Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Media Review

 

 



Gaming: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword
(Nintendo DS)
After a day or so I'm on Level Five of this interesting little game, and I have to say that my wrist is hurting a bit.

 



Gaming: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword
(Nintendo DS)
After a day or so I'm on Level Five of this interesting little game, and I have to say that my wrist is hurting a bit. The plot is familiar to fans of Japanese game storytelling in its paradoxical simplicity and incomprehensibility with something about dragons, swords, and ninjas. The possible links to other games in the series I haven't played might have something to do with my lack of understanding, but it sure feels like the narrative weirdness I've come to expect from the land of Manga and Anime. This being said, I'm enjoying the frantic pace of combat and haven't been frustrated for long enough by any puzzle or boss battle enough to put the game down for more than a few hours at a time. One thing came close, but once I figured out that you really had to yell into the game system's microphone to wake someone up I was grinning rather than thinking it was dumb. The game is played with the system held like an open book and uses the stylus/touch screen combo for all the controls including slashing back and forth over enemies to attack and tapping symbols and tracing kanjii to activate magic. So far it's been a lot of fun and I recommend it if you don't have arthritis. 82/100

New on DVD: The Natural (Director's Cut)
It's hard to believe, but the Robert Redford baseball movie, The Natural is almost 25 years old. Also hard to imagine is that baseball movies weren't really popular before it. Sure, there were older classics like The Pride of The Yankees, but the explosion of baseball movies as solid box-office successes didn't happen until after Barry Levinson's period masterpiece. I missed the 2-disc director's cut when it was released last year, but I noticed it in the store recently and as it's the beginning of baseball season and I'm a fan of the game I thought I'd pick it up an give it a watch, as I hadn't seen the movie front to back since the 1980s. The changes are mostly in the first third of the movie, but honestly I don't remember the original well enough to be able to compare. There's a director's introduction that explains the changes, and I just had to take it for granted. The acting is superb throughout and lifts the movie over its more sentimental and obvious nature. Essentially it's cinematic comfort food. The bonus features on the second disc are fascinating and rich, detailing the movie's development from the original novel all the way to the making of the film. Also many of the real-life inspirations and coincidental parallels are explored. It's a great package for lovers of the movie and of baseball in general. 87/100

TV: Lewis Black's Root of All Evil
So my wrist is really hurting from that damn video game. So I'll make this really short.
It's very funny. Watch it. 90/100.
Talk to me! fred@columbiacitypaper.com
-Fred Richardson

 

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