Game Reviews

We Review: Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash

Chibi-Robo (which literally means “small robot”) is a 10cm small robot on a mission to save the Earth. His first appearance was ten years ago, in 2005 on the GameCube, helping a family with their various issues. Since then, he’s appeared in a few more games, but in this latest outing, he’s fighting off an alien menace. Let’s see what the diminutive droid is up to in his latest adventure!

Featured Game Reviews

We Review: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Transformers: War for Cybertron was surprisingly good. It bucked the trend that movie tie-in games were invariably crap. That’s because it wasn’t a tie-in at all. Developers High Moon Studios based their 2010 big bot adventure on the home world of Cybertron where the Autobots and Decepticons were in the midst of a civil war. The two leaders are polar opposites, the optimist prime versus the negatron you could say, but their actions together brought about big trouble to Cybertron.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron follows on from the events of previous title, where the Autobots are desperate to find a way off the dying planet. Optimus has commissioned the creation of a giant lifeboat upon which he and the remaining Autobots would evacuate. The Decepticons not only want to disrupt the Autobots but have some other plans in the making. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron tells the stories around this desperate tug-of-war contest. See how it unfolds after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Entertainment Featured Music

Quadrocopters Perform the James Bond Theme

It turns out that quadrocopters can do much more than fly about in unison, sounding like a bunch of angry bees. Under the right direction, they can be made to perform music. The capable boffins over the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception Lab (or GRASP for short) have managed to program a group of quadrocopters to play different musical instruments to a familiar tune.

Here is the science-y stuff:

In this demonstration, the “stage” is in a room fitted with infrared lights and cameras. The nano quads all have reflectors on their struts, which allows the camera system to plot their exact position and relay that information wirelessly to each unit.

Lab members can then assign each unit a series of waypoints in three-dimensional space that must be reached at an exact time. In this case, those times and places translate into notes on a keyboard or a strum of a guitar. Figuring out how to get from waypoint to waypoint most efficiently and without disturbing their neighbors is up to the robots.

Watch the different rotorcraft as they play the keyboard, drums, cymbals, and a modified guitar to perform a robotic rendition of the signature 007 theme. Prepare to be amazed, Mr Bond.

[via Laughing Squid]

Arty Awesomeness

Too Cute to Compute

If you’re in need of a smile this Friday, look no further than the tiny, awfully cute robots created by artists By Jenn and Tony Bot. These miniature art toys stand 2.5 tall and are made from polymer clay, glass beads, and a whole lotta love. The Bots are adorable representations of popular characters from cartoons, popular TV show, and movies. Check out a small selection of them after the jump.

Arty Awesomeness Entertainment Featured Music Video Clips Weirdness

Kill Your Co-Workers

Unless you’re a one-man business (and you aren’t a douche), chances are high that you’ll encounter a co-worker who you just want to…invalidate. This rad music video for Flying Lotus explores the theme of killing off irritants in superb style. It starts off with a very happy parade down a town’s main street. The robots have been invited and are having a great time until Rhon, the human, behaves like a dick. It gets bloody from then on, but in a very endearing kind of way.

Check out Kill Your Co-Workers below.

The video was created by graphic designer, Mike Winkelmann. If you’re any good at animation, you can download the 3D models used in the video and create your own. Find the source files on Winkelmann’s website, Beeple.

[via Dooby Brain]

Game Reviews

We Review: Transformers: War For Cybertron

You know, sometimes I amaze even myself. I don’t know I did it, but I missed any advertising for Transformers: War for Cybertron. I missed the trailer at E3, didn’t notice the full page spread taken out in a local gaming magazine, nor did I catch any ads of TV. It’s not that I don’t like the Transformers but when I was a kid, the GoBots were my bots of choice but sadly they faded into mediocrity with the rise of the Transformers.

Transformers: War for Cybertron (hereby shortened to WFC) wasn’t even on my radar until the good folks at Megarom sent it over to me. I could have easily dismissed it as another money-making movie tie-in, but Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen served that purpose and didn’t do such a great job.

WFC is different. For one thing, it’s not set on Earth so there’s no need for pithy humans who can’t act their way out of a paper bag, also (and more importantly) it’s a really good game. In WFC, developer High Noon Studios has taken the Transformers story back to their home world of Cybertron and explores the origins of an epic war that leads into the events of the 2007 movie. Malevolent Decepticon leader Megatron wants to return Cyberton to his version of a “golden age” and has discovered a new power source that will help him achieve his goals. It is up to the Autobots to prevent this at all costs. The battle lines are drawn and it’s time for you play your part. My review of WFC rolls out after the jump.

Cautionary Tales Video Clips

Anti-Smoking Ad Warns of Immiment Robot Apocalypse

We’ve seen a couple of anti-smoking ads that use shock value to get the point across, but this is the first time we’ve seen one that pokes fun at them. This particular ad starts off as any traditional PSA does but quickly takes a turn for the worse – emphysema and lung cancer will be the very least of your problems should you continue to smoke.

Don’t smoke. All of humanity is counting on you!

[via The Awesomer]


Entertainment Mindlessness Movie Reviews

The Day The Brain Stood Still

If the likes of Roger Ebert and the stoutly Barry Ronge can review movies, I don’t think it’s a far stretch for me to try my hand at it.

So, with brevity in mind, and a not-so-solid grasp of the English language, behold my movie review!

The Day the Earth Stood Still

What it should have been called: The Day The Brain Stood Still

The plot: We puny humans are horrible caretakers and as a result global warming is killing the Earth. Some alien elders are not pleased about this, and send a spaceship to Earth, bearing an emissary Klaatu and his large robot, GORT.

Klaatu has come to assess whether humanity can reverse the environmental damage we’ve done to the planet. His mind gets practically made up when he gets shot by the military and detained. Using cunning alien trickery he escapes and decides that the humans need to be destroyed to save the earth.

It is now up to astrobiologist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), her obnoxious step-son Jacob (Jaden Smith), and altruism expert Professor Barnhardt (a cameo by John Cleese) to try dissuade him. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to guess the outcome.