KRAMPUS ISN’T ALL THAT BAD

Since it’s release, a lot of vitriol has been directed toward KRAMPUS, the follow up film from TRICK OR TREAT-director Michael Dougherty’s new cinema soiree. And while it is clear that Krampus isn’t of quite the same ilk as it’s predecessor, we of The Face Eaters wish to make the following public service announcement. Just give it a go. You may, as we did, actually find it to be an amusing ride. Lower your admittedly ill-informed expectations, have some fun…it really isn’t THAT bad. It’s sorta fun…

AND bleak as f***…

FINAL SCORE: B-

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ROCKET LEAGUE REVIEW

THIS ARTICLE WAS SUBMITTED BY OUR OWN BADASS GAME CRITIC, TRAVIS M.

Rocket League is the successor or sequel to a last gen game so horribly named Super-Sonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this based on the title and the tutorial was so slow moving that I never even reached the gameplay before I gave up on it. Thank goodness I didn’t make that mistake with Rocket League. Rocket League was a free game for the month of July for Playstation Plus members. Deciding that I had enough of the tutorial from the previous game, I jumped right in. I would recommend the same approach to anyone picking up this game for the first time because if you’ve played ANY racer, you have enough of a handle on how to control your RC-type vehicle in Rocket League to jump into your first match. R2 to accelerate and left stick to steer. This is all you need to be hooked from the first go. There is are obviously more to it, but that’s the beauty. Rocket League nails so many video game formulas right on the head that it can become hours of endless matches. The first formula being easy to access, difficult to master.

In a shell, Rocket League is a soccer game with an oversized ball and undersized RC cars to put said ball into the opponent’s goal. The arenas are set up in a way that the action only stops in the event of a score, with recessed goals and quarter pipe sidelines and baselines the ball is always in play. You have various moves to help you navigate the ball from front flips to barrel rolls and even bicycle hits. The physics of Rocket League, with the help of the Unreal Engine, are so finely tuned that executing a perfect hit on the ball is not all that difficult, yet rewarding. Get reckless, and you can miss the ball entirely. It quickly becomes a game of angles and physics which makes me think of why I enjoy billiards, Peggle, and Portal so much.

Visuals in the game are excellent. The arenas are vast and stunning. The grass moves like each individual blade was placed in a specific spot. There are visual aids that not only look good but serve purpose. The ball will move with tracers indicating not only direction, but rotation, speed and which team applied the hit. Push the ball through the plain of the goal and the portion inside looks like it’s being absorbed by white noise in a TV. Once all the way through, the ball will explode, sending nearby cars careening back toward mid-field. This is followed by a replay which takes great angles, smartly includes assists if applicable and slow-mo’s for the shot on goal.

Speaking of shot on goal, any shot on goal if missed will net you some XP. You’ll earn XP most obviously for goals but another way that Rocket League make you feel rewarded is for showing you XP earned for things like saves, clearing the ball from in front of you goal, assists, centering the ball in front of your opponents goal, and even pulling cool maneuvers such as bicycle hits and aerial hits. XP is only used to unlock visual upgrades to make your car uniquely yours. There are no tangible advantages such as speed, boost, jump height, which can be upgraded. The physics of every car you can choose which range from a lambo to Sweetooth’s ice cream truck all behave the same. This makes the game very much about my skill vs your skill with nothing regarding the time you put in equating to a “stats” based advantage. This also lends to the first formula, in keeping online matches fun for beginners.

Matches can be 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4. 4v4 being most appropriately named “CHAOS”. Online bugs have been mostly worked out with the use of dedicated servers. Rocket League is also cross-platform/cross-online with PC via PSYNET. This helps to keep the servers full and matches going. 16 quick access statements help you communicate with your team, or both teams on the fly. From “I got it” to “#@!$”, you can tell your team or the opponent “Nice shot” or “Great Pass”. Bots will drop in seamlessly when a player leaves if another player is not immediately found, which you should pay attention to. You can play online aggressively or conservatively, but the best strategy is to assess your opponent’s skill level first keeping an eye on the tactics the employ and/or their accuracy. From there you can guard like hell or play with reckless abandon, but once bots drop in, keep in mind that robot’s methods may vary but they are always are accurate.

Easy to pick up, difficult to master, awesome visuals, rewarding system and gameplay, responsive controls and physics, and functional online all make Rocket League an enjoyable time that’s tough to put down.

FACECON V, LIFE AFTER DEATH

The next official FACECON is APRIL 1st-3rd, 2016, in Georgetown, CO and the theme is LIFE AFTER DEATH!! Tickets will be on sale in the next week ARE ON SALE NOW and it’s gonna be a blast. Swag bags, event lanyards, amenities like a hot tub and pool table, cult flix, trash pics, games, fun,a dance party/mixer/costume party, the debut of the FACE EATERS PODCAST, the INFAMOUS FACECON TRIVIA as well as the next chapter in the ongoing story of EMILY SANDFORD. Also, Georgetown is supposedly totally haunted, the very place where they filmed PHANTOMS, conveniently located right of I-70, and utterly creepy so we are all likely to narrowly escape with our lives…at best. You may watch your co-attendees die in horribly sadistic and bloody ways before the weekend’s through, but rest assured that it WILL likely make for a great, albeit blood drenching and somewhat disturbing story to tell during holiday get togethers!!

Buy Your FaceCon V Tickets Here!

FCV in Georgetown, CO. Be there Or miss the madness!!

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GUY WALKS INTO A HABERDASHERY…

Well my little cultists, the purported “8th film”(are we miscounting?) by Quentin Tarantino, THE HATEFUL EIGHT has hit theaters and we here at the truly mad offices of FACECON.ORG were graciously, albeit surreptitiously, treated to a private screening days before the films release. It’s no small thing here that Tarantino has shot the entire film in ridiculously WIDE format 70mm Panavision, something rarely seen since the classic cinema days of BEN HUR and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. This extra cinematic space gives him more canvas on which to paint his vision than ever before and the end result is clear. The imagery is beautiful and sucks you right in, and the set pieces, limited though they may be, really imbue a sense of being there. That said, for this reviewer, a man who has spent the last 20 plus years worshipping at the altar of Quentin Tarantino, I must concede that this was initially a hard film to get my arms around. While I was somewhat influenced in my initial perception due to having read the leaked script a couple years ago, I was struck by just how dissimilar this is compared to his previous work. It’s essentially an homage to John Carpenter’s THE THING, that functions like THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, by way of an AGATHA CHRISTIE mystery. The dialogue, and I seem to be in the minority with this belief, is far below the standard usual carried by Quentin’s writing. The story isn’t wildly original(keep an eye on the similarities between this and the far superior RESERVOIR DOGS), the acting is okay, but no one aside from possibly Kurt Russell warrants any Oscar buzz. The whole thing just seems slightly unremarkable and even inferior to the original draft he wrote two years ago which saw changes to several key plot points including a full reworking of the entire third act. I found JACKIE BROWN to be the same way, however the difference here is that while my difficulty loving JACKIE BROWN feels like a shortcoming on my part, this one feels like a shortcoming on the directors behalf. I’ve warmed to it in successive viewings. It’s a good film, but it’s just OK, which is odd coming from the man once touted to be the single most visionary director of his generation and the last great hope for Hollywood. Call it hubris, call it predictable, but don’t call it his best work, just call it a good evenings viewing.

FINAL SCORE: B-

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