Sunday, July 25, 2010
Going to start off with a couple of links to some pretty cool trailers here.
TV: Frequent readers of the blog here know that I am a huge Robert Kirkman fan, but more important, I'm huge Walking Dead fan. I could not possibly be more excited for the upcoming WD TV show directed by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) and airing on AMC. Little bits and pieces of info have been trickling down the line, but there is an absolutely incredible trailer (edit: link removed) up on my good friend @HorrorGeek’s blog. The quality is only so-so since it was taken with a handheld at the San Diego Comic Con, but even so – WOW.
Film: The second trailer I'd like to bring to your attention also pertains to zombies, but in a much different fashion. Eric Powell’s The Goon has been a comic I've really appreciated in past years, and although it's gone off the rails a bit lately, I still have a soft spot in my heart for it. This trailer over at nifty site io9 does a great job of capturing what I loved most about The Goon, and I have to say that the transition from page to screen (in this instance) looks outstanding. Although I can't say that I read the comic as religiously as I used to, I'll definitely be looking into the film.
Games: A quick shout-out to the good gentlemen over at the GamerDork podcast. The latest installment is a fairly fascinating discussion with one of the members -- a lifelong player who's decided to quit gaming cold turkey. I'm sure that anyone who's been a fan of videogames for any serious length of time will be able to relate to some of the issues that pop up, without a doubt. Click the link, give a listen, and let them know I sent you.
Games: Not really newsworthy, but I figured I'd mention it anyway -- I've been rocking an original ‘fatty’ DS since it was released, and been quite happy with it. It feels better in my hands than newer versions do, and having the GBA cart slot is a big plus for me. (Plus, it still has the fancy Miyamoto signature stickers I got at E3 several years ago, so there's a good bit of nostalgia attached to it as well.)
Nintendo builds these things sturdier than most automakers build cars, and I've never had a complaint about it. Unfortunately, I think it's time to put this thing out to pasture. Over the last month or so, I've noticed that the battery isn't able to keep a charge longer than two or three hours, and that's not nearly long enough on days when I take it with me out and about. Cue sadface.
I had already been making vague plans to pick up a 3DS, but I guess this really is the clincher. Thanks for the memories, old friend... it's been grand.
Games: Still loving Etrian Odyssey 3.
Games: Started Splinter Cell: Conviction on 360 yesterday, over the advice of my good friends @Nightdreamer and @Zolos. I probably should have listened to them.
Although I wouldn't say I'm a huge Splinter Cell fan, I have played every game in the series and more or less enjoyed them. I've definitely had my issues with the formula here and there, but I do like playing a good Stealth game once in a while, and there really aren't that many options.
Now, there are even less.
I realize I'm coming late to the party on this one, but I'm stunned at how much Ubisoft has changed in Conviction. I don't even see it as being a stealth game anymore, and it has very little in common with the previous adventures of Sam Fisher apart from the title.
Rather than being sneaky and patient, the game puts raging-bull emphasis on combat and killing. The new ‘mark and eliminate’ and ‘last known position’ features are nice, but they shouldn't be the backbone of the play experience. I've tried to sneak through levels without being seen and without killing anyone a few times, and failed consistently. When it's easier to toss grenades and dive for cover while headshotting goons than it is to disappear into the shadows, that's a pretty big Stealth game fail. Disappointing, to say the least.
I'm not done with the game yet, but I don't need to see credits roll to know that this is not at all the direction I would have taken with the series, and it's pretty disheartening to see that most of what made the game what it was to get stripped out in favor of yet another fairly straightforward action title.
If it was some other generic action game I wouldn't have a problem -- hell, I might even praise it -- but Splinter Cell is a franchise built on stealth, and stealth is not what's going on here.