All posts by Michael Gonzalez

All-Star Batman #7 Review

Poison Ivy probably fared better than most Bat-villains during the New 52, between her prominent role in Birds of Prey, her guest appearances in Harley Quinn and her own recent mini-series. She isn’t in need of the same makeover Mr. Freeze enjoyed in the previous chapter of All-Star Batman. That said, there’s no downside to seeing Ivy take the spotlight in the newest issue, especially when the book looks this good.

Though ostensibly a standalone issue, All-Star Batman #7 also works as a follow-up to Batman’s recent clash with Freeze. A deadly virus has been loosed upon the world, and only Ivy’s unique brand of botany can prevent it from becoming a devastating pandemic. The fact that Batman is racing against the clock while a mysterious enemy pursues both he and Ivy only lends further tension to the conflict.

Continue reading…

John Wick: Chapter 2 Review

There’s a pivotal scene in the original John Wick where Keanu Reeves as the title character tells Michael Nyqvist’s Viggo Tarasov, a Russian crime leader against whose son Wick desires vengeance, that he’s “back.” Wick had retired, but due to no fault of his own has been dragged back into the criminal underworld.

He didn’t really mean it though. At the end he gets a new dog and walks off into the night, and if there were no John Wick: Chapter 2 that would have been the last we ever saw of John Wick.

But there is, and in John Wick: Chapter 2 there’s yet another pivotal scene in which John Wick, once again, states with vehemence and conviction that he’s back. This time he means it.

Continue reading…

Suicide Squad #11 Review

Having weathered the dangers of the Black Vault and survived an encounter with the Justice League, the members of Task Force X are ready for their next big mission. Suicide Squad #11 proves that there’s life for the series after losing artist Jim Lee, even if the same, pesky structural problems remain.

That’s right, this issue still features the same, choppy structure that results in the main story and backup feature being of equal length. Once again, that leaves writer Rob Williams struggling to advance the main narrative before it reaches an abrupt, unsatisfying conclusion 10 pages in. I really wish DC would abandon that approach, as it tends to slow the book’s pacing to a crawl issue after issue.

Continue reading…

Kingpin #1 Review

Everyone who’s anyone in the Daredevil franchise is getting a solo comic these days, and perhaps no character is more deserving of the spotlight than Wilson Fisk. The former Kingpin of Crime is once again trying to claw his way back to the top of Marvel’s criminal underworld. That’s not exactly a new predicament for Mr. Fisk, and if his quest to rebuild his criminal empire were the main thrust of the book, it might not have much to offer readers. Fortunately, there’s more to the equation than that.

Kingpin #1 immediately shows that while this is a comic about the Kingpin, Fisk himself isn’t necessarily the main protagonist. That honor instead falls to Sarah Dewey, a down-on-her luck reporter who’s approached to pen Fisk’s authorized biography. That invites all sorts of questions about Fisk’s true motives and whether Dewey can associate with a known crime lord without sacrificing her already tarnished soul in the process. Thus begins an intriguing dynamic as the two characters slowly warm to each other and Fisk begins opening up on his troubled background.

Continue reading…

Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 Review

This issue marks at least the fifth time since 2011 that I find myself reviewing a comic titled “Justice League #1” or “Justice League of America #1.” This venerable team reinvents itself more often than Arby’s finds new marketing slogans. But that fact doesn’t diminish the appeal of this newest incarnation of the JLA. Between the intriguing cast, the promising creative team and the simple fact that DC’s other current Justice League comic comes up lacking in some areas, there’s a great need for a second and more groundbreaking JLA book. Despite a disappointingly formulaic start, there’s every hope that Justice League of America will fill an important niche in the DC Rebirth lineup.

Continue reading…

5 REASONS WHY SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT IS A MUST FOR VIDEO GAME DEVELOPERS

social media manager
Game Developer

 

 

Gaming has evolved over the years. Gaming is no longer a solitary endeavor for people who were mostly considered lazy. It is now a multi-billion dollar industry that generates billions in revenue for the giants in the gaming industry. In 2013, according to statistics, video games generated revenue to the tune of 10 billion for Microsoft and 7 billion for Sony.

An even more interesting trend is the rise in indie video game developers and their considerable success.A passionate gamer and developer no longer need to work for the giants in the industry. Instead, they simply develop the game at the comfort of their home and upload the game onto the online stores.

One important thing that all video game developers have in common is their reliance on social media for the success of their games. Why is this so?

Importance of social media to video game developers

1. Feedback

Feedback from the masses gives a developer the chance to fix bugs fast in addition to utilizing the opinions offered to improve a game.

2. Keeps people talking

How does a developer determine if their game is a hit? The reviews by both players and non-players, the number of downloads and especially the buzz on social media.

Hashtags, retweets, vlogs among other social media tools keep people talking about the game. The more they talk, the greater the game’s exposure. The greater the exposure, the higher the chances of success.

3. Platform for connecting with customers

Any business and not just video game developers will always do better if they can connect with their customers on a personal level. Whenever a customer feels appreciated, they are bound to follow the product religiously.

Considering how important social media is to game developers as established above, it follows that video game developers will need a social media management service to deal with the different social media needs.

Why a social media management service?

1. The internet is extensive and social media platforms immeasurable. One person is not capable of keeping up with all of them. There is, therefore, need to hire a social media manager with required resources and whose main job is to do this.

A good example of the need for social media management is the case of Dong Nguyen, the flappy bird game developer. He ended up removing his game from the stores which at the time had over 50 million downloads because he could not cope with the social media buzz and the backlash that came with it.

If he had a social media management service, his game would probably still be in circulation.

2. Social media marketing requires marketing skills. A game developer is normally a tech guru with no marketing skills. A social media manager has the required skills.

3. There is a certain kind of temperament required for social media marketing. One has to be a people person, friendly yet a bit detached to avoid sagas like Twitter wars. A social media manager is bound to have this temperament.

4. Social media management maintains high-quality information and content in all social media platforms associated with the said video game developer. Also, they continually give a quality update.

5. A social media manager has only that one job hence guaranteed quality networking that will lead to high level of exposure.

The need for a social media management service for game developers cannot be emphasised enough. It is the difference between a game soaring or flopping.

My Life as a Zucchini Review

This is an advance review. My Life as a Zucchini opens stateside February 24th.

There is a simple beauty to the imagery in My Life as a Zucchini, the Oscar-nominated animated feature. It is, however, a simplicity that is used to serve up a tale of love and loss and family, which is all rather more complicated stuff. Directed by Claude Barras, the Swiss, French-language release is now being distributed in the U.S. in English as well (this review is based on that English-language version).

My Life as a Zucchini clocks in at 67 minutes, putting it on the more brief side of feature-length fare, but each and every one of those 67 minutes is fully devoted to getting the story and emotion across, and the movie does so with nothing short of excellence. As it is important, it must also be stated at this point that the movie is not about a zucchini but rather Zucchini. That is, Zucchini is the nickname of the main character (voiced by Erick Abbate).

Continue reading…

The LEGO Batman Movie Review

Watching The LEGO Batman Movie feels like dumping a bag of Dark Knight-flavoured sherbet directly onto your brain. Within the opening ten minutes, Batman faces and foils almost every villain you could possibly name – and more than a few you probably couldn’t – in a spectacular and thrilling action sequence that rivals any found in the live-action Batman movies in terms of sheer excitement and scale.

With Gotham’s worst incarcerated in Arkham Asylum – yet again – Batman retires to Wayne Manor where he microwaves a simple lobster thermidor for one. (Incidentally, watching Batman use a microwave is very funny.) Will Arnett’s Batman is probably the loneliest version of the character to date. This is played for laughs, of course, with Bruce struggling to go out in public without the cowl, but it’s also unexpectedly moving. We see Bruce rattling around his ancestral home, watching romantic comedies, messing about with HDMI feeds, and practicing rad guitar solos alone. There’s something genuinely melancholic about watching the Dark Knight eating a ready meal.

Continue reading…

Different types of Architecture in Video Games

roofing_birmingham
Video Game Architecture

 

 

Architecture plays an important role while defining the dimensions of a building or even a city. The same rule applies in the games where the designers have to schematize and build a whole new city, starting from simple toilets to skyscrapers or roads as seen quite commonly in a famous game named Grand Theft Auto. The Sims, a renowned game was influenced and inspired by the works of an architecture. In the game you can run across home health care professionals, actors, anybody as well as architectures.  These games greatly emphasizes on the art of architecture making it much important than it actually seems.

The game designers and engineers use architecture to create buildings for various reasons. Some of these reasons are:

1. To create an impression of a real world like GTA.

2. To decorate and improve the image of the game as detected in “Sims.”

3. To protect the goods as seen in “The Age Of Empires.”

4. To hide or to seek protection as commonly observed in “Call Of Duty.”

5. To increase the complexity of the games like “Snake.”

 

A room or a building normally seen in a game resembles a cube, consisting of 4 walls, one roof, and a floor. Walls serve the purpose of protection and hiding from an outside danger. They can also serve as a tool to increase the embellishment or value of a building. Serving as obstacles and testing the skills of the player, walls can be of great use in games like “Maze.” In games like “Tomb Raider,” walls can also serve as a vital component to conceal treasures.

The floor is the single most important factor serving as a set-point where the gamer lies in a three-dimensional area. The floor is also used for calibrating the distances between different architectural components of the games. The floor is equally important in any one, two or three-dimensional space.

The roof and solar panels is an architectural component seen in three-dimensional games only, like in the game roofing birmingham al.  It is considered as an unimportant constituent, but in actual, the roof can be one of the most significant elements affecting the beauty and complexity of a game. In well-engineered games like GTA, Tomb Raider or Assassins Creed, roof serves multiple purposes, most important of which is being an embellishment. In GTA, roofs increase the beauty and price tags of a safe house which a player can buy. Big houses with high roofs and costly chandeliers can increase the price of a safe house to a great extent. It can also fulfill the function of landing or parking of a helicopter. In other games like “Assassins Creed” or “Counter-Strike,” rooms with low roofs can easily be used for camping. They also serve as a checkpoint to limit the extent to which the players can jump and attack their enemy.

 

The Types of parrots in Video Games

What types of parrots are in video games?

Exotic, vividly coloured and prone to mimicry, parrots hold a revered place in popular culture, and this has extended to a few memorable appearances in video games. This brief history of video-game parrots reflects our enduring fascination with these beautiful birds. Sounds great, right? Well,the following are some of the parrots in video games.

parrotlet
Amazon Parrot

Amazon (1984)

Adapted from the plot of Michael Crichton’s novel Congo (but transported to the Amazon), this graphical adventure game invites players to explore a South American jungle accompanied by a parrot or Parrotlet called Paco, in search of a lost city and an expedition that went missing. This red-and-green-feathered Amazon parrotlet is sassy and obnoxious, but can aid you in your quest if you make friends with him.  If you’ve ever wanted a parrotlet as a pet check out the parrotlets price – they’re not as expensive as you thought.

 

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (2008)

This is the third and final instalment in a series of puzzle games by the Japanese developer Level-5, starring the adventurer Professor Layton. The hero advances across a landscape solving increasingly tricky puzzles presented by locals en route. One of the rewards in solving these puzzles is access to a series of three mini-games, one of which involves training a parrot to carry items via a system of ropes and walls. The user gets to name this parrot, which has a yellow body and green wings and crest. Unlike Paco, this parrot does not show a forceful personality but is obedient and hardworking.

Parrot from Lego Pirates of the Carribean

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (2011)

Parrots have long been associated with pirates, an association that goes all the way back to Treasure Island’s Long John Silver and his beloved macaw. And in this computer game a particularly persistent parrot plays a central role in the solving of a puzzle. The parrot is required by one of the pirates in order for him to be persuaded to join your pirate crew. Unfortunately for parrot-lovers, this feat is only accomplished through brute force.

 

 

 

Ganymede

Overwatch (2016)

This multiplayer game invites players to fight it out in teams of six in a dystopian future scenario. One of the characters, Bastion, is accompanied by a cute yellow parrot called Ganymede, which helps out in warfare by firing a small gun of its own. The character was based on video-game artist Kimberly LeCrone’s Senegal parrot called Tikka.

So as we’ve seen parrots in video games play various fascinating roles in computer-games. Perhaps one day a major game title will cast a parrot in its starring role? That will be the best idea ever.