Archive for July, 2007

I had a chance to pick up the PC version of Transformers – The Game. I’ve been playing it off and on for a couple of weeks and although it was a good $20 investment versus the $60 you’d shell out for the console version, this game has left me feeling disappointed.

The biggest disappointment was the lack of a multi-player option. It would be nice to be able to play someone online or even in a split screen mode, but they left that option out. Another irritating feature or lack thereof is the customizable controls. It is frustrating to switch from keyboard/mouse to game controller and unless you configure every single button, you cannot exit out of the screen. On top of that, you have to reconfigure the controller every time you use it, which makes just getting in and playing a quick game impossible.

During gameplay, I found out really quick that playing with a mouse/keyboard combo is much easier than a game controller. The controls are way sensitive and you can easily end up doing highspeed donuts in the street while the Decepticons casually walk over and pound the crap out of you. It also makes it difficult to drive places when you’re being timed when you can’t control the vehicle. Travelling in robot mode is painfully slow and more or less worthless.

But there are some redeeming qualities of this game that make it fun to play. First of all, you’re a giant transforming robot. Second, you get to tear things up no matter if you’re an Autobot or a Decepticon. Just the fact that you’re a massive robot and basically destroy everything you come into contact with. The good thing is you can only be harmed by other Transformers or human authority figures. So driving through a building over and over until it collaspes won’t even scratch the paint.

The world around you is one giant weapon to use. You can pick up practically anything and use it as a weapon. There is no greater satisfaction of picking up one of those annoying police cars that seem to follow you EVERYWHERE and tossing it at a Decepticon and watching it explode. You can also play as either side, the peace-loving Autobots or the evil Decepticons. I found that it is much easier to play on the Autobot side. Once the humans realize you mean them no harm, they just run away from you. As a Decepticon, you have the full wrath of both the police and the military to contend with.

There are several skill trees you can go through to unlock bonus content, but I haven’t gotten too far into that yet. The game auto saves after each “chapter” which is the only way to save your progress. It is a pass/fail situation, so quitting during a game often means losing your progress and having to start at the beginning of a level. Ultimately, Transformers is a pretty entertaining game to play, and the pros mostly out weight the cons, but those cons kept this game from being as awesome as the movie. If I were on X-Play I would give it a 3 out of 5. And of course there would have been more witty remarks.


Iron-Man Trailer

Here is the Iron-Man trailer footage taken at Comic-Con. I’ve been dying to see this trailer and now I cannot wait for the movie to come out.

The Hulk revealed

This is a very short reveal of what the new Hulk will look like in the upcoming movie. I sincerely hope it is better than the first one. And in case you didn’t know, this Hulk movie WILL NOT be a sequel, but a complete re-do of the series. So we can all just put that first movie (turd that it was) out of our minds.

Superman Doomsday & A New Justice League
Source: Superhero Hype!

For DC fans, the highlight of Thursday was likely the opportunity to catch the world premiere of Superman Doomsday, a direct-to-DVD title coming this September. The title will kick-off a planned line of animated projects, each a self-contained theatrical and mature retelling of popular story arcs directly from classic DC storylines.

For the uninitiated, Superman Doomsday adapts several series of Superman comic continuity starting with the highly publicized “Death of Superman” series from 1993, followed by “A World Without Superman” and ultimately the return of the Man of Steel.

The premiere was played to a jam-packed audience of 4000, with another 4000 waiting in the wings for a second showing. The first showing was followed by a Q&A with writers Bruce Timm and Duane Capizzi, directors Brandon Vietti and Lauren Montgomeri, and voice director Andrea Romano.

Bruce Timm describes his personal mandate on the series to “re-brand Superman as a stand-alone movie that’s not connected to the continuity of the previous shows. Everything about it had to scream ‘this is something new’. This included remodeling the look of the characters, and re-casting all the voice rolls.

Voicing the Man of Steel in Superman Doomsday is Adam Baldwin (“Firefly,” “Day Break”), who greeted the crowd via a pre-taped video segment. Convention favorite James Marsters (“Angel”) voices Luthor, and faked some bitterness in his video greeting. “I probably would be with you if I got to be the hero,” Marsters whined, “but I didn’t get to play the hero, I had to play the villain… again. Apparently, a vampire is as close as I get.”

The movie itself surpassed my high expectations, exposing and overcoming many of the short-comings of Superman Returns, and frankly most of the Superman stories told in any medium.

The first problem with any Superman story is creating a legitimately threatening adversary. Superman Doomsday is blessed with three foes, any of whom will give General Zod a run for his prior “best Superman screen villain” status.

We start with Lex Luthor. Any Lex Luthor you’ve seen before (be it Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Michael Rosenbaum or Clancy Brown) is a silly inconvenience compared to this Lex Luthor. He is heartlessly mean, legitimately scary and entirely without “camp”.

Then you have Doomsday, the singularly focused and disturbingly emotionally vacant killing machine. The fight between Superman and Doomsday is truly visceral. It starts like the “Terminator 2” mall fight between invincible Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick, but amps up in scale from there. By the time Superman’s blood appears in battle, you’ll believe he could die.

While I’ll save the details in the name of spoilers, in the end Superman must fight himself. We are all our own worst enemy.

Next, Bruce Timm and his team took the decision to go for a PG-13 rating and ran with it. There’s never been a DC adaptation with this much on-screen violence. But what was amazingly effective was taking a lot of it off-screen to make the psychological effect even stronger than PG-13 would normally allow.

The mature themes attitude also extends to a more complex relationship between Lois Lane (voiced by Anne Heche) and Superman in ways fun for the adults in the audience without initiating awkward questions from younger viewers.

The story covers three years of DC continuity with a page count equal to a few phone books. Paring that down for the big screen is akin to the task facing the “Harry Potter” screenwriters. Co-writer Capizzi explains that the decision was made early on to go with the spirit of the story, “hopefully capturing all the emotion, tragedy, intensity and drama”.

In fact, a list of similarities might be shorter than a list of differences, but two effective changes are worth noting as advance warning to comic purists.

While comicbook Doomsday snacks on the Justice League before moving on to the Superman main course, Bruce Timm explained later that this movie takes place in a continuity where Superman is Earth’s only hero.

Similarly, we are spared from the four “Supermen” who take up the mantle after Superman’s death (Steel, Superboy, cyborg Superman and Last Son of Krypton), but are instead served with a single being who fills the void. However, those in the know will recognize direct lifting and the tips of the hat.

In live action, this would likely be a $400 million movie. It has raised the bar very high for any Superman Returns follow-ups.

After the Q&A, a teaser trailer was played for the next project in the new DC Universe series — Justice League: The New Frontier — to be released in sprint 2008. It adapts the 2003 limited series retelling the origins of DC’s greatest heroes in a period setting of the late 1950s.

The teaser officially announced the casting of Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, Jeremy Sisto as Batman, Neil Patrick Harris as The Flash, and David Boreanaz as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern.

Bruce Timm commented, “I see you guys are a little unsure about Jeremy Sisto as Batman. Everybody else got a big clap and as soon as Jeremy’s name came on you went, ‘Huh?’. I’m going to make a prediction right this minute… when you guys see this movie and hear what he sounds like as Batman, you guys are going to lose your sh*t.”

A third film in the series has been confirmed as Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. The creative team craftily dodged questions about future films, with the names of well-known comic storylines thrown about including Hush, Long Halloween and Kingdom Come.

Further announcements on the DC Universe line are promised for Wizard World in Chicago.

Official 30 Days of Night Site Launched
Source: Superhero Hype!

Ahead of Saturday’s Sony Pictures presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con, the studio has launced the official new website for director David Slade’s adaptation of Steve Niles’ graphic novel, 30 Days of Night. Opening October 19, the thriller stars Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Danny Huston, Ben Foster and Manu Bennett.

At the site, you can learn more about the film, cast, filmmakers and graphic novel. You can also download new wallpapers. As you scroll through the isolated town of Barrow, Alaska, there is a cool shooter game that you’ll find. In the coming weeks, a multiplayer game with characters designed by Ben Templesmith will be launched, so stay tuned!

UPDATE: The Dark Knight’s Updated
Source: The Tamuza

UPDATE: The site has updated one last time. You now get taken directly to the teaser trailer. You can still see the case file report for The Joker and if you click on ‘My Wannabes’ and ‘Surveillance’ you can see what happened yesterday that led to the reveal of the teaser trailer.

Scooper ‘The Tamuza’ alerted us that has updated:

I didn’t see the info posted yet but has changed! The site now shows what happened to the lucky “winner” of the contest and is complete with a case file report from Gotham’s Finest. You also might wanna look for the little shiny dot on the page…wink wink.

Megatron Origins #2 REVIEWED

The second issue in the Megatron Origins series was released this week. It continues the origin behind one of the best villians of all time: Megatron. We get to see his “transformation” from a quiet and almost shy energon factory worked into the evil, plotting menance we know today. We also get to see the background behind some other famous Decepticons like Soundwave, Ratbat and the Constructicons.

The story is superb, but the artwork was a little hard to deceipher into the story. I can’t say I care much for how artists Alex Milne and Marcelo Matere drew either this issue. The art is dark and difficult to make out. Ultimately this book is worth getting, especially if you are at all curious about the history behind Megatron.

$3.99 from IDW Publishing.