Hell No, Boy.

I went to see Hellboy 2 last night and I didn’t love it. I really wanted to love it and not just because that meant getting a better deal for my money. I wanted to love it because I really love Mignola’s original Hellboy comic and after a mediocre first movie I could do with some good Hellboy movie action.

But alas, it was no to be.

The main problem, as I see it, was that the movie was just not engaging. There were a lot of potentially interesting points; Hellboy and Liz’s relationship, the Prince trying to save his dying people or Hellboy’s struggle with finding a place in the world, but none of it ever got really real. You could see it there in the story but it never connected emotionally.

Another point that bothered me a bit was the fact that the movie felt like it had 2 very strong design directions that didn’t fit together very well.  I love Mignola’s designs and I love the Pan’s-Labyrinth-style but I don’t love them in the same movie at the same time.

Also, I don’t know it is a Guillermo del Toro thing or if it Doug Jones, but the excessive hand-gesticulation that they have going both here and in Pan’s Labyrinth is getting a bit annoying (if you don’t know what I am talking about, good for you. If you want to know take a look at the Faun in Pan’s)

All in all it wasn’t completely hopeless. I just wasn’t nearly as good as i had hoped.

The Undreaming Is Unchained

Dreamfall: The Longest Rant

I always feel that there is a sad moment when you have just completed a good game. It happens right when the credits have ended and you are returned to the title screen and everything is as it has always been. Nothing new, nothing different, just the knowledge that it is over and there is nothing more to do.

In Dreamfall this is made all the worse by the fact that the brilliant story you have just lived through is nowhere near finished and you have no way of knowing if it ever will. There are so many unanswered questions that it is almost criminal. In many games this would have been mitigated by the fact that it is a game and story is just one part of it, but in dreamfall the story is the game. Actual gameplay is mediocre at best and if you removed all the dialogue the game wouldn’t last five hours. Not that that would matter much, since I doubt anyone would actually play is that long without the incentive of finding out what happens next.

But the story really is good. The twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia are so well defined and full of interesting details that you want to see more. They also feels so much bigger than what is presented in the game, which adds to the believability of the fiction. Add to that a large cast of interesting, funny and well acted characters and you have the foundation of something great. The animation however is not that great (as an animator I have to mention this) which is a shame. It takes a lot away from the lengthy pieces of dialogue that they are bacically delivered by a character standing straight up and flapping her mouth (and no funny anime jokes here, please).

I don’t think you need to play The Longest Journey to play Dreamfall. I have only completed the first half of TLJ (ironically, the story of why I havent gotten any further is very long indeed), but I had no problem following Dreamfall. You will, however, get the ending of TLJ spoiled and there are quite a lot of recurring characters, so I really recommend playing that first if you have the chance. Also, it is fun to see old aquaintences again and what has happened to them which is another bonus to playing the games chronologically.

As you can probably tell I like this game a lot. It is far from perfect but it is the first game in a while I have botheed completing and at quite a low framerate at that. I am a bit sad that it ends where it does, but all will be forgiven if they release the next chapter of The Longest Journey. I need to know if April is…!

Kennet Haunstrup: Ace Attorney

In only a few day my willpower was slowly ground into small quivering pieces until I finally broke and bought myself a DS Lite and a couple of games.
Broke, in this case, can then also describe my financial situation.

Not to misunderstand though. It’s a very nice machine and I am glad I got one. The screens in particular are so nice and clear that they in them selves justify the new version. If, like me, all you had before is a standard GBA, the difference is close to divine.

My favourite of the two games I bought is Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. A adventure-puzzle-courtroom drama game with an excellent cast of colourful* characters.
My only problem is probably brought about by watching to many Americans on TV go “innocent until proven guilty” and “beyond reasonable doubt”. In this game it seems that once you are on the stand it is “guilty until proven beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever to be innocent, honest” and that irks me a little bit.
But the feeling of slowly picking apart the real murderers statement is awesome. Highly recommended.

* Here in the metaphorical sence, but did I mention the screens?

CE In Tha House

And It has actually been here for little over a week now. Had I written this back then, it would have been close to an inside scoop.

Guild Wars Factions: Collectors Edition Review:

The Box: Similar to the first on, only white. Ok

The Calender: A CD case with some cardbord inlays. Not very inspiring.

The Poster: Standard paper folded, comes with magazines kinda poster. It has the map on the backside (or frontside, in my case) which you can’t really use to navigate, but at least you can hang it on the wall if you are afraid that people don’t think you are enough of a geek already.

The Mousepad: Very glittery (in the tacky way) but otherwise decent. And it sticks to the desk.

The Soundtrack:
Haven’t listened to the CD yet, but from what I can tell ingame it’s good. Comes in a cardbord slipcase, which isn’t.

The In-Game Dance: Is unfortunately just the classes standart dance, with two spirit backup dancers who follow your moves. I don’t like it.

The Sticker: Meh

The Collectable Game Activation Card: Meh*2

The Unique Ritualist Cloth Picture: I was really hoping for one of those really nice big wall-scrolls you can buy (one can always dream), but this is just ridiculous. It’s barely the size on a CD case with the already well known render of a female ritualist.

The Artbook: Saving the best for last, or at least late, this is everything I had hoped for, bar the format. Unlike the first book, it’s done in “landscape” format so the two books won’t match up on the shelf. Other than that the artwork and quality is excelent.

The Game: of course. But this review I will save for another day.

The Minipet: A Kuunavang dragon. It’s not really in the CE, but is a special gift from arenanet to the CE owners because of all the trouble with CE availability the first couple of days/week. It’s brilliant and I won’t sell mine for all the gold I could carry.

All in all worth the wait, mainly because of the Artbook and the Minipet. If you don’t care for either Artbook or Soundtrack it a harder sell, but you could probably sell the Kuunavang for a fair deal of ingame gold so that’s worth getting aswell. Providing that there are any CE’s left to buy…