The VPH Review: Rockpockalypse & Tekken Card Tournament

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-Why is this game free? Usually Vince McMahon and the WWE, owing to their carnie roots,  will do anything in their power to make a dollar. This weekend’s Wrestlemania XXIX is making fans shell out 55 clams for what’s almost assuredly going to be bad wrestling and awful cameos. So the fact that the app equivalent of that is free is suspicious.

-Why would the Rock allow this game to be free? It’s using his likeness and his voice. Dwayne’s as much of a naked capitalist as Vince is, I’m shocked he isn’t trying to capitalize on every single WWE promo out there.

-The story is….well….. there is no story. You walk out of a trailer and you learn how to fight.  And how do you fight? By swiping your finger in one direction or another. Very similar to (i.e. a complete & total rip-off of) Infinity Blade but not nearly as fun or challenging.  Each foe you vanquish is a level.  I made it to level 3. And then the game froze on me.  How do you fix the frozen game problem? Why, you delete the game and reinstall it.  Well…..that was fun.

-I’m back. I decided to reinstall the game and give it another go.  After passing the 4th level I realized every level was going to be exactly the same.  This is the kind of game you’d give to a 6 year old at a restaurant to keep him busy while his parents are eating dinner.

Final thoughts: Gawd Awful

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Let me start by saying I love Tekken.  Am I good at it? Hell no, but I really really do like the game.  The characters are all unique and interesting, the move sets are diverse, and if you’re playing by yourself it really can be enjoyable. My problem with these games, and this game specifically, is that that learning curve to play multiplayer is just ridiculously steep. You’re playing against people who have been playing this game for the last 10 years nonstop and it makes the whole experience 0% fun.  Just ask ImperviousRex about the latest Street Fighter game  I’ve witnessed first hand controllers being thrown across the room (ImperviousRex: What? I can’t hear you over the sound of all these broken controllers). .  AND HE IS NO NEWBIE!!!!!! When I saw the trailer for this I said “Wow, maybe a Tekken game I won’t completely suck at.”  Here are my reactions to the new Tekken Card Tournament:

-Great, I have to sign in using Facebook. Can’t wait to impress everyone with my mighty Tekken accomplishments.

-OK, so far it’spretty interesting. Your deck of cards and how you decide to play them (focus cards, attack cards, and block cards) determines your course of  action.

-So to be good at this game or even to enjoy it doesn’t require any prior knowledge of Tekken or any fighting game in general.  It’s a basic card game where choosing the right card action at the right time grants you victory.  It feels like a fresh take on the card game genre.

-Final thoughts: An entertaining and unique game, but one that I feel will wear out its welcome after an hour or so of gameplay (IE: Family Fued & Draw Something)

Total War: Rome II

romeiiwallpaperI was obsessed with the first Rome:Total War game. I mean obsessed. It’s the history buffs version of playing WoW.  Even as the years went on and my computer got older and slower, it still somehow managed to handle R:TW.  As much as I loved playing it, I could never actually win at it. No matter how many new games I started and how many times I tried playing with different commanders I could never win.  I would somehow go through every strategy I knew, end up owning too much land, have the inevitable civil unrest everywhere and then rage quit and not look at it again for a few months.  That was usually one sitting.

And then HUZZAH:  Napolean:Total War. I much more of a fan for the French Revolution and Napoleon than I am about the Roman Empire but for some reason that game didn’t register with me as something I was missing.  Having spent summers in Italy (see past posts), I began to have a new found appreciation for Rome again.  I read the book Rubicon which is incredibly detailed and fascinating and even re-watched the series Rome.  Now we have this:the Rome: Total War II trailer and I am absolutely blown away by the video’s I’ve seen so far.

If you’re unfamiliar with the gameplay mechanics of R:TW they are pretty standard for a turn based strategy game.  You choose a faction and you  travel the map fighting battles, conquering towns and villages while building up your empire. On your heels, however, are various other families who want also control of Europe and will do everything in their power to stop you. Conquer or be conquered: it’s up to you.

For more of a recap of the above mentioned gameplay, check out Rock, Paper, Shotguns video diary and description.

 

Don’t Ask Me About My Business

PA-Spector-jpg_115959In preperation for seeing Al Pacino play Phil Spector in the new HBO movie, the appropriately titled Phil Spector, here is a chance to see all of your favorite Al Pacino bits in a neat little package.  Let’s hope that 88 Minute’s isn’t included; nobody wants to remember that.

You Can Now Officially Start Caring About Football Again

With video games, sports seasons never ends.  You can keep playing all year while looking forward to releases of roster updates and cover athletes. Wait no longer.  Sportsnation and Madden 25 (as its now called due to the 25th Year Anniversary) have started their annual Cover Vote.  Go on over and vote!!  My suggestion, due to the Madden Curse, is to vote for whom you like least. Chances are they’ll suffer a torn ACL in week 2. Use John Madden’s spooky voodoo to help your fantasy team and take your bookie to the cleaners!

Lest you forget, the best back-of-box blurb for a video game ever (you’ll need to click to embiggen):
John Madden Football '92

Who took the under with 26M?

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Jack the Giant Killer took in a whopping $26M over the past weekend with a gross of nearly $200M and I… I am speechless.  I knew it wasn’t going to shatter March box office records but was anyone expecting it to be THIS bad?  In comparison, The Hunger Games took the top spot in this category with a $155M opening.

Screenrant has a terrific analysis on why movies like this usually fail.  I’ve touched on this before; if Hollywood wants to make money they need to churn out low-brow horror schlock & eschew these big budget fever dreams. If only JtGK (ed. note: Cool slang bro) invested about $175M of its budget in technology to  resurrect Ray Harryhausen and then shackled his shambling corpse to a claymation table, this could have been one hell of game changer for Warner Bros.

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Blow Me

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Was this once you? Who remembers getting ready to rage quit life when that the Legend of Zelda game that you’d THOUGHT you’d saved (gold cartridge, baby!) turned out to be lost in the 8bit abyss the next time you powered up your NES?As it turns out, that cartridge blowing? Yeah, all for naught.

Only Sleeping? I Hope It Never Wakes Up

Image“This one is behind us now. We are taking Medal of Honor out of the rotation, and have a plan to bring year-over-year continuity to our shooter offerings.”

“We struggled with two challenges: the slowdown that impacted the entire sector and poor critical and commercial reception for Medal of Honor Warfighter. Medal of Honor was an obvious miss. The game was solid, but the focus on combat authenticity did not resonate with consumers. Critics were polarized and gave the game scores which were, frankly, lower than it deserved.”

This is the message the EA has left for its fans regarding its Medal of Honor (MOH) series.  Competing with the likes of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, it seems like EA has decided to pull the plug on a game that, to say it bluntly, just wasn’t that fun.  I can only say this based on the MOH version that I played from 2010, but based on other reviews and common sense, I had a feeling the second one was going to be substandard.  It brought nothing new to the FPS franchise.  The game itself was buggy, the level design was poor, and it could be added to the list of FPS games that story is just so unflattering and uninteresting. moh2

EA should cut its losses and focus on sports and racing games. Its clearly not ready, or capable, of participating in the FPS wars. If I wanted to play a multiplayer game that was using the Frostbite Engine, I would just play Battlefield. Why would they use the same multiplayer in a different game? An article has just came out stating that the MOH franchise is not dead, just sleeping. WHY?   Just focus on Battlefield. Focus on Need for Speed.  Focus on the awesome sports games you pump out every year.  FIFA 13 was the highest selling sports game EVER.  And it can keep getting better, as long as EA cuts the Mr. Me Too crap with the FPS genre.

I will always be an EA fan, and when I rented MOH I was really hoping for a fun and engaging game. Sadly I got a boring shoot-by-numbers with aspects stole from other games that didn’t improve on the source.  Consoles will get better, Battlefield and COD will keep refining and improving and leaving old franchises in the dust. Medal of Honor shouldn’t just be put to sleep, it should properly be cryogenically frozen and not thawed out until Battlefield and Call of Duty crash & burn.

Sony’s Latest Guessing Game

Sony just dropped this banner on all the major social networking sites. Here are my guesses as to what it could mean.

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1) Orbis, also knows as the PS4

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2) Finally putting the PSP to bed

3) Finally putting the PSVita to bed

4) Announcing a worthy sequel to Monster Madness: Grave Danger

5) A Star Wars: Force Unleashed/Shadows of the Damned crossover.

But it’s probably the Orbis announcement.

Bereft Since November 2011, Soon I Shall Be Complete: Skyrim DLC for PS3

Ever since I’ve heard the wonderful news that the PS3 is finally getting all of the Skyrim DLC, I’ve slowly but surely been able to pull back from the precipice of viewing the world in full blown Tamriel-O-Vision. Soon, I’ll be able to get my Elder Scrolls fix in a proper setting, namely on my couch and via my television. Below, what the last years been like (namely: horrible).
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