Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hooray! School is back in session!

After reading this post title you're probably saying to yourself:

"Hooray? What are you gay or something?"

Well, no. I am not gay. I mean, not that there is anything wrong with that... moving along.

Even though I hate getting homework and this year totally seems like it's gonna be a bitch- damn you Advanced Placement education!- I am also pretty stoked. Because this time of the year signifies the start of something wonderful! TV Fall lineups! Summer is a pretty barren time for television as all the writers and execs take some down time and let the masses revel in the horrid mess that are Summer Blockbusters. But now the cycle starts all over again. So let us take a look at my most anticipated shows.

Community- Season 2
I think this pretty much the only show that I currently follow that I have seen from the absolute beginning and I'm glad it's this one. When Community started I really wasn't expecting that much out of it. The premise seemed alright and it really appeared that it would just be a series of throw-away jokes shoved into a 22 minute time-frame but as it progressed and relationships developed amongst the characters and this small world was created it quickly became one of the funniest and smartest shows. It really reminds me a lot of Arrested Development in that future episodes would have a throw-back joke to a certain character or event- obviously not to the extent that AD did it- and I find that to be a big factor that comedy sitcoms miss out on.

Chuck- Season 4
Last time I mentioned Chuck I had talked about how I sort of wish they ended it on a high note as it it appeared to be on a wavy pattern with some eps. being great and some... not so great. But I guess I miss the show because now I really couldn't want more Chuck than I already do. Of course, I'm still concerned that it will only go downhill from here but I have enough faith in them. So I might as well enjoy the good times as they come.

Dexter- Season 5
I literally just finished watching season 4 like 3 hours ago and although I had a pretty big plot twist spoiled for me, the show was as intense as always. I can usually call something in a show before it happens as television and films become more and more predictable but Dexter is the show that has made me WTF out loud more than I can count. I'm always telling myself Dexter will get away but will he? These are the types of questions that keep me up at night. Not to mention that the season 4 finale totally left everything in a crazy mess. So yeah, pretty much one of my favorite shows ever. I guess it also helps that it takes place in my hometown. It gives me a strong, false sense of significance.

There a bunch of other shows I plan on watching but just don't really matter to me as much. But I don't want the other shows to get jealous so we'll at least list them.

Honorable Mentions
30 Rock- Season 5
The Office- Season 7
Parks and Recreation- Season 3
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia- Season 6

I think that's everything.

On top of keeping up with these shows I'm also in the process of watching shows that I've been meaning to get to. Weeds, Mad Men, True Blood and I'm waiting on Netflix to get Bored to Death in stock. And I saw the Big C the other day and it was pretty cool I guess. God, why don't I have DVR already?

P.S. Boardwalk Empire looks really interesting but I'll watch anything with Steve Buscemi in it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Scary Things

I always forget how much I like shitting my pants from fear until genuinely awesome horror presents itself to me. Lately though, it's been a much bigger part of my daily intake, which I can thank the guys over at my forums in the scary shit thread for.

I recently read 2 horror novels. They were both thoroughly entertaining and it felt awesome to read books again. The last time I read this much for recreation was too embarrassingly long ago to even want to remember.

The first book was House of Leaves. Pretty much it's about this guy who has sex all the time then finds this manuscript to a movie that doesn't exist and then continues to have sex all the time until he has so much sex that he is homeless. The manuscript in question is called the Navidson Record. It's the story of a family who moves into a house that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. A door pops up in their living room that leads into a never ending abyss of scary. The stress and fear this instills in the people living in the house is so bone-chillingly real that you will actually start to question if just what the hell you're reading is nothing more than a novel.

The other book is John Dies at the End. This one is a horror comedy and let me tell you that I have never seen a more beautiful combination of the two words. This book is abso-freaking-lutely hysterical! I have never laughed audibly at a book. Maybe a smirk here or there but this shit had me rolling on my bed. It's about two slackers called John and Dave who take a drug they call Soy Sauce that opens up a world to an alternate and monstrous dimension that they often believe to be hell. They start seeing freaky shit and they start a business where people see weird shit and they take care of things. What makes the book so funny are all the genuine characters. John and Dave are the type of guys I'd expect to find at the mall on weekend maybe without all the hell-beast adventuring part.

What strikes me as neat is that these are two very well-regarded horror novels and they both circulated around the internet before they gained an audience and were published into novel form. The flood of creative media that comes out of the internet is so immense that I wonder what is out there left to be found and enjoyed.

Which leads me to Slenderman. Slenderman is a tentacled, suit-wearing, 6 foot tall and faceless monster that is currently the the king of horror on the internet. The legend goes that he stalks children and likes to hang out in the woods and the deeper you get into his whole lore the closer he is to getting his crazy tentacles around your mind and then nobody knows what happens once he has you.

It started off as a simple horror photoshop game on the SomethingAwful forums and then it took off and spread like wildfire. There are now a bunch of blogs, youtube accounts and community forums based around the mysterious entity. Some of them are utter crap but there are quite a few decent ones. Easily the most recognizable Slenderman tale is MarbleHornets. It's a series of viral videos about a kid who is being stalked by Slenderman after his friend disappears trying to escape him. This series gave way for a rush of new fan created account of Slenderman attacks and sightings.

The scary thing about Slenderman is that it comes to a point where there are so many stories that other blogs and videos start to reference one another and you essentially end up with this fictional world set within the rules of another fictional world. There were a few days where I became paranoid that all the Slenderman research I was doing would result in some sort of hallucinogenic freakout that I would then write about in a tumblr account and restart the cycle for some other helpless sap. It never did. I've been wanting to write my own Slenderman story for a while now but I'm still kinda freaked.

The next step into my downwards spiral of crippling fear-induced anxiety is Uzumaki. Some horror manga type deal. Sounds like fun! Which reminds me that I have to finish Death Note...
P.S. I'm sorry if you don't like horror and you just happened upon this post. Please accept this picture of a flying kitty-cat if I have left you too scared.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Complete at last.

I saw Scott Pilgrim vs the World. I can finally say with certainty what my favorite movie is. It's Scott Pilgrim, just in case you weren't getting that.

Now the film wasn't perfect but the films biggest flaws are things that are rather unavoidable when you're stuffing 6 books into a 2 hour film. So in that respect, Edgar Wright did the best he could with what he had and his best is fucking incredible.

I'm pretty sad that it's over now. I'm adding this to the list of bittersweet moments of my life. Moments like this come by frequently when you're constantly becoming emotionally attached to a series and it's characters. I was so heartfelt that as soon as I got home I played Ramona by Beck from the film's soundtrack and wrote Bryan Lee O'Malley an email thanking him for creating Scott Pilgrim.

If you could all only know the surreality that came over me when I first saw the title sequence. It was just something I knew was coming but when it finally happened... I was speechless. I'm still kind of feeling that. Talking about the film this way only makes it seem even more over than it already is.

Oh well, I'll just go see it again. You should see it too!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Week O' Pilgrim

I am currently waiting for the PlayStation store to update so that I may claim my digital copy of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. At the same time I am trying my hardest to not listen to the all the songs on the Scott Pilgrim film soundtrack. It's so hard because the music is so good.

You can hear the entire soundtrack in it's entirety right here!
Don't worry. It's legal.

Why does the PS Store always take the longest to update when I'm waiting for something? I really wanna play this thing already! It kinda sucks that there is no online co-op but I'm gonna fix this by having some friends over tomorrow.

In other Scott Pilgrim news, Adult Swim is going to air a completely animated sequence from the high school flashback in volume 2! It has members from the cast of the film doing the voice work. Naturally, Michael Cera is voicing Scott, Mae Whitman- who plays Roxy in the film- is voicing Lisa Miller and Jason Schwartzman- Gideon Graves- will be voicing Simon Lee. That last bit is pretty funny is you've read the 6th volume. It will air on Thursday at midnight. So like, it was Wednesday night and then Thursday morning not the night of Thursday.

Just making sure that's clear.
Then Friday is the big day! I'm taking a crapload of friends to see the film with me at midnight. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be the best night ever. Seriously.

Lemme just see he- THE GAME IS UP! Downloading.

Wild Times (Presented by stock photos.)

My time spent in Nevada/California was pretty wild!

I saw the Blue Man Group! Wildest stage production I've ever seen!

Went to the Hoover dam! Wildest dam I've ever been to! I also crossed the state line so technically I also went to Arizona!

Went to Six Flags Magic Mountain and rode X2! Now this was actually pretty goddamn wild. Wildest coaster I've ever been on!
Went to Hollywood and visited the LA Film School to gather my plans for my future as a famous director/screenplay writer/ actor. Wildest film school I've ever been to!

Then in San Diego I went inside two- count 'em, two!- submarines! Wildest submarines I've ever been in.
I also ate at Carls Jrs or however the hell you spell that. The burger was delicious. Then it became less delicious when I saw the health warning sign that said the food at that restaurant contained chemicals that could cause cancer... WILD!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A vacation away from vacation.

Tonight I am leaving for the city of Las Vegas! A place known for it's gambling, erotic showcases and pure alcohol and drug driven festivals of lust! None of which I can partake in because I'm underage.

I'm sure there's other stuff to do.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh boy here we go...

Some mornings- or evenings, if that is how you wish to see my ruined sleep cycles- I wake up and something deep inside me knows that something is going down. This morning was one of those mornings. Apple released new products.

Say hello to the Magic Trackpad! It's a big wireless version of the trackpad used on MacBook Pros except now it works on your iMac! My initial reaction was "what?! gimme!" as the Apple sheep inside of me was dying to run to the Apple store and throw bundles of cash at the employees. Then I thought about it and realized I didn't need one as I already had my multi-touch Magic Mouse. In the end both devices serve the same purpose and it really all lands on your preference of navigation.

While the trackpad has some extra fingery flourishes such as 3 and 4 finger strokes to bring up expose or applications and even allows for rotation and dilation of images for photoshopping and the like. That's pretty damn cool but it's not really my sort of thing and there really isn't much else besides that. You may not be all that crazy about using what some would see as a limited means of computing control designed for laptops. But maybe you really like laptops, in which case this is perfect for you. Go nuts.

So maybe I don't need one, but it sure would be neat to use it.

Apple also released a new eco-friendly battery charger to fit their line of wireless AA battery powered products. It even comes with six Apple rechargeable batteries which I can only assume were blessed by Steve Jobs himself. Two for your mouse/trackpad, two for your keyboard and two to keep charged. I know I'm definitely getting this and it's convenient because I've been meaning to get a wireless keyboard for a while now.

Apple also released a new 27" LCD display and more powerful iMac models but I'm certainly not paying for a new Mac. That time won't come again for another decade. But I can wait.

Monday, July 26, 2010

And what a Fine Hour it was!

I experienced a strong sense of closure last Thursday as I finally got to read Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour. But before I got to read it I went through absolute hell as all the forms of book distributors failed me in what was clearly a sick practical joke to make me miserable. So I ended up getting the book at a comic shop the day before my shipment arrived 3 days late. Now I have 2 copies and I guess I'll just keep both. People will surely be impressed when I tell them I love Scott Pilgrim so much that I own two copies and it was not an unintended result of emotional weakness.


So Finest Hour wasn't really what I was expecting but that doesn't mean it wasn't totally great either. One thing I felt and apparently pretty much everyone else that read it did too is that it has a totally different tone from the rest of the volumes. While all the other volumes felt like systematic books in a series with a beginning middle and end, Finest Hour just felt like an end. It made me look at the previous 5 books as the beginning and middle which I guess makes sense because then that explains the whole volume situation. It is just one long book broken into pieces.

The humor in this book is much less focused on video games and is rather based around the characters themselves. Scott has totally lost and is still recovering from when Ramona left him in the last volume. He makes out with Knives and Kim and tries to with Envy to fill the emptiness that Ramona left him with. So Kim helps him confront his past so he can go and face Gideon. Then the rest of the book is pretty much Scott fighting Gideon, dying, (totally called it!) coming back to life, reuniting with Ramona and then they both kick his ass together. Also, Gideon is totally a dick. He created a machine where he kept all his ex-girlfriends like trophies. Scott and Ramona end up together and the book ends with them falling into Subspace holding hands. It really was much darker than any of the previous installments. I mean really, you should have seen the blood splatters.

I wasn't expecting O'Malley to make it all work out but I'm glad he did. In the end Scott Pilgrim is a story of growing up and learning from your mistakes while letting go of the past. I read it twice back-to-back and I was sad that it was the end of such a precious and hilarious story but I also felt really happy for all the characters that I love so much.

So now I have the movie to wait for. Reading Finest Hour totally shifted my perspective on how I see the film. It's like I'm really seeing it as an adaptation for the first time. Before I just saw it as another chapter in the SP saga but now that I know the whole story I feel like this is a story that has been around for a while and I just found that they're making a movie and I'm thinking to myself, "How are they gonna handle all of this?" I'm as excited as ever!

I think I might read it again right now. Then later I'll be doing the same.

P.S. Seriously, what am I gonna with that second copy?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inception: Your Mind Is the Scene of the Awesome

I've gotten into the habit of making lines for a lot of things lately. Last night I was at the front of the line, proof that the more lines I make the more my skills grown within that world of linear patience. Oh yeah, and the line was for Inception.

Judging from what I had seen in the trailers- rolling city streets, spinning hallways, slow-motion- I had expected Inception to be a total mind-bomb. I was expecting to get lost fast and be on the edge on my seat wondering just what in the hell was happening. This was not the case and it's a good thing too. Inception is one of the most ingenious and original concepts I've ever seen in a film. I was captivated from beginning to end.

To run it down for you, Inception is about people who go into dreams and perform theft operations on ideas to extract information. Heres the kicker though: now they have to plant an idea. So they go through several layers of dreams and the whole world just starts to collapse and ohmygod Ellen Page is so cute.

I love seeing movies at midnight. Or doing anything at midnight for that matter. I feel like I'm taking away more from the film than anybody who will watch it after me. I know I'm not. It's just a feeling. It's like I was there, man! Ya know? No? Okay...

This was also the first time I tried out Regal's new RPX or Regal Premium Experience. If you're a film buff then RPX is totally worth the five extra bucks on your ticket. Where in a regular film auditorium there is a wall with a screen mounted on top, in RPX there is naught but a screen so monumental that you forget you're in a theater. In a normal auditorium where the walls are lined with dim lights, in RPX the walls are lined with beastly speakers created to make your ears bleed with pleasure. And in a normal auditorium where the seats creak and fight the curve of your body, in RPX you have perfect leather seats that look like they were ripped out of a Ferrari and when you sit, well, the seats gently release a breath of air as you gently sink to the bottom of your new 2 hour home. It's nice.

So go see Inception!

P.S. I don't know anything about cars.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Better Late than Never

I successfully purchased an iPhone 4 last Tuesday. All it took was an 8 hour wait outside of an AT&T store. It was quite an adventure. Most of which was spent looking for a water fountain and getting down to the philosophies of what a line truly is and the place that they hold in this world.

So this thing is amazingly beautiful. Like you can see pictures and read impressions and think to yourself "Hmm that looks nice" but when you hold it in your hands you could swear somebody took beauty and sculpted it out in the form of a phone.

I'm also very surprised by the camera quality. I can expect to take pics and shoot small vids all the time now. Should be a neat hobby. FaceTime also works well. I remember getting a call from a pal of mine and when I saw that the screen read "ANONYMOUS FRIEND would like some FcaeTime..." well at that very moment, I got a little chill and a quick thought passed through my mind where I felt like we'd reached the future. That sounds pretty dramatic but all the stuff we dream about in futuristic technologies are happening. It just may not seem like it because everything isn't metallic silver and robots aren't your best friends... yet.

P.S. I'm sorry about not posting in a while but dammit I have a life to live!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mario G's Precious Little Blog Post

Have you ever heard of Scott Pilgrim? Because it's freaking awesome. I've been meaning to write about this for the longest time now but I just didn't do it. Not even when the opportunity was there to talk about a new trailer. Which there have been 3 of! Oh well, I'm writing about it now.

Scott Pilgrim is a series of graphic novels about this guy Scott Pilgrim. He's 23 and in a band. Then he meets this chick Ramona and he has to defeat her seven evil exes. I know, you're already captivated. So then he fights them and there's character development and drama and it's filled to the brim with geeky humor. It's sweet as hell. I first heard of it when I told a friend of mine that I was trying to get into reading comics. So he recommended Scott Pilgrim and Y: The Last Man, I think. With Christmas right around the corner I gave my mom the book names and told her to buy off Amazon because it was so much cheaper. Incidentally, she buys off Amazon every year. Who knew?

I was about to read the books knowing very little of what it was like. I didn't ask anybody for any impressions and there still hadn't been any film trailers. I was going in with the mindset that there was a probability of me not liking it. Then I actually read the books. Holy crap. I fell in love instantly and read all 5 books back-to-back. They lasted me about 4 days because I was trying to savor them as I knew I'd be sad when I was finished. I was right. I finished them and a new chapter in my life had begun. As soon as I got out of winter break I told all of my friends about these incredibly funny and stylish romance/action books. Most of them would come to love it too.

Then the first film trailer was released. What a day that was. Like the books, the film is overflowing with wit and personality. It is a perfect comic-book to film transition. Maintaining the exaggerated fighting and even the flashes of text appearing mid-air for every woosh, bonk, and boom! A few weeks after that the title, cover and street date for the 6th and final book were revealed. Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour being released July 20th was my new reason to live. With the film coming out August 13th, this was quickly becoming my summer of Pilgrim.

Hey, there's even a videogame coming out! I'm looking forward to filling in Scott's shoes and bashing in Gideon's face with 3 of my SP fan friends! The trifecta of geekiness is complete and this series has every part of it nailed down to perfection.

Scott Pilgrim is my hero and it will stay that way for the rest of my life. Or at least until something better comes along.

Authors Note: I don't understand video embeds I'm sorry!

Edit: Fixed it. Embeds now fit the page.

Monday, June 21, 2010

*sniff* That was awesome.

I saw Toy Story 3 on Saturday. Everyones tweets and facebook statuses were about how the movie was an emotion train-wreck and pretty much everyone cried. Knowing this, I thought to myself: Man, people were probably just sad because it's over and everyone got nostalgic and junk. Pssh, I'll be fine.


I cried. I would've cried a lot more if I didn't hold it back. I always do. There's only one film I've ever seen where I was fucking having a fit. I still think it's because I was expecting a comedy but halfway through turns into the most heartfelt drama I never saw coming. Whatever, that's a different story.

So yeah, Toy Story 3 is really dark and emotional. I was laughing, I was wtf'ing and I was crying. It was a great movie. But do we really ever expect any different from Pixar? No. We don't.

It's Like I Was A Real Wizard!

Last Friday I went to the public opening for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. It was awesome. Except for all the lines. There was a lot of waiting. Like, 3 hours of it. And that is considering the fact that I skipped a shitload of people in the line inside of the park after the line to get into the park to get into the Harry Potter part of the park. I may have single-handedly been the person to skip the most people that day. Maybe in the history of the world. Maybe.

But oh man, when we got inside. It was incredible. The snow-covered rooftops of Hogsmeade hung over my heads and blocked out any sights from the rest of the park. It was jaw-dropping. They had the Hogwarts Express popping out of a tunnel and billowing smoke. I was so excited, I had to start doing stuff!
First, I went inside of Zonkos and Honeydukes which is to your immediate left when you enter the area. It was pretty cool, the decorations were awesome but nothing really caught my eye in that I had to stop everything to buy it. So we left. Then we saw the new entrance to what used to be Dueling Dragons, now called Dragon Challenge. The line was only a 5 minute wait, so we sprung at the opportunity. The ride was exactly the same but holy crap the stuff in the line leading up to the ride. Support Potter signs galore! The Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard cup, those egg things you have to, listen to underwater! Even the resting quarters for the Triwizard champion before their big event! I was in heaven. The ride was as awesome as always. When we got out we knew we had to do all the rides immediately.
Then there it was, hanging over the park, it was Hogwarts. We ran to the entrance and started making the line. It was about an hour but it seemed like nothing. We were inside Hogwarts! Moving staircases! Talking portraits! Dumbledores office! And the ride! Oh man, the ride... It is now and will forever be my favorite ride ever. Pretty much you're flying around the school with Harry and getting into wacky adventures. I don't want to give anything away, but the ride was scary as shit. I had so much fun the entire way through. It mixes real sets with animatronics and then moves onto huge screens to simulate flying. It was simply incredible.

Then we made an hour and a half wait to get into Ollivanders where the wand chooses you! Some lucky chick was the one chosen to have the store-keep choose her wand personally. Everyone else went into the next room and told them their birthday and was given a wand. Mine has a skull on it! The store with all the wands in it was the Owl Post. That store is directly connected to Dervish and Banges which is stuffed with clothes. I bought a tie, Gryffindor robes and a quibbler. Ran me quite a pretty penny. We couldn't wait after that. We had to eat. So off the Three Broomsticks we were! I had a huge turkey leg. I felt manly. After that we went home. I was tired from not sleeping for over 24 hours. I did miss out on the chance, however, to buy the marauders map. Ah well, next time.
As we left, Hedwig's theme danced over our heads and I felt so complete. It was the most magical experience I've had in a while.

P.S. The Butterbeer was good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No iPhone 4 Me

So, Apples and AT&T's servers went to total shit as soon as iPhone 4 pre-orders went up. No surprise there. I just kept trying to put in my info, always ending in an error message. No biggie. I'll wait for it to tide over a bit.

Later on in the afternoon, still wouldn't work. Ok umm, I'm getting a little anxious here.

Even later on, iPhone 4 pre-orders are over and done with... n-no more iPhones?

This can't be happening! But it totally is happening! WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!

I'm not the only one. People all over the country have been getting screwed. Even people that went into stores had to wait for everything to processed by pen and paper. What is this shit? However, 600,000 lucky assholes are gonna get their grubby little fingers on what is rightfully mine! First, I was out of the friggin state for iPad and now they drop this bullshit one me?! I'm pissed, guys.

Then I saw a video of a guy with no arms or legs and he was happy. I have all my limbs. I should be happy too. Right? Right?

Also, I'm leaving for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in about half an hour. Yipee! Life is good but it also sucks on a very small level.

E3: Day 2- Well. that was weird...

Certainly not as weird as Ubisoft's conference.

Let's get this out of the way. I know this is really late and I shouldn't make excuses but really, not much happened. But I just couldn't very well live with myself if I didn't see this through. Konami was the final conference. It was on Tuesday at 9 p.m. but the news got out the next day (see, I'm not that late!). I don't really get it.

Anyway, lemme break it down for ya.

There was dancing. Japanese men who can't speak english well. Dancing that is somehow more than just dancing. An extreeeeeeeeme sequel to Ninety Nine Nights with an engine that holds ONE MIRRION TWOOPS who apparently will suck you.

A new Silent Hill coming to consoles next year. Fingers crossed!

Oh, and this new 3rd person shooter called NeverDead. Your limbs fall off but you can just put 'em on again! No worries!

They also played the same trailer we already saw from the MS conference and Kojima wasn't even there.

I'm sorry this is disappointing. Here, have a picture of Miyamoto eyeballing the competition.

Well, that's it for E3. Everything else is showfloor stuff. Anything worthy of mention has already been seen. But if something really catches my attention. I'll go into more deets about it.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as little as I enjoyed writing it. We're all growing together here. Let's make the best of it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E3: Day 2- Move Along, Microsoft

Sony's conference had some huge ups and downs. Seriously, it started off kinda slow, picked up and then just dragged itself to boring crap and then holy god nobody can stop them this is incredible!
I'm pretty sure everyone shit when they saw this.
PORTAL 2 FOR PS3! Not only has Gabe Newell trash-talked the PS3 so hard in the past to make this moment so savory for all the PS fanboys but he also said that it will be the best way to play Portal 2 on any console! That is some serious shit. The PS3 is also getting integrated Steam community features. The first for any console.

We also got to see the second half of the Dead Space 2 demoing. It was more focused on large-scale cinematic fights. Pretty sweet. Can't wait to see more from this game.

For a moment I thought they weren't gonna show it but right towards they end we got a new trailer for Infamous 2. Cole is looking pretty snazzy with his new haircut. Apparently, he has some new powers now. Glass? Ice? Only time will tell. From the looks of it there are going to be some huge battles this time around.

There was a new Twisted Metal demoed. Looks crazy.

Sony announced what some saw for a long time coming. There is a new premium online service on the way. It will feature early demoes and game trails. Exclusive themes, videos and more. It lands at $50 a year or $18 for 3 months. I know I'm gonna get it.
Sony definitely played the 3D card very strongly. Makes me want to get a huge 3D tv for my room now. I personally love 3D so this is great for me, but I know a lot of people hate it. All this push forward for 3D technologies must really getting some nerves.

We saw some new stuff for Move. There was this cool game called Sorcery where you take control of a young wizad and cast spells as you run around dungeons. The tracking was really impressive. Both the Move and Kinect are impressive forms of technology. And Dead Space: Extraction is confirmed to come with the Dead Space 2 Limited Edition packaging. It will work with Move and is exclusive to PS3. So no Kinect support. Buttons are probably the reason.

And then there was the PlayStation Move. Now let me tell you why the Move is better than Kinect. Microsoft is apparently riding their entire industry on this one device and is just gonna blow off what the majority of their base cares about. They have spent years building themselves up to be the ultimate platform for hardcore fans of shooter games and detailing all their online service to just give it up and make the sudden transition to wanting to be the new Nintendo. The new family console. At this point, that's probably not gonna go down. Sony made the Move with the idea of integrating it into their already existing devices and games. They have crafted original ideas, games and concepts made for the Move and have played them out favorably as well as bringing functionality back to some already released software. This increases the possible success rate for Move because there is an audience that will find practicality in it. Microsofts audience will either not be interested in something that strays away from games heavy in online competition or will already own Wiis. Microsoft just did not change anything enough for people to leave their Wii's to buy something that costs almost as much as the system and they might not even own a 360. They blatantly ripped off all the gimmicks they possibly could. And it's not like the Kintec doesn't have possibility! It has amazing tracking and voice recognition. I'm not saying the Move is an original concept either. It obviously isn't. One look at it and a Wii remote comes to mind. But they are trying to make it their own and prepare it for a new pillar of gaming in the companies future.

We did also get some mention of KH: Birth by Sleep, Patapon 3 (still gotta play 2) and a new God of War: Ghost of Sparta trailer. There's some cool stuff coming out for PSP.

We had a nice surprise appearance by Kevin Butler who made an epic speech. He spoke of how in the end it doesn't matter what you play. We all serve one god: Gaming.

Good show. Despite the slow parts with all of Sonys montages, we had some big shockers and fun reveals. Sony definitely lands 2nd in my E3 contest for now.


Dear lord, where to start! Nintendo has totally killed E3 so far. They opened up with the new Zelda titled The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The gameplay that was shown was a little unflattering, mostly due to some wireless communication issues. Think back to when the iPhone 4 wasn't loading. Yeah, it was awkward. One of the things I did notice was a much more streamlined pull-out and use of items and I was really digging the art style. It's like a cross between Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. As predicted, it also uses Wii Motion-Plus for 1:1 tracking which plays heavily into the sword, shield and other items like the crossbow and whip. More cartoonish than TP but not going as far as WW for a perfect blend of fun-to-look-at landscapes. Anyway, it's a new Zelda and I am excited.

Nintendo proceeded to get the casual junk out of the way right quick. They unveiled Wii Party-- a collection of mini-games a la Mario Party-- and Just Dance 2. Not much to say there. Oh and more Mario sports games. Looks like fun if you're into that sort of thing.

Fortunately, the rest of the show was Nintendo just unveiling awesome games. On the Wii side of things, we get a new Donkey Kong game which is going back to it's roots. Donkey Kong Country Returns. Sure, the title is iffy but damn does it look fun. Hopefully the inclusion of Diddy Kong means two player madness.

They also showed off a new Kirby game for the Wii. Kirby: Epic Yarn-- again, weird title-- is this an incredibly stylistic 2.5-D side-scroller. It's like when they first released Paper Mario on the N64. It takes advantage of string elements and warps the environments around it. Really neat stuff, you gotta see it yourself.

We finally got to see some gameplay for Epic Mickey. I was glad to find out that it is a platformer and has some side-scrolling portions too. One of the major game mechanics is being able to destroy and recreate the world around you by using pain and thinner. This plays into what is apparently the usual be the good or bad guy morality system. I hope they're not riding too heavily on that.

And finally with a release date to go with it, Metroid: Other M is coming August 31st. I've been really excited for this game and this new gameplay trailer just pushed me to the edge. It is such a sweet mix of retro style Metroid exploration elements and newer next-gen shooters and platformers. Looking forward to that.

That is an awesome line-up! I thought they were almost done but then they dropped the bomb and revealed the new 3DS! Complete with a widescreen up-top and a touch pad down be low. With the top screen featuring full-on 3D without the need of glasses. I have been really skeptical of how great 3D could be but the reaction from people who have seen it for themselves sound amazed. Also, it has an analog stick! Woot! It has a had a huge graphic overhaul falling short of what the Gamecube was possible of. Maybe even on par with-it on some instances.
Just as impressive as the system was the games being released for it. I seriously freaking lost it when Nintendo announced a new Kid Icarus game for the 3DS! I'm not sure what to gather from it except that it has so much packed into it for a portable game and looks like buckets of joy. Not to mention, Nintendo has deals with several popular developers to release new games on the 3DS including Metal Gear Solid, Professor Layton, Resident Evil and KINGDOM HEARTS! Holy crap! Such great franchises and it's going to be in this tantalizing 3D and THE GRAPHICS ARE SO GOOD NOW! It totally changes on what I can expect from a DS game. It's such a widened field for bigger and better games.
The show finished off with a goofy little video of how immersive the 3DS is by showing, Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto getting sucked into the games and then Reggie got his face burnt off by Bowser. It was awesome and hilarious. It also effectively revealed that they have Mario, DK and Zelda games in the works for the 3DS. Also, Nintendo has contracts with certain movie publishers to display full 3D films on the new system.

I will never doubt Nintendo again. They're listening to their fans. Even right now...

Monday, June 14, 2010

E3: Day 1- And the Day Ends On A High Note

So, Ubisoft totally surprised me by having the most entertaining conference today. It started off on a dark stage, with an anonymous figure raising his hands in the air. The screen above lights up to display what can only be described as a gorgeous medley of lights and sounds. He is apparently using his hands to guide his way through this world of pixelated beauty. This goes on for a few minutes. The lights turn on and the man is revealed to be the creator of Rez who is now releasing Child of Eden for Kinect. See! This is the kind of stuff I wish Microsoft would focus on. At least maybe 3rd party developers will take care of it so it won't be such a bad thing after all. What's this... Child of Eden is also coming out for PlayStation Move. Oh well, sorry Microsoft.

Seriously though, great opening Ubisoft. I wonder what you have planned next. Surely not laser guns that in no way have anything to do with videogames. Ahaha... what? WAIT, NO! I WAS JUST KIDDING! IT WAS A JOOOOOOKE!

At least it can't get any wor- ohmygod... A VITALITY SENSOR?! BREATHING EXCERCISE VIDEOGAME?! COME ON! These aren't games! Why? What the fuck! You are taking a shit on what is already one of the most ridiculous points in gaming history! Ok... gotta calm down here. I can't believe they pulled this shit.

Besides that totally ridiculous display of um... I don't even know, the Ubisoft conference had some pretty solid stuff for the most part. They showed off the new Assassins Creed game. *gasp* Nobody saw that coming. I will never understand why people love AC so much and yet I am bound to hate it. Isn't it supposed to be a stealth game? Where's the stealth, bro? I'm always tempted to play when I see it in the hands of a developer. They know the game so well and they make it looks so right. Put that controller in my hands and gold immediately turns to crap. Maybe it's my fault. Even if it is, shouldn't be that way.

There's a new Driver game. The cinematic was cool but the game was just alright. There's this weird coma thing where apparently non of it's real or something- Idunno. A lot of things get lost through the language barriers. The Ubisoft conference is probably the most French moment of the rest of my year.

There was more fitness. It was literally the same fitness display from the MS conference.

One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. I have heard of the series before, but I don't really know anything about it. It first struck me like some generic super-soldiers going apeshit a broken world with a bleak future. And it is. But it's totally awesome! The stealth mechanic is what really got me. I hope it's varied enough throughout the game. Gotta keep my eye on that one.

In Rayman news!: There's a new 2D Rayman game in the works. It's coming straight to XBLA and PSN and it looks like a lot of fun. I'm personally not a huge Rayman fan but I know that the 2D ones are the best and this is a pretty big deal. Right? There's also another Rabbids game. At this point, the Rabbids are only there for marketing purposes on commercials and the such. The quality of the games or the games themselves don't even matter that much anymore. Hopefully it's good, though.

There was also a new Shaun White skateboarding game. I was totally like meh but then I saw gameplay and I was like "Is he fucking flying a rail in the skies?!" Yeah, the game is basically bringing down the man and bringing the color and style back to the world. Because that what's skateboarding is about. They're all artists and deserve to be commended.

This game called Dust was teased. Looks interesting. I'm getting sort of a Sim's type of vibe from it. Dunno. You couldn't tell much from the trailer.

Then there was community shit with Trackmania where people are given tools to makes games- I've heard this shit a million times before i.e. LBP and Microsoft had it last year but I think it was scrapped. That's probably what eventually became Kinect.

Then people danced to Michael Jackon's Beat It. They didn't specify it at all but there is a game attached to it. I don't get it either.

All in all, it was fun. And it was all hosted by Joel McHale. Which I have to say I found funny throughout but he was reaching for it sometimes. Ah well, I love Community and the Soup so he gets a pass with me.

So this was our first night of E3. I hope people are reading this...

P.S. Nintendo is totes going to kill Ubisoft over that vitality sensor.

E3: Day 1- Guns and Monsters in Steroscopic 3D!

I found EA's conference more successful than Microsoft's in the sense that they showed off games that people care about for most of the show. They showed off 10 games from 10 different developers that are some of EA's biggest money-makers.

I started off with some trailers and a demo of the new Need for Speed game and eventually they drifted onto an unnecessarily long sports segment before things picked up again. There was also this one bit for the Sims 3 heading to consoles and they serious derailed to some deep philosophy and neuroscience. It was interesting but it was way too melodramatic for E3.

Then we some new gameplay footage from Dead Space 2. The area that was demoed was really heavy on action and less atmospheric, really just an opportunity to show off some new weapons and enemies. Isaac was just chilling in a church of Unitology-- the cult-like religion from the first game-- when a giant quick-time tentacle mosnter had to come in and ruin everything. When he finished it off with some pro hits, little Smeagol-like creatures started crawling in. I didn't think much of it at the time but I'm now realizing Isaac wasn't just shooting tiny monsters, they were children that were killed and taken over by the parasite. That's pretty awesome. So yeah, he puched off their heads. He also had this new long range weapon that nailed enemies to a wall with one shot, similar to the weapons in Half-Life 2 and Bio-Shock. Then there was some scenery moments showing off the city the game takes place in but then some ship attacks, Isaac falls opens an escape hatch and falls through having escaped near-death to be attacked by a giant necromoroph. Right now it's just more of the same but hopefully they show off some new stuff during the second half at the Sony conference tomorrow. I really want to see those rocket shoes in action.

The other noteworthy games were also packed with testosterone. There was Bulletstorm from Epic Games and it has this really bad-ass, kill everything "who gives a shit" personality to it. Not to mention the gameplay is freaking awesome. You get rewarded in the game for comign up with creative ways to complete rip the baddies a new one. You rack up points from kills and you put those points towards more kick-ass weaponry to get more points for shredding everything in your sight. It's like if Borderlands and MadWorld had a baby.

Crysis 2 was showcased. I don't know much about the first one but that it's supposed to have like the beast graffix evar! In which case this game holds true. The game looks great and while from the demo it seemed a little generic, it could be a lot of fun since it's supposed to be able to play out in hundreds of different way. I won't trust anything till I try for myself. It wouldn't be the first time devlopers promise it won't ever be the same game twice. It's gonna be the first game this holiday to be playable in stereoscopic 3D. It kinda gives me an idea at what I want for Christmas... I mean a 3D tv if you didn't get the hint. (Mom, if you read this blog I would have this space telling which TV to get.)

The show was finished off with a cinematic for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Which I didn't get because they said "Everything you see here will be available for you in game." So I thought it was gonna be game-play, but it was this epic battle with quick-cuts and swordplay. I'm telling you now, you sure as shit can't do anything in the game that was shown in that trailer. (Watch, I'm gonna be wrong.) Anyways, I'm not really big on Star Wars -I'm really more of a Trekkie, myself- but that left me pretty impressed. I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for some actual footage from the game.

Alright, so Ubisoft is all that's left for the day. I'm not really getting my hopes up for anything cool here. They're probably gonna talk about Assassins Creed sequels and more sports/fitness games. [sarcasm]Everyone's gotta cash in on that money train.[/sarcasm]

E3: Day 1- So Many Casualties

As excepted, Microsoft spent the grand majority of their conference going over Nata-- whoops, I mean Kinect. Also as expected, all of the Kinect games seem like straight up shots at Nintendo with sport, racing and even yoga games. It's like 2006 all over again. Oh yeah, and there were tigers jumping rope, too.

I guess I can't really speak for everyone as I don't own an Xbox but this was pretty unimpressive. Mostly because it's stuff we've all soon before and everyone knows it. Kinect has some really incredible motion tracking but instead of applying to several practical uses they tacked on to mini games that caters to a market that's already owned by Nintendo. I don't see the people who love those games on the Wii shelling out much more money for a similar experience that doesn't even come bundled with the console. I feel like they just struck out with the demographic they're trying to reach. I had about 5 seconds of excitement where I felt I needed it before it passed and I realized it does nothing for me and my life can stay Xbox-less for the time being. Perhaps the coolest part about Kintek was when they used it to enhance features that were already a part of the Xbox. Like pausing and starting music, movies and more with vocal recognition and physical gestures. which like I said are really sharp on Kintek.

To go along with their new device, Microsft revealed the remodeled 360. It comes with built-in wifi, has 250 GB HDD and it's noticeably smaller. Now this I really considered getting since the reason I sold my xbox was because I bought the arcade to save money but then when I realized that I had to buy a $100 wfi connector to acess the Internet, well, I was pretty screwed. I just never used the thing. So built in wifi was something that immediately popped out at me. But it's being released at the same price for the current 360 at $300 and not a new low price. Sucks. It's really just not enough for me to make the purchase this late in the game. Especially when it clashes with my Apple product lifestyle. I guess I'll mooch off my friends.

As far as non-Kintek related games go, they also demoed Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gears of War 3 and Halo Reach. All the big "blockbuster" titles for their hardcore shooter crowd. Not really the sort of thing I'm into. Although, Gears of War has always impressed me stylistically. But wait-- they also showed gameplay from MGS: Rising! Raiden was cutting up his foes like nobodies business. It's seriously kick-ass. At one point he's chopping up a dude in slow-motion whilst mid-air. Then he cut up a watermelon. Classic Kojima humor. And they changed it from Tactial Espionage Action to Lighting Bolt Action. That's pretty funny.

So we still have EA and Ubisoft conferences left today. Then tomorrow we really get to the good stuff!

Update: There is going to be an Xbox/Kinect bundle and GameStop has priced it at $400.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's that time again!

E3 starts tomorrow! It's just the Microsoft conference though, and since I don't own a 360 anymore all the exciting stuff for me really starts on Tuesday with Sony and Nintendo. It's still fun to see all the latest developments though. Especially when it's ridiculous at which point I click away to my forum of preference and share a hearty laugh with my pals.

So this post is really to make it known that I will be loading this page with my thoughts on the conferences. In fact, some stuff has already leaked. Look, Microsoft made an ugly console!

Isn't that weird? Ha, yeah it is.

Anyways, some of the stuff I'm looking forward to the most is the new Zelda, the 3DS-- which you've most likely seen countless mock-ups and rumors of-- and hopefully we get something on the Last Guardian if we're lucky. E3 is always a cool time but I have a feeling we'll see some especially cool stuff this year, mostly from Nintendo's side I'd imagine.

A mock-up on the 3DS based around specs from various sources.

P.S. There has been some serious evidence further pointing to the fact that the new Kingdom Hearts is a DS up-port of the Japan-only cellphone game "KH: Coded"... why? Why?!

P.P.S. The ugly Microsoft console is a re-modeling of the 360 and not something new entirely. Also, they renamed Natal to Kinect. What the hell is that?


Yep, it's summer time. I'll try to keep things consistent around here. I now have loads of free time but I need that time to achieve my dreams.

List of dreams (in order from most to least likely):

1. Succesfully plan a trip this week to Orlando for Harry Potter park.
2. Popularize my blog.
3. Start a web-series.
4. Gain superpowers.
5. Get a girlfriend.

I can do this!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Intelligent Programming? On My Music Television?!

Boy, do I love celebrities. Which is why I get so pumped every time MTV does their annual movie awards. So many awesome celebrities just hanging out and being famous with each other. God, I want that life so bad. Anyways, this year was the funniest, craziest and at the same time stupidest MTV Movie Award that I've seen. We had Aziz Ansari hosting,- which was hilariously awesome- there was a Scott Pilgrim preview- awesomely hilarious- and Katy Perry danced in an outfit that emphasized her breasts- that was just hot. After all the nonsense was over, MTV debuted their new comedy series "The Hard Times of RJ Berger". This was the best part.
This show is pretty awesome. I knew I was gonna love it because the main character is a geek and I love anything where I can personify myself with the main character. RJ Berger is this kid who isn't cool but one day he has to fill in for another kid during a basketball game. His shorts fall, everyone sees he has the biggest penis in the school, hilarity ensues. The vague character description you just read should already be enough to have made your brain poop. What the heck is MTV doing airing a show where the main cast isn't incredibly suntanned, drenched in alcohol and all having sex together? Well, apparently MTV is trying to get it together and rake in a broader audience.

This was becoming aware to me when they were only recently airing this show called "My Life as Liz". It was about a hipster chick who hates popular kids so they hate her back and it's so cool to be different, guys, but it also sucks and nobody gets me why am I so alone?! Ahem. Even though the show had good intentions by trying to bridge gaps between the popular girl and the indie chick by having them realize that they can still be friends, the show was still incredibly hollow, superficial and dumb. At least they were trying. Now we have RJ Berger which isn't shallow!

I think was really makes RJ Berger is the sexual theme that surrounds the show. It's just like a real teenagers life, vulgar as fuck. So now that his secret is out, RJ is on his way of becoming awesome. He shows up his bully and totally flirts with the girl of his dreams. It's pretty rad.

I'm just glad MTV made a funny show about geeks without completely exploiting it for the common stereotype as the channel has a bad wrap for generalizing the crap out of their audience and pretty much just making everyone look bad.

I hope there is more of this to come. Maybe MTV will become a place for all walks of life to come together and celebrate our differences and accept each other. Or the show could get cancelled because Jersey Shore's audience just thought the show was too gay for their taste.