Posts Tagged ‘may’


Review: Darkest of Days

May 7, 2013

Well, we appear to be back. Things got a little crazy here, but the short version is, my father finally did get disability (and I do mean finally, he got the money he was owed just a couple of weeks ago), and we have since moved. So, things are going good, and I feel confident in starting in on the reviews again.

I will say this for Darkest of Days: it has an interesting concept. You play a member of the 7th Cavalry who went missing during the Battle of Little Big Horn, pulled out of his own time to go make right what once went wrong. So, the base idea is Quantum Leap: The FPS. Somehow, though, it never quite comes together.

The game as a whole feels kind of rushed, especially when it comes to storytelling. This is a ten hour game, and there doesn’t seem to be much replay value in it, because the story is the same no matter what order you do it in. Be prepared for me to spoil the entire game, by the way. Read the rest of this entry ?


Review: 7.62 High Calibre (w/ Blue Sun Mod)

May 7, 2013

Allow me to point out, quickly before I start, that this is going to be about 50/50 a review of 7.62 High Calibre and of the Blue Sun Mod, and this is really by necessity. You see, dear readers, in 2007, Russian developer Aperion released through C1 7.62, which was a follow-up to their previous game, Brigade E5: New Jagged Union, which was itself a spiritual sequel to the Jagged Alliance games. It has since seen a European/US release by the same publisher. Its reputation is…less than stellar.

The thing is, the game was made quickly and somewhat on the cheap, and it shows. Boy, does it show. Let’s just take a moment, and go through these in the order that most players would probably notice them. First, it’s pretty clear that there wasn’t anybody in the entirety of the development team who was fluent in English. And that the localization was pretty much just one dude plugging all of the words in the game into At one point, the ammo pouch was referred to as a cartouche, which while technically correct is hilariously outdated.

As for the Blue Sun mod, the most important thing it does is make the game actually playable. As a matter of fact, one Let’s Play of the base game said that a fan-made English translation “ranges from ‘passable’ to ‘the translator didn’t know what the English word was so he threw up his hands and left the Russian word in.'” Besides the functional change in language, Blue Sun changes some of the basic gameplay. For example, in vanilla 7.62mm, you just sort of show up in Algeira’s version of Cancun. With the mod, you start about fifteen miles north of town with a broken down bus and a car you can pull a Beretta out of. After going through the character creation and class system, which were also added by the mod. All of that is about half of what the mod does.

Another, say, three-eighths is a pack of missions tied to the Blue Sun mining group operating in Algeira and their allies. The writing is…well, let me put it this way. The story as a whole is actually pretty well done, focusing mainly on the Blue Sun company’s attempt to take advantage of the imminent civil war between the Algeiran government and rebel forces to begin a military takeover of Palinero, a county to the south of Algeira and the setting of the previous game. The writing itself, on the other hand…well, I’ll let a comment on another LP with the Blue Sun mod sum it up: “I’m not nearly as far along as you are yet, but holy shit the dialogue in the Blue Sun quests”.

And the last thing the mod does is add weapons and items. Like, a bunch of them. 274 new guns and 276 new items, although most come from assorted other mods.

As far as the vanilla story goes, it’s fairly standard for sandbox games. You come to Algeira to track down a Russian gangster, but, y’know, no rush, when you can. In the midst of all this is a conflict between the administration of Generalissimo Alberto Sosa and surprisingly hot rebel leader Tanya Tormens. I normally wouldn’t bring up her appearance, buuut she’s also wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt that’s a size too small. So…there’s that.

The Blue Sun storyline is also pretty much par for the course. Go to [town], assassinate [enemy]. Repeat until you start to take over the government installations of Palinero. When you get all three sides going at once, then things are starting to get interesting. As for the combat…ehh. It’s not bad. It’s not exactly the most robust system to come from a game, but it works pretty well. And there’s something just so satisfying about having the game pause itself at the moment the shot you took from across the map hits an enemy in the side of the head.

Personally, I think it’s worth the fifteen bucks it costs on Amazon. But only if you grab the Blue Sun mod with it. Otherwise, I’d suggest you get away while you can.


Review: FlatOut 3

May 20, 2012

I’m not even sure where to start.

FlatOut 3 is one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever seen.

I am not even kidding about that. I have never been more tempted in my life to start pounding on my computer with a hammer. And believe me, some programs have had me pretty damn tempted to go get a hammer.

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Review: Dark Shadows

May 14, 2012

So, with last week’s review being finished last night, I’m sure that many of you some of you at least one of you is wondering why it wasn’t up earlier. Friday, I was just not feeling up to the task of re-watching Beverly Hills Cop III. That’s on me. Saturday…Saturday was busy. I had a very long day Saturday, and it started with the movie that I am going to review in brief for you right here in this post.

Let me start by setting the scene for you. Quarter to eleven, and the movie theater in the mall’s just opened. My parents go in and get the tickets and sit down at a table. I show up a few minutes later, and we all get our snacks (The snack bar in this theater is unlike any I’ve ever been in, because you don’t pay where you get your snacks. You take everything down to a register, and they have a separate kitchen for-you know what, beside the point.) and head to the theater. Another thing, beautiful theater, very well set up.

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Review: Beverly Hills Cop III

May 13, 2012

Well, another late review, but I’m getting better – I’m only behind by two days on this one.

In 1982, a young African-American comedian was chosen to play a convict tapped to help solve a crime in forty-eight hours.

This is not that story.

No, this is the story of that same comedian, somewhat older now, and riding high on his success – two feature-length stand-up specials and a decade of acting in movies, including two popular series. And then…Beverly Hills Cop III.

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Coming Attractions: May 2012

May 9, 2012

You know, after Shock Treatment wound up being pretty good, it got me thinking the past few days about the nature of sequels. It’s not unreasonable to think that a successful movie might get a follow-up, whether or not it feels warranted. And so, I’m making May sequel month.

March 11: As I mentioned in what would later turn out to be my 100th review, I am a fan of Eddie Murphy…most of the time. This is not one of those times, because Beverly Hills Cop III.

March 18: FlatOut3 proves that videogames can crank out crappy sequels just as well as movies can.

March 25th: Oh, National Lampoon. How you have fallen from the heady days of Christmas Vacation to making Van Wilder II: The Rise of Taj.

March 31st: We wrap up May with Driv3r, whose main character has been described by Rockstar Games as “[moving] like his bowels have let go.”


Review: Motel Hell, Basket Case, and Shock Treatment

May 7, 2012

I’m going to blow through these movies in order to get caught up.

Motel Hell

The main premise is a little motel, out in the middle of nowhere (not, mind you, Nowhere, Kansas from Courage the Cowardly Dog – That might have made the movie good), whose owner Vincent Smith is known for smoking the most delicious meats in the area. This being a horror-comedy made in 1980, the secret ingredient is people.

One night, he shoots out the back tire of a motorcycle, burying the man up to his neck in what I’m going to start calling his Soylent Garden, and taking the woman to the motel and putting her in a room. I’m going to skip to the end, because most of this movie is just murder and sausage, and I happen to like sausage. Besides, the only scene that comes close to redeeming this movie comes just slightly more than an hour and a half in.

There is a chainsaw battle, and it would have been one of the greatest moments I’d ever seen in a movie…if I could fucking see any of it. Apparently they mistook “dark in tone” for “if you turn on one single light I will kick you off the movie.” Vincent is killed by his brother, and with his dying breaths leaves him the farm and garden, and admits to the dark secret of his meat. “I…I…used…preservatives!”

You know something? I’m not going to miss him.

Basket Case

Wow, this…I’m not quite sure what to say here. So I’ll just say it. The actors in this movie are terrible, and it is delicious. Okay, let me back up. This is the cheapest…wait, scratch that. The second cheapest movie I’ve ever seen. After a doctor is killed by…a guy wearing a rubber monster glove, we see  someone walking in Times Square carrying a wicker box. You can tell it’s Times Square because this is 1982 and he passes no less than three porn shops before being approached by a drug dealer. In fact, I’m not even sure the drug dealer was supposed to be in the movie because whoever this guy is never acknowledges him.

Once again, skipping to the end, Belial (the glove/puppet/stop-motion thing) and Duane (the guy carrying the basket and ignoring the dealer) eventually kill each other in a fight by wrestling each other out of the window and falling to their deaths.

This movie is bad, but at the very least the acting is hilariously bad. You’ll be laughing, but the director and actors won’t like it.

Shock Treatment

This is the big one, folks. In fact, this is the only one movie that I’m willing to do background on.

A long time ago, going on forty years now, an English actor named Richard O’Brien wrote a schlock-horror/comedy play called The Rocky Horror Show. It became THE play to see in London, and two years later, 20th Century Fox released a film adaptation that is still in limited release, and is the record holder for longest theatrical release in film history.

Buoyed by this success, he set out to make a follow-up, which ultimately became Shock Treatment.

The movie starts out with a strange sequence with singers talking up the virtues of Denton. I can only describe it as what it would be like if a town held a pep rally. Towards the end of the song, we focus in on Brad and Janet Majors (Yes, that Brad and Janet), now married. Janet is getting into the song along with the rest of the crowd, while Brad appears both confused and slightly creeped out. All the pep rallies I went to in high school…let’s just say that I’m well-acquainted with that look.

We cut straight to Betty Hapschatt interviewing Judge Oliver Wright (AKA “A Criminologist”, AKA Ernst Stavro Blofeld, AKA Mycroft Holmes) and she correctly infers that he finds the town theme a bit manipulative. And then we go to a commercial break (Never thought I write that for a movie) teaching the five Fs: Farley Flavors Fabulous Fast Food. I’ve got a couple of Fs they missed -“Fucking” “Fungible”.

Anyway, after the commercial, it’s revealed that Ralph and Betty Hapschatt have divorced, and that she is now interested in Judge Wright, the two getting coffee together before the start of Marriage Maze, a game show/insane asylum recruitment tool hosted by an allegedly blind Austrian wearing a shitload of pancake makeup. Have I mentioned that we’re ten minutes in?

For brevity’s sake, I’m going to summarize the rest of the movie. The host of Marriage Maze convinces Janet to have Brad committed to Dentonvale, a psychiatric hospital/soap opera, as Rest Home Ricky (played by Rik Mayall, proving that he can give a performance that isn’t godawfully horrendous) brings out a wheelchair to take him away. Brad and Janet meet with Drs. Cosmo and Nation McKinley, an ambiguously incestuous brother and sister team.

I’m going to leave the ending up to you to find for yourselves, because this is the only movie of the group that I will wholeheartedly endorse. A lot of the criticism for this move seems to come from the fact that it isn’t Rocky Horror. Well, it’s not. But on its own merit, it’s a pretty decent movie. The music works, the actors, while not always the originals, seem invested in the characters, and the plot is, much like Rocky Horror, insane. Honestly, if you’re looking for something for a movie night but don’t want to watch RHPS again, Shock Treatment should provide an apt substitute.