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The Culture HUD

Welcome to The Culture HUD

Here on my website, I talk about different forms of entertainment and my impressions of each work. The content of The Culture HUD includes reviews, discussions and listicles of video games, movies, television and anime. My body of writing will cover looks into the past, commentary on the present, and speculation for the future. Enjoy!

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Featured post

Movie review – Christopher Robin

screenrant dot com
Image taken from screenrant.com

Considering how important Winnie the Pooh was to my childhood, I knew that I was going to like Christopher Robin. While I fully appreciated the nostalgic tug at my heart strings, I was not expecting how sharp the writing ended up being. Seriously, for all the people who have grown skeptical of Disney’s live-action remake push, this should be the one that attests to the artistic merit of the company. They even managed to stick a strong message about corporate benevolence in among the emotions.

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Video Game Review – Spider-Man (2018)

Spider-Man Cover

In what might be my favorite game of the year, Spider-Man (2018) excelled in almost every way that a game can excel. It provided a satisfying combat system, impressed me with stellar writing quality, and introduced a traversal system so fun that it made their fast travel option redundant. Insomniac Games’s release stands at the zenith of video games, superhero stories, and the Spider-Man canon, and anyone who can play it definitely should.

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Video Game Review – Donut County

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Donut County is a good-humored game about a selfish raccoon who destroys an entire county to make his bosses happy. The writing is strikingly funny, and the mechanics are possessed of incredible ludonarrative harmony, giving players insight into the mind of a seemingly hateful creature. Such evocative and memorable gameplay makes up for the short length and lack of challenge in my opinion, but that may be a sticking point for people otherwise inclined to give this game a try.

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Video Game Review – Hollow Knight

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Hollow Knight excelled in numerous ways. I really appreciated the aesthetics, crafting an insectoid world unlike anything I’ve seen before. It really helped drive home how alien the creatures in the game were. Yet with subtle squeaks and simple expressions, the team was able to endow them with incredible character and likability. Additionally the combat is strong, providing ample depth from the superficially simple mechanics. However, the map design dragged down my enjoyment. The directionlessness of the experience led to frequent backtracking and repetitiveness, instead of the expected freedom. While this may be a boon to some, it severally hampered my experience.

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Video Game Discussion – Ciri of Color: Or Swallow, your Anger

comicvine dot gamespot dot com
Image taken from comicvine.gamespot.com

The casting team on the Netflix adaptation of The Witcher decided not going exclude women of color from their casting decisions for Ciri, Geralt’s adoptive daughter. Sections of the geek internet got incredibly mad, as they are oft to do, even to the point of driving the showrunner off Twitter. Personally, I have no preference for the race of actress, even though I am always pleased by efforts to increase diversity. However, when most of the arguments decrying a non-white Ciri are this bad, I feel like I have to step in.

The decision to cast Ciri as a woman of color is justified by the The Witcher‘s lore, the themes of the central narrative, and the history of Ancient and Medieval Poland. While I believe that correcting for centuries of racism in popular entertainment is always more important than reciting fantasy with 100% accuracy, The Witcher franchise is not as averse to people of color as fans seem to think it is. I hope to provide a fresh perspective on an admittedly controversial decision.

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Video Game Review – Overwatch

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So it finally happened… Overwatch finally clicked for me. I never grew to resent the game with the kind of passion that some individuals displayed, but I was fully willing to accept that another explosive gaming trend just wasn’t for me. Then two years later, on a free weekend in August of 2018, I just got it. Consequently, I thought now would be a good time to (briefly) explain what exactly won me over, because nothing drives engagement like being really, really late.

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TV List – 10 Heavy Metal Women who Should be in Aggretsuko

I AM TRIUMPHANT

It really bummed me out when I discovered that Death-Metal Retsuko’s lines were done by a man. Not that the central joke was any less funny, but I really think this would have been an excellent opportunity for women who scream in heavy metal bands to show off their talents and get some recognition. Plus, it would be nice to hear a growler with some range and a better sense of how to make metal unironically appealing.

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Movie Reviews – The Road

wall dot alphacoders dot com

In a way, it makes sense that subsequent post-apocalypse narratives have tried to include outlandish aesthetics, intense action scenes, or intently hopeful messages, because The Road basically cornered the market on soul-eroding depression. Seriously, in a world where nameless main characters can’t even look to the sun for comfort, it’s hard to believe that they have anything to live for. The Road tries, with dubious success, to explain the value in living when your world only stands to get worse. This results in a deliriously drab and inconsistently compelling odyssey through an American nightmare.

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Video Game Quick Thoughts – Doom Eternal Reveal Gameplay

xboxenthusiast dot com
Image taken from xboxenthusiast.com

Instead of dumping an entire philosophical ramble, I wanted to provide smaller opinions on events going on in the game industry. These are going to be (hopefully) far less controversial than some of my review or discussion opinions; little ideas I have about certain developments in gaming news.

In this case, it’s the stuff I like and dislike about the gameplay for Doom Eternal revealed at QuakeCon 2018. Let me know if my considerably briefer opinions are more interesting. I realize not everything I write has to flex what I feel is my intellectual muscle.

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