Thursday, March 24, 2016
Three Batman and Superman Adventures that are More Entertaining than Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
For what may very well be the most anticipated live-action superhero crossover movie ever, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is shaping up to be quite a disaster. Even though it will probably make boatloads of money, critics and fans alike have so far been trashing BvS for its nonsensical plot, thin characterization, and pretentious mood.
While I hate to say I told you so, I didn't have much faith in this project from the get-go. When it was first announced, it looked like the Warner Bros. executives wanted to take the Batman and Superman fight from the fourth issue of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns comic book miniseries and shoehorn it into a semi-sequel to Man of Steel. That's exactly what happened--a fragmented, under-developed idea has now blossomed into a fragmented, under-developed movie, so I'm going to pass on this one. Besides, there's only one good outcome for something called "Batman v. Superman": Batman gets to keep the Wayne family fortune, while Superman gets full custody of Robin.
If you choose to sit on the sidelines like me, there are still plenty of worthwhile Batman and Superman adventures out there to enjoy over this weekend. Here are three that I think are the best of the bunch, each of which being much more fun than Zack Snyder's latest over-produced train wreck. Read on ...
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Capcom's iconic survival horror video game franchise, Resident Evil (a.k.a. Biohazard). Through two decades worth of hit games, Resident Evil proved that zombies were just as much of a reliable staple for video games as they were for low-budget horror movies.
I didn't hop on the Resident Evil bandwagon when the franchise launched in the '90s. The promise of fighting off hordes of zombies, lizard people, giant spiders and other superfreaks just wasn't enough to overcome my aversion to the games' static camera angles and video clips that played every time players used stairs or opened a door. (Every. Damn. Time.)
I finally saw the light of Resident Evil's appeal through the two rail shooters were released for the Nintendo Wii, The Umbrella Chronicles and The Darkness Chronicles. Some devoted fans hated these games, but I thought that they were great for gamers like me who just wanted to see what the franchise was like and preferred the first-person, 3D format of game play. With those titles, newcomers could catch up on the characters and events of Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3 and the spin-off Code: Veronica just by playing through two games--that was a sweet deal! (Being able to use Gecko cheat codes for both of these games was a huge plus, too.)
Happy 20th anniversary, Resident Evil. May you continue to scare the bejesus out of gamers for 20 more years to come.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
About a decade ago, I purchased a software suite called DVD Catalyst, which allowed me to shrink DVD content into video files that were small enough to be stored and viewed on my cell phone. I got plenty of usage out of DVD Catalyst, which allowed me to catch up on my volumnous and ever expanding must-see movie list while I commuted via subway to remote work locations.
Fast forward to 2016, and portable, flat screen video isn't just a possibility anymore--it's a way of life. Read on ...
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Because of my video gaming geekery, I've been monitoring the recent releases of the "toys-to-life" market of video games--particularly Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions--to see what this new format can contribute to the video gaming experience. While it looks like fun to be able to play with characters from various franchises, I'm not sure if this format provides anything so unique or original to justify purchasing a video game that requires even more purchases to get the full value out of the game. This is especially true for Lego, which already has many video games available with brick-based game play that don't require any additional components at all.
However, one of the latest installments for Lego Dimensions looks extremely promising--at least for veteran gamers such as myself. It's called "Midway Arcade", and it is based on classic arcade games that were released by Midway during the '80s. According to what I've read, the Midway Arcade pack will include titles such as Defender, Joust, Paperboy, Rampage and Spyhunter. This means that not only will players fight against characters from these games in a Lego-based environment, but they will also unlock playable versions of over 20 games as they originally appeared in arcades--all of that in just one Lego Dimensions pack! Furthermore, I think that there's something intriguing about video games with blocky 8-bit graphics playing a central role in another video game that's based on blocky Lego logic.
Click below to see the teaser trailer.
Friday, March 11, 2016
As I've mentioned before in other posts, being a geeky fan means more than just picking up the latest novel, movie, or collectible from the genre and/or franchise of your preference--anyone can do that. A true fan occasionally goes above and beyond the routine call of geekdom to locate and acquire rare items, items that either didn't sell well upon their initial release or were sold exclusively in another country. This post is about my recent effort to purchase one of my many, many white whales: Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, a 2008 Wii game that was only released in Japan.
Fatal Frame 4 (or FF4) holds a special significance for a numbers of reasons. Not only was it designed exclusively with Wii's motion controls in mind, but a group of devoted fans got together to release an English subtitle patch for it back in 2010. If you're an avid survival horror fan who owns a Wii and isn't fluent in Japanese, now is the ideal time to pick up a copy of FF4. Read on ...