Now theres a combo.
We’ll take these one at a time since they each deserve equal bantering.
Saturday night Lauren and I hung out with Ashley and went to see Fever Pitch, the new movie about a guy who loves the RedSox. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The story was mediocre and I really dislike Drew Barrymore as an actress, but the subject matter was there and it was good to feel a little Boston pride. The reviews are split right down the middle. Most are calling it a mildly interesting movie about baseball and fanaticism and the rest are calling it the date movie of the year. I thought it was probably about a 70%. Like I said, the subject matter is there, Jimmy Fallon doesn’t completely suck and there are quite a few moment where I laughed out loud. The rest was your average date movie. I can’t see it doing well at the box office though. It’s a movie about Boston, Boston Fans and the RedSox. People actually IN Boston will think it’s cheesy and people outside of Boston won’t get it. It was pretty much made for people like me, a fan, who wasn’t actually in Boston when they won. It brings that feel good hometown thing to the big screen for everybody that didn’t get to experience it first hand. Unfortunately for the box office numbers, that not a lot of people. We were 3 of about 30 people in the theater… and the movie just opened on Friday. Not a bad flick. Folks like me and Nagle should drag their girls to it so they can begin to understand about RedSox fans… everybody else can wait for DVD.
Taxes. Why me? After doing our taxes last night with the help of Turbo Tax, it appears that we owe the government $850. Wonderful. Just wonderful. It seems that Lauren and I both put “Married 2” on our W4’s, which means the government takes less each paycheck but you get less back, if anything, at the end of the year. Well, the places Lauren worked for last year took that to an extreme and took out next to nothing. Out of $5000 she made at one place, they only took out $120. That’s just not right. Although, maybe it is. Our W2s match our pay stubs, so, it could be right. If it is, we’re really getting the short of end the stick this year. It also doesn’t help that we’re into the next tax bracket by about $1000. Huzah. So, instead of a few hundred back, we’ve got to shell out $850 in the next few days. Isn’t that just awesome. I’m so happy the government is working for us and doing so many wonderful things, aren’t you?
Ok, we’ll end this on an up note of sorts. Video Games. I’ve got 3 to drop on you and only one of them was playable. That’s right. One. Last week I took a look at Prince of Persia 2, Star Wars Battlefront and Acts of War.
Prince of Persia 2 wasn’t even remotely playable. It didn’t pass my 15 minute test, mostly due to technical issues. When I loaded it up, the Bink movies that are the intro kept crashing the game. I wrote to UbiSoft tech support about it and got the canned “update your video drivers” answer. Well, considering Brothers in Arms as well as BF (something I play everyday) use Bink movies, I hardly think video card drivers are the issue. So, I found a save game and loaded past the intro movies to actual game play. It was canned, repetitive and completely uninteresting. They seriously toned down the one thing that made PoP good, the jumping/puzzle solving. Instead they focused on a combat system, which while interesting could be found in every run of the mill fighting game. Nothing innovative about being able to make a hit combo, sorry guys. Final Grade: D+ / C- (if you can get it to work).
Acts of War was at least playable. The concept was different: a RTS based (loosely) on current world events. I think the real problem here is that whoever was developing this had never made a RTS before. Reinventing the wheel didn’t really work out of them. Also, they really stripped down the standard RTS model and tried to replace it with “nifty” things. Resource gathering doesn’t really exist, neither does building anything more than troops. It’s a lot like C&C. You have a base, the base creates an army, you go blow stuff up. End of story. It also doesn’t help that the story itself is super weak. US soldiers protecting Paris during a UN converence? Come on. There are so many better RTS games out there, this one just isn’t worth the time. Passed the 15 minute test, but only for about a half-hour. Final Grade: C+
StarWars Battlefront was both playable and enjoyable. It’s actually fun AND interesting AND capable of being played for more than 15 minutes without wanting to rip out your eyes. The premise is simple: a FPS based on the StarWars universe and played in a Battlefield model. You have conquest spawn points that need capturing, you can hop in vehicles, be different classes and recreate any of the major battles from any of the 6 movies. The geek level from being able to grab a Tom-Tom on Hoth and go after Imperial walkers is unreal. The game also looks nice graphically. The interface is easy, it’s got some pretty decent bots if you’re playing Single player (campaign or instant battle) and of course the real meat is the multiplayer. Servers are a little sparse but once you find a couple that are actually populated the game becomes very enjoyable. I’ll stick with Battlefield but it I ever need a StarWars fix, this will do the trick. My only real complaint is some of the mechanics and weapon issues, but if the game were to get any sort of a following, those would be things that could be fixable in patches. Final Grade: B+/A-