Archive for April, 2010

Review: Crash of the Titans

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Zeus is a dick. I saw the movie, and that’s what really jumped out a me. He’s not evil, though he is angry, but man… is he ever a dick. Example: According to the new version of Clash of the Titans, there was once a King named Cassius who led a rebellion against Olympus for reasons unknown. While the other gods wanted to eradicate those pesky human fleas, Zeus advocated an even crueler option: cuckolding. He disguised himself as Cassius’s wife, slept with her, then flew out through the window when he was found out. Presumably the high five with Ares was cut due to time constraints.

The movie follows the trials and tribulations of Perseus, the offspring off the above human-god mating. Twenty years later yet another king has decided that Gods are not Great and that humans will rebel against them to chart their own path, presumably because he wants to be cuckolded. He tears down a statue of Zeus, which results in an angry Hades being sent by Zeus to punish the vandals and then inform Argos that unless beautiful princess is sacrificed, the Krakenwill be unleashed. This would be bad, the Kraken essentially being the the Neutron Bomb of the Mediterranean.

Amid all this furor, Perseus loses his surrogate family to Hades rampage and is informed of his true, divine ancestry, which in turns leads him to join the squad being sent out to search for Anti-Kraken Missiles. He at first refuses to acknowledge his divine birthright, including a glowy sword and a matte black Pegasus (bringing the Sam Worthington Mutated Horse Count up to two), but later learns to embrace his rich daddy while hangout with the poor kids and fighting ‘the man’ (spiritually speaking). It’s almost a grecian version of Richie Rich, except that  Richie’s friends spend their time trying to convince Richie of the true value of money, so maybe its more like Richie Rich as written by Ayn Rand.

Guff but lovable Zeus gives his own kid some help on the sly, and even his full support once he realizes that Hades has been egging him on for Hades own nefarious purposes, and man and god’s faith in each other is restored once again. Zeus even appears to be sorry for the beating he gave humanity in anger, one of the classic signs of a healthy relationship. So that’s alright then.

But we didn’t come to this movie for the story, we came for the sexy, sexy CGI ghoulies and ghosties. My favourite of these are the giant scorpions, who also evoked more pathos for me than any of the humans. The fight scenes are generally spectacular, with the Kraken stealing the show in all its tentacled, Cthulu-ish glory. For clarification, I did see this movie in 3d, and personally found it more enjoyable than Avatar (thought that may be because the film project was focused correctly for once). Also, Gemma Arterton is beautiful, especially in 3D.

All in all, I really did enjoy Clash of Titans. I wanted an action packed monster brawl fest, and thats what I got. Plus, even though the story was pretty dumb, its still proves that Greek priests knew how to put asses in pews. If a god today were to make a Kraken erupt from Lake Ontario, I wouldn’t only worship him (or her. It could be a Kraken-ess too for that matter) I’d give him a high five.

Adventures in EVE, Introduction

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Currently, I’m working my way through an EVE online trial account. Mostly because it is free, but also because EVE is a unique game. It is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, and in this case the massive is earned. In most games, there are multiple servers running the full game that only contain a fraction of the people playing. World of Warcraft boasts millions of players but you will never run into more than the same couple of thousand with the same character. In EVE, everybody is playing the same game at once. This comes to around 32000 people on some nights, though I hear it has been known to go as high as fifty.

 EVE Online is a space game. You design a character, log in, and are immediately floating in space in your beginner spaceship. All your interactions with the game are done through the ship. The main point of the game is to earn money (called isk in this particular patch of the multi-verse), with which you can buy better ships and equipment, and thus engage in the many space hijinks you see going on around you.

The game  is very focused on player interactions. There are some NPC given missions, but they tend to be lack luster compared to EVE’s competitors such as Lord of the Rings Online and World of Warcraft (both of which I have played, although only for a few hours a piece). The meat of EVE is the ongoing rivalries between player run corporation who mine all the materials and produce all the resources, explore, or simply engage in blood sport. The entire economy is player run and controlled, and I beleive there is even some form of virtual stock market.

Player progression is centred around skills which take a certain amount time to train, ranging from several dozen minutes to severa days. The neat thing is that this time passes and the skill is trained even when you are not logged in; I may be at work right now, but my character is improving his ability to fly Caldari Frigates. I’d say this time based skill system is unique, but it reall isn’t. The only difference between this and a standard RPG is that the game does the grinding bits for you, and you can focus on having fun.

In theory. Actual fun might be a little harder to come by…

In the next few days I’m going to be starting a series of posts on the adventures of my EVE character, Phinneas Q. Spacely the III, and my own personal experiences in this harsh, Randian, universe.