REVIEWS - The Loresworn Order

May
27

Best Games of 1993

After a couple weeks off recovering from PDXCon, we’re back with the fourth entry of our series on the best games of all time! Since Loresworn has only been around since 2015, but D.M. and T.J. have been having opinions about games much longer than that, we’re embarking on a journey through every year from 1980 to the present, listing our favorite games that came out each year. Every week we’ll be discussing a specific year, listing what we think are the five best games from that year. At the end of this saga, we will look over all the games from each year to create Top 25 Games of All Time lists for each of us, and a grand Top 100 Games of All Time to stand as Loresworn’s final word on the subject!

May
06

Best Games of 1992

Welcome to the fourth entry of our series on the best games of all time! Since Loresworn has only been around since 2015, but D.M. and T.J. have been having opinions about games much longer than that, we’re embarking on a journey through every year from 1980 to the present, listing our favorite games that came out each year. Every week we’ll be discussing a specific year, listing what we think are the five best games from that year. At the end of this saga, we will look over all the games from each year to create Top 25 Games of All Time lists for each of us, and a grand Top 100 Games of All Time to stand as Loresworn’s final word on the subject!

Apr
29

Best Games of 1991

Welcome to the third entry of our series on the best games of all time! Since Loresworn has only been around since 2015, but D.M. and T.J. have been having opinions about games much longer than that, we’re embarking on a […]

Apr
22

Best Games of 1990

Welcome to the second entry of our series on the best games of all time! Since Loresworn has only been around since 2015, but D.M. and T.J. have been having opinions about games much longer than that, we’re embarking on a journey through every year from 1980 to the present, listing our favorite games that came out each year. Every week we’ll be discussing a specific year, listing what we think are the five best games from that year. At the end of this saga, we will look over all the games from each year to create Top 25 Games of All Time lists for each of us, and a grand Top 100 Games of All Time to stand as Loresworn’s final word on the subject!

Apr
15

Best Games of the 1980s

Welcome to the first entry of our series on the best games of all time! Since Loresworn has only been around since 2015, but D.M. and T.J. have been having opinions about games much longer than that, we’re embarking on a journey through every year from 1980 to the present, listing our favorite games that came out each year. Since we were collectively only alive for four months of the 1980s, and the games industry wasn’t exactly what it is today, we’ve combined the decade into a single, Top 10 list for each of us. Every week from here on, we’ll be discussing a specific year from 1990 – 2014, listing what we think are the five best games from that year. At the end of this saga, we will look over all the games from each year to create Top 25 Games of All Time lists for each of us, and a grand Top 100 Games of All Time to stand as Loresworn’s final word on the subject! We look forward to having you along on this voyage through time. Without further ado, the Best Games of the 1980s!

Apr
12

Spring Break Watch List 2017

Spring is coming! That means plenty of time to lay out with your streaming service of choice and watch new shows to your hearts content. Or if you’re an adult it just means the days are longer and you need a break after work. Either way, here are our top 10 picks for new and new-ish shows to binge this spring.

Mar
21

Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

I went into the 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast with certain expectations, given that the soundtrack of the 1991 animated version lit up my sixth Christmas… and most of the rest of that year. I played that VHS tape on repeat and knew every song by heart. It has a special place in my heart, and I desperately wanted this remake to hold the same magic and wonder. Sadly, it is a pale (if mostly entertaining) replica of a cinematic masterpiece.

Mar
15

Review: Logan

When you go to see a movie based on a comic, like Logan, you always hope that it does the source material justice. But more often than I’d like, fight scenes get added and lines get cut until the movie is an inferior version of the story. Logan is not one of those movies. A beautiful film with a palpable affection for the ink-and-paper original, it draws inspiration from classic westerns while presenting a new storyline that’s slimmed down, but takes care to allow the original’s themes to shine on screen.

Mar
13

Review – Kong: Skull Island

It’s been a while since I actually hit a movie opening night, and the nerdy glory of Kong: Skull Island made it feel like too long. With set pieces designed by local artist WarWolf Projects and a green screen for Kong selfies provided by PopCulture Classroom*, The Alamo Draft House turned what I expected to be just another movie night into something a little more special.

Feb
28

Review: A Cure for Wellness

When searching for one word to describe the aesthetic of A Cure for Wellness, “gothic” actually seems to fit the best. That was not what I expected going into a film billed as a sci-fi horror/thriller. But the unusual aesthetic choices framed a juicy mystery which left me wanting to watch it again.

Feb
23

Review: The Lego Batman Movie

“Bana nana nana nana – BATMAN!” sings Lego Batman several times through out The Lego Batman Movie. That pretty much sums up the attitude of the film, actually. If you saw The Lego Movie, you have a little bit of an idea what to expect in terms of tone and visuals. The story is simple: We follow the metal-loving, gadget-wielding, fan-enchanting reimagining of Batman who wants to be a superhero 24/7, and nothing else. He runs around saving Gotham, eating lobster thermidor, and refusing to go to bed in a determined attempt to avoid his own back story.

Feb
06

Review: Powerless Season 1, Episode 1: Wayne or Lose

Honestly, I can’t make up my mind about Powerless yet. For once, I agree with many of the main line TV critics out there in that the concept is great. Vanessa Hudgens plays the wide-eyed Emily, who’s moved from the country to the big city “to make a difference in the world.” She’s the new development executive at Wayne Securities in Charm City. On her first day, she discovers that she has only been hired to make her boss (Alan Tudyk) look good, and that company owner Bruce Wayne is planning to cut the entire staff. Tudyk’s character is a captial-J Jerk (and quotes a certain over-spray-tanned executive more than once). I’m excited to see the Firefly veteran in a villain role, because everything he does is hilarious.

Feb
06

Review: Sneaky Pete

Sneaky Pete is one of Amazon’s best written shows yet. And, with a producing team that helped bring us Justified, House M.D., NYPD Blue, Breaking Bad, and Horrible Bosses, the quality didn’t come as a surprise. The gritty, almost-dramady-but-mostly-drama is headed by Marius (Giovanni Ribisi) and Eddie (Michael Drayer), brothers who owe the wrong man (Bryan Cranston) too much money. Marius is a con man. He gives you confidence, you give him your money. When he gets out of prison, Marius slips almost effortlessly into the life of his prison roommate Pete in order to buy time to pay back the mounting debts. But he finds that Pete wasn’t as forthcoming about the family business as Marius had assumed.

Jan
30

Review: Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)

As a kid, I loved the Lemony Snicket books upon which the new Netflix series is based. Well, I loved and hated them. You see, I was scared of the dark until many years after my age would have excused the phobia. The strange world of the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory sent me to bed with nightmares of oompa loompas turning me into a blueberry. Dramatic irony was not something my overly-sensitive heart could take if I thought someone was actually going to be literally or figuratively hurt.

Dec
24

Our Most Anticipated Games of 2017

We’re wrapping up Loresworn Games of the Year Week with a countdown of our Most Anticipated Games of 2016! If you’re just now joining us, be sure to check out Games We Didn’t Get To in 2016 (But Wish We Had), and Games of the Year!

Dec
23

Loresworn Games of the Year 2016

It’s Loresworn Games of the Year Week, and the main event is finally here! This is our definitive list of the best games we played in 2016. Something missing that you expected to make the countdown? Chances are, it’s one of our Games We Didn’t Get To in 2016 (But Wish We Had).

And don’t forget to swing back by tomorrow for our Most Anticipated Games of 2017.

Let the countdown begin!

Dec
22

Loresworn Games of the Year: Games We Didn’t Get To in 2016 (But Wish We Had)

It’s Loresworn Games of the Year Week! Today, we run through the games you won’t see on our Games of the Year list tomorrow… but we think probably would have made it if not for the fact that we just didn’t get around to them. 2016 was stuffed to the gills with awesome games, and we wouldn’t have been able to hit all the ones worth playing even if we didn’t have so many other demands on our time. We hope to loop back around and tackle some of these next year.

Jun
07

X-Men Apocalypse review: More Epic than Awful (but still not Awesome)

Some have called X-Men: Apocalypse the most epic X-Men movie yet. And it is an epic, in the sense of the ancient tradition of epic storytelling: long, archetypal tales with tons of characters, a simple plot, and little need for nuanced character development. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the movie a great deal. But my low expectations given the mostly repetitive nature of X-Men movie plots weren’t exactly subverted.

Mar
15

Loresworn Review: 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane is an astoundingly bold and gripping genre movie that exceeded my expectations in just about every area. Its layers run so deep that even being more specific about what genre, exactly, I’m referring to would be a potential spoiler. I’ll do my best to avoid any of those, because this is definitely an experience you owe it to yourself to go into with as little information as possible.

Jan
07

Best Female Characters in Film of 2015

I’m probably the only person eagerly awaiting the Oscar nominations. Yes I’m that film nerd. But this time of year always makes me want to look back over the last year of movies and make sure I didn’t miss anything good. This year was a great year for women in film, in particular. We still have a ways to go—toy makers still leave us out of their franchise sets, and men still dominate casts, production teams and writing rooms. But there were a lot of silver screen stories featuring strong, awesome ladies in the past twelve months. These are my top ten favorite characters brought to life in 2015.

Dec
25

Our Most Anticipated Games of 2016

We’re wrapping up Loresworn Games of the Year Week with a countdown of our Most Anticipated Games of 2016! If you’re just now joining us, be sure to check out Most Improved Games of the Year, Most Overrated/Underrated Games of the Year, Games We Didn’t Get To in 2015 (But Wish We Had), and Games of the Year!

Dec
24

Loresworn Games of the Year 2015

It’s Loresworn Games of the Year Week, and the main event is finally here! This is our definitive list of the best games we played in 2015. Something missing that you expected to make the countdown? Chances are, it’s one of our Games We Didn’t Get To in 2015 (But Wish We Had).

In case you missed them, check out check out Most Improved Games of the Year and Most Overrated/Underrated Games of the Year!

And don’t forget to swing back by tomorrow for our Most Anticipated Games of 2016.

Let the countdown begin!

Dec
23

Loresworn Games of the Year: Games We Didn’t Get To in 2015 (But Wish We Had)

It’s Loresworn Games of the Year Week! Today, we run through the games you won’t see on our Games of the Year list tomorrow… but we think probably would have made it if not for the fact that we just didn’t get around to them. Not everyone can check off every awesome game that comes out in a given year, and we are but a handful of mere mortals with lots of demands on our time. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to visit these forgotten gems in the new year.

In case you missed them, check out Most Improved Games of the Year and Most Overrated/Underrated Games of the Year!

Thursday: GAME OF THE YEAR

Friday: Most Anticipated Games of 2016

Dec
22

Loresworn Games of the Year: Most Overrated and Underrated Games of 2015

It’s Loresworn Games of the Year Week! Today, T.J. calls out one game from 2015 he felt got a little too much credit, and one he felt got far, far too little.

In case you missed it, check out yesterday’s Most Improved Games of the Year!

Wednesday: Games I Didn’t Get To (But Wish I Had)

Thursday: GAME OF THE YEAR

Friday: Most Anticipated Games of 2016

Dec
21

Loresworn Games of the Year: Most Improved Games of 2015

It’s Loresworn Games of the Year Week! Today, we count down our Most Improved Games of the Year. These are the games that we felt, through expansions, patches, and DLC, exited 2015 as better experiences than they entered it.

Tuesday: Most Overrated/Underrated Game of the Year

Wednesday: Games I Didn’t Get To (But Wish I Had)

Thursday: GAME OF THE YEAR

Friday: Most Anticipated Games of 2016.

The countdown begins after the jump!

Oct
02

Fall Watch List: Our Streaming Favorites

With school back in the swing of things, work piling in and the weather cooling down, free movies and shows quickly become our best friends. Need a break from the grind? Looking for a more economical date night? Pull up a sofa, pop some popcorn and check out these recommendations you can stream right now on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Sep
16

Loresworn Review: Shadowrun Hong Kong

Harebrained Schemes has done it again. When you want a true RPG with an interesting plot and simple, fun gameplay, it can’t hurt to run the shadows.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Harebrained’s last entry in the turn based, isometric cyberpunk series was brilliant. A nice, suspenseful plot, fantastic characters, and a healthy amount of tugging on those RPG strings. It’s easily one of the best RPGs to come out in recent years. Does Hong Kong match those lofty heights? Does it exceed them?

Yes in some ways, no in others.

Aug
19

Loresworn Review: Dragonball Z: Resurrection F

I think it says a lot about me that nothing inspires nostalgia in my adult self like watching aliens get punched in the face.

I grew up on Dragonball Z. It was everything the action-obsessed preteen boy I was wanted in a cartoon: Grown men screaming, shooting energy blasts at each other, and just generally beating the tar out of anything that moved with no-brainer plots as the backdrop. It’s like animated pro-wrestling, but instead of title belts and avenging folding chair ambushes, the fate of the universe is at stake. As T.J. so aptly points out, “It’s really dumb, but you can’t help but love it.”

Aug
13

Loresworn Review: The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Man, Geralt gets all the girls. Hard to resent him, though. When you live a life as bleak and bloody as his, you can’t begrudge him even a little bit of sunshine and happiness.

That’s what stands out the most as you wander around CD Projekt Red’s open world epic: the Northern Realms are not a happy place. Everywhere you look, there’s war, there’s famine, there’re monsters, and there’re angry people looking to beat you up with sharp objects because of some combination of the above. Calling The Witcher III beautiful would be only be correct aesthetically, and that’s part of what makes it such an amazing experience. Here is a fantasy world that is seriously dark, and you’ve been thrown into the middle of its darkest hour. It’s fun, but it ain’t happy.

Aug
06

Loresworn Review: Vacation (2015)

When you’ve got a dream to take your family (or yourself) to Wally World (or a raunchy summer comedy at 10 o’clock in the evening), never let that go. Or let it go just once, because you’re tired and the weekend is better for seeing movies anyway.

Advice taken, Mr. Griswold.

The original Vacation, starring Chevy Chase as the earnest and oafish Clark Griswold and Beverly D’Angelo as his excellent straight woman wife, Helen, is, quite frankly, one of the best comedy films in the history of American cinema. The saga of the Griswold clan as they travel through 2,000 miles of existential hell is still, to this day, laugh out loud funny (and that computer Clark plans their trip with? Watching that scene on Blu-Ray in 2015 is a bit of a mind melter). It is that classic which the new Vacation, borrowing the same title, seeks to both pay tribute to and emulate.

It succeeds, but only partially, on both counts.

Aug
05

Loresworn Review: Ant Man

Marvel’s Phase 2 has come to a close, not with the subplot-stuffed Whedon spectacle of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but with a quirky action comedy where Paul Rudd rides on a bug. With clever writing, clear and believable character motivations, and a desire to take itself just seriously enough that the titular character doesn’t become a Deadpool-caliber walking joke, Ant Man hits the mark of quality we’ve come to expect from Marvel Studios. It just doesn’t go very far beyond that.

Aug
04

Loresworn Review: Trainwreck

Many advance critics were suggesting that the one phrase to describe the Amy Schumer/Judd Apatow summer super comedy should be “feminist gold”. Finally, everyone’s favorite snarky lady comic had her moment on the silver screen. If I had to pick one phrase, it would be “long”.