Normally my opinions on film don't go for longer than a paragraph or so. It's not that I don't care, as I can talk about movies for hours if given the opportunity. When it comes to actually sitting down and writing about them however, the words usually just aren't there. Then I watched Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
As we talk about almost every year at this time, the 2010 Video Game Awards are in the books… and I didn't watch it. After having watched the show for the last two years, and with my karaoke job coinciding with the event, I was fine trying to follow the event via Twitter. I didn't miss much.
Whether it is the original Tron movie, its sequel (Tron Legacy) or video games based on the sequel (Tron: Evolution), the one thing movie goers and gamers always look forward to seeing are the Light Cycles. Those unrealistically aerodynamic and blisteringly fast quasi-motorcycles have not only cemented a place for themselves in science-fiction and video games, but popular culture in general. More than a few bike aficionados went home after seeing the first movie, to look disappointingly at their now obsolete motorcycles.
Now a company called Parker Brothers Choppers is making it possible for some of us to live out our childhood fantasies and actually ride a "recreation" of the virtual bike. However, fans of the original movie may be disappointed as these bikes are modeled after the new virtual machines from Tron Legacy.
But who cares? These models look sexy, powerful and extraordinarily cool looking, however impractical they may be to maneuver, maintain and own.
Four Light Cycles are available should you have $55K to spare.
Technical difficulties be damned; the show must go on! We salvage a rough night with some casual conversation about our earliest gaming memories, pinball, Mega Man, and more. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "Yeah, I Have Pac-Man, Let's Make Out" Spaeth.
While the recent announcement of Street Fighter X Tekken was met with applause from legions of dedicated gamers who stuck with the series or many who returned with the revival of Street Fighter 4, as someone who fondly remembers spending countless hours at arcades in the late 1980s and feeding quarters "borrowed" from his mother's purse playing Street Fighter 2, I can't help, but to think somewhat cynically of this new partnership between two classic fighting franchises that in different era of video games didn't need this sort of gimmick to stand out. For me, it highlights how the series and genre no longer hold the iconic status of an entire generation of video games.
Working in video game retail opens your eyes to a lot of things. You realize that you probably don't agree with a lot of corporate policies. You find that the majority of gaming consumers don't know how to put a disc back in its case. You also see that, despite its good intentions, the ESRB rating system simply does not work when it comes to trying to protect minors from controversial or explicit content. With the recent news that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to review a violent video game law in California that was struck down by the state's 9th Circuit Court, the argument about violent video games has reared its ugly head once again, and it's time for me to throw my hat in the ring on this subject.
The year was 1999. A plucky young lad fresh out of the 8th grade, I had just finished reading Timothy Zahn's fantastic Thrawn trilogy a year earlier, which began my immersion into the Star Wars expanded universe. There's a lot of good stuff to be found in said universe-the aforementioned Zahn books, the Rogue Squadron series, the Crimson Empire comics and so forth. So you can imagine my anticipation of The Phantom Menace, the long awaited beginning of the prequel trilogy.
My little brother and I got a Sega Game Gear for Christmas in 1991. At the time, we thought it was the coolest thing ever, despite only having the pack-in game Columns at first. It was the promise of the Game Gear that excited us so much. Sure, our friends with Game Boys had all kinds of great games to choose from, but soon we'd be able to play Sonic the Hedgehog in full color ... in the dark!
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