Thursday, December 20, 2012

Top 10 Anticipated 2013 Movies

I have come back. At the turn of the tide. My top 10 movies for this year (2012)will be on it's way, but why don't we first sit down and enjoy a list of what's to come in the next year. I can safely say that while this year was a great year for movies; next year can be even better. Will it be better? Well, let's find out:

10.) The Wolverine

Taking a huge risk as I leave this last on my top ten list. Why? Well for one thing, the last Wolverine movie was completely underwhelming. A huge disappointment and it was even on my top ten anticipated list for that year. What can make this exciting is that Wolverine this time around heads to Japan and from what I heard about the comics, a lot of great stuff happens there. Including an appearance by the Silver Samurai. It would have been nice to see Darren Arronofsky's version, but infamously stepped off the project. Will we see a better movie from "Walk the Line's'” director: James Mangold? Only time will tell...

9.) Thor: The Dark World

Here's another movie we can also only speculate about. While I did like the first Thor movie, I honestly know very little about (Marvel's)Thor mythology. I know he does (and did) fight along the Avengers and occasionally fights along or does battle with the Hulk. But I never really knew about the villains he faced. While the first movie was an introduction for the god of thunder, this will continue his story in a way that may be more for the Marvel fans. In this outing Thor will face Malekith (Christoper Ecclesston Doctor Who fame). He is ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim and will most likely cause some more mischief with Loki. The biggest thing about this movie I have to say that its helmed by one of the Game of Thrones directors. Will we see some buildup to The Avengers 2? More than likely.

8.) Oblivion

I've followed this movie quite a bit since it was announced. There has been quite a bit of concept art for this movie, like the one pictured above. I didn't know how soon this movie was to come out and in actuality, sooner than expected as a recent trailer was shown online. And it looks just as amazing as the concept art. We should expect no less from the director of Tron: Legacy. 

7.) Monsters University

No list is complete without a Pixar movie. Although, I have to say it’s a bit underwhelming this year. It’s the first Pixar prequel to a much loved Pixar movie. Yes, the Toy Story sequels were excellent and have a better story for sequels. Monsters Inc. on the other hand, perhaps. But a prequel? This time we are taken back in time to Mike Wazowski’s and Sulley’s College years. Sounds like it can be funny enough. Let’s just hope its nowhere similar to a Cars sequel.

6.) Elysium

The forthcoming movie from much acclaimed director of District 9. I enjoyed District 9 and I am very interested to see with what Neill Blomkamp can do with the Sci-fi genre. This is his first movie not based on any of shorts this time around. Starting from a fresh new script and with high list actors. All we’ve got to go on with this movie is the above picture of Matt Damon and whatever Comic-con had left us with.

Honorable Mentions:

  • A Good Day to Die Hard (February 14) – Maybe too action packed, but John McClaine returns. Yippie Ki-Ya—yeah I won’t do it.
  • Oz: The Great and Powerful (March 8) – Seems ok, but why Alice in Wonderland visuals?
  • G.I. Joe Retaliation (March 29) – Wait, why is this here? Oh right the 3D conversion. Took a whole year for that…
  • Evil Dead (April 12) – Always love Raimi’s movies, as for this one, well, its gorier and its Bruce Campbell approved, so maybe.
  • After Earth (June 7) – Yes, it was advertised next to Oblivion which isn’t a good start. Seems interesting enough. Least they didn’t show M. Night Shyamalan was directing.
  • Kick-Ass 2 (June 28)
  • Despicable Me 2 (July 3)
  • The Lone Ranger (July 3)
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (October 4)
  • The World's End (October 25) – There’s a trend of apocalypse movies coming, but this seems like to be a better one since its directed by Edgar Wright.
  • Ender's Game (November 1) – Based on the best selling Sci-fi book with Harrison Ford starring in the film. That’s literally all I know.
  • Frozen (November 27) – A long in development Disney film finally see’s the light of day. Based on an adaptation of The Snow Queen.

5.) Iron Man 3

If I remember correctly, in my mind anyway, I called the next movie’s villain. The Mandarin is the only one I really know of that really crossed paths with Iron Man (besides M.O.D.O.K) and probably one of the most recognizable. I did feel that they couldn’t connect the 3rd movie with the first film by making a person linked to the Terrorist group, Ten Rings, and making the leader Mandarin. Or perhaps the movie will take that direction and I’m speaking about it too soon. Let’s just hope for another great outing. Have another look at the trailer perhaps.

4.) Man of Steel

Its finally here. A modern telling of one of the greatest superheroes to ever grace the comic book world. While I still prefer Batman; Superman is probably the most iconic and most recognizable of all comic book idols. He stands for truth, justice and the American way. In this modern telling though, he seems to be going the realistic route which is also similar to the new comic book carnation which started a little more than a year ago. Judging by the trailer, we certainly will get one action packed ride with Zack Snyder in the directors chair.

3.) Star Trek Into Darkness

The first movie set a new tone for the Star Trek Universe. A different timeline with new possibilities. What will our Starship crew see in this timeline? Well Sherlock for one thing as a new space baddie looking to see the end of the crew for some reason. Motives are unknown as well as Paramount giving him a new name: John Harrison. While not as theatrical as the last movie’s; Nero, Harrison’s role is much bigger. And what of Peter Weller? Robocop is also attached to this movie. I believe once we know his role, we may have the identity of the villain or possibly a bigger mystery. Either way, looks incredible.

2.) Pacific Rim

Guillermo del Toro. Giant Monsters. Giant Robots. Idris Elba. And Portal's GLaDOS. What more can you ask for in a movie?

1.) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Without a doubt, besides The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit by a smidgen takes the cake for being my favorite movie of the year. Why the critics seem to dislike the movie, I haven’t without a clue. I’ve heard nothing but critical praise from friends, family, and everyone around the web for the movie. The music, the visuals, everything was very memorable of this movie. In part 2 of Watso Bilbo’s story, we see him finally meet face to face with Sher I mean Smaug the dragon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

E3 Day 2–Nintendo

Well, that was…another shallow one. Which is surprising. I mean, new console and you would think they would announce a lot of good games and show us what the Wii U can do. This would be the place to do that. Sadly, we got almost nothing. We did get 6 new game announcements which is still scarce. Well, not including ZombiU which was announced at Ubisoft earlier. We didn’t get a whole bunch of gameplay which would show us how it would push the system. Isn’t this the conference were you show that? They had one more conference to show us this as well, but they decided to show off more of their NintendoLand they seem really obsessed about. Unfortunately to witness the hardware and capabilities of the system, one will have to try it in person. This conference could have gone way better, but it became a huge disappoint overall.

Let’s just get to the best announcement overall:


Its been 8 years too long, but we are finally getting a new Pikmin game. Holy crap was this awesome to hear. We are starting this conference right. This was the first announcement of the morning and it had everyone excited. Right after Reggie comes out to say they had 23 new games to show us today. It felt like we would be going for a fun ride….well that feeling didn’t last. They did announce the New Super Mario Bros. U but its more of the same thing. Only with a couple of new things. Seems like a relatively safe Wii U title:


Squirrel suit is new and so are more yoshis. Well, its not really challenging the hardware though. Well lets see what else is coming…oh right the Batman Arkham City game with the extra subtitle: Armored Edition


Interesting introduction by Harley, but it went on a little too long. So Batman and Catwoman get new armored suits (ruins Catwoman's previous costume in my opinion). What I don’t understand so far, if its still the same game. I mean it seems like it from the footage, but we also get new stuff. They seem to have managed to make the game more confusing than it originally was. I probably won’t get it. I don’t know. Huge opportunity for Aliens: Colonial Marines to show what its all about on Wii U, but opportunity lost.

Eh, lets go to Scribblenauts Unlimited:


Never played Scribblenauts on DS and totally planned to, but never got to it. I heard the first was better than the second so I have to try it one day. This seems interesting I guess. Not all of us have huge imaginations as they seem to think we do though.

Next up was ZombiU. Ubisoft chose to not show any bit of gameplay at their conference, but here at Nintendo’s conference they did show us something. And honestly; it was impressive:


Very nice. But this is a trailer, I’m sure you want to see it played real time. Well, here you go:


Now that looks quite amazing. Even if it may be a launch title, the graphics look stunning. Very unique gameplay for the Wii U as well. Too bad they didn’t show off this game more than Batman. Reggie had fun with a unique feature onstage:


Now lets take a look at a Lego game, which I won’t bother explaining because its better with a visual:


See. Well its good at least. Next was a montage of other Third Party games we won’t really care about. Although Mass Effect 3 is an interesting one to point out. Haven’t bought it myself, but I think this means they will be getting some EA support. Which is good news of course. Also coming is Darksiders II, Ninja Gaiden 3, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 was also announced for the 3DS and not much else. Tomorrow will be more on the 3DS stuff hopefully and perhaps better announcements. Although Super Paper Mario was given a new subtitle Sticker Star. Luigi’s Mansion (getting some high praise, I’m so happy for this game and the fans its gotten throughout the years) also got one; Dark Moon.


Mario has gotten some weird love for coins in this sequel. Its strange. He is turned into Wario in a twisted way. Hm, seems the 3DS part may have had the best announcements of all. Besides the announcement of Pikmin 3 of course. Well that may be it for Nintendo. And tomorrow we well get….ah crap almost forgot about NintendoLand.

I don’t want to hate this. I mean it actually sounds really fun. But Nintendo seemed to want to constantly talk about this game. Its really just a place where you can play a bunch of mini-games. They do look very cool really, when Nintendo stops talking about it. What games we got to play with last year, will be integrated into this Nintendo Themed video game. If you remember Chase Mii, it is now part of this area.


Yeah, I’m sorry the presentation was incredibly long, but at least it details the games. Looks like the 3DS won’t be the only one getting some Luigi’s Mansion love, even if it doesn’t include Luigi really. There’s more games to be played here. Here’s Donkey Kong Crash Course sampled by an interesting person:


I’d show more, but the trailers are mostly embarrassing and there isn’t much from the show floor yet. But hey there’s an F-Zero mini-game!


I noticed from forums chanting a need for a Zelda game. If I remember correctly we got one not many months ago and its same one I got for Christmas. Yeah too soon gaming world.

Oh, some small quips I forgot to mention: The Wii U will be able to use two gamepad tablets, with the unfortunate side effect of each cutting the framerate by half. The regular framerate is 60fps which is actually great. 30fps isn’t nothing to cry about honestly. It will look great either way. And I doubt another one will be needed anyway. And plus that’s a whole lot of power from the system already if you think about it. Bringing an extended experience to another screen is punishment enough for a system.

Another bit of news not announced during the conferences was that the Gamepad will only have about a 3-5 hour battery life. Ouch. Hopefully they can find a fix for that soon since gaming in actuality takes a lot longer than 3-5 hours. Trust me I’ve done a whole day of gaming before.

And now I present the games that weren’t shown at the Nintendo conferences at all, but probably should have:


This looks a hell of a lot more fun than NintendoLand. I mean seriously. This is what a Nintendo game should look like. Was it because it was a Platinum Game title Nintendo was afraid to present it? That was really fun, that would have gotten a lot fans back at a conference.


Oh ho ho! I remember this! This is an arcade game! I had lots of fun playing this. And it looks just as fun as a Wii title. Again why wasn’t it shown at the presentation? You confuse me Nintendo. This looks tons of fun. You could have at least shown it in your line up. What gives? Why did it seem like Nintendo was afraid to show these at all?

There is even a Wario Ware like game that exists at the Nintendo booth, I mean come on how can anyone not like this? Yeah they are more mini-games, but they can be 10 times more fun for their ridiculousness.

(Here’s also a Raving Rabbids trailer for good measure. They can always make people smile)

Well Nintendo, hopefully you have a better 3DS lineup for tomorrow, than the presentation you gave us today. I mean I made a better conference and all I did was post a ton of videos showcasing your games.

To end on a better note Nintendo did say there was a way to transfer our Wii Virtual Console games from the Wii to the Wii U and we will be able to play classic games on the Gamepad tablet screen. Well, I’m sold.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

E3 Day 1–Part 3: Sony's Emptiness

Thank god its over. It started strong, strained badly in the middle, but ended very strong once again. Sony debuted exactly two good games that I will look forward to. My god what happened? That felt emptier than any conference I’ve ever seen of Sony’s. Only two new games were announced were the only ones I cared for after the 4 somewhat announced. God of War: Ascension gameplay was shown, but it was already announced a while back and I’ve never been a fan of the series. To kick off the highlights, lets go into the new game announced:


Yep, stars Ellen Page and is created by the team behind Heavy Rain. Looks promising, even if the story seems like its done before. Looks beautiful anyway. Next was Playstation All-Stars. I look to boycott this thing, its an obvious Smash Bros. rip-off right down to the Vita cross-play. Nintendo announced and plan to do this last year asking for a developers help. Instead of helping, Sony stole the idea and making it their own first. I find it interesting that Nintendo is coming up with the better ideas than what Microsoft and Sony were doing. I mean they have all along but all Microsoft and Sony want to do is take the idea and create their own. Nintendo’s are always solid and I’m glad they are finally making the system the Wii was always supposed to be with the Wii U. But I digress, the Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale demo:

All the show I was waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 or for a Last Guardian announcement. Instead for 10 whole minutes we sat through more apps that didn’t need announcing for the PS Vita. We did get previews for Assassins Creed: Liberation and a Call of Duty Vita game, but not enough to get me to buy one. Now onto probably the most aggravating announcements was Wonderbook. A sort of collaboration with JK Rowling and Pottermore. I’m not sure why it needed 20 minutes to show off the thing. It wasn’t really all that impressive. Its good for kids I guess. Here’s a trailer since I doubt anyone would like to sit through the long presentation again:


Unfortunately the Sony presentation was only an hour this year so it would feel a bit shallow naturally, but I didn’t expect it to be this much. The show picked up some speed after they showed a bit of gameplay for God of War: Ascension. I haven’t played a whole lot of God of War. This looked ok though. Nothing really new:


No Last Guardian or Kingdom Hearts 3 this year sadly. We were treated to another look at The Last of Us. I’m really looking forward to this game since it was announced last year. I was kinda hoping for Last Guardian a little more since it was announced years ago. Where the hell is this thing? They must be having more problems than we realized. Then again, its quite a tough game to tackle. Well back to The Last of Us:


Not many titles, but it did have a solid start and finish at least. Later on today will be Nintendo’s conference so we should expect many things from them. And on a final note here is some gameplay footage from the new Star Wars 1313 game. And yes, that is real actual footage from the game. Similar to Beyond and The Last of Us above. Well enjoy it:

E3 Day 1 – Part 2: EA and Ubisoft

Now on to the developer conferences. Lets start with EA. Time to start strong with one of EA’s highly underpraised franchise: Dead Space. Just having beat the second game and beat the first a while ago I have to say; keep the horror a strong element in the game. Do not stray far from it like Resident Evil has. The second game was amazing having both horror and a little more action than the last, but keep the horror. Let’s watch what they have for us this time in the 3rd entry in the series:



It looks…different. And because of that I don’t know how to feel about it. The co-op is fine but the drill bit area was strange. And the necromorphs look very different too. I think I need to see more to give an opinion. Even the character designs seem radically different. I don’t know about that one….

What was next…well EA kinda had mostly sequels in their line up and nothing really new to show us. Sports games were again showing up, some updates for Star Wars:TOR and Battlefield 3 DLC. What I did like was how SimCity was shaping up:


Another awesome PC game. And also SimCity Social was announced which not many will play. The next Medal of Honor game was shown off as well which was also nothing new. Last game of the conference was Crysis 3 which looked quite beautiful.


Now on to Ubisoft’s conference. Now there was something special going on here. Usually we get weird, but well actually there's plenty of that too. Not enough to ruin the conference at least. Well, actually we did start with a dancing routine and another concert which is never a good idea to start a conference. It was obviously for another dancing game. Well, now that’s over we get…oh wow something very different:


Soft-core porn! *ahem* A trailer for FarCry 3. Isn’t there like kids watching this? No idea how they got away with that. But never been a fan of the FarCry series. Just thought you would take a look at the strange transitions Ubisoft conferences can have. Now next I believe we got to see some actual footage of a major game for the Wii U. This was quite a treat:


Our first look into a Wii U game and it looks great! Looks very fun too. Very creative use of the tablet and the new Wii U controller. A taste of things to come from Nintendo’s presentation for tomorrow and Wednesday. Now on to a bigger title Assassins Creed 3:


The cinematic, yeah its…improbable? They could have done something else with it. Oh well. At least the gameplay was pretty cool":


Very cool. Its like Red Dead Redemption mixed with Assassins Creed. Avengers: Battle for Earth was announced, but was disappointed when the motion controls only quip came up. My interest was up and was gone by the end of the trailer. An exclusive Zombie game was announced for the Wii U which looks kinda good:


Not bad. The trailer made it look interesting. And now for the game that stole the show. This isn’t a sequel or a reboot either. Its something new? Unheard of! But alas Ubisoft has brought of one of the best games of all. I give you: Watch Dogs