Because I Feel Like It (Guest!) Reviews – Alien Isolation

The Alien is quite possibly the scariest and most brilliantly designed creature in science fiction. It’s deadly, it’s smart, it’s unimaginably violent in its natural life cycle, and it’s all-around pretty freaky-looking. The first Ridley Scott film was a masterful blend of science fiction and pure horror, and it always stuck with me. Its subsequent sequels felt a little lackluster, watching multiple Aliens being killed off by machine gun fire at the hands of some over-the-top space marines. As a result, I was very excited for Alien: Isolation, since everybody told me it was a lot like the first film – one Alien, a dark and dingy space station, and the protagonist trying to stay alive while being hunted by the perfect organism. And oh boy, did it deliver.

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Vince’s Bookshelf Reviews: 20/20 Hindsight by F.C. Dawkins

If humanity could stop aging entirely, who would get access to immortality? What would the consequences be? Amidst the collapse of North America as a world power, F.C. Dawkins’ asks this question in the dystopic fiction of 20/20 Hindsight. Click through to check out Vince’s review of it over at The Bookshelf!

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Geek Spiel: What Star Wars Can Learn From Redwall

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A recent piece of news stated that not only will Harrison Ford be returning to the Star Wars franchise, but that Han Solo will be having a “major role” in the new films. This, along with this particular cast photo:

…are some of the first inklings we’ve been given about existing characters returning in the J.J. Abrams directed sequels. This scarcity of information led some fans to theorize that the new movies would draw upon the plentiful material from the Star Wars Expanded Universe (SWEU). Many of the books in the expanded universe contain characters and storylines that rival Han, Luke, and Keia in terms of the devotion of their fanbase. Continue reading

Because I Feel Like It Reviews – Thor: The Dark World

Being the second film in Marvel’s Phase Two, the sequel to 2011’s Thor had a lot to live up to, especially following the monstrous success of The Avengers. Furthermore, with Kenneth Branagh stepping down as director in favour of Alan Taylor, much skepticism surrounded whether or not an almost exclusively TV director would make the jump to film. It turns out that thanks in part to a cadre of writers with ample experience writing the Marvel lore (several worked on Marvel’s numerous animated series), and Taylor’s own experience on fantasy giant Game of Thrones, a film was produced that improves significantly over its predecessor, in spite of several flaws that still nip at its heels.

Geek Spiel: Five Cool Books You Might Not Have Tried

This week, I felt like taking a bit of a break from the usual deep, social commentary to address one of my other passions: talking about cool stuff that I love. As you, loyal reader, may not know, I’m fortunate enough to be a book reviewer for a local indie bookstore (for those interested, you can check out my reviews when they go up over *here*). As such, I have the chance to check out some titles that I might not have if I had to pay for them. Some turn out to be total dreck, but there are some pretty priceless gems in there too. Today, I want to share a couple of the awesome, lesser known books I’ve come across both there, and in the process of my own literary spelunking.

The Six-Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher

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Supernatural westerns are one of my favorite subgenres, and one that I feel like doesn’t get explored nearly as much as I’d like it to. Mix that in with Lovecraftian horror, and a deft combining of various different religious and mythical lore, and you’ve got a super-fun and novel read in the form of R.S. Belcher’s Six-Gun Tarot. Set in the town of Golgotha, it follows the tale of Jim, a young boy on the run from the law who finds himself under the protection of John Highfather, a man who seemingly can’t be killed, and his deputy, Mutt, the half-human son of the great storytelling deity, Coyote.

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Because I Feel Like It Reviews: Looper

So far, Rian Johnson is 3 for 3 in my eyes. He made a fan out of me with his other two directorial creations, Brick and The Brothers Bloom, for which he took on the dual roles of Writer and Director. In some ways, his most recent film, Looper, is a departure from his usual style, but still retains enough of his signature fingerprints that both lovers of sci-fi (and time-travel in particular), as well as old-school fans of his works will likely enjoy it.

Set in 2044, Looper follows the story of Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Joe is a special kind of hitman. You see, thirty years in the future, time-travel has been invented, and swiftly outlawed, so that the only people who use it are criminal organizations. When these organizations want to get rid of someone, they send them into the past, where Joe is waiting to execute them. The only catch is that, eventually, your future self is sent back and executed. Once that happens, the “loop” is closed, and the Looper (the name for the hitman) retires to a golden payday, to enjoy the next thirty years as they see fit. But when Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) is sent back, young Joe hesitates, allowing his future self to escape. From there, both Joes are on the run from the mafia they work for, as Young Joe looks to close his loop and set things right. But Future Joe came back for a reason, and he won’t let his younger self stop him from accomplishing his mission.

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Nick reviews Indy game sensation “Faster Than Light”!

Everything has gone dark. The Mantis pirates aboard the S.S Madpipes have severely damaged my surveillance equipment. As I am manning the shields, trying to prevent further damage a missile tears through the hull (courtesy of the Mantis starship) almost killing me and leaving the room engulfed in flames. Fruitlessly I try to extinguish it before fleeing towards the Medical Bay remotely opening the blast doors of the Shield Room on the way, allowing the vacuum of space to combat the rapidly growing fire. My pilot girlfriend is already in the Medical Bay patching up her wounds. She is all that is left after my best friend/engineer was kidnapped by slavers. We huddle together staring at the damaged surveillance feed, not knowing exactly where the Mantis intruders are, our only clues being the all familiar hiss of opening doors drawing nearer, and nearer. As the S.S Madpipes continues to take abuse from missiles and blast lasers I take a deep breath, and prepare for our last stand.

This is a true story that occurred during my time with FTL. FTL stands for Faster Than Light, but a more apt acronym would be Forget To Live because that is what you will be doing after one round.

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The Rogues Gallery: Game Developers Conference, Movie News, and MASS EFFECT!!!

This week’s post is chock-full of delicious auditory goodness!! This week the guys gather ’round to discuss the latest news from Game Developers’ Conference, as well as the usual sporadic tangents on whatever comes to mind.

But that’s not all! In our second segment, we discuss whether the third time’s the charm for making a good Mixed Martial Arts fighting game in UFC Undisputed 3, and we invite a special guest voice on as our friend Gui and Nick tag-team review MASS EFFECT 3!!!!!

Audio MP3

Total Runtime (Part 1): 01h02m33s
1m35s – 13m45s: (News – Chronicle Director in Talks to Direct Venom Movie)
13m46s – 23m21s: (Censorship, Ender’s Game, and South Carolina)
23m30s – 35m25s: (Diablo 3 and Guild Wars II Beta Discussion)
35m31s – 55m00s: (GDC News: Real-Time Rendering of the FUTURRRRREEEEE, the Kara Tech Demo breaks our hearts, Cross-Platform developing half-assery, and how you can buy Nvidia’s newest graphic card for the low-low price of your immortal soul)

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HERE THAR BE MASS EFFECT!!!

Total Runtime (Part 2): 48m36s

0:00-30m18s (Mass Effect 3)
30m18s-48m36s (UFC Undisputed 3)

Also, as a bonus, here’s the video footage of a couple of the tech demos we talked about in Part 1:

Kara Tech Demo

NVIDIA Real-Time Rendering Graphics Demo

 

 

The Rogues’ Gallery Goes Intergalactic, w/ Special Guest Anne!!

What’s up internet? We enjoyed our Horror show so much (and hope you did too!) that we decided to tackle another much-beloved genre, SCIENCE FICTION! This time ’round, we’ve brought in a specialist. Our good friend Anne, a veritable tome of knowledge on the subject, was nice enough to be our sherpa through the mountain of history surrounding the subject. Enjoy!

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