My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Stats and Records

Stats time!

Picross Levels Completed 45/45
Picross Levels Completed in under an hour 29/45
Mega Picross Levels Completed 1/45
Mega Picross Levels Completed in under an hour 0/45

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My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review

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It’s time to take a look at a Picross game. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve never played one before, but there is a first time for everything right? I earned a bunch of MyNintendo points for playing Fire Emblem Heroes, but there wasn’t a whole lot in the rewards section. I figured that this game would be better than nothing so I took the plunge. It’s a relatively simple game that can be pretty addicting as you’d expect from this kind of game. It’s very similar to Sudoku in many ways and it’ll really test your brain power. Throw in the Twilight Princess backdrop and you’re all set for hype.

There are 45 puzzles in the game and an additional 45 Mega Picross battles. I took a peak at the Mega Picross levels, but honestly they didn’t seem all that appealing. The rules were super convoluted and since I had just gotten used to the original ones I didn’t want to have to learn a whole new set of rules. As a result I stuck to the classic ones. The goal of each puzzle is to solve it in under an hour. Every time you make a mistake it adds on another 3-5 minutes to your total. I did fairly good for myself overall as most of my puzzles were conquered in under an hour, but some managed to persist.

In case you don’t know what Sudoku is, here are the Picross rules. You have 10 rows and 10 Lines. Each one will have a number at the start. The number shows you how many boxes in that line/row have to be filled out. You know the length, but you don’t know where it starts and that’s where the detective work starts. You have to cross check the numbers with the other rows and lines and that is how you’ll figure out what to fill out. It’s a pretty intense ame and this one tries to help by starting you off with some squares filled in. I don’t know how you could hope to solve it if you started with a blank board to be honest. That would be impressive though.

The graphics are good. I mean, there is almost literally nothing that you are using the graphics for so it would have been almost impossible to have been bad. Still, I’ll take what we can get. The music is also good since it is music from Legend of Zelda. That makes the puzzles more engaging and gives the game an extra bump. As I mentioned, the gameplay is a lot of fun as well. Since it is basically free, then that’s already a positive outcome.

There is only one weakness to the game and that is its lack of content. Since there are only 45 picross challenges you can finish that in a few days. Then that’s it. Of course, for the price this lack of replay value isn’t terrible. It’ll keep it from being a 7, but it’s still a good game in the long run. I wonder what a AAA Picross game would be like.

There’s not much more to say so I’ll start to close by giving a tip. When the hint roulette comes out to give you a row and a line, try to get them both in the same corner. That’ll give you a huge step forward into solving the Picross. The roulette moves very quickly so it’ll be difficult to do, but it certainly isn’t impossible. With enough practice you are sure to succeed.

Overall, I’d recommend getting this game. It is still the best prize on the MyNintendo Rewards site so you may as well. It’s also a good way to relive the Legend of Zelda adventures while stretching your mind as well. Solving these puzzles will make you think and that’s always a good thing. If you’re going to get some exercise, it may as well be while you’re having fun. Hopefully Nintendo adds some more game rewards to the site though as it is sad that Picross is all by itself the whole time. It needs a partner.

Overall 6/10

Naruto Ultimate Ninja 4 Review

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It feels like such a long time since I’ve played one of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja games. It’s a pretty nostalgic series for me because I remember playing Ultimate Ninja Heroes nonstop on the PSP back in the day and also sank a ton of hours into Ultimate Ninja 2. The games just had an excellent amount of replay value with tight gameplay to boot. It was almost sad to see how far my skills have deteriorated from those days. In time I could get them back, but it would take a while. Ultimate Ninja 4 is a fun sequel. I wouldn’t say it is strictly better than 2 because some aspects as a bit weaker, but it’s still a great game all the same.

The main story mode is called Master Mode this time around. Basically there are two chapters in the game. The first is an original story about Naruto helping a girl avoid her path to self sacrifice. You have to fight a giant monster and it’s pretty fun. I was surprised when it ended so fast though. Then the game adapts a little less than half of Arc 1 of Shippuden as you get to meet up with the fake Itachi. The main gimmick for this story mode is that unlike the main gameplay of the other modes, you fight in 3D here. It’s like a beta for the Ultimate Ninja Storm games. It’s pretty fun, but you’ll quickly realize that you’re just using the same combo a lot. It’s the only one worth using because it does so much damage. The game is fairly easy so you shouldn’t have any problem clearing it. It’s only around 3-4 hours long and probably a lot shorter if you really blast through it. I appreciated the experiment and it seems to be a popular thing to do as Tekken 6 also had a main story mode which was in 3D while the rest was in 2D.

There’s a backup story mode where you relive the original series. Most of it is told through flashbacks while you get a few fights. It’s not the most engaging way to re learn the story, but it does allow you to unlock new fighters so it’s worth going over. Aside from that you have the multiplayer mode and the shop where you can buy a lot of things. There is a ton to purchase and earning money takes a while at first so this definitely helps to add a bunch of replay value for a while. Either way, the multiplayer has you covered in that regard. One thing to always remember is that for fighting games, the story is the cherry on top, but not the cake. As long as the gameplay is really good, the rest will all fall into place.

The gameplay is different from many other 2D fighters. You can jump between the background and the foreground. You can launch opponents with up to 4 different directions per hit which results in numerous combos. Once you launch an opponent in the skty and gives chase, it becomes a matter of timing. You have to press the substitution button at just the right instant and it keeps on getting faster and faster. Hesitate too much and it’s over or press too quickly and you’ll meet the same fate. It’s pretty interesting and this is one game where it’ll get pretty advanced as you learn more and more.You’ll definitely be very engaged with the gameplay style right from the start and my favorite part of it is probably that every character has a homing attack. It’s always a lot of fun to use.

I don’t care for the new rock paper scissors gimmick they added though. Occasionally you’ll see this happen and the computer happened to win it virtually every time. You can’t really beat a computer in a “luck” game unless they allow it after all. As a result, the whole thing feels sadly futile at times, but you won’t lose much health even if you lose the round. I also don’t like the fact that they got rid of the triple final smash. In the older games you had 3 different levels of a final smash like in the Marvel vs Capcom games. Unless they just got rid of it for story levels, you are down to only one in this game and you either switch it in the main menu or you have to play a different version of the character to have another attack. Either way it is a bit of a downgrade.

Really, that’s why this game can be a bit of a downgrade from Ultimate Ninja 2 at times. The story definitely isn’t as good as 2’s which was a cool original plot and the new gameplay mechanics just don’t help. It’s still a very solid game as it kept most of what made the originals a lot of fun, but there probably isn’t much reason to play 4 when you can play 2. Unless you really like the Shippuden cast more than the regular one I suppose. It’s a shame that Ultimate Ninja 5 never came to America, I would have been curious to see how that one would have been.

The graphics look pretty good. They’re not amazing and the style doesn’t pop out as much as the Clash of Ninja series since they’re going for a more drawn look, but it works well. The final smashes are still flashy when they need to be and the game has held up well. The music selection is also pretty good. It reuses some themes from the older games, but I’m assuming that some of them are new as well. There is a pretty good amount of variety here so you don’t have to be worried about getting spammed by the same song too often. As far as difficulty goes, Ultimate Ninja 4 definitely isn’t too hard. Like I said it can get pretty difficult if you turn the computer all the way up or fight an opponent who knows what he is doing, but at the very least you’ll breeze through the story.

Most fighting games have at least one broken character and at least from my casual perspective I feel like that would be Itachi here. When he activates his slow mode attack, you can barely move. It also lasts forever so he can get a bunch of different combos in the meantime. Even if you jump overboard and re spawn, his attack will still be active. That was the only fight where I almost lost in story mode and had to quickly cheese him out with final smash attacks. The computers don’t seem to dodge it very often. They either block or get hit, there’s never an alternative.

Overall, Naruto Ultimate Ninja 4 is a solid game. I think they should have gone a more traditional route as far as the story is concerned, but it worked out all right. I’m sure they learned from this after all. The character cast is fairly decent even if it doesn’t look too impressive because of the wheel they set up. I think a character roster should always let you see all of the characters at once like in Super Smash. That one is basically the ultimate template for a fighting game. I am now one step closer to owning all of the Naruto games which is pretty impressive. I’d definitely recommend checking this game out. It’s old enough where it’s retro, but modern enough where the gameplay still feels pretty intense.

Overall 8/10

Asdivine Hearts Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 24h 3m
PS4 Trophies 6/15
AHP 8
Main Quests Completed 94/94
Side Quests Completed 0/?
Total Steps 226287
Enemies Defeated 1395
Skills Used 249
Magic Used 2095
Damage Dealt 35422
Damage received 6655
Max Hit Count 25
Max overkill count 10
Gold Spent 2186200
Treasure Opened 134

Character Stats

Zack

Level 70
Light Magic Level 52
Dark Magic Level 11
Clear Magic Level 1

Felix

Level 70
Light Magic Level 48
Dark Magic Level 1
Clear Magic Level 1

Uriel

Level 70
Light Magic Level 1
Dark Magic Level 49
Clear Magic Level 1

Stella

Level 70
Light Magic Level 1
Dark Magic Level 47
Clear Magic Level 1

Celine

Level 70
Light Magic Level 1
Dark Magic Level 1
Clear Magic Level 52

Asdivine Hearts Review

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It’s time for another installment from Limited Run games. It’s had a pretty good run so far and this is probably the best game they’ve ported yet. It’s a classic RPG with all of the old elements in tact. It started out as a mobile game which explains why they didn’t mess around with the formula too much. Maybe it’s just me, but I think you only need the core aspects of an RPG to do well. A solid leveling up system, a map, and a convenient way to heal/save. As long as you have that then you’re okay. Modern RPGs sometimes get lost in all of the extra features that take away from this basic concept. This title pulls it off flawlessly.

The game starts off with the Light and Dark gods fighting it out. (Okay, a little cliche, but who doesn’t like a classic Good vs Evil theme?) The Light god is defeated and falls to Earth where she possesses a cat. This takes us to our heroes Zack and Stella. They grew up in an orphanage and are now getting ready to head to the outside world so they can earn money and support the other orphans. As they traverse the forest, they notice their cat change. It wasn’t very subtle since the Light goddess loves to talk. They call her Felix since that was the cat’s name. They also don’t believe her story about being all powerful after all, but I don’t blame them since Felix basically has no power for most of the game due to possessing such a small animal. The fate of the world now rests with these two teenagers and their pet cat goddess. Can they really stop the Dark god from destroying the world?

There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot, but I’m trying to avoid them to you can see for yourself. In short, the Dark god has his reasons for doing this even though the two gods used to be best friends. I don’t agree with them at all though as even being sympathetic is a stretch. It’s one of those cases where the whole game would have been averted if there had been a little more communication between the characters. I’d also say that he went off the deep end either way so you just can’t defend him. Felix was surprisingly shady as well, but she finally learned the values of friendship.

The gameplay is your classic turn based combat. You can use physical skill attacks or magic against foes. I used magic for the first 70% of the game until I found out that skills are actually far more powerful. I recommend focusing on those but always have a magic stone equipped so you can learn new spells. Uriel and Stella’s are especially helpful since they weaken a boss’ defense and attack. It’s a simple gameplay style but you always learn new things. I had been using Stella’s final smash throughout the game since it restores everyone’s HP and MP, as well as increasing all of their stats to the max, but little did I know that Uriel’s is even better. I used it against the Final Boss and he was frozen for almost 20 turns. It was crazy and that Final boss was definitely unforgettable. He had a similar move where he’s paralyze you for the whole fight so it was merely a question of who used the ability first.

Be warned that whenever you flee a monster encounter you lose some final smash meter. (9% to be exact) My strategy was to run until I made it to the end of the dungeon. There is always a save point near the end which tells you that a boss is up ahead. Then I’d quickly fight a bunch of monsters to get my full meter back and then fight. The save point heals your HP and MP as well so this way you don’t have to waste any items on the way. You will almost definitely need to do some serious grinding before you finish the game, but it goes by pretty quickly here. The enemies give you a lot of EXP.

Also, make sure you break any rocks that you see by the enemies. They have a chance to have 3 AHP points within them. You can save up to 20 of those to buy a 20% up EXP item for a character or save up to 100 points so you can have a full team revive during a boss fight. I went the whole game without getting 100 so I’m glad I just went for the EXP right away, but it depends on how you play. I’m sure there is a way to find more rocks, but you can’t find out much from the game online. It’s just trial and error so these are the paths that worked for me. As you can see, the gameplay was simple, but pretty detailed. I could spend a while just talking about that aspect, but you get the idea.

Zack is a solid main character. He’s your classic adventurer who rushes into danger and is always confident in his skills. He’s a nice guy but doesn’t tend to be very formal so all of the characters call him out on this. I’d think that formalities wouldn’t matter much when the planet is at stake, but evidently it is still a priority. He has to make some tough calls at the end, but chooses the right ones. I definitely have no qualms with Zack and he was an engaging protagonist to follow.

Stella is the main heroine and she’s pretty nice. Her unfortunate tendency to try whipping the main character when he’s being nice is a little suspect, but she actively tries to control herself as the game goes on. She’s a little more timid than the other main characters which is another part of her character arc. Based on her design in the sequel, she has learned to be more independent so it’ll be cool to see how she is there. She’s a good character even if she’s not a great one.

Celine is a high priestess who ends up joining the cast and becoming a main character. The fact that she knows hand to hand combat is certainly helpful. She also objects to Zack being nice to everyone all the time but gradually learns that he doesn’t mean it as an insult. I’d probably rank her last among the main heroines, but they’re all rather close. She just didn’t seem to bring as much to the table as the others and her subplot about lacking confidence didn’t really help matters.

Uriel is a mysterious girl who claims to know Zack from the past even though he doesn’t remember her. To pay Zack back for saving her life, she will now help him save the world. Her dark magic is incredibly useful in combat and she is the most loyal of the allies. She was my favorite member of the team and I relied on her Final Smash attack for the final boss. If I’d known it was so good, I would have used it sooner.

Felix is an intriguing character since she acts nothing like what you’d expect based on her role in the universe and character design. Instead of being a wise old lady who brings peace, she’s always insulting the humans and picking fights. She talks quite a lot and doesn’t follow any orders even if they’ll save a lot of trouble. It’s all about her pride here. She’s a fun character to have around since this results in a lot of banter. It was unexpected, but certainly in a good way. I already talked about the Dark god. He comes across as very whiny and completely unsympathetic so you’ll just think of him as another obstacle in the road. I preferred his two Legion generals.

Finally we also have the Dark Copies. The heroes end up travelling to a Mirror World towards the second half of the game where they meet evil copies of Zack and Stella. They were definitely interesting characters. I don’t like either of them, but they make for really good villains. It always ups the stakes when you find an evil version of yourself. They were also quite powerful and had some of the more challenging boss fights in the game. They were a great addition to the cast. You need human opponents like that once in a while because just having monsters isn’t as personal. Throwing in the humans shows that you can’t trust anyone in the mirror world.

There are a few supporting characters like the Queen, Lars, Luna, etc. They are fairly good. They add to the plot and come in handy, but aren’t really main characters. There are 3 different levels of characters here. The main characters who appear frequently and go on the missions. The supporting characters, these still have full character portraits like the main ones, but don’t get on the front lines. Finally, the non characters, the ones with names, but no accompanying picture. It was a pretty good way of knowing who was important and who wasn’t right off the bat.

The graphics look really clear and smooth. One positive for mobile games in general is that they don’t have the budget to add in the fancy stuff so they make the fields clear so the sprites that they do have look great. Throw in the PS4 resolution and this game really looks modern. There is absolutely nothing dated about the graphics and the character portraits are also high budget as opposed to the interesting Street Fighter V ones. I enjoyed the soundtrack. It’s noticeably limited as there are only 3-4 themes in the game for the most part, but fortunately they are catchy. I really enjoyed the main battle theme which plays for virtually all of the bosses. The game also did throw in a unique theme for the final boss which was definitely appreciated. I have no qualms with this area of the game.

There is a good amount of replay value here as you can try to get all of the PS4 trophies. During that process you can try to hit Level 600 with all of the characters and unlock the various endings. I got the normal ending, which I’m pretty satisfied with, but it would have been nice to have gotten the others. I thought I had enough of a trust level to get one of the bonus endings, but apparently not. The main game will last you over 25 hours as well so it’s not like the game even needed bonus content at all. It’s well worth the price.

Overall, Asdivine Hearts was a really fun game. The plot starts right away and even the intro which is probably the slowest part as you get the feel for the game was fun. A lot of that is due to the smooth gameplay, but the characters and story deserve a nod here as well. I definitely love RPGs since turn based combat/grinding is fun and you spend so much time in the story that you’re almost guaranteed to get to like the cast. The map in this game is also perfect so you’ll never get lost which is huge. I’m not going to say that this was one of the best RPGs ever, but it actually is pretty high up there. I hope the sequel ends up getting a PS4 release as well.

Overall 8/10

Lonesome Ghosts Review

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I always tell myself that I’m not afraid of ghosts, but watching shorts like this one reminds me that they could be deadly if they were real. Intangibility, Invisibility and reality warping are just the tip of the iceberg for this trio of ghouls. It’s really hard to deal with opponents that are this versatile and skilled in combat. It naturally makes for a good adventure though and this may be the best of the classic Disney shorts. It’s nonstop action as we get the hyped team up of Donald, Mickey, and Goofy.

The three of them are called to a haunted house to deal with a ghost problem. Mickey eagerly accepts the mission and brings along his squadmates, Goofy, and Donald. The three of them are ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way, but they’ll definitely have to use every skill at their disposal if they want to come out on top. Once they get in the house there is no turning back. Not that our brave heroes would run though, the only one who would beat a hasty retreat is Goofy and even he claims that he isn’t afraid of ghosts.

Donald is still my favorite member of the 3 and he does the best against the ghosts. He actually lands a solid haymaker. While the ghost may have quickly bounced back to mess with him some more, it was a satisfying moment. Donald also doesn’t show as much terror as the other characters. Goofy does the worst of course. While he looks so bad throughout that it is pretty funny, you just wish he could be a little more useful at times. Stabbing himself is not the way to win fights. As for Mickey, he’s determined, but he definitely felt outgunned the whole time. He’s a good team leader, but we know his group wouldn’t do too well without Donald.

The animation is consistent and looks really good. Especially when you consider just how old this special is. Disney was certainly ahead of its time in the animation department. The music is also fairly good. Perhaps it isn’t very memorable, but it gets the job done and sets the stage for the hype encounters with the supernatural. The special is only a little over 10 minutes so it definitely ends pretty quickly. While that means we don’t get to see as many pranks and shenanigans as I’d like, it also results in the pacing being quite fast. It doesn’t slow down for an instant and there is really nothing negative to say about this special. It’s a fun way to spend 15 minutes and the premise was just really good. I think it’ll be tough for a Disney short to pass it anytime soon.

Overall, If you haven’t started watching the classic Disney shorts yet, now is a good time to start. This one is very accessible for new viewers and you’ll be able to get the character personalities right away even based on just a few minutes of action. It’s also good to start with this special since you see the three big characters right away as opposed to seeing them separately for a while. It’s hard to name a more iconic trio than these guys.

Overall 7/10

Flatliners Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. A review of the unedited version would be even more negative. All thoughts below should be addressed as such
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It’s time to look at a film that went under but never came back. It flatlined so early on into the film that I figured they had named it after watching their own film. This one’s pretty terrible so I’m just going to be direct and say that you should stay far away from it. You’ll find out why this is the case below so prepare yourself! Prepare for a journey that you’ll never forget..but not in a good way!

Nelson, Randy, Rachel, Joe, and David are scientists with morally dubious pasts and they are willing to cross any line in the name of science. Nelson has decided that for his latest trick he’s going to intentionally flatline so he can see what happens after death. After all, his mind will still be alive even if his body is temporarily dead. The other students forget to point out that there have been many people with near death experiences and they didn’t see anything so why would he? Instead they throw him onto the stretcher and destroy him. When Nelson comes out, he’s a changed man. He shows up to the base bruised every day but encourages them to give it a try. Gradually the rest of the characters try it out except for Randy. He’s a little smarter than the others and decides not to risk his life for absolutely no reason.

This is a very mean spirited film which is why it’s so bad. The main characters aren’t even remotely likable. Lets start with Nelson. When he was a kid he bullied someone to death with a bunch of his friends and even took care of the dog. In case you were wondering, this is basically the point where the film dropped to a 0. Don’t get me wrong, it was already at around a 2 or so by this point but this sealed the deal. Sure, he “didn’t mean” to destroy the two since he panicked afterwards, but if you’re throwing rocks at a kid who’s high up in a tree..what did you think was going to happen?

Each character is cursed by their past in this film so as a result he ends up getting bullied by the kid that he destroyed. It’s pretty interesting to see a little kid show up with a baseball bat each day to knock him around. It’s pretty surreal and clearly Nelson never learned how to fight. He gets the most violent curse from all of the main characters and only lives due to plot hax and bad writing.

Next up is David. When he was a kid he bullied a girl along with a bunch of his friends and essentially forced her to move away and restart her life. Again, there’s no sympathy to be had with this main character. It’s hard to call his past a mistake since he was definitely old enough to know better. Reminds me of A Silent Voice and that’s never a good thing. David’s also not that great in the present and he should have stuck to his “NO” answer at the beginning of the film. The instant he walked into the lab you knew it was curtains for him.

Joe’s another bad main character. Essentially he would flirt with everyone and they were so free that they’d follow him home. They wouldn’t notice the cameras he set up as he had his fun with them and recorded the whole scenario. As a result his curse is that these women show up at his house….and flirt with him. It’s such a weak curse that you have to wonder what the writers were doing. Joe never even gets to feel bad about this. He certainly doesn’t seem to regret it since he kept the tapes around for all of these years. Why couldn’t we have one nice teenager who flatlines and comes out with no side effects because he wasn’t a jerk? There should be at least one nice guy in the group, but granted….a nice person probably wouldn’t hang out with these lowlifes.

Finally there’s Rachel. Her curse is because she seemingly blames her father for destroying himself. I mean…it’s hard not to hold a bit of a grudge over such a selfish action. Her flashback was kind of all over the place though and she gets over the case by putting him to peace. Sure, you have to let go at some point, but it was definitely an odd plot line. Hey, she was never a bully at least so that’s a consolation.

The film also has downright terrible writing. All of the characters are constantly swearing so much that you have to wonder what a limited vocabulary they have. The writing is also limited by the fact that the main characters are so bad since naturally they aren’t going to have any good lines. You won’t be surprised to hear that the romance is absolutely terrible here as well. They’re certainly not conservative teens so you can imagine how they just skip the formalities and the important parts of romance. They don’t seem to care about that kind of stuff. The random fanservice scenes through the curse were also completely unnecessary and the film was certainly going for all of the low hanging fruit to try and get extra tickets.

Overall, Flatliners is an absolutely dreadful film. The cast of characters are terrible and they got off rather easily. Nelson in particular tried to murder David, he did murder a kid in the past, he murdered a dog, and what he got in return for this was being beaten up a few times. That’s it…he’s now good to go. It’s not all bad as that would have made the film even more mean spirited I guess so it’s a lose-lose, but the film put itself into that position. It’s just really hard to sit through this mess because there is nobody to root for and no positive aspect to cling too. It’s the definition of an annoying teen film. I can’t say that I have high hopes for the stand alone sequel either. With a title like this, you just knew that the film was going to stay down.

Overall 0/10

Blade Runner Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. A review of the unedited version would be even more negative. All thoughts below should be addressed as such
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It’s time for a sci-fi film that had potential but chose to go for oscar bait moments instead of quality. What should have been an action thriller with lots of epic fight scenes turns into a very melodramatic film with the pacing of a snail. Good luck trying to keep up with the film as you’ll just start to lose interest once the main character doesn’t appear for about 30 minutes. Even when he does appear it’s not as if he’s a good character anyway so then you just want him to go away.

The film starts with Rick humble bragging as he tries to eat some ramen. The cops catch him though and bring him back to the Blade Runner program. He is ordered to murder 3 remnants (androids) who have managed to make it to Earth. He tries to talk a good game about not doing it, but they threaten him so he quickly folds. He retired from this business because it was starting to be too much for him, but he doesn’t have a choice now. He finds one of the remnants pretty easily through his lie detector test and gradually goes looking for the others. The problem is that these remnants have plans of their own and they’re all a lot stronger than Rick. Can he handle them?

Honestly, the long paragraphs of plot details in the intro sounded like they would have made for a better film. I’d love to have actually seen an army of androids revolt and attack the humans. Many good films have been made about that kind of plot. Why do we need to see the aftermath where humans seem to have already won the war. Furthermore, why is our tech so bad when this is the future? It feels like we should be able to damage the androids a lot easier by this point to be honest. Part of the fault lies with Rick though since he has no reaction times and walks into every trap imaginable. If not for the villains taking pity on him or other characters saving him, he’d be dead by now.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest problems with the film is how slowly the film moves. We get extremely long sequences with the villains where they just threaten people and you wonder what the main character is doing. Instead he has a very sketchy romance with Rachael that was pretty disgraceful. It definitely wouldn’t fly nowadays and it was definitely not going to make him a likable character. His only good trait is the internal monologue he is always having. That part was enjoyable at least since most films don’t do that anymore.

The writing is also pretty bad to be honest. The characters talk about random things that have no point. Rick uses very odd questions for the lie detector test which probably serve some kind of point in his mind, but the film should have made the questions better. Even the opening scene just makes you wonder how the humans have lived for so long as a remnant is interrogated in a small room where they let him keep his gun and the interrogator has no weapon. I mean, I could have told those guys that was probably a bad idea. They may not have known for sure that the guy was a remnant yet, but since the point of the interview is that they suspect him, they should have had some defenses ready.

The effects don’t look so good since the film is trying to look bad on purpose. It’s a film set in the future that wants to look like it’s in the past which is a pretty bad mix. Ghost in the Shell did a much better job with the overall design of the city while Terminator did a better job with the actual android designs. As a result, there’s nothing really going well for this film. Even the soundtrack is basically nonexistent.

Watch out as this film can be rather violent as well. It wasn’t too crazy although I did see the edited version, but enough to be worth noting. If you’re not a main character you better watch out as well since the villains effectively have free reign on the whole city. Rick isn’t protecting anything aside from himself so everyone else is on their own. It can be a little frustrating, but since I didn’t like any of the characters it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It would be worse if his lack of skills caused good characters to die.

Roy is the main villain but his name is the only cool thing about him. He’s just another random villain who tries to have some justifications and moral dilemmas to show that he’s not all bad, but he’s just another villain at the end of the day. He can’t even fully commit to this as he saved Rick towards the end which didn’t make much sense if you ask me. He has his reasons, but it was only a good way for destroying whatever hype Rick might have had left. It was virtually at 0 already though. There’s not much to say about Rachael except that she has no will power and just lets everyone walk over her. So much for a tough personality.

Overall, The biggest problem this film has is that it feels pointless. The plot takes forever to progress. You could watch the opening 20 minutes as they explain Rick’s mission and then skip to the end. You’d basically have a coherent plot, minus one Remnant who was taken down near the middle. The bulk of the film has nothing to do with his mission as the film just lost sight of what was happening. It’s hardly the only problem of course as Rick was definitely terrible and the Rachael was bad as well for letting him have his way. I feel like the sequel should definitely be better, but I can’t say that I have a lot of hope in its chances. This is probably just one series that is beyond saving without some kind of remake.

Overall 1/10

Cliffhanger Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would likely be far harsher.
cliffhanger
It’s time to look at an old action film about climbing the mountains. It’s definitely not a film that I had heard of beforehand, but the premise is fairly interesting and it’s always fun to remember what action films were like back in the day. I mean, this film isn’t as old as I may be hinting, but it’s an era that is certainly past now. It’s a pretty solid film all around and it doesn’t make any big mistakes along the way.

Gabe is one of the world’s greatest mountain rescuers. The average employee on the rangers uses the Helicopter, Gabe prefers to climb the mountain on foot. It was all going well until one of his friends (Hal) brought along a girl to climb the mountain with him. She is afraid of heights though and Hal has fun with this instead of being understanding. Gabe starts to perform his rescue, but the knot comes undone and the girl falls to her doom. Hal blames Gabe for this so Gabe quickly quit the Rangers and ran off for 11 months. After having his fill of guilt tripping himself, Gabe comes back only to find out that a group of people have gotten stuck on the mountain again. Hal is going off to find them, but Gabe knows he won’t be able to get the job done and tags along as well.

This cuts into the villain side of the equation. A group of plane hijackers are after 100 million (I think that was the total. Maybe it was 300 mill) but an FBI agent shoots the plane down and that’s how they crashed. They decide to trick the rangers into helping them find the money. Of course, they just go into threatening mode once the Rangers show up and have them at gun point. Hal and Gabe will have to think fast to get past these guys and back home. They’ll also have to do it quickly as the main heroine (Jessie) and the boss are planning to go after the heroes since the rescue is taking too long. They wouldn’t last a minute against these villains.

I was a little surprised at first when a large chunk of the intro focused on the villains. I wondered where Gabe was, but I guess the writers wanted you to really get to see all of the villains. They were pretty important in this film after all. Eric is a good leader for the group and he certainly plays for keeps here. He’s very persistent as he keeps coming up with different plans to take Gabe down for good. Gotta give him some kudos there. The tech man for the team was also pretty solid as he made sure that the gadget for finding the money could only be used by him. See, this is a smart minion. Most of the others would have just told the boss the password and that would have been game over.

As much credit as I give the villains for their resourcefulness and all…I still had a hard time buying into the plane hijacking. It’s just a little hard to swallow that all of the professional agents would go down so fast. At the very least you need to shoot the guy standing in the center if you’re going to be turned into swiss cheese anyway. So I did like the FBI agent there since he got one last shot just to mess with the villains. He certainly did a lot better than the average agent. Probably the best character in the film if we’re being honest. He just needed to be a little faster on the draw next time.

The film does a good job of mixing the action and the humor. It can actually get very violent and serious at times, but the TV version did a seamless job of editing out the worst parts and glossing over the fights. As a result we were just left with the hype parts. The soccer villain was also pretty interesting since he towed the line between sadistic villain and pun happy eccentric. The soccer skills were definitely impressive, but not as impressive as Hal’s comeback. I’ve always agreed with the characters on this one. If a villain is trying to destroy you anyway, it’s gotten to the point where it’s pretty personal so you may as well counter with a pun for the added disrespect.

The one liners in this film were pretty good like the line about how the campfire was expensive as the heroes burned money to stay warm. I mean, I probably wouldn’t light a fire when there are a bunch of people with guns out to get me, but I suppose the villains didn’t have their glasses ready yet. The romance is the only area of the film that’s rather weak but it doesn’t play much of a role anyway. It pretty much comes and goes with no real fanfare. The writing is all right as it delivers the humor well with the one liners but can be lacking otherwise. Not weak enough to hold the film back though.

There’s nothing really negative to say about Gabe. He didn’t handle the whole situation very well as he just ditched Jessie for absolutely no reason. Leaving for 11 months without a single form of communication and then showing up so Jessie can move out was a terrible plan. Of course the point is that Gabe is best when he’s on the mountain and then he wrecks everybody. He can certainly fight well and he did do his best to save Hal’s friend back when it counted. I don’t like Hal because of how petty he is for a while. I did keep some respect for him though since he still did his best to help Gabe out afterwards. Once the villains took out the guns and started attacking, there was no more time for bickering. The two of them just teamed up without a word. You’d expect that two guys who were friends for so long would be able to do that but it’s something that a lesser film would probably forget to be honest.

An important thing that the film also did well was keeping the pacing quick. The heroes and villains were always on the run so the brief campfire scenes didn’t last long. For an action film like this one, it’s important that the action keeps on going. That may sound obvious, but it can be difficult to always have something happening since the writers have to think of reasons for why each side isn’t dead yet. Since they’re on a snowy mountain that gets really dark at night, that helps quite a bit. It’s always fun to have an ongoing chase and the film’s soundtrack, while forgettable, worked well during these scenes.

Overall, Cliffhanger is a solid film. On one hand, it’s not as if it does anything spectacular that will always let me remember it, but sometimes you don’t need to have a scene like that. The film was consistent throughout and it’s not as if there are many action movies on top of a mountain so I think I’ll definitely remember this film for quite a long time. It is intense so I’d recommend waiting for it to be on TV, but then you’re set for a solid action film. You’ll get to see Gabe put his boxing moves to good use here. The villains never stood a chance to be honest. Now if only the cops could have done something to help. That would have been the icing on top.

Overall 7/10