Friday, February 27, 2009

Long long long long hiatus...

There has been more than a fair share of craziness going on, moving into a new apartment, my employer's website going down permanently, and just not wanting to look the computer for hours on end put this blog on a bit of a break. Now, however, I am back, and hope to be updating a few times a week again. I will say that as it turns out, I won't be publishing a PodCast, as buying the equipment for said PodCast would be about as much money as holding my spot for Pratt Institute's Graduate Program in Communications Design that I was accepted into this week, so it won't be happening anytime soon. Regardless, here are some interesting points of news.

Wired's Blog has a great editorial about Comic Book store employees, asking the classic questions you should ask someone that is into comics, such as, "What superhero would you be?" and "What comic has become teh suck now?" It also features an interesting smattering of photographs of said employees, and their places employment (such as NYC's Midtown Comics & Forbidden Planet). I think I've actually seen a few of these guys on my assorted trips to these establishments. The article is here.

Wil Wheaton is weighing in on the debate among authors and the Author's Guild, whether or not the Kindle 2's ability to read books for the consumer aloud in a creepy digitized voice is right or infringing or not upon the author's rights. Most authors really don't think that their rights are being infrinted upon, such as Neil Gaiman, who I not only seem to inherently agree with on many points, but also is able to coherently defend his views. Wil Wheaton is now participating in the debate, siding with Neil Gaiman, and has done so by releasing audio of himself reading a passage from a book and then having his Mac do it. I think I'd rather pay for the real audio book to hear a real person read it rather than hear a voice I used to make say obscenities back in grade school, and I think this audio cast of Wheaton's reaffirms that post here.

Speaking of Wil Wheaton, and that I'm also getting further down the rabbit hole of nerdiness, is the Series 2 of the D&D podcast where the guys from Penny Arcade, Scott Kurtz from PvP, and Wheaton get their rolls on. If how these guys play is how most D&D games run, I could entertain the possibility of playing a game of it sometime. Although that would mean going to the local bookstore where the owner is a dick and meeting other people who also are potentially dicks since they repeated shop or play D&D there. Ah well, series PodCast is up on the Official Wizard's site here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The world has gone loopy...

I came across a great interview with creator/lead designer of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico's Fumito Ueda. Many people who have played either of these games truly appreciate its design and story telling ability. Both are undeniably cult hits, as I don't remember either one selling nearly as much as say Grand Theft Auto III-present. These two differ from top sellers where the general population might not have an interest in the style of either game (although Shadow had an incredibly epic feel to it for a number of reasons), but I have a feeling that a long ways down the road people will still be talking about Ueda's games more than they'll talk about the last year's Madden. The full interview is on here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Invisible mang and hopeful movie adaptations...

After almost a month off from the news blog and I'm back. Being broke as hell doesn't and hasn't helped me get together the necessary materials to record an audiolog. So I might just end up doing it really low budget, similar to the guys at PennyArcade's audio blogs. Let's keep the car running.

I have respect for people that try something creative with the story in science fiction/fantasy novels, comics, and video games while still retaining that sense of it occurring in a very real world. It's one thing to go into the campy territory and acknowledge that you're being ridiculous and in no way grounded in reality (see PennyArcade's latest series about "Witchaloks"). But to explore themes of small-town prejudice and xenophobia through the eyes of an invisible man could work, and it could have that sense of being grounded, something that I typically enjoy reading. There's an excellent preview about Jeff Lemire's The Nobody on Newsarama here.

Neil Jordan is set to write and direct Neil Gaiman's recent Newberry Award winning young adult/children's novel The Graveyard Book and I'm not disappointed about that. Jordan has been part of some truly great films, one of my favorites from the list being Interview with a Vampire. I'm more interested to see the cast than anything as many films most certainly can rise and fall based on this. We are all certainly aware of the upcoming Street Fighter movie adaptation with a shite cast, but comparing the source materials is not apples to apples. Based on how much Shia Lebouf loves Neil Gaiman's work, I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop into the story somewhere, although they might just save him for Death and Me. Write up about the announcement can be found here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sandboxes were never this much fun back in the day...

Developers seem to be collectively going in the direction of sandbox style games. A chunk of the "Top Ten" of last year were games where you were rewarded in any number of ways for exploring the world created for you. So it should be no surprise to gamers that a number games coming out in the next year or so are going to be set in worlds where you can explore nearly every nook and cranny. With the previously posted about inFAMOUS from Suckerpunch, to Ubisoft's I Am Alive, and this coming summer's release of Prototype, one will be able to run around wreaking havoc in the inspired cities.

Ubisoft has released some more information on I Am Alive, and it looks to be a new take on the survival genre. It tags itself as being a game in the vein of films like Day After Tomorrow, Cloverfield, and Jericho, where you play a character trying to survive as modern-day Chicago has shit rained upon it in any all violent forms by Mother Nature. Of course with Ubisoft, the focus isn't running and gunning (despite it being from first person perspective) but on stealth and diversionary tactics. The trailer and official write up can be found on here.

There's also some new gameplay footage of Prototype that makes it look like an update of The Hulk and Spiderman combined, with a bit more bloodshed. Apparently as a genetically altered superhuman, you get to square off against any number of soldiers, tanks, and helicopters, all the while running on rooftops and along the sides of buildings. I'm pretty enthusiastic about this game if it controls as tight as a game like this should (which is tight). Footage can be found on G4 here, but if you don't want tons of memory soaking ads shoved in your face, just go to Kotaku here.

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 is one year shy of a decade in the future...

So as it's been a few days since January 1st, and many people have been able to catch their breath, it is unfortunate that we have been in the 2000's for almost a decade and we are still lacking all of the awesome devices promised in Back to the Future II. I am still waiting for my hoverboard, self-lacing sneakers, and ordering my food from Max Headroom. These ideas can spark debate about how people make wild predictions for dates that will soon be now. So when I was reading the Wall Street Journal this morning and found this article about a well respected Russian Professor (at least as far as in Russia) claiming that the United States will start to see signs of the nation dividing as early as spring '09, it kind of made me put the brakes on. It is worth a read to play around with ideas of how the US could be affected by the divisions.

Changing gears entirely to a Sci-Fi/Drama BBC show called Doctor Who, which over the last month my feelings of a cheesy show with bad special effects changed to becoming a zealot of the stories presented, has announced the new Doctor. Presenting a guy I have never heard of before, Matt Smith. Smith will be replacing the undoubtedly fan favorite David Tennant in the role, and will apparently be the youngest actor to portray the role. It also makes him the 11th Doctor to play the role. I had heard rumors that Paterson Joseph, who played the Marquis De Carabas in Neverwhere, was going to get the role. Regardless I'm sure I'll watch, official announcement is pretty much everywhere but I found out on Newsarama here.

The protagonist of one of my favorite movies in the last year King of Kong's Steve Wiebe has an interview up on Kotaku about why he recently set the high score for Stampede. Why indeed is a good question, however, after watching King of Kong, it's kind of hard to dislike Wiebe for any reason as he comes off as a normal, just plain nice guy. Interviews are up on Kotaku here.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Before the year ends...

The holidays are just about over, leaving the rest of the year to stress out about different things other than gift buying, driving to relatives, and the repercussions of eating sliced potatoes covered in cheese sauce. This year is ending on some good notes, some fantastic comics were read, some amazing films were watched, and some truly enthralling video games were played. There were many things that came out that were the opposite side of the coin, but in truth I'm going to be optimistic.

It's kind of shitty then that Jack Thompson, despite being disbarred, continues his attempts to rain shit all over his (read as "God's") enemies, which have taken the form of Take 2 Interactive. T2 is the company behind Grand Theft Auto, and even though I'm not a fan of the game, I don't really think they need to be judged as unleashing hell on earth through their products. Jack Thompson's recent delusional letters can be read on Gaming Politics here.

There is a wall of text up continuing the debate of video gaming being considered art. It's a bit long to diminish hopes of a quick read through, but there are some good points made about it. The theme that John Lanchester gets across though, is that in the next 20 years or so, video gaming will be indeed considered as much an art form as films, television, and music, and this will be proportionately affected by how much gaming becomes accepted by the general population. Prepare to be critted for 50,000hp by the lots of words on the page here.

Have a safe and happy new year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm not the only one in on the joke...

I know for certain that I'm not the only one that feels Uwe Boll is bad news bears. So Black20 launching a trailer for Uwe Boll's new movie and having it stylized with dialog the only way that Uwe Boll can, is pretty genius. I needn't say more, check out the trailer for Contra: The Movie here.

Also of video game adapatation news is Paul WS Anderson's version of Castlevania is stalled until further notice. This is great news since I can only imagine what he would do with the story. Even though he relinquished script-writing and directing to a guy named Sylvian White, he is apparently still attached in some way. I personally hated what he did with all of the Resident Evil movies (making them either intentionally or unintentionally campy) and Alien Vs. Predator could have been so much better, I honestly though the heroine and the Predator were going to have a romantic make out scene at the end of AvP. Write up on IGN here.