12 Things to be Excited About in 2012

By Matt Peters

This year is scheduled to be one of the biggest of note in the world of comics, video games, and all-around geekiness. We here at Pads & Panels would like to give you twelve reasons that 2012 will be awesome. Let’s hope our Mayan overlords don’t return from outer space until we get to experience most of it. Take a look below for some of the highlights:




Why (500) Days of Summer is the Geekiest Film You’ve Never Seen or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get Excited About Spider-Man

By Matt Peters

After much convincing by my friend John Castro, I finally sat down and watched the 2009 movie (500) Days of Summer. I’m not a big fan of romcoms, and I was determined to avoid yet another film that features the typical formula: the guy is a bumbling, macho fool who changes his ways thanks to a strong-willed independent woman who softens her man-hatin’ stance and eventually swoons for the still rough-around-the-edges schlub. Why would I waste my time watching that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun fall in love with a girl with cartoonishly huge eyes?

Mark Webb directed the film who, at the time, didn’t have much feature-length directing experience under his belt. The movie feels a little like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World without all of the game and comic references in the sense that the characters are very well spoken and have depth beyond what’s immediately shown on the surface. Webb’s directing style, combined with various slapstick elements and a witty script make for a comedic experience that may surprise some viewers. He even went so far as to direct a short to accompany one throwaway line featuring the stars in a Sid & Nancy parody. (more…)


#8 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (PS3)

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment — Developer: Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog’s flagship series hits another high note with the third chapter of Nathan Drake’s adventures. The organic storytelling makes this something every gamer owes to themselves to experience. Uncharted 3 delivers the thrill of an Indiana Jones movie and more twists and turns than a ride at Six Flags. Some parts of this game will leave the gamer breathless and pointing at the screen while asking the person next to him, “Did you see that?” As if that weren’t enough, after the credits roll and the brilliant colors fade away, there’s still a fantastic multiplayer game to experience. (more…)


Title: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Original Soundtrack

Format: CD

Publisher: Sumthing Else Music Works

Review by: Bill Jones

Everything about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves screamed big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. Not the least of those things was its bombastic soundtrack that rivaled the likes of films like Pirates of the Caribbean, from its memorable new rendition of “Nate’s Theme,” to its airy flute work that helped bring its lush locations and sense of adventure to life. The original soundtrack collects more than an hour of Greg Edmonson’s stellar compositions across 23 tracks. Every second of it feels big, and is just as much of a joy to listen to outside of the game as in. It’s a no frills release, with one disc and a simple fold-out insert with credits and a few screenshots, but the music alone is more than enough reason to pick up this CD.

For more info, www.sumthing.com

Pads & Panels received a copy of the CD courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.


Title: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Platform: PS3

ESRB Rating: T

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Developer: Naughty Dog

Rating: ★★★★½

Review by: Bill Jones

Sometimes innovation comes out of nowhere with a striking new idea that blindsides us and changes an industry. But more times than not, innovation is a gradual effort, where no one thing can be cited as the sole instigator of change. But still, in those gradual instances, there is often a point when that change is realized and credited to the epitome of its ideal.

The original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune marked an early display of PlayStation 3’s power and Naughty Dog’s interest in bringing their skills to a more realistic (visually) gaming experience. Its story played out like an Indiana Jones movie with a good sense of humor, as Nathan Drake, a descendent of Sir Francis Drake, set about on a modern-day quest to find the legendary treasure of El Dorado. Along the way, Drake teamed up and played betrayal games with a dynamic set of characters, with explosive third-person gun-fighting action every step of the way.

But that’s neither here nor there with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. While fans of the first will have a slight edge and get a little bit more out of its sequel, Naughty Dog smartly creates an entirely new story, relying very little on the first, leaving Uncharted 2 accessible to new audiences, while also expanding on the characters people grew to love in the first installment. (more…)


Uncharted 2 on the big screen, sort of [Events]

By Bill Jones


The cinematic comparisons with the Uncharted series are well-documented. The original played out like a true action blockbuster of Indiana Jones caliber, mixing gun fighting gameplay with a solid story. And with the sequel, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, looking to build upon that success with its release next week, developer Naughty Dog and publisher Sony Computer Entertainment have made no qualms about playing to that comparison. It’s even in their advertising, in a recent commercial where a guy quips that his girlfriend is making popcorn before he plays because she thinks it’s a movie. (more…)