Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I figured I'd give film a break and talk about videogames. Final Fantasy is notorious for being one of the most polarizing in history. In one installment we're given memorable characters, memorable settings, and a memorable story. The next installment all were given is a bunch of over emotional teenagers and a completely broken magic system. I would like to talk about what most fans consider to be the best in the series. So lets get started with, in no specific order: Final Fantasy VII. This was the game that really let america realize what the JRPG was and how good it could really be. With a cast of incredible characters, one of the most well thought out magic/leveling systems ever seen in a videogame, an unforgettable villain, and an incredibly deep (and heartbreaking) story, this makes Final Fantasy VII one of the most important games within the JRPG genre. Now lets talk about the precursor to VII Final Fantasy VI. This game made some drastic changes to the system and story telling of the series and to date still boasts the biggest cast in series history. With this entry we saw a drastic change in the setting, up until this point all of the games had been set in a medieval fantasy style setting. VI gave us a dark industrial steampunk style world, making it an incredibly different game in tone and setting. Another very interesting concept added to the game was character specific abilities this made it necessary to be careful about how you composed your party. Villains always play an essential role in Final Fantasy games, and if Sephiroth was the cold misguided villain, then that puts Kefka at the completely opposite end of that spectrum as the villain who just likes to kill people because its fun. All of this came together to make a very memorable and fun game with characters you could invest in. Okay so if VI was the launching pad for VII then X was the next inevitable phase after VII. X took everything to the next level: characters, story, setting and battle system. The characters were some you could truly invest in, each of them having an essential role to play in the story. Also this Final Fantasy has one of the coolest characters in the series history, Auron. This was also one of the first to put a Romance at the forefront of the story. It makes it the driving force of the story. The setting was drastic departure for the story it had more of a Star Wars type of feel than steampunk or medieval. This made for a very interesting setting. I feel I should also mention that this is one of the few videogames makes very effective use of time travel as a story telling device. Also to be noted, this game has some of the most difficult boss battles I have ever had the displeasure of playing, but it's not so difficult to play that it becomes a distraction. The sphere grid is one of the finest additions to the series and frankly I think it should still be used today. It allows players to fine tune there characters to an outrageous degree without being overly complex. For those of you who have played other games in the series its like a cross between materia and the license board. This combined with the ability to change characters on the fly and actually control summons makes this one of the best systems in the series history. The single most important X did for the series in my opinion is the elimination of an over world. The whole world is completely seamless making for an adventure that has a much better flow and a world that you can really get involved in.
Monday, January 30, 2012
#5) Spoilers Abound, Verbal is Keyser Soze. If you haven't ever seen the movie The Usual Suspects see it...NOW. One of the finest capers in recent history, this is one twist that will completely ruin a film. So now that only those who have seen the movie are watching. One of the finest moments in film history is watching Verbal slowly loose his limp as you begin to realize what actually happened. The moment when you were watching the film and you suddenly realize you've been BS'd the entire film. "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist" The moment this quote is uttered in context, it will send chills up your spine.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
#7) After the beat down. The film Kick-Ass may at first seem like a comedy romp through all of the reasons why we shouldn't be super heroes. A gory action packed romp which has nothing to say to its audience. But that all changes rather quickly. Big Daddy and Kick-Ass are captured after being betrayed by Red Mist, chaos quickly ensues as Kick-Ass is beaten within an inch of his life, and Big Daddy is burned to death. Of course Hit Girl comes into save the day. But the scene afterwards is what is so important. Hit Girl and Kick-Ass go back to Big Daddy's apartment and its the moment when Kick-Ass is washing off his beaten and bruised when suddenly he realizes how high the sakes are. That this is for real and if he's going to do it he's got to go all the way. This is the point in the film where Kick-Ass has a decision to make. And you find that you are asking yourself the question "would I make the decision he did."
Thursday, January 26, 2012
#8) He's going to need a new pair of shoes. Drive was something special and will probably go down as one of the classics of the film noir genre, its slow burn pacing, it's incredible acting, but it will probably be known for one extremely iconic image. The Driver in an effort to save the woman he loves commits many acts of violence, but none are to be topped by the now famous "head stomping" scene. In an act that may be considered a cross between desperation, vengeance, and self-defense, the driver smashes an assassins head against the elevator throws him back into the corner and proceeds to stomp on his head until it caves in. If that doesn't make an iconic moment then I don't know what does. Yes it may be iconic because of the violence, but there is also a lot of emotion in that scene, and you don't even have to look that hard.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
#9) "He is beginning to believe" Aside from being followed by one of the most iconic fight scenes of all time, this line manages to sum up the film and give us chills all at the same time. It's the moment when every film goer realized: Smith is going to die. I also believe that that point was the pinnacle of the Wachowski's film making. It was that point where we all realized this film was really something special, it managed to be action packed while at the same time making some very interesting philosophical and religious points. Also we won't mention those "other" two films.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
#10) Bruce Willis was dead the entire time!!! I only put this on here because even if you haven't see this movie you know this moment. It was that moment that ingrained itself in to movie goers minds and it still sticks with them to this day. Yes we all understand M. Night's career certainly has gone down hill since then, but we can always take solace in that he created an iconic movie twist which to this day has yet to be topped.
Monday, January 23, 2012
The most difficult part of being a christian media junkie, is that often your spiritual life will suffer at the hands of the thing you have the most passion about. I have to be rather candid in this respect. I have a very, very hard time dedicating the time I want, to having a personal relationship with Christ. I would much rather sit back with a bottle of soda and and bag of popcorn and watch Blade Runner. I'm hoping that in bringing together my faith and my love of media I might be able to get through this struggle. Most of us as Christians realize where we are really failing in life. It's just a matter of saying enough is enough and acting on what you know needs to be done. Sometimes it's easy, getting into the bible, and praying every day. Others it's an absolute chore. I suppose what would really help is that if in everything I did I were to do for Christ and not my own selfish ambition. When you begin to do things for God everything begins to come into focus. You begin to understand why you are doing something and when you understand why, you have a greater desire to continue. At least that's how it is for me. Although it's not like that all the time, again sometimes you just want to do what you want to do. Sometimes it's fear as well that seems to drive us. Fear can paralyze someone I know that sometimes I don't even want to pray in the fear that God won't answer in the way that I would like him to. But really the most important thing to remember is that you can bring all of this to God and he will help you.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I will be very clear on this I do not like SOPA. Here's why it would completely cripple the internet, information sharing would be almost impossible. Sure you can post that picture of your favorite videogame or movie, but you'll be slapped with a fine or locked away in a dark place for four years. SOPA would make it nearly impossible for anyone to share any form of information unless they own it. All of this for the sake of making sure the greedy aren't being robbed. Although the most idiotic thing about this piece of legislation is that they actually think that some how blocking certain websites on the internet and fining those who decide to post a pic of Justin Bieber (or is it Beiber?) on their blog is actually going to stop piracy. This guys are geniuses who could probably hack around any block that the U.S. government could possibly set up. This brings up another point this would allow the American government to censor in other countries so long as the original content came from the U.S. if that isn't overreaching then I don't know what is. Many people might say, really brave of you to post this after it's been shot down. This isn't the end this is merely the beginning, they will come back, they will try even harder and they will be even more subversive about it. Sorry just wanted to get that out of my system.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Well a new year has just begun and that means more videogames. Honestly 2012 looks to be a pretty awesome year for this generation of consoles, but if I had to choose the game that I am anticipating the most it would have to be Bioshock Infinite. This Bioshock actually has nothing to do with the previous games but it still looks pretty awesome. Now as to why it is my most anticipated game of 2012. The one thing that I absolutely loved about the previous Bioshock games was the setting it had such character and was so essential to the story it was able to evoke a mood of such dread and darkness. There was always a story to be told in Bioshock. Now if this is any indication then Bioshock Infinite ought to have a world every bit as compelling as the previous installments, if not more compelling. The second thing that really makes me want to play this game is your relationship to Elizabeth. I can already tell that Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2) has some competition. The dynamic relationship that you have with Elizabeth is something I have never seen within the videogame industry. The ability to make decisions that can have a direct effect on Elizabeth makes me more inclined to think before making a decision. Finally the direct interaction with your enemies. Unlike most shooters rather than being forced to kill every "bad guy" you see you have the choice to kill them. So long as you leave them alone they will leave you alone. But in certain circumstances you will be forced to choose, do the right thing and risk a violent fight, or step back quietly and avoid the fight. With these new and unique mechanics combined with the pedigree of Irrational games I think that we could be looking at a game of the year candidate already.
Monday, January 16, 2012
This is a retry on my blog the last one wasn't really panning out. This one is going to have a similar focus as my previous one, I'm going to focus on media in general. Movies, Videogames, Comics, Art, Books, and virtually any other media one could think of. Their will be a few differences between this blog and my previous one. The first difference is that I will be trying to maintain a tighter more regular schedule of blogging. The second difference is that this blog will put a greater emphasis on my faith...I am a christian. My goal is to come at media from a more Christ like perspective. Finally because I am going to be posting on a tighter schedule the posts themselves will be farther apart than my previous blog. The goal of this blog is as I said before to come at media from a slightly more christian perspective. No this doesn't mean I'm going to condemn the media I'm speaking about. I'm simply a christian who likes movies, videogames, comics, etc. I simply want people to be able to follow this kind of media in a easygoing yet clean environment.