The Green Goblin: How it Should Have Looked

I am a huge Spider-man fan and was really excited in 2002 when I heard they were making a Spider-man film.  Sam Raimi was directing and it was going to star Tobey Maguire and feature the Green Goblin.  Awesome!

The Green Goblin is a really cool villain.  He looks like a goblin, flies around on this cool glider, throws pumpkin bombs, and knows Spider-man’s true identity.  I couldn’t wait to see how this would be portrayed in a film.

Wait…what?

It is just done completely wrong.  That is not how the Green Goblin should look.  That isn’t how anything should look.

I guess I can understand that this was supposed to be a mecha-suit armor version of the Green Goblin, but it just doesn’t look good.  The suit looks stiff and the face is stuck in this awkward open-mouth snarl.  We can even see Willem Dafeo’s face through the eyes and mesh-mouth.

It just look ridiculous.

It turns out that Sam Raimi rejected what would have been a great looking Green Goblin.  This article from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts shows the prototype rejected by Sam Raimi.

That looks amazing!  That is almost exactly what I pictured the Green Goblin to look like in a movie.

That seriously looks incredible.  The mask’s facial features move realistically and can really be used to convey some great emotion.

More emotion.

Less emotion.

I guess Sam Raimi said that he didn’t think the audience would believe a mask would be that animated when slipped onto someone’s head.  Bad choice.

Advertisements

RIP Paul Walker

On Saturday, November 30th, Paul Walker was killed in a car accident.  He was 40 years old.

He was the passenger in a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend and business partner, Roger Rodas.

Maybe the last picture of him ever.

Rodas crashed the car into a utility pole, the car ripped in half, caught on fire, and exploded.  Figure-8 tire marks were found on the road and it is clear that the car was going at a very high rate of speed when it crashed.

TMZ was the first to report with this article.  There is a video of the car still on fire and a heart-wrenching interview with an employee that was trying to help before the firefighters got there.

My god, what a disaster.

Paul Walker was best known for his role as Brian O’Conner in the Fast and Furious franchise.  The first Fast and Furious film, The Fast and the Furious, came out in 2001.  I used to watch that movie all the time over my friend’s house.  I was sixteen years old.  No wonder I thought Vin Diesel was bad-ass and Paul Walker was the coolest.  I was the perfect age when that film came out.  I wanted to be race fast cars, get the hot women, and be Vin Diesel’s friend.  More importantly, I wanted to be Paul Walker.

Do you remember the film She’s All That?  I watched that all the time when I was younger.  I think it was on TV a lot.  I still say “It’s going to be a long afternoon of Sega…”

    

I just watched Joy Ride.  Paul Walker, Steve Zahn, and Leelee Sobieski get chased and terrorized by a big rig truck.  It is as funny/awful as it sounds and I completely recommend seeing it.

It is written by J.J. Abrams

Paul Walker was also great in 1998’s Pleasantville and in the very under-rated film The Skulls.

    

I even remember him as Phil Deedle.  I never watched the movie but I sure remember seeing this VHS cover in the rental store when I was a kid.

Classic.

Paul Walker was cool, a good actor, and still a very young man.  My condolences to his family, friends, and fans.

A Death in Family Guy: What Does it Take

In last week’s episode of Family Guy, Brian died. In the middle of the episode he suddenly gets run over by a car while he was running across the street.

It was something that was violent, sudden, shocking…

…and kind of confusing.

To give a little back-story, it has been publicized for the last month that someone on the show Family Guy is going to die. They wouldn’t say who, but everyone guessed it to be Meg.

I know I did.

Meg is worthless. She is rarely used at all in any episodes any more. She is just the punchline of a joke at best and nobody would miss her (not even the Griffins).

Also, she is voiced by Mila Kunis.

This is the only photo I could find of her.

I just assumed because she is becoming more popular and being in more movies she wouldn’t have time to voice a throw-away character like Meg.

But nope…

Brian.

One of the most likeable characters on the show, the only actual sane member of the family, and the voice for the audience watching.

“Yeah, but that’s life man. Bad Stuff happens sometimes and happens fast.”

But not in Family Guy.

When has anything ever mattered in Family Guy?

Just the week before Peter kissed himself so hard that his body turned inside out and he became a bouncy flesh-ball.

Peter Griffin ball

I wasn’t joking.

He then looks directly at the camera and says “And now, the next scene.”

Because that is what Family Guy is about.

Family Guy has always been more about the jokes and less about the character. You can watch the show and not have to worry about the long-term effects of any of the jokes.

It is Looney Tunes.

Did you worry when the Road Runner hurt Wile E. Coyote? No, because in the next scene he will be just fine.

Brian’s death on Family Guy is the same as a Bugs Bunny cartoon where a hunter that isn’t Elmer Fudd comes out of nowhere to shoot him and drag his bloody carcass off screen. Then all the Looney Tunes characters would gather around Bugs’s bloody mangled body to watch him literally die. The rest of the episode would consist of the funeral and going to the pound to pick out a new rabbit.

It just doesn’t make sense. It confuses the audience.

However…

Family Guy has been getting stale and this could bring a little life into the series.

Also, there is an easy way to undo anything that happens on Family Guy…

Time Travel.

Time travel is a huge part of Family Guy. It is specifically a thing Stewie does with Brian all the time on the show. Stewie could just go back in time and save Brian somehow.

That could be actually really cool. A longer storyline that stretches multiple episodes would be nice to see in Family Guy. This could be leading up to the finale of this current season, or the writers could stretch the idea on for longer if they wanted. It would be interesting to have a whole season where there is no Brian or where Stewie is trying different things to save Brian’s life.

This IGN video also brings up a really good point about Family Guy’s love of Star Trek and how this could be leading up to one big Star Trek 3 reference. I could see that happening.

What is with the placement of Xbox One discs?

What is with the… placement of Xbox One discs?
            
It’s on the left!

But it is always on the right!

CDs, DVDs, BluRay Discs, even HD-DVDs…all positioned on the right! It is how it has always been done! It is how mother nature intended!
Now the Xbox One wants to come along and place its discs on the left? It is insanity! It is uncalled for! This is not the revolution we wanted. This is not a change for the better.

In all seriousness, it would seem that the right side of a disc case is the side that is more stable side and therefore more suited to hold the disc. The left side of the disc case is the side that is being opened constantly and therefore being handled and flung back and forth on its hinge.

This not only seems like a pointless move by Microsoft to differentiate its product, but a decision that wasn’t all the way thought through.

What is with that?

I Didn’t Buy Either: the 2013 Console Wars

Some facts before we begin:

I have both an Xbox 360 and a PS3.
I actually just bought my PS3 early this year.
As the title suggests, I didn’t buy the Xbox One or PS4.

It has been about one week since the Xbox One launched and about two weeks since the launch of the PS4. I have reviewed every single launch title for both systems.

I hate but have to say that I am unimpressed with all the launch titles and have not been compelled at all to purchase either console. There isn’t a single launch title that really has shown me either with its visuals or gameplay the difference between this generation and the next. I want to be convinced why I need a $500 new system for these games, and I am not persuaded.

However, I do understand loving new technology. People seem to be loving both the PS4 and the Xbox One. I was surprised to see how much people have liked the new Kinect, and I liked the first Kinect. I also really like the streaming and recording functions of both consoles. Both interfaces look really sleek, both controllers seem great, and the design of the consoles look fantastic.

I can wait, though.

It makes sense. It actually can make a lot of dollars too.

Why spend at least $500 to get one of the systems right now and a mediocre launch game? Both consoles are going to look the same, their interfaces will stay the same if not improve, better games will be out for both consoles, and the launch titles will be available for cheaper…

…if you can wait.

“But I want it now!”

Take my advice, and just wait. There isn’t a gamer alive that doesn’t have a huge backlog of games to get through. And I’m not talking about really old games. I’m talking about games that came out this year. I’m talking about this last generation.

If you have a PS Plus membership, they are just dumping free games on you every week. I personally can’t catch up. Just in the last six months, through PS Plus I have gotten and played 19 games. Nineteen. Full-priced PS3 games. I don’t have a Vita and if I did that number would be even greater. The service is just incredible and I really can’t say enough great things about it.

Even if you don’t have PS Plus, all the games from this last generation are all really cheap to buy. Playstation 3 in general is really great about bundling their games together. For instance, you can pick up the God of War collection for $30 and that contains all five games in the franchise including God of War 3 and the portable games. Similarly, you can get the Infamous collection for $30 and that comes with both games and all of its DLC. These Playstation collections are an extremely good deal, especially if you haven’t played any of the games in the series before.

“I still want it now!”

When was the last time you replayed a game? Play through Red Dead Redemption again and take your time. Go through the Mass Effect series differently than you did the first time. Fable 2 is still a really good game. The Dead Space trilogy is incredible and worth checking out for the story alone. Similarly, the Gears of War trilogy is great and especially in co-op. Rockstar’s entire catalog is incredible. I love the Skate series. Alice: Madness Returns was really good. I haven’t played the latest Splinter Cell yet.

Do you have a Wii? It doesn’t get any better than Mario Galaxy and Mario Galaxy 2. Dead Space Extraction is surprisingly fun, especially if you like the series. Epic Mickey is a great game. Did you finish Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword? I know I didn’t.

The point is that all of these games you either already own or are dirt cheap to buy and they are really fun.

So just wait a little bit. I promise that you can still have a lot of fun gaming and when it is time to go buy a new console, all the launch games will be cheaper and we can play Watchdogs, the Division, and Titanfall.

What is with the crowds in Forza 5?

Welcome to the first of an upcoming series of articles I would like to call:

What is with that?

This is the place where I will ask the important question, “What is with that?”

 

So dear reader, for the first time ever I ask…
What is with the crowds in Forza 5?

What is with that?

Those crowds look straight out of Crusin’ USA on the N64!

When the developer’s initially revealed the game, you can see that everyone in the crowd looked like detailed 3D models with unique animations.  The version of Forza 5 that was actually released however features a technique used video games two generations ago.

Can you feel the power of the next generation?

Ok, that is ridiculous.  Within a crowd of ten people, they used the same actress five times.  At first it looks like just three sprites of the same actress with two being the exact same sprite.  However, upon further inspection you can see that the laziness gets worse.  The sprite second from the right is actually standing in front of herself in a different color shirt, and the sprite of the woman on the bottom right is actually the same as the slightly lighter haired woman in green towards the left.  That is correct: five sprites are actually only two sprites of the same actress.

The fact that I call them sprites speaks towards the lack of sophistication present in the Forza 5 crowd.

All 64 bits of raw power!

Seriously, are we supposed to pay for quality like this on our brand new consoles?  The consumer expects more of a video game title on the new generation of consoles.  I would have expected more ten years ago.

This article does a great job at comparing the version of Forza 5 from E3 and the version that was actually released for sale.  It is clear that the version of Forza 5 that was released has been significantly downgraded from the version shown before its release.

This brings into question the ethics involved in showing the public a feature that is not present in the current product being sold.  The consumer of Forza 5 has been deceived, lied to, and sold a product that is drastically inferior to not only what was promised in trailers, but inferior to what is expected of any video game in this generation or the one before it.

So, I’ll ask again….

What is with the crowds in Forza 5?

XBox One and PS4 Launch Titles Reviewed

Now that both the PS4 and Xbox One are available to purchase, which one has the better games?

As someone who does not own either new consoles and hasn’t played any of the launch titles, I am going to go ahead and review the entire launch line-up to make a definitive decision.

Before we begin, I’m not going to even bother with reviewing the sports games. FIFA 14, NBA 2K14, and Madden NFL 25 were released on both the PS4 and the Xbox One. I have literally zero interest in playing, looking, or hearing about any sports games. I’m sure they are fine and great for “fans of the genre”, but I don’t care. Those games are getting ignored.

Multiplatform Titles

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 3 was actually just given away for free with a Playstation Plus membership the other month, and I have been enjoying playing that. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on a new console to play this game. Battlefield 4 has great visuals and better destructible environments but suffers from a mediocre single-player campaign.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Some are saying that this is the best Assassin’s Creed game since the second one. Others are saying that they have lost interest and couldn’t care about another Assassin’s Creed game if their life depended on it. Personally, I have been a fan of the series since the first one and have played every installment except Revelations. The use of pirates and ships in Black Flag seem like a fresh idea, but the series is trapped in an aging gameplay shell. I’m not really interested in playing the game of Assassin’s Creed 2 again; I have already done that twice with Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed 3. I want to play this eventually, but will probably wait for it to go on sale. The series needs more than a pirate coat of paint to make it seem fresh.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

There is a dog but the dog is only used for a couple levels, you can lean, and dolphin dive from Black Ops 2 has been replaced with a slide. My interest in the Call of Duty franchise has been fatigued since the first Black Ops and Ghosts just isn’t doing anything new for me.

Need for Speed: Rivals

I haven’t played a lot of racing games and don’t have too much interest in cars or racing. I’m sure this is a fine game, but I’m not interested.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes

I actually really like Lego games. I played the very first Lego game (Lego Island) in 1997 and have really liked the Traveler’s Tales series of Lego games starting with Lego Star Wars in 2005 and ending with Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, which is not only the best in the series but a fantastic game all-around. Now Lego Marvel looks like a Marvel universe version of Lego Batman 2, which makes me happy. I just want to swing around as Lego Spider-Man.

Well that was all the multi-platform launch titles. Mostly just repeats of early franchises that I have waning interest in. Looking at the rest of the list, we are left with just four games for PS4 (two retail and two downloadable) and eight games for the Xbox One (four retail and and four downloadable).

Xbox One Exclusives

Forza Motorsport 5

Like Need for Speed: Rivals, I have zero interest in playing Forza 5. I’m just simply not interested in cars or racing. There has been some controversy surrounding the graphics however.

Dead Rising 3

This is probably the title I am most excited about out of all the launch titles for both systems, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. I bought and played a good amount of both Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2, but I never grew to love the series despite how much I wanted to. The controls were not responsive enough, I never liked fighting the psychos, and the time constraints made both of the games just simply unplayable. In this third installment however, I can finally say that there is an option to not have the time constraints of the previous two games and it has the crafting system of the second game but allows you to do it anywhere instead of just at workbenches. Those two facts alone make me want to play Dead Rising 3. However, Dead Rising 3 comes off as blander and more dull than previous installments. The location doesn’t seem as interesting as the shopping mall or casino from the first two games. I couldn’t even tell you where Dead Rising 3 takes place. The main character of Dead Rising 3 is also as equally boring and uninteresting. Do you know the name of the main character of Dead Rising 3? It is Nick Ramos, a mechanic. I had to look that up on Wikipedia. I have never even heard that name before. That is a complete joke compared to the Chuck Green and the great Frank West (he’s covered wars, you know).

Ryse: Son of Rome

This was supposed to be a Kinect game for Xbox 360 developed by Crytech. Now it is this weird third-person roman gladiator game that actually looks pretty impressive with the combat mechanics from Batman: Arkham Asylum combined with quick-time events that don’t matter if you succeed or fail. This is probably my most disappointing game. It just looks really good and I can imagine a world where there is a roman gladiator game that looks just like this but is really fun to play and has inventive mechanics. This isn’t that game however.

Zoo Tycoon

A zoo simulator with impressive graphics that seems like it could be fun and creative, but ends up being boring and hampered by user interface issues. The detail on the animals is very impressive and shows off the power of the next generation of console hardware, but there is a lack of activities to do with them. I want more animals, more things to do with animals, and more creativity when building your park.

XBLA Titles

Crimson Dragon

Crimson Dragon looks like a mediocre to bad on rails shooter.  No thank you.

LocoCycle

LocoCycle looks awful in everyway. ‘Splosion Man was a fun game and showed promise in the developer Twisted Pixel, but they have honestly but putting out extremely poor playing games since then. Comic Jumper was awful, Ms. Splosion Man was not as good as the original, and the GunStringer was almost unplayable. With that said, LocoCycle looks to be Twisted Pixel’s worse game yet.

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct looks like an alright fighting game, but the new visual style isn’t as pleasing as I would want and definitely doesn’t compare to the original.

Fighter Within

Fighter Within is a kinect-controlled 2D fighting game. That sounds awful. There is no way in hell that could work and even if it does there is no way that is a good way to control a game like that. Stop making games like this.

Powerstar Golf

Powerstar Golf is a golf game I have never heard of before. It seems alright.

PS4 Console Exclusives

Knack

Dark Souls for kids. You read that sentence correct. This is being described as kiddy Dark Souls. It is punishingly difficult and any enemy you encounter can kill you in a couple hits, but the combat is very satisfying and completing something in-game reaps huge personal satisfaction. When it was announced it looked stupid, when we first saw gameplay it looked bad, and now that it is released…most people don’t like it and think it is too hard, which is probably true. However, some reviewers have really grown to like this game.

Killzone: Shadow Fall

This is getting some mediocre reviews. It looks visually impressive, but apparently the story is bland and some gameplay sections are uninspired and last for too long. Another first person shooter that fails to wow its audience.

PSN Titles

Interesting to note that both Resogun and Contrast are given to PS Plus members for free.

Resogun

Resogun looks like old-school arcade gameplay and design with fancy graphics overlayed on top. Nothing fantastic, but probably fun for a few plays.

Warframe

Warframe looks like a mediocre third-person shooter with fancy-enough graphics. However, it looks like the gameplay of Vanquish with the main character of Dark Sector. It is free-to-play but I don’t know if I even want to give it my time.

Contrast

Contrast is a puzzle platformer set in 1920’s Paris. You switch between controlling a young girl in third person and her 2D shadow that is cast from light sources in the environment. Charm, creativity, and uniqueness just oozes off this title. However, I have heard it doesn’t quite go all the way with
its execution and suffers from some minor gameplay faults.

Super Motherload

Arcade game about digging that doesn’t have impressive graphics or gameplay. I’ll pass.

And the winner is…

Uh…

Well, I don’t know. That is not the strongest line-up of games.