There aren’t many films in recent memory that jog from absurdity to absurdity (and take it in their stride) like Detective Pikachu. It tries to balance film noir with Pokémon to a confusing, yet sometimes enthralling, degree. The word-building is exceptional. The majority of the Pokémon are brought to life just as Pokelovers (myself included here!) would imagine, full of life and vitality. Rime City is a wonderfully constructed world, with more imagination and eye-popping visuals than most big budget blockbusters and muster up.
But eye candy is not enough to distract you from the increasingly silly plot, which flies off twists and turns every ten minutes or so. There’s at least two or three films’ worth of material here (much like Batman vs Superman, actually). Most thought-provoking material pops up for a few minutes, only to be relegated by the next ludicrous revelation. Not only that, but the human characters are so much more duller than the Pokémon. Worth watching for the visuals…but not much else.
Hammy’s Rating: 2/5
‘There’s magic that brought us together, and that magic is hope’
It had been eight years since an entry in the Metroid franchise…but then, lo and behold, in 2002, we were gifted not one, but two, Metroid titles! Metroid Prime is the more popular/critically acclaimed, and for good reason…but Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance is just as worthy of attention as the sublime Metroid Prime. Metroid Fusion is a direct sequel to Super Metroid, and also returns Samus (for the opening act) to SR-388, the world she explored in Metroid II. Continue reading →
The original Metroid is almost impossible to play in the modern era. It’s interesting to explore as a relic of a bygone era. But that’s all it is: a relic. The remake for the Game Boy Advance, Metroid – Zero Mission, has all but made the original obsolete. Apart from a few niggles, this is how a game developer should approach a video game remake. Don’t simply upgrade the graphics and add a few bonus modes. Rebuild it from the ground up, modernize it to today’s standards (if it’s an older game, of course!), and add to the original experience whilst staying faithful to the spirit of the original. Continue reading →
I had to come to this sometime…this is undoubtedly the worst entry in the Metroid franchise (disregarding the spin-offs, of course). Who thought this was a good idea? Right from the beginning, it’s clear the direction that Team Ninja (the team behind Ninja Gaiden) want to take Metroid: a story-driven, character-developing action game. We begin with a stunning recreation cut scene of the end of Super Metroid: Mother Brain, the Metroid, and Samus all in stunning 3D. The question that Samus asks, walking in the rain, stays with her throughout the latest adventure: Why am I still alive? She should be asking: “why am I in this game?” Continue reading →
It took me nearly fifteen years to get past the first few screens of Metroid. I first attempted to play it when it came bundled as an extra with Metroid Fusion (if you linked the GBA up to the Gamecube and Metroid Prime. I gave up after ten minutes. Next, when the remake of Metroid came along, Metroid – Zero Mission, I attempted to play Metroid again (it came as an extra). Half an hour into it, I gave up. Subsequent attempts ended in quick failure until I purchased a NES Classic! Here, I used the save system to carefully progress through the game. It was still as frustrating as ever…but I managed to get through it (without a guide!). Continue reading →
There’s not much I can say about Super Metroid, apart from that it’s a goddamn masterpiece. Few games evoke such an atmosphere of isolation, few games offer such a diverse range of areas whilst forming a cohesive whole. Still, to this day, game developers are trying to ape the perfection of Super Metroid’s game design (from Hollow Knight to Guacamelee, the indies seem to thrive on Metroidvanias…to varying degrees of success). Continue reading →
I loved this game as a kid. It felt epic, especially compared to other games from the Game Boy era. Samus indeed returns…to commit genocide of the Metroids! It’s pretty grim when you think about it…but who thinks about that as a kid? I never really thought about its flaws as a kid, either. For one, there’s no map, and because some of the areas look very similar, it’s easy to get lost (a reason why I thought it was epic back in the day). Clunky controls (especially with the Spider Ball and Space Jump) don’t help progression, either.
As for massacring the Metroids, some people find it repetitive. I didn’t, and still don’t. Sure, there could be more variation, but the game was pushing the boundaries of the Game Boy anyway. Metroid II, like its predecessor, was too ambitious for its time. However, it’s simply more fun to play than Metroid and less punishing. I wonder what the remake is like…(or just click hereto check out my Quick Review of Metroid – Samus Returns (3DS)
A remake is supposed to capture the spirit of the original whilst bringing something new to the table, isn’t it? This remake of Metroid II is not particularly a bad game. But in updating the original for the modern era, this remake sacrifices the spirit of the original. This turns the Metroid franchise into the more action-orientated game play of the risible Metroid: The Other M. Continue reading →
This is the first (and last, so far) union of Steven Spielberg and Philip K. Dick…so it begs the question…how does Spielberg match up against Ridley Scott and Paul Verhoeven? The answer is…very well! Scott went for the more slow-paced, meditative adaption, Verhoeven went for the action-packed and ultraviolent adaptation…and Spielberg hovers somewhere in between. Of course, there’s no ultraviolence here, as it’s a summer blockbuster…and being a summer blockbuster, Minority Report seems confined by delivering action set-pieces and philosophical musings about justice and morality.
It’s not an easy task, is it? Tom Cruise does fine as the main character, but just like Arnie in Total Recall, you can’t escape the fact that it’s Tom Cruise, running about doing Tom Cruise-esque things. Total Recall dove in head-first with the absurdity of having Arnie as the leading man in a philosophical story (by making it ultraviolent and full of one liners). Tom Cruise can’t help being Tom Cruise, regardless of his acting quality. Still, the story is strong enough and the philosophical musings profound enough to deliver an exciting thriller that delivers on the action set pieces.
However, my major gripe about Minority Report is that it’s about twenty minutes too long. By the two hour mark, you feel that the credits should be rolling…but there’s another twenty minutes left!
Hammy’s Rating: 3/5
Anderton and Leo Crow
‘Science has stolen most of our miracles’
Click here for my Quick Review of Total Recall (1990)
So much for Arnie being the last action hero! While that film set out to parody the action genre, ‘True Lies’ manages to top Arnie’s previous film in terms of ridiculous (yet riotously entertaining) action scenes). How about having Arnie ride a horse whilst chasing a terrorist riding a motorbike? How about having Arnie flying a Harrier jet to rescue his daughter? Including an inherent absurdity in the action scenes enables ‘Last Action Hero’ to parody action films without being an explicit parody. Continue reading →