Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Two Video Games That Absolutely Will Not Suck

Here's the latest trailer for Metroid Prime 3: Corruption:

It's a new Metroid Prime which is golden in and of itself. The early reports coming out are that not only is it possibly the best game in the series so far (and by series I mean Prime and not Metroid as a whole), but it also is the first solid shooting game on the Wii. Which is pretty much what Wii owners have been waiting for since the system was first revealed lo those many years ago. The production design looks as a good as ever and the game even features a deeper story line with fully voice acted NPCs.

Also, here's a jello Metroid dessert which I am determined to learn how to make:

Anyway, the second game is The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, a new Zelda game controlled exclusively with the Nintendo DS's stylus. This video has the courtesy to show how the stylus is actually used along with the gameplay footage. It does not, however, have the common courtesy to speak English. Still, it's a solid representation of what the game is all about.

It's also designed in the wonderfully charming style of Wind Waker which I'm happy to see. It even appears to be the same version of Hyrule complete with vast oceans to explore.
The end of this trailer also features what I'm assuming is some sort of online multi-player feature. Like capture the flag, except with Triforce fragmments. Not bad!

Two Video Games That Hopefully Won't Suck

The first is Aqua Teen Hunger Force's Zombie Ninja Pro-Am, inexplicably being released exclusively for the PS2. As the title makes it abundantly clear this is a golf game (insofar as there are golf clubs and...holes). Everything else appears to be exactly what you would expect from ATHF.

The second game (and ranking much higher on my anticipation-o-tron) is Penny Arcade's On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness Episode 1. This game, in addition to being written and designed by Penny Arcade, is a wonderful callback to the point-and-click adventures of my youth (see Sam & Max Hit The Road, Day Of The Tentacle, et al.). Also, this one will be playable on my beloved Mac, so that's definitely a plus.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

200 Bad Comics

Someone was challenged to write 200 bad comics. The results are actually hilarious:

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Simpsons Movie:
Must Go or Just D'oh?

They've been talking about a Simpsons movie for over half of my life now. I've always wanted to see the Simpsons on the big screen but could never imagine what such a movie would look like. What kind of story would be big enough to sustain what is essentially a sitcom (although a much more flexible one) for well over an hour? Apparently those are the same questions that kept the movie from being made any sooner. But now it's here and I've seen it and maybe I can get on with my life now.

The movie is hilarious, as I knew in my soul it would be. And the story is epic without feeling like a bunch of episodes strung together (*ahem* Family Guy movie). Elements of the main plot are introduced immediately and build to a satisfying climax. However there are plenty of distractions and B-plots that keep you wondering where the movie is going.

Moments of the movie can stand right alongside some of the show's best episodes. Homer's "This book doesn't have any answers" is as classic as any line he's ever uttered, and will go in many a nerd's repertoire of quotes. Some of the movie understandably falls flat (Homer's vision, for example, isn't nearly as wild as some of the trippier moments of the series). But the good strongly outweighs the bad.

If there is a major flaw in the film perhaps it's the fact that it doesn't really push the boundaries (other than scale). But The Simpsons haven't really been about pushing boundaries for some time. Maybe that's why many fans site the decline in the show's quality. There are still the requisite jabs at right-wingers, pop culture, and religion, but they seem less edgy. I think that has more to do with a general change in our culture rather than a decline in the show. Every character on The Simpsons has a solid core which they rarely (if ever) deviate from. The Simpsons are as edgy as they've ever been but we've been conditioned by shows like The Simpsons to expect it. Oh, the irony.

There was a discussion at the Onion's AV Club this week about whether or not the series should hang up its hat, lest the recent episodes tarnish the legacy of its glory days. While I can see both sides of the argument I tend to fall on the side of keeping the show around. I don't watch as frequently as I used to. But I do think it's still one of the best shows on TV. Family Guy might be getting all the attention right now, and it is capable of going to "edgier" places than the Simpsons is able to, but the characters never had the integrity that the Simpsons do. There are no great stories in Family Guy because the stories are just excuses to string together a series of unrelated jokes. The setup for every one is "It's just like the time we [blank]". When it comes to lampooning major events in America I still want to see it done Simpsons style, because it will be done in a way that will be watchable long after the event is news.

I don't really have much else to say about the movie other than "go see it". Oh, and "Bye, Doctor Nick!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All Right Already!

So I'm finally back online after just over a month of internet withdraw. I'm in a new apartment. It's number 1313. Spooky, right? Good thing I'm not superstitious.
On the other hand here is a list of things that have happened since I moved:

1. Car broke down, had to replace the starter switch. Also discovered oil leaks and break pads need replacing.

2. Got lost in the wrong county and got a speeding ticket.

3. Lost wallet, including ID, social security card, insurance info and rent money.

4. Locked keys in car with engine running.

5. Lost glasses.

6. Got poison ivy for first time in over ten years.

7. Car battery died, still needs replacing.

Here's hoping my plane ride next month doesn't follow a similar course.