October 22, 2008

Secret Invasion #7

Filed under: Comics — masayukiespinosa @ 7:43 pm
Tags: ,

Here it is fanboys! The momentous, no holds barred battle royale we have all been waiting for is delivered in spectacular fashion.

Though the core series is a special effects heavy summer blockbuster relying on the tie-in’s for plot progression and character development, it is a hell of a show. The overwhelming scale of the battle is beautifully illustrated without excessive clutter. The tighter action scenes are cunningly conceived and artfully wrought.

Mr. Yu’s superb visuals are almost enough to mask Mr. Bendis’ brilliant, if thinly veiled, allegory of the authoritarian regime, the liberal underdogs and the criminal capitalists bringing their combined might to bear on an army of subversive religious fundamentalists. Some may be disappointed at the interaction between what many consider to be the core Avengers, especially since they have not been seen together in years and notably since the death of Steve Rogers. To those with this complaint I argue that now is not the time. Catching up over brunch can wait until after the alien invaders have been repelled.

Let’s face it: We wanted a brawl. This issue surpassed my expectations and left me with an unabashed enthusiasm for the concluding installment.


October 21, 2008

$700 Billion?!

Filed under: Uncategorized — shellhead @ 11:06 pm

Oh, did I stutter? Everybody gone all quiet and sh!t? About a minute ago it was like an evening at the Apollo up in this motherf**ker, now all of a sudden it’s quiet as a church. That’s all right, Chico, I don’t blame you. I’ve been beatin’ this Jimmy Walker lookin’ motherf**ker all goddamn night, he can’t win.  —Johnny Doyle, Poolhall Junkies.

One of my favorite lines of all time.  It seems appropriate in times like these.  Who feels like Jimmy Walker in light of the “bailout” passed today?

Look both ways before Crossing…

iPhone 3G: Missing Features

Filed under: Tech — darthryan @ 11:04 pm
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I’ve been using my iPhone 3G for a tad over three months now and it has served me quite well. It’s not just a phone and far more than a “smartphone”–it’s an ultra-portable computer. Aside from all the jazzy features you no doubtably already know about (phone, internet, iPod, etc.), the iPhone has afforded me one much-appreciated luxury: not needing to bring my work laptop on business trips. This translate into less baggage to deal with and a quicker trip through security checkpoints.

However, having just come back from a Strategic Planning Session, I am now painfully aware of a few missing features:

  • Copy & Paste. I don’t need it often but it sure would be handy to have at my disposal.
  • Custom Email Tones. I can prioritize calls by using ringtones. Why can’t I do the same with email?
  • Disk Usage. Sometimes I need to access PDFs, Excel workbooks and other documents during meetings. It’d be great if Apple provided iPhone users with a way to copy over files to the iPhone. I understand that Apple wants and needs to protect the file system of the iPhone but they should be able to find a way to enable Disk Usage. As it currently stands, I have to use a third-party application called Air Sharing.
  • Teethering. This is more of an AT&T Terms of Service issue than an Apple issue. There are times when I need more processing power than my iPhone but can’t catch an open Wi-Fi signal on my laptop. It’d be great if I could use my iPhone as a wireless modem.
  • Better 3G coverage. Again, this is more of an AT&T issue. When the 3G network is available, connectivity is great. When it’s not, I’m fated to use the painfully slow EDGE network. AT&T needs to double its efforts in network infrastructure upgrades.

Overall the iPhone 3G is an awesome device that works wonderfully but it’s time Apple started adding a few wish-list items that everyone’s been asking for. AT&T also needs to do its part in supporting the infrastructure on which the iPhone 3G depends.

October 20, 2008

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Xbox 360)

Filed under: Games — shellhead @ 9:39 pm
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Play as Vader’s Apprentice, get bogged down in some repetitive gameplay.

So I read the comic a few weeks back and then subsequently purchased the game.  If you want a game summary, read the review on the comic.  It’s essentially the same thing.  This review is about the game itself.

The Force Unleashed is just that, you with the Force.  It’s a no holds barred affair of which you’re in command of the entire range of Force powers.  If you ever wanted to be a Jedi, this is the game for you.  Run, jump, blast people away.  It’s all there in spades.  And this is where the fun ends.

By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen the famous cut scene where you pull a Star Destroyer out of the sky.  Sounds great, right?  Unbridled power.  Ultimate control.  Well, this little show of the Force will cost you about 15 minutes of your life playing a tedious mini-game where you make slight tweaks of the thumbsticks to get the Star Destroyer out of the sky whilst dodging squadrons of TIE-Fighters.  You do this over and over and over again until you get it right.

Without giving too much away, the repetitiveness continues in a fight with a fan favorite as the combo of hitting the B button followed by the A button about 10 times in a row brings you victory…and renders you brain dead.

Maybe my expectations were too high.  But should we expect more out of a game that took about 2 years to get made?

Funny thing is as tedious and repetitive that those parts of the game were, there were other parts that were just impossibly and unjustifiably difficult.  Why are three souped up storm troopers more difficult to defeat than a Jedi Master?  It just makes no sense.

The graphics were on par with other next-gen game and the sound effects are what we’ve come to expect from LucasArts.  Unfortunately it does not mask the game’s base deficiencies.

If you want to play a good Star Wars game, play Knights of the Old Republic…the original, not part deux.

3 out of 5 flaccid Lightsabers

October 19, 2008

Ultimate Origins 5

Filed under: Comics — masayukiespinosa @ 8:39 pm
Tags: ,

Ultimate Origins promised to simultaneously unveil secrets that underly the foundations of the Ultimate Universe and lead us into Ultimatum which will tear down everything built upon those foundations.  While I was disappointed with the fifth issues attempt at the former, the first and last few provide a tantalizing glimpse into the former.  Up until this point the Fantastic Four have been to Ultimate Origins what the Dunder Mifflin warehouse workers are to “The Office.”  They are a nice asside but non-essential to the story.  Finally that changes as the greatest mind of the Ultimate Universe has something more interesting to say than, “Hey, these stone things are mysterious.”  For those of you who have been excited by the revalations of the past four issues, get ready for disappointment.  While there is something of interest to the true Ultimate fanboy, there is no earth shattering Ultimate history lesson here.

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