Delving Into the World of Hitchcock

Hello everyone! As you know, October is quickly drawing near and happens to be my favorite of the autumn months. Why? Because contains two holidays: the delicious Thanksgiving (for us Canadians at least) and the spooktacular Halloween, my second favorite holiday. And since it’s that time of season, I’ve decided to do another round of Halloween-esque blogs.

Now, last year, I spent each day of October talking/writing about an episode of “Twilight Zone,” a cult-classic horror/mostly sci-fi anthology series. After some thought, I had wanted to continue from that and look at “Night Gallery,” a spin-off from TZ that was mostly based in horror. Unfortunately, the only source I could find to watch it online was Hulu, which doesn’t work in Canada. So, as an alternative, I’m going to look at a few episodes from another anthology series that I vaguely knew about: “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

This series, hosted by Alfred Hitchcock, tackles stories much in the same way as Hitchcock did for his films. Sometimes they have a twist and sometimes they don’t, but they’re meant to be thrilling and suspenseful. I honestly know very little about the show and what episodes through its many seasons are good, but I plan to check out a few favorites I’ve seen mentioned as well as stories that intrigue me.

However, unlike last year, I don’t plan to write a blog every day. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that I have my job, and I never know from one week to the next if I’ll have a lot of shifts or very few. And the second reason is that I’m taking a 3-day trip including the 31st to Bangor, Maine with my mom. I may possibly have my computer with me, but I highly doubt I’ll have much time for anything, let alone blogging. So, I’m going to aim for every 2-3 days for episodes, which means a lot less will be covered this time around.

I’m excited to dive into this side of Hitchcock and see what sort of stories he shared with TV audiences. Hopefully I’ll find some real gems, and I know I’ll gain more appreciation for the man by the time Halloween rolls around. See you all next week for Alfred Hitchcock Presents Month! 🙂

Advertisements

A Smashing Good Time & Puzzling Time Lord Adventures

super-smash-bros-3ds-release-date

With it being less than 2 weeks away from Super Smash Bros. for 3DS being released, I figured I’d take the time to talk about the demo that came out yesterday. It’s already become one of two gaming addictions I’ve had this week, and I can only imagine that won’t go away when the game comes out.

For those who don’t know, the demo allows you to play on the Battlefield stage with one of 5 characters: Mario, Link, Villager, Megaman and Pikachu. Having played all the previous Smash games, Mario/Link/Pikachu were easy for me to get back into as their movesets haven’t changed too dramatically. That said, I really liked the movesets of Villager and especially Megaman. There’s just so much variety and quirkiness there that’s fun to play with.

The demo is pretty bare, only allowing you to play Solo sessions with a 2-minute timer and having no multiplayer outside of local play. For me, that makes it even more bare as I live out in the country with very few people around me. Another thing that took some getting used to at first was the button set-up. This will probably be something you can alter, but I found using the control stick to both move and jump felt a lot more comfortable than jumping with the X and Y buttons. Your typical attacks are attached to A and B, and the closeness of these buttons tended to cause me to jump by accident. But, as I played a few rounds, the controls were pretty easy to get used to.

Given that you can only play on the Battlefield stage either with or sans platforms, I wish there had been at least one other one to choose from for variety. Despite that, they do liven both options up by having the non-platforms Battlefield be item-less and the platforms Battlefield consist of random items, including Final Smash balls. This allowed me to test out each character’s Final Smash, specifically the new ones from Villager and Megaman. Megaman’s was awesome and covered a ton of the screen to hit opponents. Villager’s didn’t impress me at first as I couldn’t seem to pull it off right. However, by unleashing it close to an opponent, you trap them in a house and the resulting attack can ricochet at everyone else. It was really cool to see it in action.

I can already see how the coin system will work, which unfortunately couldn’t be used as the unlockable trophies and such were blocked. However, I think it’s safe to say that I’m uberly excited for the game. It runs at a good pace, is easily one of the best-looking 3DS games to date, and it feels like it was made to be portable. I feel comforted that it plays much like its console predecessors and I just can’t wait for October to roll around.

Doctor_Who_Legacy_Title_Banner

The other game, this one full-fledged, that I’ve gotten addicted to this week is one for Android, iPhone and Facebook called Doctor Who: Legacy. I’ve been playing the Facebook version, and if I had to describe it, I’d say think of a mix between Bejeweled/Candy Crush and an RPG. Yes, this is a Doctor Who-themed puzzle game with a story attached. I’ll admit I’ve been bad and skipped most of it while I’ve played, but the gist is that the Sontarans are messing around with time, and it’s your job as the Doctor to fix the various paradoxes they create.

You get to unlock and choose your version of the Doctor (I naturally stuck with Eleven, the default choice) and, along with Vastra, are tasked with matching up 3 or more colored pieces to defeat enemies. These enemies range from Daleks to Cybermen to Weeping Angels and more. Along the way, in several “episodes,” you can unlock companions from the show that represent different colored pieces. If you have more than one for a color, such as River Song and Jenny representing orange, they’ll both do damage when you match orange pieces. Along with the Doctor, you can have a team of up to 5 companions.

Now, when I say episodes, I really do mean it. You start in Series 7 and work through episodes from that series, like “The Angels Take Manhattan” or “Nightmare in Silver.” Series 5 and 6 are unlockable once you complete it (which I haven’t), and there’s now a Series 8 for hardcore players (those with characters leveled up past 20). Yes, you can level up characters in this game, which is done when you defeat waves of enemies within the episodes. Sometimes it may be as few as 3 waves, and other times it might be as many as 6. You can also gain collectible symbols if you do well enough, and these are used to up the rank of the companions and the Doctor, allowing them to continue leveling up.

Like many games these days, you have the option to pay actual money to give yourself a leg-up via buying crystals. Crystals allow you to unlock characters at random, gain rare perks (which are basically multipliers for health, attack, defense, etc.), and also act as continues if you lose all your health during a wave. I would never pay up for them as you can randomly get them in-game, but it’s a decent incentive. Oh, and speaking of continues, if you run out of crystals before completing all the waves of an episode, you have to start that episode from the beginning the next time you play. It’s irritating, but you can replay levels to help gain experience for your team.

Overall, having not played a game like this in ages, I really enjoy it. It’s fun, fast-paced, has some good artwork, tons of collectibles and incentives, and it easily can appeal to any Doctor Who fan with both nostalgic and current references throughout. The additional RPG-like elements also make it extra addicting, so play with caution if these games tend to suck you in easily. Definitely give it a try if you’re looking for a casual Doctor Who game.

The Doctor’s Grand Return

With Series 8 starting up at the end of August, my “Doctor Who” addiction has reared its head since last December’s Christmas special. This won’t be a review of Series 8 thus far, but just general thoughts on what’s been presented so far.

We’re now four episodes in so far, and I’ve felt that all of them have been at least pretty good for various reasons. However, I’ve also felt that all of them haven’t been without their flaws, and the typical “Moffett loves emotional impact” effect can come in if you think too hard about some of them (aka “Listen”). That being said, my main concern going into the new series and by extension the new 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, was if the writing would clearly edge away from Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor. For me, they’ve succeeded in making distinctive differences between the two, and it’s been easy to get used to Twelve (semi-nightmarish grin and all).

Another concern I have is with Clara who, despite having gained slightly more defined character traits, still comes off as a little too perfect. Perhaps it’s me still being unable to accept her role as the Doctor’s constant savior, but I feel too much importance was placed on her above all the past companions. It makes her feel less relatable and her continued influence of the Doctor as a person/character at times takes away from his mystery, for lack of a better word (“Listen” again).

I’m also concerned with the inclusion of teacher Danny Pink, as his intro made him come off interesting and fun to watch, yet he’s now quickly jumping into an apparent relationship with Clara. I worry that his character may get more focus on being her love interest than having his own traits. But of course, it’s still early to tell that yet and there is plenty of room for me to be proven wrong. He may even come into his own despite the relationship, much in a way Rory did for me. These are only gripes I’ve thought of up to this point, and they still haven’t taken away my enjoyment of the show.

What still makes the show for me after all this time is the Doctor himself and the adventures he gets thrown into. Capaldi has done a great job capturing a Doctor who is less inclined to hide the darkness within him. I think it’ll make an interesting dynamic for his run, and I’m curious to see what the seemingly overarching “Heaven” plot will amount to. It’s great to have the show back, and I only hope Moffett can deliver a lot of the greatness I found in Series 5 when Eleven came into his own.

Thoughts on Tumblr (aka Still Not Getting on Twitter)

tumblr_m41lrmdFOm1rnmidmo1_1280Well, I was going to talk about the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta coming up, but then I remembered I’ve already mentioned that. So instead, I’m talking about how I recently (after a year or two of contemplation, mind you) decided to get my own tumblr. I consider it a fair trade for continuing to avoid Twitter at all costs (yes yes, I know it has its benefits, but it’s just not for me). And while Tumblr has its fair share of cons, trolls and bad behavior notwithstanding, I have to say that I’m enjoying it so far.

One of the benefits has been catching up with some of the people I watch online, such as Linkara, Spazzmaster and ProJared to name a few. This lets me ask some burning questions I’ve been wanting to for a while without resorting to Twitter, plus keep up with any updates on their work. And because many of my online friends, including my fiance, have a tumblr, I can also check out some of the cool things they’ve found through it.

For my own part, I’ve yet to utilize my own tumblr for any sort of purpose, but I hope to go beyond just asking questions and reblogging art, .gifs, photos and messages some day. I had originally thought of using it for blogging long before I started this blog, but I’ve since decided I’d rather just keep this blog instead. Tumblr’s also allowed me to reblog some causes I can’t otherwise afford the means to get behind, such as “Hullabaloo”, a 2D steampunk series/film in the making by some of Disney’s veteran animators. Reblogging it made me feel like I was contributing in a small way, even if it was just to spread the word about it.

I guess what I like about Tumblr over Twitter is that you can use it for many of the same functions (social networking, business connections, entertainment, etc.) but aren’t limited to the 140 characters rule. Plus, it has that same “freedom” as having your own blog, with many ways to customize your tumblr to your tastes or whatever you choose to make it about. Given that I’m still a newbie and don’t have many followers, I know mine is a blip on the radar compared to many of the popular ones out there, and thus I haven’t had to deal with any of the trolls or weirdos. But honestly, I’ll gladly take the lack of attention (both good and bad) if it means getting to enjoy the fun aspects of the site.