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6:37 PM on 03.17.2009

Watchmen: Saturday Morning Cartoon Version

Ever wonder what Watchmen would look like as a Saturday morning cartoon...

[embed]125280:18045[/embed]

The other Happy Harry Toons are hilarious as well. There is even one on Solid Snake.   read


12:37 AM on 03.17.2009

Ninja Blade: Demo Review



Recenlty, the Ninja Blade demo was released on the Xbox 360 network and I had the unfortunate luck of playing this dreadful ga...I mean demo. I realize that demos are not always an accurate reproduction of what the final game will be but this demo irratated me so much I just had to say something.



Ninja Blade is the story of a ninja [ if you couldn't figure that out from the title], and the thing that seperates this ninja from all other ninjas is that he has several weapons, or blades, strapped to his back [again, look at the title its right there]. The demo starts out revealing with some hard to read caption cause I don't own an HD TV that some worm thing is running amok in Japan. Then a quick video clip shows our usual ninja and game cliches: the moody ninja, the desposable ninjas, the quiet yet prophetic master, our main character, and the random street hip black ninja who flies the plane [racist much]. Game should have just been called driving Miss. Ninja. So here is where the lack of fun begins:

Our hero with his cache of weapons dives out of the plane and on the way down the player is given quicktime button presses that act as a tutorial for slashing up enemies as he falls. I know this seems cool at first and even I was fooled, but then once you fail to push the button in the correct time or push the wrong button the game freezes and acts Prince of Persian esque by rewinding to right before you have to do the button press. Now, this idea seems alright at first. I feel as if I am a part of the movie cinematic in some way, which does blend into the game quite well, but then after repeated issues this gets old and fast. The coolness factor quickly wore off and I managed to land. I thought well this isn't to bad of an issue and maybe it just happens occassionally. But oh wait it gets worse.

Now its time for the actual hack n' slash game play that I looke forward too. The game starts you off with several weapons operated by the d-pad. I do not know if you start off with these weapons in the actual game or its just a way for the demo to get you interested. Anyway, you have weapons, your magic (ninpo), your dash attack, and your combos. All of which work together in total original gameplay. Of course I am being sarcastic here.



No the weapons: 1 big sword, 1 regular sword, 1 nunchuck thing, 1 throwy blade thing, all made a debut in Ninja Gaiden. Dash attack was a feature of Shinobi for the PS2, and Ninpo is featured in Ninja Gaiden and I think Shinobi as well. I figured the game was just trying to be over the top, I mean the title is so creative after all, that I tried to let this go. After all you do have one unique thing, "ninja vision," which basically acts as a hint button for enemy and boss battles. The one huge flaw in this area is the combo or fight system, or rather the whole point of the game.



The controls are sluggish and seem to have no effect on the enemies. I loved Ninja Gaiden because of the fast action and I had the same love of Shinobi for the same reason. Both of those two games did not always take themselves as seriously, but even during their serious moments still managed to provide good game play. Ninja Blade has none of this and when I finally reach the boss of this demo, a giant spider, after several quick button presses which grew more and more annoying I was treated to a lame fight with this spider. I basically ran up to the spider and chopped its legs off. The action of this was hurt by a lack luster and un challenging strategy: hit spider with giant sword, run away with dash attack, and repeat. There is a little bit more here but you get the idea...oh and then during this you have to mash some buttons per the request. The real idiotic part of this battle was when the spider changed positions and produced some type of tiny claw thing. The spider would shoot out some fire balls, to which I would just walk around the screen or wait in the corner until it was finished. Then I would walk up to the spider and jump and swing at this use less claw thing. This part took forever and seemed uncordinated and unfocused. Eventually, I got bored and prayed for the end. When the game does end you are treated to an interesting cinematic that again you must participate in by pushing the right buttons at the right time. Unfortunately, this cool segment is marred by the rest of the game/demo.



In short, I hope this post/review, which is probably a waste of time just like Ninja Blade, saves you from making the same mistake I made when I chose to play incestual ninja offspring that is Ninja "Blade".

  read


2:20 PM on 03.04.2009

Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Game Review



With Watchmen set to debut in just a few days it is not surprising that the game has just made its debut on the XBLA. PS3 fans will get a chance to enjoy the game on the PSN network very soon as well. I read the review provided by the Destructoid crew and I must admit that I am in complete disagreement with them. While I feel the game is a typical brawler it also offers some quick and smooth game play. And, for just $20.00 the Watchmen game is a great deal when compared with the crap found on the XBLA system.

Pros: The game has decent graphics for its $20 value. If you take the time to look at Rorschach's face you will even see it melt and change. I was plesently surprised about the detail in the levels as well. The fire actually resembles fire and the mood of the graphic novel is captured perfectly by the setting, voice over, and comic book cut screens. If you are a fan of the graphic novel or merely looking for a decent arcade game to destract you until something else comes out then I wholly recommend this game. The brawling mechanics are decent as well and I felt as if my characters had weight to them. The "oh cool" moments are definitly plenty in this game and watching Rorschach snap someone's arm or pummel them in the crouch is worth it.

Cons: The game is repitious and hordes or nameless villains constantly attach without provication. However, if you know the storyline of book or even grasp the setting of the game then you realize that these nameless villains very much fit. At the same time I do think putting a decent named villain from the book would not have been to difficult here and there. I will also say that though I like the combo system it does not seem all that necessary. Often times combos take to long to use when I could just as easily throw an enemy or rip their face off, metaphroically of course.

So in short I think the game has some high replay value but is not meant to be taken as the usual game. The game is $20 for a reason and will wet the appetite of a fan or again give the XBLA system a decent game until something else is available.   read


6:43 PM on 02.20.2009

The Great Game Debate - Now With Pictures

I realize the great game debate is just as over done and tense as the one done on abortion. Everyone has a comment most of which are misleading and ignorant of the facts *cough* Jack Thompson. Yet no matter what the issue continues and now even more so with the release of Grand Theft Auto: Lost and the Damned.



I realize there is already a post on the issue but I want to focus more on Lost and Damned's full frontal nudity, God Forbid, and on the entire debate itself. First off, does any one remember a game called XXX-BMX.



The game tried to combine to cool things: BMX and full-frontal female nudity. Players could do BMX tricks and earn money to spend at a strip club. The game would then show actual strip club footage allowing the player to immerse themselves in the same grungy world of drunken and sexual debauchery without having to leave the home. Almost like what most people do on a typical Friday night with internet porn and a bottle of lotion. The game also allowed the player to create a topless female character to ride around the course with. Now maybe I am wrong on some the details. I never got to play the game myself, not because I did not want to, but because the game is awful. And I am not speaking of the moralistic implications of the game I mean the game just sucks, maybe literally who knows. The game mechanics were awful and a gamer soon found that it was better to watch real porn while playing a Matt Hoffman BMX game then to buy XXX-BMX. I bring up this game because lets face, there is no real controversy of the game. However, as soon as a penis is shown in a good game, a popular game, and even a media frenzy worthy game tempers flare.



Lets face the videogame debate did not start over nudity but violence. Violence had always been an issue going way back before Mortal Kombat. Then of course Mortal Kombat made the scene, a game that featured unrealistic blood but awesome fatalities and people, parents and old people, freaked. And understandably so. Mortal Kombat was an arcade game and had no restrictions to a younger audience who were only a quarter away from shoving a sword up someone's ass. [Blogger Note: Scorpion actually did this to me in Mortal Kombat Armagedon. I had been fighting him over and over again trying to beat him when all of a sudden performs a fatality on me by spinning me around, bending me over, shoving a sword up my character's ass, and then removing said sword with pieces of my body attached. This is why Scorpion is both a dick and awesome.] Still when the rating system took over, and companies like Gamestop and Toys 'R Us started to adhere to the ratings and require proof of age or adult consensus to purchase or rent games the debate should have ended there.

But it didn't...



No. The gamer debate continued. School shootings didn't help, but at the same time school shootings should not have been a factor. I could understand if we were in the world of virutal reality that is portrayed in Metal Gear Solid 4 but we are not. Have you ever fired a gun? Well, I will tell you from first hand experience that it is difficult at first. I do not care how much Halo I had played but when I went to a firing range for the first time I ended up with a bruised shoulder and bullet casing burn on my wrist. Oh, and at no point did a say you know in Halo he holds the gun like this and then *poof* oh my god I am a natural shot. Not even close. You know what makes kids commit acts of violence: parental neglect, constant bullying, inadequate school systems, loss of reality, and general craziness (oh Damien "Its all for you.").



Now I do think games can spurn violence when for example a person plays a game to long and loses their sense on reality. I will not hate on the WoW people but I have read far more issues about Everquest then WoW anyway. And still, in these instances the person's choice to play the game, or the parents letting the child play the game still comes down to choice. The game did not force anyone to commit acts of violence someone made a choice to do so. And no, a game cannot suggest committing acts of violence otherwise movies and books can do the same thing.



I do not care how much prostitute killing is done in a game, as long as the game is being played by the person the game is intended then there should be no debate. If a 12 or 16 year old child is playing GTA then most likely the parents bought that game for that child. So in essence yes, "Blame the parents." I realize kids make their own choices but this does not excuse parental choice. If most parents would take half the time the need to spend with them instead of being consumed by their own BS then the kid would probably turn out alright and the world would not be burdened with the passive agressive Millenium students we have today whose only recourse when dealing with a situation is to run to mom and dad because they were never taught how to deal with problems on their own. Or maybe parents should just cut the cord and let their kids grow a little as individuals and next time your kid gets beat up for picking a fight or bullying another kid you should tell that kid tough, deal with it cause you made the decision that lead to this instead of trying to sue the other kid or the kid's family. Now all this comes from a non-parent some I'm sure someone will have an issue.

In short, GTA: Lost and the Damned is intended for 17 or 18 year olds and up. The game even comes with a nice little mature content warning on it. The game is not made for kids nor it is intended for kids. And if the person playing cannot handle the nudity or violence then turn the game off and find another one to play. Go play Flower. The only violence in that game is [SPOILER] when at some point the game lightening develops the ability to electrocute flower petals. Still a great game though. I will admit that occassionally people will not check the rating of a game and will then sell that game to a kid. After all I witnessed an adult cashier at a Gamestop tell a parent that GTA was to violent only to go and suggest God of War. Luckily, I as the voice of reason spoke up and said, "Doesn't that game have an orgy mini-game? Sorry 13 year old kid you will have to find another way for your balls to drop, so off you run go play some Naruto."

I think the whole vidoegame argument exist because parents, or even just adults in general do not play videogames for the most part and as such this new thing or even thing that captures their child's attention so easily scares them. At the same time parents, who work hard to suppor their families, like the digital babysitter for what it is. Better then having little Johnny get hit by a car or smoking crack out in suburbia hell. Again though, and it does not take much, would not let your kid watch an R-rated movie without your guidence. So why would you let the kid play an R-rated game. It just does not make sense. Besides, games are not just for kids, even though most people act like kids when they play them, the games are for a wide range of ages, for people of all genders, sexual orientation, religions, races, etc. Games have the potential to provide enjoyment for just about anyone or to allow just about anyone to be offended, which I think is trully grand. Equality.

Now lets get back to something that really matters like the console war.

  read


12:06 AM on 01.12.2009

Jawbone Headset (Tech Toys NVGR)

I believe a few weeks ago there was a tech blog about that mentioned the Jawbone headset. Well I found a commercial for it. I'm not sure if its been posted already but the thing is hilarious and features the usual thing nerds like which is asian women and violence. So, enjoy:

http://www.break.com/index/hot-asian-girls-beat-up-white-guy2.html



http://www.break.com/index/hot-asian-girls-beat-up-white-guy2.html   read


3:53 PM on 01.05.2009

Mourn The Lost Videogame Sequels

This year alone so the outpour of many videogame sequels. I myself have been busy playing Fallout 3, Rockband 2, and Gears of War 2. However, in playing these great games with the anticipation of more great games such as Bioshock 2 I am left to remember those games whose sequels never saw the light of day.



Advent Rising

Remebered to some as that game Orson Scott Card wrote Advent Rising told the story of a man on a quest to save something from some aliens with use of powers now copied in games like Mass Effect and Bioshock. Advent Rising ultimately failed due to the many glitches that plagued it. I remember one friend reporting that everytime he went to target a creature for the purpose of firing his rocket launcher his character would immediately target his feet and proceed to blow them off. I think the game even promised a million dollar prize for anyone who found the online hidden objects. This prize was recounted when the game failed to meet quota and videogame company that produced it went under.

However, despite the glitches I really enjoyed this game. Sure it was frustrating at times, but it was also fun and it had a great story to go along with it. The story had a choice factor that altered the ending of the game. You chose either to save the main characters girlfriend or brother. And which over person you choose changed your final boss at the end of the game. I will admit that Orson Scott Card is a great writer and the games story really compelled me to go on even when the games frustrating glitches were enough to throw the controler through the television. Unfortunately, the game ends with your character dumped in the middle of a snow planet in waite for the next instalment of this three game triology. Since the company went under the game was never finished.



PsyOps: The Mindgate Conspiracy

This game is probably one of my all time favorite Xbox games and the mere thought of it prompts me to fond memories and a prayer that Mircrosoft will make it backwards compatible. In the game you are infiltrating a Cobra like headquarters where the generals of the installation each have their own unique mind powers such as telekenisis, pryrokenisis, and the ability to take over people's bodies just to name a few. The reasons for infiltrating this terrorist complex are not fully explained and the main character in learning about his different abilities is also trying to remember his mission. Since he's infiltrating a place with telepaths they made him forget.

The core of the gameplay involves using your different powers which involve livitating things, setting them on fire, taking them over, etc. along with gun play to make your way through the many levels of the game. Though I enjoyed the Force Unleashed I think it pales in comparision with this game. Some people will argue Second Sight was a better game, but those people can get their heads out of their asses. Anyway, the game was fun. The creators gave the bad guys load of catchy dialouge to sputter as you kill them in a variety of ways such as electrocution, being flattened after being thrown into a compressor, or my personal favorite taking over an enemy solider and then making them commit suicide with their own weapon. Some of the dialouge includes, "Its my first day," and "But its my birthday."

Now the game eneded on a cliff hanger with the main character remembering everything. Unfortunately the company went bankrupt or something and the games sequel was never finished. This is really sad cause I felt the game had so much potential. By playing the game you could unlock an Arcade mode and you could earn new costumes such as that of a clown or charred solider. The game also had one of the most interesting co-op experiences were one friend would control the movement and sight of the character along with the characters ability to fight, while the other person controled all the powers and firearms. I know this would seem frustrating but I had a lot of fun with it.



Duke Nukem

Lets face it I don't need to talk about this game everyone has been waiting for it and hopefully it will be out soon, and by soon I mean within the next decade or so. Still I felt it needed to be mentioned.



Pokemon: Red and Blue

Now I think I should also mention games that need to stop with the sequels. First and foremost is Pokemon. When Pokemon first came out for the Gameboy in the either Red or Blue edition I jumped on the chance to acquire this game. I started with Blue and picked Bulbasaur as my first Pokemon. I love the game and eventually acquired Red so that I could trade between the two games. Someone recently sent me a link to a game that acts like a direct sequel to this game where you played as Ash's son. Anyway, my point being I loved the first game but I hated all teh other sequels that came after. I felt like the franchise was being milked for all it was worth. I don't even know what their up to now, steele and platinum or something.



Dragonball Z games

I've been playing Dragonball Z: Burst Limite recently. I enjoy the game and it brings me back to the days of trying to play the SNES versions of the game. However, in playing this game I was forced to think of all the other crappy games that came before it. I love DBZ and to this day I still think fondly of the series even though they should have stopped after the Cell Saga. Like the show the games have just gone to far. They need to make a decision. Have a game with every character like Mortal Kombat did, make sure the game is good, and then just leave it alone.

On a side note the image above is for an MMORPG that is supposed to come to 360 at some point in which you can pick a human, namek, or sayian character and then go from there. Not sure how accurate the info is, but the game sounds cool if they don't screw it up. Got the info. from here: http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26152241&page=0&prev_button=1

Thats all I have for now if any one else has anything to add please do I'm sure there are some more sequels out there that should be buried.   read


4:00 PM on 12.31.2008

Life Behind Glass

This is a short story I wrote and am hoping to turn into a full book one day comprised of other short stories in the same vein. I'm looking for any opinions anyone has on the story and I must warn it is a bit long. Enjoy.

Life Behind Glass
By Joseph Fridley

I can see the cell-phone tower through the window of the break room. The window is level with the top of my head, so the tower is about all I can see. The sky is a nice clear blue with a sprinkling of clouds moving across it trying to race each other to their finish line. There is a man on the tower, hanging from it supported by his belt. ‘What does he see and will he fall?’
Though my eyes are captivated by this scene my hands work through the normal rhythm, straightening and tucking the loose cloth of the red shirt into my pants. Moving up now stopping at the first two buttons of the three-buttons, interlocking them within the fabric. And then, straightening the collar, already stiff from too much starch.
I then adjust my pant’s, standard issue black and just as stiff as my shirt. Except the stiffness in my pants is a result of imbedded grease and not starch. ‘Get your mind out of the gutter.’ Reaching into my pants pocket, I pull out my nametag and pin it to the shirt making sure that it is evenly hung below the McDonald’s logo. I rub my thumb across its smooth surface passing each letter of my name “JOSEPH” followed by the golden arches.
The nametag is important; it signifies how long I have been working here. In many ways it is like the pins that are occasionally attached to my paycheck, one for each year you’ve been working here. ‘I have two.’ Getting a nametag takes a lot of effort and it is the number one way to tell which employees are expendable and which are not. This is similar to Star Trek in which the nameless crewmembers are first to die.

3:00 PM (Back Drive Thru)
I punch my number into the computer to make sure I actually get paid for the duration of today’s working hours. I pick up the headset, heavy and lopsided, inspecting the earpiece pulling out bits of hair and dust. The headset fits snuggly on my head weighing down the left side of my face because of its giant speaker and mouthpiece. This contraption will serve as my bridge to the customers.
“Beep, beep, beep,” signals the headset, and I smile. ‘They can hear it in your voice when you do.’
“How may I help you?”
“Yes I would like a # 1 with a Diet Coke…Oh, and can you Super Size that for me please.”
“Yes, that will be $5.95, please pull around to the first window.” ‘Good thing they got the Diet Coke, don’t want those extra calories.’
I see the customer pull around in a typical car through the double paned window of the Drive Thru. I open my window smiling.
“Hi, How are you today?”
“Good,” he says handing me the money. I punch the right button sequence into register, and she responds appropriately opening up so that I can arrange and sort through the money to produce the right change. Once finished I give him his change and follow it with a,
“Thank you and have a great day, please pull around the second window.”

5:00 PM
One car, two car, three car, four, and the day starts to fade to an eerie black. I watch the sunset through the smeared glass of the sliding Drive Thru window.
“Beep, beep, beep.”
“Hi, how may I help you today?”
“Um, yes, I would like…um…a cheeseburger, and like a dollar fry, and um…like a small milk shake.”
“What flavor milk shake would you like?”
“Um…excuse me?”
“What flavor milk shake?” I say trying to mask my annoyance.
“Um…I don’t know what flavors do you have?” she says, and I slam my head gently into the glass causing it to rattle.
‘The three flavors on the fucking sign.’
“Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry,” I reply.
“Um…vanilla please.” At least she is polite. ‘If she says “like” one more time, I...um...am like going to um…like put a bullet in my brain.’
“That will be $4.05, please drive around to the first window.”
She pulls around driving a white Escalade, with new tags, she appears to be about sixteen, with dyed blonde hair, and contact colored blue eyes to match. ‘Instead of putting the bullet in my brain I would like to put it into her parents’ brains instead.’


7:00 PM (Grill)
Rick, tall and lanky, his shirt is un-tucked hanging down matching his baggy pants. He wears a stained McDonald’s hat on his head; brim facing forward, a look that accentuates the loosely tied apron that drapes over his form. Rick has one of two stand alone positions, either his hands are draped at his sides or he has them on his hips. Joseph thinks that position two is funny, because Rick looks like a mother scolding her children.
Rick, like all the other employees here has the usual back-story. He went to college for a while, then dropped or got kicked out. From there he made his way to his present location, standing in the grill area of this McDonald’s. Not surprisingly, Rick does drugs, smoking a little refer in the back freezer, dropping acid, or sometimes even getting high on mushrooms. All in all, when his head is in the game, Rick is good at his job.
At the moment he is moving in rhythmic fashion, the faster you are in the grill the more pride you can have for what you do. All the positions at McDonald’s are like this. Robbie is working next to him. Rick toasts the buns, sets up the wrappers, ketchup and mustard, maybe some mayonnaise. Robbie then takes over, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles, a little cheese for effect, and then the meat, wrap and serve.
Technically the sandwich does not get served right away; it slides along the steel table to a heating box that keeps it warm until it is ordered. That way during a rush extra double cheeseburgers, nuggets, etc. are on hand. This saves time. Served fresh and hot just for you, ‘I’m loving it.’
The two are singing as they work,
“Hold the pickles. Hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way. Here at Burger…” they stop singing, Rick turns to Robbie.
“Whoops, wrong song,” the two laugh in union.

Robbie’s an interesting character; he displays an intelligence and confidence that works well to mask his ignorance. Robbie is sixteen years old, white or Hispanic, and enjoys spending the majority of his time either having sex with his girlfriend, hanging out with friends, or working here at McDonald’s while discussing the different ways in which he has had sex with his girlfriend. Robbie is the typical stereotype that is represented by comedians discussing single life versus married life. Except that Robbie is not married, but his eighteen-year-old girlfriend who has just graduated from high school is pregnant. This makes Robbie a statistic, and a different stereotype all together.
“Well we’ve tried just about every single position you can think of,” Robbie says, “Missionary, doggie, just to name a few.”
“Yeah I know what you mean,” Rick answers, “Those are some good ones, I especially like when she is on top.”
Chris, another grill worker, interrupts the two’s conversation, wanting to know if the two need more meat. He moves back and forth across the grill spreading cold burger patties across the grill like a Blackjack dealer. Chris is a 400 lb. black man, who lives with his girlfriend and their two kids. Chris grew up in the hood, he knows what it means to survive, and he knows the difference between a ghetto and the word thrown around by middle class teenagers. His head is scarred from youthful fights and his arms are scarred with many small burns and scorch marks, courtesy of the grill and the many fryers.
Everyone who has worked in the grill or at this McDonald’s has similar burn trophies to match. Rick has small splotches up his arms from splashing grease and a red indentation on his knuckle, a result of flesh meeting hot metal. Robbie’s right hand has a now faded indent from accidentally touching the grill while cleaning it. Joseph has a long slash on his right forearm, and a tear shaped burn on his left hand from a drop of grease that burned right through his glove. The list goes on and on in memory, but never on paper.

Chris goes to get more meat out of the freezer. The freezer stores food and memories, memories of stolen food, of drug intoxication, and of a hide-and-seek-feel-me-up game, a game only done when the power goes out. The freezer might be cold to the touch, but it is the warmest place in the building.
The two boys are left to their play. The rush has died down, but an order is still left on the screen, a constantly changing fish sandwich. First no tarter sauce, then extra tarter sauce, back and forth the order goes. Finally, Robbie in a fit of rage sprays the sandwich with enough tarter sauce to cover five fish sandwiches.
“Wrap and serve,” laughs Rick, and the two do just that.

~BREAK TIME~

8:00 PM (Front Cashier)
I can here Rick and Robbie talking in the grill, discussing their supposed sex lives. Robbie has asked me several times to accompany him to a party where he will make sure I get laid, all I have to do is sit there and he will find a girl to take care of all the rest. Thus, breaking my virgin standing, like that’s a bad thing. ‘I bet he would make the same offer to Rick, if he knew that Rick was virgin too.’ Just about everyone here has a comment to make about sex, about something or someone they have done at sometime or another.
Robbie leaves the grill to go smoke a cigarette, and I think about messing with Rick. Sometimes I hide up front and whisper into the grill, which always startles Rick, because he thinks it’s coming from the radio playing overhead. I duck down behind the coffee pots and whisper,
“Kill everyone.” Rick hears the voice and looks up at the ceiling. He seems shocked in disbelief. ‘I wonder if he will.’ I stand up and he sees me.
“Did you say that man?”
“Yeah,” I say, smiling and laughing.
“Don’t do that I thought it was the radio telling me to do that,” he says then starts to chuckle in return. ‘No, Rick never could, no matter how much he wishes he had it in him.’

I’m working the front register now, a title known as “Cashier,” even though it is the exact same job I did in the Drive Thru. This time, however, there is no glass between the customer and me.
The dining room is empty and for the most part clean. The walls of the dining room are dust less, made from dark wood that works to offset the lighter color of the room’s hard wood floors. The hard wood floors are peppered into the mosaic tile design, serving only to catch pieces of food and dirt that fall from eagerly eating customers.
There are only two outside entrances into the dining room, and from where I am standing I can see both of them. The glass doors and large bay windows are lined with posters and stickers advertising the latest sale of food, food that eagerly awaits the customer inside. ‘One window faces the Burger King next door, taunting it with a Big Mac sign that reads, “Hot and ready, just for you.” ‘Just for you.’
This McDonald’s is different from many others, because instead of having a ball pit were the kids can be caged while their parents eat, or a make shift jungle gym that is padded down so that little Timmy can break a bone, but not cut himself, there is a small stage on which sits a large electronic baby grand piano, and the Mac Tonight guy. Piano is impressive and sometimes it is turned on for the customers. ‘I’m one of the few people, besides Eugene who knows how to work it.’
Mac Tonight is impressive too, but for different reasons. He is a crescent moon faced man in a tux wearing sunglasses, an old ploy at selling Big Macs way back when, a glitzy icon for the adult in you. What people do not know, however, is that the mannequin supporting Mac Tonight’s structure is of the female form, making Mac Tonight a transvestite.

Through the glass I catch glimmers of the many cars that are pulling into the parking lot. In no time the doors open as a flock of teenage kids walk in followed by their gleeful parents. A man approaches,
“How may I help you today sir?”
“Oh I would like a # 2, plain, and the Crispy Chicken Salad with Cobb dressing for my wife,” he says, “she’s trying to eat healthier.”
I nod and smile ringing up the order. ‘The Crispy Chicken Salad with Cobb dressing has more fat and calories then a cheeseburger, but it has the word salad in it so I guess it is healthier.’
“That will be $8.55.”
I take his money and look at the line forming behind the customer, the man catches my attention.
“We are all just getting out of Grave Avenue Baptist Church’s Bible Study,” he says answering my look, “have you ever been?”
“Yes, once or twice.”
“What did you think of the youth program?”
“Nice, kind of like a cult.”

The rush has died down once again and the majority of Churchgoers have left. My manager Eugene has sent me to straighten up the dining room. I sweep up the discarded french-fries, spilt salt, dust, dirt, and napkins into my dustbin. The current toy promotion is for Disney’s Finding Nemo, a point made clear as I stare into Nemo’s face while picking up a discarded Happy Meal box.
A customer approaches the front and Eugene who is working the register. The man is carrying a half eaten fish sandwich inside an open blue wrapper.
“What seems to be the problem?” Eugene asks.
“I found a fin in my sandwich,” he answers shoving the food into Eugene’s face. Eugene lifts his head taken back a bit at the grey fin sticking out of the fried rectangle. Eugene smiles and answers the man,
“Well, I guess we found Nemo.”

I smile myself at this comment, and continue about my work. Spilled drinks, exploded ketchup packets, and knocked over salt containers. This mess is small in comparison to some of the other things I have seen here. And this mess pales in comparison to the last time the church’s youth group had been here. Then we were advertising for another one of Disney’s movies, the toy then had been stuffed teddy bears. When I was cleaning up from that mess I found that one of the bears had been crucified, two straws crudely run through its body in a “t” shape. ‘And he wondered why I called it a cult.’

10:00 PM (Washing Dishes)
I am hidden in the back now, bent over the sink washing dishes, or rather, washing the grill equipment, fry station, and any items left unclean by the lazy morning shift. Some of the items I soak in soapy water, while others I just spray down with the shower nozzle, splashing water onto my white plastic apron. I like washing dishes because I am left alone to my own devices, that and I can clearly hear the music playing over the radio. ‘Here I am able to think, ponder, and wonder why.’
Now I am washing coffee pots that held coffee or tea that has not been changed since the lunch rush ended. ‘Made hot and fresh daily, they just never say which part of the day.’ I stop and look up, I hear shouting blending in out with the speaker playing overhead. I look into the grill were I see Rick going about his closing activities. I go back to washing the coffee pots, when I hear it again, louder this time. I head toward the backdoor entrance of the building, an entrance only used for food deliveries and for taking the trash out. ‘Shouldn’t the front door entrance be used for food, while only trash goes out the back, that’s the way it works for most people.’ There I find Christian standing in the doorway shouting. I walk toward him carrying a coffee pot covered in soapsuds that stretches and distorts the images outside.

Christian is trying to take out the trash when a Hispanic boy of about sixteen or seventeen stops him. The boy is a friend of some of the employees at this fine establishment. Christian and this boy had been shadow boxing in the dinning room when Christian accidentally punched him in the cheek. The punch was not very hard, only grazing the boy, but the boy, who is drunk, took this as an assault on his manhood. To make up for this occurrence he is yelling at Christian, trying to instigate a fight. Walking back and forth he removes articles of clothing, first his shoes and socks, next his shirt, all the while trying to call his “boys” on his cell phone. His girlfriend, pretty with blonde streaks in her hair is trying to dissuade him from his current goal, but he just waves her off. The girl could do much better than him, something neither of them knows.
Christian is now angry as hell at the confrontation and is trying to tell the boy that he does not want to fight him, while at the same time instigating the fight in order to protect his manhood. The two go back and forth yelling and screaming at one another, each staking out their territory.

I walk up behind Christian not completely sure of the situation. There is a half naked Hispanic boy yelling at Christian. The boy’s girlfriend tries to push him toward a car, trying in futility to defuse the situation. The shouting match captivates me; the two are locked in their verbal fight. ‘If Christian knows how to fight, why won’t he.’
I break my attention away from the scene and look up to see two Hispanic men in the parking lot; arms folded across their chest the two stands at different angles to each other and the shouters. The man closest to me looks at into my eyes and smiles. I nod and smile back, unsure of the now developing situation. ‘I am 6 ft. 1in. and 250 lbs., decked out in a tall white apron that looks like it was stolen from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film, and I am holding a soapy coffee pot in my gloved hands.’ The man thinks this is going to get interesting.
I look down at Christian, who is still shouting with rage, and slowly put my hand on his shoulder. I’m afraid he will swing at me. ‘If he does then the situation will get interesting, I wonder how much damage a coffee pot can do to a face.’ Christian stops yelling, brought back to reality, he starts discussing the situation with me as he comes back inside, pulling the bin full of trash with him. I nod one last time at the two gentlemen, whose arms are still crossed over their chest, and they nod back in union. ‘That is what men look like.’

12:00 PM
I sit at a booth in the dinning room next to one of the buildings entrances. I have discarded my red shirt, pinning my nametag to the dirty white shirt underneath, a ritual that will insure I do not poke my fingers when reaching for my keys. I sit staring out the window into the dark; I can see the cars in the parking lot and my reflection in the glass. My hair is disheveled smelling from this place. My eyes look tired, now a faded blue. They drift to the distorted in the reflection of the bag of food that sits next to me.
I sit here waiting for everyone else. After everyone has finished their closing duties we will leave here for our homes. Departing from the building one at time to insure that we do not get mugged and the building does not get robbed. The manager waits inside, while the others get in their cars. Then once everyone is safe he will lock up and go to his car as well. And off we drive into the night, an end to a long day. ‘Is this it?’   read


11:47 PM on 12.30.2008

Uwe Boll and the Videogame Movie Debate



Several years ago for no particular reason I decided to attempt the task of emailing the infamous videogame movie director Uwe Boll. I will not say how I did this for fear of causing an upheveal of hate mail toward the man but I will say that I managed to contact the director and through this contact was able to give him my personal opinion about his videogame-to-movie adaptations. I could reprint the email and may, but for now I'll just give a brief synopsis of what was said. In short, I commented on the difficulty in adapting a 20-50 hour videogame into a 2 hour movie and then explained how the biggest issues with his films where the poor set, costume, and prop design. In general each movie has had at least one scene that impressed me. Keeping this in mind, I do not think Uwe Boll is a bad director and if anyone has seen any of his non-videogame films you would understand my reasoning. I do think that Uwe is not the best videogame director for the few reasons I listed above and the many more reasons I'm sure have been sprayed throughout the internet in various blogs and postings. So, what I will do is give a review of two of his films, one is videogame related as I will review Postal. The other is a non-videogame movie Seed.



Postal

[3 out of 5 stars]

The first thing to remember is not to take Postal seriously. The game is not a serious one unless so the movie should not be taken seriously as well. I will first stipulate that the movie does suffer from some of the same pitfalls as the other Uwe Boll videogame movies such as poor set and costume design. And by design I mean the stuff looks fake and like it belongs in a stage or theater production. The movie itself is about some poor schmo who in trying to look for a job and an escape from his life lands in the middle of a terrorist and seperate cult plot to destroy the world. Dave Foley of Kids in the Hall fame is in the film and is awesome in his performance as Uncle Dave, can you believe it, to the main character Dude played by Zach Ward.

The film has a lot of random slapstick jokes that are on par with Freddie Got Fingered and South Park. However, most of the time these jokes work. I don't think the movie will ever be classic as it tries a little to hard to be funny and at times just doesn't communicate the humor its going for. I felt like I had seen some of the jokes before and in better films. Also, the director makes a cameo in the film as himself fighting the creator of the Postal videogame who plays himself. The two duke it out in a boxing fight which pertains to the real boxing match that Uwe held against internet abusers a few years back. These fights are also a special feature on the DVD. This being said the movie is basically an in your face from Uwe to all the haters out there. Thus, I recommend the movie as it will be entertaining and unforgettable as it seems to linger by being both bad and good. Some people will probably love and some will hate it and everyone else will rate it on IMDB without actually seeing it.



Seed

[3 out of 5 stars]

Seed is what I would call a good horror film. The film is slow and at times a bit campy but overall it is a good horror film. The basic plot is that a serial killer apptly named Seed is placed in the electric chair. However, barring an old urban legend of a law, once a person is fried twice in a row without dieing. If the person survives the third attempt the individual is allowed to heal up and go free. In the film after surviving the first two jolts of electricity the people present decide to bury Seed alive fearing he will survive another attempt and be set free. This plot, however, thinly covers the true plot of the movie that follows the capture of Seed, the execution, and Seeds revenge. The film is very arthouse and the suspense builds and builds as the audience is given witness to the brutal acts of Seed and the stigmas surrounding the characters from the police in the film. Again I must stipulate that the film is slow. However, the film provides some truely horrifying and shocking moments. Uwe Boll is an avid animal lover and Peta supporter and thus, uses real animal abuse footage in the film such as a video og a dog walking around without skin. The film also has one particular horrifying scene involving a baby, but I will not say more at risk of spoiling the film. The movie not out to give anyone a good day is what I'm basically trying to say and even for myself who is pretty unimpressed by shock torture movies such as Hostel and Faces of Death I was forced to cringe a bit.

Now the movie does have some failings. For one, a couple of scenes are so dark that I cannot see what is going on in terms of violence or action. This effect heightens the realism of the film yet also detracts from the visual stimulas that a movie is suppoed to provide. Another issue that I have mentioned is the pacing of the film. Some of the gruesome moments linger to long, while others do not last long enough. Probably the biggest issue is that there are some plot holes or rather errors. The plot makes since, but some of the fake news information for the character does not add up properly and detracts from this serial killer rather then adds some suspense and awe.

In the end, I recommend this film and suggest that people give Uwe a chance when it at least comes to the non-videogame movies. I always see Uwe as this developing director who is growing in his technique and style. The audience grows with the director and gets a preview of how this artists works develop. Unfortunately, this development involves the slaughter of favorite videogames and further bars any hope of decent videogame-to-film adaptations...

P.S. I don't know if I did the images correctly so any advice would be helpful and welcomed.   read


10:14 AM on 12.30.2008

Movie Worthy Videogames

I don't know why I thought of this but the idea suddenly occurred to me that some videogames, no matter how far fetched their premise is, should be made into a movie.

Redneck Rampage

For those of you who remember, this game was about a bunch of Rednecks trying to survive an alien take over. The game was basically Duke Nukem meets Doom. You could do everything Redneckish such as getting drunk off of to much moonshine, go cow tipping, and I think you could even pee on things but this might just be my imagination. I could never finish the game though i always got stuck at one point and at the time things like gamefaqs and game strategies were not available. Besides I do not think I wanted to be the guy to purchase a Redneck Rampage game strategy book.

The movie version would be great. You could even throw in some racial humor by making it a black/white buddy comedy like Wild Wild West or something. The soundtrack could be completely populated by country songs like "She Broke My Heart, So I Broker Her Jaw" inter-mixed with a few rock-and-roll songs. Not to hate on the man, but Uwe Boll could direct and make something on par with his Postal movie, a movie that actually was decent to watch if it is not taken seriously.

Dynamite Heady

Someone mentioned it in a comment section of another post and i must admite this was one of my favorite Sega Genesis games growing up. There was another game where you were a skeleton and you threw your bones but I can't for the life of me remember the title of the game. Anyway, back on target I loved the game. You had interchangable heads, catch classical music background, and random bosses that looked like their origin must have been spawned from a random acid or shroom trip.

For the movie the plot would follow that of the game which I can't remember at the moment, but the end boss should be changed to Rayman. Rayman's trying to destroy heady whose existance compromises his copyright.

Earth Defense Force 2017

I honestly hate this game with passion. I do not have to many games I hate, but this one would top the list. The game for all intents and purposes should be cool. Giant Japanese type monsters. Cool weapons. Cool vehicles. One little guy who looks like he belongs in the latest Power Rangers update. However, the game just sucks and half the time your one guy against 10 building sized robots where your only weapon is a rocket launcher and a rusty gun that frequently jams and has one bullet in it for committing suicide. The game is so bad it actually works against you. You want to hide behind a building. Sorry thats not going to happen all the buildings are made out of paper and crumble when wind blows to hard.

I think a movie of this would be interesting if it didn't take itself seriously. For example, the protagonist would need to be like Bruce Willis from Die Hard. While everyone else is acting like the situation is normal he needs to be like WTF. The giant monsters could even be a common place thing. While everyone goes off to work no one pays attention when a giant robotic foot crushes their coworker or something.

Conker's Bad Fur Day

For the purpose of this post I am referring to the N64 version of the game. The Xbox version was alright when the story is considered for all it basically did was expand on the humor and gameplay of the story. However, in consideration of multiplayer the N64 version for out does the Xbox version.

The movie version of the game should focus on the war between the squirrels and the teddies. Watching a Nazi Teddy Bear knife a squirrel would be pretty entertaining to say the least. The multiplayer aspect of the game was the best. Whether you were squirrels or teddy bears fun could be had by all. The fun was even turned up when the computer AI was set to Einstein (don't know if thats spelled correctly) level. At this difficulty you could jump out of a window and watch your head explode in free fall. An act, which at the time, was considered impossible. So in the movie expect war type settings as teddy bears and squirrels face off. Also, the movie would be live action.   read


12:18 AM on 12.30.2008

10 Worst Videogame Movies (in no particular order)

After watching the new Street Fighter movie trailer on Destructoid I felt compelled to post my own views of the videogame movie phenomenom. I'm sure I could list just about every movie Uwe Boll has ever done and just about fill out the list. However, I won't do that. I've actually spoken with the man through e-mail correspondence and though I do not always like his renditions of many of my treasured videogame properties such as House of the Dead or BloodRhayne I must admite that he is not a terrible person and actually kind'ove cool in that F the world sense. Anyway, that is not to say that his movies don't make the list and I'm sure I could talk about him as a director more in a different post so to the buisness at hand:

10) House of the Dead

The biggest problem with this movie is that there is no actual house for the dead to be connected with. There is a church and a boat and several tents and underground caverns. However, there is no actual house. I mean its in the F-ing title. How do you F- that up. Anyway, I'm sure I could harp on this one very important detail, but lets face facts this isn't even the worst problem the film has. For one, the fisherman from the fishstick box is in the movie. I do not think I have ever actually seen a fisherman wear a yellow, lets go dance in the rain, rainslicker on a fisherman before. Then of course the whole random asian-chick running around in a American Flag themed jumper does not help matters. So I guess you could say wardrobe is an issue in the film along with set design.

Another big issue is the special effect. Uwe Boll as access to decent special effects and every now and then I am able to take a moment from his movies and go, "Wow! that was actually pretty cool." However, House of Dead does not do this. The whole spinning around the person while they fire a gun is cool at first but hen soon gets annoying. Following this effect with spliced in images from the actual game and the rest of the film is a complete disaster. Plus, there is no to very little nudity in the film. What's a good horror film without a random boob or bare ass thrown in somewhere.

9) Double Dragon

When the guy who looks like a walking anti-drug, anti-roids campaign is able to save the day by telling everyone to turn on the lights then you know you have a bad movie. The movie could have been good, it could have had decent martial arts and stylized sets, or even utilized a few superpowers like motifs interlaced with Karate Kid philosophies, but no the movie doesn't do this or anything else praiseworthy. I recently watched it again on OnDeman out nostalgia's sake and was sorely disappointed. Another movie i will mention on this list, the Super Mario Brothers movie, at least had an interest style and plot concept to make up for its failures. Double Dragon on the other hand has none of these going for it and comes off as being the incestuous G-rated child of Robocop and Escape from LA.

8) Street Fighter

One Name: Jean-Claude Van Damme

I honestly respect this actor. He has made some decent films, nothing to noticable but some actual entertaining movies, like that one were he is in the prison fighting the Sandman, or the Time Cop movie. Plus, the guy can even recognize his cult status and the place he serves on the movie rack of every redneck and Walmart shopper out there. However, lets face it. The movie was horrible and only barable if taken as a spoof as the Destructoid recommends. Why the hell are the good guys wearing light blue camo. Who thought this was a good idea. Just because it works in a videogame does not mean it works in real life. Also, Bison comes off as an idiot and Magneto wannabe.

7) Wing Commander

I probably shouldn't even mention this movie sense I haven't seen it all. However, who has really seen it all every time I watch it or rather catch it on TNT or TBS or run into the VHS of the film in the bargin bin of a yard sale I want to stab my eyes out. Extreme i know, but the movie by normal standards is awful. I like Matthew Lillard as an actor and Freddie Prince Jr. is married to the Buffy chick so I can't hate him to much, but the two just don't work well in this film about something involving aliens and space and ships and wings and...

6) Super Mario Brothers

The movie is admittidly bad. But when i was a kid and it was coming out I did my best to collect every damn slurpy cup that bore an image from the film. I watched the film several times not catching on to its general "badness" and even now as an adult I still remember the movie fondly and wish I had my own pet Yoshi and Princess, and that some type of sentient fungus would give me presents. I think the movie can be appreciated by the type of actors in the film and the style of the film. However, you could easily remove the title of the film and switch it to something else and no one would have any idea the movie had anything to do with Mario or his brother.

5) Tomb Raider

If I want to see Anglina Jolie with fake breasts I just go searching on the internet. I don't need an hour and a half movie to support this interest. The Tomb Raider games were fun, but I find it hard to believe that the character was interesting enough to support an entire movie. The first one was all right in terms of action and such. But if you really want to see AJ kicking some ass just watch Wanted.

4) Tomb Raider 2

The shadow beasts were cool, and so was the ending of the movie. The ending of the movie was good cause it was over, which meant I was free from the hellish torture the movie instigated by being watched.

3) BloodRayne

If you have been unfortunate enough to see the movie then you understand why I won't go into it. The movie is bad though, I mean really bad. There is no redeeming factor about the film. I wish there was, but there is nothing I can say to make you go this movie is decent, or I could watch this again. The plot is bad, the dialouge is bad, the clothing is bad, the acting is decent on Kingsley's part and maybe a few others but I wasn't really paying attention I pretty much gave up after the first 5 minutes. The weapons were especially bad. They looked like they were made of aluminum, and by aluminum I mean that stuff dad uses to wrap the grill with or you use to protect a finally prepared sandwitch or other edible treat. Or even dare I say that thing Pee Wee Herman keeps in his play house and if you know what I'm talking about you also thing that Laurence Fishburne made a good cowboy. But I digress...

2) Resident Evil 2

I really enjoyed the first film, but the second film for me, even though I own it, was a huge disappointment. Nemisis should inspire fear and chaos and memories of absolute destruction. I remember when playing Resident Evil 2 the game, and he first appeared I ran. I didn't even think about it. The gun wasn't going to work so I ran and I ran fast as my little pixalated legs would carry me. I remember feeling satisfied as I turned a corner thinking I had escaped this beast and was free...but i was wrong for he just walked right through the F-ing wall that bastard.

The Nemisis in the film looked nothing like the one I remembered. He looked so fake and I think the fact that he was wearing platform shoes didn't help. Plus, there was the CGI issue with the lickers. I could go on a rant about the overuse of CGI versus good Sam Winston puppetry, but the point is the lickers looked like they were fake and did not compare with the one from the first film. Overall the film was as bad as the implants the Jill Valentine actress had to wear.

1) Mortal Kombat 2

If I was putting these in order this film would be my number one no matter what. The first film was decent for its time. The plot was good for what it was. The characters were actually believable for the most part. Kano actually looked cool. Goro even looked pretty sweet for the time and the scenes with him were well done and unexpected. I still think back to the fight between Scorpion and Johnny Cage and the lack of pain on Scorpion's face when his spear slams into a tree. I also remember the Reptile fight. The logistics of it confused me, but it was a brutal fight. Then in rolls this sequel and I mean what the hell happend. My favorite character at the time aside from Scorpion, Rain, dies by getting thrown into a pit of fire by the villain. Johnny Cage dies at the beginning. The setting of the film looked completely fake as did the costumes and anything else you could think of. The story was also just terrible. I'm sure I could give details but I don't need to. If you have seen the film you know what I am talking about. I think the worst part of the film is when one of the Baraka clones gets thrown into the fire. If you freeze frame the film as he falls then you discover that its some guy wearing all black and not Baraka at all. Thats just lazy film making. Lazy I say.   read


1:40 AM on 12.26.2008

Your Favorite Videogame Moments Part 2

I think I'll starte where I left off. After the proximity mine match that ended in utter defeat for my opponent we decided to try a different more cliche grouping of weapons, mainly: rocket launchers. I am a self proclaimed rocket-whore and no matter the game my rockets seem to develop homing capabilities and instantly find their targets. What is more, in some games I have developed a rocket immunity that will allow me to walk away from a rocket blast of fire unharmed. This started in Goldeneye, where I for some reason could take a direct rocket hit and walk it off or rather walk away from it for the most part unharmed. The flames would be there my character would gasp as the flames licked his body trying to burn it to a crisp, but some how I would walk free to continue the good fight as it were. This is not to suggest that I am some gaming god, I like everyone have my good days and my bad, but for some reason the rockets just don't like to hurt me and when I'm in control of them love to hurt others. So this is where my story begins.

We started a new match even though I had completely dominated my foe in the last battle I still played innocent to the game. The next set of weapons was rockets, the next level was the caverns, or at least I think this is the title I cannot seem to remember but it had caverns in it and several secret passages through caves, and I think there is some water in the level. Anyway, we begin the match and sure enough the first thing I do is duck. If anyone remembers Goldeneye there was no way to really move your legs but you could duck and it looked essentailly like you were gliding around on the floor with one knee. When I encountered my opponent the first time we were both with out rockets. However, in his attempts to get a head shot he made one fatal error, that when ducked I was a harder target while he was not. Essentially, I took him down and claimed my rockets before scurrying off to waite. The duck feature is really under utilized I think and if you pick OddJob you shrink even more. When we met again he fired a rocket at me but again being half the size the rocket missed, while mine hit home. Another thing that my opponent did not know is that fire can go through objects in the game. I did know this though so I used it to my advantage by shutting at the spots underneath him so the fire would go up through the floor. I won that match and we continued to a different level with the same weapons only now I kept firing at random doors so the fire would go through and get him. You have to appreciate the complete lack of real physics in some games.

I'll admite that last moment was not as exciting, but I have another from the days of old school gaming. While playing another game of oldschool Halo, my friends and I decieded to try out capture the flag. This time the match was 2-on-2 but being that my teammate did not know the difference between his gun and his ass it might as well have been a 2-on-1 match. So, leaving my teammate to snipe from our base, or rather hide in the rocks behind the base and shoot at random flying birds in a game where there were no birds I adventured forth to claim my flag. As many people know ducking will remove you from radar, as well standing still. I knew I had chance at winning so I decided to just bascially screw with the other team as much as possible. the first thing i did was sneak into their base and wait. I waited for about 10min, when an opponent jumped down into the base. I should first mention that the stage was Blood Gultch for anyone who knows what I'm talking about. When my opponent jumped down I immediately shot him with a shotgun which produced a loud yelp from the other room in surprise. I then just waited again. I did not grab the flag I just waited. When my friend had respawned I grabbed the flag, but just waited in the base without moving. Again my friend ventured into the whole trying to find the flag. Instead he found me hiding and so I dismatched of his body with another yelp. Eventually, my tactics were found out and by that time I had to result to wandering into the middle of the field where I would be quickly shot and forced to respawn back at my base where my teammate would be waiting profusing to be protecting the base even though we had already lost about 2 flags. I resulted to try one more strategy. I snuck into the side rocks and waited for my opponent, but I did come alone I brought a ghost that dropped randomly into the entrance of this cave and waited. I had no real plan I just decided to wait. I know my opponent used this route and sure enough in time the person approached. From the other room I heard a mumbling about this random ghost and then sure enough my opponent jumps over and then bam! one blast from the shotgun and he is fraged. The end result was another scream. After the match was through even though my team had been defeated horribly my friends referred to me as a ninja. I think that title alone made the match worth it.

I wish I had newer moments but I'm afraid there are not to many. As games develop they lose their glitchyness and I think some of their sporadic fun. For instance I once had a slapp fight in another match of Goldeneye when some how my opponent slapped me off the level. This is an impossible feat, but some how it happened. I got bitch slapped so hard I fell to my death. Now in Halo 3, a game I love, when this happens its expected. I will say bad games have a tendency of producing these results. For instance in Red Steele, a game for the Wii, I some how got stuck in a wodden crate. I could shoot out and thus kill my opponent, but my opponent could not shoot in. Unfortunately, I also could not leave my new prision cell, this box, so I had to blow myself up with gernades.

Also, I must ask, please people share your own war stories we are in videogame territory here and we cannot share our stories here then where can we?   read


1:21 AM on 12.26.2008

Seven Pounds Movie Review

Four out of Five Stars

I will warn here that in trying to review this movie I may accidentatlly reveal spoilers about the contents of the film. Thats one of the aspects of the movie, its very difficult to describe the plot without giving the movie away.

*Possible Spoilers*

In short "Seven Pounds" is about an IRS agent who for some reason is intruding on the lives of random people. In videogame terms Will Smith's character Ben Thomas is on a quest to find people he can help. The reasons behind his actions remain a mystery but are some how connected to the death of his wife and several others. The film begins with the Ben discussing how his life changed in seven seconds. As is obvious from the title the number seven pays a key factor in the film. In seven seconds his life changed as a result Ben is distraught. Not much is known about this change except that it involved the death of his wife.

As the film unfolds the audience is introduced to several different characters including the characthers Ezra Turner (Woody Harrelson) and Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson). Ezra's character is a blind muscian and meat salesman who doesn't eat meat, while Emily is a print artist who has a heart condition and who also does not eat meat. I mention the meat thing because it seemed to be a strange theme in the film, almost as if the director is pushing for veganism. No qualms here just thought it was interesting.

Back to the point at hand. Ezra does not play huge role in the movie yet his character is important for it ties into Ben's quest. The whole movie is about discovering what happened to change Ben's life and what he intendes to do as a result of this change. This of course is the obvious plot, but in time the film focuses mainly on the developing romance between Ben and Emily's characters. Though at times I feel that the film is trying to hard to push the emotions in one direction or another it really does a great job of creating those tear jearking moments. I am one who does not typically cry over a scene in a film unless I feel its done really well. And I will admite that Seven Pounds seems as if it is written with a lot of cliches in order to capitalize on those tear jearking moments. This, however, is probably my only issue with the movie aside from the its pacing. The film moves really fast for the most part. At times this helps to keep the audiences attention while at other times it causes gaps and questions. I don't mean plot holes only the gaps that bring to mind what just happened, how did we get from point A to point B so quickly? The characters are explained for the most part but I would have enjoyed more screen time with some of them such as Ben's brother who is always calling Ben throughout the film in order to get answers from Ben and to generally cause the audience to raise questions about Ben's motives. I think another character I wanted to see more of was Ezra. The interactions with him are meaningful, but overall I wanted to delve deeper into his character.

Overall I give the film 4 out of 5 stars because the film holds you in suspense and even causes you question some moral aspects about the world. For guys or anyone with a significant other who wants to get some brownie points i recommend this film as it will convey sympathetic condolances. I wish I could explain more about the film, but again its hard to do without giving so much away. If anyone wants to know more and does not care about spoilers then ask and I will post below. Also, the end of the film is good and makes you cringe in a good way.   read





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