Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year End Catch-Up

I've been sitting on some news stories for a while, but one thing that a long vacation guarantees is that I don't want to be bothered with serious stuff until I absolutely have to be. Since I'm going back into the office tomorrow, I wanted to post a couple of frivolities that were at one point going to get their own entries, but that I never got around to.

The new version of The Day the Earth Stood Still was horrible. They completely missed the point. I strongly urge anyone who has interest in seeing it, or anyone who needs a good sci-fi movie, to check out the original 1951 version instead. I'm still thinking about seeing the new Star Trek movie, which I fully expect to be equally bad. I'll try to be a bit more prompt about posting a warning should I see it and should it live down to my expectations.

My favorite game of the year was probably Dead Space. Chrono Trigger for the DS is simply outstanding, and my favorite console RPG of all time, but I haven't finished the new version yet and it's not exactly a new game. Team Fortress 2 still takes up most of my online playing time. Left 4 Dead is brilliant on several levels, and so tense that I can't play it very often. Galactic Civilizations 2 remains a game that I avoid playing because I find it so engrossing that it eats my time in three to four hour chunks. PC games are still more my style than console games, but Rock Band 2 makes a good case for a console in every home

I still spend too much time with TV, but I enjoy a good story too much to give it up. Lost, House, Chuck, and Doctor Who are my choices for cream of the crop. My greatest dissappointment was watching Battlestar Galactica collapse in a fit of bad writing that even managed to undermine the very good first season and a half. Space ships and what happens after the end of the world are two of my own personal obsessions, and it still managed to turn me off. The new year will bring a new Joss Whedon show, but Fox placed it in the Friday night death slot. We'll see if it fares better than the late lamented Firefly. Doctor Who continues to be a pleasure resurrected (or perhaps I should say regenerated) from my childhood with adventures just as entertaining now as they were then. It's going to be a quiet year for the Doctor, with only four specials, but I'll be looking forward to seeing all of them.

The Internet continues to change things. This year has seen the rise to prominance of Twitter. Text messaging is pervasive (shudder). Phones and music players are becoming increasingly useful as networked devices, at least to other people. I'm still fine with mine just making calls and playing music. And of course it's a Google world now more than ever.

I am looking forward to seeing what the new year will bring. Hopefully it will be a better one for all the friends I have seen facing hardship in the past year. Hopefully the economy will turn around by summer as some are predicting. But there are still three more days before the end of the year, so I won't write off 2008 just yet.

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