Sunday, February 15, 2009

Supreme Commander

Supreme Commander is an RTS (Real Time Strategy game) taking place in the future, where there is the UEF, Earth's forces, all in one team, the Cybran, cyborgs that Earth used, but that now want their freedom, and the Aeon, humans who followed some aliens, and are trying to preach their god onto everyone. In fighting, what they do is send a commander to the place where they do battle, and the commander build factories and power plants, so that you can build your army up. There is a campaign mode where you can play through as a commander working for one of the three races, or there is the multiplayer/skirmish mode, where you and however many opponents just build up armies, then crash them into each other. I've never been a huge fan of RTS's, with the only one I've really owned being Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, which came out slightly after Episode 1 and that I got when I became Bar Mitzvah (and thus spent lots of time playing it with my cousin who was in town for my becoming Bar Mitzvah), which I never played multiplayer, because I knew I'd lose horribly. I'm not a good leader. I can't form strategies well. I just can't do it, it isn't something I am good at. I can accept that, though. With SC, though, everybody in my suite at school is playing, and so I can play with people I actually know. I've only ever won in these, when I am part of a team, where people are all attacking my ally who is good, and I have time to build up nukes and nuke them to kingdom come. The game itself is okay, although since I am not good at RTS's, somewhat tedious and annoying at times. The thing that makes the game cool, in my opinion, is that the graphics are really good. When you build things, most of the time, you will see your ships as triangles, your engineers as diamonds and your buildings as squares. It is easier to manage from a higher ground, just looking in on them from far away, but the detail in the graphics, when you zoom in is amazing. Each unit is amazing to look at, and everything looks really good. The only downside is you really don't look at it ever, because of how the game works. All in all, it is fun, and I enjoy playing it, but I think more races and more differences in races would have been interesting. For example, in SW:GB, you could play as the Trade Federation, who lacked certain things (like repeater troopers), but also didn't force you to build housing (which was a pain for the others), as they are droids. The Empire was awesome for its AT-AT's that were powerful and awesome. Each race was different, and while somewhat similar (land factory, power plant, etc), the choices were often different and fun. In SC, everything seems the same. The main differences are the Experimentals, which are beyond tech 3 (the highest tech) which are all unique, and the commanders, who I believe get different upgrades. Still, all those things are expensive, so for the most part, it is people runnign tanks at each other, or sending bombers and interceptors at each other, while shooting the others down with SAM's. Fun, but lacking in differences, and as an RTS, not my favorite type of game. Still, it is fun, although mostly for playing with people I know (and nuking their bases, then laughing).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hulk Vs.

The last part of my birthday extravaganza is the Hulk Vs. DVD. There are two movies on it, Hulk Vs. Thor and Hulk Vs. Wolverine, both 45 minute movies, or so, along with small behind the scenes of the movies.

Hulk Vs. Thor was brand new to me. The basic premise is this: Every year, Odin has to recharge his powers by entering the Odinsleep for a week or so. During that time, the trolls, the frost giants, the fire giants, etc, all try to attack Asgard (as Odin is resting) and the gods, including Thor, are able to repel them. Trying to break the cycle, Loki gets the Hulk, separates Banner from the Hulk, takes over the Hulk's body and rampages into Asgard, taking out Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg, and Balder, before taking on Thor, who he fights to a standstill until he loses control and the Hulk defeats Thor, almost killing him, before eventually going after Odin. Eventually, Thor and Loki team up, along with Banner and Loki's daughter, Hela, in order to rejoin the Hulk with Banner, before sending them back to Midgard. The story is okay, although I do have problems with it. As much as I like Hulk, I have never thought that he should be able to take out Thor if Thor was really trying. Even more, I don't think that he should be able to fight off magic as much as he did, especially if you think outside the box. Characters there, such as Amora (the Enchantress) should be able to just teleport Hulk out into space. Even if you can't defeat him physically, you can still beat him. Drax, with the Power Gem, wasn't able to be beaten physically, because he could subconsciously call upon the Gem to give him unlimited power. Still, he was taken down a whole bunch. Sometimes telepathically, sometimes through other methods, but he wasn't unbeatable like Hulk was in the movie. Oh, well. It was still good, just not as good as I think it could have been.

Hulk Vs. Wolverine, on the other hand, has been perfect each of the three times I have watched it. I don't know how it is still perfect, but it is. I keep expecting to not be as impressed, and I keep failing. It starts with Wolverine saying how he's the best at what he does, then waking up, bloodied, wondering what happened, Hulk landing, then him remembering. Wolverine was called in as part of Department H in order to try and stop the Hulk, who had rampaged through a small town in Canada. He catches up to the Hulk eventually (although the chase isn't too long or short, it is a perfect amount of time), although finds Banner there. After realizing Banner has something to do with the Hulk, he threatens Banner, who knocks him away before turning into the Hulk, punching Wolverine high into the air, and we get to where Wolverine was at the beginning. They fight for a little while before eventually, each wears the other out through smacking each other around a lot, before being taken out by tranq darts, shot by Weapon X, consisting of Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, Omega Red and Deadpool (who is hilarious throughout). We see Wolverine's origin at Weapon X, with them putting the adamantium into him, before he wakes up and Professor Thornton tells him of his plan on wiping the Hulk's mind, turning him into a weapon like Wolverine before. Lady Deathstrike tries to kill him, but accidentally lets him loose and he frees Banner, and fights off Weapon X, with the Hulk eventually coming out and talking about smashing the "claw people" and he rampages through the Weapon X members (inlcuding great Deadpool and Lady Deathstrike fights) before tearing down the Weapon X facility, ending with Wolverine and Hulk going at it again. Well, after the credits, you get Deadpool exiting the broken facility, completely happy and declaring how happy he is that he is alive before Hulk lands on him, jumping off again. There is a lot more fighitng in this, or so it seems a least, and the fighting is awesome. You have Hulk and Wolverine fighting to a standstill, and lots of other fighting that is awesome. Without Deadpool, it would still be amazing, but Deadpool makes it perfect. Without Deadpool, there isn't much humor, but there is still some. Sabretooth's fear as Hulk rushes him is funny. Deathstrike and Hulk yell at each other and it is funny. But overall, it is a lot of fighting. Deadpool's involvement makes it a lot of fighting with a lot of humor. The making-of documentary was amusing, mostly because when people talked about Hulk Vs. Wolverine, they'd mention Hulk and Wolverine, then mention Deadpool. Hulk was designed a certain way, Wolverine was designed a certain way and Deadpool was designed in a certain way. Wolverine was voiced by Steve Blum, who talks about it, Hulk was voiced by Fred Tatasciore, who talks about it and Deadpool was voiced by Nolan North, who talks about it. He was the third character out of the two main characters in Hulk Vs. Wolverine, which I found awesome. North voiced him perfectly, and their discussion of including Deadpool and how they did it made me believe that they want to use Deadpool in the future, which would be awesome.

To sum up, Hulk Vs. is amazing. Hulk Vs. Thor is slightly disappointing from a Thor perspective, and slightly silly from a Hulk perspective, although not bad. Hulk Vs. Wolverine is utterly and completely perfect and Deadpool is genius in it. So, get it, if only for Deadpool.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Runaways Vol 1 and Vol 2

So, as another birthday gift, I got the hardcover volumes of Runaways, both volumes 1 and 2.

I personally liked the first volume better, but whatever. There are spoilers in here, so if you don't want stuff to be spoiled, don't read this. This series is awesome for many reasons. One, the writing is top-notch. Vaughan delivers in a big way in writing the series. Everything carries fairly smoothly along from one story to the next and it is just great. The characters are also awesome. So many superheroes are "I have powers, I have to make a difference, I'm a good guy" that it kind of gets annoying. Sure, I can enjoy it to an extent, but it gets tiring, and I want something fresh. The Runaways are a bunch of kids who discovered their parents were part of this evil cult and they all freak out. Molly, Karolina and Nico all discover superhuman abilities (superstrength/invulnerability, magic, and alien flight/blasts and rainbow effects) and don't put on superhero costumes (well, aside from Molly in vol 1 with a makeshift cape, rubber gloves and a bad mask). Gertrude finds her telepathic Deinonychus, Chase finds some of his parents' gear, and so everybody except Alex gets stuff. And they don't become superheroes, they just try to survive. Sure, they might try to help people occasionally, but really they don't want to all the time. Something else that makes the series awesome is the humor. There is a lot more than I expected, and in the midst of some of the darker parts, the humor is a nice thing to have. Plus, the story is a really good one. Billy Zonos wasn't thrilled with the first volume, but I thought it was great. I thought it was amazing. The second volume was also good, but the first was great. What I like about the Runaways more than anything is that they are just ordinary kids who discover extraordinary things about themselves and what happens. It feels real and feels like it could just happen to you. We've all felt our parents are evil at times, some of us more than others. What would happen if they were? The dialogue and conversations feel perfect, and each of the characters stays true to their personality throughout the entire thing. I highly recommend getting Runaways and reading it. It is a great story that is awesome to have and read.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan is a rhythm game. It was only made in Japan, and is completely in Japanese. The game was the basis for Elite Beat Agents, which was basically a more Western version of Ouendan for a more Western playerbase. For my birthday, I got Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, and it is incredibly fun. I haven't really played a crazier game, aside from EBA. Ouendan is crazier only because I can't understand what is going on in Ouendan (to an extent). Scenes are just as crazy (which is impressive), with there still being a scene where some random guy fights a giant monster, an animal needs help, somebody from ancient times wants somebody to fall in love with them, there is a scene where something is sad and it takes out the usual sounds and replaces them with softer ones and there isn't yelling. But, being in Japanese, I can't understand what they are saying, so there are some things I just won't get. Still, it is an amazing game that you really don't need to know the language to play. I wouldn't want to play an in-depth RPG in another language that I don't know. But a rhythm game is fine, as you only have different beats you want to hit at times with the beat of the song, which you can listen to right there. It is somewhat more difficult, I'd say that the easiest level of Ouendan is harder than the easiest in EBA, but it is still loads of fun, even when the game makes you work harder, when it doesn't actually fit with the beat of the song. I don't really know what else to add. I haven't quite completed it yet, but it isn't a game that you just want to beat every level. It is a game that has an immense replay value, which is almost more important than unlocking all the songs on each difficulty. As much as I loved EBA, I love Ouendan. It is an insanely good game. If you liked EBA, then I reccomend the Ouendan series, which works on any DS (no region protection), and works exactly the same, just with different songs, in a language you may not know (I didn't).
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