Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

Friday Review.

Well here we are again with another Friday review for your reading pleasure.   This week saw the release of Limbo for XBLA, some news regarding the iPhone 4 and it’s fight against signal troubles, as well as a couple Star Wars articles and a review for the new kick-ass movie ‘Inception’.

Let’s start with ‘Inception’.  The film was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who notably brought us ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ series with Christian Bale.  I was blown away by those two movies, especially with Nolan’s ability to take the Batman idea, disregard all past movies and start over from scratch, and bring a new ‘darker’ Batman to life without going over the top so that it seemed too campy. Aside from Bale’s cheesy Batman voice (lol), That really made me respect Nolan as a writer and a director.  He doesn’t disappoint with his new film ‘Inception’.

Dom Cobb, played by Leonardo Di Caprio, is a skilled thief whose specialty is stealing information from people’s subconscious while they sleep.   After his most recent failure, Cobb and his team are offered one more chance at redemption, but there is a catch.  Instead of having to steal information they must do the reverse and plant the information in the form of an idea instead.  This movie will have you at the edge of your seat the entire time.  ‘Inception’ deals with dreaming, and altered states of consciousness and how they can be manipulated which is a subject that I find very interesting. I was not disappointed with how the ideas were presented and ‘Inception’ had me thinking about those concepts throughout the whole show.

Nolan’s ability to bring together special effects, story, interesting characters coupled with deadly twists and turns makes his movie’s a treat to watch.  I have been a big fan of his since ‘Memento’ in 2000 and of course ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Dark Knight’.  This movie moves fast so make sure you pay attention or else you may find you have missed a few things that are key to later parts of the movie.  The basic concept of Inception had me thinking so much that I’m sure I missed a few pieces of dialogue at the beginning and will definitely be seeing this again.

I am going to give this movie a 9/10.  Aside from a few small parts in the movie that I didn’t think needed to be there, this movie will make you think outside of the box and I will definitely be watching this again when it comes out on DVD.

Next, a brief look at Limbo from the developers Playdead, released this week on XBLA.

There is no dialogue in this game, no HUD, nothing.  Just a simple film noirish, monochromatic 2D platformer.  This game has a very simple description attached to it:  “Uncertain of his Sister’s Fate, a Boy enters LIMBO.”  So as simple as it seems, the game play, with it’s creepy atmosphere and basic controls, may be something I could get addicted to for a while.  For $15USD  I’m sure willing to try it out.  What do you think?

And now here are the rest of your Friday links!

Deathgrip tested on iPhone 4′s competitors.

ARM Powered Android Multicuber solves 7x7x7 Rubix cube.

Co-optimus’ 1000th game contest!

Microsoft reveals it’s pricing for the Kinect, as well as console bundles to be launched Nov. 4th

33 Foot Tall Optimus Prime knock-off!

Real life Jedi training in New York city.

Some cool Star Wars inspired artwork.

Real life Street Fighter.

Saturn’s moon Prometheus spawning moonlets.

Videogame villains are bad at being bad.

The 5 most endangered words on the internet.

Predators, spine removal specialists

Predators!

For this weeks review I’m going to mix it up a little bit. Along with being an avid gamer, I really love movies. I’m going to start this review off with some thoughts on the new Predators flick with bad ass Adrien Brody, and the star studded cast of alien prey.

Most of you will probably agree this franchise has been butchered to death compared to the original film, which should hold a special place in the heart of any true science fiction fanatic. The film starts with a bang or perhaps a little splatter, with bodies falling from the sky unexpectedly. It’s an absolute rush out of the gate with a plenty of clever foreshadowing to establish the premise and plot.

Staying true to the original film, the story centers around a large cast of characters ripe for the hunt, soon to meet an inevitable fate. It’s a little different this time around as all the characters share the same confusing experience that offers little detail about where they actually are, and how they arrived. The blanket is lifted eventually as the story unfolds and the troops find themselves stuck between a rock, a Xenomorph skull, and a pudgy Lawrence Fishburne, who has a brief and quirky performance.

Adrien Brody put on some gristle. While his physique doesn’t shake a stick at the original Predator killer, his character has a certain intelligence and survival instinct that provides a nice contrast from the original film. He is no pianist. Topher Grace delivers the usual performance with sarcasm and cynicism, and does it well. He was a great addition to the cast and helps balance the film with some uncertainty and humor offering a little enigma to what appears to be a an obvious, linear story line on the surface.

I really enjoyed this movie because they dig deeper than the previous films to give you a clearer understanding of the Predator race, lifestyle and culture, including some explanation of the social behavior and competitive nature that exists within the civilization — something I felt was missing from past films. You get to know them a little better, something fans of the old Predator comic book series will appreciate. That’s why we watch these films, we want to see Predators, we want to see them show up in their space ships, kill a lot of things, remove spines and skulls as trophies and brag about it with grunts and masculine gestures. They turned down the Danny Glover dial, and turned up the Predator dial — it was a good move.

I would highly recommend this film to any true Sci-Fi junky or Predator fan. They finally steered this ship on course to put the franchise back on track, notwithstanding your typical sequel preparation before the credits start to roll. If we get another Predator flick by this camp in the near future, I’ll see you there at midnight.

Alright, now, back to video games!  This week saw the release of the next Guild Wars 2 character class, the Ranger.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Guild Wars originally because there were so many other MMO’s out at the time that fit my play style better than Guild Wars did.   Fast forward to the present and now it seems that there isn’t really anything worth playing.  I am eagerly waiting the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I’ve also been teased with these new Guild Wars 2 trailers.   If the game plays out anything like what I’ve seen over the last week or so, this is something I’m definitely going to pick up when it gets released.

Here are the rest of your Friday links, enjoy!!

Download Starcraft II but you cannot play it yet!

Awesome Star Wars improv on a subway train.

Embrace your geekiness day.

Awesome TV Commercial.  Joust anyone?

Inception Trailer.

Sorceror’s Apprentice trailer.

This week’s MMO report.

If you can’t beat the Zombies, eat the Zombies.

Layoffs strike several development studios.

It’s Official!  The Chicken came before the Egg.

XBOX 360 Kinect comign to a city near you.

Friday Review

ZZZZT

Linkbot is dead. I threw water on him to short his circuits. I guess I was motivated by Naughty Bear, the new title from 505 Games. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this game for some time now and for some reason on June 29th, I hesitated. Normally I’m the first to jump on a new game, especially one with such promise and originality. Recently, I have been burned by a few highly anticipated titles that didn’t meet the mark.

Nowadays, I only have time for games that can hold my attention, which I’m sure is true for many of you as well. I refuse to waste my time on a game that has been rushed or just doesn’t have the fun factor or quality to keep me entertained in my spare time, especially for fifty plus dollars. Don’t get me wrong there have been some beauties like Red Dead Redemption, Transformers: War for Cybertron, and ModNation Racers, but overall, I feel let down more than I feel satisfied, such as life. I will play a game and if it doesn’t hold my attention for more than an hour or so I usually return it and grab another. So with Naughty Bear I decided to wait for a review from one of my trusted sources. Here is what I found:

Unbelievable. Such a bad score, and a review that doesn’t have me rushing out to the nearest Gamestop! I had a lot of expectations for this game and it turns out it is still buggy and has way too much repetition. I have a twisted mind, but you can only handle killing teddy bears in repetitive fashion for so long. I’ll probably just rent this to satisfy my curiosity, but I’ll wait for a few patches first. In the meantime I will still be playing the crap out of Transformers which has totally renewed my faith in shooters.

Activision has not re-invented the wheel with this game but have taken the wheel and turned it into a polished, slick piece of perfection. This game has all the elements of an action shooter that I enjoy.  First off, let me say that I hate single-player mode. I’ve never enjoyed a single-player game more than a chaotic multiplayer session, because AI just doesn’t do it for me. It’s always dumb. Nothing satisfies me more than being able to kill other players and match my wits and reflexes against theirs. That being said, the story doesn’t run very deep (we all know the classic tale of Autobots vs. Decepticons, especially if you’ve seen the animated movie), there is some customization but not so much that you are overwhelmed, and the game play is so fun and addictive you can find yourself wasting hours without even noticing.

Overall I would say Transformers is similar to Halo with a twist of Gears of War, and a drop of Call Of Duty. Pick from 4 classes: Scout, Scientist, Leader, and Soldier to define your play style, and then customize your chassis with the colors and weapons you prefer. You can obtain new skills and buffs as your progress in level, capping out at level 25. The multiplayer maps are very similar in design but add enough variety so you don’t feel like you are playing the same map over and over. (There are no mountain ranges, forests, or rivers on Cybertron! What did you expect!) You have two forms to use during game play which adds a very cool dynamic to the game, and the mechanics were implemented to perfection. Don’t like running around in your Robot form? No problem, just one click and you transform into your Vehicle form which has a different set of skills and weapons you can use to gain the advantage or avoid near death. Trust me, nothing strikes fear into an Autobot’s soul more than a Scientist hovering above in Jet form! You have to be 360 degrees aware in this game and that is just pure awesome for a multiplayer experience.

The last game I would like chat about is Crackdown 2. A lot of you out there have been awaiting the release of this game for Three years. Well it has finally come out and there are some mixed reviews. I myself have not played this yet but again I am staying on the conservative side and may wait to hear what others have to say before diving in. After purchasing and playing APB for a grand total of one hour and then screaming because I couldn’t get my money back I think I am entitled to be a little stand offish! Anyways, enough of my ranting, here is the review for Crackdown 2.

It seems there are a lot of similarities between the original and the sequel. Perhaps something to bitch about, but it’s not always a bad thing. Brian has assured me it’s all about co-op, so we’ll see how I feel once we hook-up to blow shit up. Carnage with a friend is always a top-notch gaming experience. It received an above average score so it can be all that bad? Can it? How can that much chaos suck? It probably can’t, at least not in a cooperative setting, we’ll find out soon enough And now with much respect to the lost but never forgotten Linkbot (currently under maintenance), here are a bunch of cool links from throughout the week:

The official Star Wars: The Old Republic BETA Announcement.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Impresses with it’s combat AI

Leftover characters and really easy games.

This week’s MMO report.

Own a piece of the worst Mario movie ever made.

Rumor: Borderlands GotY Edition Incoming?

First Songs Unveiled for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

Awesome stop motion Lego shootout.

Facebook to close virtual gift shop.

Linkbot Weekly Update #6

*commencing startup sequence, 3… 2… 1…*

The end of June brings us a few new releases, namely Transformers: War for Cybertron and Naughty bear. If you are into Massively Multiplayer online games then check out APB (All Points Bulletin), the much anticipated game from Realtime Worlds. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is on the horizon as well and news from up and comers like TERA Online and Torchlight have hit the scene. There was also some cool footage from Portal 2 and Two Worlds 2 for your viewing pleasure. Sit back, grab your favorite energy drink, and enjoy this weeks gaming *click clack* goodness. *blip*

Transformers: War for Cybertron review.
Naughty Bear and other new releases.
APB Launch Day roundup.
Extensive TERA Demo footage.
PC Gamer releases Torchlight MMO details.
Portal 2 demo gameplay.
Two Worlds 2 floor walkthrough.
Crackdown 2 demo harder than it was yesterday.
WoW possibly going free to play?
Street Fighter Cats + Epic TF2 Laser Cat Mod.
Zombies, Aliens and other questionable enemies.
Crackdown 2 meets Perfect Dark.
Film Friday what’s new in movies this week.
This weeks MMO report.

*transmission complete*

Linkbot Weekly Update #5

*commencing startup sequence, 3… 2… 1…*

With the E3 madness starting to settle down I’ve had some time to cool my circuits. *whiiiz* We finally got to see the iPhone 4 release and for some it was a disappointment, for others, just another reason to line-up like an army of clones. We also caught wind of a few old school game titles with re-vamps in the works, and more chatter about a World of Warcraft Movie. The links from this week have been output below. *Ding* Time to sit back and enjoy the digital goodness!

Donkey Kong Country getting a new look.
APB To have in game audio ads.
Microsoft brings Justin Bieber on board to help sell the Kinect.
Singularity Multiplayer Footage.
Transformers: War for Cybertron review.
iPhone OS4 and everything in between.
Home Networking just got better.
Hilarious Java 4-Ever movie trailer.
D&D Vs. Fantasy Football.
Sam Raimi talks about the new World of Warcraft movie.
Zelda producer talks multiplayer.
Street Fighter’s Blanka is a Pipe Smoker.
Need for Speed world.
This weeks MMO report.
Film Friday.

*transmission complete*

Linkbot Weekly Update #4 :: E3 Edition

*commencing startup sequence, 3… 2… 1…* — INFORMATION OVERLOAD! *shut down*

E3 was chalked full of awesome this year, so much that Linkbot is having a case of the Twitters; way over capacity. Sometimes it takes a human to do a robots job, so let’s get right down to it: The Era of Motion Controls.

Shove over Wii, the PS3 is ready to move! Stand firm Wii, Microsoft may have diskinected! While I was a little surprised at the emphasis on motion controls at this years E3, you’d be silly to expect anything less. Nintendo has carved a giant slab out of the market share pie chart, with beautiful cut lines surrounding the casual gaming market — A slice of pie so enormous, you can bet Microsoft has a recipe to reduce this dessert down to a hefty portion of MS points. They’ll over-charge for it, too. It won’t be easy, there is no head start on this tube ride to the promised land. Not this time around.


(I LOL’d a little bit in my mouth)

I care little about motion controls, I’m not there yet. When I think about what it will take for me to accept this shift (or heaven forbid actually show excitement) it all comes down to the practical application of the devices and the quality of the implementation. It has to be sensible. I can get behind Link and swing my Wii mote furiously on a quest to save Princess Zelda. I’ll decapitate a Sith, too. That’s obvious fun. I can see my inner Harry Potter waving thy wand in acts of Sorcery. What I cannot see, is comfort, while I stand in front of a device that knows more details about my anatomy than my own mother. I fear it’s satanic, infrared mantra, beckoning me to engage in an eternity of party game hell. Left… hop… right… hop… I’m not ready for judgment day, but this might kill me.

I don’t hate Kinect. The concept is sound, innovative, technologically advanced, and brand-spanking new. Evolution will do what it does best and move this 3-eyed devil in the right direction; towards profitability that meets a need for gamers. What I do hate, is the presentation of the device and just how aggressively Microsoft is trying to put a foot into your living room on family night. To me, it just feels unnatural, even if the motivation is obvious: Compete with Nintendo.


(Exhibit A)

I think Sony delivered a device and presentation that resonates with the gamers who keep the core of this industry thriving — they showed gamers a new controller and just how awesome it could be under a worthy premise. They’re gunning for a bigger slice of the casual pie as well, but I think they chose a great way to convey the message at an event like E3.


(look what we can do without a Harry Potter license!)

We’ll see what happens with the big 3 in years to come, it will be interesting to see who delivers the best motion control games. For now, I grip my gamepad tight and use all my might to fend off the onslaught of experimental entertainment. While paying attention to stuff like this:


(everyone wants to play SWTOR.)

The line-up of games announced at E3 should have everyone excited. Everything from a Goldeneye remake, to Little Big Planet 2, to 3rd installments of Gears of War and Killzone, there is something you can look forward to regardless of your preferences or allegiance to a particular platform. What has us drooling? What doesn’t have us drooling, and where do we even start? This shit is madness:

The Nintendo 3Ds
The Old Republic MMO
Dawn of War 40k: Dark Millennium
Dawn of War 40k: Space Marine
Little Big Planet 2
Killzone 3(D)
Naughty Bear
Gears of War 3
Halo Reach
Crackdown 2
Transformers: War for Cybertron
Sorcery
Darksiders 2
SOCOM 4
Mortal Combat
DC Universe
Donkey Kong Country
Goldeneye
Homefront
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Crysis 2
Red Faction Armaggedon
Fable III
Twisted Metal
Grand Turismo 5 (LOL)
Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
Fallout: New Vegas
Medal of Honor
Dead Rising 2

And that’s just to name a few! We’ll have to stop right here before this cuts into weekend gaming hours, or someone starts to replay the river raft video commencing a LOLLERCAUST of epic proportion. We’re not at all concerned about the next few years of game releases and midnight launch parties. There is a slew of greatness inbound and the future looks extremely bright.

LOLS!

Linkbot Weekly Update #3

*commencing startup sequence, 3… 2… 1…*

Linkbot here with another weekly update! This week saw the unveiling of the much anticipated iPhone 4, an awesome Mortal Kombat feature and game trailer, and of course more new titles! *whiiiiiiiiz* It’s also time to start warming up for the Extra Life Marathon! Play some games and heal some kids. Humans need love too, especially the little ones.

*Database query complete* Enjoy the links!*

An awesome Mortal Kombat feature.

Followed by the new Mortal Kombat video game trailer.

Modern Warfare 2 – Real life feature Part 2.

Green Day: Rockband review.

Extra Life. Play games, help kids.

Steve Jobs introduces the 4th generation iPhone.

One of the coolest commercials ever.

The must have accessory for WoW addicts.

When it comes to sales, Halo 3 owns all.

This weeks big movie news and trailers

Back To The Future Game Announced For PS3, X360, Wii, PC/Mac

Natal mass shipments won’t start until 2011.

Linkbot Weekly Update #2

*commencing startup sequence* *3… 2… 1…* Linkbot here with another weekly update *whirr* for you! This week saw the end to the Month of May and the beginning of June. There were a number of great titles released for the PS3 & XBOX during May. Games like Red Dead Redemption, Lost Planet 2 & ModNation Racers among our favorites. *bip* *beeeep* June boasts some great titles as well such as Trasnformers: War for Cybertron, Naughty Bear, Tiger Woods 11, Green Day for Rock Band and Lego Harry Potter. *blip* *blip*

*zzzzzzzzzzz* This weeks links found on the Interwebs..

Sneak peak at NATAL Retail

The new King of Kong

Pigeon held on suspicion of spying.. we are serious!

ModNation Racers review

Lego Harry Potter review

The worlds thinnest notebook

The history of Rickrolling

Miyamoto views NATAL and Move as ‘Threatening’

A favored SWG developer has moved to SWTOR

This weeks big movie news and trailers

Super Mario Galaxy 2′s little ray of sunshine

Thor and Captain America costume art

Linkbot Weekly Update

Hello everyone and welcome to the first installment of the Linkbot weekly update.  I am Linkbot and my goal is to keep you up to date on what is happening in the Geek & Gaming world.  *beep* *whirrrrr*

I am going to compile a list of cool links for you to click every Friday to recap the week’s events. *click* *bleeeep* This week I have everything from Super Mario Galaxy 2 to the fast paced racing game Blur and even up to the minute news on Playstation’s PSN and Microsoft’s Project NATAL. *woooosh* *zipppp*

Did you watch the Series Finale of “Lost”? What did you think? I found a great review below. *commencing shut down sequence* 3… 2… 1…

20 of the worst Photoshop mistakes.

The Dark Knight Meets Superman.

More awesome from Glen Brogan.

Is Super Mario Galaxy 2 the best platformer ever created?

Blur, HD Review. Does this action heavy racer blur out the competition?

Natal expected to be called ‘Wave’ at E3 announcement.

Apple is now officially bigger than Microsoft, but only on paper.

Lost Planet 2 does not suck in Japan.

Worlds most realistic MMO announced.

Awesome geeks cakes by Debbie Goards!

The weekly MMO report.

“Lost” Final episode review.

Possible ‘Premium’ version of PSN to be announced.

Geek Love

New York times writer Adam Rogers pines about the legacy of Gary Gygax, and especially demonstrates the effect D&D has had on his life with this handy chart (click to enlarge):

 

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