Monthly Archives: March 2015

“Half Life 2” Game Review

Need inspiration for how to make a sequel that improves on every aspect of the original? Look no further than this highly acclaimed first-person shooter. Half Life 2 was originally released on November 16th, 2004, and has since sold over 12 million copies worldwide. I guess that you can tell my opinion about this game through the opening line. Let’s get down to brass tax. Playing once again as the silent, emotionless mute Gordon Freeman, you are woken from a frozen stasis by G-Man into a world where aliens have taken control of cities. When you’re found and rescued by Dr. Eli Vance and his daughter Alyx, it’s up to you to lead the human resistance against the alien Combine. You’ll have fun going from location to location with the various weapons at your disposal. But the biggest standout has to be the Gravity Gun. This innovative weapon allowed the player to crush enemies and manipulate physics puzzles that make real world sense. In a later section of the game, you get an upgrade that lets you throw around people. So it doesn’t get repetitive. I’M fine with a shooter that goes from checkpoint to checkpoint in a linear fashion, but I wish could’ve explored this fascinating world as if it were open world. The characters are for the most part memorable. One of my favorites was a robot named Dog who was programmed to protect Alyx. Now the story last at about 10-12 hours long, more if you spend extra time trying out the cool weapons and solve the puzzles. Thanks to the Source engine, Half Life 2’s graphics still look amazing today. At $10 on Steam, this game is a modern classic that’s among the best of all time.

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“Raiders of the Lost Ark” Movie Review

Since evidence has lead me to believe that Disney is giving a case of rebootitis soon, I guess that means the original is up for an honest look. This action-adventure film by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg was originally released on June 12th, 1981, grossing about $390 million at the worldwide box office. Hugely influential on many adventure that followed, including Dirk Pitt, Tomb Raider, and Uncharted, Raiders of the Lost Ark spawned two sequels, a prequel, numerous games and even a short-lived spinoff T.V. series. It’s also a personal favorite of mine. Starring Harrison Ford, the titular hero/ university professor travels around the world to recover ancient artifacts for wealth and glory. The iconic opening sequence sees him going through a booby-trap-laced temple in Peru to obtain a golden idol. After retrieving the idol, he must run from a rolling boulder and local natives. Later approached by government agents, he travels to Nepal recruit his old flame. After proclaiming, “I’m you’re goddamn partner!,” the two head to the Middle East to find the Ark of the Covenant. As one iconic scene goes to another, we see them battling the Nazis, who also want the Ark. The final scene used impressive practical effects. But wrap this around your head; even if Indiana Jones wasn’t in the movie and the Nazis got the Ark, the outcome would stay the same. It makes it seem like like he’s just kind of there. I’m not going to spoil the ending but if you’ve seen it and know what I’m talking about, I hope you understand. Now this film may not have been the first in the adventure genre, but it’s definitely one of the best. This is one film that I’ll be watching time and time again with my friends and family. I just hope Chris Pratt can fill these shoes.