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Monday, January 17, 2011

What nerds can look forward to in 2011

A new year is upon us, has been for about half a month, and with it comes a plethora of new movies, games, comics and other wonderful nerd stuff that we can all look forward to... or dread depending on once preferences. So I figured that I'd just list a few of the things that I'm excited about this year, besides my totally awesome summer trip to Las Vegas, and a few things that I will avoid like the plague.

Let's start off with movies. This year will be an interesting year for comic book movies as I believe the genre, is it really a genre, will face its greatest challenge yet. The three big movies of this type that are coming out this summer are Marvel's Thor and Captain America and DC comics' Green Lantern.


Ok, so besides not exactly being household names to the common non-comic reading audience there are a few reasons these might be hard to sell. But I'm just gonna mention the big thing. Thor and Green Lantern might just be a bit too out there for people who haven't had their minds blown open by years and years of isolated comic book reading. Just listen to the both these characters' deals.

Thor is a norse viking god who is sent to modern day earth by his father to learn a lesson in humility and in doing so he becomes a bonafide superhero.

Green Lantern is a young man who's been chosen by a dying alien to inherit a ring that gives him the power to use green energy to create anything his mind can imagine. He also becomes part of an intergalactic police force with over 3000 other aliens weilding the same type of ring.

I fear that these might be considered unrelateable and silly by non-comic book readers. But hopefully the movies will be good enough to overcome any such obstacles. When it comes to Captain America there's a whole other problem. Namely that european audiences might brush it off as a sort of "America is AWESOME" type film because of the main character's name, I've met people who feel this way about the character. Which would be a shame because Captain America is about more than just USA being great.

Either way I'm looking forward to all three of these movies, mainly Thor, and I hope that they'll all do well. It would nice for Marvel to continue building up good steam for their Avengers movie and if DC could gives us a successfull movie based around a character who isn't Batman.

On the other side of the spectrum I strongly recommend that you avoid the following three, in-all-likelihood, cinematic abomanations. They share in common that their visible actors will be starring alongside lesser computer animated versions of classic tv characters. There's Yogi Bear with Dan Aykroyd in the lead and, get this, Justin Timberlake as Boo-boo. Then there's The Smurfs with a rather eclectic cast of actors voicing the blue little buggers as they appear in modern day New York. Because that's exactly what I think off when I think of the smurfs. Adventures in modern day New York. Last on this little list is the third live-action Transformers movie.

That's all I'm gonna say about that one. I'm firmly holding on to my opinion that the first Transformers movie is one of the worst movies that I've ever seen. The second one sounds even worse. I hold no hope for the third installment.

If you want to see a movie with computer animation primarily featured that'll probably actually be good I recommend Kung Fu Panda 2. It'll probably be awesome.

Next up is comic book related stuff. Since most comics are kept secretive to keep storylines and plot twists a surprise to the readers I'm a bit limited here. However I do know what I'm looking forward to. Namely the double-filled cosmic adventures of Annihilators and Rocket Raccon & Groot. The first is a team of five of the most powerful heroes in the space-ways taking on whoever the hell is strong enough to actually take them on and not die in epic superhero fashion. The latter is the misadventures of an antropomorphic raccon and tree. And both of these stories will be published in the same comic for a higher price.  If that is the way to save Marvel's cosmic line I don't know but I do know that it'll be a helluva lot of fun.

And I'm not aware of any comic storyline that I will actively avoid due to thinking that it'll sucks. But I am wary about Marvel's coming huge summer event storyline Fear Itself. The problem with most comic book event storylines is that they seldom live up to the idea behind them, which are often interesting and have great potential. Marvel seems to try to avoid that this time by being actively being very vague about what'll happen.

What we do know is that it'll be a battle between the heroes of Marvel against the god of fear and that the story will reflect the world of today in that everybody is afraid of something or someone or just about everything due to the climate we live in. Also, it'll involve the Marvel version of Dracula which I interesting in that it's very unusual. Accordingly it'll be as big as Civil War which is worrying because that story was ridiculous in how gigantic and all-encompassing it was. It's written by Matt Fraction who I find as hit or miss most of the time. So we'll how this turns out. Can't be any worse than Siege.

Lastly let's look at some video games. First up I'll say that I'm not at all looking forward to any kind of shooter game. They're just not my cup of tea unless I'm playing them for short periods at Ruy Hobble's place. So I don't really care about stuff like Gears of War 3 and Dead Space 2 (that the latter is a horror game doesn't help it in my book). And Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception looks like an adventure I'd rather see on movie screen than play. That said they all admittedly look like good games. I just don't think that they'll excite me.

Games that I think will probably suck are the inevitable tie-ins to the above mention comic book movies. There's always a game for those and 90% of the time that game sucks.

Then there are the games that I'm interested in but I'm not certain that I'll be getting. Portal 2 looks mind-trippingly brilliant and The Last Guardian has an interesting premise. But since I'm such a caveman in these things it's no guranteed that I'll get them, at least not until later.

There are three games however that I've already decided that I'll buy. First up is Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of 2 Worlds. A fighting game with some of my favourite comic characters duking it out with some of my favourite video game characters. You bet your ass that I'm getting that. Now if they could just announce whether Thanos will be playable or not... or if the rumours about Galactus being playable are true. That'd be insane.

Next up is Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The next big Zelda game and the first to truly be made for the Wii's unique controls. The developers are really hyping up how different this will make the gameplay experience and since the big Zelda games are often pretty freaking excellent I'm willing to believe them. The only sad thing is that apparently it'll take place before Ocarina of Time so Midna will not appear to funny and awesome a second time around.

And lastly there's the game that I'm probably looking forward to the most this year. It's Batman: Arkham City, the sequel to the absolutely brilliant hit game of 2009. We've only seen trailers without actual game footage and some screen shots but that alone, along with the info released, is enough to make me drool with anticipation. Parts of Gotham have been closed off and given over to the colorful criminals of the city. One of them knows about Batman's secret identity. And the Catwoman in the picture below is REALLY hot.

That this will apprently be Mark Hamill's last performance as the Joker makes it all the more interesting. I can't wait.

And that's some of the stuff I'm looking forward to in 2011.

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