Thursday, September 29, 2005

Remake me a sandwich, woman!

I love Resident Evil. I'm a huge fan of the series. Especially Resident Evil 4 and the Resident Evil remake for the cube. But I've yet to play the original Resident Evil on the PlayStation.

That is why I'm happy to hear they are porting the original version to the Nintendo DS, called Resident Evil: Deadly Silence. Well, porting isn't the right word, as they are adding new elements to the game utilizing the touch screen. Like the ability to slash away at your zombie opponents with a knife, and new puzzle interfaces. But overall, it'll be practically the same game.

It is my dream that Capcom will continually remake the original Resident Evil game over and over as console technology gets better. Why? Because I love haunted houses. The Resident Evil mansion is by far my favorite. Even over the one in Disneyland.

The game could be extended in many ways. For example, being able to play other characters from the story, seeing the story unfold from their point of view. Like Rebbecca Chambers, Barry Burton or Albert Wesker. There could even be an Ada Wong adventure, as we know she was involved with mansion at some point because of the x-ray puzzle in the laboratory. Game play could go through some upgrades as well. I'd love to play RE1 using the RE4 control scheme. I'd also like to play the game as a first person shooter or as a first person adventure. I wonder how they could take advantage of the Revolution controller.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Xbox is a Catastrophic Success!!

Forbes writes:
"The Xbox game console is hot, but its division has lost $4 billion in four years and isn't yet in the black." -source

Microsoft claims the Xbox 360 will be profitable within two years. Good one, buddy!

Just the facts, M.A.M.E.

Did you know that the average game player is 30 years old and has been playing games for 9.5 year? I bet there are a lot of things about the video game industry you don't know. If that's the case, I highly recommend you read ESA's 2005 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry. It's quite extensive, covering everything from demographics to money generated to units sold.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Old James wasn't there... I don't even know nobody named Old James.

Smith and I saw Dave Chappelle in The No saturday night. He did stand up for two hours. His set was only supposed to be for an hour. But people kept yelling random things, and he would play off of it. Basically, the second hour was him improving. He even admitted at one point that he was supposed to be done "fifteen minutes ago," and then continued for another forty five. Said he was having great time in Fresno. It's nice to see an entertainer being entertained by his audience. I'm still laughing.

I'd repeat a joke or two, but it would really be out of context.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Get your FREE iPod Battery

Thanks to a settlement, you may be entitled to a free iPod replacement battery. But you better hurry. The the cut off date is September 30th, 2005.

In order to qualify, you have to test your ipod to see if the battery lasts less than four or five hours, depending on your model. Considering that my iPod runs out of juice if I leave it off the charger over night, I think I'll be getting that new battery.

I'm testing mine right now with Adult. They are one of my favorite electronic bands. Highly recommend.

Visit for details.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

An Evening with Trent Reznor. Only an evening?

I saw the Nine Inch Nails last night. What a show.

Darkside and I arrived at the arena two hours before the concert started. We got a great spot near the left side of the stage, only five or so people back. And there we watched the opening act (have no idea who they were) and then Queens of the Stone Age. QOTSA put on a great show. Hadn't really heard their music before, but they impressed me. I'd see them again without hesitation. I plan on buying their music. Their lead singer looks like Kraig Kilbourne.

Half an hour after their set was over, NIN took the stage. This is where the madness began. For the next two hours, people were perpetually trying to push themselves towards the front of the herd. I was standing in a tidal wave of people, swaying back and forth and left and right and up and down and in and out. I had to raise my arms to my chest in ensure I could continue breathing while being compressed by a very personal audience.

After the first 30 minutes, something unexpected happened. Me and a large unspecified number of people glided to the right. I found myself center stage, in front of Trent for almost the rest of the show. There were five rows of people in front of me. Considering how compact we all were, I would say it was the equivalent of being in the second or third row of a seated show. Yeah!

Speaking of being compact. Do you have any idea of what it's like being squished in the middle of hundreds of screaming fans jumping up and down? It's very hot and very wet. We were all sweating like pigs. At one point, I had to stand on my toes to get my head above the crowd, just so I could get a breath of fresh cool air. I can only describe it as disgusting, but fun. I also got elbowed in the face, and had my glasses kicked off my head by a floater.

By the time the show was over, my long sleeve shirt was drenched in sweat. Who's sweat, I don't know. I just know that everyone desperately needed a shower. I skipped the traditional trip to Denny's after a concert because of the indescribable nastiness that I was soaked in.

But how was the show?

That's easy. NIN rocked!! I give it an eleven.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Batman & Robin

This movie sucks!! Talk about a turd.

Update: I added an extra exclamation point.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

What others are saying about the Revolution

I found this editorial, Why Nintendo Gets It, or Why Sony Should Start Trying by Shawn Rider, while doing a search for "Nintendo." I like the way this writer thinks: "Compared to the Revolution, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are simply expensive upgrades to existing platforms."

Reading through various forums on the net, I've noticed numerous people have had similar reactions to the device. First they hate it, then after reading more about the wand and hearing what the folks with hands-on experience have to say, they become much more positive. This pattern is summed up nicely in the revolution has been televised by Jeremy Parish. "Reading back over the official explanation of the reasoning behind the Revolution controller -- that Nintendo is trying to reduce the major barrier that modern controllers represent to casual gamers -- it's hard not to be supportive of the stupid thing just on principle."

Another powerful piece of media that has changed many opinions has been this demonstration video. This allows us to see the true potential of the revolution controller, something not obvious for a teevee remote look-a-like.

Friday, September 16, 2005

But will it play traditional games?

According to Jim Merrick, Nintendo Europe's senior director of marketing, yes.
"We're producing a classic-style expansion controller, based on traditional designs like the Gamecube controller. It's like a shell with a hole in the top into which you slot the freehand-style controller, and then you can play third-party ported games, and retro Nintendo games you've downloaded."


The Force Is Strong with Nintendo

The Revolution Controller is the shiznit!!

I've created a theoretical little game in my head, based on Star Wars, that takes advantage of the new possibilities the Revolution controller has to offer. I call it, "Dinner with Vader."

You play the role of Darth Vader. You see from his perspective. The game starts with you sitting at a long dinner table facing a door on the other end of the room. The door opens, revealing rebel scum. You stand up. Chewbacca screams. Han starts blasting.

Using the pointing capabilities of the controller, you move Darth's hand to block the blaster fire. You place a pointer on Han's blaster. You press up on the D-pad to use your "Force Grab" power. Then you give the controller a quick fling backwards, sending his blaster out of his hand and into yours.

Here is where the fun begins...

Why play out the movie the way it is? You are holding a blaster. Let's use it. The pointer now becomes a target icon. Use the target pointer to aim at Han's face and pull the B trigger with your index finger. You just took Han out.

Now for Leia. Press the A button with your thumb to drop the blaster. Use "Force Grab" again to pick up a plate, aim at Leia, lunge your controller forward, take your finger off the D-pad. The plate goes flying. She's out cold.

Chewy raises his Crossbow. Press A again. Since you aren't holding anything this time, this will instead ignite your light saber. As a bolt comes flying towards you, two pointers show up on the screen. The first pointer is an area of the screen where you need to put your lightsaber in order to defend against the bolt. The second pointer targets the background, showing where the bolt will be deflected. By angling the controller properly, you can choose your target. Let's send that bolt right back at fuzzball.

Lando is just sitting there looking like he could use a Colt-45 right about now. Use "Force Grab" one last time to take a hold of his neck. Slightly rotate your wrist clockwise to tighten your squeeze. Do you let go and let him live? Or do you keep turning your wrist, crushing his windpipe?

The possibilities are endless.

Out of ultimate respect for Nintendo, I sit here in silence.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Game Under Presents: The Revolution Controller

Read more. See more. Discuss.

Iwata's Keynote in Realtime

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is currently giving his keynote speech at the Tokyo Game Show. is posting information as it comes. Refresh often. And for the love of technology, give us some Revolution details!!

Revolution News, Soon

Is this the first legit pic concerning the Revolution? Nintendo will unveil information about the Revolution on Friday in Japan, or Thursday night in the U.S. That's what I heard.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Retro Killer App

The rumor is Nintendo is finally going to pony up details about the Revolution this weekend at the Tokyo Game Show. Something that Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony fans alike have been waiting for.

Nintendo has revealed close to nothing about the Revolution. We know nothing about the controller, which is supposed to be different and will "revolutionize" gaming. We know nothing about graphic capabilities, except that it will support 480p. And we know nothing about new games, other than it's a sure bet there will be a Mario, a Zelda and a Smash Bros. But we know a whole lot about old games.

With the Revolution, you'll be able to download games from the Nintendo back catalog, spanning the NES through the N64 (for a fee). We'll once again be able to play retro titles like Super Mario Bros, Super Metroid, Clu Clu Land, Mario Kart 64, and countless others. Publishers, such as Konami and Capcom, will most likely also try to get in on the action.

But there is one game in particular that might seal the deal for the retro gaming crowd: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!

Ever since Nintendo started releasing NES games for its Game Boy line, fans have been begging Nintendo for Punch-Out. I think Nintendo has purposely been holding the Punch-Out card close to their chest, waiting for the right time to play it. That time has come. It is my prediction that Punch-Out will be the retro killer app that will sell Revolutions to the fanboys of yesteryear.

Selling retro games as downloads is a brilliant move for Nintendo. Here are four reasons:
1) Retro games are like classic movies. There will always be a market for them.

2) Games have become much more complicated in recent years. A person like my dad could never play Resident Evil 4, Halo 2 or GTA:III. He easily becomes frustrated with a controller loaded with fifteen widgets. A return to the classics means a return to two buttons and a d-pad. Games will be accessible to the masses, once again.

3) Instant gratification. No driving to the store. No over night shipping. You play now.

4) People will buy these games as if they were pumping quarters into Street Fighter II.

I leave you with this Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! flash movie parody. It's in bad taste. So you know it'll be funny.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Game Boy goes Shrinky Dink

Though not as small (and perhaps not quite as sexy) as the iPod Nano, the Nintendo Game Boy Micro is sure to turn a few heads.

Nintendo released the reduced sized handheld in Japan this past week. They have yet to release official numbers, but the product has apparently sold better than originally expected. However, sales did not do as well as the GBA-SP. But how could it? The GBA line has already reached a saturation point, with 67.77 million sold worldwide.

But Nintendo isn't aiming towards the hard core gamer crowd with the Micro. They are looking to broaden the video game population by appealing to those have yet to catch the Pac-man bug. The smaller size and custom face plates are designed to help alleviate the stereotypical geek image that is commonly associated with playing games. Overall, it looks less like a toy, and more like a cell phone. I'd say this device was made with 20 and 30 somethings in mind.

I've read that Nintendo is looking for alternative venues to sell these devices. The chain store Hot Topic comes to mind. Hot Topic already sells video game related merchandising, like shirts and wallets. But they also cater to other large pop cultures: goth, rock, emo and alternative.

The U.S. version is coming out on September 19th for the retail price of $99. I don't plan on getting one, because I already have an SP, a DS and the Game Boy player for the cube. But I still think this device, if marketed correctly, will easily sell in millions.

One more thing...

It's the 20th Anniversary of Super Mario today. W00t!

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Most Fabulous Object in the World

The dim-witted dwarf in the Terry Gilliam film Time Bandits spoke of "the most fabulous object in the world." I'm now convinced he was speaking of the Apple iPod Nano.

A good friend of mine purchased one, giving me the opportunity to see the Nano up close and personal. How do the good folks of Apple do it? How are they able to make an inanimate object so sleek and so sexy that many of us practically drool from the mouth upon seeing one?

Three words: Consumer Product Erotica.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Which Harry Potter character are you?

I am:

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

For the record, I almost always score an INTP.

Friday, September 09, 2005

To 360 or Not to 360: That is the Question

When I purchased Halo 2 a week ago, the store clerk at Gamestop asked if I wanted to pre-order an Xbox 360. I said no, as that was my honest opinion. He asked, "Are you sure? If you want one before the end of the year, you'll have to pre-order." I told him no thanks and that I was planning on waiting.

But having played Halo 2 for the past week, my interest in the 360 has peaked. I kinda want one. It is the first next gen console. It will be technically superior the consoles that are on the shelf.

But what about the game line up? For one, Halo 3 won't be released until 2006. And Halo is the source of my inspiration. Plus, the launching line up for just about every system usually pales in comparison to the games that come out only 6 months later.

And what about Microsoft's stupid strategy of releasing several versions of the 360? Already from the beginning, there are 2 different versions of the Xbox 360. One with a hard drive, and one without. Personally, I think any consumer that chooses to buy one without the hard drive is shooting themselves in the foot, as one of the major selling points of games like Halo is the ability to download new content that extends the game. Like new maps. And some games will require a hard drive, like the next Final Fantasy.

Another point to consider it the HD-DVD aspect. Microsoft is considering releasing a future version that supports HD-DVD. Even though HD-DVD now looks like it's dead in the water, if Microsoft chooses to go this route, will games start shipping on HD-DVD discs instead of standard DVDs?

What if the Xbox 360 just flat out fails? I think that won't happen, but there is a significant chance that it will. I'm sure many units will sell right off the bat, thanks to fanboyism. But how will it fare in the long run. The unique feature of the Xbox, online gaming, will be common place in all three of the next gen consoles. So that's not much of a selling point anymore. The PS3 is going to have, as claimed by Sony, much better graphics. Nintendo will have a huge back catalog of retro games available for the Revolution, and possibly a new way of playing games. Microsoft has no unique feature advantage at the moment, other that releasing first. But I guess there is always the possibility unannounced features.

I guess the answer is not to 360. Suck it, Yorick!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Game Viewer

Click here for full size

See all those black arrows? Those indicate whom killed whom.

What the hell are you talking about?

I'm talking about Halo 2, yo! I've already mentioned that Bungie keeps detailed records of all the games played on Xbox live. Well, I just discovered an extra goodie called Game Viewer, which allows players to look at a visual representation of how a battle was played out. This serves as a sort of guide that allows me to see where I've left myself wide open to attack, so that I may learn from my mistakes. I can also get a better sense of the strategies used by other players. And it's a lot of fun to see where I was standing when I fragged or got fragged.

The only problem, for you, is that you have to have an account with to actually use the game viewer. Sorry.

BTW, I'm the 8.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

kids 37, clu 0

I finally picked up Halo 2 for the Xbox (at a reduced price.) Even though I couldn't stand the first one, Halo 2 offers something that Halo 1 does not. Online play. Up until this point, I have been less than satisfied with Xbox Live. Mostly because kids are more or less cussing you out the whole time. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the word "gay."

But for some reason, people don't talk nearly as much while playing Halo as the other Xbox Live games I've played. Thus, flaming has been reduced to a simmer.

I suck! I mean, I keep losing. Not once have I gotten anywhere near first place. Sure, if you look at my online statistics, you'll see I've managed 2nd place a few times. But I was still many, many kills away from obtaining the number one spot. I chose an "8" for my current emblem, because I frequently come in last place (Up to 8 players in a match.)

Speaking of online statistics... Bungie tracks and keeps detailed records of every game played. Which is by far one of the coolest features of Halo 2. You can see every game I've played, the date and time of these games, which place I took, the map we played, the players I battled against, and much more. Yeah, it's pretty sweet.

The final word on Halo 2, fun. And I haven't even bothered with the single player adventure, yet.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Fire on the News

Smith and I went to New Orleans earlier this year. It's our favorite city in the world.

I've been glued to the television since monday. This morning, I've been watching one of the fires on Fox News. Using google maps, I discovered that this fire is directly across the street from the hotel we stayed in. The yellow box indicates the location of the fire.

While there, I did take some pictures outside our hotel window. Including pictures of the building I've been watching all morning. They are the ones in the bottom left corner.

The one on the left has already burned to the ground. There is a team of firefighters the rooftop behind the second building. Unfortunately, it seems they only have access to one hose. So it's probably only a matter of time until the second one burns down to the ground, too. I'm worried that these fires will spread to the other buildings in the area. Yes, I care more about the welfare of the thousands of stranded citizens. But I would also like the remaining areas of this historical and culturally rich city to survive.

There are people who could use our help. Please make a donation. Even $5 will make a difference.

Red Cross

Thursday, September 01, 2005

No One Knows Controllers Like Nintendoes presents the Top Ten Console Controller Innovations of all time. It's a pretty good list. In fact, you can thank Nintendo for the top six. Reading this list gives me confidence that Nintendo might actually know what they are doing with the mysterious and much hyped Revolution controller.

Many have scoffed at the radical design of the Nintendo DS handheld, which sports two screens, one being a touch sensitive, and a microphone. It's taken some time, but many are starting to come around to the idea of using a stylus or finger to control on-screen action. Nintendogs, which utilizes the touch screen and microphone, has sold a quarter million copies within the first week of sales here in the U.S. In Japan, the DS has been out selling the PSP and PS2 combined for weeks.