Thursday, 26 April 2018

Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun

Earth 2030 is unrecognizable but war... war remains the same.

Continuing from the original game where Kane died but got better, GDI now kitted out with mechs instead of tanks, continue to oppose the Brotherhood of Nod who have upgraded their sneakiness to subterranean units. Tiberium is now wide spread and actual mutants also run rampant. They are handy as infantry though, since standing in Tiberium heals them while it still kills normal foot soldiers.


A little more and it might become Mech Warrior.

The live action cut scenes are at their finest here with a more serious tone to them, starring James Earl Jones and Michael Beihn as the leaders of GDI (who I played). Also the mission map is present here which is a big plus. The game play itself is fine though some build times were on the long side.

The Firestorm expansion continues the story with cyborgs and the Tiberium threat but honestly, its just more of the same - minus the high production cut scenes and minus the mission selection. Needless to say I didn't finish it. I give Tiberian Sun 4 veinholes out of 5. That's excluding Firestorm which would honestly only lower the score.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: Grimm Fringe

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Grimm (Finished)

Policeman Nick Burkhardt is a cop, but also has the bloodline of a supernatural hunter (aka. Grimm) who can see Wessen (various types of lycanthropes).  Apparently, Portland is crawling with Wessen as every single case involves them somehow. They do come in numerous forms though, and are decently done CGI wise. Also the lore books in the show have some really nice art. The plot does suffer from repetition fatigue though and very slow character growth. Eventually we were just watching for the side characters Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner). :P

Looks like we have another fan!

Fringe (Finished)

At a glance, this show is about a division of the FBI investigating cases involving Fringe Science and near impossibilities. To accomplish said task they need the mad scientist Walter Bishop (played by John Noble) and he is amazing. Everyone else is good too, don't get me wrong, but Walter is just that one level up and makes every scene he is in fantastic. Plot wise, the case per week method quickly falls into a really epic story and is a must watch in my book. I highly, highly recommend this one.

Ah Walter, there's nothing he can't solve with some LSD.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2

This time with crazier technologies!

Having lost the first war, the Russians have come back now with a vengeance and their secret weapon: a mind controlling wizard named Yuri. It's great to see the cut scene acting and prop department got a boost, with for Kari Wuhrer as Tanya and Ray Wise as the US President. There's definitely a more comedic spin than last time too.

Airship bombers are just one of the WTF moments.

While the selective progression map is still absent from this game and combat seems very fast-forwarded animation wise, it is quite a fun experience to play through (I played as the Allies again). The big change from its predecessor is that infantry can garrison buildings (like in Generals) - making them quite useful in certain situations.

The short campaign in the Yuri's Revenge expansion ups the difficulty somewhat, but I still played through all of it mainly because it still had live action cut scenes. Have to admit, I'm a big fan of those now. Thanks to all the above and the faster build times (less player idling), Red Alert 2 gets 4 clones out of 5 and my recommendation to any RTS enthusiasts who haven't yet played it.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: Chuck the Lost Black Orphan Girl

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Chuck (Finished)

When the titular regular nerd played by Zachary Levi "downloads" a ton of classified intel directly into his brain, he is thrown into the world of espionage, danger, and humorous shenanigans! This action comedy is one of my wife's favorites, with her staying up in the wee hours of the morning probably because of the underlying romance story. Lots of laughs and some lessons to be found, and might be worth a watch it you haven't seen it.

Stopping bombs with porn. It's great!

Lost Girl (Finished)

Proving that sex sells, this 5 season show is about a bi-sexual succubus who is looking for her place in the world. As expected, many other mythological creatures are present here too (most of whom are shagged by the main character), often just in "human form" to save the already lacking CGI budget.

Plot wise this one starts well, then sort of gets lost itself with many characters having severe lapses of judgement, and culminates with a ridiculous final showdown. One of the worst ones in my memory anyway. Still, Anna Silk (the succubus Bo) is easy on the eyes but my favorite is easily Kenzie - seemingly the only human around. Not really one I'd recommend though...

You said it Kenzie!

Orphan Black (Finished)

A show about clones, most of whom are played by the very talented Tatiana Maslany who manages to make each of them different. Following the unraveling mystery of how and why the clones came to be and how they interact with each other is great. Consistent is how I'd describe it. Never bad, but also never making it to my favorites list. If you haven't seen it, just watch the first episode - you should be able to tell from there if it is for you. If you prefer it with a Japanese twist, there's a remake called Orphan Black: 7 Genes - haven't seen that one myself though.

One actress, many personalities.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Oxenfree

A horror mystery involving meddling kids, but no Scooby.

When a bunch of teens go to an island and encounter the supernatural, all sorts of crazy things happen... In this game it's talking. A lot of talking. Yes, you will still walk around the map with nice, stylized graphics but there's rarely a gap of 10 seconds silence in this game - and that's a good thing.

Beware of triangles.

You will have to be quick with the mouse to select one of the many speak bubble prompts (or not) which can change how events play out. Fortunately the voice actors do a great job as they (and the script writers) are the highlight. It also seems designed to be replayed but I didn't care to go through the whole thing again despite the short length.

Still it's a fun distraction that I give 2.5 radios out of 5.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Old TV Reviews: The Black Sails of Spartacus

A continuation of my old TV show reviews.

Spartacus (Finished)

A modern take on an old tale, this complete story of Spartacus' slave rebellion is one I truly enjoy as it features gratuitous gore and nudity combined with good action pieces and decent acting. Despite changing the lead actor midway through (due to death) it is still a very entertaining watch. John Hannah's Batiatus especially gets the two thumbs up for the seasons he is in. If you haven't seen this one then I highly recommend watching it, provided you can take the graphic content.

The show is this much better when he's in it.

Black Sails (Finished)

This prequel to Treasure Island was made by the same folks who produced Spartacus, so the same level of violence and filth is present here (though the filth is more dirty, rather than sweaty/oily). The story mainly follows how Captain Flint and Long John Silver came to be, and it is mesmerizing to watch. The props team also definitely outdoes themselves here. If you liked Spartacus, then you will probably enjoy this too.

Pirates ahoy! Hard to pick favorites when they're all good.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Ban those Lockboxes II

Now the enemy starts to pay for their sins!

[Part of the Design Folder.]

An update from last time, I am overjoyed to hear the news that game companies are starting to pay the price for using loot boxes. Heavily, in Nexon's case. I hope this momentum continues and sweeps across to the West to force devs to make actual content instead of cheap gambling alternatives.

Anything that someone pays for that only gives that person (and only that person/small group of people) a chance to get something is shit. I don't care if its a box, or a key to access an instance or monster that has a chance to drop something. If its not available to people who don't purchase "the extra doohickey", it is WRONG. In a game, everyone should have an equal chance. Always. Regardless of real life stature.

The real life loot crates are equally stupid and hopefully are banned just as hard one day. You want a shirt? Buy a shirt - the exact one you want. Don't buy a box that might contain a shirt that may or may not even fit you. What's next? Mystery pizza?