Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hitman: Absolution aka Wet Dog Fart

Wow, it's been a while since I've done a blog. It certainly feels like it anyway. So I picked up the new Hitman game and it is a sad day in the world of Number 47, because someone has assassinated this franchise.

So Square Enix developed this little gem and if you know me, you know I'm not a fan of the company. Mostly because of the Final Fantasy series. I hate their faces. I hate their haircuts. I hate their giant chickens.

Not kidding, giant, fucking, chicken. It's almost as if I hate Japan by saying this, but I don't.

anyway...s....

Hitman was developed in Montreal, Quebec, Canada! Hooray! Right?! WRONG! Leave it to the Canadians to screw up being sneaky. I mean if Canadians are supposed to be so nice, why are they so mean to the Hitman fans? What did we do to deserve this?

Lets talk about the gameplay. 

Sneaking is ok. Cover to cover jumping, good. Changing disguises to fit in to the crowd, good. Killing a baddy from behind, good. Did they pull it off? NOPE! Cover switching is something that stealth 3rd person shooters have to do. In 47's world cover is good, but it's almost pointless if all you have to do is duck and you are out of view. I found myself just walking away from npc's so as not to be detected. You don't really even need the cover half the time. Guard sees you walking, duck. Janitor sees you walking, DUCK! Duck sees you walking, QUACK!

Then there's the disguises. Why do we get to change clothes to blend in? I'm not sure, because even if you do, the npc's will question it right away... UNLESS!! you hit the right bumper on the controller to go into super awesome future seeing xray vision ninjatastic mode. Then you can blend in! I thought the point of wearing a disguise was to blend, but I guess I was wrong. so there's that. 

Disguises are pointless. Cover is pointless. 

Guess what?

KILLING IS POINTLESS!

Now there is a new point system that lets you know how sneaky you are being as you go along. It also lets you know how everyone else that plays the game is doing too. Fun right? Nope. I don't care how everyone else in the world is doing at this game, it's not a multiplayer game. If you kill someone who isn't the target, well that's minus 145 points. If you hide the body, that's plus 145 points. So why kill them at all. You get nothing and you deserve nothing! BOO YOU MURDERER!

You do get points for killing main targets in different ways. Explosions, poisoning etcetera. Points? Really guys? Points?

Now onto the good.

It's a new Hitman game! that's about it. It looks updated and pretty, so that's good. The voice acting is topnotch. The story isn't the best, but it's hands down better than other games out there. 

But, it's just not enough. The faults out weight everything that could have made this game great. The assassin mode button doesn't help, the cover system is flawed, the disguises are pointless. Oh and did I mention how you can play through the game in under eight hours. Yeah it's really quick.

Contracts mode.
In this game mode, you play through the levels of the story, but you can pick the targets. You choose who dies and how they die. Cool right? You can also play through this mode with user created scenarios. They pick who and how you kill and then you get points! YEA POINTS! I'm sorry I just don't get it. Points? Assassins don't get points, they get paid, and I didn't get paid. Well I got paid in dirty looks from the wife, burps from the monster baby and lovely wet dog farts. So I guess that's what I get for playing one of my favorite franchises. 

So the verdict:

Buy, if you have the money to blow and don't care where it goes.
Rent, if you like Agent 47 and just want a quick fix.
Pass, if the other two don't apply to you at all. 



P.S. Check out my friendo's blog post on this game.

http://acoolhate.blogspot.com/2012/12/47-number-of-times-ive-replayed-that.html

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GTA V and the great anticipation.

Rockstar's GTA V trailer number two came out today. Check the youtubessssss.



SO WHAT'S GOIN DOWN!?

Well we are back on the west coast. This is the biggest map that Rockstar has ever done. Apparently you can put GTA San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption in the map and still have room to spare. That's scary fun! I mean the amount of time you can spend ignoring your family and friends, just by driving, flying or boating around is insane. I don't mean that I would ever ignore my child because of a game. NOOOOooooo not me! She's glaring at me right now. It's scary, her mom does it too, I'm scared, so scared, I see dead people scared, Haley Joel Osment would be scared, Douph Lundgren would be scared.



HAWT!

Planes, trains and automobiles are all back. Well obviously cars, but helicopters, jets and propeller planes are flyable.

The grainy GTA IV look is gone, opened up by sunshine. So the game looks bright and beautiful. 

I think the best thing that I've heard so far is the ability to jump between the three main characters on-the-fly. You play as Michael, Trevor and Franklin. Michael seems to be the want to retire character type. Trevor is called psycho by all the info I've read and watched. Not much is known about Franklin. Probably the want to get out of the hood stereotype, but who knows, if you do comment and let me know please.

I'm pretty excited for this game, well as excited as I could be. Grand scale, grand satire, Grand Theft Auto. 

I SHOULD BE IN ADVERTISING!!!!!! 

Tell me what you guys think!

DO IT! DO IT NOW!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Vampire Diaries and 7 reasons why it's okay for dudes.

BRO! LISTEN BRO! BRO LISTEN!

I have been watching The Vampire Diaries for a while now and I wanted to explain why it's okay for guys to watch and not feel, queasy, when you admit to it.

1. THIS IS NOT FUCKING TWILIGHT!! It's just not. Yeah it's got romance and ooey gooey love, but think about it, what Vamp story doesn't have a little bit of that. There are no shinny vampires. No lip biting, dumbfounded brunettes, with a penchant for sitting in a corner knee to chest and hopping some dirty hippy from England will save them from their life of... I don't know trees and Oregon pot.

2. The diary isn't really that important. In fact it's only there for a few episodes in the beginning. I used to keep a diary/journal and I've had sex, like soooo many times, with a girl even.

3. There are sharp teeth, blood, beheadings, hearts ripped from chests (literally and figuratively *sob sob, sniffle sniffle*). It's actually has some good violence, which is part of being a vampire, you know kill to survive. 

4. The humans aren't just douchey teenagers who can only stand, hand on hip, or scream helplessly. There are adults! Adults who want to kill vampires! YEAH FOR PARENTING!!! 

5. HOT PEOPLE!!! Of course their are good looking, in shape 20-somethings who are pretending to be 17 year olds. It's TV and we can't have ugh-ohs hording the screen, yuck. The lead vamp is clean and washes his hair, the guy that plays his brother gives me abs envy. The lead chick is a Mila Kunis ripoff, but that's an okay thing, she even plays a Russian or Polish or something like that. Mila Kunis is a furriner right? FURRINER (I know I spelled that wrong, sound it out jackasses).

6. THERE'S A PLOT. It's even a decent plot that opens up as we go along. Witches, and stuffs. You will not fall asleep to it. It's not the same girl being a wishy washy butthole that can't pick between Sharkboy and Greasy Hair Guy. Is that even a good super power. At least SharkTurd knows KungFu or thinks he does. Congrats bitch you've gotten two guys to fight over you, now you can go join the line of sad and lonely bitches at the bar that are kicking themselves for not picking the properly hygiene proficient guy that wasn't trying TO EAT YOU! Yes the two bro-vamps are after the same girl, but it's actually not her fault (you'll see).

7. If you like Anne Rice vampires and want another good movie, this is the closest you're gonna get, for a long while. The vampires are sexy, conflicted, and have a hard time figuring out where the original vampires came from. That's pretty Anne Rice-y-ish. They are no where near as wordy and descriptive as Anne Rice is in her writings, but hey, it's TV and not a damn paper thing with scribbles on it. What's that called? Oh yeah toilet paper. No that's not it. Porno mags. No, no. Um, fudge... BOOKS! Yea!!!!!!!



So there you go! Seven whole reasons why it's okay to watch The Vampire Diaries. They are not the most solid and if you want, you can tell your girl "Yo baby I thought you'd like this, it's got love stuff in it." Or hell you can watch it when no one is around, who's gonna tell? Your dog? Dogs love Vampires! COME ON! And if you can't think of a good excuse, then I don't know, f@#k it, cut off your d!#k and put on some eye-liner if that's what it takes! this show is good!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Assassin's Creed 3!

It's been about one week since I picked up my copy of AC3 and Holy crapoly! What a game. What a game. If you've played the first two or three games and not Revelations, then you will not go wrong with picking up the third err, forth wait, FIFTH installment of the Assassin's Creed series. Go get it. Do it, do it now! If you haven't played the first few games, no worries, the developers have given enough of the back story that you won't be lost just diving right into AC3.

Let's get on to the game.

The beginning of the single player missions, might seem a little slow. There are some escort missions and I don't me the nice kind of escorts that sad middle aged divorcees pick up to take out and then bring back to their hotel room and have sad sad I hate myself sex. Okay maybe it's not that nice. Anywhooooo. The escort mission is back in force and it's all up in yah AC3. Well moving past the annoyance of escorts, the beginning you don't start out as Desmond in the real world. He with the help of his techno buddies and his father are looking for a way to stop the 2012 apocalypse, so they are again using the Animus to go back into Desmond's ancestor's past and find all the pieces they need to do so. It just so happens that Desmond's ancestor is a Native American by the name of Ratonhnhak√©:ton aka Connor. DNA is fun!

Do we start out as Connor our plucky hero? Nope, you start as some British dude. I won't give anything away. Then you move on to young Connor or Ratonhnhak√©:ton umm yeah go ahead and try that one on for size. These missions are a way of getting you use to the gameplay. Then Connor grows up and his world is turned upside down by the American revolution and the Templar plot to take over the world, cos' they do that. Then you meet Achilles, a former assassin guild member. He takes on Ratonhnhak√©:ton as an apprentice type assassin student. Then they change his name to Connor so that he doesn't stick out like a soar thumb (right, names help with that). Oh and since he is a lighter shade of brown they say he's Spanish, even though it NEVER comes up in the game.

So we are now Connor! Let the badassery begin! You get a Tomahawk and Bow and Arrow and other assorted items. Now you can kill Templars and help the founding fathers in their seeking of revolution. Adams, Washington, Revere are just a few. Franklin is in there for a minute.

GAMEPLAY!

Out of all of the AC series I'd have to say that gameplay wise this is the best in the series. It feels smooth jumping from tree limb to tree limb, diving off of houses and cliffs. going from tree to rooftop and back. You do get the parkour feel in AC3 more than any other AC game. Having said that, you will get frustrated while holding down the R trigger which is used for running and parkouring. Say you want to chase down a guy and there happens to be a group of barrels randomly in the street (there are barrels randomly laid out in the street). You want to jump them? Well nope. Connor is going to climb up them, giving the guy you are chasing a few seconds to get further ahead. Luckily you are faster than most people in the game. Don't try and climb straight up while in a corner, you will be aimed in one direction and jump in another. Don't ride your horse into a corner either, it will get scared and never want to turn again. I've heard horses do that. 

Fighting is pretty good. One button attacks, one counters, another disarms, and another shoots your firearms. Timing counters gives you the chance to do some badassery and trigger an instant kill type thing. Shooting is either aimed with the L trigger or highlighting the guy you want dead and just pushing the shoot button. 

GOD DAMN GUARDS!.

Hunting. Hunting is a new gameplay element to AC3. While in the frontier, you can set up traps, throw bait and wait in hunting perches to kill all manor of wildlife, which you can skin and sell the meat and furs for money to buy new threads, weapons and armaments for your ship! YOU GET A FREAKING SHIP.

Sea warfare. Yup AC3 now on the high seas! At one point in the game you get a ship. The ship battles are intense and down right fun to play. The gameplay mechanics aren't anything new to seasoned players, but they are fun and look amazing. The ocean has a mind of it's own and being a not so small ship coming up against a giant rouge wave is just awesome to look at. The ship missions are probably my favorite part of the game. 

Negatives. There were only a few things that went wrong. 
1. Glitches. floating guns, floating bodies (not on water), sinking bodies (not on water, in the ground) and in one case during a homestead mission I walked away from a NPC too soon and the screen went grey and would not come out of it.
2. Frustrating chase missions. Like before, having one button for running and parkouring...prakouroring... parking...eff. this is just the type of thing to make you want to rage quit, which I almost did. ask Kaydee.
3. Not enough war scenes. I know that Connor is an assassin and not a soldier, but this was the Revolutionary war. There were more than just three battles and how Ubisoft handled the battles made me want more and more. I wanted Connor involved in every major engagement. so it's not a negative, just a request.

I didn't play through the multi-player, so I can't comment on that and I won't, because why would I.

So far this is the best game in the series by far and probably one of my nominees for game of the year. This is definitely a buy. There is so much to do and so many places to explore. I finished the single player missions and I have only finished 58% of the game. The side missions and the downloadable content have given me that much more to do. If you like third person action adventure games, then this is the one to get, weather you have played the other AC games or not.

Go get it.

Thanks




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Guest Post, Silent Hill Revelations and Downpour

By
Thomas Gonzales


‎[SPOILERS] Silent Hill Double Review: Revelations (3D) and Downpour. [SPOILERS]

I was very fortunate to get to enjoy one of my favorite series across two mediums this past month. both as a film, and as a game. In honor of Halloween (so yes, this review is a little late), I decided to play Silent Hill Downpour, also, as preparation for the release of the new film Silent Hill Revelations 3D.

Part 1 Silent Hill Downpour
TL;DR 3.5/5 For interesting plot and characters, coupled with great story telling and set pieces. Has many control flaws and pacing issues, but definitely a good attempt to return the series to its roots. Scary good time!

So lets start with the game itself, this is the 6th game in the series (not counting spin-offs or side stories), and 2nd major release done by a western company. With the recent attitude towards the series following the poor reception of "The Room" and "Homecoming" being so negative, it was nice to get some positive responses to a sequel again. I personally was able to really enjoy some of the sequels for what they are, and I am okay admitting their flaws. This was almost a favorite...almost...

Silent Hill Dowpour takes an interesting approach to the series by adding a bit of each previous entry and tying all of it together into a much more eclectic package. It does add some features unique to itself, by changing the games dynamic based on the weather. Heavy rain fall makes the monsters rage, and causes them to deal more damage. Water plays an important theme in the game, dampening the atmosphere and giving the game a very cold feel. It also encourages you to pay attention to when it becomes time to take cover. Forcing you into places that just might be more dangerous than outside, while pushing the story along.

When you start off, you're in the forest surrounding Devil's Pit, of course following an unfortunate accident. For me this first chunk of the game was the best; exploring the woods, the pit, and the surrounding town outside Silent Hill really shined, and made for something a little more mystery feeling (a feature the series has been sorely lacking). It is packed with great lore and back story, giving further insight into to the hell that is the setting. I enjoyed checking all the posters, and reading the lost pages and documents. You also gain a little insight to where Murphy, the protagonist, is headed on his journey to redemption or damnation. The game manages to pack in a lot story and sets up some interesting threats. This also seemed to be the most subtle horror in the game, relying more on atmosphere and imagery than gore or jump scares (an important technique for a horror fan like myself). Reaching Devil's Pit, the game gets very claustrophobic, and delivers some intense moments. This is where the game built a lot of its momentum, and starts its crazy carnival ride back to the town "Hell Calls Home". While not entirely open at this point there is enough story and scares to keep things rolling. I am generally not a fan of linearity in modern titles, but the game's story is interesting enough that it really didn't feel like a loss.

It basically takes place over 4 major set pieces, Devil's Pit, Silent Hill, The Prison, and Silent Hill (Altered). The great thing about the Silent Hill chapters, is that is gives you a break from the core adventure, and allows the player to explore more of the town and its lore. There are about 13 side quests available, and each is unique and fun. Find someone's heart, give peace to the dead, redeem a monster, punish, collect things or piece together the past. I never once felt like I was grinding, or doing the same things over again. The only real frustration comes from the damn rain, its scary at first, but eventually becomes a nuisance. It is just frequent enough to interrupt your questing, without the reward of tension. I eventually lost interest and headed back to the storyline. For those who do love to adventure around, the town is big enough to entertain for some time. There is even a kooky reward for playing through a second time.

The game is pretty unforgiving, and it is easy to get lost. You need to really pay attention to fine details, but veterans of the series should do fine, especially if you like a challenge. I am not too prideful to admit, I busted out a walk-through a few times, and found I missed a few key spots. This is about the only time you'll be caught running circles. Find a code, enter it, get a clue, return to code room, open door, repeat. Most puzzles are unique and fun, but sometimes, the chain was just too long and got exhausting. Again, I found myself wanting to progress the story to find out what happens. I guess that's a good thing considering it reflects quality story telling. This is the quality you can expect from the game right up to the last quarter, where things get a little messy...

I found most of the game heart pounding and enthralling, and upon completing the "main story arc", I was completely satisfied; it was the dark and bittersweet outcome I hoped to get from a Silent Hill title. All told it felt like a great haunted house. However, things get weird when a character I thought to be a side note returns, and turns the story upside down. This second arc was touched on a few times throughout the game, but never developed much life. It isn't until the game gives you a false ending, that you are given the story...and it all starts back over. It is so jarring in fact, I was almost ready to quit playing right there. It was disjointed, and had a completely different feel than the previous chapters. From here on out, you are in hell, or, the Altered Silent Hill. This may seem interesting to some, but when you have been enjoying a subtle horror survival game (save for a few small segments), then you are thrown into a carnival fun house, it just never seemed to fit together...its TOO in your face. It still has some tense moments, and some great imagery, but the flow never seems to get back into its grove. Instead you go from a haunting symphony to pure cacophony. It isn't until the very end, that it all wraps back up again...

There are several endings as expected, and for me, this has 2 of the best outcomes in the series. With the exception of the ending based on the crappiest decision making, I am sure most people will be satisfied with the resolution they end up with. For those fortunate to pull off either the "best of the best" or "worst of the worst" endings, you get a real treat. While I loved my happy ending, and it truly resolved everything in a reasonable manner, I changed a few choices and checked out the bad. Let me just say, THIS ending, is what I would expect in a Silent Hill game. It was hopeless and realistic. No one wins, but there is a glint of hopeful justice in the heroes dialogue. If you are dedicated enough to play through a few times, you can decide which is best to you, or just be lazy and Youtube it, but make sure you check them out.

The puzzles at the end are easy and obvious, and only tough due to the unavoidable damage you will be taking. For some reason, the game also decides to turn its monster difficulty up to 11. This does nothing to add to the games fun or quality, but it just replaces the rain as a frustrating obstacle. Some of this could be attributed to the controls themselves, which did nothing to help the player. The controls...the translation of the player to the game.

Now with the story review out of the way, it wouldn't be fair not to mention the gameplay itself, as this game doesn't deserve to get a free pass. The controls are some of the worst in the series. It was almost like it purposely tried to emulate the poor controls of the originals, just to seem more like them. There was so much frustration caused by the R-trigger being "throw weapon" that people make youtube videos showing how pissed they got, or bad it screwed them at tense moments. This of all its ups and down is the biggest issue, as it is hard to play a game while consciously fighting not to toss your only defense off a cliff.

All in all, it is a great attempt to pull the series back to its roots, while innovating in a dying genre. It is an enjoyable experience full of fantastic and terrifying moments, along with one of the most interesting lead characters from the series. The story is grim, and for parents will pull the heart strings, often hitting you in the place that you fear the most. It has flaws, but they are overshadowed by its great story telling and difficult puzzles. Graphics and controls disappoint considering this is a modern title, there is no longer an excuse for these types of issues. While it fails to hold its momentum, its high points are just enough to excite hope for the series again, and keep the player hooked until the end.

Part 2 Silent Hill RevelationTL;DR 3/5 Far from perfect, it failed to match the feel of the first film. Its a solid attempt to stay true to the series while still making changes for a larger audience. The 3D is completely unnecessary, and it is a good example of useless gimmicks. Overall, a fun and visually stimulating film, with a story only comprehensible by series fans. Scary at first, but fizzles out near the end. 

This film disappoints me for the sole reason that it DID have so much potential. The creators of Revelation are fans of the original Silent Hill movie, and it shows. I might even dare say they are fans of the games. There are so many great moments, and homages to events or characters from the series, even the most jaded fan should stay entertained. I had a blast recognizing things from previous games, or catching little Easter Eggs here or there. The most exciting thing they added was its allusion to Silent Hill Downpour, tied all my experiences nicely together. Sadly, it just didn't hold up.

The casting they chose was pretty satisfying. It was difficult to decide how I felt about the acting, as some cast members really shined, and others burned out. I am concerned a pattern of dry dialogue will become too common in any future installments. The light in the dark however, was Adelaide Clemens' role as Heather Mason. She did well enough delivering her lines, and worked well at holding the screen as the heroine. More importantly, she just looked the part. She is as best a casting as I could hope for. As for the rest of the actors/actresses, there weren't many other memorable performances. Luckily, this also meant there was none too awful either, mostly forgettable.

The pacing was a point I feel needs to be addressed. The beginning half of the film is spent living out a survival horror game. Scares are done through terrifying images, jump scares, or powerful atmosphere. It was quite a tense experience, and even a seasoned horror fan like myself, found that I was clutching my chair or wincing at times. Looking at the people who came with me, there was sounds of shock and fear, it pulled off its goal. Unfortunately, this is where its biggest flaw showed itself. The movie began to lose pacing, it sped up, and continued to do so right to the end.The last half of the movie is spent cramming as much story in as possible, minus all details, and getting too action packed to feel scary any longer. It felt like a solid idea that just didn't know how to wrap itself up.

This isn't to say it veered off from the game too far, just that it tried to take all that lore, cram it in, and streamline it. It just didn't work. It left the majority of audience members confused, or felling like it was a shallow movie. Sadly, this is the main reason for its largely negative feedback, it is just kind of a mess. But at least it's a beautiful mess...

One thing it deserves praise for, is its make up team as usual. They again used primarily practical effects, and when they did use CGI, it was mostly tasteful. Creature designs and performances were top notch, which is to be expected when working with such a talented team. Everything had a gooey organic feel, and left my skin crawling. The CGI aided in the sets, which had that lovely decayed feeling familiar to fans of the series. It is a visually stimulating experience, and really stands out from other horror films. Regarding the digital effects, the other use they endured was the cursed 3D.

I am so tired of going to see a film that is so focused on quality effects, only to find it butchered by 3D. Now don't misunderstand, there are worse 3D films available, and since it was filmed for 3D the production value is pretty high, it just felt so useless. Everything has a slight texture problem, light glares when aimed at the audience, and some sequences, when moving fast, are hard to see. The worst thing is though, that they actually tried to pull off the "3D moments", which not surprsingly were super cheesy. There is one scene in particular, that a rather creepy monster is attacking the characters, and just as the blade approaches, they pull the ol' knife at the screen dramatic jab. It just looked goofey, and broke my mood. If you can see it in 2D, do it, I think I would've enjoyed it far better, and couldve appreciate the work put in from the art and makeup team.

This may sound like a negative review, but be clear, I really like the film, and LOVE Silent Hill; which is why I feel the need to be so harsh on it. I just expect much more, and was crushed by how jumbled the ending turned out. Even worse than the chaotic pacing, and anorexic plot was the Deus Ex Machina ending, it felt very forced (on a high note, the post ending events really redeem a lot). When so much of it was right on, it was sad to watch it burn out before my eyes. It wasn't the sequel I hoped for, but it exceeded my expectations. I appreciated the fan love, and when it was at its high points, it reminded me how awesome the Silent Hill universe is. It is made for the fans and often hits its mark, it just couldn't hold on to it. I have hope that there is a sequel in the works, as it is set up at the end, but I won't hold my breathe. If you love Silent Hill (movie or games) go see it. If you do not however, I would pass, as it will only confuse and frustrate you. Its a fun watch, but be mindful, it has some serious issues.

This film disappoints me for the sole reason that it DID have so much potential. The creators of Revelation are fans of the original Silent Hill movie, and it shows. I might even dare say they are fans of the games. There are so many great moments, and homages to events or characters from the series, even the most jaded fan should stay entertained. I had a blast recognizing things from previous games, or catching little Easter Eggs here or there. The most exciting thing they added was its allusion to Silent Hill Downpour, tied all my experiences nicely together. Sadly, it just didn't hold up.

The casting they chose was pretty satisfying. It was difficult to decide how I felt about the acting, as some cast members really shined, and others burned out. I am concerned a pattern of dry dialogue will become too common in any future installments. The light in the dark however, was Adelaide Clemens' role as Heather Mason. She did well enough delivering her lines, and worked well at holding the screen as the heroine. More importantly, she just looked the part. She is as best a casting as I could hope for. As for the rest of the actors/actresses, there weren't many other memorable performances. Luckily, this also meant there was none too awful either, mostly forgettable.

The pacing was a point I feel needs to be addressed. The beginning half of the film is spent living out a survival horror game. Scares are done through terrifying images, jump scares, or powerful atmosphere. It was quite a tense experience, and even a seasoned horror fan like myself, found that I was clutching my chair or wincing at times. Looking at the people who came with me, there was sounds of shock and fear, it pulled off its goal. Unfortunately, this is where its biggest flaw showed itself. The movie began to lose pacing, it sped up, and continued to do so right to the end.The last half of the movie is spent cramming as much story in as possible, minus all details, and getting too action packed to feel scary any longer. It felt like a solid idea that just didn't know how to wrap itself up.

This isn't to say it veered off from the game too far, just that it tried to take all that lore, cram it in, and streamline it. It just didn't work. It left the majority of audience members confused, or felling like it was a shallow movie. Sadly, this is the main reason for its largely negative feedback, it is just kind of a mess. But at least it's a beautiful mess...

One thing it deserves praise for, is its make up team as usual. They again used primarily practical effects, and when they did use CGI, it was mostly tasteful. Creature designs and performances were top notch, which is to be expected when working with such a talented team. Everything had a gooey organic feel, and left my skin crawling. The CGI aided in the sets, which had that lovely decayed feeling familiar to fans of the series. It is a visually stimulating experience, and really stands out from other horror films. Regarding the digital effects, the other use they endured was the cursed 3D.

I am so tired of going to see a film that is so focused on quality effects, only to find it butchered by 3D. Now don't misunderstand, there are worse 3D films available, and since it was filmed for 3D the production value is pretty high, it just felt so useless. Everything has a slight texture problem, light glares when aimed at the audience, and some sequences, when moving fast, are hard to see. The worst thing is though, that they actually tried to pull off the "3D moments", which not surprsingly were super cheesy. There is one scene in particular, that a rather creepy monster is attacking the characters, and just as the blade approaches, they pull the ol' knife at the screen dramatic jab. It just looked goofey, and broke my mood. If you can see it in 2D, do it, I think I would've enjoyed it far better, and couldve appreciate the work put in from the art and makeup team.

This may sound like a negative review, but be clear, I really like the film, and LOVE Silent Hill; which is why I feel the need to be so harsh on it. I just expect much more, and was crushed by how jumbled the ending turned out. Even worse than the chaotic pacing, and anorexic plot was the Deus Ex Machina ending, it felt very forced (on a high note, the post ending events really redeem a lot). When so much of it was right on, it was sad to watch it burn out before my eyes. It wasn't the sequel I hoped for, but it exceeded my expectations. I appreciated the fan love, and when it was at its high points, it reminded me how awesome the Silent Hill universe is. It is made for the fans and often hits its mark, it just couldn't hold on to it. I have hope that there is a sequel in the works, as it is set up at the end, but I won't hold my breathe. If you love Silent Hill (movie or games) go see it. If you do not however, I would pass, as it will only confuse and frustrate you. Its a fun watch, but be mindful, it has some serious issues.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Forza Horizon (single player)

HEY EVERYONE LOOK IT!!! YOU CAN DRIVE AROUND COLORADO!!

sort of.

From the guys that brought you Burnout, comes Forza Horizon. Playground Games has taken the Forza franchise and unleashed it into Colorado's backyard. That's right you get to take your fanciest video game car and drive around the mountains.

I've been playing through the single player portion of the game, so I can't comment on the whole game, but what I have been playing has been great. The rush of legally driving well over 100 mph on hill after hill of curved road is just so damn fun. 

At the core of the single player is the Horizon festival. A car centered, music festival. It's all about racing, cars and loud dubstep. 
So you start out as a random guy in a random VW and you race to the race...? Yeah and then you get a yellow wristband. After that you race more and more to get different color wristbands leading you up to the big bad boss man Flint. So yes there is a very thin story line in the game, but it's more to show the passage of time and the progress through the game. 

Just like regular Forza games, you can buy new cars, then add performance parts to the cars to make them fast, better, stronger. You can also customize the exterior of the cars, with paint, vinyls and body kits. JUST LIKE REAL LIFE ONLY REALER!!!! And like the other Forza games you can jack other peoples designs and put them on your ride.
So essentially it's Forza 4 or 12 or whatever number they are on right now. The difference is really in the driving. It's somewhere between simulation and arcade. If you want to make it more simulation, all you gotta do is turn off the driver assists, like auto-braking, traction control and alike. This I recommend for those hardcore racing fans. If you are a casual racer leave them on, it will keep you from rage throwing your controller when you get passed up by A.I. drivers. 

Story wise, not much to say here. There's a top driver at Horizon and you have to make your way to the top and knock him off his perch. That's it, nothing more. no conspiracy, no undercover cops, no nothing. Oh well, who cares its a racer. 

The cars are no where near in the amount of the regular Forza games, I'd say a third of what you get in the other games, a bit of a disappointment, but nothing to cry about. You got some Lambo's, Ferrari's, and other expensive rides. There are some trucks and SUV's. There are some import tuners you can dress up, some muscle cars. So the diversity of cars is there, even if the numbers are small.  

Mode wise there isn't much either (save multi-player). There are some rally type races, where you can go dirt to asphalt and back, so rally fans don't despair, you can have fun too. There are lap races and point to point races too.

Definitely a buy if you are a race fan. A rent if you aren't, but still enjoy cars and thump thump music. 

there you go, short and sweet. 

VROOM   VROOM 







Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Foot/Adam Sandler

Wow! Today started off fun! Woke up with a swollen foot. "How'd you do that?" everyone asked in swelling anticipation (chuckle's at pun). I have no freaking clue. It was hurting a little on Thursday  Friday went for a workout (that is so douche style to say that) and the foot was still only a little sore. Then today I woke up, stepped out of bed and blammo! swollen ouchy foot foot. 

So that was fun.

Enerwers...

Just wanted to talk about some random movie and TV stuffs today.

Being parents, the Future Wife and I don't get out much, so we have to wait for movies we want to see to come out on Bluray or on Amazon instant, which by the by is pretty great if you are lazy and don't want to go to a store or Redbox thingy to rent. You might ask "Don't you have babysitters?" and we would then answer, "Yes, but they are friends, so we use them sparingly." Don't want to be those people that just dump their kids every chance we get. Plus it's not really worth it to go out to movies anymore, what with there only being one or two good movies coming out every two or three months. 

The other night I ask the Future Wife (aka the wife from the future, for she was sent back in time to save my ass) if she wanted to rent a movie. She said yes and the only thing we could agree on was the latest Adam Sandler movie that had come out. That's My Boy. Yippy I say. As of late Mr. Sandler has become the butt of movie reviewers jokes and sometimes they are not wrong to do so, but lets face facts, most movie reviewers are dicks and wouldn't know a good movie if it was having sex with their wives right in front of them. Sandler has done some pretty deplorable things in his movie career, Just Go with It, Jack and Jill, Spanglish and random parts like in Zookeeper. Yeah he will probably never win an Oscar and yeah he hasn't been funny since I don't know; Anger Management, but lets give him some "get out of jail free" cards. He had gotten married, which changes your priorities somewhat, and then he had kids, which kill your dreams, I mean make everything BETTER!! [no, really, baby = ruiner, emoticon semi-colon with close parentheses (get it <--)]  Sandler is older and less funny, it happens. Steven Seagal got more hair and more stomach and somehow that made him less threatening. 


I'm watching you watch me and Wayne's World.
That's My Boy is not his best, but at least he tried to go back to the raunch that got him where he is today. He drops the F-bomb a lot, which is okay, because it isn't a disney movie. The story is a bit bland and the only character that has any really background is Sandler's. Everyone else is secondary, including Andy Samberg's character who plays Sandler's son. Sandler play's Donny, who starts out as a teenage boy that knocks up his teacher, who has the baby (Samberg) in jail, who Donny has to take care of. Donny gets 80's B-list famous, then it peters out (thin).

Cameos of Sandler's friends are less apparent in this film, which sucks, instead we get the Jets head coach and the very unfunny and annoying Nick Swardson. Will Forte, but not enough.

So Todd aka Han Solo (no joke) played by Samberg hates his dad, is getting married and doesn't want anything to do with his dad. Donny owes the IRS money or he goes to jail. there it is, that's it. You can figure out the rest. Some gross things happen, but not too bad, until the end, when something happens. I will not spoil it for you, because you should watch it for yourself. It is a funny movie, but the troupes are good ol' romantic comedy/redemption troupes. 

One thing I would change throughout the whole movie is Sandberg's character Todd/Han Solo. He plays a straight and I mean the sexual straight, not the comedy straight. I would have made him gay, with everything that happens in the movie, it would be a better story line. Not that being gay is a big story line, but it would take the normalized, blind, weak, lover boy character into a new realm, plus how hard would it be for Samberg to play a gay character? He kissed other guys on SNL all the time. It's kind of become his thing.

In summation; That's My Boy isn't the worst movie Sandler has ever done, but by far not the best. Samberg is mostly stagnant, no one else stands out and Susan Sarandon plays the child molesting teacher... is this a thing that she does now? She played the same kind of character on 30 Rock. What is going on with her? She and that tall man are still together right? Is it menopause? Isn't she past the menopause thing? WTF lady? WTF? 

If you haven't seen it, you should, it won't make you pee your pants laughing, but it won't make you angry that you spent the three bucks to rent it, unless you went to the theater and spent way more. if you did you are a fool and I laugh at your foolish ways. 

XOXO Marlon Wayans' number one fan!