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Best Video Games of 2010 (Article) - 12/28/2010 11:42:55 AM

 For DLC, IGN also really liked ME2's Lair of the Shadowbroker.

I was not a fan of Undead Nightmare.  The heavy siege combat and searching for cover demonstrated just how god awful the controls in that game are.  Red Dead shines in the outdoors because (at least on the 360) it is near impossible to walk through a door.  If you get hung on the edge of a door, then no amount of turning will fit you through. It is easier to run back out and run back at the door than to try to turn your body into the door.

Similarly, the cover system is horrible.  Any time I was up on a porch trying to shoot zombies, my attempts to aim would have me looking square at the railing instead of the creatures below; it appears John Marsten is not smart enough to be able to aim over waist-high obstacles (which is what would happen in a proper cover system).  To hit the zombies I would have to dangle my self on the edge of the roof with railings or barriers in the way.

I really, really wanted to like Red Dead.  However, the crappy controls make it unsuitable for anything other than outdoor activities (e.g. hunting, rustling, and fighting bad guys in the open).

Extended NUMBER FOUR Trailer (Article) - 12/27/2010 1:27:24 PM

Mania, please do not support this James Frey scam.  The book and associated movie are a marketing ploy that the noted fraud James Frey created in order to promote his author mill (write for James Frey, he keeps all royalties, you get all liabilities and a crappy pittance of a payment).  

The SFWA has publicly come out against the author mill that produces this garbage.


BUFFY Casting Rumors Begin (Article) - 12/21/2010 9:41:19 AM

Why is Joss mad? Why can't he make the movie?

He does not own the rights.  He had to license the rights to his own creation just to get the TV show made. Classic case of an writer getting screwed, and I am surprised he let it happen to him seeing as he is a third-generation writer in the industry.

TRON Cycles Up $43 Mil (Article) - 12/19/2010 8:00:16 PM

Most of the negative reviews about Tron had to do with the lack of story.  For the most part, I was willing to give it a pass on this; it is not like the original was a major piece of script writing.

However, the problem I had with Tron is that the story is essentially 10 years too late.  ENCOM has morphed into this Microsoft figure, making money of continued monolithic OS upgrades, and Flynn is fighting the Open Source fight.  CLUs attempt at total control is reminiscent of Microsoft's embrace-and-extend philosophy.  This is a story that would have made sense in the 90s, or even 2000, when Microsoft was seen as a tech juggernaut.  Nowadays, however, Microsoft is seen as the underdog.

The original Tron actually had something intelligent to say about computers at the time.  The MCP was a representation of the mainframe computers that dominated business, which at the time were being challenged by personal computers.  Hence fighting for the users.

If this Tron wanted to say something intelligent about technology, then it should have made itself about the web and pervasive computing.  This is, sadly, why the South Park parody of Tron (with Facebook profiles instead of programs) is more technologically relevant than this movie was.

Top 9 Musician Cameos of Sci-Fi Cinema (Article) - 12/16/2010 8:20:50 AM

Gene Simmons was better in Runaway.  Though that was not a cameo; he was the main bad guy.

Best Franchise Reboots (Article) - 12/9/2010 6:58:55 AM

 The Highlander series was really, really uneven.  When it was good, it was really good (such as when the mythology started to go deep into Zoroastrian territory).  But when it was bad, it was unwatchable.

Blanchett Returns to HOBBIT (Article) - 12/8/2010 10:59:29 AM

 As for the expanded roles:

I assume that they are going to expand the story of the White Council and the "Necromancer".  This happens offscreen in the books and is the major reason for Gandalf's absence.  It is also the only reason why Galadriel would appear in the Hobbit (as she is on the White Council). I have no problem with this expansion.

Weekly Book Buzz: Songs of the Dying Earth Anthology (Article) - 12/8/2010 10:25:27 AM

The Dying Earth is the Tor printing of the limited-release Subterranean Press version last summer.  

It is very good, though the Dan Simmons story (the longest one) is somewhat controversial.  Simmons writes in Jack Vance's world, but not in his style.  Personally, I think this is to his credit, as some of the other stories can read like "trying to out-Hemingway Hemingway".  And I liked the Simmons story a lot.  But some people were not as much of a fan.

Harry Potter: Book Vs. Film, Part I (Article) - 11/17/2010 7:50:27 AM

This article is just bizarre.  Consider the following example under "What the Book Did Better":

Harry has green eyes, unlike Radcliffe’s, which are blue. Also mentioned in Cris Columbus’ commentary, Daniel Radcliffe couldn’t wear the contacts designed for him because his eyes reacted violently to them.

How is this better? It is certainly different.  But there is no argument here that this is materially important to the story.  What plot lines had to be abandoned because of the green eyes?

The article is littered with these types of non-arguments.



Weekly Book Buzz: New Wheel of Time Novel (Article) - 11/1/2010 4:29:01 PM

I have to admit I'm curious about the series but 14 books or so and each book a monster novel....just don't have the time and too much else I want to read.

I am a fan, and even I will tell you to read the cliffs notes for books 7-11.  The books have really benefited from Sanderson because he picked up the pace by an order of magnitude, instead of introducing new subplots late in the series.


Date Joined: December 21, 2007