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Excellent Game, Don't Let Bad Reviews Get You Down
In "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" you play as Charlie Bucket as he, with the help of the Oompa Loompas, has to rescue each of the naughty children from a horrible fate. The game design is really beautiful with a lot of detail put into each room and characters. The story is told by storybook like cut out characters that move and talk, which at first seems strange but you get used to it, but the opening and end story is computer animation which the characters look like something out of "Nightmare Before Christmas", not to say that the storybook look of the in-between stories is bad, it's just that they should have made each in between story CG.
In game play, you must solve a series of puzzles with the help of the Oompa Loompas to help rescue the children. Sometimes the puzzles are easy but every so often, some of the puzzles are challengingly confusing and you find your self stuck on a puzzle for thirty minutes trying to figure out what to do next. Overall, the game play is fun. The Oompa Loompas are hilarious and really fun to work with! When they are standing still, they begin to do push ups to pass the time. This game is a lot like the Lemmings or Pikmin as in you have to get them to do things to solve puzzles. Grandpa Joe also helps, press a button on your controller (depending on which system you have) and he gives you advice on how to solve the puzzles if you get stuck.
You use candy powers during game play; you throw Everlasting Gobstoppers at your enemies. You use candy balloons to reach high places; even Fizzy Lifting Drinks make it on to this game as you use it to fly! And belch to come down of course.
The game does have a few bugs. When you sometimes tell an Oompa Loompa to do something, it will begin to run in circles or get stuck behind something, but a gentle nudge or follow command will fix that problem, it's not a big deal at all.
The characters are great; sadly Johnny Depp doesn't appear on this game as Mr. Wonka, but the Charlie from the movie does talk for Charlie on this game. James Taylor, doubtful if it really is the singer James Taylor, does a good job in Depp's place as Wonka, almost identical voice of Wonka from the movie.
The rooms and scenery in this game are amazingly detail and at times very beautiful, it is very exciting to actually walk through the Chocolate Room. I loved it.
At the end of the game, after the Mike Teavee stage, you are given a choice to either use the elevator to go up and out and end the game right there, or you can help Willy Wonka collect secret ingredients in three rooms. What you have to do is collect golden W's and when you collect them all the game will end, but you will also have unlocked a bonus menu screen. In it, all of the stories you have seen will be available to watch without having to play through it again. Also, in the bonus menu screen you also unlock two trailers for the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and a photo gallery for the new movie. I recommend doing this, movie trailers are cool and collecting the golden W's is easy.
Overall, don't believe the reviews that say this game is bad, it's not. Maybe because I'm a huge fan of the book and both movies so naturally I would love the game. It really is the next best thing to being there yourself. So if you love the story and want something sweet; take a bite out of this game, but if you're not a fan it may for some reason taste sour, but I don't see why. I had fun with this game; after all, it's like being a kid in a candy store.
WIlly Wonka Is The Amazing Chocolateer
I absolutely loved this movie. It has reminded me why the original film was so special. Even though the original will always be a classic, in some ways, I almost think that this movie surpassed the original. For example, it actually showed more than the original film. In the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", it is only mentioned how the Oompa Loompas came to work in the factory. But in "Charlie", you actually see Wonka go to their home country and find out why they are even working for him. Another interesting thing about this movie is that we get to see into the life of a young Willy Wonka when he was just a child; he has been emotionally scarred by his strict father who never allowed him to eat chocolate or any other candy because his dad was a dentist.
The scenery for this film is amazing. From the snow covered city, to the candy room in the factory, it was very beautiful and set the perfect mood for the story. Tim Burton in a recent interview said that it is real chocolate that you see coming down the waterfall, no fake stuff. All in all, it is very wonderful eye candy.
As my brother, who was with me mentioned, it was amazing how well the young actors in this film did. Very talented and eerily resembling the actors who were in the original film. The person who was Charlie in the film did an excellent job, and so did the person who played his grandfather. Johnny Depp is the perfect choice for Wonka. Wonka comes off as a big kid and Depp played it brilliantly. He is just what you see on the TV commercials, a very cool character that made the movie even more interesting.
The music was very catchy, with each new person that was eliminated from the contest; the Oompa Loompas changed the music entirely for each one. These songs had me tapping my toes at many parts, it has inspired me to go out and buy the soundtrack. And the classical scores by Danny Elfman were fantastic as well, he is sure to be the next John Williams. His music help set the mood during the opening credits when the chocolate bars are shown being made.
Overall, this film is everything I had hoped it would be. This has become my favorite Burton film. The entire time, I can't remember when a smile wasn't literally on my face; it was just like being a kid again watching the original for the first time, even though in some ways the stories are completely different. This is probably the funniest time I've had in the theater so far this summer, and I have seen Episode III and Batman earlier this season. On a pure enjoyment factor, this movie is tops. What's not to like? It's a feel good movie that touches the inner child in us and leaves you feeling good by the end. If you miss this movie, you are missing something huge.
Predator: Concrete Jungle (2005)
Good for Fans Only
The first paragraph contains opening spoilers. Minor spoiler, but it is a spoiler.
In the 1930's, a Yatja (a.k.a Predator), sought glory in his tribe by slaughtering mobsters in the hot climates of Louisiana. After succeeding in his mission, he made his way back to his ship with his trophy in hand. As he was about to approach his ship, he becomes trapped and tries to self destruct, but accidentally surviving the explosion. Man learning about the species because of the explosion, he is banned from his tribe for 100 years. Then, there is a chance to redeem himself. He must return to Earth, now the 2030's, and destroy the weapons humanity has created modeled after what the Yatja left behind in the 30's. That's where the game really begins. Basically, you play as the Predator trying to restore his honor.
The game play for this game takes a little while to get used to, but eventually comes natural. They have a training section that you use to learn the ropes which is extremely helpful, without it, it would be difficult to play. Even I still don't understand how everything works, but you learn enough to keep going. It's hard to get lost in the game since most of the time there is a flashing triangle that tells where to go, which is a good help. There is first person mode which you can use to get a closer look from far away.
The graphics are decent, the movie parts of the game are so detailed it's amazing, and the Predators look like real actors in costume. The look of the game is very detailed, especially with the Yatja, but not as detailed as the FMV movies. The Predator and the background look good, but the people could look better. One of the coolest parts is when you are hurt, you receive damage. The more you're hurt, the more you're bleeding, if you're not hurt, no blood.
All of the weapons that you have seen in the movies are here, the combistick, smart disc, everything! You also have the famous stealth camouflage. You live by honor. You don't kill defenseless people or it hurts your reputation. If you kill too many innocent people, you will fail your mission. There are also bonus missions that earn you things like alternate costumes and health upgrades.
This game gets mixed reviews. It's understandable. When it gets down to it, this game could have been better. The look is good, but more detail could have been added. The different visions are difficult to master. To access different weapons, you have to push the select button, but with no load time in-between pushing select and playing, which is a good thing. You can't climb up any building you want, just a few specific ones. So it has a few tedious things, but overall good.
Here's the bottom line, if you are a Predator fan, odds are you'll eat this up. Just being a Predator in a third-person environment with the world at your disposal is fun. But if you're not much of a Predator fan and you're just a casual gamer, rent this first. I suggest that fans and non-fans may want to rent it first. It's good, but there has been mixed reviews. You'll either like it or hate it, that's for sure.
The story behind this game is that you are a young female magician trying to make your mark on the world and you go on a quest to collect five stones (black, red, white, blue, green) to put on this disk. And to do so, you must go around and fight many wizards from every region (the swamps, islands, mountains, forests, and plains). Gaining new magical spells along the way while freeing prisoners of magical spells after you defeat them (the bosses of each land is under a curse and is cured when you defeat them in a Magical battle). Sounds like a good story with fun goals, half of what you say is true.
I've been a fan of Magic the Gathering the card game for about five years and I was naturally excited to discover that X-Box was releasing the game "Magic the Gathering: Battlegrounds" excited is to say at least what I felt at the time.
Well I went and bought the game only to find out that it is extremely difficult. When I say this, I don't mean challenging; I'm saying that this game is hard! So much so that it eventually loses the fun and it just becomes frustrating. Some of the battles only by the skin of my teeth, in other words, it was luck that I won.
The graphics on this game are really great, I mean they didn't take short cuts on this game, the look is pretty impressive. It's really cool to see all of the monsters you've only seen in the cards take on 3D dimension and become real on the TV screen. I have to admit, it's neat. The cut scenes with the story are beautiful to look at and are always fun to see, it's also satisfying to see after you defeat a difficult boss.
The game play is where this game lacks. It becomes very taxing. Difficult and repetitive is a better way to describe it. I mean you learn the controls pretty fast, with each round they teach you more on how to play, but it does little good. It really takes trial and error to really understand what you are doing. They even give you hints every now and then on how to defeat a enemy, which is a good thing, but they state the obvious which on the difficult levels once again does little good. To fight in this game, you have to run around the screen until manna pops up out of the ground and you have to collect enough of it to summon a creature, much like they way you do in the card game. This is not as easy as it seems since you have creatures from the opposing team attacking you while you are trying to do this. And the computer is better at this game than you are, so they are sending monsters at you way before you are ready to send some of your own, hard. There is also a magical line that separates you from your opponent, which if you cross, your life will begin to deteriorate and until you go back to your side. But you carry a staff with you, so if you want to cross the line to where your opponent is, you can still hit them with your staff to take off a little of their health. This is not recommended if you are already having a hard time fending off the monsters already. You also have your spells like you do in the card game.
An interesting part about this game is the multi player games; you can either play by yourself or fight against a friend. Now in this, you can choose a character you want to be. I like to use the black sorcerer that controls the swamp creatures, black is my favorite deck in the real game. And you can also choose where you want to fight at. You don't get anything from playing this, but it gives you good practice and it is fun to play with a friend.
Overall the game is a thing of what could have been. The graphics are fantastic; the game is fun
up to the point when it becomes difficult. If you have never played the card game before, you may find it more difficult to play than an avid card player since you don't know all of the rules. The game is fun, but it becomes difficult and slowly just becomes frustrating. If you love difficult to impossible games, than this is definitely for you. If you don't like a challenge, a HUGE challenge, than just rent this game before you buy it unless you find it on sale at some store. Because no matter how big of a fan of the Magic game you are, you will discover that it would be easier to take on a Drake with a fork than tackle this game (Magic fans will understand what I mean). I may be exaggerating a little, but for real, if I had to say one word about this game, it would be "difficult". This is a rental for sure, but an iffy buy.
Not As Bad As People Think
It is called the original nightmare because this is an update remake of the first Howling movie. In both movies, a husband and wife retreat to a small town that turns out to be full of werewolves. I like this update, this is definitely a breath of fresh air to the series. Special effects weren't terrible and I loved the the different ideas of how people change into a werewolf. One melts into a puddle of goo in a gruesome scene when he is walking in the woods and drops to the ground and begins to literally melt and then comes back together as a werewolf. Well done scene Tom Savini worthy. There is another man that rips the skin off of his jaw and it grows and he turns into a werewolf. Alot of memorable scenes in this movie makes this a standout movie in the werewolf horror genre and is definitely one of the best movies out of the series.
Cradle of Fear (2001)
Movie of Gore
As anyone who watches this movie knows, it has a cameos of Daniel Davey a.k.a Dani Filth in the movie, although not as much as let on by all of the websites and so forth. The movie it's self is a gore-fest, like the box warns, but the movie is pretty good. Interesting story on how an insane man is getting his revenge on everyone who testified against him in court is a good base for a story. I found my self liking the movie the first time I watched it, but the second time, it didn't appeal to me as much. I have to admit, having Dani in the movie is a plus, but I he wasn't in it, would I like it as much as I do know? Probably not. Like I said the movie is good, AT LEAST THE FIRST TIME. As for the music, it is good if you are, like myself, a Cradle of Filth fan, if your not, then you are pretty much screwed in the music department because they play pretty much only COF music. The acting in come parts were good, other parts the acting stunk. Well that's a B movie for ya. Some people,like the man who played Inspector Neilson, are really talented actors, but some people, like the blonde haired man getting mauled in the sick room, was terrible. Overall the movie is good once, but like old meat left in the sun, the movie starts to rot and get old, no matter how much of a Cradle of Filth fan you are. You should not watch the movie just for Dani because he is only really at the start and at the end of the movie, not really in the middle. For hardcore B-rated horror/gore movies fans only!