Tag Archives: mystery

First Impressions: L.A. Noire

I can’t believe it’s already been over 4 years since L.A. Noire first came out. I remembered hearing a great deal about it at the time, and really wanted to play it, but unfortunately back then I didn’t have a PS3 of my own. I’d almost completely forgotten about it until we were in Game Stop the other day and it was on sale for $5. So I finally decided to pick it up and try it.

I haven’t even gotten close to finishing it, I don’t think, but I really love it already. The story is based in post-WW2 Los Angeles, and the main character is a former decorated Marine and new cop. You start playing as a patrol officer, and immediately head off to a murder scene, which by going above and beyond to solve, you quickly begin to move up the ranks of the force to detective. From there you start investigating cases one at a time, including some homicides reminiscent of the Black Dahlia, and…that’s as far as I’ve gotten. And sorry, but I’m loving the story-line so much I don’t want to spoil it for myself.

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My Current Nostalgia: Nancy Drew Part 1

Nancy Drew

My first part of my journey through playing the Nancy Drew games went very quickly; I actually had the time and I got hooked easily. I couldn’t play the first two because of computer compatibility issues, so I started with the third and played straight through to the twelfth in what felt like a matter of days. Since then, I’ve been busy and life has taken over my gaming time (don’t you just hate that?)

The mysteries are point and click mysteries, which mean that they can be a little cumbersome, especially at the beginning of the series. I had forgotten how tedious movement could be in the older ones because I had played some of the newer ones recently, and so jumping back felt like a time warp. The graphics have certainly improved since the games first started, but they are not as awful as other early 2000’s games that I’ve played before.

The games also include a feature called “Second Chance,” which I almost wish every game would have. I know you can save and load games easily, but the Second Chance feature streamlines the process and makes it easier if you goof (and didn’t know that you were about to make a goof that would end the mystery, and therefore didn’t save before doing it). My favorite use of this feature when replaying is seeing all the silly things you can make Nancy do, like falling over balconies or waking people up in the middle of the night and having them kick you out of the house.

When I first wrote this post, it was way too long. So instead, we’re going to do ND Mysteries summed up by two sentences. Let’s see how this goes.

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Re-Watching Arrow versus Flash

Image from DC Comics at dccomics.com

Image from DC Comics at dccomics.com

Being sick last week meant I had a lot of time where I was sitting around just doing nothing and trying not to feel worse. So, I decided to binge re-watch Arrow and Flash. Re-watching these shows revealed even further how different they are.

Throughout re-watching each of the shows it revealed some fundamental structural differences in how they are put together. Arrow is more about an over-arching sense of seeking justice and usually a continuing fight against a larger mysterious villain. Flash definitely comes across as more monster- (or more accurately meta-human) of-the-week. In the end it made Arrow a bit more re-watchable than Flash. Continue reading

Netflix Discovery: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Have you tried playing Netflix’s “Max,” their quiz program that is supposed to help you decide what to watch when you’re at a loss? I have…

And it tends to recommend rubbish. Or at least things that don’t fit my mood. I think I told it I liked Mulan once (who doesn’t?) and suddenly all it would recommend to me was Eddie Murphy movies, and not even the good ones. It’s a fantastic idea, just usually poorly executed.

I generally have more luck reading the descriptions and saying, “why not?” Based on the description for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which combined the terms “flapper” and “lady detective,” I figured this was a show I would love. I was right!

Set in late 1920’s Melbourne, the show focuses on the Honourable Phryne (pronounced fry-knee) Fisher, who has returned to her hometown of Melbourne for good after over a decade in Europe. Almost as soon as she arrives, she stumbles upon the apparent murder of her friend Lydia’s husband, which leads to a cocaine smuggling ring and also an illegal abortionist. Along the way, she meets Detective Jack Robinson and his Constable Hugh Collins, who resist her help and yet, as with any good amateur detective show, they start working together over the series.

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My Current Nostalgia: Nancy Drew

Maybe it was because I was watching a new mystery show on Netflix (post on that to follow, I’m sure), but I got the biggest urge recently to play the Nancy Drew computer games I used to play with my mom. They were the absolute BEST, and I hadn’t played them in ages, so I decided to pick one up and play.

And now, I’m absolutely hooked. I’m going through those mysteries like they’re…some sort of candy I loved in the ’90s when I was first playing these games.

The first one I ever played with my mom was Message in a Haunted Mansion. And oh my GOSH was it scary but also so, so fun. I think when I played it I was nine or so, and looking back I can’t believe it didn’t give me more nightmares then. I think what I loved about it though was how based on history it was, and how complicated but fun the puzzles were.

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image via

Each of the Nancy Drew games has an underlying theme that the puzzles and mysteries are all usually based on, and the puzzles, themes, clues, and underlying mystery will revolve around those tidbits of real history and culture. Nancy is usually called to the location she’s at because there have been accidents, someone is missing, someone was killed, or sometimes poor Nancy is on vacation and stumbles upon a mystery. Either way, the mysteries flow like the books do or like watching Scooby Doo – if there’s something supernatural going on, Nancy will figure out which suspect is behind it all and how they were pulling it off.

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