Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thor 2 The Dark World – A review by Geeks you can trust.

Check out what some of the crew behind AnonymousGeek thought of the latest movie set in the Marvel Universe: Thor 2 The Dark World.

thor 2 the dark world

Did you see the movie in 3D? If so, was the 3D good or did you find it distracting or gimmicky?

Doyle:  I did not see the movie in 3D, but I don’t ever watch a movie in 3D if I can help it.  The glasses don’t sit too well over my eye glasses.

Brock:  No, I saw it in 2d but from what I saw they didn’t seem to focus too much on making it look like a 3d film either. But I am going to see it again so I will check to make sure of my opinion.

Joe:  I did not op to see the movie in 3D. I actually dislike the whole 3D experience as it gives me a migraine and I end up not enjoying the movie. I have not seen a film in 3D since Transformers Dark Side of the Moon which had so many little parts moving around that I ended up getting sick.

How do you feel that it compared to the 1st Thor?

Doyle:  In my honest opinion The Dark World was a better movie than the first Thor.  It was so good that I couldn’t believe it was almost over when it was almost over.  I felt like I hadn’t been in the theatre but about an hour.

Brock:  I will say this, like I have of all the Marvel Studios films to date: They know what continuity is!!! It is not just the first Thor movie they made sure to incorporate in this film but the other films (specifically The Avengers) in this one. It ties into the other movies as well as the first Thor movie.

Joe:  I am honestly not a huge fan of the Thor series but with that being said compared to the first one I actually liked this movie a lot better.

How was it as a sequel?

Doyle:  As far as sequels go, this is the best Marvel movie sequel yet.  Of course, only having Iron Man 2 to compare it to is hard, even though I enjoyed Iron Man 2.  It didn’t feel the need to explain many of the events in Thor and let you just jump into the action and enjoy a good story.

Brock:  As a sequel it was amazing. Although I am not a Thor expert, the elements that were included in this film do seem to tie right back into the comics.

Joe:  As a sequel this movie did something I rarely find in sequels it surpassed the first one. For me it was a great movie and it kept me watching till the very end. Maybe this was due to the fact that in between the two I went back and read up on some comics and so had a baseline of where the story was going.

Did it move things along within that story?

Doyle:  There was a lot of character development in this movie.  Jane is understanding what it means to have a love interest in Thor, and Thor is understanding what it means to be a champion / hero.  However, some of the most interesting character development revolved around Loki.

Brock:  Oh YES!!! I don’t want to give away any spoilers… not for this movie at least.

Joe:  Over all the story moved at a nice pace and without giving away anything to someone who has not seen the movie it clearly set up for another piece in the puzzle.

Thor 2 The Dark World Loki

What were your favorite moments of the movie?

Doyle:  Chris Evans’ cameo was great, as was Stan Lee’s, but the battle on Svartalfheim between Thor’s grandfather and Malekith seemed almost out of a Lord of the Rings movie.  Which is good to me.

Brock:  Honestly, it would be easier to point out my least favorite moments… to which there is none!

Joe:  SPOILER ALERT! My favorite moment in the movie had to be when Loki decided to actually be a good guy for a moment and use a little sorcery to fool Malekith into thinking he was against Thor. I honestly did not see that coming.

Thor 2 The Dark World Captain America

How well did it move along the overall Marvel Movie Universe?

Doyle: T he Avengers references were definitely there, hence the Chris Evans cameo.  From the trailer, you’re led to believe that a lengthy, giant battle on Earth is going to happen at some point.  The creative team did a good job making sure that the audience knows the battle lasts less than ten minutes.  Otherwise, S.H.I.E.L.D and the other Avengers should have shown up.  The movie was definitely made for the Marvel Universe, but other than some backward nods, the movie itself didn’t reveal a lot of what could be going on in the rest of the world.  I can forgive that in a Thor movie, since it does take place on at least one realm other than Earth (Midguard), and The Dark World also addded Svartalfheim and Vanaheim.

Brock:  Again, this movie gets tied back into the previous movies and is basically one giant story continually growing to epic proportions. If you want to know what I mean then be sure to stay after the credits.

Joe:  I can see that this movie is setting the scene for another Avengers movie and while I don’t think it will tie into Avengers 2 it will very likely be a part of Avengers 3.

Other thoughts?

Doyle:  The direction, scripting, cinematics, and art all lend to making this one of the most comic feeling movies I’ve seen.  It gave me the same satisfaction as picking up a really well written and well drawn comic book.  The first after credits scene (yes, there are two) introduces The Collector and moves along the Infinity Gems story that should be the ultimate focus of The Avengers 3.

Brock:  One thing I was really hoping to at least hear about was the possiblity of Beta Ray Bill. Since they are kind of making the Asgardians out to be a type of alien and considering the enemy used in the Avengers, I would have really liked to have seen something to incorporate him. Maybe at a later date.

Joe:  The one thing that I always find amusing when I am at a comic style movie of any kind is that you can always tell at the end who the true comic fans are because they remain seated when the credits roll because there is always an after credit scene. So many people got up when the credits rolled and I just shook my head and laughed.

Thor 2 The Dark World The Collector

Would you recommend this movie to a Geek?

Doyle:  I think that goes without saying, even if they aren’t a Marvel fan.

Brock:  (see next question)

Joe:  I would recommend this movie to a fellow geek.

Would you recommend this movie to a non-Geek?

Doyle:  For any non-Geeks that seen Thor, The Dark World is a great sequel.  Even if you only caught the first one in bits and chunks, the sequel is still a great movie to see.

Brock:  I have already recommended it to geek and non-geek equally! Anyone who likes movies will enjoy this film if not for love of the comic genre then for the love of good story telling.

Joe:  I am not so sure that a non geek would enjoy this movie but then as I said I am not a huge fan of the Thor series in general but this one did improve my feelings overall.

 

 

BlizzCon 2013 News for StarCraft 2

BlizzCon 2013 StarCraft 2

I feel a little guilty for not mentioning any of this is in my previous article, so here is the BlizzCon 2013 news for StarCraft 2, including things that are being added in Patch 2.1 and future updates.

Spawning is a feature that takes your Starter edition friends and upgrades their game to Heart of the Swarm, if you own that version and initiate the game.  There will be new Custom UI for Observing which makes it easier to watch games for eSports coverage and How-To videos.  StarCraft seems to have one of the largest player communities out there and the development team is really embracing that.  A lot of the features being talked about are focused on making an easier experience for new players to get into the game and have fun.

2.1 should be out by end of year and most features will be available on the Public Test Realms later this month.  The new Events system is an easier way to organize with friends and plan a future game.  A feature that almost feels Apple-like.

Some other features coming soon:

  • Clans will have custom logos that users can upload.
  • Extension Mods will allow you to play custom games on different maps if supported.
  • Monobattles use the Extension Mods feature to make it easier to play custom maps.
  • XP level capped raised from 30 to 35.
  • No more AFK game hosts.  If a game host goes AFK before the game starts, they will time out and someone will be automatically promoted to host.
  • More soundtracks. Original music from StarCraft and Brood War has been added.

Other, more impressive, BlizzCon 2013 news for StarCraft 2 included a feature for custom map builders, and developers, and a move for Starter edition players that just makes sense.

StarCraft 2 Orc Blademaster

Horde heroes from the World of Warcraft are being updated and added to the map editor.  This should open up a new realm of possibilities for Arcade games.  The team said they were interested in adding heroes from all four of the WarCraft 3 factions.  I think a lot of this may be a by-product of the Heroes of the Storm project development.  Either way, I like it.

StarCraft 2 Starter Edition Races

Starter edition will soon open up all three races as playable.  This is a great way for new players to actually experience the variable game mechanics of StarCraft.  As a long time player I could not imagine not getting to experience the Protoss, but Starter edition players will have that opportunity soon enough.  In a surprising move, the Arcade games sections will also be opened to players of the Starter edition.  A company that a lot of people accuse of being a greed machine sure is embracing a lot of free-to-play features.  It’s really starting to look like Blizzard’s best years are the ones to come.

 

BlizzCon 2013 – News from the 1st day

BlizzCon 2013 opened up with less of a bang than in previous years.  Two of the big announcements were for games that aren’t considered breadwinners, and there was an overall tone of fan appreciation.  I watched the four main announcements following the opening ceremony and there is a lot to take away from each of them.

BlizzCon 2013 Opening Ceremony

World of Warcraft: What’s Next?

The answer is one that the Blizzard forums has been buzzing about for a little while.  Warlords of Draenor will be the fifth expansion to the still amazingly popular MMO.  For the background and lore of the game, you have to travel back in time to events and characters only mentioned in the Real Time Strategy Warcraft series.  The setting will be Draenor before the shattering and creation of what players know as Outland.

BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor

Rich characters and beautiful gameplay areas aside, it’s the talk of new game mechanics and major overhauls to existing mechanics that have me excited.  Quest loot will no longer be stored in your bags.  Instead, quest items will just be counted in the quest log freeing up massive amounts of space in your inventory.  Chris Metzen also mentioned that bigger bags really aren’t the answer to the space problems most players run in to, which is why they are making inventory smarter instead of larger.  Having items highlighted for specific purposes and being able to designate a bag for a specific item type are two of the ways Blizzard is helping you clean up your inventory.  The previously mentioned quest item change is another big help, but the addition of other “Collections” might be one of the biggest changes to your inventory that will have an immediate noticeable affect (since it changes the UI).  Heirloom and Toy items will be given the same treatment that Pets and Mounts  were.

BlizzCon 2013: Garrisons

Garrisons seemed to be a fan favorite announcement.  It reminded me of the house or manor you could acquire and upgrade in Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, except that this building seems to have a lot of function to go with its form.  There will be a Follower system associated with your Garrison, which seems to be NPCs that essentially work for you.  You’ll be able to send these characters out on quests such as Dungeons or Raids as though they were players in their own little version of World of Warcraft.  It seems like a world within a world.  Today, a lot of the details seemed vague and I’m sure that the actual product will vary greatly from what we were shown, but there will be a Q & A I plan on watching tomorrow along with the in-depth panel I missed today (hopefully I should be able to watch the recording of it tomorrow too).

Hearthstone: Fireside Chat

hearthstone fireside chat

Hearthstone is definitely becoming the little darling of Blizzard.  There were some amazing announcements for this game, but the Fireside Chat’s main purpose was to officially explain what Hearthstone is and where it’s going.  BlizzCon 2013 attendees (physical or virtual) will be receiving an exclusive card and that card was announced during the Opening Ceremony.  Elite Tauren Chieftain has some rockin’ special abilities.

Hearthstone Elite Tauren Chieftain

The video released from Blizzard during PAX revealed that the game would eventually be making it to the iPad, but today the developers announced that it would also be available for iPhone and Android devices.  I’m not sure how soon the mobile versions will be available, but it was announced that Hearthstone would hit Open Beta next month.  I’m not going to get into gameplay details since I am currently in the Closed Beta and will be writing a review once I’ve put a few more hours into the game.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview

The overall theme from the Diablo 3 development team was focus.  They released a product (Diablo 3) that was very confused and the fan community lashed out.  It looks like they’ve got their act together and have determined the ultimate focus of Diablo 3 and are implementing fan requested features only if they compliment that focus.  The focus?  Kill monsters, get loot.  Simple and really easy to get behind.  A big feature being added is Adventure Mode.

diablo 3 adventure modeNephalem Rifts and Bounties are sub-features to the Adventure Mode.  These are varying levels of difficulty based on quest-like elements and randomized monsters,  dungeons, and/or bosses.  Of course, all these game mechanics are in addition to all the new things in Reaper of Souls.  From areas to monsters, the new additions are amazingly featured and detailed.

Heroes of the Storm Overview

BlizzCon 2013 marks the latest debut of this game.  It’s former name was Blizzard All Stars. Heroes of the Storm has a long history with Blizzcon according to the lead developers for this title.  Some of the reveals were skins for the various Heroes, including a Murloc-inspired Diablo skin.

Heroes of the Storm Lurkablo

The structure behind Heroes of the Storm is a Hero/Champion brawler game with mission objectives.  The pacing seems to be very fast and the quality is on point.  There is something so great about seeing some of my favorite characters from Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft working together to fight another team, such as Jim Raynor and Diablo versus Tyrael and The Lich King.

BlizzCon 2013 Day 1

During BlizzCon 2013, Blizzard is showing that they have learned that their  fans are the best method of consistent, reliable feedback.  Improvements to World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Heroes of the Storm are being credited almost 100% to the fan base.  Other sites are shrugging off the convention and it’s handful of announcements, but this fanboy is seeing some genuine, sincere differences in the games I love.

Be looking for the recap for Day 2.

Ender’s Game Movie Review

Ender’s Game Movie Review, with minimal spoilers.

It’s time for another movie review with me! As you can see by the title it is Ender’s Game we will be talking about. Now, for those of you that don’t know (and if you are reading this then surely you do) this is a movie based on a book written by Orson Scott Card. For me, I was well aware of the book but didn’t read it until the movie was in production and finished reading it two weeks before its release (I had to stop reading for a while because of school) and I can say this, the movie does not change the overall life of the book (which is good! I hate when hollywood does that!) and the slight changes that do happen when going from the page to screen are not that bad.

To start off, in the movie Ender pretty much stays the same age throughout where as in the book he went from age six to age twelve. Who he interacts with doesn’t really change but the frequency of which he interacts with them does. Then there is the relationships he has with many of the characters. This is where I am kind of on the fence as a good thing or bad when comparing the book to the movie. In the book, Col. Gaff (a.k.a. Harrison Ford) was trying to keep Ender isolated to the point of being a pariah which, in the movie, started that way but then it looked like he gave up trying to do that. Now, I could put the reason for that on it being a movie because (and this is where I really had my issue with the movie) it moved at such a fast pace or at least that is how it appeared to me. However, it still followed the book when it comes to the order of events.

Ender's Game Movie Review

Visually and the overall feel of the movie in relation to the book when it comes to tech, living in space, and the inner struggle of Ender I do believe they were able to capture. The one thing I was truly looking forward to seeing was the ‘Game Room’ where the ‘Armies’ would train and have their war games. It look almost exactly as I pictured it right down to how the ‘Stars’ looked. The down side is that they didn’t show quite as many of the ‘Battles’ as there were in the book which emphisized Ender’s brilliant mind for strategy but what they did show in the movie still gave him the air of a superb tactician.
Now, as I said a moment ago, the movie was pretty fast paced when it comes to the order of events but it starts to slow down (not in the dull sense) when Ender heads for Command School. I don’t want to say anything more. I gave away a lot of spoilers on my review of The Wolverine because they screwed it up (in my opinion) but this one I actually do give it praise and suggest you do see it in theaters.

I shall end this review now with this: If you haven’t read the book (and I don’t normally recommend this) don’t! This is a movie that I feel you could enjoy more by seeing it first then reading the book. I pride myself by saying that I prefer to read the book before seeing the movie but feel, in some way, I would be doing you a disservice if I tell you to do that for this movie. You will find yourself comparing to much of it instead of watching it. So, see the movie, read the book, and let your mind be at peace.