Thursday, May 31, 2007

Why does every file have to be a PDF?!

Why does everyone think that every single file on a computer has to be a PDF?! At least once a day I either take a call, respond to an email, or read a question on a forum about someone wanting to take a file, ANY file, and turn it into a PDF. An architectural design to submit to a guy's boss, and the boss wants it in PDF. A picture file, a simple JPEG, needs to be a PDF for you to email it and your client to open it? Kinkos accepts ONLY PDF files and no other format whatsoever? Why do people believe that a PDF is the only file format that everyone can view?

You do not need to take a JPEG and convert to to a PDF in order for you to print it, email it, or show it to someone on your computer! I spoke to someone yesterday who wanted to do this (JPEG to PDF) because he didn't want the person he is sending the file to to "alter" his picture. And I mean picture. He is sending someone a picture! How does making it a PDF prevent someone from altering the file? Anyone who would have the ability to "alter" a JPEG has the knowledge to "alter" a PDF as well.

I am utterly confused where this desire to make every file into a PDF stems from.... any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tales of the Abyss: A mini review

I finally decided to start playing Tales of the Abyss this week. I am a huge fan of the Tales series of games, having first played Tales of Destiny on the PS1 when it was first released, and having played all Tales games released in the US since then. The Tales series is Namco's Final Fantasy, but has never reached the popularity of FF or Dragon Quest either here or in the east. Tales of Symphonia for the the GameCube is my favorite of the series, and was followed up by Tales of Legendia for the PS2, a game that was an enormous disappointment. Legendia wasn't BAD really, but the characters were very quirky (in a bad way) and over the top, and the fighting engine was not as polished as previous games in the series, and the story was rather lacking as well. My huge love of Symphonia and my disgust with Legendia made me somewhat hesitant about getting into Abyss (Abyss made by the Symphonia team) but I am glad I did.

The Tales games take your normal RPG conventions such as leveling up, buying items and weapons, learning magic and abilities, and combines that with a fantastic fighting engine. Instead of selecting a command from a menu, then waiting for your enemy to do the same, you have complete control of your characters movements and attacks. In Abyss's case, you move around the battle field with left and right, block with Square, press X to use a standard attack (up, down, and left/right give you different variations of the standard attack) and O lets you use your Artes, or special abilities (with up, down, left/right selecting different Artes). All of this is done 100% real time, no loading or waiting, and makes every battle something fun. Think of Final Fight meets Final Fantasy, or Street Fighter meets Dragon Quest.

Many battles are avoidable, as you can see your enemies as you travel around in the game. This is a great addition to the Tales series, and one of my VERY few complaints about Tales of Symphonia (my favorite of the series). When in battle, you are accompanied by up to 3 other party members, who take actions on their own. You can set up strategies for the other characters in the menu, and select specific actions from a menu during battle, but very rarely will you find yourself needing to tweak the other characters battle settings (except for Guys over use of Artes).

My only true complaint about the gameplay is the Artes system, or the shrunken list of abilities to gain. Symphonia had a long list of abilities that you could unlock, and the way to unlock most was to use the same abilities over and over again to unlock the ability. While this is done as well in Abyss, it is greatly lessened. Only about 5 abilities require you to level up existing Artes, and the overall list of Artes is not that great. Even the original PS1 Destiny and SNES/GBA Phantasia seem to have a longer list of abilities to unlock. Yes, you can upgrade each Arte to make them stronger or have special attributes (a tutorial my copy of the game refuses to load), but this felt tacked on more than anything. One of my favorite things to do in Symphonia was unlock these new abilities, and new Artes are not as common here in Abyss. While this does not hinder the gameplay in anyway, it would have been nice to see more abilities.

This is a story driven RPG, so even though there is a lot of action in the battles, this is still an RPG first. Tales of the Abyss tells the story of Luke, the son of noble blood, who is stuck living in his parent's mansion. He was kidnapped 7 years prior, and not allowed to leave the mansion since returning. One day, a pretty young girl named Tear comes along to try and kill her brother Van, who is also Luke's mentor. Luke and Tear clash swords, and somehow get transported halfway around the world. The main theme of the story is Luke learning about the world, as he has been kept sealed up in his house for seven years. There is your normal political intrigue, and good guys who are really bad guys stories too, but the main story follows Luke and his experiences. The characters Luke meets along the way are what set this game above others from the genre. Every character has a lot of personality, and is voiced extremely well (does Johnny Young Bosch live in a recording studio?). The story won't win any awards, but it is told very well, even if it insanely confusing for the first 4 hours or so.

Another award Abyss won't win is in the looks department. Generally, the Tales games are very heavily anime influenced, and the opening for the games (at least the 5 I have played) featured a fully animated anime opening. While the 2D sprite work and character and level design is top notch, the 3D engine is something that could have been seen 5 years ago. While superior to Legendia's ugly character models, everything is still very blocky and old looking. The three year old Symphonia has better visuals than Abyss, and while the engine had to be remade or tweaked to go from the GameCube to the PS2, I am surprised that the game does not look as good. I was not expecting Final Fantasy XII, but I am disappointed that the level of detail, especially with the character models, is so low. The visuals are not that important, but after playing games like Okami and Final Fantasy XII and Shadow of the Colossus, I expect more from late generation PS2 games.

My only other complaint is load times. On average, battles last between 10-20 seconds, and when it takes several seconds after a battle to load the game again, that is a pain. Also, saving takes a long time, up to a minute some times! Also, moving from one room to another, or scene to scene causes loading too, so add another 3 seconds there. Its is not much, but enough to get annoying when trying to explore. This loading tends to be worst on the overworld map, which is the worst overworld map I have seen in a long time. The camera moves SOOOO slow that you often get attacked by a monster running from off screen, and it is impossible to see where you are headed until you are there. I had to fight the urge to explore, because I was so easily lost, despite maps and a compass. Pulling the camera back and up would have made it better, but it is still the ugliest and most annoying part of the game.

At the end of the day, despite some graphical faux pas and a slightly boring soundtrack, Tales of the Abyss is a great addition to the series, and represents what Legendia could have been. Anyone who has yet to play a Tales game should pick up Symphonia on the GameCube first (or Destiny on PS1 if you can find it (you cannot borrow my copy)). While not the best in the series, Tales of the Abyss is a wonderful adventure that never gets dull. The plot moves at a good pace, you are never upset when it is time to enter a battle, and Luke and Tear will stick with you even after the game has ended.

Overall score: 4 Stars (out of 5)

Images courtesy IGN and Namco.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Week in review: May 20th - 26th

Still not over whatever has been kicking my butt. Couldn't eat lunch all week, and when I do eat, I cannot tell when I am full, so I either eat too little, or too much (Saturday night...). Hopefully I will be back to normal soon.

Monday, May 21st: Heroes season finale was both great and disappointing. The build up was great, but the actual ending was a bit of a let down. One of my theories came true, that Nathan would wind up doing the right thing and the bomb would not go off. That part I liked about the finale, but it was the most anticlimactic ending ever. Nikki just slamming Sylar once, and then Peter punching him a lot. Hiro showing up last minute, and everyone else just hanging around. This could have been a hectic scene, a huge battle with everyone's powers going ballistic. Claire could have been the tank and taken hits for everyone (when bullets and glass fly), Nikki could have been the bruiser and wailed on Sylar before Peter picked up her powers, Parkman on the sides yelling out what Sylar is thinking next to everyone else, and Peter finally pulling all the powers out at once and really getting into it with Sylar.

I still love the show, don't get me wrong. The themes in the show are pretty clear to me now, at least for the first season. Tim Kring clearly had a "what if we could have prevented 9/11" moment and wrote at least this season with that in mind. 5 years later (when series started) disaster in NYC with terrorists in the future, Guilliani being valorous in the face of disaster (now in line for White House), showdown in the plaza between two large buildings in Manhattan are all pretty clear themes to me. Also, paying homage (not ripping off) a lot of themes from famous comic series. Peter Petrelli/Peter Parker, Hiro a member of the MMMS, Stan Lee on the bus halfway thru the season, and many many allusions to things from Superman to Sandman to Watchmen (no, this is not a rip off of Watchmen!) I also like how all of the older characters (Hiro's dad, Petrelli mom, Shaft... I mean Mr Deveaux) know each other and have a connection to the powers. The preview with Hiro for the next season was a good tease, and I can't wait til this show comes back next season.

Wednesday, May 23rd: American Idol finale.... as I mentioned before, I never watched Idol much before this season. I watched the last season finale and a few episodes here and there with friends, but this was my first season watching the show. Last years finale seemed fun and wild to me, but this year, it sucked. And anyone who TiVo'd this show was pissed, as it ran over 5 minutes past the hour before revealing the winner. Not sure I will watch this again next

Short but long week this week with being sick. Let's hope this week turns out better.

Friday, May 25, 2007

We have nothing to Sphere but Odin Sphere itself

I keep debating on whether or not I want to buy or Gamefly Odin Sphere. For those that don't know, Odin Sphere is an action heavy RPG from Atlus for the PS2. It was just released this week in the US, and I cannot decide whether I want to play this game or not. You can read IGN's review of it by CLICKING HERE and GameSpot's take by CLICKING HERE.

I first read about the game back in February when Atlus announce they would be bringing the Japanese developed game stateside (that is what Atlus does best). The game is a 2D side scrolling brawler with major RPG elements. The visuals are stunning, with amazingly large detailed sprites that make it look like it was designed for PC/PS3/360. Not since Symphony of the Night 2D made me truly impressed. NIS developed games are very nice (Disgaea, La Pucelle, Phantom Brave) but never that impressive because the 2D sprites are still images, not moving and flowing like in Odin Sphere.

But the NIS games are what make me NOT want to play Odin Sphere. There is SOOOOOO much freaking character/item management to do, that my OCD shows up and makes me get my characters and items to their most powerful, and I completely miss the story. I am always afraid to advance the narrative in case I am not powerful enough or prepared enough. Yes, that is me being neurotic, but it never happened to me in the 8bit-32bit days of RPG gaming. I always try to level my characters up stronger than they NEED to be in RPGs, but with games from NIS, there is no limit to their power, so I just keep leveling up! One level makes no difference, so I try for 10 or 20.

Odin Sphere sounds like it has large levels of item management, including alchemy with items. Because of my need to be powerful and find EVERY item in a game and have the best gear(again, OCD) games with alchemy systems often frustrate me because of the amount of work I can do. I prefer less customization over more customization when it comes to games like this. If FFXII had a similar grid system to FFX, then I would have enjoyed it infinately more. Instead, I spent 20 hours in FFXII leveling up and getting 90% of the stupid board cleared with each character, and having every single character be identical in battle.

So the game looks like a lot of fun, but the high level of management is what is turning me off. Having put over 100+ hours into past NIS games (Disgaea anyone? (yes, this is Atlus, not NIS)), I know how sucked into a game I can get, and at some point some my enjoyment of it entirely. My fear is I will love it at first, then get so annoyed or sidetracked by the micromanagement that I will never actually finish the game, and wind up bored and annoyed. I still have Tales of the Abyss I have not started (love the Tales games) so maybe I should play that first and let Odin Sphere be the big summer game.... either way, I hope to get some good gaming in this weekend. I just have to find a way to not let the Virtual Console be the only gaming I get done.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Guitar Hero and Nintendo News!

This has been a good week for fans of Guitar Hero and Nintendo games, and it's only Wednesday! A few juicy bits out of Activision about Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero 80's Edition, and a release schedule for the summer/early fall from Nintendo is a good week for me!

First up, Activision has announced that this Autumn (still no date or month, but a season is better than nothing) Guitar Hero III will be released, and will feature wireless guitar controllers. I am a little nervous about this venture, as it may require even MORE batteries (thanks Wiimote!) and the potential lag between controller and game could seriously mess up your game. But if my buddy Travis's abilities with a 3rd party wireless guitar are any indication, I have nothing to worry about (5 stars on Hard on most songs he plays). The Wii, PS3 and 360 all get Gibson Les Paul models, while the PS2 will have a Gibson Kramer model. All the guitars will also have removable faceplates, ala the 360, so you can customize your guitar with more than the puny sticker pack that came with the first two games. They will also feature a "new button color design" that they say will give "an even greater authentic feel and rock experience." I say that means that I will need to relearn the controls a bit, and not be able to use my existing PS2 guitar for the game. That does not please me, but until more info (specifically, pictures and video) become available, I will attempt to remain optimistic.

Speaking of optimism, I like the track list released so far. The list released so far includes The Rolling Stones (Paint it Black), Smashing Pumpkins (Cherub Rub), Beastie Boys (Sabotage), Weezer (My Name is Jonas), Foghat (Slow Ride.... DUH!), and other tracks by Tenacious D, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Living Coulor, and Heart. Oh, and KNIGHTS OF CYDONIA BY MUSE. Hmm? What? Yeah, little excited about that last one.... A great list of songs AND bands so far, more on par with GH1 than GH2. You can read more about the announcement on Joystiq and IGNPS2. Now it is simply a matter of deciding which version to buy! I am thinking the Wii version will win out, assuming it has downloadable content.

One Guitar Hero game that I will have no trouble deciding which system to buy it for is Guitar Hero 80's Edition, or whatever name they are calling it this week. It will be a PS2 exclusive... ya know, until costly 360 downloads are available. The 2nd set of tracks available was recently announced, and it includes.... a bunch of songs I have either NEVER heard or have not heard in such a long time I can't remember them. I wasn't allowed to pick my music in the 80's, it was mainly easy listening, Bon Jovi, and whatever my sister had on. 7 year olds are mature enough to pick their own music, despite what my parents said. Songs from Skid Row, The Police, and Poison are found on the new list. You can read the actual list by CLICKING HERE and seeing what IGNPS2 had to say about it.

In Rock Band news, last week Harmonix said it will not actually cost you an arm and a leg to buy this game... because with only 1 arm, the game will not be playable. There's some logic for ya. They still will not say too much about the game (are developers actually going to give info at the min-E3?) other than it won't eat your pocketbook. Stop carrying around a pocketbook. You are supposed to be a boy. You can read his little blurb on Joystiq. Still kind of unsure about Rock Band, but I have faith in Harmonix (still playing the free Frequency demo on my PS2).

And finally, onto Nintendo and release date goodness. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will be released on August 20th of this year... wow, that is odd... that is the same week I am scheduled to take some vacation time... look at that... what a coincidence! The rest of their release list can be found at IGN by CLICKING HERE! It doesn't end there kiddies! Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy AND Phantom Hourglass were all confirmed for a 2007 release as well! Those last two games being confirmed by Reggie at the Nintendo Summit in Seatle recently. You can read a brief description of that day at GameSpot by CLICKING HERE, and the full speech by the Reginator at IGN by CLICKING HERE!

Ok, time to go buy some batteries. I better stock up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sweet Irony....

Quoting Engadget:

"We're sure somewhere Drew Curtis's head is exploding over this one: submitted for your perusal, one California State Senator Carole Migden -- former voter for a state bill that fines people for using their cellphones while driving -- rear-ended her state-issued SUV into a Honda sedan on Highway 12 in Solano County, today. While on her phone. The driver of the Honda was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, although the most painful aspect of this story is surely the jaws-of-life-biting irony. Then again, at least we know Midgen's heart is in the right place; like the cleaned-up drug addict invited to tell schoolkids to stay off the dope, surely this morning more than others Midgen felt all the more confident in having voted the way she did."

Original story found by CLICKING HERE!!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Week in review: May 13th - May 19th

Not a fun week folks. Got really sick Wednesday night/Thursday morning and it's still not gone away. Long story short, missed the Third Eye Blind concert Saturday. I have not had a good week here folks... but there were some highlights.

Monday, May 14th: Heroes was good again this week. The episode was a little predictable, as I could always tell what was going to happen next or later on in the show to some extent, but very well told and a good lead up to the season finale. I really like how all of the characters have finally come together and how some things have turned out much differently than I had expected. Lots of foreshadowing here too, especially where Hiro is concerned. And the similarities between the show and 9/11 are no longer subtle, they are outright blatant. More on that after the finale.... Can't wait for the finale.

Tuesday, May 15th: House annoyed me for the first 20 minutes, because it felt like a copy of last week's episode where he kept spouting off the same exact diagnosis over and over without even considering everything else. Yes that is House, firm in his beliefs, but it was annoying that it was the exact same attitude as the previous episode. Then, 20 minutes in, he gets proven wrong, and I understand why the first 20 minutes were done that way. As for the Forman issue, I liked Cuddy's offer to him, that was a nice surprise, but he still appears to be leaving. As for the whole episode, the whole whodunnit storyline was fun with figuring out who cancelled Forman's interview, with Chase once again at the end ending up being Mr Insightful. Season finale in 2 weeks (after the premier of On The Lot and Tuesday finale of Idol) so we will see what happens there as well.

Wednesday, May 16th: Criminal Minds season finale aired tonight, and I have mixed feelings about it. It felt too soon, time wise, to bring back Frank, it's only been a few weeks, not enough time for his getaway to really sink in. The fact he went after those that Gideon has saved was a good twist though, and finally explained some of the time I felt was wasted in past episodes with exchanges between Gideon and Hotchner. I also liked the fact that all the issues the agents have been having this year (Reid's drug problem and Morgan's issue in Chicago) were brought up to Hotchner and used to force him out of his position. This would have been a great season opener or next season finale, but it all felt too soon for this season.

Thursday, May 17th: Good night of TV (thank you DVR)! First, The Office. Great episode overall, and lots of great moments: Michael's reaction to Jan's surgery, everyone else's reaction, Pam playing along with Dwight, everything Dwight did, Jan's reaction to the news of what the interviews are for, and Ryan getting the call at the end. The best part though was the Schrute bucks scene, and the back and forth between Stanley and Dwight that had me rolling in laughter:

: Don't you want to earn Schrute Bucks?
Stanley: No. In fact, I'll give you a billion Stanley Nickels if you never talk to me again.
Dwight: What's the ratio of Stanley Nickels to Schrute Bucks?
Stanley: The same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.

The Scrubs finale was more of the same, but a good episode overall. It felt more like a 2nd or 3rd season episode, but my complaint remains the same: the JD and Elliott love storyline is over and done with. I will be happy if they end up together, but it annoys me that they have played at this so much. Shows like The Office will play at people eventually hooking up, but they don't put them together and then rip them apart again constantly like these two.

Finally came the CSI season finale. This was another mixed bag for me. The whole angle of someone singling out a specific CSI and kidnapping and trapping them was done 2 years ago, albeit quite differently this time. I am very convinced that Sarah is dead or will die, because they have BARELY shown her all season, and I had a feeling for 6 months now that she was being written out in some way. Grissom losing Sarah would be a very different Grissom, and could take the 8th season to a few different places, something CSI needs desperately. The episode was a decent ride, nothing special at all, with the ventriloquist act being the dumbest thing I have ever seen on TV, and can't compare to the mid season Keppler episodes (especially "Law of Gravity") and I would love to see Liev Schrieber join the cast in Sarah's place, even if she is my favorite of the CSIs.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: No matter how old you are, when you get sick with a fever, you revert to a 5 year old. People who eat at Claim Jumpers for the first time say "WOW" and "OOH" a lot. NEEN JA GUY DEN! It is apparently illegal to park anywhere in my neighborhood. "The I am bigger than you game is fun! You can play it with anyone who's smaller than you!" It takes longer to put an elliptical together than it does to manufacture it in the plant. Old southerners speaking Yiddish is hilarious (thanks Christopher Guest!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Week in review: May 6th - May 12th

Monday, May 7th: Heroes finally disappointed me big time. I understand the need to have Sylar and his mom go thru what they went thru, but did she have to be freakin crazy?!? All of her scenes felt like they were written two minutes before they started rolling film, it just felt awkward. The whole episode kind of felt like a waste of time to be honest. I kept waiting for the episode to get good, and it never did. I expected to be disappointed like this with the 5 years in the future episode, but instead the disappointment is here. Two more left, let's hope they clean up for the finale.

Tuesday, May 8th:
Pretty descent episode of House this week. My prediction that House would try and find a hot replacement for Forman was confirmed, but I still can't decide how exactly they will end the storyline of Forman leaving and when/if he will return. The scenes with Wilson were fantastic, and the fact that he out-Housed House was great. Insightful Chase was also a nice change, but it made him forget to do his weekly confession to Cameron.

Thursday, May 10th: The Office was great tonight! Andy falling into the river was very funny. Seeing Michael act very human was a nice touch, you can tell he doesn't really want to leave these people. And Pam was great, loved her freak out at the end, and just her reactions to everything the whole episode. She was the one giving looks to the camera and making remarks instead of Jim. I think that showed how much she really loves him because she acted like him this week. As for Scrubs, it was great to see JD show some real emotion, and truly seem lost, instead of making jokes and just being immature. I can't remember seeing him act this hurt before. On the lighter side, his comment of "You have a problem sir! Seek Help!" to Old Young MC was hilarious. And the episode on the whole felt more like a previous season.

PLANS FOR THE WEEK AHEAD: Heroes tonight (Monday), House and AI tomorrow, elliptical machine arrives tues/wed, Third Eye Blind concert Saturday night, mom's birthday Sunday.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Cooking chicken on the grill is not as easy as some people make it seem. Marco's pizza is still freakin awesome, and Cane's is the best food in existence. Swimming at night with no lights in the pool is creepy. Firm mattresses make my arms numb when I wake up. My car is filthy. TNT has the worst HD quality of any channel in history, like watching thru a fun house mirror. My mother shouldn't eat salads. The 80 year old miniature version of Dolly Pardon shops at Costco, and her hair frightens children (and some 25 year olds too). My car's air conditioner only works well when its below 90 degrees. $2 a pint ice cream tastes much different than $4 a pint ice cream, and not in a good way.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Spider-Man 3: A review


In my review for the new Buffy comics, I compared the series and characters' return to an old friend that moved away, or a long lost pet suddenly returning and being just as good, or better, as before. I was hoping to have the same nostalgia meets fanboy meets utter glee feeling from Spider-Man 3, but instead I am left wishing that damn dog stayed dead. Nostalgia is both a welcome friend and a wish that things would return to the way they were. The fanboy in me is not loving this film. The utter glee only stopped by for about 2 minutes, then passed out and had to be dragged out the door. Just like the damn dog should have been....

So what went wrong? What went right (must shorter list)? Should the series have stopped at 2? Does Toby Maguire still encompass the character better than anyone else? Has the worlds biggest deus ex machina been created trying to fill the worlds biggest plot hole? Can a man go to the bathroom 3 times during a movie and not miss anything important? The answer to all these questions is "yes" but with a little asterisk after the "should they have stopped at 2" question. And also the "what went wrong" question, because "yes" is a bad answer to that...

Ok, so, first the good. Bruce Campbell should be in every movie. No, not every Spider-Man or Sam Raimi movie, but EVERY MOVIE. I heard the "monsieur!" and knew it was Bruce. I am glad that he had a larger role, even if it was just 5 minutes and a single scene. Stan Lee's cameo is also a hoot: two lines, but a big memory, 'nuff said! Yes, those are both fanboy moments, I admit. So what about "the good" that people who don't have OCD personalities will like? Not as much, but still some.

I really enjoyed the last 30 minutes, with Venom and Sandman and the big fight scenes. Yes, Mary Jane got abducted AGAIN, and Peter got his ass handed to him at first AGAIN, but the whole scene at the tower was fun. I almost wish the ENTIRE movie was based at that damn tower. It ALMOST made the other 110 minutes worth watching.... almost.... that almost was NOT a capital almost.... but it ALMOST was.... almost. I also liked evil Peter. Toby Maguire can play anything in my opinion.

My other big "good" from the movie was Topher Grace. I saw the movie with roughly 10 other people, and NONE of them liked the way Topher played Brock/Venom. I loved it. I hate the meathead, muscle building, dumb as a brick Brock. Eddie Brock to me, is a person who is a failure at everything he does in life. His competition in life is Peter Parker, from work, to women. Peter Parker is a loser, not a cool guy, and Brock is LESS cool than trip-over-his-own-feet Peter, LESS talented than wanna-snap-a-picture Peter, and LESS suave than never-had-a-date-til-college Peter. To be 2nd best to Peter Parker is a crap slot in life, and the way that Topher's part was played and written was EXACTLY how I want to see it. Whoever decided to write the part this way and have Topher play the part gets an A+ in my book.

The good ends there though. Lets start at the beginning, shall we? We shall. The beginning sucked. I was bored stiff for roughly the first hour of the movie. I like that the movie took place immediately after the last one, that part I liked. Aunt May pouring tea for 20 minutes is NOT how I want to spend my time. Also, May is a liar, because I have never been to an east coast beach that had an island in the ocean... The Sandman getting his powers scenes were pretty descent (except all of the weird 80s action movie music), but the rest of the Sandman story was crap. Cain Marko, oops, sorry, wrong comic, FLINT Marko did NOT kill Uncle Ben. Shut up. Yes, that is all fanboy talking. Well, mostly. The entire Sandman story after his origin scenes was a waste of time, nothing good doing, fanboy NOT talking. Less said about that the better, especially Sandman's ending. Also, Sandman cannot fly. Even if he was created just for this movie, the Sandman could not fly, and if he could, he couldn't control that flight.

Plot holes. Just going to say those two words again. Plot holes. Or things to fill the story that sucked might be a better name. Marko didn't kill Ben, NYC would never hold a "THANK YOU SPIDEY" day because Spider-Man has never been loved that widely, Spider-Man does not take off his mask all the time, even if he has sand in his mask, and sorry butler dude, but you exist only to say the single dumbest thing I have ever heard ANYONE say. Harry Osbourne is a freakin moron for listening to your words, and having it change his mind. I believe you cleaned the wounds... I believe you have seen the glider before... but there is literally no way in the universe, short of you being a top CSI investigator with the world's best lab that you could know that Norman's wounds were caused by the glider blades. And yes, I know what he could have said instead to convince Harry to do what needed to be done. "Harry, think for a moment... would Spider-Man, or PETER, your best friend, stab someone, stab your father? Would he bring the body back? Would he have the courage to be your friend afterwards? No, Harry.... Peter did not kill your father, and you know it!" That would have worked a LITTLE better... JUST A LITTLE!!!!!!

My biggest complaint, though, is that this movie felt NOTHING like the other movies. The original Spider-Man had a feeling to, a real emotion, one like most movies can't even hope to have a fraction of. This movie had no emotion. I never felt bad for Mary Jane, because she never even tried to talk to Peter. Almost all of my other complaints could have been overlooked if they had found that magic feeling from the first film, but it was simply not there.

Yes, many of my complaints are about the difference between the comic and the movie storyline, but usually they don't bother me because they don't change who the character is. These changes made Spider-Man a different character, and his universe a different and strange universe. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. Taking the fanboy completely out of the equation, I still did not enjoy this movie other than the big action sequence at the end. It had no soul, it was just another mediocre big budget movie. I could go on for another 10 paragraphs about my opinions on this movie, but I will leave it there.

Sony has announced there will be 3 more Spider-Man movies produced. The Lizard had better be the villain, because Connor has been in all 3 movies, and I can see it making such an amazing dynamic for the character. Or Mysterio, played by Bruce! Let's hope they can clean this up for the next one... please... please?

(pictures courtesy Columbia Pictures)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Eureka 7: Finale rebroadcast on Adult Swim

Adult Swim rebroadcast the Eureka 7 finale last night, one week after originally airing it, and it was aired in it's entirety! Eureka's monologue at the beginning and the REAL ending/epilogue included! It was a week too late in my opinion, but I am very happy that the episode was aired. However, I can't imagine how many people will never know it was rebroadcast, and either remain disappointed or never know the actual ending.

I am very happy that Adult Swim listened to my email and the others that were clearly sent, but it's almost too little, too late.....

Original story and overall impressions can be found by CLICKING HERE!!!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Week in review: April 29th - May 5th

I decided I would start doing a short week in review post to talk about the little things like TV show episodes, small things that may have happened that day, and what I have coming up next.

Monday, April 30th: Heroes aired the "5 Years Gone" episode tonight. Loved this one. Hiro and Ando wind up 5 years in the future, where the "bomb" went off, and now "special people" are treated as terrorists. Normally I dislike episodes where the story doesn't progress forward in shows like Heroes, but they do such a great job with the characters that I really enjoy them here. The Sylar twist at the end was great, and I like how they are handling the time travel aspect, something that can open more plot holes than many writers could deal with (see Spider Man 3). Only 3 more episodes left before the big finale, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 1st:
I never watched American Idol before this year, and I was REALLY into it at the beginning of the season. Now I am not into it as much, and I don't know why. Long story short on this topic, I hope Blake wins, followed by Jordin, even though I think that Melinda will go all the way. Next was House, my second favorite show after Heroes. I like that they are back to the basics here, no more Tritter storyline, although I did like some of the gags and scenarios from that part of the season. The whole Forman storyline is a bit weak IMO, because I liked that he was becoming more and more like House, without being a misanthrope. I don't believe he will actually leave in the end. The last episode of the season may be his last day, and he may leave in that episode, but I fully expect him to come back. The farthest I expect the writers to take it is that he leaves at the end of the season, and House hires a new guy, or they go thru several new guys. The new guy(s) either fits right in or sucks the life out of the group. It may also be a super hot chick, that another theory I have. But somehow, Forman comes back to save the day and rejoins the cast. Or he never leaves.

Wednesday, May 2nd: Picked up the new issue of the Buffy season 8 comic. Loved it of course! Joss showed up in Buffy's dream sequence, a slayer was reading Fray, and Andrew is DEFINITELY gay. Only complaints are about the artwork so far. Sometimes I couldn't tell if it was actually Buffy on page, or another character, and with the Willow vs Amy scenes, I had some difficulty figuring out who did what. Other complaints are that we don't know who actually kissed Buffy, and that there is not more Giles! Overall, another GREAT read!

Thursday, May 3rd: The Office and Scrubs aired tonight. The joke of Dwight hanging up the "pervert" posters everywhere was great, as the picture was him with a mustache. The fact that Pam played that prank just convinces me more that she and Jim will eventually get close again. As for Scrubs.... what a mixed bag there! Yeah, the season has been lacking, save for the musical episode. Scrubs is suffering from the Buffy season 6 syndrome I guess, where everything is depressing, a major character dies, and the best episode is a musical. Keith proposes to Elliott in this episode (started to at the end of the last one). Elliott is still Elliott, and crazy as ever, and along with Dr Cox, the best part of the episode. I miss Carla though, it's like she is a 3rd string character all of a sudden. The episode ends with JD realizing he wishes he was the one marrying Elliott, and this both annoyed me and made me happy. I want JD and Elliott to be together, but this storyline is over! He told her he didn't love her YEARS ago, but now he suddenly does?!?!? No, I don't think so. It's JD wanting what he can't have, something I understand VERY well, but just drop it already! You can't keep going back and forth with these two! Either they WANT to be together or they DON'T! Oh, and with CSI... what is up with this show now? It has lost it's charm, no question. It has gotten weird lately. And the end, Grissom a murderer? Maybe.... we will see.

Friday, April 4th: A part of me died today. My boss surprised us and took us all to Spider-Man 3. I will be posting further impressions next week, but to put it briefly, I was severely disappointed. Between the horrible first hour, huge plot holes (and the attempts to fill them) and a total disregard for what made the first two movies so great, this one is best left unwatched. Full review next week.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Shigeru Miyamoto made Time's 100 most influential list of 2006, YAY!. The power went out at my house on Thursday night/Friday morning. Marco's Pizza FINALLY opened by my house and its as yummy as ever. My car will NEVER be clean. I am both very sad and very happy that a coworker has left my company. I like Gamefly's new availability system. Tales of the Slayer is a good read, but only for 2 or 3 of the 10 stories. The weather and temperature in Vegas is the weirdest in the world: it rained in half my yard, all of the neighbor's yard, not at all in the other neighbor's yard, and it was completely sunny out. Pugs still don't know how to shut up. I HATE doing laundry. My sister discusses metabolic system theories while her husband discusses Sesame Street at the same time... literally... he also won't stop yelling "AMERICA! F**K YEAH!" I blame Allofmp3 for that....

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

But still no more Wiis....

Back in February, Jack Tretton, Sony gaming President, said that the PS3 was SOOOOO popular, that he would give anyone who could find one on the shelves in a store $1200 a pop. The fine young men of Penny Arcade (ok, young not quite true) went to local stores and found $13,200 worth of PS3s, but Jack never paid up (didn't expect him to though). You can check out what they did by CLICKING HERE!! If he meant what he said and followed through, I could afford a new car after what I found at Costco on Saturday:

There was another palette identical to this one directly behind it, so this is only half the count. There were then at least 10 more in the video game aisle.

I still want a PS3, but I don't know why.... Even though no games exist yet for it that I would want to play. I hope that Square-Enix brings over the Final Fantasy series to the 360, because I will probably be picking one up in time for Blue Dragon to be released. If Mr. Tretton paid out from his comment, I would gladly spend part of the money on a PS3.

Are there ANY games (other than Little Big World or whatever its called) that anyone is truly looking forward to soon on the PS3?