Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CROSSTOPIX #1: Part 2 of 3

Welcome back to CrossTopix everyone! To remind you, our guest this week is Matt B. Wild of! If you haven't read the first three questions of this week and wish to do so, here is the link. Moving on, here are the next three topics of this week!

4. What is your All-Time Favorite Game System?

STVO: I always think of NES, Sega Genesis, and SNES when asked this question. To narrow things down, I will say Super Nintendo because it has my favorite Zelda title (A Link to the Past), one of the best Mario titles (Super Mario World), Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6 (then known as 3), Zombies Ate my Neighbors, Super Mario Kart, Star Fox, and many more! The NES and Genesis were great systems but they have some small flaws in comparison to SNES.

The original Genesis 3-button controller hampered some SNES ports (but would be fixed with the 6-button controller.) While the original NES had many great third-party titles and there are some very great Nintendo-made exclusives, many more were on the SNES and just like the Wii currently, there were many shovel-ware titles on the NES (though the NES has far less than Wii.) SNES is the best because it had excellent exclusives, two compilations of some of the best NES games (Mario All-Stars, Ninja Gaiden Trilogy), and graphically superior 16-bit titles (love you Genesis, but it’s a proven fact both visually and by hardware specs.)

Charlie Cat: This is tough. Well, it would definitely have to be a system from my youth. The gaming systems of today are cool, have some great titles, and amazing graphics but nothing beat the simplicity of the 16 bit and lower systems that captivated you as a child. If forced to pick I'd have to say Sega Genesis with Nintendo 64 as a close second. Wait a minute, did I just contradict myself with that second system there, and with everything I said leading up to it?!? Meh! Nothing got me more pumped at the beginning of a game than hearing the trademark, “Seegaaa”. The Sonic series was a blast. Plus, I loved the Sega controller. It was like a batarang! It curved to fit into your anxious hands with ABC and START on the right and the good ole' D-Pad on the left. Nintendo 64 is a close second most likely due to the fact that I wasn't lucky enough to own a Super Nintendo, which was a great system. N64 had a lot of great titles. Super Mario 64, Golden Eye, Perfect Dark, and my all time favorite game: The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. The original Nintendo deserves a nod as well as Sony's Playstation 2.

MattBWild: I love the current generation consoles, but I just can’t stop thinking about my Sega Game Gear. I know that might be an interesting choice, but I spent hours upon hours, not to mention batteries, on that big black brick. I feel like it was so far ahead of its time as far as graphics were concerned, and if I remember correctly it was one of the only color handhelds at the time (there was the Atari Lynx, but Game Gear and the original Game Boy overshadowed it sales-wise.) I loved the Sonic games for the hand held and the baseball game on there was just as phenomenal. It is just a shame that Sega died out (left the console market.) I feel as far as the handheld market is concerned we’d have a better option coming from Sega than the DS and the PSP Go.

5. What CD soundtrack based off a movie, video game, or even television show have you really enjoyed over the years?

STVO: I really had to think of all the music in every movie I’ve seen. One soundtrack that comes to mind is the Back to the Future soundtrack. I am fan of Huey Lewis and the two songs he performed (“Going Back in Time” and “The Power of Love.”) I also like the music played in scenes such as when Marty outdoes Biff, “Earth Angel” at prom, and many others. Another soundtrack I have enjoyed was the music in the Sonic the Hedgehog video games. Be it the 80s hair metal bands in Sonic Adventure, the music in Sonic CD, or the catchy electronic music in some stages of Sonic 2. Now if you want a good animated television soundtrack, check out the anime FLCL (Fooly Cooly.) There is a Japanese band called The Pillows that plays some really entertaining music that can either be soothing or sometimes makes you want to rock out. I don’t understand most of the words (because it is in Japanese) but I like it a lot.

Charlie Cat: Ah, the amazing soundtrack! Just about anything that Hans Zimmer has composed works for me: “Crimson Tide”, “Gladiator”, “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight”, “The Thin Red Line”, and “Blackhawk Down” are my favorites. Philip Glass's score of the documentary, “Koyaanisqatsi” is a great listen. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis's soundtrack to “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” is a cool ambient western listen.” There are some videogame soundtracks I enjoy. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a classic. Then of course Akira Yamaoka's scores for Silent Hill 1-4 are amazing. The opening track for the first is a classic. I'd have to say 3 is my favorite, though.

MattBWild: The Cowboy Bebop soundtrack “Blue” is my favorite of all time. If you don’t know anything about the Cowboy Bebop series and the music it is heavily influenced by the Jazz and Blues genre. The song “Road to the West” is one of those songs that you bring out to your car on a warm summer night, start the engine, roll the windows down and drive. The entire album is good, but that is one song, or I guess you could say instrumental that would rank in the top five of my favorite songs of all time. Check it out!

6. It has been one year since the theatrical release of The Watchmen. What was your opinion of the movie? Did it live up to the hype and would you want to see more from it?

STVO: I didn’t get to see the Watchmen until late last year on blu-ray. I have no experience with reading the comic and heard some negative opinions about the movie. Despite that, I watched with an open mind. I enjoyed the stories of two characters: The Comedian and Rorschach. They were the only two characters that had my attention (Dr. Manhattan and Silk Specter II were okay, but the rest, particularly Nite Owl II, I didn’t care about.) I know they were attempting to capture the whole comic book in one epic movie, but to me it just dragged on. Fortunately, I enjoyed The Comedian and Rorschach so much, it over-shadowed most of the other negatives (again, I do feel it should have been less than three hours.) Personally, I didn’t buy into the hype so it didn’t affect me as much, so I’d say I’m “somewhat” satisfied with the movie. As for more movies of any sort, no thank you. Plus I doubt it will happen because this movie was so over-budget and the original director among others aren’t interested in doing more.

Charlie Cat: Here is a perfect example of today's movie market, where the trailer was better than the movie. In the summer of 2007 I saw The Dark Knight, and before the movie the first trailer for The Watchmen played, the one with no lines (except for Rorschach's famous quote at the end) with the Smashing Pumpkins song playing that went, oh-so well with the action going on. I wet myself after that trailer. I was hooked. I bought the graphic novel, which is a masterpiece, and learned of Alan Moore and the awesome force he is as a comic book writer.

To the movie itself: the first 20 minutes are phenomenal: The fight scene, the opening credits, and Rorschach's examination of the apartment. Then the movie goes downhill. I liked this movie but I know when a movie is not working for a wide audience and this one was not. Director, Zack Snyder, loves the comic and you can tell if you've read it and watched the extended version of the movie and the accompanying Black Freighter animated short. I appreciate what he tried to do. But he had to up the violence and sexuality in order to sell a big budget studio movie. It did not live up to the hype and should not have made. Any changes or cuts would have been blasphemous! Some material was just not meant to be adapted to film. I will say, however, that Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach was a standout performance! Now that was a role that people will remember him for and possibly make fans of him. Like me! Everyone else was good or less. “Who watches the watchmen?” Probably not you.

MattBWild: I remember the first time that I saw the trailer for The Watchmen. I was lost in the Smashing Pumpkins song that played over what I now know as a very misleading action filled trailer. I admit I had never read the graphic novel, and if I did before hand my expectations would have been drastically different. If it was not for Jackie Earl Haley’s performance as “Rorschach” I would have turned the movie off. Malin Akerman in spandex can only carry me so far.

I would have liked to see more of them in their prime, fighting crime, and seeing more of their back story. With a movie with characters as interesting as the Watchmen’s I wanted to see them in action. Therein lies the problem though, the director’s intentions were to stay as close to the graphic novel as possible. If you have read the graphic novel then you know that he stayed very close to the source material. The length was also an issue for me. The first time I had seen the film I rented it. I knew that I was losing interest when half way through I was reaching for the remote to change the channel. The Watchmen could have cut down in a few areas of the film to make sure the action could sustain the long streams of dialogue.


Alright, that's all for the questions! Tune in this Friday for CrossACTION! The segment where we agree/disagree with one another on this week's issues. Until then, please leave a comment here or log on to Facebook and go over to the CrossTopix Fan Page! See you all Friday!!

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