Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Just a quickie here -- why don't more games have the "game within a game" mentality? Games like Counterstrike and Warcraft III have a seemingly endless replayability to them due to the amount of mods that people make for them. Hell, I was playing Defense of the Ancients this morning, and there were still over 100 people hosting for a game that's over 5 years old!

I really wish that more games would take advantage of an open mod/film system. Can you imagine screwing around more with a game like Battlefield? Or what about World of Warcraft people making their own shit? Another game within a game, where people bet on slotcar racing (yes, this is dumb, but possible)?

I just wish more people would imagine the possibilities.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Between Blogger not working, my computer not working, and ME not working, it becomes difficult to get the blogs in on time. Seriously. I've been battling my computer (among other computers), the website, and my own work ethic. So far so good, though.

So, to make up for it, I'm going to share a secret with you -- well, ok, not really a secret, persay, but a game idea.

I don't often like to post these online, but I think this is one of those ideas that I don't think can be done properly without the whole picture (read: the gooey stuff in my brain). That having been said, here's my idea:

I call it "New York Ninja." Yes, I know, that sounds stupid, but hear me out.

Basically, the "environment" is a bastardized version of the environment from GTA/Crackdown/Spiderman. We're talking big, sprawling buildings with lots of little details (like ledges), and at the same time, a LARGE area (possibly equivalent to downtown Chicago in terms of relative size). You control this ninja (or, as I think about it, maybe something ala "Highlander." You know, one of those sword wielding lunatics), and while I really don't know what the overall point is, you start off disoriented and on the run. I'm currently thinking that you were some sort of cloning experiment from an old Japanese archeology find that has gone horribly wrong, and before they can do more tests on you, you get the hell out of there.

So, here you are, all ninja-like, in the middle of New York (or equivalent large city). After a cinema (that shows you stealing a sword from a "magical glass box" that happens to be a store), you're left to defend yourself. Well, if you want to, anyways. See -- you're a frickin ninja. Yeah, you could run away (you're quick like that), or you could stay and fight. Either way, whatever skill you use (speed/strength?) is the one that gets boosted.

Eventually, you'll start to notice that your guy is superhumanly fast/strong etc (as a result of the cloning). You'll be able to run up buildings vertically, and knock people away just by swinging your sword through the air.

I really don't know what the story is here, but it doesn't matter. The point is that it would be KICK ASS to play a sandbox type game where you can do that. Can't you imagine dashing though people, sword in hand, and then cutting open a car like a can of sardines? That would kick ass.

...just a thought.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More Bumming Around

The news delays my usual nonsense once again.

This story is already making a little bit of press. Here's the part that you're going to hear over and over again: young and impressionable kids kill bum. Reason? "killing "the bum" reminded him of playing a violent video game."

Well slap my ass and call me Susan! We've got another one of them that there Violent Video Game cases! You hear that revving sound? That's Jack Thompson starting his car for a worldwide tour.

Except, that's not what's going on.

Let's actually READ the damned article, shall we?

"All Nathan Moore says he wanted to do was smoke pot and get drunk with his friends."
Hooba-jooba-wha? Wait a second -- this kid was drunk AND high? Hell, killing the bum could have reminded him of eating snow cones with Pauly Shore! That kid was crunk as hell!

"Ihrcke smeared his own feces on Baum's face before cutting him with a knife "to see if he was alive," Moore said."

Need proof that the kid was fucked up? Who the hell smears shit on a murder victim? "It must have been the trademark sign of the Shit Bandit!" I mean, seriously, come on. Then he cuts the guy anyways. Not to mention that the article goes on to mention him doing some stuff that I have never heard of, or want to see -- not even even in a snuff film.

I swear, some people have some serious problems. If anything, games probably kept those lunatics in the house long enough to keep society safe for a few years.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Onward and Upward

Well, that was fun.

Long story short, I figured out what the problem was with the computer (the RAM I just purchased was faulty. Go fig). Technical difficulties aside, I seem to have everything back under control.

I was going to post something about the shifting market trend today (more on that tomorrow), but I actually have some interesting news.

Tomorrow is officially going to be the last day of wondering. I'm going to hear back from WBBM/CBS, and they're going to give me an answer. I was already put on the "oh, whatever" list by EA, Midway (sort of), and High Voltage. I sent off some info to Day 1 Studios today, and here's hoping for the best. Otherwise, it seems I may be in over my head when it comes to getting my foot in the door.

Seriously, Chicago needs to do more QA work HERE instead of in Cali/NYC. Rich bastards ruin it for the rest of us.

Real post tomorrow. Promise.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jack Be Nimble

Working on a new back tommorrow!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

Well, not exactly.

See, it's Tuesday night. I have spent the last three days trying to make a computer work. Not this computer (my usual blogging tool), but rather, a newer more powerful computer that I had assembled. However, as much as I'd like to bitch about it here, this is a blog for games.

Wait a second.

Computers play games.


OK, so let's run through the basics. I built this computer back in August, and it had no hardware problems.

Specs were:
2.7 GhZ Processor
1 Gb of RAM
and a bunch of patched together drives of various sorts (they all worked together).

Now, as of Sunday (ironically, when I directed the computer to this blog), something went wrong. I had installed new RAM (which, before you blame it on the RAM, it showed up fine in the BIOS and had no problems when I installed it a few days earlier). Midway through the DethKlok video I am so fond of, the computer crashed and shut down of its own accord. However, all attempts to turn the computer on after that resulted in a similar crash just a few seconds after reaching the desktop. Finally, after popping in the XP Pro install disc (to try and repair it before a full boot), I am greeted with another shutdown via a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).

Next, I tried starting from scratch -- I put in a new Hard Drive. I also had acquired a Vista upgrade disc, so I figured that this would be a good time to install that, too. Unfortunately, every time I got to the "install" part, I was greeted with, you guessed it, another BSOD. THE HARD DRIVE WAS EMPTY! WTF! All it needed to do was be formated!

So, figuring that there was nothing else I could do, I unplugged it overnight.

Then, when I put yet ANOTHER hard drive in it, it decided to work. I was able to install Vista (although there were several BSOD's that made things difficult). Finally, I got it to load Vista.

...for a while, anyways.

See, it was harassing me about not having virus protection. So I went to install some. And then it crashed (much like the very first time). Vista reboot itself, but it was highly unstable. So, I restarted it with the disc to repair it. Repairs completed, I tried rebooting.

Never even made it to the title screen.

So, I used the disc again, and went to a system restore point.

Still didn't make it to the title screen.

So, I went in with Safe Mode. This worked, but every single application (including explorer) terminated itself as soon as I gave it a command.

Finally, I was just getting hit with BSOD's.

So, I tried using the "memory diagnostic tool," which told me that something was wrong with the hardware, but no specifics. Also, it gave me a series of error messages every time I tried to boot. No fixing, no safe mode.

So, I opted to reformat the drive. Nothing important was on it yet, so nothing to lose. So after the reformat, I try and install vista again.


And after about 40 minutes of trial and error (complete with RAM switching), I was unable to get it to reinstall vista after a format. Just another BSOD. EVERY TIME.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'm pretty much out of ideas.

Well, at least this guy has the right idea:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rhythm and Police

Just a random thought for today: why the hell aren't there more rhythm based games?

You know which ones I'm talking about: Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution, and so on. Well, actually, if you're in America, that's pretty much it. Here's what else you're missing:

Beatmania (think DDR with a keyboard. Or, similarly, Keyboard Mania)
Guitar Freaks (Predecessor to Guitar Hero)
Para Para (Sensors detect where your hands are. Closest to ACTUAL dancing among the dancing games)
Drummania (I think you'll figure this one out)
Pump It Up (DDR taken too far. 5 pressable "arrows" along with REQUIRED use of hands)

But seriously, in the realm of what is considered GOOD, that's about it. Last I checked, there were a lot of other instruments and cool body motions that could be used in a rhythm game. Although, judging from the amount of filth near the DDR machines, I wouldn't be caught playing FluteMania after someone ANYTIME soon.

Here are a few ideas that could be explored:

Triangle Hero:
You know how in school there would always be the one talentless kid who was forced to play the triangle while everyone else did something more useful? Embrace that Triangle and rock out to songs like "That Annoying Sound The Wind Chime Makes," The Dinner Bell," and "Holy Shit, It's A Triangle!"

Cowbell Hero:
The gaming industry has a sickness...and the only more cowbell.

You know what I'm talking about -- those big drums that have a harmonica and horns and other crap strapped to it. I would pay good money to watch petite little Asian girls try and strap on all that crap and collapse under the weight. Good money. And for those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, here is Axl Rose as a literal "One Man Band."

Friday, February 9, 2007

Was It A Slow News Day?

I know I don't update on Fridays, but this was just too good to pass up. I think Penny Arcade tore this to shreds better than I ever could, but I'm going to try.

Basically, this video was made to scare idiots. That's really all there is to it.

The video discusses how Pictochat on Nintendo DS can be used by STALKERS and EVIL PEOPLE to get information from your kids. It's like their lives are an OPEN BOOK, just waiting to be read by some EVIL SNEAKY RAPIST guy. My favorite line has to be that "It's this simple: you just click on pictochat when you turn it on, and now YOUR CHILD's DS can be connected to bny ANY DS IN THE WORLD."

Let's look at 5 quick things that are wrong about this news story, shall we?

#1. The kid needs to be IN pictochat to use pictochat. It's not like some random asshole can just come up and message you -- you have to be waiting for one, in your own chat room.
#2. Not only that, but who waits around in pictochat? You use a DS to play games! It doesn't notify you if a DS is in range, or if that DS is trying to send you a message.
#3. Also, if you ARE in pictochat, odds are it's because you are expecting someone that will be in the room (odds are, that person is less than 10 feet from you).
#5. What the hell child molester is going to walk around with his DS out, looking for people to pictochat with? I mean, come on!

Seriously though, how are you going to pry that information out oif the kid. The guy in the video built it up like all children were stupid enough to give out their information, and then quickly and quietly mentioned "but of course, we had already spoken, and I had told them to give me their information."

If anything, I bet child rapists go back and forth practicing their convincing DS tactics. In this example, they try and convince the child that they are, in fact, Mario, and that they will come out and eat them unless they get what the want.

Or more accurately, those were the only images I could find that didn't mention basketball.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


For those of you that were hoping for a "best/worst games you've never played" list, you're out of luck. I would normally attribute this to laziness or being busy (not really applicable), but the truth is, there's only so many games out there that are worth your time. As it stands, there are three games that are consuming my time, thus making it hard for me to move on to newer fare:
#1. Phantasy Star Universe
This is a DEMO and it's still addictive as shit. I honestly hope that the demo ends soon, or I'm going to be in deep trouble.
#2. Halo 2
The winner, and still champion.
#3. Dethklok
Not really a game, but still, Metalocalypse has piqued my interest and then some. Brendan Small (of "Home Movies" fame) is a kick ass guitar player.

But, because this blog is for GAMES, I managed to pull a tie in.

Behold! My favorite Dethklok song, "Thunder Horse" as performed on Guitar Hero 2 (by someone that clearly has no life). Holy shit that guy is good.

And, just because the episode was good, here's the song in Dethklok context (don't worry, it doesn't ruin anything, although probably NSFW).

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Birth of a Franchise 5: Battletoads

Does anyone even remember this franchise anymore? I do! Anytime you take three obvious Ninja Turtles ripoffs and let them hit people, it's going to be good. Three Toads -- Zitz, Pimple, and Rash, all are involved in fighting crime, so on and so forth, yadda yadda yadda. But hey -- the game is a big shaper of the industry. Here are the three most influential entries of the series.

Battletoads (NES, 1991)
So let's start from scratch. You've got Zitz and Rash, two crude dudes (not to be confused with 2 Crude Dudes or 2 Live Crew) that are out to rescue their brother Pimple. First of all, these graphics are pretty kick ass for the NES. Props to Rare and DataEast for getting the most out of an aging system.
The most noticeable thing about the game was the difficulty. Jesus, this game was hard! There was no password system, and no save games. Use your continues, and that's it.
Finishing off enemies was done in a cool, stylistic way, where the final blow in a combo would result in a humongously oversized first, headbut, and so on (think how Mario's fists bulge out in Super Smash Bros when he punches. Now make it 2D).

Also, in what was just forming as a trend, you could now pick up weapons and use them (ala Streets of Rage and Double Dragon). Needless to say, hitting things is cool.
Other additions were races, many of which involved memorizing a sequence of upcoming obstacles on a 2D plane (or you crash and die instantly), and 3D (a first!) sequences where you had to dodge an enemies' attacks. Cool beans.

Battletoads and Double Dragon (NES, Genesis, SNES, GameBoy, 1993)
Two words: marketing crossover. What better way to milk two franchises that you own than to combine them into a sure-sell game? Super Smash Bros. anyone? In a move that completely says "Fuck You" to the Double Dragon story, DataEast throws these guys into a Battletoads game. Choosing from 5 characters (the brothers and three toads), you punch and kick your way through...well, pretty much what seems like the first game.
There are more vehicular obstacles, and even a level where you have to descend a chasm with a cable, and touching something kills you. I'm sure that a game rips this off somewhere. I don't really know the significance of that, but it really sticks out in my head. Maybe because I died there so many times.
Again, the NES gets pushed even harder, and comes away with a scrolling 3D background. Holy crap! Not only that, but as you can see, the sprites are some fiiiiine looking ones, and the game is still as impossible as ever (although anything is easier than the original Battletoads). Seeing as the NES can do no more, the good folks at DataEast decide to try their luck on the "next generation."

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (SNES, Genesis, 1993)

Now, I list this game not because it's so fantastic, but because it teaches a lesson. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what our "sequels" have become. This game, in essnece, is Battletoads. With pretty graphics.
But seriously, that's it. Same gameplay, same "run before this kills you," and same frustration (although still easier than the last two). But what the hell does this game bring to the table that's unique? Nothing. Not a damned thing.
So, as you've probably figured out, this is the last console Battletoads game. DataEast made a souped up version of this game in 1994 for arcades (comeplete with three-player action), but without anything new to add, the series ultimately died.
As it is, Rare (the owners of the license after DataEast went under) currently has no plans to make another Battletoads game, but has said that if a new idea presents itself for use with the license, they might do it.

Here's an idea: Make it three players, and release it to Live Arcade or Virtual Console.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tits McGee Couldn't Be Here Tonight...

And I'm not Veronica Corningstone. Here's the news.

First off is a piece of news you probably already knew: Americans are dumb. That's right ladies and gents -- our good friends the Mooninites from ATHF have apparently been confused with terrorist threats. The thing is GODDAMNED LITE BRITE! YOU CAN EVEN SEE THE BATTERIES! Boston needs to get a fucking sense of humor.

Next up, we have the XBOX 360. After a clamoring from people that are now deaf thanks to the 360's disc drive (also known as the chainsaw that plays media), the good folks at MS have decided to put in a new drive for all 360's.
Well, actually, they did this back in November, but it really just flew under the radar. Sneaky bastards.
The hearing impaired community thanks you!

Speaking of the 360, apparently MS has teamed up with Old Spice. Finally, there's incentive to play games again! The prize breakdown is actually dependant on how much of a life you have -- the more acne and less sunlight, the better your prize is. Niiiice.

Finally, in what is the most disturbing news of all, Rockstar has decided to make a sequel for Manhunt. And it's going to be on the Wii. Look -- it's bad enough that there's a SEQUEL to the game that was deliberately made to be obscene. It's even worse that it's going to be on the PS2 and PSP, so that more people will see it. But the Wii!? There is just something inherently wrong with being able to kill people with the Wii-Mote. I can only imagine the motions that the player will have to go through for strangling (pull both Nunchuk and Wii-Mote backwards and in), bludgeoning (quick overhead motion with either hand), and so on. Hopefully, Nintendo has learned their lesson, and there won't be a "blood code."

Monday, February 5, 2007

Madden Bowl

I know that this is one of those "too little, too late" sort of things, but this is what happens when you're a Bears fan and you refuse to update until Monday. Long story short, The Sex Cannon known as Rex Grossman has finally crushed the hopes and dreams of Chicago fans everywhere. But this isn't a blog for sports. I already have a sports outlet in So why am I talking about this here?

Enter 1UP's Madden Bowl.

Bears win two of the three matchups...but the only one they lost was the one that mattered. To save you some trouble, here are the results:

24-17 Bears (Colts are without Manning)

34-31 Bears (Bears are 85' Bears)

21-9 Colts (Superbowl XLI)

Damn it.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

No Shit

Having a really hot girlfriend makes it really damned hard to blog. But I try.

And as for tonight, I fail. Look for something more substantial on Monday, boys and girls!