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Harold Halibut

A 'cosy' little story that might be a little too cosy for its own good.

Harold encounters a snail-like alien under the sea - from Harold Halibut
 

I'm off to Spain for a break at the end of this week, so this week and the next two weeks are going to be even lighter than usual as a result of getting away from everything for a bit, but I should be back up to speed by the end of May.

 

MOVIES

- Nothing new watched, but I have sat through and immensely enjoyed Kung Fu Panda again, in anticipation of re-watching Kung Fu Panda 2 for the week after next.


- Then it'll be on to Kung Fu Panda 3, which I've not actually seen before, and stopping there as I neither own a copy of the fourth movie and neither is it streaming anywhere... yet.


GAMES

- After somewhat enjoying the demo, I was very happy to see that Harold Halibut was available on Game Pass and worked my way through it almost like a TV show, doing 30-60 minutes per day.


- That feeling was helped with how little there is to actually do, with the game consisting almost entirely of going from location to location and speaking with the people there.


- It's not exactly a visual novel or 'walking simulator', as there is a lot of optional content that has little to do with the main story which you can seek out if you're achievement hunting.


- Aside from those quasi-exploration elements, this is a pretty straightforward tale that has no real challenge, although that does mean everyone who likes the story should be able to see it to the end.


- Whether you like the story is another matter, as it's very slow-paced during the times you have control of Harold, interspersed with montages and time skips as needed.


- Ultimately, the plot of trying to launch the FEDORA-1 from it's current underwater location isn't that interesting, as the story is really about the title character.


- The meat of the game is really following the interactions Harold has with the other characters and how he feels he relates to them, and what he really wants from his life.


- I have to admit that I was somewhat underwhelmed as things started to wrap up, until Harold made a choice that resulted in what I felt was a surprisingly bittersweet ending, albeit with the emphasis on 'sweet'.


- Honestly, I can see why some reviewers were down on the game as they presumably had to race through it as quickly as possible for a deadline, but that approach really won't work for this game, so let that be a warning.


- I genuinely believe that if I had tried to get through the game any faster than I did, then I probably would've enjoyed it less than I did, as it became an enjoyable way to end my day while it lasted.


- Even then, some of the times when I went close to an hour at once were pushing at the limits of my tolerance for the very sedate nature of the game.


- Despite these criticisms, I can't fault the voice performers and their efforts, with Andrew Nolen as Harold being enjoyable as the main character and I loved Sally Beaumont's performance as the alien, Weeoo.


- Then there's the obvious excellence of the stop-motion based visuals, which are just a delight from start to finish and help make the game to stand out very distinctly from just about every other game going.


- There are moments when the camera angles or lighting don't quite work, but those occasions are few and far between thankfully.


- And even then, those moments are balanced out by scenes which look so good and so much like you're watching a stop-motion animated show that it's incredible to realise that this is actually interactive.


- I was more emotionally affected by the ending than I thought I would be while playing Harold Halibut, especially with the disappointing ending to the central plot, but I think it's at least worth trying out even if just for the visuals alone. [6/10]


TV

- I have finished The West Wing's fourth season and I have written out what I want to say about it, but that will have to wait until next week so I'm not spending my time on holiday having to 'work'!

 

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