Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Tomb Raider 2013 (PS3).

 Crystal Dynamics' blood-drenched, "real world" rebirth of Lara Croft's Tomb Raider has hit store shelves early. Forget about street dates - we have tombs to raid! Well... sort of. Could be the first Tomb Raider game where raiding tombs is an almost an afterthought? Stick with me and I'll explain.

A tiny part Far Cry, with a large portion of Uncharted, this is a Tomb Raider game unlike any other Tomb Raider game you've ever played, but a lot like all those other aforementioned franchise games you've played. Yes, it's a Tomb Raider game which feels like it was heavily inspired by Uncharted which originally felt like it was inspired by Tomb Raider. The snake is eating it's own tail. And yet All New Tomb Raider is still an extremely well polished, exhilarating action/adventure experience. 

I'll make more sense of all this... after the jump.

El Professore Movie Reviews: The Street Fighter (aka Sudden Attack! The Killing Fist)

Director: Shigehiro Ozawa
Starring: Shinichi (Sonny) Chiba, Yutaka (Doris) Nakajima, Goichi (Gerald)
Yamada, Masashi (Milton) Ishibashi, Jiro Chiba, Etsuko (Sue) Shihomi, Masafumi Suzuki
* * * *
Who hasn't heard of this one by now? Yep, it's the legendary freakout fest starring Sonny Chiba as mercenary Terry Tsurugi; just possibly the most amoral protagonist in the history of the cinema. Hiring himself out (unknowingly) to the Yakuza, before being targeted by his employers for knowing too much, Tsurugi (along with his sidekick, Ratnose) uses his bare fists to smash, crush, and rip apart any who oppose him.

Full review after the jump.

Taken 2: Take Harder

On the plane to Melbourne I had many plans. I was going to read, to work on a project proposal, and maybe draft a blog post... But I kept seeing Liam Neeson doing ninja moves out of the corner of my eye; a guy in the next seat was watching Taken 2. There was nothing for it. I put my book away, set the tray table down, plugged in my earphones and selected the film. Follow me under the cut for my review of Taken 2 and why taking Liam Neeson's family is a terrible idea.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Batman, Incorporated #8!

This past Wednesday, DC Comics released Batman, Incorporated #8  - a game changing issue!  The issue was heavily spoiled all over the Internet and "Mainstream Media" on Monday morning, two days before the comic was even released!

Batman, Inc #8 variant cover
Regardless, I decided to hold onto spoilers until today, just to give everyone a fair shake at reading this book without any if you don't want spoilers, well...DON'T join me after the JUMP

Friday Night Movie Reviews

It's the first Friday of the month, so that means it's time for Friday Night Movie Reviews once again! Join us under the cut to see what we've been checking out this month.

Thank GIF it's Friday!

So I'm now on holidays for two weeks, and this adequately expresses my feelings about said holiday.

David Brent Returns To The Office March 15th!

For this years Red Nose Day (Comic Relief's biannual charity telethon event) Ricky Gervais is bringing David Brent back to The Office, 10 years after the show ended.

We've seen David pop up a few times in recent years so we at least know that he wasn't dead or anything... but from the looks of it his career was pretty much dying. Now he's following his passion and managing musicians, even trying to incorporate some rap into his political reggae song, Equality Street.

I can't wait to see this, and can't imagine this will end well. I have high hopes for some cameos from the original series (particularly Gareth and Keith) and even if this is as terrible as my mega-fan wife predicts it will be, I don't think a charity mini-episode could impact or taint the original series. I would be happy to get one more solid David Brent quote out the episode to hold me off for the next few years. We shall see!

The teaser video cannot be embedded, so here's a link:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Broke Video Gamer: Depression Quest review

It’s not often a game resonates so poignantly with so many people. Depression Quest was released on Valentine’s Day this year and has caused quite a stir on the internet. It can be accessed from for free, with an option to give a donation. 
Click for full review

Hey Look an Official Image of Lego Minifigures Series 10!

It was only a matter of time before we got our first proper look at Lego Minifigures Series 10 and it turns out that every single figure is exactly as rumoured. Check out Medusa, a Bee Lady, a Paintball guy, a Sea Captain and a whole lot more...

And if you're especially astute you will see that there's a 17th figure this time, the golden top hat wearing buffoon up the back who is going to be extremely rare. So expect packages to be wore thin as clumsy adult hands grope desperately to identify that top hat in store. (In fact I'm kind of surprised that they didn't include another top hat wearing character just to confuse the matter).

Overall I think this is one of the weaker series, but there's some nice pieces here that are either brand new, or items that not many people would have. Like the Lego Chihuahua that comes with the Paris Hilton wannabe who appears to be holding some sort of iPad. And I have a soft spot for the Haddock like Sea Captain and that Sad Clown. Cool new hair here as well like the revolutionary soldier's powdered wig and the bald cap for the grandfather. Some bewildering inclusions too though like that painter/decorator. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?

No doubt many of us on the site will be getting them anyway. What do you like?

Thursday Threesome: Top 3 Crazy Things My Kids Do To Prevent Me From Posting

In trying to post anything here on Fruitless Pursuits (including this Thursday Threesome), I'll usually get yanked away because one of my 3 wonderful kids (ages 5, 2, and 2) is doing something crazy.

Here are a few examples of what they do:

#1. Pee on everything. 
The two younger ones have a new thing that they learned from Gangnam Style.... it's called "shaking hiney". They'll do a butt dance and it's actually pretty funny. Everytime you change their pull-up they need to shake hiney. But now, it's gotten to ridiculous levels of every single morning, they wake up and the first thing they want to do is take off their pull up, run around and shake hiney. If I am not within a few feet to catch them, that's it.

They will run, shake hiney and pee on everything. The carpet. The couch. The bathroom floor. Their clothes. Me. Everything.

#2. Battle over iPads. 
All three will fight over everything. Example: I give one twin a blue cup of milk, and give the other a red cup. Then the one with the red cup starts crying about the blue cup. So I switch and the other one cries. Then I'll ditch the red cup and give them both a blue cup, but they'll cry over the original blue cup. THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME!!! This is when it gets to the point where I choose the one who cries the loudest and give them the original blue cup.

But worse than the cups are iPads. We have enough to go around, yet they'll fight over the "monster pad" (an iPad in a cool child-proof orange monster case), the "black pad" (it's actually a white one in a black case), "Mom's pad"(my wife's brand new iPad which they aren't supposed to be using), or Dad's pad (my iPad mini that's 100% off limits). There are also iPhones and a new iPod touch. Yet they will fight for hours over which one to use and then once they settle down, all 3 will watch the same episode of Yo Gabba Gabba or Blues Clues on Netflix. This goes on 24 hours a day. And when a battery dies, it's absolute hell. But worse than that was when I didn't pay the cable bill and we had 2 days without internet... which meant 2 days without Netflix. It was brutal.

#3. Never Sleep.
There is barely an hour during the night where a child is not awake. They'll bounce off each other and rotate shifts in keeping the whole town awake. So in order to get my non-dayjob work done (things like posting here, working on board games, etc), I have to wake up REALLY early. So I'll wake up at 5am and the kids will already be awake and doing their normal daily routine: Fighting over iPads, peeing on everything, shaking hineys, spilling cups of milk on the couch and carpet and spreading it around like paint, drawing on the walls, tearing up paper, taking all of the pillows off of the couches, eating everything in the house without actually eating anything at all, calling people on my iPhone, emailing people screenshots of apps.

Now if only I could get them to post some articles for me.

Leverage Reviewed!

I did it! Finally! I have finished the fifth and final season of Leverage. I didn’t want to finish it. I didn’t want it to be over. Leverage is happy, fluffy fun, with cool characters and a week to week premise that allows us to enjoy ourselves and unwind from all those other shows that we love that have huge series arcs and require religious watching and re-watching of all episodes.

The basic premise is like Hustle or a modern day Robin Hood; five criminals, stealing from the rich and giving back to the poor. Or as is more common in the story, allowing those who are powerless and being exploited to get back at and bring down corrupt corporations. All of this is done in a way that requires both a sense of humour and a suspension of disbelief. If you have those things and if you want a bit of fun, then you’ll enjoy Leverage.
Follow me under the jump for character descriptions, reactions to season 5 and an analysis of the series finale.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My New Favorite Internet Thing? Goatdubs.

What do you get when you cross pop songs with goats yelling like humans? Goatdubs, that's what. I don't generally like Taylor Swift (or, well, anything in this batch of music), but I laughed a little too long at what happens when you add a goat to it. Anyway, beyond the jump are some of my favorites, maybe one will get your goat.

February Failures: The Three Big Reviews You Didn’t Read on Our Site This Month and Why.

On Fruitless Pursuits we obviously don’t aim to cover everything pop culture related, and most of our film, video game and toy reviews cater very specifically to our individual tastes. But we do conscientiously write up lists of releases that we anticipate writing about, and it has struck me that February 2013 has disappointed more than most. There are at least three releases that I was very eager to review but now refuse to waste my time on.

What are they and why won’t you see them reviewed here? Find out... after the jump!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TotalCon 27 Recap!

This past weekend was TotalCon, an old school game convention in Mansfield, MA. By old school, I don't mean retro games or anything like that, instead TotalCon has the feeling of old friends, meeting up  year after year to play board games. This was my first year at the con, but the 27th for everyone else. Everyone was very welcoming while inviting me into their traditional tournaments and routines. This could be the high school reunion of board game conventions, but way more fun and way less awkward.

I arrived after midnight on Friday and had a little over 24 hours to squeeze in as many games as possible. Click through the jump for the full recap.

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 2/20/2013

Big events and changes have been rumoured to be coming to the DCU in the near future...turns out the future is NOW!  Or at least the beginnings are here, in Justice League of America #1!  Let's take a look...

*NEW!* Justice League of America #1 - "These are the men and women who are going to take down the Justice League."

A brand new Justice League, one that is under the control of the United States government, starts here!  If that sounds a little frightening to you, it should!  This issue is basically Colonel Steve Trevor and A.R.G.U.S. big-wig Amanda Waller discussing the formation of their new JLA, who will be on it and why.  That's the big question...why?  Why a new team?

The answer is simple...the current Justice League has shown it's fallibility...first with the very public battle with and later disappearance of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, then with the clear divide between the League and Aquaman in the just-concluding "Throne of Atlantis" story-line.  Worst of all, however (at least to Waller and Trevor's minds) is the "kiss heard around the world."  What are the consequences of a romance between Superman and Wonder Woman?  What if the two have children?  What if they decide to take over?  What if they decide to BREAK UP??  These things NEVER end well...thus, the powers that be want to be prepared...and preparation, to the USA, means the ability to beat up the opposition...thus, the Justice League of organization specifically designed to be able to (hopefully) defeat the Justice League.  Uh...good luck!

So how is the book?  For an issue that's mainly an introduction to various characters, I thought it was great!  Interesting premise, good dialogue, great art and an ending with a twist!  What more can you ask for??

Of course lots of other comics came out for the week...see the rest after the JUMP!

Let’s Talk About Pepper Potts: Iron Man’s Albatross.

As Gwyneth Paltrow’s quaintly named Pepper Potts braces to appear in Iron Man 3, her fourth Marvel movie, I have to pose the question. Is anyone a genuine fan of this character? And what really motivates her repeat appearances? Is her character crucial to Tony Stark’s ongoing development? Is she stuck there purely for continuity? Or is it motivated by Gwyneth’s star power? Is Pepper Potts, in fact, the figurative dead albatross weighing heavily around Iron Man’s neck, like a skinny, quipping blonde tie, forever holding him back from the debaucherous James Bond lifestyle he seems otherwise destined to have?

Join me for what is bound to be a worthwhile and productive discussion... after the jump!

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 37!

The Book Was Better
is the podcast where we debate, discuss and demolish the book in the film, and in this special teaser mini episode I respond to your always thoughtful and pertinent feedback, as well as reveal the title of the movie novelization that we’ll be tackling next week.

The official baby of the podcast has been born, so we’ll celebrate that, solve the mystery of Star Trek’s Data’s “fully functioning” robot dick, plus herald our imminent return to a very popular and much-requested movie franchise. And next week’s special mystery guest host is someone very close to me. There’s only one way to solve all these mysteries and that’s to shove this minisode in your ears!

Download it right now from the official site, or why not solve all our problems by subscribing to us on iTunes and make us feel like Internet somebodies!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fruitless Pursuits Predicts the Oscars!

With the Academy Awards this evening, there's a whole evening of humor from Seth MacFarlane, cute awkwardness from Jennifer Lawrence, and an awards show that is almost guaranteed to go way over. Some of us here at Fruitless Pursuits have made predictions for the winning stuff this evening, take a look after the jump: