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Einhander
05-01-2009, 02:55 PM
I'm going to try reviewing a few different games I've finished recently or have in recent memory.

I'm going to start with one of my favourite games from last year..

http://i566.photobucket.com/albums/ss101/gamereviews666/dead-space-logo.jpg

I played the PS3 version of the game.

Story: (I'm going to try not to be too spoilery, as this is a more recent game)

The basic gist of the game is that you've part of a team sent out to investigate what went wrong with the mining ship The Ishimura. You're also trying to find out what happened to your girlfriend.

As you investigate, you discover the ship has been overrun with creatures which have apparently killed the crew. The creatures apparently came on board when an artifact, called The Marker, was brought aboard the ship.

A lot of the back story is told through audio logs found around the ship and through documents you find lying about the ship, somewhat similar to the Metroid Prime games.

Throughout the game, you are basically a faceless character, in an environment suit, that doesn't speak at all. The game does a good job of setting a believable backstory, even though much of the story is told to you, rather than you experiencing it. The audio logs are especially good.


Gameplay:I initially found the controls awkward, but the game itself does a good job of introducing the various mechanics of the game and explaining how to use them.

This game is unique in that you need to kill monsters in specific ways. Ugly monsters. Instead of head shots and such, you dismember them. There are several different varieties of weapons in the game and each have their own traits and are useful in different situations. For example, the flamethrower isn't great against larger, stronger enemies , but is good against swarms of little enemies that try and jump on you and eat you.

http://i566.photobucket.com/albums/ss101/gamereviews666/Deadspace3.jpg

Two important things to note in gameplay:

1) There is an incredibly useful feature in Dead Space that I love. R3 brings up a guideline which helps direct you to your next destination. Given that the ship is dark and generally looks the same through most of it, this is incredibly helpful.

2) Anti-gravity - While walking through the ship, there are pockets where there gravity has been disabled. You move by jumping around from wall to wall, wall to ceiling etc. It's disorienting at first, but it's well implemented, and there's a cool boss battle with anti-grav which still sticks out in my mind.


Graphics:This is probably one of the nicest looking games of this gen. The lighting is fantastic in this game, and there were moments where I just stopped and looked around at the environments.

Even the leathery textures on the suit looked good when your character moved.

Fantastic all around.

http://i566.photobucket.com/albums/ss101/gamereviews666/Deadspace1.jpg


Sound:There's not a ton of music in the game. They are more like musical cues, but what's there works well. I will never think of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star the same. The voice acting is good and believable.

http://i566.photobucket.com/albums/ss101/gamereviews666/DeadSpace4.jpg

Overall: This is a genuinely creepy game with solid controls, great graphics and great sound. It manages to generate a real atmosphere of dread, even though there are a number of "BOO" surprises. In some ways it feels like old 80s horror movies, like Alien or The Thing, in tone, because you're walking around a deserted space ship alone for most of the game. Also because Dead Space is mean, bloody and unforgiving. There's even a twist ending which I didn't see coming but makes sense in the context of things.

Buy new, buy used or skip?

Buy it new. It's worth your money and your time. It's a good, original game.

Einhander
05-13-2009, 08:59 PM
Star Trek by the two geniuses who brought us the Shakespearian script for "Transformers".



There are lots of spoilers which I'm not going to hide.
These were my thoughts while I was watching the movie, coupled with writing down my thoughts while refreshing my mind about the plot with Wiki.


























The movie starts off with Kirk's birth and Kirk's dad being killed, which is where the real divergence from the "old reality" starts off.

Because Kirk had no father growing up, he is apparently allowed to play too much GTA and steals cars (with great Nokia product placement - because that's what science fiction movies are all about!) for kicks.

We see young Spock getting bullied and apparently Spock's dad is now British and Spock's mom dumped Beetlejuice for him. WTF?

Then we see Spock admitted to the science counsel on Vulcan but he says STFU! because they called his half-human side a disadvantage. This was the first scene that really worked for me.

Kirk then gets the snot beaten out of him for hitting on Uhura, I guess to make him more "real", and gets a pep talk from the guy from Nowhere Man.

Kirk shows up the next day to enlist in Star Fleet, where the Enterprise is being built - ON THE GROUND - WTF #2 - and meets Bones. Karl Urban does a good impression of Deforest Kelley in the movie.

We get an awesome shot of Nero's stubble while he waits for Spock.

Then we finally get to see the moment where Kirk cheats on the Kobiyashi Maru test, where Kirk comes across as a smug jerk.

While he's being disciplined, they receive a distress call from Vulcan. We get to see Uhura throw a temper tantrum to get the assignment she wants on the Enterprise. And she gets it. WTF #3, because that's *totally* how the military (and Starfleet is a military) would work, right?

Bones gives Kirk fake space plague to bring him aboard, because naturally you would bring a sick patient onto a ship going into combat.

We finally get into the Appleprise. We get to see Sulu screw not be able to pilot (LOLZ! He can't do it because he's new!) and the computer totally pwn Chekov because he says "wessel". Hilarious!

A nice shout out to Nurse Chapel from TOS, though she's not onscreen.

Nero is drilling into Vulcan, Pike goes to the ship and Kirk, Sulu and a red shirt go space jumping to disable the drill.....so far okay.

The red shirt dies! How unpredictable!

Sulu gets something to do, and gets to do some bad ass fencing as well as save Kirk. That IS unpredictable, and nice to see.

So....Nero...is turning Vulcan into a black hole? Serious WTF. #1

Chekov gets to save Kirk and Sulu due to mathematical geniusness.

Spock goes to the planet to save his parents. As they're beaming, Spock's mom falls off a cliff. Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

Vulcan is gone and Uhura and Spock make out in the elevator. Serious WTF #2

Finally we get to the revelation as to Nero's motivations.

Romulus has been destroyed by a supernova and so Nero has traveled back in time to destroy the Federation!

That makes perfect sense! When you travel back in time, you don't save your own planet that's been blown up, you blow up OTHER planets to keep it safe!

Kirk and Spock argue about what to do and everyone says "Hey we're in an alternate reality!"

Kirk is pwned by Spock and kicked off the ship. Totally logical to maroon your first officer when you're about to go into battle. :rolleyes:

Kirk gets chased by the Cloverfield monster untill he's saved by "Spock Prime" (lol).

Spock totally pwns the future by mindmelding and telling him a bunch of stuff about the future and we get to hear the line from "Wrath of Khan".

We find out Spock was busy watching pron on his laptop and arrived too late to save Romulus from the supernova. Spock creates the black hole and they're sucked through.

We find out that Nero, instead of taking Spock's ship and using the technology to go to Romulus and warn them, and maybe engineer the star NOT to explode.....he blows up Vulcan.

Worst. Villain. Ever.

Spock Prime (lol) and Kirk go to the Federation Outpost and we see the first obvious toy tie-in in the movie.

Then we meet Scotty who was exiled for going all Korean on Admiral Archer's dog. (Enterprise shout out!)

Spock Prime (lol) gives Scotty his transporting formula from the future, just like Scotty gave the plexiglass formula to the guy in Star Trek IV and tells HIM all about the future.

After blabbing to TWO different people all about the future, he says "Don't tell me about it!" What a gossip. Toy tie-in is apparently left on the planet.

After getting back on the Enterprise, Kirk is all "You're my bitch Spock!" so Spock goes all UFC on Kirk and chokes him out. Kirk needs to learn how to tap out. And take fighting lessons.

Kirk is made captain and the whole bridge crew looks at him like "What a total douche".

Why is Spock's dad now British?

Chekov (who reveals his 17 - which means he entered Starfleet at 13?!) comes up with a plan to totally fake out Nero.

This is where I got confused. Nero's ship is already at Earth and starts drilling, so why is the Enterprise hiding at Titan? Were they beaming them onto the ship from Titan? Or were they going to attack Nero AFTER he had destroyed Earth? (Awesome plan Chekov!)

There is what sounds like music from the old series in the beaming scene, while Spock and Uhura make out in the transporter room.

Seriously, how did these two get together?

Kirk and Spock get onto Nero's ship and find Spock Prime's (lol) ship. Spock takes off and destroys the drill on Earth and Kirk gets beaten up AGAIN, while Nero makes a veiled reference to the old series.

Then Nero finds out Spock is joyriding in Spock Prime's (lol) ship, gets all pissy and fires all his weapons.

The Enterprise swoops in and shoots all the missiles so Spock Prime's (lol) ship can crash into Nero's and make a great big black hole to suck Nero in and get rid of him.

D'oh! The Enterprise is being sucked into the black hole!

Scotty comes up with a magic plan to save the day!

Eject the core into the black hole and blow it up! The blast will totally launch us away and not destroy us! Stephen Hawking must have written this script!

Then we see Spock and Spock Prime (lol) on Earth. Spock Prime (lol) totally found a spa resort for the remaining Vulcans and Sylar doesn't do the Vulcan sign properly.

Kirk is promoted to the captain of the Enterprise officially (because that's totally how a military organisation would work, just like Uhura)

At the very end, Kirk actually sounds like Kirk, and the crew is totally set up for the sequel, including the toy tie-in, which appears from nowhere!

Spock does the traditional "Space" speech because Shatner wasn't allowed. Pwnd!



So, overall?

Meh.

Nero's reasons for going - Romulus being destroyed - are fine, but his plan just doesn't make any sense. How will Romulus be safe if there's no Federation? Why not go back and re-engineer the star so it doesn't go supernova. The whole reason for the movie just doesn't hold up.

Most of the cast is fine, with Bones being eerily channeled. Uhura seemed like a bit of a petulant child in places, and Kirk was just kind of a douche.

As for the romance, WTF? I don't have a problem with the idea of it per se, but it was just so poorly developed and came out of nowhere, that it didn't really make sense either.

Hated the set design. Military ships will never look like ipods.

Oh, and it was nice to see some insulting product placements.

Overall, it should have been a straight re-boot rather than going back and mucking with the series history just because they could. Lazy writing and it seems like they did it for the lolz, rather than any reverence for the actual series.

I rate this about the same as the Star Trek Voyager episode "Future's End", where Voyager goes back in time and also completely ignores continuity.

I give this movie 5 Ed Begleys out of 10

eastx
05-13-2009, 11:15 PM
I don't think that level of nitpicking (with any movie or game) is constructive.
Spock's able to put Uhura on his ship because he's the one in charge of everyone's assignments, or at least his rank is high enough to do that. Nepotism can occur even in the military.
But it was interesting to see your thoughts on everything.

Einhander
05-13-2009, 11:26 PM
I don't think that level of nitpicking (with any movie or game) is constructive.

No, it isn't, but it was kind of fun.

Spock's able to put Uhura on his ship because he's the one in charge of everyone's assignments, or at least his rank is high enough to do that. Nepotism can occur even in the military.
But it was interesting to see your thoughts on everything.

Yes, and granted the other officer was a failure (couldn't speak Romulan), but the military follows a chain of command, I can believe time travel and Spock Prime (lol) and Spock meeting.

But Uhura whining and getting the spot she wants? No.

eastx
05-13-2009, 11:29 PM
Whining to her boyfriend, and also someone that is aware that he is the most highly qualified person for the position. I'm not seeing the stretch here.

Alucard
05-14-2009, 02:46 AM
I think you're also criticizing things a little way too much without thinking about it. I also uninstalled Dead Space halfway through. The most borings hand holding system shock wannabe I've ever played.

Chronos
05-14-2009, 05:08 AM
I didn't like Dead Space either. all of the enemies were fodder, you plasma cut or shoot right through them, and ammo is plentiful, plus you have bullet time, cliche at this point...By 2 minutes in i wasn't even scared to see an enemy, since they die so easily and are clearly not a threat to the protagonist.

Einhander
02-04-2010, 03:53 AM
As a fan of the Tekken series, and particularly of Tekken 5, I was really looking forward to this game. So when I finally got a copy last week, I was very excited to play.

Tekken 6

Here's the deal:

In every other Tekken game, you play arcade mode, go through it, beat the boss and unlock a character's ending movie and another character.

This time, *all* the characters are unlocked from the beginning.

To get the characters movies, you have to play through the GOD AWFUL Scenario mode, which is basically a really, really, really crappy brawler.

Visually, the scenario mode looks like a PS2 game, and an early one at that.

There is some sort of story but I couldn't be bothered paying attention.

The basic gist is that you run through an area and beat up bad guys - ad nauseum with your punch and kick button.

It's repetitive, it's boring and it's not very fun to play. However, you *have* to play it to find characters, who you THEN have to take those characters to an arena level, fight through what would normally be the arcade mode, beat the boss and unlock the movies.


Mind-bogglingly, they made the arcade mode part about *half* the normal length of arcade modes in other Tekken games.

Tekken 6 has five characters to beat - including the final boss, and, comparatively, Tekken 3 has twelve.

So they shortened the fun bit (the fighting) and lengthened the terrible bit - the scenario mode.

Also, the final boss is annoying and comes off as cheap, compared to other Tekken bosses.


The online is spotty, at best. I tried random matches and got varied connections. Only once did I have real serious lag problems.

However, when I tried to play private matches with my friend, we spent about 3 hours over three different days trying to play and couldn't get a single match going. Tekken 6 online? Unreliable.

I'm giving Tekken 6 a Bosconovich out of 10, because Namco created a horribly misguided creature with this game.

Do yourself a favour and go get a copy of Tekken 5.

calintz
02-04-2010, 03:56 AM
yeah agreed with that one

i'm going to stick to the T5 DR version on PSN

GrantXP
12-10-2010, 02:30 PM
So do you rate VF5 higher than Tekken? I never liked the series to be honest.

Einhander
12-11-2010, 09:13 PM
:lol:

Jesus, I forgot I made this thread.

Never played VF5 to be honest.

GrantXP
12-12-2010, 05:35 AM
Haha I have just started reading through these. I always loved the VG series. VF4 and 2 really stand out. But they never got the exposure of Tekken...

Icarus4578
06-11-2011, 11:32 AM
Do yourself a favour and go get a copy of Tekken 5.

Last good Tekken was 3. Everything afterwards was a disappointment. Ever since the arcade scene died down, Sega and Namco, companies with a bitter rivalry, lost the incentive to compete and became complacent with dishing out cookie-cutter installments to their popular franchises.

Einhander
06-12-2011, 11:26 PM
I liked 5. 6 was terrible. And don't you be dissing Tekken Tag!

Alucard
06-13-2011, 01:42 AM
dissdissdissdiss

Icarus4578
06-15-2011, 08:48 AM
I liked 5. 6 was terrible. And don't you be dissing Tekken Tag!

What, I had a great time Tekken Tag Tournament ...until the drugs wore off.

Zack
06-15-2011, 11:55 AM
tag is the best. it's basically an enhanced tekken 3 w/ an additional tag mode

Einhander
12-19-2011, 05:46 PM
Beast Wars - The Complete Series

This features SPOILERS

Beast Wars (Beasties in Canada because we're pacifists) was a show developed in the 90s to re-energise the Transformers brand after it died off in the late 80s, after they brought Optimus Prime back for no reason and turned people into Transformer heads.

The two main producers Larry DiTillio (who worked on Babylon 5) and Robert Forward (who worked on He-Man and She-Ra!) set out to take the characters they were given and make a good science fiction series. And they succeeded.

Season 1 starts out with Optimus Primal and his crew chasing Megatron and his crew because they've stolen an artifact called the Golden Disc. The battle between ships causes both to crash on an alien planet. The ships scan life forms on the planet to change their forms, and instead of vehicles, like in the original series, we get animal Transformers because the planet is apparently in a very primitive state.

The first season wasn't specifically meant to be tied to the original Transformers series, but a referrence to a "great war" got fans attention and got the two producers interested in the lore of the old series. Despite the lack of knowledge of the old series, they did manage to set up some archetypes similar to the original series with the Maximals (Autobots) and Predacons (Decepticons)

Optimus Primal is the selfless leader
Rhinox is the Ratchet type character, medic but also spiritual guru
Cheetor is the young Bumblebee type character
Rat Trap is the smart alecky character ala Powerglide
Tigatron is the pacifist, like Beachcomber
Dinobot is obviously an allusion to the Dinobots of the original series. He's not as stupid, but he is ready to fight as much as they were.
Air Razor is the only character who has no obvious parallel from the old series, other than Arcee, because she's female.

Megatron is more devious and less bombastic than his original namesake.
Terrorsaur is very much a Starscream parallel, who wants to take over leadership for himself.
Scorponok is an obedient servant, the only Decepticon to take his name from a G1 character
Waspinator is an illusion to the Insecticons, but mostly used for comedy effect
Tarantulas is a secretive, deceptive
Black Arachnia is another spider, and the only female Decepticon

This is the original, violent, American opening!

HvLwZHMM-rM

The first season, consisting of four discs does a good job of setting up mysteries, such as the stonehenge like structures, the two moons, and the aliens who created those structures. There was one callback to the original series with an appearance by Starscream's ghost.

The second season mercilessly dispatches Terrorsaur and Scorponok to introduce new characters such as Quickstrike, who is basically Sawyer from Lost, and Inferno, who is pretty hilarious because he thinks he's actually an ant, as well as the second moon, leading to certain speculations. Also, the cheese inducing Silverbolt is brought to the Maximals and Tigatron and Air Razor are sent into space by a plant and not heard from until next season. One of the best episodes of the entire series is in this season, Code Of Hero, which features the death of Dinobot. The topic of the golden disc is brought to the forefront of the story, and its importance is revealed during the amazing season finale. It turns out the Golden Disc was captured from the Voyager Space probes and included a hidden message from the original Megatron for his descendents to go back and find the Ark and destroy Optimus Prime.

The third season featured the destruction of the original Maximal ship and them moving into the Ark (The original G1 ship). New characters included Depth Charge and Rampage, two bitter enemies on Cybertron. Season 3 flounders a bit as Megatron seems to have no plan after being stopped from killing Optimus, there is an obvious focus on introducing new toys and Tigatron and AirRazor are re-introduced, somewhat unsatisfyingly as they are combined into one Transformer, introduced near the end of the season, then promptly killed in the finale pointlessly.

The special features of this set include a comic prequel, introducing the setup to Megatron stealing the Golden Disc, and various interviews with the writers, and a short one with the voice actors. Disappointingly, there are no commentaries.

Overall, the series holds up remarkably well. If I had to compare it to another series, I would say Beast Wars is the Star Trek DS9 of the Transformers series. Underappreciated, a bit dark and features complex characters which pay off in the series, due to the small number of them.

The series looks good, although it's on standard DVD, and not Blu-Ray, so I don't know how it looks on HDTV. If you like this series, you can't go wrong with picking this up.

Alucard
12-19-2011, 05:59 PM
How exactly is that intro violent. I'd also agree on the DS9 comparison. Remove all the bajoran SHIT and the series was awesome, especially the last few seasons.

Einhander
12-20-2011, 09:44 AM
It was just a joke, because it has the word "war" in it.