Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aron Ralston is the biggest dumbass ever. Fact.

I'm really tired of this giant douche bag getting recognized as a hero. He shouldn't get a movie and he shouldn't receive anything other than people berating his stupidity. Allow me to paraphrase his story. 

Aron is a climber. So he's in shape, done a lot of these adventurous things before and is not a newbie to the climbing/hiking world. He's even a super smart guy as he went to Carnegie Melon for Engineering. 
Aron climbs some mountains and while on a quest for personal growth or whatever decides, in all better judgement, that he should travel alone. He plays poker and pulls out a pair of 3's while the fates rape him in the arm with a full house in the form of a boulder. He falls down a crevasse(I still wish I could say that like Bear Grylls) and his arm gets pinned literally between a rock and a hard place. Days go bye and he has to cut off said arm, some more stuff happens and then he is rescued. 

Let me crack an egg of knowledge all over you with some guidelines of adventuring.

1. Plan where you are going. (Break out a $4.00 topo map and plan your trip)
2. Tell someone where you are going, and when you are planning on being back. (ie. “We’ll be taking this trail into this basin. Don’t plan on us being back until Sunday afternoon.”)
3. Dress and pack for conditions.
4. Never hike alone. (Hey Aron… ever hear of the buddy system?)
5. Be prepared. (did you pack everything you need… Like a buddy?)

I know a little about survival, the desert school in MCAGCC 29 Palms wasn't easy. There are some rules you don't mess around with. The buddy system is one of them as well as not letting anyone know where you're going. 

People everywhere loved his book about the event and his story of survival was lauded as a great triumph of the human spirit. Let me get this straight. This guy breaks a rule and through his stupidity and arrogance of action, gets what he deserves and people love him for it? My mind is full of F*** on this. Surely his PR people and Oprah couldn't be that powerful to hide this fact. You lost an arm, Aron, because you were an idiot. You're making money off of it because America is full of idiots. Maybe I should change the title to Aron Ralston is a genius. He even got James Franco to play him in a movie. 

Some people say that he's a bamf because he cut off his arm where others would just die. He took a bad situation and came through victorious. Let me put it into perspective. Tonight, I was making some rice with my steak and potatoes. I got the water boiling with the mixers and realized I made a mistake. I forgot to buy butter at the store so I was out. Oh no, what would I do? I used my quick thinking and wit, pulled out the Vegetable Oil I had and used that. Wow, I should write about it. This is obviously not in the same league as losing an arm, however the argument that he was superhuman is diminutive to everyone else. I'm almost positive that once survival instincts kick in, almost everyone in my circle of friends would have done the same thing to survive. Tupac said it best.

"Niggas gotta do..."

Perhaps he didn't say that and I was just waxing philosophical. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why I hate Juno

            This is probably one of the most pretentious movies I have ever seen. It is just awful. I am even their demographic: Slightly hipster; geeky tendencies; I was young when I saw it and I think Ellen Page is kind of hot.  But no, it failed.
            The dialogue is what is considered a hilarious part to the whole movie. I found it insufferable. No one talks like that. It was filled with the prose of hindsight. “Man, I should’ve said _____ to her!” kinds of things. These lines were all that Ellen Page’s character spouted out of her annoying mouth. She wasn’t that great of an actress in this and neither was Michael “I play the same character” Cera. The little quirky things about the movie were so fake and so over the top that it was like they were trying too hard to be an “indie” movie. There were a few cameos from some of the Arrested Development cast but they all flopped. I get that the message of the movie was good, and it was marketable to younger girls and that’s probably a positive. But think about it. The entire time, I wanted to smack her in the mouth because she was just a bitch to everyone. And she was a slut. Slutty bitches aren’t well received in society for good reason. Pregnancy isn’t enough of an excuse. I was laughing at everything wrong that happened to her. I felt like they marketed the indie scene a little too intensely and that wore off quick. Yeah she had a burger phone, which was kind of funny. But I’ve seen stuff like that already, like 5 years ago.
            The movie was generic and didn’t impress me. It was hardly mentionable as a cult classic. The only really good thing about it was Jennifer Garner upstaging everyone with her acting, that song that was sung by the parents was kind of good, and the fact that it was short enough was good. I’d have given Juno a razzie if I could’ve.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Are you there God? It's me, Charmander.

Are you there God? It's me, Charmander.

Something is happening to me and I'm scared. All of the other Pokemon haven't changed but as the child's favorite, I seem to be maturing faster than them. Squirtle calls me Char'girl'der from his pokeball and it's getting on my nerves. He's a jerk. I don't know why but my body is developing at a rapid rate. The boy is giving me pieces of candy and every time he does my voice drops an octave. To my dismay, they're taffy which the fire that bellows from my mouth at odd, uncontrollable times usually melts which causes beatings. Seriously, God, I expel embers from my mouth at the worst times. At the Pokemon day care, I sometimes have to keep my mouth closed so Bulbasaur and Squirtle won't notice. I've already described Squirtle's behavior so I wont go any further, but Bulbasaur is just a follower, God. He doesn't think for himself and is always way nicer to me when the other Pokemon aren't around. Sometimes at night, I have what the Rapidash here calls a “Nocturnal Ignition.” I don't think you want to hear about it. Needless to say, at the church camp sleep over last week when the tent burnt down, I promise I didn't mean to char your son's effigy.
Even my physical shape is changing. My nose isn't flat and domed, it is growing pointy and defined. The Chansey says it's cute but I'm avoiding her like the Smog. She is homely and the last thing I need now is to be labeled a “Chansey Chaser.” My mouth, formerly a large maw that made Otakus blush, is now suffering from a severe overbite. I have a permanent scowl, which when I play with my friends makes me look intimidating, but I can't convince people that I'm not mad all of the time. To top it all off, God, I now have a large phallic growth on my head. I don't feel the need to give the jokes made at its expense a mention.
It's not all bad though. I seem to have developed elbows and larger fingers, although they're still just claws. Can you change that? I'd like to wipe my ass without tearing the paper. The fire on my tail has been burning brighter lately which helps me read in my pokeball and I'm slightly taller.
I'm only level 16, God. I'm in the prime of my life and nothing is more important than the events right now. Why is all of this happening to me? Please, send help.

PS: God, It'd be really neat if I could get wings sometime. I'd like to fly away from the Squirtles of the world.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


my buddy Joe put up his review of Dead Space 2. It's completely opposing mine but it's still good. Check it out!

the new corps

There is a rift in the Marines that is more superficial than a serious problem, but prevalent enough to be commented on almost everyday. It is said that the Marines that came after 2000 have been labeled the “New Corps” and pre-millennials are the “Old Corps.” Mothers of America, a political group, is seen to blame for the easing up in boot camp, creating a supposed weaker Marine. This is the view of many, many OC Marines. They believe this so vehemently that almost every time a younger man messes up, the NC is thrown an insult or two.
Let me tell you something about the New Corps. I can personally vouch for the boot camp experience. Just because we aren't publicly beaten doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I was choked out, got hit in the eye with my rifle's front sight tip, got hammer fisted in the chest when one of my DI's didn't like the way my tape was folded to label the rifle rack, and a few other things. I had a friend hold a pillow in front of his face like the DI asked him to, and then got punched in the face. Closed fist, none of that open palm shit they swear by in books and magazines. We don't get hit as badly as the stories I heard from my Dad, his boot camp really seemed like hell, and we don't get hit publicly like some of these older guys did, but it still happened. These are just assumptions made by the older generations to prove their points.
Fast forward a bit to Iraq. The NCO's and Junior Marines I served with there, with the exception of 2 men, were the best Marines, collectively, that I had ever met. One of the two was named Michael Busby and he was the worst person I'd ever met. No one has ever caused more hatred and disgust in me (and frankly, the whole unit) than him. The other was a guy named Lopez. He was such an idiot and a liar that he was nicknamed “Slowpez.” In hindsight, that sounds like some sort of Mexican Pokemon. We fixed jets that were broken by OC pilots. We fixed jets that were older than the Blue Angels's jets, dealt with a supply logistical unit that, despite having years of units in front of them to learn mistakes and get everything right, were incompetent, had the WORST Staff NCO corps I've ever encountered in my life (all Old Corps, mind you) and got our planes ready enough to support our S2 and S3 to secure our pilots combat missions. Something that hadn't been done by an F/A-18 unit in 2 years. Our brothers elsewhere were able to fight an extremely tough battle in 2004 called Fallujah, and win when the Army units that had tried previously had failed. The New Corps held the Al Anbar province for over 7 years, as it was continuously dubbed, the most dangerous place on earth, and we have fought a two wars, the first time that's been done since WW2, which, in that war, the Marines only fought really on one front. The bloody pacific.
You know what my impression is of the Old Corps? A Gunnery Sergeant Carr, who got mad that he didn't get a doughnut that wasn't even meant for him, and loaded a magazine into a pistol and almost shot his men. A SSgt Largo, who, while not a bad Marine, bitches about younger Marines and lauds the good old days, yet he couldn't have the self-discipline to run on leave and is constantly facing weight problems. He also used to be a DI, so whenever he insulted us, we'd all remind him that he and his friends “failed” to teach us properly. A SSgt Ski, a decent guy that was so weak and lazy that he would throw literal hissy girl fits and couldn't do one fucking pull up. He would get overwhelmed and get so mad over little things, and wouldn't even look you in the eye when talking with you. Another Ssgt, whose name I forgot, had belly bigger than a basketball and was forced into retirement. He also was not known in a very positive light.
These men all got to keep their careers. If that's not enabling, then I don't know what is. The Marine Corps is fine, and will be for years to come. While I admit that I also noticed a sharp decline in the respect of newer Marines, I was shocked to see a total boot named DiTaranto that turned out to be stellar under my command. I hope he's doing well still. There is hope, devil dogs. We've got this.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sometimes, I don't love Portland.

You know, people from Oregon are just odd. I can't really place it on any great historical, memetic cause that created us but it's there. I once heard that Oregon conservatives are still more liberal than the rest of the country and that Oregon democrats are fiercely more liberal than their counterparts across America. I'd wholeheartedly agree. Growing up in Portland (which is so unique that a new show is on TV that highlights it's qualities) I had a lot of internal conflict politically that was partially enhanced by the election times. Measure 36 was the ballot that was relevant to me the most that year. Bush was up for election and it was just a hard time to be impartial. I supported a lot of views of the Democratic Party at that time and so I figured I was a Democrat. It was also the popular thing to do and I wanted to fit in, just like everyone else. I can remember political arguments being on the forefront of the entire education slide throughout my childhood. I remember when I was at Nancy Ryles before transferring to Hazeldale, they announced over the intercom the verdict in the OJ trial. My teachers apparently were on opposite sides of the spectrum here and taught us how the verdict had been turned political and how certain people wanted him to be free and others didn't. Some students complained and others praised the announcement as if we had any real clue as to what we were talking about.
YEARS later, one of my best friends Elise Jacks would say at lunch, "Whatever guys, you just support whatever your parents support." In a moment of clarity and realizing our shit had just been called we all got defensive and assured her we were wrong. Colin Self (now this will shock you) was talking about how Bush was the right guy over Gore. I said the same but in all actuality, I said it because my Dad said it. I wouldn't realize Elise's profundity until later in life.
I wanted to be liberal, cool and hip with the other kids but in reality I was more moderate than anything. Both conservative kids and liberal kids would say their view points in passing and I'd think both sides have points. I was in choir and thought Bush was an idiot, but I was so excited to join the Marines. I wanted to go and fight in the war, but I was surrounded by anti-war rhetoric that didn't sound like it was coming from idiots It was in this haze that Measure 36 caught my attention. The reason I'll talk about it is because it was THE event of that year and nothing was as important to my school.
I had a friend named John that went by the name Jane when he was outside of school. He went to Tigard High School and was so super gay. He was a good friend of mine and we knew each other from the years I spent at Kindercare preschool. He wasn't an evil, sinner. He wasn't a liar or a cheat or a bad person at all. He was my friend. How could all of these anti-gay slurs be correct when here was one of the most gay-gays ever.  He would eventually be bullied a lot and then killed himself by wearing all black and jumping into traffic near the Sellwood Bridge. I was instantly polarized in the argument of gay civil liberties. Yeah, I thought that some of the super gay men were hilarious and easy to make fun of because it's also easy to make fun of women. And I'd look at some of them speaking with self acquired lisps and feminine accents and wonder why they were acting this way when I knew them growing up and they weren't like this. But I didn't hate them and I had just slept with my girlfriend at the time and knew that the fact that John liked boys didn't really affect our decision to have sex. Measure 36 was the gay marriage ballot that was annoyingly prevalent in my school. students had Yes/No on 36 stickers on their binders to show their support, never mind they wouldn't even be able to vote. You can imagine which side I was on, and when it passed, it was like my school had been set to rage. Fights broke out, arguments were being screamed and teachers were holding students back. It wasn't very fun to be at Aloha that year.
I have (very few) friends that are Mormon, or are cowboy like and just don't like anything that isn't god and country. I also have friends that grow weed legally in their downstairs and just party a ton. Both are great people that don't hurt anyone and are nice. They all tell me that they genuinely like cops but not the ones that are douchebags about it. While I completely agree, I always think twice about the kind of friend it is. Are they just telling me this because my Dad is a cop? Are they telling me this because the last kid to say "fuck the police" to me got throated into section 108 at PGE Park? I may be a former Marine and be very pro police, but I have a brain and can see every side.
Portland is violently liberal and it's a good thing at times but I hear a lot of negativity from back home. So I have an easy time believing that a shop in downtown would actually kick out uniformed policemen trying to get some coffee because it would be unnerving to the customers. I don't see any logic in it and it makes me mad, but I can see it's their right. It's like protesting military funerals. I don't like it at all but they're allowed.
I lose it. We all know about the problems Portland has with their police. I don't know about any injustices happening and I don't really know too much about the anti-cop side of the argument but that shouldn't really be news. That seems to be Koin 6 (the least popular of the 3 news stations at home) trying tabloid journalism that isn't cool. They're exacerbating an already huge problem. The news should be trying to mend fences and build trust again between Portlanders and their police.
For a place deemed a haven for tolerance and understanding, there are some real closed-minded hippies there.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It shouldn't be called "indie" anymore.

When I was younger, I discovered something new musically. Britney Spears hadn't broken down, Christina accepted that she passed away in obscurity, Pink wasn't pretending to be tough, Avril Lavigne was just as much of a joke and Famous hats had bent bills. I remember when a band I'd never heard of came to Portland one Saturday that I snuck into the Meow Meow downtown to see and I was blown away. If you'll allow me to be pretentious for a second, it really changed the music that I would follow for the rest of my life. I'm not proud of the music of my adolescences up until 2003 and I will admit a few bands that I liked at the time that I am ashamed of now. I liked a few Limp Bizkit singles, I listened to korn, mudvayne had one song I liked and yes....(I don't even want to say it) I liked creed. I am much more conscious of better musical tastes now and hate everything about nu-metal. 
I still remember the lineup was some obscure people that I would see again at PDX Pop 2004 but I don't remember and headlined by a budding band called Death Cab for Cutie. I told my friend Josh that the name was retarded and went in. They had been touring to support Transatlanticism, their 4th album. I don't need to get all hipster on you or tell you how it happened, but their music speaks for itself. Chris Walla said they were an "indie" band and I got on limewire as soon as I could at home to find more of the genre. I entered a world where people would say about their musical tastes, "I like stuff you don't." or "I like music that you haven't heard of." 
Now, almost everyone has heard Death Cab, Bright Eyes, Dashboard Confessional, AFI, The Decemberists, Imogen Heap and many other bands that were only listened to by about one burned cd that was tossed around my high school's J-Hall. Movies like Garden State and the TV show, The O.C. prominently featured artists without labels or on smaller record labels that weren't on the major listing. This catapulted the success of every band that could try and sound like something that Death Cab had done. A good band was usually one that meshed The Postal Service's electro-pop sound with Death Cab's acoustics and some or AFI's electric guitar sounds. 
These bands are now hugely popular in an underground market that is bigger than most people think. They by far aren't selling out stadium rock shows but the music is played at more intimate venues which fit the style much more appropriately. From what I know about the industry, smaller labels offer more of a royalties percentage, almost accrue no debt for the artist to repay and even some have stock-options and profit sharing. This DIY bohemian sound mirrors the NW geographical area it stems from and often makes for a fuller sound. It's not any different really then the sound quality of a major label production, it just is arranged noticeably different. These labels are becoming powerhouses of their genres. They're hardly the independent and lo-fi lo budget grouping that they used to be. 
The Decemberists aren't indie, they're Folk Revivalist Rock. Death Cab is just plain Rock, Yeasayer and Matt & Kim are definitely Experimental Rock. Animal Collective is Shit Rock (not really, I just hate them). The Kooks are Brit rock or Brit pop. Dispatch, the most successful independent band was Adult Contemporary or Jam band. They all have established genres that came from musical pioneers in the 60's and 70's. Underground artists aren't pioneering anything but they're innovating a lot of musical styles and ways of arranging music that were the "wrong" way in the past. 
If you don't believe me that they've made such a massive presence then I present you with the band Owl City.
His voice is obviously the worst impression of Ben Gibbard that I've ever heard. Adam Young audibly stretches syllables to pronounce words the same way. It is the biggest attempt at continuing The Postal Service that failed because it's just bad. The Postal Service's lyrics are very introspective and have been likened to Bob Dylan, for their success in being covered. They have phrases and lines in their songs that are timeless and fit extremely well with a younger me. Owl City has lyrics deep meaningful lyrics like, "I'd like to make myself believe, that planet earth turns slowly." Wow. I've just been bitchslapped by creativity right there. 

Universal looked for and found this guy and molded him to sound "indie" but put out a pop sound enough to get on the top 40 charts. It's not good music but he succeeded. 
In summation, the sound of independent artists that people are referring to are not struggling or unknown. Matt & Kim topped iTunes for a week, MGMT is touring Europe and Yeasayer just finished a world wide tour. It's not Indie. Stop calling it that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Journalism Class

brings all the boys to the yard and it is certainly better than yours. I love almost everything about it and I can't wait to talk about the Champions League match today of Arsenal vs Barcelona. That was intense and some great soccer. I said before that it's like an episode of TMZ. We all just sit around and talk about new news stories and laugh about them to our teacher who sits there leaning on one arm like that guy. Her nose is just as big but she is easily 4 times his size. She's nice enough but is older and has room mates. Either she has failed at getting a boyfriend, is gay or her room mates are her cats and the conversations she's been having with them are a serious issue to be brought up at a later date.
I do have one major problem in the class that I feel really awkward about. I don't know his name but he is the one that is obviously gay. Before I go off on this, and be labeled a homophobic person, I am just going to say that I'm not and my gay friends will easily back me up on this. This guy is so gay that I really don't think it's his natural gay. I know a LOT of gays and none of them (to include the drag queen one) are quite this gay. He's abrasive, has insulting undertones in his prose that the girls of the class that laugh with him don't catch, and he's exaggerating his mannerisms. Why I don't know. Maybe because he's surrounded by straight guys that are so obviously not straight-bait that he must compensate. I dunno. He's stereotypical and annoying about everything he does or says. He is more arrogant than is allowed and his actions mean that he's super gay, and you need to know about it. I don't ever say anything for a few reasons. For one, I'm a straight, white male veteran so instantly I'll be labeled as anti-gay. Another is because of the homophilic nature of the group around me. I can tell some of them are so pro gay that they instantly love every gay man. Despite that some are just annoying people and if I suggest that he should quiet down then I'm the enemy. (I bet that if a lesbian came in and started talking about how much they love vagina, all those pro gay girls would wig out just like all of the straight guys did because of this guy in our class) I just keep my mouth shut. This guy really made me question my usually pro-gay stance because it was his extreme gayness that was bothersome and annoying and not him. So I found the best help I could.
I talked to my friends Ty, Scott, Katlyn and Jesse, all gay/bi. I told them the situation, asked them if I came across as homophobic and if I had valid points or if I needed to go to sensitivity camp or something. They were all unanimous.
"Some gays are just bad gays" said Ty. "He sounds like he could possibly be new to being out in the past few years so he's enjoying what he missed out on. He'll learn that people don't really care if you're gay or not and you don't need to be in people's face about it."
"It sounds like you weren't annoyed by him being gay, you were annoyed by him being a faggot. There are clear differences" Scott assured me. "He's the kind of gay that shoves it around because someone wasn't nice to him about it at one point."
"I know you're not homophobic, you're a good guy, J.T., he just was abrasive." said Katlyn.
"Sometimes,"Jesse exclaimed "gays need to realize that the only way of true acceptance is just to be as subtle with their homosexual nature as straight men are. We don't have to hide anything but there's no reason to be the extreme of anything." I thought it was funny that he was saying that to me as he was putting guyliner on to go on stage at a drag show at Embers in Portland.
I was assured by them that he is just an annoying person. He insults everyone in the class except for this girl Sophia who sits next to me. He spent 5 minutes talking about how she would look fantastic in lavender while the teacher was trying to talk over him about material we were going to be tested on soon. We get it, you're gay and like fashion.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Hey, so I'm starting this blog back up. I don't like it, you don't like it everybody wins. I'm not going to sit here and make introspective comments about how my life is changing around me or make long-winded statements comparing love to _______. That was what my Livejournal was for...7 years ago.

I have this for a few reasons:
1.) This will help me talk about stuff going on with me that I can write about and not annoy the shit out of my facebook friends with incessant status updates.
2.) Possible review links to more freelance writing internships/jobs.
3.) I can't really think of anything else.

This blog also doesn't have some stupid name that isn't original. "My life running backwards" isn't funny or witty or a good name. Besides, no one is really going to read your shit. I doubt I'll really keep up with this. I just have some rants I'll probably post and review the shit out of everything to include my socks. Yeah, I said I'm going to review my socks. I might post some trailing things about my Iraq book I'm writing but I dunno. I'm not really going to advertise this thing much.

edit 9:53pm I have an unhealthy fascination with Yeasayer's "Tightrope" and Florence+the Machine's "Dog Days Are Over." I think their play counts are in the 60's.

In Russia, Game Plays You!

Metro 2033 Review: 
When I hear of any new game coming out that consists of Communist Russia(or the Soviet Union, for that matter), Neo-Nazi's, and a post-apocalyptic world I think, "Oh sweet, this game will be pretty rad!" Whether or not I feel the way about Metro 2033 that I thought I would is still to be determined. Despite its flaws, Metro 2033 is a good game. The game puts us in the eponymous year, set in the underground tunnels of the Moscow area Metro system, 20 something years after a nuclear war has destroyed the world. Sound Familiar? Well it should because it's just like the rest of the stories. Enough radiation present to kill you? Check. Nuclear water-like waste that damages you on contact? Check. Mutated beings that roam around, out to kill you? Check. This kind of sounds like a Russian version of Fallout 3—with the Vaults replaced by the Metro. But it's not quite done yet. 
 Unlike Fallout 3, you cannot just roam around the Earth’s surface without a gas mask on, possibly because of the fact that it takes place further from the initial nuclear holocaust than Metro does. The few times you are on the surface of the Earth, you will constantly need to wear a non view restricting gas mask, in order to breathe. To make it a little more realistic, you'll need to change the filters after a certain amount of time, which you'll find scattered throughout the world. The time left on your filter is shown on a small, three color gauge on your wrist watch. The best part about this system is that you are constantly are kept on your toes regarding your ability to even breathe, let alone fight all the mutated monsters up on the surface. Added to that is the fact that not every filter is brand new, and will already have some of its use worn. So you'll go to put one on and it'll only last you 5 minutes, versus a fresh one that will last about 20 minutes. AND the gas mask can crack from battle damage and become useless, requiring you to find a new one. Killer. The time spent in the metro tunnels is where the bulk of this game takes place. We are led to believe that in certain parts of the tunnels, Communists have created a 1984 like dystopia, and that other parts contain Neo-Nazis(Russian Nazis, mind you). Apparently no one learned that they should be working together to survive instead of killing each other. Yeah, that's smart. 
Enter the Rangers, a small group of badasses that just roam around the tunnels and make it a safer place. You start off as a young adult named, "Artyom" in a 'free' tunnel city, and quickly become a Ranger when one of your Ranger friends gets killed. You then take his place after an attack on your city leaves you all in great peril. Your quest takes you throughout the entire Metro system, through Nazi cities, Red cities, and even the frontline tunnels where you must sneak (or fight) through the battle to the other side. At that location there is a big 'free' city that will send aid to your besieged home. 
 Sounds kind of interesting, right? Well it is...for a bit. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar for most gamers, and it goes like this: Super interesting conflict between two different sets(read Humans vs. Covenant) and then introduce a third aggressor(read Flood, the Many) and then the game’s story gets less interesting. Exploring the back-story behind the war between the reds and Nazis, or maybe what the Nazis were so nazi-like about (Russian master race?) but instead they throw in a third element: Aliens. Or maybe they were mutated humans. Either way, I didn't care about them. 
The "Dark Ones" appear rarely in the game but are this huge threat to your city. So the story gets lame and trippy, but still holds your attention enough. The game play is another factor of the game that is just good, not great. Glitches are abound. When using this revolver-type shotgun that holds 5 rounds, in a hasty situation (like firing a lot of rounds at once, because you're overwhelmed) causes it to glitch. You'll only be able to fire off three rounds before you'll have to reload, and it will show that you've used all 5 rounds. So that sucks. Also, sometimes enemies don't die, causing you to have to restart and then they would die. This isn't a glitch, but it's a complaint of mine: NO MELEE button. For real. Only two guns allow you to melee. So when you're totally swamped with monsters, you've got to wait to reload and try again. The game also didn't explain the mechanics of the game very well. For example, the bartering system uses ammo for money, but doesn't explain what the images represent, so I kind of just had to wing it until I figured it out. Which, I've been told is a universal problem. Of course all of these glitches don't exist on the PC version. But it's ok, PC gaming is dying anyway. 
 So remember when I said it was good? Yeah, stick with me. I'll explain it right here. The story is actually really interesting. And there are a lot of fun things to do. The Survival/Horror part of the game sure came through on the survival part. The game isn't scary at all, but ammo is scarce enough that you'll constantly be carefully aiming shots to conserve ammo. There are even less health packs but it's a lot like Call of Duty, and stuff so your health regenerates. There are times when you'll have a ton of filters for your gas mask, and others when you'll be on your last one. The shooter aspects are good enough, but not as great compared to as other recently developed games. 
 Newer gamers will love this game while More experienced players will scoff at obvious faults, but still find themselves wanting to continue the game. If you're looking for something of the same caliber as Dead Space/RE4/Fallout 3 for the survival/horror aspects of it, then ignore this game. It fails compared to them, but it does have a "good effort" kind of feel when playing. Hardcore gamers should avoid this title, and it's not worth the $60 tag either. Get it used or wait for it to drop to the $40-$50 dollar range.

Older Way of the Samurai 3 review I did last year

Way Of The Samurai 3
The third installment of the Way Of The Samurai series was unknown for the majority of people in my gaming circles and this seems to be the trend for the whole series. These under the radar games are a great fun to play and even though there are some obvious things that make you go, "hmm..." The diehard WOTS fans were all about it. As was I. Until I played it.
Let me first say that the first game of the series for the PS2 was such a sleeper hit that to call it a hit is still somewhat overstating it. It was just such a great game. And the second was disappointingly similar. This third title was what I desperately hoped it wouldn't be. They expanded on the things that weren't that great.
They didn't expand the landscape of the game. If they somehow took WOTS and made it more of a sandbox (i.e.:Elder Scrolls titles, FF8, Gun, GTA) instead of the previous system, the game would just rule. It's too constraining to have over 20 different endings and have all the different choices to make in such a small world. There are only 8 neighborhoods to explore, and one of them is just a small road that takes about 2 minutes to walk through even if you stop and talk to everyone. The story is simply too large to have in such a small setting.
They didn't add more enemies or clans. There are still only 2 main warring factions and your only other choice (besides just leaving, which is an ending as well) is to side with the villagers. Who wants to do that? Come on now, this game is about WAR and Samurai clans fighting each other! Screw farming! Seriously, you can lay your sword down and just farm. I didn't realize we were playing Harvest Moon. Or Farmville a la Feudal Japan. This time it is a little different in that one clan isn't obviously a more malevolent than the other. Both the Ouka Clan and the Fujimori Clan have apparent faults at the lowest level while the higher ranking samurai of each clan walk around with ignorance. Of course, you could always go be with the good guys and farm...yeah...about that.
They didn't improve the English audio at all. While the first game just had grunts and random screams in Japanese (which are still in this one) and the second had poorly dubbed English actors, you'd think they'd step it up a little bit. Seeing as how they jumped to the next gen console. But no. This makes it very noticeable that Acquire and Spike didn't give a rip about their American audience. If I spoke Japanese I could tell you if that audio was good or not. But seeing as most of I do not, I'll say I kept it on the Japanese the whole time. It just made it seem cooler.
They changed the fighting system to a point scale. So, if your defense was less than your aggressor, you couldn't block him. They didn't keep it a skill based game and put numerical formulas to attack and defense. Lame. In the previous games, as long as you blocked or parried the attack, you were good until your sword broke. Now, regardless of you actually blocking a strike or not, you had to hope you had a better defense then your enemy. The same was true for attacking as well. If your opponent had a stronger defense it seemed to take forever to land a hit. The old style was just better. They did however go back to the blocking of the first game with the push/pull blocking. However, with inclusion of the point scale, it's not the same somehow.
They (practically) didn't change the graphics. The movies even had very little changes. The first game, which came out in 2002, had pretty comparable graphics to this game. It's pretty simple and I feel like they could've done so much better. Especially with it also on the PS3. The samurai's outfits looked even less cool than the second. The videos are choppy and don't really flow well together especially in intense moments. Reactions are delayed and sometimes the voice would come out before the character would move.
They didn't even change the game play very much. You can become a member of one of the clans, or both if you so choose, but they'll know it and ostracize you.You do jobs for one of them, you increase your standing in said clan, you meet the leader and get the ending for that play through. Yep. Just like the last two games. They did change it up a tiny bit in this one in that your actions finally actually dictate what happens. Before, you could attack someone and get away with it. Not anymore. You can even attack or apologize during videos. So that was kind of cool. You can even kill the leader of the Ouka Clan and become the leader of the clan. All that will happen is that the clan will bow to you as you walk past. Once again, the other clan will know it but will not acknowledge it when speaking of taking out your clan. They'll talk about taking down the leader right in front of you as if they didn't know you were him even though they just mentioned it 10 minutes ago. The job system is kind of hit and miss as well. I don't know if it's a glitch or not but I've found myself doing the same job involving the same people three times in succession. And they do not get super inventive either. It's either be a FedEx man and deliver packages or go and fight somebody. This second options becomes even harder when you have to attack someone in the middle of town. The target will always run and you'll have to attack him in public which will bring the guards and you'll go in time out or something. The game even seems to block it's own progression with videos being unaccessable when you're on a job. So if you just happen to take another job and miss out on the big finale then you're just out of luck. Both Clans have slightly skewed versions of the same jobs so that adds to the chore of doing these tasks. The weapon creator gets a little better in this game, and I really enjoyed the addition of spears to the arsenal. But when facing the faster swords of the bosses, I always found myself reverting back to the sword.
This game really isn't very different from it's predecessors making it mainly a Fans Only type of game. And even then, the $60 tag is a little steep for such a bland game. I'd wait for it to drop to the $40 tag. Random kids (17+ kids) who just watched "The Last Samurai" and are looking for a cool samurai game will probably enjoy this game as well as long as they're not super picky. Even though there are over 20 endings, I found the replay value to wane the further I went. You might as well go pick up the first "Way Of The Samurai" for PS2. It's still the best out of the franchise.

tl;dr the game sucks.

When I first played Dead Space, I was enamored almost immediately. The graphics were amazing, the story, while not terribly original, was still awesome and I really fell into it with Isaac Clarke. So it is fair to assume that I was all about the thought of a sequel. I wanted to know what happened after Nicole's apparition jumps out at you on the small freighter you escaped on. I often wondered aloud to friends if it would measure up. When it came time, I reserved the Collectors Edition and when the day came, stood in line with plenty of “gamer” type people much to my chagrin. The kind of people that were actually surprised when the story twisted in Call of Duty: Black Ops and you found out you were just crazy. The kind of people that said Halo is the best shooter ever and wore Final Fantasy shirts. Yeah, those kinds of people. I picked it up (2nd in line, thank you very much) and ran across the street to my apartment in excitement. Turning off all the lights, I inserted the disc into my PS3 and was ready to freakin' go.
I got to the end of chapter 1 and was enthralled. It seemed good enough and the first part sucked me in and was fun. I was tough-talking Necromorphs as I smacked them in the face with my flashlight. “Come at me, Bros!” I'd exclaim while hearing the crunch.It was there when I noticed the first change in the series. The melee works, and well. The “let's get the hell away” feel was still there and I was lost in the fog of space war. I had to break to sleep for school and then I would pick it up the next day. This is when I started to really see how flawed this game is.

The story

I am a huge fan of game stories. I love intricate plots like Biggie liked making paper (and saturated fats). But in this game, there is no story. The first 5 chapters of the game are literally Isaac trying to get to a mysterious woman on the Sprawl. The end of most chapters results in you finding a way to get to her, then having it destroyed by a giant flesh monster. Ok, I get it. I don't need it 4 times.
This is where the first theme of Repetitiveness set in. SPOILEROnce you get to the chick and find out (obviously) that she is a unitologist, she gets killed along with everyone else in the room minus you in an anticlimactic way. If the scene stood alone, it would be cool but it doesn't., At this point in time, you've blown out windows and had the vacuum suck out your enemies so many times, it's not interesting anymore. After that some other stuff happens, you get a twist in the story and you have to find the Marker and blow it up. That's literally it. The game is very vague and the story isn't really impressed unto you. I even tried to find all of the logs and didn't quite fully understand. Now, I'm no idiot, but I paid attention and still didn't really get why I was doing things. In the first game, each story objective had purpose; find the tram, repair the tram, find the radar tower to repair to send out a distress signal, etc... This one was just “run over here, now run this way, now don't wig out at your dead girlfriends ghost and try and live." It was lame. Then, after that, you're made to care about some chick you met 20 minutes ago. You find and destroy the marker in an annoying fashion and poof, the end. Then after the credits, add a conversation between two voices over the phone that is exactly how Ocelot and the President talk at the end of Metal Gear Solid. Wow, this game has me hooked. There are numerous holes, like why you don't just melee the necromorph that kills the guy as you try and pull out the plasma cutter. Why couldn't you pin the nemesis to the wall like you could every one else at the end?

The gameplay

The game play started off super fun. The parts where you're running around without a gun was fun, suspenseful and good to get you into the game. The times where Isaac falls down the train was awesome and how you fought upside down was good too. Then I realized that I just paid money to play God of War again as I flew through the air. Was it fun, yeah it was but it got old and was not true to the theme of the character. Remember how I said it was repetitive? Pay attention and you'll see that you've gone down the exact same hallway, corridor and elevator about 6 times. I counted. Even the bigger rooms were all the same! The church where you fight the big necromorph was the same as the arena area where you encounter the raptors for the first time, they just added pillars.
The fights are linear and the same every time. Some necromorphs climb over a railing and chase you from behind. I tried one fight one time where I just spun in circles and wasn't touched once. Predictable is also the next complaint of mine. You could walk into a room or elevator and say to yourself that you can tell a fight is coming, and you will be right every time. They even have a wide open elevator, which to any real video game player says, “oh I'm about to get ambushed”. Again, you'd be right. The problem with the game's scare practices is that it differed too much from the first game. In the first, the power would cut out a few times and the room would go black. You got freaked and held up your flashlight everywhere. Silhouettes would dance around the edges of your light and make you think there was something there. The scary part was that sometimes you weren't attacked so you still knew they were there. That whole scheme probably happened about 4 times in the first. In Dead Space 2, the whole game was patronizingly dark. There was almost no light, and every room was as dark as my friend Sid. Enemies would always attack behind you so you knew to never shoot the way you looked when you first walked into a room. Music would blast and violins would screech with the water phones when an enemy would appear. The game is filled with jack in the box type surprises and dark rooms. After awhile, it cries wolf and becomes laughably mechanical. You'll see a vent and think, something is about to pop out of there. Sure enough... 

They changed the controls slightly in a way that was not needed. I was shooting kinetic beams when meaning to shoot stasis fields into my enemies. This is just lazy programming when coupled with the repeated levels. The whole game is so very linear that it makes no sense. We're on a gigantic space station that takes a large portion of a moon and yet, we're playing a corridor shooter. It's a third person Call of Duty, fantastic. I remember playing a survival horror game before that was on a space station that was the furthest from a corridor shooter. It was called Doom 1 and 2. That came out in the early 90's. 20 years later, They've gotten lazy.

The Characters

I am most pissed about what they did to Isaac. In the first, he was a terrified engineer that was a laborer and rough dude. He was silent, but moved with a purpose and spoke with his actions. He was beefy and older. When he removed his helmet in the end, he had grey hair and tired eyes. His mentality was one of getting off the ship and running away if he needed to survive. He wasn't an anti-hero and he most certainly wasn't reluctant but he only did what he needed to get off of the Ishimura. In this second installment, he has been transformed into Jason Flemming, Indiana Jones, Leon and every other bravado laced character that makes quick comments and has a quicker gun. They took at least 10 years off of Isaac, and made him lean. His voice was ok but he had a very different demeanor about him. Then comes in the chick, Ellie. She couldn't figure out if she was Australian or English, nor could she figure out if she was a softy girl or a sassy bitch. Have you seen this type of female character before? Yeah you have. In every other game to have a female that fights along with you. I don't really need to describe the teenager anymore.

The New Necromorphs

Seriously video game developers, ENOUGH WITH THE DAMN BABIES! There are 5 different types of babies in this game. Some shoot at you and others explode. Little children don't scare anyone except my ex-girlfriend and people who haven't seen the humor in horror movies. There were 2 levels with toddler music that still wasn't scary and they introduced more baby enemies. Swarming you and crawling around. Then came the raptors. They were good enough at first but then they just got annoying. They would charge you and do a stupid amount of damage to you, they peek their heads around corners (which are easy to shoot and prematurely end any plans they have) and just are there to annoy you. The new brute enemy was alright but easily defeatable unlike in the first. I felt like I was playing starfox after awhile because I was just shooting the colored part of the enemy that would become exposed. Add a Mass Effect 2 type ending boss and you've got the enemies. They're all annoying and unnecessary.

If you hadn't played the first game, or any other game for that matter, it would seem to be a solid game. But it's not. Dead Space 2 is a terrible game and not worth getting excited over. There is certainly no need to pay $60+ dollars for a poorly redone amalgamation of genre'd games. It is not nearly as scary as the first. In fact, it's not at all. If this game scares you, then you must've been terrified when you saw sackboy running in the dark in LBP.  Basically, don't buy it. Please.