Thursday, 29 January 2009

Zombie Hotel - Keeping Childrens cartoons cool

Zombie Hotel is a fantastic cartoon, and stars a family of zombies. The children - brother and sister (Maggot and Fungus) attend a human school, while there parents run a hotel populated by monsters. Most episodes I have seen revolve around the children trying to hide the fact that they and thier family are zombies.

The episodes are about 20 minutes long, and are entertaining. Obviously not scary, but well animated, with excellent voice actors, especially the chefs Brummie kitchen helper. The zombies don't eat anyone, but they regulary loose body parts such as heads, fingers, and limbs. A fun cartoon, with a fantastic theme song

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Resident Evil 5 - The Demo thoughts

Yesterday I played the demo for Resident Evil 5. The game again has no proper zombies, but still I was looking forward to it. Resident Evil 4 was mind blowingly good, a game I had no interest in (due to no zombies, but the day I saw it at a friends house was the day I rushed out to the shops and brought it.

Resident Evil 5 is set in Africa, the main character is unfortunately Chris Redfield; surely the very worst and most generic of all the Resident Evil characters. He is joined with either an A.I controlled or human controlled second character, some woman.

There are 2 different scenes you can select from the demo. The first sees you taking refuge in a house under attack from masses of zombie villagers. I got overwhelmed and killed. The gun in the demo was dreadful, and really seemed to have no impact on the enemies, like a cap gun it felt and sounded. My A.I controlled partner (hey, so I have no X-Box 360 friends) was useless and got battered. For some ridiculous reason Capcom have decided to implement Resident Evil: Outbreaks frankly broken inventory screen, in which the game doesn't pause while your in it. When your surrounded by hordes of angry villagers and your close to death the last thing you want to do is bring up a inventory screen to use a herb to cure yourself as this will most likely result in you being murdered mid selection.

The 2nd section took place in a square arena it had lots of villagers and a chainsaw wielding maniac chasing you. My A.I controlled moron lost all her bullets, and stole all the herbs before I could pick them up. I was only able to give her all my bullets, not just some of them. I had my head lopped off whilst trying to select a herb from the broken inventory screen.

I was really annoyed with this demo. I hope it was just the fact that it threw you into action scenes that made it bad, and that the actual game will be more...well fun. Not impressed, not impressed at all.
Maybe it's too much Far Cry 2, but I'm really sick of African locations in games.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Jenifer - Master of Horror TV Episode Review

Masters of Horror is a mind blowingly good series in which each stand alone episode is directed by a different 'Master of Horror'. The greats really are represented with offerings to date from such Masters as John Carpenter (The Thing), Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and John Landis (An American Werewolf in London) having all directed episodes.

Jenifer is Dario Argentos effort. I am not that familiar with the films of Argento, though I definitely want to see them. The most common feeling nowadays is that as a director Argento has lost the plot, with a slew of terrible films under his name in recent years. This episode was also slandered as tripe. All I really know about Argento is that his daughter Asia cannot act at all, and made the terrible 'Land of the Dead' somehow even worse.

Jenifer's plot concerns a rookie police officer who saves a horrifically disfigured young woman from being murdered by a maniac. The Officer finds himself increasingly attracted to the strange mute girl, and decides to take care of her. Horror ensures.

What I love most about the Master of Horror series is the lack of shyness towards blood. Nearly every episode is coated in the stuff, and Jenifer is no exception. I found this episode to be another great one, and certainly not deserving of the criticism it has gotten. Chocolate - now that was a terrible episode.

Another great episode in a fantastic series, see it, and give it a chance!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Super Metroid - Sci-fi Videogame Review (Virtual Console)

I recently finished Super Metroid for the first time ever, kudos to me! Back in the day I had borrowed a Super NES and this game off a friend. I had really liked it, but after a week I had given the console back and so never got to finish the game.

Last year, or maybe the year before that Super Metroid was released onto the wondrous Virtual Console. I had plenty of trouble with the controls, and after a few hours I gave up on it to my shame. Towards the middle of last year I started a new game, did over half of it, then promptly forgot all about it until last week when I revisited it and finished it off.

The game is sublime, I do admit I mostly like it because of the obvious influence it has had on the Castlevania games. A 2d platform action game set in one massive level, fantastic!

The game sees you as Samus a bounty hunter. Responding to a distress signal from a Science HQ space station, you arrive to find all the scientists dead, and a Metroid (a rare parasitic life form) on the brink of being stolen by a giant alien bird - Ridley, who is a leader of the Space Pirates. After a brief battle Ridley escapes with the Metroid and heads to a nearby planet (the Metroids home world, and Space Pirate base). Chasing him you land on the alien planet and the adventure begins.

As is the now legendary style of the Metroidvania games the action as stated takes place over one massive level, broken down into smaller areas. As you progress through the game you discover upgrades for your space suit, new weapon attachments., and health power ups, half the fun of these type of games is the exploration. The game is very atmospheric, the music fits the different locations very well. Locations are varied and range everywhere from lava caves to derelict spacecraft. The sound effects are top notch, especially the automatic doors which link all the 100's of rooms together.

The very best thing about this game are the bosses! There are so many varied bosses in the game, all are fantastic, and a joy to fight, this game has a stupidly large number of fantastic enemies, everything from giant man eating plants, to Mother Brain itself. The last section of the game is absolutely fantastic. I really recommend this game, while the Sci-fi setting isn't as good as the Gothic setting of the Castlevania, it handles it very well. The GBA Metroids were good, but not a patch on this, the best!