Category: Reviews

BattleTech – Stomping the Yard – A Review From Scroo

Big stompy robots aren't anything new. BattleTech has been around for a long time containing a huge library of the the titanic war machines and thousands of pages of lore to go along with them. Things started back in 1984 when a studio called FASA launched a table top miniatures war game called BattleDroids. According to the WIki, Lucasfilm took ownership of the word "Droid" and the game was renamed BattleTech. The board game took up loads of space and a lot of time to play; days sometimes. Read more

Vermintide 2 – The End Times Ain’t Done Yet – A Review From Scroo

Fatshark has done it again. So well in fact that within the first two weeks of release, Vermintide 2 sold more than 500,000 copies and has brought in more revenue for the company than the first title did --ever! Stay with me and I'll tell you what I think so far. Read more

Review: Dragon Ball FighterZ

In the late summer of 1998, Cartoon Network began airing episodes of an obscure (in the US at the time) nine-year-old anime series called Dragon Ball Z. The show was an immediate hit. In fact, so immense was its popularity, that it nearly single-handedly brought anime (and manga) into the mainstream in America. When I was introduced to the series in the early autumn of '99, I was instantly hooked. Watching DBZ became a daily afternoon ritual with my buddy at the time. And I didn't stop there. Over the next few years I amassed a small collection of Dragon Ball Z paraphernalia including t-shirts, posters, action figures, and even VHS tapes and DVDs.

The first licensed video game to come out following the show's US debut was the Dimps-developed fighting game, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai. After it came to the GameCube in 2003, I pretty much jumped at the chance to try it out. After all, if there ever existed a property just screaming for a truly awesome fighting game adaptation, it was Dragon Ball Z. Sadly, however, Dimps wasn't quite up to the task.

Budokai was a bit of a let down. It didn't really do proper justice to the series. Despite this fact (and the tepid reviews), Dimps was allowed to go right on churning out a slew of lackluster, half-hearted sequels, year after year, for well over a decade. With so many titles that lacked even so much as a hint of additional effort or enthusiasm from Dimps, and no sign of a developer change on the horizon, it seemed like Dragon Ball Z was doomed to an eternity of uninspired shovelware video games.

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Scandroid Review: It’s Not The Past, Exactly, But It Sounds Like The Future.

Ah, Klayton.

An image of Klayton, front man of the band Scandroid.
Klayton, a ridiculously prolific artist

A man of many styles that still manages to enthrall and inspire even to this day, twenty years after his Circle of Dust debut. In his various guises, he has penned industrial music, more melodic songs, slightly more metal sounds and then some.

For this album, he travels to his roots. To that time in the eighties when New Wave ruled supreme and no one could see anything but synthesizers for miles around. Read more

Nonstiq: Movie Pass Review

Movie Pass. The now 600,000 member large subscription service that has everyone scratching their heads. Well I've been using it for about a month now and figured Nonstiq would be a good place to express the many opinions I have about it.

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Before you start, please be aware I’m not a journalist and most of my facts and data come from quick Google searches and some bits of info off Wikipedia. If you want to look further into the history and specifics of the Data surrounding Movie Pass, go ahead and do some Googling if you read or learn something here that you wanna check up on. 

What is Movie Pass?

Movie Pass is a Movie theater subscription service. You pay a fee every month, and in return you can see one film a day throughout the course of a month.

So how does a theater make money with this system? Well if you are a Movie pass subscriber you get a prepaid Debit Card in the Mail that is used to purchase your ticket. So you pay Movie Pass for their service, and they pay the theaters for your ticket. So not only are Movie Theaters not losing any money from a Movie Pass user, they are more than likely getting more people to buy tickets from people with this service.

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I’ll explain in more detail how this works a bit later, but first a brief history about the service and its current state:

As you may well be aware though, on August 16th 2017, Movie Pass dropped their monthly price to $9.95 a month. Sounds too good to be true right? Yes and No. 

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This fee used to be roughly $50 a month, but in certain areas the fee was $99 a month. With the average ticket price in the US being around $9 a ticket, Movie Pass worked by betting that most of their users couldn't go out and see more than $50 worth of movies every month. As you can imagine they made a fair amount of money this way despite only having around 20,00 subscribers.

Obviously your first thought is a should be, “If a ticket price is nearly the cost of my subscription to Movie Pass, once I see two movies Movie Pass is losing money from me that point forward.”

You’re entirely right, they do lose money far more often now with this subscription price, especially since they’ve gained over 500,000 subscribers since the price change. 

The next question is of course, how can Movie Pass afford to do this and is it sustainable? Well they didn’t do this price drop out of the blue. Just before their price drop, they were given $27 million dollars from Helios and Matheson as a price infusion to offset the cost of losing money with this cheaper subscription model. 

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Helios and Matheson Analytics are a large scale Data collecting company. Whom have clearly bet it all on the Data they will be collecting from Movie Pass users. And you definitely will want to read over what Data they will be collecting in the TOS. H&M have also thankfully been quite open about how they see the potential in what movies people see, who is seeing them, and when they see them. This Data, in their eyes, will be incredibly valuable to Movie Studios who will jump at the chance to finally have VERY accurate data about their film goers and what projects they should be focusing on. 

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Regardless of whether or not this company's big bet pays off in the long run, or if this service is destined to fail and run out of money, I think it’s still worth looking at how the system currently works and if it’s worth trying out.

So after you sign up for the service on their website, they send you a Debit card in the mail. So wait around for that, and once you have your card, it’s time to download the App. Once installed you can select your closet theater and scroll through the showings to find a film you want to see. Now you only get One ticket a day for one person, one showing, so make sure you are positive the movie you select is the one you want to see. Once you’ve chosen a film on the app, Movie Pass will send the price of a ticket for that showing to your Card, and you’ll have 30 minutes to go and actually buy the ticket.

And that's it! Once you do that you can’t use Movie Pass again until the next day. But after paying them $9.99, getting your card, installing the app, and using their card to buy a ticket, you still can do that 29 more days in a month! With no extra cost to you.

The service works really great, does exactly what it says it will do, and I haven’t had any issues yet with the app or the card.

So is Movie Pass something you should get?
Well it depends on a few things.

First and foremost you need to ask yourself if you are okay with letting Helios and Matheson both collect and sell your movie going history. If you’re not then obviously the service isn’t something your should be doing.

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For those of us that are, it is definitely worth making sure that you live by or near one of the supported theaters of the service. Movie Pass claim they work in 91% of theaters throughout the US, so check their website to make sure you don’t live in the 9%. You can also do this by installing the app before even subscribing and checking out theaters near you. 

Of course maybe if you do sign up for Movie Pass and you rarely go the theater, maybe having a movie pass will lead you to be willing to go to the theater more often to get the most out of your monthly fee. Which wil hopefully be good for more films like this year's Wind River or Ingrid Goes West.

You also should ask yourself if you are someone who would go to the Theater AT LEAST twice a month. Otherwise the service simply isn’t financially worth it. So if you only go to the movies for something Disney owns and don’t care about seeing films that don’t have action figures for them, it may not be for you. 

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I personally love this service so far, and while I’m concerned that their risky model will end up being too big a risk down the road, for now I am happy to take advantage of being able to see every movie that even slightly peaks my interest. And it's that influx of extra cash from Movie Pass users like me that will hopefully will show the Movie Studios how valuable this Data truly is. Maybe even help them create better films for us to see in the future. Only time will tell, but if you are thinking of diving into this unknown territory with me, I think it’s worth it for now.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Beautiful Desperation – A Review From Scroo

A long time ago, years now in fact I played Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and I found it pretty engaging and also quite beautiful. Ninja Theory, the company behind Enslaved and other games like Devil May Cry and Heavenly Sword have produced Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. I recently finished Hellblade and it made quite an impact on me so I'm here as always to tell you about it in a long winded and probably grammatically incorrect manner. Stick with me to find out my thoughts. Read more

Review: Sonic Mania

In 1994, after years of jealously playing Sega Genesis games at other people's houses (Sonic the Hedgehog, in particular), I finally decided to plunk down the allowance I'd managed to save up and buy the system for myself. I only took two games home with me that day and they were both Sonic titles, Sonic Spinball (a pack-in game that was included with the system) and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Despite the fact that Sonic 2 had already been available for two years by that point, I hadn't actually had the opportunity to play it yet, myself.

When I got home and popped it into my shiny new Genesis, I was mesmerized. Seeing that beautiful Emerald Hill Zone level was just like the first time I had seen the Green Hill Zone from Sonic 1, a few years earlier. Both times, I was blown away. The first Sonic game had turned the gaming world completely upside down, and the second, not only managed to recapture that same magic, but improve on it enough to stand on its own. But while the other great Sonic games from those Genesis days (Sonic 3, Sonic CD, and Sonic & Knuckles) were all more or less equally good, none of those games could really manage to pull off quite that same awe-inspiring first impression.

In the time since those 2-D glory days, many other Sonic games have come to many other consoles. Many have come in 3-D, some in 2, and some have even featured a mix of both; and while certain titles may have been arguably better than others, not one of them has even come close to reaching the lofty heights of the originals. None of them, that is, until now...

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