Star Trek: Discovery (first impressions) – OR: I really hate Michael Burnham

I grew up on Star Trek TNG.  I was, in fact, one of ‘those’ trekkies, with the encyclopedias and the model Enterprise, and even every single one of the extended universe books.  I would rush home from school every day and wait for it to begin at 4PM.  And then I would despair when the syndicated episodes ran out and it would start over at season 1 episode 1 again and I’d have to wait until the channel caught back up to presently airing episodes.  Ahhhh, the late 80s/early 90s.  And now we have the internet!  What a savage and primitive world this used to be.

As most people are probably aware, the world of Trek has been languishing of late, and so did my interest.  I was happy to leave nostalgia back in the 90s with TNG and not worry about reviving it.  I don’t think I even saw an episode of Enterprise before it got canned.   So I hadn’t even really heard about Discovery, except maybe in passing.  I paid no attention to the hype, or the trailers.  I had zero awareness or expectations for it.

Then we ran out of TV to binge and wandered into The Orville.  If you’re not aware of The Orville, it is Seth MacFarlane’s love letter to Star Trek TNG, which basically means TNG with dick and fart jokes.  Here’s your bonus review: I actually really enjoy The Orville, but god damn is it awkward, ahahahahahaha.  It doesn’t know what to do with itself.  I saw one review/comment that said ‘Basically, it’s a perfect show, except for the part where it is a Seth MacFarlane show.’  Right in the bullseye.  The show tackles deep and interesting plot lines and tries to develop its characters and world in ways that are, dare I say it, TNG-esque.  It pulls you in and hits you with nostalgia that reminds you why you liked TNG.  And then it remembers that it is a Seth MacFarlane show and shoehorns an awkward fart joke into the mix and it falls over itself.  Now, I am ALL FOR a show that is literally TNG with dick and fart jokes, but c’mon guys, you gotta have better delivery than that to make this work.  I will continue to enjoy The Orville and facepalm at its horrible awkward delivery until its inevitable cancellation :(

So, anyway, we exhausted the current run of Orville episodes and found ourselves wanting more Star Trek.  Rather than binging through TNG again, which was my first inclination, we decided to check out Discovery.  It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s Star Trek, and we’re out of shit to watch.  Why not!

In case you are wondering why not, I will explain to you why not.  Full disclosure: at the time of writing, only four episodes of Star Trek Discovery have aired, and two of them are the pilot which kinda don’t even count as episodes.  I am intrigued to see where this goes and will continue to watch, but I am not optimistic.  The best case scenario would be if I can come back to this after the season is finished and lauuugghhhhh. We’ll see!

I’m also breaking rules by logging this under “movies” but since bitching about writing is my MO, you’re just going to have to deal with it. Read more of this post

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Organ Trail

Who doesn’t know about Oregon Trail, right?  If you don’t know what it is, you need to either spend some time in society, or get off my lawn.  Or possibly both.  Why, yes, I DID play it on shiny new Apple computers in elementary school!  Why, yes, I AM extremely old.  The best part of Oregon Trail was learning that “dysentery” means “pooping yourself to death” and then laughing when the character you named after your best friend died of it.  I mean, I guess it had some sort of historical knowledge value too, or something, and we were supposed to realize and respect just how hard life was for those pioneers… but mostly it was great seeing what horrible way your friends would die THIS time.

And now we have “Organ Trail”.  It’s a pretty clever … parody?  I guess it’s a parody… of Oregon trail, where instead of trying to migrate to the wild west, you’re trying to survive the zombie hordes.  All the basic gameplay elements remain roughly the same.  Instead of a covered wagon, you have a station wagon.  Instead of wagon wheels and axles you have tires and batteries.  Instead of oxen you have fuel.  Food works pretty similarly, but instead of shooting 7 oxen and then being mad that you can only carry like 3 squirrels of it back with you, you collect cans off the ground while running away from zombies.  And then a hobo randomly steals it all from you in a popup event where you can neither react nor do anything about it other than nod and carry on.

I was pretty excited for this game.  It’s cheap, it’s available for your phone so you can watch your friends break their legs while on the go, and if nothing else it should be entertaining because how do you fuck up Oregon Trail With Zombies, right?

I will tell you how you can fuck up Oregon Trail With Zombies.  You make it impossible to shoot zombies.  I got the game from the humble android bundle so I was able to activate it on my phone AND on steam to try both versions.  I uninstalled it from my phone within a couple minutes because I couldn’t even get past the intro trying to use the touchscreen controls to shoot.  How hard can this be?!?  Tap zombie shoot zombie!  But no, instead it’s tap screen, drag finger, watch your guy spin in exactly the wrong direction, wiggle your finger around to try to make him pivot, watch him spin uselessly until oh! oh!  he’s pointing the right way now!  FIRE!  YES I KILLED ONE.  Meanwhile, 20 more walked in off the edges of the screen and I’m totally and completely fucked.  Also I gathered no food while doing this.  And took severe penalties for failing.  Alright, fuck this, it HAS to be better with a mouse.  At least then I can drag the mouse cursor with more accuracy, right?  … It was a little better but it was pretty much the same story.  I ended up selling all my ammo to buy car parts and just avoided doing any jobs or events where I had to shoot zombies.  I avoided shooting zombies in the zombie apocalypse.  Sigh.  Surprise, I hit an event that wasn’t optional and ended up dying.  I suppose it would be possible to get used to it and get better at the shooting, but I have other games to play that aren’t ruined by stupid and frustrating control schemes.

It’s really too bad because it could be a fun little time waster, but until the shooting controls are changed or some kind of “I’m an idiot let me click on them to shoot them without aiming” difficulty mode is added, it’s just not worth playing.  I can’t even really give the game high marks for being unique because it is literally Oregon Trail.  With zombies.