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Sunday, November 13, 2011

L.A. Noire Review

So back when L.A. Noire came out, I was a little reluctant on purchasing it for reasons I don't exactly know, all I know is that I really wanted to play it and I had just finished Grand Theft Auto IV, so it was a great time to make the transition from GTA to L.A. Noire. So heading down to GameStop the day it was released, I let the store manager talk me into buying it with the incentives of the free DLC since it was a pre-ordered game that wasn't going to be picked up.

Taking the game home, I put it in and really enjoyed what I was seeing; the game was very familiar yet very fresh and it was a nice followup to the Grand Theft Auto series. The game had my attention for a little while, but I had stopped playing rather quickly due to the fact that I was getting annoyed with getting the interrogations incorrect, so I put the game down and moved on to other projects.

Much like I do with all of the games that I buy and ignore for a while, I eventually get back to them and learn to appreciate them the way I should have the first way through.

L.A. Noire is a Crime Fiction video game that is set in Los Angeles in 1947, the game is based upon being a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department and the player is assumed to solve a range of cases throughout the game, each of which will promote his recognition throughout the city and the department which will permit him to receive a higher promotion each time. Players are expected to investigate crime scenes in which many clues are present and to use them to follow up on leads given to the player at certain times during the case. Interrogation of suspects is also required and the players success rate in these certain activities will impact how the cases and stories are revealed through the game and at the end of it.

The game starts you off as generic grunt cop, Cole Phelps, in downtown Los Angeles getting called in to investigate a crime scene of a recent shooting, using your character's natural intuition it is up to the player to find the clues necessary to make an arrest, and once done so the game truly gets under way. The game follows the player to increase in rank as certain cases are completed, allowing for the main story of Phelps' career to unfold.

The interrogation scenes are great for two reasons, it makes the user go back to the gaming roots of a mystery game and it allows Team Bundi to show off their fantastic facial animations with characters. Never before have I seen facial animations that were so much in depth, that delivered such a believable sense of realness that revolved around body language.

The controls seemed to flow pretty well, what annoyed me at first was the fact that I couldn't run without holding the R2 button, but this adds to the realism of the game due to the fact that players shouldn't exactly be running everywhere, but it can drag on a little walking that slow on occasions. Gunfights seem just as awkward as they did in Grand Theft Auto, and guns in general seem fairly limited, but since I am just a police officer not Niko Belic.

Los Angeles looks absolutely beautiful, it is a fantastic copy of the city in the 1950s and gives that real life charm that the city still contains. Driving through the streets of Los Angeles is extremely reminiscent of the real Los Angeles and makes me miss the city and has me wanting to make a weekend trip. Team Bundi really went out of their way to bring about the accuracy of the 1950's LA, even so much to give the Los Angeles Archives credit in the game during the credit scroll. Without the fantastic city for the player to wander in, the game definitely would have lost a lot of its character.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mercenaries 2 "Review"

So attempting to follow up on the game Mercenaries 2: World In Flames, I load up the game and decide to give it another go since it had frozen up on me last time I attempted to play it, and what would you know.... it froze up again on me. So sitting here staring at the “Installing Game Data” screen I wonder if it's even worth trying to give this game another go.

After waiting a long ass time for this game to install, I finally make my way back to the Mercenaries 2 Title Screen and it is asking me to press Start.... so here we go.

While attempting to click Options, the “connecting to EA servers” text has stopped scrolling and has frozen once again, making this game unplayable to the extent of my knowledge. This really irritates me due to the fact that the game has never been opened prior to me purchasing it, and has only been taken out of the case twice to be placed into the Playstation 3 Console. I will attempt to contact EA and see what can be done about this, but we all ready know that nothing will.

Although Mercenaries 2 wouldn't work, this leaves me with a hole in my plans on video game reviews. I would really like to get a Playstation 3 review in since I have yet to do one, so this leaves me with the other PS3 games that I have at hand. Assuming that no one will care to hear about baseball since the game was released in February, I believe that I will give LA Noire another go starting from the beginning so that I can kill two birds with one stone.

One again I appologise that Mercenaries 2 won't work, but there isn't much I can exactly do about this without cheating GameStop out of a “used” copy, and even then who knows if it will work since it could have been an installation error from my first attempted play.

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames
F[uck this game]

Monday, November 7, 2011

Metroid Prime

Now is the time for some epic Nintendo GameCube caming, Metroid Prime.

Metroid Prime came out in November of 2002 and I just had to have this game, it was so intriguing to me since the Metroid franchise had skipped a generation and came back full force on the GameCube, and at the time I had never played a Metroid game and I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. When I opened the game on Christmas morning, I was extremely disappointed with it, the game just felt too slow and too quiet; not what I was expecting at all. So the game ended up to go on the shelf and get zero playtime for the next few years, and wouldn't be played again until the Wii had been out for a couple years.

After being online for a bit, I decided to look into the highest rated GameCube games and it amazed me that Metroid Prime was rated so high, I believe it was the 2nd highest rated GameCube game outside of Resident Evil 4 and I decided to dust the game off and give it another go. When I put the game in, it blew me away, the game was so in depth and had that eerie feel about it that I guess only someone of age could fully appreciate.

The game begins with Samus Aran receiving a distress signal from a Space Pirate Frigate called the Orpheon, upon arrival she discovered that the pirates had been slaughtered by their own genetic experiments. Samus fights her way through the ship and eventually defeats the Parasite Queen, causing her to fall into the ship's reactor core setting off a chain reaction that will eventually destroy the ship. Samus then had to rush to the exit of the ship and get back to her own, and evidently chases her neesis Meta Ridley to the surface of Talon IV, in turn losing all of her Power Suit upgrades to an electrical surge which opens the way for the game to begin.

The game consists of a central map which leads the player to several different submaps, that open the game up to a huge web as each section opens. The game in effect is pretty linear being that you can't complete certain tasks without fulfilling others, but there is no hand-holding through the game so this leads the player to attain their goals through trial and error.

The controls were fantastic and felt extremely fluent with the GameCube controller, but the ability to play opened up even more with the re-release for the GameCube. Being able to control Samus with the Wii Remote permitted the user to point and shoot which helped aiming in general, so that way the reticule was variable and didn't keep itself in the middle of the screen; one was able to look in one direction and shoot in another. Going back to the GameCube controls, it would be easy to say that the controller was designed around this game if it was a launch title, so it would be impossible to wish you had another controller in your hand while playing through this game.

Keep that GameCube out and throw in Metroid Prime! Or better yet, just put it into your Wii and get a shootin'! I love this game, and I'm sure all of you guys will too. This First Person Shooter Adventure Game is definitely something you need to check out if you haven't before.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Super Mario Sunshine

After playing through Luigi's Mansion for the first time in a year, I decided to give Super Mario Sunshine another go! Super Mario Sunshine is one of my overall favourite video games, this game got so much play from me back when it came out and has been played through several times even after the GameCube was retired. I originally got Super Mario Sunshine as part of the Nintendo Power Bundle, that gave me the game, a T-Shirt, and a 2 year subscription at a discounted price, and it was worth every penny.

This game was very much the Mario game that everyone was waiting for on the Nintendo GameCube, since people didn't exactly get what they were wanting with Luigi's Mansion, although this isn't considered one of the best games in the series. Super Mario Sunshine was highly revered due to its gameplay and typical Mario storyline, it expanded on the Mario universe by giving the player more of a sandbox feel and also permitted players to get stars in whatever order they wanted without giving many boundaries.

Super Mario Sunshine starts out with Mario and Peach en route to a tropical resort on the Isle Delfino which is mainly inhabited by the Piantas and Nokis. Upon arrival, it is discovered that the entire island has been completely polluted and covered in graffiti, and all of the Shine Sprites have disappeared giving the island a perpetual shadow. The island's populace believe Mario to be the culprit due to the fact that the shadowy figure that they have seen committing the crimes suits his description, and Mario is then incarcerated after the discovery. After convincing the island's population that he is not the guilty party, Mario finds the FLUDD Water Cannon, Mario's answer to Luigi's Poltergust 3000, and sets out to remove the islands of its blight.

Giving this game another playthrough, it was fun as it always has been. I really love the story to the game and the gameplay that it gives the user. The controls were very fluent and seemed to improve upon the miscues that Luigi's Mansion had, and even allowed the player to use several different Yoshi characters that each have different traits at some points.

So since your GameCube has all ready been dusted off, you might as well bring out some Super Mario Sunshine and give it another playthrough!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Luigi's Mansion

So I decided to surprise you guys with a Halloween "Themed" blog post, about the Nintendo GameCube launch title Luigi's Mansion. For me, the history with this game was an ebay purchase over a year ago in order to play the title for the first time ever. Being a Nintendo fanboy at heart, I purchased the GameCube on launch but for some reason never got the launch title that was Luigi's Mansion, so it took 9 years for me to finally do it.

At a first glance, the game was very strange and didn't feel at all like a Mario Title, but that was the point.... it was Luigi and not Mario. This is the problem that forced a lot of gamers away from this game early on, they were more familiar with what they had in Super Mario 64 and wanted more of that, and they had to wait until Super Mario Sunshine was released until they were able to get their fix.

The game begins with Luigi approaching a large dark mansion on the outskirts of a forest that is later discovered to be haunted by various ghosts, most notably Boos which are a staple of the Mario Franchise. These ghosts are all being investigated by Professor E. Gadd who lives in a small shack close to the mansion, and utilizes Luigi to test out his new invention the Poltergust 3000, which allows him to catch ghosts Bill Murray style.

Luigi had apparently won the mansion in a contest despite not having entered any contest to begin with, and while attempting to meet up with Mario at said mansion, Mario disappears in an apparent ghost kidnapping and it is up to Luigi to find his brother and free him of the ghosts and ghouls inside.

Professor E. Gadd with the Poltergust 3000

Giving this game a 2nd playthrough a year later, the game is just as fun as before. The game is faily linear and straight forward, not giving too many routes to get lost in, however some exploration is needed since the game won't straight up tell you what to do and where to go, which is a great feature since many games now hold your hand the entire way through. I loved the fact that there were really no "boss" battles, sure you will run into larger ghosts that have certain mortal ties to the rooms they are in, but the game doesn't actually stop the action to introduce a boss much like that in games of the Zelda series.

The controls were a little funky, but it didn't take long to get used to them. The Nintendo GameCube's controller was the first controller to utilize dual analog sticks by removing their typical "C" buttons and replacing it with a yellow stick to represent the different buttons. This stick is what controlled your Poltergust 3000, and it was often awkward to attempt to use it along with the buttons above it.

What I really enjoyed about this game was the fact that it really opened up Luigi as a character, and allowed the Mario universe to span outside of Mario himself. Growing up in the late 80's and early 90's, Mario was everywhere and everyone always knew of Mario AND Luigi; who was never really given any spotlight other than being a secondary character in the series.

Go ahead and bring out your GameCube, dust off Luigi's Mansion and give this game a 2nd playthrough! The new Luigi's Mansion 2 will be released on the Nintendo 3DS in Quarter 1 of 2012.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Frys Electronics Purchase - Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Now it’s been a little while since I did a video game review, but I’ve had this one sitting on my shelf for a few months now and it’s been relatively untouched since its purchase. The reason I own this game isn’t because it was something that I exactly wanted, but taking a trip through Frys Electronics can get you to buy stuff you don’t exactly need. My trip through Frys consisted of the desire to purchase Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for the PS3, and bundled with it at the same retail price was Mercenaries 2 and Tomb Raider: Underworld, so 3 games for the price of 1 was definitely up my alley.

A few weeks ago, I attempted to play this game, but after putting the disc in and letting the PS3 load it all up, the game decided to freeze on me and I had no desire to restart my PS3, and I went onto playing something else. Although I have heard from many people that this game is beyond awful, I just can't help but check it out and see for myself, I often appreciate aspects of games that others find irritating or just plain bad, but poor words spoken from others won't hinder my playthrough of it. I believe that it may be time to give this game another go because I believe that all games require justice.

If you have played Mercenaries 2, go ahead and post some comments on what you think of the game, I'd love to hear the opinions of my readers prior to my own playthrough.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ghostbusters Theatrical Re-Release

So as some of you guys may know, Ghostbusters has come back to theaters for select viewing in the United States. For those of you who don't know a thing about Ghostbusters (if you don't, please get off my lawn), it is about 3 comedic scientists played by Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray. The scientists were basically kicked out of their university and were forced to go into the private sector, creating their own Ghost Hunting service in which they'd catch ghosts which were then taken back to their station for storage. Ghostbusters is a classic movie, and I'd recommend that everyone goes out and sees it!

Growing up in the late 80's and early 90's, Ghostbusters was a huge part of my childhood; we had so much Ghostbusters shit around, it was ridiculous. I remember back in the day, every kid on the block had their own toy Proton Packs, toy Ecto-1s, and figures for all of the characters. Not only was there a movie, there was the one sequel along with the animated television show, so if you grew up in the early 90's you know what I'm talking about. I even remember drinking this green shit that used to have Slimer on the label, I'm sure it wasn't even that good, but just because it was Ghostbusters it was a must have.

Be sure to check your local theaters, in my city it is only showing on Thursdays for the remainder of October.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

It's been a while since I bought an album, but while I was driving around with my friend Joe he was playing one of his random playlists and a Gorillaz song came on from the new album Plastic Beach. I've always been a Gorillaz fan, but I never really gave the new album a chance due to the fact that I never looked into it.

So a few days later at school, I was getting in my car and whipped out my phone and headed over to the Zune Marketplace and looked up the song "On Melancholy Hill", so the album had 16 tracks and were $1.29 individually or I could spend $9.99 on the entire album, so I just went for it. And holy fuck......

Track Listing recommend in bold
1. "Orchestral Intro"
2. "Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach"
3. "White Flag"
4. "Rhinestone Eyes"
5. "Stylo"
6. "Superfast Jellyfish"
7. "Empire Ants"
8. "Glitter Freeze"
9. "Some Kind of Nature"
10. "On Melancholy Hill"
11. "Broken"
12. "Sweepstakes"
13. "Plastic Beach"
14. "To Binge"
15. "Cloud of Unknowing"
16. "Pirate Jet"
Total length:

My Thoughts
The album, I personally think is a great album. Just like normal albums, there are a ton of forgettable songs, but the more you listen to it you learn to appreciate. If I had to pick one song out of the bunch that I could listen to on repeat all day, it would have to be "Superfast Jellyfish", that song is just simply amazing and it has a ton of energy in it. The albums only drawback is that there are so many forgettable songs, or at least songs that aren't catchy enough to get my attention in order for them to grow on me.

Album Score

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Era Cap Repair - Broken Seam

I recently received a message asking how to repair a busted seam on a New Era cap, and luckily for the person who asked I had a cap that also needed this repair. With the convenience of having the same problem with one of my caps, it was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and repair my cap along with teaching him how to repair his.

What you will need:
1. New Era Cap with a broken seam.
2. Amazing GOOP glue.
3. Clamp

My Kansas City Royals "Diamond Collection" cap

Step 1
With the busted New Era cap, you will want to pull apart the busted seem to expose the silk lining underneath, should the busted seem look like this, my tutorial will be able to help you fix the issue.

Step 2
With the busted seam, what you will need to do is pick up a glue called "Amazing GOOP", this glue is a silicone based glue that will fuse perfectly with fabric and will be flexible enough for daily wear. This glue can be purchased at any Wal-Mart or Hardware Store located near any paint section, if you have any trouble looking for the glue, you can purchase from my link located below the picture from

Step 3
Now what you need to do, is pull back the fabric and lay the glue on the underside of the wool/polyester along with the black silk piping, the glue should ONLY be applied to the underside of the material, so that none will be seen on the outside of the cap when it is completely dried.

Step 4
When you have laid the glue down, just simply fold the fabric on top of it again. When it is laid flush just simply use a clamp, magnets, or any heavy object to keep the fabric pinched. Be sure to leave the glue drying for at least 24 hours, I would recommend 2-3 days just to be on the safe side.

Step 5
After a few days have passed, you will be ready to unclamp the cap to see the completed repairs. After the repairs are completed, I wouldn't recommend trying to stretch the cap or do anything to put stress on the seam again, but GOOP is some strong stuff and will be pretty mighty when used on a fabric.

I hope that my tutorial will help in any repair to your caps that have suffered damage.

Any advice that you take from me does not hold me responsible for any further damage that is done to your cap, for that you are doing all of the steps yourself and if one followed my steps correctly as seen above, the final result should be the same leaving the hat with no added damage.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Marlins Rebranding

A few weeks ago, the Florida Marlins announced that their new logo will make a "huge splash" in the city of Miami, and would completely rebrand their team with the move to downtown Miami into their new stadium, Marlins Ballpark. The Marlins are a baseball team that have won two World Series titles, but have never won a division title, this is all thanks to them taking full advantage of the Wild Card in the baseball playoffs. For the past 18 seasons, they had to suffer in the Orange Bowl/Sun Life Stadium, a football stadium that was slightly modified to be able to fit a baseball field, and this stadium has proven to be disastrous for the team due to the stadium's age and inadequate location.

Sun Life Stadium

New Marlins Ballpark

Now that's just the ballpark, the Marlins rebranding is not only going to be a move to a new ballpark, but will be a complete change on all levels. Say goodbye to the Florida Marlins, and say hello to the Miami Marlins.

Florida Marlins

Miami Marlins

Over the past few seasons in the MLB, a few teams have made huge changes in their uniform and colour scheme, most notably the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays. And I'm willing to let the changes go, all because the Marlins really needed to do something to bring their fan base back..... but this gets better. This is a sculpture that was designed to be fired up every time a Marlins player hits a Home Run, video located below.

Should that .gif not work, feel free to indulge yourself the video located on the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs personal facebook:
The Video

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts about the new logo, stadium, and "The Sculpture" that the team has introduced.