Saturday, October 18, 2008

Star Wars : The Clone Wars Episodes 02, 03, 04

02 - Rising Malevolence
"Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction."

03 - Shadow of Malevolence
"Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by themselves"

04 - Destroy Malevolence
"A plan is only as good as those who see it through."

I am reviewing these three episodes all together mainly because I am behind and this is an easy way to get caught up on my reviews :)  and these three episodes form a really cool 3-part story arc... so they go together anyways...

Thus far, each episode after the next has gotten better.  Mainly because they have established themselves in my head, meaning I now know what to expect... so nothing really strikes me as jarring or unexpected.   I am used to the character designs, the voice actors, the music. and the way these stories are going to be told... so now its all about enjoying the ride.

A brief synopsis of the story and thoughts on these three episodes...

02 - General Grievous' new battleship shows up, called the Malevolence, and it hold his "mystery weapon" which turns out to be an Ion Cannon of great size.. the ship (which is HUGE) blasts its Ion Cannon disabling all enemy ships, then rips them to pieces with its multitude of weapons.. the episode starts with Jedi Master Plo Koon's ship suffering this fate.  Master Plo and a a few clones are stranded in an escape pod.  Anakin and Asohka head off to rescue them.  This episode was pretty cool... I enjoyed seeing Plo Koon in action, and there is more "clones are people too" morality.. which I find interesting.  At one point the clones say "No one is coming to rescue us, we're just clones. we're meant to be expendable."  A couple darker moments.. dead clones floating in space, others being vented into space.. the show at these moments really skirts its role as a "kid's show." There several references to the Star Wars movies.. the Ion Cannon fires very similarly to the Death Star, and the clones directly mimic Han and Chewie while repairing the escape pod.  "No, this one goes there, that one goes there..."  These references continue exponentially throughout the next two episodes.

03- This episode focuses on Anakin leading an assault on the Malevolence to shut it down.  He leads a battalion of clones called Shadow Squadron, and they use the prototype Y-Wing Bombers.  These are brand new Y-wings, not the old used up ones you see in the movies. :)  They have to fly through a nebula to catch up with their target.. but find it to be a nest for giant Neebray Mantas, huge space leviathans.... they dodge them and then arrive at their destination.  The Malevolence  is after a Med Station currently housing 60,000 wounded clones.. and pretty brutal target... the med station is run by a Kaminoan (the race that created the clones, makes sense) which is cool.  Anakin leads his squadron, and ends up disabling the Ion Cannon.  Just in time for Obi-Wan and his fleet to arrive.  Some cool space battles in this one... the mantas were cool, as were the Y-Wings... and the introduction of the 4-legged Power Droid.. the Plunk Droid!
Tons of references and quotes from original trilogy.. "I have a bad feeling about this", "Cut the chatter...".. "From a certain point of view..."  I don't mind the references... but they are getting close to the point of having too many references..  More darker moments.. a clone, named Matchstick who you are introduced to, crashes and dies... several ships full of escaping clones are taken out by Greivous' ship...

04 - This is the first episode featuring Padme and C-3PO.  They are captured and held hostage by General Grievous so the Republic ships have to cease fire on attacking the Malevolence until she can be rescued.  Obi-Wan and Anankin head off to save her.  They eventually meet up, and are able to disable the Malevolence's hyperdrive, or more accurately, rig it to crash into a moon.  This was a good episode... the most satisfying so far.  There was a high speed train battle, we get to see the romance of Anakin and Padme some (an important part of the fall of Anakin Skywalker), and General Grievous finally gets off the bridge of a ship and starts swinging some lightsabers!  I think the reason I liked this one so much was the fact that Anakin and Obi-Wan were together again... and C-3PO and R2-D2 were together again.. the gang was all there!  It definitely had a much more George Lucas-y and Star Wars-y vibe than the previous episodes.  Excited to see where the series goes from here...

"Everything I know I learned from you." - Anakin
"Oh, if only that were true." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

"Ever since I've known you you've been playing with droids." - Padme
"I used to put them together. Now I only take them apart." - Anakin

Friday, October 17, 2008

Memories Hoooooooo!

I'll see your He-Man commercial lokipan, and raise you this...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Reading List

I have really fallen behind in my reading of late... at one point I promised myself I would dedicate more time to reading.. but I have failed at it. So I thought I'd make this list of books that are on "the pile" to be read soon.  Then I saw this post on Wil Wheaton's blog today.. and he had the perfect quote from Neal Stephenson:

"If you choose to read a book today, it's not like a hundred years ago, when that was your only option. Today, when you read a book, you're making a conscious decision not to play a video game, not to surf the web, not to watch a movie, not to turn on the TV. It does require a certain discipline to make that decision.…"

I also spend a good amount of time listening to audiobooks, so I will include them as well.  Mostly for me, audiobooks are a way to re-live a book I have already read, so they are not as much of a priority as reading new stuff.  These are in no particular order...

Star Wars : Allegiance by Timothy Zahn
I have been slowly working my way into the Expanded Universe... Zahn is easily the best of the authors writing in there...(he is also pretty much responisble for starting it all...)

This would be the second best Expanded Universe author...gritty war stories from the Clone Wars told from the point of view of the Clone Troopers.  Very respected and recommened books in the Star Wars Community.

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Everything this man writes is worth reading... and I have a signed copy of this book just waiting to be read. 

Never been a King fan... but a friend of mine recoommnded this series heavily.. so I am gonna give it a try.

Armegeddon's Children by Terry Brooks
The Elves of Cintra by Terry Brooks
The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks
Brook's new series The Genesis of Shanarra, which links two of his previous series together.. I have always enjoyed Brook's work.. just haven't dove into these yet..

Still working on learning this game... and this version of the rules just came out...  Its a really cool game.. with awesome miniatures... here is one of those very miniatures painted by the master of miniature painting, Mike McVey.  The fluff behind the miniatures and armies is one of my favorite parts of miniature games.. so I am looking forward to reading this.

Listening to.......

The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks
I love the Landover series, and hadn't read it in ages.. next fall is a new book in thsi series, so I am gonna get caught up via audio..

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Ever since I started reading about the upcoming TV show I have wanted to go back and read the books.. but audio seems like a good way to go about it... then I can paint miniatures at the same time. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Movie Poster for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

from today...

via 1UP NEWS RSS feed by Kyle Stallock on 10/15/08

The Legend of Chun-Li

There's been so little word on Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li that many have probably been wondering if it became another victim of development hell. Based on the track-record of game-to-film adaptations, especially of the last live-action Street Fighter movie, the same people were probably hoping that was the case.

Now, according to a report from First Showing, the Japanese website for the film has just launched and a poster for the movie has been released with it.

As always, I'll save my ultimate judgment until I actually see the film, but right now my hopes aren't very high. Please, Kristin Kreuk, prove me wrong.

The Legend of Chun-Li

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ahhh.. its all coming back!   I thought I purged it loooong ago.... noooo...

Street Fighter Cosplay

From the Tokyo Game Show.. lots more cool cosplay pics over at 1up

and in related news...more Street Fighter 4 characters!


looks like we're gonna have a pretty full list of characters!  :)

and I don't know who this woman is, or what character she is dressed as.. but holy frak she is hot...

Clerical adventures

So adapting to a first level cleric took some time... only three 1st level spells?  really?  That's it?  I also am playing my character as a budding swordsman, so I spent a feat on the Scimitar prof., though he seemed to miss a lot... gotta love level one characters!

our group consists of a Rogue (kind of a jerk personality wise, and very much a thief), a Barbarian (very direct and straightforward), a Gnome Sorcerer (an interesting fellow) and me (cleric). We have another joining us next time (probably a fighter).

The story started with us arriving in the town of Sandpoint.  A big festival was underway to celebrate the building of  anew cathedral (the old one burned down 5 years ago)... the festivities were underway, leading up to the consecration of the cathedral at sundown.  But before that happened... goblins! Goblins are exceedingly cool in Pathfinder, they chant and sing while they attack, and are at times quite amusing.  :)  (and they are drawn by Wayne Reynolds)
We fought off one wave of goblins, but heard more singing further into town... we headed off to find the rest of the goblins.. these goblins were lighting things on fire.. and after another battle, we were then directed by some townsfolk toward another band of the little fiends... it was cool because they were each individual encounters, with slightly different situations, and strung one after the other, no time for rest in between.. which really added to the urgency of the situation... the last group had a goblin riding a "goblin dog," a nasty critter, and they had an aristocratic gentleman trapped..  our Gnome cast Sleep, sending a couple Goblins and the aristocrat to slumber land.. and we fought off the rest.. however the goblin dog took a bite out of me and dropping me to -4 hit points... I made my stabilize check (first try!) and after the goblins were subdued they drug me to the cathedral.  Long story short -- it turns out the goblins were only a distraction, and while we were running around the town feeding the chaos.. another group of goblins were digging up a grave from the cemetery.. they unearthed a priest who had died in the old cathedral fire.. why?  we don't know.  In the middle of meeting with the head cleric of the new cathedral, investigating the grave robbing, meeting the aristocrat for lunch (he wanted to thank us for saving him, and invite us to go hunting with him) we later ran into someone who asked us to investigate the disappearance of her employer, a local tavern owner.. this led us into the local glass works (run by the missing woman's family... in which we encountered another group of goblins, this time led by a half-elf.. who manged to pick at us from across the room with his bow...(and if it wasn't for my expert healing our gnome would have bit it) but we managed to subdue him, and our Barbarian almost cut him in half.. luckily we stabilized him for questioning... and this is where we called it quits for the evening.

A good time was had by all.. I can see it will take us some time to really "gel" as a group, but it looks like it will be a fun campaign.  :)