Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Xbox 360, 2014) First Impressions

The Amazing Asshole
I just got Spider-Man 2 yesterday after work and total I've spent almost 3 hours, maybe, with it.  I just finished the second major mission and defeated The Shocker.  The Shocker, who by the way, looks totally badass.  But, I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to vent some frustration.

  I will admit that I'm early enough into the game that this opinion may completely change by the time I finish it.  So far it hasn't been a great experience but I'm not quite at the point where I'm going to give up.

  First, the positive.  The Noir Costume looks great.  All the costumes look great and following the Spider-Man game page on Facebook has previewed a lot of great costumes.  I'm a mark for costumes and each costume offers a buff and I'm an even bigger mark for costumes that actually DO something.  Also the stealth system is greatly improved and much more like Shattered Dimensions rather than the first ASM game where it was just not very good, from what I remember you could do stealth attacks from the ceiling but now you can do them from seemingly anywhere as long as the enemy isn't aware of you.  There are lots of collectibles and a challenge mode.  Um... well... let's see... already there are a bunch of smart, little references to the greater Marvel Universe which I appreciate.

  Alright, now I get to vent.  The game doesn't look that great.  Yes it's in pretty high definition but the people look off and move unnaturally.  The controls are not intuitive in the slightest.  I was given the simple mission to stop a car and I failed it the first time because I had no idea what the fuck to do and when I tried stuff I just ended up getting shot off the fucking car.  I eventually got there through trial and error but why is it so difficult?  This is supposed to be the TUTORIAL part of the game.  Tutor me!

  The combat looks weird and is sort of herky jerky.  I don't have any sense of flow and you get one attack button and one dodge so it's pretty much "mash A to win" and if there is any strategy to be used I haven't experienced it yet.  I'm not really having a great time with the combat and I kind of liked the combat in the last game because, while it was much slower, it looked nicer.  Aaron Schoenke (writer of "Patient J", co-founder of Bat in the Sun Productions) did the mocap for the game and I got all the respect in the world for him but I don't think they did him justice in the animation of the combat.  It certainly doesn't look mocap'ed by an awesome athlete.  It looks like someone who didn't know how the human body moved.  The movement is just to fast and, again, doesn't flow.  It's just here's a move, here's another move, here's a flippy do, etc.  I don't think it's visually engaging and I'm bored by the combat.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher (2014) DVD

Avengers Crap-fidential
Rating:  2 out of 5 Anime Bullshits

Plot Synopsis:  Some guy is making super soldiers and, for some reason, the Punisher is involved.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Honored One-Hundred: Chapter 4

Chapter 4

  Ninety-nine people were gathered in front of him, the man now named Grandfather. To his left was his colleague Grandmother, to her left Mother and to his right Father. Their identities wiped clean from their respective countries of origin. Ever since they discovered Virtue, the Symbiote and the Parasite their lives haven’t been the same. Now they stood before ninety-nine candidates to deliver the welcome speech knowing that already one of them died due to exposure to Virtue. She died weeks ago when she volunteered to be first, she was supposed to be the big reveal of this speech, the shining example of what they could do. They had an idea of the effects of Virtue by working with test subjects using small amounts. The memory loss, the random power manifestation and the burning painful death that was all too possible. However now they were about to make it real and they couldn’t show weakness in front of this group.

  Grandfather wore a bright cream colored suit with a pink shirt to try and appear welcoming. It contrasted with his mocha colored skin but provided a striking figure nonetheless. He ran a hand through his curly salt and pepper hair before scratching his matching colored moustache. Grandfather looked out across these ninety-nine people, smiled warmly, a smile that would become famous among the Honored, and cleared his throat before talking.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Agents of SHIELD, Arrow and Random Thoughts

I haven't said much about Marvel Agent's of SHIELD, at least I don't remember saying much.  After kind of a slow start things started to pick up with the episode TRACKS but mostly I want to talk about last weeks episode Turn, Turn, Turn which tied into the Captain America sequel.

First off I've enjoyed MAOS for the most part but good god it felt slow, Hulu, which is where I watch all my TV now, only has the last few episodes so I'm unable to go back and revisit the earlier episodes to see how my memory holds up but I don't remember most of the episodes.  I remember the pilot because that was a really solid episode.  Then there was something in South America, Peter MacNicol had a good cameo as a refugee Asgardian in a pretty solid episode following the Thor sequel.  There was a rogue agent at some point... what I'm getting at is that there have been 13 episodes, up to TRACKS, and I remember maybe 6 of those.  Graviton and Blizzard also come to mind and the big Coulson reveal.  After TRACKS the pace picked up and there were some great stories that built on each other and made you want to come back.  Since TRACKS I've been anticipating MAOS more than any other show (those shows being Arrow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community and Parks and Rec).  We've gotten the reveal and evolution of Deathlok, more follow up about Coulson, Lorelei and Sif cameo and some expansion of the characters.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Theatrical Release

Rating: 5 out of 5 Secretive Government Assassins

Review:  I'm sure by now you've heard all the hype and the movie lives up to that hype so there isn't much I can say about it.  The movie is excellently paced, the action set pieces are awesome, the plot is rock solid and the acting is stellar.  I've heard people say that it's the best Marvel movie ever.  This is certainly in my top 3 but I really like Avengers and the Thor movies, especially the first one, is endlessly watchable to me because of the balance between comedy, drama and action.  We'll have to see how many times I watch it when it comes out on DVD because my opinion of it may go up.  I just want to touch on two things.

  First off Anthony Mackie as Falcon is just totally badass.  He owns his screen time and has made that version of the Falcon a really desirable character to me.  I now want more Falcon, I want the Falcon action figure, I want a Falcon movie, I want a Falcon poster, I want everything Falcon.  I never really gave much of a shit about Falcon but now I can't wait to see more.

  Secondly I just wanted to touch on something I read from Sebastian Stan.  In one interview he evoked Heath Ledger's name and Ledger's Joker as a major influence.  I just didn't see that in his own performance as Winter Soldier.  As the Winter Soldier Stan doesn't really have a whole lot of lines but holy shit does he pack in a whole of emotion in his smallest action and especially in his eyes.  Right from the start Winter Soldier is established as a threat, he is a credible threat to Captain America.  You wonder how Cap could possibly go up against this guy and win.  He is shown to be capable, fearless and relentlessly violent.  The people that challenge him barely escape intact, nobody gets a clean win over him and it makes you afraid any time someone gets into direct conflict with him.  He is just pure, focused hatred and anger not really the anarchist psycho that Joker was.  What I'm saying is his performance is excellent and the character is really well done (stay until after the credit for probably the best non-action Winter Soldier scene).  As far as a Joker-level tour de personality?  I just don't see it.  I do look forward to seeing more Sebastian Stan though, I really hope he has a long Marvel career ahead of him.

  Well, that's Winter Soldier, go see it, it's awesome.  The plot will definitely affect the Marvel cinematic universe from here on out but what I'm MORE interested in seeing is how it affects next weeks Agents of SHIELD.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate Deluxe Edition (2014) Xbox 360

Rating: 3 out 5 Origins That Have Nothing To Do With Arkham

Plot Synopsis:  Blackgate has been taken over by villains, again, and it's your job to stop them, again.