In order of viewing:
1) Being John Malkovich  – 9/10
System: PS Vita [reviewed], Steam, Android, iOS
Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Steel Wool Games
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Flyhunter Origins is a family-friendly platformer that has a bit of an interesting pedigree behind it. The game’s developer, Steel Wool Games, is led by a quintet of Pixar veterans, and their animation background is definitely an asset. Their talent is on display during the game’s aesthetically-pleasing cutscenes, and these moments send the game off to a promising start. It’s a shame that these positive impressions start crumbling down as soon as the gameplay kicks in.
In order of viewing:
1) Master and Commander: Far Side of the World  – 8/10
4) Apollo 13  – 7/10
5) Philadelphia  – 7/10
7) The Untouchables  – 8/10
8) The Aviator  – 8/10
* denotes replay
Best of the Month: Aside from one misfire which I will get to in the next section, I had a great (albeit slow) month of movie watching. Although I rated most of them similarly, I have to give the edge to Waking Life as my favorite of the group. Richard Linklater’s philosophical animated film raises a lot of intriguing thoughts and questions, though I can’t pretend to understand some of its more weightier segments. Definitely one I would like to revisit at some point. For video games, the second season of The Walking Dead was just as bleak and depressing as the first one, and I loved it pretty much all the way through. It doesn’t have a character on the level of Lee from season one, but it’s still an excellent followup, and I am very curious to see where the next season goes.
Worst of the Month: I have mostly enjoyed director James Wan’s past work (particularly Saw and The Conjuring), but Dead Silence is just an awful, awful film. It has a cliché-ridden plot, laughable performances (Ryan Kwanten and Donnie Wahlberg, ladies and gentlemen) and some seriously cringe-worthy dialogue. Worst of all, there is no sense of dread anywhere. Just very disappointing.
System: PS Vita [reviewed], PS4
Genre: Shoot ’em up, platformer
Price: $19.99 (cross buy, free for PS+ members)
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Velocity Ultra was a bit of a sleeper indie hit on the Playstation Network last year, and today sees the release of its much-anticipated sequel Velocity 2X.
Whereas Ultra innovated with its unique hybrid of shoot ’em up gameplay and puzzles involving teleportation, 2X expands upon this template by bringing in a brand new dynamic: side-scrolling platforming. The transition between shmup action and platforming is seamless, and it tactfully brings together two genres that you normally wouldn’t think of combining.