All My Friends Are Fictional Characters
I take all forms of entertainment (video games, films, books, TV shows, comics, etc.) and review it for the delight of the readers of this blog.
Well everyone, as a grand introduction to my television show reviews, I thought I might as well do one of the more famous TV shows. What do you mean you’ve never seen it? Urgh…see? This is exactly why I hate modern entertainment culture. No one remembers the classics. Whatever. The show’s format is pretty simple. Every show is separate from every other so you can jump right in . But you’re probably wondering what it’s about. It’s essentially a show about mostly normal people (mostly) entering the plane of existence known as the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is less of a tangible plane and more just a metaphor to explain the extremely strange events that happen to the protagonists. So basically its a show about extremely strange things occurring to ordinary people.
The show’s writing and acting are things that I could easily talk for ages about. Needless to say they are amazing. The writing is some of the best and most influential sci-fi writing of the 20th century. The stories are original, some are exceptionally terrifying and some are incredibly touching but all are perfectly made. The dialogue is natural, the scenes always played straight (which seems amazing considering some of the subject matter and costumes) and are extremely interesting. And there in line is the main reason the writing is so good: it’s never dull. The writing is always intriguing and the fact that it has fantastic acting simply adds to that factor of interest. Also, the famous twist ending has been brought out into the modern entertainment culture by this show (Yes, M. Night Shyamalan stole from Rod Serling. And then made his idea a joke).
The effects are…actually not completely horrible. Now let me justify myself here. True there are moments when the rubber suited aliens come on that shit is rather bizarre and campy and funny however, those moments are very very rare. The creators must have realized how ambitious of an idea this show was as they pared back the effects to simply makeup and really good scenery. Let me explain, they don’t really go outside the planet earth all that much. And when they do…even then its pretty good. It’s really hard to explain well, but just trust me the show does damn well with it’s effects.
So…as I happen to be running out of things to talk about, lets discuss a single episode shall we? We’ll cover one of my favorites: Nightmare at 20,000 feet. I realize that its not actually an original episode but its certainly an interesting episode. The episode concerns a man who is terrified of flying seeing a creature of sorts on the plane and then attempting to report it to someone. Now here’s where things get interesting, as the creature is clearly real from the perspective of the character, while to everyone else, the main character is just insane. The question is then to you who is correct or not …which is actually quite interesting or at least I find it to be.
Simply put, this is one of my favorite TV shows of all time and its extremely hard to do it justice in a single article. I really say you go and watch some of the more famous episodes, watch them, see what you think and then make your own judgement on the show. For me though, it’s an easy five out of five stars. Some of the episodes you should look at are “The Howling Man” “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” “The Odyssey of Flight 33″ and the list could go on for pages. So go out and enjoy an exceptional TV show.
For those of you who are not fortunate enough to already know what Team Fortress 2, let me explain to you what it is. Team Fortress 2 is a class based shooter and truly one of the best of it’s genre. The entire game is meant to be multiplayer. You get online, join various teams of public players or friends of yours, choose a gametype, and essentially dumb all your free time from here on out into it. So let’s start explaining shall we?
There are nine classes in the game that you choose from at the beginning and can change to periodically. These nine classes are the scout, engineer, pyro, heavy, medic, spy, sniper, demoman and soldier. Each one of these classes act completely differently from each other with the game essentially offering nine different playstyles within it. This is wonderful as it gives you nine different ways to achieve the objective. You can be the spy and sneak around stabbing people. You can be the heavy and simply charge head on at the opponents with his massive minigun. You can be the engineer and set up defensive sentry guns, teleporters to get people everywhere on the map and dispensers to keep your allies alive. And on and on and on. The choices are limited to nine HOWEVER, you can also customize your loadout with those characters, giving various weaponry enhancements and changing out unloved weapons for ones that you might enjoy more. For example, you can throw out the sniper’s…well sniper for a bow and arrow combo if you want that.
Now that I’ve described the gameplay a bit, let me get into my actual review. How is the gameplay? Well its simple…and really really fun. It’s one of those kind of games that’s intensely easy to learn and incredibly hard to master. For example, I’ve been playing this game for about a year now and I still have only mastered the sniper and spy and even then I’m nowhere near the best. Mastering this game might be the most time consuming task anyone could ever want.
The graphical design is also wonderful. It’s a cartoon style which fits amazingly well as the game really doesn’t take itself too seriously. For example, take a look at the “Meet the ____” videos. They’re absolutely hilarious. And that’s one main aspect of the game and the community about this game: no one really takes the game amazingly seriously which is a WONDERFUL thing when compared to the insane culture that has developed around Call of Duty. I mean true, people get frustrated and angry but no one will start shouting obscenities at you for simply missing a couple opponents.
The combat is obviously the only main aspect of the game and luckily its amazing. The combat is intensely fast-paced and hectic which is, once again, a nice refresher when compared to the camping stupidity that is Call of Duty. It’s just so much fun. There’s really nothing more I can say except the combat has been impressively fine-tuned to the point where nothing is overpowered. Everything can beat everything if done well enough.
The best thing about this game is the fact that it’s free to play. Yes you heard me. One of the top reviewed class-based online shooters is now completely free to play. If you have a computer that can run this and are a fan of shooters, there is really no reason why you don’t already have this game. My final verdict seems simple then. I’m giving this game a five out of five star rating. Go out, download it, get kills, get killed and get yourself some hats. I’ll be back tomorrow.
Let me state something immediately before this review begins. I happen to like the Mortal Kombat series. When it comes to fighters, they are top of the list in my opinion, right up there with Marvel vs. Capcom and Soul Calibur. Now while the two latter games both had exceptional gameplay that required quite a bit of skill and practice (unlike most fighting games where button mashing usually rules the day), there are three things that really set Mortal Kombat apart and put the series in a more superior kategory (see what I did there?): first, it had original characters that were interesting and unique (yes this includes the color swapped ninjas. They eventually became individuals). Second, it had fatalities and amazing special moves which also helped individualize each character. Third, it had a storyline which was interesting, epic, and made some sense. Most of those three have gone down the tubes in recent years. With the recently founded Netherrealm studios though, Ed Boon and his team set out to revive their series with a reboot. And they struck gold.
When Mortal Kombat went to the third dimension, it lost a lot of what made it a good fighter. However, Mortal Kombat’s fighting mechanics have been completely revived to its original roots. The speed has been upped to its old levels, the fatalities are back in all their gruesome glory, and the combos have the same crushing brutality (especially when you lack the ability to simply sidestep attacks). The game has returned to what has commonly been called 2.5 dimensions. This means that the game is on a two dimensional plane while having depth in it’s graphics like a three dimensional game. This game style has made amazing games before (Street Fighter 4 works as an example) and it works wonderfully here. The fighting is fast, furious, bloody and pure fun as it should be.
The storyline of Mortal Kombat has always been intriguing and actually quite good but as of recently has become well…bad. It’s just become so convoluted and ridiculous. This can really just be shown by the amount of characters in Mortal Kombat Armageddon. The total number of characters is 63. This is absurd for a game that is supposed to have a coherent plot. The new version does exactly what should have happened before and hacked down the character roster to only 27 characters. The story is pretty good but it does have some very obvious problems. For examples, quite a few sections of the game are very broken, with the player being tag teamed by two enemies while you are only allowed one character or the final fight taking me literally an hour and a half of trying to beat…on normal. That is an unacceptable difficulty curve especially when the players can’t choose the characters they use in the fights, which leads to the play using characters they would never even consider using. This does work to the game’s advantage though, as you learn how to play with more characters but still it’s rather infuriating. Also, the game comes up with quite a few contrived fights for the sake of game length with fights occurring for the most absurd reasons (Jax fighting Johnny Cage for insulting Sonya Blade).
The graphics are decent. They’re definitely not what one would expect from an xbox360 game from 2011 and look quite a bit more like something from 2009. Then again, you don’t go to Mortal Kombat for perfect graphics. The music is actually quite good and just as intense as the fighting demands. The extra modes are exactly what one would expect with multiplayer delivering perfectly on the brutal fighting and competition demanded from a Mortal Kombat game. The extra modes, while interesting, are really nothing to write home about. They’re good but not very exciting.
Overall, this game is a fantastic fighter. The excellent story mode, characters, and multiplayer puts it head and shoulders above other fighting games. Netherrealm revived this franchise wonderfully and I am really looking forward to the eventual Mortal Kombat 2 aka Mortal Kombat 10 (good luck making sense out of that). I am giving it a solid 4 out of 5.
Well, everyone, I would just like to welcome you to my new entertainment blog. I’m Andrew Nisargand also known as that sarcastic, cynical guy you know who ruins all your good moods. Yeah, I got a blog. I don’t get it either. Anyway, let’s start on a normal aspect of this blog, my introduction.
So for years I have been a comic freak. However, this comes from my love from afar, rather than spending absurd amounts of money on comics. I am knowledgeable upon all these comic topics through a combination of selective reading, video games, movies and loads of Wikipedia articles. One character that I have consistently enjoyed has been Marvel’s Captain America. Why? Well because, as explained in the movie, he started out as this weak man who was strong in morals and mind but given a chance to become a supporter of justice through the super soldier serum. It’s a simple concept that works extremely well. But how does the film do?
Let’s start with the positives. The movie’s plot is actually quite good if extremely simple. It’s simply Steve Rogers becomes Captain America and then goes on to punching HYDRA members in the face. Simple right? Oh and there’s also a funny bit about war bonds in between…but whatever moving on. The effects are fantastic and might easily be some of the best of the Marvel (I would say trilogy but because of Iron Man 2 it doesn’t fit so) saga. The effects are simple, pared back but excellent when implemented. The acting was solid with the best performances from Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. The movie is oddly enough exceptionally funny with it really not taking itself seriously. A good way to say this without giving away spoilers would be to say that the original comic of him punching Hitler shows up. The score also gets a quick shout out here as it was certainly epic and exceptionally well done.
On the negative side of things however, let’s start with the writing. It ends up being more than a bit stilted some of the time and it gets frustrating when the awkward dialogue comes up during “romantic” scenes. The plot, while simple, has its moments of annoyance. Mainly this annoyance comes from lack of explanation of the characters. For example, the Howling Commandoes show up without any of them ever being named. For those of you who know who they are, that’s fine, but for those who don’t it’s rather random and annoying to have characters you don’t know the names of working as main characters. I know I had to explain more than a few characters to the people I saw this movie with. Also, I know I heard this complaint and I have to agree, they skip over a lot. Considering that Captain America’s history occurs during the entirety of World War II and they don’t want to make two movies, they decided to condense a lot of it in montages which is more than a bit of a cop-out. I was talking with the three people I saw this with and all of us would have been more than happy to stay there for another 30-40 minutes to enjoy Captain America beating the crap out of HYDRA members.
So what’s the verdict? Well, I’m going to be giving two this time around as it seems that I (as a fan) enjoyed it far more than the three people with me (as they did not know as much). So for fans I’m giving it a four star out of five and for non-fans I’m giving it three stars out of five. For non-fans it is by no means a bad movie but not understanding a lot of the references and in-jokes might leave them a bit confused and unwanted at the theater. I would suggest that if you want to see it and are not a comic book reader, read the Captain America Wikipedia article and educate yourself.
Well, everyone, there’s my first review. I hope you enjoyed it and have decided to stay with me here.