2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Review in Two: TNT’s “Inside Job”

    Thu, February 27, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    What is it? “Inside Job”

    Star appeal: None. This is a reality show with no host.

    When does it air? The pilot episode airs Friday February 28 at 7 p.m. on TNT

    What’s the premise? Each week on “Inside Job,” one American company will invite four highly qualified job candidates to compete for an executive position. For one week, they’ll live and work together as part of the interviewing and hiring process. What the candidates don’t know, however, is that one of their fellow candidates is already a management executive of the company. This undercover insider will monitor every move the candidates make, good or bad, and report the findings back to their boss. At the end of the week, the insider will be revealed and the insider will decide which candidate should be considered for the job.

    What are the highlights? This series is made by the same team that produced “Undercover Boss” so chances are if you like that show, you’ll like “Inside Job.” Since someone on the show is “undercover” there’s a layer of voyeurism and I kept waiting for the other three candidates to do something or say something stupid in front of a secret evaluator. The diverse personalities of the cast help the show, so viewers will be able to find a favorite candidate to root for and root against. “Inside Job” also feels like a simpler version of “The Apprentice,” with contestants trying to demonstrate their skills through short challenges. The part of the show I appreciated most, however, was TNT not divulging who the insider was until halfway through. I watched the first two episodes and I was surprised both times.

    What are the lowlights? While I like the premise, much like “Undercover Boss,” I found that my enjoyment depended on what business was being featured. The pilot centered on House of Blues and the second episode had candidates vying for a job at Shoedazzle.com. Mazda, Johnny Rockets, Abbyson Living and David Barton Gym are other companies participating this season but because the fun factor ramps up or down depending on the company featured, the show can be a bit inconsistent. The challenges on the show also don’t feel meaty enough to truly help anyone shine as a candidate for a real job. They’re done in so little time and can be superfluous, which gives the impression that all you have to do to win is be the most likeable candidate regardless of qualifications.

    The Grade: (C): A job is a big deal to most people but you won’t be given that impression with this show. The lack of any sense of urgency (or desperation) by contestants and weak skill challenges will prevent viewers from truly investing into people trying to earn a job or in the jobs themselves. “Inside Job” is a fluffy piece of fun and has its moments, but its lack of heart, a staple of good reality TV programming, prevents it from being any more than that.

  • ‘Survivor: Cagayan’ preview with two-time Survivor Rob Cesternino

    Mon, February 24, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    When “Survivor: Cagayan” premieres this Wednesday at 7 p.m. on CBS it will mark the start of the popular reality series’ 28th season. Contestants have been trying to outwit, outplay and outlast each other since 2000 and since then the show has seen several twists to its gameplay. This season players are divided into three tribes based on athleticism, attractiveness and intellect. Who will series host Jeff Probst announce as the winner? To get an inside look at this season the Gazette chatted Rob Cesternino, a two-time “Survivor” contestant and the host of the reality TV podcast, “Rob Has A Podcast.”

    Gazette: Survivor has gone with a Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty theme this season. What’s your take on this twist?
    Rob Cesternino: I really love this idea for the new Survivor season. Admittedly, it’s a somewhat silly way to divide the teams but I think it’s a great hook. Especially for a season without returning players, you need something to market the show with and I think this idea really was a novel way to go.

    Gazette: Who has the edge – brains, beauty or brawn and which tribe will the winner come from?
    RC: I am a big fan of all the players on the Brains tribe but I’m concerned that there will be too many egos for them to be a cohesive unit. I actually think that the Brawn tribe has the best chance for sustained success in the game because I think they’ll be able to avoid tribal and keep their numbers. I also believe the Brawn tribe won’t be prone to over-thinking and turning on each other.

    Gazette: Based on what you’ve learned about the cast so far, who are your favorites going into this season?
    RC: After studying everybody for our big season preview special on “Rob Has a Podcast”, I felt really strongly about Sarah Lacina, a female police officer. She was keenly observant about the other players and is a big fan of the show. Plus, she is strong without being overly muscular. She is smart without looking like a know-it-all. She’s the total package but doesn’t look the part of a major Survivor threat. I like her chances.

    Gazette: There is no Redemption Island this season and the cast is also made up entirely of new contestants. What kind of impact will that have on the show?
    RC: I think Redemption Island is a good way to keep the fan favorites who got voted out around for another week or two. But I like the purity of the game without Redemption Island. Plus, the extra time that was used for the Redemption Island challenge can be spent on learning who these new players are.

    Gazette: What advice would you give someone going on Survivor? What’s your recipe for a winning strategy?
    RC: I don’t believe there is one correct way to win Survivor. There are a few things that are necessary to winning the game. A winner has to have the ability to be flexible and roll with the punches. No matter what happens, there needs to be the ability to change the plan based on new information. Also, a winner needs to have luck on their side. Every person that won the game can find at least one thing that happened, that was totally independent of them, that went in their favor through sheer luck that helped them win the game. Finally, the winner needs to have a story to tell the jury. The winners know the right buttons to push when marketing their case to the jury.

    Gazette: Bringing back former Survivor contestants may not be occurring this season but chances are high we’ll see that again. If you were going back on the show, how would you avoid being targeted?
    RC: I wish I knew!  There’s no great way to avoid being targeted, so I would just try to have complete transparency with everybody in my group and try to find where our mutual interests lie with my group.

    Gazette: What other former players would you like to see return? Who would you expect to see?
    RC: I think there are a few players that we can safely predict will return.  I think Malcolm will be back soon. Jeff Probst seemed very keen on Ciera coming back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hayden come back too considering his popularity with Survivor and Big Brother fans. I know a lot of people will cringe but I’d like to see Russell Hantz again. Whether or not he has learned anything would be very fun to watch and podcast about.

    Gazette: Who is the person you’ve most enjoyed competing in Survivor with?
    RC: While I didn’t enjoy it at the time, I’ve come to truly respect what a great player Boston Rob became. Yes, he’s played 4 times, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t continue learning every time he went out there. I think he’s the best player there’s ever been.

    Gazette: Who do you think is the most overrated Survivor ever? Underrated?
    RC: I’ll say the most overrated Survivor is Ozzy. He’s completely dominant in one aspect of the game but he struggles with both the social and strategic phases of the game. The most underrated is Sandra Diaz-Twine; she won twice and still has doubters who say she’s not that good.

    Gazette: Who is on your Survivor Mount Rushmore (four greatest players)?
    RC: Boston Rob, Parvati, Sandra, Richard Hatch

    Gazette: If you were the producer of Survivor, what changes would you make to the show?
    RC: The producers of Survivor know what they’re doing but if they brought me in for a day we’d go back to a final 2, bring people back from Redemption Island at the final 5 to force tougher decisions, rather than at final 4, and would set up one island where every future Survivor season would be played because everyplace looks the same anyway.

     

     

     

  • Preview in Two: ABC’s “Mind Games”

    Thu, February 20, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

    GREGORY MARCEL, MEGALYN ECHIKUNWOKE, CHRISTIAN SLATER, STEVE ZAHN, WYNN EVERETT, CEDRIC SANDERS

    What is it? ”Mind Games”

    Star appeal: Christian Slater (“True Romance,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”) and Steve Zahn (“Sahara,” “Daddy Day Care”)

    When does it air? The pilot episode airs Tuesday February 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC

    What’s the premise? With a little bit of science, some con-artistry, plus a smattering of Jedi mind tricks, brothers Clark (Zahn) and Ross Edwards (Slater) can tailor a plan to influence any life-altering situation. They are partners in Edwards and Associates, an unusual business based on the belief that people’s decisions are influenced by their environment in ways they’re not aware. A former university professor and expert in the fields of human behavior, psychology and motivation, the frantic Clark has a checkered history, which stems from his bipolar disorder. Clark’s academic career ended when his university became aware he was having an affair with a 22-year-old undergraduate. He’s still unable to reconcile losing the girl, and tries to focus his manic energy on Ross’ new fortune-making plan. Ross, a schemer recently out of prison after a two-year stint for fraud, has come up with a business that he believes can make him and his team rich. However, he often confuses honesty with opportunism and his tactics can be questionable and his strategies border on the illegal.

    What are the highlights? Steve Zahn’s Clark is the Sherlock Holmes of psychological manipulation, but on steroids. He bounces off the walls, full of ideas that come to him a mile a minute. It’s fun to watch and it felt that I was actually learning something about human behavior during the pilot. In fact, I was so fascinated by the concept of adrenalized implantation used in the show that I went and looked it up. While I couldn’t find any information on it, just the fact that a TV show had me investigating it got me hooked.

    Christian Slater compliments Zahn well. During the first half of the pilot, he was mostly a non-factor but when he was able to portray the lying, scheming and clever side of his character, he shined. Slater and Zahn have great chemistry and it shows in their relationship on the show. They act like real brothers.

    What are the lowlights? Clark may be a genius, but he’s prone to break downs and losing his cool. Seeing Zahn go from a brilliant man with an incredible concept of human thought processes to acting like a petulant toddler because his mind moves faster than his mouth can articulate, slows the show down. To sooth him, Ross’s ex-wife joins the gang of mind manipulators but she only serves to muddy an otherwise stellar cast. Between Clark’s bipolar disorder, the businesses struggles and the sparring between the two brothers this series already has enough tension. Adding the ex makes an otherwise upbeat show a little too dour at times.

    The Grade: (B): “Mind Games” is a real treat for those who like to think about the subliminal reasons that people do the things they do. I’m not sure how much of this show is based on real science but it sure made me think about the process and it makes for good water cooler chatter. Viewers will get a kick out of Clark and Ross and while I’ve always enjoyed Steve Zahn, I believe this is his finest work.

  • Springs Natives Margie & Luke Talk About Competing On ‘The Amazing Race’

    Wed, February 19, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

    Margie & Luke

    “The Amazing Race,” the globetrotting CBS reality series where teams of two race around the world for a $1 million prize, has had a number of excellent competitors but few as memorable as Colorado Springs natives and mother/son team Margie O’Donnell and Luke Adams. Margie and Luke, a 2003 graduate of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, have been an inspiration to many, including CBS producers who have cast the mother/son pair for a third go around. The duo will again take on the Race, this time in an All-Star season, beginning this Sunday. Margie and Luke recently talked to the Gazette about their experience.

    Gazette: What lessons have you learned from the previous times you’ve been on “The Amazing Race?”
    Margie: I think what we’ve learned from the previous shows is to try and be a little more patient with each other. Communication is kind of an issue with us. Luke gets a little impatient with me because I don’t sign fast enough and I get impatient with him because he wants the information really quick. So we really tried very hard to be more patient with each other this time.
    Luke: Memorize and study everything on the Race. Not being able to remember the final picture puzzle in our final challenge on our first season was my biggest blunder for not winning the million dollars. Also, read the clues carefully. It can be pretty tricky so we want to make sure we take our time and understand the clues.

    Gazette: What teams on this season do you see as your biggest competition?
    Margie: We went into this race thinking everybody was our biggest competition. Everybody had experience. Maybe you could say the Cowboys and the Globetrotters because they’ve been on twice before. But being a fan of the show myself and watching the teams that we’re competing against this time in previous seasons, Luke and I just felt that anyone can win the race so we really thought of everybody as major competition. You really can’t rule anybody out.
    Luke: The Cowboys and Harlem Globetrotters. We competed with them once before. They know our strengths and weakness and it would be so tough to beat them in a foot race. Also, one of our biggest concerns is that we’re a three-peater, which gives other teams more reasons to U-Turn us at some point on the Race. We definitely do not want that to happen.

    Gazette: What’s the biggest surprise about competing on “The Amazing Race” that nobody knows about?
    Margie: I don’t think people realize how little sleep you get, how long the flights or train rides are or how long it really takes to get from point A to point B. People see you at the airport and then they see you arriving. They don’t understand that you were just on an 18-hour flight. On season 18 we were on a flight that was supposed to be 18-hours but we got diverted to Hawaii because a man on our flight had a heart attack and we were on that plane for like 21 hours. People also ask, “Were you gone for four months?” And I’ll say, “No, 21 days.” I think season 14 was 24 days but we’re on the road for only three weeks from start to finish. People are always surprised by that.
    Luke: There are some people on our races that knew some sign language and fingerspell. It was really nice to have some people that I could sign to. I really appreciate them for their effort to communicate with me on the Race. I wish that the moments were shown on TV, it would be cool for people who have no knowledge of sign language. It would open their eyes. I hope there some moments where racers and I got to sign to each other will be shown on this season.

    Gazette: When you make a pit stop do you get any time to see anything that’s not aired?
    Margie: No. We only have a set amount of time during a pit stop. It might be eight hours it might be twelve hours and during that time you have to have meals, do interviews, get your laundry done, and get whatever sleep you can get during that time. So no, there’s no time for sight seeing.
    Luke: We never really get to explore the area during the pit stops. The pit stop is usually a very short break from racing.  All we want to do is just to sleep.

    Gazette: There haven’t been too many mother/son teams on “The Amazing Race.” What are the challenges a mother/son team face that other teams don’t?
    Margie: Even to this day, I’m always surprised by how grown up Luke is. In my head he’s still a teenager. So the challenge, for me, is the realization that he’s an adult, capable of making his own decisions.
    Luke: Our relationship is just so unique that we have so many advantages that other teams doesn’t have. We can communicate with each other with our facial expressions, which helps us a lot. There’s only one big disadvantage we have to face together, communicating with each other while one of us is driving and one of us has to sit in the back to navigate the maps. It can be so tough at times. We actually won the leg on our first season the one where we had to drive ourselves so we just need to be careful when we have to communicate to each other in car and not get in the accident.

    Gazette: Margie, you live in Colorado Springs. How often do people come up to you and ask you about your experience on the show?
    Margie: I get recognized by myself right after a show airs but over time I don’t. People will look at me and go, “Were you my son’s third grade teacher?” They don’t know where they know me from but if I’m with Luke, we get recognized all the time. He’s the unforgettable character; he gets recognized quite often and is a superstar in the deaf community. So when we’re together it happens quite frequently.

     

     

  • Preview in Two: The CW’s “Star-Crossed”

    Mon, February 17, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    What is it? ”Star-Crossed”

    Star appeal: Aimee Teegarden (“Friday Night Lights”), Jonathan Schaech (“That Thing You Do,” “Road House 2: Last Call” and Colorado Springs native Jesse Luken (“Justified,” “42”)

    When does it air? The pilot episode airs Monday February 17 at 7 p.m. on The CW

    What’s the premise? When Emery (Teegarden) was six years old, an alien spacecraft crash landed in her small town and she met Roman (Matt Lanter), a 6-year old Atrian boy, who sought refuge with her before being taken away by the authorities. Ten years later, the two are reunited as the first group of Atrian teens to enroll in high school in a widely scrutinized social experiment to see if humans and Atrians can live in peace.

    What are the highlights? The CW is a network known for targeting a younger demographic and “Star-Crossed” is no exception. There are plenty of young, attractive people in lead roles but don’t be fooled, this is not cotton candy programming. “Star-Crossed” is loaded with interesting characters and clever plot lines. There’s the love triangle between Emery, her new Atrian friend and a human boy at school that’s a lot more complicated than it appears. There are some attractive looking aliens with special abilities we only get a small glimpse of. Viewers are shown a high amount of political chicanery from both humans and Atrians that gives their tenuous relationship depth. And there are political overtones that touch on hot button issues like immigration reform and the Civil Rights Movement all looked at through the soft lens of a young adult TV show.

    Of course, it’s also nice to have a local on the series. Colorado Springs native Jesse Luken was prominently featured in the two episodes I viewed. He plays Eric, an Atrian hating troublemaker. Throw in some light CW humor and a little bit of an “Alien Nation” vibe and you have an interesting start to a new drama.

    What are the lowlights? Aside from the name “Star-Crossed” (I’m serious about that. I’m a firm believer that half of anything’s success is in the name. Would we all love Peyton Manning if he were named Mike Sheboygan) my biggest issue with the show is taking the hatred between humans and Atrians seriously. Unlike “Alien Nation,” Atrians look exactly like humans, but with face tattoos and better haircuts. If people like that really did land on Earth, they’d be on the cover of US Weekly and starring in movies after 10 years, not fighting for equality.

    The Grade: (B+): I’m not really the demographic the CW is targeting but that doesn’t really matter, I really like their programming. TV series that are interesting, smart and fun to watch has become the CW’s calling card and “Star-Crossed” certainly fits that description.

  • Q&A with KRDO’s Rachael Plath

    Wed, February 12, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    Do local news teams from rival TV stations battle each other in their off time like in the movie “Anchorman?” What kind of skills do you need to be a TV broadcaster? To find out the answers to these questions I recently had a lighthearted chat with KRDO meteorologist Rachael Plath.

    Gazette: We see local TV personalities all the time but don’t really know much about them. Tell me about your background. Where did you go to high school, what were you into as a teenager (sports, clubs, etc) and where did you go to college?
    Rachael Plath: I was born in Florida, but grew up and completed all my grade school years (and acquired an accent) in Minnesota, or Minne-Snow-Ta, as we so lovingly refer to it. I was a total nerd in high school. I played volleyball and was in science, math and Spanish club as well as the National Honor Society. I was also a tutor for students who spoke English as their second language. I escaped the Minnesota winters and attended Arizona State University on an academic scholarship for 3 years. I then finished up my degree at the Metropolitan State College of Denver and worked two meteorology internships at the NBC and ABC affiliates in Denver. In college, I was a member of the American Meteorological Society Student Chapter and was a sponsored member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. I played intramural kickball too. I don’t know if that makes me even nerdier, or puts at least one point in the “cool” file. I played a mean second base!

    Gazette: What made you want to be a meteorologist? How old were you when you made this decision and what inspired it?
    Rachael: There were a couple of reasons. I think the big one is the fact that I grew up in a family where we’d turn on the news, watch the weather, and then click off the news. I thought the on-air mets were equivalent to the “great and powerful Oz,” as whatever they said would dictate whether I had a snow day (or so I thought), could wear flip flops or plan a weekend at the lake with friends. I was also terrified of tornadoes, which are quite common in Minnesota.  I’m one of those people that copes with fear by reading as much as I possible can about “scary” topics.  That’s why I am also a fountain of knowledge when it comes to bed bugs, spiders and the prevalence of plane crashes.

    Anyways, I found myself seeking out the weather sections of my science textbooks, even if the material wasn’t assigned, and decided in high school that I wanted to make a career out of it. However, I was discouraged upon entering college that I would never find a job in meteorology, so in an effort to attain “stability,” I did about half a semester as an economics major. After my first accounting exam, I walked to my counselor’s office and changed my major to meteorology.  I figured I can either hate it and go back to business or I could love it and never look back. Let’s just say I have never looked back.

    Gazette: What’s the biggest misconception about being a meteorologist? My ideal weatherman is Brick Tamland from the movie “Anchorman,” so keep that in mind.
    Rachael: Oh geez, the misconceptions about what we as meteorologists do are endless. For example, contrary to popular belief, we don’t have a dart board that makes our forecast for us depending on where the dart lands, despite the fact that I wish I could blame a “busted ‘cast” on something other than my own analysis!

    Gazette: The Springs is a competitive market but how competitive are things really between the local meteorologists or news stations for that matter? Do you watch each other? Send nasty emails? Have fights with tridents in the parking lot of an abandoned factory (There’s that “Anchorman” thing again.)?
    Rachael: Let’s just say I keep a sharpened trident in my purse at all times. I’m kidding! Or am I…? I actually consider myself lucky to work in a market where most of the mets get along.  Yes, we’re competitors but at the end of the day, we’re all cut from the same cloth and are trying to make a living doing what we love. It would be foolish and highly hypocritical to point fingers and speak ill of my colleagues. Truth be told, there’s a lot of talent in this town when it comes to the meteorologists here and I’m lucky I get to call a few of these fine specimen friends.

    Gazette: Out of all the news reporters/anchors/meteorologists in Colorado Springs, who do you most enjoy watching and why?
    Rachael: I have two:

    1) Matt Meister. He is not only one of the most talented forecasters I have ever had the privilege of working with and learning from but he can bring me to tears in a matter of nanoseconds. I mean, have you seen his impression of a falling raindrop?  Unparalleled.

    2) Jon Karroll. I’m lucky to get to share a desk with him in the morning, and to this day I am dumbfounded as to how anybody can be so quick-witted so early in the morning. His one-liners make the mornings (even Mondays) so enjoyable, not to mention he keeps my coffee cup filled during Good Morning Colorado.

    Gazette: For the uninformed (like myself) what’s the difference between a weatherman/woman and a meteorologist?
    Rachael: Typically, a meteorologist has a degree whereas a weatherman/woman does not. In all honesty, I loathe the term “weather girl.” In recent history, it was accepted to be just a pretty face pointing around on a screen but the science and the industry has come so far since then, I feel that this term is somewhat degrading and diminishes the science I have devoted a large portion of my life toward. I have a degree in meteorology and have worked very hard to earn the associated title.

    Gazette: You’ve been with KRDO for quite a while so I’m sure people recognize you when you go out. Do viewers ever approach you on the street? Any memorable encounters?
    Rachael: They do and I love it!  If it wasn’t for those in the community who watch, I wouldn’t have a job. I will admit that I still get caught off guard and have to think for a second how this person saying, “Hey Rachael!” knows me. There have been several “memorable” encounters but the one that probably caught me the most off-guard was when I was in Dallas, Texas for the Broncos/Cowboys game (go Broncos!) and a gal approached me at the game and said, “Rachael, I watch you every morning!” In Texas!  It’s a small world we live in.

    Gazette: Your glasses have come to be a trademark for you. Do you think people would recognize you without them? If you made a drastic change to your eyewear do you think you’d get emailed by viewers about it?
    Rachael: The glasses are a funny story in and of themselves. When I first started with KRDO, the question as to whether or not I should continue wearing glasses or switch to contacts was taken to Facebook!  The consensus was: glasses.  So, here I am. In all honesty, they’re more comfortable with the hours we pull at the station. It’s funny, because if I do wear contacts (which I do when I workout, ski, etc.) I don’t get recognized. I call it my “anti-disguise.”

    Gazette: If kids asked you for advice on how to become a meteorologist or reporter or just wanted to get into your industry, what would you tell them? What are the skills you need to succeed in your profession?
    Rachael: I always tell them not to get discouraged by people who say it’s an “impossible” business to break into. If you want it bad enough, you have no choice but to succeed. I think the most important thing is to get your degree, whether that’s in meteorology or journalism. The second most important thing is to intern at a TV station. It really gives you an uncensored view of the not-so-glamorous life of TV and helps you determine whether this avenue is right for you. The third most important thing is to NEVER burn a bridge with anybody, no matter how high or low they are on the broadcast-hierarchy. It’s a very small market and everybody knows somebody who knows somebody else that can help to make or break you. I have to imagine it’s like that with a lot of businesses.

    Gazette: What are your career goals? Do you want to be the next Al Roker? Have your own talk show? Where do you see yourself in five years? 10?
    Rachael: I’m an anomaly in this business, I have never wanted to be the “next Al Roker” or work in New York or Chicago or LA. Yes, that’s where the big paychecks are and while driving into work in a new Porsche with the latest Chanel handbag on the passenger seat would make Mondays a little easier, I’m not in it for the money. I love what I do and I am head-over-heels in love with Colorado. I have a hard time picturing myself anywhere else in 10 years so hopefully I’ll still be here, just a little wrinklier.

    Gazette: And finally, have you ever thought about giving yourself a catchy nickname? Matt Meister is “The Weather Meister” (although I think “Cold Meister” and “Heat Meister” would be cool as well) so have you ever thought about being called “Precipitation Plath” or “Radar Rachael” or Rachael “The Alberta Clipper” Plath.
    Rachael: I was called “Iso-Plath” by a former colleague (isopleths are those lines that connect values on our weather model maps). I’m sure a nickname will be created at some point but for right now “Rachael” is doing the trick.

     

  • Video Game Haiku Review – Fable Anniversary

    Mon, February 10, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    Title: Fable Anniversary
    Format: Xbox 360
    Price: $39.99
    Publisher: Microsoft Studios
    Developer: 
    
Lionhead Studios
    ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
    The Grade: B

    Fable Anniversary Haiku Review

    First Fable ever

    From Xbox to 360

    Kick you some chickens

    Summary: Like a lot of gamers my first experience with the “Fable” series was with “Fable II” on the Xbox 360, so this HD version of the original game that appeared on the first Xbox is a treat. To be sure, at times this game plays like a title from 10 years ago (hence the “anniversary” in the name) but it still holds up with all of the “Fable” charm fans of the series have come to expect. There are also some nice features to this modernized version. Aside from an HD upgrade, gamers who pick up “Fable Anniversary” will enjoy remastered audio, a new interface and “The Lost Chapters” content. I also got a kick out of the newly added Achievements (some of them are very funny) and the excellent use of the SmartGlass app. “Fable Anniversary” shows its age at times, but it’s certainly a worthy title to add to your library.

    Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.

  • 5 Video Games From 2013 That Deserve the “Definitive Edition” Treatment

    Thu, February 6, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    Square Enix recently released “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition” on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (You can read my review here). Despite the fact that I’d already played the game on Xbox 360 when it was released last March, I snapped the game up anyway. I wanted to play through it again, this time on a next gen system with even more stunning graphics and all the DLC that was included from the game’s first release.

    Since the PS4 and Xbox One were released late in the year, there were plenty of great games from 2013 that never made it to next gen consoles. However, if certain titles from last year came out with their own definitive edition versions, I’d snapped those up too even if I’ve already played through them all.

    Below are my top five picks for video games from 2013 that I’d like to see on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. I included the odds that they’ll actually make it to those systems in 2014.

    The Last of Us
    Release Date – June 14, 2013
    Chances of DE edition in 2014 – 80%
    A PlayStation 4 version of what many consider to be the game of 2013 would be a huge seller. A definitive edition bundled with the “Left Behind” DLC that comes out later this month would be a big hit with fans of the game.

    Saints Row IV
    Release Date – August 20, 2013
    Chances of a DE edition in 2014 – 65%
    “Saints Row IV” would make a lot of sense on PS4 and Xbox One. It’d be a great money making opportunity for a company that doesn’t have a huge amount of yearly releases (publisher Deep Silver) and there’s plenty of DLC that could be bundled together.

    Grand Theft Auto V
    Release Date – September 17, 2013
    Chances of a DE edition in 2014 – 0%
    There are two big reasons we’ll never see GTAV on the PS4 or Xbox One this year, or probably ever. First, there are still a couple batches of DLC that Rockstar has planned for GTAV and that’s probably their focus right now. If their past record for DLC is any indication, that DLC will be parceled out over the course of 2014. With all that content on the PS3 and Xbox 360, there’s no need for Rockstar to pursue any action with next gen systems. Secondly, Rockstar, much like Valve, works on their own timetable. We’re sure to see a GTA game on Xbox One and PS4, but not until they’ve taken years to work on it.

    Batman Arkham Origins
    Release Date – October 25, 2013
    Chances of a DE edition in 2014 – 50%
    We know that Warner Bros. likes to make Game of the Year editions of their Arkham titles because they’ve done it before with “Arkham City” and “Arkham Asylum.” Whether a GOTY edition of “Arkham Origins” come out is a bit of a coin flip, however. The game wasn’t nearly as well received as its predecessors (although I really liked it) and it isn’t clear if WB is turning the franchise into a yearly release or not. If we hear about a new Arkham game for 2014, chances are there will be no GOTY edition for Origins, if not, gamers might get lucky.

    Bioshock Infinite
    Release Date – March 26, 2013
    Chances of a DE edition in 2014 – 80%
    A “Bioshock Infinite” definitive edition would have a lot of things going for it. It’s a well-respected game, it came out early in 2013, and it could include some solid downloadable content. Since it might be awhile before gamers see another “Bioshock” title (usually three years between games) a GOTY or definitive edition would be a treat for fans of the series.

  • Video Game Haiku Review – Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

    Tue, February 4, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    The first Video Game Haiku review covered Telltale Games’ “The Walking Dead Season Two: Episode One.” This review is for the recently released “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.”

    Title: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
    Format: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
    Price: $59.99
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Developer: 
    
Crystal Dynamics
    ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
    The Grade: A-

    Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Haiku Review

    Lara Croft looks great

    All DLC is inside

    A must for Tomb fans

    Summary: With a puny library of games on the Xbox One and PS4, “Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition” is a great addition for next get (current gen?) consoles. But what do you get in a supped up version of a title that was released in March of 2013? The same fantastic gameplay in beautifully rendered environments and an even more impressive looking Lara Croft. All DLC from previous iterations of Tomb Raider are also included in this Definitive Edition but the multiplayer offering is so weak gamers won’t get much enjoyment from it. However if you missed this game the first time around, or if you’re anxious to revisit Lara Croft almost a year after her reboot (like me), this game is certainly worth picking up.

    Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.

  • ABC’s ‘Extreme Weight Loss’ coming to Colorado for casting call

    Tue, February 4, 2014 by Terry Terrones with no comments

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    The ABC reality show “Extreme Weight Loss” is having an open casting call in Colorado on Saturday, February 15th. Eyeworks USA, who handles casting for the show, will be at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (12348 E. Montview Blvd, Aurora, CO 80045) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and they are looking to talk to men and women who are willing to work with a trainer for the show’s fifth season. The program, which focuses on people who have at least 50% of their body weight to lose, highlights the commitment and dedication of those who work with trainer Chris Powell over the course of one year.

    Producers ask those interested in applying to not line up before 7 a.m. and bring a non-returnable photo to the casting call. If you can’t make it that day, potential cast can fill out an application online right here.