You open your eyes to find yourself standing in center of the regional combat arena on a windswept day. A gust of dry air hits your face. It's the year 6132 and you're the descendent of a colonist family on the distant planet Terra Nova and you've made the bad choice of enlisting in the world's preeminent competitive sport known as Gear Dueling. On the other side of the arena stands your opponents imposing weapon - a four meter tall humanoid robot that's holding an automatic cannon nearly six feet long. This is a Gear and they're built like tanks only with rollerskates. This is the world of MekTek Studios' Heavy Gear Assault.
On March 27th the gang at Rifftrax successfully completed their crowdfunding campaign to make fun of the first Twilight film after raising a substantial $264,800. This August Mike, Kevin, and Bill were planning to sit down in front of an eager live audience and rip on the antics of Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart but fate had other plans. Securing the rights from Lionsgate to sync, display and make fun of Twilight turned out to be a difficult task but for reasons you might not have guessed. Even though they were wildly successful the real battle was lost when they approached the vampire-like executives of Summit Entertainment a subsidiary of Lionsgate.
This Tuesday morning the Xbox One was announced as the next-generation console from Microsoft during an event with much fanfare. When I say fanfare I mean literally as the announcement was held in a gigantic black tent on the grounds at the Microsoft compound in Redmond. Eager journalists, and by proxy the entire Internet, got a firsthand look at the sharp shiny console after an energetic press conference that touted a bunch of new features. Compared to the Xbox 360 the Xbox One is a huge step forward and has enough power to guide it solidly through the next generation.
J.J. Abrams has taken on an immense responsibility that few creative professionals would ever want to shoulder. After the success of his television show Lost the sharp geek transitioned into directing and producing Hollywood films. Now this television emperor is single handedly ushering in the rebirth of two iconic science fiction empires. With both Star Wars and Star Trek under his control has Abrams bitten off more than he can theoretically chew? His second Trek film, Star Trek into Darkness, came out last week and the reviews from critics and fans are mostly lukewarm. With both sides to pointing to serious flaws, is it a smart idea to have one director at the wheel of two billion dollar franchises? My short answer is no.
Precursor Games, a development company started in 2012, was born out of faltering developer Silicon Knights. Over the course of just a year many of the programmers, artists, creative professionals and executives came over to the newly formed company. The exodus picked up especially after a multi-faceted lawsuit with Epic Games over the misuse and licensing of the Unreal 3 engine became a no-win situation for Silicon Knights in March of that year. There are two sides to the salacious story but now Precursor has set about creating a new line of games including a sequel to their cult hit Eternal Darkness.
Last week's episode of Game Control Live got to the root of some issues I've had with the games industry over the past month. In October of last year Disney purchased Lucasfilm but the fate of Lucasarts, their game development arm, was undecided at the time. A few weeks ago Disney dissolved that unit and fans of their many games were left to wonder about the fate of their favorite titles. In this episode we react to the news that EA has now secured the game rights to Star Wars. We also cover Wii developers who are not developing and beat a dead horse by visiting that touchy subject of violence in video games once again. Top all this off with Raychul returning from her week-long intergalactic hiatus and you've got yourself some darn good Internet TV.
Video games from movies are typically awful pieces of meta content designed to squeeze a few extra dollars out of an unsuspecting audience. But just uttering that sentence is now weird to me as the games development industry has continually proven to be a risky business filled with exploding budgets and sales shortfalls. When it comes to movies I'm not usually this pessimistic but I've sat through enough of these horrible abominations that I'm starting to think someone owes me something entertaining for ponying up $60 every time.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald's most well known and popular novel The Great Gatsby has always been a difficult story to adapt but that hasn't stopped a laundry list of directors, writers and producers from trying their hand at the "great american novel". Speaking of just the films there have been four officially accepted attempts the most famous of which is the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow that took home two Oscars. It's 2013 now and the auteur Baz Luhrmann has finally released his take on Fitzgerald's seminal work and while it's not as daring as his Romeo + Juliet it maybe the best adaptation of the bunch.
Cryptozoic Entertainment is not your average indie entertainment entity flocking to crowdfunding for a much needed infusion of cash. The trading card and board game company from Irvine has existed in an official capacity since March 2010 as the sole proprietor of the wildly popular World of Warcraft trading card game. They've spent the last 3-4 years working closely with Activision's Blizzard to produce tons of new art, lore and engaging gameplay for the physical companion to the world's largest MMO. Even as a new company they catered to an audience of millions while bringing high quality products all under quick turnaround. Now Cryptozoic is proposing a new card game that takes aim at the biggest name in their peer group, they're making an online collectible trading card MMO.
If you're a readin' nerd like me you've probably spent a good deal of time obsessing over the late author Michael Crichton's many novels. Now because I like dinosaurs so much of all Crichton's varied works none grabbed my attention more than the Jurassic Park series. There's just something entrancing about a world world where big business and big lizards collide with "chaotic" results. As a game player I've always longed for someone to condense the experience of Jurassic Park into a playable open-world experience which caters to fans of games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Just Cause 2 or Grand Theft Auto 4. Yesterday a project popped up on Kickstarter that seems to cater to this specific subset of fans.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a sexist neon monstrosity with sensibilities set firmly in the 1980's and that's fine by me. This first person shooter acts as a standalone expansion to Far Cry 3 and takes place in the alternate "future" of 2007. You play as Sergeant Rex Power Colt a cybernetic soldier working for the US Army. Nuclear war has broken out between the Soviet Union and The United States and Rex has been shipped out to a remote island in the Pacific to investigate the existence of an advanced bio weapon that could be used end the war. Your buddy Spider, another cybernetically modified soldier, has come along to watch your back on what is going to be a deadly mission.