Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-Ray Review

Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-Ray Review

I’m a trekkie.  Does that surprise anyone?  When the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek came out in 2009, I saw it first day.  When Star Trek Into Darkness came out, again I was there first day.  Yeah, I already knew it’s “big secret” but I didn’t care.  I was all for a new take on a classic.  I’ve got Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn on my DVR and when I’m bored, I’ll watch bits of it and when it gets to the end I’ll hit ‘Start Over’ .

So.. yeah.. I like the Star Trek universe just a little.  You can also read my review of the movie itself here:

Star Trek Into Darkness: A Review

Now I have the Blu-Ray.  I’ll admit I’ve not been keeping up with the news about it at all; just simply paying attention to the release date, and there was no mistake that I was going to have the Blu-Ray.  I love the special features and to me that’s what Blu-Ray is all about.  Yeah DVDs have special features too, but most now-a-days just have the movie itself and nothing more.

When I opened up the package I looked over the back and saw several cool features, but wait.. Where was the movie commentary?  Even the 2009 Star Trek’s DVD had a commentary with it!  Where were the deleted scenes?? BAH!

I started looking into this and was told that there were Retailer Exclusives.  What???  Wait a minute.. That’s low.  To quote National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: “That’s pretty low, mister!  If I has a rubber hose, I would beat you into a…”

So I found out the only way to get the audio commentary is to get the iTunes Digital Copy.  More on this and the special features in a bit, for now, let’s explore the package itself:

What I have is the Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy.

The DVD

The DVD contains the movie itself.  When popping it into my player it launches directly into upcoming dvd/blu-ray previews.  You get: Anchorman 2, World War Z, and G.I. Joe 2.

The Main DVD Menu gives you 4 options;   Play – Setup – Scene Selections – Previews

Play – you watch the movie

Setup – Audio Options – English 5.1 Dolby Digital – French – Spanish – English Audio Description

Setup – Subtitles – English – French – Spanish – Portuguese – None

Scene Selections – select which scene to watch

Previews – The Mission Continues (commercial for returning veterans and their continuing efforts for public service work) – Jack Reacher – Anchorman 2 – World War Z

The Blu-Ray

The Blu-Ray of Star Trek Into Darkness goes directly to the main menu screen and also offers 4 options; Play – Settings – Scenes – Extras

Play – you watch the movie

Settings – Audio – English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD – French 5.1 Dolby Digital – Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital – Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital – English Audio Description

Settings – Subtitles – English – English SDH – French – Spanish – Portuguese – None

Scenes – select which scene to watch

Extras:

Creating the Red Planet: Cast & Crew show how they created the movie’s opening Red Planet sequence.

Attack on Starfleet: Cast & Crew show how the attack in the meeting room was created.

The Klingon Home World: We get to see a deleted scene from the previous 2009 Star Trek in which there were Klingons..  I never knew of this until today – so that was cool.  This feature shows how they made Kronos (or Qo’noS for you die-hards).

The Enemy of My Enemy: J.J. Abrams explains why Kahn was chosen to be in this movie, but that Kahn is not exactly the “main antagonist”.

Ship to Ship: C&C show how they do the space flight from the Enterprise to the Vengeance.

Brawl by the Bay: The film’s final battle scene, this shows how they pulled off the hand to hand combat between Spock and Kahn in San Francisco.

Continuing the Mission: Similar to the commercial that was found on the DVD this shows a little more “behind the scenes” and explains what The Mission Continues program is all about.

The Mission Continues: exact same commercial that was found on the DVD.

In all the extras on this blu-ray run a little over 40 minutes.. and that’s it!

Remember a few lines up where I mentions “more on this and the special features in a bit” in regards to the audio commentary and well.. special features?  Here is what I’ve found out:

This combo pack I have also comes with a digital download and from what I understand it does work with iTunes.  Save this if you want some free extras.  The iTunes download is going to be roughly 5gig; but it’s also more than just the audio commentary.  It’s a picture-in-picture version of the film that also has behind the scenes footage and from what I’ve been able to find out the commentators will pause the movie and rewind it in spots to talk about it.

As for the special features on the blu-ray itself.. Remember also when I mentioned the words ‘Retail Exclusive’?  Yeah.. this part sucks..

There are several versions of Star Trek Into Darkness out there floating around that are on Blu-Ray.  Depending on the retailer you get it from will also determine what special features you get.  As best I can find out all of the special features listed above are on all versions of the Blu-Ray.  I’ll do my best to list the retailer exclusive extras (I just can’t tell you what they are because simply put.. I’m not going to dish out more money just for that).

Best Buy Extras

NIF- Home of the core

Unlocking the Cut

Down With The Ship

Safety First

The Sound of Music and FX

Aliens Encountered

Target Extras:

Kirk and Spock

Mr. Spock and Mr. Spock

The Voyage Begins… Again

Rebuilding the Enterprise

Vengeance is Coming

Visual Affection

iTunes Extras:

Audio Commentary

WalMart Extras:

Vengeance Ship Toy

Limited Edition Villain SteelBook Package

Amazon Extras:

Starfleet Phaser Toy

I’m sure there are other exclusive and limited edition collector’s sets out there and I’ve also heard that different countries are going to have even different extras on theirs.  For me, it looks like I have the basic Blu-Ray and that’s disappointing.  I like the extras, I mean that’s the reason I went with blu-ray to begin with but when someone decides to start doing retailer exclusives in hopes to get me to buy multiple copies of their movie just so I can have ALL of the extras.. well.. I’m just not going to do that.

For now I’ve got to give this Blu-Ray a 2 out of 5 due to it’s lackluster of special features.

You can get it on Blu-ray here:


Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)

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Lords of Waterdeep – New Ways To Play

Are you ready for TWO new ways to play Lords of Waterdeep, the award-winning game from Wizards of the Coast?

Last Thursday at Gen Con Indy, Wizards of the Coast announced an all-new way to play Lords of Waterdeep – on iPad!  With the upcoming digital version developed by Playdek, players will be able to dive into Lords of Waterdeep anytime, anywhere!  This high-quality faithful adaptation of the popular board game is designed for 2-4 players and supports online play asynchronously or in real time, and offline play against others and/or included computer opponents.

In addition, the highly-anticipated Scoundrels of Skullport expansion for the Lords of Waterdeep board game is available beginning today! Scoundrels of Skullport adds not one, but two, complete expansions filled with brand new content for the best-selling Lords of Waterdeep board game, including the sprawling dungeon of Undermountain and the criminal haven of Skullport. Each thrilling location has unique characteristics and offers new play options, including new Lords, Buildings, Intrigue and Quest cards.

About Scoundrels of Skullport

Scoundrels of Skullport adds brand new content for the award-winning, bestselling board game, Lords of Waterdeep. It’s not one, but two, complete expansions; the sprawling dungeon of Undermountain and the criminal haven of Skullport. Each thrilling location has unique characteristics and offers new play options, including new Lords, Buildings, Intrigue and Quest cards.

Owners of Lords of Waterdeep can use one or both of these new subterranean locations to add depth to their game experience. There’s also a new faction, the Gray Hands, so now a sixth player can join in the fun!

  • The Skullport Module

The Skullport module includes a new resource: Corruption. Unlike Adventurers and Gold, having Corruption in your tavern penalizes you at the end of the game.  Each Corruption token in your Tavern at the end of the game is worth negative Victory Points. The exact negative value depends on how much Corruption has been collected throughout the game; the more corrupt you and your fellow Lords are, the more Corruption hurts your score

  • The Undermountain Module

The rumored wealth of Undermountain entices adventurers to brave the mysteries and monsters beneath the City of Splendors. The risks and the rewards are greater for undertaking Quests that require more Gold and Adventurers.

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D&D: Wizards Announces The Sundering: 6-novels, Mobile Game & More

Hello Brian,

 

The Forgotten Realms, the most popular setting in the D&D universe, is about to be completely reshaped by a year-long event – The Sundering – kicking-off today by Wizards of the Coast. Fans have the opportunity to impact the fate of the world through multiple expressions of the contemporary fantasy entertainment franchise, including tabletop RPG adventures, in-store play experiences, digital offerings including the first D&D free-to-play mobile game, 6 novels, digital reporting tools, comics, accessories and more. When the Sundering is complete, the results of these stunning events will have reshaped the Forgotten Realms forever, providing the landscape for future D&D stories.

The first Sundering novel, The Companions, The Sundering, Part I by R.A. Salvatore releases today.

 

 

Dungeons & Dragons Launches The Sundering;

Invites Fans of Fantasy Entertainment to Make Their Stories Legend

 

August 6, 2013 – RENTON, WA –The most popular setting in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, The Forgotten Realms, is about to be completely reshaped by an epic event announced today by Wizards of the Coast. The Sundering is an extensive story spanning multiple expressions of the contemporary fantasy entertainment franchise that offers fans the opportunity to impact the fate of the world along the way.

 

Key milestones in the year-long Sundering storyline will take place in iconic locations like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter and Icewind Dale, to name a few.  The changes to the Forgotten Realms can be experienced through a series of novels, in-store play experiences, digital offerings, comics, accessories and tabletop RPG adventures. Through these expressions, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fans will be able to engage and impact the fate of the Forgotten Realms forever.

 

The Sundering kicks off today with the release of The Companions, The Sundering, Book I by New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore.  His novel depicts the events of the Sundering as seen through the eyes of the world’s most well-known drow ranger, Drizzt Do’ Urden.  Salvatore’s novel is part of collaboration with other New York Times bestselling authors who will each show the changes to the Realms from their heroes’ points of view.

 

“We are elated to begin this extremely exciting chapter in the history of D&D,” said Nathan Stewart, Dungeons & Dragons Brand Director at Wizards of the Coast. “Utilizing great digital entertainment, dramatic story-telling techniques and thrilling and immersive events, The Sundering ushers in a new era for the future of the franchise.  We invite and encourage the legions of D&D adventurers to join us on this heroic adventure to change the canon of the Realms.”

When the Sundering is complete, the results of these stunning events will have reshaped the Forgotten Realms forever, providing the landscape for future D&D stories.

The Sundering includes:

 

-       Play & Help Shape the Future

  • Tabletop roleplaying gamers can experience The Sundering first-hand at weekly D&D Encounters in-store play events, where they will utilize a digital tool, the Sundering Adventurer’s Chronicle, to report the outcomes of their play experiences, connect with other players, and participate in activities designed to enhance their Sundering experience.

 

-       Mobile Battles

  • Arena of War, the first free-to-play D&D game on iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices, is a thrilling 3D battle roleplaying game set in the Forgotten Realms. With modern mechanics like massive in-game events and multiplayer competitions, players are enlisted to battle in a modern-day fight against good and evil to help set the balance of power before the Sundering is complete.

 

-       Realms-Shattering Novels

  • The most celebrated Forgotten Realms authors have collaborated on a series of six novels: R.A. Salvatore (The Companions), Paul Kemp (The Godborn), Erin Evans (The Adversary), Troy Denning (The Sentinel), Richard Lee Byers (The Reaver) and Ed Greenwood (The Herald). Each novel tells a self-contained story featuring both new and well-loved characters set against the background of the unfolding events that are reshaping the world, beginning with the New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore’s The Companions, The Sundering, Book I, releasing today – August 6th.

 

For more information on the Sundering, visit DungeonsandDragons.com/Sundering.

About Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Wizards’ players and fans are members of a global community bound together by their love of both digital gaming and in-person play. The company brings to market a range of gaming experiences under powerful brand names such as MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, and KAIJUDO. Wizards is also a publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information about our world renowned brands, visit the Wizards of the Coast Web site at www.wizards.com.

#  #  #

Wizards of the Coast, its logo, and Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, Dragon, Dungeon, D&D Encounters and D&D Insider are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. ©2013 Wizards.

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ouyadrak

Kingdom of Drakkar on the Ouya

Kingdom of Drakkar on the Ouya.

First off, what is the Ouya?

A little history: Ouya was crowfunded on Kickstarter.  It was looking for a funding of $950,000.00 USD.  It had that and then some within it’s 1st week.  By the end of the campaign it had raised over $8 Million.  They recently procured an additional $15 Million.

The system: The Ouya was touted to be the next big home gaming console system.  According to the makers it is going to replace the PlayStations and the Xboxes.  What it offers is an Android based gaming system (much like your cell phones).  It can attach to your television and let’s you play games.

Yeah, there is much more to it; and I’ll do an in depth post a bit later, but that above is the Ouya at it’s very basic.  Now on to the point of this article…

 

Kingdom of Drakkar on the Ouya

Can it be done?  YES!

You are not going to find the game on the Ouya’s app store.  Well.. not yet.  Right now this is considered a 3rd party app.  Please read this article first before you go to the link I’m about to provide.  I’ll step you through how it’s done and how to set it up to play.

The download can be found here:

http://www.drakkarzone.com/downloads/DrakkarLobbyAirCaptive.apk

Since the Android does not utilize flash all that well; the designer added the necessary component into the build itself.

One you have your Ouya set up and connected; navigate from the Home screen like this:

Home – Make > Software > Browser

Once at the browser hit the url I provided above.

It will begin to download automatically.  This is the part that will make you think it’s not working, but trust me it is..  There is nothing that indicates a status bar that it’s actually downloading.  When it begins to download it flashes up so fast that if you blink you will miss it.

However, you can go back to the Home screen and do this:

Home – Manage > System > Advanced toggle down to Storage and click on Downloads, it will be in Blue.  Once in there you will see that the Drakkar apk is downloading.  Walk away for a moment, go pee, grab a drink, whatever.  When it’s done, click it and it will begin to unpack itself and install.

Once installed, just click Open.

installedAlso, once it has been installed any time you want to play Kingdom of Drakkar you will need to navigate:

Home – Make > Software > Kingdom of Drakkar

Okay, now you have it installed, and you have started it up.  It’s going to auto update new graphics and then you’ll be ready to log in, except the Ouya controller won’t work.  I mean the controller works, but not with Drakkar (at least not yet that I can figure out).  Well.. actually, that’s a lie.  Sortav.  The controller sortav works with Drakkar.  The controller has a “scroll” area just below the lights that will allow you to scroll a mouse pointer around, but so far I’ve been unable to “trigger” the controller to bring up a keyboard box.  That’s what I’ve opted to use a usb keyboard and mouse.

updatingGrab your USB keyboard and plug it in.  For existing players enter in your Username and Password, using the Tab key to move between fields.  I could not get the enter button to actually get the Login button to go so..

Grab your USB mouse and unplug the keyboard and plug in the mouse (the Ouya only has 1 USB port – but I’m going to grab a multi USB port adapter and see if that works – I’ll update this once I’ve verified this either way).  I also discovered that you can click a text field with the mouse and from there you can use the Ouya to enter text via the mini-keyboard that pops up.  (as an aside, you can actually use your mouse to control almost every aspect of the Ouya).  **EDIT** I grabbed a multi-usb (actually has 4 usb ports) and plugged in both the mouse and keyboard and they both work flawlessly.

enterinfoClick Login and you should now find yourself in the lobby.

For new users it may be better initially to go to http://www.kingdomofdrakkar.com ; downloading the game onto your PC and creating a new account that way first.

Here’s the cool part of Kingdom of Drakkar:  You can play the SAME account on both your PC as well as on your Android (in our case it’s the Ouya).  Yes, the PC version has more features than the Android, but it still logs into the same servers with your same account and characters.

inlobbyOkay, back to the lobby.  Once there you can click on the text field (next to the SEND button) and a mini-keyboard will pop up allowing you to enter text in.  I used the mouse to enter some test text, clicked Send and it showed up in the main lobby chat, no problem.

I then clicked on Play and created a new character  (you can choose an existing character if you have one).  Once the character is created just click it to enter the game and play.

The only issue I’ve found is that Drakkar seems to be just a touch larger than the screen itself displays.  There could be a setting somewhere to toggle the screen size, but I’ve not found it yet.**SEE EDIT BELOW FOR SOLUTION**

ingameThat’s it, you should now be able to play Kingdom of Drakkar on your Ouya!

A couple of things explained:

I’ve found a couple of things help make Drakkar a bit easier to navigate.

On the login screen, click the box that says: Remember Password.  That will make it so that you don’t have to enter your password in each and every time.

Once in the lobby open your Options button.

Click on the Auto Login box.  This will make it so that when you click on the Drakkar icon in the Software tab, it will automatically log you into the lobby.

Run in Background is more used for the Android Phone; let’s say you are playing the game and you get a call; this would prevent the program from closing as it would, well, run in the background.

Small Creature Boxes simply makes the creature boxes in the game itself smaller.

Sound Enabled turns on sound.  Some people like the sound effects and music, others don’t.  I like it, so mine is one.

Note: You will need to click your selections and click Close then exit the game and log back in for these to take effect.

And that’s the basics folks on how to get your Ouya to run Kingdom of Drakkar.

 

**EDIT ON SCREEN SIZE SOLUTION**  After doing some research, I discovered that it was the television itself that was causing the overscan.  I had it set to a 16:9 ratio; and a quick change to Fit Screen in my menu settings (on the tv itself) made everything fit perfectly.

Check out the photos:

resize1

Photo above shows the lobby at full screen.  Everything is crisp and sharp.  Look at those players, now forever embedded in this photo!

resize2

This one shows an in game screen-shot.  Just like the lobby, this one is fitting in the screen and everything is sharp and crisp.

resize3

Another shot of the lobby; this time with the character select panel open.  The newest problem is that it appears that the bottom of the text is cut off a little.  I don’t think this is an issue of the Ouya itself; it may be how the actual text is displayed for mobile devices (and let’s face it.. that is what the Ouya is).  I have a feeling it’s a simple fix on the developer end; perhaps just nudging the text up by about 7 pixels or so.

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