July 13, 2012

Korra picked up for 26 more episodes

Probably your reaction right now.
The latest news out of Comicon is that Nickelodeon has picked up Korra for another 26 episodes, bringing the total up to 56. For reference, the original Avatar series ran for 61 episodes. Confusingly, Nick is referring to the show in terms of two "seasons", while the creators split things into four "books". Here's how it break down:

Season 1: 26 episodes
- Book 1: 12 episodes
- Book 2: 14 episodes

Season 2: 26 episodes
- Book 3: 13 episodes
- Book 4: 13 episodes

The story of Korra's production has been pretty all over the place, but here's the condensed version for those of you who are curious:

The Legend of Korra was originally intended to be a 12 episode miniseries, but Nick ordered another 14 episodes halfway through production for an even 26 episode season. However, the show's creators (Mike DiMartion and Bryan Konietzko) wanted to do things in smaller arcs and intended to make them in bunches of 12 instead of 20 (as with the original series). But Nick changed the plan and wanted an industry-standard 26 episode season and ordered 14 more episodes in the middle of production. This time around, they ordered a second batch of 26 episodes enough in advance that the arcs can be split evenly. Since I might not be explaining this clearly, let me use another example.

Last year, Comedy Central picked up Futurama for another production season of 26 episodes. However, those episodes are split into two 13-episode television seasons aired a year apart. That's what's happening now, except the team got late notice with the first season.

Anyway, this presents an interesting opportunity. The first book had an air of finality about it because it was intended to be final. But now, since books three and four have been ordered in advance, Mike and Bryan have an opportunity to create deeper, interlocking story arcs. I wasn't a fan of the "everything started is completed ended" approach of book one, but I think the new production schedule will eliminate that with the next 44 episodes. It's unfortunate that book one happens to be the shortest, because it easily could have spanned a full season length. I do hope the future books leave room for more interconnectivity, and I really hope Mike and Bryan hire some real writers.

July 10, 2012

Playlist: Yesterday Today

A followup to yesterday's playlist using the lastest music from each of those (amazingly still around) artists. The stuff you don't hear on the radio.

July 8, 2012

Check out Halo 4's Forge and a new map!

I cannot believe how good this game looks.

You know my favorite types of Halo maps? The snowy ones. Sidewinder, Containment, and even Solitary, the icy remake of Prisoner, are some of my favorites. But not Snowbound or Avalanche. Halo 3 was a bad game for snow maps. Halo 4, however, is looking like a great game for snow maps! Longbow was revealed back at E3, but now you can see it in action for the first time in the competitive match posted after the break! Plus, new and improved Forge mode developed by Certain Affinity, the dudes behind the many Halo 2 and Halo Reach map packs! The improvements made so far look great, but what I really want is an environmental editor. Here's hoping it'll be announced closer to release!

July 6, 2012

Impressions: Kingdom Hearts 3D

Kingdom Hearts has always been a little bit crazy, but Kingdom Hearts 3D ups the crazy ante in suitably crazy ways. The story, of course, has become even more convoluted (Or has it...? It probably has.) this time involving Sora and Riku ridding dream worlds of dream eaters so they can pass their Mark of Mastery exam and become keyblade masters. Still with me? Good. The game's new set of enemies are crazy neon animals that come in both "nightmare" and "spirit" forms. Nightmares are bad, but spirits will fight with you, replacing Donald and Goofy. And that's just the most minor difference.

Check This Out: Pokewalls

I've been sitting on this one for a while and I don't know why. This chick by the name of MapleRose makes these incredible minimalist Pokemon wallpapers. She's been putting out one a day since January 2011, and she ain't generation biased either. If you've got a favorite Pokemon, she's got a wallpaper of it... or she will. She takes requests! Go grab a sweet new background right now!

Impressions: Heroes of Ruin

If I could describe my experience with Heroes of Ruin in two words, it would be "pretty good". Heroes of Ruin won't revolutionize dungeon crawlers forever, but that doesn't mean it's not pretty good. The game has four character classes, and so is tailored for four-player co-op. The demo let me try out the warrior (lion man) and the ranger (hood man). I assume the other classes are a tank and some sort of mage. Anyway, since it's inevitable to compare this to similar games, Heroes of Ruin is definitely better than the last dungeon crawler I played. Nope, not Diablo 3. Crimson Alliance on the Xbox Arcade. Compared to that, this is amazing. It's a much deeper, more traditional dungeon crawl experience, only handheld. And it is indeed fully featured, with both local and online play with voice chat. 

July 3, 2012

Game Talk: Limbo

The game is this cheerful all the time!

Limbo had a lot of hype behind it when it was released. I remember hearing about it here and there and basically everywhere, but I never payed it much mind. Then, of course, the reviews came out and Limbo was receiving a ridiculous amount of praise, maintaining a 90 on Metacritic. So I figured I had to check it out. I downloaded the trail version of the game which was actually pretty engrossing. Good enough to show off to all of my friends, at least. As the game starts off, you are a young boy lying in the woods. Continuously mashing any button wakes the boy up and then you're on your way. That's it. No explanation. Apparently, he's out to find his sister or something. Immediately I was sucked into the atmosphere and style of the game. It's all grayscale with a kind of grainy old film filter on top of it with a vignette effect that blurs out the edges. To add to the atmosphere, there really is no music in Limbo. For the most part it's all ambient noise, except for a few occasions where a couple of eerie chords sneak in. So the game was able to suck me in. Good.