SlamDunk! Studios

"creative and analytical writing"


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

Posted on June 16, 2010 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (1)

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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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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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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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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Post-IGN Nintendo recommendations (VG article)

Posted on April 18, 2010 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

With Casamassina and Bozon gone (and Hatefield colonising the NVC), combined with the steady decline of editorials and reviews on IGN's Wii section (having said that though, the Message Boards are still rad!), what are some good places to get your Nintendo fix? For news and discussion, I'd recommend GoNintendo and NintendoWorldReport, while GameTrailers have very measured and thorough video reviews. TalkRadar and Weekend Confirmed are two great overall gaming podcasts. Do you guys have any mo...

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Red Steel 2 thoughts/recommendations (VG article)

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

The game has it's problems, but the core fighting system they developed is surprisingly complex and creative. It’s a shame they didn’t include a multiplayer mode. An online versus mode could have been really cool. The AI enemies you fight, while occasionally difficult, can mostly be beaten via consistent combo attacks, but a single human enemy with the same abilities could have been a real challenge. Playing the game, an online mode feels like such a missed opportunity. It will be...

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Age of Innocence: Scene Analysis (film article)

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The opening scene begins with a pale-faced, young girl picking a yellow flower from a bunch, and clutching it to her breast. The bright, festive colours of the flower stands in contrast against the dark, sombre tones of the theatre. The pale-faced woman is singing in an opera, as her lover stands over her. As our perspective switches from the stage to the audience, we see yellow flowers juxtaposed against the white flower pinned to our protagonist’s (Newland Archer) vest. This transitio...

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What's the Best Internet Browser? (tech article)

Posted on March 11, 2010 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Having used Internet Explorer since the first time I went online, I instinctively find it the most familiar and accessible. However, last week I made the switch to the infinitely faster Mozilla Firefox. I managed to customize it as close to IE as possible; pages loaded in a flash, and even downloads and videos seemed quicker, so I was happy. However, it quickly became apparent that if I had too many tabs or windows open at once, the whole browser would crash, which was especially frusterating...

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The 2010 Academy Awards (film article)

Posted on March 9, 2010 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Wow, the Hurt Locker cleaned up at the Oscars this year! I haven't even seen the film yet, but I think it's being released this month in Australia. I almost felt sorry for Cameron by the end of it. Not only did his ex-wife beat him for Best Director and Best Picture, the hosts actually went out of there way to make fun of Avatar. Personally, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 were my favourites of 2009, but overall I thought the Academy pulled through.


The legendary Jeff B...

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Early Australian Cinema (film article)

Posted on March 5, 2010 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Australia was actually very prolific during the early days of cinema/silent film, along with France and America. Arguably the world's first film studio, The Limelight Department, operated in Melbourne from 1897-1910. Victoria also laid claim to the first full-length feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang. Though for some reason, after WWI our industry evaporated. Some blame the rise in censorship, the lack of competition between studios, and the fact that American films were cheaper to scr...

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Are Video Games an Artform (VG article)

Posted on March 4, 2010 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

When asked whether he thought video games were a legitimate form of art, film critic Roger Ebert replied that “[he] did indeed consider video games inherently inferior to film and literature” and that “the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art.” Ebert further argued that “video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic.”


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The Wire (TV article)

Posted on February 25, 2010 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Created by David Simon, filmed in Baltimore, and broadcast on HBO from 2002 to 2007, The Wire is undoubtedly the greatest show ever made. The series depicts America's ongoing War on Drugs in a city crippled by poverty, corruption and gang violence. The scope of perspective shifts from law inforcement, to the docks, the school system, the press, and city hall; as well as street dealers all the way up to their kingpins. The lines between good and evil couldn't be any more blurred in this deeply...

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Thoughts on Halo (VG article)

Posted on February 15, 2010 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I have kind of mixed feelings about Microsoft’s Halo series. I was very impressed with the original Xbox titles, but I’m not sure how revolutionary they were to the first-person shooting genre (as argued by Molyneux), in regards to regenerative health. I felt it removed a sense strategy or survival, allowing players to just run and gun, and then duck behind a crate for a few seconds to heal.


On the flip side though, its foray into online competition was absolute...

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Worst Taglines (film article)

Posted on February 15, 2010 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

After coming across a copy of The Phantom (1996) in my local video rental store, I noticed that brandishing the DVD cover was the laughably bad tagline: “SLAM EVIL!” After chuckling derisively for a few moments I was reminded of some of the other horrible movie taglines I’d seen over the years, and searched the store for a few more choice quotes.


Here are some of my personal favourites…

  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants: "Lau...
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Re-watching Munich (film article)

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

After 4 years, I watched Munich again recently, and my God, what a film! If not Spielberg's greatest creation, then this is certainly his boldest. The acting was absolutely top-notch, and the tension was at times unbearable, but above all it had the guts to discuss the Israel-Palestine conflict and its relation to the modern-day War on Terror. Spielberg gets a lot of flak for his kid-friendly blockbusters, but Munich is proof that he is a master storyteller, unafraid to delve into dark, compl...

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Blu-ray: The Fate of the Fledgling Format (tech article)

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

In many ways, the next 6 months will act as the make or break period for the Blu-ray home video format. With Panasonic and Sony both lowering their players to less than $250, sales should skyrocket. If they don't, then the companies are going to have a huge problem on their hands, but if they do, it may create the momentum needed to really push it mainstream. But what are the benefits outside of heightened picture and sound quality? The blu-rays I've seen on the shelves contain the exact same...

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Se7en: Scene Analysis (film article)

Posted on January 16, 2010 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

[SPOILERS] This shot takes place at the end of the film, when the serial killer John Doe reveals to detective Mills that his wife and unborn child have been brutally executed. Mill’s, unable to restrain his grief and anger, empties his gun on the perpetrator. By enacting vengeance, he becomes the embodiment of Wrath, thus completing Doe’s “masterpiece”. Overcome from exhaustion, Mill’s drops his gun, and limps away. His partner, detective

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