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The Dark Knight Review

A little late aint it? Well I haven't had all the time lately, as with my MGS4 thoughts. I ended up going to see it opening night, and once again Sunday. Let's say that I expected the movie to be real good-- but I didn't expect it to be as great as it was. The Dark Knight from top to bottom is just an incredible cinematic experience you can't go wrong with-- and you'd be a fool not to see it. Rest assured after the success of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight topples Batman Begins in every conceivable way, from the charasmatic characters, a more darker theme, a better written script, twists and surprises-- and the darkness the movie brings along with it. It may sound funny to say this-- but it's ultimately downright my favorite movie I have ever seen. The action, the emotion, the acting, and the solid production values make this quite like no other superhero movie you've ever seen.

I've always looked as the Spider-Man franchise to be the pinnacle of the superhero franchises, but after seeing both Batman movies, it's clearly obvious that Batman takes the mantle. Batman has always been my favorite superhero because he didnt really have any superpowers, and like all of us-- a troubled being. I was a huge fan of Tim Burton's Batman, and as a kid I was always fascinated with his characters. I am extremely thrilled to say that Batman is back and justified in every way. The Dark Knight makes it even more obvious.

I am also quite impressed with Heath Ledgers performance as the Joker. Looking back at Jack Nicholson's Joker, Heath went to a different level-- a complete psycopath who didn't regard anyones lifes, a lunatic, a madman, bent on destroying Gotham. Psychologically the Joker is a very interesting character. I enjoyed Christopher Nolan's approach of not explaining his origins, because it adds a certain mystery to his character. An Oscar nomination, or win for that matter would do justice because I was quite surprised at first hearing Heath casted as the Joker-- but he takes the role. When people look back and think of the Joker, they will certaintely remember Heath's epic performance.

The other stellar casts such as Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne we're well done, and gave a more darker side of him. The continues struggle in Batman was potrayed fantastic by Bale-- bent on giving into the Joker, or going the other way you could feel the trouble brooding in his mind. The fear that he may have to give in-- the temptation due to the Joker's actions is remarkably done well. The other characters such as Lt. Gordan(Gary Oldman) we're what you expected from the returing cast including Alfred(Michael Caine), Lucius Fox(Morgan Freeman). Maggie Gyllenhal also played her part fantastically well as Rachel Dawes. She brought the same attitude as Katie Holmes in Batman begins, only more outgoing and confident in herself. Aaron Eckhart also played Harvey Dent well, although shallow compared to the other actors in my honest opinion.

The music featured in the movie was as well just as fantastic being able to capture the emotion of the movie in every possible way. The musicial score(the same as Batman Begins) returns and fits in very well. The conforntation with the Joker and Batman was great and you could sense the urgency through the music the two would face off once again. The music aspect shines just as much as the cinematics.

Forget Batman Begins. The Dark Knight is the Batman movie we've been waiting for-- and if you love the franchise you surely wont be dissapointed. While Batman Begins was a fantastic movie, the Dark Knight takes it up a few notches delivering the best superhero movie to date, and a reminder that Batman has cemented itself once again as one of the top movie franchises. Go see it.


Metal Gear Solid 4 Thoughts

Well I've had the game beat since late June, but I haven't really found the time to really talk about it. First and foremost, a huge applaud for Kojima and company, because in reality-- I think MGS4 is simply one of the best games currently available, and through my eyes an instant classic that has left an impact on a growing gaming industry. In fact I think MGS4 has left a big impact not only myself-- but I think for Snake's fans. Ever since Kojima began his stellar Metal Gear Solid franchise, it's been known heavily for its storyline, and rich cinematic experience-- but subtle hints such has subjects as war, relationships with the characters, passing of our genes, and the emotional factor you have to play in, makes it one of the most intruiging franchises. In a lot of ways its made me look at things differently in some aspects of my life, and this world that we live in.

I don't think I've ever felt so overwhelmed in emotion in caring for the characters, or the subjects that are woven into the storyline as much as the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Thats why I bid my farewell to you Snake-- the same Snake that I've spent the last decade with saving the world. While I won't give the ending-- I find myself wandering, why do I care for this character? That is something that puzzles me.

The video game world without Snake, is one that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. I am sure there will be other Metal Gear based game-- but I wouldn't have it any other way. I think Snake's time passed. And MGS4 is a fitting closure to one of the gaming world's most admired characters. Farewell Snake.

Turning the Tide'

Ok well let's just say, I take my words back. The words that came out of my mouth-- that I wasn't really looking forward to Grand Theft Auto IV, or Halo 3. I never once tried to get myself excited, I just couldn't. These two heavyweights are really one of the most popular game franchises of it's time, and spending a huge amount of time and owning all of the installments of the games, makes me really wonder why I was for a time not the least bit excited for the latest installments in these critically acclaimed franchises. Perhaps the whole run and gun concept of Halo grew old, after Gears of War hit the Xbox 360, I'd probably say I hold higher standards for a shooter game, but than again you really can't compare the two since one is a third-person shooter, and the other is a first-person shooter. As for Grand Theft Auto IV, and seeing the trailer I wasn't nearly as excited as when I first played GTA III, years ago. It's hard to believe that it's been that long-- but after seeing the latest trailer, I couldn't hold it in anymore-- I want this game in the worst possible way.

In fact to be rather blunt, if it wasn't for E3 this year my level of anticipation probably wouldn't have rose to the level it has. Seeing the campaign mode trailer(or so it looked like), I was trying to devour what exactly I saw. My first impression of course was the fact that it's your typical Halo game. You take a gun, you fight the Covenant, and you do so in some extremely cool outside environments. I loved the first Halo game, and me personally I consider it to be one of the greatest games of all time. The first day the Xbox came out, I sat there at launch with my brother just to get my hands on the game. I heard how great it is-- and until you play it, you don't really realize the scope of the game entirely. It's just flat-out a fantastic game. Halo 2 on the other hand-- was a solid game, but for me personally despite it's addictive multiplayer just lost my faith in the franchise. But after seeing Halo 3, as aforementioned, I seen the typical Halo elements. I wasn't really excited to be honest. But one thing that Halo 3 from my personal translation from the trailer is trying to do is tell you the gamer a story.

I don't know how I came up with that translation to be quite honest-- but after seeing it, it looks as if Master Chief just has more than fighting for humanity, but also for personal purposes. I don't know exactly what will take place for Master Chief, but whatever it is, I'm extremely excited. And it's not too far off the radar. As for Grand Theft Auto IV, I don't know what sparked it for me, but Niko Bellic is seriously a fitting role in such a high-profile game. The elements the game will include, and it's ficticious replica city, Liberty City is looking fantastic. If I could say one reason why I absolutely have to have GTA IV-- it would have to be for the most part a technological advancement. And what I mean by that is how the developers of Rockstar is using the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3's capabilities to deliver realistic A.I. Past GTA games it didn't matter what time it was, you we're for the most part left alone, unless you tried to punch the wrong guy in the face. But in GTA IV, you'd best stay away from the games dangerous spots if you want to survive.

And perhaps the greatest thing about these two games, is we won't have to wait for too long.

Greatest Games of All Time: Super Mario Bros

Should you ask any gamer the game that launched their fascination with gaming-- they'd probably tell you Nintendo's timeless classic Super Mario Bros was one of them. And who could blame them? But honestly how could a mustachio plumber figure be so popular? Well my friend, it's all about the genuine quality that seemed to literally overflow from Super Mario Bros, and it's timeless gameplay that is still fondly remembered today. Who knew you could get so much enjoyment on watching an overweight plumber jump his way to the end of the level, well folks if one game can do that it has to be Nintendo's classic: Super Mario Bros. Make no mistake, Shigeru Miyamoto's vision became evident and it single-handily revived the the gaming industry and contributed significantly to the game industry's popularity. The gameplay in Super Mario Bros was easily accessible to anyone, with it's cute power-ups like the mushroom, starman, what's not to like? Super Mario Bros raised the bar for a platform game, and brought gaming to the next-level through his quirky and adorable sayings "Mama Mia!", to "It's a me, Mario!", to his somewhat odd appearance-- a mustache, pudgy figure, overalls, to his white gloves, or his emblem emblazoned with the letter "M". A noble man indeed. Nintendo's vision fueled the industries rapid rise as one of the biggest forms of entertainment. It's simple a joy to play even compared to today's standards, it's gameplay has stood the test of time. It has made the biggest impact of any game thus far-- and while it may not feature those gorgeous cinematic cutscenes from Metal Gear Solid, or the sophisticated level-up system of Final Fantasy, to Gears of War's extremely satisfying brutal affair-- one thing is clear about Super Mario Bros: simple games are just as fun to. And it sure wouldn't hurt calling it one of the greatest games of all time.

Greatest Games of All-Time: Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden was a franchise that needed to be brought back, and Tomonobu Itagaki's decision to do so to the Xbox, is a welcomed arrival to the greatest game in the series, and to give credit where credit is due: one of the greatest games of all time. Ninja Gaiden packed a wallop with it's insane gameplay, bleeding-edge graphics, and it's robus difficulty forming one of the best games for the Xbox, and for any console. You didn't have to be a fan of the series, to enjoy Ninja Gaiden's flawlessly executed action.

Not only did Ninja Gaiden excel in nearly every practical game value, but it's boss battles we're spectacular, and it's difficult in one word: challenging. Ninja Gaiden's weapons always leveled the playing field, yet still retaining it's difficulty. The game's unique and well choregraphed cutscenes we're spectacular and still do day rivals of those seen even on newer platforms.

It's no easy task to develop a game like Ninja Gaiden, but when you have one of the more recognizable game director guru's on board, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better man at making such a finely tuned game. With all respect Mr. Itagaki, you owe it to yourself, because when it all boils down to it: Ninja Gaiden is one hell of a game.

Greatest Games of All-Time: Tekken 2

When Tekken released for the PlayStation back in 1995, it was a huge success, for it's spectacular gameplay, and it's spectacular visuals(for that specific time), and with it's predecessor a lot was weighing on it's shoulders, and too many as a surprise, it exceeded everyones expectations, forming one of the best fighting games of all time-- and for good measure, one of the greatest games of all time. It's fluid, and responsive gameplay, bundled with it's spectacular visuals, and unique character roster, inevitably formed one of the best PlayStation games. Tekken 2 made a huge improvement in the visual department, and added more characters, and moves to the already abundant list of fighters while bringing back some of the series more notable characters like the ever-so powerful Heihachi Mishima, the tormented son Kazuya Mishima, Yoshimitsu, and the rugged and tough Paul Phoenix and fighting styles, while introducing several new characters the future mother of one of Tekken's most popular characters Jun Kazama, Lei Wulong, and others. Aforementioned before the game's visuals at the time we're spectacular mixed in with it's diverse and colorful characters made it more in-depth unlike any other fighting game, while adding unique CGI movies to each characters endings. The game's gameplay was what made it special in the end, building upon an already strong foundation that was cemented with Tekken, Tekken 2 brought it up a notch, including new fighting styles, movies, and deadly combos. Many consider the Tekken series as hands down one of the best fighting franchises of all time, and when you have gameplay, a colorful cast of fighters, graphics that redefined each installment of what a PlayStation/PlayStation2 game should like, is a recipe for success and for many years to come, Tekken 2 will forever be remembered as one of the best fighting games of all time, and one of the most genre defining games of all time-- and to sum it all up clearly, one of the greatest games of all time.