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All reviews - Movies (44) - TV Shows (2) - DVDs (4) - Games (30)

World of Goo review

Posted : 6 years ago on 9 July 2011 09:50 (A review of World of Goo)

This is an awesome little puzzle game. The basic goal of each level is to use your living goo balls to construct physics based objects in order to accomplish different goals.

The best way to describe World of Goo is charming. The graphics are simplistic but have a distinct art style that makes them very appealing. In addition the game is infused with cutesy sound and visual effects that help develop an attachment with the world.

The puzzles themselves are generally of a physics based variety and the design is simple enough to pick up quickly. Like the best puzzle and strategy games, however, while the learning curve is fairly small there is a lot of depth here and the later levels become very tricky. It's the kind of game in which you get as much out of it as you put in. A true indie puzzle gem.


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Get Him to the Greek review

Posted : 6 years ago on 9 July 2011 08:01 (A review of Get Him to the Greek)

This really feels like two different films jammed into 2 hours. One one hand you have an excessive rock n' roll comedic fantasy that, for the most part, works but on the other hand you have a rather sudden morality tale that awkwardly introduces elements of suicide and relationship drama.

I know it's the status quo for Apatow-involved films to mix raunch with a heart of gold but this is the first time it really didn't seem to work. The rock n' roll excess is the glorious, comedic heart of the film yet we are asked to buy into the after school special that the second half of the film turns into. If there was more time spent developing the characters beyond the stock dramatic fare we have here (Aldous Snow watching old videos of his girlfriend is not good character development) and less time spent on unfunny random dance sequences the movie might have worked better.

It doesn't help that the comedy can be uneven. For every smoking the Jeffrey scene there are two counter productive scenes involving mock music that feels like outtakes from This Is Spinal Tap. The only exception is the hilarious satire on rock star self-importance (African Child) that opens and becomes a recurring theme in the movie.

The big saving grace here is Russell Brand as Aldous Snow. The script doesn't do him justice but he is mostly able to sell the comedic excess and creepiness required. To his credit he is almost able to make the sudden dramatic turns at the end believable. Jonah Hill can't quite escape the flaws of the script. He's playing his role as such a schlub that most of the stuff that happens to him - in both his world and Snow's fantasy world - is utterly unbelievable.

So, while there are moments of comedic brilliance at play here Get Him to the Greek can never quite escape the pitfalls of its script. There are some interesting ideas here but it never coalesces into a cohesive whole.


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The Girl on the Bridge review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 05:26 (A review of The Girl on the Bridge)

It's beautifully shot and has an appealingly light-hearted approach to the dialogue and shooting style.

However, the story of two star crossed souls finding what completes them on a suicide bridge never grabbed me. As it went on it seemed they repeated the same mistakes and motifs over and over again. Quirk is fine but I really got annoyed by repeated discussions and quasi-metaphysical examinations of how a lucky streak can bring two people closer. I found it offbeat but overly repetitive to the point of being off-putting.


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Anachronox review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 01:22 (A review of Anachronox)

This is a seriously underplayed masterpiece. By the time it came out its developer had essentially destroyed its reputation through varying degrees of hubris and, well, Daikatana.

Anachronox featured an incredible world and incredible characters. It was a world trotting adventure/rpg that had a wonderful story and writing. The art design was creative and varied and Ion Storm made it so that you didn't have to operate in the same area for too long. It perhaps needed some better check pointing and guidance but those complaints are simply small quibbles.

You rarely see games that are this ambitious and creative today.


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Deus Ex - Game of the Year Edition review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 01:16 (A review of Deus Ex - Game of the Year Edition)

Deus Ex told a fascinating story and featured enough quasi-unique elements to make it a truly fantastic game.

The gameplay here was all about choice. Depending on how you outfit your character you could approach the same situation in a myriad of different ways. You could hack your way in, use stealth tactics to get the drop on your enemies or (this was often the most difficult approach) go in with guns blazing. That sense of choice extends to the various augmentations you can install in your character.

The writing and usage of familiar environments (like the Statue of Liberty) really made this game stand out. It's one of the best futuristic shooters out there.


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Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 01:10 (A review of Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy)

This adventure game, despite being released in 2003, felt more like something out of 1993. It had Myst-like graphics and controls making it woefully dated.

The biggest issue, however, is that despite being branded a "Sherlock Holmes" game it simply doesn't feel like it. There's no character here - the protagonist might as well be Bob Smith for all they use the environment and characters. Luckily that Victorian era sleuthing was vastly improved on in later sequels.


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Tachyon: The Fringe review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 01:03 (A review of Tachyon: The Fringe)

This game was one of those surprises that came from out of nowhere to shock me with its quality. Tachyon follows the basic space sim shooter format. You upgrade your ship and your weapons and go out into the wild yonder to shoot other space ships up.

What sold me was the production values here. The universe is large and varied and the main character is voiced by Bruce Campbell. The story is an interesting one that gives the player a semblance of choice and lends gravitas to his actions.

Sure the missions become repetitive "go here and shoot X enemies" but Tachyon had enough character to give it a certain appeal lacking in other more academic space sims.


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Crusaders of Might and Magic review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 12:58 (A review of Crusaders of Might and Magic)

This actiony spin off from the hardcore Might and Magic series succeeds at stripping away almost all of the elements that made its brother games so memorable and engrossing. The gameplay basically consists of solo-killing tons of monsters with a variety of medieval styled weaponry and magic.

The graphics, for the time, were pretty solid but the game itself was buggy and repetitive. The voice acting was atrocious and really grated on the nerves. In the end this was an interesting, yet seriously flawed departure from the Might and Magic franchise. At least it laid some of the groundwork for the much more entertaining Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.


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Crime Killer review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 12:49 (A review of Crime Killer)

This was a tedious, borderline unplayable mess. Thank the lords it came bundled with Redneck Rampage and one of the Mechwarrior games because, as a stand alone product, Crime Killer couldn't come close to cutting it. The gameplay basically consists of driving around colorfully lit areas and shooting at random cars. There's not a lot of depth/story here.


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Command & Conquer: Generals review

Posted : 6 years ago on 7 July 2011 12:47 (A review of Command & Conquer: Generals)

Despite my general distaste for RTS games I had a pretty good time playing around with Command & Conquer: Generals. I'm no strategy maven but I got a kick out of the graphics, weapons and multi-player with equally unskilled friends.

I couldn't really get into the single player on this title but found the basic gameplay to be surprisingly enjoyable.


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