Mike’s Prattle


Archive for May, 2009

All things Doom and more

Posted by Mike on May 28, 2009

The Xbox special edition of Doom 3 comes with both the original games, Doom and Doom 2. I’m pretty sure, like almost everyone with a computer a decade or so ago, that I played at least the shareware levels of the first Doom way back when it was first released, but for some reason my only living memory is of the red, yellow and blue keys otherwise I’d probably have no idea. While both Doom and Doom 2 (which are basically the same game with small differences) are graphically primitive nowadays, I still think they’re quite a bit of fun, even if they probably weren’t envisioned as being played on a 46″ HD screen. I think between the two of them there are least 50 to 60 different levels, most of which I managed to get through, although one is always surprised what secrets are missed along the way. The only sticking point is that the Xbox port of Doom 2 fails miserably on the final level, freezing your system every time you try to reload a save. At least in this case I didn’t have any doubt I’d have beaten the big bad at this point with a bit of effort. But overall I’m amazed at how fun these are still, there’s something still quite visceral about levels as puzzles and demon carnage.

Doom III looks surprisingly amazing still, as an Xbox game it’s still late enough to be wide screen and even if it’s not HD it’s quite great in that area nonetheless. The first two Dooms had little in the way of a story, substituting a bit of slow moving text in between groups of levels as a way of guiding you through the story. Doom III reboots the original story with a lot more detail even if the idea of a Marine fighting the devilspawn on Mars is still basically the idea. I did think the addition of an archaelogical site was a nice touch and basically found the whole thing creepy even if I’d normally be a bit annoyed at having to play an entire game practically in the dark, switching between flashlight and gun. But it was all suitably creepy and the boss fights were all fairly challenging without being impossible, mostly thanks to the instant save system. It was fun enough I ordered the Resurrection of Evil expansion. Even though I’m playing these games years late, I think they still hold up really well in the 360 world. And it’s a nice change of pace from Lost Odyssey, a Japanese Role Playing Game, which while quite epic and movie like, has nearly lost me with its incredibly tedious battle system (I’ve gotten through 3 of 4 discs and haven’t had the interest to continue on as of yet).

So anyway for the hell of it I checked out the Doom movie from the library to ensure I paid nothing, which is a good thing as it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life, not the bad you can laugh at, the bad that’s so boring you can barely care. I guess fighting devilspawn on Mars was probably too controversial for a Hollywood studio, so they turned it into a ridiculous zombie movie. Funny seeing Karl Urban (the new Star Trek’s McCoy) in it though. But overall the lamest Aliens rip off ever made and that’s saying something.

Digging my new Blu-Ray though. Rented 3 movies as a starter once I got it: Zach and Miri Make a Porno (typical of the dirty and sweet Seth Rogen-helmed comedies that are fairly common these days, mildly funny and surprisingly charming), Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (quite good this one, I’m generally very fond of most movies that run on musical conceits no matter what the genre and for some reason it hit deja-vu in a number of spots), and The Day the Earth Stood Still (no good on any front, as a remake, movie or parody, but with Keanu in tow I didn’t expect much better). I actually had better luck with the pay channels and kid movies, Starz running Wall-E and HBO starting up Kung-Fu Panda. Apparently my nephews have better taste in movies than many critics. Or perhaps I’m just much more into optimism than I used to be.

Perhaps the best stuff I saw recently is the last couple weeks of HBO’s In Treatment. Seems like no matter what the other channels are dishing up, HBO always has something of extraordinary quality to see and this pscyhological drama grew really sublime at the end, questioning the worth of therapy in general, touching on Jungian levels with talk about true selves and perfectly reflecting just how human the man in the chair is and in many ways how little different he is from his patients. Cheers to the writers, Gabriel Byrne’s tour de force performances throughout the series, and perhaps specifically to Alison Pill who’s role as a young 20-something with cancer was truly remarkable. Definitely one I hope returns for a third run. Especially as I’m so worn out with vampires that I don’t think I can stand a second run of True Blood. Quite frankly I’m glad it’s summer.

Got some books finished too, maybe more for another post if I get the urge, especially as none of them were memorable.


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Peter Dinklage cast as Tyrion in HBO’s Game of Thrones

Posted by Mike on May 7, 2009

Link 1 Link 2

Dinklage is pretty much the perfect pick for this role, has recenty been touted as the fan favorite for Tyrion based on his roles in the cancelled series Threshold and others. He’s truly excellent. So far this series has the Midas touch.

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