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All reviews - Movies (6) - DVDs (3) - Books (2) - Music (1) - Games (3)

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks review

Posted : 16 years, 1 month ago on 17 June 2008 05:52 (A review of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks)

Nowadays co-op is everywhere in gaming. Kane and Lynch and Army of Two are just two big budget titles that are almost developed from the ground up with co-op in mind. Third person action and FPS games are the main ones that always get the treatment. Just let me know when I can play the co-op version of "BK presents: The Sneak King". Anybody want my GamerTag/Friend Code so that we can make a Whopper together and scare the shit out of people? I personally enjoy this over saturation of Co-op games that make it hard to obtain certain GamerPoints when you have no friends. :(
Maybe some of you may have heard of the little franchise Mortal Kombat. (Google it if you haven't) Well they went ahead and went all BattleToads and Double Dragon on everybody’s ass and made this co-op game based on the MK universe. This game forces you to at least sit to the person who is playing MK: Shaolin Monks with you. Sorry children of the online co-op mode...it doesn't exist. This forces you to somewhat like the person who you play the game with. Maybe? But to answer the burning question...YES! You can speak to them without using a headset. Amazing communication that us human beings can do without the internet! Gamers don't really need online co-op to enjoy co-op gaming, but it would be nice as an option although.
The story as usual (like every fifth comic book movie in any franchise) almost ignores any previous MK games and pulls out another story how earth's warriors (blah!), must unite and stop and evil (Blah!) before all of earth gets taken over (BLAH!!). For once let me play as all the evil assholes that you are forcing me to stop again. Maybe I should call Ed Boon and pitch him something new. Another color swapping ninja... Anyways the combat feels like butter. Multi-Dimensional combat plays so smoothly it might make your cholesterol rise. Basically the control scheme consists of a Weak attack, Strong Attack and a Launch Attack with trademarked MK special moves and Fatalities to boot. This is one of those games where the fighting system is easy to jump into, but you could be really god-like if you put in the work. Hell, I've pulled off a 65 hit combo!
Now onto the eye candy...there is none. This game actually resembles a PSone game in my opinion. But Eye Candy isn't what a real gamer plays games for Right? Especially if almost every other aspect of the game works. Just don't expect to be in awe in terms of the graphics. And lastly there are secerts/unlockables (the ability to play as Sub-Zero and Scorpion, the original MK II, view artwork, etc.) for every room in the game (represented by bite size MK icons). I always loved all the extra goodies that Midway put into all of there games (though not all are praise worthy). Anyways in conclusion pick up this game already. MK: Shaolin Monks is a damn good co-op experience. In case you are wondering there is the standard one-on-one fighting, but that really needs some balancing. Some characters are just way to powerful. Get this game it's probably $.50 at your local Dollar General.
Finally you may ask "Mr. Lays why are you reviewing such an old game?"...because whatever media I am into at the moment is "hot" to me at the moment so it better be "hot" to YOU! That's right YOU! Also I don't have one of the next-gen systems yet. I am pretty limited here at work, but that's another story...


Mr. Lays Highlights:
1. Baraka plays possum and slams the shit out of Sonya against a wall Jason Voorhees style.
2. Baraka impales a monk with one of his blades, dips him in fire and then throws the poor guy across a pit landing next to Kung Lao who proceeds to ask "Are you OK?" Good Stuff!

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Jump Jump Jump Jump Around

Posted : 16 years, 1 month ago on 17 June 2008 05:50 (A review of Jumper)

"You think you could go on living like this forever and no one would notice?" spoken straight from the mouth of the immortal Samuel L. "Mutha F**kin'" Jackson in the sci-fi movie "Jumper". "Jumper" has all the material that makes it the perfect date movie. You and your significant other can ask each other questions like "Where would you "Jump" baby? Would I be there with you?" and your sarcastic response might be "I would "Jump" where this movie isn't $8 a ticket!” Not to say that the movie wasn't worth my $8. Personally, I really liked this movie. Being bred under the sci-fi sign of the 80's makes me kind of bias still this movie is right up my alley. But the wannbe movie critic in me saw so many mishaps in this flick its unfortunate because I really want to recommend this flick to the masses. All who dislike unclear explanations of the "Jump" ability, (sequel "Jumper: Jump Jump Jump Around" feat. House of Pain might explain this) Hayden Christian’s acting, and the fact the Samuel doesn't get the only F**k in the movie. Stay away!

David S. Goyer penned the screen version of this 1992 novel (which is darker...need proof...two words...gang raping!) by the same name and I really like his style of writing, but it feels wrote for easy consumption. It's really not as violent as other screenplays in which he wrote considering the source material. I applaud trying to connect to the different demographics besides the hardcore sci-fi peeps who cos play as Storm Troopers. I don't think that he has lost his fans with this although. But come on this is the same guy who penned the awesomeness of "Blade". It may be possible that Wesley Snipes attributed to that awesomeness...just a little. Also being a sci-fi nerd at heart I cannot hold any thing against Hayden Christian’s acting due to the fact that Mr. George Lucas choose him to bring the balance in the force...so how could you?

To sum it up the story quickly David Rice (Hayden) is a troubled youth with a father with a drinking problem. After being semi-bullied in front of a girl (yes, it somewhat revolves around a crush) at school, he plummets down into an icy lake with nobody willing to help him. Damn, high school is such a mean place. While having a near death experiencing he "jumps" to his local library. Drenched in water he walks away hastily. At home David receives a tongue lashing for tracking water through the home and then decides to "jump" away from everything and everybody. Being 15 and needing cash he robs banks to get his funds and humorously leaves an I.O.U. at the scenes. Jump (sorry!) years later and he is living in a plush New York condo and life is all good...until the blond haired Roland (Samuel) shows up and tells David that he knows all about him. They have a scuffle consisting of Roland wielding some type of EMP device that permits David to "jump" and trade mean PG-13 words. David manages to escape and Roland is hot on his trail...

Overall I somewhat enjoyed "Jumper". I am anxious to see the how this movie would have turned out with a darker tone and better acting. Honestly don't expect to be blown away, but I walked away with some satisfaction. Hopefully some of Mr. Lay’s readers will walk away with some to.


Mr. Lay’s scene to watch: (Mini-Spoiler)
David chases fellow "Jumper" Griffin across the world using his "jump scar". Both seamlessly "jump" from Egypt, beaches, war zones, Tokyo, and other places. It's brief, but a nice alternate to chase sequences that we witness in other movies.

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Hit me over the head with this Brick!

Posted : 16 years, 1 month ago on 17 June 2008 05:47 (A review of Brick)

This is the ultimate detective movie. Clues, easy speaking, and a Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty-type twists and turns. Some may cringe at that comparison, but being that this is a movie and not a video game all the heavy dialogue is more than welcome. I don't have to put my controller down for 33 minutes and play for 5 minutes to the next cut scene. And yes you have to sit through that cut scene again if you die during those exclusive 5 minutes. This movie though requires your FULL ATTENTION! And I repeat FULL ATTENTION! One scene could spill mega information while you got up to answer the phone who turns out to be your buddy asking if he can use your Gianna Michaels' flick.

The story of "Brick" is so complex yet so simplistic at being complex that it is difficult for even Mr. Lays to begin to break down. (Well not really I am over exaggerating...sort of.) Just pay attention to it. It all starts with the dead body of Brendan’s girlfriend. And dammit he's going to check every nook and cranny to find out how she would up that way. Sticking to Murphy's Law all the searching Brendan does leads him to the seedy underbelly of high school. Where really old is considered 26, drama queens have almost literally lap dog freshmen, base heads are one of the most "reliable" sources of info, drug kingpins are nicknamed "The Pin" and where football jocks refer to themselves in the third person and have connections to hit men. I am trying hard not to spoil any of the stories. Hence therefore my lack of any real info on the story. Simply put: Brendan is looks for clues pertaining to his dead girlfriend.

Everything in this movie works. Again simply put go buy it. I cannot recommend it more than I already have. Although for all of you hard heads if you don't like "Brick" Mr. Lays will personally come to your house, bring his own blanket and popcorn, wearing my busted wife beater, socks and deer pajama pants, then sit down with you on your couch and watch "Brick" with you. While viewing it I will breakout my blackboard and discuss all the details with you. MmmmmmmmK'

This movie has replaced "Howard the Duck" as one of my top 5 movies of all time!

Lata, you better enjoy this f**kin' flick!!! Or I will hunt your ass down like Charles S. Dutton did Ice-T in "Surviving the Game"!!!

Mr. Lays Scenes to Watch: Any of the fights in this movie have a degree of honestly and brutalization to it. They also may cause you to chuckle mainly b/c the fights that start with sneak attacks.

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Who wants to get shanked Next!!

Posted : 16 years, 1 month ago on 17 June 2008 05:42 (A review of Assassin's Creed)

Hi kids the word of the day is “R-E-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N!” That’s right repetition limits this game from being great…dare I say almost perfect. “Assassin’s Creed” was one of the most hyped games in existence. Using 32 billion in French currency and the uber sexy Jade Raymond they have captured the attention of girlfriend starved gamers all over the world. The game was almost immortalized and never even made it to retail yet. Hell the antagonist was even hanging at the club taking shots with some of videogaming’s elite like Master Chief (He doesn’t drink. Why? Because little known fact he is a Master Chief is a devout Buddhist. He only uses anger to “Finish the Fight.”), Kratos (this may come as a surprise…he is the angry drunk type) and Mario (the cool fun drunk type. He will even pay for a whole round with golden stars…and yes you know he definitely has the “shrooms”).
How did “Assassin’s Creed” get this much attention? Easy! This is an awesome premise, the setting is rarely used in gaming, the sandbox gaming (if done correctly will seem to never go away), and assassins are always interesting characters. (Bruce Willis’ fans raise your hands!) If you look closely at the back of the box of “Assassin’s Creed” on the back there is a quote taken from IGN.com saying “This is the first true Next-Gen experience.”(I may be slightly misquoting.) Now is that a bold statement or just the truth? Well I’ll let Mr. Lays’ loyal readers are smart enough to decide if they want to play it or not. But you all know what happens when Mr. Bigglesworth gets angry? Personally, this game does up the ante for everything in its genre. It doesn’t necessary revolutionize, but it’s definitely is a must play…in my opinion anyway.
Alright I’m going to break it down like a fraction with the Mr. Lays’ 4G’s (copyrighted 10,000B.C.-10,000A.D. Flugence Enterprises):
1. Game play: The face buttons control right hand, left hand, and basic controls. Pressing the left trigger switches the initial face buttons displaying new options. The sword fights are my favorite. It requires a lot of patience. Parrying is your new god. This is not a fighting style catered to the overly aggressive.
2. Graphics: This is so much Eye Candy that will give your eyes cavities.
3. Gore: There are some really nice spatters of blood across the screen. And the assassinations that you do are nice a quick just like a real 3rd century assassination should be. You should see them in person!
4. God-like Feeling: The ability to take almost any life in a mere 2 seconds then casually walk away has a feeling like no other game. It hinders when some of the mayhem that has been caused by your assassinations can be easily avoided by hiding in a pile of hay. What!? Hay!? Maybe in a PSone game, but come on this is 2007-08 a f**kin’ pile of hay is going to save you from guards. Especially after you have just “brought down the reign of God” on their leader.
The biggest flaw of “Assassin’s Creed” is the repetition. After about the fourth major assassination (total of 9) the game has shown you all it has. It turns out to be pretty much a one trick pony. But I really do like this one trick pony and refuse to put it down. Old Yeller style. The engine that Ubisoft has created for this game is nothing short of amazing. I can only imagine the Next Gen Prince of Persia running off of this thing. *Drools* Sorry fans I may have left out some details, but I am sure that every somewhat up-to-date gamer has read a review about this game. Overall play this almost year old game because Mr. Lays recommends it. Nuff’ said!!

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Thrash Metal Still Lives...sorta...A7x's 4th Album

Posted : 16 years, 2 months ago on 1 May 2008 04:37 (A review of Avenged Sevenfold)

I was introduced to A7x kinda late. Really when the mega hit "Bat Country" was released. Damn did I not hear that song everywhere. Our local radio station had it on Repeat, it played at the dentist office, it played at McDonald's, hell I even heard it once at a Bar Mitzvah.

After illegally downloading "City of Evil" :( please RIAA don't hunt me down Gary Busey and Charles S. Dutton style like in the 1994 cheesy action flick "Surviving the Game") "I realized that I should have purchased it legally or at minimum some bootlegger should have gotten at least $5 off of me for such an excellent album.

So I decided to purchase A7x 's "A7x" legally :) and honestly at first I was a very disappointed. Only three tracks stood out with "Scream" being the best of them. But maybe because of my actually purchasing this album I really wanted this one to be good so I listened to it for a few days straight. Yes, that's right Mr. Lays even stopped jamming "REO SpeedWagon The Hits" by REO SpeedWagon and "Ain't Going Out Like That" by Young MC.

M.Shadows singing in my opinion never really was the high point of the band, but it does what it supposed to do. The Rev really amps up the double bass drumming and godsmacking speed.(It really stands out on "Almost Easy") And of course Zacky Vengence w/S.Gates have do awesome work together. Even Johnny Christ's bass really standouts on one of the album's best song "Scream".Which usually is next to impossible to hear unless he is the only one playing. But when the plan comes together is the morbid story track "A Little Piece of Heaven". The chorus is excellent and The Rev almost steals the show vocally from M.Shadows. I am not going to spoil the story, but that song is definitively showcases the band's growth in storytelling and epic full orchestra type songs.

In conclusion f**king buy this album if you enjoyed "City of Evil" as much as I did. Do Not buy if you were hoping for another "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" album.

Mr. Lays Best Damn Tracks(Copyright):"Scream" "Critically Acclaimed" and "A Little Piece of Heaven"

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