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Gaming in the Third Dimension [3DS Series Finale]

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Nintendo 3DS Logo displayed on 3DS System

The Nintendo 3DS is the latest handheld console released by Nintendo, and it has certainly made it into the limelight – introducing a revolutionary console with 3-D gaming and photography capabilities, promising titles in games (such as Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Kid Icarus: Uprising and Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright), as well as a variety of included applications.

The system has however, sparked quite a bit of controversy over its 3D effects – this controversy does not regard the legitimacy of these effects (as legitimacy has already been established by thousands of “eyewitnesses” [aka gamers]), but rather the alledged harmful effects and ensuing downsides of it. Some owners of the 3DS have reported dizziness and nausea after playing for a short period of time, or even a simple case of having to strain their eyes consistently. Many others, however, have reported no symptoms or complaints whatsoever – jumping into the world of the Nintendo 3DS without a care. More details on 3DS effects and possible solutions for discomfort may be found in issue #001 of my 3DS series.

Various critical reviews highlighted points seen below:

“The 3-D screen is amazing and totally draws you into the games / Once you’ve tried a 3DS for yourself, you’ll be hooked/ …the Nintendo 3DS will blow your mind, and make 3-D gaming a reality for everyone.” -Fox News: Gamer’s Weekly

“Despite its shortcomings, the 3DS is a genuine joy to behold and pleasure to play. Whether you’ll want to shell out for one, or borrow a more affluent friend’s system is another story, however.” –CNN Tech

The Nintendo 3DS requires a hefty price, which isn’t too shocking considering the dramatic changes between the 3DS and previous DS consoles (See: Nintendo DSi vs 3DS for further details). In the United States, the price is set at $250, though many distributors such as Amazon ($25 3DS game credit for select games, as well as trade-in’s), GameStop (bundles and trade-in’s), and Target (5$ gift cards for consumers who purchased 1$ pre-order cards, followed by the 3DS & trade-in’s) have offered perks to lighten the load.

The key to making the 3DS in and of itself worth the big $250 is by using what many critics have referred to as “gimmicks” – many of which aren’t available until an update in May. With this updates, users will be able to begin utilizing the 3-D movies feature on their system, including a Netflix interface – as well as an upgraded 3DS Browser, which may tap into AT&T hotspots and Wi-Fi enabled locations.

The only available “gimmicks” as of April 2011 are the primary features of the Nintendo 3DS – Mii Plaza, AR Games, Nintendo 3DS Sound and some other new features which are explained in detail below.

Your Guide to the Nintendo 3DS: All we’ve discussed & more

OK-Go 3D Music Video: The only available 3D movie until may, which

The first 3D movie clip available on the Nintendo 3DS!

arrived on Nintendo 3DS systems with an update developed in mid-May. The video features trained animals doing a variety of tricks alongside the band – it is only a slight demonstration of the ability of the 3D’s graphics. It certainly quite amusing, and the 3D effect adds a life-like depth to all that is involved. If nothing else, its a quaint little music video for anyone who enjoys watching dogs doing silly tricks.

Activity Log: This app made its debut on the Nintendo 3DS, included with

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Making it a healthy video game experience! ...right.

other preinstalled applications – no update required! With it, you can monitor the steps you take each day, and earn rewards called Play Coins! That is, if you take your 3DS wherever you go (which is why 3DS cases and mini backpacks are invaluable for on the go). You may earn a total of ten play coins a day, one for every hundred steps you make – which really isn’t too hard! Play coins are spent by hiring warriors at Mii Plaza (as well as purchasing puzzle pieces), unlocking additional mini-games and mini-apps on AR Games, and possibly on additional applications that appear with future updates (Read my Activity Log review for more details on this application!). Have to include some incentive to exercise after all that gaming! For more information on Mii Plaza, keep reading!

Mii Creator & Mii Plaza: For Nintendo Wii owners, Mii should be nothing

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An app that keeps on giving, by utilizing Street Pass.

new. Now the wonderful world of Mii is available to owners of the Nintendo 3DS! Take a picture of yourself, choose a few options, and let the Mii creator figure out the rest! Or develop everything manually yourself. Once your Mii avatar is created, you can participate in the preinstalled 3DS game, Mii Plaza.Here you may gather other Mii’s into your plaza via street pass, and trade your Mii with others through Street Pass as well – think of it as the New York Stock Exchange, except with Mii’s… and no fee’s… okay, maybe not like the NYSE. You may further spread the joy

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QR Code for Mii!

of Mii with friends by a share feature available under the QR Code menu. Simply save your Mii as a QR Code, and you share let your friends bask in the coolness of their very own copy of a Mii of your choosing (provides the opportunity of trading Mii’s, or the development of Mii artists who provide custom made Mii’s for people to use). See the QR Code of one of my Mii’s at the right – simply select the QR Code menu from your 3DS, tap “Scan QR Code,” and place the image with your 3DS’s focus (click on the image for full size) – there’s Mii!

Although Mii trading can be fun, there’s another feature, or rather features, even better! Once you’ve collected enough Mii’s via StreetPass, you can participate in the puzzle game (through which you collect puzzle pieces from play tokens and Mii’s which have visited your plaza)- or my favorite, Find Mii.

Find Miiis a mini-game within a mini-game, with somewhat of a story to

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A Hero Emerges!

go along with it. Your Mii – which you worked so hard to create, has been kidnapped! Hire heroes with Play Coins (coins earned from jogging/walking with your Nintendo 3ds – while in sleep mode,up to 10 per day. Earn one every 100 steps) to fight off the ghosts holding your Mii, or invite visiting Mii’s from your plaza to join the fight! As hired heroes will be your primary asset in this game, you should no doubt look into their abilities! Each colored hero (shirt color) has a different power, such

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Hero attack fails!

as – purple for poison, white for light, green for strength, etc. As well as special abilities, heroes are also organized into ranks – Rank 1 & 2. Rank 2 are the most powerful, and should be saved for last. Rank 1 heroes should be used for magic and risky attacks. As a sound note of strategy, I’d recommend using a purple warrior immediately when you begin your battle, to navigate to one, simply select “Next Hero!” Then use his poison magic! This will damage the ghosts each turn during the fight – very handy. Using a brown hero’s magic is also something to consider, by using its “Strength” magic, you can “level up” the warrior immediately after the brown Hero. Another tip! Never attack an armored ghost with the sword of a Level 1 Hero, otherwise the attack with simply bounce off the armor, instead use

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Find Mii Treasure Chest

magic or level up your heroes! Save up your play coins for two days and you’ll have the maximum number of 10 warriors which you may control. More heroes means more variety, so I’d recommend this approach! At the end of every few levels, your hero will discover a treasure chest which contains an item for your Mii! This item may be equipped on the main page of the Mii Plaza application – simply move your cursor onto your Mii, select it, then visit Mii Settings, from there it’s as easy as choosing select hat going customization crazy!

There’s dozens of hats to collect, all of them [from Find Mii I] are listed below (you’ll need to play the game through twice through to earn them all. Then in Find Mii II, you will have to play it through multiple times as well to earn the additional hats. This list is “obtaining comprehensiveness” in regards to Find Mii 2 [II], and will be updated until the last hat is achieved [in chronological order]):

  • Mario Hat
  • Luigi’s Cap
  • ???
  • ???
  • Yoshi Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Toad Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Bowser Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Warp Pipe Hat
  • ???
  • Red Pikmin Hat
  • Blue Pikmin Hat
  • Yellow Pikmin Hat
  • Link’s Cap
  • ???
  • Epona Hat
  • Samus’s Helment
  • Metroid Hat
  • Kirby Hat
  • Donkey Kong Hat
  • Arwing Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Lacy Headband
  • ???
  • Floral Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Pirate Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???
  • Panda Hat
  • ???
  • ???
  • Cat Hat
  • Dog Ears
  • Bunny Ears
  • Regal Crown (Finish  Find Mii I 1-time through)
  • Prince’s Crown (Finish  Find Mii II 1-time through)
  • ??? (Princess’ Crown)
  • Ultimate Helmet (Finish  Find Mii I 2-times through)
  • ???
  • ???
BEST TIP: If you have a pink warrior, use their magic at the beginning of the battle – all your warriors will suddenly become much more powerful (x2 [4/5-pt. attack], x5 [10/11-pt. attack], and greater attacks [use a light blue warrior to freeze the ghost/s, then try upgrading a lvl. 2 warrior to lvl. 4 with a green warrior while the pink and blue magic is in effect,  you’ll be able to destroy even powerful enemies like the Ultimate Ghost quickly) UPDATE: In Find Mii II, pair the pink & green warrior tip with the strengthen potion (20 play coins) and teams to have the ultimate combo!

AR Games: The Augmented Reality Games feature could have been marketed

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The famous AR Games mascot!

as a separate video game entirely – featuring six primary applications and additional bonus applications, which are unlocked after each of the primary are engaged and completed. Face against powerful bosses, test your skill in a game of AR golf (AR Shoot), make Mario a model with Star Picks, or unleash your creative side with AR Graffiti – so many possibilities, so little time. When I first got my hands on the 3DS, AR Games was my favorite app, though after a while the excitement tends to die down. Its a great game for displaying the capabilities of the 3DS system, and unlocks new possibilities with the 3DS Camera.

Primary Applications:

  • Graffiti:In graffiti, users may scribble on virtually any environment.
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    AR Games Shooting Gallery

    Try placing your AR Card on a table and use the rainbow pen to liven things up, or even hand it over to a friend, and cover them in virtual dog prints!

  • Star Picks: Set your favorite video game characters in any environment, then snap a pic with the integrated 3DS camera feature! For example, check out my 3DS Photography post!
  • Mii Picks: Same as Star Picks, though this time with your own personal Mii!
  • AR Shot: Think pool, except in a 3D environment with an ever-
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    Catching the elusive dragon of AR Fishing earns you an extra 200 points! And the satisfaction of completing another mini game.

    changing landscape! …and a monster that makes an appearance in just about every AR Game (Archery & Fishing).

  • Archery: Bombs… er, darts away! Navigate your console around the 3D environment locating and firing upon every target you see. As a bonus, try your hand at slaying a dragon!
  • Fishing: Nothing like good old fishing! Whenever you catch a fish, it’ll be added to your “collection,” along with its name and point value. One you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll find yourself fishing for sea dragons!

Nintendo 3DS Sound: For players familiar with the Nintendo DSi, they may

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With additional features, such as the "Shuffle All" and "Parakeets Pick of the Day" feature - if youre a music fan, this is sure to be one of your favorite applications.

find all the old features of DSi Sound and many new additions! Now you can organize your music into individual play lists, shuffle your music, let your 3D parakeet companion pick a song for the day, and more!

Nintendo 3DS Camera: With all the fun features of the Nintendo DSi camera comes the 3DS camera! Now with the ability to take 3-D photography, and linked to dozens of applications such as AR Games, this app dominates its predecessor!
Face Raiders: Face Raiders is another fun, interactive game, like that of AR Games. This time, however, instead of playing with imaginary objects, you can take pictures of friends and family and fit them into a cozy battle helmet. Players may be further entertained by blasting the 3-dimensional likeness of the photographed person (or objects! I took a shot of a shampoo bottle logo and had a fairly interesting result… refer to the second screenshot for details.) into oblivion in the Face Raiders mini-game, which has been further brought to life with various animations and moments of maniacal laughter.

Nintendo DSi vs 3DS: How does it match up?


Nintendo DSi
Image via Wikipedia
Flipnote Studio logo Refernces Previous logo: ...
Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo DSi
The Nintendo DSi, and it’s XL Version as well, brought about a large change to the Nintendo DS line. It started with the simple DS system, and the slightly improved Lite, which enhanced visual capabilities with it’s brightness level feature. Then comes the DSi – the first in its line to introduce duo built-in cameras with corresponding software, a voice-record system with alteration features (such as pitch or echo), and even going so far as to make available the option of a built-in, Opera-based internet browser, along with the animation program Flipnote and its Hatena sharing capabilities – further allowing a SD Card Slot for additional memory. The DSi was certainly developed for personal use, complimented with fun, socially interactive features.

Opera Browser 2.0
Image by Jorge glеz via Flickr

Fun Fact: I’ve recently noticed an increase in web searches relating to DSi Flash player inquiries which have been redirected to this blog. The Nintendo DSi does not support Flash Player on its web browser, nor any other add-on’s. Therefore many online sites such as YouTube, or MMORPG game sites like Club Penguin or Adventure Quest are rendered useless and incapable of operation. This is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.

English: Nintendo 3DS Deutsch: Nintendo 3DS
Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo 3DS
The Nintendo 3DS features (as Wikipedia words most technically) “push-buttons, D-pad (which operates with similar purpose to the control pad. Allows users to pan through environments, scroll through menu’s, etc.), analog stick, touchscreen, volume slider, 3D depth slider, wireless communications switch, 3DS/DSi/DS and SD Card Slots,” and a variety of programs, including Wii-based features, such as 3DS Sound , Mii Studio, PictoChat, Street Pass Mii Plaza, Face Shooting, Download Service, 3DS Camera, Augmented reality games, 3DS Shop, Internet Browser, an Activity Log, and 3D movie playback capability (with movies by Warner BrosDisney, and DreamWorks). As it’s main attraction, the Nintendo 3DS enables 3-D game play for select games, including a slider to adjust the 3-D graphics at any time. The dramatic effects of 3-D gameplay requires no special glasses or additional equipment as it operates on the concept of autostereoscopy. It certainly ups the ante!

The Nintendo 3DS Update

…has been a most anticipated one, since the system’s launch March 25th 2011. The June 6th update, which was released barely an hour ago, contained a few programs and system tweaks – most importantly, the Nintendo 3DS Shop and Nintendo 3DS Browser.

The Nintendo 3DS Browser is certainly quite impressive, far outclassing its DSi predecessor. As I tap out this post, the browser provides possible words that I may intend to use, much like Google’s suggested search functionality – both checking my spelling and saving valuable time typing, not to mention it is, aside from English, available in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The browser has a sleek design, and easy to navigate features, available even when you’re in the middle of a 3DS game or application. Utilizing the SD card and 3DS camera, upload and download functionalities are also available – allowing users to both share their 3DS pictures online, and download images from anywhere on the web for viewing in their 3DS camera gallery. Not too shabby, huh? Unfortunately, the browser does not support YouTube or any other online video or music viewing service for that matter, as popular rumor had us previously suppose. A sad outcome, yet one that can be looked over in light of the drastically improved browser. Now I can finally make decent WordPress entries, tags and all (upload script isn’t supported however).

The Nintendo 3DS shop, which stands currently under maintenance and inaccessible, features two free-for-download applications: a classic 3D racing game, and a 3D Pokedex. Organization is also slightly

Overall, a duely made update.

Check the Adventure Writer Blog for constant updates on the system! For all my 3DS posts so far, check: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi] category, which is where all  Nintendo 3DS [and related DSi] posts have been added.

If you liked this, be sure to check out…

Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney {Level-5 & Capcom}

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Nintendogs + Cats

Mario Kart 3DS

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Questions & Answers

Is it fairly light? And is the 3D toggle really as much of an eye-sore as people have said?

The 3DS is much bulkier, which goes to say heavier, than previous DS systems. As one BBC reporter describes it, “it’s build like a rock!”  Although it isn’t a tremendous weight, the difference is evident – so no, not fairly light at all! And yes, I would say the 3D toggle is quite an eye-sore. Imagine focusing and refocusing binoculars over and over again – a bit disorienting? Same with the 3DS. If you want to switch from 2-D to 3-D instantly, I suggest closing your eyes, moving the toggle to maximum, then opening your eyes and look at the 3DS straight on – works like a charm.

Submit your own question in the comments below and I’ll answer it here!

Nintendo DSi vs Nintendo 3DS

Although it has yet to be released in the United States (it’s official release is March – 27th for the U.S.), the Nintendo 3DS seems quite promising, simply from its marketing campaign. Yet will it truly measure up to expectations?

English: Nintendo DSi Polski: Nintendo DSi

Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo DSi
The Nintendo DSi, and it’s XL Version as well, brought about a large change to the Nintendo DS line. It started with the simple DS system, and the slightly improved Lite, which enhanced visual capabilities with it’s brightness level feature. Then comes the DSi – the first in its line to introduce duo built-in cameras with corresponding software, a voice-record system with alteration features (such as pitch or echo), and even going so far as to make available the option of a built-in, Opera-based internet browser, along with the animation program Flipnote and its Hatena sharing capabilities – further allowing a SD Card Slot for additional memory. The DSi was certainly developed for personal use, complimented with fun, socially interactive features.

Opera Browser 2.0

Image by Jorge glеz via Flickr

Fun Fact: I’ve recently noticed an increase in web searches relating to DSi Flash player inquiries which have been redirected to this blog. The Nintendo DSi does not support Flash Player on its web browser, nor any other add-on’s. Therefore many online sites such as YouTube, or MMORPG game sites like Club Penguin or Adventure Quest are rendered useless and incapable of operation. This is unavoidable and cannot be fixed.

English: Nintendo 3DS Deutsch: Nintendo 3DS

Image via Wikipedia

The Nintendo 3DS
According to Wikipedia (and now first-hand experiences), which has based its information  on reliable resources, the Nintendo 3DS features push-buttons, D-pad (which operates with similar purpose to the control pad. Allows users to pan through environments, scroll through menu’s, etc.), analog stick, touchscreen, volume slider, 3D depth slider, wireless communications switch, 3DS/DSi/DS and SD Card Slots, and a variety of programs, including Wii-based features, such as 3DS Sound , Mii Studio, PictoChat, Street Pass Mii Plaza, Face Shooting, Download Service, 3DS Camera, Augmented reality games, 3DS Shop, Internet Browser, an Activity Log, and 3D movie playback capability (with movies by Warner BrosDisney, and DreamWorks). As it’s main attraction, the Nintendo 3DS enables 3-D game play for select games, including a slider to adjust the 3-D graphics at any time. The dramatic effects of 3-D gameplay requires no special glasses or additional equipment as it operates on the concept of autostereoscopy. It certainly ups the ante!

Nintendo 3DS Experience Group

Image by HK-DMZ via Flickr

Hopeful Developments

As terrific as all these new and returned features are, there are some updates that could be made – and hopefully will be, such as:

-Increased Web Browser Capabilities (We don’t yet, since Nintendo has yet to release the update containing their web browser): Now we do, the Nintendo 3DS Browser is superior, includes an automatic “word-guesser” which saves time!

-Upgraded FlipNote software with additional, advanced options: Nintendo has now released SwapNote, superior to FlipNote. Send notes to your friends, and even animate the process of drawing, instead of page by page animations (although this is still possible).

-More release-date choices in bundles – such as with Mario Kart 3DS, and others I’ve commonly discussed (a few bundles are currently available from GameStop, though they’re not really big deals): Nintendo carried through in this aspect as well, with Zelda, Mario, etc. bundles!

Check the Adventure Writer Blog in March 2011 for a full review on the Nintendo 3DS  and perhaps one of our first video blog posts! For updates, check: The Nintendo Series [3DS/DSi] category, which is where all  Nintendo 3DS [and related DSi] posts will be added.

If you liked this, be sure to check out…

Upcoming Nintendo 3DS Games

Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney {Level-5 & Capcom}

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle

Nintendogs + Cats

Mario Kart 3DS

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Kid Icarus: Uprising



Forum Design

Example forum view, from PhpBB.

Image via Wikipedia

One thing I’ve never really touched on at the Adventure Writer Blog, yet I have been working with for quite a few years, is forum management and design.

Running a forum can be beneficial in understanding how various things work on the internet, how traffic flows, how to keep people’s attention, and maintain a constant rate of mass discussions.

I currently co-operate a forum which has around 132 registered users, and a total of a total of 12625 messages.

The statistics are far from satisfying:

# of Registered Users:
Feb 2010 2 10%
Mar 2010 5 25%
Apr 2010 1 5%
May 2010 1 5%
Jun 2010 0 0%
Jul 2010 0 0%
Aug 2010 0 0%
Sep 2010 1 5%
Oct 2010 6 30%
Nov 2010 2 10%
Dec 2010 2 10%
Jan 2011 0 0%

And this may be the typical result with a new forum (as ours is, as we’ve changed our focus), or stale conversation.

A forum must have a fairly universal subject, or one that will hold the interest of it’s members for a lengthy period of time. In other words, be able to maintain a fan-base and keep activity flowing.

We will continue to explore forum-making at a later date – for now, back to all-things-reviews and a literary focus!

DSi Art

Ever wonder just what you can do with a Nintendo DSi? What’s the difference

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Simply some distorted letters!

between it and it’s predecessors? The answer would simply be: Two built-in cameras, and SD Card Slot, higher memory capacity, internet access capability, a DSi Shop where you can purchase games on your system, and various artistic programs to mess around with!

Today I want to take a look at what the Nintendo DSi is capable of – art wise.

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A distorted photograph - of a human no less - gone abstract art.

Art may come difficult to some, but with all the advanced features, you can make graphics like these in minutes or even seconds!

Double Review: National Treasure 1/2/(3)

Cover of "National Treasure (Widescreen E...

Cover of National Treasure (Widescreen Edition)

With a third installment on it’s way next Christmas (see “Recommendations” for details), I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect back on this terrific, action-packed, suspense-filled, adrenaline pumped series. The National Treasure franchise has been distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer – starring Nicholas Cage as the main character, Benjamin Franklin Gates.

Benjamin Gates is a sort of modern day Indiana Jones, without the James Bond attitude (with which Indy has become famous) – having a rather more fitting personality for the film’s environment. Gates is a history buff and a treasure hunter, one tying in with the other. His passion for history fuels his desire for discovery, leading him into exciting adventures and precarious situations…

Film poster for National Treasure: Book of Sec...

Image via Wikipedia

In the first movie, Benjamin Gates is seeking The Charlotte, and old colonial ship which is said to contain that “secret” that will either contain or lead to the unimaginable treasure of the Knight’s Templar. He is accompanied by his tech-savvy friend Riley Poole, and a man with a bit of steel to his attitude – Ian Howe. After the discovery of the ship leads to a clue, indicating that there is a “map” at the back of the famous Declaration of Independence, the crew find themselves at a momentary standstill. Ian however, finds a speedy solution – why not “borrow” the Declaration of Independence for a bit? Appalled by Ian’s blunt malice, Gates refuses to take part, leading into a literal firefight between Ian’s gang and Gate’s party. Gates and Poole are left  trapped aboard an ignited Charlotte, filled gunpowder, and escape with their lives by cleverly locating a smuggler’s room beneath the ship.

In order to prevent Ian from stealing the Declaration of Independence and harming it, Benjamin Gates contacts the FBI, Homeland of Security, and eventually a woman by the name of Dr. Abigail Chase, who works for the National Archives, and finding failure in all situations (but not without “romantically” leaving Miss Chase a surprise gift: the last coin to her collection of historical artifacts… coated in a special residue that will make her fingerprints easy to copy from… say, a glass cup to a glove) he at last comes up with a final, desperate plan: to steal the Declaration of Independence.

With the aid of Riley Poole’s expert hacking abilities and the forging of a custodian’s ID, Benjamin Gates manages to enter the building where the Declaration of Independence is being held, taking advantage of a gala taking place that night. Bypassing security, and with the helpful hand of Dr. Abigail Chase’s fingerprints, Gates manages to secure the Declaration of Independence, but not before a firefight between Ian and his men – good thing the DOI’s (No, not DUI, my personal acronym for the Declaration of Independence) casing is bulletproof.

After a run-in with the FBI, a hostage situation with Ian, clever intellectual trickery, car chases, and all that you’d expect out of a action-packed adventure movie, Gates Jr. (Ben Gates), his new girlfriend Abigail Chase (how’d that happen!), Riley Poole, and Gates Sr. locate the treasure of the Knight’s Templar, give the location of Ian’s gang (who they’ve directed to a false clue elsewhere) to the FBI (along with connections with the chief that are briefly used in the sequel), take a humble 10% of the profits, and get of scot-free, living happily ever after! Till’ the sequel… when they kidnap the POTUS (President of the United States).

In the sequel, National Treasure II: Book of Secrets, Benjamin Gates finds his family name challenged by Mitch Wilkinson, a covert black market dealer who wishes to defile the Gates family name in order to motivate Ben to find the treasure hidden with Mount Rushmore (Ed. Comment: it was all a cover-up! The conspirators were right!). However, in order to find the treasure, Ben Gates must first kidnap the President of the United States (which he does by convincing the President of a secret area beneath the White House, and simply asking him a few questions, though not before showing him the exit with all due politeness and chivalry) so that he may locate the elusive presidential “Book of Secrets.” One clue after another, the treasure is located, Mitch Wilkinson, who took to kidnapping and other Ian-like tactics, was left behind in a last and first observed noble attempt to save the others by holding open a door which was the only way out in the flooded cavern within Rushmore. The treasure, which is a city of gold (built in the design of pyramids), is recovered and accredited to Ben & the Gates family, Abigail, Riley, and, as was his dying wish, Mitch Wilkinson.

Both movies are great for the whole family! Breath-taking, heart-race invoking, suspenseful – it’s certainly worth the while, and up there with some of my favorite films. The movie is suitable for kids around 11-12+ years, considering there is a deal of violence.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recommendation, and other factors…

National Treasure III (Christmas 2011)

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

Tron: Legacy [In Theaters]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

Gates Family Mystery (Book Series – which I have not read)

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

Favorite Quote:
Benjamin Gates:
A toast? Yeah. To high treason. That’s what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and-Oh! Oh, my personal favorite-and had their entrails cut out and burned! [brief pause] So… Here’s to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right… [nodding] what they knew was right. (Wiktionary)

How to Train Your Dragon

Como entrenar a tu Dragon - 00132

Image by Daniel Semper via Flickr

How to Train Your Dragon is about a boy named Hiccup, an out-of-sorts viking, who lives in a world that sees strength in line with respectability. But he’s more of the creative type… so while his father, Stoick the Vast, the viking chieftain, is out with his fellow men hunting dragons, Hiccup is putting his imagination to work. His sight is set on catching Night Fury, the most elusive and dangerous of all dragons – to gain the admiration of the viking community, and his crush – a tough viking girl named Astrid.

His plan to catch the most infamous Night Fury? Intense studying! And the creation of ingenious traps! Who would’ve thought that one day he would actually catch something? None other than the prized dragon itself. Yet, as Hiccup’s viking nature would otherwise demand, he does not kill the dragon but instead keeps it as a pet – feeding it fish, and gradually gaining it’s trust. Soon, he learns more about the world of dragons, and becomes a sort of Dragon Rider, (*cough* Cornelia Funke & Christopher Paolini reference *cough*) gaining enough of Night Fury’s trust to finally ride him (though at first somewhat unwillingly). A hero is born!

Amidst these fortunate developments, Hiccup finds himself in a dilemma. First of all, he must constantly keep Night Fury hidden, or risk exposure and his dragon’s capture… and ensuing demise. Next, his father has registered him for dragon-killing lessons – during which, he defeats the dragons by anatomical means, knocking them out without any harm. This fact is, however, unknown to anyone else, and they believe Hiccup to be a skilled warrior, rather than who he really is – a unique viking boy who has, with an acute intelligence, found a benevolent position among dragons.

It is inevitable that an intense competition is to take place – Hiccup vs a fierce breed of dragon – to the death! While Hiccup refuses to kill the dragon, the dragon has other plans – putting Hiccup in a life-and-death situation, in which Night Fury (named Toothless), comes to the rescue!

At first the villagers respond negatively, capturing Toothless and taking him to the home of all dragons, in hopes of a successful crusade against them. When, however, the vikings find themselves overpowered by an enormous Godzilla-size dragon – Hiccup, along with his persuaded friends (and crush), mount upon dragons of their own and come to the rescue! Successfully defeating “Dragonzilla,” Hiccup becomes a true hero and finally gains his long-desired respect. Dragons become incorporated into the community, and everyone lives happily ever after! Or do they? Find out in the sequal, coming out in 2013! (and a threequel coming later)

 

As many of the other movies I’ve reviewed recently – this movie is also a great choice for the family setting. Enjoyed by the young and old – that’s the magic of DreamWorks! (no, not Macy’s) It shares a similar “heroic, adventure, comedic” feel to it, that most DreamWorks movies appear to contain – which provides for a relaxing and most enjoyable movie atmosphere.

Fun-Wikipedia-Fact: “…the writer-directors of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, took over as co-directors”

No wonder it reminded me of Lilo & Stitch!

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recomendation, and other factors…

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

Tron: Legacy [December 17, 2010]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II (December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.