Game Records

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Stats and Records

No real stats this time. Feels bad!

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Review

It’s time for a very interesting game review. The reason why I say that is because this review isn’t 100% complete. This game came in two discs and the only problem is that I don’t have the two discs. I only bought the first and I’m not about to go and try to buy the other one so I’m reviewing the game based on the first half. That’s reasonable though since the first disc has over half of the levels since the second one focuses on the multiplayer aspect of the title. It’s a fun game and feels rather polished. It may not be my favorite Bond game as that honor belongs to one that I’ll be reviewing shortly, but it is definitely a solid game in its own right.

The game manages to bring together most of the biggest villains from the classic Bond films. They have all united to try and take the agent down for good which is certainly bad news for this operative. Fortunately he has the help of Agent Terry, a fighter so powerful that even 007 has to acknowledge his abilities. Together these two agents will do their best to fight against the forces of evil. Can they succeed or will they fail? It all comes down to the skills of you, the player.

The gameplay is pretty straight forward. You try to shoot the enemies ahead of you and ultimately you have to survive at any cost. Your mission will typically be to activate something after you’ve cleared out the guards. You have your hand weapon when starting a level but you can also pick up weapons that are scattered across the room from the various minions. You can also engage in fisticuffs when you are out of ammo, but I can’t really say that I would advise this. Just try to have some ammo on hands so don’t waste your shots. The gameplay is quite technical all things considered and you’ll want to try and remember as much of it as possible.

Also, it should be noted that this game is quite difficult. I’m not great at the FPS genre so that should be taken into account, but the levels are very unforgiving. Shots from the enemy take up a lot of damage so even with your health being able to regenerate it is hard to proceed through a level. The enemies also bring the fight to you so you can only hide for so long. It’s definitely not a game for newcomers to the genre or kids in general as they won’t stand a chance. It helps the game last longer for sure though so that’ll help it be worth the price you paid. The main game length should take you around 10 hours which is solid. There’s not really anything else in the way of replay value single player wise. There is a nice multiplayer option though so that’ll give you enough fun for a very long while. Be sure that you have the 2nd disc or you won’t be able to play it though.

I’d say that the graphics look pretty good. They’re not super amazing or anything like that, but they get the job done. The levels look good and the game does give us a solid amount of cinematics which is refreshing. You can tell that some real effort was put behind this game and that’s definitely a good thing. It’s also impressive that Bond got at least 3 different games for the Gamecube. Not just any character can pull that off. It’s a little hard to compare FPS titles to each other since they’re so similar so I couldn’t tell you if this game is as good as Agent Under Fire or not. I’m inclined to say that it isn’t but it’s probably pretty close.

The plot was reasonably engaging. It didn’t have as many one liners as the last Bond game, but that’s because Bond isn’t the lead so it makes sense that Terry is a lot more withdrawn. After all, he’s here to help save the day, not to trade barbs. It’s hard to say how likable the main character is either of course since he’s rather silent and doesn’t do anything but fire at the enemies. Not a bad thing, but I like when the games aren’t afraid to give the original character a little more personality than that.

Overall, GoldenEye is a fun Bond game. It’s a shame that I won’t be able to see the ending, but rebuying the disc just doesn’t seem worth it and I’m not interested enough to look it up on Youtube either. It’s just going to have to live with the knowledge of only being worth half a playthrough. Honestly that’s not such a sad fate though right? Half a game is still better than none and at the end of the day at least you could say that the game was interesting enough to get through that. If you like FPS titles then this is a good game for you but otherwise skip it. Your enjoyment depends entirely on how you like the genre because it doesn’t try for much more than that. That’s just the kind of genre an FPS is.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Jason Bourne Review

It’s time to look at the latest entry in the Bourne franchise. The series has had pretty cool titles up til now so it was a little disappointing to see that this one just used the main character’s name. It makes sense for the marketing I suppose, but it’ll also make it a little harder to look for things from this movie through Google Search in a few years since the character will keep on popping up. Jason Bourne is a fun film and a nice installment in the series although I dare say that the third film was better and probably the second as well. I’m inclined to say that this one beats the fourth film though and I can barely remember the first one at this point. It’s a nice way to start wrapping up the summer and probably is the final good film of this season.

Jason Bourne has been living under the radar. He enters fights to make a decent living and is content to stay off the grid. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option when one of his old friends requests a meet and the government quickly finds out about this. One thing leads to another and now Bourne must find out the extra details of his past which were kept from him all these years. The organization behind the Bourne initiative better watch out because Bourne isn’t leaving without some new knowledge. Meanwhile, they see this as their best chance to take him out of the equation once and for all!

I was definitely looking forward to this title because of how good the trailer was. It’s no exaggeration to say that it is the best non superhero trailer of 2016. (Wide release theater films only) Jack Reacher gives it a little competition, but Bourne could not be topped. The music was perfect and the plot seemed like it would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, things do feel just a little random at times and I partially blame this on the film not being long enough or simply having too many plots. Typically, I wanted to see more of Bourne. The social media subplot just didn’t really go anywhere.

Of course, it is a positive for the film that it goes by so quickly as well. The pacing never really died down except for when it tried to show off the side characters a little too much. The soundtrack was pretty solid although not as good as the trailer theme. It’s the intense chase scene type music that you would expect although the sound effects typically drown it out so I’m already starting to forget it all. I liked the special effects that were used whenever the government was shown. As many people pointed out during the trailer, they probably shouldn’t have a big folder called “BlackOps” as it makes ta hacker’s job a lot easier, but I suppose they were really proud of their security. It ultimately was pretty good, but most of the staff didn’t know how to handle it which defeats the purpose. The fun visuals are one of the main reasons why I love to see the government play a big role in a film.

The other reason is for all of the tough talk. Dewey is one of the big villains and also one of the best characters in the film. He may even be The best. Dewey does a good job of sabotaging everyone and proving that nothing is beneath him as he does whatever it takes to stay ahead. It’s easy to see how he got promoted to such a high organization and he gets most of the best lines. There’s always some kind of plan going on inside of his head and in the end, he proves that he can take on even the best of agents in a one on one fight.

Naturally, Jason Bourne is a good character as well. He’s still super intelligent and knows how to stay away from the government. He’s tends to say something pretty intense and epic whenever he talks. It’s made pretty clear that Bourne can’t be found unless it’s part of his plan. He knows the system way too well to fall for any of the tricks and traps that are set for him. The intro scene is definitely not great for him as he really lost his way, but now that he has a purpose, he should stick around as the Bourne that we all remember. When it’s clutch time, Bourne will pull through in the end. He’s a much better James Bond than 007 ever was and is still one of the better agents out there.

Nicky is the girl from the trailer and her role is rather small. Her heart’s in the right place, but she doesn’t really seem like she’s ready for this level of strategic thinking. She doesn’t really seem to take the government seriously and just walks from trap to trap constantly. It’s good that she helped to get Bourne back into the game, but I would have liked for her to have done a little better. Taking out a few soldiers and coming up with a plan would have been cool. Meanwhile, we’ve got Heather as the other heroine. She works for Dewey, but has aspirations of her own. She certainly is very tech savvy and does a good job of making sure to be present whenever Bourne strikes. I’d say that Heather is rather charismatic. It’s always tough working for someone who’s both powerful and evil, but Heather does a decent job of it. While she was fairly likable, it’ll be a little hard to take her seriously as long as she has to take orders from her higher ups. Of course, she’ll have a whole film and possibly more to develop herself as a true threat…or hero by the end.

There’s also an assassin who wants revenge on Bourne. As a result of Bourne leaking everything that the organization did to the web, he was captured and held for several years. There’s nothing to like about this guy though and the film doesn’t even try to make you feel sympathetic for him. He’s a villain plain and simple and you’re still going to be rooting for Bourne to take him down. I also felt that he did a little too good in the end as he took down many cops and road blocks before Bourne finally cornered him. Films always make roadblocks look incredibly inept so I like to think that in real life they are a little better.

I mean, you see a guy approaching in an armored van. Knowing this, you set up a blockade which consists of two little police cars, which the guy runs over. The cops always looked shocked at this outcome, but this is what will always happen. There’s no reason for the guy not to run into the cars. At least half heartedly shoot at the tires! Instead, the casualties were very high as the guy rammed into dozens of cars and really took the house down. It was pretty cool visually, but I can’t help but feel bad for the civilians. (And all of the poor cops who got in the way)

Unfortunately, the fight scenes weren’t very good in this film. The final fight in particular was poorly handled as it just tried to be super violent and gritty to remind us that Bourne is a tough guy who can fight under pain. I’m sure that all of us already knew that. This film was definitely a little more violent than it needed to be, but at least nothing else was quite as bad as that final fight. Locking someone up in the bathtub was also unnecessary though as it was just there to be gritty as well. This aspect of the film certainly hurts it the most.

The ending is pretty conclusive and there doesn’t really need to be any more sequels, but they could certainly expand on the situation some more if they want. Bourne didn’t get to read the complete file so there is certainly more to see there and the whole plot twist with his father just came out of left field as well. I think the film tried a little too hard to turn the situation into one big conspiracy, but that’s not a bad thing either. It’s certainly reasonable to think that the government planned for all of this. Also, it was fun to hear the classic Bourne theme from the older films play again. It’s been ages since I got to hear that on.

The best part of this film was easily the first big action scene in the film. It’s the one from the trailers where the town is burning and the heroes are trying to stay away from the cops. THat was definitely handled really well and I could have definitely been content for that scene to have kept going on and on and on. It just had the most Bourne like feel to it and even the fights in this scene were far better than what we got at the ending.

Finally, there is also a subplot about a social media product. This was probably the plot that was the most forced as it’s basically just a social commentary on what is going on behind the scenes. The government is naturally trying to use the guy’s product in the shadows so the people don’t realize it. The guy decides that people deserve their privacy and decides to fight back. People who are already conspiratorial about how the government is always watching will definitely enjoy this, but it just felt like this plot had no business being here. It’s nice that the guy is trying to protect our privacy I guess, but I actually agree with Dewey here. It certainly makes it a lot tougher for the government to do their job and in this digital age, there is always someone watching. No data is truly private. The second you turn on the computer, you become a data point that someone is using. It’s just how the times have rolled on.

Overall, Jason Bourne plays out like your average action film. None of the plot twists are too unexpected and you can follow the plot well enough from your experience with other films. That being said, the film does handle itself relatively well and just because it’s a little predictable doesn’t make it a bad flick. I’m sure it beats most of the other rival action films that are out at the moment although Jack Reacher could give it a nice fight. This film has started a new era for the Bourne series so I look forward to seeing where it goes from here. I recommend this film and one important thing that it has over other films is that the main cast is rather solid. Just about everyone is likable and that’s always a good thing.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

North by Northwest Review

Looks like it’s time to check out one of the classics by Hitchcock. This film plays out like a James Bond adventure in many ways, which is good and bad. The film is certainly nice and long so there is enough time to fit in quite a few plot points, but the movie ends up being one of Alfred’s weaker ones. It just can’t hold up to some of his other classics, but gives it a good effort.

Roger was just an ordinary joe for a while. He had a good job and he was satisfied with how his life was going. One day, he is kidnapped by a group who claims that he is actually Mr. Kaplan. Roger is angered by these accusations, but he drinks a beer and is nearly tricked into driving off a cliff. He regains his wits in time to survive, but how will he prove his innocence? The police are irritated by his driving while drinking trick and then Roger is framed for murder. With everyone after him, it’s going to be tough for Roger to escape. This will take all of his extreme skills.

As I mentioned, the film is a little like James Bond. One of the ways in which it is similar is how long the film is. The plot is constantly changing as the film goes on and new situations present themselves. It’s safe to say that you won’t see the ending coming from the early parts of the film because of how many transitions are present. Length can be a tricky thing, but this film handles it rather well even if I do prefer the first half of the film to the second.

See, at first, Roger is just your average joe. He is framed so he tries to clear his name after he escapes the country. We get to see him jump on trains and outrun the government. The second half has him become more of a special agent as he tries to deal with the villains. The film turned into a bit of a spy movie as we had special agents and villain organizations. Still pretty good, but a pretty big shift.

In an unfortunate similarity to James Bond, Roger begins to like one of the antagonists and they have several prolonged scenes of trying to start a romance. It goes on for quite a while and these scenes are what brings the film down. Even when Roger is trying to enact a plan or get revenge on the enemies, he takes the time to flirt and ignore the fact that Eve wants him to just leave her alone. How many times do you have to be betrayed to get the message right?

The “heroes” are also more than a little shady. I’m talking about the council who is aware of Roger’s plight. Not only do they do nothing to help the guy, but they actively try to destroy him at one point as they don’t want to risk Eve’s safety so they allow Roger to walk into a trap with one of the airplanes. (Or was it a helicopter?) It’s hard to forget that Eve was in on it so the romance should have been over and done with it. None of that “It wasn’t personal Roger” talk could get out of that one.

Roger’s mom is a pretty funny character to have around. She doesn’t take the situation seriously at all and puts Roger in many tough plights. As far as she is concerned, Roger is guilty and just making up stories to make himself look better. She had to miss a show because of Roger and I like to think that she is holding it against him for the whole movie and that’s why she’s giving him such a hard time. Missing the opera is certainly not fun.

Roger was a likable character for a while, but then he went James Bond and it was all over. The guy stopped being the epic protagonist that he used to be, but he still had his moments. The auction plan was brilliant as he did a good job in summoning the police. He started to act with more confidence in the second half of the movie as he finally began to gather his bearings and accept his role. It’s easy to root for the guy even if I don’t care for his character.

Eve is in a tough spot right from the start. She is forced to make quite a few tough decisions. It’s hard to say whether she makes the right ones or not, but then she shouldn’t have continued to mess around with Roger. There was no reason for it and endangering the mission is not cool if she was still planning to take it seriously. The main villain is fairly dull. He talks a good game…but he really doesn’t have much of a role. He’s simply the villain and there’s not a whole lot to say about him. He actually still liked Eve the whole time until he found out about the treachery as she was his girlfriend before she ever defected. He simply underestimated the power of morality and money.

As with most spy type films, there is a bunch of plot hax to be found here. Right from the start actually as Roger is held a gun point while in a very high class restaurant. The place is bustling with people and nobody notices this. Roger isn’t exactly subtle about the situation and the gunmen don’t really try to quiet him down. You’d think that the place had been deserted and the no witnesses part comes back to haunt Roger. Roger also walks right into a government establishment and allegedly take out a powerful politician. Where were the guards and how did nobody notice that Roger did not actually commit the act? These are the kinds of questions that you will have to ask yourself as you watch the film. Plot hax like this doesn’t really hurt the film, but it will make you shake your head a little.

As expected of such an old film. The writing is very good and the characters all sound respectable. Even the villain is polite in a passive aggressive way as he threatens Roger. I was surprised to see that the soundtrack was also very quick and ready to go. You don’t expect such a colorful soundtrack in such an old movie, but we had some nice tunes. That helped the film really be complete.

Overall, This is another compelling installment by Hitchcock. The main thing that holds it back is the relationship between Eve and Roger as it doesn’t make sense and is unnecessary. Once Eve sold him out to the villains, that should have been the end of that. We hardly needed more flirting after that. The film is quite long and the film uses this effectively. You’re in for a good ride in this film despite its faults. I recommend this film if you’re really into the James Bond films and you would probably like it even more than I did. However, if you’ve seen some of Hitchcock’s other thrillers like Dial M for Murder, you may find it to be a bit lacking. This film was extremely close to getting a positive rating after all, but I don’t do .5s so it had to be held back.

Overall 5/10

Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

James Bond 007 Agent Under Fire Review

Who would have thought that I’d be playing a James Bond game eh? While the films leave much to be desired; the concept is pretty good for a video game. This one is actually a First Person Shooter, which is the first time I’ve played one since Metroid Prime if I recall correctly. It’s not my favorite genre, but as long as it’s better than the Eternal Ring…it should be fine. Let’s see if the game had what it takes!

The plot involves 007…AKA James Bond as he undergoes a mission. See, detailing the plot for anything James Bond related is tough because there are numerous plot twists and changes that occur during the story. You can’t really say who the main villain is without spoiling the character and the history behind it. Either way, it’s not ultimately important because the game doesn’t even have an ending. After you blow up the building (With a big character still inside) the game abruptly ends. I suppose that there is no longer a threat so it can be an “ending” in that sense, but it feels really sudden. The ending just comes out of nowhere and hits you like a flash.

While the plot is forgettable; the cutscenes will stay with you for a while. James Bond continues to make many wisecracks and one liners in these scenes. Some are pretty clever like what he says when one of the villains falls in a vat of acid. Others just remind me why I don’t like James Bond. He can never take his mind off of pleasure. It also leads to his demise more times than not. One of his allies suckers him into going to the base because he put a hologram of a shower with someone inside. Another person hired a lady to jump into a pool and when Bond rushed out to appreciate the view, he got tackled from behind. Bond never seems to learn from these mistakes as he’s back to normal in the next cutscene. The voice acting is pretty good and Bond definitely sounds similar to his voice in the films. There are other characters in the game, but none that are really memorable. This is a James Bond game after all! I could have done without the romance in the story, but it’s James Bond so I was prepared for it.

The FPS gameplay is about what you would expect. It can be a little hard to remember that the C stick moves you horizontally and I fell a few times from it. One can still jump, crouch, and use a lot of gadgets aside from the gun. FPS definitely isn’t my main style, but it could have been worse. Metroid Prime definitely wins with pure gameplay, but Agent Under Fire managed to stay fun through the levels. Aside from the shooting aspects, there are also a pair of levels where you get to drive in a car. Naturally, this was the most fun part of the game. The gameplay was really good for this part and it felt like Need For Speed, but even better. (My problem with Need For Speed is the lack of actual speed) You really got to zoom in these levels and the various weapons on the car made it fun as well.

There are 12 levels in this game. That’s not a whole lot and most of them can be finished in a few minutes. In that sense, it’s definitely a lot shorter than De Blob. (Another short game) It took me two sittings to finish all of the levels, but it was a considerable amount of time because of the later levels. There are rarely check points so if you lose; then you usually have to go back to the beginning. That can be tough after a while because of how long the levels can feel. I definitely could have used more check points in the game. A slight negative would be how vague the game can be at times. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to use my jetpack to get to the final boss and blowing up the ceiling with a rocket launcher that I didn’t even know I owned was another challenge. I randomly got lost a few times as well. Maybe this helps the game to be a more complete experience, but they could have added more details.

Agent Under Fire has a decent amount of replay value. You can keep on playing the levels to get all of the Platinum Medals and unlock a hidden video. I got a bronze and a gold or two, but getting all Platinums sounds pretty difficult. It would be a nice challenge, but one that I don’t really have time for. The game also has a multiplayer mode, which considerably increases its replay value. Nothing like challenging your friends to the FPS that was cool before Call of Duty showed up! I dare say that this one is a lot more fun than Call of Duty. (Haven’t played it, but it’s not my style)

The graphics are a little underwhelming. It has a retro Gamecube feeling, but it’s just too dark. As with the Mummy, you’ll need to increase the brightness settings on your TV if you want to be able to see well. In a game where sharpshooters can be found anywhere; this is pretty critical. I wouldn’t say that the graphics are terrible, but they could be better. I still have fun with them since they’re awkward in a good way. (Like Hotel Mario)

I know that I’ve been giving just about everything a lot of props for the soundtrack lately, but it’s just my good luck that the themes have been so good. James Bond doesn’t disappoint with the fun tracks and we have the classic one from the films, but also a great danger theme. When you run into some minions; the theme will quickly pop up and it’s a very fast theme that’s fitting for battle. It reminds me of some of the themes from the original Spider Man game for Gamecube.

Overall, Agent Under Fire wasn’t a bad game. The car levels were a lot of fun (I wish that there had been more of them!) and the FPS mechanics weren’t bad considering that I’m not usually a big fan of them. The story may not have been memorable, but the cutscenes were pretty fun at times. (Some much more than others. Naturally, I could do without the romance) I definitely recommend this game to all fans of Call of Duty and you should enjoy it if you’re looking forward to a good secret agent story.

Overall 7/10