Archive for the Non-Movie Related Category

Russell’s Rant: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Posted in Non-Movie Related, rant, video games on November 20, 2009 by russellsreviews

Last week New Super Mario Bros. was finally released on the Wii. There has been many Mario games and spin offs in the past, but its been a very long time since a true sequel. Yeah, there was Super Mario DS over a year ago, but a it wasn’t a true flagship title. Not since the super Nintendo believe it or not has Mario returned to his 2d roots. What’s been bothering me about the game is how most mainstream video game “journalist” have been reviewing it.

Some sites like 1up gave it a perfect score, but most were all in the mid 80’s. They all praised the level design, fun factor, and the new multiplayer option, so why no 90+? The reviewers took points off for lack of originality and claimed Nintendo was playing it too safe. Well, ok, everyone has an right to their opinion.

Now, lets look at another recently released game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game was critically acclaimed by all websites and magazines and no doubt will earn many awards. None seem to mention the obvious flaw, need I saw the same “flaw” that reviewers took of points for the new Super Mario. Let’s take a look. and its gaming past.

COD MW 2

COD 5 Word at War

Call of Duty 4

COD 3

COD 2

COD

Well do you see it? No way, could the newest Call of Duty be playing it safe too?? Crap man, they are even holding the guns the exact same way with the same camera angle. Actually, you could say gaming as a whole has been playing it safe. Lets see some screen shots of some other games that came out in the last few years that were all highly rated and sold fairly well.

Halo 3

Killzone 2

Borderlands

Fallout 3

Everyone has different taste, I understand that, but when you are a critic and you review things you have to try to set your personal biased aside. Obviously, this hasn’t been done lately. If New Super Mario can loose points for simply being more fun with just new 3d graphics, new costumes, new multiplayer, but guilty of not reinventing the wheel then all of these shooter games should be hold up to the same standard. In fact, these games should be more critically reviewed. There has been a new Call of Duty game for every year in the last six years. New Super Mario , in 2d not the spin-offs, has just now reached six games in its left time with Mario Bros, MB 2, MB 3, Super Mario world, New Super Mario Bros. DS, and now Super Mario Wii. They always say yeah “generic FPS” doesn’t do anything new, but you will have so much fun online you can look past it! 9.5! Super Mario Wii added for the first time ever multiplayer. Yeah, you can’t go online, but last time I recall you could call your friend up and have him cover and you can play the game together, in the same room even! COD MW2 added nothing new. In fact the single player game is two hours shorter, but that doesn’t stop them from singing its praises on top of rooftops. COD MW 2 is a fun game and I will probably will end up getting it like I did most of the games above. Truth is maybe reviewer “A” just doesn’t like the genre of “B enough” to be able to look past certain problems as game “C.” Although I look forward to Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Wii should be applauded for going back to its roots, before gamers became jaded with A.D.D., and not criticized for it.

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I *heart* Japan part 1

Posted in Japan, Non-Movie Related, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by russellsreviews

Weeks ago I got married and went on a trip of a lifetime. Going to Japan was always a dream of mine and one I never thought I could reach. The Grace of God made it possible and it was more than expected. I feel so grateful and every day still in awe. I want to share it so maybe for the people who may never get the chance I did can get at taste of such wonderful and crazy cool place.

shirt

You know you see lots of people in America wearing shirts with cool fish, dragons, and Asian Characters? Yeah will they do that in Japan too just the other way around. It was like anyone who was under the age of 40 wore a shirt with some English on it. It was cool to see our language is so popular or “hip” over there.

bento

Our first night we freaked out and had no idea where to go to eat. We found this cool take out Bento Box place that had pictures to help you order. At the time we didn’t know that 80% of the places had pictures to help people like us order. The Bento Box was delicious!

ultra tv

That night I almost freaked out. They had Ultraman Advertise Honda in a commercial! I knew at that moment I was where I belong.

vending machine

Huge Vending machines were everywhere with tons of options from Soda, Tea, energy drinks, and even coffee. Some even had Dr. Pepper! New York City didn’t have Dr. Pepper. Tokyo 1, NYC 0

tommy lee image

Tommy Lee Jones was on ads everywhere for Boss Coffee. Never have been a bigger fan for the Texan actor.

kanji lessons

The first full day in Japan we took a tour trip to see Mt. Fuji and Hakone. During the bus ride the guide told us funny stories and taught us a lot. Here she is explaining the Kanji character for Sake.

castle on bus

Many great sites to look at during the ride.

fuji 1

fuji 2

Then we went up Mt. Fuji. Notice how long and tall it is. No matter if you are in Tokyo or Kyoto you can see it in the background.

lake high up

View of the lake from atop of Mt. Fuji.

fuji villageVillage near the top of Mt. Fuji

fuji shrineShinto Shrine in the village.

prayer requestIf you have a prayer request or wish for the priests to make for you simply write it down on these wood tags and tie them to this wall.

bad luckYou can also get your fortune read. If you get a bad one, make sure you tie them to these ropes. The priests will pray for you and try to get rid of your bad luck.

hokaneSide of Hakone mountain. Since Hakone is actually a volcano they drill holes on to let out the hot air.

rope way images

rope wayWe took a rope way down the side of Hakone. Needless to say, beautiful.

pirate shipAt the bottom of Hakone you could take a boat ride around the lake. On a freaking Pirate ship! So we did.

shrine waterview

gate on water

sun waterBreathtaking views from the ship.

gate in cityHuge gate at the city port where the ship was docking. Very cool.

mout

nijo gate

nail cover

Next day we were in Kyoto and went to Nijo castle. Nijo castle was the capital castle back when Kyoto was the country’s capital. Above notice the fantastic plates? There actually a very creative way to hide the nails used to build the structure. Sadly, taking pictures inside was forbidden, but hopefully you can still see the beauty.

golden pavillionThen we saw the Buddhist temple the Golden Pavilion. Made out of real gold.

zen gardenZen Garden at the Golden Pavilion.

roof endsDetail roof tops.

school uniforms

Bunch of School children at Nijo Castle. Notice the cool uniforms.

fire image in mountainA mountain view from a street in Kyoto. Kyoto had a perfect mix of old and new. That’s the fire mountain. Once a year during the fire festival they burn that image on the side of the mountain in celebration and tradition of the old ways of Japan.

great peopleIt didn’t long at all for us to see Japan is full of nice and funny people. A truly one of a kind place.

Wew. Part 1 finished. Next time one of the hippest places on earth Harajuku, the busiest intersection on earth, and some of the biggest statues you will ever see! Sayonara!

Fancy Seeing You Here…

Posted in Non-Movie Related on April 29, 2009 by russellsreviews

Hi, I’m Russell and this is my movie review blog. If your a fan of movies or TV and sick of all the critics and reviewers sounding stuck up and sound out of touch, this site if for you! I hope you enjoy my reviews and thoughts and your comments are welcome!

-R