Tuesday, August 31

Game Review - Napoleon Dynamite: The Game

    Yup, you read the title right. They made a PSP game based on one of the stupidest movies ever made. I liked the movie enough that when I found this game in a bargain bin for $5, I felt like giving it a try (I only had 3 PSP games at the time.) "Gosh" you might ask, "whoever made that game is an idiot." Well, let's find out.

    A while ago (before this blog) I made a review for this game on Facebook. I made the mistake of calling it a good game when in reality, it isn't. Back then, I wasn't really thinking about the game too hard and enjoyed it's simplicity. So what is this game's problem? The answer is simple and obvious...HOW DO YOU MAKE A GAME BASED OFF A MOVIE THAT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO MAKE ANY SENSE? Seriously, as much as I like the movie, there really is no way to make a game out of it. It's just as stupid as making a movie about "Dirty Dancing"...wait, they did that one too (warning, strong language in the Spoony review I linked to.)

    I guess the first thing that must be said is that this game is a compilation of mini-games. You have a game where Napoleon "was just practicing some dance moves", and another where he does "whatever I feel like I wanna do, GOSH!" (as in, dragging a toy behind the bus and slamming it into obstacles to try to destroy it.) You also get some really crappy "space shooters" that really scrape the bottom of the barrel. In one of them (based on a poster on Napoleon's bedroom door) Napoleon pretends to be some mythical hero and shoots flying penguins, cows, and boss dolphins with frickin rocket launchers attached to their heads. Sorry Dr. Evil, no laser beams this time. The game advertises 30 wacky mini games, but when there really copies of the same 5 games I don't think it's worthy of that claim.

Tuesday, August 17

Too Many Enemies - A Healed Rant

(Resistance: Fall of Man)

    There's something that's been bothering me with modern shooters lately, which is this basic need to make every game as epic as possible. I mean throwing as many enemies as possible at the player to make things feel intense, or throwing too many epic set pieces like fighting within a falling building or in the middle of a giant battle. It's as if epic set-pieces and fights are the only thing developers can do to make a game feel intense these days, and if you use them too much, they lose their effect. I recently posted a bit of a rant on regenerating health, but to me that's very minor compared to this.

    Flooding the player with tons of enemies isn't inherently bad, but that's all I've seen in shooting games lately. Half of the time, you see this happen when it really doesn't make any sense. For example, in Quantum of Solace your often flooded with squads of seven or eight baddies at the same time. This happens in the scene where you chase the bomb-maker from "Casino Royale", even though he was alone in the movie. Why would a bomb-maker want to take 200 armed guards everywhere he goes, especially when he doesn't want to be found? Why not just have a chase sequence instead with maybe a few of his friends shooting at you. I guess that would be too easy with regenerating health, right?

Tuesday, August 10

Game Review - Superman 64

    Holy Crap! Those are the first words that come to my mouth after playing this…thing. Superman for the N64 is an abomination to the gaming world in every sense if the word. The rest of this will be more of an angry rant than a review, but that’s cause there really is no other way to review this.
    OK, maybe I’m getting a-little ahead of myself; I haven’t even talked about the game yet. For those of you who are fans of the Angry Videogame Nerd you've probably seen his video review already (warning - language) - don’t worry, I’ll be covering plenty of new ground here. For those who aren’t familiar, let me explain this game. It’s often referred to as Superman 64 even though it’s just called Superman, probably because the Nintendo 64 has a reputation of putting “64” at the end of its titles, just like the Super Nintendo had the reputation of putting Super at the start of its titles. The game doesn’t use the John William’s theme, as the developers Titus (what kind of stupid developer name is that anyway?) would rather use some generic, unmemorable background music.

    The game’s story is that Lex Luthor has brought Superman’s friends into some virtual world. How? Why? Also, if he made this virtual world, why not make it so that Superman loses his abilities when he enters it, because nothing else in this world is consistent with the laws of physics. This game mostly comprises of flying through rings. Yup, for some reason Superman has to fly through rings to get where he needs to go.  If he misses too many rings, he fails and has to try again. Why is it so important that Superman flies through these rings? Also, if Lex can make Superman fly through these rings, then again - why doesn’t he just disable Superman’s powers? Everything about the game’s premise makes absolutely no sense.

Saturday, August 7

Beer is Like Coffee

Beer is like coffee, and wine is like tea in the same way. Before you think I’m crazy, let me explain. Both coffee and beer are brewed. They also both contain a potentially addictive substance; coffee has caffeine to keep you awake while beer has alcohol, which, um…is more likely to put you to sleep. However, I’m focusing more on the social aspect of the two. They both have a reputation of being a social drink. Have a coffee with someone in the morning in a coffee shop, or relax and watch sports with a bottle of beer. They are both the basic kind of drink…of their kind. I don’t know much about the history of either, but unless I’m mistaking, they’ve both been around for a long time. Therefore; beer is like coffee.

Just like beer is like coffee, wine is like tea. Like the previous two, these two drinks are generally a social thing. However, both wine and tea are generally considered more sophisticated than beer and coffee, at least in some parts of the world. It is also true that red wine and green tea have some very real health benefits. Therefore; wine is like tea.

Beer, Wine, Coffee, and Tea all have another thing in common. You can get them without the substance they are known to contain. You can easily get decaffeinated coffee or tea, just as you can easily get de-alcoholised beer and wine.

So, now I’ve shown how beer and wine are like coffee and tea respectively, but what about other alcoholic/caffeinated drinks? Well…pop is like mixed drinks. They are both considered as party drinks for one thing. They are generally aimed toward having a sweeter taste than any of the previous four drink types mentioned. You can also easily get these drinks without their alcohol/caffeine. In fact, pop and premixed drinks are so alike, that they are sometimes even the same drink. Again, I don’t know the history, but I’m pretty sure that pop and the liquor put into mixed drinks are much more recent than the previous four mentioned. Therefore; pop is like mixed drinks.

So you may ask, if beer is like coffee, wine is like tea, and mixed drinks are like pop, then what is like the energy drink? Straight liquor just happens to be my answer. Both are somewhat known as a party drink as well, however they are simply HARDCORE! Nothing will give you the effect of the substance quicker and crash you down harder after then a bunch of straight shots of liquor and some energy drinks. Again, I don’t know the exact history, but I’m pretty sure that energy drinks are the most recent. Therefore, straight liquor is like energy drinks.

Beer is like coffee, wine is like tea, mixed drinks are like pop, and liquor is like energy drinks. What scares me is that there is still one more alcohol category that has no caffeinated equal (that I know of)…grain alcohol (usually 70 – 95% alcoholic content, compared to liquor usually being around 40%) Here comes the pure caffeine bar!

Tuesday, August 3

Movie Review - Bloodrayne 2

    And we're back to Bowl again, this time with Bloodrayne's sequel, Bloodrayne 2 - this is going to be a long one folks. Unlike several Bowl sequels, Bowl also directed this one, and oh boy does it show. Natassia Malthe is replacing Kristanna Loken (who had "scheduling conflicts") for the title role . This movie also takes place in the wild west and has absolutely nothing to do with the first movie or either games. Just like the first Bloodrayne movie comes with the Bloodrayne 2 game for the PC, this DVD comes with the first Bloodrayne for the PC. Also worth noting is that the majority of the movie's scenes are too dark to see anything because Bowl still has no idea how to use lighting.

    Before I get onto the movie itself, there’s one thing I really should mention. This DVD won’t let you fast forward or rewind…ever. This is especially frustrating while trying to review since if I miss part of a hilariously bad line, I have to start the whole scene over to get it. This is only worsened by the fact that the scene selection is very poorly set up, and it always skips to the middle of a scene rather than the start of it. Even so, it’s annoying enough when you can’t fast forward through the stupid FBI warning messages, but when you can’t skip to a specific scene that you want to watch or show somebody – SOMETHING IS WRONG. It's also worth noting here that the DVD's default setting shows the closed captioning for the hearing impaired, but that’s not really a problem.

    Anyway, this movie starts with a bunch of pictures set to lame music just like the first one. The pictures have absolutely nothing to do with the movie, except that both the movie and the pictures are in the Wild West.

    We then have some guy walk into the shot and stop.
    "Deliverance, this is it," he says. Apparently Deliverance is a town, so my first question is why would someone call their town Deliverance? I could believe it though, considering how strange town names can get. Looks like the town's missing though.

(didn't think there was snow in the wild west)

Monday, August 2

Bloodrayne games

    Not too long ago I reviewed the movie Bloodrayne, so now it’s time to review its sequel. Bloodrayne is actually a series of video games, and the movies are “based” on them. Also since I watched and reviewed the cinematic turd known as the first Bloodrayne movie, I played through both games, so I might as well talk about them briefly. Also, tomorrow I'm reviewing the second Bloodrayne movie - and holy crap is it a doozy.

Sunday, August 1

Health Regeneration - a Healed rant

    One of the biggest differences between older shooting games and modern shooting games is regenerating health. Personally, I'm starting to get a little tired of this. Now I'm not saying regenerating health is inherently bad, in fact it works very well for multi-player games, but nobody's showing any imagination here. My problem with regenerating health is not the regenerating itself, but that nearly every modern shooting game uses the exact same system.

(Star Wars: Dark Forces)

    Back when I started playing games, there was no such thing as regenerating health. These games would either have you find health packs, get healed by medics, or sometimes you'd only recover health between missions. Nearly all of the shooting games coming out these days have automatically regenerating health. I'm not saying that regenerating health is inherently bad, and I'm not going to argue whether games should be realistic or not, but I wouldn't mind a bit more variety.