Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player

Star Wars In Concert: A Review


So I realize this is not really a game but Star Wars ties into many amazing games and chances are if you like games you also like Star Wars and the incredible music by John Williams.
Last night I had the chance to go to the concert in Bridgeport, CT. After fighting traffic to get there and making the required stop at the merchandise stand I went to take my seat wrapped in my appropriate Dark Jedi robe (Geek I know).
On that note I was surprised to see there weren’t that many people dressed up. Maybe there aren’t as many geeks as I thought, and I know Bridgeport isn’t the MSG but still I thought the hordes like NY Jedi would show up (though they may go to the concert in Nassau or New Jersey).
Also, lest I forget, before walking into the concert hall you can look at several costumes and props from the movies that are on display. I tried to take some pictures but let’s just say my crappy iPhone didn’t do the best job. But I digress.

IMG_0158 IMG_0159 IMG_0160

The first thing that I felt was that this was a once in a lifetime experience. Considering its success they might, like Play!, decide to do this again but it is no sure thing and as a fan… you had to be there.
That being said the movies and the music are amazing on their own so you have to make something really original in order to make you feel like you couldn’t get this experience from the comfort of your living-room couch. And it becomes clear pretty quickly that you couldn’t.

From the moment the orchestra plays the THX tune (yes it is the orchestra playing it!) you’ll enjoy a blast of a ride through the saga.
Throughout you have footage from the movies edited in a sort of trailer-like fashion playing on a big screen while the orchestra plays with great skill and feel. I particularly like how sometimes they catch you by surprise for example putting a scene from Episode I when the theme of the chapter is mostly related to Episodes III and IV. The way they tied the music with the theme of the chapters was thrilling because instead of bending the music to the footage they did the right thing in letting the score sing in its own voice and matching the video and laser shows to it (these are particularly well used at one point during the concert).

One great addition to this package is the ever-faithful Star Wars representative, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO). Daniels narrates with great bravado in-between each chapters and even has a great moment (at least i felt so) which I wouldn’t spoil in case you go see it.

The way the show is presented is fairly simple but very well executed, it retells the story of the six movies chronologically in chapters, each chapter more or less being a specific tune. So as you can tell it starts with the Star Wars fanfare and then you have “Dark Forces Conspire” which tells the story of the rise of the Empire with the ever-thrilling Duel of the Fates being played so on and so forth.
Sometimes they inject tidbits of dialogues from the movies perfectly. These really gave me goosebumps at times, hearing Obi Wan wail “you were the chosen one!!” on Battle of the Heroes is just….indescribable.

It is hard to talk at length about an experience that is essentially musical and express what you felt but the way they tied the footage to the music is great. Not always perfect but at times brilliant.
There were times when I felt the music and the footage were off by just a fraction of a second but this is really nitpicking and it might just have been my imagination (by the way don’t take the YouTube videos as a sign of this because this is most likely simply bad footage).
On the other hand at times it was really transcendental, seeing the Imperial Cruiser crash vertically with the flames rising up along with the music at the end of “A Sanctuary Moon” was awesome!

Here’s a breakdown of the chapters:

Chapter 1: “A Long Time Ago” – 20th Century Fox Fanfare/Star Wars Main Title Theme
Chapter 2: “Dark Forces Conspire” – Duel of the Fates
Chapter 3: “A Hero Rises” – Anakin’s Theme
Chapter 4: “A Fateful Love” – Across the Stars
Chapter 5: “A Hero Falls” – Battle of the Heroes
Chapter 6: “An Empire Is Forged” – Imperial March
Chapter 7: “A Planet That Is Farthest From” – The Dune Sea of Tatooine
Chapter 8: “An Unlikely Alliance” – Binary Sunset/Cantina Band
Chapter 9: “A Defender Emerges” – Princess Leia’s Theme
Chapter 10: “A Daring Rescue” – Ben’s Death/The Fighter Attack
Chapter 11: “A Jedi Is Trained” – Yoda’s Theme
Chapter 12: “A Narrow Escape” – The Asteroid Field
Chapter 13: “A Bond Unbroken” – Luke and Leia
Chapter 14: “A Sanctuary Moon” – The Forest Battle
Chapter 15: “A Life Redeemed” – Light of the Force
Chapter 16: “A New Day Dawns” – Throne Room/Finale

And with this Finale I bid you Peace, and may the Force be with you!

All videos were taking randomly from YouTube.

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Video Game News | , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Timeline Trailer 5

700px-Star_Wars_The_Old_Republic_first_logoI know I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been busy but this is quick and this is good! Timeline trailer 5 was just released and talks about the events at the Battle of Bothawui.

also if you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to sign up for the Beta on the BioWare official website.

October 27, 2009 Posted by | PC News, Video Game News | , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Sign Up!!!

700px-Star_Wars_The_Old_Republic_first_logoIt is time my friends!!

BioWare announced the opening of sign ups last night and as can be imagined the site completely crashed.

You need to go here to sign up but right now the process seems to still have a few issues, resetting before you are done signing up. It’s sure to be fixed soon though.

May the Force be with you!

September 30, 2009 Posted by | PC News, Video Game News | , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Timeline Trailer #4


BioWare release the new timeline trailer explaining the change of Empire’s change of strategy to hire several factions to their cause.

The spies are on the move, active, unseen and the plot thickens.

September 9, 2009 Posted by | PC News, Video Game News | , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Timeline Trailer #3


If any of you is either interested by the prospect of The Old Republic, or just a Star Wars fan, chances are you would enjoy these timeline trailers.

They are narrated to perfection by actor Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Aliens) and give you a nifty background story to the events leading up to the game. I would suggest you check out the previous trailer as there is a continuity to the story.
You can find on the official website and also on GameTrailers, Youtube and probably a bunch of other places.

Right now enjoy the rise of Mandalore!

July 6, 2009 Posted by | PC News, Video Game News | , , , | Leave a comment

The Best of the Rest From E3 2009

In this post I will post everything that impressed me that didn’t come from the Big 3 conferences. So this includes EA, UbiSoft and of course the various booths throughout the floor.

Let’s dive right in!

Star Wars: The Old Republic
OMG!!!!!! As soon as i saw all the Jedi walk in I knew it. But still the trailer blew me away. It is as high quality as a Blizzard trailer would be and that is the biggest praise I can give it. Watch and rewatch it!

The Secret of Monkey Island – Special Edition
Yes Yes Yes!! This looks and sounds amazing!!!!!! I’m a huge LucasArts and adventure games fan so this is just amazing. The instant switch between classic and special edition is truly impressive

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Sweet trailer. I loved the first one and have been expecting this ever since so this is great news!

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
Sequel to FF IV available through nine episodes on WiiWare

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows
Amazing trailer!! Potentially a great 3D Castlevania at last. Kojima Productions is working on it. It looks really polished and the gameplay looks nice.

Academy of Champions
This trailer caught my eye. I’m not a big sports fan but I like the Harry Potter meets Captain Tsubasa feel of the game.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Another Warhammer 40,000 another great trailer! And this game is an action-RPG so it’s more up my alley.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | 360 News, DS News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tuesday October 21, 2008

RetroBeats Session 14 is Out!

This week I select my favorite songs taken from video game intros.
Be sure to check it out if you enjoy games.

E3 May Be Back

After the controversial 2007 and 2008 versions of what used to be the biggest show for the video game industry, it was clear that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) had to figure something out.
Today we have two somewhat different reports.
On the one hand is G4’s X-Play which has said that the show will be from Tuesday June 2 to Thursday June 4 and that while it will have a much wider range of guests it still won’t be open to the public.
On the other hand N’Gai Croal (from Newsweek) got from an ‘inside source‘ that the show will be limited to the press from Tuesday through Thursday but will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday. Although the ESA plans to cap the limit to 40,000 persons.
The ESA is supposed to make a formal announcement tomorrow.
What is clear is that whether or not E3 is coming back in full swing, it is clearly on the move.

Syndicate Lives!!

Rumors are afloat on the web that Electronic Arts and Starbreeze (Escape from Butcher Bay, The Darkness…) are currently working on a new game for the great Syndicate series (made by Bullfrog in 1993 and 1996). Even if it is still just word of mouth so far, considering the success of the first two games and how long it has been, we can be excited about this.

New Alan Wake Trailer!!

Big news today. Check it out here.
The project from Remedy has a lot of potential but we can see the game is starting to show its age a little so they better either release it fast or rework it a bit…. Mostly release it fast.

Xbox Live Insult Censorship?

Microsoft is trying to implement a system that will censor words in real time on Live. Live has long been known for its slew of stupid teenagers who curse left and right and sometimes harass players, you can report them and have them banned but there is little anyone can do to really stop them from ever coming back.
In any case Microsoft is trying to become more family-friendly but aside from the technical difficulty of this endeavor I doubt a system will be able to differentiate between tens of different languages.
for example I am French. What would the system do if I said “Il faut que je retourne a la base” (I have to return to base)?? “faut que” can sound a lot like “f*ck” so then what?
I will leave you to ponder this.

KotOR MMORPG Confirmed!!!

Everyone had suspicions it was coming but it was confirmed today by LucasArts and BioWare during a special interview with Gamespot.
The game will be called Star Wars: The Old Republic and have two factions, the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. Within each faction you can verge between the Light and Dark side. The game will take place 300 years after the KotOR games which is 3600 years before the movies.
Not much info has filtered yet but BioWare is saying they want to make the most story/character driven MMO out there and we certainly hope they hold true to this.
In any case I suggest you head over to Gamespot to check out the lengthy article and the 10 minute video that goes with it.

October 21, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E3 Games Highlights

Aside from the conferences there where obviously several trailers, gameplay footage videos and more being shown at the summit. And since some conference were somewhat lacking on the game front I’m going to share what so far has gotten me most excited.

Best Trailers of E3:

  • Star Ocean – The Last Hope. This one looks really really nice and has got me much more excited than Last Remnant or Infinite Undiscovery.
  • Dawn of War II. I’m not really a Strategy fan but this trailer is very nice.
  • I Am Alive. Now this trailer took me by surprise and wow! of course this could translate into a nice game or complete crap with a 50/50 chance. But the trailer is sweet.
  • Singularity. Looks promising, we’ll have to keep an eye on this one.

Now we all know trailers in the end….don’t mean anything, a great trailer can precede a great game and a crappy one. Likewise with a bad trailer. So I want to share what I’ve seen so far that has gotten me really pumped! either entirely new or something announced previously that I though was “OK” but now looks freaking amazing (I’m looking at you Prince of Persia!)

Best Excitement of E3:

  • Prince of Persia!! When Ubisoft unveiled the new PoP with the new design my main thought was “why not”. It looked nice but didn’t appeal to me much more than this. Now this demo looks amazing! the design is sumptuous, the gameplay looks fun and engaging without being frustrating, it’s open world…
  • Braid. An XBLA title that looks really nice and reminds me of what games ought to strive to be: fun! again it looks challenging without being frustrating. the Graphics are completely charming and the gameplay looks very fun and intuitive. The game should be comprised of 5 stages with 4 levels in each stage.
  • Far Cry 2. Looks might sweet! The graphics look amazing and that’s on the 360!! Very impressive. One aspect that has me excited also is that they dropped the whole mutant/alien gig and now it’s entirely human enemies! Yes!
  • The Force Unleashed. It already looks great but it keeps getting better and better. Sweet timeline, sweet Lightsaber grip, awesome physics and now sweet lightsaber/force hold/lightning combo, character leveling and lightsaber customization a la KotOR… I can’t wait!
  • Lego Batman. Yay! I’m a huge Batman fan so I’m very excited about this game. Seems to bring all the goodness of the Lego games with the roster of the Batman universe, the gritty feel of Gotham, the insane feel of the Joker funhouse and a soundtrack by Danny Elfman!!!

I will add more as I come across them.

Special thanks to GameSpot for their awesome Stage Demo feature which I discovered during last year’s E3 (or Entertainment for All Expo, whatever)

July 16, 2008 Posted by | 360 News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News, Wii News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment