Microsoft needs to watch this....

Because they seriously fail in the math department, claiming Kinect is cheaper than the Wii. Sure, if you already have a 360. And this is hardly the first time a company has used funny math (the most infamous probably being Atari's claim that it's final system, the truly craptacular Jaguar, was the first "true" 64-bit system). And as Destructoid has pointed out, while the Kinect may be able to "track" up to 6 people, it can only handle 2 playing at any time. Face it Microsoft, your math just doesn't add up. Nice try, though.

Yes I did happen to watch the latest DCAU  movie yesterday. Honestly it's a good thing they keep making this stuff, or I'd never be able even remotely keep up things that have happened since I stopped really reading comics about 12 years ago. I still read the occasional graphic novel while killing time at Borders, but that's about it. Anyways, most DC/Batman fans know that there have been several Robins, but only one was brutally murdered by popular vote/The Joker, and that'd be Jason Todd. Years later, he's come back to deal with criminals the way Batman never would. Controlling a few key ones and killing the rest. Now in the comics, he's brought back to life by Superboy punching reality (yeah, that kind of stuff happens all the time in comics). I won't spoil exactly how he was brought back in the movie, but let's just say Superboy isn't in it. Ultimately whether or not you'll enjoy this movie arguably depends on your history with DC animated stuff. There are certain iconic voice actors established with key characters in the DC Universe. Most notably Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. These guys are considered the standard for any animated work featuring these characters. And this is admittedly not the first time they've decided to go another route, but for many fans it's hard to hear anyone else in the role. It's certainly a solid entry in it own right, but for anybody who owns or has watched a good portion of the DCAU, it doesn't quite stack up to the high quality bar that was set with movies such as Subzero or more recently, Wonder Woman (arguably the best non-batman animated DC movie to date). Still, I'd reccomend a rent for any Batman or comic fan.

Does anyone play Everquest anymore? I'm pretty sure that sadly the grandaddy of MMORPGS has been shoved into near-irrelevance since WOW has more or less dominated the market for years and everyone else is just dividing up an increasingly small pie. Apparently in a bid to try and regain some relevancy, they are going the free to play route like so many others. But it's not quite the same as it won't include the latest expansion. I'm not sure who this is suppossed to appeal to.The hardcore who still play Everquest will want access to the newest and frankly if you're not playing Everquest now, you probably never will as their are far more attractive offerings out there, free or otherwise.

That's pretty much it for today, but I will try and do one more post sometime this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Skyfyre


WII NEEDS WOMEN. And rpgs...

Actually the Wii arguably has a better track record than any console in history of attracting women (at least those that don't normally play video games), but attracting rpgs at anything even remotely resembling a regular fix seems next to impossible. I mean the last rpg that even came out for the system was Sakura Wars. And I really tried to like it, but several chapters of listening to inane sub-standard anime chatter with the rare occasional battle thrown in was just too much for me to bear. This was a similar issue on the Gamecube, but with it being a distant third, that wasn't surprising. The Wii is completely dominating the market, and with it being considerably less expensive to develop for, it should seem a haven for quirky rpg developers aiming at a niche crowd. Unfortunately, that hasn't really happened. So, an rpg fan with only a Wii to play desperately grabs at anything that comes out. That almost seems to be the hope behind Arc Rise Fantasia, out tomorrow, because according to nearly every review, it'd be extremely difficult to be more generic. Ironically rpg fans are far better off owning a 360, what with its wide variety of both American & Japanese flavored-rpgs. And the DS has a pretty healthy library as well. And what's the next rpg Wii owners even have to look forward to? The next Dragonquest game, due out whenever they feel like it at this point (likely 2012 at this rate). On the bright side, this console generation is seemingly having a much longer life-span than previous ones, with the next generation nowhere to be seen, so it's not too late to change this (but I doubt it will happen).

Batman 3 isn't coming out til 2012, but in the meantime you can help tide yourself with the latest DC direct-to-video release, Under the Red Hood, which is an animated re-telling of the return of the only Robin ever killed by popular vote. DC video releases are normally of tremendous quality (the Wonder Woman movie is one of the best animated films I've seen in a long time) so I definitely intend to rent it tomorrow and hopefully will have a review up next time I post.

How much will you pay for a 3DS? Is $250 too much? That's what often-quoted (and wrong 90% of the time) analyst Michael Pachter thinks it'll be. Granted, it's tough to say what a fair price for a portable 3D gaming system that can play 3D movies as well would be. But Nintendo has always stressed affordability for their products, including this newest one, so that price does seem like a slim possibility at best, or at least it would have a pretty solid bundle included to come out at that price. It would almost certainly be more than the DSi XL which is currently $189, but I think we'll simply see the DS disappear, the price of the DSi & DSi XL dropped and the 3DS at $199, as anyone who bought a DSi/XL might feel shafted at suddenly seeing a new fancy 3D system that can play their games and more and suddenly have to shell out another $250 for it.

Ok, that's really all I have for today, but I should be back tomorrow with something, in the mean time, check out the awesome new comic-con Tron Legacy trailer as the TRAILER OF THE WEEK:



Now I played the original Starcraft back when you didn't need to have a $1000+ rig to run the latest computer games, but my interest in computer games was steadily waning at that point anyways, and with computer gaming being more of a niche thing these days than ever, it's easy t see why someone who was raised on consoles or has played console games almost exclusively could not give less of a  frakk about arguably the biggest PC release in nearly 10 years, Starcraft II, which is out this Tuesday. It doesn't help that consoles and RTS games just do not seem to mix. It's been tried mind you, but usually with middling results at best. For whatever reason, developers just have not managed to work out a formula that amounts to a quality RTS experience on a console, and so console gamers (which do make up something like 90% of the gaming community) at large don't care. Personally, I've tried the RTS genre several times over the years and never really had a taste for it. Probably something about having to do all that micromanaging in real time.

Couldn't download the free Doctor Who games released awhile ago because you live in the colonies? Well good news, they are now available for download. Bad news-not free like they are across the pond, but 4.95 for both episodes is hardly something I'd complain about, that probably just covers the licensing fees or something.

So the world's biggest comic convention, the San Diego Comic Con was this weekend, and everybody seems to be going ape over the not terribly be surprising news that Joss Whedon is indeed directing the Avengers, and that Mark Ruffalo is the latest Hulk, even though they've been the names most associated with those respective roles for months. Whedon on the Avengers is of course huge. It's hard to see Mark Ruffalo convincingly do Bruce Banner even though he is a very solid actor, he just seems ill-fitting for the role. But as he may be a green cgi giant most of the time, it may not matter.

Ok, that's really I got for today, I will hopefully do another post tomorrow or Tuesday (certainly Wednesday at the latest), but in the meantime, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: The Breach


No, no don't riddle me anything. Really, it's ok...

So Batman 3 casting rumors are popping up again with the film actually being in the not horribly far off Summer of 2012. The big rumor running is that the villain will be the enigmatic mastermind known as the Riddler. A classic villain to be sure, but bring this character into Nolan's universe and what have you got? A low rent Joker. I mean, he'd clearly be a super-intelligent psychopath who hatches crazy schemes to outwit everybody. Pretty much the only difference would be the Riddler would be doing it for an ego boost, the Joker just did it for kicks. I really feel that this would be a wrong way to go when Batman has a large assortment of more than worthy villains, many of which fit well into Nolan's more realistic universe. Bane would be a great way to play on the fact hat currently Batman is a fugitive, as he could be hired by an overeager official who finds out he can't control him. Black Mask is virtually a mirror image of Bruce Wayne, just twisted inside, so he'd also be a great choice. My top pick however, would be Mr. Freeze. Though it was touched on briefly with Two-Face's all too brief subplot in Dark Knight, a tragic villain as the focus would be perfect after Batman mainly having to deal with pure psycopaths so far. Granted, Nolan so far has been able to handle dual villains rather deftly, so maybe a Bane/Freeze combo could work. Then again...

And yes, at the top is a trailer for the completely awesome-looking Scott Pilgrim videogame, due out on PSN in just a few weeks. Feel free to drool of the River City-esque awesomeness. If any new ones pop up before the actual release, I'll put them up. I'm seriously anticipating  this more than most retail releases coming out this year.

Apparently, even the sinister Mr. Shanrgilamayan cannot kill Avatar: the Last Airbender. The absolutely awesome cartoon is getting a spin-off next year called The Legend of Korra. Now, if this was a mere cash in on Nickelodeon's part, I would be skeptical, but since the original creators are involved, I'm very excited. This is the kind of rare animation that manages to be entertaining on many levels for kids and adults. Let us wash the horrible memory of the movie away and await these hopefully awesome new adventures.

The price for the Kinect has been confirmed at $150. I've more or less said my piece on this. It's not that the price seems unreasonable in itself, but the software looks terrible, and good luck convincing the casual public to fork out at least $100 more than what Nintendo is offering (and odds are Nintendo will drop the price again).

That's really all for today, I should be back tomorrow with something about Salt as well as a couple other items. Til then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Red


Taking "adaptation" to a whole new level

Two potentially huge movies out this week, The Sorceror's Apprentice & Inception. I saw both today, and firstly I'd really like to talk about Apprentice. How exactly a short section of Fantasia got turned into a full blown big budget movie clearly involves a lot of liberties, and I guess they are hoping for the same magic that came with the very loose concept of a movie based on a certain piratey theme park ride. I think it works as a big dumb popcorn flick, with good comedy and special effects, and clearly Nicholas Cage had plenty of fun with his role. I will say I think Jay Baruchel was poorly cast, as he's pretty much just annoying and can't really carry the more serious heroic growth moments his character has throughout the film. I still think it's worth seeing overall, which doesn't seem to be the consensus.

Inception is pretty much everything you've heard. Brilliant, suspenseful, amazing. This might be Nolan's best work to date, and considering his resume that's saying quite a bit. And the thing is, everyone seems to know its brilliant and yet they are worried it will fail (and in a day and age where movies like "Marmaduke" een get made, it's a serious concern). So drag everyone you know with you into this film. If they don't understand or don't get it, you should probably find new friends...

Finally, with 007 movies in limbo for god only knows how long, will we actually see Daniel Craig don the secret agent duds ever again? Well if a couple of videogames do well enough, we may see him more often than we'd think, because not only is the Wii release of Goldeneye featuring Mr. Craig, but a new original Bond game was just announced, and they are treating it like a full blown movie. Now granted, Bond games have an overall fairly shoddy history, but the last fully original (as in not based on a movie at all) Bond game was the very excellent Everything or Nothing, so hopefully it follows in that game's foot steps.

That's all I really have for today, but til next time, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Five Minutes to Kill Yourself (reloaded)


Where's the epic downloadable rpgs?

Because today is the release one of the more hotly anticipated downloadable titles of the year (at least on PSN, it hits XBLA tomorrow), Deathspank, an old-school dungeon crawler with a good sense of humor. I downloaded the demo, and it was pretty entertaining. But even though the reviews are very positive, most clock it in at a measly 8 hours, not a very meaty rpg. Now, admittedly, standards should be a little different for a downloadable title, but this is an rpg we are talking about. 15 hours should arguably be the bare minimum, with 20 being a more acceptable number. There is no reason someone couldn't make an epic rpg clocking in anywhere form 30-60 hours on the graphical level of a PS one title or even a 16 or 8-bit game. I mean, we do get occasional bytes in old school classic rpgs such as Secret or Mana or Final Fantasy IX that are available for download, but where are some original rpgs? I mean aside from the newly released Deathspank, there's the Penny Arcade games, and that's about it. Hopefully somebody is working on one, because I'd love to see an epic Super NES era style rpg to downloadable channels. I mean, if they can make something as awesome as Torchlight and sell it for $20 (actually far less with it constantly being on sale) on PC, surely they can do something equally epic for consoles, right? Someone get on that.

Well, I'm about 9 or so hours into Dragonquest IX, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far. Though it is still very old school and frankly the multi-player aspect is essentially nothing more than grinding with friends since you can't advance the story any. Still a really solid choice for anyone looking for a timesink portable rpg.

So, Kinect demo units are coming to a major retailer near you. Where you ask? Macy's. Yeah, that's the ticket, demoing it at a place that gamers never go for gaming, and that is on the verge of bankruptcy. And while Kinect is clearly an attempt at reaching a non-gamer audience, it's not the matter of "playing the Halos" as the Penny Arcade guys put it. It's the matter of being able to navigate menus equally well with your hands vs. a controller, or being able to do something like drive with nothing physical to interact with. The complete lack of a physical controller to do many things that in real life require control of an object sounds like you might as well be just using your imagination and playing in a cardboard box. Which would be a helluva lot cheaper than buying whatever the hell Kinect thinks it is.

Ok, that's pretty much all I have for today, but I'll leave you with the TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Valhalla Rising


Even Seth Green probably won't make you care about Dragonquest IX

At least if you aren't already a fan of the series. Despite it being around as long as the venerable Final Fantasy franchise and being an international phenomenon to the point where Japan virtually shuts down when a new one is released. But here, it's relegated to a small but fiercely dedicated fanbase. I wouldn't count myself as fiercely loyal, but I have enjoyed the majority of the series entries, I especially invested plenty of time in the last couple entries. It's kind of hard to describe why it's got such a huge following, as it's been extremely slow to change with the times (i.e. the seventh installment, a Playstation title looked like it could've easily been done on a Super Nintendo). But hey, Pokemon's barely changed in over 20 years and its still huge. The series has always maintained a huge charm factor, possibly because it's so simple when other rpgs get more and more complex (hell I had to buy a strategy guide just to understand most of FFXIII). The ninth installment is a true divergence for the series, adding a huge multi-player component that while I'd like to advantage of, nearly nobody out here in the midwest seems to have both a ds and an appetite for old school rpgs, but the single-player component should be enough to keep me busy for quite awhile, and I happily anticipate the next chapter, apparently due out for the Wii.

Not much else to comment on, except that I managed to catch Despicable Me earlier today, and it was a very charming film. It's probably not what you would expect, but it's very funny and manages to not overdo it with the syrupy sentimental stuff and it's nice to see a non-pixar production that is actually good every once and awhile. I would say that I would've preferred either a pure villain vs. villain movie or Gru keeping to his evil ways and teaching the kids, but obviously that probably wouldn't go over so well with the mainstream audiences. Still, a high reccomendation from me.

Well, that's really it for today, but I should be back early next week with DQ IX impressions and whatever else happens to break. In the mean time here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Looming


You almost had me at Hulu...

I've said that Sony's Playstation Plus service really needed something far beyond the little tidbits of practically useless freebies and discounts to get myself interested. Hulu plus, the new service from Hulu that sounds essentially like what we've all wanted cable to be for years at the low low price of $9.99 a month. Now it is coming for PS3 in the very near future (like supposedly later this month) and originally it seemed to be only available to Plus members. Granted, some decried this as relegating non-Plus members to the same second-class citizenship rules that the Xbox Silver players suffer from. But keeping in mind that cable/satellite is at least 3 times more expensive a month, paying $50 once a year and $10 a month would be quite the savings, and something I would've gladly signed up for. Luckily, Sony and Hulu aren't seeing this way and are merely offering Plus owners a shot at the preview period, essentially the beta. Once Hulu plus is out of preview (which should be later this month) it will be available to all PS3 owners. Win one for the cheapskates like me, but getting it through Playstation Plus still would've been a very good deal.

By now you might've noticed the ginormous trailer posted for Dragonquest IX replacing the artwork of Scott Johnson. I think what I'm going to start doing is alternating between upcoming trailers for games & movies I'm really excited for that are hitting soon, and the occasional piece of awesome geek art if there's a lull. We'll see how that works out. Dragon Quest IX itself, which hits this Sunday, I'll likely discuss in far more detail in my Thursday/Friday post (more likely to be a Friday). In the meantime, have a slime drink...

Whether or not this strikes you as completely awesome probably depends on your history with the Dragon Warrior/Quest series...

So even though it's easily the worst movie of the year, if not the last several, M. Night Shakalazam's savaging of The Last Airbender still managed to make a pretty respectable $70 mil over the holiday weekend, bringing up sequel talks. God I hope not. Most people are betting/hoping the is the final nail in his directing coffin, but nearly everything that even breaks even gets at least a shot at a sequel. I hope if development does go forward, the studio boots his ass or those who were duped in the first place just don't go.

Ok, that's really all for today, but I hopefully will post something tomorrow. In the meantime, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The American


Video Day-Big Bang Edition

Yeah, after working double shifts yesterday and today and having to be up in a little over 6 hours for work again tomorrow, I'm in no shape for a full on post, so look for an actual post hopefully tomorrow (but assuredly there will be one Wednesday at the latest). In the meantime, enjoy the last few hours of the holiday weekend with a bunch of clips from what is currently easily my favorite sitcom currently, the supremely geeky BIG BANG THEORY:


Shamamahahiho Hits a new low....

Which frankly I didn't think was possible after the Village and the Happening. Hell, this was suppossed to more or less be his comeback piece. A huge budget, a potentially huge property, and since he had an established lore and story to follow, he couldn't possibly include any of his usual nonsensical plot twists and surprises. But yes, M. Night Shahadoons take on the beloved and completely awesome Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender is a complete affront to fans of the show and moviegoers in general. I could forgive the lack of appropriate race casting (most of the cast of the cartoon is Asian or Indian) as it admittedly might have a less broad appeal that way, but the actors (aside from the kid playing Aang, who does an okay job) are all completely terrible. Their are numerous essential elements of the show either completely butchered, missing or changed for no reason to something compleltely ridiculous, the special effects are serviceable at best, and the fighting is choppy, slow and extremely clumsy. Finally, if you watched the series, you know that that while it is a fairly serious affair about rebelling against a violent empire, it also had a ton of hilarious moments. The offbeat humor was a key element, and it's pretty much completely absent from the movie. This will arguably be his biggest failure to date and frankly given his track record over his last 5 films, I'd say we are all better off if it's his last.

So, Nintendo's E3 press conference was 20 kinds of awesome, but they were lacking in one big area: NEW IP. As much as we loved seeing all those old franchises updated, their pretty much wasn't anything new, making many think Nintendo has pretty much blown their wad and won't be able to follow it up next year. While it will be hard regardless, the good news is that Shigeru Miyamoto knows this, and has stated that they in fact need new characters, which they should focus on next year, so kudos to him for realizing this, I hope they can keep up with it.

Birth By Sleep is coming up fast (Sept. 7), and I thought I'd do my little bit to promote it by making a fanvid"

Finally, Roger Ebert has recanted? No of course not, that'd be silly. He simply apologizes for expressing his half-assed opinion that he still clings just as strongly to about games not now and not ever being art. Gamers are seeing this as some sort of victory? Why? Frankly the man shouldn't apologize for giving his opinion on the matter, that he should be free to express all he wants, it's the whole point of free speech. Just as the gaming community is free to respond. That he shouldn't have apologized for, and it's damn cowardly of him to do so frankly. So the gaming community is hounding him about it? Get a goddamn backbone and don't sort of apologize for having the opinion in the first place. Essenitally saying "I still believe what I said, but I was wrong to say it anyways" is a complete fucking cop out.

That's really all for today, but I'll probably try and post something this weekend if I can, in the meantime, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Infectonator!