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The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
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It must eb said that I haven't finished the game and that I haven't played that long -about 25-30hrs.
So I here are my thoughts so far:
Skyrim in many ways, IS the ultimate RPG. It does everything right that Oblivion did right.It does everything right that Oblivion did wrong. And more
Mind you, Oblivion did a lot of things right: A Rich, Living, Breathing World, with lots to explore.Endless no-class-boundaries RPG-ing, a warrior can learn lock-picking and a thief can learn heavyarmour and both can lean magic.Skyrim truly delivers in the same Eder Scroll Standard way.
Where I think Skyrim is an improvement on Oblivion are the rich and colourful side quests.Both start with an escape (main quest), to draw you into the main story, but once escaped, Oblivion fellto a dead stop. Uninteresting and hard-to get side quests for me killed the gameplay, and for the side questI got, I hadn't levelled up high enough during my escape to complete it.
Skyrim does this right. There is an abundance of easy to get, well balanced side-quests with a diversity thatwill keep you on your toes for hours and hours and keep you wanting for more-forget the main quests! these side-quest are much more fun!
I found that some of them will keep you dungeon exploring for hours -up to a point where you think:"ANOTHER dungeon? Guys -it's a 'only' side quest!"But, you got to love the designers for this vastness. I do.
It's not perfect, but it bloddy near darn well is. The flaws I found -so far-1. Omly one companion2. How to equip your companion is a mystery to me: when of why my companion equips item a and not item b)why I do not have any control over such things and why it's not as intuitive as in Dragon Age eludes me.3. Inventory of chests, dressers etc has is not categorized in 'weapons', 'apparal' etc.4. When to use X or square (PS3 version) in inventory for to store/give/use/eat/equip frustrates me sometimes
I'm sure there are more imperfections, but these are just small things comparerd to the richness of the game(play)and though Bethesda has the reputation of releasing buggy games, so far, I haven't encountered many bugs (yet -keeping my fingers crossed),and the ones I did, had no influence on the game(play).
E.g.I did a fast travel from Hod and Gerdurs home to Whiterun and Lo and Behold: Hod had travelled with me!After entering another location (e.g. your house), Hod had been sent back to his house in Riverwood.Like I said, nothing major..So far so good. Will update this if anything changed based on expereiences during more and more hours of gaming
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This is actually the game that I wanted to play on the Wii when it launched. Now, a year away from the Wii successor , I finally own a Wii -and Red Steel.
Gameplay... What can I say, I played nunchuck and wii mote ...but that's not quite it.
SO I bought a Konig Rumble gun so I can play this game with a gun. The game wants you to use the A-button.The konig rumble gun allows you to do so,
And it plays like a charm. AWESOME!
Controls might not feel a 100% perfect, but it does play nicely. and the interface is intuitive.
The fact that you change from shooter to blade-wielder maks for interesting distraction.
Plot is interesting enough to keep you going,
Great game, especially with nowadays prices, good value for money!
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (9 Discs)
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If you know George Lucas, you know the sound quality and the picture quality are perfect, if not beyond perfection.
The extras are very cool and I am glad they chose not to use the same extras as on the other star wars box-sets.I am even happy that they include a couple of late 70 and early 80's making of documentaries I now -30 years later- finally get to see.
Even though knew this beforehand, I am slightly disappointed: this is George Lucas Final Cut. And that's it!And though there is noting wrong with that (purists might disagree), I do miss The Original Theatrical Releases and the 1997 Special Editions in this box set (all in HD, fully restored).Oh well, I can only hope that one day, we'll can see those in HD.
That's minus 1 star per unreleased version.
Pray I don't alter it any further!
E.g. minus one star per unreleased film
Death Machine (Widescreen)
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What can I say: I love this movie. It's one of those late eighties / early nineties low budget sci-fi horror movie, which have this particular feel to it. And is it fun, it has the era's nostagic feel to it, it has Brad Dourif doing what ..well what Brad Dourif does best, it has action, suspense and humour (though I doubt that it's always intentional).Though I would not recommend this to mainstreamers, but if you want something different or something that's a typical late 80s/early 90s Sci Fi Romp... pick it up. You won't be disappointed
As on reviewer pointed out: picture quality is non-existend. It is called 'widescreen' but it is in fact 4:3 with large black bands at the bottom & top.It is not picked up as widescreen and 'expanding' to widescreen via the TV doesn't make things better. And don't expect 5.1 Surround...It's stereo at best.
In all honesty, the quality is VHS. Descent VHS ... but still VHS.
In a sense, it adds to the nostalgic feel, but in this day an age, we do expect digital remastered etc etc...
then again... would you expect that for 5 euros?
Halloween: Directors Cut (2007)
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What can I say... a remake of an instant classic can only disappoint.
Having said that, I just watched (Rob Zombies) Halloween in a cery cut TV rated version and I was impressed.After the first couple of minutes, I decided not to watch. Like I said, this is the heavily cut TV version. After the firts minutes I knew for sure: I want to watch the unrated director's cut!
YES: it's not the original.But that does not make it a bad movie. Far from it. I think I haven't been on the edge of my seat by a modern slasher as I have with this one.
Okay, I have mixed feelings about the movie: Rob Zombie re-tells the story. We know the story. So ...no surpises there, it kills the suspense at some points. Some scenes are directly taken from the original. Plagiarism or DePalma-esque "citation"?The paradox is that if they're not in the movie, it loses all the connection with the original. The fans shout "this is not Halloween".If they're in, the fans go "this is a scene for scene copy, boo boo!"Overall the scenes work and I personally think that mr. Zombie did a great job in remaking (re-imaging?) the Halloween franchise, without corrupt that what made the original so great!
The good: the acting is good, the pace is fast, the suspense is there! It follows the original closely -it even has the original tune is in.
The bad side: was this remake necessary? we all know the story, so some scenes lose power because we've seen them all almost 30 years ago.
Still, after all the slasher junk and re-makes in the post-scream era, this is by far the best I have yet seen!
Eragon: Special Edition (2 Discs)
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This has been one major disappointment. Of course, I read the book first and in light of the LOTR movies and TCoN, I had expected a serious attempt to a professionally made fantasy movie, not a cheap cash in on the fantasy bandwagon while it was still hot.
It disappoints on several levels:1 budget: they didn't even have enough money to buy the elf ears!Of course they claim it was a deliberate desicion. Right.Sure, good CGI, a couple of expensive actors, but still if you have read the book, some things come off cheap. Disappointing, but not a major issue.2. dubious acting quality, but that's survivableBut the biggest failure and disappointment of all is number3. The screenplay
I'm not one of those that live by the book and die by the book, cuts will be made when it comes to book-to-big-screen adaptations.Tom Bombadil didn't make int in the final screenplay of LOTR either. But at least they had the common sense not to limit "the fellowship" to a 100 mins running time.This one is one worst adaptarions ever, it even surpasses David Lynch "Dune".Eragon could have and would have been a better movie if they'd taken 3hrs time to tell the stories and to introduce the characters. Some important characters are reduced to cameos.Read the book and judge for yourself. The biggest crime against the book and author was to limit the screentime to 100mins.Honestly. This is like watching a movie in fast forward!Doesn't work.
In the end, I had a 'fun' afternoon watching Eragon, but it felt more like an lightweight intermediate fantasy snack than the epic tale come to life it could have been.
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Let start with this:US version: in general rev. 1, needs patch 1.1. and 1.2.EU version, already rev. 1.1. needs patch 1.2.. You can download this from the midway website. Click the Union Jack on the midway homepage.
The game:General issues:The game has a lot of bugs. Even after installing Patch 1.2 my character and my men flash up like a squid on mushrooms trying to hypnotize a shrimp.
It took me some time to figure out witch version I have and which update I need. An auto-updater or a link to the Midway website would have been a very welcome addition. It was google all the way.
Graphics:Awesome! Except the flickering enemies, good guys and player character. Pretty detailed and nice alien animations!
A couple of sidenotes: ragdoll physics and peckinpah-esque bloodsquirts would have been preferable over "you-scored-a-hit" bitmaps that seem to be taken directly of out "Operation Wolf" It would also have been nice to see the enemy react to the location of the hit, like in SIN or in Soldier Of Fortune. Not bad, but this has been done better.
Sound: Great, not too much to worry about.
Gameplay: As for level design. I haven't finished the game yet. But it looks OK. External and internal levels as well third person drive around vehicle levels. The vehicle control works well, if you remember to steer with the mouse. (I want to steer with A and D and LOOK with the mouse)
The gameplay is straight forward FPS, but very, very linear. The upside is that the single player campaign is supposed of a decent length, the downside is that it is heavily scripted and no free roaming in this game!
The shooter part doesn't play as well as Half Life (2) or Far Cry or Crysis. Part of it, I think is because of the lack of ragdoll physics and the lack of hit locations. You have to hit the enemy a number of times before he's "killed", with one exception the head. The bodies disappear. The just vanish. This gives the game an arcade feel instead of a FPS feel. Let's not even begin talking about AI. Like I said, it is no FarCry.
The squad moral is a nice feature, but don't expect too much of it, same as squad tactics? Squad tactics?
Save function. There is no "save menu". This is a console port. I read some negative comments about the game having checkpoints. I personally have no issues with the save function in BlackSite. Why?1: a checkpoint are never far away. You don't have to play hours and hours before reaching a checkpoint. If you die, you don't have to replay hours and hours of game.2: checkpoints are savepoints! Unlike some games, where you lose all progression from the start of the level when you quit and restart -even if you did reach the final checkpoint, BlackSite really saves the game. If you quit after you reach a checkpoint and start the game, you will start from that checkpoint!
Overall the gameplay is nice. Not spectacular. Some moments have a cinematographical feel to it: like your "in" a movie. A Roger Corman sci-fi movie ;-) The single person campaign is supposed to be of decent length, but I haven't finished the Game yet. I haven't tried the MP side.
Conclusion:I sound pretty positive, right? Well, I bough the game for 20 euro's.
Here's my opinion:BlackSite is a nice try, that should have deserved a little more beta testing. It also deserved a whole lot of other attention, to get it to the level of Far Cry or Crysis or Half Life.But it didn't and we get a buggy FPS instead. If you look beyond the bugs and flaws, it is a light FPS snack with nice gameplay, that should only be bought as a budget title (20 euros or less)!
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I did notice it said "illustrations", however, it wasn't clear it was a graphic novel. An comic adaptation of F Paul Wilson's "The Keep"by F Paul Wilson.
Despite my initial disappointment -yes, silly old me had expected the novel- I started reading (watching?) ...
F Paul Wilson did a great job, converting the novel into comic material.
As for the artwork by Mathew Smith works great, don't go expecting artwork the likes Don Lawrence, Adi Granov, Segrelles, Richard Corben or the better Superhero stuff, I think you can compare it to Sin City. Does it work! Yes. Do I care that it's not a realistic style (my preferred style to read)? Heck No!
Matthew uses a nihilistic almost over-stylized hard-line black and white + one colour graphics and they work: they capture and engance the gothic atmosphere of the novel and give a surreal look to the whole. Not my preferred style, but it works very well!
Transformers Takara: Complete Collection Box Set (13 Discs)
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The really true downside of this box is the lack of (original) english voicing and the original theme music. It makes it somewhat difficult to get "into" the series, and that makes it maybe a bit more for die-hard fans, but I'm sure everyone can enjoy this collection.
There is an english track (for Singaporian television, if I remember correctly) is a big laugh. For whatever reason they used it, I cannot tell. I though it was funny, I laughed my a$$ off ;-) It's a lot of bad voice acting by only one man. I'd stick with the japanese track, but as part of the extra features a nice addition as well as the commentary track on some of the episodes.
Having said the above, it is a great set of completeness. Whatever happened after Season 2 ...well this! I enjoyed it a lot and I hope everyone who buys it will enjoy this box-set too!
Robot Chicken: Star Wars (Adult Swim)
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You have to see Blue Harvest to fully understand the title of this review, but let me hint: Seth Green also voices Peter in Family Guy.
I have seen this SW Special in the [adult swim] website and it was an instant hit...I loved it. The gags are great and give you a colourful insight of what might have really been happening in the Star Wars Universe. The big bonus here, for SW and movie fans, is that a lot of celebreties (including (yes!!) George Lucas himself and Mark Hamill) are voicing the characters
Of course, the SW special doesn't last longer than a regular RC episode (an odd 20 minutes).
Luckily, you don't have to feel conned out of (approx)12 euros: the makes have loaded this DVD with 1,5 hrs of extra's. Deleted Gags, alternate audio's, on demand commentary (press a button when a chicken shows up on screen: "chicken nuggets") and the first episode of the other [adult swim] : Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, Frisky Dingo and one robot chicken episode.
I can understand some complaints about the lengthe of the SW:Special, which I think is valid.Personally I would have given 5 euros for it if it had only the 22 minutes of SW: Special on it.I think the makers redeemed themselves by adding loads of extra's and keeping the price acceptable, making the DVD, as a complete package, really worth while.