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Posted: November 03, 2011 (02:07 AM)
Taking a week off from reviewing, but will jump back in some time next week. In the meantime, I'd like to blather about two games:
Oh, where have you been all my life? You've kicked my teeth in, ripped off my scalp, stabbed me in the groin, and did that one other painful thing. But I still keep coming back to you! Demon's Souls is pretty addictive so far. The first time I died and had to start over, I nearly tossed the game out the window. Instead, I started over (and over) until I felt more at home. Getting used to the game's mechanics and face-crushing difficulty helped.
I love how the gameplay is actually fairly simple and easy to get down, but tough to master. I like that this is an RPG that doesn't let me level up for a couple hours and then pwn everything. I also really enjoy the scenery; magnificent fantasy worlds in a gloomy and desperate time.
But do you know what I don't like? The overly sensitive controls. No, it's not terrible, but I've fallen off cliffs and died because of the sensitivity.
Yggdra Union (PSP):
This one was a free download with the copy of Knights in the Nightmare I got about a year ago. So far, it's tough to say if I'll like it or not. While I dig the story, the lack of interactivity might become a problem in the future.
Still could be decent. The battles feel like the war scenes in Suikoden, except more automated.
Title: Happy Halloween, jerks!
Posted: October 31, 2011 (01:48 AM)
Warning: a bit graphic
Title: I think that's it for horror reviews this year...
Posted: October 29, 2011 (05:57 AM)
I need to let my brain rest. I've been pushing myself all week to get these reviews out, and my brain has finally said, "Enough already!" I wanted to cover Frankenstein: The Monster Returns and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but there's always later. I still plan to drop a review on Halloween, though.
Posted: October 28, 2011 (02:02 PM)
Title: Halloween Ramblings part 1
Posted: October 13, 2011 (09:05 PM)
Other than writing and videogames, what does Joe like? Horror flicks, thrillers and b-movies! Oh god, I could talk your ear off about the ridiculous, garish, gory, macabre, and downright effed up. So it's not a surprise when I say my favorite month is October. And what do I do every October except watch a slew of said films--the good and the bad--and find some place on the internet to gab about them?
I've been watching a lot this year, so I'm probably going to break this down into bite size portions and keep my ramblings to a minimum.
1.Superstition (1982) [aka The Witch]
My kind of campy horror flick! It's take no prisoners material where you can bet that anyone who appears on camera is going to die in some horrible way (like a saw blade mysteriously coming loose and flying through someone's torso). Unwitting residence of a remodeled house accidentally set loose a witch said to be a big time minion of Satan, and she goes on a predictable killing spree.
I don't know what it is about this flick that unnerves me a little, but the dark setting and depression mood of the film make for some truly dark material, even despite the opulence of kitsch.
2. Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
A giallo by Italian horror/thriller maestro Dario Argento. Robert, a drummer for a small time band, accidentally kills a man who has been harassing him and notices awitness in a strange puppet mask. The witness isn't interested in incriminating or in blackmailing Robert, and instead engages in a spree of shock- and paranoia-inducing tomfoolery, even going so far as to murder a few of Robert's close friends.
Not one of Argento's best entries, but a fun film. Unique and artistic camera shots, some very well-placed humor and commentary, and good old fashion terror without an overload of gore are what's in store for viewers.
3. See No Evil (2006)
Standard fare slasher flick with WWE's Kane as the antagonist. A fun mindless movie with many head nods to splatter flicks of the early '80s fused with gritty camera work. Decent for a rainy day film.
4. Grizzly (1976)
If I told you this standard fare "nature run amok" flick was a financial success, you might not believe me. This was a cash-in on Jaws starring b-movie legend Christopher George in which an 18 foot tall prehistoric grizzly somehow returns to life and begins feeding on campers during a national park's peak camping season. A park ranger (George) tries to close the operation for the summer, but the park supervisor is having none of it. Against the ranger's warning, he keep the park open and facilitates even more slaughter.
Sound familiar? Take Jaws, replace the shark with a bear, the ocean with a forest, and the mayor with a national park supervisor and voila! Many other plot devices from Jaws also make an appearance in Grizzly, but the lack of originality doesn't detract from making it a decent beer-'n-bad-movies-night watch.
5. Mulberry Street (2007)
Who would have ever thought that a movie about zombie-rat-people could actually be this good? The great acting and human feel make it a decent horror-drama, but one has to look past the fact that the main creatures are what they are. It's fast-paced and it's relentless. I can always dig that about a horror flick.
6. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
What needs to be said about it? If you're a horror fan and you haven't seen this movie, do yourself and favor and rent it. The less you know about it, the better it'll be. [I will say, though, that this has some of the best visual effects of any monsters movie ever. Screw CG. This is where it's at!]
7. The Being (1983)
Jose Ferrer, Martin Landau, and a whole cast of b-list actors try to take out a cyclopean beast created by toxic waste.
Is this what you would call a 'good film'? HA! Even if Jackie Kong intended much of the humor, it came out much worse than she could have expected. Still a fun, horrible movie with plenty of laughable scenes. On a side note, this movie used to scare the shit out of me as a kid, but now days I find it silly entertainment.
Never tell anything that looks carnivorous to 'fuck off'.
Title: Working on hororr-themed games reviews for this month...
Posted: October 08, 2011 (12:08 AM)
Christmas? Fourth of July? Birthday? Nah, I'm a Halloween guy all the way. I love horror movies, both the good and the bad, and I enjoy horror-themed games. Already did one for Castlevania II, and are some others I'd like to touch on (though I'm not guaranteeing that these ones will go live):
-Frankenstein: The Monster Returns (NES)
Wanted to do, but pretty much not happening due to sickness and such:
-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Atari 2600)
-Frankenstein's Monster (Atari 2600)
-Escape from Bug Island (Wii)
-Dr. Chaos (NES)
-The Castlevania Adventure (GB)
-Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
-Clock Tower (PSX)
-The Evil Dead (C64)
-Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Title: A year ago tomorrow...
Posted: September 24, 2011 (09:39 PM)
...was the day my first HG review, Breath of Fire III, went live. My next review will also be my 100th review. It's been a very fast year, and I've enjoyed my time here and feel I've improved quite a bit. However, I still feel like I have a ways to go. Thank you, everyone, for letting me into this community and helping me to grow.
I've been putting together a Chrono Trigger review for the last couple days. I was hoping to have it up today, but it's been going pretty rough. Mostly, I think it's due to the medication I've been on after having my wisdom teeth removed.
Posted: September 14, 2011 (04:35 AM)
My Wii just crapped out for the fourth time. I suspect it's the graphics card again, since I see green squares and the like.
Title: There's going to be a little Destroyer in the future...
Posted: September 08, 2011 (03:27 AM)
My wife and I are expecting a child around May. As such, my submissions will probably drop below a trickle to almost nothing at all.
Is it the end of my writing/gaming career? Hell, I don't know. We'll see. I have talked to quite a few gamer parents, and it is possible to maintain such a lifestyle while remaining a good parent, albeit very tricky. To be honest, I'm more excited about being a parent than I am worried about not having free time anymore.
Title: Junk I'm playing
Posted: August 01, 2011 (12:57 AM)
I don't mean junk in the literal sense, because some of it is not junky.
Having finished 40 Winks (and ultimately liking it) and giving up on Scarface (finding it mostly good, but ultimately a tad boring), I've moved on to some smaller, yet better, projects.
Bastion- Played it, finished it, reviewing it. Excellent game!
Ace Gals Tennis- A simplistic tennis game. It's okay, could have been better, could have been worse. It's a bit tiresome and glitchy, though.
Akane the Kunoici- Every bit as good as Gary says it is. Currently on 4-1.
Action Arcade Wrestling- Or was that Arcade Action Wrestling? It's pretty much your run of the mill wrestling game, but at least it's only $1. You're still better off snagging a WWE or Fire Pro game.
Project Eden- I'm surprised with this game so far. I thought it would be a generic third-person shooter, but it's really a tinker-with-everything adventure game with shooter elements. It could go either way on whether or not I like it, though.
Primal- Another surprisingly good (so far) adventure game, but I don't dig the combat too much. That and some of the cutscenes run a bit long. This one could ultimately go either way.
Genji: Dawn of the Samurai- I do enjoy a mindless hack 'n slash sometimes, and I'm enjoying this one so far. I just hope the difficulty kicks up a bit.
I also downloaded some other XBLI games that I'll be messing with over the next few weeks: Acid Rain, Platformance, Soul, and finally getting around to playing the ones I dl'ed earlier and never got to.
Title: I think I might be done with Scarface (PS2).
Posted: July 19, 2011 (12:31 AM)
I was enjoying the game until they made one fatal error: they cheapened the difficulty on drug runs. The game is no longer fun, but is now a tedious, frustrating wreck. Fuck this game.
Title: Stuff I'm playing (sequel to "Crap I'm playing")
Posted: July 13, 2011 (02:00 AM)
I guess I should mention that things have improved from "crap" to "stuff".
40 Winks- Finished it. It improved quite a bit after the first area, becoming more challenging and sporting more elaborate levels. Still not a fan of the camera and a few other small nuances (the hit detection, slipping off of platform edges). I'll probably review it in the future.
Scarface: The World is Yours- ...has also improved. It's tough getting the ball rolling, but once you do it becomes pretty addictive. This game doesn't waste its time with too many meaningless mini-games. It's all about striking deals, selling drugs, making a huge profit, and buying more junk so you can gain reputation (aka experience). Gain higher levels and you can buy more junk and deck out your mansion.
It does have a slight exploration aspect in trying to find and rout out gang dens and increase not only your ownership of the city, but your grip on the market.
The only tiring thing is that making money is so roundabout. You set up a meeting with a connection, do said connection a favor (side mission, usually killing someone, protecting someone, or delivering drugs), then get in touch with a supplier. Small suppliers sell in grams, which you have to sling on the streets 100 grams at a time. Large suppliers deal in kgs, which requires you to have fronts, businesses that secretly sell coke, and a warehouse. Dealing in keys is much more worthwhile, as the returns can total at least $500,000 per run on a bad day with 3kgs. Bear in mind those 3kgs only cost you $20,000.
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (PS2)- I discovered that I had a shrink wrapped copy of this I had forgotten about. Honestly, I'm not impressed thus far (I know, I said that about the last two games). It's not horrible, but it could have been much better. I don't like the Kreate-A-Finisher system, and prefer the older system. I still haven't tried out the other modes, Motor Kombat and Konquest, so we'll see how those pan out. To me, it feels like DOA2, except with gore instead of bouncy boobs.
Chrono Cross- Having once again finished Chrono Trigger, I decided to pick up Chrono Cross again. I don't remember what I'm supposed to do next, so I'll have to look at my position in the guide to jog my memory.
Title: Today I start a new quest
Posted: July 11, 2011 (12:37 PM)
There are two arcade games I'd love to re-review: Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 and Operation Wolf. The only problem is I feel I need to brush up on these games in order to review them. Arcades are a dying thing throughout the US (probably even the world), and there are only a handful left in Spokane. Finding either of these games will be difficult, especially with Operation Wolf.
Some might tell me to just MAME them, but from what I understand, Capcom vs. SNK still isn't compatible with MAME, and I want to play an actual cabinet of Operation Wolf to get the true feel of the game.
Wish me luck. I'll be checking some various arcades around the area. I'm betting Wonderland still has CvsSNK.
Title: Crap I'm playing
Posted: July 07, 2011 (12:45 PM)
No, I'm not admitting to fecalphelia. I just started my ten day vacation ("staycation" they call it, since I'm not going anywhere special) and I want to celebrate by braying about the mostly ho-hum titles I'm picking at.
1. Scarface: The World is Yours (PS2)- My opinion on this game changes every time I play it. It's an open-world game that's light on gimmicky side games, but features more of a money-making aspect. I've decided I don't like a few things about it:
-Not obeying some traffic laws = cops come after you.
-Pissing off the cops = very bad. The only way to get them off your ass is to pay them. If you don't, then you have to lose them, and if you fail that, you will be 100% for sure arrested. The game will literally say that you're fucked. No joke. I failed to outrun the cops yesterday and, in big words, YOU'RE FUCKED! appeared on the screen.
I hate how this game tries too hard to be realistic, yet it still has a magical car wash that fully repairs your vehicle.
2. 40 Winks- Until recently, I had never played this game. So far, I'm on the fence about it. It's far too combat-based, and the combat isn't anything special. I do like transforming into different dream characters, though. But most of all I abhor the camera.
3. Bayonetta (X360)- Oh, Bayonetta, where have you been all my life? You're totally the type of girl I would hit on, and if you didn't break my ribs and shoot me in the crotch, I would be sorely disappointed. I know, it's a "Devil May Cry clone", so to speak, but it's sooooo awesome!
4. Ninja Gaiden II (NES)- I'm playing this intermittently. I like it, but it's crushing my skull. Brutal!
Title: Just started a Twitter account
Posted: June 26, 2011 (04:58 AM)
God help me. I said I never would.
JoeDestroyer is the name.