Howard the Duck (PG)

Howard the Duck did an issue parodying Star Wars, so I guess it was only fitting George Lucas tried his hand at Howard the Duck. Shame it only worked one way.

At first, you can kinda see how Howard the Duck is trying to interpret the comics to film, with Howard getting dumped into a world of hairless apes and slowly accepting he's stuck there so might as well try to fit in while hooking up with the first human he bumps into. Then somebody decided that a concept that carried a monthly comic book wasn't going to carry a feature length movie, and it turns into a shitty proto-Men in Black.

I can't even figure out who this movie is for. It's not for kids because one of the first shots of the movie is an anthro duck with her tits out, there's implied bestiality with Howard and Beverly in bed, and no kid is going to want to watch the body horror of the doctor's transformation into the Dark Overlord. But at the same time you've got the dipshit lab assistant trying to be silly for all the kiddies, and they go out of their way to make sure no humans are killed. Not even the scientist whose body the Dark Overlord parasitizes to enter the "real" world. Yeah, they keep saying the Dark Overlord killed the scientist and took over his body, but then Howard blows something up with a laser and separates him from the Dark Overlord and he's fine, I don't get it either.

And it's certainly not for fans of Howard the Duck because it takes itself way too seriously. What were the villains like in the comics? A vampire cow, and a guy with a bell on his head called "Dr. Bong," Darth Donnie and Marie who shoot lasers out of their teeth, and a barbarian wearing a tie who dies after Howard fires a novelty gun at him. Here you've got some dark god from beyond time and space who ends up looking like the Rock's Scorpion King form knocked up the Rancor (I honestly can't tell if how bad the Dark Overlord looks after all that buildup was supposed to be a joke I'm not getting, or somebody legit thought that was terrifying). Maybe the movie would have worked better if George Lucas had stuck to comedy, but, well, you can come up with your own Jar-Jar Binks joke. And don't get me started on that tedious glider chase that wouldn't fucking end.


Wario Land 3 via 3DS eShop (E10+)

Instead of Wario Land 2's linear level-based structure, Wario Land 3 has a Mario World-esque overworld allowing you to freely visit levels, collecting treasures and powerups in that unlock new levels or open new paths in old ones. It gives the game an almost Metroidvania feel. It's also neat to see the world of the music box grow and become more alive as you progress through the game. Otherwise the gameplay loop is the same as 2, with the focus on platforming and mangling an invincible Wario getting to get through obstacles. There is one minor sidenote to this: nothing could truly kill you in 2, but the final boss of 3 can give you a Game Over.

Although it's kinda weird that the upgrades are almost all things Wario could do from the get-go in Wario Land 2: charging, doing a ground pound, picking up enemies, picking up larger enemies, etc. The only exception is the flippers that allow him to swim against a weak current. So it feels less like progression and more like getting back to where you were before. But hey, I guess Wario knows how Mega Man feels.

However, there are two aspects of the game that can fuck right off. The first if the golf minigame you have to play to open paths to several treasures. The second is levels like Sea Turtle Rocks where you have to tortuously mine out the entire level with the charge and ground pound. As if the first time wasn't bad enough, you'll have to mine out the levels again on return visits.