Saturday, December 20, 2008


Review coming soon.


Dark Knight is easily the best Blu Ray of 2008. This direct sequel to the previous Christian Bale Batman saga should be purchased immediately as it is great enough to transcend it's genre; this is not just a great superhero movie, it's a great movie.

The story picks up shortly after the previous film. Gotham's crime bosses are "on the ropes" due to Batman. The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger (The Patriot, Ten Things I Hate About You), convinces the bosses to hire him to kill Batman. The film pits Batman and Commissioner Gordon against the Joker in an epic that keeps you thrilled from beginning to end.

Ledger is the star of this thrill ride. His portrayal of the Joker is different from anything Batman fans have seen. This is not the goofy, always attempting to be funny, weakling that has plagued Batman for decades. Ledger successfully transforms the character into a formidable and psychotic terrorist type. Ledger deserves an award for his outstanding portrayal of such a dark character.

This is the time we would normally list the criticisms of a movie. That's easy here because we have none. This title, which looks phenomenal on Blu Ray, should be purchased as soon as possible.

Grade: 10 Click here to buy the Dark Knight on Blu Ray. The Dark Knight (+ Digital Copy and BD Live) [Blu-ray]

Copyright © Chopping Block Reviews 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008


You know a game is good when you never feel a desire to stop playing it. This is the case with MK vs. DC Universe. This excellent fighting game provides many different quality modes and is a great bang for your buck. If you enjoy fighting games then you can't go wrong with this title.

This game provides the tight combat action we've come to expect from the MK series. The integration of the DC Universe provides a fresh feel to the series though. The developer has done a great job of making all the characters evenly matched while giving each a feel that you would expect (i.e. Captain Marvel and Joker are equally matched even though Captain Marvel feels like an unstoppable wrecking ball while Joker feels like a weakling). The game's story mode is quite good (although too short and not flushed out enough). Throw in the training and arcade modes (of which the arcade mode provides several unlockables), along with the outstanding online action, and you have a title that will keep you busy for quite a while.

MK looks outstanding and the sound is also great. The controls are tight and provided us with no problems in 20+ hours of game play. There is little to complain about in terms of the title's technical aspects.

A few criticisms can be levied against this title. The game does lack some save features; you can't go back to a particular point of the story mode and can't save progress in the arcade mode. Also, as mentioned previously, the story mode is pretty short and could have been developed more. These issues really seem like they could have been addressed rather easily.

It's hard to go wrong with Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, despite it's few flaws. If you are a fan of fighting titles then you should pick this game up.

Grade: 9.0

Copyright © Chopping Block Reviews 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Haze is a Play Station 3 shooter which received a fair amount of hype during it's development. The game's attempts to do new things simply fall short. The game undeveloped story, poor AI, mediocre graphics, and lack of follow through will leave you greatly disappointed.

You begin Haze as a soldier for the Mantel Corporation. The soldiers of Mantel, who are fighting against some type of rebellion, are being controlled by a drug called Nectar. Nectar causes your soldier to not see the world as it is. During the game, your character switches sides to the rebels and you see the world as it really is. The plot of a drug controlled army had great potential. Unfortunately, the plot is very undeveloped. This lack of development, along with the cheesey dialogue, leaves this game feel like some type of B level movie.

The game play in Haze is much like the story. There is potential but it is never developed. The enemy AI is poor. There were several times when we got quite close to an enemy, who was hiding behind cover, and he did not activate until we started shooting. The AI, when activated, does little more than pop up from behind cover or rush right at you. Also, the level design is a bit of a mess. These issues are disappointing when you consider how long this game was in development.

Haze does not impress from a technical standpoint. While this game looks like a current-gen title, it simply lacks the textures and polish of many other recent titles. This lack of finish is everywhere from the character and weapon models to the environments.

It's hard to justify purchasing Haze when there are so many other quality shooters out there. If you tend to only play the big title shooters, you don't want Haze. If you also play a lot of the second tier shooters, then a game like Time Shift is a better option.

Grade: 5.5 Click here to buy Haze on Amazon. Haze

Copyright © Chopping Block Reviews 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is the definitive title for the Play Station 3. You play this third-person title as a treasure hunter named Nathan Drake. Nathan is a descendant of the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake. You, a blond reporter, and a fellow treasure hunter spend the 9-10 hour campaign on an island searching for treasure originally sought by Sir Francis. This game is not simply a modern version of Tomb Raider; it does an amazing job of mixing platforming, puzzle solving, and gun play. Throw in a Gears of War-style cover system, and one of the best pieces of video game story-telling ever, and you have an instant classic.

You'll spend the game going through beautiful jungles, underground caverns, as well as ancient ruins. The game play never gets old due to the constant changing of pace; you go from exploring/puzzle solving to tactical shooting to pure run and gun action. In addition to these changes, the game throws in some great vehicle sequences to break up the action. Wrapped around all this is an incredible story; you will feel as if you are inside an Indiana Jones movie. The achievements and unlockables, along with the fact that there are so many ways to play through this game, guarantee you will want to play the campaign more than once.

Drake's Fortune is quite the technological achievement. This is one of the best looking games ever made. The level of detail and sound quality rivals the cinematic experience of Bio Shock. The video clips we've included do not do justice to this title; you need to experience it for yourself.

If you are looking for flaws in this title (and you have to look hard) one could nit-pick over the camera not being perfect in a few of the jumping sequences. The fact of the matter, however, is that this title comes as close to perfection as anything else of late.

We could go on for several pages about this title without even scratching the surface as to how great it is. Much like the Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, this action/adventure title does not fit within any one genre classification as it merges different aspects of several genres into one complete package. Buy this game if you do not own it. If you do not own a PS3, this title justifies purchasing one.

Grade: 9.9 Click here to buy Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on Amazon. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Copyright © Chopping Block Reviews 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008


Ubisoft has reported a 32% increase in sales for the first half of its 2008-09 fiscal year. Interestingly, the company cited a growth in "casual game" sales for a chunk of this growth. The company believes that second half growth will remain strong, in part due to sales of Far Cry 2 which sold one million units in less than its first three weeks.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull picks up the adventures of Indiana in the mid-1950's. While other classic franchises, such as Rambo, Rocky, and Star Trek are being brought back with certain success, this film simply falls short.

The story starts off early with Indiana matching wits against the Russians. The plot quickly evolves into a search for the Crystal Skull, which is believed to be an important artifact from a lost city. The Russians are also searching for the skull as they believe it will provide them with the key to developing mind-control weaponry. It later becomes apparent that the skull is actually the remains of a dead inter-dimensional creature and the story morphs into a B-movie type science fiction affair.

The film is a large departure from prior Indiana Jones movies and feels like a second-tier sci-fi flick. There is no engrossing story, as in the prior films, and Harrison Ford looks his age but is still trying to play the rough and tumble character of Indiana Jones. Furthermore, even though movie technology has progressed greatly since the last film, the movie feels as if it's on a smaller scale than the prior installments.

This film may be worth renting (and not purchasing) if you are a fan of the franchise. Other than that, however, you have far better viewing options.

Grade: 5.5

Click here to buy Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on Amazon. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Single Disc)

Copyright © Chopping Block Reviews 2008