Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Departed

Wanna see a great movie? Try "The Departed" directed by Martin Scorcese... Its a brilliant gangster movie, a remake of the classic John Woo diamond, "Infernal Affairs", starring (amongst others,) Leonardo De Caprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Ray Winstone and Jack Nicholson.
The storyline is fabulous, intricately woven with twists a-plenty, and the soundtrack, (all important to me) is legendary...

I'm feeling a little smug tonight 'cos I searched, found, and even managed to download my favourite track off the movie, onto my phone (!) ... This whole process was an ITC triumph for me, as my technophobia about such a process is the stuff of legend...
Anyway, if you wanna hear it and also see some clips off the movie, check the video below... I love it and its got my Irish genes jiggling! Good stuff!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I really fucking do...

Eye Candy Plus Some Decent Tunes...

benny benassi - satisfaction
Uploaded by guigue84

First video is “Satisfaction” by Mr. Benny Benassi, it features the not too ugly Jerri Byrne, (pictured on the left, above...) The tune on it's own is OK, but when viewed with the video, gives a whole new meaning to the word "jiggle..." Still I'm a little concerned about the 'health and safety' element of this video... The angle of that power drill is allwrong, and shouldn't the girls be wearing steel toe-capped boots...? Still in hindsight, we know that no hotties were harmed in the making of this video, so I guess it's all good...

Now, the second is the wonderul 'Perfect (Exceeder') by Mason vs. Princess Superstar.

Fortunately, this is one of my favourite tunes of 2007... An 80's inspired dance track, I played this tune on a loop when I first heard it... It's a track that more than stands up on it's own, but when I watch the video, it causes me to ... erm... stand upon my own. It features my favourite eye candy of the moment, Casey Batchelor. Now Casey has it all for me... Big brown eyes, big ...erm... personality and even a gap in her teeth that I find hot, hot, hot...

I'm sad enough to know that Casey was training to be a classical ballerina, until her chest got in the way... But fortunately for us all, she persevered with her dance career till she got to appear in this video... Watch and enjoy! Oh and if like me, you need to see more of Casey, look here…

Mason Vs PrincessSuperStar Perfect Exceeder
Uploaded by vatosz

Monday, August 20, 2007

Matrix Path Of Neo - PS2

Ah! Its good to be back! I've missed the blogosphere and the good friends I've made within it. I've missed being able to spout my nonsensical opinions and talk crap! That said, I guess its time to impart the latest chapter of my gaming life!

OK, so as you may or may not know, I've been away for two weeks in beautiful Wales, spending quality time with Mrs. K and the boys! And what a great two weeks it was... The sun came out for the first time in months and I even swam in the Irish Sea! I saw a school of tiny fishes moving through the crystal water (the only time I've ever seen fish in the sea in the UK). I watched shooting stars in a cloudless sky, the constellations shining brighter than they ever do in the neon light-polluted city and life was good... But enough of that romantic BS, what about the gaming?

Let me contextualise the trip in terms of gaming... The consoles I took away were the PS2 and the DS. The DS barely got touched, and I only played the PS2 late at night when Mrs. K had gone to sleep. Thus my gaming time was minimal. One thing I did do, was take away all my PS2 games, and for the first time actually took stock of what I'd picked up for the PS2 through my Saturn and Dreamcast obsessed years (the PS2 being my least played console...)

Wanna see the list? OK here goes...

Matrix Path Of Neo
Resident Evil 4
Tiger Woods PGA 2005
Kingdom Hearts
Half Life
Mark Ecko's Getting Up
Pro Evolution Soccer 6
Sponge Bob Square Pants The Movie

Max Payne
Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica
Resident Evil Outbreak File 2
Viewtiful Joe 1 & 2
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Virtua Cop Elite Edition
Virtua Fighter 4
Need for Speed Carbon
LOTR Return Of The King
Colin McRae Rally 3
Outrun 2006 Coast To Coast
Crazy Taxi
Sega Superstars (Eye Toy)

Nice haul huh? Problem is, most of them remain unplayed, so the idea was that I had them on hand to dip into over my vacation and give them a whirl! The ones I most wanted to test out were RE Gun Survivor CV and Virtua Cop Elite Edition. The exploration of the latter would have provided a comparative review for the Saturn Junkyard. However, my Namco G2 Light Gun was playing up, so that put pay to playing those titles! DOH!

I dipped into Viewtiful Joe 1, and whilst I liked the cut of its jib, I got stuck within the second level, and realised that I had to many other titles to become frustrated re-playing the same scene over and over... I dabbled with Half Life, but again became frustrated when I couldn't get my lab coat out of my locker, thus preventing me from getting further into the game! (Yes I know, pathetic... LOL!)
So what, dear hearts, floated my boat over the last fortnight? As the title of the post suggests, it was a film cross-over. Normally the very mention of a movie franchise game sends shudders down the spine of purist gamers. A quote from a recent article in Games TM magazine illustrates the point...

"As a rule, the mere mention of great film being licensed for a videogame is enough to spread waves of revulsion spreading through every fibre of our being. Given the volume of slapdash games made in tribute to Hollywood, this is hardly a surprise..."

It then goes on to pour doubt on the very game franchise, I've enjoyed so much over the past couple of weeks...

"The ease with which money can be made creates an unfortunate situation, because the marriage between videogames and cinema has the potential to be a fruitful one. Enter The Matrix (and Matrix Path Of Neo) was certainly no masterpiece, but the idea of using a videogame to enrich a film by extending and deepening its story was interesting - its just a shame that both film and game were so crushingly average. Had Matrix Reloaded been as compelling as the first film, and had Enter The Matrix been as scintillating as Ninja Gaiden, then the whole enterprise may have been heralded as the future of entertainment."
Well, I take issue with the above statement! (Somewhat unsurprisingly...) For a start I love the Matrix Trilogy, like Star Wars, LOTR, Resident Evil and even Austin Powers, its a case of the more the better! I actually consider the Matrix Trilogy and even the off shoot Animatrix, essential parts of a unified whole! (Geek Factor levels at Code Red! :)

If the Wachowski Brothers had knocked on my door and asked me to name all the ingredients I wanted to create a perfect film, they couldn't have got it more right... A comic book style sci-fi epic, combining kung fu, killer weapons, stunning fight scenes, awesome soundtrack and even the odd bit of esoteric philosophy... Result? Perfection!! So even if the games had been "crushingly average" the chance to explore the world of the films more, was always gonna be one that suckered me in...

Enter The Matrix was one of my all time favourite videogames, I stated as much in a post over at the Saturn Junkyard. It remains one of the few games I've ever played through to conclusion. Why? Because it allows immediate pick up and play potential, a manageable learning curve, a great level of immersion, player friendly save system and the above mentioned ability to further explore the whole Matrix Universe I so adore...

But of course, Matrix Path Of Neo, allows you to play as Neo, The One.... Starting with a training "program", allowing you to master the combat controls, you're soon thrust into the action, following faithfully the events of the first films. Videoclips taken directly from the movie, as well as graphic cutscenes, keep the player feeling they are part of a cinematic experience...

A user friendly save system, and the ability to accquire "upgrades" to enhance combat moves at the end of every level, make playing through the game fun and acheiveable. There are also upgraded weapons and health packs liberally sprinkled throughout the levels, so you're never sent too far back through the game if you die. Of course I played through on the easy option (why don't all games have this?) I might try it again on the harder otion at a later date, I enjoyed the game that much...

As you progres further into the game, the plot begins to diverge further away from the plot of the movie. Its fabulous to explore new environments, often strange and beguiling... This culminates in a fabulous cut-scene on near completion of the game, where the Wachowski Brothers themselves come into the game, represented as '8 Bit' space invader characters, who congratulate you on your progress, throw out a bit of tongue in cheek psycho-babble, before revealing that you're gonna have to battle a boss before you complete the game. The boss in question? A giant Agent Smith, combining his multitude of clones and assorted rubble from the debris of the city!

All in all a sublime gaming experience, definitely in my top five games of all time, a credit to the might of the PS2 and a spit in the eye for all doubters of movie-game crossovers!

Testimony to its greatness, is the fact that it has lured my eldest son back int the world of videogaming, as he was so enthralled by watching me play... He's now playing through it himself, and it must be the first game that he's showed any interest in this year...

Wanna know more? The official website is here, for a favourable IGN review look here and for the official Wikipedia page look here...

Glad to be back folks! Love to you all! FK :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Red Steel U-Turn!

What can I say? I'm grateful for any readers I can get on any of my blogs, but DAMN! How many U-Turns can I make? The latest is Red Steel... Having wavered and sat on the fence about Red Steel, now I'm doing a complete U-Turn! I love this game!!!

Story? Well the story is pretty standard, you're an L.A. Cop about to marry the daughter of a Japanese Yakuza boss, only on the eve of your wedding, they get kidnapped!!! You then have to battle your way through the game to get them back! Of course you're gonna have to travel from L.A. to Japan, slash and shoot your way through a variety of unfamiliar environments, battle Yakuza and gangsters, and win back your loved one! As a gaijin, you're not going to be well received, but the boss has entrusted you with his sacred katana, so you'll be alright! (See what I'm doing here? I'm dropping in Japanese words like I know shit... And I don't know SHIT!)

Graphics? Well here's the deal... I recently bitched on the Dreamcast Junkyard about how these graphics weren't a patch on Shenmue, which was a last-gen title produced on an older system, over six years ago!... and thats true! The graphics on the Dreamcast's Shenmue far excede this game's, but the money that went into Shenmue, far excede the money that went into Red Steel, and besides, Red Steel is more about the gameplay, more of which later... Ubisoft focused on the control system and it's swordman's-ship... So we'll concentrate on that for now... In a recent video review from IGN that I watched, they accused the graphics of being abit "carboardy"... Now I know that's not a real word but I understand what they were talking about... The cut scenes are 2D animations (and the loading times are criminal), but as a contrary mofo, I'll postulate that within the context of the game they work!!

Musical score? OK! One of the best musical score of any game I've ever played! The only score that can fit the bill as well, in any media I've ever experienced would be the musical score for the Matrix! (And that was damn fine!!!) There's plenty of J Pop (which I've come to love through J and Elderly) sprinkled into the mix, as well as excellent anonymous 'action music' that springs into life whenever you've got a Yakuza battle on your hands... Did I mention my love of all things Japanese? Since playing Shenmue, I've been a Japanophile... I love the language, the culture, the rendered Cityscapes, the neon signs in Japanese... BASICALLY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!

Gameplay? Stunning! This is a FPS peeps, and usually that would have me turning off any console at the start... But somehow I've managed to get past my aversion on this game... I love only being able to see my forearms! Wether carrying a sword or wielding an Uzi, it just feels so RIGHT! You've got a forgiving "checkpoint" game save system, so you never have to replay too much if you fuck up...

Control System? Let's move on! The Wii-mote is your point and click gun, and also your sword... Your nunchuck helpfully reloads your gun, and acts as a parrying, defensive smaller sword... If your arsenal is running low, step over any weapon that you've already got and your bullet count is increased... Better weapon presents itself, and you can swap! Basically, as you progess through the game, you can increase your weapon stash! Which is good! You've got a lot of enemies to fight! And sword fighting is just great! Use your Wii-mote to hack and slash, your nunchuck to defend and parry... Once you've played a bit this becomes intuitive and you can defeat the most hardcore bosses...

Oh! and I forgot to mention that I'm playing this game using the official strategy guide? For those of you that don't know what that is, it's a walkthrough that is published by the game developer, but you have to pay for! But I didn't! I got mine for free! When I bought Red Steel, I grabbed a strategy guide off the shelf to help me through my quest. Due to a till/register fuck up, the price came up as 1p! And the dude behind the counter gave it me for free!! Happy days!

Links? OK, to create some kind of context and perspective, I'll need to post a few! For better reviews look here, here and here...

And BTW! Can I just say that this is a vastly inferior review than the one that Blogger fucked up! Despite the new auto-save feature Blogger is still a cunt! DON'T TRUST BLOGGER! I'm going on vacation for two weeks to my Lighthouse in Wales, I'm taking my PS2 and DS, so I'll post some reviews of games on those consoles when I get back! Happy days!