Reviews & Commentary

Overview for 2000s

The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (1995)

The Diamond Age is a, somewhat indirect, sequel to Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash, which explored a world where nation-states had broken down and been replaced by distributed republics called “Franchise Oriented Quasi-National Entities” (FOQNEs)—autonomous enclaves run as franchises of some corporation, party, or ideal, e.g. “Narcolombia” (the Medellin cartel), “CosaNostra Pizza” (the mafia), and so on. The plot concerned a memetic virus modelled on the Sumerian concept of me—a sort of programming language for human brains.


Written by Kalle on Monday May 2, 2011
Permalink - Category: Books - Tags: 2000s, sf

La nuit des horloges (2007)

Unlike Jess Franco, who — as regular readers will remember — has regressed as director, Jean Rollin seems to have quietly grown into an accomplished auteur. His penultimate film, La nuit des horloges (“the night of the clocks”), is an artistic tour de force and by far the best Rollin film I’ve seen. Indeed, by far the best exploitation film I’ve seen in a long while.


Written by Kalle on Monday April 18, 2011
Permalink - Category: Film - Tags: 2000s, jean-rollin

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

There is a truism in video game fandom and criticism that games based on movie and comic book licenses tend to be bad. Some a little bit bad and some mind-bogglingly bad (ET and Superman 64 being the classic examples). Trying to disprove this theory, Rocksteady teamed up with Batman: The Animated Series (among others) writer Paul Dini to create Batman: Arkham Asylum. According to Guinness, who certified Arkham Asylum “the most critically acclaimed super hero game ever”, they succeeded.


Written by Kalle on Monday March 29, 2010
Permalink - Category: Video games - Tags: 2000s, comic-book

Mass Effect 2 (2010)

Shortly after defeating rogue spectre Saren, his Reaper master Sovereign, and their Geth army, our hero, Commander Shepard, is killed in an attack by the mysterious Collectors. This being science fiction, even death won’t keep Shepard down, and she (or he) is brought back by the pseudo-terrorist human-first group Cerberus (whom you might remember from Mass Effect, where they were involved in all manner of disreputable business). With her old crew having moved on and with a brand-new Normandy, Shepard must now gather a new team (but with a couple of familiar faces) to join her on a suicide mission through the uncharted Omega 4 relay to stop the Collectors and their masters — the Reapers.


Written by Kalle on Friday March 5, 2010
Permalink - Category: Video games - Tags: 2000s, sf

Skate 2 (2009)

The first Skate, released in 2007, was a revelation — it turned the skateboarding game on its head, reinvigorating a genre that seemed doomed to consist of nothing more than increasingly tired Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater sequels. The analogue controls of Skate were fluid and intuitive and, combined with the open game-world, helped propel the game to the top of both sales charts and critics’ year-end lists.

Here, then, is its sequel. And, let’s get it out of the way early: it is a good game. But it’s also basically the same game. There are new features, of course, which range from the good — footplants — to the atrocious — walking. This latter surprised me, since you’d think Black Box would have learned from THPS‘s continually poor off-the-board controls that an engine designed for skating will never be good at walking.


Written by Kalle on Friday October 23, 2009
Permalink - Category: Video games - Tag: 2000s