Saturday, February 27

Movie Review - The Room

    Normally when I do a bad movie review, I sarcastically try to say it's good. This time however, I have no idea how to try to make this movie look good. Quality wise, it is easily the worst movie I have ever seen. Yes, it is funny bad, but not as much as it is mind-numbingly bad. I heard about this movie on the news and that people were still watching it in theaters because of how bad it was, so I had to watch it.


    The plot is that this guy, Johnny, loves this girl, Lisa , but she doesn't like him anymore and falls in love with his best friend, Mark. Lisa and Mark have an affair, Johnny finds out, and then shoots himself. Somehow, the movie needs 90 minutes to explain that. The whole movie is a mess; we start off with three sex scenes in the first 20 minutes (which almost caused me to quit right there thinking it was porn flick,) and then one more...a full hour later. Apart from that, the whole thing just seems out of order, and no scene - and I repeat - no scene lasts more than 90 seconds. You get the girl talking to her mother about the exact same time at least four times in the movie, and if that's not enough, she also talks to her friends about THE SAME THING. The whole movie also takes place in three settings: a living room, a bedroom in the same house, and a roof (I'll assume it's also the same house.) The only other locations are either stock footage of city streets, or the most useless scenes I've ever heard of - a bunch of guys just throwing around a football with no dialogue whatsoever. Yeah, this paragraph pretty much sums up all I can say.


    This movie is so bad, it's just un-reviewable. It's interesting to say the least, maybe even entertaining, but it's still unbelievably bad. There is no way I can properly give this movie justice with words alone. Considering how un-reviewable this movie is, I am just going to have a "Big Bad Ben's Top 10 Worst Quotes" list:

Thursday, February 25

Mass Effect 2 review


    Finally just finished Mass Effect 2 yesterday. Actually I played both of them for the first time in the last ten days, but that's not important. The important thing is this game is awesome! It released several weeks ago for the Xbox 360 and the PC. I got the Xbox version of both. Mass Effect was a very well received game, but it wasn't without it's problems. With Mass Effect 2, Bioware listened to all the complaints, fixed all the problems in the first game, and improved on everything that worked as well. What we get is probably one of the best Xbox 360 games to date - also one of the best looking.


Wednesday, February 24

My Ballet Studio - worst game cover ever

Wow, just wow. Nothing looks right on this box art - nothing whatsoever. Are they vampires? Cause I don't see a reflection. Their faces look like they were pasted onto the bodies in photoshop. Also, why is the Balance Board logo there? Uh, never mind, this cover is horrible. Before you ask, yes this game is real!

Tuesday, February 23

Team Fortress Grocery Store

Team Fortress 2 is awesome - just plain awesome. It's a multiplayer shooting game made by Valve (Half Life series, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Steam), where you can choose from 9 different classes. Each class works completely differently, has different strengths and weaknesses, and the most effective teams has at least one of each. You have the standard Soldier, the super-fast Scout, the powerful Heavy, and so on and so fourth.

I work in a grocery store. I have for over four years now. After a while, you start to notice some things. The different departments in a grocery store are quite similar to the different classes in Team Fortress 2. Just like in Team Fortress 2 your fighting a war against the blue/red team, in a grocery store your fighting the war on empty shelves. The following list will explain further.

Offensive classes.

Soldier - I might as well start off with the most basic of the bunch. The soldier, or the cashier, is your basic front-lines person. Just like a soldier runs in, sweeping the enemy away with his rocket launcher, the cashiers sweep away at all those food products everyone buys. The soldier shoots everything in sight, the cashier scans everything in sight. But the soldier is just one of the three offensive classes; what of the other two?

Scout - In Team Fortress 2, the scout is the fast guy. He's best for quickly capturing control points early in the match, as well as running past everyone as he heads for the enemies intelligence. In the grocery store, the shelf-stalkers are quite similar. They move all around the store, filling up everything (capture points), cleaning everything (intelligence), and other all-round stuff. There's really nothing more to say about this one.

Pyro - Ah the Pyro, probably my favorite class in TF2. He's the best class for ambushing the enemy, as well as causing general chaos. I don't know how, but I once got 32 kills in one life with the Pyro...all in the same fight. Just ran in, burning everyone, and somehow I didn't die. Sometimes the Pyro can cause serious damage, but because of his short range, he's often killed off without a fight. In any case, the managers aren't too different from the Pyros. They'll ambush workers, telling them to work on something else. Different managers will often give you conflicting tasks, therefore causing chaos. Also like the Pyro, sometimes the managers are useful, sometimes they're not. This all depends on whether the managers actually do anything or if they just walk around. Yes, I've seen managers that do nothing but walk around and tell workers to do stuff. There's also my store manager, who tends to order way too much food; therefore causing chaos. So there you go, the manager is like the Pyro.

Monday, February 22

Movie & Game releases this week

Movies:

Splice (Wednesday, February 24) - I can't find a trailer for this movie, so this clip will have to do. It looks kind of neat, but I've found these kinds of movies boring in the past.



Cop Out (Friday, February 26) - A buddy cop movie starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Meh, looks OK.



Defender (Friday, February 26) - Looks like it's supposed to be a Superhero comedy...looks pretty lame too.



Crazies (Friday, February 26) - The trailer reminds me of 28 Days Later. Something's making people go crazy, and they start killing people. It's a horror movie, and it doesn't look all that bad.



Games:

Heavy Rain (PS3) - This is more like an interactive movie than a game. Either way this game looks awesome, and the demo over the Sony Network was good. Definitely getting this one, but probably waiting for a price drop.

Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii) - Gamespot gave this an 8 out of 10, so it can't be all that bad. Looks like an exploration game above anything else.

The rest (There's so many games this week that I'm only commenting on the last two):

Last Rebellion (PS3)
Napoleon: Total War (PC)
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia (DS)...why?
Greed Cop (Xbox 360, PS3)
Risen (Xbox 360)
Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943 (PC)
Sonic & Sega All Star Racers (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS) - The Xbox 360 version also has Banjo-Kazooie in it.
Age of Zombies (PSP)
Dawn of Discovery: Venice (PC)
Order of War: Challenge (PC)
Arsenal of Democracy (PC)
Metal Slug XX (PSP)

Seems like it's just that point in a console generation where they start getting flooded by games that nobody will buy, except there's too many good games coming out lately too. Also, I noticed that five of these games are for the PC; at least developers haven't abandoned the PC yet.

Sunday, February 21

Top 10 Metal Gear Solid moments

 Ah Metal Gear Solid, one of the more famous game franchises in recent history. There are four main games, and two PSP games. It's a stealth/action series with a deep, complex story and tons of awesome moments. I recently played Portable Ops; the only MGS game I hadn't played until then. While I certainly enjoyed that game, it contained nothing worthy of this list. Just a warning, this list is full of spoilers and references to various plot points that will make little sense to anyone who hasn't played the series. Without further introductions, here's the top 10 Metal Gear Solid moments.

10. AI malfunctioning (mgs2) - Earlier in Metal Gear Solid 2, it is revealed that the Patriots control pretty much everything. However, up until you get captured, you believe that your boss is Roy Campbell from the first Metal Gear Solid. Then out of no where, this boss starts to malfunction, revealing how he's nothing but a computer program. This is where you realize nothing in this game is really what it seems. Not only do the Patriots control everything, but this entire mission was a simulation set up by the patriots to prove that they could control everything. Besides, it's here where we get the famous phrase "I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on hiri-kiri rock... I need scissors! 61!"

9. The End boss fight (mgs3) - Up until this point, the bosses in the Metal Gear franchise are fairly standard in the traditional sense (although often creative as well) - a rather intense battle that should be over in a few minutes. Then we reach The End, and a long epic sniper fight taking place in an entire forest. This battle involves sneaking through the woods, spotting your enemy, and staying out of sight as much as possible. This battle can literally take hours. Not only that, but there are two ways to skip it. One, you can kill him earlier in the game, and two, you can save in the middle of the boss fight, move your console's clock forward several years, and The End has died of old age. Honestly though, it's worth fighting The End, because this is one of the most epic boss battles ever.

Friday, February 19

...And Now For Something Completely Different

The Bat in a Hat

There once was a bat in a hat,
Who had a pet rat and a cat.
The name of this bat is just Matt.
He likes to eat scat that's nonfat.

He stepped on a gnat that went splat,
Then he slat that gnat on his mat,
And now that dead gnat's just a stat.
That show's Matt's dead gnat drat format.

Matt the bat's combat involves bats,
He'll cheat with his chat about rats,
Then he'll swing that bat like wildcats,
And crush you so flat like those gnats.

He likes to wear hats and play skat,
And search for brickbats on his plat.
But while playing skat with this bat,
He will make you pat his pet rat.

Matt the bat spat scat in that vat,
And pat his pet cat with his bat,
Put on his cravat and his hat,
And ended this frickin poem before it got out of hand.

Thursday, February 18

Uwe Bowl Making Third Bloodrayne Movie

Yeah, apparently he's releasing  another sequel to one of his earlier video game movies. Worse yet, Kristanna Loken (TX from Terminator 3) will be returning as the title character after missing out on the second. Three Bloodrayne movies? That's more Uwe Bowl movies than there ever were Bloodrayne games. What's going on here?

Seriously, why is Uwe Bowl still making movies? How is he making money? Actually, I have to correct myself; he doesn't make movies. He makes video clips, slaps them together, and calls those movies. For those of you who don't know, Uwe Bowl is infamous for making terrible movies based on videogames. Through his movies, he's ruined franchises like Dungeon Siege, the House Of The Dead arcades, Far Cry, and Postal. Some call him the Ed Wood of modern film making, but that's too much of a compliment since all of Ed Wood's pictures were at least his own vision. Uwe Bowl is more like someone with diarrhea who ate too much chili; his crap stinks, burns, and goes straight into the toilet after release. I'm sorry for that image but it's true.

source

Wednesday, February 17

Movie Review - Steel


    Steel is about a superhero named, well, Steel. In this 1997 movie, the hero Steel is played by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. The hero Steel was originally a sidekick of sorts of Superman's, so making a movie starring a sidekick superhero is a recipe for success, especially when it stars one of the biggest NBA stars ever. Don't believe me, then read on as I describe this incredible picture.

    We start off with the opening credits, as we watch the excitement of molten metal pouring. Yup, that's all we see during the opening credits, and life is good. The actual movie starts with a scene where some laser takes down a tank. The suspense is burning, who did this? Where did these lasers come from? Then it's revealed that it's just a military demonstration for weapons research. We then see that Shaq (his character's name is Irons, but I'll just call him Shaq for this review) whose one of the research leaders. He and his female partner, sparky, are fairly close as you can see with their secret handshake where they touch fingers. There's also Burk, another member of the research team. You can tell right away that he's the evil guy, which is good because suspense is boring.

Monday, February 15

Movie & Game releases this week

Movies:


Dante's Inferno (Monday, February 15) - An animated movie based on the videogame that released last week.



Happy Tears (Friday, February 19) - A drama film. Not sure how else to comment on this one, other than it has the coach from Dodgeball from it. Just watch the trailer.



Shutter Island - A thriller from director Martin Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio in it (They've worked together in "hHe Departed". "Shutter Island" looks pretty cool.



That's it for this week.

Games:

Alien Vs. Predator 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) - This is the big one this week. Sounds like what it is, you can choose from the Aliens, the Predators, and the Marines in a deathmatch. A demo is available for all three versions; the PC demo is available through Steam, and the console demos are available through their respective online networks. If you enjoy multiplayer games, I strongly suggest you try the demo. The game also has individual campaigns for each race of fighters.

EverQuest II: Sentinel's Fate (PC) - An expansion for one of the bigger MMOs currently out there. It's adding over 2000 weapons, twelve new dungeons,  two large new overworld zones, and more.

Apart from that, there's really nothing worth talking about, so I'll just list off the rest.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All (Wii)
Korg DS-10 Plus (DS)
Tropic 3 (Xbox 360)
Crime Scene (DS)
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 (PSP)
Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon  (Wii)
Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce (PS3, Xbox 360) 
Free Running (Wii) 
EverQuest II: Sentinel's Fate (PC) 
Ragnarok Online DS (DS) 
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth  (DS)
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (Xbox Live Arcade) 

Saturday, February 13

Worst 8 Star Wars Prequel moments

    Ah Star Wars, one of the biggest and most important sci-fi/fantasy franchises in the world. Apart from the six main movies, there are tons of video games, hundreds of novels, comics, several TV shows...a movie based on one of the TV shows. To sum it up, the Star Wars franchise is huge. The original Star Wars movie is widely considered as one of the most important films of all time and the fact that the series is still going strong 33 years later certainly says something. George Lucas, the original creator of the series, only directed the first of the original movies. Just over twenty years later, he decided to direct three prequels. While the prequels did have their moments, they did not live up to the original trilogy in any way. With that, let's look at some of the worst moments of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.


8. Battledroids - In the original trilogy, the enemy used Storm Troopers. They were humans in full body armor, and despite their inability to shoot our heroes, they were a frightening army. Heck, the name Storm Troopers has been used in history; infiltration specialists hired by Germany near the end of World War 1. So what replacement does the prequel trilogy provide us? Battledroids! OK, the concept of having robotic enemies kind of works, but when these droids are as fragile and silly-looking as they are, they simply can't be taken seriously. It doesn't help when they're controlled by a space ship orbiting the planet, or that they sound like cartoon characters in both their voices and their dialogue.

    In Episode 2, we got Super Battledroids, and they were a huge improvement. They smashed regular battledroids out of the way and fired lasers from their wrists. They looked like they could even take on terminators, and they could actually kill Jedi knights. These new super Battledroids were cool...until they spoke in Episode 3. They ended up being just as weak and silly as the regular battledroids, thus destroying all credibility they once had. The sad thing is these Battledroids could have been really cool, but in the end they just suck. After watching how badly the Clone troopers pwned the droids on Geonosis, one must wonder how the Clone Wars lasted three full years or why it was so famous in the times of the Empire.

Friday, February 12

Game review - Shaq Fu


    Wow, just wow. I am in awe of how incredibly awesome this fighting game is. Shaq Fu was released for the Super Nintendo back in 1994 and stars Shaquille O'Neal. After playing such a masterpiece of a game, one must wonder how craptastic titles like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat ever took off. So what makes Shaq Fu so amazing?




    First off, the title itself. Shaq Fu is a brilliant title for a fighting game. It takes the main character's first name (short form) and ads Fu to the end. This makes it sound like a special form of martial arts, like "Rex Quan Do" from "Napoleon Dynamite". You can add "Fu" or "Quan Do" to the end of anything and it will sound like a Hardcore form of martial arts. For example, Doom Fu, Ben Quan Do, PSP Fu, or Xbox Chi; they all sound like awesome martial arts because they have something like Fu at the end. Heck, even Tofu sounds like a martial art because of having "Fu" at the end.

Thursday, February 11

Gears Of War Montage

Here's a video montage of Gears Of War 1 and 2 that I made a while back. More specifically, I made it the day before Gears 2 came out. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 10

Bioshock 2 PC Not Supporting Gamepads, Panic Ensues.

    Um...wow! On the one hand, not supporting a gamepad when Bioshock 1 did is rather questionable. It's also a console game, and since the console versions are using gamepads, they should be able to support them on the PC version.

    On the other hand, seriously people. If you want to use a gamepad in a shooting game, spend $300 on a game system rather than $2000 on a PC. The keyboard and mouse is vastly superior over a gamepad for FPS controls. The mouse is far more precise, and the keyboard has much more functionality. In this forum thread, many people are complaining about the lack of gamepad support; some say they've even canceled their orders. In addition to the keyboard & mouse being better and consoles being cheaper, I'm sure there will be an unofficial patch re-enabling them at some point. This is almost as pathetic as the racism controversies over Left 4 Dead 2 and Resident Evil 5. Seriously guys, either use the keyboard or get a console.

    2K Games (Bioshock 2's developer) stated "The decision was made early on not to support controllers at all in order to ensure that we got the mouse and keyboard control absolutely right." They also changed the HUD in order to accommodate the keyboard setup better. Now I know this isn't really a game I care about that much, but I think it's both funny and annoying when people overreact like this.

Tuesday, February 9

Game review - The Longest Journey 1 & 2

Today, I'm reviewing two games at once. The Longest Journey, and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. Let me start by saying that I greatly enjoyed both of these adventure games, even though I usually prefer something more action based. Both games are available for PC and purchasable through Steam. Dreamfall is also available on the original Xbox (also works on the Xbox 360), and can also be downloaded through Xbox live for the 360. There is no excuse, if you have an Xbox or a gaming PC that's less than six years old, you will be able to play these game.

I'll start with The Longest Journey. This game was released in 2000 for the PC only. Pretty much any computer around these days should be able to handle it. It is a point-and-click adventure game, which means you control the main character - April Ryan - by clicking where you want to go and on what you want to interact with. You also gain various items and use them to solve most of the puzzles. You will also occasionally combine these items. The main challenge comes through the various puzzles you'll face. To avoid spoiling too much of the story, there are two parallel worlds - one logical and scientific (Stark), the other magical and somewhat chaotic (Acadia). These two worlds used to be one, however they were separated until they are ready to be re-combined. April Ryan (whom you control) is a "Shifter", which means she can warp between worlds, well...once she learns how to control it anyway. The "Balance" (which is protecting the worlds from each other until they are ready,) is failing, and it is up to April to fix the balance. Very few Sci-Fi or Fantasy games create a fully convincing world...this game manages to create two and tie them together.


Monday, February 8

Movie & Game releases this week

Movies:

Valentines Day (Wednesday, Feb 10) - A Valentines Day movie starring...lots of people. Trailer here.

The Wolfman (Wednesday, Feb 10) - An anti-Valentines Day movie with a werewolf in it. Trailer here.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Friday, Feb 12) - A movie that mixes Greek mythology with modern times. Trailer here.

The Yellow Handkerchief (Friday, Feb 12) - An independent drama film about an ex-convict who spent six years in prison for manslaughter. Trailer here.

Love (Sunday, Feb 14) - A movie about an astronaut in the international space station who loses contact with earth and becomes stranded in space, alone. Trailer here.

Games:


Bioshock 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) - Many people are really hyped for the second installment in the popular Bioshock series. This game adds multiplayer to the mix, and you can play as a Big Daddy. Personally, I didn't really like Bioshock, so I'm not really looking forward to this.

Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) - A God Of War-ish game about the poem by the same name. I've played the demo, and I thought it was awesome. I'll probably wait for the price to go down, but I'll be sure to get this at some point.

Data East Arcade Classics (Wii) - A rather impressive collection of classic games that's only $20...most likely worth it.

Scene It? Twighlight (DS) - Why?

Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll (Wii) - A Super Monkey Ball that uses the Wii Fit balance board. For those of you who don't know what Super Monkey Ball is, just watch this.

And that's about all that caught my attention.

Sunday, February 7

Stupid movie moments

Here's a small list of absolutely stupid movie moments. Ranging from decisions behind the movies, really bad dialogue, mistakes, or flat out dumb scenes. Without further introduction, let's begin.

The weather satellite creating a storm in Superman 3 - Everything about this scenario baffles me. First of all, weather satellites cannot create weather; they can only monitor weather. Secondly, how does a simple-minded man who had just been trained on computers a few weeks ago manage to hack into the satellite system from a small office in Smallville? Thirdly, this was done so that the main villain could completely control the world's supply of coffee. Why? If you have that kind of power, why go for coffee? Why not just go for oil...wait, he did go for oil later in the movie. The whole movie is a jumbled mess of scientific inaccuracies and painful attempts at comedy, but this scene is something else. Superman comes and fixes the weather problems, but we don't even see that.

The dance number in Spider-man 3 - Seriously, why? Why did they have Peter Parker dancing down the street and hitting on young women? This whole movie was lackluster compared to the first two Spider-man movies, but this one moment is what truly killed it. A scene that comes out of no-where, feels completely out of place, and is just over the top silly for a movie that's supposed to be relatively serious. Oh yeah, they wasted Venom too.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (the whole movie) - The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy is very similar to the Matrix trilogy in a sense; the first movie was awesome, the second was alright, and the third one ruined the trilogy. Although "Matrix Revolutions" had some decent moments, it just kept giving us more plot details and questions without answering anything from "Reloaded". At "World's End" is like that, but worse. The Kraken (the main threat from "Dead Man's Chest) is killed off between movies with no explanation. Plot details are introduced faster than anything can be answered, and before long the whole story becomes a jumbled mess. It's like someone loaded a bunch of plot lines into a shotgun, fired it, and pieced them together in a random order.

Frog vs lightning line in X-Men - Don't get me wrong, this movie's actually pretty good. It introduces us to Wolverine and the X-men, has a fairly decent story, and some good action to boot. However, the script isn't always the greatest. Usually, the bad lines go unnoticed, but then you hear Storm say - Do you know what happens to a frog when it’s struck by a lightning? [pause] The same thing that happens to everything else.” I cringe every time I hear that line, it's just...bad.

Grenade scene in Die Hard 2 - There's a scene in Die Hard 2 where John McClane is trapped inside an airplane's cockpit. The terrorists then throw a bunch of grenades through a hole in the window. John McClane manages to escape using an ejection seat...thirty seconds later. Firstly, grenades don't take that long to explode. If the scene was realistic, the plane would have exploded before John would have even noticed the ejection seats. Additionally, the last grenade thrown is clearly seen bouncing off the plane's window, yet in the next shot we see it falling into the cockpit. The excessively long grenade delay takes us out of an otherwise tense moment in a decent action movie. "Die Hard 2" had plenty of other mistakes, but this one is by far the most noticeable.

And that's all for now.

Saturday, February 6

Movies that Always Put Me in a Good Mood

This is a list of movies that always put me in a good mood. No matter what emotional state I'm in before I watch these movies, I always come out in a good mood. Whether they're funny or just well made, I have a deep appreciation for these movies that goes beyond simple entertainment.


Zoolander - Depending on who you are, this movie is either amazingly funny, or an incredibly stupid waste of time. Personally, I love this movie. The movie makes fun of the modeling world, and everyone involved in it. There are assassination plots by the fashion industry, freak gasoline fight accidents, and "The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good." The main character is Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), an incredibly famous and utterly moronic male model. After losing the male model of the year award to newcomer Hansel (Owen Wilson), he is hired for a comeback fashion show. However, he doesn't know that he's really being hired to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Overall, this movie's hilarious, but it's a very bizarre type of humor that not everyone can appreciate.

Friday, February 5

Early Heavy Rain demo

How to get the early Heavy Rain demo

Game review - Haze

    Haze was developed by Free Radical. Free Radical made two of my favorite games last generation, Timesplitters 2 and 3. While Timesplitters wasn't exactly the most revolutionary FPS trilogy ever made, it was so much fun playing in what could be called a spiritual successor of "Goldeneye: 007" for the N64. Free Radical was started by the team behind Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, and the gameplay similarities are readily appearent. The games have a great sense of humor, they were full of fast paced action, and they were challenging. They didn't really have much story to them, but Timesplitters didn't really need any story; it was fun anyway.

    Haze on the other hand is different - far different from their earlier projects. Haze was Free Radical's first venture into the current generation of gaming. They dropped the classic playing style and aimed for a more modern-style shooter. They attempted a serious story that doubled as a commentary on the concept of a privatized army. So how did this game fare up? Not very well to be honest.

    First I'll talk about the graphics. It looks like a PS2 game with high-def graphics; that's all there is to say.

Thursday, February 4

Movie Review - Troll 2

    My first Movie review on this website was for Troll 3. Sadly, nobody really knows about Troll 3. Troll 2 on the other hand is a well known classic. It's a cinematic masterpiece, and it's a privilege to watch this work of pure genius.


    How is Troll 2 a cinematic masterpiece? For starters, there are no trolls in the movie - there are goblins instead. Nothing like a cleverly misleading title to heighten up the suspense. Secondly, it has nothing to do with the first troll movie (which is simply forgettable.) Another thing is that the acting is top notch. Nothing like a bunch of professional dentists and a bunch of people hired from the local gym to perform in a movie. You've also never heard more upbeat music in a horror movie before.

     It starts off with Joshua Waits (the central character) being read a story about goblins by his grandfather. The story is about a guy who is fed green goop by some goblin disguised as a "cute" chick. The goop turns the guy slime, and then goblins eat him. That would give me nightmares...goblins that seduce you into eating strange looking food that turns you into slime if you eat it. That has to be the scariest concept ever. Then Joshua's grandfather tells him that these goblins still exist.

Wednesday, February 3

Games that were Important to my Childhood

    Like I wrote several weeks back about movies important to my childhood, there were a number of games I enjoyed as a young boy as well. They helped shape who I am as a gamer, and they still bring me many fond memories. So without further introduction required, here's a number of games or game franchises I loved as a kid, and what I think of them now.

Super Mario: This one's fairly obvious. Very few people my age don't know about Nintendo's Italian plumber mascot. Super Mario has revolutionized platform gaming several times since his original appearance in 1981's "Donkey Kong" arcade, and continues to be a successful franchise. It was Mario who helped introduce to us the NES; the system that brought us out of the second video game market crash, and it was also Super Mario 64 who brought us the free camera in 3D games.

    As a kid, I loved "Super Mario World" for the SNES. I also enjoyed the "Super Mario Land" titles for the Gameboy. "Mario Kart", a spinoff series where you race karts around and shoot turtle shells at each other, was another great Mario game to play. Overall though, I think my favorite childhood Mario game didn't feature Mario as the lead character. "Yoshi's Island", a game where you play as Yoshi, was my favorite Mario game back then. So what do I think about the franchise now? All the older games are still great fun, although the original Mario Kart is hard on the eyes. I also enjoy most of their newer games as well. "Super Mario Galaxy" was awesome, and I'm looking forward to "Super Mario Galaxy 2". I don't have a Wii yet, but I'll find a way to play "Galaxy 2" anyway. "Mario Kart Wii", well...why did they have to destroy battle mode? The series also has way too many spin-offs these days. Do we really need a Mario Olympics games franchise?

    Overall though, I loved Super Mario back then, and I still love the franchise today.

Tuesday, February 2

Movie & Game releases this week

Movies:

Dear John - A War/Romance drama where two people fall in love, then the guy is sent out to war - trailer here

Frozen - A horror movie where three kids get left behind on a ski lift -trailer here

Universal Soldier 3 - A direct to DVD sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme - trailer here

Games:

Family Party: 30 Great Games Winter Fun (Wii) - Games like this are still flooding the Wii; this is beyond ridiculous. Besides, Olympic videogames are always the same...and sucky.

Making History II: The War of the World (PC) - A World War 2 turn-based strategy game. I've never been into turn-based games, but this one actually looks kind of deep.

Lunar: Harmony of Silver Star (PSP) - A re-release to what many consider as one of the best RPG games ever made. Many elements have been enhenced, and the visuals have been re-worked for the PSP's wide screen.

White Knight Chronicles (PS3) - An RPG that released last fall in Japan. Reception has been mixed, but most of the complaints are related to the multi-player mode.

Star Trek online (PC) - Exactly what it sounds like, a Star Trek MMO. The public beta started in January, but I can't find any opinions about it.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat (PC) - A sequel to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Looks good, nuff said.

Chime (Xbox live arcade) - Know nothing about it, but I'll probably download the demo like I do most arcade titles.

Game review - Hour of Victory

What's the most underdone and scarce of all gaming genres? World War II shooters. I mean, there's only twelve Medal of Honor games (and two expansions), four Call of Duty games set in WWII (and two expansions), three Brothers in Arms games (and six spin offs also in WWII), the Wolfenstein series (although they're actually quite different from the rest), the first Battlefield game, and countless freeware games on the internet. I'm sure there's more out there, but those are the main ones. So yeah, this game genre isn't overblown at all. Yet out of all of these, there exists a game that stands out in excellence. That game is known as Hour of Victory for the Xbox 360.



While in most WWII games you are forced to play as one character or another, in Hour of Victory, it gives you the choice of three guys to play as. The British commando Ross, whose simply HARDCORE, Bull, the American sniper who can climb buildings with a rope and snipe people in the face, and then there's Taggart, I'm not really sure where he comes from, but he sneaks through enemy lines undetected and can pick locks. As you can see, these different characters offer much in the realms of gameplay variety.

Monday, February 1

Movie Review - Superman 2: Richard Donner cut

Just saw the Richard Donner cut of Superman 2 for the first time.


    For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll explain. Richard Donner was the director behind the first Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve. During the filming of Superman 1, around 70% of Superman 2 was filmed as well. However, before Donner could finish the movie, they handed the series over to Richard Lester, who re-shot many of Donner's scenes and changed the movie overall. In 2006, Donner was allowed to restore his version as best he could, and this is the result. If you haven't seen either version of the movie, you probably won't get much out of this post. Plus...Spoilers!

    Overall, I liked the Donner cut, in fact I liked it better than the original...for the most part. His version was overall more compelling and darker. While much of the movie features the same scenes regardless of the versions you watch, Donner's camera angles are almost always better. But as much as both versions contain the same story and many of the same scenes, they are completely different movies.

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