Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I inspired a StarWars.com article!

February 9, 2009

clone-warsSince the release of the movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars last summer, I’ve become hooked on the weekly series of the same name. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out on Cartoon Network or at starwars.com. After the airing of episode 15, titled Trespass, I hit the message boards at theforce.net to discuss the episode. One major question I had pertained to an honerary title that C-3PO gives to the leader of a snow planet alien tribe. The title was “Son of Suns”, a phrase once thought to be the title of Luke Skywalker (the son of ANakin who grew up on a planet of two suns). After the prequel trilogy, fans believed that Anakin was the literal “Son of the Suns” as he was born without a father and lived on the planet Tatooine. This myth was thought to have even more legitimacy as it is thought that a member of the celebrating crowd on Coruscant yelled “The Son! The Son of the Suns!” at the conclusion of Return of the Jedi: Special Edition.

In the Clone Wars episode in question, Threepio has made even more of a mess by giving the title to not Anakin or his offspring but rather a tall furry snow planet creature. So who is the Son of Suns? Is the myth even legitimate anymore? What did the man on Coruscant actually yell? That’s what I asked the forums, and looked who replied:

250px-pablohidalgo

The Internet Content Manager for Lucas Online and author of Star Wars stories ranging from comics to roleplaying games! Pablo said “There’s probably enough interest in this to warrant giving it its own story on starwars.com. Look for it next week, but the guy is basically just shouting Huttese gibberish.” Very cool! And what happened next week? A posting on StarWars.com titled “Debunking the ‘Son of Suns’ Myth”

The Internet works! (Plus I was the catalyst for a posting to StarWars.com, score.)

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Sonic Unleashed for the PS2, First Impressions!

November 21, 2008

super_sonic_unleashedSonic Adventure, our first real 3D Sonic game was a blast, but in retrospect you were really only Sonic 1/6 to 1/5 of the time. Sonic Adventure 2 was a marked improvement, non-Sonic levels were faster and much more fun, but the game was really pure Sonic gameplay 1/3 of the time. Then the Dreamcast *sniff* died and we waited for Sonic Adventure 3, only to get Sonic Heroes. on paper Sonic Heroes looked to offer pure Sonic gameplay, but in actuality you we’re Sonic for about 1/3 of the level, and even then it was subpar-Sonic gameplay. Factor in that the other three teams were simply different difficulty levels of the same game, and you’ve still got 1/3 Sonic. Following Sonic Heroes was the overstuffed Shadow the Hedgehog and the overly complicated and buggy Sonic ’06. Now in late 2008 Sonic has one more chance to get it right.

While Sonic Unleashed for the PS2 and Wii is roughly 70% the game available on PS3 and 360, the fact that (A) the PS2 and Wii even HAVE a port of a next gen game (yes, I called the Wii NOT next gen) and (B) what could have been a watered down port is actually a FUN immersive game, says a lot. As the story kicks off, I have to say I love that the game opens where a Sonic game would usually end.

Progressing through the first few stages, the cuts from the PS3/360 versions are pretty apparent. Cut scenes feature much prettier graphics than the PS2 could offer, making me wish I had been playing the next gen version. Also, the first village, Apotos, features a map and NPC characters in a menu format, making me realize that there will be no adventure fields from here on out. Progressing to the next village, Mazuri, I expected another day/night set of levels but instead, thanks to another cut, I was treated to just a boss battle (though the boss kicked ass). Once I got past these aspects to the game and played the “lesser” version for what it is, I really got into it! Sonic’s day levels had the feel of true speed that previous games attempted but didn’t quite perfect. If the PS2 day levels play out this well, I can only imagine the PS3 versions to be awesome.

Now to the elephant in the room, the werehog night levels. I love them. As others have mentioned, for what is usually the “filler shit” of a 3D Sonic game, the werehog is quite good! Just as the game’s plot reminds me of Capcom’s Power Stone, the werehog combat also has a bit of that Power Stone feel with a dash of Kingdom Hearts. Compare brawling combat to truncated Sonic levels (a la Tails in SA1), treasure hunting, fishing or slow moving mech shooters. The combat is the clear winner, and even better you’re still essentially Sonic. 50% Sonic the Hedgehog, 50% Sonic the Werehog. Could this be the first main console series Sonic game to feature only Sonic as a playable character since 1991’s Sonic the Hedgehog?? I’ll make a stretch and say yes.

In conclusion of my first impressions, were I to rate the game on what I played so far, I’d give it an 8.5/10. The game is a much tighter Sonic game with less focus on complicated plot and more focus on gameplay. Unlike previous releases, the returning/new character count is pretty low! Sonic, Tails, Eggman, Amy, Chip and Dark Gaia. Woh, that’s a one hand count! While the PS2 and Wii versions aren’t the same as the next gen releases, I’m actually happy about this! Both look to be awesome, but different enough that when the time DOES come for me to move up and buy a PS3 or 360, I won’t feel like I’ve played the same ol’ game on the PS2.

It’s Been A While

October 8, 2008

"Since I could hold my head up high."I’d like to use the hard rock group Staind to let readers know that I’m aware that “It’s been a while” since I’ve posted to this blog. But I’d like to assure readers that I’m back to blog, and while Staind gets this point across very well, they in no way reflect the direction of the Ocular blog. From now on Ocular will focus mainly on movies, movie marketing and DVD releases. Also, articles will occasionally lean towards design aspects; such as opening titles, poster campaigns and DVD box designs. This refined direction means a more focused blog with an emphasis on movies and marketing design in relationship to movies. Here are just a few ideas for future articles:

DVD Box(ing) Day – A regular feature which looks at the package design of movie and television DVDs, their strenths and wekanesses. Thing of it as a superficial DVD review. Hopefully a better title will come to mind than DVD Box(ing) Day.

The First Five Minutes – Reviews and analysis of the opening titles of movies of recent and past. Also expect top 5 lists of best titles spanning all films and specific genres.

Movie reviews – Brief to in depth reviews of any movie I happen to see, with a Ocular Rating Scale© to come soon!

There are many more great things to come from Ocular besides what I’ve mentioned, so keep coming back to the Ocular blog!

“You’ll be happy you did!”

PS – For about a month this blog was the #1 Google search hit for “Harvey Dent”, directing to the image in my I Believe in Harvey Dent article. I’d like to know who is responsible and if they can do it again for every article.