Annie get your GUN

Ok, so after thinking on it a little while, I've sort of decided that not talking about the games coming out every week doesn't really work either, so I'll compromise and talk about games that I give a rat's ass about, so this particular entry will also somewhat focus on catching up on releases the last couple of weeks.

But first, I'll talk about this past weekend's films. I saw both Jarhead & Chicken Little. Jarhead was a very solid film with really strong performances. Especially Peter Sarsgard in what should be an easy supporting actor nomination. It actually manages to be very different from most other wars films because it speaks of the boredom of war. It's all about the endless waiting and anticipation of action that never seems to come.

Chicken Little was suprisingly weak. Maybe there is some special spell that Pixar knows to crank out magical films one after the other, but nobody else can really seem to create films that are not only visually impressive, but have memorable and endearing characters as well as good stories. Chicken Little lacks all of that in spades. It's poor story seems like several bad ones cast together, his sidekicks are about as generic as they come, and the laughs are few and far between, which is saying a lot when it's only 77 minutes long. The opening box office was expectedly strong, but I hope it dies quickly so Disney at least learns that you shouldn't be able to get away with flashy crap like this and label it "entertainment".

This weekend's films don't look too promising either (I'll get into why on Thursday), but I can highly reccomend two recent video releases for you to check out instead-Millions, a brilliant family movie by Danny Boyle about two boys who discover a bag full of stolen money; and Refer Madness: The Musical-A brilliant sendup of the original cult classic with lots of funny song & dance numbers thrown in. Either of these films would be a good bet for this weekend.

Want to play a 360 game now? Not only do they have display kiosks at Walmart & Best Buy, but some 360 games have already hit the shelves-Kameo is already out. All I'm gonna say is that it would really suck to buy the game and not be able to get a 360 on launch day. The 360 controllers are out too, but they have a function-they are also PC compatible.

Alas, any lingering shred of doubt about selling my 360 dissapeared with the quiet delay of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion into the next year. I think this is a true blow to the 360 launch, as a lot of people I know were sold on that game alone. Now, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of stellar-looking titles for launch (Perfect Dark Zero is looking better by the day), but for me that was the killer app, and now I can most certainly wait.

Now, catching up on past releases: I am extremely tempted to buy City of Villains. It just sounds cool (especially with my credit for Oblivion just sitting at Gamestop) to have your own fort and legions of doom, not to mention battling City of Heroes players (although from what I've read the Heroes far outnumber the villains right now, which could lead to obvious problems in PvP. But I'm certainly not done with Warcraft and the last thing I need is another huge time suck like it. I'll probably hold off til I'm bored with WOW(which may happen relatively soon since i'm nearing the level cap and the expansion isn't out til July), but there are severa MMOs that look extremely interesting now (I've always wanted to get into Final Fantasy XI) and plenty on the way (Dungeons & Dragons is finally getting its own MMO early next year).

The latest James Bond title also came out recently from EA, and like most EA titles, it's big on presentation, and lacking in sunbstance. I'm not shocked but dissapointed that EA has chosen to mine old titles Goldeneye & From Russia With Love. The Bond titles sucked for years. The first good one in a long time was the original Everything or Nothing. It really seems like the last few years EA has been sitting on nothing but their past laurels. It may not be anytime real soon, but eventually that's going to really kick them in the ass. And I will be laughing when it does.

I also recently played Soul Calibur III & Spartan. Soul Calibur is an excellnt game series, and the third one doesn't really change that. The probably is that it barely changes anything. The new modes are repetive or pathetically boring, the new characters don't really add anything, and where the hell is online play? The underlying engine still rocks, but you can buy Soul Calibur II and get the same experience with better modes. In Spartan I was just lost. You are one soldier in a huge crowd and although you get really cool manuevers, just try pulling something fancy off when enemies are gangbanging you left and right. It's much more effective(though admittedly really dull) to just hack through everything). Plus, it has escort missions, which are the ultimate evil in gaming.

But the most recent releases this week and last week mostly focus on guns, lots of them. War freaks can get their war on with several different titles-Star Wars Battlefront 2, Call of Duty 2 and Battlefield 2. SW: Battlefront 2 seems like the best bet if for no other reason than you can not only fight in space but kick major ass a a Jedi. Plus, modern day or historic war games are a dime a dozen. Oddly enough, futuristic ones are few and far between.

GUN, Activision's attempt to do something other than Tony Hawk games also comes out this week. They are selling it as a GTA style game in the old west, but I've seen the gameplay and the reviews seem to concur that's it's not nearly as deep or offers as many hours as other "sandbox" titles.

Finally, a new Matrix game hits this week. And it finally lets you play as Neo. The problem is that will anyone care? The original Matrix game was pure crap. The Matrix online is a massive failure, and most fans felt burned by the rather lackluster sequels. Who knows, maybe this will finally redeem the franchise.

Ok, that's really all for today, but i'll be back tommorow for sure.

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