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Game Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops

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I knew I had to pick this game up as soon as I heard about it but unfortunately, I just played and finished it recently.

Knowing that this game was not made by Infinity Ward, it made me a bit curious as how it will look and play. More so when the trailer videos went public online and judging from the videos, it wasn’t as “black-ops” as I’d hope. Everything in the video was exploding and a bit of fast-paced. I thought the idea of black-ops was going in silent and undetected and going out the same way. Still it was exciting seeing it all.

After getting the game and finishing it in a few hours, I could say that they’re in par with how long COD: MW2 was.

The Plot:

~ well, the plot seemed more or less like the PS2 FPS, “BLACK” which first came out in 2006. If you’re not familiar with that game, the player is placed in the shoes of a black-ops soldier being interrogated about his missions. As the soldier relays his story/mission, the player is transported to the story/mission itself, thus reliving it.

That’s how COD: Black Ops is. With a few twists and turns of course.

You’re put in the shoes of a black-ops agent, strapped onto a chair and seemingly drugged, and then interrogators ask you about your missions and the story goes on from there. The timeline is set during the 60’s. the time where Kennedy was president and Russia was still having its qualms with the US.

The story gets a bit boring and predictable by the time it reaches the end. But it does have its moments.

The Gameplay:

~ if you’ve played any COD game, the controls will be similar. Treyarch, who did the first slew of COD games made this one and they didn’t really deviate from the recent COD game.

The controls are fairly easy to master as they’re basically the same. You also get to pick which kind of difficulty to play in and you can adjust it mid-game. I played it on normal and I had a hard time, granted that I’m not much of an FPS gamer.

This game surprised me when it allowed me control of a few vehicles, from a 4wd jeep to a boat to a Hind. It was a bit of something new for me. I did have a hard time adjusting to the controls but it was hella sweet having a ‘Copter dog fight.

Aside from the vehicles, the weapons were also cool. I absolutely loved using the crossbow and G11, unfortunately it only shows up in a few missions. There were a slew of new things to decimate your enemies. From handheld grenade launchers to flame throwers and even ballistic knives.

The missions are always fast-paced. being in the Kennedy era, you would expect to be dropped into ‘Nam, which you do. The enemy AI are a bit tough, even on normal [or that’s just prolly me LOL]. At times though, there’s so much happening that you tend to forget where you’re supposed to go or what you’re supposed to do. Granted you’re allowed to free roam a bit while the AI tells or shouts you to “go here!” or “do this!”, as long as you’re not getting shot up the butt.

The Sound:

~ the sound effects and background music was exceptional. they captured the sound and music of that era especially during the missions in ‘Nam. Everything sounded as they should be and everything made sounds like they should have.

They also had a surprisng pool of voice talent in the game. i was surprised to see who voiced who only after playing the game. Three words: Gary Fucking Oldman.


~ its a great game plus with the DLC and *extra features*, it makes it a sure buy for COD fans and FPS gamers alike. It’s fast-paced action with an ok storyline built around it plus it has GARY FUCKING OLDMAN. Well they did have him also during COD: World at War but…..I..really haven’t played that one yet LOL.

It does have a few kinks here and there but it’s still worth  a shot.


Written by The AlanSong

December 11, 2010 at 3:08 am

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Movie Review: Xmen: Origins: Wolverine..

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Ok, everybody knows Marvel’s famous mutant. And now that he has his own movie, everyone will get to know about him more.

I’ve been aching to watch this ever since seeing the trailers and news, especially with a complete Team X line-up along with other famous mutants.

If you’ve been following the Wolverine:Origins comics, you would know that they deviated a bit from that…among other things. It is great that they stuck to a few things that old fans can relate too though.

*since more or less, people have watched this already..i’m gonna have some SPOILERS here*

here’s a few things I would want to point out though:

~ I liked how they *tried* to incorporate Ryan Reynolds’ funny side into Deadpool. But lacking screen time, it sort of failed. Still, the character made so much impact that it will be starring on his own spin-off movie..

~ On the Deadpool note, I didn’t like what they did to him after. I mean, he didn’t have retractable blade-like katanas sprouting from his knuckles or even optic blasts. I know they put it in for the sake of the movie, but come on…anyhoo, I liked the “I smack joo then teleport away then smack joo again” part. I f they only could’ve incorporated Deadpools’ snide remarks during the battle, it might’ve been more fun.

~ They took Emma Frost’s last name literally. I know it’s not 100% sure that the “Emma” that had “diamond-skin”[?] like powers was THE Emma Frost but there is talk about it.

~ Gambit was ok, i mean I didn’t think he could do that with his staff but overall, he was ok. They dropped his “frenchiness” and adopted his “cajun” side though. I still would’ve wanted a suave french talking Gambit.

~ Agent Zero, DO NOT WANT! Why would they make him a bad guy? D: And besides, David North/Christoph Nord/Maverick used the “Agent Zero” moniker during the last days of his “Mutancy”. His power was absoprtion and release, absorbing any kind of energy then releasing it into powerful blasts. Granted he was a skilled hit man but why?!

~ The Hudsons were different too…and felt slightly out of place in the movie.

~ Blob in Team X? Very Unlikely..and why him anyways?

~ Why would they have Cyclops in this film? Why?!


Moving on, they mostly covered the bases on Wolvie’s who, why, what, when, where and how which is always a good thing because it makes other people who don’t know the character in the dark and clueless as to what’s happening.

As expected, it’s chock-full of non-stop action and special effects which made for some few “Whoa…” moments from me. 

It was still a great watch and there are talks about a sequel too. Hopefully, it’ll stick more to the canon story than the “hollywood” scripted one.

Written by The AlanSong

May 30, 2009 at 11:32 am

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Game Review: Phantasy Star Portable..

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~ You are a fresh meat er..graduate for the Mobile Defense Force and having been trained under the most “volatile” trainers, alot is expected from you. As luck would have it, your first routine mission for the MDF turns out to be your first adventure that will span the galaxy [in truth, 3 planets and a space station LOL]. 


~ Seeing that this is my First Phantasy Star game I played, I found it quite entertaining at some parts. It kinda dragged on a bit but it got me hooked.

Anyway, more or less, it plays like FFVII:CC but with teammates. You go around doing the main missions then for breathers, there are also a ton of side missions you can level-up in, gain money and collect items at.

I like how you fully customize your character’s appearance, from their hair [unless you picked the CAST race] to their shoes. And with four races available, the balanced Humans, the agile elf-like Neumans,the force user CASTs [robot people] and the brutish Beasts, gameplay will be diverse at best. Also, you will be able to pick your own partner [or partner machine as they call it] to help you out in missions just in case you don’t want any teammates hanging about.

Now, about your teammates, well I really didn’t like how they did the AI for them. You can have at least 4 people join up on you on missions accessing them to join up via “Partner Cards”. Most of them are already high level and no, you can’t customized them. You’ll get half the XP when they kill a monster and no, you can’t control their AI which is the irritating part. They mostly stick around you but when you’re already kicking butt, they just stand idly till the enemy smacks them upside their heads. Seriously, I get pissed off everytime I get mobbed and the others are just standing by.

Anyhoo, moving on…Sound and Graphics are ok at best although some of the voice-acting gets irritatingly annoying. The learning curve isn’t that high, in the end you’ll feel that this game is a button-masher.

Targeting is also my biggest peeve in this game. with a free-roam battle environment and tons of enemies coming at you, you need at least a stable targeting system. But they didn’t have that, they do have a target “lock” when you press the “L” button and a target is “locked” however, it’s just identifying a target and when you attack it, you have to re-target it again. Which is a pain in the ass when mobs are coming at you.

The missions are done always on the same map and you’ll be doing each mission 4 times, each time with a different degree level which can either be good or just too boring at some points. The storyline missions are different and you are required to only have the correct partner/s to be able to start the mission.

You are given a barrage of weapons and cute little floating er…”floaties”[?] which can be able to cast Force spells. The weapons can be also “linked” with a “photon art”/skill which then in turn, consumes PP points/skill points. Weapons are also upgradable [to level 10 which is MAX] via the Upgrade Grinders monsters drop [rare] or the Upgrade Grinders given when you end a mission. Force spells are basically Magic spells and they level up [to level 20 which is MAX] over time when you use them regularly.


~ All in all, it’s still a great game which even though it’s kinda dragging for me…I still come back and play it over and over. If you’re a fan, it’s a must and if you’re new, just try it out. It’ll tide you over till a new game comes around. 😀

Written by The AlanSong

April 21, 2009 at 11:02 am

Spring Anime 2009: My thoughts..*may contain spoilers*

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With a few good animes ending [Gundam 00 S2, Soul Eater, Toradora! to name a few..], it’s now time to look at what’s new and what’s next.

Although, I never really knew what to expect except for the new Full Metal Alchemist anime. After browsing and trying out the new ones, I’ve found quite a number of titles i’m likely going to follow. I didn’t really watch all the new ones but here’s my thoughts one the ones I did watch.



~ “A girl, with a boomerang? Hmm, interesting…” were my thoughts as I came across this one. 

Set in a Post-Apocalyptic Tokyo, people are trying to lessen their “carbon emissions”. It may be because of a particular event prior to the anime’s setting. The girl with the boomerang is Kuniko who is slated to be the next “leader” for their town/group. And she is well-known by everyone in their place, and I do mean EVERYONE. But she doesn’t really like playing the part of Leader and gets bored easily. She has one constant guardian in Momoko, who produces or will prolly produce more humour in the series.

All in all, it’s seems like a watch for me on this one. ;]

True Mazinger


~ I admit, I am a big fan of Mecha Anime but unfortunately, Mazinger Z didn’t really grow on me. I loved the OVA’s though but the main series, well, i didn’t really get caught in it. 

It seems that this new Mazinger anime will be a remake of sorts which is good news for new fans who hasn’t seen the old series. 

I didn’t really know what was going on as I watched this. It was more of a *clusterfuck* of scenes I couldn’t relate to. Alot of stuff was happening that I couldn’t keep track of anything, was this the same thing during the old shows?

But, they did nice to get the old school look and animation to give it a classic feel. I’m still pretty much on the wall on this one. Hopefully, the next episode will clear things.

Eden of the East


~ This anime got me with its plot during its trailer. A naked man with a gun and cellphone with credits. He recalls nothing. That usual is the plot for a movie but an anime?

This may be one of the sleeper anime hits this spring, I can feel it. It seems that it has everything, action, romance, espionage. The naked man even referrenced himself as “Jason Bourne”. LOL

Oh, did I tell you that it’s opening theme is a song by OASIS? Yes, you heard me right. 😀

…and I am still wondering why that man gave our guy his pants.


Verdict? Will definitely follow and watch this one.

Sengoku Basara


~ Ok, now this one I watched immediately after I saw the picture. LOL

I think this series is based on the game, I’m not sure since I haven’t played the game yet but it’s chockful of Samurai/katana action. It’s almost Dynasty Warrior-ish but with somewhat mixture of elemental powers. It also has a good mixture of action and comedy as well as [maybe?] fan service. 😀

Will definitely follow this one and maybe try the game as well.

Queen’s Blade


~ er…this anime was…just full of er..


…will be following >:D.

Asura Cryin’


~ I was curious about this one, especially seeing the black mecha in the background.

It seems like a battle mecha anime thing where people summon beings to battle each other. But that’s from another persons opinion. It’s kinda likeable though with a lil bit of fanservice, that seems to make this anime mostly a “harem-type” of story..

I’m still on the fence on this one.

Dragon Ball KAI


~ At first I couldn’t believe it but when i saw the teaser images, I was like “whoa…”.

Although, this is not a new anime. It’s the old DBZ episodes somewhat redone and now, they’re sticking close to the manga…at least that’s what they’ve said. Hopefully, fights will be over in a span of 1-3 episodes and not drag on to 15+ like before.

Definitely following this one.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood 


~ I was really waiting for this one as i’ve heard that they’ll be continuing where S1 left off.

But to my surprise, it didn’t. Rather they started again from the beginning and like DB:Kai above, they’re going to stick much closer to the manga this time. Which is good and which can mean that there will be episodes of the continuation for the first anime.

The comedy/running gags are still here as well as the adventure and it seems that the art direction for this one is new and its seems ok.

..and yes, i’ll be defnitely following this too. 😀

~ So, more or less that’s my Spring 2009 watch list. It isn’t much but i’m open to watch more, so any suggestions would be great.

Music Review: Pictures of You – A Tribute to The Cure..

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Album Cover


I’m very much thankful that both my Dad and his brother [hence, my Uncle] had a very large background [and collection!] of music. And that, at a very young age, I was able to listen to such diverse and different sounds. But I was THAT much young to understand the meaning of the songs, heck I couldn’t even read well nevertheless my ears were functioning right and they were hearing beautiful music.

One band that I really liked was The Cure, albeit it was not until I reached Highschool in ’97 that I was fully immersed into Music and that I was able to read up on, understood and even sang songs from this band. 

I was surprised that they launched this album last February and I didn’t get wind about it. Anyhoo, the tracklist is:

1.] An Introduction by Robert Smith
2.] Mystery Jets and Esser – In Between Days*
3.] Lostprophets – Boys Don’t Cry*
4.] Marmaduke Duke – Friday I’m In Love
5.] Dinosaur Jnr – Just Like Heaven
6.] The Big Pink – Lovesong
7.] Editors – Lullaby
8.] British Sea Power – A Forest
9.] The Dandy Warhols – Primary
10.] The Get Up Kids – Close To Me*
11.] The Futureheads – The Lovecats*
12.] Art Brut – Catch
13.] Metronomy – Fascination Street
14.] Alkaline Trio – Cut Here*
15.] Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly – In Between Days*

I generally like covers. Erm..the good ones, like the All American Rejects’ Cover Version of “Womanizer”. I love how artists reinvent or even breath new life to old songs albeit there are other cover songs that just plainly is bad, REALLY bad.

Anyhoo, this album of covers seem to be just right. 

It starts of with a spoken intro by Robert Smith who talks about how The Cure started, how they covered songs and the how, when and why to cover a song. It’s a good almost 3minute talk.

Then the songs, it’s not that full of known artists but that doesn’t matter. Some of the cover songs tried as much not to deviate from the sound of The Cure while some went way out there, some even sound like a remix. 

The songs in the tracklist above that has asterisks are my picks for this album. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the other ones, it’s just that I like these songs better. I’m glad to see Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. on this compilation as i’ve been a fan since I first heard the album last, last year. Also, I am surprised how well the LostProphets did their cover, as it sounded  unlike them.

If there was any negative thing to say about this album is that the songs are too few. There have been other cover compilations and tributes to The Cure that came out with two CD’s.

And with that, even though it’ll be another cover album/tribute, it’s still a nice addition to your Cure and/or Music library.

Written by The AlanSong

March 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm

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Music Review: WATCHMEN OST..

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WATCHMEN Music from and inspired by the Movie OST Cover

After watching the film and reading the songs during the end [as well as listening to them during the film], I knew I had to get my hands on the OST.

And they have two, one’s the Musical Score which is basically the background orchestraic music and the other one’s this one. An OST of Music that was in the Movie. I didn’t get the Musical Score Album yet [lack of funds D:] but I will get it soon. Nevertheless, the OST is still worth the buy on it’s own.

Track Listing: 

01 – My Chemical Romance – Desolation Row 
02 – Nat King Cole – Unforgettable 
03 – Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’ 
04 – Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound Of Silence 
05 – Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee  
06 – K.C. & The Sunshine Band – I’m Your Boogie Man 
07 – Billie Holiday – You’re My Thrill 
08 – The Philip Glass Ensemble – Pruit Igoe & Prophecies 
09 – Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah 
10 – Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower 
11 – Budapest Symphony Orchestra – Ride Of The Valkyries 
12 – Nina Simone – Pirate Jenny 


Now, seeing that the movie was during the 80’s era. More or less, the music should reflect that and there are nice songs that are here. Surprisingly, My Chemical Romance is at the top with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” [which you can hear at the end of the film]. But it’s not there usual noise and it still gives of the 80’s kind of feel which can be heard throughout the album.

I couldn’t have gotten any of these great songs in my music library if it wasn’t for this OST. Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” is still a classic and it’s funny how they used it in this film. It’s nice to hear a Janis Joplin song again. I am currently liking Kc & the Sunshine band’s “I’m Your Boogie Man”, which has a double entendre of sorts. Another song which has a weird placement in the film is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. And lastly, we get to hear a rare song in Nina Simone’s “Pirate Jenny” which I’ve read that she rarely performed this one and when she did it took the energy out of her and took a long time to recover.

This OST is simply a great compilation of songs and if you have gotten to watch the movie, whether or not you liked it, it’s a great buy and addition to your library.

Written by The AlanSong

March 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm

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Game Review: PATAPON 2…

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Japanese Main Screen

Japanese Main Screen

Well, after the long wait, it’s finally here! The sequel to [in my opinion] one of the best musical games on the PSP, PATAPON 2!


The game continues where PATAPON left off. The PATAPON building a mighty ship to reach Earthend. But at  the start of the sequel, something wrong happened on their way. That kicks of their adventure, on new land,  facing new foes [maybe old ones too?!] as well as new boss monsters. But it seems that the PATAPON army has also something new up their sleeves.

The story pretty much is same as the first game but it’s a bit longer. Everything you saw in the first game is back here…and more.


They haven’t changed a thing with the controls for this game. Everything is just the same as the first one. But there are new things here.

First off, the new units. The “flying unit” has now been integrated to this game. Many talked about how it was scrapped from the first one. In my opinion it’s a strong unit, a mix of Kibapon [“Knight” Patapons] and Yumipon [Archer Patapons] and wait till you see what happens when FEVER hits. There are newer units as well. ;]

Another new unit is the HERO unit. Yes, you will have a HERO unit which can really help you out with these new strong bosses. He’s customizable [VERY customizable] and some of his gear can be found in another new addition to the game, the Paraget.

The new monsters drop eggs and these eggs is an essential part of the Paraget. The Paraget is like a parallel world where you get to replay maps and boss fights but not with your Patapon army but with your HERO units. That means you’re Hero unit plus alot more [Hero units are sometimes prizes at the end of the map]. Yes, it’ll be juts 4 Patapons against boss monsters or an army but they’re stronger and have special abilities. And in the end, you will be rewarded equipment, kaching or materials…after doing some cool button mashing.

Another new addition to the game is also in the Paraget. Multiplayer. Yes, you can play with other people even if they DONT HAVE Patapon 2 [but only in Multiplayer]! But, I didn’t try that out yet.

Fever Mode seems much more easier to get as during my gameplay, after 2 combos, I’m already in fever mode. But it varies from time to time. It seems that when you get the “timing” right, you get FEVER easily. Also, try to get you’re “timing” right and see what happens with your Hero Unit.

Also unlike Patapon 1, wherein you can just “create” one Patapon and cannot undo it, in Patapon 2 you can. In the “create” mode, where you build your Patapons, they now have an “Evolution” board. Where you can pick which trait you’re Patapons will take. Sturdy? Elemental resistant? All-Around fighter? And , if you’ve already picked a type and wanted to try out a new one, it’s possible to backtrack or go to another “evolution” line…as long as you have the materials needed. Also, you unlock Patapon types, like Kibapon and Toripon for example, on the said board.

There is a new weather which is Snow, and it can freeze up your units as well as your enemies unless they’re freeze resistant.

The Miracles are still there as well and Kim Kimpon and the rest of the “Material” giving Patapon group. Meden is still there giving out advice.


The sound on this game is spot on. They have new music and somewhat remixes of the old ones. They even have the map name and BGM title appear when you visit a place for the first time.

It’s definitely an upgrade from the first game and it’s even more “danceable”. I can’t stop tapping my foot and even sway around a bit when I played this game.


So, in conclusion,  I must admit that there are times when I get irritated at the new bosses and levels as some are hard but it’s not fun when it’s not challenging at all. It’s a game that you have to get because it’s a great addition to your game library plus its fun.

Written by The AlanSong

March 11, 2009 at 10:14 am

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