Sunday, 31 July 2011

August 2011 to August 2012. What's coming?

The next 12 months look to be very active in terms of sci-fi, fantasy, television and video gaming.

Q3, 2011
Satele Shan, a major character in BioWare's new MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, a descendent of Bastila Shan from their Xbox hit Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

  • 15th August 2011- Games Developers Conference 2011 to be held in Cologne, Germany
  • 18th August 2011- Gamescom 2011 to be held in Cologne, Germany
  • 26th August 2011- PAX Prime 2011 to be held in Seattle, Washington
  • 20th September 2011- Resident Evil 4 to be released in HD on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live
  • 22nd September 2011- Eurogamer Expo 2011 to be held in London, England
  • 27th September 2011- Star Wars: Riptide to be released
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic is aimed to be ready for Summer 2011 for PC only.
Q4, 2011
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, sequel to Bethesda Softworks' hit video game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, years in the making
  • 2nd November 2011- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception to be released on PlayStation 3
  • 11th November 2011- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
  • 15th November 2011- Saint's Row: The Third to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Also, Star Wars: The Old Republic- Revan to be released.
  • Sometime in November- The Lord of the Rings: The War in the North to be released
  • 27th December 2011- Star Wars: Darth Plagueis to be released
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 to be released on all major consoles
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
  • Dragon Age: Asunder to be released near the end of 2011
Q1, 2012
March 2012 sees the conclusion of BioWare's epic sci-fi trilogy, Mass Effect, as the Reapers attack Earth itself.
  • January 2012- Final Fantasy XIII-2 to be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • 31st January 2012- Mass Effect: Deception to be released
  • 6th March 2012- Mass Effect 3 to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
Other 2012 Releases
Final Fantasy Type-0, originally called Final Fantasy Agito XIII is part of the "Fabula Nova Crystallis", a collection of Final Fantasy games that are all linked somehow. Also in this series are Final Fantasy XIII, and the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII
  • Fable: The Journey to be released on Xbox 360
  • Battle of the Gods to be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 to be released on PlayStation Portable

As you can see, this is going to be an expensive year for me :) What about you?

Dragon Age: Is Flemeth really Andraste?

"And yet I was wrong, so very wrong. She is no blood mage; no abomination; she is not even truly human".- Morrigan (Dragon Age Origins: Witch Hunt DLC)
"Maybe I am a Dragon"- Flemeth (Dragon Age II)

Many people are under the impression that Flemeth is an Old God. They are clearly wrong, as when you "kill" Flemeth in Dragon Age: Origins, your Warden doesn't die as well. Some people believe she is one of the original Tevinter Magisters, which is proven false when you see that Corypheus was tainted by entering the Golden/Black City in Dragon Age: Legacy. Today I will be exploring the theory that Flemeth is actually Andraste, the Bride of the Maker.
  • The first similarity between Flemeth and Andraste is that they were both Fereldan-born, and both married to a man in power. Flemeth being married to Bann Conobar Elstan of Highever, and Andraste to the barbarian lord Maferath. 
  • Both of them talked to a supernatural being, be it a spirit or the Maker.  
  • Both of them were extremely powerful Mages
  • Perhaps when Andraste was burned, her soul was preserved in a similar way to Flemeth's "rebirth" in the Dragon Age series, originating the cycle of Flemeth being reborn.
  • Flemeth seeks the uncorrupted soul of an Old God. Perhaps this is Andraste, trying to restore the Golden City
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, there is a cult of dragon-worshippers who believe Andraste was reborn as a High Dragon. Flemeth can shapeshift into a High Dragon.
  • Flemeth seems to have the gift of prophecy, (shown in the opening of Dragon Age II, and when she forewarns King Maric of the Blight in The Stolen Throne) and Andraste was the prophet of the Maker.
  • The Dalish elves seem to revere Flemeth (shown partially in Dragon Age II, and she is aware of it). They also revere Andraste, as she helped Thane Shartan free them from slavery.
Of course, there are people who believe she is the Maker himself, a Dalish god (possibly Fen'Harel), or simply an abomination or powerful blood mage. There's even a theory that she is Morrigan from the future, who gives birth to Sandal in the Deep Roads in the past.

We will have to wait for Dragon Age III to find the truth about this terrific, well-written character.

Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds. Bride of the Maker, Dalish Goddess or crazy old woman?

Friday, 22 July 2011

STAR WARS: The Old Republic... Collectors Edition


For a whopping £129.99 (yes, that's right), you get:

  • STAR WARS: The Old Republic in a collectible metal case
  • An exclusive "Gentle Giant" Darth Malgus figure
  • The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural, annotated by Satele Shan
  • Old Republic Galaxy Map
  • Custom Security Authentication Key
  • Exclusive Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic CD
  • High-quality Collectors Edition box
You also get a lot of digital content for the game:
  • Flare Gun- Fires flares into the air
  • Training Droid- Hovers at your side for combat assistance
  • HoloDancer- Project your own holographic dancer
  • HoloCam- Keep visual records of in-game adventures
  • STAP- Sleek and unique in-game vehicle
  • Exclusive Mouse Droid- Spunky droid to join your adventures
  • Exclusive Collector's Edition Store- Unique in-game vendor with a dynamic assortment of items.
Now, this does seem okay-ish value for £129.99, but I'm sorry BioWare and LucasArts. As much as I love you, I'm a student. I can't afford to spend £130 (as much as I'd love to) on a computer game.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

MagmaRuby and AquaSapphire? Or something along those lines xD

Who remembers these games?

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were released on November 21st 2002 in Japan, and on July 25th 2003 in the UK. Like Gold and Silver before them, Ruby and Sapphire expanded the total number of available Pokémon to a 386, a number that seemed huge at the time, but is now dwarfed by today's total of 649. They were revolutionary in changing how the Pokémon games worked, from the adding of abilities and natures, to Pokémon Contests and Ribbons. 

Both games were well-received, receiving a 9.5/10 from IGN, and 82% from Metacritic. If we count both versions combined, they were the best-selling games on the Game Boy Advance. If we don't, then that title belongs to their "third version", Pokémon Emerald.

They began the "Generation III" of Pokémon. Also included in this generation were FireRed and LeafGreen, updated remakes of the original Pokemon Red and Green, released almost a decade after the originals. HeartGold and SoulSilver recently followed suit in 2010, released 10 years after the original Gold and Silver. This leads many fans to speculate that Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire will have a remake in 2012, and there is a strong case to argue for it:

  • In Pokémon Black and White (2011), you can access an online feature called the Dream World. The Pokémon you can catch in the Dream World mostly debuted in Ruby and Sapphire, with a few Generation I, II and IV Pokémon thrown in the mix.
  • A Backpacker in the Desert Resort (BW, 2011) tells you that he comes from Hoenn, and that you need Go-Goggles in the desert found on Route 111.
  • Both Black and White, and Ruby and Sapphire, have a family you can battle one after the other. The Winstrates in RS, and the Riches in BW.
  • In Undella Town during Summer in BW, a boy tells you that he comes from Hoenn, and they visit Undella Town every Summer. A girl also mentions Steven Stone, Champion of the Pokémon League.
  • The Elite Four theme tune in BW contains a remixed portion of RS's Elite Four theme tune.
  • Both Generations V and III contain cactus-based Pokémon, Cacnea and Cacturne (III) and Maractus (V)
  • Both Winona (RS) and Skyla (BW) are the sixth Gym Leader of their respective region, both train Flying-type Pokémon and both live in a rainy area.
  • Both Hoenn (RS) and Unova (BW) have text written in a unique language (Braille and Cuneiform respectively)
  • Steven appears in HeartGold and SoulSilver (2010) to give a Hoenn starter, and you can trade a Forretress for his Beldum.
  • In BW, Dive is a HM, for the first and only other time since RS.
  • In BW, there are two rival characters, as in RS.
  • In Nacrene Museum (BW) there is a fossil of an Armaldo, as in RS.
  • Both BW and RS revolutionised the Pokedex. RS was the first Regional Pokedex not to contain all Pokémon, and BW was the first Regional Pokedex not to contain Pokémon from other regions. Also, both Regional Pokedexes are the only ones (not including DP, which was changed in Platinum) not to include Eevee and its evolutions.
  • In the anime (Episode DP189), Ash's party is mostly composed of Pokémon he caught in Hoenn.
  • In the anime (Episode SS024), Dawn decides to go to Hoenn to compete in Contests there, much like May decided to compete in Johto contests when she departed at the end of AG Season, before HGSS were announced.
  • In RS, one of the Scientists at Devon Corporation says he is "trying to develop a device that visually reproduces the dreams of Pokémon". Players of BW will recognise this as the Dream World used by Fennel in Striaton City.
As you can see, the evidence for these remakes is substantial, but it is all speculation. We shall see whether the games are announced next year, but I for one hope this speculation is correct :)