Review: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is a proper ending for the trilogy – 7/22/2012

Gotham City has undergone a radical transformation since the trilogy began in 2005. Once a cesspool of crime and corruption on an equal footing with Detroit, it has cured been of the plague of organized crime thanks to the Dent Act.

Yet behind the glamor and smiles, we are introduced to our heroes who have in their own ways hit rock bottom. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) personal life has fallen apart and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has gone into social exile as each one has battling their demons.

Like all stories with a protagonist degraded by guilt; he must overcome a great challenge and make the ultimate sacrifice to achieve redemption.

Enter the villain Bane (Tom Hardy); a former member of the League of Shadows turned mercenary who is devoted to finishing the work of the late Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) by destroying Gotham.

From the moment we are introduced to him, you know he is going to present one of the biggest challenges Batman has ever faced.

Bane is both cleaver and ruthless while Batman has grown weak after eight years in exile. With everything that matters on the line, the Dark Knight will have to overcome the ultimate personification of evil if he is save the city he has called home his entire life.

And that’s how you end a trilogy!

It has been a long wait for comic book fans and cinephilia but Christopher Nolan concludes his masterpiece with The Dark Knight Rises. This is truly one of the best movies of the summer and the perfect ending to a trilogy.

Like its predecessors; Nolan has crafted a gritty adaptation of the Batman-mythos by abandoning the comic book imagery in favor of a modernism setting. Again you have a movie that is rich in content while layered in thought provoking metaphors. All of this is driven by the amazing musical score composed by Hans Zimmer.

The standing ovation the film has received across the nation may imply this is a “great film”, however it has flaws that degrade into a “good film”.

The Dark Knight was one of the best comic adaptations but unfortunately Nolan failed to live up to those standards with The Dark Knight Rises. Instead you have a superhero movie that is just good but not great.

Most of it has to do with moment of the film that are ridiculous that it leaves the audience screaming “why didn’t you [insert idea here]”. Specifically moments like when Bane trapping most of the GCPD underground or the final battle were the army of cops and criminals clash in a medieval fashion. There also moments when the transparency from one scene to another is so choppy that it’s an embarrassment for Nolan and eye soar for the audience. Thankfully this only happens early in the film.

Despite its minor flaws; The Dark Knight Rises is definitely not on par with Spider Man 3 or The Godfather Pt. III. This is a movie one has to see unless you’re planning to be a social outcast for a week.

The Dark Knight Rises ends with our hero redeeming himself and finally becoming the symbol Gotham needs. Nolan ends the trilogy in a manner to ensure that no potential Joel Schumacher could poison his masterpiece with a camp screenplay or a Batsuit with nipples.

Final Score: 4/5

Written for Digital Journal
07/22/2012
Original Article: Review: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is a proper ending for the trilogy

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Roblox hosts gaming conference in Santa Clara – 7/14/2012

DSCN3031Santa Clara – The Roblox Game Conference 2012 welcomed gamers as young as 7 to the Santa Clara Convention Center on July 14, for a learning experience along with some fun.

The event started on the Main Stage with company CEO David Baszucki welcoming the crowd while introducing the Roblox team. For the young gamers; the Roblox team are like rock stars as each one would be asked to sign posters or pose for a group photo during the conference.

After the introduction; guests could mingle with the Roblox team, play games, participate in a hackathon, or attended forums on game development.

The hackathon went from 11am until 2:30 with participants competing in a series of challenges for prizes. Challenges include building a house out of grass or designing golden thorn with in a time frame. Participants had to bring their own laptop but Wi-Fi service was provided for the tournament.

During the forums; the Roblox team would give a demonstration regarding advancements in gaming technology along with advice on how to break into the gaming industry. In one forum, five members of the Roblox team told their story on how they got into gaming.

My story begins with pong, some of you might not know what that is,” said Matt Dusek about his first gaming experience. “It is your Xbox’s great great great great great great grandfather.

Gamers also had the opportunity to meet Brandon LaRouche, who is well known among the Roblox community for creating the My Roblox app. He is also the author of the book, Basic Roblox Lua Programming.

Roblox staffers also had set up a user feedback session as way for the company to gather opinions from users on how to improve their system. Among the subjects discussed were gameplay, character art, and scripting.

The conference ended with the Roblox honoring the best games while Baszucki described his plans for the future of the company.

Roblox is a user-based game development company that allows gamers to create their own game play it online for free. The company was established in 2005 and is located in San Mateo, CA.

Written for Digital Journal 
7/14/2012
Original Article: Roblox hosts gaming conference in Santa Clara

‘Resident Evil 6’-demo cast doubts among gamers – 7/7/2012

Xbox gamers got an early access to the ‘Resident Evil 6’- demo on July 3 thanks to a code offered with the purchase of ‘Dragon’s Dogma’.

Resident Evil 6– demo features three missions that allows gamers to take on the role of Leon Kennedy fighting zombies in America, Chris Redfield trying to contain an outbreak in China, and Jake Muller fighting zombies in Eastern Europe.

The demo has given gamers a window of what can be expected and unfortunately they’re not too happy about it.

Gamers have been venting their frustration regarding the new features on message boards and forums. The biggest criticism has been against allowing gamers to recover health through regeneration.

Several prominent game critics and journalists have also voiced their dissatisfaction regarding the RE6-demo. Most of the criticism regards how the game has abandon its roots and the lack of fear factors.

Ryan McCaffrey, executive editor of IGN, stated in his opinion piece, ” It’s not just one thing that annoys me about the next installment of the beloved, long-running survival-horror series. Its problems are numerous, both technically and in game design, leaving me questioning whether or not to buy the game at all, let alone pre-order it.

In a similar opinion piece; Brenna Hillier of VG24/7.com stated, “What I certainly didn’t see is the return to the franchise’s roots Capcom has been trumpeting since the reveal. Yes, there are some familiar faces. Yes, we’re returning to the US urban setting which proved so popular in the early games. Beyond that, everything I saw looks like precisely what turned me off the last few installments.”

However as McCaffrey stated, gamers need to be aware that demo dose not represent the finished product and its expected that content may change during development.

Resident Evil 6 is set to be released on October 2 for the console and will be the ninth game in the main series. The Resident Evil-series has become gaming icon for establishing the horror-survival genre in 1996 and redefining it in 2004 with Resident Evil 4.

Written for Digital Journal
07/7/2012
Original Article: ‘Resident Evil 6’-demo cast doubts among gamers

Free-to-Play ‘Call of Duty’ coming to China – 7/6/2012

Activision has partnered with Tencent in releasing a free-to-play version of ‘Call of Duty’ for the Chinese gaming market.

Call of Duty: Online will allow gamers in China play the award winning game online for free while offering the sale of in-game items. The premise of the game will be based on the Modern Warfare-series.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, stated in a press release, ” We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China. We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games.”

Call of Duty: Online has been in development for two years by Activision Publishing Inc. (a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard) while Tencent, under a multi-year agreement, will have the exclusive license to operate in China.

According to Josh Engen of GeekParty.com, Activision releasing Call of Duty: Online as a free-to-play game is very significant for entering China’s gaming market due to the nonexistent console market (the sale of gaming consoles have been banned since 2000).

However due to the differences between Chinese and Western consumers, the move could be seen as risky according to Ian Sherr of The Wall Street Journal. Call of Duty: Online is expected to be available later this year.

The news of Call of Duty: Online comes several days after Aspyr Media announced plans to release Call of Duty: Black Ops for the Mac in Fall 2012. Meanwhile Treyarch is developing the sequel, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which is set to be released on November 13.

Written for Digital Journal
07/6/2012
Original Article: Free-to-Play ‘Call of Duty’ coming to China

Is ’007 Legends’ supposed to be a joke? – 7/3/2012

007007 Legends is an upcoming video game that will retell six classic Bond films with an over-arching narrative that will conclude with the film, Skyfall.

So which classic Bond films will Activsion and Eurocom be retelling?

It was announced on May 21, that the first mission will be based on Moonraker. Then it was unveiled on June 28 that the second mission would be based on the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Now I have to assume the term “classic” was being used in the looses definition possible.

As a passionate Bond fan who has seen every movie more than five times, read every story written by Ian Fleming and played every game released since 007 GoldenEye; I am dead serious when I ask if this is supposed to be someone’s idea of a bad joke?

007 Legends is suppose to be a retelling of “classic” Bond films, yet Activsion and Eurocom have based the first two missions on the worst Bond films.

Moonraker has always been universally panned because of its poor story and laughable attempt to mimic the success of Star WarsOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service claim to shame is due to the horrible performance of actor George Lazenby, whose rendition of the character has become a metaphor for a forgettable performer in an iconic franchise.

Daniel Craig’s performance may redeem On Her Majesty’s Secret Service but there should not have been a reason to retell Moonraker.

This has to make any devoted 007 fan ask if the development team at Eurocom comprises of culture-less junkies who have never seen a Bond film before GoldenEye or hipsters pretending to understand the cultural significance of 007.

With four more missions expected to be unveiled during the summer, it’s only fair to give Activsion the chance to redeem 007 Legends.

However if any mission is based on The World Is Not Enough than this game obviously is asking to fail. Because there is no reason anyone wants to see Denise Richards take on the roll of a “nuclear psychologist” again.

Written for Bitmob
07/3/2012
Original Article: Is ’007 Legends’ supposed to be a joke?