The only positive thing I can really think to say about this movie, is the strength of some of the improvisation. Then again, that's relying more on the talent, than the script. With such an awesome cast (Rob Riggle, Dave Koechner, Tony Hale, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson) they're the only thing that makes this movie bearable. Everything outside of their mostly improvised parts feels shoehorned and hackneyed. The plot is completely asinine, seeming to follow the exact same formula as similar movies, a gang of misfits have to overcome some seemingly impossible obstacle and in the process fart a lot and rape the concept of hyperbole up its metaphorical ass. There's the crazy, old racist, who spurts random obscenities; the abused, lovable dork; and the self-assured hotshot. All staple characters in many of today's comedies. I didn't expect much out of a movie where Jeremy Piven, and it's not that he's a bad actor, it's just that he's not suited for leading roles. To expect some kind of compassionate, human character out of Jeremy Piven just doesn't make sense. it's far from the worst comedy, but with a premise as thin as 'Mercenary Car Salesman" you really shouldn't expect any more than this.
I never felt any of my decisions carried any weight. The fact that you can easily reverse any decision you make desensitized me from any potential emotional response. If you kill a crowd of people, just run to another and and let out a big, sloppy fart to negate it. Disguising the stench of blood, with my special, pungent butt-musk that I'm sure the masses would've loved to keep on their altar to me. It never demands your commitment to any of the decisions you make; You may decide to take the good guy route and disobey your insipid captors, yet be drained of your experience. Though, no worries. When you get back in town you can purchase potions chock-full of the stuff! Now that I think about it, the Fable series is kind of a linear sanbox. Like if you just filled a flowerbed with sand, and then threw in some swords and ugly people with cockney accents, you have Fable. There all of these deus-ex machina throughout the game, yet in its conclusion it decides to betray the common knowledge it had ingrained up to that point. For those who may have not played it, and intend to; I won't spoil it. All I can say is that the choice I made left me pretty pissed. Either I had a legitimate beef as to how the game had strung me along up to this point, or I'm incapable to make meaningful decisions and live with them. I'm leaning towards the former. I still enjoy the Fable games, but more for the fact that they're fun games, something I'm sure Mr. Molyneux wouldn't be fully ecstatic about.
With the stuff that the two of them have produced (Once Upon a Pixel and HAWP), it's awesome to hear that the two of them are getting married and someday may have little, nerdy babies. So, to commemorate the occasion and celebrate their work, what does everyone out there have in mind to send their way?
I think the only criteria when it came to naming was to sound more pleasing than Wii or Natal. It definitely seems to fit Sony's model of simplistic, utilitarian naming choices, like Home, Network, PlayStation, EyeToy (etc.). I don't think it was a particularly strong set of games shown. The videos for TV Superstars and The Shoot didn't seem to do anything the Wii hasn't already done. That's just the nature of those genres on the Wii; though they're should be a greater deal of fidelity in both the visuals and the gameplay when on the PS3, things that seemed to work against The Conduit. The videos shown definitely seemed to cater towards a more casual audience, so I suppose there will be games that appeal to the more experienced gamer at E3. Their untitled fighting game I felt is destined to be a moot title, considering its limitations with the technology; I think whatever Microsoft releases in the same vein would instantly make it obsolete. There's a lot of variety to be had when capable of using your entire body for a fighting game. The pop culture of today has evolved to prefer the diversity and dynamic nature of MMA fighting over boxing, a much more antiquated sport that's seeing a much smaller following nowadays. I think something like that in the same vein would appeal to a whole lot of people.
I'm little under 12 hours in, and just finished some bionic forest whose real name escapes me, and just capped off an extremely long boss fight. Perhaps I was ill-prepared, but I came nowhere near staggering the Bulbasaur/toucan behemoth, which was partly due to my unfamiliarity with the paradigms at the time, which change every time you change sets of characters. I kind of miss the option of grinding, since it seems so far, enemies do not respawn. The music is stellar, a lot of very punctual pieces for sure. The story has definitely slowed down to a crawl, which I suppose was bound to happen with the opening few hours being as climactic and crammed with plot as possible. The story is compelling so far; it's not up its own ass in seriousness. There have been no story lines that bask in being mellodramatic and corny; there is drama no doubt(it's Final Fantasy), but nothing so far that makes me compelled to do something to reaffirm my masculinity, like punching a bear, or just turning the system off. I'm noticing a lot of parallels between this game and X. Both casts of characters are outcasts from society, and are slowly coming to the conclusion that perhaps everything they had come to accept was bullshit. Not a unique plot by any means, but the presentation is what made it work, and the same seems to apply to XIII so far. Both XIII and X are relatively linear, yet I'm finding it a lot more grating in XIII. They're virtually hallways with a whole mess of stunningly beautiful landscapes. Though it all tends to be for naught when there's nothing else to do but look ahead. I'm hoping the story picks up or this will be a long 12 hours before it supposedly opens up.
I'm not particularly proud of how much time I've spent playing MLB Power Pros. The mentality I have with it is what an alcoholic has towards the peach schnapps he's fiddling with in his breast pocket; I can stop whenever I want, but choose not to. Why stop a good time, right? Video games have always been the best medium for getting me to think constructively; whether it be mental notes on what are(and are not) good game mechanics and their implementation, getting an idea for some creative endeavor, getting out aggression, or even triggering a trip into the depths of wikipedia. As applies to any medium, it's only a waste of time if you go in with a closed mind. Yet something only MLB Power Pros. is capable of doing is fulfilling my desire to control my destiny; having that sense that I'm truly the master of my domain.
Growing up as an Indians fan in the 90's was an awesome time. 1995 saw the greatest team in the franchise's history take the field, a team many called the modern day Murderer's Row. Kenny Lofton leaping off walls and snatching away home runs, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle relentless in belting home runs as if the balls shouted racial epithets on the way to the plate, and an infield guarded like a gate to the universe's greatest secrets. The infield was indubitably led by shortstop Omar Vizquel, a man who spoke volumes of his character though every play he made, where every double play turned and barehanded catch were an existential epiphany, overthrowing any observation or theory pondered by the likes of Thoreau or Jung even now. It was disappointing when we lost the World Series that year, but it was hard to be upset, the team was young, and we lost to the most dominant rotation in the game in the Braves' Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine triumvirate. 1996 ended in an upset, but everything was alright, the core of the team was still intact, we felt destined to win the big one. We almost did in 1997; it went to 7 games, where every Indians fan watched Jose Mesa choke, like some cruel joke was being played on us for being so hopeful, and that he was throwing the game. In fact, Vizquel later wrote in his autobiography thinking the very same thing: "The eyes of the world were focused on every move we made. Unfortunately, Jose's own eyes were vacant. Completely empty. Nobody home. You could almost see right through him. Not long after I looked into his vacant eyes, he blew the save and the Marlins tied the game." After that, the magic slowly seeped away, the soul of the team dissipated through free agency and trades, Richard "Dick" Jacobs sold the team to its current owner, ending an era that was the complete antithesis of the 80's. When we made the ALCS in 2007 it was awesome, yet it was tough knowing that we were near perfection a decade ago, and still short, and inevitably we collapsed. It was then I fell hard into MLB Power Pros. The very first thing I recalled doing when I started my first season was trade away Travis Hafner, one of the main reasons why I think the current GM is a complete moron, signing someone who completely CHOKED in the postseason, to a 4-year $57 million dollar contract. A lot of money was saved with me getting rid of him, and I managed to pickup dynamite players for liquidation type contracts, and of course signed every member of the '95 Indians I could get my hands on. I had the upper hand, I knew how the landscape would unfold before me, feeling like the excited, chubby kid who would pick his wedgies between every batter behind the plate. There are a few flaws I found were pretty annoying, like learning new techniques and abilities were mostly a shot in the dark; the trading system is just as vague, wishing there was some sort of ticker to indicate what teams were looking for. I'm finally at the point where a lack of up-to-date rosters is effecting my experience. There's an endless list of free agents, almost entirely pitchers, sitting and wasting away; possessing only a surname, autonomous, and... slightly depressing. There's a lot is does right though; there's enough statistics and numbers for John Nash to bust a nut to, it's got an arcade-like feel with relatively simple controls, yet I think I need to move on. I want the flashy visuals, the insanely detailed animations, the updated rosters, the in-depth voicework (something fans of the series can relate to, I swear I'll kick Jack Merluzzi in the throat if I ever see him), and most of all the means to further my dreams of leading my team into a golden age of kickassery.
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