It's Matt's queue. Hey, all. Everybody settle down now. Geez, quit clapping already...La la la. Okay, thank you, thank you. Now let's get started.
All Age Verification Tests Should Be Like This. This is even less effective than the age verification employed in the Leisure Suit Larry games. Still, at least you gotta give them kudos for at least trying to weed out junior. I'm trying to think of other images of things kids wouldn't recognize--perhaps their parents?
PSN breach and restoration to cost $171M, Sony estimates. New "Welcome Back" program features free subscription to XLA.
Here is my look at the Caanoo handheld the latest offerings from Gamepark Holdings.
I finally got to see the new Star Trek movie last night and thought I'd post a few thoughts on it while it's all fresh in my head. I'm going to assume you're familiar with the Star Trek mythos here.
Nicole at the Only Good Movies Blog was kind enough to give us the heads up about a new feature they're running called, The 100 Sci Fi Movies to See Before You Die. Included on the list at number 26 is "Deathrace 2000", which includes a nice linkback to my own blog post on the related arcade machine from 1976 from when Matt and I went to San Francisco for the week to work on the upcoming feature film documentary, Woot!: The Videogame Revolution. Be sure to check out the complete list of films.
Do I have some big news for you! Your very own Matt and Bill are set to write and produce a feature film--a documentary based on Vintage Games, among others! We're still working out the ins and outs, but you're basically looking at 90 minutes of gaming goodness wrapped around a historical narrative. It's going to be most excellent!
I have to admit, I wasn't very optimistic about the movie adaptation of one of my favorite comic book superheroes, Iron Man. I read the comic growing up and always loved Iron Man because, unlike most of Marvel's other heroes, his powers were based on science and reasoning rather than random events (bitten by a radioactive spider, mutations, etc.) I also thought Tony Stark's character was interesting, particularly when he was in a wheelchair and suffering from alcoholism. He always seemed more mature and sophisticated than many of the other heroes. I guess there's probably not many of us techie geeks who can't appreciate Iron Man to some level.
Of course I feared the worst when it came to the movie--would they go-over-the-top like they did with Spiderman, turning Peter Parker from a shy and sensitive teen into a parody of nerdiness? Would they rely on cheezy CGI too much for the Iron Man scenes (Incredible Hulk)? Would it become an extended product placement segment (Transformers)? Would it be all action and simplistic moral tales (X-Men)?
Although we normally only review videogames here at AA, I thought I might be permitted to make some comments on the movie 300, which I feel has plenty of connections to the world of not only graphic novels but also videogames. I'd heard the movie described as "watching a videogame," and after viewing it last night, I can see why. However, I also read a review that described it as one of the battles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy expanded to movie-length--after excising out all the character and plot development. Both of these criticisms are fair. 300 isn't really trying to tell a story. It's just an effort to render an epic battle in a sort of highly stylized, highly gritty form. It's eye candy.
I'd like to think that no one would really need to be told the story of The Battle of Thermopylae, which is perhaps one of the most famous "last stands" in history, not to mention one of the most important battles the Greeks ever fought with the Persians. If these battles hadn't been fought, and if the Persians had managed to conquer Athens and Sparta, the entirely of Western civilization would probably be unrecognizable today. So, to that end, if this movie helps spark some historical interest in the typical zombie moviegoer, my hat is off to Snyder.
The Super Mario Bros. movie is not one of the better flicks based off a video game. It's certainly not the worst, but is odd in so many ways that it is probably worth watching at least once.
In his recent autobiography Pimps, Hos, Playas, And the Rest of my Hollywood Friends, John Leguizamo (the actor who played Luigi in the movie) devotes an entire chapter to the horrors of making is usually considered to be the first video game movie.
Here are some highlights:
Yesterday my wife and I hiked to the local multiplex to catch the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Dead Man's Chest. Although I've always been a big fan of pirate movies, I didn't see the first one in the theater. It seemed like such an obvious bit of cheesy franchise exploitation (a movie based on a RIDE?) that I waited for it on DVD. As soon as I saw the film, I realized my mistake--Gore Verbinski came out with a highly entertaining and memorable film along the lines of The Princess Bride. Part two, Dead Man's Chest, follows the successful formula, and thus results in another great summer movie. I want to talk about a bit about the film here, and then relate it to videogames.