Gears of Halo - Video game reviews, news and cosplay

Halo and Destiny - news and reviews.

Tuesday, May 31

Sexy Hermione Cosplay from Harry Potter

Harry, it's time for wand inspection
So what is the best thing to have come to the world's attention since Harry Potter took it by storm? Was it the millions of children and adults that bonded over tales of a young wizard and his friends? Was it the increased literacy skills of many kids across the world. Was it the money well earnt by JK Rowling and then given to charity? No, it was giving us Hermione and in turn Emma Watson.

Hermione is certainly one of the most popular cos play choices of Harry Potter fans. As you can probably those cos play fans do their best to produce some pretty dam sexy costume versions of Hermione!

Are you a muggle?
I'm not really sure what to make of this next cosplayer? Is she trying to seduce Harry himself or give him a lesson in wizardry that he'll never forget?

"Come hither," said Herminone. 

You can call me Mrs Hogwarts. 
Alakazam. Or something. 

Check out that cool skeleton behind this Herminone...

Duke Nukem Forever Pre-orders from Game Stop still accepted

I borrowed this from Game Informer. They won't mind.
Retailer GameStop tells old Duke Nukem Forever pre-order holdouts: "Your money is still good here!" Anyone who's been holding the pre-order torch for Duke Nukem Forever back in the day is in luck – your pre-orders are still valid after all these years.
Of course, we hope you saved your receipt, as GameStop clerks aren't just going to take your word on it.
In a statement posted by IGN, the company said: "With a long-anticipated release like Duke Nukem Forever, we encourage customers who pre-ordered more than a year ago to verify their reservation with their local store prior to launch. Provided the customer has a receipt, we will honor even those pre-orders taken long ago." Old school pre-orders will even get Duke's Big Package, the pre-order bonus that features Big Head mode, in-game t-shirts, and other extras.

Start digging through your desk. That receipt has to be in there somewhere.

Speaking of hunting out receipts. Did you ever see this one from Game Stop? - it's from 2001!!

Slash000 is indeed a patient man! Slash00, where ever you, I hope you get your game. Bless.

Didn't Pre order 10 years ago? Order DNF at Amazon now.

Halo Film Score

This has been sitting in my drafts for ages waiting for me to turn in into to a story. Can't remind where I borrowed it from. Enjoy. 

Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell has created some of the most memorable video game scores around for the Halo franchise. After five different Halo games, however, Bungie has moved on and that means O'Donnell will most likely never score Halo again... unless filmmakers ask him to. 
The idea of a Halo movie has been in the works for some time now, but legal issues and other problems have prevented Master Chief from hitting the silver screen so far. Microsoft remains interested, so fans shouldn't give up hope. But if it does happen, who will create the music? O'Donnell sure wouldn't mind the opportunity.
Speaking with IndustryGamers recently, O'Donnell commented, "I would love to score the Halomovie. No doubt about it. I think that would be great."

Image courtesy of GameInformer
But he also remains skeptical about his chances to land the job. "I would be surprised," he continued. "I feel like, knowing Hollywood just a little bit, they would most likely say, 'We have to have a tried and true Hollywood composer' and 'These themes are appropriate for games but not appropriate for movies.' Or something like that. That's sort of what I'm expecting. I have a hard time believing that they wouldn't hint at some theme that I wrote at some point in the movie. But I would certainly answer the phone if somebody called - Spielberg or whoever it might be."
It's ironic that Hollywood would favor a "proven" composer, since scoring for video games in many ways presents a greater challenge than movies or television.
"I came from the linear media and I took some scores out of Chicago and did tons of commercials and had a whole other career. I think artistically and aesthetically scoring for games is harder," O'Donnell added. "It's technically harder. In my opinion, you have to have all the same chops that you have for linear media and then you have this other added technical and artistic vision to make it adaptive and interactive and all the rest. So I think it's actually harder, more complex, more interesting. I love music for games and I love what people have done with music for games and it just keeps getting better and better all the time.
"And - I might be wrong about this - but I think in the general public, in the populous, the respect for music for games has risen to a really nice, high level. I think Hollywood is sort of an insular place and their friends hire their friends and people that they're comfortable with. If they're spending $200 million dollars on some giant blockbuster film, you're going to get a big name person usually. The exception to that rule I think is when Brad Bird hired Michael Giacchino to do The Incredibles. Michael had done a lot of TV work and some game work. Brad, I think, is one of those spectacularly cool, creative 'unHollywood' guys."
Continuing the comparison of scoring a potential Halo movie to The Incredibles scenario, O'Donnell noted, "I've actually spoken to Michael and Brad about this and Brad said people were suspicious of, 'Why are you hiring this no name guy from the game industry to do music for The Incredibles?' He said, 'Because I love his music and he can do this.' And then Michael won the Academy Award for music last year. That's just a thrill for guys like me to see. You would hope the respect would somehow translate around into the rest, but the film composing community is really tiny. It's not very big, so I don't know who is willing to take risks on an unknown."

Joker costume play - it's so serious

joker from the dark knight

The Joker 

He's the archetype nemesis that all comic book villains aspire to be.

Insane in the membrane but sharp as a tack.

The Joker is the yin to Batman's Yang.

If you want a quality villain with a noxious flower or two in his jacket, he's your man.

And as for pencil tricks...

The Joker translates so well as a bad guy for cos play fans because no matter what version of the Joker they want to dress up as, the key elements are simple and can be varied up and played any way you like. You can do your cosplay as the one of many comic versions - including the famous Killing Joke one with curly hair and sharp teeth.

Jack Nicholson briefly made the Joker cool in 1989 but as cosplay largely goes with the times, the modern day choice of Joker is Heath Ledger's version from The Dark Knight. This Joker has become iconic, thanks in no doubt to Heath's death before the movie was released.

I wonder if his Joker is the most popular cosplay  choice for a character who's actor won an Oscar for their performance?

Joker cosplay
So... I stick a razor in my mouth and do this... 
Joker dress up costume
I heard he wears make-up. 

Joker costume photo
The Joker sits and thinks about his life...
It's not all supernatural super seriousness though, some fans put their own spin on things, and that's the point I was trying to make above.

If you have the white face, red lips and green hair, and perhaps a purple suit, most people will recognise your cosplay choice as a Joker of some kind.

Check out this gentleman below - he's got some of the 'why so serious' Ledger face going on but he used spiky hair with a more playful joker suit so get his own creepy version going on.

amazing joker costume cosplay

Of course, in some circles the Joker is not a solo act anymore. Harley Quinn was introduced as the Joker's psycho girlfriend and 'double trouble' never had such a perfect definition as these two troopers:

Cosplay photo of Harley Quin and The Joker
Joker and Mrs Quinn
Mrs Quinn and Joker
Joker and Batman cosplay
And where's the Batman? He's behind you Joker!
Joker is generally played by a male. Some times cosplay fans like to turn the tables and come of up with nude versions of the Joker. 

Check out this babe of a cosplay Joker below. I'd be careful getting close if I were you....

Female Joker Cosplay nude
Ooohhh. You want to play. Come on! 
Body Painted Joker cosplay

If the above joker is the crazy female version of the character, what would the equivalent Batman be like?

Female Tim Burton Joker costume
Cute Joker? Would you dance with her in the pale moon light?

Monday, May 30

Lancer Assault Rifle Training Poster to download for wallpaper

Gamers who took part in the Gears of War 3 Beta last month have been given a lil thank you nod from Microsoft in the form of this sweet poster:

You should think about downloading this to use as some sweet wallpaper for your screen!

Microsoft also let loose some statistics about the Gears Beta that may excite the Lizard part of your brain:

  • Total Participants: 1.29 Million
  • Total Countries Playing the Beta: 145
  • Total Kills: 927 Million
  • Total Executions: 127 Million
  • Total Deaths by Chainsaw: 23 Million
  • Total Bullets Fired: 23 Billion
  • Total Match Time Played: 249 Years
  • Jimmy Jangle's personal contribution to these numbers. Zip.

Corpse Bride Cosplay

Corpse Bride Cosplay
Victor and his Bride
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride movie was a classic Burton design effort - his drawing and design talents are unique - think Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas so it's nice surprise that Corpse Bride has been the subject of some cosplay action - and indeed, it's some fan love of a pretty high standard!

Here's an original movie poster for comparison.

Sunday, May 29

This is Louis Wu

Louis Wu*
This is Louis Wu. He's what I would call a bloody good chap. He runs the 2nd best halo site in the universe** HBO. He's a bloody good chap because he gets Halo. He appears to live it and to breathe it. He is insightful and has his finger on the pulse. And he kindly links out to Gears of Halo every so often:

A Noble Hunt  / Are You a Halo Fan or A HALO fan? / Halo Concept Art.

Anyways, enough self promotion - this week Mr Wu hosted a Lan Party - such is his street cred, even some of the boys from Bungie turned up - Urk wrote up how awesome it was to take part in the LAN party in the Bungie Weekly Update (which has by definition not updated us on ANYTHING SINCE REACH CAME OUT).

As I write, I actually just remembered why I started writing this post of homage to Mr Wu - I found this awesome Halo website Age of Gratitude which has Blue Ninja praising HBO and he reference LAN parties... and then there was Wu's Write Up I saw on HBO that there was a lan party.... and well ... yes I'm a mess ...  I found (on HBO) these other write ups of the Lan Party  - hellmitre, Nof chimes in with some reminiscing too. Mig mentions stuff. Check out the four different picture galleries here. Worst. Paragraph.Structure.Ever.

If you are reading this page chances are you are nearly half as big a Halo fan as Louis Wu and GrimBrother One are - so why don't you submit your Halo story to Age of Gratitude? I'm going to asap!

I note Louis is wearing one of those awesome Bungie Destiny T-shirts that caused such a such a stir last week. I bet Urk updated Wu and co on what's going on with Destiny too. Lucky Bastards!`

This is what makes gaming awesome. This is what makes gaming a legit past time. This is what our wives will never understand.....

* Not his real name
** That's right, I said it.

Thursday, May 26

Bioshock infinite is not a simple rehash of the original

Michael McWhertor —Please, don't write off the dazzling BioShock Infinite as simply BioShock in the sky. Yes, it has plasmid-like superpowers ("vigors") and an impossible retro sci-fi dystopia, but this is a BioShock that greatly contrasts with the one Ken Levine and Irrational Games created four years ago.

BioShock Infinite is more of a rollercoaster-powered thrill ride than its forebear. It's still a smart shooter, now woven with concepts of American exceptionalism and Jeffersonian ideals, threaded with an undercurrent of domestic violence, xenophobia and jingoism.

But it also has literal rollercoasters, thanks to the zippy skyline transportation system that connects the flying pieces of the city of Columbia. It has huge zeppelin fights and time-ripping portals and vigors that left players fire a murder of crows from one hand while firing a shotgun with the other.
Ken Levine, creative director at BioShock Infinite developer Irrational Games, talked about the facets of this complex game and its new approach to narrative at a recent preview event, starting with the concepts behind the floating city of Columbia.

"There was so much sci-fi art about cities in the sky," Levine said, referencing the early 19th century influences behind BioShock Infinite's unlikely setting. "That wasn't just happenstance, it was because there was so much optimism about science. They had electricity and movies and cars and radio," Levine says excitedly, rattling off a quick succession of innovations that impacted our world.

Columbia's freedom of movement and implied limitlessness exists in contrast to its dark, violent inhabitants—and to the dark, claustrophobic confines of Rapture, an aspect Levine feels may have been under-explored.

"We didn't really 'pay off' the ocean in BioShock," Levine says, "so I wanted to make sure we do that [with the sky] in BioShock Infinite." Irrational Games did this in the form of the game's high-speed rail system that serves as a theme park ride for the player, perhaps the most exciting new gameplay mechanic in the 2012 game.

Levine tells me this while we're sitting poolside at a Santa Monica hotel. He's drinking a preferred brand of hot chocolate—"It's only 25 calories," he says of the beverage—to keep his energy up during a long day of interviews.

"The game looks very colorful and very Disney-like," he says of the bright, airy Columbia, a city more physically stable than BioShock's sunken city of Rapture. "I like that, because it's contrasting what's going underneath, the darkness that the Vox Populi represents."

The Vox Populi, BioShock Infinite's "internationalist, anti-capitalist, Karl Marxian group formed as a response to the excesses of the city," represent more than just a faction in conflict with Columbia's Founders. They're also a new storytelling beat, Levine says.

That faction, Levine says, "won't automatically aggro on you," the player, like the Splicers of the original BioShock. Indeed, during our BioShock Infinite demo, we saw protagonist Booker Dewitt and his sidekick Elizabeth weaving through angry Vox Populi unharmed, bitter faces who taunted the two instead of attacking them.

"In BioShock, in the beginning of the game, you come off an elevator and there's a woman with a baby carriage," Levine recalls. "She's singing to it, but you see she's actually singing to a gun. We love that beat, but the moment she saw you, she immediately came after you." Irrational wants to stretch that beat.

"What if you didn't always know what's going to set those people off? Wouldn't that be interesting, to tell a story that way?"

The dialogue between Booker and Elizabeth will also tell that story, he says, allowing them to comment to each other on game events, allowing for "more storytelling than just what the player might see with their eyes." Players won't just have to rely on audio recordings and one-way conversations to extract the story of BioShock Infinite, Levine says.

Elizabeth, your super-powered companion in Infinite for a "substantial part of the game," is designed to help keep players engaged and informed, but not bothered by her presence as a sidekick. She's supernaturally gifted, but not your bad-ass equal.

"If [your AI companion] shoots guns, like you, they sort of have to be a net zero because you don't want them to win the game for you," Levine says of the dangers of included a computer-controlled ally. Players will instead control when and where they want Elizabeth to use her reality-tearing powers.

"Part of the interesting story is figuring out how she became this person. When you find her, she's in this Faraday cage and doesn't know that she has these powers," Levine says. Rooting out the mystery of Elizabeth and her giant protector, Songbird, is key to BioShock Infinite's plot. (Levine wouldn't tell me what Songbird was, whether he was fully mechanical or partly organic.)

It seems the component that Levine is most guarded about is BioShock Infinite's plot.

I asked the Irrational Games founder about the possibility of BioShock Infinite's story expanding beyond the disc, wondering if like Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2 and L.A. Noire, this (for now) single-player, story-driven experience would continue. He couldn't quite say.

"I'm very protective of the story," Levine says. "A lot of people want to do BioShock comics, BioShock Infinite comics—and there's the movie situation—but I'm very reluctant. If I can't be heavily engaged in it, it's tough. To some degree, sometimes a franchise gets big enough and you have to build your team around where you can have people you trust. I brought in guys like Steve Gaynor, who did [BioShock 2] Minerva's Den, and there are other people that you can eventually trust—but I'm still protective of it."

"I'm still fleshing everything out."

Wednesday, May 25

Lord of the Rings Cosplay

A few hobbits and elves cosplayers
All the hype about FIGWIT be damned, the true heroes of Lord of the Rings are the fans who have long kept the novels popular since they were first published by Tolkien in the mid 1950's. The modern day equivalent of keeping something popular is not read like a good book worm but to dress up as your favourite character from that book or film and before you can say "And my Axe!", you got a whole lot of LOTR cosplay action going on.

Below we have a cosplay version of Aragorn or The King of Narnia. I forget which one he is. To his left is Arwen or some sexy elvish hooker that he's picked up on his way back from a hard day's work fighting Ringwraiths and the like that may be found on the outskirts of the Shire.

Aragorn and his Missus

Above is a very pretty elf, this cosplayer could be trying to be Arwen or some other elvish creature but I'm sure you'll agree she's done a pretty good job with her costume.

You shall not pass!
If one had to some up Lord of the Rings in one word, it would not be hobbits. It would not be the Fellowship.  It would be Gandalf. Cos he's like the coolest wizard in the history of wizardry. So why not dress as him for some cosplay adventure?

And here's the most menacing of all the LOTR characters, a ringwraith. Ooooh Scary. 

Tuesday, May 24

Bioshock Infinite Promotional Posters and more

A promotional poster for the Rolston Reciprocating Repeater 

So as E3 draws closer, the producers of games seek to cash in on promoting their new games - and Irrational as taken the chance to give Bioshock: Infinite some good old fashion promotion by releasing some posters, wallpaper and a 10 minute game demo.

Here's what Irrational had to say on their official blog:

"Last week, we held a pre-E3 press event to show BioShock Infinite--you may have noticed the slew of BioShock Infinite previews and interviews hitting the web. Our preview location was plastered with ads for Columbia's various products as well as Founder propaganda. Those posters will reappear in our E3 booth and will find their way into BioShock Infinite itself.

Until then, we figured our online audience might be interested in taking a peek. Enjoy these ads for the Bucking Bronco vigor and the Rolston Reciprocating Repeater -- both usable by the player in combat. There's also a piece of Founder propaganda warning Vox Populi insurgents about the threat of the Songbird, Elizabeth's guardian and jailer previously known only as "Him.""

Here's a propaganda picture of the Songbird aka Him designed Irrational artist Jorge Lacera

Here's a picture of the Bucking Bronco Vigor, a trick up your sleeve in game. This advertisement poster and the one at the top of the post for the Rolston Reciprocating Repeater was designed by Irrational artist Mike Swiderek.

Bucking Bronco vigor

Here's some 'fan art' produced by Trailer Park which shows one of the main characters, Elizabeth with the above mentioned Songbird. It's nice to see everyone playing happy families... for now...
Elizabeth and Songbird

And finally here's a picture of a dead horse. If you're wondering why, you better check out this game play video of Bioshock: Infinite

Star Trek Cosplay Babes Pictures

Large breasted Star Trek Girl

Star Trek. They say it  is the final frontier, where men go where men have never gone before. Well every cosplayer goes to Star Trek at sometime in their lives. Look at babe Bianca Beauchamp above doing her best red shirt impersonation, between this and her Supergirl picture, she's got the sci-fi icons covered.

The rest of us, have to make do with putting on the blue body paint and pointy ears as we strive to dress up as out favourite Star Trek characters...

Blue Star Trek Red Shirt cosplay
When I'm feeling blue....
Greeb Star Trek Red Shirt cosplay
When I'm feeling green....

Did you just shoot me in the boob? Hey you're a red shirt, you're supposed to get shot!

Worf costume play from Star Trek

These guys are definitely not star trek babes doing cos play. I've put them in here to soften you up for the babelicious Seven From Nine: Jeri Ryan, eat your heart out. Oh wait. That's not right...

Seven of Nine start trek costume
Seven from Nine
Star Trek space cadets on mission cosplay
Space Cadets

Green Star Trek red shirt girl
It aint easy being a green babe cosplayer....

Suicide Girls Cosplay Star Trek

Want to see more awesome cos play pictures? Check out these nude star trek fans riding bikes.....