Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Game Review (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Drop: July)

Better late than never -- a little over a week ago, the July Content Drop came out with the likes of multiplayer maps Decommission and Offshore, and the Spec Ops Mission Vertigo. The Modern Warfare 2 map Terminal also came out this month, but as it isn't considered part of ELITE's content, I won't include it in this review. First, the achievements for this month...

Complete Vertigo on any difficulty - 15G
Complete Vertigo on Veteran - 20G
Kill all Juggernauts after they land on Veteran - 25G
Destroy all helicopters in Vertigo - 15G

When I initially saw the picture of Vertigo, I wondered why they chose that to be a Spec Ops map rather than a multiplayer map ... and I STILL wonder that. It's a nice night time map that takes place on top of what I believe is a hotel. After time on the roof, you rappel down to the outside main entrance and fight some enemies. It's a really cool mission, really. The achievements are all easy with the exception of one -- beating the mission on Veteran. I'd say this mission is as hard or harder than last month's Arctic Recon mission. The other two achievements (since you get both 'Complete Vertigo on...' achievements when you do it on Veteran) are pretty easy. The Juggernaut one is simple so long as you play with two people... one person throws a flash, and the other unloads with a Pecheneg. Voila, you win. The helicopters one can easily be done if you go on the easiest difficulty BY YOURSELF. I got that achievement my first try. Not a super awesome mission, but it looks nice. 3.5/5

Decommission's a map that looks quite a lot like the Spec Ops mission Smack Down... not exactly, but it certainly resembles it. It's a medium/small sized map that is, frankly, overly frantic on game modes like Domination. The capture points are very close, and it's hard to keep more than one flag held down at a time. Because of the size of this map, you'll find yourself getting spawn killed and spawn killing others quite often. If you can get past that though, Decommission is actually a pretty fun map... which surprised me. When I did my first run through in a custom match by myself, I was expecting it to be a dud. Thankfully, it isn't. 3.75/5

If you played Ghost Recon Future Soldier, you'll recognize the feel of Offshore. It takes place on some sort of rig in the ocean. The size of this map is shockingly gargantuan due to its several floors, stair cases, twists, and turns. Normally I despise large maps, but Offshore makes for some entertaining games, especially with objective game types. Because of its size and numerous corners, there aren't many places people are willing to camp, so if you hate campers -- who doesn't? -- you'll likely approve of Offshore. 4/5

Overall, July is a pretty good drop. Maybe I've just desperately been missing real, true multiplayer maps, but these ones seem to play well. While I'm disgruntled with Infinity Ward for not making Vertigo a multiplayer map, Decommission and Offshore are both solid enough to make me be okay with that decision.


DVD Review (The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season)

It came out awhile ago, but I just recently got it and finished watching the episodes and bonus features. Unlike any other DVD review I've done, I won't bother to review each individual episode this time, but I'll instead list some of season fourteen's highlights, as well as some of the duds.

I can say right away that I was surprised by this season. After season 10-ish, I haven't really enjoyed any of the seasons on DVD... bland stories, weak jokes, and just general mediocrity. For season fourteen though, I was happy to find that I actually LIKED a lot of the episodes.

Before watching any of the episodes, I read a lot of people's reviews complaining that Homer is beyond dumb in this season... that his IQ had dropped 30 points, and that he changed for the worse. While there are gags in some of the episodes that make Homer come off as a complete dummy, most of the time the jokes were still funny to me, so the new Homer didn't bother me this season.

The season as a whole is average or slightly better throughout ... I found myself rating most every episode between 3.5 and a 4.25 rating out of 5. My favorite episodes of the season include "Treehouse of Horror XIII" (Mostly in part to the 'Send in the Clones' bit), "Helter Shelter", "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", "Three Gays of the Condo", and "Dude, Where's My Ranch?". Those five episodes I gave 'season high' 4.25s to. The worst episode, and the only one to get a 3.25 from me, is "Pray Anything". It's just a boring episode with very little to chuckle at. Regardless, the season averages about a 4/5 for me. Even though I wouldn't call a single episode from this season GREAT, I'd willingly watch most of these episodes a second or third time over again.

As for the bonus features, they're like the menus -- based almost entirely around Treehouse of Horror episodes from seasons past. I don't have any issues with this, but I don't understand why they haven't just released a Treehouse of Horror I-XX or XXII box set or something. I assume they'll do it at some point...

The other features include the usual... commentary on every episode, art galleries, and deleted scenes. I haven't and usually don't watch episodes with commentary, so I can't comment on how they are, but apparently Matt Groening isn't in many of the episodes.

Overall, The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth season is the best season to me since the tenth. Although nothing about this season will blow you away, you'll more than likely approve of more episodes than you disapprove.