Thursday, January 17, 2013

Game Review (NHL 13 - 360)

Having purchased NHL 11, 12, and now 13, I've been hoping that with each purchase, the game would get better... unfortunately, I've been left disappointed just about every time.

Graphics: 4/5 The graphics, I think, look a bit better than a year or two ago, but the wonky looking collisions are still there, and there are more God awful faces than good ones.. there's also no emotion on any of the faces either.

Sound: 3.5/5 Seemingly the same exact commentary as the past couple years, which isn't too bad, but the soundtrack's more miss than hit, and that's unfortunate. The fans, hits, and sound of saves/the puck hitting the boards is as good as ever, and only made better with a headset (Turtlebeach or something).

Control: 3.25/5 Nothing but frustrating ... the puck has a mind of its own way too often, and the AI is just stupid. Also, the whole "realistic physics" and "explosive skating" things are fine and good, but it almost literally takes 2 hours and 15 minutes for you to turn around and get a puck that's five feet behind you.

Fun: 3.25/5 It's really not much different than the past two years, but I've just had enough of the bull. The game's presented very well, it looks good, and it can be fun when it doesn't feel like the rubberband AI is deliberately working against you (Three of your own teammates on one guy in a corner, he comes out with the puck and scores on what should be an easy save). There are also countless other problems that I have with it. To name a few:
     1.) I will often have a handful of breakaways and 25-30 in one game, and the opposing goalie -- regardless of rating -- will often make a Jesus Christ save every single time. The other team will then get about two goals with their first three shots on goal, resulting in a power down of my 360.
     2.) Often times I'll throw my player's body on the ice to block a pass or shot, but I'll go to a replay and clearly see the puck pass through my body.
     3.) While passing across the ice, the puck seems to magically hit a skate or stick almost half the time.
     4.) The AI in Be a GM will constantly offer trades with the same player over-and-over again, despite declining the trade once, twice, thrice, etc.
     5.) Players like Datsyuk can take down Wookiees without an issue.
     6.) User-controlled player is often left alone with the puck on attack while the team decides it's the right time for a line change ... even if it's just a few moments after a faceoff.
     7.) Overall, the AI is pretty awful. The box is full of shit in claiming that it's better than ever, or something along those lines.

Thankfully, I only paid $22 for this game ($40 on sale, $20 gift card). It's not an unplayable game, but it's nothing more than a glorified version of rock, paper, scissors. Getting a goal is as rewarding as ever, but it doesn't really matter when the opposing team can get an easy wrist shot goal from just inside the blue line as often as they do.


Thursday, January 03, 2013

DVD Review (Friends: Season 10)

This review's pointless and out of nowhere, but I realized that I reviewed Friends seasons 1-9, but neglected to do the final season. Season ten, I think, is a season that shouldn't have even had happened. It's not terrible, but it's mostly unnecessary. Its only purpose to me is to make loose ends meet. While most shows would have tried doing this in a season and have it fall flat on its face, Friends makes it work. There are a lot of average and somewhat forgettable episodes throughout this season, but the ending is great and memorable enough to make me give the series ending season a pretty decent rating.


While that seems to be well above average, season ten's a little bit of a letdown in Friends' standards.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Food Review (Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger from McDonalds)

McDonald's unfortunately did away with their CBO, and seemingly have replaced it with something somewhat similar ... it's a CBO, minus the bacon, and without the sauce that was on it. Regardless, I wanted to try the Grilled Onion Cheddar because it was only a buck, and I expected it to taste like a slider.

For a dollar, I can't complain. The cheese doesn't add much, but the caramelized onions give the burger an almost bitter sweet taste. The burger patty is pretty small, but again, it's about what should be expected from a dollar menu. There's not much to say about this burger positively or negatively because it is what it is ... a simple and cheap burger. I figure this'll be a good way to get money back on the money they lose for each McDouble that they make ... plus I think it tastes better. Definitely a burger for people that love onions, because there are a lot of them.


+: Caramelized onions give the Grilled Onion Cheddar a slider flavor; Only costs $1.
-: Not as good as the CBO.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

DVD Review (The Simpsons: The Complete Fifteenth Season)

It took a year, but season fifteen of The Simpsons is finally on DVD and, for whatever reason, Blu-Ray. This season there are 22 episodes, commentary on every episode (as usual), sketches, a couple commercials, and deleted scenes.

Unlike many other Simpsons seasons, there aren't really any complete duds in this season. Not only that, but there aren't any extremely memorable episodes either. Rather, season fifteen basically contains 22 slightly above average and entertaining episodes. I found myself rating mostly every episode in my head between a 3.5 to a 4.25 out of 5. My personal favorite of the season I suppose would have to be "Margical History Tour" because it's Treehouse of Horror-esque, and well written with some good jokes. Most of the other 21 episodes included aren't too far behind.

The extras included seem to be far less than some other seasons. For instance, even in season thirteen and fourteen they had a "Best of Ralph" and "Best of Treehouse of Horror" section, respectively. I was hoping and thinking that this set would have a "Best of Otto" compilation, but I was wrong ... that, or I just haven't found it.

The Simpsons: The Complete Fifteen Season is a must-buy for fans of the show, and a "get it eventually" buy for fair weather fans. Every episode is either average or a notch above, so there's nothing you have to see. Still, I feel that this is an underrated season, and I don't think it's nearly as bad as a lot of people make it out to be.