World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2009/12/19

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Available on D2D

fallout3gotyeditiondatedFallout 3 GOTY edition has been out for a couple of months , and now the game is available on digital distribution sites like Direct2Drive.

I’ve just been playing this recently along with some other games. I started the Point Lookout DLC just yesterday. They say this is the best out of all of them. I’ve also played Operation Anchorage and The Pitt, but that was when I bought the first retail pack with both of them in. This is why I avoided buying the second retail pack, because I was waiting for the GOTY edition.

The Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition includes Fallout 3 as well as all the DLC packs - Operation Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Outlook, and Mothership Zeta.

Ignore the average D2D reader score of 6.6 on the site. It’s a very good deal with practically 6 games in one. The only deal this good was likely the Orange Box years ago.

Each of the DLC packs were originally priced at $10, and with the GOTY edition priced at $49,95 on D2D (slightly cheaper than Steam - by a few cents, lol), you’re basically paying for the DLC packs and getting the original game, Fallout 3, free. The only way you can buy the individual DLC packs online is through Games for Windows Live.

You can still get the retail version of Fallout 3 GOTY edition though, and cheaper too – for the PC at least.

Note: I’m just giving some advice here as regards playing the GOTY edition. It works best with a clean install, and perhaps even with a saved game with an unmodified game if you all ready have Fallout 3 on your PC. You’ll need a patched version of F3 if you don’t use the GOTY edition. If you’ve played any of the DLC packs before, the save games may not work properly if at all, seeing as the DLC packs are essentially reinstalled. I found this out the hard way.

Buy Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition at D2Dicon

 

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Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition Hits Steam


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2009/12/18

The Simpsons and Worms #2: So It’s Come to This

sictt

At one point I posted about an observation I made while watching reruns of old seasons of The Simpsons. What I talked about was that the episode called “Stark Raving Dad” contained several quotes of speech that were used in the game called Worms.

Well, recently I saw another episode of The Simpsons called “So It’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show”, and upon listening to some of the quotes, I also recognised a few that were used in Worms, particularly the part where Homer is teaching Bart to shave, and after nicking himself with the razor several times, he applies aftershave, and afterwards Homer is in excruciating agony, as you can imagine (well, if you’re a man and ever put a whole handful of aftershave on an open cut or two or three). These sounds were split and used individually in the “Simpsons” theme in Worms for the sounds the worms made when falling or tumbling on the ground.

worms_plus

This was also the episode that contained the famous 32 D’ohs in a row clip. This was partially recreated by Jon St. John in a recording session for a Duke Nukem game. He managed about 11.


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2009/12/17

Twenty Years of The Simpsons Today

The Simpsons Logo 2009 On this day, 17 December 1989, the debut episode of The Simpsons aired on Fox. That’s twenty years ago; two decades.

The Simpsons is by far my favourite animated comedy series. Sure, there are others that I’ve seen, like South Park, and even a British series called 2DTV, which I only ever saw one series of – I’m not sure if they made any others, and of course Family Guy, which as far as I know doesn’t show here in S.A., but The Simpsons has been running longer, and most of the time, it’s been better.

I came across an article on Digg, originally from Yahoo news about the twentieth anniversary of the hilarious little program that started off as a Christmas special which grew into an ongoing series, and nowadays a cultural icon. There was a movie made in 2007, and there’ve been games based on The Simpsons and lots of other merchandise too, all featuring Bart (an anagram for brat), Lisa, the irritating feminist-wannabe, Maggie, the eternal baby, Marge, the gravelly-voiced mother with a curious hairdo, and Homer, the highlight of the show, as well as numerous other characters from the series. Marge even appeared in Playboy recently (that’s how hard up Playboy is right now, and has been for the last several years, because of the internet – it has to feed off of The Simpsons’ success). The Simpsons characters have even appeared on US postage stamps – madness.

 
It’s hard to believe it’s been so long. I’ve been watching the program since the early nineties, and right now on Vuzu, channel 123 on DSTV, they’ve been showing all the past episodes of The Simpsons, right from the very first one and then on to the first season and beyond, including one of the more infamous episodes, “Stark Raving Dad”, which featured the voice of the legendary late Michael Jackson.

Many stars have made appearances on the show, with their voices and likenesses, even including politicians and such. At the end of every episode, I usually wait until the end of the credits just to see if it really was Michael Jackson, only to see that it was “John Jay Smith”, which actually turned out to be a pseudonym for the man. I rarely do this with any other program.

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary, there will be a documentary called "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3D on Ice", to be directed by Morgan Spurlock, who made "Super Size Me", and it will air next year – a weird choice of director, but anyway.

Matt Groening, the show’s creator, has said that there may be the possibility of another Simpsons movie in the future.
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Doh! The Simpsons still young and yellow at 20

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091213/ts_afp/entertainmenttelevisionussimpsons_20091213031833


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Rumour: F.E.A.R. 3: Project Hades Possibly Revealed

It seems there’s more on the trail of blood as concerns F.E.A.R.3.

It was initially spotted by Mountain Dew…whoops, I mean Superannuation, like a lot of things, on a CV belonging to one Joel Cueller, an ex-Monolith artist: the title of “Project Hades”.

People have immediately assumed that the name is the subtitle of F.E.A.R. 3. Seeing as it’s in development at Monolith, and that the previous title in the series, F.E.A.R.2 had the subtitle of “Project Origin”, which was originally the actual title (complicated stuff, don’t ask), it’s not hard to see why.

Cueller also worked on F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin and its DLC packs while still at Monolith.

In the F.E.A.R. universe, there are a lot of Projects: Project Origin, Project Icarus, Project Perseus, Project Harbinger, and Project Paragon. So Project Hades must be a new one then.

Add to this the rumours that have been going around about F.E.A.R. 3 over the past few months, and the ending up F.E.A.R.2, and it’s quite clear that even if Project Hades isn’t F.E.A.R.3, that title will most certainly be in the cards for the future.

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin wasn’t a bad game, but it was different somehow, and arguably not as hard hitting as the original. F.E.A.R. was one of 2005’s most anticipated titles, and upon release was named GOTY by some publications and even spawned a series of machinimas in the  P.A.N.I.C.S. series. Project Origin was one 2009’s sleeper hits, and has since faded in to obscurity.

I think they should get someone like Clive Barker in to work on the F.E.A.R. series. He would make that game scary and weird as hell, maybe even more so than the first one. Remember Undying and Jericho?

That’s what it needs to be – scary. That’s what the title, even though it’s an acronym, is supposed to indicate. I seem to remember the replica soldiers, even the weakest ones, in the first game being a lot bigger and scarier than the ones in the sequel.


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2009/12/16

Video Game Deals: PSP and DS Deals at Amazon

PSP

Pinball Heroes: Uncharted [Online Game Code] - $3.99 - Save $36.00

Beaterator [Online Game Code] - $19.99 - Save $20.00

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars [Online Game Code] - $29.99 - Save $10.00

DS

Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story - $25.00 - Save $8.99

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks - $25.00 - Save $8.99

Tony Hawk's Motion - $17.79 - Save $9.80

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http://www.nowinstock.net/


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News: ZeniMax Media Has The Rights to Rage

Day of Reconciliation (SA)

Although that headline may seem as though their planning some horrible sort of revenge on the world (which they might be), it’s actually related to the game Rage, by id Software, currently still in development.

Previously, EA was going to publish the game, but ZeniMax Media recently acquired the publishing rights to the title, and has said that Bethesda Softworks will publish the title when it’s released, hopefully next year.

Earlier this year, ZeniMax bought id Software to add to their stable which includes Fallout 3 developer Bethesda. This was a move that shocked most of the world, or at least the gaming population, seeing as id, up until then, had remained independent for 17 years.

As regards the publishing rights being shifted to Bethesda Softworks, some people have claimed that EA got shafted on the whole deal, and that it was coming for months, but EA claims there are no hard feelings, and wishes them all the best. It’s nothing personal; it’s business.

As Loot Ninja wrote though, why should ZeniMax pay EA, an outside, third party company to publish the title, when they can do it themselves? Initially after the buyout earlier this year, id’s next shooter, Doom 4, was going to be the first game by id published by BethSoft, but now that’s going to change, and Rage will be the first. It will also be the title to debut the id Tech 5 engine. That should mean it will be called the “Rage engine” for some time, and not something else, like the Doom, Quake, Quake II, Quake III, or Doom 3 engine. Damn, that’s also a first.

ZeniMax is going to handle all sales and marketing as regards Rage, and issued a press release with all this information, among it, saying that Rage’s development will be unaffected by this issue.

The game should be out in 2010 on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PS3.


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Got Some More Classic Games on the Weekend

I posted the other day about how I went Christmas shopping and ended up picking up something for myself: Operation Flashpoint GOTY Edition. Well, I went Christmas shopping on the last weekend as well, and went to Musica once again, where I picked up four classics: Thief II: The Metal Age, Deus Ex, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. All of these were between R50 and R70 each.

Right now I’m playing Deus Ex. It’s the first time I’ve played this game in years. Even though the AI, animation, and graphics aren’t that good (even when it was released), it’s still a good story and addictive gameplay that reminds me of System Shock 2.


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2009/12/15

Splinter Cell Conviction: Collector's Edition Available for Preorder

Splinter Cell Conviction has now received a Limited Collector’s Edition.

Ubisoft, the publisher, has confirmed this and the details of the contents of this pack have been revealed too.

The pack will include a Sam Fisher statue, a SteelBook case, a Shadow Armor multiplayer skin and early access to the SC300, SR2 and MP5 weapons.

It will also include access to the Infiltration game mode, and the soundtrack. The Collector’s Edition seems to be for the Xbox 360 only and retails at $69.99 on Amazon, but the standard edition of the game will be released on both Xbox 360 as well as PC.

Splinter Cell: Conviction will be available on February 20, 2010 in Oz, February 23 in the US, and February 26 in Europe.

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Splinter Cell Conviction: Collector's Edition detailed


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Duke Nukem 3D: McClane or McClain? That is the Question

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m all for classic gaming, and right now I’m playing Duke Nukem 3D, complete with the EDuke32 source port, the HRP, and Duke Plus, an probably some other stuff too.

Anyhow, I was watching Die Hard the other night, and I made it my AAA’s choice on Sunday. What does this have to do with Duke Nukem 3D? Well, Die Hard and John McClane were some pretty heavy influences for the game, particularly in the fourth episode called “The Birth”, which came with Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition, where there’s a level called “Pig Sty”. In this level, you’ll come across a plaque with the name “J.McClain” printed on it:

4441_jmcclain

This is a sprite or texture taken from the HRP folder of my Duke 3D setup. J. McClain obviously refers to John McClane from Die Hard, right? But why is the spelling wrong? According to official sources, and wikipedia, it’s spelt “McClane”. I’m not sure whether this was an error by the team at 3DR who made the level and game years ago, or if it’s just a mistake by the HRP guys.

Ah, but I looked it up on 3D Realms’ website, on the walkthrough for this very level, “E4L5”, and it’s written right there:

“This time it's a "J. McClain", which prompts a famous Dukeism borrowed from the original "Die Hard" movie”

And the walkthrough uses the original, unmodified game (possibly a console, non-PC version though), with no high-res textures like the ones that come with the HRP. So the HRP guys - Parkar and Nightfright, last time I checked – were merely copying what had all ready been done except making it look all nice and high-resolutiony (not a real word).

That dukeism referred to is this, by the way. A famous line from Die Hard.

I mean, it crossed my mind that it could have been spelt this way intentionally to avoid a lawsuit or something, but there’s another plaque in the same level that reads “H. Callahan”:

4442_hcallahan

This obviously refers to Harry Callahan from Dirty Harry, but unlike the J. McClain one, this one is spelt properly.

It’s unlikely it was done intentionally seeing as if 3DR wanted to avoid a lawsuit, they wouldn’t have “borrowed” so many lines and ideas from films like the Evil Dead series. It’s quite amazing how much stuff was copied from this series. Bruce Campbell hates Duke Nukem for this very reason.

Just an interesting thing though. Has anyone else ever noticed this?


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Mass Effect 2’s Cast Revealed: Martin Sheen, Seth Green Returns

This is news from last week, but I thought I would post about it. The cast has been revealed for Mass Effect 2.

The cast features a return of Seth Green as the equally irritating Joker, the pilot of the Normandy form the original, as well as Keith David who played Captain Anderson in the original, eventually promoted to Admiral, except he refers to himself as “counsellor”, as he is on the Council.

Martin Sheen makes an appearance in the sequel as “The Illusive Man”, as well as Carrie Anne Moss from The Matrix, and Adam Baldwin – one of the lesser known brothers of Alec Baldwin (who says he’s going to quit acting).

Some other names you may or may not know include Shohreh Aghdashloo, Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, Michael Dorn, and Yvonne Strahovski (the only good thing about Chuck).

It seems that quite a lot of the cast, specifically the new recruits, have had experience in other sci-fi films and series, or perhaps even video games.

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Bioware Reveals Celebrity Cast for Mass Effect 2


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Today’s TV Schedule Highlights, and AAA’s Choice - 15/12/09: Top Gear

Tuesday, 15th of December, 2009

This is a new feature where I run through all the highlights on local TV and Satellite. Some series will make an appearance here everyday, particularly on weekdays. And out of all these highlights, I will feature one as the AAA’s choice of the day. All programs are set out chronologically – as in the order according to the time they appear on TV.

So hopefully for those reading this, there will be less paging through TV guides and so on, which have become increasingly erroneous over the last year or so – particularly the Dish magazine.

While compiling this list, I referred to The Good Weekend, which comes with the Weekend Argus on Saturdays. Only the things that appeal to me or get a rating of at least two or three stars make it on the list.

Note that this is all for local South African TV and DSTV, not international stuff, like what’s showing in the US.

Highlights

Eagle Eye (M-NET at 11:00 AM; stars Shia LeBouef, Billy Bob Thornton)

Ninja Warrior (Animax – Channel 126 on DSTV at 6:15 PM; reruns)

The Simpsons (Vuzu- Channel 123 on DSTV at 6:30 PM; reruns of old series)

AAA’s Choice

Top Gear (BBC Entertainment - Channel 120 on DSTV at 6:30 PM; reruns of old series)

Top Gear originally aired from the late 70s to the early 2000s. From there, a new show which was meant to be the show’s successor, Fifth Gear, started up and quite a few people from the original went over, including Tiff Needell.

But, a year or two later, and Top Gear was revived in what they call “the new format”, or “second coming”, and the legendary, obnoxious, brash, and funny-as-hell Jeremy Clarkson was brought back on as he had been on the original show for more than ten years. James May ended up replacing another person named Jason Dawes from season 1, since James had also been on Top Gear since the late 90s. Richard Hammond was initially the new guy in the series.

Top Gear was brought back to life in 2002 and has since then gone on to be a big thing on TV – so much so that BBC couldn’t make up their minds whether to run it on BBC Entertainment or BBC Knowledge. Entertainment ended up winning the show back although it was on Knowledge for quite some time. The show is very popular in SA. Top Gear even makes a trip here every year or so.

Anyhow, if you like cars and comedy, then don’t miss this. Unfortunately these are old episodes from previous seasons, and the new season finished recently, but there are still a few gems and even some you might not have seen before, if you’re lucky.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (BBC Entertainment - Channel 120 on DSTV at 7:30 PM)

Big Bang Theory (SABC 3 at 7:30 PM)

WWE Afterburn (E-TV at 8:00 PM)

Special Assignment (SABC 3 at 8:30 PM)

Heroes (SABC 3 at 9:00 PM)

The Verge (Vuzu- Channel 123 on DSTV at 9:30 PM)

South Park (Vuzu- Channel 123 on DSTV at 10:00 PM; reruns of old series)

Supernatural (SABC 3 at 10:15 PM)

Sherlock Holmes And The Secret Weapon (E-TV at 01:45 AM)


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2009/12/14

Video Game Deals at Amazon: Modern Warfare 2 for PS3 and Xbox 360

Modern Warfare 2 was one the top selling game of November, and it looks like it’s still at the top of the list. I’ve seen Modern Warfare 2’s price on console drop by a bit lately – by over $12 on PS3. The price for this version is the same as the Xbox 360 one, when you buy it brand new. The used price is a little lower for both. Note that this is the standard edition.


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John Romero Reminisces, Drops Some Doom Trivia

John Romero was the designer on Doom while he was still at id Software, the company he co-founded, back in the nineties.

John often tweets some interesting little titbits, and recently on John’s twitter account he left a few tweets related to Doom, seeing as it was Doom’s 16th birthday recently:

“instead of making Doom, we almost ended up making Aliens instead, after the movie. An hour later we decided not to.”

“It's DOOM's 16 birthday today - Happy Birthday DOOM!
Happy Birthday DOOM!”

“DOOM only cost id Software about $700k to produce in 1993”

There you are, some Doom trivia. I like video game trivia. Don’t you? Maybe John will leave some more Doom tweets this month.

I noticed how Tom Hall didn’t have anything to tweet about Doom. Perhaps he’s bitter, and understandably, seeing as he was fired from id by John Carmack during the development process of Doom. He was the one who made the infamous Doom Bible, the original design document for the game.

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John Romero on Twitter

Tom Hall on Twitter


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Aliens vs. Predator Release Date, Box Art, Collector’s Editions

It’s been confirmed that the latest Aliens vs. Predator title in the famed series will be released on February 19, 2010, in Europe.

In addition to this the box art has been unveiled for the game, and like Modern Warfare 2, the game comes in three different editions: Standard, Survivor, and Hunter. The good news is that these special editions are for all platforms- PC, PS3, and 360.

Aliens_vs._Predatorl Aliens_vs._Predator-PC

What’s in  these editions:

The Survivor Edition: comes in a steel case and features a code for downloadable multiplayer maps.

The Hunter Edition: everything the Survivor Edition has, as well as a posable facehugger model, a Weyland Yutani sleeve badge and a 3D lenticular postcard.

The box art is quite good – very green as D’toid mentioned, keeping with the theme of the game which in my experience features a lot of green. Green night vision, green acid blood from the Aliens, and bright green blood from the Predators.

In related news, the game was banned in Australia.

You can preorder the games here, here, and here.

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http://www.mcvuk.com/news/36822/Aliens-Vs-Predator-dated

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/51952/Aliens-vs-Predator-PC-Box-Art


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2009/12/13

Duke Nukem Wishes you a Merry Christmas

On a Duke Nukem Facebook page, there was recently a Christmas card posted up that reads “There is always room for one more present under my tree”. As you can see, the picture has Duke holding a shotgun, standing in the middle of four chicks with Christmas gear on. Very erotic.

image

This doesn’t look like the Facebook page started by Scott Miller as the language on the page certainly isn’t English. The card isn’t related to the D-Day album, which so far consists of one photo, but Critical Mass, part of Duke Nukem Trilogy for PSP and DS.

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http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2980384&id=186028571601

http://www.duke4.net/comment.php?comment.news.324


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Video Games Coming Out This Week, 13/12/09 – 19/12/09: Not much

Well, this week continues the dry spell we’ve been having so far. Not many big titles or anything that I’ve been looking forward to this year.

Seeing as this is more of a downloadable game’s week, I’m not searching and linking to all the game pages. In fact, I’m considering only doing this for highlights or else just certain titles on the list in future, as it’s too time-consuming.

PC

Brukkon
EverQuest Underfoot
Europa Universalis III: Heir to the Throne Expansion (GamersGate)
Manga Fighter Season 2
Twin Sector

Mac

Brukkon

PlayStation 3

Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle - Episode 1 (PlayStation Network)

Xbox 360

Alien Breed Evolution: Episode 1 (Xbox Live Arcade)
Konami Classics Vol.1
Konami Classics Vol.2

Nintendo Wii

Blaster Master
Diatomic
Playmobil Circus
Rubik's Puzzle Galaxy: RUSH

Nintendo DS

Playmobil: Pirates
Reader Rabbit Kindergarten

iPhone

Split Worlds

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http://www.shacknews.com/

http://www.gamespot.com/


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Today’s TV Schedule Highlights, and AAA’s Choice: Die Hard

Sunday, 13th of December, 2009

Highlights:

WWE Pay-Per-View: Survivor Series  (E-TV at 12:45 PM)

WWE Raw (E-TV at 5:00 PM)

Carte Blanche: Christmas Special (M-NET at 7:00 PM)

Demolition Man (SABC 1 at (8:00 PM; Stars Sylvester Stallone, Sandra Bullock, Wesley Snipes)

Quantum of Solace (M-Net at 8:00 PM; Stars Daniel Craig)

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diehard Die Hard (E-TV at 8:00 PM; Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman)

( AAA’s Choice)

Locally, tonight on E-TV at 8:00 PM, they’re showing the first Die Hard. In my opinion this is the best in the series. I just watched Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free or Die Hard) the other night on DSTV, and although it’s not bad, I still like the first movie best.

Bruce Willis (when he still had a little hair) plays John McClane, an NYPD police officer who travels to Los Angeles, to the Nakatomi Plaza to visit his wife, who John finds has reverted to her maiden name, Genero, during their separation after marital difficulties.

While John is at the plaza, terrorists storm the building and take the employees ay a Christmas party hostage. The terrorists are led be Hans Gruber (brilliantly played by Alan Rickman). Cue John McClane who, without backup, takes on the terrorists.

It’s nail-biting, bloody fun, and the perfect holiday film, topped with a Christmas theme. But it’s not your typical Christmassy film, so if you’re tired of the usual slushy rubbish that shows at this time of year, then you’ll enjoy this for sure. Over twenty years later and this is still one of the best action films ever made.

Movie Rating: 4/5

2813281328132813 

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Pearl Harbor (SABC 1 at 10:00 PM; Stars: John Hartnett, Ben Affleck)

Bonnie And Clyde (SABC 3 at 10:00 PM; Stars: Warren Bearry, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman)

Sixteen Candles (E-TV at 10:40 PM; Stars John Cusack)

Death Defying Acts (M-Net at 10:55 PM; stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Guy Pierce)


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What does AAA stand for?

It's not an abbreviation of anything. It just means the best of the best... 

"Well, now you know the truth: Apocalypso's Atomic Arcade!"

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