BRIEF MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CASUAL MOVIEGOERS
Monday, August 11, 2008
In terms of the Olympics, I've been a skeptic since day one. China has been experiencing a PR nightmare since the start of the Tibet incident, but not forgetting the "slavery" fiasco and all those numerous toxic products that got recalled left and right. But I really have to give it to them for the awesome opening ceremony that they put together on Friday. The British will have a tough time trying to outdo the Chinese in the next Olympics. I pray for China that the level of quality and dedication displayed on Friday would eventually spread to other aspects of their lives, and not just on sports, kungfu and Zhang Yimou.
I didn't see the whole Singapore National Day Parade on Saturday, even when it was broadcasted on TV. The Olympics opening ceremony set the bar so high that any parade or fireworks in the near future is going to feel inconsequential. So, rather than form a negative opinion about the NDP from watching it, I chose to avoid watching it. But I did see the NDP theme song video that's been playing on TV, sung in English by Singapore and Asia Idol winner Hady Mirza, and in Mandarin by pop star Joi Chua. And it was good. Like really, really good. Sounds less like an anthem and more like contemporary R&B (well, at least for Hady's rendition), it's catchy, strangely romantic but more importantly it's emotional, and emotions will touch more people than any fakey nationalistic ba-rah-rum-pumming anthem ever could. Joi sang it pretty straight, thus I prefer Hady's R&B spin on it.
I'm crossing my fingers that Malaysia's National Day theme song this year will be just as good. I also hope that the recent National Day budget cut's not going to affect its quality though. Uh-oh...
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Weeks passed since the launch, and Nintendo released a slew of innovative but cutesy and family-friendly games, putting the special controller to good use. Months go by, still the same type of reflex-orientated games like Warioware and Wii Sports. If not, then it would be ports of existing games from other platforms such as The Godfather and Resident Evil 4. Yeah, there was the release of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which was probably responsible for most of last year's huge Wii sales, but that one's really a Gamecube game and not entirely designed with the Wii in mind (although it would be mindblowing if they did). But, still nothing particularly Wii-centrically mind-blowing.
Elsewhere, Sony's starting to clean up its act by showing off impressive upcoming games like Call of Duty 4, Burnout Paradise, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Little Big Planet, a puzzle-like game that ironically looks like it belongs on a Nintendo console. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Xbox 360 is aggressively vying for the top spot (and looking like they really might) with games such as Rock Band, Grand Theft Auto 4, Project Gotham Racing 4, Mass Effect, BioShock, and of course, Halo 3. But for Nintendo, apart from the next Super Mario and Metroid installments, what's the next best thing we have to look forward to?
Wii Fit, a game that makes you exercise or do yoga. For real.
Okay, we know your in-house games are awesome, and that I'd buy the next Zelda game on the Wii even if I'm forced to eat US-Customs-rejected toxic China-made food to save the money for it. But really, how many times do you think you could get away with just announcing the next Marios, Zeldas and Metroids every single year? No doubt Zelda's still an amazing game, but even a die-hard fan like myself is beginning to notice a slight, stale stench around the fringes. Is it really that difficult to get third party developers to come up with an awesome first-person shooter, instead of yet another generic mini-game collection or kiddie sports/platformer? I still remember how Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and other developers lauded the Wii's innovation in the last E3. So what happened with that then? Are the third party developers shunning the Wii like they did with the N64?
Because of my recent cashless state, I have yet to "choose" my "side" in the next-gen gaming wars. But if Nintendo doesn't buck up by the time the money starts rolling in, I might just invest my money elsewhere, or start appreciating regular, not-made-in-China food. And I doubt I'll be the only Nintendo game fan feeling that way.