Monday, November 4, 2013

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Review

I recently picked up The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Wii U bundle and I have to say that I’m impressed with both the system and the game.
This review will focus mainly on The Wind Waker HD but towards the end I will also give my thoughts on the bundle.
It’s no secret that Nintendo’s new console has had some trouble finding its way. Yet, with the release of The Wind Waker HD I believe that Nintendo will see a lot of their fans come out and support the game, and they should because it’s great.
I played The Wind Waker 10 years ago on the Nintendo GameCube and it quickly became one of my favorite Zelda titles. Now, picking it up again in HD was a real treat.
This game takes place 100 years after The Ocarina of Time (Another Zelda title). Hyrule has suffered from a great flood, leaving most of the kingdom underwater. Link originally sets out to rescue his sister, which he does, but is ultimately pulled into journey that has him saving Princess Zelda and stopping Ganondorf (the main antagonist of the series).
The Wind Waker got a lot of negative feedback about the way it looked. After the more realistic approach during Nintendo 64 days, fans wanted Nintendo to continue making real looking Zelda games. What we received was the total opposite; we received a cartoon looking world.
The world is now in HD and it looks great. My one complaint is that some of the lighting gets a little too bright in areas.
The look of The Wind Waker never bothered me, because once you started playing, this was the same old Zelda. Yes, the adventure was a lot less challenging but the world it was set in made up for that. The Wind Waker is huge and there are no loading times, it all goes together smoothly.
Now, playing through the game once again I realized it feels much shorter than other Zelda games. It might just be me, but I feel like this one lacked a good amount of dungeons. Yet, the dungeons that are in the game still hold up and it was great to relive them all.
Before I end this review I want to bring up one more thing. I hear a lot of reviewers complaining about the sailing in the game, that it’s too slow. The sailing is fine, it does take time, at first, to get to point A and to point B, but that all ends when you learn how to quick travel across the map. So, if you’re going to give this game a lesser score because of the sailing, consider the quick travel and the ability to obtain a faster sail through a side quest.
The only reason this game isn’t getting a perfect 10 from me is that I feel it needed more dungeons during its main story that might just be me though.

9 out of 10

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD bundle

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Wii U bundle a download code to download The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD from the Nintendo eshop; the new Wii U gamepad that has a 6.2 inch, 16:9 aspect ratio LCD touch screen that is decorated in a Zelda theme; and a digitial copy of the book Hyrule Historia.
I would have loved it if an actual copy of the game was actually bundled with the system, I still like having a physical game, but besides from that this is a great bundle at a great price.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 31

Halloween (1978) vs. Halloween (2007)
In this 1978 classic we are taken into the world of Michael Myers and introduced to one of the best independent movies ever made – John Carpenter’s Halloween.
As a young boy, Michael Myers stabbed his seventeen year old sister to death. After this event, he is locked away for years in the Smith’s Grove: Warren County Sanitarium. He is put under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis, who had worked with Michael for years, before deciding that Myers needs to be tried as an adult and locked up forever.
The night they planned to escort Myers, he manages to escape, steal a car and return home to Haddonfield, Ill., just in time for Halloween.
We are then introduced to Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, in her first role) who has plans to stay in on Halloween night and watch one of the neighbors kid. Little does she know that Michael is coming home and is planning a killing spree.
The movie becomes a cat and mouse game between Strode and Myers, which would become the staple formula for slasher movies to come.
With out giving too much away, I want to say my favorite scene in this movie involves Strode, Myers, a closet and a wire hanger. If you seen the movie you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat.
This movie is the standard in which all modern horror films are measured. Halloween deserves all the praise it can get, it’s because of this movie we have films such as Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Without this important film, I doubt slasher movies would have ever been proven to be a successful market.
In this film Rob Zombie brings us back to the way beginning and tells us the reasons Michael kills. This is the first misstep, because what made Michael scary in the original movie was the idea that this killer had no motive.
Now, Zombie gives him a motive and the reason he is driven to kill is because he comes from a broken home and he’s being picked on by bullies at school. Come on Mr. Zombie, I appreciate you trying to do something different with Michael, but bullies? Michael Myers became a killer because of bullies? What kind of crap is that?
SO, these bullies push and push Michael until he goes and kills the main bully. After this he brings his murderous rage home and when his mother is at work (oh, yeah his mother is a stripper) he kills his sister, his sister’s boyfriend and his mother’s boyfriend. He spares his baby sister, Laurie, and sits with her on the sidewalk and waits for his mother to get home.
Michael is then sent to Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium and is put under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis, a child-psychiatrist. This is the films only good thing, the performance Malcolm McDowell gives is great and it’s a shame he didn’t have a better script to work with.
Eventually Michael escapes the Sanitarium and finds his way back to Haddonfield, Illinois, to find his sister, Laurie, who was adopted by another family, after Michael’s mother killed herself. This is where the movie becomes a remake of the original, but never reaches the heights the original did.
The biggest thing that brings this movie down is the characters and dialogue. The movie does show signs of trying to be a character driven film, but that becomes a problem if you don’t know how to write characters.
It seems that Zombie has a problem writing dialogue, because everything that comes out of characters mouths is about sex. Now, since the dialogue is bad these characters never were able to take off and evolve as the movie went on. They are stuck being two dimensional and when the movie begins to pour on one horror cliché after another, the characters become boring and dull.
This includes Michael. Michael does what Michael does best and kills everyone who gets in his way, but it’s not scary, it’s tiresome. Since all the characters are boring and never feel like real people, we never really care when they are killed off. Also, Michael does do a lot of pointless kills, which just make you say “Why?”
What I will say about the remake is that I appreciate how Zombie tried something different and new with the franchise, but seeing Myers’ childhood and back-story made the character less scary for me. The less I know about a psychotic killer the better.
So, which is better?
Is there even a question? The original Halloween is a classic and the remake is just not. This is really an unfair contest because the original Halloween succeeds on dialogue, atmosphere, performances, and story.
Original Wins

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 30

Black Christmas (1974) vs. Black Christmas (2006)
One of the original slasher movies, predating Halloween by four years
The film tells the story of a psychopath hiding out in the attic of a sorority house who targets a group of sisters who are staying behind over Christmas break.
Here we have a fantastic slasher movie. It has suspense and scares with no real graphic gore, which leaves a lot of things to the imagination, the way it should be done!
The only problem I do have with Black Christmas is that some characters lack any sort of life. Yet, that isn't enough for the movie to be ignored by anyone.
Well ... this one does deliver gore and that's about it.
The story is about the same, but doesn't have the atmosphere, humor or visuals of the original. I don't think it's fair to call this a movie, it's like a work in progress.
So, which is better?
The original.
Original Wins.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 29

Manhunter (1986) vs. Red Dragon (2002)
Based off the Thomas Harris novel, Red Dragon, Manhunter introduced the world to the serial killer Hannibal Lecter.
Michael Mann took the director’s seat for this one and he turned out a very solid film.
This film is grim, creepy, stylish and gripping. It takes the source material and does justice with it.
Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as Hannibal Lecter and he turns in another solid performance, but this movie isn’t as good as the original.
The movie plays it too safe in some areas and doesn't allow itself to ever really escape the shadow of the far superior original.
It does have strong performances and some creepy scenes. Yet, when I watch it, I get the feeling that it just wasn't needed.
So, which is better?
I like Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal better but the original is better.

Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 28

The Blob (1958) Vs. The Blob (1988)
Steve McQueen in his first starring role in the 1958 B-movie horror film.
In the movie a huge meteor crashes to earth and unleashes a pink substance that will become known as the "blob". It starts to suck the life out humans and is grows to an enormous size.
I can't hate this movie. The script is above average and it's perfect 1950s camp.
The biggest problem the movie has is that it's not scary. The scares are replaced with camp, but if you have never seen it you should pick it up.
Due to the success of "The Fly", "The Blob" was remade into a enjoyable film.
This one is cheesy and scary, hitting a lot of marks and getting the tone just right.
So, which is better?
I would say that this would be my first tie, but I don't want to do that. I'm going to have to give this one to the original for the fact that it started it all. Both films are worth seeing.
Original Wins.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 27

April Fool’s Day (1986) vs. April Fool’s Day (2008)
College student Buffy (Deborah Foreman) has her birthday land of April Fools Day. For her birthday she invites a group of friends from over to her family's island getaway to spend the weekend partying.
They’re soon met with some practical-joke and bloodshed. As the movie continues, the guests begin to go missing, but what’s going on and who is to blame?
I actually like April Fool’s Day, I know there is a lot of people that don’t, but it has a certain amount of charm to it. Yes, it is cheesy and there is a lot better horror movies out there. Yet, I found the script to have a lot of interesting twists and turns.
They actually did remake this but I don’t think it got a theatrical release.
The story is slightly different and not very good. It’s boring, and sad attempt on a slasher film.
All the fun that was in the original is gone and we’re left with a movie that shouldn’t even be called a movie. It’s so bad that it is actually a chore to get through.
So, which is better?
The original is so much better. Original Wins.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days of Horror 4: Originals vs. Remakes DAY 26

13 Ghosts (1960) vs. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Gimmicky and not very good, t he original 13 Ghosts will leave you feeling underwhelmed. The story tells of a deceased occult scientist, Dr. Zorba, who leaves his mansion to his nephew and family. Yet, they aren’t the only ones in the house. Zorba has also been keeping ghosts in the mansion and they can only be detected a special pair of ghost-viewing goggles.
Is it good? Well … not really. They spend a lot of their time perfecting effects, which are cheesy, and then forget to develop the characters.
Where are the scares? Yes, I understand the movie has gore, but gore isn’t scary, it’s gory.
The other big problem this film has is the feeling of emptiness. There isn’t anything in the movie that is kept me interested or connected to the world. The story is similar to the original, but the execution once again fails and we end up with an over the top remake.
So, which is better?
They are both pretty bad. Yet, I have to pick one and I would go with the original. Original Wins.