Vic B’Stard’s week in review: miCoach, chick-flicks, Titanic 3D, PES 2012, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Assassin’s Creed 3!

Vic B'Stard
Busy week!

What a week it has been. After a few month unpacking as sorting out things Sydney-side, I’m back into games and other geekery. I’ve been reviewing, getting exclusive game hands-on, watching movies and getting excited about the upcoming EB Games Expo in Sydney.

For starters I turned in my review for adidas’ miCoach. A title that is the bane of spellcheckers, everywhere. It’s more Kinect fodder, which means more arm waving, pseudo-fittness, training.

miCoachis aimed towards the dedicated fitness fan wishing to enhance their abilities at specific sports. miCoach is also a deadly serious affair, featuring live-action video lessons/encouragement from a variety of sports celebrities that I probably should have heard of, but haven’t. Thankfully Wikipedia more than made up for my complete lack of interest of anything or anyone sport related. As serious as the sports-persons were, I was put somewhat at ease by the fact that is was pretty clear from their wooden, autocue reading performance that they speak scripted lines about as often as I do exercise.

Serious excercise

adidas miCoach for the Xbox 360 integrates seamlessly with all adidas’ other miCoach branded guff to provide a thorough fitness programme for the serious sports-fan. For the rest of us there’s Microsoft/Rare’s Kinect Sports. Check out my review on the Game Console pages of here.

I watched a movie; what I would call a chick flick, except it starred Captain Kirk and Catwoman.  People like us stars Trek actor, Chris Pine, Batman’s Michelle Pfeiffer and Elizabeth (in-every-film-out there-at-the-moment) Banks. It’s probably the only film where Catwoman gets the opportunity to slap Kirk in the face.

Captain Kirk, Elizabeth Banks and some kid

The film is from frequent sci-fi collaborators Alex Kurtman (director and co-writer) and Robert Orci (writer) of Nu Star Trek, Mission Impossible, Transformers and Fringe, and just about every other science fiction film/TV show. In a break from their usual genre, Kurtman and Orci have crafted a rather touching tale about what it is to be family. After his father’s death the self obsessed and debt-ridden Sam (Pine), finds out that he has a half-sister. Sam’s sister, Frankie (Banks) turns out out be a struggling, alcoholic single-mum. Whilst Sam hated his father for being there,  Frankie longed to be with the father that abandoned her.  Michelle Pfeifer puts in a decent turn as Sam’s long-suffering mother and, genre-favorite, Olivia (in-almost-every-movie-out-there-at-the-moment) Wilde portrays Sam’s girlfriend-come-conscience, Hannah.

Is the movie going to win any Oscars? No. But it is a chick-flick that guys can watch without feeling the need to vomit. Saying that, guys, if by the end of the the movie People like us doesn’t get to you then you are a truly emotionless bastard.  If you have to watch a chick-flick with the misses, you could do a lot worse.

In 3D Kate Winslet’s hat’ll have your eye out!

My love affair with stereoscopic 3D was further sated this week by the blu-ray release of James Cameron’s Titanic 3D. Whilst I’m not usually a fan of 3D conversions (and not overly impressed by the 3D  in the likes of Thor, Captain America or The Avengers), this is something different. With Cameron being Mr 3D, the last thing he wants to see is a shit conversions of one of his films.

Titanic 3D gave me the perfect reason to take another look at a modern cinematic masterpiece and at the same time enjoy a 3D conversion as they should all be. Seeing the wreak of Titanic emerge from the murk in 3D is something special indeed. The third dimension makes am incredible film breath-taking.

As well as the movie, the 3D blu-ray comes with two new docos, one with a panel of experts (including director Cameron, himself) re-examining the crash site to piece together exactly what happened and retrospective documentary on the making of the Titanic movie. The 3D version of the film comes on two discs, with separate disc for the 2D version and another disc with the special features. Worth every penny, if you ask me.

Next up for me, on the game reviews front, it was time for a bit of football. Those nice folks at Mindscape have sent over a copy of Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 for me to kick about. Up until last year I’d have said that I was 100% FIFA, but whilst reviewing PES 2012I realised that there was more than just EA’s (admittedly brilliant) franchise to choose from.

It’s FOOTBALL, not “soccer”, Konami!

This year Konami have upped the ante once more with a football game that can be both played using the basic high/low/shoot buttons or with an amazing amount of finger blistering combo moves that’d put the likes of Tekken to shame. A great game for novices and loads of depth for experienced players. I feel that it is the intermediate players that are going find it difficult; the basic game being too easy and the pro game having a punishing learning curve. Look out for my full review soon.

Looks like Most Wanted, smells like Burnout!

EA Games in Sydney invited me over to try out the multiplayer mode of their upcoming Need for Speed: Most Wanted game. This is the second Need For Speed from British developers, Criterion (of Burnout fame). I got to try out a number of multiplayer events in a game, that bears more than a passing resemblance to Criterion’s own Burnout Paradise. I also got to have a go on the iPad version Need for Speed: Most Wanted and was suitably impressed. Check out my full report on the Game Console pages of here and here.

Assassin’s Creed 3: “I see ships!”

I also got a go on Assassin’s Creed 3 courtesy of Ubisoft Australia (with a bit of help from Fiveight in NZ) at a special press event held on the Sydney waterfront. Assassin’s Creed 3’s associate producer, Julien Laferrière, and mission director, Philippe Bergeron were on hand to introduce the game. I had a lot of fun with the game, which looks and plays fantastic. I’m currently putting the finishing touches to my writeup of the event, so look out for that.

Next week its the EB Games Expo at the Sydney Olympic Showground which promises to be action packed and hugely oversubscribed. Nevertheless, I’ll be pushing through the crowds to get the juicy details from Australia’s biggest gaming event EVER! The EB Games Expo is on from 7th-9th October. For further details and ticket information, check out the website, here.

Vic out.