Friday, 30 April 2010

Some X-MEN knowledge.

Being as I seem to be the only one of us geeky enough to be spending ridiculous amounts of money on a lot of comics every month, I've been appointed as the person to go to for info on the X-MEN and writing for graphic novels and the lark.

So I thought I'll post some info on here for the ones that can't be arsed to ask for it !

Gambit (Remy LeBeau):

Gambit grew up in the cajun culture of Louisiana, raised by The LeBeau thieves guild clan he grew up to be a master-thief.
He was involved in the slaughter of a group of mutants, before he met the x-men, called the Morlocks. This history has plagued him with guilt and is a reason why he remains such a wild card in terms of which side of the law he walks on.
When he joined the x-men after meeting a young Storm he wasn't trusted within their ranks as they didn't know a great deal about him.
Gambit has had an on/off relationship with Rogue (Anna Marie) which has helped him settle down into a more stable and trustworthy role within the team. Gambit considers himself to be a ladies man and often gets the girl he wants so the lack of sexual contact between himself and Rogue because of her dangerous power puts a lot of strain on their relationship.
Gambit has left the x-men various times and joined other teams or just gone off on his own. Being a loner that flits from job to job, bed to bed, kill to kill is what Gambit used to be and a part of that remains.

His power is the ability to charge up kinetic (moving) energy and channel the energy into objects. His most famous move would be charging a deck of cards with energy and throwing them to explode on impact. He also uses a staff for combat.

Jean Grey:

This one's a toughie to summarize because she's such a complicated character.
Jean was in the original class of x-men as a telepathic mutant. She was a loving and caring person that looked after everyone in the x-men and genuinely cared about the human race. Her powers grew to "omega level" yet she still dealt with it very rarely unleashing her full power.

Jean has lived with the x-men since she was a very young girl and eventually built a family there. She fell in love with Scott Summers (Cyclops) and married him, she had Charles Xavier who was like a father to her, a daughter from an alternate reality called Rachel Summers. Wolverine and her became extremely strong friends and often became closer than that when Logan fell in love with her.

Unfortunately Jean was possessed by an extremely powerful alien life-form called the "Pheonix Force" which gave her more power yet ultimately began to take over her and become a threat. Jean killed herself to stop the Pheonix killing everything. But as the name suggests the Pheonix and Jean Grey rose again rejoining the x-men. She fought to have a normal life with Scott and her friends (as normal as things get being part of a mutant super team) but has since been killed yet again and not yet been resurrected.

When writing a story based on an existing franchise like the X-men we need to stay true to the characters and world they live in so hopefully these bios will help you to understand them more.

Feel free to message me any questions you have about the x-men and such :)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Mile-high Club

My fists clenched the arms of the chair as the wind battered the plane from the outside. We were plunged into darkness as the plane dived into a beastly black cloud. Everybody sat up in their seats, alert as the plane shuddered and banged. My eyes snapped onto an extremely stressed airhostess as she ran down the aisle and practically dived into her seat as the plane gave another gut wrenching lurch. My lips were dry and my heart pounded as I sat paralyzed in my chair. The plane let out a deafening groan and suddenly plummeted from the air. I drew in a long sharp breath as everyone around me screamed in terror. The plane lunged forward, trying to rise above the cloud but to no avail. We plunged again, leaving my stomach behind. In that one moment, I knew I was going to die. A wave of relief and calm swept over me and I let go of all emotion. I couldn’t move an inch. It was as if life had stopped and this was just a movie playing in front of me. The plane sharply rose generating huge amounts of G-force. We levelled out, it was over.


This actually happened to me and is the reason why I hate, hate, hate flying. The feeling that you're going to die within the next few moments is one I can't explain all too well. It's like you lose all hope and all emotion. You don't feel scared believe it or not, it's almost like relief. It's a horrible feeling and one that I've only experienced during this incident three years ago.

Turns out we had hit an air-pocket which made the plane drop a whopping 10,000ft! Worse than any roller-coaster I've ever been on.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Tom Goodchild should be proud.

Ok, so here's Gametrailers video review for Monumental Games MotoGP 09/10:

Watched it?


It got a reasonably average score of 6.2 and on Metacritic it's achieved an average of 72.

My opinion of it all is that Tom Goodchild and his team at Monumental have done brilliantly in using what limited resources and options for game design to create a decent game.

Lets face it. After listening to Tom's speech during Industry Week it was apparent that they were extremely restricted in terms of how much they can put into the game creativity-wise because of the strict guidelines from Capcom and the MotoGP big-wigs. Yet Tom seems to have worked some magic here and created a solid game with decent replay incentives too.

It's interesting to hear GT's view on the audio after listening to Tom about the struggles they had with it as it is apparent in the game. I'll be honest and say the audio is pretty poor. The bikes sound monotone and there is no audio for the AI bikes (why?). One thing I noticed is when viewing behind the bike during a race all sound (apart from the background music) cut off entirely. Pretty weird and something they could have fixed.

Apart from that I'm pleased for Tom and his team. He seemed extremely nervous about the incoming reviews and I'm glad to see them kinda pay off.

It's obvious they'll be making the next instalment and now they have the new engine and foundations laid out I'm sure Monumental and Tom can crack down and improve on an already solid game.

Good on them!