Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rock Band DLC Review Part XVII (March 2009)

February had a few crappy tracks, but had plenty of stuff worthy of a download. On to March:

"New" No Doubt
"Texas Flood" album by Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Double Trouble
"All I Want" and "The Kids Aren't Alright" Offspring
"Losing My Religion" REM
"The Way that it Shows" Richard Thompson
Get The Funk Out 01 [3 pack, including "Sex Machine" and "Pick Up the Pieces")
"Thrash Unreal" Against Me!
"All the Things that Go to Make Heaven and Earth" and "Use It" The New Pornographers
"Last Resort" and "Lifeline" Papa Roach
"Ten" album by Pearl Jam
"Don't Stop Believing" Journey
"Heartbreaker" Pat Benetar
"Geraldine" Glasvegas
"C'mon, C'mon" The Von Bondies
SpongeBob Squarepants 01 [3 pack, including "The Best Day Ever"]

This was a huge month in quality and quantity, including two albums from entirely different genres - "Texas Flood" and "Ten." There are a bunch of must downloads from this month, and very few tracks I wouldn't recommend - The New Pornographers, "Geraldine," and the SpongeBob pack I'd say pass on. Also? "Last Resort." As I'm sure you all probably or should know, it's not the 'real' version we're all familiar with. Instead, it's a demo version, and sounds pretty shitty. As I said - an incredible month.

Ftw of the month: The Offspring, "Thrash Unreal", "Lifeline", Ten, "Don't Stop Believing"
Gtfo of the month: "Geraldine", SpongeBob SquarePants 01
Avg of the month: 4.5/5

Rock Band DLC Review Part XVI (February 2009)

Last month proved to be extremely average... but February is a new month.

Thin Lizzy 01 [3 pack, including "The Boys Are Back in Town (Live)"]
"Precious" The Pretenders
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" Pat Benetar
"Break My Heart" and "Don't Tell Me" Nikko
The Fratellis 01 [3 pack, including "Flathead"]
"More Human than Human" and "Black Sunshine" White Zombie
"Wasted Again" Turbo Negro
Alt-Country 01 [5 pack, including "3 Dimes Down" and "Can't Let Go"]
Jimmy Eat World 01 [3 pack, including "Sweetness"]

Thin Lizzy? Yes please. "HMWYBS?" I'll take it. Fratelli's and Jimmy Eat World? Consider it downloaded. A lot of blah stuff can't get in the way of that. "Precious"? Bleh. The Alt-Country pack? No thank you. For the amount of good stuff this month though, it's a winner.

Ftw of the month: Thin Lizzy, Fratellis, Jimmy Eat World.
Gtfo of the month: Alt-Country 01
Avg of the month: 4/5

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rock Band DLC Review Part XV (January 2009)

It's a new year! I know, it took me forever to get from December '08 to January '09, but here it is. Let's see if Harmonix celebrated 2009 in a big way.

Roy Orbison 01 ["Pretty Woman", "You Got It", 4 others.]
Lenny Kravitz 01 [4 pack, including "Are You Gonna Go My Way"]
"Megasus" Megasus
"Entangled" Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives
Steve Miller Band 01 [3 pack, including "The Joker"]
"I Stand Alone" Godsmack
"Feed the Tree" Belly
"Wind Me Up" Ghost Hounds
"Typical" Mute Math
"War Zone" Rob Zombie
Grateful Dead 02 [6 pack, including "Fire on the Mountain" and "Uncle John's Band"]

A big fat ass 'MEH' from me. Two of Orbison's most popular songs being released was nice - and "Are you Gonna Go My Way" was as well. "Megasus" was a pretty pleasant surprised, especially being that it was only a dollar. The Steve Miller Band pack could have been better, but I still enjoyed it. "Typical" is a song many may overlook seeing as how they likely haven't heard it, but I'd highly recommend it. For the final week, Grateful Dead 02. I'm not a huge fan of the band, but the first pack was actually pretty fun. This pack? Not so much - I didn't particularly like how the songs sounded, and just wasn't thrilled.

Ftw of the month: "Megasus", "Are You Gonna Go My Way", "Typical"
Gtfo of the month: The rest of Lenny Kravitz 01, "Feed the Tree", Grateful Dead 02
Avg of the month: 3.5/5

Monday, July 18, 2011

Arcade Review (Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum)

Arcade review - how often will I review an arcade? That's right, this time. And this time only.

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum (Also known as Marvin's, Marvin's 3M, or simply 3M) is an arcade/museum that's located in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Chances are, you already knew that and were just probably looking for a review of some sort. Were you? Yeah you were - you've come to the right place.

Maybe... I suck at writing reviews. But I'll give it my best shot!

I went to Marvin's about a month ago, and I can tell you before saying anything else, I plan on going back quite soon. Unfortunately for me, I live over an hour's drive away, so it's not exactly practical for me to stop by very often, but this place is fantastic. Basically as soon as you walk in, it's like stepping into a carnival, that at the same time is an arcade with probably hundreds of different games to play. While there are a lot of games and such in the museum, there is still - surprisingly - plenty of room to get around. Near the front door, there's a wall of pinball machines from different decades, including several different themes from movies (Iron Man) to TV shows (The Simpsons), as well as a couple DDR machines - yes, two.

As you walk a bit more into the arcade - er, museum - you'll find more and more games to play, from old-school to current, from Galaga to shooters and racers. And not just games, there are also several pretty interesting things besides just them, my favorite being a large made-just-for-Marvin's jukebox, which contains several instruments, and a library of hundreds of songs to choose from. It's super unique, and anybody will easily find a handful of songs they'd recognize. Where this machine is located, there are also a few tables and an area where you can get food, candy, or drinks. Since this place has a carnival theme, that's just the kind of food you'll find here. There's popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, ice cream, and things like that.

On the far side of the museum you'll find what I'd say is the kiddy area, where the ticket arcade games are found. And being as there are tickets, there is also a ticket counter where you can, you know... redeem tickets for stuff. To me, the coolest thing that's back there is this little hockey foos-ball table. I had played with one YEARS ago somewhere else, and was pleased to be able to play it again.

All-in-all, 3M is just a must-visit if you're into entertainment whatsoever. And I'm going to guess, since you're HUMAN, you'd NOT regret going here. To top if all off, this place doesn't get very busy - perhaps because it's somewhat tucked away in the shopping center where it's located. Whatever the reason is, it's great. You don't have to wait in line to play anything, and there's always something to do. Marvin's has a great atmosphere, and for just about $10, you can entertain yourself AND your kids - if you have them - for a couple hours, which is pretty much obscenely cheap this day and age. So think to yourself, would you rather sit and see a movie, or visit a year round fun house? The choice is yours, but I know what I pick.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Game Review (Need for Speed Hot Pursuit - 360)

Graphics: 5/5 Without a doubt the best graphics I've seen in a racing game, and one of the best games I've seen period. Not only are the cars ridiculously realistic, but the attention to detail from crashes, the weather effects, and the landscapes, are all really nice - not to mention the frame rate's pretty perfect as well. The one slight downfall, although it's understandable, is that the load times take a tiny bit of time... but that's a minor annoyance, and with the way this game looks, it's worth the wait.

Sound: 4.5/5 The cars, the police radio chatter, and all of the sounds you hear when racing are all well above average, but I don't find the soundtrack to be too great. There are a few pretty decent songs, and there is also a lot of variety - from rap to rock - but I haven't found anything mind blowing.

Control: 4.5/5 If you've played Burnout, this is essentially that. All you really need to know is how to steer, gas, brake/drift, and use boost. That is it... extremely simple first glance, but the drifting will take awhile to master. Speaking of the drifting, I've found that seemingly every car controls identically or similarly... it's like every car is just slapped with a new face with a different top speed. Other than that, quite alike.

Fun: 4.75/5 If you're a fan of the Burnout series, as well the previous Hot Pursuit games, there's no reason to not at least try this game out. While this game is almost perfect - there are a couple minor flaws. Firstly, there is no in-car view in this game. While this isn't particularly surprising, it's disappointing nonetheless. Secondly, you're required to pay $10 to play this game if you don't have a 'pass' that comes with a new copy of the game. And lastly, there is NO SPLITSCREEN multiplayer. While this may not be a huge problem for most, it is to me, seeing as how the only time I do play splitscreen in a game, is with a racing game. Anyways, you can play as the racers or the chasers in Hot Pursuit, and there are different ways to get in the lead, including spike strips, and the use of helicopters. If you can only have one racing game on the 360, make it Need for Speed Hot Pursuit - not only does Hot Pursuit look great on the surface, it also has the goods under the hood.

[Changed to a 4.25/5 upon easy-to-get-to 100% completion.]

EDIT 11/1/12: After playing Most Wanted (2012) and looking back to this game for comparison, I've really found that the two aren't completely different. While I'd say both games are fun to play in some of their own ways, both are very shallow as far as replay value goes. I beat Hot Pursuit to 100% completion in just 8 days, and if I wanted to, I could have easily beaten Most Wanted (2012)'s single player in about 2 days. I say Hot Pursuit is the better game, but not worthy of what equates to a 9.5 by any means. If you can get it cheap, that's a fair rating. But for the lack of longevity, remembering how little this game did for me after I beat it, I'd give it more of a 4.25/5.

+: Fantastic graphics; good variety in tracks, as well as solid variety in events; entertaining online play.
-: If you don't buy the game new, you have to pay $10 to play online; many of the cars seem to control similarly; No in-car view; No splitscreen; As fun as the online play is, when it lags, it lags terribly.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Food Review (Bacon Cheddar Ranch Tendercrisp from Burger King)

Well, any time I see something new at a fast food restaurant, I tend to try it at least once. How's the BCRT from BK?

First things first, it should be know that this big boy has 900 calories, 2100mg of sodium, and a gram of trans fat. Seeing as how it's fast food that shouldn't be too shocking, but fast food should at least taste GOOD for that kind of intestinal beating, and this sandwich simply doesn't cut it.

The BCRT is almost, dare I say, disgusting. The ranch smells and tastes like it's old and been sitting out for a long while... it's actually, very, foul. I actually wonder if they taste-tested this thing before putting it on the menu.

I got some of the ranch on my finger, and I can still smell it. I'm not the biggest ranch fan, but I don't know WHO would find this tasty. Hell, maybe I DID get some old-and-been-sitting-out ranch - I hope, because I find it hard to believe Burger King would sell this.


+: It's edible!
-: But barely. Not good, and way too salty.