Archive for July 25th, 2010

25
Jul
10

Phantom Hourglass (9/10)

Having already played Spirit Tracks, I had an idea of what to expect when I came into Phantom hourglass.  I expected it to be cute and entertaining.  A great Zelda game.  The game did not disappoint.

Phantom Hourglass takes place right after Wind Waker.  (***Minor Wind Wake Spoilers in this paragraph***)  It starts with an adorable paper cut out type cutscene that gives you a cliff notes version of Wind Waker.  You then see Link and Tetra sailing on the open sea, searching for the Ghost Ship.  Long story short: They find it and Tetra gets kidnapped.  Link wakes up on an island to see….Navi?  Oh wait, that is Ciela, she is a fairy that looks just like Navi, only she is much cooler.  She seems to have amnesia and lives with her adopted “grandpa”.  They decide to rescue Tetra, but need a ship.  Long story short, they meet someone with a ship.  His name is Linebeck, a cowardly treasure hunter with an inferiority complex.

The cast is great.  They start out kinda annoying at first, but they really grow on you.  You really grow to love Ciela and Linebeck as you see they are both pretty cool characters.  They are great characters and, like the rest of the game, have a cute cartoony personality.  (but in a good way)

The game controls smoothly, everything is controlled with the stylus.  While I initially would have preffered a more traditional control scheme, I am happy they stuck with they stylus as it allows for some cool items.  Take the boomerang for instance, you simply draw the path you want it to take, and it follows.  The game takes advantage of the DS’s capabilites in all sorts of clever ways, resulting in some really neat puzzles.  You will be solving a puzzle to figure out a certain symbol, then drawing that symbol on the screen quite often, but it never seems to get old.  You will be blowing into the mic to move a windmill.  You will be doing all kinds of cool stuff.

They even added a light RPG element with the addition of force gems.  Throught the game you will be looking for 3 types of special gems: Power (red), Wisdom (blue), and Courage (green).  Once you have enough gems of a certain color, you have the option to equip one of these powers.  If you choose wisdom, you get a defense increase whereas power gives you added strength.  However the best choice is Courage, which unlocks the sword beam from the older games.

There are some flaws with the game however.  There is a dungeon called “The Temple of the Ocean King” you will be revisiting several times.  Each time you can get further into the dungeon that you could the last time.  The problem with this is it involves a lot of backtracking.  You will be solving the same puzzle several times.  Granted, once you get far enough into it, you can unlock a teleporter that lets you skip a good bit of the dungeon, but it is still annoying.  To make matters worse, it is timed so you always feel rushed and can’t quite enjoy exploring new areas of the dungeon.

The sailing is ok, but kinda boring.  It just gets kinda repetitive.  Granted, it is better than the train in Spirit Tracks, but it still is annoying.  Also, I hate the Mailman character.  I know it is only a minor complaint, but I wanted to scream every time he was on screen.  HE WAS OPENING MY MAIL AND READING IT OUT LOUD!  I AM PRETTY SURE THAT IS A FELONY!

There is also a Muliplayer mode, that includes online play.  It plays kinda like capture the flag.  One player controls link and he has to pick up force gems and move them to his goal.  The other character controls three phantoms and tries to stop link.  After link gets killed or time runs out, the players switch roles.  This happens three times, then whoever has the most points wins.  Playing it online makes for a fun little distraction when you are bored and I loved playing it with my friend that one time.  However this is more a little addon than a selling point.  It is fun but not grand.

Overall, Phantom Hourglass is a great game.  If you have a DS you need to play this game.  If you are a Zelda fan, you will not be dissapointed.  And if you are a Zelda fan, you just may become one.  (though this is admittedly not a good game to start with)

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25
Jul
10

Grown Ups (1/5)

***Note: A Few Minor Spoilers***

What happens when you get Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider and their families together?  Grown Ups happens.  As you can imagine, it is not pretty….

The film opens up with the main characters as children playing on a basketball team together.  Apparently they are pretty good, thanks to their coach, “Buzzer” (who you may know as shawn’s dad from boy meets world or just as “that guy from Roseanne”) Flash forward to present day.  Buzzer had died, so the team comes together once again to…go on vacation?  Wait…why are they going on vacation.  This guy dies and they are throwing a freak’in party.  They even find themselves making loud jokes at the funeral, basically mocking the coach that supposedly is their idol.  It is at this point that you realize, these are all bad people.

Really quickly you learn that all of their kids are rude little brats.  Being the parents, they blame this on violent video-games, TV, and texting.  They decide they want to straighten their kids out so they…take them to a bar?  WAIT WHAT?!  No, these kids are not brats because of the media, they are brats because their parents are bad people.  (and no, they do not learn a valuable lesson about being a responsible adult like the title might suggest)  I cannot stress how bad these people are.  Every time I think they can’t get any worse they somehow manage to top the last evil thing they did.  They are always making fun of each other and fighting in a way that is supposed to mirror how real friends pick at each other…instead they just go for the low blows and beat the crap out of each other.  You would think they all hate each other and are just on vacation together because its in the scrips…oh wait…

Actually they are all pretty disturbed.  Rob Schneider is married to a woman twice his age which in results in some pretty sick jokes.  Kevin James’ four year old son still breastfeeds.  Chris Rock is a stay at home mom.  And Adam Sandler is…well, Adam Sandler.

Also, this film thrives on stereotypes.  First thing I noticed is that every videogame in the film is an over-violent murder simulator.  (lets hope Jack Thompson doesn’t see this)  Kevin James is the source of an insane number of Fat jokes.  Chris Rock can’t go one scene without pointing out the fact that he is Black.  Adam Sandler owns a asian slave, er, I mean nanny who lives with them and obeys their every command…or else…The list of stereotypes goes on and on and on…

There is not much of a plot either.  There is no real conflict…in fact, I don’t even think this is a fictional movie.  I think these actors really went on vacation together and this is the home movie.  I mean there is sorta a subplot involving a basketball game, but it bears no real significance.

The Jokes tend to fail pretty often.  Sure some of them hit but most of them miss, and the ones that do make you laugh are not so much “ha ha thats funny” so much as “ha ha they acually decided to put that in the film.  Half of the Jokes you can see coming from a mile away, and half of them are just disturbing.  (yes, there are poop/pee jokes…and an embarrassing amount of them…I have lost all respect for Kevin James…)

All in all, Grown Ups tried.  It really tried to create a good comedy, and it failed in my opinion.  While it is funny from time to time, it is just too disturbing to be any good.

For the record while this movie is TERRIBLE, I am not necessarily suggesting you avoid it.  Don’t watch it on your own, and definitely do not watch it with kids.  Instead do what we did, gather your funniest friends around the TV and Mystery Science Theater that puppy.  Seriously, this film just begs to me made fun of.

So gather your friends, pop the popcorn and prepare to laugh at (not with) the cast of Grown Ups.  Or just go see a real movie…your choice…




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