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For people who have played and completed the game Catherine...

*Spoiler Alert*

I justcompleted Catherine, I thought it was another amazing game by Atlas (see my review if you'reinterested).

I need to ask everyone a question though. Assming you played the game honestly and answered all the questions honestly, I am curious as to which ending people got the FIRST TIME through. (because this is probably the most reflective of your own inner values)

I was surprised that I actually got the Catherine Good ending (as in the Cheaters ending, but the chaos meter is not fully towards the chaos side). I don't know what this says about me, I guess I am a bit of a thrill seaker, and maybe a bit too afraid of "having my life lived for me".

Anyway, I thought it was a brillaint game and speaks a lot to it's demographic, I am younger than Vincent but only 5 years, so I was able to relate to him pretty easily. I imagine the experience of this game would be lost on teenagers, you probably need to at least be in your early 20's to fully appreciate and understand Vincent's feelings and anxieties.

So please let me know which ending you got...assuming you played the game (I imagine most Persona fans will have tried this game out).

Ridley Scott Ready To Direct New Version Of Sci-Fi Film 'Blade Runner'

This story just recently broke. It won't be a remake but rather a sequel or a prequel (there are not too many details right now). This is pretty exciting news. Normally I would say don't touch a classic like this, but I feel there is still a story left to be told within the world of Blade Runner, and to see it with current film technology will be incredible.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2...The end of an era?

Well, I just recently went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. While it was an amazing movie, the movie itself is not the purpose of this blog, but rather the significance the end of this franchise brings.

I would argue that the past 10 years or so, starting back in 1999, has been the greatest time period ever for fantasy movie franchises. The three big fantasy movie franchises that were all released in the recent past range in release date from 1999 to 2011. (see the list below)

Star Wars: Phantom Menace, 1999

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, 2002

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, 2005

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001

Lord of the Rings: The Twin towers, 2002

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003

Harry Potter: Philosophers Stone, 2001

Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets, 2002

Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004

Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire, 2005

Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix, 2007

Harry Potter: Half Blood Prince, 2009

Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Pt 1, 2010

Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Pt 2, 2011

I would argue that all 14 of these movies would be in any top 50 list of all time Fantasy films, maybe even top 25, and are easily the three best fantasy movie franchises ever. For all of them to have come around the same time is remarkable. After seeing the closing credits for Deathly Hallows Pt 2, I found myself for the first time in over 10 years not really having a particular future movie release that I was excited for. With the end of the last Harry Potter movie, I believe this truly represents the end of a great era. It may be quite a long time before we see movies like this again. So far I see a slew of mediocre to bad super-hero movies and, other than The Hobbit (2012), which is just really the precursor to the Lord of the Rings, there isn't too much or the Horizon, from this genre anyway, that I am excited for.

So is this a sad day? Or should we be expecting the next great film franchise to unexpectedly surprise us in the near future? Or maybe there are upcoming movies in the works that I do not know about and some of you do?

The BEST 15 Science Fiction Films of All Time (In my opinion!)

I haven't blogged for a while but after renting a couple of great sci-fi flics recently I felt compelled to do a blog. Please enjoy and if there are some I have left out that maybe I don't know about please comment and let me know!

15. Babylon A.D

This film is not highly regarded by the critics (as you would probably expect for a Vin Diesel movie) but if you like the genre I am pretty sure you will like it anyway (as I do!). Vin Diesel plays a mercenary with a contract to deliver a young woman named Aurora from Russia to a contact in New York City. Set in a dismal dystopian future where travel across borders and cotenants in nearly impossible given the heightened state of security and all the turmoil in the world, it makes for a good thrill ride. Obviously there is more to this Aurora girl than first expected, and yes it does have a conspiracy in it…but it isn't so much clich√© as it is awesome. If you haven't checked it out, do so, it is better than the Fast and the Furious.

14. Serenity

Serenity is great little flick that is based on (and has the same actors) asthe short lived science fiction TV series Firefly. Think of it as a "space western". I saw it at theatres in 2005 with low expectation and was actually really impressed; it was a fun and very entertaining movie. The premise involved a smuggling ship that happens upon a very important psychic girl who was recently rescued from prison. It turns into a great space adventure from there, set in the 2500's.

13. Akira

A lot of people who read my blogs are probably familiar with this film. Done in 1988, it is a true pioneer of the genre, both anime and science fiction. The futuristic view of post-apocalyptic Tokyo is done superbly and the anime is masterful. It is definitely an all-time great. Be warned though, it is a bit confusing at times as the plot gets strange towards the end of the film.

12. A Scanner Darkly

This is an interesting movie set in the near future where drug addiction is rampant in the USA and the Federal Government, to combat this, employs highly intrusive futuristic technologies to keep wraps on its citizens. This movie has many well-known actors, including Keanu Reeves and has a very distinct visual ****combining real life and animation in a sort of Hybrid technique.

11. Children of Men

This movie takes place in the not so distant future where the human race faces extinction due to sterility (women stop being able to become pregnant meaning no future generations). A young woman in Africa becomes the first woman in a very long time to become pregnant and the movie essentially follows her plight as she is helped by the reluctant hero, Clive Owen, who is just a simple bureaucrat. A scary look into the future, but it makes for a great science fiction story.

10. I Robot

I robot is another movie in which robots and their role in day to day life is explored. The movie mostly revolves around the unraveling of a massive conspiracy being investigated by Del Spooner (Will Smith) who is a cop. It is really interesting to see a not so distant future where you see robots being used in such a practical way. Considering what is already coming out of Japan currently, I consider this science fiction film to fall under the "very probable" banner. It is a good action flick too!

9. Ghost in the Shell

This is another great anime that I am sure many of you have watched. It is masterfully done and represents both the anime and the science fiction genre very well. This is probably my favorite anime movie and definitely one of my top science fiction movies. As the title would suggest it deals with extremely advanced cybernetics and artificial intelligences, and involves the unraveling of a major conspiracy. While it might sound run-of-the-mill, it is anything but…come to think of it, I think I want to watch this movie again very soon!

8. The Matrix Trilogy

If this list was about the best action science fiction movies, The Matrix trilogy would probably rank number one… Still, this movie boasts awesome cyber-punk ****and has great computer nerd / hacker appeal. It is not so complex in its themes, though it does pose the viewer some good philosophical questions (free will vs pre ordination, blissful ignorance vs harsh truth). The visuals and CGI of the time were second to none.

7. Minority Report

Minority report is another great film by Spielberg. It is set in the 2050's where a group of psychics or "pre-cogs" are able to see events before they happen, thus a new method of crime fighting is employed known as pre-crime. This premise is interesting in that it touches on the theme of free will in a society where you can be tried guilty without actually having committed a crime. It is also a great murder mystery with a lot of suspense and excellent chase scenes and a few shocking moments. It is one of Tom Cruises best films and definitely worth checking out if you have not seen it.

6. V for Vendetta

Set in the 2030's in the UK, this film portrays a future where England has fallen under a brutal and oppressive totalitarian government (the US is in similar bad shape). It is a dark and dystopian future (very Orwellian) if you like freedom. A group of freedom fighters led by the masked hero "V" along with Evey (played by Natalie Portman) star in this sci-fi thriller ripe with action and political intrigue. It is an excellent look into the future and represents what I consider fairly realistic science fiction premises.

5. The Fifth Element

This is a visually stunning movie with mega-metropolises full of flying cars and strange aliens. It basically follows Bruce Willis and an alien taking on human form, completely perfect in every way (played superbly by Mila Jovovich) tasked with saving the world. It is lots of fun and a good representation of the genre done well.

4. A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. is a really great and underrated Spielberg film. In a future where Robots become almost as lifelike as humans, humanity decides it must purge itself of these robots, these abominations, which they once embraced. But a young robot boy is just too life-like to suffer such a fate. The movie follows his plight as he discovers the purpose behind his creation and looks for answers. This movie represents the genre well, and has many of the science fiction conventions you would expect: it is especially appealing if robots/androids and artificial intelligence appeals to you.


What do you get when you mix Matrix ****action with a dark Orwellian like future? Well you get Equilibrium. It is an excellent flick about an agent whose job is to enforce the governments' brutal oppression of anything emotional or thought provoking (like books and art)…but he himself soon finds himself at odds with the same government who has trained him to be such a lethal killer. It is a dark and typically dystopian view of the future…and I am a big fan of that type of film as you can tell.

2. The Star Wars Movies

If this were about which science fiction movie has the most fans, has grossed the most money, and has the most generational appeal, Star Wars would easily win. But the Star Wars movies, while being set in space and boasting many futuristic technologies are thematically and plot wise fantasy films, first and foremost. It is a great franchise, and I am not trying to take anything away from it…but I just can't call it the best science fiction movie of all time…that is why I have it number 2.

1. Blade Runner

Blade Runner is, in my opinion, easily the best science film made to date. With its stunning visuals (which are still just as stunning almost 30 years later) complex themes and characters, and great cast, this move truly stands above the rest. Even the music is excellent (Composed by Vangellis best known for chariots of fire and of 1980's films). The end of the move I do not wish to spoil for anyone who has not seen it, but Roy's monologue is one of my favorite acting performances in any movie and the entire ending sequence is truly epic. If you have not already, you really should see this movie. In case you don't know anything about this movie it is about a futuristic time when "replicants", near flawless humans created to do slave work etc, become outlawed for have committed uprisings on other planets (mining colonies etc). The main character, Deckhart, played by Harrison Ford, is a Blade Runner, a special type of cop trained to identify replicants and hunt them down. I won't say any more than that…just go rent it if you have never seen it before.


Well that is my List. I hope you enjoyed it and please comment!

About my trip to Japan

As some of you already know I was in Japan during the week of the Earthquake/Tsunami. It hit Friday afternoon at, I think, just before 3:00 PM at the end of the work week. I was there on business with the company I work for and it was the last day before we headed back to Tokyo. Fortunately we were quite a bit south of the quake's epicenter and quite a bit inland so our area was never devastated, just minor damages.

A lot of people have asked me "did you feel it?" And yes I absolutely felt it! It was, after all, a magnitude 8.9 that happened only some300 milesor so away from us. It was a very scary experience but after we found out the scope of what had just happened we knew that we were all very lucky.

It was so sad to be seeing the images on the TV's and hearing the death toll climb and it is a weird and unforgettable experience having been there for all of that. My weekend in Tokyo was cut short obviously due to travel delays but I still got to see a bit of the city.

The Japanese are a wonderful people and their country is beautiful. Tokyo is a beautiful city with so many things to do and see it almost makes your head spin (I would love to go back!) I was amazed at how calm and peaceful, and helpful everyone was in the face of what had just happened to their country and ultimately what I took away most from the whole experience is just how impressed I was with the Japanese people and their culture. (Because they were so calm about the quake, I was quite calm about it too…it wasn't until I got home that I realized how big of a threat the Fukishima nuclear plant issue was!) They are a polite, respectful and friendly and they keep their cities clean. There are so many things about their culture I just love! I got to see a few arcade type places, and a manga store, I also got to see some of Tokyo's famous shopping centers, like the 109 in Shibuya and I got to walk around some of the busiest squares in the city. I got to ride the subway, take in the neon lights at night and even shared a few drinks with a young couple out on a date who wanted to talk to me since they had never met a person from North America before (it was a pleasure talking to them and they had so many questions for me, it was fun.)

I would recommend to anyone to visit Japan (especially Tokyo) as a vacation idea. Despite the fact that only about 30% of visitors to Japan are English speaking (the vast majority is Chinese and Korean) there is a remarkable amount of English spoken there…I would consider it a very English friendly country. The signs are all mostly in English and Japanese and at bus stations and subway stations and at the Airport you can even select to have the automated ticket booth speak to you in English. Most of the people I encountered at the Airports and Hotel were very fluent in English too.

Anyway, Ijust wanted to share this experience since I know many people who love JRPG's also probably have a keen interest in Japan too.

Got my PC Ready to go for Dragon Age II...and some really really big news!

I haven't blogged for a while (my blogs are few and far between), but thought I would share some news.

With Dragon Age II coming out, and with my strong desire to play it on the PC (as I have played all my Bioware games) I first needed to upgrade my PC. I got an opened box clearance price on an NVIDIA GeForce 250 GTS sporting pretty decent specs and 1GB of video memory (not to mention Direct X 10.0 capability). Installing it was a bit of a "hack-job" as I also needed a 700 Watt power supply, and neither my new power supply nor my new video-card fit in my case (soI forced it!). Anyway I got it working and it is a thing of beauty. If anyone ever has questions regarding PC gaming and PC hardware do not hesitate to ask as I have been doing this type of thing since 1995.

Second, and this is huge news. As part of training for the company I work for I get to go to our head office in Japan for a week this month! I am so psyched about this trip as Japan is one of the coolest countries in the world to me and I have always wanted to visit it. Not only is Japan the electronics mecha of the world but I have a huge respect for their culture and I love the games they make!

Anyway expect a blog when I get back about my trip, and thanks for reading!

Metal Gear Solid 4

A quick update for anyone interested. I recently finished Metal Gear Solid 4 on PS3and was completely blown away by it. I know that most of the people who probably read my blogs are hardcore RPG gamers, I certainly am, and this game represented straying from myusuall genre.

I was so pleased that I did give this game a try because it was truly excellent and had many of the elements that are the reason I love RPG's so much (like greats characters and story).

I just wanted to mention this because if you've never played this game and have a PS3 you really ought to give it a try regardless of whether or not it is the type of game you typically play.

I have a very detailed written review of the game if you want specifics.


That's all, later everyone!

A lost Genre: The point-and-click Adventure game

I have recently been thinking a lot about my gaming career: where it was, where it is, and where it is heading. The first thing I realized right away is that of all the many hobbies I have taken up in my 27 years, gaming is the only one that remains as important to me today as it was when I was a little kid.

Looking back and reliving some of my most nostalgic game memories I couldn't help but realize that there is one particular type of game that was immensely important to me that has almost completely dropped of the map in recent years. That genre of game would be the pure point-and-click adventure game.

These adventure games had a charming simplicity, and usually had graphics and sound effects that were far ahead of their time since they didn't need to render fully interactive 3-D environments. They were usually dialogue heavy and required lots of thinking. They often had great music, memorable characters, and exquisite artistic backgrounds.

One of the first adventure games that really sold me on this genre was the 1992 game "Rise of the Dragon". It featured a dystopian "end-of-times" world in which you played a cop investigating a mysterious criminal organization.

Rise of the Dragon

The golden era of point and click adventure games for me was definitely the early to mid 1990's games that were released by LucasArts. Sam and Max featured a hilarious Dog and Rabbit Detective team. Day of the Tentacle featured an equally hilarious cast of young adults who needed to use time travel in order to defeat a maniacal tentacle bent on ruling the world. Full Throttle featured Ben, a motor cycle gang member and proud member of the Polecats in a very cinematic Mad Max type adventure. All three of these were just fabulous games that I remember well and have a lot of nostalgia for.

Sam and Max

Day of the Tentacle

Full Throttle

My favorite adventure game of all time was The Longest Journey (2000) which featured the female protagonist April Ryan as she adventured through the worlds of Stark and Arcadia to fulfill her destiny, albeit reluctantly.This was a fantastic game and one of my all time favorites of any genre.

The Longest Journey

Syberia was another adventure game that was masterfully done and full of charm. It followed the adventures of a corporate lawyer, Kate Walker, as she is sent to close a sale of a European toy company but soon finds herself on a journey of mystery and self-discovery.


After the Longest Journey and Syberia, however, the only adventure games I have played in recent years are the sequels for these two games, (2004 Syberia 2, 2006 Dreamfall (ie The Longest Journey 2) both of which didn't live up to their predecessors.

Syberia II


I very much long to rediscovery this genre and it is my hope that another gem heralding from the point and click adventure genre will emerge that is worthy of some of the greattitles I have mentioned.

I have already played Heavy Rain for the PS3 and am actually in the midst of writing a review for it. Heavy Rain, in short, was a fabulous game with many great elements, but it definitely is an Adventure game of a different sort. While a great game and highly innovative, it in no way compares to the point-and-click adventure games I have already mentioned. Maybe this genre truly is a thing of the past…time will tell.

Thanks for reading!!

Industry Trends in gaming, what are your thoughts?

I have stated my opinion on this subject numerous times, but I still believe there is more to be said. For me, and probably for many gamespot users (i.e. hardcore gamers, purists, and the whole video games = art crowd), I feel that the best games are ones that are largely a solitary experience and come from the adventure and RPG genre's (although there are many great games from every genre).

I personally do not like multi-player games, and I like casual games even less: yet the industry is heading in this direction.With the soaring popularity of the Nintendo Wii and other companies desperately wanting to copy it, coupled with the rising popularity of online games and MMORPG's as well as the burgeoning use of mobile gaming platforms and smart phone games (gamespot even lists iphone amongst it's 9 main platforms) and the whole obsession with social networking (facebook, twitter etc)it is quite apparent that this is where the industry sees the largest amount of growth and the best chance for profits.

The problem with this is that I see this trend as companies catering to people who are not really gamers, producing content thatmay be simple and enjoyable to them but is totally not up to standard for agaming fan such as myself. I hope that as companies continue to attract the casual gaming audience they do not forsake gamers like myself.

I have been playing video games long before they were cool or really mainstream.I remember the days where the best games were on the PC and you really needed to know a lot about computers to be able to even play games (remember making all those boot disks where you had to edit config.sys and autoexec.bat?). So as someone who has witnessed this industry from it's early years to present I have a really appreciation for where we have come in such a short time. That being said, as bright as the future looks and as excited as I am about many upcoming releases and remakes of classic games (yes I am talking about you Starcraft II) I worry that there will be a crowding out effect caused by the casual game industry.

What are your thoughts?

A trip down memory lane...My favorite games chronologically by year!!!

So I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and revisit all of my favorite games according to their chronological release date. This list starts in 1980,3 years before I was even born. I was lucky enough to have had exposure to some really old school games when I was a wee lad; I appreciate this early exposure as it has allowed me to really see the evolution of the video game.

In 1980 there was an Intellevision game released called "Boxing". I have many vivid memories of playing this game, it was actually quite fun. The old sloppy analogue round thingy on the Intellevision controller hurt your hands after a while though, and it definitely lacked the responsiveness of 3rd generation controllers.

Boxing 1980

I could not find any games with a release date in 1981 or 1982 that I remember playing. But Frogger, which was released in 1983 for the Commodore 64 I remember well. Frogger was a simple game with ****c appeal and charm.

Frogger 1983

I can't find any games from 1984 that I played, and it's probably not too surprising because the entire console industry underwent a crash right around this time as the market was just flooded with tons of junk from this era…too many consoles and way too many crappy games.

1985 ushered in the 3rd generation consoles which were a welcome upgrade to the 1st and 2nd generation consoles like some ofthe ones I just mentioned (Mattel's Intellevision, Commodore 64). Super Mario Brothers was my first ever NES game (I am pretty sureit came with the console).

Super Mario 1985

1986 was the year Mike Tyson's Punch Out was released. This game I spent countless hours playing, and even though I never actually made it to Mike Tyson, I have many fun memories of this game. (Remember Soda Popinsky and King Hipo?)

Punch Out 1986

For the games released in 1987, nothing stands out more than Double Dragon for the NES. This game also came out for the SNES and was really fun. I am pretty sure they also made a cheesy movie out of it. Castlevania also came out this year which was pretty awesome too.

Double Dragon

Super Mario Brother 2 came out in 1988. It was really weird and I never did beat it, but it warrants being on this list for the shear amount of effort I put into it.

Super Mario 2

1989 was the year Dragon Warrior came out for the NES. This was a truly ****c RPG (my first RPG actually). I had tons of fun playing this game ("Does thou love me? No! But thou must!") Dragon Warrior was my all timefavorite game for theNES system.

Dragon Warrior

1990 gave us super Mario Brothers 3. While not my favorite NES game,it wascertainly one of the best. I loved going back and playing with infinite P-wings after beating the game. (Using the warp wistles you could beat this game pretty quickly).

Super Mario 3

In 1991 Super Mario World came out for the SNES, and this heralded in the 4th generation consoles. Many consider this the best Mario game to date, which is saying a lot.

Super Mario World

1992 was the year I started playing PC games. In many ways, PC games would define my gaming life for the next 15 years until I boughtmy PS2 in 2006. One of the first PC games I remember playing was an RPG calledUltima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. This game was incredibly immersive and is one of the best dungeon crawls of all time.

Ultima Underworld

1993 was a good year for George Lucas' company LucasArts games. "Day of the Tentacle" and "Sam and Max" both came out this year and were my earliest introduction to adventure games. It is sad that in many ways, they just don't make games like this anymore.

Day of the Tentacle

In 1994 Blizzard's original "Warcraft: Orcs and Humans" was released. This game's legacy can befelt to this very day. (ie. World of Warcraft is the highest grossing game of all time taking into account subscription fees.)


1995 brought us two more legendary RTS games each with a player vs player option over dial up modem. Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness and Command and Conquer both came out this year. I'd give the nod the Warcraft 2 since I just spent so much time playing it.

Warcraft 2

1996 heralded in the Epic Blizzard hack and slash RPG Diablo. The music in this game was awe inspiring and it was so addictive that I remember playing it until like 2:00 AM on school nights some days! At this point in history, PC gaming was far far ahead of console gaming in my opinion.


1997 was the year I got the N64 (welcome 5th generation of consoles), and I spent countless hours playing Goldeneye. Many fist fights between my brother and me erupted because of Goldeneye (mostly due to the annoying use of Proximity mines at re-spawn points during player vs. player.)


1998, looking back, was a stellar year for game releases. Oddly enough even though Xenogears for the PS was released this year I didn't actually play it until 2010. The games I did play that year though were Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64, Starcraft for PC, and Baldur's gate for the PC. I can't pick a favorite game from this year because all 4 of these games are just so darn good.

Ocarina of Time



Baldur's Gate

To millions of Star Wars fans worldwide, 1999 marked the year of the long anticipated release of the first of the 3 new Star Wars movies, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. I remember gobbling up everything to do with Star Wars that year, and I spent tons of time mastering Star Wars Episode 1: Racer on the N64.

Star Wars Racer

The year 2000 brought me my favorite game of all time, Baldur's Gate 2. There were many other great games this year too, Like the Longest Journey and Deus Ex to name a few. More of my all time favorite games were released this year than any other single year to date.


2001 was another great year, but looking back, my favorite release of this year was a little known PC RPG called Anachronox.


In 2002 Bioware was trying to mimic the success of Baldur's Gate 2 with the highly anticipated Never Winter Nights. While not as good as Baldur's Gate 2, it was still my favorite game of that year.


2003 brought us Xenosaga Episode 1 for the PS2, the first in what would become a truly epic RPG series for the PS2.


In 2004, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines came out. It was a dark vampire RPG for the PC that I really enjoyed. Given peoples obsession with vampires these days, I bet this game would have been a really big hit if it came out post Twilight.

Vampire: Bloodlines

2005 was the year Xenosaga Episode 2 was released. Even though it's the weakest of the 3, it was still my favorite game of 2005.

Xenosaga 2

In 2006 Xenosaga Episode 3 came out for the PS2. Episode 3 was my favorite of the series and one of my all time favorite games.It was hands down my favorite release of 2006.

Xenosaga 3

2007 brought us Persona 3 which was a really revolutionary game and one that many JRPG fans will include in their all time favorite game list. Despite the fact that the XBOX 360 and PS3 were both going strong in 2007, Persona 3 (a 6th generation game) was still my favorite of that year.


For 2008 game releases, my favorite game was still from the 6th generation. 2008 saw the release of the sequel to Persona 3, Persona 4, and while I did enjoy Bioware's 2008 hit Mass Effect (among others), Persona 4 is hands down my favorite game of 2008 and another one of my all time favorite games.


I will end my list here since it would be pre-mature to declare my favorite games of 2009 and 2010 since there are many games I still need to play with 2009/2010 release dates. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my little trip down memory lane, I know I did.

Feel free to comment or even include your own favorites from certain years!

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