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WELCOME to SlamDunk! Studios. This is a portfolio of creative and analytical writing I've produced over the years. The articles focus on literature, cinema, gaming, history, and sociology.

You can browse through all of the site content in the blog feed below, or search for specific pieces in the Navigation Bar above. Comments and feedback are very welcome. If you'd like to follow my more recent writing and creative projects, then please check out Valkyrist.wordpress.com. Thank you!

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Hound of the Baskervilles (lit essay)

Posted on October 4, 2010 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Discussion Questions


How does the author, Arthur Conan Doyle, depict class differences?

This question feeds in directly into Victorian attitudes, both through the minds of the author and his characters. As educated, white males Doyle and Holmes seem to belittle virtually every other human experience. Though they rely on the lower classes for tasks of manual labour, neither mans treats them with very much dignity. This question is design...

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The Wii Horizon (VG article)

Posted on September 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Now that we’re in the homestretch of 2010, a sad thought occurs to me. There is very little to get excited about on the horizon for the Wii. Apart from the new Donkey Kong and Zelda (which do look brilliant), I'm kinda apathetic to every upcoming Wii title. Epic Mickey could be good, but the E3 demonstration was pretty dull. The 2D section looked fun, but the 3D sections were very unimpressive. I guess nothing is ever going to live up to that incredible concept art we first saw. I thoug...

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Metroid: Other M disappointment (VG article)

Posted on September 11, 2010 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The real disappointment in this game is the script. It is horrendous, on a writing level and on an acting level. I don't know whether the dialogue was lost in translation or something, but it is just excruciating to sit through this melodramatic mess. Characters repeat the same lines over and over again, saying 20 words where 3 would do. It's not quite as self-indulgent as the Metal Gear Solid series, but it's pretty damn close. Samus talks in Metroid: Other M. In fact, the problem is, she do...

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Finishing Metroid Prime 2/Thoughts on the Trilogy (VG article)

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

So I got the Metroid Prime Trilogy for Christmas last year. I beat Prime 1 (one of my fave games of all time) in about 7 days, with 100% scans/items). And then moved on with great anticipation to Echoes (which I had never played). Sadly though, I didn't find it nearly as engaging an experience. It took me almost a month of playing bits and pieces of it to complete the first level (Agon Wastes). I found the environments dull and claustrophobic (a far cry from the lush terrain and wide open spa...

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Rashomon (film essay)

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The film Rashomon (Kurosawa, 1950) challenges us to question the reliability of verbal narration and the assumption that what is seen must be believed. This essay will examine the question – are words or images more credible in Rashomon? We will begin by analyzing the visual and verbal narrative presented to the audience; before comparing and contrasting character perceptions, as well as the imagery and cinematography employed by the film.

 

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A Bittersweet Life (film review)

Posted on August 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A Bittersweet Life (Ji-woon, 2005) is a South Korean gangster flick that manages to transcend its own genre. Like John Woo’s The Killer, it is firmly routed in revenge/action territory, but just when you think you’ve got the film pegged, it springs into these moments of pure poetry. “Crime opera” may be a more suitable term to describe it, as the film combines stunning cinematography and gorgeous choreographed fight scenes, with one of the most mesmerizing film scores ...

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Did Deus Ex predict 9/11? (VG article)

Posted on August 12, 2010 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

This may be a bit of an old topic, but according to Wikipedia, the PC games Deus Ex, released in 2000, accurately predicted the destruction of the Twin Towers at the hands of terrorists. The image of the towers was apparently removed from the game due to texture limitations, but the idea of their destruction in the near future was still written into the games narrative.

 

I'm no conspiracy nut, but that's kind of amazing. People talk about these vague predictions made by the ...

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Cleopatra VII (hist essay)

Posted on July 23, 2010 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Cleopatra VII was just 39 years old when she grasped the neck of an Egyptian cobra and plunged its fangs deep into her wrist. But as the gouts of venom coursed through her veins, and she looked back on all that she had seen and done and conquered in her final moments on earth, how would she have seen herself? There is little doubt that she played a fundamental role in the history of the ancient world. Legends of her beauty and cunning have echoed across the ages, and her name ha...

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This is what a Zelda Trailer should look like... (VG article)

Posted on June 16, 2010 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

It annoys that hell out of me that, this trailer from 2004, can still inspire such excitement in me, not to mention being far more visually and theatrically engaging, than the footage we saw for Skyward Sword last week. Now, obviously I'm half joking. I'm a die-hard Zelda fan and Miyamoto has more than earned my trust. This game will be a day-one purchase for me.

 

However, it still irritates me that gra...

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E3 2010 (VG article)

Posted on June 14, 2010 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Another year, another E3! Journalists and gamers flocked to Los Angeles last week for the annual video games expo, with the theme of 2010 being motion controls and 3D gaming. Microsoft unveiled its long-awaited (though meagerly anticipated) hand-free gaming peripheral, Kinect (previously titled Project Natal, with reports indicating the name change occurred mere hours before the conference), as well its slim, shiny new Xbox 360 console. Dubbed the S model, this version will shut down when it ...

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Justifications for the Vietnam War (hist essay)

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

DISCLAIMER: The following essay does not necessarily reflect the views of the author or site. It is simply an exercise in persuasive argument.

 


In 1954 the Geneva Peace Accords divided the nation of Vietnam into two separate states. This division was only meant to be temporary, and the country would be reunified in 1956 with nationwide elections. H...

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The Conduit (VG review)

Posted on June 7, 2010 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Conduit is one of few FPSs developed specifically for the Wii. It was designed to make use of the system’s unique IR controls and with its processing power specifically in mind. As such, I can say the motion controls feel excellent. As for the graphics, well they’re quite good for a Wii game, running at a smooth 60FPS, with crisp texture and lighting work, and an overall glossy finish that speaks well of the games production. However, the level design itself is painfully simpl...

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GameCube Mini-Retrospect (VG article)

Posted on May 24, 2010 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

It always irks me the way gaming sites talk about the GameCube as if it was a collosal misfire (“love it or hate it” sort of thing), and then turn around in the same sentence and glorify the Dreamcast. I think it might be because of how they treated their core franchises. Sunshine didn't live up to Mario 64; Donkey Kong was turned into a music game; Star Fox turned into a ground shooter; and they cel-shaded, and kiddied up Zelda (of course now it's considered one of the best in se...

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Drugs in Sport (soc essay)

Posted on May 20, 2010 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Over the years, different sporting bodies have evolved differently to the war against doping. Some, such as athletics and cycling, are becoming increasingly vigilant against doping in their sports. However, there has been criticism that sports such as soccer and baseball are doing nothing about the issue, and letting athletes implicated in doping walk away unpunished. An example of this was Operation Puerto – approximately 200 sportspersons were implicated in blood doping. O...

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Levels being Easy in Retrospect (VG article)

Posted on May 17, 2010 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

It's weird how easy a level is in retrospect. Maybe it's just me, but I can spend hours banging my head against the same stage over and over, becoming more and more frustrated, making the same mistakes over and over, until every plastic object around me has been broken...

 

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The Dark Knight (film review)

Posted on May 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Let me start by saying, this is an incredible action/superhero film. X-Men, Spiderman and Batman Begins were all impressive flicks. They combined immersive storylines, interesting and engaging characters and first-rate action sequences into a dynamite package that perfectly captured the comic-book mythology from whence they spawned ... but The Dark Knight (Nolan, 2008) blows them all away. While the aforementioned titles were all top-notch movies and faithful adaptations of their respective h...

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Run Lola Run (film essay)

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The multi-linear narrative structure of Run Lola Run challenges the idea that a situation can be resolved in only one way. This essay will discuss how relationships between cause and effect contribute to the film’s multi-linear narrative. The term “multi-linear narrative” refers to a story which is capable of branching off into different directions depending on the choices of the viewer or the development of events, dictated by set parameters within the me...

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Garden and Sea at Dunwich (lit essay)

Posted on April 29, 2010 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This essay will begin by investigating the poetic structure and overarching narrative of the piece, as well as an examination into its theme of man’s place in the natural world, and the religious connotations that inspires. We’ll then explore two distinct allegorical readings of the poem – Christ’s death on the cross and the schism between England and the Roman Catholic Church.


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Capital Punishment (soc essay)

Posted on April 29, 2010 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state. The death penalty is imposed in the case of “capital offenses”; usually in the case of murder, but it has also been used to punish such serious crimes as armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, and treason.


Historically, the execution of criminals and political opponents was used by nearly all societies; both to punish crime and to suppress political d...

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Reaction to the Homebrew Channel (VG article)

Posted on April 29, 2010 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I don't have the Wii Homebrew Channel, but for the most part I don't really have a problem with it. Now, obviously I'm against any form of piracy, whether it be selling burnt Wii games for chipped Wii's or downloading games yourself. I've bought every game I own, brand new. But as far as applications such as the Wii DVD player, media centre, and homemade games, I say go for it; be as creative as you want. The fanmade Quake and Super Mario War ports, for example, have been well-received.

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