Culture

[SDCC 2014] Comic Con Features Geeky Fashion Designers

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San Diego Comic Con is a lot more than just seeing and interacting with your favorite series. It’s also about declaring your love for your favorite fandom by wearing it. Be it cosplay or by simply wearing your favorite t-shirt, Comic Con is all about it. This year, a few popular “geek” fashion groups will be available with exclusive deals and prints.

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Review: “Dragon Quest VIII” for iOS

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Review: “Dragon Quest VIII” for iOS

Reviewing a Dragon Quest game from an American standpoint is an interesting prospect. The long-running RPG series is a cultural phenomenon in its native Japan. Those in the Japanese gaming industry consider it Japan’s national game, with new Dragon Quest games selling up to four million copies. The series has received live-action ballet adaptations, and its music has been performed annually in concert halls since 1987. There’s even a bar in Tokyo modeled after Liuda’s Bar from the games, where fans can go to swap stories and collect treasure maps.

Why, then, has this series never caught on in the States? Sadly, there were barriers from the start. The first game in the series had to be released under the title Dragon Warrior for copyright reasons, but Nintendo still thought it could rustle up the same excitement as it did in Japan, promoting the game heavily in its magazine Nintendo Power. Dragon Warrior garnered generally good reviews, but sold so poorly — half a million copies, only a third of the number sold in its homeland — that Nintendo had to resort to giving copies away. Nintendo then decided to let U.S. publishing duties fall to Enix, the studio that created the games. The next three games, also released under the Dragon Warrior moniker, sold less copies combined than the original. Following this, Enix opted not to release any of the Super Famicom DQ’s in the States, eventually shutting down its U.S. operations completely.

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Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced

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Good news for Star Wars fans: Lucasfilm has posted our first look at the cast of the upcoming Episode VII. From the post on the official site:

The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the case of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

The website also posted a photo of the cast doing a read-through of the script.

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Hideo Kojima Defends “Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes”

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Hideo Kojima Defends “Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes”

Addressing concerns about the short play time of Metal Gear Solid 5‘s prologue chapter, Ground Zeroes, series director Hideo Kojima has released a statement defending the game. The latest issue of Game Informer reports that the game could be completed in two hours, but Kojima stresses that clear time is not the same as play time and argues that there’s plenty of material in the game to justify its $40 price tag.

Kojima notes in his statement that there are five side missions in GZ apart from the main mission, as well as a multiplayer element.

“This is not a linear game like the past,” Kojima said. “GZ offers freedom of approach & play style, which we hope players will enjoy over & over without boring [sic]. I believe people will be satisfied with the ‘Play Time’ of GZ and will not stress the ‘Clear Time,’ which is a standard for linear games.”

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Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

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Review: “Tales of Phantasia” for iOS

The classic RPG Tales of Phantasia has long been revered by those in the know. Released for the Super Famicom in 1995, it boasted incredible graphics, a not particularly original but still entertaining story, and an innovative real-time battle system. Sadly, the original version never made it to the U.S.. Over time it built a following. In 2003 readers of the renowned Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu crowned it as the best Namco game of all time. Finally a port for the Game Boy Advance saw an American release in 2006. The port received mixed reviews.

Now the game has found its way onto the App Store – for free, no less, and longtime fans – and many such as myself who’ve never played it – were quite excited. But as it turns out, there’s nothing free about this game.

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[Editorial] Star Trek: In Defense of J.J. Abrams

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[Editorial] Star Trek: In Defense of J.J. Abrams

On May 16 of 2013 Star Trek: Into Darkness released in theaters. The film was well-received by critics and went on to score the largest box office returns in the franchise’s history. (On a more personal note, Into Darkness was reviewed favorably by our own Leland Pierce.) But less than three months later at the One Trek Mind Live panel in Las Vegas, Into Darkness was hailed as the worst Star Trek film in a live voting poll – worse even than the much-lamented The Final Frontier and notorious stinker Nemesis, and placing significantly below 1999 Star Trek send-up Galaxy Quest – which is not even a Star Trek film. 

To be completely fair, as One Trek Mind specifically states in the link:

“Now, just because something has to come in last doesn’t make it a bad film. Somebody has to bring up the rear! But others in the press (see Hollywood Reporter) felt the need to stir up some controversy.”

I’m not criticizing One Trek Mind in any way, shape, or form. I’m aiming at the the vocal element that seems to hold the Abrams-verse up as the worst thing that has ever happened to science fiction.

I raised a good old-fashioned Spock eyebrow to that one; the kind of people who vote in a poll at the Star Trek 2013 convention conjure a very specific mental image. I’ll leave that image to your own personal imagination, but I can imagine they wouldn’t be the kind of audience that would look favorably upon any creative license taken with the Holy Grail of the Star Trek canon: The Wrath of Khan.

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Online Company Starts Kickstarter Campaign For 3D Printed Miniatures

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Online Company Starts Kickstarter Campaign For 3D Printed Miniatures

Nerd culture may be the current zeitgeist, but there is still one major pastime of nerds everywhere that’s gotten short shrift – tabletop gaming. Just the phrase conjures images of geeks with huge glasses sitting in a dark basement playing Dungeons & Dragons. This is, of course, inaccurate and unfair. Even less known than tabletop gaming is the potential hobby that accompanies it: painting the miniature heroes and monsters used to play the game. In years past players were required to purchase small predesigned minis – usually metal but occasionally plastic. Now, a new company called Hero Forge has started a Kickstarter campaign to produce custom 3D printed miniatures. You choose your race, gender, build, facial expressions, weapons, armor, equipment and hairstyle and Hero Forge will create that mini especially for you with a 3D printer. For imaginative tabletop fans, the possibilities are endless.

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New “Sailor Moon” Anime To Premiere In July 2014

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New “Sailor Moon” Anime To Premiere In July 2014

Good news for otaku everywhere: yesterday, the official website for Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon‘s 20th anniversary project announced its highly-anticipated new anime series will be streamed worldwide this July, via Nico Nico Douga.

The series, produced by Toei Animation (behind the original five Sailor Moon series of the 1990′s) and directed by Munehisa Sakai (One Piece, Suite PreCureOne Piece Film: Strong World), was originally intended to premiere last summer, but was pushed to the winter of 2013-2014 before being postponed again. The series composition is by Yuji Kobayashi (also of Suite PreCure), with opening and ending themes by idol group Momoiro Clover Z.

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State of Play – Responsibility

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State of Play – Responsibility

Welcome to State of Play, a new editorial column from Pixelated Geek. In State of Play, we’ll be dealing with major issues in the gaming community, and we’ll be reaching out to our community for feedback and interaction. Our goal with State of Play is to create a respectful, professional, and insightful dialogue within a group of serious interested parties. Games are serious business, not just the largest moving part of the entertainment economy, but a form of expression where emotionally impactful stories are told throughout communities that grow and bond, and they’re an important educational tool. We take games seriously here, and the goal of this article is to seriously analyze the serious business of gaming.

A massive misconception has been spread among the world’s more fortunate countries that we live in an age of violence and brutality. Invariably, our news media and politicians lay the blame for this condition squarely at the feet of popular entertainment media. But the assertion that violence in our media (be it movies, TV, video games, or music) is responsible for the violence in our culture is one of the most tired and intellectually lazy pieces of politically-motivated propaganda present in modern society.

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