Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back? Who would'a thunk?

It's a bit of a mystery as to why we're getting throw backs to action hero movies. We have this one, there were also the Expendables movies that were pretty terrible, and there's also a Stallone movie that's coming out as well. Well, the thing is, we don't really have any action heroes anymore. The only guy we have right now is James Bond, who only just recently started to being James Bond again. Almost ever other action movies has been pretty.....boring. In the action heroes' place, we now have superheroes.

I'm just going to blame this on The Bourne movies, because it feels like that's what a lot of action movies want to be anymore. Serious, action dramas with the shaky cam bullcrap that's been plaguing a lot of movies and anything that wants to try to be fun as an action movie will have people crying foul as it's "Not realistic" or "Cheesy" or "Silly" to all of which I have to guys just don't have a soul do you?

So, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back to play as Arnold Schwarzenegger to fulfill the role as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

To be fair this is actually a decent action movie. Yeah, it has problems. My biggest one is that the structure is off around the first half of the movie with it telling two stories. One story involves the FBI trying to capture a recently escaped drug cartel......guy while the other story is Arnold Schwarzenegger and friends waiting for something interesting to happen. It gives a bit of a disconnection to the story until the second half finally rolls along so we can understand why this movie is called The Last Stand, as Schwarzenegger's town is the last thing standing between the bad guy and his freedom.

The movie also likes to play with some of the most blatant and obvious tropes, but, I almost feel that was kind of the point though. It deals with a lot of "This is going to be important later", other wise known as Chekhov's Gun, and there's quite a bit of those in the movie. I guess it's why they kind of needed to tell the story this way so they can set up everything that happens in the second half.

So, after the movie covers everything it needs to in order to prepare for the big battle at the end of the movie, it is actually quite fun to watch. The action scene involves explosions, blood splatters, and, what else? Schwarzenegger pulling off one liners. It's pretty interesting though, as his one liners aren't really all that cheesy anymore. Ok, maybe a couple, but they aren't as over the top as I remember them from his previous movies. I think the people involved in this movie were worried that the audience would have groaned and left the theatre if a line like "He had to split" after somebody was cut in half. But, in this case, they may have been right.

Huh.....there really isn't all that much to say about this movie.

It's a decently fun movie and....that's about it. I'd recommend it, if only because there isn't that much else interesting happen during this month right now. It's fun, it's over the top, it's violent, and that's as much as I can hope for with a movie like this.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sean's Top Ten Movies of 2012

I made a video this time around. This might be a regular thing. Enjoy....or don't.

Probably shouldn't have made this list before seeing Bernie.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best and Worst Games of 2012

If you're thinking, "Hey, didn't you already have something like this on that one website you write on?" To which I say "Yep! We did!" But that was a personal pick from everybody and, weirdly enough, not even my runner-ups were games that other people chose.

And also, for those who are wondering when I'm going to do my top movies, I'm waiting to see Zero Dark Thirty before I do that.

So, with that said, I wanted to do my own thing where I can pick my Top 5, and I'll even get into the pretty crappy games. So, here we go!

Sean's Top 5 Games of 2012

Holy crap, what an incredibly horrible year for video games. If this were really the end of the world, I wouldn't look upon this year with fondness video game wise. Not only did barely any interesting games come out, we got to witness a couple of more events where gamers showed how whiny and entitled they can get because a game didn't end the way they wanted it to end and, even less surprising, more people whining about "feminists ruining games"

Great job folks.

Sometimes, what's difficult about making these lists is which games are the best of the best from many games. Sometimes, I'll have at least a handful of candidates, but here, I had three because most of the year was just one forgettable game after the other, no matter how high it rated it on Metacritic(which is another issue for another time). So, I had to pull out two other games that I pretty much only remember playing. Yep, 2 games made it on here by default.


And, before I actually get to the top five, I imagine there are a couple of games I'm supposed to care about so...

Dishonored: I've played a little bit of it, thought it was alright.....and that's all I can really muster to say about it. The stealth isn't exactly all that good, ranging from hiding behind obviously set up walls to just walking through hidden areas where getting caught is next to impossible. I'm almost convinced that stealth just doesn't work in first person, but then I remember Thief 2, and go "Well, one of these days we'll get it right again." The combat is alright though.

Far Cry 3: Haven't played it yet, I hear it's really good though, maybe I'll talk about it later once I finally get to play it, but I don't exactly think it'll change my mind on this list, but I guess we'll see.

The Walking Dead: Actually...this one is pretty damn good, though, it's been done to death. This is everyone's game of the year, but I also thought they have done better adventure games previously, with particular mention to Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse, where if the Walking Dead almost made me want to cry, Sam and Max's ending made me crawl into a corner and sob for 5 hours. Like I said, it's really good, it held my attention all the way through and is one of the best stories to be told through a video game but there was something better this year and this game has gotten enough attention as is.

Assassin's Creed 3: Errr, we'll get to that in a minute

Ok, now here's my Top 5

Number 5 - Out There Somewhere 

This is one of the games that probably a lot of people have never even heard of. And while this game takes less than an hour to beat, it's only 5 dollars and it was one of the most enjoyable times I've ever had with a video game this year. It's a 2D platformer based around a gun that teleports you where you shoot it. The puzzles start getting really fun and inventive and provided some of the best content I've played even if it was for only hour. The game has 2 space missions at the beginning and end which feel tacked on, as it's only there to make a cohesive story, no matter how simple the story is, but the core part of the gameplay is where it's at, and if you haven't played this, you definitely should!

Number 4 - Mark of the Ninja

It's like a 2D Batman Arkham game, but as a 2D sidescroller, with the emphasis on stealth, and stabbing people. And don't take the Batman reference lightly, most of the stealth revolves around you being in high areas, crawling through vents, and sneaking behind people to take them out. Ok, that describes a lot of stealth games, but you also have gadgets, like Batman, to distract and trap guards in order to make your way. With all of the things said about having to deal with guards, the game only becomes especially rewarding if you go through the entire levels without even being detected or even killing any of the guards. The game provides some of the best stealth I've seen in a really long time. It's like a good Assassin's Creed game that has never come out.

Number 3 - Lone Survivor

Maybe I'll just have to accept that I'm an incredibly wimp when it comes to certain Survival/Horror games, but only when they are done right. And was this one done right? Of course it was, why else would it be on this list. Sporting a really haunting atmosphere, some great music, and even a really good story, it's pretty hard to ask for much more from this game. But what makes this game unique is its emphasis on survival where you have to eat, sleep, and take care of your sanity. Because of this, you'll have to explore and scavenge places that you may be too scared to go through, but it's also the only way to survive. The game isn't perfect, but it has such high ambitions and does them so well, it's something that should be recognized.

Number 2 - Chaos on Deponia

Ok, I LOVE point and click adventure games. The first Deponia came out of nowhere for me, but when I got a hold of it, I fell in love. So, the only thing stopping that game from being on this list is the second game. As far as point and click adventure games though, these might be turning out to be some of the best ones I've played in a really long time. The puzzles aren't too daunting, but what really makes this game work is the story and its clever script. Deponia one was one of the funniest games I've played and Chaos on Deponia turned out to be even funnier, which is why this game is on the list over the other one. And if things really work out, we can expect the next game to nicely tie up the series and give us a great trilogy!


Sean's Game of the Year for 2012....

Spec Ops: The Line

Maybe not exactly a surprising choice, but regardless, the game surprised everyone anyway. In such a drab year for games where we get more and more shooters, Spec Ops: The Line manages to turn the shooter genre on its head by....being a shooter. The gameplay is about as basic as it can get. You use cover and you shoot people. But the game starts becoming involving once the game starts putting weight on your actions and kind of make you feel pretty miserable for playing the game in the first place....and for also playing other modern warfare shooters. It's a game that should pretty much be the stopping point for other modern warfare shooters to come out, but, behold, we're getting another Battlefield and another Call of Duty game is surely going to rear it's head around the corner. With all that said, it's definitely not the must functional game, but what it says carries so much weight, it manages to be one of most important games to come out this generation. If you haven't played this game, go play Spec Ops: The Line!

And those are my top games.....but were there any games I hate? Oooohhhh boy!

Two games that come to mind that I didn't have an exactly enjoyable time with were 007: Legends and ZombiU. While these games were pretty much broken, they were at least trying to be something, and it's pretty hard for me to stay mad at the games because of that. But, there are other games that manage to make me hold in my anger.

Bottom 3 - Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Ok, maybe not a bad game, but it's so soulless, I honestly can't think of a more boring game that came out this year. Like I said, there's nothing essentially wrong with this game, but it becomes such a chore to play through. Every time I actually tried to get through the game, my instinct to go do something else was just incredibly strong. But the worst part is that it's actually sitting on interesting ideas and it actually came from a series that's actually pretty good, with GRAW 2 being a genuinely awesome game. Sure, it had cover based shooting, but the tactics and the different commands of different units gave the game depth in order to make an engaging experience. Now the game has degraded to almost nothing but cover based shooting, broken up with mediocre stealth sections that only serve to slow the game done. It's the most forgettable game to come out this year on its own merits, but it's hard for me to forget when I was genuinely disappointed with how the game turned out.

Bottom 2 - Call of Duty: Black Ops II

This was originally going to be my number one worst game, but did anyone honestly expect this game to be any good? Sure, some might have liked it for the multiplayer, but I honestly don't care about that aspect of the game. What worries me here is the campaign and how screwed up it is. Functionally, it's fine, but, then again, it's the same game we've been playing ever since CoD 4 came out. Except, here, they tack on these sort of RTS missions that are completely broken as switching from different soldiers is always a pain in the butt and actually commanding your team is like trying to order a bunch of cats around. It just doesn't work. But the ultimate reason why this game makes it on this list is because of how scary it is. It's gruesome, disturbing, and it's that way for your enjoyment. Except, it takes itself seriously. It's not there to go "Hey! Look how crazy we're getting. We know this is stupid, but it's all for good fun" but instead just goes "America, **** YEAH!" with any hint of irony. This would have been my number one, but I don't think anyone was expecting much from this game anyway, and there was also just one more game that managed to surprise me with how awful it was.

Sean's Worst Game of the Year for 2012.....

Assassin's Creed III

Holy crap! I don't think I could have prepared for how badly this game turned out. The game series aren't exactly masterful, but I feel like the first two games are genuinely good games with the first one playing on a neat idea with a great theme and the second one making sure the gameplay actually works for the game and making a unique experience. Brotherhood and Revelations are really just there to pad the two games out, but they tied up the stories they left hanging pretty nicely. And while the story telling hasn't exactly been all that good through the series, Assassin's Creed III manages to be some of the worst story telling I've seen in a video game that already gets in the way of really boring gameplay that's manages to only be fun during the ship battles it offers. And while the combat is the best the games has had to offer, all of the interesting things get shoved aside so it can tell its dopey story with one of the most boring protagonists I've ever seen in a video game!

This game killed the franchise for me and I the only way they can redeem themselves if the next game manages to be amazing, but, by the looks of things, that seems to be highly unlikely, because it seems to be that a lot of people like the direction the series is taking and there's very little I can do about it.

Congratulations for completely dropping the ball and managing to still make people like you for doing it.


Guys, seriously make 2013 better!