The Walking Dead – No Man’s Land

The Walking Dead No Man's Land

The Walking Dead No Man’s Land

I love videogames, but I’m not really into playing them on phones, since their screens are usually small and the controls for mobile games are generally terrible. That’s probably why it has taken me so long to download No Man’s Land, the official Walking Dead mobile game. I finally broke down though, and decided to try it.

No Man’s Land is fun, so I could see how obsessive gamers who delight in micromanaging characters and camps could get addicted to it, however I’m far from hooked. Part of my middling sentiment comes from its controls (which aren’t great) and the other part comes from the type of game it is (not one of my favorites). Is No Man’s Land worth your time? Here’s a breakdown of the game in greater detail so you can decide.

Story: There’s not much story from what I can tell so far other than the game’s setup. You control a group of three survivors who escape from Terminus and are rescued by Daryl Dixon in the process. Daryl becomes your guide, telling you where to go next or encouraging you to undertake missions through dialogue boxes. Missions involve you killing walkers to acquire items or points you can use toward them. Once you complete all the missions for a particular area you can move on to new ones.

Graphics: The graphics for cutscenes in the game are amazing. If you told me a few years ago that mobile games could achieve these visuals without killing your phone’s battery I would have never believed you. During regular gameplay though, graphics are just okay, particularly on loading screens and when the game zooms out to a wider view during missions.

Controls: You tap items on screen with your fingers, and move characters by dragging your fingers across the screen. This element of the game is especially frustrating. Sometimes the game is under-responsive to your tapping, while other times it is over-responsive. Plus, dragging your finger across the screen in even slightly the wrong direction, can move your character in such a way that they could accidentally finish a turn and be sitting ducks to get damaged by walkers.

Game Type: It’s somewhere between an RPG and a strategy game. During a mission, battles take place in a turn format, where you are limited to a number of moves per turn, and zombies have the opportunity to fight back while you’re waiting for the next turn. When you’re between missions, you have a camp with various areas where you can build things, train characters, and work toward upgrades. You can change who is in your party and you can also adjust the armor and items that they use.

Is it Worth Your Time?: So in the end, is No Man’s Land worth it? Depends on the type of gamer you are. If you get easily addicted to performing repetitive missions and you love micromanaging characters to build them up, then yeah, you’ll probably dig the game. If you prefer something more story-driven with better controls and more challenging puzzles, then you’re better off checking out Telltale’s episodic Walking Dead games on console or PC. Those games are much more fascinating since the decisions you make can affect the entire course of your game. Look out for posts on those in the future too.

No Man’s Land is available for iPhone in the App Store and on Android on the Google Play. 

Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16: Last Day on Earth

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I had a number of big things going on which made it difficult to maintain this site on top of my film writing and my podcast, so I had to step away for a while. Now that everything has calmed down a bit though, I’ve decided to resurrect Blogging Dead. Plus, after I saw the explosive and divisive Walking Dead Season 6 finale, there was no way I could just sit back without saying anything.

Big changes are coming to the site (mainly in how recaps are structured), but I’ll catch you up on those and tell you more about what I’ve been doing in an upcoming post. For now, let’s just talk about the Season 6 finale.

As usual there are spoilers ahead, so don’t read on unless you’ve already seen it.

The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16: Last Day on Earth

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16

In the entire time I’ve been a fan of the show, I’ve never been as on edge about a character’s fate as I was after the previous episode “East.” Seeing Daryl get shot in the final moment of the episode was so nerve-wracking that I had to rewind it at least three times to make sure he wasn’t dead. So going into the finale I was already anxious about that. I became even more frightened though due to a wild theory I developed that Rick might die. This theory was mainly based on an interview with Andrew Lincoln where he mentioned staying up all night after reading the finale’s script, a fuzzy screenshot featuring Negan’s baseball bat Lucille with a person wearing a white t-shirt in the background, and Rick’s new romance with Michonne. Killing him off would be daring and really change the show’s dynamic.

On top of those worries, the finale itself was an exercise in tension. Between the situation happening with Carol, and the one with Rick and his crew, I was scared for everyone. I spent the entire time clutching my fiancée’s hand tightly, ready to pee my pants long before Negan uttered his famous line about doing so, thanks to Greg Nicotero’s masterful direction. When Negan finally made his debut in the episode’s final minutes, he was amazing. Jeffrey Dean Morgan knocked his big scene out of the park, to use a baseball metaphor. One thing Scott M. Gimple and his writing team did not knock out of the park though, was the episode’s ending.

After building up tension to a volcanic peak, the season ended on a bullshit note with a first person shot of an unknown character getting their brains bashed in by Negan. On Talking Dead, Gimple said his reason for doing so was because this character’s death marked the end of one arc and the beginning of another one next season, but that’s not only baloney, it’s just unfair to do to your audience following that level of build up. Sure he cited other television shows that have done cliffhanger finales, although those situations pale in comparison to this one. Showing who died would have just as much impact, if not more because you’d be left wondering how things could continue.

Now that I’ve properly vented, let’s talk theories about who died. I’ve heard a few like, Glenn because that’s how it goes down in the comics, Eugene because he was finally starting to find his way, Sacha because Abraham would lose it, or Rosita because it would be a blow to the Alexandrian army she has been training. I plan to rewatch the finale again to come up with a rock solid theory, but here are the two most promising ones I’ve heard.

Abraham

The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“Last Day on Earth” was a big episode for Abraham. He expressed the desire to have a child with Sacha, he made up with Eugene, and he refused to be intimidated by Negan, sitting up straight to look at him. When Negan swings Lucille and declares that whoever it is took it like a champ, Abraham might be the only one who could take a beating like that without dying on the first blow.

Daryl

The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The episode’s other first person shots were of Daryl or someone else in the van covered in a hood. Also, Norman Reedus now has a motorcycle show on AMC which would probably conflict with shooting the Walking Dead. Plus, he’s the only cast member who has said publicly that he knows who died and it’s “gut wrenching.” Finally, Daryl is one of the only characters not in the comic so killing him on the show would be a game changer.

Until I re-review the episode, my money is on Abraham, because I just don’t see how they could kill Daryl without a fan revolt.

Who do you think died in The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16? Take the poll below or leave a comment with your thoughts and theories.

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailers: Surviving Together and Another Day

Hey everyone, I know it’s been ages since I’ve done a post and that I’m way behind on recaps. Sorry about that. Things have been super crazy with graduate school and other endeavors. Eventually I’ll finish recapping Season 4 and the first half of Season 5, but I thought I’d return with some thoughts on the two most recent trailers for the second part of The Walking Dead Season 5. Check them out below.

Note: Normally I’d just embed them, but I can’t figure out a way to embed them without having both autoplay at once, so I’ll give you links to spare you the dual audio.

Surviving Together

“All that matters is surviving together.” That’s basically the only thing that’s said during this teaser for second half of The Walking Dead Season 5. The trailer doesn’t tell you anything, but it’s still fun watching Rick and his crew marching through the foggy woods, looking really determined while they fire heavy artillery at unseen forces. Are they fighting humans or walkers? Does it really matter? The show will still continue to ask tough questions and to keep us guessing about what it means to be human in a decaying post-apocalytpic world.

Another Day

This trailer for the second half of The Walking Dead Season 5 tells you a little more about what we’ll be seeing, but not a whole lot. Looks like everyone is back on the road again, fighting through zombie-filled roads on their way to some unknown destination. Maybe they’re headed to Virginia like when they take residence at the community in the comics? Despite all that they’ve been through, people still seem to be hopeful about the future, especially Tyreese and Michonne who are talking about things not being over and living to have another chance.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when the show returns. How about you? What do you think will happen in the second part of Season 5?

Dear Diary: Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 (Inmates)

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers.

At the start of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 (Inmates) I had no idea who Beth was addressing. I wasn’t sure if she was talking in her head, to the audience, or maybe even aloud to her dead mother as a form of therapy. I felt dumb though once I realized she was rereading pages from her diary. The show’s writers use these entries in a fascinating and memorable way to contrast her hopefulness when she was at the prison with her despair now that she and Daryl are separated from everyone else.

Even through all the terrible things that have happened, Beth is still optimistic that they will reunite with the others and get back on track. But not Daryl. It’s shocking to see how despondent he has become. For the first time ever, I wanted to kick him when he says to Beth “Faith ain’t done shit for us. Sure as hell didn’t do nothin’ for your father.” What a low blow, assy thing to say to her so soon after Hershel’s death. It’s his guilt over this statement that probably allows her to convince Daryl they should track down other survivors from the prison. So at least a positive comes from it.

One of the odd things about this episode is that everything seems to happen out of order chronologically. Most of the people seem to be in the same places, like the prison bus in the middle of the road or the train tracks, but at different times. I think the show’s writers are telling us that the timing just isn’t right for a reunion yet. However it’s pretty annoying that they come crossing paths without bumping into each other.

There are some pretty fantastic surprises in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 that make up for the lack of that major reunion though. First, we find out that Judith is alive (phew), with Tyreese, Lizzie, and her sister all stumbling in the woods together. Lizzie shows us more of her crazy side by almost smothering Judith, which isn’t all that that unexpected. Then we see the return of Carol, something I didn’t suspect would happen so soon. She casually lies to Tyreese about her whereabouts since he still doesn’t know about her transgressions. It works and they walk away down the tracks.

Another unexpected revelation involves Maggie’s group where we discover that Bob has completely changed his attitude because he’s alive. Pretty drastic turnaround. Probably the craziest reveal happens after Glenn wakes up at the prison. He mourns, gathers his stuff, and throws on his riot gear (good plan), before reluctantly joining forces with Tara. They start traveling, but Glenn collapses quickly from exhaustion providing the perfect opportunity for new character introduction right at the end of the episode. Tada! Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita from the comics have arrived with sassy line to close things out.

That brings us to this week’s poll directed toward fans of The Walking Dead comics: Were you happy that Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita joined the show?

New Characters in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10

In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 (Inmates) we get to meet some new characters. If you’re a fan of the The Walking Dead comics you probably know them well. How do you feel about their introduction?

To chat more with me about The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode, check out my full post on the episode, to let me know what you think.

Home Alone 6: The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 4 post contains spoilers. 

Since everyone was just forced to run away, you wouldn’t expect The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 (After) to resume at the prison. But episode director Ernest R. Dickerson takes you back again to remind you about the carnage that transpired there as he moves his camera that through thick smoky clouds, past The Governor’s corpse, before settling on Michonne.

It becomes clear in this opening scene that our solitary heroine will be a focus of this episode, which is great because we still haven’t learned much about her. Unfortunately our payment for spending time with her is witnessing her somber task of destroying Hershel’s zombie head and making new walker pets.

Michonne is a lonely soul, so tortured by her inner demons that she pushes everyone else away. But in this episode she realizes that isolation just leaves her with mindless shambling corpses for company, a discovery that comes when she angrily massacres a group of walkers. Although the outburst is satisfying on a visceral level, it also represents and important emotional turning point for Michonne. She needs humans to give her life meaning, particularly Rick and Carl. I’m happy that she decides to track them down.

Another gratifying part of The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 is finding out more of Michonne’s back story. I’m thrilled that the show’s writers made her an upper-class person like Robert Kirkman implied that she was in his Walking Dead comics. The only thing that I think sucked about this section of the episode though, is that Michonne’s tale takes the form of dreamed hallucinations,  so it’s difficult to tell what actually happened in her life.

The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 also focuses on another character who is on his own: Carl. After Rick’s injuries leave him incapacitated, Carl must fend for himself, as he stars in an annoying film I like to call, Home Alone 6: Lost in Zombieland.

Understandably Carl harbors a lot of hatred toward his father for what he perceives as Rick’s failures as a leader. Carl gets pretty sassy while Rick’s still conscious and even tells him off once Rick is out cold. Yet as much as Carl wants to think he’s an adult and try to act like it, he still needs Rick. You want to smack the boy as he carelessly walks around looking for food and nearly gets bitten several times due to his lack of caution. The dumbass even loses his shoe.

As stupid as I feel that segment is, I think the episode wraps up nicely once Rick regains consciousness and reconciles with his son. The icing on the cake is a charming moment where Michonne finds them and knocks on the door. It’s cute and funny when Rick laughs and says to his son “It’s for you.”

What do you think Michonne was doing on the other side of the door? Holding comic books? Holding Carl’s shoe? Or just waving? And finally, this week’s poll: Did you hate Carl seeing on his own as much as I did?

Carl’s Alone Time in The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9

In The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 9 (After), Carl spends some time on his own. How did you feel about that part of the episode?

To talk more with me about The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode, check out my full post on the episode, to let me know what you think.