Man of Steel 2: Batman vs Justin Timberlake's Riddler?

     After my post this morning about the future of the Batman film series, I came across an interesting article over at SciFi Now.  Justin Timberlake said in an interview with Fresh 102.7's Jim & Kim show, when asked about playing Robin with Ben Affleck's Batman-
“Not a chance in hell. I ain’t playing Robin. I have no aspiration to ever be a superhero in a movie.
“Now, a villain! I’ll tell you the villain I want to play more than anything because I grew up loving Batman, funnily enough, is The Riddler. The Riddler is my favorite villain."
He's got the style for it.
(I made these simple mock-ups to show the sleek and sophisticated look)  
     Which is great because the Riddler if handled properly could easily be a Lex Luthor level villain.  While I named a bunch of slightly older gentlemen to play Edward "Riddler" Nigma, I would actually consider Timberlake in the role a decent choice.  He even had this to say about the Riddler as a character-
“The Riddler was like a sociopath. He was proper crazy. So if I’m gonna play crazy, I’m wanna play proper crazy.” 
     Well, hopefully he doesn't mean either Frank Gorshin or Jim Carrey's Riddler crazy, but more along the lines of a Heath Ledger Joker or Matthew Goode's Ozymandias (from Watchmen).  Deadly intelligence and the desire to prove it through life or death games.

Source [ SciFi Now ]

The Future of Batman: Nolan's Dark Knight and Why Ben Affleck Could be Good

About Affleck:

     With the casting of Ben Affleck as the next Batman, I expected a ton of backlash, but Twitter is positively inundated with absurd amounts of it.  No seriously, you want to waste a day of Bat-Affleck jokes?  There's more than enough there.

     In all seriousness, this could be a decent move by the studios.  Affleck has been good in things like Argo, The Town, and Good Will Hunting.  Everyone seems to be focused on the crappy Daredevil movie as a reference, but none of the recent good films.

     But  we have to remember all the hate when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker.  Good lord, there were so many Brokeback (BrokeBat) Mountain jokes.  And yes, I admit I too was against Ledger in the beginning, so now I'm much more open about the casting.  How about when Michael "Mr. Mom" Keaton was cast in Tim Burton's Batman?  It felt absolutely ludicrous to cast him, but it not only worked, but it worked well.  The criticism will be harsh for some time, but give it time.

He's already sort of played Superman as well.

     Affleck has been a phenomenal director and that may be to the Batman Vs. Superman film's advantage.  In fact, my apologies to Zach Snyder, but I believe Affleck is a far superior director, but it may be a great thing- to add temperance to the Snyder stylization, which he might need.  A directorial grounding of sorts, to keep the film leveled.

The Future of Batman:

     (From a draft from Aug. 14th, 2012)  My thoughts on the future of the Dark Knight series is quite simple.  Christopher Nolan has already laid the groundwork for it throughout his trilogy, and it culminated with a worthy successor to the cowl.  Mind you John "Robin" Blake would be better suited to being a Batman Beyond type character.  They'd have to focus on the detective part of being the Batman.  That is one thing I believe Nolan's trilogy truly lacked.  True crime solving.
     This would open the door for Bale to return as a mentor to the newcomer.  Teach him and train him.  When Blake gets in a bind it would also be a relief- if someone found Blake out as being the Bat, Bale's Bruce Wayne could take up the mantle to take the heat off.  He could then be in 2 places at once.
     Blake would also have the opportunity to have a bunch of the kids from the orphanage be his eyes and ears on the street.

     As for the villain?  Set up a new trilogy in the Nolan-verse with the Riddler as the main antagonist.  This wouldn't be the silly, wacky-zany goon of old.  Mr. Edward Nigma would be an intelligent games master, not some fool obsessed with proving his intellectual superiority.
     For the Riddler, he'd would have to be handled like he is in the Arkham video games- he'd leave riddles and traps strewn about Gotham City, but never, I repeat NEVER, be there himself.  He'd be too smart for that.  We need someone that is not only capable of beating Batman, but capable of getting away with it in plain site.  So while The Riddler wouldn't be out and about, while Nigma could be seeded throughout the series, hiding in plain sight.  And the kicker- he'd outwit the Bat.  He would win.  In at least the first two films- possibly even in the third.

     During the Riddler's scheming, he'd send in others to do the dirty work.  Maybe hiring small crime bosses like the Penguin and Black Mask to create warring factions around Batman to keep him busy and distracted while keeping his grand plans going.  A man of Nigma's caliber would be controlling the chess board for the whole game.  Competent and effective.  Make him a bit older, show that he's been doing this for years.  He's looking for a challenge- and Batman is it.  The so-called "Dark Knight Detective."

     Casting the Riddler:  My first choice would be Andrew Scott (Moriarty from BBC's Sherlock).  I even made a post about it!  Although, there are plenty of others that would be well cast- like my 2nd choice Jason Isaacs, even the always wonderful Jon Hamm could be an amazing Nigma.  Sam Rockwell, Adrian Brody, Paul Bettany, or Bill Nighy.  There's a plethora of able actors, but an older English gentleman would be preferable.  Although I would stray from using anybody like Johnny Depp, Neil Patrick Harris, or Ed Norton.
     Hell, make Edward into Edwina and cast a lady.  Or cast a non white actor in the role like Don Cheadle or Idris Elba.


Reggie Fils-Amie Says "Meh" and Nintendo Repeating the Past.

     This post has been in a draft form for a while.  Quite a while, as in 3 years or so, and this new Reggie Fils-Amie (The President of Nintendo of America (NOA)) quote has sparked this draft's revision and completion: 
"It’s all about the games.  The competitive systems have announced their launch lineups. I’m allowed to say ‘Meh,’" Fils-Aime said.  "I look at our lineup of titles and I feel good about our lineup.  We’ve got Zelda.  We’ve got Mario.  We’ve got Donkey Kong.  In addition to great titles like Pikmin 3 and Wonderful 101, I feel very good about our lineup, and I feel very good about the value proposition we’re putting out there for the consumer."
     Nintendo has become redundant.  After 1,000 Pokemons, a plethora Mario games, and Zelda games that really haven't been anything new or inspired in years Nintendo is losing (lost already?) their hold has a gaming superpower.  Which is funny because the Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself had this to say:
"From my perspective, with regard to the more powerful hardware systems, to me what still remains incredibly important is the developers maintaining a focus on creating unique games because if all that everyone does is uses the enhanced power to create more and more games that look and feel the same, then all that it becomes is a competition about the power of the hardware rather than the uniqueness of the experience. That, to me, is where developers should be devoting their effort."
     It's a good thing Nintendo is following that advice.  I hope anyone reading this gathered the huge amount of sarcasm I loaded that last sentence with.  We need new versions of things (or just plain new things).  I love the old games, but really, where's a new Earthbound?  A completely new take on Pokemon?  I have been complaining for years about needing a Zelda that actually features ZELDA in the lead role.  Shiek (Zelda in a suit, not her magic-ed into a boy) as the lead protagonist.  Even if it was in Windwaker style.  I, along with a bazillion other fans, would love that.  Make her not save Link, but have her own adventure.  Hell, even her as the pirate Tetra would be great.

Way to move backwards again Reggie.

     What Nintendo is doing is recycling what worked 25 years ago.  They're marketing to children, as seen with the new "2DS" system which has been said to be for 5-6 year olds.  Another step backwards in my mind.  Nintendo needs to take off the kiddie gloves and take chances.  Where's the risky games like Naughty Dog's The Last of Us for PS3?  Where's all the mature games for people that were fans of the original NES games, and now have their own children, but are STILL gamers looking for a true GAMING EXPERIENCE as the 2 above quotes say?

     I mean, we've grown as gamers and fans, so why hasn't Nintendo grown as a game-maker?  

     Sure, there's always a place in my heart for A Link to the Past and the Metroid series, but my wallet stopped funding it long ago.  Nostalgia can only do so much.  They need to stop looking back at the safe sales- stop regurgitating the same old crap.  I've quit buying Nintendo stuff because they have nothing of note now, nothing worthwhile.  Until they do something like the big two, X Box and Playstation, Nintendo has lost me as a supporter.

     ...but...  if they manage to create something new, something different and unique from all the repetitive garbage they're tossing out yearly, I'll gladly return to them.  If, as Fils-Amie says, “...for us it’s about games, about the fun, about the entertainment value, and not about the tech,” then they need to give us fans what we want- grown up games for the modern gamers, not a spiffed up version of something we've played a million times before.  

     Nintendo- you've got to stop hording your beloved properties like the toys of the five-year-olds you market to, and take chances with the series'.  Think outside the box, make something interesting, and take chances with third party developers.  I want to be excited about these franchises again.  Have Mario actually do his job and plumb a shit-clogged toilet- hey, at least it's something different!  Rock the damn boat on the way to Yoshi's Island- you never know, something wonderful could happen.

     Nintendo, something needs to change, and I think many gamers know what.


Thor: The Dark World New Poster: Loki = Vigo From Ghostbusters

     I thought I saw that new Thor: The Dark World Loki poster somewhere else before!  I had to do this, because it's all I could think of most of today.  Loki as the Vigo painting from Ghostbusters 2.

     Who wouldn't be enthralled by Tom Hiddleston's Loki?

Logo Design: Bethany Sparrows

     A while back a friend of mine asked me to create a logo for a school team of soccer players he coaches.  This instance is for the ladies soccer team at Bethany College- they wanted to be called the Sparrows.  Well, I immediately asked if it was in reference to a well known Biblical quote, and while it was not at first, they took it to heart- and now that's what it means.

     After the first bunch of sketches, he was adamant that they wanted the first one specifically.

     So I worked on that a while and after numerous system crashes and various life problems bogging me down I ended up with this pile of crap. (An early Adobe Illustrator version)

     Well, I kept getting frustrated and stuck and completely unhappy with all my iterations so I called in the Ole BFF Nick Straight to help clean it up and this is what we finished with.  Ok- he cleaned up my crap and this is the end result.

     Much better than anything I could've done alone.  Yay teamwork!


She Dreams of Olbermann

     I sent a friend a Twitter link this morning about the amazing Keith Olbermann's return tonight to ESPN 2's SportsCenter and here is her reply.

     My dream is for Keith Olbermann to sing "Soft kitty, warm kitty" from Big Bang Theory.  As he has meltdowns on all of his shows eventually, this could happen.  I'm excited he's back, for however short of a time before his ego destroys him.

     Imagine Keith dead panning:
Soft kitty, I hate the republicans,
Warm kitty, the pitcher is fucking terrible (reference to obscure player from 1957),
Little ball of fur (war is bad),
Happy kitty - I, Keith, am happy occasionally,
Sleepy kitty, why he made that play call is unreasonable.
Purr (pounds on desk), Purr (screams at the camera and points), Purr!  
     Crumples paper, throws it on the floor.  

     (Note- I asked if I could post about the response on this blog because it's so great.  She is to remain nameless- "I'm fine with that if it is anonymous, unless Keith randomly sees and enjoys it.  Then I want him to bang on the desk and scream, "Purr purr purr!")

     In all honesty, this is now something I want to see as well.  If any readers happen across this blog post and knows a way to make it happen, well, let me know.

'Olbermann' premiering tonight (8/26) on ESPN2


Ben Affleck as the New Batman (Man of Steel 2)

     According to Entertainment Weekly Ben Affleck is confirmed to be playing Bruce Wayne/Batman for the next Man of Steel film.  Director Zack Snyder as well as actors(actresses) Henry Cavill, Laurence Fishburne, Amy Adams, and Diane Lane are all returning.

     My fears are not as terrible as I would've initially thought.  Sure I'm skeptical, but I'll give it a chance.  Affleck has been a much better actor in recent years, and does have the ability to pull it off.  Currently my only reservation is how they'll merge the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight universe in, but according to the press release: This will be “an entirely new incarnation of the character.”

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”- Zack Snyder

     This might actually work out well.  Affleck has been a bit more dark and gruff in movies lately.

     The currently untitled film is set to be released on July 17, 2015.  It seems odd that it already has a release date and the script isn't even finished.

     No word yet on Matt Damon becoming the Boy Wonder, Robin.  I'm sure that news'll be coming soon.

Source [ EW ]

Image Stolen and cropped down from US Magazine.

Imagine a John Lennon Clone... From a Tooth.

     I read about this on not just one other website, but a few.  Apparently Canadian Dentist-slash-Beatles-fan Michael Zuk spent something like $30,000 to buy one of Lennon's molars that had been removed- and now is working with US researchers at an unnamed laboratory at Penn State to see if they can clone him, or at least what can be done with the DNA.

I couldn't help but make this image- the lyrics are just too fitting.
"I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon's DNA, very soon I hope," Zuk said. "With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality..."
     Assuming they can extract the necessary sequences, would this even matter?  It wouldn't quite be "bringing back one of Rock's greatest stars" as Zuk thinks.  A clone doesn't get all the influences that the original had, all the distinct circumstances that shaped him.  The potential clone's experiences and life building won't be the same.  Times change and with the ridiculous modern era of music we could end up with a monster like Justin Bieber.
     A Lennon clone could have all the inherent talent (latent familial traits, etc) but no focus or drive to create.  Seriously, wasn't part of Lennon's inspiration to break out of the "normal system?"
     And as Lennon was part of the Beatles, the clone won't get the tremendous influence of George Harrison and Paul McCartney (and I suppose Ringo Starr as well).  There would be all the potential, but none of the rest. 

     I mean, what if he wanted to be a painter instead?  This potential clone would be their own individual, and would make their own choices, with their own rights.  Sure, the body will be the same, but the mind and whatever else makes us, well... us, is individualized.

     Here's Mr. Zuk's site for the curious: http://www.johnlennontooth.com/

Source [ PR Web ]


The Last Guardian News: Fumito Ueda Comments: Still in Progress

     Over a decade after Ico and almost as long after Shadow of the Colossus, we fans are still wondering about any news of the much anticipated, yet nearly cancelled (rumored) title- The Last Guardian.  We want to be fully immersed in this beautiful and tragic world again.  So what's going on?

     On the good side, we know it's currently being worked on, in quite possibly the slowest development ever:
"It's under earnest development," Ueda said. "However, SCE Japan Studio, who's working on The Last Guardian, also has titles like Puppeteer and Knack, and those are only the ones currently announced. Those are taking priority right now."
     Which, considering what Team Ico at SCE's Japan Studio is capable of is a good sign, but on the down side no one wants this to turn out like Aliens: Colonial marines or Duke Nukem Forever which suffered greatly from production hell.  It's just super disheartening to know it's been so long that it may not be able to live up to it's own hype.
     And if I recall correctly, Scott Rohde (Sony Senior VP of Product Dev.) said that the game will ship "when it is absolutely ready" with no deadlines listed way back at 2012's E3.  So while it's continuing on the path to release, it has no end in sight.  Or at least a stated release date.

     The only things that would keep me going here is giving the graphics a massive overhaul, this has to look far better than the videos we saw years ago.  Put it on PS4, make this as beautiful and amazing as the new console will allow.  Push the envelope and make the game like 100 hours long.  It doesn't have to be fully open world, but at least vastly explorable.  Wonder, mystery, intrigue.  These are the experiences we want to feel in the game.

     In a Polygon article, Ueda mentions The Last of Us as a great way of working with companion characters like Ellie and:
"We don't want to lose out to them, and we're working on The Last Guardian so it works in similar ways." 
     So- we know it is still on the way, we know Ueda is still involved, we know Sony has control of it, and now we know that they are reworking the boy and beast's companion system.  The team needs to make this a grand slam, not just a home run.  Make this happen.  And maybe make it happen on the PS Vita while they're at it.

Source [ Polygon ]


Duke Nukem Forever... Forever Immature

     This shouldn't really surprise anyone, that after playing through Gearbox's tremendously delayed (12 years or so) Duke Nukem Forever, that The Duke is just as crass, self obsessed, and over the top as I recalled from long ago as a teen in the mid 1990's.  Honestly, there's an endless stream of film referencing one-liners, mostly naked ladies, and impossible weapons (the shrink ray is exceptionally fun- allowing you to shrink enemies down and boot stomp them).  This is a game my 13 year old self would've loved.

     Duke's machismo is more than enough to assert his testosterone laden muscles over the alien invaders, so much so that he doesn't even have a health bar- it's an EGO bar!  He has plenty of methods of slaying the invading aliens through the campaign- FPS, turrets, driving in a remote control car and an over sized monster truck, and even smaller games to distract you from the main game like slot machines, air hockey, and a whack-a-mole knock off.  I would like to note that the controls are absolutely horrendous on the mini games and somehow, even worse, in the swimming sections.  They get to be very frustrating and detract from what the game was actually somewhat good at- the stupid humor and just plain shooting things into a bloody pulp.  Just fixing the controls would've boosted this game's playability a considerable amount.

     Really, the only parts that are worth it are the FPS and the ludicrous humor.  As immature as it is, I admit I laughed out loud more than I should have.  I mean there's an Achievement/Trophy called Turd Burglar, for picking up a turd from a toilet.  And, yes, I did laugh out loud about it.  Finding all the Easter Eggs that are classic Gearbox nods to other games and movies were actually one of the highlights for me- the Portal companion barrel and the shrink ray's gun design is awfully reminiscent of the one used by Chell.  These are wonderful additions, but they cannot support the whole game.  Yes, there was a bunch of fun in this beer guzzling, steroid using, stripper ogling man, but when it comes down to it the crappy game mechanics and poor story don't keep it going to the end of the game.  Just a small amount of more depth could've gone a long way.

     In fact, after playing this, I wonder how much of Alien: Colonial Marines was stripped straight from this game.  I can see the blatant theft from their own games- weapons, melee attack, and all the alien eggs and bursters.  Really, Duke Nukem Forever could've been a wonderful way to update and satirize FPS games, but it ended up being a joke in itself.  Perhaps they'll make use of the IP and create something more worthwhile.  Probably not though...


     ...luckily for us all, Gearbox put all their time into the Borderlands series, and rightly so.  Despite the flaws, the Borderlands games are far superior.  (Why didn't they just re-skin the Borderlands stuff into Aliens: Colonial Marines?  It would've probably been much, MUCH better if they had.)

Back to the Future: The Game

     As a Back to the Future fan since childhood, I've always loved the idea they'd make a video game of it.  Telltale Games got the rights, and both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd allowed the use of their likenesses- and this game was the result.  Granted, I'm a couple years behind in obtaining it.  Luckily for me, I got all 5 episodes of this series on one PS3 disc- so I could play it straight through.

***Spoilers Ahead***

"If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 mph...
you're gonna see some serious shit." - Doc Brown
(one of my favorite quotes ever)

     I'm not much of a point-and-click gamer, but this wasn't bad.  The Telltale Games' stylized characters are easily recognizable and the look grew on me quite swiftly.  Of course Doc Brown, voiced by Lloyd himself, got to stretch his character a bit with a variant version that is a totalitarian of laws instead of being his nice, albeit slightly crazy, inventor self.  So he gets a 1984-esque Hill Valley that has little crime, but everyone is sort of oppressed.

     Marty McFly is now voiced by a fellow that does a remarkably outstanding job, A.J. Locascio, because Mr. Fox was unable to do do it.  Although Fox does play a couple other McFlys that appear towards the end of the series.  Plenty of secondary characters make appearances as well including both Marty's parents, mention of Principle Strickland, and plenty of Biff's in each era visited.

     Anyway, the game relies on simple puzzles and conversation options to get things done.  It isn't anything too frustrating, keeping in mind you are playing as Marty and not Doc- so they keep the inventiveness to a minimum.  Even Einstein (Doc's dog) is used in multiple puzzles or ways of getting to the next objective.   There are plenty of interesting nods to the films and this game seems to fit in fairly well.  They aren't forced, all the nods flow with the narrative perfectly.

     Other than the slow nature of the point-and-clicks (having to walk back and forth through areas at a snails pace is a bit annoying), the game was done very well, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to revisit the Back to the Future series with a new experience.  It's pretty much an interactive cartoon based on the films, a game truly made for the fans.

Borderlands 2: Announced for Playstation Vita!!!

     The Playstation Vita got two wonderful bits of news announced at the Gamescom 2013 press conference by Sony-

1) Price reduction to $199.00.  This is a great change- the price was so large many gamers couldn't afford the system.  This was a necessity.

2) Borderlands 2 is coming to the Vita.  Finally a Triple-A title coming to the system.  No other details or comments about the DLC's were announced for this particular port to the Vita.

     For Borderlands 2 on the Vita, I hope it's something new, not just a direct port- think of just a small DLC-sized game like Mister Torgue's Campaign of Carnage or Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep.  Make it short and amazing.  Perhaps a new character(s)?  Carry over the Badass rank as well.  Honestly, even if it is just a simple port- I'll buy it just to support both the Vita and the Borderlands games.

     I'll update more on thoughts about this as news arrives.


Let's Writey-Drawey!

     A few friends of mine have started a Tumblr feed about a game we occasionally play called Let's Writey Drawey. (check it out if you like- you can even submit ones you've done!)  It's not a new game, and it's one many people have heard of, or played in a variation.

     Essentially, one person writes a line (sometimes there are word count limits) and the next person illustrates the line and folds the line of text over for the next person, who in turn has to write a line based solely on the image drawn.  Simply put- it's an exercise in stupid humor.  As such, it's quite entertaining.

     Here's a couple I joined in for:

     1) Otters in my Pants!!!

     2)  2013: Year of the Mermaid.


Thor: The Dark World: PUNintentionally THORrible Meme

     I've had this particular meme in the back of my mind since the first Thor movie, and now that the new Dark World trailer is out, I figured I'd throw this together for a few dumb laughs.  It's just Loki being his old trickster self again.  Originally I wanted to do a CSI: Asgard with Loki putting on the glasses and "YEEEEAAAAAAAHHH!!!" over the city skyline for the final panel, but maybe I'll think of something better for that.  Enjoy. 

     Tom Hiddleston's Loki is the best.


"Literally" now means it's own opposite (figuratively) ?!?

     As if we needed anything more to tell us education is seriously lacking here in the ole U S of A, Google Dictionary now lists this:

     ...so now "literally," literally means it's complete opposite.  What.  The.  F**k?!?  This is a very bad sign for the future.

Source [ Google ]


BBC's Sherlock: How Sherlock Survives Clues

     The clues that are of note are the truck from the picture here, and Watson.  Sherlock PURPOSELY tells him to go back to a specific spot.  A vantage point to watch from- or at least behind that small wall blocking his view.  It could mean there is something Sherlock is hiding from Watson.  Is it the truck that drives away?  Very likely.  Then again it could be to spare Watson having to see what I like to call- the Reichenbach Splat. Which would be much more doubtful.

The Reichenbach Splat

     I'm personally going with the truck- Watson was kept from seeing it, and it conveniently drives away RIGHT after Sherlock lands.  What was in it?  And there's sure to be much more to it than that.  Granted, Sherlock had Molly (the overlooked friend, both by Sherlock and Moriarty) waiting on deck.  He knew something was going to happen and needed her help.  What the help is/was will have to wait until we see the next episode, The Empty Hearse, on a curiously unlisted date from the season 3 trailer.


Peter Wartman: Over the Wall

     It's time for some comics talk.  A friend of mine, the highly talented Peter Wartman, recently published an 80 page comic called Over the Wall.  You might be thinking, "Of course he's pimping his friend's creations."  But, this fellow is quite talented and deserves more exposure than this blog could ever manage.  I had the privilege of seeing and hearing about parts of this before printing, and it's great.  So if you enjoy comics and good stories, I would recommend you check this out.

Pic stolen from Wartman's website.

     Here's the blurb from the Amazon page:
     A great wall separates a magnificent metropolis from the surrounding countryside. All humans are banned from ever entering the city. A young girl is determined to enter the forbidden city in search of her lost brother. When she crosses over, fantastic adventures ensue in narrow medieval streets, ancient temples, and abandoned bazaars of the haunted city. 
     To save her missing brother, she must grapple with mythical creatures, explore the mystery of the missing inhabitants, and cure the amnesia of an entire civilization. Over the Wall immerses the reader in a richly imagined world of coming of age rituals, lost worlds and the nature of memory. The beautiful two-color art vividly brings to life the fantastical architecture of mysterious metropolis and faintly evokes the crisp lines of Japanese anime. 
Over the Wall is a stunning debut from a young and talented cartoonist Peter Wartman.
Here's the link if you would like to purchase this wonderful debut.


Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

     If Disney and Team Ico had a love child, I'd imagine it would come out looking something like Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.  The thief "Tepeu" (not his real name) stumbles upon an imprisoned Majin (a nature guardian) Teotl, and once the Majin is freed, you embark on a journey to free the land of an oily blackness infecting and corrupting the inhabitants.

     Through the lush lands, you use a buddy system to combo and level up the characters.  While Tepeu doesn't benefit a whole lot, the Majin gathers his trapped powers from fruits hidden around the land, and over the course of the game sprouts more and more vegetation upon his massive frame.  The system sounds frustrating, but actually works well with one exception- when you want to run away the Majin tends to ignore it and keep attacking enemies.  Otherwise all the other actions are quite well handled.  Command the Majin to kneel so you can use him to jump to a higher spot?  Done.  Want him to clear a pathway one of his regained powers?  No problem.  He'll even revive you if the creatures of darkness kill you.  

     I think the visuals of the 2D animation sequences, the great ruined landscape, and the general puzzle solving are what keep this game entertaining.  It isn't spectacular, but together the 3 things make something just magical enough to enjoy despite the predictable story.  By the end of the game I was thoroughly liking spending time in this world filled with talking animals and would recommend you give it a try.


Boulet's The Long Journey

     It isn't often I can rave about how amazing a comic strip can be, but this one is unbelievably good.  It is one immense vertical comic, and it has everything a comic needs.  Action, wonder, and a toilet that leads to adventure.

     Read this.  Boulet's The Long Journey.  I couldn't recommend any other current comic more.

Extra Life! Fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

     One of my friends is participating in a fundraiser for children's health at the Extra Life Org.  I would ask that if you are a gamer, and would like to donate- that would be awesome.  ALL PROCEEDS go to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital (Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare).

     Here's a link to his page: Jon T. and a snippet from the page:
Dear Family, Friends, Co-workers, and Acquaintances,

I'm on a mission to help save kids, and I need your help.

Our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family's ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.

On November 2nd, 2013, I will give an entire day of my time, dedicating it to play an epic 24 hour ( 25 hours if you include DST ) video game marathon to help raise money for sick and injured children, and it's my sincere hope that you'll find it in your heart to support this cause with a one-time gift that will go directly to our Minnesota CMN Gillette's Specialty Care Hospital.
      This is a good cause, and if you can, it would be much appreciated for any donations made.  This will be the 2nd year I've supported and I urge people to help.  It's benefiting both children and gamers.  Sometimes it's a combination of the two.


Lab Grown "Cultured Beef" Has Finally Arrived

Pic Taken from the NPR site.
     It was only a matter of time.  Three months to be precise- before someone made a stem cell grown meat slab was ready.  That's only partially true, decades of research helped scientists grow it in 3 months.  This is definitely a strange but remarkable occurrence.  This is a potential for alternative and sustainable future food.  I look forward to trying this petri dish creation when it's more available in the decade or so that is estimated. 

Source [ NPR ]

Portal's GLaDOS (Ellen McLain) Singing a Marriage Proposal

     It isn't often you see something this wonderful.  This weekend at the GaymerX Convention in San Francisco, Portal's voice actress Ellen McLain helped out a gamer with a proposal during a voice acting panel.  Great use of the song "Still Alive." 

     There were a lot of teary eyed people in the crowd!  And wow, do those two look nervous.  I wish this couple all the joy and happiness possible.  Well done! 

Superman Vs. Batman: Casting thoughts for Man of Steel and a Dark Knight...

     Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. are rumored to have a list of actors to replace Christian Bale's Batman for the next Man of Steel film - announced at the International Comic-Con.  The film itself is reported to be based, at least somewhat, on Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns from the 1980's.  A damn good series, and I would recommend it to many people that want to get into comics. 

NOTE:  The pic is a SPOILER from the comic.

     The Hollywood Reporter cites sources saying the studio is looking for a late 30's early 40's Bruce Wayne (Batman).  The character will be "established and rugged." 

     So far the 6 rumored actors are:
Josh Brolin- No Country for Old Men
Ryan Gosling- Drive
Joe Manganiello- True Blood
Richard Armitage- The Hobbit
Max Martini- Pacific Rim
Matthew Goode- Watchmen

     Seeing as the script isn't written, things could easily change.  Of the list above I can pretty much see any but Gosling.  Seriously, why is he on that list?
     If they are shooting for the tone of Frank Miller's series, just keep Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  The whole Christopher Nolan series led up to him taking on the mantle.
     I've had this argument with tons of people- Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy set it up so Bruce Wayne started legend to be filled.  It doesn't matter who wears the mask, it is said multiple times, and John "Robin" Blake had the determination to go the distance.  He was not set up to be the brightly colored turd called Robin.  No boy wonder here.  Give him the chance to become the Bat.
     Does Bruce Wayne have to be the one to beat Clark "Superman" Kent?  If yes, pay Bale enough to bring him back.


BBC One Sherlock Season 3 Teaser Trailer!!!

     It's only taken forever, but we finally get a teaser trailer for the next season.  It's looking pretty good so far.  All 25 seconds of it.  Ok, maybe not Watson's moustache, but all the rest of it at least.


Tomb Raider Sequel Confirmed

     This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone except the Square-Enix sales team, but their CEO Phil Rogers announced the sequel coming to the next gen systems on their official blog site:
"Square Enix is in production with a number of next generation projects, including Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, which were announced at this year’s E3, and Thief coming in 2014. I am also excited to reveal that we are well into development on a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel – something you may have heard about recently!"
     If the sales team remembers that they don't have to sell a millionty-billionty copies, this will go quite well.  For the team making the game- less daddy obsession, more kicking ass, and by that I mean have some more actual tomb raiding- not just murdering anything and everything that moves.