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Re-imagining the Retro for VR gaming

7 Jan

doomvfrBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Videogamers can belong to one camp or many. I love the idea of what virtual reality can bring to the electronic world of gaming. I have played enough demos and product to know what I like. This medium is absolutely perfect for simulators and first person shooters.

At the same time, I miss the simplicity of the older games found at arcades from the late 70’s to 90’s. I played many translations of these games on the PC or gamer consoles. While the low resolution and technology from a decade ago were not able of making VR come alive, the devices we have now are more than capable! Not every game needs photo-realism. To play these products will offer some exercise to those rarely flexed biceps and triceps. Before chiropractors can cry foul, I suggest all games have a fixed time limit so physical injury can not result.

My imagination is running wild at the idea of fine-tuning fond retro classics for VR gamers to marvel at. A few titles have been redesigned and instead of paddles or trackballs, players can use either motion controllers (like Sony Playstation’s Move) or a traditional gamepad. I still wonder if the original mold can be used though.

Some of the titles I like to see get re-imagined are grouped together than given its own entry.  I offer my thoughts on how each of them can work with either Mobile VR or standalone (Oculus, PlayStation VR or HTV Vive). While the former can fully render the classics in their original form, the latter is more about redesigning the game for a modern gamer to enjoy.

Tempest (Atari 1981)

Instead of a PS4 style of controller, to have this game played with motion sensors tracking hand motions will definitely tire many players out. To play it on a traditional controller will be easier, and the main reason why I feel this game deserves this VR treatment is in the fact it was designed with 3D in mind. A modernized version is in the works. Sadly, no word is said if this update will be designed for VR.

In what makes the experience special is when the geometric play field zooms in carrying the player’s ship (named The Claw) to the next level! To watch this pull you in like the wormhole sequence in Stargate SG-1 (or film) will have me at least squealing in delight like Starbuck launching out of the Battlestar Galactica!

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What’s Next for DreamWorks Trollhunters After Season Two?

3 Jan

trollhunters_posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

Many watches are required to understand everything that has gone on in DreamWorks Animation Trollhunters. This season debuted Dec 15th on Netflix and with only one more to go to air in 2018, most viewers may become disappointed no further adventures are planned. Thankfully, Variety magazine announced Guillermo del Toro’s intention to develop an interconnected world that will not only expand the mythos but see heroes from one series appear in another. Jim Lake Jr., the Trollhunter, will not be gone.

Approximately half of this new season is spent with Claire and Tobey covering up for Jim’s disappearance in the everyday life around the town of Arcadia. The other deals with the threat of Gunmar (voiced by Clancy Brown), this series resident bad guy, making his way back to Troll Market. Once back in the mortal realm, his plans to expand the Troll lands means invasion.

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10 Most Anticipated Animated Films for 2018

30 Dec

By Ed Sum
The Vintage Tempest

Plenty of animated films will be coming in 2018 for the discerning connoisseur to consider. Disney and PIXAR do not dominate the market, and to offer enough international flavour is what makes this list different from others. While a strong anime theme persists, offered here are my picks for the 2018 year. Not every film have a set date; they are confirmed to come out within the year at least.

This list is organized into the most highly anticipated to “least.”

Godzilla: Monster Planet

Anyone living in Japan saw this movie already and the word is that this film is very good. The expectations from fans living elsewhere are high since this work is coming from the studio who birthed Gojira, and the look is epic.

Humanity had to flee the planet in order to survive this beast’s wrath, and now they want it back. Hopefully the advancements in technology can placate the behemoth! No date is given for the global Netflix release. Perhaps this movie will get a limited cinema screening first, where this film deserves to be seen, before heading to the streaming service.

Ed’s Top 5 Lightsaber Duels in #StarWars 2017 Edition

22 Dec

By Ed Sum
The Vintage Tempest

One of the best part of what makes Star Wars appealing is to wait for that exciting lightsaber duel. Whether that’s in the movies or the animated series, the choices are too numerous. Of the many, which one of them is the most memorable? Over the decades, fan films have also made their mark. With thanks to programs like Adobe Photoshop and After Effects making the animation process very easy.

The old rotoscoping method used in the original trilogy gave the plasma swords life which the prequel trilogy has never recreated quite as well. Refinements to the process gave that nuance back. After watching The Last Jedi yet again, I feel confident to offer my top five picks ranked in no particular order.

Yes, the obligatory spoiler alert is required as this latest film made the list. Credit has to be given to the Youtube folks who posted these clips and to the companies for not taking them down.

Star Wars: Rebels
“Twilight of the Apprentice”

Anyone who has followed The Clone Wars animated series will know about the relationship which developed between Master Skywalker (Anakin) and Padawan Ahsoka Tano. As that series came to an end, Tano left the order citing hypocrisy. Little did fans know at the time, these story points would come back to haunt many new Jedi masters (and certain old ones). Yes, it must be undone if a bright future for the galaxy is to take place.

Over the years, Tano became a free agent and in this return, she comes face to face with Darth Vader. Her battle reflects one of shock and revelation. Does she still stand by what he now represents or is there more at stake now?

The battle is heated and flashy. The force of good wields two silver blades than one (usually it’s the bad guys who do that), Lord of the Sith and deal with the best. He does not clearly beat her, but when the building itself crumbled with the two inside, everyone wants to know if Tano survived? Some fans like to think she did, but as for why this battle mattered shows how even loyalties are challenged to the bitter end despite the fact of who they were in the past.

Video posted by ARC Trooper TV

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