Sunday, December 30, 2012
I wasn't sure about this one, but I got it on DVD, and it's pretty good. I was expecting the new protagonist, Aaron Cross, to just be Jason Bourne with a new name and face, but that's completely not the case. Jason Bourne spends a lot of time trying to figure out his past and he often shows little to no emotion. That's not a bad thing, but that's the way it is. Aaron Cross knows exactly who he is and how he got where he is, but since Bourne had 2 objectives, learning about his past and not being killed by the government, it would've felt weird to keep the one about escaping the agency but have that be the only thing happening. Filling that void is the fact that Cross is physically and mentally enhanced using chemicals supplied by the agency, but now they want him dead, so they've obviously stopped giving him the pills he needs. If he stops taking chems, his mind will gradually deteriorate, and the only way to prevent this is to infect himself with the virus used to make the capsules he takes. Just like Bourne, Cross has a female companion whose life he saves more than once, and is also helped by her. I like that this movie feels like the previous three. The style has remained the same, it has some of the same CIA characters, and some little details like there being an assassination at the same train station where one was attempted in I believe the Bourne Ultimatum. What I don't like is that you can barely call this a Bourne movie. They talk about him a lot, but it seems like he has less than 20 seconds of screen time. And that's including pictures of him. I suppose they couldn't not put Bourne in the title, and going into it I had no illusions or expectations that it would be about Bourne, but it would've been nice if he was in it more. It's a good movie, but I just have trouble accepting a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne. Final verdict: This movie gets 4 green pills!
Friday, December 28, 2012
If you're like me, you thought this game looked cool when it was announced, but then were either too cheap and/or too lazy to pick it up when it came out. That's what I did, but now that I finally got it, I'm glad I did. It's probably the best stealth game I've played. The story is that the empress' body guard was framed for her murder, so then he goes on a quest for revenge and joins a group of rebels trying to undermine the newly instituted corrupt government. The best part of this game is the variety. There always seem to be at the very least two different ways of accomplishing your objective. You can go nonlethal or lethal when taking out enemies. If you choose the nonlethal route, your choices are limited to choking your target until he passes out and then moving his body somewhere out of the way, firing a sleeper dart with your crossbow, or just sneaking past them. You have way more choices though if you decide to go full assassin. You can sneak behind someone and stab them, you can use various weapons, make a noise and lure them into a trap that you have set up, or you aquire various magical powers throughout the game, so you can use them. The same applies to some obstacles. You can just disable them, climb over them, find a secret tunnel to go under, or anything else you find. Stealth is your best friend while playing this game, so save often, but don't worry if a guard sees you. The combat is pretty fun even though you can only take on so many enemies at at time. But I'll warn you it can get frustrating at times. The other thing is a problem I've encountered in some other games with similar healing systems. The only way to restore your health is with items you find or buy in the game world, so if you get caught with low health and no potions, you're quite likely in trouble. If you're looking for nostop action or to just slash and shoot your way through hordes of enemies, I suggest you pick up Darksiders 2, which is a terrific game if that's what you want. But if you lean towards stealth games, Dishonored is a must. Final verdict: This game gets 4.7 creepy masks!
Darksiders 1 was great, but for some reason I didn't get the second one right away. I finally got it, and it's like the first one but way better. Everything I liked in the first stayed the same, and the problems I had with it were fixed. Combat with War was cool for a while, then got a little repetitive, then cool again when you got a new weapon, then repetitive again, and so on. Largely because his combat revolves around his massive sword, but he only has a couple moves with it, so things got a bit stale. Death has lots of different combos and moves, plus he's much quicker more agile, so you're able to quickly dash around the battlefield, slashing through enemies. Plus he can climb way better than War ever could, plus he's able to do things like wall jumping or wall running. To put it briefly, he's a lot more ninja. Another improvement is the introduction of a loot system. Before, you got a new weapon once in a while, but not very often, and you could buy upgrades and powers, but I never ended up using them very much. It's much more interesting when you can pick up armor and weapons on the battlefield. Especially since there are more types of weapons with different styles, and you can actually get improved versions of your primary weapon. Also, you see a lot more personality from Death than War. There's considerably more dialogue, plus he just talks more, which I like. The only frustration I've gotten from this game is when I accidentally screw myself over and have to load a previous save. The only ways you can do this though is if you accidentally sell a really good unique weapon or piece of armor, or if you get into a tight spot with no healing potions. But these aren't that easy to do, since you'll usually have all the stuff you want to keep equipped and you can't sell things that are equipped, and you usually respawn at full health, so you'll be fine unless you're going into a pretty big fight. Final Verdict: This game gets 5 scythes!
Monday, December 24, 2012
With Christmas upon us once more, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about Christmas movies. Many of them are bad. Some of them are bad but funny. Some of them are actually pretty good. One in particular stands out for me though. It's kind of an old one now, but it was the first in a series that continues today, and possibly my favorite Bruce Willis movie. That movie is Die Hard. Right now, some people will be arguing that Die Hard isn't a Christmas movie. Especially since it has lines like "I'm gonna f***ing kill you, f***ing cook you, and f***ing eat you" . I beg to differ. And when I say beg, I'm not actually asking for anyone's permission, so I'm really just saying that I'm going to differ. Anyway, think about the plot of a movie. The whole thing can be summarized as a Christmas party gone horribly wrong. Sure, it's violent and has a fair amount of foul language, but that doesn't mean there's an absence of Christmas spirit. Good triumphs over evil, it has some Christmas music in it, and also my favorite way of showing holiday cheer: killing a terrorist, taking his gun, putting a Santa hat on his corpse, then writing "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." in blood on his shirt, then sending him down in an elevator to his buddies. That just makes me smile every time. As for the actual review, there's not much to say. It's a great action movie, and it's interesting because the hero is just a normal guy. He's not Chuck Norris stopping a chainsaw with his bare (bear) hands, or anyone like that. Both the protagonist and the antagonist are played by actors I like, the music is good, it has a good plot, and I can't really think of any real complaints about it. Final Verdict: This movie gets 5 Santa hats!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I've had this game for a while now, so I thought I might as well do a genius review of it. Probably the game's greatest strength is the protagonist. What an awesome protagonist. He has pretty much the same backstory as Robocop, but he looks and sounds more like Neo from The Matrix. He used to work in law enforcement in Detroit, but when he got badly injured from multiple gunshot wounds plus a fairly large explosion, he gets rebuilt using cybernetic parts. But the thing is, he was against cybernetic augmentations in the past, so now he has to deal with being an "aug." Hence his frequent use of the phrase "I never asked for this." And I do mean frequent. But that doesn't stop him from being cool. He wears a cool jacket, a cool voice, and he has tactical sunglass lenses over his eyes that can retract into his skull. Now that's just awesome. Plus it has a pretty cool story involving Adam Jensen taking down terrorists and never having asked for this. So Human Revolution gets top marks for concept, but it looses points on execution. The visual style of the city is cool, but getting around can be a real pain. I sometimes get lost on my way to my destination, or get annoyed because I have to crawl through outdoor air ducts between missions. I have no problem with crawling through vents in buildings during missions, but out in the city when I'm not doing anything? Come on. Also, you sometimes can't start a mission until you have the right augmentation, and augmentations are hard to come by, so there are times when you have very little to do. You're supposed to learn about what's going on in the world by reading ebooks, but I don't have time for that. I'd rather just find things out by talking to people. But that's a small issue. My biggest issue with the game is this: I know it's a stealth game and you're supposed to avoid being detected altogether, but even with all the augmentations he never asked for, just a couple bullets will kill Adam Jensen. He's a futuristic, cybernetic ex-SWAT member, so you'd think he would be a little tougher. He would be a great character for more of an action game than a stealth game. So it has a good story, a good concept, and a great protagonist, but the I found the gameplay a bit lacking. Final Verdict: This game gets 3.5 pairs of cybernetic sunglasses!
While not 100% accurate to the book, this was still a great movie. There were a couple concerns I had before seeing it, but they did a great job with it. One thing I was worried about is that the book has substantially more singing than the Lord of the Rings, so I was a little bit worried that the movie might overdo it. I generally don't like musicals very much, so I was very glad to see that that was not the case. My only other real worry was that the dwarves wouldn't be very cool, but now I realize how wrong I was. All the dwarves were tough and cool. Especially Thoren Oakenshield. The other person that I thought was especially cool was Gandalf. I've always loved Gandalf, but in the past, I would've liked to see him in more battles. We got to see that in The Hobbit. Especially when he, Bilbo, and the dwarves are fighting their way out of the goblins' underground lair. During that scene, we see Gandalf using magic to send goblins flying, cutting them down with his sword, bringing down boulders from above to squish them, and just being generally awesome. Also, since he's Gandalf the Grey, he shows more emotion and humanity than when he was Gandalf the White, which I thought was good. The actor who played Bilbo also did a great job. He really showed that Bilbo was just an ordinary hobbit, but he has courage and nobility and is becoming a hero. Compared to Lord of the Rings, there was also a good deal more humor in this movie, mostly from Bilbo and the dwarves. One of the only things that I didn't love about this movie is one scene involving storm giants. It's been a while since I've read any Tolkien, but I'm pretty sure those giants were just a Hollywood invention. Basically, the main characters were traversing a mountain range, but then the mountains stood up and revealed themselves to be colossal creatures made of rocks, then proceeded to start fighting. Huge rock elementals just don't feel like Tolkien. Don't misunderstand though; they were pretty cool and reminded me of the monsters from Shadow of the Colossus, or Titans from Castlevania that you have to climb up in order to defeat. They just felt too much like something that belongs in World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls, or even Darksiders instead of the Hobbit. I know they're making a trilogy out of one book, but I was hoping they would add things that seemed to belong a little more in that universe. A common complaint is about Radagast the Brown, another wizard who's kind of crazy and obsessed with nature. People say he's the Jarjar Binks of the Tolkien universe, but that's not entirely true. I didn't think he was that great and was a little annoyed by the fact that he has bird poop on him all the time, I didn't mind him that much. I think those are the only two things complaints I have, but the movie makes up for them with awesome music. It uses a little bit of the same music from the Lord of the Rings, but with a new and awesome main theme. Final Verdict: This movie gets 4.7 oaken shields!
Sunday, November 25, 2012
When this movie first came out, I skipped it, and as it turns out, I was right to do so. Last night, I found it on demand and watched it just in case it turned out to be good. No such luck. It had way too much background for the main character, and not one character in it was more than a simple, overused stock character. For example, there was the respected military guy who gets killed, his loser brother who became a man by joining the military, his girlfriend who was also the daughter of a strict military officer, etc. There was a lot of useless filler before the aliens came (A LOT), and there was also some after. The aliens themselves had some kind of cool stuff, like armor that reminded me of UNSC Spartans with transforming hand gadgets. Oh and that's the other thing. This was by far the worst Hasbro movie I've ever seen. Some people don't approve of movies based on cartoons, the earliest of which was based on a series of action figures, but I actually like the Bay Transformers trilogy. At least Transformers has an actual plot and a fairly complex story. Battleship is a board game where two groups of ships are inexplicably fighting, and the players have no background information on who's ships they are, why they're battling, what happened before this, what will happen after, why don't they have any way of aiming their guns besides random guessing, and various other conundrums. Maybe the fact that the game has no plot line is why the movie overcompensated with way too much background on the characters. Way more than anyone would ever want. There were some cool action scenes, but many of them were ruined by predictable and stale dialogue or obvious flaws in the writing. There were some references to the original game, like the aliens' bombs looking like the little plastic pegs, or the fact that the crew of the ship basically plays the game in real life. Most of the cast of this movie were pretty bad, including Rhianna. I'm not a fan of her to begin with, and I think she has no place in movies considering the aparent extent of her acting abilities. The only good actor was Liam Neeson, who has no place in movies like this. He belongs in good movies. I think it would've been cool if they cut out most of the filler at the beginning, brought the aliens in way sooner, then most of the way through the battle, Liam Neeson's daughter is Taken from him, then he grows awesome facial hair and fights aliens using martial arts, aided by the League of Shadows. That would be a cool movie. Especially if Bane befriends his daughter like in Dark Knight Rises, but becomes an ally of the League. I actually would love to see that made. And the daughter could turn out to be Talia. So it would be Ras al Ghul, Talia al Ghul, Bane, and the League of Shadows all fighting aliens. The characters that were actually in the movie can go die for all I care. Final Verdict: This movie gets 1 plastic peg!
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I was looking forward to seeing this movie for a while. I didn't have time to see it until yesterday, but it did not disappoint. This one was a little more like the old Bond movies than the last 2 were, but it didn't have any of their bad qualities. Bond was as cool as ever, and had some actual gadgets this time, which I thought were kind of lacking in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. And now Q is in it, but he's a young computery guy now. There were some elements of the old Q in him though, like asking Bond to bring back the equipment in one piece, and mentioning an exploding pen. The gadgets in this movie are more realistic and reasonable, so you have slightly more classic Bondness without getting away from Daniel Craig Bondness, if that makes any sense. Another thing that I liked was that in this movie, M played a much more central role than before, since the villain's main grudge was against her. I thought the villain himself was a little weird, but really evil and crazy, so he was pretty good. Another thing that I would've changed is that the final battle takes place at Bond's old house with him, M, and another dude named Kincade against the whole army of bad guys. I like Kincade, but he wasn't introduced until very shortly before the battle, and the only thing he did prior to the attack was preparing for the attack. In my sometimes humble opinion, it just would've been nice if he was first brought in either in the beginning of the movie, or mentioned somewhere in the middle, then not seen until near the end. I've heard that some people were bothered by James' suits looking too tight on him, but honestly, I didn't even notice that. And now that it's been pointed out to me, guess how much I care? Not at all. Also, I'm trying to avoid spoiling anything, but something I really liked is that near the end of the movie, Bond gets his awesome old car. Complete with hidden machine guns! In Casino and Quantum, I thought "That's a cool car, but it's too bad it doesn't have hidden guns or anything. They're trying to be realistic though, so I see why they didn't do that". Now, I got what I wished for. Well, saw what I wished for. Sadly, I didn't actually receive an awesome ride with concealed machine guns in the front. Sigh. But I did see a pretty good movie, so there's that. Final Verdict: This movie gets five cool cars!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
This game is awesome! When I first heard that the series would be continued by a different studio, I was worried they would ruin it. As I heard more about it and saw more trailers for it, that fear gradually subsided, and now it's completely gone. As you can probably guess from the title, Halo 4 feels just like previous Halo games. My only real complaints are that the mele button is the same as it was in Halo: Reach instead of the other games, and the fact that the plasma rifle has been replaced by a slightly less exciting version of itself called the storm rifle. But those are really small things. The game starts off with fighting just the Covenant, which is good, since if it started out with the Prometheans (the new enemy), it would just feel too different. Many of the weapons are still the same, like the assault rifle, the battle rifle, the plasma pistol, the fuel rod gun, etc. Some weapons have been removed, but now there's a third weapon set introduced when you start fighting the Prometheans, so that's fine. There's an actual sprint now that's not an armor ability, which reminds me that they've brought back armor abilities. So far, I've only seen active camo and I'm pretty sure a new one that lets you carry an energy shield wherever you go. The new enemies make the gameplay fresh, yet still very reminiscent of Bungie's games. The multiplayer is also pretty cool. Where maps are concerned, it's similar to past games, but instead of the standard zombie mode, it has Flood mode, which I think is pretty cool, since Flood creatures have never been playable before. I'm pretty sure the Flood won't return in the campaign though, but I won't really miss them that much since they're in the multiplayer. I mostly play team slayer though, and now it has some awesome new vehicles like Mantises, which are like AT-STs, plus some cool new guns. One thing I don't think I've emphasized enough yet is how awesome the campaign is. I don't want to spoil anything, but there's a new and interesting story, of which Cortana is a big part. If you like Halo, buy this game ASAP! And if they keep making them like this, 343 can make as many Halo games as they want. Final Verdict: This game gets 4.5 Spartan helmets!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Judging from the first four episodes, I think Arrow is going to be a pretty cool show. Oliver Queen starts out as basically Tony Stark, then becomes Tom Hanks from Castaway, then ends up somewhere between Hawkeye and Batman, which I like. They do a good job making a green hooded archer cool, even though I think sometimes it can be hard to get Green Arrow right. They haven't actually called him the Green Arrow yet, and most of the villains are corporate scoundrels instead of costumed criminals. Deadshot made an appearance though. He didn't have a costume, but he never missed a shot and had a wrist gun and that cool targeting thing over his eye, so I think he had plenty of Deadshotness. Unfortunately, he dies. But Deathstroke should be coming into the show soon. The other thing I like about the show is all the little references they make to the comic books just because they can. For example, Oliver mentions a train to Bludhaven (Nightwing's territory if you didn't know that), and one of the characters was nicknamed Speedy, even though something tells me she's not gonna become his sidekick. Wait a second. Now that I think about it, she does have some issues with alcohol and drugs and stuff, so I guess that's a parallel. But that character kind of annoys me, and so do a few of the other ones. I feel like a lot of them are just cut from common character templates. But overall, I'd say this is one of the better live action comic book based TV shows I've seen. It's better than Smallville, better than the Blade series, and don't even talk to me about Adam West era superheroes. Final Verdict: This show gets 4 trick arrow heads!
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Ok, so I just saw Snow White and the Huntsman last night, and it was actually pretty good. Since I'm a dude, I'm not really a fan of the Disney princesses, but this was not like Disney's Snow White. The main character is the same, and there's a poisoned apple and the whole awakened by true love's kiss thing in there, but that's pretty much where the similarities end. Especially considering that it's Snow White, it was pretty dark, which is a good thing. The villain was pretty evil, and actually tough, so that's cool. The Huntsman dude was also pretty cool and killed a bunch of people with a battle axe, so that's good enough for me. The only thing I didn't quite buy about the whole thing is the "goodness and purity will defeat evil" bit. Goodness and purity are fine, but I think you really need some other things too like combat skills, depending on the situation. It also bothered me a little bit when she didn't kill someone that she really should've. Or I suppose there's also one other thing I don't quite get. Snow White spent most of her life in prison, so how does she know how to do stuff like sliding into a sewer drain thing and escape the city? Those aren't really huge things though. Overall, I thought it was a good movie. Final Verdict: This movie gets 3.5 poisoned apples!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I said previously that I might talk about the Orange Box, so I am. Mostly for the sake of getting something up here, even though I'm feeling too cheap right now to buy a newer game. In case you're not familiar with the Orange Box, it's a disc with Half-Life 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2, and both add-ons for Half-Life. It's been around for kind of a while now, but especially Half-Life is one of those games that stays good for a long time. I mean, you're killing mind controlling facehugger crab things with a crowbar. What's not awesome about that? As for the actual gameplay, it's fairly standard for a first person shooter, but with a few extra things, like a lot better sprint ability and a crowbar as one of the main weapons, plus some adventure gaming mixed in. I like games that make you feel powerful, and I think this game does it well, since even though Gordon Freeman can't shrug off a ton of bullet wounds, there's enough health spread around so as to make it so that you don't die that often. Or at least in the first couple chapters in regular difficulty. I think feeling weak can ruin a game, and that's a big part of why I've never loved Call of Duty or Battlefield, so I'm happy that Half-Life avoids that. As for the other games on the disk, I'm waiting until I finish HL2 to start the two extra episodes, but Team Fortress 2 and Portal are fun. The only issues with TF2 that I've found are that I don't like the announcer's voice, it never lets me choose the spy class, there's kind of a learning curve, so I'm still not too good at it, which isn't really a problem with the game, but just something that temporarily makes it less fun. Oh and in case you're wondering, I play on the 360. I already played Portal 2 and loved it, and so far I'm thinking the first is just as good. I like it's sense of humor and the fact that it makes me feel smart when I solve a puzzle. So for less than $20, I'd say the Orange Box is one of the better deals you'll find for a game that's really multiple games that honestly, I'm impressed that they all fit on one disk. Final Verdict: This set of games gets 5 crowbars!
Monday, October 29, 2012
Well, here it is. My second blog. This is probably the moment when you're trying to figure out if this blog is garbage or not, if what I have to say has any validity or not, etc. Or you may have come here from my original blog, Genius Ideas and Stuff I Want. If not, you'll find a link to it somewhere around here, probably in the sidebar or whatever you call that thing where all the gadgets are. On that one, I talk a lot about ideas I have, some of which are genius, some not so much, and (of course) stuff I want that either I come up with, or something from a movie or video game or something. That was why I started that blog, but I've started doing a lot of reviews of stuff, so I thought I'd start a second blog to do that, which you're now reading. I'll be doing reviews of a lot of things, both new and not that new. Probably nothing too old, but if I buy a video game or see a movie, I'll most likely put a review on here. Just so you know what kind of reviews I'll be doing, you can expect reviews of Skyfall and The Hobbit once they come out, Dishonored and/or Darksiders 2 once I get around to getting them, and things like that. I also ordered the Orange Box, and that's probably coming in the mail today, so even though it's kind of old for a video game, or three video games and two add-ons if you want to be technical, I still might do a review of it/them. Also, if you want news on upcoming movies, games, etc., I do that too, but really only for the ones that I'm interested in, and I still haven't decided which blog I'm gonna put that stuff on, but I'm leaning towards Ideas, and using this one only once I've experienced what I'm talking about. So to be safe, you might as well follow both. Or not. Who am I to say? If you don't want an interesting, insightful, incredible, instantaneous, indispensable, insoluble interior insight into my thoughts, then don't read either of my blogs. But if you do want an interesting, insightful, incredible, instantaneous, indispensable, insoluble interior insight into my mind, and all of my genius and perfectly valid thoughts, then I suggest you do continue to read my posts. That is all.