Tag - 3d

Pilotwings Resort Review – Two greats form one kind of great

Pilotwings Resort

Pilotwings Resort

A glance at my save file on Pilotwings Resort, the strange 3DS launch title that acts as a sequel to Pilotwings 64 and quasi-sequel to Wii Sports Resort, reveals that I’ve spent a majority of my game time playing Free Flight Mode. Free Flight Mode is actually ripped directly out of Wii Sports Resort in which the goal is to slowly explore all of Wuhu Island in an attempt to gather information on the island and find hidden items. At first I had zero interest heading into Free Flight mode as I felt I had my fill of Wuhu by the hours I’ve spent playing Air Sports in Wii Sports Resort, but upon playing I once again became addicted to what is essentially a cheap filler mode in order to pad the game.

Here I am, spending a solid chunk of time on my brand spanking new (and over priced) 250 dollar 3DS unit playing something I played before roughly two years ago. I don’t regret this at all, because I was having fun doing this. To me, it’s a testament to the mechanics of Pilotwings Resort, a series that has always struck a good balance between simulation and arcade control. Sure, I’ve played this all before, but not with Pilotwings pitch perfect hang glider, rocket belt and plane control. The 3DS’ slide pad feels great, and the range of subtle motion may even put the traditional analog stick to shame. I almost kind of found myself wanting something like this for console games. Maybe I’m just having some kind of honeymoon with the slide pad and my feelings on it will level out with time, but as of now I’m kind of loving it.

The core game itself is made up of a bunch of bit sized missions (roughly 3 minutes long each) where the player earns stars to progress. All of these missions could probably be seen in less than 2 hours depending on the skill of the player. The real challenge lies in getting three stars on all of the missions in order to unlock the final set of hidden missions. Dedicated players that come to adore the game can then attempt to get a perfect score on every mission (something I personally don’t have in me) which I imagine will lead to other rewards. I spent a healthy amount of time, roughly 10 hours total, going through all of Mission Mode and Free Flight. Not too bad for a game being billed as a three hour experience (though admittedly, Free Flight did get tiresome when I was down to the final few objects to find). If Pilotwings clicks with the player, they’ll be in it for the long haul, but if the player is only interested in blowing through mission mode, they’ll obviously feel somewhat cheated by what the game offers.

Being that this is my first and only 3DS game, my initial reaction to the 3D effect was that while I found it kind of neat I would never play with it turned on. I had a headache after a few minutes the first night I had the 3DS and thought that would be the extent of my time with 3D turned on. After all, when I saw Avatar in 3D I had a pounding headache by the end and found myself having a hard time even seeing the 3D in most cases. Regardless, I decided to toggle the 3D on from time to time and I’ve now come around to it. I like playing Pilotwings in 3D, and while some of the claims that 3D changes the game in that players can better judge their distance is kind of bull crap, it sure does look fancy. The actual 3D effect has some issues as far as finding the sweet spot, but that’s an issue inherent in the 3DS itself.

As a launch game Pilotwings makes a fine product, though unlike the N64 days this isn’t the only choice other than Super Mario 64. I guess depending on your perspective of the 3DS launch it is either the only choice, or eclipsed by other offerings like Super Street Fighter IV. It lacks the length, variation of modes and air craft of Pilotwings 64 (at least, from what I remember) but it makes up for that with the most sound control and flight mechanics in the series. Also, it’s just such a nice relaxing game to tune out too.

Would I buy a 3DS just play Pilotwings? No (though I guess you could say that I did personally do that… oops), but if you already own a 3DS or plan on getting one anyway, you could do much worse.

Movie Info of the Week (Jan 31-Feb 4 2011)

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My DVD/Blu-Ray Pick
Let Me In

Let Me In – in 2008 a Swedish vampire movie called Let The Right One In came out and impressed many, but being that it was a foreign film that was subtitled, I’m sure it wasn’t really THAT many who saw it. So why not remake it for American audiences in 2010? Well Matt Reeves, the director of Cloverfield, did that with an almost shot for shot remake of the original. Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) and Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) were cast as the kids. It really is an awesome movie and only inferior to the original in a few minor places. In a time when vampire movies are laughable ever since Twilight tweened it up, the Swedes were able to still make an original vampire movie work. Then us Americans swooped in and did it all over again. But again I can’t knock it because even this remake is pretty awesome.

My Theater Pick
The Mechanic

Sanctum – you might have seen the commercials broadcasting James Cameron‘s name as having something to do with this movie. But really they just used some of his film crew and the 3D technology that he created. So he got a producing credit. Really he has nothing to do with it though. The acting looks downright horrendous and the story is simple enough. A crew goes into a cave which hasn’t yet been explored by mankind, and of course they run into all kinds of trouble. While the story might not be great, it might be really cool to look at. Avatar had, by far, the best 3D I’ve ever seen and if they can capture that and put it in this movie then at least it has one redeeming quality.

Box Office Results
No Strings Attached

I don’t really know if I’m surprised or not that The Rite took the #1 spot this past weekend. January is known as a terrible movie month. For instance, I usually go to the movies once a week from summer to the end of the year. And I haven’t gone to the theater since the end of December so that’s really saying something about the quality of these flicks. But anyway, The Rite scored $15 million and topped the list. The other new release, The Mechanic, was #3 behind last week’s champ No Strings Attached.

Also coming out in stores this week is Conviction, Monsters, Hatchet II, The Tillman Story and Welcome to the Rileys.

Also coming out in theaters this weekend is The Roommate which looks like Single White Female with a younger cast of Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester.

Movie Info of the Week (Nov 15-19 2010)

My DVD/Blu-Ray Pick
Airbender

The Last AirbenderM. Night Shyamalan was supposed to come back with a vengeance directing a big budget adaptation of a popular cartoon series. The fan base is pretty big and it would be a hard feat for the struggling director. But critics panned it on a consistent basis and the majority of the fans were disappointed (not including Phil).

My Theater Pick
Harry Potter Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 1 – the long awaited conclusion to the Harry Potter series is finally upon us. But unfortunately for the impatient, it is broken up into 2 Parts with the second one coming out in Summer 2011. But fortunately for the lovers of the series, it will most likely be better put together with this much time concentrated on it. Since I never read the books and have no idea how it ends, I couldn’t be more excited.

Box Office Results
Megamind

Megamind was the big winner yet again at the box office raking in another $30 Million to bring the total to just under $90 Million. I can’t help but think it was #1 again all because of the 3D price hike. Unstoppable did pretty well but couldn’t stop the 3D animation train for Dreamworks. Skyline apparently cost $10 Million to make and made close to $12 Million on opening weekend so its already a success. More directors might start trying low budget features focused all on special effects if they continue to be profitable.

Also coming out in stores this week is a really entertaining dysfunctional family dramedy called The Kids Are All Right, the Bow Wow crapfest called Lottery Ticket, the Robert Zemeckis motion capture holiday tale A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey and Avatar Extended Collection Edition to further fill James Cameron’s pockets.

Also hitting theaters this weekend is The Next Three Days which has the Crash director Paul Haggis getting Russell Crowe to break his wife Elizabeth Banks out of prison.

Theater Releases for October 29th

Saw 3D

Saw 3D – As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gather to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror. The seventh and supposed final installment of the series presented in 3D! Also starring Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor and others.

In limited release is the low budget monster movie, Monsters. Also the final installment in the Swedish Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. Also, Welcome to the Rileys starring James Gandolfini as a man who befriends a young girl, Kristen Stewart, after the death of his daughter.

Theater Releases for October 15th

Jackass

Jackass 3DJohnny Knoxville and company return for the third installment of their TV show spin-off, where dangerous stunts and explicit public displays rule. Also starring the usual gang of Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Steve O, Chris Pontius and the others. With many special guests. Filmed in 3D!!!

RED

RedBruce Willis plays a former black ops agent who, along with the rest of his aging team, has recently retired from the business. But when a high tech assassin tries to take his life, he gets the gang back together to find out why there’s a hit on his head. Also starring Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman.

In limited release is Conviction starring Sam Rockwell as a wrongfully imprisoned man and Hilary Swank as his sister who puts herself through law school in order to help him. Also Down Terrace about a father/son crime business struggling with a police informant. And finally the documentary I Want Your Money showing contrasting view of how the government should play a role in our lives.