Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Geekier Than Thou.

I've always used facebook or whatever to air out my dirty geek laundry, yet I have this blog sitting here gathering dust with old youtube videos and not much else.

I originally planned this place as someplace for my friends to put up their ideas, videos, and so on. A shared blog on all geek happenings going on in their lives.

In the end it never really caught on, seeing as most of my geek friends also have the strange inability to read and write (except you Geoff, I know). Anyway, I saw The Wolverine last night, and enjoyed it. But it led to one extremely nerdy set of thoughts, (Why I Hate Wolverine Fans) and another set of thoughts beyond that. Which is what I'm going to talk about now.

I have this thing where every time I see someone wearing a comic book T-shirt, I judge them.

Don't get me wrong, my closet is full of them. Captain America, Batman, Green Lantern, Dragonball, Star Wars, Doctor Who, and more.

My judging comes from the fact that I wonder if any of them have ever even read the source material that the symbol on their chest comes from. When you really think about it, in the grand scheme of things, how many people who wear a Batman shirt have ever actually read Year One or Dark Knight Returns? Or even then something like Knightfall or No Mans Land? Or even more how about reading Batman monthly or even in trades as they come out?

My point is, when I see someone wearing a Batman shirt (just for example), I assume they've seen Batman '89, Dark Knight, or played Arkham Asylum or hopefully at LEAST watched Batman the Animated Series.

But even then I scoff at them, because they don't know the source material. They're fans of the "idea" of Batman, but not the character of Batman. And that goes the same with every other character too.

"I wear a Daredevil shirt, because I thought the movie was awesome". That's not Matt Murdock! That's just... a version of him. But not the source.

And to be fair, the source gets diluted between every artist and author who touches the books too. Peter Davids version of The Hulk is not the same as Bruce Jones version of the Hulk. And I may be getting off track, but even there, if a person can tell me why they prefer Alan Moore's take on Swamp Thing better than Scott Snyders, then I can at least respect them because they've READ the source material.

Oh, but comic book fans don't you think I'm letting you off easy. BERSERKER BARRAGE!!!



No no, there's a whole subset of you little dorks who think it's cool to bash characters you've never even read. Like Aquaman, Cyclops, Captain America, or God forbid the Superman himself.

I look down on you even more. You are the scum of the comic book racks, you are the worst of the worst. You are not fans, you are scabs.

At least with those other fans, they've just never read a comic book, or have never wanted to. They're simply unaware.

But the comic book fan who doesn't like Aquaman because "all he does is talk to fish" and has also never read a page of Aquaman is an uneducated fool.

Every single hero cannot be judged by their power set, they have to be judged on the stories told about them. People don't realize that right now, if they went to their comic book store and picked up the latest trade of Aquaman or Wonder Woman, they would be in for a treat because they have genuinely good writers writing them.

Now, I understand disinterest. I, for example hate Deadpool, but the current run on Deadpool is good and I cannot deny it. I still am not crazy about the character, but the guys writing him right now are great. I'm not blinded by my dislike of the character, because this version of the character is actually good.

My point is blindly hating Superman because "nothing can beat him" is ignorant, especially when you've never read For all Seasons, Birthright, Secret Origin, Geoff Johns run, All-Star Superman or any of the greatest Superman stories ever told. Because you LITERALLY don't know what you're talking about.

Anyway... I think I made my point. Feel free to disagree.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Long Time, No See...

I know I've said this before but... we've been up to something. But until then, enjoy:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It Begins...

So the legend has been foretold, so it shall come to pass....



Edit 5-24-10: If you've stumbled onto this site, then be aware that we are in a current change in ideas and... stuff. We aren't dead, we're just waiting to pounce.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Summer Of Disappoint

So, I've decided to change up the format a little. So here we go with my first post about movies.

TOP 3 MOST DISAPPOINTING FILMS OF SUMMER '09



#3. I decided to put Revenge of the Fallen as the least disappointing of the disappointments because I never expected much to begin with. At the very most we can say that the original Transformers was a sub-par Michael Bay flick, which puts it somewhere between Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2. This is about Revenge of the Fallen though, which was shaping up to at least be better than its predecessor. So, what was wrong with it?

Let’s get the geekery out of the way, and say that a Transformer that turns into a human is totally not canon. As for other problems, there was too much LaBeouf, too much Fox, and generally too many people. The movie’s called Transformers, not The Witwicky Robot Adventures. The comedy was on a Junior High level, complete with racist robots that give Jar Jar Binks a run for his money on the annoying quotient, and robot testicles just to make sure we become dumber by watching this trash. Most importantly, the movie was boring, and for a movie with this many explosions, Bay had his work cut out to make it that dull.

I once stated in a Facebook status update: “TRANSFORMERS REVENGE OF THE FALLEN IS STUPID. IF YOU LIKE IT, THEN YOU ARE STUPID. ONLY STUPID PEOPLE LIKE THIS FILM” and I stand by this.


#2. Deadpool. Let’s just say it: They screwed up. Sure they screwed up just about every character they introduced in this film that was from the comics, but Deadpool was almost made an example of. At this point X-men fans have received a thorough flogging thanks to Brett Ratner and the betrayal of Bryan Singer. We wanted to give this one the benefit of the doubt though. A new director and a whole movie about our favorite X-man, we had high hopes. In the trailers we saw clips of Wolverine fighting through time and multiple wars.

Then the movie came out, basically ignoring not only the comic book canon, but the previous films as well. I’m not one to rip on special effects, because I never really found them important, but these were pretty bad. In fact the effects seem to be getting worse with each successive X-men film, but that’s beside the point. Top it off with the infamous adamantium bullet, and we have a mess of a movie.


#1. Let me make this clear, I think that Revenge of the Fallen and Wolverine are much worse than Terminator: Salvation. This list is about disappointments though, and I had incredibly high hopes for this. It had an awesome trailer, and excellent cast, and we were finally going to see the epic robot war that was hinted at in the previous films.

So what was the problem with this? One name: McG. The man cannot direct, and there was no emotional center to the film. Were we supposed to be watching John Connor or Marcus Wright? The action was fine, we saw a believable post-apocalyptic world, and we just didn’t care. It felt a lot like the Star Wars prequels in that big important things happened, but the director could not make us feel the stakes or the emotional weight. In the end, it was a perfect failure.

So, that's it for now, I plan on writing another top 3 for my favorite films of the summer. So stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Neotokyo: Review


Most mod teams these days want everyone to know about an upcoming release; they advertise updates and pictures of models and maps on a nearly daily basis. Meanwhile a few mods seem to keep quiet for months or even years before releasing a handful of screenshots to satiate the wanting masses. This can work both for and against a mod. On one hand you end up creating a high level of excitement for when the mod releases, but on the other hand if the mod does not deliver the creators may end having an angry mob on their hands.

Neotokyo began as a mod for the Unreal 2 Engine. It was built quickly so the team could enter it into the Make Something Unreal Contest. While this early version did receive a small fan following, and you can even see some of the ideas that made it into this newest version, the team decided to go back to the drawing board for the then new Source Engine. So, after over five years of teasing does Studio Radi-8’s masterpiece Neotokyo live up to the hype they’ve built?



For starters, Neotokyo is one of the most polished mods I have ever played. Some mods that began development at the same time that have since been released could stand to have this level of work done on it. I know a lot of care was given to this mod, and countless hours of testing were done, and it shows. The maps are truly a sight to behold, and give the perfect sense of Sci-fi and Anime that the developers were obviously influenced by. Taking place mostly in dojos and cityscapes it’s hard not to get immersed in the game, which is something most modders take for granted when it comes to multi-player.

As for the gameplay itself, it would be easy for an outsider to simply push this off as Counter-strike in the future. While the game is team based, the goal and the balancing are really what make the difference. The current game mode called “capture the ghost” is One-Flag CTF with a twist. The “ghost”, a robotic torso that spawns randomly on the map, can be seen by both teams at all times. When the opposing team picks it up, the beacon for the ghost turns red. Meanwhile the player who picks up the ghost can now see beacons that represent the players of the opposing team and their distance from the player holding the ghost.

At the beginning of each round you choose your class; Recon, Support, or Assault. Recon is a quick class with low armor, Support is slow with high armor, and Assault fits nicely in the middle. The guns in the game are mostly of the automatic variety, and yet the non-automatic guns tend to make their presence known by delivering a powerful punch to your opponent. The better you play the better guns you unlock. Assault and Recon have a Predator like invisible camouflage; also each class has a special vision mode, and grenades that are actually useful.



The game has a strong focus on team work, and for good reason. While you may at first have the urge to run around and be a hero, the guns do enough damage that you’ll soon learn that it is unwise to stand up to more than two people at a time. The game also launched with tons of servers up; probably the most for a non-Steamworks released mod I’ve ever seen, so you’ll never have to be looking for a game. While the balance of the game is nearly flawless, I do feel that the Support class is a bit overpowered, and running into a team made up mostly of them is almost certainly a death warrant. Since you unlock guns by score, it does make it hard to just jump into the middle of an ongoing game when everyone else has better guns than you. Also, with all the time put into the balance and the general look of the game, you would expect the same quality in the animation department. After one uses their knife for the first time you will see that animation is one part of the mod that could use further polish. But once you’re complaining about the quality of the animation you’re soon to realize that you’re probably nit-picking.



Neotokyo accomplishes what it set out to do, and is a great if not essential mod for owners of Half-life 2. With rumors of it coming to Steamworks, new game modes, and 10 maps known to be in testing it’s looking like this game will only get better over the years.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

GOG.com

This is just a little shameless plug for a website I've been keeping my eyes on. I was lucky enough to learn about early and able to sign up for the Beta. GOG (which stands for Good Old Games) is an amazing site really. Their goal is to try to get as many, well, good old games on the site as possible. Right now it's mostly filled some classics from Interplay and Codemasters, but that does include the very hard to find Fallout games. And with Fallout 3 on the horizon, I can fully recommend that everyone should play the originals.

It's just like any other website you've bought things from. Make an account, get out your credit/debit card, and spend away. And after you purchase the game, you are not required to download some application like Steam. You simply click on the "My Account" tab on the site, and you'll see something like this:



As you can see, you don't just get a game, you get a multimedia feast. Best of all, it's DRM free. It's yours to backup, delete, re-dowload, everything.

Also, you should check out the forums. The guys who run the website have links to different mods and tweaks for the games they sell. I downloaded a patch to get higher resolutions on the Fallout games, and after having a slow-down problem, it was answered by the community itself.

With games like Grim Fandango, X-wing, and many other older games being whispered about, this is a site that any fan of gaming should keep their eyes on. Now excuse me, I need to finish destroying the entire mutant population...

www.gog.com

1-12-2007

What's special about that date? For me, it was the beginning of something new, but I just didn't know it yet. Let me tell you the set up.

My wonderful girlfriend and I were spending our first Christmas together, and she had decided to get me an iPod. Me being a PC person thought, "What am I going to do with this Mac filth" but I smiled and excepted the gift. I figured I would put one or two songs on there, and that would be it.

Now, I don't know how or when or why or whatever, but at some point I discovered Podcasting. I now subscribe to many different casts, about just about anything you can imagine in geek culture. But there was one podcast that quickly started to shine above the rest.

Games For Windows Radio: aka GFW Radio: aka 97.5 The Brodeo.

That's what January 12th 2007 is all about. It was the first episode I ever listened to. As time went on, you got to know the cast:

Jeff, the fatherly EIC of the magazine.
Shawn, the outspoken intelligent funny guy.
Ryan, the MMORPG playing quiet guy.
Sean, the producer and all around nice guy.
Darren, the tech guy who always had good input.

And for many months, all was well. And then Darren left for PC Magazine, where in all honesty, he is probably better appreciated. Because GFW Radio, and even the magazine, was becoming more about gaming and the life of gamers as much as it was about PC gaming. There really wasn't much room for tech.

It was sad at the time, but we went on, and even got two more cast members:

Anthony: aka Chuff, the young guy
Robert: Freelancer, and a perfect complement to Shawn.

It didn't prepare the listeners and subscribers for what would happen next. Game For Windows magazine was shut down in the prime of its new life. Just as the writers were beginning to understand their place in this big mess of enthusiast gaming press, they were shot down. But it wouldn't be one shot, it would be a boulder crushing everyone in its path. Soon Sean announced he would be leaving for Blizzard. Then the father of GFW, Jeff, announced he would be leaving to work with the Sims teams. And finally today Shawn has told everyone that he is leaving to go to 2K Boston, and that the final episode of GFW would be airing.

This is painful. You see, I'm in school right now, 23 and just starting college. It is almost completely because of GFW Radio. Before then I had no passion, but the guys on that show taught me how to just really embrace gaming, and to see what good crtiquing of games should look like. It showed me that I want to do that at some point in my life. I want to write about, not just games, but the industry. I love everything surrounding the games I play, the circus, the buyouts, the drama. It's interesting, and I want to experience it.

I'm at school now, hoping that someday I can work with Shawn, Jeff, Ryan, etc. It can't happen now, there's no magazine, and 1UPs PC coverage is pathetic. Shawn, Jeff, Darren, and Sean are all gone. It's blow to the morale, my heroes are dead. Maybe that's overlly dramatic. Either way, this is a sad first real post for my own gaming blog, but with death comes life. Here's to The Brodeo.

GFW Radio: 2-16-06 - 9-17-08