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I just finished this game, having picked it up almost 12 years after its release.
I absolutely loved it. Like the other reviews say, the atmosphere, characters, music, cut scenes and story are great. The voice actors...OMG the voice actors...!!! Patrick Stewart is amazing as always, and the others are not to be missed. Even with 12-year-old graphics, this game stands the test of time, at least for me.
It's a hack-and-slash, light on combos, but it feels like a lot more. The fight sequences may be repetitive at times, but there are also some encounters that literally made my jaw drop. I wish I could say the end fight was the best, but, while it's good, it's not THE best. So I knocked off a star. (Maybe I shouldn't have...it's hard to compete with the middle!)
I definitely got a sense of a bond being forged between these three unexpected allies. It was great to be able to command three separate characters outside a turn-based game. Zhai reminds me a lot of Bloodrayne, which I don't mind one bit. As for limited character customization, I didn't mind. The characters are already written, and written well. I think in this game, the writing works better than, say, talent trees would.
Yes, it's short. But it's a nice one to revisit, just like re- reading the books.
As for actual replay value, I'm going to go confirm that right now, on a higher difficulty setting. Good thing the original Xbox only came with wired controllers...can't throw them too far, and the first time through was hard enough! :D
Highly recommended. 8 1/2 out of 10.
It's just OK
I was expecting a lot more from this game. The good things are that the original voice actors are all present, and the usual flavor and all the quirky, humorous things that make Futurama awesome are still there. The music mix is great.
Unfortunately, it plays like a 2015 app at best. I bought this for the original Xbox and was really excited. The unresponsive controls, however, made it near impossible for me to play. I gave up after the first real level (after the intro/tutorial). Even Futurama jokes aren't worth repeated, hair- pulling, controller-throwing fails that stem from the (lack of) game mechanics. Hopefully I'll be able to watch a play through, because I love all things Futurama.
I'll be taking this to my local buy/sell/trade place in hopes that someone with better motor skills than mine will enjoy it.
The Scarehouse (2014)
A not-so-basic horror flick for chicks
You're going to make up your own mind, so here's what you need to know: This movie is about two badarse girls who have had a lot of time to plan sick, twisted, poetic justice upon some basic bewitches who they feel have wronged them. There is an actual plot, so don't dismiss the sorority house scenes, because the tortures that follow are not random at all. In fact, put your subtitles on, because the conversations are a bit hard to hear, and the dialogue isn't great, but they're important. I enjoyed re-watching the first few scenes after the credits. I found the flashback storyline a bit hard to follow, but it works for the movie. Have a little patience and focus, and you will be rewarded. This is a story of betrayal on a few levels, and while I saw the ending coming, I honestly didn't guess how it was going to happen. The #1 thing I would say to someone about this movie is that it will make you uncomfortable, and you won't be sure why. All sarcasm re: execution downfalls aside, and all the obvious gore and psychotic actions aside as well, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what is so squicky about this flick.
I let movies take me wherever they will. This one took me to a place that was darkly and crudely funny, gruesome, good twists and some sick, twisted gore that was perhaps not as gratuitous in terms of blood and gore, but definitely more squicky than average. There are some sick geniuses behind the tortures and killings.
This movie does not fit neatly into the slasher genre, nor is it cerebral enough to be called a thriller. It's Canadian. Remember the Barenaked Ladies? They're not ladies. But they're funny. But not US funny. So this movie is not what the trailer depicted, but it's disturbing. But not US disturbing.
Sound: awesome. The timing of some of the background sounds/conversations make for good comedy and horror besides being a good backdrop.
Music: Oh my god *expletive deleted* awful! There is an important scene in the movie (some would argue more than one) that gets ruined by the score.
Flavor: I agree with the reviewer who said this is like Mean Girls meets Saw. I would also say it reminds me of Set It Off and, oddly, Fight Club. There is both attraction and tension between the protagonists. It's worth watching just for the interaction between the two protagonists. There are some deliciously apropos and relevant torture and kill scenes. The chunked-up story presentation is reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, and it's about as easy to follow as Mulholland Drive, but other than that the movies have nothing in common. Another Tarantino movie, Natural Born Killers, has a distant similarity in the detached, but satisfied way they kill, but again, it's otherwise a far cry. So basically it pulls from a lot of different elements, and that's maybe one of the reasons I like it: it reminds me of some of my favorites.
Plot: There are no good guys. Lets get that out of the way. Another reviewer said they didn't like the movie because they didn't care about the characters because they weren't likable or something. Well, they aren't. In fact, beyond the protagonist/antagonist distinctions, it's hard to tell who the bad guys are. If you are not able to watch a movie that does not allow you to "root" for someone or form at least a slight personal attachment to a character, don't watch this. These girls are all sick in the head in their own way.
They are, however, well played. The sorority girls are not well developed. However, the reasons for their suffering are quite well fleshed out, if not sane.
Just take this movie for what it is: essentially a foreign film that does not fit into US categories. It's weird. It's a slightly different kind of disturbing, and you're not going to be able to put your finger on exactly why. Go to a haunted house this Halloween, then watch this movie, then go to a different haunted house. Chances are, you'll be wondering about what's going on behind the walls in a slightly different and definitely more disturbed way.
Ambitious but not enjoyable...
Fans of Myst and Oblivion will most likely enjoy this game. It's immersive, dark, and dreary. The gameplay is heavy on puzzles, character dialogue is well developed, but running is neither necessary nor an option. As far as I got, it would work just as well as a point-and-click.
If you like to look around as opposed to tearing through the game at hyper speed, this title is NOT for you. Every disturbing image--and there are plenty--costs you insanity points. What this does is make the screen pulse, especially when you are looking at enemies. By Chapter 3 this made the game unplayable for me personally. I've never got sick to my stomach from a game before, and sadly it was not for a good reason.
Another thing that the insanity score will do is slow down your character's movement speed. Yes, it's a great thing to experience the first few times it happens, but after that it makes the game extremely tedious.
I'm currently rating this title a 7/10 for the initial story, ambiance, level of immersion and the novel approach to interacting with the game world. There is no HUD, so very little is left to remind you of the separation between you and the crazy world which you just entered.
Unfortunately, some of the puzzles feel too contrived to be enjoyable...and this breaks the flow of the game. When it comes down to stepping on exactly the right pixel at the right time, the game ceases to be fun.
If you like shoot-'em-up atmospheric horror, check out The Suffering.
I will be watching a playthrough of this game, and when I'm done I will update my review.
Donnie Darko (2001)
I didn't think it was possible for a movie to deliver both a browbeating and confusion, but this one certainly does!
The fear vs. love theme is painfully clear. The details, however, are extremely convoluted, and the filmmakers knew this. Together with the original film, they created a website dedicated to explaining the storyline. This doesn't make for an intelligent movie; it makes for bad storytelling. It almost seems like the creators of the movie realized way too late that their thoughts don't translate well to the screen. I love a movie that makes me think, but not one that has me exhausted with the work of re-creating it.
There are some good points. The acting is excellent, and the rabbit is oddly, insidiously disturbing. It's been an hour and I still can't shake that image. The movie is worth a look for that alone.
For years I thought I was missing a compelling piece of cinema. I was wrong. If you haven't seen it but feel pressed to, relax. It can wait.
Insomnia Manica (2005)
This is not a coaster
Let's define fast-paced: Jason Statham on a life-or-death adrenaline rush (Crank) this is not. I'd call this the art house definition of fast-paced, which means that the movie gives you just enough time to look at the screen and take in what the cinematography has to tell.
With that out of the way, here are the pros: It's immersive. It's heavily visual and you are a fly on the wall. The ambient sound is very well done (the music is another story). The intimacy is amazingly done (the sex, not so much), and there are a few powerful scenes of friendship, family and love. There's the struggle of the characters to become the better predator in this desolate concrete jungle, and this shifting dynamic is shown in a clever and disturbing way. The non-verbal acting is very good, especially from the lead female talent.
And now for the cons. They wouldn't seem so glaring if most of the movie weren't so nicely understated. SPOILER: the insomnia isn't nearly as central to the plot as the title would have you believe. It feels tacked on. The sex and action scenes have poor choreography and worse execution. I've seen better at an amateur wrestling match. The scene where the gypsy places her curse is just plain awful. The music often exaggerates the mood to the point of being ridiculous. The voiced acting is often ham-fisted, notably from the supporting male talent.
So there you have it...a very good movie marred by a few errors. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I recommend it. It reminds me of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and True Romance, but with a distinctive style of its own and much darker. It also has a very slight Casino feel.
Normally, I would say rent before you buy, but I picked mine up on a whim at a dollar store...I have no buyer's remorse, and I certainly don't plan on sliding it under a drink.