Friday, 19 January 2018

TimeShift

Mad scientist decides to LARP as Hitler.

Thanks to cutting edge tech that can alter the past, one mad man changes the timeline entirely to control the world, and obviously you have to stop him. Set in an alternate 1939, you aren't given much reason to help a band of demanding and impatient rebels other than your main adversary is the leader of the evil regime oppressing them.

It's like being the Flash!

Fortunately it is a fun albeit on the rails task, with no incentive to explore the decent maps on offer. You will also be using your limited time control abilities to solve puzzles, some I feel are a bit mundane to waste the ability on but its the gimmick here so it is put to full use. The abilities are very handy in combat though - especially since the enemy always has a tactical advantage over you. Later on, they start getting nice armor too.

Definitely a solid shooter and one I can recommend to fans of the genre. I give it 3 rewinds out of 5.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Coyote Ugly

Don't ask for water.

It's a familiar story - a shy girl pursuing a music career moves to a big city, runs into heavy resistance, and resorts to working at a sleazy bar to make ends meet. To succeed, she has to overcome her shyness. With a predictable plot and a few montages to help it along this quickly becomes one of those, "watching it since nothing else is on" movies.

Thumbs up for eye candy! :P

Pity the lead actress (Piper Perabo) wasn't a strong enough singer that she required a bigger name to do her song (of almost MTV quality) towards the end but at least they explained it early in the piece. There are no huge flaws to speak of, but no huge successes either. Ultimately I did find it bland, and not one I'd want to see again. It still gets 2.5 songs in the dark out of 5 though.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Ghostbusters (The 2009 Video Game)

How the movies should have continued.

Set directly after the Ghostbusters II (1989) movie you are put into the shoes of a rookie who joins the Ghostbusting team on their next adventure. Dubbed the "Experimental Equipment Technician" you can use the funds collected from captured ghosts and collected cursed artifacts to upgrade the performance of your proton pack, expanding your weapon array to match the growing resistances of your foes; provided you still have funds after damaging public property.

Watch your aim, rookie.

Everything about this game is absolutely top notch, capturing a good balance of comedy and horror and having cool segments of working with the other Ghostbusters as well as segments where you are solo. The maps are beautiful, graphics are good, the voice acting, story and game play are superb. Indeed, the only thing I can possibly fault this on is the initial long loading time.

Other than that, I highly recommend this game not just to fans of the original movies, but to all gamers. I give it 5 ghost traps out of 5.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Butterfly Effect

Change the past to change the future.

Evan is one messed up kid, not just because his dad is in the looney bin or due to his memory lapses. It's mostly because he has a bunch of worthless friends. Fortunately, he has two things going for him. A) He grows up to look like Ashton Kutcher (who plays his adult self, could be worse) and B) he can go back in time where he can alter his past, which in turn changes his present.

A regular human proves to be Evan's greatest foil.

The idea behind this is very cool, where his lifestyle and his friends alter with each change. Unfortunately how it is presented, especially in the first half of the movie is a jumbled mess of annoying time skips. Sure, the blanks are filled in during the second half but it isn't really successful in making me care much for Evan. Especially since his entire life he is bullied by someone two feet shorter than him.

An interesting take on time travel, but not one I'm keen to see again. I give it 2 burning dogs out of 5.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Project: Snowblind

Featuring a very acrobatic protagonist (in cutscenes only).

It is the year 2065 where graphics have a dated blocky look and villains still have stupid plans; providing many "save rooms" for protagonists to thwart them from. Apart from those anomalies, this is a decent shooter by Eidos. Enemies have decent AI and the maps seem to always have a stealth / alternate option to get through.

Some parts have no option but mass slaughter.

The augments and gadgets you get as the hero - cybernetically enhanced due to a "mishap" in the tutorial - are also cool. You can hack turrets and battle bots and make them work for you. There are also bigger mechs and vehicles that you (and the enemy) can freely pilot. That's on top of being able to see people through walls, turn on semi-invulnerability for take and hold missions, total invisibility for get from point A to B tasks, etc.

If it sounds like you are a walking cheat code it is because you are and the game does get easier as more of those powers become available to you. It still is a fun ride though, and one that might interest old game FPS enthusiasts. I give it 2.5 EMP grenades out of 5.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Bag Man

Seems like everyone wants that bag.

Jack (John Cusack) is tasked with fetching a bag for a wealthy employer, with the stipulation that he never look inside it. Getting the bag is a non-event, but hanging onto it while waiting at a motel for the exchange proves troublesome. Not just because there are a lot of people after it, but because the plot is needlessly convoluted with characters going back and forth from locations for no purpose.

She has many costume changes, all with little fabric.

The mystery of what's in the bag is interesting enough to keep watching but I have to wonder what the heck the screenwriter was doing to some/most of the story. Apart from the odd location shifts, there are a number of long, pointless scenes and irritatingly stupid decisions being made. At least the eye candy is nice. Not enough to make up for the rest of it though, I give it 1.5 bags out of 5 and am not interested in watching it again.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Legendary

Do you like Griffons? You won't anymore.

Bad stuff first: The silent protagonist is not very likable since he was either stupid or greedy enough to open Pandora's Box. On the plus side, he gains an interesting quasi-vampire ability that lets him absorb energy from dead monsters to heal himself. The abrupt cut scenes also take some getting used to. Lastly, a massive, game breaking clipping bug near the end requires fiddling in game files to fix to progress to the climax, a sure sign of lack of testing.

Maybe the tester got turned to bird feed before he reached that spot.

Other than those, this is a solid first person shooter which has a decent line up of mythical beasts to fight against with some really good ideas behind them. The wall climbing werewolves need to be decapitated to be permanently slain, the fire lizards are stuffed if they get hit by water, and so on. Of course there are also bad guys with guns too and all the AI is quite passable.

Special mention must go to the maps, which while linear as expected from a FPS are quite sprawling and nice to travel through. I liked this game, and the difficulty does ramp up through the missions so those accuracy and dodge timing becomes very important. I'd recommend it to people who like shooters and can are ok to fiddle with files to fix that end bug. Still, such a bug cannot be overlooked so I only give this 2.5 evil fairies out of 5.