Friday, January 06, 2006

Quake 4 -- Completely satisying

I have just finished the first good traditional shooter since Serious Sam and
Return to Castle Wolfenstein. There's nothing wrong with the latest Quake besides the frequent crashes suffered by many folks who play the game. There are patches out for that problem now, but I still had problems playing without being ripped out of the game by errors. That aside, Quake 4 is everything It should be.
Throughout the game you are mostly by yourself, but you meet marines that help you out and move the game along. There are technicians and medics who heal and repair your armor and the techs have the added bonus of upgrading your weapons with new functions and capabilities.
Most of the weapons that appeared in Quake 2 return in Quake 4. Each one is useful in it's own way and doesn't become a bench warmer in your arsenal. I was overjoyed to see the grenade launcher again, a weapon that is tossed out or used a side feature in other shooters. Your need for a flashlight demands that you lurk through Strog territory with the machine gun which you pick up early in the game. Fortunately, it's a good weapon for all situations and I didn't mind having to use it as my flashlight. The BFG 10k is gone and in it's place is the Dark Matter gun which is like a black hole launcher (very cool).
The enemy AI wasn't so impressive, not that it had to be with the sheer brute force it had at its disposal. All your foes tend to use ambushes and numbers against you. Most of them take more than two shotgun shots to put down and require back-peddling to handle. I'm rather tired of the familiar Nazis I have to face in the large number of WWII shooters I play so the large and nail gun toting Strog are refreshing. There is some vehicle ridin' bits but they aren't particularly fun or unique, kinda weak.
I loved Quake 4 for the nostalgia of playing a Quake game. There's too few shooters that make every weapon vital and each baddy fun to fight. Even less with the fantastic Doom 3 spooky lighting and gore.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Tourette's Guy link

It's argued whether or not this guy actually has Tourette's syndrome and these videos are all staged, but it's damn funny either way.

Just to warn you (in case his name didn't clue you in), this guy cusses... a lot.
http://www.tourettesguy.com/videos.htm

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Solitaire

Entertainment's last resort

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Where are the action movies of yesterday?

I saw Doom The Movie last week and that's the question I've had in my head for this past week. What happened? Movies seem worse now when they try to explain sci-fi bullshit science and try to make it believable. Would we complain if they just left it up to us to figure it out? We didn't mind in 79' with Star Wars. Lightsaber? Oh, it must be a highly concentrated laser beam. No one tells us what that is, we just accept the damn thing. The action hero of the 80's, that's what I'm missing. Predator ruled. Arnold Schwarzenegger VS an ugly alien in a battle of wits and fists. Holy shit that was pure genius! I want them to make Terminator VS Predator with no backstory whatsoever. Just have terminators walking around with chain guns led by Jesse Ventura and then Predator dropships deposit hunters into the scene. The boring human resistance dies or runs away. Do away with them however you will. Then just let the film go from there with Predators and Terminators clobbering each other because they want to. I don't pay money to have it explained to me why it would be logical to have a Predator ziggurat under the ice of Antartica. Fucking blow thousands of bugs up God damn it!
As Homer Simpson once said: "When did America stop rooting for the guy with the acid gun?"

X-Box 360 - Excited? Don't be.

Just tried out the $399 console out and asked myself why the companies are coming out with a new generation of console with such a small leap in technology. You can throw tech lingo and numbers of gigs at me all day and I won't understand until I get my hands on a machine. Pheh. Remember the N64 and have you seen the Gamecube today? Big jump right? But this just looked like all the games on X-Box are available for high-end pc's. The graphics have gotten shinier, but I don't wanna spend four hundred bucks for more X-Box games that still play the same (The conroller is now white, nothing else really new besides the X button that connects to the system or whatever its supposed to do, who cares?) I'd be happy with just more new games for the current generation for another four years until someone comes out with somethign REALLY special. Like a fourth dimension.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Has it occurred to anyone that we may be the Klingons of the our galaxy?

Considering how much farther advanced out military applications (all nations, not just our own) than anything else we make, you have to admit, we LOVE war.

"HEY! MY HILL!" "NO! MINE!" *Guy A kills guy B* "MY HILL!" "......." Problem solved.
The swift results of violent action evolved faster than our ability to negotiate peacefully.

And when we look at the rest of history war is the founder of almost all nations and the mother of invention. The trebuchet is one impressive piece of engineering, and much more fun to use than an architecturally inspiring and dumbfounding structure of a non-military nature. At least my inner ape says so. All those neat steels and plastics and rubber materials come from solving a problem from a war-time scenario.

Now I'm not preaching war and I'm not saying war is a good thing. I'm saying it's in our nature to dish out pain and like it, especially if it gets us what we want from stubborn opponents. Not everybody's like that right away, but I believe I can safely say when it comes to a heated argument (we all have 'em) we deep down would like to just smash some face. Ethics stops us from doing that all the time because a lot of us feel bad afterwards and its also not gonna get us what we want most of the time, but we still wanna. We even play games based on the most nightmarish events that could possibly happen to us. I'm pretty sure no war vets play Battlefield 1942 and say, "Aw, yeah! I pwned teh n00bs with my mad kamikaze skillz! W00T!" "Look at them run!" "ROFLMAO! I RAN MY FLACK TRACK INTO MY OWN BARRACKS AND BLEW UP! THEY'RE ALL ON FIRE! FRIENDLY FIRE! LOL!"

So Star Trek is even fonier when it designates the human race as the diplomats of the galaxy, tip-toeing around traditions and treaties and trying to understand alien cultures. It would be more realistic to place us right next to our battle brothers, the Klingons, bellowing "KAPLAH!"

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mortal Kombat Deception -- This old dog needs to be put down

I'm not a big fan of the Mortal Kombat series so I'm somewhat set up to not like this game in the first place. Mortal Kombat has a legacy of crappy games that it's die hard fans gobble up and then scream for more. I honestly can't see why. The funny buckets of blood and brutal fatalities are fun to do for ten minutes, but the inferior fighting engine just yanks the fun right away. Unlike EVERY OTHER successful fighting game, MK decides to stick with a very strict system of lengthy combos that just widdle down the health bar. Grab moves were never a big part of MK and still are a huge minority. The combos themselves are difficult and none too impressive, unless you are amazed by a flying body getting smacked in the legs eight times. Special moves like fireballs and teleporting are just for show and tend to leave you wide open for the unforgiving AI. I felt like my character was made of wood and could only make one motion at a time and then stick in that position longer than I'd like. There is no fluid motion whatsoever. It's like controlling a robot filled with jam. The boss is still not fun to fight. Super Smash Bros. has a better fighting engine.
MK Deception has some interesting game modes like Kombat Chess and a puzzle mode. Kombat chess is like Archon which makes for some interesting strategy, but you can still not how to play Archon or chess and still win if you're the better MK fighter. Puzzle mode is a variant of Tetris which isn't fun to play. Yeah, Midway found a way to ruin Tetris.
The final line is MK sucks and always has. The reason it's alive today are all the old fans who can't get enough of the gory fun. I hate this game with a passion. Only MK fans should buy this, there is no other reason to buy this game unless you're a slave to Midway's crap fighter.

Corpse Bride -- God damn it Tim Burton

Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was a likeable film just like "Edward Scissor Hands" and "Beetle Juice." Today, a Tim Burton film guarantees a waste of two hours and five bucks. "Monkey Bone" was the last Burton film I saw and... yeachhh! But now he's doing the stop-motion animation again! Surely it will be the redeeming work, the savior of noir Hot Topic shoppers. Miss.
The issue with Corpse Bride is that it's... boring. If I'm a kid and want to see a PG movie, I get a long, drab movie about a loser and a small population of singing zombies and greedy parents. If I'm an adult who remembers "The Nightmare Before Christmas" I'm sorely disappointed with how inferior this movie was and how unfunny it was.
The plot basically follows another Johnny Depp (This time his name is Victor) who is forced into an arranged marriage, which isn't so bad since he likes the girl. He just can't get his wedding vows down. Then he accidentally marries a corpse and that means he gets pulled into the netherworld for some reason. The world of the dead is, for some reason, really small and just contains the dead of the nearby area of Victor's village. That and Napoleon. Then there's trouble at home with his betrothed who is targeted by some lame, lame villain who nobody would love to hate.
There's no fun in this movie. No good jokes, no good scenes, no exceptional acting. No one is impressed except Hot Topic shoppers. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good. Also, nobody likes singing in their movies anymore unless it's a movie about singing. It's all filler anyways so come up with a better script next time, although there shouldn't be a next time.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Land of The Dead -- Just another zombie movie

All the hype about this movie led me to expect something different. The world is overrun with zombies ,or 'Stenches', who appear to be trying to act out their former roles when they were alive. This imitation behavior leads to more learning and lifts the zombies to the intelligence level of cannibalistic mongoloid cavemen.
Despite all these new features in a zombie movie it does nothing to make this feel like a different zombie flick. Now this is probably a good thing as it could have really sucked with all these elements, but I was still looking forward to a real change in the zombie genre. All you really end up with is a Mad Max or Tank Girl movie with not so dumb zombies in it. There's a big Tank called Dead Reckoning (which looks a lot like the souped-up trucks in the Dawn of The Dead remake) that gets plenty of screen time blasting zombies with chain guns and launching sky flowers to distract zombies. Plenty of dismemberment and people getting eaten alive which goes without saying of course.
The acting isn't fantastic but it doesn't suck too bad either. The ending is pretty open with no certain consequences, just the idea that life and undead life goes on.
This is a move for zombie fans who just want more zombie gore. Anyone expecting anything new will feel somewhat disappointed.