About Me

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Greetings. I am the Illusive One. For many years now I have been a huge video game player, movie viewer, and book reader. For almost as long, I have been a critic of these things and many people respect my opinions of these things and have often said I belong on G4 doing reviews on X-Play or a similar show. Sadly that is not likely to happen. So instead I shall do reviews for you, uninfluenced by other reviewers, of video games books, movies, and, occasionally, music and political actions. I hope you find this informative and helpful. Thank you for your time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dracula V.S. Frankenstein

            Well, Halloween is almost upon us, and because of the season, I decided to put two classic horror films against one another in my latest Franchise V.S. Franchise post.  Most people nowadays are a bit more familiar with the sympathetic monsters; usually involving vampires trying to be human, werewolves trying to find a cure for themselves or the Frankenstein monster trying to obtain his soul.  While it’s obvious that these creatures have gone downhill in recent years, there are still the classic films that started them all and I decided to pit both of these classics against one another.  This is Dracula V.S. Frankenstein.


AHH!  Anyhow, let’s get to the real post.  This is Franchise V.S. Franchise: Dracula (1931) V.S. Frankenstein (1931).


The Monster


            Despite the way both of these monsters have been treated over the decades, they both started out as monsters that actually scared the crap out of people.  But which one was the superior?  Well, I will say this much:  They couldn’t be more different.
            In these films, Dracula is played by Bella Lugosi who brought trademarks to the character that would be forever associated with it such as the rhythm and accent of his voice and the general look of the character.  In it, he was suave and elegant in public but demented and commanding in when alone with his victims and is very subtle in the way he stalks and chooses his victims.  He doesn’t seem to have any clear motivation in doing what he does other than just to survive and be evil.  Some people may criticize it for that but I honestly think that’s all a good monster needs and is the way they should be. 
            In Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster is played by Boris Karloff who is a bit more sympathetic.  His motivation for killing and doing horrible things isn’t just for survival.  It's out of his own ignorance and failures on the part of Dr. Frankenstein and his assistant, Fritz.  His brain is that of a criminal and he suffers from abuse under Fritz and fears everything he doesn’t understand and is almost like fully grown and powerful baby who doesn’t know how to act in our world.
            So, in this it kind of comes down to personal preference.  Do you prefer the demon of the night that kills not only for survival but for his sick pleasure as well?  Or do you prefer the sympathetic monster that never seemed to have a choice in the matter?  I personally prefer Dracula, mainly because I don't think a monster should be sympathetic in the ways the Frankenstein monster is.  The sequel did a better job at this but in this film he just seemed like a lumbering brute that killed people and the sympathetic part just didn’t seem to come across very well.  As a result, you hated the character more than sympathize with him but as far as being an evil character goes, you really can’t beat Dracula.  So for me it's an easy pick.  Dracula seemed just more threatening, more subtle and when he started staring at you, you knew you were screwed.  Point goes to Dracula.

Mentor/Professor Role


                      This may sound like an odd category, but both films had a character who were basically a mentor characters to all the others.  And oddly enough, they're both played by the same actor, Edward Van Sloan.  In Dracula, he plays Professor Van Helsing and in Frankenstein he plays Dr. Waldman.  The main difference between the two is in the writing.  In Dracula, Van Helsing is an old but strong and determined man who will do everything in his power to find and slay Dracula as well as save the souls of those he seeks to claim.  In Frankenstein, however, the character of Dr. Waldman seemed to be a bit more of a closed minded nut.  Most of his dialog consists of telling Dr. Frankenstein to destroy his creation and how it will destroy him.  That's not necessarily bad but it gets old very fast and makes him less interesting and less memorable as a result.  Van Helsing just seemed smarter, wiser, stronger and just an all-around better written character so for me it's a no brainer.  Point goes to Dracula.

The Supporting Characters


            With both films, there are many different characters that vary in quality.  For starters, you have Dr. Frankenstein who was the protagonist of the film whereas in Dracula it didn't really seem to have one which I always found a bit strange.  Then we have the creepy lackey characters both films had both played by Dwight Frye.  In Dracula, he plays as the crazy Renfield who succeeds in being sympathetic, creepy, and despicable.  He helps Dracula out of fear and a lust for small animal lives but only seems to do so out of bad luck, (he sells Dracula his property in England and becomes a victim as a result).  In Frankenstein, you had the same actor play the character Fritz who only seemed to be memorable because of his hunched back, fixing a sock in the middle of a scene, (wired but true), and his treatment of the monster.  In the end, Fritz just wasn't that memorable or as well acted as Renfield.
            The rest of the Dracula characters, however, are blown away by the cast of Frankenstein.  They were just all around better acted and more interesting characters.  Characters like Victor and Elizabeth were just better acted then Jonathan and Mina and Barron Frankenstein was just more interesting and entertaining then Dr. Seward.  It's nothing I can really point out but if you see the films for yourselves you'll see exactly what I mean.  Point goes to Frankenstein.




           The plots of both of these films couldn't have been simpler.  In Dracula, the protagonists are just trying to figure out what is causing all these mysterious deaths and end up battling Dracula.  In Frankenstein, it's mainly about the doctor bringing the creature to life and trying to control it and then destroy it when he realizes the terrible mistake he made in trying to create it.  In truth, I don't either concept is better than the other so it comes down to execution and in this, it's again in Frankenstein’s favor.  In it, you got the sense that you were seeing that you were seeing most of, if not the whole story, whereas in Dracula it almost seemed like entire sections were left out of the story.  Not to mention their many unresolved issues throughout the movie that were never address, such as Dracula's brides and the fact that Lucy is still running around killing people.  In Frankenstein, again, it seemed like you got the biggest and best chunk of the story and I think that more than qualifies the point.  Point goes to Frankenstein.

The Climax/Ending


            I decided to put these two sections together because there really isn't much point in separating them.  In Dracula, the climax is just Van Helsing and Jonathan chasing after Dracula and Mina into Carfax Abby and wasn't very exciting or suspenseful.  It just seemed like a dull finale to the whole thing.  The actual ending sucked to.  It didn't really end, as much as stop.  Dracula is staked through the heart, Mina is set free from his influence and the last scene just has Mina and Jonathan walking up a flight of stairs as the sun rises.  I know that sounds good, but trust me.  It's not and was again a very disappointing ending. 
            Frankenstein, however, was just the opposite.  You had the monster capture the doctor and both get locked in a windmill as the villagers attack the windmill as the doctor tries to escape the monster, is thrown off the wind mill by the monster and eventually the villagers burn it down with the monster inside.  It gives closer to the whole thing and shows that Dr. Frankenstein is recovering from his injuries and wrapped up everything nicely.  So again, it's a no brainer.  Point goes to Frankenstein.

All Around Production Quality


            Because both of these films are so old, you would think that their production quality would be crappy.  But, much to my surprise, I was absolutely right.  The audio was always kind of wired with this wired static humming going constantly and both films constantly jump cut from one scene or angle to another and it go old very fast. 
            But that aside, the production quality for the films wasn't that bad for their time.  Both films had great sets that all looked legit, especially Dr. Frankenstein’s lab and the castles in Dracula but I think the sets in Frankenstein were a bit more appealing.  Makeup wise, Dracula's lipstick and eyeliner can't beat the Jack Pierce makeup.  Even the parts that I didn't like in both films, such as the cinematography, music and editing was a bit more appealing in Frankenstein.  So again, in this regard Frankenstein is the superior.

The Superior


            With all that's has been said about these films I think it's obvious which film is the superior and that film is Frankenstein.  Now granted I think that Dracula is the superior monster, and several of the supporting characters blow the Frankenstein characters away but all around Frankenstein just had more going for it.  It almost seemed like Dracula was the beta tester of horror movies and that Frankenstein built on what Dracula had already done.  But still, Frankenstein was ultimately the superior film.  The acting, plot, and production value was all around better and that's what ultimately makes it the superior film.

So until next time, this is The Illusive One saying Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Response to Korsgaard’s Response.

            Well, it’s been a slow month, and I’m kind of ashamed that so few posts have come out.  My first post of the month was dedicated to going over Korsgaard’s, (of Korsgaard’s Commentary), Top Ten Fuckups for my one year anniversary and he’s still insists that I do a best of post for him.  Why have I refused to do this?  Well, because he’s been a bit of a naggy dick about it and I enjoy hearing him beg.  Not to mention it’s his idea and will probably just fuel his arrogance and self importance.  Continue to beg Korsgaard.  It makes me laugh.
            But that aside, Korsgaard posted a lengthy comment on my Top Ten Fuckups post.  Originally I was going to respond to it on the comments page, but the damn thing was so damn long that I decided it would make a better post then a comment.  So here it is.  My Response to Korsgaard’s Response.


Korsgaard:  Add links.  They help.
Illusive One:  I’m just going to be very blunt about this.  This was not an easy post to put together.  I had all kinds of technical problems with the words, the way everything was ordered and such which still continue and make no sense whatsoever.  Hence why they’re not there.  Annoying text problems that make it very difficult to add anything.

Korsgaard:  I will be the first to admit I need to have a better editor than myself, and am happy to say I have two folks who will now assist in my endeavor. Thank you for saying it was well written.
Illusive One:  Good to hear and you’re welcome.

Korsgaard:  The Avatar post was done in 2010 because I had not seen the movie until that week in August.
Illusive One:  And?  I wasn’t criticizing the date you did it.

Korsgaard:  My complaints were all good, genuine ones that many other people have agreed with me on.
Illusive One:  Again, they were all generic arguments people have made against the movie and you haven’t come up with anything new.  What was the point?  Everyone has said these things a million times over so why the hell even bother?

Korsgaard:  Dances with Wolves is second rate, especially when the film that got snubbed for its Best Picture award was Goodfellas, a movie that has proven FAR more important than Dances with White Guilt, I mean wolves.
Illusive One:  I could make all kinds of bigoted and racist accusations for that last remark.  But I’ll avoid that this time.  I personably liked both movies and Dances with Wolves is not second rate film by any means.

Korsgaard:  I had asked Adamthinks.com for usage of their image and they agreed to it, on the condition I erased their sites name in the event they did not agree with the content. He also took the time to inform me it wasn't copy-righted in the first place, so his permission wasn't needed.
Illusive One:  That is bullshit.  I don’t believe that for a moment.  When I brought this up, a while back you insisted that it was your creation.  When I brought up the smudging you claimed that it was to get rid of some Japanese company that owned the DVD and told me how you “created” the image.  And you contacted adamthinks.com for an image that you could just pull off Google images?  How fucking simple do you think I am?  Maybe it wasn’t copyrighted but you still took credit for it and it was still fucked up.

Korsgaard:  My article has been met with great appeal among my military readers, whom agreed on all major points. You have never been in the service, so I will forgive your ignorance on this part.
Illusive One:  Military readers?  I thought the article was aimed at people who aren’t in the military?  To dispel the myths that they know of.  My ignorance wasn’t the problem.  It’s that the article failed to really convince its targeted audience.  So in that regard, it’s still a fuckup.

Korsgaard:  As for the government owning your ass in the military, that's not a myth, so why would I dispell it?
Illusive One:  Well…not much I can say to that other then you destroyed any possibility of me ever going into the military.  Nicely done.
Korsgaard:  The book in question was called 'The Short second life of Bree Tanner', and it came out in the summer of 2010. Nontheless, my rage came from the fangirls swarming around the display case. Looks like someone needs to re-read it.
Illusive One:  Hu.  That’s odd.  Missed that one entirely.

Korsgaard:  Edward is 117. Bella is 17. That makes him a pedophile in most states. Sure he doesnt have to go for woman in thier hundreds, but there are plenty of women over the age of consent (18), and instead, he goes for an underage minor. Thus, pedophile.
Illusive One:  Again, there is a massive difference between a jail bait chaser and a pedophile and going after a 17 year old makes him a jail bait chaser.  Didn’t hear you make the same complaint against Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen even though he was like thirty years older than Silk Specter and started screwing her when she was sixteen.  Get you terminology correct you fucking idiot!

Korsgaard:  Edward has sex with Bella... while she is knocked out. In every legal sense, that is rape.
Illusive One:  Umm…I’m just going to stay away from that one because I don’t care enough to confirm it or find something to debate it.  It’s honestly not worth my time.

Korsgaard:  The twilight saga is the fantasies of an obese Mormon housewife, and me apologizing for that mental image does not make that any less true.
Illusive One:  Still went a little far dude.

Korsgaard:  Pictures have always been an issue. Feel free to help.
Illusive One:  You gonna pay me?  I got my own stuff to work on.

Korsgaard:  I wrote the bio on the fly over a year ago. Since you pointed it out, I am working on replacing it.
Illusive One:  Good to know.  The sooner the better.

Korsgaard:  My article was on Government unions, and I said so several times in the article.
Illusive One:  A good chunk of it was aimed at unions in general.  That’s unforgivably off topic.

Korsgaard:  As for the free market unions, they are a relic. Notice how non-unionized factories owned by Toyota built in the US pay workers just slightly less, yet they treat workers better, hire more people, and unlike their unionized brothers in Detroit, they are keeping the factory doors open.
Illusive One:  They’re not a relic and many factories in Detroit are still open.  And the unionized ones are unionized because they’re in cities where people might as well be bugs; easily squashed and easily replaced.  Again, you really don’t have any place to judge this dude.  I could go into exactly why, but the end result would come off as a bunch of insults.

Korsgaard:  The problem with your accusation of being contrarian, is that is an accusation entirely in the eye of the beholder. Consider that my readers apparently agree with me on a number of those issues, so I must be saying something right.
Illusive One:  I have to admit, that entire section came more out of a personal knowledge of you then your actual articles.  As far as your readers go, most of them seem to be in a same mind set as you so I’m not really sure that helps your case.

Korsgaard:  I am far from the only critic who puts forward those points. To give one example, the Nostalgia Critic, whom we both agree is a fine critic, put How to Train your Dragon as the best movie of 2010 as well. He ranked Toy Story 3 number 4. Feel free to bitch him out about how he's an idiot for thinking so.
Illusive One:  I actually saw that list and that is bullshit.  For one thing, most of them weren’t in any order and they were his favorite, not what he considered the best.  Second, he had Black Swan as number one you idiot!  Were you just not paying attention to what you were writing or just lying to give your argument more weight?  Again, neither would surprise me!

Korsgaard:  My movie reviews, once again, are all in the eye of the beholder. I write what I think, and if you want my opinion, feel free to take my advice. If not, you don't care about movie reviews in the first place anyway do you?
Illusive One:  Well, that clears that up.  They still make no sense whatsoever but it clears it up.

Korsgaard:  I do not aim to be Ebert or Roper. I aim to be Korsgaard.
Illusive One:  I didn’t accuse you of trying to be them.  I accuse you of trying to be taken as seriously as them.  Actually read what I write you Danish douche!

Korsgaard:  You aside, my reivews are highly regarded and read by most of the people who see them.
Illusive One:  Don’t believe that one.  People always disagree and those who do agree with you are probably not in the mood to argue with you or have a similar mind set to you.

Korsgaard:  My Tron Legacy review continues to be my most popular, and my most sourced.
Illusive One:  That’s probably because it’s one of your oldest.  You review of it still makes no sense.

Korsgaard:  Kickass is not obscure or mediocre.
Illusive One:  I’m sorry dude, but compared to all the other stuff out there it is and reaction to it was split in half and again, no one really remembers it or talks about it.  Why did it make your list?  Because it was your personal pick.

Korsgaard:  Akira is one of the most influential films - notice I said films, not comic book movies - of all time. If you have not heard of it, that is your loss.
Illusive One:  I’ll be sure to give it a watch sometime but again it’s not a movie to many people have heard of so that wasn’t a wise pick on your part.

Korsgaard:  Batman seems dated to me.
Illusive One:  You know what else is dated?  Superman! Yet that made your frikkin list!

Korsgaard:  Spiderman 2 was OK.
Illusive One:  Your opinion, still better pick then Kick-Ass

Korsgaard:  Sin City tanked at the box office, had mixed reviews, and is mostly forgotten aside from fans. Also, as you know, I hated it.
Illusive One:  That is not true at all.  On a budget of 40 million it made 60 million in the U.S. and 156.7 million worldwide.  That is not a tanking at the box office by any means.  Mixed?  The reviews were largely positive.  Did you actually look it up?  Many critics felt was the best comic book film ever made at the time and you say the reaction was mixed?  The only reason most people don’t remember it is because Rodriguez fucked up developing the sequel.  And you hated it?!  This is news to me!  WHAT THE FUCK!?

Korsgaard:  My favorite film on the list, for the record, is the Crow. In hindsight, I gave it the five slot because i feared ranking it higher would reek of bias.
Illusive One:  Good call on your part.  Didn’t help much though.

Korsgaard:  300 was essentially the Matrix of action scenes for the decades latter half, that alone secures it a spot high on the list.
Illusive One:  As Michael Bay has proven many times, ACTION SCENES DO NOT MAKE A GOOD MOVIE!

Korsgaard:    Dark Knight was complained about because I feel alot of people igore its flaws. Good movie, but people tend to sanctify it.
Illusive One:  They sanctify it because it’s practically the Citizen Kane of superhero movies, (you know what I mean by this).  It had a few faults, (what movie doesn’t?) but again it seemed like you were trying to downplay it as much as possible.  WHAT THE FUCK!?

Korsgaard:  As for Iron Man, legacy is wholly relevant.
Illusive One:  Only if you consider a bunch of popcorn movies that will be forgotten about in a decade a legacy.

Korsgaard:  Your land before time analogy is a shitty analogy. The Avengers series of films is unprecedented in modern cinema, and that is a huge achievement for a film featuring a D-list superhero to inspire.
Illusive One:  Yea, I admit I could have done a better analogy then that.  As far as you Avengers achievement goes another franchise already something very similar with much more success.  HARRY POTTER!  Now granted it is huge considering the superheroes but that doesn’t change the fact that their all just popcorn movies with popcorn movie acting, popcorn movie writing and popcorn movie directing.  Their entertaining but are quickly forgotten about.

Korsgaard:    Iron Man also inspired real world military technology. If I see the USA's next Battle Tank get based of the Batmobile, we'll talk.
Illusive One:  I’ll believe your Iron Man tech when I see it.  As far as Batman goes, just about all of his equipment was or based on actual military gear.  It just takes a creative mind to make some of that stuff.  Your iron man suit is still science fiction and probably will be for a long time.  Batman stuff is actually plausible and can and does exist.

Korsgaard:   I am far from the first to rank them this way. Other examples include Empire Magazine, Wizard Magazine, Entertainment weekly, and even IGN.com. Feel free to bitch them out at your leisure fan boy
Illusive One:  I looked those lists up.  You’re a liar.

Korsgaard:  Watchmen was an amazing film. The fact you tired to find faults in at after I ranked it number one however, points to a dark contrarian nature of your own.
Illusive One:  I had already seen these faults long ago and I still consider it one of my favorite films of all time.  I just don’t think it should be number one. That’s all.  And there is a contrarian in all of us.  You just tend to let it dominate your personality.

Korsgaard:  You will do a top ten best list. Mark my words, I'll find a way ;-)
Illusive One:  Somehow, I think your right.

Korsgaard:  Happy Birthday IO, you magnificent bastard!
Illusive One:  Why thank you Korsgaard!  Would you like some of my poisoned-I mean chocolate cake?

            So that about wraps this post up.  Korsgaard, I await your response.  Oh and feel free to have some of that cake.  It’s to die for.  GAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH HA HA HA!
           So until next time, this is The Illusive One sighing off.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gears of War 3

            The Gears of War games.  What can you say about them?  They're among the best games to be released on the seventh generation consuls and made the third person shooter as popular as it is today.  The first game was more or less the Citizen Kane of the third person shooter video game; developing gaming techniques for the genera would be used for all time.  While other games had attempted to use third person shooter engines, they were never as fun or as fluent as they were in the first Gears.  The only downside to the game was that it seemed to lack plot and it gave you next to no info on the world itself or the back-story of the characters. 
            In Gears of War 2, you got a lot more of that, where they provided more depth to the plot and characters and introduced several mysteries about the world itself.  Some people, however, complained that the graphics were too well polished, whereas the graphics in the first game seemed a lot grittier and the multiplayer seemed to have gone downhill. 
            So, the third Gears is out and I've finally played enough of it to give it a fare review.  It's already met with critical praising on all fronts and has made millions in revenue, but is it really that good?  Is it as good as its predecessors?  Is it better?  Is it worse?  Well, let's find out.  This is The Illusive One's Review of Gears of War 3. 

The Plot

            The game takes place two years after the end of the second game.  The COG had more or less  fallen apart after their leader, Chairman Prescott disappeared and split into various factions throughout the world, with each group trying to survive the lambent hordes as well as what remains of the Locust. 
Prescott shows back up however, revealing that Marcus' father, Adam Fenix, is alive and has been captured by the Locust.  In a message, he reveals that the Imulsion, a kind of fuel in this world, is killing the planet and needs Marcus' help in order to stop it and this sends the characters on a mission to rescue Adam Fenix and stop the Locust and Lambent hordes once and for all.
            On the positive side, I felt it was a great conclusion to the series.  It was full of twists, full of heart retching moments and left some mystery to it alive.  I know some people may hate that but I personal liked it. 
            On the negative side, the pacing seemed bad compared to the second game and just didn’t feel as epic.  It just seemed like the story was rushed and almost like several chapters were missing from the story.
            All around, I would say it was a good conclusion to the story.  It did have its faults and could have been a lot better, (finales inevitably disappoint), but it did deliver a satisfying conclusion to the story and it was a decent way to end the series.

The Gameplay

          One thing that Gears has always been noted for is its great gameplay.  As I mentioned above, the first game was basically the Citizen Kane of third person shooters and perfected the mechanics in ways that no other previous game had done before and every third person shooter out their owes something to it.  Gears of War 3 continues this tradition with its duck and cover system and being able to chainsaw enemies in half is still as fun as always.  Like the last game they added in new weapons like the retro lancer and the sawed off shotgun which were good additions to the game, (although it does beg to question where these weapons were in the last game).  In addition it also includes the silverback mechanical suit which was basically a mechanical suit with guns and was a pretty cool addition to the game.  Enemy wise the Lambent had great new looks to them.  Before, they were just Locust with yellow blood.  Now they actually look like another species and gives the player the impression that these things are a problem for the world.
            Again you had all the usual multiplayer games which are just as fun as ever.  The only difference in this game seems to be the maps, adjustments to hoard mode and the new Beast Mode.  With hoard mode you can now earn money based on how long you’ve survived and how many creatures you’ve killed.  With this money you can buy guns, barricades and even silverbacks to hold off the enemy and anyone who has played this mode knows that you will need these things.  Beast Mode was another welcome change where you actually play as the locust trying to kill people.  I personally haven’t played much of it but from what I have played its pretty fun and a welcome addition to the gameplay.
            The biggest downsides to the gameplay, however, were the graphics as they seemed too polished and less gritty then its predecessors.  For example, the blood in this game almost looked like red spray paint, whereas the blood in the previous games actually looked like real blood.  The next thing may sound like a wired thing to comment on but the characters just seemed to clean.  I mean, they never seem to get dirty even though they’re constantly getting blood sprayed on them and trekking through mud.  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.  On another note, some of the enemies just seemed way to easy to kill and many missions that seemed like they should have been in the game were left out entirely.  All around it just seemed less difficult and less gritty then its predecessors.
            If you can look past the for-mentioned cons, it still has solid gameplay.  The multiplayer is still fun and the campaign still works.  Again, it wasn’t quite as good as Gears 2 in this department but it still delivered the goods.

The Characters

            The characters of this game are kind of difficult to talk about because you either love them or hate them.  The vast majority of the characters in previous games seemed to be made up of stereotypes who had been injected with Bane’s Venom juice.  This has always been a wired trademark of EPIC Games and the Unreal Engine but in this game it’s even more ridiculous just how big their muscles are.
But that aside the characters are actually interesting and compelling and you want to see them win their battles.  Marcus is still a compelling protagonist and Dom was a decent sidekick to him as was Anya.  Adam Fenix, Marcus’ father, was a well written character and was able to convey a lot with limited screen time.  The Locust Queen was still a good villain but was a tad to downplayed and that annoyed me to no end.
Most of the other characters, however, are open for debate.  People will either find the character Cole to be funny, annoying, racist or all three.  Honestly, I’m not sure what I think about him and  I can’t decide which is the right adjective to describe him.  They also go a bit more into his past which, strangely enough, actually made him less interesting.  I don’t really know why, but it just does.  Characters like Baird and Sam were similar in this regard.  They both had a lot of childish dialog and bickered that we’ve heard a dozen times over in various forms of media and you either love them or hate them for it.  The character Jace just seemed like a character who was just their just for the sake of having an extra companion character.  From what I gather, he had a larger role in the novels, (I may be wrong about this), but here he just seemed like a character that was put in to satisfy the more dedicated fans.  The Carmine brother in this game just sucked.  He wasn’t compelling or interesting and just seemed like a throw away character.  There were a lot of near death moments for him that made me laugh, but for the most part, this character was way to downplayed
            With the rest of the characters, it again kind of comes down to personal preference.  Chairman Prescott was your typical dictator asshole type character and you either love him or hate him for this.  Colonel Hoffman was your typical R. Lee Ermey type military officer and again you either love him or hate him for it.  The character of Dizzy was similar, in that he was a stereotypical redneck type character and you either love him or hate him for it.
            All around, though, I liked these characters.  They’re not the best cast of characters by any means but they’re still compelling and ones you’ll be emotionally invested in from beginning to end.  And to any naysayers out their let me say this:  Any game that can make a casual fan like me cry when main characters die, (and die they will), the writers and developers are doing something right.

The Verdict

            All around, I would say that this game is better than the first but not as good as the second.  Everything just seemed tuned down in comparison, almost like they were half assing it at times.  If you play it you’ll see exactly what I mean.  But that aside, it was a good game.  The plot offered a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, the characters were compelling and gameplay was just as fun as ever.  If you liked the first two I say give this one a play through and spend some time on multiplayer.  You’ll be glad you did.

All Around