September 2022 media
Splatoon 3: Yes, it’s largely the same old Splatoon again, but I have no complaints about that. It’s still good enough to pull me out of my genre comfort zone—I haven’t played this much of a competitive multiplayer shooter since, well, Splatoon 2—and aesthetically it still runs laps around most any game out there. It’s the most impressive new IP from Nintendo in the last twenty years.
Trombone Champ: Trombone Champ is a rhythm game given the QWOP or Octodad treatment, mixing intentionally cumbersome controls with absurdist humor. The sound design and the expertly chosen public domain soundtrack were enough to carry it for me, but really the whole thing is filled with jokes. Maybe stay away if you have perfect pitch or a sensitive ear, but otherwise it’s worth at least a few songs.
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands: When Kate Beaton ended Hark! A Vagrant in 2018, I didn’t follow her to television or children’s books and lost track of what she was doing. I’m glad I still happened to catch a bit of the media blitz about Ducks, because it’s fantastic. Beaton’s autobiographical work has always been top notch—I loved the short comics she used to do about visiting with her family over Christmas—and it was great to read an expanded version of this story.