Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Just a quick update.  We’ve moved to a real website, not like this was a fake one, but to gain more benefits and have more options we now have our own website.  Not much has changed yet, just that if you have landed here, you need to now to there.  See you all on the other side!

If you subscribe to this one I think you might have to resubscribe to the new one.  Definitely do that so you don’t miss a thing from the madhouse.

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We were quite surprised, and honored, to find out we were nominated for this award yesterday, by our friends over at Wallcat Gaming (link on left <–This way!  No, that way!–>).  So there are some rules to being nominated.  First, I have to tell you all 7 things about me.  Then I have to nominate 15 other blogs and tell them the good news.  So, here goes, story time.

  1.  While in Nepal saving orphans from tigers…hah just kidding.  First and foremost about me, I am married and have a son.  I know you’ve heard about my awesome wife from time to time, we also have a teenager who is well on his way to growing up just like me.  Poor kid.
  2. I am a comic book collector, mostly X-Titles, but I do pick up a few odds and ends here and there, namely Conan from Dark Horse, Knights of the Dinner Table from KenzerCo., and anything related to Lady Pendragon or The Magdalena.
  3. I am an avid reader of Sci-fi and Fantasy as well as war history, and some popular fiction.  My library is upwards of 800 books.
  4. I am, and always shall be…your friend, Jim.  No wait, a gamer, that’s what I am.  I love FPS games and multi-player RPGs mostly, with the odd puzzle game thrown in.
  5. Our whole family is big fans of amine, mostly mecha and suspense, and pretty much anything put out by Studio Ghibli.
  6. I am proud to admit that I am a roleplayer, and have been for a long time.  Over 20 years now since my buddy introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons.  I’ve been hooked every since.
  7. I am a writer, if that wasn’t obvious.  Not saying I’m a good writer, but I can put words together and get a few people to read them so I guess that counts.

Ok, now for the blogs I’m nominating, in no particular order.

Ok, so I could only come up with nine.  I’m so busy I just don’t have 15 blogs that I follow.  Hopefully the above nominees are able to pick up my slack…I know, I suck.

One of my coworkers suggested this awhile back, and I’ve finally gotten around to researching it and putting some thought to it.  Basically, we wondered what movies out there, based on video games, were actually good.  Of course there could be a lot of criteria for that:  do they stick close to the game, is the movie good, if it weren’t related to the game would it be good, the list goes on.  Historically movies based on video games are terrible.  Either the concept is so corney that seeing it on the big screen is just off, or in some cases the game itself was never that good and turning it into a movie only created more wasted time.  Since I didn’t play all of these games, I’m simply going with what I know, was the movie good, entertaining, and fun to watch.  In some cases I have either heard, or I know, whether it stuck to the theme of the game, but not always.  I looked at a long list of international theatrical releases and picked seven, but some of them are in series’ so we’ll wind up with four ranks so to speak.  So, without further ado, here is Frags and Beer’s picks for the best movies based on a video game.

Hitman IMDB.com

In fourth place is where I would put Hitman.  Of the entire list this made it to the group that I actually found entertaining, a decent movie overall, but of that group the least so.  I have heard from a friend of mine, a huge Hitman fan, that it deviates from the game a lot, but even he agrees it was a decent movie.  All in all, if this were called anything other than Hitman it would be a good action flick.  From what I understand, even deviating from the lore of the game, the movie still kept with the theme, which is important.  The acting was decent for an action flick, and the effects were good.  The plot of the movie was good for the most part and the writing wasn’t too bad either.  It’s really what one would expect from a popcorn action movie, and they didn’t really push it as anything else.  I guess if a guy who takes a day off work just to play the new release of Hitman says it’s decent, it’s worth watching at least once.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider IMDB.com

In third place on our list I am putting the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movies, both of them.  They were both equally good it matching the theme of the games from what I remember.  The action was great and story were good, and even the acting was good.  For action movies they had good plot and writing, and they were both entertaining.  Besides that…Angelina.  I never played the games, but I know enough about them to know they are sitting somewhere in the action/adventure genre, and this movie delivers on both, with a healthy mix if clever gadgets, mysterious artifacts, and guns.  Yes, I like guns if you didn’t notice.  I’ve played my share, and enjoyed even, of games that had no guns at all, but if you are going to make this great, exciting action game, it’s hard to do without its share of explosions and gunfire.  Definitely worth seeing in my opinion.  Oh, before I leave this one, rumor has it a Lara Croft reboot is in the works and coming to the big screen in the future.  Let’s hope they can deliver the same fun that these movies did, because let’s face it, we play games to have fun.  Movies based on games should be more about fun than anything else as well.

Resident Evil IMDB.com

This was a hard decision, because I’ve really enjoyed these movies, but I have to put the Resident Evil franchise in second.  There are what, four of them now?  With a 5th on the way, so really a heavy hitter here, but I tried to judge them as if they are one movie to make it fair.  Now, I will admit this franchise had its ups and downs.  There were some moments that made me cringe, and not out of fear or shock.  Despite that, if you look back on the entire series so far I think you would agree that as a whole they’ve been pretty good, fun, action/horror flicks.  I know they didn’t follow the games that closely, though I am reading that the next one goes back to a lot of the game material.  I also read that the game has since borrowed quite a bit from the movies, probably blurring the line between which is following which at this point.  I think the first one was my favorite so far, not only the nude scene with Mila (comeon don’t judge me!), but Michelle Rodriguez is in it and there’s just something about her I like.  Mila is great, as usual, at playing someone who isn’t quite all there, the action, costumes, makeup and effects were all great.  It had enough action to keep it firmly in the action genre, but also enough gore, horror, zombies, blood and brains to dip into the suspense/horror field as well.  All in all, while the series doesn’t get it perfect every moment, I would definitely recommended these to anyone who enjoys anything zombie/video game related.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time IMDB.com

I’m sure this choice is going to inflame some readers, who knows, maybe I hit this one on the head, but hey, this is the internet so lay it on me.  Frankly, yes, I’m a sucker for fantasy.  If you hand me four movies that are all relatively similar in quality, the one that’s set in a fantasy/historical period will win out with me.  I like guns, but I like swords more.  For me Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has it all, action, adventure, good acting, writing, sets and costumes, and swords!  Not only that but it seemed to fit well with the theme of the games.  I’ve not played the new ones but one of my first games back on my parent’s IBM 386 was Prince of Persia, a side-scrolling action game, and probably one of the first…what do they call it?…traversing games?  Not sure, I never did get into those types of games, I got out of console gaming before the new Prince of Persia games, or Assassins Creed came out and became popular.  Anyway, I think overall this move is my top pick from what I’ve seen so far.  The next few movies based on game have some pretty big shoes to fill with this list in my opinion, and knocking the Prince off the top spot is going to require quite a showing from the film industry.

Well, I’ve rambled enough.  Stay tuned, we’re going to talk about a new magazine I recently found, the Zombie Research Society, more video game news, hopefully a surprise Gamer Lady in the near future, and Guild Wars 2 in twelve days!

As some of you know I am looking to become a professional author, generally defined as an author that gets paid for his work, but I’ve always said I’d be happy just to see my name in print under a publisher other than me.  I’m not picky, I just want to be able to go to a newsstand, bookstore, or online media that I don’t produce, and see my name attached to something I wrote.  Now, as I wait for a response from my last hope to get my first fully finished short story into a magazine, I’m trying to wrap my brain around the realization that I might have to do something that grates against my old fashion ideas about writing.  I might just have to convert it into an e-book format *shudder* and put it up on Amazon!

I had previously told myself, if Wastelander (that’s the title of my short) is rejected by this last chance, ironically the magazine is called The Rejected Quarterly, that I would try to shop it as a graphic novel.  The drawback to that is it would have to be rewritten into a comic/script-like format, taking me away from other writing projects.  On top of that I would have to convince a company to take the story, and find me an art team to finish the book.  Not many comic writers break in without having previous work, or already on a team with an artist, inker, colorer, etc.  It would pretty much be more of a long shot than trying to get it into a magazine.  I also don’t want to revisit this story if I don’t have to.  It’s finished, and as just about every writer can tell you that’s a hard thing to do, call a work done.  They want to go back and tweak and polish until the end of time but you have to just finally say “It’s done!”  Well It’s Done!

So, this leaves me with a connundrum.  I want to get this story out, I want it available in as wide a blanket as possible, and I am not yet ready to just post my stuff willy nilly online for free.  It can hurt your chances for future contracts on the work, should someone like it.  It also tends to get nasty when someone develops a fan base on free stuff, and then decides they want to start providing for their family using their talent, and tries selling stuff.  All of a sudden your fan base gets hostile and words like ‘sell-out’ and ‘mainstream’ get thrown in your face.  I’d rather avoid that if I can.

So, at the end of the day, I think I’m going to play with the idea of following in the footsteps of MP3s and microtransactions.  Maybe not a new concept, but hey, if someone is willing to pay 99 cents for a 90 second song, why not 99 cents for a short story?  It will sure last longer, and hopefully be more entertaining.  Amazon allows authors to sell their work on the site, I just have to convert the story into an e-book format and put it up.  I’m thinking .pdf so that just about anyone can access it, I’m not a fan of the proprietary e-book software that everyone seems to use.  Maybe when these companies get over themselves and come up with a generic format I’ll jump on the e-reader bandwagon.

Anyway, you’ve listened to me ramble about this for long enough I think.  Hopefully a little peek into one of my other hobbies was interesting enough to get to the end of this post, because now I’m going to share an opportunity.

I would like Frags and Beer to be something like an online gaming magazine, offering articles to readers one at a time, as often as possible, basically giving them more than a magazine’s worth of content every month.  For free.  (Yah I know what I said up there).  Anyway, if you would like to write an article for us, please feel free to submit your piece to us at my email: magus_taliesin@hotmail.com.  I’ll look at it, probably proof it, maybe get back to you for clarification or editing, and if it fits the bill I’ll post it with your credit of course.  Obviously there isn’t any pay for this, we don’t charge for the blog.  So, requirements?  Post length should be reasonable, we don’t really have a short or long limit yet.  Should be geek-esque in nature, take a look at the site to see the kinds of things we post about.  Also, nothing profane, too adult, pornographic, religious or overtly political.  If it fits a category we’ll toss it one.  If it needs a new category, or you are a recurring poster, we’ll give it one.

Well, that’s it for now, stay tuned for another look at Planetside 2, more Zombie Watch, and a couple of Pointless Geek Debates in the cooker.  Until next time.

Tuesday night, sad news struck the geek community at large, though to be fair this news touches far more people that anyone may realize.  Ray Bradbury passed from this life into the next on June 5th, 2012 at the age of 91.  With a career spanning over 70 years he has published over 500 works, including novels, short stories, movie and television scripts and poetry.  His writing spans genres, though he is best known for fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery.

He is most famously known for Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, but his work extends so much further.  He started his writing career early, actually having written a sequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars at the age of twelve.  He also has countless short stories under his name spanning literary magazines and genre magazines over the years.  There’s also a good chance you’ve seen one of his works in movie or TV form without even knowing it.

His name can be seen all over the scientific and writing community, in the form of The Ray Bradbury Award for fantasy and science fiction authors, an asteroid named 9766 Bradbury, and a crater on the moon named after his book Dandelion Wine.  He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Nation Medal of Arts and an honorary doctorate from Woodbury University.

Needless to say Mr. Bradbury led an adventurous life.  As a writer myself I can only hope to dip my toe into the kind of life he had, and will count myself successful if I publish a fraction of what he did.  He will be missed, but we can all imagine that his soul is now on a new adventure.  He passed while Venus made its historic trip across the sun, as viewed from Earth.  A fitting farewell to one of the father’s of modern science fiction.