Friday, September 23, 2011
-There was an Asura's Wrath Scream Booth (pics to prove) where anyone can unleash their inner rage. I tried this on the first day there, and well 2 screams nearly made me lose my voice, so I couldn't speak normally for a good 3 weeks. Yeah it was painful, but it was worth it since I had a bad summer and I want to let it all out.
-College semester started not too long afterwards where I've been hitting the books like mad.
So I won't guarantee you day-to-day coverage of the whole event, but I can give you guys my montage of what I filmed. And don't forget pictures here. So stay tuned and by next week hopefully I'll have the montage on my YouTube channel.
See you all then.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Prey 2 – This is a sequel I was shocked to be announced earlier this year. My hype is iffy at this point. Teetering from hoping to be good, to hoping it won’t be a cash-in title to catch the craze of First-Person Shooters. I’ve been hearing the plot has been going some changes since its announcement. At first, it was gonna set the same time as the first Prey, but now it seems that it’ll take place sometime afterwards, with the main character of the first game interacting with the new protagonist a certain times throughout the story. Sadly Bethesda, the studio backing up Prey 2, will only be showing the game on an hourly basis, which means I’ll have to wait in line to catch 10 – 15 minutes of gameplay. It’s a downer, but that’s better than showing nothing. Hopefully it’ll gain some hype and prove to me it isn’t a cash-in title.
League of Legends: Dominion – This Free-to-Play game created by the same team who made Delta of the All-Stars (DotA) has been getting lots of attention. A friend of mine introduced me to the game 2 months ago, and while it was a bumpy start I found my stride and found 2 potential main-stay characters. Riot Games will be at PAX Prime to not only helm a tournament and handing out free skins for a few champions, but also to show the next game mode in LoL, Dominion. From what I’m hearing this will be a capture-a-territory match where one team must capture a territory from the opposing team, and must defend it from said-team. I’ll definitely give it a shot and ask the developers if my characters will be saved from getting the “treatment” (aka nerfed down).
Bioware – This year’s PAX Prime has Bioware having five booths dedicated to them and I can’t blame them since they have two big titles coming out in the next six months. The first one is Mass Effect 3. This is one of my most anticipating titles, and while it won’t be releasing this year, seeing the game at PAX will hopefully convince me that Bioware needs to leave the game in the oven a little bit longer. Maybe it’s due the fact it’ll have features that can be used through Kinect, Microsoft’s motion sensor for the Xbox 360, and probably are gonna show just how useful it is. Another game that is also in the works is Star Wars: The Old Republic. A Star Wars MMO developed by the same team who started the Knights of the Old Republic franchise that has been in the making for quite some time. This might be the first MMO that I will buy and try it out since it looks like to be different from the rest of the MMOs out there in the market.
Twisted Metal – This pick is on a whim since David Jaffe, the man behind the beloved franchise and creator of another loved title, God of War, will be the keynote speaker for PAX Prime, and not to mention Sony has a few booths, which is ironically next to Microsoft. Ever since its announcement at E3 2010, I’ve been patiently waiting for this next installment. Taking the formula of using a vehicle of destruction and taking out anyone in your path, into a multiplayer with more variety than Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, smells like a recipe for success. Aiming for that same dark-tone that was in Twisted Metal: Black by making some of the iconic characters more human can a benefiting reward if done properly and with Jaffe at the helm I hope this game won’t fall into the category of suckage. I’m not holding my breath for it to be there, but if it is, I’m going to wreck some carnage.
Dead Island – The zombie genre has been on a roll. It seems like dozens of movies and video games (along with a TV show or two) have been catching the craze, and while its run is staring to dry out, one particular game has been getting a lot of buzz, Dead Island. It takes the First-Person-Shooter aspect of Left 4 Dead, the free-roam sandbox and customizing weapons of Dead Rising 2, and a hint of realism (i.e. a bar-meter where every action you do drains and slowly refills like swing bats or shooting guns), and you get Dead Island. What I like about this game is that not only it puts you an environment that what would like if the zombie apocalypse starts, but you can enjoy this experience with three of your buddies. It’s placed in a very un-expecting booth (Square Enix booth), but if the game is amazing as everyone says it is, I have to see Dead Island for myself to believe it.
Capcom – Let me get out the bad news first, Capcom won’t have Asura’s Wrath nor they probably won’t be talking about any new game, but at least they have plenty of fighting games to have the public to give a shot at. Street Fighter X Tekken will be there to give fans of both fighting games a chance to play. This isn’t anywhere near my radar but I’ll give it a shot to see if I have what it takes to play it. Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 is gonna meet with praise or extreme loathe since this game is set to be released six months after its predecessor, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. The main reason why is because it’ll have 12 new characters (two who were originally going to be DLC), and a new mode for online, and that’s it. As of now they’ve showed off four characters, and I don’t know if Capcom will be showing off two more at PAX Prime. It’s very likely since the last convention they went to, GamesCom in Europe, introduced two characters there, and with release date approaching, it’ll be unwise to not show off more at PAX Prime. As for everything else, there are two Resident Evil games and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, but my hype for those games are little to nothing.
I could name a few more, but my time to get ready for PAX Prime is slowly draining and I need to get moving. When I get back I’ll have pictures and videos of my experience. I’ll present the videos in a V-Log like style through my YouTube channel. I’ll see you all when I get back. Laters!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Since it’s almost half a year since my last English class, I feel like I need to brush up on my writing so when December comes around, I won’t be scrabbling around my room on how to turn my “F” grade to an “A”. So every week throughout this month, I’ll shoot the shoot about whatever’s on my mind, whether it’ll be a subject I have lightly touch upon or something that’s been on my nerves for quite some time. This is an effort for me to get back into writing and to prepare for my next English class so I won’t flunk at a level I’m in. Whether these posts happen between now to next week we will see. Wish me luck and I’ll see you all soon…and not in months this time. :)
Edit: It seems now like just about everyone is on formspring, isn't it? Well I've joined the club, so if you have any questions fire away there.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
To those who are new to Evangelion might be confused at where this takes place, but as a fan, the movie takes place between Ep. 1 – 6. The movie starts off in a abandoned city of Tokyo-3 for an alien life form known as The Angels (no not the angels of Christian mythology or the Los-Angeles Angels), named the 4th Angel (sorry I can’t remember the name exactly), is approaching the city and even w/ the might of UN’s forces and a N2 mine (Atom Bomb x2) they couldn’t stop it. Meanwhile a young teenage boy name Shinji Ikari is waiting for his pickup in the form of Misato Katsuragi. When the two left un-scathed, Misato takes Shinji to the facility underneath Tokyo-3 known as NERV Headquarters where not only he is met by father (head honcho of NERV) whom he despises, but is ordered to be the pilot of a building-sized mecha call Evangelion Unit-01, aka humanity’s last line of defense against The Angels, even though he never had any kind of training nor never see the mech till now. Scared out of his wits, Shinji doesn’t comply to pilot Unit-01, but after The Angel is directly above the HQ and sees another Eva pilot who can barely stand on her own two feet, he swallows his pride and takes the helm as Unit-01’s pilot. From there on, we are introduced to the ¾ of the main cast who are staying on this crazy train of sadness, pain, and questions of why must Shinji and the other pilot, Rei Ayanami, have to pilot the Evas and stop The Angels at all cost, not to mention character development between Shinji and Misato that was lightly touched upon in the show. Hardcore fans would recognize that there have been changes like the filter that were around in Ep. 1-6 are completely removed to make sure the story is more filled out. They would also see noticeable changes that questions them right up to the end of the movie where the every last scene may give away at where the story is heading. I won’t give it away, but let’s say if you have a hardcore fan as a friend who sees the scene for the first time, they’re gonna gasp in awe of what transpires and will be anxiously waiting for the release of Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance.
The animation is hard to re-create the imagery that the TV series developed because for its time, it was really great animation that captures the imagery of the Evangelion universe. But that doesn’t mean it sucks in 1.11. In fact I say it’s impressive, if not better, than the TV series. The scene where we see the computer projected synchronization between Shinji and Eva Unit 01 is really good. It’s very well shown than the TV adaptation’s take which it looked like a diagram techno-babble. The highlight goes to the battle between Shinji and the 5th Angel since Gainax had no limitations, the animation of the Angel’s attack is spectacular and made it more menacing than its original form. Music-wise, series composer Shiro Sagisu brings the scenes to life w/ incredible beats a new mixes like Angel Attack. He did a pretty good job on TV and End of Eva, but here, he takes his scorings to a whole new level. It’s just to see these battles and emotional scenes portrayed more incredible thanks to his composing. Since I own 1.11, I only get to listen to the dub, and it’s pretty good there as well. Most of the original cast is all accounted for (Spike Spenser as Shinji, Alison Keith as Misato, Colleen Clikenbeard as Ritsuko, etc.), but w/ one or two replacements. Kensuke is now voiced by Greg Ayres, aka the-man-I-sometimes-mistaken-as-spike, and replacing Wendee Lee as Rei is Briana Palencia. Both actors do spectacular on portraying their roles, but whenever I hear Greg, I’ll always remember him as Kaoru from Ouran Highschool Host Club, and of course Negi from Negima. As for Briana, I have to say she puts a little bit emotion into Rei than Wendee did, which is a plus on my book. We might know what Rei’s fate is, but at least she’ll convince newbies out there that she is more than human.
The reason why some people hate the TV series and End of Eva is because the production on them quick, so Series Director Hideaki Anno had to make the story as quick as he could back then. Now, he has all the time in the world to flesh out the characters, setting, and plot to be looked over by old and new fans. It was easy to pick on where each scene is taking place since they follow to the TV series to a T w/ new and altered scenes, except for Episode 4 which is good they left it out. In short, cramping 5 episodes into an hour-and-a-half film might not be difficult here, but it’ll be a challenge for 2.22. Some say that the relationship between Shinji and Misato is heavier than the TV series, but I think it’s not escalated into somewhere we see them kiss like how they did in End of Eva. Shinji’s emotion of not wanting to pilot Eva Unit-01 is what drove Misato to show him why he has to stop the Angels to a certain length, and that’s it. Hopefully my theory is correct as the movies progresses.
Evangelion 1.11: You are (Not) Alone is something both Evangelion fans to watch, and for new comers to see why this series is so popular. The visuals are amazing, the acting is great, the music is fantastic, and the pace is well-thought-out. As a critic, it is well put-together, and it’s something worth watching, but as a fan, you’ll might get confuse on some things like why is the sea red, and why is *spoiler removed*…but hopefully things will be explained in 2.22, 3.0, and 4.0 if they’re gonna call it that. I give it 5 crying-Shinjis out of 5. See you all later in the review of Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The video game industry has grown as not only as a cultural phenomenon but also a marketing success, raking in total revenue of seven billion dollars a year (animationarena). But like every form of entertainment, there’s always a dark side that people try to bring the industry to its knees. It all started in 1993: a year when both the PC game titled Doom became the industry standards for first-person shooting games to come, and the Sega CD hit store shelves, along with a premiere title called Night Trap that got some U.S. senators hot under the collar. After a hearing from the senate governmental affairs and judiciary subcommittee, violence in video games has become self-aware not only in the government, but the American public as well. Less than a year later, the video game industry created the Entertainment Software Ratings Board or ESRB, a system where it regulates any games in development and gives the game a rating based on its content. But it wasn’t enough. In 2001, Grand Theft Auto (GTA) III introduces gamers to an open-sandbox game where they could not only follow the story of a mafia-setting plot but also wreck havoc against innocent civilians and police force. The game, such as Night Trap, was under rapid fire from the American government. The great debate of violence in video games is a never-ending struggle; it’s a series of blaming games from those who are against or defending violent video games, why the pro-gamers are right and those against gaming are wrong, and how can a theory help the pro-gamers win the argument. When all is said and done, the pro-gamers and gaming culture alone will be on top because they have potential to win this debate over those who are anti-gaming.
When it comes to violence in video games, it’s a touchy subject to gamers since more than half the games they played have one form of violence or another whether it is first-person shooters or fighting games. Mostly, the reason why is because gamers like it, as long as it’s simulated. It is also leads to the “alleged” facts that anti-gamers stated in belief that is plaguing the youth of America. First-person shooters are always the targets for the world’s ills, which it’s “supposedly” leads to not only the Columbine school shootings but also the Virginia Tech shootings. I say, “supposedly” because there are no facts to back it up, giving the anti-gamer side all the wrong hasty generalizations, false conclusions, and oversimplifications; sometimes a combination of all three. Some of the anti-gamers have never seen or play the video games they are accusing. As a gamer, I feel insulted by it and unless there are any real physical evidence connecting to a video game and criminal acts, they should use their time and energy on something good rather blaming violent games for all the world’s problems. The violent video game debate has many faces representing the anti-gamers, but two have stood out above the rest.
Just like video games, the debate has a boss or to be more precise, a group of bosses. The two that stand out the most are former Florida District attorney, Jack Thompson and former South Australian General Attorney, Michael Atkinson. Thompson was more or less the face of anti-gaming. During his time in Florida, he bashed GTA on television for the game being sold to kids. He created a state bill to ban mature-rated games in Florida and tried to make it into a law and failed. District Court Judge James Brady turned down the Bill and ruling it unconstitutional (McElroy). His hearings came to a halt in 2008 where he was disbarred from the state’s court system for making false statements and accusations in most of his cases, and accusing others for distributing sexual material to minors (gamepolitics), some of those cases could be video-game related. Ever since then, Thompson has gone on record, stating that he has played the games he has accused of selling to minors and real world violence, and that video games are the greatest technology and teaching tool in the world today. The same cannot be said for his international counterpart.
Michael Atkinson was more aggressive to violent video games than Thompson was. Before stepping down from being General Attorney, he disapproved a bill that would allow an R18+ (M-Rated titles) rating in the Australian gaming board system, giving games like Left 4 Dead (L4D) 2 and Fallout 3 to be distributed in the country the way their developers intended, and so far the Australian government is discussing of disapproving the bill. He deemed those said titles to be too violent or sexualized for it to be considered beyond the system since without proper rating, games like L4D2 are banned from the country (Polo). Australian gamers are so upset by it, they have been protesting from the start of the hearings hoping for the bill to be approved. Going so far as to have 500 of its gamers wearing zombie makeup and outfit, and protest in Sydney for the government’s lack of adults-only video game rating (Plunkett). Speaking of politicians, there are some in the United States that have talked about violent video games.
Violent video games get a rare lecture from the U.S. Senate but when it does he gaming community takes note. The biggest hearing was in 2005 when Senator Joseph Lieberman and then Senator Hilary Clinton introduced a federal ban on the sale or rental of games rated Mature or above to minors, and violators would be fined (Totilo). For a time, they were the bigger targets at Washington D.C. who tried to stop the distribution of games like GTA and one of its clones 25 to Life period. They believed that it would stop the violent behavior from kids under 17 at schools that was supposedly called one of the main problems in America. The Bill Lieberman and Clinton created never got through, but at the same time, no one hasn’t step up and given their thoughts about the Bill or the topic itself.
It concerns me is to why no one at Congress has ever gotten to be at the other side of the argument, giving their opinion on whether violent video games aren’t the main cause. The simple answer is they fear for being ridiculed by their own peers and opponents in their future elections. Some Senators have spoken out that they have played video games from time to time (Polis), but it’s a shame no one has ever given their thoughts on the legislations. Or maybe gamers might have the upper hand when it comes to their side of the topic.
The biggest reason for it is because there is no statistics of studies, experiments, and pieces of evidence out there to help the anti-gamers. There are no physical evidence that has a remote link between violent video games and real world violence. The sad truth is that those who think that there is any connected evidence are believers. They don’t care if they have no evidence to back up their claims; they just want to get everyone to believe it enough in hoping it would make sense, and that’s what the anti-gamers are built around on. Sure they or anyone can believe in something, but it must have concrete fact or reason in order to make sense, but in the violent video games debate it doesn’t pass the test (GAME OVERTHINKER EP 25). And this truth can only be use for the pro-gamers.
There are plenty of reasons why pro-gamers, including myself, have the upper hand in the debate. We have the advantage because we know what the anti-gamers don’t. GTA, the biggest example, isn’t really about killing men, women, cops, and doesn’t exploit “pornographic” material. The latest game in the franchise GTA IV lets the player take control of an immigrant who explores an urban environment that challenges his realize fantasy of the American dream. Recent releases like Splinter Cell: Conviction sets the narrative of a former black ops agent on revenge against the man who killed his only daughter. When it comes down to it, it’s called fighting smart and knowing who the pro-gamers’ allies are.
With the help of technology that is available in this generation, any or all pro-gamers have all the rightful tools to fight back the anti-gamers. More importantly, they have the right to call, write or email anyone in the state or congress. Pro-gamers need to give their reason why violent video games aren’t bad as others portray them and to tell their congressman or senator to vote against any or all anti-gaming legislation that is brought in the Senate. Thanks to the First Amendment that pro-gamers have to the right to do this, and they shouldn’t be afraid to do it. If this doesn’t help, then maybe a theory I found can put the anti-gamers on the defensive.
This theory that that no one ever thinks about what could be a positive link between violent video games and the psyche of why gamers don’t cause real world violence and that is Freud’s Theory. Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 at Freiberg, Austria. He was influenced by a study of hysterics and Darwin’s Origin of the Species that he was convinced that both the human mind and body could be specified through the scientific method of observation and analysis. He let his patients speak freely in hoping to unlock any previously repressed feelings (Question of God). He was a man who knew nothing of women, but it never stopped him from theorizing about them. He believed in psychoanalysis in which dreams are the key to how people really are. To put into perspective, if he ate something like anchovies or strong-salted food that would make his throat dry and if he goes to sleep without drinking a glass of water, he would have a dream of drinking gallons of water from a fountain before waking up and proceed to get a drink of water. The dream takes place of action before or after that action occurs in real life (Freud). This theory can be connected to video games in general; not just the violent ones.
Freud’s theory can be connected to video games because gamers like to be part of the video game world. Video games were created not only to be entertaining but to escape from the real world and to become someone or something else in the virtual world when they are playing in for a small amount of time. Whatever the amount of effort or time they spent can become a pretentious dream whenever they are asleep. They can remember any achievement the gamer accomplished and perhaps changing it inside their dream so that they can re-live that experience if they were better at it. It’s really not a bad thing to dream about it, and thanks to those dreams, the gamer will never experience any real world violence just so they can just dream about it. In order to have a clear understanding, let me use a video game as an example.
To prove Freud’s Theory and its connection to video games, I’ll use a popular video game title to give the big picture. In the first-person shooter game titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the players are in the boots of army men and Special Forces trying to save the world from a nuclear threat. Hardcore fans of the game play it for the online multiplayer which is fast and most of the time competitive. If a gamer is playing it and gets beaten by the opposite team, they might go to bed and re-experiencing the matches they played. The gamer would think they could have gotten every single headshot, but in their dream, they do; and at the end of every round, they will always be number one for killing sprees, headshots, and more. The gamer is trying to perfect their skills instead of playing the game for hours on end. When the gamer wakes up they may remember the dream, and if what they dreamed is true, they will get better at it and not grab the nearest gun and try to use it on their family. This is an introspective and more of a thought than a belief, but it might work better than any allegedly evidence brought up by the anti-gamers.
In the end of this violent video game debate, sooner or later, the anti-gamers must answer to the questions asked by the pro-gamers. They don’t want to believe that there is no concrete evidence supporting their accusations and constantly accusing games like GTA and Modern Warfare for the real world violence and shootings. Pro-gamers have the right to fight back by fighting smart and know who they trust in order to put the anti-gamers in their place. They have the metaphorically bigger gun thanks to the amendment rights and give a good reason to anyone at Washington D.C. why violent video games shouldn’t be a concern. Hopefully Freud’s theory will put an end to the debate and leave the pro-gamers the winner. Personally, I hope the pro-gamers win this debate because it isn’t the retailer’s fault for selling mature-rated games to minors or the creators for making them. The only ones who should be partly responsible are the parents. They don’t need to keep an eye on their children 24 hours a day to see what they’re up to. They need to look at the game they are getting for their kids. If they see that it is a mature title, they need to think the behavior of their kids and decide if the game is really good for them. Once the problem is solved, then it’s one step closer to end the violent video game debate. I know for certain, it will be the pro-gamers and gaming culture itself will win this debate proclaiming victory over the anti-gamers.
"DISBARRED!" www.gamepolitics.com. ECA, 25 Sep 2008. Web. 10 Apr 2010. <http://www.gamepolitics.com/2008/09/25/disbarred>.
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Plunkett, Luke. "Zombies Protest Against Aussie Game Ratings." kotaku.com. Creative Commons, Mar 30 2010. Web. 23 Apr 2010. <http://kotaku.com/5505949/zombies-protest-against-aussie-game-ratings>.
Polo, Susan. "Australian AG Michael Atkinson Resigns." www.geekosystem.com. Geekosystem, LLC, 21 Mar 2010. Web. 23 Apr 2010. <http://www.geekosystem.com/michael-atkinson-resigns/>.
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"Video Game Salary." www.animationarena.com. animation arena, 2009. Web. 09 Apr 2010. <http://www.animationarena.com/video-game-salary.html>.