Thursday, July 28, 2011

LEGO Batman


He’s what the city needs, not what it deserves…

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WTF is this $%^&…

Gatorade Low Calorie is a tricky beast, it sits on the shelf right next to the regular stuff that wont kill you. But if you drink it you lapse into a coma for 3 days.

True story.


The Old Republic, pre-ordered

Ok so I’m a few days late, sue me.

Anyway, Star Wars: The Old Republic is now pre-ordered. I guess that means they actually intend to release this thing. Yay!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mortal Kombat DLC… WTF?!

So the final(?) DLC character for Mortal Kombat was announced today… and it’s Freddy Kruger. Wait, what?! I can’t decide if this is awesome or retarded.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Amazing Spider-man Trailer

Hrm… looks kinda gloomy actually. Gloomy isn’t exactly a word I’d use to describe Spider-man. Ah well, it’s an early look. I’m sure the internet hype machine will convince me this is the greatest thing ever.

Note: Internet Hype Machine did fail to convince me The Dark Knight is the greatest thing ever. Sorry folks, Iron Man is simply more fun.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Leia Effect

I recently purchase The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition on blu-ray and as I’m rewatching them I realize that LotR suffers from a phenomenon I discovered years ago reading Star Wars expanded universe books which I dubbed, The Leia Effect.

Basically, in a traditional Star Wars story the three leads breakup into separate groups, have adventures and resolve all issues at the same time. More often not, Luke is a badass and saves the day, Han is not quite a big of badass and Leia does some boring shit. Almost without fail Leia is the weak link in the group. This pattern established itself in the first movie with Luke blowing up the Death Star, Han blowing up Darth Vader and Leia watching TV. The plot lines centering on Leia were never as interesting as the rest of the book and I often found myself skimming through hurrying to the Luke section.

Now don’t get me wrong, Leia does have her moments. Her shiny, golden moments… er- where was I, oh yes. The cast in The Lord of the Rings splits up as well. There’s the Hobbits, The Heavies with Aragorn, Legalas and Gimli, and finally Gandalf is often off on his own. My point is this: Frodo = Leia.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Transformers IDW Collections

I began to wonder if I might’ve been a bit harsh in my review for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I mean, really, was I expecting high art? Also coloring my expectations were last week I caught up a bit on my reading backlog and read through the IDW Transformers Collections 1-4. If you’re not aware, these collections are a hardbound set containing  just over a dozen issues each of IDW’s Transformers comic series in a ‘suggested reading order’. They weren’t published in this order and aren’t necessarily in chronological order either, several issues exist outside any apparent timeline and can happen pretty much at any time.

The collections contain several multi-issue miniseries and several ‘spotlight’ one-shot issues that center on one particular character, yet often fill in gaps in the larger story told by the miniseries. The ongoing story covers from the beginning of the war with Megatron: Origins to the reason Earth is so important with Spotlight: Shockwave, showing the complete and total devastation brought to Cybertron in Stormbringer to finally defeating an ancient threat from the very first Ark. I think part of the reason I was so disappointed in the movie is because these stories were so good.

Not to say that every issue was spectacular though, Maximum Dinobots was sadly subpar, as was the finale, which while tying up most loose ends, was told through several splotlight issues that didn’t really spotlight the main character. I got the sense another miniseries was planed and canceled, and they had to shoehorn the dangling plot threats into already approved spotlight issues.

By being able to completely reboot the entire myology IDW is able to reinvent several characters. Cliffjumper (also known as ‘the red Bumblebee’) is a BAMF, Arcee is a psycho bitch from hell with some serious ‘daddy issues’ and Ultra Magnus, best known for leading to the Autobots for 20 minutes on the animated movie before dying from utter stupidity, is perhaps the most badass Autobot in the whole series (with Arcee just behind).

You also get the sense that this a very large universe. Plots are centered on Earth maybe only half the time. The Earth-bound Transformers initially consist of Starscream and Prowl each leading a team of approximately six. Optimus and Megatron are initially busy elsewhere, Earth just isn’t that important and it’s a big universe. The Wreckers (elite team of Autobot asskickers) appear in several issues, each time on a different planet. There are other alien races out there. Bars that look like a Star Wars cantina. Even multiple penal colonies indicating large populations, with a underclass that need to be locked up.

Overall though an excellent series and I eagerly await volume 5 coming out, I believe, in November.

A few notes:

  • Several characters seem entirely to powerful: Megatron, Sixshot and Shockwave are nigh invulnerable
  • Contrary to standard portrayal, Perceptor isn’t the Autobot’s main scientist, nor is Ratchet or Wheeljack. Jetfire is the go-to man for any techno-babble
  • Tiny little Wheelie, universally despised Wheelie, doing his part for the war effort by running ammunition to ungrateful frontline warriors nearly brought a tear to my eye
  • Two words: Autobot ninja
  • Headmasters made cool!
  • Ok not really cool, but they’re not stupid
  • Dinobots seem sadly out of character and underpowered
  • Gestalt technology does not exist (or does it?), but several are shown as existing teams: Predacons, Technnots, Combaticons, Terrorcons
  • Sixshot is portrayed as essentially the 2nd most baddass warrior in the entire galaxy (the first being a plot device character), yet even he can stopped by being stepped on in Spotlight: Metroplex

Monday, July 11, 2011

Steam’s Summer Sale

Steam’s summer will come to a close in about about eight and a half hours, so let’s take a look at this season’s haul. I’m not positive on the prices for the last few, I appear to have deleted the confirmation email with the prices, but this is pretty close.

   8.49    Magicka+DLC
   7.48    Far Cry+Far Cry 2
   1.00    Defense Grid DLC
   7.50    Transformers: War for Cybertron
   7.50    Tropico 3 Gold
10.20    Dragon Age: Origins – Ultimate Edition

I actually already had Dragon Age, but no DLC aside from the freebies with a new copy. Essentially got $40.00+ in DLC for $10.00.

I tried Transformers briefly. The 3rd person view over the shoulder is a bit disconcerting, and I loathe the ammunition system. Can’t say I’m terribly impressed.

I also tried Far Cry… Thus far the game refuses to load. Forums say to delete the config file and disable anti-aliasing. I’ll have to mess with that later.

I’m a little torn on Tropico 3. The starting tutorial is fairly basic and I’m not quite sure what I’m doing. However, I glanced at the clock and realized I hadn’t known what I was doing for 3 hours. So there’s definitely a Civ ‘one more turn…’ vibe going on there.

For some reason I’m proud of myself for NOT buying Fallout 3 GotY Edition. I’ve already got the base game on PC on disc, and I have the GotY Edition on X-Box 360. I don’t even LIKE the game. But review scores and the internet have brainwashed me into thinking it’s the second coming* almost made me get on Steam with all DLC included. I’m convinced I must be missing something from the game. The internet would never lie to me, right?

*This is also why I have Halo: Reach

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Movie Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Another Transformers movie, another missed opportunity to see the Dinobots go nuts in Michael Bay fueled CGI glory. Seriously, is it that hard to write 5 giant robotic dinosaurs with no respect for authority and an eagerness to destroy Decepticons in the most barbaric way possible into a movie? You’d think Bay would eat this shit up.

I hesitate to even try to  summarize the plot as it makes no sense if you think about it for more than 2 seconds. I’ll try to be succinct: long ago an Autobot ship carrying Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) and a game changing technology crashed on the moon. Optimus has a hissy went he finds out he wasn’t told about this but it’s quickly forgotten when he and Ratchet head to the moon and recover Sentinel Prime and the tech, a Space Bridge (cosmic ranged teleporter).

The Decepticons end up gaining control of the Space Bridge and plot to use it to warp in Cybertron to Earth. Earth has plenty of power resources and  handy slave labor force of approximately 6 billion to help tidy up the place, Cybertron’s a bit of a fixer upper. Humans and Autobots must unite to stop this from happening, ect.

The plot’s simply dumb. There’s way to many humans getting in the way of what we came to see, Transformer carnage. This is, to be fair,  a bit better than previous installments. I’m not sure if there’s a new cinema photographer or the change to 3D necessitated a steadier hand, but the action seems considerably less jerky and it’s easier to see the action. (see an excellent Mexican standoff between Ironhide, Sideswipe (I think) and 2 generics ‘Cons). The 3D itself is quite good, the best I’ve seen since Avatar.

The reviled twins of Revenge of the Fallen are nowhere to be seen, which actually makes no sense at all. It’s implied in the movie Cybertronians are on the verge of extinction, the entire species consist of 9 Autobots and however many Decepticons remain. The twins being MIA seems to indicate they died during the last 4 years (with no Decepticon sightings and Autobots assisting NEST with Terrans affairs), remember for all bling and jive talking, these two for the most part took out Contructionbot (that was NOT Devastator in Revenge).

Comic relief is taken over by Wheelie (apparently Sam got custody in the Megan Fox breakup) and a new character called Brains. Both are tiny about the size of a dog. Both are justifiably bitter they’ve been banished from the Autobot compound (again remember there’s only so many around). Both are also hilarious.

A couple notes:

  • There’s a subplot where Sam can’t get a job despite being an ‘ivy league’ grad, saving the world twice, and presumably letters of recommendation from the President and any number of NEST officers. Really? Ambassador to the Autobots seems like something viable
  • Sam’s mom and dad once again steal any scene they appear in. Sam has a fight with Ms. Legs and his mom goes ballistic “Sam you can’t screw this up. You’ve had two GORGEOUS girlfriends, there’s not going to be a third. Unless you know, you’ve got a huge d-“ “MOM!!”
  • Optimus now has a trailer, and no it doesn’t simply disappear when he transforms. It disconnects and acts as a portable armory. Sadly, no Roller Sad smile
  • Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and now Sentinel Prime remain the only recognizable Transformers at a glance. Remember how in the series/comics/toys Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp were identical. And yet thanks to the magic of ‘color’ we knew who was who at a glance. See also Sideswipe/Sunstreaker, Rumble/Frenzy, Bumblebee/Cliffjumper. Transformers mastered the palette swap long before Sub-Zero and Scorpion came along.
  • In particular I’m pissed about Soundwave’s treatment. Soundwave actually talks now, and gloriously sounds like Soundwave, however at one point there’s a Decepticon attack and I have no idea it’s him until he’s referred to by name. c’mon! Soundwave has a very distinctive look, at least TRY to get it right. Make him blue, not silver. Have the windshield of the car mode be the chest to resemble the tapedeck of old. Have a rocket launcher mounted to his shoulder. It’s not that difficult.
  • Megatron is still horrifically maimed from the ass-kicking he received at the end of Revenge of the Fallen. Really? Four years later and the big boss man can’t be repaired? It’s not like the Decepticons aren’t without resources. And yet Megs is continually poking at a hole in his head like an itchy scab, and he’s got robo-parasites crawling all over him. You telling me he’s in this shape and Starscream or Shockwave hasn’t just put him out of his misery and taken over.
  • I’ve heard complaints about to many Star Trek references with Nimoy voicing Sentinel Prime. I only caught 2 and both well within context of the plot (such as it is). In fact I’d have appreciated a quote or two from Galvatron (Nimoy voiced Galvatron in the animated movie)
  • The plan to transport to Cybertron to Earth seems terribly ill-conceived. Cybertron appears to be roughly 8 times the size of Earth. I’m no physicist, but I believe something called gravity would cause Earth to smash into Cybertron
  • My final point comes back to the incomprehensible plot: I don’t understand the timeline at all. Megatron supposedly crashed on Earth thousands of years ago. Yet according to Dark of the Moon, Megs was after Sentinel’s ship, which crashed in the 60’s. Wha….?

With plot holes the size of Cybertron, turn your brain off as you enter the theater. Enjoy the Bot on Bot action and when those pesky humans get on screen hope it’s a scene with Rosie-something’s legs instead of NEST nonsense.

2 out of 5 Stars    Sadly I have some minor OCD issues and will likely buy this on Blu-Ray to complete the trilogy, for everyone else rent

Trailer Breakdown:
Captain America: The 2nd trailer, still looks awesome and I look forward to it
Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Is this a third trailer? Still looks interesting though I’ll likely wait for NetFlix