Well, it's been long enough that I can no longer consider blogging to feel like work. It's just after 12 on a beautiful day where people in the world over will be dawdling, dilly dallying and wasting time which makes it a PeRFeCT time to blog. There's been lots going on since my last "weak" blog entry about a week ago.
Go Maps is definitely a go now. With 2 dealers on board, and one about to jump on the band wagon, the product is well on the road to success. Now, just waiting on the financial gains, and we're really rolling. Check out the updated website at www.gomaps.net. It's no longer an embarrassment, and it also has comparison screens now!
There is nothing new in photography. I haven't been out on a shoot in a while now, since I went out with my god son actually. I did notice in the "big" year end competition, most photos weren't natural. There was a LOT of post processed over saturated shots. They looked fantastic, but to me, I felt it was a teeny bit like cheating. Yes, it's all about having the best image in the end, but why not take a shot that is beautiful to begin with, and be less concerned with "faking it" afterwards? I can take the shittiest shot in the world and make it bearable in photoshop (I've done it with some of my own work! :P) but in the end it feels like a graphics job to me, not a photography piece.
In gaming, my wife has been harping on me about
"the only story one needs for a video game is 'I'm sorry Mario, but the princess is in another castle!'"
As you can tell, she is a big time Mario fan, as a lot of gamers are. To be honest with you, if you distill it down to it's core idea, it's still a very predominant idea in gaming today. Yes, Princess peach has been kidnapped so many times now that it should be called "adultnapped", but it's always an endearing story that lends itself well to a game. That one basic story crops up in other games too. Alan Wake, for instance, has the protagonist trying to save his missing wife in a supernatural thriller. It's far less kidcentric than mario, but the theme is still the same.
Speaking of Alan Wake, I've just started playing that one, and so far it's great. However, to me, it's just Silent Hill with a different name. Dark settings, desolate out of the way town, wierd monsters, et-al. The story is perfectly creepy, the environments are amazing. It's too bad when the characters talk the lipsyncing is so terrible that you feel like you are watching Team America World Police marionette dolls. It's easily the WORST since last generation gaming. Why not just not have the characters move their mouths at all if you can't figure out how to do it properly? (If you can't, FOR SHAME). The game itself came with some fun swag in the sense of XBoX avatar t-shirts and a Premium Theme. I love that stuff.
With that I'll move into a conversation I had over on my friend's message board about Collectors Editions and how much junk that comes with them that's passed off as "fantastic, collectible, and worth something". So, what does anyone do with the artbook that comes with the game after flipping through it once? The "making of" dvd's sometimes pop up. They stopped putting that stuff in dvd's because nobody cared about them.
Here's an excerpt of what I wrote in saying what I feel "Should" go in a CE. I reference the new Fallout New Vegas Collectors Edition, that comes with an artbook, a dvd, a handful of poker chips and a deck of cards.
When I say junk, I look at the CE games I've bought in recent memory (outside of Mass Effect 2) and you know what has happened to the figurines, the art books, the soundtracks, etc...?
Assassin's Creed 2 - Great extra game content, figurine, artbook, etc. ALL given away when I moved.
Darksiders - Collector comic book with game art - Used as a coaster for drinks until thrown out. 2nd copy given to me is still in the humpty buried under controllers.
Afro Samurai - Figurine given away
God of War - Action Figure given away
The reason I give away or throw out most of it is because simply said, I guess I don't appreciate it as much. What am I going to do with a great looking Ezio figurine? Look at it? I smile and look at it the first week I had it, thought it was amazingly cool, and then said "what now?" A collector at work now appreciates it far more than me.
The collectors edition games that come with in game content, I LOVE that stuff. Two great mission areas for Assassin's Creed 2. Cool armor and guns for Mass Effect 2. If the content is useful, like the random t-shirt you might get (Resident Evil: Darksider or whatever it was called) had really well designed t-shirts.
I guess where I know how much many of this stuff costs to make (those fantastic artbooks cost about $1 or less to make each when mass quantities are made, including labor, the first non poseable figurine or bust you get costs a couple thousand to the maker, then each successive one costs about 50 cents, dvd's and cd's are pressed for pennies, and so on) and then I wonder "what will I do with it after the first week and the coolness has worn off", and then to me it's all just stuff that ends up in flea markets and landfills.
So, to illustrate what I think would be a GREAT Collectors edition:
1. The game with PREMIUM content, like a funky gun, armor, or different skins for characters.
2. A different case to signify the game IS actually the CE. Good example is Mass Effect 2 or Fallout 3. A Poor example is Bioshock 2.3. A second disk with deleted sections of the game that are PLAYABLE. Like a deleted scenes thing on most dvd's.
4. Also on said second disk, perhaps a copy of the first game in a trilogy if it's game three and game one was on a previous generation system. See: Mortal Kombat Deception. Came with Mortal Kombat 1 on a second disk.
5. Perhaps a throw in that's actually useful, like a skin for a controller. see: NHL 2K9, came with 30 skins for the wii-mote for each nhl team
The most expensive thing for ANY of this would be the different case, as most of the other stuff is already designed anyway.
I'm by FAR not against Collectors Editions. But pawning off a deck of cards and a handful of poker chips with a crap dvd and artbook is just not worth the likely 30+ dollars extra people will be paying for said collectors edition. Put good stuff in, and I'll jump on that bandwagon.
The things I like in Collectors Editions are the things that actually make the game "more", not just a bunch of crap that sits on a shelf collecting dust and eventually disappears. One man's junk is another man's treasure, I guess. But think about it for a moment. What will you do with an Assassin's Creed Figurine of Ezio, which is non posable, after you've looked at it once and said "cool"? It'll sit on a shelf, forgotten.
Oh! Check out a few movies that I've watched recently. You'll enjoy them.
- Iron Man 2
- Black Dynamite (hysterical)
- The Losers (this was far more entertaining than I could have ever imagined)
I Love Movies. I miss them. I'll be watching more. :)
See you next time!