Monday, May 12, 2014

Blazing Hell At NBC.

So the Constantine trailer has dropped and I got to admit it hasn't sent me running away. I love the Hellblazer comic and it's the only one that I actively try to grab back issues of. Still this never blinded me to some of the difficulties of adapting the series for movie and television. While flawed I still really enjoyed the movie and I get that feeling from this TV show. It's going to be flawed but I think i'm really going to enjoy it. Anyway the trailer is below.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Just Don't Have That Thieving Nature.

So today I finished Thief and I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. Not exactly the best way to feel about a game huh?

Unfortunately I was only interested in looting in the game. It was the only time I actually felt that ember of joy burn in me. Even with that there was a sense of frustration as no matter how many poppies I downed or how methodically I went through a level, I never got a 100% loot on a chapter. Client Jobs? No problem. But those story chapters had to have hidden loot in some pretty diabolical places.

Speaking of the story chapters. I was never invested in the story. Whenever given the chance to skip, I would take it quicker than a kangaroo on cocaine. (Did that even make sense?) It's just pretty standard affair and being new to the world of Thief it never gave me anything to want to come back to. Not like Dishonored.

Oh Dishonored. I remember having a fling with you. A fling so epic it made me want more. I've sent you flowers, chocolates and other love cliches, and yet you've left me questioning my heart. WHY DO YOU HURT ME SO?

All the time I played Thief, I had Dishonored in my heart. Thief never really had a chance did it?

Well at least I finished it so I can get back to Assassin's Creed 4. It seems unless i'm Dishonored, it's a pirate life for me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's A Titan Lord to Do?

Time to make a confession. In my Steam library I have both Risen 1 & 2, yet never have I bothered to actually play them. It was one of those drunken humble bundle sort of deals. You get high on life and video games and the next morning you wake up and you can't remember what you've done. However there you are with an orange traffic cone and the sense of deep personal shame.

But now there is a third Risen coming and while the trailer looks great, I'm not sure whether I should go back and play the first two games. I've heard some bad bad things about those things. Anyway the trailer is down below.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 03/05/2014

In the cold of day I enter the caves and try to be the best I can be. Apparently it's not that good.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 30/04/2014

My stupidity costs me dearly. I guess it's just one of those days. Time to play some heavy metal.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 29/04/2014

I get to the Ice Caves. It's a great run despite the really horrible start. Huzzah and so forth.

Review: South Park - The Stick of Truth (2014)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Developers: Obsidian Entertainment & South Park Digital Studios
Publisher: Ubisoft

Ever since this game was announced I've been positively excited for it. Despite delays, possible cancellation and other dark forces aligning against it (Australia Censorship Board), I was pretty confidant that I would adore the game. Well sure enough I played through it pretty quickly, not wanting to stop my wonderful journey, and yet while I can truly say that this game was not a disappointment there is a 'but' coming.

First off the game is pretty much an episode of South Park which is great to see. Secondly it rewards fans of the show with some great in jokes but it doesn't just rest on them. Throughout the game there is some great commentary on video games and the industry. Truly Matt and Trey are every bit lovers of video games.

While a few would expect the South Park aspect to be great thanks to the involvement of Matt and Trey, the game itself is very solid. It offers a lot more customization than I would have thought and there is a certain strategy in how to handle certain enemies. Character progression is pretty decent if not the most in depth and at a play time of about 10+ hours, it's a good length if a little small for a RPG.

But (see I told you) there was something that was bugging me as I got further into the game. I love South Park the show and yet at 30 minutes an episode it's pretty condensed. The shows humor doesn't let you wollow to much, and quickly moves on to the next target. This game however can't move on to quickly, as such sometimes you are faced with living with a joke for a bit too long. 

I can't get into specifics as that would be spoilers. But at least 3 or 4 times I just wanted to get a particular scene over and done with because I couldn't stand the material. It's not that I was exactly offended, it's just I didn't need to have the joke rubbed in my face over and over again.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is truly a game for fans of the show, and it has enough meat on the game side of things to actually be a worthy game for non fans. However the humor here can burn you out, even if you are a fan of it. I could get negative but I would instead like to think of it as too much of a good thing.

Impression Session: Beatbuddy

Developer: Threaks 
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Steam Release Date: 7 Aug 2013

Impression Session is a show where I take a blind look at games I haven't played before. Some are old, some are new. Currently most of the games come from Steam, but that's not a total given at this time. Enjoy the show and I hope I help some of you in your purchasing.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: The Amityville Asylum (2013)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Andrew Jones
Starring: Sarah Louise Madison, Eileen Daly & Kenton Hall
Writer: Andrew Jones

When you watch as many horror movie as I do, sometimes you've just got to select stuff by movie posters. The Amityville Asylum was one of those decisions and I may start rethinking my position. What I was a witness too was something more horrifying than anything that a ghost could conjure up.

Well that's not really fair. There are some positives to this movie that I feel should be highlighted. First off the movie actually works as a sequel to previous Amityville Horror movies. As such it tries to give a sense of progression to the over all mythos. It's appreciated.

Also I have to give a tip of my hat to Lee Bane as the character Delaney. While his accent is pretty heavy, he still comes across as a sympathetic character with alot of layered nuance. It's a shame that he never seems all that well used, but I was thankful to have one character who I could actually could get behind.

Other than these two things, the movie just fails on numerous levels. Writing, acting, technical know how. It's pretty atrocious and what's worse i'm not sure if there was any real passion behind the movie. Every minute that ticked down just seemed to drag on and that's not how you should feel watching a movie.

0 ghosts out of 1
Well I was never entertained.
0 ghosts out of 1
Just terrible and it never really made sense.
0.5 ghosts out of 1
Lee Bane get's this half.
0 ghosts out of 1
The movie never felt like a whole.
0.5 ghosts out of 1
The fact that it carries on from previous stuff lends it a good base. Nothing is however capitalized.

1 ghost out of 5
Just not a good movie at all.

Impression Session: Alien Breed 2

Developer: Team17 Software Ltd.
Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd
Steam Release Date: 23 Sep 2010

Spelunky Daily Challenge 22/04/2014

Everyone has a price! Mine is the low low sum of $2.00. Order now and get these free steak knives which are great for any Spelunky adventure.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 21/04/2014

I've been shopping all day so my game is less than stellar. But then what more do you want from me? Blood?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: inFamous - Second Son

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

inFamous has to be one of my favorite titles of the previous generation (That feels weird to say). I still have copies of the previous two and have no intention of getting rid of them as I hope to let my son play them when he's old enough. This game was the main reason why I begged, pleaded and grovelled at my wife to allow myself to buy a PS4. So you can imagine that no matter how hard I tried to stop myself from getting hyped, it was pretty much an impossible mission.

Thankfully for the most inFamous Second Son does not disappoint and lives up to the hype that was created in my mind. From a purely visual standpoint this has to be the game that shows off what the new generation of consoles can do. Facial animation is a thing of beauty and you watch these character give performances as good as some actors. The city of Seattle is beautiful and makes me want to visit the place in real life. Finally the powers themselves look spectacular and really urge you to try them all out.

Thankfully the visuals are backed up by some solid game play. If you've played the previous games it's pretty much the same and you should feel right at home, but this does mean that those that were turned off by previous inFamous won't find anything new to keep them hooked. Also while I like the controls there wasn't really anything about it that felt fresh and some of the same problems I had in the first games are still there. A spray paint mini game is the only things that is really different and honestly is only there to show off what the control can do.

I also had a problem with the bosses in the game. They seem to rapidly spike in difficulty and do feel a little bit like just throwing the players into the molten lava. Also some of the more powerful standard enemies come across as bullet sponges rather than introducing a challenge that needs for new skills to be learnt. It's a shame, but despite problem I still had fun.

But while some play mechanics might annoy, the main story is what will drive you onwards. The relationship between Delsin and his brother Reggie is well realized; and thanks to the visual upgrade, can be rather subtle sometimes. Side characters are interesting if born from cliche, and the main villain is a real piece of work. She is probably one of the better villains to grace video games in a while as her reasons are very well fleshed out.

However other than the main story, the side activities don't offer much. I'm a slow player, not the best around and I still blew through the side activities in about three hours. The main story was probably another 3 or 4 hours. Overall that's not alot for the amount you will be paying. I was into the double digits when it came to inFamous 2, and I still didn't complete all the side activities. This is without a doubt the games biggest disappointment.

Overall I really enjoyed the game, and like the other two games, I will keep this copy. Visually and story wise it delivers, it's just far too short and they haven't really refined the controls at all. It does worry me that with the latest lot of consoles, visuals might be concentrated on to the detriment of the depth of game. However if you see inFamous Second Son discounted, I would take the plunge as there is some good stuff to find.

Spelunky Daily Challenge 16/04/2014

I thought my bear guy was a good luck charm. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 15/04/2014

Even in death i'm happy. Cause I got hit by a Yeti. Which means I got to the ice caves. I also drop some Spelunky knowledge. WORD!

Impression Session: Volt

Developer: Quantized Bit 
Publisher: Quantized Bit
Release Date: 15 Apr 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Journal of a Nerd Father: Second Midwife Meeting

The second midwife appointment happens and some things are raised that kind of make my brain twirl in circles.

Spelunky Daily Challenge 12/04/2014

Back in the middle with you.

Review: Movie 43

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Directors: Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, Will Graham, James Gunn, Brett Ratner & Jonathan van Tulleken
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Chris Pratt & Kristen Bell
Writers: Too many god damn writers so click this link and make my life easier.

It's been nearly a week since I watched Movie 43 and i'm still not sure what I watched. It's a movie if only in running length. Honestly all it need was a host and it could have been a cruder episode of SNL. Oh and a bad one at that.

Now comedy is very subjective, as such I can see this movie having an audience that may like it. But I feel that at best it's going to be a very hit and miss affair as other than being crude, their is really nothing tying it all together style wise. I say style wise cause their is a story that attempts to tie everything together, but even the movie gives up on it at the end.

Still while I feel that this is a turd of a movie I did actually find a few sketches that just hit me right. The first is Superhero Speed Dating, which I liked probably because of the Superhero element. The second was the short Beezel, which was written and directed by James Gunn. Being a massive fan of his work I personally thought this was the strongest sketch out of the entire movie. But what pissed me off was this short was chucked at the end of the credits as a bonus. Yep only Movie 43 could put the best bit after the credits are done.

While the movie is far from the worst thing I've ever seen, there is just this incredible sense of wasted talent. Good actors, directors and writers coming together to make an absolute nothing film. There is also a bit of money in this movie that also seems like a god damn waste. I get why this movie got panned by critics.

0.5 turds out of 1
People might find a sketch that they like but I doubt if the whole movie will be a plus.
0.5 turds out of 1
Some writing hits. Some.
0.5 turds out of 1
Good actors make more out of this crap than you would think.
0 turds out of 1
Despite some good directing, the movie just doesn't even like it belongs together.
0.5 turds out of 1
Money was spent on this movie. It sometimes looks good. But it just seems like a waste.

2 turds out of 5
Better than some movie, but good god does it seem like a waste of time overall. Watch Beezel and discard the rest.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 10/04/2014

Here is your daily Spelunky for Thursday. After going to the jungle so many times. Alas I was bound to have a bad day. Mostly my fault.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Werewolf - The Best Among Us (2012)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Louis Morneau
Starring: Steven Bauer, Nia Peeples & Ed Quinn
Writers: Michael Tabb, Catherine Cyran & Louis Morneau

Werewolf movies don't really have the best track record in my mind. Some are great, don't get me wrong. But a lot fall short and i'm not really sure why. However when it comes to Werewolf: The Best Among Us it actually succeeds in being a rather entertaining movie, even if it has some flaws.

The biggest positive is the movie tries to be fun without messing about with the Werewolf sub genre too much. There are some things that are handled with a little twist in mind, but overall it keeps the to Werewolf mythos. On the human side though, things get really interesting.

Our human contenders are a rag tag group of hunters that have some really nice Stempunkesque weaponry. They also have fun personalities that kind of endear us to them. While not overally complicated, they do the job nicely. Guy Wilson is also great as Daniel, the young med student who works his way into joining the team against the Werewolf threat facing his village.

Where things start unravelling in the movie, is when it comes to the twists. Avoiding spoilers but one villain is kind of a let down as even though he has his reasons, they just ring a little hollow. The other villain becomes a villain about two thirds into the movie and it just left me scratching my god damn head why. His reason for becoming a villain seem stupid and the sudden revelation of his powers kind of come out of no where. It's an issue that could have people turning away from the movie.

Werewolf: The Beast Among Us is one of the better Werewolf movies out there. It's not a great movie but it is entertaining and has enough interesting characters for people to get behind. Some of the writing could annoy viewers but if you can overcome those faults i'm sure you'll walk away with a smile.

1 Full Moon out of 1
Fun is what this movie attempts. Fun is what it delivers.
0 Full Moons out of 1
While at first it seems to do an admirable job i'm not sure if the end game was really thought through.
0.5 Full Moons out of 1
Far from great, the actors still imbue the fun that the movie is trying to attain.
0.5 Full Moons out of 1 
Pretty standard.
0.5 Full Moons out of 1
You can tell the budget was low but they made the most out of what they had.

2.5 Full Moons out of 5
It's a Werewolf movie that delivers so that's impressive. Fun as all hell.

Impression Session: Motte Island

Developer: Gamebell Studio 
Publisher: One Aperture
Release Date: 8 Apr 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 09/04/2014

I do get the feeling that my skills are improving. I saw the lush jungle once more. So huzzah for that.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spelunky Daily Challenge 07/04/2014

A new game plan means getting to the jungle. But you can't run for too long. Eventually Death will always find you in Spelunky.

Monkey's Minecraft Mayhem Part 55

It starts again this week. Time to get to mining and find all those precious stones. Shame about the army of Creepers at my door.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: Scary Movie 5 (2013)

Review by the Disgruntled Monkey

Directors: Malcolm D. Lee and David Zucker (uncredited)
Starring: Simon Rex, Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen
Writers: David Zucker, Pat Proft

"Gee Dan. Watching another parody movie. Why do you even bother? You know they're going to suck."

I can almost hear this in my head as I write. Which is rather scary cause that not only means I have voices in my head, but that they aren't that much different to me. But back to the point. I hear this in my head, and I tell those voice that sometimes you can find gold in the most unexpected places.

So is Scary Movie 5 a hidden gem? Oh hell no. It's rife with the same old problems that most of the current parody movies have. References used instead of jokes, jokes having nothing to do with the actual plot of the movie, jokes appealing to the lowest common denominator and finally when it get's a good joke it runs it into the ground.

However in the interest in being fair I'll highlight some of the positives. First I laughed twice at some throw away jokes. That's an improvement. Ashley Tisdale is pretty good as the lead, shame she has no real material to work with. Finally there is a scene parodying Evil Dead that is actually pretty damn funny. If you can find a way to watch that scene I would as I genuinely perked up and payed attention. It helps that the scene has four very capable teen actors (Tyler Posey, Sarah Hyland, Bow Wow and Katrina Bowden). Oh and the movie has a small part for Terry Crews which is always appreciated.

I kind of remember the original Scary Movies actually making fun of the horror conventions. Now the movies are just referenced with some fart jokes added. It's a depressing decline but also impressive in it's scope. This is far from the worst parody movie I have watched, but this is still not good. If only there was a way to watch that Evil Dead scene without all this surrounding crap.

0.5 Sheens out of 1
The Evil Dead scene get's at least half a point.
0 Sheens out of 1
I'm not sure if there is a script for this movie.
0.5 Sheens out of 1
Ashley Tisdale is a good replacement for Faris.
0 Sheens out of 1
This film has no direction.
0 Sheens out of 1
Cheap and nasty.

1 Sheends out of 5
There are things that are good. But never anything to justify watching this movie.