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Favorite TV Shows:
1) Mystery Science Theater 3000
3) The Simpsons
4) Sanford and Son
5) Everybody Loves Raymond
Least Favorite Movies:
10) Mars Attacks
9) Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
8) House of the Dead
6) Vertical Limit
5) Jason X
3) The Big Hit
2) Saving Silverman
1) Date Movie
10)The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
9) Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
8) Schindler's List
7) It's A Wonderful Life
3) The General
2) Star Wars: A New Hope
1) Raiders of the Lost Ark
FAVORITE MOVIE QUOTES:
-"As far back as I can remeber. I always wanted to be a gangster."--Henry Hill
-"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the war room."--President Merkin Mufley
This busting makes me feel good.
The Ghostbusters franchise got its start with the classic comedic horror film of the same name in 1986. The success of that film allowed the creators to make a sequel, two cartoon series, and a number of video games. However, the franchise has been lying dormant since the cancellation of Extreme Ghostbusters in 1997. This new game brings the Ghostbusters back to life, complete with the original cast and a script written by Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game for the Xbox 360 takes place in 1991, the ghostbuster have practically become a household name and are looking to expand their business. They start by hiring a new recruit to mainly to do all the grunt work. The conveniently take places at the same time that there has been an explosion in the quantity of haunting in New York City, even defeated enemies are making a come back, such as Slimmer and Stay Puff.
You play as this new recruit as you fight a wide variety of ghost, spirits, and monsters as you and the Ghostbusters try to discover the source of the resurgence. Over the course of the game, you obtain three weapons in addition to the standard proton beam. These weapons include paralysis beams, rapid fire blots, and of course slime. All these weapons have strengths and weakness that can be used to defeat monsters and solve puzzles. Your weapons can also be upgraded with the money made by catching and scanning ghost. These purchases improve your equipment by mainly increasing its damage or duration. One problem about this system is that almost all of the upgrades can be purchased in just one play through. This leaves the game with little replay value.
The levels are pretty linear and only allow the player to venture where the game wants them to. The backgrounds can also be a tad repetitive, which can cause a player to lose their way. Fortunately, the game effectively employs the use of the PK meter which helps to point the player in the right direction and also to find ghost and hidden objects. Despite a little repetitiveness, the background and the environments of the game are fantastic. They are really creepy and sometimes downright scary. They are all very believable and really suck you into several well designed surroundings.
Between these levels, you can hangout at the station house and mess around with several interactive objects including some that you'll find hidden in certain areas of the game. While this is amusing for a short while, the novelty where off quite quickly. As even bigger problem caused by these little intermissions occurs when you turn off the console while at the station. Upon returning to the game, you'll find that you will be starting and the beginning of the next level rather than the station house. This causes you to miss the cutscenes that take place at the end, which usually provide key plot points.
However, the greatest thing about the game has to be seeing cast back together again. This could easily have been a simple check casher, but the writers and the actors put a lot of effort t into making the game as loyal to the original film as possible. The entire cast is completely in character the interaction and chemistry between them is as good as it was in the movies. The only thing could have been improved is the recruit. Even though he is has no lines, a little more interaction between him and the rest of the cast would have been nice. There are even some points in the story where a major event occurs and he is barely even seen.
Aside from these problems, Ghostbusters: The Video Game is a ton of fun, but has a limited lifespan which may not be worth the games self price. Unless you are a hardcore fan of the series it may be better to take the rental route or wait to buy a used copy at a discount price. This game is said to be a precursor to an additional film which is to be released in the next couple years. If this game is a sign of how good the movie will be than I am indeed looking forward to it.
The apple has fallen far from the tree.
When one thinks about Indiana Jones, constant nonstop action adventure with little time to rest in between episodes is what usually comes to mind. Indiana Jones serves as a tribute to the old adventure serials from the 1930's and 40's. These serials had its hero getting himself into one hazardous situation after another, which is exactly what the movies did. Unfortunately, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine does not follow this formula.
This PC game takes place in 1947, World War II has ended, the Nazis have been defeated, and Europe is divided by an iron curtain. While this is happening, the Soviet Union is exploring the ruins of Babylon, searching for an ancient machine more powerful than the atom bomb. Recruited by the CIA, famed archaeologist Indiana Jones is sent on a mission to the far corners of the Earth in order to find the missing pieces of the machine before the communists.
That is the premise of a game which largely consists of Indy trying to get from point A to point B, frequently having to gather certain items in order to solve a number of puzzles to complete the level. This is the largest flaw of the game. Instead of fighting enemies and participating in intense fast paced action, the player is stuck pushing block and finding keys. There is an absolute minimal amount of actual fighting and there is a maximum amount of Indy slowly climbing wall and running around trying to figure out what to do next. The lack of excitement is only amplified by the almost complete lack of music throughout the entire game. The music that is present is used after the player has achieved something (usually insignificant) or to cue them of a nearby trap.
The area that the game really fails is in its actual gameplay. The control is extremely stiff and clumsy. It is very difficult to make fast agile maneuvers while in a gun fight and it is equally difficult to make slow precise movements while lining up for a jump or inching you way through booby traps. Indy's whip is completely useless in combat; to do one crack takes almost three seconds, giving enemies ample time to shoot or simply move. You have nine weapons to choose from which include pistols, rifles, a shotgun, and bazooka. Only one of these weapons really standout from the rest, this is the combat rifle whose long range makes it easy to pick off enemies from a distance, but is still useful when enemies are nearby. Since most of the game takes place in close quarters, you rarely ever get in a situation where the bazooka is an effective weapon. Despite the several control problems, the levels are not terribly difficult. The levels are more about platforming and solving puzzles rather than shooting. The puzzles themselves are usually quite easy to solve, although sometimes the solution is not very clear. Searching the internet for a walkthrough will be needed a couple times.
The voice acting in this game is decent enough. Doug Lee does sound a lot like Ford and manages to stay relatively in character despite save some bad dialogue which is really the fault of the writers. The supporting cast is also good, they do not sound like monotone script readers, and they sound more like really people that have emotions, speech pattern, and even some good accents.
The design of the levels is quite bland and repetitive, with very basic platforming and puzzle solving in place of any type of action. The only thing the game excels in is its scenery. At times the game is more fun to look at than it is to play. The scenery of nearly every level has believable surroundings and designs that match the levels time period and geography. The designers had clearly done there homework.
However, this is the only real element that the game does well in. Overall, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is a very slow and clunky adaptation to a fast-paced action series. It is a bland platformer with only pretty scenery and a few interesting contraption to hold the players interest.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
A True Buried Treasure
There have been few entertainment franchises that have as successful and impressive as Batman. He is one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time and has thrived in almost every media source the series has adapted to. Of these extensions the most famous is the film adaptations. Tim Burton's Batman pushed the limits of what is considered to be children's entertainment and intense adult action and drama. Christopher Nolan reboot series has been equally influential, showing that a comic book film can take place in a realistic environment. However, one Batman series which is often overlooked in the character plunge into the animated world. Batman: The Animated Series is considered to be one of the best cartoons shows of all time and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm does for film what the cartoon show did for television,
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is able to fit two well developed stories into only 76 minutes. The first and primary plot focuses on Batman tracking down The Phantasm, a mysterious vigilante who has been systematically killing off mobsters while Batman is blamed. The second story focuses on the young fledgling crime fighter Bruce Wayne and how close he came to quitting in order to have a normal life with his love interest, Andrea Belmont.
The movie begins with Batman breaking into a mob runs counterfeiting scheme, Batman deals with the henchman while the boss, Chuckie Sol, makes a beak for it. Before Batman can catch him he is murdered by the Phantasm. Batman is blamed for the killing and is forced to track down his imitator. Things grow more complicated as Andrea interest returns to Gotham City and Bruce believes that her father is somehow connected to the murders. This triggers Bruce's reminiscing about how his life would have been if he stayed with her. The film does a great job in juggling these to plots without ever being terribly predictable.
The voice acting is equally admirable. Kevin Conroy's portrayal as Batman/Bruce Wayne is one of the most overlooked performances ever. He gives both Batman and Bruce Wayne different voices and speech patterns. He even makes the younger Bruce Wayne speak more energetically and innocently. The same can be said for Dana Delany who plays the young Andrea Belmont as naïve and playful while the older version is more dark and isolated. The one performance that stands out, however, is The Joker, voiced by Mark Hamill. The Joker one has a few scenes but steals every shot that he is in, perfectly balancing the clown and the killer.
However, as good as the story and acting is, it is the drawing style and animation the really stand out from the rest of the animated features. Unlike other animated films, Mask of the Phantasm focuses on a dark art deco design to show the vastness of Gotham City and to show the range of character emotions.
The only negatives about the movie would be that the stories are very tight, which causes some scenes to feel rushed and less significant than it should, such as when Bruce first suits up as Batman. That and a few corny lines and cliché morals really stick out from the high quality of the rest of the film. Still, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is a terrific piece of entertainment that should not be skip by anyone that is a fan of Batman, animation, or film in general.