Friday, September 29, 2006

Webcomics Extravaganza!

I'm on kind of a comic kick these days. I recently purchased the first Penny Arcade book at Knoxville's new Triad Comics store. A fine store indeed. I also bought the first issue of a manga sequel to Jim Henson's Labyrinth. I haven't read it yet. I'm almost reluctant to, because I've been slowly developing my own sequel idea in my mind and the comic might be at odds with it.

I've also recently discovered some fantastic web-comics.

1. Lackadaisy

This the newest out of all the comics I discovered, and I don't actually remember how I first found it. But I absolutely love it. The art is fantastic, the story (little so far) is intriguing. The main character is a lovable scamp (oh how I love scamps).
Plus I've had a thing for cat ladies from an early age. Mrowr!

2. Applegeeks

Discovered this one today. Linked to it through Gabe's (of PA fame) new art blog. I've barely read any of this so far, but it's another stunner as far as art is concerned. I'm looking forward to delving farther into it.

3. Achewood

Originally linked to this through Penny Arcade. The comics they recommend are usually worth checking out, since they're incredibly picky. Achewood has a strange balance of debauchery and sweetness.

4. Sinfest

Zhubin got me into this a few years ago. I read it like mad and then forgot about it. I'm getting into it all over again. It's heavily influenced by Calvin & Hobbes, particularly early on, but it finds its own groove. Also, Monique is a hotty.

5. The Perry Bible Fellowship

This is probably my favorite webcomic outside of PA. The artist uses a lot of different styles for the strips, and the sense of humor is twisted. Several strips feature bears.

6. Sluggy Freelance

This is another one that's been around for quite some time. It features an epic sci-fi comic adventure, among other things. I have yet to read all of it.

7. Bunny Suicides

Now this is comedy!

Basement Jaxx - "Take Me Back To Your House"

In addition to being a great new song from Basement Jaxx this video features bears. Perhaps the best bears ever.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wii Launch Titles I'm Gunning For

I've mentioned some of the games I'm interested in yet reserved about. I did so knowing that I would later make the list of games that I'm really excited about...

This is that list. (Ooh, that was dramatic!)
In no particular order:

1. Red Steel

This is probably the most anticipated Wii title there is (outside of Zelda). That's probably because it's developed by Ubisoft, one of the best third party developers there is. Also, because it's a Wii exclusive, whereas most other third party launch games are multi-platform. This could end up being the model for how to make a great FPS on the Wii, just as Goldeneye was for the N64 (although not nearly as revolutionary, for obvious reasons).
I know the screenshot doesn't show any action. But it's damn purty.

2. Trauma Center: Second Opinion

Another Wii exclusive. The DS version of this got outstanding reviews and has already reached a kind of cult status. I never got to play it, so I'm excited about this Wii-make (not my term), which features improved graphics and extra features.

3. Super Mario Galasy

Okay, it's technically not a launch title. Which is unfortunate because from what I understand this game is extremely intuitive and a complete blast to play. It seems like the perfect game for people to "get" the Wii. That is, it's the game that will bring more people into the fold. Instead, Nintendo's relying on Zelda (a game that was never originally intended for the Wii) to do that. Fine. Whatever. I want to play this game. Now.

4. Rayman: Raving Rabbids

Another (presumed) exclusive from Ubisoft. Rayman for the N64 was one of my favorite platformers ever. The graphics were unique and beautiful, the controls were perfect, and it was hilarious. This one looks like it will be a very good successor. I'm a little wary that it strays from the platform genre in favor of story-driven mini games, but everything else sounds so promising.

5. Metroid Prime Corruption

I didn't even realize this was a launch title until I started making this list. Like Red Steel, this is sure to display how well suited the Wii is for the FPS genre. I loved the Metroid Prime series on the Gamecube, and I'm very excited about this one. It looks like they're going to town on the story, creating a deeper world. At least, that's what I assumed from the preview I watched.

6. Metal Slug Anthology

Metal Slug is one of my absolute favorite arcade series. They're releasing all of them on one disc for the Wii. I want.

7. Virtual Console

Click the link above and just revel in the sexiness of that list. Damn that is some damn fine sexiness.

8. Splinter Cell Double Agent

If you've played a Splinter Cell game then you already know how awesome it is to have one as a launch game. It's yet another game from Ubisoft (and I haven't even mentioned all of their Wii games). It will be good, and that's all there is to it. Ubisoft's strong support is good news for future Wii owners. Not only are they one of the best companies around, but their presence (in addition to powerhouses like EA) will help to inspire other companies to develop for Wii. It truly looks like the game shortages that plagued Gamecube may be a thing of the past.

9. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

This is really an oft-delayed Gamecube game, that resembles its own hero in a lot of ways. Originally meant for one purpose, it was swept away and held in secret, trained in the magic arts, to later be released upon the world as the Chosen One. This is the Zelda game of legend, with the potential to be the greatest one in the series so far. The cell shading is gone, replaced with a style reminiscent of Ocarina of Time, which sits at the top of most Zelda fans' lists (mine's actually A Link To The Past). I liked the cell shading of Wind Waker, and got tired of everyone bitching about it. Well, there's no bitching room here. This game will be worth the wait. Zelda games always are, and they're always long in coming. If you plan on buying a Wii but don't plan to buy this game I shake my head. I shake my head and I wonder why.

Bros Before Hos

What, no mention of Maxim? Or is that even a thing anymore?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

And I'm Proud To Be An American...

...Cause at least I know I'm not responsible for this:

Kinky - "Sister Twisted"

Here's a new music video featuring that dancing robot kid from the internets:

The Lyricism Of A Tycho Rant

Just wanted to draw attention to the latest Penny Arcade post, entitled The Secret Weapon. Not so much for the comic (which hasn't been uploaded as of this post), but for Tycho's discussion of the PS3, which is absolutely hilarious. Click the link above to hear about the "gimped" PS3.
Or watch the pretty pretty trailer for White Knight Story, which is, as he points out, the only game shown for PS3 so far that might actually be worthwhile.

For an unrelated tidbit, click here for more game trailer goodness. This one is called Lost Odyssey and it's for the Xbox360, and it is stunningly beautiful.

It's easy to see the appeal for Xbox and PS3 when you watch these trailers ("see" being the operative word). Whereas with the Wii, the main appeal (from what I've heard, of course) is felt when you play. This is a much more difficult sell and requires huge, swaying-in-the-breeze, tanuki-sized balls on the part of Nintendo. It is a gamble. Microsoft and Sony can just show you a video of the game, with all its pretty colors, and your mouth begins to water. That is, the part of your mouth that, for whatever reason, craves video games. Nintendo on the other hand invariably has to show (either in cut-away, or picture-in-picture) someone playing the game, excitedly swinging away at the air like a madman. Which isn't even required for playing the system, because the controller (or Wii-mote) has much more sensitive and intuitive controls, allowing you to play with subtle flicks of the wrist rather than head-cleaving power slashes. But Nintendo has to show these things so ignorant non-gamers (the very people they're trying to bring into the fold) understand just what the hell is going on. So when Grandma walks past the display case she can see someone jumping behind their couch, popping back up and firing away at the screen, at which point she makes the conclusion that she still has no interest in playing video games. Because they are just "silliness."
Anyway, my point is, Microsoft and Sony's systems are very appealing in their own right. Video games are a visual media, so it stands to reason that better visuals means better games.
But they are also a tactile media, which stands to reason that better interaction means better games.
Two different ways of looking at it. Which is right? Well, Nintendo's of course! What did you think I was going to say?
In all seriousness, I think it just comes down to the individual gamer. Cost is a huge factor for someone like me. If I was a rich man (yadda-badda-dadda-dee) I would have no hesitation in buying all three systems, and whatever games I wanted without a second thought. But my pockets are not that deep. So I have to consider what I'm getting for my money. On the one hand, I can buy a 360 or PS3 for a lot of money and reap the benefits of really fast processing and amazing graphics and sound, because if we're still assuming I'm a rich man I'll also have the biggest HD television known to man. For all its talk about HD and Blu-ray, Sony hasn't really said much about everything you actually need to own in order for that to be worthwhile. The component cables alone are outside my price range. Do they really think the average gamer/consumer has that kind of set-up at home?
Nintendo's Wii is a lot less money and offers a brand new kind of experience, with the addition of nicer graphics (just not as nice as its competition). Throw Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, etc. into the mix and it's a clear winner in my opinion.
However the tide turns when all three systems have been released, I don't think sales numbes should be the deciding factor. Whichever system is the biggest seller doesn't necessarily make it the best system. I'm in the camp that considers video games an art form. More importantly, it's an untapped artform. I have yet to have an emotional experience while playing a video game that has equaled that of my favorite movie or CD. Video games have this potential. I think the interface of the Wii is a small step in the right direction. Nintendo is trying to blur the line between the gamer and the game. If we're moving toward holodeck technology (bear with me here) then motion sensitive control will be a huge part of that. I'm not just daydreaming. The military is already working on this kind of technology to train its troops. The more realistic the experience the more accurate the training. At some point in the distant future video game technology will reach this level. Realistic graphics will be a part of that, sure, but it will not be the most important part. You could make an engaging holodeck-style game completely set in a crayon-drawn stick figure world as long as the body and mind felt like they were there. The eyes will follow.

Addendum: I started to mention the importance (or lack thereof) of sales when it comes to video games before taking a right turn and discussing video games as art. I meant to connect these two ideas before I got sidetracked by the whole holodeck thing. The point I was going to make was that, like music or film, sales aren't the best indication of quality. So, while it's important that video games make money we shouldn't let sales necessarily dictate the direction of the industry. If you created games based solely on what sells you'd end up like the Fox Network, creating cheaply produced crap while canceling all your critically acclaimed series. Or in video game terms: more Grand Theft Auto, less Katamari Damacy. More hype, less ingenuity.
The video game industry isn't quite to this point yet. It still falls into a sort of niche market, unlike CDs and DVDs which are absolutely everywhere (including cereal boxes). So the people buying video games are generally very educated and very very picky. Just read any video game message board, you'll see some very heated opinions. The gaming public as a whole is a lot less likely to put up with commercial bullshit than is the movie-going public. This is gradually changing. It has to if the industry is to survive. The biggest roadblock is the fact that there is no standard media for video games. Right now we have three major devices to play games that are exclusive to those devices. With CDs or DVDs you have a ton of different companies producing hardware, but the software is universal. I'm not saying the game industry should necessarily go this route, but it is a difficulty.
Nintendo's primary goal with the Wii is to bring video games to a wider market than ever before. The problem with a wider audience, however, is that we'll see a lot more companies appealing to the lowest common denominator. Again, this will mean a lot more Grand Theft Autos, a lot more Final Fantasy games that focus more on graphical prowess than actual playability. MTV just bought the company that made the immensely popular Guitar Hero game. If MTV's smart it will leave the company alone and simply profit off their work. If it's more like MTV it will suck all the life and joy out of the company and release Guitar Hero: the Ashlee Simpson Edition. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Point And Cliick

Zhubin recently emailed me about a game called Al Emmo And The Lost Dutchman's Mine. The thing he was so excited about is the fact that the game is a comedic point-and-click adventure, in the vein of King's Quest. If you've known Zhubin for some time you know that King's Quest holds a particularly special place in his heart (the place is difficult to find, and it's guarded by a minotaur). So he was, needless to say, very happy when I told him that King's Quest is being re-released in a complete collection by Sierra, along with their classic series, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry and Police Quest. I would say you have a plethora of point-and-click adventures to choose from.

There is an apparent boom in point-and-click games popping up all over the internet. The Hapland series, Submachine, Submachine 2, Duan, Escape From Rhetundo Island, Galaktor, Priscilla Gone Missing, Samorost, Samorost 2, Quest For the Rest, The Magic Globe, and of course there's Peasant's Quest, a great parody of King's Quest.
Thanks to a great deal of nostalgia, and flash animation, more and more people are getting into point-and-click creation. Of course, some of these games are better than others, but I thought I'd link to as many as I could.

I really enjoyed King's Quest, but my experience is almost solely from playing King's Quest VI. My true fondness for point-and-click adventures comes from Lucasarts. When they were making point-and-click games it was a golden age. Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Indiana Jones and the Search For Atlantis, The Dig, Grim Fandango, Escape From Monkey Island and Full Throttle are some of the best point-and-click games you'll ever play. Here's hoping that a re-release of these is somewhere in the future.

Also, The Neverhood is one of my all time favorites. Great claymation graphics and an insane sense of humor make this an absolute blast to play over and over. Plus, the soundtrack is hilariously bizarre.

Now, a company called Telltale Games is creating a series of games, released in downloadable chapters, based on one of my favorite comics of all time, Bone. And they're getting ready to do the same with a new series of Sam & Max games.
I'm a Mac user, so I'm currently out of luck either way, but their may be hope for me.
TellTale Games has openly stated interest in bringing their new Sam & Max episodes to the Wii (yeah, I managed to bring it all together). Point-and-click games would make perfect sense for the Wii's interface, as does the Virtual Console for TellTale's episodic download structure. I'm excited about the prospect. If it does happen, and it is successful, then perhaps they'll consider releasing the Bone games in a similar fashion.

I've been wondering for a while why more new point-and-click games aren't being released. They were insanely popular (thanks to King's Quest and Lucasarts) for at least a decade. But the computer gaming industry got caught up in the faster-processing, polygon pushing graphics war, and the simpler games of the past fell into nostalgic obscurity. What the game manufacturers forgot is how freaking fun these games are. Sometimes it's just nice to play through an entertaining story without having to learn the most complicated control scheme known to man. Nintendo has been calling for a return to simpler times. They've seen the danger of bogging games down in more and more complicated play mechanics, which can intimidate new gamers from picking up a controller. That's pretty much the whole reason for the Wii existing.
It's refreshing to see a re-emergence of these types of games, whether they are brand new, or repackaged classics.


One of the most exciting things about the Wii is the prospect of playing completely new types of games. But what does that actually mean?

It means we'll be seeing games like this:

(Oh, it's just one of those catching-ladybugs-with-giant-scissors games.)

Then there's this:

What can we ascertain from this picture? I think you control a tiny man that runs across giant dominoes in a park, while a bunch of Gumbys conga-line around a phallic fountain, and an arrow points out where the surprised-looking red sperm is waiting. And you'd better fucking hurry, because the clock is ticking.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Some whitey cracker over at Sony has been taking the crazy pills again. According to this guy, selling more units of hardware than the other guy is an indication of a dwindling audience. What the shnarf? I guess that explains how Sony plans to establish dominance by releasing half the number of systems than Nintendo at launch.

Nintendo Needs To Discover This Game

Penny Arcade linked to this game, noting how it would be available for download on the PS3. I'd love to see this game on the DS, and not just because it bears a striking resemblance to Electroplankton (a game which I am still dying to play).
Flow is a very addictive game, but the thing that interested me most was Cloud, another game by Flow's creators. In Cloud you fly and, apparently, paint with clouds. As you roam around the sky you can pick up other clouds to make your cloud bigger. Also, if you bump into less compatible clouds you'll create a storm front. The ensuing rain showers can be used to your advantage, although I'm not exactly sure how just from watching the video. The reason this game interested me (aside from having a fantastically peaceful soundtrack) was the thought of how perfect a game like this is suited for the Wii. Flying and painting? Sign me up. I'm just daydreaming here. As far as I know neither the creators of the game nor Nintendo have even heard of each other, let alone considered working together. But this is the kind of original content I hope to see, in nothing else, available for download on Nintendo's Virtual Console. A lot has been mentioned about the VC's potential for playing all the classic games we love, but I'm just as excited about any original content that may crop up.
Unfortunately for me, Cloud is only available to download for PC users, so I really hope it gets released in some other form.

Addendum: I sent off an email to one of the game's creators about this very subject. This is what they wrote back: "We are surely interested in this idea. We will see. Maybe you can play Cloud on there in the close future :)"

While it's in no way a confirmation, it sure is nice to hear. At least they're thinking about it.

Sony At TGS

Hahaha! I love to hear about Sony stumbling toward its next generation console launch. Here's a short article about a Sony exec's "trainwreck" keynote address at the Tokyo Game Show this week.

Here's another one, detailing how all the bored keynote-attendees amused themselves with the Nintendo DS's communication tool. It's funny because they're using a Nintendo product to roast Sony at its own event. But it's also sad, because these are the people representing the gaming press and they write things like "8 Deez Nuts."

Add all this to the PS3's large price tag and extremely limited supplies, and things are looking bad for Sony.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Interest Is Piiked (ugh)

These are all games that I'm interested to learn more about, but aren't in my list of most-anticipated.

Here's a tantalizing interview about Far Cry Vengeance.

* * *

A screen shot from Samurai Warriors Wave, a first person Samurai game:

I'm wondering if this will be fun to play, or just monotonous controller slashing.

* * *

An anime-style golf game, Pangya:

* * *

Project H.A.M.M.E.R.:

* * *

Here's a collection of Miini(TM) games, called Wii Play. Like Wii Sports, it should be a great way to learn the ins and outs of the Wii controller. Whether or not it will actually be worth buying will depend completely on cost. I will probably lose interest if it retails at the same price as other games.

* * *

Elebits could be a lot of fun, but I'll have to wait and hear some final reviews before I make up my mind.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I have a new musical obsession. It was Jonathan Coulton, but after Holly informed me (multiple times) that he's old news I promptly burned all my MP3s (like, on a fire). My new favorite is Sufjan Stevens. I was up until 3 this morning hoarding as much of his stuff as I could. I was dismayed to find out that he is playing in Atlanta tonight, which I would have gone to in a heartbeat if I'd only discovered him a week earlier, and had time to prepare. From what little I've seen so far, his live shows appear to be very interesting events (with, like, costumes and stuff). He's definitely fun to listen to.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Jessica showed this to me. I really wish I didn't find it so funny:

Monday, September 18, 2006

"YARR" vs. "..."

Pirates or Ninjas? Old question, new way to decide.
I threw my hat (or should I say "hood") in with the Ninjas. A contraversial dicision, to be sure. The reason I listed:
"Ninjas are allowed to mingle in normal society because no one dare screw with them, whereas pirates are always chased out of town and forced to live on "Pirate Island" which is basically just a huge pile of other pirates that are too drunk or dead to move."
In addition to being true, this reason is very practical and not at all the only reason I could have given. You can also consider general mobility. A ninja crawls along ceilings and can fit through any space large enough to accommodate his head. In comparison, Pirates scamper around awkwardly due to bowleggedness (the scurvy). And, if Disney is any judge, apparently most pirates are afflicted with some sort of terrible curse which can completely ruin your enjoyment of apples or make mollusks grow out of your face.
Also, ninja swords are infinitely cooler.
And they can really wail on the electric guitar.

Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole"

I posted a music video a short while ago, for Muse's Knights of Cydonia. Well, there's finally a good quality version of their other new video. The video isn't nearly as fun as the first one, but I love the song. It's one of the tracks I've been playing over and over. Supermassive Black Hole:

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Assortment of Video Game Related Goodies

Wired profiles some of the insanity at work over at Sony. Read. Included is this back-handed compliment towards Nintendo: "They make you long for Nintendo's Wii, a game console whose singular appeal is that it'll be fun to play." Singular appeal...bah.


Trailer for an independantly financed Legend of Zelda movie:


Some kids play a badass rendition of the Halo theme song. Homages to Blue Man Group and Super Mario included:

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Irwiisponsible? (the worse these get, the more I enjoy them)

The latest Penny Arcade news post points out a little article over at which, in so many words, explains why you'd be foolish to buy a Wii over an Xbox360 or PS3. Their rationalization? Microsoft and Sony will lose money on every system they sell whereas Nintendo will be making a profit for every Wii sold. They claim that Microsoft and Sony take losses on their consoles because of their confidence in the product, whereas Nintendo is too insecure to accept a loss.
Mwuh? In what other industry would such an argument hold up? I read it as just the opposite. If Microsoft and Sony were so confident in their incredible systems, wouldn't they charge more? This article doesn't take into account that Nintendo has never taken a loss on any hardware. They've never had to, because as a company run by intelligent people, they develop new hardware that is both advanced and reasonably cost-effective to produce. Microsoft and Sony, on the other hand, in their never-ending race to one up each other in processing power, create monster systems that cost a lot of freaking money. Those companies have always considered better graphics the sole definition of next generation gaming. Nintendo always uses the next generation as an opportunity to make new steps in innovation. They invented controller rumble features and anolog control sticks, ideas which were quickly implemented by Sony (and Sega, at the time). They are now considered standard for video games. Notice how after Nintendo revealed the motion sensor nature of the Wii's controller, Sony comes out after a long silence and says, "oh yeah, us too," revealing a much more primitive level of sensitivity.
The Nintendo DS opened up a lot of new gameplay possibilities. Gamers seem to appreciate that, seeing as how DS sales are putting Sony's PSP to shame. This demonstrates Nintendo's philosophy vs. Sony's. Innovation vs. more of the same. Remember the original hype around the PSP? Now, unless you go to a PSP-specific website you're not likely going to hear much about it in the gaming community. It's not a terrible system. There might be a few decent games out for it. But it is being stomped by a system that is graphically two generations behind. Remember how many other handheld systems came and went, defeated by the simplistic pea-soup colored graphics of the original Game Boy?
Now this Joystiq article basically calls the Wii a glorified Gamecube, based on the fact that the processing power isn't into the next stratosphere like its rival systems. It manages to ignore the fact that the play mechanics are brand new, meaning types of games never before possible in addition to more traditional style games. That is a claim Nintendo alone can make in this generation. Also unique to Nintendo is the Virtual Console (almost the most exciting feature of the Wii, if you don't include any of the new games), and the ability to play your friends online for free. No subscription fee for online play. How come the people jawing away about Nintendo's profit greed never mention that? And since when did Microsoft and Sony obtain the status of the friendly mom-and-pop companies, trying to save the consumers a buck or two (never mind the fact that Nintendo's system is the cheapest by far, almost a third the price of PS3). Sure, Nintendo's making a profit. They're a business. One of the most successful businesses in Japanese history. They've never been in the red, despite Japan's troubled economy. As a Nintendo stockholder, I for one find that comforting.
If you read these articles carefully you might begin to wonder what Sony reprogramming camp the author spent the week at. How are PS3 devotees pointing fingers at Wii's price tag and crying fowl? I believe it comes down to the fact that Playstation fans have a $600 price tag ahead of them, and many of them are secretly beginning to wonder exactly what they're getting for their money. Sooner or later you have to start rationalizing, at which point you start to make arguments like, "I'm slightly annoyed that Nintendo is so uptight about taking losses when it is pretty much standard in the game industry" (taken from the comments of the article linked above). Well, it's never been standard to Nintendo and they've been around longer than anyone. Hmmm, coincidence?

Addendum: This guy at eToychest has written a very similar article, with the same idiotic point of view: "This is not to say that Nintendo should not be making money off the Wii, but it is clear that Nintendo is doing something very radical with their approach to the industry." Again, this is clearly written by someone whose outlook on the gaming industry has been mired solely in Microsoft and Sony for the past five years. How is Nintendo being radical by following its exact same successful business philosophy since 1889? How have these people run popular gaming sites for so long with such a limited (and cynical) view of the industry they claim to love? It's like listening to people explain why they still wholeheartedly stand behind their vote for President Bush.

Friday, September 15, 2006

More Swiitness

Someone from Nintendo demonstrates the Mii feature:

Here's that long gameplay video in a more preferable format:

At least I link to the sites with the news
instead of reading them to you, like this guy:


Thursday, September 14, 2006


Nintendo had their big Wii blowout in New York, Europe and Japan, today. Pretty much all the unanswered Wii questions were put to rest. For example: we now know that it will be released Nov. 19 for $250. Also, it has a sports compilation packaged in which contains simple versions of tennis, baseball, bowling, boxing, and golf. This is really good news for anyone who wants a Wii right away but can't afford a lot of games. One of the really interesting features of the game (and the system in general) is the Mii. Video here. Miis are basically avatars that you create for yourself on the Wii console. In a game like Wii Sports, you actually use your avatar as the character. Stats are recorded and your avatar can actually improve over time. And you can save your avatar to one of your controllers (they have built-in memory, as if they didn't do enough already) so you can take it to a friend's house to play. Miis are accessed through the Wii's main menu interface which is called Wii Channel.
One of the features I'm most excited about is the fact that the Wii is region-free. Meaning if there's a game in Japan that won't see the light of day in America, I can now import it and play it without having to mod my system or buy an extra boot disc, which have been the only options for any system in the past. I think this is a fantastic move, and it's always been a thorn in my side. There have been some sweet games I would have imported in the past, except for the fear of having to bust open my system and fiddle with it's insides, thus voiding any warranty it might have had. Not that I've ever had to make use of a Nintendo warranty at any point, since they seem to be the only company left on Earth that makes a product that works great forever.
Finally, I'm posting a link to a new video from the brand new Japanese Wii site. Why the Japanese site? Well, because they haven't posted it on the American yet. It's probably because it's chock full of gameplay footage for games that aren't necessarily coming out here. Still, it's the most comprehensive video of Wii gameplay footage yet (including games that were just announced today), and if it weren't so frustratingly poor in image quality it just might have been my favorite online video ever. Alas, it looks like it was created on a five-year-old version of Realplayer. It's still worth checking out if you're the least bit interested in Wii. The first game shown in the video, which I just realized I still haven't linked to, is Wii Sports. There's also footage of the new Sonic game, Super Mario Galaxy (sadly, not a launch game because it looks really good), a collection of Miini games (that's my nickname for them, let it be known that I was the first), a Dragon Quest game, a Resident Evil game, a Fire Emblem game, some kind of cooking game, a fishing game, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (a launch title, since it was actually designed as a Gamecube game). And that's not all of the games shown. Unless you've been following Wii news for a while you probably won't be able to pick out what some of these games actually are, although some of them are obvious. Some of them I've never heard of before, and some of them are probably way too strange to be released in America. Oh, there's also a music conducting game which I'm looking forward to.
And since I'm coining original phrases here, let it also be known that I've come up with Wii-Fii for the Wii's wireless online capabilities (you see what I did there?). I should probably get that copy-righted before Nintendo snatches it up.
So anyway, that's all the great Wii news for now. I'm sure I'll be posting about it again in the not-too-distant future. I'm just glad that the Wii is getting the mainstream hype it deserves. The overall vibe is that Wii is awsome, XBox 360 is pretty great, and PS3 is a friggin joke ($600? Really?). Nintendo has been shafted by the media for far too long now. Gamecube is a great system and still gets a lot of derision. I think the current battle between the DS and the PSP is a pretty good forecast of what will happen between the Wii and PS3.
Speaking of forecast, did I mention that one of the Wii Channels is a world-wide weather forecaster? Okay, that's enough. I have carpal tunnel syndrome now.

Addendum: The Wii is apparently not region-free. Perrin Kaplan screwed the pooch when she said otherwise. Aw hell, I think I'll still buy one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

If You're Going To Have Your Face Drilled You Might As Well Learn Something

So, the root canal turned out to be a mercifully painless procedure. I'd heard some horror stories in the past, so I wasn't completely at ease going in. After the first couple of minutes I was actually hoping I could get some sleep, mostly just to get away from the ceaseless droning of the Fox & Friends anchors. They told the same four stories at least five times each during the hour and half I was there, and even had time to interview America's beloved Elmo!
Things I learned:

  1. Astronauts working on the international space station lost track of a bolt, which is now traveling at 17,000 mph in some unknown orbit, potentially bringing ruination down upon the world.
  2. Democrats say Bush's 9/11 speech was too political. Republicans, not so much. WWIII immenent.
  3. We had a bunch of Al Qaeda leaders in our sight and let them go, because we play by the rules. Guest commentator Mancow (of America's beloved Mancow's Morning Madhouse) says WTF?!
  4. Pamela Anderson's Anna Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son did not die of natural causes. Also, she has a new baby daughter (soon to be named Silver Lining).
  5. Elmo loves you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Flange Pump Garbage Dump

I'm a big fan of the comic Red Meat, by Max Cannon. So needless to say I was rather excited when Holly told me about a site that lets you build your own Red Meat comic strips.

Here's a couple that I did:

Addendum: For some reason when I click to enlarge these pictures a bunch of coded poo shows up instead. If you have the same problem, just hit the browser reload button and the picture should if by magic!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Matt Stone & Trey Parker Do Universal

Universal hired Matt Stone and Trey Parker to direct a management training video, featuring a star-studded cast!
Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Buy My Album!

Side A:
Bit Through The Heart
Like A Doll's Eyes
Flipping The Middle Fin
Band-Aids For The Burningness

Side B:
Enough of Tim Treadwell (No Room For Seconds)
Radio Collar Blues
Polar Bears Can't Jump
Bonus Track: 12 minutes of growling

"My God, It's Full Of Cars."

Interesting video cobbled together from 1000 separate races in a driving game. Great music choice.