Archive for the ‘ Reviews ’ Category

I’m sure I’ve seen this plot before: A Halo 4 Review


What I liked:

  • Overall it is a very pretty game, a lot has happened in the last four years and you can see if with the quality of cinematics and the visual appearance of the maps. A number of times I forgot I had things to do and just started sightseeing.
  • I did particularly enjoy the fact that Halo 4 takes place exactly the distance between the release of Halo 3 and Halo 4, right down to the hour
  • The Infinity survived the game: it kinda became a plot point in itself that whatever hero ship the Chief was based on would at sometime have to sacrifice itself to defeat the enemy; the Pillar of Autumn, the In Amber Clad, the Forward Unto Dawn (and even the Spirit of Fire) have all had to pay the ultimate sacrifice to end the game. It was refreshing to see the Infinity survive at least to the next game.
  • Commander Shepard is Captain Palmer; the head of the Spartan 4’s is voiced (and kinda looks like) the Female version of Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard. I thought that was pretty cool; however despite of this she gets practically no screen time; though I suspect that may be because of the fact that to many comparisons would be made between Captain Palmer and Commander Shepard, considering the similarities between Spartan 4’s and the revived Shepard.
  • Cortana has curves Open-mouthed smile enough said, she now looks a lot more feminine than previous incarnations; so there is finally a version of Cortana my girlfriend can cosplay as XD

What I didn’t like:

  • Captain Del-Rio. What a major douche he was; sure he was a good character, but he kinda didn’t exist, it was obvious that Commander Lasky is supposed to be the new supporting character, considering he is the hero of Forward Unto Dawn and is featured in all of the Infinity trailers (while Del-Rio isn’t) but the question is what exactly is the point of Captain Del-Rio. Sure he is no Captain Keyes, Miranda or Jacob (and Miranda was kinda lacklustre to begin with but she warmed up to me in the end) or even a Captain John Cutter, but there is not a single redeeming quality to him. Unlike the other Captain’s he is abrasive, doesn’t really like input from his subordinates, uses Spartans as disposable weapons, so it doesn’t matter that the most decorated soldier in the UNSC tells you its a bad idea, simply because the Chief is a Spartan, his opinion doesn’t matter, considering how he was removed from the position as Captain of the Infinity but its never explained how that happened, the question remains, what was the point in even having the character? Lasky wouldn’t have been the first UNSC Captain who liked to get their hands dirty, in fact all things considered, Captain Cutter was the only previous captain who didn’t leave their ship to participate in the mission.
  • I’ve read this plot before: pretty much the plot of Halo 4 is drawn almost directly from the Forerunner and Kilo-5 trilogies; the issue with that is that the game relies almost too much on that fact and because of that there are massive plot and visual issues that are simply not explained in the game; they left all the heavy lifting to the books. Now this is different to the previous game trilogy where they expanded upon the plot of the games and filled in the little details that can’t be translated into gameplay; but the problem is most of the issues in this game just aren’t explained at all; for instance, Who is the Diadect or the Librarian? In the Forerunner Trilogy their existence is explained, the problem is that the Forerunner Trilogy is just so badly written (and is the least read trilogy in the Halo franchise). Five seconds of dialogue, or a cinematic at some point could have explained just who these people were; and pointed out that hey these people are Forerunners, its just all of a sudden the Chief knows the name of his enemy (And yet can no longer understand the Covenant Languages?) I mean they spent more time explained the Mammoth than they did the main antagonist.
  • Cortana’s rampancy the UNSC would have records of when AI’s were created, also I’m surprised that the UNSC Infinity didn’t have an AI (or several) of its own; These AI’s would have noticed that as soon as Cortana came aboard that she was rampant; this in itself makes little sense, as it was explained that Cortana went rampant in Halo 3, and transcended to the point of metastability in Halo 4, also it is unsure as to what effect being on Requiem would have had on Cortana.
  • The Diadect is Harbinger; like Commander Shepard, the Diadect has the same voice actor as the villain from Mass Effect, Harbinger; which is both ironic (and annoying) as both are the vanguard for humanities destruction, and both have a habit of regularly taunting the protagonist, the part that annoyed me is that whenever I heard the Diadect, all I could hear is Harbinger.
  • What they dont care anymore? Previously when the Chief died in the presence of other friendly UNSC (or even enemy forces) they would taunt or cry out that the Chief was dead, now there is nothing; it kinda separates the Chief from the other UNSC forces, who previously were happy to see the Chief, now their kinda blasé to the presence of the most decorated soldier in the UNSC

What Made No Sense:

  • Why are the Covenant fighting the UNSC again? At not point aside from the Chief at the beginning of the game is surprised that the Covenant (albeit just Elites leading some Halo 1 era enemies, and sans any noticeable combat harnesses) are attacking the Infinity or the Forward Unto Dawn, sure the plot of the Kilo-5 trilogy is to keep the Elites off balance to allow the UNSC the chance to remobilise and prepare for additional conflicts, but even in the books it hasn’t gotten to the point where the Covenant would be returning, or that the Elites would turn on their Earth Allies. And yet everyone seems to just accept that a) its the Covenant, not the Sang’heli State, and b) that they are attacking the UNSC.
  • We have communications issues; for the last two Halo Games (2 and 3) the we have been able to understand the Covenant languages they would bark orders, issue insults and generally speak in rough English translations, in Reach we didn’t because it was set before Cortana and the invention of the translation matrix, hell even in the re-release of Halo Combat Evolved, we could begin to understand the Covenant, and yet, four years after 3, their back to grunts and snarls? The worst part about this is the fact that no one comments on it. a simple exchange between the Chief and Cortana could have explained it or set up the reason; with the possible reasons being
    1. Damage to the translation matrix due to being stuck for four years on a broken ship
    2. Cortana’s rampancy taking resources from the Chiefs suit causing the translation matrix to be shut down
    3. Regional dialects previously not encountered before
    4. Simply put “You don’t want to know what they are saying”
  • So how did the Chief’s suit get upgraded? The Chief emerges from cryo in a set of Phase 2 Mijolnir armour, and just accepts it, he entered in Mark 6 armour and emerges in a completely different set, considering there really is only the one cinematic before the Chief arrives on Infinity, they could have visually left the Chief in his old armour and have him wear the upgraded gear when he arrives on Infinity, another one of those five seconds of dialogue things that 343 seems to have overlooked (again). Sure Cortana points out that she upgraded the firmware of his suit (which explains why his HUD is different), but doesn’t explain how the suit got the upgrade. Sure in Kilo-5 (see a trend here) they explain that the phase two suits have nanites on them that upgrade the suit when the Spartan is in cryo, the issue is that THE CHIEF WASN’T IN A PHASE TWO SUIT PRIOR TO ENTERING. Every Halo game at one point has the period where the Chief gets the new armour (except 3 there they just scuff it up because the Chief didn’t have the time to get the upgrades) it became the point where they did the control calibration (another thing missing from 4); they could have had the cinematic featured at the end of the game somewhere in the middle of the game where the Chief dons the new armour, with Captain Palmer giving him a rundown of the suits new systems, because lets face it Captain Palmer has only a minute and a half of total dialogue in five hours of Campaign Gameplay, and absolutely no in game appearance; it would have been good for the start of mission two to have that interaction.
    This is similar to the question of how did the equipment on the Forward Unto Dawn become upgraded when no one was around to do it? Sure there might be a gameplay mechanics reason for doing it, but overall it just didn’t look right; also the Warthog sounds like its stuck in third gear.
  • Did they mutate or what? The Covenant all look visually different, almost to the point where they look nothing like they previously did; Grunts now look like Turtles, Jackals just look like mini-Elites and something happened to the head of the Elites, because now its more triangular than previously. Sure I know that changes in visual engines allows you to upgrade the appearance because you have more pixels to play with, but there seemed to be very little difference between the Covenant races; for instance they are all wearing the same helmet now.
  • How does he know how to use that? Chief has never seen the Railgun before, or just about any of the Covenant/Forerunner weapons in this game, and yet instinctively knows how to use them.

What I hated

They killed off Cortana

Enough is enough Atkinson!

Like tens of thousands of Australian’s, I have pre-ordered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and I even went as far as shelled out $200 for the special edition version that came with the night vision goggles, why? Because this franchise is freaking awesome, and it comes out in exactly 9 days, well that’s if our favourite SA Attorney General doesn’t have anything to do with it.

‘Leaked’ game play footage which can be accessible from YouTube displaying what is listed as a skippable mission where the player has to infiltrate a terrorist cell; as a result the player has to run through a airport shooting up unarmed civilians. Once again THIS IS A SKIPPABLE MISSON… well it was a skippable mission in Australia, if the Australian Council on Children gets their way, one of two things will occur, this mission will cease to exist, or the game in its entirety will be banned from sale.

Now its somewhat hilarious that the Australian Council on Children would even think that they would have an opinion on a game that at the moment has an MA-15+ rating, a rating by all definitions means that children aren’t even allowed to purchase or play it. But this once again raises an issue I have raised a number of times before, and I will continue to raise it. If Parents actively paid attention to the content they are buying their children, this wouldn’t even be a problem, granted yes an R-18+ rating would help as well, but the bigger issue is yes Children should not be playing these games… though that has more to do with the fact that they are not targeted at children.

InfinityWard, the Developer of the Call of Duty franchise came out earlier this week stating that the whole reason for the level is to bring home the atrocity of terrorism, and also stated that the mission while not only being an optional one, but also stated that the mission was graphic and depicted scenes that would be traumatic to some people.

As a result of this, and the fact that shooting civilians incurs a penalty in the rest of the game, the Office of Film and Literature Classification approved the game for sale and game it a MA-15+ rating, the highest that can be given, despite the fact that the game itself warrants an R-18+, but since one does not exist, MA-15+ is the highest available.

As a part of gaming reality occurs, games are becoming more and more realistic, becoming more interactive movie than game, unfortunately until game ratings fall in step with the rest of media, this will continue to cause friction between the OFLC and the growing number of technologically gifted individuals who wish to play games that the purest definition of the OFLC Code of Conduct allows them being that Adults should be allowed to do watch what they want.

The OFLC can only make a ruling on a game they have already cleared for sale up until the day of release, before having to resort to other methods to have content removed from sale.

ODST: OMG… aka Doc rides a Warthog

While I technically don’t get my copy of ODST until tomorrow morning, I did go down to Penrith’s EB for their Midnight release, making the first time I have done so for a game, I have ordered from another store.

The reason why me and Tikara skipped out on St John Training to pay the Plaza a visit, was the presence of the $200,000 WETA Workshop Prop, the LRV Warthog.

I mean this thing is freaking huge, its at least 8 feet tall, and freaking awesome… ah yeah, I did get a little be carried away.

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Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta DLC Review

With a current spate of downtime, and a desire to further distance myself from covering the Sandilands/2DayFM for at least a few more days, I turned on the old 360, and performed what has become a monthly ritual; checking all my games for the plethora of updates that the developers push through. It makes for an easier period when Microsoft pushes through their system updates.

This time, when I dusted off my copy of Fallout 3, it popped up to tell me that there was new DLC available, this time it was the much anticipated and assumed last expansion to the incredibly popular post apocalyptic RTS.
Mothership Zeta, brings an entire new region to the Capital Wasteland, a region that is totally out of this world…literally. In an area allegedly the same size as the original Wasteland, the Vault Dweller must ally themself with a cadre of temporally mismatched abductees, to find out what happened and get home.

When you first install the expansion, your confronted with a weird sounding radio transmission, leading you to the site of the Crashed Alien Spacecraft. When you arrive, a mystical blue light surrounds and your beamed aboard the Mothership and experience the wonderful world of alien Probulation. After falling unconscious following the experimentation, you come to in a cell with another abductee and the pair of you start your attempt to get off the ship.
Throughout your travels through the ship you find recordings and other pieces of alien gear, all the while, shooting at hostile Aliens intent on getting you back on the cutting table. During your time making your way to the bridge of the ship, you will encounter a number of other abductees, and most will join you, however a few are nothing but blithering idiots who are only good for the armour they are wearing.

You eventually make it to the bridge and following a ‘climatic’ space battle with another Alien space ship, the ship is yours to do with as you see fit…though to that end if by this point you haven’t explored the entirety of the ship and collected all of the recordings or collected all the bits of gear, you wont be able to, as most of the doors to the lower levels become sealed.

From a game play perspective, the expansion isn’t as great as previous add-ons for the game, despite boasting an area allegedly equal to the original Wastelands, most of that area is actually outside the alien ship, so in reality this is the smallest new playing area, not including Broken Steel, as a majority of it subsists in the Wastes. If you have already finished the game, and the expansions, the weapons and armour for Mothership Zeta available to you are not levelled to your character, and by that point most of your existing weapons and equipment is already leagues ahead of the Alien gear, however if you’ve just started, then the gear and ambient ammo makes it a perfect first sojourn.

Another issue rising from this expansion, is that it removes the crashed alien spacecraft, and with it, removing the only other opportunity aside from Broken Steel, to get the Alien Blaster, and oddity in which that even on the Mothership, they are not actually using this weapon, and the ammunition on board available does not even work with the blaster.

Overall, there is not enough argument for or against getting this piece of content, so its pretty much a factor of is 800 points worth it.

Chevformers: Revenge of the Fallen Car Company

WARNING: Rants and Spoilers

Me and Tikara being devout fans of all forms of Transformers went to the premiere of Transformers 2: The Revenge of the Fallen, simply to see if Michael Bay had made up for what he had done to the first one, namely making Bumbles the hero, the Robotic Corn Chip and that god awful flamejob. Unfortunately, it would seem that not only did Bay Skullhump the franchise, but once again further pushing the robotic characters into the background once again.

This instance took place two years after the events of the first movie, in which the now victorious Human and Autobot soldiers joining forces to hunt down the Decepticon threat still present on the planet, in an organization called NEST, a group akin to MASK or GI-Joe vs.. Transformers franchises, though not as successfully put together.
They hunt down the remaining Decepticons, with varying levels of success, but seem to cause ridiculous levels of destruction to cities all over the world. Cities, might I add are filled with about 90% Chevrolets.

Now there is no hiding that Michael Bay has a shining to GM, and this is painfully obvious when every single Autobot is a GM vehicle, and it was only the Deception’s where non-American Cars. Now, I still have reservations that making Bumblebee a Camaro, and the BS surrounding that decision (No the Fans WILL know the difference between Herbie and Bumbles, and VW WAS in on being involved in the movie), but considering that Sideswipe was going to be a Lamborghini, UNTIL Bay chose the Stingray just points out that Bay cares more for his back pocket, than the fans.

The villain of this train wreck is none other than Unicron, The Fallen, a being who is actually in charge of the Decepticons, and rebuilt Galvatron Megatron. The Fallen also wants to destroy the Earth because apparently he visited Earth in Prehistory, and somehow left his mark on the world without anyone even realising it, as all ancient landmarks coincidently have Cybertronian text on them, and the Pyramids are actually built by the Cybertronians to hide a massive gun thingy, I dunno I kinda glassed over when they described it. Whereas, the good guys were after the Matrix of Leadership, a key designed to activate the same weapon, cause ya know Matrix Of Leadership just screams Doomsday Key, though along the way Optimus Prime ends up dying, though he comes back at the end. I mean if writer Roberto Orci was any more anti-canon I would have sworn he wrote Star Trek 11… wait, oh yeah he did.

This movie reminded me of the Rifftrax commentary for Episode 1 of Star Wars, where they comment that “You know what I love about my action films? When a group of characters stand in a hallway and has a really long talk…and if no new characters are revealed in these discussions, the more the better.” To that end, in this two and a half hours, either the human characters are fighting giant robots, or they are talking about fighting giant Robots, interspersed with really odd sequences of Megan Fox dressed in very little…Unlike most people, I don’t find her attractive, in fact I think her position in the movie is unnecessary, love interests have no place in Robot battle movies. Like the previous movie, the human characters are the heroes, instead of being plot points.
Once again Shia LaBeouf (Spike Whitwitcky), who is still the worst actor currently working, and I mean usually Dakota Fanning takes that title from me, but then, I haven’t had to sit through anything she’s made recently, leads this cast, and while I admit the Soldiers in this movie are well played, unfortunately everyone else, ranging from the crazed conspiracy theorist, who ends up being Spike’s roommate at Uni, to the Australian co-ed, who ends up being a robot, and the camera spent way to long on her digitally altered ass, are completely unnecessary characters to the story.

Isabel Lucas’ character brings me to a very odd point in this film, whoever wrote this movie has a thing for the Tentacle rape fetish, and no fewer than two characters partake in this practice. One, being Isabel Lucas’ character, whose tail and tongue digitally violate Spike, or a really awkward sex scene; and Soundwave, who decided to tenderly get intimate with a communications satellite, though I still wonder just how no one noticed the added mass of a giant robot bumping uglies with a satellite.

Now, when I saw the movie, I could not believe the addition of the characters Skids and Mudflap, two painfully obvious, stereotypically black characters, who are not only inherently racist, but actually made me feel uncomfortable to watch. I have gone so far to say that they are the Jar Jar Binks of the franchise, an opinion that is mirrored by many reviewers, there was no reason for adding these characters, and there is no reason to try and defend any action for their existence. The only other character whose design irritated me was Devastator, but not in the design of the Transformer, but in the fact that they gave the 41ft robot genitals, firstly Devastator is a Combiner, therefore consists entirely of the Constructicons and secondly Transformers procreate by imprinting an image onto Protoforms, NOT by reproduction.

The first half of the movie left me cold, in fact several times I was close to falling asleep, Unfortunately the second half, while could have been a lot better, managed to disappoint me. While I did enjoy the final battle… well the parts that didn’t involve Galvatron and Unicron, oh sorry Megatron and the Fallen, because ya know according to Michael Bay, the fans are stupid and wouldn’t get the references and/or name changes. Especially the Decepticon who did a commando roll…and then promptly exploded. But the Highlight for me was when Spike died… granted it was only for about a minute, but the crowd at the showing I was at cheered, and I admit, as did I, however, our cheers quickly turned to groans the minute he was resurrected…somehow, I still have no idea how though. Though he ended up having the Matrix of Leadership in his hands and held it high above him. It was almost enough for me to expect to see a particularly annoying Red sports car turn up and somehow end up becoming the new leader of the Autobots and start hearing “You’ve Got The Touch” by Stan Bush…and if you didn’t get that reference, go and watch the original Transformers Movie from 1986, then you will.

The movie ends quite poorly, in fact it just ends, Optimus Prime, resurrected using parts from a geriatric Jetfire, whose design still doesn’t make sense considering that Transformers exist for millions of years; gains the ability to fly, kills The Fallen, and destroys the Sun Blaster Cannon, the humans fight off the Decepticon army with the hell from the annoying little robots. Megatron and Starscream tuck their tails between their legs and leave the planet. As soon as the day is won, Optimus stands on the head of the Sphinx, and promptly discards the remains of Jetfire, the robot that sacrificed himself to save him, is just dumped to the ground.

Overall, the movie was a poorly constructed, poorly written, and a poorly made piece of tripe I mean I thought the original was bad, but this, truly is a horrible movie that should be avoided like the plague. It just pains me to hear that they are in fact making a sequel to it.

XBL Arcade Game Review: Star Trek D-A-C

While I was waiting for the ‘Future’ DLC content for Fable 2 to download, I noticed that there was a Star Trek game on the Xbox Live Arcade, titled Star Trek D-A-C, now I have no idea just what the blazers D-A-C stands for, I figured, what the hell I would try it out, and while I have played it a few times I still have no idea what D-A-C means

Publisher: Naked Sky Entertainment
Platform: Xbox 360 Arcade, Playstation 3 Network, PC (at a later date)
Players: locally: 2 Mulitplayer 6

Now being an Xbox Live Arcade Game I wasn’t expecting a great deal from it, and while there are a number of games on Xbox Live that are quite good, rest assured, DAC is not one of them.
Following in the tradition of movie games developed for the release of a major motion picture, this game seems heavily rushed, and while it looks and sounds awesome, that is the max of the positive points of this game.

I only had a quick look at this game, before promptly deleting it, but in that time I could tell quite easily, that there was severe balance issues between three types of ship, the Fighter, Bomber and Flagship, that the two factions: Federation and Romulan, can use. From what I am able to determine, Fighter=Bomber=Flagship but this system isn’t actually mirrored in gameplay, Fighters can destroy the other types just as easily, Bombers are destroyed by all other types, and the Flagship is generally useless.

The Game Developers didn’t supply a plot, or single player mode, so there is no reason as to why the Federation are fighting the Romulans, on the same hand, they also did not include the other major Star Trek Factions into the Multiplayer mode.

In recent months there have been a number of Arcade games costing the same price as DAC, but offered a great deal more than this half baked spectacle, who knows maybe with a little more work, a single player story mode, or more balanced gameplay this game might be a good one, but for the time being, and probably always will be, not worth the 800 points it costs. There are times when I am glad that I don’t pay for my XBL purchases, this is one of those times.

Gameplay: 2/10
Music: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Controls: 5/10
Overall Score: 6/10

Star Trek 11: Rebooting where no man has gone before

Warning Spoilers and ranting

I always enjoyed Star Trek, it was one of the few constants that followed me growing up, I especially enjoyed The Next Generation and its follow on franchises, with the exception of Voyager. I would also like to point out that I despised Enterprise, however, I did watch it on occasion.When I heard they were making an eleventh Star Trek Film, I was initially happy with the news, until they announced that it would be a prequel movie.

Now there are few things that I dislike about Hollywood, the main one is movie and TV makers, deciding that long running, popular franchises, like Star Trek and Star Wars, who were made some thirty years ago, need something to go before them, despite the fact that technology has already surpassed what they had in the supposed futuristic franchise, this act makes the trademark incarnation seem now out of place with the pace of things. This is most noticeable in the bridge between Enterprise, the Original Series and The Next Generation. Enterprise itself seems more advanced than the Original Enterprise, so my initial impression of this movie was already going to be jaded.

When it came for Star Trek 11 to come out in cinema’s I went into the theatre with the impression that one of two things would happen, that Abrams might actually breathe new life into an already iconic franchise, or he was going to destroy the franchise akin to the likes of Micheal Bay and his Little Robot rendition of Dawsons Creek, unfortunately the two movies share a common thread, as they were both written by the same man, so if there was one man to blame for both, it would be Roberto Orci.

As it seems, that both may have happened, yes this movie is a fresh perspective on a groundbreaking franchise, a show that had the first black female main cast member, and had a Russian on American TV, in a Cold War Era show, but at the same time, he might have also destroyed the established franchise. The risk associated with reboots, especially ones where the Producer intentionally branches off from what was already established, is the risk that the new content will remove what came before it, for example, modern Children think Transformers are those giant robots from the Bayformers pic, not the characters that I grew up with, likewise, the Star Trek of today, is not the same iconic show I was brought up with.

I was always going to be critical of JJ Abrams, known for this point for making excellent drama, but not really delving into the scientific. And while he did make one massive change to continuity, the movie might have been able to rest on its own without the whole Time Travel aspect, that part alone is the major gripe I had with this movie.

I expected from the onset that Abrams would redesign the iconic Enterprise, as well as with the various pieces of technology; Tricorders now look like PDA’s, and more closely bridge the handheld devices on Enterprise and The Next Generation, the Phasers took an incredibly odd turn, with a spring loaded barrel, switching stun and kill. That alone was an oddity, considering that every other phaser had to be manually changed from the two settings as they were defensive sidearms, not weapons.

Considering that the original franchise was written in the 60’s and modern technology looks far more futuristic than the stuff that was used in it. It was inevitable that he would update the Constitution class vessel, to make it even more futuristic, considering what George Lucas did in the Prequel trilogy, I expected it, and while it does look like an advanced craft, unfortunately, it looks even less like the predecessor to the Next Generation Enterprise than the ship that it replaced, but then even the ENT Enterprise filled that criteria as well.

The various trademark locations on the ship also received a revamp, the ships Sickbay (called Medbay for some ungodly reason) looks similar to the infirmary of the ENT Enterprise, while the Engineering deck, looks like the Nuclear reactor aboard an Aircraft Carrier than a 22nd Century Starship, hell the ship that came before it looked far more efficient, so in the hundred and forty or so years between Enterprise and 11, technology not only got bigger, but got less powerful? the ENT Enterprise was able to reach Warp 5 with dramatic shaking, now 11’s Enterprise is supposed to be far superior, and faster than its predecessors, then why the hell is its top speed Warp 4.5? I know they changed the warp scale for TNG to try and reign in the ever increasing speeds, but come-on, this ship is supposed to be top of the line, and yet a ship from a hundred years previously can travel faster than it.
The Bridge itself, followed the colour aesthetic of the TOS counterpart, but it also seemed unnecessarily cluttered for a high-tech spacecraft, Abrams used the excuse that he added a dozen or so people to the bridge to make it appear busy.
Now Modern Naval vessels normally have a bridge crews far smaller than the fifteen plus that manned the bridge of the Abrams Enterprise, and yet they are quite busy, now a busy looking crew can be performed by proper training, sharp dialogue and was performed quite well in every previous rendition of Star Trek, who only ever had a bridge crew of six-seven principle, and maybe another 5 characters that stood around the background the bridge looking busy, you don’t need to fill a space it with bodies to make it busy, as it causes the opposite effect, it makes the ship look inefficient.

Aside from some exceptions, the casting and dialogue seemed very fitting of the characters that pioneered the franchise that allowed all other iconic Sci-Fi franchises, while the actors did look like younger versions of the TOS cast, with one exception, there was only two that actually acted like their original character. McCoy, and Kirk, however, it should be noted, that while Karl Urban pulled McCoy off very well, his dialogue seemed forced, almost as if he had to have the various McCoyisms out there (I’m a Doctor not a XYZ’ and many references to Spocks Vulcan Heritage), all the other characters, while performed well, failed to grasp the spirit of the person that donned the uniform before them…and dont get me started on Chekov, everytime that man abused the w’s and v’s that made the original Chekov adorably annoying, just made me want to throttle him, several times the phrase “Shut up! your not even supposed to be in the movie yet” were uttered at the premiere.

Aside from a slight Russian annoyance, a minor gripe came up, and that was the absence of Redshirts, sure the two things that I remember from TOS was the uncomfortable sexual tension between the shows three principle male protagonists, and an endless string of expendable underlings, I mean they could have killed one off? and no the Chief Engineer does not count, as he was neither an Ensign, nor a minor character.

While overall the movie was well written, it was obvious that Abrams was going to beat the ‘alternate reality’ aspect of the plot to its very limit, while realistically there was only one major change to the movie that they could have done without and that was destroying Vulcan…I mean sure Abrams said that he was going to make changes to the franchise, sure adding Chekov a good three years before he was supposed to is a change I will eventually accept, but blowing up an entire freaking Planet? especially one of the biggest in terms of plot arcs? why couldn’t he blown up some no-named planet, like what really happens, I mean Vulcan is not Alderran, so stop ripping ideas from Star Wars.

While the movie in of itself was a entertaining reimagining of the franchise that pretty much brought me up, I look at this movie the same way the Bayformers movies, if you went into this movie looking for a Star Trek Movie, you will be disappointed, if you went into the movie with the expectation of a well written science fiction movie with lots of action, then you may have found your movie