Toriko42 / Member

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Toriko42 Blog

Happy New Year: A Year In Review; A Review of Slumdog Millionaire

First of all I want to take the time to wish all of you guys a very happy new year, I wish you all the best in the new year and hope you get what you are looking for in 2009.

The outlooking for 2009 gamewise is not looking bad but it could be better. Q1 and Q2 are jam packed with games like Star Ocean 4, Halo Wars, Skate 2, Resident Evil 5, Lord of the Rings Conquest, Street Fighter IV, and others. After that I'm not so sure what is around the corner but hey GDC and E3 can change that.

This year was an excellent year for gaming none the less. I hope 2009 can be the same way.

Raw Stats:

Games Bought And Completed:

- Half Life 2 (8.5)
- Half Life 2 Episode 1 (8.0)
- Half Life 2 Episode 2 (9.0)
- Left 4 Dead (8.5)
- Dead Space (8.0)
- Rainbow Six Vegas (8.5)
- Bully: Scholarship Edition (9.0)
- Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (7.0)
- Fight Night Round 3 (7.5)
- Ninja Gaiden 2 (8.0)
- Bioshock (8.5)
- Battlefield: Bad Company (9.0)
- Gears of War (8.5)
- Condemned: Criminal Origins (8.0)
- Dead Rising (9.0)
- Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (8.5)
- Tales of Vesperia (9.0)
- Halo 3 (9.0)
- Fable 2 (8.5)
- Grand Theft Auto IV (10)
- Gears of War 2 (9.0)
- Super Smash Brothers Brawl (9.5)
- No More Heroes (7.5)
- Metal Gear Solid 4 (Though I do not own it, I borrowed a PS3 for it) (10)
- Little Big Planet (Likewise) (9.0)
- Far Cry 2 (7.0)
- Valkriya Chronicles (8.0)

Consoles Bought

- Xbox 360 Premium (10)

Games bought that need to be finished

- Rock Band 2
- Fallout 3 (Almost done)
- Mass Effect
- Call of Duty: World at War

Total Amount Spent On Games: Too Much

Two games that got a 10/10, a new console and a crapload of games bought and completed. An excellent year for me. The first 10's I've given out in a long time.

For my GOTY AWARDS visit here: GOTY Awards: Leave A Comment!

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Slumdog Millionaire Review:


Slumdog Millionaire is one of the few films I've seen to be what I consider near 'flawless'. Danny Boyle is a world renowned director making such films as 28 Days Later and Trainspotting but I believe this movie is his magnum opus. It follows Jamal Malik, a muslim teenager growing up in the slums of Bombay. He is a firm believer in destiny and throughout his life he seeks an elusive girl named Latika who seems to be always out of his reach. The movies starts with him on the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire retracting his life through the questions asked to him. It's a difficult plot to summarize and this may not do it justice but hey, it's spoiler free. To say the least the plot is excellent and one of the more original ones of 2008.

To start off with the film is a technical marvel. The soundtrack is one of the best of 2008. As Danny Boyle said, he didn't want any of that 'cello crap'. Thank goodness for that. The soundtrack is a mix of Indian Music, Club Music, and name artists like MIA. It's an excellent soundtrack and it is tottally appropriate for the movie. It's actually one of the best uses of a soundtrack I have heard in a movie. The film is also shot beautifully. I can't say enough how excellent the cinematography of this film is. The man in charge deserves the Oscar because I've never been so dazzled by camera work before.

The acting as well is very good. Dev Patel does an excellent job as Jamal Malik and so do the other actors. It's very convincing, and never cheesy. The dialogue is well written and crosses the cultural barrier well. The child actors in the film are excellent and all the Bollywood actors in this movie do a great cross over to western film.

Lastly is the director Danny Boyle. He's done an amazing job with the movie. The plot could have been somewhat lame if done wrong but he made it into something great. The movie was a pleasure to watch and I have it stuck firmly in my head. This movie will be nominated for some serious Oscars I guarantee it. My only plea to you is to go see this excelent work of cinema.

I give it a rare 10 out of 10.


Lastly, Happy New Year! Have a great day and year and check out my GOTY awards. The link is right

Here; Leave a Comment!

My Personal Game of the Year Awards: 2008

Various publications and forms of mass media always put out their own game of the year awards but I am often disappointed by the winners. I've played every big game to come out this year to some extent so I believe I have been around enough this year to be able to do my own awards. Without furthur adieu, here are the winners.

Category: Technicalities

Best Graphics (Technical)

Nominees:

- Far Cry 2
- Gears of War 2
- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Fallout 3
- Crysis: Warhead


Winner: Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead is a technical marvel and has easily set the bar for PC graphics to an unreachable level. It's years ahead of it's time and the attention to detail is excellent. Crysis Warhead proves the PC can churn out almost anything.

Best Graphic (Artistic)

Nominees:

- Valkriya Chronicles
- Tales of Vesperia
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Prince of Persia
- Little Big Planet

Winner: Tales of Vesperia



Tales of Vesperia perfects cell shaded graphics. The game is visually pleasing and is strong the whole way through. The characters are beautifully rendered and the game just simply looks awesome. The game has great weapons and spell effects and remains a sharp crisp colour scheme. The game just narrowly beat out Prince of Persia.


Best Soundtrack

Nominees:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Tales of Vesperia
- Rock Band 2
- Mirror's Edge

Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV



Simply outstanding,
Grand Theft Auto beat out Rock Band for soundtrack? Allow me to explain myself. GTA radio stations in the past seemed to be just...mix tapes. A variety of awesome songs we've all heard before pasted together with a DJ. GTA IV changed all that by providing us with music we had never heard before which sounded great. The sheer variety of the soundtrack is awesome and there is tons of music to please just about anyone from Hardcore Punk to Russian music to RnB. It's an awesome soundtrack that may not please everyone but gave me a lot of great new songs to listen to.


Best Voice Acting (Collective)

Nominees:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Tales of Vesperia
- Battlefield: Bad Company
- Call of Duty: World at War

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4
Honorable Mention: Grand Theft Auto IV



Metal Gear Solid 4 just narrowly beat out GTA IV, so narrowly in fact that if I was to give it a numerical value it'd be .000001. Metal Gear Solid 4 had excellent voice acting which made the cinematics a pleasure to watch (even moreso to be exact). David Hayter was excellent as usual and everyone else was great. I could tie this game with Grand Theft Auto IV though but that'd be no fun. I will however give GTA IV an honorable mention. This was a closely contested category without a doubt.



Best Fighting Game

Nominees:

- Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
- Soul Calibur IV
- Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD
- Super Smash Brothers: Brawl


Winners: Super Smash Brothers: Brawl



The game is excellent, Soul Calibur IV almost beat it but Brawl is just so much fun with friends it had to win. Brawl is also a ****c and it's one of the few Wii games I liked this whole generation. It's great.


Best Action Adventure Game

Nominees:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Dead Space
- Ninja Gaiden 2
- Prince of Persia

Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV



Grand Theft Auto IV took the series in a new direction and I liked it a lot. The game has a more serious tone but it still stands out as an action adventure game. You can cause a lot of mayhem and the playground is more detailed then ever. This game was a lot of fun and it mixed a great story with awesome gameplay. It played like a Hollywood action movie, and that is a great thing.


Best Shooter


Nominees:

- Gears of War 2
- Left 4 Dead
- Resistance 2
- Call of Duty: World at War
- Battlefield: Bad Company


Winner: Battlefield: Bad Company



What?! Not the other blockbuster hits listed. Battlefield: Bad Company was to say the least...awesome. The game was a lot of fun and the destructability is unrivalled in my opinion. The explosions rocked my world and the characters were a lot of fun. The online component was also a lot of fun and lasted me tens of hours. Battlefield: Bad Company was the most explosive, loud, bullet-filled game this year and for that I salute it.


Best Arcade Game

Nominees:

- Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD
- Mega Man 9
- Braid
- Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

- Cattle Crashers

Winner: Mega Man 9



Megaman 9 is a throwback to the 8-bit Mega Man games. This is why it won. The game is challenging, a lot of fun, and extremely satisfying. I loved it.

Best Role-Playing Game

Nominees:

- Fallout 3
- Valkyria Chronicles
- Tales of Vesperia
- Persona 4
- Fable 2


Winner: Tales of Vesperia
Honorable Mentions: Persona 4, Fallout 3




Tales of Vesperia doesn't give you the freedom of Fable 2 or Fallout 3. What it gives is a compelling story, a great cast of characters, a strong action component, and one of the best J-RPGs of this generation. The game is a lot of fun and it's compelling for all 40 hours you play it. If you didn't play it, shame on you. It's one of the best RPGs of the year. Fallout 3 and Persona 4 get honorable mentions for also being top notch.

The Ultimate Music Game:

Nominees:

- Rock Band 2
- Guitar Hero: World Tour


Winner: Rock Band 2



Rock Band 2 wins for doing it first. With the best soundtrack, best instruments (arguably), and best gameplay mechanics it is far superior to World Tour. Want the best game to spend 189.99 on? Go for Rock Band 2.

Best Massively Multiplayer Online Game

Nominees:

- Age of Conan
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- World of Warhammer: Age of Reckoning


Winner: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King



WOTLK is just an expansion to World of Warcraft but it has more content then Age of Conan. It's an excellent game and continues to reinvent WoW. WOTLK continues to prove that this 2004 MMO is going nowhere anytime soon.



Best New Debut

Nominees:

- No More Heroes
- Dead Space
- Little Big Planet
- Left 4 Dead

Winner: Left 4 Dead



This game is the best start, though it lacks content it has a lot of good ideas for the future of PC shooters. With the co-op focus, Left 4 Dead is not only the best debut of this year but it is also one of the better online games.



Best Online Game:


Nominees:

- Gears of War 2
- Resistence 2
- Left 4 Dead
- Grand Theft Auto IV

- Call of Duty: World at War

Winner: Call of Duty: World at War



It took the best of Call of Duty 4, added a co-op mode and a zombie mini game. This is a lot of fun to play with friends and strangers alike. Call of Duty World at War blows the competition away for the most part and proves Call of Duty is the king of online shooters.

PC GOTY:

Nominees:

- Crysis Warhead
- Sins of the Solar Empire
- Spore
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Left 4 Dead

Winner: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King



Need I explain again...
For continuing the reign of the best MMO and for giving PC gamers hundreds of hours of enterinment, WOTLK wins.

360 GOTY:

Nominees:

- Tales of Vesperia
- Gears of War 2
- Ninja Gaiden 2
- Fable 2
- Fallout 3


Winner: Tales of Vesperia



Tales of Vesperia is an excellent game and truly it is the best 360 exclusive of the year. What a shame that few played it.

PS3 GOTY:

Nominees:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Resistance 2
- Little Big Planet

Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4



Bar none, no competition, Metal Gear Solid 4. Kojima proves he is a genius yet again by mixing story and gameplay perfectly. The game is awesome.



FINALLY


GAME OF THE YEAR 2008:


NOMINEES:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Rock Band 2
- Tales of Vesperia
- Gears of War 2
- Fallout 3
- Super Smash Brothers: Brawl


Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV
Runner-up: Metal Gear Solid 4



It was unrivalled, Grand Theft Auto IV was not only an action packed game with fantastic sandbox elements but it also had a compelling story with a lot of interesting characters. The game was a blast to play through, lasted a good 50 hours and had a very good online component. Free-play is a hell of a lot of fun. Metal Gear Solid 4 was close as hell, the game was fantastic as well. Grand Theft Auto IV though for me was awe inspiring and absolutely perfect. I love it.

Thanks for reading and please comment, it took me a long time to make this.

Boxing Day Swag and an Advanced Review of Gran Torino

So today was the start of boxing day and I got some pretty neat stuff

Elite Beat Agents for the Nintendo DS
Mass Effect for the Xbox 360
The Evil Dead on DVD

I'm especially happy about the Evil Dead since I've been hunting for that for a long time...it's always been so expensive but I got it for just 10 dollars.

Onto Gran Torino. I got to see an advanced screening in Vancouver :D

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Gran Torino is the latest entry into Clint Eastwood's catalogue. He is both an actor and a director this time around. He brings him with him a cast of mostly no name actors and a modest budget. This is no high budget action movie, rather it a movie filled with heart, drama, and redemption.

Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a disgruntled Korean War veteran who is esentially a racist. Without giving away any of the plot away, he basically attempts to reform the Asian boy who tried to steal his car for a rival gang. Things complicate when a rival gang comes in. The plot is simplistic and c l a s s ic Eastwood, it has the pacing of older movies so it's not your typical modern flick. Fans of Eastwood know he has an old school way of direction, most of the movie focuses on character development and not drama. This movie though is wildly entertaining and has a lot of genuinly funny moments. The film though also has a lot of heart and it is quite emotional. Eastwood took this movies simple plot and used it to his advantage. He crafts a believeable story which is close to home for many people.

The acting is pretty good for the most part. The actors are clearly first timers though for many. The actor who plays Tao has tendancy to overact but it doesn't detract a lot from the movie. Eastwood is as strong as ever and proves that even at 78 he still kicks more ass then any young action star today. The direction as usual is top notch and the script is well written. There is some corny dialogue but it's not too bad. The gangsters in the film are a bit over the top but again it's not a big problem. All the faults mentioned in this paragraph, though somewhat noticeable, do not detract from the films quality. Tao is most of the time appropriately awkward which is what I believe Eastwood was going for. This makes his overracting and cheesy dialogue feesable. He's really the only character to suffer fom this though.

Gran Torino is an awesome movie, any fan of Eastwood should see it. It's truely an excellent movie and I hope you all see it January 9th.

I give it 8.5 out of 10

Pros: Strong direction, story goes at a good pace, great character development, simple plot is still powerful (A testament to Eastwood's strong vision), strong acting from many actors...

Cons: ...though some actors leave more to be desired (though most are first time actors), some corny dialogue, some might find it too slow

Overall: A must see for fans of Eastwood as well as fans of great movies.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I wish you guys all a merry christmas and a happy new year and hope you have a great day. Enjoy your gifts and enjoy your time with your loved ones. It's the best time of the year, embrace it.

If you don't celebrate Christmas, enjoy what you do celebrate then. I hope you have a great week.

Top 5 Most Anticipated Games For 2009

2008 was a great year. So many AAA titles and two AAAA titles both of which I greatly enjoyed. There were many titles that came from nowhere like Braid and Dead Space and there were also many expectedly awesome games like GTA IV and MGS4. 2009 looks prett good. There are a lot of sweet looking games coming out and many to be anticipated. Here's hoping Starcraft 2 comes out in 2009. These five games qualify based on two things. They are confirmed for 2009, and they interest me. These are my top 5 most anticipated games of 2009 in order of least anticipated to most anticipated.

#5. Halo Wars (360)



What makes Halo Wars so interesting is that it's not only a Halo RTS but it is also made by Ensemble, one of the best RTS studios out there. They've made my favorite RTS series ever, Age of Empires. I expect this to be a great game. It's their last game ever so I hope it's a fitting end to their distinguished career as well. My only worry is that the controls might be wonky but from what I have seen far it works exceedingly well. Here is hoping for a great finish to an amazing studios career.



#4. Empire Total War (PC)



Of all the real time strategies available for PC, the Total War series is probobly the most underrated. It's the best game in terms of battles. Every game in the series has had huge epic battles with thousands of units. The strategy involved is amazing. The campaign is always awesome in these games too and even though they rarely change much they are always great fun. The Total War series is now expanding to the colonial age with naval warfare finally controllable. Guns and cannons are now the standards of the war. I can't wait. Medieval 2 Total War was awesome and it is about time we got a new game.

#3. Street Fighter IV (360, PS3, PC)

There is no competition. The Street Fighter series is the best for fighting games. It's been a damn long time since we've gotten a Street Fighter game. Though the ones available for the XBLA are great, we crave more. Street Fighter IV is the generations first retail Street Fighter game and it looks great. The arcade version is a lot of fun and has received massive acclaim from fans. The game looks great,and the gameplay looks top notch. I can't wait. My hope is for this game to be hte best fighting game this generation. This generation has kind of sucked for fighting games.

#2. Final Fantasy XIII (360, PS3)



I can dream I guess. They've shown very little in terms of gameplay but from what I've seen this looks to be an awesome game. Everything about this game interests me and I sincerely hope Squeenix does not screw it up. I'm sure it'll be good. I just hope it comes in 2009 for NA and not just Japan.

1. Resident Evil 5 (360, PS3)

Was there any doubt? Anyone who knows me knows that I love love love love love love love Resident Evil since the begginnings of the series. I can't wait for this game. It has honestly everything I've wanted in the sequel. The same action of RE4, online co-op, Wesker, and Chris Redfield. This is awesome. Though I miss the old gameplay of the Resident Evil games the new action approach is very fun. I eagerly anticipate Friday the 13th this March.


I Just Won A Free Copy of Braid!

I'm so glad, Braid is a very expensive game for an Arcade game clocking in at around 17.99 Canadian. I knew I'd get it someday but the last place I'd expect to win this quality game was from...Spike VGA and Mountain Dew?

Yes, I won it from them. A code for the full game just from the simple sign up. I can't believe it, never did I expect to win out of the million who signed up.

"Congratulations, you have received a free download of Braid on Xbox LIVE Arcade courtesy of Spike and Mountain Dew!"

This makes me one happy guy

I can't wait to play it

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The VGAs themselves kind of sucked. I liked the trailers and they all looked neat except for Brutal Legend and Terminator Salvation. I'm definately keeping my eye on Dante's Inferno though and God of War 3. They look great. I guess the combustible map pack is cool but Epic should fix Gears of War 2 online first before releasing 3 maps for 800 points a month after launch.

The awards though were too rushed and the jokes were as flat as a back. God that was the least funniest awards show I've ever seen. I thought it'd be riot considering how much I laugh at the academy awards jokes but it seems like the writers of this show wouldn't know funny if it hit them in the ass. Either that or they were the writes of 'Disaster Movie'

Time for Braid! I can't believe it!

Games of The Year Awards 2008: My Own Editio


This year has been a really neat year for me, a lot of great games spannings a wide variety of genres. I've taken the time to review almost every game I have purchased this year but course there are many many many games I played without reviewing such as MGS4 and Little Big Planet. Mostly because I don't own a PS3 myself I refrained from reviewing them because I couldn't fact check and other things. Either way I decided to hold my own little GOTY awards with a few categories. I took a lot of time in coming up with the nominees and deciding a winner for some of these categories will be tough. My nominees are without furthur hold:

Technical Aspects:

Best Graphics (Technical)

- Far Cry 2
- Gears of War 2
- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Fallout 3
- Crysis: Warhead

Best Graphics (Artistic)

- Valkriya Chronicles
- Tales of Vesperia
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Prince of Persia
- Little Big Planet

Best Soundtrack

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Tales of Vesperia
- Rock Band 2
- Mirror's Edge

Genre Specific:

Best Fighter:

- Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
- Soul Calibur IV
- Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD
- Super Smash Brothers: Brawl

Action Adventure:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Dead Space
- Ninja Gaiden 2
- Prince of Persia

Shooter (First and Third Person):

- Gears of War 2
- Left 4 Dead
- Resistance 2
- Call of Duty: World at War
- Battlefield: Bad Company

Best Downloadable Game

- Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD
- Mega Man 9
- Braid
- Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

- Cattle Crashers

Role Playing:

- Fallout 3
- Valkyria Chronicles
- Tales of Vesperia
- Persona 4
- Fable 2

The Ultimate Music Game:

- Rock Band 2
- Guitar Hero: World Tour

Best Massively Multiplayer Online Game:

- Age of Conan
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- World of Warhammer: Age of Reckoning

Games of the Year:

Best New Debut:

- No More Heroes
- Dead Space
- Little Big Planet
- Left 4 Dead

Best Online Game:

- Gears of War 2
- Resistence 2
- Left 4 Dead
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

PC Game of the Year:

- Crysis Warhead
- Sins of the Solar Empire
- Spore
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Left 4 Dead

360 Game of the Year:

- Tales of Vesperia
- Gears of War 2
- Ninja Gaiden 2
- Fable 2
- Fallout 3

PS3 Game of the Year:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Resistance 2
- Little Big Planet

Multiplatform Title of the Year:

- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Fallout 3
- Rock Band 2
- Dead Space
- Left 4 Dead

Game of the Year:

- Metal Gear Solid 4
- Grand Theft Auto IV
- Rock Band 2
- Tales of Vesperia
- Gears of War 2
- Fallout 3
- Super Smash Brothers: Brawl

I'll be unveiling the winners on December 31st. Until then I'll take the time to revise the list and add more categories and maybe take advice from you for potential entrants.

NXE is Great! ; Burn After Reading Review

So after having to study for exams, I was unable to download the NXE update until last night. To be honest I didn't expect much, just a nice new gloss of point and some lame avatars to remind me of Miis which is something I despise. I found something far better though. Not only is the interface more intuitive and smoother now, but the new features are all great.

First off, installing games to the harddrive is long overdue.
Gears of War 2 for instance was installed last night to my hard drive and amazingly it's only 6 gigs which is quite small. I was expecting on average 9-10 gig installs so gave up on ever installing games onto my 20 gig hardrive. Installing games to the harddrive has noticeable and background benifets. First of all my 360 is quiet, so quiet I can hear a pin drop. Anyone who's played on one before NXE knows how loud this beast can be. The game also has less lag, less pop ins, and loads faster for single player. Background benefits include my Xbox 360 doesn't heat up at all now. It was cold as hell in my Canadian basement after about 5 hours of playing. You know what this means? No overheating, less chance of RROD. That is a nice thing to see.

Avatars are also cool and it's easy to make one that looks like you. The lack of clothing is slightly disappointing but I expect more to come in premium themes and just packages that will cost some money. Maybe even some achievement linked clothing like they did for gamerpictures in some games.

Mine looks like this:



I like it, same hair as me, same skin colour, clothes are a bit similar and nice hair. I like this far better then the Miis which has terrible customization compared to these avatars. My friends all have sweet avatars too and in the party system it's neat. I thought these would just be lame but nah, they're pretty great.

Overall I quite enjoy the new interface, it's a bit much at first but it is quite easy to get to. The new in game interface is the old blade system which is also nice. You can do far more in game now then before.

I haven't tried it yet but I've heard you can initiate downloads from your PC too. That's awesome if true. Overall I give the update an A+ for succeeding in bringing a fresh new interface and bringing in some great features to make the Xbox 360 feel like a new console again.


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Also last night I watched Burn After Reading. Here is a short review.

  
Burn After Reading:
Directors: The Coen Brothers (Ethan and Joel)
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Burn After Reading the Coen brothers latest venture and it is quite a change of pace from their last work, the acclaimed No Country for Old Men. It takes them back to their roots of making smart and sharp black comedies centering around esentially, idiots. Burn After Reading is a hilarious film and it should be ranked as one of their best films as of late. Personally I enjoyed it more then No Country for Old Men. There are issues though with some parts of the movie because the plot is a bit too complicated for it's own good and at times the movie can be confusing albeit, this could be done on purpose.



The acting in this movie is top notch, every actor plays a memorable character and they all have their own hilarious parts. John Malkovich steals the show here though, his character of Osborne Cox is downright hilarious and if not for him this movie might have just fallen flat. Every scene he is in is a riot. Brad Pitt is also surprisingly funny, I quite enjoyed him in this film despite the fact I hate most of his work. Tilda Swinton and George Clooney and Frances McDormand as well are all excellent and they are great supporting roles.

The film is well made overall, the plot is basically about two stupid gym employees who attempt to blackmail a CIA analyst in order to get money for one of the employees cosmetic surgery. To say the least the plot is traditional Coen brothers and if you were a fan of Fargo and Big Lebowski this film is right up your alley. Others might be alarmed though at the confusing plotline. The movie is not perfect but it is damn close to it. If you want a good laugh within a dark comedy Burn After Reading is right up your alley. It's a great film and it is a lot of fun.

Remember, Intelligence is Relative


Left 4 Dead: The Game of my Dreams; Far Cry 2 is Disappointing

  
I'm a huge fan of Zombie movies and B-horror movies. When I first head of Left 4 Dead I thought it too good to be true. A first person zombie game by Valve? Immediately I thought of the stinker Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddlers Green. It was a failed FPS zombie game based on the same name. Because of this I never hyped Left 4 Dead and prepared myself for disappointment, I went back to Dead Rising. I figured that'd be my only taste of zombies this generation until Onechanbara.

Of course, I found out I was wrong. Within one day I played the mere two chapers on the demo for five hours. Left 4 Dead is amazing. The B-movie atmosphere is a dream come true and the homages to all these Zombie movies astounds me. I also love the characters, the dialogue, and how it never takes itself to seriously. This game is damn fun and the AI director keeps it feeling fresh. The boss zombies are great and aren't overpowered and on expert this game is a challenge. Playing the DEMO with three of my good friends is one of my highlights this year. I can't express how awesome playing this game was and I can't wait for the versus mode and the other movies and of course the full No Mercy movie.

Play the demo now, the game works on almost all systems because it is based on the source engine. You won't regret it.



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In other news, Far Cry 2 is such a disappointment. Read my review here, I'll just take out some excerpts.


"To start with, the story of Far Cry 2 doesn't exist"
"The story could have been a lot better especially in such a politically charged setting."
"When the plot was already this bland you'd think you would get some interesting characters. Nope..."

"The problems in Far Cry 2 emerge in the design choices. There are issues with respawns. For instance all over the map there are random annoying guard posts where you get shot at. Most of the time they are unavoidable and it's annoying to be shot at. The most annoying this after you clear it out if you come back a few minutes later the respawns are already there so you have to do it all over again. It's frustrating."

"There is also the problem of long driving sequences. You can take a bus but you're still gonna drive around forever. You often find yourself driving five minutes, fighting for two minutes, then driving for five minutes. That is no exaggeration."

"Speaking of Malaria, it amounts to being nothing more then an annoyance. You have to do a repetitive mission just to get more medicine. Why does this exist? Why the hell do I need to have Malaria?"

"Pros: Gorgeous graphics, great African map, good action gameplay. Map editor is a nice diversion.

Cons: Downright idiotic design choices, too much travel, terrible voice acting, terrible story for what it could have been, bland characters. Online is nothing new.

Overall: Proof great presentation doesn't make for a great game"

Hope you read it and take my advice. Rent it before you buy.

Gears of War 2 Impressions! Spoiler Free

As promised Gears of War 2 impressions are here. I bought the special edition and even though I haven't gotten around to everything yet it's great. The book is nice and you get a cool picture, collectable metal case, and the golden lancer. My only complaint is how I still can't get my golden lancer to download yet but that should be fixed quickly.

The real game...I've just started the campaign and let me say it is a marked improvement over Gears of War 1. The campaign is far more epic and the stuff you do is simply amazing. This game is huge and definately far bigger, better and more badass. Everything feels better, the game controls and handles better and also sounds much better. Chainsawing is great fun still and the campaign has even more action then before. I'm playing on Hardcore and the difficulty is perfect thus far.

I also really like the new characters, Tai and Dizzy rock. Carmine is pretty awesome. The characters already appear more fleshed out. They have better lines and they convey more emotions and I'm only a couple acts in. I can't wait to see how the story turns out...can't wait to see the cole-train too as he's not around at the very start.

The sheer amount of content in this game astounds me as well as the attention to details. Achievements show your progress on the screen when you hit a milestone and you can drop into any of your friends messages by going to Whats Up? In the menu. There is also a bot mode, multiplayer mode, co-op mode, and horde mode to go through. This package is HUGE and I can't wait to get through the combat.

Overall: If you liked Gears 1, you'll like this one even more. It's better in everyway so far and I can't get enough. Add my gamertag and we can play some Horde perhaps.