch Tetriminos on the center block and attempt to get a four by four shape or larger so you can detonate it and remove a lot of the extra blocks that will you'll inevitably pick up over time, and to regain health that will be lost from bumping into Metroids and smashing blocks by turning the main piece in the center into the Tetriminos. The d-pad is used to move the center block around, and by extension, the structure built around it. The A and B buttons rotate it, and L or R speeds up the falling blocks. Sometimes the orientation of the blocks gets pretty unintuitive, but this mode requires a lot of finesse. The levels seem to progress a lot like the ones from Standard Marathon mode, unlocking new ones the more blocks you clear. Next is Mission Mode, with a Zelda themed Marathon mode where you clear the lines specified by using the tetriminos specified before you run out of hearts.. Also in Mission Mode, is Time Trial, where you attempt to clear a set number of missions as fast as possible. I haven't been able to finish Mission Mode or Catch Mode, but since clearing Level 20 of Marathon Standard, I figure I'll give them another show later. Puzzle Mode is themed around Yoshi, a dinosaur or dragon or whatever he is from Super Mario World. You attempt to clear a set number of lines with a set number of Tetriminos provided to you. I've only played a few levels, but it's pretty fun. As of writing this line, I haven't played the fifth mode, Touch. Now, after playing it I know that the object is to clear a tower of Tetriminos to the bottom by sliding the shapes around. It's nice and fun. Now, moving on to Push mode, a Donkey Kong themed mode where you compete against the CPU to push them to the bottom of the touchscreen before they push you to the top of the top screen. As I get better at Tetris, it becomes easier to outsmart the computer's AI through Tetris chains and line clears of two or more. I wasn't able to play the multiplayer in the time that I've been playing the game, so I'm unable to comment on that. One complaint I have is that the menus don't allow you to press Up on the D-pad to select the option at the bottom except on the mode selection screen, which gets to be annoying at times. Now, thinking in three-dimensional terms, there's no reason for there to be both J and L Tetriminos, as well as S and Z ones. A simple button press could mirror them in a cinch and while that would make the game easier to an extent, but it would make some logical sense in this day and age considering how gaming has evolved from 2D, to 3D with 2D controls, to intuitive 3D controls. While Tetris DS is a 2D game, humans don't think in two-dimensional terms, and a simple mirror command would go a long way to bringing Tetris into the future. The idea of 3D Tetris on the Virtual Boy is something that I'd like to see more of in gaming nowadays, puzzle games that have more of a three-dimensional bent to them. If certain casual puzzle games would drop the microtransactions and introduce three-dimensional thinking, gameplay styles and mechanics into their games they might be able to get an extra bit of cash from the innovation hogs or just someone who wants to play something like Bejeweled or Angry Birds a different way and also shake up the idea that casual gaming is something that cannot be improved. All in all, I liked Tetris DS. I found myself playing a lot of this in between duels in Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour and it really took the edge off of the complicated strategies I put together that were subsequently marred by NMT's (Far too numerous) glitches. Tetris DS gets a recommendation, if not a rating just yet. Give me a little longer to dwell on it and then I can get a rating out. I was originally going to call this a first impressions review, but then I decided to just play the modes I hadn't already toyed with and call it a full review, but then I changed my mind and decided I needed to end the article before it got any more like an essay on the history of gaming.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour: First Impressions.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour for the Nintendo DS was released in 2005 in the US and Japan. Despite what the cover suggests, you do not play as Yugi Moto, but rather as a silhouetted version of yourself. The inherent problem with that is that you are nobody, quite literally. Just another Duelist in the Battle City arc of Yu-Gi-Oh! who in the anime and manga was likely defeated by a minor villain and sent to the Shadow Realm for teh larfs, outright killed by Marik in an attempt to weed out the competition towards the end, or just had his deck stolen by somebody like Weevil Underwood or Rex Raptor. Or even worse, "Bandit" freakin' (In America!) Keith Howard. I take issue with the character creation options, because the longest hairstyle for the male protagonist is barely shoulder-length. Mine goes below my shoulder blades, and I like to represent that whenever possible in games, but that's nitpicking. Nobody really cares about that. I have previously played the Bakugan: Battle Brawlers game for PS2 and that also shoved you into the body of a nobody character having to compete with the cool ones from the show. The difference between these two games, is that Yu-Gi-Oh! is an interesting game with loads of substance, whereas Bakugan really doesn't have much to it. The ideal Bakugan game would be a Final Fantasy/Chrono Cross styled RPG or an MvC/KoF styled fighting game. The Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG on the other hand can hold its own without any tweaks. Now, considering the epic and in-depth plot that the anime and manga had, there's no real reason to add anything to it. But they did. There's something at the beginning involving Seto Kaiba having problems with the computer that's enforcing the rules of the tournament.
That in itself seems familiar to me due to the fact that the exact same thing happened at the beginning of SNK Vs. Capcom: Cardfighters Clash! DS, but considering that A) the computer in that game acted like a combination of the HAL 9000 and The Borg, I'd say it's more of a coincidence then SCV: Cardfighters DS copying a game that came out a year before it did. Despite there being more than enough villains from the Battle City Arc to incorporate, such as The Rare Hunters, and.... Yeah, The Rare Hunters! There's an entire scene in the anime, nay, several episodes dedicated to showing us the Rare Hunters and yet when the warning comes that duelists are being robbed of their cards at night, it's The Brothers Paradox (So far I've only met Dox so far) who are doing it! Okay, I can live with that I guess. But hang on! They treat Yugi and Yami Yugi as sides of the same person who come out at different times of day. For instance, Yami is only met at night, and Yugi in the day. That completely disregards the fact that in the manga and the anime Yami was routinely seen before nightime.
And considering Yugi is one of the easiest duelists to beat in the game, that completely ignores Yugi's dueling prowess even without the help of his older self. And Yami isn't an exceptionally hard duelist to beat either, considering I managed to knock him down to less than 1900 life points from a starting point of 8000.
Here is where I should probably go into the rules of the game for those of you who don't watch the show or play the game. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is loosely based on a manga by Kazuki Takahashi, and the titular Duel Monsters game in real life is loosely based on the game from the show, which is loosely based on the game from the manga, which was loosely based on Magic: The Gathering, but evolved into something drastically different over the course of the last eighteen years. Each player (Herein referred to as duelist) starts off with 8000 life points, and a deck of spell, trap, and monster cards with a minimum of 40 cards and a maximum that's varied over the years.
In my research into Nightmare Troubadour, I found that Tristan Taylor and Duke Devlin don't appear in the game, despite Tristan being part of the ensemble cast since episode one and Duke having a fairly prominent role in both the Battle City arc and the Virtual World arc, having joined the cast at the end of Season 1.
Back to the game. Without going through the whole rulebook I can't do the game justice, so suffice to say that it's recreated almost perfectly. Although there are several glitches. Such as you can't reverse your decision to activate a spell or trap card if you, say.... Accidentally pushed the wrong button.
On top of that, several cards don't work as they say they should, probably due to not being programmed correctly. For instance, the card "Blue Medicine" says to increase both yours and your opponents life points by 400, but it only increases the life points of the activator. Then there's the translation. Towards the end of the day, your character will say "Let's already return" rather than: "I'm sleepy, time for bed" or something to that effect.
There are other cases of bad dialogue translation, but it's mostly just bad writing. At one point, Joey attempts to explain who Yami Yugi and Yugi are, about how different they are and why. This is presumably for the players who haven't seen the show or read the manga, but it's not exactly done well, and it's not in a way that I'd expect Joey to explain it. Moving on.
One of the most memorable things about the anime for me was the awesome music, about how each cue was timed for perfect dramatic effect, and how the music always fit the mood. Even though Konami owns the franchise, they apparently didn't bother using the music from the show. Now, while the title screen music has a few notes of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Theme song, it's far from evoking the kind of mysticism that the actual music from the show did. I'd recommend finding the Yu-Gi-Oh! Music to Duel By and Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light soundtracks and muting the volume on your DS rather than listen to the MIDI loops that they put together for the game. Then there's the sound effects, which might as well be from a different series for all they represent the iconic ones from the show. Now on to the cards. Due to space limitations (Despite DS cartridges being able to hold 256MBs and more) the resolution on the cards is fairly low. So low in fact, that one wonders why they didn't just use the style from the show and enlarge the portrait and card type symbol instead of scanning off the real cards and lowering the resolution down to positively acidic levels of blurriness. Another glitch I ran into while dueling Joey (Again, he should not be one of the easiest duelists in the game to beat) is that Dangerous Machine Type-6 doesn't activate when the die lands on a 5. Not that I'm complaining, I never use that card anyways, and that means that four out of the six faces the die can land on benefit me in some way. On the other hand, that renders the card practically useless for someone who wishes to use it in their deck. Another thing is that the AI for several of the characters is artificially stupid. When dueling Tea Gardner (who is not a champion Duelist like Yugi, Kaiba or Joey, but still competent as was shown in the Virtual World arc) I've purposefully handicapped myself so that I either have to draw all five Exodia pieces to win, or run her cards out. I have done this without suffering a SINGLE. POINT. OF DAMAGE. Let me repeat that: I have beaten Tea Gardner without suffering, or inflicting a single. Point. Of damage. I'm no professional duelist, I'm probably average at best even with all the cards I know how to use, but in no single real life duel have I ever had a situation like that occur. Even when dueling against inexperienced opponents who barely knew the game, the rules or the cards I have never once had such thing happen in real life. The sad thing is I've managed to do the same with Serenity Wheeler and on a couple of occasions with Yugi and Joey.
Oh, speaking of Serenity Wheeler, she never picked up a duel-disk or deck before the Virtual World arc. In fact, she wasn't even able to see for most of the first part of Battle City. Something else I need to add is that I was just browsing through my collection within the game and I found a strange thing on the card Aqua Chorus. In the menu description it's title is given as Aqua Chorus, but the card itself says the name is Blue-Eyes White Dragon. So apparently they put a bright PURPLE trap card into the game with the title of a BRIGHT YELLOW monster card on it. I'm sorry, but I'm primarily a dragon duelist in real life. I know the Blue-Eyes White dragon, it's one of my favorite cards in the game. It looks NOTHING like Aqua Chorus. That's a mistake anyone who has even LOOKED at the cards in question can tell. ANYONE WITH EYES THAT WORK. Or maybe in return for getting her eyesight back quicker in the game they had Serenity Wheeler working quality control. Anyways, aside from a list of glitches longer than my entire left arm, the music and sound effects not being anything like the ones from the show, and some issues with the AI, the game is really entertaining, and it's actually a good game to play. It's not as bad as Quantum of Solace on the DS, and the translation is certainly better than SNK vs Capcom: Cardfighters DS was (But that's not saying much) and it's much harder to get a no loss record than the former did, and so far there aren't any retarded quests that require you to grind through booster-packs for guys who just drop the cards on the floor for you to pick up afterwards. (Granted I got a good deal of decent cards from that, but to be honest I didn't really need them) All in all, I liked Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour despite its flaws, and I hope that I continue to like it throughout my whole playthrough of the game. I'll see you next week with another review. Hopefully a little more concise than this one was.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

What with The Desolation of Smaug coming out on DVD and Blu-Ray soon and There And Back Again coming out in theaters this year, I figured it's about time I reviewed An Unexpected Journey, considering how I promised to do so a long time ago.
Having never seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and indeed never having read the book the trilogy was based on, the only thing I had to compare this to was J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, a book that I liked. Having said that, this is a very entertaining and accurate adaptation as far as I can remember. Where and if it strays from the source material, it isn't as noticeable as it was in the later Harry Potter movies, which might as well have been based on the summaries from Wikipedia with how much got changed, left out, or edited. That's not to say that changes aren't good, I liked what The Avengers series has done so far with its changes, and despite the major flaws with X-Men 3, Fox managed to salvage the franchise with The Wolverine, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and probably X-Men: First Class as well, although I haven't seen it. While adhering to the source material isn't necessary on all occasions, it's nice to have something that mostly does. The Hobbit is about a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who goes on an adventure with a wizard who shows up on his doorstep and a party of dwarves. While some might not find that too interesting, my plot summaries aren't very good, so don't take my word for what the plot's about. I'm also trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven't read the book, because as I know from personal experience, those do exist. The thing about this movie, is that the visuals are astounding. New Zealand is probably the best place in the world they could have shot this movie. And I don't mean just the landscapes are amazing, I also mean that the visual effects are excellent. Everything that had to be done in CGI is done breathtakingly, and I don't know what effects they used to make the hobbits and dwarves seem shorter than Gandalf and the elves, but it's done so well that if I didn't know how tall they were in real life I wouldn't know from watching the movie. The musical numbers from the book are recreated so that they fit the tone of the movie, and they're not like in some musicals where they just break out into song randomly and everyone starts singing along, out of the two songs in the movie sung by the cast, one was a song dedicated to the quest that they were about to embark on, and another one was sung by the jolly dwarves after a meal, so they fit into the tone of the movie well, and finally, during the credits, a great rendition of Misty Mountains Cold plays, which fits the ending perfectly. Now, on to some of the controversial decisions made with the movie: The addition of expanded material from other books concerning things that happened alongside The Hobbit, and the splitting of the movie into three parts. Considering how much material they had to work with, back when I first heard about it, I supported them splitting it into three. Mainly because I saw how badly compressed the adaptations of almost every Harry Potter book after Prisoner of Azkaban became. It also means that the movies are a lot easier to sit through, considering that this one was almost three hours long. I highly doubt I would have been able to sit through a movie that was over nine hours long. Speaking of which, I once heard that The Lord of the Rings was shot all as one movie, but cut into three shorter ones because they didn't think audiences would be able to sit through almost ten hours of movie. Considering that the movies in The Hobbit trilogy released thus far come out to over five hours, I'm glad it wasn't released as all one movie, and given that there's a lot of ground to cover, I'm glad they didn't make it into a single three hour movie, or even two 90 minute movies. On to the added material: There were things from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit that weren't expanded upon as much as they could have been, and while jarring at first, they flowed perfectly into the movie once they converged with the main plot. The thing is, I tend to like things like exposition or expanded storytelling when they're used right, and this uses it right. All in all I was entertained by this movie, and it was a great experience that I enjoyed as a fan of the book it was based on. It definitely makes me want to see The Lord of The Rings movies after this series finishes up, because even though I enjoyed The Hobbit, I wasn't able to get very far in The Fellowship of the Rings, despite my being an avid reader. I guess it just meanders a little too much for my liking, and that Tolkien never uses one word where forty will do. Although considering that gives the filmmakers a lot more to work with and brings the world in the movies to life, it can't be criticized too much considering what it's given us. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey gets a 9.9* rating. Tune in next week (Hopefully) for another review, same bat-day, same bat-site!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

YouTube for 3DS

Okay, so I've been getting a lot of use out of the YouTube app on my 3DS recently, so I figured I might as well give my thoughts on it.

I downloaded the first version of the YouTube app for 3DS a while ago and now I'm starting to wish I hadn't updated. I should probably explain from the beginning. You see, before they updated it the app had a few minor issues, but it's not as bad as it is now. The update fixed the few issues with the first or second version of the app, but over time it's been crashing more and more and more. Which is odd, now isn't it? You see, all I really use this for is comedy videos and watching TV shows on the go. Well, I say on the go. What I mean is that I use it to watch Power Rangers while I wait for my Dungeons and Dragons group to show up. Anyways, it seems like it takes longer every day for a video to load, the app tends to crash a lot, and there seem to be more problems arising each day as it becomes less and less stable, which is a shame because it's a competent port of the YouTube mobile app. While the video looks a little too pixelated even on HQ sometimes, it's workable. At least it exists.
There's no support for 3D videos, but then again that's not a real big problem now is it? I tend to leave my 3D off anyways since I don't particularly care about it. But then again, it'd be cool if it had that option. My main problem with this is that there's an option to not allow people to watch your videos on mobile, which to my knowledge hasn't been enabled on my videos. You see, aside from that there's not really any problem with this other than what's been going on with the crashes. For what it is it's functional.
Since it's free I'd say you should download it if you don't have a more stable mobile version on another device. There's not a lot to say about it, other than that they need to update it and fix the stability issues.

Now, I have a few things that I should have said last week that I forgot to. First thing: I only played as Maverick, so for all I know I'm missing out on all the rest of the game. Second: The helmets are all generic and don't have the likeness of the actors, in addition to the voice clips sounding like they were computer generated or having a voice-actor trying to do an impression of all the actors from Top Gun smashed into one, then had the sound quality smashed down to almost robotic levels, or worse, bitcrushed like the voice-clips on NES games. And third: There's no first-person view. Boom. Yeah, a flying game has no way to change the camera except by accelerating. Good god. So, I'll see you next week with a better review, because I know this was REALLY short and hardly a read that necessitated a week-long wait.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Top Gun.

No, I'm not reviewing Top Gun, a beloved 80s action flick this week, rather the game released around the 20th anniversary of the movie for the Nintendo DS. While I will get around to reviewing Top Gun, the movie eventually, right now I'm going to review one of the games based on it. This game is set after the movie, so it's sorta like the unofficial Top Gun 2 that Tom Cruise has been trying to get made for the last 30 years. I'm going to go into this saying that A) I'm a sucker for games that let you fly at high speeds, and B) Top Gun is one of my favorite movies of all time. And I'm also gonna say that I'm not letting that affect my decision-making process. That being said, the game isn't nearly as big an insult to the movie as the NES one was, but it's also not great either. For one thing, the legendary Top Gun Anthem, one of the most memorable theme-songs in the history of movies, right up there with The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Rocky, is the only piece of music from the movies sound-track that the game uses. No Danger Zone, no Playin' With the Boys, no Hot Summer Nights, no Take My Breath Away, no Mighty Wings, no Destination Unknown, nothing. Just three tracks that try and fail to imitate Cheap Trick's and Kenny Loggins's work because Mastiff was too cheap to license more than one track from Paramount. That might not be so bad if the only song taken from the movie wasn't a lo-fi conversion that pales in comparison to Harold Faltermeyer's and Steve Stevens original work. And even that might not be horrible, but the Top Gun Anthem only plays on the title and menu screens, not during gameplay. That's why I've got the whole Top Gun soundtrack on my MP3 player, so I can listen to the movies awesomeness. Now, onto the gameplay. It's.... Meh. It's not horrible by any means, and it's kinda fun to fly around canyons at high speeds, but the collision detection seems a little bit off. What I mean is, I think the hit-boxes of the planes and the terrain are a little larger than you'd think they were, which leads to a lot of unintentional deaths. That'd be okay if the game wasn't old-school hard and didn't let you have any checkpoints. The most egregious case of this I found was in the unskippable tutorial mission, where I wound up trying to hone my flying skills flying through a pair of balloon-targets but wound up apparently smashing into one of them when my honed piloting skills from years of playing flightsims and other such games had me reckoning that I had given them enough space. The point I was trying to make earlier about the checkpoints is the fact that it starts you back at the beginning of ever mission regardless of where you left off, and doesn't let you skip the dialogue beforehand. I did manage to beat the tutorial, because me dying was mostly just screwing around. The second mission is the one I initially had the most fun with, darting through a canyon like it was the Death Star trench. Taking turns close and shooting obstacles out of the way, all while staying below the canyon walls. After that I moved on to the real missions, and that's about where it started getting less fun (And also started showing signs of corners cut). You see, whenever there's water in a flying game, I always like to try skimming over top of it for the hell of things. Unfortunately the water is just a solid floor scattered with blue confetti. I've seen better water effects in N64 games released almost a decade before this one, not to mention that Mario 64 DS came out two years before this game did. To be perfectly honest, the game is pretty good, but it feels a little rushed, and certainly didn't get enough polish to it. There's some varying levels of graphical distortion, some major disorientation when it comes to open-air missions, and despite Mastiff's best efforts, draw-distance that isn't very well hidden. Another thing that I need to mention is that even though there's a free-flight mode, you still need to complete an objective to continue, which defeats the very purpose of free-flight. Moving on. We all know that the DS can support high-quality audio tracks, just look at The World Ends With You and its crystal-clear sound-track, or..... Looks at The World Ends With You and its crystal clear sound-track. That's not to say the music is bad, the tunes are nice and fairly creative for attempted imitations. Thing is, my ear for music can tell that not only what songs each of the three tunes is trying to imitate, but also that the music was severely smashed down in quality, so that it comes out sounding kind of muted and dull. That in itself isn't the problem with the music, it's that you'll hear the same three tracks so many times that they become boring and tedious. Even if they threw in a few more crushed down original music tracks, say... three to five more, it'd break up the monotony enough to keep me from turning the sound off and firing up my own music. I checked out the developers Wikipedia page and to both my surprise and utter lack of it, I found that they only ever published about five titles of note, Top Gun: Combat Zones on the GBA, Space Raiders, Space Invaders Revolution, the abysmal survival-horror FPS on the DS, Moon, and this game, although after closer inspection, I feel I should probably check out a few of the games they published on the PS2 and PSP. All in all, the game feels like a nearly finished pre-release build that I wouldn't recommend paying more than five or six bucks for. Top Gun for the Nintendo DS gets a 4.2* rating. Tune in soon for another exciting review!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ready Player One.

First thing I'd like to say is that I'm sorry that I wasn't able to post for the last two weeks. Last week I had a major headache and couldn't even conceive of writing that day. The Sunday before that was a different story. That Sunday, I had just finished Ready Player One on Friday and I was still trying to get the words to describe what I experience by the midnight deadline. I'm gonna get down to business and say that is is one of the few must reads I've stumbled across, and I heard about it via word of mouth, which is even rarer these days. This book is as unique as it is strange. I wonder how Ernest Cline came up with  the concept for it? Anyhow, the book is about a teenager named Wade, who leads a rather insane life on future earth. The entire plot is based on a concept similar to The Westing Game, where a wealthy entrepreneur, towards the end of his life, set up a major treasure-hunt. Whoever puts all the pieces together gets his fortune. With a twist. The entire puzzle is taking place in a virtual world that's bigger than anything you could possibly imagine. Throughout the entire book the author kept me on my toes, I never knew what to expect next. If you've got the chance I'd recommend the audiobook, read by none other than Wil Wheaton. While he's not the best voice-actor I've ever heard he does lend a certain atmosphere to the story that would be lacking otherwise. I hope that the movie is as good as the book was, and as I read it I was picturing who I thought the cast should be. I figure that either Wheaton or Andrew Garfield could play Wade, and there are several roles that Freema Agyeman, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Matt Smith, Bruce Willis, David Tennant, Vin Diesel or Daniel Craig could fill. Since non-gamers would probably not get most of the references, it probably wouldn't be entertaining to people who know nothing about games. I guess you could say that I'm a strange case, since some of the references might not have been gotten by people under a certain age. I guess my knowledge of all things Spider-Man and otherwise finally paid off in the fact that I didn't have to look anything in the book up. That being said, the book references things that I know that people probably wouldn't get. Despite the massive amount of gaming and 70s/80s pop-culture references that someone who didn't spend their childhood watching retro TV wouldn't get the book is still entertaining. It's a massive slice of history, and it could get you interested in gaming culture if you're not. I know that's taking a massive leap of faith, and I know I'm not covering the plot very much, but this book is something that should not be spoiled. Beyond all of the nods towards games and gaming lies a unique journey unlike any other. To be perfectly honest, I loved the book for the story as much as I did for the references to the span of time that produced most of the entertainment I enjoyed as a child and still enjoy today. All in all, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is a must read for those who enjoy surreal science-fiction, post-apocalypse scenarios, slices of life, personal journies, and all things of the 70's through 90's. It gets and 10.0* rating.