The King of Kings

When people talk about great comedies of the last year, you hear names like Knocked Up, Superbad & Juno. But King of Kong beats them all. It's more touching, more absurd,and features way more characters that can't possibly be real, but they are all too real. It's easily the best documentary in years, and yet was completely ignored by the idiots at the academy, so make sure you pick it up at your local retailer tomorrow and show them just how out of goddamn touch they are.

Just one other thing I really wanna touch on today-What the hell is up with Nintendo and the Virtual Console so far this year? We aren't even getting our regular 3 releases a week (which is something Nintendo swore they would staunchly deliver continuously), and this week, we only had one release (albeit a good one). Granted, unlike 360 & PS3 owners that are basically just biding their time till GTA hits, Wii ownners have actually had a couple worthwhile console titles this month, bit that's no excuse for the ridiculously paltry VC release we've seen over the last few weeks. I mean, c'mon, you're not Microsoft, this isn't the failed experiment that is Xbox Live Arcade, which is a horrible mishmash of bad emulation & casual titles no one gives a shit about. I understand not unleashing all the great games of yore in short order, because then nobody will be buying anything not long after and a lot may get lost in the shuffle, but I think one or two memorable classics a month is far from a hard task with the massive library Nintendo has at their disposal. This was supposed to be one of those things to show that Nintendo wasn't abandoning the hardcore base (because let's face it, mostly hardcore gamers are the ones paying to download these ancient games). If they continue to treat it like this, they'll lose out on a giant opportunity.

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Midnight Meat Train


The Top Ten movies that should be on HD NOW

Well, I almost made it. Was too busy Friday, just didn't feel like doing it yesterday, and then suddenly had an impromptu IHOP run with a bunch of people from work right after I got off today. But anyways, we all know HD is freaking awesome, allowing us to see brilliant picture and hear great sound never thought possible at home. And while there are some great titles available on both HDDVD & Blu-ray, there are plenty that should be available that aren't for some unknown reason. I decided to skip over the painfully obvious stuff like Star Wars (most of the original movies are probably too old and the new ones suck) & Pixar films (because they all should be on Blu-ray in the near future). This is definitely some personal choice mixed in with stuff that would be a technical marvel in HD, but it all deserves to be in the best format possible. So here we go:


A great fantasy movie, with lots of vibrant scenery and special effects would look fantastic in a proper transfer. Hell, it still looks pretty goddamn impressive 20 years later, thanks to use of mostly practical effects and awesome puppetry from the legendary Jim Henson. I'd honestly rather see this on HD before any of the LOTR movies.


It was never Star Wars, but The Last Starfighter is practically a forgotten sci-fi classic at this point, and a high-profile HD release would make people remember this great little film. The effects might look dated no matter how clean the transfer, but it'll be good for some nostalgia, and it's just a very, very fun movie.


Disney is coming to Blu-ray, so there's not much reason to worry about any of those films, but this criminally ignored animation classic deserves a HD upgrade more than 99% of Disney's animated library. It tells a better story, sports fantastic animation that'll only look more awe-inspiring on HD, and is simply one of the great animated films of all time. It's definitely worth picking up on DVD if you haven't seen it yet, but here's hoping someone is smart enough to give it the upgrade it truly deserves.


Possibly more of a personal choice, but I think seeing the most recent movie version of Sherwood in HD would be an absolute delight. Robin Hood is a movie full of color and lush scenery which would only benefit from such an upgrade. Plus it's probably the only movie I can stand with Kevin Costner in it...


Really, this is a complete mystery to me. Easily the greatest space comedy since Spaceballs, the movie still looks great and is prime material for an HD upgrade. I really don;t have much more to say except to wonder what the hell could possibly be holding this up?


The best Star Trek movie certainly deserves the HD treatment. If seeing the Enterprise, the Borg and lots of phaser fire in High Definition doesn't get you all hard, then your internet privileges should probably be revoked.


Ridley Scott's Roman epic seems built for HD. The vibrant stadiums, the huge crowds, and especially the tiger scene all just scream that they should be seen in the highest definition and best sound available. And it's sure as hell better than any of the current historical epics available in either format.


David Fincher's psychotic mind trip of a masterpiece is ranked so highly not just because it's such a brilliant film, but also the excellent visual style, cinematography, and just way out there look & feel of the entire movie. An HD treatment would make this cult classic fully realized.


Sort of a cheat, but the greatest crime saga of all time sure as hell should be one of the top priorities to put on HD in some form. I would certainly prefer to see Part II over the original as I feel it's superior film, but the original is a fantastic movie as well. Both films feature fantastic cinematography that stand the test of time and would only look even better with a nice 1080p transfer applied.


DINOSAURS! IN HD! WHY THE HELL IS THIS NOT ON HD?!?!?!?!? Seriously, Spielberg's classic still looks amazing 15 years later. To my knowledge, Spielburg has personal approval over any of his movies going to either HD or Blu-ray, so maybe he's just waiting for a clear victor, but to be honest this is probably one of they key titles that could turn the format war. I really don;t care. I just fucking want it more than any other title, because a T-Rex on my new Samsung in 1080p would be the coolest thing on Earth ever.

That's all for now. I'll definitely be back tonight or Tuesday for... something.


Devil May Care

If there is one game that really kick-started the whole over the top action genre, it was most definitely the original Devil May Cry. It was the first game with that much intense action and style to match. You felt like you were a genuine badass that could lay waste to a hundred minions and the occasional evil master villain as well. But time hasn't been overly kind to the series. The second installment was a dismal disappointment, nearly dooming the series altogether. The 3rd made a huge leap forward, but it's emphasis on being frustratingly hardcore limited it's audience and was overshadowed by the superior hardcore frustration of Ninja Gaiden. With that in mind, we come to the demo for the newest chapter in the series that was released on both Xbox Live and PSN today. I downloaded it, and it definitely felt like the series was trying to get back to its roots, with the insane difficulty of the last game dialed down to something more manageable. It felt familiar. In fact, a little too familiar. It felt like I was playing the first DMC game all over again, with no discernible difference aside from a graphical facelift. And to a certain extent, that is actually ok, but honestly you'd be getting a better action experience from God of War or No More Heroes if you have the option. But then again, 360 owners who don't have another option or PS3 owners who can't wait for the next GOW installment (which is rumoured for '09 at this point), it's actually probably a worthwhile purchase.

And yes, I have gotten a few quality hours in with NMH, and it is extremely epic. The game has a very Tarantino-style feel to it that is just pure style and fun. I agree with most reviewers that the whole town aspect seems extremely underdeveloped, but it certainly does not get in the way of the fun. Again, I can't stress how much you need to buy this game to prove that soccer moms and senior citizens are not the only audience on the Wii.

Oh Fox news, when will you learn (hopefully never)? Fox news has essentially told EA to go fuck themselves, refusing to retract or correct any of their blatantly false claims about Mass Effect. I really hope EA goes after them full bore, because this is probably one of the few companies powerful enough to make them shut the hell up.

And pretty much the only movie that's even possibly worth discussing this weekend is Sly Stallone's attempt to revive that other franchise that helped make him a star, Rambo. The strategy clearly worked with Rocky, but that was treated with a touch of realism about the fact that Rocky (and Sly) was an old dude trying to regain a little former glory. This seems like Sly is acting like he's 30 years old and an invincible badass. And granted, he's probably the most in shape guy in his 60s I've ever seen, but that doesn't make Rambo any less of a silly premise. That being said, I might go see it just for the 80s nostalgia of ridiculously violent films that you just don't see anymore.

That's it for today, but I'm planning a top ten movies that should be on HD column for this weekend, so look for that (and be sure to pass along any suggestions you might have).


What defines a "game"?

Geez, so much to go over today. I guess I'll get the depressing stuff out of the way first. Obviously we've all heard by now that Heath Ledger is dead. It's certainly a shame, the guy was on a career high, due to explode in a few months with people already buzzing about his performance in the new Batman film. Beyond sending my condolences to his family and friends I really don't have much else to say on the subject. I just hope we don't see a steady stream of sub par movies Ledger was in that were never meant to see the light of day but would now be released to make a quick buck (see John Candy). Let's hope The Dark Knight leaves a memorable impression that will be talked about for a long time to come.

Also, damn you EA, I actually may have to start liking you again. EA virtually bitch-slapped the morons over at FOX news, who were blatantly lying about the supposed "extreme" sexual content of Mass Effect. Granted, anybody who takes anything FOX news says seriously obviously had a serious lobotomy, but this is the first time someone as big as EA has actually fought back and this quickly. I seriously hope the morons at Fox don't shut up because then a slander suit won't be far off. Bravo EA, and damn you for making me say bravo.

Moving onto the crux of today's post, of course I went ahead and picked up No More Heroes, but I haven't cracked it open just yet (mainly because I had forgotten to charge my Wii Remote). What I did spend my limited amount of charge with was a new & interesting title that also came out this week called Endless Ocean. This title seems to be dividing the gaming community. Either it's yet another example of banal non-gamer nonsense that is slowly dooming the industry; or it's a fresh, relaxing, almost transcendent experience that some people just don't get. It certainly sounds dull as hell on the surface. You dive and check out fish at various underwater locations. That's really it. There is the occasional objective, but you're free to do them at your leisure. No real leveling up, no enemies to kill, no princess/kingdom/world to save. Sure as hell doesn't sound like what we would normally consider a game. It doesn't even sound remotely interesting when described, but I honestly had a genuine fascinating and enjoyable time with what I've played so far. And the gaming community is always talking about how games need to grow and evolve and change if they are really to be considered in equal company with other mediums like cinema & music. That means weird experimental shit that is totally out there with an original premise has to break out and garner attention. It actually reminds me quite a bit of Animal Crossing, in that while there were certainly objectives to complete, you could literally spend hours just exploring, talking to townsfolk and seeing what happened at different times of the day. So, bottom line, don't be afraid to give Endless Ocean a chance, just broaden your definition of what a game can be and you'll probably enjoy it (although I probably am going to take advantage of the custom soundtrack option because the Enya-esque music just makes me sleepy).

That's all for today, but I'll leave you with a pretty awesome 5-minute video of Smash Bros. footage and will most certainly be back tomorrow with hopefully some NMH thoughts as well as expanded thoughts on Endless Ocean and the Devil May Cry 4 demo that is due to pop up.


Is there a hardcore audience on the Wii?

Well here's your chance to speak up. An original, mature, bloody action game with minimal waggle hits this week. It's called No More Heroes and it's not about saving the princess, or defeating aliens for the 5 billionth time. You just wanna be number one, and there are 10 other guys standing in your way, so kill them. There's obviously more to the game, but this is exactly the kind of title all the hardcore gamers whine about not existing on the Wii. If you want more original, awesome games like this and less titles that carry names like Carnival Games, you need to buy this, and any games like it in the future. I'm not saying buy something just because it's daring and original, games like that can still be all that and horrible, and shouldn't be supported. But it also should not have to have the Nintendo (or some almost equally big name like Resident Evil) name behind it in order for you to buy it. I mean hell, all these established franchises had to start somewhere too, if nobody gave them a chence, all we'd ever be playing is Madden and licensed crap.

I'm going to end this updtae with a couple a vids. The first one is a follow-up to the Mario Meets Halo vid I previously posted. This is an actual fan-made game that is being developed, and it looks pretty sweet so far. So check out this new vid and click it for more info and a link to a fairly cool downloadable demo!

Finally, there aren't a whole lot of upcoming PSP games that I'm too excited for, but Final Fantasy: Crisis Core is one I'm definitely keeping an eye on, and I got what I thought was a pretty good idea for this upcoming prequel, so check out this vid (AND THEN GO BUY NO MORE HEROES THIS WEEK):


A flaw in your plan...

A new Leisure Suit Larry game is being made! With promises that it'll have little if anything to do with the last horrid game, Magna Cum Laude. I'd be pumped, if not for the producer's idiotic and contradictory statements. He wants it to be a classic sex comedy in the vein of Animal House and American Pie, yet he's toning it down from the last release so much that there won;t even be any nudity. Now, normally, nudity in a game is completely unnecessary and usually to cover up horrible gameplay flaws, but the Leisure Suit Larry series is rife with great comedic use of nudity, as are the classic comedies the producer wants to aspire to. You cut that out, you're essentially neutering Larry. How can we expect to ever have good games that also have some adult content if one of the great adult series of all time has its balls cut off before it's even out of the gate this time?

Pretty much the only movie even worth mentioning that is opening this weekend is Cloverfield. I will say when I first heard about this movie I wasn't the least bit interested. It has many classic warning signs. Firstly, it's opening in January, usually a dead zone for new good films. Second, It's reportedly mostly filmed on shaky cam, which just tends to annoy the hell out of me. Third, it's a giant monster movie. Can you remember a good modern giant monster movie? But a couple of friends of mine did get to see a sneak peek at it, and their response was overall pretty positive, so I am planning on checking it out tomorrow.

That's pretty much it for today, but I'll try and get another post up by Sunday. In the meantime, check out this awesome Mario meets Halo video:


They'd better be adding in Megaman. And Bomberman. And Simon Belmont. And...

Smash. Bros. is delayed. Granted, one more month isn't a terribly long wait, but given that this game was originally supposed to hit us early last year to begin with, it better be the finest example of crazy 4-player mayhem to date. I was definitely considering picking up the previous Gamecube edition in order to sharpen up my skills, and this delay may give me just the motivation to do that (or maybe I should actually use the time to try and put a serious dent into my giant backlog of games from the holiday season).

Ah, the stench of total failure. After telling everyone and their mother how horrible it was working for Nintendo and their inferior console, Factor 5, makers of the gigantic pile of crap that is Lair, are suddenly making a Wii game. But they already failed at motion control once, and I'm not really up for yet another trip in an X-Wing, so unless these guys really pull out something worthwhile, I'd be just as happy to never hear from them again.

What's this? A Highlander game? Granted, no Sean Connery or even Christopher Lambert (and really, like Lambert would have anything better to do these days) is a bummer, but the fact that this is an original story based on the property and not tied down to any lame movies or series means it has more promise than most games of its ilk.

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Forgetting Sarah Marshall


Save our Sonic?

Ah, Sonic, it's been a long and arduous road. You started out as a hip up and comer that was a serious challenger to the platformer throne, with some excellent 16-bit titles. Then you hit the Dreamcast and while there were some blemishes, most had an enjoyable experience. But we should've seen the warning signs then, because it's been almost nothing but a downhill spiral for the blue speedster for the past 17 years. Yikes. Granted, there haven't been many pure Sonic games in that time, but we have plenty of horrid spin-offs like Sonic Rivals, Shadow the Hedgehog and of course the failed abortion that was your next-gen debut, simply titled "Sonic the Hedgehog", apparently trying to make a comeback in the same way Sylvester Stallone did with the simple title of "Rocky Balboa", but with far less successful results.

Yes, Sonic desperately needs a revamp if he's not to completely lose what few fans are left. And we are getting it with a new DS rpg by Bioware that sounds incredible. But is he even worth saving? We come back to him time after time again like the victim in an abusive relationship, expecting that things will be better this time. I've been able to mostly stay away, but as somebody who was a diehard Sega fanboy in it's glory days, I still have been lured back by promises of revamped gameplay on games such as Shadow & more recently Sonic & the Secret Riings, which had so much potential, but fell way short as usual. In most cases, gamers usually give up on a series long before they have been burned this often. But you see the fan reaction when it's announced that he is in Smash Bros or that Bioware is working on a game (when the reaction was more likely to be that they've sold out) and we still love the abusive blue blur. I'm willing to ignore my better judgement and give Sonic one last chance to tempt me, but hopefully if we gamers are spurned again, we'll respond with wrath and vengeance (not literal of course, put the torches & pitchforks down) rather than just waiting to be punished again because Sonic promises it'll get better next time.

No major games are coming out or movies being released this week. Luckily, all that will change when the first truly big game title 0f '08 hits next week. In fact, I'm so pumped about it, I made a cool fanvid! Check it out:

Also, the Dark Knight trailer is pretty wicked, what's more wicked is when somebody makes a killer trailer for the original campy show using the exact same audio:



Universal FTW

Granted, when the no-so-great high def format war is officially chronicled and talked about in future generations to the few who care, Warner Bros. decision to only support Blu-ray will most likely be considered the key turning point. But the battle could've dragged on for years as long as HDDVD was able to keep noteworthy studios like Universal & Paramount. But that's now changed as well, with Universal saying they'll be dropping HDDVD like a bad habit once their exclusivity deal ends in May. They didn't actually say they were committing to Blu-ray, but it would be odd that they would be the only major movie studio not releasing movies on any high-def format whatsoever. I'm sure if you went with HDDVD, you are pretty upset right now. But hey, you can probably pick up a ton high-def dvds for cheap real soon!

Is Namco trying to one-up Nintendo with bizarre cross-overs? You would think you couldn't get any weirder than Snake being in Smash Bros, but from CES we get the out of nowhere announcement that Darth Vader & Yoda will be in the new Soul Calibur game. And while most moronic geeks are questioning how this fits into canon or how any other fighters could stand up to the force & lightsabers, I choose to revel in this absurdity for all its worth. Strong rumors of more Star Wars characters to come as well. As long as the game is fun & balanced, you can throw Boss Nass & Jar Jar Binks in there as well.

I admit, I'm kinda tempted to see In the Name of the King, just to see what Uwe Boll idea of a LOTR-esque epic would look like (especially when he has less and a third of the budget to work with). But, I'll probably just save the money and be sure that it sucks.

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The Forbidden Kingdom


Warner Bros. FTW?

Although mostly meaningless blows like an aging mortar & concrete business choosing one side or temporary exclusivity are what have mostly been traded in this dumb format war between HDDVD & Blu-ray, a huge and possibly finishing blow may have come today. Warner Bros., which was supporting both formats, has officially pledged themselves fully to Blu-ray. As the biggest DVD seller in Hollywood, that pulls some major clout and will probably be the eventual nail in the coffin for HDDVD, who now only has Universal, Paramount & The Weinstein company backing it exclusively. Which is great news for me, since I just picked up enough blu-ray dvds over the last two days to start a nice small HD library, and hope to be picking up many more in the future.

So, able to get on Xbox live lately? If the answer is no, you are hardly alone. Apparently MS was nowhere near ready to handle the surge of new gamers on live over the holidays, as it has caused loads of issues. The good news is that MS is going to compensate all of us, the bad news is, it's going to be with some worthless Live Arcade title. Really? I think a free month of live would be appropriate, assuming they even get the issues fixed within a month's time. This is like where Kramer jumped at free coffee after he got burned, even though he could've easily gotten so much more, but we aren't even getting the opportunity for something more. MS may have the games, but they are killing any goodwill that gets them with all their technical issues. If this crap continues, you may see a lot of 360s being returned.traded in for PS3s before long.



Performing without a net

Well, tonight, in just a little while, we get to see just how funny Jay Leno & Conan O'Brian can be without a staff of writers, because even without a paid staff, they are coming back on TV (so has Carson Daly, but no one cares). David Letterman & Craig Ferguson are back on the air as well, but they were able to strike a deal with the striking writers guild for their own shows. Jay Leno isn't too damn funny with a full staff, my guess is he'll bomb pretty damn horribly without one. Conan is sort of a wildcard. He is definitely one of the funniest guys in Hollywood, and was responsible for some of the all-time greatest Simpsons episodes. But live, in front of an audience, with absolutely no prepared material is a whole different type of performing. It's anybody's guess if Conan's improv skills are truly up to snuff.

I am finally an HD convert. Even though I work in a place that has a Home Theater department filled with giant 50+ inch-plasmas, I honestly never thought HD looked that much better than standard-def, when I I saw it at work. And at home, all I had was a fairly poor-quality 15-inch LCD by Magnavox (not the greatest of TV brands to begin with). But since I did just recently acquire a PS3, I also picked up my first blu-ray movie a couple of days ago, the brilliant Ratatouille. Granted, last night on my TV, it didn't make much of a case for going HD on anything. But I just picked up a cool new 26-inch Samsung, and I'm watching Ratatouille right now, and it does make one hell of a difference. I'm not saying blu-ray is better than HD-DVD, I'll probably need to break down and get the HD-add on for my 360 to truly judge that; but I'm a much bigger HD than I was just yesterday.

Trailer of the Week: MY NAME IS BRUCE