Due to my lack of time, I have decided to do make an episode of Critic Cast, with a co-host during Thanksgiving. I will attempt to get him to film with me and will also discuss multiple subjects per show. Please send requests at email@example.com. I can't guarantee to accept all of them, but I will attempt to do most of them. Patrick Robinson shall be my co-host, if he accepts my offer. Prepare for a long string of reviews!
Today has been quite a busy weekend. The amount of work given to me seem to have caused me to go mad, resulting in immense fatigue, causing me to forget to write a post yesterday. I watched The Blind Side this weekend, and intend to do a review on it soon. I will review chapter 1 of Going Rogue, due to their only being 6 chapters. My review for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days will be published on the school newspaper. Be sure to pick up the December issue of the Westlake Featherduster!
The Westlake Featherduster asked me to do a sidebar for a story I was doing on Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. I gave the game a mostly positive review, but found that their was many flaws that stopped it from being anything "special". The sidebar basically has me giving tips on how to complete the game. Those who are interested should take a look at the December issue of The Westlake Featherduster. For more information, go to http://www.westlakefeatherduster.com/. This newspaper has won various awards, and is considered on of the top High School Newspapers in the nation. Pick up a copy, you won't regret it!
Also, my Diablo 2 review won't be finished until I get the expansion pack, so be patient. I also plan on doing a review on The World Ends With You, but due to my grand parents coming, I probably will probably not get much time to play it. Critic Cast is still on hold unfortunately, I am trying my hardest to get all the software up and running for it. I am also going to read Going Rogue: An American Life, a book by Sarah Palin. I'm not expecting it to be good, since I don't like Palin in the first place, but I will give it a chance, since I don't hate Palin.
My problem with maintaining a blog, is the fact that I can't seem to figure out what to write about everyday. It also does get in the way of my school work, making it hard to write posts when I'm supposed to be studying for oral presentations in spanish. I have decided to do game reviews I think worth mentioning. I will also be trying World of Warcraft, an online RPG which I had enormous problem getting into, due to the fact that I can't concentrate on these type of games. Due to my addiction to Diablo 2, I will attempt to "readdict" myself to the game, to see if I can understand why so many people love this title. I will put the name of my character and what server I use, that is if I actually like the game. I may also review The World Ends With You, or Knights of a Nightmare depending on my mood.
What illegal substances have the idiots at Nintendo been taking? On November 21st, the DSI-XL will be released, a fat version of the DSi. The reason for it is said to "allow spectators to see the action on the bigger screen", but we all know that this is "BS", and that Nintendo just wants to find ways of cheating the consumer into buying a product which lacks any significant features compared to it's cheaper counterpart the DSi. What unnerves me is that their is no GBA slot (Which would have made this product worthwhile), there is a stylus the size of a freakin PEN, there is absolutely no technological advancments, its size makes it less portable and won't allow anyone to slide it in there pocket, and the product costs $220! Who in their right mind would want to buy this! If you are visually impaired, yes, but that really isn't Nintendo's target demographic. This probably won't make much money either, since polls in October done on IGN show that not many feel like upgrading. While it's good intentioned, it really is horrible idea, since hardly any money will be made. Don't buy the DSi-XL! While it hasen't even come out yet, their absolutely no reason for buying it. The only reason would be if you have impaired vision, but you will be forced to pay $200 if you have vision problems. That's just cruel. The Nintendo DSi-XL, more like the Nintendo BSi-XL*.
*If you don't get the joke, then you are sad.
I'm still recovering from my mild illness, so school is becoming a huge pain in the arse(intentionally mispelled so my parents don't massacre me). I won't be able to dish out reviews, but I will try to come up with random subject matter to write about everyday. I was able to get Diablo 2 but I neglected to buy the expansion Lords of Destruction, meaning that I have been officially labeled an idiot by all my friends who play this game. However, I am having a great time with it, but I doubt I will be able to write a review this week, due to homework, book reports, and countless projects. Diablo 2 can easily be classified as a drug, due to the genocide you commit toward the devil's minion and the devil himself (Genocide has never been this fun). I still have yet to try out battle.net, but I heard that their is some lag problems, leaving me a bit worried. During the weekend, I will be watching Fantastic Mr. Fox, so expect a review on that.
2012 is what I exactly expected it to be: dumb, cliched, and fun. Technically, this film should be absolutely horrible, since it is full of sloppy dialogue, cliches that grow old fast, and the funniest Russian accents in the history of cinema. However, due to Emmerich's uncanny ability to offering amazing spectacles of destruction, laughter, and enjoyment, the film survives, with the the most action packed spectacles that give viewers the impression that the director had a drug overdose.
2012 is basically another disaster film, meaning that it portrays cataclysmic scenarios. Basically the world "as we know it" has gone to end, when solar flares from the sun cause the Earth's surface to become unstable, reeking vast amounts of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and chaos. The story follows a failing novelist by the name of Jackson Curtis (John Cusack), who after getting divorced, becomes a limousine driver for a rich Russian family. It's after disaster strikes, that he takes his ex-wife, her current husband and Curtis' former children and goes gallivanting off to find ships which act as arks to save as many people possible. The end is predictable, and predicting who dies is as easy as finding out who will die in a low budget horror movie. However, it's the journey and not the destination, which is enjoyable.
The movie relies heavily on CG effects, but it really doesn't matter, once you see the whole earth be demolished in the most destructive way filmmakers can imagine. Michael Bay would be envious of the scenes the viewers are confronted with, as they usually are composed of explosions, mass chaos, casualties, and cool looking spectacles. Sure, it's extremely unrealistic in the way everything blows up, making The Day After Tomorrow, seem like An Inconvenient Truth, but that's not the point. The point is to shock the viewer into wonder, as he sees mass chaos dished out in mass quantities, making one view of this film to satisfy those who crave destruction.
Mass chaos aside, the film has sloppy dialogue, which make many sad moments seem cheesy at best. The acting doesn't help either, since they're over the top, some eliciting laughter at the complete ridiculousness of their lack of skills in the acting division. The Russians which are depicted in this film are probably my favorite performances, since their accents made their speech difficult to understand, stopping me from noticing the crappy dialogue. The weakest performances have got to be the son and daughter of Curtis, since their dialogue usually consist of stupidity that only the retarded could come up with. Whether it be their refusal to staying in a safe location, to their refusal to listen to Curtis and his Ex-Wife, the children can be called suicidally insane at best. In fact, I was praying those kids would get the ax, since they just added to the stupidity to the film as a whole.
2012 is a dumb, but fun film. It's a good time spender which is unique in it's destructive premise, and scenes. Those expecting anymore should look elsewhere, since their is little to no character development, complexities in the storyline, and heartfelt moments that are more sad than cheesy. It's good cheesy fun, something that will ultimately be forgettable, but will be interesting for the two and a half hour viewing time.
Modern Warfare 2 has finally hit consoles. Unfortunately though, skepticism is one word we can use to describe how people felt about the DS release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized. This was due to the fact that the DS wasn't exactly known for it's technological prowess. I, on the other hand, decided to give this game a try, since I wondered how they would attempt to bring the epic experience to the DS. The answer: they didn't. Instead, they made a game that has no relation to it's console counterparts (besides the cover), allowing the creators to create a unique experience for the DS. The result is not only the greatest FPS on the DS, but also a huge technological achievement for the portable console.
The single player has you playing a few soldiers who are searching for a nuke. Unfortunately, due to stupidity of this military, they end up making a simple operation take up a whole entire 6 hours. The story is interesting but lacks any impact, making it more of an excuse to go around killing insurgents. Thankfully, the gameplay is extremely fun, making me wish that the military in this game were even more idiotic so the adventure could last a little longer.
The game has you going to various locations, fighting vast amounts enemies with a variety of weapons. The weapons are as real as the DS can make them, each with unique sounds, reload times, and recoil. This may not sound much, but for a DS, this is huge. The enemies now do stuff, unlike the games predecessor Call of Duty World At War for the DS, where the enemies went to a location, and just stood their, shooting. Granted the enemies are all retarded, but they sometimes take cover, rush at you with shotguns, and retreat when shot at. When they are not acting intelligent, they usually just standing in a spot waiting to get shot at.
The controls are quick and responsive. You basically use your DS stylus to aim, and the D-pad to move around. Some may need a bit of time to get used to it, but I had no trouble adjusting to this interesting control method. Reloading requires that you tap the weapon icon on the touch screen, which is very efficient.
The game is hard. On the easiest difficulty level, the enemies are most likely going to kill you quickly if you don't utilize cover, making the final levels rather diffcult, since one of them involves a time limit and tons of enemies. It may sound frustrating, but it's actually fun as hell, since the action doesn't feel as fragmented, and it's immensly satisfying to finish the games campaign. The campaign is short, but for good reason, since the single player seems to prepare you for six player multiplayer, survival mode, and arcade mode.
Six player multiplayer will keep you busy for hours on end, since the game had the generosity of including unlockable weapons which are given to you based on the amount of kills you get. The unlockables not only motivates you, but adds a lot of variety to an otherwise basic multplayer. The multiplayer is pretty much revolutionary on the DS, since never before has their been 6 player online multiplayer feature on any DS game. Next title, they should try bumping up the player to 8, and concentrate on adding RPG elements to the multiplayer.
Other features include a plethora of challenges and achievments, allowing for tons of replayability. In fact, it doesn't stop there. Finishing the game on the normal difficulty level allows players to unlock arcade mode, which is basically the single player game with a point system. Unfortunately, the feature was tacked on, due to the fact that the game doesn't save your statistics. To add insult to injury, they don't even utilize online ranking, making this a forgettable feature. Still, it's fun to compare scores with your friends. Finishing the game on hard allows you to unlock the final feature, survival mode. Basically this mode has you fighting against wave after wave of enemies at once, making it an interesting mode. Unfortunately, the game didn't put co-op, making it a missed opportunity. However, it will definetly keep you occupied and it does give me hope that the sequel will expand on this mode.
Overall, this is it: the ideal FPS for the DS. N-Space has done a fantastic job, for they have created a solid shooter that not only will keep people occupied for hours, but will show that the DS is capable of first person shooters. If you are looking for a great action game, than Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized is the game for you.
Due to sickness, I won't be able to review 2012 today, instead I will watch it tommorrow, regardless if I'm still sick. My Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized review will be posted this week. Unfortunately, due to many assignments due Monday, I can't gurantee that my reviews will be posted this weekend. I would also like to thank Veronika for telling people about my blog. While it's debatable whether it has caused the subscriber count to my feed to go up to 13, I am very thankful.
Recently, I have been reading A Walk in The Woods, a novel by Bill Bryson. The story follows the author as he travels the Appalachian Trail with his rather chubby friend, Stephen Katz, meeting the most bizarre people along the way. What I love most about the novel is the unique perspective that Bryson offers. Mixing historical facts and events on the trail, A Walk in The Woods informs you on the history and geography of this trail, all while delivering humorous insight into it. Bryson also manages to deliver a convincing and solid environmental message, while not appearing like an environmental fanatic. If you are looking for a book with heart, insight, wit, a subtle environmental message, hilarious characters, and information that is presented in an interesting way, then Bryson's A Walk in the Woods is necessary reading.
N-Space has announced that they will be hosting a Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized fan match, where owners can play matches against the developers of the game. The event will be hosted Friday, so those who want to join should RSVP on facebook. To access the page to RSVP, click here. I will use this opportunity to gain some kills in order to unlock more weapons for the muliplayer. After this, I do believe that I will be able to conclude my review this Saturday. If you are an owner of this game than RSVP today, and HURRY, since the match is on November 13th, meaning that their will be only two days left! See you on the battlefield!
A story that has been retold countless times, A Christmas Carol is a unique adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. The story is about the greedy Ebenezer Scrooge, who after being visited by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley, gets visited by three demented spirits which will change his ways. What sets this apart from other adaptations, is the Robert Zemeckis animation style used. This animation is something that both helps and hurts the film, while it does make for some eye catching visuals, it does backfire, since it does distract viewers from the movie. Other than that, the film is enjoyable, with Jim Carrey offering a great performance as Scrooge, and the film itself offering a very dramatic morality tale.
Earlier I called the film "dramatic", which unfortunately is huge understatement. Imagine the acting from Star Trek mixed with a ridiculous amount of dark subject matter, and a rather extreme amount of noise. This recipe is the formula for A Christmas Carol a film that seems bipolar, as it awkwardly transitions from quiet moments, to moments that are either disturbingly loud, or just frightening. An example of this would be "the ghost of Christmas present" who after laughing as if he was baked for half an hour, suddenly dies in a dark and loud manner. You may want to warn your child before entering the theatre, since they probably are going to piss out blood after seeing "the ghost of Christmas future" who gave me a heart attack.
Aspects of the film that I like were the animation, writing, and performance of Jim Carrey. Carrey does a marvelous job as Scrooge, successfully capturing the misery of the old geezer. His voice gives a clear indication that he is a grumpy and greedy bastard, who only cares about his own welfare and is seriously in need of three ghost to scare him into repentance.
The aspect that was not to great was the ending, which was solid in writing and performances, but suffered greatly due to the animation. The tone of the ending is dark and serious, but is distracted with exaggerated effects and a chase scene between Scrooge and "death" that greatly overstays its welcome. Minus the chase scene, the ending to the movie was pleasant, but I do wish that more details concerning the transformation of Scrooge were given, since it was the part where Jim Carrey's acting really shined.
Overall, A Christmas Carol is a solid entry in the endless list of adaptions that have made this piece of literature. I do wish the animation didn't go overboard, since it detracted from an otherwise magical and entertaining experience.
Nostalgia for the Nintendo DS is an turn based RPG that mixes modern and retro elements to create a game that compliments the old style of video games, while mixing in some modern elements to avoid immediate frustration. Unfortunately, Nostalgia takes elements we don't like in retro RPGs, making some of the mechanics feel archaic, ultimately killing the experience.
The setting for Nostalgia is basically a nineteenth century/futuristic/fantasy/modern style earth. A land where airships are used for transportation, pirates attack others for no reason what-so-ever, monsters are everywhere, characters have as much depth as the nameless characters from most old school RPGs, and every word to come out of a characters mouth is cheesy, unnecessary, and laughable. The game follows the story of adventurer Eddie Brown, a kid who is trying to find his father. So he immediately goes on his airship, the The Maverick and sets out looking for him, joined by Pad, a bad ass warrior who is as shallow as everyone else in the game, but actually has the sense to bring guns on the adventure. During the course of the game, you will find more characters to join your party, but they are as interesting as the old testament.
The game has you fighting monsters using basic turn based action, going through dungeons, flying an airship, going on side quests, acquiring experience points, and gaining and upgrading skills using skill points. In the end, it's nothing new since all of these elements have been copied in hundreds upon hundreds of RPG's. That aside, everything is done solidly, it's just a shame that they couldn't "mix it up".
The visual style is very pretty, mixing fantasy and 19th century Victorian style structures. Character models look a lot like the characters in the Final Fantasy remakes, cartoony. More polish is needed however, since during cut scenes, a ridiculous amounts of awkward animations occur, whether it be that characters are moving either way to fast or slow, or the camera seems to have trouble keeping up with the action inside the cut scenes, probably due to the camera itself having Parkinson's.
The element that kills the game for me is the random battles, which make the game an endless grind that seems to make the experience painful. Tumors grow in my head when I have been in a dungeon for over 2 hours, due to random battles that appear frequently. God forbid you actually die, you will have to start over from the beginning, making a rise in tempers and damaged DS systems. Dying isn't really an issue though, since the first half of the game is so damn easy! When you reach the half point mark, the game not only becomes crazy in it's difficulty level, but actually makes the regular enemies harder than the bosses itself. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING! By the end of this game, your DS won't survive the beating you will give it due to immense frustration.
Combat is extremely simple and repetitive, since the only strategy would be mash the attack button in order to deplete the enemy's health. The enemies aren't really smart either, clearly indicated when an enemy tries to poison an already poisoned ally for the nth time. Escaping from battle is probably and option that most users will find to be a necessity if they are ever to finish a simple quest. However, the further you get into the game, the more abilities you are allowed to have and upgrade, putting some variety in the gameplay. Unfortunately, they use so much MP, that you will probably need to use many MP recovery potions before you can reek havoc among the enemies.
Nostalgia isn't a bad RPG, it just does something that is unnecessary. Too many games are basic turn based RPG dungeon crawlers, resulting in the demand for the games to be very low. Why they took the retro theme way too far is beyond me, but archaic mechanics aside, I enjoyed Nostalgia. While I was definitely frustrated at times, the game offers a solid (if simple) turn based RPG, and fans of retro gaming will enjoy this experience. Those looking for innovation and an outstanding RPG such as Final Fantasy IV will want to avoid this like the plague, since it offers nothing new to contribute and lacks the depth of most games in this genre.
Due to my overwhelming assignments for this month, I'm afraid that the amount of post I will be able to dish out will greatly decrease. I will be able to review A Christmas Carol, Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized, Nostalgia, and other releases. I will have to put Critic Cast on hold due to many technical problems, but I probably will be producing episodes next week. I am excited about Call of Duty Modern Warfare Mobilized, since it boasts 6 player online multiplayer, survival mode, and even ranking. Hopefully this will be an experience that will inspire more FPSs on the DS.
The choice of songs is superb, with songs such as Swing Swing (All American Rejects), So What (Pink), We Are the Champions (Queen), and even I Want You Back (Jackson 5). It's very unfortunate that the game only has 25 songs to offer.