Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good Luck Chuck

I went to see Good Luck Chuck last night. Good stuff. Funny. Not quite sure how it only merits a 19 over at Metacritic (that's much lower than the 38 that Balls of Fury got), but like I said before, critics can blow me.

On a related note, a regular price movie ticket is now $9.75. Holy shit. Is it just me, or can anyone else remember when a matinee was like $2.50 and regular price was 5 bucks? It wasn't that long ago.

Friday, September 28, 2007

One Last Thing

Before I go to bed: Dexter is an interesting show. I just watched the pilot, and I'm intrigued. It's darkly (and I do mean darkly) comedic, makes excellent use of voice-over, and has very well developed characters right off the bat. Plus, it's got Julie Benz in it.

Damn. Now there's another show I have to watch.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hodgity Podgity

A number of things I want to comment on have piled up, so I need to get em out. Rapid quick fire style.

Balls of Fury was hilarious. Totally undeserving of its Metacritic score of like 27. Critics can blow me.

I forgot how incredibly fun multiplayer Smash Bros was. The new Smash Bros game just got elevated to my second most anticipated title of this year (right below Rock Band). What's that? You want to know the rest of my top five anticipated titles? Why, that would be Assassin's Creed, NWN2 Mask of the Betrayer, and GH3.

Not having HD channels when you want to watch them is the worst. I was all set to watch Earl and The Office tonight, but my satellite connection said, "ER-ROR! ER-ROR!" So I called tech support, the dude couldn't fix it over the phone, so the guy's coming out on Saturday to fix my shit. That means I can't check out Moonlight tomorrow night, either. And no, I'm not going to watch it in SD. That defeats the whole purpose of having an HD setup.

So since I couldn't watch TV, I took a little trip down to Best Buy and snagged skate. Awesome sauce! So much fun. The reviews bashed it mainly for being difficult and having a steep learning curve. Right. Isn't that what skating is all about? You gotta bail a whole hell of a lot before you start nailing crazy shit, and even then, you're still gonna eat pavement on a regular basis. Plus, skate's physics system makes every bail look different (and painful), so I don't mind it. Besides, who wouldn't like just screwing around in what's essentially a giant skate park?

Extras is a great show. I finished the first season and immediately put the second season to the top of my queue.

I'm tired of hearing about O.J. Simpson. I was tired of hearing about him 12 fucking years ago.

The same goes for Britney Spears.

He Who Shall Not Be Named is certifiably insane.

That is all.

One More Thing

About Halo 3. Apparently, it causes disc read errors, lockups, and bricked consoles. I have one thing to say to that: Bwahahahahahaha!

Two Things

One, Microsoft is making a big deal about the launch of Halo 3 beating the launches of summer blockbusters like Spider-Man 3. Um, last time I checked, a ticket to Spidey didn't cost 60 bucks. Sorry, MS, you didn't reach more people with Halo 3 than Sony did with Spider-Man 3. You're all idiots.

Two, Valve says they're going to reconsider their episodic content after Half-Life 2 is finished. Hold the phone, Half-Life 2 had episodic content? I'm pretty sure a 3 hour tech demo every 18 months doesn't qualify as "episodic" content.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Conversations with Myself

I said to myself, "Self, tonight we're going to get to bed early. No more of this 1 o'clock shit, nope, no sir."

And myself said, "Like hell we're going to bed early. 1 o'clock it is!"

So I said to myself, "Self, you're an asshole."

Myself responded, "Yes. Yes we are."

Monday, September 24, 2007

I Am Such A Whore

So, after I found out that Nathan Fillion was going to be a recurring cast member, I couldn't help myself. I feel so dirty. I have no willpower.

I watched the recap clip show of Desperate Housewives. As such, I'm now forced to incorporate the show into my regular TV viewing schedule.

Damn you, Cap'n Tightpants! Goddamn you all to hell!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Demo Impressions

Some new demos hit the PSN recently, and I checked them out.

First up, Stuntman Ignition. The first Stuntman game had a great premise, but the execution was terrible. Playing levels over and over again until everything went perfectly is not a recipe for fun. When I heard about the sequel, I was excited because I figured they would fix the problems from the first game. My mistake. It must have taken me a dozen tries to get through the first demo level (the easiest of the three), and my only reward was a poorly cut-together video replay of my run. So not worth it. Stuntman Ignition is in stores now, if you can't help but waste your money.

Next, I played skate. This is EA's answer to the Tony Hawk franchise, which I was more than a little skeptical of. Let's face it, the TH franchise isn't exactly stellar, but EA? EA makes a football game every year that's hopelessly broken. Good thing I don't judge games based on their publisher. Within minutes of starting skate, I was hooked. EA made a very good decision with the Fight Night series by incorporating thumbstick control, and they did something similar with skate. Instead of the TH button mash frenzy, skate uses the thumbsticks and shoulder buttons to pull off all tricks. What's more, is that the crazy shit you can do in skate can be (and probably has been) done by real people in real world settings. skate seems like the perfect game to hop in for 30-45 minutes, screw around, and hop out again. skate hits the streets on 9/25, and I'm positive I'd be more excited about this game than that other notable 9/25 release, even if I had a 360.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk Like A Pirate, Be A Pirate

Today was talk like a pirate day, and I didn't even get in a single "Yarrr." Oh well.

Speaking of pirates, here's a suggestion for why piracy exists: because the legal way of doing things is such a huge pain in the ass. Case in point: I decided to redeem a couple of iTunes gift cards tonight. I had one for $15 and one for a "free song."

So I open up iTunes and go to the store. The directions on the back of the card say to:
1: Open iTunes and click Music Store.
2. Click Prepaid Cards.
3. Enter the code shown when requested.
4. Download your songs. Enjoy.

Ok, open iTunes, got it. Click Music, no Music Store. There's iTunes Store, that's close enough. Prepaid Cards, Prepaid Cards...there is no Prepaid Cards. Ok, I'll just put my music in the cart and go from there.

I've got 16 bucks to spend, so I'll buy a whole album and some singles. The first thing I spot is Black Sabbath - The Dio Years. $11.99 for the album of 17 songs. Sweet action. Then I see The Donnas have a new album out, so I grab the title track Bitchin'. Next up is some classic Foo Fighters, Learn to Fly and My Hero. Finally, I grab the new Nickelback single, Rockstar.

That's my 16 bucks, so I go to my cart to check out. My total is $15.95 plus applicable sales tax. I click "Buy Now" and am presented with a pop-up window that says, "Your credit card will be charged for your purchase." Whoa, whoa, whoa, where do I enter my gift code? What the fuck, man?

I back out, and go back to the home page to look around some more. Aha, there we go. "Redeem." Fantastic. I enter my codes, and I'm good to go. My account now shows I have a "1 Song + $15.00" credit. I hit the Buy Now button again. It says my account will be debited, I click Ok. Then it pops up again, and says "Your available credit is not sufficient to cover the cost of your purchase. You will be charged for the remainder." Uh, what? Where exactly did you take math, iTunes? The back of a Cracker Jack box? Whatever, I click Ok. It starts downloading my songs. My account now shows I have a credit of $0.04. Awesome, I can totally do something with $0.04.

Once my songs are downloaded, I double click on the first one to play it. Instead of playing, it pops up a window. This one says, "This computer is not authorized to play this song. Do you want to authorize it?" No, I don't. I want to sit and stare at it. Of course I want to fucking authorize it, I just fucking paid for it and downloaded it, didn't I? Jesus Christ. I click Ok, and it pops up another window. It wants me to log in to my iTunes account. I do, and it pops up yet another window, and says, "This is authorization number 2. You can authorize up to 5 PCs to play this song."

Wait. Back up. Hold on. What? Authorization number 2? What happened to number 1? And what happens when I have to reformat my hard drive? What happens if my computer crashes? What happens when I get a new computer? I eventually lose the music that I paid for, because of your authorization bullshit? Are you fucking kidding me?

And these assholes wonder why sales are falling. They wonder why piracy is running rampant. They can't figure out why people don't want to pay them their hard earned dollars to be treated like fucking criminals. They can't understand why someone would want to download a song off the internet without all the goddamned copy protection and authorization and unlocking bullshit just to listen to some fucking music.

So here's what I say: In honor of Talk Like A Pirate Day, every day from now on, I declare Be A Pirate Day. Show these RIAA fucks where to stick it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just Another Normal Day

Kate Winslet was just talking dirty to Anne Frank and Joseph Goebbels.

If you don't get that, don't worry. It's a quote from Extras, which is fucking hilarious. The first two seasons are available on DVD. I urge you to check them out.

In other news, Blockbuster's online rental plan kinda sucks now. Previously, they allowed you to exchange the online rentals at the store for more movies, effectively doubling the amount of DVDs you could rent in any given month for the same low, low price. Now, however, since they were apparently bleeding red ink, they've cut it back to 5 exchanges per month, or unlimited for a shit-ton of money. My guess? They're still going to be bleeding red ink, because upset customers will be switching to Netflix.

Finally, my sister is getting married on Friday in Vegas. Vegas, baby! I thought about going, but Vegas really isn't my style. Besides, the ceremony's going to be webcast, so it'll be just like I was there, but without all the waiting around and the awkward small talk. It also never ceases to amaze me that not only did my sister already have a child when she was my age, but now she's going to be someone's wife. Damn.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weekend Movie Reviews

Couple of classics to run down this weekend.

12 Angry Men, Not Rated, starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, and Jack Warden. I actually saw the made-for-TV remake before I saw this version, and now I kind of regret it. The made-for-TV version, while a very good film, is really nothing more than a shot for shot, line by line reenactment of the original. Lee J. Cobb yelled long before George C. Scott did, and while I can't deny Jack Lemmon is a terrific actor, Henry Fonda was Juror #8 first, and he did it better. When the jurors initially file into the deliberation room and start talking amongst themselves is one of the all time great one-shots. This is one of those classics that very truly deserves its status as a classic. It's not a classic just because it's old, it's a classic because it's an excellent film. Which brings me to...

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, rated PG, starring Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, and Slim Pickens. What the hell? This is a classic? This is regarded as one of the best films of all time? By who? Certainly not by me. I don't even know where to begin with what's wrong with this movie. It's overlong even though it's only 90 minutes, Peter Sellers is underused even though he plays 3 roles, and the satire, instead of biting is usually just stupid. Maybe I didn't "get it" or am somehow missing the "brilliance" that is Stanley Kubrick. It's possible, but then again, the only movie of his I've seen that was good from start to finish was The Shining, and that's probably because of Jack Nicholson. My advice: if you're looking for a good movie, pass on Dr. Strangelove.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jam Sessions Impressions

I was ready to rock out when I opened up the box and popped in the cartridge. How quickly that lofty goal came crashing down. Guitar Hero this ain't.

However steep this game's (hell, this isn't a game, so much as it is a chord-progression simulator) learning curve is, though, the actual guitar's learning curve is a hell of a lot steeper. It took me weeks before I was having the slightest bit of fun playing guitar. Jam Sessions lets you start having fun in about an hour.

And oh, it's fun. A bit tough on the thumb (those diagonal chords are a bitch), but lots of fun. I mean, how can you not like playing guitar? In some ways, Jam Sessions is much better than Guitar Hero. For one, you don't have to buy a guitar controller. Two, you can play songs how you want to (even if that means butchering them beyond recognition) and at your own pace. Three, the song list is virtually unlimited, since any song that is made up mostly or entirely of chords is playable. Four, it has effects. You can have a clean, bright acoustic sound, or chunk it up with distortion. You can add wacky fades and tremolo, mute notes, strum up and down (which creates a different sound, just like on a real guitar), and even pitch notes up or down depending on the type of song you want to play. In short, Jam Sessions does a ton of stuff Guitar Hero doesn't, and probably never will.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to give "Like a Rolling Stone" one more try before I call it a night.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I finished BioShock tonight. I've given my early impressions, I've given my thoughts at the mid-game, I've given my thoughts near the end-game, and now I'm here to give a summary of the complete experience. Not surprisingly (or maybe surprisingly, I don't know), they're similar to my early impressions.

BioShock: 2007 Game of the Year.

It's just that good. From beginning to end, this game grabs you and doesn't let go. It forces you to think about things that most games don't, and allows you to think about things no game does. It lets you experiment, it gives you choices that might seem superficial in the context of a game, but not in the context of the experience. It never got dull, never got old, never got to be a chore. I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 hours exploring the City of Rapture, and now that I'm done, I want to jump right back in and do things differently all over again.

As much as I can complain about the bullshit copy protection schemes and all of that (and it's some serious bullshit), no one involved in creating the game had anything to do with that. They made the game, and they made a great one. PC or 360, it doesn't matter, but you owe it to yourself to play BioShock.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sad, Yet Glad

I'm nearing the end of BioShock, and that makes me a sad panda, since it's so incredibly awesome. I don't ever want it to end.

Yet, finishing off BioShock will free up time to play other games, including Jam Sessions, which hits Wednesday. And that makes me a glad panda. Bitches.

Holy Shit

Holy shit, man, fuck yes. That's the way you do it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Jesus Christ

Take a look at this trailer. What do you think? Wait, don't tell me. Now check out this press release. Now what do you think? If you're like me, I immediately went to wikipedia and looked up HBCUs, as I had no idea what the hell they were talking about. Now that I do, I think Nerjyzed has just given NCAA 08 some competition.

What do the idiots on the interweb think?

I wondered if there would be additional versions like Hispanic College Football Experience, Aryan College Football Experience, or Jewish College Football Experience. It just seems a little odd in this day and age to focus on one group of college football athletes.

Is this how we will label things in the future? Will Resident Evil 5 now become Black Zombie Experience?

LET'S KEEP TRYING TO SEPARATE EVERYTHING BY RACE! YEAH, THAT'S TOTALLY HELPING. As a "black" male, crap like this makes me sick to my stomach.

Still waiting for the "Latino Football Game Series Presents: Goal Line, The Invasion". The tag will read "They can't tackle us all!"

Now, I'm not racist or anything but when I read this article I couldn't help but laugh my ass off at this joke of a game.

Ef this game. That's all I have to say. They should have a game where you're in control of a slave who's escaping through the underground railroad.

So its just like any other football game then, only you cant be the quarterback?

The idiocy astounds. Those are just a few of the comments that jumped out at me. There's a lot more. Granted, there are also people trying to explain about HBCUs, and pointing out that the game clearly has nothing to with racism or segregation, or any other stupid bullshit. They're just being shouted down by the imbeciles.

This just goes to show that if racial attitudes were truly where we want to think they are, we wouldn't be having this fucking discussion.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Things I've Forgotten To Mention

Until now.

First, I want to pimp Girls Are Pretty. It's a daily humor blog, which there are certainly no shortage of. This one, however, is just so wrong. Completely inappropriate at times, totally random at others, and almost always absolutely hilarious.

Next, Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band. If you click the links, you'll notice that GH3 comes with the game and a wireless guitar for 100 bucks. Rock Band comes with the game, a wireless guitar, a wireless microphone, and a big ass drum set (which is most likely wired) for 200 bucks. Ignoring the fact that EA has repeatedly stated that the prices aren't set for Rock Band, and that the set will be "affordable," the pricing on both sets takes some figuring.

Let's break it down. The original GH was $70 for game and wired guitar. I figure that works out to $40 for the game and $30 for the guitar (you get a $10 price break on each item for getting the bundle, as the game was $50 separately and the guitar was $40). The GH2 bundle bumped up to $80. So that's $40 each for game and wired guitar. GH2 came with a "special edition" red guitar, which they charged $50 for separately. Serious rip-off, but whatever. The wireless version of the PS2 guitar sells for $60 separately, so let's assume that's the same for the PS3 version. For the GH3 bundle, that works out to $50 for the game and $50 for the guitar. That's still technically a $10 price break on each item, due to the price premium for PS3 and 360 games.

Moving on to Rock Band. We'll use the same $50 price for the guitar and the game. The drums supposedly sell for $80 alone, and the mic is $30. If we assume a $5 price break on each, that puts the whole set at $200. That's for the PS3 version, though. The 360 version's wireless guitar is $80 by itself. Why it costs 20 bucks more than the PS3, I have no idea, but it does. That completely breaks the formula, though, since the 360 bundle is also supposedly $200. Either 360 users are getting larger price breaks in the bundle, or the pricing listed everywhere is wrong.

Finally, Buffy Season 8 has been out for a few months. No, you're not missing anything on TV, it's in comic book form, and it's being written by the man himself. The graphic novel comprising the first story arc will be out next month. Then, in November, the official continuation of Angel begins with After the Fall. I, for one, can't wait.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Gaming Update

I finished GH 80s last week. Now that I've seen all it had to offer, my opinion of it is somewhat downgraded. It was still fun while it lasted, but I just don't see myself going back to it like I did with the first two games. Plus, I didn't think that this was possible, but I think I'm looking forward to GH 3 less now. With 80s, and to some extent, GH 2, it seemed like certain tracks were less about the music and more about the "game." It was like the devs said, "Screw what the actual guitar tab would look like, let's throw all sorts of crazy note progressions and chord changes at them because it's gotta feel like a game." Bullshit, it should feel like music. Once it stops feeling like music and starts feeling like a game, you've lost me as a player. That may sound unusual, but look at it this way: when I fire up GH, I don't want to feel like I'm holding a plastic guitar pushing buttons and jiggling a lever, I want to feel like I'm a fucking rock star wailing away on awesome riffs. I'm really hoping GH 3 doesn't continue that trend, but I have my doubts. Rock Band, on the other hand, seems to be all about the music. I guess I'll have to wait and see.

BioShock just gets better the more I play. Hot damn.

I rented Rainbow Six: Vegas for PS3. The first level was very unimpressive. In fact, if I hadn't heard so much about how great the game was, I might not have given it a chance past the first level. I guess it was necessary in that it taught you how to play the game, and set up the story. But I'll be damned if it didn't look exactly like GRAW. Muddy, boring, and brown. Once I got to Vegas, though, it was on. The first section of the second level was fucking awesome. A bunch of cars, a bunch of terrorists, and a fully automatic weapon in my hands. The lethality in this game is just about right, too. Any shot to the head takes somebody down. 3-6 rounds to the chest, even if they're wearing body armor, and they're going down. The two AI squad-mates are actually useful, too. They've got more kills than I do, if only because when I'm pinned down, I make them run out guns blazing. I blazed through the second level, and now I'm at the start of the third. Not sure how long the game is, but if I can't finish it in the rental time, I think I'm going to buy it. I hear the multiplayer is rad, too, but I don't know anyone who's got a PS3.

Over the weekend, I checked out some other demos. Heavenly Sword is really nice looking, and some of the combos the warrior woman does are insane. It might get old really, really, quickly, though. It seems a lot like Devil May Cry and God of War, actually, and both of those games got old really, really, quickly. Then there's Gran Turismo HD Concept or whatever the hell. What a suckfest. They give you one car, and it's a shitty, old car, to boot. I guess it looks nice, but so what? GT sucks.

Speaking of suckfests, the verdict on Lair is in. "Hey, we've got a great idea. You know how you can control shit with the Wiimote and it's awesome? Let's use the shitty motion control in our controllers and force players to steer their dragon with it in Lair! No, don't give em the option to use the analog stick, that's for fags. Motion control all the way, baby, we'll be millionaires!" Jackasses. Here's my favorite line from one of the reviews: "Running in 1080p you’ll have several situations where the game chugs like no other. Massive amounts of enemies will make the game a slideshow and will ultimately lead to you breaking something."

Warhawk is by all reports, awesome, but it's online only. If the crew had PS3s and we did LAN games, I'd drop the 40 bucks in a heartbeat. But you can't play online only games by yourself. Er, you know what I mean.

Games and Movies

First up, a game that flew completely under my radar comes out on Tuesday. It's called Worms Open Warfare 2, and it's on DS. I think Worms 2 for the PC is one of the best multiplayer games ever made, and it's a shame the Worms franchise pretty much went downhill from there. OW2 looks to turn that trend around, since it's getting excellent reviews, looks pretty much like Worms 2 did, and it boasts full featured online multiplayer to boot (which doesn't work anymore on Worms 2). Now if only someone would get a DS already. *peers at Justin*.

Then, of course, there's Jam Sessions, which I believe is going to rock the house, much more so than any Guitar Hero game. A fucking guitar in your pocket, how cool is that? And you can hook it up to an amp. I am so blasting that bad boy once I get good enough to blast it.

This just in: 300 on BD looks and sounds friggin awesome. Not quite as awesome as TMNT, but still pretty rad.

I really want to see Balls of Fury. It looks hilarious. Here's what I don't get. Balls of Fury and Reno: 911 Miami get bashed, but Superbad is the comedy of the year? Maybe it's just me, but Superbad wasn't that funny. It wasn't well-written, the characters tried to be "real" and weren't, and I couldn't stand the lead actor. Don't quit your day-job, kid. Reno 911, however, is fucking hysterical. It's mostly improvised, and the characters aren't supposed to be real because it doesn't take itself seriously. That's what Balls of Fury looks like, too.

The point is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can't make a raunchy teen comedy and expect it to resonate on some deep, emotional level that sticks with you after the movie's over. Or maybe you can, according to Roger Ebert: "The movie is astonishingly foul-mouthed, but in a fluent, confident way where the point isn't the dirty words, but the flow and rhythm, and the deep, sad yearning they represent." Even if that's possible, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg didn't deliver. It was sort of funny while it lasted, but ultimately it's so forgettable that I can't tell you a single thing that happened or even what the overall plot was.

So...yeah. I'm not sure how that turned into a rant against Superbad, or if it even made sense. I'm going to go to sleep now.