If you read my first blog you know the backstory but for those that do not I'll offer a quick refresher on what this blog is about. I recently viewed the Star Wars series for the very first time and just wanted to offer my experiences on these viewings and give a first impression rating. I have only watched each movie once and will probably go back and view them again to see if I missed anything.
I have already gone through the first trilogy those being episodes IV-VI and expressed my content and joy for these movies as being one of the finest trilogies I have ever watched. So much so that I'm considering it for my favorite of all time (It's between this trilogy and Nolan's Batman trilogy). However I figured it's time that I give you my impressions on the episodes I-III. Again SPOILERS so don't read on if you're not prepared for them.
Episode I - The Phantom Menace
This movie is universally hated. I remember being a young child of 9 years old when this movie first came out and the general excitement that it gave everyone. I however never seen the movie so now is my time to rant. This movie did NOTHING for the franchise... zero. I easily saw why fans were so disappointed in the movie after viewing the first three movies and being offered this one after a leave of absence. Let's get into the problems that I had with the movie:
Jar-Jar Binks: Let's get a big one out of the way. Jar-Jar is easily one of the most annoying characters that has ever been made. Some characters are made to have this annoying quality on purpose and still have an endearing quality. C-3PO was a good example of how to properly do this. Yes he was at times annoying but he was still lovable and didn't bother me ever. Jar-Jar had nothing to love. His speech pattern was annoying, his backstory was stupid, he was not comic relief like they intended. Jar-Jar Sucked!
Anakin's Story: Now this one I had to think on for a little while. We meet Anakin as a child on Tatooine as a slave. He and his mother had been there for quite some time. In fact his Mother had a jesus birth... by that I mean no father. This leading Qui-Gon to believe he is the chosen one. Now here's my problem with all this... It has no relevance to the Star Wars universe. Think about it. What does it matter? Short answer: It Doesn't.
Pod Racing: Again a major selling point for this movie was the exciting Pod racing portion of the movie. While the scene... wasn't awful. It again had no suspense like they planned on. I have seen the episodes 4-6 and I know that Anakin is going to win the race even before it starts. I really didn't even care about the race because I knew the result. On top of all that they made it as cliche as possible as it was a come from behind win.
Liam Neeson: Now this isn't against Neeson as I loved how he played Qui-Gon problem is that Qui-Gon didn't matter! Neeson is an incredible actor and really deserves. This is more of a personal point as I just really like Liam Neeson.
Darth Maul: This was perhaps the most disappointing thing for me. Darth Maul looks like a total bad ass. Plus the double lightsaber is something that was too cool of an idea to waste. It looked liked this villain was going to be one to rival Vader... how wrong I was: very little dialogue, no backstory, and very little camera time left me completely disappointed in this character.
Now those are just some things I picked out but like I said my biggest gripe is that if a person was to skip this movie entirely they would have missed nothing important. Seriously think about how the events made an impact in the Star Wars universe. This movie was more of a distraction than it was an actual movie from the series and because we had just been fed one of the greatest trilogies of all time before it... it just felt like a slap in the face. Overall it was ok at best. 5/10
Episode 2: The Clone Wars
Now I don't have a ton to say about this movie. It was mediocre... I felt like yea it did contribute to the story as we got to see some very important events happen such as Anakin's relationship with Padime Amidala evolve and turn into something more. We also get to see his rebelious side and some of the reasons why he turned out how he did. While I was watching this movie I was more pleased that I could actually say okay finally some character development I'm getting to know Anakin. However the story of this movie bored me. It definitely didn't have as much action as I would've liked (save for that awesome Yoda lightsaber battle at the end) It didn't really entice me in the way I was hoping. It was ok and definitely better than episode 1 but still not what I was looking for. 7/10
Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Now this is more like it! This one was full of action! Loved every bit of it. They made a logical connection as to why Anakin would want to join the dark side. Great Character development. This actually felt like a true Star Wars film. I can't really say much more than that but I will give some of my thoughts that I had during the movie and you can compare to how you felt.
"Anakin has already shown that he has anger issues'
'That Chancellor is the sith' (Come on it was obvious)
"Holy shit... Anakin just killed Samuel L. Jackson" (Still not as good as his death in Deep Blue Sea)
'This lightsaber battle on the lava is one of the coolest things ever"
"More machine than he is man.... HOLY SHIT I GET IT!!"
Those are just a few of the things that ran through my mind. I liked this movie a lot as it really developed and showed how Darth Vader became Darth Vader... WHICH WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE PREQUELS... This movie is very good... Not quite as good as the 4-6 but definitely a very enjoyable experience for both Star Wars fans and movie fans. 8/10
There it is... All the Star Wars movies.. My final verdict: I am a huge fan and now deeply interested in the series. To be fair I was never really one of those people who was interested in the whole space travel sci-fi world so I didn't think I would enjoy the movies this much. Again I recommend if you are ever going to show this series to anyone do it 4-6 than 1-3 as it will be hard to hook somebody in with the first movie. To be honest had I watched it 1-6 I would've stopped at 1 because the action is slow... it tries to be story driven but really isn't... and yea it just wasn't a ton of fun to watch. Star Wars is now going to be a part of my life... Bring of 7-9!!!
Well everyone... I did it... I finally watched Star Wars! And not that just A New Hope... But All 6 of them. Now I know what you're thinking "HOW HAVE YOU ONLY WATCHED THEM NOW?" Yes I understand this line of questioning but you gotta understand that my family really had no interest in Star Wars so I never had the urge to watch the series. Now that I have watched the entire series I want to give my entire first hand experience of the series and see if it matches your experiences when you first watched the movies.
*Spoilers- You know Just in case*
Movie #1: A New Hope
I should make this clear before I start. I had the option of watching these movies in the 1-6 order or in the original 4-6 than 1-3 order. I chose to do the original order of these movies in the spirit of how everyone before me would have viewed them. I am glad I made this choice. A New Hope was a great introduction movie. It helped me understand new concepts such as the force and what it really is. Understandably I had a broad idea of what the Force was from pop culture references I had seen. I was also introduced to characters that I had heard about but really knew nothing about. The character development is fantastic in this. I found myself loving each character more and more as time passed. Han Solo with his cocky attitude, Luke with his bravery, R2-D2 was lovable and had a charm quite unmatched for a character who talked with blips and bleeps. Heck even C-3PO had me laughing at him even though at times he was annoying. I tried to put myself back in the time when this movie would have first came out. I found myself immersed in the world of Tatooine. The Mos Eisley scene will forever stick with me with the line "These aren't the droids you're looking for". Brilliant stuff. The action scenes were fantastic, I loved watching Luke destroy the Death Star and found myself genuinely involved. It takes a lot for a movie to do this to me... but it had... I was hooked. 9/10
Movie #2: Empire Strikes Back
Well I thought nothing could top A New Hope but Empire most definitely did that! This movie was my favorite of the bunch. I talked about the character development in the first movie but here it was really moved forward. We get to see the trouble that Han is having with Jabba, the love interest between Han and Princess Leia, A more developed Luke as a Jedi, the introduction of Yoda in the Degubah Swamps, it was just fantastic. The movie opens with action immediately on Hoth. This locks you into the movie for good. So many scenes are still fresh in memory such as the AT/AT's being strung around the legs to keep them down, and Luke being strung up in the Wampa's cave. Chewbacca giving Luke a big hug where in the first movie he showed no affection to the crew. I could go on for days about the scenes that are stuck with me here but I won't do that for the purpose of this blog. This is what really did it for me, this is what told me I had to finish this series and there was no turning back. I can't express how exciting it was to watch Darth Vader and Luke finally go at it. Now once again because of pop culture I knew the shock ending so it wasn't that surprising, but again I tried to put myself as if I was there opening day. This revelation would have been incredible... Nothing and I repeat NOTHING points to Darth Vader being Luke's father in a first viewing... This movie is incredible and is one of my favorite movies of all time now. The only sour point for me was the ending being on a cliff hanger but that being said I also realize that this was the intention of Mr. Lucas and respect that decision by him. Great movie 10/10
Movie #3: Return of the Jedi
The final movie. It begins with Luke chasing after Han Solo who is still frozen in Carbonite and now in the possession of Jabba the Hut. We get to see that Luke has indeed become more mature as a Jedi. The action scenes are again quick with this one. I took in the scene with the Rancor and thought it was fantastic. I kind of liked the little bit of humour that they decided to add in with this one. The scene where Han is blind and actually leads to Boba Fett's death is hilarious. Now speaking of Boba, this is where I get confused big time. I've seen him in pop culture, people dress up as him on Halloween, and people generally love this guy; now here's my problem. Why? The guy only has like 3 lines in this movie Yes I realize he was in Empire as well but he still didn't play a big role. I'm just confused about the fascination with this character. Anyways, let's get back on track. I really felt this movie closed the book on the series really well (Although there will be a 7-9, don't eff this up Disney). Now here were some thoughts that went through my mind while watching this and see if they match yours when you first watched it. "OMG Luke and Leia are brother and sister?! OMG... didn't they kiss in Empire", "Awe Ewoks are awesome, I wish I could get one as a pet" "Oh man that Ewok army is adorably deadly" "C-3PO... you annoy me" "Vader actually helps Luke... wow" "Does this mean all the Sith lords are now dead?" All of these crossed my mind. Regardless though I felt it was an appropriate end to a great series. My only regret is not watching this series sooner. 8.5/10
Check in next week when I go through my viewing of Episodes 1-3. :)
Before I begin I should do a small explanation on what a Let's Play is. A Let's Play or LP is a person who plays a game while adding commentary on top of it. There are many variations on style and can be entertaining and funny, or informative and review style. Let's Playing is extremely popular on YouTube with a few popular names becoming Partner such as ChuggaaConroy and ProtonJonSA.
Now admittedly I have done Let's Playing in the past. I've always had a fascination with it as I saw it as more entertaining than television and movies. It was just so raw and funny because I always had the ability to say oh this would make me mad... or I know how to solve that common it's so obvious. So naturally I wanted to give it a shot and I did... to a small degree of success.
I have been fascinated with video games all my life and really wish I could enter the industry but sadly I've had to come to terms with the fact that I'm just not cut out to explore the world of computer engineering and am not nearly talented enough an artist to make it through that route. I am however and always have been a bit of a showman. Just an innate ability to draw crowds and get people's focus for periods of time. I figured this is the only way I could ever contribute to the gaming industry in this small insignificant way.
Most of my single person LP's no longer exist... this is more due to my obsession with perfection and the fact that I hate the mic I'm using so much that... well I broke it. However one of my good friends made an invite to me that I just couldn't refuse. I got the chance to head down to Victoria, Canada and record a few videos with him. Nothing too crazy but it sounded like fun so of course I accepted.
Here are a few of the videos we created and the comments on them:
Power Rangers is one that I don't remember that well but it turned out as one of the better ones we did minus a little bit of volume issues. This video contains some of the funniest commentary we did and it was so authentic that I could actually say "okay I was on autopilot" I didn't think about things to say just did them. And the moment that we morph is SO GOOD! It still makes me laugh watching it now. This Let's Play is essentially what it's all about and embodies the enjoyment that we get from gaming with friends... It has been a long time since I've had that genuine enjoyment of playing multiplayer with someone.
Mario's Early Year
This is an example of one we did as a joke (obviously) It was such a bad game but with the commentary provided we were able to make it enjoyable to sit through... I also make a very inappropriate joke but that's all part of the fun.
One of the worst game concepts I have ever seen... Seriously this game was funny with or without commentary...
I wanted to provide a small window of what went down while I was in Victoria. I'm in no way looking to get famous off of these but using this more to show that gaming locally is far superior to online gaming if nothing more for the human interaction... I had so much fun doing these and playing all these games with my friend. Please enjoy these and remember this was all done in good fun! :)
As we say good bye to the Wii and usher in the new Wii U it's time to look back on the most popular Nintendo console of all time. Remember those long line ups at E3 just to get a chance to play those games or having so much difficulty finding one during the first year of the launch... ahhhh memories.
I just wanted to take a short look at what exactly the Wii was through my eyes and what are some of the things I really liked about it and some of the things I didn't like about it.
Things the Wii did right: Advertising: The Wii capitalized on all the hype and made people incredibly excited over this new and innovative way of playing video games. Being a business student I gotta give Nintendo an A on their marketing of this system. Honestly, who can forget the "Wii would like to play" Ad campaign? It was fantastic and still is ingrained in my memory.
Virtual Console for a while: Now this one is sitting on the fence for me. Nintendo made an awesome awesome feature with the Virtual console and allowed us to play games from our past which was an incredible sell on me. I am extremely nostalgic and being able to play these games was fantastic. Every week there seemed to be new games added to this marketplace when I first got my Wii and I was in love... But sadly these games came at a more dwindling pace as time went on and ultimately no longer excited me. They really missed the boat on some titles such as Earthbound. Overall though I still go back to play my Wii for these games so it still gets a checkmark by me.
First party titles: The games that Nintendo made were great... bottom line... I loved them. Super Mario Galaxy 1, 2. Skyword Sword, Metroid 3, Super Paper Mario, and others were fantastic games and really utilized the controls well with out abusing them.
Capitilize on a fad: They created a new way to play, created a fad, and made tons and tons of money off of it... enough said.
Things the Wii did wrong: Third Party Games: The amount of shitty casual games that came spewing out of developers would have made ipecac jealous. Seriously guys, this was the main problem with the console. The amount of trash games that were produced for it was appalling and the fact is they still sold to a market that really didn't know any better.
Wii Music: Enough said
WiiWare: It could have been a great marketplace for new and innovative titles but really I used this rarely with the only games I bought being the Ace Attorney series.
Wii Motion Plus: Now this was a huge improvement for the Wii and worked wonders... My issue with it was that Nintendo was fixing their mistakes they originally made and charged a pretty penny for it. I realize that this was also packaged with some games but that still doesn't make it free.
Poorly made popular games: Games such as Modern Warfare were often terrible ports that didn't sell nearly as well as their 360 and PS3 counter parts but this was due to one other problem...
Online Play: Poor use of online play... and don't even get me started on Friend codes...
The verdict: I really had a lot of fun with my Nintendo Wii for the time I had it and was actually a great party tool. That having been said I believe Nintendo got the timing right to switch consoles. With the initial novelty having worn off and nobody really getting excited for motion controls anymore it was a good decision to switch it up and move away from the console. The Nintendo Wii has left an incredible mark on gaming history and will go down as the most successful console Nintendo has ever produced. It was the best thing that could have happened to Nintendo as it's predecessor, The Gamecube had mediocre sales at best. I loved my Wii but sadly the time has come to say goodbye to the old and usher in the new
I feel it necessary to introduce myself! I am Chad and at best I am a casual gamer. I am a 23 year old male and I tend to log in around 5 hours of gaming a week on average and play a wide range of titles. I play retro a lot but if something piques my curiosity in the current gen I will often go out and purchase.
I needed to give you an idea of my mindset before I begin this blog and let you know that all this is opinionated and factual evidence will rarely be brought to the party unless I know where to get it immediately. I don't believe what I say is going to be too far off from the truth.
Where is gaming going and why should we care? While I look at the shelves at an EB games here in Canada I notice something of all the current gen games that are on the shelves... They seem uninspired and generic with the majority of them being FPS or Sequels or Sequels of previous FPS'. I identify this as being a problem. Why is this a problem to me? Well I grew up in a decade where games were unique and kind of out there. Titles such as Mario, Sonic, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Banjo Kazooie, Super Metroid, Mega Man, Kirby, Resident Evil, and sooooo much more. These games were fantastic and were enticing to buy because you really didn't know what you were getting. There was no way to tell! You simply had to go off and buy the game and see what it had to offer. When I look at today's games... I know exactly what I am getting on just about every FPS. A war simulator with a mediocre campaign and a over populated online multiplayer.
Now I know why this is and it doesn't take my business degree to show this but the reason why the market is over saturated with these games is because they sell. It's that simple. The market has strong demand for these games and this is where it has gone. I can't say I'm particularly happy about this as I continue to find more and more ways to dodge current titles and go back to the games that I love. We live in a gaming world where so many publishers are scared to take chances and go with a radically different idea. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was not what I was expecting and I didn't exactly like the game and only played it for roughly 2 hours but I still commend Rare for actually taking a step outside the box and trying to create something new. THIS IS WHAT GAMING NEEDS, JUST WITH BETTER EXECUTION.
Lately I've found my fix of truly unique and interesting games however in the Indie games market. I suggest everyone to take a look at these titles as they need the recognition. Games such as Spelunky, Fez, Binding of Isaac, FTL, Prison Architect, McPixel, DLC Quest and more! These games are a breathe of fresh air in a very polluted gaming market. I really wish big name companies such as EA, and Capcom would take a look at these simpler games and realize how much I do love them and how much of a market there is still out there for the people like me.
But I'm only a casual gamer... so take this all with a grain of salt.