Friday, January 29, 2010

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Review – part 4 -


Aside from the great characters, the film also successfully replicated Pixar’s magic; a film that’s for everyone to enjoy.

The movie reaches to children and adults alike with cleverly layered messages scattered throughout the film. The feelings of failure, rejection, death, loneliness, betrayal, are all expressively conveyed and cleverly delivered to appeal to both young and old alike.


Also, the movie itself looks wonderful. Hell I can almost say that it’s close to capturing the feel of what made Pixar movies great visually. The movie doesn’t shy away from bombarding special effects to a gleeful degree, that you’re simply immersed in such a wonderfully perky town you’d want to visit yourself.

My only gripe is that in one scene where it involves the loss of a family member, the film didn’t divulge too much on it and actually came to me as a shock. And as quickly as I learned about that event, the film just quickly brushed it off, thus leaving alot to be desired for that particular moment. But overall, it never derails the film entirely and still is a great movie nonetheless.


I was pretty much surprised that a non-Pixar film would have this much quality and fun in it. In fact, I can safely say that this one ranks up there with some of Pixar’s finest. With a tried and true recipe for a story, and memorably charming characters, and witty lines cleverly spread all over the film, it creates a deliciously entertaining film that sure to make you come back for more.


meatballs rating

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Review – part 3 -


And speakin of characters, they are all loveable and likeable. There’s bound to be someone you’d love. Our main hero, Flint Lockwood does a great job of being a nerdy, bumbling inventor; while his love interest, the perky and loveable Sam Sparks (voiced by Anna Farris) are just great together. They both compliment each other, and their eventual closeness in the film doesn’t feel weird or rush either. It was paced just right, and smartly done, that it never feels corny.


Then there’s Flint’s father, Tim Lockwood (voiced by James Caan) who does a fantastic job with the role. In what seemed to be a boring character, Tim was actually one of the more funnier characters, albeit he didn’t do it on purpose. And the sense he conveys is more of a loving father who simply wants the best for his son, and it shows. I can almost feel his pain in how he’s struggling to reach out and simply say to his son how much he loves him.


Another memorable character in the movie (and my personal favorite) is Officer Earl (voiced by Mr. T himself) who is as entertaining and as funny as the rest of the characters are. And not only is he a comedy relief, he also has enough substance as a loving father who’s willing to take huge risks for his family, particularly his son. The loving father & son dynamic of Officer Earl, and his son Cal, mirrors the huge difference of Flint and his father’s relationship.

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Review – part 2 -

And on his quest to be a great scientist for his town, he develops dozens of weird experiments that usually ends up in a funny situation, that just kept the whole film vibrant and full of fun. I mean ratbirds? Seriously? LOL!


Now I suppose part of the film’s charm is in part of the characters themselves and their respective voice dubbers. Lemme just get this out of the way; if you look at it as a whole, the plot is a pretty generic and it has been done for over countless of times. It goes thru the typical cliché where:

  • Oddball hero accidentally invents something cool.
  • Town loves him for it. Including future love interest.
  • Hero for the first time becomes respected and loved, and becomes blinded/drunk with the fame he’s getting.
  • Something screws up his invention. Usually by some error of judgment on the hero’s part.
  • Hero regrets his earlier decisions & tries to set things right.
  • Goes on to live happily ever after.

Seriously, if you read through the list, it would sound pretty familiar right? Because it is. It’s been done alot through that’s pretty cliché. So if that’s how the story would typically go, how the hell would it be interesting enough to watch? Well… because the film is SELF-AWARE that it’s plot is cliché and plays around with it… to great effect.


You see, this film doesn’t try hard to “different”, but embraces the fact that its plot IS cliché, creates scenarios that actually challenges the viewers who has seen these kinds of stories dozens of times. Add the fact that the characters themselves are fully fleshed and are a sight to behold on screen, I’m simply entertained. And that’s what this film does to perfection; its pure unbridled entertainment at its best.

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs Review – part 1 -

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Ever felt you’re special? That you’re destined for a greater purpose? That all you’ve been doing is something that’s going to change the world? Those are the types of questions that challenges the audience as soon as they start watching this film, as it whips up the age-old recipe of a typical cast-out reaching his dreams. Does this movie deliciously live-up to it’s premise, specially when stacking it up with Pixar’s gourmet? Let’s have a taste shall we?


Now before I begin, I would like to inform you that I never read the book, hell I never even knew this film was based on a book. But I guess that’s okay, since according to most people who have read the book, this movie just took some of the ideas in the book and went on to make their own thing with it which is a good thing in my opinion.

The film starts at a very good pace, not boring or dragging the audience too long with its premise; a misunderstood genius who wants to make something special for his town.


Meet our hero; Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) a misunderstood genius and a bit of an odd-ball but sincerely wants to help his town by creating a revolutionary invention that will make their lives easier. I for one, hold a special affinity towards Flint, specially at the very beginning where he was encouraged by his mom to never give up, and that she believes that Flint was special. I know this sounds abit sappy, but I actually shed a tear or two on that scene, simply because I feel for the guy & that I too share a similar experience with my parents. That in itself got me from uninterested, to very interested to seeing the whole thing.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad… the formerly “bisaya” version of iPod is now for real.

Remember back in the day when someone who isn’t good at english tries to pronounce “iPod”, ends up sounding “iPad” then most conos would laugh and tease them as that they’re “idiots” or something? Well look who’s laughing now.


Launched just recently in Apple’s 2010 unveiling, I must say, I’m abit disappointed with the damn thing. But hey, I’m sure most apple fanboys/girls would eat this up anyway. But for real techies, they know better…

Aside from the huge-ass glorified “iTouch” unveiling, What really struck me is Steve Job’s quip about netbooks.


Steve Jobs: "Netbooks aren't better at anything, they're slow, they're clunky. They're just cheap laptops." Well I’d agree with the part that they’re cheap laptops, but not better at anything? I beg to disagree. Just to be fair to Mac fanboys/girls out there, let's see if that statement really stands true. Here are some interesting articles to check: - Why I already hate the apple iPad

Daily Finance - Top 10 reasons not to buy an iPad

GIZMONDO - 8 Things that Suck about the iPad

Now for those of you who are lazy to read articles, I’ll just get the best ones I was able to get from that article:

  • No multitasking
    • Yep, you can’t open and run more than 1 program at any given time on this. Netbooks can run more than 1 program at a time. That means if you plan on opening the net to check facebook, while listening to your music, while you’re typing on your blog, while you’re checking email, while downloading stuff on the background, won’t be possible on your shitty ass iPad.
  • No cameras
    • And to think they’re sayin that they’re the best mobile device maker in the world? Better than Nokia? Well atleast Nokia’s cheapest phones has a built-in camera. Why Apple? Camera’s too “low tech” for you guys?
  • Not Adobe Flash enabled
    • So if you’re like me, who loves playing flash games (specially in facebook) or viewing flash sites, tough luck, as Flash isn’t supported outright. Yeah that’s right, Apple believes there’s no need for Adobe Flash in the net.
  • Adapters galore
    • Wanna view your files from your USB drive? Tough luck, coz you’ll need to buy an adapter to atleast PLUG that thing in the iPad. So much for being better than a netbook that has 3 USB slots built-in and ready for use.
  • Any 1st gen of any Apple product will be outdated soon
    • This is specially true with the iTouch/iPhone & iPod. How many gens has it been? 5th? Yeah, and they keep on coming.
  • Touchpad sucks
    • It’s forgivable in the iTouch/iPhone, but not on this huge-ass “mobile” device. You got 9 inches of room for a decent touchpad, and Apple still can’t get the damn thing right. Even Jobs himself has encountered this problem as he was demonstrating the thing on stage. And that’s gonna be the bane of most bloggers out there and heavy typers.
  • Small HD space.
    • 16GB - 64GB? Really? That’s it? And to think that’s supposed to be a multimedia thingie? You can’t even upgrade the HD? WTF? Thankfully netbooks can load upto 500GB of HD SATA goodness.

I’m really disappointed really, considering this IS Apple. As for me, I won’t trade up my netbook that’s WAYYYY more better than this mofo. Seriously.

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This is one helluva commercial for iPad. Seriously Apple? iPad? LOL!! 


Wednesday, January 27, 2010


wacom-2 Get a Wacom Tablet.

(Achievement Unlocked: January 27, 2010) I finally own a Wacom Tablet now, after like more than 5 years of dreaming to own one. Thank you Lord! XD


Here it is, unboxed and right in front of me. XD Just seeing this box on my desk just makes me feel like a kid again. Hahahaha!! XD


Underneath the cover, lies this sleek black zen-like box. So very sexy and sophisticated lookin.


Then just to tease me even further, as soon as I open the box, I see this cover with an introduction piece of some sort to the wonderful world of Wacom, written in 10 different languages. Gawd unboxing this feels just like sexy-time. Alot of foreplay required.


Then there it is. Right smack in the middle. Thinly veiled that I can almost see through it. The pen is right on top, just waiting to be touched…


As I pull it out, she shows me her secret; a little box with more surprises (namely the installer, the quick guide, & a bunch of freebie software XD)


As I unveil my new Bamboo tablet, it simply is a sight to behold. So sleek, sexy and untouched; I can’t wait to have my hands all over it later…


So I boxed my baby again, for me to have more quality time later. I placed my 2 combiners; Bruticus & Superion, to guard my baby. LOL!! Man I’m like a kid right now seriously!! XD


Monday, January 25, 2010

Gangster City Review – part 4 -

20Your profile also shows a very neat and presentable look to your mafioso. It quickly displays currently owned properties, collections, weapons equipped, as well as a quick stat check of your associate. My only gripe I guess is that you can’t customize your mafioso and that you can’t see what your mafioso would look like. But since this is still beta, I’m hoping that they would implement that on a future release.

11The item shops are also awesome here and is divided into 3 categories; Free weapons/items, Car Shop, Premium weapons/items shop. Unlike Mafia Wars, you can’t own more than 1 of the same item (but then again what’s the point of owning more than 1 weapon anyway) and there’s plenty of items to get in this game. There are limited slots given to players when they start off, so you'll have to be strategic in equipping weapons and switch them out depending on the mission. You’ll eventually unlock more slots as you level up, thus encouraging players to level up. Same can be said for properties as well.


Considering that the game is only a few weeks old, I’m impressed with that I see so far. Playfish never ceases to impress me with the level of quality they put in their games, and this is just proof that they are definitely THE Facebook game developer to go to for high quality apps. They’re simply pushing what’s possible in Facebook gaming and it shows. I used to play Mafia Wars myself in the past, and I eventually got bored with it as it just became monotonous. With tons of Mafia Wars wannabe’s in Facebook; Gangster City is a breath of fresh air, and gives players something even better. If you like Mafia Wars or any mob-type games in Facebook, it would be a great disservice to yourself not to play this masterpiece.

gangster city rating

Gangster City Review – part 3 -


The game’s main hub is also pretty slick as it shows you all of the properties you’ve owned so far and where you can get your next mission. Compare that to Mafia War’s property menu:


When shown side by side, Mafia Wars looks really outdated now compared to Gangster City. The level of quality is simply amazing, and it just oozes out in almost every aspect of the game.


Another interesting concept of Gangster City is that you can “upgrade” your family members accordingly depending on what their position is. This way, you can easily manage your members according to their strengths and weaknesses. It’s also useful when sending out your family members to do jobs for you. Pretty cool mechanic indeed.

Another interesting mechanic in this game that was previously in Mafia Wars but was removed, is the ability to rob other mafias in the hood.


This kind of interaction also adds more fun to the game as well. Just a tip; make sure you’re well equipped and heavily armed before even going on a robbing spree.

Gangster City Review – part 2 -

But the level of polish and quality doesn’t just end there. It also extends even to the game itself, and not just in the cinematics. Here’s their “Jobs” menu screen:

6 Compare that to Mafia War’s job/missions menu:


It’s clear which one of the 2 is far more stylized and more better. As for the gameplay itself, Gangster City plays just like Mafia Wars, but with a few tweaks here and there for a much better gaming experience. Just like in Mafia Wars, players go on missions, obtain property, and so on until you run out of energy to spend. However, unlike Mafia Wars, Gangster Wars is far more forgiving and generous with energy that its relatively easier to level up in this game than in Mafia Wars.

Another cool addition to the gameplay, is that you can clearly see exactly what your mafioso is doing while he’s doing a task, using animated cutscenes to convey what’s happening.


It’s these little details that truly impresses me the most. They didn’t just slap in some static graphic and call it a day, they put alot of effort and attention to detail that makes the game itself feel alive.

Gangster City Review – part 1 -

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Playfish; known for its cutesy games like Pet Society, Restaurant City, Country Story among others, has finally decided to “grow up” and ditch its cutesy look for its newest game; the dark and very noir looking “Gangster City”.

1 Seems like Playfish is now being more versatile as it now gives a “mature” game for the “hardcore” gamers in Facebook. You could say that this is playfish’ attempt in challenging to Zynga’s hit game “Mafia Wars”. Did they succeed? Let’s find out.

As the game begins, you are greeted with an animated cutscene that’s reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto games (namely GTA: Chinatown Wars), that introduces you to the game’s story… yes you read that right, this game HAS A STORY unlike Mafia Wars.

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These intro cinematics themselves are pretty slick, and gives a sense of atmosphere to the whole game, truly immersing you to the world. It’s also animated, and complete with voice acting… yes you read that right; THIS GAME HAS VOICE ACTING.

And the voice acting doesn’t just appear in the cinematics though, they are in almost every part of the game, truly making the experience much more better. It’s these little details that truly sets it apart from existing “mafia wars clones” that’s been around in Facebook. This game TRULY feels like a game, and not just “another Mafia Wars” game, and successfully immerses you in the life of an underground mafioso.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wordtrotters Review – part 3 -

game-1 The game itself is a mixed bag. It starts off with giving you a hint as to what the word is you’re trying to form. Then you’re given a few minutes to try to spell out what the word is, and collect them by clicking on them as your wordtrotter will try to chase them all over the screen.

game-2 The world starts off with dull grey colors, as random letters just run around the place. All you need to do is to try to get the letters in order by clicking on them.

game-4 Each time you get a letter, those letters will follow you & the world itself gets more colorful, which is a neat idea in itself, but the stages themselves lack the vibrant and lush details found in the image earlier. Here’s the image again for reference.


The game itself is simple, but if it’s your first time in the game you may get confused as to what the hell is this game all about. A simple tutorial stage would have been great, and not just a lousy “How to play” in the menu.

The game itself can also get boring and the challenge really isn’t in the stages itself, but on just how good you are in figuring out what the word is. Additional clues would have been great, specially for those who aren’t really knowledgeable with words.


All in all, Wordtrotters is a decent game. It has original ideas thrown in, but the execution itself is kinda flawed. But still, not bad for a first filipino-made Facebook game. But this is really far from being “The World’s Coolest Word Game”… I’ve seen more better ones out there. Just check out Popcap’s lineup and you’ll see other games even more better lookin and cooler than this one.

wordtrotter rating

Wordtrotters Review – part 2 -

Well for the most part, the game doesn’t look cool. Not one bit.

Let’s start with the main menu.

menuThe main menu itself looks pretty bland. My biggest gripe is the way the menu itself was designed. Why couldn’t the developers simply placed the “Start, How to Play, & Credits” in the middle of the screen is beyond me. They just wasted like 3/4 of the screen with nothing. Add the fact that the menu buttons themselves aren’t even designed well to stand-out or “pop” out of the background so that players can easily see them. Definitely not cool.

charsel Next is the characters themselves. I was really disappointed in seeing how they are designed. It feels and looks like a sloppy flash work. I would have really loved it if they looked more like this:

n47030430843_1727896_7912 Now THAT definitely looks way more better. It’s just sad and disappointing that they couldn’t have done a better job with the game’s presentation, considering that they are touting the game as "the World’s Coolest Word Game”. Those are big words really, and from what I see here, it’s not even half as cool as the other word games I’ve seen on facebook. Not to mention word games on PCs. 

Wordtrotters Review – part 1 -

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Welcome to my first game review for the year. And for my first game review, I decided to review a game developed here in the Philippines. So let’s see just how they fared.


The premise of the game is that you’re one of the 3 caterpillars/bugs that’s cursed by the evil witch Grimmar (yeah a play on the word “grammar), which split their bodies. So your objective is to find your body parts (which comprises letters to form a word) to win the game.

The developers mentioned that the game itself is similar to “Pacman”, but instead of eating pellets aimlessly, you have to carefully look and collect for letters in the correct order to spell a given word. Sounds easy enough right?

The developers of the game dubs it as “The World’s Coolest Word Game”, (as seen on the logo above) let’s see just how “cool” it really is.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


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Yep, that’s my cat “Tigger” there. And yes he’s playing with both my Nintendo Wii & my PS3… Yep, my cat is now a hardcore gamer confirmed…