Sunday, March 25, 2012

App of The Week for 3/15-3/21: Mass Effect 3 Datapad

For those of you that don't know Mass Effect 3 came out on March 6. Unfortunately I only found out about the Mass Effect 3 Datapad app about a week ago and got it downloaded a few days ago. The most interesting thing about this app is that it actually affects your Mass Effect 3 game. The app consists of primarily five parts or sections. The five sections are Alliance News, Mail, Media, Galaxy At War, and Codex. There is also and EA More Games icon on the bottom left of the screen, a question mark on the bottom right, and a circular shape on the top right where you login with your Origin account. Just so everybody knows this is a completely free app so we're not trying to get you to buy anything. That being said I think that this is the greatest free app ever.
The Alliance News section is basically just the @MassEffect twitter feed. There is a plus symbol on the right side of each tweet that allows you to open it in twitter or Facebook to share it. The tweets usually consist of replies, feedback, and thanks to fans. Some of the tweets have links to BioWare, Mass Effect, and EA sites. This part of the app really doesn't have anything to do with the game but it gives you a good sense of community.
The media section is just pictures and trailers of the game. There's only 3 trailers and 9 pictures. I've found that the videos load very slowly. Even though it's cool to have these things so easily available to you they're not anything you can't easily access on the Mass Effect 3 Bioware site. They didn't really need to add this to the app but it is a nice little touch.
The Codex was a wonderful touch to the Mass Effect 3 Datapad. For those of you that haven't played Mass Effect the codex is where you can access any and all information. The codex includes information on aliens, planets, enemies, weapons, and more. Being that ME3 is so action packed and intense it doesn't feel pertinent to read your codex but now you can whenever you feel like it or have the free time. The coolest feature of the codex is that there is a symbol on the bottom right that when pressed narrates the text of the codex log you have selected. What makes this so cool is that the narrator sounds like the same narrator from the Crackdown down games.

Now Asian Andrew is going to give us his thoughts on the Galaxy At War and Mail sections.
Galaxy At War
The galaxy at war mini game is one of the cooler features of this free Bioware/EA app. Since it is connected to your EA origins account when you do things in it, it actually affects your Mass Effect 3 profile. You send ships to key locations to up your readiness rating but it can take up to five hours for one percent depending on which mission you pick. There are three levels of missions each having different levels of pay out and time  consumption. As you gain credits for completing these missions you can get more ships to send out, more rating points per mission about .5% more or shielding so you don't fail in the upgrades menu. It does crash a lot but it is overall pretty awesome to constantly keep your galactic rating in check.
To be honest I don't really know how this works as I have only once received emails from my squad mates talking about past missions. You can't respond and it usually is only one liners so it just seems like a failed attempt to make a better connection to your crew.

All in all I would have to say that this is a very unique and enjoyable app. I feel like this is one of the first great apps that actually effects, improves, and helps your overall game. The simple great menu set up works well and is easy to use. Each sections of the app has its strengths and weaknesses, some more than others. Just like the Mass Effect series this app shows its true uniqueness in the details. Both Andrew and I agree that this app deserves nothing less than to be the App of The Week and a MUST DOWNLOAD.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Justice League: Doom Blu-Ray Review

Justice League Doom is an animated film loosely based off of Mark Waid's JLA story arc Tower Of Babel. The animation is the same animation as the Crisis on Infinite Earths animated film so it's not anything new or ground breaking but it's good. The voice cast feels like an all star cast perfect for their respective roles. This Blu-Ray seems to have even more extras than the last comic to animated film feature. The story feels like a fresh NEW52 take on JLA Tower of Babel and ends up being a quick great story all on its own.

As a stand alone story this movie felt like it did everything right. Because this is supposed to be based off of Tower of Babel this ends up falling short in comparison because it's so different. Essentially what this story is about is that some villains stole Batman's plans to take out his teammates in case they go rogue. As a NEW52 film it was well done especially with Cyborg as a new integration of the Justice League. The worst part of this movie is the combination of old and new when they should have just chosen one or the other. The story did seem a little rushed and came together all too quickly but not enough to ruin it. I don't care for The Flash's jerk quips and attitude but everybody else's characterization seemed spot on. All in all it was a great stand alone story by the late Dwayne McDuffie.

The animation was impressive despite being taken from Crisis on Infinite Earths. It doesn't look aged in any way at all. In fact it looks spectacular on Blu-Ray. It is what it is so it looks like a well produced cartoon movie. I especially liked The Flash as a slim guy rather than a ridiculously looking buff dude. Cyborg as the new addition also looked impressive and Diana looked sexy as always. Everybody looked surprisingly fitting.

As said I feel like this is quite possibly the best voice cast they have ever had for these DC films. You may know the biggest names like Nathan Fillion, Michael Rosenbaum, Carl Lumbly, and Claudia Black. You may also recognize such animation veterans as Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, and Susan Eisenberg. I honestly feel like they have gotten the best of the best at this point for each persons respective roles. The only thing that may irk some people is Bane's odd Hispanic come and go accent. Besides that the voice talent could not have been better.

Now to talk about all the extras that seemed to never end. All together there are 7 special features on the Blu-Ray. Most importantly there is a documentary called A League of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story. Dwayne McDuffie wrote this genius story, Ben 10, as well as other animated projects and comics. It also consist of 2 commentaries, a sneak peek of the next DC animated film Superman vs The Elite, 2 JLA cartoons, Digital Comic of JLA: Tower of Babel, some trailers, and the obligatory audio commentary by Geoff Johns and some other guy. I was blown away by how many extra features there were, their length, and their quality. By far this is the best DC Blu-Ray when it comes to extra features.

To be honest I think I prefer this movie rather than an exact translation of the Tower of Babel story arc. The story and writing were very well done and made sense. I have a great affinity for Cyborg now because of it. The animation was impressive and spot on for each character. The characterization and voice cast was near perfection despite Flash being a jerk but that's old DC Flash. Special features are better than ever in quantity and quality. Finally I would like to say Thank You Dwayne McDuffie for making a genius stand alone Justice League story and a must BUY for any hardcore or newcomer.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Must Download for February

The must download for the month is "The Gunstringer." When I first heard of this game I thought this game was going to fail. The game was originally released on disc. During the Holidays Microsoft made the game all digital and quit selling the physical discs. This game came with the Kinect Holiday Bundle with "Fruit Ninja."

This game is a 3rd person shooter. The game also has a 2 player option as well. The game has difficulty levels from normal to hardcore.

The mechanics of the game are simple. The game is a western play with puppets. The player controls the protagonist known as The Gunstringer. The Gunstringer is a sheriff, who was betrayed by his posse. The beginning sequence shows him rising from his grave to get revenge on his former posse. The game uses the Kinect for the controls. The left hand controls the movements of The Gunstringer (including jumping). The right hand is used as the gun. The gun has a target that is controlled by the right hand. The player can target up to six things and then can the arm up representing the act of reloading. This also enables the player to shoot the gun. The controls are very responsive and work well for the game.

The best way to get the game right now is buying a download code from eBay for like 15 dollars and it includes "Fruit ninja" as well. The game is great if you like westerns combined with humor. If you are looking for a great Kinect game than go no further and download it and see why this is the Must Download.