Joss Whedon is my Master now...

It's not just a motto, it's a T-Shirt! But finally, after what seems like forever, the long-awaited space western Serenity hits theatres tommorow. I can easily say that my expectations on this movie are going to be extremely high, simply because nothing Joss Whedon has ever done has ever been short of excellent. This is not just the dude who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel. He wrote Toy Story (still Pixar's best film IMO), made the X-Men script not suck(along with countless others as his early career as a script doctor, wrote some truly great episodes of Roseanne in its early years, and wrote the screenplay for the extremely underrated Titan A.E.

History is also in Joss' favor on Serenity. Failed TV shows or movies that by some miracle keep going tend to become huge successes. Star Trek, Naked Gun(which spawned from the failed Police Squad series), Family Guy, and even Joss Whedon's own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which he turned from a mediocre campy comedy box office flop into a critically-acclaimed show with a huge cult fanbase. Mark my words, this will be the next Star Wars if people actually give it a fucking chance (hopefully without the crappy prequels 20 years down the line)

A movie like Serenity would also pretty much be the only thing that could pull me away from this weekend's other offering-Jessica Alba in a bikini! That really seems to be the only thing Into the Blue has going for it. Paul Walker is more wooden than Keanu Reaves could ever aspire to be (and Reaves has occasionally pulled off a good performance every now & then) and it really seems like your standard cheesy action flick.

In the video-game side, I have gotten some quality time with X-Men Legends II and I can say it is definitely a quality sequel. I'm only dissapointed in the character selection (not with who's available, just should be a lot more) and the character designs actually look somewhat horrendous on certain characters.

And it's yet another week of several high-profile videogames. I'm starting to wonder if they are even saving anything for November.

Far Cry: Instincts for Xbox should be in stores now. The game supossedly is fairly revolutionary for having virually no draw-in (meaning nothing magically starts appearing and you can literally see miles off in the distance) and a good balance between stealth and pure action gameplay since you can set traps for enemies as well as blast the hell out of them. Maybe if I get an itching to play an FPS other than Half-Life 2 (which granted, I've barely touched), I'll pick it up on PC.

The Suffering: Ties That Bind is out on PS2 & Xbox. If you never played the original, it's essentially Resident Evil with a whole lot more ammo, which is why I really enjoyed the original. I'm sure this one will be equally as good.

Possibly the last remaining quality platformer series-Sly Cooper comes out with its third installment this week. All I'll say is this is pretty much your only option is you still enjoy 3D platforming action that doesn't look like something your younger sibling would play with.

And finaly, yet another Pokemon game is out for the Gamecube. Granted, Pokemon XD: Gate of Drakness is only the second game for the GC, but it's about the billionth game in the series. I've always said that if you actually got a solid story behind the game, I'd gladly buy a Pokemon title, but they all seem to focus on collecting the animals rather than having a story with good characters.

That's all for today. GO SEE SERENITY!!!


Necrophilia at its finest....

Although it's obviously just another wonderfully weird Burton fantasy, one could look at Corpse Bride and see a rather disturbing underlying theme there. But as Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite films of all time, I've definitely been eagerly awaiting this long overdue follow-up (although I'd prefer a new movie starring Jack Skellington and Co.). Even if it doesn't live up to its promise, like all Burton films it will be one weirdly fascinating ride.

Another film opening this weekend I badly would like to see is A History of Violence with Viggo Mortensen, Ed Helms & Maria Bello. The trailers look excellent, and it's gotten all kinds of film fest awards already. Unfortunately, it's only in select cities (which never means smaller ones like Chico), so I'll probably have to wait for video.

And finally, Jodie Foster comes back to the screen in Flightplan. Although it looks like a solid thriller, the ads are a shining example to trailers revealing far too much. Because either they are going to totally screw with the audience and actually have that the daughter never got on the plane, or any explanation as to why no one on the plane believes her is going to be so ridiculous it'll pretty much kill the film.

Ok, that's all for today.


It's like I'm in some new bizarro world....

"I want to give kudos for Nintendo for its attempt at innovation with the new controller," Moore commented, saying that the new device would -"bring people in that, as Iwata-san said, are either lapsed gamers or gamers that are intimidated by the complexity of the controller." That would be Microsoft's Peter Moore actually praising the Big N's radical new controller. Very odd to hear that when all the companies have just been trash-talking each other since around E3.

And while I promised this wouldn't be a column completely about WOW (although it pretty much occupies all my free time now), I will post occasional tidbits that seem interesting to me. Apparently, a plague has hit WOW, and it was completely unintentional. There is this powerful god that can infect players with a disease. The disease can be cured/survived, but it's also contagious, and many players have apparently been running back to a town before the disease is purged from their character. It then infects other players, and unless you are fairly high lvl, it will quickly kill your character. GMs have even been reportedly quarantining afflicted characters in an attempt to get a handle on it. I haven't run into it yet, but it's sort of interesting how these things can develop unintentionally.

And after a few months of barely anything for gamers, no less then 12 noteworthy titles have come out for the consoles and PC this week. YIKES.

First up are two titles that you might have already played, since they were actually released last year-Ninja Gaiden Black for Xbox & Fable: The Lost Chapters for PC. Now, the key thing about Ninja Gaiden:Black, in addition to new content, is that now it has an easy mode, just to make you feel like a total pussy for not being able to beat its insane difficulty last time. Fable:TLC is all about new content, as the biggest complaint was that the Xbox version was too short. Since the game was actually designed with the Xbox controller in mind, it'll be interesting to see how it performs on your standard keybooard mouse setup, but it should be a nice way to fill the time til Elder Scrolls: Oblivion comes out.

Myst V is out this week on PC. I hate the Myst series. It's always been a stirring example of what's wrong with the whole point & click genre, and why it's probably better left off dead (although I'll change my tune if a new King's Quest, Space Quest, Monkey Island or Sam & Max game comes out).

And what might be the answer to slow-moving adventure titles like Myst, Indigo Prophecy is out this week for consoles and PC. It's about a man who apparently committed a murder, but doesn't remember doing it. The key feature here is that the game plays out very differently depending on your actions (i.e. you can hide the body, or just run) and it's also played from different perspectives. Everyone is calling this the sleeper hit of the year so far and I can't wait to try it out.

Although it came out last week, I didn't really mention Evil Dead: Regeneration, cause I wanted to wait till a few reviews came in. Now they have, andf its pretty much confirmed my suspicions. Despite the fact that it features some damn funny orginal duialogue, and a dead midget sidekick that you can actually kick, it's still a crap game just like all the Evil Dead titles. I know Evil Dead simply survives on its psycho cult fanbase, but a good game might help build it (and maybe build momentum for a long overdue movie sequel!)

Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes for the Xbox is out this week as well, and it might be the last option for Xbox live players looking for something outside the usual sports & FPS titles on Live. It's essentially like Dynasty Warriors, but with a lot more emphasis and squad strategy and taking place in a medieval fantasy setting. My only complaint about the rather brilliant original was that the battles can be overly long, so if you don't mind that or are looking for a break from the usual fare, this would be a good pickup.

The sequel to Katamari Damacy, We Love Katamari is out this week on PS2, featuring more rolling-ball insanity and a fully fleshed out two-player mode. It also comes with a higher price tag than the original, at $30 instead of $20. Probably still a bargain, but If I'm going to pay significantly more, I'd expect a wider variety of modes (online, minigames, etc.).

The latest Mortal Kombat Game, Shaolin Monks is out. It's a spin off action title featuring Liu Kang & Kung Lao. Generally speaking, fighting game characters starring in their own titles always turn out poorly. The reviews so far have been suprisingly solid, but given my loathing for all things MK the last few years, I'll wait till I play it to pass judgement one way or the other.

Finally, three huge super hero-based titles come out this week, Ultimate Spider-Man, X-Men Legends II & Marvel Nemesis: Rise of The Imperfects. Ulitmate Spider-Man takes a distinctly new look from the newset comic, and also lets you play as Venom, his coolest arch-enemy. The same great web-swinging acrobatcis are back, but supposedly, they left the lame combat in as well, so I'm taking a wait and see attitude on that one. X-Men Legnds II is one I have been waiting on for quite awhile now since the original was such a blast. You get some old favorites like Wolverine, Gambit & Cyclops; but this one has the X-men teaming up with Magneto & his usual cronies, so you also get to play as Magneto, Pyro, Sabretooth etc. It also features online play, but given that it's a story-driven title, that may not work out very well. Rise of The Imperfects is the most iffy-looking of the bunch. The oringal characters look cheesy & generic & the fighting looks very shoddy. It also intantly removes the main reason we enjoyed previous fighting games featuring Marvel's mightiest-we enjoyed seeing established characters fight each other, it's a long-standing geek tradition to ask whether Cyclops could beat Mega Man, or Spider-Man can beat Wolverine. This title seems to totally ignore that fact. And it's an Electronic Arts title, which says enough in and of itself.

Ok, that;'s it for now, but given that it's officially thursday, I'll be back later on today with my thoughts on this weekend's movies (and any games that I mightve forgotten)


The revolution is here. And can someone explain to me what the hell it is?

Nintendo has finally revealed the Revolution's revolutionary controller, you can check out the pics and details here. I'm sure the initial reaction is "why does it look like the remote for my TV?" Leave to the Big N to go way out there. I'm sure the MS & Sony fanboys are already relentlessly mocking it, but I'll hold judgement til I actually get my hands on it. Odds are it'll be pretty damn cool.

The other "big" game news this week is that MS announced the release date of the 360-Nov. 22, which is around what everyone was expecting. There are also rumors of a massive shortage already much like when the PS2 came out. I'll be the first to say if I can get a $1000+ on ebay for my 360(which PS2s were easily selling for when they were scarce), I'm selling it and I'll get another one when they are plentiful if not slightly cheaper.

I played Squarenix's latest this week-Radiata stories. It's a suprsingly mediocre effort. The graphics are nice enough but the characters and voices are extremely annoying and the battle engine is just clumsy. It's a good thing X-Men Legends II is out next week.

Moviing on, a couple of actually good-looking movies open this weekend. Just Like Heaven, with Reese Witherspoon & Mark Ruffalo (along with John Heder from Napolean Dynamite). It's your standard romantic comedy movie, but it's got a good cast, and it's from the director of Mean Girls and the Freaky Friday remake, so I think it will be better than most of he lame generic ones that come out.

And there's also Lord of War, with Nicholas Cage. It's an interesting angle to take a look at the guy who supplies the madmen of the world with weapons, and Cage usually puts on a good show when he needs to.

That's really all for now, I hear WOW calling my name....


And the emmy goes to.... Microsoft?

That's correct. ladies and gentleman, Microsoft can now claim they have the emmy-winning Xbox live service as they have been awarded that statuette by National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Advanced New Media. You can bet that's something they will be pushing for a long time to come.

I saw Transporter 2 on Sunday, and it was a mixed bag at best. It featured some truly awesome fight sequences, but that isn't enough against the horrid acting, the ridiculously awful characters, some truly ridiculous driving stunts and a plot that makes XXX look deep. So I'd reccomend waiting for the DVD so you can just watch the cool fight scenes.

But now the big news of the week (for me anyways)-I have finally joined the ranks of PC gamers! I now have a fairly kickass PC gaming rig and have just started a character on World of Warcraft (look for a Night Elf Rogue named Suria). Now, I've seen where many a blog I used to enjoy reading has suddenly become all about one game (including WOW) and I promise that won't happen here. If anything, this will only expand the variety of my posts, since it gives me reason to be interested in PC happenings as well.

Ok, now I'm off to plunder more treasure in WOW....


You're all a bunch of fairies!

SquareEnix's latest rpg, Radiata Stories, hits stores this week. It's from Tri-Ace, the developers of last year's Star Ocean: Till the end of Time, which was pretty cool game. This one focuses on a war between humans and the fairy races (for some reason that includes elves, dwarves, and several other races that look nothing like fairies). I should have it in my hands by Monday at the latest, so I'll let you know what I think.

I did get some playtime in with Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction this week. It's basically the same as the last Spider-Man game. Which means when you are freely roaming about the city, using Hulk's abilities as you like, the game is a blast. But when it gets down to actual story missions, the game quickl becomes tedious and annoying. But I'd still reccomend it for any major Hulk fan, as it captures him and his abilities so well.

The PS turns 10 years old this week. It's sort of funny how everyone basically thought when Sony launched their initial system that Sega and Nintendo would crush them. I'm no Sony fan, but there's no denying that they have smartly dominated the home console market and unless they pull some major fuckup with their next launch, it'll probably stay that way for awhile. It's also funny to think that with the huge void of good games lately, I've been going back into old PS games for entertainemnt. I just recently beat Lunar: Silver Star Story yet again and am no going through FF IX for at least the tenth time since I've owned it.

I have not seen Transporter 2 yet, but that's only because this weekend's offerings seem so dismal, I purposely saved it (which I'll get into on my next post).

That's all for now.


I want a golden ticket! Uh, I mean Xbox 360!

Really the only big thing happening this week in games has been the official launch of Mountain Dew Xbox 360 giveaway. Like many contests, you buy one of the Dews, and it has a code you enter for a chance to win. The big difference? There is a winner every 10 minutes, which may cause some nutso fanboys to go a little overboard and spend more than they would on an actual system. I plan to regularly put in codes, but since I already drink an unheatlhy amount of Mountain Dew as is, it won't change my spending much.

The only movie worth talking about opening this weekend is a sequel I'd never thought I'd see-The Transporter 2 starring Jason Statham. I loved the original movie, but it wasn't a hit here in the states (apparently it did very well overseas). And it seems to feature the same kickass action sequences that I loved in the original. The next couple weeks look pretty slim however.

Oh well, only 29 days till SERENITY......