Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Left Thumb is Sore: A Mortal Kombat Review

Don't I look happy?
For the  past two days I have been playing through the story mode of the newest Mortal Kombat game.  Before I give my review, I want to give a little of my background with fighting games.  I was never interested in arcade fighting games when growing up.  I didn't grown up with any hardcore gamers, past my younger brother, Ben.  When we got our PlayStation Ben introduced me to a whole new genre of games.  One of which was fighting games.  We were big on Dark Stalkers 3, Tekken 3, and Mortal Kombat 4.  I was never very good at Dark Stalkers 3, but I loved the art and Morrigan.  Mortal Kombat was different.  I wasn't great, but I wasn't bad.  In fact, I could occasionally beat Ben. . . which was a bigger deal than you can imagine.  I haven't played fighting games very much since then, aside from the occasional Rumble Roses match.

The newest edition to the Mortal Kombat family is pretty amazing.  The graphics are beautiful and the story mode keeps you on your toes.  I played through the first half of Story Mode on Medium difficulty and then switched to Easy when I got stuck.  I thought about switching it back, but the hubby pointed out that I was just trying for a dry run to see the story.  If I want to, I can just play through again on Medium.  I haven't completely finished.  I think I am on the last fight, Raiden  vs Shao Kahn.  It is a rather difficult fight and playing on a 360 doesn't help. . . but I will get to that in a bit.

Story Mode is pretty unique compared to what little of the genre I have played.  You are essentially having a Doctor Who experience.  Raiden sends a message to a past version of himself through visions in an effort to change the future.  It plays out like a movie and you get to take over whenever a fight breaks out.  The cuts into battle may not be completely seamless, but there are no loads screens to worry about.  The game also saves automatically after each fight.  The only real complaint I have about story mode is that you don't get to pick who you play with.  At the same time, you get to play a little bit of most of the major characters AND the storyline is far from boring.

To unlock bonus content such as alternate costumes, extra fatalities, special codes, and art you collect coins.  You get the coins from completing various tasks on 1 player, including playing through Story Mode.  Once you have coins to spend, you go to the Krypt under Extras on the main menu.  From there you spend your coins on graves and exploding bodies that give you all the extra goodies.  Then you head over to the Necropolis, which is in the Krypt or also under the Extras menu, to check out all your new goodies!

I tried the Challenge Tower, but the Xbox 360 controller and I do not agree enough for me to pull it off.  I need clear button for up, down, left, and right to properly pull off combos.  Unfortunately for me, the 360 controller connects them.  It doesn't completely ruin the game, it just makes it harder.  In my case, it makes it just hard enough that I can't fight Shao Kahn or complete the first level of the Challenge Tower.

That brings me to my final point.  If you like a good fighting game, regardless of skill, then buy Mortal Kombat.  Just make sure you buy it for the PS3.  Not only are the movement buttons better on a PS3 (at least for fighting games), you also get Kratos from the God of War series.  The Xbox 360 has no extra exclusive characters.  The game is pretty solid and looks great.  I don't even mind how tough Shao Kahn is, because I know I will eventually find a way to beat him.  The only thing that truly drives me mad about the game has nothing to do with the game itself.  I promised myself I would not turn this into a rant about how the only real flaw to the 360 is the evil controller, so I am going to end this now.  Go buy Mortal Kombat!  It is a great game.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sorry for the Lack of Motivation, Now Let's Make a Movie!

I know I missed comic Thursday yesterday.  So sorry!  There will be one next week.  I had work late.  Then I got caught up in School Rumble with husband during dinner.  I know what you are thinking, "Why not write it before work?"  Well, Mister or Miss Smarty-Pants, I was watching Bones. . . all day.  Thank you Netflix and your instant watch on Xbox 360.  (I bet all you PS3 elites wish you had one of ever system, too, so you wouldn't be stuck when the PSN goes down.)  I know, bad me.  At least I am getting my chores done today.

Earlier today I found the time to watch Easy A.  I really enjoyed it.  A lot more than I thought I would, in fact.  I am just a sucker for Emma Stone.  If there was a movie about my life, then I would want Emma Stone to play me.  Not because I think we look alike, because we don't.  I just think she would do a great job at capturing the more interesting movie version of me.  Let's face it, movies always make people prettier and more interesting than they are in real life.  Unless the person is super ugly, then they make them uglier.  After I saw House Bunny like a year or two ago (don't waste your time) and I saw just how good Emma is with geeky and awkward I knew.  That and she has the party girl thing down.

The idea initially came at my previous job in Seattle.  For whatever reason the topic got started about if they made a movie of the establishment who would you want to play you.  It was really fun to hear what everyone thought of themselves verses what the masses thought.  That was about the time I saw House Bunny and was like, "Emma Stone.  She can totally dork it up for a part."  I think my roommate, Siolonda, agreed with me purely because I wanted someone that could dork it up as well as party.  Honestly, I just didn't want anyone to say Christina Ricci.  Back when I had black hair I got that a lot. . . Thank you Wednesday Adams. -_-;;

Which brings me to my final point.  If there was a movie about you, who would play the lead?  Comic Thursday will be back next week.  I promise!

P.S. The current Nickelbeer storyline is based on true events.  Apparently, if my husband's life was a movie he would be played by a monkey!  J/K baby!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Think I Am Going Back to WoW

I don't know if it will be a permanent move back, but I will be on WoW for the month of May.  Children's Week starts on May 1st.  There is a question chain for each expansion through WotLK and a pet at the end of each.  You can only get one pet per chain per year, and due to my wedding last year I am a little behind.  I already discussed this with my husband and he understands.  I have put a lot of time and effort into my pet collection on Warcraft over the years.  I just find it amusing that he never got into pet collect in WoW, but already has a few on Rift.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Some Pics from the Neighborhood

Body and Brain Connection- D+ at best

Body and Brain Connection is a new game for the Kinect.  The great minds behind Brain Age on the Nintendo DS decided to give it a try on another innovative platform.  They should have just called it Brain Age: Kinect Edition or something like that.  Before I get too far in, I want to state I love Brain Age.  I think anyone who has a DS of some sort should own it.  You can sharpen your mind for under 30 minutes a day.

For those who have never played one of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima's games before, I will walk you through.  The first time you play the game you need to assess your brain's age.  The player jumps right in with a series of logic and reflex puzzles and depending on the combined scores at the end a base line is created.  After that, the player has a few min-games they can play to exercise their brain.  You can unlock more training games by playing for consecutive days.  Then you can recalculate your brain's age to track your progress, though the game only records your new score once per day.

It wouldn't bother me that Body and Brain Connection was just a rehash of Brain Age if it wasn't so full of Kinect bugs.  Some games respond to the Kinect much better than others.  This particular game seemed to get confused a lot in the 30 minutes I played it.  One of the games when assessing your brain age is a clock game.  It gives you a time in military time, like 14:15, and then you have to position your arms on the clock's face to reflect the time- hour hand at 2 and minute hand at 3.  From what I could tell, neither of your arms were assigned to either hand of the clock.  Instead of focusing on deciphering military time, I was busy trying to get the hands on the clock under control.  Funny enough, I did get one correct and it was completely on accident.

While the game is pretty awesome in theory, it does not play well.  Granted I only gave it 30 minutes of my time, but that is all it took for me to get feed up and bored.  While I am a big supporter of the Kinect and I love Brain Age, I have to suggest you pass on this one.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Comic Thursday 3!

I had a different comic in mind for today, but I couldn't find where I put it.  Instead, I am going to tell about a manga that means a lot to me.  Nana is by Ai Yazawam, who has also written Paradise Kiss and Gokinjo Monogatari.  I first got into Nana because I am such a huge fan of Paradise Kiss.  I know you are probably wondering why I am not writing about Para Kiss first, and honestly I am not sure.  I will probably write about it next week.  Nana is a pretty big sensation, which included an International Nana Day (7-7-07).  Unfortunately, I had work that day and missed out my Seattle's local celebration. ;_;

This manga is about two very different girls who meet by chance twice, become roommates, and then become best friends.  The first volume is a back story of the two girls, both named Nana.  In fact, they don't meet in volume one.  You learn about Nana K. and her very child like innocence, despite the very grown up situations she is in.  She is very dependent on others for many things, including self worth.  Then you have Nana O., who has become very jaded yet confident because of her hard life.  While it kind of sucks they don't meet right away, I really like that they flush out both back stories so thoroughly.

This manga series is definitely geared towards girls.  Not to say there aren't guys out there who would dig it.  The best way to describe the story is a young and modern soap opera.  The beginning is more juvenile than the rest, but I contribute that to Nana K. still being in school.  It grows as the girls grow, but that is a discussion for another time.  If you like drama with a bit of angst, music, and young love then this is the comic for you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tumblr Makes Me Giggle

Tumblr is Twitter for Gifs and Jpegs.  I end up with some of the funniest mash-ups from one sided conversations.

Also, I added a poll to the right side.  I'll make a new one every Friday, so please feel free to participate.

Super Sweet Give Away

This is my Shout-Out about this Giveaway mentioning the www for both www.Pseudooctopus.etsy.com & www.steambathfactory.etsy.com on your blog, Face book or Twitter.  I really want the Gentle Robot cuz it is so cute!  If you want to enter, go to Steam Bath Factory's facebook page.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Comic Thursday 2!

I am a huge Batman fan.  Batman is better than a super hero because he has no super powers, just money.  And unlike Iron Man, he isn't a boozing skirt chaser.  Another thing that makes Batman so awesome is that he has the best villains.  Most of them have no powers themselves, they are just bat shit crazy.  (Pun intended.) 

Growing up my favorite Batman villain was his rival, the Joker.  I used to love clowns, and now I fear them.  This makes the Joker pretty fascinating to me.  I often get the feeling he is the most dangerous of all of Batman's foes.  I can't really put my finger on why.  Because of my love of the Joker I became overjoyed when Batman the Animated Series introduced a sidekick for the Clown Prince.

Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes requires at least some advance knowledge of Harley Quinn and the DC Universe.  They do explain some things for those who haven't kept up, but if the ground work hasn't been laid then you will be lost.  At the very least find and read Mad Love first.

What I like about this comic is that it gives you past Harley's point of view.  She is the focus through out the entire story.  Yes, the Joker and Poison Ivy make appearances, but she isn't attached to either the way she normally is.  The problem is trying to find the words without giving the entire story away.  Let's just say that by the end you have another theory of how she went from being a Doctor at Arkham to a resident.

The story follows Harley as she ends without the Joker, again.  As always, she is torn between desperately wanting him, not being able to find him, and trying to prove she can do it on her own.  In the process she gets some help from Ivy, who continues to be that good friend trying to save Harley from her self destructive choices.  Then some battles with Two Face and the Riddler gain H.Q. with her few own henchmen.  This is pretty awesome because they wear her uniform.  (You'll see it on the back cover.)  She even has a sleep over with some of D.C.'s sexiest villainesses.  By the end you will have a new understanding of my Giggle Girl.

In summery, Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes is a must for Harley Quinn fans.  I also think it is a good bridge for girls who want to read more Batman but haven't because they aren't into the dark stuff.  I do want to remind you, though, to read Mad Love first if you haven't read a Joker or Batman comic before.  It really helps.

Rift Code

This weekend is another free trial Rift weekend.  I have a code for the first 4 people who (1)follow my blog and (2)leave a comment on the post with your name and e-mail address.

 Come join us.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gone with the Wind

My mother has been staying with use the past couple weeks while moving here for her new job.  This has been a mixed blessing.  I haven't had as much spare time as I'd like, so I haven't been update to post much lately.  On a positive note, I have someone to watch the sappy romance movies with.  (Husband would not be a good choice, trust me.)

The other night my mom was thrilled to announce Gone with the Wind was on.  I think it is one of her favorite movies, and I know she has read both books.  (Never get her started on why the 2nd book is such an atrocity.)  I also love this movie, but I haven't been able to justify buying it since hubby would never watch it with me.  I can't blame him because he did sit through Dirty Dancing even though he was miserable the entire time.

Anyway, I jumped at the chance to watch.  Unfortunately, we came in during the scene where Prissy was of no use helping Scarlett deliver Melanie's baby.  For those who haven't seen the movie, that is almost the end of the first half.  On a side note, the following scene is quite funny.  Prissy is sent to fetch Rhett Butler to help them escape and finds him at a whore house, which she refuses to enter because her mother would surely ground her.  Atlanta is burning around her and she is still more afraid of a whooping from her mother?

During most of the movie my mother was making it known just was much she swooned for Mr. Rhett Butler, which I found rather amusing.  What caught me off guard was she would follow it with, "Johnny Depp would make such a good Rhett Butler!"  Every time.  I finally shot back at her, "Really?  You think they should remake this movie?"  She went on to explain no they shouldn't and that she really isn't fond of all the remakes lately, but that Johnny Depp would be so perfect for the role.

Now I want to state I think that Gone with the Wind is fine the way it is.  I haven't read the book and maybe I would feel different if I did, but I find the movie and the cast is as close to perfection as it can get.  With that said, my mother does have an intriguing idea.  What if the movie was remade?  Should it follow it book more?  And more importantly, who out of today's actors and actresses should be cast in such a remake?  I would love to hear everyone's casting choice.  (If you can't remember the full cast click here.)