27 June 2014

Thunder Wolves (2013)

Game score: 82%
Platform: Steam, PC

This game is such a perfect stress reliever! It offers hours of endless destruction without limits and is a lot of fun along the way. Flying around in a helicopter, armed to teeth with endless missiles and overheat-free cannon... priceless!

Thunder Wolves is simply being what it is - a brainless action flick that never gets boring. There are 12 missions + tutorial and they are all unique in its own way. Yes, you fly a helicopter and shoot at hundreds of enemy soldiers, structures, vehicles, aircraft, cannons, ships... but every mission offers something new. In one of them you get to fly a drone inside a cave. In the other you are shot down and have to escape in a tank. Later in the game you are carrying an armored vehicle and need to drop it on a beach for a D-day-like encounter. One mission makes you cover a field agent while he infiltrates a moving train. Some missions feature a gunner mode where you no longer fly the chopper but control the machine gun (LucasArts' old game Rebel Assault comes to my mind as reference for this). I am really really happy with the game makers' effort to keep this game fun throughout all of its missions and I think they did a great job at it. And when you add some hard rock tunes, adult language in communication between the pilots, lots and lots and lots of explosions... And that's what it's really about, isn't it? Thunder Wolves simply never gets to be boring. Not even when you replay the missions to get a better score and get more stars (these serve only for achievements on Steam).


There are 3 difficulty levels but neither is too hard, not even for a casual gamer. That's my only objection to the game, I just wish there was another difficulty level to lift the challenge bar high up and made it nearly impossible to complete. There's a lovely co-op mode that is really fun to play with a friend, but it simply screams for more challenge. 

The game has a total of 20 achievements on Steam: about 5 of them are easy to get and you will achieve them as you progress, while some require some effort. There's this guy named Pedro who hides on each level and if you find and kill him on all 13 - you get an achievement. There are also 25 hidden crates throughout the game and if you find them - you get an achievement. Other achievements are about collecting all stars on all levels and all difficulty levels, ramming 10 enemy vehicles, killing a miniboss by crashing into it etc. Overall, achievements are okay and will not ask you to do the impossible.

What else to say... I really enjoyed playing through Thunder Wolves. It took me about 12 hours to complete the game and get all the achievements and I had a lot of fun with it. With the current Steam summer sale, the price is down to under 4 Euros/USD and it's well worth the money. Have fun with this little jewel!

Final score: 85%

19 June 2014

Fargo Finale!

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! Do not read if you haven't seen the finale!

There it is, the final episode of Fargo has aired and we're done. In my first review of Fargo I said that it's a single season TV show, but I am not so sure any more. There are rumors of season 2 circling around, but nothing's been confirmed yet. Fans already have some ideas about the Sioux Falls incident that's been mentioned a few times in these 10 episodes with Lou (you know, Molly's father... ex cop who owns the diner?) as the main character. That would mean a 1970s setting and would be awesome!

As if this season wasn't awesome itself. I loved it, I enjoyed it from the very first minute to the very last. It's an amazing story of a wolf meets a rabbit then turns a rabbit into a fox who then realizes it's been a monster its whole life. Could you really decide on who's the worse man? Malvo or Lester? They're both ruthless bastards, but at least Malvo is honest with himself. Lester on the other hand is a sneaky little... ugh, I can't find the right word to describe him. Killing his wife may have been a rash decision, something he did in anger that's been accumulating inside him for years. But what he did to his own brother... no excuses there. Some may say it was a desperate move and he was ready to do whatever it takes to save his own skin and get rid of his annoying brother (yeah, he was annoying, but he IS still his brother!). So how about what he did to Linda? Sending her to death just like that!? Lester, we all hated you after that episode and you got what you deserved.

The good guys win in Fargo and that is exactly what surprised me the most. I honestly expected something entirely different to happen and that's a big success for this show. Gus got some satisfaction for what's been bothering him for over a year. He was being ripped apart by guilt and he really needed to settle it down. One thing that bothers me is that he got away with murder, but I won't make a fuss about it. Molly also got what she wanted - she's a Chief and we have Bill to thank for it. Good old naive Bill realized who he is at the end and made the best move he could. Good job Saul! I mean Bill, sorry.

I cannot talk about Fargo without mentioning some fantastic acting by just about all the actors in it. Billy Bob was incredibly convincing as Lorne Malvo, his talent for transformation was used numerous times (remember how he pretended to be an innocent preacher?). Martin Freeman as Lester was fantastic (don't forget he's English and had to put an extra effort to do that northern accent), Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine as Lou, Colin Hanks as Gus... But one name stands above all: Allison Tolman as Molly. Allison has been, in my honest opinion, the BEST of them all. She did her role as deputy Solverson so well, she completely overshadowed her more famous colleagues and I hope we get to see more of this fantastic actress in the future.

Overall, Fargo is a fantastic piece of entertainment. The finale may have surprised or even disappointed some, but that's just a thing with finales. I hope they really do end it here and don't go for season 2. And if they do - please do it with a completely different set of characters. There's no need to risk and ruin what's been done.

15 June 2014

FIFA World Cup 2014: Argentina vs Bosnia and Herzegovina

What a day... 18 years since the first appearance in the World Cup qualifications, Bosnia is FINALLY at the final tournament. And in Brazil, a home to five time champions, a country where football is a religion! What are our expectations? Honesty, we are happy we finally got here, the result does not matter. Most of my countrymen actually expect us to go through to the next round by beating Nigeria and Iran, but I don't really care. These players are my heroes no matter what.

So, the debut. Against Argentina and Lionel Messi, world's best footballer ever (in my not so honest opinion). It's gonna be tough, it's gonna be hard. Their attacking force is horrifying, it would make any defense in the world shiver in fear. Ezequiel Lavezzi, Sergio Agüero, Gonzalo Higuaín, Ángel di María and Leo Messi himself. Horrifying I tell ya. They even beat us 2:0 eight months ago in a friendly match in USA. 15 years ago they beat us 5:0 as well, but that was some other time, not worth mentioning. Tonight will be a different game, Bosnia has nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Argentina... They will be under pressure, Bosnia is an underdog and it's always hard to play against such teams. Prediction? I expect Bosnia to lose, I hope for a draw and I pray for a win. Seriously, I cannot be objective enough, who could? We can win for sure, Costa Rica showed us how to do that with their victory over a favorite Uruguay. If they could do it, why couldn't we do the same? After all, our attacking force is world class as well. Edin Džeko, Vedad Ibišević (whom I expect to start at bench tonight), Miralem Pjanić... all world class players that can score multiple goals against any defense. We have fast wingers (Lulić and Hajrović), a brainiac Misimović who can find Džeko's foot blindfolded, one of the best EPL goalkeepers - Asmir Begović... Defense might be our weak spot, but in a defensive setup (which is expected) it will be stronger than usual.

Expected lineup for Bosnia and Herzegovina: Begović, Mujdža, Spahić, Bičakčić, Kolašinac, Bešić, Pjanić, Misimović, Lulić, Hajrović, Džeko.


10 June 2014

Turn, Season 1 Finale!

Don't you just hate Captain Simcoe? I mean... he is such a perfect villain, so perfect you don't even want him to die. He just has to be there so you can have someone to hate with passion. Congratulations to mr. Samuel Roukin for such a brilliant act, you deserve an Emmy award for sure! Along with Peter Dinklage of course, coz there's no one better than Tyrion Lannister!

Turn's season finale was great! Thrilling and exciting, with a hostage situation, military honor (Major Hewlett) and dishonor (who else but Captain Simcoe), a lot of emotion... and a murder with arson at the end. As usual, the good guys pay the most (I really felt sorry for Ensign Baker, I liked that guy) but the fight goes on. There's a lot to look forward for Abe Woodhull and his spy companion(s), although he has a new threat in his way. What will his own wife do now, since she finally has the edge over her husband. It was quite surprising to see her handle things, she didn't really seem capable until the very last few minutes of the season.

Overall, Turn may have been a bit slow during it's 10 episode campaign, but the show has a lot of quality. Not to mention the potential, both historically and literally. I hope it gets renewed for at least one more season, I want to see more of this!

08 June 2014

RoboCop (2014)

If you don't want to read it all:
Score: 3/10
Verdict: It really lacks a story. Only for hardcore fans and/or effects lovers. And worshipers of Samuel L. Jackson!

I don't remember the original RoboCop (1987) much and I don't think I've seen it in the last 20 years or so. It's part of my childhood, and just as 99% of the things we experience as kids - it was awesome! Yeah, as a kid I loved it, I do remember that, but if someone was to ask me about the actual, detailed plot - I cannot really say much. I do remember a dead or near-dead cop, his merge with the machine and the company called OmniCorp; RoboCop's creators turned bad and he had to fight them at the end, but how did they all get to that point and who was the actual bad guy... I guess it was just too long ago. It marked a certain period in cinematography to the point where everyone knew about the movie - not everyone watched it, but everyone knew about it. For some reason I remember the Commodore 64 game a whole lot more than the actual movie. Another rather good memory is the "you're fired" and BAM scene, but I am not sure if that was RoboCop 1 or RoboCop 2.

So here we are in 2014, 27 years after the original. I am not a big fan of remakes (or reboots), but I will never reject a movie based on just that. I've seen the movie last night and... I have mixed feelings. Overall - it's not bad. Whenever I watch a movie at home - it happens late at night and that often means I'd have to fight to stay awake if a movie takes more than 90 or 100 minutes. RoboCop takes 117 and I had no trouble at all. I guess it was fun enough to keep me awake, so that means a lot. However, once it ended I was thinking... what the hell was the actual plot of this movie? There isn't one! Not in a movie kind of way at least. If it was a pilot of a TV show then it would make some sense. As a movie... I am not really satisfied with a 2 hour long film that represents an intro for a possible sequel.

If you are one of those people who watch movies for special effects (shame on you!) then you will be more than satisfied. It's set in the near future (2028 if I am right) where USA is obviously policing the entire world, literally. The scene in Tehran shows excellent CGI in action, while later scenes with RoboCop himself (and his motorcycle) are all well done. I like RoboCop's black armor with red lights, he never looked better! The cast is also extraordinary with one former Batman (Michael Keaton) and one former Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) in main roles. RoboCop himself is played by Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman, mostly known for his role in TV Show The Killing.

To sum it up: RoboCop is fun, but it's missing an important thing - a story! Honestly, a cop becoming a cyborg should not be the main story in this movie, that should be an intro for something bigger. That's why I said that this would be great if it was a pilot for a TV show and there were 9 or 20 more episodes coming in the next 3 or 10 months. This however feels unpolished and rushed. But it was still fun to watch, unlike some other reboots. If you don't mind watching a really long introduction to an unconfirmed trilogy (just guessing!) then you might like this. Oh, I almost forgot - Samuel L. Jackson was awesome. Again. As usual. You just have to love him as a fascist tv host!

05 June 2014

Penny Dreadful

A penny dreadful (also called penny horrible, penny awful, penny number, and penny blood) was a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing one (old) penny. The term, however, soon came to encompass a variety of publications that featured cheap sensational fiction, such as story papers and booklet "libraries". The penny dreadfuls were printed on cheap pulp paper and were aimed primarily at working class adolescents.

Ugh, where to begin... Showtime's latest TV show impressed me after the very first episode (4 episodes have been aired so far, I haven't seen the fourth yet), which does not happen very often. I think the last one that did was The Walking Dead back in 2010. No, wait, it was Game of Thrones in 2011. Yeah, these two. And we all know what these two shows are today. If it's any sign for Penny Dreadful - it sure is a great one.

The show is set in late 19th century London and features some of the most famous horror novels mixed into one. Jack the Ripper seems to be on his killing spree again (but it's probably someone or something else) while the world famous explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) is searching for his daughter Mina (Mina Harker of Bram Stoker's Dracula). He is accompanied by his... friend I guess, the dark and mysterious Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) and his butler, the silent and obviously deadly Sembene (Danny Sapani). The fellowship is soon expanded by the American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, played by Josh Hartnett. During their quest they are relying on autopsy reports of Dr. Frankenstein himself (Harry Treadaway) while Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) hides in shadows, keeping an eye on everything. I am quite sure not everything is revealed yet, so don't be surprised to see a werewolf or Dr. Jekyll sometime soon. Or even Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

As you can see, the cast is quite strong, probably the strongest I have seen in quite a while (for a TV show). The show itself is dark and mysterious. As for how horrific it is - I am really not the best person to be asked. I can't remember the last time I was scared or afraid of anything else but my wife, so really... don't ask me. There are some scenes that some people could call terrifying, I just find them entertaining at best.

Is this show going to rock your world? No idea, but it looks very promising. So promising it's already been renewed for the second season.

02 June 2014


Here it is, the second of two pirate themed TV shows of this year. The first one (Black Sails) was kind of a disappointment that might still redeem itself in the second season, so I was really looking forward to this one. I think I said it in the review of Black Sails - how hard is it to make a good and fun pirate story? Seems like it really is a hard task since... well, this one disappointed me in its pilot just as well.

The story of notorious Blackbeard starts with yet another ship battle. A ship that's carrying a prototype of a navigational device along with its inventor and schematics is under attack and in danger of falling into wrong hands. Ship's physician Tom Lowe (who's actually an assassin on a secret mission to kill Blackbeard himself) decides to destroy the device, burn the schematics and kill the inventor in order to protect it. He is soon captured and taken to the notorious pirate's lair where he is tasked to save the inventor (who happens to be still alive and dying) or be put to death. The inventor dies, but Lowe finds the cypher and memorizes its contents before burning it. With information existing only in his head, Lowe is left alive and used to decode what's left of the burned schematics. Wait, he has the info in his head? Isn't that exactly the same thing as ship schedule in Black Sails which was memorized by John Silver? Coincidence? Quite possible since both shows were filmed at the same time. But it's really... weird. Anyway, he soon learns about a possible plot between the Spanish and pirates and puts his original plan of killing Blackbeard on hold until he can learn more about this new danger.

I liked the dynamics of the show in the first episode. A lot has happened in those 50 minutes: the battle, the capture, death of the inventor, some torture, a brief flashback that explains Lowe's mission. Quite unusual for TV shows nowdays, unfortunately. Still, the story seems to be lacking something to make me wish I could see more episodes as soon as possible. It could just be a slow start (now I feel weird, didn't I just say the show was quite dynamic?) and it will improve over the course of the show. We'll see, I don't want to dismiss a possibly good show just because I didn't really like the pilot.

I can't finish writing this before mentioning John Malkovich as Blackbeard, Yasmine al Massri as Selima El Sharad and Richard Coyle as Tom Lowe. Malkovich alone is worth watching Crossbones, he just cannot disappoint. As for the show... we'll see. There is more than enough time to make this work.