Sunday, November 30, 2008

essay on WALL-E for school


this essay is about religious symbolism i have found in the movie WALL-E. hope you like it ^_^

The movie WALL-E is, on the surface, a cute movie about a robot (WALL-E) that is left on earth after humanity evacuated it when they polluted the earth, and left much waste behind. It is WALL-E's job to clean up the mess. However, after 700 years of this job, it has started to make him eccentric. He collects artifacts from earth, and places them in his house. One day a scout drone comes to earth from one of humanities spaceships. This robot is named EVE. It is on a mission to find life on earth. WALL-E falls in love with EVE. Soon eve finds a plant that WALL-E had stored in his home. EVE then returns to the spaceship, with WALL-E following her. Hijinks ensure, and humanity is eventually led back to earth with the help of WALL-E. they then begin to repopulate earth. However, if you look underneath the 'cute' layer, you will find many references to religious stories. The two I am going to discuss are the tower of Babel and Noah's arc.

To begin with, I will note the similarities with the 'Noah's arc' story. I am sure you will be familiar with the story, so here is an outline. God tells Noah that the world will flood for 40 days and nights, and that he should build a large boat and round up two of every animal to survive the flood. Noah does so, and then after he is finished, the world floods, from a lot of rain. After 40 days, the rain stops. So Noah send out a dove, which is called 'eve' in some stories, to retrieve a twig from dry land. After it returns, Noah determines that the earth is livable again, and begins to repopulate earth.

The movie WALL-E has many similarities with this story. First of all is 'god', being the company 'buy n large', telling humanity to leave on massive ships, to survive while the earth is cleaned up from the massive pollution caused by humanity. After 700 years exactly (255,500 days), a probe they sent out comes back positive. This probe is a robot named 'EVE', and was sent to earth to find life there, to determine if it is livable again. After this discovery, humanity returns to earth. And they have also been storing many animals in the ship. They then begin to repopulate earth.

The second comparison I want to make is with the story of 'the tower of Babel'. In this story, a civilization know as Babel, the last one left after 'the great flood', begin to build a tower that can reach god and then brag about their great creation. This tower is almost completed, when god decides to punish them, by destroying the tower, and separating all of the people of Babel to everywhere in the world, and giving them all different languages so they cannot communicate. The 'great flood' in this story can come to mean the flood from 'Noah's arc'.

In the movie 'WALL-E', the robot WALL-E, is the last 'life form' left on earth after the 'great flood' of pollution. WALL-E is left to clean up the rubbish left by humanity. With this rubbish, he builds massive towers into the sky, in hope of reaching humanity in space. When humanity returns from space, he finds he cannot communicate with them, for he was not built with speech capabilities.

These two examples show that this movie is not simply a fun kids movie. It is also entertaining for people who can uncover the references to other stories. This is what makes a great movie.


Rigo, out!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

rigo reviews the creature stage of spore!

This review of spore is two of 6, each detailing the individual levels of spore, and then an overall score.


Hello and welcome back to rigo's spore review! This time I will be going into detail about the creature stage, the most action packed level. This is the second stage. You advance to it after eating enough food in the creature stage to 'evolve' onto land. To begin with you are made to choose some legs for your creature. However you can choose to not give your creature legs, and to make him crawl around. But that is very slow, and not very practical. After the addition of legs, you are also able to add many new parts, with varying abilities. These include combat, social and movement abilities, all with I believe 5 levels. Each increase in level of the skill increase the strength of it. However you dont level up the parts, you just buy better ones..

First of all, the movement parts allow you to move, run, glide, jump and sneak. These all do what they say on the tin. The combat abilities include swipe, bite, charge, and scratch. Thses also do what they say. These are used to damage other creatures. Finally you have social abilities. These are dance, sing, pose, and charm. These are used to interact with other creatures in a little minigame. In the minigame you use the same social ability that the creature you are trying to impress uses. The higher your level of the skill, the more a little bar fills up. If you reach the middle of the bar first, you increase that particular creatures liking towards you. There is also the factor of how many creatures are present. Sometimes another creature from the same nest will join in the socialising, making it harder to fill your side of the bar up. However you can also have friendly creatures in your party sing/dance along with you improving your score too. Which brings me onto my next point. When you befriend another nest, you can ask one of the creatures to join your party, which can hold up to 3 friendlies. You get more spaces as you get more DNA points.

DNA points are the currency of the creature stage too, just like to cell stage. Both befriending other creatures and socializing with them increase your DNA points. More DNA points means more and better parts when you mate. Mating is similar to the cell stage, in that you sing and then find a mate. However all of your mates are in the same spot, your home nest. This nest is also where you are born when you edit your creature, and you can heal there. An interesting thing is that you will migrate to new nests during the creature stage, atleast 2 times. This just involves following a little line on your mini-map to the new nest.

I think these are the basic concepts of the creature stage, now about my comments. My biggest complaint about the creature stage is the length of time spent on it, and the depth. Sure the first time you play you will want to explore and try new things, but successive plays will be very tiresome and you just want to get it over and done with. I believe I can get it done in about 10 minutes if I set my mind to it. Also for the high amount of parts in the creature stage, there is not much variety in the abilities. However this is also a good point. There is a lot of customization, in terms of aesthetics. Sure many of the parts do the same thing, but a lot of them look very unique. Which is where the replayability comes in. not the gameplay, but the editor. And that is the biggest thing in this game. The amount of things you can create. The individual stages seem like demos, just to show that there could be a game, and to make gamers happy. It seems most of the time has been spent on the editors. And that is where people will spend most of their time in the game


the creature stage is fun the first time, but becomes tiresome to play later. However the many parts in the editor will allow for much customisation of creatures, which seems to be the main selling point of the game.


presentation – 7 – nice, simple interface, similar to the cell stage

Graphics – 8 – exactly the same as the cell stage, kind of dissapointing. They could have made it look much better. And im no graphics whore

sound – 10 – again, same as the cell stage, it fits the mood of the gameplay very well

gameplay – 8 – same as cell stage, not much depth, but it is fun the first time.

lasting appeal – 10 – forget the whole stage, just the editor alone will last you awhile. especially if you are into seeing how far you can stretch the limit of the engine, or make your favorite game characters etc.

TOTAL = 43/50 = 8.6/10 = 86% = A = alright I guess...

Rigo, might rescore the cell stage later >_>

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rigo reviews the cell stage of spore!

This review of spore is one of 6, each detailing the individual levels of spore, and then an overall score.


Hello and welcome to rigo's first review of spore, this one is of spores first stage, the cell stage. This is the first of 5, each with their own individual style of gameplay. The cell stage consists of you being 'created' when a meteor shower hits your home planet. You begin in a primordial soup, competing with other newly created creatures for food. You can be either a carnivore, who eats meat which drops from dead creatures, a herbivore who eats plants floating in the water, or an omnivore, who eats both. You can soon add different body parts to your creature, after mating. These include fins to move faster, little things that shoot in or electricity, and different eyes. However I would have liked more variety in the different parts in the cell stage. You gain extra parts by defeating enemies with them, or by breaking open meteor fragments.

To 'win' the cell stage, you have to collect enough DNA points by eating things, which are also the 'money' that let you buy new parts. Depending on which route you pick, be it carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, you get a specific 'evolution card', which entitle you to different special abilities in later phases, and ultimately your 'class' so to speak in the space phase. After you have enough DNA points to evolve to land, you get to spend your remaining points on legs (or not) to walk the planet on. Your mouth also determines what you can eat in the creature and tribal stages, but more on that later.


overall the cell stage is well designed, albeit lacking in content, I hear that the company who made spore (maxis) are planning on releasing many expansion packs for the game, one of them for the cell stage. Hopefully we get more parts and depth to the stage.


presentation – 7 – nice looking interface, but can be somewhat complicated to understand when you are new, and gives out very little information for someone who has played many times.

Graphics – 8 – while good, they are far from perfect graphics, looking too unrealistic. Not that I want perfect realism, it is just too cartoony for me :/. I would also have liked to be able to add more effects to your creature, like gills and such. However the paint mode is very cool

sound – 10 – amazing music and quality, very relaxing, and soothing. Nice effects when you kill another creature then eat the meaty chunks that explode from the creature :)

gameplay – 8 – the idea is there, but it is very simplified. I would have liked more parts, and some better controls

lasting appeal – 7 – once you have played it about 3 times even, it gets boring real quick. After the 9th time, which you will need to do if you want all the achievements, it will most likely be very boring

TOTAL = 40/50 = 8/10 = 80% = A- = pretty cool

Rigo, out

Friday, September 19, 2008

birds are weird O_o

this morning i was woken up by the sound of two birds having an argument or something. went like this


then it stopped. i went downstairs later and found a dead bird in our backyard, just near my window.

WTF @ birds?

Rigo, srsly wtf

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rigo reviews cave story!

Here comes rigo's second review, this time of cave story


Lets make this story bit quick, without much spoilers. Cave story starts you off in a cave, with no weapon. As you make your way through the cave you find a weapon. You then find yourself in a town inhabited by these cute little rabbit creatures. They are slowly being kidnapped by the character called the doctor. You find out more as the story progresses. Rest assured that it involves dragons, magical powers, floating islands, and a trip to hell itself.

The game play is simple but awesome. It is your basic metroidvania style platformer meaning you slowly gain new skill while traversing a large map. There is also a basic level up system. As you kill enemies, they drop little triangles that power up the gun you are holding, up to level 3. as you get hit you lose some of that experience. However it is really easy to get more. You have your generic rocket launcher, and machine gun. As well as your ungeneric bubble gun and flame gun. There is also a little sub quest with your weapons. There are 3 weapons that are able to replace your default weapon, and there are 5 other ones. Total of 8. also the default, and the swappable ones are each able to be upgraded to a new weapon once. So that is 12 weapons, and technically 36 different weapon styles. Pretty nice :)


to sum up, cave story is an awesome free game. My only problem is the length of the game. Even with the optional hell stage, you only have about 2.5 hours of playtime, maybe 4 if you take your time.

presentation – 10 – Nice clean interface, easy to determine information.

Graphics – 10 – I am a big fan of old school style games, and this one pull of that style very well.

Sound – 10 – intense music during boss fights, and addictive melodies are prevalent through the whole game

gameplay – 10 – now, there are 4 different ways you could play this game, for each of the different main weapons. There are also 3 different ending. But all three are available in one playthough. Plus 36 different weapons and great physics make for a very fun experience

lasting appeal – 8 – ouch, only problem in this almost perfect game. Could be longer. However I have played it a few times, and it is fun each time still.

tilt – 2 points – I like to add a little bit of 'tilt' to games to give them the score I want them to have ;) in this case it is for the quality of the story. It really pulls you in.

TOTAL – 48+2 = 50 = 5/5 = 10/10 = 100% = AWESOME!!!! A+++++

rigo, out

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rigo reviews super mario bros.!

for rigo's computer class, he has to write reviews for games. here comes his first!


ahhh, super Mario bros. lots of people probably have fond memories of this game. i first played it on my SNES, with super Mario all stars. i don't remember how far a got the though... i first finished it i believe on the game boy version, super Mario bros deluxe.

i don't think this game needs a description, but Harvey (the wonder hamster) demands one!
you are Mario, a plumber. you are on a quest to rescue princess peach. in the way are many obstacles such as bottomless pits, goombas, giant dinosaur/dragon things and flying bullets. with EYES. to help you, you have some magic mushrooms, and practically unlimited retries. Oh , and flowers that shoot fire. When you finally reach the end of the castle, you are told the princess is in fact in another castle. So you make your way through 7 more castles until you finally find her. Then she demands you rescue her again, this time in a harder game. Ungrateful hag >_<


now, to improve the game, I would do nothing. The game is a classic already, and any changes may ruin the game. And it just so happens that this has happened before :P


presentation – 10 – the interface to the game is very basic. Just a score, time, coins and lives. But it does it job so well

graphics – 10 – you cant beat these old school graphics. They defined gaming. Even games these days cant replicate the awesomeness of the mario bros graphics.

Sound – 10 – again, these sounds defined gaming for many people. I don't think they could be changed for the better.

Gameplay – 10 – way ahead of its time. Play other early NES games and you shall see why this was a big hit

lasting appeal – 10 – for a game that is over 15 years old and yet is still played and enjoyed by millions, it has to be the longest lasting game ever.

TOTAL – 50/50 = 10/10 = 100% = A+++ = LEGENDARY

Rigo, out

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

yay im 17 ^_^

not yay - no updates in over a month ;_;

however birthdays seem to get less and less 'important' every year. like it is fun to have a party, get presents, etc but the general feel is different :/

every now and then you have a big milestone, 18,21,30,40,100 etc. but really they are just some arbitrary number decided decades/centuries ago...

you know what? the same thing happens with Christmas. we (my family) only really continue the whole Santa tradition for my siblings, and they seem to know what is going on...
and same with birthdays, it is fun to see your family, friends and such. so i don't see it as pointless, just not as big as when i was little :/

i also think it is partly because we dont have the rest of our family here. sure i despised some of them, and loved others, but they were entertaining to say the least. we would go to our grandparents house most Christmases and different family members will be there, have a big Christmas dinner, etc. i do miss that, i hate to say ;_;

maybe this is a sign i am growing up, or maybe it just happens when you get older. or are they both the same thing?
and boy does time fly when you get older too. we have now been living in America for 1 year, since last week. just zoomed by...

also one quick question. what happens with time zones on your birthday? like, does where you are living at the moment mean it is your birthday, or where you were born? right now it is 12:15 AM here in Seattle, but it has been the 19th for about 17 hours now in Australia... probably doesn't matter

Rigo, likes his birthday date - 19/8/91