"It's quiet..." "Yeah, a little too quiet." "Hey it's Raph!" "Yeah, a little too Raph!"
Wow, my second entry (update) in 2 days!! I suppose the ease in which to do this helps to keep me consistent in updating. At this rate, I'll have my webpage back up in about 10 days, I just can't see myself keeping a freaking livejournal for an extended period of time, so I'll use this as a stepping stone to lead me to great and grander things!!! Today I will conquer my livejournal, tomorrow the world!
Ok, this update will cover a few things, and here they are, in no particular order:
1) Dark Cloud 2-2:
I've had a chance to put in a lot more time with Dark Cloud 2 and my opinion of the game has only improved. If you didn't follow my advice and check out the review I linked to last time, I'll quickly go over the basic premise of the game. I never played the first Dark Cloud but from what I gather it was much like this game only not as fleshed out. Dark Cloud 2 is an action adventure rpg with major emphasis on dungeon exploration and city creation. As a lazy way of describing it, think of it as Ocarina of Time, combined with Sim City, with a dash of your favorite saturday morning cartoon mixed in for good measure. Make sense? Didn't think so.
So far, the game has been nothing short of fantastic. The graphical style is simply gorgeous and the game uses cel shading techniques to add a certain saturday morning cartoon look to the game as I briefly implied a second ago. Not only that, but the storyline seems like it was inspired by cartoons as well, and it makes for a very refreshing game on all fronts. The dungeons are all randomly generated which makes for very high replayablity; if you enjoy them in the first place. The geomancing (city creation) aspect of the game is very fleshed out and is beautifully integrated into the storyline and other gameplay aspects of the game.
At first I thought Dark Cloud 2 would end up becoming just another hack and slash level building dungeon crawler, but the sheer diversity of the gameplay makes it insanely fun to do even mundane things like level up. There is just so much customization in this game that you can literally spend hours just exploring and messing around with item creation and weapon modification, trust me, I am speaking of this first hand. Hmm, reading up on my little summary, I have noticed that I have not really said anything at all about the game, well ok I've said a little bit, but not much! Just play this game, it's a surprise and I love it. Yes!!
2) Road To Perdition:
I finally had a chance to see this movie and I must say that I wasn't entirely too thrilled with it. The basic premise of the movie was kind of weak, but that's not really what made me dislike it. I suppose it was just the lack of any "depth" to the characters and the plot as a whole. But then again I may have missed out on some stuff since I saw the movie at 3am after nearly passing out just an hour before.
I found the lack of dialogue hurt this movie a lot. Sam Mendes, the director of the filme seems to try to make up for the rather quiet atmosphere with what I feel are very well done visuals, however it just wasn't enough to keep me interested in the movie. Another problem I had with the film is the star power.
Tom Hanks, Jude Law, and Paul Newman are all great actors in their own right, and they can all carry a movie single handedly, so it comes as no suprise to me that having three names like that stuffed into one film actually hurts it. You see, for someone like Paul Newman to be relegated to a supporting role with as little screen time as he had, I have to wonder why they even casted him in the role in the first place? The same applies to Jude Law, he was in the movie for a total of like 15 minutes of screen time! I guess I felt like their talents were wasted when put in such small roles, and I couldn't shake that feeling. Overall, I wasn't too happy with this movie, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the next thing I want to talk about.
3) Way of the Gun:
Wow, ok... uh, hmmm. What can I say about this movie???? The movie started off great, the first scene of the movie was awesome. I will not spoil it, but if you have a twisted sense of humor like I do, you will love it! As for the rest of the movie... well I've never seen a movie start off with such promise, only to end up being complete turd at the end. I'm not going to waste any more time or space talking about this movie, and even though I had zero expectations going into it; I was still severely dissapointed.
4) One Hour Photo:
After seeing the wonderful Robin Williams Live on Broadway special, I was pretty enthusiastic about seeing One Hour Photo. I've always enjoyed seeing Williams in comedic roles, but I feel he shines brightest in dramatic roles ala Good Will Hunting or Deat Poets Society. I had heard great things about One Hour Photo so my hopes were pretty high. Luckily, the fates were smiling down on me because before I even decided to pick the movie up this morning, last night I hit the jackpot, well... sort of.
As I am sure you know, Blockbuster video has a guaranteed to be in, or the movie is free promotion. And well, last night while waiting in line to pay for Way of the Bomb someone ahead of me asked the clerk if they had any copies of One Hour Photo in back since the rack was empty. The clerk, being the genius that he is pronounced quite loudly, loud enough in fact for the rest of the lineup (about 12 people) to hear him tell the customer that they indeed did not have any copies of it left and would gladly give him a raincheck for the movie. This quickly prompted everyone else in the lineup, myself included, to ask if they had One Hour Photo in stock and thus receive a free rental for it. In any case, it was nice to get a free rental for a good movie.
Anyways, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. It was kind of weird to see Williams in such a role, but he played it perfectly. Not only was I creeped out by his rather subdued performance, but there was something about the way he carried himself that made me feel sorry for his character too. For the duration of the film, I forgot that I was watching Robin Williams and I would assume that is the goal of any serious actor. I really enjoyed the plot of the movie and especially enjoyed the visuals. The use of colors was just, well simply put, amazing. I don't like to give out any details of plot when I talk about games or movies so I will just say that for whatever its worth, One Hour Photo gets my full recommendation.
5) Deus Ex:
Londo: deus ex 2 will rock my fuck off
Londo: you know
Londo: when I talk about deus ex being great
Londo: it is not just like "it is really good game"
Londo: it is "OH MY GOD YES"
Hey guess what? I agree with him, I think Deus Ex is OH MY GOD YES.
Tomorrow I will continue the great job search of 2003, while trying to sneak in 3-5 hours of Trek viewing and Dark Cloud 2 playing as well. Also I am hoping to get a haxxed version of war3x. I hate how blizzard does their beta process, and well I am going to buy the full version anyways so I feel no remorse in being a pir8. Then again, I pirate a lot of software that I don't intend to buy so whatever!! Arrr matey, shiver me timbers.
I have to admit, as frustrated as I got with war3, I am really looking forward to the expansion pack. The new units, maps and heroes should add a lot of variety to what I thought was an excellent, but lacking game. I was once very good at StarCraft, I practiced to the point of being able to compete very competently with just about anyone, and even though I got on the bandwagon a little late, I feel that my skills at SC were well above par. I never really felt that drive to excell at war3, and I find it strange. War3 has a lot of things going for it, and it has a lot of improvements over SC too.
I think my biggest beef with the game is how easily it is to lose in war3. Sometimes if you lose the first battle, or even the first skirmish, you can be put so far behind in that you might as well just give up. I know that sounds like a cop out, but one thing I loved about SC was the ability to come back. I also loved the fast paced battles one could have in SC. War3 slowed things down with all the creeping stuff, and while that isn't neccessarily a bad thing, I feel it hurt the game since it didn't seem to be properly implemented.
Another thing I really disliked about war3, and this isn't really about the game per se as it is about the players, was the lack of variety of viable and used strategies. RJ and I played quite a bit of 2v2 back in the day, and it was really frustrating to lose to the same strategy over and over. Sure you can say "why didn't you counter it" and we tried! However, you cannot go into a game firmly fixed on countering any specific strategy, I prefer to be flexible and even if one does not agree, there were some terribly strong, imbalanced strategies that used to be abused. I don't really know what the state of the game is these days, but I can say with certainty that I am looking forward to the expansion pack.
I'm tired, well not really, but I do have to get up early tomorrow so I can hit the gym for the first time since last June. Hooray for war3 distracting me from working out last summer. Guess I'll write more later, hee.
P.S. Those are my initials