Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Movies

There are 4, count em, 4 movies coming out this Friday that I want to see. I'm not sure that's ever happened before. If so, I certainly don't remember it. What are these movies, you ask? Let me tell you.

Capitalism: A Love Story. I enjoy Michael Moore. Call me a bleeding heart liberal (or whatever the nom du jour for lefties is right now), but the man makes a good documentary.

The Invention of Lying. David Brent (Ricky Gervais) and Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner)? Yes, please!

Whip It. Even if I hadn't promised to go see this with my roller derby-loving friend, I'd go see this movie. Hot chicks participating in a contact sport? What's not to like?

Zombieland. This is like the movie version of Dead Rising. I'm so there.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Guitar Hero 5 (PS3) Impressions

Bought it the first day it came out, based on buzz and the fact that by doing so I could get the Van Halen track pack for free. Now, I haven't been a fan of the Guitar Hero games since Rocks the 80s (which, not coincidentally, was the last GH game that Harmonix worked on before switching to Rock Band), but I thought GH5 would bring me back into the fold.

Despite overwhelmingly popular reviews, I find GH5 to be a much inferior game to any Rock Band title, or GH1 or GH2, for that matter.

First off, the track list is varied and hits a lot of songs that haven't been covered in other music games (although there is some repetition with RB). But the career mode makes you play through some shit tunes to get to the good stuff, and there's a lot of really boring note charts. Granted, there are a few gems that are really fun to play, but overall I prefer Rock Band's solid quality charts. Also, the guitar parts (I haven't tried drums yet) don't seem...substantial, I guess is the word, to me. It's like there's a disconnect between me fretting and strumming, the notes hitting on the note chart, and the sound playing in the game. Maybe it's HDTV lag, but when I'm playing Rock Band, it feels solid, like I'm playing the music (in a button-pressing-timing-sound-feedback sense, of course), but I don't get the same feeling with GH5.

Second, the added features don't really do it for me. For instance, party mode allows the game to run in the background, and if someone feels like picking up an instrument and playing, they can drop in to the game, and then drop out at any time. Do people really do that at parties? Maybe I'm just going to the wrong parties. The ability to have two guitarists or three drummers or 4 singers on one song is interesting, but again, is anyone ever going to do that? Online, I suppose, but certainly not locally. Just like Rock Band, there's the option to switch between guitar and bass before each song, but for some reason, the option isn't there when playing with more than one player. Unless I missed it, but if not, that's a severe oversight. I do like open notes on bass guitar, and the individual or band challenges add replayability, but some of them seem unnecessarily difficult while others are ridiculously simple. And why is the default volume so low? Even when the sound options are cranked all the way up, it's still not at the same level as all my other games.

At this point, I've spent about 3 or 4 hours with the game, and am halfway through the game's 85 tracks. In case it isn't obvious, I'm unimpressed so far, and not satisfied I've gotten my 60 bucks worth, even with the gratis Van Halen.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Batman (PS3) Postmortem

I couldn't finish the game in a 5 day rental period. If not for the fact that I'm well over halfway through(I'd say I'm about 75% done), it would be a purchase for sure. The voiceacting is phenomenal, the controls are tight, the story is intriguing and original, and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Two thumbs way up.
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