Thursday, May 28, 2009

X-Men -1: The Game

Another Marvel Movie, another tie-in game. Marvel's track record for these things is pretty standard for movie tie in games, with the majority of them sucking and the occasional one, Spider-Man 2 for instance, being absolutely awesome. Luckily it seems that X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Uncaged Edition is leaning towards the better half of that equation.

For starters Raven have got the healing factor right. In the past games have tried to shy away from this and come up with excuses why it doesn't work or underplay it. Not so with Origins, this embraces it. Wolverine will be taking on 10 guys all stabbing and shooting the crap out of him and Logan soldiers on knowing that once dealt with he'll heal up. From a geek perspective I think they may have gone too far. In the comics when Wolverine takes one hell of a kicking he's incapacitated, has to lie there until his body nits itself back together till a point when it functions again. Not so here, Logan can be missing all his skin, layers of muscle with skeleton exposed and he's still going. He's not so much Wolverine but the God damn Terminator. Still, the look of it all healing up in real time is awesome.

Also Wolverine's shirt seems to have some sort of weird healing factor as well. While his body slowly nits itself back together his shirt keeps any damage it has sustained. That is until there's a cutscene and the vest reappears in its undamaged glory, leaving you the task of destroying it once again by throwing Wolverine into the nearest barrage of bullets.

Once you've played the first two levels you've practically played the whole game as the few extra unit types that get introduced after that are few and far between, or if they do they still act exactly the same as what you've already sliced and diced. The bizarre part of it is the lack of boss fights, or even major bad guys, and I think it might just be laziness on the developers part. After the first level you fight Victor which is great, but his move set is very similar to Logan's. The next boss fight four levels later against Agent Zero starts brilliantly but comes down to stuff you've already done before.

Also the level design is strikes of laziness. The first six levels all take place in the same two locations, then the second of those is swapped out for another but we keep the first. The story works to that advantage and makes it work. Although taking its name from the film the story only takes a few beats from it, and tells its own version of Logan falling out with Stryker and getting his adamantium skeleton. This makes more of an issue of the mission to Africa that takes about 10 minutes in the film and flashes back through out the game.

I realise that this review seems quite bad but that's because it's far easier to write the negative than the positive. This game is like a good action movie, shit blows up and the bad guys get their asses kicked, it may not be the pinnacle of cinema but it is bloody enjoyable.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sulu, Take Us to Maximum Reboot

Hollywood over the last few years seems to have totally lost any confidence in original thought so is turning to every other media type for tried and tested ones. When that doesn't work they go back and try one of their old ideas. Not that they aren't doing a pretty good job of it most of the time.

So the latest in the reboots has now landed in the shape of Star Trek, and once again its a successful one. I'm tempted to say on of the most successful I've seen to date. What's really interesting is that Abrams has taken the usual course of just ignoring everything that has gone before and instead did it in universe, which admittedly Star Trek is one of the few franchises that's actually possible with. Still its a reboot that manages to leave everything before it intact, makes sure you know that and sets course for a whole new heading.

The actors were fantastic as well. Although to start with some of them don't feel quite right, by the time the credits roll they are Kirk and his command crew, the film doing a great job showing how they grow into the roles they are famous for. When Kirk steps onto his bridge at the end of the movie Chris Pine IS Captain Kirk, even the character who plays Kirk's dad does an absolutely fantastic job of giving off that Kirk aura.

Friday, May 01, 2009

X-Men -1

Also known as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was way better than X-Men 3 though that's not exactly hard to do. Not quite as good as X2 but possibly on par with 1. It didn't even fall into the trap of too many plot lines running at once like Fox's recent Marvel films have done and they seem to have learned lessons from Marvel's Iron Man and Hulk.

Apparently the movie has different Easter Egg endings depending on the cinema, I got one in Japan. Now I'm all for the next Wolverine movie happening in Japan, its a genius idea, but this ending was shit. Apparently the other one is with Deadpool and I feel ripped off.

Speaking of which Ryan Reynolds wasn't in the movie enough. I was loving his Deadpool from his very first scene, if even one thing gets commisioned after this it better be Deadpool.

The random character apperances in this are brilliant, they're very careful to not let Cyclops ever see Wolverine and the little cameo at the end was brilliant and incredibly well kept. Although the CGI for it was rubbish.

Watched X2 straight after it and they did a really good job of making Wolverine a really good prequel to this movie, but then I got annoyed at how how much they fucked up X3 and ruined all the potential that was set up.