Sunday, January 22, 2006

I hope the Super Bowl is actually a competition

Because the Conference Championship games were over in the 2nd quarter. I couldn't have picked the winners more wrongly (0 for 2), but I'm going to make my prediction for the Super Bowl right now, before I've heard anything from the analysts, or the coaches, or the players, or any armchair quarterbacks. The Steelers will lift the Lombardi Trophy for Super Bowl XL.

Here's why: The Steelers (who were the 6th seed) beat the #3 seed (the Bengals), the #1 seed (the Colts), and the #2 seed (the Broncos) to get to the Super Bowl. All they have to do now is beat the #1 seed in the NFC, the Seahawks. And the NFC teams just aren't the same caliber of the AFC teams.

I just checked the analysts on Yahoo Sports, and they're saying Pittsburgh is the favorite. Good to know I'm not totally off base with my reasoning.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

X360 Update

So the holiday rush is over, and Microsoft's supply of Xboxes is still short. But the ridiculously overinflated prices on eBay are coming down, which means one of two things: either the folks that were willing to pay ridiculous prices already have their Xboxes, and what's left are normal people willing to pay normal prices, or people are losing interest all together and exiting the market.

I don't think it's the latter. After all, the 360 was the "hot" toy for Christmas, and now that it's January, no one in their right mind would be willing to pay in excess of a grand for a gaming console and 3 or 4 games.

So what does this mean? It means two things. One, there's not much of a premium for buying a system at retail price and reselling it on eBay, which means Xboxes sold at retail are being sold to the end user. In other words, the demand isn't artificially inflated by folks just looking to make an arbitrage profit. This leads to two, which is that I should be able to get my hands on an Xbox when I want it, when the good apps finally hit.

Which brings me to the release calendar. There are a million of them, and you can't trust any one source. I'm looking at EBGames, Gamefly, and IGN.

First off, EBGames has a handful of titles I've never even heard of (The Darkness, Demonik, Dead Rising) listed as releasing on 1/31/06. Bullshit. The first date that seems credible on their list is Full Auto, 2/14/06, because it's the same (or similar) on the other two sites. EB also lists Fight Night Round 3 as 2/14/06, but the others have it down for 2/23/06.

The next game on EB's list is one I'm looking forward to with much anticipation, Saint's Row. They have 3/1/06. I'm no expert, but games usually come out on Tuesday. March 1 is a Wednesday, and there's no way in hell Saint's Row is hitting in March. IGN also has 3/1, but Gamefly lists TBD. As much as I wish it was March, it's not gonna happen.

All three lists have The Outfit and Burnout: Revenge around the middle of March. The next biggie is Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which all 3 lists have at 3/20. I haven't heard anything about it being pushed back, so if this is the case, March 20 may be when I get a 360.

And right around the corner (supposedly) is Splinter Cell 4: Double Agent. Hot shit, I loves me some Splinter Cell. EB has it at 4/1, Gamefly is 3/31, and IGN lists Q2 2006. That says to me, it'll release sometime between the first day of April and the last day of June, so don't hold your breath.

After that, it gets too far out to tell with any certainty, and it's clear the lists are grasping at straws. Prey is slated for sometime in June, The Godfather and Gears of War maybe July, Scarface is...sometime, and Halo 3 is in there somewhere, probably around November (or whenever the PS3 launch date is, assuming it's sometime in 2006).

A Point of Correction

I've referred to Bones as "the best crime drama I've ever seen" in this blog (twice, actually), but I'd like to correct that statement.

You see, I forgot about the critically-acclaimed, scarcely-watched, and ultimately short-lived Boomtown. It starred Donnie Wahlberg (of Band of Brothers and New Kids fame), and is, by far, the best crime drama I've ever seen. There were about 7 or 8 main characters, and we got to know them all over the course of the show. The most interesting thing about it was that each episode looked at one crime from a number of different points of view (the beat cops, the paramedics, the detectives, the D.A., the journalist, etc.), so that by the end of the episode, you figured out what happened just when everyone on the show did. Unfortunately, test audiences or something didn't like that setup, so they ditched if for a more traditional flow, and the show's second season bombed 2 episodes in. They've released the first season on DVD, and it's definitely worth picking up.

To recap: Bones is the second best crime drama I've ever seen.

Sunday, January 15, 2006



Dammit all to hell.

Son of a bitch.


I just got taken on a roller coaster ride, and ended up with the mental equivalent of vomit all over myself. Why is it that I'm always disappointed at the end of the football season? Why does a game I love so much have to kick me in the balls every single year? Let me give you a rundown of the past few seasons.

2001-2: After years of lounging around in mediocrity, the Raiders are finally in the playoffs and looking to go all the way, only to be knocked out in New England on a bullshit "tuck-rule" call that is, was, and will always be a goddamn fumble.

2002-3: This time, there are no Patriots to fuck things up, but Tampa Bay and Coach Gruden manage to fuck it up anyway, and take a Super Bowl victory away from my team.

2003-4: With no shot at the Raiders making the playoffs, I jump on the Colts bandwagon (they're my Dad's team). But they meet those bastard Patriots in the Conference Championship game and go home losers.

2004-5: Once again, the Raiders miss the playoffs by a mile, and the Colts are riding high with a record setting Peyton Manning, an incredible offense, but no defense to speak of. They meet the Patriots again, this time in a Divisional game, and go home losers for the second time in as many years.

2005-6: The "What the hell's wrong with the Raiders" question can wait until later. The Colts got off to a stellar 13-0 start, and their defense was one of the main reasons. They ended up with a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, only to...lose a heartbreaker to the Pittsburg Steelers, who are the number 6 seed. That's not supposed to happen, goddammit. I thought all the talk about Peyton Manning not being able to win a big game was bullshit until now. I think he's a fantastic regular season QB, probably the best in the league. But come playoff time, he can't get it done. The circumstances were pretty much perfect, and now he has to sit at home until next season.

P.S. Turns out I was 2-2 for my picks this weekend. After the Colts travesty, I didn't even bother watching the Panthers-Bears game, but the Panthers won by 8 or something. Picks for next weekend? Not that I really care, but I'll take the Broncos over the Steelers, and the Panthers over the Seahawks. If Shawn Alexander plays, the Seahawks may win, but if he doesn't, the 'Hawks are done.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

...And Justice For All

I was going to wait until tomorrow to make this post, but I can't help it. The Patriots are loooooooo-sers! Loooooooo-sers! Looooo-sers! Losersayswhat? Take that, assholes. Fuck New England, fuck Tom Brady, fuck Corey Dillon, fuck Adam Vinatieri, fuck Tedy Bruschi, fuck Willie McGinest, and fuck Deion Branch.

There's going to be a whole lot of talk about the pass interference call that gave Denver the ball on the 1-yard line, but they still won by 14. And even if that call was different, even if Champ Bailey did fumble into the end-zone on his interception return, so what? You know what that is? That's fucking justice, baby. That's justice for that bullshit "tuck-rule" call four years ago, Brady. That's fucking karma coming back around to bite you in your stupid ass. Suck on that, Patriots. You've got the whole off season to bitch and whine now. And here's a big middle finger to all the sports writers and analysts that didn't give Denver a chance in hell to beat the beloved New England Patriots. I bet that crow tastes real nice.

For those of you keeping score, I'm 2 and 0 so far this weekend, because the Seahawks beat the Redskins in the early game.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More Virtual Firefly

In what appears to be a weekly (every Thursday night) update, episode 1x18 of the Virtual Firefly series is up. There's also the "official" website that has the episodes in .pdf format, real purty like. I don't see the latest episode there yet, so be sure to read it off the blog if you can't wait.

Me, I'm so damn tired I've gotta wait, even though I really don't want to.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

People's Choice Awards

Normally, I hate awards shows. In fact, scratch that, I always hate awards shows. Nothing but pompous, spoiled, and overpaid actors, directors, and producers having a circle jerk. The only awards show that I can remotely tolerate is the People's Choice Awards, because it's the fans voting for their favorites. You know, the fans that actually pay the money and spend the time to watch the "stars" do their thing? The people who are the very reason that celebrities are famous?

Anyway, the People's Choice Awards were last night. The only award I gave a damn about was Favorite New TV Comedy, because My Name Is Earl was nominated. Those who know me know that my favorite actor, by far, is Jason Lee. He's known primarily for comedy, but he's more than capable of doing drama as well. When I first heard that he was going to star in his own TV show, I knew that it would be his chance to show people (and when I say people, I mean big-time movie producers and directors) that he had serious chops. He hasn't disappointed, and by snagging the award, I think it's fair to say that the fans love him.

So big ups to Jason Lee. He's ten times the actor that other, much more famous Scientologist is.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


First of all, let me say that I considered buying a PSP just to play GTA: Liberty City Stories. Until I looked at the price, and realized I didn't feel like plunking down 300+ bucks just to play the new GTA game.

And don't even think about pulling that shit about how you can do so much more with a PSP than play games on it. I can wait until I get home to watch a movie or surf the internet.

But enough about the PSP itself. This post is actually about the new ads for the PSP. I'm sure you've seen at least one of them. Black and white, pencil drawn animation, with talking rats, squirrels, dustballs, or fucking turds, who knows. Let me give you the basic formula.

Animal/Inanimate Object 1: What are you doing?
Animal/Inanimate Object 2: What does it look like I'm doing? I'm watching/listening/playing/jizzing to/with/on nut/cheese/carpet/your mom!
Animal/Inanimate Object 1: Don't you know they have portable nut/cheese/carpet/my mom?
Animal/Inanimate Object 2: No way! Really?
Animal/Inanimate Object 1: Yeah. It's like nut/cheese/carpet/my mom you can watch/listen/play/jizz to/with/on...outside!
Announcer: PSP. It's like nut/cheese/carpet/somebody's mom you can watch/listen/play/jizz to/with/on...outside.

So WTF? Does Sony really think that shit's going to move PSP's? I'll tell you what would move PSP's. Lowering the fucking price. Can't do that because the components involved are too expensive? Too fucking bad, you're the dickholes who thought people wanted another NGage. Remember the NGage, Sony? Nobody bought it because it sucked ass. And it was actually affordable, unlike the PSP. Fuck, if I wanted to pay 300+ bucks to play games, I'd buy a fucking console. Jesus.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ready for some football?

Wild Card Weekend is over, and while I correctly predicted there would be 3 upsets, I was mistaken about which teams would be involved in those upsets. I was confident that the Washington Redskins would prevail over the Tampa Bay "Yuks," and the Pittsburg Steelers would beat the Cincinnati "Bungles," but I also figured that there would be no way the NY Giants would let the Carolina Panthers blank them at home, and that the Jacksonville Jaguars would manage to beat the New England Patriots at Foxborough.

Of course, since I didn't get around to posting those predictions on this blog, you'll have to take my word that I correctly predicted the outcomes of 2 of the 4 games, and that there would be 3 total upsets.

Now, let's look forward to the Divisional games next weekend.

Redskins at Seattle Seahawks. Sorry, Coach Gibbs, you're not going any farther this year. It'll be close, but the Seahawks will come away with the victory.

Patriots at Denver Broncos. So the Pats squeaked into the playoffs, came away with a win against a team that is a shadow of it's former self, and now everyone's lining up to suck Tom Brady's cock again? No thanks. The Patriots haven't beaten a good team yet, and they're not going to start now. Broncos FTW (for teh win).

Steelers at Indianapolis Colts. The Colts started the season 13 and 0, and they're still the best team in the NFL. They've also got Peyton Manning running the offense. Enough said. Colts win a barn burner.

Panthers at Chicago Bears. Sure, the Panthers have Steve Smith, but he's going up against the Bear's D. Just like earlier this season, the Bears will beat the Panthers.

So there you have it. No upsets, which is why you play for that first round bye. Tune in next week to see how accurate these predictions were.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Still Flyin'...Sort of

It's time for a Firefly/Serenity update. First off, were you aware there's a porn star named Serenity? She's fucking hot, too. I'd be her captain anyday.

Secondly, I checked up on the fanfic virtual seasons I posted about earlier this week, and to my chagrin, one of them's disappeared. And I never did get around to reading it. Oh well, the other one's still going, and they recently posted Episode 17.

Finally, I heard tell that FUX (you like that? See, it's a jab at FOX where I change a letter and it sounds like "fucks." I think it's hilarious) is going to bring back Futurama. They cite DVD sales and repeat airings as reasons it's gained new fans, and hence, a new life.

Wait, what? I don't know official numbers here, but have the Futurama DVDs sold as well as Firefly has? Because if they haven't, what the fuck? Has there been a Futurama feature film, along with a DVD of said film that's been at the top of Amazon's sales rankings since it came out? I don't think so. Futurama licks donkey balls, and it's going to slime it's way back onto television? Fuck that. Fuck you, FUX. That's bullshit.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Just Win, Baby

Time for some impressions on a game I picked up today with a gift card.

Blitz: The League for Xbox is the first time in about four years I've actually had fun playing a football video game. Blasphemy among gamers, I know, as Madden is the best of the best. But I just haven't seen it from Madden recently. The last Madden game I played for more than a half hour was the 2002 offering for Gamecube, and even that was a far cry from the best of the best (for the record, Super Tecmo Bowl for the NES is the best pure football game ever, with Joe Montana Sports Talk Football for the Genesis a very close second).

I've only played two complete games in B:TL, so let me run down some of the things I've noticed so far.

Calling and running plays is quick, easy, and painless. Select a formation, scroll through the available plays, pick one, and get ready for the snap. Simple, intuitive controls on both sides of the ball = no broken plays because you accidentally called an audible. Did I mention there are no audibles? You pick a play and you run it. Done.

Custom teams that I can have fun creating without spending a month of Sunday's. Pick your location, team name, logo, and colors, then hire coaching staff (head coach, offensive and defensive coordinator) and one star player each on offense and defense, and you're in the game.

Football. Seems so simple, doesn't it? Too bad modern football games have become more like coaching simulators than fucking football games. I want to get my team on the field, throw the long ball, break some tackles, and bust some heads. Is that so hard?

Hard hits are so much more fun in this game than other football games. Lay down a particularly nasty slam on the ball carrier, and you'll get a nice cutaway shot of the guy's bones breaking or cartilage snapping. And since we're not dealing with the NFL here, your trainers can treat the injury, or "juice" the player up to get him back in the game. Sweet. Get the opposing team all riled up with a succession of dirty hits, and you'll spark a full on brawl, where you can cause some serious damage. It's like hockey without all the Canadians!

Like I said, I've only played two complete games, so these opinions are subject to change. But I'm having way too damn much fun laying the smackdown.

Oh, and I mentioned earlier about the best pure football game ever. What's the best arcade style football game ever? Mutant League Football for the Genesis. B:TL reminds me so much of Mutant League it makes me giddy.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Mid-Season Roundup

We're halfway through this year's broadcast television season, and I feel like running through the shows that I started watching at the beginning of this season, and those that I'm no longer watching (mostly because they were cancelled).

Monday night:

How I Met Your Mother, 7:30 pm, CBS - Despite my early prediction that this show would get a quick axe (it really doesn't strike me as the type of show the over-50 set would watch, which is what CBS's audience is primarily made of), it's been picked up for a full season. Thumbs up.

Arrested Development, 8:00 pm, FOX - I jumped on this show's bandwagon very late. The previews always made it look like shit, but once I actually watched an episode, I was a convert. Of course, I got to watch about 3 episodes before FOX cancelled it. Great job, FOX. Thumbs up for the show, thumbs down for the decision to can it.

Kitchen Confidential, 8:30 pm, FOX - Ok, call me a fan boy if you will, but the only reason I checked out this show is because it co-starred Nic Brendon (of Buffy: TVS fame). But it was actually not a bad show. It didn't get the ratings, however, and that doesn't sit well with FOX executives, who axed it. Thumbs down, FOX.

Prison Break, 9:00 pm, FOX - Yet another innovative show on the FOX network, and this time, the people watched, so it was picked up for a full season. However, in their infinite wisdom, they've decided to put it on "winter hiatus" until late March. Jesus Christ, I don't know how many viewers are going to return after 3 months with no new episodes, but if FOX cancels it because of poor ratings, heads are going to fucking roll. Thumbs up for the show, and a sideways thumb for FOX's handling.

Tuesday night:

Bones, 8:00 pm, FOX - I've called it the best crime drama I've ever seen. FOX picked it up for a full season, but is proceeding to throw it under a bus later this month, when it moves to Wednesdays at 9:00 pm, up against two sophomore behemoths, Lost and Veronica Mars. Look for it to be cancelled 3 weeks later for poor ratings. Middle finger up, FOX.

My Name Is Earl, 9:00 pm, NBC - The best new comedy on TV, and perhaps the best comedy of the year. NBC is moving it to Thursday's this week as part of the new "Must See" Thursday comedy lineup. This would have upset me, as it would have fucked up my viewing schedule for Thursday nights, if it weren't for another boneheaded decision by FOX (you'll see below). Two big thumbs up for Jason Lee.

The Office, 9:30 pm, NBC - Last year's best new comedy, and the second best comedy of the year, in my opinion. This one's moving along with Earl to Thursday. Thumbs up.

Supernatural, 9:00 pm, WB - Interesting new show that I was taping until I discovered it replayed on Sunday nights. I'm pretty sure this has been picked up for a full season, no doubt because of adolescent girls getting wet over Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. Thumbs up.

Wednesday night:

Lost, 9:00 pm, ABC - I discovered this show on DVD. As with AD, the only reason I wasn't converted earlier is because the previews made it look like shit. Great show, but the best drama on TV title belongs to the next show on this list.

Veronica Mars, 9:00 pm, UPN - Holy fucking shit. Why was I not told about this show earlier? I discovered it on DVD, and then devoured reruns to get caught up to date. I can't wait until the 18th, when I actually get to watch a brand new episode for the first time on TV. Two thumbs up.

Head Cases, 9:00 pm, FOX - Seriously, why do I even start watching shows on FOX? They're just going to get cancelled, like this one did, after 2 episodes. That's right, 2 episodes. Why even bother, FOX?

Invasion, 10:00 pm, ABC - This is what's called a "Lost clone." It's also what's called a lousy TV show. Lost grabbed me during the first episode. This piece of shit dragged on and made me question why I was wasting my time. I actually watched the entire first episode, and didn't bother after that.

Thursday night:

Smallville, 8:00 pm, WB - Yet another show I discovered on DVD, and devoured the first four seasons over the summer to get ready for the new season. I'm so glad I did, because none other than James Marsters guest starred as Brainiac. Plus, it's Superman. Who doesn't like Supes?

Reunion, 9:00 pm, FOX - The story of six friends from high school, one of whom was recently murdered mysteriously. We're taken back 20 years to graduation day, and told the story in flashbacks, covering one year in each episode. But we're never going to solve the mystery, because it's been cancelled. Why, oh why, did the producers pitch it to FOX? I was looking forward to finding out who killed Samantha. Now we know FOX did. Fuck you, FOX. Fuck you in your stupid asses.

Friday night:

Threshold, 9:00 pm, CBS - I think this is another one of those Lost clones. It's also another one of those shitty TV shows. I watched the first episode, which was sort of interesting, but I just don't have time to watch TV on Friday night. And from what I've heard, the show went on to have all sorts of stupid pseudo-science and just plain non-science, brain bugs, and Treknobabble (what else would you expect from Brannon Braga?). And now it's cancelled. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

So there you have it. Four months ago, I was watching six shows on FOX. Now I'll be watching one of two remaining, which will get axed, and I'll have to wait until March to watch the other. *deep sigh*

Virtual Firefly

First off, Happy New Year! I hope your New Year's Eve was as good as mine, because mine rocked. Also, I hope you didn't have to participate in the annual Holiday Death Bowl on the freeways and made it home safe no matter how much or little you had to travel.

Now, on to the business for today.

I've never been big on fan fiction, mostly because I've never been a big enough fan to care about crappy, fan-made garbage.

But then I was browsing, and ran across a thread about a "Virtual Firefly" season. The idea was to finish off the first season (starting with episode 16), and then do an entire second season, in order to bridge the gap between the end of the TV show and the beginning of the movie. To my surprise, an entire episode had already been written and posted. Go here if you'd like to check it out. Scroll down, and click on "Teaser" then "Chapter 1" then "Act 2" and so on.

I think it's awesome. With any project this ambitious, I really want to see it come to fruition, but it may very well fizzle out. We'll see, but for right now, I'm looking forward to Episode 17.

P.S. There's another Virtual Firefly project on the board that I haven't read yet. It's also the second season of Firefly, but it continues the story after the events of Serenity. The website for that project is here, and they already have the first episode posted.