Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year’s Eve Marathons

It is that time again!! New Years Eve is upon us and it is time to decide how you are going to wile away the hours until midnight. David and I will actually be spending the evening traveling so that we will be leading up to New Year’s on the plane. If we were not traveling there are a lot of ideas of what we could be doing. So here is our suggestion for some great geeky plans to lead in to the New Year.  Continue reading

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review!

As we mentioned a few times here on the blog, our big Christmas present for the year was a PS3, complete with borrowing games from people, getting our hands on some of our own, and a membership with PlayStation Plus which has free games available.

Meanwhile, as you may have noticed around and about the end-of-year reviews lately, at least and especially on Apple, there’s this little game called XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Which on the Mac store has won game of the year, and for iPad, is runner up for game of the year. A game that is that high up for both of those platforms? Really? I wanted to know more when I saw it.

And I recognized the name – from our PlayStation Plus. This game is available free on PS3 with PlayStation Plus right now – whereas otherwise it’s still $40! This seemed like the perfect way to explore this game, and break in the new PS3. I have to say, then, that this game has sucked me in and stolen most of my game time since we got it. Read on for some of the fun aspects of this game, and for some wisdom from my play through!

Screenshot from iTunes

Game of the Year all the years! Screenshot from iTunes.

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What I’m Excited For in 2014

With a brand new year of things coming up, we’re showcasing a few of the things we’re excited for. Here are some of the things I’m excited for; you’ll get Holly’s list in a few days.

You’ll probably recognize some of the things I’m excited for based on my other posts, so I’ll try to mix things up a bit as well. I’m also realizing a lot of it is movies, because they do the best job of advance notice and choosing a release date. On the other hand, a lot of the video games on the horizon are vague promises of a game, and a statement of which console they would be on – no release date.

But hey, movies have trailers, so I’ll include these, too! Join me in my excitement for the things coming up this coming year!

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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, A Litflix

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Movie PosterI finished reading The Hobbit and I have watched the second movie in the trilogy and now it is time to tell you what I thought. I think part of the issue comes out that the story is really a simple adventure, with a lot of action, but it is never as dire as the movies make it out to be. Therefore when you try and turn the book in to three movies you end up having to change a few things. In the first movie I thought they did a pretty good job sticking to the book, even though they only made it a third of the way through. They added some little things, some big things, but there were only a few moments that I felt were not true to the heart of the book. 

Now the problem is that at the beginning you have to start from the same place, but the more you add and change the further away from the book you will get as you move forward. Especially when you add elements that are supposed to stick around for all the movies. In the first movie we start out adding in a group of orcs chasing the dwarves along their quest, because the quest itself was not dangerous enough. Then you also add in Gandalf having suspicions about the dark being on the move and old enemies rising. Once you introduce these, then you have to keep them up, but as in the case of the second movie it means you have to veer further away from the story the book told to focus on the other elements that you have added. Many of the great parts in the book are shortened, Beorn, Spiders, Barrels, to add time for the orcs and Gandalf hunting down the Necromancer.

The other part is that they seemed to want to focus on the epic parts of the story and make them bigger. Someone decided that the scenes with Beorn, the spiders, and others were not interesting enough so we had to either make them shorter or add elements to make them bigger. Then with Smaug they got such a good actor, they decided to make it a much bigger scene. The problem is that the book really does a good job of telling the story that needs to be told and not adding superfluous elements. (Spoilers for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug after the jump) Continue reading

The Best of All Possible Worlds, Part 2

The other day, I introduced the question: if you could live in another time or place, would you? And where? Including, and perhaps especially, fictional worlds. I included a poll, so you, the readers, could consider and give input on the question as well. You can check out that post here.

Clockwork Angels AlbumI take the title, The Best of All Possible Worlds, from Clockwork Angels by Rush. In the novel – and by extension the album, I suppose – the goal of the Utopian project is to build the best of all possible worlds. In this, one of many possible worlds. I did a post about reading the novel here.

In other words, I have been building to this point for a while. Indeed, really, with my whole series on Science Fiction and Religion. Because to me, the whole purpose of these posts, this sort of thought, is that Science Fiction touches in some of the most important ways on Religion – exploring its future, exploring the things which might disprove it, exploring people who keep their faith even as humanity (or other species) expand out into the stars.

So join me as I consider the question just a bit further: Which is the best of all possible worlds?

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