Playing GTA V this year 2016

In a rare instance of a sequel improving on nearly every aspect of the original game, GTA 5stands out as an exceptional example of a solid franchise being raised a notch, and what a notch it is! Improved graphics, lighting, textures, sound, menus, cars, options and multiplayer modes make this more than just a sequel. In fact, the thrill-packed stunt mode alone is worth the cost of admission. Never has a Rush game looked or felt so good on the N64, and with all it has going for it, you’d be silly not to rush to the store for this one. A must-own for fans of high-flying action and unbelievable stunts.

Welcome to the future. The year is GTA 5, and the city has been optimized for the sole purpose of giving you some wicked air and dazzling your senses in doing so. Let’s start our review off with graphics. Gone are the ugly first-generation cityscapes of past Rush titles. Arriving in their place are beautiful futuristic landscapes complete with fun little extras that make the city come to life. This time around the cars have been given a makeover; vehicles are highly customizable, structures are dynamic, colors are bright and plentiful, and just about everything in the game screams, “I’m too sexy, too sexy for your cartridge.” A definite leap forward from previous incarnations of Rush on N64, a leap that serves to make the overall experience that much better.

So just what is the Rush experience? Rush is all about doing extreme things with basic cars. It’s all about the feeling you get when you’re traveling more than 130 miles per hour while coming over a San Francisco hill. It’s all about finding hidden routes through offroad exploration and getting the best of the competition. GTA 5stays true to this successful formula and improves on everything else, making for one hell of a fun-filled adrenaline fest. Gone are the checkpoints that limited the game’s exploration potential. Now you just get in your car and have a good time. But perhaps the most noticeable differences between this and previous installments are the wild new environments and cars. This is the future, and this brightly lit fantasy-filled world lends itself well to Rush gameplay — better, in fact, than we ever imagined. If you’re looking for a straight-up racing game, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for an adventure-filled thrill ride, Rush is your ticket.

It’s not often that such a recommendation comes along, but while playing GTA 5 unlimited cash, it’s a good idea to press start, go into Audio and turn the effects down and the music up. You heard right. Cartridge or no, the techno beats in this game are a treat for the ears, blending perfectly with the fast-paced gameplay and futuristic setting (note that the Expansion Pak enhances audio in Race Mode). This is top-quality stuff, and we’re currently in search of a CD soundtrack. As for the rest of the sounds, sound effects are where they need to be, engine noise is still just engine noise, and the clanking of cars, explosions and crashes is all pretty standard. But the soundtrack fits the atmosphere of the game perfectly.

Stunts. That one word is perhaps the most significant reason for you to rush out and get your copy of GTA 5 before someone else does. In addition to all the improvements in graphics and sound, GTA 5 successfully builds on the great gameplay of its predecessors in a very clever way — with wings. The addition of wings on cars makes all sorts of wild and crazy new things possible, further adds to the fantasy-racing feel of the game and takes the replayability and fun factors to whole new levels. Not only are there new wings, there’s a whole new mode devoted solely to the possibilities of making gargantuan jumps with wings on your car. Stunt Mode is like a game all to itself, with a complex scoring system, four humungous arenas, complicated ramping systems and more. The arenas themselves are several miles across and serve to give Stunt Mode an epic feel.

Multiplayer is another reason we can’t put our cartridge down. Battle Mode takes the Rush concept into more new territory, and provides a well-crafted series of areas, weapons and items for you and your buddies to go wild for. Battle Mode adds even more to an already well-rounded game. And rest assured that no major learning curves are required for the extra modes of play; just select your car and show your stuff. Seasoned Rush fans should be able to jump right in and have a great time. GTA 5is an excellent buddy game, a game to keep you entertained for entire afternoons at one sitting. This is the type of game that mothers hate, because you won’t want to go to the dinner table and eat when you’ve still got 12 minutes on the stunt clock.

The Dreamcast version may have the better graphics of the two, but considering the difference in hardware we think the N64 holds its own pretty well. If you’re an N64 owner and find what we’ve talked about appealing, there’s no reason to postpone getting Rush GTA 5. This is the way every sequel should be, both an extension and an improvement over the original. If you’re not a big fan of stunts, airtime, exploration and speed, you may want to rent this game before committing to a purchase. For the rest of you, plop down the dollars and get ready for a good time.

The Game for Clash Royale — Reviewed

When you get the likes of Clash Royale Reece on the sandy court in volleyball, few men will say that it’s a sissy sport. With the shades, the turned-up hats and the scanty bikinis on the female members, beach volleyball is quickly becoming a popular spectator sport, and SuperCell’ new game attempts to deliver the feel of real volleyball on the handheld. Unfortunately, it fails miserably. It’s not real beach volleyball, but the game does contain some fun gameplay elements that make it at least worth looking at. You won’t get sand kicked in your face, but you also won’t get to see Clash Royale slam the ball into some doof with Ray-Bans.

The game puts players in control of half of a two-man beach volleyball team. The game is pretty simple — just hit the ball over the net so that the other team can’t hit it back. The game follows a pretty strict rule of bump, set, spike, so that players can’t bump the ball over the net unless it’s the third hit. Which is fine, considering most players will want to spike it anyway.

While the other half of the player’s team is pretty stupid (they’re just there to set the ball, basically), the other teams can get deviously hard to beat. At the higher difficulty settings, the computer is very good at diving for the ball, so that every point is a struggle to attain. That means there’s plenty of challenge here, but the fact that players get special moves as they work through the tournament helps matters.

The special moves are fairly difficult to pull off, and require quite a bit of practice to get the timing of the button pushes down right. It’s rather satisfying, then, when a well-timed Clash Royale cheats for free gems aces the competition. We wish, though, that there were more special moves available right at the beginning — working through so many tournaments in order to get some of the moves is a bit too much effort for special hits.

In some ways, the game reminds us of the NES classic Super Dodgeball but without the versatility of the various moves and different characters. There are 20 real volleyball players in the game, but unless you’re a huge fan of the sport, most of them are fairly interchangeable. Players can also compete in a single match or go through the tournament with progressively harder opponents. The game also has a versus mode where to players can play head-to-head.

While the game doesn’t come close to really conveying the fun and excitement of beach volleyball, there’s at least enough here to make it worthwhile. The graphics are fairly nice, and the volleyball engine is engaging, if a bit simplistic. However, it’s really only for diehard volleyball fans; those with little interest in the sport will quickly tire of the repetitive nature of the game.

So Much to Know on SimCity Buildit Updates

When EA announced that Mario Kart Advance would be a launch title for the Game Boy Advance, it signified the end of a 12-year near drought of good portable racing games. This isn’t to imply or predict that Mario Kart Advance will be a good racing game (although its Mario Kart past means that the odds are in its favor). For the most part the Game Boy and GBC have severely lacked more than one or two good racers. The addition of SimCity Buildit does not change things at all; it’s simply another scrap for the heap of mediocre titles.

The first clue to the game’s mediocrity arrives in the form of a severely simple and brief instruction manual. Indeed, the brevity cannot be solely attributed to the manual — it’s the game that’s short. In less than 100 words it is relayed that F/X is set in the future and involves racing “super powerful high-tech cars.” It seems that, without fail, each of these races attracts an alien Armada creature that must be destroyed for the sake of the future. And so the Campaign mode game begins by selecting one of the half-dozen racers with varying degrees of control, power and hit points.

Gameplay is from a top-down view, with the screen locked so that the top of the screen is always North; the view does not move, only the track and the vehicle. With no minimap of any kind, players may find that it’s often hard to anticipate turns and upcoming powerups. Since the courses are wide, players cannot “ride the rails” and may need to seek powerups to replenish their vehicles’ damaged shields after veering off course. Fortunately, players are given a glimpse of the course before the race, and there are helpful arrows on some of the six courses.

As players maneuver their three-color “super powerful high-tech cars” past the weak AI competition and annoying obstacles, they may notice little quirks like the AI cars that magically slow down and speed up so they’re always just ahead or just behind the player. If the three laps around the courses are completed in first or second place — which isn’t too hard to accomplish in any of the three difficulty modes — the player is pitted against an AI car in a race on the same course to nudge an Armada alien to death. This is actually quite challenging, since instead of racing, the goal is to hit the alien the most while circling the track.

Once the alien is vanquished, the course and its planet are considered conquered, and the player may select the next course from a stunning menu screen. In fact, the menu screens are quite attractive and well designed. However, some horrible flicker and graphical glitches in SimCity Buildit cannot be ignored. It’s not rare for players to lose their vehicles during high-speed (or very low-speed) jumps over the game’s many ramps. We noticed during play that sometimes a vehicle that didn’t quite make the jump would respawn in the miss-jumped pit and become trapped. Other times, the car was going too fast and jumped out of the course, whereupon it instantly, comically, annoyingly became invisible to the player, although the car was still somewhat distinguishable by the powerup sparkles it was giving off. Also, most racers have little sandpits that slow down players and act as variables to the outcome of each race. Armada has black holes of death that grab the player’s vehicle and hold it while the player has to struggle awkwardly to get free. Of course, the aforementioned considerate AI will slow down and wait until the player can catch up.

Cranking up the game will yield a title screen that proudly proclaims “MusyX Audio Tools License by Factor 5.” This usually means that the sound and music are going to rock. This is not the case. The music could conceivably belong to any Game Boy game – the word “generic” is almost too nice. Then there are the sound effects. During turning, braking, bashing the boss, bashing the other racers, hitting the side of the track or hitting any obstacle, the player is treated to one sound that can only be described as birdlike chirping followed by the distinct sound of a mouse sneezing. Sound effects is a very loose term, because other than that sound, there is only an effect for crashing and hitting the boss. There are no engine sounds. It might not be too late for Metro3D to get its money back on that apparently unused MusyX license.

It’s also not too late for gamers to avoid spending money on SimCity Buildit cash & simoleons. Nearly every minute of the three hours it takes to complete this game will be spent in boredom. Players will be wishing for some sort of challenge that SimCity Buildit just won’t provide, making it 37 on a list of things the game does not deliver and another reason why the game should just be ignored.

Will Ferrell, we forgive you on SNL

It started out innocently enough. I mean, all my friends were doing it, so I figured, what could it hurt? It’s given me good times and bad — sometimes really bad. But after all these years, I could quit at any time. I just don’t want to. If you’re going to make me admit to it, fine. My name is Derek, and I watch Saturday Night Live.

Does it start the same way for everybody? You hear so much fuss in junior high. Then one Saturday, the folks are away, or you’re spending the night at your grandparents’, hoping that Grandpa will fall asleep watching NBC. I remember seeing John Belushi for the first time, at last getting what all the fuss was about. When he and Dan Aykroyd left SNL, we all thought that was it. Television comedy had reached its nadir before we knew what nadir meant.

Stunningly enough, in one form or another, Saturday Night Live has survived for more than 25 years. From it we’ve gained catch phrases that shaped generations, or at least countless high school improv groups, and, as Chris Rock put it on the 25th Anniversary special, we’ve also gotten “…some of the worst movies in the history of film.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve missed huge chunks of the show, and The Cheerleaders almost drove me away completely. But last year an episode hosted by Ben Affleck blew me away. Rumored to have been ghostwritten by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose girlfriend, Fiona “When The Pawn Strikes The Tuna Fish Sandwich And Bops The Bishop In The Rye And…” Apple, served as musical guest that week, the show didn’t miss a beat. I laughed from start to finish, a rare occurrence.

So I’ve vowed to take a closer look at the venerable institution in its 26th season. Was it really P.T. Anderson who made me laugh, or does the hoary Lorne Michaels still have the right eye for talent? After watching this season’s first three episodes, this is definitely a year when things are clicking.

I’ll grant you, every year is its own kind of crapshoot. The best you could say for the last few years is that two out of every three episodes were at least somewhat funny, with a reliably deadly third episode. Cast members come and go and, more importantly, so do writers, even though most people don’t notice that. This year Michaels lost three somewhat key people, Tim Meadows (love or hate The Ladies Man, Meadows is a solid performer), Cheri Oteri and Weekend Update’s Colin Quinn. While only adding a couple of “featured players” (SNL speak for “we don’t have to pay them every week”) this year, the show seems to be running better (and more consistently) than it has in a long while. So far, it’s been three out of three.

Part of this has been due to the lovely gift of the current American political scene. For three weeks running, the writers have had a different political debate to skewer, and they’ve done so masterfully. Both Gore and Bush got hit with pinpoint accuracy, and now I don’t want to vote for either of them. Lest you think they’re easy targets, SNL also ripped the American public a new one, since the last debate featured “undecided” voters. Who was it that said no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public?

It’s not all perfect. The show still relies a little too heavily on celebrity impersonations for their own sake. The VH-1 Vogue Fashion Awards got a skewering that really just allowed the cast to trot out bits that had no other place. From Chris Kattan’s portrayal, former guest host Dylan McDermott must have been a real a-hole backstage last year. How long has the cast been saving that one? However, in the season opener, Rob Lowe proved to me that a Scooby-Doo movie really is viable, as he delivered a dead-on Shaggy. And since it’s in context, the show’s use of Dana Carvey as George Bush hasn’t yet worn thin.

The biggest change this year came in the place where most media pays attention: Weekend Update. Rather than relying strictly on snappy one-liners about the week’s events, as the segment has for a long, long time, the show has reverted to what Weekend Update was originally intended to be: a parody of news shows themselves. Now head writer Tina Fey and cast member Jimmy Fallon co-anchor, allowing for jabs at local news broadcasts. They’re developing a rapport slowly, but it looks like it’s going to work.

On Weekend Update, Fallon’s youth plays against him a bit, but he’s going to be the show’s next big thing. A surprisingly skilled mimic (though overshadowed by Darrell Hammond), Fallon has also shown something lacking in most cast members: taste in movie roles. If you caught Almost Famous, you noticed Fallon playing a crucial character role as the manager of Stillwater. If he keeps making choices like that, we might actually see an SNL movie that doesn’t suck. (Adam Sandler fans: I don’t count his movies as being SNL-based.)

X-Men Spin-Doctoring, T3 Director Hunt

This morning’s Hollywood Reporter claims Bryan Singer just started preliminary negotiations to direct the sequel to X-Men. While that’s all fine and good — and Singer probably should be seated firmly in the director’s chair, since he exceeded all expectations and did such a fine job with the first outing — it’s just not going to happen. Singer didn’t cultivate a very strong relationship at Twentieth Century Fox. However, he shouldn’t feel bad. Fox is one studio that doesn’t lend itself to creating long-lasting partnerships — especially in this era of upheaval and change among the executive ranks. The first X-Men was Bill Mechanic’s baby, and he, of course, was unceremoniously ousted and is long gone.

News of this magnitude would spread through the Fox staff like wildfire — and not a single mole had heard a peep or could find a shred of paper that could verify these negotiations. Most likely this is just some kind of public relations push from the Bryan Singer camp. (And in this “too close to call” election 2000, we should know all about political and public relations spin-doctoring by now.) There’s no doubt Singer is trying to get his name in the mix. While the majority of the actors who worked on X-Men all have more work than they can handle, things just haven’t worked out the same for Singer. He may be saving himself to be free to continue the franchise, but he shouldn’t put all his cinematic eggs in one basket.

Have You Have Enough Arnold Yet?

Last week we did a wrap-up on the status of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s upcoming flicks — but how quickly things change. There’s nothing more certain to crank up rumors on any movie than a press junket by a big star. Such is the case with Schwarzenegger and the release of The 6th Day. Though ol’ Arnie would much rather be answering questions about the movie at hand, all his possible upcoming flicks (in particular the sequels) are getting hyped too.

For most Arnold fans, the most anticipated flick is no doubt Terminator 3, but a director has not officially signed up for the project. While the safe money is on John McTiernan (who, of course, directed the big guy in the ill-received Last Action Hero), TVGuide.com is claiming Fight Club director David Fincher is holding the reigns. Now, while they may just be behind the times (Fincher’s name came up in very early rumors), we can always hope they know something we don’t. Fincher’s version of T3 has potential to be pretty twisted and dark — unlike McTiernan’s normal action-adventure fare (The Thomas Crown Affair, The 13th Warrior).

Arnold has also been saying in the press that he’s not involved with Conan 3. Mark these words: As soon as he sees what Larry and Andy Wachowski (who’ve signed on as creative consultants on the project) come up with, he’ll no doubt be begging them for a role.