Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013)


The (Hopefully Temporarily) Best Game on the X-Box One!

Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013)I’ve had my Xbone for a few months now and thus far I’ve been fairly disappointed with what it has to offer.  Not as a system itself; that has been fantastic.  What disappoints me is the lineup available for my next gen system.  I’ve played a few games on the system already and have found the results typically mediocre.  The game I’m reviewing today has been available since the system’s launch, but I’ve never felt it was quite worth its price.  That was until my friend Bob, the Mayor of Krunkytown, told me that I needed it.  Well, you don’t argue with a mayor and so I went out and purchased Lego Marvel Super Heroes, developed by TT Games, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and starring the voices of Stan Lee, John DiMaggio, James Arnold Taylor, Clark Gregg, John Eric Bentley, Dee Bradley Baker, Roger Craig Smith, Troy Baker, Fred Tatasciore, Nolan North, Laura Bailey, Kari Wahlgren, Travis Willingham, and Phil LaMarr.

It would probably be too hard to go too in depth with the story of this game.  Not because it’s particularly complicated, but because I would have to list too many damned names.  The quick break down is that a bunch of supervillains are getting together to steal cosmic bricks in order to build the “Doom Ray of Doom” to defeat Galactus (John DiMaggio) the World Devourer in hopes that it will make the people of Earth fall in line and worship their saviors.  Little do they know that they are being played by the Asgardian God of Mischief Loki (Troy Baker), who intends to harness the power of Galactus to destroy Earth and Asgard.  But Marvel comics doesn’t just make villains, do they?  HELL NO!  AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!  …And a lot of other heroes too!

This is hands down the best game available on the Xbone.  That title is made much easier to achieve by having only 20 other titles to compete with, but that does not take much away from the acclaim.  I’ve always been fond of the Lego series.  I’ve never connected with them too drastically, but they’re typically cute and fun and they just keep getting better.  Some of their properties that they’ve made into Lego versions haven’t interested me too much, but this is Marvel.  Of course I’m in!  And it’s the best Lego game I’ve played.  The story is nothing too spectacular.  It’s basically just a “heroes save the world” deal.  Actually, it’s pretty much the story of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  That’s really all it needs to be though.  What I appreciated about it is the funny little moments they can install into the story.  I still think I liked them better when they couldn’t talk because they were pretty good at adding comedy without it.  But they’re not too shabby with dialogue either.  Having Hulk yell, “HULK SMASH UGLY SIDEBURNS!” when he meets Wolverine is pretty funny.  They also used Nick Fury in some hilarious ways.  Though he had nothing to do with the game, the character of Nick Fury is typically played by Samuel L. Jackson, and Traveller’s Tales used that for some comedy that would be well over the heads of the children that might typically play their games, making some nice references to Pulp Fiction and Snakes on a Plane.

One of the things I appreciated the most about this game was the fan service.  They referenced everything they could think to reference from the Marvel universe, and more specifically the Marvel movies.  There was a part where the Hulk punches the Green Goblin as he punched Thor in the Avengers, Thor arrives into the game like he does in Thor: The Dark World and even in a similar setting, the Put Up Your Dukes level is right out of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, one of the times you rescue Stan Lee is a reference to when he drank the infected juice in the Hulk movie, the chess set where we find Stan at one point might be a subtle reference to his cameo in the Avengers, and the game even has a mid-credit sequence like the greater majority of comic book movies.  Also, there are achievements for doing the Fastball Special (throwing Wolverine at an enemy as Colossus) and for having Captain America and Human Torch on the same team (because both are played by Chris Evans in the movies).

Now, all of those references could not have been recognized if it were not for some extreme levels of nerdiness.  That nerdiness also caused a few problems with this game.  At one point, Gambit stops the Juggernaut dead in his tracks by dropping a chandelier on him.  As big of a fan of Gambit as I am, that just doesn’t happen.  Once the Juggernaut starts moving, nothing can stop him!  He’s the Juggernaut, bitch!  Also, why is the X-Men airplane called the X-Jet now?  Is it not still the Blackbird?  And since when is the X-Mansion on the island of Manhattan?!  I also had a lot of problems arise from what the characters were able to do.  First of all, Spider-Man has genius-level intellect.  Why do I have to switch to that lame ass Mister Fantastic in order to use a control panel?  And while we’re on the subject: I know you probably felt the need to make Mister Fantastic seem useful, but since when can he turn himself into complex machines like an electric screwdriver?  That doesn’t even make sense!  …The rest of the game is perfectly logical to me though…  I also thought Mystique should’ve been more useful.  She can basically just sneak past things.  Shouldn’t she at least be able to turn into people with claws to use the claw switches?  She turned into Wolverine and had claws in the first X-Men movie!  I also didn’t like that Jean Grey didn’t have the special senses to detect switches like Spider-Man and Wolverine.  How does that make sense?  She has EXTRA Sensory Perception!  That’s like two more sensories!  And even worse, how can she take fire damage when you pick the version of Jean Grey that’s the Phoenix?  She flew into the Sun as the Phoenix!  And how does Iron Man get frozen?!  He fixed that icing problem in Iron Man 1!  And how does Magneto not fly?!  I AM THE KING OF NERDS!!

Admittedly, the look of the game doesn’t quite live up to next gen expectations.  It looks about as good as recent Lego games have on current/previous gen consoles.  It’s the look they’re going for and I don’t really knock it for that.  It’s kind of for kids, so it’s supposed to have a really colorful and not necessarily photorealistic look.  Also, it’s a Lego game.  How do you go photorealistic with that?  And this one is different from any others I’ve played because they let you play around in a sandbox Manhattan between story missions, and that is just fine by me.  I got to jet through the streets as Iron Man and the Silver Surfer!  Although I was a little bit bothered that the Silver Surfer’s flying sounded a little like a vacuum cleaner.  Is he the Silver Maid or something?  I thought all maids were brown!  BOOM!

The game is really fun and kept me interested right up to the point where I got 100% on the achievements.  I can’t really keep wasting time on a game when I’m not getting no chievos no more!  There were a couple of minor problems with the game.  Sometimes the camera didn’t want to play along, or more accurately to let you see what you were playing.  I also had a common problem where my character would choose to target my ally relentlessly when I was surrounded by enemies.  I also got irritated in the first level because they kept putting up reminders when I was the Hulk that I could hold Y to turn back into Bruce Banner.  Why would I ever want to do that?  You realize that I’m currently the Hulk, right?

Lego Marvel Super Heroes is currently my favorite Xbone game by leaps and bounds.  It’s not hard to do when everything else on the system turned out to be okay at best, but the game is still entirely enjoyable.  The story is simple but peppered with some enjoyable humor, the game looks good though not quite next gen quality yet, and it’s lots of fun to play.  I got hours of enjoyment out of this game and lost track of most of those hours after I started playing and realized shortly after that it was 4 in the morning.  And it’s an easy 1000 achievements for you achievement whores like me.  Don’t try to act like you’re too adult to enjoy this game!  It’s fun for the whole family!  Lego Marvel Super Heroes gets “Excelsior!” out of “I’m still hungry!  I need something to eat!”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

0029 – Films of 2013 Review


0029 - Films of 2013 ReviewCLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)


This is Only the Beginning…The Fifth Beginning!

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)I’ve made no secret about my love for ghost movies, but my friend Don’vang did.  I figured I would be seeing today’s movie by myself before he propositioned me to go see it with me.  “Dandy!” I says to myself before agreeing to go with him.  This movie is the fifth part in a series, no matter what they tell you.  They kind of acted like this movie was a “cousin movie” to the franchise, but I’ve seen it now; it’s basically a sequel.  I’ll just call it part five.  This series hasn’t always been the greatest, but I’ve pretty much liked them all.  And I’ve reviewed them all already, so I might as well review part five or as they call it Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, written and directed by Christopher B. Landon, and starring Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Gabrielle Walsh, Carlos Pratts, Richard Cabral, Katie Featherstone, Molly Ephraim, and Micah Sloat.

In Oxnard, California, recent high school graduate Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and his friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) witness their classmate Oscar (Carlos Pratts) running from the scene of a murder in Jesse’s apartment complex.  They go to check out the lady’s apartment and find signs of witchcraft in the apartment and a picture of Jesse.  The next morning, Jesse finds a strange bite mark on his arm and odd things start happening to him, like floating when he falls backwards, being able to fling thugs with superhuman strength, and having conversations with an old Simon toy.  And then shit starts getting weird.

The Marked Ones was not drastically different from the other Paranormal Activity movies, but I don’t really want it to be.  It always takes them a bit to get into the action, showing a lot of boring stuff like the guy’s graduation and his purchase of his camera that he will then be filming the rest of his life with, but this movie doesn’t waste that much time getting into it.  Much like the previous movie, this one was solid throughout and had a very strong ending, involving a full-scale shootout and a fantastic tie-in to the first movie.  And it had some interesting ideas.  I thought the Ouija board Simon was kind of a funny take on the Ouija board.  There was also some decent and sometimes funny writing, like the Sherlock Holmes joke.  …I guess to get that one you have to hear it out loud.  It’s set in a Hispanic area!  You know how they call each other “Holmes” sometimes?  Ah, forget it!

As with all of these movies, there are also some problems.  Not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the film, but certainly enough for me to make fun of in review form.  First of all, this movie wants us to believe that someone is giving out free GoPro’s with the purchase of a regular camcorder?!  POPPYCOCK!  And all other forms of cock as well!  One of the actual things I thought about was the fact that these movies do make us waste a lot of time with these characters, such as when we had to watch them making a movie about making his pet Chihuahua dance.  I would like to request that the further movies only show us things that progress the story.  A lot of these found footage movies like to present themselves as if they were FBI archived footage of the events they found on the camcorder, but I think the FBI would find that particular piece of footage removable.  That’s the other big thing about these movies: why are they recording everything?  It’s the thing you could say about a lot of found footage movies.  When they were talking about all the kids they found pictures of, they said the things these kids all have in common is they’re the first born, they’re male, and they’re missing, but made no mention to the fact that all of them have a penchant for recording every little detail in their lives.  It feels weird to say that the supernatural stuff didn’t all make sense, but it’s true.  I found it amusing when they were going through a bunch of stuff that seemed all witchy that they found in the witch lady’s apartment and one of them was a dream catcher.  Is that supposed to be voodoo or something?  ‘Cause I have a demonic artifact hanging over my bed if that’s the case.  I also thought Jesse had a gross misunderstanding of his guardian demon.  It catches him when he falls down but doesn’t push those skanks away from him when he’s trying to get lucky?  A bruised coccyx fixes itself, but herpes is forever.  The biggest problem is that this movie had absolutely no concern for the audience’s ability to speak Spanish.  You can mostly understand the movie without it, but I feel like I missed some stuff because I don’t speak this language.  Are a few subtitles too much to ask, or are your inside jokes only for Mexican people?

The performances were fine but as with most horror movies, their performances didn’t require much more out of them than to be really scared a lot.  And Andrew Jacobs had to get all evil-like.  He did that fairly well.  I had some troubles with Jorge Diaz’ character in parts.  First off, who’s dumb enough to enter a room in a spooky witch coven house when the light on your flashlight was tripping out?  Stay where you are and wait for that shit to come back.  And that’s just the first dumb horror movie character cliché he falls into.  The next was shortly after that when he tells Gabrielle Walsh’s character to wait while he looked around the spooky house.  Really?!  And you’re surprised when she’s gone when you come back?  And you’re filming it all!  Well I guess that’s more of a problem with Richard Cabral’s character Arturo.  He’s supposed to be this big gang banger character and yet you let Hector film you and your gang banger friend breaking into a house and gunning down old ladies just because you believe they’re witches?  I feel like a real gang banger wouldn’t like the video evidence being around of all his worst crimes.  Of course, none of the gang bangers in this movie were that wise.  Like the ones that get flung off by Jesse’s guardian demon.  You guys were punching him in the arm and shoulder!  You trying to give him a Charlie horse or kick his ass?

There were definitely some problems with Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, but nothing that took too drastically away from my appreciation of the movie.  The story was okay but not drastically different from the other movies.  The same basic set up, some decent action once it gets going, some tension and suspense without too much for scares, but a very solid ending that I appreciated for how it linked the movies.  The performances were good even if the characters did fall into some familiar horror movie clichés.  All around a good movie.  Probably not quite good enough to win over any new fans, but existing fans of the Paranormal Activity movies will appreciate a little more of the same and the expansion of the existing plot.  Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones gets “You ever get the feeling that someone’s just watching you?” out of “He won’t be Jesse anymore.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

The Films of 2013


I may have gone a little overboard this year.  I saw a lot of movies last year, but I saw 11 more than that this year.  57 out of the 280 movies that Wikipedia listed as a 2013 release.  That’s 20% of the movies that were released last year by my very terrible math.  And I’m not even getting paid to do this stuff!  Nor am I getting paid to break down all of the movies I saw last year in an 8,000 plus word review of all the films of 2013, but I’m doing that anyway.  And since I’m sick of writing words after having done just that, I’m just going to stop right here and see if you have the balls to read my review of the films of 2013.  Good luck and Godspeed.

JANUARY

THE GRANDMASTER

I went to see this movie pretty much at the behest of my Film Criticism teacher.  I hadn’t really entertained the idea of seeing it from just seeing the trailers and I’m not sure why.  I loved all of the Ip Man movies, so why wouldn’t I love this?  Well I saw the movie and that’s when I found out why.  It wasn’t anything like the Ip Man movies.  Fighting was replaced with boringness and talking and artsy fartsy stuff.  This is not to say that this was a bad movie, but it bothered me because of the expectations I went in with.  It’s more of a drama than a martial arts movie.  It’s a good drama, but a shitty martial arts movie.  And that’s just not what I wanted this movie to be.

A HAUNTED HOUSE

You know how Netflix thinks it has a handle on the movies you will like?  This movie proved that it doesn’t.  Well, I guess I can’t say that because I request to watch so many movies that I think will be awful that Netflix probably has a hard time getting a read on me.  Well this movie was a parody of Paranormal Activity.  Much like the greater majority of the Scary Movies, this one wasn’t very funny.  It wasn’t painfully unfunny, but there wasn’t much reason to waste any time on it.

GANGSTER SQUAD

I actually watched this movie 2 days ago.  I never really thought it looked that interesting so I never really felt the need to look into it.  While at work one day recently, I saw parts of it on the TV (although I couldn’t hear any of it) and decided it looked interesting enough to give it a watch.  And it was!  It was … thoroughly okay!  Decent enough action, some great performances, but not a whole lot I found interesting in the story.  Still, it was a decent enough watch.

HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS

I saw this movie in a dollar cinema and overpaid.  It wasn’t a bad movie, but it didn’t really seem to have a purpose.  It was a fun idea, but the fun of that idea wasn’t really realized by the basic script with laughs that typically fell flat.  The action wasn’t fun either, and the performances didn’t do anything spectacular.  It’s not a bad movie, but since you’ll have a hard time finding it cheaper than a dollar, I can’t really recommend it.

MAMA

In my review for this movie, I called it “super passionate about being mediocre.”  I stand by that.  It was a fine movie, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about it.  It looked pretty nifty and the performers all did a great job, but there weren’t any scares to be found in this movie and if there aren’t any scares in a horror movie, there isn’t much of a point.  I still think the movie works well enough to see it as a rental.

THE LAST STAND

I watched this movie a long time ago and never bothered to review it.  I think we all know what it is.  It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to make his come back into the world of poorly written, poorly conceived, mindless action movies with … well … another one.  It is what it is.  You probably don’t need to watch it.

FEBRUARY

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT 2: GHOSTS OF GEORGIA

My unnatural love for ghost movies drew me to see this one.  If I could have my love for these movies removed, I would.  I thought next to nothing about this movie.  I took one note pointing out the fact that their idea to make this movie scary was to make a ghost walk by every other minute or so and then I watched the rest of the movie.  Not scary, not interesting, not cool, and it didn’t even make sense.  It seems to have nothing to do with the first Haunting in Connecticut movie.  Not even the state it takes place in.  This is in Georgia!  If there is a haunting in Connecticut, it’s not going to be seen here.  The first Haunting in Connecticut movie wasn’t even that good that you would think you needed to ride it’s coattails to fame and fortune.  Just call the movie Ghosts of Georgia and let everyone find out that this is a whole new and different underwhelming horror movie.

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

So this movie happened.  I watched this movie like 3 weeks ago and I have no memory of it whatsoever.  I’m sure that means it’s great.  John McClane has a son now and he’s trying to save him in Russia and there’s a bad guy and then stuff blows up.  If any of that sounds interesting, rent this movie.  If not, good!

DARK SKIES

This movie was really close to being a good comedy.  …But it was a horror movie.  There were no scares, and what they attempted to scare me with made me laugh, like Keri Russell banging her head on the window.  It still kind of tickles me.  It didn’t really make sense and everyone seemed to get bored before they arrived at the climax of the movie, where the movie seemed to sheepishly back out of the theater, hoping no one would get mad that they could no longer get their money back.  And the performances were only the stereotype characters of any horror movie.  The mom figures out that something strange is going on, but the husband refuses to acknowledge it … even after she just found him standing in the backyard with blood pouring from his nose … as per usual!

MARCH

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

WRITTENVIDEO

Oh, this movie.  I feel like I’ve done enough to this movie already after having written a review for it and posted a video review, but I’ve still got one more go around with it, I suppose.  It was watchable, but only just so.  The story was basic, the graphics were pretty, but most of the starring characters were way over the top in their portrayal.  It was like the original Oz movie, but this time we have a lot of other options for movies and have no reason for this one.

THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE

I feel like this movie got beaten up pretty badly.  It was talked about by many people who wouldn’t even watch it as a stupid comedy.  Well take it from someone who actually watched it: …yeah, that’s kind of true.  But it wasn’t painfully bad.  It was cute.  I feel like that is the best I can do for this movie.  It had its funny moments.  I like the cast.  Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are great, Olivia Wilde is hot, and Jim Carrey kind of carried the movie.  His parts were typically funny, if spread out a little too far.  It’s not a great movie, but it’s not a terrible movie either.

ADMISSION

I kind of watched this movie on a whim.  I guess I was disappointed because I can’t help but have high hopes for a movie starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.  It wasn’t up to their standards, but Tina Fey didn’t write the thing.  It probably would’ve been better if she had.  It was a decent enough story and was pretty heartwarming, but nowhere near as funny as I wanted it to be.

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

This was the serious version of White House Down.  Basically the same idea, but not very fun.  It was better than I expected it to be because it was saved by some decent action and performances that were of a quality that I didn’t expect from this movie, but the story was super simple as they probably realized it was barely necessary for anyone going to see this movie.  It’s an okay way to kill some time.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION – VIDEO

I was pleased with this movie because it wasn’t as bad as the first one.  They set the bar low and managed to keep themselves from tripping on it as they passed into the second one.  The story was dumb, but you’d be dumb if you’d think I’d have anything else to say about it.  My mind would be blown if there was any good writing to be found here and I would be completely unable to write this review.  But the action was pretty good.  Ninjas fighting on ropes while hanging from a mountain?  You got it!  Blowing up entire towns?  Why not?!  And The Rock leads this movie, and I like that guy.  So it’s dumb, but it’s fun.  So I guess you should watch it.

APRIL

OBLIVION

I actually liked this movie.  It helped that I went into this movie with low to no expectations.  The story didn’t really impress me too much, but it was interesting if a bit slow-moving in parts.  But the look of the movie was pretty nice, and there were some great performances.  It’s a decent enough watch and probably good for a rental.

PAIN & GAIN

I watched this movie and didn’t find it particularly memorable or remarkable.  Perhaps Michael Bay should just stick to straight up action movies that we all find humorous instead of trying to make intentional comedies.  The story of this movie was made slightly more interesting because it was at least mostly real events, but made less interesting because it wasn’t written very well and most of the story was told in annoying voice over instead of just shown to us.  Bay is also a hug fan of filming people from below while spinning the camera around them, and also thinks that The Rock should not be filmed any other way.  But The Rock remains an interesting character, and it was amusing to watch him spiral down in the later part of the movie.  Still, I don’t think there’s anything in this movie worth watching.

MAY

FAST & FURIOUS 6

Paul Walker’s final movie (as far as I know) before his untimely death that spawned the people of the world to spew out the same joke about how his death resembled his most famous movies.  It is my hope that this refrain was finally silenced as everyone making those jokes realized everyone else was making the exact same joke.  His final release before his death was about as underwhelming as those jokes were, but it wasn’t a bad movie.  In the same vein as Fast Five, this movie has a really basic and predictable story and acting work that does not impress, but the action was solid.  Not quite as spectacular as in the previous movie, but good.  I wound up buying this movie, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the same.  It’s at least worth a rental.

EPIC

This movie was cute if not very substantial.  It really is just a kid’s movie and didn’t resonate with me in any way.  It was pretty.  That’s about all I’ve got.  If you have kids, then this movie is fine.  Otherwise there shouldn’t be much inspiration to see it.

NOW YOU SEE ME

WRITTENVIDEO

I liked the premise of this movie more than I liked the movie itself.  The idea of people using magic tricks to rob banks and fight was a cool idea, but there wasn’t quite enough magic in the storytelling.  Telling us to look for misdirection made me do just that, and the rest of the story and the mystery they were going for just unfolded.  But the movie was presented very well and the performances were pretty great.  I wouldn’t buy this movie, but I’m not bummed that I watched it.

JUNE

THE BLING RING

I don’t know why I saw this movie.  Oh wait, yes I do.  It was Emma Watson.  When I eventually meet and marry Emma Watson, I feel like it would offend her if I say I haven’t seen all of her movies.  Hopefully she won’t ask me if I liked them all as well because this movie didn’t really work for me.  Most of the movie is pretty people sitting around having inane conversations.  Then those pretty people start robbing places while having the same inane conversations.  The characters in this movie just made me angry with their stupidity, but I guess I can’t really blame the movie because this stuff actually happened.  But I wouldn’t have hung out with the real people and I don’t really want to hang out with the fake versions by watching their movie.  Most of the performances were fine, but there just wasn’t anything in the movie I cared to watch.  Except for Emma Watson.

WORLD WAR Z

WRITTENVIDEO

People hated this movie a lot because of the changes they made from the book.  I have not and will not read the book, so none of that bothered me.  And that allowed me to enjoy the movie.  The story was interesting all of the way through, even though a few parts were a little slow and a couple of things didn’t make sense to me.  It looked really good and the action created a lot of excitement and suspense.  And all of the performances in the movie were great.  I had no complaints.

WHITE HOUSE DOWN

This was the funny version of Olympus Has Fallen.  Well, it WANTED to be funny.  I don’t know if I’d say it fully arrived at that benchmark.  All you really need to know going into this movie is that it’s a Rolland Emmerich movie.  Like all of his movies that I’ve seen, they’re really stupid, but they lavish in their stupidity.  If you’re going to make stupid movies, overcome that with lots of fun.  Shut off your brain and start clapping at shiny things and pretty colors, because I kinda recommend you rent this movie.

JULY

THE LONE RANGER

This movie was beaten up by critics, but I actually didn’t mind it.  I didn’t think it was good, but I didn’t find it painful as most of them seemed to.  I have no ties with the Lone Ranger mythos so this movie didn’t ruin anything.  I also like the quirky Johnny Depp performances, though it seems most critics do not.  Captain Jack Sparrow was a lot of fun, even if you put a dead bird on his head.  I thought this money had a decent amount of funny moments and some decent enough action.  And only one of those action scenes was ruined with the old Lone Ranger music that completely didn’t fit the scene.  I don’t think this was a good movie, but I’d call it an okay movie.  I recommend renting this movie and reaching your own conclusions about it.  I think the criticism has been a little unjust.

RED 2

I really liked the first RED movie.  I wasn’t expecting it to be as cool and stylized as it was, and the action was great.  Then they came out with this movie.  It tried to be as cool and stylized as the first movie, but it felt more like it was just repeating the first movie with a slightly different and less interesting story.  In the first movie he stepped out of a spinning car.  In this one he steps into a spinning car!  But I’ve seen that already!  Show me something new because your story isn’t that interesting and your cast isn’t trying that hard, even though they’re mostly spectacular actors.  And I’m always down to watch Mary-Louise Parker.  She’s hot, cute and funny.  Speaking of which…

R.I.P.D.

She was in R.I.P.D. also!  And I liked this movie more than I liked RED 2 while still not thinking it was that great of a movie.  This movie also had nothing special in the story or the action, but I think what made the movie work was the chemistry between the actors.  Ryan Reynolds is likeable, Jeff Bridges is basically doing Rooster Cogburn from True Grit (which is always a good thing), and Mary-Louise Parker is Mary-Louise Parker.  This movie is fine for a rental.

THE CONJURING

A horror movie never really needs to win with the story.  There’s a haunting and you can either fix it by finding what it wants and taking care of it or leaving the house.  I guess you can also just die, but that’s no way to end a movie.  What a horror movie really needs to do is create an atmosphere that builds anxiety, gets you on the edge of your seat, and frightens you.  This movie did that fairly well.  It didn’t really frighten, but it did create a nice spooky atmosphere that made this movie acceptable as a horror movie.  It wasn’t quite good enough to need to see in theaters, but now that you can rent it, I can get behind recommending that you do that.

THE WOLVERINE

The real problem with this movie is that it totally should’ve been in my best of for this year, but I just couldn’t do that.  How can you make a movie involving the X-Men or one of their biggest characters that doesn’t get me going?  ME!!  I love the X-Men!  Avengers was my best movie of the entire year last year!  You’re already closer than any other movie before I even see you!  I guess this movie wasn’t really that much closer because X-Men Origins: Wolverine was so bad that I was torn about what I should think as I went into it.  It was better than that piece of shit, but still not great.  The story was okay but the dialog was deflating.  And I guess the story is to blame for the feeling that Wolverine himself was a little diminished because they decided to take away his healing abilities, but they didn’t let it diminish him nearly as much as I expected it to.  But if you’re building a movie around such a great character, you can’t come mediocre.

AUGUST

WE’RE THE MILLERS

I didn’t find myself particularly interested in seeing this movie at first.  I like Jason Sudeikis well enough, but I’ve seen him in some bad movies before so he’s not really a draw.  But one of my friends did recommend this movie, so I decided to give it a shot.  Okay, it was really because Jennifer Aniston looked hot as a stripper.  And she was!  And this movie wasn’t that bad.  It had plenty enough funny moments and it had Jennifer Aniston getting sexy.  That’s good enough for me.

ELYSIUM

I didn’t have any inspiration to see this movie.  I wasn’t that big of a fan of District 9 and didn’t feel inspired to see the movie that followed it up and seemed extremely similar.  But as the end of the year was approaching, a lot of people were telling me that this movie would definitely be making it on their best movies of the year, so I felt the need to at least give it a shot.  I still feel like I was right.  Just like District 9, a lot of people like it but I didn’t get that excited by it.  The story was okay but really just seemed like it broke down to, “Rich people are bad!”  The performances were okay, but I could definitely see what some people were saying about the accents sounding weird, but I thought that Kruger guy’s accent was way weirder than Jodie Fosters.  I guess the thing I noted about this movie that it did well was the gore.  There was a lot of really cool gore in this movie, from people’s faces getting blasted out to guys blowing up, but other than that I wasn’t really into it.  But since so many people seemed to love this movie, I’d still recommend that you watch it.  You might be one of … THEM!

KICK-ASS 2

I was a huge fan of the original Kick-Ass movie, but this one fell a little flat with me.  It didn’t lose me completely, but it had a high bar to measure up to that it just couldn’t.  The action was a little spread out for my tastes, but was good when it happened.  The story wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was good.  And the performances were great as we had seen in the first movie.  So basically what I’m saying for this movie is that there was nothing particularly wrong with it, but the first one was better.  Still at least worth a rental.  If I hadn’t forgotten that it’s out on DVD already, I probably would’ve remembered to buy it already.

JOBS

I confess that my only inspiration to watch this movie was in hopes of having a movie to put in my worst movies of the year list.  Ashton Kutcher is in it!  How could it lose?!  Well it did because it was just mediocre and not horrible.  It’s basically just the life of Steve Jobs, which is somewhat interesting, I suppose.  Probably more so if you’re a big Apple lover.  But I’m writing this on Microsoft Word.  Microsoft Word is running on Windows 8.  Windows 8 is running on a computer I built.  I use only one Apple product.  I don’t really care about Steve Jobs life.  This movie would’ve had to be much better or much worse for me to have paid much attention to it.  I’m not going to recommend it unless you’re some crazy Machead.

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES

I won’t be going too in depth with this review because my friend Tara specifically requested this movie as a video review.  I usually don’t accept requests for video reviews because a movie needs to have a lot of material for mocking to be worthy of a video review.  Tara seemed aware of that when she suggested this movie.  It’s not bad, but it’s definitely not for me.  It’s another movie that makes me think I need to write some vaguely sci-fi fantasy love story for teens.  Those things are blowing up right now.  Even the worst of them is being turned into a movie in hopes of becoming the next Harry Potter or Twilight.  Well this movie is kind of Twilight.  I didn’t like that movie either.  It’s not a painfully bad movie, but it’s not really worth watching.  What probably will be worth watching is my video review of this movie.  I took a lot of notes on this thing.

SEPTEMBER

HELL BABY

I like a lot of people involved in this movie.  Tom Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Rob Corddry, Keegan-Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Michael Ian Black, Kumail Nanjiani, etc.  I like all of these people.  And the female one got full on naked in the movie.  Okay, THAT’S probably the real reason I watched it.  But the movie was pretty good too.  It looked pretty good and the writing was okay, but the cast they got elevated what would otherwise be okay jokes well into funny.  It’s definitely at least worth checking out.

RIDDICK – VIDEO

I haven’t been that big of a fan of the Riddick series, but I decided to see this movie because it was there when I went to the theaters once.  It’s really not far removed from a remake of the first movie that made the character popular.  I would never have been so bold as to go into this movie expecting much out of the story, but if they’re not going to have a fantastic story they at least need some good action.  Even that wasn’t anything special.  They just want to constantly remind us that Riddick is a badass.  The best way to do that is to make a cool movie next time.  Let’s try that one out if we make another.

INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2

I feel like I could cut and paste my review for Kick-Ass 2 into this and have the same effect.  Solid movie, but the first movie was better.  The story was just okay and some of the things didn’t make that much sense to me, but didn’t bother me that much in the long run.  Some of the things they did were cool and innovative and the performances in the movie were pretty strong.  The thing that I can say about this movie and not Kick-Ass 2 is that it didn’t really build tension and didn’t really scare as it should have.  It’s still an okay movie, worthy at least of a rental.

OCTOBER

CARRIE

I was forced to watch this movie as part of my midterm for my Film Criticism class where I had to compare this movie to the original.  But I didn’t like the original that much, so how would a remake do?  The answer is fairly well.  I liked the remake much more than I liked the original, but that’s not saying too much.  I guess I’d call the remake of Carrie, “Okay.”  The story was almost identical and the only performance I’d say that I missed from the original movie was Sissy Spacek.  Chloë Moretz did a good job, but Spacek was probably better.  Piper Laurie was always a little over the top for my taste and Julianne Moore played it much more real.  The main improvement was in the look, which would obviously have been improved over the years.  I liked this movie better than the original, but I still only thought this movie was okay.  At least worth a rental, but not necessarily a purchase that needs to happen.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD

The original Thor didn’t do that much for me, but I’ve also never been that big of a fan of Thor in the first place.  I didn’t really start liking Thor as a character until the Avengers movie.  I also like everyone that was involved in that movie in any capacity.  The sequel was a fairly big improvement from the original.  These kinds of movies always benefit from not having to explain all the setup and background stuff to the audience.  This movie also benefited from having an entertaining and even sometimes humorous script to work with, as well as some solid action and great actors.  I especially liked Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgård, who were the ones that brought the most humor to their performances.  Hemsworth, Portman, and Hiddleston also did the great jobs that I would expect from them.  I’d recommend this movie for a purchase.  That’s probably what I’ll be doing.

NOVEMBER

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

You may recall that the first Hunger Games movie made it into my list of the worst movies of the year.  Since you’re not finding this part of the review in that section, it can be assumed that this movie went a little better.  And it’s true that this movie was better than the first one.  I still think the names are stupid and I’d prefer Elizabeth Banks as hot instead of all Lady Gaga’ed out, but they weren’t as annoying with their camera choices allowing them to capture the action better.  I’m still not too big of a fan of the story, but I wouldn’t really begrudge anyone for liking this movie as I did for the first movie.  Hopefully it’s a sign of exponential growth for the next movie, but only time will tell.

DECEMBER

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

The biggest problem I’ve had with the Hobbit movies so far is my anger over the fact that there does not seem to be a need for these to be split into three movies.  This time I got angry that I didn’t see Smaug desolate anything, but I was happy that I didn’t have to spend a half hour watching dwarves eat dinner and play with dishes.  Instead, we get into a slightly more interesting section of the story and are treated to some great action and fight scenes thanks to our new elven friends introduced in this movie.  Even if this movie should have been part of only one or two Hobbit movies, it was still an interesting movie to watch.  I’m hoping the third one will be a lot better because we’ll finally get to see Smaug do something interesting, and we’ll find that out later.

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

I think the problem with this movie is that it was a sequel.  One problem it encountered was the fact that the first Anchorman is such a classic that it’s going to be hard to live up to that.  The second problem is that, in order to live up to its predecessor, it’s going to try to rehash the jokes we loved in the first one.  People loved the joke about Paul Rudd’s cologne in the first one.  Let’s do that again and try to ramp it up a little bit.  But I’ve already seen that joke!  Too bad!  There were some very funny moments in this movie, but I doubt it will be anywhere near as quoted as the original was.  The cast is still great though.  Carell and Wiig’s relationship is hilarious, and the cameos in the news battle are epic.  I still say this is a movie that is worth seeing, but it’s not as good as the original, and you should go in knowing that.

47 RONIN

We all had expectations for this movie.  It’s like the Last Samurai with Keanu Reeves.  It simply must be terrible.  But it actually isn’t.  It’s certainly not fantastic, but it’s okay.  Much like Last Samurai, actually.  The story wasn’t anything shocking, but I suppose it’s also somewhat based on a real myth, so they probably tried to stick to something around that.  Most of the visuals worked well and some of the action was pretty exciting, and the performances weren’t bad.  I still take issue with any Keanu Reeves performance where he doesn’t use the word, “Whoa,” but I’m sure that’s something he’s actually trying to avoid.  This movie isn’t something you necessarily need to go and see while it’s in theaters, but I’d recommend it for a rental.

THE WORST FILMS OF 2013

HONORABLE MENTIONS

BULLET TO THE HEAD

You could say this movie was mediocre, but only if you were being nice.  In reality, it’s pretty damned boring.  The story was simple and the dialogue was crap, and they didn’t even have the common decency to fix those problems with some great action.  At least not until the very end of the movie, but they had lost me a long time before that.  There’s no good reason to watch this except to make fun of it.

AFTER EARTH – VIDEO

We all know what this is.  It’s a bad movie, yes, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was treated like.  The story is completely lame.  It’s a really long fetch quest.  Spend an entire movie getting to the ass of your ship to light off a rescue beacon.  The look also wanted to be spectacular, but never really impressed.  Will Smith was okay, but I don’t really like him as a jerk.  I like him in comedies.  And the entire movie seemed like it wanted us to care about Jaden Smith.  I still don’t recommend that.  I also don’t recommend this movie.

THE LAST EXORCISM PART II

The thing that made me most angry about this movie is the stupidity of its title.  The Last Exorcism … Part Two.  The second final exorcism.  The last movie was the Last Exorcism and this one is the next one.  I hate you going into this movie.  And then you’re not a very good movie.  There wasn’t anything impressive in the story and none of the movie was particularly scary.  The only thing good in the movie was Ashley Bell.  She’s pretty good.  But there’s still no reason to see the movie.

FIFTH WORST

Machete Kills (2013)MACHETE KILLS

Some people like a good campy movie.  That is my assumption at least because they’ve made two Machete movies and seem to be making a third one.  I thought the Grindhouse movies had their charms, but the first Machete was fairly mediocre and the second one was just crap.  I get the feeling like they wanted their story to be shitty because it was within the camp parameters they were going for, but I don’t have any appreciation for camp.  Maybe if they had some good action or performances it could make it more tolerable, but camp doesn’t allow for that either.  All it allows for is a super basic story, unconvincing violence, less than spectacular action, and cheesy performances.  I see no reason to watch this movie.

FOURTH WORST

Getaway (2013)GETAWAY

As best I can tell, no one wanted to see this movie.  It’s like the movie Phonebooth if the phone booth had wheels and an annoying ex-Disney star in there with you.  The bad guy had no discernable purpose in the movie and his motivation would qualify as the entirety of the story.  Was he trying to make money or was he trying to make a former race car driver believe in his abilities again?  I can’t remember and I don’t give a shit.  Either option qualifies as either boring and average or stupid.  If you’re interested in car chases, this movie has that in spades.  But if you’re not, then this movie might come across as a series of boring with no other purpose … like it did with me.  For the performances, Ethan Hawke did okay and Jon Voight did as good as you could with a mostly exclusively vocal performance, but it should not shock anyone that Selena Gomez cannot pull off being a badass little thug girl.  Go ahead and skip this movie.

THIRD WORST

The Purge (2013)THE PURGE

What?  Ethan Hawke is back already?!  There’s no way I’d have movies that would share actors again in this list.  But this movie sucked.  I kind of knew it would because that’s all I had heard about it before I decided to watch it.  They were right.  I guess the premise of the movie was cool enough, but it also doesn’t really seem to make that much sense to me.  I would like to think that, given a day where the illegal were legal, that most people wouldn’t take that opportunity to go around killing people.  It’s perhaps a bit naïve way to look at the world, but it’s how I prefer to.  It just makes me feel better.  But even if I wasn’t out looking to kill people, you’d better believe I would kill someone that came into my house trying to kill me and my family, whether there were rules that day or not and whether they were just some random gang of jerk kids or my asshole neighbors.  Neither would survive the night while I was still alive and kickin’.  And if I had anything to say about it, my whole family would survive as well … except for maybe my asshole daughter.  She got on my nerves, regardless of her somewhat hotness.  So basically what I’m saying is this was an interesting premise that frustrated me with its shitty writing and underwhelming everything else.  So I’m not recommending this either.

RUNNER UP

Spring Breakers (2013)SPRING BREAKERS

What?!  Now Selena Gomez is back!  Was the Getaway so bad that I hated every actor in it enough to hate any other movies they were in?  No, they just picked some bad movies this year.  And Selena Gomez is garbage.  Also, I hate Harmony Korine movies.  Other critics love this guy’s movies because of their social commentary or whatever.  I hate them because they seem like pretentious artsy crap.  And that’s what this movie felt like to me.  It was filled with annoying people I don’t want to be around or watch on film.  A bunch of annoying girls that rob people, a bunch of guys whose brains have been fried by drugs, and a rapper who would tattoo an ice cream cone on his face and can’t act.  The story of this movie was super simplistic and the movie was prolonged by having the movie repeat itself constantly.  I imagine this movie was actually half as long as it turned out if they cut out all the moments of repeating themselves, and those moments made the movie feel twice as long as it actually was.  Is there social commentary in this movie?  Probably, but there are less annoying ways to present that message.  As it was, the only thing I enjoyed about this movie was the titties.  They were abundant.  But you can also find that stuff on the internet without an annoying movie to accompany them.

THE WORST MOVIE OF 2013

Movie 43 (2013)MOVIE 43

This movie was aggressively and furiously unfunny, filled with a level of comedy that I assume might amuse people that could consider it a wonderful and productive night to sit around and say “underwear” and “poop” to be met with uproarious laughter.  My mother tells me that this was my pinnacle of comedy … when I was 2.  So if you hate your 2-year-old, this might be the movie to show them.  The movie even seemed aware of how painfully bad their jokes were because it was bookended by scenes of a person pitching this movie to a studio and being turned down because of how painfully unfunny and blatantly offensive their attempts at humor were, so much so that he was only able to get the movie green lit by pulling a gun and a grenade on the studio head.  I think that was based on a true story.  Worse than their attempts at comedy were what they did to people I like and respect.  It opens with Wolverine on a date with Academy Award Winner Kate Winslet and Wolverine … has balls on his neck.  And that’s the entire joke.  They then went on to dilute my affections for people like Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Patrick Warburton, Anna Faris, John Hodgman, Matt Walsh, Seth MacFarlane, and Stephen Merchant, just to name a few.  If some of those people had any input in the script at all, they could have made a funny movie.  Instead, even their rare funny premises had shit thrown at them (literally) in order to sustain them as a sketch.  The most painful thing this movie caused was that people I know and respect for their sense of humor said that they laughed at one or two points during this movie.  That was the unkindest cut of all.

 

THE BEST FILMS OF 2013

HONORABLE MENTIONS

IRON MAN 3

Iron Man 3 was a good movie, but the nerdiness in me was ultimately disappointed by what it delivered.  I liked the story, but I absolutely hated what they did with the Mandarin.  I was not asking for them to go supernatural with the character and give him a set of magical rings; I was only asking for what I was promised.  You made the Mandarin into a real world style terrorist from what I saw in the trailers, and Ben Kingsley rocked that part of the performance.  But that’s not the way you went, was it?  I was completely deflated at the reveal for the Mandarin and it at least partially ruined the movie for me.  But the story was pretty good and the action was solid, although I didn’t really appreciate how disposable the Iron Man suits were.  Enemies were cutting through them like butter and Tony Stark was jumping into new ones to get destroyed.  I think he builds them a little bit sturdier than that.  But I did like the movie and the performances were expectedly great, I just couldn’t help but be disappointed by parts of it.

PACIFIC RIM

WRITTENVIDEO

I liked this movie a lot, but I couldn’t put it much higher than an honorable mention because the story was nothing special.  It wasn’t a bad story, but there was nothing new or unexpected in it.  But fuck you if you saw this movie expecting more than that.  I saw this movie for monsters and robots punching each other in the face.  And this movie brings that.  It looks great, it actually feels like giant robots and monsters laying waste to each other, and the action is plentiful.  Nothing special in this movie by way of story or acting, but that action makes it worth the ride.

MAN OF STEEL

WRITTENVIDEO

There were things that were not to be liked in this movie, but I thought the movie was pretty well done anyway.  Sure, it doesn’t seem like Superman to engage in combat that would level his two favorite cities, but I don’t like Superman anyway, so I don’t really care that it didn’t seem like Superman.  What did seem like Superman was the story.  It was the same story we’ve seen before in any number of Superman origin stories, and nearly identical to the story of Superman 2, but at least they didn’t use the old staple of the green rock to create drama as they have with every other Superman movie in the past.  But overall, the performances were good and the action was solid, so this was still an enjoyable watch, and probably the best Superman movie I’ve seen.

FIFTH BEST

The World's End (2013)THE WORLD’S END

I recently got into a conversation with a friend of mine who mentioned this movie as a great disappointment.  I reminded him that the only reason he could find this movie disappointing is because it was the third part in a very strong trilogy of movies.  On its own, this movie was really good.  It was a strong story that maybe lost itself in getting a little heavy handed and had a weak ending, but it counteracted that with a good amount of funny and awesome moments.  And the cast is fantastic.  The only real problem with this movie is that Shaun of the Dead is one of the best movies ever in my opinion, and Hot Fuzz is a fantastic movie as well.  Compared to those movies, it doesn’t quite match up.  On its own, it’s a solid movie that’s definitely worth watching.

FOURTH BEST

Evil Dead (2013)EVIL DEAD

I thought this movie was awesome.  Look, I respect the original Evil Dead (even with its camp appeal), but I always liked the following two movies better because they just went for outright comedy instead of camp.  It never really worked as a horror movie for me.  The remake, however, did.  I felt like they improved on the original in every way.  It looked better and that brought better gore.  Neither one of these movies was ever actually able to scare me, but they had some suspense and this one works really well as a slasher flick.  The performances were pretty good in this movie as well and the only thing that left me wanting was the lack of Bruce Campbell.  He wouldn’t really have made sense in this movie, but Bruce is awesome and I’m always going to miss him if you remake one of his movies without him.  But he was the only thing I missed, and I thought this movie was pretty awesome.

THIRD BEST

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

WRITTENVIDEO

This movie is a total win for me.  I’ve always made public the fact that I chose Star Wars in the Trek/Wars conflict and never really gave Star Trek a chance.  The first Star Trek remake movie was really good, but Into Darkness was so good that it actually made a Star Trek fan out of me.  The story was fantastic, exciting, emotional, and suspenseful, so much so that it inspired me to watch the entire original series, the entire original movie series, and even purchase and get into Next Generation.  That’s a lot of inspiration caused by one movie.  That kind of inspiration can only be caused by some good writing, some fantastic performances, and some great action, and that’s what this movie delivers.  It’s not going to win any non-visual Academy Awards, but fuck those weepy drama movies.  Give me an awesome action movie any day.

RUNNER UP

This Is the End (2013)THIS IS THE END

I regretted having to write a review for this movie.  I pride myself in occasionally being able to add a little bit of comedy to a movie by making jokes in my reviews, but how could I add comedy to one of the best comedies I’ve seen in years.  I don’t think I’ve found a movie as consistently funny as this one since Airplane!  I could scarcely go 5 minutes in this movie without laughing out loud, and the same could be said about the second time I watched the movie after I purchased it.  Using the end of the world as a backdrop for a comedy is an innovative idea, but the writing in that regard was a little simplistic.  Being that it was a comedy, the only writing that actually has merit is the joke writing, and that was fantastic, and was made even better because they got a cast full of some of the best comedic actors around.  This is a fantastic and hilarious movie that you need to check out.

THE BEST MOVIE OF 2013

Gravity (2013)GRAVITY

I had no interest in seeing this movie.  Mainly because it had Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in it.  That isn’t usually my type of movie.  But after my Film Criticism teacher kept talking about this movie week after week, I finally decided that I should give the movie a shot.  And I’m very glad I did.  There wasn’t much in the story of this movie as it was basically just a story of survival, but it was how they told that story that made it so effective and made me like it so much.  I haven’t been able to refer to the suspense a movie creates as “edge of your seat” in quite some time, but I couldn’t think of any other way to refer to this movie.  It barely ever let up on the suspense!  Once it got going, I doubt my back touched the chair I was watching from.  The movie also effectively captured what I imagine it would feel like to be viewing all of this from space.  I felt queasy and disoriented through parts of the movie, just as I imagine I would in zero gravity.  I haven’t seen many Sandra Bullock performances that are regarded as good, but she was fantastic in this movie.  You should definitely see this movie, but the real shame will be if you didn’t go see it in theaters.  I think it would be much more effective in a more immersive setting like that.

Congratulations to any of you that actually read all of those words to get to this point.  Hell, congratulations if you only read the top and bottom 5 to 8ish.  As always, don’t forget to leave me a comment on this review with your thoughts about my choices and your opinions on what are the best and worst movies of the year.  I love to read those.

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)


This is the World’s Only Certainty.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)I’ve had my ups and downs with the Assassin’s Creed series in the past, but I’ve generally ended up liking them all.  Assassin’s Creed 3 was a little underwhelming, but the one part I did like seemed to have been turned into its own game with today’s game.  But the main inspiration for the purchase of this game was that it was one of the very few games releasing with the Xbox One that I was interested in.  I needed games to make my investment in the Xbone seem worthwhile, and this game became one of the two.  This game is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, developed by Ubisoft Montreal, published by Ubisoft, and including the voices of Matt Ryan, Olivia Morgan, Mark Bonnar, Oliver Milburn, Nolan North, Ed Stoppard, Ralph Ineson, Sarah Greene, O.T. Fagbenle, and Tristan D. Lalla.

Abstergo has taken a new approach at ruling the world by creating Abstergo Entertainment, who gets people to sift through the memories of the now-deceased Desmond Miles (Nolan North) by disguising them as video games.  I am so in!  Our character is an employee of Abstergo Entertainment assigned to explore the life of an eighteenth-century pirate named Edward Kenway (Matt Ryan), who later fathers Haytham Kenway, who later fathers Connor Kenway and stars in his own game.  As Edward, you kill an Assassin and assume his clothing, getting yourself wrapped up in a fight between the Assassins and the Templars.  Refusing to take a side, you spend more of your time aligning yourself with random pirates, such as Blackbeard (Mark Bonnar), Bartholomew Roberts (Oliver Milburn), Benjamin Hornigold (Ed Stoppard), Charles Vane (Ralph Ineson), Anne Bonny (Sarah Greene), “Calico” Jack Rackham (O.T. Fagbenle), and Mary Read (Olivia Morgan).  But, as his journey takes him closer to an ancient artifact known as The Observatory, his goals start to change from selfish ones to something more in line with a creed held by a certain group of people that kill another group of people.

I really liked this game.  It had similar problems that could be found in any of the other Assassin’s Creed games, but I would say the changes they made helped this game work out to be my favorite Assassin’s Creed game to date.  One of the things I’ve always had a problem with is the non-Assassin parts of these games.  That remains in this game.  I don’t know why.  They just slow the pace down on the parts I want to play.  This one was vaguely interesting in the Meta way they make their own company part of Abstergo Enterprises, but my interest didn’t get much further than that.  I still don’t know why they feel the need to have these sections.  Is anybody playing these games to find out what’s going on with Desmond?  Not me!  I’m here to jump off of buildings and stab people in the neck!  And didn’t I destroy the world at the end of the previous game anyway?  I don’t remember, and that’s probably because I don’t really pay attention to these sides of the story.  I liked the Edward Kenway parts a lot.  It was fun being a pirate.  They also had some emotional bits in the story that worked very well.    The way they handled Blackbeard’s fate was very well done and I wasn’t really expecting the reveal involving James Kidd even though the voice should’ve probably given it away.  The only real problem I had with the story is that they didn’t do anything with the Bermuda Triangle.  They were right there!  I went to Florida and everything!  Just seems like such a waste.

As with all of the Assassin’s Creed games, Black Flag looks great.  The only complaints I had were with some of the special armor you can unlock through collectables.  Both the Templar armor and the Mayan armor take a while and some doing to unlock, but getting them ruins everything.  You lose the trademark Assassin hood!  You can’t do that!  I’ve played like 6 games with that hood and I want it right where it is!  And do you know how ridiculous it looks to see Edward grab an invisible hood and pull it over his head because you didn’t change the character’s movements to account for you taking away the hood?  One thing I did appreciate was the sea shanties your crew would sing while you were piloting your ship.  It felt like a GTA radio station for the high seas.

I think the thing that helped this game win most of all with me is that it took all the things I liked from the previous game and built the game around it, and those things were the nautical battles.  I spent hours in this game avoiding the main story and sailing the high seas, looting and plundering ships that got in my way.  And the game seems aware of what drew me in because they started the game with it.  And I like almost all of the nautical battles.  Almost.  There were parts that caused me some frustration that I felt like I didn’t enjoy at the time.  For instance, I didn’t think the process of upgrading a ship made any sense.  Why am I going to a store and paying lots of money to upgrade my ship when I also have to supply the materials for the upgrade?  You don’t go to Best Buy to buy a movie and have to bring a DVD-R with you!  The crew system for your ship was fine.  You could either hire them from a bar or save them from guards or rescue them on the seas.  I preferred the last two options.  They had better fight harder for me if I saved their life instead of just giving them money to join.  The most frustrating thing about the nautical battles was the legendary ships you had to fight.  One of them had a really big ram on the front of their ship it would look to hit you with, and it was made even more annoying by the fact that this ram did not even need to touch you to do damage.  The game would count it as improved damage even when it hit you with its side.  Which TOTALLY makes sense.  And they were all pretty difficult.  I died a lot trying to battle them even with a fully upgraded ship.  I actually got the achievement when I didn’t deserve it because I had destroyed each of the two legendary ships that attack you simultaneously, even though I had never destroyed both at the same time.  But even with the achievement, I still felt like I owed them an ass-whooping so I kept coming back.  I eventually defeated them with extreme cowardice by dropping tons of explosives as I was trying to run away.  Like a boss.

There are other things to the gameplay, of course.  I liked that you can now see where all of the collectables are if you look around from the top of a viewpoint.  There’s still hunting in this game, but you don’t have to do it as much and it doesn’t deduct anything from you if you shoot them because you don’t want to fuck around and have to chase down an iguana.  I did find it extremely hard to find rabbits, especially for a creature that fucks like rabbits.  They should be everywhere!  The usual staple of the Assassin’s Creed games recently is to have some form of strategy game involving sending your crew out to do something for you while you continue with the game.  This game does that with something called Kenway’s Fleet, where you send out ships to do trades with other countries.  This was a forgettable experience, but only annoyed me because you couldn’t tell your ships which ship to fire upon.  It doesn’t make sense that my ships will shoot at different ships when they should be all trying to take out the giant Man O’ War.  Fuck the Schooner!  Let that little bitch shoot at me for a while.  I also still hate the gambling games they include.  Remember in my review for Assassin’s Creed 3 when I told you how I hate Nine Man Morris?  Well they brought it back.  And I still hate it.  But fortunately, there’s not an achievement for it so I didn’t really bother with it much.

Though Assassin’s Creed 4 doesn’t change drastically from the previous incarnations of the game, I would say that the things they did helped Black Flag wind up as my favorite Assassin’s Creed game to date.  The story still has the boring stuff outside of the life of the Assassin, but when you ignore that the story succeeds with a lot of interesting and emotional moments.  The look is as great as it typically is, and they made a smart decision to keep most of the controls the same but make the game a lot heavier with the nautical battles, which I found very satisfying.  Fans will already have purchased this game, and non-fans might not find it worth $60, but it’s been cheaper than that recently and this game is totally worth $40.  I was satisfied at $60.  Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag gets “It might be that this idea is only the beginning of wisdom, and not its final form” out of “In a world without gold, we might have been heroes.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

0028 – Games of 2013 Review


0028 - Games of 2013 ReviewCLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition (2013)


It’s Not What I’m Doing … It’s What I’ve Done.

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition (2013)You could say that my sister has a bad habit of picking the worst game from my Christmas list to get me as a present.  I prefer to think that she has a gift for it, and that the bad habit is my naiveté for assuming I’ll like so many games.  If you’re up to date with my reviews, you’ll know that two years in a row my sister has given me a game that made it into my worst games of the year.  Last year was Twisted Metal, but this year she got me Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition, developed by NetherRealm Studios, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and starring the voices of George Newbern, Kevin Conroy, Adam Baldwin, Susan Eisenberg, Richard Epcar, Phil LaMarr, Neal McDonough, Joey Naber, Khary Payton, Mark Rolston, Tara Strong, Alan Tudyk, Stephen Amell, Troy Baker, Grey DeLisle, Jennifer Hale, J.G. Hertzler, Nolan North, and Fred Tatasciore.

In an alternate reality, the Joker (Richard Epcar) tricks Superman (George Newbern) into killing Lois Lane and destroying Metropolis, sending Superman off the handle to the point where he kills the Joker and establishes a new world order as the High Councilor.  In our reality, the Joker’s plan did not succeed, but did send the heroes from our world over to the other one, where they must join Batman’s (Kevin Conroy) insurgency and try to take down Superman’s regime.

There must be some sort of mistake.  I seem to not have taken any notes on the story of this game.  Of a fighting game!  They’re always so story-driven!  This game didn’t have a bad story (especially when you compare it to other fighting games), but it was fairly forgettable.  I guess I didn’t take any notes about it because it didn’t really make any impact on me one way or another.  It didn’t impress me as being particularly well-written, and I didn’t think of jokes to tear its shittiness apart.  It was roughly as good as any of those straight to DVD DC or Marvel movies.  Take that for what it is.

The thing that really makes or breaks a fighting game is the gameplay.  The problem with that when it comes to me reviewing them is I don’t really like fighting games.  I was interested enough to complete the story and beat the game with a couple of the individual characters to see their specific endings, but as with all other fighting games, once I hit that wall of boredom I hit it hard.  When I reach boredom with a fighting game, there’s no taking a break and coming back to it; I’m out.  Returning to the game is extremely painful at that point.  This game controls like most of the newer Mortal Kombat games.  There’re some punches and some kicks, a few special movies, and a super move for each character.  Nothing revolutionary.  I do like the fighting games that allow you to transition between different sections of the same level by knocking your opponent off of an edge, and this game does that as well.  Of course, once you’ve seen it once you can pretty much put a check mark behind that ‘cause it’s just going to be the same thing over and over.  There were a couple of notable changes to the fighting game mechanics that I noticed.  The first was the health bar system.  Unlike most fighting games that give each character a full health bar for each round, you’re given two from the beginning but do not get full health when you knock out one of the enemies’ health bars.  I actually liked this because it inspires you to do good all the way through as opposed to getting a fresh start because you just got KO’ed.  The other thing I noticed was the Wager system, which I hated.  It basically just gives the opponent the chance to prolong the battle by sacrificing their super bar.  They’re about to die, so they’re not going to need it, but you may have if you were trying to finish the game spectacularly with a super move.  Instead, they wager their entire super bar every time and you have the choice to either sacrifice your ability to do your super move or let them win, damaging you or healing them.  It just seemed like an unnecessary annoyance.

The characters were pretty good in the game.  It’s basically every notable character from DC comics, at least as far as I know.  I’ve never been that big of a fan of DC, but I certainly couldn’t think of anyone else from that universe that I would care to see in the game.  That basically means that Batman is in the game.  But I also resented Batman because they changed his default costume and made it look lame.  Thankfully, that could be repaired with alternate costumes, but you couldn’t fix how lame his super move was.  He basically just jumps up into the air and hits the opponent with the batmobile.  This is Batman we’re talking about!  Stupid ass Aquaman stabs the guy with a trident, hits them with a giant wave, and gets them eaten by a giant shark!  Wonder Woman’s super also sucks because it makes her seem like she needs help because she basically gets her Amazons to come in and beat your opponents ass.  It would’ve been less lame to involve that stupid invisible airplane she used to have.  But there were lots of characters to choose from, and even more because I got the Ultimate Edition.  That means I had even more characters to not care about.  Like Zatanna.  …Yay…

Injustice: Gods Among Us was a decent enough game for those who like fighting games, especially the Mortal Kombat games.  Unfortunately for it, this review was written by me.  I’m not that big of a fan of DC and I’m not that big of a fan of fighting games.  Kind of makes you wonder why I asked for this game in the first place, doesn’t it?  Well I am a complicated individual, but I will not complicate my review any more than I need to.  If you like DC and fighting games, buy it.  Otherwise, skip it.  Injustice Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition gets “There is no justice!” out of “You could feel the love, right?”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE! YouTube OTHER JOKES HERE! Twitter BE A FAN HERE! Facebook If you like these reviews so much, spread the word. Keep me motivated! Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

The Games of 2013


Another year down, another year closer to death, and another year spent ignoring those facts by playing video games and watching movies.  2013 was an interesting year for gaming.  A lot of great games were released this year, leaving me fully confident that I’d be able to pull a top 5 and maybe even a top 10.  As usual, I’m not that confident about being able to find enough games for the bottom half of my list because I didn’t really make good use of my Gamefly this year.  But this was also an interesting year for video games because we got some brand spankin’ new consoles in the Xbox One and the PS4 … that brought nothing significant for games.  I only bought the Xbox One, but none of the games for that system would come close to my top 5 for the year.  And I didn’t buy the PS4 because its games were even worse.  But there’s still plenty enough to talk about for this year as I present my review for the Games of 2013.

JANUARY

DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY

This game was okay.  The series had gotten a little stale so they decided to try to sexy it up a little bit and change Dante’s look.  Some people got mad about that.  I didn’t care.  I meant about the game.  It was a standard Devil May Cry game, and I’ve not been that interested in those in any of their incarnations.  Beat the shit out of your X button until all the enemies on screen are dead.  A nice enough way to kill time, but certainly not a must have title.

FEBRUARY

FIRE EMBLEM AWAKENING

This game was actually the very first game I played on the 3DS that I purchased some months later.  I finally decide to purchase a 3DS because of the Pokémon release, and this game seemed to be the most interesting.  And it was.  The gameplay was enjoyable turn-based strategy stuff, but I found myself completely obsessed with the romance system in the game.  I tried to get everyone in my team to fuck everyone else in my team.  And then when they did and their children came back from the future to join my team (this actually happens!), I tried to get the kids from the different families together.  I would talk more about the satisfying gameplay or the nice graphics, but I really spent all my time playing matchmaker in this game, and I still enjoyed it.

DEAD SPACE 3

I’ve liked the Dead Space series in the past, and technically I’d say I enjoyed this game as well.  The problem is that I no longer remember it.  It was just like the other Dead Space games but with more snow.  I do remember liking the story, the graphics, and the gameplay, so I’d still say I’d recommend playing it even if it is somewhat forgettable.  It’s probably only $20 by now, and it’s definitely worth that.

CRYSIS 3

This is another game that I entirely forgot existed.  If you’ve ever played a Crysis game, well this is another one.  It’s really pretty, it does nothing to advance the genre of the first-person shooter, and the story is never anything special.  And neither are the games.  They’re fun enough, but not spectacular.

MARCH

GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION

I’ve owned this game since I got it as a gift for my birthday in June.  I still have not felt any reason to play it.  I guess I kind of assumed that the game got shitty reviews, but as I look it up to write this it turns out that it’s been generally favorable.  I will need to find out where I put my copy and get around to it now, I suppose.

GEARS OF WAR: JUDGMENT

Now this game I did play.  I’m not sure why.  It wasn’t bad, but it was Gears of War as all the secondary characters I never cared about.  Except Cole-Train-Baby-Woo, whose name I will not say any other way.  There’s nothing wrong with this game, but there’s nothing special or significant about it either.  Have you played Gears of War before?  Well this looks and plays exactly like that.  That’s not a bad thing, but you’re not going to get anywhere near the top of my lists by rehashing.

APRIL

STAR TREK

Ooooo, I wish I had played you!  I saw some game footage.  This game looks stupid and broken as shit.  WHY DID I NOT PLAY YOU?!  Gamefly!  Get me Star Trek on the phone, stat!

MAY

METRO: LAST LIGHT

I just recently started playing this game.  I felt like I wanted to get this game all year, and it was eating at me every time I saw it on the shelf.  I saw it go on sale numerous times, but never went low enough that I felt I should take the risk.  But it finally reached the price I needed it to be: Free!  My sister gave me this game for Christmas, so I’ve only been playing it a little.  The game could complain that it wasn’t given the best chance to make it into my top games because I haven’t even beaten it yet, but I think I’ve played enough to be able to say it was in no danger of that anyway.  It’s good, but you came out in the same year as GTAV, BioShock Infinite, and Tomb Raider.  You’re going to have to step your game up for that.  The story is forgettable so far, but the graphics are nice and the gameplay is fun.  Just not really exceptional in any way that I’ve yet found.

FAST & FURIOUS: SHOWDOWN

Remember what I said about the Star Trek game.  Same goes for this one.  I didn’t play it, and I think we all know exactly why.

FUSE

I played a demo of this game and found it to be acceptable.  I would totally play this game when it dropped down to $20.  But they don’t usually release games that aren’t total garbage at $20, and when they finally dropped the price to around that low, I was no longer interested.  I’ll probably get it eventually, so you can call this a recommendation if the game is already $20.  But I know that I’ve definitely given better recommendations before.

JUNE

DEADPOOL

I have been (and still remain) very interested in playing this game.  Deadpool is one of my favorite comic book characters and is one of the few comic books that I read regularly anymore.  Sadly, it did not appear that Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan (writers of the Deadpool comics and stars of one of my favorite podcasts, Nerd Poker) had anything to do with this game.  If I couldn’t even rely on the comedy of the story to keep my interest in this game, it would have to come down the gameplay.  And the gameplay just seemed too standard.  I will eventually play this game, but it’s going to need to be much cheaper than I’ve managed to find it yet.  $20 range sounds about right.

MURAMASA REBIRTH

My roommate got me really excited to play this game.  I had played Muramasa: The Demon Blade on the Wii a few years back (which was around the last time I played anything on the Wii), and I really enjoyed it.  It was super basic gameplay, but I thought the art style was pretty interesting and captivating.  When I heard about Muramasa Rebirth, I was excited at the idea of a sequel.  Then I found out it was just another time that Sony decided that porting things and making them HD was a good enough reason to release a game.  They added some new levels and a few new levels, but I still feel that I’ve already played this and have no reason to do it again.

JULY

NOTHING

AUGUST

PIKMIN 3

I’ve really liked the Pikmin games in the past, but there was one big complication keeping me from getting into this version of the game: the fact that I down own a Wii U.  I’m still waiting for a game to come out that makes the Wii U worth purchasing, and Pikmin just isn’t generally good enough to be that game.

SEPTEMBER

DIABLO III

I was relatively satisfied with my time with Diablo.  My past with Diablo never quite matched up with the series.  I never played the first one and I played the second one at the behest of a friend some years after it came out.  It never impressed me because I was always a few years removed from the time when it was supposed to impress me.  Realizing that, I felt the need to get into Diablo as soon as I could.  When it finally came out, I waited another year to get to it.  NOT MY FAULT!  At first, my computer simply could not handle the game.  When I finally got to build a new computer that was capable of running games, I was aware that they would be putting the game out on console.  Thankfully, I was still able to play the console version in the time where I would still appreciate it.  There’s nothing much to the story of the game, but for someone like me that is completely comfortable with grinding and leveling and dungeon-crawling for the best gear, this game can easily suck hours out of your life.  And that’s basically all you can expect of some games.

OCTOBER

BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS

I was nervous about this game going into it.  I loved the other two games in the Arkham series, but Arkham Origins was not going to be in the hands of Rocksteady Studios, the group that finally figured out the formula for making a good Batman game.  In this games’ defense, they did just steal the formula wholesale from Rocksteady, but you could see the lack of love in it.  It felt ALMOST right, but lacked the polish of a Rocksteady game in the fluidity of the controls.  The story was interesting as an origin story, but also felt like fan appeasement in just trying to throw as many famous enemies in as possible.  Also, you should probably barely bother acting like we’re not going to know who these enemies are because most people playing are fans.  Thought Batman might not know them yet, we know who the Riddler and the Joker are.  But the game was pretty good, it just felt like Rocksteady loved it more and did it better.

ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG

My mind wasn’t blow, but I was pretty well-satisfied with this game.  I was curious how they would handle the dead Desmond in the room for this game, but was hoping they would go with the “Who cares?  You don’t want to play that side of the game anyway!” approach instead of what they did, but the story of the part of the game I care about was interesting.  Who doesn’t on some level want to be a pirate?  Especially if it means that I’ll get to play an entire game of the best part of the last game: the nautical battles!  I spent most of my time in this game sailing around and exploring, occasionally putting that on pause to advance the story a bit.  I wanted it to continue so much that I even got that DLC for it already.  What was it called?  Adéwalé Unchained?

BATTLEFIELD 4

I was on the fence about purchasing one of the big shooters this year.  I invested in an Xbone this year, and I would not be purchasing a game in the past when I had already moved into the future.  But not all of my friends were ready to move into the future, and I have no desire to play multiplayer games with people I don’t know.  This may be a bit of a spoiler for the next review, but I finally decided to buy one of these games and I went with this one.  Battlefield is typically a much better game, it has vehicles, and it is not Call of Duty.  How did I like it?  We’ll find that later … when I play it …

NOVEMBER

CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS

This was finally the year when I stopped allowing myself to be tricked into Call of Duty, even though this year was one made by my preferred publisher: Infinity Ward.  I’m just sick of Call of Duty.  Every year these people put out a game, every year it seems like the same old stuff, and every year my friends tell me to buy it ‘cause we’ll totally play together … and then we don’t.  No more!  If Activision seems like they allowed for some innovation and these game stop seeming like the same old thing, maybe I’ll come back.  For now, I’ve checked out.  I’ll be on Battlefield.

KNACK

One of two exclusive games boasted by the PS4, and the deciding factor for me deciding not to buy it.  I played the demo.  It wasn’t bad, but it just seemed like a rip off of Ratchet and Clank with an added desire to jerk off and show the world how powerful their physics engine could be.

DEAD RISING 3

Dead Rising 3 is the best exclusive game I’ve played.  It also does not have a lot of competition.  But the game is a lot of fun; it’s just not very special.  It’s almost identical to the other Dead Rising games but it looks a little prettier and has a lot of zombies on the screen at the same time.  It could be compared to Knack in that way because both of them just seem to want to show off the power of their system without focusing on much else, but Dead Rising was much more fun than Knack was.  It’s mindless, hack-and-slash fun, but it’s fun nonetheless.

RYSE: SON OF ROME

I haven’t managed to play this game just yet, but it will be played eventually.  It looks visually spectacular, but if I’m going to invest $60 into you, you’re going to need a little more, such as a good story or some good gameplay.  Everything I’ve heard from this game indicates it has barely any story and the gameplay is super repetitive.  That being said, it’s just a matter of time before I buy this game.  As they say, beggars can’t be choosers, and I am desperate for another game for my Xbone.  If I catch wind of this game on sale for even $15 off, I’m probably buying it.

LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS

This game wasn’t really given its fair shake because of Pokémon.  I bought it as soon as it came out, but didn’t start playing it until about a week ago because I just had to catch ‘em all.  Now that I’ve been playing it, I’ve been loving it.  It feels almost identical to A Link to the Past, and that’s one of the best Zelda games ever.  I can’t really talk about the story of the game very much yet as I doubt I’m remotely close to beating it, but it seems mostly like the average story of a Zelda game.  Ganon’s coming back, Zelda is in trouble, and the legendary hero is a small elven boy that finds a cool sword.  That’s the usual stuff, but they also now have a Hyrule and a Lorule.  Get it?!  HIGH-RULE and LOW-RULE!  These people are the cleverest!  But the game has changed because now I can turn into a painting to solve puzzles.  It’s a fun mechanic, but it doesn’t seem like the game has been revolutionized.  Of course, when you’re a Zelda game, you don’t really need to revolutionize.  You just need to recapture, and this game does that.

DECEMBER

GRAN TURISMO 6

I haven’t played this game and I never will, but the reason I felt I needed to put it on my list is because this game is just a stupid idea.  And it also exemplifies the reason I am nervous about buying Sony consoles in the future: they make terrible decisions.  They put out the PSP as the most impressive handheld system to date … and put no games on it.  Years later they learned from their mistakes.  They made the PS Vita, which was the most powerful handheld system to date AND had two analog sticks … and have not yet put games out for it.  Then they put out the PS4 with no games.  Then they release the newest version of their flagship racing franchise … exclusively for the last generation of their system.  How long were you aware that you’d be making a new console, Sony?  About as long as Microsoft?  And where did they put their flagship racing franchise?  Exclusively on the Xbox One, was it?  You make me anxious pulling shit like this, Sony.  Knock it off.

THE WORST GAMES OF 2013

FIFTH WORST

Beyond: Two Souls (2013)BEYOND: TWO SOULS

I had a great experience with this title.  I thought the story was super interesting and the performances by people like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe were just fantastic.  That all sounds like a positive, so what was my problem?  My problem was that I played a really good movie … but I was playing a video game.  Quantic Dream, I know this is how you roll … your thumbstick to make your character turn her head to look over her shoulder …  You make games that are basically really long quick time events and I realize that.  But that is lame.  Can we not just assume my character knows how to get out of bed without my assistance?  Must I hold L1 and R1 to have her put her feet on the floor?  I don’t have to think that much to accomplish that task in real life, so you can go ahead and do that one for me.  But I really liked the story and the graphics, and the actors did pretty great jobs, so I’m going to recommend that you play this movie.

FOURTH WORST

The Last of Us (2013)THE LAST OF US

My problem with The Last of Us was mostly with the hype.  This was a good game that was talked up so hard that it seemed impossible for it to do anything but disappoint.  My roommate and I were still some of the few people that seemed let down by this game.  The story was pretty good and it elicited some emotional responses from me, and the game looked as good as you could in a game with about 50% bland cities.  Maybe it was the gameplay that turned me off because it was thoroughly average, but I think it’s just that the propaganda machine set the expectations too high.

THIRD WORST

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition (2013)INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US – ULTIMATE EDITION

I took my time getting around to this game because it was a fighting game.  Fighting games hold my attention for a matter of hours and when they hit the interest wall, they hit it hard.  I’m not competitive enough to play a fighting game until I get good at it, nor do I intend to analyze frame rates to be really good at them.  I basically just beat the story and then fall asleep.  But I got the ULTIMATE EDITION!!  And that meant I had a few more characters to get bored with quickly.

RUNNER UP

Saints Row IV (2013)SAINTS ROW IV

This game created an unnatural amount of anger in me.  They’re just trying to hard now.  This game always seemed to be a blatant GTA rip off that didn’t take itself seriously.  I respected that.  I was never as big of a fan of GTA as everyone else was, and injecting a little more comedy into the equation worked for me on occasion.  This game seemed to indicate that the series was bored ripping off GTA and wanted to go off on their own … and rip off Crackdown.  That’s a great idea!  Rip off a far lesser game instead!  The story was nothing special and the comedy was mostly lost on me, seeming at times that their equation for comedy was just to have regular things happen, but this time make the character naked or holding a dildo.  And if you really want to blow the audiences minds, both.  The game was also somewhat glitchy when I played it, and the game also seemed to embrace glitches and make them part of the game since you were supposed to be inside a video game anyway.  And why not?  Gamers love glitches!  I was so irritated and deflated by this game that I was never able to beat it.  I just got bored one day and wandered off into the living room with the game still on, never to play it again.

THE LOSER

Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013)ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES

Now this here game was a terrible piece of shit.  It demanded to set itself in the world of the Aliens movies, but the story it decided on was going to go ahead and ignore all of that.  Hicks is alive!  He managed to get off the escape vessel, but didn’t care enough to rescue Newt or Ripley so they could go on to die in Alien 3.  He had time to save them too, since he obviously had time to dump a decoy body in his place.  But why would he do that?  This game explains it with, “Long story.”  Great.  So Michael Biehn agreed to do the game so you just decided to make up whatever bullshit to fit him in.  You certainly didn’t need him as you were never able to make his character look like him, or anything in your game look good for that matter.  At first blush, this game is a standard first-person shooter, but when you play it more you realize it’s actually a shitty first-person shooter.  There’s nothing in this game worth its existence.

 

THE BEST GAMES OF 2013

FIFTH BEST

Grand Theft Auto V (2013)GRAND THEFT AUTO V

I’m never going to be able to please the part of my audience that adores the Grand Theft Auto series, just as the Grand Theft Auto series seems unlikely to ever be able to please me.  I’ve never been able to find the same level of enjoyment in these games as they do.  I’ve even tried to study how these people play the game in hopes of finding that I’ve been doing it wrong.  Apparently I have been because I tend to try to complete the story and do all the side missions while these people play the game online (when Rockstar gets around to releasing it) or run around the city with no objective save for collecting wanted levels until they get killed and start it all over again.  How is that fun?  How is it possible to spend hours shooting random civilians and cops until you finally succumb to bullets, and then starting the cycle anew?  I don’t know, but they do.  I don’t really attempt to argue with people about the fun factor involved in this game, but I need a little more out of a game to put it in a “Best Of” list.  The story in this game is okay, but it is highly unlikely that this game will inspire me to come back to it.  Of course I’ll recommend this game, but I’m not going to act like it’s the best game of the year as many others might.

FOURTH BEST

Pokemon X and Y (2013)POKÉMON X AND Y

I love this game far more than I should, and I know I have a problem.  I can’t help but catch ‘em all!  I buy both games so that I can truly catch ‘em all and send ‘em to myself so that I may be Lord Almighty of Pokémon!  The reason I rate these games so highly is that, if you’re into these kinds of games at all, then a mere investment of $40 can get you hundreds of hours of play.  Since I don’t go for first-person shooters online that much anymore, I can find no better way to get more bang for my buck than a Pokémon game.  This game was a pretty large graphical improvement from other Pokémon games because they now had 3D to play with, but not a whole lot else has changed.  The story might not involve Team Rocket in this one, but it might as well have.  Bad team is causing trouble, but you’ll always win because you’re better friends with your captive animals than they are.  They also added some new Pokémon somehow.  You’d think they’d have run out of ideas by now.  But this game is just another Pokémon game, and that’s all it really needs to be for me.

THIRD BEST

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (2013)NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH

WRITTENVIDEO

This is a very notable game because of its beautiful Studio Ghibli artistic presentation, but I found myself confused by the story.  It could never decide if it was for adults or for children.  The story was very touching, but got pretty adult with the heavy messages, the death of your main character’s mother, and spousal abuse.  But the game also wanted to be for children and knew that children would need to have very simple game mechanics (the likes of which you have played before if you’ve played Pokémon) still being taught to you 4 hours into the game.  But the gameplay is fun, the game is gloriously beautiful, and I played this game for 237 hours.  Since you can get this game for $20 now, you’ll probably have a hard time getting a better value for the buck.

RUNNER UP

Tomb Raider (2013)TOMB RAIDER

The Tomb Raider series was mostly okay, but sometimes terrible.  They had all but fallen off the map until they put this game out.  This game actually has a story (which the other ones barely did), and they filled that story with some surprisingly emotional moments.  And they actually made Lara Croft an interesting person, while still keeping everything that made us like her in the first place.  Well, except her ridiculously sized boobs.  Now she looked like a real person instead of freakish Barbie doll person.  The game also looks beautiful, and the gameplay was fantastic.  The gameplay wasn’t revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s not a requirement for me.  It’s basically Uncharted with the option for a bow and arrow.  But Uncharted was great.  If you’re going to steal from something, steal from the best.  And everything they brought on their own helped this game come a lot closer to being the best.

THE WINNER

BioShock Infinite (2013)BIOSHOCK INFINITE

My mind was literally blown by this game.  It did everything right.  It was a beautiful game to look upon, for one thing.  It’s true that it’s not photorealistic, but that’s also not what it was going for.  It was going for an artistic style, and it was equally as impressive to enter Columbia as it was to enter Rapture for the first time, and they made both of those worlds come to life.  The gameplay wasn’t drastically different from the other BioShock games, but it didn’t really need to be.  You’ve got your guns and you’ve got your plasmids (or as this game calls them, Vigors), but that felt pretty standard.  You could combine those Vigors in some interesting ways, and you also had the Sky-Line thing to use, but I found myself more than comfortable sticking to guns.  One of the big things that makes the game special is Elizabeth.  You have to drag her around throughout the game, but unlike Ico, it’s nothing but a pleasure.  Elizabeth is hot, adorable, amusing, and helpful.  You don’t have to protect her; she can’t die.  In fact, she’ll just throw you things to help you while you continue to ignore her in combat.  But the real thing that makes this game special to me is the story.  The story of this game took my brain, rattled it around in my head, and fired it out my ass.  It’s amazing that I’ve gotten around as well as I have since March with my brain destroyed, but it was still worth it.

As always, these are only my opinions, and a few of them were specifically designed to make some of you angry.  Feel free to tell my why I’m wrong and I promise to read them while probably not paying attention to them.  More importantly, I want to hear what you guys think were the best and worst games of 2013.  Leave your list in the comments below!

WATCH REVIEWS HERE! YouTube OTHER JOKES HERE! Twitter BE A FAN HERE! Facebook If you like these reviews so much, spread the word. Keep me motivated! Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

The Lone Ranger (2013)


Justice is What I Seek, Kemosabe.

The Lone Ranger (2013)The amount of awful things I heard about today’s movie made me desperately want to see it.  Not quite enough to see it in theaters, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to see it.  The studio seemed to try to hide the movie under the rug after that, keeping it off the shelves for about 6 months.  Did they not know I was waiting to make fun of it?!  By the time I finally got the opportunity to see it, I had already watched the people over at Schmoe’s Know report that it was the worst and second worst movie of the year, depending on which host you asked.  But you people are here to find the opinion of the host that really matters: ME!!!!!  So what did I think of The Lone Ranger?  You’ll just have to read more words and find out.  Some of those words will be the people that wrote it, whose names are Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott, and Terry Rossio.  Gore Verbinski directed it.  And the movie also starred Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, James Badge Dale, and Barry Pepper.

A young boy at a circus goes into a Wild West exhibit and sees a statue of an elderly Comanche that seems to come to life to tell the boy a story.  The Comanche reveals himself to be Tonto (Johnny Depp), and starts to tell the boy a story about how he met a lawyer named John Reid (Armie Hammer) while trying to exact his revenge on a man he calls a “wendigo,” but is more commonly referred to as Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), notorious outlaw.  Butch escapes and John joins his brother Dan’s (James Badge Dale) search party to try to bring him to justice, but a betrayal leads the slaughter of the entire team.  Tonto arrives and gives the bodies a proper burial, only to realize that John survived, if only just.  Tonto decides that John is a “spirit walker” and unable to be killed, which will be very useful in future fights.  Slightly less useful in future fights is a mask that Tonto gets John to wear.  Even less useful is the moniker of “The Lone Ranger” for someone that is eternally accompanied by a partner and a horse.

This was not a great movie, but I would argue that the amount of hatred received by this movie is unjustified.  It’s just a dumb fun movie.  I might be prodded to say that I enjoyed the experience.  For obvious reasons, it felt like a worse version of the worst Pirates of the Caribbean movie (That would be easily the fourth one, On Stranger Tides) set in the Wild West.  It had some simple story, an odd love story, some funny moments, and some okay action.  Not a whole lot to say about the story in general because of its simplicity.  It’s kind of just a double revenge plot and not much more.  I can say some things about the love story though.  John is in love with his brother’s wife and can move in on her without regrets because Dan’s been killed, instantly proving them both to be shitty wife and shitty brother simultaneously.

There were some pretty interesting and spectacular action scenes that I enjoyed in this movie.  The big train scene at the end was pretty interesting, like in the parts where Tonto was climbing up the ladder on the moving train.  The thing that did the most damage to this action sequence was the fact that they used the Lone Ranger music, the William Tell Overture, during the whole scene.  Look, I understand why they did it.  It was an appeasement to people that loved the original … whatever it was.  TV show?  Radio program?  Both?  Who cares?!  I’m not nearly old enough to give a shit.  But I do know that this music sounds a little goofy and dated by today’s standards and I would’ve been much happier with some random metal or orchestra music in that scene.  You could’ve thrown those old people a bone by playing it during the credits or something, but the people old enough to know that music had probably fallen asleep by then.  4:30 pm is way past their bed time.

One of the things that the Schmoe’s boys hated about this movie was Johnny Depp, comparing his goofy characterization to his performance in Pirates of the Caribbean.  I may be way off base here, but I liked his performance in both movies.  I find them funny and entertaining.  So sue me.  You can have all the money I make doing these things for you.  In fact, you already have it all.  I also found his interactions with Silver the horse to be pretty funny.  And Silver was my second favorite character in this movie!  That horse had a good amount of funny moments, like when it licked the scorpions off of the Lone Ranger’s face and when they found Silver standing in a tree for no good reason.  Of course, another part of the problem with this movie is that my second favorite character was a horse and not the person riding it.  Armie Hammer didn’t really make any impression on me.  His portrayal of the Lone Ranger was not nearly as badass as I wanted him to be, and not nearly as badass as someone being portrayed by someone named Armie Hammer.  With a name like that you should be eating lightning and crapping thunder!  Instead he won most of his victories by accident and dumb luck.  He was starting to come into his own as the Lone Ranger in that last action scene, but I had already written this down in my notes by the time I got there.

The Lone Ranger was beaten up pretty hard, but I feel it was unjustified.  Sure the story was unimpressive and the love story seemed all wrong, but there was some okay action scenes and I found Johnny Depp amusing enough to overcome Armie Hammer not living up to the awesomeness of his own name.  This movie would never really warrant a purchase, but I would feel confident recommending that you rent it from RedBox.  It’s worth a dollar.  The Lone Ranger gets “That was supposed to be a warning shot” out of “Something very wrong with that horse.”

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!