Something is rotten in the state of Geekery...

Yup, the blog layout has been changed around a bit. I hope people like it, I may update more often with gadgets and such as they occur to me. Also, the image in the header was most definitely not by me as my drawings often look like something out of XKCD. That was made by the genius who draws the webcomic, Extralife, Scott Johnson, and as you can see it is utterly awesome.

Moving onto the crux of today's post, we have a combination that would make many a geek swoon. The Tenth Doctor and Captain Jean Luc-Picard doing HAMLET. Granted, it's hard to get me to watch Shakespeare after being forced to endure so much of it in high school (especially the massively over-rated Romeo & Juliet, why that's considered a classic is beyond me), but assuming I have a few free hours, this would definitely be the way to get me and tons of other people to watch it.

And I would've had my review for the not at all anticipated Kick Ass game that was released today on PSN excpet that there wasn't even a demo for it. Now lots of games don't have demos, so that isn't necessarily a bad sign in and of itself, but the combination of no demo and almost no press about the game lead me to believe it's a desperate money grab specifically designed to screw a few unwitting fans of their money before everyone catches wind of how awful it is. Oh well, hopefully other promising tie-ins such as Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3 will deliver.

That's really all I have for you today, but I leave you with a completely awesome TRAILER OF THE WEEK: JONAH HEX


The Curse of the movie-tie in...

Oh the poor movie tie-in. Often developed on an incredibly tight schedule with the only thing of concern being that it's out in time to cash in on the property it's based on, almost instantly guarantees failure. Really, the best you can usually hope for is something that isn't entirely painful to play. I mean seriously, the last not horrible game based on a movie I can remember was Kung Fu Panda  and that was really just adequate. But there are those lucky few, who somehow manage to get it right. And I'm not talking about games that come out on established properties, I'm talking about those lucky few that manage to come out in roughly the same time frame and not only not suck, but be surprisingly good. I can really only think of 3 that have managed this off the top of my head- Spider-Man 2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and in a virtually unheard of case of actually being far superior to the sucktackular movie it's based on, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. Probably the one thing those games all have in common is that they were at best loosely based on the property itself, serving as side stories or prequels. And in the case of Spider-Man 2, yeah the movie plot is in there somewhere, but you're too busy doing side missions or swinging around Manhattan just for the hell of it.

With that in mind, there are three upcoming movie tie-ins games that are taking varied approaches to hopefully change the mindset that in general, licensed games aren't worth your money. First up is Kick Ass: The Game, which hits the PSN tomorrow for download. This seems like a good direction for movie tie-ins to consider. To be honest, many of them command the $60 price tag and look and play like a budget title, so releasing games such as this within a much lower price range (a very reasonable $14) seems like a good idea. They did this with 2 Watchmen games last year, in what seemed like a good move. Though the games themselves were arguably not worth the combined $30 price tag at the time, it was a step in the right direction. Hell, I was able to grab them included with the blu-ray edition of the movie for the PS3 for $20, which essentially means I got the games for $5, well worth the price as they are perfectly decent if repetitive beat-em-ups. Kick Ass unfortunately seems to be going down the same path, with little to no press and looking like a poor knock-off of the X-Men Legends/Marvel Ultimate Alliance games (and lacking the gigantic cast). So while I highly doubt it'll be worth the money now, a sale later or being included in the blu-ray release will probably make it worthwhile. I do intend to at least download the demo tomorrow, so I'll let you know my thoughts on my next post.

Then we have the more interesting beast of Iron Man 2: The Game. The game based on he original smash hit was an umitigated disaster. But this time, Sega claims to have realized the error of their ways and promised a game that goes the route of covering the story but expanding the universe including villians such as the Crimson Dynamo and Ultimo. This sounds like a promising set-up for what could be the next gen equivalent of Spider-Man 2 if actually handled correctly. We'll see if it lives up to its potential when it ships next week.

And finally, we have Toy Story 3: The Game. Normally this is a game I wouldn't even glance at, but after ready the lengthy article in this month's Game Informer, I'm very intrigued by the fact that it's basically an open toybox, and you can just go nuts with the toys rather than awkwardly cramming the plot of the movie into the game. Whether or not this will actually transform into an enjoyable coherent gameplay experience will have to be seen, but the fact that they are almost completely seperate from the movie is a really good step in the right direction.

Of course the real issue is that tie-in games are always seen as something to quickly churn out and make a quick buck off of usually unsuspecting fans, and until the every day casual user/kid wises up and only buys the few good games based on movies.

That's really all I got for today, but here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Super Mario Crossover


The A-Team is a bunch of expendable losers...

Am I the only one seeing triple here? I mean, yes these films all have some distinguishing elements, but they are essentially the same story about some good guy meercenaries who are betrayed. All of them are releasing this summer, starting with The Losers out in theatres this weekend. And though it's not the most star-studded, it looks like the most enjoyable one of the 3 to me, mainly due to it having Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans and Zoe Saldana. The A-Team looks like it might be veering into XXX territory with ridiculous stuff like landing a tank out of an airplane. Expendables boasts the most star-studded casts with the big guns of Stallone, Statham, Li, & Willis just to name a few, but already seems to lack any cohesion. When everyone is talking about movie trends like sequels or 3D or talking animals, it seems odd that no one has picked up on this seemingly biggest actual trend this summer. At some point when they all come out on video I want to watch them all in one sitting and see if I can tell where one movie begins and one ends after.

Anyone remember me talking about the fan made Mega Man film being worked on awhile ago? If not, check out this incredibly awesome trailer:

Now, it's a sad truth that most fan projects die, whether it's because of a pointless cease and desist from the company that actually owns the property, or the creators just stopped having the time or the energy to finish it. But Mega Man is finished. That's right, the movie is finished and will premiere on May 7th. Granted, that's the same weekend as Iron Man 2, so if you only have time for one movie, It should probably be that. However, this will be online and free so if you have the time there's no reason you can't check out both. This will hopefully be a shining example that companies should let the fans express themselves as long as it's not sullying the license.

All right, that's really all I got today, but I'll send you off with the FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: War Spheres


Do you want to date my Avatar?

In case you have no idea what the header refers to, check out this awesome video from the cast of the awesome web series, "The Guild".

But however today's post really has nothing to do with the epic web series about a bunch of nerdy MMO obsessed shut-ins, it's about TEH BIGGEST MOVIE EVERS! I am of course talking about the imminent release of James Cameron's tribute to Fern Gully, Avatar. Except it's not the real release. No, Mr. Cameron has decided that any ultimate or 3D version shall be held off til some uknown date. Hell, they are even planning a re-release in theatres. Because, you know, already being the top-grossing film of all time already apparently doesn't qualify as enough money, they need to make more. In all seriousness, I saw the film twice, both in 2D & 3D and really enjoyed it. The derisive comparisons to films like Dances with Wolves and Fern Gully are probably fair, but it's a fun special effects blockbuster, not a serious dramatic film and should be taken as such. I'm fully aware it's gotten even beyond Twilight-esque levels of scary fanboyism what with people reportedly getting depressed about Pandora not being real and people throwing on facepaint like it's a big football game, but that shouldn't take away from the film itself. And as this is the fiance's new favorite movie ever I'll be at least picking up a dvd copy tomorrow because I'll probably be buying the blu-ray proper when it finally does hit.

William Shatner as Dictator for Life of Canada? Ok, really it's just a ceremonial title, but frankly us Americans are more likely to respond to Captain Kirk talking about Canadian concerns than whatever unimportant official is actually doing the job. I say we respond by electing Adam West to some unimportant ceremonial position, and then have the two debate each other. It doesn't matter about what. I guarantee those would be the most watched debates EVER.

Ok that's pretty much it for today, but before I go, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:


Finally we can have The Red Bee vs. Matter Eater Lad Match we always dreamed of!

That's the trailer for the virtually certain to be completely awesome Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Where yes, Chris Redfield actually stands a chance of beating the Hulk. But in case you have no clue who I'm referring to in the header, those are two of the worst marvel super heroes ever to exist. Red Bee was just literally a guy who carried around a trained bee in his belt. So unless you were allergic he didn't pose much of a threat to anyone. And Matter Eater Lad sounds just as lame his name. He could eat anything. That was his goddamn power. Eating crap. God I wish I could get paid to come up with lame ass heroes like these, there's literally a ton in the comics universe still floating around in some capacity. Anyways, as insulting to character accuracy as it is, the Marvel vs. Capcom series has long been one of the few fighting franchises I continue to enjoy to this day, so I am very excited to see that final roster (anybody from the Runaways would be awesome, but unlikely).

Ok pretty much only one other thing I want to talk about is really something that's should be a non-issue and was pretty much only done to get gamers panties in a bunch. Roger Ebert has decided to poke the bear once again by claiming video games are not art. Why anyone is giving this man any credibility on a medium he is clearly out of touch with is beyond me. And why he would bring up the argument again only to say the same thing as last time means he's just going for what they refer to in wrestling as "cheap heat", like insulting the crowd's hometown to get a rise of of them. This is a desperate attempt to try and stay relevant, and should be treated as such. Are games art? Who the hell really cares? I just care that they are worth my hard-earned cash.


The Hunt Begins...

Ok, firstly, I did see Kick Ass yesterday, and while it might not be for everybody with the over the top violence and swearing, it is an absolutely brilliant film that celebrates as well as lampoons super heroes very cleverly.

And on to the big release of this week, one of several really awesome-looking ones out for the Wii this year (that will no doubt be virtually ignored), Monster Hunter Tri. While not extremely well-known outside of Japan, it's following is extremely rabid, and it's pretty easy to see why, with it's constant upgrading and true challenge along with a strong online component it is a unique hardcore title that seems an odd fit for the Wii. Hopefully if this doesn't do well it may convince Nintendo to finally rethink that stupid friend code system they have in place now. I did try a demo and wasn't all that impressed, but admittedly that was with the wii remote controls, when this is something that is obviously built for the classic controller (as it is even bundled with it), and the reviews are nothing short of stellar so far, leading me to believe I should probably give it a real shot, which I fully intend to do.

That's all I got for today really. but I leave you with both the Trailer & Game of the Week til next time:

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Dinner for Shmucks

Free Game of the Week: Flaming Zombooka


Movie Adaptations that will probably never happen (but should)...

Seems like everything is getting a movie these days. Hell even the goddamn creepy ass e-trade baby has a frakking movie in development (and why not? The Geico Caveman had a fantastically awful TV show). But despite nearly everything and everyone at least getting a shot at developing a movie based off something (you know, instead of coming up with original ideas for the screen), there are some perfectly good ideas that will probably never see the light of day in anything other than their current incarnation whatever that may be. So here are 10 I think should be made into movies that probably never will be.

The Question is probably my favorite DC B-Lister, and while it would be great to see a movie about him, I can see why there may never be one. He's an even more eccentric Batman, not the most likeable hero, no super powers and also just an incredibly tough role to cast. Ok, you could have Jackie Earle Haley do it, but since the question is basically a less psychotic version of Rosarch, I don' know if he'd want to. Probably just a little too outside the mainstream yet too close to Batman for people not familiar with the Question to see it as anything but a rip-off.

Admittedly I have a rather unhealthy fondness for Disney's own answer to the Dark Knight, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a fantastic cartoon and would make an excellent family film if handled correctly. Alas, the fact that the last time this was even on the air was years ago and again it may be seen as a "mere Batman knock-off" put it solidly in the highly unlikely column.

The Goblin series is one of the smarter books about adventuring, hence while it will probably be never be made into a movie. Jig, the protagonist, is neither handsome nor brave, nor has any special abilities. Except that of common sense, which many heroic adventurers actually lack. Hence why audiences would probably hate him, even though this could be a brilliant smart alternative to all the overrated teen fantasy popping up in cinema lately.

SPOOON! Though the delightfully naive Tick is the complete opposite of Jig, being strong, brave and incredibly stupid, the series itself has always been a rather brilliant send-up of the superhero genre in general. But it would probably be Spinal Tap all over again, with the joke being too smart for the room. Audiences as a rule are stupid and like their heroes clear cut and simple.

Arguably the craziest superhero to ever exist, Freakazoid would be nearly impossible to put to film and make any sort of sense, but damn it if somebody wouldn't try. Sort of like if Superman had a psychotic break, but still did good deeds. Again, too smart for the room, also probably too smart for Hollywood. Though frankly since Spielberg has gone insane, I'd rather he leave this creation untarnished.

Ok that's pretty much the list. I realize I've been slacking a little bit on movie trailer of the week and game of the week, but those will continue on the next post, which should be either tomorrow or Thursday.


Glee Video Day

That's right, Glee returns this week! Easily the best new comedy of the TV season returns and what better way to celebrate than a bunch of videos!


The short, short version...

Admittedly calling any version of Peter Jackson's epic nerdgasm that is the Lord of The Rings Trilogy short is a rather laughable idea, but I would think most ringers would be very unsatisfied that after a wait that seems like forever for a blu-ray release, all we get is the original theatrical cuts out today. Assuming I ever do pick it up, I will definitely wait for the extended cuts. Admittedly though since watching the extended cuts is an undertaking equivalent to trying to do a speed run on Fallout 3 I may never get around to it, I just don't have the endurance.

Is the PSP a doomed platform? Of course it is. Hell the only reason I hang on to mine is because of the long overdue Birth By Sleep. The weak software lineup and moronic redesigns have basically doomed this thing to be a joke compared to the Nintendo juggernaut. There is hope however, as the fellows at Destructoid point out in Fixing the PSP in six easy steps. Of course these steps are so glaringly if obvious that if Sony hasn't picked up on hem by now, they probably never will.

It is a general agreement that Dr. Horrible is awesome. It is also a general agreement that 8-bit is awesome. Someone put these two incredibly awesome things together in an explosion of pure awesome:

And finally, yes I did catch the season premiere of Doctor Who over the weekend and Matt Smith was absolutely brilliant in the role and really made it his own. It actually was quite a bit stronger debut than David Tennant's, who actually took a few episodes to really grow into the role. It seems like a good sign that the show will survive without the wonderful Tennant, which was a certain worry at the time. I'll most likely post tomorrow or Thursday.


Compilations I'd like to see

Compilations are a tricky thing these days. Clearly people are still willing to pay for fondly remembered genuine classics such as FFVII, which is one of the most downloaded games on PSN, and at $9.99 (and yes, I still contend it's a very over-rated game, but that doesn't mean it's not very good), definitely a bargain when you consider it would be at least twice as much for a used physical copy. And let's face it, many "classics" of our youth are seen through rose-colored glasses. Owning Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection has awakened me to a harsh reality that several games I have fond memories of playing in my 16-bit days suck (namely Kid Chameleon & Ecco the Dolphin). But being inspired by collections such as that and the God of War collection have made me think up my own list of compilations I'd really like to see.

The Shining Force collection: Admittedly the fact that the best of this series is already on the aformentioned Ultimate collection would make it a tad redundant, but this would be the entirety of the classic turn-based series (with none of those craptacular PS2 titles included). This collection would include not only the Sega Genesis classics, but also the game gear iterations as well as the Saturn ones, ideally with the chapters that never made it stateside. It would be any strategy-rpgers'dream come true, especially at the currently popular compilation price of $20.

The Ratchet & Clank collection: Much in the spirit of the God of War Collection, these magnificent PS2 titles should be given a re-release as a collection on PS3 with a full HD upgrade. Imagine all 5 R & C games, with Secret Agent Clank thrown in for good measure. It's ok, go ahead and wipe the drool of your chin, nobody is judging you.

The Sly Cooper collection: Sly and the gang really never got the recognition they deserved, being an excellent trilogy games buried by the slightly superior Ratchet & far more mediocre Jaxter. This was an excellent trilogy of games, and the developers have said they would like to do a next-gen version. A collection of the PS2 titles would be a great way to at least test the waters as well as hopefully get some new fans in there.

The Mutant League Collection

Granted, there are only two games here, but they are two marvelous games. With their insane cast of characters, cartoonish violence and being able to either bribe or kill the ref (as well as the opposing team) if you didn't like they way the game was going, this is another classic series that they should release as a compilation if for no other reason than to test the waters for a new curent-gen entry.

The Wing Commander Collection: Why this has never been re-released when we get anthologies of classic pc series all the time is beyond me. The first 4 games and their expansions, along with the Privateer games, would make this the best space combat sim collection this side of the tie-fighter games (and I'd argue the Wing Commander games are superior anyways). If your only experience with this franchise is the headache-inducing movie, you owe it to yourself to track down a copy of at least one of the original 4 somewhere just to know how much of an insult it was to the property it was based on.

The Earthbound Collection: Though only one game of the series known as "Mother" in Japan was released here, it has an absolutely ginormous cult following, and nothing would make the rabid fanbase go into a frenzy than a compilation of all of the games released stateside (including yours truly, Earthbound was one of my favorite SNES games). Hopefully we'll at least be tided over with an eventual virtual console release as has been heavily rumored, but being able to own the whole series would be any rpg geek's dream come true.

The Panzer Dragoon Collection: Arguably the greatest shooter series of all time. Few series deserve another shot like this critically acclaimed oddball masterpiece that never seemed to find the mass audience it deserved, probably mostly having to do with that majority of it being on the ill-fated Saturn. Having the 3 Saturn games would certainly be a worthy collection, but the critically-acclaimed Xbox entry Orta certainly deserves to be included as well. People should pretty much be having letter-writing campaigns to Sega to release this in some form for a whole new audience to enjoy (especially Saga, which can go for a couple hundred on the used market).

And that's pretty much my list. I'll most likely be back either tomorrow or Tuesday with a new post. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: (Don't) Save the Princess