NeverDead Review

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Title: NeverDead
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Rebellion
Publisher: Konami
Released: January 31, 2012
Acquired: Purchased from Amazon ($11.50)

Don’t. Stop.

Rainbow Buses: 11/74 rainbow_bus

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Ralph’s Radical Reviews: Nebraska (2013)

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Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk

Director: Alexander Payne

Where: DVD (Netflix by mail)

Why: Nebraska is a film I had been wanting to see for a long time due to the acclaim it has received (86/100 on Metacritic, nominated for six Oscars, etc…) and that its director is Alexander Payne. I had seen both Payne’s Sideways and The Descendants, and I managed to enjoy them both, so I figured I’d have to give Nebraska a go.

The Breakdown: Bruce Dern is an old and possibly senile alcoholic who receives some sweepstakes scam in the mail saying that he has won a million dollars, but he needs to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim it. Dern and his family live in Montana, and his family all know that the letter is a scam, but Dern tries to walk to Nebraska anyway. Will Forte, who plays one of Dern’s sons, finally gives in and says he’ll drive Dern to Nebraska just to make him happy. They end up visiting some of Dern’s relatives who all think that Dern actually is going to be a millionaire, so the relatives all try to either steal the sweepstakes letter from Dern or coerce him into giving them a lot of money. Other people come out of the woodwork looking to get money from Dern, yet it takes all of them almost two hours to actually figure out that it was a scam the entire time. Basically the goal of this film was to show old people being assholes for two hours, and I could have experienced the same thing by taking a two-hour stroll through a nursing home.

Noteworthy: I’m not sure if it’s noteworthy, but Will Forte is not a good serious actor. I still have trouble finding out what kind of role is good for that guy. His comedy seems very niche to me, and his serious acting is not quite there yet, so maybe he’d be a perfect fit to star in an Adult Swim show. Bruce Dern and June Squibb both say some funny stuff in Nebraska, but old people can say whatever the hell they want, so none of it was revolutionary. The Revolutionary War was revolutionary, though.

Who Should Watch This: I guess anybody who feels inclined to watch all of the 2014 Academy Award-nominated films for Best Picture has to watch this. Old people would probably get a kick out of it since they’d probably think it was a documentary. Old people could probably just have a relative visit them and be just as happy though. In summation, this film was well-made and well-acted for the most part (I’m looking at you, Forte…), but it just didn’t do me any favors. Old people acting old may be hilarious to some people, but I’ve been around long enough to get those laughs out of my system. Maybe I have become part of the old people… Was this film a documentary?

Rainbow Buses: 37/74

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review

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As the diehard fans know, I have never played a Zelda game in my life. That has all changed now. Once A Link Between Worlds was announced, I got quite excited. Mostly due to the fact that I love my Nintendo 3DS, my interest was piqued. In the coming months, trailers and screenshots pushed me closer and closer to the realization that I was on the path to buy my first Zelda game. Once the game was released, I didn’t run out and purchase it due to the fact that I had plenty of things to play, but it stuck in the back of my mind. Once I finished the great Pokemon X, I decided to move on to A Link Between Worlds.

Upon purchasing the game, I was excited to get home and give it a whirl. I have a special place in my heart for unwrapping new video games; it gives me an immense amount of joy. It’s like the new car smell except for video games, but I digress. Placing the cartridge into the system and loading it up, my journey commenced. Hearing those first notes as the game began had my excitement at an all-time high. I couldn’t wait to see what hijinx Link was going to get into on his adventure… (too on the nose… maybe… a line of great writing… damn straight).

Upon entering the kingdom of Hyrule, Link was being awakened for work, and that helped me already feel a deep connection with him. Who wants to go to work when you can hang out, collect rupees, and throw bushes all day? Alas, I followed my friend to the blacksmith shop where I was challenged to deliver a forgotten sword to a guardsman. On a side note, what kind of guardsman forgets their sword? The kind who also gets turned into a painting, that’s who! What a fool! Had he only remembered his brand new sword, maybe this entire story wouldn’t have unfolded. But we’re not here to discuss what ifs and possibilities, only truths, and the truth is that this game had just taken a turn for the worse for me.

After getting knocked out and regaining consciousness, I find out that I needed to go to the castle in Hyrule and stop our enemy named Yuga from capturing our precious Princess Zelda. First of all, Yuga is a terrible villain name, only because it makes me think of Yu-Gi-Oh!, which is also terrible. Secondly, Zelda is a wimpy damsel who can’t live her life without getting captured and needing rescued from her precious Link (I’ve decided this, mind you, after only playing my first Zelda game, as well as only playing for less than an hour or so). I then gained the ability to become a painting, which is admittedly awesome. So after playing with that function for a bit, I was on the quest to get Zelda released and save Hyrule. I began my quest with a question: where do I start?

I left the castle, headed towards the first of many red X’s on my screen, and began my first legit dungeon. My issues I had with the dungeons were simply that I needed so much help that I had to look up where I needed to go quite a bit. Now I admit this because I mostly play straight through and try my best not to look  up where to go, but with this game I felt like I needed to look it up every time I started out towards a new dungeon so that I didn’t forget anything (such as the fire rod) that I may need for that said dungeon. Now this is my opinion and mine alone, but I really enjoy games where they at least give you some direction instead of all of this free-roaming. The fact that I can go to a dungeon, not have the correct items, and have to walk back to my house to get them it was quite upsetting. Not to mention that I didn’t quite understand that there was fast travel in the game until it was almost over. That may have made it a little easier had I realized that sooner, but, alas, I didn’t.

So once I completed the Hyrule dungeons, I headed back to the castle in Hyrule and some stuff goes down that I don’t want to get into for fear of revealing big spoilers. It’s safe to say that you still have quite a bit left to do at this point and it all includes deciphering those damn dungeons, which just furthered my frustration with the game. After fighting my way through all of the bosses and dungeons, I finally managed it make it to the end of the game, which still had a few twists and turns to throw my way. I was able to defeat the final boss on my second chance, which was quite surprising considering the frustration I had fighting all of the other bosses.

Upon completion, I felt a great sense of success, as I had finally pushed through and finished a game I truthfully wasn’t that into. Now considering the overall story of the game, it was decent. I loved how it wasn’t so straightforward with what was going to happen and I enjoyed how it played out. The fact that you can purchase all of your weapons will please the fans who want to spend the time to hunt for rupees right away. I’m sure most people will take this approach.

The Legend of Zelda series obviously has such a big history and most fans seemed to enjoy this direct sequel to the Super Nintendo classic A Link To The Past. I was sad to realize that after all this time that A Link Between Worlds just wasn’t a game that I think I can get in to. The lack of direction and my lack of understanding of the fast travel, combined with not having all of the weapons that I needed, made for a tough trek across Hyrule in which I was consistently asking myself why I was doing this. My answer was simple: the game was fun! Even though I struggled at every corner once I finished a dungeon, I felt accomplished, except for the fact I would get stuck from time to time and have to look up what to do. While this game was not for me, I still respect and enjoy what I played and understand that if it wasn’t for my dumbass not understanding that the bell was used for fast traveling, that I may have had a more enjoyable time.

If you’re a fan of Zelda games, you will enjoy this game. If you’re just looking for a game to pick up for your 3DS or 2DS and have never played a Zelda game, I recommend it, even if it is just to see if you can get into Zelda games such as I tried.

Overall Score

63/74 Rainbow Colored Buses

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Ralph’s Radical Reviews: Machete Kills (2013)

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Starring: Danny Trejo, Amber Heard, Lady GaGa, Mel Gibson, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Where: DVD (Netflix by mail)

Why: Machete was a glorious trailer when it premiered with that Grindhouse flick, and the actual Machete film was gloriously ridiculous, so I was obligated to watch the sequel. I will also watch any Robert Rodriguez film that does not prominently feature children, even though The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D has always sounded promising.

The Breakdown: Machete (Danny Trejo, of course) has been hired by the President of the United States (Carlos Estevez aka Charlie Sheen) to take down some Mexican terrorist-ish guy who wants to shoot a rocket at the White House and such. Machete has to track down a man to help him solve this problem, who happens to be an insane Mel Gibson, who may not even be acting. Long story short, Mel Gibson flies to space to start a new world and Machete goes with him, which sets up the potential sequel, Machete Kills Again… In Space! The chances of a sequel being made are pretty slim though, since Machete Kills only earned about $15 million at the worldwide box office, where the original Machete earned about $45 million. Maybe a straight-to-video scenario is in the works. Maybe a trilogy of movies based on a fake trailer is a little too much to ask for.

Noteworthy: This is probably the only time I will ever think this in my life, but Cuba Gooding, Jr. was awesome in this. It is also worth noting that after the credits, Amber Heard reveals that you can never surprise someone with a “pussy punch”. I guess that’s the kind of stuff you learn from boning Johnny Depp.

Who Should Watch This: Anyone who likes ridiculous films that have no reason to exist besides to be ridiculous should watch this. I would also suggest wearing a fancy hat or at least wearing mismatched clothes while watching to try to counteract the ridiculousness. If you enjoyed Machete, then I think that Machete Kills can also be enjoyed by you.

Rainbow Buses: 56/74

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Episode 28 Now Streaming!

This week the boys catch up on what they have been doing over the last week. Ryan celebrates a Birthday by sleeping through it, Ralph has an identity crisis, and Derrick can’t tell a joke to save his life! Give it a listen!

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New Sports Show Streaming Now!

This weeks the boys discuss the current events happening in sports as well as preview this weekends NFC/AFC Championship games! Give it a listen!

http://soundcloud.com/thelevelupshowpodcast/this-episode-is-worth-more

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Ralph’s Radical Reviews: Hick (2011)

Hick

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne, Alec Baldwin

Director: Derick Martini

Where: Netflix

Why: I watched this because I like Chloe Grace Moretz as an actress. She seems to be cast in a diverse set of films (Let Me In, Kick-Ass, Hugo, etc.) and I’ve managed to find some kind of enjoyment in all of them. No, that’s a lie. Texas Killing Fields was a real bad thing.

The Breakdown: Chloe runs away from home. She keeps running into Eddie Redmayne.  The dude’s weird. It’s implied that Eddie rapes Chloe at some point. Chloe ends up killing him and takes a bus to Los Angeles. The bus was not rainbow colored.

Noteworthy: Blake Lively nearly pees on Chloe Grace Moretz at one point. Also, for a movie starring a girl who is playing a 13-year-old, they sure do show her in her panties a lot. This movie tries its best to make everyone who watches it a sex offender.

Who Should Watch This: I’m sure the dude who directed it wants his friends to watch it, so I guess if they are his real friends and don’t mind watching dreck, then they should watch it.

Rainbow Buses: 22/74

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