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big games of 2012.

I haven’t really been gaming since starting my new job. I miss it. This IGN video might give me the needed motivation to get back at it again. You might like it even if you don’t like video games.

Just a few more months until Mass Effect 3!!!!! That wins this year’s Arkham City ‘sweet fancy Moses, I am so excited for this game to come out,’ Award.


five things, 11.4.10.

Five non-Halloween related things I’ve been enjoying recently.

1. Dark City

This is a film I’d intended to see for some time. When detractors kept saying Inception was basically a remake of Dark City that pretended not to be, it moved higher up my queue. I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

This movie is pretty fantastic. A sci-fi noir story where a man wakes up in a strange city where it is always night and people are having memory issues. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when he wakes up he’s in a hotel bathtub, there is a dead hooker in the other room, and he has no memory whatsoever.

The idea that Inception ripped this movie off is stupid. The similarities here aren’t any more pronounced than they would be if you compared any other films in the same genre or subgenre, to be honest there is probably even less. Yet, have a movie where reality isn’t exactly what it seems and memories are being stolen and you must be a straight copycat right? The Matrix is actually influenced by this film far, far more than Inception was. Also, David Goyer was one of the writers for Dark City and he is a friend and collaborator with Chris Nolan, so if he ripped it off completely I’m surprised Goyer never said anything. Although, their friendship is most probably responsible for the fact that they both write about similar themes.

The film does find a creative way to tell a noir story with totally different rules, much the way Inception did the same thing to create a completely different sort of heist film.

But anyway, Dark City really was quite good. As I said, lots of common themes and ideas with The Matrix, but much, much smarter. Also, the noir aspect of the whole thing was delightful. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


2. Fable III

The first game from my ‘ten things’ video game post to be released, and I even got to pre-order it. Yay!

Nothing deep or profound, just a fun story played out through silly, enjoyable gameplay. Fun times.


3. RED

I like good action movies, I just have a really small pool of action films that I actually consider ‘good.’ I’ll never even bother seeing films like The Expendables, or The Transporter: Parts 1-1,000, or anything that feels remotely like those films.

It’s sad that there are so few films from this genre that I like, because I have such a great time watching the ones that, to use a decidedly non-action phrase, tickle my fancy. What is a fancy anyway? Do I actually have a one?

Anyway, RED is definitely in the category of action films, or action comedies, that I really enjoyed. Great cast, fun uses of the genre standards, certainly nothing awe-inspiring, but for the genre, it’s smart, funny, and sharp. Plus, it has the wonderfully sexy Mary-Louise Parker.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend two hours, you could do a whole lot worse.


4. The Social Network

The Social Network is a brilliant film. The acting is impeccable, the direction is really tight all the way through, and screen-writing doesn’t get better than this. In the words of Josué Blanco, “God, I love Aaron Sorkin.”


5. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

I should probably dedicate an entire ‘Graphic Content’ post to this once I’ve read the whole series, because this shit is for real.

The movie adaptation was a special kind of horrid in literally every way imaginable, and this is made all the worse now that I’ve read the first volume of the graphic novels. Alan Moore is a fucking genius. An homage/satire/commentary on Victorian literature and culture, Moore takes public domain literary figures and imagines a steam punk sort of alternate version of Victorian London in which Alan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, The Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll are assembled to thwart a plan which threatens all of England. The literary references abound, I spent probably four times as much time on the internet looking up what all the more vague references meant than I spent simply reading the book. I mention that because it was really fun, not because I’m complaining.

I can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on volume two!


ten things. [10.1.10]

That’s right, folks, TEN things. What better day than the first day of 10.10 to double our pleasure and our fun?

Plus, I’m naming off the upcoming video games I’m most excited for, and there are so many exciting titles on their way, it would be impossible to whittle a list down to five anyway.

I realize there are many glaring omissions as it is. There are a bunch upcoming sequels I bet I would be excited about if I had ever played their predecessors, but I haven’t, so they aren’t on the list. Most notable off the top of my head are Fallout: New Vegas, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Resistance 3, Portal 2, and Diablo III.

Anyway, on with the games that did make the list.


1. Gears of War 3

Release Date: 4.5.11

As noted above, this game comes out April 5th. My birthday is April 8th. [Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiint.]

It doesn’t get better than GoW2. The Epic Games track record makes it likely that 3 will be just as good or better. I’ve already posted the trailer here.

Good stories, highly engaging single player campaigns, crazy fun co-op carnage, and some of the most satisfyingly cathartic combat. This game promises to deliver the goods.


2. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

Release Date: 11.16.10

Assassin’s Creed is back. Ezio is back. They seem to be brining back everything that made AC2 amazing, with a bunch of fun new goodies as a bonus. I am so in.

Warning, the video below is dangerous. It’s like crack fucking cocaine. Insanely addictive, and if you are in love with the first two it is entirely possible you will die of a heartache on your first use. In other words… watch it.


3. Dead Space 2

Release Date: 1.25.11

I just posted the trailer for this one, as well as posting at length about why I loved the first one so much. So, obviously it makes the list.


4. Fable III

Release Date: 10.26.10

Just a few short weeks until this one hits shelves.

I’ve always liked the concept they use in the Fable games, and I’ve really enjoyed games that draw from Fable’s attention to open decision making and morality determining what your gameplay experience is like.

Yet, while they’ve intrigued me, I’ve only played the first two briefly. They were released when life was either too busy to even think about playing a video game, or during one of those dark times in my life where I didn’t even own a gaming console. I won’t let the same thing happen with Fable III. Come late October, I’ll be Fabling it up with the rest of the gaming world.


5. Mass Effect 3

Release Date: Very tentative, Late 2011/Early 2012

Speaking of games that draw from Fable’s decision making, choose your own morality type gameplay, Mass Effect 3 is on its way. The amazing thing about Mass Effect is that the decisions you make don’t just carry over into the next game battle, or the next cinematic, it actually carries over from game to game. The decisions you make in ME1 actually determine what the experience is like at the beginning of ME2, and depending on what characters lived and died at the end of ME2, I bet we’ll see that carry over into ME3 as well. Fun times!

If I had to pick my top five favorite video games franchises, Mass Effect would make it without a doubt. I love these games. Nothing gets sacrificed to make room for another aspect of the game. The stories are fantastic, the characters are engaging, the gameplay is addictive, and if the huge improvement between Mass Effect 1 and 2 is any indication, then this next one will be absolutely mind-blowing.

I need to get on the ball and finally get around to playing the DLC for ME2, I’ve heard good things.


6. Dragon Age 2

Release Date: 5.8.10

From BioWare, the same people who brought us Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins was another outstanding title. Most games, even ones I love playing, would never be able to hold my attention through more than one play-through. Not so with games like Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins, where the gaming experience can change so much every time. I could probably play each four or five times without getting bored. Soon I’ll get to see if Dragon Age 2 gets added to that list.


7. Twisted Metal

Release Date: Late 2011

It’s been so very long since we’ve had a new Twisted Metal title. If it’s even half as fun as some of the old releases, then hours and hours of delight await us all. Trailer here.


8. inFamous 2

Release Date: Late 2011

Cole is back, this time in fake New Orleans instead of fake New York. This one will definitely be worth playing, maybe even twice to try out being famous and infamous.

There have been a few changes since this trailer came out three months ago, mostly just to make Cole look more like he did in the first game, as opposed to making him look like an entirely different character.


9. Bioshock: Infinite

Release Date: Late 2012

This one is still REEEEEALLLLY far away.

I’ve already posted the trailer for this, which makes it clear that things are going to be very different in this one.

It’s sad to be leaving Rapture behind for good, but that new city in the sky looks pretty damned intriguing. I want to go to there.


10. Batman: Arkham City

Release Date: Fall 2011

There are no words in any language capable of describing how much I want this game to come out. It’s no secret that I love Batman. However, that doesn’t make me an easy mark when it comes to a Batman video game. I’m the harshest critic of anything Batman related because I hate when people screw it up. There are very particular things I love about Batman, about Gotham, about my own fantasies of being the dark knight. So, whenever you get Adam West putting on some fucking pajamas and camping shit up, my urge to kill rises.

Yet, as a Batman fan, I would give Arkham Asylum a perfect score in literally every Batman related category. They got everything right; all the details, the atmosphere, the little things were all spot on, and the big things were done to perfection as well.

I can’t wait for this game. More villains will be included (like Two-Face and Mr. Freeze, Stana Katic from Castle will be voicing Talia al-Ghul, you get more space to play in, and most importantly of all, Mark Hamill says this is the last time he’ll reprise his role voicing the Joker, which is really sad, but also really great that we know going into this game that it’s the end, thus we can appreciate every second of it.



dead space.

In the lightning fast world of video games, this one is old (2008), but it was new to me.

I’ve never really played games from the horror genre, but if Dead Space is any indication, I’ll be adding more to my Gamefly queue post-haste. The game was full of tense, creepy fun.

The game’s story isn’t anything groundbreaking. You are Isaac Clarke, your wife Nicole is on a space station which seems to be having communication difficulties, as it’s been radio silent for some time. You arrive at the space station, which is running a mining expedition on the planet below, as part of a team that has been sent in to fix whatever is wrong. You crash land on your way in, rendering you unable to leave, and obviously, you arrive to discover that everything has gone to shit. Soon you are being attacked by dead humans who have been converted into horrible monsters by some alien life-form. You need to survive, find Nicole, and discover a way to get off the ship. Pretty straightforward sci-fi horror.

The gameplay itself is a dark, gruesome, atmospheric romp through the limbs of disfigured, reanimated corpses. Like most horror video games, you are constantly running low on ammo, and asshole bad guys are constantly jumping out of the vents they travel through (as a lovely homage to the Alien franchise). Thus, your poor Isaac is constantly on edge, desperately trying to make it to the next waypoint before running out of ammo and health and find yourself completely screwed. Talk about PTSD.

Along the way, you get kinesis and stasis (the ability to slow enemies down temporarily) powers. At times, using kinesis to send a well aimed gas tank at an enemy is the only way to survive when your ammo runs out.

Again, none of these features is anything new. Yet, there is something to be said for taking pre-existing parts and putting them together in an enjoyable way. I know I was probably one of the last gamers in the world to play this one, but if you haven’t tried it out yet, you definitely should.

I can’t wait for the sequel in January!


forget avatars…

… I just want to date Felicia Day.

I’ve only seen a few episodes of The Guild, I wasn’t really that crazy about it, but perhaps I need to give it another chance.

However, Ms. Day I would watch all… well, you know. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was actually created by the government to get every geek in the world to fall madly in love with her. It sure as hell worked on me.

Here is the music video for ‘Do You Want To Date My Avatar?’