The Last of Us Remastered

I’m nearly finished The Last of Us Remastered and I feel haunted by it’s story all over again.

I’ve just hit the scene where we’ve jump-cut from Ellie’s Worst Winter Ever (she hysterically hacks a cannibal to bits to save her own life) to The Escaped Giraffes scene and the emotional impact from going to horrific to quiet beauty is still a kick in the head and gut.

I’ve had many people ask “Is this game worth re-purchasing?” I would say yes because I’ve not met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed this game. If you thought the game was anything less than amazing then you might steer clear. If you loved it, what are you waiting for?

Replaying it on the PS4 gives you a more atmospheric experience – dust motes in long abandoned rooms, light shafts coming through decayed ceilings, “dirty lens” effects on dramatic lighting, all these things are noticeable yet not detracting from the game. The graphics do not push the hardware to the limit, but revisiting the story itself and Ellie’s backstory is worth the price.

Darth Moneybags

Say you’re a dictator scheming away to rule a multitude of star systems. Got it?

You build a huge… oh …Death Star to strike fear into the souls of all you subjugate  across the galaxy. These things aren’t cheap. Even if you are using slave labour, there is considerable cost involved with building a space station the size of a small moon. Not to mention continuing to run the day to day galaxy stuff.

Then a backwater kid comes along and blows it up with a decomissioned star fighter in one go.

You’re on the phone to the insurance company, I’m sure.

Okay so you get settlement somehow and you’re right back at it, building another one (slightly bigger!!) and meanwhile your #2 right hand man (ha!) is begging for his own massive battle cruiser.  He wants to call it “Pademe” or some such nonsense and you remind him that you are signing the cheques and it will be called something more menacing, like “The Executor”. Cha-ching, more cash out the door.

Meanwhile I’m pretty sure that the Banks and the Trade Federation are at your door demanding money for interest on the loans you’ve taken out for your new Death Star. They’re probably sweating buckets that your first loan is kind of *poof* up in space dust and here you are asking for more and if the Banks don’t cough it up, Force chokes all around the boardroom.

And hey guess what? You’ve been such a dick creating fear across the galaxy that there are *more* rebels and they have a lot more ships and look! Here they come to blow up your new Death Star that isn’t even finished (or paid off yet).

Boom. Gone.

Also, you’re dead.

So my question is: If the Imperial forces are weakened by all this mayhem, how can they afford upgrades to their armour?

I ask because this pic of the new look of a Stormtrooper has been leaked (allegedly) from the set of Star Wars VII. Have a boo:

wpid-st-helmet
Pic from Indie Revolver

Pretty snazzy, eh? While I am wicked excited about the look (it looks like Syd Mead stopped by the SWVII art department and scribbled stuff on the walls), the first thing that popped into my head was “How could the Empire afford upgrades?”

The original Star Wars art design was about “used space” (Lucas’ words to Ralph McQuarrie when he asked him to visualize his story) and I am a big fan of JJ Abrams. His teased shots of practical effects over the last couple months have made me really excited to see this movie. But I have a shiver of fear in this shot.

My thinking (as a rabid fanboy) is that the Imperial forces are now considered “the Rebels” and that the rebels have become the ruling class with all the fancy ships and nice clothes. Role reversal. So the “used” look would be transferred to the Imperial forces…right?

I have to calm down.

I hope the story backs up the justification of the upgrade and not “Make it cool!” for Hollywood sake.

As I type that last line I had another shiver…

Get the Balance Right

7:23am. GoodLife Gym at Bloor and Yonge.

I’ve just finished my workout by stretching my back in a chubby arc. I like doing that because in my head I’m hissing like a cartoon Halloween cat.

The stretching area is fairly busy and space is a premium. As I haul my girth up off my mat, a pocket bear approached me and asked if I was done with my meagre floor area.

“Yes!” I say and reach down to remove my water bottle.

Flash back to June 2010. Sharkboy and I are riding bikes along the Lakeshore and we come to a stoplight. Normal stuff. As soon as we stop all forward motion and my feet are firmly on the ground, there is a pause and I fall over. It’s an amazing site. Standing still, straddling a bike to on the ground in seconds. It looked like those collapsing horsie toys with the button underneath the stand but insert a bike between the legs. I wasn’t graceful going down. Balance and I are like diametrically opposite college roommates at the end of a long winter term – we get along for the most part but one of us pees in the shower.

Back to the now. 

As I reach down, the combination of just finishing 60 sit ups, 40 min of cardio and various other “Please keep me young” exercises messes with my inner ear so much that Balance kicks out the chocks that keep me upright and I stumble.

I stumble reaching for a freaking water bottle.

So graceful.

Lettuce Pray.

Typical Disney.

They have re-introduced their version of Poutine available only in the parks. Of course they’ve “plussed” it up with lettuce.

Lettuce.

Really.

Take a look at this horror.

I love Disney. But sometimes they make me wonder if the marketing department is run by four blind guys with darts and a big wall with random words on it.

 

The space between gay and straight, stupid and smart.