Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

One More Wiik. Two more...Thrii?

I'm still Wiiless, people. It isn't fair, really. Nintendo should send me a free one for all the free advertising I've given them. Countless dozen have witnessed my sugar-coated fanboy rants about the curative powers of the Wii, and so on. I've handled a masterful smear campaign against Nintendo's rivals, never once expecting something in return. And now all I'm asking for is a little something in return. I think that's fair. Frankly, I'm sick of watching others play their fabulous Wiis while I remain empty handed (although I will continue to do so).
Things like this become more and more bittersweet:


I Always Hated The Ice Levels

Jason Bateman is so embarrassed he can barely get the words out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Filling The Voiid

This began as a response to Brian's recent comment: "Speaking of releases, did anyone actually buy a PS3 to keep? We ended up not waiting in line any where to sell the PS3, and to be frank it looks like pretty much all of them are on ebay any way. There are actually still Wii's available here in Orlando, I've seen a few on shelves in stores."

My response quickly became post-length, so here it is:

The fact that PS3s are so expensive and that they sell for even more money on ebay pretty much guaranteed that it was a lot more worthwhile to buy one as an investment rather than for personal entertainment. I think the people that were potentially going to triple or sextuple their money were a lot more dedicated to camping out than the people who just wanted to play the one or two exclusive games that are even worth playing.
If you go to IGN's PS3 review section you'll notice that only two of the exclusive titles got decent scores: Resistance Fall of Man, and Ridge Racer 7. A shooter and a racer. Woo. The rest of the worthwhile games are on the other consoles. There's nothing there that would make any real gamer need a PS3 on launch day. Most of the people who are buying one for keeps are technophiles who just want the latest gadget. Nothing about this console seems fun to me.
I spent almost an hour last night reading a forum on Joystiq where people shared their Wii experiences post-launch. The general opinion was pretty universal, that the system is just a blast to play. Many people raved about the simplistic pack-in Wii Sports. A lot of people mentioned Zelda, of course, with a lot of praise. Many people also mentioned their family members, who never play video games, hijacking the console to play wild Wii Sports free-for-alls. Sounds like Nintendo's strategy is a success in that regard.
I don't hear anything like this surrounding the PS3. It's all, HD graphics (which apparently don't work properly, from early reports), Blu-Ray, and...some third thing. In any case, I don't hear anyone saying that the PS3 is a really fun system to play on. Most of the early owners' reports tend to be about system glitches rather than actual game playing. And I hear the download store (Playstation Arcade, or whatever it is) is poorly conceived. The 360's model is really good and it's been around for over a year now. Why reinvent the wheel?
The general opinion seems to be that the PS3 may eventually be worth owning. Most people agree that the system doesn't feel finished, and I personally think that almost every aspect of the system's launch backs this up. So, who in their right mind would pay $600 for one after camping out for two days? Who in their right mind would pay $10,000 for one (as one person reportedly did) on eBay? It's completely insane.
Some people are claiming that the Wii has a ways to go before it proves itself. But if people are having a great time playing it on day one, what the hell else does it have to prove? *sigh*
I want one so bad...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

One More Wiik (Again)

No luck at Sears. They only had two Wiis. Two! So I have to wait till Friday. In the meantime I've got the new Zelda game in hand (or on shelf), taunting me, urging me to play it. Damn.

Here's the big launch commercial that's showing everywhere now. It's a lot better than Sony's crying-psycho-baby/exploding-rubik's-cube bullshit.
Hey Sony, fire your advertising department. While you're at it fire everyone that works for you. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the PS3 doesn't even deserve to make money, having the most botched launch in history. Actually, the PS3 isn't going to make money. I should have said it doesn't deserve to be recognized as an actual product that people buy, but more of a hole that people bury their money in. Not for safe keeping, but just to get rid of it. And every once and a while you can come to the hole and look at it and think, "It sure would be nice to have that money," but it's too late. It's in the hole.
The ridiculous thing is that Sony can lose so much money on each console and still potentially be a huge success. The video game industry is seriously fucked up.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wii Woes

Well, the Walmart midnight sale was a bust. The thirty slots were already filled by the time I got off work, which I pretty much predicted. So tomorrow I try to find one at one of the retailers that skipped the pre-orders and the midnight sales. Hmmm...Sears maybe? Worst case scenario, I've got one on hold for me this Friday. Still, I was hoping to have one in my arms this evening. We were going to cuddle.

I sold the Gamecube at McKays yesterday. I remember waiting in line at EB to buy it like it was yesterday. And I sold her. I sold her like a Chinese baby.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Maddox Puts Sony In Its Place

The internet's biggest hater spreads contempt for Sony. As usual, it's another hate-fueled tirade from the genius who brought us Crappy Kid's Art, More Crappy Kid's Art, and Dumbass Gothics.

One More Wiik

Only six more days until the Wii is released. I've been following all the stories online now that most of the gaming press have received their Wiis for previewing purposes. Most of the early reports are very positive. One early review by a blogger's jackass roommate is worth reading, if only for the hilarious comments thread tearing the guy apart. A negative preview of the new Zelda from the same site is completely lacking in perspective which detracts from any real point the writer may have been trying to make, as pointed out by Gabe in his most recent blog. Also, the comic accompanying said blog is a good rebuttal for people like the jackass roommate (above) who claim that Wii Sports can be played with subtle movements of the wrist, instead of more realistic motions. Yes, you can play it that way. But you are not meant to if you actually intend to enjoy the experience. Remember Track And Field for the NES with that awesome Power Pad? You could play the game by sitting on the floor and smacking it with your palms to make your character "run" faster, but what would be the fucking point?
Yes, some games for the Wii are meant to be played with subtle movements, such as The Legend of Zelda. No one expects you to jump around your living room slashing away like it's a real sword. But Wii Sports is that other kind of game the Wii will be home to. The kind that expects you to put a little more effort into it in order to get a lot more out. The power pad analogy occurred to me as I was writing this. I realized for the first time that the Wii is philosophically an elaborate extension of something Nintendo has been doing from the very beginning (Power Pad, Power Glove, Light Gun, SuperScope 16...), and that is to make games more immersing. Only this time the system has been built from the ground up to accommodate this kind of gaming.

I briefly mentioned in a previous post that I was somewhat interested in Excite Truck, the first-party launch title for Wii. The more I hear about this game the more excited I become. All of the early previews have been glowing, and the recently confirmed information about the ability to add custom soundtracks is very mouth watering. Of course, you'll need an SD memory card (Nintendo's external storage media of choice) to take advantage of this. So I went and bought an SD reader for my computer, although haven't bought an actual card yet. I'm planning to get a digital camera in the near future anyway, so I don't see this expense as overly gratuitous. You can transfer your photos and videos to the Wii as well, so I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of it. And SD prices are going down, so it's not nearly as hard on the wallet as it once was. The custom soundtrack is a very cool feature and I hope Nintendo includes it on as many games as possible.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Slinging Webs...In My Pants

So here's the sparkly new trailer for Spider-Man 3:

I'm looking forward to this movie quite a lot. I loved the first two (the second being my favorite) and had only minor complaints about them. I love Sam Raimi, and have a lot of confidence in him as far as the third movie goes. But. I am a bit concerned about how much CGI character work is done in this one. A lot of people complained about the stuff in the first movies, that whenever a character was suddenly replaced by a computer double it was painfully obvious. I agree that it was obvious, but felt that it didn't detract from the movie too much. But practically every shot of Spider-Man in this trailer is CGI. And maybe it's just me, but it almost looks like a step back from the previous movies. The CGI somehow looks faker to me. Or maybe I've just seen some spectacular shit since Spider-Man 2 and this new stuff hasn't kept up. I've got no problem with the Sandman character. That has to be done with computers, there's just no other way. And the crawly, inky black suit is fine, too. I don't know. Even non-character objects like some of the debris Spider-Man is dodging looks super fake.
It's possible that whoever edited the preview just picked a bunch of CGI-heavy shots to give it that extra kick. But it's also possible that most of the movie is like this. Despite these misgivings I'm very, very excited. If the story is good enough, and the movie is fun enough I will overlook these things. Like I said, I have faith in Sam Raimi and I haven't been truly disappointed yet. I love the casting, and I can't wait to see where Raimi takes the story next (although anyone with even a slight knowledge of Spider-Man probably knows the key events that are in this movie).
I remain cautiously giddy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


It has recently been revealed that Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is going to be an early release for the Virtual Console. Hells yeah! This is the sort of thing that will make the VC the coolest thing around. For everyone who hasn't played it (I'm presuming most of you), Super Mario RPG was a collaboration between Nintendo and Square in which each company provided the best of what they were known for at the time - namely, brand recognition and kick-ass role-playing, respectively. This game added a whole new level of depth to Mario's universe, and is pretty much responsible for kick-starting the wonderfully absurd humor found in every Mario-themed game today (from Paper Mario to Mario Party). Oh, and I believe it's the only game where Bowser is one of the main playable characters (geek-tastic!) This was one of the games I was hoping and salivating for when the details of the VC were first released.
Now, if they'll just release Earthbound my geek nostalgia will be sated for years to come.

Tremble In Fear

I just got some pictures back from Halloween. Prepare to be scarified.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Finally, A Reason To Get Married

This is the best wedding cake EVER.

Apart from the Peach and Mario figurines on top, it is completely edible. The rest of the pictures are here.

The Duke Of Marm

There are sites all over the place that rearrange Family Circus comics, trying desperately to make them actually funny. I recently discovered a similar site for Marmaduke. This blog simply explains what is happening in each new comic, making them far funnier without changing the comics themselves.
"Marmaduke is pursuing a vacuum cleaner possessed of tremendous speed, independent mobility, and a power cord of apparently infinite length. Of these properties, a behatted onlooker finds only the former worth remarking upon."

I'm putting this in the permanent link bar to the right.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sony Online Has No Structure

It turns out my last anti-Sony rant, while beautifully written, may have been premature and unfounded. So the downloads may be optional. Ok, that's actually a nice feature, then.
To make up for posting the positive news, I'll link to these three stories from Evil Avatar about Sony's online plan. Which apparently is non-existant, or at least so convoluted that none of the developers can actually agree on how to use it. All you have to do is read about EA's online service for the 360 to know what can happen when a developer tries to do its own thing. With the 360 it just doesn't make sense, because from all accounts the XBox Live service is fantastic. For EA to ignore it is just plain stupid. On the PS3, developers don't really have a choice. So instead of an online system that runs smoothly with most games, you'll have a mish-mash of services that may or may not be ideal for playing games. It could work, but what a pain in the ass. Again, it's just extremely complicated for a console. The whole point of a console is simplicity.

Add to that this developer's opinion that the 360 and PS3 are nearly identical in power. Take that, Sony! Your system comes out a year later and costs $200 more, it had damn well be a more powerful system on all levels. Instead, the power gap is marginal at best. This opinion comes from someone at Silicon Knights, a company that gives a lot of credence to gaming power. I know this because they abandoned Nintendo for a more powerful system, the jerks.
There's nothing in the PS3 that seems to create confidence for the consumer. I believe anyone who buys this system on day one is a sucker. This is a system that needs to be observed from a distance before any amount of money is spent on it.

So Close...So Very Close...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wii Video Contest Entry

Someone created this animation for the chance to win a Wii. I don't know if it won, but it's really cool.

Bonus Round: Next Gen Discussion has a new show called Bonus Round, and the first episode is a fascinating discussion between three people who work in the gaming industry. They focus the discussion mainly on the PS3, but use that as a jumping-off point to talk about the state of the industry in general. I tend to agree with the first guy's opinions on Blu-Ray (I don't think it's any secret that I'm critical). I'm looking forward to the next two parts of this series.

Swiit, You Guys!

The Nintendo Wii was a prominent part in one of the latest South Park episode's subplots.
The full episode is on YouTube.

I posted this before watching the full episode. But now that I have I think it's one of the funniest I've seen in a long time. The otters at the end are hilarious.
It's a cliff hanger, so be sure to tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion.

Learning To Enjoy The Rape

I was browsing the archive of my old blog, and happened upon this entry:

This...might get vulgar.
So, I get out of work last night. That's how this story begins, me leaving work. Are you following? Ok.
I'm driving home and I notice that my gas gauge is below empty. So I do the natural thing, I stop for gas. I hand the friendly clerk nine dollars, which is all the money I have in the world (some of which I had to borrow, for crying out loud!). I begin to pump the gas...I blink...and the the pump cuts off.
Nine freakin' dollars got me less than five gallons! It was $2.03 per. What the fuck! Son of a whore! I pulled out of the gas station and my gas warning light immediately blinked on again. It wasn't even enough to put the needle over the empty mark!
Well, the next thing I knew that gas station was in flames and I was covered in blood. And I don't really remember anything else.

That was March 24, last year. When I see $2.03 at the gas pump these days I praise the deity and gladly hand over my forty dollars, thankful for the few drops that manage to squeeze out of the hose into my parched, barren gas tank. My spirit is broken so easily.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't Re-Elect Sony In '06

This little blurb from Evil Avatar contains what might possibly be the number one reason not to buy a PS3.
Apparently, portions of the games you play will have to be downloaded to the internal hard drive just to make the game run properly, much like installing a game on your PC.
The article states that the Ridge Racer game launching with the system will require 5GB of information to be stored. The reason for this is that Blu-Ray drives apparently run at a slower rate than normal disc drives, and the install helps the game run at a tolerable speed.
I'm sorry, but if I wanted to go to that much trouble to play a game I'd buy a gaming PC. At least the PC would have more than 20GB of storage from the get-go. At that rate you'd be able to play 4 games of your choice on the PS3 before having to erase one game's data to make room. And anyone who's even remotely tech-savvy knows how long it takes for 5GB of data to transfer.
Of course, the system allows for any owner to buy a larger compatible hard drive to solve the problem. And I'm sure anyone who has dropped 600 dollars on the system wouldn't mind spending an extra 200 for that storage breathing room, right?
The thing that boggles my mind is that this information is only now seeing the light, when the system comes out in just over two weeks. This information is kind of critical, don't ya think? It's like Sony is trying to reveal as little as possible about their system, for fear that once we see the thing in its entirety we shall at once be repulsed.
Sony is the Phantom and we, the consumer, are Christine. We are compelled to look under the mask but we aren't prepared for what we'll find. Sony knows it's a monster and understands when all is revealed the illusion is shattered and the romance is finished.
If Sony remains dominant in the video game industry this time around I'll probably react in much the same way as I would if the Republicans maintain dominance after the elections. Slack-jawed stupefaction.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just a biased Nintendo fanboy, trying to justify the weaker graphical power of the new system in my future. Maybe nearly a thousand dollars is a small price to pay for the "next generation" of video gaming.
No, wait. It's a huge price. Fucking huge. Goddamn, look at the size of it.

Christmas Video Countdown #55

No, I'm not actually doing a Christmas countdown. I'm kind of all video'd out for the time being.
I just wanted to remind those of you who know that my fall concert is tomorrow night. And for those of you who didn't know, now you do. It's at 8 o'clock and it's free, just like every other Pellissippi concert I've done. So stop by and see me and hear my awesome solo.

It's Over :(