Today is media overload! Frozen, Iron Man 2, and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse all arriving on dvd, and if that weren't enough, after years of impatiently waiting, I finally get to play the sequel to the greatest Xbox 360 game of all time! That's right people, DEAD RISING 2 has finally arrived....
As you can see from the video review, or if you played DR2: Case Zero, not a lot has changed from the original. Of course that's plenty fine with me, but for those of you who hated the save system, or hated the timer on missions, you probably won't like this one either. But for everyone else who fell in love with Frank West, and can't wait to fall in love all over again with Chuck Greene, send a friend request to Lil Bones, and let the slaughter commence!
Before getting into this, be warned that this particular blog post will be filled with spoilers for The Last Exorcism, so if you foolishly harbor any notion of watching this sad excuse for entertainment yourself, you might want to stop here.
For those still with me, see that poster above? Cool right? I think so too. Only problem being nothing even remotely resembling that image occurs in this "mock-doc". I remember seeing the trailer for TLE, and getting all worked up because it looked like The Exorcist meets The Blair Witch Project, and I happen to love both of those movies. How cool would it be to witness The Exorcist from the perspective of somebody that was in the room holding a camcorder? Awesome!
The Last Exorcism begins with your typical meet and greet with the principle characters, just like Blair Witch, you get the setup and everything is going smoothly until they arrive at their destination. This is where TLE goes so very wrong. You promise me a demon possessed little girl, an exorcism, and give me the idea that this will be the guy performing the exorcism's "last" and my mind just starts to play out these horrific scenarios, any number of which would've been better than what I witnessed in this movie. Oh, there's an exorcism all right. Only there's just two things, one the priest is just putting on a show, complete with fake demon sounds, and other such smoke and mirrors, and two, this girl isn't possessed in the first place.
Turns out the good reverend Cotton Marcus ( or Professor Lasky if you prefer, as I do) is basically just a con man, charging a handsome amount of money to "exorcise the demons" from uneducated bible belters such as the Sweetzer clan down in Louisiana. As it turns out, little Nell isn't possessed by a demon at all, she's just pregnant, and has had some sort of psychological break as a result of it. And of course Pappy Sweetzer refuses to believe any of this nonsense, what with him being all hopped up on the Jesus juice and all. The devil done took his daughter, that's for sure, and if the reverend can't fix her, then his trusty double barrel will. Because really, that's the way the Lord would want it.
Of course at some point along the way the movie completely loses all sense of direction, and goes for a Blair Witchy twist at the end, but I'm being perfectly honest when I tell you that I have absolutely no idea what happened. Between the nonsense that I was watching on the screen, and the brief glimpses we were given of the goings on due to the camera man's apparent epileptic seizures that kicked in during the last 10 minutes of filming, I couldn't tell exactly what I was watching. It appeared to me that the town was full of Satanists, who were going to sacrifice Nell and Daddy Sweetzer for some reason, and her asshole brother was in on it? At the risk of sounding like a complete moron to any of you who have seen this, and understood the ending perfectly, I won't be saying any more than that.
So, to summarize, good start, huh?, HUH?, the fuck?, credits. The Last Exorcism was a monumental letdown. Maybe if I hadn't been led to believe that this was a mash up of The Exorcist and Blair Witch by, oh I don't know, EVERY single trailer, poster, tv spot, online ad, etc., I would've gone a little easier on it. But when I sit down and invest time and money into something thinking it's going to be one thing, and it turns out to be another, and this other thing sucks, then I get angry. And you wouldn't like me when I'm angry. You reading this Laskey?!
I had been working on this damn achievement since completing the campaign for the first time last week. It requires you to "Performed an Assassination against an Elite to survive a fall that would've been fatal", and as far as the internet is concerned there is pretty much only one place to do it. So here's a video from Achievement Hunter showing how it's done...
As you will hear in the first sentence of the video, it's pretty fucking difficult. Not so much because it requires skill, but because it requires LUCK. I can honestly tell you that I probably attempted this around 200 times before it finally popped, but yesterday it finally did. So I'm 25 points closer to getting a complete 1000pts on Reach, and inching ever closer to that Haunted helmet I mentioned yesterday.
Normally I wouldn't hit you guys with Halo two days in a row, but dammit I was excited about this achievement, and I had to tell somebody...
So I know I said I was back, and I know I've only updated twice since then...but it's not my fault guys. There's this helmet in Halo Reach called Haunted, and it looks like this:
Which I'm sure you're thinking is absolutely perfect for someone with a gamertag like..oh, I don't know..."Lil Bones" or something. Well friend, I wholeheartedly agree. Only problem with that being, I currently look like this:
Sure, I look badass. I've always loved the CQB helmet, because it reminds me of Cobra Vipers from GI Joe. In fact it's the one I used for most of my Halo 3 career, and in Reach it's looking better than ever. But Haunted has a skull face, and I simply can't live without it.
So, all that being said, that's where I've been spending all of my free time. In order to unlock the Haunted variant, I must first purchase all other base helmets in the game, and some of them are expensive in both credits, AND requirements that must be met before a purchase option is available. Couple those thing with the fact that my Halo skills are average at best, and you start to get the idea.
Unfortunately for the blog, there's a lot more Halo Reach in my immediate future, but I'm sure I will be finding time to update with my usual randomness. I watched The Last Exorcism this week, and holy hell do I have some bad things to say about it. I've also got viewings of several other things lined up, including the dtv sequel to 30 Days of Night, and Machete. Also anticipating the arrival of the sequel to the greatest Xbox 360 game of all time, Dead Rising, on Tuesday. So lots to talk about coming up, bear with me!
From Kick-Ass, which you might remember me mentioning that I fucking hated for a number of reasons. No reason greater than the fact that Nic Cage was in it though, and for all it did wrong, Lick-Ass did do one thing right. One thing that can absolutely never be considered wrong. One thing that all movies from here on out should aspire to accomplish. It killed Nic Cage, and for that it gets a random screen grab.
So, what did I do for the month or so that I was offline? Well first I finished Metro 2033, and that is one criminally ignored game. It starts out pretty slow, but if you stick with it, it gets so much better. I can't wait for 2034 to drop. But if you read the post title, you know that game isn't really what I'm here to talk about.
As soon as I finished Metro, I started Alan Wake. The plot basically goes like this, Alan is a writer who has suffered from writer's block for a while, and his wife suggests they go on vacation to a secluded mountain town called Bright Falls. Hopefully some time away from the city is going to help Alan get through his creative dry spell. When they arrive, everything seems normal enough until the first night in their cabin, after Alan and Alice have a fight, Alan storms out, then hears Alice screaming from back inside. He rushes back just in time to see her fall into the lake. He dives in after her, but can't find her, then blacks out. When he awakens, he's behind the wheel of their car which has been in an accident.
Alan spends the rest of the game looking for his wife, trying to make sense of what happened, and fighting for his life against the town's residents, known as the Taken. The town seems to be under the influence of some dark presence that takes control of not only the residents, but even inanimate objects (like bulldozers!). While he makes his way through the nightmare, Alan also comes across pages from a manuscript chronicling the events as if they were from a book he'd written, only he doesn't remember writing it.
Alan Wake completely took me by surprise. I knew it reviewed well, and that's rare for a survival horror game, especially one that doesn't have a "Resident Evil" or "Silent Hill" anywhere in the title. I knew I'd probably enjoy it, but I had no idea how much. I got completely wrapped up in the story, so much so that I felt more like I was watching a really good movie instead of playing a game. And I think that speaks volumes not only for the writing, but for the gameplay itself. Everything about Alan Wake is very well done.
The story is interesting, with lots of little nods to some big names in horror fiction, from King to Lovecraft. One particular reference that I loved was when Alan was running through the redwoods in a national park, and one tree with a path cut through it was labeled as "The Great Old One". Little things like that are all over the place if you take your time and really pay attention to the game. You almost feel like you're playing out an interactive Stephen King novel. The voice actors all turn in pretty good performances, with Alan in particular being the best, which is good considering he not only has dialog but also narrates the game.
The rest of the game is just as good, controls are tight and for the most part make sense, I would've liked a little better control for aiming but it's forgivable being that you're playing a writer, not a mercenary with years of military training. Enemies are fairly smart, they dodge attacks and react to what you're doing believably. It plays out in sections that act almost as episodes from a television show, even going so far as to start new chapters with a "Previously in Alan Wake" recap of the last chapters events. I like this approach, it's not something I've seen in a game before, and also is a cool way for the developers to continue Alan's story through new dlc "episodes" in the future.
Of course the game's not perfect, and unfortunately it's got one major flaw that came pretty close to breaking my heart and ruining the whole thing. It's the end. I was running along, absolutely devouring the story, finding every manuscript page that I could, thinking I had a pretty good grasp of what was going on, and honestly I even thought I knew how it was going to end (dont' want to say though as I don't want to spoil anything). When the end finally came, what happened I couldn't spoil for you if I wanted to. I have no fucking idea what happened at the end of this game. I understand that the plan all along was to continue it in downloadable episodes, that's cool, sign me up, but just go ahead and hit us with a "to be continued" or something rather than the absolute mind-fuck nonsense that almost ruined the whole experience for me.
I was a little late to the party, and so the first add-on was released while I was playing Alan Wake. I haven't downloaded it yet, but from what I've seen online it's supposed to pick up where the game ends, but does very little to explain what's happened and is primarily combat based content that lasts for about an hour. That's not exactly what I was hoping for with the new episodes. Hopefully developer Remedy will raise the bar with future add ons, and the eventual true sequel will unravel the mystery a little more.
Hello friends and acquaintances! Oh how I've missed you all, and I see a couple of new faces over there in the "Legion of Loyal Followers"! Imaginary being most believe responsible for our creation (God) only knows what brought you here, but dammit welcome, and thanks for following. I shall do my best not to bore you on the off chance that you ever see fit to snoop around the Batcave again.
Going to keep it short and sweet tonight, as it's late, and I'm old and tired. As some of you may be aware, there's some new video game or something that has just released, and it demands most of, if not ALL of, my free time. So with that, I will leave you with the following image (because you all know I HAVE to post an image of some sort). Good night, and imaginary being most believe responsible for our creation bless.