Old school video game review: Megaman X2!

MMX2Promo

Hello all, tonight is the night I finished playing Megaman X2. Megaman X 2 is the follow up(obviously) to the wildly successful and critically acclaimed Megaman revamp, Megaman X. So without further ado, let’s get this show started!

STORYLINE

megaman x 2 again

Its been six months since the storyline of the first Megaman X game. Sigma has been defeated however a few of his followers, “Mavericks”, are still very active. A group of them have stolen the parts to Zero’s body and have set up an elaborate plan to cause the downfall of X. Several reploids have joined together to for a team in order to help Sigma’s followers to complete their heinous plan. It’s up to X to find Zero’s parts, infiltrate the reploid’s bases, and stop the robots from starting war with the humans!

Cast of Characters

mm zero

The good guys

Megaman X

Zero

Dr. Cain

Dr. Light

The Mavericks

Wheel Gator

Bubble Crab

Flame Stag

Morph Moth

Magna Centipede

Crystal Snail

Overdrive Ostrich

Wire Sponge

X hunters

Agile

Serges

Violen

GAMEPLAY

gameplay mm

The gameplay is a simple, yet effective evolution of the first game. You still have the charge shot, you can jump off walls, and this time (thankfully) you start off with the dash.  There are 8 bosses and as you beat them you will be upgraded with their special weapon. If you are attentive and have a little skill you will find secret capsule and health upgrades provided by Doctor Light. As with any good games, the gameplay forces you to adapt.  Its a side scroller with many “secret” areas and  wave after wave of enemies.

Graphics

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Huge colorful levels with memorable bosses. Starting from the beginning you have larger than life bosses and enemies. Everything looks amazing especially giving the fact that its SNES. Capcom developed a new chip they called C4 to up the graphics capabilities of the SNES. Everything looks great.

MUSIC

ending

You can’t talk about Megaman without talking about the amazing music. Great music is one of the staples of this series, something the fans always expect when purchasing the game. X2 delivers on all accounts. Each level has its own theme song and each boss has his own music as well. Well done, well thought out and each theme properly fit the level that it was used on.

STAND OR FALL?

Definitely stand! You can pick up this game at anytime and I don’t think it will EVER seem old. The story, the music, the gameplay all mesh together to make one amazing experience. Plus you can do this!

uppercut
Shoryuken!

uppercut 2 uppercut 3 uppercut 4

(you have to know where to look)

FINAL SCORE

5-StarsFive stars!

If this game were released today it would sell out. Games like this are a little under appreciated these days. However I believe with word of mouth and the internet, it would be a HIT.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Old School Video Game Review: Bebe’s Kids SNES

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Ok so my parent’s got me this game and I always thought it was interesting. Interesting here being a very subjective word as this game induced several incidences of hair being ripped out, curses being said, and the occasional kitten being kicked across the room. This review will be extremely brief.

DON’T PLAY THIS GAME. It sucks. Seriously the controls suck, the actions you can actually do when you figure out the asinine controls, suck. If you manage to get through the first extremely boring level, you won’t make it out of the haunted house. There is almost no way to figure out how to get through it and if you DO figure it out then you just wasted 40+ hours of your life you could’ve spent doing something vastly more important. Maybe like clipping your toenails or staring into the mirror and saying bloody mary three times.

The music is repetitive (hey yo *pause* hey yo! Bebe’s kiiiids for 24 hours straight), graphics are decent but its hard to tell where you are in terms of depth on screen.

This gets no stars, I’m not even going to upload the pictures of gameplay or the pictures of no stars I’m just going to repeat, DO NOT GET THIS TERRIBLE GAME!

Thanks for reading

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

The Not So Old School review: Tales of Symphonia Gamecube

symphonia

A few years back I had an aversion to anything anime. Not because I thought it was a lesser form of storytelling or I thought it was childish. It was because I know myself, if something’s good I want to see all of it, I’ll become a fan and I will spend countless hours tracking down information about it to further expand my knowledge. I was under the impression shows and games that are based in the anime genre tend to go on forever. (Found out later that isn’t ALWAYS true Gantz,Bebop,FMA:B,VampireD etc). I also refused to play any turn based games besides pokemon and shining force (No I don’t know what was wrong with me, don’t judge me).

So somehow I was talked into trying out this game titled Tales of Symphonia, a two disc,turn based, anime style, game on the gamecube. Here we go!

STORYLINE

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The game takes place in the world of Sylvarant, a lush beautiful world with plenty of Mana which is magical energy. There world is run by the church and by people called Desians. Desians have a strange hatred towards elves and half elves. We come in at the point where the “chosen one” must go on their journey of world regeneration. As everything in their world runs off of mana, a chosen one must break the seals on five different temples.

The chosen one and her group head off to start the process of regeneration. When she arrives at the first temple they see a priest dying who warns the chosen one to be careful. Desians fall upon the group and they are saved by a mysterious swordsman. He offers to stay for a fee, but when he hears the name of one of the members he tells that member not to come.

The Member is eventually allowed to join and they move on. Eventually they discover that there are two worlds vying for mana. This regeneration process robs the other world of its mana, therefore sending it into decay. The chosen one of Sylvarant and friends try to find a way to make the quest work for both worlds.

Now there is quite a bit more to this story than I just put in to that last paragraph. That’s because the story is the BEST part of this game. It’s deep, philosophical, and has so many twists and turns that I can’t really say too much past the first few hours of gameplay. Suffice to say this story is one of the best, well developed, and executed storylines I’ve ever seen in a video game. To prove that point they have made a few seasons of a television anime based off of the game, which usually happens the other way around.

CHARACTERS

Tales_of_Symphonia_Front_Page

Lloyd Irving-The main character, he was raised by a dwarf that found him and his mother. His mother died and imparted to him a stone. He’s stubborn and doesn’t like studying anything but fighting. He’s good hearted and never gives up. Dwarven vow #9 fall seven times get up 8 best describes his character.
Colette Brunel-The chosen one of Sylvarant. A sweet, innocent, sometimes naive girl. She is very strong though and is willing to accept whatever fate she must in order to make a better world for everyone. Her favorite Dwarven vow is #7 “Goodness and love will always win.”
Genis Sage-Llyod’s best friend, magic user, and extremely studious. He is the younger brother of  their schoolteacher. Often Llyod’s intellectual foil (especially since his sarcasm sometimes goes right over his friend’s head). His favorite Dwarven Vow would be #16 “You can do anything if you try.”

Kratos Aurion-The mysterious swordsman that saves them in the beginning of the game. He’s extremely adept at fighting and eventually becomes an unwilling mentor to Lloyd in this respect. His favorite Dwarven vow would be  #5 “The more you add, the worse it gets.”

Raine Sage-The Older sister of Genis. She is an avid historian and a great teacher. She is also a magic user. Very calm and likes to think things through, unless historic artifacts are involved. At that point she forgets where she is and will run in headfirst. She’s also a TERRIBLE cook. Her favorite Dwarven vow would be #43″never forget the basics.”
Sheena Fujibayashi- An assasain from the neighboring world vying for the mana called Tethe’alla. Haunted by failures in her past, she has sworn to stop the chosen one of Sylvarant. However when she discovers that Colette is willing to help her world she concedes to helping find a better way for both worlds. Favorite Dwarven vow- “a bad workman blames his tools.

Zelos Wilder-The chosen one of Tethe’alla. He is snobbish, spoiled, and believes he is god’s gift to women. Constantly hits on just about all of the female characters in the game. Actually if you walk around as him women will give him different items. Favorite Dwarven Vow- #10 “Play hard, Play Often.”
Presea Combatir-A twelve year old lumberjack. Sound odd? It is but her story is being shadowed by the things in the story that would be huge spoilers. Just know she’s very quiet but very strong. Her favorite Dwarven vow would be #14 “Even a small star shines in the darkness.”

GAMEPLAY

Tales-of-Symphonia-Dawn-of-the-New-World-Battle

The gameplay to this game is pretty cool. You can decide which character you want to control. Usually you will be in a group with about four members and the ones you don’t control will do whatever you assign them to do. For example if you want someone to just use magic attacks and stay on the back lines, you can program them to do that. If you want them to conserve said magic and rush their attackers, they can be programmed to do that as well. There are seemingly endless ways to customize not only the actual fighting styles IN the battle but outside of battle for preparation. As is the custom with RPGs everything contributes to the battle from the shoes on your feet to the  bandanna you can put on your head. Also there are things called exospheres that can add to your strength and abilities.

Another thing that makes this gameplay cool is that its not 100 percent turn based. You have control over your character’s movements and timing often is key. You can utilize a variety of magic spells that can do anything from heal to summon lightning. The swordsmasters and hand to hand combat characters are able to do many different charge attacks. When you get the gauge at the bottom of the screen filled you can release a hard hitting team attack. You fill the gauge by doing combos with individual characters, of which there are a LOT of.

Also there is a large variety in gameplay with mini games and puzzles found often throughout the worlds that you traverse.

GRAPHICS

02For a Gamecube game the graphics are great. It keeps its anime style during the entire world. When you are in battle stylized magic attacks and strike attacks are touched up to look pretty good. Amazing artwork with subtle touches throughout. A nice style and very good attention to the characters. One thing I like in other platform RPGs that is absent here however is the changing of clothes when you equip different items. That’s a nice touch that I wish I could see visually in this game. Other than that great looking enemies, great looking characters, and great looking worlds.

MUSIC

The music is good. A good score for the game they were trying to make, though it does get a bit repetitive. Here’s a clip I found on youtube.

Just imagine that over and over and you have just about every fight. But its not as bad as it seems, it changes up when you go to a different world.

RATING

5_StarFive stars for this game. It effectively merges the RPG world with live action gameplay. Not only is the full strategy concept there, but the action is as well. With hours of gameplay and secrets to unlock you’ll be replaying this for a long time. The story never gets old, the characters personalities come to life in every cut-scene and battle. The story keeps you engrossed to the point where you won’t want to stop playing just so you will know what happens next.

If you haven’t played this game, you really should. Its amazing and you are doing a disservice to yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Batman: Arkham Origins Trailer

So recently the Batman Arkham Origins video game trailer was released. For awhile now there’s been a lot of speculation as to what this game would be about and who the villains would be. Well thankfully they’ve finally released a trailer.

Now a lot of people will be disappointed in the voice acting selection however a quick browsing of the IMBD page and you will see that Kevin Conroy is indeed back as batman, however the lack of Mark Hamill is saddening. Instead they’ve moved Troy Baker (Robin,Two-face from Arkham City) over to play The Joker, he’s a good voice actor so we shall see.

The reason they’ve changed voices is that this is supposed to be a younger batman. Just starting out I believe about two years in. Batman has not yet garnered the respect or help of the Gotham PD. Gordon is just a captain and Black Mask has decided to put such a large price on this new Batman’s head that head hunters from all over the world come to cash in. This includes Slade and Deadshot. The game again takes place over one night, Christmas eve.

It seems like this world will be even bigger and interactive than the last one. Each game seems to build upon what the last one established. Sometimes in video game trilogies this ends up adding too much extra gimmicky stuff and the last one is people’s least favorite. Hopefully the designers have treaded that thin line between too much and not enough growth.

Overall I’m pretty excited for this game, the Arkham series is the only series besides Gears of War that I’ve actually reserved and grabbed a place in line for. It’s never disappointed me so I look forward to this one!

Here’s a list of the voice actors from IMBD-

Cast

Nolan North … Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin / Roman Sionis / Black Mask (voice)

Troy Baker … The Joker (voice)

Kevin Conroy … Batman – Older (voice)

Fred Tatasciore … Bane (voice)

Roger Craig Smith … Bruce Wayne / Batman (voice)

Martin Jarvis … Alfred Pennyworth (voice)

David Kaye … James Gordon (voice)

Chris Cox … Floyd Lawton / Deadshot (voice)

I’ll be updating this as I get new info!

Thanks For Reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Obscure Origin stories: Sonic The Hedgehog

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It’s funny that a lot of the real origin stories for beloved characters remain buried under years of speculation, when the truth is out there lurking, hidden in the brush, but there nonetheless for those who will look for it.

It's in there, go ahead, don't be a wimp!
It’s in there, go ahead, don’t be a wimp!

Well this time I’ve searched the depths of the “Internet” to bring you the origin story of one SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. Ok to be honest I read it in a comic book when I was younger but I didn’t fully remember all of the details so I DID search the internet a little. It was released as an advertisment/mini comic book.

I actually like the story. It has Sonic starting off on his homeworld of Mobius, that’s the name of the place every Sonic game takes place. Well, until perhaps 1998 whenthey revamped the story for Sonic Adventure, however this origin story still fits.

In the beginning of the comic Sonic is being chased by one Dr. Ivo Robotnik AKA Eggman. Sonic is too fast which leads Eggman to crash his ship in his haste to catch him. Sonic then attacks all of the Badniks he has with him, releasing the animals inside. After Eggman flees the other animals suggest they should go see Dr. Ovi Kintobor surely the good doctor could help sort this guy out? No silly animals don’t you see what they did there? With the names? Dr Ovi Kintobor is just Dr. Ivo Robotnik spelled backwards!

I-See-What-You-Did-There.

Right so how did this happen? How did Ovi become Ivo? Well without further delay, here’s the full comic I dug out of the internet just for my too cool readers!

399px-STHPromoSTHPromo01 399px-STHPromoSTHPromo02 394px-STHPromoSTHPromo03 396px-STHPromoSTHPromo04 397px-STHPromoSTHPromo05 397px-STHPromoSTHPromo06 397px-STHPromoSTHPromo07 399px-STHPromoSTHPromo08 397px-STHPromoSTHPromo09 395px-STHPromoSTHPromo10 394px-STHPromoSTHPromo11 392px-STHPromoSTHPromo12 395px-STHPromoSTHPromo13 396px-STHPromoSTHPromo14 394px-STHPromoSTHPromo15

I actually really like this story. It explains why he’s collecting the rings and why he’s this bright blue color. The fact that Eggman is contributing to his own terrible condition by making Sonic drop the rings he’s only collecting to help him is great in my eyes. I’m a sucker for tragic bad guys and heroes who want nothing more than to save them(i.e Batman and two face’s relationship in the animated series). If you didn’t know the origin to Sonic before, well, now you know!

Oh also there’s something floating around called the Sonic Bible which is basically the same story but its a novel and talks more about Sonic’s family. I might upload that later if you guys want me too :).
Thanks For reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Most Underrated Xbox Title of All Time!


advent_rising10 (1)Advent Rising!

System: Original Xbox

Price: Well when I bought it used it was $2

I remember when I first picked this game up for 2 dollars at a pawn shop in college. My friends and I came back from band practice (all music majors at the time) put it in the Xbox and sat back to see what a crappy game I’d purchased.

Immediately we were blown away by the composition of the music. I mean epic is basically the bare minimum for the term you’d have to use to describe it. It caught us so off guard we actually laughed.

This wasn’t what we expected.

STORYLINE

Almost immediately we were thrown into a new world where the stars were no longer the limits and humans were being sent out as ambassadors to meet an entire species that thought of them as holy creatures. Soon after they meet them, the aliens that want to destroy them attack their ship. The main character Gideon uses previously unknown psychic powers to help stop the attack and then he is sucked through a wormhole. That’s where the game really starts.

I’m big on character driven stories. I think everyone subconsciously is, I mean you can’t really care about what’s going on in a story if you don’t care about the characters. In advent rising they really push the dynamics between the characters. Gideon is the younger brother of a hot shot war hero. His brother basically gets him a job just off of his charisma and Gideon is left wondering if he is completely worthless. There are many other characters that add to the drama and feel of this game. Overall this storyline just gets 5 stars from me, this is what I love to see from my video games. Take it seriously, develop those characters and subplots!

Characters

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Gideon Wyeth (voiced by Will Friedle) — The main character of the game. He is a member of one of the last human outposts.
Ethan Wyeth — Gideon’s hotshot older brother. Because of his celebrity following the Independence Wars, he is assigned the role of pilot for the mission of first contact with the Aurelians. He used his connections to instate Gideon as his co-pilot.
Olivia Morgan (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) — Gideon’s fiancé, a scientist assigned to Luriam space station.
Marin Steel — A decorated pilot from the Independence Wars, she encounters Gideon as he attempts to escape Bahr Han on her ship. She is captured by the Seekers and unsuccessfully imprisoned on the island of Teran, having developed her own psychic powers.
Kelehm Farwaters (voiced by Dwight Schultz) — A ninth-tier Garhgon (an Aurelian religious caste), he has trained himself in the telekinetic arts. Kelehm belongs to “the old faith” which states that the discovery of humans is part of a prophecy and the Aurelians will gain greater psychic power through them.
Enorym Tenspur (voiced by Michael Bell) — Ally to Gideon and the most highly trained of the Aurelian elite fighters, Enorym serves as a commander of the elite Felidic warriors. Enorym leads an assault on a Seeker ship shortly after Gideon learns how to use his psychic powers.
Bud – A troublemaking Marine that starts a bar fight with Gideon and later challenges him and Ethan to a training match. After losing, Bud fires a blaster at Ethan. The player then has the choice of either using a stungun to disable Bud or picking up a blaster and killing him, which determines whether his squadmates help you or abandon you in a later gameplay segment.
K’Chell — A Seeker ambassador who interrupts the planetary ruling council and demands that the Aurelians hand over Gideon and Marin. When Kelehm refuses, K’Chell kills him, then escapes to the ansible to inform the Seeker armada.
Sevan — A council member on Aurelia, he leads a rebellion to give the humans to the Seekers and avoid retaliation. After staging a coup, he co-opts the council, gives Marin to the Seekers, and puts Enorym on trial for treason.
Banath — Originally serving as Enorym’s best warrior, he is revealed to be a double agent for Sevan. Having planted a Seeker ambush inside the ansible, Banath becomes visibly angry after Enorym orders him to escort Marin back to the Aurelian capital. He returns with a dropship manned by other rebels after giving Marin to the Seekers and announces his betrayal by killing one of Enorym’s warriors. Gideon kills Banath shortly after Enorym is put on trial.

GAMEPLAY

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As Gideon you’ll be able to utilize his kinetic abilities. One of my favorite parts of this game is the fact that he is just learning them. Now clearly this something many games use in order to make your character weaker in the beginning so the game will be harder. However in Advent rising they really mean he is LEARNING and he doesn’t stop ever. You get new and exciting moves and upgrades all the way through until the last stage. The greatest part of this game is they always throw something new at you and honestly its not even when one thing gets old, they just do it. Oh you’ve got a gun? Here take this Kinetic energy, oh you’ve got kinetic energy? How about SHOOTING FIREBALLS out of your hands? Oh I see you’ve got a Jeep- HOVER CRAFT!

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Pictured: The head developer

One of the more interesting parts of this game is the control system. They have made use of a “flick targeting” control system that utilizes the second joystick. It’s very cool once you get used to it. Basically you flick the stick in the direction of the offending enemy and all of your attacks then go directly to that foe. This really comes in handy as its a large cartoony looking world. A third person shooter like that would have been a hair pulling experience trying to aim.

The enemies are intelligent and vary in size and abilities. They all have several specialized attacks of their own. While one tries to over power you with its extra limbs, another might try to snipe you from a distance, while yet another will try and Rambo you with automatic weapons. All in all the controls and enemies you fight make for very exciting and fun game-play.

Here are the actual controls for the game.

GIDEON CONTROLS
Left Thumbstick Walk. Run. Click In to Toggle Crouch/Stand
Right Thumbstick Flick Targeting
A Button Jump. Pull Up From Hanging Position.
B Button Melee Attack
X Button Arm Left-Handed Weapon (Hold). Dodge From Hanging Position. Activate.
Y Button Arm Right-Handed Weapon (Hold). Reload Weapon.
White Button Throw Grenade. Toggle Grenade (Hold).
Black Button Select Alt Fire Mode (With Right or Left Trigger)
Left Trigger Fire Left-Handed Weapon
Right Trigger Fire Right-Handed Weapon
Combo #1 X + A = Charge Jump
Combo #2 Any Direction + X = Acrobatic Moves

Also there are vehicles! These are pretty cool
SCYTHE VEHICLE CONTROLS
Directional Pad Enter or Exit Driver Side (From the Left). Enter or Exit Turret Side (From the Right).
Left Thumbstick Up = Forward. Down = Reverse.
Right Thumbstick Turn Left/Right. Aim Turret Chain Gun.
A Button Jump
Right Trigger Turbo. Fire Turret Chain Gun.

SHIPS/SHUTTLES CONTROLS
Left Thumbstick Forward = Thrusters. Down = Slow.
Right Thumbstick Steering
Right Trigger Thrusters

ANTI-AIRCRAFT TURRET CONTROLS
Right Thumbstick Aim
X Button Activate/Release
Right Trigger Fire

GRAPHICS

advent graphics 2

Now the graphics are the only reason why any one would ever doubt this game. The director made the choice to have elongated limbs which made them look more like comic book characters. This is an artist’s choice, however it gave them a weird gangly look (the game was originally supposed to be a comic book which may explain why he wanted this so badly). The frame rate does lag in certain areas doing certain things, however it is never enough to detract from the game as a whole. Plus I mean look at it! It still looks AMAZING for an original Xbox game. It plays well and by well I mean its extremely exciting.

Music

Ok I have to come back to this music because…well it’s part of me! I love music and truthfully a game with poorly composed music will make me put it down just as quickly as bad graphics.

But here are two examples of the total and complete epicness of the music for this game.

Here’s another one which is used a few times during boss battles but they have more themes as well.

The music was composed by Emmanuel Fratianni and Michael Richard Plowman and performed by Laurie Robinson and Tommy Tallarico. Here’s the list of songs for the entire soundtrack.

Advent Rising Original Soundtrack (57:21)
No. Title Length
1. “Muse” 3:08
2. “Poeta” 3:36
3. “Bounty Hunter” 3:05
4. “Aurelia” 3:03
5. “Greater Lights (feat. Charlotte Martin)” 3:52
6. “Glorious Human” 1:46
7. “Stolen Transport” 2:15
8. “Canyon Encounter” 2:04
9. “The Rise Of Aurelia” 2:01
10. “Edumeas Last Stand” 2:04
11. “Aurelian Conflict” 2:04
12. “The Aurelian Movement” 2:21
13. “Luriam Down” 1:04
14. “The Human Movement” 2:09
15. “Human Demise” 1:35
16. “Seeker Assault” 2:05
17. “Midst Of The N’Kul” 0:34

18. “Seeker Horde” 1:04

19. “Fiery Arrival On Aurelia” 0:55
20. “Power Within” 2:11
21. “Fortified Strength” 1:01
22. “Mastery Of Self” 2:20
23. “Return To Humanity” 2:16
24. “The Seeker Movement” 2:09
25. “Seeker Unrest” 2:05
26. “Conquest” 0:36
27. “Greater Lights (Jay-J’s Shifted UP Mix)” 3:58

WHY ISN’T THIS GAME HAILED AS AWESOME?

Well apparently there was a terrible marketing strategy of people being able to win one million dollars if they were able to decipher secret messages in the games various levels. Due to issues with security they had to shut down the contest which cost them quite a lot of money and advertisement. Also the first reviews for this game were way off, giving them five out of ten. Later they went back and fixed that with reviews like 8 out of ten or 7.8 out of 10 (IGN). Without advertising its hard to really get as big as you should be able to. However there is a core community online that knows about this game and they LOVE it. Its getting bigger and bigger by word of mouth, unfortunately it may be a little late for the company that produced it. However there are sites and Facebook pages online dedicated to this game and to creating a sequel.

SEQUEL

Will there be one? Who knows, it’s one of those things, teased forever but it’s anybody’s guess. Some things weren’t meant for sequels (Hangover I’m looking at you). However this game clearly was written to be given at least two more entries. Especially taking into account the terrific ending that happens AFTER the credits. Oh and that’s not just a cutscene there is GAMEPLAY after the credits. Yeah I had walked away (like a BOSS) after thinking I had beaten one of the best games ever made.

My face when I saw what was going on.

Suffice to say that last part was the icing on the cake. I mean that really let me know how much one, they respected this genre, and two knew about cinematic qualities being infused with video games. It was an amazing teaser for the next game which unfortunately never came out. Yet there are still those who are pushing for it.

On the plus side they have produced a line of comic books that I haven’t read but apparently they follow up so if you want to check those out here.

RATING

5_Star

If you couldn’t already tell this is getting five out of five stars. The story is excellent, the music is amazing, the gameplay is exciting, fun and always advancing. It does a great job in making you feel what Gideon is feeling and all of these things merge together at the end to make one amazing experience.  The replay value is VERY high on this as they’ve included a way to upgrade different abilities. Also if its ever NOT fun to dive through the air and force blast an enemy into a lake of lava please stop the planet because I’ll be getting off.

So the bottom line is, if you haven’t gone out and purchased this game, do it. Seriously it’s like 2 bucks and an original Xbox is like 30 bucks now(because its not backwards compatible sucks I know.)

Thanks for reading everyone! I’ll keep  you up to date with new Xbox One news as well as PS4 news when they start delivering it. As always I’ll be bringing you old school reviews!

Thanks Again!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Spielberg and Halo, sounds promising but will it work?

halo live action

Long ago when I t’was but a child, a game emerged from the darkness that changed First person shooters forever. That game was Halo, and almost as long as its been out, there have been rumors about its first foray onto the big screen. First Peter Jackson signed on then off again, no wait on again! Then back off and the project labored in development hell and fans around the world screamed and shook their fists at the moon, or maybe that was just me.

Anyway video games to movies usually end one of two ways, terrible for the fans or terrible in general. Resident Evil is a good example, I challenge you to show me at this point, any connection to the game’s plot at all. I won’t wait because it’s not there. They completely overhauled it into an apocalyptic zombie fest which isn’t bad but it definitely isn’t a reflection on the survival horror game I came to love that had you constantly searching for ammo.

Street fighter legend of Chun-Li made me literally hate Chun-Li, I honestly haven’t played as her on Street fighter since then. It was such a bad movie (as was the first street fighter) that it may have negatively impacted sales of the video game.

What usually happens is the production companies see the video game industry as a comical thing. They don’t respect the genre and see it as a cheap way to make money, so they go cheap on it. They don’t get the best producers, they get the writers that have never proven themselves in an action genre. I.E The writers for the Tekken movie had people that only wrote dramatic films which led to over developed characters, not enough action, and a storyline that never quite got fulfilled.

However with all of these things in mind Microsoft would not allow that to happen to the child it stole from Apple(c’mon people look its right here). They have now enlisted Steven Spielberg to Executive Produce a Halo television series for Xbox Live gold members.

Now here’s the problem…A TELEVISION SERIES. Halo is far to epic in reach and scope to be confined to the small screen. Honestly I don’t know if I want to see the Master Chief every week anyway. He lacks the character to be seen repeatedly in this sense. In fact the most interesting dynamic in the entire game is his relationship with Cortana, the computer that is far more human than he is.

“For me, the ‘Halo’ universe is an amazing opportunity to be at the intersection where technology and storytelling meet,” Spielberg said.

I just don’t know on the one hand it’s Spielberg, coming off of Lincoln I’m sure he’s just itching for some sci-fi epic goodness. On the other hand a television series with characters that are basically reasons for the Master Chief to blow things up in awesome ways just seems, unreasonable. Now I know as a quasi-nerd I should go by the “in Spielberg we trust” rule but for me its doubly rough to take the fact that a feature length live action film probably won’t be made, and also that Halo will be basically an experimental project for the Xbox1’s crossover capabilities and appeal.

Hopefully it will be as awesome as it’s potential but that will be seen in the months to come. Until then I’ll keep holding out for a Gears of War movie. Maybe they’ll wait a year or so and I’ll be able to direct that. You never know!

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Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

XBOX ONE REVEALED TODAY DETAILS HERE!

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Today is the big day! Xbox one is finally revealed in dramatic form in Seattle and London. Ok now some of these things (like Steven Spielberg’s connection with Halo, awesome) I will have to address in separate Blogs that I will link to in this article when they are up. However right now I will list everything that I can at the moment.

CONTROLLER

xboxd_controller_rhs78_transbg_rgb_2013 First there is a “new” controller that basically looks exactly like the old one but black and a little sleeker.

The real upgrades to the controller take place on the inside.

The triggers are apparently very responsive and the directional pad has been reworked for touch sensitivity as well.

Everything else pretty much looks the same, the joysticks are concave now which seems like it will give you a little more control.

The images on the start and back buttons are different but seriously relax people, they’ll probably do the same things as before.

The bumper’s are still there (remember the black and white buttons? Good times…)  With this controller Microsoft opted to keep the traditional controller and focus on other upgrades for their new system.

SYSTEM

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The Xbox One is powered by an eight-core AMD processor and a very powerful graphics processor. Codenamed “Durango,” the console, gaming site Kotaku reports, will have 500GB of storage space, 8GB of RAM and USB 3.0 connectivity right out of the box. It also now has Blu-Ray capabilities! This will give us cleaner cut scenes and of course access to a wider movie base as everything is moving toward blu-ray (been moving toward it). It has wi-fi built in also which wasn’t featured in the original 360 but was later added into the Elite version.

All of this power will make for games with amazing visuals and equally amazing gameplay. Hopefully the story lines will be as awesome, graphics aren’t a band-aid for poorly written material.

KINECT

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Kinect is now an extremely integral part of this system as it will not work without it. That’s what I said it WILL NOT WORK unless your Kinect is attached, but take a deep breath and chill reader, it comes with one.They have completely upgraded Kinect and it can now take 1080 video as well as notice subtle movements. It is also compatible with the Xbox controller. By moving the controller you can do different activities in the game which makes it possible to utilize the Kinect even in traditional games. They’ve also upgraded the speaking functions allowing for a wider range of voice commands utilizing the Kinect’s microphone. Another addition is the Kinect’s upgraded light to object meter and camera. It now has the ability to work in a completely dark room. Microsoft is really pushing the Kinect’s limits in order to captialize on one of their more popular add-ons. Seems like a good idea, Nintendo tapped into an entirely new marketplace with the accessibility of the Wii’s control. Perhaps just using your hands and voices will appeal to that same consumer base? We shall see!

GAMES

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They haven’t revealed many games and the ones they have are the ones that are on every system such as FIFA soccer and NBA live. Microsoft execs have stated that there are 15 games in production right now and 8 are Xbox exclusive. They are probably saving these reveals for the E3 event and are focused more on the actual gaming systems special functions.

I’m sure however it’s safe to say that fan favorite trilogies such as Halo and Gears of War will be back for the Xbox1. Also I just saw the trailer for Batman Arkham origins that may be playable on Xbox1 depending on the release. Even still it may get a Xbox1 and 360 release so we can look forward to that.

I for one would love to see Prey 2, I loved the first game and even though the second one seems quite different, I wouldn’t mind seeing what Tommy has been up to.

SPECIAL FUNCTIONS

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Xbox one will allow you to chat with friends on Skype(owned by Microsoft) while watching a movie on the new Blu-ray system or watching live TV, or surfing the web. In addition to adding more voice recognition functions, they’ve added a lot of integrated app functions. This means when you download an app such as ESPN, you can get the updates while you play. You can also hook your cable up to the Xbox and record shows as well as get show recommendations based on what you usually watch.

The real focus of Microsoft has moved from purely gaming to entertainment as a whole. Microsoft is attempting to send the entire entertainment industry through their product. From your cable television programs to their own programming that will be coming soon, you can send all sorts of entertainment through it.

Well I guess they had do something because as I hear Apple is coming with something similar later on, and people by Apple stuff just because it says Apple on it.

Microsoft has built deeper Smartglass support into the console, letting you use your smartphone or tablet to display secondary information. However this is the only thing that has been released regarding  news of Xbox one’s compatibility with tablets and mobile devices. Hopefully we’ll hear about that more later on. However for the present time that is the only thing that is a little disturbing. I’ve had the Xbox live app on my phone for awhile and I would love to see an upgraded version of that soon.

It’s clear that Microsoft has decided to attempt to grow not only with their games, but with entertainment as a whole. With this new Xbox they are attempting to give the consumer the ability to do everything from watch television to record videos, through their product. It seems like an exciting situation and I can’t wait to find out the (hopefully) amazing things that will be done with it.

The release date is sometime in 2013 though they failed to be more specific about when.

Sony didn’t stay quiet as they threw a little “shade” Microsoft’s way via twitter.

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Well we await your full announcement with bated breath Sony!

Oh and Spielberg is Executive Producing a Live Action Halo series for Xbox Gold.

Ha! More on that later! Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Wiseguy Industries

It’s Morphin’ Time! Mighty Morphing Power Rangers SNES review!

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I’m back from playing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

As I’ve recently discovered, MMPR is now on Netflix in its entirety. Sad to say the television series just doesn’t stand up AT ALL anymore. In fact I’m pretty much embarrassed to say I loved it as a kid. Bad acting, bad graphics, just loud noises and punching. It certainly appeals to children but makes no attempt to bring the parents in. Plus maybe I’m just getting old but why is it SO LOUD?

However this is about the game, and how it holds up. A classic 2D scroller for the SNES, it was produced for Sega Genesis, Game Gear, Sega Mega drive, and Gameboy as well. Yes MMPR was HUGE back in the day. Actually while Bandai handled production for Nintendo, Sega produced their version themselves. So I’ll do those reviews later because they were all QUITE different from the SNES version. So SNES 2D scroller everybody got it? Okay, ready, and GO!

STORYLINE

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Honestly the story is…barely there. Apparently Rita has sent the putty monsters to different areas and you have to fight your way through to the boss at the end. No word on why, I’m assuming because she wants to take over the earth or something. All of the villains are based off the first season. However Rita’s full plan as to how all of these different areas being taken over is never revealed in the game. So it’s a generic beat em’ up story line with the power rangers in the driver’s seat. Not much going on here so it doesn’t get a high rating from me.

Side Note: I’ve always thought the power rangers could have great stories. 6 different characters give them a back story and watch it take off!

Cast Of Characters

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C’mon if you don’t know the originals, sigh, we will have to do some post work on your childhood. It’s okay I think we will be able to save it.

Jason-Red Ranger- Power Sword

Zach- Black Ranger-Power Ax

Kimberly- Pink Ranger- Power Bow

Billy-Blue Ranger-Power Lance

Trini- Yellow ranger- Power Daggers

As soon as you morph you get to use the power weapons. Each character has a unique fighting style in both forms. This force you into to develop different techniques while playing.

GAMEPLAY

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Players can choose from any of the original 5 rangers, Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, and Pink. You begin each area in their civilian forms, as you progress throughout the level you will eventually come upon the boss, then its MORPHIN’ TIME and you change into your ranger form. The Ranger form has stronger attacks, utilizing each rangers specific weapon. If you press up and attack you will get an attack that will knock the enemy to the ground (except the pink ranger she fires an arrow for long-range assault). Also each ranger can acquire a “bomb” which will wipe the screen clear of any enemies and/or cause heavy damage on a Boss.

As per the classic 2D scroller mechanics, you move forward until you meet Putty patrollers or other enemies. Then you must defeat them all before you are allowed to proceed to the next part of the stage. Over all the gameplay is straight forward, beat ’em up style action. However the variations between the characters civilian forms and rangers forms, as well as the varying strengths of the bosses and enemies makes this gameplay pretty challenging and cool. You DO get to control the mega zord in this version. The last two stages feature you in the mega zord doing some heavy damage against large villains. There are different attacks based on the level on which your power bar is. This is what makes this version my favorite incarnation of this game.

Graphics

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As per usual SNES style, the graphics are pretty good. Bright and colorful with an easily viewable HUD. The explosion you get through using the bomb results in a huge flashing symbol of your character’s animal on the screen. =

The bosses are well made and their attacks look pretty cool. Plus when you get to that last level and finally get to utilize the huge zord…Let’s just say it will make you feel like a kid again. The graphics merge seamlessly with the music and the attacks the bosses throw at you on screen. Meaning usually the music changes when the boss appears for the first time and when a certain attack is about to be levied.

For an old game it doesn’t look bad at all. In fact I think the graphics being simple but detailed help convey the overall approach the game makers took when they decided to make this game a reality.

Overall I’d say you can more than deal with these graphics even if you’ve been playing Call of Duty on a High Def/resolution screen everyday for a year. (Seriously get up and get some air, the game’s not going anywhere.)

Music

The music is pretty good. It is nothing more than several variations on the Mighty Morphin’ theme song. Which, if you can recall, is AWESOME. This is really the basic point of the game, they weren’t trying to be something they weren’t. This is a Power Rangers game and they weren’t shy about making it just that.

STAND OR FALL?

It is interesting. The lack of quality scroller games are what actually help this stand up today. The variety in the mechanics and levels completely make this playable in today’s industry. Multiple characters to choose from with different weapons and different abilities. That’s actually what is missing from today’s games. I really enjoyed the details and time they put into making each characters fighting style. The fighting styles reflected the actual personality of each character which is great.

FINAL SCORE

This one REALLY surprised me. I didn’t think I’d be giving it anywhere close to this score but here it is!

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4.5 stars! The replay value is very high (I’ve already played it through two or three times now) and the ability to play with another player adds even more to the fun! Definitely one to recommend to your friends, especially since you can join in on the slug-fest! (only via passwords at the end but still, lots of fun!).

If it were released today.

Well, sad to say based on the utter failure of TMNT in time’s release (another 2D scroller), I’d say it would be a flop. I believe they would stray from the straight forward approach and add too much that would detract from the beautiful simplicity that is hitting a Putty Patroller in the head with an axe. No I believe we should be content to travel down memory lane and pick up that grey controller.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this review check out my others! Oh and this one! Thanks everyone for reading! I do hope you enjoy these and find them helpful in your quest for old school gratification!

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Side note: Why’s the black guy the only one dancing??

ahh 90s racial stereotypes

Sincerely,

That Wiseguy