Originally posted on 07/12/2006 at Modojo.com

That guy up there, he's one of the reasons I love video games. Now, don't get me wrong, I got my start long before Goemon: Mystical Ninja arrived on the Nintendo 64, but for me ... it was just one of those games. It's definitely not perfect, and I would totally understand if someone hated it, but for me ... it was an experience to be had. Goemon is kind of like the Megaman of Japan, except for the fact that well ... Megaman is the Megaman of Japan. Goemon has been the star of more than 25 releases since the 80's, and his journey parallels the blue bomber's pretty well.

Goemon arrived on the scene in the arcades and then the NES with simple side-scrolling gameplay. He then adopted an overworld map style similar to that of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The N64 era brought Goemon into full 3D, and brought him to my attention for the first time. The series went on to spawn an anime, and Playstation and Playstation 2 titles that re-envisioned Goemon as a newer, cooler character to appeal to a younger (more stupid) audience. (Megaman X hmmm ??)

Throughout his journey only four of Goemon's titles ever made it outside Japan, and out of more than 25 that's basically a kick in the nuts for American fans. I can understand why they haven't seen domestic releases, but at the same time, I totally can't. In all honesty, who doesn't want to play as a spunky lil' thief in one weird Edo? Goemon's best friend is a pudgy ninja, and when he's stuck in a pickle, he can call on his giant impact robot to help him deal with the baddies. Seriously, fat ninjas, giant robots, and I'm pretty sure the story of the N64 iteration involved turning Edo castle into a giant peach where everyone danced all the time. If that's not gaming gold ...

To bring things full circle, I'm thinking about Goemon for two reasons.

One: There is a new Goemon title on the DS in Japan. It's been out for pretty much a year now, so I'm thinking Konami will be skipping a US release. ... and I'm crying on the inside. I'm ready to import, but to even proceed in the game mean's it's time to break out the Japanese books. Well ... I had to get learning anyways.

Two: Games like Goemon are the reason I'm excited for the Wii's Virtual Console. Not only should I be able to pick up one of my favorite N64 titles, as well as the sequel Goemons: Great Adventure, but if Nintendo handles things right and proper, they should allow me to pick up all the Goemon titles I missed out on in the first place. They have to understand that there is a market for importing thanks to the DS, and if they open the back catalogs of games we cound never enjoy before ... Whoosh! ... the amounts of money I will give them. Here's hoping Nintendo's on the right page.

Goemon on the N64

Giant robot action

Goemon DS

Hardcore Gaming 101 has an impressive feature on the entire Goemon series with screens and .mp3's as well. Check it out here.

Originally posted on 07/04/2006 at Modojo.com

I was hoping to go to Circuit City today and catch some of the excellent DS titles they were selling for their July 4th holiday sale. I wanted to come home with Metroid Prime Pinball, Meteos, and Advance Wars: Dual Strike (all for $8.96). Well, my local Circuit City had Tiger Woods Golf. Woo-Hoo. (...sarcasm intended...)

I decided I wouldn't come home empty handed, and that there had to be some game I could purchase to validate the half-hour drive and wasted gas. I scoured the shelves for discount titles and almost made a purchase of The Warriors, when I noticed the limited edition Marc Ecko's Getting Up resting in the display case for a paltry $8.96. I came to decide that even if the game was a festering hunk of shit, I could at least enjoy a really nice tin case for $8.96.

That purchase didn't quell my gaming needs so I drove off to Best Buy, then Gamestop, and then EB Games, where I saw a delicious copy of the increasingly rare Riviera: The Promised Land for $29.99. My DS was desperate for some GBA love, so I snagged it up, as well as laying down $30 for a Final Fantasy 12: Collectors Edition pre-order.

A good day indeed, with many worthy purchases. I'll be playing Riviera, appreciating my wonderful tin case, and trying to beat 'Ready, Steady, Go' on Ouendan for the 1284th time.

Marck Ecko and P Diddy contemplate what is in fact in front of them.

A.) The Marc Ecko's Getting Up Limited Edtion
B.) A brick
C.) Pangea

Originally posted on 06/01/2006 at 1up.com

The summer is most traditionally gaming's downtime. When all the 'wee lad's and lasses go off to enjoy swimming, and bee stings, and sweating their foolish asses off. I hate the summer ... because I hate bee stings, and sweating, and not playing good, new games. BUT ... this summer kind of rocks ?!?

XBOX 360

May 23 - Rockstar Presents: Table Tennis
May 30 - Hitman: Blood Money
July 05 - The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth 2
July 10 - Prey
July 11 - Chromehounds
August 08 - Bomberman: Act Zero
August 08 - Dead Rising
August 15 - Ninety-Nine Nights

June 13 - Street Fighter Alpha Anthology
August 22 - Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
August 29 - Disgaea 2

June 26 - Titan Quest

So, if I've listed it there, I genuinely think it has a shot at being a pretty good game. Some of these titles I'll be snagging right away, and others I'm just pretty interested in. Rockstar Table Tennis is a member of the latter. I *HATE* most sports games, but Table Tennis actually looks pretty intriguing. Launching at 39.99 also sky-rocketed it's buyability factor in my book. As far as other games on my summer release calender ... LOTR looked awesome on PC, and I think I'd like to say I owned one of the first amazingly detailed strategy games on console. Ninety-Nine Nights, Disgaea 2, and Dirge of Cerberus are pretty much leading the pack as *must-buys* for me. So summer gaming doesn't suck much choad this time arround, at least not on the 360 that is. PS2 seems slow as always, and well the Cube is dead kids. Super Paper Mario is like it's farewell song. The only real problem I see with my list is ... I can't buy all those games, and still save for the Wii/Xbox 360 Autumn of amazing release greatness.

Other than the games coming out ... In the last few weeks I've purchased:

Super Smash Bros.
Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes
Super Mario Sunshine
The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker
Halo 2: Collectors Edition

It's kind of like catching up with the systems I never cared about before.

... I never post without hot, steamy pictures ....

(Pictures removed)

Originall posted on 05/14/2006 at 1up.com

Alright ... this could get large ... if Firefox Crashes ... I'll tear it's heart out ...

Well, it's over, and this was the best-est E3 ever. I've stayed up to date on all the news as it dropped, and I clicked refresh on gaming sites more often than I'd like to admit. I'll start my afterthoughts post with what I think were the bests of E3. Consoles, Genres, all decisions are made with care.

The Company Rundown
1. Nintendo - It's basically impossible to disagree that Ninny was best in show.
2. Microsoft - Microsoft proved that the 360 is a shooter's alley of first person wonder. Live Anywhere sealed the deal.
3. Sony - Sorry, sad, Playstation 3. Their only impressive games won't be showing till 2007, and with nothing but stolen ideas, de-hyped graphics, and a sky-high pricepoint, no one will be playing till 2007 anyways. I mean, did you see Genji 2 ??? God, what a disaster.

Console Awards
Playstation 3 - Metal Gear Solid 4: Nuff' Said.
Playstation 2 - God of War 2: This game breaks the PS2 boundary. It's seriously looking better than some PS3 demos I saw.
Gamecube - Super Paper Mario: The last great Cube game. (Everyone knows Zelda doesn't count.)
Wii - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: It's hard to pick a Zelda over a Mario and a Metroid, but the anticipation for this title is bubbling over.
DS - Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: Almost a tie between this and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, confirmed co-op Wi-Fi play for C:PoR FTW!
PSP - Was there a PSP game at E3??? LoL. Ninny pwns handhelds ... again.
Xbox - RIP.
Xbox 360 - Gears of War: There's little to be said about Gears of War except, masterpiece. Most impressive gameplay demo I've ever seen.
PC - Spore: Will Wright can make a living universe. Umm ... is he Jesus??

Genre Awards
Shooter - Gears of War: Who says FPS is any better than 3PS anyways. Long live 3PS!!
Platformer - Super Mario Galaxy: It's being hailed as the most polished Wii game, and it looks like I can feel cool to play kids games again.
RPG - Final Fantasy 12: Sure, I want to give it to 13, but that's hard to do just over a 30-second trailer. Almost gave this to Disgaea 2.
Racing - Excite Truck: If this is a true successor to Excite Bike, I should be able to make levels, if I can't, fark this.
Fighting - Super Smash Brothers Brawl: The Tekkens and Virtua Fighters are just looking so boooring. The graphics aren't even that good IMHO. Snake ??? Fuckyes!!
Action - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Without so much as a doubt.

Random Awards
Most Artistic Game - Okami
Most Under-Pressed Game - Bioshock: Not one single vid, wtf ??
Worst Next-Gen Game - Bladestorm PS3: My lord, watch the vid, what schlock. Genji 2 is a close second, the enemies were just ... standing there. I don't care if there's fucking 10,000 ... if they're just goddamm standing there.
Best Graphics - Crysis: Say it loud, "TRUE NEXT-GEN."
Worst Wii Game - Final Furlong: Sure I wanna give it to Spongebob, but ... horse racing ???
Most Bad-Ass Character - Raiden, MGS4: Wow ... he's so cool now. I wanna have his babies.
Best Atmosphere - Bioshock: The game-world of Bioshock is the coolest idea I've heard in a while. I'm pissed I didn't think of it.
Best Trailer - Halo 3: The MGS4 15-Minute trailer was gorgeous, and righteous, and angelic, but it didn't have one thing, that song playing in the Halo 3 trailer. That song, does a perfect trailer make.

Gears of War, Xbox 360: Surprised?? You see, Zelda is a Wii game, and you can't call any Wii game really exemplary I think, until that controller is in your own hand. Gears of War on the other hand, A-MAZING. If you don't have your 360 for this, you're fucking your own ass ... and hard-like.

That was long, and I'm not even done. Moving on like, Five Dissapointments from the show.

1. No Kid Icarus for the Wii. This was balanced by the fact that Kid Ic' is in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, so at least I know Ninny has him in mind. Also, a PunchOut! remake maybe?? We all want it.
2. Playstation 3. I really wanted to buy both consoles this fall. But anything about $500 fucked that. Honestly, with two games and another controller, maybe a headset or some other shit, and BAM!, PS3=$800.
3. Metroid Prime 3 has 'conversation' ???? The hunters from MP: Hunters are making appearances in 3, I've seen dialogue, and many other characters roaming in large-scale battles on your side. Seriously Ninny, don't fuck with my Metroid atmoshpere. Being creepily alone is part of the experience.
4. No official Wii date or price ... BS.
5. Umm ... Devil May Cry 4, Killzone, Resident Evil 5 ??? Where were they ?? I'm glad we're calling "shit-peddlers" on the pre-rendered trailers. Sure RE5 looked cool, but why wasn't it at E3. Because they were lying ...

So ... a new Top 10 and a 1/2 is to be expected ... and here I deliver. Plus a 1/2!!

1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Wii
2. Gears of War - 360
3. Super Mario Galaxy - Wii
4. Metroid Prime 3 - Wii
5. Bioshock - 360
6. Okami - PS2
7. Final Fantasy XII - PS2
8. Super Smash Brothers Brawl - Wii
9. God of War 2 - PS2
10. Spore - PC
10.5 Hellgate: London - PC
You'll notice no MGS4 or FF13 on this list, because really, I'm not getting a PS3 until sometime in 2007 anyways, so they're not so much of a priority. I'll fix the one up top sooner or later.

... and what good is a post without at least one pic ... Edit: But it seems IGN are being Fuckstars and not letting me steal a lil' bw from a hotlink. If you wanna see the beautiful images I've chosen, just right+click and view, that should work.

Reeking of atmosphere ??? You bet.

+ 5 Reading Points to those who've finished.
You've gained a Level!!

The Wii ...

Originally posted on 05/01/2006 at 1up.com

The announced Wii titles as of yet ...

1. Madden
2. Red Steel (*Excited*)
3. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (*Interested*)
4. Bob Ross Painting (*OMGWTFBBQ!!!1!Killer App*)
5. Mario 128 (*Excited*)
6. Sadness (*Interested*)
7. Elebits (*Interested*)
8. Super Monkey Ball
9. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
10. Super Smash Bros. (*Excited*)
11. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (*Excited*)
12. Spongebob Squarepants ****
13. Avatar the Last Airbender ****
14. Pangya Golf
15. Donkey Kong
16. Tony Hawk Downhill Jam
17. Flight Title
18. Orb (*Interested*)
19. Raid over the River
20. Sunder (*Interested*)
21. Possible rumored Kojima title ?? (*Excited*)
22. Metroid Prime 3 (*Excited*)

So that *could* very well compromise the launch line-up right there. That'd be a damn shame if that's all we saw at E3. Although that list is only holding down 4 first party titles, and I've seen it said that Nintendo was prepping 6. Kid Ic' WOOT!!!! I can dream, can't I ?? ... It is pretty safe to assume that if the Wii is launching in '06 then we'll see every launch title at E3. So those may not be launch titles above, but in about 8 days, all will be revealed. I'm also very eager to see the games that developers straight out say aren't launch titles, you can expect them to get some time to refine, and should be the Wii's Elder Scrolls and Ghost Recon, rolling in comfortably after launch.

****: If Nintendo is considering these Nickelodeon tie-in games as stellar launch titles, from some shit developer famous for WWF trash, then I'd like to have a talk with them to make sure they understand what this whole re-branding thing they're doing is. You can't expect people to take you seriously as this leader of innovation, if you're using that innovation to shit out Spongebob Squarepants games.

The NYC Post ...

Originally posted on 04/06/2006 at 1up.com

This is basically a cut/copy/paste of my Myspace post. Something I'm not fond of doing, but it's cool to share all around ...

So, I've returned ... It's definitely dissapointing to be back, It's like going from everything in the world, back to my never anything interesting to do shit-ville home. I wonder if I can get in to NYU ?? I'll have to see ...

Anyways, the trip started off on Friday, we went to the MOMA (Musuem of Modern Art), and they wouldn't let me take pictures, but it was interesting. Huge, huge line because Friday nights were free. After we left the MOMA, we scored some incredible NY pizza, and broke off into seperate groups to do whateva'. I palled up with a group of kids I didn't even know, and we paraded through Times Square.

(The full post and pictures can be found here.)

Umm .. to conclude .. This was surely an incredible weekend, one for the record books. It's maybe only a short hair underneath Germany in great moments in the existense of Cody. .... and also, 5 Facts about NYC ...

1. Cabs actually smell fine, are clean, and the drivers "mostly" speak English.
2. Almost everyone you meet on the street however, does not.
3. Every single store in Chinatown sells what I think is ginseng root, and it smells like foul, rotten death.
4. If you want to get served under 21, go to a Chinese restaraunt. They don't card, because I don't think they know what a license is.
5. Always, always cross the street whenever the stop hand is up. That thing is like, a joke.

If you made it this far, 5 points to you.

Originally posted on 03/31/2006 at 1up.com

Pretty frequently, I wonder if I'm a genius. Sure I don't know much about physics and I can't speak ten languages, but I think I could, if I wanted to. Not to mention, I keep meeting so many stupid people, that I really have to wonder, am I a genius?

... and within seconds my thoughts can change focus to, "wow, those tits are huge. Are they too huge? Is there a too huge for boobs? I mean, sure they're ridiculous, but I could do something with that. A pillow ... or something."

So I think I've answered the question myself. ... Obviously, I am.

What spawned this is in fact, another genius. Tsugumi Ohba, the writer behind the story of Deathnote. My God. Could you imagine playing chess with this guy? The way he writes about these outrageously complex interactions between people, and their intention's is ... downright impressive. When a plot twist occurs, my reaction is always, that's goddamm genius. Not necessarily the plot twist itself, but the actions of the characters L and Light, are perfect, genius level deductions. They think like no people I've ever met. Occasionally, I can step back and say, "OK, that's taking it a little far." But, for the most part, the decisions are solid, perfect choices. I love it.

... and I hate it, because very often does it have me saying, "Fuck, I never would have thought of that." ... and I don't so much like to say that. It's .... a bit of self-realization that I refuse to accept. (Smarter than me? Really? Bah ...) ... lol.

Originally posted on 03/29/2006 at 1up.com

Similar I think, to alot of young people, for a long time television depressed me. It was just so ... bad. The only shows were series like Ally McBeal, Sex in the City, NYPD Blue. Mostly, shows that didn't much interest young people. There were occasional shows of much intrigue, like the X-Files, Xena, and the like. ... but those are all getting pretty old. However, it seems recently, as suprised as I am to say this, television is getting better.

Sure, there's still the regular mass amounts of shit to wade through. American Idol, Survivor, mostly the whole of VH1; but the drama series popping up these days are like shining beacons of awesome, amidst a pool of bleak, reality TV garbage. The upstarts of this wave of goodness were most likely shows like CSI, The Shield, and LOST. I can't say I've given much care about CSI, (It's just not my thing...), but The Shield paved the way for real gritty television, showcasing the darker side of our friendly police force; and LOST, easily the best show on television today, proved that science fiction isn't as dead in the mainstream as it may have seemed for years. 24 is probably a likely candidate for inclusion in this collection as the others. These shows were basically groundbreaking dramas, that really surpass, by far, their prime-time ancestors.

The new breed of these shows is starting to appear on basically every channel, cable or network. Prison Break seems like a generally interesting show, I've missed the beginning of the series, but it's a damn creative idea, and I can't wait till I have the time to watch it all. LOST has basically inspired an entire breed of television show, with Threshold and Surface, both of which seem great, but I'll stick it out with the original.

My favorite series as of late seem to be the crime dramas. We're finally stepping away from police dramas, and getting to see the story from the side of the crooks. The Shield probably inspired this, but shows like Hustle and Thief perfect the idea. Hustle chronicles the stories of a group of Con artists in England. It's a show from the BBC, airing on AMC. It has basically the style and panache of Guy Ritchie fame (Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels), and I think the truth is, everyone loves watching con artists. They're so freaking cool.

... and on to Thief. The first episode of Thief aired tonight on FX, and I caught it by chance. I enjoyed it so much that it basically inpired this entire post. The story surrounds a group of high-stakes thieves, and the problems that can arise for them in one night. Wow! This show was fantastic. Andre Braugher is pretty much my favorite TV actor of all time, and he doesn't dissapoint in Thief. The first time I ever saw him was in an episode of Law and Order, or Homicice: Life on the Street or some shit like that, I was just channel-surfing and I never found out the story of the character, I only sam him crying and suffering from a serious studder, and I was basically moved to tears. So, I give Thief, my whole-hearted recommendation, most peole have a spare hour Tuesday evenings, so WATCH IT!!

I'm happy that drama on television is finally something worthwhile again. Apart from the series today I don't think I've ever enjoyed television this much, except for maybe That 70's Show and M*A*S*H.

Originally posted on 03/27/2006 at 1up.com

Three fucking times I wrote a quasi-glorious post, and then watched it all fucking dissapear as Firefox crashed on me. I hate Firefox. I hate it because it's the best internet browser, and it's still a piece of shit. It fucking blows media compatability dick, switching tabs fucks up more than George Bush, and the support team is practically non-existent. Fuck you Firefox, I'm either going Mac, or suffering through IE until hopefully a worthwhile update comes packed with Vista.

So instead of my majestic earlier post, you get this shit-ridden pictureless piece of posting schlock.

Originally, I wrote up a list of awesome films by David Cronenberg, because I just watched 'A History of Violence'. Now it's reduced to this. Cronenberg is the man, check out all his movies, especially:
Dead Ringers
eXistenZ - It's about video games ... sort of
The Fly
The Dead Zone
and Naked Lunch.
Trust me, they're all crazy and good. "Long live the new flesh."

Now, A History of Violence is different altogether. It's like Cronenberg's other work but muted. It's more of a character study on the emotions surrounding violence than violence itself. (Grizzy violence still included.) I recommend the movie heartily. Especially for the 'crazy ass sex.' Lemme tell you man, the sex scences in this movie, they're some serious shit. I've never seen movie sex like that. Ever. Don't watch it with the wrong person, an awkward moment could definitely ensue. So ... go watch it ... now-like.

Ok, so on to the meat and potatoes. The Top 10. Top 10's are always hard for me, because I love to cheat and pull the 'in no particular order' card, however this time I'll go ahead and follow the pre-established rules. My Top 10 upcoming games wishlist is as follows:

1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess GCN
2. Okami PS2 (It will be that good, Cody Musser guarantee!)
3. Final Fantasy XII PS2
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots PS3
5. Hellgate: London PC
6. Gears of War 360
7. Resident Evil 5 PS3
8. God of War 2 PS2
9. Bioshock 360
10. Project Offset WTF ?? Who knows what platform, but this is the game to watch out for.

I really wanted to include the Mario and amazing looking Zelda for the DS, but since I've resigned myself to not having one until Lite comes out, I've subdued my own excitement. I suppose the same could be said for PS3, but whatever ... there just wasn't room OK? It was hard ...

Edit: That Bioshock article is actually like two years old. I had no idea, but other than that, there's practically no info for the game anywhere, excluding it's cover feature for Game Informer. Trust me, the game does not look like that anymore, neither does it have grasshoppers with guns. It looks sick, way sick. Sick-tastic. In the words of Liono, "EEE333 HOOOOOOOOO!"

Originally posted on 03/23/2006 at 1up.com

Certain words in the English language die after time. That is to say, they become archaic. I LOVE these words. They're like hidden nuggets of linguistic gold that you get the chance to pick up every so often in your life. They're best when saved for that perfect moment, the moment when absolutley no one sees it coming. At that very precise moment when your friend calls you a douchebag, and expects your retort to be fuckface, or asshole, or crusty jizz-rag, etc. BAM! You hit him right in the face with "Yeah, well you're a scallywag."

Some words are classified as officially archaic, and others not, regardless using a dead term always implies a certain amount of humor. Telling someone that they are "solid gold" would in my opinion, definitely bring about as much hilarity as calling them a "coddleshell." ... Of course with words like coddleshell you have the added benefit that by using such outrageous terms you can use them in the absolutely wrong context and none would be the wiser. In fact, a coddleshell is actually a modification to one's will. However, your simple friend surely does not know this, and will most definitely reply with a state of laughter followed with a sincere, "what the fuck?" ...

That was on my mind. It has absolutely nothing to do with video games, but I needed to expound. Now on to the cool shit. Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion has taken over my life, and as such I will warn all those near me, I might forget how to act in public, or even to bathe. Now, information about this game is popping up sporadically all over every gaming site on the whole Interweb, but I wouldn't dare try to make an all encompassing review, as they obviously haven't either. In stead, I'll simply state 10 facts about the game that I find good, bad, or just ... factual.

The Elder Scrollsian 10

1. The character creation system ... is fucking incredible. I don't necessarily like the style of all the characters, the 360 glossy sheen is so bleh. They got over it in Ghost Recon, so I guess there's hope for the future. Anyways, with depth like that, and a little different style, say Guild Wars or World of Warcraft maybe, games will no longer be riddled with characters that look the same. I'm serious man, there's like 10 different shape, position, and other sliders just for the fucking nose of your character. JUST THE NOSE!

2. I love that they call Magic, Magick. .... That's so cool, it reminds me of my days in the wonderful steampunk world of Arcanum. This game has similar depth and systems. Troika had alot of what this game has, just on a smaller, shittier scale. With 10 times as many glitches and broken quests. Oh well, at least they set the precedence. I'll love them forever just for that.

3. There is an infinite gold glitch already. Some say it takes away from the game. I say, it's probably on purpose, because for some people, a 200 hour game is downright daunting.

4. The most hurting part of having this game on my 360 is that I can't take screenshots. When a game is singleplayer, I'd at least like to be able to show other people how entirely pimp my battlemage is. Especially considering I paid more for the game than fucking PC guys anyways.

5. There are basically no children in the entire world. That is because the developers would likely catch a press shit-storm if you were able to joyously lay waste to toddlers. Regardless, it still seems awkward. I'd rather get bludgeoned to death by a mighty orc child-saving jesus than have no children in the entire world.

6. The game mostly levels as you do. The advantage to leveling is more skills and abilities, not an ability to trounce everything. This is different, but interesting.

7. There are more books to read in this game than in the entire goddamm library of congress. If you read them all, you sir, are a nutcase.

8. There seems to be an incredible backstory involving 16 demon princes, and one hidden prince, and all these ancient figures and forgotten places. The story seems so deep in fact, that I wonder if it all comes to fruition. Will I ever find the hidden demon prince, or is he just engrained to provide some filler backstory. Either way is OK I suppose, but if much of the history I read about in the zillion books in the game is actually just history and has little bearing on my particular game world, ... what a tease.

9. There is as far as I have discovered. No way to pan the camera around to the front of your character in third person view. This is dissapointing. I wonder sometimes, if my character even has a face in anywhere other than the menu screen. Also, when I die, my face always falls to the side for the zoomout on my body. This strengthens my opinion even more. I bet PC players can pan the camera to see their characters face ... what bullshit.

10. The loading area message comes up about every 10 seconds or so while exploring the landscape. Half that when riding a horse. I have experienced annoying frame rate drops in points, but this hasn't subtracted from my game for the most part. It's still a damn shame.

... and a finisher. This game is not the game of the year. It is damn amazing, and it's probably more proper to consider it a vision of what games will deliver in our near future. Except that games in the future will deliver this vision without the minor annoyances that plague Elder Srolls. However, it's still something to be experienced, if only to say that you were there when games started getting downright inspring.

Originally posted on 03/18/2006 at 1up.com

This is a review of 'V for Vendetta', it will contain spoilers, if you are going to see the movie, and haven't read the graphic novel, don't farking read it. It will mean you ruined it for yourself. *Warning given.*

Now, on with the show. The title of this post is absolute truth in my opinion, but don't let that desuade you from seeing the movie. Because in fact, the movie is still abso-fucking-lutely good. It stays true to Alan Moore's original work throughout, and the Wachowski brothers don't Matrix-ify pretty much anything. V isn't doing Neo-flipkicks n' shit, because trust me ... I was worried. The performances, effects, and storyline stay faithfully true to Alan Moore's masterpiece. The minor problems with the movie lie in style and setting, and I'll touch base with them closer to the finish of this whole affair.

V. V is the villianous victor, who vehemently makes a very violent video, actually a vibrant voice of truth. (As he would say so himself.) What I'm saying is, ... this movie is V. He is the single best aspect. He is a Shakespearian hero, a poet and a lover, and a victim of tragedy, who appears to have made the world his own, but realizes the world isn't any longer his passion. The acting that Hugo Weaving brings to V is pretty damn amazing, and you wouldn't have imagined for a second that he was once a stone-faced computer program, if it weren't for that hint of similarity in his voice. You can almost hear it slipping out, "My name is V .... .... Mr. Anderson."

The other performances are solid, and Natalie Portman has in my mind, rectified the whole Queen Amidala shit-storm. I've forgiven her, and now she'll be dutifully remembered as Evey, ... and the 10 year old trying to score with Jean Reno.

The effects are amazing throughout the movie, but they're held back, as they should be. The effects aren't part of the film to tell the story, they're part of the story itself, so while the explosions and fight-scenes are often breath-taking, they never remove you from the most important part of the film. The story.

The story in V for Vendetta is actually the most amazing part. It was amazing in it's time thanks to Alan Moore, and it's amazing now, mostly because it probably grows more and more true everyday. We're teetering on the balance of a society as crazy as that, and while I don't want to get too political. The fact that someone like george bush can get elected to a second term, shows that we're a nation of people who want our government to be the kind of guys who say that God is on their side, and make decisions like tapping hundreds of phone calls without telling anyone. Alan Moore feared such things, and he also knew the solution. V was the solution, but V was a symbol, for terrorism. That's the most amazing part about this movie, I honestly can't believe at all that the parts of the film that so blatantly propose terrorism were left intact. The movie didn't cut too much from the graphic novel as I remember it, and the fact that lines like "blowing up a single building can change a nation" (except said from the side of the blow-er-uppers) were left in, is crazy. Maybe there's hope for us after all. If you censor the movie that's about our freedom, goddam it all.

My minor, minor squabble is this, and sadly it's with the people that made the movie possible, the Wachowski brothers, the Wachowski's are big-budget directors, plain and simple. They shoot clear, style-free scenes, and they focus on the content, not the technique. They don't have the flare that directors like Tarantino and Rodriguez have. That's what makes this movie still the 2nd best comic-to-film adaptation, behind of course Rodriguez's Sin City. When you watch Sin City, you see the style, that's pretty obvious, and it makes the movie what it is. The Wachowski's shoot so perfectly and clearly that the gritty dark style of the graphic novel is lost. Also, the setting of what they are shooting is just too happy. Bright colors, what appear to be happy office buidings and homes, that wasn't V for Vendetta. V for Vendetta was set like 1984, a god-damn scary world and a scary government. The government in the film seemed less threatening and more comical. I felt like I could topple them. Regardless, these things don't make the movie something it shouldn't be, they just make it a little less of what it could have been.

If you read this and you haven't seen it, FUCK YOU for not listening, and go see it ... now! You shouldn't be that spoiled, just see it in IMAX, because when the dominoes fall, your asshole will pucker. If you did see it, read the book now and appreciate the original. If you've already done both, then you sir are as cool as I am.


... and undoubtedly 'V for Vendetta' is my early contender for best of 2006. The only realistic challengers that I feel have a shot so far are:

A Scanner Darkly
The Fountain

These two stand a chance, because not only do the have righteous source material, they have the style that V might have missed just a little.

Originally posted on 03/10/2006 at 1up.com

We'll get to my mastery later. The beginning is the beginning I guess, today I rolled $30 worth of change so I could afford Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter earlier instead of later. I could have got it Friday, but my 360 looked so sad sitting there, hating the copy of Perfect Dark gathering dust within it, that I was compelled to make use of this wonderful machine once again. ... and thank goodness I was. In short, GRAW is "ohmygodgood".

In long, GRAW is the most next-generation of next-generation games to date. It puts Perfect Dark to shame, because it's a better shooter, with more depth, better graphics, and a respectable multiplayer. Sure it's not 16 on 16, but I don't much care, because it has polish. It has 'panache'. So let's get into it eh ??

Within the game you're playing as whoever doing whatever mission in Mexico City killing whatever badguy rebels and so on and so forth. Now I'm kidding, but that's honestly how you feel. The story sucks, the characters suck. This game was made for the gameplay. ... and how it shines. The game just doesn't fuck it up, (except one thing), switching weapons, moving your (very intelligent and important to have) team, hiding against walls, peeking from cover. Everything is done with excellence. Your Ghost team suprised me the most, they're basically a necessity, they'll be who you rely on to blow up vehicles when you're only carrying a rifle, they'll be there to draw fire, they'll go where you tell them to, or stay where you tell them to stay, all in all, they're like ... good or something.

The game is centered around the fact that you have a team, and all these neat-o things like the crosscom (which shows a goddamm live feed from a teammate or a vehicle right in the corner of your screen - talk about next gen) at your disposal, and because of that, the game doesn't allow you to play how you want to play. It's interesting, but it's OK. The game actually changes how you play as you learn. I guess that's what they call a learning curve, but shooters have been pretty much devoid of such a thing lately. You learn to peek around every corner, or to send your team out first around a corner and into cover. It's pretty captivating gameplay.

It's also pretty damn hard gameplay. Try to play the game like you're playing Halo or F.E.A.R. and beware. You'll suffer the same fate I did, the sweet embrace of death (over and over again). *SPOILER I GUESS* Most notably when the embassy is under attack, as hard as it was, it's been my favorite moment of the game. The explosion is like film quality, and there's like opera playing in the background. Talk about production quality.

The music is another interesting segment of the game. It makes me wonder if they were going to market a soundtrack, because at random times here and there, some heavy rock will just take over my surround sound. Most frequently when I'm in the helicopter. The helicopter itself is kind of a moving loading screen, it actually informs you of the next mission while it loads it. I don't know why it took developers until the 360 to think of that, but thank God.

Hmmm ... and on to the Multiplayer ( ... and my mastery ). I've only delved into the Team vs. Team deathmatch mode, but the multiplayer is solid. The maps are creative and very different from each other. All weapons are available for multiplayer, and choosing a player type like Marksman, Rifleman, or Grenadier; will give you bonusus using certain types of weapons. The character models have basically changeable faces and face gear, but it doesn't amount to much. I'm pretty sure the camoflauge gear on the body changes with the level. Which is true-to-life, but I still really wanted to make my Ghost an all-black ninja style warrior. Oh and another thing, I don't think there's a melee at all. That's pretty awkward. ... and hence, my WARMASTERY.

Honestly, I've only played about 20 or so multiplayer games, so sue me if I'm being premature. ... but I'm good. I've never finished lower than second place on my team, and I man the drone in the sky better than anyone. I played one on three in a match and handed some sorry fools their asses. I'm cursing myself I know it, but I OWNED!!!

My only gripe about the game is this. Clicking the right analog stick in causes your character to do this creative little dive right into laying down mode. But that's a pretty poor button placement. I click that damn thing accidentally like every other time I get into a firefight. Luckily, it most often works to my advantage. ...but it's still a nuisance.

So ... go buy it now! ... and .. I promise it looks this good ... all the time ..

Edit: No matter how good the game is, Tom Clancy still = douchebag. Always and forever.

Originally posted on 02/22/2006 at 1up.com

I skipped Programming class tonight in order to beat Shadow of the Colossus. I know, I know, this is something I should have done in what? October? I played to Colossus 12 when I bought the game, and it was being such a douche I stopped playing and picked up World of Warcraft and F.E.A.R. and the like. Then I lent out my PS2, and after having gotten it back I was so deprived I had to play something. Thank god for Colossi. I beat 12-16 today, and enjoyed the wonderful ending that most everyone already knew. To commemorate the fact that I finally beat the game, i'm throwing out some pics of Colossi that were from either a test version, or just plain not used in the game, it's too bad, cuz they seemed like awesome concepts.

(Pictures removed)

Pretty cool huh? This is something like the first day I haven't had work or class in um .... two months, so It's pretty enjoyable. I'm catching up on Bleach and LOST, considering I haven't had the time to enjoy either of them in quite a while. It's a real bummer that Bleach is looking like filler for at least the next 10 episodes. Thank you Naruto for starting such an awesome trend.

Back on the gaming front, I really feel like playing another RPG. It's been a while since I enjoyed a console RPG. A long while. The last console RPG I remember playing was Star Ocean for PS2. ... and I didn't even like it. I suppose Makai Kingdom, but I'm talking about the traditional RPG's. I think in time I'll buy Dragon Quest VIII, it won pretty much every best RPG of 2005 award, and it looks like a worthwhile play. Other than that, I'm really eager to play Valkyrie Profile Silmeria, the graphics look beautiful, the storyline seems intriguing, and the character designs look on par with any Final Fantasy. It amazes me the way Sony is pushing it's biggest console yet, and all these developers seem to be saying, "Yeah ?? We think we'll just keep on producing for this old one." We're supposed to be at the point where the current generation of consoles are dying, but the PS2 has worthwhile games lined up till 2007. Hooray.

Originally posted on 02/17/2006 at 1up.com

First of all, I was half way through this damn post, and douche-like Firefox crashed. Honestly, Mozilla, tabbed browsing is ALL that is keeping this shit running. When Windows Vista and a new IE drops, you're scrap.

Now, back to what I was writing the first time. I suppose I'll be posting pretty regular now, more than before anyways. ... and in turn I think I'll start with sharing some links of varying degrees of awesome.

To start, if you haven't heard of Processing. Check it out! It's a programming language designed for artists. Which is a cool idea. Now, the extent of my using Programming to create wonderful, enrapturing artwork might be something like this:

gr.drawOval( 50, 50, 50, 50 );

Yeah, I'm sure you can feel the beauty pouring out of that ... lol. Regardless, some of the stuff on the processing website is awesome, the applets that grow based on outrageous permutations and such things are just amazing. Namely, Jared Tarbell's works at Complexification. His artwork is outrageous cool. One of the best is Substrate. Just thingking about how what you're seeing is actually equations is suhweet! He even gives out the source code for you to experiment yourself.
Also, if you're an arty-fart like me. The Art blogs at Drawn! and Lines and Colors are both way interesting and stay updated with new artwork pretty much everyday.

Soon enough, I'll post some of my own work, on here or DeviantArt most likely. My experiments with learning pixel art are coming along pretty well. Thanks mostly to this awesome tutorial by Derek Yu. In due time you'll be seeing some sweet pixel art character models for 2D fighting games I may, or may not ever get to make.

On the gaming front, I just placed my pre-orders for Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. ... and for $70, Elder Scrolls better wow me in a way I've not often been wowed, that or masturbate me. Also, by the end of the month I've decided that I WILL own the Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, Ninja Gaiden Black, and at least one retro game collection. Be it one of the Sonic collections, or depending on the money situation the Megaman or Megaman X Collections. No buts about it, I'm buying these games. Or I'm killing someone and taking theirs.

In March I've also promised myself I'm gonna pick up Ghost Recon: Advance Warfighter for my 360. The Ghost Recon titles don't really have a good track record with me, but I'm dieing for a multiplayer game other than Perfect Dark Zero. After a certain amount of time I've come to a realization about PD0, and I think I'll shout it.


At first I was in love with having a 360, and Perfect Dark Zero. But the bitter truth is this, PD0 lives solely on the fact that it has some of the most engaging multiplayer of a console game TO DATE. The game has absolutely no polish at all. The storyline, character models, animation, and physics are all pretty damn bad. When I kill someone, and their body flies around the room like a damn Superball, something's wrong. As for the 360 in general, how the hell can you launch a system and not have anothe game come out for two months. It's not like it was bad games for two months, it was NO GAMES. After four months it was pretty much 3 releases, and none were worth buying. If your console's success is based off of a $5 Live Arcade Game (Geometry Wars), I'd say you failed.

Woot!, a long post again. I felt like it needed a picture to finish right.

(Picture removed)

Bow in reverence of Disgaea 2. Countless nights of gathering experience to reach levels in excess of 10,000. There is nothing more fun!! ... ... Just buy it for the story, level up at your own risk.

There was an original post here once, but I deleted so as to make room for these not quite excellent composition papers I wrote for my English 101 course.

Disclaimer: These were written specifically for a professor with absolutely no knowledge of what I was writing about, therefore they may contain glaring mistruths, stiffness, or other blatant faults. I didn't care so much about delivering accuracy to my Englsih 101 Godfather, Mr. Klein, known world over as the human who most closely resembles Master Splinter. Enjoy, or something...

The Game of Life
The Keyboard Zombies
A Frag Above the Rest
Star Wars 23: Indiana Jones vs. Superman

The Game of Life

Video games have long been the bane of parents. Parents who would much rather see their children playing outside, instead of spending their afternoons with eyes glued to a glowing screen. Parents wish their children were away, enjoying the “real world,” while children are amazed at how real their fantasy worlds can be. The difference has left many baffled parents shouting at closed bedroom doors. Fortunately, as gaming has increased in popularity, so has the technology driving it. Finally parents can relax. Playing video games is beneficial to children.

Parents can rest easily knowing how video games can benefit their children. Children who enjoy playing games online have opened up a whole world of learning for themselves. Online gaming in massively multi-player realms and squad based shooters is dependent on a gamer’s ability to create teams and work together to achieve goals. The group management and leadership skills that children are learning in these situations are surely as valuable as the teamwork in most sports. Not to mention, experience in gaming has created a demographic of tech-savvy youth that are among the most fluent in computer jargon and maintenance. Parents greatest concern, that their children were only ever exercising their thumbs, has also been vanquished thanks to contemporary gaming. Dance Dance Revolution has become a gaming craze that offers more stimulating and difficult exercise than nearly any other children’s activity.

Playing video games has excited many children into pursuing an active career in the production of game development. Careers in game development have become more popular now than ever before. Universities and specialized schools are opening countless facilities for the teaching of majors related to video games. Even the United States Army is hiring game developers to create games like America’s Army, which they use for the training of their soldiers. The most prestigious game developers, such as Lorne Lanning, Peter Molyneaux, and Hideo Kojima, enjoy budgets and salaries similar to those of film directors. Game developers also often get to see their creations extend from the world of gaming into other entertainment outlets. Films based upon video game developers best creations include Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead, Doom, Halo, Dungeon Siege, and God of War.

The creation of video games may be the most likely career for children who learn to love gaming early on; however, a career in professional gaming can prove to be the most lucrative. Professional gamers have begun to appear at tournaments and contests around the world. The perks of professional gaming are enough to make a young gamer decide immediately that this is their life’s true calling. Professional gamers enjoy travel, prize money, and daily practice sessions of up to twelve hours of gaming. The most famous gamers are even given sponsorships and free equipment similar to any other professional athlete. Professional gaming outside of tournament play is limited to the sales of in-game items within massively multiplayer games. In-game item sales have become a multi-million dollar industry, with a successful economy of their own.

At the onset of the video game industry, parents may have been rightfully confused at their children’s desire to spend so much time enjoying such fruitless activity. However, as gaming has grown, so have the benefits and opportunities it presents its young participants. Gaming is delivering children the experiences to be successful in a multitude of careers, and for some, it is providing early training for the career they will ultimately choose. The only question parents should be posing to the gaming industry is; how are you going to get these kids some sunlight?

The Keyboard Zombies

People tend to expect those with suffering from addiction to display a noticeable physical decline, for example, loss of appetite and body mass, loss of healthy skin tone, loss of concentration and logical speech patterns. Ironically, however, those same people may not expect that similar changes may be caused by playing an online game. Millions of gamers, particularly those that have recently devoted their lives to playing World of Warcraft, demonstrate that playing a game can cause many physical changes similar to those of other more serious addictions.

World of Warcraft was released on November 23, 2004. It has since become the world’s most popular online game. Since the games inception, over four million players have logged billions of hours within the games fantasy realm of Azeroth. The denizens of Azeroth have spent their days as elves, gnomes, dwarves and orcs among other things. Meanwhile, as they believed they were members of these mythic races, they were in fact becoming something entirely different. They were becoming zombies.

The zombie-like qualities of Azerothians, as they like to call themselves, are often directly related to their eating habits. No true player immersed in his fantasy world has time for trivial activities such as dinner or breakfast, for these things represent valuable time that could be spent on his addiction. The hardcore scoff at the idea of snacks, considering that at the most crucial of moments, their hands must be inseparable from their mouse and keyboard. The only widely accepted source of energy comes in the form of caffeinated beverages such as Mountain Dew or Red Bull. These drinks are the life-juice of Azerothians. They serve the purpose of keeping players alert during dungeon crawls and enemy raids.

The largest of these dungeons and raids can convince players that sleep, one of man-kinds necessities, is merely a luxury for the weak. These behemoth dungeons can demand game-play of ten hours straight, and require the effort of up to 40 players to complete. Sleep is naturally second in importance to large events such as these, and more often than not, sleep is less important than even the smallest event in Azeroth. Why would a player sleep, when he could be making his character stronger, or selling items within the auction house?

Taken together, the common Azerothian’s diet and sleep habits can make an average human being look more ghastly than the walking dead. The look of anorexia doesn’t begin to describe how a person can look when their diet consists solely of Mountain Dew. Imagine the frailest of human beings twitching about more hastily than those who are addicted to heavy stimulants. Often they are laughing and speaking openly to their computer screen, as if their fellow guild-mates could see and hear them clearly. The dark circles around their eyes are more like orbital patterns. A bony white color, the one common to the undead races of Azeroth, now mirrors the shade of their own skin.

The physical degradation of Azerothians almost validates their status as the mind-munching beings from beyond the grave, yet it is their loss of natural speaking abilities that confirms our worst fears. These gamers have withdrawn from their native human tongues, to speak in languages of garbled sounds that often seem more monstrous than man-like. How can a man pronounce words like “UBRS,” “tehpwnerer,” and “OMFGROFLMAOSUXXOR?” The players of World of Warcraft have accepted this new language as their common one, and in so doing, have given up on the last bastion of their humanity.

It is essentially their loss of the ability to function in normal human interaction that makes addicts so devoid at life. The players of World of Warcraft face similar losses, yet they embrace their addiction, and even enjoy their downward path into the bleakest of existence. These creatures are pale, twitchy, and frail to the point of fading away. Spending time in the mystical land of Azeroth has caused what were once regular humans to forgo eating, give up sleep, and create their own language of garbled nonsense. Can a race of such people be considered human beings at all? Zombies seem like the most realistic definition for such a species. The Azerothians may not be yearning for human flesh and shambling through dark alleyways moaning, “braaiinnss,” but the game hasn’t yet reached the peak of it’s popularity, and who knows what qualities of the walking dead these gamers will inherit next.

A Frag Above the Rest

A frag is commonly known as an assassination of an unpopular member of one's own fighting unit within the context of war. It is also military slang for a fragmentary grenade. However, it is more importantly the term that was once used as a replacement for a kill count within many multiplayer video games. It has since evolved from it’s modern definition into something much more elaborate. A frag can be used popularly as a noun or verb. When used as a noun a frag can mean one kill of an opponent. However, when used as a verb the frag can be a process that demands more skill from a player than any other. Considering this confusion the frag has become a topic of debate, but to hardcore gamers it remains painfully clear what a frag is, and will always be. A frag is the holy grail of gaming, the moment a gamer is most notably superior than another gamer. It is the purpose of entire games, a standard to adhere to while gaming, and the most important four letter world to have graced the gaming world since “game” itself. Alas, for true gamers, frags are being abused by those without skill, often proud enough to exclaim, “Haha, you’re so fragged,” after what is actually a simple lucky shot. Gamers around the world should wake up; a frag is much more than an ordinary kill.

Considering that a true frag is a much higher caliber of kill, there are many complex components that require more than the standard run-n-gun fare of many average players. The most important of requirements is naturally the “headshot.” The headshot can be the most sublime moment in all of gaming. The glory of one-hit cranial destruction is the absolute essence of what a frag should be. Directly following the headshot, it is required that players perform an action of extreme overkill. Possibly unloading an entire clip into a falling foe, or lobbing a barrage of countless grenades onto a lifeless opponent. The last component of a true frag is a piece many non-gamers are already accustomed to, the performance piece. The victorious player reserves the right to assault his helpless prey with a vulgar display of bragging rights and taunts. At their culmination, a gamer knows the finishing touch exactly; he should muster the most capable victory dance he can perform with his limited control of a game character.

While all frags should be constructed of these necessary components, each and every frag should have a style all their own. A frag’s particular style can be determined by the player’s preference of weapon, tactics, or overall insanity. One who understands the beauty of the frag should become familiar with “gibbing.” Gibbing is a frag style that makes use of rocket launchers, bazookas, and other overly powerful weapons to reduce an enemy to little more than a pile of giblets. Grenades, proximity mines, and remote controlled bombs often also result in an overly hideous death for any enemy. They too can reduce an enemy to giblets, but the tactics behind timing grenades and proximity mines make for an entirely different style of frag, one that is commonly used to dispose of entire enemy teams. These two styles of fragging are so extremely monstrous in delivering death that they should be the only exceptions to the rule of headshots. What importance is a headshot when there isn’t a head left? The most insane and outrageous of all frag styles is the melee frag. A melee frag is the result of a player’s kamikaze rush into gunfire with nothing more than hand-to-hand combat at his disposal. This style of fragging is reserved only for the bravest, and the dumbest, of all gamers.

A frag should most undoubtedly be composed of all that is stated here, and it should be completed with a style befitting it’s greatness, but there are a number of things a frag must never contain. A frag is never killing a teammate. Allies should walk hand-in-hand to victory, unless of course they’re annoying, then killing teammates is naturally fair game. However, because they’re hardly expecting friendly fire, it is much too easy to be a frag. Also, a frag is never “camping” a particular games spawn point. The points in which characters respawn from death may seem like such fertile ground for fragging, but in fact it is once again the simplicity that makes camping taboo. There is no challenge in mowing down enemies who have barely seen the light of day. A true frag requires that an enemy be aware and expecting a fair chance to return fire. It is the gamer’s skill at slaughtering alert enemies that makes for the best frags. The single most important thing that a frag will never be is definitely an accidental or lucky shot. A frag is a piece of art with a structure of components, it is based solely on a gamer’s skill in delivering hasty death to his opponents, and it has no place for accidents or luck. These things ought to be reserved for simple kills or deaths, but the glory of the frag is always intentional.

The many components of a frag, as well as the many styles with which they may be delivered, and the pitfalls of fragging to avoid, should leave a clear definition of what a frag is. However, it is never as simple as a clear definition. Other gamers will proclaim that a frag is simply every kill within a deathmatch, while even others will state that a frag is a slang term, a piece of computer jargon that will fade as quickly as computers themselves do. There have been many definitions for a frag, and those who try to gain a grasp of the term can be easily confused by it. However, the boom in popularity of first-person shooter games such as Doom, and Unreal have served as the catalyst to the fragging debate. Whether it is a frag, or the action of fragging, gamers are realizing that these terms describe an art form of destruction. A frag is a mark of excellence reserved only for the gaming elite, and it should be forever heralded as the excellent performance it is.

Star Wars 23: Indiana Jones vs. Superman

I took a journey to the theatre the past weekend to hopefully spend a couple hours enjoying a wonderful film. To my dismay, I found that my favorite theatre was playing little more than Saw II, Doom, and The Legend of Zorro. The avid filmgoer can notice immediately that two of these films are sequels, and Doom, is a film whose plot is lifted very un-gracefully from a video game. It took me a moment to come to the realization that Hollywood has reduced itself to flooding America with sequels and remakes. While my first reaction was to blame Hollywood for this poor display, in due time I decided it was actually the American audience who was at fault. The American audience should demand more from Hollywood than sequels and remakes.

The public is to blame for the state of Hollywood today. We so often allow sequels and remakes to achieve high status at the box office that the head executive’s in “tinsel town” must believe that these films are wonderful ideas. The problem with sequels has grown so large that I can’t even head to the theatre without having to face multiple films that are most commonly inferior to their origin. Most critics have a difficult time naming even one sequel that has surpassed its initial source material. Recently, we’ve been treated to wonderful second helpings of Saw, and the new Zorro franchise. Neither film was horrible by my standards, but the more we stand for sequels, the more likely we will be to see “Saw 18”. Some series are reaching their limit already; the fourth Harry Potter film is soon to be released, as well as the recently released Batman Begins, which is the fifth of Batman’s features. As an audience, we should be pushing Hollywood to deliver new and more interesting ideas; instead of allowing them to re-tread what they feel is safe ground.

While sequels flood the market, they do on occasion have just cause; however the new Hollywood staple of remaking films has no justification at all. Hollywood must have decided that the current generation of filmgoers has no knowledge of dated films, and they should therefore be punished with remakes that are lackluster compared to their original releases. Recently films have been released including The Manchurian Candidate, War of the Worlds, and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, all of which were poor imitations of their original adaptations. However, we flocked to the screens to see how our classics were treated, and our reward will undoubtedly be more poorly finished remakes. We should learn to respect classics for what they are, and give up hope that Hollywood will deliver great modern remakes of these great classic films.

Another recent trend of Hollywood’s is to create films from popular source material. Films have been adapted from novels since their inception, but new and more interesting source material has opened up the way for films like Sin City, X-Men, and Blade, all inspired by popular comic books; and Doom, Resident Evil, and House of the Dead, all inspired by video games. Overall, these films can often be great, but if we allow the best films of the year to be adapted from novels, comic books, and video games, then there is little interest in directors to create enthralling original films. I would never deny an audience the right to see a great film from these sources, but it should be our prerogative to make a note of their source, and credit them as equally as the film makers. Those who create original films have much more work on their hands than those with complete source material; therefore we should be rewarding those original film makers with our respect as an audience.

The greatest films of all time, according to many critics and myself, include such films as The Godfather, Seven Samurai, and Citizen Kane among their ranks. It is these undoubtedly great films that were inspired by nothing other than a director’s vision. If we allow our modern films to be little more than sequels, remakes, and rehashes of outside source material, we will surely lose our chance of ever seeing a film of the same caliber as those classics ever again. We need to respect our duty as an audience; otherwise we could very well be watching “Star Wars 23”, or a wonderful remake of Lawrence of Arabia, most likely filmed in Denver.

Note to self ...

Originally posted on 01/26/2006 at 1up.com

Marble Blast Ultra, the latest Xbox Live Arcade Game, is not a safe game. It's not safe for controllers, family members, myself, my bed, my wall, or anything else within my reach. Marble Blast Ultra is damn right dangerous. It's hurting my head, and my hands, and I'm 100% sure that it has gotten me a ticket to hell. Mostly becuase of the choice phrases it inspires. Such as ...


This is what Marble Blast Ultra does to you. Stay away from Marble Blast Ultra. Kill hookers, smoke crack, rape your pets; but don't play Marble Blast Ultra.

Side-Note: The multiplayer however is extremely safe and a great way to pass time.

This is Marble Blast Ultra. You've been warned.

Originally posted on 12/01/2005 at 1up.com

When I purchased my Xbox 360, there were only two games that I felt were must-have launch titles. They were Perfect Dark Zero, and Condemned: Criminal Origins. Now Perfect Dark Zero was everything I expected it to be, and a little more, but Condemned was an experience I wasn't necessarily prepared for. Condemned is a game that I was sold on after just a few gameplay videos. The first-person melee action looked too solid and beautiful to miss, and when I first played the game, my expectations were in fact high. Little did I know that Condemned was going to deliver, but in a much different way than I had expected.

I had read that Condemned was going to be a "scary" survival-horror type game, in the same vein as Resident Evil and Silent Hill. This didn't thrill me, considering I was anticipating the action and combat. In truth, Condemned turned out to probably be the first true survival-horror game. It reinvents the genre, and it does it in a way to engage the player in damn good gameplay, and also scare their pants off. Condemned is so scary in fact, that after putting the controller down hours ago I'm still left with this sort of gross feeling. A feeling that I imagine anyone in real life could feel after bashing faces in with pipes, fire axes, and sledgehammers. Every aspect of the game contributes to this feeling. The sound and visuals are so realistic that I can say almost indefinitely what would happen if I did hit someone with a paper cutter. At a time when the game industry is being lampooned for violent video games, Condemned delivers so well that it could be the icing on the cake of a very important lawsuit.

However, after playing through the game I come off with two very different feelings. Perhaps Condemned has gone too far, with next generation visuals and hyper-realistic gameplay, the feelings surrounding violent video games may in fact be too much for many to handle. While I have my doubts that DOOM could make some youth take out a classroom of his peers, Condemned on the other hand, I could believe. The part of me that feels this way hopes that while these games are wonderful outlets for stress and an experience cherished by many, they need to be carefully reviewed and kept in the hands of those that can respect what they deliver.

My second opinion is this, Condemned is truly realistic enough, to even scare someone out of doing things contained within it's gameplay. This thought came to me after seeing some fairly normal roadkill on my way to class, but I instantly got a chill, that made me think of smashed faces and bloody messes. These thoughts weren't there otherwise, a dead animal never meant the thought of a dead body, and a dead body in a game, never meant that I could imagine the sight of a dead body in real life. Knowing now how realistic a game can portray violence, I'm much less keen on performing violent acts. The very idea of doing something I saw within that game, is enough to instill within me the exact picture of what the outcome would be. A picture I hope I only ever see on my television screen.

Writing Portfolio

This is a catalog of my writing work outside this blog.

Reviews -

GBA - Spider-Man 3 - Modojo
MOB - People's Choice Hangman - Modojo
NDS - Lost in Blue 2 - Modojo
NDS - Wario: Master of Disguise - Modojo
NDS - Lunar Knights - Modojo
NDS - Scurge: Hive - Modojo
NDS - Children of Mana - Modojo
NDS - Cooking Mama - Modojo
NDS - Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - Modojo
NDS - Star Fox Command - Modojo
NDS - Bleach: Souten Ni Kakeru Unmei - Modojo

Previews -

NDS - Hoshigami Remix: Ruining Blue Earth - Modojo
NDS - Nervous Brickdown - Modojo
PSP - Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground - Modojo
NDS - Touchmaster - Modojo
NDS - Planet Puzzle League - Modojo
MOB - The Incredible Machine - Modojo
MOB - Shock Blocks - Modojo
NDS - Naruto: Ninja Council 3 - Modojo
NDS - Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon - Modojo
PSP - Valhalla Knights - Modojo
NDS - Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom - Modojo
NDS - Sudokuro - Modojo
NDS - Wario: Master of Disguise - Modojo
NDS - Steel Horizon - Modojo
GBA - Yggdra Union - Modojo
NDS - Kirby Squeak Squad - Modojo
NDS - Children of Mana - Modojo
NDS - Magical Starsign - Modojo
NDS - Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - Modojo
NDS - Pokemon Mystery Dungeon - Modojo
NDS - Cooking Mama - Modojo
NDS - Star Fox Command - Modojo
GBA - Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation - Modojo
GBA - Summon Night: Swordcraft Story - Modojo

Features -

Puzzle Quest: The Interview (et al) - Modojo
Modojo Roundtable: The Pokemon Incident (et al) - Modojo
Interview: Vicarious Visions (et al) - Modojo
Modojo Roundtable: Puzzle Quest (et al) - Modojo
Demanding More - Handheld Special Editions - Modojo
The DS's Incredible 2007 Potential - Modojo
Handheld Multiplayer: A Comprehensive History - Modojo
Building a Better Handheld - Modojo
Trick or Treat? Modojo's Halloween Handout (et al) - Modojo
Unboxing the X-Boy - Modojo
Help Us, Help You, Sony - Modojo
Mega Man Portable History - Modojo
Japan In My Hand: Best Handheld Imports - Modojo
The GBA Fabulous Fourteen (et al) - Modojo
Modojo Special Report: The State of DS Homebrew - Modojo
Representin' the OG (et al) - Modojo

Coursework -

ENG 202 - Future (Not So) Perfect: Exploring Themes of Dystopia...
ENG 202 - The Lathe of Heaven - Journal Review
ENG 202 - V for Vendetta - Journal Review
ENG 202 - The Iron Heel - Journal Review
ENG 202 - Neuromancer - Journal Review
ENG 202 - The Handmaid's Tale - Journal Review
ENG 202 - Utopia - Journal Review
ENG 202 - 1984 - Journal Review
ENG 102 - Videogames and Art
ENG 101 - The Game of Life
ENG 101 - The Keyboard Zombies
ENG 101 - A Frag Above The Rest
ENG 101 - Star Wars 23: Indiana Jones vs. Superman

Positions Held -

Reviews and Previews Editor - Modojo
Employment: (Lateral Promotion) January 2007 to Current
Wages: N/A
Supervisor: Justin Davis - Editor-in-Chief (justin|at|modojo.com)
      Maintaining staff writer responsibilities.
      Creating a weekly schedule of all published content.
      Leading a staff of writers in adhering to scheduled reviews and previews.
      Posting and media acquisition for all review and preview content.
      Copy editing all review and preview content.
      Contacting and building relationships with publishers and developers.
      Maintaining the accuracy of a widespread games database.
      Creation of a large scale cheats database.

Features Editor - Modojo
Employment: (Promotion) October 2006 to December 2006
Wages: N/A
Supervisor: Justin Davis - Editor-in-Chief (justin|at|modojo.com)
      Maintaining staff writer responsibilities.
      Brainstorming and creation of daily feature content.
      Maintaining a schedule of feature content.
      Contacting companies and individuals for interviews.
      Organizing media for feature content.

Staff Writer - Modojo
Employment: July 2006 to Current
Wages: N/A
Supervisor: Justin Davis - Editor-in-Chief (justin|at|modojo.com}
      Writing of reviews, previews, and features for handheld games.
      Participation in group creation of staff-wide features and interviews.

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