So, I was one of the lucky few hardcore fans that went to a local theater to watch the entire Nolan Batman trilogy on Thursday.
It is the beginning of summer. This is the time when I get rapidly bored and promise to write a summer blog that almost assuredly won’t happen. Oh well. Qbix keeps this site alive, and I plan to honor that with a yearly post emptily promising nothing.
Did I mention we are going to PAX in September? Also, this is the last time I will attend Comic-Con. Maybe I will write some stuff…nah.
I am four days into summer, and other than one huge thing happening very soon, I am already bored. Perhaps a blog soon?
I know it has been a couple weeks since X-Men Origins: Wolverine has hit the big screens, but to be completely honest, it has taken this long to wash the putrid taste of fail from my soul. Maybe I was totally spoiled by the magnificence of the flurry of great comic book movies that we were all treated to from the previous year (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Watchmen), but seriously, how did this crapheap of a disappointment ever get made? I have pondered why it sucked so bad, and I think there are a few lessons to be learned from success. So here are a list of things that I felt were terribly wrong with Wolverine, and I have even set them up in comparison to the comic book movies that weren’t so full of suck. I will begin with the benign and move to the more ridiculous mistakes.
Recently, there was a conversation regarding the worst NES game that any of the Best.Team.Ever staff has played or owned. We listed off the worst game we ever played on the good old NES and my choice was Deadly Towers. I had remembered it as an infinitely frustrating and mundane display of mediocrity. It just so happens that there was a list that proclaimed it to be THE WORST NES GAME OF ALL TIME. However, that surely was not good enough for me. I had to make sure that those memories, perhaps blocked like a tragedy of childhood, were true. I can’t say how I was able to play it again, but I can give you a review. Scores are out of 10 suicidal gamers.
- Gameplay: Let’s start here, because it if so easy. If you could imagine the movie Groundhog Day, but strip away the comedic acting of Bill Murray, the beauty of Andy MacDowell, and anything resembling creativity, you would still have something ten times as good as Deadly Towers. The levels, or rooms, or whatever you want to call them, are monotonous at best. I know that the NES does have just two buttons and a D-pad, but there were so many games that did so much with just these three items. In fact, the Atari, with its one button and joystick, probably did more. You go around shooting swords at the same collection of about 7 types of enemies for as long as I cared to play. Every once in a while you came across a “boss”, but given that a hit from your sword would freeze its victim, they stood no chance and you were back to fighting bouncing balls and groups of pixels that I could only guess were actually swarms of bees.
Score: 2 suicidal gamers
- Playability: This game is absolutely impossible. I would not say that any one enemy is that hard to beat, but imagine this. There is a game where if you die once, you get sent back all the way to the very first stage. To make matters worse, every hit from even a living Slinky takes about one third of your life. Power ups? Never heard of them. I mean, there are those health meter increases, but they only increase your max health. Oh, and if you die, you only start with the original amount, regardless of how many of those health meter increases you find. This is that game. Did I mention that there are many ledges to perish off of, and each time you get hit you spin uncontrollably towards one? Yeah, that happens.
Score: 1 suicidal gamer
- Graphics: Seriously? Every single room looks the same. Not that the layouts are identical, but if you are looking for any way to tell areas apart in order to reasonably navigate this game, then good luck. My advice? Just keep going up. There are about five graphic features that are used repeatedly, and not very well at that. The bosses are alright. They do offer some variety, but not much. The graphic below is easily the most interesting stage I have seen in this game.
Score: 1 suicidal gamer
- Sound: I have to admit that the music is fairly catchy, and it actually changes as the game goes on. It is kind of a medieval type of music, and might make the first five minutes you play the game tolerable. It does not however, make up for anything else.
Score: 6 suicidal gamers
Overall Impression: I hate this game. I hated it when I was 9 years old and I hate it today. It not only brings back bad memories, it makes me wonder just how in the hell this game met with the Nintendo Seal of Approval.
So, apparently Jack Thompson is so much of a grandstanding douchebag that he has finally been disbarred. What that means is that he has been legally castrated. Unable to practice law, he may still be able to needlessly persecute the video game industry vocally, but he will never be able to prosecute. The perpetual dick suddenly has no dick at all.
Thompson started by impotently taking action against obscenity in media such as Howard Stern and 2 Live Crew, but right around the mid-nineties, he switched gears and began taking shots at video games. Here are some of his finer moments:
In 2004, Thompson sent his 10 year old son into Best Buy to purchase a copy of Grand Theft Auto III in order to gain leverage in a suit against them for selling age-inappropriate content. Seriously? So a grown man, supposedly one of upstanding moral standards, uses his own child as a pawn? This has the undeniable stink of desperation. At this point he should have been disbarred to save himself from further embarrassment, but no.
In 2006, he tried to stop the release of Bully, another Rockstar title by declaring it declared it a “public nuisance”. How does a video game translate into something like that? I am not really sure that there was any shred of sanity to that one, though maybe in Thompson’s neighborhood there are children playing video games outside. Gamers are pasty white for a good reason, Jack.
He once rejected as “completely unconstitutional” Hillary Clinton’s proposed legislation to ban sales to minors of games rated “M” for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Self-contradict much? This is a letter everyone should have written him:
Dear Jack Thompson,
At least have the balls to stick to your guns (pun intended), even when someone of the opposite political persuasion happens to agree with you.
Apparently no one told him that violence in video games has not contributed to violence among teens. His whole thing was that people played games and then duplicated the actions in the games in their real lives. WRONG! In fact, it has had the opposite effect.
You have officially wasted enough of our time with your foolishness. Up yours Jack Thompson. Have fun being unemployed.
So here it is, the update a lot of people have been expecting for quite some time. Due out around the holidays of this year is the biggest Xbox 360 Dashboard update ever. It includes networking and much, much more!!! Here is some of the stuff I thought was interesting enough to write about.
- Networking is something that will be enhanced greatly with this update. There will be the ability to creates parties of up to eight friends and stay with them, not just within a game, but between games. This is kind of like the private chat feature as I understand it. You can also watch movies and view content on your harddrive as one big happy family. That certainly sounds interesting. I am not sure how much I would use that particular feature, but it might be pretty nice if a few friends wanted to migrate to a different game and not have to go through the hassle of breaking contact and getting lost in the shuffle. It always bothered me that you could not “conference call”, but eventually you will.
- Playing From Your HardDrive will now be a possibility. You can upload the content of any game onto your HD and go from there. This is soooo damn cool. As long as you have the disk in the drive, you don’t have to listen to the damn roar of the DVD drive as it spins jet engine noises. Not only that, the load times will be faster. I have an Elite, so disk space will not be a problem. Considering that the disks are DVD9, that means I could easily fit 10 games at a time with room to spare for all the other shwag you pick up a long the way. My only fear is that is will take like 3 hours to upload and in that time your drive will burn out and the neighbors will complain about testing rockets next door.
I know this is a favorite amongst our crew, so we wanted to share this 9:22 of pure awesome. If you have seen Rejected by Don Hertzfeldt, then you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t ever seen it, you are in for a treat. This is probably NSFW, unless your boss doesn’t mind humor based on blood coming out of your ass.
Yes, I am a virgin to the ages old art of blogging, though, when I was approached by qbix to take part in this website, I was eager to explore that uncharted interwebz territory. Of course, I have read many blogs, though none of them religiously or even with more than a passing fancy. Some entries have been amusing, others politically charged, but most of them hover all too closely to stream-of-consciousness bullshit.
So why be any different?
In fact, as I type this I have absolutely no idea where I want to go, much less how I want to end it. Should I talk about my side of the “Mac v. PC” argument that seems so popular as of late? Perhaps I should step more in line with the intent of this site and ruminate about the wonders and joys of video gaming. Maybe I should talk about how much I hate garbanzo and lima beans and cannot understand why anyone likes the little sons-of-bitches.
Choosing a topic for your first blog is a huge step. It doesn’t have the ramifications of choosing a mate, purchasing a car, or even deciding whether to have that fifth piece of pizza, knowing full well that you will be sweating grease for ten hours afterwards and end up having a nightmare about being stuck in traffic as a passenger in a car driven by that irritating old bitch that lives in the condo below you. However, it might set the tone for the rest of your blog entries. Maybe you will like the structure and make all of your other ones fit the same mental template. Maybe you will set the bar too high and every blog you write afterwards will be increasingly more disappointing to your readers. That is a lot of pressure.
I just want to get something down. Break the ice. Leeroy Jenkins the battle. It doesn’t have to be Earth shattering. It doesn’t have to make people think or laugh. I don’t have to cure cancer. I just need to tap the keys, click the mouse, and walk away. So considering that, I will Stop. Right. Here.