Thursday, May 26, 2011

SDCC Soul Calibur V Trailer

A tale of Souls and Swords eternally be told...
The next chapter in the Soul Calibur series takes place 17 years after SCIV and looks to pass the hilt to the next generation. We get a glimpse at some returning characters and some "new souls".
Looks like Sophitia had a son...Patroklos (1:30) who will be the main protagonist in SCV. The games newest antagonist appears to be the the guy with the crescent tattoo on his chest.
Funny how young Patroklos looks a helluva lot like young Siegfried....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Red Dead Redemption Review

Red Dead Redemption is an absolutely amazing game! I had serious doubts after playing GTAIV, but I assure you if you have been putting off buying this game NOW is the time!                    I can't get over how R* could make 2 games that use the same engine and are basically the same game and one be so amazing and one suck such tremendous balls. May I be so bold as to say John Marston should be considered in the same tier as some of video games most celebrated characters like Solid Snake, Master Chief, Kratos, Samus, Mario, Sonic and the like. I'm actually very surprised at how much more enjoyable RDR is compared to GTAIV. I think I need to attribute that to the main character, the time period, and the environment. John Marston is a much more appealing character regardless of how you play him compared to Niko Bellic who I found kinda grating. Or maybe it was his annoying as shit cousin. And the environment, as cool as it was....was still not that appealing, maybe because it was the whole Liberty City 2.0 or the fact that I live minutes away from Manhattan and Liberty city just isn't that exotic to me. 
On the other hand the American frontier at the turn of the century is fascinating, the push westward held for many the promise of a new beginning. And that is exactly where the games protagonist finds himself, Marston has returned to New Austin to track down men from a former outlaw life, bring them to justice so he can begin his new life with his wife and son.

Red Dead Redemptions' main story is broken into four chapters that take place in the three distinct areas, New Austin, Nuevo Paraiso  and West Elizabeth. These fictional area's are based on the Rio Grande area of Texas and Mexico. Throughout the story you will come across some very unique characters, The first person you meet after getting off the train in Armadillo is Jake, an old scruffy man who shows you the way to Fort Mercer where you're told Bill Williamson is holed up with his gang. Things don't go according to plan and you end up on the MacFarlane Ranch where you meet Bonnie, as the story progresses you meet US Marshal Leigh Johnson in Armadillo and offer to help him clean up the town of outlaws. You also meet up with Nigel West Dickens a purveyor of fine elixirs and tonics that can cure almost any ailment...he's a scam artist. John is informally introduced to Irish and Seth Briars, the later a gollum-like grave robber/treasure hunter, the former guessed it a drunk. These men offer to assist you in capturing Bill Williamson. 
In the second chapter John tracks Wiliamson to Mexico and meets up with a host of new personalities like Landon Ricketts a legendary gunfighter from Marston's childhood, the revolutionaries Abraham Reyes and Luisa Fortuna, and Captain De Santa who eventually helps you capture Javier Escuella. By the end of the second chapter John has tracked down Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella and helped  Abraham Reyes topple the government.
The third chapter has John travel to West Elizabeth where we learn more about his motivations for hunting down members of his old gang. At this point in the story works directly with agent Edgar Ross, and agent Archer Fordham to track down the leader of John's old gang Dutch van der Linde. With the help of 
Native-American informant Nastas we find Dutch's hideout.
The final chapter show's John reunited with his wife Abigail and now teenage son Jack on their ranch.
The final chapters show John struggling to rebuild his ranch as well as his family, seeing John trying to mold his son into a man the player sees that Jack is very different from John and the two have very little in common.  Interestingly it's guns that tore them apart years ago and guns are what bring them together....

I cannot stress how impressed I was with this game, the story, character development and environments are honestly better than some hollywood  movies. I said it before, John Marston is one of the most interesting well developed video game characters I've ever played, by the third chapter the player has a clear understanding of his motivations and a vested interest in his story. The ending is phenomenal, it's bittersweet and will leave players and those just watching feeling like they were bucked off their horse.   The towns of Armadillo, Black water, and the rest are perfectly reproductions of towns seen in so many spaghetti westerns and the environments across New Austin, Nuevo Paraiso  and West Elizabeth Chuparossa  have captured the beauty of the American South West.
Aside from the main story there are hours of "side quests", Ambient Challenges in four different aspects that constitute the men of that time- Treasure Hunter, Master Hunter, Sharpshooter and Survivalist. Throughout the story you'll also stumble upon secondary characters that offer you mini tasks to complete, these staranger missions help flesh out the world of Red Dead Redemtion even more. And if that wasn't enough there are six mini games offered all around the towns in Red Dead Redemtion, Five finger Fillet, Arm Wrestling, Blackjack, Horseshoes, Liars Dice, Poker...I'd like to thank my wife for getting a ringer in Horseshoes or I might still be struggling to reach 100% completion of the single player game! 
Red Dead Redemption is a masterpiece that has an incredibly memorable story and main character, with a gorgeous and expansive environment populated by some very colorful characters. If that wasn't enough R* has also included a multiplayer game in RDR  that utilizes the entire single player world. There is plenty to keep players occupied in the multiplayer game from FFA, TDM, Free Roam etc.
R* also incorporated their Social Club into the game, by registering on R*'s Social Club website you can track your progress in the game meet other players and see when R* plans to host Multiplayer events.
For parents I recommend this game for kids at least 15 years old, it's nowhere near as controversial as the GTA series but there is graphic violence and occasional F-bombs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Soul Calibur V Teaser Trailer

Transcending history and the world,
a tale of souls and swords eternally retold...
My second favorite fighting game franchise is returning in 2012

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thor Review

Obviously little Brad Anderson never saw this version of Thor...
Take it back Brad.Take back what you said about Thor! If you don't take it back,I'll tell Chris about all those love poems you wrote about her...
At the end Of Iron Man 2 we got a sneak peak of Agent Coulson in New Mexico at the site where's Thors hammer, the Mjolnir, is found By S.H.I.E.L.D.
Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor the God of Thunder, son of Odin played by Anthony Hopkins. The movie begins with a detailed history of the war between Asgard and the realm of the Ice Giants.
The prelude concludes with Odin and his two sons Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as kids promising to defend Asgard from the threat of the Ice Giants. This scene was as transparent as they get, Thor with his flowing blonde hair like mommy and daddy and then Loki with his black hair and frailer physique completely reminded me of Mufasa and Scar! What red headed jew doesn't realize they're adopted?!   
Fast forward to the present Thor is about to ascend the throne as the new king while Loki looks on from the side lines.....who didn't see this coming!? Suddenly Asgard is infiltrated by Ice Giants trying to reclaim the Ice cube of power but they get wiped out by the steel golem everyone  saw in the commercials. 
So Thor rounds up his posse of Asgardians and goes to the realm of ice giants to lay the smack down on them. Shit starts getting serious when Thor's ol man shows up and wisks them back across the rainbow road to Asgard, back home Odin rips Thor a new one and banishes him to New Mexico...thank God he didn't get banished to Jersey!

My main issue with this movie is, where is the villian threatening mankind in this movie? Is it Loki? Does Loki show any interest in the realm of Humans throughout the film? No, not really. Is it the Frost Giants? Maybe but we have global warming on our side. Basically Thor gets a time out on Earth for bad behavior by his daddy, get's hit by a car, tazed, sedated, hit by a car again meets a chick, gets pissed when he can't reclaim his weapon the Mjolnir then kinda accepts his banishment until his friends from Asgard arrive.
With most Super Hero films the hero is a regular person who changes somehow and uses their new found power to protect humanity from a villain. In Thor the biggest threat to humanity seemed to be a secret government agency stealing scientists research. 
I loved Natalie Portman in Black Swan, but for me, Jane Foster, seemed off...I can't put my finger on it because she is a fantastic actress, but she just didn't come across as a believable astrophysicist. 
Stellen Skarsgard as Erik Selvig, Jane Fosters senior member of the science team seemed odd but I rolled with it, I enjoyed the scenes he shared with Hemsworth especially the bar scene seeing Thor and a mortal tossing back boilermakers!
I'm not familiar with Chris Hemsworth but he was perfect as Thor in my opinion! I'm glad it didn't go to a well known Hollywood actor such as Brad Pitt or Daniel Craig...not that they're bad actors....not at all but I think having a lesser known actor play this role helped tremendously.
The battle in Jotunhiem was very impressive as was the special effects used to bring Asgard to life. I was also very impressed by wardrobe's in Thor, especially the one's for the Asgardian's! 
And my personal favorite was Heimdall played by Idris Elba! The wardrobe and make up was extremely cool! The role might've been small but Idris really owned the part and made Heimdall come across as one badass muthaf*ckin' gate keeper on the rainbow road! 
And what the hell's up with the rainbow road anyway! I want to see a Super Mario Kart  edit to the scene where Thor's bustin up the rainbow road on You Tube asap!

Thor felt more like a good fantasy movie than a Marvel super hero movie to me, and unlike Iron Man it didn't feel like an origins movie either. I enjoyed Thor and can confirm he is no homo in this movie, but I wouldn't spend the money to buy it when it releases on Blu Ray & DVD. I am looking forward to seeing how Thor gets back to Earth in the Avengers next year.