Monday, March 29

Movie Review - Double Dragon

Double Dragon is a movie based on a game, and as we all know, movies based on games are known for their pure awesomeness. The Double Dragon movie was released in 1994, wheres the original game was released in 1987. If being released seven years after the original game isn't a recipe for awesomeness, I have no idea what is. Anyway, let's kick this pig!

We start the movie off somewhere in China with subtitles that literally tell us "Somewhere in China". This deeply descriptive location is a village, where a couple of ninjas are attacking monks. One of the ninjas is using a whip, because whips are stereotypical ninja weapons as we all know. This ninja is deadly, merciless, and... a somewhat hot blond chick? Alright, this movie's looking pretty good so far. She ends up in some temple and takes a medallion.

We then cut to the post-apocalyptic New Angeles in the year 2007. I'm sure we all remember the great disaster in 2004 where Los Angeles was destroyed by a series of tornadoes...wait, that was "The Day After Tomorrow", never mind. OK, so they picked a random year that turned out to be very inaccurate. So what? Star Trek said there would be some war in the 1990's with genetically engineered super soldiers, so they were wrong too.

We see a bad guy played by Robert Patrick (T-1000 from Terminator 2). In this movie he's Koga Shuko, and he looks like Vanilla Ice for some reason. He's given the medallion from earlier, but he's upset that it's only half of the Double Dragon medallion. He then squeezes the medallion and somehow goes flat. My question at this moment is, why does he want it so bad when that's all it lets him do?

We then cut to some Asian girl whose holding the other half of the medallion. Way to build up suspense people, show us the other half right after they tell you there's two parts. You know what, I have no idea how I can make this movie look good. It's so bad it's not even funny. This is one of the most un-entertaining movies I've ever seen, and I'm only about 10 minutes in...this is gonna' be a long one.

Saturday, March 27

Mass Effect 2 aftermath

    About a month ago I reviewed Mass Effect 2 - the very same afternoon I finished the game. After playing through it two more times, and analyzing it further, I have to say that it's one of the most brilliant games I've ever played, and my new current-gen favorite. It's hard to really talk about this game without exposing some huge spoilers, but I'll give it a shot.

    First of all, they created an entire galaxy with this game. Within this galaxy exist a number of different races and cultures. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and relations with other races. In that sense, it isn't too much different than Star Trek. While the galaxy isn't perfectly united, most of the races generally live in peace. The main galactic government is known as the Council, made up of three races as of the start of Mass Effect (humanity isn't one of them). Humanity is relatively new to galactic civilization, and besides the main plot, the entire first game is about the human race establishing themselves.

    In the second game however, the entire plot revolves around building a team to destroy a very powerful enemy. You gather some of the most dangerous individuals in the galaxy and take on what many consider to be a suicide mission. While it's possible for everyone to come out alive, it's also possible to get everyone on your team killed, including yourself. Every single one of these characters has a well developed personality and a strong back story to go with them. With the exception of several human squad-mates, every team member is of a different race. The game indirectly forces you to get to know these characters in order to make them loyal to you. Some of the characters seem unlikable at first, but after you start talking to them, you'll realize how well designed their characters are. The only character I didn't like was Zaeed (a mercenary), but he's optional downloadable trash anyway.

    As I mentioned in the review, throughout the game you make tons of decisions. Do I kill this young criminal, or let her go? Do I threaten the looters, or do I be polite with them? Do I execute the hostage takers or reason with them? There are tons of decisions like this, and pretty much all of them affect the rest of the game somehow. Not only that, but if you load your save file from the first game, every choice you made in Mass Effect 1 affects Mass Effect 2 somehow. I'm still very impressed with how much weight your decisions have on your experience throughout the game, and everyone who plays it will have a different experience. This doesn't just make Mass Effect feel like a game, but it makes it feel like your game; you feel like you're Commander Shepard rather than just playing as him/her. According to IGN's review, Mass Effect 2 is the most personal game ever released, and I fully agree with that statement.

    What really screams of these game's qualities however, is that even though both games are full of huge cinematic battles, fast-paced brawls and tons of beautifully crafted locations, what I remember the most are the quiet moments. I remember many of the conversations that Shepard has with his/her teammates. I remember all the different characters you either help out or galactic cultures you learn about. That's what truly makes this game a true masterpiece; how well written the dialogue is, how well done the voice acting is, and how real this galaxy feels when everything comes together. If you have an Xbox 360 or a capable PC, I cannot recommend this game enough.

Monday, March 22

The Viking Sagas review

    The Viking Sagas is a movie about, well - vikings. The lead character, Kjartan, is played by a little known actor named Ralf Moeller. His biggest role yet was the really big gladiator in the movie "Gladiator". Apart from that, well, he's been in movies like Batman and Robin, The Scorpion King, and at least four Uwe Bowl movies. For those of you who don't know who Uwe Bowl is, I plan on reviewing one of his movies at some point. Anyway, Ralf Moeller is basically your poor man's Jean Claud Van Damme, who in turn is the poor man's Arnold Schwarzenegger. A friend of mine recommended this movie to me due to it's badness, and holy crap is it bad.

    The Viking Sagas starts off with some old guy telling a story to a bunch of kids in a cave. He talks about how some evil guy has taken over all but one region or something, and the unnamed chieftain there has some "Ghost sword" required to rule the region. Nothing really makes sense as he rushes through whatever he's trying to say. Anyway, his group are soon found by the, um, bad guys lead by Ketil, and a battle of silliness occurs. Seriously, every kill is either someone being tapped by a sword or a closeup of a sword stabbing what is obviously a costume held up by posts with blood packs inside. Also, we see the shot of the stabbed costume over and over again - I'm pretty sure it's just that one shot throughout the entire movie. Ketil challenges Kjartan to a duel, where our hero embarrasses himself royally. The fight looks ridiculous, and you'd think the son of a chieftain would recieve some kind of fight training in the Viking age. Oh yeah, this battle has a total of about 20 people in it, epic isn't it.

    The chieftain and his son are captured - everyone else in their group has been killed. The chieftain offers to take "the walk" as a diversion to help Kjartan escape. Apparently the walk includes cutting open your stomach and walking around a pole, wrapping your intestines around it. His intestines look like sausages covered in ketchup, no joke. He tells his son to be a warrior, and apparently that's all he needs to become one? This movie makes no sense at all. Kjartan pulls the rope in half (don't care how strong you are, it's physically impossible for a human to snap a thick rope like that in half.) He grabs the ghost sword, jumps over a rock, and somehow disappears. As the chieftain stumbles to his death, he says "Ketil, I have won." This is honestly the laziest script I've ever seen in my life.

Friday, March 19

Pure Pwnanage TV - Season 1 episode 1

    Pure Pwnage was originally a web-based series that started in 2004. It was about Jeremy, a pro gamer, and friends of his. Long story short, it makes fun of hardcore gamers even though the series creators could be considered as hardcore themselves. They released 18 episodes online and a DVD set for the first season (12 episodes). The web series gained a large enough audience to have premiers all over North America, and even a few overseas. The show was hilarious at first, although after the first three season 2 episodes it just got lame. In July last year, they announced that the web-series was delayed indefinitely because they got a TV deal. I just finished watching the first episode of teh TV show, which just started.

    The TV show has little to do with the original series, as it features only three of the original characters: Jeremy the_pwnerer, FPS_Doug, and Kyle the cameraman/noob. Pretty much everyone else is completely new, and it follows a completely different storyline. In the first episode, Jeremy's mom gets fed up with her 26-year-old doing nothing but playing games in their basement and cancels the internet. They did a great job at introducing the characters to new audiences without boring any of the longtime fans. This episode is hilarious, nuff' said. So far, this TV series is looking good, and I'm looking forward to episode 2.

You can watch the episode here.

Thursday, March 18

Perfect Dark - Xbox Live Arcade impressions

    It's Perfect Dark, just with a better frame rate, improved character and weapon models, high-definition, and online multi-player. Other than that, they changed nothing about the game, which is absolutely perfect. I'm glad that they finally released one of my favorite games from my teenage years onto Xbox Live. Playing this game had me flowing with nostalgia; remembering all those all-nighters sitting at a couch with three other guys playing all night.

    For those of you who don't know, Perfect Dark is the spiritual sequel to Goldeneye 007. Goldeneye is probably the most famous console FPS of all time. Perfect Dark is very much like it's predecessor - even including several maps from the famous 007 game, but improves on it in many ways. Sure, Perfect Dark has it's problems; the story maps can get confusing for one thing, but it's still my favorite N64 game by far.

    So yeah, I'm very satisfied with this re-release. What was that other game that came out this week? It was a PS3 exclusive, but I can't quite...God Of War 3! Yeah, saying that game's epic doesn't do it justice - it re-defines epic. That said, Perfect Dark was the big one for me this week.

Sunday, March 14

Movie Review - Toy Story

    For anyone who's ever heard of this movie...if you can call it that, you know what an abomination it was. This movie single-handily destroyed my childhood. It made me think that my toys would come to life, sitting there waiting hours on end hoping for some sign of life.

    The whole point of the movie is that toys come to life when their owners aren't around. How dumb can you get? It's about as plausible as a cell phone learning how to juggle running chainsaws while driving a motorbike just doesn't happen. Anyway, lets begin the review.

    It starts with a kid, Andy, playing with his toys. He looks like he's having fun, but it only makes me wish I was playing with toys instead. Then he starts running around the house dancing with his favorite toy. What's next, is he going to propose to this toy? And another thing; why is this toy named "Woody"? Isn't this supposed to be a kid's movie? Why would you name the main character Woody? And what's with these graphics anyway? They're horrible.

Wednesday, March 10

Favorite Games

Just over a week ago, I posted about my currently favorite movies. Now it's time to post about my favorite current-gen games.

First of all, I should say that I have the Xbox 360 and the PS3. I don't have a Wii, but I've played my brother's Wii enough to know what's good on it. Of the three systems, I prefer the Xbox overall, although the PS3 is a close second. The Wii, does have it's problems, but it also has its advantages. The fact that it's currently the only fully backward compatible machine is a big one for me; being a collector with limited space, the more games one machine can play, the better.

For a while, Gears Of War 1 and 2 were my favorite games this generation. More than anything else, I enjoyed the wham-bam action and the...CHAINSAW BAYONET! The first game popularized cover-to-cover gameplay, and the sequel vastly improved it. While the first game didn't have much of a story, it was just plain fun. The second game deepened the story more than I thought they would, and it was epic. The main reason I like these games however, is because of all the horde nights I've had with friends of mine.

Lately however, I've discovered a new favorite game this generation...Mass Effect 1 and 2. These massive shooter/rpg games involve gathering a team to save the galaxy. Throughout the games you make tonnes of choices a well. You can choose to save people or let them die, you can choose to kill people or let them live. If you finish Mass Effect 1, you can load your file into Mass Effect 2; people who survived the first game will appear in the second, and nearly every choice you made in the first affects the second one way or another. Sure, Mass Effect 1 does have it's problems, but the good far outweighs the bad. In fact, I personally enjoyed all the exploration missions; many complain that it had too much exploring. Either way, Mass Effect 2 fixes everything that was wrong with the first, and improved on everything that worked as well. It doesn't hurt that Mass Effect 2 is probably the best looking Xbox 360 game to date.

But so far I've only talked about Xbox 360 games, what about PS3 games? So far, Uncharted 2 is my favorite PS3 game. With an Indiana Jones like storyline, a rather impressive story, and a strong cast of characters. The game is perfectly paced, has tons of gameplay variety, and an enjoyable online multiplayer component. Uncharted 2 is also one of the best looking games so far this generation, and truly shows the power of the PS3.

Another current favorite is the Metal Gear Solid franchise. I first played The Twin Snakes(Metal Gear Solid 1 remake) for the Gamecube shortly after it released. My next MGS game was Metal Gear Solid 4, exclusive to the PS3. Since then, I've also played MGS2, MGS3, and MGS: Portable Ops (PSP). Most of these games are more movie than they are gameplay, especially MGS2 and MGS4, but the movie is very well produced, and the gameplay's pretty fun too.

Well, those are the biggest game on this list, but others I vastly enjoyed include Modern Warfare 1 and 2, Little Big Planet, Ratchet and Clank Future (all three), Halo 3 and ODST, and Left 4 Dead. And this completes my list of favorites this generation, so far. Yeah...I like shooting games.

Sunday, March 7

Movie Review - Garbage Pail Kids

    OK, I managed to do it. I actually managed to finish this movie. A while back, I reviewed the first 20 minutes of this movie on Facebook; that's literally all I could stand at the time. Now, I've managed to watch this...unique film.
    Garbage Pail kids is a very unique bad film. Some bad films are funny, some are just lame. Some are painfully unfunny, and some make you angry. This one is physically painfully bad, no joke. This isn't any more of a movie than it is a torture device. I'm sure this movie is used in a prison somewhere as an execution method. Just keep playing it over and over again until the prisoner dies of pure, concentrated pain.

     Alright fine, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but this movie is bad, really bad. I honestly can't believe how truly awful this movie is. For someone who can usually enjoy a bad movie - even Troll 2, Plan 9 from Outer Space and others - because of how bad they are, that's saying a lot. The movie had no real plot, no talent, and absolutely no redeeming value of any kind. It's a movie based on trading cards, where each card had some ugly kid doing something disgusting. I have no idea who thought this could make a good movie, but oh boy did they fail.

     From what I can make of it, there's this 12-year-old kid named Dodger whose parents are never mentioned at all. He works at some magician's antique shop. The kid likes this 20-year-old girl named Tangerine- even to the point of stalking her - even though she always dresses like a birthday present (as in a total lack of fashion sense). Tangerine goes out with some bad dude named Juice. Juice wants Dodger dead because,'s a matter of principle? Oh yeah, Tangerine's a total jerk to Dodger, ignores him completely, and he still likes her? Yup, that sums up the main plot..

     Somehow a bunch of really fake looking kids show up.

Friday, March 5

Favorite Movies

    Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been a little sick. Anyway, if I'm going to have a blog about movies and games, I might as well post about the kinds of movies and games I enjoy. For this post, I'll talk about movies.

    Some of my current favorites are movies like The Dark Knight, Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Superman 1 and 2. Everything in this post about movies that always put me in a good mood would be included here as well. Most of my favorite childhood movies could be considered as quasi-favorites too; well, some of them anyway.

    I don't really have a favorite kind of movie.While I tend to watch action movies the most, I'm willing to watch nearly everything. I'll watch drama (some of my favorite movies are drama), I'll watch comedy, I'll watch chick flicks (yup, you read that right), and I'll watch kids least the good ones. I also enjoy a good cheesy movie every now and then; I guess you could say most chick flicks are cheesy, but so are half the superhero movies out there. Overall though, I've always enjoyed movies with well developed characters and stories the most. I pretty much always enjoy movies where you actually care about the characters and what happens to them. I've also always enjoyed unique movies with creative stories.

    I guess my least favorite kind of movie is the mediocre, bland, or otherwise just OK movie. I get bored very quickly in a movie that's just OK. There are exceptions, but for the most part I just can't stand these flicks. I'd almost rather watch a painfully bad movie like, actually I'd rather not. In case you're wondering what movie I'm talking about, don't worry, it's my next review.

    Beyond that, I also enjoy bad movies every now and then. Enough so that I've hosted Bad Movie Nights every now and then. My favorite bad movie is Plan 9 From Outer Space, but Troll 2 is a close second. Yeah, I know those are the two everyone knows about, but there's a reason they're still popular today. Of course, there are bad movies that I don't enjoy, like Garbage, can't say it yet.

    So there you have it, my favorite kinds of movies, and a small list of my current favorites. I'll most likely post about my favorite games sooner or later, but my next post will be a review of Garbage Pai...if I can recover  myself enough from that disaster soon enough.