Archives for : March2013

Top 5 Lessons EA Learned From Sim City: A Darker Image Editorial

sim city

Purchase here if you dare!

5. Quality control does not matter.
Am I on crack? How can this be true? Easily! EA and Maxis have shipped a broken, crippled shell of a game. And they had no idea this was going to happen? Really? You know they play tested the hell out of the game and its always on internet requirement. So what happened? More than likely they did not try at all to overload the servers. In other words the QC department only did minimal testing and sent it down the line. But do you know what the truly frightening thing is? The next time EA needs to save money, what do you think will be cut? That’s right, QA. Why waste the money when you’re paying customers will do it for you. They suck at their jobs anyway right?

sim city it room

4. People don’t buy what they want; they buy what you give them.
If you go by comments and reviews, the vast majority of people are not happy about full time online connections being required. Even when it works right, it’s a problem. Hell, some of us still don’t have proper internet. I live in a rural area and all I can get is satellite internet and only a 15 GB cap at that. There is no way in hell everyone can leave their internet on all the time. But who cares right? THEY want it on and everyone, even the people that griped and griped, bought it. And you know what the most messed up thing is? People are STILL buying it. EA knows if people want the game they will buy it no matter what.

sim city justice

3. Why defend yourself when your “fans” will do it for you.
When the game collapsed into the clusterf@#k we all know and love. EA and Maxis repeatedly refused to admit there was a problem. And you know what? They didn’t have to. The EA and Sim City fan boys flooded message boards praising a game they could not play and a company that shafted them out of their money. And they were damn glad to do it! To this day you can try and criticize the game and you will be buried in hate before you know it. Someone at Maxis finally admitted fault but I don’t think they had to. EA somehow missed firing someone with conscience and they felt they had to say something.

sim city fanboys

2. Pre-orders are vitally important.
Sim City had a large number of pre-orders piled up on launch day. Thus EA knew they had a hit before they even had to support the game. In the future EA will likely push harder to get those pre-orders so that more people will all ready be locked in. Get the money first and they can’t do anything right? Well they could ask for a refund…

sim city line

1. You can get out of giving refunds.
As soon as the Sim City servers started crashing and people couldn’t play their game, some folks started demanding refunds. Some fool at EA issued a statement that you could get one then removed all the phone numbers off their forums and websites. If you did manage to be a sleuth and get a hold of them you were denied by “customer service”. Nice! Finally, a free game was offered to people affected. But it was a game so old that if you wanted it, you would have bought it all ready. Nothing like a “bonus” you didn’t want. Amazon felt so bad, they stopped selling the game. If a corporation decides to stop selling something that is movies mass numbers that should tell you something is seriously wrong.

sim city board room

To all you folks out there that defended EA and Maxis. Thank you. Thank you for proving once again that we are cattle and we live only to be abused. Thank you for making sure future releases will be buggy as hell. Thank you for making us customers paying quality assurance agents. And finally, thank you EA for proving to Microsoft that they can get away with this crap with the new Xbox.

sim city patrol

All pictures used are the copyright of their respective owners.

Inferno: Horror Blu-Ray Review

Blue Underground
Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento (story)
Stars: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle and Eleonora Giorgi
(From imdb.com)

Purchase here!

inferno blu

What they say: Master Of Horror Dario Argento Brings You Terror That’s Hotter Than Hell!

A young woman stumbles upon a mysterious diary that reveals the secrets of “The Three Mothers” and unleashes a nightmare world of demonic evil. As the unstoppable horror spreads from Rome to New York City, this unholy trinity must be stopped before the world is submerged in the blood of the innocent.

Written and directed by Dario Argento, INFERNO is the visually stunning second chapter of the “Three Mothers” trilogy begun with the classic SUSPIRIA. This surreal shocker stars Irene Miracle (NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS), Daria Nicolodi (DEEP RED) and Leigh McCloskey (DALLAS), and features a pulse-pounding original score by Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Blue Underground is proud to present INFERNO freshly transferred in breath-taking High Definition from the original uncut and uncensored negative, complete with exclusive new Extras!

What I say: I am a pretty big fan of Pre-Opera Dario Argento. But in my opinion Inferno is his weakest movie up to this point. Having come off of his Giallo phase and bringing us the sublime Suspiria, Dario felt the need to make a sequel. Darios assistant director was Lamberto Bava, the talentless son of Mario Bava, the godfather of Giallo and a pioneer of Italian horror cinema. Lamberto can bring down any project just by being in the room and Inferno is no exception. Dario even continues the Elder Bava-esque red and blue lighting which was pretty well done in Suspiria, but it just looks garish here.

inferno 1

Mario Bava consulted on the effects so they were pretty good overall, but alas that was the extent of it. Also Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, did the score which came off as fruity unlike the excellent and haunting Goblin score from Suspiria.

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Dario was never known for his storytelling talents, but it is out the window here. The film flies back and forth between Rome and New York and no characters really get fleshed out. This is more of the Three Mothers story from Suspiria but it makes very little sense.

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Picture quality wise is where this disc shine it is gorgeous with lots of fine detail and the colors really pop. It looks incredible and I noticed all kinds of things in the background I never noticed before. The sound is also excellent with clear voices and great sound effects.

Extras include interviews, a trailer , and a Dario Argento intro.

Film: 6/10
Blu-Ray: 9/10

 

This review, written by me,  originally appeared at About Heroes.

Fuel Overdose: PS3 PSN Game Review

Publisher/Developer: I-Friqiya

fuel overdose

What they say: • Action: From the large array of upgradable weapons one can expect for such a game, Fuel Overdose also features innovative and fun weapons and game mechanics such as grappling hooks that can be used in different ways, bomb detonators, and a whole fighting system that offers unique skills moves and attacks to each character of the game.
• Tactical: The choices made before and during the race have a real impact on your chances of success. Whether you play offense or defense, Fuel Overdose leaves no room for luck and features a resource management system for the vehicles and weaponry, a super/ultra attack gauge inherited from the combat genre as well as auction events than can bring a decisive edge to win races.
• Racing: Fuel Overdose is a racing game that requires driving skills and that allows and values different racing styles and a diverse garage of vehicles, themselves all customizable to improve their driving and performance.

 

What I say: Fuel overdose is a strategy racing shooter. Does it bring anything new to the table or is it Mario Kart on steroids?

fuel overdose 1

First the good stuff; the game is, I will have to admit, exactly as the developers said it was. A racing shooter that requires some thought. As far as I am concerned this was refreshing as I don’t think that it would be possible to go through this game and just  shoot everything and do well.

fuel overdose 2

Okay as far as racing it’s not Need For Speed but that is cool because it wasn’t trying to be. As for a shooter it’s not Call Of Duty but that’s cool it wasn’t trying to be. What it was, was an entertaining racing game that took a little more than usual driving skill. Fuel Overdose was an entertaining arcade style shooter that also took some shooting skills.

fuel overdose 3

The arcade style graphics are reminiscent of every driving games ever played in an  arcade. If that is a bad thing or good thing you’ll have to decide for yourself. As for me, I always liked arcade racing games so for me it goes into the plus column. I also liked that all the characters had their own personalities but it would have been nice to have some voice work to really get the feel for the characters as opposed to the text that told their stories.

fuel overdose 4

And so overall my conclusion is, at a price point of $ 9. 99 it is well worth the money spent. A great game to take a break from the other more hardcore games that you play. In conclusion, overall, I’d say go for it.

 

Rating: 7/10

 

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Dollar Dash: PS3 PSN Game Review

Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Candygun Games

dollar dash logo

What they say: Find it, rob it, and keep it. Grab the cash in this fast and frenetic top down multiplayer versus game. Dollar Dash will have you shouting for joy, as you make a dash with the cash. You must attack, defend or outrun your competitors in any of the three game modes (Dollar Dash, Save the Safe or Hit’n’Run) using unique and comedic tactics. Stand out from the crowd by customising your character, upgrading your favourite weapon, earning perks and unlocking achievements. You can’t stand still for a second as combat is crazy and money changes hands frequently. Choose your weapons carefully as you challenge your friends to become the best thief in town and laugh out loud as you smash them with a huge Bolder, peck them with a Mag Pie, while protecting yourself in Jelly!

What I say: When I first heard about Dollar Dash I was looking forward to trying it. It has been compared to the Bomberman games, a perpetual favorite here at A Darker Image Tower. Plus, the game was developed by Candygun which produced the fun Dead Block. Unfortunately the game did not live up to its promise.

dollar dash 1

Having Dollar Dash play as a twin stick game does fine on the surface but the controls seem to lack a certain smoothness. The characters move fast but it seems hard to change course quickly. Add in the frantic nature of the game and this impedes things a great deal. Right off the bad you and the other robbers are fighting for money even while doing the job. The small maps don’t help matters as everyone is always getting hit, and thus dropping their money constantly. So really, there is no skill involved, it’s purely luck. This makes for a hugely frustrating experience. There are multiple game modes but really there isn’t much difference between them. They all play the same, beat the crap out of the other robbers and hope you are holding the money when its time to make the drop or complete whatever objective you are doing.

dollar dash punk

The game is pretty simplistic and there isn’t much reason to keep playing it. There are unlocks to get new options for the various modes and customization items for your character but if the game isn’t much fun, who cares?

Rating: 5/10

Tazza: The High Rollers: Crime DVD Review

Five Points Pictures
Director: Dong-Hoon Choi
Writers: Dong-Hoon Choi, Yeong-man Heo (comic)
Stars: Seung-woo Cho, Yun-shik Baek, Hye-su Kim
(From imdb.com)
Purchase here!

tazza dvd

What they say: After losing his entire savings in an illegal, backroom card game, Goni (CHO Seung-woo, ”The Sword with No Name”) discovers it was all a set up – he was swindled by professional gamblers. Enraged and desperate, he sets out to get his money back by any means necessary. Impressed by the young man’s determination, veteran gambler Mr. Pyeong (BAEK Yoon-sik, ”The Taste of Money”) takes Goni on as his apprentice and teaches him all there is to know about Hwatu, a card game also known as ”The War of Flowers.” Now Goni is ready to make his debut in an underworld where the stakes are high and the rules are few: To win, you must be ruthless. The hand must be quicker than the eye. No game is safe. And there are no friends for life, just as there are no enemies for life.

What I say: Korean cinema seems to excel with its many films about broken human beings. Tazza: The High Rollers continues this trend with the tale of Goni, a habitual loser who enjoys gambling a little too much. After stealing and losing all of his sisters money Goni leaves home in order to win the money back and find the man who swindled him. Things don’t go well until he meets Mr. Peyong, a veteran gambler who takes Goni on as his apprentice. Goni becomes a professional gambler easily winning his money back, but the rush of the win keeps him going. After a while Goni and Mr. Peyong part ways and Goni goes to work for a woman named Madam Jung as a profession gambler. Goni gets word that Mr. Peyong has been murdered and then he sets out for revenge.

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The story line for the film is for the most part presented out of order. This move keeps some mystery to the film and keeps things moving. The performances are all excellend and there isn’t a weak actor in the bunch. The story is twisty and compelling and Dong-Hoon Choi, who went on to direct The Thieves, proves himself to be a slick and talented director. The film went on to be one of the top five films in Korean box office history. Cinematography is also very impressive, taking full advantage of the exotic and varied locals in which the story is set.

tazza 1

The two DVD set is really a marvel. There are over 3 hours of extras on the second disc including a making-of, comparison to the original Manga, interviews, an explanation of Hwatu, the game the gamblers play through the film, gambling trick explained by a real master, and a lot more. All this stuff is fascinating and well worth checking out.

This is a great package and well worth your time if you enjoy Korean and crime cinema!

Film: 9/10
DVD: 10/10
Highly Recommended!!!