Rammstein - Mutter Review

If your a fan of country music, and soft melodies then...stay far far away.

On the other side of the coin if your just in a mood to listen to very hard rock, where it doesn\'t really matter if you understand the words or not (unless you speak German) then this is the CD for you.

Most people will be familiar with Rammstein from the song Du Hast, it was a minor hit in the states, and if you\'ve seen the movie Triple X then you\'ve seen Rammstein (when the James Bond type agent gets shot at the beginning, thats Rammstein on stage).

The major down fall of this band and its music is that its in GERMAN, and unless you speak that you can just make up what you think they mean. But if your a fan of real heavy metal then your not worried about under standing the lyrics anyway, Sometimes your just in the mood to crank up the stereo and let loose with this kind of stuff (my wife hates getting in the car after I come home from work).

There are a couple standout songs on this album, Mutter the title track is really well done and will have you singing along even if you don\'t know how to pronounce the words, but my favorite has to be the 3rd track on the album, Sonne, don\'t know what it means, don\'t want to know, its just a really great song that you want to turn up to 11 (for you Spinal Tap fans). On the whole this whole album is really great though.

If your a fan of hard rock and heavy metal, then do yourself a favor and buy this album, if your not the do yourself a favor and put your Sound of Music sound track back in the CD player because this is as far away from your taste as you can get. This album even had my 21 month old daughter head banging (they grow up so fast).
Mar
05
2005

Trust Company - True Parallels Review

Trust Company’s new album “True Parallels” is there follow-up to 2002’s gold record success “The Lonely Position of Neutral”. They definitely have accomplished what every band wants to with a sophomore release, which is produce, another great album which should have the same if not more success than their original. “True Parallels” should definitely be able to sell as many copies as its predecessor.

The album starts off strong with the cd’s first single entitled “Stronger”. It’s a good song and sounds exactly like you would expect from Trust Company. Although “Stronger” is a really good song, I think the second track stands out a bit more as one of the best on the album. “The War is Over” has well written “nu-metal” lyrics, a nice chorus, and clean vocals.

Especially with these first two tracks, the album starts off with what you would expect from Trust Company and they sound similar (but unique) than their previous album. However later into the album they explore a bit more with different sounds and types of songs as they go a bit softer with songs such as “Someone Like You”, “Silently\", and the acoustic “Without A Trace”.

I think where Trust Company accels is by trying to mix a hard and aggressive sound with softer sounds and this album is a perfect example of that. It shows some growth from their last album and that they are willing to explore more musically. If your into the genre definitely consider picking this one up when it hits stores March 22nd.
Mar
04
2005

Act of War: Direct Action Review

The game revolves around a special division of the US government dubbed \"Task Force Talon\" which is lead by \"Major Jason Richter\". Task Force Talon has been called up to defend the US and indirectly the entire world from a conspiracy involving the toppling of oil corporations to send the whole world into chaos.Controls/Gameplay: The controls are very similar to the majority of RTS\'; point and click. While the screenshots do not show it, the game has plenty of base building. The games resource are cash and energy, energy is only needed while building Army Buildings. The buildings of Task Force Talon are supplied by the energy from a command centre or forward base. This requires Task Force Talon buildings to be within the range of these buildings unlike the army buildings which can be built anywhere. Energy is gained by building field power plants which is simple enough but to get cash its slightly more complex.There is only a single campaign where you get to play with both the US Army and Task Force Talon. There is little differences between controlling either one on a map, simply a change of buildings and units. Sometimes you have access to both base types on the same map, especially near the end. Bases are constructed using the appropriate constructor unit. The Army uses Excavators where Task Force Talon uses \"drones\" which actually become the building, so you need to build a drone for every building you make.There are a few different ways to get cash, first is to capture an enemy unit; when in combat a unit may bring down an enemy solider\'s life to a level where they surrender. Infantry can now run up to a surrendered unit and capture him. Thus giving you money and if you have a prison or field hospital with free slots they will be sent there automatically. Next you can build oil extraction plants on areas which contain oil, then trucks can deliver this oil to refiners which then converts it into cash. If one of your units occupy specific buildings such as banks they will over time extract the money from the building. Destroyed vehicles may leave behind a pilot, if you return these pilots to your base you then get money, this is the same other units such as POWs.You have a good selection of structures such as; resource buildings, defensive turrets, healing buildings, control centres, energy buildings, unit construction buildings, building add-ons, air control towers, missile silos and prisons. Buildings that hold prisoners generate money over time depending on how many prisoners the building has, you can also exchange these prisoners for map details.Unit combat works in a rock, paper, scissors manner where for example commandos can easily kill other infantry but they will take ages to destroy a tank. Where a tank has a very easy time destroying other tanks but it can have trouble taking out large groups of infantry. Each unit has specific tags saying what they are effective against, these are usually buildings, vehicles, helicopters or infantry. Planes do not stay on the map, they can be called in for an attack run and then they will come in from the edge of the screen to the target, then they fly off the map, assuming they are not shot down. There is also a limit on the amount of active planes you have depending on how many air control towers you have. Similar to Command & Conquer units gain rank as they gain kills, a higher rank means a better unit.The game has a single \"special\" unit, this unit is named \"Jefferson\". Basically he\'s always rank 3, has more life, heals quickly on his own and I suspect he does more damage then regular commandos. You do lose the game instantly if he dies or is captured. Near the end of the game I ended up just stashing him in a corner of my base because every single time I lost it was because I was not paying attention and he was killed.Sound: Gunfire and explosions sound great, voice acting is also very well done. Although one thing that really bugged me is there are warnings for basically every single thing that happens. For example if a unit dies you get told \"a soldier has been killed\" or if you capture a unit it will say \"a unit has been captured\". Say you were to do a full scale assault you are constantly being told a unit has died and you\'ve captured a unit so it just becomes pointless.Graphics: For an RTS Act of War: Direct Action has extremely high detail textures and particle effects. The game does stutter quite often depending on how many units are on screen which can be a lot, as well as the explosions of buildings and vehicles. The buildings often catch fire which drag frame rates to the ground. A very interesting thing is the game uses live acting versus the traditional CG movies. The actors are of daytime TV quality and the blue screening is of the same quality, but it works out fine.Overall: Art of War: Direct Action is a high paced action RTS, the game cares less about resources and base building and far more about combat. The live acting was pulled off quite well and I applaud it for being one of the first games to use live acting rather then CG. Sound was great and there are very few things to complain about it. The graphics like I said are very nice but have a tendency to stutter. Sadly I was not able to try out the multiplayer aspect of the game. Hopefully another reviewer will be able to review it in the future.
Mar
02
2005

Close Combat: First to Fight Review

\"Close Combat represents modern urban combat with unprecedented authenticity. It is a first-person shooter in which you lead a four-man fire team of United States Marines through the perils of urban combat in the Mideast. Use authentic Marine urban military doctrine (ready-team-fire-assist): governs how marines maneuver through urban environments. \"I don\'t think I can really be objective about this game. Some gamers might play it and say he this is great, I on the other hand played this game and spent most of my time resisting the urge to throw my controller through the window. As a Marine and an Avid gamer, I was really looking forward to this FPS. First I\'ll just get the really annoying things out of the way. The clipping frustrated me beyond belief (for those that don\'t know clipping is walking through solid objects like walls). Being at the bottom of a stair case and then calling my team to me is nice, but when one of them falls through the floor, well Ill just say it’s not very realistic. And another huge problem, your team seems to consist of blind, mentally challenged, cannon fodder. Telling them to go into a room, only to follow and get blasted by an enemy that’s on the other side of the door is......frustrating. The Medals you earn throughout the game also annoyed me, Sure the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Purple Heart are real awards, the others though are just pulled out of thin air (this might annoy only me). And having someone in your team yell, tighten up for the 50th time in 3 min, or the ever popular. \"It\'s quiet here, to quiet\" during the middle of a fire fight, is just annoying.Good things- Weapons, good choice of weapons, they even have the new M-16 A4 rifle, A detail that most gamers wont care about, but I noticed it. Your fire team also has realistic weapons. The M249 S.A.W (Squad Automatic Weapon) is used very well and so are the M-16\'s that your two other guys have. Realistic (for the most part) damage, if you get shot in the head your dead, if a grenade or an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) go off near you, you’re also dead. Controls- Your standard controls for an FPS, Right trigger shoots, Left Thumb stick is movement, X button reloads, A button is your action, B button is your Fire/Hold Fire button (I never used it), Y button is the team Hold/Form up, Directional Pad is used to select individuals on your team or the whole team.Graphics- Decent, all the AI look the same really but the backgrounds are not too bad. The uniforms on your team are realistic though, I\'m glad they went with the Marine Corps. new camo pattern and not the old one.Sound- Pretty good as well, the Weapons fire is accurate; having the enemy yell at you in Arabic is a nice touch. The only real problem I have is WHERE IS THE MARINES HYMN??? You can’t make a game about the Marine Corps. without incorporating this.Overall- If your in the mood for an FPS, go ahead and rent this game, It dosn\'t take long to beat and parts of it are kind of fun, but I would really stay away from buying it.Semper FI
Mar
02
2005

Cossacks 2: Napoleonic Wars Review

I must start out this review with a technical complaint about CDVs choice in using StarForce 3 as their game protection (piracy counter-measure). StarForce 3 requires the computer to be restarted an extra time after the installation. StarForce 3 also requires the game to use the StarForce 3 loader which then rechecks the CD every time you start the game, sometimes finding errors even when the CD is in the drive. During the installation of the game Star Force 3 installs extra files completely separate from the game which still remain after the uninstall of the game and last but not least the software often finds other software (specifically CD burning and virtual CD mounting programs) to cause the game not to start. These files have also been known to cause general computer problems in a similar fashion that spyware would.One more thing before I get to the actual game, this is a preview (beta) so quite a few things were missing from the game and the game itself was *extremely* buggy. It crashed a dozen or so times on me and there were a few points in the game here the UI (User Interface) would bug out and thus prevent me from playing without restarting. Hopefully these issues were resolved in the gold version of the game.The game takes place in the Renaissance Era, more specifically the Napoleon Era. The playable countries include France, Russia, Britain, Prussia, Austria and Egypt. From what the preview shows it the countries do not seem to really differ that much mechanically.While starting up Crossacks 2 I was \"greeted\" with a live action video from a rather horrid Renaissance Era reenactment which included marching, shooting, etc. The video looks like it was taken at a local Renaissance festival because it contained things like lame acting where people would suddenly keel over and pretend to be hit. This itself would not have been a huge issue for me if it didn\'t integrate itself into the UI. For when you select units and order them a rather large popup would appear to display the reenactment. Not only is this really ugly, it gets in the way.The controls are of RTS style and the game can be completely played out with the mouse although it has the standard hotkeys.In the few missions the preview included there was very little base building (if you can even call them bases) but from what I played you can build barracks to make units and build stock houses to start gathering resources... That\'s about it. The way the campaign is played is very basic, you get some very specific orders, you carry them out and then a new cut scene happens where you\'re ordered to do something else. Battle For Europe is a separate mode from Campaign which plays out on a risk style map where you can move your armies around the map, capture land, use diplomacy with other nations and generally build up whatever Country you\'re playing for. Attacking works how you expect, you zoom into the land where you can move around your units and capture various structure and in the end, the city.Combat is mildly fun, the musket is the end all weapon but in this era of it\'s design it\'s very basic. The musket takes a very long time to reload. It\'s also very inaccurate so this requires you to be rather close to the enemy for it to be effective and often this forces you to maintain your unit’s ready position even while they\'re being fired at. Once that single shot is used you usually will attack in melee unless you have other units to defend your riflemen while they reload.The sound is alright, nothing great just alright. The voice acting is not especially great either. I know it doesn\'t sound especially insightful but it\'s an RTS.The graphics are quite awful, especially for a 2005 PC game. The whole game takes place in 16-bit color and the game has an awful bug where it leaves my desktop on 16-bit forcing me to manually change it each time I end the game. There really is not that much to say about the graphics besides it\'s not good, but most could live with it for an RTS.In the end this game has rather slow and boring game play, a risk style game system which is extremely unoriginal, sub par graphics and nothing great to speak of. This game is only for those who are in love with Renaissance warfare, otherwise do yourselves a favor and go buy Rome Total War instead.
Mar
02
2005

Dragon Ball Z: Sagas Review

As a old fan of Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball z GT, I had to play this game. I turned on the game, thinking their was a versus mode, but sadly their isn\'t which should have been implemented into the game. The cool thing about the game though, like some Multiplayer games, you can Co-Op (1st and 2nd player) play the single player game, which is kind of fun. You start off at the beginning of the story and work your way up earning new skills by finding tokens layed out across the map. Each skill costs it\'s own amount of tokens, so make sure not to miss any. Walking around the area is pretty cool, but you don\'t have \"freelook\" on your camera, which always takes taste from a game. If you perhaps, jump on a rock, or a funny looking bush, you slide off it like it were ice, not really that cool. You can shoot the rocks and bushs, to find \"hidden\" tokens to buy new upgrades (powers). On to the fighting portion, fighting a minion is fun. Fighting a boss on the other hand, is fun, but a long battle doing the same exact thing just to defeat the boss and get to the next level get\'s a little boring. We can only hope, that they\'ll make a PC version, 10x better than this version, where you can walk through the grass, like a First-Person Shooter.Controls/Gameplay: The gameplay is good and simple enough to learn. Movement is nice, it\'s easy to power-up your energy to make cool teleportation tricks, which by the way, were my favorite thing to do. The special moves for each character has nice effects, along with blowing the rocks and huge boulders up.Sound: The music and sound is nothing to brag about, the FMV scenes for the game have the same sound and voices from the TV shows. (Atleast from my memory serves) If their was a soundtrack relased though, I wouldn\'t suggest buying it, just a waste of money.Graphics: The graphics are nice for the action console game. The explosions of a special attack + a big boulder is pretty cool though, and I also liked how when you power up dirt kind of shifts from your direction.Overall: It\'s a good enough game to rent as it would only provide up to 6-10 hours of gameplay and fun.But if your a Dragon Ball Z freak, buy it.ESRB Rating: Teen
Mar
02
2005

Theory of a Deadman - Gasoline Review

The second album, do or die time! This is where a band makes a stand and says either “Yes, we are real artists” or “Ha, gotcha”! So the real question here isn’t if this album is any good, but, if their first album was a fluke.

Well, I had this CD in my car for a week and never felt the need to change it if that says anything. The album it’s self doesn’t really have a set pattern. It opens with a standard guitar line and goes into standard rock song. I don’t want to take away from the track “Hating Hollywood” it’s a quality tune and was a great choice to set the mood of the album. It was just all through out the album I felt hints of 3 doors down, NickelBack, and Days of the new. It gave this album a real generic feel.

That doesn’t mean that this is a junk album though. Keep in mind that great writers often borrow from one and other in order to create something much better. The group put a lot of effort into this album, and there wasn’t a single song I didn’t like. “Santa Monica”, track 5, really stood out as one of my favorites on the album. Soft, sweet, and simple. Song after song the album changed pace and hit me with something “new” to listen to. A different part of the bands talent showing through with every one. Fans of the bands first album will not be disappointed.

What hurts this album is the generic quality. People will probably need to be a fan of the genre in order to take notice. Otherwise they’ll probably go out and purchase the casual Nickelback album instead. It’s not something I feel compelled to go out and say “Hey, have you heard the new Theory of a Deadman yet?” However it does make an excellent addition to my MP3 collection to complement my current selection though.

If some one is just looking for a good CD to add to their collection then this is a good choice. It proves the bands first album wasn’t a fluke, but it missed a WOW factor with me that would make this a must buy.

For more information on this band please visit http://www.theoryofadeadman.com/
Mar
02
2005

Cabelas Deer Hunt 2005 Season Review

Don\'t expect this to be your run of the mill hunting arcade. This is the real deal. Cabela\'s Deer Hunt 2005 Season is hard, it\'s real, and it wasn\'t at all like I expected.You are a hunter. You have your own cabin, the ability to purchase supplies and acquire trophies, and drive All Terrain vehicles. You need to pick the correct dress and weaponry for the climate and the prey. You can attract deer with scents and calls. You can even modify how your weapon aims so it\'s easier for you to hit the target.This game is far more in depth then I was expecting.It\'s so in depth that I don\'t think I was a skilled enough hunter to even play it.It\'s so close to real deer hunting I think it could be used for training.Controls:The controls where really easy to learn. The only thing I had to change was invert. Up & Down are reversed by default. I don\'t know about the rest of you, but I am so used to halo that inverting aim just felt wrong. Thumb sticks to move, left trigger to aim, right trigger to shot. Pretty standard setup. A person used to playing games like halo and GTA shouldn\'t have to many problems adjusting.Sound:Standard. Bullets sound like bullets, but there isn\'t anything earth shattering. There isn\'t much in the way of background noise except for nature tracks. That\'s a good thing. I would think anything else would take away from the game.Graphics:Good enough. Not even close to reaching the Xbox potential, but it\'s a hunting sim. People who purchase this are probably looking for a challenge. Deer look like deer, trees look almost identical, but they look like real tries, and you can see actual tracks in the snow and dirt.Game Play:I played this for many hours trying to learn how to hunt, The game played smooth and was nothing to complain about.Now, the game mechanics it\'s self had no problems. I on the other hand was having a hard time. When I went to quick hunt, if I spent enough time on it and shot from far enough away, eventually I would walk up on a deer and shoot it. When I went to career everything changed. I kept running out of money. I restarted my career three times and never got very far on any of them. The calls and tricks didn\'t worked well. And I had no clue what I needed, so I used auto equip after I quickly failed my first career. I never got past easy mode and the game was difficult. I might lack the patience it tacks to hunt and track down a deer properly though, so I\'m going to take that into consideration when scoring. It\'s not their fault I\'m a poor hunter. They set out to make a very realistic hunting simulation and seceded!For that reason I believe this is going to only be good for a very niche market. The next time deer season comes around and someone tells me, “I think I\'m going to learn how to hunt”, I\'m going to let them borrow the game and say, “if you can hunt a deer on this, then maybe it\'s a good idea”. I know I wouldn\'t be very good at it. Buying the game for a few bucks is a lot better way to find out then spending a hundred times that on equipment. And I didn\'t have to sit out in the cold to learn this city boy can\'t hunt worth a damn!Tips:Don\'t run over deer with your vehicleDon\'t shoot to close to buildingsShooting your vehicle isn\'t as much fun as it soundsDon\'t shoot animals with out a permit
Mar
01
2005

The Butterfly Effect Review

In this movie, Ashton Kutcher puts away the comedic side of his acting; taking on the role of a serious actor. Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) blacks out a series of horrific memories, awakening after everything has been done. Once he wakes up, he doesn't remember a thing that happened, leaving his friends with the ordeal to have to go over the horrific moments once again, so he would know what happened.

The movie starts out as him as a child, and experiencing his first black out when his friend's father makes him and his daughter "star" in a child pornography; leaving Evan with no recollection of what happened. It was this event that started his series of black outs. It was after the most horrific black out that his mother decides to move away to the northern part of the state; after seeing that a mailbox exploded with dynamite in it, knowing it was her son and his friends that caused it.

Seven years later, as a college student, he finds a way to remember what happened during the black outs, and eventually, how to change the past. But once you've changed one thing... you've changed everything, as Evan will find out the hard way...

This is one movie that I would definitely recommend to all my friends and family. This is the type of movie that will keep you guessing, even after the movie has ended. You experience the movie as if you were him, awakening only after the black out has finished, wondering what happened during the black out. The Butterfly Effect will keep you in suspense and at the edge of your seat during the whole movie, and will make you think.

Feb
28
2005

The Village Review

If you liked The Sixth Sense or Signs, then you'll love this movie. M. Night Shyamalan writes, produces and directs The Village and does an outstanding job with this movie.

It's hard to go into any details without spoiling the movie. The Village takes you on a rollercoaster of believability, to unbelievability and back again. It really keeps you glued to the screen and trying to figure out what's happening next.

Joaquin Phoenix's performance is decent for the role he plays. Again, anything more said would give away the movie. Bryce Dallas Howard who we all haven't heard much about does a fabulous job in her role. She plays a blind girl with an extraordinary sense about people and her surroundings.

The Village is a very unique story. Nothing which I've at least seen before. There are a times when audio tricks are done that just draws you farther into the movie. The audio doesn't overwhelm the movie though and provides just enough undertones.

I wish I could go into more details, but if I do, I'll ruin the movie for you. So again, if you like thrillers or are fond of M. Night Shyamalan's work, be sure to check out The Village. Definitely a keeper for the DVD collection.

P.S. See if you can spot the easter egg in the movie towards the end...;)

Feb
26
2005


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