Sunday, December 21, 2008

Street Fighter IV: Rose

It was announced Friday the 19th that Rose would be the latest addition to Street Fighter IV. The lovely Rose first made her appearance in Street Fighter Alpha and uses her scarf as a deadly weapon. You can look forward to playing as Rose and the other Street Fighters favorites on February 17th on the PS3 and the X-Box 360.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rant or Rave: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Since I don’t have an Xbox 360 or a shiny PS3 I can’t legitimately write reviews for certain upcoming games. What I can do is rant or rave about future games based on trailers that I’ve watched and the reviews I’ve read. From what I’ve gathered Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is a little uneven. If you look at the roster you will see classic mortal combat characters like Liu Kang, Raiden, and Sub-zero taking the stage with DC greats like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The problem I see with this game is that the DC characters have better attacks than their Mortal Kombat counterparts.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The big controversy of the summer was if the DC heroes would have fatalities for which the Mortal Kombat franchise is known for. The answer was a no, but the DC heroes would perform Heroic Brutalities meaning that the good guys wouldn’t kill their enemies, just rough them up a bit. If you check out this clip from you’ll notice that some of the Heroic Brutalities are a little more dangerous than a simple knock out.

Did you see Superman hammering Jax into the ground or Green Lantern crushing Raiden? Jax and Raiden are either dead or will never walk again, what kind of superhero does that? As you may have noticed, some of the finishing moves are awesome while others are extremely lame. What’s up with Batman’s Heroic Brutality? Would a cold blooded killer really be that scared of bats?. Luckily, each character has two finishing moves.

Am I a Broken Character?

Superman has ice breath, laser eyes, and limited flying capabilities, what can you do Sonya? What! You can only kick, too bad for you then. The Joker can teleport (when did he learn that) and has several long and short ranged attracts and if you play the Flash properly he’s just a blur on the screen. Oh and did I mention Lex Luther is in the game. What’s Lex going to do, throw money at his opponents hoping to buy a victory?

Final Thoughts

This has been more of rant, but even though the game has its issues I still want to play it. From the looks of the reviews and previews Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is an above average game. I’m sure I’ll buy the game once it makes its way to the bargain bin, until then I can only dream of giving superman a virtual back hand to the face.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer

I was clicking around on youtube and I found the trailer for the new Wolverine movie. I have no idea how long this trailer has been floating around on the interweb so this post might be old news.

I might be making a few enemies here, but this movie looks soooooooooooooooo unbelievably bad. Am I really to believe that the scrawny guy in red with the swords is the assassin Deadpool? And I know everyone is excited to see Gambit, but who said it was OK for him to look like Willy Wanka? (mmm chocolate) To save face with the comic book nerds (or just me) I hope the creators put at least one mutant from Alpha Flight in the movie. It could be a good segue into a sequel (if this movie doesn't fall flat on its face).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spike TV's Video Game Awards Show Overflow

So what’s up with the award categories in spike TV’s 2008 award show? Best Performance by a Human Male or Female. What does that mean!?! Are robots making our video games now? (I hope they’re not evil). And what about the categories Best Individual Sports Game and Best Team Sports Game, why isn’t there one umbrella category called Best Sports Game? I get that Spike TV is the “Man Channel” but seriously guys, did you really need two sports categories. But what really blows my mind is that Fallout 3 won Best RPG. How did a shooter win Best RPG! (Argggg the rage I feel right now!!!!) I guess I can’t be too mad, if I take into account Spike TV’s target demographic (males 18-49) I bet 70% of them only own an Xbox and I also bet that their top 3 games are Gears of War 2, Halo 2, and of course freaking Fallout 3.

2008 Spike TV Video Game Awards

Jack Black hosted this year’s Video Game Awards and I must say he was hilarious if not a little too raunchy, but it’s Spike TV what do you expect. The Award show included performances by 50 cent, All American Rejects, Weezer, and LL Cool J with a bevy of stars presenting awards.

And the winners are....

Best Shooter: Gears of War 2 (is anyone surprised)

Best RPG: Fallout 3: (Wait! Isn’t that a shooter)

Best Music Game: Rock Band 2

Best Soundtrack: Rock Band 2 (What, the best music game also has the best soundtrack, that’s crazy talk)

Best Original Score: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Best Fighting Game: Soul Calibur 3

Best Individual Sports Game: Shaun White Snow Boarding

Best Team Sports Game: NHL 09

Gamer God: Will Wright (I think they really wanted to give Will an award so they made up a category just for him. Will Wright is responsible for games like the Sims and Spore)

Big Name in the Game Female (Voice acting award): Jenney McCarthy as Tanya in Command and conquer red alert 3

Big Name in the Game Male: Kiefer Sutherland as Sgt. Roebuck in Call of Duty

Best Performance by a Human Female (I have no idea what this category is about): Debi Mae West as Meryl Silverburgh in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Best Performance by a Human Male: Michael Hollic as Niko Bellic in Grand theft Auto IV

Best Driving Game: Burn Out Paradise

Best Game Based on a Movie or TV show: Legos Indiana Jones: The Original Adventure

Best Action Adventure Game: Grand Theft Auto IV

Best Graphics: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Best Handheld Game: Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Best Studio: Media Molecule (the creators of Little Big Planets)

Best Independent Game: World of Goo

Best PC Game: Left 4 Dead

Best PS3 game: Little Big Planets

Best Xbox360 Game: Gears of War 2

Best wii game: Boom Blox

Best Game of the year: Grand Theft Auto IV

Congratulations Grand Theft Auto IV you won the tiara and the bouquet of roses. Take your bow and enjoy your time in the spotlight but be careful, there are a handful of crazed beauty queen-esque video games ready to knock you off your throne.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Look at Fusion Fall

I tried the beta version of Fusion Fall, Cartoon Networks first MMORPG. The premise of the game is that an evil planet called Fusion Planet has come to the Cartoon Network Universe to destroy it (more specifically, fuse with it and then destroy it) and only you (and a million others) can save the world. Dexter from Dexter’s Lab (how cool is that!) transports you into the future to fight the evil invaders.

Character Customization

Customization of your online avatar is decent. You can change the height and the weight of the character, but there is virtually no difference from default setting. (Cartoon Network is going to give kids body image issues since the default looks like a 5’8” 125 lbs teenager). There is a wide range of haircuts and clothes to wear, but customization is not as robust as other MMORPGs. There wasn’t even a class system.

Game Play

Honestly, I’ve never played an MMORPG I’ve only seen people play them. I can only guess that the game play is standard to any online game. You go around killing angry green blobs to level up and gain money (or money equivalent). Eventually you will run into a Fusion which is a green ugly version of a famous Cartoon Network star. When you defeat a Fusion they turn into a cute plush version of themselves called Nanos that float above your avatar’s head. These adorable Nanos have special abilities that help you in battle. The first one I got was Buttercup whose special ability was to stun enemies.Your default weapon is a gun, but I changed it to a melee weapon the first chance I got. I didn’t get far enough to see if there were spells, but I did get the impression that if I leveled up enough I would be able to cast magic (or something like it).


The game was a little glitchy because it was the beta version, but I was OK with it since I got to play it for free. The game allows you the option to meet people online and create parties so you can collectively fight bigger baddies, but I didn’t try this feature. My reasoning for not talking to anyone online is that 80% of the people playing the game are probably 10-18 years old and I didn’t want a show like How to Catch a Predator confusing my good intentions of fighting a boss with seducing a child (blegh!)

Final Thoughts

I think it’s fun and will probably be popular. It won’t be a life stealing MMORPG giant (ehem WoW), but kids who like the shows on Cartoon Network will be all over this game. I would also recommend the game for anyone who was a fan of the old school Cartoon Cartoons because you will instantly be hit by waves of nostalgia. If you want to play this game for free you better play it NOW! because the free offer ends Sunday the 14th.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rockband 2 the Stars Finale

This is the season finale of Rock Band 2 the Stars. Congratulations winners (I don't want to spoil it for anyone who cares and still hasn't watched the episode yet). I had previously posted that the winners got to play in the famous Viper Room in L.A. as thier prize, but I neglected to mention that they will also open for Panic at the Disco and Dashboard Confessional on the Rock Band Live tour. Not a bad prize for 15 miniutes of fame on VH1's website.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Batman the Brave and the Bold

How did this happen? How is it possible that I let a new Batman series get past me? Batman the Brave and the Bold (ummm can they maybe work on that title a little bit more) premiered on Cartoon Network a couple of weeks ago. Batman the Brave and the Bold is a retro reincarnation of the Dark Knight with an art style similar to the 60’s version Batman (Adam West would be proud). The TV series is based on the DC Comics team up series with the main focus being on Batman. According to Wikipedia, the creators decided to have Batman team up with the lesser known characters like the Blue Beetle (who?), Plastic Man (lame!), and Aquaman (now that’s just upsetting), but Wikipedia never explained why they decided to use characters from the superhero B team. (On a side note, the Flash will appear on the show…when did the Flash become a B list hero???? Isn’t he one of the original founders of the JLA? Come on people show the Flash some love.)

I’ve only seen one episode, but here are my general thoughts. The music at first is great. It has an old school jazz vibe and one hell of saxophone taking the lead. Unfortunately, halfway through the episode you’ll realize that there is only one, maybe two background songs for the entire episode. Meaning, the same intense crazy saxophone music plays when Batman beats up the bad guys or when he walks through a door. It gets old fast. The writing is good, I didn’t want yell at the TV because the writers decided to throw in a lot of corny jokes or use ridiculous plot lines. OK I'll admit the plot was a litte out there, but it made for an interesting episode. The animation is fun. It’s not serious, but it’s not too cartoony which goes well the retro feel of the show.

______________(ZAP! POW! BAM!)_________

As for the characterization of Batman, he is one big stick in the mud. Honestly, he is not very interesting and doesn’t have a lot of depth. Do good and fight evil, that’s all there is to this Batman. No sarcasm, no troubled past, no workaholism, nothing but do good and fight evil (very disappointing). Despite Batman being dull the sidekicks do provide entertainment. Plastic Man was a relatively deep character with some interesting qualities, but I still don’t care about him. I get the feeling that this show isn’t really about Batman, but about the no names he teams up with. My theory is that the creators tried to pitch a similar show with their favorite obscure characters, but had their ideas rejected because nobody cares about a team of B squad superheroes. When the creators put Batman in the title, the network big wigs couldn’t resist producing Batman the Brave and the Bold because they knew kids would watch anything with Batman in it.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t take the series too seriously you’ll find yourself really enjoying it. I don’t know what direction the series will ultimately go in, but I’m excited to find out. Batman the Brave and the Beautiful (oops I meant Bold) airs on Cartoon Network Fridays at 7pm central.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Incredible Hulk Review

I’ve wanted to write this review for two weeks now, but unfortunately due to several factors such as work, lack of internet, and me being incredibly cheap I haven’t gotten the chance to watch the movie until now. Let me explain my frugality. I recently discovered that my public library has as massive DVD collection which means free movies (hurray!). Unfortunately it also means everyone else has access to these free movies. I’ve been having trouble getting the movie because of people who swooped in and rented the movie before I got off work. Also, for whatever reason my library doesn’t believe in holding movies so I’ve been stalking this movie for about a week. But the joke is on me because the Hulk is now overdue negating the whole point of renting it from the library.

Even though this is a DVD review (because I’m assuming that a lot of people have already watched the Hulk, but haven’t bought the DVD) I must admit that I hadn’t seen the movie until I rented it. As comic book movies go this was pretty good. What kept me from scrambling to see the Hulk in the theaters was my terrible memory of the first Hulk movie in 2003. A better telling of the love story between Bruce and Betty Ross and the creator’s choice to humanize the green behemoth made this movie a lot easier to watch. There is enough fan service to keep the nerds entertained like the Captain America reference and an appearance by Lou Ferrigno, yet enough story to pull new fans to the Hulk. I’ll admit that before I watched this movie I didn’t like the Hulk, but now that I’ve seen the movie I’ve been reading the Hulk’s Wikipedia page and I’m excited to see what direction the next movie will go in.

The audio is good. The background music was crisp and did not seem to overpower the movie. Also, the music wasn’t overly repetitive and complemented the scenes very nicely.

Picture was sharp and the Hulk didn’t look like a computer-generated image (CGI) mess when he was interacting with non CGI elements. Some of the visual effects are cool like bullet time in the fight scenes, but it’s been done before. At least the director didn’t use the special effects like a gimmick to hide the movie’s flaws.

Special Features
The Hulk is a two disc DVD with most of the special features on the second bonus disc. The main reason I wanted to do a DVD review was because I thought the alternate opening would give a new twist to the movie. I was wrong. It’s really short and not that interesting, but that isn’t to say the other features aren’t good. With special features like audio commentary from the cast and crew, anatomy of a Hulk Out, deleted scenes, and comic book vignettes there’s certainly some good extra content.

So what do I say?
I really liked the movie. I got a lot of complaints that Bruce’s back story wasn’t fleshed out, but I argue that he doesn’t have a complicated origin story. Bruce falls in love with Betty Ross; accidently turns himself into the Hulk; the Hulk rampages through the city, that’s about it. What I didn’t like was the characterization of Betty Ross. Now I don’t know if it was poor acting on Liv Tyler’s part or if it was the writers who decided to water down the character, but I just found her annoying in some of the scenes. On the same note I found Tim Blake Nelson acting terrible. He played the super excitable Dr. Samuel Sterns and I couldn’t wait for him to get off the screen. The other actors: Edward Norton (the peaceful Bruce Banner), Tim Roth (the psychotic villain Emil Blonsky), and William Hurt (the stubborn General Ross) played their roles perfectly.

I’m giving the Incredible Hulk a 4 Hulk Smash out of 5.

(you wouldn't like me when I'm angry)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rocking the TV

Rock Band has given us the chance to rock out in our living rooms and live the dream of one of America’s most beloved icon, the Rock Star. Thanks to MTV they have taken that dream one step further with MTV 2’s recently aired Rock Band competition appropriately named Rock Band Battle and VH1’s webisodes of Rock Band 2 the Stars. Both shows are meant to promote excitement for the now released Rock Band 2.

Alright let’s break it down. Rock Band Battle is just a huge battle of the bands with plastic instruments. You and your friends create a band, give it a stupid name and then rock out on stage. You are given two scores: the score you receive in Rock Band and the score the audience gives you for your performance on stage. Then they average the two scores together and determine the winner. The prize for winning this competition

•Big Screen LG television
•Cambridge SoundWorks Newton Theater System
•Microsoft Xbox 360
•Rock Band 2 Special Edition Bundle from MTV Games for Xbox 360

Rock Band 2 the Stars is a 5 minute webisode on where Sebastian Bach and Alice Cooper put together their own Rock Band band (wow that sounds redundant) from 15 contestants. Each week players face ridiculous challenges or battle against special guests. Whoever wins these challenges will be selected for Alice's and Sebastian's band and will epically battle it out at L.A.’s famous Viper room. Not as awesome as the Rock Band Battle prize, but hey, isn’t living the life of a rock star a prize in itself.

Hopefully Rock Band Battle and Rock Band 2 with the Stars will pop up again next year with a 3 in their titles since there is no doubt that there will be a third Rock Band. I’m already assembling an all star band for the next reality TV show based on a video game… what are you doing with your life?

Here are the first four episodes of Rock Band 2 the Stars

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday

This is a last second post for you last second shoppers. As you may or may not know Black Friday is this week. Just in case you don’t know, Black Friday is when stores have ridiculous sales on items like game systems and other useful items. Today I’ve put together guidelines for you, the unsuspecting consumer, to survive Black Friday if you choose to participate in this wondrous event.

1. Check out It has a list of stores and items that will be sold at discounted prices.

2. Check the time when the store opens. Most stores open early on Black Friday so be prepared to greet the sun in the morning.

3. Get to the store 1-2 hours before it opens. If you want to have a chance of getting whatever you want this is a must. Don’t forget the more popular the item, like an X-Box, Wii, or PS3, the more people you will have to fight to get it. Unfortunately, electronics go first so I recommend you get to the store two hours early.

4. Take a friend. Very important since you might get bored (a DS or PSP can fix that problem too) but if you want to take a bathroom break, a buddy to hold your spot in line is invaluable.

5. Know where you’re going. You don’t want to be heading toward the school supplies aisle instead of the electronic area you may just miss getting what you came for.

6. Get ready to rumble. Be prepared for some desperate mothers clawing for boxes. A friend would be good to help deflect some of the attacks of the more aggressive mothers trying to buy their children’s love.

7. You only have one shot so make it count! Make sure what you’re looking for is in that particular store. You won’t have time to drive somewhere else because all you will find at the next store will be your shattered hopes for buying something dirt cheap.

If you follow these 7 guidelines you should come home with whatever you had your eye on. Good luck!

(Disclaimer: If you followed my 7 guidelines and you still didn’t get what you were looking for I’m sorry and I cannot be held responsible. Maybe you should have been more assertive and knocked over that old lady going after the same things you were)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wolverine and the X-Men

Sorry I haven’t been updating as regularly as I wanted, I hope all of you aren’t too heart broken. Since I move boxes for a retail store and the holidays are now upon us, I’ve been logging in a lot more hours at the store. Good for me since I’ll be getting bigger paychecks, bad for you because less posts, but never fear I’ve got two DVD reviews on the way. For now, check out the new trailer for Wolverine and the X-Men (or as I like to call it Wolverine and his amazing friends). Just in case you didn’t know, Wolverine and the X-Men is kind of an update of the 90’s animated series the X-Men.

The basic plot is that Wolverine is charged with the task of reuniting the X-Men against an unknown evil. Why Wolverine? I don’t know, he’s just a short angry man with claws who isn’t even a team player, but for whatever reason people love him and the creators decided to make him the lead. If you watch the original trailer Cyclops, who should be leading the team, looks like he has been drinking in a sleazy motel crying over Jean. Oh Cyclops nobody loves you, but why do we (the general public) love Wolverine? I can only guess it’s similar to what I like to call the “Bad Boy” phenomena. The "Bad Boy" phenomena is when a girl swoons over a guy who possesses a leather jacket, a motorcycle, and an abusive personality. (Do girls still like “Bad Boys”? Better yet, do girls still swoon?). So even if Wolverine metaphorically steals our money and rides off into the sunset with some other floozy we will still help him when he’s down on his luck and tells us, “I never meant to cheat on you baby. You know you’re the only one I love.”

Here is the original trailer.

So now that you’ve seen both videos what do you think? I’m excited (I know you didn’t ask what I thought, but deal with it). It’s awesome that they have added Dust into the mix and I can’t wait to see which other mutants make the cut (crossing fingers and hoping for Psylocke).

At first I was surprised to hear that Wolverine and the X-Men would air on Nickelodeon and not Cartoon Network, but after watching Avatar the Last Airbender and checking out some of Nickelodeon’s spring line up I think it was a good choice. Nickelodeon probably realized that there are kids older than 5 who aren’t obsessed with Sponge Bob and are trying for a new demographic. Also, Cartoon Network seems to be on the decline since Toonami was axed and their programming isn’t all about cartoons anymore . Could this be another great TV channel going down the drain? (I’m talking to you G4.)

Wolverine and the X-Men comes out sometime next year so keep your eyes out for this new series.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Video Games Live

Whoever likes music raise your hand. If you’re not raising your hand (and I know if you’re not) put them into the air immediately. OK you can put your hands down now. For all of you who did raise their hand (or those who just caved into peer pressure) you should be excited to hear that Video Games Live (VGL) is coming to Chicago on November 15th at the Chicago Theater.

What exactly is VGL you ask? VGL is a spectacular concert that features music from popular video games such as Super Mario, Halo, Final Fantasy, Pac-Man, Legend of Zelda and several other popular game titles. The concert is played by a live professional symphony orchestra and is accompanied by a first-class choir. Not only are your ears in for a treat, but so are your eyes. VGL features a dazzling light show with video footage projected onto a large screen behind the orchestra. The official VGL website said this about the experience, “It's the power & emotion of a symphony orchestra mixed with the excitement and energy of a rock concert and the technology and interactivity of a video game all completely synchronized to amazing cutting edge video screen visuals, state-of-the-art lighting and special on-stage interactive segments with the audience.” VGL was created by Tommy Tallarico (who some of you might know from G4’s Judgment day and Electric Playground) and Jack Wall, two very well known video game composers. Tommy and Jack created VGL for the purpose of showing how video games can function as an art form in today's culture.

(This is what it would look like if lived in a cartoon world)

To sweeten the package, VGL also includes Pre and Post show events. At the Pre-Show there will be a costume contest as well as video game competitions for games like Guitar Hero II and Space Invaders. At the Post Show there is a meet-and-greet with various video game composers and of course more video games to play. Tommy and Jack did their best to make this an entertaining experience for gamers and non-gamers alike.

Even though I’m FREAKING excited for the event some of you may not be convinced yet. I can only imagine you’re in one of two groups. Group A, or as I would like to call it “Group Skeptic,” doesn't understand why anyone would want to listen to game music outside of the video game. Or Group B, which I will call “Where’s the Guitar Solo so I can Head Bang, Throw Up the Horns, and Rock Out in the Mosh Pit.” Those in group B believe orchestra music isn’t for them and want nothing to do with a string instrument that isn’t plugged into an amp. For both groups I present the orchestral version of Simple and Clean from Kingdom Hearts (another one of my favorite video games).

Anyone excited yet? I know I am and that was just a small taste of what VGL has to offer. If that song didn’t interest you in the slightest bit then I don’t know why you’re still reading this post. If you liked what you heard then you certainly want to go to VGL. If you’re not in the Chicago area don’t worry VGL travels all over the world. Check out the official Video Games Live site to see when it comes to a city near you.

Despite the fact that I want to go VGL so bad that it hurts, I will not be attending the event this year. Through an unfortunate twist of fate I will be out of town when VGL rolls into Chicago (I am literally crying about this…seriously), but I encourage everyone to go. This is definitely one event you don’t want to miss.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Official Launch

Thanks for checking out Nerd Synthesis I hope you enjoy. I currently have a few posts already written and I plan on updating my blog once or twice a week depending on my schedule. Things you should know about the blog.

1. The blog is a bit unruly and I’m having trouble making it conform to my will. If you ever find the page not loading properly it means I’m having an epic battle with the HTML code, but the problem should be fixed by the end of the day.

2. For the life of me I can’t figure out how to make the Read More… links go away at the end of each post. That means that some posts will say Read More… when there isn’t any more to read. (Lies and deception don’t let the internet trick you)

3. The Read More… links automatically open a new page in your browser. I discovered this when I realized I had about 10 tabs of my blog in explorer (I was so confused at first). I’ve been trying to change that too, but I’ve had no luck so far. If you don’t want a new page to open when you read the rest of a post just click the title of the post and the page will load in the same screen.

(It looks like you’ve been tricked, it’s OK it happens to the best of us)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Review

For those of you who have never played Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time or don’t remember how awesome the game was I’ve written this retro review to get you into to Zelda swing of things.

A beautiful young princess has been captured and it’s up to you to save her. No, it’s not Peach or Daisy….. it’s Zelda, again! Let’s take a trip in the way back machine to see how this abduction prone princess has been rescued in the past. Before the shadows of Twilight Princess, the vast oceans of the Wind Waker and the multiple personalities of Majoria’s Mask, there was the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. This was the Zelda’s first splash into the 3D polygon world and a revolutionary game that brought many new fans to the Zelda series.

You begin the game as Link, a 12 year old boy who just wants to hang with his friends, but through an unfortunate series of events he is thrown into an adventure of a life time. Link’s journey takes him from the acidic belly of a whale to the sweltering heat of the desert to stop the evil plots of Ganondorf. To aid him on his quest Link gains new abilities and items such as a boomerang, sling shot, and a variety of other items that keep him one step ahead of his enemies.

To help you through this journey you are given a fairy friend called Navi. Navi’s function is mostly for targeting, but she also gives you helpful hints on where to go or how to beat enemies. Unfortunately, Navi can be a little annoying because the game assumes that you need help at every point of Ocarina of Time. So be ready for Navi forcibly giving you hints on where to go next.

Game Play

Standard to the Zelda franchise, there are several puzzles that you need to solve. The basic move box here and activate switch there are peppered throughout the game, but some puzzles require a little more thought. The best feature of the game is the time traveling element. While traveling to the future, Link ages seven years taking him past those awkward pimple filled times and transforming him into the heroic stud that we all know and love. Time traveling creates an interesting twist to the game play since you will have to travel back and forth between the past and the future to solve puzzles and gain certain items. The game is also filled with a myriad of mini games that will keep you entertained for hours.


Your ears are in for a treat. Like many other Zelda games music plays an important part in Link’s adventure. Once Link finds his ocarina you’ll start playing songs that allow you to open doors or turn night into day. Eventually, you will find yourself humming one of the many catchy tunes scattered throughout the game.


The graphics are stunning (for its time). From mundane events like swimming across a pond to the cinematic entrance of Princess Zelda, the games graphics are top notch. The varied and lush landscape does its part to immerse you into the game. For me this all translated into no sleeping and minimal bathroom breaks.

Special Features

As an added bonus, Ocarina of Time used Nintendo’s rumble pack. The rumble serves for two purposes, to violently shake during any of the in game cut scenes or to vibrate when you around hidden items.

So What Do I Say?

Princess Zelda may get captured in almost every title she appears in, but it definitely makes for an interesting adventure. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was and is an amazing game that can withstand the weathering of time. It was ground breaking with its beautiful story which was set against picturesque locations and dynamic music. The interesting characters keep this game fresh and the plot leaves you on the seat of your pants. If you missed out on playing this game the first time and you have a Wii I strongly suggest you download the game off the virtual console. Its only 10 dollars and you’ll defiantly be getting your money’s worth and then some.

This game gets 5 thankful princesses out of 5


Happy Birthday Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

This month Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64 is turning 10. Put up the streamers and throw some confetti because we are going to have a party. In honor of one of my favorite video games (and arguably one of the best games of all times) I will be periodically adding Zelda related posts throughout November.

(Don't party too hard)

Check out the links to my other Zelda themed posts

Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Review

Friday, October 31, 2008

Confessions of a Superhero

So it’s Halloween (Happy Halloween!) and I’ve been racking my brain about what I should write about on this special day where you can dress up like your favorite comic book or videogame character without looking like a total doof. It finally dawned on me to write a review of Mathew Ogens’ Confessions of a Superhero which shows the lives of four people who dress up like superheroes for a living.

Confessions of a Superhero directed by Matthew Ogens show the lives of four actors who have come to Hollywood to make their acting dreams come true. Unfortunately life is tough and broken dreams can’t pay the rent. The four actors dawn the mantle of their favorite Superheroes and panhandle in front of the Grumman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd.

The movie mainly focuses on the Christopher Dennis who seems to have been enveloped by the Superman lore and has lost touch with reality (seriously, it’s a little scary how far this man goes to become Superman). Next in line for screen time is Maxwell Allen who portrays Batman. Maxwell also has his share of problems such as his uncontrollable anger and a failing marriage. It doesn’t help that Maxwell’s constant exposure to Christopher seems to have altered his thinking. The last two actors Jennifer Grant as Wonder Woman and Joe McQueen as The Hulk are not featured as much as the other two, especially Joe who is only used to highlight points that the other actors have made. Both Jennifer and Joe understand that their alter egos are a temporary fix and are seen going to casting calls while Christopher and Maxwell roam the streets hoping for money.

The documentary shows how four individuals with similar dreams can vary in the execution of their goals. From the Fantastic claims of Christopher to the down to earth wisdom of Joe, each hero finds their own way in the world.


Nothing special here. You can hear everyone speaking just fine. Sadly, the background music isn’t memorable or existent in some of the scenes.


Not bad either. It has your standard documentary feel with still photographs of our heroes out on the streets thrown into the mix.

Special Features

You mean the not so special features (ooooo I’m so witty). There were a lot of deleted scenes in the special features area, but when I started watching them I understood why they were cut….. they’re not interesting so don’t even bother with them.

So What Do I Say?

This was certainly not the whimsical movie I thought it would be when I was looking for movies to watch over the weekend. This was a serious film that took an in-depth look at human strife. At times the movie was frightening depressing because I could see a lot of myself in each of the characters, yet Ogens still adds some funny moments like Elmo getting arrested to keep the film's tone from being too melancholy. All in all I enjoyed the film and I’ll give the overall package a 3 I’ll Save the Days out of 5

(That means it got a 3 out of 5 if you don’t get my humor)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Can Money Be Considered a $uper Power?

I’ve talked to many people about money as a superpower and for the most part people think I’m crazy. I hope my comparison of natural super abilities and extreme wealth show you how similar these “powers” are to each other. According to Wikipedia, (not the best source, I know) the term super power means a person who has normal human abilities, but at a level greater than any normal human, such as superhuman strength. It goes on to say that a character that derives their power from equipment, such as Batman, Green Arrow, and Iron Man do not have superpowers even though they are still considered superheroes. I want to challenge the idea that super powers only exist as extreme physical abilities, but that they can also exist when a person is in position of an extreme quality like wealth.

First let’s look at the word superhuman. According to the word superhuman means exceeding ordinary human power. What defines the Flash’s super speed ability isn’t that he runs fast, it’s that he runs 100 times fasters than an ordinary person. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have been strong back in the day, but his strength didn’t even compare to that of the Hulk. Now lets apply this idea of extremes to those super heroes without, “super powers.” Bruce Wayne has a lot of money, so much so that he can build high tech boats, jets, cars and large space stations without it phasing his wallet. Can most people say that? Of course they can’t, most people couldn’t even dream to attempt something like that. Bruce Wayne’s money gives him the characteristic of superhuman because he has superhuman wealth.

Next let’s look at how individuals gain superhuman abilities. One way is to inherit the ability from their parents or a family member from a previous generation. The best example of this would be marvel’s mutants. Both of Magneto’s children inherited mutant abilities from their father. In a broader sense of the word it’s possible to inherit a family’s fortune. Again, if we look at Bruce Wayne we see that after his parents died their money was passed down to him. Another way to gain a super power is to genetically alter ones DNA. A good example would be Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive spider. It altered his DNA and gave him his spider abilities. Even though you may not be able to change your genes you can change your financial situation. Some of the more enthusiastic financial self help books would say you can make bucket loads of money by following your dreams. Even though it is uncommon hear rags to Richie Rich stories, it still happens. Just think of the guy who created facebook, he’s loaded now.

Finally, if you can see how money could be considered a super power just think about what it means for us in the real world. People like Bill Gates have the potential to save the world. Now I’m not saying that Mr. Gates isn’t doing his part to make the world a little bit better. I know he donates millions of dollars to various charities, but wouldn’t you fell a little bit safer knowing that some masked Bill Gates like character was making sure your neighborhood was safer at night?

So what do you think? Am I crazy or do I have a point? I would love to hear what you think.