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Alex
12 September 2011 @ 03:04 pm
Well, after a lot of anticipation, they've finally released Star Wars on Blu-ray. What's that I hear? Oh, it's just the sound of the fandom sharpening their spears and pitchforks. Nothing new there.

While I've always been a Star Wars fan, and likely always will be, I've never been part of the fandom. Even when I was first discovering online communities, Star Wars always felt like this big sleeping giant - I didn't dare touch it for fear of the backlash. That said, I'm no stranger to the unbridled anger and rage that every re-release of the movies garners, followed by the inevitable demands for the original theatrical versions to be released in decent quality.

Well before I start, here's two things that mark me for death - 1) I enjoy the prequel trilogy more, 2) I support most of the alterations Lucas makes to the original trilogy. So, if you're still with me and not trying to find out where I live so you can murder me with a toy lightsaber, let's get on with it...

So, yes, Star Wars on Blu-ray. Like a lot of old movies released in 1080p, it disguises the movie's age very well. Your eyes tell you it must be a recent movie, due to the claritiy of the picture and richness of the colours. The increased picture quality makes them look completely different, and far more impressive. But that's what we all expected, right? We want to hear about what's been changed this time! Well, the changes aren't as drastic as as the 2004 DVDs, but there are still quite a few, some of which actually serve to fix some issues raised by the 2004 alterations.

Thoughts on The Original TrilogyCollapse )

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Alex
29 July 2011 @ 05:10 pm
Something completely random! .....okay, maybe not. As some may know, I was never happy with how much Johnny Depp was plastered over the Alice in Wonderland advertising. I know why they did it, of course - that's how advertising works, and he was the biggest draw for a lot of people. But the fact he even gets top billing in the movie's own credits really bugs me.

Anyway, I stumbled accross this. No idea if it's fan-made or not, but yeahhh.....kinda better...

 
 
Alex
21 June 2011 @ 09:50 pm
Been meaning to do this for a while, but never got round to it. Not entirely sure why I want to, but whatever. Starting here with Alice and the White Queen - what a shock ;)

Large images ahoy!Collapse )
 
 
Alex
14 June 2011 @ 07:05 pm
I know there'll only be one or two votes (if that) on here, but I don't dare post it on dA given that anything involving nudity would likely win.

Poll #1752250 What should I work on next?

What should I work on next?

Freya Shepard solo pic
7(53.8%)
AiW action pic
3(23.1%)
Fluffy Malice pic
2(15.4%)
NSFW Malice pic
0(0.0%)
Vastra/Jenny pic
1(7.7%)
 
 
Alex
14 June 2011 @ 10:06 am
Something I've been thinking about for a while, and a news item I saw this morning has got me to finally write this up.

The news being that FFXIII-2 features branching dialogue. Fantastic, I thought, they're finally dragging their old-style games into more modern times. Well......no. While there are dialogue options, it actually has no impact on the plot at all, and is only there to make conversations "more enjoyable" - but........no, Square-Enix, that's not why we enjoy choosing dialogue options - we enjoy them because of the differing outcomes we create.

For the longest time, the Final Fantasy series was the defining RPG, but lately it seems to be getting left behind somewhat, and it's not hard to see why when you compare it to western games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Fable, etc. Now, lots of people would just cite the cultural differences - Japanese RPGs feature set characters and linear plots, Western RPGs feature player-created characters and branching plots. But to be honest, I don't think that excuse holds water anymore. Final Fantasy calls itself a "role-playing game", something which has come to mean very different things over the years. With Final Fantasy, it refers to the customisation of abilities and weapons, and that's really about it - you have little to no control over the game's plot, and you are saddled with the same main character every time you play.

Now here's the thing - I have game adaptations of movies that could be described as more RPG-like than some Final Fantasy games. I have an Iron Man game with an extensive character/weapon customisation system that also allows you to even choose who you play as - surely that makes it more of an RPG than Final Fantasy, which really doesn't seem right. I don't see the western trends in RPGs to be a cultural difference; rather an evolution of the genre, capitalising on what can now be done with current technology and imagination. By comparison, the FF games are severely lacking in the replayability department - you play the game, experience a certain plot, and then that's it. In todays world, the FF games are more or less adventure games with a few RPG mechanics tacked on.

Now I love the worlds the Final Fantasy games come up with - they have fantastic designs, memorable characters, and interesting plots, but I think it could all be so much better if they took a leaf or two out of BioWare's book. Imagine a Final Fantasy character - most likely with a set surname for dialogue purposes - created by the player, who you then get to take through a typical Final Fantasy story, but one that your choices have a lot of control over. Now, a lot of FF fans would probably call this blasphemy, but let's be honest - it would at least keep people playing. Because as they are, a friend of mine got FFXIII, finished it in a week, complained it felt as though he was on rails for the whole game, and then never played it again.
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Alex
13 June 2011 @ 01:39 am
Going to do a proper post with many more costume refs and such, but I just wanted to share a few decent caps I got...

5 HD PicciesCollapse )
 
 
Alex
24 May 2011 @ 07:33 pm
As you all know, I'm a big Michael Bay fan. Are his movies perfect? Far from it. However, regardless of content, I can't help but admire both his work ethic and obvious talent - no tales of raped childhoods here!

Anyhoo, there's an extra on the RotF DVD that I've mentioned to a few people where he directly talks about movie critics slating Revenge of the Fallen, and I think it applies to a lot of cases involving big budget movies (that aren't The Dark Knight).

"The take on the reaction to the film. Well, I don't read the internet anymore, and I don't read critics. I was told they weren't nice. When I was vacationing down in Florida, many moms and dads came to me with a word; 'F those critics', 'Screw those critics.' These are nice people, and they're saying swear words while they're talking about a critic. They're angry at them - critics - because they were being spoken down to. 'You shouldn't enjoy a fun movie', 'You shouldn't enjoy this.'

Word of mouth travels around the world at a very fast clip. If this movie was really as bad as they wrote about, then this would have never made $600 million ever, ever, ever, 'cause word of mouth would have killed it.
(As of today, RotF has made $836,297,228) Word of mouth; I've had people consistently come up - 'I've seen it four, five times', 'My son has now seen it seven times.' I'm not comparing this movie to Star Wars in any way, but I'm talking about the feeling I had when I was a kid, Star Wars was like...I owned it. This was my thing, my world. And I run into tons of these little kids, and this is their world, they can own it now, you know? Bumblebee's the most famous car in the world. I think these critics were born with the anti-fun gene. They're missing what audiences really want. This is simple, fun entertainment..."

"...it's a fun ride. And the movie's been accessible to the world, through the comedy of it, and, I think, the spirit of it."


Thing is - 'their world', 'they own it' - remind you of anyone? The rabid G1 fans that hate so much on these movies still feel as though Transformers is "theirs", and hate the idea that new fans are joining the fandom. Yes, you can question the filmmaking and storytelling, but I find that about 80% of the complaints I see are thinly-veiled fanboy rage.
 
 
Alex
19 May 2011 @ 11:36 am
Well, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opened in the UK yesterday. As far as I know, it doesn't open in the US til tomorrow. So I thought I'd write up some of my thoughts, being the big POTC fan that I am.

Having run through this in my head, I think I'm going to sound quite critical. So let me just start of by saying that I loved it. It's a fantastic movie, I plan to see it again, and I know I'll buy whatever 29-Disc Super Mega Deluxe Blu-ray there is.

So, how does Captain Jack's latest adventure shape up?

Cut for length and small spoilersCollapse )
 
 
Alex
Well, in a fantastic coup, BioWare have announced that there will be same-sex romances in ME3. Not only that, but they seem to be actively promoting it and urging others to support it.

Obviously, a vocal group are now slamming BioWare for this decision, for all the usual reasons. Thing is, I haven't come accross a single argument that doesn't come accross as thinly-veiled homophobia. So, here's my collection of the various arguments, and the simple ways they can be put down...

1. Characters shouldn't be rewritten to suddenly be bi.

Well, Tali and Garrus were rewritten to be love interests in ME2 - something tells me people aren't going to complain about that. Thing is, it wouldn't involve rewriting. Unless you're the sort of person that is anal about immersion (as in asking why the characters didn't mention it when they would do for an opposite-sex Sheaprd), it's perfectly plausable that pretty much all of the romances have had encounters with both sexes beforehand. They're not under any sort of contract to spew a list of their past sexual encounters. Honestly? I always got a massive bi-vibe from Miranda, even more than Jack. Idk why.

2. It will waste development time.

Wrong. In fact, it will make things a lot easier. They won't have to lock off romances, and in addition, they will go into it with the knowledge that more people will have access to each one. DA2 had fewer romances than ME2, but more options for Hawke - that can't be bad.

3. BioWare is pandering to a minority.

The mistake a lot of people make is that only bi/gay players will play their Sheps that way. In my experience, a lot of gamers welcome the freedom to choose - sometimes picking options they didn't think they would. Hell, one of my straight female friends adores the FemShep/Liara relationship, and she's not even a gamer. Another important thing to remember is that BioWare have a long history of including s/s content - the ME series lacking m/m options is the oddity, not the rule.

4. Shepard isn't gay.
Well, that's entirely up to the player, isn't it? Say I created a Shepard that only went for blondes - they wouldn't be with anyone yet, would they? That doesn't stop them feeling the way they do. A lot of people RP their Shepards as being gay, and either pair them with someone in head!canon, or are simply waiting in the hope that an option will present itself. Shepard is a lot less defined that some people (I'm looking at you, Ray & Greg) think, and things like sexuality aren't even touched upon in the game. Hell, there isn't anything in the game stating that Freya is gay - if I wanted to change her and make her bi or straight, I could do. Shepard is the player's creation, and just because MaleShep hasn't had any male options in the past, doesn't mean he didn't want one.

5. The same-sex content will be forced on us.
Judging by Casey Hudson's words, the s/s content will work on a subjective basis. For example, if FemShep flirts with Miranda, she'll express an interest in women, otherwise, she just don't mention it. That way, those that don't want to see the content, won't, and those that do can easily access it. He also mentioned that they're putting a lot more effort into friendship dialogue, which strikes me as a way to compliment the increased romance availability - giving us more non-romance content so we don't end up with situtaions like Jack in ME2, where she just stops talking to FemShep.

6. Making them bi will ruin the characters.
I really don't see how. In BioWare's recent games, only one character has worn their sexuality on their sleeve - Isabela - and even she isn't forcing her orientation on people, per se, she just doesn't mind about gender. As far as the others go, in both DA and ME, I can't think of any character whose sexuality is linked entirely to their personality and character - Leliana could have been made completely straight or gay, and her personality would have been entirely unchanged, for example. I guess the only exception is Liara, for obvious reasons, but then again, I bet there are some asari out there that only go for one gender.

I know only a few people will see this, but feel free to repost it as you see fit :)
 
 
Alex
09 May 2011 @ 04:03 pm
So, I finally made it to the party and watched Prime. So far I've only seen the 5-part mini-series, so bare that in mind...

Cut for length and minor spoilers for Darkness RisingCollapse )