My last article: time to talk trash and recap

I was supposed to finish this article in 2022 along with everybody else in the Hoot E-board at the time, but I’m glad I didn’t until now. My undergrad years were like a dull, unfinished story. Thankfully, my two years as a grad student gave the narrative some much needed tension and a satisfying ending. […]

Dumbledore and bad writing ruined ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Numerous spoilers ahead.   After seeing “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” directed by David Yates, I think I’m done with the franchise at this point. I’m disappointed by how a series that was supposed to be about the adventures of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and the fantastic beasts has increasingly been hijacked by a […]

Elden Ring’s PVP is kinda broken right now

In my last article on “Elden Ring,” I hypothesized that its player vs. player (PVP) experience would feel very much like the one found in “Dark Souls 3” but with substantial improvements. Well, now that I have played “Elden Ring” for 200+ hours, I can say that this hypothesis is only half true at the […]

‘Elden Ring’ first impressions: the best game I’ve ever played!

After years of desperate waiting, “Elden Ring,” the spiritual successor to the “Dark Souls” series, is finally out. I already have 50 hours of play time on my belt, but I’m still nowhere close to finishing the singleplayer. Even so, I’m tempted to say that this is the best game I’ve ever played. It has […]

The love-destroying, friendship-ruining board game that is ‘Catan’

I often hear others and sometimes myself say something to the effect of “It’s just a game, bro.” But the truth is when you’re playing a game, it’s rarely “just a game.” In these moments of gameplay, it becomes the only thing that matters to you. And oftentimes you’re so focused on winning the game […]

I am cautiously optimistic about ‘YuGiOh! Master Duel’

“YuGiOh! Master Duel,” the much-anticipated, long-overdue official YuGiOh! simulator is finally out. I have been playing it every single day since its release and am having quite a lot of fun. But I think that’s because I already love YuGiOh! as a game and not because “Master Duel” is such a masterpiece. There are certainly […]

‘Gravity Rush’: An underrated classic doomed by a forgotten platform

I wonder who also remembers the PlayStation Vita (PSVita). It was a handheld gaming console that was released in 2011. It resembled the curved, slick look of the wildly popular PlayStation Portable (PSP), and it featured a touch screen, an additional touch pad at the back, cameras at the front and back and even motion […]

‘Angel’s Egg’: enigmatic, surreal, beautiful

Every worthy piece of art demands to be solved, its every aspect analyzed, until all is exhausted and its every secret is unearthed from the veil of its appearances. There is a great sense of joy when that is accomplished, and I take pride in thinking that I am mostly successful in such expeditions, to […]

‘Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor’ is the ultimate gambling show

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. Indeed, it is a cardinal sin to leave good works of art unappreciated. I held off on seeing “Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor” for so long, and only recently did I watch it and discover that it is a sublime masterpiece. My only path to redemption now is to spread […]

Hoot Recommends: Halloween edition

Stewart Huang:  Try “Dark Deception,” a first-person horror twist on “Pac-Man” where you are chased by spooky monsters like giant monkeys in elaborate mazes while collecting purple shards. It’s an intense arcade experience that will have you on the edge of the seat the entire time. And it’s quite an addictive and challenging game, featuring […]

Hoot staff recommends: Midterm music edition

Sasha Skarboviychuk When it comes to studying, the best background noise is silence. But in cases when my roommates or anything else in my surroundings is making noise, I opt for classical music. My big thing with this is that the music I listen to while studying cannot have lyrics; if the song has lyrics […]

Yu-Gi-Oh! 101

We’ve all heard of this classic card game and the hit anime show, but not a lot of people know how to play it, so let me give you the basics. Overview First, you and your opponent have to decide who goes first. You can do this by rock paper scissors, rolling dice or some […]

‘Final Fantasy XIV’ has the best community in any online game

“Final Fantasy XIV” was the perfect game for me back in August. I finally had tons of free time but couldn’t go outside due to the pandemic. As you would expect from a “massively multiplayer online game,” this game offers huge open worlds ripe for exploration, exciting adventures and characters to meet and be attached […]

‘Free Guy’ is pretty good without the guy

Directed by Shawn Levy, “Free Guy” is a film of two interconnected plots. On one hand, you have a coming-of-age story of Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a non-playable character (NPC) in the video game “Free City” who gains free will and awareness after falling in love with Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer), a player character. On the […]

Fall Flex 2021: a whole lot of waiting

I’ve never been to a Fall Flex, this time called “a welcome back concert,” so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I’m probably not mistaken in thinking that there was a lack of communication, and that the acts themselves, while mostly solid, weren’t exactly worth all that time anxiously waiting on a sunny day. […]

A tribute to Chaos Rings, the great mobile series that died too young

They don’t make mobile games like they used to anymore. The predatory “free-to-play,” “gacha” genre is far too profitable for most developers to deviate from. And no, mobile ports of classic games can hardly be considered real mobile titles. It’s depressing that almost all the good mobile games—ones that were specifically designed with the mobile […]

It Takes Two is the best co-op adventure

“It Takes Two” is a two-player, third-person action adventure where you and your partner play as Cody and May, a divorcing couple who suddenly find themselves as miniature wooden dolls, now held hostage by a talking relationship self-help book. He forces you to work together in a variety of co-op challenges and puzzles that are […]

It Takes Two is the best co-op adventure (where I got to be a sweaty tryhard)

“It Takes Two” is a two-player, third-person action adventure where you and your partner play as Cody and May, a divorcing couple who suddenly find themselves as miniature wooden dolls, now held hostage by a talking relationship self-help book. He forces you to work together in a variety of co-op challenges and puzzles that are […]

KFC made a dating sim and it’s a joke

Adding to the list of odd games my Steam friends saw me play, “I love you, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator” by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) (2019) is more of a glorified commercial than an actual dating sim, which is a shame because they could have done so much with it.  You […]