Thursday, March 15, 2012

Demons, Robots and Miniature Giant Space Hamsters

So we’ve got a couple announcements today.

First up is Diablo III, which will come out on May 15. Yay! I have fond memories of Diablo being one of the few games I’ve ever beaten. Hardware prevented me from playing Diablo 2 until well after release and well, graphic may not be everything but they are something and I could never get past the low-res eyesore. Let’s hope Blizz doesn’t screw this up.

Apparently there’s going be a ‘Enhanced Edition’ of Baldur’s Gate. One of my favorites series of all time one that I never actually finished. A version is currently installed right now, I ah, got sidetracked a month ago just before entering the city itself. Hopefully this will rock.

Finally we have confirmation of an HD collection for the PS2 Ratchet and Clank games. Hells yeah baby!

Monday, March 12, 2012

TV Review: Game of Thrones Season 1

Thanks to another tip from cheapassgamer I nabbed a copy of Game of Thrones Blu-Ray for $35. Thrones hype has been all around the internet proclaiming it to be the best HBO series ever, or at least since the Sopranos (which sucked) and OZ (which didn’t). Well let’s say this - it arrived Saturday and I watched it Sunday, all of it. So what kind of show manages to grab my attention and hold it for 10 straight hours? A very good show, that’s what.

Let’s assume I haven’t lost my mind. I hesitate to go into detail on the plot as each episode almost feels like a season finale with a cliffhanger ending. Episode one’s ending brilliantly sets the tone for the show reminding me of the end of the movie The Mist ( oh hell no, they did NOT just do that!'). There are heroes you cringe when bad thing happen and villains you cheer when they get their Golden Crowns. Each episode makes you want to catch the next one right away, I can’t imagine watching this on TV and waiting a week.

Acting is solid all around. Peter Dinklage gets all the press but the real standouts to me are the child actors, especially Maisie Williams who plays Arys Stark. Production values are also very solid, the only minor complaint is a large battle toward the end of the season occurs off screen obviously due to budget issues.

Technically the Blu-ray set seems a little weird. Video and sound are perfect as we’ve come to expect from HBO but the episodes are spread weirdly throughout the discs with 2 eps on disc 1, 3 on 2, 1 on 3, 4 on 4 and 1 episode on disc 5. It’s weird. And bonus material shows up on all discs and then points you to the disc with the actual content when you select it. I’d much prefer 2 episodes per disc with a dedicated bonus disc.

A final note, this is indeed a medieval HBO drama with al the sex death you’d expect. Bad things happen to good people, taboos are explored and they very wisely age up one particular character in the books from 13 to 17ish. This is not a show for the kiddies are the squeamish.

4 1/2 Stars out of 5*

*Half a star knocked of for minor bonus feature annoyances, seriously who designed that?