Friday, 28 November 2014

NEW My Life as a Video Game Episodes | LEON UNITY UPDATE

NEW TRAILER COMING NEXT WEEK! - Episodes 9, 10 and 11 in December!

Check out Jon Bailey, the Epic Voice Over Guy's Channel Below:

Share the series to Twitter ►
Share the series to Facebook ►

ONLINE STORE ► http://mylifeasavideogame.spreadshirt...
INSTAGRAM ► http:///

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME is a live-action online series created by Leon Films. It is set inside the world of video games. A series by gamers for gamers.


Petros L. Ioannou as DON DEWITT (@petrosofsparta)

Jennifer Polansky as KERA ALTHORN (@jennifermya)

Brent Black as MENU (@brentalfloss)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Space Combat | MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME | Featurette #4

Space Invaders, StarFox, Wing Commander - Get ready for the final three episodes of My Life as a Video Game!

►Gamers; THUMBS UP & SUBSCRIBE! ►◄ |

Share the series to Twitter ►

Share the series to Facebook ►




INSTAGRAM ► http:///



MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME is a live-action online series created by Leon Films. It is set inside the world of video games. A series by gamers for gamers.


Petros L. Ioannou as DON DEWITT (@petrosofsparta)

Jennifer Polansky as KERA ALTHORN (@jennifermya)

Brent Black as MENU (@brentalfloss)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

April Joy Creative: Dealing with Depression from a Cancer Survivor

Amazing blog post by April Joy Creative in the wake of the sudden an tragic passing of Robin WilliamsIt's all about dealing with depression from the perspective of an 11-year cancer survivor. Please take a read and enjoy it!

April Joy Creative: Dealing with Depression from a Cancer Survivor

RDA Live - What Everyone With Depression Wants to Hear

Great video by my buddy, Nash, about depression.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Catch a sneak peak at the upcoming episodes of MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME while checking out what's happened so far. Watch the video below as we take you on the journey of Don, Kera and Menu as they go from Sarge's First Person Shooter world based on Call of Duty and Battlefield to the Double Dragon inspired Beat 'Em Up world... and get a preview of the most badass of upcoming story arcs inspired by Wing Commander, Starfox and Space Invaders; the Space Combat video game story arc! Check it out below!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Check out the Video Game I'm in!

Check it out, I'm the narrator in a new video game coming to Steam soon called Frip & Froop's Logical Labyrinth!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

My VidCon Interview with Streamline Buzzer!

Streamline Buzzer a new YouTube News site interviewed many people at VidCon from Strawburry17 to Carey Martell and of course, myself. So please go check this awesome video out where we talk about MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME. It's a great interview, special thanks to Brandy Walker who interviewed me.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014




ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN for this short preview clip from Episode 9, this one is a little dark and sad, guys. A short taste of the darker tone of these upcoming Space Combats episodes as we get a glimpse of Kera's past, the loss she's endured, the pain she's had to overcome.

Amazing music by KEVIN PENKIN


MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME is a live-action online series created by Leon Films. It is set inside the world of video games. A series by gamers for gamers.

These episode are inspired by Space Combat games such as Starfox, Wing Commander and Space Invaders, games that had you flying through space at break neck speed in your spaceships blasting asteroids and aliens out of the sky. If you like Star Wars or Star Trek, you're going to love these ones.


Petros L. Ioannou as DON DEWITT

Jennifer Polansky as KERA ALTHORN

Brent Black as MENU

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Gamer Girls | MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME | Featurette #3

Finally, a new MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME video. Interviews with Jennifer Polansky, Katie Massey, Brent Black and myself talking about our badass leading ladies from the show. Kera the battle-hardened fallen Princess and Christy, the happy go lucky damsel in distress.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

YouTube Prankster Invades the Pitch During World Cup Final!

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy aka Vitalyzdtv, a well known YouTube Prankster who at the time of writing this has over 6.4 million subscribers to his main channel - was caught during a pitch invasion. Now, as much as I love the sport and want the game to remain as professional as possible especially when under a microscope like this all I can say is... Goddamn Vitaly you are an absolute legend and a hero! Who else would have the balls to run out in basically nothing but your underpants and try and kiss one of the now World Champions of Football. I can't think of anything more balls-y. I've had the pleasure of working with you before Vitaly and you still never cease to amaze me with your insanity! You crazy son-of-a-bitch!

Check out Vitaly's YouTube Channel HERE - And his Facebook, Twitter & Instagram Pages

Seriously, the dude might actually be insane!

Follow me on Facebook
Tweet at me on Twitter
Watch my YouTube Series: MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME
Hit me up on Instagram

Monday, 16 June 2014

Space Combat & Convention Apperances!


Update on the latest Space Combat episodes with some cool VFX previews and check out below where you can meet us at upcoming conventions; VidCon, ConBravo & AlCon!

26-28 June 2014
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, CA - USA
Get Tickets Here:

18-20 July 2014
Hamilton Convention Center
Hamilton, ON - Canada
Get Tickets Here:

4-7 September 2014
De Montfort University
Leicester - United Kingdom
Get Tickets Here:

Check out our T-Shirts, Posters & Other Merch

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Check out our Instagram:

Shoot us an email:

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME is a live-action online series created by Leon Films. It is set inside the world of video games. A series by gamers for gamers.


Petros L. Ioannou as DON DEWITT - Follow on Twitter: @PetrosOfSparta

Jennifer Polansky as KERA ALTHORN - Follow on Twitter: @JenniferMya

Brent Black as MENU - Follow on Twitter: @Brentalfloss

Monday, 9 June 2014

PlayStation/Sony E3 2014: Initial Thoughts

So, so far everyone I've spoken to is creaming their pants over the Playstation conference. I on the other hand, was rather underwhelmed. Maybe it's because over the years I've learned to cut through the bullshit. I'm not a Sony fanboy, but I'm not an Xbox fanboy either. I'm more inclined to like the Playstation for nostalgia reasons, some of my favourite games are on it's original incarnation like Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid. But this conference to me dragged like crazy. Let's dive into it.

Destiny opened the conference before anyone even stepped out on stage. We finally got some solid glimpses of story with what I think was a Peter Dinklage narration. The story seems to be about a thing called the "traveller", sounds like some kind of planet that comes into our star system enhancing our lives ten fold, giving us triple life span, new technology all this awesome stuff. But like a yin-yang, it had an evil counterpart that arrived and screwed everything and everyone up. The story sounds solid and for some reason reminds me of Mass Effect's story of finding the Prothean beacon, then eventually encountering the Reapers. I like the sound of it - that being said, I hope the gameplay can match up. Right now all I'm seeing in the gameplay is basically a more realistic Borderlands, which don't get me wrong is great, but a lot of the fun of that game is it's quirkiness which doesn't exist here. Maybe it's just I'm a little FPS'd out, which when we get to Far Cry 4 you'll hear me moan more about.

There's a new White PS4, looks shiny. Might be what I get.

The Order 1886 had a creepy old school Resident Evil vibe to it, in fact it stole shot for shot one sequence right out of it. It looks nice but I can't help that I've seen a lot of this before. Something doesn't feel right about this game, there's not really much explanation of story or what exactly the game will be about other than this short 2-3 minute clip of gameplay. It's got no context, is this what all the game is like, I don't know the previous trailer was all CG.

Entwined looked pretty, it's a new art-house game. New style of gameplay that's not bang bang, guns. I like it. But it's just not something that had me excited either.

Infamous: Second Son DLC called Infamous: First Light. CG trailer nothing to write home about. It is a DLC right, I'm not confused, because the title indicates it's a new game but I didn't get that impression from what they were tailing about. I'm not going crazy right... right!? RIGHT!??!?!?!?!

Little Big Planet 3 was announced however, and to many I'm sure they were very excited. I watched and maybe this is what non-Nintendo fans think when they watch a new Mario game. It looked the same as the last two. I never got into it, I tried, I just couldn't Nice that it's backwards compatible with it's predecessors and has true co-op platforming, unlike NSMB.U which basically was how many times can I throw my brother off a cliff like the asshole I am... I hate you Takis... Anyway, the point is., LBP3 didn't seem like anything was particularly new. Nothing I saw made me want to rush out and buy it today as the previous two didn't either.

Bloodbourne was announced next and it was a dark violent horror game. That's about all I got... which kinda sums up a lot of this conference.

Finally we get to Far Cry 4 and this is the point where I just realised, I'm all FPS'd out. I can't do any more first person games right now. The first half of the gameplay showed this mountain scaling, we got more a sense of gameplay, it looked cool. The leap in the winged suit looked cool and gave a sense of scale. This will probably have to be one I try before I buy, or play on the show floor as nothing here really hit me as amazing... that was until they announced that a second player on PSN can join your game like they were in your living room and they don't even have to own the bloody game! Incredible! This is probably using their Gakai streaming service somehow as it's exclusive to PlayStation.

Some kind of Zombie Game, I don't know the trailer was funny but my feed cut out for a minute and when it started up I just saw more Battlefield Hardline, which while fun and all, we've seen it a billion times now.

This is where for me the lull began, where they took an hour off and showed some indies and stuff, a lot of stuff that kinda baffled me too. Starting with the Magicka 2 trailer was funny but didn't show much gameplay, looks good though. Looks the same as Magicka, I hope they can do something new and interesting with it. I've always been a fan of games like this and Bastion, something about top down just reminds me of old school games like Zelda: Link the Past that I really like.

Okay, so the next one was Grim Fandango HD Remaster. Everyone jumped out of their seat and screamed like schoolgirls over this one. I have heard of the game but honestly have never played it so the nostalgia factor wasn't there for me. I'm sure it'll be fun and maybe if they'd shown some gameplay or something I could have gotten on board - but again that's the problem here, nothing is being shown, they're just being announced and anything that is being shown is being shown for older fans of the series not to bring in new ones like me.

Lots of indies in a montaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage by Devolver. Looks a lot of fun. It was quickly followed by Suda 51 and something dark and depressing and David Lynch-ian...

The developers of Journey's next game is called Giant Squid. And much like their previous game is impossible to describe if you don't play it. You're swimming... I think... I don't get it.

Now is the game that set the VGX on fire. No Man's Sky, now I'll be honest, it is a seriously impressive feat with all the tiny team and the press this is getting. So great to them. It's beautiful looking game... but... what IS IT? Is it an RPG, is it exploration, I have no idea what the purpose of this game is. Am I just that set in my ways. I don't know, no-one seems to be able to give me a concrete answer. What is this game, someone please tell me in the comments below because I'm completely lost.

Project Morpheus their VR headset was talked about and will be at the booth. I'll have more there soon. YouTube is coming to PS4, so instant YouTube upload like you can do with Mario Kart 8 on Wii U but on all PS4 titles via the share function. That is going to be a copyright claims clusterfuck indeed but a nice feature. Nothing new in particular. Then they talked about Free to Play games for about ten minutes... moving on....

Playstation Now, a service I'm very intrigued by and have been saying for years Nintendo should do this with the Virtual Console. The cool thing was select Sony TV's will get a special streaming service. I happen to have an old Sony smart television, so that's cool, even if I already own a PS3 it will be on. The PS4 gets it first via Beta on July 31st before it comes to Vita and PS3. They'd previously mentioned phones and tablets, but no mention of it here.

A few days ago Mortal Kombat X was announced. The trailer looked really cool, integrating what looked like solid gameplay with cinematics. The final gameplay footage has none of the cinematics. It's basically a prettier version of 2011's game with maybe some extra gore... which is getting stale. It's like Sonic's speed, it's fun for a while but there's a reason MK nearly went under until this reboot, you can't base a thing soley around one gimmick. MKX seems to be just a visual upgrade to the excellent MK9. Which I guess is fine, maybe my hopes were too high.

Then cut off the games again to go back to Netflix style original series, one called "Powers" based on the comic book series of the same name about a two homicide detectives who investigate crimes involving people with superpowers. And we got a trailer for a Rachet & Clank movie that will be on PS4 too.

Incoming slew of remasters, Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V remastered for PS4; both look pretty much identical to their PS3 counterparts but will be on PS4. GTA 5 gets a save transfer from PS3 and Xbox 360, which is nifty. I'll probably get these with my PS4 just because I never got them for PS3 and now there should be better versions coming.

Then we finally got into the real games with a trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which looks excellent the cinematics look beautiful but it didn't give us anything other than a story and some cool CG sequences. We got no gameplay (although that's what the $40 Ground Zeroes was for...... .... ... FAIL) and we got no story, just basically a music video with a depressing song. I guess nothing more needs to be said about this game other than "GET IT OUT NOW!" they didn't even set a release date so I guess it'll be a 2015 release, maybe we'll even see it again at E3 again. 

Finally the star of the evening... Batman: Arkham Knight - it gave us story, it gave us excellent gameplay and the world of this game looks enormous. It's huge... big enough for the Batmobile and big enough to truly explore. Comparing this and Arkham City, which is one of my favourite games of all time, this is clearly a step up gameplay-wise. Let's hope with the help of that creepy as all hell Scarcrow appearance that the story can match up too, that was a hell of a game to play and I hope this helps go out on a high note and makes me forget the Kevin Conroy-less Origins... Blasphemy!

Finally it ended on Uncharted 4 reveal, which everyone is going batshit over... I know you like the series guys but... it was  CG trailer, it didn't show anything. Oh what do I know, I'll probably do the same if they just show some Zelda artwork tomorrow.

Overall this conference dragged for me. It was a lot of cool flashy announcements, but not as cool and flashy as last year, maybe that set my expectations too high. My major problem with this is it wasn't really a Sony conference. Also even though I knew it wouldn't be there the lack of Final Fantasy XV really pissed me off - it's clear Sony paid them last year to show a trailer for a game everyone wanted just to get them hyped for the PS4 because this game is clearly no-where near ready. Overall that sums it all up, it was all flash no substance, the only major game that had me hyped was Batman: Arkham Knight. Hopefully it can live up to it. The conference felt like a slew of "fan favourites" - meaning no-one who's not a fan like Grim Fandango knows what the hell is going on, and "games that have been announced and we know so much about already so let's not waste time, here's  a short trailer". 



Above Average

Xbox E3 2014: Initial Thoughts

Okay, so it's E3 time again, let's dive right into it with MICROSOFT'S XBOX.

It seems that this year Microsoft focused really on games, they've got their console, they've got it all ready, all games, no kinect nonsense, just a focus on (primarily) third party developers bringing their stuff to the Xbox One. In many ways this seems to be the most succinct conference. No handhelds, no new tech, nothing but games - and it's nice to see something like that. I don't have an Xbox One, can they convince me to get one?

Starts out with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, yeah, that's fine and good and all. But once again just very generic, I really think at this point Call of Duty needs a break. It's an obvious statement but even if Advanced Warfare turns out to be as awesome and groundbreakings as the original Modern Warfare was, I can't see myself buying it because it looks the same as Ghosts, Black Ops 2, Modern Warfare 3, it's just so generic feeling and I think the slowly dropping sales figures are pointing to franchise fatigue too. I'm not a CoD hater or anything, I like the series, but I don't want to see it become Guitar Hero, annual releases creating fatigue and eventual abandonment by the IP holders Activision.

On the other hand, Sunset Overdrive looks freakin' awesome. Lots and lots fun, really crazy stuff, a lot of bat-shit fun. And it's colourful, I love that, I love that it's bright and colourful and doesn't rely on a dark grim story to hide the fact that the gameplay sucks. In fact, here's an awesome game that doesn't seem to stick to any conventions whatsoever. It's just a lot of fun, with crazy shit going on. I'm excited, and it's an Xbox exclusive, so that's certainly a notch towards me wanting my first Xbox.

Dragon Age: Inquisition was up next, not much seen here really just a fairly generic fantasy trailer but it does look very beautiful. I'm sure more will be see at EA's conference later.

There's new DLC for Dead Rising that mocks the living hell out of Capcom. It looks hilarious using Capcom's huge amount of IPs to their advantage in this downloadable content release. Interesting of note, there's a great deal of awesome Mega Man music being used here for nostalgia sakes, except... where was anything else to do with Mega Man. No costumes for him, no cool weapons or something. I can't tell if this was intentional to parody their whole Dead Rising, Super, Hyper Turbo Ex Alpha theme, the fact that Capcom continually claims to love Megaman but does everything to avoid him at all costs. Hmmmm....

The next game on stage was Fable Legends, honestly, it doesn't look half bad. I'd be willing to buy it... if it were a new IP. The fact that this has the Fable label to leaves me very nervous, they've just gotten worse and worse throughout the years. Even one of the actors from my show Cody Griffis was in one of their commercials for their Fable Kinect game. Let's see how this one pans out before I invest any money in it.

Project Spark on the other hand, looks incredible as ever. I wanted this game last year, I want this game this year. This is one game that really does influence me to get an Xbox One. The Conker thing was nice, but no new game? That's not very nice of them, feels like a bit of a slap in the face. Well, Conker never felt  right to me on Xbox anyway, Xbox has always had the more dark-gritty games, so them having Conker just felt in the background. The original Rare game on Nintendo 64 was great because he fit in with all the cute cuddly Nintendo characters, but had this hilarious foul mouthed and aggressive edge, which made it a fun parody of characters like Kirby, Yoshi and even Mario.

Now the HALO stuff:

The Halo 5 trailer looked good but otherwise generic unfortunately. Didn't see any gameplay, which seemed to be a recurring thing, even Project Spark showed off only CG trailer, which as we know from last year, gameplay DOES exist... interesting. Anyway, they also showed of the Halo Master Chief Collection, which is another notch on the the "buy Xbox" belt for me. I always wanted to get into Halo but couldn't because I never played the original and just had no reason to. But four games in one, with a fifth coming, I'm down for that. Especially the original Halo 2 multiplayer which from what I hear was amazing. When I get some more money together this collection could be part of what seals a deal for an Xbox One purchase for me. 

That being said there was no price drop announced, and I'd really need that to justify an Xbox for me. I think at least $299 or $350 with Kinect for me. What astounds me the most is that we've actually reached a time where the original Xbox is now nostalgic. Where "with the flick of a button" as they say, you can switch to the original graphics of Halo 2. I mean, I get Playstation nostalgia, they've had three consoles now and the original had some of the best exclusives in gaming history. But when did Xbox nostalgia happen? Am I really getting that old that ten years can't be nostalgic to me anymore? I WANT TO PLAY THE ZX SPECTRUM AGAIN!!!

Finally, they also showed off a little from Halo: Nightfall, a digital series, which I'm looking forward to as a fellow Digital series producer. It's being done by Ridley Scott, which is excellent but is this the series that was being produced by Steven Spielberg they announced last year, I can't tell. When they say Digital Series to they mean like My Life as a Video Game style or House of Cards style, because it could be either. It wasn't very clear, especially as Microsoft loves to namedrop and we heard nothing about Spielberg in this.

Overall I'll say this, Phil Spencer seems way more genuine than his predecessors when talking on stage. Less jargon, less bullcrap.

Inside was a new indie game that look fascinating. I really like the look of it. Made by the people who made Limbo, it should be a hell of a lot of fun and a beautifully made game.

And here we go The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt  - right into it, no bullshit. We're here to show this and they do. This looks excellent, I'm actually very excited about this. It looks beautiful it looks huge and it looks polished within an inch of it's life. Now I've not played the original or The Witcher 2, which was the more popular one - kinda like Street Fighter II. I'm curious readers, can I play 2 without playing one, or will I be able to play 3 without playing 2. I've played BioWare games backwards and just couldn't do it. I went from Mass Effect, the original, to Knights of the Old Republic and it drove me insane, the lack of voiced hero, the slow gameplay it just felt sloooow. I hope that doesn't happen with Witcher 3, that it's so good it outclasses it's predecessors to the point that they become unplayable.

Towards the end we got a big indie reel, which didn't show off much but we did get The Division, which as last year looks great, once again they didn't show off much more than they did last year, in fact we got more last year because we got a CG intro. Looks great, looks fun, but I'm holding my breath after the whole Watch_Dogs, delay, "not console graphics", Wii U delayed for months extra, more gun-centric additions, too GTA-like fiascos that dimmed the hype of that game.

Platinum Games announced their new next gen game Scalebound, which while just a CG trailer like a lot here, looked awesome. Big beasts with original designs on a Monster Hunter-esque scale except with a modern day hero who (for some reason wearing Beat by Dre) and this dude, in addition to listening to some shitty dubstep, can adapt to a monster and take on their scales as armour, which looks AWESOME. Their games have always been these fast-paced crazy games from Metal Gear Rising to Bayonetta to Wonderful 101. It's fast paced awesome action. This looks no different, I'm looking forward to seeing gameplay.

The final thing I cared about was Crackdown, which supposedly is a returning IP... but I don't remember it personally. To me it looks like a Metropolitan Borderlands, that same cool art style and that same crazy action and fun.

So overall that was the Xbox Press Conference. It was fun, better than they've had in years honestly. They focused on third party games this time around and hopefully it should pay off. A lot of it felt like exclusives and I'll be able to tell more tomorrow when I hit the show floor if these can pay off. There didn't appear to be anything spectacular, like mind-blowing shit your pants jump up and down. But there were a lot of new IPs, which is a VERY good thing, if they can continue this momentum to the show floor this will be a great E3 for Microsoft.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME - Behind the Scenes - EPISODE 7 / 8

Behind the Scenes from Episodes 7 and 8 - We just have fun on set!
►Gamers; LIKE & SUBSCRIBE! ► |

Check out our Online Store:
Like us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:
Check out our Instagram:
Shoot us an email:

MY LIFE AS A VIDEO GAME is a live-action online series created by Leon Films. It is set inside the world of video games. A series by gamers for gamers.

This story arc of this video game web series is inspired by the kung fu adventures of Double Dragon, Streets of Rage and Final Fight video games with a little bit of Street Fighter influence. Real life video games abound in this epic web series. These are some of the best retro arcade games from the 80s. All your favourite video games are here in real life. If you like AVGN, Smosh or just love gaming in general, you'll love our video game web series Hope you enjoy it!


Petros L. Ioannou as DON DEWITT (@petrosofsparta)

Jennifer Polansky as KERA ALTHORN (@jennifermya)

Brent Black as MENU (@brentalfloss)

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Solar Roadways: The Awesome Future of Energy

Solar Roadways; what are they. They're a technology that could literally solve a billion issues of our current world.

They are a type of extra-durable solar panel that could replace all our highways/motorways and regular roads the world over. This revolutionary technology generates energy through solar power, it is clean, it is highly efficient and actually has a whole host of advantages you wouldn't expect. For example, they have embedded LED lights and are pressure sensitive so at night they're basically a giant Time-Square billboard being able to tell you what's going on like Slow Down, or Children Crossing. They can be adapted to create paths when theres works going on or in a parking lot where they want to add disabled spots. This is a huge deal peope but you don't have to take my word for it. Go check it out right here at this video and after that, come back here and read the rest.

Have you seen this video? GOOD. Just look at the change it could make to our lives, how much it can advance them. Solar Roadways are a technology that could do so much for our lives from their efficiency to the fact at they just look damned cool.

This is incredible people, Solar Roadways could change the world we live in, new jobs, more energy, clean energy at that, solar energy has this problem of well, space, we either need to take up huge fields or slap them on our roofs, which really is not doing anyone any favours. But our roads are just sitting there, doing nothing but being driven on and they're constantly changing or expanding, with the problem of that being that they need extensive work to change a feature, even creating a new crosswalk takes days, now it's a simple bit of code and some light-changes. Our streets would be safer, our roads will be safer to drive on. 

The technology of the road hasn't dramatically changed since Roman Times with the exception that since the invention of the car, we've struggled to pay for these machines that make our lives easier but at the same time, a living hell. Now we can make everything more efficient and an efficient road system means a much more efficient world. This isn't going to change our lives for the better, this will save a ton of money, reduce our energy dependence and as we make our cars more and more reliant on other means of energy we can make this the next step in our infrastructure, changing the world forever. Playgrounds, Homes, Schools, Roads, Cities, Offices, the world will never be the same again, but it won't be a world we are afraid of just one that is easier to live in and better to live in. Not to mention Solar Roadways are going to make the world look like we live in the future. I think this technology is AWESOME. So go check it out and please help make Solar Roadways a possibility for the future. Solar Roadways are the technology of the future, the future is bright and the path to them is on and lit up by it's lit up by Solar Roadways. 

Go watch the video, click on the links and leave a comment below telling me what you think. Go out there and make a difference.

Original Source:

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Why an X-Men "universe" works but a Spider-Man "universe" doesn't:

Marvel's The Avengers movie has sent the world of cinema into a tailspin. While a lot of stand-alone movies weren't succeeding particularly well at creating critical acclaim in the first place outside of Christopher Nolan's seminal Batman Trilogy, now they are being forced to create entire universes around the properties they do own. You'd think that Warner Bros. would have been the first ones to create a unified cinematic universe and the ones giving it their dues, after all, they own DC comics and the licenses to their characters in their entirety unlike Marvel/Disney, who don't actually have the movie licenses to several Marvel characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men who are owned by Sony and Fox respectively. Not to mention they'd successfully done it twice on TV, once in the DC Animated Universe and once just using Smallville. But in spite of not having many of their star players, Marvel are the ones who brought their heroes together in The Avengers first and they are reaping the rewards of a crap ton of money and an ongoing franchise. So naturally this being Hollywood and all, everyone else has to cash in on this "collective universe" style of storytelling where they bring together dozens of heroes into one big movie and milk it for all it's worth, except DC are failing to realise why The Avengers worked in the first place, because each character had their stories set up in their own stand alone movies, not just Superman and Batman, who apparently the later of which isn't even getting his own stand alone this time around. But I'm not here to mock DC for their efforts, I do that enough on Twitter. I'm here to talk about two other companies, Sony and Fox and their attempts to create a collective universe using the superhero properties they already own, Spider-Man and the X-Men.

Now to Fox's credit, they'd already been doing X-Men long before Marvel released the first Iron Man or even the original Ang Lee Hulk, but they were stand alone movies, just like each Marvel movie, with no real ties to spin offs or anything like that until the tragically bad X-Men Origins: Wolverine, now they want to do Deadpool stand alone, the Magneto stand alone became First Class, and now they're trying to create a universe based around X-Men just as much as Marvel has the Avengers. They're also trying to add The Fantastic Four into this universe as they own the rights to that too. Sony on the other hand, are trying to create a series of films, "one per year" in fact to quote them, based around the ever-popular but with diminishing returns as of late, Spider-Man. This started because they made The Amazing Spider-Man after Sam Raimi, director of the original Spider-Man trilogy, wouldn't put up with their interfering bullshit any more after the dismal third entry, so they scraped Spider-Man 4 and made The Amazing Reboot-Man.

Now Spider-Man does have the rather impressive collection of characters in his "universe" as it were, from the Clone characters like Ben Reilly to Spider-Man 2099, which I've gone into a bit more in the past to his fantastic rogues gallery including the Sinister Six, Venom as an anti-hero and a ton more really cool characters. The problem however is that Sony wants to milk this cash cow for all it's worth and turn this into a fully fledged universe of it's own making already confirmed spin-offs for the Sinister Six, a group of villains who really serve no purpose outside of being villains to Spider-Man despite what their comic run says, Venom, a character who MUST be introduced via Spider-Man otherwise he makes absolutely no sense and apparently it all has to do with the evil Oscorp... corp.  From Green Goblin to Electro to Spider-Man himself to the Lizard, all superpowers stem from here. So it's really going to stretch this character thin and really going to milk it for all it's worth. I believe it's going to cause it to crash and burn, we've already seen that Amazing Spider-Man didn't do nearly as well as the previous movies nor did it's sequel, which critically has been panned but is still making enough money to clearly warrant the continuation of not only Spider-Man's films but to build a whole universe around it. They're already having to push the limits of what Spider-Man has going for him often repeating aspects in movies that we'd already seen in the previous Raimi-helmed trilogy. I admire their attempts to do something better, I really do and best of luck to them, but Spider-Man is one part of a larger universe, he's a single character in a single city, where apparently everything is Oscorp's fault. It's going to take some serious skill and balls to try and pull this universe off, something that based on the last two entries, they going to struggle to do.

X-Men on the other hand is a different story, unlike The Avengers, the X-Men is already a team united, and has a basic causal link between heroes powers. Ignoring the Fantastic Four reboot for a second, the X-Men and all the superheroes in these movies have got a common cause for their powers, they're mutants. In fact Stan Lee himself said it best when he said "... they didn't need to be exposed to gamma radiation or bitten by a radioactive spider, they were just born this way, it was easy." And so too is it easy for the writers behind these movies to say "this guy/girl was just born this way". In fact never once have the X-Men in their movies been referred to as superheroes in the same way as Superman, Batman or The Avengers have been. The heroes and villains in this series are complex characters who are just born with their gifts rather than bestowed upon them. This makes for a much more unified universe and as such, the X-Men characters can spin-off into more than just solo films, there can be whole new characters like X-Force, who are in the same universe but don't even need set up like Spider-Man, they are already set up by their premise "they're mutants". Marvel pulled off something miraculous and pretty soon we'll be finding out just how far they can push it with Guardians of the Galaxy, but X-Men, it's already it's own universe. Hell, I always get a little surprised in the comics when the X-Men crossover with other characters because it gets a little confusing when there are heroes who aren't mutants in this world. The X-Men has as diverse a cast as the rest of Marvel combined, hence the recent Avengers Vs. X-Men storyline. And this is where Fox may struggle, will the Fantastic Four be mutants or will they be something else, that's the question if they're going to merge these properties together. 

X-Men works on it's own, it's got it's own universe, method for powers and social setting that really is quite globe-spanning. We can see Wolverine stand alones, or maybe one day a Gambit stand alone. Spider-Man is a hero who works on his own or could work with a team like The Avengers but to create a whole universe around one character's premise is a little crazy. X-Men created it's own universe without ever needing to create a universe and now Fox are capitalising on the success they've already had and adapting to new expectations of Marvel and DC's expanding universes. Sony on the other hand feels desperate to milk their cash cow Spider-Man for all they can and they're going to try to create heroes and villains who are directly related to Spider-Man but without Spider-Man in the movie. At least when Warner Bros did Supergirl in the 80s, it was clear she was from Krypton, and didn't need an accident to happen. But every character will have to be introduced in a Spider-Man movie and then you end up with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, frankly an absolute clusterfuck.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Would Final Fantasy XIII Have Been Better On Smartphones?

Final Fantasy XIII is a very strange game. It's a game that has a lot of potentially good ideas but really screws about with them. Now, one thing that simply won't save it is the fact that it's got an awful and I mean awful storyline. The character motivations don't make a lick of sense nor do they even remotely align with their actions. However, it seems in many ways that it would have made an excellent mobile game for smartphones.

Most smartphone games essentially play themselves while you control from behind the scenes. Take Plants vs. Zombies, you set up the tactics and place your plants down and they fire their pellets and what not without you having to interact with them or a similar game, Crystal Defenders by Square Enix themselves, a tower defence game. All these aren't about you selecting how your guys attack but where and what they attack. Final Fantasy XIII is kinda like that but on a console - and way higher budget.

The field map is also similar in Final Fantasy XIII, taking a queue from games like Plants Vs. Zombies or Angry Birds, they're simply level after level, there's no towns, no-one to talk to because they're unnecessary, you can access a store between turns on Jetpack Joyride, using money earned from the levels. The RPG elements are, for lack of a better word, dumbed down in mobile games, they're few and far between. This is similar to Final Fantasy XIII's field map, it's one long corridor taking you from one area to the next, there are no real towns or NPCs to interact with. On a console game where you sit down and play it for hours expected to get involved in the story and the gameplay. However on a mobile game you sit down a blast through a few levels on your way to work on the train. You can kinda do that with FF13, because there's no reason to sit down.

So with that, I ask the question; would Final Fantasy XIII have been a better game on smartphones? Probably, it wouldn't have had the budget, but it would have been a fun play through the game. There are significantly lower expectations for mobile gaming, which is just one of the many reasons I don't think mobile gaming is a threat to consoles. They're more like gaming from 1985, used to kill time, graphics aren't of paramount importance, they're just there to burn away the clock until you do something, which Final Fantasy XIII's gameplay is uniquely suited to, it's move from A to B, Level 1 to Level 2, kill some monsters with minimal reflex effort, so it's all about the pre-battle tactics and occasional quick switch up to keep the game exciting.

The sequels, the bizarrely named "XIII-2" and the 90s name inspired "Lightning Returns", are a different story because they went for more open elements in XIII-2 and more action elements in Lightning Returns, neither of which are well suited to the time-passing style of mobile gaming. I've already said my peace about Final Fantasy as a series in general, so it really comes down to this, do you think it could have been better received as a mobile game than as a console. If the high expectations hadn't been there and it had only been used as a game to pass the time, would it have been so reviled or at least so divisive. Would the Final Fantasy series reputation be in better shape? We'd already seen a bit of decline but Final Fantasy XIII was the, pun intended, Limit Break, it was the move that shattered the series dealing more damage than the previous titles had but it certainly wasn't what did all the damage. 

Final Fantasy XIII's story still had it's issues, characters like Lightning, who became a giant mary-sue for the creators, Snow, who clearly had some kind of mental deficiency, and many of the other issues with characters like Hope, Vanille, Fang even Sahz, who was probably the best character in the series and criminally under-used, had his stereotypical afro and the weird Chocobo-baby in his hair... seriously, who thought that was a good idea. Worse even, who thought it was a good idea to have that chocobo grow up to become a half-naked woman-bird hybrid in the next game called Chocolina, seriously what crack were they smoking when they created Chocolina... Man this game blows...

On point again; story is kind of an afterthought in mobile games, they'd still be in a mobile version but lessened perhaps, which funnily enough if you watch Square Enix's 16 bit recap of XIII where it's quickly summarised, it actually makes far more sense than the actual game. So there we go, perhaps XIII wasn't a game that should have been on consoles but perhaps an interesting mobile game that casual players could enjoy because that seems to be more of the idea with the game, it appeals more to a casual audience.