Random movie review time! Today:Limitless (2011)

I just finished watching this movie on Netflix, so while it is still fresh in my mind I made the decision to write a review for it rather than trying to go to bed and sleep. I like to sleep.

Before you go any further, please note that this review contains spoilers. So go watch the trailer and then decide if you even want to see this movie before you read on. Yeah.

The main character in this film, who is the center of attention at all times, and also narrates the story is Eddie Morra. He is portrayed by actor Bradley Cooper. I have heard of Bradley before, but I have only seen him in one other film…Wait, actually I haven’t seen him in anything else. Which is surprising to me because he seems really damn familiar. I looked through his IMDb page and I have not seen any of the movies he has also starred in. Even The Hangover, and I’m pretty sure I am the only human being on  the planet that has not seen The Hangover. So I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to take him serious. But luckily he ended up being very sharp and intelligent, which I’m going to assume is the opposite of his character in The Hangover movies.

He spends a good 60% of the film with this look on his face, however.

After being in The Hangover and The Hangover Part 2 he still has the capability to pull off a serious role. Pretty well, I might add. Even though I hadn’t seen him in any other film I actually liked him right off the bat. Or rather I liked his character. A struggling writer living in big New York City, barely making ends meet and living in a shit hole of an apartment. Sounds like a glimpse at my future self, to be honest. But eventually, after his relationship with his girlfriend fails and his book looks like it will fall flat, he randomly encounters his ex-brother-in-law. We’re given a bit of insight into who this guy used to be, and it becomes clear that he used to deal drugs and run with some really shady characters. Bradley Cooper explains that he is having some serious writer’s block, and he thinks he is going to lose his apartment. So the brother-in-law offers an excellent solution. TAKE THIS PILL, DUDE. He takes it, and heads home. When he gets to the top of the stairs, this sexy Asian chick starts bitching (NSFW) at him merely moments after he swallows the pill. So naturally the pill takes it’s affects and he has some crazy sex with her.

The film actually has some pretty cool cinematic and visual effects in it as well. Like in this scene.

I would love to be able to do Bruce Lee’s kick ass fighting moves, I think that’s all I would do after taking this pill. Holy shit I’m gonna watch that video again hold on.

 

Alright. Anyways.

I really loved this movie, but there was one thing that really annoyed the hell out of me with the main character’s decisions.

He never really uses his “powers” for any sort of good. He gets his book published, he practically takes over a big investing/Wall Street corporation, and he has tons of sex with different women. If I were given the pill I would at least try to do some good, I wouldn’t become this uptight rich dick head like he does. He also uses it for a lot of bullshit testosterone-fueled stuff like getting money, fucking, having power, and fighting random people.

I would just pop into some big government funded laboratory and say “Oh. The cure for AIDS? Cancer? You’re doin’ it wrong. Here lemme show you.” Boom. Hundreds of millions of lives saved. I would then become Time’s Man of the Year, forever. Until some fucker comes along and invents a working, economical, safe jet pack for practical (and slightly impractical) uses. Holy SHIT I could do that. Nevermind, I would be Time’s Man of the Year forever.

Anyways. Robert De Niro makes an appearance in this film but he doesn’t really play a huge part. His part isn’t insignificant, but he doesn’t have a lot of lines and he doesn’t yell at anybody. He usually shows up and gives us this face for a few minutes and then slips off screen.

 

It was slightly disappointing too. Because I saw De Niro (and I had no prior knowledge of him being in the film at all) and I got excited, expecting a stellar performance out of him as usual. But here…meh. He’s good as a Wall Street executive type, but he just doesn’t have much to work with. Because the only other person he really interacts with is Cooper, and sparks don’t exactly fly between them the way it did with Pacino in Heat or Righteous Kill. But of course Heat was back in ’95 and De Niro had a good decade and a half of age ahead of him. Anyways. Whatever. I saw De Niro and got kind of giddy. Well really I just made a face similar to this and hoped he would yell a lot and shoot a few people.

Me basking in the glow of De Niro. Yes, I am a former Viking.

But when De Niro DIDN’T shoot anybody (even though there were several action scenes) I was rather sad. And slightly irritated. Because Cooper continued to use his powers for dickhole reasons and not good reasons. He rigged the stock system to make millions of dollars, and he spent his free time in beautiful coastal cities, in Europe, and in fancy sports cars driving really fast, the way a dickhead does.

Honestly, it’s like Superman using his powers to rob banks and just be an asshole in general. Why no cures for diseases? Why no helping old women across the street? Why don’t you help anybody else Cooper? WHY?!

Towards the end of the movie you can see that he has started on the path of becoming a politician so he can steer the United States (and probably the whole world) out of harms way, and to world peace. Or he’ll probably just be assassinated.

Yeah. He’d probably just be assassinated.

What a wonderful world we live in.

What. A. Wonderful. World.

Review of The Thing (2011)

Earlier today at the movie theater I had the choice between three films. I say only three because the rest of the films weren’t really much of a choice. Because they looked like giant pieces of shit.

I had a choice between a film titled 50/50

Being a fan of Seth Rogen I was originally considering this one immediately. But I looked around and then I saw a poster for Johhny English:Reborn

I had no idea that this was coming to theaters or anything. I remember the first Johnny English film being fantastic, and Rowan Atkinson giving a hilarious performance as always.

And finally I saw a big poster for The Thing

Watching a scary movie without a group of friends is kind of lame. And even more lame would be watching a scary movie without friends at 11AM on a Sunday.

So naturally I went with The Thing.

Unsurprisingly, the theater was completely empty save for a middle aged couple that were literally one row away from the screen. I have never been able to understand people that sit in the front section of seats at the theater. Unless they have terrible eyesight, then I suppose it would make sense. Sort of.

I guess it’s just personal preference. I remember I sat really close to the screen a few times before, but I was also seven or eight years old and I had my head up my ass. And as I said these people were middle aged. So I guess they just like sitting so close to the screen they break a vertebrae in their necks while trying to watch the movie.

Right. So I went with The Thing. I could sort of remember seeing the film from 1982, most likely on AMC or something one night. I specifically remembered how bad the special effects in the 1982 version were.

Anyways. I’ll go ahead and break down this movie real quick.

The special effects all throughout were great. The alien monster thing was incredibly fucked up looking. And it reminded me a lot of the Necromorphs from Dead Space.

That’s about right.

Minus Isaac Clarke of course. One of the better bad mother fuckers in video gaming history. He’s almost as cool as Doomguy. But we’ll save Doomguy for another post, and another day. Because Doomguy cannot be contained to a simple one paragraph long dedication. Doomguy deserves at least an entire post dedicated to him. Actually probably an entire blog dedicated to him. Yep.

Yeah. Doomguy.

Right. So the special effects were great.

Of course they are being compared to this:

So I mean they could have probably used anything (when I say anything I mean just some random shit laying around the set. Like scotch tape and like some rubber hoses or some shit I don’t know.) and it would have turned out better than this. I mean this isn’t even scary it’s just comical.

Unfortunately I was only familiar with two of the actors. The rest were actors I don’t think I had ever seen before in any other film. I recognized two actors. A black man named Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (I can’t begin to pronounce that. Although this man has an incredibly odd and hard to pronounce name, I still think he kicks anything and everything that resembles an ass.)

He doesn’t play a major role in the film, but the few lines and parts he does have he does well as a comic relief. And when he isn’t being a comic relief he’s busy shooting everything with a flamethrower. Yeah. Because that’s just what he does. I have a feeling that if there wasn’t some fucked up mutating assimilating alien monster running around he would probably still be setting things on fire with a flamethrower because that’s just how he does shit.

And the other actor I recognized was Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She did pretty well in this film, although admittedly I don’t think she had much to work with. Most of the other actors seemed to be more like extras rather than actual functioning and developing characters; and unfortunately even Winstead’s character didn’t seem to have any sort of development either.

My problem with this film is that there just isn’t enough build up to the point where the monster breaks out of it’s icy tomb and starts eating people and tearing off limbs. The film definitely needed to be paced better, because it just throws you right into the shit with only 20 or so minutes preceding it. And those 20 minutes are mostly spent looking at snow. And more snow. And some hills that are covered in snow. Oh yeah and there’s this really interesting part with some more goddamn snow. I understand it’s in Antarctica, but I’d like for there to be a shot where the President gets a call in the White House that some fucked up alien has been brought to life and it could potentially kill a dozen or so people somewhere completely isolated in Antarctica. Because to be honest that seems like a scenario where very few would be affected.

“Shit. Everybody! There’s some fucked up mutating alien monster in Antarctica!”

“Yeah? So?”

“Well it’s there! And…uh…shit. Yeah it’s probably just going to freeze to death in a day or two.”

“Guys I think there might be more snow down here.”

In conclusion, The Thing is a pretty decent film. It’s best if you go watch it with some friends so you can discuss it a little later on after you’ve left the theater. It’s a pretty average horror movie, with the typical “BOO” kind of scares you can expect. You know what I mean? Several seconds of silence followed by a loud as all hell orchestra hit and then a rat comes out from behind something. Or maybe several seconds of silence and then the main character turns around and runs into either a friend or whatever the hell he/she is running from; followed by the loud as all hell orchestra hit. Yeah. Anyways. That kinda shit happens several times throughout the film. Stick with what you know I guess.

Anybody who has been visiting this blog for at least a few months now should remember my massive “The Evolution of the Resident Evil series” post that I put up sometime in August. You may also remember towards the end of that post I confessed how Jill Valentine in the second RE film gave me “an erection so hard it made the seam of my jeans bust.”

Well Jill. Consider your ass REPLACED.

Aw yeah. Yeah. I’d love to take her out to dinner and respect her boundaries.

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

Magicka PC review

Well. Before buying and playing through Magicka I played the demo over and over. The short demo just wasn’t quite enough for me. The hilarious dialogue (if you can call it that) and characters had me rolling at points. All of the characters spoke in this really shitty broken English that is mostly jumbled words that only vaguely sound like what the subtitles show they are saying. For example a word such as “remember” becomes “rembrandt” in the world of Magicka. And sometimes they don’t really say anything and they just yell.

He yells “Fire!” for those of you who are wondering.

There are dozens of pop-culture and film references in the game. I absolutely love the humor in this game. There is a part where an ally is killed by a bunch of bow and arrow wielding goblins, and he falls to his knees with his arms in the air; similar to the scene in Platoon. The game perfectly blends action and humor.

The combination of spells you can cast are endless. You use several elements to combine and cast spells, such as fire, arcane, ice and water. You can simply spray an enemy with water and knock them on their ass, or you can full-on-double-rainbow blast them with a crazed combination of spells that forms a giant beam of energy causing them to explode instantly. That’s another thing about this game…the blood and gore in it is pretty absurd and it works to the game’s benefit. Simply slashing an enemy spills out liters of blood and they usually screech or yell in pain. Shooting an enemy with a big ass boulder spell causes them to explode all over the place, and then when you proceed to walk through their guts you will kick their head/arms/legs around. Kind of like Dead Space. Only in Dead Space that shit was so bugged and stupid it completely took away from the experience.

There is actually support for 4 player co-op. Which I recommend playing the game with at least one other person. Because while playing it alone there were times where I would become overwhelmed and it would take me several attempts to pass a section. Because whether you are alone or with three other people, the enemies still come pouring down on you. This is great at points because the game can be pretty challenging, and the spells you have at your disposal allow you to deal with multiple threats at once.

Towards the end of the game, however I found that playing by myself was nearly impossible. Because the enemies still come at you in great numbers, and they become progressively more difficult to fight; even with your endgame spells.

Overall the game was a fantastic experience. The dialogue and characters kept me laughing, the spells and differing enemies kept me engaged and interested, and the story development and change of setting kept me wondering where the hell I would go next.

I highly recommend Magicka to anyone. Yeah. Anyone. Even old people that probably wouldn’t understand the type of humor found in this game, nor would they have the reflexes to fight off a dozen wolverine-werewolf-men with swords.

*images courtesy of Google, videos courtesy of me*

Evolution of the GTA series – GTA IV DLC

Right.

So in the Lost and Damned, you play as Johnny Klebitz. A kick ass mean muggin’ biker with a slightly goofy Southern accent. And he’s Jewish. A Southern Jew.

In the real world Johnny Klebitz would never be able to function as a Southern-Jew-Rebel-Biker-Rascist-Criminal-Financial Advisor.

Uh. Yep.

So. You play as Johnny and he is a high ranking member in the biker gang “the Lost MC” or just “The Lost” for short. The Lost get into all sorts of shenanigans, such as illegal motorcycle street racing, illegal beating of rival gang members and civilians that get in their way, and illegal shooting of police officers and rival gang members. Also, they smoke and sell crystal meth.

Yep. Good ol’ bikers. Anyways. The Lost and Damned is packed with fist fights, gun fights, and lots of violence. I really liked the development of Johnny as he turned into a loyal member of the Lost that took orders without question, to a member of the Lost that began to question his leader’s motives and decisions.

The rest of the characters are just pissed off most of the game, and they hurl insults at one another.  But the other characters aren’t important so I won’t talk about them. Like I said they’re just pissed off.

I won’t stay on the Lost and Damned for long because Johnny is my least favorite GTA protagonist so far. Because of his thick Southern accent.

That’s it.

Anyways. I did enjoy the Lost and Damned, but the missions felt sort of recycled. This was a big problem in GTA IV, because every third or fourth mission you went on you would simply barge into a warehouse (or a similar, large and decrepit looking building) and then you would proceed to gun down dozens of armed men. And then you’d leave with Roman, or Little Jacob, or some other similar ally and that was the mission. I mean they were fun the first few times. “Oh. Okay we’re going to this large warehouse and we’re gonna get into the SHIT.” And then Niko dives over the hood of a car and then blind-fires over the roof and screams “FUUUUUUUU-HUUUUCK YOU!”

But then you do the same thing repeatedly in the Lost and Damned. Bleh. I guess it just got a bit repetitive. If you really dug the shoot-up-a-warehouse-full-of-bad-guys thing in GTA IV then you’ll probably love the Lost and Damned.

Anyways. The Ballad of Gay Tony was much better in comparison to the Lost and Damned.

Well. The Ballad of Gay Tony has clubs. That was the selling point. Go in and dance and mingle and listen to the super fly electro songs boom out of the stereos. That’s all it took. I like BoGT A LOT more than LatD. The storyline is a bit more interesting, and the characters are fantastic. The character Yusuf is my favorite because of his ridiculous antics.

Yep.

BoGT also brought back something great from San Andreas that GTA IV left behind.

Parachutes.

It also brought back some more of the more ridiculous missions that remind me of the old games. Like pushing a guy that is afraid of heights out of a moving helicopter; so that you can dive out and fly down after him. All of this so you can get information out of him. It reminds me of the SA mission where you tie a mobster to the front of your convertible then drive on the freeway into oncoming traffic to get information out of him as well.

The ridiculous characters, missions, and storyline all tied together to give a much better experience over LatD.

*images courtesy of Google*

The Evolution of the Grand Theft Auto series.

It is a series spanning over a decade. It has been referenced in film, TV shows, music, and more. It has become a household name, and the series has won many awards. What with Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas being the number one selling game on Playstation 2 ever; and Grand Theft Auto III becoming an iconic milestone in video game history. Plenty of games have borrowed from it’s style, and there have been dozens and dozens of spoofs and spin offs over the years.

The gameplay, characters, settings, and story telling elements have all come a long way. From a simple top-down helicopter view in Grand Theft Auto 1, to the completely 360 rotating camera in San Andreas as well as GTA IV. From small beads that kinda sorta look like bullets flying out of your small character, to tracers and massive well detailed explosions that throw your character on his ass. Every single element and aspect of the Grand Theft Auto series have been vastly improved upon.

We’ll start here with Grand Theft Auto 1. Released in 1997 by DMA Design (the makers of Lemmings) the company took on a whole new direction with Grand Theft Auto. I have a feeling the guys at DMA Design did not think that GTA would become as big of a success as it did.

The game went on to become immensely popular, mainly due to it’s incredibly violent and ridiculous content. You actually score double points for running over pedestrians with a police car, instead of a regular car.This game introduced something called “Rampage”

See that little power-up over there? When you run over it you’re given a weapon with unlimited ammo, and a set time limit. Go blow cars up, shoot rockets at groups of friendly pedestrians. RUN THE DAMAGE TRAIN, YOU’RE HERE TO DO DAMAGE, RUN THE DAMN DAMAGE TRAIN. And then you get points. You mercilessly slaughter people, and you get points. The crazier shit you do the more points you get, through multipliers.

The game DOES have a storyline, although it isn’t really too great and it doesn’t really immerse you. It is kind of interesting reading the character dialogue though. Because they swear a lot and it’s funny. It’s funny because the game is doing everything you probably want to do when you’re at work, on line at the bank, or on line at the grocery store. Scream and throw fucking bananas at people. Or grenades.

Yep. It’s a fantastic little game that lets you blow off steam by doing crazy assed things that would otherwise get you killed or arrested in real life. This game really helped establish the open-world do-anything-you-want-fuck-with-anybody sort of gameplay.

Being as I do not own GTA 1 or GTA 2, I’m going to move right along to GTA III because I’m a shit head.

So. On to GTA III.

In 2002 I received the greatest gifts an 11 year old could receive. I traded in cash and my Playstation along with 20 PS1 games, for a Playstation 2.

I got the Playstation 2 along with three games. Army Men RTS, Medal of Honor:Frontline, and Grand Theft Auto III.

I played the hell out of those three games. Beginning to end, front to back. I did it all. And Grand Theft Auto III, well. It holds a special place in my heart. I was used to the retro style of GTA1; with the shitty top-down view and having no idea of who or what was progressing the story. Of course at 11 or 10 years old, storyline wasn’t a big deal to me. “Fuck the story. I want the machine gun. CHAKKA-CHAKKA-CHAKKA AHAHAHAHAHA YES”

Yep. That was me. Sitting in my pajamas on my living room floor at 11 years old screaming “Fuck tha police!” at the TV screen while I drove on the sidewalk and plowed through people on their daily commute. It was all in good fun.  I think my father and I spent the first hour or so just fighting and beating the hell out of random pedestrians. And when we finally got a hold of the baseball bat. Oh holy shit.

But even at 11 or so years old the story was actually interesting to me. Seeing characters betray me and my allies, people paying me to double cross allies etc. I mean it was great. I didn’t fully understand that I was being an asshole on a colossal scale at the time, but it was also all in good fun.

Sigh. Well I guess I won’t be doing the kick ass videos I had planned on. I suppose I’ll just talk a bit more about the game then.

I remember getting off of the first island and reaching Staunton Island. I thought “What. Holy shit I’m not finished? Oh god there is just so much more I don’t even know what to do shit I’m never gonna remember where any of this stuff is or where to go.” The game world was massive. Much larger and much more detailed than it’s predecessors. Of course this is on a completely new age of consoles and technology, so it’s not really a competition or anything. The only problem I ever really had with GTA III is that most of the scenery is somewhat bland. There was never really any points in the game where I would come to a stop on top of a hill and just say “Wow. Look at that. Just look at that, man.”

I was never engulfed in a gorgeous view of the entire city. But it’s fine, because usually I was down in the crowded streets throwing Molotov cocktails and hand grenades. Yeah. I loved GTA III. It’s story was compelling mainly because the protagonist doesn’t speak. This allows you to step into his shoes a bit easier. But it’s more difficult to immerse someone in a third person game, because you don’t really see it first hand through their eyes. Especially a Grand Theft Auto game where you spend a majority of the game doing the most absurd shit imaginable. Like shooting down police helicopters with a rocket launcher. Or beating old women with a baseball bat.

I guess the best thing I took from GTA III was the advice my dad gave me after owning the game for a week or two. “Son if you kill that hooker after you sex her up you can get your money back.” -Dad McConnell circa 2002

That’s a really kick ass texture error. I have no idea what the cause could be or how to begin to fix it. So I’ll just move on to Vice City after this last video.

On to Vice City.

Right. So not long after completing GTA III, I picked up Vice City. Yet again Dad McConnell and I were rampaging through another city taking innocent lives and fist fighting cops. Vice City became my favorite game in the series. It surpassed GTA III in almost every way. The story was richer, Tommy Vercetti was a total ass kicker, and the setting was incredible. Because it touched on the goofiness of the 80’s in a way no other game had.Not to mention the all-star cast they had doing the voice acting. Including Ray Liotta (holy BALLS) and Burt-Fuckin’-Reynolds.

The setting was drastically changed and improved. You could tell all of the different areas and neighborhoods apart from one another, and each area had a big ass gang that commanded the streets. Further onto the game, if you simply step into a gang’s territory they may start throwing rocks at you and they’ll chase you right the hell outta Dodge.

The two greatest additions in Vice City was the much improved and expanded arsenal of weapons, as well as the fucking CHAINSAW.

Of course everything wasn’t perfect. The developers still hadn’t added the ability to swim in even the shallowest of waters.

But things were getting better. With the added ability to dive out of your car at high speed. This was always really fun to mess with. Because you would be going almost 100MPH and then you’d dive out and not only live, but your car would coast a few hundred feet until it came to a stop. And it would usually plow through anything along the way. Like people.

Vice City’s setting was great. The characters and people you met were fascinating. The missions were very memorable and each one had you doing something more over the top and crazy than the last. Good times had by all. It didn’t seem like it could get much better.

And then it did.

You can do almost anything. And I mean anything. I’ll show you with some videos. And after that you can read how San Andreas went on to become the top selling game on Playstation 2.

This game completely revamped the series and added an untold amount of new activities and content. New weapons, cooler weapons, gadgets and weird things such as nightvision and parachutes. Weapon stats, the ability to make your player fat, muscular, or something in between. New cars, new locations, hilarious NPC dialogue, hilarious characters and cut scenes. Holy shit this game had it all.

My favorite addition was the bicycle.

Hot damn I tore up the town on the bicycle almost every time I played. Most of the time I would opt for the bicycle over a flashy sports car. Because the bicycle was absolutely hysterical. You’re supposed to be this hardcore gangsta that kills and steals and commits felonies and does all sorts of hardcore gangsta activities. Then you ride a bicycle into the enemy gang’s territory and do a drive-by ride-by on it. Oh god. It was great.

Everything was vastly improved upon, from the voice acting to the fist fighting. You could drive an ambulance and save people, or drive a firetruck and extinguish big ass fires in small neighborhoods etc. It was great. Especially after GTA III and GTA Vice City had significantly less to offer the player. You could improve your swimming, stamina, driving skills, and more.

You play as Carl “CJ” Johnson. The game is set in the 90’s, and most of the events, places, and dialogue catches the essence of the 90’s. Especially the soundtrack. The soundtrack features a large range of music from New Jack Swing to Country. Every station has something for everyone. Several of the stations are just funny to listen to while you do absurd shit. Like drive a tractor off of the roof of a building while listening to “Hey Good Lookin‘” by Willie Nelson.

Finally, I thought it could never get any more fun. I didn’t think it could get any better. Yet again I was wrong.

And then it did. Holy hell.

I honestly think I spent several hours just messing around with the new physics engine alone. Pushing people down stairs, off of cliffs, down hills, straight into traffic. Speaking of traffic, shit I probably ran through several lanes of speeding cars just to watch Niko flip over the hood and fall on his ass. Either I’m easily amused, or the newly added physics engine really was the best thing about GTA IV.

But unfortunately GTA IV did take away some things that were in San Andreas, and that was kind of disappointing. Like riding a bike and being able to completely customize CJ’s appearance. You can buy new clothes in IV, but there are only three stores and not much variety. But it trades off the bike, the fat, the muscle, the clothes and some of the other minor RPG/customization elements for the hilarious physics, the drastically improved storyline and characters; as well as improved gun combat and fist fighting. But I do miss being able to learn Kung-Fu at the gym in Las Venturas. :-/

Meh. Oh well. GTA IV does almost everything right. The only real criticism I have is that the game series has been going down a road for a long time. A road called “Goofy and fun street” and with IV, it seems that the series picked up a broken GPS and made a turn at the corner of “Gritty Avenue” and “Srs Bsns Lane.”

I’m not necessarily saying this is a bad thing, since it is executed VERY well in GTA IV; but I’m not entirely sure that this is the best move for the series as a whole because for me GTA has always been about absurd goofy fun. If I wanted it to be extremely realistic I would just go outside and punch people at random. And when the police showed up to ask me what the hell I thought I was doing, I would just push them down a flight of stairs and run away. Also, all of the policemen in GTA IV were apparently trained in Detroit or some Middle Eastern war-torn country, as they only give chase after you’ve opened fire with a semi-auto military grade shotgun in the middle of a crowded plaza. And they don’t fist fight you or beat with their baton like in the old games, they just draw their sidearm and point it up your nose until they can slap the cuffs on you. Or until you punch them or do something crazy again, and then they just open fire and say things like “I’ve got a bullet aimed right for your balls, bitch!”

The only other real complaint I have about IV is that you meet a lot of people in the game; people that want to be best friends. For some reason (typically after you kill a dozen armed men and you drop your friend off somewhere) your friend will call you, and say “Hey! Let’s go bowling!” or “Let’s go to a strip club and look at tits! Whooo!” or SOMETHING. Then you have to drive to their place, pick them up, drive to the tits, and then pretend to have a good time for a little while, and then you finally drop them off at their place again. The whole ordeal can take upwards of 30 minutes or more depending on what activity(s) you do.

In summary, GTA IV is definitely a milestone in open-world games, and it is the best GTA game so far. The missions, the characters, the pedestrians, the weapons, the car chases. Everything. It’s a great ride for anybody and everybody. Except for those bullshit moms and congressmen that say violent video games make teens/young people violent. That is a giant load of shit. Shut your fat faces and let us play our games in peace.

 

 

***Note:I’ve decided to post the GTA IV DLC in a separate post. Because for some reason Steam is updating right now and I want to go to bed. So rather than postpone the entire thing until tomorrow, I’m just going to post what I have now and then post the DLC tomorrow.***

Look for it tomorrow afternoon. Cheers.