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This role playing game is brought to us by the company that usually
churns out great RPG games, Level 5. Granted, they have had their fair
share of misses too as they are the ones that put out Chronicles of the
White Knight and the disappointing Dragon Quest 9 for the Nintendo DS.
Still, they usually put out great ones like nearly all the other Dragon
Quest games and Rogue Galaxy. Here they team up with Studio Ghibli like
the teamed up with the creator of Dragonball on Dragon Quest 8 to bring
us one of the most stunning looking RPG games on the PS3. The game is
not all looks, either. The story is rather good as well and the
characters are delightful. The combat could have used a bit more work;
however, it is more traditional than the stupid and almost non
interactive combat they gave us in Final Fantasy XIII. The game is a
work of art as Studio Ghibli brought their unique style of animation to
the table and as of today this game is the best RPG that I have played
for the PS3 (have not played Tales of Xillia, yet) edging out Resonance
of Fate thanks to its easier to follow story and the fact this game is
exclusive for the PS3, while that one also was released on Xbox 360.
The story starts out in a town called, Motorville. A place that resides in a world pretty much like ours. Seems to be taking place some time in the 50's or 60's. Well, in the town lives a boy named Oliver who sneaks out with his buddy Phil to race a car that Phil and Oliver have built. A strange woman looks upon this from a world that is more of something one would expect to find in a fantasy realm and she causes Oliver to have an accident. Oliver's mother ends up rescuing Oliver at the cost of her own life and soon Oliver meets a fairy by the name of Mr. Drippy who takes Oliver to this new realm so that Oliver can stop a man named Shadar from attempting to destroy the world and perhaps find a way to bring his mother back to life. He will team up with a young girl named Eshter and another named Swaine as they go from town to town looking for keys to defeating the seemingly unstoppable Shadar, unaware that an even greater threat to the world is lurking in the background...The White Witch!
The game is a nice throwback as you have an over world map to traverse and you visit towns, dungeons, forests and the like. You visit towns that have people, shops and such too, unlike say Final Fantasy XIII which was all style with no substance. My main complaint is the combat. It was not bad, but I just do not care for the whole go out collecting monsters for your party. I am always hesitant to get rid of the first ones you have and it just takes so much time to get them all leveled up and give them the best items. They do the brunt of the fighting in the combat which is sort of action, rather than turn based and it is sometimes annoying getting others in your party to heal you or themselves and their A.I. is not the greatest at times as at one point I was fighting a villain you shot a laser in one direction and it was easily avoidable and one of the computer controlled characters ran from one side of the battlefield to the other and ran smack into it! Still, this aspect did not stop me from enjoying the game, all it did was prevent the game from getting a perfect 10 score which it could have gotten if not for these flaws in the battle system.
So, this game was great and I enjoyed the team up of Level 5 and Studio Ghibli. You can see Studio Ghibli's influence in the art style, but you can see a lot of Level 5's in the way the game plays. You use an alchemy pot like in Dragon Quest 8, for instance. Both came together well, to make a memorable world and game. One only has to play the game a moment and walk through Motorville to see they put a lot of effort into it. Near the end, I was afraid they were setting up for a sequel instead of there being a resolution and thankfully I was wrong there. I do not care for games that set up for sequels, because some times the sequel never comes. This one wrapped up, and if they want to do a sequel I can see it being done by having Oliver returning the the magical realm when he is older or something; however, it is not needed as this game is great on its own.
Adult films back in the day, often had plots to them which made the sex
in them seem more spontaneous and real. Adult films today are basically
one sex scene after another and it's rare when there is a story.
Usually there is a theme, but no story. The ones made today, you do not
have to sit through horrible acting and there is a plethora of adult
films where you can see what you want. While in the 70's sometimes you
had to wait too long for sex scenes to occur and sometimes you can even
forget it is a porno! So basically, both eras have their pluses and
minuses and this film has the pluses, but carries with it the minuses
The story has a couch that talks about her owners and all the sex they have that she sort of causes. Yes, the couch is a female and at times has the best voice of the film. There is not much to it than that as this one starts fast and seems like a decent adult film as there are a few sex scenes. This one starts with a therapist, goes to a swinger couple, then inexplicably briefly to an adult movie maker and then even briefer hippies.
The film is good up to the swingers, after that there really is not much left. The two girls during the adult filmmaker scene were attractive, but the scene was not steamy due to the guy performing the sex. Then the hippie scene is undone by the fact there is an unattractive girl and she is primarily the focus. Then a brief pointless scene and it's over. Just seemed it kind of faltered at the end and instead of a super grand finale, instead it just kind of peters out. The best scene is this one guy who seduces a virgin, though I do not believe a virgin can be as accommodating as she was without a bit more screaming.
So, not a great adult film by any stretch of the imagination, but I liked it better than some. It did focus on the sex for the most part, but as I said it just needed more at the end of it. I always think the last scene should be memorable, but in this one it was clearly the one girl who was a virgin. The lesbian scene after was good too, just cut a bit short. So, a bit hot the girls are really attractive during the swingers section and okay the rest of the way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I got this film in a pack with three other horror films. The other
three are "Dungeon Master", "Cellar Dweller" and the horrendous
"Contamination .7". The only other one I have seen was the awful
"Contamination .7" so while this one was not particularly good,
compared to that it was spectacular! Seriously though, this is another
in a long line of horror films that had something good going for it and
an interesting premise, but ends up being done the wrong way. It starts
out fast enough as something happens in the past and then it is not all
that long in the present that something is released making me think
this one was going to be one heck of a ride; however, it slows down
significantly and ends in basically with an exorcism that is very
anticlimactic. This one was watchable though and it held my interest, I
just feel it could have done better considering how it started out.
The story has an exorcism being done in the past and it fails to produce results so the accursed is sealed within a tomb under a monastery. It switches to present time and a young lady is visiting the monastery and wishes to see the wondrous catacombs underneath it. Unfortunately, the evil that has been sealed is now about to be released for reasons only the makers of the film know and chaos will ensue! Well, it does ensue, but it does so rather slowly. It is up to Timothy Van Patten to get to the bottom of the evil and destroy it once and for all!
So yeah, the film does have a nice scene at the beginning. It just kind of fades out quickly after that. You have the monk who warns everyone that the evil is coming and he is ignored and thought a fool by the head of the place and even though he is absolutely correct, he is still presented as someone to root against. Though if they had listened to him, lives would have been spared. The girl is attractive and near the end of the film she would be possessed, but all that would play out is your basic exorcism scene, well not too basic. I do believe it is the first time I have seen evil defeated with a flashback.
So another in a long line of horror films that was almost good, but they pretty much blew it. There just was not enough going on after the initial scenes and the end was rather weak. They gave us a monastery full of people and had a very low death toll. Still, it was short and while not great, it held my interest enough that the movie did not feel overlong either. So, with a bit of work and some more death, this one could have been something special. As it is, it is just another horror movie on a package of four.
I have finally seen this Charles Bronson film from the 70's and I have
to say it is pretty good. The problem with this film though is that a
lot of the vigilante scenes are the same thing repeated over and over.
I can see why the later installments of this franchise got lower scores
as they went on as my guess is they all simply rehash the exact same
thing for the most part. Here, there are still some interesting
elements that are most likely not present in the later movies. Though I
cannot see them being too bad, mainly because one still gets to see
super tough guy Charles Bronson in action!
The story, muggers break into an apartment and kill Paul Kersey's wife and leave his daughter in a near comatose like state. He handles it the best he can; however, he starts to feel a bit of power when he smashes a would be mugger in the face with two rolls of quarters and then during a trip to Texas he fires off a few rounds and ends up getting a gun as a gift for a man he helped down there. He is soon tracking down muggers and gunning them down, leaving the police scrambling to find the vigilante killer; however, even if they apprehend him they may still find themselves with more copycats on their hands.
The film is interesting as Paul feels a sense of power when he knocks out a mugger with quarters, but after his first kill he is sick and vomits. Soon, though, he is killing and cannot seem to stop. At the end he even winks and points his finger like a gun at some hooligans in a train station. My guess in the sequels, this transformation is pretty much absent or essentially copied.
So, overall a good film, but mainly due to the presence of Charles Bronson. I have seen only a few films of his, but usually he does good in his role even if the movie is not all that great. It was nice to finally see this film as it is one of those vigilante films during this era that was something I wanted to catch. I also want to see that film called, "The Exterminator" as I hear that one is pretty good too. This one has kills and a pretty good story so I enjoyed it, it just needed a bit more variety here and there as the kills all do seem the same and also the finale could have been done a bit better as well.
I have always wanted to play this game, from the first time I saw it
advertised as a kid. It was the game that made me want a Sega Master
System; unfortunately, that is one system that I was unable to obtain
mainly due to the fact one could not find a place that sold them in the
area I lived in. Besides, I had a Nintendo so I was good. Though,
looking back at both systems, it is now rather clear that the Master
System was the better of the two systems as far as graphics were
concerned. I played this one on an emulator, which is not how I wanted
to play it, but it is still hard to snag an actual Sega Master System.
What I played, did impress me as far as the graphics were concerned and
it was okay as far as game play, but it was also very difficult. I
cannot imagine playing this one back in the 80's without the internet
and walkthroughs as it at times was very hard to follow.
The story has a young lady whose brother is killed thanks to the evil Lassic. She begins a quest to not only get revenge for her brother, but to also rid the star system of this evil! Well, that is what you have to figure out, because unlike later RPG games, the early ones had very few areas where there were scenes where the story played out so one would have to try to figure out what is going on by the various locales. Though even with a walkthrough, I am still not sure where the final boss came from.
The main problems I had was that the game featured 3D dungeons which often give me trouble in games from this era. Like those mazes in Golgo 13 with their various pits that send you back to one point or another. The graphics though are very good for an 8-bit system and overall I thought it was a good first entry to an often overlooked RPG series from the past as it was often overshadowed by Final Fantasy and the other RPG games of Square.
So I did enjoy it overall, but at times this game felt like a chore. The dungeons often felt more like an ordeal than fun. It did have a variety of towns to visit, but rarely was there any useful information given by the townsfolk. There was also three planets to explore which is kind of cool back in the day. Final Fantasy let you go to the moon and later games did feature two worlds or a totally changed world, but none of them featured three worlds to travel upon. So while not great and probably the weakest of the Fantasy Star games, it is worth a play through.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had heard this film was awful, but I did not take heed of this
warning. Instead, I thought, it might be a 'it's so bad it's good'
movie. I had also heard that this film was also packaged as "Troll 3",
which had me perplexed as I knew the film was about killer trees so how
could they tie this film to that one...well I found out! The acting is
on par with that scene in "Troll 2" where the guy goes, "There eating
her, and then they are going to eat me...oh my god!" Except, the
horrific acting is all through this film, there are no good effects
aside from one okay kill and most insane is that there is no nudity! I
mean, these girls are nobodies, how can a movie maker not get a bunch
of nobody actresses to get naked? Not that I wanted to see the mousy
lead girl, but the girl they tease as the star was attractive and the
hooker had nice cleavage. This film was made by MGM, the same company
that brought us the superbly entertaining "Return of the Living Dead"
which featured actors of note and they got Linnea Quigley to not only
go topless, but full nude and she is an incredible actress compared to
the idiots in this film! So you get nothing! Most of the kills are off
screen, the sex is off screen and what we get on screen are a bunch of
people you will want dead by the film's end. I will be honest, I was
pulling for the roots to kill the entire town, and especially that
annoying kid! All they did was tease though...
The story has a couple of girls coming to a small town. At first, they make it out that this one girl who was rather attractive was going to be the lead one, but that was just a tease. No, our main girl is this mousy looking girl coming home is the lead one. It's a shame, because not only was the other girl more attractive, but she was probably the best actress in the film...of course, that is not saying much at all. Well seems a guy at the local power plant has been detecting radiation outside the plant and there is something shady going on. People start turning up dead as there is one off screen kill after another. Finally, we learn that the plant is illegally dumping waste into the woods which causes the roots, not the trees mind you, to come alive and kill people and if you think there is a scene that is as hot as the DVD cover of this film, then you are going to be sorely disappointed.
This film was just bad on so many levels. I do not see how MST3K missed this one, except perhaps it is because it was made by a major distributor in MGM and was fairly new (1993). Granted, I thought the film was from the 80's as I cannot believe this one was made the same year as Jurassic Park, heck, I cannot believe it was made the same year as Super Mario Brothers! The effects of the roots were ripped straight from Evil Dead and at times it looked somewhat okay, but even when it looks good it gets totally undone by the bad acting going on. I also love the scene where they describe the girl from the beginning who got killed and people say she was blond when she was clearly a brunette.
So bad, bad and bad. I did not enjoy it as it gave me nothing. Had they given me some more gore and nudity it would have been more watchable with a shortening of the run time as well. As is, it seemed to take forever to get to the kills and then you think it is going to wrap up and the whole town comes in and they start preparing for their counter attack on the roots. How MGM, who made good horror films, came out with this crap I will never know. I have seen adult movies with better acting and effects than this, I have seen straight to DVD horror films shot with a video camera that are better than this! Heck, this is a film that Manos is better than! Not a good film, fails miserably on almost every front.
I am one of the few people out there that apparently enjoyed X-men: The
Last Stand. I thought the film had the best battle scene of the
original trilogy as it actually had the first real team battle instead
of being Wolverine versus various mutants and people. I had heard that
this one was going to wipe away that film, but in reality, this film
pretty much wipes all those films away, but does so in a bit more
imaginative fashion. Like a reboot, but not in a way. We get the cast
of the old films and the ones from First Class in a time travel story
that works for the most part.
The story has the mutants in a desperate situation as Sentinels have been created to cleanse the Earth of all existing mutants. We witness, right away, the terror they can inflict as they wipe out some of the toughest mutants around with ease. This Sentinels adapt to their targets and are able to inflict great damage. Well after this group of mutants is wiped out, we see them alive and well as one of the mutants, Shadowcat, can now send a person back into their former self and that person then warns of the impending Sentinel attack and they then abandon their hiding spot and find a new location. Professor Xavier and Magneto are now on the same side and Professor X has a plan to send his consciousness back into his former self to the time the Sentinel program took off and stop Mystique from killing a man by the name of Trask as this leads to her capture and her ability to morph leads to the super adaptable Sentinels. Unfortunately, Professor X can not survive the time jump, but Wolverine can. He makes his way into the past and must convince not only Professor Xavier, but also Magneto that they must stop Mystique and thus stop the horrific future.
The story was pretty good and I liked that Beast played a huge role in this film. I also enjoyed Quicksilver's time in the movie. Still, the emphasis is on Wolverine, young Professor Xavier and young Magneto. Granted, the best action takes place in the future as the Sentinels once again locate the remaining mutants hiding place. They did a lot of good things here, but I am a bit perplexed as to why they insist on making Mystique such a huge part of these movies. I can understand Wolverine, as he was everybody's favorite and he was in the comics a whole lot, but when I collected comics heavily for three years I literally did not have but maybe two comics with Mystique in it. One a back issue featuring Cable's first appearance and another an annual that had a couple of short stories detailing the downfall of her group Freedom Force. While perplexed, it did provide for an interesting story and so I guess I will roll with it even though I find it highly unfair that the females who saw this got to see Wolverine's bare buttocks while all us guys get is a smurf with all the best parts distorted.
In the end, I really enjoyed this X-men film more than I thought I would and I am also very excited about the next film that will finally feature another X-men villain that should have been featured before now considering the amount of X-men movies there are now. The film did have some strange moments and there were some off screen deaths that were a bit puzzling and I did not care for, but overall the film had some nice action and an interesting enough storyline to keep it all together and not seem like a film where they were simply trying to shove every mutant possible into the film just because they could.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a child, one of my first loves was the old Showa Godzilla films of
the 60's and 70's. Along with those old Japanese shows featuring dudes
who raised their arms to the heavens and became robots to fight
creatures or one with a family of rocket people that fought giant
monsters. I loved the Godzilla films where Godzilla fought off the bad
monsters and though I liked the ones where Godzilla, himself, was the
bad guy I always enjoyed him more as the hero. The Hesei era Godzilla
films would come along and reestablish the big G as a bad guy; however,
as this series went along once again Godzilla would be more of the
monster you pulled for as Space Godzilla and Destroyah would have to be
dealt with. Then Millenia Godzilla series would be a mixed bag having
one where Godzilla was the ultimate evil in "Godzilla, Mothra and King
Gidorah: All Out Monster Attack" and another where he is once again a
good guy in "Final Wars". Though admittedly I did enjoy watching the
evil version kick all three of those monsters butts; however, I did
root for the humans to ultimately defeat Godzilla cause he was super
evil. So I have to say I like Godzilla more as the hero and that is why
I got super excited while others were a bit disappointed by the fact
Godzilla was the good guy.
The story has a mishap at a nuclear plant leading to the strange birth of a creature that is a threat to all mankind. Another beast is tracking this creature though and its name is Godzilla! The humans devise a plan to kill both these creatures as well as a female version of the strange creature that feeds on radiation as they wish to get rid of all three in one bang. A scientist who knows of Godzilla, though, tries to tell them that Godzilla may be the key to getting rid of the other two as it wants to hunt these other beasts and take them down!
This Godzilla film did not really have all that big a budget, but they did rather well considering. I also understand why Godzilla was not in this film a whole lot, and it is because of the budget. This film is basically a test to see if Godzilla can succeed. However, all those complaining about the lack of Godzilla, I wonder if they watched all that many Godzilla films? A lot of the Japanese films feature a build up till the end where the fight takes place, so to me it is something very true to the Japanese films. Godzilla is territorial in the later Showa films, in Terror of Mecha Godzilla when Titanisaurus is ravaging the city, Godzilla is seen on the enemies' radar and they comment that Godzilla is coming to fight the other monster. It just felt like a Godzilla film, probably one of the Showa era, which is probably why it totally had me psyched!
So this film was way better than 1998 film which was not a Godzilla film. That one should have been titled something else and I would have said it was an okay monster film, but they just had to call it a Godzilla film which is why I hated it. They did it right here as this Godzilla not only was not killed by missiles, he ignored them! I do hope a sequel is made as I would love to see another Godzilla film done in this world. They do need to bring back Wantanabe's character as he can be like Miki was in the Hesei era. Now that they have established Godzilla once again and if this one is considered a success I am sure a bigger budget will be used in the next film meaning more Godzilla and perhaps another Toho monster? Bring on King Gidorah I say!
Rare was a video game company that really came to the forefront of the
gaming industry by being innovative and by making some of the best
games there were for the N64. They often times had an idea and then
proceeded to change it in extreme ways to great effect. They were
designing a game with a cutesy squirrel that was going to be your
standard platform game. They got negative feedback, and instead made a
game with a foul mouthed squirrel and singing poo and called it
Conker's Bad Fur Day. They were designing a role playing game and
decided it needed changing up because it was bland, and thus a game
about a bear with a bird in its backpack is born in Banjoo Kazooie.
Then they moved from the Nintendo to the Xbox, a company that would
most likely be more than fine with a foul mouthed character and they
moved to disc format meaning voice overs should be no problem. Thus,
they made a cutesy horror game with no voice overs that is bland and
irritatingly difficult in, "Grabbed by the Ghoulies".
The story has a guy and his girl going to a spooky mansion and being caught in a place filled with strange creatures at every turn! Pretty standard stuff, the girl gets kidnapped and you must find her; however, you pretty much must go in a pretty linear path. Then girl turns to monster and you must change her back and after that you must see about rescuing all the others trapped in this mansion. No one speaks and the game uses storyboards to tell you the story. You only get minimal voice overs her consisting of things like "Ah!", "Whoa" and the like. Once again, a game made in 2003 should have full voice overs!
The game play consists of you going from room to room fighting the various ghoulies present in the mansion. The combat is a bit neat as you run around using the left directional joystick and attack using the right. So the fighting was not a problem to me, it is the fact that in nearly every room there is a challenge that makes the game more difficult than it needs to be and even when no challenge is present you have a random amount of hit points that range from 1 to 50 and trust me, most of the time you are near the bottom. I quit after I got a page of a rhyme and then fought off several ghoulies only to have another challenge thrown my way that was equally as tough. I died and the whole stage reset!
So overall, the game could have been good if it were less linear and the challenges they incorporated into the game were maybe used on an insane difficulty setting or something. The graphics are okay, I guess, but not really much better than say those found in Conker or the Banjoo game for the N64. Just seems they really dropped the ball with this one and after it, they have not really done much else as for the most part all the best talent has long since left their company. Perhaps had they not jumped ship and left Nintendo they would have been around longer, but probably not. It was not as if Nintendo was censoring their games or anything, this one is kind of the lightest thing they released during this time in the company.
I went and saw this movie last week and enjoyed it immensely. I also
enjoyed the previous Amazing Spider-man film, and quite frankly I liked
all three of the previous trilogy as well. Okay, I am a huge Spider-man
fan so almost anything with him in it is going to be something that in
all likelihood I am going to enjoy. Heck, I even liked that live action
series they did back in the 1970's featuring our favorite wall crawler
in Los Angeles where he essentially shot huge ropes and fought criminal
types. So yeah, I am probably not the most unbiased reviewer when it
comes to our friendly neighborhood Spider-man. Still, I really like
where this particular series is going, though surprisingly, this series
seems like it is you either really love it or hate it. Kind of like
last year's Man of Steel film. Still, to me, this film and the last one
kind of capture the essence of Spidey a bit more than the previous
three, in that when Spider-man is doing his thing, it just seems more
like out of a comic book. Then again, the previous films were well done
too and were first, so often times first trumps for no other reason
than they were our first experience.
The story has Peter Parker/Spider-man fighting crime and having an on again and off again relationship with Gwen as his strong love for her and his need to keep her father's promise keep colliding. A man who for the most part has gone unnoticed takes an extreme liking to the wall crawler and then there is also an extreme shakeup at Oscorp as Norman Osborn's son has returned into the picture. All are linked by Oscorp as an accident will soon spawn a new deadly Spider-man foe as well as a father's gift to his son.
The villains were done very well. I liked Jamie Foxx's Electro whom many complain did not look like the Electro from the comics they read. He most certainly did not look like the Electro from the main series, but he does look a lot like the one from the ultimate series. There is also the Green Goblin and the Rhino for Spider-man to contend with as well, but Electro is by far the main one this time. All looked cool, but the best part were the fights, where James Garfield just does a better job at trash talking the enemies. Tobey made a good Peter Parker, but he never exhibited Spider-man's constant prattle that in the comics at times unhinged the enemies and lead to many a victory for Spidey, or made the enemy explode in a rage that made his trash talking backfire big time!
I am enjoying this new series of Spider-man films; though, even I admit they came a bit too soon on the heels of the first trilogy. I also hate it that the first set of films never had any closure, and I hope that will not be the case here. I find this series is doing a better job of establishing super villains, as there is a source and reason for them that is tied together, while the first one it was all pretty random and the coincidences just a bit too far fetched. However, I enjoyed those Spider-man films a lot and I am enjoying these a lot. Would it be cool if Spider-man could be in the universe of Marvel characters Disney and Marvel is establishing, absolutely. With that said though, I think Sony is doing a pretty good job. The main thing I disliked about this film is the strange inclusion of an X-men clip in the credits. I saw no point to this as it had no ties to the film I had just viewed, I read what was originally supposed to be included and it was a lot better than the very random clip I got. Overall, though, Spider-man made for another fun, summer film; however, once again I am a Spider-man fan so they really did not have to do much to impress me admittedly.
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