Thursday, February 28, 2008



"Havana, 2009. Castro is dead, and Cuba reels from a power vacuum. The Ghosts - an elite team of U.S. Army Green Berets - are deployed. Their mission: halt the drug-funded warlord from sabotaging the island republic's first free elections in decades."

- From the box of Ghost Recon: Island Thunder

PLN is taking a break from the rough and tumble work of covering the news in an even and honest manner to bring you our first PLN Video Game Review. This time around we're heading into the vaults to review Tom Clancy's GHOST RECON 2: ISLAND THUNDER for the XBOX.

As promised, Ghost Recon delivers the ultimate jungle warfare experience. As the instruction manual states, "Fidel Castro's heirs have been unable to keep the fire of his revolution burning, and a popular uprising has toppled the communist regime." To counteract those who wish to irresponsibly impose their political will through "subversion, violence, and open revolution" the Ghosts are called in.


Somebody order some Democracy?

Stated simply - the Ghosts are a group of patriotic fire-brands with the tools and talent enough to get the job done in Cuba with or without the help of congress, administrational oversight, or air support. These elite warriors are freedom fighting super men armed with the sweetest US-made war technology you've never dreamed existed. Ooooh, to hear these machine guns pop off as some punk tries to defend his tobacco plantation in the name of anti-democracy is enough to make me wish that either myself, or my grandchildren will someday experience the thrill of liberating Cuba. Just hearing the words "enemy down" come through the speaker sends a chill up my spine and the peace of mind knowing that the struggle for freedom burns inside those who actually fight the wars and those who experience combat in the comfort of their own homes.

It all begins with a beautiful cinematic tribute to the tropical glory of Cuba's coastline as the Ghosts arrive on shore. As these seasoned contractors and soldiers alike admire the majestic beauty of Cuba's newly liberated foliage they begin to take enemy fire. Not a likely scenario, but since it's a video game I'll suspend my disbelief.

Look at the background details!
That's one of Cuba's 2,362 cars.

Even the top notch cinematics are no match for the accurate and awe inspiring game environments. The amount of God's glory tossed out on this island makes this gamer wonder why it hasn't been a part of the United States all along. Not long after you're stunned by the games depiction of Cuba's splendor, filthiness, and possibilities for tourist megabucks, your mission begins.

Mission: Kick ass and take names...or not. The discovery you soon make is that Cuba cannot be liberated enough. There are initially 18 tasks in Ghost Recon, but the completion of them unlocks more content, more liberation. War is a game of inches and these underarmed, scrappy insurgents won't give them up without at least pretending they hate Freedom. The great thing about being an American soldier is that our weaponry so much out-blasts the tinker toys the Cubans have. It's almost as if they're using the same guns Oswald killed Kennedy with. Makes you think.

As a soldier, you're told not too get to close. Don't become too attached. You never know who's going to make it back. However, one member of my Bravo Team has turned out to be my favorite of the whole elite Ghost Squadron. His name is Shawn Cressler. He's a thick, tough, go-getter who is willing to to what it takes in order that the kill is made and the team gets home safely. If we got back to the States, I'd for sure call him up and go for a beer at least once or twice a year. We'd tell stories and watch each others kids grow up in the name of Freedom. That's how in-depth Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is. I'm crying as I write this review.

Just like being there!

The only drawback to Ghost Recon: Island Thunder is the suspicious fact that the voice over of your commanding superior officer sounds exactly like insurgent Presidential candidate Barrack Hussein Obama. Maybe it's time for the games developer Ubi Soft to do a quick sweep of their work force.

If you have and XBOX or XBOX 360, you've got to get this game! It's available USED at most Game Stop and EB Games stores for only $3.99!

Play the game. Learn the mission. Execute.

I give Ghost Recon: Island Thunder a...

A+ out of 5!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008



One hundred percent of the Cuban population flooded the "streets" in order to celebrate the resignation and even more imminent death of American enemy Fidel Castro this week. Those hoping that the power shift would result in positive economic change had their hopes double-dashed as Raul C. Castro wrestled power away from the Cuban people once again with a promise to consult Fidel on all major decisions. A puppet Parliament approved the re-coup under threat of death and/or rape.

The world community at large shares the disappointment of the Cuban people and U.S. State Department. State Department spokesperson Andrew Balkovitch echoed that universal opinion stating, "I'm disappointed that this transition of power did not completely capsize Cuba's political system, plunging the country into uncontrollable chaos the likes of which could only be stopped by preemptive American invasion."

Now, the world waits to see what kind of leader Raul Castro will be. He was named President by Cuba's National Assembly which conducts most of their meetings and votes under pressure of firing squad. Many liken Raul Castro to an evil version of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf whose teddy bear exterior conceals a fang-laden superbest ready to strike down freedom at the drop of a hat.

Most experts saw the leadership change coming as Castro's power has declined as steadily as his health ever since the blessed day he announced that he would cede power to his brother while undergoing intestine surgery, multiple blood changes, and a series of pancreas transplants.

Fellow blood-thirsty dictator with ties to Al Qaeda in Iran, Hugo Chavez of Peru, said the the change in Cuba was occurring, "without any type of trauma." A reference to the murderous throngs of Chavez supporters who have kept him in power ever since he unconstitutionally wrestled control of Venezuela away from democratically elected Pedro Carmona in 2002.

As for Castro he was quoted as saying, "My conscience was cleared, and I promised myself a vacation." Seems like just about everybody in Cuba's looking to escape.