Sunday, April 23, 2006

Colossal Review Roundup

Alright BLOGOSPHERE, get ready for a large number of very short reviews culled from this depressing month of April.

Scary Movie 4
If the writers had chosen to parody something other than War of the Worlds and The Grudge (which is a bizarre choice, given that the last Scary Movie parodied The Ring, which you need a scorecard to differentiate from The Grudge), this would have been a much better movie. Anna Faris is charming and very funny, and it would be nice if she had some sharper material to work with. Probably worth seeing on Stars, or if you are already at the mall waiting for a hairdressing appointment.

Silent Hill
Once I played Silent Hill 2 for about fifteen minutes and then got so scared that I literally couldn’t sleep for a week. This was in January of this year. This movie is not that scary, but it is extremely grimy and skin-crawlingly unpleasant. The movie fails to evoke the “oh shit, oh shit!” terror of the games, but does manage to weave together a pretty coherent, kind of interesting plot. Laurie Holden is compelling as freaked-out police officer Sybil Bennet, and Sean Bean is entirely misspent in a secondary role that looks like it was filmed as a response to focus-group viewing of an early draft of the movie. The monsters were somehow less terrifying because you can see them clearly; some of the mystery is eroded, so there’s less room to fill in the gaps with your personal psychosexual horrors.

Game Boy Review Roundup – Normal People Stop Reading
Many of you may know that I recently purchased a game boy advance, or as some like to call it a MicroNanoBoy. I did this so I could play games on the subway or train, and in fact it allows me to achieve this goal. The games, however, are not really all that good. Most people think that the game boy is a system for children, but most of these games would cause a carefree young child to convene a Stuffed Animal War Tribunal and sentence the game boy to being used as a very small skateboard ramp. The games are very, very difficult in the manner of classic Nintendo games like Kid Icarus, games that I mastered to such a low and spastic degree that I rarely made it past the opening credits.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
If you are autistic, you will really like this game. Very Japanese, very into punishing you down the road for decisions you make before you really know what you’re doing. I played it for many hours a day for about three weeks then got disgusted and quit. The graphics were charming but the whole experience felt somehow antiquated. The class-switching system is fun, the Laws system is definitely not fun. I liked the equipment management system. I did not like having some of my best soldiers look like deformed rabbits.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Very good. Too short, a little bit too difficult, but all in all a dreamboat.

Metroid Fusion
Made me want to throw the game boy into a storm drain. It seems like it consists of incredibly hard battles interspersed with fun use of your swell cyber-powers, but it’s actually just the typically annoying video game progression where by the time you get your awesome powers, they are not all that awesome. Why would I want to pay to have my alter-ego repeatedly killed by something that looks like a retarded bat wearing an airport metal detector?

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
This made me want to throw the game boy into some kind of special storm drain that is twice as deep as a normal storm drain. Coupling graphics and inventory management straight out of Ultima Three with a delightful mechanic in which if a character dies, he or she is dead forever, this game was absorbing for about ten hours, then the scales fell from my eyes and I realized that I was replaying the same mission for the ninth time and that I secretly wished that all the characters were dead.

Advance Wars II
Shit sandwich.

Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
Since E. Hastings endorsed Paper Mario, I thought this Mario RPG thing might work. Again, this game looks like it might be for children but is in fact better suited to mutant superchildren or baby robots or something. Puzzle minigames: way too hard and annoying. Princess Peach escort mission: abominable. Also, grow some fucking balls, Mario and Luigi! You’re like 40 years old!

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