Mar 302012
 

Publisher:Kongregate.com

Developer: Armor Games

System: Web Browser

Length: Long or Short Depending on Skill

Release Date: 6/19/2008

Website: Indestructo Tank!

Type: War, Tank, Skill

Cast: Indestructo Tank, Helicopters, Miners, and Planes

Synopsis: The enemy helicopters, tracked vehicles and planes are coming to bomb you! One thing they didn’t count on was your tank being indestructible! When they drop their bombs, you are thrown in the air and hit as many enemy vehicles as you can before your fuel runs out!

Analysis:A few years ago, I played the game Garry’s Mod or Gmod for short. It is a physics sandbox game and is so complicated that it required the creation of tutorials and discussion on many forum sites. My favorite site was called Tricky’s Tutorials and on it I wasted much time  and developed many friends.

The owner Tricky added this game to the arcade on the site and once I found it, I could not stop playing it until I had beat the high score. It took quite about a week to get pretty good at it and I had fun doing so. This game is pretty simple, but there is and element strategy. As you pass a level you can increase the frequency of the enemy vehicles and there are a few that actually hinder your progress, I learned that the hard way!

Pro:

  • Mindless fun.
  • Long chains of explosions.
  • Addictive.

Con:

  • Surprisingly high graphics load.
  • Music can be monotonous.

Conclusion: Fun game and very easy to pick up. Good for a Friday afternoon when you are stuck at work, have nothing to do and are waiting for 5:00 to hurry up and arrive!

Bonus Tip: Don’t buy very many Homer planes because they keep you in the air for too long!

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

2

Story

2

Upgrades?

3

Replay Value?

5

Average

3

 

 

Mar 292012
 

Director: Steve James

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 106 Minutes

Release Date: 1/24/1997

Genre: Sports, Biography, Historical, Running

Cast: Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto ), Bill Bowerman (R. Lee Ermey ), Bill Dellinger (Ed O’Neill ), Pat Tyson (Breckin Meyer ), Elfriede Prefontaine (Lindsay Crouse ), Nancy Alleman (Amy Locane ), Elaine Finley (Laurel Holloman ), Mac Wilkins (Brian McGovern ), Curtis Cunningham (Kurtwood Smith )

Synopsis: Biopic of Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto ), an up and coming Oregonian distance runner in the 1970s. He is an impressive collegiate runner, that competes in the ill-fated 1972 Munich Olympics. Despite being in the lead until nearly the end of his last race, pushes himself too hard, is passed and does not win a medal. In 1975, as he is training to make his comeback and compete in the 1976 Olympics he is killed in a car accident.

Analysis: Before I had seen Prefontaine, I often heard his last name without any context except for it being related to running. For some reason I assumed that it was related to a time before Fontaine.

I was never very physical during high school or college, but over the past few years I have taken up running as my main method of exercise. I have always been a pretty slow runner and am easily discouraged. One day, I randomly caught Prefontaine when it was on HBO.  As I watched it, the life of Steve Prefontaine really touched me. Even though his life story is a tragedy in the end, the aggressiveness of his running and the attitude that the only way he would give up is if his body physically would not let him go another inch has really helped my attitude towards being discouraged in things I do.

As for running, I am only marginally faster, but I have a much better attitude for when I am getting mentally tired and will often be able to go much farther!

Pro:

  • Always makes me want to run.
  • Some of the outdoor running locations are beautiful.
  • The soundtrack is great including “Baba O’Riley” by The Who and “Crosstown Traffic “ by Jimi Hendrix.
  • The sadness after the terrorist attack at Munich was very moving.
  • Reenactment of film of running events is very well done.

Con:

  • The film is a bit choppy at times when long periods of time are skipped over.
  • When the actors are being interviewed in documentary style, it might have been nice to have the real people instead.
  • I would have liked to see more viewpoints from Prefontaine’s competitors.

Conclusion: This movie is very inspiring and sad. It is one of the only movies that it is alright for a guy to cry during, but he really should also have a bowl of onions to chop nearby in case anyone catches him!

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

3

Story

3

Special Effects

3

Would Watch Again?

5

Average

3.5

 

Mar 282012
 

Author: Larry Niven

Pages: 342

Publisher: Del Ray Books

Release Date: 10/1/1970

Genre: Science Fiction

Characters:

Louis Wu- A 200 year old human adventurer.

Nessus- He is from an alien race called Pierson’s Puppeteers. His cowardly race considers him insane because he is less cowardly than the rest of them.

Teela Brown- Phenomenally lucky young human, yet very naive.

Speaker to Animals- Part of warrior race called Kzin. He is a large dangerous humanoid tiger.

Synopsis: In the year 2850, Louis Wu, Teela Brown, Speaker-to-Animals and Nessus travel to a massive alien artifact, the Ringworld, a vast ring with a habitable surface area of 300 million Earths. After their ship is nearly destroyed by robotic defense mechanisms, they begin to search the structure and meet the inhabitants. Despite being far away from human space, the inhabitants are human, but their culture has suffered a huge cataclysm. The group of adventurers attempt to uncover the mysteries of the Ringworld and find a way to get home.

Analysis: Larry Niven has created a great classic science fiction adventure with interesting and unique characters. I’d say that one of the few drawbacks is that the Ringworld is so vast and complex that this novel only explores a very small part of it. Actually even after 3 sequels, it seems like there is much more to learn. It is part of his Known Space universe and this is just a small part of the more than a dozen novels and more short stories.

Pro:

  • Based on the Dyson Sphere, the ring is a unique compromise.
  • The Pierson’s Puppeter is an interesting creature. Engineers other creatures to make more safe.
  • Teela’s power is very interesting.

Con:

  • I have yet to hear a good reason why Kzin would look like a humanoid tiger.
  • The book too short!

Conclusion: This is a great book and is part of a great series. It is 4th time I have read it over the past 20 years and I highly recommend it to anyone that is a fan of classic science fiction.

Trivia: Over the years, the unique structure of the Ringworld has caused much debate and speculation about the real physics surrounding it and its construction.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

4

Plot

4

Imagery

4

Read Again?

5

Average

4.25