Archive by Author
Video

Returning to the Fold: MtG Arena & Hopes Before the Apr 26th Update

25 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Magic the Gathering: Arena is Wizards of the Coast‘s next digital iteration of Stainless Games’ Magic Duels. They have taken over development and have created a glitzier version which I appreciate. This update sports a new engine to allow for easier integration of new cards (and perhaps old too) when this product comes out of Beta testing. This change may happen very soon. On March 26th, new features will open up and Dominaria is being added. I am more excited to play this new set more so than owning the cards.

I played this set during prerelease weekend, and did better than expected. The practice I got in with the video game helped me win a few games than be smeared. WotC’s goal to bridge the two formats worked. Soon, I can ditch Duels in favour of Arena once the testing tag is removed. I may still continue to show up at some local game store events, but I feel like I’m done “paying” to play. I have far too many hobbies where I sink just as much money into, and those I’m not too deep into will have to go. With the electronic game, I do not have to invest anything other than my time to grind. Daily quests for coin rewards are far more appealing (my bank account thanks me for it) to take on. Packs of cards now have wild cards that can be exchanged for specifics pieces. This feature is terrific, such that nailing any card is possible. To do this for the physical game means spending a lot of money for multiples of a killer card.

In the Beta product, this product focuses on player vs player battles. Coming changes include “best of one” events (no clearer definition is offered in the press release), an improvement in how to earn currency and added features. I am hoping narrative elements (much like in Duels for starting players) will be included, and perhaps also a test mode for experimental decks. Playing against opponents around the world is enjoyable, but I want a space where wins and losses are not recorded under DCI league. Supposedly, this feature is available in Magic Online; however, this iteration is as old as the Commodore PET displayed at the Royal BC Museum — it’s not a user-friendly system.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Remembering TRON Part 2 — What’s Still on the Game Grid

23 Apr

Tron_LogoBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Most of the games developed after the release of TRON or its sequel Legacy try to be faithful to the source material, but there’s no denying the original arcade game is the best. It had four different types of games available to play, and if the user is highly skilled, can plow through it in one go. Given the limits of the technology at the time, it did not recreate every single moment like the film, but it was a terrific product. With home computers, some of it was translated over, or developed into a new game.

Checked and re-checked is this list of products still available to play. Some were not easily reobtainable (this avid TRON enthusiast has a budget known as a hobby allowance) and had to be replayed in the making of this list.

I’m still hopeful a future is out there for a third film. Interest is alive in different merchandising fronts than with a tale. I believe TRON is simply laying dormant, that’s all. Continue reading

On Rampage and Its Salute to Toho Films

21 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Somewhere along the way, the movie adaptation of the video game Rampage forgot its video game roots. The monsters were once human. They were mutated from the craziest of sources and to tell the entire backstory is a movie in itself! I’m okay with this core change. It would have made for an amusing B-Movie horror film back in the 50’s, but these days, the demands are elsewhere.

Audiences want it loud. Production studios want realism. For me, I have too much of a cat’s curiousity. I want to see what kind of story can materialize from many an 80’s arcade game. Not all of them had enough of a narrative to begin with.

No matter what, Dwayne Johnson, can do no wrong. His natural charm and the investment he makes into the roles will usually get me buying a movie ticket for. Even when he was a wrestler, this guy is the only reason I paid attention to the WWE. I can smell what The Rock is cooking, and that’s his natural charm. When he has that pearly white smile, you know you are in for a ride. He makes anything he appears in just that gosh darn fun.

Continue reading

The NFB Takes on Annecy with Animal Behavior & More!

19 Apr

National Film Board of Canada

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The National Film Board of Canada is getting ready to take on Annecy International Animation Film Festival with five shorts going into competition. This event takes place in France from June 11 to 16th, and is considered by many as a great event to premiere unique animated works. This year, they are honouring Brazilian animation and music in this art form will be the spotlight. Fantasia and Allegro non Tropo are classic works, and to learn the composers behind them will be talking about the process will make for a nice contrast to the sneak peaks I have seen from the NFB.

Filmmakers Alison Snowden and David Fine have a screening of Animal Behaviour (Zoothérapie), and it has a sweet charm to it that I like. This team is better known for the celebrated Bob and Margaret, and I am very reminded of the same type of humour in their short. The series follows the lives of these titular characters in a mundane manner and by the end of an episode, the feelings that emerge are from 70’s TV show, Happy Days. Viewers are simply left smiling. With the short, caricatures of today’s concerns can be found. Are we truly in control of our lives? Cheryl, the praying mantis, has boyfriend problems; Lorraine, a leech, suffers from separation anxiety; Todd, a pig, has an eating disorder, Jeffrey, a bird, has pangs of guilt; and Linda is an obsessive-compulsive cat.

Continue reading