Sunday, June 15, 2014

Game Review (Battlefield Hardline BETA)

I was fortunate enough to get a closed beta  code, and I've played the beta for  a few hours. I'll try to keep this relatively short. First of all, the beta features a single map, "High Tension", which is  a map that supposedly takes place in downtown Los Angeles. There are also two modes in the beta: Heist and Blood Money. Heist is like a twist on Capture  the Flag where the Criminals must bring loot to the escape point, while the Police need to prevent it. In Blood Money, two  teams of criminals work against each other to see which can get the most cash. In both matches, the games seem to go  by fairly quickly, meaning you can play more games in Hardline than you likely could in Battlefield 4 in the same amount of time. For me, that's a positive.

My first impression of Hardline was something along the lines of, "Hm, this is pretty decent." Hardline's color palette is surprisingly... bright? I guess? I've seen some people say the game looks cartoonish. Personally, I like this look, as it suits the more-arcadey-than-Battlefield 4 feel of Hardline. Honestly, I feel like it has a Call of Duty-esque thing going on, but at the same time, it still feels distinctively Battlefield... just a bit more fast paced. Confusing? Not sure how else to word it for you. I  really appreciate  the level of recoil on guns in Hardline -- that's what really makes it feel  more like Battlefield rather than Call of Duty.

The map that's in the beta is alright, even if it's a bit uninteresting. It's a city with a few buildings you can go in, but it seems small. Since there are only 16v16 teams in the beta though (will it be like that in the full game?), the map feels barren in spots. If Hardline does support 64 players, it's going to be hectic to say the very least, as High Tension doesn't feel like it'd play well with that many.

While Hardline is like Battlefield in many ways (imagine that!), there  are a few key differences. First of all, there aren't really any assault vehicles. Sure, there are a few turrets on  vehicles that you can use, but there aren't any heavily armored assault  helicopters or tanks rolling around.  Second,  you pay for weapons and  gadgets more than  you actually unlock them. I don't mean that you do this in a Counterstrike sort of way, because whatever you buy is permanent, not just for a  single  match.

I've enjoyed  Hardline the bit  that I have played it.  It's obviously hard to form much of an opinion based on a single map beta, but it's  a game I'd potentially purchase. Many  are crying  that the game should be Battlefield 4 DLC because it feels like a mod, but that makes no sense. Does Battlefield 4 not feel like Battlefield 3? Comments like that make no sense to me.

If you're looking for something a little different, Hardline could be a great option when it releases. It's Battlefield with a nice little spin on it. If the game runs as  smooth at launch as it  has  on the beta, it may be worth being a day one purchase.


Monday, June 09, 2014

Food Review (Quesarito from Taco Bell)

Taco  Bell's  probably  my  favorite  fast food   chain.  Not  because they  innovate  or   sell quality food, but  because  their  uncanny ability  of making cardboard and  horse  meat  taste good for a reasonable   price works for me.  While  I'll  always be pissed at  Taco  Bell for refusing to make the  Beefy Crunch Burrito a permanent menu  item, the Quesarito is here... and guess what,  it's a permanent addition to  the menu.

For $2, I   was  pleasantly  surprised with the  size of the  Quesarito. It   has a   decent heft to  it,  and you  definitely  get  your  money's worth  for  the  size  of it alone.  But  how does it  taste?

Well, what  the  hell.  It's Taco Bell.  What can I tell  you.  Meat,  cheese, sour cream,  and  the  suddenly-put-on/in-everything-at-Taco-Bell-now  chipotle  sauce  in  a grilled  tortilla.  I've seen  comparisons   to the Beefy  Five Layer   Burrito,  but this   is  different in that the  tortilla is  grilled here,  there aren't  any  beans, and this  is bigger. I  personally prefer the Quesarito   to the Beefy Five Layer  because  the former has some  texture to it.

There is  nothing  incredibly original about the Quesarito at all, but  the price is fair, and  it's  quite filling. I could see   myself getting  these time-to-time,   but   really  Taco  Bell.  Let's get  real. Why in the  FUCK is  the Beefy Crunch Burrito still  not around,  and  why did you ever  end   the  Volcano Menu? Too  many options   on   the menu?  It's made me go from  having  Taco  Bell  religiously,  to   being  a fairweather  observer,  but that's  not   for this review.

The Quesarito:  It's not  bad, but it won't turn  you on.


+ Good  value,  it's grilled,  there's nothing inherently   bad about it.
-  Nothing   new,  and why is it an automatic permanent  menu item? Really?

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

DVD Review (The Simpsons: The Complete Eleventh Season)

In my reviewing of The Simpsons seasons, I somehow forgot to do  season  eleven, so here it is. Season eleven of the show is when most Simpsons fans seem to agree that the show went down hill hard. Personally, I've found episodes worth watching more than once in many of the show's seasons. While I'll agree that  there's nothing quite like seasons 1-10 of the show, there's still plenty to like about season eleven.

Most of the good  episodes  in  season eleven  are near the beginning of the season, a few of  them presumably being carried over  from season ten's produced  episodes. As to be expected, there are some duds in this season worth pointing out: Saddlesore Galactica and Kill the Alligator and Run are notoriously unpopular  episodes  from this season  and show in general, the latter being a surprise, considering it was written  by Simpson legend John Schwartzwelder.

Per usual, you'll find  a   nice amount of  bonus features  throughout the boxset,  as well as commentary for every episode. As   a whole,  season eleven  is worth getting, in my opinion, even if you consider yourself a pretty modest Simpsons fan. While the quality of about the first two discs is much better than the last two as a whole, there are some solid episodes and great  jokes throughout the entirety of the season.