Monday, September 20, 2010


So my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to go see Devil. I knew going in, considering the association with M. Night, that this film could go either way. This one actually turned out alright, though.

It's the story of a handful of people stuck on an elevator, one of whom is killing the rest off. The Devil, supposedly. Really, it's your basic "who dunnit". And honestly, I can understand how some people might find this one a little predictable, but it's still an enjoyable film nonetheless.

The story is well thought out. There's some legitimately tense moments (thank God for no cheap jump scares). I actually end up caring about some of the characters, which, considering the genre, really says something. And everything ties up really neatly for a satisfying ending. Now there's not exactly anything here that truly elevates this movie above merely decent, but that's okay.

Sadly, I think M. Night only hurt this film by plastering his name all over it, despite not even directing it this time. He actually has a decent film here, but I know of quite a few people who will most assuredly be avoiding it due to his name alone. It's kind of a shame, too. If they can retain at least this level of quality throughout the duration of these "Night Chronicles" (apparently this film is the first of several), he may just have a decent series of films on his hands.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Metroid: Other M

I purchased Metroid: Other M last week, and earlier today, I just completed the main portion of the game. It's a really great game overall, though it's not without it's flaw

The game is basically the classic 2D Metroid games brought to the third dimension. Unlike the Prime series, though, this one is played almost entirely from the third person perspective. It plays really well, though it does take a bit to get used to moving around at first. Unlike the Prime games, you can't just jump on every little thing in the environment, there's invisible walls blocking you off, so it feels a little clunky at first. I got over this pretty quick, though, so it didn't remain an issue as I progressed further in the game.

There are parts of the game where you need to go into a first person mode. You can only fire missiles while in first person, and you can scan the room for items or hints. The bad thing about these parts is that you can't move around, leaving you open for attack. These sections, too, take a little getting used to. The main controls are played with the controller sideways, like a classic NES controller. But to go first person, you have to point the remote at the screen. The change from third to first person is very smooth in the game, and even surprisingly so from a control aspect as well.

There is one particular aspect of this game that really holds it back, however. There are certain sections that you can't skip over, and you're forced into the first person mode. You then have to look all around the room in order to scan something that triggers the next cutscene. The thing is, though, you're not ever given any sort of clue as to what it is you're supposed to be looking for, and nothing in the environment ever sticks out as something that needs to be scanned. These portions are just obnoxious, and have actually given me the most trouble while playing the game. And considering this is a game heavy on combat and puzzle elements, that's pretty pathetic. They add nothing to the gameplay, and only hinder the experience. That said, now that I have gotten past them, hopefully they shouldn't prove to be a problem on a second playthrough.

Unlike past Metroid games, this one is very heavy on story. It takes place directly after the events of Super Metroid, and acts as a prequel to Metroid Fusion. We learn a lot about Samus' past, in particular her relationship with her superior Adam Malkovich. These flashback parts of the story are really interesting, and kept me wanting to find out more. As for the actual storyline of the game, however, it leaves a bit to be desired. It starts off interesting enough, but by the end of the game, things just really fall flat. I wouldn't say it was bad, though judging from the quality of the flashback scenes, the main storyline could have definitely been better.

Overall, this is a great game. The combat and puzzles are rewarding, the controls are generally spot on, and the story keeps me engaged. And other than the Guitar Hero games, no other game this generation has managed to suck me in and actually bother to play it to completion. And I have no intention of putting it away yet. That alone has me feeling this may just be the best game this whole generation so far. As far as how it stacks up to it's predecessors, I'm leaning towards it maybe even surpassing my current favorite, the original Metroid Prime. Some fans are put off by it's more cinematic presentation, but believe me when I say that it's a very good game, and I can't recommend it enough.