Archive for March, 2011
Title: A Trip to the Moon
Director: Georges Méliès
Genre: Science Fiction
I invite you to watch “A Trip to the Moon” above, and join me in taking on the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list.
Why? Mostly because lists like these have always intrigued me. They sit there, whispering a subtle dare, “Have you even heard of half the titles here? Do you really think you can handle taking me on?”
Why 1001? Because it tips the scale from arrogant to ridiculous. Read more »
I reviewed the first Castle Waiting collected hardcover back in ’07. Everything there applies equally well to this second volume. This volume has a good deal more exploration of the Castle itself, as well as the back stories for Dr. Fell, Henry the Smith and Lady Jain. There are also the normal charm, wit and humor that makes the series such a delight…
I could argue this, but somebody’s already done it for me. That’s the description of the manga– the anime is just as good. But for the TL; DR crowd–
One Piece is close to 500 episodes long, entirely fillerless, one of the single best shonen anime ever written, and only halfway done . It is daunting, wonderful, and about to be your new best friend.
And every episode is available, streaming online, for free, both sub and dub. In fact, new episodes are available subbed one hour after airing in Japan.
You have no excuse.
Note: At the time of writing, there was some malicious stuff happening at the official One Piece site. It may be resolved by the time this drops, but if not, Hulu also has a big chunk of the episodes online in either format you prefer.
We start the episode by talking about the various catastrophes that have been plaguing Japan. Please, help out if you can. At the very least, don’t be one of those jackasses who thinks Japan deserved it.
We’d thought about doing a headline episode this time around, but game talk overrode everything else. Sam starts us off with an infuriating Dragon Age 2 bug. Before the vein in his forehead explodes, the guys move him on to talking about Chopin’s deathbed fantasy, Eternal Sonata.
Jonathan talks about Mondo Solitaire, the latest (Mac and iOS only) game from Ambrosia Software, which merits a Rent (Demo) rating. It’s light on gameplay features, but heavy of game variety and visual polish. He’s sent back What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2, finding that it’s just too in-depth and requires too much patience for his schedule to allow right now. He also spends more time talking about Madden 11 than he spent coming to hate the game.
Alex breaks out James Bond 007: Blood Stone and enjoys the hell out of it. He calls it Syphon Filter meets Splinter Cell, and the gimmicks help you feel like Bond, James Bond. He’s also checked out Homefront, despite the reviews and the 25% drop THQ stock took because of the game. There are scenes, settings, and storylines that will stick with him, but the gameplay isn’t exactly… revolutionary, plus unskippable, post-checkpoint, live cut scenes are… unacceptable to some of the hosts.
Finally, we finish up with Name That Game! Sam brings us some easy (well, not for Alex) and some impossible games.
Have a good week!
Hey, website people! I’ve got a brand-spankin’ new code for a download of one of our favorite games of 2010, Alan Wake!
Here’s what you’ve got to do to get it: we’re going to record a podcast tomorrow for release on the 30th. I’ve got five games ready to go for the Name That Game feature. I’ll give you some hints, and then you send me your guesses about what the titles are. Send me a private message on the forum or an email at alex(at)thewayofthegame(dotnet) with your guesses.
Now don’t go crazy and send me a list of every game ever made in every genre. One submission with five guesses will do. Every guess is good for an entry, and correct guesses are worth FIVE entries. The contest ends at 11:59 Pacific on March 29th.
Here are the hints!
March 11th through 13th, 2011 was PAX1 East. The original show (PAX Prime) began as a “convention the way we want it” for the Penny Arcade creators and their ardent fans. It has grown into a biannual, bicoastal gaming convention. The turnstyle for this year’s PAX East was estimated at 80,000 people. Among them was me, the Writer, for the very first time.
At a GenCon, I once waited three hours for Ron Glass to host a Firefly panel, two hours before the start time and one hour after he didn’t show. This is important to understand a convention like PAX. It is a conduit to the hobbies Jerry2 and Mike3 love. Sure this begins with video games, the comic’s bread and butter, but tabletop war gaming, board gaming, and role playing all had healthy representations as well.
PAX East moved out of the Hynes Convention Center to a larger venue, the Boston Conference and Expo Center. Think of a regular conference center merged with a blimp hanger and you would not be far off with the BCEC. The hanger area was separated into sections, part for the industry expo and media4, one for tabletop games of every color, one for the queue line (this is where the thousands of people going into the main theater line up), and one for food (ice cream, fried dough (the East coast’s answer to funnel cake5), etc.).
First stop was the expo hall. …okay, first stop was the Bioshock Infinite booth where 2K had hired a professional model to dress up and take pictures with fans who could be trapped in a giant claw. This was the first of many lessons that restored my belief in the booth babe. I had heard many legends when I first began attending conventions so many years ago. The “booth babe,” much like a leprechaun’s pot of gold, never truly appeared at RPG conventions. This is why I don’t take pictures at conventions. there was never anything picture worthy. Not so with PAX. There was a lot that was picture worthy. And not just booth babes. While there wasn’t as much cosplay as you would find at Dragon*Con or ComicCon, those that took the time to get dressed up really knocked it out of the park6.
Then the next stop was the expo hall. Read more »
The orc thief One-Eye likes to brag that he can break anything with his hammer. Its all a matter of finding the right weak point to hit. He’s content to use his skills to get by, looting graves in the mountains to earn his keep in the plains. But in the southern jungles a new ruler is uniting the orc clans and conquering all he comes across. And this mighty Orc Tzar seeks a fabulous prize. One that has been prophesied can only be opened by a one-eyed orc…
Stokoe’s fantasy world is rich in detail and literally throbbing with life. Everything seems to be some kind of chittering beast. Safes, cannons, clothing, drinks. Stokoe’s world takes biological warfare to new levels. And his detailed, vibrant art style is gorgeous to witness, with the closest comparison being that of Brandon Graham…
This collection of the first five issues of Stokoe’s comic is a must for anyone tired of the same old, same old in fantasy humanoids. Something new and different from the regular rewarmed Tolkien and D&D fare…
Alex has another talk with “our girl in Tokyo,” Aishah, on the one week anniversary of the quake and flood that has killed thousands of people in Japan. She gives her insights on how things are going in Tokyo, how a scarcity of decision makers is affecting recovery efforts and her views on American foreign policy with regards to Japan. She also vents ever so slightly about the mass transit and says that despite all the problems Japan faces, the Japanese are getting even more nice.
Japan needs our help, so please contribute what you can to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund.
Here’s the elevator pitch: It’s Takashi Miike’s live action family-friendly spy sitcom about a boy and his robot cellphone.
So it’s a little Ghost in the Shell, a little Max Headroom, a lot Alias and possibly of the the sweetest, coolest buddy cop shows I’ve ever seen. Keita’s family’s just moved to Tokyo, and he could care less. Everything he ever cared about is back home, including his best friend. One night, he gets up the nerve to run away and meet up with his pal at Mt. Fuji… but his plans are waylaid when a secret agent (!) and his walking cellphone partner (!!) smash up his bike and almost get him killed in the middle of their mission to stop a hacked construction robot (!!!) from going on a rampage! The secret agent is incapacitated, and Keita must team up with the Phone Braver infiltration unit Seven to save his life and the lives of others from the rogue cellphone, Zero-One.
What follows is one of the coolest shows I’ve ever seen. It definitely has its own style– but if you can get through the quirk, it’s a great ride. In particular, the relationship between Keita and Seven is super-strong, with both growing tremendously throughout the course of the series. Also, the special effects are not bad for a Japanese TV show, especially for a few years back.