Artificial Continuum


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When it comes to DLC, the Mass Effect series has been a mixed bag at best. You have your fantastic add ons (Brind Down the Sky, your mediocre (Kasumi's Lost Memory), and your terrible (Normandy Crash Site). Although it is nice to have regular additions to the amazing franchise that Bioware has created, it is disappointing that that fans are not given a more consistent level in quality to these (some times expensive) features. It is easy to say that the latest update, Overlord, although far from perfect is the best released for Mass Effect 2 so far.


Story
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The story is the essential part of any Bioware game, and unfortunately almost every DLC has been lacking in this department so far. The concept for Overlord is a fairly simple one. Cerberus scientists in an attempt to gain influence over remaining Geth forces have interfaced a human mind with a highly intelligent and powerful virtual intelligence. When the VI goes highwire, machinery around the planet goes haywire and launches an all out assault against the science team. However, it does not stop there. The menacing computer plans to spread its influence across the entire galaxy creating a galaxy wide apocalypse. Already the scale of this DLC is far larger then any of those previously presented. For the first time since the main game it feels as if the mission we are undertaking is a worthy one for our now battle hardened team. Although the plot is a seemingly familiar one, Bioware manages to tell the story with a decidedly disturbing, human, and emotional tone. Despite the overarching plot, story only really matters at the onset and ending of the mission. However, the ending to Overlord is absolutely fantastic. The last twenty minutes of the campaign justifies several hours of relative mediocrity and is easily one of the best Mass Effect scenes ever rendered. The choice presented to the players is shocking and surprisingly poignant. There are also moments of refreshing comic relief scattered throughout the missions. However, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Overlord is how little our main characters do throughout the campaign. Shepard (outside of the bookends of the mission) is surprisingly silent except for several snarky quips. Most upsetting is that your teammates will never utter a word. Although this is understandable due to budget and actor constraints, it is still sad to have your teamamtes stand there like relative puppets. (However, there is a rather nice scene involving Legion and the lead scientist.)

+Great Presentation
+Humor
+Fantastic Ending Sequence
+Epic Scale
-Slightly Cliched Main Plot
-Silent Teammates
-Story only relevant at the beginning and end of campaign.

Score: 32/40


Gameplay
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The base game of Mass Effect 2 remains in this DLC. The outstanding combat and dialogue system remains, with great opportunities presented for both. There are numerous fun action set pieces in this expansion including a rather disturbing series of bosses ranging from a corrupted Geth Prime and the insane VI itself. The dialogue is offered less time to shine, but the amazing interrupt system is once again a standout. There are also numerous puzzles introduced into the gameplay that add to the experience. Perhaps the best introduction gameplay wise into this DLC is the expanded use of the Hammerhead vehicle, first introduced in the Firewalker pack earlier this year. Unlike the original Mass Effect's Mako tank, the Hammerhead is easy to handle and is alot of fun to use. There are numerous creative uses of the vehicle, including some very fun platforming sequences. However, the same flaws present in the original Firewalker pack still remain. The Hammerhead still only has one form of attack, and it you are prohibited from saving within the vehicle. Luckily, there are numerous autosaves which prevents this flaw from totally ruining the experience. Unfortunately, the campaign is also annoyingly short only lasting about five to six hours in length.

+Great Combat Sequences
+Fun Puzzles
+/-Dialogue
+/-Hammerhead
-Short

Score: 35/40


Graphics
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Overlord is perhaps the most impressive looking Mass Effect content ever released. Exploring the planet the campaign takes place is a breathtaking experience. As the VI on your Hammerhead points out, the scenery is a beautiful sight. Whether its the flames of the volcanic station of the game, the haunting presence of the VI as it stalks you throughout your mission, or the Tron-esque finale Bioware has provided a striking visual experience. The amazing character animations remain, and only experience slight hiccups.

+Outstanding visual design and scenery
+ Outstanding character animations
-Some minor graphical hiccups


Score: 9.5/10

Sound
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Mass Effect has always shined when it came to an exceptional sound experience, and Overlord is no different. Jack Wall's score returns, although more subtle then in previous iterations. The top notch voice acting is still present, although in smaller additions then in the main game. Shepard's actor gets better with each time he plays the character, and he is far from the wooden statue like soldier seen in the original. However, the real star are the brilliant sound effects. Whether its the pang of bullets shooting past your head, or the eerie insect liking shrieking of the villainous computer Overlord is an aural treat.

+Jack Wall's Score
+Voice Acting
+Sound Effects

Score: 10/10

Overall
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Overlord may not be perfect, but for Mass Effect fans it is easily the best expansion delivered since the award winning Bring Down the Sky for the series's original installment. Your money is well spent in this short but sweet gem of a DLC.

Aggregate Score: 86.5/100
Overall Score: 88/100
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

There are few films in history that have a larger cult status and influence upon its genre then Planet of the Apes. Although often remembered for its camp value, Apes still stands apart as being one of the most successful and original science fiction creations of all time. It's impact upon popular culture is undeniable and it helped to immortalize its lead star Charlton Heston. However, little praise can be said about the numerous sequels and the critically slammed 2001 Tim Burton remake.


Despite the negativity held towards the expanded universe of the original films, 20th Century Fox announced earlier this year that it planned to release a prequel to the original film entitled Rise of the Apes. Following the rise of the simian race to its status seen in the original 60's classic, Rise of the Apes follows Caesar a charismatic rebel who leads his fellow ape kind to freedom from oppression. Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) is attached to direct the picture.

Today, 20th Century Fox announced via Twitter that Andy Serkis, most famous for his roles as Gollum and King Kong in the recent Peter Jackson directed epics, will be playing the lead role of Caesar. Reportedly, the film will also use motion capture to help portray its nonhuman leads.

The film is due for release next summer.

The cast of the upcoming X-men prequel, First Class, is growing larger every day. With such mutants as Magneto, Charles Xavier, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Emma Frost already added to the cast this looks to be one of the largest mutant gatherings in the history of film.

Today the Latino Review announced that Caleb Landry Jones (No Country for Old Men, Friday Night Lights) is in talks to play the screaming mutant Banshee.

The Mattew Vaughn directed film is slated to begin filming this August and to be released next July.
When it comes to classic anime sci-fi, there are few more beloved then the classic Toho's ( the same company that brought you Gojira and The Seven Samurai)Battleship Yamamoto. Following the efforts of a crew of a mighty space warship modeled after a WWII battleship, the series is a cult classic. Like any classic from the late 1900's, Yamamoto is now getting a big budget live action redux, and might I say I'm excited. Honestly, look at that. Best sci-fi epic I've seen in years. Finally, SPACE BATTLES!

Monday, June 28, 2010
The trailer for the final Harry Potter film has arrived. Regardless of my mixed feelings for the movie series based on the popular books, I have to admit I'm excited for this conclusion.


There are few characters more central to the X-men mythology then Emma Frost. Whether acting as a rebellious psychic teen or one of the leading members of the weakening mutant community, Emma Frost is fan favorite of the X-men fanbase and one of the major characters of the Marvel universe. Despite her rather unfortunate portrayal in the latest X-men film, X-men Origins: Wolverine, it appears the heroine will be playing a major role in the upcoming Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass) directed X-men prequel.

According to Deadline New York, Alice Eve (She's Out of My League, Sex and the City 2) is in talks with studio heads to play the famous psychic in next years comic book adaptation.

X-men: First Class is due out for release June 3rd of next year.
Here we are everybody. It's Monday again, and it's been a rather eventful week here on the site. Between a flood of new posts and our new podcast site (which should have a new episode released soon), us here at Artificial Continuum have been really busy. However, I wouldn't forget about you little people. This week we possibly have the weirdest combination of videos so far.

1. Guy Catches Laptops with his butt
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Very self explanatory. Honestly, I don't really have that much to say about this. Just that I wish I had butt clenching skills of this magnitude. You know, even if this video is fake, which some claim it to be, it still gets points for being a bizarre ass video. Wow. That's an awful pun.

2. Classic Viral: Drunk Orson Welles
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Orson Welles is a really sophisticated guy right? Right? Oh, nevermind.


3. Star Trek: Tik Tok
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Ke$ha sucks. I'm not going to lie. She sucks. Her songs are awful, and I find preteen girls listening to her music bizarrely disturbing and wrong. However, there is some kind of bizarre magic behind this Star Trek video mash up to her song "Tik Tok". If you are even a moderate fan of the series, then this should be right up your alley.
Friday, June 25, 2010
There are few more respected directors in nerd culture then Sam Raimi. Creator of the Evil Dead series and the Spider-man films, Raimi announced last summer that he will be working on adaptation of the popular Warcraft video game series. During the Saturn Awards this week, Raimi was interviewed by Collider.com addressing rumors regarding his involvement in The Hobbit film and about the status of Warcraft.


Sam Raimi Interview WORLD OF WARCRAFT Movie Saturn Awards 2010 - The funniest videos are a click away

Thanks to Collider.com for the video.

Ever since Guillermo Del Toro dropped out of directing the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy epic The Hobbit in May, the search for a new director has been a major focus of all aspects of the media. Studio heads, magazines, and of course the internet have been spewing out numerous names and possiblities ranging from Harry Potter's David Yates to District 9's Neill Blomkamp. However, one name that has been especially exciting to fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise is the rumor that Peter Jackson himself may be returning to Middle-Earth.

According to Deadline, Peter Jackson may in fact be directing The Hobbit. Apparently, MGM and Warner Bros. are in talks with the New Zealand director to lead the adaptations of both the classic fantasy: "He will shortly take the reins over from Guillermo del Toro, after Jackson extricates himself from other project obligations that caused Jackson and manager Ken Kamins to initially deny he would be the director...While Jackson's camp has been tight-lipped, I'm told that the case is being made to MGM's owners to loosen the purse strings and make the movies happen. The impetus for these talks is that Jackson will be the director of both of The Hobbit films, which will be shot back-to-back in his New Zealand backyard."
Wednesday, June 23, 2010



There are few movies out there bigger then the Avengers. With a critically acclaimed director attatched, and about half a dozen blockbuster superheroes it is easy to see why the film will lilkely be a success. However, with any big upcoming blockbuster there are rumors.


Comicbookmovie.com reported today that information has surfaced regarding the casting of Hank Pym (a.k.a Yellowjacket, Ant Man, Giant Man) and his sometimes wife Janet Van Dyne better known as the Wasp. Nathan Fillion, a regular of director Joss Whedon having starred in his cult classic sci-fi series Firefly, is negotiations to play the former while Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) will play that latter.


However, there is still heavy speculation on whether the characters will in fact appear as their super powered alter egos, or just as scientists for the government agency S.H.I.E.L.D.

Last week, a rumor surfaced that critically acclaimed science fiction director Neill Blomkamp may be the latest director approached by MGM or Warner Bros. to lead adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit. While the response to this rumor was surprisingly positive, Vulture has uncovered the unfortunate truth. Blomkamp will not direct The Hobbit, and in fact was never in the talks to do so.

However, the District 9 director will in fact be working on a new science fiction project, entitled Elysium, for Media Rights Capital for a 2011 release.
That's right everyone. The Artificial Continuum Podcast is now back in business. Our new hosting site: jellycast.com. We will also be opening up under a new name in the iTunes store: The Artificial Continuum Podcast (as opposed to the original Artificial Continuum). This update includes a perviously missing episode, and will hopefully be updated much more often with numerous different series.

Thank you for your patience!

Nick
The final trailer for the upcoming Predators sequel has arrived. The film is due for release July 9th.
Gormy inspired me to a list of what I consider to be the top ten best web shows on the Internet. Although some technically push the envelope of what can be considered a show, their brilliance in telling episodic content is unparalleled and sets them apart from the dangerous maze of the Internet.

10. Red Vs. Blue
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Although primitive and sometimes less then funny, Red vs. Blue is easily one of the most influential web series ever created. It has been running since 2003, has won numerous awards, and has attracted millions of viewers. Not only did Red Vs. Blue almost create the entire web series genre, but is the first successful machinima as well. So regardless of whether you like Halo or even the series itself, it is hard to deny the influence this series has had.

9. Spill.com Movie Reviews
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Spill.com is an oddity among the Internet. A relatively unknown brand, this animated movie review site shines because of its down to Earth style and often less then sophisticated style. However, what truly makes this site, and its reviews, successful is the undeniable chemistry between the main cast: Korey, Carlyle, Leon, Cyrus, and their plucky robot side kick Co-Host 3000.

8. Marvel Vs. DC
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Easily the least professional out of all the series on this list, Marvel Vs. DC tells perhaps the most unadulterated commentary on the comic book industry on the Internet. Add in talking and singing action figures and you have yourself a hit. Even better is the amazing pairing of Deadpool and Rorscach.

7. Angry Video Game Nerd
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You guys ever got really angry with a video game? Have you ever gotten really angry at a video game and then had Bugs Bunny jump through your window? Welcome to the vulgar world of the Angry Video Game Nerd. In addition to his amazing theme song, what makes AVGN so popular is the overtly violent and irreverent nature in which he reviews some of the worst video games in history. Whether you laugh at the games themselves or enjoy seeing the poor guy in pain, AVGN is hours of vulgarity filled fun.


6. Legend of Neil
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A popular and clever parody of the Legend of Zelda series, The Legend of Neil is hyperactive, clever, and frequently vulgar. Although some may be put off by its style of comedy, the series is highly successful amongst the fans of the game it parodies.

5. Balloonshop
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Trying to explain Balloonshop is like trying to explain philosophy to a five year old. It can be done, it's just really hard and won't really get you anywhere. Essentially Olan Rogers, Joshua Presley, and Thomas Gore regularly release several minute long improvs that often devolve into the nonsensical and bizarre. The video posted above, believe it or not, is one of their more accessible episodes.

4. Lonelygirl15
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Lonelygirl15 is perhaps one of the most interesting experiments ever performed on the Internet. The show was initially started in 2006, and quickly became one of the most successful series on youtube. Initially released under the pretense of being a real web blog, Lonelygirl15 slowly evolves into a deeply sinister and disturbing conspiracy ARG. A large amount of detail was put into integrating the series into real life, with characters actions impacting events in the real world. Although it takes time to pick up, the Lonelygirl15 is always entertaining and feels oddly genuine.

3. Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
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Joss Whedon's musical web show masterpiece, Dr. Horrible is the shortest but perhaps the most beloved web series on this list. It's clever humor, parody of comic book storytelling, and most of all its creative musical numbers made this seris a hit in the summer of 2008. The star studded cast of Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Filicia Day add to the spectacle. Winning numerous awards including Streamy's and even an Emmy, Dr. Horrible is now an integral part of not only the Internet, but nerd culture.

2. The Guild
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Perhaps the most critically acclaimed and popular web series still running, The Guild tells the story of a group of friends who meet through an MMORPG. Their adventures enthralled millions due to clever writing, unique style, and breakout acting performance (particularly Felicia Day). The Guild is not only a superior web series, but one of the best forms of episodic media released in recent years.

1. Homestarrunner
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Homestarrunner is something special. It is strange, hard to comprehend, and can be kind of annoying, but inevitably this all adds to its charm. This web series, first started in 2001, has become a pop cultural phenomena for its creative vision and witty sense of humor. Homestarrunner manages to be topical without becoming political, and comedic with out ever slipping into vulgarities. Although it may be hard for newer viewers to jump in, Homestar creates a universe that you come to love.
Last weekend, infamous Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward released a new game update, supposedly in correspondence with the latest Resurgence map pack*. As minor as it sounds, this update (for most people) is going to be a pretty big deal: while Commando is still in the game, two new playlists have been added named "Barebones Pro" and "Objective Barebones Pro." Before any of you hardcore gamers jump out of your pants thinking they are true barebones, allow me to inform you that Infinity Ward's definition of barebones is simply no killstreak rewards. Barebones Pro is a mix of 8-person TDM and FFA, and the Objective Barebones is a mix of all objective game types (Domination, CTF, Demolition, and HQ Pro). These playlists both allow Xbox Live Party chat. In addition, Capture the Flag and Mosh Pit playlists have been removed to fit this update.


No killstreak rewards will definitely be a nice change of pace, but be sure to expect more hardcore (therefore more formidable) opponents on the battlefield.


*Because the Resurgence map pack hasn't released on the PS3 yet, PS3 users have yet to see this update.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
As most people have probably learned by now, more than ninety nine percent of everything on the internet is awful. So here is a helpful guide to finding some gems floating in the near infinite sewage. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order.

Penny Arcade:

First off, the most successful webcomic currently, Penny Arcade, has a great, if sometimes vulgar, sense of humor.

A Softer World:

A Softer World has an extremely different style, but that doesn't mean it is any less hilarious. And not only is it hilarious, it manages to be oddly philosophical at the same time.

Perry Bible Fellowship:

This comic uses another different style, and it has great humor. Unfortunately, the comic is no longer updated, but it is still available for your viewing pleasure. Perry Bible Fellowship is a perfect example of how speech bubbles are not needed to make a funny comic.


A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible:

This comic is certainly the most unique on this list. It also is philosophical at times, and its art style is very memorable. The artist is the same as the artist of Braid.

I would post a comic, but these are rather large, so I shall provide a link.

Platinum Grit:

Last is another vastly different webcomic, Platinum Grit. This is the only comic on the list that actually has a continuous story. I must say, this comic is absolutely fantastic. The characters have real personality and the story is memorable. There is no real one strip to show, so I'll just show the main site.

Ever since Disney bought Marvel comics last summer, comic fans have wondered where this may take the film industry. Many have speculated that Disney may begin producing films with Marvel characters, however the majority of of the companies flagship characters were already owned by other companies (Spider-man by Sony, Iron Man by Paramount, etc.).



Today, Deadline reported that the two companies may in fact be preparing for their first voyage onto the silver screen. Apparently writers Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer ( A Sound of Thunder, Sahara, and the new Conan: The Barbarian)have been hired to pen a live action adaptation of the comic book sorcerer Doctor Strange. The film is reportedly scheduled for a 2013 release after Paramount's movie contract with Marvel ends with the release of Iron Man 3.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Hey Guys,

This is leader and creator of Artificial Continuum, Nick. Here to give you an update on what has been going on behind the scenes of AC. As many of you know, our podcast has recently run into some hosting issues. I am pleased to announce that we should have a new hosting site and have a BRAND NEW podcast up on iTunes. All the old podcasts will be availible including a previously unheard episode from April. Also, with this new hosting site I plan to include numerous other smaller podcasts in addition to the main AC cast. These may include podcasts run by other staffers and may be updated more regularly then the main cast. Anna and I have also begun talks with starting up a YouTube channel for our site. Overall, its an exciting time for the site, and I cant wait to show you what we have in store.



The world of Marvel is perhaps best known for its wide range of characters. In a universe that contains characters ranging from Howard the Duck to The Punisher, comic fans will no doubt find someone who interests them. However, not all draw the same mass appeal as do such power houses as Iron Man or Spider-man. For many years, Marvel fans have worried that they may never see such characters as Luke Cage or Ka-zar adapted to the screen.

Today, Latino Review released information that put these worries to rest. With a partnership with Disney, Marvel may be producing ten minute short films in future years focusing on the companies lesser known characters. Such names as Luke Cage and Doctor Strange were mentioned. However, it is still likely that this may just be a rumor.
It's the first day of Summer! Yay! Let's celebrate this occasion with a feature that would have appeared today regardless of what the date was!.....Anyways, here's your web videos.

1. Boob Drum
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This video has been making the rounds lately, and to be honest it's sort of creepy and funny at the same time. I would've loved to be at that party though.

2. Classic Viral: Lost Rainbow Episode
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Although this has been revealed to be a fake made by the cast of the show for fun, the hilarity of this innuendo filled clip is classic.

3. Must Love Jaws
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Vayabobo is famous on the internet for doing creative redos of classic movies. He's done a homosexual version of Star Wars and a college comedy Ten Commandments. However, my favorite is easily this romantic version of Steven Spielberg's Jaws.
Saturday, June 19, 2010

The next X-Men film, First Class, is moving further into production. With filimng to begin in August, Kick Ass director Matthew Vaughn has been on the hunt to cast the roles for the numerous characters appearing in the prequel. Both Aaron Johnson ( Kick Ass) and Andrew Garfield (Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus) have reportedly read for roles, and this week further casting rumors have surfaced.


According to the Hollywood Reporter, Michael Fassbender has now signed on for the role of Magneto, turning down offers to play the villain in the upcoming Spider-man film. (Does this shoot down rumors of the Lizar's involvement? No idea).


Also Showbiz 411 claims that Benjamin Walker, most notable for his role in Flags of Our Fathers, will play the role of Hank McCoy, more commonly known as Beast.

Ever since Guillermo Del Toro exited the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings prequel the Hobbit earlier this month, the search has been on for a new director. Dozens of names have been tossed around including such fantasy veterans as Peter Jackson and David Yates.

However, Lord of the Rings fansite theonering.net claims to have uncovered new information on the subject. An inside source claims that District 9 director, and protege of Peter Jackson, Neill Blomkamp may be leading the next voyage through Middle Earth: "We did receive a spy report that stated it as cold, hard, unsurprising fact. We haven't been able to get a verification but the tip stated some other information on the side that fits with other info from other sources. A bunch of little pieces of information, some rock solid, some unclear, start to form a big picture that looks like it could have Blomkamp in it."


Despite the chaos behind the scenes, The Hobbit is reportedly moving foward in production. Casting and set design has been underway since May, and such actors as Ian McKellan have stated numerous times that the film will indeed happen.
Friday, June 18, 2010

When it comes to sequels, bad things typically come in threes. In many cases two great films are ruined by a third that loses the charm the original two had. For this reason, the very existence of Toy Story 3 was a worrisome idea for many people. However, Pixar's near perfect track record was sign of reassurance. Yet despite the obvious worries, Toy Story 3 defies expectations. Not only is the film exciting, entertaining, and cheekily philosophical, but it is a genuine emotional tour de force.


Picking up almost thirteen years after the second film, Toy Story 3 follows Buzz (Tim Allen), Woody(Tom Hanks), and the gang as they wrestle with the concept of an owner that may not need them anymore. Through a series of events, the group lands at the deceptively playful day care, Camp Sunnyside, which is run by a seemingly lovable bear Lotso (Ned Beatty). However, loyalties to each other and to owners are tested and the toys must undergo their greatest, and most likely final, adventure.


Toy Story 3 is living proof that Pixar can make almost any film work. It is obvious just by glancing at popular culture that Pixar did not need to create a movie of this caliber for it to be a success. They could have easily issued out a product as mediocre as the third Shrek movie, but instead we are granted with not only a fantastic film but perhaps the best of the series.


Like the first two films, Toy Story 3 is expertly animated. The first movie pioneered computer generated animation for years to come, and this third and final film pays perfect homage to the original in that respect. The design is colorful, detailed, and has surprising detail.


Toy Story 3 is also expertly voice acted. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen do a wonderful job at portraying their characters. There is not a single star in the cast that is a let down. Every character works and brings the, sometimes surprising, necessary emotional payoff.


The film is also surprisingly funny. More so then any other Pixar creation, Toy Story 3 has a bizarrely clever and brilliant sense of humor. Told through a manic sense of energy and timed perfectly with the plot, the antics of Woody, Buzz and the gang will have you in stitches. Although there are the expected poop jokes, they are minor and utterly eclipsed by moments of pure comedic brilliance.


However, where Toy Story 3 really succeeds is in its story. Not only a success comically, the film does a perfect job of building off its previous installments to intensify the emotions. The plot is told with turbo charged energy and excitement and is thoroughly entertaining throughout. While paying homage to great prison break films, the action feels real and oddly intense. While the entire film is a great time, it is truly in its surprisingly dark and emotional third act where Toy Story 3's brilliance shines through. Mixing feelings of dread, nostalgia, heartbreak, and hope, the movie stamps such an emotional impact upon you that you cannot possibly leave the theater unscathed. It touches not only the inner child inside all of us, but stirs up deeply philosophical themes of mortality and death.


Toy Story 3 is a near perfect film in every way. However ,whatever flaws it has are eclipsed by its moments of pure brilliance. With its creation we now have our first truly great animated trilogy. Not only the best Toy Story film, but perhaps the best film you will see this year.


Score: A+
Thursday, June 17, 2010

On Tuesday, Heat Vision reported that the long reported sequel to the 2007 hit film Ghost Rider will indeed begin production, with its star Nicolas Cage. The production hit problems earlier this year when Cage was locked into other commitments and would not sign onto the film.

The new film Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance will reportedly be directed and written by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the crew behind the Crank films. Columbia pictures must begin production on the film soon, or risk losing the rights, which expire later this year. No release date has been listed so far.
Just in case you were not already hyped.

Although I was not a fan of the second Narnia movie, the trailer for third in the series The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has been released. The film is scheduled for release this Christmas.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
As many of you may have already seen, G4 featured an entire half hour long view at Star Wars The Old Republic. For those of us that were unable to view this special, it is now availible online. View below.

However, the embed code for the third portion of the is poorly made and will not work on this post. I have included a link instead.





Link to part 3

http://e3.g4tv.com/videos/46527/E3-2010-Live-Star-Wars-The-Old-Republic-MMO-Combat-Demo/
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
In 2006 a little game came along that revolutionized the third person shooter and took the gaming world by storm. This game is commonly referred to as Gears of War. Since its 2006 release, Gears has spawned a dedicated following, a massive expanded universe (including a series of novels written by the fantastic author Karen Traviss), and a 2008 sequel. Next April, Epic Games plans to release the third game in the Gears of War franchise to an anxious public.


The new campaign features four player co-op, new weapons including a double barreled shotgun, a player piloted mech suit, and a storyline written by Karen Traviss. The plot will also resolve the numerous plot threads from the previous games.


Multiplayer combat will return featuring new modes including the violent and chaotic " Beast Mode", where you play as the villainous Locust. (Shown below)


I personally haven't gotten the chance to play any Golden Sun, but I know the features of this new one.



This is what I've learned from Nintendo. The story takes place 30 years after the final events of the second game, when the Golden Sun Effect occurred. The main characters are the descendents of the previous game's heroes. Intuitive touch-screen control has been implemented throughout the game, controlling character movements and the release of Psynergy - magical abilities with powerful effects over people and the environment. Touch control also streamlines battle commands and gives players a stronger tactile connection to the action on the screen.Players will explore a vast world where they will find many treasures, encounter dangerous creatures and manipulate objects blocking their path. Players will also hunt for and collect Djinn, mysterious elemental creatures used to summon monsters in battle.
Perhaps one of the most influential shooters of all time was James Bond: Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. Filled with exciting action, well designed gameplay, and addictive multiplayer Goldeneye was one of the best selling games for the 64. Now Activision, who has held the license for games based off the James Bond franchise, has just announced that they are re imagining Goldeneye for the Wii.


However, this reboot is more then a simple remake. It will be a complete rehaul of the game for the new era and console. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench will be adding their likenesses and voice talent to the game, which bases itself off the modern Bond films. The game will also be designed by Eurocom, the company most known for its work on Deadspace: Extraction. Like the Dead Space prequel Goldeneye will use in depth and scripted story telling to add to the narrative.


The gameplay is fluid and versatile, having characters climb, use stealth in addition to blowing away with high powered rifles. The game will also use contemporary FPS systems including ammo systems and regenerating health. Goldeneye also will utilize a customizeable Wii Remote, similar to The Conduit. However, gameplay using the Classic Controller is also offered.


Unique to Wii shooters, Goldeneye will feature online multiplayer. This also will include a player leveling system similar to the Call of Duty franchise.

The game is due for release this November.


Zelda has not only an important place in video game history, but has been a central part of E3 since its beginning. Whether its Shigeru Miyamoto slashing away with a sword and shield or disappointing concept art, our green capped hero Link has been a presence at the yearly event for years. This year Nintendo treated fanboys with a glimpse at its brand new The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword due for release next year.


Returning to the stylized look vaguely reminiscent of Wind Waker, Link returns with a brand new quest. While very little details have been released on the story so far, Nintendo demonstrated a rather lengthy look at the gameplay. Although not the first Zelda game on the Wii, Skyward Sword pushes the Wii's motion technology farther then ever before. Utilizing the Wii Motion Plus gameplay system, the game exhibits fluid and swift moving combat. Also feature is archery similar to that featured in Wii Sports Resort.

Look below for glimpses at the games reveal at the Nintendo press conference, and the official gameplay trailer.


Although the Mass Effect DLC's tend to be a mixed bag, it is still always a pleasure to have a reason to return to spend time with Shepard and his crew. However, the latest DLC Overlord, which was shown at this year's E3, looks to be the breath of fresh air that Mass Effect fans have been waiting for.

Even more videos have been released detailing the information released at today's coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic at E3.



Our first video details the customization for the bounty hunter class. Shows a wide variety of armor designs and colorings.



Next, we have a gameplay video showing off both the Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter classes. Also shows glimpse at the Mass Effect-esque dialogue system.'



Here is another video showing the same details, but with the Imperial Agent and Sith Warrior classes.
Metroid Other M looks to be a changeoff between 2.5D and RPG/Shooter elements. I'm not sure how I feel about this new entry, but it looks like the Morph Ball is back (shocker), among other favorites like the Ice Beam, Missiles (ever the fan favorite; SO VERSATILE), Super Bombs, and the Varia Suit. Overall, few details were revealed about the upcoming addition to the Metroid franchise.



Nick's Update: Metroid: Other M is a blend of intense FPS shooter, action platforming, and a 2D sidescroller. It allows the player to switch between modes by swithcing their Wii Remote. Vertical switches to first person, and horizontal treats the player to a more traditional Metroid view. This change in camera view and gameplay creates intense action set pieces, and allows for creative ways of defeating massive alien bosses. Switching view points also offers a tactical exploration technique, revealing details that would not be seen in other modes.


The game is scheduled for release August 31st of this year.




There are few fighting games as beloved as the Marvel vs Capcom franchise. The games first made their stamp on the world of video games in crowded arcade rooms, and won over thousands with their over the top action scenes, colorful characters, and quick gameplay.


Now after more then a decade of anticipation, Capcom has announced Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which was shown at this year's E3. Captain America, Chris Redfield, Dante, Deadpool, Felicia, Hulk, Iron Man, Morrigan, Ryu, and Wolverine have all been revealed to be playable characters in this ensemble cast.


When it comes to core game mechanics, little has changed from the previous installment. Players still choose teams of three and duke it out in fast paced combat. However, a new system, known as launcher attacks, has been added that allows a stream of midair combos to be performed that lift enemy opponents into the air.

Bioware has released a new video glimpse at its player housing star ship system. It also includes a look at a Twi-lek race player and glimpses at the companions.

The trailer was just released and if it plays anything like this then it is a must buy.

Yes SuckerPunch`s sequel, inFamous 2 has just premiered it's trailer and it looks as though Cole has changed for the better and worse. It seems like the voice actor for Cole has changed and the voice is lighter. Next Cole is toting a heavy metal lightning conducting rod he swinfs like a mace. The final shock is that he apparently now boasts ice powers along with the good old lightning. I think I speak for everyone when I ask what the hell happened? Well I have faith.


During the PlayStation press conference a new monthly subscription version of the PlayStation network and will offer added benefits to its subscribers. Titled PlayStation Plus, the subscription will offer reduced prices in the store, free games and minis, early beta and demo access, as well as a subscription to Qore, for the duration of subscription. It will be available later this month with yearly subscriptions costing around $50.
To my fist pounding, cheering surprise, a new Twisted Metal was just announced. And let me say, I REALLY WANT IT! But enough about my needs, the game looks fantastic and the chaos is back and better than ever. Of course the game this time around will host a massive list of madcap weapons, stages, vehicles, and characters. It seems a few characters are returning including Dollface from TM:Black and the ever iconic Sweet-tooth. The new game also supports co-op game modes, such as Twisted Metal Nuke. Nuke is a team objective match in which two factions (following characters i.e. Dolls, Clowns, and so on)attempt to capture the other sides leader and sacrifice him to a missile launcher to destroy the opposing forces giant statue (its as crazy as it sounds). Also its seems they've added flying vehicles as well. The trailer displayed a helicopter destroying everything. And this time around each vehicle has two specials (much like how two hidden blades made AC better). Well I'm eagerly anticipating further information on the newest addition to the longest running PlayStation franchise.

video

Guess What. Kid Icarus is coming back. No, what you see above isn't for the Wii, or PS3, or 360. No this game is for the 3DS. THESE are 3DS graphics. I say no more.
Surprise indeed!

The first trailer was just shown during the Playstation press conference and it looks as though GLADoS will return to further test your abilities with the portal gun. With updated graphics an a beautiful new take on the Apeture Science labs and beyond, I look forward to it's return.


Now we know most everything about the 3DS, here it is.

Features


The top screen is a 3.53 inch 3D screen with a resolution of 800x240 (400x240 pixels per eye).
No 3D glasses required.
The bottom screen is a 3.02 inch non-3D touch panel with a resolution of 320x240.
The Nintendo 3DS is black and blue, black and red or black and grey[6].
Two cameras on the outside of the device for 3D picture taking. Camera resolution is 640x480 (0.3 Megapixel).
3D depth slider on the side of the device.
250 Mhz CPU, 4 times quicker than the original DS. Using the full 2.5ghz processor that Nintendo 3DS is able to produce 3D imaging through the DS camera in 'Movie Record Mode'.
Round nub analog stick called the “Slide Pad”.
Motion sensor and gyroscope.
Compatible with Nintendo DS and DSi.
A camera facing the player above the portable’s 3D screen. Camera resolution is 640x480 (0.3 Megapixel).
The ability to play 3D Hollywood movies, like Legends of the Guardians from Warner Brothers.
3DS titles will be Kid Icarus: Uprising, Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D: "The Naked Sample", Nintendogs + Cats, Resident Evil Revelations, DJ Hero 3D, The Sims 3, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Ridge Racer, Kingdom Hearts, Dead or Alive 3D, Samurai Warriors 3D, Battle of Giants: Dinosaur Strike, Hollywood 61, Chocobo Racing 3D, Super Street Fighter IV, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Ghost Recon, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Star Fox 64, Pilotwings Resort, Steel Diver, and Mario Kart 3D.
The 3DS periodically searches for Wi-Fi spots and other 3DSs.
Easy online navigation.
No monthly fee for Nintendo’s 3DS online access.
More than twenty companies have signed on to develop for the 3DS, currently supporting a list of 70+ 3DS titles.
Appox. 8 oz.
5.3 inches wide, 2.9 inches long, 0.8 inches tall (when closed).
And people said it would suck. Before a post all about the various games they released, let me give you a list.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Mario Sports Mix

Kirby: Epic Yarn

Donkey Kong: Country Returns

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Dragon Quest 9

Nintendogs + Cats

Kid Icarus Uprising

Nintendo 3DS

Final Fantasy:The Four Heroes of Light

Mario vs Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs

Ghost Trick:Phantom Device

Okamiden

Sonic Colors

Rock Band 3

Super Scribblenauts
When it comes to video games there are few developers more beloved than Square Enix. The studio, most famous for its Final Fantasy series, has been a prescence in the video game world for decades and has a following of millions fans.


This year, Square has announced Mindjack, a new property mixing both action/shooter elements and RPG mechanics. The game centers around the ability to manipulate other people's minds and will feature a complex story driven campaign. Also new to Square Enix is the concept of mulitplayer co-op, which will be a major feature of Mindjack. More on this as it develops.

Monday, June 14, 2010
While John has already covered much of the details released about the new Call of Duty game, a new trailer has been released showing some rather impressive gameplay footage. Enjoy.


Yes the Crysis series is back and as graphically stunning as ever and Crytek promised you won't need a computer with the power to project you through time and space to play this time. Yes the intense action is back and players once again don the nanosuit, but this time it's the new and improved nanosuit 2. Which would be great if it weren't for the fact that Crynet is hunting the player down for wearing the suit. The new game boasts new abilities and customizable weapons, as well as a city environment to explore and destroy. Again another title to look forward to in the future.



~Lu-kun

:wave:
If there is one franchise of realistic shooter that is as well regarded as Call of Duty it is Medal of Honor. Although it has been missing from the world of video games for several years, Medal of Honor plans to return to new territory and give its rival a run for its money. As many now know, the next game in the franchise will follow the efforts of soldiers in Afghanistan.


While the campaign will follow real life battles, the multiplayer emulates this attention to reality by using maps based on actual locations. Like the Modern Warfare franchise, multiplayer in Medal of Honor uses a 12 vs. 12 soldier vs. insurgent system. However, gameplay is made more intense by quicker weapons and bullet system. Players also die quickly, seeing as health packs have been removed. To stress the attention to realism even further, there will not be a kill cam, keeping your enemy secret and hidden at all times. There is also a point progression system that is based on kills and performing specific actions. Vehicle combat will also be featured, similar to the Battlefield series.


By adding an attention to realistic combat, Medal of Honor plans to give other shooters a run for their money when it releases this fall.



Thanks again to IGN.com for the trailer and information.

Gameplay footage just appeared during the Ubisoft conference and the game looks beautiful. Set in the (apparently near) future, you take control over one of four elite Special Operations soldiers. Effectively title "Ghosts", these modern warriors take on a variety of other soldiers using advanced technology, cunning tactics, and amazing teamwork. Plus the special exoskeleton and optic camo. But don't think your the only one with impressive tech. It will take precise timing and skill to live through the firefights and stealth kills. The visuals are stunning in this game and the communication and voice acting seems well done too. I look forward to getting my hands on this title when it comes out next year.

Mix Resident Evil and James Cameron's Aliens, and you get the sci-fi survival horror franchise Dead Space. Although not universally loved, Dead Space arrived on the video game market in 2008. Since then it has spawned numerous spinoffs including a comic series and a prequel on the Wii.


However, what fans of the series have been waiting for is the upcoming sequel Dead Space 2, which is due for release next January. Although the sequel differs little in gameplay, it provides a larger and more ambitious setting and a wider variety of enemies. The dismemberment technology that made the first a hit also returns with more variety. The player also has a wider range of weapons to chose from including zero gravity guns or javelin guns.



Video courtesy of IGN.com
Now, a long-awaited second trailer for the upcoming Bioware MMORPG has been released.



Along with the new trailer, Bioware has announced that every player, regardless of class, will have their own customizable ship. Also, they have revealed that PvP will yield specific rewards for those who join in the fray.
When it comes to shooters, nothing brings more pleasure then creative ways to kill. Few games seem more enticing in this concept then Bullestorm, being developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly. From the studios that brought you such first glass shooters as Gears of War and Painkiller, you know you are in for an action packed treat.


Unvieled live at today's EA exposition, Bulletstorm tells the story of a group of high powered cyborg commandos who fight it out on a world not far removed from Borderland's Pandora. Although the concept sounds familiar, the real treat come from the fast paced and over the top action sequences. With a wide range of weapons including: frag guns, laserwhips, and a boot that can kick people up to fifty feet, Bulletstorm quiet literally kicks ass. The game also rewards creative kills in a "skillshot" system, which rewards players for creating the most mayhem possible. "Skillshots" allow for character customization and weapon uprgrades.


The fast paced stylized shooter is planned for a February 2011 release on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.






The Hobbit is a cursed films when it comes to directors. The Lord of the Rings prequel has been juggled between fantasy directors Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toror for years, and has been left empty for the past few weeks after the later left the project due to shooting delays.


However, according to /Film a fantasy director from another franchise may be taking over this highly anticipated project. David Yates, who has directed all of the Harry Potter films since the Order of the Phoenix, has been approached by studio heads to direct The Hobbit. If this proves true, the Middle Earth fantasy may begin shooting this fall after the final Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ends filming.

If there is a Marvel character that has stolen the spotlight in recent years, it's Deadpool. The smart mouthed fourth wall breaking mercenary has jumped into public status after he was publicly raped in 2009's X-men Origins: Wolverine. Whether out of sympathy or smart marketing, Deadpool has invaded almost every major title and event in Marvel comics and spawned numerous solo series. Unsurprisingly, Deadpool has been slated for a film production since last summer.



Ryan Reynolds, who played the character in Wolverine, is slated to reprise his role. However, Marvel has insisted that this new film will not be tied to Reynold's previous appearance as the character. Zombieland writers Reese and Paul Wernick have also signed on to write the screenplay. Today, the news arrived that horror and action director Robert Rodriguez, who directed Sin City and the upcoming Predators sequel, has been offered the project by 20th Century Fox. More news on this announcement as it develops.
Yup. Amongst the chaos of E3 I have still found time to post random web videos. Admittedly these will be weaker entries ,but still. Have fun!


1. Teen Werewolves
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I know there are cliques, but really guys? Really?


2. Classic Viral: Fat Kid on Roller Coaster
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Wow. The world is a cruel place...But why can't I stop laughing?

3.Godzilla does what!?!
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Pretty self explanatory.
Hello internet. Hopefully this post will get nick off my case. For those of you who don't know, I am John; the shooter fan of the group. With all the excitement of E3 fever going around I have decided to join the fight and cover Call of Duty Black Ops. First off, a little bit of a history lesson. Treyarch the company behind Black Ops also released Call of Duty World at War or COD 5 (intense fishing) , which ever you prefer, back in 2008. Many people thought that COD 5 was COD 4 only world war II and not as good. Therefore Treyarch was forever plagued as anInfinity Ward copier. That history aside, Treyarch has started to show their newest project Black Ops. This game has dared to go where no shooter has gone before; the Cold War era. Back when the Commies and Democracy duked it out over who had the bigger rod... of plutonium. Anyway, according to Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia the story follows several different Black Ops members who partook in secret mission against the soviets. He says the game spans for several years (probably from Vietnam all the way early 90s; the end of the Cold War). New announcements include that in game the player can use helicopters, one of which being the Russian Hind, and crossbows (sick!). Also the game includes many different weapons developed during that era. According to the trailers and in-game shots the graphics are up to par with Modern Warfare 2; although they do have the charred flare that we saw in World at War. All in all I am excited for this game and the new direction Treyarch is taking. This is definitely not an Infinity Ward rip off. As I said before little to no games have ever done the Vietnam era and it's good to have something new for a change. As a huge fan off World at War I hope this game is a good addition to the COD family. Call of Duty Black Ops comes out this November.

Effectively nicknamed "Gears of Warcraft", Hunted is a Bethesda gmae designed using Unreal Engine 3 and it looks fantastic. It follows the characters Allura, a sexy elven archer with incredible bloodthirst, and Katic, our killer tank character. The story boasts amazing co-op and a story that will take gamers through amazing scenery and force them to fight for their lives against tons of dangerous monsters. Players are not unequipped to fight though, with hundreds of spells and weapons as well as a crystal based upgrade system, gamers will have plenty of ways to destroy there skeleton baddies. Safe to say this will not be the average dungeon crawler and we can expect it first quarter next year.

~Lu-kun

Finally a guitar game where you actually play guitar. It Power Gig, the controller boasts six strings like a guitar and allows plays to either button mash Guitar Hero style or play the legitimate power chords for the songs. It also supports drumming with no drums (sorta). With a base full of sensors and wireless drumsticks, you can drum in the air with smooth, natural motions. Finally, it supports a wide range of artist such as Eric Clapton, Kid Rock, and Dave Matthews Band. Hopefully the game will teach some of these GH posers actual guitar skills.

~Lu-kun

Yes, there is a new Xbox 360. Now toting a huge 250GB harddrive and built in WiFi (finally!), it's sounding good. This sleeker, smaller console will be available this week at a low price of $299.

~Lu-kun

Hey out there people, it’s been awhile since I posted but I’m doing my share to cover E3 this year. What you may already know is that I am strictly a Sony and PS3 guy, but the Xbox 360 project Natal caught my attention. Now appropriately named Kinect, the hands free interface and gaming device look and sound pretty sleek. During the presentation for the future of Xbox this year it was shown to not only allow you to control the Xbox through motion and body movement, but with your voice as well. By addressing the Xbox and saying a following command you can do a variety of different actions such as: pausing and playing music, answering trivia, and even chatting with Windows users and Xbox users via video chat. The Kinect even showed that it could adjust the camera to track a person as they attempt to move out of the shot. Of course, something with this much control over entertainment, it must have games. The Kinect features 15 games available at launch, seven of which have been displayed for our observation. First off is Kinectimals. Essentially the game focuses on interacting with a virtual animal that responds to your voice and movement. It was even shown to react when you leave the room. Next is Kinect sports. Much like Wii sports, connect sports features a variety of games to keep your movement up and your reflexes sharp (its slightly concerning how ridiculously similar to Wii Sports). Third is Kinect Adventures. Much like a reaction and reflex games, Kinect Adventures has you move to dodge objects, jump to collect coins, and even takes real world pictures and will automatically upload them to Facebook for you. Fourth is Kinect Joy Ride. To put it simply, the game is an average kart racer that can be controlled with just your hands. Fifth is titled Dance Central. A dance game where you actually dance? No way?! Yes, Dance Central by Harmonix is a dancing game where you match on screen commands to physically copy the moves to music. As semi-difficult as it sounds for the majority of the geek community who are just a little hesitant, they have a mode called “Break it Down” where moves are practiced and explained. Next Forza Motorsport. With stunning HD along with controller free driving, it looks fun. Also you are able to physically walk around your car and observe the various stats and car parts and even open the door and sit in the car. Finally, there is Your Shape by Ubisoft. Essentially a work out and fitness game, Your Shape is designed to follow your entire body and get you moving with ease. Now with all these games and all of this insane ability, my question is how much will it cost? Well either way it may be the deciding factor of whether or not I finally get an Xbox. Lets fatten our wallets and be ready and willing for this next gaming season.
~Lu-kun

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