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GameSpot Redesign

Apparently this is the first time GameSpot has been rebuilt from the ground up in 17 years. Even if it does share many similarities with GiantBomb, I think that the new design looks sleek. Even though I haven't spent too much time browsing the site, I do enjoy the way reviews and news articles are now organized.

The best part about the redesign is the way videos are embedded on a page for reviews. I had some trouble getting some videos to play, but I typically view all of GameSpot's videos on YouTube, just for convenience. The main part that I dislike about the new design is the way the forums have changed.

Avatars and signatures are currently missing, but I'm sure after a few days that will be sorted out. What I dislike about the new forums is the layout. It seems kind of redundant to have the username and post count featured on the left-hand side of a forum post when it is also displayed at the very top. It is weird how the icons for staff and moderators are positioned on the right-hand side, where a user is more likely to not see it.

GameSpot has tried its best on explaining key features of the new design, but I'm still left with some questions. Post counts have been kept, but they are inaccurate. I wonder if this is just a glitch or if posts from unions and user created boards have been deleted. I just wish there was a way to view how many new posts have been made in a thread, but at least now we are able to get notifications of our posts being replied to which is just as useful (I can see that being slightly annoying for active threads such as a Roll Call, but I think there might be a way to disable that feature per thread).

Possibly the greatest change to the forums is the post editor. While there does not seem to be a way to preview a post, it seems to give a very accurate preview of a post as you are creating it. The tools included in the WYSIWYG editor are functional and useful, especially for embedding a video. I also like how users are able to embed tweets. I'm not exactly if most GameSpotter's are fond of using sites such as Twitter, but it is nice knowing that we get to create posts as elegant as those created by a staff member.

The Not So Amazing Spider-Man

It has only been five years since the theatrical release of the extreme disappointment known as Spider-Man 3. When the news first began to spread about a Spider-Man reboot, I thought it quite humorous. It was as if the directors knew that Spider-Man 3 was a sorry excuse for a film and the story had been completely ruined. This is not the first time Marvel has rebooted a series in such a short time frame, take the Hulk films for example. Still, with only a five year gap, it originally felt like it was too soon for the Amazing Spider-Man to be released. I was nervous about seeing it, so much so that I went into the theater with zero expectations as to avoid being disappointed once more. After watching it, I can easily say that it was better than Spider-Man 3. Although any movie would have been better than Spider-Man 3, even watching grass grow would have been more exciting.

A new cast and a new story line is exactly what the Amazing Spider-Man needed. It did a fine job in establishing the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, which was something that was just pushed to the side in Spider-Man 3. Some people may confused by the decision not to include Mary Jane Watson, but I thought it was a good choice to prevent the story from getting too complex.

One thing that bothered me about the other Spider-Man films is how Peter Parker was portrayed as just obtaining his web-swinging powers from a spider bite. The Amazing Spider-Man goes back to the more traditional method of having Peter develop devices that would shoot web.

The action scenes and the portrayal of Dr. Curt Connors' transformation to the Lizard were decent, but it could have used more of Spider-Man's sarcasm. There were a few moments in the movie that showed off his sarcasm, but overall, it tried to take itself too seriously. If only there could be a perfect blend of drama and sarcasm.

The Amazing Spider-Man was not "amazing" like the title implies, but it was entertaining and could easily be watched multiple times which is more than can be said for other summer blockbusters and Spider-Man 3.

Shrek Forever After, an Awful Mess

Shrek Forever After, where to begin. The fact that it breaks the norm of entries a series should have when it comes to an end, creating a sense of OCD? No, I highly doubt that this is the final chapter, unfortunately. The fact that the main thing I remember about the movie is how 12 million Shrek-branded cups were recalled from a McDonald's promotion? Interesting, but no and besides, who was honestly going to drink from those cups anyways. Or maybe the identity crisis created by incoherent advertising. Is the movie called "The Final Chapter" or "Forever After"? Even the Blu-ray release suffers the same problem. This film is average at best, it relies too heavily on recalling past events in the series and at times it feels like you are watching a 90 minute clip show.

The Shrek franchise has never had a deep storyline and instead opts to keep things interesting through jokes that are a mix of toilet humor and pop/fairy tale references. This time around, there is more emphasis on the story, but how the events unfold makes everything feel pointless in the long run. It revolves around a disgruntled Shrek who goes berserk at his children's birthday party and shortly falling into a trap set by Rumpelstiltskin to take over Far Far Away. Shrek is granted his wish of living a day as things once were before the events of the first Shrek movie by giving up any day of his life. The catch is that Shrek happened to give away the day he was born. After meeting up with a confused Donkey, Shrek discovers that the only way to get his old life back before he disappears at the end of the day is through a true love's kiss with Fiona. This is not a movie about time travel though. Shrek is transported to an alternate reality so his actions don't have any consequences. That is the main issue with the entire story. It is hard to feel any genuine concern for any of the characters on screen because you know right from the start that there are only two possible ways the movie can end, sad or happily ever after.

It feels as if DreamWorks themselves didn't have much hope for Shrek Forever After considering that they released it nearly a full month before Toy Story 3. There were not any memorable jokes from this movie, but at least the voice actors did a fine job, especially Eddie Murphy's role as Donkey. It is better than Shrek the Third but I'm still not sure if I can fully recommend this movie. Knowing very well that it is a movie directed towards children, maybe I am being too harsh. The thing is, there are far better family films available at the moment that must be recommended before Shrek Forever After should be considered such as its competitor at the time, Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me.

Follow Me on Twitter


Just became a member of Twitter a few days ago.

I got out of school on Friday and I ended up getting sick the next day :(

Took the SAT for the second time, recieved a package from Nintendo. Game and Watch Collection

Ate some pizza

Felt even worse Monday, watched Microsoft's diappointing press conference and barely stayed awake through Ubisoft's.

Like many of you, I'm baffled as to what the WiiU is.

Well, I didn't want to make this blog entirely long as I'm still not feeling to well, but you can find me on Twitter now, if you are in to that sort of thing.

Pokemon Black - Need More Time!

Pokemon Black, may very well be one of the best pokemon games in the series. Everything about it creates a fresh experience. The only problem is that I don't have the time to seriously play the game or enjoy it without worrying about other stuff.

It is going to be hard to get some play time in this week, because I have to read the first half of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I have read Of Mice and Men before, I loved the ending. Everything about the week is pretty busy, I have a quiz in Spanish, and a test in Algebra. As well as a Digital Arts assignment that is due.

That assignment is taking such a long time to make any progress on. We have to make a font self portrait using photoshop. We can only use one font, and a limited color pallet. It just shows the obbsessive tendencies people have. I myself have a lot of work ahead of me considring the fact thatr I am 280 layers into my hair and not even close with being done with it. I am listing all of the Pokemon in order from Bulbasaur to wathever pokemon is the last one now.

Youtube Copyright Infringement

Judog1Gamespotter. Yeah that is my channel, the only good thing that is on it is some Guile Theme goes with Everything videos.

I uploaded a new video on Wednsday night of proof that the Guile theme did infact go with SpongeBob SquarePants. That Friday, I log onto my account and see that the video had been taken down by Viacom for copyright infringement. I was a bit surprised as none of my other videos had been taken down.

It was an entertaining video, but I'm not really sure if I should file a fair use claim. I'm not sure if an audioswap falls under fair use.

I am Now a 100% Club Member

 I got it from unlocking every achievement in at least one game. I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone talk about this yet. Or maybe they are and I just can't find their discussions anywhere. I just think it should have been given out at the same time as the achievement for completing at least 75% of all of the achievements in a single game.

Iron-Man 2 Blu-Ray...Trouble with Walmart

So I was looking through various websites on September 12th trying to find some good deals on Blu-rays. I go to Walmart.com and then bam right on the front of the blu-ray section:

Pre-order Ironman 2 Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack for $15

My immediate reaction was :O, I had gotten some good deals at Walmart.com before but this was the best one yet. I checked how much the shipping was and they were offering free shipping on it (well, it was free if you didn't mind waiting a few days to get your package). I ordered it right away with the permission of my paretns and everything was a success.

That next day (Monday), I get home from school and check my email. And my day was ruined when I got an email from Walmart.com.

My order had been cancelled because of limited availability. Surpisingly I could buy it at the old preorder price of $24.95. Then the next day, I disappointingly checked my email again and my hopes were raised once again. They were sending an eGiftcard with a value to $10.83 to match the original sale price to all people that had their order rejected.

And so I tried ordering it. *facepalm* So I go to the Iron Man 2 page once again, put it in my cart and tried checking out using the giftcard and paypal...but it turns out that you can't use paypal when you use a giftcard and you have to enter an actual credit card number to be able to actually order anything with a giftcard. I eventually purchased it.

Then the release day arrives, everything is good to go. The movie should have arrived that Friday, but no, it didn't. Walmart is usually good about sending packages on time. Things were starting to get suspicious, but that Monday, it finally came in the mail. Yes.

I watched it last week, amazing quality. It should never be that hard to order something online.

Using Rhetoric to Prove a Point

During the past few days in AP English, we have been going over Sinners in the Hands of an Angry by John Edwards. It was an interesting read. Today we had to try and prove a point in an essay using the same rhetoric Edwards used. My topic of choice, PC's are better than Macs.

We were given 10 minutes to complete the assignment the best we could and here is what I wrote:

For years there has been a feud between Mac and PC users over which computers are ultimately the best. To say that Macs are clearly better than PC's is a lie. First off, Macs are PC's. A Mac is a personal computer, so the actual argument is actually if the Windows Operating System and its counterparts are better than what a Mac has to offer.

To say that a Mac is better than Windows is like saying that a tricycle with training wheels is better than a motorcycle [1]. Who in their right minds would use a overly simplified childrens toy than a well oiled machine? To best put it, using Windows is like shaving with an electrical shaver while using a Mac is like shaving with a bowling pin, it simply will not do the job. [2]

[1] - Arguments from Internet
[2] - Arguments from Internet

When I read it out loud in school, it sounded like my arguments were my own ideas but I infact had them cited on my paper (as best I could, it's difficult to try and cite a viral picture). I mean they can't blame me for taking their ideas if I cite them right? That is the whole point of being able to cite isn't it?