Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition

Back in 1990, before Johnny Depp made pirates cool, Lucasarts developed a point and click adventure that revolutionized the genre. In The Secret of Monkey Island you took control of Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who used, gave, pushed, pulled, picked up, walked to, and talked his way to victory over the villainous Ghost Pirate LeChuck. In my youth this was one of my favourite games. I remember my brother, father, and I spending countless hours trying to figure out what to do with that rubber chicken with the pulley in the middle.

Thankfully my childhood memories were not shattered and the recent HD re-release still holds it own as a point and click adventure game full of puzzles, excellent music, and zany humour.  The game requires you to walk around a series of islands, pick up items, and use these items to solve puzzles. It may seem pedestrian or boring compared to Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto but this game represents the pinnacle of its genre, and wouldn't it be nice for children to play something that require more strategy and problem solving than deciding what kind of machine gun would best kill their online foes?

Tale of the Tape
Cost: $10
Length: At least 5 hours
Is it worth it?: A definite yes. If you have never played the game before you will get $2 worth of fun out of the game and if you have played the game before you will love the nostalgia factor: a great touch in the game allows you to switch between the HD graphics and the original MS DOS visuals.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Toy Show This Weekend!

I will be doing another toy show this weekend so anyone in Southern Ontario should stop on by and get some great deals on old, collectible toys and luchadore masks. More info can be seen here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

EVO 2010

The Evolution 2010 tournament is open for registration here. There promises to be some great tournament action  featuring Super Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter II HD Remix, Tekken 6, Marvel VS Capcom 2, Melty Blood (I had to wikipedia that one), and Tatsunoko VS Capcom.

Start practicing...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marvel VS Capcom 3

Huge announcement from Capcom and Marvel: the fan favourite versus series will be getting a new installment. You can read more about it here. I am nerding out over this. The trailer is great, and I am loving the Chris Redfield/Hulk match-up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spider-Man: Fever #1

Due to the utter odious and sub-par storylines that are coming out of ASM lately, I am always pleased to find a solid and interesting Spider-Man story, especially one as eclectic and unique as Fever.

The story is a homage to 1960's Spider-Man and Dr. Strange stories and fans of that era will be pleased with the dialogue and visuals. I do have one minor quibble: the editor should have noted that this story takes place before Dr. Strange loses his mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. Currently in the Marvel Universe Dr. S has lost his ability to conjure and was forced to give up the magical title. I know that not every fanboy follows Dr. Strange so closely, but the result is jarring for anyone in the know.

Tale of the Tape
Length: 20 minutes. 

Cost: $4

Is it worth it?: A definite yes. This is the best Spider-Man story in a while (and the best Dr. Strange story in a long while) and I am looking forward to the next issue. However, it is a sad state of affairs when a random mini-series has a better story than a character's flagship title. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

R.I.P. Gene Kiniski

Nov. 1928-Apr. 2010
Canada's Greatest Athlete has passed away from cancer at the age of 81. Long before Canada had Bret Hart or Chris Jericho, it was a tough kid from Edmonton that ruled the squared circle of the Great White North. His matches with Whipper Billy Watson were legendary fare on the CBC. More on the story can be read at Slam Sports.

My condolences and prayers go out to the Kiniski family, but I am heartened that at the age of 81 he lived a good, full life and did not succumb to the tragic, early end of many others in his chosen profession.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Amazing Spider-Man #626

I have mentioned this before, but it merits further repetition: thrice-monthly publication is not improving the quality of this book. Stories are never consistent in their quality and it become increasingly apparent that a large number of filler issues have been commissioned to meet such a heavy publishing burden.

ASM #626 reads like a filler issue, but it shouldn’t. It is part of the ongoing Gauntlet storyline (destined to be remembered as one of Spidey’s worst) and whatever happens should engage the reader. What the reader gets instead is a mediocre gang-war type story with the Red Hood selling the Scorpion’s original costume. Spidey teams-up with a new Lady Scorpion to take down the bad guys, and the conclusion of the issue shows the Lady Scorpion selling the costume to Kraven’s daughter. There. I just saved you $3. I will be writing a letter to Joe Quesada soon about the awful editorial decision to publish the book so often.

Tale of the Tape
Length: 20 minutes
Cost: $3
Is it worth it?: No. ASM is getting worse and worse. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Eleventh Doctor

The new season of Doctor Who started a couple of weeks ago on the BBC and it is fantastic. Matt Smith has really hit the ground running and does a great job of filling some big shoes left behind by David Tennant.

For those of us in Canada, the SPACE network will begin showing the 11th Doctor's adventures this Saturday. More info is here, and I would encourage everyone to tune in.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A-Team Trailer

If you (like me) were a child in the 80's this was one of your favourite television shows. I am pretty excited about the silver screen treatment (even without Mr. T's involvement).

You can check out the new trailer here.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Street Fighter IV Alternate Costumes

I picked up the extra costumes for SF IV a while back. They were on sale for half price (which still was outrageous at $6.50). Check out the pictures and decide if it was worth it.

Zangeif and Fei Long have the best of the alternates.

Haggar from Final Fight.

Bruce Lee from Enter the Dragon.

You can check out the rest of the costumes here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Expendables Trailer

If you need a daily dose of awesomeness check out the new The Expendables trailer. This could end up being the greatest action movie of all time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

God Of War III

The God of War series really needs no introduction, but those who want to do their homework can read previous reviews here and here.

God of War III gives us everything that we would expect from Kratos' tale of bloody revenge against the gods. There is plenty of over the top violence, which, while cartoonish, definitely earns the title its M rating.

The story unfolds well and really ties in all the previous games. The gameplay is tight and the graphics and sound are top notch.

My only quibbles with the game are relatively minor: quick time events are much easier as the button appear on screen is approximately the same area as a controller (square is on the left for example), and the lack of chapter select makes the game feel very last generation. Games should really be taking a look at what Uncharted and Resident Evil 5 have done in terms of chapter breakdown. A solid chapter select greatly increases the replay value as you can easily retrace your steps to collect trophies or revisit your favourite part of the game. GOW III is lacking a game + which makes the cheats somewhat redundant.

All that being said the game is a solid title and a must have for any hack and slash fan over the age of 17.

Tale of the Tape
Cost: $60 CDN
Length: 10 hours
Is it worth it?: Yes. For $6 per hour you will get yours money's worth of gorgon decapitations.