Tag Archives: Iron Man

Iron Man 2 (The Game) Is Better, Stronger, Faster

Iron Man, the movie, rocked the Casbah. It was a supreme surprise. Robert Downey, Jr. sparked the normally stoic, dislikable drunkard/millionaire Tony Stark to life with a quirky genius and refreshing inventiveness. Iron Man the movie has become one of my all-time favorite comic book movies.

Iron Man, the first Sega video game, sucked big sweaty elephant balls. It was all of the bad things that videogames shouldn’t be: unfocused, repetitive, uninspiring. It made you feel like Iron Man was a pretty lame super-hero as he fought endless waves of stupid thugs from five miles away. Who would want to play another Sega Iron Man game again?

Can Sega pull off a kick-ass Iron-Man 2 video game?

Can Sega pull off a kick-ass Iron Man 2 video game? My fingers are crossed.

“The world has changed, Jarvis. The crazies are getting smarter. I’m not alone anymore,” says Downey, Jr. in this first reveal trailer on Sega’s home page.

Hm… does this actually look, dare I say, intriguing? In a cynical world, no one in their right mind should give Sega a second chance after the first game’s poor effort. But things change, publishers learn lessons, people get inspired, and sequels shouldn’t be prejudged.

In Iron Man 2, developed by Sega’s San Francisco Studio–formerly known as Secret Level–a completely new creative lead heads up a mostly new dev team. The game is designed on a completely new, built-from-the ground-up engine, and gamers should get to play in the new Mark IV armor.  The game isn’t based on the movie, but shares elements of it, giving Sega wiggle room to do cool things in the game that it was restricted from doing the first time around (causing some of the first game’s issues).

For instance, Iron Man confronts Crimson Dynamo, as revealed in the first trailer, a character who isn’t in the movie (or so we have heard). From the video it appears that Sega has imbued Iron Man with a sense of power, enabling him to defeat enemies by blasting straight through them, ripping off their heads, and pummeling them to pieces. That’s sounds cool by me.

The story is penned by Iron Man comic book writer Matt Fraction, which means it will be more true to the character, his strengths and weaknesses, than anyone else is likely to pull off. Add to that the ability to research, create, and modify custom weapons for your suit before each mission and already this game sounds better.

A video game trailer can be deceiving. But this Iron Man 2 video does look bitchin’. Should we believe in Iron Man 2? I’m hoping Sega can pull it off, and I know it knows the first game stunk. So I am truly hoping they’re using that game as fuel to construct a truly kick-ass Iron Man 2 that’s worthy of the first movie and the Iron Man comic book legacy.

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Hiddleston to Play Trickster Loki in Thor

lokiAlongside burgeoning new star Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek), Marvel Studios announced today Tom Hiddleston will star as Loki in the 2011 release of Thor.

Hiddleston is relatively unknown actor in the big scheme of things, having appeared predominantly in TV series such as Wallender, Miss Austen Regrets, and Suburban Shootout, among others.

Following Marvel’s desire to tie-in multiple heroes in multiple movies (see the end of the Hulk and Iron Man, for example), Thor nicely ties into the Avengers’ theme.  The comic book team The Avengers starred various heroes over the years including Iron Man, the Vision, the Hulk, Valkyrie, Captain America, Ant Man, the Wasp, and Thor (among many others). This logically explains the next three years of Marvel movies: Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010), The First Avenger: Captain America (July 22, 2011), and the Avengers (May 4, 2012).

Thor is scheduled for US release May 20, 2011.

I’m guessing that the low-key Samuel L. Jackson will play a part, even if very small, in each new film as Nick Fury. Kenneth Branagh will direct Thor, which is being written by Mark Protosevich, Ashley Miller, and Zak Stentz.

With Wolverine–currently the most popular Marvel character–getting a rather hack treatment on the silver screen (me = sad panda), and much higher expectations for Iron Man 2 than the original, I am a little perplexed that anyone would take on the notion of making a Thor movie.

Thor is not one of the stronger (i.e. more popular) or interesting Marvel characters, despite his Norse origins…which should make him legendary, right? (Or maybe Marvel thinks Thor will rake in the bucks in Sweden and Norway?) And with flops like Daredevil, Elektra, both Fantastic Four movies, and the surprisingly rank rendition of Wolverine (which I had hoped would be better) being churned out, Thor looks like a potential flop in the making. I can see him as part of an Avengers film, but alone? I hope I’m wrong, but a Thor movie sounds like a bad idea.

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Iron Man 2: First Shot

What new contraptions does Stark have up his sleeve this time?

What new contraptions does Stark have up his sleeve this time?

Marvel Pulse just posted the first still-shot of Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man 2.

OMG! It’s Robert Downey, Jr….

Now, get a grip! Yes, that’s him, looking just like Tony Stark. He’s got the generator built into his chest and perfectly poised in the background are four, yes four, Iron Man suits. Stark is assuredly building cool new weapons for his newest improved suit, too. One must wonder, though, how did he explain that whole “I am Iron Man” thing?

Don’t ponder too heavily, you’ve got one year and two days from now to think about it. Look for the film to arrive May 7, 2010.  Ack!

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Preview

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Following the G.I. Joe TV series of the early 1980s, which shrewdly and successfully paired a cheaply animated series with a new line of G.I. Joe action figures, the Transformers animated TV series (1984) built upon the same idea with equal success. The TV shows wowed little kids and served as animated advertisements for the figures. It was simultaneously sick and beautiful.

Fast-forward to 2009. The two biggest independent videogame publishers in the world, Activision and Electronic Arts, are working on Transformers and G.I. Joe games, respectively, each of which tie into summer movies and soon to be released action figures. Can we lay blame (or inversely thank) the birth of the all-encompassing franchise concept on G.I. Joe and the Transformers? (Uh, yes.)

During a session at the W Hotel in San Francisco, Ca., in which journalists played deeply into the upcoming Wolverine game, Activision offered an eyes-on demo of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, based on the eponymous Michael Bay movie (which is due to hit theaters June 24, 2009). The game is due this “summer,” according to Activision.

transformers_bumblebee_1Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen builds huge set pieces around the non-stop action movie that seems, at least from the previews, like one non-stop series of angry robots bashing each other’s pistons in and destroying, far worse than any Godzilla film, the world around them with techno aplomb. Just like the movie preview, you’ll see massive robot battles in Cairo, Egypt, Shanghai, China, and in various other locations, including full-fledged action sequences in mid-sea on a fleet of air craft carriers. Oh, and the storyline? “The war is not over.” Need we really say more?

The eyes-on demo showed a marked improvement–visually and mechanically–over the first game. The top-level features focus on the ability to play as either the Decepticons or Autobots in any level, the use of a non-linear progression system and hub world, upgradeable factions, instant transformations (mid-stride or mid-air), and interestingly, arcade-style timed missions. Activision also made it clear the biggest addition to this year’s model, unlike the first game, is its multiplayer mode, which features deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, and other soon-to-be-released multiplayer modes.

transformers_ironhide_11Similar to Sega’s Iron Man game with its many versions and developers, Activision’s approach to development is also multi-fold. Luxoflux (Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, True Crime) is developing the PS3 and Xbox version, while Beenox will port that version to the PC. Krome Studios is creating a different game (still based on the movie, however) for the Wii and PS2, while Vicarious Visions and Savage Entertainment are each creating distinct versions for the DS and PSP, respectively. This means, theoretically, you could buy the Xbox 360, Wii, DS, and PSP versions, and they would all be different. That’s what you call maximizing profits.

Starring what Activision Producer Jason Ades calls, “the biggest cast of Transformers ever to appear in a game,” Revenge of the Fallen showcases Optimus Prime, Starscream, Bumblebee and Ironhide, plus several newly created characters. Each character is built with primary and secondary weapons and can transform at any time from robot to vehicle form and back in a split second. Just as the Transformer cast is diverse, so is the game cast. Some characters drive, while others fly. Several can climb buildings, too, adding in a layer of platforming. Weapons range from the ability to drop landmines, or like Ironhide, deploy turrets. Some casts can snipe, or, since Starscream is a flying Transformer, fly and hover in mid-air.

As mentioned above, Revenge of the Fallen consists of timed-based missions. The faster you beat a level, the more points you earn. The more points you earn the more upgrades you can add to your Transformer. And each time you build up your own Transformer, your team/faction is automatically upgraded, too, so that you can switch to any other Transformer throughout the game without losing military power.

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Also, expect tons of unlockables: unlockable comic book covers, concept art, player skins, and Hasbro-specific “stuff.” Ades said “stuff,” but surely he meant action figures, which apparently he was unable to officially say.

What struck me most about Revenge of the Fallen is that like any good Michael Bay film (an oxymoron, perhaps?), the game feels like one long action sequence, interrupted only by angry robots swearing revenge on one another. I don’t mean to say that I am surprised by this. We are talking about Michael Bay and the Transformers. But the action sequences were big, burly, destructive, and very, very fast moving. The game isn’t in the least bit plodding, which is perhaps the publisher’s (and fans’) reaction to the first game’s slower nature. Characters drive, fly, or run across the screen, smashing cars, buildings, and freeways as they go–and all very quickly.

The game’s new mechanics and animations are impressive. In one sequence a driving Transformer sped across town, then instantly transformed into robot form–all in one fluid, non-stop motion–jumping onto a freeway ramp. He then systematically transformed from robot to car and back again, using the transformation as a jumping mechanic to reach higher freeway ramp stages. In another, I watched a robot snipe enemies from rooftops. In yet another, I watched a massive four-legged Decepticon boss–constructed of visible tractors, dump trucks, cranes, and bulldozers– stomp across the city, wiping enemies up like a massive elephant crushing mice. This boss was 10 to 20 times bigger than Starscream, a 30-foot Transformer.

Another impressive set piece from the movie took place at sea. I watched Starscream transform from a jetfighter to hover mode to Transformer mode and battle off a squadron of Decepticons attacking on a flotilla of sea craft. The transformation animations were seamless and instant. And Starscream’s jet mode, shown in third-person mode, felt like a scene out of an early Air Combat game.transformers_starscream_5

For what it’s worth, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen should be the best Transformers game yet. The visuals are hitting on all gears, the Transformers are well articulated, fleshed out (in a manner of speaking), and superbly animated. And, pound-for-pound, Revenge of the Fallen is a rock-solid action game that promises intense, compressed missions filled with unending destruction and combat. And for non-Transformer gamers who like a good action game, Revenge of the Fallen could very well be the game that gets you off that fence.

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Iron Man 2: Production Begins With New Cast

As of today, Iron Man 2, the sequel to last summer’s fan favorite and surprise box office hit, is now officially in production, according to Marvel.com. The first scene was shot at 10:24 AM PST in Los Angeles.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man (Tony Stark), Marvel’s third self-produced and self-financed movie, Iron Man 2, will see return characters Gweneth Paltrow as “Pepper” Potts, Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, and Paul Bettany as the voice of Iron Man’s computer, Jarvis.

New members to the cast include Don Cheadle as Lt. Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes (replacing Terrance Howard), Mickey Rourke as Whiplash, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow (replacing formerly cast actor Emily Blunt).

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