Sunday, July 31, 2005

Old Skool

The Classic Gaming Expo is being held August 20 and 21 in San Francisco. This is a wonderful opportunity to play games of old and rub elbows with the legendary designers that made it all possible. Some of the people expected to be there are David Crane (pitfall), Don Bluth (Dragon's Layer), Nolan Bushnell (Atari), etc... If designers aren't enough, you can see bands like The Minibosses perform live.

But what about the games?!?! I'm not sure what will be there. But I'm willing to be they'll have at least one Ms. Pacman machine somewhere. And perhaps Robotron.

Kudos to anyone who knows which game the above graphic is from.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Rayden Wins

Watched Big Trouble in Little China last night for the first time in ages.

Director John Carpenter is either a two-bit hack, or a brilliant filmmaker. The movie is so cheesy, filled with bad dialog and even worse acting. And to quote Maude Lebowski, "The plot is absolutely ludicrous." But somehow, Carpenter manages to polish a turd. It's sooo bad, it's good. At times, I honestly couldn't tell if I was laughing with it, or at it.

In a nutshell... Jack Burton, played by Kurt Russell, is a trucker whose chinese restraunt owning friend, Wang, has his green eyed chinese wife kidnapped by a chinese gang at the S.F. airport. While pursing them down a Chinatown alleyway, a chinese gang war breaks out. Then a few dudes from Mortal Kombat show up and start going all fatality on their asses. Jack's truck is stolen. Blah, blah, blah. Jack, Wang and friends must now infiltrate an Ancient Chinese Sorceror's palace to get back the girl and, more importantly, Jack's truck.

I give this film 4.5 lightning fatalities to the funny bone.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Blame the Parents

"Can I have a sip of your haaawt coffee? Oooo!"

Slashdot pointed me to an editorial at GamerDad that pretty much sums up how I feel about Grand Theft Auto:Hot Coffee.

The rating was printed right on the box. The content of the game is fairly obvious from the box copy printed on the front and back of this same box. Even before the "Hot Coffee" content was discovered, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, like the other games in the series, contained some content that was sexual in nature. That also was printed right on the box. The information was right there for you to pick up and understand.

Parents, time to start paying more attention to the media you buy for you kids. Ignorance is not a defense, it's just ignorant.

D&D For Dummies

(stolen from gamespy)

Yes, there is now a Dungeons & Dragons for Dummies. But according to Fargo at Gamespy, it's "This isn't D&D for Dummies! This is more like D&D for intelligent, literate people who want to examine and explore the various ins and outs of this exciting and dynamic creative social activity." And then he shared his vision of a proper dummies guide.

I miss playing D&D. I recommend Darkstar to move to the No so we can play every saturday night at my house. The mountain dew is in the refrigerator. And yes, you can have one.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Art on Video Games

The arcade is dead, but the cabinet artwork lives on, thanks to the Arcade Art Library. I haven't seen some of these machines in probably 15 - 20 years. Sure takes me back. And I have to say, some of these designs are just damn sexy.

I personally want to thank all the video game preservationists out there. You guys are the r0x0r!!

Hey, Billy Bob! You can take your remake and shove it straight up your ASS!

(Bad News Bears, 1976)

The original Bad News Bears is funny. The Billy Bob Thorton remake is not. I had a few mild chuckles, at best. I'm kinda disappointed. I'm not a fan of Mr. Thorton, but I figured if there was anyone who could pull off the role of Buttermaker, it would be him. And I don't think he is completely to blame. The kids in the original could actually act.

I give this movie 5 swift kicks to the athletic supporter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Camp Hyrule

Nintendo has opened up registration for this year's Camp Hyrule, a virtual get together event for Zelda fans. The event takes place between Auguest 15 - 19. If you're interested, sign up now, as registration ends tomorrow.

What is Camp Hyrule?
It's a FREE week-long online summer camp where video game fanatics can become immersed in the world of Nintendo. Each and every registered camper is assigned to a virtual cabin, where he or she can meet other gamers and interact with Nintendo's gameplay experts in exclusive Camp Hyrule chat rooms and bulletin boards.

Daily events include live chat shows, games, art activities and a bus-load of surprises from the Nintendo universe. This year campers can participate in cool activities based on exciting Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Nintendogs, Mario Kart DS, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and lots more!

In other words, a clever marketing campaign aimed at huge nerds like myself, who have no life and depend on the interweb to make friends. I'm soooo excited!! This will be my first year attending, not sure what to expect.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

At least she didn't drop a rock on it.

Found this while doing an search for "dig dug."

Monday, July 25, 2005


Got NIN tickets. General seating, on the floor, in September. This will be my 3rd time seeing the Trent.

Wizard Needs Soup, Badly

Today, I start the Sacred Heart Diet...

This 7-day eating plan can be used as often as you like. If correctly followed, it will clean out your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well-being. After only 7 days of this process, you will begin to feel lighter by at least 10 pounds and possibly 17 pounds, and experience an abundance of energy.

I know three people who are in the process of following this diet, and all have lost quite a bit of weight. Myself, I'm only a few pounds, at most, over weight. I generally eat right, minus my weakness for ice cream. But this diet rouses my curiousity. The possibility of dropping 10 to 17 pounds in a week is one part personal experiment, one part practical.

Made the soup last night, and was suprised by how well it turned out. I mean, it's damn good soup. I'd want to eat this soup off the diet. And I don't really care for soup. Soup is a funny word.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

What's this site about, anyways?

Sooo, I started this blog about a week ago. Haven't figured out what it's supposed to be about quite yet. I think a slight focus in video games is obvious at this time. What about other things? I'm not sure. I could make this site more personal. Talk about my cats, what flavor of ice cream I tried today, or how a I went swimming yesterday. That would definitely play up the boring angle nicely.

I think this week, I'll actually jump in to the design side of this site a bit. Give it some color. Make a graphic or two. Maybe if I give this place a make over, it'll inspire me to be more exciting in my posts. Not womens underwear exciting, mind you. Just good ol fashion exciting.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Vote or Die

(he didn't vote)

Right now over at, you can cast your vote for the third annual G-Phoria awards. The show will air August 9th at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. Here's how I weighed in:

Best Action Game
Resident Evil 4

Best Shooter
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Best Adaptation
Spider-man 2

Best Cinematic
Resident Evil 4

Best Graphics
Doom 3

Best Handheld Game
Astro Boy: Omega Factor

Best Multiplayer Game
Halo 2

Best Original Game
Katamari Damacy

Best Sound Design
Doom 3

Best Licensed Soundtrack
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Best Voice Performance - Male
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Young Maylay (CJ)

and last but not least...

Game of the Year
Resident Evil 4

Hello Moto

FuzzyDave over at The Grande Duchy of FuzzyTopia has created a stencil of legendary video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Make a shirt or two. Or redecorate your local subway system. It's your choice.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

E3 Reactions

Originally Published May 19, 2005
I watched G4's live coverage last night. And I had some thoughts on the matter.

The PS3 and 360 really do have some great looking graphics. The Revolution is still up in the air, but guaranteed to look better than the cube.

From what I can tell, Sony's demo also included pre-rendered footage. And since they had no PS3 games on the floor, all you had to rely on was the demo footage. Particularly, the FF demo. There were some shots, though, where it seemed obvious that it was the actual game. I think it was Grand Turismo that looked the best. It really is starting to push the so-called "realistic" graphics, a term that has been used too liberally describing many games of the current generation.

360 actually had games on display, so G4 was bette r able to demonstrate it. At one point, they were interviewing one of the developers of the game "Full Auto" while showing the game, live, as Morgan Webb played it. The graphics looked a little better than the best games of this past generation. But what was nice about it was the game could support much more on screen action at a time, creating a much better sense of a dynamic environment.

Comparing the PS3 racer to this 360 racer, the PS3 racer wins, hands downs, graphically. But it's unfair to compare Grand Turismo to Full Auto, in a graphical context, since both games are designed for two different purposes. GT is a pure racing game. And they optimized the game for simple racing, and super high def car models. Full Auto, on the otherhand, is designed like a classic arcade game, with tons of action. The car is mounted with guns. And everything in the game can take damage. The trade off was less graphics for a much more interactive world. Which in its own way, makes the game look better.

As for the Revolution.... Well, the only disappointing thing about it, so far, is that they have kept their mouths shut. They did give us a teaser, letting us know that older games will be made available through downloads. I personally can't wait to play games like Punch-out!! from the NES, Super Metroid from the SNES, and Mario Kart 64 from the N64.

What I really haven't liked about Nintendo keeping mum is how the press has reacted. Since Ninty didn't tell them much of anything, many journalists and bloggers have started making stuff up about the Revolution. If you don't wash their back, they'll stab yours. Real professionaly/mature guys.

An another interesting thing Ninty claimed about the Revolution is that it will be 2-3 times more powerful than the Gamecube. Compare this with Microsoft's claim of a 15x and Sony's claim of a 35x increase in power over their predecessors. One or more of these companies are full of horseshit. Possibly even nintendo, since they often take the "under promise, over perform" method of pleasing their audience. Unfortunately, that strategy often gets obliterated by the awesome marketting of Sony and Microsoft, whom don't mind telling a fib or two. Comparing systems by their specs, is for the birds, anyways. I bet when all is said and done. the Revolution will be on par with at least the 360.

And the last thing I want to mention has more to do with the developer side of things. These systems have much more powerful. And consumers know it. They now expect the next gen of games to take advantage of this. With these upgrades in power means developers will need to hire better/more programmers, more artists, better voice actors, better studio engineers, etc.. etc... Games are going to cost a lot more money to produce. Nintendo mentioned how games are starting to push 8 digits to produce. One failure could destroy a company.

Nintendo is battling this by making the revolution as simple as possible to develop for. In fact, the dev kit for the Revolution is supposed to be much like a superset of the gamecube dev kit, so developers will already be somewhat familar designing for the new system. The PS3 on the otherhand, is an entirely new architecture, the cell processor. To fully take advantage of the cell, developers are going to have to spend an absurd amount of money to hire and train programmers. The cell isn't public yet, there are no self trained cell processor software engineers. All of this has to be done in house. Yes, sony still has a dev kit to make it easier for developers to code for their system. But this dev kit isn't going exploit the 35x increase in power the PS3 has to offer. And often, when working with so much power, coders get lazy, depending on the processor to make the program run faster rather than optimize it.

Resident Evil Announced

Capcom has recently announced Resident Evil 5 for the 360 and PS3. No word on the revolution, yet. IGN is currently hosting a short one minute video. Can't be sure if the footage is real time or not. My guess it's prerendered.

Resident Evil 4, imho, is the best game released so far this generation. Quite an accomlishment considering all the great games that have been released over the past six years.

Here is a review I wrote elsewhere of RE4:

How does one sit down to write a review of the best game ever written?

I beat Resident Evil 4 today. What a ride. I've never played a game this solid, this polished and this addictive in my entire life. This was also the first time I wanted to hurry up and finish a game only so that I could start it over from the beginning. Best... Game... Ever! (imho)

I decided that no matter what I write here, my words won't do this game justice. So I'm going to keep it short.

At one point of the game, it was like I was in Night of the Living Dead, pushing furniture behind doors and blasting massive hordes of zombies crawling through the windows. I felt a bit like I was in The Goonies, exploring dusty caverns, avoiding booby traps. I felt like Indiana Jones while on a high speed mine cart ride.

The environments are sinfully immersive, full of life and varied plenty. The game starts out in an autumn forest in the late afternoon. And by the time you reach the end of the game, you'll have explored a village, a castle, a classic RE industrial center, mine shafts, and much more.

After I beat the game, it unlocked two new game modes. The first mode is a micro adventure where you play Ada Wong, a character in the Resident Evil series. And "Mercenaries", which is an arcade style version of RE4. Here, you'll be shooting enemies for points.

I've mentioned so little of what's in this game, yet I feel I may have already said too much. This is something you are all just going to have to experience on your own.

And finally, my stats for my first time through:

Hit ratio: 72%
Enemies killed: 986
Number of times killed: 50
Clear time: 18:12'47"

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

GTA: San Andreas == Boring

ESRB has revoked M rating status from GTA: San Andreas. I won't bore you with the details, as this info has been sufficiently saturated by the mainstream news media.

What I will say is how boring the game is. I genuinely liked GTA 3 and Vice City. And I think in many ways, San Andreas has improved the gaming engine. But there comes a time when one loses the taste for the same repetitive ultra violence. It's the same high speed, car crash'n, ho killing spree, set this time in the sunshine state. San Andreas did not distinguish itself enough from the two previous titles.

There were certainly many things I felt the game got right. The script is much more refined. The hip hop urban spin on this title also adds a nice touch of faux realism. The voice acting is top notch. The world map, huge. And what can be more fun than playing Dress up Barbie™ with CJ.

But in the end, it's the same damn game. It's time for Rockstar to reinvent the series, much like Capcom did with Resident Evil 4. I give this game a "B" for boring.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

insert quarter

The first entry of just about every blog I've ever read has been mostly pointless. This will be no exception. Creating this account sorta on a whim. "Game Under" is sooo not clever. Or is it? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...