September 17, 2016

TOS Season 1: Episode 3 - "Charlie X"

What's this? Another episode so soon? Didn't I just review The Man Trap? Well, you get a two-fer tonight because I couldn't sleep! Anyway, another Episode another person with poorly defined reality altering powers. Can't trust those eyes in Star Trek, I'm telling ya.

TOS Season 1: Episode 3 - "Charlie X"

September 16, 2016

TOS Season 1: Episode 2 - "The Man Trap"

And we are back. We get our first real episode of Star Trek on TV. You can see the actors are just starting out and struggling to find their voice and groove, but overall a fun episode. Let's do this:

TOS Season 1: Episode 2 - "The Man Trap"

September 9, 2016

TOS: Episode 1: The Cage

Who are these strange people?
So it turns out there are two pilot episodes. One is the unofficial original pilot with completely different actors and characters (except Spock, but he's apparently not Number One in this), the other is like Episode 4 or something on the official viewing order. Okay, a rocky start. Let's get the weird one out of the way:

TOS Season 1: Episode 1 - "Pilot: The Cage"

September 8, 2016

Star Trek 50th Anniversary - A Beginning

So it's been a few years since I posted anything here, but I figured today would be as good a day as any to return. Ya see, today is Star Trek's 50th Anniversary and I want to start watching it. Once upon a time I wanted to do a Wheel of Time Re-Read/Review on this site, but that never really panned out. I have these grand plans of things I want to do that will carve out a little fan base on the internet for myself, but then life happens and I never do it. This may be another one of those times I start something grand and then never really follow up on it.... but I'm going to attempt this.

I'm going to watch all of Star Trek.
All of it.
In Order.
And I want your help.

August 10, 2013

My Favorite Music Easter Eggs in the Media

So I discovered today that the Emperor's theme in Star Wars is the exact same theme as the super happy ending celebration theme in Episode I which is all kinds of awesome. The big celebration at the end of Episode I is rightly deserved for the heroes, but it is also the initial first step allowing the Emperor to stage a full on coup later and taking over the entire universe basically. This is his moment. This is his theme. Behold the Genius of John Williams.

This got me thinking of a few other of my favorite music easter eggs.

September 7, 2012

One of the Most Amazing Photos Ever

Prepare to be amazed...

This image is just mind-blowing.  It was originally captured in 1927 at the Solvay Conference, attended by some of the most brilliant scientists in history. Notable attendees included Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Marie Curie, Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac and Louis de Broglie. More than half of the attendees went onto win the Nobel Prize in either Physics or Chemistry. Marie Curie actually won the prize in both fields. She remains the only scientist in history to have done so.

The original picture is black & white but a Swedish female artist successfully colorized it and posted it on reddit where it became an instant classic. Not only that, she's made it available on the internet for free. The colorization is amazing and is the first time I've ever felt like I'm seeing these people for the first time.

This one definitely deserves to be shared further for the world to print and put up as a poster. A more epic gathering cannot be imagined.

June 8, 2012

Game Review: Ico

*People are actual size

So back in 2001 a game simply called Ico was released. It had kinda crappy box art and didn't garner tons of attention at first. I was a devout Nintendo fanboy and it was released on the PS2. As such... I never heard of it. Later this same game company made a game called Shadow of the Colossus. This was a hit and established that games could be art. It has even been picked up to be made into a movie now. Only then did the name Ico become a household name in the gaming community. 

Flashforward 11 years and now I own a PS3 and the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD collection. I had never played through either game and I was excited to see what all the fuss has been about for so long.

Well, on paper, this game sounds kinda boring. One big long escort mission. Small boy (Ico) is imprisoned in a castle cause he has horns and that's what they do to boys with horns. A tremor shakes the boy's cell and he escapes and is alone in a castle. Find the princess, get out of the castle. Occasionally be attacked by easily defeatable shadow monsters that try and re-kidnap said princess. Rinse, repeat. 

These guys are easier than they look. I beat them down with a wooden stick.
That is literally all there is to this game. Its a lonely game. Rarely is there any talking. You only meet one other person in your journey besides Yorda and the black shadows. Rarely is anything explained. The princess that tags along (Yorda) doesn't speak your language so when she talks, you get some random language characters. Its basically one big long dungeon puzzle. Push a block, climb a rope, swing on a rope, climb a ledge, etc. etc. 

Now I hate escort missions in games (and this game is just a huge escort mission), but somehow here it is thoroughly entertaining. And here is why:

You will climb on every last inch of this castle. 
See that? That is the whole game right there. Well, almost, since the whole thing isn't in the picture. Every last square inch. Every open space you see, every wall and doorway... See those tiny round things under the bridge to the right of the waterfall? You will go there too dragging Yorda every step of the way. This game is beautiful. The scale is incredible. One thing that has bothered me in modern games is the loss of scale. People seem too large and capable. When they do put things in that are large and give you a sense of scale, then it is usually a non-interactive rendering like backgrounds or buildings that you can't enter. In Assassin's Creed I can run across the rooftops of the entire city of Rome or Constantinople in 15 minutes or so. Ezio would scaled this entire castle in and out in a matter of minutes. In this game it can take 2 minutes to climb a single ladder. Inside is scaled to outside. It all exists and you are tiny. And... it.... is .... breathtaking.

Reference this picture and the size of the wall Ico is standing on with the one above and you get an idea for the size of the castle.
There are only two ways to lose. Fall from too high, or the princess gets captured and the world turns to stone. Either way, you will be going back to your last physical save point. There was no autosave feature, so if you don't save, you will repeat stuff you've done. The only way to save are on these stone couches. You sit down, Yorda sits next to you and you take a rest and save. I liked it. I forget what it is like in our modern gaming culture to have consequences for dying since dying just puts you back a few minutes or to the beginning of the recent firefight.

Take a break guys.
There is a bit of a downer to this game. The controls are really wonky. Trying to get Yorda to follow me or to turn and face the correct angle never seemed to do exactly what I intended. I had to fight Ico to climb. I'd touch a pole for him to climb and he'd treat it as a wall half the time. I'd jump to catch a bar, and Ico wouldn't catch it for no good reason. Wonky.

The place this game truly shines though is the weird bond between Yorda and Ico. They never really talk other than Ico calling out to Yorda to follow him. But they trust each other. Maybe its the hand holding, the the constant life saving, or just the fact that they are trying to escape together. You feel the bond somehow and the game capitalizes on it as its main story function.

This pretty much sums up the whole game to me.

Anyway. I'd recommend everyone everywhere to play through this game to get a sense for what building in games should look like and feel like. Even after 11 years this game (or at least the HD version) is still amazing and breathtaking in its scale.

8/10 for turdy control

May 29, 2012

Game Review: Mass Effect 3

Tell me more about the Shepard.

Mass Effect is an anomaly of a video game experience. It is a game that was planned as trilogy right from the start. It is a game that lets you make universe altering decisions which the repercussions may not show up till two games later. It is a game that you can morph to be your own... from the Gender and look of your version of Commander Shepard, to his back story, to the relationships you develop, even who he/she falls in love with. It is an epic space opera that you get to control.

This trilogy is the greatest video game experience of our modern times.

April 27, 2012

Lucas knows his family.

Here's Lucas looking at pictures of the family. He's still working on recognizing Emily and Hunter. He says "Elimy" and he doesn't get Atoo, but he like saying Hunter... so there ya go. 

March 29, 2012

Game Review: Assassin's Creed II: Revelations

... or Assassin's Creed II:3... if that makes any sense.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations is a game that is really only appealing to people who are already invested in the series. While fun to play, at heart the game really is just a bunch of more of the same sort of stuff we've been doing. The new parts that have been added aren't that interesting and frankly aren't even that fun. If you haven't played AC, ACII or ACII:Brotherhood, the general overarching plot won't make a whole lot of sense so it is not a good entry point. There isn't much in this game that hasn't been done before, often times in a more interesting way.

March 27, 2012

A Few More Lucas Videos

Here are a few more videos of Lucas for your enjoyment.

First, Lucas sings the ABC's. He's been doing this for quite a while and in this video he's doing it kinda bored here, usually he sings faster and more enthusiastic.

Finally, Lucas sings "Tonight Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae. Again, he's usually more enthusiastic, but when he noticed I was filming him he was more interested at smiling into the camera than singing for the most part... but you get the point.

February 1, 2012

This guy is cooler than me in every single way.

Ok, so this dude is pretty much cooler than me in everyway imaginable. I mean seriously. First off, Yale. So there's that. Second, the dude's got style.... I wear the same shirts I've had since 9th grade. On top of that... Check out these cello skills.... while BEATBOXING!

"Oh, but Krit...," you may say, "But you speak Chinese! At least that makes you special!"

January 27, 2012

SOPA and PIPA summarized

Here is a summary of why there is so much backlash against SOPA & PIPA in case you weren't sure by now.
SOPA & PIPA Technical Examination
Brought to you by Lumin Interactive and Condor Consulting

January 13, 2012

iPhone roit...

Hundreds of angry Chinese people.... one slightly amused white guy.

(Apple store annouced they wouldn't be opening as planned to sell the new iPhone as planned)