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17 weeks after the events in Cameron's film, you and your unit arrives
at the Sulaco. Something has gone very wrong, and it's up to you to
find out what, and take care of it. You'll face countless PMCs, some
Aliens, and more than a few head-scratching retcons in this fan-fic of
a story. Weyland-Yutani keeps trying desperately to tame the universe's
most drooling killing machine. The villain himself is straight out of a
Saturday morning cartoon.
It's important to note that this is no longer broken. Well, other than the occasional hiccup. They patched the crap out of this thing, and fixed almost everything. That they could, that is. Some issues remain and mar the experience greatly. Plot, characters, dialog, writing and execution(do *not* get me started on the acting and lip sync) alike are definitely lacking. And yet, there are definite glimmers of talent. You do sometimes care. The types can be annoying, yet feel like they belong here. And the banter almost all works. Even if it has a tendency to go one line too far, ending on a sitcom punchline. All it's missing is a "wah-wah", or possibly a "that's our (blank)!" This adds a *lot* of customization and compelling new abilities for both species. The numerous guns, while too similar and limited especially for sci-fi, can be changed in a good amount of ways. Silencer, a handful of alternate fire options, stat changes galore. Strong, unique Legendary weapons add replayability. For what they can deliver, and recognizing the markings. Hudson, Vasquez, Different types of Xenos, they're given ranged attacks, tons of improvements on what was there before, etc. The real issue is that you can't practice this at your own pace. You have to improve, and even just learn, via multiplayer. And you will get slaughtered early on. That's when you can even find a match. No players, no server list, limited matchmaking, and I could go on. In two weeks, I barely spent any time in any of the too-similar modes. I hate to direct anyone to 2010's AvP, but that one you can play anytime, gets creative in how you approach it, and lets you try it at your own pace in SP.
The AI is hilariously inept. Maybe that's why your offline buddies are impossible to kill. They will run right into your line of fire, leave you to die, teleport to you if you get ahead, and more. Enemies might freeze in place, or just randomly run around. Their use of wall-walking seems more like they're showing off than their having a reason for doing so. The lack of enemy variety in these is lessened, though the Crusher, a huge one that's not that different from the Queen, is pointless. One spits acid at you, with nice speed and accuracy. Another will kamikaze, exploding in their blood. Thankfully, they can't see you. Which means you have to crouch-walk past them. Or stand perfectly still when they're completely next to you! Did I mention you were weaponless in this section? And that they look like fossilized husks until they start walking, surrounded by actual ones, so you won't know which is which until they start moving? The DLC are a mixed bag. I wouldn't get any of this if it's not on sale. The obvious ones to leave alone, for now, are the ones that consist entirely of MP maps. You can't play them by yourself. And without them, there are 10 to start with, a reasonable amount. They add up to 20 total. Ripley's signature bad-ass rescue facilitator is worth the asking price. Note that anyone you can don the look of are all slightly "off" in the face. There are enough shotguns without the one you can buy separately, and they don't lack ammo, reload speed and the possibility of alteration. Bug Hunt is rarely played. The two energy attacks are worthless. The S.H.A.R.P. Sticks mix things up and are the most interesting part of your arsenal in this whole thing.
Stasis Interrupted deserves detail. You play as a few different protagonists, you really get into it, it clocks in at 2 and a half hours meaning almost half the core product. The plentiful time spent alongside, unfortunately never as, Hicks is sadly somewhat soured by Michael Biehn clearly not wanting to be there. Even if you hadn't heard about that interview, it's plain to see in his performance. And I say that as one of his biggest fans. Compare to Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon where he, as he also says, was having the time of his life.
Authenticity is through the roof. Everything looks, sounds and feels right. All memorable locations are not only visited, they're recreated in tremendous detail and every added section fits in so well, you'd swear you just didn't remember seeing that part in the films. The motion tracker finally works exactly right. You have all the equipment you see used. For some reason, you can carry every projectile delivery system, and even start out with a number of them from the beginning. Of course, you may not realize until after a while, and by accident, like it was for me. It's not common today to carry that many at once. And you can't cycle through them with any key. Oh, you can go back and forth between primary, secondary and which of the three pistols you have ready. As worthless as that is in the face of so much firepower that you basically cannot run out of ammo, no matter how inept you may be. You're stuck with the slow wheel which keeps you from moving, doesn't pause or even allow for it, selects whatever you were resting the cursor on even if you were just checking what had the most bullets left.
I recommend this only to the biggest fans of the franchise, and don't go out of your way to get your hands on a copy. 5/10
The zombie apocalypse is underway. Mac(stoner Rogen) and Teddy(charming
Zac) have captured one of them, and it's time to deal with him. But do
they have what it takes? This was made as an advertisement for Fear the
Walking Dead. I should right off the bat note, I haven't watched an
episode of the show, or the one it's spun off from, nor do I intend to.
Let's be honest, it's a ridiculously over-saturated market. This runs a
minute and a half, and is mostly the two talking about killing the zed.
Jokes come from their history and clashing personalities. This is far from the best material the duo have performed, but it's not the worst, either. The writing is pretty obvious. It has a distinct "thrown together in a hurry" feeling. To be fair, the production values leave little to be desired. The second film doesn't even come up, and there wasn't much room for it to in the skit's current form. Although with Kelly conspicuously missing, they probably didn't want that darn XX chromosome intruding. Hey, they barely knew what to do with them in either movie.
There is disturbing content and brief gory violence in this. I recommend it to fans of the series. It helps that it's free of charge, and, currently, you don't even have to leave this site to check it out. 7/10
A Dirty Dozen consisting of Metahumans is sent into a city to deal with
something requiring their abilities can they be trusted? Gritty,
offensive, authentic... as a huge fan of all things David Ayer, this is
most definitely one of his films. A very diluted one, however. He
brings some of his own weaknesses, and he's hampered by his first
directorial PG-13, that he pushes like Sisyphus would, fitting into a
franchise that hasn't much resembled his style before now, *and* the
re-shoots and haphazard editing of a number of executives screaming
about how their, rather expensive, properties keep failing in spite of
seemingly built-in promises of profit. It's amazing it's not a complete
mess. Then again, some say it is. The single biggest problem is that
for all the great action and distinct personality, it doesn't fully
There are quite a few questionable decisions, in particular on visual design. Dancing fire figures, grills in place of scarring, a villain similar to Thor's Destroyer, the list goes on. In spite of practical FX being the go-to, there ends up being too much CGI. The animal and Aussie might as well have been written out all anyone would say is "they were in the comic, though". When this tries for drama, we often get sap. The pacing and flow are all over the place, with flashbacks strewn about as if someone dropped a box of them on the floor.
There is a ton of material that is very disturbing, violent and/or painted-over-gory in this. I recommend this to any fan of the DCEU(both of you), the source material, and, of course, those trailers... no, really, they did fit nearly every single one of those songs in there. For better or for worse. 5/10
This is the only extra on the regular DVD of Fury, well, my library's
copy anyway, going into that movie. Why don't I own it, myself? Because
this is hardly a picture that one can watch repeatedly. It simply takes
too much of a toll on you, on a very deep, significant level. So of
course, this featurette goes into how they got all the way there.
It is made up of interviews, sit-down, between takes and such, with crew, actors and vets, all getting a good amount of time, each with something interesting to say, footage, both stock from the real events and behind the scenes, and film clips.
This goes into the authenticity and what they went through to get there, to understand the reality. The cast ended up asking further questions to reach that. We aren't given many of the answers, or what was said at all. Merely that the exchanges took place. They became a family. We learn a lot about the training, both the one week and the on-going to keep in shape, in more ways than one. This does dip into being the unfettered love-fest typical for this sort of thing, but not only of the big names.
This is 10 and a half minutes in running time. There are almost no credits. It shows and tells almost nothing of the worst in detail, which does keep the rating low. Presumably to allow it to air on TV, and such. The feature pushes a hard R, so the DVD isn't exactly going to avoid offensive material. 7/10
Jason(Damon, great as ever) comes back out of hiding to learn something
about his past. Yup, business as usual. The CIA is hacked. But that's
not important right now. Nicky(Stiles, as usual professional without
being cold) is brought back just long enough to get screwed over.
Privacy when using apps is given lip service. And at no point does this
give any reason for its own existence.
This is what I had expected. The action was pushed as far as it could go by the end of the trilogy, so this goes slightly further, and ends up no longer quite realistic. Some of the worst parts of the trailers are nowhere to be seen, though. Entire lines and setups don't exist in the film itself. Bourne no longer feels like he has a plan, like he's being smart about how he approaches things. He survives things he shouldn't a la A Good Day to Die Hard, by dumb luck. The shaky-cam varies, too much or perfectly fine. It's clear Greengrass cared, and was happy to be back. This goes into action clichés the series had skillfully avoided before. The retired hero is brought back for one last job. He does it only for the sake of his family. His father suddenly matters, and you'll hate where they go with that. This gives us all we expect, and very early, at that.
The violence pushes the envelope, as is the style today, and wasn't when we last saw Matt in these. Body-count alone is ridiculous, especially considering who gives the kill orders. I recommend this only to those who value the protagonist's abilities over how his character is treated. 5/10
You are the top hit-man for the Zilla Corporation. Demons start
invading Earth. It is up to you to retrieve the powerful Nobitsura
Kage, a sword. Barely anything happens. There's almost no real plot
here. There is backstory, and it is revealed almost entirely in
exposition dumps. However, it is actually interesting. It involves half
a dozen Ancients, including the ruler of the Shadow Realm where this
starts, and the hordes are coming from. You know what happened almost
right from the start. As you learn more, you come to understand why
everyone did what they specifically did, and what it was like for them.
And this has an ending, closure. There are elements that are clearly
just setup for the next one. Which is happening, since this did well.
Because if not, we wouldn't. But they don't take over here, and
everything that matters is gone into. It could be less confusing, more
engaging, less self-indulgent and told more fluidly. Cutscenes are
in-engine POV and simple yet vivid animation of ancient scrolls. You
are Lo Wang(Liebrecht, arrogant) and you're unwillingly partnered with
Hoji(Dobrenko, eager). Both speak sarcasm fluently, and refuse to shut
up. That gets old almost immediately. The latter was banished, with no
memory of why. You need a guide, he can't interact with anything on
this world. Not many are named, and you don't really wish there were
This took me 12 and a half hours. I experienced essentially all the content in minutes. It's repetitive and shallow. And also incredibly enjoyable. You will, as I did, spend almost all of this time using your katana to chop individual limbs off. They may live, and come at you, even crawling, zombie-style! You can thus take away their dominant hand, and thus their weapon and/or shield. This is tremendously easy and you can sleepwalk through it. Point in the right direction and click Attack a lot. You are hardly ever forced to use anything else. The rest of your arsenal is fine. Akimbo SMGs. Multi-barrel shotgun. Remote detonation sticky charge crossbow. Fire-bombing flamethrower. Laser pointer guided rocket launcher. That these are not as fun as they sound is an area where this fails.
Another reason you stay close-range in this is the Powers. Hold up Defense. Trap a handful of them. Shockwave. Heal at will. Actually, there are a lot of options for that kind of thing. Send out an arc of energy. Got a problem? Take a Stab at it. To unlock and upgrade those requires points, and this hands those out to you like candy. Well, outside of the Money for the weapons. Don't waste those. You might think you can't, going by the other two. It does kill the pace to deal with these, when, really, it could have just given you a quick multiple choice thing at those times. Yes, tapping a direction and then clicking and/or holding and releasing either mouse 1 or 2 can be awkward, and some find it straining on the wrists. I can't say: the damage is done, I've had mild carpal tunnel for years, and so never play for very long in one sitting.
This is visually impressive. While the graphics vary, they're never less than great, and can be excellent. This has beautiful sights, such as the breathtaking vistas. All designs are varied. Yes, the enemies largely use melee against you, and are almost exclusively humanoid. Still, they all look distinctly differently. Some partially glow green. Orange or yellow that burns. Not grey, bland or forgettable. Some can block, teleport, turn invisible, take you on from range, even fly. Rarely are you forced to sheathe your tool. Sometimes at glitches that prevent them from closing in on you. There are a few humans, shooting or fencing.
Tasks are straight-forward, and, as all else interactive in this, lack variety. Key-hunt and press buttons to turn bridges, raise and/or lower cranes, activate elevators, etc. Physics are at times slow to respond, with a fraction of a second of a delay. That's sadly enough to take us out of it. There are a handful of minor jumping puzzles, and nothing else of that type. This is enormously smooth. You can toss infinite Shurikens. They're not that effective. I mean, they do almost nothing to hurt. And they auto-aim, ricochet and the like. So they don't go straight when you want to use them like that, for setting off explosive environment hazards. Anything that looks like it could go off... vehicle, obviously gas tanks, etc. They use up Stamina. Almost nothing else does. Really, only Sprint, or for shorter and not merely Forward, Dash. Those are very useful. Keep away from danger. That includes facing the huge, 100s of metres tall boss fights. Those do get bogged down in tedium and grinding, as mini ones do, as well.
This isn't going to get you to come back. You can get and do almost anything you want on just one playthrough. It does help that there are 4 difficulty settings, with one additional you get upon completion. There's also a New Game + mode where you get to keep all you earned. And what you were just given for participating. You can save anytime, except for maybe right in the thick of it. Just get a few seconds between you and the dozens of them that you will often face down. There are cute nods to its source with textures and audio for the at times ill-hidden secrets. Arcade machines with titles by the developers or publishers. Levels are too open, leading to annoying backtracking, finding lots of dead ends. Good thing the door you need to take will always very clearly glow. You only have an issue whenever you can't see that, or it isn't about finding and going through it.
Constant violence: present. I recommend this to any fan of FPS'. 90's ones as well as modern ones that are throwbacks to those. 6/10
London. Yup, with accents, slang and currency. A Biotech corporation
conducts experiments that deform, mutate, and monsterfy people. They
start spreading, and the gov't assembles any cop and such into a series
of small teams to try to solve the issue. It's no secret why you're
here. So they frontload that. This has over 33 weapons(not counting the
pay-to-win DLC, which I have not purchased). The fire ones are
obscenely enjoyable. You won't believe how far you can throw that
flame. Bodies charring and coming apart. Regardless of what type you
prefer, this has several for that one, including some of the most
beloved, and they're all worth using. SCARMK17, HSG-1, M99 AMR, M32,
etc. The Doom inspiration is clearly evident, and the only area this
doesn't live up to it is in how bland and basic the enemy design is.
They can hurt ya real bad, they look largely human, size difference is
negligible and most can't even hit you from far away.
The obvious rival here is Left 4 Dead 2. I've already covered the creatures. Its chainsaw is more fun and "seems" less loud. The gibbing and melee is more satisfying. There's a sense of getting to where you're going, doing something to save someone. The dynamic pacing. Greater production values. Then, this is more tactical. More options, if only by a little, of what to carry and use. Sharing is required. This is tougher. Contagion-style welding, while far from the heights that reaches in spite of this being where it originates, can be vital here. It and healing can be done quickly and then it'll recharge. You can go back and forth, keeping subjects at a high rating. Heck, there are SMGs and ARs with darts to fix up your allies. Carry 3 at a time, and you can use each in quick succession. Zeds that face a door they can't open will tend to go elsewhere, meaning you're not slowing them down as much as redirecting them.
Earning money is how you better your arsenal. Unfortunately, that becomes a Catch-22. With what you start out, you can't take out that many, and thus don't make that much. Though the idea is that everyone shares, it often just doesn't work out like that. Why not automatically do that? Maybe you should open up with at least a little better stuff. Or give more ways to collect dosh. The modding community completely embraced this. There are 1.852 separate items as I type this. Personally, I had problems. I intended to do all maps first, and didn't realize the 50 subscription limit... since it does not tell you about it, I learned about it from the Steam boards. I got to try 92 of the 855, and then wasn't able to get anything new, left with just those. Joining someone with anything you don't have means it'll try to download, without telling you how much there is in total.
You will have to defeat the boss, The Patriarch. He's cybernetically enhanced with a M134 on one arm, and has... altered himself. He can turn invisible, and if not burning, can quickly get close or far away. Not a nice person, this one. To even reach him, you will have to get through the waves. 4, 7, 10, or a custom amount. On average, half an hour. Think Counter-Strike. A series of TDM sessions, that's this in a nutshell. You can always tell how many are left to take out. It gets to be 180 or so! Between these you visit the trader's, who then moves, preventing camping which I honestly didn't experience often in general. You can resell at a good rate, refill ammo, get body armor. And yes, this does raise questions. How are you getting cash? Implicitly looting bodies? What does she need it for? Why not hand out the arms for free?
This comes with more than the one mode. Objective is like an action-adventure. You find keys, locate goals, etc. There's actually kind of plot during this. You're in the specific area, there's a single character who communicates with you. Usually, he's looking for your help, and he'll guide you around, getting you to finish things he started and couldn't. The idea is that you have different tasks, split up, cover each other, etc. There's Gun Game, where you for every kill get the next, yeah. Starting with the pistols. And once you reach the top one, you've won. And since they're not equally easy to make things dead with, it changes how you go about it. Very addictive. It's also the only way to have AI allies, since otherwise, offline solo play is, well, just that. Only you. All by yourself.
The 6 of you will have 7 Perks to choose from. Each player takes on the responsibility of theirs, and you will have to eliminate one of them. They cover the different ways to play this well. Rising through the levels will require grinding. Do a certain action 30 times. Then 100. This will make some quit. I know it's because there are less than 10 to climb. RPGs tend to fare better when it's a gradual thing. And when you get things along the way. You don't "get anything" here. It refines the skills associated, that's all. Releasing a polished UT2K04 mod 2 years after Unreal Engine 3 came out meant this would immediately be dated. Saving on the licensing fee is all well and good, but graphics do matter to a lot, including the target audience of this. The sound effects can be pretty meh. If you find this gets repetitive, that is not going to change. It can seem to lack variety. Not for everyone. There are quite a few servers, and with filters, you'll have an easy time zeroing in on one.
There is constant brutal, gory violence in this. I recommend this to any fan of the classic id Software titles. 6/10
The year is 2435. Not Earth. The planet Hillys. The peaceful population
is under sustained attack by the alien Domz. Forcefields help, although
only if you can pay your bill on time. The Alpha Section troops are
always showing up too late. The media claim otherwise, asking the
pertinent question: what do you do when faced with authorities who let
awful things happen, when reporters refuse to spread that fact, and
physical harm coming to you and your loved ones? There is a conspiracy
going on, and you have to uncover it. As a photographer, you will
document it. You're not Rambo, setting explosives and destroying entire
bases. You're Jade(Forrest, determined). And you'll be sneaking in,
snapping shots, and let the people know what's going on. Admittedly,
the more you understand what's going on, the less sense it makes, and
the ending is a clichéd, twist-laden mess. Still, there is some good
drama there. This does realize that kids can handle that, and scary
material, as well. Some will find it too child-friendly. It helps that
there's so much substance here.
You almost always work with a companion. Cooperation and friendship are among the values this promotes. You can go places they can't and vice versa. The reasonable puzzles require you to work together you won't get far without utilizing each others considerable talents. I do wish that there wasn't a pause between you telling them to help and them doing so. It can mess up the timing, when, really, this is something that could have easily been avoided. In addition, you gain the ability to throw discs great distances, and this can be used as an attack whether your presence is known or not, and activate those of the countless switches that are far off. You'll take pictures of all animal life. Including, if you have nerves of steel, those about to smack you with something. Every species once, and you'll be paid well. The rarer, the better. As long as they're of high quality: not too far away, etc. And it does aid you in ensuring that, telling you exactly what failed, and giving an indicator of when it's right, and when it's not, what's wrong about it. This includes the humanoid ones that you live among. You're encouraged to recognize that they look, sound and sometimes behave different from you, yet also that they're helpful, competent and, like you, they belong.
This mixes different types of addictive action-adventure gameplay well, each is fun, well-done, gradually increases in challenge and appropriate in amount. Don't get me wrong, the difficulty can be uneven, and spikes at bosses. The climax will seem impossible until you get the hang of it. While the accessible nature of this, and its easy-to-learn controls, do sometimes lead it to feel too simple, they make great use of all of these elements to keep throwing different situations at you that you can maneuver via your skills and tools. The minigames and racing can be annoying, yes. They can also be ignored, provided you do well enough elsewhere. The latter especially feels right out of a licensed title, much like the terrible third person camera. Ironically, when it locks your view and forces you to adapt the directional keys since they change with it, it's at its best. When you have to turn it yourself, it will try your patience. The platforming has you climbing and jumping ledges.
The stealth is line-of-sight based. You're waiting for soldiers to turn and/or move away, so you can pass unseen, behind them, blocking their view with crates on conveyor belts and the like. Them spotting you first due to poor design choices are the only real problem with this aspect. It's tremendously satisfying to clear an area, to finally be able to defeat the guards by breaking their air supply sending this previously very real threat pathetically floating off, etc. The only settings being factories and caves, particularly the former, do end up a tad boring. Some of these culminate in you running away, avoiding the dangers behind you, very thrilling.
Combat has been called the weakest element, pointing to how light it is. Hardly. I find the unreliable dodge function to be its biggest fault... not sending you in the right distance, direction, sometimes not launching you at all. It's a minimal version of that of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, based on the same engine. You'll be somersaulting between foes that are a bit apart from each other and you, can easily switch which one you're facing and hitting, and you have a radial charge. This is also where you not being alone, in this singleplayer piece, comes in very handy. With help, you can instakill, even using evil robots to disable electrical barriers in your path.
Your hovercraft will take you almost anywhere you can go in this, and when you've earned it, your interstellar spaceship will close that last gap. Fire at anything in front of you, either rapidly at the center of the screen, or hold down to automatically target. It does allow friendly fire, for some reason. And it tends to go for things that aren't close before the ones that are, which makes regenerating mine fields, further worsened by the seafaring vessels bouncy nature, an irritant. This can seem too open, given that the map does not list major areas of interest. You have to online for that, which shouldn't be necessary. Unfortunately you can't play on after completion, which would have fit the otherwise partial similarity to Grand Theft Auto, and given it replay value. Honestly, I do think I'll return to this. It took me 11 and a half hours, and I did not go for every collectible.
There is mild violence in this. I recommend it to any fan of the genres it covers, young and old alike. It will make you think, care, and it did not deserve to bomb. 6/10
The ancient Apocalypse returns and wants to destroy the world. For
companions, he recruits those of the emo teens who don't already go to
the School for the Gifted and provide annoying angsty melodrama. Bryan
Singer recreates some of his most beloved moments from the series with
less effort, and sticks in bits he was previously forced to cut. Like
X3 and First Class(which happened 20 years ago. Ignore that no one
looks to have aged by anywhere near that much), the main threat and the
team are two separate plot lines fighting for attention. Then they
smash together at the end.
Some claim this has a lot of action. Not at all. There's almost none, outside of the climax, which isn't that impressive, or memorable, in spite of what the director has done in the past. Civil War does, you could watch that again. But there we do have Roland Emmerich style destruction, which this is oddly callous towards. We're going backwards. Young versions of characters, most of which were already wasted. At least give us new ones. Or do them well. Comic relief is hit and miss.
There is a ton of death, with blood and brutal gore on corpses, and a little strong language in this. I recommend this to anyone needing reminding just how wildly the quality of this film franchise fluctuates. 5/10
New neighbors, gender-swap, bigger stakes, less characterization.
Someone took the script for the first one, went Search and Replace, set
to bold every gag, deleted the riffing, added feminism which it
occasionally forgets its position on albeit it remains a vocal
advocate, and this is what we got. Far funnier and more consistently
hilarious. Not as good of a film, but that was never the goal with
these two...soon to be three...? This makes a call that greatly
benefits it: the setting is simply no longer the real world.
Consequences are a thing of the past. Bones don't break, cops don't
show, and so on. This allows them to be as crazy as the trailers
suggest, in spite of about half of the footage in there not being in
the final cut.
The girls get to dish it out, now even more so. Stupidity has grown rapidly. Teddy(Ephron, who remains one of the best parts) is in the middle. You know how he was pretty psychopathic before? Well, this time, he has the full meltdown. It practically opens the film. He just wants to be valued! And he totally knows stuff! Not much, but some, and it's remarkably specific! This does suffer from the writers, all 5 of them, clearly not quite knowing, well, women. Why they didn't have them grab a pen... well, there's that sexism again. Thus, there's a lot of stereotyping going on there, and not a lot of depth. The climax is genuinely a fizzling out. Resolution is forced, albeit it is at least there...that's one of the first things this admits.
There is constant strong language, some sexuality, and a little violence in this. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys raunchy comedies. 7/10
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