POF Archive: September 2011

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The Changeling (8/10)

The film opens with George C. Scott witnessing a horrible car accident. The story then shifts to four months later with George, still distrought over the tragic loss of his station wagon, deciding to move into a big empty mansion in Seattle. What proceeds is a bloodless, yet creepy ghost story that reminded me much of The Ring. As the details of the haunting are revealed the movie loses its creep factor, but the mystery and (as expected) great acting kept me engaged until the climax.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 00:32

Zeno Clash on PC (8/10)

Zeno Clash

Zeno Clash brings brawling and melee combat to the FPS genre and makes it work. Whenever a game has attempted this in the past it has always been kudgey. Mirror Edge is the only game I can think of that came close (that, and maybe the boot from Duke Nukem 3-D). The fights in Zeno Clash work because the action is a little bit slower, more focused and the dodge and block mechanics require timing and skill missing in your typical button masher.

On top of this is a wildly inventive art direction in which your tribal hero meets humanoid bird creatures, giant moles, a squirrel bomber and a…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 19:29

The Killer Must Kill Again (8/10)

Who would have thought that the director of such legendary cheese-fests as Starcrash and  Hercules could create a gritty and disturbing giallo? The titular "killer" is well cast with an appropriately creepy weirdo and the film has a few good moments in which you think you know what's about to happen and it twists on you’nothing mind-blowing, more like cliché avoidance. There are a couple of instances of illogical plotting which prevent this from being a great giallo, but it still was much better than most of these Italian thrillers.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 09/17/2011 - 09:21

Deus Ex: Invisible War on PC (7/10)

Tracer Tong Sings his Song

This is a sequel I have been meaning to play through for a few years now. The original Deus Ex was very well executed, although I would be hesitant to heap as much praise on it as seems to receive these days. Its big hook was the open game play it offered: sneak, negotiate or kill... it was up to you. Invisible War has some of those choices, but it is dumbed down to the point where you might as well just kill everybody you meet because there is no advantage (or fun) to choosing a different path.

The game also lacks the precise allocation of RPG stat points that you got in Deus Ex. Instead…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 22:52

Painkiller - Black Edition on PC (5/10)

Painkiller: Black Edition

Painkiller is a first generation FPS that's about a dozen years too late. Unlike most modern shooters, your goal is singular: shoot everything. Story, characters, game play variety and puzzle-solving are all out the window. That said, I think there still is a place for games like this, but I found Painkiller lacking in a couple ways.

First, although the game has a sort of achievement system for getting power-ups, completing the level tasks just wasn't fun. Who wants to search around a poorly designed game map looking for barrels. Rather than rewarding meaningless exploration or OCD item…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 09/03/2011 - 16:18