Another March Update

I know, I know. I said I was done with filler posts. But as I’m quite sure you’re aware, we are in a very unique time period right now, so I figured I’d give a small update, given the circumstances.

Suffice to say I’m in the same situation as many other Americans (and people around the world). I’m cooped up in my house, and with a lot of free time. So hopefully I can use that time to get a little more productive, whether that be through this site or other means, but I admit that, so far, this whole situation has done no favors for my depression. So if you’re wondering why I was getting through my video game awards pretty quickly, and then they suddenly stopped for a week before I did my Game of the Year, well, it’s simply because I wasn’t in the emotional state to write. Sorry if I’ve been slow at getting to things around here.

Hopefully, as I get more accustomed to these bizarre circumstances, I can use this time to be more creative.

Here’s some of what I hope to write about in the near future.

With my annual video game awards out of the way, I will of course follow suit with my top 10 films of 2019. I may do some additional movie awards as well, and it’s something I would definitely like to make an annual thing here at the Dojo. But I’ll for sure be doing my top 10.

Also, I managed to see Pixar’s Onward before all this craziness went down, and it’s actually the only 2020 release I’ve seen so far other than Sonic the Hedgehog. So expect my review of that soon. I figured I’d also use this time to catch up on other movie reviews I’ve been meaning to write. Amazon Prime, Netflix and Disney+ are great friends right about now.

Of course, I also have some video games to review. So far, my 2020 video game purchases have been limited to Dreams on PS4 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons (which I’m still waiting to have delivered), so I’ll get to those as soon as I can. And much like the case with movies, I have some old/older video games I’d like to get around to reviewing. I’ve been playing through Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin Edition lately, so that will probably be my next “big review” for a game. But there are some shorter retro titles I hope to get to soon.

Anyway…yeah. I know, a filler update. Just thought I’d make it clear that, despite slowing down in the second half of this month, I still plan on getting to writing those things I talked about before.

Take care, stay safe, and stay home.

Video Game Awards 2020: Best Sound

Now let us begin my 2020 video game awards proper (celebrating the video games of 2019). Why don’t we go with tradition and start with the Best Sound category?

Sound effects are among the unsung heroes of any medium, particularly video games. Just imagine Mario grabbing a coin with no shimmering *clink* to accompany it. It just wouldn’t feel right.

When it comes to the category of Best Sound, I find myself usually going with either games that use sounds to help create their personality (such as the aforementioned Mario or other such platformers) or games that use sounds to create and enrich their atmosphere, which seems to be where I’ve been leaning the past few years. And 2019 continued this trend, because…

 

Winner: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

No one in the video game world does sound better than FromSoftware, and that was once again true in 2019 with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which continued the studio’s tradition of pulling players into its world with every last sound effect.

I admit I’m not the biggest fan of Sekiro (though I do hope to get back to it soon), but no doubt it continues the traditions of Dark Souls and Bloodborne of giving a sense of weight to its every creature and object through the sound work.

The clank of armor, the growls of monsters, the sickening sounds of cutting them down with your blade. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice once again showcases FromSoftware’s mastery of sound design in video games.

 

Runner-up: Super Mario Maker 2

 

Past Winners

2014: Dark Souls II

2015: Bloodborne

2016: Dark Souls III

2017: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

2018: Red Dead Redemption 2

Marching Onward!

It is now March of 2020…already, and given that I only wrote six total posts in February, I figured I’d give a brief update of what I hope to do for this site in March.

 

Wait a minute… Oh no… does this mean… THE RETURN OF THE FILLER POSTS?!

 

Aw well, it’s still probably better written than The Rise of Skywalker.

Seriously though, this is a one time return of filler, I swear. But talking of The Rise of Skywalker, one of my plans for the near future is to finish my reviews of the Star Wars movies. I was originally trying to review them all around the release of Rise of Skywalker going in episodic order, but only got up to the original film (Episode IV). It’s as if I saw something so contrived and messy that it disheartened me from continuing for a time…

So yes, that leaves Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and the entire sequel trilogy left to review. So hopefully I’ll get back to those soon.

Also, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, I plan to review Pixar’s Onward once I see it. And not too long after that, once the movie soaks in my mind a little, I hope to (finally) do a revised version of my ranking of every single Pixar film. Now we’ll know just how highly Cars 2 and The Good Dinosaur will rank!

Also also, I hope to do my film and video game awards for 2019 in March. Yeah, it’s kind of late, but I’m just one man, cut me some slack. After I’m done with the 2019 awards, I hope to do my lists of best games and films of the decade (2010 – 2019). And hopefully not long after, I can do my similar lists for the 2000s, 1990s and 1980s. Then maybe that will finally give me the incentive to (seriously, finally and for reals) make my all-time favorites lists.

And yes, as promised before, I will start reviewing TV/streaming shows soon. And also very yes, I will update you beautiful people on my game development learnings when I have something to update on.

So there you go. What I plan to write in March and the near future. Sorry again for the filler.

Wizard Dojo’s 2019 (The Whole Dang Year)

Alright, one more dangling thread from 2019 to un-dangle. Y’know, besides those 2019 games I still need to review. Technically, I somewhat did this in my 2019 Christmas post, but for the sake of closure, let’s give it its own post.

After every three month period in 2019, I briefly went over the different reviews I wrote in the year up to that point. Now that 2019 is a memory (a mostly pleasant one, despite all the overrated movies that are now becoming even more overrated with their Oscar nominations). So before we get any further into 2020 and this makes no sense whatsoever, let’s knock this out of the way while it still makes a tiny shred of sense.


I think this was the first year where I ended up writing more movie reviews than video game ones. But because I haven’t actually taken the time to fact-check that, don’t take my word for it.

Anyway, here’s what my reviews were and when they were written, along with the scores they currently hold (you may find I’ve retroactively altered a couple of them, due to my changing feelings upon giving it more thought). This time I included the links to the reviews…just like I did in the Christmas post which is making this feel even more superfluous. Don’t worry, I’ll have new reviews soon.

Titles in bold were released in 2019.

Total Movie Reviews Written in 2019: 40

Total Video Game Reviews Written in 2019: 38

 

January Reviews

MOVIE REVIEWS: 8

Bumblebee – 7/10

From Dusk ‘Till Dawn  – 5/10

Mary Poppins Returns – 6/10

The Cat Returns – 7/10

Ralph Breaks the Internet – 8/10

Unbreakable – 7/10

Split – 6/10

Glass – 3/10

Video Game reviews: 5

Wario Land II – 6/10

The Haunted Island: A Frog Detective Game – 6/10

Inside – 7/10

Donut County – 7/10

Tetris Effect – 8/10

February Reviews

Movie Reviews: 1

Fighting with My Family – 7/10

 

Video Game reviews: 3

Red Dead Redemption 2 – 8/10

Wario Land 3 – 6/10

God of War (PS4) – 8/10

March Reviews

Movie Reviews: 2

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – 5/10

Captain Marvel – 5/10

VIDEO GAME REVIEWS: 10

Kingdom Hearts 3 – 5/10

Tetris 99 – 7/10

Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove – 7/10

Wario World – 4/10

Sonic the Fighters – 2/10

Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble – 4/10

Tails’ Skypatrol – 2/10

Tails Adventure – 5/10

Sonic R – 2/10

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – 9/10

April Reviews

movie reviews: 5

Dumbo (2019) – 6/10

Shazam! – 7/10

The Avengers – 8/10

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 5/10

Avengers: Infinity War – 8/10

Video game reviews: 3

Yoshi’s Crafted World – 7/10

Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee – 5/10

Wario Land 4 – 7/10

May Reviews

MOVIE REVIEWS: 2

Avengers: Endgame – 9/10

Pokemon Detective Pikachu – 6/10

VIDEO GAME REVIEWS: 2

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – 7/10

Wario’s Woods – 7/10

June Reviews

MOVIE REVIEWS: 5

Aladdin (2019) – 7/10

Godzilla: King of the Monsters – 6/10

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – 4/10

The Secret Life of Pets 2 -4/10*

The Dark Crystal – 5/10

video game reviews: 1

WarioWare, Inc. Mega Microgames – 7/10

 

July Reviews

Toy Story 4 – 6/10*

Spider-Man: Far From Home – 7/10

video game reviews: 3

Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge  – 4/10

Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman – 6/10

Mario Vs. Donkey Kong – 6/10

August Reviews

movie reviews: 2

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – 4/10*

The Lion King (2019) – 5/10

video game reviews: 2

Super Mario Maker 2 – 8/10

WarioWare Touched – 6/10

September Reviews

movie reviews: 2

Dora and the Lost City of Gold – 7/10

The Peanut Butter Falcon – 6/10

video game reviews: 2

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – 8/10

Wario Land: Shake It! – 7/10

October Reviews

Movie reviews: 2

Abominable – 6/10

The Addams Family (2019) – 4/10

video game reviews: 4

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch) – 8/10

Untitled Goose Game – 7/10

Wario: Master of Disguise – 3/10

Luigi’s Mansion – 7/10

November Reviews

movie reviews: 4

Maleficent (2014) – 5/10

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – 5/10

Terminator: Dark Fate – 4/10

Joker – 7/10

video game reviews: 2

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair – 8/10

Mario & Wario – 6/10

December Reviews

movie reviews: 5

Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace – 5/10

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones – 4/10

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith – 6/10

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 7/10

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope – 9/10

video game reviews: 1

WarioWare Twisted – 8/10

 

* indicates a title whose score was lowered since my last such update. Because seriously, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a deathly bore.


And there you have it, all of my movie and game reviews of 2019. But there’s still some unfinished business to take care of leftover from last year. Like these…

 

2019 movies I saw, but probably won’t get around to reviewing for a while (with approximate scores).

Last Christmas – 5/10

Judy – 6/10

 

2019 movies I’ve seen and hope to review in the near future (saving the scores for the reviews)

It: Chapter 2

Jojo Rabbit

Knives Out

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

2019 movies I might still see, maybe review.

1917

Parasite

Cats   (yes, it looks abysmal. Every now and again I get the sick curiosity to see a notorious movie on the big screen).

 

2019 video games I should have reviewed already and hopefully will soon.

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

Luigi’s Mansion 3

 

2019 video games I need to play more of to review

Astral Chain

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Ni no Kuni Remastered

Pokemon Sword

 

And well, those are the last lingering threads of 2019 I hope to tackle. Those and my awards, of course. There are a few 2020 movies on the horizon, and a couple of upcoming video games, that I’ll hopefully get around to as well. Also more older games and movies and such. But we’ll get to those when we get to them.

Anyway, thanks for reading! Thanks for your support throughout 2019! And all of your support before then, and your continuing support now.

 

Dawn of the New Decade

“Entering the new decade like”

Greetings and salutations, weary traveler! A new decade is upon us, for it is now 2020. If I were a Dark Souls NPC, this is the part where I’d start laughing maniacally.

I know what you’re thinking, “shouldn’t I have posted this on January 1st?” Ideally, yes. But honestly, after my Frozen II review had been delayed for way too long, I knew that had to be my first writing of the decade. It just had to be. As I’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, Frozen is both one of my favorite films, and one of particular importance to me. Thus, because it took me so long to finish my review of its sequel, it made sense as the one and only option as my first writing of the 2020s.

Why not read my Frozen II review again, while we’re on the subject?

If you’re curious what else I have planned for the near future, I… what’s that? You’re not curious…

Well, I’ll tell you anyway.

I hope to finish my reviews of the Star Wars films, continuing in episodic order. I most recently reviewed the original Star Wars feature, Episode IV – A New Hope, which means next up is the best Star Wars feature, The Empire Strikes Back. Then of course I’ll cap off the original trilogy with Return of the Jedi, followed by 2015’s delightful return to form, The Force Awakens. It’s just a shame they stopped making Star Wars films after that. But at least they went out on a high note, I suppose…

… Okay, okay. I’ll review The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker as well. *Sigh*

Along with those, I also plan on reviewing Knives Out, another Rian Johnson film that, like The Last Jedi, seems to believe that swerves and twists for the sake of swerves and twists equate to originality and creativity. Apparently Mr. Johnson isn’t aware that M. Night Shyamalan has already proven on numerous occasions that isn’t the case. Oh please, don’t make me re-watch Glass!

 

Yeah, apparently I got a lot of Friends gifs…

Anyway, I also have a list of games to review, so hopefully I’ll start knocking those off said list soon enough. Mostly leftover 2019 games, but some older ones as well.

In fact, I have a schedule that I hope to stick to for 2020 in regards to the number of movie reviews, game reviews and top 10 lists per month. Fingers crossed I follow through!

As you may have guessed, with the new year comes award season. Everyone and their dog seems to do it, and I am no exception. I plan on doing my best of 2019 lists in not too long (I hope). But also seeing as we’re in a bright, shiny new decade, I also hope to do some ‘Best of the Decade’ awards reflecting on the movies and video games of the 2010s. And maybe that will lead me to make retroactive decade lists for the 2000s and 1990s. Maybe even the 1980s as well, seeing as I was born during that decade. Yeah, I was born in September of ’89, so we’re grasping at straws here, but any excuse to revisit 80s movies is a good one, I say. Funny thing is the 80s really stick out to me with movies, while the 90s really stick out in regards to video games. I don’t know why I pointed that out, but I thought it was interesting.

Oh yeah, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to finally make reviewing TV shows a thing. So again, fingers crossed.

I’m hoping to review the three currently-existing seasons of Stranger Things, as well as The Mandalorian, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and maybe some others. Also, now that I have Disney+, maybe I’ll start reviewing The Simpsons. But just the classic seasons. I don’t know if I could stand to watch the more contemporary seasons. I would rather watch Glass again than watch new Simpsons.

Well… actually I’m not sure about that. That’s a lose-lose scenario if ever there were one. But yeah, classic Simpsons is still on the cards.

At any rate, this “New Decade Post” is coming dangerously close to becoming one of my filler posts that haunted 2019, so let’s wrap this up before that happens.

Anywho, I hope you lovely people are all having a great, productive new year so far. May the new decade be one of great new beginnings and some cool returning stuff, I guess. Hopefully the next time I’m writing a blog like this, it’s updating my progress on learning about makin’ the vidya James.

The 2019 Christmas Special/Five Year Anniversary Celebration!!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! How about that Rise of Skywalker, huh?

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is coming to a close, and with it, the decade itself. Mayhaps I should start doing some ‘Best of the Decade’ awards along with my yearly ones?

But let’s think about that a little later. It’s Christmas, holmes! And being Christmas Day, that also means – you guessed it – it’s WWE wrestler Rusev’s birthday!

Oh yeah, it also means it’s the anniversary of Wizard Dojo’s launch!

Okay, so technically I launched this website earlier in December of 2014, but decided to wait to post anything until Christmas Day of that year. So Christmas is the official launch of the Dojo. And this year is a big one, as today marks the five-year anniversary of Wizard Dojo! You know, five years. As in half a decade.

So let’s try to make this Christmas/Anniversary special a good one!

So pull yourself away from those new Playstations Santa Clause brought you for a few minutes, grab some hot cocoa, a Victorian-era top hat, and take a seat to spend your precious time on this sacred holiday not with family and friends, but reading the crap I write. ‘Tis the season.

So let’s get crackin’ and get this show on the road!

Continue reading “The 2019 Christmas Special/Five Year Anniversary Celebration!!”

The 900th Blog Spectacularsaurus

 

That’s right, Kevin! I have finally amassed 900 blogs! The road to the big 1-0-0-0 is on!

“I’m kind of like Yoda in a way. Except not at all.”

Thank you, my dear Padawan readers, for sticking around and reading all of my nonsense. You deserve a big round of applause!

I have to admit, I’m going to have to cut this milestone blog a wee bit short. I still have Star Wars and Frozen II reviews to write, not to mention my annual Christmas special. So let’s not drag this out so I can go write those things instead. Don’t worry your pretty little heads, I’ll make up for it in the 1000th blog spectacularsaurus, which I’ll surely make a big deal.

Here’s a gif of Wallace eating a chunk of the moon.

Thanks again for the continued support, dollface! I hope you’re looking forward to those aforementioned reviews, and whatever the new year will bring to the Dojo. Maybe I’ll finally, finally start making progress in video game design, which I can then update here. And maybe I’ll finally start making videos of some capacity in the new year. I’m still not sure what I’ll do for my videos, but seeing as I hate damn near every YouTuber I’ve ever seen, I’ll probably at least try to avoid doing…whatever the hell it is they’re doing. I’ll probably have no audience, but whatever.

I actually have a list of movies and video games (and TV shows!) I plan on reviewing, and have – believe it or not – finally managed to start chipping away at said list. So here’s hoping the next few months prove prosperous for ye old Dojo.

Okay, now I’m turning this milestone post into one of my filler posts. So let’s wrap this up now.  Thanks again for your readership, yadda yadda yadda, gonna write more stuff. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go review Revenge of the Sith…