Friday, July 18, 2008

Watchmen trailer hits net and geeks swoon

Check out the trailer for the new Watchmen movie being produced at the moment by Zack Snyder (he directed 300). If you've read the graphic novels (ok, comics - whatever) you'll be a bit nervous about how this is going to be translated to the big screen. Well, wonder no more - it looks freaking cool. Rorschach for the god damned win.

Swing on over to IO9 for a squiz at the new trailer.

E3 Game trailerfest.

Most people know that the E3 game\gadget\technology fest is on in the States. Well here is a bunch or previews for some of the games that have featured so far. We have the likes of Resident Evil 5, the new Wolfenstein game, Ghostbusters and Fallout 3 among others. Have a look after the jump for some of these beautiful new games.

No doubt there will have to be some serious hardware updates needed to play some of these titles. Mirror's Edge looks brilliant.
Resident Evil 5


I am Alive

Ghost busters



God of War 3


Mirrors edge demo reel

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Australian gamers pretty pissed - and rightly so

I'm a big fan of the original Fallout game series. I think I fell in love with it during the black and white still images being played during the opening credits, with the dulcet tones of Ron Pearlman ringing in my ears...
War. War never changes.
Its an awesome little clip to get you primed for the post apocalyptic world of the Fallout game, where mutations abound, a desert covers the landscape, and you spend hours and hours building the perfect character to accomplish every single mission you possibly can, including finding the splattered Whale, the Tardis, the Godzilla footprint and the Alien crash site. And now, Bethesda are bringing out the 3rd in the series, and it looks just as tasty as the previous ones. But the Aussies may not be able to see it (without legal chicanery) because their dumb ass Australian Classification Board have refused to give it a rating.

"Obscenity is not a quality inherent in a book or picture, but is solely and exclusively a contribution of the reading mind, and hence cannot be defined in terms of the qualities of a book or picture." Theodore Schroeder, author

It is apparently the problem within the game itself, part of the gameplay in fact, that has drawn the ire of the censors. And its not gratuitous violence (GTA, Condemned 2, pretty much any 1st Person Shooter), depiction of sex (GTA again, Soulcalibur, Duke Nukem 3D) or even banned substance use (GTA, Bioshock, Battlefield Bad Company). No, its much more insidious and dangerous (apparently) than that. Yes its the dreaded....morphine. Huh? Yes, apprently the morons at the OLAC are refusing to give the game a rating (thereby making it illegal to distribute and sell) because the character in the game gains an reward for using drugs. Heres the words :

"In regard to the computer game Fallout 3, the board is of the opinion that the use of morphine in the game has the positive effect of enabling the character to ignore limb pain."

"This ability to progress through the game more easily is the incentive to take the drug while the reward is in the character's abilities."

Am I the only person in the world scratching their head and wondering what illegal substances these twerps imbibed before saying that? What they are effectivley saying is that its okay for characters in a game to snort pounds of coke, inject gallons of heroin, drink till they go blind and smack around (and kill) prostitutes, but its not okay to use morphine in a game to kill the pain? Huh? But in nearly every single game I can think of (thats had much lesser ratings than GTA) the main purpose of the game is to shoot people, and heal yourself when you get shot! In Max Payne, he takes painkillers to restore health and return use of his legs - is that not EXACTLY the same thing? And it was given an MA15+ which means its "not suitable for under 15" BUT this does not mean an under 15 year old cannot buy it if accompanied by an adult. So it means in reality "There's some pretty full on shit in this game. Are you sure your kids should be playing this?" The responsibility falls to the parent to watch what their children are playing/watching and use their discretion. As it should always.

I was originally going to call this post "10 reasons we should not decide who can watch stuff by elected committee", but that sounded a bit naff. But I will still use the original title's idea to explain my point. The problem the Aussie gaming fraternity, and indeed the film appreciation and media consumers in many countries have is that the ones hired to serve on the boards of censorship committees are people with specific moral values that differ to the majority of the intended audience of the game. And this is the biggest problem with Censorship - what may disgust one may titillate another.

“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.” Henry Steele Commager American Historian

When we allow a bunch of people (and I don't mean anyone specific - it could be any bunch of people) to decide what we can and cannot watch\play\listen to in our own homes, we have lost one of our freedoms. And I'm not saying "old sad bastards on Censorship committees have their finger far from the pulse, jammed firmly up their ass". No - if I was on this comitttee I'd ban any and all forms of RnB music - its crap and no-one should have to put up with it. And Kenny G - don't get me started on the big KJ and his abominable wind instruments of torture. Thats my point - what some people (with no taste) like, I despise. But I dont care - because I dont have to put up with it. If I dont like it, I turn it off. If Britney is on the radio, I change the channel. If the god botherers are on the telly, I mute it or turn it off. If the mormons are at the door, I throw the cat at them. No-one is forcing me to tune into something I dont like.

Except in elevators in department stores - whats wrong with those people? Are they inhuman as well as rip-off merchants?

"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

We should be able to make choices as adults to view whatever the hell it is that interests us, or listen to whatever music we feel like. I agree with an idea that there is a committee to rate things to give us an idea of what this media contains, and that children should not be able to view things that they may be ill equipped to deal with, but the responsibility for deciding what is best for the children lies solely with parents and care givers. Surely the people who are raising these children have a better idea of their maturity levels, and can gauge what is and what isn't appropriate for them? Never let the government dictate to you what their opinion of good and bad is - I've never seen a government get it right yet.

Case in point, the Australian Government - you cant play a video game where you use morphine to make yourself better, but you can help others invade Iraq and kill people in reality. Are they really the best people to be judging what morally right and wrong?

Aussies - if you want to make a difference, head on over to and sign their petition to the board to get the decision reviewed.

Did you ever hear anyone say, "That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?" Joseph Henry Jackson, author

Monday, July 14, 2008

Knock Knock, who’s there? Doctor Who.

Am I the only one that thinks that the new Doctor Who show is trying too hard? I have caught a few bit of the newest series and it feels like the writers are trying to hard to make a successful British science fiction show. I am probably biased because I feel that the only good sci-fi show to come out of the UK was Red Dwarf. Oh, and who the hell is David Tennant……

I have to admit that I watched Doctor Who as a kid, back when Tom Baker and Peter Davidson played the Doctor and it was cool then. That was until Colin Baker took over, what a goose. It was crap for a bit, then Sylvester McCoy did his stint and it was good again. I think that my problem might stem from the fact that when I watched Dr Who I was six years old and in order to watch Dr Who it meant I could stay up late. The other thing is that when you are at that age the bad guys seem incredibly scary. I mean the Daleks were terrifying back then, now though
they are cool. The Cybermen looked like they had come of the set of Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars and The Master was mysterious and dangerous. What about the TARDIS. I still don’t know how they get all that space into that little telephone box, amazing.

After McCoy played the Doctor the show had a bit of a hiatus until Paul McGann took over for the film. Both McCoys and McGanns portrayal were very much in the vain of the Doctors that went before. They were quirky, old fashioned, old and a little bit self absorbed. When they reinvented the character they modernised the Doctor with leather jackets and short buzz cut hairdo and also gave him an attitude. That’s just not who the Doctor is, then finally they chose to have the Doctor as an over acting egocentric nobody.
had never heard of David Tennant until he popped up as the Doctor. The other thing is the Doctor is too young now. All the others had been wise old men or father like figures, and since Paul McGann played a fairly young Doctor they seem to have been getting younger. The Doctor should be played by someone like Ian McKellan or Ian McDiarmid thus giving the character an air of wisdom and time.

I would like the new Dr Who incantation to be more like the old version, but then it wouldn’t be new or different. Maybe Dr Who is not for me anymore and I should stick to watching Top Gear. I am getting old and cynical.

F.E.A.R. Sequel - Game Trailer

The original FEAR game came out when the likes of DOOM, FarCry and Half-life 2 were splashed across our computer screens and filled the gap left by the uselessness of Doom which was garbage. FEAR was all about being a scary game with some good gun play which exactly what it delivered. Close Quarter combat with a ghostly story as a backdrop, creepy. FEAR then expanded with a 'Expansion pack' which basically delivered more levels and the same gun play and the same scary stuff, which by now was not so scary.

Then came a full stand alone game, 'great', I said 'new stuff...' Not so. If it wasn't for that fact that I liked the original I probably would not have played the stand alone addition. I enjoyed it because I really have nothing else to play at the time, but essentially it was not any different from the original game or the expansion. No new guns, no new bad guys, no new graphics, it was literally new maps to run around in, a little disappointing to say the least. In fact all three episodes should now be bundled into one game.

But now we have a proper sequel coming and it looks great. Below is the new trailer for FEAR2, I have to admit that the story does not look to have progressed to far but the update to the gameplay and graphics is long overdue. Some nice combat visuals, new badguys and new weapons might just revitalise this game franchise. Have a looksie.