Sunday, January 26, 2014


And now on to the review I promised last week, Thor.
As with last week it's going to be a short review. So down to brass tacks.
Thor is, like The First Avenger, heart rending, action-packed, tear-jerking, heart warming and awe-inspiring. Unlike The First Avenger though, it's also slapstick funny at times. It's an awesome movie and like the rest of The Avengers series I'd recommend if you haven't seen it already that you do so as soon as possible. It's more than worth your time to go out, get the movie, bring it home, and watch it. However you procure your media, be it Netflix, libraries or rentals Thor is a great movie to watch. Not much else to say.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Captain America: The First Avenger

So I recently managed to watch Captain America, and I loved it.
There's not much to say without giving away what made the movie great, but the special effects were great, the story is great and the changes they made from the comics serve to make the story better. Everything about the movie serves to make it better, even the parts that seemed out of place fit in at the end. I'd really rather not go into much more detail because it might ruin the movie. Suffice to say that if you haven't seen it already it's worth renting or borrowing or queuing up online.
Now normally I'd post two reviews if a review was this short, but I wasn't able to get the time to write the article until it was almost Monday morning so I'll get the second review out sometime during the week. It's probably gonna be Thor.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Max Payne: First Impressions

I'd like to apologize for the two-day late review, Sunday was a little too busy for me and I wound up only remembering at 1:30 AM the next day.
So, Max Payne on the Xbox is a game I got for Christmas. And I have to say that I really like it. I like it enough that I might even get the other two games in the series. The game is fun, the story does this thing where if you're not paying attention some things won't make sense, but it's not particularly noticed when you're playing, although it's actually kinda cool if you like that kind of story. Personally I really like the ability to slow time down and do all kinds of crazy stuff. On thing I have to criticize is the fact that you can't move slowly if you're trying not to alert a roomful of enemies to your presence and the crouch function is practically useless because you can't move while crouched. I wound up having to re-bind the buttons even before I played the game so I could keep from having to re-learn a new set of controls. Speaking of controls, I barely used the "fast look" option even though it's actually pretty useful. I guess we can blame the design of the Xbox Controller S for that because the R2 button on the Xbox is kinda hard to use and is pretty much forgotten in the heat of combat. The story takes itself way too seriously, but it's the kind of too serious that immerses me in the game. One thing I have to criticize is that even for the time the face-mapping is cringe-inducingly horrible, but since you don't usually see the rendered model of Max's face in the game, it's not a big issue. Most of the times you see his face is when the game shifts to graphic-novel style film-noire cutscenes which in this day and age would be seen as cutting corners (I'm looking at you SEGA. That job you did with Sonic Colors on the DS and Generations: Blue Adventure on the 3DS was less than adequate. Not that the games were bad) but as it is they actually counterbalance the horrible face-mapping. The faces wouldn't be so bad if they'd been textured properly though. I've seen better face-texturing on PlayStation and N64. Granted, the polygon rendering is a little too flat for the hardware. Not that it takes away from the game itself, the faces just take a bit of getting used to. As the game came out in 2001 it's hard to fault the developers on any of the graphical issues, but I have one thing to say about it; It's better than Splinter Cell. It's also a better stealth-game than Splinter-Cell (Okay, that's going too far, but it's at least a more entertaining game for me). I can't help it, Splinter Cell gets on my nerves with how badly it does everything Metal Gear Solid did better with less to work with. So all in all I had fun with this game.
Wow, I didn't even talk about how the game was a third-person shooter with bullet-time mechanics and acrobatics. Anyways, I do recommend Max Payne. It's fun, it's entertaining, and it's worth the five-bucks it takes to pick it up for an old Xbox game. Check it out if you find it. I'll review it some more when I've played more of it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lifesigns: Surgical Unit first impressions

So, for the first review of the year, I figured I'd get around to a game that I've been playing for the DS.
Okay, so this is the second game in a series that follows the lead of Trauma Center. On a completely different note, it was kinda tough to find the American cover, because Wikipedia has the European cover and as such, that's the one that comes up first on Google. Back on topic: Lifesigns 2: Surgical Unit is the second game in the Lifesigns series, the first of which was never released outside Japan. Before the inevitable arguments about which is a ripoff start, I will refer to Wikipedia, which states the first game came out at the end of 2004, several months before the original Trauma Center did.
Damn, games that came out in the last generation of console are almost ten years old. Thinking about that makes ME feel old. Anyways, the game is pretty good, although if it'd been released alongside its prequel back in 2005 instead of in 2007 then it probably would have fared better critically. On the one hand, I like the puzzle solving and other things that you can do in the hospital, and the art it intricately detailed. On the one hand, the gameplay tends to aggravate me but on the other hand, it's the kind of aggravation that makes me want to complete the game. I don't know if I'll ever finish it because I've got a gigantic backlog by now of DS games alone, but I'll try. I never thought I'd finish Chinatown Wars either.
Anyways, the characters are pretty cool and the gameplay is okay. I don't say "Okay" in the "below average" sense, it's just I can't say much about it. Depending on what you like, you could like it or hate it. The main difference from Trauma Center is that the surgery graphics are manga drawings instead of real-time 3D polygons. Sometimes you can't really tell what you're supposed to do during the medical exam stages, but on the upside, there's no way you can screw that up as far as I can tell. I'm on the ropes as to whether I like this game or not, it's a handful of great ideas rolled into one game, and I can't tell if it executed it right. There are a bunch of strange minigames in it as well that are a little out of place. The game is strange, I'll give it that. It's the kind of strange that would normally keep my interest if I didn't have a bunch of other games to play as well. I guess I'll have to tag-team it the way I did with Ace Attorney and The World Ends With You so I can keep my interest up. I like it, but I'm not sure how much I like it. For now I'm gonna have to leave you with that.