All posts by Mailman Chris

Rock Band 2

Mailman Chris here, taking time out from doing the all important election work to talk about something you really care about… Video game reviews. I’ve got two for you this time. One is the awaited sequel to the wildly successful Rock Band and the other is the much-anticipated new Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. I’m starting with Rock Band 2, if you gotta’ learn about the power of the Force Unleashed, click here. (But you better come back, sucka’).

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I’ve been waiting for this one with baited breath. Well, not really, since I don’t really know what that means. I guess I could say I’ve been waiting with tobacco-tinged breath. Either way, Rock Band 2 launches to huge amounts of hype and I was there in line along with everyone else at midnight. If you’re familiar with the game, the mechanics haven’t really changed. If you’re new to the format, it’s simple. Colored bars come down the screen in time with popular music and you spastically gesticulate on a plastic instrument while you imagine you’re on stage at the Forum, all in the effort to earn pretend money and pretend fans.

Huge fun for all. Now that we’re all on the same page, let me tell you why you should buy this game….

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

I’ve had less time with this game so far, but like many of you, I was eagerly awaiting this newest foray into the SW expanded universe it so I wanted to get the word out as quickly as I could.

The story is rich and is a well-detailed story. They just don’t give it to you. If you want the real story, read the terrific graphic novel published by Portland’s own Dark Horse Comics, written by the game’s author Haden Blackman. If you want even greater-detail, the hardback novelization by Sean Williams is fantastic. Unlike the game, they spell out the story. A story now accepted as canon in the Lucas-verse. The game feels rushed and not put together right.

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A brief synopsis for the uninitiated is that you play “Starkiller”; Darth Vader’s secret Sith apprentice, hunting Jedi in the post Episode 3 Universal scourge and eliminating all witnesses along the way. (Also note, this was Luke Skywalker’s name during a draft of the original Star Wars… After he was called Mace Windu). – AD Yes, this means everyone, be they Imperial, Rebel, Droid or Wookie, are prey.

The mechanics of the game rely less on Lightsabers and more, as the name would imply, on the Force. Specifically, the Dark Side of the Force…

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Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Spoiler Free

I am going to spare everyone my Star Wars ranting and ravings; like any good geek I have my issues and yet there is still and always will be a certain place in my heart for that galaxy far, far away. That place in my heart has been renewed a bit through my son, who is now 6, as he brought his light saber with him to the screening of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is an off shoot of the Star Wars saga and takes place between Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; and is the first three episodes of the upcoming Cartoon Network series of the same name; all wrapped up in a feature film. Another thing to keep in mind is that this story is not really a part of the Star Wars canon; it is a standalone story with some sprinklings of things to come with the republic…

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Guitar Hero – Aerosmith (XBox 360)

I shelled out the $100 to buy the newest addition to the Guitar Hero library: Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It’s technically an expansion pack for Guitar Hero 3 but no other games are required. It’s sold as a standalone Xbox 360 / PS3 game for $60 ($50 for Wii and PS2). It’s also available as a bundle pack with a new guitar. The guitar is the same as the previous version but comes with a nifty Aerosmith faceplate (it’s unknown yet if the same technical problems exist with the new guitar. They probably do since it’s the same model.)

The game itself is short. At 30+ songs, the catalog is smaller than its predecessor (hence called an expansion) unfortunately, the price is not correspondingly reduced. However, it is undoubtedly fun.

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Wall*E – Spoiler Free Review

Mark my words, fair readers, Wall*E will win an Academy Award; probably for animation…however this is a serious Best Picture contender. I try to avoid any Oscar talk in film reviews, but I must get it out of the way. Wall*E is not only my favorite film of this year so far, but it is hands down my favorite Pixar film; bold statement I know, but trust me on this.

Writer/Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) brings us an amazing film about the future of our planet, humanity and the most endearing little robot we have ever met…

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