It’s been a pretty damn good three weeks since my last blog, albeit busy, but quite productive! The weekend that followed my last post we did stuff mostly around the house. There was still a lot of yard work to do, which we picked away at a bit over the course of the weekend, and we also headed out to run some errands here and there. On the Saturday we managed to visit the driving range, where I hit the first half of my bucket really well, finally getting one to go 250 yards! But after that, with a stoopid blister that developed on my right hand, I hit the second half of my bucket like I’d never swung a club before, it was terrible! That night we went to the drive in to see the first movie I reviewed far below. Unfortunately the double feature finished with Cinderella, so we left early . . . as did a lot of people.
The following weekend was Mother’s Day weekend. I had already bought mrs. darthcobain17 a FitBit the weekend prior, so hers was over early. But for our moms we took them to Port Stanley on the Saturday morning, to the trout hatchery where we watched those bastards struggle upstream, and then went for a bit of a hike. Afterwards we checked out the beach and then had fries at Mackie’s . . . mmmm mmmm delicious. As were some of the staff! After heading back towards home we then took off Hamilton way, to visit our friends Johnny and Megan. A pub we frequent from time to time was having another 80’s night, so the girls got all dressed up and went out and did what they do. The menfolk stayed home and drank beer and watched hockey . . . as is our birthright.
As for this past weekend, it was our annual May 2-4 holiday long weekend, and it saw us pretty busy. The yard work kicked in to overdrive, I got the outside water turned on, continued getting the furniture set up plus a new solar light hooked up in the gazebo, cleaned up a ton of refuse that previous owners had left lying around the treelines (old eaves troughs and fence pieces, etc.), and I was also able to weed the lawn and get it cut for the second time. Our yard is honestly like Jurassic Jungle right now, everything has exploded this year, pretty nice! On the Sunday we visited with some good family friends, where the ultimate plan was to go see a movie that was just released recently, which I reviewed below . . . I’ll save the suspense until then. Everybody loved it though, as it was pretty fucking fierce!! On the holiday Monday mrs. darthcobain17’s dad came down for an overnight. We had a good dinner, went out for frozen yogurt and then watched the hockey game. Sadly another work week was just around the corner . . .
For the work weeks themselves James finished his latest round of golf lessons and advanced to the blue level. He’s also continued his Beavers meetings on both Tuesdays and Saturdays, mixed in with some play dates here and there. School and his tutoring sessions continue to go very well. mrs. darthcobain17 hasn’t been doing much outside of her Netflix addiction, but she has managed to attend boot camp a couple nights a week, as well as go for some runs with a work friend every so often. For myself, my bike treks to work continue to get more awesome, as we’ve been having some amazing weather, especially considering it’s only May. We’ve had two or three weeks’ worth of July weather already, nice and hot, bitches out in their short shorts and yoga pants all over the place! It’s been so inspiring I’ve set some record times this spring, finally managing the ride in under 25 minutes. With it being Stanley Cup playoff time I’ve also been watching a ton of hockey, although the warm weather has dropped my consumption a little bit. Instead I’m spending a lot of time outdoors, having fires at night and drinking a shit load of beer. This winter made me realize how much I enjoy wearing shorts!! Anyways, amongst this action the following is what I (we) were able to get accomplished . . .
1) I was able to double up on Goldeneye and get two levels completed this time through, the thirteenth level was called “St. Petersburg – Depot”. Janus’ base in St. Petersburg was located in a disused military rail depot, where they set up their arms deals, acts of terror, extortion, etc. The plan was for me to infiltrate their operation and mess things around a little bit, making sure to be on Ourumov’s train before it left the depot as the captured Natalya was suspected of being with him. I began in a far corner of their facility, setting off and skulking around huge cargo containers. Large storage sheds were scattered throughout and I entered them as I went, eliminating all hostiles and destroying both a shipment of weapons as well as their computer center in the process. Eventually I found the building where Ourumov’s train was departing from and passed through it, sneaking aboard the train on the other side. I completed this level with a time of 23:01 and had a 47.4% accuracy rating. Level fourteen was called “St. Petersburg – Train”. With Natalya held hostage aboard the train my task was simple . . . rescue her and then get the hell out of dodge! My journey began at the back of the train, where I passed through a couple of cargo cars filled with many crates and of course multitudes of enemies! After dispatching them I came to a couple of cars dedicated to living quarters, encountering a strong resistance there also. Afterwards I passed through a number of cars that were a little less generic, more personalized, compromising the social/meeting areas on board. The resistance was less but they were definitely better armed. During this whole journey I was blasting the braking mechanisms on each car, so when I took out the last one the train went in to emergency mode, stopping and going in to a lockdown. Entering the last car I came face to face with both Trevalyn and Ourumov! I shot Ourumov, who then released Natalya, while the others all got away. Locking us in the car with a self-destruct mechanism engaged, I then had to use my watch laser to cut away the bolts on a hatch in the floor, escaping out underneath the train. Taking out a few last soldiers we then headed for daylight and got away just as the train blew to kingdom come! I completed this level with a time of 5:44 and had a 69.7% accuracy rating.
2) Another series is in the books on my season of MLB 2K11. This time the Toronto Blue Jays came to town for a four game set, here is how it all went down: won vs. Toronto 7-2, won vs. Toronto 5-1, won vs. Toronto 5-1 & won vs. Toronto 13-0.
3) On NHL ’04 I was to play a few more games of my season, the results of which were as follows: won @ Philadelphia 13-8, won vs. Colorado 11-4 & won vs. Tampa Bay 11-3.
4) I kept plugging away on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, sticking to the “Events” (Solo) mode and trying to get it all tidied up. I was able to complete the “It’s Past Your Bedtime!”, “Oh Yeah, Luigi Time!”, “Doctor Schmoctor”, “Wrecking Mario”, “Jackpot Opportunity”, “Fitness Junkie”, “The Big 7650!” & “The King Strikes Back” battles. Intensity in ten cities . . .
5) The first completion of this round goes to none other than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1, where I finished off the last two levels of the game! In the twelfth level our intrepid threesome began making their way down some forested pathways towards the Lovegoods’ house. Along the way we ran in to many doxies, spiders, even some Dementors. After booting it past a section of whomping willows and Inferni, we soon came to the Lovegoods’ front door. Mr. Lovegood was outside and invited us in, but he seemed . . . distracted. Once inside he and Hermione related to us the tale of the Deathly Hallows, which is what the symbol we saw in the cemetery stood for. Upon completion of the story we discovered that Xenophilius had sold us out to Voldemort though, as they had taken Luna captive and he thought he’d be able to get her back by turning us in! Death Eaters soon attacked the place but we held our ground for a short while before we were able to hit the forest in retreat, heading back the way we had come originally. As darkness fell though we got made by a group of snatchers, just before being captured Hermione put a spell on Harry to disfigure him a bit, disguising him from Voldemort temporarily. We were then apparated away to the Malfoy’s house, where we were stuck down in the dungeons with the Lovegoods and, wait for it . . . Dobby!! The thirteenth and final level of the game began in said dungeon, with Dobby whisking the Lovegoods away to safety before coming back and setting us free from our prison. Ron and I burst upstairs, looking to rescue Hermione from Bellatrix Lestrange, who was in the process of interrogating her. We engaged her and the rest of the Malfoy clan, battling them to a standstill in the middle of their living room! To end the standoff Dobby stole Bellatrix’s wand and used it against her, but just as we apparated away to a sunny beach area Bellatrix took her vengeance on Dobby, striking him a fatal blow! The game closed with us watching over Dobby as he passed away in this sunny paradise. Before putting the game away I partook of the other game mode available, which is called “Challenges”. This mode features a series of scenarios they put Harry in to, you then have to take control and guide him through each one. Here is how I fared: “Challenge 1” (had to defeat Voldemort’s allies as quickly as possible, completed with a time of 3:26.902 and a 3 star rating, 20 enemies defeated), “Challenge 2” (had to defeat all enemies using only the Expelliarmus spell, completed with a time of 4:11.684 and a 2 star rating, 16 enemies defeated), “Challenge 3” (had to get to Bathilda Bagshot’s house as quickly as possible, completed with a time of 58.235 and a 4 star rating, 3 enemies defeated), “Challenge 4” (had to survive an extended attack from Voldemort’s allies, lasted the full 8 minutes and earned a 2 star rating, scoring 10370 points) & “Challenge 5” (had to enter the public toilets in Whitehall without being spotted, this challenge was rubbish though, I couldn’t complete it without being discovered no matter what I tried). Game over!
6) The second game that met it’s end was Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay. Not much to do to tidy this one up though, just had to finish off the alternate game mode I’d started last time around, also called . . . “Challenges”. Here is how that ended up: “Challenge 8” (completed with a time of 19:45, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 60 enemies defeated), “Challenge 9” (completed with a time of 25:30, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 33 enemies defeated), “Challenge 10” (completed with a time of 15:48, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 74 enemies defeated), “Challenge 11” (completed with a time of 22:56, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 57 enemies defeated), “Challenge 12” (completed with a time of 14:54, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 41 enemies defeated), “Challenge 13” (completed with a time of 21:33, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 42 enemies defeated), “Challenge 14” (completed with a time of 12:57, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 51 enemies defeated), “Challenge 15” (completed with a time of 26:04, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 58 enemies defeated), “Challenge 16” (completed with a time of 23:24, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 50 enemies defeated), “Challenge 17” (completed with a time of 22:07, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 104 enemies defeated) & “Challenge 18” (completed with a time of 22:30, found Mochi and all four scrolls, 37 enemies defeated). Yet another GAME OVER!!
7) We’re inching our way closer to the end on Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean, as we were able to close out the “At World’s End” chapter, finishing off the final three levels there. Said levels unfolded as such: “Norrington’s Choice” (found 4/10 Minikit pieces, 1/8 Compass items, unlocked the James Norrington, Murtogg, Mullroy, & Captain Elizabeth [Robes] characters, and earned 1 Gold Brick [completion]), “The Brethren Court” (earned True Pirate status, found 1/10 Minikit pieces, 7/8 Compass items, unlocked the Captain Elizabeth character, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]) & “The Maelstrom” (earned True Pirate status, found 1/8 Compass items, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]). One more chapter to go!
8) We were able to finish off “World 5” on Super Mario 3D World, completing the final six levels available there. Our progress unfolded as such: “5-4: Sprawling Savanna” (earned 56300 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “5-5: Bob-ombs Below” (earned 50450 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “5-6: Cakewalk Flip” (earned 34750 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “5-7: Searchlight Sneak” (earned 32860 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “5-Castle: King Ka-thunk’s Castle” (earned 59400 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars) & “5-B: Fire Bros. Hideout #2” (earned 15900 points, and collected 1/1 stars). During our wanderings we also received an additional stamp, given to us by one of the fairies we met along the way. We didn’t stop there though, continuing to plow ahead through much more of the game. Next up was “World 6”, which we totally completed, the action unfolding thusly: “6-1: Clear Pipe Cruise” (earned 48250 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-2: Spooky Seasick Wreck” (earned 30740 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-B: Fire Bros. Hideout #3” (earned 19350 points, and collected 1/1 stars), “6-3: Hands-On Hall” (earned 48100 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-4: Deep Jungle Drift” (earned 42910 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-A: Prince Bully Blockade” (earned 34400 points, and collected 1/1 stars), “6-5: Ty-Foo Flurries” (earned 52090 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-6: Bullet Bill Base” (earned 54410 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-7: Fuzzy Time Mine” (earned 33420 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-Mystery Box: Mystery House Throwdown” (earned 67320 points, and collected 5/5 stars), “6-Tank: Bowser’s Bob-omb Brigade” (earned 72010 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “6-C: Motley Bossblob’s Big Battle” (earned 64950 points, and collected 1/1 stars). The next world in line wasn’t a numbered world, it was called “Castle” . . . and we totally beat it as well! Here is how it went down: “Castle-1: Fort Fire Bros.” (earned 55420 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-2: Switchback Ruins” (earned 53040 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-3: Red-Hot Run” (earned 32200 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-4: Boiling Blue Bully Belt” (earned 68460 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-A: Brolder Blockade is Back” (earned 29650 points, and collected 1/1 stars), “Castle-B: Prince Bully Blockade is Back” (earned 36400 points, and collected 1/1 stars), “Castle-5: Trick Trap Tower” (earned 47720 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-Toad: Captain Toad Gets Thwomped” (earned 33500 points, and collected 5/5 stars), “Castle-6: Rammerhead Reef” (earned 60670 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-7: Simmering Lava Lake” (earned 57050 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars), “Castle-Castle: Bowser’s Lava Lake Keep” (earned 71380 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars). Along the way we gained an additional stamp that was given to us by another fairy. At this point we had rescued all the fairies, but Bowser showed up and snatched them all away again, packing them all away in a jar and fleeing the scene! And so the game continued, the next world being called . . . “Bowser”. This is kind of where we’ve left off, beating the first two levels, which went as such: “Bowser-1: Spiky Spike Bridge” (earned 38600 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars) & “Bowser-2: Plessie’s Dune Downhill” (earned 63050 points, found the stamp, and collected 3/3 stars). Wowee!
9) The third and final game I managed to finish off in this blog period was Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal our Garbage?!! This completion was a little more involved than the other two though, it was a bit of a marathon. Anyways, picking up where I last left off I used our newly acquired Down Thrust ability to access an area called the Tomb Dungeon. We battled along, eventually reaching a chest that contained the Fist Smash ability. Using it to break through crumbling walls, and the Down Thrust ability to hit switches, we navigated many platforms and soon came to a chamber where the Ice King was waiting. Said chamber happened to be Bubblegum’s lab, where the Ice King was planning on cloning his pet penguin, Gunter! Ice King was true to his word, so to escape we had to battle 100 Gunters, for doing so successfully we were given the Pantyhose. After heading back to the Candy Kingdom and giving Bubblegum her pantyhose, she informed us that the Ice King had been spotted hauling much garbage in the direction of Red Rock Pass. So we headed straight there, with Jake smashing us in to the region. We began exploring the rocky, fiery landscape and laying low the new types of creatures we found there. Soon we came to a locked door that could only be opened by a real band playing a real song. So we continued on and arrived at the Marauder Village, where a few of the Marauders promised they’d each give us their respective band bug . . . if we completed a task for them. We also ran in to the Marauder Leader, who challenged us to a friendly battle! Victory was ours, afterwards he asked for our aid in ridding them of a terrifying beast who dwells in the caves north of their village. We said yes, to aid our journey the leader gifted us with the Umbrella ability, helping us jump long chasms. Moving along afterwards we came to Bliblob, the Cutest Warrior, who we didn’t even have to try to best! For defeating him though we were awarded a Ball. A backtrack was then needed, we headed to Candy Kingdom, where obtaining a Candy Cane was our primary concern. Moseying on back to Red Rock Pass we ran in to a character named Choose Goose, trading him our three Wads of Cash in exchange for “The Bomba” (a bomb). Leaving his company we made our way back to the Marauder Village, giving both the Ball and the Candy Cane to two of the village’s residents, in exchange obtaining Musical Bug 2 and 3. An even longer backtrack was then needed, Finn and Jake went all the way back to the start of the game, The Grasslands, to obtain the Bonsai Tree. Taking it back to the Marauder Village we traded it in and received Musical Bug 1! With all three bugs now in our possession we headed to the locked door. The bug band laid down a wicked jam, opening the portal for us. Forging onwards through this door we soon ran in to Lumpy Space Princess, who was complaining about all the gnomes in the area stealing her stuff. Battling lava rocks and skeletons we eventually reached the Fire Dungeon, entering it we navigated it’s hazards and battled it’s denizens, finding a chest and obtaining the Jake Roll ability. This helped us progress further, allowing our party of two to cross large bodies of water, soon enough we once again stumbled upon the Ice King. He left us another Garbage Princess and wished us luck on our next boss fight! Heading in to the next chamber we discovered Marceline the Vampire Queen, gaining victory over her in a vicious battle. Upon her defeat we received another one of Ice King’s riddles, but there was no effort put in to this one at all, it basically told us to go to the Ice King’s castle where the final battle would take place. As a thank you from Marceline she gifted us a Demon Heart. Jake and I took the Demon Heart back to the Marauder Village, giving it to their leader as proof that the “beast” would no longer be a problem for his people. As a thank you he instilled in Jake the ability to turn in to a boat, which would allow us to sail the high seas that surround these lands! So we obliged him, hitting high tide in the face and sailing throughout the land and making a couple stops, one of which earned us the Spiral Slice ability. Ultimately we landed at the foot of the Ice King’s frozen realm and began working our way through it’s tundra. We first ran in to Snow Golem, who said he was quite sad. We proposed building him a lady friend, which seemed to perk him up, he said he wanted her made out of “sky snow” (clouds). He even gave us a drawing of what he wanted her to look like! So we took said picture to the Cloud People, who let us in to their Cloud Kingdom so we could consult with the Party God (for the Cloud People love to party it up!). For trying to help his dear Snow Golem, the Party God gave Jake the ability to grow his legs super long, allowing him to reach the clouds! With this new power in our arsenal we backtracked and hit the high seas once more, meandering back to The Grasslands, Candy Kingdom and Red Rock Pass, exploring a cloudy area in each region and obtaining Cloud Pieces 1-3 in the process. We then headed back to Ice King’s territory and did the same thing there, obtaining Cloud Piece 4. With all four pieces in our possession we went and visited the Party God again, who manipulated the four pieces to craft Ms. Cloud Golem! With her in tow we went and visited Snow Golem, introducing him to his special friend. Snow Golem was so thankful he gave us the Fire Wolf Pup, which he said needed to be reunited with it’s family in the Fire Kingdom. He also mentioned that we would be able to find the Glowing Sword in that kingdom, which we’d need in order to defeat the Ice King. We journeyed across the sea one last time and reached the Fire Kingdom, where we consulted with the Flame Princess. For returning the Fire Wolf Pup she gave us the Glowing Sword, which we took with us back to the Ice Kingdom. Using it to infiltrate further in to Ice King’s territory we eventually reached his mountain castle hideout and confronted him one last time . . . and this time he had to fight his own battle! Ice King had taken Lumpy Space Princess hostage, so we made him eat fire, using our Glowing Sword to maximum effect. It was a long, tough, drawn out battle, but we laid this fiend low in the end and saved the day. Afterwards he gave us our garbage back, in the mess Lumpy Space Princess saw an ashtray that she had made Finn and Jake as a gift. Seeing her creation tossed aside in the garbage made her lose her shit, in a rage she went after the Lumpy Space Reactor, attempting to destroy the world! Heading through a portal we went after her and, riding a flying rainbow unicorn, blasted her from space and set things to rights, with an assist from the Cosmic Owl. And that was it, peace is finally restored to Ooo!
10) With having finished Captain Toad, Jimmer and I had to pick a new game to start on the Wii U, the unanimous decision being The Lego Movie Videogame! We’ve both been itching to get this one started, and so far it’s been a lot of fun. Basically it just takes you through the events of the movie, with a bit of extrapolation of course to beef up the levels, but it’s very well done all around. So far we’ve completed the first 11 levels, which went as such: “Bricksburg Construction” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Emmett, Emmett [Pajamas], Gail, Frank the Foreman, Demolition Guy, Wyldstyle, Mrs. Scratchen-Post, Cardio Carrie & Larry the Barista characters, found 1/1 Pants, and earned 3 Gold Bricks [for the level completion, status achievement, and pants find]), “Escape From Bricksburg” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Emmett [Piece of Resistance], Emmett [Trash Can], Wyldstyle [Hood] & Ice Cream Jo characters, found 2/5 Golden Instruction Pages, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]), “Flatbush Gulch” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Emmett [Old West], Wyldstyle [Old West], Sir Stack-a-Brick, Prospector, Wiley Fusebot, Robo Cowboy & Native characters, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]), “Flatbush Rooftops” (unlocked the Vitruvius [Old], Tomahawk, Deputron, Sheriff Not-a-Robot & Robo Swat characters, and earned 1 Gold Brick [completion]), “Escape From Flatbush” (unlocked the Emmett [Wheel Head] & Batman characters, found 3/5 Golden Instruction Pages, and earned 1 Gold Brick [completion]), “Cloud Cuckoo Land” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Unikitty & Emmett [Clown] characters, found 4/5 Golden Instruction Pages, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]), “Attack on Cloud Cuckoo Land” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Emmett [Woodsman], Benny, Cleopatra, Witch, Abraham Lincoln, Lord Vampyre, Test Dummy & El Macho Wrestler characters, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]), “Escape From Cloud Cuckoo Land” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Emmett [Surgeon], Emmett [Lizard], Green Ninja, Michelangelo & Caveman characters, found 1/5 Golden Instruction Pages, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]), “The Depths” (unlocked the Emmett [Lego Piece], Emmett [Shower], Lady Liberty, Swamp Creature, Panda Guy & Yeti characters, found 1/5 Golden Instruction Pages, and earned 1 Gold Brick [completion]), “Infiltrate The Octan Tower” (unlocked Queasy Kitty, Metalbeard [Minifigure], Fembot, Ma Cop, Pa Cop, Robo Swat [Armour] & Robo Fed characters, and earned 1 Gold Brick [completion]) & “Put the Thing on the Thing” (earned The Special status, unlocked the Emmett [Robot Disguise], Wyldstyle [Robot Disguise] & Bruce Wayne characters, and earned 2 Gold Bricks [completion and status]). During our time in the hub realms between levels we also made some purchases, including the Prospector, Native, Sir Stack-a-Brick, Emmett (Trash Can), Wyldstyle (Hood), Cardio Carrie, Frank the Foreman, Mrs. Scratchen-Post, Emmett (Pajamas), Robo Cowboy, Robo Swat, Magician, Gallant Guard, Emmett (Clown), Emmett (Surgeon) & Robo Skeleton characters. We also purchased the Gold Instruction Page Detector extra (red brick). The characters you unlock when you complete each level flash by real fast when the game summarizes how you did, so there may be some characters I didn’t include along the way by accident, but no big deal. So fun!!
11) As for the PS2, since Jak X is in the books I picked the recently acquired Robotech: Battlecry as my next title of choice! This game puts you in control of a fellow named Jack Archer. He was a fighter pilot engaged in the war that ravaged Earth before the spaceship that would become the SDF-1 crash landed on Macross Island in the south Pacific. In the time of peace that followed the SDF-1’s mysterious arrival he became a mercenary and an odd jobber. Eventually Roy Fokker recruited him to become a fellow pilot for the Robotech Defense Force, Jack was more than happy to jump behind the sticks of a futuristic Veritech fighter! The first task I had to complete with Jack was the “Training” mode of the game. With Roy Fokker as my tutor I hopped in my Veritech and piloted it through a number of situations, in Battleoid, Guardian and Fighter modes all, learning the ins and outs of the craft’s operation. Afterwards it was time to move on to “Story Mode”, where the game picked up in earnest. Starting off on “Chapter 1” the first level up was called “Boobytrap”. This is where the action all begins, with the alien Zentradi breaking orbit above Earth, intent on getting the SDF-1 back in their possession. My job was to take to the skies and aid both Wolf and Skull squadrons in repelling this threat. I completed the level with a time of 6:16, earning a 23.9% firing accuracy and 69% missile accuracy. The second level was called “Countdown”, in it the Zentradi had moved their ground forces in to Macross City after mercilessly bombarding it from orbit. I was tasked with taking to the streets and driving the invaders out of the area. I completed this level with a time of 8:22, earning a 54.3% firing accuracy and 50.5% missile accuracy. At the end of this level I was promoted to Sergeant! The third level was titled “Bursting Point”, and it saw the SDF-1 perform a desperate space fold maneuver in order to try and get away from it’s Zentradi tormentors, which worked. The move came with a big cost though, part of which included Jack being injured and out of commission for months, reassigned to Alaska Base upon his recovery. A year or so after the space fold maneuver the SDF-1 returns to Earth but was not allowed to land, for fear of a Zentradi reprisal once more. Jack made his way up to the SDF-1 though, to attend Roy Fokker’s funeral, who had died during the SDF-1’s sojourn. The Zentradi choose this time to attack the great ship yet again, which puts up a prototype defensive shielding system to help protect it. I had to take to the skies and eliminate the Zentradi forces, first concentrating on the capital ship’s lasers before moving on to their starships. I completed this level with a time of 6:00, earning a 26.4% firing accuracy and 65.7% missile accuracy. The fourth level, the finale of Chapter 1, was “Force of Arms”. After the last battle tons of Zentradi ships entered Earth’s orbit and Supreme Commander Dolza ordered a heavy bombardment of the planet, reducing most of it to a smoking wasteland! With nothing to lose, my job was to keep on flying and keep the Zentradi forces off of the SDF-1, which I did. In the end I engaged a Zentradi ace pilot who was tearing our fleet apart, we battled to a standstill before both bugging out. I completed this level with a time of 7:48, earning a 38.4% firing accuracy and 53.4% missile accuracy. I also earned a medal, and unlocked both a paint design and a game extra. That last level was a doozy, they weren’t kidding when they called that pilot an ace! This game is so much fun, expanding on the Robotech canon and thrilling me all the while. Can’t wait for more!
12) I also began playing Rayman 3D on my 3DS, as I’ve had a number of hand held games fall to completion over the past little while and I needed something new to fill the gap. I had no idea they had produced a handheld Rayman game, so I was quite pleased when I found this pre-owned and cheap! The story behind this title is that a band of metal pirates have been taking all manner of creatures prisoner across the land . . . they even manage to nab both Rayman and Globox, putting them in a cage together. For some reason Rayman has lost his powers, but Globox helps remedy this when he gives Rayman a silver lum he’d obtained from Ly the Fairy. This helps Rayman power back up and escape captivity! Upon their escape Rayman and Globox get separated though, and this is where the game picks up. The first actual game level is called “The Woods of Light”. In control of Rayman I explored a paradise full of lush green vegetation and crisp blue lakes. Soon enough I encountered Globox’s children, who said pirates had been through and took their daddy prisoner yet again. I promised to get him back, they then gave me a tip that the pirates were heading towards the Fairy Glade, but to get there I would have to go through the Isle of Doors, which I then jumped in to whole hog! During this level I obtained 5/5 lums and broke 2/2 cages. The second level, naturally, was “The Fairy Glade”. Making my way through a grassy wonderland filled with peaceful waterfalls I came to a pirate hideout, battling my way through it’s wooden corridors. After taking out many pirates I was able to locate the captive fairy, Ly, freeing her from imprisonment. In her weakened state she wasn’t able to restore my full powers but said that Polokus could, he being a powerful entity who’s been in hiding . . . if I managed to reunite the four masks that is! I then exited the land and ended the level. During said level I obtained 37/50 lums and broke 5/7 cages. Next up came the “Marshes of Awakening” level. Starting off in a desolate, dangerous marsh area filled with piranhas and skeleton creatures, a bizarre being barred by progress and wouldn’t let me access an area I wanted to explore. So I took another route and promptly rescued a serpent named Sam, who said he saw Globox captured by a couple of pirates. He offered to take me to the other side of the marsh, so I then basically waterskied behind him, avoiding enemies and obstacles both. During this level I obtained 50/50 lums and broke 5/5 cages (for completing all tasks I unlocked the bonus stage, which I completed in 26.36). “The Walk of Life” level came next, which was in itself a bit of a bonus level, dubbed a Time Race. Chasing after Ly as fast as I could I completed the level in 2:56.36, obtaining 50/50 lums, which earned me some extra energy to work with! The fifth level is as far as I’ve gotten so far, it being called “The Bayou”. Chasing after a pirate ship flying through the air, I began by traversing a number of boardwalks suspended over a boggy marsh, eventually reaching a wooden structure occupied by pirates. Navigating my way through it and taking out both many pirates and native creatures along the way, I eventually reached the exit and ended the level. During this level I obtained 49/50 lums and broke 6/7 cages. Pretty cool game so far!
13) Since finishing Transformers: Beast Wars last time around I didn’t have another PS1 title to work on, so I chose instead to get another game going on the N64. The title I selected was 1080 Snowboarding! This is a game that allows you to pit a small handful of fictional snowboarders against each other in a few different types of game modes. I began with what I consider to be the main mode of the game, called “Match Race”. In this mode you choose a boarder and then race one on one against a series of competitors, over a predetermined number of courses. In order to advance you have to win each race to get to the next round, win all rounds and you are the champ! I began with the Normal (4 courses) option, picking Ricky Winterborn (on the Tahoe 155) as my character. My inaugural journey unfolded as such: defeated Rob Haywood at Crystal Lake, defeated Dion Blaster at Crystal Peak, defeated Kensuke Kimachi at Golden Forest & defeated Akari Hayami at Mountain Village. This won me the overall circuit and unlocked the next one! I then moved on to said circuit, the Hard (5 courses) option. I chose Rob Haywood as my character (on a Scout Ltd. 162). Here is how that experience went down: defeated Kensuke Kimachi at Crystal Lake, defeated Akari Hayami at Crystal Peak, defeated Ricky Winterborn at Golden Forest, defeated Dion Blaster at Mountain Village & defeated Rob Haywood at Dragon Cave. I won the circuit, unlocking the third and final circuit available in this mode. This is as far as I’ve gotten so far though. More to come!
14) Another handheld title I started out on was the DS game called New Super Mario Bros. The story is a familiar one, one day Mario and Peach are out for a walk when a ruckus at the castle distracts Mario. Sneaking up on Peach, Bowser Jr. steals her away and Mario is once again tasked with rescuing her ass! I then had to take control of Mario and start blazing my way through the worlds laid out before me, taking on all comers. Starting off on “World 1” I’ve completed the following levels: “World 1-1”, “World 1-2”, “World 1-3”, “World 1-Tower”, “World 1-4”, “World 1-A”, “World 1-5” & “World 1-Castle”. I then moved on to “World 2” and completed it as well, here’s how that broke down: “World 2-1”, “World 2-2”, “World 2-3”, “World 2-A”, “World 2-4”, “World 2-Tower”, “World 2-5”, “World 2-6” & “World 2-Castle”. Currently I’m in the midst of “World 3”, so far here is what I’ve got done there: “World 3-1”, “World 3-2”, “World 3-A” & “World 3-Tower”. In each game level so far I was able to collect the 3 Golden Coins scattered throughout. Great game!
15) Lastly, I began another DS game recently, a beauty I picked up for cheap of the previously played variety . . . Sonic Rush! In this handheld installment of Sonic the Hedgehog Dr. Robotnik, or Dr. Eggman as they sometimes call him, is up to his old tricks again. He is capturing animals and trapping them inside his robotic creations, attempting to take over the world. With Tails guiding you along the way Sonic is tasked with putting a stop to this, but as the story unfolds a couple of new characters enter the fray that has Sonic scratching his spiky blue head. A female cat named Blaze chips in, seemingly a potential ally, while at the other end of the spectrum a new villain rears his ugly head, that being Dr. Eggman Nega! Can Sonic unravel the mystery and once more take Dr. Eggman to task? This is a pretty exciting game that contains a whole ton of speed, utilizing both screens during gameplay, which is so much fun! The first zone was called “Leaf Storm”, and I completed all three levels there, as such: “Zone 1 Act 1” (C rank, obtained the red Chaos Emerald), “Zone 1 Act 2” (B rank) & “Zone 1 vs. Boss” (A rank). The second zone was “Water Palace”, which I also completed. It unfolded as so: “Zone 2 Act 1” (B rank, obtained the blue Chaos Emerald), “Zone 2 Act 2” (C rank) & “Zone 2 vs. Boss” (B rank). “Mirage Road” was the next zone in line, which went as follows: “Zone 3 Act 1” (C rank, obtained the yellow Chaos Emerald), “Zone 3 Act 2” (B rank) & “Zone 3 vs. Boss” (A rank). This game is a ton of fun, can’t wait to get back at it!
“NNGRR” - The weekend after my last blog happened to be the opening weekend for the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, so we headed to the drive-in on Saturday night to take it in! Unfortunately Cinderella was the movie paired with it, so we left after Avengers was over . . . as did a lot of other people. Anyways, this flick starts off fast, just as the Avengers are mid-mission somewhere in Slovakia. They are looking to infiltrate a top secret H.Y.D.R.A. facility, where Loki’s scepter is being held, Thor especially is eager to get it back so he can transport it to Asgard. The mission is a tough one, but ultimately a success. They even manage to deal with a top H.Y.D.R.A. agent by the name of von Strucker. However, the team is thoughtful about two new enemies brought to light during the battle, a brother and sister duo whom von Strucker physically augmented during experimentations with the sceptre. Pietro is blindingly fast while Wanda has the ability to play with others’ minds, a psychic of sorts. During the battle, while Iron Man was retrieving the sceptre, Wanda (aka the Scarlet Witch) gave him a vision of a future where the world went straight to hell in a handbasket, with the Avengers all dead. Back at Avengers headquarters after the mission the team plans to throw a party in honour of their victory, but not before Tony Stark convinces Thor to let him study the sceptre for a few days. Soon enough Tony approaches Bruce Banner with an idea. While studying the sceptre he found an advanced form of artificial intelligence at it’s core, and with it Tony believes he can resume his revered “Ultron” program by utilizing said intelligence, a global defense program he is now adamant comes in to existence, so as to combat the vision the Scarlet Witch left him with. However, with time at a premium he and Bruce have to go ahead with the plan on the low down, to circumvent a grand debate between the members of the team. While at the very party Tony hosts to celebrate their victory, he and Bruce’s attempts prove successful . . . but they don’t get the results they were planning on! Ultron comes alive and presents itself in the form of one of Tony’s Iron Man sentinels, crashing the party and making it’s violent intentions known. For although the self-aware Ultron program vows to protect the planet, it believes the only way to do so is to destroy humanity, and he’d like to start with the Avengers!! After a brief battle Ultron escapes with the sceptre and thereafter recruits the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (Pietro) to his cause. They then go on a worldwide rampage, the most notable operation being a major heist of vibranium. The Scarlet Witch also left most of the other Avengers with visions of their own, the results of which threaten to tear the team apart. They go in to hiding at Hawkeye’s remote homestead, seeking time and refuge with which to sort out a course of action. When Nick Fury arrives on the scene he is the tonic everybody’s been needing to calm the fuck down and make things right. Events begin to wrap up in Seoul, when a doctor named Helen Cho (a friend of the Avengers) is coerced in to creating a synthetic body for Ultron, using the vibranium and a gem from Loki’s sceptre, in combination with Cho’s own synthetic tissue technology. With the process underway Scarlet Witch is able to read Ultron’s mind, now that it’s synthetic and not robotic, realizing his true intentions. Her and Quicksilver then turn on Ultron, forcing it to flee. The Avengers arrive on the scene and are able to retrieve the synthetic body, which Thor soon afterwards brings to life with his lightning power, explaining that the gem from Loki’s sceptre is one of the six fabled Infinity Stones. This new character, which Tony uploaded with Jarvis’ artificial intelligence, is called Vision. He joins the Avengers’ fight, as do Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. The Avengers will need all the help they can get, for Ultron has headed back to Slovakia and instituted a plan that will trigger a mass extinction event, wiping out all life on Earth. With all of the uncertainty between it’s members over recent events, can this group and it’s new recruits pull together and defeat this threat once and for all, or is humanity about to go the way of the dinosaurs? This was a great film, every bit as action packed as the original Avengers and even more intriguing. There were a lot of tense moments in this flick, you really got to see the lead members of this team butting heads. Revelations were made regarding Black Widow’s past, Hawkeye’s secret life, and the developing relationship between Black Widow and Bruce Banner. The story was pretty awesome too, quite complex. Effects were top notch as usual, and the cast they assembled was quite breathtaking. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Don Cheadle (War Machine) & Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) just off the top! On top of these actors and the heroes they portray, other significant characters made appearances too, such as Peggy Carter, Heimdall, and the Falcon. All in all a pretty epic movie with which to kick off what is going to be a great summer of theatre!!
To kick off the work week that followed I viewed a movie called Serenity, which served as the final nail in the coffin for the Firefly TV series! This film was released in 2005, a few years after the TV show was cancelled, after much fan backlash . . . and rightly so! Anyways, the movie begins with a brief overview on the background of this story as a whole, what with mankind’s expansion to a new star system, the development of new worlds, capped off by the war of the Independents versus the Alliance. It then moves on to some flashbacks from River Tam’s past, leading up to the day Simon rescued her from the Alliance facility where she was being experimented on (not long after which she and Simon ended up with a berth aboard Serenity). We are then introduced to a character employed by the Alliance as a tracker/assassin, who is visiting the facility where River was abducted from, beginning to piece clues together in order to go after his new quarry. Meanwhile, the crew of Serenity has seen better days. Well-paying jobs are becoming few and far between, and they are having a hard time keeping Serenity in the air. However, Captain Malcolm Reynolds has a job lined up that could be a real boon to their bottom line! The job is a bank heist, the target a high reward facility used to pay out a lot of Alliance personnel. In order to help expedite the job Mal brings River along, despite Simon’s vehement protestations, as Mal thinks her psychic ability will help cut some difficult corners. All is going well until River detects the dreaded Reavers suddenly attacking the town! With their booty in hand Mal, Zoe, Jayne and River beat a hasty retreat, surviving an intense speeder battle, before making it back to Serenity where Wash, Simon and Kaylee nervously await their return. After the close shave Simon decides it’s in their best interests for he and River to get off Serenity at their next port. That is the working plan, but when Mal attempts to arrange his next job at a local watering hole River flips out after watching a commercial on the viewing screens, literally taking out everybody in the bar afterwards! Suddenly the crew of Serenity find themselves in an even deeper hole, with the plan to dump Simon and River nixed due to circumstance, which becomes a big sore point on the ship, especially where Jayne is concerned. Beating a hasty retreat Mal and his crew contact a friend known as Mr. Universe, an expert hacker they’ve dealt with in the past. Analyzing footage of River’s incident he figures out that a subliminal message was encoded within the commercial that set River off, and just before she lost it she whispered “Miranda”. Serenity’s next move is to head to a world called Haven, where the team can lay low with their old friend Book, but before they can do so Mal receives a call from Inara, who has made another life for herself on a different world. She asks him to come help her with a local problem, and the crew of Serenity all realize at once that it’s a trap. Deciding to spring said trap Mal goes in to the situation with a plan, upon locating Inara he is soon afterwards confronted by the Alliance agent tasked with tracking River down. With overconfidence his main weakness the agent is frustrated when Mal escapes with Inara aboard their shuttle, linking back up with Serenity and throwing the pursuing Alliance ships off their trail completely! Relief soon turns to dread though, when Serenity touches down on Haven and finds Book and his townspeople having been slaughtered by the Alliance. With nowhere to go and all their allies being snuffed out, Mal follows a lead given to him by River, after she discovers a planet called Miranda in Serenity’s databanks. However, the info on the planet is incomplete at best, it’s almost like an attempt has been made to have Miranda erased! With no other options Mal deems a mission to Miranda their next priority, the only issue though . . . it’s deep in Reaver territory, not even the Alliance goes there! Their gambit succeeds, but what they find on Miranda chills them to the bone. There is no activity on the world at all, the people there all seem to have shriveled up and died, right in the middle of their daily business. Disturbed, the group moves on to a nearby beacon, upon locating it they find a recorded message from an Alliance scientist. The recording is an admission of guilt, about a substance they had developed to put in the air recyclers that would make the citizens calmer and more docile. However, the effect was extremely amplified in the majority of the population. People stopped eating, drinking, working . . . hell they even stopped moving, literally coming to a standstill and waiting to die! The scarier part was the rest of the population though, a smaller percentage that went the opposite direction, becoming highly aggressive and homicidal . . . or Reavers, as we otherwise know them. The Alliance accidentally created these savages, the bastards! Mal’s purpose is now clear. He and his team are going to broadcast this recording to the galaxy at large, exposing the Alliance for the monsters they are and getting a bit of sweet revenge. In order to do so they are going to have to face down both Reavers and Alliance soldiers, and defy all odds . . . but that is what they do, after all! Do they have it in them one last time though? This was an awesome movie, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was amazing to see the cast reunited again, and to see the desperate times they had stumbled upon. With lots of revelations and a few big resolutions at the end, Serenity is that slice of lemon pie after the main course that caps off a meal just perfectly. Bravo!!
Near the end of the work week that followed I finished reading the book I had on the go, called Star Wars: Razor’s Edge! This is a tale that takes us back to the time of the Rebellion and it’s work in originally opposing the Empire. It’s a couple years after the first Death Star was destroyed and the rebels have found the location of their next headquarters, the remote Echo Base on the ice world of Hoth. However, they need to acquire much material in order to see this base come to fruition, so with Han Solo in tow Princess Leia Organa flies discreetly to a backwater area of the galaxy, their intended destination being Arnot Station. Here they are to meet up with their contacts and complete the deal. However, along the way, during one of their hyperspace jumps, the rebel ship is attacked by an Imperial vessel and they just barely manage to escape, badly damaged in the process! Realizing they must have had a mole somewhere in their line of communications, Leia is quite displeased as her ship limps towards Arnot Station. Before they can touch down though, more trouble arises. The sector is known for it’s pirate activity, and it looks as though they’ve stumbled right in to the middle of some. A pirate vessel is haranguing a small merchant ship just outside the station and although her instincts tell Leia to let it go, for the good of the mission, when she sees it’s an Alderranian gunboat making the attack she thinks twice and contacts it’s captain. Arranging a meeting with this Captain Metara, Leia, Han and a couple of other rebel operatives dash over to the pirate ship . . . this time against Han’s best instincts! Upon meeting Metara and her crew Leia realizes that at least some of them don’t feel good about the pirate life, but they are in too deep and are not interested in joining the Rebel Alliance. Before anything can be settled about the current predicament though, the contact Metara and her crew report to in their dealings shows up on the scene and asks them to come along to their clearinghouse, to attend a meeting with the “flightmaster” (or head pirate, if you will). Sensing an opportunity Leia tells Metara she’ll try and broker an arrangement with this person, to get Metara and her crew out of service to the pirates, in return she asks that they at least consider joining the Rebellion . . . for Alderaan. However, upon meeting the flightmaster, a Lorrdian female named Viest, things don’t go as planned. For Lorrdians are adept at reading people, their body language, and Viest senses that something is off with these two. The situation then deteriorates rapidly as Leia and Metara are forced to participate in a violent sport Viest has invented, to test her various associates’ mettle. While this is going on Han and a small force of rebels, mixed with Metara’s people, sneak out of their docking bay and get the lay of the land on the mined out asteroid Viest uses as her headquarters. As events unfold the danger gets even more real as the both pirates and Imperials come in to play, not to mention the Imperial mole, who finally decides to show his true colours. Will the quick thinking, banter loving duo of Han and Leia be able to come up with a plan that will save everybody’s collective asses, or will this be their final battle? This was a really good story, I love it when they fill in the gaps between movies with more behind the scenes kind of stuff, like the chore it must have been to secretly set up a new base. It was a fast paced story with a couple of twists and turns along the way, featuring a small number of our favourite Star Wars heroes plus some interesting new faces. Great read!
To kick the long weekend off I watched a bargain bin movie I’d recently found, something I’ve wanted to see for quite a while now . . . Battleship!! Funny enough James and I actually played Battleship earlier that day. The movie begins with a sequence showcasing a team of scientists who have discovered a world just like Earth, off in another galaxy. It is roughly the same composition as Earth and about equal distance from it’s sun as we are from ours. Using a satellite system the team then beams a message to this world, as a gesture of peace in case there is intelligent life out there on said world, dubbed Planet G. The scene then shifts so we can get to know our main character, a bit of a layabout named Alex Hopper, who lives with his brother Stone in Hawaii. After an incident that sees Alex get in trouble with the law while trying to impress a buxom blonde, Stone has had enough of the hijinks and so he forces his brother to join the Navy, which is what Stone’s occupation happens to be. Fast forward a number of years and Alex is an officer aboard the U.S. destroyer John Paul Jones, although he is not a gleaming example of naval discipline. What’s worse, the blonde he tried to impress all those years ago took the bait and they’ve been a couple ever since . . . although she just so happens to be the daughter of the fleet commander, Admiral Terrance Shane, who is not a big fan of Alex! However, soon none of this will matter, as the very future of mankind will be placed in dire peril. RIMPAC, a gathering of world navies, is on tap in Hawaii. This event pits these navies against each other in not only a series of war games, but also team activities on the ground. During one of the exercises at sea, a handful of alien space ships break orbit above Earth and disrupt the events of RIMPAC, putting up a barrier that blocks off the rest of the fleet from the vessels that were participating in the war games. For these alien ships received the message that was beamed to them years earlier, and they are now making their presence known. At first they don’t really engage the human vessels, they only respond when provoked, but as time goes by and the situation heightens the two factions begin going at each in earnest. Much to Alex’s dismay, the weaponry the alien force brings to the table is alarmingly effective, amidst all of the fighting Stone and his entire ship are obliterated! With help from his girlfriend Sam, who is marooned on the island of Oahu with an injured veteran, along with one of the scientists who developed the technology to contact the aliens, Alex figures out what the aliens are up to. The invaders are attempting to take over the very communications system the humans used to beam their original message, to summon reinforcements in a bid to ultimately take over the Earth! With only one ship left at their disposal, and it being badly damaged, the outlines of a plan are put in to place, although it’s risky and contains a lot of what ifs. But if there is anybody brash enough to pull off such a stunt it is Alex Hopper. Will Alex and his shipmates be able to make good on it, or will humanity soon become the hunted minority on their own planet? I liked this movie a lot, despite the mostly bad reviews it received. Great action and effects, a pretty solid cast with Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, etc., I don’t know what there was not to like! The aliens and their technology were pretty cool too, I quite enjoyed this film . . .
The movie we went to see over the long weekend with our friends, well it was none other than the spectacle that is . . . Mad Max: Fury Road! In this update on the franchise we are introduced to the survivor of a nuclear event on what used to be the continent of Australia, a man named “Mad” Max Rockatansky. The events that left the world ravaged and barren, and also witnessed the death of his family, has left Max with one basic instinct . . . that of survival. With only his hot rod left to offer him any sort of salvation, we soon see Max hit the road as he is chased by a horde of half-lives, a portion of the population that have been affected adversely by the radiation I’m assuming. Max is quickly chased down and captured, kept alive as a blood donor for sick half-lives. After a nearly successful escape attempt Max is taken back in to custody, but soon enough he’ll be in the middle of the action, whether he likes it or not. The leader of the band of hooligans that caught Max, known as Immortan Joe, is a nasty tyrant who keeps the population he lords over in check by meagrely doling out the now oh so rare and precious substance of water, as he deems necessary. He also controls another precious resource that is vital to life in this desert wasteland . . . gasoline. One day Joe sends out one of his higher ups on a mission for petrol, a one armed femme fatale named Furiosa. However, not long in to her route Furiosa takes the war rig on a bit of a detour, which throws her escorts in to confusion. Back at the War Boys headquarters Joe is informed of this deviance and immediately sends out his whole fleet in pursuit . . . especially after realizing Furiosa has smuggled out Joe’s five prized wives, which he uses to breed the next generation with! Furiosa’s plan is to take these young women to “the green land” and escape the hell on Earth they’ve been forced to live through all these years. Joe’s plan though, is to stop this from happening. Strapped to the front of one of the vehicles in his pursuing fleet is none other than Mad Max, forced to endure the chase that is to come from a front row seat! Cue one of the longest, most intense and dangerous vehicle chase scenes you could ever imagine and you’ve got the gist of what this movie is all about. Loud, pure intensity wrapped around an intriguing plot line, with a lot of violence strewn throughout! Along the way Max gains freedom from his imprisonment and enters an uneasy truce with Furiosa and the young women she is trying to protect. As the chase continues a couple of Joe’s allies and their respective fleets join the mix, while in the other corner one of the half-lives has joined Max and Furiosa’s side out of circumstance. After many tense situations pass Furiosa finally seems to have won, approaching what she assumes to be the green place, the place where she was originally born. However, upon meeting up with those left from her original homeland Furiosa is devastated to learn that her homeland is no more, the green place is gone, converted to a wasteland like the rest of the continent. This is when Max comes up with a last ditch plan. The only place they know of where water is available and crops are able to grow . . . is the very place they just escaped from! With Immortan Joe and his entire force out hunting them, this could be their chance to slip in fairly easily and take over. But with them being so vastly outnumbered and outgunned, do they have what it takes to pull off such a stunt? This flick was honestly an action spectacle, just a feast for the eyes to behold! Extremely violent, but not an in your face kind, you know? The chase scenes and the vehicles involved were just amazing, so creative and authentic. And the characters were so fierce and bizarre, I’m honestly still trying to process the whole thing, and it’s been about half a week since we saw it. So good, I really hope they do another one!!
The last little while I’ve been listening to the latest release from Canadian outfit Mother Mother, called Very Good Bad Thing (2014). I’ve reviewed pretty much all five of their studio albums so far in my blog I believe, over the years. But if you’re not familiar with them they are a 5 piece from the west coast of our great nation, out in British Columbia. What gives the band their haunting, otherworldly sound is a couple of ladies they feature on keyboards, both of whom have outstanding voices and use them to great effect. The band is pretty diverse, they can rock really hard or slow things right down, usually mixing in the acoustic guitars every so often. However, on this latest release they continue their trend towards the poppy electronic sort of vibe. There are a lot of different sounding beats on this album, and when mixed with the vocals and songwriting genius they continually put out, it’s a pretty good mix. It’s fun to watch the evolution of this band as they tend to never do the same thing twice, they always keep you on your toes! My favourite tracks out of the 10 on this disc include “Get Out the Way”, “Monkey Tree”, “Reaper Man”, “I Go Hungry”, “Very Good Bad Thing” & “Shout If You Know”.