Friday, May 28, 2010

Avengers #1

As the main launch title for Marvel's Heroic Age, Avengers #1 had pretty high expectations when it hit the stands last week. Fans will not be disappointed. The art was top notch (as was to be expected from a master storyteller such as John Romita Jr.) with great panel layout and excellent action.

The plot was exciting and gives the reader just enough to want to know more; Brian Michael Bendis can sometimes buy into his own hype and over-write a book, but this was a solid story from beginning to end. Kang makes an appearance and it was great to see a classic (he first appeared in issue #8) Avengers villain be front and centre for this relaunch.

I hate to see a relaunch because we all know that in about 4 or 5 years they will return to the original numbering to sell a landmark issue, but that seems to be the way that the industry rolls these days.

The last panel is genius, really hooking the reader and guaranteeing a purchase of issue #2. I won't say any more but you should definitely check it out.

I was not impressed with the 2 page spread of every Avengers member: there were a lot of characters (the young avengers) that new readers wouldn't know and Bendis should have named each hero. This issue is supposed to be a jumping on point after all.

Also, why is Steve Rogers' costume so ugly? He looks like he was rejected from the mock-turleneck page of the Sears catalogue.

Minor quibbles aside this was a great issue.

Tale of the Tape

Cost: $4

Length: 20 minutes.

Is it worth it?: Definitely. This is superhero storytelling at its finest. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pelican Dual Triggers

One of the criticisms consistently laid on the PS3 controllers is that the L2 and R2 buttons are strangely curved downwards. Many games use these buttons as a trigger or attack button, so it is pretty important that usage fells natural and comfortable. The bizarre curve forces your finger to slop downwards off the controller and your hand needs to compensate.

The folks over at Pelican thought this too, so they came up with some neat little plastic accessories that clip onto the PS3 controller (pictured above). Selling at $5 per pair these little beauties create a more natural and comfortable feel for the PS3 controller.

I was skeptical at first but have since come right around. If you play any shooter on the PS3 this is a must purchase item, but even if shooters aren't our bag you'll see (and feel) the difference in any game you play.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Super Mario Bros Mashup

A friend sent me a link to a great Super Mario mashup game. Check it out here. You can play the original Super Mario Bros game as Link, Simon Belmont, the dude from Contra, Samus, or Mega Man.

It is like being in an episode of Captain N.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Collection Update: Megator

I normally would update my collections here, but a friend of mine recently acquired a piece so face-smashingly awesome that I thought I would share.

As most of you know, He-Man was a beloved toy line from the 80's that sold fantastical, muscle-bound heroes and villains with two syllable names. The line had a much loved animated television show and a slightly less loved live-action movie with Dolph Lundren in the lead role. Near the end of the toy line Mattel had a bunch of crazy ideas such as our green friend pictured above. Megator was a giant from Pre-Eternia (which as we know from history books and the nature channel being from pre-anything means that you are oversized and badass). The toyline was in its death throws so Megator was only sold in....Italy.

Yes, apparently my fratale were such the He-Man fans that Mattel could justify actual production of these huge figures (the normal He-Man figure stands just above his knee).

So scarcity puts this one at a pricey level on the secondary nerd market but ebay came to the rescue and my friend now has this giant jade hippie to proudly display on his coffee table. While still awesome, we should be honest: the character design on this was pretty lame.

"Hey Bob, what if we mix the Hulk and Conan?"

"Great idea Fred! This will save He-Man!"

One can only assume that Mattel received most of their character creation ideas from children. No one who didn't have the innocence of a child could come up with the name Fist-O.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Fan Expo Guest List

Hobbystar has released the guest list for the Fan Expo in Toronto, Canada at the end of August. There are some pretty big names attending: Stan Lee, Adam West, William Shatner, David Cronenburg, James Marsters, and much more. You will even be able to see the old Batmobile from the 1960's. More info can be seen here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Modnation Racers Demo

The demo for the upcoming release Modnation Racers hit the PSN last night and I so I thought I'd check it out in anticipation for next week's release of the full game.

Despite the fact that majority of parts, clothing, and tracks are locked, you have a lot of choice in creating your own racer, car or track. You cannot use your creation in the demo but you can save it to your hard drive and use it once you buy the full game. Customization and the play, create, share philosophy will be the major driving force of this game.

The controls are tight and have a bit of a Mario Kart meets Burnout feel to them. This is not a racing simulator, so those of you who hope for some kind of Little Big Planet Gran Turismo will be disappointed. The weapon selection seems limited, so I hope that the final game has a wider variety.

I was disappointed in the brutal rubber-band AI. There were several races where I was in 1st place until just before the finish line: I was then shot with a missile and came in second or third.  A lot of racing games use rubber-band AI because it is a easy way to program difficulty into the game. However, this is a lazy programmers way out of creating a game with a good, balanced AI that provided a proper level of challenge. This won't stop me from picking up the game next week, but I am disappointed that they went the easy route in terms of AI.

If this game interests you in the slightest you should download the demo. It is free after all and you will get $0 worth of fun out of it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Siege #4


This was one of the worst comic books that I have read in a while. I won't waste much more space. Stay away.

Tale of the Tape

Cost: $4

Length: 20 minutes (I am being generous).

Is it worth it?: No. One thousand times no.