Posts tagged #news

Alternate Scotty on Star Wars, Lucas, and Abrams

Simon Pegg, who I enjoyed as Scotty in 2009's "Star Trek," has made some comments about JJ Abram's involvement in Star Wars Episode VII. They strike me as a bit gushy. Essentially, JJ will make all right with the world.

Here's the IGN article.

Just a few comments I'd like to make:

1.  Switching Star Trek from science-fiction to science-fantasy was not, in the opinion of many people, actually that great of a thing. Afterall, we already had a major science-fantasy franchise with "Star" in the title. It's not like we were lacking in that area. Why take the sci-fi out of Trek?

2. One man's "mire" is another man's favorite trilogy of films.

3. Just because Lucas made the prequels the way he did, that doesn't mean he misread anything. It might be that with the prequels his aim was to tell the story he wanted to tell, not to read the public and give them exactly what they expected/wanted.

4. I cared about the things the Prequels focused on.

5. Pegg's criticism of the Prequels seem to be primarily story-based. Thus it confuses me when he says Abrams will embrace the things Lucas didn't focus on, will bring back the fun, etc. I'm confused because, well, JJ Abrams isn't writing the script to Episode VII. He's just the director. The story won't be his and his writing cadre's the way the new Trek films have been.

 - Nic

Posted on May 9, 2013 .

Nic's New Roundup - March 1

March 2013 has arrived. Here are some new stories from the world of dorkiness over the past few days that I've found particularly interesting.

1. Tim Curry is the new Palpatine - Folks who keep up with the world of Star Wars: The Clone Wars know that the voice actor who first played Palpatine on the show, Ian Abercrombie, passed away last January. After lamenting his death, fans started wondering who Filoni, et. al. would choose to replace him as the voice of the most sinister politician and Sith Lord that galaxy far, far away ever knew. But episodes of The Clone Wars take a long time to produce. Tellingly so, the last episode Mr. Abercrombie worked on just aired a few weeks ago (having some great moments for the character). So now here we are, the last episode of season 5 is about to air--an episode that features an appearance by Palpatine. Via the Huffington Post Lucasfilm has revealed that the future Emperor will henceforth be voice by none other than Tim Curry. I won't try to summarize his career here, as that would take quite a while. Suffice it to say, the man has experience playing villains. Here's a preview clip of tomorrow's episode, which, incidentally, looks to be a great conclusion to what has been a great multi-part season finale.

There's no doubt, at least to my ears, that Mr. Abercrombie was a better voice double for Mr. MicDiarmid (the OG Palpatine) than Mr. Curry. The tonality is much closer. But, that having been said, I love his delivery in this scene. It's just a few quick lines, and Palpatine is the supposedly kind-hearted Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in this scene. But nonetheless, it makes me look forward to future episodes, episodes where Dath Sidious is able to be himself. I have a feeling that Tim Curry will knock it out of the park.

2. Transformers Prime coming to an end - IGN reports that, according to The HUB, the upcoming season 3 of Transformers Prime will be the last - I only recently finished watching season 1 of The HUB's flagship animated program. Prime, for those who don't know, is set in its own continuity, though it is clearly influenced by both the live action film series and the previous Transformers TV show, Transformers: Animated (which Josh and I really liked). I personally enjoy the show. It does lack the fun found in some (if not most) previous incarnations of Transformers, but it does have Peter Cullen and Frank Welker. In fact, here's a great Optimus Prime moment from the end of the premiere 5-parter.

I got chills just now watching it.

So, a three season run. That seems short, but for Transformers it's actually pretty good. The original show ran for three seasons. The "Unicron Trilogy" consisted technically of three separate shows, but they were all set in the same continuity, so it's reasonable to think of them as one show (one unenjoyable show from what I saw, which is all the more disappointing since apparently Takara's original idea for the show would have been a continuation of the G1 continuity, but it was the Americans at Hasbro who thought that a reboot to garbage was a better idea....ok, calling it garbage was a bit much...I apologize). And Animated ran for three seasons, although they weren't all full-length.

So I guess the big question is: what will the next series be?

3. Turtles on the march - IGN also reports that Nickelodeon has renewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a third season -- and it's currently only in its first! While that might ultimately be a premature decision, at this point I say, "right on." I'm really enjoying the new incarnation of TMNT. It brings in some of the design sensibilities of the most recent Turtles film (the excellent animated one), the sense of fun from the original show, the original show's theme song, and it's own original charm. Booya-kashaa!!

I may post a few more later today. We'll see.

 - Nic

Posted on March 1, 2013 .

Star Wars Prequel Discontent?

IGN recently interviewed Lawrence Kasdan about his involvement in the new Star Wars trilogy. I'm excited that he's going to be a part of it, so I gladly read the interview. Over the course of the discussion, Mr. Kasdan had this to say:

I was pleased that there would be new ones, that there was a chance to capture some of the spirit of the original trilogy that I’d worked on. I thought there’s an audience out there -- my grandchildren, lots of original Star Wars people -- and there always will be. It’s only good that we try to do some more great ones.

Am I reading into things too much, or does it sound like Mr. Kasdan didn't like the prequels all that much?

A few days ago, Mark Hamill was being interviewed about his involvement with the new films. Among other things, he said this:

 "I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway....hope they find the right balance of CGI with practical effects. I love props, I love models, miniatures, matte paintings -- I'm sort of old school. I think if you go too far in the direction of CGI it winds up looking like just a giant a video game, and that's unfortunate. … If they listen to me at all, it'll be, 'Lighten up and go retro with the way it looks.'"

Now, I agree with his assessment about the differing tone of the two trilogies. But, now I can't help but wonder if the unstated part was, "and the tone of the originals was better."

Come on famous people who were heavily involved in the first Star Wars trilogy! Don't be haters!

What say y'all?

 - Nic

Posted on February 25, 2013 .

Gaming News Roundup and Opinion

Here's a round-up of some recent videogame news, with my take thrown in.

1. Wii U Specs
We'll start with what many consider to be a big one, as it relates to 'the console wars.' Eurogamer came out with a story the other day about the system specs of the Wii U. Nintendo has not released detailed information on the GPU of it's new console, leaving people to wonder and speculate. Some folks over on NeoGAF decided to do more than that, and so they collected money to have extremely-magnified pictures of the GPU taken, as this would allow people to actually gain some facts about how it works. The people at Eurogamer's Digital Foundry have analyzed the data, and have concluded that the Wii U is an incremental improvement over the PS3 and 360. They made some waves with the article when they said "...we can now, categorically, finally rule out any next-gen pretensions for the Wii U - the GCN hardware in Durango and Orbis is in a completely different league."

In other words, the Wii U isn't "next-gen." This has gotten a lot of attention because the term next-gen is often used not just in a descriptive manner, but also with connotations about value (i.e., saying something isn't next-gen is often a way of saying it's bad, or junk, or no good, etc.), and Digital Foundry as made a categorical statement that the Wii U is not next-gen.

My take:
First, I think the term "next-gen" is fraught with problems, given that it is so subjective. What constitutes a new generation? Is it some computing power benchmark? Is it an advance to the controls used with the system? Is it a certain level of increased functions and services provided through the system? Or is being a new system with any increased computing power that is released at roughly the same time as other new systems enough? Some people will think it's the first, others the second or third, and so on. But there is no definitive universal objective standard.

It's like with people. What differentiates one generation from the next, given that people are being born all the time? There is no natural and/or decisive cut-off.

And so some people will look at a system like the Wii U, with new features, new controllers, and some increased in computing power as certainly being next-gen, while others, who define it in their minds differently, will look at it and say it isn't.

No one is objectively right. So it's a silly thing to argue over.

Second, the case is not nearly as open and shut as some of The Digital Foundry's comments make it sound, for a number of reasons.

Incomplete scans: It's not as though the entire GPU has been photographed. Apparently only 18 of 40 logic blocks were used in DF's analysis. That means over half of the GPU's logic is unexplained. The folks at NeoGAF appreciate this, and their analysis is thus still ongoing.

Custom GPU: The folks at DF seem to be assuming it is a rather standard Radeon processor, and so the incomplete data isn't an issue. What they have looked at must be similar to what they haven't. But, there's no reason to assume that. As a lot of people are pointing out, if the GPU is custom (and it is), then its performance can be significantly different from a standard one.

And so, given these two facts, there just isn't enough data for The Digital Foundry to make "categorical" statements.

And on some level they know it, because they oddly qualify some of their statements. Case in point: "Chipworks' shot is still being analysed, but the core fundamentals are now seemingly beyond doubt." Analysis still on-going, but the fundamentals are beyond least seemingly. Huh?

I'm not suggesting the Wii U will prove to have magic in its unexplored parts and will be on the same footing at the new PS and XBox. What I am saying is that Eurogamer's conclusions are premature.

2. Nintendo is just learning about shaders

Here's a quote from Shigeru Miyamoto about Nintendo's work on Wii U software:

"Lighting is an inevitable factor to make use of high-definition images. We did not actively use technologies to render high-end graphics in real time for software development for Wii and previous consoles. Therefore, although the name "Wii" was handed down from Wii to Wii U, we needed to hold many workshops to learn about such technologies. We already went through this initial learning phase and are now tackling how to take full advantage of high-definition graphics. In this sense, retraining our developers used to be a great hurdle."

So, Nintendo developers are just now learning about shaders. On the one hand, a pessimist or critic could say, "See, they haven't even been trying. What losers." But on the other, let it sink in. The folks at Nintendo, game designers who many would say are brilliant in everything from character design to music to gameplay, have heretofore not focused their attention and considerable talents on creating graphics using 'modern' techniques. (And yet they've made visually appealing games like Skyward Sword and the Mario Galaxy games.) Imagine what they'll come up with now that they're starting to.

3. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge not to be exclusive for long.

At least in Japan, the "Wii U exclusive" updated, tweaked, and enhanced version of NG3 will be coming to the PS3 and 360. Of course off-tv play won't be avaiable in those versions. But otherwise it appears to be a straight back-port.

While this isn't catastrophic, it isn't the best news for Nintendo. Exclusives are designed to be system sellers, either by themselves or in concert (i.e., this system has three or four games I really want but an only play with on it). When an exclusive is revealed to be timed, it takes away the major point of exclusivity. Sure, some people will buy a system just to play a game earlier. But many folks will just wait it out and save the money they'd have spent buying the new system.

Of course, Nintendo, being a major software creator, isn't reliant completely on 3rd parties for their exclusive titles. They also make their own. So it's not a question of "if" the Wii U will have a good number of solid exclusives, but of "when."

4. Why Microsoft got into the console business.

IGN has a story up. Really it's more a tease for a longer article they'll be posting on Friday. In any event, in it they quote Joachim Kempin, a VP of sales at Microsoft from 1983 to 2003. He says that the main reason Microsoft got into the console business, "was to stop Sony. You see, Sony and Microsoft…they never had a very friendly relationship, okay? And this wasn’t because Microsoft didn’t want that." Apparently Microsoft believed it would be good for them to cooperate with Sony on a lot of things, but Sony wasn't interested. "...As soon as they came out with a video console, Microsoft just looked at that and said 'well, we have to beat them, so let’s do our own.'”

So it was a strategic decision, based on business rivalry.

Fair enough. Businesses are businesses. Competition is a part of it.

But at the same time, it seems kind of lame. 'Let's make this device, enter this market, in order to stick it to another company. ' To have your console gaming division begin with such an adversarial mindset...I don't know, is disappointing to me. And it's little wonder that the same competitive mindset permeates gaming culture these days...except that from gamers it's even more pointless.

5. New XBox rumored to require an Internet connection

Edge is reporting that, according to their sources, the new XBox will indeed require an internet connection to function, and that, among other things, this will preclude the use of second-hand (i.e., used) games.

I'm not sure how smart this is. I know that most of the people in the new XBox's potential market probably have an internet connection. But to require it for the system to function? I mean, I don't think it was overly smart of Nintendo to ship Wii U's that require a massive downloaded update upon first startup. But to require that any time you use the system you have a connection? The truth is, sometimes connections go down. And what better time to play a videogame than when your internet isn't working?

And the locking out of used games...I really hope there's a backlash in the gaming community over this. But we'll see.

Well, I think that's all I have for now. Stay tuned for our podcast on the current state of Nintendo and gaming in general, which should be up next week.

Until then, I remain,

 - Nic

Posted on February 6, 2013 .

J.J. Abrams Is Directing Episode VII

And we have the first image from the first film in the Star Wars sequel triolgy....

 - Nic

Posted on January 24, 2013 .

Nic's News for Today

The sinus bug has attacked again, so I'm not feeling great. But nonetheless, here goes.

1. On Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Wii U, I was able, through the power of the object creator, to bring together my dream team of fictional heroes: Obi-wan, Captain America, Optimus Prime, Voltron, Indiana Jones, K.I.T.T., Mario, and Link (plus a flying DeLorean for Maxwell). I still need to add a few more. But it got me thinking, who would be in your dream team?

2. The new Die Hard movie is rated R. This is as many people think it should be.

3. IGN has a great article up on upcoming 3DS games. If you have the system, or are thinking of getting it, check it out.

4. It looks like Ted is going to meet his future wife this year. But we shall see.

5. Apparently MySpace is back with an all of new iteration. Who knew?

6. TRON: Uprising needs more viewers. If you have Disney XD, watch it. From the few episodes I've seen (on their website or the plain old Disney Channel), it's worth your time.

That's all for me for the evening. Until next time, sniffling, I am,

- Nic


Posted on January 15, 2013 .

New Star Wars Film News - Samurai Jedi

So today I was going to write a little article about different video game control schemes. But then I found myself busy with other things throughout the day, and now it's just too late in the evening.

So instead, I'll simply post this:

Today was the day we got our first information about a Star Wars film that won't be a part of the numbered saga. IGN is reporting (along with others, perhaps) that Zach Snyder of 300 and The Watchmen fame is working on a Seven Samurai inspired Star Wars film (but not Episode IV). It will be set post-RotJ, and might even occur during the events of the Sequel Trilogy.

This certainly is an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan.

Wondering what the future holds as a I lay my head on my pillow, I am,

 - Nic

Posted on January 14, 2013 .

Nic's News

Today I bring you this:

Disney's ABC Considering SW Live-Action Series - Oh yeah!

 - Nic

Posted on January 10, 2013 .

Nic's Exciting News of the Day Roundup

Please note: I was going to post this last night, but then I was feeling sick and didn't get to it. So the news is one day old.

Here's a new feature I'm going to try out. Every day (ish, maybe every other day), towards the end of the day I'm going to do a post where I share with you good folks what were to me the most interesting or exciting dorky stories of the day, often with links to the sites where I learned of the news.

So, for today:

1. Wii U sales actually pretty good. - It seems to me that a lot of folks in the game industry, and an even larger portion of gaming journalists and bitter people on the Internet seem to root for the end of Nintendo (or at least, the end of their console business and a move to third-party status). Such hate. So whenever a Nintendo system doesn't sell as much as quickly as the best selling Nintendo systems, they shout gleefully it from the rooftops. And if they only have partial sales data, they assume the rest, with it invariably bad for Nintendo. But IGN is reporting that Gamestop is reporting that US/Canada sales of the Wii U have actually been pretty good so far. So....yeah.

2. LEGO Marvel Superheroes Announced - I like LEGO. I like the LEGO games. I like Marvel superheroes. And the game is coming to the Wii U and 3DS. So what's not to like here.

3. "Man of Steel" writer says the movie is one that the world needs right now. - What does that mean, I wonder. You know, I want to like this new Superman movie.

Yup, CES is going on, with all the "super-cool" phones, tablets, tvs, and gaming gizmos, and this is what interests me. That's how it is.

Until tomorrow,

 - Nic

Posted on January 9, 2013 .

Robot Commercial

Here's that GE robot commercial I was telling you about.

 - Nic

Posted on January 9, 2013 .

I'm Telling You, It's Kahn

IGN has an interview up today with Bryan Burk, a producer on the new Star Trek film.

There are at least two moments in the interview that further make me think the villain in this second alternate-timeline Trek film is in fact Kahn.

Check out the interview and tell us what you think:

 - Nic

Posted on January 8, 2013 .

Mario and Link team up....along with Maxwell?

WB Games announced today that the Wii U version of Scribblenauts Unlimited will include playable Scribblenauts versions of Nintendo characters (Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Link, Zelda, Epona, and a goron). Scribblenauts Unlimited will be available for Wii U on launch day, November 18.

I'm a big fan of Scribblenauts, and the Mario and Zelda franchises. So this excites me.

It's funny, Gamestop's Facebook page had a tease about it beginning Monday. Their banner had an image of Maxwell (main character of Scribblenauts) flanked by two bulbous shadowy areas. The text asked "Who's playing with Maxwell?" Folks in the internet had figured out who the shadows were within a matter of hours. And I for on am glad they were right.

 Without a magic notepad, I remain,

 - Nic

Posted on October 17, 2012 .

Clone Wars Interviews

News-A-Rama has three short video interviews with the three Jedi leads on The Clone Wars. Though there's nothing really revelatory here, it's good to see the three of them showing their enthusiasm for the about-to-start-its-fifth-season animated show.

Matt Lanter Interview

James Arnold Taylor Interview

Ashley Eckstein Interview

Less than three days to the premiere!

 - Nic
Posted on September 26, 2012 .

And So We Begin Again

Ok folks, it’s here! TV show premiere week. Although there have been a few already, and a few stragglers will be coming in the next few weeks, this is the week that majority of new shows are premiering, and existing shows are returning with new episodes. Given that we are only three guys, and we don’t have the time or inclination to watch some of those shows (I’m looking at you, The Mob Doctor), we won’t be reviewing every episode of every show. However, the shows that we watch regularly, we will hopefully review regularly.

My hope is that beginning today we can turn over a new leaf here at The Inner Dorkdom. We know, because we’re nerds and users of the Internet ourselves, that what folks want is regular content. And that’s something we clearly haven’t been providing.

Here’s my pledge: This far, no further! The line must be drawn here!

Some of the shows I personally intend to cover: Castle, The Big Bang Theory, The Clone Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Voltron Force (when it returns), TRON Uprising (when I get caught up on what I’ve missed), and Transformers Prime (when I get caught up on what I’ve missed). Hopefully there will be more.

So, until tomorrow at the latest, I remain…

 - Nic

Posted on September 24, 2012 .

Avengers Re-Assemble!

Just in case you didn't know, The Avengers is returning to theaters this Labor Day weekend. We're definitely going to try and see it again.

Ok...that's all I got.

 - Nic

Posted on August 30, 2012 .

"I kill me!"

No, no no. I'm not being suicidal. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Sony Animation has bought the right to ALF, intending to make an ALF theatrical film.

This excites me, as I've missed Mr. Shumway over the years.

Lock up the cats!

 - Nic

Posted on August 9, 2012 .

Joss will return for the second assembly is reporting that Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed this summer's The Avengers, will be returning to fulfill the same roles in the sequel, currently with appropriate title of The Avengers 2.

Check out for more info.

So, do you think this is a good move? Talk about it in our forums.

 My mother knowest I weareth her drapes.

 - Nic

Posted on August 8, 2012 .

Quick Hits from Nic

Greetings from sunny Florida. We're on vacation celebrating my wife's 25th birthday. But I wanted to pop in with some quick news bits:

1. She and I saw Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection the other day. Funny movie, that as with all Tyler Perry films (the ones I've seen anyway) has a good message (without being preachy). This is the most overt comedy film of his that I've seen, with he and Eugene Levy both bringing the funny.

2. While we're talking Tyler Perry, did you all know he's going to be the new Alex Cross, taking over for the iconic Morgan Freeman, in the 'reboot' being helmed by Rob Cohen (who directed some favorites of mine, such as DragonHeart and the third Mummy film...and is also known for films like Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, and The Fast amd the Furious)? Check out the trailer on Youtube. Liz and I are excited about it.

3. While we're talking Rob Cohen, I just learned he was a producer on the this-is-in-no-way-connected-to-the-plot-of-the-franchise-and-even-conceptually-it's-only-barely-connected-but-let's-give-it-the-franchise-name-anyway TV movie Knight Rider 2010 (which aired in 1996).

4. Voltron Force season 1 is now on Netflix. Despite the word of the haters, I found it to be a great continuation (yes, continuation) of the original show. All the original lion pilots are back, along with some new cadets. Gone is the robeast-of-the-week format of the original (although robeasts do show up often), and in it's place is a show that nicely balances on-going story with weekly stand-alone adventuring. Oh, and it's got the original theme song. (The original American theme that is, not the oh-so-catchy Japanese theme.) I recommend it.

5. Transformers Animated, which Josh and I believe to be the best Transformers show ever made, at least at the time it was produced (since then we've been given Transformers Prime which is quite good, but only time will tell how good), is now showing on The Hub. This is a big deal since the show inexplicably is not completely available on DVD. The first two seasons were released (although now they're out of print and hard to find), but the third and final season wasn't. This way one can see the whole thing (including the Die Hard episode...yes...that's what I said).

6. On the official Star Trek website, Hasbro has shown a teaser of their KRE-O (similar to LEGO) Star Trek line. Not suprisingly it focuses on the new JJ Abrams timeline. Very few details have been given, but they have released an image of the KRE-O Enterprise. I shall preface my opinion with the following: I didn't think the Abrams redesign of the original Constitution-class Enterprise was horrible (I'm talking exteriors only...the interiors are another story entirely, what with all the Apple Store and beer factory everywhere). It's not my favorite design, but it still feels like something Federation ship designers would cook up. Ok, preface over. This KRE-O version is...ok. It's not horrible, but it's not mindblowingly child-Nic's-dream-fulfilling awesome either. Quite frankly, I'm suprised how boxy it is. That might sound weird, given we're talking about building blocks. But take a look at some LEGO Star Wars ship sets and compare that with KRE-O Enterprise and I think you'll see what I mean. ... But I'm still going to want to get it when it comes out.

7. I watched the extended Clone Wars season 5 trailer. They go to Alderaan, and I saw what appeared to me to be some Falleen criminals...perhaps Black Sun?

8. TRON Uprising has premiered on Disney XD. I've seen the first three episodes (the second two on the Disney XD website). If you like TRON and/or TRON Legacy, I highly recommend it. The art style is quite striking, the story has great potential, there are references to both films (including...well...I don't know if I should spoil it...yes?, the music is similar to that in Legacy, and Bruce Boxleitner himself does a voice on the show (I'll give you a hint as to what program he plays: his name rhymes with Ron).

And that's all I've got to say about that.

 - Nic

Posted on July 8, 2012 .

Make it Bigger!!

Last night at 11 pm Central Daylight Time all the Nintendos of the world (Nintendo of Japan, Nintendo of America, and Nintendo of Europe) had a simultaneous "Nintendo Direct" presentation. For the uninitiated, "Nintendo Direct" presentations are streaming video presenations created by Nintendo themselves and watchable on their websites (and in archived format on the Wii and 3DS). Nintendo uses these as opportunities to showcase software and hardware, and announce new software and hardware.

Usually this would be something I'd make sure and tune in for. But, whoo boy, I was sleepy last night. I fell asleep before 10! Wow!

And then my swisscheesed brain forgot all about the presentation until I was checking this afternoon. "Oh yeah, the Nintendo Direct," I thought to myself.

I won't take the time to recap the entire presentation here. There was a lot of good stuff in it, so check it out yourself if you're interested.

But I do want to point out one of the biggest reveals of the evening: the 3DS XL.

Many of you might be familiar with the DSi XL. It was the mammoth final iteration of the original DS. I have one (Liz got one for me for my birthday in 2010), and love it. In fact, I became so accustomed to its hugeness that when I recieved a 3DS this past Christmas it felt like I was playing the revolutionary glasses-free-3D handheld videogame system from Nintendo of Lilliput. Ok, I exaggerate a little, and the 3DS is an excellent system. But it is noticeably smaller than the DSi XL.

Enter the 3DS XL, a system roughly the same size as the DSi XL. (In fact, the entire form factor has a DSi XL feel.) In fact, the two screens are a whopping 90% larger than their original 3DS counterparts. Not only that, but the battery life has been extended a little bit also. To be clear, beyond this the 3DS XL is just a 3DS. No electronics or cpu specs have been altered. So this isn't like the change from DS Lite to DSi. This is a cosmetic upgrade almost exclusively. But that's fine with me.

Now here's the crazy part: It will be available starting August 19 of this year (the same day as New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS hits stores)! That's less than two months away. Talk about keeping info close to the vest (or, since this is Nintendo, should I say, "close to the overalls?"). It'll set you back 199.99 plus tax, but many retailers are already announcing "trade in your 3DS for a discount on a 3DS XL" deals. I just might take one of them up on that. (Liz is ok with it, since had a 3DS XL existed back in December that's what she would've gotten me.)

Major gaming and/or tech sites like IGN, GoNintendo, Nintendolife, Engadget, Gameinformer, etc. have all the details. So I'll just leave you with this comparison picture:

Now we're playing with power. (Bad, I know. But game systems don't have quotes.)

 - Nic

Posted on June 22, 2012 .

Cleanse the Palette, Cleanse the Palette

Nic here, trying to get the bad "dark and edgy Superman" taste out of all of our mouths (I wholeheartedly agree with Todd's commentary on the Batmanification of Superman being a bad thing), by pointing to a Superman-related product that actually appears to be good.

I'm talking, of course, about LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes!

Y'all may not know this yet, but I'm a big fan of LEGO, and have been for a long time. Some proof:

1. My swisscheesed brain (i.e., I don't have the greatest memory) can't recall anything about my first day of elementary school, but can recall quite well when I got a LEGO cement mixer set for Easter.
2. I had a LEGO monorail set when I was a kid.
3. I made my own Star Trek: The Next Generation LEGO sets in the early 90's (thus foreseeing a time when LEGO would get into the licensed properties business).
4. I played with LEGO regularly through middle and into high school.
5. Even when I officially entered my LEGO Dark Ages (google it), I still jumped at the chance to dabble with them when over at Josh's house. (Josh is six years younger than me. As such my friendship with him was a great excuse to play with toys and play make-believe long after it was age appropriate.)
6. I let my nephews (17 years younger than I) borrow my Super Nintendo and all my games (which, incidentally, know one knows the whereabouts of), but they couldn't borrow my LEGO collection. If they wanted to play with my LEGO bricks, they had to do so at my parents' house.
7. My Dark Ages started to end in 1999 with the release of the first Star Wars sets.
8. I have at least 93 different LEGO sets, with an estimated retail value of more than $2,947.
9. That retail value figure includes seven LEGO videogames (a few Star Wars, one Indiana Jones, LEGO Rock Band).
10. Next year when my family, Todd's family, and hopefully Josh go to Orlando, FL, I've already demanded that we go to LEGOLAND.

Why am I telling you this? I'm not sure...hmmm....

Anyway, here's the point of this post: today the newest LEGO videogame came out for all major videogame platforms. The game is, as I said, LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes. As the subtitle suggests, this game isn't just about Batman and the Boy Wonder. No, the scope is much bigger. Other DC superheroes also are playable in the game. There's Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash (Yay Dawson's dad!!!), and the Man of Steel himself, Superman.

I haven't played the game yet, so I can't give you a review. But the folks who have, and have, say it's great. The addition of an original story, open-world gameplay, and voice acting (yes, the minifigures talk) take the already enjoyable LEGO videogame formula and make it even more enjoyable.

So if you have a chance, check it out. You can find reviews for the game at many of the major gaming sites (IGN says it's the best Superman videogame ever). In the meantime, I leave you with three of the game's trailers.

Miss Teschmacher!!!!

 - Nic

Posted on June 19, 2012 .