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  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

    Move like a butterfly, sting like a Chevy- Wait, I thought they went broke. Why are the spending millions on cars for a movie where the only people who will care Bumblebee is a Camaro are 8 years old? Yes. The advertising in the Transformers films are shameless, and pathetically misguided. But that's sort of funny in it's own way.

    Back to the review. I love Transformers. Being a mass media freak who has had his hand in almost all types of mass media ranging from film, to literature, to comics, to toy lines, I feel no shame in saying Transformers were a childhood favorite. As such, I loved this film to a fair reasonable degree. That's mostly cause I just get some of the background, and know many of the characters like Bumblebee and Jetfire. That said. This movie in retrospec, though I'll buy it and watch it again, isn't that good.

    The first film was great. The creators realized how corny the idea was, and they played on it. They immersed the viewers so much we didn't even stop to think how ridiculous the scenario was. This movie doesn't do that so much.

    One of the big problems is that it can't seem to decide on it's audience. In some ways, it's clearly a kid film with its corny scenes and one liners. In others, its a film for older viewers with VERY VERY heavy sexual innuendo and a LOT of cursing. I kind of laughed that everyone brought their kids XD. But this gives the film a broken feel. It constantly goes back in forth between the deep story and plot lines that will keep teens and adults entertained, and the shallow ones that a kid just accepts. It breaks the film, and keeps it from feeling proper at any time for any group. Thus the parents are like, "I brought my kids to this?" and teens are like "What the crap is this crap?"

    That aside, there are a lot of great moments. The comedy is back, with some very clever and brilliant moments, and though the innuendo is not appropriate for younger audiences, for the old, you'll get a kick out of some of the jokes. I also like the way the battles went in this film. In the first film, the robots never felt as "big" as they were. In this one, the action scenes are fantastic, particularly the final battle and Optimus Prime soloing a bunch of bad guys. Most of these scenes were the most emersive of the film and it's high points. Nothing better than bot on bot fist fights with a few plasma cannons here and there.

    I kind of like the way older characters have been included in the film. Bumblebee's return is a blast, as is the films opening and the return of Optimus Prime. Even better are some of the new faces; particularly the new version of Jetfire!

    Sadly there's a downside, and in a way I blame it for a great deal in how the film turned out. New additions like Sideswipe and Arcee really took me. From their first appearance in the opening I'm thinking: Awesome! These two rock! But, then that's it. They both pretty much disappear for the rest of the film into nothing but wallpaper. The action is spoiled by two people. Skids and Mudflap; the most retarded duo to put in a film. These two characters are not entertaining, and will annoy anyone with at least 2 IQ points to death. I don't even care that they're stereotypes of Hip Hop Culture. In the style of Yahtzee. "I hate anyone who does nothing but curse and acts like a 5 year old every waking moment, whether they be black, white, or robot." Skids and Mudflap are horrible and I really wonder what the movie's makers were thinking. Not only are they annoying, but they do nothing throughout the entire film but be annoying! The film would have been exactly the same if every scene with the twins had been cut out; trust me no one would notice the difference.

    This is a problem in the film. New additions and favorites have appeared; Jetfire, the Constructicons, and Soundwave. Other characters have been revamped into pure cool like Arcee and Sideswipe. These guys would have been great had they been expanded on. I wanted to see more of them. But no. I got Mudflap and Skids. Rather than expanding on characters most fans would have wanted to see we got a pair of nobodies no one cares about. Bad move.

    This sort of ties into the whole film. It has some great moments and some great characters, but as a whole so much time is spent on other things, the primary conflict never builds up very much. Then when it comes you get this hallow feeling that leaves you wondering wtf is going on because it isn't initially clear. Some of the plot elements like the aforementioned twins are baffling as to why they were included. One character who died at the end of the first film, returns in the sequel with no explanation for why he's still alive, and then he just dies again. I sat there staring with the question "Hold on, how is he undead in the first place?"

    I'm going to spoil it now because it was apparent in the previews. Megatron is in the film, but I have no idea why. Starscream almost always takes control when Megatron dies in Transformers media, but for some reason they brought him back and there really wasn't a need. Like Skids and Mudflap, Megatron could have been absent from the film and with a few changes it would have run the same way.

    Overall I'd say the film is too derivative. Instead of playing off the first films events, it does a bunch of corny crap that all in all negates the first film from having any real consequence for the story line or characters. It never expands on itself well enough, and makes some bad choices in cast and presentation that make the experience mediocre. It never ties everything into a pure whole. It really felt like they tried to do too much in one film and nothing got done to a satisfactory level as a result. They made some poor decisions, focusing on characters who should have stayed dead, or who shouldn't have been present at all when much more interesting and cool folks were around. Almost all the big stuff, ends with what to me, felt like cop out. Rather than take a path and stick too it, they transition at the last second to something else thats either not well explained for people not familiar with the lore, or that was from the first film and is reintroduced in an unsatisfactory manner. Oh, and I love the Prime man, but his monologues, really unnecessary Michael.

    I love Transformers, I liked the film, but everyone else out there who isn't an off the bat Transformers fan, probably won't share my endearment.

    Oh, and parents, I'm serious. Be careful about taking your kids to this one. There really is a lot more than I feel is appropriate for anyone under 12, and I'd advise an advanced screening if you're touchy about what your kids watch.
  2. Okay I know, another Twilight post, but I'm not talking about the book. I'm talking about the movie. Yes I actually watched it (mostly so I can rant about it :p). Needless to say, I am awestruck. No, it's not that its a film adaptation or an adaptation of a book I hate. The thing I hate about this movie, is it's utter destruction of film as a medium and just how horrible the basic fundamentals of cinema have been torn apart by it. I'm really not sure what's worse: The film adaptation for Eragon, or the film adaptation for Twilight.

    Ironically, I don't even have to touch the story (all I'll say is that they took a beaten horse, tore it apart, couldn't find the instructions to put it back together, and set it on fire). The fundamental aspects of gilm just seemed to me like they've been raped and torn to pieces into something so cinematically bad I have to determine it is one of the three worst movie adaptations ever created (along with Eragon, and Starship Troopers).

    Here's the problem: You've seen those documentaries that are thrown together and have really bad and fake reenactments? I think they took the people who made those, and decided to ask them to make this movie. The whole movie in every aspect feels horrible hollow, and horribly fake. The props look fake, the background feels fake, and the characters and the camera are so horribly handled. I could end it with that but I am so tired of people loving this movie and declaring Edward is the definition of sexy, that I'm going to keep complaining about it.

    It's my life, I'll waste it how I want :p.

    Point 1: Lighting

    The lighting in this film is so bad! Remember Blade Runner? You know where the film was so entrenched in darkness it was a real struggle to see anything at all? This is the opposite of that! Everything is so horribly white, and it makes the horrible make up for the characters faces all the worse. The lighting for the film just astounds me. Why would they make it that bright? I think it would have made more sense to go a little darker than normal, to tone done the awkward pale faces of the characters.

    Point 2: Casting

    The actors are not just horrible, they are bad. Only Billy, Charlie, and Rosalie seemed remotely real to me, and Edward and Bella were just horrible. Bella has this stupid look on her face the whole film, where you can just see her two front teeth and she looks like a beaver. Meanwhile Edward just has this stupid goofy look to him at all times, and his lines are so poorly delivered they feel like he isn't really trying.

    This just carries on throughout, compounded by several problems in the film which I'm going to complain about now:

    Casting Sub-point A: DBZ Hair GO!

    The hair stylist for this movie, needs to be fired. Twilight has won the award for most Ludicrous Hairdos. Edward looks like Goku, Alice looks like her hair got put through a washing machine, and Jasper looks like a corpse (In a bad way not a good "oh he looks like a corpse and he's a vampire, cool" sort of way.). Jacob looks like a really retarded throw out from Last of the Mohicans (Or Trunks, with dark hair and no bad a$$ level). Carlise looks like he's straight out of The Days of Our Lives or General Hospital, and Esme... oh I'm just going to stop here before I have a heart attack.

    The only character with remotely good hair, was Charlie, because he had one kick butt mustache. The downside? He looks like MacIntyre "Mac" Womack from Super Troopers.

    Casting Sub-point B: You thought the 80's was a fashion disaster?

    The clothing in this movie is as bad as the casting and makes the characters feel even more fake. All their clothes look like they're made of that really cheap material that they make holloween costumes and cosplay out of. Basically all the clothing feels fake save for a few outfits, and that just compounds how fake the characters feel.

    Casting Sub-point C: Makeup

    I'm not a make-up person. I'm a guy, and even if I was a girl, I doubt I'd use much of it. This movie, takes the opposite approach. Everyone looks like the freak'n Joker! You can even see where the white face paint everyone wears ends and their real skin tone begins. I'm sorry. I know they're supposed to be pasty white, but often times, when you take Anime and Book characters and try to translate them into a really live action environment, they just come out and make you wonder "I thought this was cool?"

    They all look like retards. When the lighting is so horribly bright, it just seems so incredible ridiculous how pale everyone is. They really should have toned down the lights to play down the make up, or just NOT USED IT AT ALL.

    Point 3: The Camera has Epilepsy

    Yes. It does. The camera shakes the whole film and in a very bad way. Not a cool way like the Bourne films. It seems like they were too cheap to afford a dolly, so they just filmed it all with a hand held. Watch the ending. Upon realizing this I found the films end incredible ironic, almost like some had the "brilliant" idea to do it on purpose.

    The camera shakes so bad that half the time it draws attention to itself. Then comes the really awkward sweeping camera views that further emphasize the really poorly done fake documentary feel I got the whole way. The scenic views look like someone either did some really poor CGI, painted it, or took a photo and slapped it on a billboard and hoped no one would notice.

    Then there's the really really bad angles that persist throughout the film. I don't think the film makers even thought about it. It's not to say they're the worst angles I've ever scene. The shaking is the real problem, but the angles feel to standard, to boring. Then they just switch it over to these huge sweeping shots out of no where and the whole situation goes from "meh" to "wtf?" Add on some horrible scene transitions and camera work than in general just screams "This is movie, we aren't trying to immerse you in the experience."

    In conclusion, this film is not just bad because the material it is based on is bad, but the film work in general is atrocious. It might actually be the perfect adaptation now that I think about it:

    Twilgiht (Novel): A horrible story that is poorly written and baffles even the most mediocre writers into what Meyer was thinking as she wrote that 500th "cringed."

    Twilight (Film): A horrible story that is poorly shot, with horrible casting, and overplayed lighting and character attire that feels like a really badly filmed documentary.
  3. This is the first bit of My Writings. Again I don't really know if anyone actually cares but I've developed these things to death and probably will never get to show off in the story lines half the information about them (maybe even less if I succeed in my hopes of cutting back on info dumps). So I'm just putting the general ideas behind them up so it doesn't all waste away on my PC's hard drive never seeing the light of a monitor.


    An offshoot of Skeleton designs, the Golems are another series of walking tanks, though the significant differences between Skeletons and Golems are worth mentioning, particularly the Skeleton's complete obsolete status in comparison to Golems.

    Golems are about the same size as a standard Skeleton, standing roughly seven to eight meters in height and having a general humanoid construction. The materials used in their construction vary but generally consist of various types of carbon fibers and armor alloys as well as a cold fusion reactor that is usually the size of a full grown adult male.

    Golems are difficult to control and take fast reflexes to effectively pilot. Selection of operators is intensely rigorous. Few humans possess within them the capacity to control Golems. The use of cybernetics has improved control along with various methods of thought transfer. Another problem is known as “Disproportion Sickness.” Golem operators can have a great deal of trouble judging distances due to the need for a Golem to see through cameras and the Golem’s own disproportion’s (they are not built to human proportions most of the time. Many had longer arms than human’s have.). This causes many problems in harsh combat situations, and pilots often experience nausea when operating their machines for long periods of time due to the disproportionality.

    In modern warfare, Golems, like tanks or horses before them, are thought of as kings of the battlefield. A well piloted Golem is worth an entire company in combat. Many Golem pilots are drawn from the new Nobility, but it is more common for most feudal lords and vassals to draw their Golems from mercenary forces, such as the Ronin. Most nations cannot outright afford their own Golem forces and those who can can only maintain a wing or two (a wing contains 4 Golems).

    The first generation (003) of Golems consisted of nine prototypes produced by the Colonial Federation Marine Corp. The first of their kind, these state of the art machines were designed by Leonardo Erwin and Missy Erwin on a military research facility on Taurus VII. Golem design has changed little since the first generation save for a few areas such as control and power regulation. The fundamentals have remained the same for a long time, helped by the technological inaptitude of the post Five Alliance humanity.

    Unique is that these nine prototypes were controlled by AI’s. Thier reflexes were faster than human pilots and they lacked the various control issues many humans experienced in the operation of Skeletons at the time. However the Z3 incident less than a year after their construction destroyed all but one of the units, and the surviving unit 002 was dismantled and crated up shortly after its recovery. The incident caused AI to lose favor, and this feature was abandoned in favor of better OS and cybernetic controls in later generations.

    While many skeletons at the time used treads on their feets, the first generation of Golems introduced anti-gravity technology to hover of the ground and to propel themselves, improving speed but making traditional means of powering already power-starved skeletons impossible. Due to this, a new cold-fusion reactor was designed to fit into their frames. With the power issue solved Golems greatly surpassed Skeletons, and was used to great effect during the Galactic War and the Patriot Wars.

    The second Generation (013) was used during the Galactic War between the Colonial Federation and the allied Colonial American Union and Chinese Confederation. Roughly a decade after the destruction of the first generation Golems, the Federation deployed second generation Golems against the ACU and CC but one of the units was shot down an captured early in the war. Towards the wars end both the ACU and CC began deploying their own Golems, and via subterfuge the designs were leaked to both the Neo-Soviet Alliance and the New European Union.

    The second generation changed little in comparison to the first, featuring little more than an improved OS for human pilots and the use of so called "dumb AI" to interpret human brainwaves. The great change in Golem design would only come in the Third Generation just before the Patriot Wars and the collapse of the Five Alliances.

    The third generation (The Immortals) of Golems were finished just before the Patriot Wars and the collapse of the Five Alliances. This is the generation that is currently in use in the new Galactic Era.

    The third generation of Golems used the anti-gravity technology of the first and second to flight enable the Golems. Originally, full flight drained too much power, and was impractical. It drew too much energy from the reactor and put a great deal of strain on the Golem’s power distribution network (experiments during the Galactic War often ended in catostrophic system overloads and explosions to the point the idea was abandoned for nearly three decades). Rather ingeniously, technicians from Eternity Ship Yards in the Colonial American Union built the ESY-301 Rebellion. Using a buffer system, the reactor feeds extra energy into a reserve power cell, which is cut off from the rest of the network.

    Put into production just before the Patriot Wars, this enabled limited flight of Golems without hampering the rest of their power system. The reserve naturally drains faster than it fills and runs out with time, prompting a landing. Generally a Golem designer aims for fifteen to twenty minutes of full flight before the pilot is forced to land, allowing quick airborne strikes and insertions. More recent in the Galactic Era, Golem designs like the Eternity SY-305 Defiance, popularly known as the "Immortal," and the Goliath G88P Adams - mass produced as the G88 Washington - are capable of flying for around thirty minutes without a need to land, and can refill their reserves in roughly fifteen minutes. In practice pilots limit themselves to about five or six minute bursts of flight, as the reserve fills faster when it is not completely empty, and it boosts the Golem’s combat longevity. This tactic of limited flight time, landing to refill the reserve, and flight again is popularly called "Frogging."

    The third generation saw the first introduction of diversity in designs. Blackwell Industries in the NEU introduced the first reverse leg-joint Golems, such as the Wolverine. Though, there were reverse joint skeletons prior. In the Galactic era, the elite military force of Valhalla in the Rim, the Valkyrie, also produced a rather unique quadrapedal design called the Fenrir (though there are known control issues with the quad leg system). The Sacred Band has produced another unique design called the Ba'al, with an abnormally large right arm that houses s very short range particle cannon, capable of destroying all but the most heavily armored Golems instantly.

    Since the creation of third generation Golems, most technological advancement has ceased. In the Post-Five Alliance civilization, humanity lacks the resources or technical skill to develop new technologies beyond what they already have. Most of the major advancements before the Succession War were not original but leftovers from the Five Alliances. The Orbital Elevators, Carriers, and the Golems are all examples. Golems with time effectively become hereditary, as they are expensive to build and produce and pricey to maintain. The Rebellion has been in use since the Patriot Wars, as have dozens of other designs, making it well over 580 years old by the time of the Succession War.

    In a classic case of stagnation, the knowledge and expertise to maintain humanities current level of technology is a struggle but possible. The knowledge, ingenuity, and resources to develop new technology however does not exist. The current feudal political state is also counterproductive to new technological advancement and a new slew of galactic level warfare also threatens to further set back the hopes of rebuilding human civilization, which could be said to be in a downward spiral since the collapse of the Terran Empire.
  4. Prince of Persia

    Oh I've been looking forward to this one! I played Sands of Time and was blown away. It may have been one of the funnest platformers I've ever played. I love this series. I played the newest incarnation of this series on Christmas day right after getting it.

    In the new Prince of Persia you play, well you play some guy who's real name and back story are never given but hey he's mysterious. This time the newest incarnation of the Prince is a prince only in nickname. He's an adventurer of sorts - grave robber - and luck never goes his way. He's finally hit the big haul;a donkey loaded with gold. Unfortunately he loses his donkey and has to trek through a sand storm to find his riches. While searching he has the luck of falling down a canyon, a rock hitting his head, and still not finding that donkey! It seems like it might get better when a really beautiful girl lands on him next but then he only finds her being pursued by men with pointy objects and her psycho dad. The girl's a princess with magical powers, her dad's unleashed the Zorastrian god of darkness, and the prince is stuck saving the day instead of finding his donkey/gold.

    First, the excellent! Of all the things I was expecting out of the new Prince of Persia, an amazing story was not one of them. Most of the story revolves around the Prince and the princess, Elika, as they fight the evil dark god and his minions to save the world. I found that one of the greatest hits for Sands of Time was the Prince. He was so god damn lovable and so human. Praise the lord we have that once again. Watching the new prince run, jump, climb and fight is a real treasure! He's very laid back, not shaken by danger, and awesomely sarcastic. But he's got a obvious level realism/cynicism that makes him feel as human as the last incarnation and an excellent foil to the idealistic/passionate Elika.

    Speaking of our heroine, Elika, is a wonderous character! She's probably just entered my top ten for great video game heroines and she whole heartedly deserves it. Her witty comments and interactions with an equally witty prince are beautiful and sing of a character chemistry I haven't seen since Kirk and Spock bold went. She's a great change from the norm of game princesses (I have the feeling she could pull off saving the day prince or no prince), and her role in the story makes me love her all the more.

    I find half my love for this game has been the two heroes. Elika and the Prince are a relationship that I will call damn near flawless as they interact and speak with a level of believability that is rare in mass media. It may be worth buying the game just so you can watch them interact!

    The graphics and environments, are beautiful. I know some people don't like cell shaded but tis game really is something to behold. The levels are colorful, great eye candy, and their scale mind boggling. One of the coolest aspects is that the game has no loading screens except when you teleport, which means that while running around there's nothing to break the game for you. The areas are all varied enough to make each one a fun treat to explore and play through.

    Now for the nasty. There is a bittersweet side to the environments. Elika often aids the prince, saving him from doom, fightng enemies at his side, providing witty comments and picking at his selfishness or silly nature, but she is still a magic user. There are times in the game where you must use powers you've unlocked to proceed and these powers leave the game feeling cheap. I remember in Sands of Time when I scaled the final tower all by myself, jumping, swinging, and climbing all the way to the top. You do that in the new game too, but not in the same way. You'll often use Elika's powers to move great distances and scale the towers faster, though it's not much I feel a little cheated when it's over, wondering why I couldn't use just the princes acrobatic madness to get to the top instead of making my way up via magic. These section's are even easier than the rest of the game, and not much real fun to play and I sort of wonder if I'd feel more accomplished looking from the top knowing I'd climbed the whole damn thing myself.

    That's just part of it though, and luckily it's the only downside I think anyone can find in Elika (she's such a lovable character I forgave her :)). The gameplay I think some people may like, love, or hate. The controls are still tight and excellently put together. It's easy to get into this game once you know what all the buttons do. It's very different from the Sands of Time trilogy in good and bad ways. First be ready for a slight shocker; you can't die in this game. Whenever the prince is in danger from and enemy or close to falling to his doom, Elika will use her magic to save him, throwing the enemy away before the final blow or flying him back to safety. Now surprisingly, this I like. It breaks the annoyance of check points, and means that after completing a section of platforming you don't have to do it all over again if the next kills you as Elika will just warp you back to the last place where you could stand. It's a nice mechanic. I feel it has nothing to really do with the sad fact gameplay is much much MUCH easier. The game no longer has booby traps for the most part and often the only real threat to your survival is falling because you didn't press the right button at the right time, silly little things that you aren't likely to do often. Though I'm glad to see the trial and error of the SoT series go, I'm sad to lose the challenge. The game's platforming is still amazing and gives you a deep satisfaction of bad asery, but it's still too easy when you're only real threat of starting the whole section over is forgetting to press a button (which after awhile you just don't do anymore if you did it at all to begin with). Still though I say again, the crown and glory platforming of the Prince of Persia series is here and still loads of fun for those who are ready no matter how easy it is! The aspect is made even better by the spread of collectable Seeds of Light you pick up to advance in story and to gain achievements.

    On a bright side, the use of Elika in the game is perfect. She often helps the prince and I never found her to be a hinderance a great change of pace for how side kicks usually play out in game. She won't hold you back she rarely does something stupid, and you never have to wait for her, because if you need her for something, some clever camera work and some slight of hand from the game itself will make her available instantly. I was very pleased with this as I had worried she would be like Farah from Sands of Time who would often do something stupid.

    Elika is even integrated into fights, tag teaming enemies with the prince to help him fight off the baddies at the press of a button to help you execute two on one combos! Despite this though, the combat of the game is not what I'd hoped for. It's solid and fun, but you hardly ever fight anything. There are very few enemies and they always come one at a time. You fight the same same bosses five times each, and there really is very little difference in between them at all save for one. As such the combat gets repetitive, and though the use of tag teaming your foes with Elika is fun it gets old quickly when fighting most of the enemies follows the same button presses.

    As you progress in the game sadly, the boss fights cease being challenging and become merely annoying. There are many quick time sequences later in the game which become predictable quickly and are for me a waste of time as even when you kick throw or slash and enemy in these sequences you do no damage to them but risk a fatal blow Elika must save you from and whenever she saves you the enemy will regain hit points that they lost up to a certain point in the fight. Later in the game the bosses will throw five or six events at you one after the next and it only takes one wrong button to screw this up and earn them a good chunk of health back. I don't mind that, otherwise the fights would be too easy, Elika being a permanent get out of hell card and all. But Often I find the events annoying as they just waste your time. You can't deal damage so it feels like a cheap way for the bosses to come at you deal damage to you, maybe earn back some HP, and give you no chance to fight back till it's over. The combat isn't broken or bad it just gets old pretty fast.

    As a final word, if you like Prince of Persia you may be torn over liking or hating the new changes the game has brought. I love it, I think it's a great game, a little different from the norm with fantastic main characters that I could play it all over again just to redo all their conversations. The game is great held back from true glory by its repetitiveness and being far to easy to play.

    Final Scores

    Sound: 8/10
    Graphics: 10/10
    Story: 10/10
    Gameplay: 7/10
    Overall: 8/10

    Rent or Buy: Rent it probably. If you love the series you may love it but you may hate it so again I think a rent is the best bet. It's a great game but I get the feeling it won't be for everyone.
  5. Call of Duty: World at War

    Yeah more call of duty :D. The award winning FPS series returns with a new WWII set offering of crazy firefight but not so epic of a feel. I was hoping the foray back to the war of the century would be a fantastic return to the series roots but sadly I feel a bit unsatisfied.

    World at War isn't a bad game. It's just that it's more of the same with a few steps back. This time the game has happily provided us with the thus far under implemented Pacific campaign, which in the past has had trouble transferring it's tropical and brutal enemies to the video game scene (if you've played Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, you know what I mean). The scene needless to say is excellent. The pacific war has finally been give a good video game incarnation and the surprise attacks and banzai charges will give you a good run for you're money as you fight to survive in the war against Imperial Japan. The environments of the pacific are amazing and little things like banzai charges and japanese troops playing dead as you walk over their "corpses" is a nice plus to add new gameplay to make the pacific feel like a different war. Also I fell to note that this game probably has the best flamethrower I've ever seen in an FPS and it just feels right in the setting. Another thing I love is that someone's finally grown a brain and realized M1 Garands can be reloaded without completely emptying the clip (so annoying to fire those last two or three bullets into the ground so you can have a fresh clip for the next fire fight because of the most retarded myth I've ever seen in a shooter).

    Sadly that's where I feel the good ends. This game is littered with little things that just tick me and leave me incredibly frustrated. First the levels are too short. I hate how games these days seem to be giving shorter and shorter solo play experiences as if multiplayer will satisfy us all (it won't). While the campaign often hits strokes of brilliance from the battle for Okinawa to rescue missions in a PBY-Catalina it's easily broken by annoying little issues.

    While I wasn't fond of the series' modern incarnation that was the fourth entry I did love how the game seemlessly kept the amazing gameplay intact i loved that it had story. It felt like a Tom Clancy novel minus the negative aspects of Tom Clancy's writing! It was great and little snippets like Shock and Awe were mind blowingly exciting, making the game feel like a movie where you play a character or two and watch it unfold. World at War doesn't have this. I can tell they tried but the story is incomprehensible, jumping around all over the place with little guidance. Quite literally the game jumps through time from 1944 to 1942 to the invasion of Okinawa and then back to the fall of Berlin months before. Frankly I'd have preferred it if they'd just dumped Russia all together. Come on guys, if you think D-Day has been done too much, why do we need the battle of Stalingrad in every CoD game especially when it finally looked like we were going somewhere else! The british and the russians fought Japan too you know why couldn't we just stay in the far east instead of jumping through space and time to two completely different fronts?

    To make matters worse this is the first Call of Duty without a bad arse brit named Price with a crazy cool mustache (damn it it is going to hell). This game is lacking in characters I can care about and after what we got in a cast from Call of Duty 4 it feels like a rip off. The attempts to play off the tragedies of the war in the pacific and the supposed blood lust of the red army's revenge against nazi germany come off as corny and annoying.

    That's enough about story I suppose. It's an FPS we don't expect much. What really makes and FPS in gameplay but sadly I find myself mixed over what we have here. The game is mind blowingly annoying to play. I prefer to call it Call of Duty: Grenades and Glory. You will literally find half your deaths to be the result of either a horrible grenade danger indicator or the fact that quite literally you will more often than not find that when one grenade lies next to you, five more will follow and surround you giving you no escape. The grenade indicator is to small, I literally don't notice it half the time and even then it doesn't always come up when a grenade is close enough to kill or hurt you. Even if you do see it, be ready to find as many as six or seven (yes six or seven) grenades surrounding you literally offering no chance for survival. In one level (watch out for "Blowtorch and Corckscrew") you will literally find you're self pelted with wave after wave of grenades no more than five steps into the level! It might seem like I'm making a lot of fuss over grenades but I am series. These things have been the only cause of my deaths thus far in veteran difficulty as i am constantly being hounded by the player seeking grenade field of DOOM!

    This little thing completely breaks the gameplay for me as i spend half my time looking for a way to avoid being blown to bits. It literally leaves me with little to no time to actually shoot anything about 50% of the time I play. To worsen this fact, is that the aiming seems to have taken a drastic hit. You'll find that you'll often hit someone square in the face but not kill them, or not hit them at all a get shot in the face and die in return (veteran difficulty only). You're allies are more useless than usual, often simply standing around looking at the ground or hanging back two or three corners while you fight everyone yourself. The game also lacks the epic feel it has had in the past. The battles don't seem so big, and at times I find that playing the game is less epic fun and more an annoying chore. I also notice that this game that once sounded like a symphony orchestra with fire arms now sounds incredibly generic like the sound files for what the guns actually sound like has been trashed or lost and they didn't think of replacing them.

    Again I won't say it's a bad game. It's just no where near what I think some might have wanted from it. There are moments of brilliance like the Catalina mission and the opening mission that crack up the annoying monotony. There's even a special (really awesome) surprise for beating the game that doesn't feel very Call of Duty, but is insanely fun none the less. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to buy another copy of the game and find the experience much better like mine is defective or something but I'm not made of money and it's rude to return christmas gifts :p.

    Final Scores

    Sound: 5/10
    Graphics: 9/10
    Story: 4/10
    Gameplay: 7/10
    Overall: 6/10

    Rent or Buy: I suggest renting it if you don't have online. If you have online, well, come on, it's Call of Duty that part of the game is never going to be bad. If you love the series you might love this game but I've found a multitude of little annoyances that break it for me. I suggest a rent before you do anything else.