Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

Not that you would look for a game like this to have a good story, but it kind of did. Well, at least a coherent story that gave a sufficient reason for everyone to be fighting each other. The story was kind of like how in a porno people who meet have sex for the flimsiest of reasons, except of course in this game they chose to beat the crap out of each other instead.

It is a strong Mortal Kombat game, and the introduction of DC Universe characters is done very well, with all the characters well balanced. The story even has a reason for how someone like The Joker is evenly matched against Superman. Not that it really matters – the fighting is hella fun with the usual crazy move sets, and the “Fatalities” (or in the case of the superheroes “Heroic Brutalities”, because of course superheroes never kill…)

The graphics are excellent, the movement is fluent and it is a great evolution for Mortal Kombat. Four stars.

Condemned: Criminal Origins

Some games do not age well. Condemned was made back in 2005, a launch game for the Xbox 360 and it looks every day of its age. It looks like it was originally made for the original Xbox and the developers simply up-res’ed some of the textures.

It has “innovative” gameplay involving mostly melee combat in a first person perspective, but I think the fact that few games have since tried doing this shows how successful that was.

It might have been good back in its day (and reviews I’d read were positive), but it just looks bad now.

Two stars.

inFamous

This was the first non-GTA game of the sandbox variety that I’ve actually enjoyed. The twist in this game is that you play as a guy with super powers, namely the ability to manipulate electricity – so plenty of hijinx ensue.

This game was more like Crackdown than GTA for me, with less real open world freedom and more constant mayhem. However unlike Crackdown, the controls are tight, the mayhem is fun, and it has a story that provides sufficient context to everything you do. Also importantly, the side missions are diverse enough to keep you interested and not bored with repetition.

The game has a very overt morality system, it literally stops you mid game and sets you up with a dilemma where you can chose between one of two actions at a certain point – very good or very bad, and this ultimately affects how your characters powers developed. You’re not penalised one way or the other, it simply plays differently, which was a good touch although a bit simplistic in its execution. I always find myself playing “good”, for some reason I feel guilty deliberately being a dick.

All in all a good fun game. Four stars.

Edge of Darkness

A man loses his daughter and seeks bloody revenge on those who did it. This movie sounds a lot like “Taken” from last year, except for one key difference. Taken was awesome, Edge of Darkness is ordinary.

The movie plods along at a slow pace as Mel Gibson’s character slowly unravels the conspiracy behind the brutal slaying of his daughter that takes place right in front of him.

By the time the pieces have been put together, you don’t really care, you picked up enough of the gist of it, and you realise anyway that Mel isn’t interested in uncovering the truth, he’s just trying to figure out who to point the gun at before shooting. As far as that part is concerned, you figure that out with a good half hour to go, the finer details of the conspiracy are really irrelevant.

Where Taken was smart and slick, Edge of Darkness is bland and slow. It’s not altogether a bad film, it’s just ordinary. The most significant thing I took away from the movie was how short Mel actually is – that guy is a midget.

Three stars.

Up in the Air

Maybe it’s because of my new life situation; unemployed and single – that this movie struck a chord with me.

I have never had a job that has really involved a lot of travel, but I can confess to having a bit of a romanticised impression of airports, hotel rooms and airline travel.

George Clooney plays a man who spends over 300 days a year flying around the country doing his job, which is to fire people.

His character is effectively a soul less person with little interest in making a connection with other human beings. That didn’t make his character unlikeable, on the contrary it seemed quite intriguing.

The movie tries to tell you that no matter what, having other people in your life is the most important thing. It’s more important than money, or a job, it’s the thing that will sustain you at the end of the day.

Whatever, shut up Reitman.

It was an okay though, a mildy amusing movie. Three stars.