IceWarm's Random Thoughts

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Metal Gear Solid\Chronicles of Narnia Project


I saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe earlier tonight as I posted in a previous blog entry. I was reading the poster and it said the music was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, the same person who has composed the music for the Metal Gear Solid games starting with Metal Gear Solid 2-Sons of Liberty. So I got the idea to take music from the Narnia soundtrack and replace the music in a trailer for Metal gear Solid 3-Snake Eater and see how it sounded playing as the music for the trailer. It turned out pretty well for just an experiment in my opinion. I used the opening track of the soundtrack which is entitled "The Blitz, 1940" and played it over the trailer. You can download the video here.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

I just got back from seeing this at a small local theater. I was so busy with work and other things earlier this month that I didn't get to see it sooner. The theater that was showing it is right behind where I live in the basement of the local community college. This is not the most state of the art theater. No stadium seating, no THX or anything like that but it is perfectly serviceable, even to see a big budget movie like this. I sat in the very front row. Since there is no stadium seating these are the best seats in the theater. It makes it so you don't have to look at the back of anybody else's head. Seeing movies in a theater like this is like seeing them back in the good old days which is pretty cool in a way.

Anyway I really liked the movie. It was not overly long. Maybe just over two hours. The special effects were very good with all the talking animals and such. Some of the big action scenes were cool also like the frozen river melting away and the huge battle at the end of the movie. The music flows with the on screen action very well. This is definitely one to see. A great piece of cinema escapism.

Star Wars Galaxies Starter Kit

A few weeks ago on Attack of The Show they were interviewing Julio Torres about the new Star Wars Galaxies and were giving away copies of the starter kit to callers. I was a caller and stated how many players World of Warcraft has gotten in just about a year and how he plans to compete against World of Warcraft. Anyways I played the original game for a couple months in the summer of 2004 and got kind of bored with it. There was just so many different things to manage, house maintenance, harvesting power to use on your mineral harvesters, and so on. After that I went to World of Warcraft and haven't looked back. I probably won't play this new version of Star Wars Galaxies. Funny thing was while I was waiting for the show to call back I was leveling up Procrustes, my level 37 warlock. :)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Weird Crap At The Post Office...Literally

I was at work at the grocery store this morning and the grocery store manager was talking to the building manager and the building manager if he was the kicked in door at the post office(Both the grocery store and post office are in the same building complex) The building manager comes back a few minutes later and says apparently somebody kicked in the door during the night and then went inside and took a crap on the floor or the post office. I for some reason found this to be pretty funny. But the weirs thing is why kick in the door? The post office doors are open all the time. They close them in the winter to keep it warm inside but they are always unlocked. Maybe he was talking about the doors to the package claim area. Those are closed at 5PM during weekdays, 12 on Saturdays and are closed all day on Sundays. I don’t know which door was kicked in because I didn’t bother to look. Still I found the situation to be pretty weird and also a bit funny. Maybe whoever did it was really angry with the post office, or was drunk, or a little bit of both. Still it was really weird. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A $1.99 Well Spent

Metal Gear Solid VR Missions at EBGames in the mall:

Video Game Sequels…Are We Setting Ourselves Up For Disappointment?

Many people get excited about sequels of any kind, whether it be movies, books, or video games to name a few. As with movie and book sequels video game sequels can be better or worse than the previous installment. So by getting so excited over video game sequels are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

I say in some cases we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment especially on sequels to games that were already awesome and near perfect to begin with. How can some of these games be topped? Sometimes they can’t. With future installments of a game series many people expect improved gameplay and/or all the gameplay elements from the previous game to be worked into the sequel. Sometimes this can’t be done because of the story and setting of the next installment. For example in Metal Gear Solid 3-Snake Eater the game introduced hunting and healing into the gameplay mechanics. But since Metal Gear Solid 4-Guns of The Patriots takes place in various war zones and city type areas it may be difficult to implement the hunting aspect. Even Hideo Kojima said it would be hard to hunt when you are in the middle of a war zone with various factions fighting all around you. Also many story based sequels might not live up to the previous game because the designers wanted to take a different approach to the storytelling for the sequel. This happened in Metal Gear Solid 2-Sons of Liberty when the player controlled Raiden for most of the game. This was done so the player could view Snake as a different character and not be that character in the game. You get a different perspective on who Snake is when you play as Raiden. To many gamers this was a disappointment. Halo 2 was also a disappointment to some. I agree to an extent as far as the single player goes. The ending was a bit of a letdown to me. However the online play is what kept me interested. The same goes for Fable, not reall a sequel it was a disappointment to some nonetheless. Lionhead Studios said so much would be in this game that was probably not technologically possible on the Xbox. Many gamers got very excited over Fable and when it was released in the fall of 2004 many players found the game to be way too short and not all that Lionhead had said it would be.

I feel that when a sequel is announced many gamers, myself included tend to get too excited on how great the game will be and how much better it will be than the previous games and when the sequel does come out sometimes it is not all that the gamers had hoped for.

Maybe a way around being disappointed with game sequels is to not have expectations about how great the game will be. So maybe we should take marketing hype and other stuff intended to hype up an upcoming game with a grain of salt and not expect the near impossible with the release of a game. This way we may prevent so many of us from being disappointed when a game does not live up to the hype or our expectations.

My Next Best Shot At An Xbox 360

I'll be going to Denver tomorrow and hopefully I'll be able to find a store with some 360's in stock. I don't really expect any to have any in stock though but I'll never know unless I check. I tried to get one at launch and couldn't get one. The local Target and Wal-Mart only got about 10 systems each. The Wal-Mart opened at midnight to sell systems but they put a sing-up sheet out at like 4 in the afternoon which I think was lame. They should have put the sheet up before they re-opened and not like 6 hours before. That way people could just sing up, go home, and come back and be guaranteed a system. I mean give everybody a fair shot. Anyway I'll be trying to get one tomorrow and with any luck(and I'm sure I'll need it) I'll be playing Perfect Dark Zero tomorrow night. :)

Monday, December 19, 2005

My 2005 Video Game Awards

Best RPG:

Dragon Quest VIII-Journey of The Cursed King

A great RPG with a beautiful visual style and simple RPG gameplay.

Runner up-Jade Empire

Best Action Game:

God of War

Hack and slash gameplay that never quits and the chain blades make for some insane combos.

Runner up-Devil May Cry 3

Best Arcade Racing Game:

Mario Kart DS

All the classic Mario Kart action you’d expect with an awesome online mode and a collection of tracks from previous games.

Runner up-Burnout Revenge

Best Simulation Racer:

Forza Motorsport


Runner up-Gran Turismo 4



Best Sports Game:

Fight Night Round 2

Great boxing game that improves upon the original in many ways. You can now play as the cut man and also includes a great online experience.

Runner up-NBA Street Volume 3

Best Adventure Game:

Indigo Prophecy

The adventure genre re-invented with many possible ways to complete the game and a very intuitive interface.

Runner up-Shadow of The Colossus

Best Action-Adventure Game:

Prince of Persia-The Two Thrones

There is a much larger emphasis on platforming and puzzle solving than Warrior Within. It also features quick kills and the Dagger of Time returns.

Runner up-Psychonauts

Best First Person Shooter:


F.E.A.R.

One of the scariest games I've ever played but it is a very solid first person shooter with some great AI and Matrix-esque slow motion. It also included a great multiplayer element that even lets you use the slow-mo online.

Runner up-Battlefield 2

Best Simulation Game:

The Movies

For all those film buffs that have ever wanted to run their own film studio but don't have a spare billion dollars this one is for you.

Runner up-Playboy The Mansion(Seriously putting the magazine together was fun, but the rest sucked) :)

Best Graphics:

Resident Evil 4

RE4 looked great on the Gamecube and shows what level of graphics can be done still in the current generation and especially on the Cube.

Runner up-Battlefield 2

Best Handheld Game:

Mario Kart DS

This year was a great year for handheld games. We got two great puzzle games in Lumines and Meteos. Quick play games in WarioWare Touched and Nintendogs. A console quality version of GTA in Liberty City Stories. Great racing games in the form of Burnout Legends but I have to go with Mario Kart DS. It is perfect for a handheld. You can play a race or two and then turn it off. Plus the internet play is awesome.

Runner up-Lumines

Best Puzzle Game:

Lumines

Simple to learn and tough to master, this is what makes a puzzle game great. Also the music is affected on how you are playing.

Runner up-Meteos

Best Strategy Game:

Age of Empires 3

The graphics look great and the new Home City feature adds some cool new gameplay elements into this strategy game.

Runner up-Metal Gear Acid

Best Party Game:

Guitar Hero

If you have two guitar controllers you can rock out with your friends in this awesome game. Even with one controller you can have a blast with your friends. Several classic songs will have you feeling like a rock star. Groupies not included. :)

Runner up-Karaoke Revolution Party

Best Platforming Game:


Sly 3-Honor Among Thieves

Excellent platforming with very cool characters and a nice cartoon looking graphical style. Also you can play some levels in 3D with the included 3D glasses if you want.

Runner up-Prince of Persia-The Two Thrones

Best Art Direction:

Shadow of The Colossus

The game is absolutely beautiful and plays just as well. Each Colossus is a masterpiece and the scenery is just as beautiful.

Runner up-Dragon Quest VIII-Journey of The Cursed King

Most Overlooked Game:

Psychonauts

A great game that got very good reviews but just did not sell very well. This is a shame because the game is awesome, contains Tim Schafer's brand of humor and plays a lot like a cross between a Tim Schafer adventure and a platformer.

Runner up-Shadow of The Colossus

Best PSP Game:

Lumines

Great puzzler and everybody knows puzzle games and handheld systems go together like peas and carrots, or peanut butter and chocolate.

Runner up-Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories

Best DS Game:

Mario Kart DS

Same reason it got best handheld game.

Runner up-Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow.

Best Playstation 2 Game:

God of War

One of the best looking PS2 games and it was a blast to play. Awesome boss battles as well.

Runner up-Guitar Hero

Best Xbox Game:


Forza Motorsport

It took many things from Gran Turismo and improved on them in great ways. Also included an insane amount of car customization, car damage and online play through Xbox Live.

Runner up-Half-Life 2

Best Gamecube Game:


Resident Evil 4

Changed everything about what an RE game is. It changed the camera system to make it easier to play, added some quick press buttons to dodge attacks or other dangers, and a new aiming system. Also the story is way different from the previous games.

Runner up-Mario Superstar Baseball


Best Multiplayer Game:


Battlefield 2

Great squad based first person shooter that focuses on team play. Also if you are not good with a gun you can still help out with various helper units such as the medic, support, or engineer. Also includes a commander mode that plays more like an RTS and lets you call in artillery strikes and supply drops.

Runner up-Burnout Revenge

Best Beat-Um-Up Game:

The Warriors

Simple yet effective fighting system. Tons of weapons to find and a lot of characters on screen at once makes for a hell of a beat-um-up.

Runner up-Mortal Kombat-Shaolin Monks

Best Fighting Game:

Soul Calibur 3

More characters, character creation mode, all the awesome fighting you'd expect from a Soul Calibur game and a ton of stuff to unlock make SC3 a keeper.

Runner up-Tekken 5

Best Stealth Action Game:

Splinter Cell-Chaos Theory

The major improvement to the third Splinter Cell is that you can now kill guards and not fail a mission. This opened up many new ways to play. You can still be all stealthy and play it like the older Splinter Cell games or you could go and kill off any guards that got in your way. Also the online mode was improved with an added co-op mode.

Runner up-Metal Gear Acid(More stealth strategy but still stealth nonetheless.)

Game of The Year:

Resident Evil 4

It changed what an RE game is and I think really took everybody by surprise. Great graphics, great gameplay, new camera and aiming system. Game of The Year in my opinion.

Runner up-God of War

Best Movie:

Batman Begins

What a Batman movie should be. Covers more of Bruce Wayne's back story that the others, has some great action scenes, great acting and overall a great story.

And now for my least favorite game of 2005...Killer 7. I just hated this game. The controls were lame, the linear hallways were lame, and the puzzles were lame as well. I really hated the way you moved your character in the game. You hold down the A button on the Gamecube controller to move forward and to turn around you hit the B button and then hit A again. Also the game was on rails the whole time and when I mean on rails I mean on freaking rails. You moved along the path the developers wanted you to and you can only move forward and backward, no side to side or anything like that.

Ultimate Wolverine VS Hulk #1

I just ordered this comic and hopefully it will be here in a couple days. I was reading about this comic and saw some really cool artwork and one page where Wolverine gets ripped in half by Hulk looked awesome. Also there is another page where Wolverine can't feel his legs(since they've been ripped off by Hulk) and seeing Wolverine with only half his body intact and is looking for his legs. I'm sure he is still alive after that because of his mutant healing powers. Anyway here are the pictures I am talking about:


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Metal Gear Solid Sons of Liberty Comics








I just got these in the mail today. From left to right I have issue #0(Basically just character bios and some cool art), #1(Alex Garner Cover), #1(Ashley Wood Cover), and #1(Foil Sketch Cover).

I bought all the variations of issue #1. Anyway the comic is very good. The art and writing are both well done and I like how the comics cover stuff only mentioned to in the game. They did the same with the comics based on the first Metal Gear Solid game also.

These are some great comics. I liked in issue #1 how Snake has been framed and is said to be the leader of The Sons of Liberty and is responsible for the tanker incident and the Paris hotel bombing of George Sears. Knowing the story already makes the little details just so sweet. Since we all know George Sears is Solidus and he was basically removed from office by The Patriots and the bombing was obviously a cover up. I can't wait to read more of the Sons of Liberty comics. I think this series will be better than the first because of all the plot twists and that they can go into greater detail in the comic on stuff that was only mentioned in the games. The MGS comics are definitely worth look.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What Is Up With G4?

First they cancel Filter and now G4TV.com The Show gets canceled as well. What the hell is up with this? Hopefully these shows will re replaced by video game and/or tech related shows and not shows that have nothing to do with either like Fastlane and The Man Show.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Xbox 360(Finally Got To Play One)

I was at my local Target store today seeing if they had any Xbox 360 systems. As I expected they didn't but they had a display model that I got to play. The controller feels great and I really like the shoulder buttons and the Xbox logo button. I played a little of Kameo and thought it was pretty cool. All they had on the system was demos but there was no demo of Perfect Dark Zero which is the only game I'm really interested in right now. Anyway the controller felt very comfortable and I'm glad I finally got to play with one.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Prince of Persia The Two Thrones

I am currently renting this game for the Xbox from Gamefly and so far I am very impressed. The graphics and sound are very well done and the gameplay is what you'd expect from the series. There are puzzles to solve and traps to avoid. One cool addition is the ability to do a quick kill. This is very much like a stealth kill. You have to be unseen to attempt one and when you start the quick kill you need to hit the X button when your weapon flashes blue. You only have a small amount of time to hit the button. if you are successful you can kill an enemy in one or two hits. If you fail you'll have to fight the enemy the old fashioned hack and slash way. The quick kill comes in handy when you are low on health and want to avoid letting your enemies get a hit in on you. Also the Dagger of Time is back in this game. Now you can rewind time again like you were able to do in The Sands of Time. I have not been able to play as the dark prince yet but I feel i am close to being able to play as him. Something else pretty interesting is the voice of the prince is voiced by Yuri Lowenthal who voiced him in the Sands of Time and the voice of the dark prince is done by Robin Atkin Downes who voiced the prince in Warrior Within. Just something a little interesting since the prince is a much darker character in Warrior Within than he was in The Sands of Time. Anyway I am very much enjoying The Two Thrones and it is definitely worth a rental.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My Big Fat Independent Movie

My Big Fat Independent Movie is a great spoof/parody movie of some of the most well known independent movies. The film spoofs independent films such as Pulp fiction and El Mariachi. The DVD is set to be released on January 24th but people have a chance to win one by signing up and spreading the word about the movie. The movie is very good and is quite funny. Also it makes it even funnier if you've seen the movies being spoofed. Be sure to check it out.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Aeon Flux

I decided to go and see the new Aeon Flux movie this weekend. It was not all that great but it wasn't terrible either. However the movie is very confusing. It looks like they tried to cram a lot of the content from the animated series into one movie and that makes it very confusing. Also in the animated show I though Brenga and Monica were separate cities divided by walls. In the movie there is only one city and the Monicans are just a group of people rebelling against the Goodchild regime. Also the whole plot element of finding a cure for some disease gets pretty confusing as well. Also there was not quite enough action in the movie. The shootout at the end of the movie is the biggest chunk of action in the movie and even then it was not that action packed. Overall the movie was very confusing but was still watch able. You may want to watch the animated series collection on DVD before seeing the movie. It may help with some of the plot elements and make the movie a little less confusing. Not necessarily something that has to be seen in the theater but will be worth at least a rental when it comes to DVD.