Tuesday, 27 March 2007

It's coming, it's coming up, it's...

A whole host of Sci-Fi related film releases!! I'll leave you to make up your own minds on what to see and what to miss, but I'll try as best I can to link you to what's out there and what's coming up. The hyperlinks will be links to the movie trailer as found on the Apple Movie Trailers page. Enjoy

TMNT - Out now or very soon, the latest adventure of the mutated, shell wearing, martial artists that we all love, told in CG animation

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - I've yet to see the first film, but the addition of the enigmatic Silver Surfer to four of the greatest superheroes of the genre will be interesting to see - out on June 15th (US)

Sunshine - I don't know a lot about this other than the trailer, seems to be a problem with the sun and a bunch of scientists have got to fix it. I'll try and get more info soon- such as when it's released!

Transformers - This is the big one in my opinion. I was never really into Transformers, but I always knew they were coool! This film looks huge in scope and the action and special effects look to be top notch. The link only goes to the teaser trailer, click on the link for the official site to get the full trailer. Transformers is released on the 4th of July (US)

Spider Man 3 - Another biggie, Spidie dons a new black suit as Venom, one of his most famous enemies, slithers into town. I don't think I need to say more, other than that it's released in May

There's probably more, but that's you lot for today


Resistance Fall of Man - First Impressions (Warning: Spoilers!)

Well, its high time I made a contribution to this blog and, being a techno nut, it seemed fitting to start on familiar turf. Still, being an avid owner of a PC, DS and Wii it may seem odd that I begin with a game from the PS3. My housemate owns one of Sony's new wonder machines and I've had some extensive play on it, and yes I am impressed. Overall, I do prefer my Wii for the fun and novel aspect of it but the raw power of the PS3 is undeniable.
So, what is Resistance Fall of Man? Well, aside from being one of the launch titles its also probably the only next gen FPS that will have you running through locales such as Grimsby and Manchester gunning down a hoard of alien invaders. The game is set at the time of World War 2, however, in this world the second world war never takes place. Europe and Asia falls quickly to a species known as the Chimera, humanoid aliens with lots of eyes, big teeth and even bigger guns. You are thrown into the shoes of Nathan Hale, an American soldier bound for the UK in an effort to reinforce the resistance and get hold of a mighty secret weapon the Brits have built to deal with the Chimera. The first level throws you in the thick of it as you take on the aliens and your allies are cut down around you. Your foes use advanced weaponry, rifles that fire electrified steel slugs (that have a secondary homing ability) and 'hedgedog' grenades (basically high yield nail bombs). The first level feels very TimeSplitters-esque, rushing about gunning down a variety of toothy monstrosoties. Then the plot thickens. In a rather gruesome cut scene, you become 'infected'. What this means I'm unsure of as of yet, but you apparently are showing Chimera traits and your eyes now have a strange yellow glow to them much like the invaders.
I've mentioned 'alien invaders'. This brings to mind flying saucers brining down baddies from a far odd world. Actually, these invaders are invading from Russia. Yes, as the plot unfolds it becomes apparent that the Russians have been dabbling in experiements a la super soldier stuff. The result is the Chimera, modified humans with an agenda of their own. Like humans, they are smart and adabptable but their new form makes them tought and dangerous. They appear to have something of a 'hive' mind, and one of the big things about this game is the enemy learn. In the first few levels, they are plain stupid. Later on, they will have picked up on your frequently used tactics and may well exploit them.
The game handles like a blend of The Matrix, Resident Evil and Star Wars. At one point you find yourself in a 'conversion' facitility, where people become Chimera. The chambers with newborn Chimera having cooling tubes fitted into them (because apparently their metabolism is dangerously accelerated) is very reminicent of Neo's awakening in his wee pod of goo in the real world of the Matrix movies. While ground locations are very true to the timeline, the Chimera buildings are distinclty advanced and look remarkebly similar to the Death Star's generator room, complete with catwalks and pitfalls. Finally the Resident Evil aspect. This game does indeed play on your mind and you do find yourself feeling pensive and chilled about the going round the next corner. You generally hear enemies before you see them, and aside from the run of the mill gun totting soldier Chimera, there are lesser worker drones who can do nought but bite you and strange bugs wich cling to your head like the facehuggers of the Aliens films. Theres a sense of panic as what can only be described as a mass of teeth and claws charges for you while you desperetley try to reload your empty weapon.
All in all, this game is grand so far - and we've found that playing it at night with the lights off adds to the atmosphere. I'm a Nintendo fan, but I salute this effort on Sony's machine.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Ghost Rider - a review

Well, one of the reasons I set up this blog was to alert people, specifically my friends but hey there may be someone else out there reading this, to the lastest and best Sci-Fi esque content, and give you my opinion of it.

Recently I went to see the latest comic book adaptation, the new film Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage. While not the best film in it's genre Ghost Rider does succeed and is highly watchable without having any of the dull cliches or weaknesses that occur in many films of the same genre. Most of these films are either true works of genius or are absolutely terrible, and whilst I wouldn't necessarily put Ghost rider up amongst the best it certainly manages to reach a very rare middle ground of being, while not as spectacular as it could, a good, enjoyable film.

My friend and I went to see it mid day during the week so we ended up being the only ones there! This worked really well for us, since we could talk without disturbing people, we got the best seats in the house, plus since it was just us they skipped the trailers and went straight on to the film!

So what's it about? Johnny Blaze is a motorcycle stuntman who is tricked by Mephistopholes (essentially the devil) into becoming his bounty hunter, the Ghost Rider. At night he is transformed into a flaming skeleton who seeks out the evil and sends them back to the devil's control (i.e. hell) His task is to find the contract of (somewhere) and claim all the souls from that place, which the previous Ghost Rider failed to do. At the same time he has to stop Blackheart, the devil's own son, and his minions from obtaining the contract for his own power. And, of course he has to try and save himself from the curse...oh yeah and there's a pretty girl he likes and he has to try and win her heart while he's at it!!

While somewhat vague in it's intentions, Ghost Rider succeeds because of this spiritual element to it that seperates it from previous adaptations. Normally films that have vague religious tones and decide to vastly misinterperet portions of scripture (such as the atrocity that is known as The Da vinci code) to create a 'cool' story really irritate me. While this film did have it's moments, such as when a demon says "Call me Legion, for we are many" which made me roll my eyes, it did stay at least vaguely consistent throughout.

The devil was superbly acted and did at least seem to have some limitations on his power, which made him a better character. But what worked in this film was that it wasn't pretending to be anything. It was a film about a comic book character called Ghost Rider who battles fictional demons in a fictional world, the film didn't pretend to be anything else and this made it consistent and watchable for me and I would reccommend it to others.

I'm not going to be so pretentious as to give it a star rating or anything like that, but I will say that it was good and worth paying to go to see.

I'll try and post up links to the up and coming SF releases soon, since TMNT's just around the corner

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

The Force Unleashed - info

A new game will be unleashed (get it?) upon us soon. This new game is set in the unexplored (with the exeption of a few short stories and the comic series Dark Times) time period between Episodes 3 and 4 and lets you play as Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice" eliminating Jedi, performing secret missions and furthering the will of Darth Vader alone. This is the first game that lets you exclusively play for the Empire as part of the official storyline (other games have a 'choose your side option' but the light side is always the official story) but since you work in secret for Vader that means leaving no Imperial witnesses, keeping a core element of star wars RPGs - mercilessly killing stormtroopers!!

The game launches two new technologies. Digital Molecular Matter, which gives items a unique structure that effects how they break etc. Most games use animations so that when you break a table it will always break in the same way no matter how you hit it. DMM gives a unique reaction every time. The other technology is euphoria a technology that lets characters have a unique response governed by their situation. Throw a box at a stormtrooper, he'll duck, push him off a bridge, he'll grab on to the edge.

You can find a good review along with some artwork and videos displaying the technolongy HERE . The game will also have novel and comic book adaptations of it made giving the "official" story, which is good since it won't be released on PC - excuse me while I mutter darkly.

I'll try and come up with some more news articles that aren't Star Wars based!!

How it all ends

For those who've become captured by the mysteries and the thrills of the epic TV show LOST you may have recently heard that the producers have decided on a final airdate for the show. This comes as a relief to many fans who wondered if LOST did have a definitive Finale or whether the producers and writers just make it up as they go! Well a final episode was filmed and was sneaked out and I bring it to you via YouTube - apologies for the slightly shaky camera work and the slightly annoying laugh of the person who videoed it!


By the way, if you are a hardcore fan like me and you hate having spoiler therefore didn't click on this video, don't worry it's just a spoof, but done using the actual cast members of LOST.

Live together, die alone

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Legacy of the Force: Exile, what you need to know

I recently finished the latest book in the new series Legacy of the Force (not to be confused with the aforementioned Legacy comic book series) and it was rather excellent. The previous book, Tempest, had better action sequences, but this book served to move the storyline on mor and develop events. essentially, just as things were getting better, now they'll be a whole lot worse. What's happening in these books is that the stable government that overthrew the Empire all those years ago is now breaking apart, first with Corellia, Han Solo's home planet, and other slowly join. I'll do a review later once my friend has read the book so as not to spoil it, but I thought I'd fill folks in on the important details you'll need to know as you read this series, starting with Betrayal.

. It is now 40 years since the events in the original Star Wars movies took place

. Han and Leia are married and have three children, Jacen Jaina and Anakin, who died. Luke is married to Mara, a former enemy, and has a son, Ben

. The remnants of the Empire were pushed back to a small area of space and eventually signed a truce with the New Republic, later they Allied with them and formed the Galactic Alliance

. A species from another galaxy, the Yuuzhan Vong, who were immune to the force and used living creatures as weapons invaded the galaxy, they were eventually defeated after conquering most of the galaxy, even coruscant the capital, and destroying whole worlds and species

. There are now over a hundred Jedi serving the galaxy in a new academy on Ossus, a world special to Jedi - the temple on Yavin 4 in the old rebel base was destroyed, they also have a temple on coruscant for the council to meet

Well obviously there's a lot more going on, but that should be enough that you can read the books and enjoy them well enough.


Friday, 9 March 2007

Legacy previews

Just to note that the preview pages for Star Wars Legacy issues 10 and 11 are available at Dark Horse's Preview Page which gives snippets of the older Legacy issues as well as other comics. I'll delve more into Legacy another time, but I thought I'd alert those interested to this.


More news

It was just announced on the Star Wars website that a new book entitled 'The Essential Guide to the Force' will be released later this year. This is very exciting news for myself as i'm an avid collector of these essential guides and i have every one except the latest Alien Species one, which I'll get off my friend as a belated christmas present. These books have come out roughly every year for over a decade now and I love them. They cover topics from vehicles to planets to weaponry and droids, giving details on the manufacturers, capabilities and locations of all these things within the Star Wars universe. Obviously it helps if you're a massive Star Wars fan if you want to buy these books as they cover content way beyond what's in the films, covering topics found in books comics and other media. The guides are handy since they can visually represent something that's only described in text elsewhere and helps make the Star Wars world that little bit more real. so if you're a Star Wars fan, particularly if you're interested in the EU ( and if you are then you'll know what EU means!!)
I'm particularly pleased with this guide as it's branching off from the normal topics. So far the books covered most of the essential topics and then produced updated guides of each- but now it seems they're willing to branch off and try other topics which is good. If you're interested in getting any of these books, the best one I can reccomend is the updated Essential Chronology, giving a concise yet detailed history of all the important events in the wider Star Wars history. The older version is good as well, but it was printed before Attack of the clones and the epic New Jedi Order book series.

s'all looking good

May The Force Be With You

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Farewell Free Time, i knew thee well...

Well, now this bloated sluglike monster is rolling it's way along I guess I'd better start adding some content to it, and where better to start than with some exciting news from the gaming world, and more specifically the world of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games for those not in the know- MMOs for short). A company called Multiverse, who create an framework that other corporations can build games onto have teamed up with the creators of Firefly (quite simply the best, most original science fiction TV series since Star Trek) to create a Firefly MMO due for release in 2008 which is very exciting news, but also means a massive consumption of my free time!!

THIS SITE has the best content I could find concerning the game, as for Firefly itself well you'll be hearing a lot about it here, and I can only direct you to amazon or play or your nearest HMV and find the cheapest price, 'cause if you like Sci-Fi you'll love Firefly I'm sure!

Stay Shiny people

Monday, 5 March 2007

Welcome travellers

It is my hope that soon this small corner of the bloggosphere and the even wider realms of the internet will be filled with delightful news, reviews and articles all based on the Science Fiction franchises that I and my friends love. The aim is to provide links to upcoming movie trailers, review the latest books and games and keep everyone posted on the latest happenings in the worlds of Star Wars, Star Trek, The Matrix, Doctor Who, Lost, Firefly and many others as well as looking at the classic authors of the genre. Essentially this blog is a place to kick off your shoes, forget about the real world for a bit and indulge in some hardcore nerdity!

Thanks for visiting and do please watch this space!