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Month: July 2011

Red Faction: Armageddon Review

Poor old Red Faction. This series started off as a FPS in 2001 as the result of some half-baked plot and ideas ported over from Descent 4, and a very clever approach to terrain destruction in its Geo-Mod engine, which finally allowed gamers carrying a rocket launcher to take the more practical approach to a locked door than being forced to search for an appropriately-matching-hued keycard: just blast a hole in the wall next to it. Unfortunately, despite heavy story influence from Total Recall, the original never managed to shake the feeling that it was an engine in search of a game, with the sequel abandoning its Martian roots and replanting the action on Earth, and 2009’s RF: Guerrilla returning to Mars but switching to a third-person sandbox style game. Using the same engine as the most recent sequel (Geo-Mod 2), the recently-released Red Faction: Armageddon stays on Mars, but switches things up yet again, replacing the various Mad-Max-Style warring factions with insectoid aliens that apparently have been living under the surface of the red planet all along, but just needed a particularly luckless member of the Mason family (who had already caused a catastrophic environmental disaster that forced them all into living back in the mines of the first game) to come and set them free, leading to the Armageddon of the title. Since these two events are...

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Super Review

In a similar vein to last year’s Kick-Ass, Super asks the question: what would happen if regular people decided to become super heroes? The answer, in both cases is obvious: Regular people don’t become superheroes. Neurotic, antisocial, troubled loners become superheroes.  But whereas Kick-Ass took this real life set-up then stepped back into a comic-book style tale of vigilantes dressed as Batman, 12 year olds who knew kung-fu and jetpacks, Super attempts to sticks to a more realistic setting. Or at least the real world as our deranged protagonist sees it. In his opening voice over, Frank D’Arbo (The American Office’s Rainn Wilson) informs us that he has had only two perfect moments in his life. The first was his wedding day to his wife Sarah; the second was helping a police officer stop a criminal. The associated flashback makes it clear that moment 2 was little more than pointing in the direction the perp ran off, while we have to wait a bit longer to see why moment 1 is not all that it appears. You see, the angelic Sarah was actually a recovering drug addict barely holding her life together when she met Frank, and the wedding occurred almost immediately after. Things start to come apart as Sarah falls back into her old habits and abruptly leaves Frank for a local drug dealer named Jacques. In no...

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The Amazing SpiderMan Teaser trailer

Since we linked to the new Batman trailer a couple of days ago, in the interests of fair play, here’s the 2nd big super hero release of 2012 –The Amazing SpiderMan Teaser trailer This is a reboot of the Sam-Raimi series, so we’re going to get the whole origin thing again. I thought we were also promised more live action wire work this time round but the sequence at the end looks awfully CGI to me….   Now, we just need an Avengers trailer release to make a full set.    ...

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

Transformers movie No 3 opens in flashback to the space race between America and Russia. We quickly discover that the reason everyone was so keen to get to the Moon first was because of an alien space craft that was observed crashing into it. Following those famous first small steps and during the 20 minute radio blackout on the dark (side) of the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set off on a top secret mission to investigate the craft. What they find is hundreds of dead robots and some strange metal tubes, several of which are taken back to Earth. Now, why Sector 7 didn’t get involved in all this since as the first film clearly tells us they’ve already found Megatron and built the Hoover Damn on top of him by this point in history is not dwelled on. We’ll just have to put it down to bureaucratic oversight. We then shoot forward to the modern day where the remaining Autobots from the first two films are hard at work for the good of humanity. Or as we outside America know them, the US Army. Happily committing what other countries likely regard as acts of state sanctioned terrorism if not outright war, the Transformers seem to be content killing and destroying indiscriminately if that’s what they are asked to do by the red, white and blue. I...

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