Mortal Kombat Movie Review (No Spoilers)

Having put collectively give or take 3 hours into Mortal Kombat games in my lifetime, I wasn’t all that interested in seeing the new movie, despite being a fan of the original movie, that I only saw one time back in like 1997 or whenever.

Until my brother showed me the trailer. Then I couldn’t wait for it.

At last the movie came out, and I jumped on the chance to finally view it. And this is what I’ve got to say for people potentially interested in seeing it.

I don’t read reviews on pretty much anything, but knowing movie critics, they probably tear this movie to shreds. It has a bare-bones story, little to no character development, and a whole lot of violent fights complete with fatality moves and lots of CG effects.

Basically a movie critics nightmare. But a Mortal Kombat fans dream.

The movie takes an over-the-top violent fighting game and turns it into a fantastic film, with plenty of nods to the games, as well as a butt-ton of characters and special moves taken from the various titles.

In short, if you love violent action/fighting movies, this is going to rock your world. Even more so if you are familiar with the series. I feel like I would appreciate it a lot more if I actually knew much about the games.

If you are looking for a fleshed out story with deep characters, and not a fan of violence, well then I don’t know why you would ever be interested in watching this to begin with…

But if you want to see your favorite Mortal Kombat characters beat the hell out of each other like a live action video game, then do yourself a favor and watch it!

The only complaint I have is they had the audacity to fully dress Mileena instead of looking like this…

 

What’s So Great About the Works of Hayao Miyazaki?

My whole life, I have heard pretty much anyone who has seen any of his works rave about how he is a genius and makes the best movies ever.

Up until about a year ago, the only film I had seen by him was Princess Mononoke, which my brother got from a friend when we were middle-schoolish age. To this date, that is still his favorite movie of all time. I did not like it then and never finished watching it. About a year ago, as I said, this same brother gave me a whole collection of Miyazaki films. (If he loves him so much, why the heck did he give them to me?)

So I’m going to run down these films real quick, and see if Mr. Miyazaki lives up to all the hype.

A bunch of his older ones on the compilation didn’t work. I might be grateful for that…

My Neighbor Totoro:

So many people are obsessed with Totoro. And I can’t possibly fathom why. I can see maybe five-year-olds liking this, and that’s about it. It is literally, literally, the worst movie I have ever seen. Nothing happens in it, and Totoro is so obnoxiously loud when he does he roar/burp thing. And the kids in it…oh my God they are so annoying.

Kiki’s Delivery Service:

This one is okay. It’s at least watchable. I think this was like the fourth one in the compilation I watched, and the first I could say that about. Regardless, it’s hardly anything I would recommend to any one.

Pom Poko:

This one is about a bunch of Tanooki whose forests are getting destroyed. It’s really long and pretty awful.

Princess Mononoke:

Yeah…after 20 years I hate this even more. This is one of the slowest moving movies of all time. It pushes the three hour mark! I don’t mind long movies, but nothing happens half the time. The entire story could be wrapped up in 60-90 minutes.

Spirited Away:

This movie is weird as all heck, and I actually really liked it!

Howl’s Moving Castle:

The book is way better, and I hate the book…

Ponyo:

It’s pretty lousy.

Well that’s it for the Miyazaki films I’ve seen. The compilation consists of other movies from Studio Ghibli, some that were good, okay, and bad, but anyway, the whole point I’m trying to make is…

Miyazaki is highly overrated!!!

But such is my opinion. To each their own.

Harry Potter Video Games Ranked

I love the Harry Potter books and read them far more than I should. I think each one is better than the last.

I remember when the first Harry Potter game came out, I was excited to play it because it kind of reminded me of Zelda, but with wizards!

Well, nearly 20 years later, I finally played it, and naturally, due to my love of Harry Potter, I played them all, that is, all eight games, because they had to separate The Deathly Hallows into two games, just like the movies, even though they could have easily fit both games in one. But I digress.

I found that these games bounce all over the place in terms of genre and gameplay, so unlike the books, they do not get better with each one, hence why I am writing this.

So here we go, all eight games ranked in order from my least favorite to most favorite. Obviously I am only including the mainline games.

#8 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

PlayStation 2, 2003

Times Beaten- 1

This game, the one I wanted to play so badly, turns out to be complete crap. You go around Hogwarts completing missions and sidequests with only vague hints to go off on. Every class teaches you a new spell, which to learn, your professors throw you into a deadly labyrinth of Hell to find the spell book. Make it out alive and you are worthy to keep the spell, and the students move on like this is totally normal.

It plays horribly with unresponsive controls, and I didn’t like it at all.

#7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

PlayStation 2, 2002

Times Beaten- 1

This game is just like the first one, but has some gameplay improvements. It’s still pretty bad though, just not as much as Sorcerer’s Stone. Also, how did this one come out before Sorcerer’s Stone??? Ahh, that was originally a PS1 game.

#6 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

PlayStation 2, 2005

Times Beaten- 1

This is the first game in the series to change up the formula. They went with a full action game with this one. Before each level you can pick Harry, Ron, or Hermione, and equip items found in the world that increase health or magic power etc. Whoever you don’t pick is controlled by AI throughout the level.

It’s like a 3D Mario game, in that you go into the same level multiple times to find Hogwarts Crests, much like the Power Stars in Mario.

There are a few spells to choose from, and sometimes all three of you need to team up to move something. Throughout each level you and your computer-controlled partners just blast away at tons of enemies and solve puzzles.

This is the first game that doesn’t take place in Hogwarts, pretty much at all, in fact.

It’s an okay game with one foot crossing over into the “bad” territory.

#5 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Wii, 2010

Times Beaten- 1

They really change it up with this one, turning the series into a third-person-shooter. You get a variety of spells and items to use in battle, but it’s cumbersome to switch between them, and they are all more or less useless. The first spell you get, which is your main attack spell, is the only one worth using.

It’s an alright game with some faulty controls from time-to-time.

#4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Wii, 2007

Times Beaten- 1

The fifth entry returns the series to the inside of Hogwarts, but with different gameplay. The developers put a ton of effort into this game, and it shows. They managed to get many of the actors from the movies to do the voices in the game, which is nice. The gameplay is solid-ish with a new dueling system that allows you to use different spells for the most part rather easily. There are also mini-games to play such as wizard’s chess and gobstones.

There are lots of fun little puzzles to solve too that net you emblems. The more of these you collect, the more stuff you unlock, whether it help you in the game, or bonus material like cool interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff with the cast and crew.

It is far from flawless, however, but it’s a good game to be sure.

#3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

PlayStation 2, 2004

Times Beaten- 1

This game impressed me. It is the style of the first two games, but actually good. The controls work, the gameplay is fun. And you get to play as Ron and Hermione for the first time! Each of the three wizards-in-training learn their own unique spells and you can switch between them at any time, making for more diverse gameplay and puzzle-solving. Thinking on it, this and Goblet of Fire are the only two games where you don’t play as just Harry.

Also, for some reason, Hermione has shining blond hair, which is kind of weird.

#2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Wii, 2009

Times Beaten- 1

This game plays like Order of the Phoenix, but improves upon it. This is actually a really fun and really good game.

#1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Wii, 2011

Times Beaten- 1

They go out with a bang in the final entry to the series. It’s the same TPS-style like Part 1, but fixed everything that made Part 1 bad. Now you can switch spells on the fly, and they actually do stuff, making the gameplay intense, fun, and very satisfying. This is truly a great game. Except it’s super-short, seeing as it basically only covers the tail-end of the book.

So there you have it, all the mainline Harry Potter games from worst to best in my opinion. Truthfully, only the last three are truly good games that I would recommend playing.

It’s Astounding How Useless Most Video Game Trailers Are

Seriously.

How many times have you been disappointed by a trailer? And I’m not talking about a game you were maybe excited for and then the trailer didn’t make it look so good. I’m talking about the fact that they don’t show any bloody gameplay in most trailers!!! And if they do, it’s like a quick second or two of it, peppered throughout the trailer several times. 

But a ton trailers just focus completely on story. Usually long cinematics with either a monologue or text narrating some bits about the story.

Does anyone really care about the story that much? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story, but I’m not going to buy a game for it’s story. I’m going to buy it if it looks fun. So it’s incredibly frustrating that I have to go on YouTube and look up gameplay videos because the trailers, which are designed to sell the games, are useless.

I find this to be the biggest problem on Steam and the PS store, though I’m not too certain with the latter because they don’t let you skip through the trailer, so I’ve never sat through one long enough to see if it has any gameplay.

But on Steam, they sometimes have 3-5 trailers for a single game, each around 3 minutes long, and you’ll only get about 15 seconds of gameplay collectively, if any at all. This is not always the case, fortunately. Some developers are kind enough to give us a gameplay trailer every now and then.

As I think on it, I realize what these companies are doing now. I forgot. Most people judge games by graphics. So they have to show off all the most graphically impressive moments in their game, which obviously is all the cinematics.

That way people will be like “Oh, look at the graphics, this game must be good!” So consumers will either buy it on the spot, or at least further look into it to find out how the game actually plays. I imagine it’s the same principle as dating. You aren’t going to pursue something initially that doesn’t look appealing to you.

But games are meant to be played. I like to play games…not look at them.

In short, I believe trailers should be like 80% gameplay with some small story elements thrown in. Here’s to hoping!