2010 – Alien Anthology

During their “Black Friday deals week” deals, Amazon had the BluRay Alien Anthology on sale. I couldn’t resist.

I haven’t sat down and watched an Alien movie since I was much younger. In fact, most of the time, I saw them on TV, and don’t know if I ever saw the full version. Now I have all four movies, directors cuts, audio commentaries, deleted scenes… just so many options, all packaged in an attractive book of DVDs. The quality of the BluRay videos is excellent. The designs that made Alien bridge the gap between cult-classic and cinematic masterpiece stand out in this beautiful hi-definition collection.

I kept eyeballing the “Alien Quadrilogy” when it first came out – but I’m glad I found this glorious Anthology collection. Each movie has one BluRay disc which contains the original, and a director’s edition, as well as BD-Live features and deleted scenes. Then there are two additional discs, one is a making of the anthology, and one is basically a media archive – fan service to the highest degree. Pictures, pieces of scripts, history, backstory, set design, sketches… just a true collection of everything that makes the Alien saga great. Whether you’re a huge fan, or just someone who wants to see all of the movies, the value of the Alien Anthology is hard to ignore.

Know your Xbox 360 controller… guide, bumpers, shoulders, triggers?

When the Super Nintendo Entertainment System made its debut in 1990, it introduced the “L” and “R” buttons on the top of the controller. The PlayStation took it a step further with the “L1” / “L2” and “R1” / “R2” buttons. The Xbox 360 continues that tradition, but the buttons are clearly marked “LB” and “RB” – and then a pair of triggers.

The confusion comes in because different games use different names for these buttons. Generically, you may hear “LB” referred to as the Left Bumper, or the Left Shoulder Button. Same goes for the right side. The Triggers are generally called by the name left or right trigger, but are sometimes simply designated as “LT” and “RT.”

You can press in or “click” each of the analog sticks, as well. In games, these are sometimes referred to as “L3” for the left analog stick and “R3” for the right analog stick.

The face buttons are all well labeled, including the Back, Guide, and Start buttons, and of course the main X, Y, A, and B “skittles” as they’ve been nicknamed. One more button worth pointing out, found only on wireless controllers, is the Sync Button. The Sync button is pressed only when you need to synchronize a controller with an Xbox 360, for instance, if you just bought a new controller, or are taking your controller to a friend’s house.

First impressions and a mini review of the Wii U (and a few games)

I picked up a pair of Wii U’s on launch day. I ordered a few more when I thought I would be able to cash in and make a quick buck. As it stands right now, I’ll barely break even – auctions on eBay for Wii U consoles aren’t going much higher than retail, and by the time you throw in a game and offer free shipping to make your auction enticing, you’re not doing so well. Prices may go up as we approach the holiday, but this isn’t about whether or not I make a dollar, this is really about what Nintendo has to offer with their early lead in to the “next generation” of consoles.

Because I have a lot of positive things to say, more than most people, I think, I want to get the negative out of the way, first. Continue reading “First impressions and a mini review of the Wii U (and a few games)”