April 2005 Archives

April 1, 2005

Sony drops PSP support, litigation looms

Roughly once a week, Sony representatives visit the retailers who carry their products. They check on kiosks, update employees on various happenings, and set up merchandising.

This week, Sony's representatives have told a small number of employees (including myself) that the PSP is going to be pulled from the market within the next few weeks. This is news that should be staying at a store level, but it's simply not fair for someone to purchase such expensive hardware and not get what they paid for. Therefore, we've chosen to reveal what we know as of right now.

Continue reading "Sony drops PSP support, litigation looms" »

It's April 1st, Fools

Oh what a web we weave, when we practice to deceive. Blogcritics has a page dedicated to the '05 batch of April Fools jokes (we have ours over there of course).

How Nintendo escaped the case that might see Sony pay Microsoft for every PlayStation product sold

Following on from news earlier this week which saw Sony lose a key IP case and almost had all PlayStation products withdrawn from sale in the US. Immersion Corp CEO Victor Viegas has spoken exclusively to SPOnG about the case.
Source: SPOnG

God of War PS2 Review

There has never been a video game character like Kratos. Sure, there have been numerous anti-heroes over the years, but none have come anywhere near the frightening brutality of this "God of War" hero. He slaughters innocent people for his own benefit, has sex with two women in the midst of a war, and provides more decapitations than any "Mortal Kombat" game. This is the backdrop that develops one of the few "real" characters in a game, and it does so better than most major films.

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April 2, 2005

Microsoft OKs 'Windows XP N' name

SEATTLE — Microsoft (MSFT) said it will use a product name that antitrust regulators insist upon, and make other changes, as it moves to supply Europe with a version of Windows stripped of its media player.
Source: USA Today

I guess Reduced Media Edition was not a very catchy name.

And please tell me: How is it that the EU can get MS to do things that our DOJ cannot? Didn't the DOJ try and get MS to take Windows Media Player out of Windows? And now years later the European Commission has done just that, made them take it out? That makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Microsoft bankrupts the Spam King

Scott Richter has filed for bankruptcy protection for his email marketing firm OptInRealBig.com, blaming a Microsoft lawsuit

Scott Richter, self-confessed Spam King and one-time peddler of ladies' underwear, has filed for bankruptcy, with Microsoft cited as the main reason.

Source: ZD Net UK


EA's PSP launch games do not support online play

Several EA launch games for the PSP do not support online (infrastructure) mode, despite clear labeling on their boxes saying otherwise. EA has stated that there was a misprint on the boxes, and that the games only support the multiplayer (Ad Hoc) mode.
Source: PSPworld

That is a rather big mistake. It is labeled wrong on all their 6 first round titles. It is a real shame too, as it would have been great to play EA Sports titles via Infrastructure mode

April 3, 2005

Blockbuster to offer refunds on "no late fees" claim

In an agreement reached with 47 states plus Washington DC, the company has agreed to fork out US$630,000 to settle claims of deceptive advertising. That means customers who claim to have been misled (or didn't read the fine print) will be given refunds for movies inadvertently purchased and restocking fees.

Blockbuster will also need to change its marketing slant in its "no late fee" advertising as a result of the settlement.

Source: Ars Technica

April 4, 2005

WWE Wrestlemania 21 Review

Pro wrestling fans only get one event like this a year. Well, actually they get one a month from the WWE, just none with the grandeur that Wrestlemania carries with it. This is the 21st year for wrestling's Super Bowl. It was a solid event, helped along by a few great bouts, but some disappointments and lackluster finishes put a damper on everything.

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Hit by Spyware or something like that

Warning: The following rant contains a line that may offend Puritans.

Spyware sucks. At least, that's what I think it was. I was hit yesterday and I have no idea where from. It completely killed my laptop for an entire day. After I noticed things running a little slow, I ran Adware. It told me to reboot to completely clean it up and that was it. Whatever it did, it hit the explorer.exe file Windows needs to run. It refused to boot AT ALL.

So, after re-installing Windows entirely (and then Word too which it seems to have got a hold of and w.bloggar won’t run at all now), I downloaded Ad-Aware which is supposed to be better. Well, it found the one piece that was left but it can’t get rid of it no matter what I do. I tried Spybot too.

Now, about every 20 minutes, I get a pop-up ad on my desktop for refinancing mortgages. I would threaten to shave the creator’s testicles off with a cheese grater if I ever met him face to face, but that would be a threat and I could get in trouble. Oh wait, I just did. Oops. I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any.

Transparent Screens

Some people were having some Photoshop fun. I would do this too, if only I had the time. Check it out! They all look pretty good.

Thanks to Shellie for the link.

Your game room does not compare

You have nothing on this guy. I have seen lots on eBay that didn't come close to this.

Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time

Off course I find the site I wanted to link to on April 1 a few days late! There are some great ones here, like the Taco Liberty Bell. Great stuff. The Upper Case and Lower Case islands is my personal favorite, and people bought it!

Adobe announces Creative Suite 2

Adobe today announced Creative Suite 2 (CS2) and MacCentral has a lot of coverage. People are all up in arms about activation in CS2, with a bunch of posts in the forums about it. Macromedia is doing this now. Its just a fact of life people. Get over it.

There are first looks on Photoshop CS2, InDesign CS2, Illustrator CS2, GoLive CS2, and the new File Browser replacement Bridge.

Of all the applications, Photoshop CS2 and this new Bridge look to be the major reasons to upgrade to CS2. The upgrade price is nice too. It will cost me $349 to upgrade CS Standard to CS2 Standard. This is better then past Adobe "suite" upgrades which have gone for $499 to upgrade. I will upgrade to CS2, which ships in May.

I don't see us upgrading our 20 seat license at Student Publications though. I do not think the new features warrant that upgrade.

Now. what in the world is wrong with calling it Photoshop 9? It is fine if you want to call it CS2, because it is a suite, but just say it includes Photoshop 9, because it does.

On a related note: If you purchased Adobe CS Standard or Premium within the last three or so months I would call Adobe today and ask for a free upgrade. I bought the Adobe Design Suite just before CS hit. I got a free upgrade from it to CS Standard.

With vigilantes on their heels, top spammers keep the e-mail flowing

NEW YORK -- Tom Cowles, who heads one of the world's largest bulk e-mail, or spam, businesses, ought to be a happy guy.

By his account, his company makes $12 million a year e-mailing billions of advertisements, mainly to folks who don't want them.

Source: The Detroit News

The reason I am posting this rather old article is because this guy lives here in Bowling Green. I got to talking with JD Pooley about SPAM, and he said he had to go shoot the picture for this article. Its pretty creepy, having a known spammer living in Bowling Green. He must get hell for it, and rightly should.

Red ink too "stressful" for school kids

So, how long before they blame the "stress" on a video game somehow?

Seriously, this is exactly what's wrong with this country. Sound absurd? It's not. Parents sit around all day not caring that their kids are blowing heads off in "Grand Theft Auto," but when they get a red "F," they take notice and blame it on the color of the ink. I mean, we all know that a purple "F" is so much more appealing. Parents, you have far more important things to worry about. Get over it. If your kid is flunking math, then he or she has far more issues than the color of the ink used to grade him. Idiots.

April 5, 2005

The story behind Tetris

Tetris is a computer game involving a sequence of falling tetromino pieces which the user must first revolve into a desired position and subsequently pack into an increasingly dense rectangular array.
Source: rotten.com

We all knew that right? Well you might not know the history behind Tetris, or know that the Russian developer massacred his wife and son either. Nothing like some video game history and a brutal murder to lighten the spirits.

Yes folks, that link is from rotten.com. So its not for the squeamish. If you do not know what rotten.com is, well you might not want to go there. You have been warned.

Johnson Family Vacation DVD Review

For the most part, the National Lampoon "Vacation" series has been solid. The original is the classic family road trip movie and you can make a strong case for "Christmas Vacation" too. Though it's not associated with the National Lampoon in anyway, "Johnson Family Vacation" draws comparison simply because it recycles every single idea, resulting in a lifeless mess that is as incoherent as they come.

Continue reading "Johnson Family Vacation DVD Review" »

April 6, 2005

The best PSP/DS fanboy argument ever

It's funny because it's true.

Around the World in 80 Days (2004) DVD Review

Jackie Chan may not be the greatest martial artist to most people and that's fine. What Chan does is entertain. His style is unlike anyone else's and no one can do what he can (at least not with the same flair). That's why it's a real shame that on the downside of his career he chooses movies like this.

Continue reading "Around the World in 80 Days (2004) DVD Review" »

Viewtiful Joe to grace PSP, DS

Each version is looking pretty unique. There's no arguing more Joe isn't a good thing.

April 7, 2005

Rare Neo Geo game on eBay

One of the rarest of the rare is up there now. Here we see the outstanding Neo Turf Masters, probably the best golf game ever created. I believe that's close to $4,000 U.S with 4 days to go as of right now. That's nuts. A year or two back, I plunked down $150 for a conversion cart (a MVS/Arcade cart modified to work in the home AES system) of the game simply because I can't live without it. It's that good, just maybe not $4,000 good.

PSP Hacks

Yahoo has a nice guide to getting some stuff running on the console. This info has been around for a bit now, but it's nice to have it in one place and it's well written in plain english.

This is a bit much, even for me

Sony has patented a new way to play games: putting the information directly into your brain. Hey, I love video games to death, but when they start invading parts of my body I've never even heard of, I'm calling it quits.

So, you want to learn about Doom 3?

Better have a credit card. In order to learn about the Xbox version, click on the big guy with the gun on this screen. Usually, all you have to do is enter your birthdate. Now, a valid credit card is needed too. Is this just stupid? Like a kid isn't going to figure out how to get to IGN or Gamespot, right? Considering I don't own nor want a credit card, getting screen shots for reviews on games like this could be an issue (the developer sites are always the best).

Movie games don't sell well, analyst called in

"The motion picture industry is still looking for a formula to port its movies to the video game platform. According to a study by market researchers The NPD Group reported in today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Daily News, The Matrix video game sold about 2 million units. By contrast, sales of the "pure" video game Halo totaled $125 million on the first day it hit the shelves. "It took Spider-Man four days to do that [at the box office]," Keith Boesky, an industry analyst based in Los Angeles, told the Daily News."

That's from an Internet Movie Database story yesterday.

This is funny. They actually need an analyst to figure out why movie games don't sell as well? Here's a small suggestion: make something actually worth playing instead of horribly generic platformers, cookie-cutter action games, and even worse fighting games. Oh, and you might want to undo the damage done from "classic" bad games like Total Recall, Friday the 13th, Universal Solider, etc. Maybe look at everything the Chronicles of Riddick (Xbox) did right and go from there. I mean, I'm no analyst or anything, but it sounds like a good idea.

The Bob Newhart Show Season 1 DVD Review

Every sitcom needs that one priceless moment in its first season that's instantly unforgettable. That's the sign you're on to something. That's the something the "Bob Newhart Show" is unfortunately missing. However, it managed to last six years on CBS so it did have something going for it and that was, rather obviously, Bob Newhart himself.

Continue reading "The Bob Newhart Show Season 1 DVD Review" »

Half of PSP stock has been sold

Not the greatest number, but when you consider the price, time of the year, and lack of any major promotion, it's an ok launch. The European release is going to be real interesting, especially considering they delayed the system over there.

Note: This number conflicts with a Gamespot report, which says an extra 100,000 have been sold.

Connery back as 007 for Bond game

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Actor Sean Connery, the original James Bond of the big screen, has agreed to reprise his role as Agent 007 for Electronic Arts' upcoming video game version of "From Russia With Love."

Connery will record dialogue for the game, and his likeness will appear as it did in MGM's 1963 hit movie, his second outing as the suave British super spy.

Source: CNN

Did anyone have any doubt that EA would not pay to have Connery? I hope "From Russia With Love" plays like "Everything or Nothing," as that was the most fun I had playing Bond since my N64 days playing "GoldenEye" in the dorms.

Demoted Sony Electronics Guru Is Outspoken

TOKYO (AP) -- Ken Kutaragi, whose name is often paired with "geek" and "genius," seemed to many a logical choice to take Sony Corp.'s helm as it struggles to turn around its stumbling electronics business. He is, after all, known as "Father of the PlayStation" for siring the industry's most popular video game console.
Source: Yahoo!

It is old news that Ken Kutaragi did not get promoted like everyone thought he would. What is new is that he also got demoted right off of Sony's board. He still runs SCEI, but that is hardly what he deserves.

Play multi-player PSP games with one UMD disc

Not sure who was really first with this, but it seems like this bit of PSP lore is emerging simultaneously from multiple sources as folks discover it. There’s a fairly simple way to achieve multi-player gaming on two PSPs using a single UMD disc, by starting the game on one console, starting an Ad Hoc Multiplayer game, then hot swapping the disc to the other device. It’s apparently working for Tony Hawk, Twisted Metal, and Ridge Racer with perhaps a few protocol tweaks here and there.
Source: Engadget, Dynatech

Now that is just cool. It works just great. It will not work for games like Untold Legends which read data off the UDM in the middle of the game (like when you go to your inventory).

HOW-TO: PSPcasting on your Mac

PSPCasting on the Windows side is fairly well documented, achieved by combining Videora and PSP Video 9 to pull down videos via BitTorrent and convert them to MP4 format for transfer to the PSP. There isn’t a single solution yet for achieving the same on the Mac side, but with some very minimal manual intervention we can automagically download and prepare a bunch of new video content for our PlayStation Portables using the ANT RSS video aggregator in combination with the PSPWare syncing application.
Source: Engadget

Engadget has full details, so check out the link.

Beware unplanned SP2 downloads on April 12

On Tuesday, April 12, Microsoft will turn off the blocking feature that has made it possible for some enterprises to block Windows XP Service Pack 2 downloads by employees who use Automatic Update. That means in companies that used the blocking tool, SP2 will be downloaded automatically to desktop computers that use Windows' Automatic Update feature.
Source: InformationWeek.

Enterprise Windows customers must be thrilled. As if their IT staffs don't have enough problems. Thanks to Matt for the link. And if you are a home user and don't know about it, guess what? You are getting SP2 on the 12th. Hurray!

Get your very own Time Machine!

Yes, you! Well, actually, now you can't. I mean, you could have but the auction is over. The pictures and video make this one worth a look.

April 8, 2005

Free Cold Winter PS2 Demo disc

Get them now while they still have some!

Godfather film director whacks Godfather game

Francis Ford Coppola is none too pleased with Electronic Arts' adaptation of his classic mob movie...

"I knew nothing about it. They never asked me if I thought it was a good idea," he [Francis Ford Coppola] reportedly said. His ire was further riled when he was given a preview build of the game by EA. "They use the characters everyone knows, and then for the next hour they shoot and kill each other. I had absolutely nothing to do with the game, and I disapprove," he was quoted as saying.

Source: Gamespot

I would like to know what kind of rock Francis Ford Coppola has been living under to not know that this game would be about going around and killing people. I mean, hello! They go around killing people in the movies. That and games with shootings and killing seem to sell really well.

I bet he is really pissed because he is not getting a cut.

April 9, 2005

Six free issues of Mac World

If you're already subscribed, this should work as an extension.

VIS Closes its doors

Pretty much a good thing except for the whole lost jobs part. They made the way overhyped State of Emergency and dropped the ball with it. Seems the sequel may still make it out. If it does get released, for the love of all things holy in video game land, give it a real mission structure with realisitic time limits.

Intec PSP Aluminum Safe Case Review

This set of PSP accessories is well priced and has a number of great items. Unfortunately, some of the items leave something to be desired, and one advertised accessory is not even included. Regardless, this is a kit worth picking up of you want a case to tote your PSP on the go.

Continue reading "Intec PSP Aluminum Safe Case Review" »

April 10, 2005

Snake King Sci-Fi Channel Original Review

In 1,000 years, a scientist will find a time capsule buried deep in the ground. He'll open it to find a copy of this Sci-Fi Channel original, "Snake King." Even with years of study, he fails to comprehend just how something made in the year 2005 can possibly have worse special effects than something like "King Kong" from 1933. That just doesn't make sense. However, we're in the present and we have the advantage.

Continue reading "Snake King Sci-Fi Channel Original Review" »

A dream job

A guy walks into the local welfare office, marches straight up to the counter and says, "Hi . . . You know, I just HATE drawing welfare - taking from society and giving nothing back. I'd really rather have a job".

The social worker behind the counter says, "Your timing is excellent. We just got a job opening from a very wealthy old man who wants a chauffeur/bodyguard for his gorgeous daughter. You'll have to drive around in his Mercedes convertible, and he'll supply all of your clothes.  Because of the long hours, meals will be provided. You'll also be expected to escort her on her overseas holiday trips and you'll have a two-bedroom apartment above the garage. The starting salary is $200,000 a year".

The guy says, "You're bullshitting me!"

The social worker says, "Yeah, well, you started it."

The problem with high urinals

A group of second, third, and fourth graders, accompanied by two female teachers, went on a field trip to Churchill Downs, the local race track, to see and learn about thoroughbred horses.

When it was time to take the children to the bathroom, it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other.

The teacher assigned to the boys was waiting outside the men's room when one of the boys came out and told her that none of them could reach the urinal.

Having no choice, she went inside, helped the boys with their pants, and began hoisting the boys up, one by one to the urinal.

As she lifted one, she couldn't help but notice that he was unusually well endowed. Trying not to show that she was staring, the teacher said, "You must be in the fourth grade."

"No, ma'am," he replied. "I'm the jockey riding Silver Arrow in the seventh race.

Mom wants to sell kids on eBay

I'm selling the baseball that started my wonderful first day of spring break. Do you want to know why I'm selling the baseball that started off my wonderful first day of spring break? Only because Ebay won't let me sell my kids who were playing with the baseball that started my wonderful day. Is spring break over yet?! Here's the whole story...
Source: eBay bid

The auction is over, but wow what a horribly funny story. The baseball (signed no less) went for $1,125.00. This proves you can sell worthless things on eBay other then seven inch long french fries.

April 11, 2005

DOOM 3 Collector's Edition Xbox Review

DOOM 3 is finally out on the Xbox! And they actually packed more features then the PC release into the Collector's Edition for the Xbox. In this case, it really is worth the extra $10.00. Sure you get some frilly videos, but you also get Ultimate DOOM and DOOM II to play on your Xbox to boot! Oh and then there is Xbox Live, I almost forgot that.

Continue reading "DOOM 3 Collector's Edition Xbox Review" »

New Xbox to be unveiled on May 12th

On MTV yet! This is a first. It's also smart, beating out E3 announcements which will be flooding in that week. Still, there's no reason for another console gen this soon, but that's another editorial.

EA secures NCAA Football

Ok, I cut them some slack when it was announced the NFL wanted exclusive rights, not EA. Then they irratated me when they nabbed the Arena League. Now it's hit bullsh*t proportions. This is now a monopoly, and I don't care what some high priced laywer says.

Three new PS2 sequels (Updated!)

Yawn. The THIRD Sly Cooper and the FOURTH Jak game are all coming out this year. Keep in mind both these franchises debuted with this same hardware, the shortest lifespan for any hardware yet. Granted, Jak is switching things up a bit, but it's not like car combat is anywhere near innovative either.

Update: Seems that Ratchet and Clank are coming in for another go too. Yay! Or maybe not. Split screen is nice, but this whole yearly sequel thing along the lines of EA games is out of hand.

April 12, 2005

Mad Catz PSP Mobile Kit

Mad Catz has a large litter of PSP accessory kits for you to chose from. No, I am serious, they have a lot of different configurations to ponder over. Most of these kits overlap in accessories. It just depends what you want. The PSP Mobile Kit is the one I chose. This, like many other bundles, have good and not so useful accessories included. The $35 Mobile Kit includes:

Continue reading "Mad Catz PSP Mobile Kit" »

PSP vs. DS: Tiger Woods

Well, I had half an editorial written on the comparison, but then I seen this and it sums it up. Now, it's not that the PSP is better because the cross-platoform games (Ridge Racer included) are better, this is just a good example of how the PSP can trounce the DS in multiple areas. Everyone needs to remember that the PSP will never have something like Feel the Magic which is where the DS excels. Unfortunately, not many developers seem to be figuring that out.

April 13, 2005

Four arrested in Nintendo Piracy sting

Way to go Nintendo! Though the article isn't exactly specific, these must be those "all in one" consoles you see in malls and such. They're usually junk and sell for about $20-$30 a pop.

Circuit City $1.99 game sale

Yep, only a $1.99. These are mostly made up of those titles from the $4.99 sale a while back, but my store still had about 6 games from this list. Each store is different, so don't go in with high hopes, but you should be able to find something. Read on for the list:

Continue reading "Circuit City $1.99 game sale" »

Lumines PSP Review

Why are we as a species so easily amused? Here's a game that involves nothing but putting dual-colored blocks in groups of four and we're entertained. You could almost see yourself doing something similar at work. Then again, it's not exactly important to get theological about it. "Lumines" is just one of the best launch titles for the PSP, either just behind or equal with "Ridge Racer."

Continue reading "Lumines PSP Review" »

April 14, 2005

Jade Empire First Impressions

I have just spent a few hours playing Jade Empire. I got the Limited Edition, which contains one extra character, one extra fighting style, a G4 video, and a few game demos. I will get to the Limited Edition at a later date.

Suffice it to say that for the same exact price, you get the LE edition. The main reason is for Monk Zeng and his Monk Spade style. The other bells and whistles are just there to sweeten the deal. This LE version of Jade Empire was only pressed once, and you can find it at retailers until supplies run dry. Did I mention it is the same price as the version without all the goodies?

Continue reading "Jade Empire First Impressions" »

CS 525 Computer Graphics Test Question

This is a real test question:

What was the point of discussing fractals and the Mandelbrot set?
a) modern graphics systems allow fractals to analyzed visually
b) fractals can be used to enhance realism of computer generated images
c) the teacher likes math
d) fractals represent a class of interesting things to draw
e) all of the above

E was the *correct* answer. Most of the class complained, no one knew that the teacher liked math. Everyone got credit for this question.

How subjective is computer science?

NFL Street 2 Unleashed PSP Review

As if EA Sports didn't have enough football games on its roster, they decided to try their hand with the arcade style game patterned off the "NBA Street" series. Now ported to the PSP, "NFL Street Unleashed" is a solid game of on-the-go football, a near exact port of the PS2 version. That's either a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you're looking for, but football fanatics should be happy.

Continue reading "NFL Street 2 Unleashed PSP Review" »

PSP movies expected to take off

Movies on the PSP are going to take off; at least that's what Home Media Retailing thinks. I think a majority of owners just doesn't see this happening. There are too many factors against this format.

Continue reading "PSP movies expected to take off" »

PSP game sales released

Ok people. If someone can give me 10 reasons why Ridge Racer isn't on top of Need For Speed, I'll give you a cookie. Seriously, what is with you people and original titles? "Oh no, Ridge Racer is a new game and not a port? Gasp!" Sure, Need For Speed is a great game, but you can play that at home. Give an original game a chance once in a while, will you? It's nice to see Untold Legends up there; shows you figured something out.

April 15, 2005

Inside Pitch 2003 Xbox Review

As sports gamers, we take a lot for granted now. If we don't have real players, teams, stadiums, commentators, or TV endorsements, it's immediately considered flawed. Most people playing these games don't remember when all we had was just the red and blue team in the 80s. That's how games like "Inside Pitch 2003" are shoved to the wayside. Yes, there are better baseball games out there, but it still plays a solid game and this likely could have become a solid series had Microsoft not released their sports division programmers.

Continue reading "Inside Pitch 2003 Xbox Review" »

A Plea to the Video Game Industry: Wait!

It's a shame that this generation of consoles won't be remembered for games like "Resident Evil 4" or "Metal Gear Solid 3." Sure, they'll go down as classics. In the coming years we'll look back only to realize how wasted this gen was. On May 12th, Microsoft will unveil the next Xbox console less than four years after the current one was released. This new system will be on store shelves by Christmas.

Continue reading "A Plea to the Video Game Industry: Wait!" »

April 16, 2005

Sega Classics Collection Playstation 2 Review

The idea of remaking a game is nothing new. Taking the same basic gameplay and just updating the graphics engine with a major facelift is. That's what Sega did over in Japan with the "Sega Ages" series. Each one of the 10 games included in this compilation was released individually overseas. We're lucky enough to have it all in one pack for a measly $20. Not all of them are worthwhile, but a few are actually better than their original counterparts.

Continue reading "Sega Classics Collection Playstation 2 Review" »

Legos, Legos, and....

... well, more Legos. Lots of stuff to share, some of which you might have seen before.

First, Spiderman 2... in Lego! Large Quicktime file, but even if you're on a slow connection, trust me that it's worth every minute you wait.

Next, Godzilla... in Lego! Just basic .jpgs like the rest from here on out, but mighty impressive.

How about the Beatles... in Lego! This one is really impressive.

Of course, you have to have the Bible... in Lego!

To take on Spiderman 2, we of course have to have Star Wars... in Lego! Most of the pics are down, but he built the WHOLE FREAKIN' DEATH STAR! Look at those thumbnails!

April 17, 2005

If you ever own your own arcade

Please don't burn it down. Can't wait to hear the motive here.

Videogames in the Beginning Book Review

Chances are you don't know who Ralph Baer is. It might help if you knew that he started a multi-billion dollar industry, but if that's not enough to jog your memory, nothing will. What he's credited with is creating the home video game, working alongside Magnavox to create the first home console, the Odyssey. He would of course go on to create much more, setting standards and creating ideas still in use. "Videogames in the Beginning" tells his side of the story from the start back in the early 1960s up until the early 1980s.

Continue reading "Videogames in the Beginning Book Review" »

April 18, 2005

Sin City Review

It has been a while since I have seen a movie before it hits DVD. And I must admit, I had fairly high expectations for “Sin City” after hearing all the hype. Per the norm, I was let down. “Sin City” is a good movie that would have been great if only the story did not come across as convoluted as it does.

Continue reading "Sin City Review" »

Apple updates Pro video software line

Just as expected, Apple has updated its Pro video software at this year's NAB conference. Production Studio has become Final Cut Studio. Not only do we have new versions of Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack (now Pro as well) and Motion, but Shake 4 made its debut too.

MacCentral has a write up on the new features in Final Cut Studio and Shake 4.

I guess you could say that Apple went to Vegas in style this year. But NAB has been known for the venue to show off Final Cut Pro.

All the new features seem pretty standard fare. The addition of Logic Pro features in Soundtrack Pro is an interesting choice. DVD Studio Pro's technical specifications for HD playback requires version 10.4.1 of OS X is also peculiar. This leads me to believe they are adding HD DVD playback in the first dot rev of 10.4.

PSP owners gobble up Memory Sticks

You can still buy a PlayStation Portable if you look in the right places, but good luck snagging a memory card for it.

High-capacity versions of the Memory Stick cards that the new gadget uses to store video, photos and music have been in short supply almost since the handheld game player went on sale. Flash memory specialist SanDisk is scrambling to get more in stores.

Source: C|Net News.com

The fact that PSP owners are causing shortages of Memory Stick Duo cards goes under the "No s#!t sherlock" category. Frankly, its getting pretty damn irritating. Why some enterprising business like EB Games or Amazon.com does not fill the void, is beyond me. Sony itself makes Memory Stick Duo cards for crying out loud. Are they making this shortage on purpose? SanDisk is the other major vendor, and they don't seem to have the stock either. One of these days I will be able to unlock the true potential of my PSP. And no, I do not want a 256 MB card.

You would have thought that Sony would have had stock of Memory Stick Duo cards in reserves. Sony knew using the Memory Stick Duo format would spark the sales and make it a more widely used format. They should have done better. The Memory Stick Duo shortage is one of the bigger black eyes of PSP launch.

Gamestop to buy EB Games

So much for competition. Gamestop never even comes close to offering the trade-in, pre-played or other various sales that EB did. They don't even carry PC or classic stuff. This is a travesty. It's odd they (EB) would sell too, considering their stock prices have been quite high as of late.

Next-gen Madden unveiled Saturday

During the NFL Draft, EA will reveal the next-generation of Madden. Hopefully this is going to be a nice look at what these systems will be capable of and if it's worth such a quick upgrade.

MLB PSP Review

While the company that eventually became 989 Sports got off to a great start with the launch of the PS One, the early days of the PS2 were none to kind. Their games were glitch fests, poorly programmed and played awful. That doesn't do much for your reputation. While their other sports titles still haven't caught up, their baseball titles have been increasingly competitive.

Continue reading "MLB PSP Review" »

Adobe to buy Macromedia for $3.4 billion

Adobe Systems Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia Inc. for US$3.4 billion in stock, the company said Monday.
Source: MacCentral

And then there was one...

This is a bombshell, and is not good. Not good at all. Competition fuels creativity. Look what Adobe has forced Quark to do. If InDesign was never released, we might not be seeing Quark 6.5, much less Quark 5.0 at this point. Think of how many years Quark 3.3 and 4.0 were out. With no competition, development gets stagnant, and that is not good for the customers.

The same could be said about a lot of companies. Why the NFL wanted only one license holder is beyond me, but now we only get NFL games from EA. That is just great (sarcasm). A different market for sure, but EA holds a monopoly akin to what Adobe now has.

Continue reading "Adobe to buy Macromedia for $3.4 billion" »

Movable Type 3.16 released

Movable Type 3.16 sports significant improvements to application security and over one hundred other fixes which really make it a highly recommended upgrade for all users.
Source: Six Apart

There is a big list of changes. Yes, you should upgrade.

April 19, 2005

Are you ready for some 'Monday Night Football' on ESPN?

NEW YORK – "Monday Night Football," a television institution that over 35 years has helped transform the NFL into a prime-time ratings draw, is leaving ABC and moving to ESPN beginning with the 2006 season.

The new broadcast deal also brings the NFL to NBC for the first time in six years. The network gets the Sunday night package – which the league now considers its marquee television showcase – and will employ a flexible scheduling model.

Source: SignOnSanDiego.com (AP)

Um... OK. So you now need basic cable to get Monday Night Football (starting next season). That makes a lot of sense. Yea. It sounds like your local station will still show in-market games. If you live in Ohio and love the Raiders, well, you are out of luck. Unless of course you pay for basic cable and get ESPN. I don't think the move makes sense, but I don't work for Disney.

Need for Speed Underground Rivals PSP Review

The racing genre is a big risk. There's so much competition, just doing one little thing wrong will send your game into the bargain bin. It's tricky too. Making the game deep with all sorts of add-ons and tweaks for your car alienates those who know nothing about cars. Keeping the game at a surface level immediately turns car buffs away from your title. "Need for Speed Underground Rivals" is an in-between racer, offering arcade-like physics on the track, but deep customization options off. It's a mix that doesn't please anybody.

Continue reading "Need for Speed Underground Rivals PSP Review" »

Meet the Fockers DVD Review

There are four names across the top of the DVD case for "Meet the Fockers." Everyone one of them is talented, well known, and experienced. In other words, they should know better than to be in a movie like this.

Continue reading "Meet the Fockers DVD Review" »

Locking the keys in the car

Again, today, I locked my keys in my car. I must admit that it has been a while, I am so proud. But I am glad I put an extra ignition key in my wallet.

Years ago I locked my keys in my car. Thankfully I knew someone who worked at AAA, and did not have to fork over the cash to get the car unlocked.

Ever since I put a key in my wallet. I cannot tell you how many times that has saved me.

So that is my advice to you. Even though it sounds like common sense, no one does it. Put an extra car key in your wallet. I would say put one in your purse too, but your milage may very as it is not on your person all the time.

This saves headaches and cash at the same time!

A gift from Amazon.com & the NBA Store

Way back in October of 2003 I purchased a LeBron James jersey. I ordered a replica, as they were much cheaper, and said they were in stock. I did not receive my jersey until February or March of 2004. Even then, it was not the jersey I had ordered, it was a cheaper and inferior quality jersey. But I was not about to complain, all I wanted was the LeBron James jersey. Thank goodness that I did not purchase this as a gift.

So today, April 19th, 2005, I get an email from Amazon.com (they handle the NBA store merchandise) and they are giving me a credit of $16.05 on my Visa. I really don't understand why, as I only payed for the cheaper jersey, but I am not going to complain.

April 20, 2005

NBA PSP Review

989 Sport's "NBA Shootout" series has always been lagging behind the competition. So far actually that in 1999, they didn't even bother to release a yearly entry for 'quality control.' It's a real shame the same people who made the call to axe that game didn't make it for this first PSP entry, simply titled "NBA."

Continue reading "NBA PSP Review" »

Analysis: Considering Adobe's future

When I got up Monday morning, turned on my computer, and saw the headline in my inbox “Adobe buys Macromedia,” I just thought, “Isn't April Fools behind us?” But a quick check of the New York Times, Adobe and Macromedia Web sites confirmed the $3.4 billion deal. If all goes according to plan, come this fall, Macromedia will be no more and Adobe will own not only its own stable of graphic design applications, but also a barrel full of complementary and competitive programs. Adobe Flash, anyone?
Source: MacCentral

More opinion on the Macromedia buyout. I agree with it, and really hope his prediction of Dreamweaver's future is true.

Key California Assembly Committee Clears Video Game Bill

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A key committee of the California Assembly on Tuesday backed a bill to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors.

The measure is one of many pending before state legislatures and local councils across the country. Two federal appellate courts have already ruled, however, that such laws violate the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.

Source: Yahoo! News

I have six words for you: The government should not get involved. Here are four more: They most probably will.

The ESRB does a very good job of taming down the 'M' rated games as it is. If these psycho psychologists looked at the builds of the 'M' rated games that got turned down there would probably be blood in the streets. It is really the retail market who has put a dagger in 'AO' (Adult Only) rated games, so no developer in their right mind will sit with an 'AO' rating from the ESRB. They go back and make it an 'M' rated game so it will sell. So blame the retail channel. Or you could blame the parents that buy the 'M' rated games. Just a thought.

Continue reading "Key California Assembly Committee Clears Video Game Bill" »

What can PC makers learn from Apple?

These days Apple is generating more buzz than a swarm of African killer bees. Of course, we PC users can sit back and watch the hoopla about the Mac Mini and its brethren with detached interest, right?
Source: MacCentral

PC columnists do a really good job of selling people on Mac computers. Its amazing. Great points indeed.

Google Sues Click Inflators

As is the case with any pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service, Google AdSense is vulnerable to click inflation, where the per-click values of ads go down thanks to excessive clicking. What is different this time is that it is not greedy webmasters clicking ads on their own site but rather the advertisers themselves.
Source: Slashdot

Online advertising is bad enough without the advertisers screwing with the formula.

Matt's full Game Room pictures

Well, almost full. I missed my Nintendo Powers and the upstairs (with all the portable stuff) isn't here. Batteries died in my digital camera. Still, it's more than I was able to grab before, all in one place thanks to Digital Press.

If it was April 1st, I'd laugh

But it's not, and this now stands as both the biggest waste of money and technology I've ever seen.

Everquest II becomes pointless

Sony has announced a new website which will allow players of multi-player online games to purchase in-game goods. It will start with "Everquest II," a serious moneymaker for the company. This has been a problem for online game makers who obviously now see the opportunity to cash in on this (at least Sony, but surely others will take note). In fact, they banned players for selling these non-existent items on auction sites like eBay. Now they're actually allowing it.

Continue reading "Everquest II becomes pointless" »

April 22, 2005

Taking the weekend off

I do not plan to post much, if anything, this weekend. Sunday is my birthday and I need some time away from work. I am going home to visit friends and family. See you all when I get back.

Hopefully Matt won't break anything.

Video game NARC hits a new low

Seems that these parental groups spend more time playing the games they hate so much instead of parenting. Ironic isn't it? Or maybe they just read the media tells them and makes stuff up as they go along. Yeah, that's it. On another note, it's nice to see they're over the cop and hooker killing in GTA. We all know taking drugs is far worse than killing a cop. Way to go guys, you look even dumber than you did before.

Side note: It's not a first person game as the article states right off the bat, more proof these 'professionals' have no idea what they're talking about.

April 23, 2005

X2: Wolverine's Revenge Xbox Review

"X-Men 2" was one of those rare movie sequels that turned out (debatably of course) better than the original. The video games didn't fare as well. "Wolverine's Revenge" is a bare bones action beat-em-up with little to offer fans of the comic, the movie, or games in general. It's not a total loss, it's the just the potential was never fully realized.

Continue reading "X2: Wolverine's Revenge Xbox Review" »

April 24, 2005

Born before 1986 and you're alive?

Found this on the Digital Press forums. It's a great read. My thoughts/experiences/comments have been added in after some of them.

Continue reading "Born before 1986 and you're alive?" »

April 25, 2005

CBS Premiere: Locusts Review

Finally, a direct-to-TV creature feature that got it right and it's not on the Sci-Fi Channel. The premiere of "Locusts" was way beyond the junk CBS produced a few weeks back with "Spring Break Shark Attack." That's not saying this is quality filmmaking, just a cheap, quick blast of fun for those interested in the genre. Cult TV fans get Lucy Lawless in the starring role, which is probably the big selling point.

Continue reading "CBS Premiere: Locusts Review" »

Five year-old handcuffed in school

National news sadly and the biggest overreaction this country has had since the Janet Jackson incident. The video of the whole day has made rounds across the news and you can't say the cops or the school were in the wrong until you've seen it. Once you have and if you still think they were wrong, rewatch it.

Continue reading "Five year-old handcuffed in school" »

Companies desperate for piece of football gaming

And of course the ridiculous idea comes from 989. The NBA idea is unique (but linear), but this other one... just wow. It's the most absurd premise for a 'sports' game in the history of the industry. Here's a direct link to the 'football' game.

Awesome custom made DVD cases

These things are incredible. Considering how they're made, that price isn't too bad either. I'm sold on the Jurassic Park box.

April 26, 2005

Blade Trinity Unrated DVD Review

Blade has never been a direct comic translation. His character, origins, and all-around demeanor were created specifically for the screen. What has been done with the character is arguably an improvement, giving the film dark overtones and awe-inspiring action sequences.

Continue reading "Blade Trinity Unrated DVD Review" »

April 27, 2005

Yamauchi retires from Nintendo

You can look at him as the man who saved video games, launching the Famicom into a dead market. Then he brought it over as the NES to America and ressurected video games. Many thanks to him for that.

April 28, 2005

Busy with web development

Wow have I been busy since getting back from my birthday weekend. Let me tell you, that was not the weekend to take off. Any other weekend would have been better. But I am not about to not enjoy my birthday. More on my birthday later, including a crazy ending to the weekend.

Right now I am working on a web site for the Center for Photochemical Sciences at BGSU. This has been a pretty big project. There is a designer, web developer (me), videographer, and a Flash developer. Getting to the final design has been a long road, to say the least.

I am also working on this site for the BG News Alumni Society. They need a message board and a content management system. I found MyBulletinBoard a very good rip off of vBulletinBoard. vBB is very good, but costs close to $200. I mainly wanted the ability to have customizable fields for the user profile page. vBB has this feature, but so does MyBB. For the CMS I am using Movable Type, of course. I thought of using Word Press because it is free, but MT is so low cost and I have years experience with it.

Other then that, I haven't even unpacked from my weekend at home. NBA Street Showdown arrived for PSP. I had that pre-ordered since March. Its a great game. But I haven't had time to play it for more then maybe 30 minutes.

So if you are looking for a reason for no new posts from me, those two web sites are pretty good examples.

And you think your boss sucks

He's got nothing on this guy.

April 29, 2005

More proof the human race is de-evolving

Comical. Here are two idiots who claim to have found $50,000 worth of old bills in their backyard when they actually found it during a roofing job. They fail completely to make up a coherent story between them (obviously the first step when you're pulling off a fraud), then have the absolute stupidity to go on national TV to show their new found wealth. Genius at work... pure genius.

Fun flash game

It's like Operation times 10.

Spiderman 2 PSP Review

At the very least, Vicarious Visions and Activision deserve credit for not simply porting the console version of Spiderman 2 to the PSP. It seems that's all companies are doing even with a limited library on the PSP already. The problem here is that Spiderman 2 was a great game on the home systems. The PSP rendition is not.

Continue reading "Spiderman 2 PSP Review" »

IGN Readers choose 99 greatest games

And what a farce it is. Half the games have seemingly come out in the past month. It's all based on reader reviews on their site, and if you've read even a handful of those, it's not that difficult to figure out most people there don't have a clue what they're talking about.

Dynasty Warriors PSP Review

If you had any doubts about the functionality of your PSP's square button, you can put them to rest with Dynasty Warriors. Offering the same core gameplay that has turned the console versions into multi-million sellers, the game has taken a critical hit in this translation. Some of the changes are acceptable, others baffling.

Continue reading "Dynasty Warriors PSP Review" »

Burrito thought to be deadly

And it's not for the reason you would think.

April 30, 2005

BG News Opinion editor fired for plagiarism

Chelsea Snyder, opinion editor of The BG News, was fired early Wednesday morning for plagiarizing much of her column on Tuesday, April 26.

This was brought to the attention of Editor-in-Chief Carrie Whitaker late Tuesday evening by an online reader, who found distinct similarities in an opinion post on www.somethingawful.com.

Source: BG News

This is wild, it is just so shocking. Earlier this week I had to pull her column off the web site, I got a call from Carrie and it was something I thought I would never hear! You can only read Chelsea's column in the PDF archive for the 26th. You can also read Chelsea's apology in today's letters to the editor.

Sony's new handheld enters games arena with much hype, mixed sales

"Cool" -- it's Sony's hottest commodity.

From its range of television sets, portable CD players and video game consoles, Sony excels at making consumers want what they sell.

Source: BG News

Dan got some good quotes for this article. The reason I am posting it is because those are my hands wrapped around that PSP (click the link, you will see a photo-ill where the beginning of the article was inside the PSP screen). So you can't say I don't have my hands in The BG News anymore :P

Into the Game Online Game Rentals

After a rough, harsh experience with Gamefly, it was time to switch. I stumbled upon a small outfit named "Into the Game." They seem to be quite new, but already their selection is excellent, delivery time well within expectations, and pricing superb.

Continue reading "Into the Game Online Game Rentals" »

Delicious Library gets Tiger ready; fixes bugs

There are a lot of software titles that are gearing up for Tiger (which is very worth the price tag, by the way) but none with quite the list of updates and bug fixes than Delicious Library. One of my favorite apps has been bumped to 1.5. It has a number of Tiger-centric features, and some welcome changes and bug fixes.

I really like the new way of selecting items once scanner or input. You can choose what country catalog to pull the information for. This is a great UI enhancement. The list of possible matches also does not take you to another window like in 1.1. It now displays the list of possible matches with the rest of the Enter Item options. This cuts down on mouse clicks if you have to go back or need to manually edit something. It is a small, but nice touch.

The edition of correctly sized PSP and DS game boxes is also nice.

I wish I could rearrange the shelves. I am also hoping for a nice web export that has more options then DeliciousExporter, although that does a heck of a job as it is.

Looney Tunes saved by a kid

If you recall, we ripped on Warner for this one a while back, and so did a lot of fans. In fact, one of them posted the funniest flash movie we've ever seen. Well, some kid took it all to heart, Warner noticed, and now they're toning it all down. It's still doesn't seem perfect, but maybe, just maybe, they can be saved yet.

Star Wars Revelations

A completely fan made Star Wars movie with special effects on par with the recent films? Yep, and it's free and legal. It's worth a download, especially for the incredible Tie Fighter battle. It runs for about 40 minutes total. You need to keep the fact in the back of your mind that it only cost $20,000 to make. The official site and download are available here.

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