Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Biodome review

This is the first review I ever did, way before my Zombieland review.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hiatus

Dear Fellow...people who go on this website and seek comfort in this. This is Harrison Laine, the f*** up who does f*** ups. Well, I’ve reached the inevitable. I HAVE to take a break from doing reviews. It’s not because I enjoy doing them but I have suffered something that I never thought would happen to me. I am suffering severe burnout/depression. I guess doing 3 to 5 videos per week for the last month has gotten me like this. That is why for the next two weeks, after the Spider Man 3 review, there will be no reviews. Most of it is because I have to write quality scripts for the videos. Second, me wearing the checker tuque and a long sleeved black shirt in a room where I have to close the window to keep the noise out does get my head screwed up. By the way, I will NOT change that. THAT is my uniform for these reviews. Last, but not least, I want to watch GOOD movies. Ever since I started doing these reviews, I purposely had to watch terrible movies, screwing me up and sending me into a depression...seriously, watching that many bad movies does send you into a depression AND a rage which you see in my videos. I am sick. So, yes, I have kept you entertained, even if I don’t get any “rages”, I have enjoyed entertaining for our following. (As I type, we only have 5 followers.) So, for the next two weeks, NO movie reviews. Just watch my other 43 movie reviews again, just don’t complain about when I should do my reviews. IN TWO WEEKS!! Otherwise, anyone else on this website can make movie reviews. So, here’s to a two week break! Thank you for understanding.

Harrison Laine's Spider Man 3 review

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoMJ-jBJxVE

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Top 5 Red Hot Chili Peppers albums

In late August 2011, there will be a new album by one of the most popular rock groups ever. They are one of the most enthusiastic, most amazing and most talented groups of people in music. The people: The Red Hot Chili Peppers. These guys have been through over 2 decades of the highest of highs and the darkest allies of lows, from the ability of the power crazy music to the dark pitfalls of drug abuse, even contributing to a death of an original member (RIP Hillel Slovak). This is one of my favorite music groups ever. They have been around since 1982 and their discography adds up to nine albums (ten in late August 2011). And to celebrate the upcoming release of their next album, here is a top 5 list of their best albums…which I coincidentally own. Yes, I have a bunch of their songs on my mp3 but here are the albums:


5. Mother’s Milk


This is the album that almost never got made. In 1988, the group had gotten into drug abuse, especially singer Anthony Kiedis and guitarist Hillel Slovak. Their heroin addictions got worse but Slovak was found dead of a speedball overdose in his apartment. This not only caused Kiedis to become screwed up and, for a while (according to 102.1 The Edge’s Alan Cross), wandered a desert for several days but drummer Jack Irons left the group after the death, never really recovering from it. Thankfully, Kiedis and bass player (and 2nd favorite bassist...absolute favorite is Bedouin Soundclash’s Eon Sinclair) Flea, triumphs on to find a hard hitting (and favorite drummer) Chad Smith and, after many many many many MANY auditions for guitarists (and occasional guitar members for the group), they find a young man named John Frusicante (3rd favorite guitarist, next to Slash and Jimi Hendrix). The crazy combination of these people have amazing chemistry, having them work on a fourth studio album that was released in 1988 (and re-released in 2003, with new songs and demos)…Mother’s Milk. This album is absolutely crazy from the first track to the last. The opening song, Good Time Boys, is a fun start to any early Chili Peppers album. It’s so crazy, in fact, that in the middle of the song, that the song suddenly switches to snippets of classic rock songs. Knock Me Down is dedicated to their fallen friend, Slovak, and an inspiration against drug abuse. There is also a decent remake of Jimi Hendrix’s Fire, also known as the very last track that features Slovak on guitar. There is no quiet moment, only track after track of speed metal….which is a reason as to why this is at the bottom of the list. The other albums on this list have quiet moments and that’s why they are higher on this list. If this album had ONE song of quietness (although, the song Pretty Little Ditty kind of comes close), this would be at number three or four. This album may be classic, and it also showcases what the band will be like after this, but it’s not great. It’s good but not great. The 2003 re-release of the album is much better. For some reason, there is a demo called Salute to Kareem is one of my favorite songs from the band. Another amazing thing about this album is that there is a 15 minute song called Song That Made Us Who We Are Today, a demo that consists of Smith, Flea and Frusicante playing their instruments but Kiedis doesn’t sing. There are also two live versions of songs. This album may not be great but it, again, this album is from the 80s, a decade which focused mostly on speed metal and power ballads. There may be a reason why the Peppers sound a bit different than their next albums. It’s not the decade but Rick Rubin wasn’t involved with this album. This album is also known as the crazier, and speed induced, brother of Blood Sugar Sex Magik.



4. By The Way


From an album that is consistently hard hitting to an album that is much softer and gentler, the group’s eighth studio album is much more relaxed. This album doesn’t sound like a Chili Peppers album. (well, other than By The Way, Can’t Stop and, kind of, Throw Away Your Television.) If anyone listened to this album while knowing who the Peppers are, they wouldn’t think this was a Peppers album. This is a good example of the group’s maturity after years of depression and drug abuse. This is often said to be a “sequel” to the previous effort, Californication but, at the same time, that’s where the pitfalls are. The title track opens the album with a soft beat and then it follows with a fast tempo a few seconds later. Admittedly, this is the album I listen to the LEAST. When I do, it is beautiful. Everything is so toned down. Kiedis’s singing is more focused, relying less on rapping, Flea doesn’t slap his bass at all but, rather, plays it lightly and in more rhythm, Smith’s drumming is amazing also, though to be fair, he’ll drum up anything and it still will be amazing. But the biggest difference is John Frusicante’s guitar playing. It is played with more emotion than the other albums, most notably on Cabron, Venice Queen and Tear. Speaking of which, Venice Queen is one of the most beautifully song by the band. The song is about a close friend of the band who was dying by the time the CD was made. The song is in two parts. The first half is soft and quiet, with wind sounds that cause the song to become more bearable to take in. It talks about what their friend, Gloria was like. The second half switches gears and is much quicker. It’s a bit louder and Frusicante’s guitar is freer to go along with the song. The lyrics to this section of the song talks describes her more and talks about her dying. If you like their earlier records, this album is NOT for you. If you like how the band can do anything, listen to the songs on this. I’ll admit it: When I listened to Tear, I kind of felt depressed…and then sad because it was so beautifully made. I had to listen to the song over and over again to have it sink in. If you’re tired of these guys doing rock with sex lyrics, this album is the complete turnaround of their early career. While Mother’s Milk had no quiet moments, this album has quiet moments everywhere. This album shows that even after years after depressing matters in the band’s career, it showcases what a band as crazy as the Peppers can do.



3. Stadium Arcadium


The ninth studio album that came out in 2006 was supposed to be four mini albums released in separate periods of time. However, the final decision was a double album which, when released, was the highest charted album to date. The disks are named Jupiter (Disk 1) and Mars (Disk 2). Jupiter starts off with a song that possibly EVERYONE knows: Dani California, which has a similar beat to Tom Petty’s Mary Jane’s Last Dance. After that, the disk switches from quiet moments to fast, upbeat tempos. Snow (Hey Oh) is a beautifully played song with the most seemingly complex guitar chords (Frusicante had trouble with it on a TV show the band was playing at.) with the most mellow combination of instruments. Suddenly, it switches gears to Charlie, a more part funk drive, half rap, half sung song. The rest of the disk does the “one soft song, one fast song” move constantly, especially song favorites Torture Me and Strip My Mind. However, Mars is the better disk on this double album. It starts off with another one of my favorite Pepper songs, Desecration Smile, one of the most chilliest of songs that sounds like they’re saying it’s been a great ride, bringing back memories. However, the next track quickly switches gears with Tell Me Baby, which would have been an amazing song if the radio stations hadn’t played in every fifth or sixth song. From there, most of the songs on this certain disk are soft played, from the mellow Animal Bar to Make You Feel Better. However, it is turned into a faster tempo with So Much I and Turn It Again, which proves as why Frusicante is the number one guitarist on The Ax Factor. After all of this, it all comes to a close with the amazing, yet haunting, Death of a Martian. Death talks about the passing of Flea’s pet dog and it begins with a chilling sound that Kiedis sings over while Flea and Frusicante’s back- up vocals come in to provide company. The song, and album, ends with Kiedis reading a poem over the consistently haunting music, as if Flea’s dog is slowly passing away with the song and, by the time it’s over, the dog is gone, peacefully. This album is easily the strongest release by the band. However, it’s a bit too big at times and, at times, you may want to skip a few songs until you find the right song at the time for you. Personally, Jupiter was my favorite disk but listening to Mars made me realize that there can be much more. Yes, that may sound vague but this album takes time for one to find its groove. Don’t force yourself to listen to the whole album in one go, rather, take your time, step back and appreciate the big picture to what the album remains to be: strong.


2. Blood Sugar Sex Magik


This is the best album by the classic lineup….BEFORE things went to shit. This 1991 album is considered one of the greatest albums of all time. This is what Mother’s Milk should’ve been like if Rick Rubin was involved with the band and everything was more tightened. This is the basic premise of the fifth studio album. This album talks about…sex, mostly. The first single from the album, Give It Away, is the song I’m pretty sure EVERYONE knows. If you don’t know that song, you’ve been living under a rock. However, this album contributes one of the major changes that would contribute to the Chili’s sound. Rick Rubin saw Kiedis’s lyrics and Kiedis showed it to his band mates. The band worked on it and the song ended up one of the most notable song in their catalogue: Under the Bridge. Bridge talk about loneliness and abuse. Mother’s Milk is notable for having the same style throughout the album but BSSM manages to upstage the album by mangling different styles to its advantage. The most strangest song on the album, and most experimental, is Breaking the Girl, a song that uses another style of music that even I found strange at first…that’s why I have it on my mp3. Most of the tracks on this album are funk driven, sexual songs, like Suck My Kiss, Sir Psycho Sexy and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Occasionally, it will switch gears with the lost love song I Could Have Lied and the tribute to their late friend, Hillel Slovak, with the funky, yet tamed, My Lovely Man. The last track on the album is the extremely fast paced song, They’re Red Hot, a remake of the Robert Johnson classic of the same name. This whole album has involved in accolade after accolade during the time of its release. This is considered the breakthrough of the band, having positive and negative aspects. They have garnered many awards and a stellar 12 million unit best seller. The band had suddenly become more popular from their small venue places and ended up playing at bigger stadiums. Among this positivity, there was negativity that would slowly sink one of the band members. The band, not really Chad Smith, had been using drugs overtime which slowly got worse. Frusicante began using drugs more and more, due to the fact that he thought the band would be all about the music, not about the major attention they’re getting. Tensions between Kiedis and Frusicante began fighting with each other. In 1992, the band played Saturday Night Live to perform two songs. The first song, Mother’s Milk’s Stone Cold Bush, was played but things went wrong in the middle of it. Kiedis slide kicks Frusicante’s microphone and hits the guitarist in the face. Frusicante retaliates in their second song, Under the Bridge, by “screwing up the song” by playing the beginning at a different style. This got the singer and guitarist to argue constantly and, in the middle of the tour for their album, John Frusicante quit the band, falling into seclusion in his home with nothing but drug abuse. The band continued the tour with various guitarists that didn’t seem to match their ex-guitarist’s skill, even with Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro.


1. Californication


This is the best album by the classic lineup…AFTER things went to shit. The band got clean and Frusciante came back to the band. This 1999 album gives a mature look at the band. This album combines rock, funk and gives a softer edge to the band. The opening track, Around the World, is a freight train from Hell, with a loud guitar, a distorted bass and hard hitting guitars and Kiedis’s vocals are much richer, going from rapping in the verses and singing at the chorus. Another track that highlights the album is Scar Tissue, the first single from the album. It would have been the mellowest song if that been taken by most of the other tracks. Scar also displays Frusicante’s guitar skills, playing what is best described as “less is more”. In fact, his playing contributes to the new sound that the band was going for. There is their old style of their sound, like Get On Top, Purple Stain and Right On Time. However, the song with their new sound makes up the majority of the album. Songs like the dark toned Otherside, the mellow Californication, the gentle Porcelain and, what I consider be the best track on the album, Road Trippin’, also the closing track. Road is my personal nostalgic song with its mellow sound and its lyrics recalling the best of memories. This album is also considered one of the greatest albums of all time. It combines the drive of Mother’s Milk, the change of sound from Blood Sugar Sex Magik and it has influenced their future albums. This is the album brought back the band from near death. This is also the best selling album by the band, selling 15 million units after its release. This album is a way better alternative from the crappy albums by boy and girl bands that were popular at the time. It doesn’t have the complete sound people are used to by the band but everything about this album works. Their albums in the future may not live up to how this album is displayed but it’s because this displays the major highlight that the band cannot reach. The other albums are amazing but nothing can come close to this.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Site Updates: Why We're Taking So Long

Well it's been around a month and still no site. Sorry about that...beyond my control at this point. Our provider is still working to get everything up so don't consider updating your bookmarks yet. Let me post a sort of list for you all...

Done:

- URL requested and received.
- All posts transferring to the site.
- Usernames are able to be added.
- Commenting works.

To Be Done:

- Homepage.
- Adding images to the homepage / icons.
- Cleaning articles; housekeeping.

So yes...a lot is being done just very slowly. Hopefully we'll have something by the end of the month. *Hopefully*. Until then, I'm going to start adding more articles so Harrison Laine doesn't kill himself.

As always thanks for reading.

Harrison Laine's Listed: Top 13 Most Underrated TV Shows part 3

Harrison Laine's Listed: Top 13 Most Underrated TV Shows part 2

Harrison Laine's Listed: Top 13 Most Underrated TV Shows part 1

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dragon Age II: Well polished sequel, or corporate cash in?

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It's likely you've heard about Dragon Age II. It's even likelier that you've heard one of two things for it. You've either heard that it's a well deserved sequel to a great game that improves on many of the original's flaws in almost every way, or you've heard that it's a short, linear cash in of a game that isn't worth your time or money and smears on the Dragon Age name. So which is it? Well, sit back, relax, grab a drink or something, and I'll tell you.

First of all, if you don't know, Dragon Age II is the sequel to 2009's Dragon Age: Origins, which in my opinion is one of the best WRPG's ever made. I really like the Thedas setting, and this is Bioware, if someone can whip up a good decent story with some great gameplay, it's them. Mentioning that however, a lot of changes have been made from the original game. For one thing, your locked at a default race, human, and there is no real Origin story to pick from. This was kind of disappointing for me. I played a City Elf in Origins, and it was fun as hell. I think this is because now the main character is fully voiced, not to mention the story wouldn't make sense if you were an elf, considering your entire family is human. In DA II, you pick your gender and class, Warrior, Mage or Rouge and pretty much start off from there. I picked a Rouge, same as I did in Origins. The Rouge offers a more fast paced fighting style that relies on fighting unaware enemies and crippling them for the rest of your party to inflict major damage, so keep that in mind. Not to say a Rouge can't be a head on attacker if you spec it the right way, but I played as the sneakier Rouge rather than the powerful one. The early part of the game takes part in the same timeframe as Dragon Age: Origins, but Act 1 starts off shortly after Origins ends. You can also import your Dragon Age: Origins save file like in Mass Effect 2, but there's no real bother to do so. Your a different character in a different area, so not many of your choices carry over. The only real significance your imported save file will have is at the very end of the game, because it's foreshadowed to have a lot of significance in Dragon Age III.

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Kirkwall, city of chains

While Dragon Age: Origins spanned over the entire area of Ferelden, Dragon Age II takes place in a single city, with the exception of the prologue. This leads to what I think is the biggest flaw in the game, the lack of unique areas. Once you get to Act II, you've pretty much seen every single area in the game, save for a few. It reuses a lot of the caves, and you just explore different sections of them. It's a bit of a bummer, considering the devs had a whole new area to play with. Another issue is the loading times. It reminds me of Mass Effect 1's elevators, except this time it's just loading screens with animations. The story doesn't start off too strong either. There's no real significant plot until Act II, and it doesn't really get going until Act III. However, Act III makes up for Act I & II by far. I don't want to spoil too much, but it really get serious about then.
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Screenshot comparisons of Dragon Age: Origins and II respectively (PC Version shown)

One difference between Dragon Age: Origins and II is the gameplay. While Dragon Age: Origins was a slower, more tactical approach, Dragon Age II seems more of the "Hack and Slash" variety, focusing more on fast paced combat and a more action approach. This improved the game a bit, but I kind of liked the more tactical approach Dragon Age: Origins took. Another improvement that Bioware made was to the visuals. The graphics look better, but they still look a bit odd. It also doesn't help that Dragon Age II can't seem to comprehend two characters touching each other. When two characters physically interact, it looks choppy and poorly done. To the best of my recollection, Origins had this problem as well, but nowhere near to the extent that II has it.
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The companion select screen (Not all companions shown)

Of course, what would a Dragon Age (Or Mass Effect) game be without the characters? Bioware has always put a focus on character interaction, and I think Dragon Age II shows that off pretty well. The only thing is, unlike Dragon Age: Origins, you can't strike up conversation with your party on he field, only at the party members home area, and even then, they'll usually only talk if they feel like it, or if they have a companion quest they want you to do. The cast is good though, I would say about equal to Dragon Age: Origins. Players who played Dragon Age: Awakening will recognize Anders, who makes a return in II, but with a bit of a personality change due to certain factors. Merrill also makes a return, she was a temporary companion in the Dalish Elf Origin, but other than by name, you'd barely recognize her. Good for that though, she was damn terrible looking in Origins. One great thing that remains is the party banters, when two characters talk to each other. I always stop and listen when one of these happens, the conversations are awesome. Also, expect some unexpected characters to make a return in Dragon Age II. Of course, what would a Dragon Age (Or Mass Effect) game be without the sex? It makes a return in Dragon Age II, but it seems really toned down from Origins. Unlike Origins, where you can bone your romance whenever you feel like it, Dragon Age II takes the more Mass Effect approach, where you can do it once, and maybe a kiss before the final battle. Also, all of the romance characters swing both ways. I guess Bioware didn't want to limit the romance options based on gender.


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The Arishok and a few other Qunari. The Arishok plays a large role in Dragon Age II

Should you get Dragon Age II? It depends. While it's not a bad game, on the contrary, it's actually really good, it isn't quite as good as Origins. Storywise, it's about 20 hours long doing a moderate amount of sidequests, and has it's own story that lives up to the Dragon Age name. However, it does suffer a bit from being the middle child of the series, as Mass Effect 2 did, as it has a beginning and an end, but only to it's own story, not the grand scheme of things? What is this grand scheme? It's mostly revealed at the end of Dragon Age II, and it sets the stage for III. That being said, it's a massive cliffhanger ending, and a damn good one. Makes you wonder who you'll get to play as in Dragon Age III, because it seems equally likely you could play as either your Dragon Age: Origins character, your Dragon Age II character, or a completely new one. Personally I'm hoping to play as my Dragon Age: Origins character, but that's just me. It pulls some underhanded tricks though, DLC is already released, as well as useless weapon packs for the three character classes. It reeks of EA doing this rather than Bioware, but still, it's a bit of a cash in. Still doesn't make sense that you couldn't get the DLC free with new copies of the game as Dragon Age: Origins did with "The Stone Prisoner", considering the Dragon Age II DLC has a companion in it you couldn't otherwise get without it, as The Stone Prisoner did.


So should you buy Dragon Age II? The answer is yes. If you liked Origins, then you should definitely pick this one up as well. It's not as good as Origins, but it is more than deserving of the Dragon Age name, and the events will probably be crucial for Dragon Age III.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Shogun 2: Total War gets it right.

Shogun 2: Total War, is the newest in a series of games released by The Creative Assembly, returns the series to its roots: Japan. Combining the best traits the series has, and omitting some critical flaws, and most importantly, making it stable, makes this possibly the best in the series.
Beautiful morning. Shame its going to full of screaming and death. Oda Clan Ashigaru (Commoners) form the main line of most armies, but the Oda Clan can field them with better morale, which comes into play later.
Like all Total War games, Shogun divides your time in two ways. On a map of Japan, you manage your "Clan" (Japan was not united at this point in history, 1500-1600 was inter-clan warfare) and manage your relations, like any good sim game. The difference happens when two armies meet. Instead of an autoresolve like most games of this type, you get the option to lead your army into battle, with the numbers of your men accurately portrayed. If you have an army of 1000+ troops, expect to see them all. Tactics, and an understanding of military strategy, is essential to success.
Unlike Empire or Napoleon Total War, muskets play less of a role. However, correct use of imported European matchlock firearms and cannons can turn you from humble clan leader to Shogun. At close to medium range, a volley can decimate even the vaunted Samurai. They are vulnerable to cavalry, as well as any melee troops able to survive long enough to get in close.
Troops are split into roughly 4 categories: Spear, Gun, Bow, Cavalry. Spears can keep away cavalry, and are often cheaper to produce, but suffer against melee opponents. Bows and Guns are both weak to melee, but can inflict horrid casualties. Cavalry is best used in surprise attacks, away from spears. Special units, such as Fire Bombs and Cannons, can throw a monkey wrench into this mix. Morale plays a keen role, as in all Total War games. Samurai, relishing combat, fight hard, but know when it is prudent to fallback. Ashigaru, being made of much less stern stuff, retreat much faster, and keeping the battle in your favor is the best way to ensure your force doesn't quit the field, or rout, in the face of a minor reversal. Your General can rally fleeing troops, but his death can lead to your army routing even faster. The General has varying stats, based both on your input at level up screens, and his own personality. A dour, boring soul often can run a town well, but lacks the charisma to lead the troops. A hard-drinking boisterous general can often fight like a devil, and convince his troops to do so as well, but is worse at running towns.
An Oda General, behind his troops. A timely charge from a general can lead to victory, but his death can lead to defeat!
On the technical side, this game runs smooth. My computer, not the greatest but better then most, could barely run Empire and Napoleon on full settings, lagging and had many crashes. Shogun 2 on the other hand, runs smooth as silk on all ultra settings, but for better performance I run grass, trees, and shadows on only high. Nevertheless, the game looks amazing. The soundtrack, with ethnic Japanese style music, and overall presentation is impressive.
The animations and individual fighting between men is great, and really makes you immersed in the game. Here, a Mori Clan Yari(Spearman) engages an Oda Clan Matchlock Gunner, but is kicked in the chest by the wily Oda soldier.
Overall, the game is impressive. I haven't had a chance to try multiplayer, with single-player being the focus of this review, but even based on just that, not giving this game a chance is criminal. The sheer amount of content, and polish, makes this game far superior to its predecessors, Napoleon and Empire. Skeptics would be wise to try the demo. The game balances firearms and old-style combat in an interesting way, and for the history buff or Japanophile, this game is a must.
Charge! An Oda Cavalry unit bears down on the unsuspecting Mori Clan Army.
As always, comments are appreciated. Hate or Love it, I would like to know what you all think.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Site Update: Getting the new site, layouts, user IDs, etc.

Okay so I know I promised a serizzid.com by now but there's a LOT I need to finish. Right now we're working on getting the user IDs working, comments loading and a proper design for the site.

I might actually need some designers / photoshop artists so if anyone is interested in joining the cause that would be great.

Anyway until next time.

Harrison Laine's Old Dogs review

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dizzi's Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 2 (Spin off special)

As far as the main series Final Fantasy games go, there is also a plethora of side story games that offer a lot of fun as well as different stories. Par Example...

Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII Logo.PNG

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is the prequel to that game I know you know. It ties in quite excellently with Final Fantasy VII as it ends right when VII begins. The backstory of how many events came into place is a nice extension of the FFVII extended universe, and the gameplay isn't half bad either. The gameplay takes a more action oriented approach, similar to a hack and slash, but not quite. While for me personally, the game took a fair bit of grinding, and grinding boils down to mashing X against things weaker than you, overall, it's a fun game that people who own a PSP should give a try. (Warning: It contains MASSIVE, spoilers for Final Fantasy VII).

Final Fantasy Tactics Lion War logo.jpgFinal Fantasy Tactics Advance Logo.jpgOfficial logo for Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

The Final Fantasy Tactics series will always have it's place, along with Fire Emblem as some of the best Strategy RPG series of all time (OF ALL TIME). Since they are SRPG's, they play a lot differently from the main series games. While I liked War Of The Lions, I think that Tactics Advance is probably the best out of the three. Had me playing long enough to complete all 300 missions as well as the secret Judgemaster missions. Nothing gold can stay however, as Tactics A2 sort of kind of was a little bit bad compared to the shining examples given by the former games. It wasn't terrible, but it just didn't have the fun that the other two games had. It was one of those games where you just complete the main story as the rest isn't worth checking out. Not to say some may not enjoy it, it just felt like getting cake for dessert twice, and on the third day, getting a muffin.

Dissidia Logo.jpg

Dissidia Final Fantasy is fanservice at it's best. 2 characters from each game (1 from XI and XII respectively) all together in a Final Fantasy fighting game. Damn it sounds awesome. Well hold on to your pants, because it kinda is. While the story mode is an immense timesink and is overall bland, the actual gameplay is one of the most solid fighters in my opinion. It's a tad complicated and takes a bit to get used to, but when you master it, it feels really intense. ANother game that all Final Fantasy PSP owning fans should pick up, or at least try the demo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lost Arts in Video Games

Video games have greatly evolved from a single joystick, to a pair of joysticks and a ton of buttons I'm amazed we can memorize the functions of. But because gaming has advanced so much there are some things that get lost in the shuffle, and are long forgotten. Here are my top three things in video games I miss, as dated as their concepts may be:

3. Cheat Codes

I really miss these things. Now I'm not talking about hacks that were not put in by the game programmers. I'm talking about the phrases and button combinations that we grew to memorize that enhanced the experience of a game and required nowhere as much skill as hacking. These are still around is some shape or form, but not in the way that just brought out the crazy side in gameplay. Back then we has codes for giant heads, infinite ammo, the ability to send your opponent flying in a single punch and to have citizens abuse the second amendment. Now we mostly have cheats to change the look of our characters. Some games today still have that charm in their codes, but it would be nice to see it more often.

If you recognize this, then you know what I'm talking about.

2. Death Penalty/Lives

Remember back in the day, when getting killed in a video game was a major deal? If you got your killed in a video game, by a boss or a pool of lava, chances are you'd get sent three miles back on a journey back to where you were. And to make matters worse, you have even less patience than before so you're twice as likely to get killed. And don't even get me started on when you run out of lives...

Nowadays, if you get killed in a video game, you'll probably return to the exact point you got killed which sort of defeats the purpose of getting killed aside from starting a small section over again. Don't get me wrong: I like how it is now. Running back to where I was, is certain hell. But the way it used to be, it made us a lot more careful when traversing gaps and dodging laser beams. A time with lives and a death penalty was a more cautious time in gaming.

"Am I the only one still on life support?"

1. Local Multiplayer

Now this right here, is something that has all but vanished off the face of the video game world. We live in the age that we don't even need to be in the same county, let alone the same room, to carry on a conversation with someone. Now that transfers into video games, and it saddens me. Whatever happened to the days when you had to go over to a friend's house so you can have enough people to get a game of Goldeneye or Super Smash Bros. going? Nowadays, all it takes is an instant message to your friend fifteen minutes away to get them to play a video game with you.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy seeing the look on my friends' faces when they tasted sweet defeat by my hand. Now we have to settle for hearing a person's reaction over a headset, or just a trolling comment about your "cheapness". I always thought the true joy in video games was playing together with friends. Literally together. Well, the main positive to this is that you can play with total strangers with them having no idea who you are. That can sometimes be a negative as well, I guess. Though some people may not like it, but I kind of like Nintendo forces local multiplayer on their games. The friend code system may not be that great in my opinion, but it's another interesting way to keep you playing with people you know personally (or anyone who sees the code you revealed on a forum site).

1999 was a good year.

To conclude, I'm loving the video game scene at this point, but looking back at how it was years ago, there are some parts of it that make me want to go back time. I just wish this stuff stronger stood the test of time...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Top 5 Worst and Best Comedies

Hello people! I'm here with a top 5 post! About freaking time, I guess. And these are MY personal hated and favorite comedies! I hope you like, or hate, them!

Here is my top 5 hated comedy movies.

5. Freddy Got Fingered


Why is this movie the least hated movie on this list? It's because it made me laugh every few scenes. Don't get me wrong, this movie is horrible, absolutely horrible. But compared to the other four horrible comedies, this is an Oscar contender. This movie is about a slacker (Tom Green) who wants to be a cartoonist but fails. He drives his parents insane with his crazy antics and his father hates the way he is. This movie combines surrealism with gross out humor, like most of what Tom Green does. As for the title, it barely has anything to do with the movie. It's only mentioned for about seven minutes and, like most of the scenes in this movie, goes absolutely nowhere. This is a purely stupid movie but, again, there is four more spaces to go.

4. Failure to Launch


Zooey Deschanel. The only actress who is tolerable in this movie. Everything else is atrocious. It is unwatchable. I've tried watching this movie seven times and I can never watch it all the way through. The plot is horrible. It's about a man (Matthew McConaughey) who is a full grown adult who still lives with his parents. Finally, his parents have had enough and hire a woman (Sarah Jessica Parker) to pretend to fall for him and move out of their house. This woman actually IS HIRED TO PRETEND TO FALL IN LOVE WITH MEN TO HELP THEM MOVE OUT!! This is stupid! Also, what happens when the men move out of the house? The woman will break up with them to continue what they do? Won't they get depressed and move back with his parents?! THEN WHAT WAS THE POINT?! This makes no sense. THIS MAKES NO SENSE! Failure to launch? More like Failure to Please.

3. Screwed


Norm MacDonald, Dave Chapelle, Danny Devito, Elaine Stritch, Sarah Silverman, and Sherman Hemsley aka George Jefferson in the same movie. What can go wrong? The title should be a warning to anyone who wants to watch it. This is a stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid movie. I thought with all these funny people in this movie, it would be off-the-walls hilarious. It's not. It is bad. A plot involving a kidnapped dog which leads into stupidity. It involves three people at first and then about ten people are painfully fit into this plot. Why was this is theatres, it totally bombed at the box office. It is rated PG-13! It has course language, nudity, drug content and some violence. Don't know how they got away with it. I thought Dirty Work would be Norm's worst movie...until this movie comes along. This movie is one of the perfect examples of how funny people are in a terrible movie.

2. Son of the Mask


This is a perfect example of f***ing up a kick ass movie by doing a horrible sequel. This movie is atrocious. This is one of the worst sequels ever made. This movie combines reality and Looney Tunes-like slapstick. I will constantly watch the original movie in order to forget this crap. This movie is about a man (not Jim Carrey but Jamie Kennedy) who is scared of having sex with his wife. Then he finds the mask and "hilarity" ensues! His alter ego has sex and his wife gets pregnant. The baby has some of the powers from Jamie's mask ego and, while his wife is gone away for a while, the baby ends up driving Jamie insane with some horrible slapstick routines. I can't get any more into this because if I do, I'll remember it, making me lose some brain cells. The biggest insult is that it has Steven Wright in this movie. Steven Wright. The king of deadpan comedy. WHY?! This movie is more scary then funny at times...never a good thing for a comedy...even if it's called Jingle All The Way.

1. All About Steve


This movie is what killed comedy for a while...to me, anyways. I lowered my expectations when I saw this movie since I found that Sandra Bullock won a Razzie award for this movie and this movie was one of the worst movies ever made. 40 minutes into the movie, I actually thought about killing myself. That's right! A movie actually made me suicidal! By the last 15 minutes of this movie, I was screaming for the movie to end. The plot focuses around Bullock's character following who she thinks is the man of her dreams, a cameraman for a news reporter, played by Bradley Cooper...who is a double offender on this list. He was already at the movie at number 4. Her character is borderline stalker mode and she does this while going across the country! This is horrible. The movie is horrible. The premise is horrible. Nobody is likeable. Who the Hell green lit this horrible movie?
Sandra, we love you, but if you keep making movies that make Speed 2 and Miss Congeniality 2 look like Christopher Nolan movies, we will never watch your movies again. Even if you get an Oscar for a movie that received mixed reviews by critics.

Here is my top 5 liked comedy movies

5. Ghostbusters


This movie is an automatic classic. Combining horror with hilarity! You got Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson...amazing. Just fun. Does the plot really matter?....it kind of does. But this is comedy/horror at its best. The four guys are amazing whenever they're on screen. The ghosts themselves are creative, with the exception of Slimer, who is annoying to me. Other than this, it's a perfect movie. The sequel is alright but it's not as original as...the original. Sorry for the pun.

4. Beverly Hill Cop 1 and 2


I know it's cheating to put two movies at once but these movies are delightful. It's Eddie Murphy at his comedic and improvisational best. This was Murphy when he was the biggest comedian in the world. This was before Norbit and Pluto Nash. His Axel Foley character has become a cultural icon of a generation. With his smart aleck remarks and his way of weaseling himself out of sticky situations, he is extremely likable. His buddies, Billy Rosewood and Taggart, played by Judge Reinhold and John Ashton, respectively, add to the madness! These two movies are hilarious, although the first one is considered the best to some people but, to me, the second movie is more humorous and destructive. Sure, they're cliched movies but everyone makes this series amazing...you may be wondering why it's only Beverly Hill Cop 1 and 2, not Beverly Hills Cop series. The third one blows. Axel Foley isn't as he was in the first two, Billy is changed somewhat and Taggart...isn't here. This combined screws up everything. That's why, when the next Cop movie comes out, if it's any good, called that one Beverly Hills Cop III. II. Otherwise, the first two movies are classics to enjoy.

3. Happy Gilmore


This is Adam Sandler at his most hilarious...to me personally. This movie is stupid fun. Maybe it's because the plot about an aspiring hockey player turning into a golfer is alone syupid but I can't judge. Sandler is golden as the title character and this was before he put pointless cameos in his movies. Bob Barker is just fun in his 4 minute cameo and it actually has a point. This movie shows how people can actually act like whenever they do something wrong. Happy Gilmore always makes me happy...yes, it's stupid of me to say that but, again, it's a stupid movie. I don't know if it's because it's so bad, it's good. I don't know if it's because Carl Weathers plays a main role in this. I don't know if it's...screw it. Why am I complaining? This movie is a perfect example of how horrible sports movies are compared to this movie.

2. The Blues Brothers


This movie is full of music and comedy. I don't know which one is better...BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH EQUALLY AMAZING! I love everything about it! The characters, the music, the comedy, pretty perfect for a musical comedy. I love the fact that these two brothers, small as they might be, cause all this destruction and people are chasing after them. Think about it. Two guys cause so much destruction that people are wanting their blood! That alone is hilarious! They go from being chased around for going through a red light ("The light was yellow, Sir.") to the army chasing them through a building. That's pretty amazing. All you have to do if ignore the rape that it had to endure due to its sequel, Blues Brothers 2000...which came out in 1998, and all is well. It's on a mission...from God.

1. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective


This movie is my favorite. I have watched it over 70 times in the span of 11 years and I keep laughing. This movie has made my laugh laugh so hard, I have had tears fall down my face. Jim Carrey is perfect as the wacky, unhinged pet detective who has to find the Miami Dolphins... dolphin mascot. What follows is the unorthodox series of comedic events I have ever seen. These events range from what happens in rock concerts to...well, anything in this movie! This came out the same year that other Carrey movies, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, were released. This movie, however, stands out. The sequel is hilarious, however, it doesn't exactly capture the heart as the original did, like the Ghostbusters. This is my childhood movie...and it gets better practically every time I watch it. If you haven't watched it...watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Did I mention watch it? Watch it.

And that is my top 5 worst and best comedies! Hope you enjoyed it. I know I left a few things out but I can only make a top 5. Also, I forgot what I was going to put down.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And Now for Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Rogue Squadron.

Gamers are, by nature, a filthy breed. We don't clean, do laundry; this gets in the way of more gaming. But, in this case, it ended well. I found my Gamecube. A battered, purple little box, purchased in the first week of release. More importantly, however, was what was inside.

A scratched, but totally functional Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader.

Rogue Squadron for the N64 and PC, the original from 1998, was a great game. It had its flaws, such as no space levels and no levels from the movies without the use of cheat codes or uber skill. But, something about flying an X-Wing was unique, and the N64 version, while frustrating the hell out of me (Note: Fuck you, Crix Madine), it was easily my favourite game on the console.

First level, training on Tatooine with Luke Skywalker. Also, some mean Bombers are bombing Mos Eisley.

Therefore, years later, when Rogue Leader hit stores along with the new Gamecube, it was a total hit. It was everything the original game lacked. The first had missions that, while interesting, were not from the films. This was due to an agreement with Lucasarts. However, that restriction being lifted led to Rogue Leader following the film much more closely, with the first level being the attack on the Death Star, an instant classic. It ended with the destruction of the Second Death Star, making a neat endcap. It also filled in gaps between the films, such as the relocation to Hoth, and stealing the Shuttle for the Endor mission. It was also fully voiced by the original actor for Wedge, who as any Star Wars nerd knows, is the most bad-ass non-Jedi pilot of the entire old trilogy(He was the only the only guy to survive both Death Star attacks). Even more amazing, the game was developed in 9 months. 

I don't care what anyone says, this game is still fucking beautiful. Also, this screenshot highlights the Squad Commands, while limited, are useful for having the TIES leave you alone, as they get vaped by your buddies.

This is Wedge. He's like Chuck Norris, but in Space and has a Pilots License.

The third game in the series, Rebel Strike, is also the most controversial. It added a mostly functional campaign, and the entire Rogue Leader campaign in Co-Op, as well as great multiplayer. However, it also added speeder-bike races and missions, which while mostly fun, were frustrating to the extreme on Endor, where trees could make you wish you were a lumberjack. Seriously, fuck trees. But that could be forgiven, had it not been for the incredibly bad on foot segments. These sections were just not fun at all. Terrible game design in these levels offset the otherwise amazing campaign options. It is made up in a way, with the AT-ST segments, putting you in a flimsy walker, blasting apart anything that annoys you. Pretty fun. Luckily, the campaign was split in 2 parts, following Wedge (mostly flying missions. Mostly) or Luke (mostly shitty missions. Mostly), so avid fighter jockeys could leave the the shitty parts of the game well enough alone.

Seriously, if you want Star Wars shooty fun, look somewhere else. Rebel Strike is more fun if you ignore these segments.
On the bright side, the competitive multiplayer modes made player vs player dogfights engaging, and co-op style maps where the Imps just keep coming, are like a horde mode, but with less dying and more Imperials turning into shrapnel.

In all, sure its old. But don't consider them old. Think of them as more elegant games, from a more civilized age.

Since you read this far, and didn't go TL;DR, maybe leave a comment? We'd appreciate it.

Gears Of War 3 Beta Impressions

Sorry I haven't made a blog post in a while, I was... Busy...
http://www.cracked.com/blogimages/2009/09/22.jpg
Guess Again.

Anyways, I've been playing the Gears of War 3 beta pretty much since I got it (Early Access is awesome) so that's taken all my attention away from the blog, and pretty much everything else. Damn this beta is good.


I like the way it adds to the Gears standard multiplayer. Gears 2 never had any medals or challenges, it was pretty bread and butter but still was probably my most played game. Now Gears 3 introduces medals and challenges that make the experience that much better. Gives you something to strive for (Plus the feeling of badass you get when you get the 20 kills without dying medal). I'm glad they're taking a less "Halo-ish" approach to multiplayer characters, where instead of picking shoulder piece #6, the characters different skins are complete swaps from each other (I.E. Thrashball Cole). It's a difference that the guy shooting at you can actually notice, and you can rub it in while wiping his smug face across the map with a Sawed Off.

Speaking of Sawed Off, the Sawed Off Shotgun is a weapon I really like. I never did enjoy the standoffs that would result over two people with Gnashers in Gears 2, and the fact I can turn 2+ people into red dust with one pull of the trigger is such a siren call. That being said, the reload time is only slightly longer than it took to build Rome. Not too into the Retro Lancer, but that will probably change when I have to get 100 kills with the gold one for the retail version. Flame Grenades are really nice as well, nothing beats throwing it at someone and watching them melt. I find planted grenades to be a lot less useful in Gears 3. Maybe it's because I played so much Annex in Gears 2 and the only mode available in the beta right now is TDM. Only one thing I have issues with, the Digger Launcher. How do you detonate it? I'm not even kidding, I have no idea, I usually just fire it straight into someone's chest for now.

I also have the Flaming Lancer, which isn't supposed to unlock till next week. I don't know how I got it, but it sets me apart, which is kinda cool.




Anyways long story short, go get this beta if you haven't already (Owning an Xbox probably might help), you have till April 25th. Not something you wanna miss out on, especially if your a fan of the series like I am. Now if you'll excuse me, only 38 more executions until I get that next medal...

Posting Schedules

Okay so I guess the order and consistency of our articles is strange at times. What I've been trying to do is get a schedule for the readers so they know who is writing what so if you want to view articles from a specific person, you know when to show up.

Weekdays:

Teh Lulz Pare - Gaming (War/Army related), PC Gaming
Harrison Laine - Movies (video reviews), Television
Dizzi - Gaming (RPG, Casual), 360 Gaming

Weekends:

Tenacious - Gaming (Casual), PS3 Gaming, Nintendo Gaming

Of course, these are all subject to change but so far this is what we've become. Once we get our new site I'll have a sidebar showing who posts when. As always, thanks for reading.

Harrison Laine's Twilight Review



Monday, April 18, 2011

Good News Everyone!

You read this in Farnsworth's voice!

But that's not the point of this article. I'm proud to present that Serizzid is getting it's own URL. Yes that's right. After all these years (more like...2 weeks) of hard work and dedication we are removing the '.blogspot' from our URL.

The official URL of our site will become: http:\\serizzid.com

But until then continue to use this site until we make a post about the official switch. Right now we're looking at this Easter Weekend for the URL. Of course the site will be much easier to use and include a lot more things. Hopefully you guys like it.

So until next time, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

PC Gaming: Mods Top 5

In the console vs PC wars, one argument has always stuck with me. Maybe its because I'm too curious for my own good, but the allure of PC mods has always made me buy 2 copies of Bethesda Games, such as Fallout 3 or New Vegas. But just what are the greatest mods of all time? We may never know. But we can make a few guess's....

5. FOOK(Fallout Overhaul Kit)

Introducing real-world fire-arms, FOOK is a must for gun-nuts.

FOOK, a mod for both New Vegas and Fallout 3, is probably one of the most downloaded mods on both their homepage and the Fallout Nexus, (Mods with tits have the most, to no-one's great surprise). It, among other things, adds updated weapons, and is mostly a homage to the old Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics games, living up to its name as an Overhaul kit. As well, updated blood effects, and seamless integration into core gameplay make this Mod a must, and when combined with others, totally transform the experience. If you own Fallout, either of them, I'd recommend pairing this with IWS(Increased Wasteland Spawns) and a visual upgrade for the best effect, making the wasteland teem with life, gunfire, and pretty skylines.

4. A.C.E 2 (Advanced Combat Enviroment 2)


ArmA 2 is a realistic game to start with, so you can imagine just how hardcore a player has to be to want to make it more unforgiving. Adding hundreds of weapons, and vast changes to core gameplay, this is the closest you'd ever want to be to a real war-zone. Sounds have been changed too, adding to the already tense atmosphere. Easily one of the most popular ArmA 2 mods, it has been expanded to work on the expansion Operation Arrowhead, and quite a few other mods are made to work alongside it, including a comprehensive Peoples Liberation Army sub-mod, which rivals the original game in quality. My only gripe is the ridiculous learning curve, compounded by the hyper-skilled online players. Not a mod for the faint of heart.

3. Star Wars Mod: Galactic Warfare


SWM:Galactic Warfare 08b - Launch Trailer video - Mod DB

A massive undertaking by a German mod team Blackmonkeys.de, this Call of Duty 4 mod takes the frantic shooty fun of COD4, and every nerd's favorite movie series (Trekkies don't count). The result is a polished, well made mod that is only getting better with age. Starting with only one map, the mod has expanded to 3, in various Star Wars locales...from the original trilogy. Seriously, the video speaks for itself. And it doesn't have noob-tubes, which is always a plus.

2. M.E.R.P (Middle Earth Role-Playing)


MERP, a massive Elder Scrolls: Oblivion mod, is far from finished, and yet, I can't stop watching the trailers. The Oblivion engine remains beautiful to this day, and the mod-team of implemented so much of Middle Earth into the game map, from Hobbiton to Isengard, to Mordor. The team is working on getting pikes and formations to work, bringing the movies and books to life in a way we can all enjoy.
It will take time, but it will definitely be worth the wait.

1. Red Orchestra: Combined Arms

I consider this to be the greatest mod on this list, not for just its technical achievements or fan base, both of which are considerable. It is on this list for what it represents: A true milestone.

Sure, make fun of the graphics now. But this was top of the line at one point.

Based off of Unreal Tournament 2003-2004, the mod was a contest entry in the Make Something Unreal contest. Most of the entrys went with the normal shooter run-gun formula that the original game was known for. Not so for Red Orchestra. A WW2 game set on the Eastern Front, the game featured practically no HUD, bullet drop, tanks, and sniper scopes that did not totally limit your vision. It was revolutionary in every sense of the word. It is now a major game, published and sold on its own merits, and its own engine. A true success story.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed another one of my silly lists. I SERIOUSLY hope that if anyone disagrees, leave a comment. I will answer your questions/Ignore obvious flames/Listen to good points.

3DS: Why I'm Waiting

WHY I'M WAITING


NOTE: I've yet to try the 3DS, so bear with me if I seem a little uninformed.

So the Nintendo 3DS has been out for a while now and it has done quite well to nobody's surprise (It's hit at least half a million at this point). However, I personally do not find enough reason to purchase one at this point. Here are a few of my reasons to why I am waiting a while prior to buying a 3DS and sticking with a past-gen DS, or the 2DS as I like to call it. By the way, I declare dibs on that name!

One thing on my mind is the lack of interesting titles on the 3DS, or a lack of original and interesting titles. When I look at all the release titles for the 3DS, not many of them have caught my attention. For those who are curious, here they are:

NINTENDO GAMES
  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Steel Driver
  • Nintendogs + Cats

THIRD-PARTY GAMES
  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
  • The Sims 3
  • Madden NFL Football
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
  • Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  • Ridge Racer 3D
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D
  • Bust-A-Move Universe
  • Samurai Warriors: Chronicles
  • Asphalt 3D
  • Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
  • Rayman 3D
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
To be fair, the 2DS didn├Ęt have such hot release titles either. Most of the games listed above are either not my cup of tea, or I have played them in some shape or form. Which brings up a bigger question: Why aren't there many original titles coming out for this console?

Another issue I have would be the hefty price tag. $249.99 in North America, €249 ($335) in Europe, and £219-229 ($349-365) in the UK. For what it's worth, it's a lot to pay for something that is not having its technological advances taken advantage of. Speaking of which, I've been checking out a few reviews of 3DS games, and while the games have received okay scores, I end up hear at some point in a few reviews that people tend to turn off the 3D while playing because they found it distracting, which is not a good thing considering the 3D is the selling point of this console.

So, until I get some eye-catching games coming around the corner, or if the price drops, I'll be holding off on a 3DS and have fun with my good ol' 2DS. Remember, I called dibs.