Archive for July, 2013

Welcome To LCOM

Also known as Local Co-op Month, or The Best Acronym I Could Think Of For August.

The last month of our Australian winter, which starts tomorrow, is rarely the domain of many exciting videogame launches. It’s traditionally the last moment of quiet before the likes of FIFA begin to ring in the year’s most gigantic holiday releases. However, if you happen to be a fan of getting a bunch of mates round for some good old fashioned couch co-operative sessions on your favourite gaming system, you have plenty of reasons to be excited for this August. There are more local friendship-destroyers launching in 2013’s eighth month than you can shake a pair of controllers at, which comes as quite a lovely lump sum following the relative drought of such titles throughout the first half of the year. I’ve listed the promising eight I know of in this very article.

This probably isn’t even all of them; I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a Steam game or two. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Wolverine

Well this is by far the most movie reviews I’ve written in a single month.

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Starring:
Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima
Director:
James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma)
Rating: M
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So let’s talk about how terrible X-men Origins: Wolverine was. It told a largely made-up story that cobbled together as many mutants as possible (apparently X-Men: The Last Stand didn’t teach the producers any lessons about that mistake), though most of those mutants were far from fan favourites and the ones that were (e.g. Gambit, Deadpool) were either barely in the movie or horribly mishandled in more ways than one. The CGI was notoriously terrible, which hampered its overly ambitious action sequences and admittedly kinda cool early treatment of Wolverine’s near-agelessness. I gave it a pass when it was first released because it could never actually have been quite as terrible as people were making it out to be at the time, but my opinion of it has deteriorated rapidly over the years nonetheless. It has few redeeming qualities and I cannot bear to watch it again. I mean, just watch this Honest Trailer from ScreenJunkies. It sums things up pretty well.

Glad we got that out of the way, because The Wolverine is a much, much better film than that travesty. Let’s just ignore the fact that such a feat should not be difficult and read on to find out why.

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Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.4

mubc2It’s Episode 4 of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast (MUBC)! This episode is absolutely jam-packed with tangents and distractions, but we also talk about the many big reveals from San Diego Comic-Con, Shane recounts his experience at PAX Australia, we talk about our favourite fighting games and discuss far more movie-related stuff than in any other cast thus far.

If you feel so inclined, download the following file (or just click play), go for a run, take a scenic drive or just curl up on the couch and listen to the bothersome opinions of three geeky Sydneysiders.

Here it is, direct from Soundcloud:


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https://soundcloud.com/mega-ultra-blast-cast/mega-ultra-blast-cast-04-1

(Follow the link and then click the download tab)

If you enjoy what you hear please share the cast with your friends and like our brand new Facebook page. Cheers!!

Movie Review: Pacific Rim

I saw this bombastic movie over a week ago and I wasn’t really intending to review it; to be honest I think it’s a pretty simple equation. But I’ve seen and heard some negative things about the film since then that have been blown way out of proportion, so here we go anyway.

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Starring:
Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi
Director:
Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth)
Rating: M
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As the last real big action blockbuster of the American summer, Pacific Rim promised a certain brand of fresh sincerity amidst a rather bleak landscape of introspective superheroes getting down on the fact that they’re superheroes. It promised a film featuring giant robots fighting giant aliens, helmed by one of the most passionate directors of our time. As it turns out, Guillermo Del Toro‘s personal homage to essentially every humongous mecha anime ever (like many Mexicans his age, Del Toro grew up watching a huge amount of Japanese-produced television because of how relatively cheap it was to broadcast compared to Hollywood content) pretty much delivers on that promise. If you want to keep reading this review, by all means please do – as always I appreciate your interest and support. But if the idea of giant robots fighting giant aliens grabs you, rest assured this movie does that idea fantastically and you NEED to go see this movie. Go.

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Game Review: Game & Wario

My first-ever Wii U review! Starting now there will be at least one exclusive Nintendo-published game worth playing, at least in theory, released for the content-starved console each month until year’s end. Is this one of those? Uh, well…

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Platform:
Wii U
Developer:
Intelligent Systems
Rating: G
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That devious entrepreneur wants to charge $80 for this.

That devious moustachioed entrepreneur wants to charge $80 for this.

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Games.
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The Wii U needs them. Pretty badly. Barring Lego City Undercover and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate back in March, admittedly both good titles, there has been a whole lot of nothing released for the console since December last year. But starting with Game & Wario, the gaming giant is set to release a relatively steady stream of quality leading all the way up to Christmas. Whether you enjoy Game & Wario will depend on whether you think it’s worth paying full price for a game that packs just as much fun and imaginative content as it does dull and lifeless “ideas”.

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Mega Ultra Blast Cast Ep.3

mubc2

Episode 3 of the Mega Ultra Blast Cast (MUBC) is now up! In this episode the three of us spend a lazy Wednesday afternoon discussing all the many wonderful games we have been blessed with of late. We also find time to talk about our thoughts on Man of Steel and three other movies, discuss the merits of Amy Adams, Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson, then introduce a new segment!

If you feel so inclined, download the following file (or just click play), go for a run, take a scenic drive or just curl up on the couch and listen to the irritating opinions of three caffeine-fueled Sydneysiders.

Here it is, direct from Soundcloud:


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-.-.-.-
https://soundcloud.com/mega-ultra-blast-cast/mega-ultra-blast-cast-03-man

(Follow the link and then click the download tab)

If you like what you hear please share the cast with your friends and like our brand new Facebook page. Enjoy!

Movie Review: Despicable Me 2

Here’s the second of two quick-fire animated movie reviews!

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Starring:
Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig, Russell Brand
Director:
Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud (Despicable Me)
Rating: PG
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What’s not to like about the Despicable Me set-up? The first film was regularly hilarious, unexpectedly heartwarming and packed some impressive visual tricks. It stands as one of my all time favourite animated movies to this day and I’ve seen it quite a few times. So when I heard there would be a sequel directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, the same two people at the helm of the original, needless to say I was pretty excited. While the sequel doesn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first movie, it contains enough laughs and charm to come with a recommendation from yours truly.

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Movie Review: Monsters University

Unlike last year, I have now somehow managed to see all of the late-June movie releases that I wanted to in 2013, as of a couple of nights ago. Perhaps a little late, but there was a lot of good stuff to see! Two reviews coming right up.

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Starring:
Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren
Director:
Dan Scanlon (Tracy)
Rating: G
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It’s been a long time since the original Monsters Inc, a movie I fondly remember watching in the cinemas as a kid all the way back in 2001. The movie was instrumental in building a quite frankly phenomenal track record for Pixar Animation Studios, a run of form that only grew even more impressive over time until it finally began to lose steam a couple of years ago with Cars 2. The studio became well-known for surprising its audiences by finding clever new ways of tugging at their heartstrings, as well as delivering messages with at least some degree of subtlety. Following last year’s good but unusually by-the-numbers effort Brave, however, there has been somewhat of a backlash against the company. A rather undeserved backlash. Critics and general audiences alike had come to expect a certain sentimental ingredient in their Pixar films and when it stopped coming, their collective sigh of disappointment descended on Hollywood like a grossly overinflated black cloud, particularly after Disney’s Pixar-less Wreck-It Ralph turned out so well last year.

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Crossing Some Line

Almost every single day since it launched in Australia on June 15th, I have played some Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

A lot of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, rather.

I really shouldn’t check my Activity Log to find out exactly how many hours. The number may horrify me.

In any case, one of the coolest of many new additions to this latest iteration in the Beetle Animal Crossing franchise is the ability to save a screenshot at any time, which to the best of my knowledge is unique among 3DS games thus far.

So here are some screenshots from my town, Egopolis, because it’s a lot quicker than writing my thoughts on the game in a couple thousand word essay.

This is me. Come to my town. It'll be fun, I promise.

This is me. Come to my town. It’ll be fun, I promise.

It rains a bit.

It rains a bit.

Rockin' it.

Rockin’ it.

My house and front yard, thanks to the magic of QR code design downloads.

My house and front yard, thanks to the magic of QR code design downloads.

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Movie Review: Man of Steel

Here it is: The latest big and blockbusting effort to make Superman relevant to the masses again. I saw it four days ago.

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Starring:
Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams
Director:
Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen)
Rating: M
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man-of-steel-poster-3
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Man of Steel was one of my most anticipated films of 2013 and it had been so for a while, despite the fact that I am not a comic book reader and never have been. There were just so many fascinating questions to be answered – could Christopher Nolan‘s influence on the Superman mythos translate into another superlative movie despite the unavoidable need for the inclusion of superpowers? Would General Zod prove a worthy villain in yet another reboot of the character? And how would Zack Snyder‘s post-Sucker Punch direction factor into things? Having seen it now, when all is said and done, it turns out Man of Steel is a rather difficult film to review. Or at least to score. It has been tormenting me for days.

Continue reading