Reviews written by registered user
mattbowyer_84

4 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

37 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Invader Zim: Original, Funny, and Unparalleled, 30 April 2005

In 2001, children television network Nickelodeon released a cartoon called Invader Zim, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez. It had a brief two season run, and developed a cult following before Nick canceled it in 2003. It involves the adventures of an outcast Irken alien named Zim (Voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz), who "quit being banished" when he heard about Operation Impending Doom II (Impending Doom I was ruined when Zim destroyed the Irken home world). His leaders, The Tallest, send Zim to a "secret planet", hoping that Zim will be lost forever and meet his death, thereby no longer being a pain in the Tallest's butts. He's also given an insane robot named Gir("What does the G stand for?").

Well, Zim doesn't get lost or die. Instead, he finds Earth (Our planet, in case you don't know), and sets up a base of operations, and disguises himself as a human school boy, and Gir receives a dog get-up that is both ridiculous and cute in a weird way. He goes to "Skool" (That's how it's spelled), to gain knowledge on humanity, and nobody even suspects that he's an alien. Everyone, that is, except Dib (Voice by Andy Berman), a self-proclaimed "Paranormal investigator", who develops a heated rivalry with Zim, the two even trying to kill one another on several occasions.

Now that I've got the show's premise out of the way, here is my opinion. When the show premiered in 2001, I was instantly hooked. With original plots, some that seem to be pulled from classic 50's sci-fi, memorable characters, and an effective mix of cell-shading, CGI, and traditional animation techniques, Invader Zim was an instant classic. I'd tune in every week to see what Zim and his dysfunctional robot Gir would get into, whether it was exterminating germs or Gir merging himself with the house.

The voice actors deserve credit where credit is due. Richard Steven Horvitz turns in a spectacular performance as Zim. Horvitz can make Zim from the nicest guy to the biggest a-hole. Andy Berman is right on the money as Dib. He has just the right kind of voice for a Mulder-wannabe. But those two take a back seat to Rosearik Rikki Simons, who brilliantly voices the robot Gir. He is very effective at making Gir such a hilarious and unforgettable character.

Like many fans, I was shocked and angry when I learned that Invader Zim had been canceled. By that point, a lot of Nickelodeon's best cartoons (Like Rocko's Modern Life and Angry Beavers), had been taken off the air, and replaced by all the Jimmy Newtron and Spongebob crap. Invader Zim wasn't spared either.

Overall, Invader Zim excelled in it's sick (Though toned down for kids) humor, and outrageous plots, even though it was short-lived. Never before was there a cartoon quite like it, and there probably never will be.

The Final Verdict: 10/10: The last of the great Nickelodeon cartoons, and one of the funniest, most creative shows ever conceived. In Zim's words...IT'S GENIUS!!!

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A Fun, Yet Disappointing Game., 23 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(This review is for the Xbox version)

Godzilla: Save The Earth is the long anticipated Godzilla game for the Xbox and PS2, to coincide with Godzilla's fiftieth anniversary. I had watched this game for a while, and was eagerly waiting for its release. Unfortunately, while GSTE makes good use of the Godzilla license, I left the game more disappointed than satisfied.

The plot of the game is nothing really noteworthy, but interesting no-less: Human scientists uncover "Godzilla Matter,' which is indestructible material made from Godzilla's DNA. The leader of an alien race called the Vortaak (From Destroy All Monsters Melee) hears of this, and wants to use Godzilla Matter for her own purposes. So, she sends a battalion of monsters down to Earth to get the G-Matter, and Godzilla (Or any monster of your choice) is the only thing that can stop the monsters.

GSTE is a fighting game in its most basic form: Beating the living hell out of your opponent. However, GSTE spices things up by adding Godzilla characters (Including the likes of Jet Jaguar, Mothra, and Spacegodzilla), environments filled with fully destructible buildings, and monster enhancing power-ups. There's also the ever-present military, which always makes futile attempts to stop the monsters. The arenas are modeled after real-life cities from around the world, from Manhatten to Tokyo, each just waiting to be annihilated by the battling monsters. But while the game is fun to play, it falters in several areas.

The game-play is arguably the game's strongest aspect. The controls are solid, and each monster adds different strategy elements to the battles. It's also fun to see how many different attack combinations you can make. The new beam-lock feature also adds some nice strategy. However, the game-play stumbles in the A.I. It can range from pathetically easy to cheaply (Is that a word?) difficult (And I mean very cheap. Mothra....) Also, the randomly targeted military attacks can interrupt your throws and the charging of your beam weapons, spawning maximum annoyance.

The graphics leave some to be desired, especially on the Xbox. While the monsters are highly detailed and do their film counterparts good justice, the environments lack that great detail, looking rather bland sometimes, but still stay true to the real-life cities and film locations.

The audio is also lacking. While the environmental and monster sounds are as close to the films as possible, the music is definitely not anything that would fit with Godzilla (IMO). Custom soundtracks would've been much appreciated.

The single-player is basically a traditional fight through several battles with other monsters, as well as mini-games. Most of the mini-games, while interesting (With names like Monster Bowling, UFO Attack, Jet Jagaur Clones), lack polish and can be a real pain in the ass. The multi-player is perhaps GSTE's saving grace. There are the traditional versus, me-lee, and popular destruction modes, as well as system link and online play. Up to four players can brawl as their favorite monsters. There are also several unlock-ables to discover, including concept art from the game and Godzilla: Final Wars. With all this, the longevity of GSTE is probably the only thing to keep people playing.

GSTE, other than offering us yet another monster fighting game, introduces almost nothing new as far as Next Generation goes.

Overall, Godzilla: Save The Earth is a disappointment. Several aspects of the game lack polish and feel very rushed. I've been a life-long Godzilla fan, and it pains me so to have to write such a negative-sounding review for a Godzilla game I found very fun. I really wouldn't recommend this game unless you're either a hardcore Godzilla fan or a gamer that is looking for an introduction to the fighting genre. However, if you're looking for a good weekend of crazy, monster brawling fun, then I recommend a rental. Don't get me wrong here, GSTE is a fun game, but it just doesn't have what it takes to compete with the greats of fighting games. And with Final Wars not being received very warmly by critics and fans alike, Godzilla's career may not be ending on a good note....

Gameplay: 8/10.

Graphics: 7.5/10.

Audio: 7/10.

Longevity: 8.5/10.

Next Generation: 5/10.

Overall: 7.2/10.

Say what you will about my review, but this is how I truly feel about the game.

4 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
The Last of the Truly Great Nintendo 64 Games. (May contain spoilers), 19 December 2004

I know this is an old game (Three years old to be exact),but I've finally been able to play it,and I want to give my opinions.

Conker's Bad Fur Day was one of the last games for the dying N64,and one of the greatest. The story is rather simple:After drinking the night away at a bar,Conker wanders around with a nasty hang-over,and now has to find his way home. Along the way,he meets some of the craziest characters in the history of gaming.

Now,keep in mind that this game is definitely not for everyone. It may look cute,but it's also very naughty. The gore and sick humor earned this game a mature rating. Some of the most insane and disgusting things in game history are here. Still,there's a deeply satisfying,challenging,and hilarious game lying within it's mature exterior. Part of the humor is the several film parodies in the game,including the Terminator,the Matrix,and Saving Private Ryan. The humor in the game is unequaled. Not since Armed & Dangerous have I laughed so hard while playing a game.

Graphics:Unrivaled on the N64. The colors and landscaping fit the tone of each world,showing the true graphical strength of the N64. The environments are enormous and varied,from an Omaha Beach-style level,to a haunted castle. Conker is animated with a lot of detail,as well as the other critters he meets.

Sound:The audio is handled with the same care as the graphics,with top notch sound effects,and the voice acting has a lot of unique,British style humor. The music is very well done as well,it's real music,in mp3 form.

Gameplay:The controls are responsive and simple to master. The only issue here is the camera. Rare could've addressed and fixed it. However,you can rotate the camera.

Lastability:The single-player mode is strikingly short,but who wouldn't want to go back and play it over and over again? The multi-player is also greatly entertaining,and adds a lot of longevity,with several modes based off of moments in the game. The best modes are Beach,Total War,and Heist.

Final Words:The N64 is long gone,but Conker is one of the many reminders of that lost era of gaming. Despite the rather "adult" content,this game earns its place among the greatest of the N64,alongside Legend of Zelda:TOOT,and Super Mario 64. If you're 17 and over,or if you have parental approval,buy this game,play it,and love it.

11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
One of the Better 70s Godzilla., 25 November 2004
7/10

Released in 1974, Gojira tai Mekagojira is a very nice break from the garbage that was 1973's Gojira tai Megaro (Godzilla Against Megalon). Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was made to commemorate Godzilla's 20th anniversary. Toho hired veteran composer Masaru Sato for the music, Teruyoshi Nakano was brought back for special effects, and Jun Fukuda returned to direct. After Godzilla vs. Megalon, Fukuda does a 180 and gives us an exciting, original, well-paced film.

The special effects are among the best of the Showa series. While some of the Black Hole Aliens scenes leave some to be desired, the monster scenes are well done,and greatly improved over Godzilla vs. Megalon. The battles between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla are fast-paced and brutal. Mechagodzilla is a very original foe for Godzilla, and probably his deadliest. Godzilla himself is the Megarogoji from 1973, but Toho gave him a "mean" look. King Seesar is an interesting monster, and has a small cult following, but many look down upon him due to him getting pummeled by Mechagodzilla.

There are flaws though. Character development leaves some to be desired, but this can be forgiven by the film's fast pace. Also, some special effects shots, like Mechagodzilla's chest lightning, look ridiculous.

Here's an interesting fact for those who don't already know: During Godzilla's fight with Fake Godzilla, you may notice that Fake Godzilla seems rather goofy, with a chubbier jaw, and his hands resemble Mechagodzilla's missile finger. This is because Toho used a promotional Godzilla suit, instead of making a second Megarogoji suit, which they couldn't afford. The Fake Godzilla suit was also used for water scenes, because water causes a lot of wear and tear on Godzilla suits.

Overall, Gojira tai Mekagojira is a fast-paced, fun, exciting film to watch. Possibly the best of the seventy's, and it's leaps and bounds above Godzilla vs. Megalon. However, if you're expecting anything like the original Gojira, or the Golden Age, look elsewhere. But, if you're the kind who enjoys fast-paced action, this is your kind of film.

Score:7/10