Monday, December 31, 2007

Game Review ( SpongeBob UnderPants - 360 Arcade )

Graphics: 4.5/5 One of the best looking XBLA games to date. It looks like the Spongebob games on the PS2; maybe a bit blander. Runs smooth most of the time, but the occasional hiccup can be frustrating and screw you over.

Sound: 3/5 At first it wasn't bad, but the characters constantly repeat themselves. The three levels all do have good background music, though. It sounds like the Mermain Man and Barnacle Boy theme for the Krusty Krab levels for instance.

Control: 3/5 Frustrating as all hell. Several times when I'd go to jump, I'd body slam. The hitting system seems broken, as I get what appears to be a direct hit on a jellyfish, and I randomly miss.

Fun: 3.75/5 Well, is it worth it? Probably not. For a huge Spongebob fan, or a little kid, this game would be great. For $10 you're getting a game you can actually "beat" in a day. However, if you want the achievements, you have to play three levels. Six times or more. To get all the achievements. Is it really worth it? SpongeBob UnderPants is a pretty decent game, a big surprise, but not really worth the 800 MSP.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Game Review ( Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - 360 )

Graphics: 5/5 One of the best looking games, ever. The framerate is unbelievable - there is no lag at all during single player. It's amazing that the game can look so good and run so smoothly. The only flaw is that the game lies. It runs at 600p. Still, looks fantastic.

Sound: 5/5 Call of Duty always sounds great, and this is the best one yet. The voiceover work is phenomenal like usual, as well as the explosions and guns. Music to my ears.

Control: 5/5 Controls like all the other CoD's on the 360. Works very well. Nothing to dislike here.

Fun: 5/5 This game absolutely deserves perfect 5's. The single player alone is almost worth the $60, even if you do beat it in one day. It has to be my favorite single player experience with a game ever. Online play is obviously the best part. The maps are all great, many being from the single player, you can have perks, rank up to get more guns and the like, and do challenges to get extra experience points to up your rank. Call of Duty 4 is definitely the game of the year - no question.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Game Review ( Bomberman - iPod Video )

Along with Phase, I downloaded Bomberman - mainly because the calculator version was getting a bit dated - and because the Xbox 360 version lacked the single player that Bomberman for the iPod has.

Graphics: 3.75/5 Very simple, but almost kind of ugly. It looks like a super nintendo game, and just doesn't look good. Still, it's a million times better looking and beyond the calculator version.

Sound: 3/5 This is why it's for the iPod. The Bomberman theme repeats and repeats as you play, and the bombs sound terrible when they explode.

Control: 3/5 If you played Pacman on the iPod, you'll be immedietely uncomfortable with this game. Instead of making hard clicks to move, you gently tap on the click wheel to do so. Because of this, believe me, you'll be dying and misplacing bombs several times.

Fun: 4/5 Regardless of the bad graphics and terrible sound and control, Bomberman for the iPod is still fun. It has single player on a few different stages, all of which look drastically different. The two minigames are also pretty fun, which include bowling and a bomb jumping game. Worth the $5 for a Bomberman fan.


Pros: Bomberman on the iPod! Mini games.
Cons: Bad graphics, sound, and controls. Lacking multiplayer.

Game Review ( Phase - iPod Video )

Coming straight from Harmonix is Phase, a new music game for the iPod. I saw this available on iTunes and immedietely charged my Mom's credit card. ( Sorry, it was worth it. ) In Phase, you can select any song you want, and how many ever you want, and put them into the game. Phase automatically makes a note track for you, and it is suprisingly accurate - there are even different difficulty levels. ( You can unlock more by playing Marathons, which are much like Set Lists in Rock Band. ) Phase looks simple, but it really isn't. You use the rewind, select, and forward buttons on the iPod to hit notes, and slide your thumb over the click wheel during certain sections to get extra points, essentially it's Phase's version of Star Power. My review.

Graphics: 4/5 Keeping it very simple, but very unique. Phase has 6 different "Journeys" (A.K.A. Venues) that you can play in. The notes and background objects come at you as if you're walking or driving into them - it's pretty cool. The only real problem I have is that there are a few times where the game will lag a bit and it will cause you to miss a note.

Sound: 5/5 How can it not be 5/5? It's your music. Also, there are a few Harmonix tracks in the game, which came to a pleasant surprise to me. Among the bands are Bang Camaro and Freezepop, with a few other bands, making for a total of 7 seven songs, most of which are fun to play.

Control: 4.5/5 The slide sections are sometimes hard to hit becuase the clickwheel might not recognize your thumb, but other than that, the controls are all fine and good.

Fun: 4.75/5 For $5, you're getting what is the best iPod game currently available. You can select any song in the world, put it on this game, and have a note track made for it. Most of the time, you are hitting notes on beat with the song, with the occasional random note thrown in there. You also play sections of different instrument in each song. Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Trumpet, whatever, you'll likely play each instrument in the song. There are even high score boards for each song, and marathon you play. Phase should definitely be downloaded by any fan of games from the music genre.


Pros: Play any song on your iPod. Cool "Journey"s. Addicting as hell.
Cons: Carpal Tunnel, anyone? Occasional lag. Obviously, no multiplayer, but still depressing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hardware Review ( Dynex 32'' 720p LCD HDTV )

I got this TV as an early Christmas present and it is one HELL of a TV. After using a tube TV to play my 360 on, I finally got this TV and I can now take full advantage of the 360's graphics. Everything about this TV is really spectacular. It has plenty of HD and other plug-ins in the back for a DVD player, CD player, 360, Wii, PS3, or anything else. The best thing about this TV has got to be the price. For about $550, you get a fantastic TV. The picture is disappointing on non-HD channels, but whether you're playing a 360 or PS3, the graphics will look absolutely amazing. I've read a lot of reviews criticizing the TV's sound - what? The sound is fine, it's just that it doesn't have a really LOUD max volume. My only real problem with it so far is that I have a dead pixel on it, but it's on the side of the screen, and is completely unnoticable unless you're TRYING to look for it.

Picture: 4.5/5 [Non HD channels actually look worse than on a Tube sometimes, but videogames look phenomenal.
Sound: 4.5/5 [Nothing wrong with it, although it is weak.]
Value: 5/5


UPDATE 11/26/11: I've noticed quite a few people have been searching the net for a review of this TV - so I've decided to update since this one is way outdated. Basically, I believe this TV is now about $300 at Best Buy now. The model is a bit newer, but it's all the same junk inside. I should note that a few months ago I noticed a bit of a shadow/screen-burn in the middle of my screen. Luckily, I got the warranty, so I recommend you do. Besides that, this TV is just about perfect. It doesn't look super fancy, but the screen looks just as good as the popular brand names out there.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Game Review ( Burnout Paradise DEMO - 360 )

Graphics: 4.5/5 The graphics look fantastic on Burnout Paradise with a rare occurance of a framerate drop - even online. While the game could probably look better, the fact that it runs as smooth as it does, there are few load times, and that the crashes are so detailed, it really doesn't matter. Burnout Paradise looks really impressive on the 360.

Sound: 5/5 Burnout has always been one of the best sounding games of its genre. The car's engines fire up like jets, the full-game will surely have a great soundtrack, and the crashes sound amazing.

Control: 4.25/5 There's not one thing with the controls, but Burnout has controlled the same for quite some time - it needs some zing. Controls fine and everything, but it's just almost too simple.

Fun: 4.25/5 The demo features very little. You can drive around Paradise City with no time limit ( Or so it seemed ) and you can play online. The modes are very restricted, only having you compete with three other people or friends, but it's pretty fun. Anyways - the full version of Paradise should be much more appealing when it's released early in January of next year. Speed demons should be quick to picking this one up, as I'm sure it won't disappoint.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Game Review ( Heroic Map Pack - 360 )

These "new" Halo 3 maps were just released today, and just for the hell of it, I decided to get them. (I say "new" because they were scrapped from the original game.)


Foundry: 3.75/5 The worst map of the bunch and one of the worst in the game. Sure, it'd be fun for Forge users, but the default map is just lame. All it is is a warehouse full of boxes. You will find yourself getting shot in the back like crazy, and there are grenades flying everywhere. There's nowhere to go on this map. It's just deathmatch no matter what mode it is on Foundry.

Rat's Nest: 4.25/5 Sharing the name of the unpopular map from SOCOM 1 and 2, Rat's Nest is much like the campaign mode's Crow's Nest. Rat's nest is good for Capture the Flag, especially, and only decent for deathmatch games. Rat's Nest is a pretty big map. The outer edge of the map is all a track that you can use to transport around on vehicles. This is probably the most interesting part of the map. Especially when both teams have the flag and bump into eachother. It makes for an epic battle.

Standoff: 5/5 Standoff is easily the best new map, and probably the best map in Halo 3. Standoff is apparently a mix of Blood Gulch and Valhalla. To me, it has the landscape of Valhalla, and a bit of a High Ground look. Standoff is great on any mode, but it's absolutely perfect for Capture the Flag. Everything's great about this map.


Halo 3's Heroic Map Pack should probably only be bought by the more hardcore Halo 3 players. For ten dollars, you're getting two pretty average maps, and one fantastic one that's basically a mix of two maps you already have. Still, I think most people that have Halo 3 will buy these maps just for extra variety.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tigers '08 Batting Order

1.) Curtis Granderson - OF
2.) Placido Polanco - 2B
3.) Magglio Ordonez - OF
4.) Miguel Cabrera - OF
5.) Gary Sheffield - DH
6.) Carlos Guillen - 1B
7.) Ivan Rodriguez - C
8.) Edgar Renteria - SS
9.) Brandon Inge - 3B

I think the Tigers will keep Inge. I think they should. Pretty bad offensive player, but good defensive player, and the last player remaining of the 2003 Detroit Tigers. The Tigers will likely leave Cabrera in left field where he played quite a bit in Florida.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cabrera, Willis, added to Tiger's line-up.

This is amazing news for Tiger's fans. The Detroit Tigers have gotten Miguel Cabrera (3B) and Dontrelle Willis (SP) for Mike Rabelo (C), Andrew Miller (SP), and (OF) Cameron Maybin. ( As well as other prospects. ) I have a lot of feelings about this trade. First, I'm not sure it was the best move getting rid of Miller - he was supposed to be a BIG deal I thought? Cameron Maybin is supposed to be a big deal too - at least the Tiger's kept Timo Perez. Dontrelle Willis is a good pitcher, but his '07 season wasn't good at all. He had an ERA over 5.00. Then again, he's changing leagues now. This makes me wonder - what's going to happen to Brandon Inge now? Will be be backup? Will he be traded for a player or cash? The Tigers are just having a fantastic off-season. It looks like they'll be the team to beat this year in the AL, or at least the AL Central. This baseball season can not come soon enough.

This is what the line-up should look like as of now.
1B: Carlos Guillen [Back-Up: Likely Gary Sheffield]
2B: Placido Polanco [Back-Up: I'd sure like to know - no Infante!]
SS: Edgar Renteria [Back-Up: Ramon Santiago]
3B: Miguel Cabrera [Back-Up: If he doesn't leave, Brandon Inge]
OF: Marcus Thames [Back-Up: Maybin is gone, as is Monroe, probably Perez or Jones]
OF: Curtis Granderson [Back-Up: Likely the new Jacque Jones]
OF: Magglio Ordonez [Back-Up: Likey Raburn]
DH: Gary Sheffield [Back-Up: Mags on semi offdays]
SP: Justin Verlander
SP: Jeremy Bonderman
SP: Kenny Rogers
SP: Dontrolle Willis
SP: Nate Robertson

The bullpen needs a little work, but the Tigers will be unbelievable this year - if their bullpen stays together, and they don't get injured.

Go Tigers!