Posts Tagged ‘ Reviews ’

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

SPOILERS

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

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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.