7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Tank! Tank! Tank! Review

It’s time to look at a game I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. The cover and screenshots looked pretty good and it has a 3D multiplayer option. You can’t really beat that. Alas, there’s a reason why this game isn’t getting the critical acclaim that you might expect. The reason is that the game is quite limited in content and won’t last for very long. At full price this would be quite dicey.

The basic plot is that you are fighting off an alien invasion. We don’t know why all of these Kaiju and robots are attacking but it’s up to you and your tanks to fight them back. Show these guys that Earth is not on the menu. Defeat is not an option so fortunately you will have quite a few tanks to choose from by the end. The story is also co-op enabled or you can have an A.I. jump in.

The basic gameplay is probably just as you would have imagined it to be. You control the tank and drive around 3D environments as you take it to the monsters. You have your main weapon and you can also grab 2 other temporary ones during the level from enemies you defeat. You will naturally be driving around during this as well to try and dodge as many shots as possible but be warned that some tanks have a very hard time moving. Sometimes it’s best to just find a good spot and hold your ground. It definitely looks and feels like the arcade game that it is which adds a nostalgic twist to the title. The gameplay may not be quite as smooth as you would like but it feels natural.

The graphics are nice and bright with colorful designs for the monsters and the levels. It all looks pretty solid even if not groundbreaking. It’s a game that is very nice to look at visually. The soundtrack is less impressive as the game has a very small amount of tunes which keep on looping. The tunes aren’t bad but more of a selection would have been good. You can only hear the same tune so many times before it loses some impact.

Now lets talk about what hurt the game quite a bit. It’s the fact that the title really tries to artificially extend its length. There are around 35 levels in the game but at first you can only play around 8. How do you unlock the next batch? You have to beat all of the levels again with a different tank. The game runs on a star system. You get 1 star every time you beat a level. To complete the game you need dozens and dozens of stars so you have to complete each of the levels over and over again. It’s done to a very tedious degree.

I understand that the game wants you to play it a little extra, but you can’t lock the main story behind such a thing. What that shows is that the developers were nervous and thought people wouldn’t willingly replay the levels purely for the tanks. They have to trust in their game or put some good unlockables in. I played their game for a while and did the replays, but when I saw that I had to replay the 20 levels again deep into the game I just put it down. There’s just no way I was going to do that many levels just to play a few more reskins.

Yes, towards the end of the game you started fighting the same bosses and opponents over and over again. The stage limit is limited and same with the character models. As a result you can tell that this should be a short game. It just didn’t have the production values to be extended so much by just reusing the levels. The game could have been clever with shifting the levels or the goals a bit to make it more unique, but didn’t do any of that.

So, Tank Tank Tank is a fun game, but it is stretched out to the point where it loses some brownie points with you. It does have a good amount of replay value though I suppose. Beating all of the levels with all of the tanks will take quite a while. Each level is fairly short at only 1-2 minutes, but beating it over and over again just isn’t the most enjoyable experience. You also have to take into account the short cutscenes that play before each level which cannot be skipped. They’re short, but it’s the little things like this which hurt a bit. Fortunately the game does have a multiplayer option which is where most of the real replay value will come in. Now that’s a mode where you can play for a long time without getting bored.

Overall, I would still recommend this game. It goes for bargain prices nowadays so that will help with the lack of content issue. It’s a good low price option for getting in some multiplayer fun. You also have to give it some credit for the cool monster designs. The whole thing feels like a big Kaiju homage at times. You have characters like Ghidorah and King Kong running around and again, the core gameplay is fun. That’s still the most important part of any game and this one nails down that part so you’re still going to have fun. It’s best in short batches and if you follow that you’ll be entertained for quite a while.

Overall 7/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle Review

It’s time to take a look at one of the most eagerly awaited games of 2018! The instant that the first teaser trailer came out I knew that this was going to be an all star title. RWBY characters were finally getting a chance in the spotlight and I was also finally able to experience the Blazblue fighting style. Needless to say the game is a blast. Unfortunately while the game was expected to be relatively low budget, I still did expect a little more than what the game had to offer. It’s a great title, but perhaps one that I cannot call masterful.

The premise of the game’s story is that every character from 4 different worlds have been kidnapped. Each world gets 4-8 different fighters who compete in a big tournament to decide all of their fates. The champion must grab all 4 of the Keystones and make it to the end. Sounds simple enough, but will this mysterious cosmic being really let them go so easily? You typically can’t trust these mysterious characters. Most of the characters here just want to fight so don’t expect most confrontations to end calmly.

There are 4 stories, one for each of the various series in the game. The stories have 8 battles within them and a general story in the background. Blazblue is the only story with multiple endings though. The stories are fairly quick at around 70 minutes each and only around 10 if you skip cutscenes. The cutscenes are pretty long and have voice acting which is great but each character only has 1 stock pose. This means that characters look like they’re about to fight in every scene even when it’s a peaceful discussion. The most obvious example of this is the Persona character whose illustration shows her throwing out a kick. You see this same kick for every single scene she is in. Most games come with at least 3 illustrations for exactly this reason and it’s actually a little crazy that this game only uses one. I’ve seen mobile games with what looks like a higher budget.

Also, the story doesn’t even make much sense at all. The high above being needs energy from the combatants in order to take over their worlds. She even has a rule in place that prevents them from fighting unless it’s a tag battle so as not to waste her time. Yet, she loses control of the characters randomly at times. Sometimes she is eavesdropping on the heroes to know their plans and sometimes she just doesn’t. She does such a glorious job of messing everything up that it makes it tough for you to take the game seriously. Her power level is just very inconsistent and most of the characters act completely out of character as well. I just think the story could have been way better and honestly it is the weakest part of the game. I wouldn’t even call the game low budget at all if not for the story. The story is what makes it appear that way with the writers just phoning in the plot and not really doing much with it. If we ever do get a sequel or a full fledged RWBY game, I hope they put ore thought into it.

The gameplay is your standard 2D fighter. You attack other players with long combos and finals smashes as you attempt to get their life bars down to 0. The battles are all 2 on 2 so tagging in and out adds to the strategy of it all. There are easy auto combos that you can use while you start the game, but eventually you want to move onto more advanced techniques or you will be doomed against the stronger foes. I have no complaints with the gameplay as it flows very well and is just very well done.

There are quite a few different modes to play here aside from the story. Naturally there is the training mode which is pretty handy as well as Tactics mode. There you learn combos and complete tutorials about the game. The vast majority of the game’s replay value is through it’s online and local multiplayer mode of course. Knowing this, most of the trophies in the game are obtained through these features. You can even obtain the Platinum in around 3 hours if you are truly rushing. If you don’t have online then you want to play a lot of multiplayer matches locally. If you are just playing for single player content then you will be done very quickly.

The game got a lot of controversy for locking half of the characters behind a paywall and rightfully so. The developers are basically just reusing the characters from previous games so it hardly costs them anything. I do appreciate the price of the game being reduced to help justify this, but it’s still not a good look. As a result you fight some characters in the game that you can’t even play as. We’ll see how much each character is, but I don’t think I will be purchasing any of them. I just don’t play the game enough to make it worth it as opposed to something like Smash 4.

One of the big positives of the game is its rich soundtrack. Blazblue has always had a bunch of great themes and now we get to hear the RWBY ones alongside it. Persona and Under Night’s themes aren’t bad either so it’s just a very complete soundtrack. It’s nice to have voice acting for all of the characters as well since it makes the game look more polished. The graphics are certainly top of the line so the game’s developers spared no expense in this arena. The Astral Finish move that each of the characters have looks great and the gameplay is very bright and dynamic. Even if some aspects of the game were rushed, these certainly weren’t.

Overall, Cross Tag Battle is a great game. You just have to decide on if you want to look at it in a glass half full view where you’re just glad that the game actually got made and licensed or in a half empty view where there is so much more that could have been done with it. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a game that I had a blast playing even if it was a rather brief experience. I’ll at least go back to unlock some more trophies and if I ever buy a month of PS+ to get some online trophies maybe I’ll even go for the Platinum. Surely getting to Silver Rank online won’t be that tough right? I’d recommend checking this game out if you’re a big fan of fighters or just want to be able to play as Team RWBY. That alone makes the purchase worth it.

Overall 8/10

Game Records

Pokken Tournament Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 19h 29m
Money 32,465
Titles: 37.40% Complete

Offline Stats
Record 106-3
Current League: Chrome
Rank: 1


Hats 23/352
Mustache 7/14
Glasses 14/132
Battle AR 12/12
Headphones 39/48
Battle Jacket 14/324
Effects 14/14
Outer Effects 6/6

Online Stats

Rank Battles Record: 84-26
Friendly Battles Record 63-20
Rank: C5

Overall Battle Record 253-49
19 Perfect KOS
100 Burst Attacks
45 Cool Wins
1 Time Up
Longest Ranked Win Streak: 16
5 Star Results: 33
Total Synergy Burst Count 338
Total Support Use 415
Total Earned Money 17,378,465

Pokemon Stats
Blaziken Level 100 247-43
Chandelure Level 4 3-1
Pikachu Level 1 0-1
Weavile Level 1 0-1
Suicune Level 1 0-1
Charizard Level 1 1-0
Pikachu Libre Level 2 1-0
Braixen Level 1 1-0
Mewtwo Level 1 0-1
Shadow Mewtwo Level 1 0-1
Lucario Level 1 –
Machamp Level 1 –
Gardevoir Level 1 –
Gengar Level 1 –
Sceptile Level 1 –
Garchomp Level 1 –

Arcade Battles, Battles, Kingpin Battles, Tournaments

Arcade vs Kingpin

Neither one of these fighters is particularly powerful, but that’s why they’re down here right? Kingpin has his cane which can fire energy blasts and is simply handy in a fight. Meanwhile Arcade has his arsenal of weapons at the ready. He won’t go down easy and can also fight hand to hand if necessary. This is definitely a tough match to decide especially since both characters can pseudo fly thanks to Age of Apocalypse. I’ll give the slight edge to Kingpin, but this could easily change if someone shows me a comic of Arcade in a cool tech suit. Kingpin wins.

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Assault Suit Leynos Review

I ended up printing out a coupon for 5 dollars off a new game instead of 10 dollars off of a pre owned one at Gamestop by mistake the other day so I went looking for a new title that I could get for cheap. Leynos showed up and this game always looked pretty interesting. I’d only come across it once or twice in the past, but I like Arcade style games well enough. A modern port is always appreciated since it adds continue points and a saving feature. It’s a fun game and while it is fairly short, the trophies help to add in some replay value. Considering that it’s only 15 dollars new and probably even less used, I’d say that it deserves to be picked up.

The plot is that a bunch of people were sent into space back in the day. Then World War 4 showed up (Yes, not 3. That was off screen) and all of our technology went out the window. We finally rebuilt our civilization and united the world in peace, but we told the space explorers to fend for themselves. They didn’t like that and created their own robot army in order to claim revenge. Can we defeat our own people…and should we? It is life or death as they intend to destroy Earth so I think that ultimately ends up answering the question. We certainly will not go down easily!

The gameplay plays out like a 2D Gundam game. You can equip up to 6 parts on your robot. You can choose to load him up with various guns and rockets or you can equip some boosters and extra armor. I personally went with 3 armors, my Machine Gun, and two sets of rockets. I definitely recommend the Machine Gun and the Armors are great since they add a whole new life bar for each one that you equip. They’re a real life savor. You can also fly if you have the booster and you can aim the guns up and down with the control stick as you go through the levels. You can also punch, but aside from a trophy that you can get for it…why would you ever punch? It’s a joke move in there just for fun I believe.

There are two different modes in the game, Arcade Mode and Classic Mode. Ironically, Classic Mode is the actual one from the arcade game as you play through the whole game and take it down a few pegs. There are less cutscenes and bosses and it feels retro. Naturally, I played the Arcade Mode instead. This one’s a little more modernized with extra features and all the new gadgets. I’ll try the other one out soon for a trophy though so no worries on that. I’ve heard that it’s tougher, but that’s what the save feature is for right? There are 8 levels in each mode and each one can be defeated in a few minutes. The game isn’t very long as a result, but the difficulty level should ensure that you replay some of them a few times which adds to the overall length.

There also is some replay value here since you’ll want to nab the Platinum trophy. It doesn’t sound too difficult, but will certainly take some 2D skills to achieve. For example, one level will have you win without using any guns, that one definitely sounds like it’ll be a pain. I’ll need to equip my best armors for that. Without the trophies, this game probably would have gotten bumped down to a 6. After all, the gameplay may be entertaining, but there’s no multiplayer. That would mean that there are only 8 levels to play and nothing more to gain from replaying it so the game would have sunk due to the fact that it just didn’t have much content. It’s why I am such a big fan of Sony’s trophy system. It really helps all games and certainly adds replay value.

The graphics are fairly retro as they’re supposed to be. The game is clear and you can always tell what is happening though. I’d actually say that they look better than Frogger: The Great Quest despite how much older this one was when it first came out. Some of the level designs will even remind you of Mega Man X. Of course, it would be neat to get a full PS4 sequel for this game with the latest graphics. That would be a lot of fun so hopefully this one sold well enough. The music is also pretty sound. It may not be the most impressive soundtrack of all, but it works well and adds a little more intensity to the campaign.

There’s not much to say about the actual story. It’s pretty decent and hits all of the usual mecha notes. We have the emotional death, the emotionless main character, the emotional heroine, and even the “sympathetic” villain who just wants revenge and to destroy the whole world. It’s good enough for me to still believe that it was good to have the story in the game, but it just serves the bare minimum of what a story should be. It adds context to the battles and gives you something to look forward to after each level. The final level was handled really well with that as you got to fight 4-5 bosses back to back to back. It took me quite a few tries to take that one down, but all bosses fall eventually right?

Overall, Assault Suit Leynos is a good game. It’s fundamentally sound and arcade gamers from the olden days will probably be able to appreciate this even more. It’s not a game that I could see myself playing for too long as I’d get burned out at replaying the same level too much, but it’s good for a quick run through. I don’t have time to stick around and replay many of my games anymore regardless so as long as it’s fun for the first run through, then I’m set. If the game got a sequel, I’m confident that I would check it out. I’m still a little behind in Gundam games, but maybe this will spur me on to get one in the near future. I’m always up for any more robot games that aren’t called Armored Core. If you hadn’t heard of this game before this review, then hopefully I helped give you some extra knowledge so you could decide if you want to purchase it or not.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

AquaPazza Review

AquaPazza is a game that I really decided to buy on a whim. It is a 2D fighting game with random anime characters, how could this not be epic? Well, the story mode is unfortunately very bland and the gameplay is rather lackluster which makes this one a bit of a miss. It is still a good game purely thanks to multiplayer, but there is so much lost potential here that it is quite scary. Seriously, the series that the characters are coming from are either the most bland ones ever or the writers just didn’t understand them. I can say with confidence that even if I did not know who the characters from Dengeki Bunko were, I would have still enjoyed the story quite a bit more.

As for the gameplay, it is your average 2D fighter, but it is simply not as smooth. The gameplay can be very choppy. This seems to be due to how slow the gameplay can be at times. After working on some trophies for a while in vs. mode and score attack, I grew a little more fond of the game. Not enough to say that it beats any other big anime fighting game, but I suppose it will still be a positive in the end. It is cool to see that every character has a fully animated super attack. That is a solid amount of dedication and work from the game.

Unfortunately, this game is also a prime example of cheating A.I. programs. The semi final boss/ final boss both have incredibly high attack power. This means that you can be winning the whole match only for you to die in one super attack. The opponent also gets to rewind time and get a full health bar back. It took me many tries to beat the semi final boss and I didn’t want to burn another hour or two on the next one so I just left by that point. The trophy was all that I needed, but I do think that the attack power was too high. If I had been playing the mode for fun, I would have definitely been more upset.

The story is as bland as you can imagine. A comic relief witch unleashed a spell that merged all of the worlds somehow. As a result, the heroes have to join forces and stop her. Unfortunately, the characters are not interesting. For some reason, none of them are intense characters. None of them are overconfident, tough talking heroes like I would have wanted. It is possible that a different story would be more interesting, but after the first one I knew that I was done with it. I even tried out the second story for the initial character, but it was not any better. Story isn’t too crucial in a fighting game but every pebble ends up hurting the final product a little more.

There is a decent amount of replay value to be found here. You can probably forget about getting the Platinum since nobody really plays online anymore, but you can still get a lot of the other trophies in the game by learning how to pull off some rather advanced combos. I grabbed quite a lot of them and someday I’ll go back to get a few more. It is definitely rewarding to pull them off. You can also work on clearing score attack and both stories with each character. That should definitely take quite a while and vs. Mode itself should add quite a bit of time to the overall length.

I didn’t really go into the specifics of the gameplay earlier, but each character has around 5 super attacks and one ultimate move. They all take up meter so you can choose to wait for the ultimate or go for a lot of supers. You also have an assist character at the ready who will jump in to help when you summon him/her. Some are better than others since they are vulnerable to attack so you probably want long ranged assist. As mentioned earlier, it is a little slower than most other fighting games. Getting close to the opponent can be tricky as a result since neither side will really want to approach as a result.

At the end of the day, I am still surprised that the character models are so bland. Most anime games are hype because the characters look really cool. Only a few of the characters have interesting designs in this game and most of the movesets could use some work as well. It is a PS3 game, but it is not even close to being as polished as Dengeki. I don’t see this one getting a sequel, but I’m sure that it would be able to improve most of the complaints that I had with this one.

Graphically the game holds up rather well. The animated attacks look sharp. The character models aren’t bad either and the stages are all right, although they can be a bit bland. The soundtrack is also on the generic side. I believe that I only particularly liked one theme and it was for the final boss or the semi final boss. The rest of them weren’t bad, but I certainly forgot them. I could use the time to compare this to Dengeki again, but by now you can the general idea. Anything AquaPazza can do, Dengeki can do better.

Overall, AquaPazza is a decently good fighting game, but that is where the buck stops. The story and characters aren’t all that great. Some of the designs aren’t bad, but the personalities just aren’t there. That being said, it is not all that strange for this to be the case in a fighting game. To an extent, this was the situation in Virtua Fighter and King of Fighters. That being said, Virtua Fighter had the clearly superior graphics and gameplay on its side. It was also more interesting due to how you would rise in rank as you fought stronger and stronger opponents. I’m very early in the King of Fighters series so that title still has time to improve as well. If you’re looking for a solid action title to last over the weekend and play with some friends, this could be a good purchase. Otherwise, you are better off….just buying Dengeki Bunko.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

King of Fighters Maximum Impact Review

King of Fighters has always lagged way behind Tekken and Street Fighter for me. None of the characters are particularly interesting and it has always felt like a Street Fighter game, but with all of the iconic characters replaced with randoms. I’m sure that later games have helped to give all of them some personality and backstory, but this game definitely doesn’t help their case. I still have a lot of catching up to do with this series though so hopefully the price goes down on some of the originals soon. I went on my big fighting game kick for Christmas, but there will probably be a different theme this year so it could be a while. Well, let’s dive into this title.

First off, one disappointing thing here is the fact that the Arcade Mode is even more bare bones than usual. Characters don’t even get an opening or an ending anymore. That’s essentially the definition of lazy if you ask me. You are only incentivized to play through the game once since every character has the same opening and ending. There is as slight plot at least, but it is still lazy to now give each character something unique. They are all invited to a tournament that is being held by some gangsters. Once you defeat everyone who stands in your way, you defeat the main villain in front of a large crowd and he says that you’ll both meet again…in hell! It’s a pretty hardcore line even if we completely wrecked this guy.

In a way it is good that the characters don’t get a real story though. That’s because your game option settings don’t apply to Arcade Mode so you have to do a best of 3 the entire time. The final level is also very difficult to the point where button mashing simply won’t be effective anymore. You’ll have to end up actually learning the game a bit and even then it should take several tries to finally beat the final boss unless you’re already a pro. I’d rather not imagine myself doing it with every character and I only ended up completing the game with the first two.

The gameplay is your average 2D fighter like with Street Fighter and the other similar games. It does seem like it is very hard to get up in this game though because attacks seem to have very high priority. In the final level of Arcade Mode, forget about even trying to rise. Your opponent will simply slam you back into the turf every single time and his combos can take out half of your life bar or more with a single combo. Something seems off with this and I could see the competitive scene dying instantly for this game. It reminds me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for Gamecube. Of course, that game was a blast and had excellent graphics and a solid soundtrack to back it up. It clobbers this game, but that’s another story.

This is still a solid fighting game. It’s why fighters are so much fun. Even if the characters are not all that likable and there is no real story mode to speak of, the vs mode is what really counts here. A good multiplayer mode means instant replay value and this is the kind of game that is perfect for playing at any random time. You can just turn on the PS2 and prepare yourself for some fun games. Of course, it has less replay value if you’re on your own of course. Still, I guess you could have fun fighting the computers for a while.

I’ll give the game some more props for the fact that it actually has a big opening. Back in the day a lot of games skipped this step or barely did anything with it so that was pretty neat. It unfortunately could not get past the trap of including a little fanservice though so that was pretty regrettable. The dialogue and writing is still as clunky as ever, but at this point King of Fighters is known for that so maybe it was partially intentional at the time. Beyond that, the graphics are pretty good. I’d say that they’re certainly above average for this time period and actually look better than the Street Fighter Alpha games. Granted, that may not be saying a whole lot since those games were quite a bit older.

The soundtrack is very solid as well. There is a solid opera esque theme for one of the stages and there are quite a few tunes. The game did a good job of adding in a lot of variety and this really puts Capcom Fighting Evolution to shame surprisingly. This is definitely one of the highlights for King of Fighters so hopefully the future installments will follow suit in this regard. Just give me some more hype music and we’re good.

Overall, Maximum Impact is a worthy spinoff to the main series. I still think that the games could do a better job of making the character likable and motivated. There’s no real reason to pick someone over another character aside from the all important tiers because none of them have any real personality yet. They all seem like tough guys and gals. Everyone seems to share that trait, but they don’t really have anything else to show for it. Terry’s my favorite character, but that’s really because of the name so I’m not totally sure if that counts. There’s not a whole lot to do here besides multiplayer mode, but that should be enough to tide you over. After all, if you’re buying the game, I assume that multiplayer is the reason for your purchase. Hopefully the series will have more of a real arcade mode in the main titles.

Overall 7/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Pixels Review

cartel PIXELS 68x98 ok.indd
Hyped to be one of the greatest comedy films of the decade, I was looking forward to Pixels. In case you were curious, I was the one who was hyping it up. Donkey Kong and Pac Man were going to be in the same film. How could you not get excited when Super Smash Bros was finally coming to life? The first trailer was incredible and it was actually taken seriously for a while. The second half of the trailer hinted that the film would be a comedy, but for most of it, it looked like a serious action thriller. The film wasn’t anything like that, but it’s nice to think of how it could have been.

The film begins with Sam as a kid going to the arcade with his friend. Right from the start, we learn that he’s a pretty selfish/immoral kid who doesn’t mind stealing money from a little girl who was selling lemonade. That was just terrible and it was an early sign that this character would not be heroic. Sam lost a big tournament of video games and his life spiraled out of patrol. He became a part of a Nerds brigade and spends his time flirting. Luckily, Sam’s friend became the President so Sam still has connections. When Aliens attack the planet, Sam knows who he has to call!

Unfortunately, this film ended up being a bit of a train wreck. None of the characters were likable and the film made the big mistake that many comedy films end up falling into, many of the jokes are simply crude and inappropriate. For every good joke, there will be about 10 that are simply bad and a reason why comedy films don’t have a great rep anymore. It’s too bad because there are a lot of scenes that are actually funny. A good example of this is just about any moment with the President or some of Sam’s scenes like him reciting the nerds speech and getting called out for it. I also loved it when Sam walked into the White House in shorts and almost backed out of saving the world because the main heroine was “being mean.” The film had promise and I actually found it funnier than Ant Man or just about any comedy film that I’ve seen in a long time.

Once again, it’s held back by all of the bad jokes though. The characters are constantly flirting and joking about girls. Making really bad comments is something that each character does a lot and one character’s whole gimmick is that he’s very crude and always making a dirty remark. That would be Eddie, the worst character in the film. A close second is Ludlow. Most of his jokes rely on acting gay and being the stereotypical version of what some people believe gamers to be. He doesn’t know how to act in public and is in love with a video game character. He’s just terrible and his long speech in the army room is wince worthy. His singing is also terrible because he accompanies it with provocative dancing.

I’d like to say that Sam was a good character, but I’ve already explained that he isn’t. He allows his friends to steal money and he does not regret it at all. A character breaks up with someone so Sam immediately takes this as his clue to hit on her. He’s just not a sensitive guy and even though he gets most of the funny moments in the film, it can’t save his character. I’m in the minority in that I think Sandler played the part well and his character was easily one of the best humans, but he still doesn’t get a pass due to just how bad this film was. My favorite human in this film was the President, not that it is really saying much. His jokes were typically funny and he always rolled with the punches. It’s very intriguing to think of how America would be if he was the President. He’s still in charge though so he makes everyone respect him when the going gets tough. Violet is the main heroine and the film tries to make her look as bad as possible in the beginning. While she tries to be tough and insults Sam a lot, she ultimately realizes that he’s a good guy and the usual deal. She didn’t get a lot of character development except to be around for Sam’s character, but it’s not surprising that the film didn’t know how to develop her character.

When you really think about it, the writing is why this film is terrible. Take away the dozens of inappropriate and suggestive comments and you’ve actually got a good film going here. Of course, it’s so numerous and constant that Pixels would also be a completely different film. It’s like saying that Sucker Punch would be great if you took away the plot or that the Lord of the Rings would be epic if the characters were all robots. So, Pixels, as much as I like to think of how good it could be, it simply isn’t good.

At least we have the video game characters, which is the one bright point for the film. As you would expect, Pac Man looks downright incredible as he mows through buildings. He probably had the best acting in the film as he even changed expressions to show that he was upset after the characters started attacking him. There was a lot of plot hax in how the heroes overcame him since Pac Man was already faster than them when they were at top speed. There’s no way that Sandler could outrace Pac Man while driving backwards. There’s simply no way!

Donkey Kong also looks great and he even gets the cool “We Will Rock You” theme as the heroes mount their big offensive against him. The game was a lot of fun to play back in the day and the nostalgic music will certainly hit you right in the nostalgia. Stopping him is no easy feat and the action scene may have been the best one in the film as the heroes really had to stop the barrels from running them over.

Donkey Kong and Pac Man were really the only big hitters here. I think that it was a bit of a missed opportunity as we could have gotten more big names in the film. Mario makes a cameo, which is a lot of fun, but you have to be watching carefully or you may miss him. The Centipede also deals a lot of damage of course and we even get a delivery boy who destroys someone in the background, which was fairly shocking. That person may not have come back to life since she wasn’t a trophy so the film may have been a little grimmer than we thought. A certain Super Smash Bros player also makes a cameo.

As you can see, the film was great when it was in an action scene. It’s just when the characters would open their mouths to say something that everything would go downhill. I still did crack up many times in the film. Some were for the good jokes and other times I would laugh at how seriously the film was trying to take itself. For example, the first scene where the aliens attack the government base. It happened sooner than I thought it would and it was so grim and unrealistic that you can’t help but chuckle. Likewise when the characters dug out an old VHS that had the villain’s speech on it. If they hadn’t found the tape, the whole plot would never have become known to them. It felt like a Sci-Fy Channel plot twist!

Naturally with the writing as bad as it was, the film couldn’t really handle any of the plots that it had. Eddie’s was unbearably bad and Ludlow’s romance with the video game character was also horrendous. Watching a classic video game icon turn into the girl and immediately get together with Ludlow was terrible. There’s even a time skip where the plot gets even more messed up. Sam’s romance isn’t much better as he gets together with the heroine for no real reason and while she may have wanted a rebound guy, this was just too soon and too sudden. The scene of her crying in her closet was so bad that I could barely believe that it was real. She had been acting like the tough female protagonist that we have come to expect so this was so out of character that it was shocking.

At least the soundtrack was really good. As explained, we got the classic “We Will Rock You” song along with the Pac Man theme, Donkey Kong theme and some other retro tunes. Those were all a lot of fun and mixed in with the epic action scenes, they helped to tear you away from the rest of the film, which was just really wince worthy. Even the climax which is a long battle against the alien invasion of video games couldn’t save the film as it was too little too late.

The aliens never actually appear, but based off of the dialogue, we can make some connections. Q*bert talks about how his home used to be really happy until they got Earth’s declaration of war. Since he could not have his video game form until it was sent, I’m thinking that the aliens simply weren’t corporal. They can assume any shape, but their normal one is likely just intangible and something that exists, but can’t be seen. They obviously have tremendous abilities, but aren’t hostile by nature as they can enjoy a good laugh like the rest of us. If they attacked seriously, it would definitely be Game Over for Earth. A sequel where they adapt the 90’s of gaming would certainly be epic!

Overall, Pixels was a flop. Now, you may think that the film was still decent thanks to it actually being very funny at times, having good action scenes, and a good soundtrack, but I’m afraid that it is not the case. The writing is simply too bad with enough terrible scenes that I can’t give the film anything higher than a 1. It’s still a light film that you can breeze through so I would sooner see it than a lot of 2 star films and maybe even some 3’s, but I can’t give it more than the  1 due to how seriously bad it is. It’s easy to watch since most of the negatives are writing wise and just affect your hearing, but that’s still enough to doom it to a 1. It’s still not a 0 so at least it earned a point somewhere along the line. When you think of Pixels, just picture the scene where Sam walks into the White House and insults everyone while in shorts. That’s probably the best human scene except maybe for the President being humiliated on National Television. The video game scenes are mainly awesome and are the highlight with the fight scenes, but hopefully the sequel can be better. After all, it may be a verrrrry long time until I ever see a Sandler film again and they wouldn’t even need him for a Pixels film. Just call it Super Smash Bros and make it completely animated. Fire the current writer and get someone who knows how to make a script. Then we’re looking at a winner! I definitely don’t recommend watching this film and you’re better off just waiting for Mission Impossible 5 and seeing how good that one is.

Overall 1/10