One of the few times I'll actually care about soccer

You know, even though I played and really enjoyed soccer in my youth, like most Americans, I've never been a big fan of following the sport itself. But with Mario Strikers Charged, The Wii's first true online title, finally hitting stores tomorrow, I may become a genuine fan. Course, this is nothing like real soccer, with only 4 guys to a team and completely random stuff like cows running across the field and electric shocks. But hey, maybe that's just what the real sport needs!

I did check out the Simpsons Movie on Sunday, and it was better than anything the TV show has done in awhile, but not nearly up to the brilliance of the first decade of the show.

Babylon 5 is arguably the greatest Sci Fi opera to date. It had a great 5 year continuous arc, real flawed characters and was way better than anything that ever came out of Gene Roddenberry,'s head. That's why I'm pretty excited to get an epilogue of sorts that hits DVD tomorrow, Babylon 5-The Lost Tales. It's always fun to revisit some of my favorite TV universes, and I wish more shows would do it more often. We often get crappy straight to DVD/TV movies of awful shows, or unworthy ones of good shows written for obvious cheap cash-ins with little respect for the source material. Granted, I'm more taking a leap of faith that this is more like say, the Batman animated films, which mostly were great extensions of a tremendous show than crap like Braniac Attacks, which pays no attention to canon, and doesn't even feel like the show it was culled from. But with the original creator behind this, I feel I have good reason to keep my hopes up, and it's supposedly not the last time he'll dip into the B5 universe, so I anxiously await more adventures to come.

That's really all I got for today, and here's your sort of free trailer of the week: IRON MAN FOOTAGE FROM COMIC CON:


D'oh or Woohoo?

Well, it only took nearly 20 years, but the Simpsons finally hit the big screen tomorrow, and I'm not sure what to think. Part of me is definitely saying that this'll will probably be of similar quality to the show in it's current state, which is mostly garbage. But, the trailers & brief clips I have seen have already made me laugh harder than any episode of the actual show in about the last 6 years, so I'll remain a little optimistic and probably check it out this weekend.

I'm very interested to see Danny Boyle's take on the Sci Fi genre in Sunshine, but the trailers remind me a little too much of other craptacular outer space disaster flicks and unfortunately it's not playing at any convenient theatres so I'll most likely wait for video.

And the there's I know Who Killed Me. Which seemed doomed from the start. Not only does Lindsay Lohan play a stripper who doesn't get naked, but her recent arrest has torpedoed the film. Obviously whoever said there's no such thing as bad publicity never met Miss Lohan.

That's pretty much all I got for today, but the San Diego Comic Con is going on this weekend, so I'm sure some bigger news will pop up. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Smileys War


Sony hates Christmas. And those Whos. Stole my roast beast...

I wish I could make this shit up. I'm sure Sony execs really aren't any stupider or less insane than the guys at MS or Nintendo (in fact they definitely aren't in the case of MS, but more on that in a minute), but Sony needs to hire round the clock staff to keep these guys behind the desks and away from journalists. The latest gems: Sony doesn't think this Christmas really matters in the long run, and they think price drops annoy you. I mean c'mon guys, how much of your own bullshit do you actually buy into here. Is Christmas '07 the defining timetable for this round? Probably not, but to basically say it's not important is just moronic. It won't really define Sony for the long term, but it could most certainly be where Wii, which is still slaughtering everything except the DS just really breaks ahead of everybody and never looks back. It could be where MS establishes a truly firm lead and holds onto it. Regardless, it better be where Sony gains some major ground unless they want to be a distant third like Nintendo was the last round.

But Sony is finally not alone, as some eyebrows are cocking at the absurd statements by a MS exec, namely that the 3-year warranty is a good thing and a selling point. SO let me get this straight-Literally every single 360 is basically doomed to fail at some point. And the fact that you have to take a billion dollar loss to make up for it, still don't address all the issues, just the most pressing one and expect us to just hold out hope that ours won't fry is a good thing? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ON? I mean, seriously, at what point did these guys miss out on that little thing called common sense? I don't doubt Nintendo has execs this Looney Tunes, but they seem to be able to keep them under wraps, MS & Sony need to do the same if the want to get any headway.

I can't believe it, but this is another awesome week for the Virtual Console. I immediately downloaded the classic turn-based strategy rpg-Shining Force, and Devil's Crush and Kirby's Dream Course are fairly solid additions as well. If some other classic rpg comes out next week, I may not have any time for more modern titles....

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Dungeon Siege: In the Name of the King

Online Videos by Veoh.com


If I ever win the lottery...

I'm gonna use at least some of the money to hire at least one other writer long term for this thing cause occasionally I'm just too damn tired to do so, as was the case Friday, cause I honestly meant to update, but was just too exhausted.

While I avoided any of the crazy madness of the midnight launch, I was easily able to pick up a copy of the final Harry Potter book. I'm only about 30 pages in so far, but I'll most likely have it done by the end of this week. Do I think it's the final Potter adventure? Probably. But the spin-off possibilities are endless, so I seriously doubt this is the last book we'll read concerning the world of Hogwarts.

I did manage to catch Hairspray, and it managed to surpass all expectations. The acting is great, the songs are mostly fantastic and it's just an incredibly fun film. I can honestly say this is the most fun I've had watching a musical since Little Shop of Horrors, and it's easily one of my favorite films of 2007 so far. And to be quite frank, shame on America's moviegoers for making Adam Sandler's new piece of utter trash the number one movie this weekend. I mean, Christ, it's pretty sad when a movie is this universally reviled and still opens this huge, thus giving no credibility whatsoever to critics or audiences since they went to see this shlock.

That's really it for today, but I'll try and come up with something for tomorrow, in the meantime, enjoy your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Transmigration


Adam Sandler is more gay than John Travolta

I'll admit, I was immediately ready to toss off Hairspray as a cheap cash-in remake that would fail, badly. And not because I hate musicals. I love a good musical. Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Singin' in the Rain, most of the Disney animated films of the 90s. Those are good musicals. But mostly, they are crap, especially old "classics" like Oklahoma or the always painful The Sound of Music. Luckily, the buzz on Hairspray is that it's incredible fun, so I definitely plan to check it out this weekend (assuming I can stop reading the new Harry Potter, which I'll talk about tomorrow).

And then we have I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry-Adam Sandler's latest attempt to prove he no longer cares if anything he does is funny. I literally cringed every time I've seen this tired, cliched homophobic trailer that you'd think is a bad combination of The Odd Couple & the Birdcage but is in actuality a blatant rip-off of a Paul Hogan movie made in his native land of Australia. Most of the crowds I've been with when the trailer was shown really only reacted to the hotness of Jessica Biel, so no offense to the lovely Ms. Biel, but I seriously hope even her hotness will not save this movie from being a well-deserved bomb this weekend.

And that's all I have for today, as I gotta be up for work in a little under 7 hours, but I'll definitely talk about the biggest book of the year tomorrow.


Tick, Tick, BOOM

This is a good week for Wii and Xbox people with online. First on monday, we had one the the greatest N64 titles, Paper Mario. Even 6 years later, this game holds up as a classic with lots of firsts that you find not only in Super Paper Mario, but the GBA & DS Mario & Luigi titles as well. If you had this on N64, you know to get it. If you haven't, it's a great way to beat the current drought (at least til Strikers hits in about 2 weeks).

And, by the time I finish posting this, BOMBERMAN will finally be on Xbox live. This is easily one of the ultimate mutli-player games and has remained fun through the simple idea that blowing shit up is awesome. I will definitely be downloading this as soon as I'm done.

I did finally see Harry Potter yesterday, and I thought it was a solid film, but they cut way too much out, which seems to be a consistent problem with this series. I mean, would Potter fans really mind if the films were either ran around 3+ hours like the LOTR movies or even split into two parts? I seriously doubt it. I'm not saying they need to include everything, but a lot of the atmosphere that's so present in the books is sorely missing from the films.

De Blob isn't coming out on Wii til next year sometime, but it's quickly become one of my most anticipated Wii titles,looking like a fun cross between Katamari Damacy & Jet Grind Radio. To see why, you can check out the PC version for free here.

That's all for today, but here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:



Video Day-The Screw Attack edition

I honestly expected something more to break out of E3 in the last two days. Some secret game unveiled, A hint at a real price cut from either Nintendo or MS, proof that the corporate jackasses at Sony are indeed possessed by imps bent on destroying the company, something. But no dice, so I thought I'd leave you guys with some of the best work of Handsome Tom & Stuttering Craig, courtesy of Gametrailers (and your free game of the week is at the end):

Top Ten Worst Fighting Games:

Top Ten Coolest Characters:

Video Game Vault-Mega Man 2:

Top Ten Beat em Ups:

Video Game Vault: Nights into Dreams:

Video Game Vault: General Chaos:



Nobody can kill good will faster than Sony

You know, if you asked me this morning how I felt about Sony and the PS3, my response would've been that it looks they've finally made a turning point. Sure, I feel the 80 gig model is a giant waste, but not really any more than the 360 Elite, and their lineup for the next 12 months looks really solid. Hell, I'd probably buy one early next year, maybe even this holiday if I've got enough left over after buying all the cool 360, Wii & DS titles (not likely, but who knows). I bet a lot of gamers who had more or less felt Sony was really done for felt that way. But then Sony has to be Sony. They can never keep the goodwill going and just shut the fuck up. And once again, Sony is just asking for it with what has come out in just the past day.

First off, we have Jack Tretton claiming that third parties just don't know how to take advantage of the uber-awesomeness of the PS3, and if they can't do that they shouldn't bother make games for the PS3. Way to support your partners there, Jack!

Now that's simply an exec being stupid, it's almost Sony's forte at this point. But then we get to announcements that really will piss off somebody far more important: THE GAMERS. Firstly the Europeans: Sony has fucked these poor people over a lot. Launching way late & having a wretched excuse for backwards compatibility when the 60 gig over here does it to near perfection. And Sony today has shown that they don't give a damn about that territory, because not only are they not getting the 80 gig model that Sony has been hyping so much, they aren't even dropping the price. Just what is their brilliant strategy to increase their horrid sales over there anyways?

But hey, I'm an American, I don't really need to concern myself with how badly Europe is getting fucked, as long as I can get one for $500 or maybe even cheaper as the reaction from many companies is that $500 isn't cheap enough. But here's where Sony really pisses me and everybody who was thinking about buying one off:

According to SCEE president David Reeves, the now-cheaper 60GB PS3 will be sold out in the US by the end of the month. Once they're gone? No more. Ever.

All they're doing is taking their stock in trade that they've got at the moment of the 60GB model, marking the price down and it will all be gone by the end of July.

Once that happens, he says, there'll be just the 80GB models. Which cost $599. So if you want in on some of that PS3 price-cut action, you'd best get cracking.

Seriously Sony, just go fuck yourselves. You finally drop the price, your sales go through the roof (comparatively speaking) and you're basically going to throw that momentum away completely in a few weeks? You must have a bunch of mentally challenged monkeys running you're company, because this is by far the stupidest move any company has made, ever. If this indeed turns out to be true, I'll definitely not be buying a PS3 anytime soon, possibly never, cause I just can't take the bullshit anymore. I', seriously nearing the point where I'd do a dance of joy if your entire company went bankrupt, because you've honestly fucking earned it at this point.

To end today on a happier note, I've made my first internet video, and managed to not look like a jackass (possibly because I'm not in it), but check out my fan-made trailer for Nights: Journey of Dreams:

Iit' a little rough I admit, but I think good for a first effort. I'll probably do a better. longer version when they release a lot more footage. And just like the last couple of days, I'm posting some of what I think are the best videos of the day to come out of E3:

Super Mario Galaxy: Bee Gameplay

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Debut Trailer:

That's it for now, I'll definitely be back Saturday or Sunday though.


You can't please all the people all the time...

I understand where Nintendo was coming from, I do, And if I was an investor, a senior-citizen, or a soccer mom, I'd be damn pleased watching Reggie talk today. But I'm a gamer. A longtime gamer. While not necessarily a loyal Nintendo fanboy, I definitely was one of the guys who supported you through the rough times with my hard-earned cash. And watching this conference, I felt bored and a little angry. Mario Kart! Yay!! Solid '07 dates for Mario Galaxy & Smash Bros, yay! And that was really it. The rest was patting themselves on the back how they've had great success with an audience that doesn't normally play games and announcing games for that audience that while we veteran gamers may get some fun out of things like the new Wii Fitness, it's not something we bought the system for, and we don't want to hear about it. Where's the virtual console news? Or some concrete info on Wii Ware? Why didn't you talk about some more of the great games you've got coming out instead of sales numbers we already know about? I mean, Nintendo knows it's the hardcore fanbase that really watches this stuff, that's who they should've catered to. There's lots to be excited about for Wii in '07, but judging from this conference, you wouldn't know it.

Surprisingly, I think Sony fared far better this year, but still had an underwhelming show, with the message seeming to be "look what we have coming out in '08!", and indeed, I will probably be willing to pony up $500 for this system next year sometime as they have some stellar titles on the way. But Sony really needs some killer apps this holiday season, and I just don't think games like Uncharted & Ratchet & Clank are going to move units. Especially not compared to what MS & Nintendo have coming. If Sony can't really capitalize on this holiday season, the doomsayers may actually be correct, cause Sony cannot afford to be a distant 3rd in this race. On the bright side, Home actually looks pretty functional, if completely over the top; and Killzone 2 actually looks phenomenal, but it's not coming for awhile.

And no, I haven't completely forgotten about Harry Potter, but I'll save any thoughts on it til at least tomorrow, depending on how much more E3 news breaks out. In the meantime, here's some of the best vids to chew on:

Metroid Prime 3 trailer:

Metroid Prime 3 Stage Demonstration:

Mario Galaxy Trailer

Mario Kart Wii

Metal Gear Solid 4

Killzone 2


Microsoft plays it safe

There were some nice visuals on some games (which I'll post trailers of) but MS really didn't wow this E3. What's coming looks great, but it's all stuff we were pretty much aware of. Really, the only nice surprise was Sonic & Golden Axe being released on Xbox Live Arcade right away (though I'm downloading the Blue Dragon demo right now, which they barely talked about). Where's Too Human? Where's some killer exclusives? Where are some brand new titles? Where is the much expected price drop? Why do I have to wait until November to play Mass Effect? MS really had a chance to strike first with a bunch of bombshells and really all they did was yell and say "look at this crap you already know about!" And tout their sales numbers. It's yet to be seen if Nintendo or Sony really do any better, but I think MS could've shown us some titles that should be out in '08 in order to get us excited. And quite frankly, the Halo 3 360 looks ugly as sin:

But luckily Halo 3, Mass Effect & Call of Duty 4 looked absolutely stunning, so I'll leave you with those videos for today (couldn't find a video for the Call of Duty 4 gameplay, though) and talk about Nintendo & Sony's press conferences tomorrow:



Ooh, found one: CALL OF DUTY 4


3 steps back?

It was revealed today that the new 80 gig PS3 model will not have the nearly full backwards compatibility that the $500 model does. Really doesn't seem like that model is going to sell anything now. I've always said I don't believe backwards compatibility is that important a feature in the long run, but if it's something you promise to have, you'd better fucking stick to it, and dropping it, especially from your new "uber" model that you want everyone to embrace, is too fucking stupid for words.

Is it possible to shaft your fans as much as Sony has this past year? Probably not, but Bethesda is sure making strides in that direction, having just announced a "Game of the Year" edition of Oblivion for PC, 360 & PS3. It includes all the expansion content and the original game for a cheaper price than the original Oblivion when it came out. That's great for gamers who missed out on this title (which is what, like 10 people?), but seriously? This is a giant slap in the face to anybody who bought the expansions or the PS3 version because none of those have even been out that long. Fuck you Bethesda, I'll sure as hell remember this crap when your next game comes out, and I won't be the only one.

That's really all I have for today, but I will most definitely be back tomorrow as not only does Harry Potter hit theatres at midnight, but MS is kicking of E3 a little early with their own big press conference around 8:30 pm, which I will definitely be posting my thoughts on. In the meantime, since this week is E3, your trailer of the week is a game: NIGHTs: Journey of Dreams


One step forward, two steps back

Before I get started, no, this column is not about MC Skat Scat. Geez is it Sunday (almost Monday as I'm writing this) already? I don't really have a good excuse as I had both Friday & Saturday off, except my new gaming obsession, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix for Wii. Don't let the slightly average scores fool you, this is a perfect fit for the Wii with its wand motions & a really fun game. I just think reviewers are understandably hesitant to give praise to a movie-based game by EA. It's not perfect, mind you, I'd probably give it a solid "8", but it sure is fun.

So, Sony finally buckled and cut their price. But is $100 really enough? With the complete lack of quality software out right now, and all of PS3's really big guns that we know of not coming out til next year, it doesn't look like it. But at least that's a step in the right direction. But they completely fucked it up by announcing a new, "superior" PS3 at the original price. This is just plain stupid. Multiple versions of the same console are moronic. People get confused about which version to buy. Retailers are hesitant about which version to stock, developers can't risk making anything that only would work on the higher-end systems, which limits them tremendously. We've seen this. Almost nobody owns a 360 core, the 20 gig PS3 was killed shortly after the launch. When elites become readily available, the pro will most likely still dominate because customers won't really see the value. It just doesn't work. Best case scenario, nobody will buy the new PS3, but gush over the cheaper one. Worst case scenario-Everybody waits for the "superior" PS3 (which only adds 20 gigs to the hard drive, mind you, while the Elite adds 100 and most people still consider it a rip off), which makes PS3 sales figures much worse than they already are.

That's really all I got for today, as I did have work and I'm kinda tired, but with E3 starting real soon, I should have nearly daily updates this week, in the meantime, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Detective Grimoire


Nobility is stupid

Ok, before I get into the crux of my post for today, I did see a midnight screening of Transformers, and you'd think as someone who was at best a casual fan of the show, I would've enjoyed it, but I hated it (except for Shia LaBeouf's performance, he was great). It's not a dumb, fun movie. It's an insultingly stupid loud mess of incoherence that has the gall to call itself a movie while pelting you with ridiculously unsubtle ads (I'm never buying anything by Nokia, ever). I mean seriously, this ranks up there with Episode I in terms of something fans have waited years for, and yet turns out to be shit. I don't get the mostly positive reaction.

On the bright side, I did manage to catch Live Free or Die Hard, and it's exactly what a big dumb, FUN action film should be. You can't top the original, but this was definitely the best sequel, so I'd urge moviegoers to spend their money on that (or Ratatouille for that matter) instead.

Now onto my main train of thought, which not surprisingly, comes from yet another moronic quote from yet another batshit insane Sony exec., Jack Tretton:

"Yeah, 'fewer exclusives' is a term, and I don't know what makes an exclusive," says Tretton. "We have a very different approach to exclusives than some of our competitors. We don't buy exclusivity. We don't fund development. We don't, for the lack of a better term, bribe somebody to only do a game on our platform."

Hey Jack, this isn't high-society fencing. It's a fucking cutthroat business where exclusives can definitely mean the difference between your company thriving or what leaves it hanging by a thread. Your console sucks on every conceivable level right now. The PS2 wasn't a dream to develop for either, but your mere presence couldn't be ignored. You are no longer the 800-pound gorilla. Companies now really do have a choice, and if they can go for a much cheaper platform (Wii) or to someone who will pay them oodles of money to develop an exclusive (360), they won't come knocking at your doorstep, period. The cracks are really starting to show in Sony. It won't be too long before half the board members are locked up in an asylum. Christ. At some point the level of stupidity these guys are showing must be obvious to everybody.

To end this column on a slightly more positive note, I picked up the new Official Xbox Magazine, which had an exclusive demo of Eternal Sonata. I admit, initially, this looked like a very cliched' rpg (albeit with an unusual premise), so I had little interest. But the very active battle system helps keep it really fresh. I definitely look forward to its release this fall.

That's pretty much it for today, but here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:


King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters - Trailer

Posted Jun 14, 2007

A middle-school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul vie for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic, Donkey Kong.