Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gaming Review #4 Resident Evil 6

Welcome to the next in my series of video game reviews. You know in a house where I game around 1-3 hours per week the games I complete are either really short (Walking Dead) or are done only a little over a long period and this is one of these. As an avid Resident Evil fan I have played every game in the series to completion (well except for survivor and there is a good reason for that). This game has been one that I have been waiting around for a while as I get to see some of my favorite characters back in action in a game where I can kick some zombie butt!
 Well let's do a little summary of our story. We follow our favorite fighters from Raccoon city as they deal with a new threat from the C virus which has created a whole new breed of super mutant zombies. The plot thickens when you have to join a co-op fight in order to save the world from certain destruction reaped by the re-imagined neo umbrella organization!
Well the first change that you notice is the action adventure aspect of the game with a more open fighting style that has you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning where you are clawing your way through a city overwhelmed by the new zombie plague. Things are very fast paced which updates from the previous two in the up front combat. This new style also allows for two player co-op either online or with two friends together at the wheel. This game can be twice as fun with friends who know what they are doing and will be great for parties running through missions such as any beat-em-up game.
The next point of interest is the story which runs in a similar fashion to Resident Evil 2. You get to play through the same story from the point of view of four different character combos. After you have beaten the game with all of them you finally get to have access to the full story. I am very glad to see this aspect back as it is something that I have been missing for a long time. This aspect of the story makes it compelling and fresh each time around even though the basic game itself is relatively short it stretches out over a long period.
The last part of this is about the graphics and sound. Even for games released in this day and age the graphics are beautiful and the actions are incredibly smooth. It flows like an action game should and give you the dark feel that you can love. The sound is very appropriate for the game series and is well done and executed you can freely enjoy this during your passive game sessions enjoying a dark cathedral or an empty city street.
Ok we got to see all the shiny and fun sides of the game and now for the less fun aspects. I feel the game has managed to lose a little bit over time and this one has lost even more of that aspect. Resident Evil as a series has managed to live apart from the other types of action series as it was a full item based puzzle solving crawl where you were in a creepy situation. This game loses a lot of the creep factor and replaces it with a breakneck pace of constant fighting with the puzzles that are in the game being more annoyances than anything else.  I feel that this really took the soul from the series as it is more than a die hard action beat-em up.
In the end we have a pretty nice beat em up horror themed game with a cool cast and imaginative gameplay. The downside is it really has lost the survival horror feel of the original series.

I have the PS3 version of this game and you can get your own at DealOz

DVD Movie Review #152 Duck Tales Volume 2

Hello again and welcome back to my movie reviews. Today we are reviewing Duck Tales Volume 2. Please feel free to read my volume 1 review to get the full picture here but I will say that I got this pretty cheap from the Disney Movie Club.

This Volume introduces us to Scrooge McDuck the World's richest and stingiest duck. He is living his cheap life finding new ways to save and make money when his relative Donald Duck drops off his three nephews...oh bother. Now they must learn to live together while at the same time going through adventures solving mysteries and making cold hard cash.

Those reading the initial one will say "wait introducing? this is volume 2". Yes I said introducing as Disney thought it Prudent to place the Pilot Story line in this volume. So if you want to start from the beginning with one of the few linear areas of the Duck Stories you should start here. This volume shows that even in multi-episodes stories each episode does do a good job of standing on its own. The music is good and fun as well as the above board voice acting and quality of writing.

Again with the same problems as volume 1 with slightly off writing and believably but then again why are we to believe in humanoid ducks walking around with no pants and making money fighting broccoli monsters from outer space? I think Wizard Magazine said it back years ago when it touted suspension of disbelief is the best way to go about reading a story.  This volume has an awful lot of multi-episode stories (one on each disc) this really tests the pick up any time principle that I quoted above.

Again though this has the Pilot!

Rating:  8/10

Used:   $9.14   Amazon Marketplace

New:     $11.98

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DVD Movie Review #151 Duck Tales Volume 1

Hello all and welcome back to the next in my strikingly wonderful DVD movie reviews. This time I am covering Duck Tales Volume 1. Disney only released 3 Volumes of Duck Tales which after putting the episodes together resulted in the complete 1st season. This volume has over 20 episodes of Ducky goodness. I got these volumes from the Disney Movie Club for an average of $8 per volume which is a pretty good deal for what you are getting.

This series stars Scrooge McDuck the richest Duck in the world. He loves to hold on to his money so he can swim around in it and love it to death. The only thing Scrooge loves better than saving money is making more of it. With the help of his nephews and rascales like Launch Pad the incompetent pilot or Gyro the eccentric inventor they go on adventures and to make more money and to save his fortune from villains like the Beagle Boys.

Well The animation in this is standard Disney fare and for the time this came out it is done quite well. The episodes are well timed so that you can pick them up from near any point and watch one or two episodes at any time this is true even with the multi-parters but you don't get many of those here. The voice acting is well done and unlike a lot of childhood cartoons that quality holds up pretty well over times. The Music is classic and you get to find out how skilled the writers are at coming up with different versions of the same theme songs :)

The colors on this are not as vibrant as I would like from a Disney Release. This is a slight disappointment as I feel that Disney usually does great work. The Plot lines like many do take a little bit of suspension of disbelief as well as putting aside how many of the characters lack common sense. I mean the Beagle Boys are still wearing their prison numbers even when they are disguised and all the good characters don't seem to see something up? ...Yeah I am also a little sad about the episodes included. How can you have a series without having the Pilot story line (which I consider the best writing in the series). I mean what the heck?! It is a good thing that the episodes can be watched as you go because if you did need plot order you would be lost.

This holds up well in the end but could have been better.

Rating:   7/10

Used:     $7.98

New:     $10.49

Friday, September 12, 2014

DVD Movie Review #150 The Motorcycle Diaries

Hello again and we are back with the next in the series of dvd movie reviews and this one brings us to The Motorcycle Diaries. This film was given to me by a friend. If you want you can read his Blog here. This movie is on my list because it won an academy award and I am collecting all the academy award winners as a way to bring class to me collection...yeah I know. We did finally get to watch this movie and I am glad I did.

This movie stars two young doctors from South America going on a journey in order to find themselves going up Chili and Peru and interacting utilizing their skills to pay their way as they go. They find themselves in many adventures and dangers as well as meeting up with many interesting people. This is the true story of the trip that had inspired Che to do his thing in Cuba. You know it may be fun to watch this and follow it with Che though it would be a long day as it is really three movies.

Well this is a foreign language film and I always say that something is lost in translation here. It always will be unless you grow up or are immersed in a language for years. I always feel that the acting is harder to judge on these point as you can never be sure if the inflections are quite right. This is still a good judge of acting I believed that these people were who they claimed to be and it was a very charming experience. The plot was well written adapting from reality and showing off the beauty of South America as it existed in the 50s. Did I mention the beauty of the setting? Well I did but it is worth another mention as this also draws your attention well into the film. The music was beautiful and well integrated into the film and add this with the costume design you are fully immersed in the culture and beauty of South America and the pull on your hear strings with the suffering inherent therein.

Well we are in a foreign film and that means that it does drag a little bit for most Americans who are not art whores. I must admit zoning out a little bit myself at times drawn in by the beautiful setting.

In the end this is well worth a view.

Used:     $3.74

New:     $7.38

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gaming Review #3 The Walking Dead Season 2

Hello all and welcome to the second in my lineup of Video game reviews. AS you can tell with South Park being the last of the games I have reviews this is a slow process. I probably play about 1-5 hours per week so you can tell this is a long term situation but once in a while one finishes a game and then the reviewing must commence.
We pick up the story where we left off on season one and the add on with our new star Clementine. You know playing as a little girl in a world full of zombies can be a very difficult and sometimes frightening experience. You navigate her through the world trying to avoid walkers and finding a new pack of people to run with.
Of course with this series you get to fine our own heroes and villains in the story with an equal number of surprises and suspense built along the way. It is in your decisions that you are able to make to build relationships with each of the characters and eventually decide your fate in this bleak and disturbing world.
Well let's get to the good parts...This game has a very intriguing story that draws you in much like the show with the complex character interactions and dynamics. The story choices do give a reflection on how the characters will react to you and just how your character ends up facing the world at the end. (Warning there is a SPOILER pic here so beware). With this you have some nasty characters like the one below becoming a governor wanna be through without the lasting power. You also get to see how cool it is to have a little girl be the main character in a game. The game is pretty simple to navigate and you are able to quickly get the hang of the controls so even a novice can pick it up and play. There are some sections that are very intense where if you don't say the right thing or click at the right point you end up dying very quickly. The graphics are very similar to what you see in the first game so if you like the kind of comic book style you will very much enjoy this game. Finally the music during the game and at the end of these chapters brings you back again and again for a listen.
Governor Wanna Be 
Of course where there is good there is bad. If you want to see a game that will let you know just how terrible the world is and how you should have no faith in humanity then this is the one you want. The game really does fail in my opinion in the story with it drawing you in but also leaving you feeling empty inside when it is all over. I have not been a fan of this point and click business and really in the end your choices in this game bear even less relevance than they did in the first game. The only significant impact you do make is on the ending. You know after beating this game I have to say I almost regret playing it. The motions are very clunky on the download version so I would recommend you buy the disc version. I am uncertain weather this is the download or the poor internet connection causing this lag but it is very annoying. Of course in the end I also feel that this and the episodes are really too short. If you are paying more than $20 for this then you are highly over paying.
One of the only positive moments in the whole game.
Really in the end this game is probably not worth your time unless you are a big fan of the series and the comics and even though i would say it is an upgrade on the other game that they released it is still pretty much the video game version of a choose your own adventure book. Though there are many different endings I gotta say one thing stays the same and this is what I leave you with.

Rating:  5/10

If you are still interested I am pricing the download for the PS3 below for pricing.

Walking Dead Season 2 Download

DVD Movie Review #149 Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes

Hello again and welcome to the wonderful world of movies and my reviews for good old fashioned entertainment. Today we are reviewing the Amityville series. I am very happy that I have at least in this finished the cannon. There are numerous other films in this series of which I have two and they are oddly expensive. I have a lot of reviews to write today (I know I should be publishing and not writing them as at this point I am still in the early 100s in published ones but I am watching faster than I can post).

This film follows a group of priests banishing the evil from the Amityville house and then selling it off lock stock and barrel. Unfortunately one of those barrels in the shape of an ugly lamp holds the spirit of evil. This lamp is sent by a gift by an obviously sadistic old lady wanting to waste her money on torturing her sister with the nasty looking thing. Her sister, however is starting to take on a new evil of her own (her daughter is moving back in with her). The lamp then proceeds to unleash the evils Amityville style yet with a nice little California twist.

Well we are here again for the 4th time. I must say this was better than its predecessor. This film is actually ok with the scar value it is a scary lamp after all. I am glad to see Patty Duke and her acting and charm are well in place even in this rather campy movie setting. The makeup is ok for the time period that this was going on was a creepy lamp.

Well what can I say about a movie that wants it all: Bad Acting, Bad Music, Bad writing...but Scary Lamp. I am a little disappointed at the evil little girl angle I mean even by this point in time it had been over done and she really didn't do a great job of it. The priest choice was poor I mean why must it be a young one? Sex appeal? Really?! Anycase I would think with something as nasty as the Amityville ghost you wouldn't have wanted the only one that botched the original job. In the end it is a bad horror after my own heart.

Rating:  6/10

Used:     $4.03

New:     $10.98