Friday, March 19, 2010

Borderlands: where ownage is the aim

A dust storm settles as you prepare to take flight into the life threatening world of Pandora. It is you, your gun against a mass of enemies who will make your life a living hell. Borderlands is not a game for the faint of heart, because around every turn are surprises (some funny and others outright awesome). These can be mutated dogs called Skags to bandits who are really a bunch of intergalactic hillbillies. On the planet of Pandora you either go with the flow or against it. Playing the game I experienced a gut wrenching over the top ride bursting at the core with enough excitement for any hardcore gamer. So get ready for a serving of pure unfiltered action, and a few tranquilisers for the shock of awesome that is about to enter your system.

Borderlands was engineered by Gearbox software who are so epic that their first try at a original game is pure win. The game harnesses mystical powers combining first person shooter style, with the grace and depth of an RPG (roleplaying game). This means you can haul ass with huge weapons, and gather loot like theres no tomorrow. You have the choice of picking four different characters: Brick the berserker with strong melee abilities, Lilith with a phasewalk ability meaning she can teleport. There is Mordecai a bounty hunter specializing in sniper rifles and pistols, with his pet Bloodwing (who kicks major ass). A final choice is the mercenary Roland who is great for close combat and is able to deploy a turret that mows down enemies like a lawnmower in a field of zombies.

The story of Borderlands begins with the discovery of the Vault on Pandora, which opens up every 200 years. This is where your character kicks butt and depending on who you choose, the game plays out differently. But, the essential goal is finding the Vault and opening it with vault keys scattered across Pandora. It is rumoured to have alien technology and vast amounts of loot enticing many from across the galaxy to take their chances, and become Vault Hunters. The story is simple and is not over complicated. But the experience for me was full to the max with ownage. Borderlands is a joyride in a nuclear-powered scooter with no brake and a steep hill ahead. With that being said the game mechanics involves first person shooter action alla Unreal Tournament, meaning violent and oh so sweet headshots. It is then mixed with a dash of Diabol-esque item hording, leaving you with a smile of glee as your pillage whats left of your enemies.

The graphics are in no way jaw-dropping but are stylized and cell shaded, giving off a cartoon feel so fresh in a market where games aim for realism. This goes well with the bloody violence and roster of missions including: bounties, scavenger hunts, car races which bring the game up a few notches on the belt of godly gaming. The music was nothing to write home about (even from a galactic outpost on the far edges of the galaxy). But, in all honesty Borderlands is a real gem from Gearbox and has miniscule faults. It’s available on: XBOX 360, PC and PlayStation 3. Now, get those arms flexed and ready to enter Borderlands where the badass are really badass.

The game gets 85% and an approval of awesomeness from me. RAMjew

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Anime, the choice drug

I’ve been an anime connoisseur for nine years roughly, and have seen the ups and downs of the industry. The quality of anime titles ranges yearly and some anime peak, reaching untold heights of popularity. But, anime fans become addicted, and end up in a never ending cycle. Except, this cycle involves fantasizing about 2D anime characters.

In 2006 the otherwordly Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was broadcast. The series was stylized by jaw-dropping animation, a mysterious plot and a hysterical titular character. Haruhi generated huge fandom both in Japan, and on a global scale. Extreme Haruhi fandom led to the establishment of Haruhism. Haruhists (as they like to be known) are a cult following the lore of Queen Haruhi, believing in espers, time travelers and aliens. It is amazing that an anime detailing the life of a Japanese highschool girl with god-like powers can be influential in society.

Narutards are equally as disturbing and are infatuated with the innerworkings of fictional characters’ relationships. Paramount to this is the rise in Sasuke and Naruto fanfiction. The fanfiction offers interpretations of Naruto and Sasuke relationships, and sometimes other pairings. Some of the works depict sexual relations and unnecessary details. Any person can see that these retards have nothing better to do than dream about their favourite characters getting it on. Otherwise, they would all be watching One Piece (the number 1 show in Japan) brimming to the rim with epicness that outmatches the fantasies any Narutard can think of. In reality they would rather watch a 100 more fillers about Naruto’s flatulence and the perverted escapades of Jiraiya.

This leads me to the conclusion that anime is a drug. Once you inject yourself, you’ll be tripping over the variety of anime. Confounded you will try and muster up the courage to watch as much as you can. In truth you will end up failing miserably, and probably living in your cousin’s basement. Finally when you’re on your deathbed uttering your last words, a Narutard will be laughing like a retard enjoying his Naruto and chicken wings. Awaiting him will be 200 filler episodes, examining Kakashi’s earlobe and Sakura’s love hate relationship with Naruto. RAMjew