The story begins with the end of Mortal Kombat III. Raiden, and the other protectors of Earthrealm have failed to defeat Shao Khan; the evil ruler of Outworld. With his last breath, Raiden sends visions back through time to himself try to change the course of time. The game proceeds to retrace the steps of the first three Mortal Kombat games, however this time it’s slightly different due to Raiden’s reactions to his visions.
This is the best Mortal Kombat game ever made. It’s a 2D fighter with 3D graphics, and a serious return to the core gameplay elements of the series. The combat is simple enough for beginners, and complex enough for veterans.
Story mode plays out like a b-movie. It’s not deep. It’s not particularly well-written, but there is a strong enough narrative to keep things entertaining. It’s a hell of a lot better than the stories of all the other fighting games I’ve ever played.
There are a ton of different game modes to keep you busy. The challenge tower has some insane number of unique trials, and that’s not to mention local and online versus modes.
You cannot skip the often lengthy cinematic sequences of Story Mode.
Shao Kahn is a cheap bastard. Fighting him is just plain old annoying.
Mortal Kombat is hyper violent and the character models are excessively sexualized; both are taken to such an extreme where I found them hilarious.
If you have a problem with sexualized or violent fiction, don’t buy Mortal Kombat.
As a longtime fan of the Mortal Kombat series, this game is a much-needed breath of fresh-air.
Headphones are still a terrible gadget to shop for, but I did settle on the Woodees IESW100L BLUES Noise Isolating Earphones with 3 Button Microphone (Black).
Selecting a Pair
Bose & Skullcandy were out because they aren’t good, and they are overpriced. Beats by Dre are a good pair, but I wasn’t going to pay extra for his name on them, plus, the bass is too overpowering on them.
I narrowed the decision down to Sony, Shure & the Woodees.
I’m currently boycotting all things Sony due to their anti-consumer practices in their game division, so they didn’t make the cut.
It really was a coin toss between Shure & the Woodees. After reading a ton of reviews I decided to go with the boutique brand.
Onto the Woodees IESW100L BLUES.
They are by far the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever worn. I generally hate sticking earbuds in my ears, and I’m happy to walk around with these suckers in. I’ve been wearing them for hours without the slightest hint of discomfort.
They are light-weight, and they come with four different size adjustments. It was easy to find the right size for my ears.
The bass is full without overpowering.
The mids are so rich.
The highs are clear but a little subdued which I generally prefer. I have a hard time listening to strong highs for extended periods of time; especially through headphones.
They come equipped with the three button controls for newer iPods. I don’t have a new iPod so it doesn’t impact me much, however it is nice to know that they are their should I choose to upgrade.
The headphones don’t identify which bud is left and which is right. I had to listen to an album where I knew the speaker orientation to figure it out (The bud with the bottons goes in the right ear).
There isn’t enough high-end to replicate screaming guitars when solos hit very high peaks. While not the end of the world I really noticed it during the heights of Kirk Hammett’s solo in Metallica’s Fade to Black.
I’ve got no serious complaints so long as they last me a few years. If they happen fall apart, I will update this.
I’ve put the Woodees IESW100L BLUES through their paces on rock, blues, grunge, rap, metal, folk, country, classical, and a lot of stuff that resides in-between the genres, and I’m thrilled with the purchase.
They especially shine on acoustic guitar tracks. Listening to Jeff Buckley’s Lilac Wine through these headphones blew me away because I could hear more of his acoustic guitar’s sound than I realized was captured by the recording.
The mobile game phenomenon Angry Birds has over 30 million downloads across a number of platforms. Five million of those downloads come from Android.
Angry Birds on Android is a free download, that is completely supported by ads. Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds predicts that the game will bring in over $1 million by year-end. Pretty damn impressive.
Much of that ad revenue is due to the new version of the game, Angry Birds Seasons. Seasons is a compilation of Halloween and Christmas levels.
Everyday from now until Christmas, a new level will unlock in Seasons, encouraging players to return daily, triggering more ad revenue. It’s a clever idea, and it works because of the extremely large user base.
All of the good things I said about Angry Birds holds true for Seasons. It’s the same Birds you know and love, just with 70 new themed levels. How can you go wrong?
(Source – TechCrunch)
Angry Birds, the addictive iPhone/ iPad game has finally made it onto Android.
The premise is simple. Evil pigs have stolen the birds’ eggs. The birds exact revenge by slingshotting themselves at the pigs in an effort to smote them.
Until Angry Birds, I hadn’t found an Android game that I was willing to sit down and play for a prolonged period of time. Not only is Angry Birds worth playing, it’s tough to put it down.
Angry Birds is free, fun, and strangely addictive.
Download it on Android, iPhone, or iPad.
Violent, frantic, and perversely funny, Shank is a fast paced beat-em-up in the tradition of Final Fight, and Streets of Rage. It’s linier, and simple. Fight your way through increasingly difficult lackeys, reach stage boss, kill stage boss, rince and repeat.
The art is pretty; I loved it when the game switched to silhouette.
The combat system flows nicely, and the volume of weapons keeps things interesting. I was partial to the chainsaw and shotgun.
The story is dark and twisted, with some nasty implications.
And the humor is very dark. This is not a game for kids.
I played through it in about six hours. At 1200 Microsoft ($12.50) Shank is worth every dime if the thought of mashing Kill Bill, Sin City, and Desperado together brings a smile to your face.
A few years ago, Uncanny X-Men had an utter dog shit story arch that ripped off Romeo and Juliette, while completely missing the point… Which is sad because everyone who manages to make it through a Western school system has that play beat into their adolescent skulls.
After that story arch concluded, I stopped buying X-Men comics.
It was also the last time I purchased a comic written by Chuck Austen.
Here’s a brutal review of one of those issues written in iambic pentameter. Ah the memories.
But soft! What shite through yonder window breaks?
A new Uncanny X-Men, for my sins.
Another clueless stab at teen romance
As Austen, Cliff’s Notes clutched in sweaty hand,
Recycles wholesale chunks of Shakespeare’s plot
And paraphrases lines of dialogue too.
Of course, the plot of this romantic play
Is fair game, having been revamped before
In musicals and so forth. After all,
It’s not like Shakespeare wrote the plot himself -
He got it from the poet Arthur Brooke.
Enough of this digression. While the plot
Has proved enduring classic down the years
That doesn’t mean a writer cannot cock
It up if he tries hard enough. He could,
For instance, cut and paste some classic scenes
Without the faintest understanding why
They worked for Shakespeare in the first place, thus
Reducing them to shameless gimmickry
(Which – yes, I know – is just like this review).
Within this issue our young hero Josh
Goes visiting his Juliet at night
And speaks “sweet words of love” (allegedly)
From just outside the window of her room.
The balcony routine, in other words.
You couldn’t do the story without that.
Except the point has been completely missed.
The way love stories work is simple: take
Two lovers and throw barriers in their way
Which they will spend the story fighting through
And end triumphant (or, in this case, dead).
The balcony’s a clever stage device
Which lets poor Romeo and Juliet
Share stage time on their own but never touch
Because there’s no way Romeo can climb
Up to the balcony to be with her.
Of course, in Austen’s version, that’s all fucked
Because in Austen’s version, Romeo
Has got a pair of great big sodding wings
With which he promptly flies up to the room
And thereby makes the whole scene die a death.
It doesn’t help that Josh and Julia
Proceed to spout some truly dreadful lines
Of dialogue of grimmest purple hue
And cretinous stupidity to boot.
“How did you find me?” blithers Julia
As if there were some mystery in this.
You’re in your house, you stupid fucking girl!
How do you sodding think he found you there?
And then they drone on for another five
Godawful pages of quite subtext-free
Bad dialogue which someone must have thought
Was beautiful, poetic and all that
But actually is painful to the eyes.
“You’re like a winged messenger from heaven.”
“Love doesn’t ask permission, it demands
Obedience.” Please Jesus, make it stop.
“I wuv you!” “I wuv you!” “And I wuv you!”
That’s basically all they have to say.
Poor Salvador Larroca does his best
To wring some kind of content from the script
But when the script is quite so bad as this
There’s only so much anyone can do.
The lovers say exactly how they feel
In detail, leaving nothing for the art
To do. Although the writing is quite bad,
Admittedly it’s very nicely drawn
Allowing for the quality of script.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this, which quite depresses me.
Throwback review via Bleeding Cool
Halo is a science fantasy first-person shooter series that tells the story of a united humanity fighting a war for survival against a ruthlessly devoted multi-species alien religion called the Covenant.
Halo Reach is a prequel story about the Covenant invasion of the human planet Reach. The ensuing battle doesn’t go well for humanity.
I loved Halo and Halo 2, and found Halo 3 and Halo ODST lacking.
Reach is jam packed with fun.
In single player each level feels unique, while online multiplayer has tons of levels and game-modes.
The controls are intuitive and responsive.
The sound and graphics are beautiful, and it makes the whole experience feel very compelling.
The game puts your character at the center of the story in a fairly personal way. You are part of a squad of super-soldiers, and as your comrades start to die, it really builds up the tension. This is the best storytelling that we have seen in a Halo game.
They did a good job working a wide variety of character from throughout the Halo Universe into this story.
No Flood. I’ve always enjoyed fighting the Covenant, but those parasitic zombie bastards drive me completely nuts. I’ve wanted a Flood free Halo game since I played the original Halo in 2001.
The Not So Good
While the story is the best we have seen in a Halo game, sometimes it becomes vague and impersonal.
The menu navigation isn’t always intuitive.
Occasionally the graphics hiccup when you hit a checkpoint. It’s not horrid, but I expect better from a AAA title such as Halo Reach.
Halo Reach is a must-buy if you are either a Halo or FPS fan.
Its rare that I want to play through a game for a second time, but I am really looking forward to running through single player again, and spending many more hours blowing up my friends online.