Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Who's Bad?

The next villains (yes, that’s plural) to star in Spiderman 3, according to a slip of the tongue by Kirsten Dunce, are Sandman and Venom. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of these villains, but do we really need 2? Didn’t we learn anything from the Batman franchise? Two villains means two origin back stories crammed into one film, which gives less time for exposition, character development, and conflict. Maybe they’ll devise some story that combines the creation of the two, which doesn’t really do justice to either of them. Speaking of which, I know they won’t do the real origin of Venom but most probably some variation on the Ultimate Spiderman explanation. That’s understandable, but Venom himself would make a great movie, I think adding Sandman into the mix will just make it too “busy.” It’s not like they’re running out of time (if the want to keep using Tobey Maguire then I guess they are). There are talks of a deal to do 3 more movies after this one, THREE. Do they really need to pack in the villains?

Oh, and for those of you wondering, she also leaked who would be taking on the roles as well. Thomas Haden Church (of Ned and Stacey) will be playing Sandman. I have no problem with this. I think he will do a good job with the role. He has a knack for playing characters seriously with a light hearted touch. Plus he already has the looks for the part. Venom will be played by none other than Topher Grace. That’s right; Foreman from That 70’s Show will become that strong, slobbering, spleen-eating psychopath we’ve come to love. I just don’t see. It’s going to take some massive costuming and special effects just to make him look Venom, but that’s not going to help with his acting. I like Topher, ok let’s be honest, I don’t mind Topher, but I really don’t think he has it in him to become Venom. I just don’t see him being sinister or maniacal, maybe he’ll prove me wrong. The movies have been good so far, I’ll just have to trust that Raimi knows what he’s doing.

While we’re on the subject of comic book/movie villains, there are rumors that the next Batman villain will be none other than the Clown Prince of Crime. And while I do enjoy Burton’s take on Batman, Nicholson’s Joker just never really satisfied me. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the Joker. I think they’ll do a good job. Oh, Lachy Hulme, Paul Bettany, and Sean Penn are rumored to be up for the part. Honestly, I think Bettany has the best chance, if they are actually seriously considering any of these people.

Friday, September 16, 2005

You say you want a Revolution . . .

The news has been broken, and I’m sure most gamers have already read about it from any number of sources. I’m very excited about what I’ve read. I know some might have misgivings about it, but I think it’s just uncertainity about new things. I’m going to agree with Nintendo on this one. I think this will be a revolution (of sorts). At the very least, it will certainly cause people to rethink the way controllers function. Nintendo did it before with the D-pad when they introduced their Game and Watch product line. Before then people had to use joysticks. If you want a more recent example, there’s the Gameboy DS with its touchpad (among many other controller innovations). It took a while, but now you’re starting to see some decent games that take advantage of these. This new controller though, it’s just going to make game playing more intuitive. How many times have you seen someone (especially young kids and noobs) jerk their controller up and over when trying to get their character to jump. Now it’ll actually help. People are already wired to use a controller this way, Nintendo just decided to change the controller instead of forcing the people to change. That’s what good design is all about.

It’s going to open up the gaming market even more. Back in the 80’s, it wasn’t uncommon to see parents playing videogames with their kids, that was due in part to how simple and fairly intuitive games were back then (that and more available free time, but that’s another topic). Now controllers have a D-pad, 2 analog sticks, 4 to 6 face buttons, 2 to 4 shoulder buttons, and up to 2 triggers as well. And each button has some sort of function assigned to it. It’s no wonder the casual gamer gets confused. Hell, it’ll take me a while before I can get the hang of most games. Pick-up and play was almost a thing of the past. I just don’t see how you can’t be excited for the industry with this coming. Way to go Nintendo!