The Astronaut Wives Club
I watched the ABC series The Astronaut Wives Club last weekend. It’s interesting because the series trying to be a bit like Mad Men but showing things from the women’s POV. But it’s weird because without the men’s POV it just makes the men look bad, like they have no dimension other than chasing girls and partying.
What’s interesting with The Astronaut Wives Club is that it appears as if each episode takes place what looks like several months to a year after the previous one as the space race evolves from Mercury to Gemini to Apollo. So we start in 1960 and go to 1970 something, or more likely Apollo 11 in ’69, in 10 episodes. Which could be really interesting since characters could totally change over the course of a few weeks, let alone a few seasons. And with each episode each of the wives could take center stage as it’s HER husband to go into space this time.
I’m interested in how they tell the story of the astronauts wives in this manner, but I’m not totally sold on the overall story yet.
Okay… what in the hell just happened here…
Sony recently released “Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros” prequel to the up and coming “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” full game released this September. (Think of it as a teaser for the up and coming game..)
At any rate, after playing through the “mission” that was involved, I am totally confused.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
So apparently Snake (the main character of the Metal Gear series), used to work for the US Government, only to decide to venture out on his own and create his own espionage organization. In this particular prequel, Snake is tasked with raiding a US Military prison / base to rescue two of his comrades; One being a kid with a head phone jack in his chest (I sh!t you not..), and one being a young lady with a bomb in her guts (yeah it gets better…).
At any rate, Snake starts out on the outskirts of the prison, and works to infiltrate the fence-line, using new technology and weapons. Sniper Rifles, Suppressed Automatic Rifles, and even a sleep dart gun; Snake can use them all. Somewhat of the goal for this particular objective is perform the rescue with a bit of “silence” and stealth. Fortunately for me, those two words don’t really exist in my gaming vocabulary, so of course, my first go at this prequel mission was to go in, guns blazing.
To an extent my methodology worked, however, at the end of the mission, you are graded on your performance. And of course, mine sucked (got a C). I of course gave the demo a few more shots. I guess next up will be the full game coming out in November.
Graphically, the game is awesome. Rainfall actually gives the impression that this is truly a dark and stormy night that this mission is taking place. Gameplay and control of Snake and his weapons are spot on, unlike previous versions of Metal Gear. This iteration also threw in additional mechanics (such as firing an AA gun at some of the guards, piloting and shooting a tank with another tank), which gave the feel as a “tactical / military” shooter a bit more flare.
Acting / Story line / Plot have a bit more work to do. Sometimes this is due to the game’s story line being “lost in translation” from a Japanese translation to English translation. Not that its a bad thing, but sometimes you just get a chuckle out of how some of the guards talking to one another. I don’t want to spoil the small ending here, but you really do stop and have to scratch your head and ask “OK, what the hell just happened here…”
All in all, for a free title via the PSN Plus network, its worth a view. Give it a go, if you got a PS4.
And be sure to keep an eye out for the full game from Konami “The Phantom Pain“, coming this November.
Star Trek: The Force Awakens
A few months back the second trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens movie was released and, like most of my fellow geeks of the world, I was immediately enthralled by what I saw on the screen. From the downed Star Destroyer to new characters on exciting adventures and even familiar faces making a new appearance on a stage they left more than 30 years ago… all those old feelings I had as a kid when I saw the original Star Wars came flooding back.
John Boyega from Star Wars: Episode VII
Then I thought for a moment about how I’d felt the same way about another beloved sci-fi franchise rebooted for modern audiences that I couldn’t wait to watch after seeing its trailer; Star Trek (2009).
That movie took the characters from the original 1960s TV series, recast them with fresh faces and set the story in an alternate universe so this new Star Trek could have some unexpected twists all its own. Unfortunately, the story the creators of that film decided to tell was cliched and certain elements of seemed to exist only to get the characters from point “a” to point “b” and didn’t seem to flow in any logical manner.
I disliked the first Star Trek so much that I have yet to see the sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) even though I’ve had many chances to do so. After the first movie watching the second seemed like a waste of time.
The cast of Star Trek
In fact I’d all but written off covering anything Star Trek movie related until I saw the trailer for The Force Awakens and started feeling all those feelings for the new Star Wars I’d felt for the Star Trek remake again. And the fact that both movies were/are directed by J.J. Abrams made me take pause for a moment.
Will The Force Awakens be yet another disappointment like Star Trek was? For the most part I think not, that the situations those movies were created under are so different that the two films really can’t be compared. Abrams didn’t write Star Trek but he is writing The Force Awakens, some of the people involved in the original Star Wars films are involved with this new one but weren’t with Star Trek…
But a small part of me is worried that The Force Awakens just might be another disappointment like Star Trek was.
Daisy Ridley from Star Wars: Episode VII
With Star Trek it seemed like Abrams and company were more interested in mining the “greatest hits” of the original Star Trek series as it were, remixing elements and telling a slightly different abet updated versions of them. Which they did. But instead of their creation turning out to be something new and interesting it was a bloated, confusing mess.
And though I’ve only seen the two trailers for the upcoming The Force Awakens adding up to just a few minutes of screen-time in total, I’m just the slightest but worried Abrams is making all the mistakes he made with Star Trek again with his new Star Wars movie.
Like with Star Trek, it looks like the story of The Force Awakens isn’t telling a completely new story and Abrams has again brought back most of the characters from the original set of movies and has remixed things a bit to tell a new, modern story.
Adam Driver from Star Wars: Episode VII
Still, it’s probably too early to start worrying about the quality of the finished The Force Awakens movie since we’re still months from its release. In this new movie the characters ARE back but they’re being played by the same actors from the original. And while the story might not be completely original it is telling a continuation of the story from the previous six films.
Right now I’m nothing but excited about the new Star Wars movie. However, I’ve wanted to be a fan of Abrams for a while now but it seems like everything he’s created from Lost to Alias to Mission Impossible 3 to Super 8 have been in one way or another ultimately disappointing to me. I’m just hoping that Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be the first Abrams project in a while to attain some sort of lasting greatness.