Things you should see.

Archive for September, 2010

Of all the shows on TV, why Spartacus?

Spartacus Blood and Sand I’ve complained often about the lack of good shows these days as well as my troubling inability to get into new shows. It’s with a heavy heart, then, that I find myself a the conclusion of Spartacus: Blood and Sand’s first season only to discover that the show’s future is in doubt.

The short of it is that star Andy Whitfield, an Australian no less, has been dealing with cancer and reluctantly withdrawn from the production of season 2 on these grounds. It would appear that the choice facing producers right now is to either recast or can the show and neither option is terribly appealing to me or the apparent legion of Spartacus fans out there.

I find it upsetting that so many seasons of garbage are getting greenlit at the moment. Spartacus is well produced, serviceably written, suitably gratuitous and generally as engaging as a 13-part series can be. For me it is also the first episode-turner, so to speak, in a long time. Not to name names (but come on, Vampire Diaries??) but if Jupiter’s bolt were to split the heavens and halt the production of a show, I can think of many more deserving ones.

We will still be getting Spartacus: Gods of the Arena in early 2011 – a questionable prequel mini-series fronted by John Hannah’s Batiatus – but with the show’s future uncertain this offshoot seems both bittersweet and unsatisfying in advance. I for one will be watching closely as this all pans out. And at least I have Dexter for the moment…


More Info: [AceShowBiz]

StarCraft II Commentators: Credit Where It’s Due

Mike Husky A phenomenon that popped up during the large scale beta test for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was full HD match commentaries by decent players on Youtube. This certainly wasn’t the first the first time commentaries were done for competitive video games or even the first for StarCraft. Nor was this the first instance where the commentators were raised to quasi-celebrity status in a given scene (Chris Hu, anyone?). With SC2 it just took off in a way it hadn’t before. It’s no secret that I have an axe to grind with the title and so I’d like to share my thoughts on a few of these commentators that helped reignite my interest in this mostly ungodly, difficult of games.

Right in the image above is Mike Husky, who you can follow at the HuskyStarCraft Youtube Channel. This is the guy that got me into the commentary world. His tutorial for early Terran aggression in the middle of the beta was what helped me eke out those few victories I did against unsuspecting n00bs at the time. Say what you will about this guy’s style but he has insights coming out the wazoo. He knows his stuff and brings a lot of flavour to matches even if his signoff is a little on the annoying side (no offence, Husky :) ). Here’s a sample of his stuff;

HD, the second commentator I think is worth mentioning is actually a close friend of Husky. You can find his channel here. I slightly prefer HD for a few reasons. Firstly, he’s a fellow Zerg player and comments about what will and won’t work for Zerg. Secondly he takes the whole ‘shoutcasting’ thing a bit more seriously than Husky and it shows. Not to imply either approach is better, but I much prefer his measure of professionalism. Despite clamouring commenters he has yet to do a ‘drunk cast’. I’ve linked below a sample of HD’s vids. You’ll notice it’s the same match as above; apparently, coincidentally both he and Husky each did their own version of this game and it really does highlight the differences between them.

The third and final I’d like to mention is Psy and I’m starting to think this guy’s casts are my favourite of all. Unlike the other two, Psy casts his own games. On occasion he’ll end up facing a known player like PainUser, but they’re by and large high-, not pro-level matches. The style of commentary is more relaxed but also more sincere overall. I do not want to call the other guys pretentious – there are not – but they definitely speak to an audience where Psy’s tone is conversational. He’s also an aspiring Zerg player which helps. Check him out at the PsyStarCraft Youtube Channel or have a gander at the below;

These are the guys I follow. There are other casters out there and you’ll quickly breadcrumb your way to their channels once you follow the above 3. This is just a quick thanks to guys who taught me Zerglings are not useless against, well, everything and that you can carpet bomb with a few Overlords filled with Banelings. Good times.

SSF4 Makes the 3DS a Day-1 Purchase

The Nintendo 3DS Nintendo recently announced the 3DS’s specs and availability; February for Japan and March for the rest of us in 2011. Until now little more than a curiosity, the machine’s lineup – pledge titles and all – as well its raw processing grunt have framed it as something more. That combined with its current more-expensive-than-a-Wii pricepoint suggest something far more ambitious than its original pitch back in May.

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, however, is what really secured this an immediate buy at my end. The port supposedly includes all the features of the console release and Arcade-only (so far) extras Yun and Yang bother me little. The recently uncovered 3rd-person perspective ads some additional incentive, although I can already see charging those down, up moves and dealing with crossups is going to get real annoying, real quick.

The only question remaining is whether to pay whatever no-doubt ridiculous premium Play-Asia chooses to stick me with in order to get the device a month before local retail.


Source: [PALGN]


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