Sunday, June 27, 2010

Transformers: War for Cybertron


This week marks a landmark event--it's the first Transformers game for the modern consoles that doesn't suck in the form of Transformers: War for Cybertron. The last time we had a game this good for a main console it was Transformers for the PS2, which was based on Armada. The DS game for the first movie wasn't bad, but definitely wasn't as good as it could be. I'm happy to say that all of this has been remedied with the new game.

Taking place on Cybertron millions of years before the Transformers bring their war to earth, the game puts you in the place of the Autobots and Decepticons as each attempts to eradicate the other from any position of control on the planet. The game makes you play both to get the full story, though you can play them in any order you wish. Chronologically, the Decepticons come first as you take Megatron to power. Whereas the previous games focused on one robot in a battle against overwhelming odds, this game takes a page from games like Modern Warfare 2 where you are part of a squad in a giant war. You are facing great odds, but chances are you're going to get a little help from your friends as you move along.

Each group is made up of three people of different classes. There are leaders, soldiers, scouts and scientists and each one is personified by a recognizable bot from the Transformers rosters. You can pick any one of them at the start of the level and play through the mission as them and utilize their special abilities to get you out of trouble. The foes you fight are numerous and deadly and you'll have to be on your toes so you don't get overwhelmed. If you do, call on a friend and play through the campaign together with online co-op.

Also available is a multiplayer mode with several different styles of play and customization that I haven't had a chance to play with yet. It's a fun game though. Check it out if you like good games and buy it if you're at all a Transformers fan. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Scott Pilgrim: Epically Awesome Comics

For Father's Day, my wife got me, among other awesome things, the first two volumes of Scott Pilgrim, by Bryan Lee O'Malley. In short, they are about a guy who becomes obsessed with new girl Ramona Flowers and must fight his way through her seven evil ex-boyfriends before he can date her. In shot, it's awesome. The art is extremely stylized and might be off-putting to some, but it fits the story most excellently and the dialog is whip smart and always on fire. I've already finished both volumes and can't wait to order the remaining four. They are that good. And the movie and game coming out look just as epic. Check them all out. Seriously.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

8mm Film Look Test

Pluck

I see you pluck, pluck, plucking away
at your keyboard, like a vulture
on a dessicated corpse.
Did you find the good bits yet?
Or do you spit them out and dig for more,
through dusty gore and grue?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

RID: Ultra Magnus

A few years ago they released the Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus in a two-pack for Costco, I think. I got it for Xmas and promptly combined them into Omega Prime and never really looked back. I had a separate Optimus Prime that I kept in regular mode already and didn't think about keeping UM in his. Well, since today was unbearably hot, I decided to stay indoors and thusly find the instructions for the two-pack and see how Ultra Magnus fared in his non-combined mode.

The verdict? Pretty good. After trying to figure out the transformation on my own, I decided to bust out the instructions as I was hitting an impasse on one part or another. After I did that, it was a lot easier. I was actually surprised how people said the transformation in his regular mode was so difficult. The change from robot to vehicle and back is actually rather simple, save for getting the side panels to line up just right at times, but that's not an every transformation occurrence.

The vehicle mode is bricky, compared to the articulated G1 version, but it's probably where the toy shines. He can hold 3 of the RID vehicles in this mode or, more importantly, three TF Classics-style figures, save for Hot Rod, who seems to have a different wheelbase. He can hold the G1 Hot Rod just fine though. That's handy as I don't have any of the other RID toys so this gives me something to hold the Classics I have and fill out this mode.

The robot mode isn't terrible. It's actually pretty good for a figure whose sole purpose is to combine with Optimus. That usually leads to some rather sketchy modes, ala God Bomber for G1 Power Master. That sucker is more brick like than Optimus in robot mode. Ultra Magnus as much more articulation in this mode, though the legs are rather tall and stiff, being a pretty straight up conversion of the trailer. The arms make up for this though and give you the opportunity for more posing.

I'm altogether pleased with him and it'll probably be awhile before I go back to Omega Prime, even though that mode rocks, as I'm in an alt mode kind of mood and his rocks my socks off. That and I can't afford the Classics trailer so I'll do what I can.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Drag Me to Hell

Sam Raimi, long known for the Evil dead films and more recently the Spider-Man movies, made his return to the horror genre last year with Drag Me to Hell. The result? Mother-fucking triumphant. The film hits on all cylinders and keeps you going from start to finish, playing out with a few surprises and the cinematic stylings that we're used to from Raimi.

The plot follows a young woman who works at a bank and has the misfortune of denying an old gypsy woman and extension on her mortgage. The woman gets cursed and things go downhill from there. Seems that if she doesn't get the curse removed or revoked in three days, she gets *bum bum bum* dragged to hell by a demon. Fairly straightforward but it works. The cast is likable and play their parts well. Alison Lohman in particular is rather awesome and puts up with quite a bit of abuse during the film, being sprayed with various types of gore throughout the film. It reminds me of the abuse Bruce Campbell used to take in the Evil Dead films.

Speaking of which, this film is probably the next best thing to an Evil Dead sequel. Spiritually, it's a successor to the series with it's humor/horror mixture and the demon even behaves a little like the deadites, though it clearly diverges from the spawn of the Necronomicon. Maybe it could be considered a side story in the same universe plagued by the undead.

It's nice to have Raimi back in the saddle on a horror film. His touch has been sorely lacking from the scene, even though he's made quite a few great movies since Army of Darkness. I like how there aren't any fake scares in the film. Nothing ever turns out to be the cat. Instead, it's the demon running rampant through Lohman's world.

Check it out. Seriously. It's that good.