(Gamer Geeks) Humble Store Square Enix Week

      All this week the Humble Store is have a Square Enix sale with up to 75% off some great games.  The Game of the Year Edition of Tomb Raider 2013 for $7.49 along with some of the other Tomb Raider Titles,  Final Fantasy VII and VIII for $5.99, Final Fantasy III for $7.99 and many others.  Head on over the The Humble Bundle Store to check out the full list of games.   

Source: Humble Store

(Gamer Geeks) Blue Estate Review

      Blue Estate is a rail shooter brought to us by the minds over at HeSaw.  From what I can tell, it's their first venture into game design, so don't feel bad if you haven't heard of the company before now. It was released June 25, 2014 on PS4 and on Xbox One seemingly in the future.  Also, it's a game adaptation of a graphic novel by the same name, written by Viktor Kalvachev and Kosta Yanev.

        The first thing I notice about the game is a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that pops up before the game begins, which basically sets the tone for the game - spoiler: it's not all that serious of a game.  After a quick gyroscope orientation, you're treated to a screen with a - very well animated, admittedly - scantily-clad lady on a stripper pole.  Again, sets the tone for the rest of the game.

    The story doesn't appear to be much of a priority.  Once you get past a second tongue-in-cheek disclaimer, it introduces us to our narrator, Roy Devine, Jr. who is a private investigator in Los Angeles.  The storytelling feels like an attempt at an old Dick Tracy movie, if Dick Tracy was a nerdy fat kid.  After some wandering narration which sets up the story, it's time to begin.

We are introduced to Tony Luciano, one of our actual protagonists.  Being the son of the West Coast Cosa Nostra mob boss Don Luciano, Tony was somewhat of a loose cannon.  We are told that he was the manager of a strip joint, and his best stripper goes missing (the same stripper from the opening screen), so he goes to the competing club nearby, owned by another pair of mob bosses, and the shooting begins.

      If you've ever played a rail shooter before, you've played them all.  Like House of the Dead and Time Crisis before it, Blue Estate plays much the same way.  You move through well-crafted set pieces, blowing off faces (and nuts, as this game includes 'Nutshots' in addition to the standard headshot) as you aim to finish the level.  The game doesn't appear to add anything exceedingly new to the genre, though the touchbar on the Dual Shock 4 gives another form of interaction, and is used to melee in small quick time events.

        One of the things that stand out is the art.  The art direction is crisp, exciting and the backdrops that you are blowing through look real and have depth.  Also, from what I've seen, it's mostly destructible.  Bullets do real damage to your surroundings, so the cover you were standing behind can suddenly disappear, but you can do the same to the enemy's cover as well.   Shooting people in the face with a shotgun will send them flying, which is quite satisfying indeed.

       The other thing that stands out is the writing.  While the story doesn't seem very good, the banter during missions seems to work.  As you're blowing away enemies, the protagonist spouts tacky one liners, some of which actually made me giggle a few times.  If they took away any semblance of true story, the one liners could carry the game almost entirely, I feel.

     That is where my praise ends, unfortunately.  The controls and handling feel very spotty.  You're only really using 4 buttons, but they give you no way to reassign the controls so the normal shooter controller layout (The right trigger shoot, and the left trigger recenters your gyroscope instead of zooming) feels awkward.   Further, you're constantly moving your controller around since the aiming is controlled by the controller's gyroscope.  In theory this sounds fantastic, but I found it wasn't quite as sensitive as I would've liked it to be. One of the first things I like to do with FPS games is to adjust the joystick sensitivity to make it more responsive.  Not having that capability felt quite frustrating, considering you're trying to make precise shots at times.  Having to go from one corner of the screen to the exact opposite side in fractions of seconds frustrated me immensely.  If we had a way to turn up the sensitivity of the gyroscope - or turn it off entirely - I would be alright with that, but unfortunately they didn't give us that option.  I have also been informed that it does not have Playstation Move capability, so you're stuck with the controller gyroscope.  As it stands, it feels like an easy way to get carpel tunnel even faster than otherwise.

         My verdict: the spotty controls coupled with the bland story make this almost painful to play through.    I played on the easiest difficulty, so I'm sure my gripes would be much worse if I had tried it at a higher difficulty.  I'd rather then go to the arcade and play a true rail shooter.  No amount of witty banter or beautiful backdrops can save this game in my eyes.

(Terrible Tuesday Movie Night) Terrible Tuesday Movie Night: Episode 26: "Inspector Gadget 2"

Terrible Tuesday Movie Night returns for real this time with this 2003 direct to DVD and the worst sequel and TV to movie adaptation ever, from the director who brought you Dr. Dolittle 5, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and is bringing you Jingle All The Way next yearits Inspector Gadget 2!

Inspector Gadget returns in this sequel to the 1999 hit, "Inspector Gadget." Gadget once again has to fight his arch nemesis, Claw.

Staring:

French Stewart - Inspector Gadget

Elaine Hendrix - G2

Tony Martin - Claw

Caitlin Wachs - Penny

Mark Mitchell - Chief Quimby

TITO SCORE: 2.5

Wrap Up:

A member of the Geek I/O and Chefwonder Podcast networks

chefwonder.squarespace.com/ttmn

geek-io.com/ttmn

Next Movie: Death Racers 

(Reel NSight) Reel Nsight Episode 96 Transformers Age of Extinction

Introduction

  • U.S. Release Date - June 27, 2014
  • Tagline(s)
    • Prepare for extinction
    • The rules have changed
    • Stand together or face extinction
    • This is not war, it's extinction
  • Synopsis - A mechanic and his family join the Autobots as they are targeted by a bounty hunter from another world.
  • IMDb Profile
  • Wikipedia
  • Rotten Tomatoes - 17%

Insight

  • Age of Extinction is if the Separatists won the war and all life was Grievous style merging with technology
  • This trip down 90s tech lane brought to you by Sanford and Son
  • Fast and the Furious meets The Italian Job
  • The Sentinals were actually Transformers source code
  • When would be a good time to call The General for car insurance?
  • I'm a fat ballerina who's here to chew bubblegum and split throats and I'm all out of bubblegum.
  • Galvatron just wanted to plant his seed

Summary

  • A million ways to attack with metal.
  • Reel Score - C
  • Positive(s)
    • Dinosaur Transformers
  • Negative(s)
    • Optimus Prime needs an Autobot to repair him then pulls a reverse Agent Smith and is fully repaired
    • Jurassic Park 3 with Transformers - 1.5 hour car commercial & Optimus Prime is disappointed with the current state of the car industry

Direct Download

E-Mail Me

Online Contact Form

Support Geek I/O on Patreon!

HeadphonesNeil Amazon Author Profile

[Sponsor - Puget] Visit http://geek-io.com/puget to start building your customer computer today!

(CJ's Boathouse) Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy)

(Please note: I will try to remain as spoiler free as possible during this, but please note there may be minor spoilers during the review.)


This summer has been full of blockbusters; Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Godzilla, and more.  The latest one to throw its giant, hyper-sharpened knife into the arena is Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy, and we got to see a preview of the movie this last weekend.

Let us first take a look at the cast:

Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec, The Lego Movie) takes up the Quad-Blaster and awesome helmet of the snarky, somewhat womanizing, dance master Peter Jason Quill, otherwise known as Star-Lord (Who?).  He pulls off the character with a wit, grace, and intensity that is hard to really realize could be done by any one human being.  Star-Lord is not a fully likeable character, much akin to one Tony Stark from Iron Man, and much like Mr. Stark, he has a heart of a hero, which can really only shine when tested by the heat of battle.  


Gamora, played by the amazingly talented Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar) really pulled off the bad-ass anti-heroine in spades.  She has the build of a trained assassin, and they do not have her ever in the position of a damsel in any way shape or form, which would have made many a fan angry if they had.  The only complaint I had of any of the characters did, however come from her - she is a little more feminine than the comic version, but when you have someone as gorgeous and talented as Zoe Saldana, you kind of need her to be.


Drax the Destroyer, played by WWE superstar Dave Bautista, was the biggest surprise of the entire film.  I was honestly not expecting him to be as emotional, relatable, and funny as he was.  Some of the best one-liners of the movie came from him, and I honestly am not sure he meant to be that kind of character. Obviously he is a huge human being and very intimidating and just pure Drax, but he has a comedic timing that I never expected.


Now, the biggest star of this movie in my opinion, Rocket, voiced  by Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, Silver Linings Playbook). This squirrelly little guy brings all the funny, while also edging the movie closer and closer to that R rating. The level of emotion brought out in this CG powerhouse is really intense though; this guy is not a one trick pony.  Hes a great character, and Cooper really makes everything believeable. I do love the elephant in the room that never addresses the Rocket / Groot thing.  Just like in the comics.


Speaking of, Vin Diesel (XXX, The Fast and the Furious) plays the giant sentient tree Groot, and they impart his eyes and some of his facial features into him, and even though he only says I am GROOT! he always seems to bring an intensity that you never thought it could.  He really personifies Groot, it is plainly obvious through the motion captured features that he genuinely was enjoying every second he was on screen.


Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, The Hobbit) plays the big bad Ronan the Accuser, and he really pulls off the level of power that someone of this caliber really requires, even if Ronan himself tends to look a little like Marilyn Manson every once in a while.  



Let us not forget Josh Brolins Thanos, Karen Gillans Nebula, and Michael Rookers Yondu, all of which really are on the point, and pretty much anyone else who has a speaking part is really amazing.  Marvel went above and beyond on the casting, writing, and direction of this film.


The pacing of the film was fantastic, never too fast nor too slow. The trademark cinematic genius that has become synonymous with Marvel-Disney films is true as well, but sometimes it felt like there was too much going on at once.


The writing style is so uniquely GotG that if you think too hard about how this will mesh with the rest of the MCU it is almost off putting, aside of course from the talking Raccoon. An excellently crafted script that fills witty banter with seamless exposition, propelling the action at a breakneck speed. But while the action scenes constantly ramp up the ante in both technical badassery and epic scale, the pacing is skilfully kept in check by those personal moments which not only show the humanity in this alien group, but also let the characters (and audience) catch their breath. The plot will take you to places that you did not think you would be able to go.  It is deeply touching, horrifyingly disturbing, funny, suspenseful, and so much more without ever being afraid to be completely in your face.  You will be lifted to the highest highs and dropped to the lowest lows.  There are literally parts of the film where you will be in tears one second and genuinely laughing the next.  They truly pull no punches at all in this film, but in the best way possible.


All in all, this movie is officially my favorite Marvel movie of all time, and is up there on my favorite MOVIES of all time.  This movie brings the fun, sex appeal, action, intensity, and emotion in more ways than you could actually think of. This is by far one of the greatest cinema experiences I have ever had in my entire life. I will be definitely be seeing this again, maybe twice, before owning it on Blu-Ray and watching it many many many more times to come.


Easily 10/10 TITOs. More than 12% of a movie!