The last stand. Uh, you know, until the next last stand....

Ok, so I attendend a midnight screening of pretty much the only thing opening this weekend-X-Men: The Last Stand. How was it? Well I think the casual moviegoing crowd will enjoy it, but comic book fans probably won't like how much it messes with the known stories of the X-men universe. And despite claims that this would probably be the last X-men film, way too many hints of a sequel abound. And I thought it was a fun ride, so I don't have a problem with that.

Pretty muc hnothing else to report today, so I'll just leave off with THE FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Bloody Rage


You know what really grinds my gears?

Seth MacFarlane trying to pull a fast one on us, that's what. This past Sunday's "season finale" of Family guy was nothing more the an extremely neutered and shortened version of the Stewie Griffin movie that came out way back in September of last year. I was initally as excited as anybody to see Family Guy return to the airwaves, but I'm gonna fully admit that this has been a geniunely mediocre if not downright awful season, and giving the fans a huge "screw you" by trying to pass off something that's been available for months as new is just inexcusable. Way to burn the fans responsible for getting your job back.

The summertime blues have officially begun for gamers, with the release slate looking slimmer and slimmer up until at least September, but I'm very interested in checking out Steambot Chronicles, it seems like a fun quirky rpg that'd be right up my alley (although I'm not quite done with Atelier Iris 2 yet, so I'll probably hold off with that for a little while.

That's mostly all I have for today discussion-wsie, but I got lots of cool new media for everybody:

First up, somebody went ahead and made a Angel/Buffy trailer mixed in with Sin City, these go so perfectly together, it's damn eerie:

Secondly, someone has gone ahead and made a very cool flash series that finally combines the worlds of Mario & Sonic, infused with clever Dragonball Z style. Check out Episode 1 and Episode 2, this is just pretty amazing work.

And finally,. with Scrubs off the air til the new midseason in January, I've decided to add a new weekly feature until it comes back: The SCRUBS CLIP OF THE WEEK:


Nintendo: Masters of half-assing it.

So, I did just get back from seeing The Da Vinci Code, and the movie doesn't even do justice to the fairly mediocre novel. So many key things are changed and left out, anyone who read the book will feel like they are seeing a movie based on a different book, and anyone who didn't read the book will not understand most of the movie. It's also very poorly paced at a plodding 150 minutes and even though you have a fine cast with the likes of Tom Hanks, Iam Mckellean & Jean Reno, the acting all around is extremely wooden and/or hammy. Since this will obviously be a huge smash regardless, it'll be likely that they will adapt the much better Angels & Demons, and hopefully, it'll be a much better book.

Ok, so I did pick up the New Super Mario Bros., and it's a great throwback to the 2D era. It even allows you to play competively against others in minigames and such. The problem? It's only if someone has a DS within 10 feet of you. This is yet another example of Nintendo promising to really utilize a key feature of a product and just truly half-assing it. I mean seriously, you hav wifi available, why not make every use out of it? They have essentially done this with every "feature" they've tried to include. The Zapper, the power pad, ROBB, the ram cartridge for the N64, the gameboy connectivity, online in general. I could list plenty more, but that gets my main point across, Nintendo has a habit of introducing some potentially huge innovation if it's actually supported with a weatlh of innovative titles, and they tend to actually not do much to support said innovation. I'm hoping the Wii will be a lomg overdue change of focus, not only on the need for innovative controls (which will most likely happen since the primary controller is so unique) but a healthy online service. This means if a game is multi-player, it better have online capabilites, if we want to download old classics from the virtual console like say Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Street Fighter 2, they better have online capabilities as well. A solid online selection could be the key difference in this upcoming round of the console wars, lord knows Microsoft is essentially placing all their hopes on the future of online, Nintendo may at least want to give it an earnest effort for a change.

Free Game of the Week: Johnny Rocketfingers 2


Those who learn from history will hopefully repeat it

Not normally how the saying goes, but if Nintendo follows its own history, the Wii will launch for the low low price of $199, which would be awesome.

So, I probably should've done a wrap up of E3 over the weekend, but I felt everything had pretty much been said. You talk to anybody who wasn't a die-hard fanboy of MS or Sony, Nintendo easily stole the show, and all the really big news came from the press conferences before the show even started. Aside from the Super Smash Bros. game, no big news or sleeper hits that everyone was talking about were uunveiled. So although much more exciting than laste year's show, it wasn't nearly as exciting as when the last systems were introduced, there just wasn't nearly as much of a wow factor this time around.

Of course this is all supposition. Nintendo could still have a shitty launch (although doubtful with both Zelda & Metroid being available). And Sony could still pull a rabbit out of their hat with some high-profile blu-ray movies and a really stunning launch selection come November. We'll really just have to wait and see. Plus, people tend to buy names they are familiar with, and the Sony brand is undoubtedly a juggernaut.

Of course with the coming and going of E3 and the arrival of Summer, the game releases have pretty much slowed to a crawl, but any DS owner worth their salt will undoubtedly pick up Mario's return to old school in the oh-so creatively titled New Super Mario Bros. (couldn't they have just named it Super Mario Bros. DS or something?). I've been working too much this week to pick it up just yet, but I fully plan to remedy that tommorow.

And although I usually wiat till Thursday for the weekend's movies, I'll address this weekend's biggest opening, The Da Vinci Code, right now. Plain and simple, Dan Brown is a hack. He has exactly one good book to his credit, Angels & Demons and he just copied that book from there on out. Secretive socities, impossible heroes that are geeky yet attractive scientists working on a mystery that could change the foundation of an organiation that's been around for decades, and an :unlikely" but completely predictable good guy who is actually a bad guy. You remove the religious controversy and you've got one fairly abysmal story. And, judging from early reactions, that is how it is percieved on the big screen as well.

That's really all I have for today, but to go out on a sweet note, check out these Wiimote-inspired cakes. MMMMMM, CAKES!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


I'm never getting on a goddamn boat again....

Ok, so after two days of nearly nonstop huge news, today at E3 was pretty much dead, relatively speaking. Other than a trailer for a far off in the future Indiana Jones title, not much to get excited about, so I'll just move on to the only movie even worth talking about this weekend: Poseidon. The effects look impressive enough, but this was already done. Twice. And no doubt some will compare it to Titanic, which although it focuses on more characters, is probably fair. I just see no interest for this film whatsoever. I'm sure it will do decent opening weekend numbers, but I'm not planning on seeing it. I highly reccomed you see MI3 instead, it's a fun Summer film and deserves better than the "disapointing" opening weekend it had.



Hey, you've got your Snake in my Smash Bros.!

It almost seemed like it wasn't even going to be mentioned. After Reggie Fills-Aime made the announcement at E3 last year the Super Smash Bros. was going to be a launch title for the Wii. But it was conspicously absent from the Nintedo's press conference, and it was a no show on the floor. But lo and behold, the next Super Smash bros. game was unveiled to journalists behind closed doors. The new key playes already known:
Meta Knight
Kid Icarus
And Solid Snake from the Metal Gear games. Supposedly more are coming, with a strong hint of Sonic being a distinct possibility. Now for the bad news: It won't be out until sometime next year. That would've been one hell of a way to push online at launch, but I'm willing to wait.

And on the first official day Nintendo still had the most interesting stuff by far, especially since you got to see people actually use the controller on Mario, Metroid and Zelda. Despite the obvious lack of graphical quality in the games, I'm getting more excited about the system by the day, especially with the new gun for an upcoming Duck Hunt title:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


And that's really all I got for today, I'll be back again tommorow, though.


Wii Need a Revolution.

Ok, the name is still silly, but I doubt Nintendo has many doubters left after their rather amazing press conference today. The Wii and it's TV-style sensor-remote were in fully fuctional form, showing off new versions of Mario, Zelda and Metroid.
But truly impressive was the Red Steel demo, which really showed off what the controller could do. In all honesty my only complaint of this press conference would be that the graphics on the games actually did not look the least bit impressive when stacked up against the 360 or the PS3 titles. Most of them looked like they could easily be done on the Gamecube in fact, which may make it hard to pull in a public that prizes eye-candy so much. But as for me, I'm completely sold and want to reserve one as soon as humanly possible.

Microsoft also had their big conference today, and it was really only slightly better than Sony's. They touted off a bunch of meaningless projected numbers, and showed off quite a few clearly pre-renedered videos that showed no hint of actual gameplay. Indeed, the only game that impressed was Gears of War. They also seemed to have almost nothing but shooters coming out. Speaking of which, they did close out the press conference with a highly anticipated Halo 3 trailer, but again it was simply a short teaser to appease the hardcore fans. It was hardly a noteoworthy showing. Hopefully the next few days will show something more promising.

That's really all I have for today, but I'll be posting all this week with my thoughts on the daily happenings of E3.

Sony, bastion of originality....

So, In all the anticipation of Nintendo's conference in a little under 10 hours, I totally forgot that Sony also had a big press conference today. Here is their official deisgn for the PS3, with their "newly redesigned" controller:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Looks sorta familiar, don't it? Well, aside from being wireless (also another original idea...) the big difference is that they have basically stolen Nintendo's main gimmick and supposedly added motion-sensing capablities to the controller, though my guess is it won't bey a key component of any noteworthy titles, and therefore limited to being a nifty gimmick that's never utilized.

And suprisingly they announced the prices. Two prices to be exact (again, does this sound familiar?). $500 for the shitty model with a 20 gig hardrive. $600 for the slightly less shitty model with a bigger hardrive. Well the only fucked up this idea twice as bad as MS did. But Sony's lower-priced model is even more cut off than MS' was. I really think Sony is pushing the limits of what people will spend on a gaming machine (that's right, IT'S A FUCKING GAMING MACHINE, GET USED TO IT!).

They mentioned some online details, but it was honestly very vague stuff, aside from saying they wanted to create an integral online community or something to that effect. No details on pricing of any sort (which means it most likely won't be free).

Finally, Sony did throw out several trailers that were suppossed to impress: 8 Days, Heavenly Sword, and Resistance. I admit 8 days looked impresively graphically, but the other trailers were extremely underwhelming in my view. This was pretty much my fear. These all look simply like prettier versions of games we already play. Not any new ways to play them.

SquareEnix also had a press conference today. Their big news was a brief trailer for Final Fantasy XIII, which will be exclusive to the PS3, but honestly, as big an FF fan as I am, I was severely unimpressed by the static designs and obviously prer-renedered animations that would be quite simple for an rpg to pull off with its traditionally limited interaction. I was much more enthused about SE announcing a Dragon Quest game for the Wii (hell, I'm over it, but I hold out a little hope that they'll say it was a joke tommorow) that will be available AT LAUNCH. Nintendo's system is just sounding better and better.


Best,. Week. Ever.

So I saw Mission Impossible 3 today, and although the plot was damn predictable, it was a very fun action film. I highly reccomend you at least try and see past the crazyness that is Tom Cruise because the man can still deliver a very solid action flick.

Now, why is this coming week the best week ever? Not only is Season 3 of Scrubs out on DVD this Tuesday, but this week is the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, running from the 9th through the 12th, and it promises so much more than last year's somewhat dismal showing. This year, rather than merely presenting system protoypes and what most of us believe (and I still will to someone actually plays the damn things) was impressive but pre-rendered footage, we actually finally get to see just exactly what Sony & Nintendo really have up their sleeve, and if MS really has anything to counter them with (namely meaning if Gears of War & Too Human are not only playable, but also if they are any good). You can get the official list of the known titles here. Hopefully there will be a few suprises as well, but I can easily say I am most anticipating the lineup for Nintendo's new system, especially since somebody from Time Magazine has gotten some early play wth the unique controller and was reportedly extremely impressed.

Ok, that's really all I got for today, but I'm not working Tues. or Wed., which should be the biggest days of E3, so I'll definitely post my thoughts on what's happening for both those days.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it....

Is to try and ignore the fact that Tom Cruise is not only a complete loon, but possibly the WORST DANCER EVER:

Because despite the fact that I absolutely hated last year's War of the Worlds, I am pretty pumped about MI3 this weekend. The previews look very solid, and despite the nonsesical plots, I enjoyed the 2 previous films. It's also pretty much the only film even worth mentioning that's opening this weekend.

USA Today has published their annual "Save our Shows" Survey, trying to drum up support for shows near cancellation. Not surprisingly the top two are critically acclaimed brilliant shows that for some reason not enough people watch. It is a seriously sorry state of TV when Deal or No Deal is a ratings monster, but Scrubs & Veronica Mars are nearing the edge of cancellation despite all the positive press the critics have given them. Those are two of my favorite shows, but given that even if NBC drops Scrubs, ABC has repeatedly said they would gladly pick it up, and Veronica Mars is one of only 2 acclaimed shows on UPN (the other being the excellent Everybody Hates Chris), I'm not too worried.

Ok, that's really all I have for today.


Why Can't Wii be Friends?

Unfortunately, it's just a fan made movie, but I gotta admit, it looks pretty damn cool. If The Big N can make their ad campaign that hip, they might be able to turn this thing around(and yes, I've finally bothered to learn how to post videos directly onto my blog, so that will be a regular thing).

Of course, they may not need to. In addition to Red Steel, Super Monkey, Madden, Metal Slug and even the upcoming Spider-Man 3 game are all getting exclusive Nintendo versions specifically designed to work with the controller (add in Smash Bros online and there's no way I'm not having one on launch day). E3 is next week, and it holds a helluva more promise than last year's dissapointing show.

Several new Trailers popped up this week: A new Superman trailer, a new Pirates of the Carribean Trailer, and the first 007 trailer. While I was extremely impressed by both POTC & 007, the Superman one didn't impress me much. The effects looked a little hokey, and aside from Kevin Spacey, none of the actors seemed convincing. I remain hopeful it'll still come together, but I'm not nearly as I hyped as I previously had been.

Ok, that's really all I got for today, except for the FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: FAMILY GUY vs. AMERICAN DAD


Stop playing with your Wii!!!!

See. sound silly and immature, doesn't it? Well that's what the average Nintendo fanboy has come out and said. That anybody who is deriding the name for Nintendo's new system is simply immature and possibly homophobic, cause let's face it, the name is damn fruity no matter what way you put it. That being said, this system was suppossed to bring Nintendo back into the more mainstrem audience. The average gamer. The average person. And the average person, especially the average gamer, is exactly that-immature as hell and not looking to buy anything that they might percieve as silly (or "ghey"), which is exactly what a name like "Wii" implies. Hell, at best, it makes the system, once again, sound like a toy. And people, generally speaking, are only willing to spend so much on a toy. Really, the only way Nintedo can regain any groud at this point is too have an absolutely killer E3 showing, and with Sony & MS already having some gauraunteed big guns, that's going to be a major challenge to say the least.

That's really all I have for today-haven't had a whole lot of time to play with Atelier Iris 2 or Lost Magic, but I'm enjoying both of the so far.