Friday, June 22, 2012

Rants & Raves

I’m mixing it up a bit with this Rants and Raves, as there are both with each topic discussed below:

Twitter – I love twitter, but just for one specific purpose; it’s my way of reading headlines. No longer do I have to check in at 20 different websites to see if they’ve got any new interesting stories I’d like to read – I check through the headlines on my twitter feed and if something looks interesting I click on the link and read it. But otherwise, I don’t really want to “join the conversation”. Not only that, I don’t really want to even hear the conversation. I’m glad that so many people do enjoy communicating that way, but I find it a complete frustration to express myself in 140 characters. When I have a conversation with someone, I’m not limited in that way – and I find when I want to make a point on twitter I’m hampered by that limitation and then writing tweet after tweet to get my whole statement across. Couple that with the realization that I actually don’t really want to read other people’s interactions back and forth on twitter amounted to my having done some cleaning up of whose twitter feeds I follow. It’s not that these aren’t nice folks, but what they want to get out of twitter is very different from what I want to get out of it. There are a few who still hover on the edge for the same reason – they still occasionally tweet a link that I wouldn’t see if I didn’t follow them, but they tend to be too conversational for my tastes on twitter. What’s your take?

Avengers – I think I’m the big Avengers guy here, and I’m the only one who hasn’t reviewed the movie for the blog. I thought it was great. It isn’t my favorite superhero movie ever (that would likely fall to Iron Man followed by Spider-Man) but it’s high up there, and I’m looking forward to watching it many more times once it comes out on DVD. I see a cartoon TV series has been announced called Avengers Assemble, featuring the movie characters, and with it came the ire of the internet because of the cancellation of the current cartoon Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Now I happen to have learned recently that my current favorite team (Guardians of the Galaxy) was featured on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, so I decided to give the show a try (despite having never seen it before). Honestly I loved seeing the Guardians, but I don’t see where all the love for this show is coming from. Actually perhaps I do – it seems like a show made for people who are already big Avengers fans, for long-time comic readers who want to finally see a great adaptation of many stories on the small screen (stories that will likely never make it into movies). But frankly, that isn’t all that approachable for the new fans, those who are discovering these characters through the movies. My kids had no interest in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but when I let them know about Avengers Assemble they wanted to know when it would begin. THAT’s exactly why Marvel and Disney are doing a new cartoon.

Star Wars – This is mostly on videogame topics. I’ve already posted a preview of Star Wars 1313, the new game from LucasArts – I’m looking forward to it, and hope it’ll be coming to the X-Box 360 (despite some claims that it must be next-gen console, it doesn’t look huge leaps beyond what I already see in games in this generation, but whatever). I also hope we’ll get a novelization, and stick with my initial call of Joe Schrieber as author. Still seems like a good fit to me if we’re dealing with the underworld/underbelly of Coruscant, though Sean Williams is usually the go-to guy for videogame novelizations. Then there’s all the talk of woe surrounding The Old Republic MMO – subscribers are down, changes seem to be in the works (free-to-play the first 15 levels). It’s a shame that some articles seem to keep mentioning there’s a problem, but they don’t ever seem to take a stab at answering why (even when they claim they do). My opinion is that there are a few things going on. First, I don’t like the MMO model in general – pay for the game (in the store) for the privilege of paying a monthly fee to play the game once you get it home. Huh? Either charge me a monthly fee and give me the game to download, or charge me upfront for the game and let me play. Perhaps I’m not the only one who feels this way. Also, it’s on PC only – this should have been a console game too. And it probably shouldn’t have been an MMO at all – but a single-player RPG (or a single-player RPG with online PvP worlds or content or whatever). There were many fans of the Knights of the Old Republic RPG, but I’m not convinced they all went and played this spiritual sequel (I didn’t). Unfortunately if things continue to go south, I wonder what happens to the TOR line of books, which I was enjoying so much.

Skylanders – my kids love this game, and so do all their friends – as they trade and collect and play at each others’ houses and so on. I’m happy there’s a new game coming this Christmas (Giants) even though it means more toys and a new game purchase. So why is it so hard for Activision to figure out that there needs to be more merchandise. Try finding a Skylanders T-shirt. How about party products? It can still be difficult to find Skylanders figures themselves in the stores. I understand that this might have been a surprise hit for them, but we’re now at 6-months later and there is still a complete lack of many of these things. It doesn’t take that long to ramp up production of putting images on plates and selling them in party stores.


Maurice Mitchell said...

Jim, I just started getting into Twitter, but so far I'm enjoying interacting with people. I find Google reader easier for following news though. Avengers is the third best after Iron Man and Spider-Man. Still great though.

Blodeuedd said...

I do like twitter but I have given up reading my feed, that would take ages