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71 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008 Video Game)
4/10
An OK sequel that runs very messy
27 December 2008
This is a continuation of the story from Tomb Raider Legend. Crystal Dynamics third Tomb Raider game and Lara's complete next gen debut. The game sadly follows Angel of Darkness's footsteps in making Lara's first game on the new generation of consoles a mess. Rife with glitches and poor framerate. The whole game has a rushed quality to it. Which Eidos is known for rushing their developers.

Graphically the game looks great. There have been tweaks and improvements to some animations and stuff that Lara does. Everything is mo-capped now, so that it gives Lara and the other characters a better sense of realism. There are a lot of subtle things here I appreciate with the animations.

There is a dark side to the animations though. Some animations are stiff. Like her swan dive for example. She looks like a 500 pound anvil dropping, because she does it so fast. Other animations are also stiff and sometimes jerky.

Next complaint is the shoddy camera. The camera was somewhat of a hassle in Anniversary, but never this bad. The camera flips, dips, and trips all around to every place except where you want it or need it to be.

The combat has it's issues as well. First off this is just a personal preference of mine, but I wished they would have included a customizable control scheme, but sadly there isn't one. The reason why I say this is, because shooting is R2. I'm used to it being R1, so I found R2 to be awkward all through the game. One addition that I'm glad returned was blood. Enemies now spray a little blood when she shoot them.

There are some lazy design choices at work as well. Every human in the game is a one hundred percent exact clone of each other. There are two areas that are exact clones of each other as well.

Through the game I encountered four glitches. I fell through a boss one time, I went through a boat wall, close to the end of the game the screen just went black and I had to cut off my PS3 and turn it back on before I could do anything else, and at one point the screen went completely gray. That was fixed by going into the menu and going back to the game.

Two other things I'm really peeved about is the fact that they took out her mansion that you could mess around in outside of story mode. Another thing is the lack of unlockable costumes. In fact there are NONE. What few that are coming are going straight to the Xbox to be exclusive there. This game is shorter than Anniversary as well, but longer than Legend by a small margin.

There are some improvements here. The voice acting it good. The story is fairly good. The cutscene animations are superb, but Crystal Dynamics really dropped the ball with the technical aspects of the game. The game could be patched to fix some of these problems, but there has been no word on any patch. Everything else coupled with 360 basically getting everything to make it a more complete game and you've got a game here for the PS3 that doesn't justify it's $60 price.
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Resistance 2 (2008 Video Game)
5/10
An OK game, but a very disappointing sequel
28 November 2008
Two years ago Insomniac made Resistance: Fall of Man. Turns out it was a different kind of breed of FPS for me at least. The only FPS I've ever truly liked. It has a special kind of flair about it that other FPS games don't have in my opinion.

Fast forward 2 years and we have it's sequel. A direct continuation of the story from the first. Succeeding in some areas and a let down in most. The story is told through Nathan Hale's perspective this time instead of a Narrator character. It does give Hale more meaning as a character, but ultimately he's just a clichéd tough ass gung ho soldier type that we've seen so much before already. The story feels a bit hollow.

The shooting isn't bad, but the crosshairs on some of the weapons are not good at all. Particularly the carbine. That's a personal preference of mine, so take it for what you will. Gone is the weapon wheel. You are only allowed to carry two weapons at a time in this game. Where as you could carry all of them in the first at one time.

Some might say this adds strategy to the game. No doubt that it does, but it strips the game of it's fun factor and variety in favor of realism and strategy now. In the first one you could dispatch of the Chimera in many different ways in one battle. Now that is gone. With the lack of the weapon wheel I use the two most convenient weapons and skip all the rest. That's just my preference though. Limitations aren't good. I like to use all the weapons at my leisure. Not have the game developer hold my hand on how to play the game.

Insomniac also makes things predictable even with the first time through as always you'll find a weapon best suited for the upcoming battle. Which if you're like me you'll catch onto this pattern soon and be able to predict when you'll be facing mass amounts of enemies or one big enemy with whatever weapon you find laying at your feet as you progress. Axing the weapon wheel is my biggest disappointment with the game.

Next is the weapons themselves. Insomniac created some unique weapons in the first game. Some old weapons make returns. The new weapons are the Splicer a saw blade shooting gun, Bellock grenade launcher, A wraith mini gun, Revolver, Marksman, Pulse Cannon. Marksman being a hybrid between a assault rifle and a sniper rifle. The focus of most of these new weapons are based in realism. Except for the Splicer. There's that "realism" word again. Which is disappointing. Insomniac being a developer known for creating unique weapons dropped the ball here.

Online stuff is a mixed bag. The new addition is online co-op and is the game's saving grace. You have three classes Soldier, Special Ops, and Medic. Each can be leveled up to 30 with different armor to "buy" for each of them and each takes around 18-20 hours to completely max out with levels. It takes a little longer if you want gray tech which is the equivalent of money to buy all the armor. When everyone clicks as a team then co-op is the best thing about the game. It's addicting with 5 maps and plenty of missions. It's up to 8 players online and 2 players offline. There is no single player co-op. Offline co-op is the same as the online co-op. Just only with two people and the second players stats can't be saved. As many faults as I have with this game the co-op redeems a lot if it.

Competitive is different compared to the first game. First off weapon spawns have been taken out. Now you find weapons on the battlefield from dead players. Second there are berserks which are like Call of Duty's perks. Personally I feel that berserks break the online gameplay. Makes it unfair and doesn't belong in a Resistance game. Aside from maybe 1 exclusive berserk each race is pretty much the same now. Their uniqueness has been stripped.

Competitive only has four modes compared to the first game's six. Meltdown, Breach, Coversion, and Capture the Flag has been taken out. Capture the flag has been replaced with a different mode called Core Control. Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Skirmish are the other modes with Skirmish being the other new one. The online lobby from the first game has been changed for the worse. There is no more convenient in game messaging. Now it's all done through the XMB. Not good at all.

The graphics are scale of the game are a definite step up.

It might sound like I loathe this game, but I don't. Like I've already said co-op is where it's at with this game. I've already put close to 30 hours into co-op. Being a huge fan of the first I'm just disappointed that they changed so much.

If this weren't a sequel to Resistance: Fall of Man then it would get an easy 9 out of 10 from me. Looking at it as a sequel though makes it a underwhelming let-down. I had a hard time It doesn't hold that same flair that the first one did. Marred by Insomniac's extreme want for realism. Insomniac went out of there way to copy other flavor of the year games on the market and with that they lost a lot of what made the first Resistance so great and it's identity. It plays just like every other shooter out there now. If you weren't a fan of Resistance 1 then you might like this game. If you're looking for a sequel that holds the same spirit as the first then you might be disappointed, but if you can look past the fact that this is a Resistance sequel then you'll have fun with this.
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8/10
The best Marvel movie yet
14 June 2008
Although my personal bias as a Hulk fan will probably sway my opinion on that.

5 years ago I watched Ang Lee's Hulk. I really liked it and couldn't understand why everyone was hating on it. Specifically comic book fans. The more I watched it though the more I started seeing pacing problems with the movie. Three years after I watched the movie I went and got every single Hulk comic I could find. I was in for a shock. The movie wasn't faithful to the comics at all. Reading the comics turned me against the movie entirely.

Needless to say I was a bit cautious whenever this one was announced. I got more optimistic whenever it was revealed that Ed Norton was being cast as Bruce. They couldn't have gotten anyone better. Eric Bana was a terrible choice. Then more casting reveals came along. For the biggest part I was happy about most of them. Except for William Hurt as General Ross. I felt one of the only things that the 03 movie got right was Sam Elliot as General Ross.

Then the trailers came. I wasn't impressed with anything I seen in the trailers. I was still willing to give it a chance, but I was more pessimistic now than ever.

After watching the movie though I can safely say the trailers didn't do it justice. It made me do a 180. This movie is the best piece of Hulk work outside of the comics. One of my worries was that since the 03 Hulk was a bit heavy with the story. This movie was going to go the opposite route and be all action and nothing else.

While this may be somewhat the case, the action is incredible. Abomination and Hulk's blows were thunderous. There was a big chunk of character development on Bruce Banner, but certain things could have been expanded upon. Like General Ross, Dr. Samson, and Betty. Other little things could have been expanded upon as well, but Marvel was worried that this one would be too story heavy and not enough action like the 03 version. In the end the action being so great made up for the slight sacrifice in character and story development.

Liv Tyler I thought did a good job as Betty. She played the innocent love role well. I know some critics are bashing her for whatever reason. I thought she was good.

Now to touch on the negatives. Just two big ones that stuck out to me. As I mentioned earlier I loved Elliot as Ross in the 03 Hulk movie. Hurt was no Ross. I never could completely buy him as Ross through out the movie. I kept thinking on how great Elliot would have been if he were back in the role.

The second was the Abomination's design. Being a comic book geek now Abomination's design irked me more than anything whenever I very first seen the trailer. I see lots of people say that the comic book design makes no sense, but this "is" a movie based off of a "comic book". Gamma affects people in different ways in the comic. The comic design differed him from Hulk's look. Which I felt was the exact thing was wrong with him here with his design. He looked too much like a bald Hulk clone. I'm not as down on it as I was, but I still prefer the comic book version any day.

I thought they went a bit overboard with the TV show homages. I don't like the show. I don't mind the cameo by Lou here and there. The TV show did help Hulk reach get more mainstream, but by that same logic why isn't all the current Batman movies homaging and using elements from the Adam West Batman show? Like I said I'll give credit where credit is due and to the movies credit it does strike a nice balance trying to please both sides, but Batman Begins has shown that you can make a superhero movie with 100 percent of it's inspiration derived from the comics and still be successful and good.

The CGI was great. Way better than the 03 version. The Hulk looked great and they went through a lot of trouble creating the battles the Hulk is in. This is getting too long. Probably my longest review yet. Finally they got the Hulk right. I'm hoping there will be a sequel.
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10/10
It was a great ride
2 August 2007
It met all of my expectations and was better than the past four seasons of of the show. There was only one joke in the whole movie that didn't really do it for me. Every character got a chance to shine and it was surreal seeing my favorite show growing up on the big screen. I was worried that the writers would throw in a bunch of "four letter words" just, because they could. Which would have seemed awkward, but thankfully they didn't. The movie was very quickly paced in my opinion. I was very surprised by the time it was over, because it seemed so quick. Homer was definitely the star of the show, but there was a story for the whole family except Maggie, but she had her "cute" moments. All in all I can't wait for a sequel if they make one at some point in the future.
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7/10
A near perfect remake
10 June 2007
The Tomb Raider series has always been high on my list of favorite franchises. That's why I was so sad to see it go the way it was going before Crystal Dynamics stepped in and injected some life back into the series.

I had high expectations for the remake considering Crystal Dynamics was doing it. Thankfully all of those expectations have been met and then some. This game has now taken the place of the first one in my opinion. Some people may disagree, but there's no more need for the original now.

Crystal D managed to take what we all loved about Tomb Raider 1 and refine it without destroying the atmosphere of the first. Pretty much everything has been upgraded over the original. If you've played Legend you should be used to this. It uses the same engine.

The graphics are the most obvious thing. What was once a closed in cave with a black cover over it is now outside like it's supposed to be. All the environments are wonderful. Which makes navigating them that much better.

The controls are fine. The combat is a bit more in depth than in Legend. Although you'll spend more time jumping around and solving puzzles than fighting. Which is what the original Tomb Raider was about. I do have to praise the difficulty. Not many games have a well balanced realistic difficult challenge anymore. The story is better written, but keeps the same elements of the original.

My only complaints about the game is the camera, no blood, and slight framerate problems. The camera can be a bit of a hassle sometimes when trying to make jumps. Thankfully it never gets bothersome too much. I was disappointed that there wasn't any blood what so ever in the game. I didn't want geysers of blood, because the series has never been about that, but a little blood when she gets stabbed or pricked would have been nice. The original even had blood. The framerate chugged a few times, but it was hardly noticeable. The mansion is the place where it happens the most.

Overall a great game with plenty of great unlockables and I can't wait to see what Crystal Dynamics can do with the series from here.
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Resistance: Fall of Man (2006 Video Game)
8/10
My first FPS and PS3 game and it wasn't a disappointment
6 April 2007
There are hardly any games out for any system that I want right now, but I got the urge to get my first PS3 game after owning one for almost two months. I finally broke down and got Resistance.

Resistance shows just how good of a game it really is with me actually hating FPS games before this and still do. This game stands out amongst the rest though. I actually enjoy this FPS and this will probably be the only FPS game I ever own.

I don't know much about standard shooters, but the gameplay in this is great. The physics in this game are great. The glass breaks realistic. You can knock over most stuff with shots or melee hits. You can't damage buildings that much. The storyline is decent, but I've seen better, but the atmosphere and locations make up for what little the story lacks. The guns are all great. They all have great sub things they can do. Difficulty isn't cheap on any of the harder settings.

This game also brought out another first in me. I tried the online play which I don't normally do in games and I love it. There's plenty of modes and maps to play in. There is NO lag for me at least. It's awesome. Clans to join, buddies to make, and plenty of stuff to unlock. In fact this whole game is awesome and worth a buy.
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7/10
Still GTA, but nothing outstanding
25 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this with the mindset that's a PSP port, so I wasn't expecting anything huge like San Andreas. Comparing it to Vice City is fair though in my opinion seeing as how it's almost four years old. It's a good tide over game until GTA IV.

You follow the story of Lance and his brother Vic. Vic is a character that I never could fully like. Unlike CJ and Tommy. Vic is a nice man. Doesn't trash talk and always wants to do the right thing. There are some interesting characters in the game. Louise a redneck female that Vic gets to know adds something new to the series. That being a serious love interest for the main character. I was interested in that. Although it didn't go much of anywhere. All the rest of the characters are mostly returning characters from Vice City. The story was bland for a GTA game I do have to admit. Still passable, but bland by GTA standards.

The gameplay is pretty much the same GTA free roaming gameplay we've come to know and love. There are some limitations with it being on the PSP and being a port of the PSP. Vic can only swim for a limited amount of time at the start and he can't dive underwater. He can't climb up over walls like CJ can. The flying vehicles control terribly. I hated them The gameplay is a mixed bag if you're comparing it to Vice City. There's a lot of stuff I like that's been added like use of the golf course, but some of the vehicles don't control as well as they did in Vice City. Tires pop way too easily that's for sure.

I found the soundtrack to be weak. Vice City has my most favorite soundtrack. I didn't like many of the songs on here and cut off the radio most of the time.

The game actually looks quite a bit better than Vice City. The facial animations move a lot better and gives the characters more life. The city is not so washed out. The graphics are probably the biggest overall improvement over Vice City.

In the end it's still an enjoyable GTA game. It's got all the right essentials to make it a standard GTA game. That being said it doesn't excel above Vice City much and actually falls short in other places.
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Diablo II (2000 Video Game)
10/10
Made everything from the first one even better!
30 January 2007
There's not much bad to be said about this game. It takes all the elements from the first game and makes them better. Better graphics, story, sounds, levels, characters, weapons. I remember playing this game for the first time for about 12 hours or so. It's hard to stop once you start. It excelled on every expectation I had for it. The ending really stuck with me. It is very bad ass. The difficulty I found challenging, but not impossible.

The most addictive part about the game is the level building. There's nothing more satisfying than building your character up super strong and mowing down some demons in hell. The final thing I like about this game is it fulfilled every want I had for the series. There is no need to continue further. This game and it's expansion should be the end of the series in my opinion, but they are that damn good.
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Candyman (1992)
6/10
A slow burn
30 January 2007
Everyone knows of the bloody mary urban legend. Well this movie takes that legend and puts a urban spin on it. Which I like. There aren't to many serious urban horrors. It's got a decent enough premise. It's slow in carrying it out though. Virgina Madsen is a good quality actress. She really makes you feel for her with all of the insanity that's going on.

Everybody knows that Candyman is Tony Todd's most recognizable role. Tony is creepy, but this movie works by the idea that less is more. The less you see Candyman the more scary he will be. Granted they didn't have to go with a "Jason" style exposure for him. It would have been nice to see more of him.

Everything feels as if it reveals and finishes everything too fast. We don't get a clue as to what's really going on until the movie is almost over. It's nicely directed. It is underrated in some circles, but after going back and watching it again after all these years. It doesn't hold up that good anymore.
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7/10
This brought back the horror in horror
6 October 2006
This movie is relentless in it's brutality. I was shocked at some of the kills and the gore in the movie. This movie shows all these commercial PG-13 teenage horror movie what a "horror" movie is supposed to be.

Now the movie doesn't bring anything new the genre. No one ever said it was going to. It does have some good old slasher fun that's lacking in a lot of today's horror.

The actors are excellent and are better than the remake's cast. The directing is great. The editing is great. The prequel doesn't delve to much into Leatherface's past, but that's OK. Giving away too much makes him lose his mystic.

It answers some of the questions left in the remake of course as prequels are supposed to do. All in all it's a horror movie. That's what I can safely say about it. It's a true horror movie. Which is something you don't see much of these days.
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