Tomb Raider Is Bloody Good

When Tomb Raider was first announced, I was immediately excited. Tomb Raider was one of those first generation PlayStation games that really made the system the best in its class. With a Crystal Dynamics developed, Square Enix published gritty reboot, I thought it was all Tomb Raider could've been with greatly reduced hardware limitations. With a fresh new take, all new game mechanics, and wonderfully rendered environments and characters, it was everything I thought it could be.

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On Emergent Storytelling

I love Peter Jackson, particularly at the exhilarating peak of his career when he exploded with King Kong (2005), the very film that he had always wanted to make ever since he started out in Hollywood. It was a beautiful, ambitious, and almost unwieldy film that transcended (perhaps cross-sectioned) genres and set the bar for cinematic visuals that will not be bettered until James Cameron's luscious Avatar almost half a decade later. His storytelling finesse carried heft in the lush and verdant Skull Island as well as a smoky and equally beautiful rendition of Depression-era New York, despite the ruinous nature of a redundant plot quite literally taken from a 1930's monster film. The curious thing about this remake, however, is that it doesn't cater to nostalgia, as perhaps the remake is too old for anyone to remember; and it is likely that most of the people who have seen it are a) film aficionados  or b) dead.

The original purpose of the remake is to create a visually-outstanding adventure for the post-modern film crowd who value creative action and visually-inventive storytelling, and to bring out the inner child of a movie director who has just finished flexing his mature cinematic muscle with, I dunno, 19 Golden Statuettes just a couple of years before. The plot, itself, is just as interested in dinosaurs and giant worms as it is with bigotry and capitalism, told in confidence and breathtaking style. Beyond its genre mash-ups, however, is a love story worth telling framed within society's general alienation of cross-cultural differences. And the magic of this breathless action film is that this core never gets lost even if it seems as if the movies tries so hard to.

King Kong (2005)

Public criticism could perhaps speak of redundant plotting if there is anything to criticize about King Kong. Carl Denham, the film's primary catalyst, stares at the monster's corpse and utters: "It was Beauty killed the Beast". They could perhaps say that it would have been more poignant if Beauty and the Beast has not already been iterated as a period film in the 1940's and even remade into an animated film and then turned into a Broadway musical before this movie was released, but I digress. King Kong is about grandiose storytelling with broad thematic brushstrokes much more than it is about telling a daring, methodical story. It is raw, emotive power. Roger Ebert always said: "It's not what it's about. It's how it's about it." He gave the film a perfect 4 stars.

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DataBlitz Pre-Order Promo for Tomb Raider

As I previously mentioned in my most anticipated games of 2013 post, the Tomb Raider reboot tops my list. Hot British girl who gets down and dirty with criminal elements while tomb raiding? C'mon, what's not to love? I'm super excited for it.

And I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned somewhere (probably on Twitter) that the Philippines isn't exactly a great place to be a gamer, because we always get shafted when it comes to those exclusive pre-order bonuses on Gamestop or Amazon or whatever.

Good guy DataBlitz comes to the rescue by giving us exclusive pre-order bonuses, as well! HUZZAH! Problem is, PS3 owners are out of luck since these are exclusive to XBox 360 and PC. So BOO!

EDIT: I bought the PS3 version yesterday and it came with a redeemable code that includes ALL the XBox 360 standard edition bonuses. 

Here are the deets:

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DCUO Kidlat

Because of how cool I found that Kidlat costume, from the show on TV5 of the same name, I thought it'd be cool to try and recreate the character on DC Universe Online. So I did, and this was the best I could do.

Admittedly, it's not a great likeness. For one thing, the mask on my DCUO version covers the nose bridge, and Kidlat's doesn't. The lightning emblem on my character has two bolts, while Kidlat has an embossed single bolt. In my defense, I had no choice. There was only one version of the lightning emblem and that was it. The torso on my DCUO version is pretty different from the original, but at least I was able to get those yellow/gold lines. The shoulder plates aren't bad, though. My DCUO gloves are the closest you can get to those biker gloves Kidlat's got on.

The pants I'm a little proud of because at certain angles, they're pretty spot on. The boots are pretty goddamn different - I had to resort to cuffed boots for my DCUO Kidlat.

Sorry, that's the closest I could get it. What can we conclude from this? DCUO has horrible character customization options. Champions Online did it way better. I'm going to make another Kidlat character once my Champions Online download completes.

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Parents, Be Aware of ESRB Ratings

Whether you like it or not, video games have become a mainstay in the culture of today's youth. There was a time when people were ashamed of admitting they liked video games. Now, if you say you've never picked up a controller before, you're shunned and looked down upon like a street urchin in the slums of the set of Miss Saigon. Did you know that Modern Warfare 3 sold 6.5 million units on release date? Did you know Black Ops 2 broke Harry Potter's records with $500M sales on opening day? Think about that for a second. Video games are more popular than Harry Potter.

While there has been no proven direct correlation between violent crime and video games, it's still your responsibility as a parent to know what the hell your kids are playing. There are video games that aren't made for kids, and while retailers should be more restrictive when selling them, you, as parents, are ultimately the custodians of the kind of media your kids consume. Besides, you hold the money with which the kids buy video games.

I like this picture because that kid with the blue controller is playing video games without pressing any buttons

I've seen an 8 year old girl playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on an iPad Mini. I was all "That game has hookers and murder and tons of cussing!" Did you know there were games that had that kind of content? Well, now you do. Know what your kids are playing. The ESRB or the Entertainment Software Rating Board is here to help.

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