So that happened.
Major bloody, bloody spoilers after the cut.
So that happened.
Major bloody, bloody spoilers after the cut.
Despite Nintendo’s initial victory in the last console war (achieved largely by the Wii’s successful capture of the casual gamer market), there are some warning signs emerging of late that indicate the console giant—whose brand was once synonymous with gaming—may be on the verge of riding off into the sunset. Driven partly by Nintendo’s overestimation of the Wii’s staying power, partly by the fickle nature of casual gaming, and partly by developer abandonment, Nintendo is facing some interesting times, to say the least—times that are not helped one bit by the gaming community’s lukewarm reception of the Wii U.
Unsurprisingly, the gaming news du jour has revolved pretty exclusively around Microsoft’s official Tuesday unveiling of the Xbox 360’s successor: the Xbox One. While there have been months of build-up for this next-gen console, including its fair share of controversy and leaks of system specifications and features dating as far back as last October, the general public has not been able to set eyes on the device itself until this week.
Why, hello, Daario.
“Second Sons” is fine for a title, but it doesn’t leave much room for the women of Game of Thrones, many of whom also had a difficult time performing their duties this week. So much duty this week. And boobs. And leeches and lechers.
Gendry bled, Tyrion wed, Davos read, and... Samwell got to not be a big fat stupid for about five minutes.
Note: episode reviews are largely spoiler-free for the books, but spoilers are fair game in the comments. Be warned.
Universal Pictures has just debuted the first trailer for Riddick, the upcoming epic action-adventure starring Vin Diesel, and it looks like everyone’s favorite criminal is getting back to his alien-slaying roots.
Each season of Game of Thrones has one episode written by AsoIaF author George R.R. Martin, and while we didn’t get the pyrotechnics of “Blackwater” or the surprise appearance of White Walkers as we did in “The Pointy End,” there were still plenty of memorable moments this hour.
And a ton of quotes that will have new meaning once the season’s over.
Last month, we witnessed the end of one of gaming’s most iconic studios, LucasArts, at the hands of Disney. This move left the status of the developer’s Star Wars franchise as an unknown. Well, no longer. This week, EA announced their acquisition of the Star Wars license and assured fans that the future of the franchise in gaming is safe. As to whether this is good or bad news... well, that depends on your perception of EA.
When all was said and done, this week’s episode of Game of Thrones felt like cresting the top of a huge rollercoaster. You get one moment to catch your breath and then it’s all quickly downhill to the season finale from here.
Jon Snow finally climbs the Wall, Ygritte gets a little too intense, Arya gets a lesson in archery and vigilantism, and Sansa gets some bad news. There were some interesting deviations from the books and some pointed parallels drawn between characters that became clear when the episode came round full circle. It might not have been the most exciting hour this season, but there were definitely some exciting scenes.
Note: Book spoilers are mostly avoided in the review, but are fair game in the comments. Proceed with caution.
This week saw the release of three new trailers for Rockstar’s latest offering—Grand Theft Auto V. As the veteran developers begin to ramp up the release of information in the months leading up to GTA V’s September launch, they’ve allowed fans to progressively learn a little more about the game’s three protagonists, each of whom is featured in their own new trailer. Meet Michael, Franklin, and Trevor—Rockstar’s latest cast of miscreants in the GTA franchise.
This week on Game of Thrones, Westeros burns with desire, vengeance, fever, holy fire, and questions. Plots beget counter-plots and counter-counter plots. And the seeds are planted for some very big events.
Oh, and Jon Snow knows something, after all....
Note: Show spoilers after the cut, book spoilers likely in the comments. Proceed with caution.
Bethesda finally drew back the curtain on their latest project this week, and fans of the survival horror genre should be very, very happy. Shinji Makami, creator of the Resident Evil and Dino Crisis franchises, is returning to his survival horror roots with his new game, The Evil Within, in hopes of steering a genre he sees as slightly off-course back in the right direction.
NYC-area science fiction fans had a wealth of literary events to choose from this past Friday night. Singularity & Co. hosted the latest “I, Reader,” curated by Tor.com’s own Ryan Britt. In Manhattan, Neil Gaiman stepped in to moderate a Q&A with musician (and spouse) Amanda Palmer at the EMP Pop Conference. Uptown, the venerable NY Public Library opened its doors for William Gibson and a sold out crowd. The “LIVE at NYPL” series has hosted luminaries such as Lou Reed, Joan Didion, Werner Herzog, Patti Smith, and Salman Rushdie, but the genre offerings have been slim. Making the night even more of a rarity was the fact that Gibson made a public appearance without a new book to promote. Guided by popular moderator Paul Holdengräber, the author shared insights on his formative years, his writing, and the time’s ability to transform technology from magical to ubiquitous.
He also shared the first few pages from his work-in progress “probably called” The Peripheral.
The last ten minutes of last night’s Game of Thrones episode proved that one show’s fourth episode is another show’s season finale. It was one fiery hell of a capper to an hour largely about secret dealings, betrayals, and some big slices of humble pie served to Lannisters.
Show spoilers after the cut, book spoilers likely in the comments. Proceed with caution.
Most fans of 90s gaming are well acquainted with developer LucasArts’ (technically known as Lucasfilm Games at the time) early adventure gaming classics: The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. This week, Ron Gilbert, creator of the Monkey Island-verse, opened up on his blog, Grumpy Gamer, about what he would like to do if he were ever to make another Monkey Island game—mandatory reading for gamers pining for the company of Guybrush Threepwood and the Ghost Pirate LeChuck.
For an episode called “Walk of Punishment,” we thankfully got a lot less walking on last night’s Game of Thrones compared to “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” Guess they couldn’t make the whole hour about Rast having to keep Samwell alive on the march to Craster’s Keep. All of the players are starting to move around the board and it was really exciting. And tense. And funny. And mysterious.
And then... things took A Turn, as they often do in Westeros.
Please be aware that while I try to avoid book spoilers in the main post, the comments may contain spoilers for all books. The comments may also devolve into cries of MOAR PEEN, HBO. (I felt so uncomfortably accomplished about that last week.)
A series of reports claiming that the next-gen Xbox, codenamed Durango, would have an always-online requirement recently made waves around the gaming world, prompting many gamers to outrage and frustration driven by lessons seemingly unlearned from the launch fiascos of always-online AAA titles such as SimCity and Diablo III. It has certainly been an eventful week for Microsoft, to say the least—ranging from initial reports, to outspoken employees, to a firing, and now to a conflicting report. Let’s take a look back.
This week on Game of Thrones, we catch up with the other half of the considerable Dramatis Personae. The premiere was all about service, the second episode is all about... walking. Jaime Lannister is the chatty Donkey to Brienne’s Shrek, Bran and Arya meet strangers on the road, and Sam’s fallen and he can’t get up. Meanwhile, women in King’s Landing are either manipulated or manipulative or irrationally jealous, unless they’re old. Then they’re the only people who talk sense.
LucasArts, one of the most influential and important development studios of gaming’s formative years, is no more, thanks to Disney. The studio was best known for its iconic and visionary games of the 90s and early 2000s, such as Grim Fandango (a personal favorite), the Monkey Island series, and of course, the Star Wars series, including such classics as Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II and Rogue Squadron.
East Coast fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones who were patient and lucky enough to brave long lines and cold winds got a special treat when the network and Time Warner Cable brought a traveling exhibition to New York City for a very limited time.
After two attempts and over two hours, I got a chance to see an impressive (and free!) collection of props, costumes, and art direct from the land of Westeros.