Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Game Review (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - Stimulus Pack - 360)

Some hacker awhile back managed to dig up a good number of maps that are SUPPOSEDLY going to be coming soon to Modern Warfare 2. I must admit, when I saw "Stimulus Pack", I thought that maybe - just MAYBE - the pack would be available on discount. Perhaps 400 MSP or even FREE, if generous. Well, yeah, no. It's 1200 MSP. ANYWAYS, So far, we've gotten five of those listed. Three new maps, and two older ones.


I'm going to start with the ports first. "Crash" is, of course, the first of two from Call of Duty 4. It looks almost exactly as it did in Call of Duty 4 with a few very minor changes, including a few new paint jobs in buildings, and more detail in them as well. Basically, from what I can tell, nothing else has changed. Maybe a few more graphical improvements, but other than that, nada. 4.25/5

"Overgrown" is the second port in the pack. Like "Crash", there aren't very many changes to speak of - a few minor graphical improvements - and the map remains almost exactly as it was in Call of Duty 4. Some people were hoping for a snowy version of the map, which I think would have been cool, but of course, that was too much to ask from Infinity Ward. Speaking of snow, that brings me to something else... 4.5/5

"Salvage" is the first of the three new maps I'll be going over. First impression in seeing videos was that it looked like something straight out of Spec Ops - I forget the mission - mixed together with Scrapyard, and dusted with snow. While I thought this was going to be byfar the worst map in the back, it isn't so bad at all. While I haven't played it nearly as many times as the other two new maps in the pack, I have - so far - a generally positive opinion on this map. 4/5

"Storm" is a map that at first glance reminded me of a combination of "Downpour" and "Shipment", but I soon realized it was much better than "Downpour", and worlds better than "Shipment", which I think is probably the worst Call of Duty map in the history of the world. This is quite a large map, but at the same time, feels small, and very familiar, after just a few run throughs. I thought "Bailout" would be my favorite map from the pack byfar, but I think it's actually a pretty close call. 4.5/5

"Bailout" was definitely the map I was anticipating the most after seeing pictures and the trailer. It's much smaller than I thought it would be, but it's still a pretty perfect map. Plenty of rooms to hide in, different buildings, a street level... a bunch of change in elevations and... yeah, I just look forward to playing it every time it comes up. Due to the fact it's smaller than I imagined it would be, I will give it a 4.5/5


Basically, the Stimulus Pack is a disappointment for the obvious reason - the price. Why we have to pay for 2 maps that are virtually identical to ones we already paid for is beyond me. Why Infinity Ward/Activision tries to possibly 'more justify' the price tag with emblems/titles is also pretty ridiculous. Really what you're paying for here, in my opinion, is $15 for 3 maps. Sure, "Crash" and "Overgrown" are both great, - at least in my opinion - but we already had them, and they've hardly changed at all this time around. "Storm" and "Bailout" are both great worth-your-time maps, but are those two stand-out maps really worth $15? Probably not. Will you, like I did, if you haven't already, buy these maps? Probably so.


+ "Storm" and "Bailout" are two of the best CoD:MW maps to date, in my opinion.
+ "Crash" and "Overgrown", although relatively unchanged, are still fun to play.
- $15 is just too expensive for what you get.
- Many, if not most, will be turned off at the idea of paying for old maps.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Game Review (MLB 2K10 - 360)

Graphics: 4.25/5 A slight improvement over last year in some aspects, (such as the more subtle things, like parts of the field and whatnot) but overall, a bit of a downgrade from 2K9. I can give a lot of credit to 2K10 for getting rid of the ugly dust effect on the infield from last year... in the words of White Goodman... "What the hell?"

Sound: 4/5 Another great cast of commentary, this year also featuring ESPN's own John Kruk, but the soundtrack in my opinion is pretty weak. There are some good songs, but overall it's quite underwhelming.

Control: 4/5 The pitching mechanics this year are better than last year, but at times, it can get frustrating. Telling you you're overthrowing or doing an odd gesture, even when you swear by your life you did it perfectly well. The hitting is the same as it has been for the past few years, using the sticks to hit, but also allowing the option to hit with the A or B button.

Fun: 3.75/5 MLB 2K10 is about as good as last year in my opinion. While the game is more than playable, and enjoyable, it's just not good enough to warrant a purchase in my opinion - there are too many bugs, ranging from minor, to somewhat major. One of the two bigger bugs I've found is occasionally, when a ball is blooped into the outfield, the ball SHOULD hit the ground, but it will instead slide across into the outfielder's glove... that's just lame. Another one, which has cost me a game twice now, are the retarded as fuck catchers. On two occasions there should have been a VERY close play at the plate. Upon watching the replay, the catcher would catch the ball, unnecessarily HIGH, and refuse to crouch down to tag the runner. I lost two games because of this glitch. Anyways, as said, MLB 2K10 is enjoyable, the My Player mode is pretty decent, but could use some work, as it does have pointless features itself, (unable to be traded unless you do it yourself...? really?) but I'm not too sure I'd want to pay $60 for a game I'd play for maybe 2 months then get $8 trade-in credit for afterwards. Once again, I guess we can only hope next year a more 'The Show'-esque game will arrive on the Xbox 360. Until then, I'll just make the MLB series a yearly one week rental.


Game Review (PGR 4 - 360)

Graphics: 4.5/5 Very good graphics - but not the best on the console for racing games. GRID is newer, and just looks better. The rain effects in this game are also weird looking. Some people say they look fantastic, but I don't know what they're seeing - it looks like your car gets wrapped in saran wrap when it's covered in water.

Sound: 4/5 The soundtrack is fitting, interesting, and has a lot of variety. A good portion of the cars sound great, but then some others just sound unrealistic. I can't think of any in particular, but when you hear one, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Control: 4/5 As I'm sure you know by now, bikes are drivable this time around. Many fans thought this was a bad addition, and I find it hard to disagree. The bikes are pretty pointless, in my opinion. They drive a lot like the cars, and you also have to go about 50 MPH to fall off the bike. I know they did this for balance, but it is irritating when you hit a guy on a bike with your car and he doesn't fall off. So basically, the bikes and cars control pretty well, and the driving conditions (snow, rain) DO affect the way your car turns and whatnot, which is cool, the cars and bikes both just control too similarly.

Fun: 4/5 PGR 4 is the first PGR game I've played, and I find it pretty enjoyable. It's not the best racing game on the console, but it is still worth a try. There are a ton of cars, an online community that tracks stats, and a bunch of cool tracks. If you're looking for an entertaining, cheap racing game for the 360, buy PGR 4. Or, better yet, get the Messenger Gold Pack with, for $55 on Amazon.com, includes a 12-Month Gold card, a headset, a chat-pad, and of course, PGR 4.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Food Review (Bacon & Bleu from Wendy's)

Another new thing from Wendy's... this time, the Bacon & Bleu burger! I just got done eating one and I must say... not impressed. The bacon is half soggy, and the bleu cheese leaves a bitter aftertaste. Not my favorite. Had Wendy's decided to use a creamy bleu cheese instead of the chunks of bleu cheese, there would obviously be more calories, but it would taste much better. The sauce that's on the burger is pretty good, and the onions are alright too - although hard to notice for the most part - but the bleu cheese just... ruins the burger, ironically.

I'd have to give this burger a D overall... just based on the flavor of the bleu cheese. Not a fan of the aftertaste one bit.


Food Review (Taco Bell Fresco Menu)

So Taco Bell has had this diet thing for I guess maybe a little over a month now...? and I recently finally finished eating all 7.

All of the tacos on this menu seem to have more lettuce and tomatoes than the regular ones on the menu, and about the same amount of meat. The meat is of the same quality as what's on the ordinary menu, but I guess it's just portioned correctly. The least gut-busting on the menu is the 150 calorie hard shell taco, while the 340 bean burrito has the most on the menu. My two personal favorites from the menu probably are the chicken ranchero taco, and the bean burrito. That's not to say not everything else on the menu is ECKK, I just think those two stand out. Personally I don't see the point of this 'diet menu', seeing as how if you were to go to Taco Bell and just buy one, maybe two small items, it would have the same amount of calories as getting one item from this menu. I think it's just to increase sales.. surprise?

Anyways, these seven items are all pretty good, and would recommend anyone to try each one at least once to find one they like. If you're seriously trying to diet, I still wouldn't tell you to eat this as your ideal food. Despite being low in calories and whatnot, there is still a pretty high sodium level here, and god knows what is added to these meats, but we all know they aren't fresh and the best quality!

I'd have to give the menu, overall, about a 3.5 or 3.75 out of 5. Why? Well, although the items are generally tasty, I can't see the purpose of this menu, and to think that people will be going to Taco Bell and eating this every time thinking they're going to lose weight, I can tell them this - it won't happen. Especially if you're going to get a pop with it... I mean honestly, how many people are going to ask for a water?

C rating. That's what I'll give.