I should be blogging about how awesome Guild Wars 2 is. I should have been excited about my 3-day headstart. However, I have insufficient RAM. SO! Instead of video games, I bring you Doctor Who news.
Season 7 premieres with “Asylum of the Daleks” at 8 p.m. CDT tomorrow on BBC America. Why should you care? Because dinosaurs on a spaceship.
If you haven’t already, make sure you check out Pond Life on YouTube. It’s a five-part prequel to this season that shows what happens in the Ponds’ home between their adventures with the Doctor. The episodes are less than two minutes long, so not having time is no excuse. In fact, I just watched all five of them, and after Part 5, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Rory and Amy. I’ve grown quite attached to the Ponds, and I’ll be sad to see them go, but I guess it was inevitable.
Check back on Sunday for “11 Thoughts on ‘Asylum of the Daleks.’”
Between classes, The Alestle, Uncharted 3 and Skyrim, who has time to blog?
X-Men: Destiny (released Sept. 27)
I’ve been meaning to write about this game for a while now. I mentioned it in my last post, but it needs elaboration. X-Men is my favorite comic franchise ever. Naturally, I was stoked when I found out I could be an X-Man and I desperately wanted to play it. I was almost willing to buy it and give up waiting for Uncharted 3. I’m so glad I didn’t.Instead, I rented it, beat it and returned it.
I really wanted to like it, but when I put down my controller, I felt the same disappointment that followed after watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
I tried all three characters, all three abilities and did both X-Men and Brotherhood faction “quests” and found the variables didn’t matter (especially if you choose Adrian Luca and are pretty much forced to join the X-Men). The storyline bored me and the end boss was disappointing.
I appreciated the appearance of slightly lesser known (to the general public) mutants, like Caliban, Forge and Northstar. On the other hand, a couple mutants got a makeover for the worse. Nightcrawler looked like a hippie –which might make sense since the game is set in San Francisco — and Cyclops looks like a Cylon in a blue full-body condom. Overall, the graphics were lacking. The characters looked like plastic and the scenery wasn’t very notable.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (released Nov. 1)
I got Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception as a birthday present and beat it in about a week. It was love at first button mash. I already loved Uncharted 2 and its sequel does not only do the Uncharted series justice, but also raises the bar for any games to follow.
In this game, there is a lot more interaction with the environment. With the new melee system, Drake can use bottles, wrenches and anything else nearby to bash a baddie’s head in. However this also means Drake has a weird thing about touching the things when he is close to them. Just for fun, purposefully maneuvered him so that he would tenderly caress a wall or display case. The first couple times it was hilarious. After a while it’s easy to ignore.
One of my favorite parts involves escaping a sinking ship. As the water began to rise, I tensed up a bit for Drake’s sake. Similarly, a chapter in the desert really captures Drake’s desperation and I could almost empathize with his fatigue. There quite a few semi-annoying pull back shots that flaunt the amazing job Naughty Dog did, but they totally deserve flaunting it.
As impressive as the graphics and the improved gameplay are, the characters and plot are what really made the game.
The game opens with Nathan Drake and Victor “Sully” Sullivan entering a seedy London bar, which quickly evolves into a fistfight, introducing Uncharted 3’s new melee commands. Moments later, Drake and Sully run into British villainess Katherine Marlowe, who is after one thing: Sir Francis Drake’s ring, which Nate wears around his neck. After a flashback that reveals a history between Drake, Sully and Marlowe, I was instantly hooked.
Uncharted 3 made me care about the character relationships — especially Drake/Sully and Drake/Elena. The flashback shows when Drake first met Sully 20 years ago. Back then Sully saved teen Drake from Marlowe’s cronies and had since become a father-figure and wiseass mentor to Drake. Knowing this, I was more invested in their relationship as one might feel about Pippin and Merry in Lord of the Rings. There were a few edge-of-my-seat moments when I exclaimed, “SULLY!” aloud at the game.
When Elena enters the game, there’s an awkward exchange that implies that sometime in the two years between Among Thieves and Drake’s Deception, Drake and Elena were married and later separated. After Among Thieves, I “awww’d” and I was genuinely happy that Drake ended up with Elena instead of Chloe. This implication dampened those feelings.
Between these two key subplots, there is no way you can walk away not wanting to find out more about the characters. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for sappy stories and happy endings.
And for your entertainment, here’s a video of Harrison Ford playing Uncharted 3.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (released Nov. 11)
To be honest, this is the first Elder Scrolls game I’ve played and it did not disappoint. I love fantasy RPGs, so it was easy for me to get into Skyrim. I play a Bosmer (wood elf), who hasn’t decided what class to be in, but wields a sword and destruction magic while completing quests for the Thieves’ Guild and the College of Winterhold.
Most people I know are up to level 40+; I’m level 15. Then again, I haven’t been playing as much as most people I know since my husband has been playing Skyrim as well. While he’s slaying dragons, I’m left doing speed clears in Guild Wars.
The Walking Dead
On Oct. 16, The Walking Dead returns for its second season, in which Sofia, Carol’s daughter, goes missing. The survivors spend the seven-episode story arc searching for her and happen upon a family farm where they set up camp. On Nov. 27, the show ended with the most heartrending episode I’ve ever seen on TV.
If you haven’t watched this season of The Walking Dead, do yourself a favor and watch it now. Season 2 is available on iTunes and Amazon Instant Video. Episode 8 will air at 9/8c on Sunday February 12 on AMC.
My favorite ASBO antiheroes returned in the third season of Misfits on Oct. 30. This season introduces the gang’s new powers and Rudy, Nathan’s replacement, who, like any new character in a TV show, was difficult to get used to. He’s certainly no Robert Sheehan, but every episode, he becomes more likable. I’m not yet sure how I feel about everybody’s new powers. Simply put –as to avoid spoilers– after establishing the characters’ struggles with their powers in the the first and second seasons, it’s difficult to cope with their new struggles with their new powers.
If you aren’t familiar with Misfits, I recommend getting on hulu and watching the first two seasons. It’s totally worth your time. Plus, winter break is coming up; don’t pretend you have better things to do than watch entire seasons of a British TV series. Season three will become available on Dec. 19.
Until next time,
I find Community funny enough on its own, but this is what keeps me watching.
Quirky pop culture references scattered throughout the series, but this is by far my favorite. Abed represents “every-nerd” and the fact that a Doctor Who parody is Abed-approved validates everyone who’s ever been ashamed of loving Doctor Who, which is indeed the best show I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
The only thing better than this was Saturday night’s Doctor Who episode, “Closing Time,” which I must say was the best since the mid-series premiere. For more on Doctor Who, come back later this week!
- What does the Doctor believe in?
- What is the Doctor’s most primal fear? Yeah, yeah, we hear TARDIS sounds when he opens room 11 (get it?) and perhaps it was himself, but I really want it to be more than that. Could it have been his death? River Song? The Silence?
- Who were the Weeping Angels for?
- Why didn’t Rory find his room… or did he have one?
- (Similarly) Why doesn’t Rory have something to believe in? What about Amy?
- Why is Gibbis such a pansy? I mean, he is from a planet where they thrive on being conquered and oppressed, but still. I wish he died instead of Rita.
- “An ancient creature drenched in the blood of the innocent drifting in space through an endless shifting maze, to such a creature death would be a gift.” Is this prophecy (like the Oods’) or observation? Does the Doctor know he’s going to die?
- What DO Timelords pray to? (Good questions, Amy Pond.)
- How could he possibly just leave the Ponds behind? They’re not like Susan or Sarah Jane. Eff them. They were lame. The Ponds are… antilame.
- The Doctor effed up Rose, Martha and Donna. By travelling with the Ponds, he already made his own killer, how much worse could it get with them?
- WHAT ABOUT THE SILENCE? …which is a question I’ve had since the mid-series premiere. In “Let’s Kill Hitler,” we learn they are a religious order and they have something to do with the Question.
There will be two more episodes in series 6 and, although I am plenty happy with the return of Craig in next week’s episode, I can’t help but feel just a little disappointed in the second half of this series. The episodes are good…ish, but “Let’s Kill Hitler” did little other than introduce Alex Kingston as Melody Pond, “Night Terrors” was a little scary (especially the singing dolls), “The Girl Who Waited” was good, but pretty obviously filler, and now this week’s episode does what… gives the Doctor the opportunity to ditch Amy and Rory? I’m not buying it. After all, “Backpedalling is [the Doctor’s] middle name.”
Overall, I thought it was suspenseful and witty, but I really miss the arc of the Doctor versus the Silence. Hopefully everything will fall into place within the next two weeks… or I’ll pitch a fit.
Doctor Who’s Series six mid-series finale answered some major questions then opened up so many more.
After three years, we finally know who River Song is. (The lead up made me wonder why I didn’t figure it out sooner. River Song? Melody Pond? I see what you did there, Steven Moffat.)
How does Melody Pond become the River Song we meet in “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” and in “The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone?” Is she the impossible astronaut? Who taught her to fly the TARDIS?
If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the prequel to tonight’s episode.
After I saw it the first time, I was screaming at the Doctor. Why won’t you answer the phone, you dolt?!
Hopefully, we’ll get all these answers as series six continues with “Let’s Kill Hitler” tonight at 8 p.m. CDT on BBC America.