Sunday, February 27, 2011

83rd Annual Academy Awards: Ryan calls it

Tonight's the night for Hollywood's brightest stars to come out and shine...Or so I'm told. All I know is I love movies and comparing my favorites from the previous year, which is why the Academy Awards have always held a special place in my heart.

Say what you will about awards shows in general, there's a great feeling that comes along with seeing one of your favorite stars or films get recognized for their achivements. Plus, the occasionally have something worthwhile to say when making their acceptance speeches. *fingers crossed for an F-16 reference*

Following are my predictions for this year's winners. While I did see the majority of films nominated this year, I unfortunately have to take a pass on such categories as Foreign Film, Documentary and Short Film. Otherwise, let's get to picking some winners.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Week in Joystick Division

Jan. 30-Feb. 19
The Leading Ladies of Video Games, 2010
I take a look at some of the best roles for women over the past 12 months. Video games have finally gotten to the point where sexy eye-candy isn't the only reason to have a female in the cast and these are five of the best from 2010.

The Top Video Game Voice Actors
As games evolve, so to do players' expectations of the quality they'll have packed onto the disc. But it doesn't matter how much fun the gameplay is or how well the story is written, if you can't get behind the characters, it's going to make for a rough experience. Thankfully, amazing voice actors, like the five highlighted here, are making sure our games are full of fantastic performances.

Modern TV/Movie Hits Made into Classic Video Games
One artist answers the question: What would today's big movies and television programs look like if they were turned into video games for the Atari?

Mirror's Edge 2 Canned
One of the few truly creative titles of this current generation won't be getting a sequel, it seems. I use this opportunity to take a couple shots at an industry afraid of to champion originality over the all-powerful dollar.

Bethesda's Epic RPGs: Am I Playing Them Wrong?
Bethesda is known for making massive RPG adventures set in even more massive worlds full of people to see, creatures to fight, civilizations to explore and an untold number of activities to distract from the main storyline. Despite diving deep into Fallout 3 and Oblivion, I never actually finished either game due to getting "lost" in their worlds. This leaves me questioning how I play the games.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday mini-movies: Sleepless in Seattle edition

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd post one of my favorite parody trailers that shows off what can happen when movie promotions go horribly wrong.

Once a wonderful romantic classic, check out the Sleepless in Seattle that could have been...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 does most of the things a sequel should do, and it does these things very, very well.

In short, the team at Visceral took the formula that worked so well in the first game and pumped in more of it. While this new nightmarish journey doesn’t take many risks, add too many new ideas or manage to scare quite like the first game, what we’re left with is a big, mean action experience that keeps the blood pumping and the occasional creeps crawling.

Set three years following the events of the original Dead Space, Dead Space 2 kicks off with hero Isaac Clarke on a massive space station called The Sprawl. Body parts quickly hit the fan as Isaac must arm himself to combat a second necromorph outbreak and, as if that wasn’t enough, a mind he may no longer be able to trust.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Movies to miss in February

Craptastic cinema has been pretty dry through the past few months, but that's all about to change thanks to a bountiful February.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Not even if it's in the sentence "You should never see this movie?" To be fair, I'm not exactly the target demographic for this particular film, but that doesn't mean I can't take this opportunity to openly state my dislike of Sr. Bieber and the effect he's had on people like my sweet, innocent niece. Based on his autobiography (because he's already lived such a long and storied life, you know), I expect theaters to sound like a cave full of disgruntled bats through the next few weeks due to the constant screams of adolescent ladies.

Games to get in February

Into month two of 2011 and, despite the fact there are only a handful of titles releasing, what's on offer looks pretty fantastic, especially if you're into first-person shooters.

8th- You Don't Know Jack (All)
15th- Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PS3, 360)
22nd- Bulletstorm (PS3, 360)
22nd- Killzone 3 (PS3)

I've always been a fan of You Don't Know Jack's brand of trivia, so I'm pretty excited to see the series finally get a console reboot. Here's hoping all the charm of the original tabletop game has remained intact.

Fighting fans will begin the year in a big way thanks to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the highly anticipated follow-up to arguable the greatest fighting game of all time.

Finally, Bulletstorm and Killzone 3 are set to drop on the exact same day late in the month, likely to cause more than a few FPS fans' heads to explode from a content overload. Both felt great in demo/beta form, so chances are you'll be a happy frag-head no matter which one you decide to pick up.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Read it: Memoir

Memoir is one of those books that does a good enough job of setting the hook, but only just.

I don’t know if it’s the barely likeable protagonist or the occasional jarring wonkiness in an otherwise beautifully drawn black and white comic, but issue one of Memoir features a couple hurdles to clear if you plan on tagging along for the full ride. Thankfully, the story is intriguing enough to guarantee that I, at least, will be doing exactly that.

Memoir follows a young journalist on his quest for “the big scoop” as he tries to uncover the mysteries of a town whose inhabitants have lost their memory following what was, apparently, a tragic series of events.

Ben McCool’s story starts with a wonderful scene that grabs you instantly, but then quickly introduces a lead character you might have a hard time rooting for. The guy is arrogant and seems willing to step over just about anyone if it means he’ll earn a shot at breaking his big story.