I’m going to stop saying that. You’ve seen them all; end of story. If not, you should have. Not reminding you again.
Now, the biggest, most important part of this movie is… Anakin Skywalker. This is meant to be his origin story. And it… yeah. It fell flat on that end. Despite how awesome the above image is, he was just a side character that we didn’t really care about. He’s just a poor kid on a backwater planet that nobody likes. Considering he contributes so little to the plot, I’m going to talk about Anakin in future reviews. So let’s talk about the important stuff: battle droids and Naboo and that crap.
I’ll go with the outright good, the outright bad, and the... other things that we’ll discuss later.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing young Obi-Wan Kenobi, and this was one of my two favorite aspects of the movie. Now I’m a big fan of Liam Neeson, but for me, the character of Qui-Gon took time away from Obi-Wan. I wanted to see more of him... and he essentially just sat in the shuttle for half the movie (Tatooine = half the freakin’ movie). Think about it: if the movie focused on Obi-Wan and had Anakin as sort of a side character (which he already was), wouldn’t the movie have been leagues more interesting? Hm?s
Palpatine’s grab for power. A lot of people think this is boring, but the fact that we see so little of Palpatine (actual Palpatine, not Sidious) makes him more interesting to me. I liked seeing “nice,” “compassionate,” “humble” Senator Palpatine working. Granted, the man *ahem*Lucas*ahem* wasn’t quite intelligent enough to show a good political scene, but still, it was good (shout out to Luceno for Plagueis!Plagueis: making me not dislike TPM since January 2012).
They shouldn’t have shown Sidious appear to the Trade Federation at all. If I were working on this movie, I wouldn’t show the Sith Darth Sidious at all or even really hint at him: I’d just leave the ominous message: “which one was killed? The master or the apprentice?” Leave it at that. So much better. Don’t show Sidious until...
Ugh. I’ll wait until I review the next movie...
And of course, the lightsaber choreography is superb.
... the bad:
All. Tatooine. Scenes.
If I do watch this on TV or even DVD, I change the channel or skip these scenes entirely. It’s just. So. BORING. I can’t take it. The pod racing scene is unnecessarily long and, overall, meaningless. Think about this: we have a planet that has been invaded, you’re looking to get to Coruscant, and you... partake in a podrace. I realize that they wanted to win Anakin, but still. There are much better ways to go about this.
In general, the attack on Naboo seemed very… weird. I don’t know how else to explain it. I liked how Darth Plagueis (can’t stop hyping that book enough) showed the invasion and explained why, but the fact that you needed another book that came out twenty-three years later just shows how inept the creative team *cough*Lucas*cough* was on the movie.
The... middle ground:
Darth Maul: wasted potential here. Well let me clarify: I’m more a fan of Ray Park than I am Darth Maul. I always did and still consider Maul to be... boring. I like villains with a little depth or something to grasp onto. That’s always why I liked Palpatine: restrained power. He rarely unleashes his full power while sitting behind the scenes manipulating everything like puppets. Then when you do see him just cut loose, it’s all the more awesome.
I don’t think the Battle Droids were completely terrible. Like Maul, they were wasted potential. Look, I’m all for a little humor, but war machines should be a bit intimidating (granted: the Battle Droids in TPM have a bigger on-screen kill count in the final battle than the Stormtroopers did throughout the OT. Just throwing that out there).
Please note: I said CGI.Computer Generated Imagery. Can’t go around saying Special Effects anymore... shame.
Lightsabers look good. Really, really good.
And now, acting:
Of course Ewan McGregor did a good job. Of course Liam Neeson did a good job. Of course Ian McDermid did a good job. Is this really a surprise to anybody?
For Natalie Portman: I thought she was... okay. I mean, really, she was essentially nobody before this movie. I’m giving her slack. She tried.
The kid who played Anakin (too lazy to look up his name)... sorry, but... yeah. No.
Overall, I feel like TPM was unnecessary. That’s the best way I have to describe it: it’s like that episode in a TV show that is absolutely nothing special and doesn’t really add to the plot; it’s filler. I’m breaking my rule about referencing the other movies, but they should have split Episode III to make two equally long movies. I’ll get into that more later, when I review Sith.
Did I leave anything out? Dear, I hope not. I’m usually so thorough...
The final movie in the original Star Wars trilogy.
No summary. Read on.
Like Empire, this movie was not directed by Lucas, and it was only partially written by him… explains why I like it. No, I won’t stop slamming Lucas. Get used to it – you’ll be seeing a lot more later. As such, the storyline remains rather good. Does it have issues? eh… well, let’s see.
This is the finale to the Star Wars movie saga, no matter how you look at it. It’s the end of the prophecy of the Chosen One, showing Anakin’s redemption by his son. The story comes full circle, and all of the characters have grown.
It actually really shows, too. All of the actors are visibly older, and that is a good thing. They all look more mature, having fought for 4 years to get to this point. Luke doesn’t look like the child he was. Leia and Han look mature, as well. Han is less the old-school action hero / scoundrel, and now conveys the maturity that comes with his character’s growth. Leia is less of a princess and more of a soldier for the Rebellion; while it does occur in the EU and not in RotJ, it’s worth mentioning that she becomes a senator, as well.
One of this movie’s greatest moments is in the beginning: Luke showing up in Jabba’s palace, cloaked in a Jedi robe, walking calming into darkness to save his friends. He has evolved since the farm boy: he’s no longer a child. He’s grown up into the man his father could not become.
I want to convey how powerful that moment is: the Jedi are dead. Obi-Wan was killed in Episode IV, and the wise Master Yoda is in hiding. The Empire rules. But now we have Luke, the first Jedi of a new era. The fact that he uses mind trick means a lot. It’s a trick that his master, Obi-Wan, utilized. Now Luke is using it. He even wields a lightsaber color not previously shown in the series. Obi-Wan used blue, Anakin used blue. Now here is Luke, part of the new Jedi Order.
In order to bring about the actual return of the Jedi, he must defeat the Empire and redeem his father. Luke even has more incentive to stop this war: his sister, Leia. Leia is revealed to be his unknown sister, who he is willing to protect at any cost. This is a better end than the cliché “lover” scenario. That was cliché; this scenario is preferable.
Now we have Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader’s shadowy master and the ruler of the Galactic Empire. He appears as a simple old man… just like Yoda. But his true power is hidden, and that is truly shown when he actually gives a display of his power: a new technique never before seen – Sith Lightning! Another awesome moment!
But even the mighty Emperor meets his end (… for now) at the hands of his apprentice, Darth Vader, who sacrifices himself to save his son. After decades of darkness, Anakin Skywalker has returned. He dies in his son’s arms, and is finally redeemed as he stands with Yoda and Obi-Wan as ghosts in the afterlife.
I can’t stress how amazing the execution is. Every scene involving Luke, especially Luke and Vader, is very well done. Acting, music, atmosphere, the story… just perfect. This is why I like the OT: because it leads to this.
The acting in this movie, for the most part, was perfect. Everyone did their jobs and displayed the necessary emotion that the scenes required.
I feel like, with each movie, the choreography gets increasingly better. The duel between Luke and Vader was not only well done, but displayed a lot of emotion. Luke was hesitant; he showed restraint until he was finally pushed far enough, and even in that moment he showed remorse. Again, right back to acting the tone setting,
Fine, the poor aspects:
Ewoks. Yes, fine, they suck. We can all agree that they suck. “Har har, teddy bears! Str Was scks cuz' teddy bears!” Yeah, fine, let's get past that. Yes, they’re annoying and pointless; yes, the fact that they beat Stormtroopers is stupid… but I’m letting that go, for the sole reason that I like everything el…
The Death Star… . Eh… I realize what they were trying to do with this: amping up the stakes and all that. It just felt gimmicky and unnecessary. The space fight wasn’t that great; the only cool part was the idea of seeing so many capital ships on the screen, but even then, we had the terrible destruction of the Executor… which made absolutely no sense. But the rest was…
Jabba’s Palace… yeah… a Muppets reunion in a Star Wars movie. Yeah, it sucks. Whole thing. The only good part was the moment with Luke, and even those fight scenes sucked. But at least Boba Fett was coo…
Fett’s death. I…
Fine, yes, RotJ had a lot of bad moments. But they’re mostly from a taste point of view, not a technical point of view. The story is fine; I absolutely love the character development. That’s why RotJ is not only my favorite movie in the OT, but my favorite Star Wars movie overall. The story is well executed, well acted, and overall, the good points outweighed the bad. The bad I can always blame on Lucas.
The Man of Steel – better known as DC’s last hope for future movies.
You know the story: Krypton blows up, yada yada. So I won’t really be summarizing the plot today…
But did you know that Jor-El was killed by Zod?!
Yeah, neither did I. This movie decided to take a few liberties in regard to Superman’s origin story. Were they good changes? Let’s see.
So Krypton is a society where every person is selected, from birth, to fulfill a specific purpose in life, and that is it. Jor-El is a bred scientist, Zod is a bred warrior. People are born in a Matrix-like bubble suspended in water tanks, rather than natural birth. But Jor-El has his child in secret, making Kal-El the first natural born child in centuries. When Zod stages a coupe in order to take over the government to force a new age of conquest for Krypton, Jor-El runs away, stealing the genetic Codex to prevent Zod from rebuilding Krypton. He sends the Codex with Kal-El in the ship. Jor-El is killed when Zod tries to prevent the ship’s launch. Zod is then sentenced to the Phantom Zone by the council for treason just before the planet’s destruction.
Kal-El is, of course, found by the Kents, and now he has to find his way in the world.
I think the story was told well. I liked the small tweaks to the plot. It seemed that the origin story took some keys from Nolan’s Batman Begins. Now this movie does not, in any way, feel like Batman Begins. But the structure was similar, regarding how they showed most of his childhood in flashbacks. It’s a nice method that can work, especially in comic book movies, and it worked here.
The fight scenes were amazing. I think I enjoyed the fights in this more than any other comic movie. Why? Because they were accurate to the comics. Superman does have these kinds of fights. They did a good job with these. Wanted to get that out of the way now. Also: the Colonel is badass. He stared (the awesome) Faora in the eye and prepared to fight her with a knife, knowing full well how powerful she was. He deserves respect.
There are some complaints people have had, and I will get to them. But first, my complaints:
The Scout Ship. I actually didn’t have a problem with the ship… at first. I thought it was a good way to set up the Fortress of Solitude in the story (because the crystal thing was stupid). That said… why does it have the El attire in there? I understand why Jor-El’s AI was in there, but why the suit? That scout ship was ancient, and it would never have even had contact with Jor-El. That doesn’t make any sense.
Jor-El vs Zod: Yes, these two fight. Not just fight, but Jor-El gains the upper hand… until Zod takes a cheap shot and stabs Jor-El. For the rest of the movie, Zod sports the scar that Jor-El gave him. Here’s my problem: Jor-El is a scientist, Zod is a warrior. Not just that, but on Krypton, they were each bred for that specific purpose. So why is Zod not physically superior simply based on overall physique and genetics? Well here are two arguments:
Jor-El was fighting for his son’s life. He was drawing on that energy that parents have when protecting their young. Eh, this doesn’t sit well with me. The fight just didn’t have that sort of tone; if it did, Jor-El would have been fighting more aggressively and more brutal than he was.
Jor-El was all about overcoming genetics and defied the status quo. This I agree with. The whole movie was about overcoming your own predestination, so if Jor-El did fight to overcome his genetic weaknesses and actually build himself up in order to be physically fit, I can believe it. This argument I agree with.
Admittedly, I felt like the early fight scenes were forced. It just felt... weird to see Jor-El "suit up" and take on Kryptonian soldiers. Yes, this is probably my biggest gripe...
Jonathan Kent’s death: I was okay with it. I liked how it was done. I actually liked how Jonathan died in this movie: he died trying to save people, and he died protecting Clark in his own way. What I like about this is that it means Kal-El had more inspiration for becoming a hero, not just because of Jor-El. His adopted father, Jonathan, played a big role. Good job.
Henry Cavill as Kal-El was a very good casting choice; his acting was believable, he looked like him, and he had the physique to fill the suit.
Michael Shannon portrayed a very good Zod. Oddly, I was rather worried about this casting. But he did a superb job in the end.
Amy Adams was… forgettable. I’m sorry, but I… just didn’t care about her much in this movie. I feel like Amy Adams as Lois Lane was the weakest one in the movie, though. She wasn’t terrible, and she definitely did better than what’s-her-face from Superman Returns, but I think they could have picked somebody better for the part.
I think I should probably cover the elephant in the room: Superman snapping Zod’s neck. I’m going to say two things about it:
I was okay with it.
Zod and all of his group were killed in Superman 2, yet nobody had a problem with that (yes, they are dead. Superman took their powers away and they went down a deep pit in the Fortress of Solitude. They. Are. DEAD).
I was very happy with this movie. I left the theater pleased, and I remain pleased. I want to see Lex Luthor in future movies, played seriously. They should take notes from Luthor (and if you haven’t read Luthor, go read Luthor).
... seems I post more updates than actual blogs...
Hello again. I know it's been awhile, but I have admittedly been busy with some things, but I do intend to begin reviewing some movies and, possibly, video games. This is a list of my (potential) upcoming reviews:
Man of Steel - This has gone up on my priority list.
Iron Man 3 - I wasn't too enthusiastic, so if people don't want me to do it, I probably won't bother.
Hunger Games - See Iron Man 3, but with a lot less enthusiasm. Probably won't post this even if people tell me to.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
As always, I want suggestions on what to review. Speak your mind!
I am also considering the idea of a Respect thread. I don't make them much, but I thought about it. I want to hear what people think of the idea. For this, I'm not taking suggestions, as Respect threads require some research and thought, so I won't do them if I don't care about the character.
That said, here:
Various Code Geass characters. Including, but not limited to, the likes of:
Lelouch vi Britannia
Fantomex (yeah, yeah...)
The Null ARC Troopers (which I have put off for awhile)
So, speak your mind. Hopefully, I'll have a review out in the next few days.
I want to make it clear that this is not a real blog. It's just a brief description of my opinion on the video at the end.
The idea of EA making some Star Wars games... mixed opinions. Sure, EA is probably the most hated publisher right now, but I think everyone can agree that the idea of them handling a Battlefront III is a pretty awesome idea. While I may have to wait for my Jedi Knight game, I could do with Battlefront III and, perhaps, Imperial Commando (and bring back Karen Traviss to write it! Seriously, Disney; do it!)
As always: as long as continuity is preserved and the Force Unleashed dies, I'm happy.
A Metroid game! Fully voiced! We see Samus’ face – a lot! We get backstory!
What could possibly go wrong?! Huh? HUH?!
I apologize in advance for the… the length.
Samus recovers from her encounter with the Baby Metroid from the previous game (previous being in the timeline, not by order of release. “Previous” here means Super Metroid). She’s going through some sort of postpartum depression – at least that’s what it comes across as – when she hears a “Baby’s Cry,” a distress signal that makes it seem more… important than other distress signals? I don’t know. Anyway, the Baby’s Cry is coming from what’s called a “Bottle Ship” (… because the mother overtones were too subtle).
On the Bottle Ship that’s flooded by monologue on Samus’ part, she comes across a squad of Federation soldiers led by Adam Malkovich, Samus Aran’s old commanding officer when she was in the Federation. He essentially treats her like crap, forbidding her the use of most of her weapons and abilities until he decides when she can use them. They go on a journey, discovering that the Bottle Ship run by Federation scientists have been cloning Metroids (because that always goes so well).
Little preview: my next and probably final (unless I feel differently) Metroid review will have some chronological details. Should give you a hint as to what game I’m reviewing. It’ll be my personal favorite Metroid Game.
My biggest gripe with the game is the story, so let me get gameplay, graphics, and voice acting out of the way:
Gameplay is… eh. It’s not Metroid to me. It tried to be a 3D version of Super Metroid, trying to encompass the action feel. But it didn’t do that. To me, 3D Super Metroid = Metroid Prime. It’s fast paced, but it makes the boss fights less tense, as well as all other fights. The puzzles are incredibly simple, and the bosses are easy to beat. Your gun essentially auto targets, meaning you’ll essentially just mash the attack button and dodge button.
Also, firing missiles? Yeah. Point the Wii remote at the screen. Easy, right? Well, you don’t use a nunchuk... no, you fight with a horizontal Wii remote. That means changing the position of your hands, and it leaves you vulnerable while the Wii decides when its time to register the change.
One thing that I liked was the inclusion of some melee combat, which I always felt was lacking in Metroid games.
Graphics are… meh. It’s the Wii, what should I expect? Well, it would be nice if the cinematics didn’t look almost exactly like gameplay.
Voice actors are okay, for the most part. Samus, however, is extremely dull. But, then, I guess – since most of the “dialogue” from her is a soliloquy, I guess it makes some sense. But even her dialogue is flat.
Alright. So, where do I begin?
I guess I’ll start with Samus’ relationship with Adam. Now I get she has some issues regarding him. She looked up to him when she was younger like a father, served in his command, was with him when Adam had to sacrifice his own brother, etc. But that was years ago. I understand the issues, but come on. Samus has been active for many years now. I also find it difficult that she was working for the Federation all this time and never once crossed paths with him.
The reason Samus has no upgrades in this game? Adam didn’t give her permission.
.... wow. Wow, I...
Okay. I like it when Metroid games explain why Samus doesn’t begin each game at near invincibl
e levels (the next game I’m reviewing has a good explanation... just saying...). But this is just stupid. Samus Aran always came off as a strong, silent woman (mostly silent. She did, admittedly, do a bit of internal dialogue in… oh, in an excellent game…). She would never let some guy order her not to use certain equipment, even if it’s equipment that would save her life. In the hot lava section, she is prevented from activating the Varia upgrade that would save her from taking heat damage.
That. Is. Stupid.
But Samus is still awesome, right? Maybe she just has some major respect / electra complex with Adam (Freud would have a field day with the “subtle” male euphemisms in this game), and she just can’t disobey. She’s still the badass hunter we all know, and she will stop at nothing to take down…
This, right here, I think sums up my entire problem with the game in just one scene, that wasn’t nearly short enough. Little summary: Samus is in this dark room with an unknown enemy. She turns the “lights on” (lava), and sees her enemy: Ridley. You guys know Ridley, right? Of course you do. If you’ve played a Metroid game, you’ve probably fought Ridley. So Samus stands there… terrified.
She’ll get over it, right? Get up; kick the crap out of Ridley…
Nope. She just stands there. Not just stands there, but begins to regress to her childhood, having flashbacks of when she found her dead parents.
She COWERS. Samus Aran, the most feared hunter in the galaxy who has killed countless enemies – INCLUDING RIDLEY AND SOME PLANETS – cowers in total, crippling fear.
What happens next? Well, Ridley grabs her and scrapes her on the wall. Then, her suit starts to fall apart. What, if Samus can’t will it, her suit falls apart? So Samus is about to be killed when a big strong man distracts Ridley long enough for Samus to grow a pair.
You guys really want a list? Fine.
Ridley has been defeated multiple times. This includes: Super Metroid, the Primes, the original game, and even in the lore in the Manga. She should not be scared anymore.
As previously said, she has killed Ridley. Therefore, she would have dealt with the “he killed my parents” thing years ago.
Samus’ suit doesn’t fall apart from fear. It falls apart when her life signs are gone. Now I’ve heard the argument that “she was wounded from Ridley’s attack!” True, but have two counter-arguments to that:
First, Samus’ suit magically comes back. It’s only gone when she is falling through the air, but miraculously reappears before she hits the ground. This shows that she was able to regain it; she couldn’t have done that if it was a matter of damage.
Second, she has full health when you fight Ridley. The counter to this is that it’s a gameplay/narrative conflict. However, in many games, when the character is weakened due to plot, gameplay illustrates this by slowing movement, lowering health, etc. So it’s a conflict that is easily avoided.
And now: Samus gets saved by a man. Not just any man, no: a big, 6’ 6” man with a giant over compensating gun (thought I was joking about Freud, didn’t you?). Samus has been helped by other hunters, like in Metroid Prime 3. But it always had the feel of “I could have done that myself, but thanks.” It never felt like you needed help. No, this guy has a serious “big protective brother” vibe going on, and Samus does not need a big brother. She’s a big girl who can, and has, taken care of herself just fine.
You don’t even kill Ridley. You beat him in one boss battle, but then he gets killed off screen by the real big boss of this game. This is disrespectful to both Samus and Ridley.
That, right there, is the absolute biggest problem with this game. I honestly couldn’t even fight Ridley at first; I paused just to wrap my head around what happened. It was just… my God.
I want to clear something up, if any of you were confused regarding the timeline (which I will elaborate on in my next Metroid review):
This takes place weeks after Super Metroid, not years. In the beginning of the game, Samus is in a medbay from her injuries sustained during Super Metroid. So Samus just killed Ridley; it’s not as if he were dead for decades.
Samus is not a child, nor is she a young adult anymore. She is a full grown, adult, woman. She is 30 years old. I’m not kidding, look it up. Samus was born in 2155, and this game takes place in 2180 AD. Yeah.
I should also bring up something that particularly annoyed me: Samus Aran wears heels. Not just a small boot heel, no; a full on heel. What nonsense is this? Oh, I see: she's a girl, and girls have to wear heels. It's a rule. Gotcha. Thanks, Team Ninja. Good job. You've captured the very essence of the character.
Next up (oh yes, there’s more): there’s a subplot that there is a traitor in the team of Federation soldiers killing off each soldier, eventually – supposedly – gunning for Adam himself. Wellllll here’s the thing: the game isn’t that clear who “the Deleter” (that’s his name) is behind the mask… even though he’s a boss at one point (driving a bulldozer… yup, a bulldozer is a boss, now). So yeah, sucks.
Plus, the characters killed by “the Deleter” have absolutely no character development, meaning that we don’t care when they die. Also, even if they revealed who the Deleter is, would it matter? We barely got to know any of the team other than Adam and “big brother.” So it could just be “soldier #5.” Who is soldier #5? Uh…
Right! “The twist.”
We see that the Federation was trying to clone Metroids, and have brought in a Metroid Queen. Adam sacrifices himself to detach the habitat pod so that Samus can survive and stop the station from crashing into HQ (… yup. The pod can only be detached and set to self-destruct from the inside. Smart thing to do in a pod housing extremely dangerous creatures).
Meh. Out of nowhere, but okay. The fight with the Metroid Queen is simple enough. But here’s my problem: you have no idea how to beat the final boss. It’s a secret. Know how secret? You have to use a power that you didn’t know you had. In the beginning of the game, you are shown how to use the Super Bomb. Adam, of course, forbids its use, so you can’t use it – UNTIL NOW. And the game just forgets to tell you that, and I’m just stuck not having a single clue what to do, until death #10 when it gives me a prompt to “hold down A” while in morph ball mode. Wow. Thanks again, Team Ninja!
Remember when I said that the station was going to crash and destroy the Federation HQ? Remember when Samus was supposed to save it? Yeah, no. It’s mysteriously stopped. Wanna know how? The protective big brother saves Samus yet again. Glad she has a big strong man to save her, because she obviously can’t take care of herself. Who does she think she is? The bane of the Space Pirates? The deadliest hunter in the galaxy? Yeah, right.
And now, MB.
MB is a scientist… who is a girl… who is a… robot… and a…
Y’know what? Don’t care to get into the mystery. It was stupid and annoying. Here’s the
deal: the same brain trust who decided to clone Metroids decided to bring back Mother Brain. Not only do they bring her back, but they put her in a humanoid body that has super strength and free will. WHY WOULD YOU…?
Never mind. I just… I can’t do this anymore. Time to close.
Now, I just want to say: all, or most, of these problems I have with the storyline could easily be fixed without being changed: make this game an originstory. Bam, done. Samus would cower when first fighting the monster that killed her parents; Samus would make some stupid mistakes; Samus would take orders from a superior officer. This is called character developments. In an origin game, Samus would be young – possibly a teenager, or maybe 20-ish. Showing how weak and inexperienced she was back then would just reinforce the badass we know she will grow up to be. That’s how you write the game. If this game was about Samus working under Adam in the Federation, and this took place before all of the other games, then the stupid crap would make more sense.
I hate the Force Unleashed 1 and 2. I hate Mass Effect 3. But this game? I think I felt this more insulting than those. That’s right: I think I hate this game more than those other games. I knew Force Unleashed 1 would suck, and I was… only mildly surprised that the second sunk to such an extraordinary level of sucking. Mass Effect 3 upset me, but I did not devote as much time to that franchise.
I am going to be completely honest right now: want to know why I was more reserved here than in my Force Unleashed II review? Because I felt a little good natured and had fun writing that review (just for the record: I meant every word in that review). This? No. I didn’t have fun reliving this horrid game. I hate this game for the same reason I hated the others, but I just… I felt more hurt playing this game. It hurt me. ME3 made me annoyed and pissed off at the story, but Shepard’s integrity was upheld. I couldn’t give a crap what they do to Starkiller, because he doesn’t matter to me. I have attachment to Samus Aran’s character, and they smacked her and me right in the face with this atrocity. She became a helpless damsel in distress with daddy issues, incapable of dealing with her problems without a big strong man by her side:
Adam had to rescue her from being killed due to his orders; Adam had to kill a Metroid before it attacked her; Adam had to destroy the Metroids. The big brother saved her from a monster earlier in the game (which later turned out to be Ridley); saved her again when Ridley was revealed; saved her AGAIN when the station was about to crash.
I… I just can’t.
I have been a fan of Metroid for years. I love the character of Samus Aran, I love the gameplay, and I love the lore. This game was a slap in the face to the fans, especially fans of my favorite Metroid game, which some of you might be able to guess. Thankfully, I can – for the moment – pretend this game doesn’t exist, and still enjoy my other Metroid games. And no, this game has not been touched once since I originally beat it.
Final verdict, and this is only because the gameplay was sometimes fun. That and I felt like giving it a 0 would come off like childish spite.
Okay, fine. I’ll do this bullcrap. As somebody who began his reviews with reviews for video games, I suppose I have to do this now. I’ll hate myself in the morning. And for the record, I will not – will not – let this turn into a gun rights thread or anything of the sort. Clear? Good. Because I see that, and the good ol’ mod alarm will be sounded. So here we go.
I’m going to say from the get-go that I’ve played my share of “violent games.” Not because they were violent, but simply because I wanted to play them because the gameplay looked fun, or the story was interesting, etc. I should also clarify that some of my favorite video games are not violent in the least. Many of you know about my love for the game that got no love: Mirror’s Edge. Not only is it lacking in the blood department, but you get rewarded for not shooting a gun for the entire campaign. That’s right. And I called that the most unique game of this gaming generation, and it’s still among my all time favorite video games.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you’re under 17, you shouldn’t be playing an M rated game unless your parents give the OK. And parents, it’s 100% your responsibility. The companies did their part by giving you a nice rating on the cover and information on the back. And really, in this modern age of the vast Internet, there’s no excuse for claiming ignorance to a game’s content. Kid wants a game for Christmas? Google it and see if it’s appropriate. For every game, there are hundreds of gameplay videos on YouTube, so you can get a solid idea on what’s in store.
If you’re of the appropriate age, then no, you shouldn’t be restricted from playing as you please. I may hold my personal opinions on games, but I won’t sway you (unless you read my reviews, then, well, yeah, you probably care a little about what I have to say). I won’t say certain games should be banned.
Personal responsibility is featured in both: parents are responsible for their child’s well being and upbringing, and when they’re older a person is responsible for their own choices, good or ill. It’s also worth mentioning that children should know what the stark difference is between reality in fiction.
I admit that I don’t like games like GTA or anything like that, but that’s me. I don’t want to see them banned. In fact, there are very few things that I think should be banned. My opinion is that, if nobody was harmed in the production, then it’s okay. Drawings are drawings, whether they’re created by pencils, pens, computers, clay, whatever you fancy. But it’s all fake. Nobody was murdered or anything along those lines. Snuff films? Ban them. Child porn? Ban it. They’re sick and wrong on many levels. But video games? Even the more... extreme cases are still fantasy with no basis in reality, and their interaction with human beings begins with writers and ends with voice actors who not only see a paycheck, but are not in the least harmed; they view it as just another job. It’s freedom of choice for the consumers, freedom of expression for the creators.
In general, I’m against censorship unless the creation of the product is directly harmful to those involved in the creation. The title might be a bit misleading: this is less about video games than it is an article against censorship overall.
Let’s look at it from another angle: the can o’ worms scenario. Essentially, if the government can suddenly ban something because of a silly little thing like red pixels, then that opens the door to the ability to ban anything else. You might shake your heads, but that’s what can happen. The government could then ban any game that in the least besmirches the United States, or is “insulting” to a specific group of individuals. Just to go back to video games for a sec, I should bring up the irony that one of my favorite video games, Mirror’s Edge, is all about a government that oppresses its people with the veil that it “knows what’s good for you.”
Now, let’s broaden that a bit more: books. Movies. TV shows. Comics. If one media is censored and heavily regulated by the government, anything is up for grabs now. Fear, and especially not blind ignorance, should not consume a society. It all takes one wrong move to send things hurtling down a very, very slippery slope. People would be heavily restricted in what the government says is appropriate for a person to play, watch, do, and think.
Are you wiling to take that chance? Are you really willing to relinquish your personal liberties that easily?
In celebration of my 20,000 post (despite how late this post is... ignore the date; pretend with me that I posted this a few months ago), I’ve decided to continue my reviews of the Star Wars movie saga.
It may have been a long time coming, and I hope you all think it was worth the wait! Let’s get to it.
Again, no plot synopsis because, like always, I assume everyone has seen all six Star Wars movies.
Unlike A New Hope, this movie was not predominantly created by George Lucas (thank God). He neither wrote nor directed it. It was directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan (who finished it after Brackett’s untimely death). Guess what? It shows. Know why? Here’s why:
This movie has some great dialogue and really shows a degree of freedom granted to the actors. Do you think Lucas would have let Harrison Ford say “I know” rather than the scripted “I love you, too” that he was supposed to say? Because I certainly don’t, and I think we can all agree that the choice to improvise was very, very good and leagues better than the script. Because it’s not just about the writer or just about the director: the actors have to add their own flavor, too.
Speaking of the actors: they have grown significantly since the first film. They are good actors trying to be taken seriously, for the most part. I actually cared about the character development. The story was interesting, consisting of multiple story arcs: Han and Leia, Luke and Yoda, Darth Vader on his own, and later the inclusion of other characters who have undoubtedly added to the saga. This movie shows the perspective of the villain, Vader, a lot more than A New Hope did. Not only that, but this movie has one of the most – if not the most – unexpected twist in all of cinema, which is still feebly copied to this day. Well acted, well timed, good dialogue, and it leaves an impact on the viewers as well as the characters in the story. “I am your father” is still one of the most memorable quotes in movie history. Amazingly executed.
It also features our muppet friend, Yoda. I joke, but I did like Yoda’s marionette-esque looks. He also goes into greater detail to the mysterious Force, which was frankly brushed over in ANew Hope. The entire training scene delves into the mystery of the Force and the unknown, shadowy past that his father, Obi-Wan, and Yoda all shared.
Even better in some ways than the original. Lightsabers don’t look weird, and blasters look significantly better. Not only that, but the environments are spectacular. As I write this, I realize how... big this movie is. Genuinely big. No CGI, but actual on-location areas like Hoth look more stunning than... eh, sorry. No referencing prequels yet.
Not only that, but we get gigantic groups of Star Destroyers, including the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Yes, this right here is an example of using miniatures in movies, and to great effect. Dagobah was unique and interesting. Cloud City was also very nice to look at, from the very cloudy skies of Bespin, to the sterile yet artistic corridors, to the carbonite freezing chambers... just great. And unlike any other Star Wars movie, this does not have Tatooine, which I applaud. For a planet that’s supposed to be poor, crime filled, and the worst place on the outer rim, everything seems to happen there. It’s an over explosed planet in the movies and the EU, and not seeing it was a good thing.
The choreography has also improved.
... well, saying “improved” implies that there was any real choreography there in the first place. Seriously, am I the only one whose nostalgia goggles weren’t cloudy enough to obscure the abysmal fight scene that was Obi-Wan vs Vader? Yeah, it sucked and I thought it sucked back when I first saw it. Just saying.
But yeah, Luke and Vader’s fight scene is good. It’s varied, they move around a lot, there’s attention to detail... they even use the Force! Come on, that’s awesome. Now that I loved.
The Empire Strikes Back is one of the best movies in the saga. It doesn’t just contribute to cinema history (such as being one of the movies that led to the PG-13 rating), but is a good, enjoyable movie on its own. I will watch this movie when it’s on: honestly, I just... don’t do that with ANew Hope. I know, terrible of me. I just don’t.
Definitely recommend this movie, and I must stress this: buy the original. Don’t get the digital new releases; those are terrible.
Hello, everybody-who-cares. I know it's been awhile since I've posted a review and I intend to fix that very soon. I've been quite busy, so I haven't really gotten time to write full reviews.
I wrote a review for Empire, but I wasn't happy with it, so I'm going to do some editing before release. Hopefully, I'll have that before the New Years sometime next week, and possibly Jedi.
Also as an announcement: I think I will review the Matrix trilogy, possibly including the Animatrix.
Speaking of which: as you guys know, I'm becoming slightly interested in Anime - at least some Anime, like Hellsing and... the obvious. Do you guys want me to review that stuff? Keep in mind that I probably won't seek out Anime just to review it. I just watch what I like, at the moment.
What do you guys want me to review? Give me suggestions, feedback on the above, etc.
Wait... what spoilers? There aren’t spoilers. There’s hardly much story.
Here’s the deal: you’re some adventurer (knight, thief, priest, etc.) who gets killed, ending up in the Undead Asylum. A giant bird chooses you to be “the one” to free the land from this dark undead force.
I know there’s more, so don’t all jump on me. But the game doesn’t tend to strive for much story. Is that bad? I don’t know. I am one who enjoys a good, deep story in pretty much everything (movies, TV shows, video games, comics, books, and – yes, on occasion – music). But let’s be honest: do we play Super Mario for the engaging story? No (though the Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door game had an interesting tale). In some ways, I guess this game is a homage to the video games of old that focused on gameplay above all else (and were exceedingly more difficult than current-gen games).
Just from the get-go, let me say that I did not play Demon’s Souls. This is the first time I played the “series,” if it can be called that. So this is rather fresh for me.
Honestly, the game isn’t that hard (WAIT. Let me finish...). The enemies and bosses in this game are not that hard compared to a lot of games I have played. But... well, really, it’s the checkpoints, mercilessly respawning enemies, and the fact that you lose your XP/currency (souls) when you die. In most games, there’s a checkpoint right before the boss, allowing you to do it over and over until you win. In this game, you have to trek through a few groups of enemies, some doing damage on you if you screw up, until you get back to the boss.
So yes, this game is hard. But it most certainly offers an extremely satisfying experience when a boss meets his end.
For the gameplay, it is quite good and a lot of fun. It has precise controls and difficult enemies to fight. I love the parry system (which I screw up on a lot, but still) and the many types of weapons (currently using the Drake’s Sword and Black Knight Greatsword – yes, I beat the Black Knight in the Undead Burg).
For multiplayer: honestly, I did it by accident. I was unaware that turning human made me vulnerable to invading hostile enemy players. Yeah, got the crap beaten out of me. Got a good hit once...
Yeah. Not in a hurry to do that again.
You can’t. Sell. One. THING. That really sucks for me. Not a game breaker, but it annoys me.
The fact that the Estus Flasks are limited to just 5 before visits to Bonfires / Checkpoints (which refills them... and respawns enemies...) makes it even more difficult.
You lose the item that you just used. It’s not like if you die you get it back: no, anything you do is permanent. And that includes killing certain NPCs (you sure that obnoxious merchant who sells the arrows is worth killing him? Think carefully, now).
You die, you drop souls. Souls are currency and XP. You get one chance to get them back, and if you die along the way you lose them forever – FUN!
People say Skyrim (which I also recently acquired – don’t know if I’ll review it) is the game for people with no lives. I beg to differ: that is Demon’s Souls / Dark Souls. Why? I can save and quit any time I want in Skyrim. Can’t do that in Dark Souls. And I don’t lose hours worth of progress from one screw up in Skyrim.
Going by what I’ve said, it sounds like I hate this game. I don’t, not at all. It is extremely fun to play, has flowing combat, and victory is extremely rewarding upon each defeated enemy. But I realize that I cannot and will not dedicate much time to it: a couple of times a week at max, and that’s during my less busy weeks.