Dec 28, 2009

[Reviews] Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Torchlight, Universe at War, Fall Be Kind, and Boots with Spurs

It's been a while since I last wrote on this bloggie thing (it's still a weird word, but whatever) so it's about time that I update with recent viewings and things I have seen.

Avatar (2d)

My score: 3/10

The three points is appreciating the CG and the effort put into the film. However, everything else about the movie totally sucked balls. The acting was horrible at best, the characters unremarkable, and the aliens looked a little WAY too much like dranai from WoW. I know I misspelled it but I don't play WoW anymore so I can't varify the spelling since I'm too lazy. Also, the supposed "science fiction" in the film was non-existent, and the space marines were TOTAL crap. First of all the unobtanium is the word physicists and chemists use to define something necessary for a formula that doesn't exist. Therefore unobtanium would be essentially undefinable.

Another problem is that they really don't explain characters at all. You get plopped in a situation and really none of the characters matter. Even the aliens don't matter. Also, what's going on with the whole "you can't breathe the air" stuff? Apparently there's enough oxygen in the environment to cause massive explosions, but you need an air supply or else you die? It makes no sense.

If the movie wasn't half-assed environmentalist crap, than I might rate it higher, but the overal "moral" of the story is that industrialization is evil and trees and earthiness is good. If this was actually true, why did we devise ways to harness the environment for a better life? Should we live without fire and conveniences like toothpaste? It just tries to push the liberal agenda, when everyone knows (or should know) about the latest revealing of how government and politically controlled the environmentalist movement is.

Sherlock Holmes

My Score: 8/10

This movie is much better than Avatar. It doesn't try to make any great point (hence why I lowered the score) but at the same time it just tells a story. Also, it isn't really like any "classic" Sherlock Holmes story, but much more modernized and created for an American and movie going audience. While I liked how the story was told, as it was clever and rather interesting, I felt that the scenes were cut short and we really weren't given time to identify with the characters. On the other hand, Holmes and Watson are some of the most recognizable characters ever, so they could get away with it a bit more. Even then, though, the characters aren't as refined as the original stories by sir Arthur Doyle. It is a great movie, though I don't know if I'd watching more than twice.


My score: 8/10

Torchlight is essentially a Diablo clone. Diablo is an action RPG-style where you control a single character and as you level up you gain/level up abilities and stats and equipment as you advance through a dungeon. While is a great game and has high re-playability due to multiple classes, class trees, and random level design, it still feels repetitive and boring after a while. The easy and medium modes are ludicrously easy, while hard and insane are much better to my style of game play. The game is pretty fun, but it could use more variation in the game. The bosses in the game don't seem hardly "epic" enough in this game and the story is really weak as well, but really you play it for your Diablo fix. Supposedly the developers are trying to get an online mode going, which should be interesting.

There is a map editor, though I haven't played with it yet. Hopefully some really major mods will eventually come out to play. So far there are only "god" mods and some minor armor sets or creep ideas. I personally would like to see the bosses to become MUCH more of a selling point of this game. They basically only chase you around and autoattack.

Universe at War: Earth Assault

My score: 8.5/10

Universe at War is an RTS (real time strategy) that was recently on steam for $5. After doing a little bit of research and figuring out it was designed by the original C&C team and had unique game play elements, I picked it up. A lot of the negative user reviews is because the game had huge problems on release (which they patched) and steam doesn't apparently patch it properly. For me this was no issue, and on playing it works fine. The game play is beautiful, fun, and the races are TRUELY distinct from each other. I don't know about the balance yet as I hasn't played all three races, but I'm excited to play it online once I finish the campaign. The ai still isn't perfect, as I feel the pathing doesn't work perfectly yet, but overall it is very good.

Fall be Kind

My score: 9/10

The latest Animal Collective album features great tunes yet again. The only problem is that it's too short! It is full of catchy, fun songs that got me bouncing. I often don't listen to AC much, but when I come back to it it is always incredibly refreshing. I suggest buying this album when you can, as it is a breath of fresh air after a long time of other styles of music.

Boots with Spurs

My score: 7/10

This band is a screamy metal band that I got for free somehow. Honestly they aren't too bad for their first album.

The biggest problem with them is that even on the recording many of the track are not in sync with each other, as if they can't play together. This is a huge problem for me, as it really detracts from the music. However, they aren't as bad as I though they would be. Sometimes they repeat their melodies too much, and they also tend to not deviate too far from whatever chord progression the originally use as the opening theme in a piece, but short of that they aren't too bad. Some of it is actually good. If you want to check them out, I suggest you google them at some point or look up on myspace.

So that's it for now. I have a good amount of free time in Janurary but my Junior recital is closing in a bit faster than I like, so we'll see what happens.

Till later then

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