April 2006 Archives



April 1, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Burnout Revenge

I will be the first to admit, I was not really looking forward to yet another current generation port to the Xbox 360. That card has been played already, repeatedly. But I am coming from a slightly different perspective -- I have not played Burnout Revenge to death. Yep, that's right, I skipped this on the Xbox. I suppose it had something to do with Forza Motorsport.

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Sci-Fi Channel Original Review: SS Doomtrooper

False hope is an awful, awful thing. It's about the only thing SS Doomtrooper provides too. An opening aerial dogfight is the film's highlight, and easily one of the best all time special effects sequences in the history of Sci-Fi Channel movies. The rest of them on the other hand, well, they're going to rank down there with junk like Gargoyle.

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April 2, 2006

Suspicious Mushrooms in Ohio

Pick any cop in Ohio, in any town, and he's probably a douche-turd. My proof (besides firsthand experience)? Five teen girls in Ravenna are facing possible charges for placing several Mario question blocks around town. Their stunt is basically being labelled an insidious video-game-inspired plot, say authorities. Just nobody let Jack get a whiff of this, or a couple Italian plumbers with a penchant for stompon' turtles and eatin' 'shrooms might get pulled off the shelves.

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April 3, 2006

Review: Wrestlemania 22

What a night for the WWE. This year's Wrestlemania reminded us all why we pay extra for the event. Unforgettable spots were so numerous, they could open RAW tomorrow night using nothing but clips from this pay-per-view. Its few downers were in no way enough to ruin the night, and the impressions left by some of the insanity will take years to slip from our minds.

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Tiny Ohio Town (Ravenna) Freaked Out By Mario Prank

Yes, Ravenna Ohio, my home town. Njiska alerted me to this article on Joystiq. Funny thing is, he had no idea Ravenna was my home town!

You can also read the story from the Record Courier, and this story from the Akron Beacon Journal.

The bomb squad, HAZMAT, Kent and Ravenna fire, Portage County support offices were all called in. This is going to cost Portage County a lot of money. All for some cardboard boxes! The crux is the girls may see criminal charges from the Portage County Prosecutors Office. How wrong is that, its an April Fools prank!

The quotes from the police chief are just priceless: "This game is evidently being played all over the country.”

This is a joke most people get. But in Ravenna, the bomb squad is called in. Yes, I am such a proud (Ravenna) Ohioan right now. I called my good friend who works at the Record Courier was not available for comment. Oh well. I will keep calling to see what, if anything, comes of this.

Placing the boxes on the steps of the Catholic Church in downtown Ravenna might not have been the brightest idea. Turning themselves in was a smart move though, I will give them that.

The "official" site of the mario question boxes even picked this story up, having this to say:

To clarify some of the points in the article: this is not a sinister 'game', it is supposed to be a comment on public spaces being routinely used for advertising (billboards, etc) but not for art (these boxes). Also, despite what Ravenna Police Chief Randall McCoy says, the purpose of these boxes is not "just to see what kind of response you get". It is to bring a smile to people's faces, to get them to connect with their neighbours, to bring colour into an otherwise grey urban landscape. Posterchild and myself are both deeply sorry that things are not working out in Ravenna.

Plaque Honors Godzilla Filming Spot

The spot where Raymond Burr would film his scenes to be intercut into the original Godzilla film has been forever marked. A plaque dedicating the site will stand testament to the best "Americanization" of a Godzilla film.

April 4, 2006

A Time To Remember

This coming Wednesday at 2 minutes and 3 seconds after 1 in the morning, it will be:

01:02:03/04/05/06

That comes from Captain EO. Pretty cool, in that dumb, geeky sort of way.

Forza Motorsport Backwards Compatibility Update

I have to give the Microsoft Xbox team serious Kudos Points for their latest update to the backwards compatibility list. I still do not understand why every single game released after the November 2005 launch of the Xbox 360 is not backwards compatible, but that is a different story. Besides, I am not here (at this moment) to rant.

Forza Motorsport, one of my favorite Xbox titles was/is on the original list of backwards compatible games. The problem was clear however: it ran like shit. Not only was game play hampered by severely long load times and frame rate issues, but the intro video would not even play at full speed! I am sorry, but I cannot see the problem with emulating full motion video, pre-rendered I might add.

All is forgiven after last week's update, as the game loads just as it did on the Xbox, the game play actually feels like I am driving 100 MPH when I am driving 100 MPH, and most importantly, the intro video runs at full speed. All the herky-jerkyness is gone.

So thank you Microsoft.

Now where is the first party solution to move my gave saves over to my Xbox 360 hard drive?

Damn Flies

So, not only is this guy dumb enough to keep live ammo on his desk IN A SCHOOL, he's also dumb enough to try and smash a bug with it. The results are explosively funny.

April 5, 2006

Xbox Live Arcade Review: Wik - Fable of Souls

It takes guts to try and do something as blatantly different as Wik. To go against the standard gaming grain, especially making a design around one that completely restricts the characters movement, is flat out risky. With the right design though, it can come together, and Wik does marvelously.

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Xbox Live Arcade Review: Marble Blast Ultra

If Marble Blast Ultra lets us in on any secrets, it's that Live Arcade games can be as advanced as any of the $60 titles sitting on a store shelf. This is arguably the most intense of the current lot, involving superb graphics, insane physics, and simple concept to create the addiction. Oh, and the multi-player is the best thing to happen to this one.

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Xbox 360 Review: Burnout Revenge

We've already come to expect the plethora of ports on the 360. Lets face it: If you're a major corporation and can milk gamers for additional $60, you'd do it to. The problem is that most companies don't do this right, and EA is notorious for it. Burnout Revenge doesn't escape their port problems, but when the game was a classic to begin with, players who never played the first release have the game the way it should be played.

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My First Podcast

Yes, my first podcast. Be afraid, very afraid. Hide the women and childred. This evening I recorded my first podcast with JD, or Podcast Editor at Blogcritics. Originally I had planned on a full review of Oblivion, and a discussion on how the Xbox Live Arcade games are not getting the attention they deserve.

In practice we talked about Apple's Boot Camp and what it means to Mac gamers, as well as the future for Apple computers. And I pulled off a rather good impression of a blabbering fool, and general Oblivion fanboy. I hope that editing can help it out. Oh, Josh brought up the price and we got into a little discussion of the PS3 too.

Depending on the guests for this upcoming Monday's cast, it might be in two segments: one on tech. and one on Oblivion.

Things never seem to go as they are planned, and I had no idea it would be that hard to cram so much into a 10 minute segment (even 20 minutes of recording time is nothing when discussing a game, or tech. news).

So be sure to catch yours truly sound really dumb next Monday on BCRadio, Still, it was fun and something I will continue to do. After a few I think they will start to sound decent. Once I get used to the time aspect, and not stumbling over Josh, I think I will be set.

Next week I will be reviewing the GP2X, a Korean handheld that runs Linux, and emulates all those great consoles and computers of our childhood. I will also have my Oblivion review up by Monday to coincide with BCRadio.

New Apple software lets Intel Macs boot Windows

Apple today introduced Boot Camp, new public-beta software for Mac OS X that lets users of Intel Macs boot directly into Microsoft Windows XP. While the move may contradict previous statements by Apple, the company said they still have no intention of fully supporting Windows on the Mac.
Source: MacCentral

Or as Joystiq most eloquently put it: Apple's official Mac gaming solution: Windows. Rob Griffiths has a first look up already. It sounds just amazing. We should be getting some new iMacs in at work, so I will get a chance to tinker with this myself.

Rob and I was chatting a little about what this could possibly mean for the future of the Mac and Mac OS X. Not that I like the thought of a post-apocalyptic future with no Mac OS X, but what if software developers such as Adobe just stop making Mac OS X software. What if they just tell their customers to just buy the Windows version, since it will run on their Intel-based Mac just fine.

Is that too radical an idea? I don't know. Apple's history has been pretty radical.

What I do know is this: running Windows natively on a Mac is exactly what I want. It will let me ditch my Dell Inspiron 700m. I can finally install Mac OS X and Windows XP (or Vista, if that ever ships) on a MacBook Pro -- one that I will surely own sometime after the second revision.

Tomb Raider: Legend Demo On Xbox Live Marketplace

Are you impressed with the new Tomb Raider? I am. But I cannot help but think of a certain rock climbing introduction to this John Woo film I saw a little while ago... Oh yea it was Mission: Impossible II. Well, back to the demo for me.

April 6, 2006

Elder Scrolls Fans Refuse To Dress Up Horses

It's amazing how finicky the die-hard gaming public is. Actually, it's not amazing at times; it's embarrassing. A recent item for Bethesda's Elder Scrolls title has caused controversy, the type that makes you sit back and shake your head while you reflect on other hobbies you'll be taking up.

The item in question is armor. Horse armor to be specific. To reiterate:

Horse armor. For a horse that doesn't exist. Armor.

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Microsoft patches IE after Eolas ruling

Microsoft has confirmed an April release date for a patch designed to ensure that Internet Explorer can work around a disputed patent for technology allowing web browsers to access interactive application programs.

In a blog posting, the firm warned that the ActiveX-related patch could disrupt existing uses of the technology and advised developers to test the updates on their systems. The patch has already been made available for download for this purpose, but the forthcoming April update will install the patch on all remaining systems.

Source: The Register

So Microsoft is bending before they have actually "lost" the case? I say good for them. If/when Eolas wins this, it is going to be hell on the little guy.

April 8, 2006

Mario Pranksters From Ravenna Won't Be Charged

It seems some sanity still exist in this world. Charges will not be filed against the six girls who strewn Super Mario question mark blocks all around their tiny Ohio town on April Fool's day. According to Portage County Prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci, "I do not believe that they had any bad or malicious intentions ... [the girls] were not thinking about the consequences of their actions in this day and age."
Source: Joystiq

I figured they would not get any kind of reprimand for this. I can't believe that Portage County is that concerned "in this day and age." They just wanted the media attention, and they sure got it, nation wide. Too bad it makes Portage County and Ravenna look like a bunch of hicks without a clue.

Oh wait...

PS2 Review: Onimusha - Dawn of Dreams

If Mega Man were to die tomorrow, Capcom would figure out a way to revive him. If the Street Fighters all succumbed to some obscure international plague, Capcom would find a way to make sure the tournament continued. And if Capcom decided to end a series themselves, we're guaranteed a sequel. That's what happened with Onimusha, and Dawn of Dreams proves why the promised ending after Onimusha 3 was the right way to go.

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Strange Mysteries Of The Where's George Post

You may recall me posting this on March 24, 2004. Then again, maybe you don't, I remember it as if it were yesterday. Why you ask? Because every couple days I get a new comment from someone who posts their WG serial number to my blog. It has become a phenomenon on Breaking Windows, and something that Matt and I have had many a laugh because of. I got this following letter yesterday:

Ken,

I know this is an unorthodox request, but the thread you have about Where's George? has dozens of serial numbers posted in the trackback section. People without the actual bills are taking these serial numbers and entering them on the site, causing lots of fake hits and entries on the site. I have no idea why people are posting them in your thread, as that makes little sense, but it's causing a problem on my end with lots of fake data and hits. Could you either edit or delete the posts to remove or mask the bill serial numbers (like is done on the WG site)? And in addition, it might be a good idea just to lock the thread so people stop posting serial numbers.

Thanks,
-Hank Eskin
Where's George?
I would like to apologize to Hank. I didn't know it was causing any harm. But this is just the icing on the cake, and makes it even more hillarious. I have deleted all of the serial numbers, and have closed comments on that thread. They had to see a hell of a lot of hits from breakingwindows.com to even investigate. That in itself is staggering.

The joke is over. We will have to find something else to keep us laughing here at Breaking Windows. Something tells me that we will not have to look far.

I could have just deleted all the posts. Sure, that would have been the easiest (and less time consuming) thing to do. But this is educational, as Matt himself put it: People ask me why I have no faith in humanity. I can now point them to this thread and that last post for my reason. Yes Matt, make that the entire thread. This page has been indexed in Google and must stand for eternity for people to see just how stupid funny this little incident is.

As we have just past the two year anniversary for that fateful WG post, I figured I would pull some choice comments. Some from Matt, and some from people who actually have a clue! Enjoy.

Paint me confused as to why people are posting this info here instead of at the wheresgeorge site... -- Matt Paprocki

People ask me why I have no faith in humanity. I can now point them to this thread and that last post for my reason. -- Matt Paprocki

Ok look. IF YOU GET A BILL WITH WWW.WHERESGEORGE.COM ON IT, GO TO THAT WEBSITE! You don;t have to ask here what to do with it! Just go to the site for the rest! You don't need permission!
I have to go take a leak now. Where do I go for that? -- David

OK... if you get a bill labeled www.wheresgeorge.com you need to go to that website and register (for free) and log your bill in. You SHOULD NOT be entering the year and serial number on this webpage...this causes false hits (people pretending they have this bill in hand) and poor Hank...the king of all kings for www.wheresgeorge.com has to weed through them and delete them.
Try the website...it's fun...free...and not as confusing as some people seem to think! -- Jaybee

SImply stated, People are fucking idiots. Most all the Wheres George stamps tell you what to do on the damn bill. Its amazing that these people dont forget to breath occasionally and die. -- Jason

April 9, 2006

DVD Review: A Sound of Thunder

A massive flop for Warner Bros. after Franchise Pictures went bankrupt, A Sound of Thunder didn't even trickle into theaters back in 2005. It was quietly slipped out to regain anything from its $50 million budget, and it really didn't even do that ($1.8 million total gross). It's a shame too since aside from the glaring plot holes, Thunder had some potential.

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April Showers Bring May Snow Storms

People don't believe me when I tell them that (in Ohio) April showers bring May snow storms. It is just the way it goes here.

Case in point: I had to scrape the ice/thick frost off my windshield this morning.

And before I get any comments from the Peanut Gallery: Yes I was up bright and early this morning. It does happen once in a while on a Sunday. This time it was to make some money though, which is near and dear to my heart.

Nintendo DS Review: Pokémon Trozei!

While Pokémon usually means lightweight roleplaying, it does venture into the puzzler genre from time to time. Unlike Pokémon Puzzle League and Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, Trozei! takes the Columns/Bejeweled game play mechanic and throws a wrench into the equation.

Trozei! simply would not be as fun without the stylus. That is to say, I cannot imagine this title working on any other platform. Like many games before it, this is why the Nintendo DS is such a strong console.

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Xbox 360 Review: The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion

Editor's Note: I found this one of the hardest games I have ever reviewed. The sheer size of the game does not lend itself to a short review. Just as Matt predicted, I ended up writing a tome. I cut more than half of that fat out of this review, never to be seen again. It is almost a shame, but those digital bits will never be used as some obscure torture device. I am sure you will agree; it's a good thing. I seriously toyed with the idea of an "Addendum to the Review" but in the end I just do not have time to tie that up in a nice package.

You may want to inform your friends and family before purchasing this game. The reason for this is clearly obvious; because you will not be reachable for weeks, if not months, once you start your adventure in this forth game in the series.

It is unprecedented that a single-player game has as much game play as Oblivion does. The Province of Cyrodil is roughly twice the size of Morrowind, with over 16 square miles to traverse in your journey.

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April 10, 2006

DS Review: The Incredibles - Rise of the Underminer

In what could be a first in the video game industry, a game has been released that takes less time to play all the way through than it would to watch the movie it's based off of. For The Incredibles debut on the DS, developer Helixe has taken this soon-to-be film franchise and slapped it into an awful 2-D platformer. At the very least the pain is short thanks to the length, hovering dangerously close to the under two hour mark.

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Mac Game Review: XIII

Not many First Person Shooters distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack in this overcrowded genre. XIII is one of them. Developed by Ubisoft and ported by Zonic (who have ported a lot of games to the Mac) for release by Feral Interactive in June 2004, the Mac version includes all the game play modes from the console and PC iterations of the game.

Before XIII was a video game, it was a comic book. The adaptation is an extraordinary display of style. The cell-shaded presentation is entirely new to the FPS genre, and just as Jet Grind Radio before it, is a breath of fresh air.

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April 11, 2006

Jack Thompson... comes out?

As usual, Jack Thompson has been trolling Gamepolitics.com (after being banned 30+ times), spouting off racist comments, insults, and hiding behind the bible. Apparently, he's finally coming clean as to why he's a nutjob. This is interesting for multiple reasons:

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BCRadio For April 10, 2006

BCRadio is online, with my first segment ever! Can you feel my excitement as I duck for cover?

Holy cow does my segment sound bad (um.. um.. um.. um.. yea.. um.. um.. okay.. um.. um..). I really do sound like a blabbering fool. Ah well, I don't care how bad I sound, at least I am talking about the Mac and gaming.

It is over, and that is what matters. On to the next one, which will be (a little) better I am sure.

April 13, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Blazing Angels

It's not as if the world needed another arcade-styled flight game. We have Ace Combat to take care of that. It's not as if we needed another game set in World War II either. However, none of that is relevant to the gameplay of Blazing Angels, a wild take on the War with enough of a hook to keep you playing.

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Police mistake a band sticker for an actual threat, arrest owner

This is an article, not a pipe bomb.

When Ohio University Police found a bicycle with a sticker reading "This Bike is a Pipe Bomb" on March 2, officers shut down four buildings and called in a bomb squad from Columbus.

Source: The BG News

This is right up there with the Ravenna Mario boxes prank. Oh and this got syndicated by The New York Times Web site, though I cannot find it right now. Lisa showed it to me in the newsroom though.

Oh, and aren't those article pages on the new bgnews.com looking better and better?

April 14, 2006

HP 5100 LaserJet Driver Fix

This is as simple as they come. After a week of trying different things when we got a new HP 5100ntd, we had flaky printing from any number of applications.

After calling HP, the solution was to force the printer to use the HP 5000 Series drivers, as there are serious issues with the 5100 Series drivers for OS X. I was told that HP had no plans yet to address the problem. But hey, if you want to call and complain that wouldn't hurt.

Using the 5000 Series drivers is our only option, and have had no problems at all.

On a technical note, we have had better success with LPD printing with the 5100, even though IPP printing worked fine with our 5000 Series printers.

ASR Command Line in Mac OS X 10.4.6

Ahh yes, it is good to get back to the geeky posts, isn't it.

I just found this out the hard way. I use Carbon Copy Cloner (thanks so much Mike Bombich) and Apple System Restore in my day job a lot. It allows me to clone a new Mac in about 15 minutes, and that is with about 10 GB of data.

Mac OS X 10.4.6 prevents me from even using 'sudo' to execute the 'asr' command in Terminal. My handy AppleScript even fails.

It turns out that you need to run the 'asr' command in a root shell, or login to the system as root. If you ask me, this is something that you should not have to do. As any BOFH will tell you, using root to do anything is not a good idea.

And I am not about to leave a root password in a "do shell script" AppleScript, as I don't even like putting in an admin password in there. Even though adding "user name "username" password "password" with administrator privileges" to the end seems to work if you enable root in OS X, and use that user in the script.

Using root allowed me to continue my ASR cloning as I always have in every previous iteration of OS X.

To make matters worse, you get an odd-ball error. The "Permission denied" error makes sense, but not the "Validating target" error. Why? Because in this case the Target had nothing on it, it was in fact a newly formatted HFS+ volume. The "The target volume will not be bootable" is also a little odd too. I chalk this up as another oddity of OS X/BSD integration.

See the entire CLI dump after the break.

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April 15, 2006

The New iGoatse Skin

The new iGoatse is the definitive skin for your iPod. There are no words to describe it.. And you know why.

Blogcritics 'GP2X' Podcast Segment Recorded

I just got done recording the GP2X podcast segment for Blogcritics. That will go up Monday I believe. I will have a link to it then for sure.

This one went much better. And I am glad too, as I think I will be assisting with a podcast for Digital Press later today. That will be more than two people talking, so it might get a little choppy. We will see.

At any rate, I plan to talk about the GP2X on that one as well. We have a number of things we plan to talk about. I guess you will just have to listen to see what those might be.

April 16, 2006

DVD Review: The Cave

The Cave is an example of being over anxious. First time director Bruce Hunt struggles greatly with this underground creature feature, and his time spent working second unit on The Matrix only shows during the jarring quick cuts. This is also another victim of the "PG-13" horror movie syndrome, with only brief moments of the genres highlight.

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PSP Review: Mega Man - Maverick Hunter X

While the spin-offs of the Mega Man franchise have gone overboard and the X series has taken a sharp downswing, Maverick Hunter X becomes all the more appealing. This PSP exclusive is stunning; losing nothing of what made the original SNES hit a classic while updating everything outside of the gameplay (and even this has been tweaked). The extras sell this package, and while they're not as rich as Mega Man Powered Up, they're still worth unlocking since they essentially turn into a second full game.

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Xbox 360 Review: Top Spin 2

Top Spin 2 is not Virtua Tennis. For those weaned on Sega's tennis franchise, Top Spin is a shock. You hit the ball out of bounds with regularity, there are multiple types of shots, position is crucial, and hit detection is unforgiving. It's necessary to take the Indie Built-developed Top Spin seriously, and if you can make the adjustment from the only other tennis series out there, you'll find the best representation of the sport on any platform.

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Woods says the "s-word," apologizes for it

What is a four-letter word that starts with an S that should not be uttered during a live broadcast? While any normal person might think "shit" would be that word, it turns out that "spaz" is just as bad, if not worse, for Tiger Woods.

And apparently Woods is "stupid," which is how Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey Thompson puts it, twice. Not that "stupid" would be construed as being offensive or anything. According to Tanni, "handicapped" is also offensive.

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April 17, 2006

Mac Game Review: Chessmaster 9000

Unlike the Windows version of the game, the Mac does not see yearly updates. While this is generally a good thing, as only small changes were made year-over-year, the last Mac port of this best-selling series was not written for Mac OS X.

Mac OS X does come with a chess game. But it is only a game, and a rather limiting one at that. Chessmaster has always been more than just a game, and that is the reason to consider the purchase -- for both the novice and pro alike.

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Snake vomits hippo video

Rob sent me this today, with the warning "don't watch this before or while you are eating."

Otherwise, enjoy? this YouTube video.

Dear Male Male Spanking

Please stop posting comment spam to our blog. It won't get through, and the thought of male/male spanking puts an image in my head everytime I read it you wheel-chair bound, brave, handicap, windowlicking, spaz.

Thank you,

Us.

PSP Review: Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai

If you're worried about your child's reading comprehension skills, you could try to give them Shakespeare as test. You might as well pick up something like Shin Budokai. For as baffling as classic literature can be for some people, the storyline in Dragon Ball Z is worse, especially when it's told all through text. Thankfully, the PSP offers a start button to skip all of that after you've gone past the point of being lost, and then you'll end up inside a decent, albeit lacking fighting game.

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Console Review: GP2X

The GP2X is a Korean-made, Linux-based handheld that shares many features with the PSP. In some cases, the GP2X dances circles around the PSP. But the GP2X is not for everyone. It is not the most accessible handheld, it takes some tinkering to get things working the way you want.

The history of the GP2X is convoluted to say the least. GamePark, a Korean company, released the GP32 in 2001. The company split because of "differences in philosophy," and thus GamePark Holdings was created.

GamePark is planning on going toe-to-toe with Sony and Nintendo with the release of the XGP and XGP Mini, set to launch this year. GamePark Holdings, with the original GP32 design team, released the GP2X to keep with the goals of the GP32 audience.

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April 18, 2006

Tiger Woods and Words: Two Cases of Political Correctness Gone Too Far

People suck. They're also cruel, heartless, and damned picky. Then again, maybe I should watch what I'm saying because I may offend someone like the people who came up with this list of offensive words.

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The Breaking Windows List of the 10 Most Offensive Words or Phrases

Since "Ouch" has their own list of offensive words, it's time to set up a list of 10 words and phrases that I find offensive; the type that should be eliminated forever to ensure that NO ONE is ever offended again. These are the pinnacle of offensive language, and anyone with a heart condi… err, person with less than adequate blood pumping abilities should not be reading this upcoming list.

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April 19, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: Tomb Raider Legend

"I'm falling in love all over again."

That's one of the early clips of dialogue from Tomb Raider Legends, and a piece of foreshadowing based on what's about to happen to the player. Resurrecting the franchise from utter disasters and slapped together yearly sequels, Legends is the game Tomb Raider wanted to be and should have been all along. You will be falling in love, even before the first level is over.

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BCRadio for April 17th

This marks my second attempt at contributing to a podcast. In this week's BCRadio I review the GP2X and leave Josh really wanting one.

I think I have improved by leaps and bounds, and I do not need to go cower in the corner. It, umm, could still be better. But hey this is a fun learning experience. You can catch my full review of the GP2X as well, as there is just too much to discuss to fit in a short podcast segment.

I like this little gadget so much that I plan on writing another GP2X piece just on software. I am also keeping an eye on the XGP and XGP Mini, two handhelds coming from GamePark that have specs just as impressive as GamePark Holdings' GP2X.

April 20, 2006

DVD Review: Resident Evil - Apocalypse

If a video game movie is good enough to earn enough to produce a sequel, this is usually the point where you know there's no chance at success. After utter duds like Mortal Kombat Annihilation, Resident Evil Apocalypse unsurprisingly follows suit for gaming movie sequels. The problem is that the original wasn't that great to begin with, and if you haven't seen that, be sure to avoid this on all counts.

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PSP Review: Syphon Filter - Dark Mirror

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror just does not feel like a handheld game, PSP or otherwise. Dark Mirror hit store shelves almost exactly one year after the PSP's launch. We have seen some pretty good titles in that year, (mainly at launch) but nothing like Dark Mirror. I cannot stress enough the fact that this feels like a PS2 game. Scratch that, a good PS2 game.

The Syphon Filter series has seen better days. Syphon Filter and Syphon Filter 2 on the PS1 were hot titles. Syphon filter 3, the last of the series on the PS1, didn't seem to hit those same high notes as the first two. But it was still a fun game. Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, for the PS2, can only be described as a series let down. Maybe this is why Dark Mirror comes along as such an astonishing revival of the series.

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April 21, 2006

DVD Review: The Chiefs (Les Chiefs)

Fans of the hockey classic Slap Shot will be the group most disappointed with The Chiefs. The sad thing is, it's aimed at them, proudly boasting its connections with the 1977 rough hockey flick and ending up nothing like that movie. If you can go in expecting something else, you'll find this a rather dry though mildly effective look at a small group of semi-pro hockey players and little else.

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UMD Review: The Island

The Island is a rare movie from action director Michael Bay. Instead of quickly setting up the story to give more time to the action, the story here is the constant focus. With its intriguing mystery, the entire Island experience succeeds as entertainment. Fans of Bay need not worry either; the action sequences are stunning achievements.

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Door-To-Door Breast Doctor Busted

Three new examples of human stupidity for everyone today.

First is the 76-year guy who posed as a doctor going door-to-door offering free breast exams. How stupid can you be to think this is actually going to work?

Amazingly it did... twice. Two woman were actually dumb enough to believe doctors still do house calls, esepcially for free, and give breast exams.

They got what they deserved, and I almost have to applaud Mr. I'm Not a Real Doctor for making this work. That had to take some convincing, though I guess if they were dumb enough to let him in the first place, maybe it didn't take much.

E3 2006: What Will Never Be

No, no E3 news here. I won't be breaking any thrilling news in the world of gaming this year. It is a real shame too. Not unless someone wants to fly me to LA and put me up in a hotel for free, it is not gonna happen this year.

I am pretty steamed about it too. I just know this year's E3 is going to be great. I want to get my hands on the Revolution, the DS Lite, etc, etc. I would love to see first hand the PS3 and Xbox 360 software.

I had a chance to, too. Being the Blogcritics Gaming Editor gets me in the door to all the great stuff at E3, but I don't have the money to go. A couple people have told me they spend over $1000 on the flight, hotel, and food, and I believe it.

Take for example when you go to the movies these days, you know. They try to sell you this jumbo drink, 8 extra ounces of watered down cherry coke for an extra 25 cents. I don’t want it. -- Jimmy Buffet
So I will be sitting here in Ohio watching the videos, visiting the PR site, waiting to hear all the fun stuff. Yay.

And I could have been there. Being broke sucks.

This ends the obligatory "you should feel sorry for me" blog post for today. Check back tomorrow and Ken might recite even more great Buffett quotes.

8-Year-Old Modesto Boy Steals Teacher's Minivan

This story was just too rich to pass up. From Kotaku:

Note that the first question the police asked him was what his favorite video game was. He replied, GTA. Guess, the cops learned that line of questioning at the Academy, right after the class “Blame Gaming 101.”
When is this incessant bull shit battering of Grand Theft Auto going to end? Stop f***ing blaming it on the damn game. You may want to, I don't know, blame the people responsible for this incident. I am no expert, that is just a hunch.

I am sure Jack Thompson will be take this case. You know, since he is no longer part of that Alabama one. (Yes I know the boy is not going to be charged, it was a joke.)

I would also like to know who lets their eight-year-old play a M (17+) rated game anyways. From the mother's quote, she clearly knows about GTA. Maybe she should be charged, or fined, or something. Clearly this could have ended in serious tragedy, and gladly it did not.

I am sorry Matt, but that tops the 76-year old door-to-door breast doctor for the day's example of human stupidity.

I Am Turning 28 On Monday

Monday, the 24th, is my 28th birthday. Yay me. I will be heading home in a little while so I leave the site in Matt's hands (BWA HA HA). Please don't brake anything.

Now, if you wish to send me a present, I would suggest the GP2X Power Supply, GP2X Custom Joystick Cap, or the GP2X Screen Protector (I sense a theme here).

April 22, 2006

UMD Review: Red Eye

While it doesn't feature any supernatural oddities, freaks of nature, or general movie critters, Red Eye is purely a Wes Craven movie. Settling on a tight, closely wound set of three main actors, this "bad situation that's going to get worse" thriller is gripping, even when succumbing to a few annoying clichés. It's a superb example of how a simple idea turns into massive entertainment.

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Xbox 360 Review: Rumble Roses XX

Pro Wrestling on the NES remains, even to this day, one of the greatest wrestling video games ever produced. With all the advancements developers have made to storylines, crowds fighting, weapons, and graphics, that 8-bit classic still forces comparison. That said it should be logical that another wrestling title with its simplicity would be as enjoyable. The truth is that it could be, as long as it isn't Rumble Roses.

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Sci-Fi Channel Original Review: Mammoth

At the least, director Tim Cox knows this is an awful idea. Mammoth strives for campy from the opening moments, milking the comedic style all the way through. With only a little time spent on the reasons for a frozen Wooly Mammoth to actually come alive, there should have been plenty of screen time left for entertainment. That's not how this ended up.

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April 23, 2006

Xbox 360 Review: College Hoops 2K6

Hitting their launch date with the only feature rich basketball title, 2K Sports rebounds (pun intended) with College Hoops 2K6. With an already incredible basketball engine to play with, changes from the pro game are minimal. It's the atmosphere, pacing, new shot control, and presentation that makes College Hoops stand alone.

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Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Demo

Every fatality, terrible animalities, friendships (look for all the Midway references!), and babalities are here in one nice little video.

April 24, 2006

UMD Review: The Fog

There's an extra benefit to remakes in the current movie market. That's DVD, and rest assured when a remake is hitting theaters, the original will be brought out of retirement for the home market (in a super deluxe edition if it was previously available). Why else would anyone remake The Fog, a minor horror film with a small following only thanks to an original premise?

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April 25, 2006

DVD Review: Breakdown

Every once in a while, movie fans are blindsided. In the case of 1997 in the midst of all the hype over Titanic, out pops tiny and ignored Breakdown. This small $35 million masterpiece of a thriller is engrossing from the moment it begins to a classic movie bad guy death that's appropriate for the superbly fleshed out villain. It's one of Kurt Russell's finest and one of the best the genre has ever seen.

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April 27, 2006

Nintendo Revolution Named Nintendo Wii

Nintendo has announced the name of their next generation console, code named Revolution. Rumored for months to be named “Go,” today Nintendo announced “Wii.” That is Wii, pronounced “we.” Wii symbolizes Nintendo’s goal of creating games for everyone, and bringing people together. The “ii” not only stands for two people, but for the console's two unique controllers.

While I, and many others, have grown to like the name “Revolution,” Nintendo will not be keeping the code name as they did with the Dual Screen. “Wii” makes sense on so many levels. Without even reading the introductory text, I immediately was able to connect with the “ii” in the name. This is the universal appeal Nintendo is going for, and is exactly what they need as we step even closer to the next console war between Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.

The world will find out a lot more about the Nintendo Wii at next month’s E3 expo in Los Angeles. Wii can only wait and see.

April 28, 2006

PSP Review: Mega Man Powered Up

There's a sign to tell you when you're having fun with a video game. That's the point when you ask, "When is the next one coming?" That's the case with Mega Man Powered Up, easily one of the greatest remakes this industry has ever seen, and a classic even if the remade portions hadn't worked out as planned in the final product. The mesmerizing amount of things to do changes this game from one where a 20-minute speed run is possible into a 20-hour marathon title.

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O WiiLY?

OWiily.jpg

I am sure someone will steal it. That is why I did not even put a watermark on it. Have fun folks. And remember, it's just a game.

April 29, 2006

PSP Review: Fight Night Round 3

While the Xbox 360 version may get the attention for its flashy graphics and impressively realistic gameplay, there comes a time when a player needs to look past that. While it is a minor step down in gameplay, the PSP version of Fight Night Round 3 should not be underestimated or ignored. A plethora of features, in-depth money management, online play, and most of what was drooled over on the 360 is here.

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April 30, 2006

In Defense of Wii

I often find myself in the position of having to explain why Nintendo's latest move isn't stupid. Why not -- I'll pick up that task again today. Wii isn't a bad name.
Source: Games|Life WIRED Blog

I could not have said that better myself. In fact, what Chris wrote is exactly what I have wanted to put down in digital ink for a day now. "Viva la Wii."

Game Deals And Insane Prices

Today we have two tails from the opposite side of the coin.

My local Meijer is selling Top Spin 2 for Xbox 360, a game that has a MSRP price of $39.99, for the full price of $59.99. They also see fit to selling Brain Age for $24.95, a game that retails every other place in the US for $19.99. They can go take a long walk off a short pier. Meijer's prices have never been this horrible for games.

Across town at the (s)mall where Sam Goody is going out of business, all games are 30% off. If you buy four or more, you get them all at 40% off. A friend called to tell me this, and that they still have "pretty good selection." I will have to see for myself.

Accessory Review: Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter

Just like the original Xbox, Microsoft offers a Wireless Network Adapter for the Xbox 360. Also like the Xbox version, people are going to complain about the price. That said, the Xbox 360 Wireless Network Adapter supports more than its predecessor, and is worth the cost if running Ethernet is not an option to you.

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