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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.

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Rev Up for Shawn’s Top 25 SNES Games (Part 1)

7 Apr

By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)

Growing up in the 80’s, I have fond memories of every system — from the Intellivision to the PlayStation 4 — I played from back then to now. Whether you’re shooting ducks with a bright orange light gun to performing in a rock concert with a plastic drum set, video games have always tried to offer a safer and cheaper way to thrills to any experience you could imagine. This is the thing I love most about gaming, the advancements and imagination put into using the technology to its fullest. There is always a gimmick.

My absolute favorite era was the 90’s. The console wars were in full swing with Sega trying everything in their power to chip away at Nintendo’s market share in North America, and Sony getting ready to take the gaming world by storm with a 3D revolution. It was a time of desperate innovation and cutthroat competition that made the 90’s one of the most amazing times to be a gamer. Every new advance in technology was changing what could be done with a game design more than ever before. These advances were arriving faster with each year that passed.

From the mid-80’s to the mid-90’s Nintendo was king. Sega had their loyal fans, but their 8-bit console, the Master System, never took off in North America the way it did in Europe. Nintendo’s first venture into the video game Market revived an industry that had fallen apart under older companies such as Atari in the early 80’s and ended up giving them a virtual monopoly on console gaming in Canada and the US. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) hit the market like a tidal wave and it wasn’t long before everyone was using the name ‘Nintendo’ interchangeably with the term ‘video game’.

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Beyond Ready Player One. On Technology and the Music

5 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

The virtual reality (VR) interfaces we have today has not drastically changed in Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of the book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Futurists have to believe advancements in neural interfaces and holo projection will fill in the gap instead of advancements in the hardware used today. The former is vaguely suggested and the latter, none is even considered. This movie is not comparable to The Matrix or The Congress. Amusingly, a joke is made when nature calls. Unplugging is required.

Even in the future 30 years from now, folks are still wearing those darned headsets! I am having neural seizures since not everyone is going to have full command of their senses to believe the world they are jumping into is real. The IMAX 3D presentation hardly jumped; much of the visual treatment was flat. The music featured, however, was amazing and it spoke to me. Although for this glimpse into virtual reality, when my first exposure into this discourse is with William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the bar is set high. This work is neither at Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell level of exploration, even though the story offers a fleeting tease of what could be.

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Remembering TRON the Movie, LEGO News & On Reboot

24 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Ever since the movie TRON graced the big screen, it’s become a cult phenomenon and there are no signs of it dying. On Brickset.com, confirmed is the release of the TRON Legacy Lightcycle! If it lights up, I’m going to be on it faster than a … those bikes fighting each other for control on the Grid! This recent news had me feeling nostalgic for the film, and this weekend, I will be watching both works again and having thought experiments in what the third film could have been if only …

In some ways, the upcoming Reboot: The Guardian Code offers a glimpse of what may have been. This series is set to debut on Netflix on March 30th, worldwide (except Canada). YTV has exclusive rights for this country up North and will broadcast in June of 2018. Instead of outright slamming this show by saying it’s ruining my childhood, I will watch it and decide afterward if it is even worthy of the Reboot name, much less take an opposite approach of how TRON: Legacy ended when Quorra escaped the Grid.

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