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By Monty Python

Has the winter chill outdone you? Shivering under your cozy warm blanket? Well this list of upcoming summer blockbuster movie hits will blow you out in a blaze of fire. Keep an eye out and don't miss out on a single one.

10. The Simpsons Movie
Release Date: July 27, 2007
Synopsis: The hottest TV show and the most loved comedy of the world is finally coming to the Big screen. The same team behind the TV episodes are coming to the big screen and you can expect all your favourite characters along with their voice casters to kill you with laughter and frolic. The plot is yet to be unveiled, but You can check out some of the teaser trailors from www.thesimpsons.com.

9.Nancy Drew The Movie
Release Date: June 15, 2007
Synopsis: The most loved female detectives from the Carolyn Keene novels get a silver screen debut this summer. Emma Roberts plays Nancy Drew as she gets in the world of Hollywood to solve a bizarre murder mystery in the Nancy Drew style. Must watch for all the girls out there.
Website: www.nancydrewmovie.com

8.Sin City 2
Release Date:
Not declared, Summer 2007
Synopsis: The first onscreen adaptation of Frank Miller's haunting graphic Novel left us with many questions unanswered. Sin City will follow the trail of Dwight McCarthy (Clive Owen) as he goes forward to solve the puzzle of the appearance of a mysterious woman who tells him she is in love with him. Along the way you an expect several other stories to tie in and the character of Mickey Rourke Brittany Murphy appear as well. The visual will remain the same black on white with shades of colour, giving the movie a most eerie look. Directed by Frank Miller himself.

7.Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Release Date:
June 15, 2007
Synopsis: Although I wasn't impressed by the first movie but this one is special. The Fantastic Four, meets their greatest challenge yet in "Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer" as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, The Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. As the Silver Surfer races around the globe wreaking havoc, Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must unravel the mystery of the Silver Surfer and confront the surprising return of their mortal enemy, Dr. Doom, before all hope is lost.
Website: www.thefantasticfour.com

6.Rush Hour
Release Date:
August 10, 2007
Synopsis: Who can forget Jackie Chan and his big mouth LAPD sidekick Chris Tucker from RH1 and RH2. The Duo will be back again this summer for more Jackie Chan signature moves and Tucker's signature big talking trouble inviting utterly insane accented comedy. This time around they will travel to Paris, France where they must stop an international Chinese drug cartel, while Chan saving Tucker's butt in the process. There are talks about bringing this movie to the silver screen in Dhaka, keep your fingers crossed for that.

5.Ocean's 13
Release Date: June 8, 2007
Synopsis: Al Pacino is back. Need to know more? Yes, The Scarface will be back again to the silver screen after a long absence in ocean's 13 along with the original gang of 11. He will probably play the roll of a Mafia Godfather, although details are kept under tight scrutiny. Unmissable Movie.
Website: www.oceans13.com

4.Shrek the Third.
Release Date:
May 18, 2007
Synopsis: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and the gang is back again with the third installment of Shrek (yahoo). This time, Shrek must choose between his home swamp or the throne of the kingdom as Fiona's father is ailing in deathbed. Together with Puss-in-boots and Donkey, Shrek must find another heir to the throne or risk it all to prince charming who has gathered an army of Fairy tales villains. Cant wait for this one man!
Website: www.Shrekthethird.com

3.Pirates of the Caribbean : At World's End
Release Date:
May 25, 2007
Synopsis: Remember how we were kept dangling in the end of Dead Man's Chest, well the adventure continues. Chow Yun-Fat joins the star cast this time as a Chinese pirate whom jack Sparrow and gang must battle in an epic battle to save themselves and the world. This movie might be released by star Cineplex, so don't waste your viewing pleasure by buying a hall quality DVD, wait for it to come to the big screen here in Dhaka.
Website: pirates.movies.com

2.Harry Potter and the order of Phenix
Release Date:
July 13, 2007
Synopsis: I don't think there is a need to say what's gonna happen in this movie, we all know it. Daniel Radcliffe, Pert Green and Emma Watson are back to fight the dark lord Voldemort again. This time, the movie is coming out in regular and an IMAX format. Too bad we won't be able to see the IMAX format. But there's a chance that this will be shown in Cineplex.
Website: HarryPotterOrderofthePhoenix.com

1.Spider-Man 3
Release Date:
May 4, 2007
Synopsis: need I say anything at all? Spider man is back, now darker than ever as the mysterious black goo from space takes over him and transforms him, bringing out his darker side and giving him powers he never knew he had. He must resist the temptation and also fight Venom and Sandman. Will he finally get MJ or be lost in the myriad of his dark side.
Storyline, CG, sound effects, thrills and action, what ever you ask for, this franchisee has topped it all, making it the superhero movie of all time. And great news for fans, This will definitely come to the silver screen in Dhaka, so again, hold your breath for the experience.
Website: www.sonypictures.com

Extra News: James Bond is coming to town. Yeah, Casino Royale will be shown in Cineplex, courtey of Djuice. Don't forget to collect your tickets in advanced guys.

Reviewed by Monty Python

Now that the launching of PS3 is just around the corner, it is easy to write-off the PS2 as an old horse, an why not. Every bit of juice was squeezed out of this ageing machine, leaving nothing out. But a two warrior never gives up without a fight to the death. Final Fantasy XII was the last weapon in the repertoire. And it gave both the PS2 lovers and RPG lovers a loud bang to end the year, winning the best game of the year in almost all the gaming polls.

We all know what Final Fantasy is, it is one of the longest standing and most loved game of all time. And the final installment, which was released just before the end of 2006 proved to be a feather in the cap for the series. Fans of FF have been waiting eagerly for over 3 years for this title to come out. Not just because it's a FF, but because this game will be the gateway for the future titles of the series, as they will continue to be released, but for the PS3 version in future, and for the new battle system which was one of the most talked about controversies in the arena of RPG gaming last year. Since it is a review, lets take a categorical look a the various features of the game.

I am never in favour of giving up the story line of a game, specially if it is as good as FFXII, you ought to play it to find out. Usually FF games story revolves around a “save the world from the bad guys” formula. This time the story takes a slight de tour and instead its a story of an empire divided in battle and the hero task is to protect the smaller kingdom from the empire. This would sound familiar to a star wars fan, indeed, this game looks and feels like a story out of the star wars saga. There are space battles and ships that look like straight out of a star wars movie, and that's not a bad thing, cos you still have a final fantasy thing to it. The characters have a great deal of depth and you start to feel for their causes as you join them in an epic battle.

Graphics and sound:
One word “AMAZING”. The moment you turn it on in your old PS2, you would have a hard time believing that this old monster can still deliver graphics like this. The cinematics will make you feel as if you are in a theatre watching a Hollywood sci flick. The gameplay graphics is crisp. It probably has the best graphics as far as all the previous FF is concerned. Characters designs and facial expressions have changed significantly than from other Final fantasies which seemed so bland. Even the non playable characters and opponents look great, with superb animation and expressions. Players also have a great control over the camera angle at all time, even during battle, which is real sweet, as it was not there in the previous games.

The music in FF was typical to the nature of the series, fully orchestrated music. However, since I had ton read through the dialogues (I admit I am actually a PC gamer where the dialogues are spoken out and not written), I kept the music volume minimum. The voice acting was great and gave the impression that you are listening to a movie track. Obviously done by Final Fantasy hardened professionals, are a key point in delivering the game experience.

Gameplay and battle system:
This is where all the controversies started. Unlike the previous titles in the FF series, you don't meet random opponents and teleported to another world where you fight battles. Instead all your battles are real time and you can avoid them if you want (although that isn't fun and isn't easy always) by avoiding NPC opponents. And then there is this gambit system which has divided the fans into two groups, those who love it and those who hate it. But it has made gameplay a lot more smoother and the battle sequences more engaging, at the cost of tactics. Okay here's a brief explanation. Square has devised a Gambit system for battles. What this system does is, it allows you to program the actions of your playable characters before hand on how they would act in the face of a fight. You can set the players to heal themselves if their HP goes below a certain point and so on (it's like programming in C if you know). Since you play a lot of characters at a time, this makes things easy, and they fight the battle all by themselves and you just watch, and change tactics halfway by pausing and changing commands if you think things aren't going your way. But majority of the time, it works like magic. You can totally bypass the Gambit system and control the characters all by yourself, but that's messy, as you have many characters to controller and pausing is frequent. You can collect gambits or buy them from various shops inside the game. So while this makes the gameplay fast and furious, it takes away your part from it and all you do is push your analogue stick to move from one enemy to the other. I liked it, as I was more interested in going through the story and only took control when the boss battles arrived, not toiling hard for small-time opponents in a battle.

You also have summons called espers. But they weren't that important in a battle and they certainly didn't last long enough to cause serious damage. YOU can also summon magic to damage your opponents. But you'd have to collect your Espers or magic summoning.

Side quests and replay:
I usually only play a huge game once (gotta do my assignments on time), and FF is huge. Comparable to MMORGP, it has many side quests and tiny ingames, which I missed reluctantly (and also because I played it on a borrowed PS2 from my friend with time constraints). But it means that it has a lot of replay-ability.

Whether or not you are a FF fan, this is a must game, why else would I call it (along with all the gaming mags and sites out there), the best PS2 and rpg game of 2006. Give your old PS2 another bite in the dust with Final Fantasy. As for all the PC gamers out there, feel sorry for ya. This aint available for the PC. But perhaps now is a good time to invest in a PS2 as with the release of PS3, the prices of PS2 has gone down the well. You can probably find a decent PS2 Slim for around 12,000 taka in Bangladesh. If you can manage to being one from abroad (Singapore or so) it will cost you around Taka 6,000, the same goes for XBOX. So give it a go.

By Le Chupacabra

Despite having shamelessly nicked Borat's famous catchphrase (does it even count as a phrase?), I think it's a lot better than say, “Wii will rock you!”, “Playing with my Wii”, “Can I see your Wii?” or something cheesier. Trust me, I've seen really bad ones here…

Navel fluff aside, let's get down to the nitty-gritty that is Nintendo's new console. Long story short: it's the successor to the GameCube. It was called the Revolution and now it's called the Wii (pronounced, you guessed it, “wee”). End of story. Oh, and its take on next generation gaming is via intuitive and semi-revolutionary user interactivity than through unbelievable graphics or mind-boggling physics. It's a fancy way of saying that the Wii Remote is awesome enough to make you ignore the unimpressive visuals showcased by the Wii.

Thus I return with my hands-on impressions of the much-desired yet short-supplied next generation console, the Nintendo Wii.

Firstly, it's quite small. GameCube small you ask? Smaller. The Wii is comparable to the PSOne (the remodelled, mini-PlayStation) surprisingly. Despite its Napoleonic stature it boasts quite a few nifty features. For starters, it has a smooth slot-loading disc drive that takes in the new Wii DVDs. The top can be flipped open to reveal all four controller ports for the original GameCube as well as the two prerequisite memory card slots for said console. And there's a smaller panel above the disc slot that houses an SD memory card reader. Details aside, the Wii looks quite slick. I haven't seen a PS3 upfront, yet between the Xbox 360 and Wii the Spartan design of the Wii combined with a sleek, glossy white finish gives the Wii an air of sophistication and simplicity that I find more appealing. Nintendo makes some robust hardware as well and I expect (no, I didn't dare try to test this) the Wii to withstand quite a few batterings and hurled controllers of which there shall be many.

Following the same theme as the aesthetic design, the user interface is clean, simple and quite user-friendly. You interact by aiming with the Wii Remote and a mouse cursor-esque hand follows your motions. It felt slightly wonky for me, but you can set your own level of sensitivity. The Wii has a neat picture viewer that you can use to browse through your shots from an SD memory card. The picture viewer offers the ability to apply special effects; particularly fun is the doodle tool. The Wii supports wireless internet which is routed to it via any general Wi-Fi dongle. With that you can browse the Internet, purchase legacy games from the online store and send/receive e-mail. My favourite part was the Mii (pronounced “me”), however. This is the Wii's proprietary user profile management system and its use couldn't be simpler or more fun!

Now what makes the Wii unique is not the games you play, but how you play them. Enter the Nunchuks… and Wii Remote. Splitting a conventional controller into essentially two parts just didn't seem right to me at first. After a few hours flicking, slamming, punching and flailing with the controllers I can safely say that they officially rock! The remote is built surprisingly solidly and feels rather natural. After all, we are the TV generation and holding onto a remote for hours on end is part of the circle of life now. The buttons are perfectly set apart, although having the 'B' as a trigger (under the Remote) is initially confusing. The Nunchuk is where the analog stick rests. It looks like someone cut a DualShock in half, remoulded a half with one of the analog sticks and made it really ergonomic! The Nunchuk fits into your hand perfectly and follows the contours of your grip extremely well. A clearly obvious benefit of separating the controllers is that you can decide your own comfort level; whether you hold them right next to each other or lazily droop your arms over the sides of the chair is completely up to you. The controllers are connected to each other by means of a cable but other than that they are wireless courtesy of Bluetooth technology. A small, elongated receiver sits (preferably) on top of your TV and helps triangulate the direction the controllers face; this is what makes the motion sensing magic work.

So we know how the Wii looks and some portion of what it does. The question that you're probably salivating over is how it plays. In short, it's freakin' awesome. True, the games I played would be mediocre under any normal controller scheme but the Wii is not your average console after all. Because of the controllers, it becomes something a lot more special.

First up was Wii Sports. The game comes bundled with the Wii itself and serves as an addictive distraction while you get accustomed to the new method of play. We played bowling, tennis, baseball and boxing. Bowling wasn't too bad; first you have to aim the path you intend to bowl on and then you lift the Wii Remote as you would an actual bowling ball.

Once you're ready, swing away and press the button to release. There are subtleties in the motion you can take advantage of to add spin. Tennis was fantastic, however. I loved 4-player Top Spin on the PS2 but it faces pretty stiff competition from the Wii iteration of the sport. Holding the Wii Remote like a racquet you actually have to swing away at the ball as it threatens your side of the court. Similar to bowling, you can make use of deft sideway flicks or smooth slices to change the way you hit the ball. It was exhilarating to say the least and with four players, this has the potential of being the ultimate party game. Boxing and baseball were pretty damn entertaining as well. While you're not required to actually move around your character in boxing, you can perform cheeky dodges left, right and backwards by moving both controllers in the opposite directions. Here you actually have to punch out to hit your opponent's smug face and defence is equally ingenious you cover your face with your hands to block blows aimed at your precious visage. I foresee this being the future way of 'settling the score' between two testosterone-charged 'gentlemen'. Baseball required you hold the Wii Remote like a bat and swing away once the pitched ball seemed at the appropriate distance from your player. Getting the timing right was fun and significantly more intuitive than simply pressing a button. The pitching was similar to the Bowling game except that you had to swing over-arm.

I played a few games that made up the Wii Play compilation but they weren't anything too special. Spin-offs of Duck Hunt and Battle Tanks were quite entertaining, though.

However, after that I played one game that tempted me like no other to forget the PS3 and order a Wii Rayman Raving Rabbids. It was one of the most hilarious and outrageously fun games I've played in a while. Every aspect of it effuses humour and the design is simply brilliant. Raving Rabbids comprises of a series of mini-games where you take the titular character and attempt to thwart world domination by a bunch of - you guessed it - raving, rabid rabbits (say that ten times, fast). This game fully integrates the Wii Remote and Nunchuk into the very core of its being and as a result, has effectively brought about a tangible manifestation of the word 'fun'. Whether it's the rhythmic disco game where you have to flick the corresponding controller in tune with the beats to parodied songs like “Rabbits just wanna have fun” or the juice bar portion where you have to fill up the advancing rabbits with carrot juice by literally pumping it into them, the game maintains a distinct air of energetic, in-your-face humour that draws you in for more. The beauty of the games (and the Wii in general) is that it physically and mentally involves you, the player, in the game itself.

There you have it regarding the Wii. If you're in doubt concerning a next generation console purchase, then consider the Wii as a very, very able contender. It's cheap, it's outrageously fun and it's also the ultimate party machine. However with that said, you should always consider what games you want before you go straight ahead and end up buying a console you really didn't want in the first place. Oh, and the Wii works best (and sometimes only) as a multiplayer console as opposed to something to sit down with and get lost in; the games aren't quite substantial enough to satiate solitary gaming sessions, mind you.Other than that, wii salute you, Nintendo, for such a fantastic console.


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