Archive for December, 2009


Directed By: Sam Raimi
Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao

What It’s All About:
The story follows loan officer Christine Brown (Lohman) who tries to impress her boss and refuses a loan to a sick gypsy woman. The woman places a curse on Christine, that after three days of torment and horror, will then devour her soul to the depths of hell.

The Verdict:
Sam Raimi is back to this true form, making horror films that are as easily terrifying as they are laugh out loud funny. Alison and Justin have great on screen chemistry, and with some truly scary moments this is another movie to put along the likes of Raimi’s highly successful Evil Dead movies. Scary, funny and intriguing, Drag Me To Hell should be one to add to your collection if you love over the top, campy horror flicks.

3.5/5

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For those of you who don’t know I make independent films. I don’t have any equipment or training, but I have some short film ideas that I’m hoping to film late 2010 once I get a HD camera. It’s more of a hobby for me rather than a career aspiration, so to start off with my friends and I have been making a few webisodes.

The Super Fantastical Awesome Movie Review Show: Starring Heller & Budz is a movie review show in which we choose a movie we found terrible, and rip it apart. The latest episode is a review of G.I Joe: Rise of the Cobra, a film which was so bad I sit in the shower for hours trying to scrub it out of my mind haha!

The full review can be found at our website : www.kinghitstudios.com but here is part one for you guys to check out.

Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: 2K Games
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Players:1-2 (split-screen)
Online: 4 Player Co-Op

What It’s All About:
Welcome to Pandora, a bandit-ridden wasteland that draws the attention of off-world scavengers for one reason: The Vault. The Vault is a mysterious structure that is believed to hold the most powerful and wealthiest treasures in the universe, and everyone from scavengers to fortune seeking global corporations wants to get their hands inside. This is the setting you will find yourself wading through with Gearbox’s latest title Borderlands, a FPS meets RPG.

What It Did Right:

  • Great character development
  • Unique art design
  • Reward system
  • Fantastic Gunplay

What Brings It Down:

  • Vehicle Control
  • Lonely, anti-social single player experience
  • Cock slap of an ending

The Final Verdict:

Borderlands succeeds as a perfectly balanced combination of the RPG and FPS genres. Along with it’s unique gameplay style, it boasts an art design that makes Pandora come alive and will keep calling you back to the bandit ridden wastelands. With satisfying character development and an impressive arsenal of weapons, this game will keep you busy for a long time. There are a few places that the game could be improved, especially when it comes to the anti-social and lonely nature of it’s single player experience. All in all, Borderlands is a great title that is well worth checking out.

8/10

Written By Stephen Heller

Welcome to Pandora, a bandit-ridden wasteland that draws the attention of off-world scavengers for one reason: The Vault. The Vault is a mysterious structure that is believed to hold the most powerful and wealthiest treasures in the universe, and everyone from scavengers to fortune seeking global corporations wants to get their hands inside. This is the setting you will find yourself wading through with Gearbox’s latest title Borderlands. While the lands of Pandora are hostile, they are filled with a rewarding and unique experiences that leave you with a sense of something new, but it’s not always smooth sailing.

Pandora is a desert wasteland, but it manages to bring with it a unique and eye-catching visual style. Not quite cell-shaded but definitely cartoon feel graphics will remind you of similarly styled titles, laying somewhere in between No More Heroes or XIII, and adds an edge that makes the game truly stand out and feel alive. The devil is in the details, and Borderlands is never one to skip on the little things. Some areas of the Pandora map do look alike, but there are enough distinct differences to ensure that the world doesn’t just blend together and become a blur.

It’s not only the setting of Borderlands that makes for a interesting journey, it’s the one of four characters you will making the journey as that will keep the title fresh as each character brings their own abilities and charm into the journey. The Hunter can release a vicious bird of prey, The Soldier can deploy a bad-ass machine-gun turret, The Siren can go into stealth mode and stalk their prey and The Beserker goes bat shit crazy and delivers skull crushing punches to his enemies. These abilities are unlocked early into the piece, but you will continue to upgrade your skills, and you will customize them strategically to suit your playing style.

Upgrading your character’s skill set is one of the most rewarding experiences in Borderlands. It’s simple, kill enemies and complete missions to earn EXP points, this in turn levels you up. Upon completing bonus missions or simply hitting certain levels you will also be granted Skill Points that can be used to upgrade your skill set. Along with improving your skill set and leveling up you will gain weapon proficiency as you use different types of weapons. That’s not to say that a Beserker can’t use a sniper rifle, yet when he has better ability using a rocket launcher why not capitalise on that opportunity?

While leveling up and increasing your skill set is one way that Borderlands constantly rewards you, looting is just as much fun! Cash, guns, ammo and other bits and bobs are dropped by enemies, found in containers, piles of rubbish or given to you as a quest rewards. Borderlands ensures you are never short of new toys, especially when it comes to the weapons of the game. Guns are put into categories such as Pistols, Combat Rifles, Rocket Launcher etc, and each class feels perfectly weighted and distinct. The shooting mechanics are right on the money, everything feels just as it should which makes it fun to blast your opponents down with each and every weapon in the game, and there are an impressive number of them. Each weapon has some variables to take into consideration such base damage, fire rate, accuracy etc and certain weapons have some exciting, unique features. Shotguns that shoot rockets anyone? How about some incendiary guns to set some bad guys on fire? These are just some of the fun ideas that Borderlands throw into the mix with their weapons.

You’ll be quick to utilize the vast abundance of weaponry as you soon realise that 99% of the general population of Pandora is hostile. Enemies are varied and interesting and will be sure to keep you on your toes. There are the human bandits that have shields and guns, Psychos who light themselves on fire and run at you, the dog like Skags who are ready to bite your jugular, Rakks that are giant bat like creatures, the list goes on. You’ll literally encounter hundreds of each enemy type and this goes a long way to keeping the game feeling fresh and full of variety.

You’ll also be quick to notice that Pandora has a whole lot of room to wander around in, so luckily you gain the ability to get into some vehicles and drive around. Some areas are more fun to walk around on two legs, but there is nothing like some vehicular manslaughter to bring a smile to your dial. The problem is that the handling of these vehicles are somewhat touchy, and there are a number of strange physics issues, especially when cashing into rocks and walls. It’s not a deal breaker, but it certainly is an issue.

The other issue Borderlands presents to us is that it’s simply not as much fun to tackle this journey alone as it is with a group of mates. Borderlands performs like a completely different title when played online. The pacing, the frantic combat and the fun factor is all brought to a new high, and once playing multiplayer you simply cannot go back to traversing the lands alone. Thankfully for those who don’t have online access there is a split screen option, and I’d suggest you make good use of it so you can enjoy this game as it was intended to be played.

The driving force of Borderlands is the incentives of leveling up, killing enemies, gathering loot and playing with guns. There are a number of quests that try to put a reason on why you are going to point A, collecting item and taking it to point B but the main reason is to level up. The few friendly characters who do offer quests often have a sense of humor that will stick in your mind long after you’ve left them behind and headed onto the next area. The fact that these characters are few and far between further go to prove that this is meant to be a multiplayer experience, a social experience. For the single player out there, Pandora is a lonely place.

The Final Verdict:

Borderlands succeeds as a perfectly balanced combination of the RPG and FPS genres. Along with it’s unique gameplay style, it boasts an art design that makes Pandora come alive and will keep calling you back to the bandit ridden wastelands. With satisfying character development and an impressive arsenal of weapons, this game will keep you busy for a long time. There are a few places that the game could be improved, especially when it comes to the anti-social and lonely nature of it’s single player experience. All in all, Borderlands is a great title that is well worth checking out.

What It Did Right:

  • Great character development
  • Unique art design
  • Reward System
  • Fantastic Gunplay

What Brings It Down:

  • Vehicle control
  • Lonely, anti-social single player experience
  • Cock slap of an ending

8/10

Directed By: Oren Peli
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat

What It’s About:
The story revolves around Katie and Micah who are experiencing paranormal events in their home. This activity has been following Katie for most of her life. Filmed as a documentary, Micah places a video camera in their bedroom as they sleep at night in an attempt to find out exactly what is happening.

The Verdict:
It’s the things you don’t see, the suggestive terror that lurks in the house that makes Paranormal Activity a scary movie. Unlike similar style horror films like The Blair Witch Project or Quarantine, Paranormal Activity sucks you into Micah and Katie’s world, and have yourself thinking “is this real?”. Believable situations that never seem over the top along with honest characters are the reason why this movie works so well. The ending is a little of a let down and manages to slash away the terror, but all in all one of the better horror films of 2009.

3/5

Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: WayForward Technologies
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Players: 1
Online: N/A

What It’s All About:
A Boy and His Blob is a 2D Platforming re-incarnation of the classic NES game featuring hand drawn graphics and all new motion controls.

What it did right:

  • Hand drawn graphics and smooth animations
  • 40+ levels plus challenge stages
  • Great puzzles

What brings it down?:

  • Bloated control scheme
  • Lacking any replay value
  • Frequent loading screens break immersion

The Final Verdict:
A Boy and His Blob is a fantastic homage to the titles roots on the NES, featuring 2D platforming at it’s best. A gorgeous game to look at, the only downfalls are in the bloated control system and staggering load times that really break immersion. If you want a platformer that has more than just running and jumping, A Boy and His Blob will keep you entertained for hours.

7.5/10

Hey Guys!

Turns out people are actually reading the blog so I’ve decided to do a few format changes.

Movie Bytes are short and direct movie reviews. I hate giving away crucial plot lines or delving too far into events that will spoil a movie goers experience, so I thought this was the best way for me to offer a critique on the latest and greatest films. I won’t just be doing new release films, as the weeks go on there will be a good mix of old and new, and I hope my reviews help you to decide if a movie is worth seeing or not.

Game Bytes are just like the Movie Byte reviews, short and direct analysis of a game without giving too much away. At the start of each review I will put a a link to a full, in-depth review for those of you who wish to delve into the nitty gritty of the latest and greatest games. Hopefully hosting both formats will keep many people interested 🙂

Hope you all like the new format and as always, feedback will be appreciated

Directed By: James Cameron
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver

What It’s About:
Avatar tells the story of Jake Sully (Worthington, a paralyzed marine who’s twin brother was part of the Avatar project on the jungle planet of Pandora. Due to the expensive nature of the Avatar, a host body that looks like one of Pandora’s natural inhabbitants, the Na’vi, Sully is put in as a replacement for his dead brother as his DNA is a match. Humans are planning to mine the planet for a rare form of mineral, and once Jake becomes part of the Na’vi tribe and falls in love, he stands up to save the Na’vi from the attacking military forces.

The Verdict:
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Cameron epic, even longer since his last foray into the Sci-Fi genre, and Avatar steps up to the plate in a big way. Featuring new technology built from the ground up, the 3D animation of this movie needs to be seen to be believed. Leaving the cinema for the first time left me with such a feeling of joy that I haven’t felt since I first saw Star Wars when I was a child. Unfortunately the advances in technology won’t be as appreciated now as they were then. Each member of the cast puts in a stellar performance, the only aspect that lets this movie down is it’s rather generic storyline. Generic and predictable doesn’t always mean bad, James Cameron has always been a great story teller, and that’s what Avatar is; a great story told in a masterful way. See this movie in 3D and be amazed.

9.2/10

Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Players: 4
Online: N/A

What It’s All About:
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a homage to the classic entries of the beloved plumber, going back to basics with a side scrolling platform adventure, and adding in the ability to play simultaneous four player on the one console.

What it did right

  • Fantastic level design
  • Challenging difficulty
  • Replay value
  • Great fun with friends

What brings it down?:

  • Multiplayer can be frustrating depending on who you are playing with
  • No Classic Controller support

The Final Verdict
Is New Super Mario Bros. Wii the greatest Mario title to date? That’s a decision you need to make for yourself, but the fact that it’s debatable is a true testament to just how good this new addition is. Bringing in the best of series, going back to the original form as a 2D platformer, and throwing in four player mayhem brings Mario and his adventures to a whole new level. The most important ingredient is fun, and no matter who you are, you will undoubtedly have a bunch of fun with this title. Nintendo have just proven again that they are the masters of creating a game to suit a large age group.

9.7/10

Directed By: Spike Jonez
Starring: Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini

What it’s all about:
Max is a lonely boy with a wild imagination, and after having an argument with his mother in front of her new boyfriend he runs away from home in his wolf costume. He finds a boat in a pond and sails across the ocean to a strange island. On this island he meets six creatures, and after convincing them he is an all mighty king, he leads them in an attempt to live in peace and harmony.

The Verdict:
Where The Wild Things Are is a powerful movie, created by one of the best directors in the business Spike Jonez. The visual style of the movie is amazingly beautiful, it’s simplistic yet deep nature creating a feeling of the island being a different world compared to the start of the film. The creatures are full of emotion, and the plot explores and delves into an emotional rollercoaster ride of joy, sadness and understanding. When leaving the screen you will have a feeling that you have seen something special. My only criticism would be that when based on a classic childrens book, the movie will have limited effect on that demographic. This movie is full of adult ideas of childhood, yet not enough ideas that will appeal to children. The subtext seems to be of a depressive nature, and while amazing it may be, simply does not translate to those of a younger generation.

7/10