Postal: The Movie – Uwe Boll’s Redemption

Fans of Uwe Boll and haters alike will have to admit, he actually can make a video game movie that is entertaining and true to the game when he wants to.
As a big fan of the game, and hater of Uwe Boll, I had high wishes and low expectations from this movie.
Thankfully I was pleasantly and hilariously surprised. The movie is astoundingly faithful to the second game, which also happens to be packaged with the movie, a very nice touch. It’s missing the Apocalypse Weekend expansion, but is a great introduction for newcomers. From the Lucky Ganesh to the militant citizens group, right down to Uncle Dave’s compound and the Postal Babes, it’s all here. There’s even a few scenes that are slightly edited versions of in-game scenes.
Basically, like the game, think of the movie “Falling Down” but as a comedy and you have the basic plot. It’s your “bad day to the extreme” movie with plenty of hilarious jokes and even some romance. The few twists are minor, as you can just think of how a scene will go wrong, make it less politically correct and you can predict the outcomes. Not that that’s a bad thing, as the movie was tremendously entertaining.
Zack Ward makes a great Postal Dude and Dave Foley makes a convincing Uncle Dave (although funny, I could have used to not see his penis). Vince Desi of Running with Scissors even makes a cameo.
The only thing I missed was Gary Coleman. Vern Troyer was great, but, c’mon, it’s Postal, gimme some Coleman.
Overall the movie is definitely worth a buy if you can find it. Best Buy seems to only sell it online. Amazon has it too, but it seems few brick and mortar stores sell it. My local Newbury Comics, normally a haven for movies, only brought in two copies…..both sold. I found mine at MovieStop.
EDIT: It seems BestBuy stocks the DVD version, but not the BluRay.

Volcano Ecigs

Burnout: Paradise: PS3

Ok, with all the comparisons and posts about BP and Test Drive Unlimited (which I absolutely adored on the PC) on the net, I expected something similar to what TDU offers. What I got was a whole nother experience. These games are on entirely different pages, and any comparison is a moot point as they are so different that it makes it apples and grapefruits.

First and foremost is the gameplay. BP doesn’t just condone smashing the other cars, it has missions based on it. There’s the Marked Man missions, where you have to survive the other racers trying to wreck you, Road Rage events where you rack up a number of damaged opponents, Stunt Runs where you rack up points by doing stunts and boosting, and the standard races, where you win by any means necessary.
Add into this the “open world” aspect, which does seem kinda tacked on. It is a good breakaway from work and life in general to just go rampaging around town, wreaking havoc…..I used to do this in TDU, to other players dismay. There’s smashes, gates scattered across the city blocking shortcuts which can be used in races, jumps, which don’t need to be explained, and billboards, which are a fancier, usually tougher to get to version of smashes. There’s also the Showtime mode, where you try to make the mos fantastic, multiple car pileup you can. Based on your experience, you can make a tremendously long crash. This all adds for a fun distraction, although the “open world” aspect is poorly implemented. I say this because, after being a TDU player and seeing how well done the open world aspect is done there, there are some major features I miss. First and foremost is the ability to click the map and pop to that spot. This would be a welcome addition for many of the races which take you across the map, then if you fail, you have to drive all the way back to the start. Second is being able to see other players and challenge them on the fly.
Not to say the online aspect of BP is bad, its pretty straightforward and easily accessed, You can enter or start challenges for players on the street you are on. A nice touch is the support for the Eye, which can show you reactions when you take down a player, which can sometimes be a bad thing…..a very bad thing, depending on what they show you.
Every intersection is an event, which is limited to the basic type and your progress gets wiped with each license, so if there’s a specific event you excel at, you can do it for each license. This is also a detraction as events are limited to the four basic types and can get old fast.
The soundtrack is…alright. There are a few good songs, some old burnout songs, and classical music for some odd reason. There is currently no way to add your own music, but one you set up the musical selection, you can weed out the songs you don’t like.
The graphics are buttery smooth and although not quite up to pc graphics, are quite superb for a console.
My main gripe for the first few hours of playing the game was the “tutorial” info that it pauses the game to tell you, much of which is common sense. Then there’s the crashes, which show why there’s no name brand cars as car companies nowadays refused to let games show their cars in damaged states. When you crash, the game whites out the screen, goes into a spectacular crash scene, while time is continuing for the other racers, which is great to see the first time, but utterly annoying afterwords.
The DLC is automatic, which is a great touch. When there is an update with new content, it downloads for you and seamlessly integrates itself.
Overall this game is great fun for the destruction minded racer and will provide you with hours and hours of gameplay. They just might not be on end.

With that all said, I end this with Yahtzee’s brilliantly hilarious review from The Escapist.

Hidden Gems: R-Type Final

With the Wii’s GameCube compatibility and the PS1 and PS2 compatibility of some PS3′s, it opens new possibilities for gamers who passed on these consoles and past fans alike to play some great games, and normally dirt cheap. In the Hidden Gems segments, I will review some of these titles.

Any ShMUp (Shoot ‘em up) fan has heard of R-Type. It is one of the games that laid the trail for shmups to follow.
Fans of the genre will not be disappointed by this title. With 101 ships to unlock as you play (99 plus 2 bonus), the bydo lab, war chronicles, gallery and awards serving as an equivalent to current trophies, the game has a pretty good replay value.
Fans are treated to a fully 3d R-Type with mini cinematic entrances to each level. While the game does get rather repetitive, the variety of ships to unlock with the different weapon schemes for each ship will make you try out different strategies for each ship.
The R Museum shows you what ships you have and gives the history and basic info for the ships you have unlocked. The ships from past games make appearances as well as plenty of newcomers.
The five difficulty settings make sure you can find a good mix of fun and challenge.
The levels can vary based on how you play and what ship you use, so you can see a variety of stages and a few different endings.
Like many past shmups, there are some slowdowns with some of the more graphically intensive weapons at times, but not horrendous enough to detract you from playing.
Not really a game you can pour more than a few hours into at a time, but it is a good change of pace and great fun.
The game currently sells for $10 used, and at this price, it is more than worth it.