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Archive for March, 2010

Tiberian Twilight: And shiny Mammoth Tanks

Yes with a title like Tiberian Twilight? What could possibly go wrong? Plenty in fact, just thinking about it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And yes, instead of shiny vampires douche bag with big hair who is also apparently a vegan. You get a shiny Mammoth Tank, i’m talking reflective shiny and it just looks gay. I’m glad we got that out of the way so let us start with the rant/review.

Alrighty, first up gameplay! Well C&C 4 is definelty different from its previous incarnations. Taking on a pseudo- Dawn of War 1 play style and a no resource approach it is definitely quite a change. You basically go around pooping out units on mobile HQs. These walkers as they are called are literally moving fortresses and you go around capturing objective buildings with your units. Now, all units are capable of capturing ‘buildings’ due to the new capture mechanic aka ‘stand and wait for it to cap‘ approach. Gone are the resource gathering and stationary base. Harken the days where you base just ups and leaves on four legs.

Adding on to this, there is a experience mechanic in place. As you progress through the game you gain experience which unlocks new units and upgrades per level. Intresting… If you actually had a choice to what you techtree you can tech up to. But no, you get standardize rewards which kinda kills the whole customizable play style boasted by the 3 different class of walkers. Offensive, Defensive and Support. Pfft, pfft and more pfft. Your level also affects your multiplayer games, so welcome to imbalance 101.

Personally, I did not like the new mechanic. As an long standing fan of the C&C Tiberian universe, I find this drastic overhaul an affront to what the Tiberian series was about. You must understand how intricately tied the whole Tiberian resource mechanic was to the whole storyline of the Tiberian universe. By changing the mechanic so much and downplaying the role Tiberian has on the universe, you are effectively crapifying the storyline.

Which leads me to the plot. It was… uninspired. The missions were boring plot wise, there was no intrigue no sense of foreboding no nothing. In fact it felt more like Kane sending you on grocery errands. “Go capture the TCN (Tiberian Control Node) here”, “Stop this asshole from ruining my plans to run away from Earth” and like the puppy you are you happily wag your tail and comply. Not only that, Kane looks like a tired middle age bag with a paunch, there is little fire left in Kane’s character. That could be due to dealing with GDI turds but seriously, the whole campaign was painfully short (I’m not sure if I should be thankful considering how they massacred the story), Kane’s aides were not developed as characters but merely decorative pieces. What really bothers me is the ‘meh’ you kinda feel when you watch the ending, it does little to explain Kane’s enigmatic origins nor his true purpose other then his obsessive need to Ascend. The Scrin are also left wholly out and only act as mere sidelined background information. The fact that the Overseer at the end of C&C 3’s Scrin Campaign wanted to invade Earth was never explored no postulated anywhere. When Kane handed the Tacitus over to GDI it was literally hugs and kisses and the fact that the Tacitus was handed over was not explained nor mentioned in the plot nor were the reasons ever brought to light.

There are so many holes in the story you might have thought a Mammoth Tank had firing practice on the plot. Aesthetically I did not really like what they did with some of the units. The redesigned Avatar looks like crap in my opinion and everything just has a weird sense of scale, not to mention how some of the units just look cartoony and ridiculous.

Well honestly the only thing that really stinks was the story, gameplay was still acceptable and graphics was okay despite my many grievances. Overall it was an average game but to a C&C fan like me, it was horrid. Luckily for EA, I am the kind of guy who gives credit where it is deserved, so here are my scores for C&C 4: Tiberian Twilight.

Graphics: 6

Gameplay: 6

Storyline: 3

Overall: 5


A not so Wondrous Land

Last week, I partook in a social activity known as a movie outing. The movie in question? None other then Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. How was the movie you ask? It was crap. Okay, it was not that bad, but it definitely wasn’t great and was close to being crap.

So what went wrong? Well let us start with what went right, since they are fewer in numbers and easier to cover. Okay, first up the setting. The setting was a visual treat, the characters are quirky as they were meant to be and amusing at times. The ambiance was pretty well done and the environment gave the whole show a rather dark feel to it. Of course there is an all star crew playing the host of characters in the show, some less known but noteworthy personalities include Stephen Fry who voiced the Cheshire Cat and Matt Lucas who voice and is Tweedledee/Tweedledum and of course the lovely Anne Hathaway who plays the White Queen.

Okay, that is pretty much all the good stuff I had to say. Now to what I felt lacking in the movie, well first off the plot. The movie literally throws the whole plot in your face in the first 30 mins and not a very strong/original/creative plot at that. The acting was sub-par at best, Depp’s role as the Mad Hatter didn’t really require much dynamic/impressive/compelling acting. The acting of Helena Bonham Carter on the other hand proved to be more entertaining with her horrifically malformed character, The Red Queen.

My other gripe was the fact that the movie felt rushed and Characters like Dormouse, Tweedledee/Tweedledum, March Hare and other assorted Wonderland characters did not really get developed much. The whole show was not even sure of itself, was it suppose to be quirky and whimsical or was it suppose to be dark. I have no idea and I’m pretty sure neither did the movie. And the whole grown up Alice deal?American Mcgee’s Alice did it first.

Visual: 7

Audio: 6

Plot: 2

Overall: 5

Rebecca Mayes?

Rebecca Mayes You ask? Who is she? Well let me enlighten you my friends. Rebecca Mayes writes video game reviews. What is so special about that? Well she does it as a song which she writes herself. Though she is not really a gamer, let alone a hardcore gamer, her works are creative and much inspired. In a way, she is like the uninitiated paying tribute to the art of video games both in design and aesthetics and that really makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Perhaps in the future, everything we do will be a game. Learning, working out, anything and everything. Wouldn’t that be fun?

For more Rebecca Mayes goodness go to The Escapist Website