Finally back in action.

Well.

I have finally come out of hibernation.

So here are a few announcements on upcoming reviews and more.

The Saboteur

Red Faction

Freedom Fighters

And finally…Battlefield 3.

 

Unfortunately I still have not been able to recover my copy of Fraps. So I guess for the time being I’ll have to make do with the piece of shit demo version of Fraps.

Yep. My review for Red Faction should actually be up tonight. Also, Cori and myself may actually be putting up a video of us playing Minecraft sometime very soon. Yahooooo.

Cheers.

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Review of Operation Flashpoint:Dragon Rising

Well.

Playing this game in multiplayer with a couple friends over Skype or Ventrilo is actually a genuinely fun, deep, and engaging experience that requires patience, strategy, and some pretty good skill with the FPS genre.

However, playing this game by yourself will definitely cause a blood vessel in your brain to burst.

When I played the game in multiplayer mode with two other friends, it was an absolute blast. Sure there were some tedious and slightly annoying moments; but overall the sessions were pretty enjoyable. If you and your friends can work together and keep your heads on straight, then this game is definitely for you.The multiplayer is fantastic as it offers a lot of replay value and kept me and my friends coming back for more.

I mentioned earlier that there were some annoying parts. Well, one of them was that even though we were playing on the “normal” difficulty, and we would receive checkpoint saves during missions; whenever all of us were killed off the game would completely restart the mission from the beginning. This is a gigantic pain in the ass because the levels are massive, and there are tons of objectives that you typically have to walk/run to and they are usually a damn good distance apart from each other.

I’ll give an example using the shittiest drawing ever:

Okay. So we complete objective A. And then we hike our asses all the way over to B, complete it, and then hike all the way over to C. Alright. Great. So now we backtrack past B and head to D. But the shit hits the fan shortly before D and we get killed. Shortly after completing objective C the game informs us that we reached a checkpoint. But when we die before reaching D, the game does not load the checkpoint. It instead decides to take a giant shit on us and completely restart the mission from the beginning.

Yep.

The game looks pretty nice, I don’t really have any complaints about the graphics engine.Although on some levels a really thick, orange fog sets in like it’s the setting of a Romero zombie film.

If you have the patience for a couple minor bugs, and the rather high learning curve and difficulty level that this game brings; then you’ll love jumping into a game with a few friends. If you’re impatient and prefer something similar to Modern Warfare 2 or Halo, then you’re probably better off staying away from Operation Flashpoint.

Anyways, on to the singleplayer.

The AI completely takes away from the experience.

The bullshit robot responses and orders that everyone gives also takes away from the experience. “ECHO, NINER, ONE ZERO F ALPHA, MOVE TO GRID, DELTA, Z SIX FOXTROT”

And that’s how your character says almost everything. The only time any of them sounds even remotely normal is when they are being shot at and they yell and shout.

Returning to what I said earlier, in most of the missions there is a lot of ground to cover and a serious lack of vehicles. In most of my game sessions whether it was online or offline I ended up having to trek for what felt like miles and miles across the maps to finally reach my intended destination. There were times when it didn’t feel like I was playing an “intense and highly tactical FPS” but a simulation of the Native American Trail of Tears.

Most of the time I spent walking and running to the next objective, only to be instantly one-shot killed from several hundred meters away by a nearly invisible enemy. At this point the game would reload to the beginning of the mission and not the checkpoint, and I would fill my diaper with an aggravated shit.

Now that I think about it, I think this slightly less shitty drawing is more accurate:

The game also has a ton of menus, and a good number of them seem to just be there for looks. The menu I click through at the beginning of the video shows the loadout of your character, but you can’t really do anything with any of it. You can just hover your mouse over the icons and get a brief description of what a gun does, or what a first aid kit is used for. Yeah.

Anyways, the multiplayer is great. But if you’re looking for a rich and rewarding singleplayer experience you’re looking in the wrong place. Because Dragon Rising’s singleplayer is just plagued with shitty bumbling AI, and kind of a lame story that’s more of a backdrop for the action than something that should be taken seriously or even really paid attention to.

Come for the multiplayer. Don’t even try singleplayer unless you just want a laugh.

*Image courtesy of Google, video courtesy of me

Mafia II review

Fuggetaboutit.

It’s a pretty well done game. The beginning kicks off with a neat little segment where you fight in Sicily during the second World War. Which is a really nice change of pace because I figured I would be starting off similar to the first Mafia game. But now that I think about it the beginning of the first game wasn’t really the norm either. Because you start off as a taxi driver and you have to drive two wounded mob members away from a rival mob car that follows your slow ass taxi. And in Mafia II you begin with this Brothers in Arms sort of style prologue. I really thought this was a nice touch, and a nice change of pace from the usual mobster games/plot lines.

The game sounds, plays, and feels just like 1945 in New York City. Not that I would know what the hell New York City in 1945 sounded or felt like, but I think this game nailed it. I think.

The controls handle pretty well, and the characters and dialogue are pretty spot on to what I’d expect from a mafia style game. The Irish hoodlums are actually my favorite. The missions are all pretty interesting, and some of them are actually pretty damn cool. The only problem is that Mafia II pulls a GTA IV and some of the missions get slightly repetitive. Like the “Clear a whole warehouse filled with armed bad guys” for the fourth or fifth time. Luckily in Mafia II you typically have at least two other people helping you clear out said warehouse, so it isn’t like you’re a goddamn one man army like in GTA IV.

Even though to be honest not many games pull off this technique very well. Because most of the time it is the player fighting off a damn army by themselves. Some games will take a slightly more realistic route and throw you a few ally NPCs to help, but usually they are dumb as hell. And if they aren’t dumb as hell then the number of allies nearly matches the number of enemies and what should be a small gun fight turns into a giant fire fight. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never be happy.

It really kind of reminds me of the scene in The Untouchables where Elliot Ness and Sean Connery storm the bridge and kill two dozen armed mobsters. Of course it’s portrayed better in the film because the other side of the bridge is packed with a battalion of Canadian police officers on horseback. With rifles. And mustaches.

Anyways. Mafia II is a really well done game and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Save for these few grievances.

1) There are too many damn male characters. Holy hell. And almost every one of them is the same. Black haired Italian men under the age of thirty with a thick ass accent and a three piece suit. They may as well have named the game “Italian Sausage Fest 2”

2) Going on a rampage in GTA IV is a helluva lot of fun. In Mafia II…ehhh. Not quite so much. Probably because in GTA IV there’s all of the ridiculous weaponry and it’s a game where goofery and fuckery are allowed. As where Mafia II has a more serious undertone.

3) Most of the cars handle like they have another slightly smaller car strapped upside down on the roof of them. And when you try to drive during the winter season….oh holy shit you better be driving at about 4oMPH everywhere you go or you’ll just slide off of the road and slam into something/somebody. I suppose it is a pretty realistic angle on how cars control, but if I wanted it to be like real life I’d just put on my three piece suit, slick my hair back with gel, and go hit someone in the head with a bat. And as they’re sprawled out and dying on the ground, the last thing they’ll hear before passing on into the next life is me quietly saying “Howzzat fo’ a slice ‘a pizza?”

4)The game is pretty damn linear. It’s an open world game, but there really isn’t much to do between missions. So you typically end up just going to start the next mission. So apart from following the point A to point B storyline, there isn’t a whole lot of replay value in this game for me because once you’ve finished the main storyline there isn’t much to bring you back. Especially since after you finish a mission the game immediately instructs you to go home and go to bed. Apparently Italian mobsters in the 40’s didn’t have much of a nightlife.

My favorite experiences in the game come from the fact that the police in Mafia II actually chase you when you pull some crazy bullshit. For example in GTA IV if you flew past a cop going double the speed limit in a sports car and slammed into another vehicle head on, the cop wouldn’t do shit. He wouldn’t even get out of his car and ask if anyone was hurt. But in Mafia II the police will actually chase you if you’re speeding, and for minor offenses they will try to pull you over and give you ticket. At which point your character will hop out of the car and the cop will write and give you the ticket. And you’ll have to pay it.

Just like real life.

Of course just like in real life you can choose to pull over and politely talk to the policeman, or you can pull over, hop out and then shoot him in the chest with a shotgun. Tickets be damned!

I guess I’d recommend this to anyone who played the first Mafia game, and anyone who loves mobster movies or the GTA series. Or any combination of the above. But especially if you liked all of the above. Cheers.

The evolution of the Resident Evil series.

**I’d like to note that this article contains some spoilers. But you should probably just read it anyways because I am trying to save you near the end of this ride on a roller coaster straight out of HELL**

The Resident Evil video games.

Ah. I played them when I was just a kid. I kicked off the series with Resident Evil 1, on the Playstation 1. This game established my love for zombies, as well as survival horror games.

Also, the level of cheesiness is just staggering.

But back then, it was the best game I owned. But later on down the road, Resident Evil 2 came out for Playstation 1. And I picked it up as soon as I could.

I don’t even know how, but both of these now ancient games used to scare the hell out of me. I mean it was just a zombie smashing some glass and then some loud orchestrated music would blare out of the TV; and then I would drop my controller and run out of the room. I mean the games are really dated now. But they’re classics, and they established a love for an entire genre of games.

Resident Evil 1 and 2 were pretty simple and straightforward. I mean you get guns, and you kill zombies and eventually some crazy ass monsters. The actual storyline is so-so. Back when I was a kid I didn’t have the attention span or intelligence to really grasp what was going on. But now that I am an adult I just laugh at everything that happens as the story progresses.

I mean in a real life scenario, I think Romero-style zombies would be a damn joke. But I’ll save THAT subject for another post, another day. Anyways. So down the road from Resident Evil we get Resident Evil 3, also for Playstation 1.

I also picked up Resident Evil 3, and I really, really enjoyed it. I mean after watching that intro you know you’re in for some wild shit. Especially at the 1:56 mark in the video where the zombies KNOW HOW TO USE ELEVATORS. WHAT.

But luckily that doesn’t really happen in the game.  And truth be told that video is kind of a load of shit. Because all of the policemen and special ops guys shoot dozens of rounds into the zombies and they are just unfazed. But when you’re actually playing the game you can kill most zombies with a few pistol rounds.

Yep.

This game was released in September of 1999. After the turn of the millennium, the whole new generation of game consoles were released. Such as the Xbox, Gamecube, Sega Dreamcast, and Playstation 2.

And in January of 2005 we were finally given Resident Evil 4.

When I started playing it took a bit of getting used to the weird over-the-shoulder camera angle the game had taken on. Because all of the old games had this really weird style where the camera would shift around to random angles all over the place. It was kind of like trying to get a really stubborn bird to hold the camera in one place, and every time you approach where the bird is it swiftly flies away to another position in the room. But then if you run in the opposite direction of the bird it gets curious and follows you into the next room. At which point you’ll turn a corner as the bird goes through a ventilation shaft to enter the next room all stealth-like; but the bird will arrive a moment too late and you’ll run right into a zombie that will eat your face. It wasn’t really the best camera angle work but it was unique at the time. And thinking about it now the game would have been weird as hell to play with a third person view and a first person view would have been near impossible.

But with Resident Evil 4 they went with the over-the-shoulder view which was a fairly new concept at the time of it’s release. So after getting adjusted to the new camera angle and running around for a few moments I set off. But after encountering the “zombies” in the nearby village, I was really put off.

I’d also like to note that Chris Redfield, pictured above and to the left; has the biggest ass in video game history since Lara Croft.

Because they were no longer zombies that slowly shambled towards you and moaned and grunted; they now would jog towards you and throw fucking spears and household kitchen cutlery. At first it was kind of overwhelming and a bit absurd. I expected the experience from previous games, wondering where the old George Romero style zombies had all gone off to,  and that’s when I was slapped in the face with a meat cleaver.

Then it really kicked in. Although this changed the entire core elements of the series; and I already missed the shambling undead of yesteryear, the conflict that followed the unwarranted cleaver slap was the most intense and crazed moments of my gaming career. Except for Amnesia, but we’ll leave that sore subject for another day.

Somewhere between the release of the next-gen consoles and Resident Evil 4, there stood a magnificently done Resident Evil film that slapped the box office across the mouth with it’s half flaccid penis.

I went to go see the film with a couple family members and a friend. All of us were expecting something along the lines of the live action clip from the first game (see above) but instead were hit with something completely different. While I did enjoy the film, I was completely puzzled as to who the hell this “Alice” character was, and why I should care. But after the story developed a bit and some key points were revealed, I started to think Alice was a bit of alright.

The film itself stands up pretty well, especially with the first 15 or so minutes showing how the virus breaks out in the Hive. Which was more or less a mystery Scooby Doo and the gang couldn’t figure out to save their damn private investigating careers.

At this point I was going to say that Thomas Jane did really well in Resident Evil. But then I realized that it wasn’t Thomas Jane, but an actor named James Purefoy. Well what the hell they look exactly alike.



Anyways. The film overall was pretty well done and I enjoyed it, even though it strayed from the games pretty damn far.

In 2004 we were given Resident Evil:Apocalypse. The sequel to the original film. Without spoiling it for the couple dozen people in the entire world that haven’t seen the first film, I’ll say that the ending made me squeal like a girl because I was under the impression that the sequel would contain considerably more zombie killing action. And in fact the second film was perfectly fine until this scene:

After this scene ended, I briefly considered getting up and walking out of the movie theater, into the parking lot; and then I would have asked someone to kindly back their car over my fucking head. After that scene ended I was convinced that would be the only bad part of the entire movie. The ridiculous shit would end right then and there, and Alice and her new friends would head outside to shoot some zombies. Or maybe they’d have a picnic.

Instead the movie shoveled this bullshit into my face:

I’m 100% positive that when the director went to film this portion of the movie, the entire filming crew was on break at the same time. So they just gave the camera to an autistic monkey that was bouncing around on a family-size trampoline.

I don’t even understand the bullshit where the camera shakes around furiously whenever a handful of zombies come into frame. It’s like the cameraman slammed down several shots of cappuccino and then snorted some coke through a rolled up $20 bill; then proceeded to do the filming for the better part of half the duration of the movie.

After THIS part I really thought it was over. I was hoping for the best. Please let something come out of the fucking blue and just save this film.

It didn’t disappoint:

Actually, yes it did. In probably the worst way possible. I’d also like to note that the guard at 1:31 in that video looks exactly like a young Fred Ward from Tremors II.

The only thing I can compare this to is the scene in Braveheart, where a random Scotsman yells out before the Battle of Stirling that “William Wallace is seven feet tall” and he “Consumes the English with fireballs” etc, etc. And the way Resident Evil and Braveheart could have been similar would have been if Mel Gibson had stepped down off of his horse and immediately started shooting fireballs from his hands like a fucking X-Men character.

We’re not done. There’s still another god damn abomination I have to talk about.

Okay. So then 2007 brings us Resident Evil:Extinction. The third entry in the series, and the one that will undoubtedly kill my love for anything and everything. Within the first 30 minutes of the film, this scene comes along and immediately destroys all hope I had:

What?

And then after most of my brainpower had been drained and I was just waiting for the damn credits to roll, I was hit with this:

At the 5:00 mark in the video I just wanted to swing on a chandelier and stick a knife into the top of the movie screen. And then slowly slide all the way down the screen, splitting it in two.

Several years passed and I didn’t hear anything about another movie.

Resident Evil 5 came in 2009, and we finally saw Chris Redfield again after a long absence from the main RE games. But now Chris Redfield has biceps the size of Volkswagon Beetles and his level of intelligence has dropped significantly from high school/college graduate with years of military experience under his belt to becoming this ‘roid monkey that is hell bent on completing his mission with Sheva. He is with Sheva throughout the game and he affectionately refers to her as “partner” from start to fucking finish. I don’t think he ever calls her by her actual name more than twice. The first time being shortly after they are introduced, and the second time being if she ever dies in the game; but if he had screamed “PARTNEEEERRRR” instead of “SHEVUHHHHH” I would have uninstalled the game and hit the disc with a jackhammer. The dialogue between the two throughout the entire game consists of “We’ve got a mission to finish, partner.” “Watch out partner!” “We’ve come too far to stop now, partner.” Or some other combination of “partner” and a statement that holds very little relevance and is hardly worth remembering.

And the game play is so similar to RE4 it’s god damn absurd.

“Don’t stop yet, partner. I’ve got a job to finish.” -Chris Redfield during sex.

Regardless I did enjoy RE5 and I played it all the way through to the rather ridiculous ending that vaguely reminded me of the movies.

Speaking of which, it was around the time I finished this game I heard rumor of a new RE movie on the horizon. Titled Resident Evil:Afterlife.

After Extinction, I didn’t really want to go see Afterlife. So first I checked out the trailer on Youtube a week or so after it was released in theaters before making my final decision:

The first 30 seconds or so were kind of promising.

Planes everywhere. Okay. That connects with the last movie.

And then…well.

I saw this:

“imma wesley snipes blade lolz”

And then, just as I thought my frustration had peaked. This:

To this day I do not acknowledge that this film exists.

I think if I had to name one truly great thing that came from this series, it would have to be Jill Valentine.

I don’t know if any young teenagers or easily offended people are reading this, so I’ll keep it G-rated.

This woman gives me an erection so powerful it busts the seams of my jeans.