Archive for August, 2010


Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge [PC] (9/10)


Monkey Island 2: Lecuck’s Revenge: Special Edition a remake of the classic PC adventure game from the minds of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman.  This installment opens with our hero, Guybrush Threepwood, hanging onto a rope while suspended over a pit and holding a treasure chest.  His love interest from the last game, Elaine Marley comes down on another rope to ask how on earth he got into such a predicament.  We flashback to a few days prior:  Guybrush is on Scabb Island with a fortune retelling the events of the first game to a group of pirates around a campfire….and so the game begins…

The humor from the first game has returned with plenty of laugh out loud moments to spare.  While some of the jokes are aimed at fans of the last game (or other lucasarts games) there are plenty of laughs for all.  The fact that this game was made by lucasarts, means that we get a lot of references to films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones.  There is no way to play this game without plenty of laughing.

The gameplay follows that of most point-and-click adventure games.  The game consists mainly of hilarious conversions with people and solving puzzles with items.  The interface has changed from having a menu of verbs and inventory items at the bottom of the screen to an interface more like what we will see with the later monkey island games.  Right click on something and the possible interactions appear next to the item, click on one to select it.  Click the middle button on your mouse (or mouse wheel) to open your inventory.  It is all very familiar to adventure game veterans and easily accessible to those new to the genre.

The game has overgone a makeover

The graphics have been updated.  The new ones look good, staying similar to the original game.  I personally like the older graphics better.  They just seem more warm and inviting to me.  However, this is probably just the nostalgia talking.  It is still a nice style and I like it.  The big change here is the characters, they look a lot more exaggerated and more like caricatures as opposed to the characters in the original.  I think this is because they could put more detail into these whereas the original characters had to be more simplified.  Again, I prefer it the original way, but that is just the nostalgia.  The more stylized characters really do fit the silly nature of the game better.  Luckily for me, you can swich back to the graphics of the original game at any moment by pressing F1.

The sound is about the same.  The music is just an update of the old music.  It have the same feelings with it as I do the original  (what can I say, I am very nostalgic)  The new voice acting is great!  It was awesome to hear all my favorite old lines spoken by the great Dominic Armato.  Granted, the timing feels a little off at times, which messes up a few of the jokes, but it generally works well.

There are also a few special features including a image gallery of concept art which is pretty nice.  However, the best part is the audio commentary.  During certain parts of the game you can press “A” to hear Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman talk about the game MST3K style.   These moments are always fun and always funny.

There are not two difficulty levels like in the first game, but there is a hint system.  By pressing “H” you are given a hint to help you solve the current puzzle.  Everytime you press “H” you get a more descriptive hint until the game eventually just gives you the answer.  I like that it does not tell you the answer right off, and rather just tries to point you in the right direction.  This system is very usefull for solving some of the game’s difficult puzzels (not that needed to use the hint system or anything…) and can be especially helpful to players new to the genre.  There is also an optional mode that highlights all interactive itmes when you click the left and right mouse buttons togather.  Again, this can help more inexperienced player.

Overall, I would say that between the voice acting and the commentary this is a great buy for any Monkey Island fan.  As far as newcomers go, there is plenty of humor and clever puzzles here to keep anyone hooked…but you may want to play Monkey Island 1 first…


5 Random Quotes for July (2010)

  1. The Internet is the world’s largest library.  It’s just that all the books are on the floor.  ~John Allen Paulos
  2. An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.  ~Niels Bohr
  3. Love is nothing in tennis, but in life it’s everything.  ~Author Unknown
  4. When a man retires and time is no longer a matter of urgent importance, his colleagues generally present him with a watch.  ~R.C. Sherriff
  5. Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.  ~Italian Proverb

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (5/5)

In 15 to 20 years from now, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will be seen as the defining movie of its respective generation, and if it isn’t, it should be. No movie has better encapsulated and satirized the interests and temperaments of contemporary youth, and no future movie is likely to surpass it.

The above quote pretty much sums up my opinion on this film.  This film represents our generation: The gaming generation.

As the film begins, we are greeted by the Universal Studios logo and music that plays with it, only the logo is rendered in 8-bit graphics and the theme is a midi.  It was at this point, that I knew this film was going to rock.

The premise is pretty simple.  Scott Pilgrim is your typical loser.  He is dating a seventeen year old girl named Knives Chau, which causes some scandal among his friends and family since he is 22.  He also plays in a band called the “Sex Bomb-omb”, who are about to compete in the battle of the bands.  They are preparing for a battle of the bands when Scott meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers.  The moment he sees her, he knows they are destined to be together…but there is one little problem.

Before he can win Ramona’s heat, he has to defeat her seven evil exes.  Yes, the Ex-Boyfriends from Ramona’s past show up to challenge Scott, one at a time, to a duel to the death, mortal Kombat style.

As you would expect, this game is riddled with references, mostly to video-games.  There was no way to catch them all in one sitting of the film.  Many of these references are funny just in themselves, but don’t expect the humor to come solely from the references.  This film is filled with jokes, good jokes. (nothing like the “jokes” in grown ups)  From the situations the characters are in, to the characters themselves, I could not stop laughing thought the entire film.  Michel Cera plays the part perfectly, and the seven evil exes are all hilarious in their own way.

But make no mistake, this film is targeted at us young folks.  Older audiences don’t get the film, because it was not made for them.  It was made for our generation…

…In fact, I have devises a little test to see if you are in the “Scott Pilgrim Generation.”  Click on the seven links below, each one leads to a trial. (one trial for each evil ex)  If you do not find any of the trials to be funny/awesome, then you won’t enjoy Scott Pilgrim.  The more of these you like, the more you will like the film.

Trial #1

Trial #2

Trial #3

Trial #4

Trial #5

Trial #6

Trial #7

Scott Pilgrim really does define the gaming nerd generation in a way no other film can, and it is totally flipping hilarious.  The fact of the matter is, it is hard to really explain this movie.  It just has to be experienced.  Every moment I was in the theater was filled with complete joy.  Go and see this.  Don’t wait until it is out on DVD, because this is a film that needs to be experienced in the theater.  (plus, they kinda deserve your money…the Scott Pilgrim people, not the theater)

[note: special thanks to cubetoons, thinkgeek, and halolz for the trials)


Why Mario Galaxy 2 is the Better Galaxy

I love the original Mario Galaxy.  Who doesn’t?  It is an amazing game and I enjoyed playing it.  However, I did feel that the game had its fair share of problems.  Also, I did not feel that these problems were properly reflected in the reviews (any of them), and I was shocked when it won game of the year on both GameSpot, Nintendo Power, GameTrailers, Edge and Yahoo! Games (thanks Wikipedia!).  Keep in mind, this was the same year we got: Super Paper Mario, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Metroid Prime 3, Phantom Hourglass, Orange Box, and COD4.  All of which were better than the original galaxy, in my opinion (except perhaps phantom hourglass, but even that is pretty close)  Once again, I feel the need to point out that I do love the original Galaxy, I just felt it was a little overrated.

Well, I did not think much of it at the time.  (acually, I was just happy that Game of the Year was being won by a Wii game)  But then Mario Galaxy 2 came out and changed everything.  It was everything the original galaxy should have been.  It was a hundred times superior…yet, it was eerily similar.  It was as if not only every complaint I had with the original galaxy had been fixed, but the things I loved had been improved.  For the next few paragraphs, I would like to do a comparison between the two and show the three main reasons why, without a doubt, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the superior galaxy.

The Hub Worlds

Both galaxies have hub worlds, but they each handle them very differently.  In the original galaxy,  there is an open world to explore.  Within this world, there are several observatories that act as a gateway to several other galaxies.  Galaxy 2, on the other hand, has decided to go with a map system, such as found in the older games.  The hub world is still there, but it is not required that you explore it in order to get from level to level.

The original hub world just did not work.  It was infuriating to have to travel across, and it was near impossible to keep track of what stars were where.  Which, at first, seemed odd to me.  After all, exploring the hub world was my favorite part of both Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine.  But after some thinking I came to realize why it did not work.  One of the main reasons was size.

Mario 64 contained 15 courses spread out over a huge castle.  (plus a few hidden areas)  Each painting let to one world, and it was pretty easy to memorize where your favorite courses were.  Mario Sunshine contained 8 worlds (not counting the airstrip) spread out over a large hub world.  Both of these are a relatively small amount of worlds to keep up with and each world was used several times.  Now Galaxy 1 has 6 observatories, each having 4 or 5 galaxies, plus several hungry luma galaxies.  I was able to count 37 diffrent galaxies.  That is a lot of galaxies to keep up with!  This type of hub world structure just does not hold up well with 37 galaxies.

The map structure, however, is proven to work great with a large amount of levels.  This way, Galaxy 2 keeps all the fun of the hub world but without the frustration.

Level Design

Now, I am not saying the level designs in Galaxy 1 were bad.  The way gravity would twist and turn blew our minds.  They took the new concept of being in space and really made it work.  They completely changed our perspective of what a platformer could be.  But the fact that this was such a new way of looking at platforming, meant that they were inexperienced with it.  Galaxy 1 was very experimental, but by Galaxy 2, they knew what they were doing.  The levels just work better in Galaxy 2.

More Variety

While Galaxy 1 did have plenty of things to do, it started to feel repetitive after a while.  Galaxy 2, on the other hand, included not only all the concepts from the first game, it also added several new power-ups, Yoshi, and power-ups for Yohsi.  Plus, they added sidescrolling levels in addition to the regular levels.  With this large amount of variety, there is no way it can get repetitive.  There are just so many different concepts in this game!  Variety is the spice of life, and …um, nevermind.  I was going to make a lame pun about the spicy chilli pepper that Yoshi eats, but I think I will spare you from the puns.  (*shakes fist angrily at* 😉 )

And that is the main three reasons why Mario Galaxy 2 is the best Galaxy!  I have a few more reasons, but they are minor and don’t really deserve to be brought up here.  (Plus they tend to center more around my personal tastes than actual problems)  I hope you enjoyed reading this!


Great Geek Webpages

I’m a geek, he’s a geek, she’s a geek, yeah we’re all geeks.

…ok, now that I have gotten that reference out of the way, I can begin my post.  As geeks we love the internet (or “teh interwebs” for those of you who are “hip with the lingo”)  So I thought I would write a little post showing off some of my favorite web pages that you may not know about.  I am not going to include sites like IGN because…well, everyone knows about IGN.  These are the sites that most people have never heard of (like mine!)  I hope they kill as much of your spare time as they have mine.

General Geekyness

Geekosystem – Ok, this is my new favorite website.  This place has a little bit of everything, and chances are if you can’t find it on geekosystem, you can find a link to it on geekosystem.  It gets updated several times a day, so there is always plenty to read, and about 90% is worth your time.  If you only visit one site from this list, it should be this one.  Geekosystem, I salute you! – If you like pokemans, then you will love this site. Basically, they have manages to archive every episode of the anime.  Need I say more?  To see Ash catch them all, just tune into


Ok, these are not sites, so much as they are pictures.  I got both of them from geekosystem and they are both by the same guy.

Sir Ian – Ian Mckellen in his magneto suit with baby chicks.  Yeah, this one is my wallpaper

Lazy Sunday Afternoon – Christopher Walken building a robot, what’s not to like?

Web Comics

This is the longest section of the post.  Ironically, I don’t actually follow any of these comics regularly.  I read several comics, then leave the series alone for a few months (or up to a year) then randomly come back and pick up where I left off.  But when I do feel like reading a webcomic, these are the sites I go to!  They are all hilarious, and I think you will like them.

Awkward Zombie – I recently discovered this site, and it is really funny.  Expect a lot of Nintendo humor (especially Smash Bros. references)

Funny Farm – Again, another very funny site.  I got into this a long time ago and only re-discovered it a few months back.  It is about a bunch of animals living together in a boarding house.  Granted, it sounds like a rejected newspaper funny idea, but he actually makes the idea work.  There are a few story arcs in this comic, so it is best to start from the beginning, but  it is not absolutely necessary.

Sonic and Pals – Ok, Ok, I know what your thinking..a sprite comic…about Sonic Characters…it does sound lame. But the guy has been doing a comic a day for the past 6 years.  The site’s fourms have a crazy dedicated fanbase.  And it has done quite well, and with good reason.  This is a very well written comic.  There is plenty of humor and running gags.  All in all, this is probably my favorite on the list.  Warning though, it does contain a lot of different story arcs and you have to start from the beginning, which is a shame because the first few months worth of comics are not that great…but once it gets going, it really gets interesting.

Garfield Minus Garfield –  Ok, this is the funnies comic on this list.  Heck, this is the funniest link on this list.  Garfield Minus Garfield is exactly what the name implies.  They take a garfield comic from the paper, and photoshop Garfield out of the picture, leaving John alone and talking to himself.  This comic is hilarious in such a surreal way, as John starts yelling at a cup of coffee for no reason or talks about how great it is to have a friend and then bursts into tears.  You will not find a funnier webcomic anywhere else.  Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, even loves it.  And so should you!

Blogs, Blogs, and more Blogs!

These final four are all blogs that I already link too.  I thought I would mention them here though because I can’t stress how fun they are to read.

Crossroads – This site is run by my best friend.  It is much like my site in that it covers a little of everything (including the occasional short stories)  It is always fun, always funny, and always awesome.

Earl’s Blog: Part III – Also run by one of my best friends, Earls blog tends to concentrate on films.  He does the other stuff too, but cinema is really his expertise.  His reviews are always entertaining.  We have very, very, very different tastes in movies, but I still find the reviews very helpful and often check with him before watching something new.

KigreX32’s Site – The tagline reads “Unbiased Wii and DS reviews by a Wii and DS owner.” and that pretty much sums up the site.  His reviews are good and fun to read.

Cut the Crap Video Game Reviews – You may have heard of its sister site, Cut the Crap Movie Reviews, it has won a few awards.  Personally, I had never heard of it but it is supposed to be great.  Cut the Crap Game reviews prides itself in being “for people who don’t read video game reviews”it is a fun format and that is a blast to read.  It looks as though this site is just starting out (actually, it started 1 month ago today)  It really looks like it has potential.  They don’t just do new games, but they do plenty of retro reviews and flash game reviews.  Not to mention they have cool polls to vote in.


My Top 15 Favroite Gamecube Games of All Time

I love the Gamecube.  It has brought me so many good memories.  When I first got it, I was still a young gamer, but the Gamecube was there with me as my tastes changed and matured.  I still even play gamecube games, even though they stopped making games for it a long time ago.  So I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to write about my favorite gamecube games of all time.

But before I go any further I should point out that this is a list of my “favorite” games, not the “best” games.  Nostalgia is playing just as much a part in this list as the actual quality of the games.  Also, this list if not definitive, as I have not played all the best games to come out for the gamecube, and I am not done with trying new gamecube games (I can think of two or three off the top of my head that I would like to try).

I hope you enjoy this list as much as I enjoyed thinking it up.  Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what your favorite games were for the system.


15.  Spongebob: Battle for Bikini Bottom

Chances are, you love Spongebob.  Everyone loves Spongebob!  So it was no surprise that he got plenty of licensed games to go around.  But what did come as a surprise is that some of them were really good. Battle for Bikini Bottom was one of those good ones.  You ran around Bikini Bottom fighting robots and having Spongebob induced fun.  Best of all, you could play as Spongebob, Patrick, and Sandy!  It was a great game that ate up several hours of my childhood.

Oh, Bikini Bottom, we pledge our hearts to you, as faithful, as deep, as true, as blue! Bikini Bottom, we love you!

It turns out that Tim Curry Played the Villian! No wonder I loved this game!

14.  Scooby-Doo: Night of 100 Frights

Ok, My brother and I were Major Scooby-Doo fans growing up!  While this is certainly not my favorite Scooby-Doo game ever, (see Scooby-Doo Mystery and Scooby-Doo! Classic Creep Capers) it was still amazing entertaining.  It was filled to the brim with platforming goodness.  The game world felt expansive and spooky, (well, as spooky as scooby-doo gets) The villian was awesome, and best of all DON KNOTTS WAS IN THIS GAME!  They even took advantage of the games internal clock by making fun things appear during holidays.  (the game snows at Christmas, fireworks on the 4th, etc.)  This was a very well made game and the best Scooby game of its generation.

Sonic Boom! Sonic Boom! Sonic Boooooom!

13.  Sonic Mega Collection

I feel like I am cheating with this entry.  Sonic Mega Collection contained the best Sonic games for the Sega Genesis.  These games were both fun and addictive.  What can I say, this is the best Sonic Game to come out for the Gamecube!  (Though I admit that I really liked Sonic Riders) Also, this introduced a non-sonic games called Ristar, which turns out to be an amazing game in its own right.  If you grew up on Sonic, this will bring back lots of memories.  If you did not grow up on sonic, this will serve as proof that he once was a great game character.

Who loves in a pineapple under the sea?

12.  Spongebob: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman

Yeah, yeah, there are two Spongebob games on this list…I grew up with the little yellow sponge, so it is obvious that I played his games.  This is the first spongebob game I ever played, and it is quite possibly the best.  I really felt like I was in spongebob’s world, exploring Bikini Bottom.  It was just a fun game.

With box art like that, how could the game be anything but awesome?

11.  X-Men: Legends

X-Men legends was just a great game.  It used the same system that went to fuel future games such as Ultimate Alliance, but this game pulled it off the best.  Each X-Man felt like a unique character, and you really felt like you had their power.  The story was great, the hub worlds were great, the levels were great.  It was just a great game.  A must have for all X-Men fans out there.  Best of all, there was a level that allowed you to play as Professor X.  And it was every bit as awesome as you would imagine.

How can a game that is so cute be so awesome at the same time?!

10.  Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

It was through this game that I got my first taste of the Paper Mario series.  While I am not to big on turn-based RPG’s I still loved this game.  It managed to create a world that was sweet and cute, but without becoming too childish.  It had a wonderful cast of characters, and plenty of diverse areas to explore. I cannot begin to express how fun the atmosphere of this game is.  If you are a Mario-fan, will will love it.  If you are a Mario fan AND an RPG fan, you will really really love it.

It'sa me! Luigi!

9. Luigi’s Mansion

Luigi just doesn’t get enough love.  He is always stuck in his brother’s shadow.  This is why we were so happy to hear that now only was he getting his own game, but he would be saving Mario!  Luigi’s mansion was an incredibly fun game.  It had a great atmosphere, great gameplay mechanics, and the mansion really felt like a mansion rather than a string of levels.  The bosses were always a blast, and sucking ghosts into that vacuum never got old.  The only real problem I have with this game was that it was too short.  Luigi finally got the respect he deserves with this game, making it one of my favorite games for the gamecube.

Very Viewtiful...Very Viewtiful Indeed!

8. Viewtifil Joe

In a console generation dominated by games that include three dimensions, it was nice to see this 2D platformer.  Viewtiful Joe places you in the world of cheezy old super-hero movies.  You will be fighting some of the most halarious villians you have ever seen.  Plus, you will be pulling off some amazing moves thanks to your VFX (Viewtifil Effects) powers which allows you to do things like speed up and slow down time.  This was a great game that hearkened back to the older platformers of our youth while still remaining fresh and new.


7. F-Zero GX

The tagline for this game is “At 1,000 MPH, you’d better not blink!” and it pretty much holds true.  F-Zero GX was everything a racing game should be – FAST.  Flying through at dizzying speeds, you will really feel the adrenaline as you race down the tracks.  A quick warning though, this game is hard…really hard.  But I would not have it any other way.  There is nothing like racing down the tracks, more worried about surviving the race than placing first.

Stay on target...STAY ON TARGET!

6. Star Wars Rouge Squadron 2: Rouge Leader

One of the best parts of Star Wars was the amazing spaceships.  From X-Wings to the Millennium Falcon, there is no shortage of cool starships to fly.  This game contains both battles from the film (such as the death star run) and battles created for this game.  It was a blast to play and had plenty of replay value, as you could replay the battles with new ships.  There was a large variety to the levels, giving you battles over land and in space.  The missions were always challenging, but never impossible, and there were plenty of unlockables.  This remains my favorite spaceship game for a console, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  (It also had a sequel that, while fun, was nowhere near as good as Rouge Leader)

Sailing for Adventure!

5. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Now, those who know me are probably shocked right that this did not make the number 1 spot.  It is no secret that the Zelda series is my favorite game series of all time, and this is a great game.  While many people disliked the more cartoony style of this version, I found that it grew on me rather quickly.  The sailing did become repetitive after a while, but it was still fun to explore the different islands.  The overall atmosphere of this game was great, and the design of the towns, dungeons, and items lives up with the rest of the games in the series.  This game is very close to perfect in its own right.  It managed to capture the spirit of what makes Zelda games so great.

It turns out that an Mario is the real solution to polution...

4. Super Mario Sunshine

This is the first Gamecube game we ever owned, as it came with the gamecube.  Now some people consider this the black sheep of the Mario franchise, but I have to disagree.  This is an great addition to the series.  The atmosphere of the game was amazing.  I had just as much fun exploring the hub world of isle defino as I did actually playing the levels.  As you progress though the game the island becomes brighter and brighter until you could swear that you feel the sun beaming down on you.  The addition of FLUDD was really fun, and the Yoshi sections were a blast, if not a little too rare.  This game brings back some of my best gaming memories.


3. Super Smash Brothers Melee

I think we all knew that this one was going to turn up on this list.  While, I did not discover this game until the Gamecube was on its last leg, it still was one of the best experiences I had for the system.  The premise is simple: All your favorite Nintendo characters beat each other up.  Somehow this makes for one of the greatest games of all time.  It is the perfect gamecube game to play with friends, and even the single player is incredibly addictive.

I cannot begin to express how great this game is...

2. Metroid Prime

This is the game that got me into Metroid.  I came very close to making this number 1, and I will admit that it is the best made game on this list.  I know I keep talking about games having wonderful “atmospheres” but this game really takes the cake when it comes to atmosphere.  You felt dreadfully alone while exploring this planet.  There is an incredible amount of variety here, ranging from arctic tundras, to humid rainforest, to underground lava pits. (and all in a single open-ended world no less!)  The best part was that all of these loactions felt real.  You could really feel the heat and humidity from the lava levels and rainforest.  This game pulls you in on a level that very few games can achive.

The battles were always exciting.  There was always plenty of places to explore and more hidden information to collect.  This game is perfect.  It just is.

You really could do whatever a spider can!

1. Spider-Man 2

Now I know you did not see this one coming.  My favorite game for the gamecube was a movie-based game.  (I fear I may have lost my credibility to some of you 😉 )  But Spider-Man 2 is the game by which all other super-hero based games (and movie based games) are judged, in my opinion.  And really only one superhero game has managed to surpass it (Arkham Asylum).  Now, I will concede that this game is not perfect and it does have plenty of flaws, but I still love it.  I really felt as though I was Spider-Man swinging though the streets of New York.

Countless hours of my life were wasted exploring the expansive new york city of this game, or just swinging around the city for the sake of swinging.  There were countless “Hint Tokens” that when picked up allowed you to hear Bruce Camble talking about the game world, which was always hilarious.  (while plenty of them were hints, some of them were just him rambling)  It was always a thrill to fight the bad guys, especially after you unlock some of the cooler moves.  One of the best (and cruelest) things to do is pick up a bad guy, swing to the top of a tall building, then jump off, using the criminal as a human shield.  (wait, I thought spidey was a good guy!)

There was no end to the fun in Spider-Man 2 and that is why it is my favorite gamecube game of all time.

Well, thank you for reading my list.  I hope you enjoyed it!

[Note: I did not count Twilight Princess in this list, as I have only played the Wii version.  If I had played the gamecube version, I probably would have made #1 ;) ]

Resistance: Fall of Man (8.5/10)

First off, I love alternate histories.  There is nothing like a little game of “What If?”.  That is the reason I loved Sliders (untill the series went downhill after season two *sigh*)  It is why I love Marvel’s “What If” comics.  (I own the one where Punisher kills Spidey, and it is awesome) and it is why I am going to get into Command and Conquer: Red Alert (eventually…)

Now, you are probably wondering where I am going with this.  Well, you see Resistance: Fall of Man takes place in an alternate 1950’s where WW2 never happened.  A mysterious race called the Chimera appear in Russia and overtake it in a matter of weeks.  There are rumors that the Chimera were created through biological experiments.  They are highly intellegent and have weapons unlike anything ever seen before.  But their most powerfully weapon is the Chimerian virus, once it infects a host, they eventually transform into a Chimera (though the help of special conversion centers) or die.

Before long the Chimera spread and overtake the rest of Europe and Asia.  The only place now left is Brittan, since it is surrounded on all sides by water.  By now the Brittish have mounted a defense, and are ready to fight…but are eventually overtaken.  You start the game as Nathan Hale, an American Soldier who is helping out with the Brittish Resistance.

the story plays out as though you were watching a documentary

As you can see, the story is pretty interesting.  It is told in a rather unique way.  While there are a few traditional cut-scenes during the actual missions, most of the storytelling is done as if it is a documentary.  Still images are shown while a character describes what happens.  This approach has both advantages and disadvantages.  One one hand, it is rather creative and quite entertaining.  It also makes the main characters seem more interesting and mysterious.  I seriously think I could watch an entire documentary on the world of Resistance, and it really feels as though the world is that fleshed out.  Especially well made is the opening cut-scene where it sets up the world.

However, the documentary angle makes you feel really separated from the character.  While, this can work great at times, it does not mix well with a first person shooter.  You are constantly switching from a point where you are completely separated from the character to seeing the world through his eyes.  Also, it feels as though everything is a bit “we went here and fought this battle, then we went here and fought this battle, then we went here and fought this battle” rinse, lather, repeat.  You don’t get to see the main characters very often, and that is a real shame as they seemed like great characters and there was a lot of potential with them.


The gameplay is not unlike that of any other FPS.  The controls are a little odd, but you will get used to them rather easily.  There are a few problems, such as crouch being L2 and Secondary fire being L1, making it nearly impossible to alt-fire while crouched.  The level designs were usually really good.  There was a plenty of variety in the missions, ranging from full scale battles to wondering alone down empty corridors.

The game provides a great atmosphere that makes you want to go out and roam this beautifully created world…and that is when it dissapoints you.  This game is painfully linear.  Nearly everytime it looks like there are two routes you can take, one turns out to be blocked.  Now, I will admit not all levels are like this, but enough of them are to detract from the experience (especially in the outdoor levels).  They make it worse by hiding collectible “intelligence reports” throughout the levels, prompting you to explore and see how linear this game is.

you will be seeing a lot of this gun

One of the big selling points of this game is the amazing weapons.  And they are amazing.  You start out with a basic rifle/grenade launcher, and then work your way up to “The bullseye”  It is a gun that allows you to shoot a target at an enemy, then all the bullets you fire will hone in on the target, allowing you to kill guys from behind cover.  Before you know it you will have guns that can turn into turrents, sniper rifles that slowdown time, and even a gun that can not only shoot straight though cover, but can create a shield.  There are eight weapons in the single player, but after you beat the campaign, it unlocks a second playthough that allows you to have even more weapons.  While this adds some replay value, I would have preferred all of the weapons be included in the first go around.  Wile, these weapons are a blast to use, you will wind up playing most of the game with just the standard rifle and the bulls-eye, due to limited ammo.

From time to time, the game lets you control vehicles.  While, this is a nice little diversion it does not always play out well.  The vehicle missions range from awesome to awful. The best ones generally involve the Jeep.  It is fast, there is a guy controlling the turrent for you, and you keep swapping between driving and getting out to shoot.  Unfortunately, the mech levels are not as fun.  They are slow and clunky.  There is not really much to say about them aside from the fact that they are not that fun.

Resisitance is best served with friends

Resistance also features great multiplayer modes.  First there is the online mode.  I did not play it much, and there were not many people online (due to resistance 2 already being out) but there is still some activity and it was fun, if not brutally hard.  But it is the splitscreen where I got my real taste of resistance multiplayer.  This game is great to play with friends, providing one of the best experiences I have had on the PS3.  The amazing weapons really get their chance to shine here as you shoot your friend from behind a wall while he aims his flamethrower at another guy.  I would say this is a perfect game to play with your friends.  You also get the ability to play thought he campaign with a friend.  The co-op is great, and adds a whole new layer to the game.  Even if you have already beat the campaign on your own, I would still recommend playing though it again with a friend as it is amazingly fun.

As always, I have a few minor complaints with this game.  While the Chimera look great, the diffrent classes are hard to tell apart. I don’t like that you can only have 1 co-op file at a time.  Also, the difficulty of the game really really spikes during the last few missions, pitting you against a lot of mechs that are more frustrating than fun and challanging.

Overall, this is a really great game.  It definitely has its flaws, but what it does right, it does really right.  I would recommend this game to anyone, especially if you like to play with friends.


Quick Reviews – Green Lantern: First Flight, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Wonder Woman

Can you guess this week’s theme?

Green Lantern: First Flight (4.5/5)

Origin stories are always a challenge, you have to set up a lot while crafting an interesting story.  First Flight manages to do both well.  Personally, I do not know much about the DC universe  (more of a Marvel man), so this was all very new to me.

They wasted no time in getting Hal Jordan into the green lantern suit. Seriously he becomes the green lantern in the first five minutes.  A few minutes later, he is at the Green Lantern headquarters and told that a human can not be a Green Lantern.  (we are to primitive of a species)  He is given a chance to prove himself and that is where the film takes off.  It seems there is trouble brewing in the galaxy, and Hal gets thrust into the center of the action.  I don’t want to talk about the plot to much, for fear of spoilers.

The action is also really fun in a way that only the Green Lantern allows.  The ability to use the ring to create anything allows for some creative battles.  The violence is brutal but not overly violent.

Overall, this film should be fun for both newcomers and fans alike.

Batman: Under the Red Hood (4.5/5)

This is a great film.  There is a new baddie in town and his name is “The Red Hood”.  He has all the skills of the Batman, only he isn’t afraid to kill.  Worse, he seems to be taking over crime in Gotham.  It is up to batman to solve the riddle of who is under the Red Hood and stop him, before it is too late.  I don’t want to ruin anything for you, but the “secret identity” of the red hood is really obvious.  I mean, I know that comic-fans already know.  But even if you have never heard of the Red Hood, it will still be painfully obvious.  This one was definitely made for readers of the comics.  You can understand it all with just a small amount of bat-knowledge, but there are a lot of things that make more sense if you know you history.

They got a new guy to play Joker.  At first I did not like him because…well, he is not Mark Hammil.  But the guy does a very good job in the role, and he really wears on you/

The film is really good and pretty dark.   The action scenes are amazing, and the story keeps you hooked.  I have a few small complaints, but it is really just nit-picking so I won’t go into them here.  Overall, this is a great movie, rivaling The Dark Knight.

Wonder Woman (4/5)

Coming into this, I did not know a whole lot about the Wonder Woman mythology (again, Marvel) but I did know she seemed like a cool character from the things I have seen her in.  (namely a few justice league comics and cartoons)  The only thing I knew to expect was great action sequences, and boy did they deliver.  The fights were epic and brutal.  It was great.  But oddly, that is not what impressed me about this film.  Rather, it was the sheer amount of humor.  This is my no means a comedy, but they manage to squeeze in a lot of funny moments.

The bulk of the humor comes from Steve Trevor, the first man to meet the Amazons in years.  His culture and theirs are so different it leads to a lot of funny moments.  He is always saying the wrong thing, or explaining US customs wrong or something.  It was genuinely funny.

One big thing about this film is it likes to point out how America still treats women differently.  On some level we still think of them as the weaker sex.  (much to wonder woman’s amazement)  While, I see the point, these sections start to feel a little preachy after a while. Although this is just a minor complaint.

A bigger complaint would be the way the story progresses.  Sometimes it feels as though the film is just going through the motions.  There is not much in the way of transition between the scenes, and it just feels like they are going on the adventure of the sake of making a movie. It just doesn’t always feel organic.  Granted, we don’t get this in all the scenes, in fact some of them feel remarkable real.  But the story itself is just too predictable.

The worst part is when they show up at a secret bad-guy hideout without actually explaining how they know where to look for it.  They just show up!  It is annoying and it pulls you out of the film.

But for all its faults, Wonder Woman is still a great film.  It is funny, it has exciting action sequences, and is just plain fun.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Coin-operated self-destruct, not one of my better ideas.

Kingdom Hearts: The Manga (4/5)

I have wanted to get into Kingdom Hearts for a while, but alas, I do not own a PS2.  Nor does my PS3 play PS2 disks. (curse you Sony!)  So imagine my glee when my friend lent me the copies of his Mangas.

The basic premise is simple: Lets have a big, Disney themed crossover and throw in some Final Fantasy characters for good measure.  The story itself, however, if far from simple.  Ok, lets see if I can explain it without getting confused (or giving away spoilers):

Each disney film is a world that exists out in space.  These worlds are slowly being conquered by evil creatures known as heartless.  The worlds are then vanishing.  On a small island a young boy, named Sora, is about to set out on an adventure with his two best friends, Kairi and Riku, to see if there is there is another world on the other side of the Ocean.  The heartless attack and Sora wakes up on anther world called Tanverse town, sorta  a haven for those who have lost their worlds to the heartless.  Stuff happens and before long he realizes he has been chosen by a magical weapon called the Keyblade.  He meets up with Donald Duck and Goofy who are under orders from their king (guess who) to follow the Keyblade master.  They then set off from disney movie to disney movie.

It may sound like I am giving away a lot of the plot, but this is really only a cliff-notes of chapters 1-8.  (there are 42 total)  The fact of the matter is that for four little mangas, there is a whole lot of story.  I mean a whole lot of story.  This is cool in some ways as you can tell there is a rich mythology here however it makes it hard to follow.  However, it is not impossible to tell what it is going on, you just have to pay close attention.  (Read slowly! 😉 )

The story is actually really good.  Each world feels like its own adventure, yet you never really lose sight of the higher goal.  Of course, some of the worlds were better than others Shockingly, my favorite movies were not my favorite worlds.  For example, Alice in Wonderland was my least favorite world, yet one of my favorite Disney films.  Also it should be noted that the story gets better and better as you get further into it.  I think this is because they are struggling to set up the world in the first volume, but as you go further into it they can really start to have fun.  (This could be why I did not like Alice’s world as it is the first one they visit)

While I don’t think Disney was directly involved in the writing of these mangas, the magic is still there.  They actually manage to get away with a lot of stuff that would seem campy, corny, or even downright lame if it was not for the fact that it was Disney.  For example, without giving away and spoilers, all the clichés involving the word “Heart” are here:  Follow your heart, key to your heart, I’ll be with you – in your heart, etc.  Were this any other series, I would slam it for being corny, but with Disney it somehow works without feeling lame.  In fact, it is quite awesome.  I think it is because they take these phrases quite literally, which you don’t see very often.

One problem I had with it was the humor.  I am sure the game was funny, but the manga wasn’t.  It tried, and to some people it may have been.  I just did not get the humor, which consisted mostly of people randomly screaming things and/or making exaggerated facial expressions.  I think it may be due to the Jokes not translating well into English.

Another problem I have with the book is the characters.  While we see plenty of the main characters, and we already know the Disney characters, there are plenty of other supporting characters that help out heroes on their journey.  They seem like really interesting characters, but we never get a chance to really see them.  I know they are more fleshed out in the games, and I would like to have gotten to know them better in the Mangas.

But overall, it is a fun series.  I enjoyed it and I think you will too.

Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your username...


What I'm Playing:

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  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64 VC)
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