This review is an extension of a review of Part 1, originally published 02/22/2011 on Game Observer. It has been republished here for archival purposes, and updated to take Parts 2-5 into consideration. The final score of the game has changed since the original publication.
The short length of Back to the Future: The Game - Episode One is indicative of the game’s episodic nature, but what it offers is very respectful of the source material.
TellTale games has crafted themselves a wonderful little piece of fan service in Back to the Future: The Game. The game really does feel like a labor of love, as the developers clearly put a lot of time and effort into getting the details right and being as respectful to the source material as they could. Characters, environments, and props all look exactly as you’d expect them to (within the style of animation used), and the voices are mostly spot-on. The voice of Marty is replicated by the fantastic Marty McFly impressionist AJ LoCascio, Christopher Lloyd himself was tapped to return as Doc Emmett Brown, and the supporting cast all do an excellent job. Except for Biff. Biff didn’t sound quite right. At least not to me. This game will no doubt draw in any Back to the Future fan right from its opening moments, in which it replicates Doc Brown’s unveiling of the time machine and the first time travel experiment. [More]
I’ve played quite a few Spider-Man games in my time. With that, I’ve played a lot of pretty bad Spider-Man games. But Edge of Time just might take the cake. After Shattered Dimensions proved to be a fun and well-designed (if not a bit rough around the edges) game, Activision apparently decided to let Beenox try another Spider-Man game, and made the horrible mistake of trying to rush it out before Batman: Arkham City sucked up all the comic-book-gamers’ attentions.
Edge of Time forces us into another game featuring multiple Spider-Men, but this time, instead of a dimension-hopping adventure, we get a time-travel story. The basic premise is that some bad guy from the future (2099) has built a time portal at the Alchemax building and is trying to kill the modern (Amazing) Spider-Man. Spider-Man 2099 discovers the plot and takes it upon himself to go back and prevent this from happening. Fortunately, the designers kept their ambitions constrained to just those two Spider-Men, and didn’t try to complicate matters by going further back in time to encounter, say, Black-suit Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Man-Spider, or any other Spider-Man variants from Marvel’s history. Just Amazing and 2099.
The time travel story gives the game is primary gimmick: the things you do in one time period (usually the past) can affect the other (usually the future). This seems to be an effort to correct one of my primary complaints with Shattered Dimensions, which was the overall lack of integration between the Spider-Men in the various dimensions. In this game, both Spider-Men now directly interact. In fact, they spend pretty much the entire game talking to each other through some time-traveling communicator thingie. Kudos to Beenox for trying to address a criticism of the previous game. It’s too bad they totally blew it. [More]
Recently came across this post on Cracked.com, through a Facebook link from Geek Fights.
I just couldn't read through this whole thing and not provide my two-cents of input. So I am going to provide a defense for every "reason" that this article gives for the movies making "no God damn sense". Because I like the Terminator movies. And the author is wrong. [More]
Hooray for Hollywood reboots/remakes! Are you as sick of them as I am? Normally, I’m not a big fan of reboots and remakes, especially if they involve changing the details of an origins story (see my X-Men: First Class review). But there are exceptions to every rule. Case in point: Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes completely rewrites the origins for Planet of the Apes that was depicted in the third film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The original story involved survivors from the future, ape-run world being sent back in time to 1970’s earth and giving birth to an ape named Caesar who would eventually lead other apes in a violent revolution against humanity. In the original origin story, all the cats and dogs of humanity were killed by a plague, and humans started taking in apes and chimps as household pets. Eventually, those apes would be trained to serve as a subservient laborer class before revolting under the leadership of Caesar.
In some ways, Rise of the Planet of the Apes could be considered a “remake” of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, in that it tells a different story for the origins of the ape-run world. [More]
I recently discussed some the problems inherent to time travel in works of fiction. Most notably, the paradoxes contained in the Terminator and Back to the Future movies. But now I want to take a step back and look at time itself.
Does "time" even exist?
The standard notion of time is that it is a fourth dimension just as fundamental and intrinsic to the universe as the three spatial dimensions of length, width, and height.
But the truth is: time is just an abstraction of the human imagination. It is a convenient construct that we use to explain relationships between things in our universe. Like motion, time does not exist without the objects that we use as a frame of reference for measuring it.
Time is scientifically defined as a relationship to the rate of decay of a radioactive caesium atom. It is also often linked with the speed of light, which is often seen as a “cosmic speed limit”.
But is this view of time really necessary? Is time truly a fundamental property of our universe?
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning” [More]
- Werner Heisenberg, father of quantum physics.