Today in Pop Modern: October 11th, 2013

October 11th, 2013Allen: I’m not a huge fan of Pajiba’s Buzzfeed-esque obsession with lists and .gifs, but this article makes a really good point about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Everybody that I have seen complaining about the new show seems to expect more out of it. A serialized show about secret agents covering up dark government conspiracies and superhuman activities is not going to be a dark, serious meditation on war and power. It’s going to be a really bright and campy action show, with pop culture references and some awkward dialogue. Anyways, it’s co-written by Joss Whedon, for Pete’s sake. Who else knows how to write for groups of 20-somethings better than Ole Joss? He learned a lot from working on The Avengers, including an acute awareness that superpowered characters are really dumb. Even though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t about superheroes, it’s still in that same universe, and should thusly be treated as a continuation of what people liked and didn’t like about the last few Marvel films.


James: Recently I have started to work on my list of games to play, and top on that list was Bioshock. Bioshock is a game that is heavily centered on the tone of its game. The universe that the game is set in is a dark take on the idea of progress within society. The city of Rapture is an underwater  city of scientific progress, the realm of intellectuals unrestrained from government interference and the petty laws of morality. The dark twist comes with the genetic manipulation within the society, a manipulation caused by the highly valuable commodity of “Adam.” The city is the deepest level of horror that I have ever felt within a video game, and putting down the controller actually relieved tension from my slightly sweaty hands. The engrossing level of horror served to keep me fully engrossed in the game, while simultaneously creating a rich atmosphere that gives replays a deeper look into the insanity of science gone wrong. The mechanics of the game are passable, but the graphics stand out, with a visual style that refuses to grow out dated. The game, though slightly older still stands up to the tests of time, making this a fantastic game to pick up.


Magellan: As writers on this site go, I’m not much of a gaming-type. Sure, I enjoy the pleasures of the occasional Minesweeper session or what have you, but as a general rule I don’t keep up on the world of video games. That being said, one recent development that has managed to catch my eye is all of Valve’s new hardware announcements, chief among them this nifty new Steam Controller. The first picture I saw of it, with its dorky, square buttons and its zany trackpads had me skeptical, but intrigued. It wasn’t until this video demonstration, though, that I began to fully grasp what the controller is capable of. Here we have a Valve employee showcasing the controller in several different capacities. It’s fascinating to watch and think about the possible applications of this new hardware. I’m still not sure how I feel about the trackpads as opposed to joysticks, and I probably won’t finalize my opinion until I get my hands on one of these controllers, but for now these demonstration videos will keep me interested and excited.



Frames of Preference: Sine Mora

Sine MoraI’ve never played a game with the same blending of style, good game design, and mature story like Sine Mora. It’s a bullet-hell shooter where you play as anthropomorphic animals in a decades-long civil war, and the brief two hour campaign manages a powerful story about family, loss, the futility of war, and bravery in the face of evil. But even if you ignore the story, it’s still a fun arcade shooter with a focus more on conserving time than staying alive, and navigating a screen full of bullets like in this frame is both tense and satisfying.