Thursday, August 30, 2007

Halloween redux...

Just got back from Halloween sneak preview. Um yeah, I haven't seen any of the other Rob Zombie movies and now I may know why. This should have been titled white trash Halloween, I mean no wonder Michael started killing all these people. His mother is a pole dancer, step dad's a crippled bum, and older sister is a slut. This family seems really out of place in Haddonfield Illinois, unless it's a lot closer to Alabama than I remember. I guess it's somewhat faithful to the original (story lines) although there is a lot more deaths, and nudity in this one. We do get a lot more of Michael's back story here, where probably the first 30-45 minutes of the movie deal with him at age 10. It's okay **1/2, do I still prefer the original? Definitely.

I took my son (he's 17 and I debated a while before I let him go) although I know I started watching R rated features when I was probably around 15. What I don't get was the stupid sh*ts that took their freaking 5-6 year old kids, what's up with that? :( Do you not know what the movie is about? or you just don't care is that it?

Airborne, Labor Day sale, movies, and so much more...

Medal of Honor : Airborne (from now on MoHA) has been on my 'anticipation' radar for a while now. I've seen some video coverage, and listened to some podcast (GamerTag Radio, and Achievement Junkie) where they talked about the game. It sounded like a great experience, not having to follow a preset path through the missions. By parachuting in you basically could create your own 'spawn' location anywhere on the map, and then go through the mission however you wanted.

I was eagerly awaiting the demo on Xbox LIVE so I could give it a try, and see if it fulfilled by expectations. The demo finally hit last week (amongst an onslaught of demo goodness) after a snag at Microsoft certification, while the PC demo had hit early in the week I almost grabbed it unsure of when the 360 version would hit.

Unfortunately my expectations were too high, while I did enjoy the demo, I got frustrated by the fact that no matter where I started I ended up in the same alley (getting killed) while trying to get to one of the objectives. I'm hoping I just wasn't grasping the parachute mechanic because no matter what I did, I always ended up in one of four areas of the center of the map. I had envisioned being able to pinpoint where I wanted to go anywhere in the level and proceeding from there, but that wasn't the case.

I also didn't feel that the guns did enough damage. I started with a basic payload (machine gun, rifle, and pistol) for the mission, and could freely swap between them. It would take multiple rounds even from the machine gun, and I couldn't even pull off head shots with 1 round from the rifle (I realize some may be my lack of skill, but come on). I did however like the fact that focusing on a weapon, after using it a while you are granted 'upgrades' to that specific weapon. All in all after about an hour with the demo I was pretty jaded about the whole experience and it had sunk on my must buy list. Then imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail from Godfree @ Gamertag Radio saying that I had won a copy of MoHA in their contest from episode #109. :) I'm again looking forward to playing, and hoping that maybe the tutorial will give some insight on the play mechanics or at least I'll be able to go through the manual. As an added bonus it looks like EA/Microsoft are giving away a bunch of MoHA prizes in Operation LIVE Jump the weekend after release, playing against some of the developers, and PMS Clan.

It seems Microsoft is having a little Labor Day Sale on Xbox LIVE Arcade titles. Four titles will be on sale for 1/2 price for 48 hours (7pm Saturday-6:59pm Monday doodah time) these include Zuma Deluxe, and Small Arms for 400 points ($5 regularly $10) and Gauntlet, and Dig Dug for 200 points ($2.50 regularly $5). I'm definitely down for Zuma Deluxe, and probably Gauntlet (played the heck out of it in the arcade). I'm going to have to read up on Small Arms again but I think the reviews were pretty decent when it came out.

Decided to go to a movie this afternoon so I went to see Invasion starring Daniel Craig, and Nicole Kidman. I had caught the preview for it a while back and forgot that it started a couple weeks ago. According to IMDB this was originally under the working title Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and was finished in early 2006. The studio didn't like the finished cut, so in 2007 it "underwent massive re-shooting" with the Wachowski brothers (Matrix ring a bell) to do script rewrites. What were left with isn't a bad movie, but it's not great either, I had the feeling I was watching an X-Files episode without Mulder & Scully. It's a body snatchers movie, but how many of them do we need? **1/2

I'm going to a sneak of Halloween tonight so I'm hoping the Rob Zombie remake fares a little better.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Change of venue, BioShocked!, and locked underachievements...

I changed work venues this week, still working for the same company just a different location. All in all it wasn't a bad move, more money (always nice), just a bit farther to drive, and I knew (or had at least talked to) most of the staff before. I've been used to somewhat of more organized location, so it will take a while to adjust, or hopefully achieve a happy medium.

Have you picked up BioShock yet? The game is amazing, if you haven't already heard me mention that. I assume not quite half way through yet, but with the job shuffle my days off were early this week so unfortunately I haven't had much time to play the last couple evenings. It seems to be selling really well, and a lot of people have been asking about it since Tuesday.

Wow, was my first reaction. has introduced a '360'centric pair of women's underwear. Would the unlocked version been too sluty?

Product_Images/40ea26816493.jpg @
Achievement Locked underwear design @ ©

Monday, August 13, 2007

More TV previews, and BioShock roxerz!

I got around to watching the first episode of Sarah Connor Chronicles which is a 'flashback' if you will into the Terminator franchise unfolding after the events of Terminator 2 while John is a teenager. I had watched the panel discussion from Comic Con on the LIVE marketplace so I knew what to expect, Sarah and John are always on the run trying to stay one step ahead of a government agent (sent after her escape from the looney bin), and terminators sent back to destroy John. Along the way they get help from Cameron another terminator unit sent back to protect John, but find they didn't successfully stop SkyNet (in T2). I wasn't 'hooked' as with Pushing Daisies or Reaper, maybe because it was really late, but I'll still tune in at least the first couple episodes to see if I like it more.

There was a big 'teaser' over the weekend that the premiere BioShock trailer would be aired exclusively on SPIKE during the Kill Point episode last night. Then they added that there would be a 'special announcement' immediately after the trailer, which had the forums buzzing. As most everyone suspected it was the release of a demo on the LIVE marketplace @ 8:45pm (doodah time). I fired up the console, and when I checked around 11pm I was at 25%. :( I finally gave up and went to bed hoping that it would be done by this morning. Luckily it was, and about 1 hour and half later I had played through the demo. It is amazing! If you have any interest in FPS games download it now and try it out, it has some RPG type elements to it as well. The art style, and graphics are amazing (the water effects are phenomenal) as is the storyline so far. Garnett had 'gushed' about the game on the last 1UPYours podcast, and I thought maybe he was laying it on a little thick, but no. I was already hyped for this game, but the demo sealed it I can't wait until the 21st now.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The fall TV season is like a torrent upon us, yo.

I just got done watching the series premieres of Pushing Daisies, and Reaper (man, sometimes you got to love the Internet).

I was pretty psyched for PD anyway just from the previews, and the content from Comic Con 2007 that was up on Xbox LIVE. It plays like a cross between Dead Like Me, and I even gather a bit of Tru Calling set in a Dr. Seuss colored world. Ned can touch dead people and bring them back to life, but only for a minute otherwise someone else has to take their place, and if he touches them again they die forever. It plays pretty much as I expected with it's glossy candy coating saturating Ned's world, it looks really distinct, but I could do with a little less of the voice over narration. I will be tuning in to catch it again on ABC this fall.

In the other corner was Reaper which I've only recently found out about via an article in the Eagle. Sam just turned 21, and finds his parents made a pact with the devil before he was born for his soul on his 21st birthday. Now he's officially a 'bounty hunter' for Satan charged with returning escaped souls back to hell. Billed as a horror-comedy it plays like Shaun of the Dead, and should not be surprising as it's directed by Kevin Smith it was funny as hell.

Next up will be The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and The Bionic Woman premieres, so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Listen to my Ultimatum.

Just got back from The Bourne Ultimatum movie. It was just what I expected, since I've seen the other two films, and it pretty neatly tied up his search for his identity.

While the action scenes were good I felt there was a little too much 'hand-held' action footage. I realize it was supposed to quick paced, and frantic but a little goes a long way. I like to be able to focus on the action in the scene, but when the camera is bobbing all over the place that makes it extremely difficult to follow.

I enjoyed the story (and resolution) though I would highly recommend watching The Bourne Supremacy right before going to see this. It played as more of a straight continuation of the story line, rather than a stand alone chapter. There are a lot of flashbacks to the other films, and I don't believe a person that hadn't seen either of the other two would be able to follow the story very well.

All in all, as a fan of the franchise it was very good, and watching the series back-to-back would be exceptional. On it's own merit though, I'm still giving my nod to Die Hard, Live Free as the best action flick so far this year.

I did get around to trying the demo for Stranglehold last night (despite the freaky thunderstorm) and was pretty impressed. The action sequences, and visuals were awesome, though I wonder if it would get too repetitive over the course of the game? I was particularly taken with using stuff in the enviroment to take out bad guys, weather it was blowing up a propane tank, or dropping a neon sign on their head. The amount of interactivity from the crates, fruit, or tables that liter the first level was great too. I don't know if I would be willing to pay full retail for this considering it comes out along side Blue Dragon, Stuntman Ignition, and Tiger Woods 08. If anything it really made me want to watch Hard Boiled.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Superbad, and random thoughts abound.

I just got back from a sneak for Superbad a teenage (sex) comedy where a trio of friends are trying to make their last couple weeks of high school the best ever. It was co-wrote by Seth Rogen (Ben from Knocked Up, and Cal from 40 Year Old Virgin) so you pretty much know what your in for.
I caught Ebert & Roeper's review segment last week, and was a bit shocked that they both gave it 'thumbs up'. A teen sex comedy just doesn't seem like it would be a big hit with the critics, and this movie pulls no punches. It's rated R for a variety of reasons including "pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use and a fantasy/comic violent image - all involving teens". That's all in there but a appalling lack nudity (unless you consider numerous drawings of the male unit nudity) except for a picture on the cover of a smut mag at the local convenience store. It brought back a flood of memories of such great films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky's, and most recently the American Pie franchise.
I don't know if it would make a good date movie (definitely not a first date), but the girls in the audience seemed to be laughing just as much as the guys were.

I gather that the Stranglehold demo has graced the LIVE marketplace today so I'm off to download it (maybe, it's lightning outside a lot and sounds like its pouring now) but looking forward to trying it out. I still need to give the Blue Dragon demo a spin too before it comes out.

Microsoft announced price cuts today (ha, didn't see it coming did you?) $50 on the premium, $20 on the core, and $30 on the Elite. They also announced pricing for the Halo 3 edition ($399.99) which is basically a premium with a paint job, HDMI port, and a color coordinated play & charge kit. I'm sure it will sell okay, but nothing there excites me.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Release sink hole, podcast, and the Simpson's.

Today wasn't a good day for 360 owners Achievement Junkie has a post showing that not 1, or 2, but 3 Holiday titles were slipping from their ship dates. Medal of Honor: Airborne wasn't too bad losing just over a week (August 28-September 4), Blacksite Area 51 wasn't as lucky dropping almost 2 months (September 4-November 4), and finally Grand Theft Auto IV slipped from October till sometime in "second fiscal quarter 2008" which puts it February-April 2008. :(

Speaking of which I've been trying out some new podcast thanks to this post over at DVDTalk. The HotSpot by GameSpot plays a little like 1UpYours, Gamers with Jobs another roundtable group but so far I like it a little more than HotSpot. A great side note is they both fall earlier in the week so now I have something to listen to before Friday's 1UpYours show. I also have been enjoying Achievement Junkie, and although 360 specific (primarily) it is a daily show 15-25 minutes every weekday. Now all I need is a little better way to get them to my Zune. I'm currently using Doppler but it has some problems with redirect.mp3 files (never sees a new episode since they're all named redirect.mp3). I can work around it, but it would be nice to just hit update and snag all the new stuff.

I finally caught the the Simpson's Movie yesterday afternoon. I really enjoyed it, I've always been a Simpson's fan and the movie didn't disappoint me. I will agree with some of people I've talked to that the first 30-40 were hilarious, it does wain a little towards the end, but overall it still gets a big thumbs up!