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All reviews - Movies (34) - TV Shows (7) - DVDs (4) - Books (4) - Music (8) - Games (27)

Season 1: Okay Start but Not Great

Posted : 12 years, 2 months ago on 24 January 2011 02:39 (A review of Top Gear USA)

Having only watched the original British version of Top Gear for the last couple months I heard that we in America were getting our own version of the show. Of course I had my doubts as most British turned into American shows turn out to be shite Top Gear USA did a lot better than most.

Borrowing heavily from the British version, Top Gear USA reviews exotic and expensive cars that most people will never see in real life let alone drive one and also subjects the hosts to crazy stunts in old, almost junk, cars that they've bought for low budgets.
I feel for the hosts as they have almost no say in what the shows does and haven't had years of bonding that the British hosts have had and it's kind of awkward and embarrassing.
And unlike the hosts on the British version, some of the hosts don't really fit the show since they are race car drivers (Tanner Faust) or automotive analysts (Rutledge Wood) while the British hosts are all writers and presenters and not true car experts and so they give the audience a better description of the cars since they're not using technical terms but terms everyone can understand which the majority of the viewers love.

It may not sound too positive of a review but I understand the writers and host predicament and giving them a break and I know that with time they'll all grow and think up their own ideas and might be equal to the British show.

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The Facts Were These...

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 10 November 2010 11:42 (A review of Pushing Daisies)

Pushing Daisies' first season was cut short due to the Writers Guild strike and was canceled before the second season was finished due to low ratings. Baring all there troubles, Pushing Daisies was one of the best shows to air in the last five years if not the last twenty.

The show is centered around Ned, a friendly pie maker that has a unique gift of being able to bring dead people back to life. At first Ned was the only one that knew this but was found out when private investigator Emerson Cod saw him bring back someone to life. They then form a partnership of solving murders by asking the dead who murdered them. One of their investigations involved someone from Ned’s past which would turn out to be the love of his life, Charlotte Charles, who was murdered and brought back to life. And the rest of the show mainly revolve around solving murders, Ned and Chuck’s relationship, and keeping certain secrets secret.

Visually the show is gorgeous. While most shows either go for a true to life or some times darker look, Pushing Daisies took the opposite approach by having bright vibrant colors that popped out and truly gave the show a one of a kind look. The wardrobe for show was also interesting. While still being set in the late 2000’s it equally seemed to be set in 40’s-50’s garb which made a wonderful mix.
The soundtrack for the show was also a delightful treat. Consisting of mainly strings, chimes, flutes, and accordions, giving the feeling of cheerful quirky sounding atmosphere even when the scene is tense or dangerous.
Casting is also a shining light to the show with everyone, including the guest stars, played their character splendedly. Lee Pace played Ned perfectly as a nervous shy romantic, Chi McBride as the tough, no nonsense PI Emerson Cod is excellent, and Anna Friel as the newly undead Chuck wanting to live life is excellent.
Lastly is the writing. The stories and mysteries are excellently written and the dialogue is quick and witty that it’s a joy to hear.

With all the crap that comes out on TV now a days it is extremely saddening that a show like Pushing Daisies is passed off because of stupid reasons and other terrible shows continue on because Pushing Daisies is a excellent show that was expertly written, acted, scored, costumed, etc. and it all makes for a very quirky enjoyable experience.

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"Good Morning and Welcome..."

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 8 November 2010 06:31 (A review of Half-Life)

Before Half-Life, most first person shooters of the time were just run and gun and find the way out of the maze of the level. Half-Life threw that concept out and set a new level for future FPS's to meet.

Set in the Black Mesa underground research facility in the New Mexico desert the player takes the role of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a MIT graduate in theoretical physics, who is helping do research on teleportation but one experiment goes wrong and opens a portal to another planet whose inhabitants attack and try taking over the facility. All the while, Gordon Freeman’s goal is close the portal and escape alive.

Gameplay is standard fair for a FPS, the player has weapons to shoot and gains a better arsenal as the game progresses. But what set Half-Life apart from all the other games of the time was that Half-Life integrated a thorough storyline that unfolded just as if the player was actually there.
The graphics look blocky by today's standards but was a graphical powerhouse back in 1998 with clear faces of the NPC’s and moving mouths during dialogue all in real time with the game’s engine.
Sound in the game is sparse to convey the idea that the player is stuck in a underground facility but some music is heard during boss or major actions scenes and are quite memorable because of the situations.

In the end Half-Life was a major release that no one saw coming and changed the way other FPS’s, and some other game genres, were made and told stories.

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FarmVille it's Not But it is Still a Little Fun

Posted : 12 years, 6 months ago on 26 September 2010 08:34 (A review of Pineapple Farm)

Anyone that has been on Facebook in the recently has at least heard of the game FarmVille and how addicted people are to it. And Pineapple Farm tries to port that addicting feeling to the Android OS.

The game's story is simple, the player has inherited the old family farm and it's up to the player to build it back up to its former glory by growing and raising crops.

The gameplay is more of the sit and wait kind of game as the player needs to buy crops, which range from turnips to corn and to the games name sake pineapples, and waits a certain time before being able to sow the benefits. Enemies of the game are low water, unfertilized soil, and crows picking at the seeds but all these can be helped by purchasing items like scarecrows, sprinklers, cows, or even gnomes. And the player is also aided by the game being able to notify the player the same way a text message would on their phone.

The graphics are simple and cute like all of PseudoBlue's games are and it works very well on most smartphone hardware specifications.

The game is simple and can be "beaten" in as little as a week but since it's free on the market place there isn't much to gripe about.

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Plant a Tree... At Least a Digital One

Posted : 12 years, 6 months ago on 25 September 2010 01:38 (A review of Green Tree)

Anyone who was a kid during the late 1990's might remember little electronic pets that was all the rage. Owners would eat, play, pickup after, and all around just take care of their pets to keep them alive as long as possible. While the fad is gone now a days, the idea is still alive in smartphones and is good time waster.

The "game" is simple, keep the tree watered and fertilized to keep it healthy and alive. Rainstorms are the only hazard is the "game" which can over-saturate the tree and cause its death. Else the players just needs to water the tree, fertilizer when the trees health lowers, and pick the fruit the tree produces to pay for the fertilizer every once and a while.

Its a simple idea that needs little over watch to play and there are only a few stages the tree grow into and no timer to keep check of how long the tree has been alive. It brings some nostalgic fun but can be boring for some but since it's free there isn't much to complain about.

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You're Clear on Runway 3

Posted : 12 years, 6 months ago on 25 September 2010 12:43 (A review of Air Control)

Ever wanted to become an air traffic controller? Well this game can't really help but it is pretty fun to play and very addictive too.

The gameplay is fairly simple. There is a airport on screen and different kinds of aircraft come from off screen and the player touches the aircraft and draws a path to their respected runways and try not to have any of them crash. But as the game continues on the amount of aircraft increases and makes it very hard to keep the crafts from colliding. It's a very simple concept to pickup and play but difficult to master.

The graphics are simple and very cartoon like and fits great because the game is more about gameplay and with the small amount of computing power of a smartphone it's needed.

It's a very simple and addictive game that is a must play in my book that I would recommend it to anyone. And there is a free demo for it but I believe it's worth $2.99 for the full version.

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Who Needs 3D?

Posted : 12 years, 11 months ago on 3 May 2010 01:46 (A review of Darwinia)

In the genre of real-time strategy, every game touts complete 3D units, maps, effects, etc. and it seems hard to really distinguish between them and see any innovating features. But along comes Darwinia that decided to simplify both the graphics and gameplay and created a wonderful game.

Darwinia stars the player as a internet wanderer that stumbles upon a network filled with little A.I. creatures that Dr. Sepulveda created in order to research how they grow and evolve. But at the time the player enters, the network has been almost completely overrun by a virus and nearly destroyed the entire environment. And through the rest of the game the player must help the Dr. eradicate the virus and find the cause in order to bring back the world of Darwinia to its former glory.

Anyone that has played a real time strategy game will notice that Darwinia is a really simplified RTS were instead of managing resources, dozens of unit types to choose from, and hundreds of units to organize the player only has to manage a couple of "programs"; soldiers, gatherers, airstrikes, transport/machine gun nest and the Darwinians themselves through a task manager so that the player can take control over.

Graphically the game is a interesting one as it's the not the graphical power house that every game out today is but is very simple and is a bit of a throwback to old school pixelated games, there is even a setting in the games options that read "I need a upgrade." Really it is very possible to run the game on high settings while on a netbook or 5-6 year old computer.

The sound is a soothing electronica, which I'm not a fan for but fits the game exceptionally and the effects of the surroundings and weapons are loud and powerful and isn't bad for digitally created.

For all RTS fans, Darwinia is a no brainer. But for players that have never played any or very many RTS's, Darwinia is simple enough to pick up and play and are sure to have fun.

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Resistance Isn't Futile.

Posted : 13 years, 1 month ago on 18 February 2010 02:48 (A review of Resistance: Fall of Man)

Insomniac Games are well know for their platforming games of Spyro and Ratchet & Clank, so when they started taking on the crowded first person shooter genre and tasked to bring the first high profile FPS for the PS3, I think started they off solid but still are very new at it.

Resistance is set in a alternate 1940/50's past were the Russian's found something in the Siberian forests that would later bring the Chimera who break out of Russia and start spreading across Europe, destroying everything in their path.
Players play the part of US Army Sgt. Nathan Hale, who is apart of the US military force tasked to help the UK military fighting the Chimera in England. On the first mission, Hale was infected by the Chimera but unlike other humans Hale doesn't change but seem to resist the infection and gain some of the Chimeran abilities. The rest of the game player take Hale through England trying to find a way to stop the Chimera and maybe stop the infection.

Gameplay is pretty standard as first person shooter's go, run from one place to another while shooting pretty much everything that moves. Players have a wide variety of weapons that they will find along the way with some inspired by past weapons and other from the Ratchet & Clank series, from a full auto off shoot of the M1 Garand to the porcupine grenades which blast out large spikes.

Visually the game looks great (by it's release date, that is) and the frame rates are smooth and never slowed down do to too many objects on screen. But like most next generation games, the color palate seems to have a brown tint that makes the game a little bit unreal and distracts from any immersion.

Sound wise, the game is just great (but then what game doesn't have great sound now a days?), big orchestral music and FX that makes the player feel like their shooting a real weapon or a grenade going off by the players head.

The whole game was fun to play but even without the ability of hindsight I knew there is nothing new added from other first person shooters before and after it. It's a solid game that, if one has time to play, won't be completely disappointed but don't expect a great story or any new gameplay additions.

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Pilgrim, The Eastwood Of The Future

Posted : 13 years, 9 months ago on 14 June 2009 12:06 (A review of Just a Pilgrim)

I'm a big fan of the post-apocalyptic genre so when I came across Just A Pilgrim in my current comic stint I was very interested since it was created by Garth Ennis, who is very popular in the comic industry for his work on Preacher, and set in a post-apocalyptic future that could actually happen. And I wasn't not disappointed.

Just A Pilgrim is set in a unknown future time when the Sun starts to die and expands and consumes Mercury and Venus and causes the seas to boil and dry up on Earth and makes the planet a barren wasteland. It starts and semi-narrated by a young boy, via journal entries, that comes across a lone man, known only as Pilgrim, that helps out the group of travelers the boy is with to a place to try and start life over again. As they group is traveling they are attacked by a group of pirates that is lead by a blind, dual peg legged, dual hooked captain. Pilgrim thwarts the most of the attack and the rest of the comic series is the group trying to get away from the pirates, figure out the origins of the Pilgrim, and just trying to survive.
The art for the series is great looking that leans toward more realistic look but not trying to be too serious, much like the look in Preacher, and gives the dreary look that should come with being in a post-apocalyptic setting.

I really liked the story, setting, art, and some of the subtle jokes and would recommend to any Garth Ennis or post-apocalyptic fans.

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Tozzer Is A Tosser

Posted : 13 years, 9 months ago on 14 June 2009 11:23 (A review of Tozzer and the Invisible Lap Dancers)

I've been on sort of a comic/graphic novel/trade paperback stint so when I won a comic that I was looking for on eBay, I forgot what I was now, I checked out the sellers other items and found Tozzer and the Invisible Lap Dancers for a couple dollars and said "What the heck?". After reading it, I now wished I hadn't said that.

The story is really stupid trying to be a spoof of Harry Potter but all the jokes are really just toilet humor.
The art is okay with the characters look a little exaggerated and squared but the actors and actresses that are being made fun of are still easy to recognize without indicators. And the art is the only reason that I didn't totally hate it.

I barely cared to finish it and I would only recommend this to people that find the more recent "comedy" movies (Not A Teen Movie, Epic Movie, Meet The Spartans, etc.) as the best comedy movies ever.

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