Welcome to your new home Link! While it may not be as adventurous as living in Hyrule, I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine.
The Figma figure from The Legend of Zelda is now sitting nicely in my collection between some X-Men and Robotech Mechs. Link is based The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the popular action adventure Zelda series’ newest addition. This is a product from China distributed by the Good Smile company. The fine people at Chameleon Comics in lower Manhattan were nice enough to find it for me. They may still have one in stock if you’re lucky.
A bloghop, hosted by some Twitter friends The Geek Twins, is happening today. The topic is quite simple: “Who is your all-time favorite alien individual (Martian or otherwise)”. Really narrowing down my choice to one specific alien has been quite a task. I’ve gone back to my early experiences with sci-fi for this answer. I’m not going to carve it into stone, but I’m happy with my pick.
One quality you can find in almost any alien is sexiness. Whether they are “phoning home” or trying to escape The Collective. There have been many sexy aliens, but before Trisha Helfer played BSG’s Six, before Jeri Ryan played Seven of Nine there was the original femme fatale Jane Badler as Diana. Diana is the Commander of the Visitors a race of human looking aliens that came Earth in the made-for-TV miniseries V. With giant mother ships hovering over major cities, they spoke of coming in peace but they had a much more sinister goal in mind.
As these things usually go, the Visitors had an ultimate clandestine mission. They were actually here for our water, minerals and us, as food! The Visitors were actually reptilian humanoids disguised as human beings.
In the 1980s, NBC television was interested in sci-fi after the success of films such as Star Wars. V was created by Kenneth Johnson as a political thriller with a sci-fi twist. The story was an allegory to the fascist Nazi regime of World War 2, the term “V” had a duel meaning V as in the Visitors the name the people of Earth gave to the new aliens and V for Victory the rally cry of the human resistance. Originally, it was a single television mini-series simply titled “V”; then came it’s follow up “V: The Final Battle” it’s success even spawned a series between 1984-85.
Starring in all of these adventures was one of the sexiest aliens to ever leave a mark in my memory. The cruel, arrogant Commander Diana of the Visitors! Reknowned as the spokesperson for this new alien race, she was the public face for the Visitors. Diana used her sexuality to get what she needed, sometimes during a ruthless interrogation or among the Visitor’s hierarchy to establish her superiority. Diana is probably best known for a scene where she let her human disguise down for a moment to consume a live rat whole.
Jane Badler most recently reprised her role of the character Diana in the 2009, ABC remake of the V series. In the remake Diana is an outcast, betrayed by her daughter Anna (Morena Baccarin) and kept secretly in a prison cell on one of the Visitor’s mother ships.
I happened upon a Diana Tribute video lurking on YouTube (Warning: very old Spoilers and music):
“How does this relate to video games? Isn’t this a video game blog?”
A video game for V was released in 1986 by Ocean Software Ltd. for the Commodore 64. The game itself is very primitive compared to what we consider a video game these days. I’ve never played this or even knew about until I started writing this. Here is a fun review from Computer Gamer magazine in 1986.
One of the big, new features of the Nintendo Wii U system is the ability to continue-the-game without using the TV. This independence from the television is rarely seen in the gaming world (one could argue that handhelds provide this). No need to wait for next gen consoles, this experience is available today through Playstation’s Remote Play! Stealing the thunder right out from Nintendo this updated feature was first announced during Sony’s E3 keynote but was brought to life with the latest System Updates for PS3 (4.21) and PS Vita (1.80). Remote Play allows you to play PS3 games (both disk based and downloaded) off your home console through your PS Vita without needing the television. If you listen closely, cheers from significant others’ everywhere who desperately need to watch their shows can be heard. The Remote Play library is limited right now with only two titles: the God of War collection (specifically GOW 1 & 2) and the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus games. Both of these collections require a quick patch through the PS3 but are then fully playable on the PS Vita. I’m excited for the potential to play more games like this. Sony’s exact plan for rolling out Remote Play is not yet known.
Besides the game updates, you will need a wifi connection but your home wireless setup should work just fine, to use Remote Play. Tune your PS3 to the “Remote Play” setting in the XMB. Then fire up your PS Vita and open the Remote Play app. Select your connection and instantly your PS3 XMB is available to you on the PS Vita screen. You can navigate the full XMB as well as your library of games, movies, music and pictures. Just to reiterate not all games are fully supported (yet) but the two collections mentioned previously are as well as a number of PS1 classics, some PS minis and strangely, anything made by Pixeljunk.
Below are some PS Vita screenshots depicting the process of logging into Remote Play. Step by step instructions from PS can be found here.
RELEASE: 02/2011 | PLATFORM: PS3 | DEV: Telltale Games | ESRB: T for Teen
It’s exciting to see when developers like Telltale Games play bring their unique take to some fun franchise licences. Their point-and-click style, adventure games remind me a lot of the Choose Your Own Adventure books I used to read, in which, players are presented with a decision and that decision decides the next direction the narrative will take. The story-focused game style adapts well to established books and movies. Previously, Telltale Games has adapted a Jurassic Park story set within the parameters of that movie. This game, based on the classic 80’s film Back to the Future is sure to be a hit with movie fans, just maybe not all gamers. The Back to the Future The Game was originally sold in episodes, which can now be purchased bundled together. Low priced episodic games have become Telltale’s calling card. This game is quite affordable at $3-5 for a hour or two of gameplay in each episode. There are five in all, sequential, adding to a larger narrative arc. For all you continuity sticklers, this game takes place during the beginning of the first movie. Huh? You’ll have to play to see what I mean but all the main BttF characters are accountable like Doc Brown, Einstein (the dog), and Biff. You’ll play as Marty (duh) the time traveling, rebellious youth. Time to pack up the Delorean, you’ll be making quite a few stops in Hill Valley, California present, past and zanny alternate versions.
The graphics are straight out of a story book, cartoonish, in the highly stylized/b-boy fashion that is ever so popular. They are cutesy yet they appeal to a younger, more innocent side of myself. The character’s features are modeled after their movie counterparts; almost as if the actors sat for caricature drawing of themselves. Sadly, this is no Pixar work of animation, in fact the animation looks quite dated when compared to the standards of today’s major game releases. Gameplay is varied between navigating a 3D area and NPC character questioning. The game maps are generally small and are littered with clues and interactive objects. “Clicking” on these clues and other highlighted items result in some interaction, either taking an object, investigation or questioning a person. Throughout the game, Marty will be tasked with puzzles to solve to meet his goals; such as throwing Einstein a stick to distract a crowd or finding some alcohol to use as fuel. Slow moving, single solution problems with little or no consequences. The majority of these puzzles are right on the nose and easy to solve; some however, require a clue. Clues are readily available and will help highlight the required action you need to take.
Repeat: This is not an action game! Adventure games such as this are focused more on puzzles rather than any physical challenges. What little 3D navigation you do have is quirky and will have you spinning the analog stick all over the place. Brace yourself for some long scenes in-between puzzles.
Where this game falls short in gameplay, it makes up for in charm. Bob Gale, the screenwriter of the Back to the Future movie trilogy penned the story for the game. His attention to detail and love of the franchise is obvious. I see these point-and-click style games as the future of children’s books. This is the kind of game I would expect to find on the iPad. It could very well be the developer’s plan to build games that could be easily ported to a touch screen. All things considered, Back to the Future The Game is fun; but for a major console release, even as an inexpensive downloadable title, it falls pretty short.
Gamedae supporter Corrie recently sent in some pictures from her daughter’s birthday cake that I have to share. This is one of the biggest pink balls of cake I’ve surely seen. Thanks for sharing, Corrie, we love to see stuff like this. See the making of pictures and story below.
Kayla just turned 8 and is a Mario Bros., Angry Birds and Lego fanatic. Their stories collide regularly in our family room. Anything that includes a story that she can add to, along with its own “world” that she can learn about and build onto, becomes a fast obsession. Not quite sure where she found her first Kirby character but when we saw the cute, round pink guy eating yarn for the first time, we were all hooked (Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii). Then came a Kirby plushy. Then the question: “Mom, you can make a cake look like that, right?” “Um, sure. I’ll have a picture from the Kirby game put onto that edible photo paper.” “No, mom, round; like the Ace of Cakes guy ((Duff Goldman) would do it on Food Network.” Why do I let the kids watch TV?
Duff’s version would likely have been perfect but I did use the supplies he sells to us wannabes at Michael’s arts and crafts stores. No recipes really, just used a Wilton’s Sports Ball cake pan (which is really just two hemisphere, stainless pans with bases; so they don’t go rolling around in the oven) and when making the cake from Duff Goldman’s cake mix (chocolate — YUM) I left some of the fat out of it to make it a bit dryer. A dryer cake keeps its shape better. I used white confectioner’s sugar icing, made nice and thick, as the “glue” to hold the two hemispheres together. The icing also holds the fondant pieces onto the cake. Thinly rolled fondant (you can see it is hard to cover a round object, that stuff is even harder to work with in large quantities) and sugar paper for the details on the eyes and Kirby’s cute smile. Fondant is like play doh. You can eat it, but no one *really* likes the taste of it. Cool to know though, that all these cute characters are, indeed, edible.
Kirby has lasted — Kayla would not let us eat his head, so he still sits, sagging, yet still smiling under the weight of the fondant, in the back of our fridge. We may need to keep him forever even though I have lost the use of a shelf in my refrigerator, which is not good when you have a side-by-side and entertain crowds. Oh well, Kayla’s happy.
If your like me, and since your reading this you are, you have all kinds of media stored on your computer that the PS3 will not play. I know the current PS3 tagline is “It only plays everything” and usually it will. However, I’m noticing a lot of new formats, particularly with HD video, that just won’t play. Files such as .mkv, certain DivX files and Xvid just won’t play and were never intended to play on the PS3. Gamedae has recently installed and is very happy with a streaming media server program simply called PS3 Media Server
Available for free at www.ps3mediaserver.org. This is a great one stop solution for setting this up for streaming movie goodness. Forget the head ache of formatting your USB drive or connecting a portable drive. This solution literally takes a couple of mouse clicks.
PS3 Media Server is a DLNA-compliant UPnP Media Server. Originally written to support the PlayStation 3, PS3 Media Server has been expanded to support a range of other media renderers, including smartphones, televisions, music players and more. Because it is written in Java, PS3 Media Server supports all major operating systems, with versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The program streams or transcodes many different media formats with little or no configuration. It is powered by MEncoder, FFmpeg, tsMuxeR and AviSynth, which combine to offer support for a wide range of media formats.
Let me reiterate how easy this is. Just download the installer, copy the application to your computer’s hard drive then launch the program. You will be prompted to search for a PS3 on your network, make sure your PS3 console is on, it took seconds for the program to make the connection. On the XMB you can access the folders you’ve given the permissions to. Simply navigate to the type of file you want to play (video/photos/music). The server will show up as a little play button icon on your XMB and works like normal (no using “triangle” to “see all”). The best thing about this is your not actually installing anything on your PS3. No worries about a small hard drive or getting “bricked” for hacking your system.
Amazingly simple program with no headaches. Go forth and stream! If you find your files skipping or pixelating double check your network connection and try quitting other programs.
Wondering what that banner image is? It’s from a great movie, also, the first movie to be (intentionally) delivered via BitTorrent. It’s called: The Tunnel. The downloaded movie file is an .mkv and a perfect reason to try out the PS3 Media Server app.