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GUIDES

Eric McAdams


You Should Get Into Sumo — Here’s Why (and How)

Getting someone into a new sport is a daunting proposition. Unlike video games or other hobbies, there’s an underlying perception that sports fans are born, not made. Baseball fans are baseball fans because their parents forced them to play it as kids, not because some weirdo on the internet (hi)…

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Sumo

SPORTS

‘Good Job’ Review: A Jorb Well Done

Games that play with physics are often much funnier than games that have actual written jokes. I don’t mean to downplay character-driven, witty writing in games, but the fact of the matter is that a mechanic that makes things explode for no reason will nearly always be funnier than anything…

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Good Job

REVIEWS

My Hero Academia and the Problem of the Supercop

Izuku Midoriya is a classically “good” protagonist. The main character of My Hero Academia is characterized by an earnest desire to help as many people as possible and an unshakeable ambition to live up to the example of his mentor, All Might, by becoming a hero himself. He is smart,…

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My Hero Academia

In Netflix’s Castlevania, Vampires Are Scary Because They’re Smart

What makes a vampire scary? Is it that they’re immortal? Is it that they can shapeshift, physically overpower you, and drain your blood with their teeth? Is it that their undead nature might be tied to Satan himself?  Well, in Netflix’s Castlevania, vampires are scary because they’re smarter than you.…

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Castlevania

The Devilish Delight of ‘Diablero’

A woman dies in Mexico City, killed by some kind of demon. With her dying breaths, she calls for a priest, but instead of asking for last rites, she tells him her daughter has been kidnapped, and that he is the father.  This is the inciting incident of Diablero, Netflix’s…

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Diablero

The Half-Death of the Black Widow

There are a lot of very obvious reasons why Marvel Studios should have made the upcoming Black Widow solo film three years ago, but perhaps the biggest one is that in the current MCU, Black Widow  — as played by Scarlett Johansson — is dead. Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame, I…

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Why Won’t You Watch Joe Pera Talks with You?

Joe Pera Talks With You is a perfect television show, and it is absolutely impossible to get anyone to watch it. Hold these two facts in your mind. Accept that they are both true, even though they seem to form an obvious contradiction.  Maybe your mind is too weak for…

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Why Can Sad Games Be So Relaxing?

I’m not much for chill video games. Farming and city simulators, puzzle games without time limits, relentlessly happy rhythm games –– none of them have ever felt all that relaxing for me. I’d rather relax with a complex narrative, a platformer, or an RPG. Which is why Old Man’s Journey,…

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How Apex Legends Taught Me to Love the First-Person Shooter

A confession: I hate first person shooters. This isn’t because I’m shockingly bad at them (though I certainly am), but because of an admittedly idiosyncratic feeling: that I’m not seeing enough of the action. Having grown up on third-person games, I feel discombobulated not being able to see my character…

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With Onward, Pixar is Still Stuck in the Suburbs

Pixar’s Onward just hasn’t grabbed me so far. The big gimmick of the film is that it takes high fantasy creatures, magic, and tropes and transposes them onto modern suburbs exactly like those you’d see near any American city. This is played like it’s a clever twist — and for any other studio, it…

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Onward

The Music of the Great British Baking Show is Perfect

There are a lot of reasons why The Great British Baking Show is one of the most beloved cooking competition shows ever to hit television. Pretty much every contestant is adorably likable, the structure of the challenges is relatively novel, and the hosts treat tense situations with equal amounts of…

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The Great British Baking Show

Is Anthem Worth Ten Dollars?

I bought Anthem for twenty dollars. Back when developer BioWare was hyping it up as the new prestige multiplayer game, a sci-fi action experience to rival Bungie’s Destiny, that would have seemed impossible. But eight months out from launch, after a release plagued with issues and a failure to sustain ongoing interest,…

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Later Alligator is a Comedic Noir Adventure Game (With Alligators)

I fell in love with Later Alligator less than ten minutes into my first playthrough. I was playing Three Card Monte with an alligator named Slick Mickey, a character notable among the game’s cast for two reasons — neither of them are that he’s an alligator. First, he’s not actually any…

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FEATURES

Mindhunter and the Optics of Murder

There’s a scene in the second episode of the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter where Special Agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) sits in a bar with a Kansas policeman, discussing the BTK Killer, aka Dennis Rader. “We’ve lost a lot of the original task force over the years,” the Kansas…

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FEATURES

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Is All About Power, But Doesn’t Understand It

Fire Emblem has has always been a franchise that juxtaposes the florid magic of fantasy roleplaying games with the grim realities of war. Protect your troop of idiosyncratic anime children from death as you save the world from an evil dragon and/or sorcerer, bathe in the blood of your enemies…

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FEATURES

Is Fire Emblem Heroes Secretly the Best Game in the Series?

I played Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn in the summer of 2008. It was my first Fire Emblem game, and despite it being a sequel I found myself swept up in its melodramatic story, its larger-than-life characters, its expansive fantasy world, and its strategic, exacting combat. I went on to play…

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FEATURES

BAKI is “Guys Being Dudes”: The Anime

Editor’s Note: This piece was written collaboratively by Eric McAdams and Thomas Loughney. “I want to taste defeat.”  This is the mantra spoken by five death row inmates at the beginning of Netflix’s BAKI, the second anime adaptation of Keisuke Itagaki’s manga Baki the Grappler. Instead of retreading the origins…

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FEATURES

Why Loving the Source Material Isn’t Enough to Make a Good Movie

There are moments where a movie loses you. You haven’t rejected or embraced it yet, until you witness one moment that drives you over the edge and forces you to give up on the work as a whole. In 2019’s Hellboy reboot directed by Neil Marshall, that moment came for…

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FEATURES

Why on Earth Isn’t There a Pokémon Animal Crossing Game?

The Pokémon franchise has been a global phenomenon for over twenty years. Everyone knows what it is, and to a certain extent, criticism of the series simply doesn’t matter anymore. The formula still sells, so there’s not a whole lot of incentive for Nintendo to change it up. But that…

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FEATURES

Growing Up in Mob Psycho 100

Kageyama Shigeo just wants to be a good person. Shigeo — better known as Mob — is the protagonist of Mob Psycho 100, an anime adaptation produced by Bones and directed by Tachikawa Yuzuru, based on the webcomic of the same name by ONE, the creator better known for One…

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FEATURES