Video Game Blog
January 2008 - December 2008

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12/21/2008
I will say it now as I have been so busy this holiday season, Happy Holidays to everyone out there!  Hope you get some of the presents you want! 

If I see one more Wii clone, I will scream.  People, it takes more than motion detecting controllers to be a Wii.  If that is all it took, the U-Force would have been a huge hit.

I am so tempted to get an XBOX 360.  I must resist the call of Fable 2 and Left 4 Dead.  That is a very tempting pair of games.  But I need to keep my money for my comic book.  If you haven't read it yet, check out my comic book and let me know what you think.

I must admit that I miss the days when you got a new Simpsons game each year.  It was fun to figure out what game they were going to ape this year.  Sniff, sniff, I miss that. 

Who knew it would only take a recession of epic proportions to finally make the Wii available? 

Speaking of recession, is it me or has there not been a single must have toy this year?  Granted, my kids are older and don't ask for the latest Elmo fad, but I don't remember hearing any stories about mothers dropping atomic elbows on each other for some Cabbage Patch Kid or Furby. 

Another Christmas and the Playstation 2 still has new games coming out for it.  Now that is nothing short of amazing! 

Just once I would like to see one of these many World War II games get turned into a Sgt. Rock game.  For people who don't know, Sgt. Rock was the star of a long lived comic book series from DC Comics.  If you counted the number of Nazis he killed in his comics, you would find it exceeded the population of all of Germany.

12/11/2008
It is probably old news on the net, but I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie, 2012.  Was watching television on a show called The Big Tease or something like that.  The trailer blew me away.  It is one of those trailers that is so simple, yet it made me want to see the movie.  It looked that good.

Was doing some Christmas shopping when I overheard a lady asking if the video game DC versus Moral Conflict was made for the Wii.  I had to stop from laughing as the name she was calling it, actually fitted.  It was one of those funny moments.

Stopping in to check out the clearance sale at Circuit City.  Pretty picked over.  I was laughing at their clearance price on Combos.  You know the snack that cheeses your hunger away.  Anyway, their clearance price was $2.45 for a normal sized bag.  The very same bag that you can purchase at any drug store for $1.99.  So much for a deal.  Keep that in mind when buying there.  Their prices are inflated before the sale and not just the Combos.

12/10/2008
Was out doing some Christmas shopping with the wife and saw some interesting video game related things.  Even though I was at Kohl's, I found video game stuff.  Didn't buy any, but had fun looking at it, while my wife looked at holiday nick nacks and for small gifts.  The first one was an Atari arcade machine ornament.  I actually liked it, but the thought of paying $15.00 and having it on my tree was enough to make me pass on it.  But it was pretty neat.  Better than some of the other stuff they push off as ornaments.  I still want to know when it became acceptable to put anything on a Christmas tree.  When I was a kid (that makes me sound so old), people put angels and Santa and birds on their tree.  You know, traditional ornaments.  But now they put Star Trek space ships and Hanna Montana on their tree.  Guess I am getting old.

Saw another of those Wii clones.  This one said on the side of the box "Stunning 16 Bit Graphics."  That made me laugh out loud, which drew attention to me.  I think that was about when my wife pretended to not know me.  For people who don't know, 16 Bit graphics are what the Sega Genesis had.  You know like back in 1989.  That is not something to brag about.  Heck, some of those plug and play games have 16 Bit graphics and they don't brag about it.  They call them retro or classic.  But this time they are called Stunning.  That is like calling Rosanne Barr stunning.  Just doesn't fit.

I would like to see them do a video game cartoon that was aimed at little kids.  There is enough Sonic and Mega Man cartoons out there for little kids, but what about one for older kids?  Tell me a anime influenced Castlevania cartoon would not rule.  I think there is something there, if someone was daring enough to make it.

Speaking of video game cartoons, I was surprised to see that Tak has his own cartoon.  I guess it has been out awhile.  The things you miss by not watching Spongebob on Nickelodeon.  Imagine taking a game that did not sell all that well and turning it into a franchise.  With any luck, Aero the Acrobat will get his own series as well.

 
11/30/2008
This has nothing to do with video games (but if you read this blog with any regularity, you know I stray off topic often), but I saw a funny commercial.  It was for some product called the Snuggie.  It is supposed to be a cloak you can wear to keep your whole body warm.  What it looks like is a monk's outfit.  I know, that isn't funny.  What is that it comes in blood red.  They showed the family in their red snuggies around a camp fire and they looked like a bunch of Satanists.  It's hilarious.  That and when they are at the football game.  Right now it comes in three colors, light blue, royal blue and blood red.  I am waiting for black as the devil's soul color.  Here is a link to the site and the commercial: https://www.getsnuggie.com/flare/next

If you missed out on Black Friday, take comfort in knowing that you still have Cyber Monday.  It is the official (not sure who made it official, Bill Gates?) start of the holiday buying season online.  So look for a bunch of deals tomorrow on everything you need and plenty you don't need.  Maybe they will have a deal on the Snuggie.

I tried to explain to a relative about Gametap.  He kept confusing it with Gamefly.  I told him that you pay $60.00 a year and have a thousand games to play.  He kept talking about them sending them to my house in the mail.  I tried getting him to understand that no games were mailed and they were only games on the PC.  Maybe if he wasn't inebriated, I would have had better luck. 
 
11/26/2008
Happy Thanksgiving to all the American readers.  Enjoy the turkey and pie.  Then fire up Wii Fit and try to lose all that weight you just put on.

Thanksgiving means more than just taking time to be thankful for all you have to gamers.  And it means more than gorging yourself and watching football.  It means the holiday season has begun and with it comes sales and all the biggest video game releases of the year.  Guess that is two more things to be thankful for.

They really need more turkey games to play on Thanksgiving.  The only game I can think of is Turkey Shoot, an arcade game.  Anyone know of any others?

In the video game world, there are a few questions this holiday season.  Will there be enough Wiis to meet demand?  With the state of the economy, there may be enough.  Another question is how well will the PS3 and XBOX 360 sell with their price cuts and bundled games?  And last, what will be the big sellers this year?  There are literally a ton of great titles for all the systems. 


11/18/2008
I read where the number of cyber criminals being caught is up this year.  That is good news as there is way too much cyber crime out there.  Add a death sentence to it and you can cut down the amount of repeat offenders.

I can tell the economy is getting bad.  Instead of just annoying emails, I am getting calls from websites I did business with.  Deep Discount DVD called me about their great sale.  I had considered buying a few DVDs from them before the call.  Now, I doubt I will do anymore business with them.  I thought the taped calls were done when the elections were over.  Guess not.

Want to read more video game blogs?  Just type in a search engine and you will find hundreds of them.  Or if you are too lazy for that, here is a blog you may want to check out.  Some good info and set up nicely (unlike my minimalist setup).  Here is the link:

http://www.redringoftrite.blogspot.com/

Wonder why no one has made a video game based on that singing fish that was all the rage a decade ago?  Oh yeah, because it would be a stupid game.  


11/15/2008
Saw a commercial for one of those generic Wii clones.  It comes with five sports games and once your family realizes that is all there is, they will toss it in the trash.  Just looking at it, I think who would fall for such a piece of garbage.  Then I remember there are enough people who fall for emails that say they won a lottery they never entered or sign up with a debt consolidation company without doing any research or pay 391% interest to those payday loan companies.  Yeah, there are enough people who will buy it and have disappointed kids at Christmas.

Speaking of the Wii, I saw something so stupid I could not believe it.  They have a collection of different attachments you could put over your Wii controller to make it feel more authentic.  There is a tennis racket head, a baseball bat and a golf club.  It cost about $20.00 for these pieces of plastic that do nothing but make the controller look better.  If anything, they will probably throw off the feel of the controller as you have a big piece of plastic on one end.  This has to be one of the biggest wastes of money since they starting selling things to put in the holes on your Crocs.  What is the sense of getting a shoe full of holes if you are just going to fill it in with junk?  For that matter, I still do not see the appeal of Crocs.  To me they are the White Castle hamburger of shoes.  Cheap and full of holes.  But people swear they are comfortable.  Whatever.

Onto some real game talk.  The more I see of the Batman Arkham Asylum game, the more excited I am for it.  Good to see a game that gives you multiple villains and you are not made of legos.  Killer Croc looks awesome in the previews.  Hope the game actually plays as good as it looks. 

Circuit City has declared bankruptcy.  Good riddance to the company.  Any company that fires quality employees because of how much they make is a company that deserves to go out of business.  It is called karma and it has come back to bite them in the butt.

 
11/09/2008
With football season in full swing, I was jonesing for a football game.  Not a Madden type game, but rather one where you are the head coach.  And since I was so disappointed with the last EA Head Coach, I decided to not even bother with it.  Instead, I went with Football Mogul.  For the low price ($19.99), it offers alot of game.  You can go from calling every play to just letting the computer simulate for you.  I took over the home team, Cleveland Browns and decided to play Brady Quinn over Derek Anderson.  With my luck, Brady Quinn was hurt in the first quarter.  Too bad as he was doing great against Dallas before the injury.  Good thing real life is not simulating that.

Glad the presidential race is over.  I am not going to get political here as there are a million other places on the net to do that.  But I would like a computer game where you could simulate running for the white house.  I played one ages ago that was fun (to give you an idea how old it was, I used to play as Gary Hart), but have not seen any since.  If anyone knows of a good game like that, especially a free one, please let me know.  Just email me at tomheroes@aol.com.

Just got done watching a Who concert that I taped awhile ago on VH1.  Now that is a group that can rock.  I don't play too many of the illegal street racing games, but I would think their music would be perfect to be playing as you are doing a street race.  It has so much energy that it would fit like a glove.  Bet their stuff would be awesome to play on Guitar Hero as well.  Like to see them do a single band release like the Aerosmith one.  They have enough songs to fill a game and ones that would make your hands extremely sore.  But it would be awesome doing the windmill guitar style he uses.  Just make sure to close the living room windows or you will be the laughing stock of the neighborhood.  No one can pull that off like Pete, but we all love to do it in the privacy of our home.


10/31/2008
Happy Halloween!  This was my favorite holiday as a kid.  Didn't have to clean the house and got a bunch of candy for free!  Many good memories about Halloween.

I am sure you can find hundreds of sites that tell about the scariest video games.  To be honest, there are have few games that scared me.  In the early days, games were too pixilated to be scary.  Haunted House for the 2600 is anything but scary.  But if I had to pick one game that really did scare me, it would probably be Manhunt on the XBOX.  Trying to hide while these groups of psychos chase you down did cause some tense moments.  And that guy in the pig mask was downright creepy.  Now that was a game that disturbed me.

A scary game that wasn't as scary but I did enjoy was for the Dreamcast.  It was called Illbleed and the story was how you could win a million dollars if you stayed in the spooky house overnight.  It was made by a B-Movie director and he had parts of his movies set up.  It was a fun game that I did enjoy.  Would like to see a remake of it, done with better graphics and more tense moments.

Speaking of scary games, the Left 4 Dead game looks great!  It is one that I would love to play and one more game that pushes me to get a next generation system.

Was watching Family Guy the other day and they had a scene where Stewie lived with Q*Bert.  It made me laugh out loud.

10/22/2008
Never did finish my review of Gametap.  But to make it short, it is well worth the money.  Alot of gaming for a little money and the ability to put your high scores up for everyone to see is great.  Sorta like the old days in the arcade, except these don't reset when they turn off the game.

Not sure if this is real or not, but I found a site that sells a USB joystick for gaming that is an Atari 2600 controller.  It looks cool and is affordable.  Check it out and see if that is not cool!

http://www.legacyengineer.com/store.html

Was contacted about a new auction site for video games.  It is called Game Gavel and they are having a contest where you can win a new PS3 system.  If you are looking to sell or buy some games, check out the site and you can also find out about the contest.  I have not used it myself, but I know people are always looking for alternative auction sites.


10/20/2008
Bit the bullet and signed up for Gametap.  Had some birthday money and it sounded like a better deal than a new game.  When I looked through the list of games available, I was impressed.  I know at first it was a bunch of arcade games, Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 games, but now the list is quite impressive.  And there is a ton of newer games like Tomb Raider, Fallout, Beyond Good and Evil and Psychonauts.  And there is some good Dreamcast games (Typing of the Dead and Crazy Taxi) as well ad Saturn games (Panzer Dragoon 1 and 2) and a bunch of PC games as well as some original games.  A few negatives I found is first off, you are going to need a big hard drive if you decide on playing alot of games. 

10/14/2008
Was flipping through the channels and came on Deal or No Deal.  Not sure if there are two versions or what, but this one had a top prize of $500,000.  Howie Mandel was the host, so I can only guess it was the real show.  But the top prize is only half as much.  The economy must really be bad for game shows to have to cut back too.

Speaking of game shows, I have a better idea for the next McCain/Obama debate.  Instead of the usual debate, why not have both of them go on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?"  Let's see who is the smarter person to lead our country.  I think it will say more than another debate.

Saw some kind of generic Wii game console.  It sells for about fifty dollars and comes with five sports games.  I am guessing that it won't be hard to find like the Wii still is.  In fact, I am guessing that you could wait until Christmas eve and still find them for sale.  There are going to be some very disappointed kids this Christmas.

10/13/2008
Found a hilarious video about Pac-Man.  Check it out as it is pretty funny.  Waiting for them to do a Q*Bert one now. 

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1826559

Speaking of live action movies with video game characters, I keep seeing commercials for Max Payne.  I never played the game, but what does the flying angel or man or whatever it is have to do with the movie?  It looks cool in the commercial, but I thought Max Payne was just a first person shooter.  What do I know?

Here is an idea for a live action movie.  Do Q*Bert and have Andrew Dice Clay play Q*Bert.  The dude already has the swearing part down.

10/10/2008
I read where Richard Garriott of Ultima fame is paying to take a Russian space ship to the Space Station.  He is paying $30 million dollars for the privilege.   Must be nice to have that much money to spend.  The rest of us are stuck watching a DVD of space travel or playing a Space Shuttle simulator that were all the craze in the 1980's.

For you gambling type out there, some very good stock deals are becoming fast available.  Take Two Interactive is at a yearly low with the stock trading just over $12.00.  It was over $25.00 not too long ago.  Granted, there are no more Grand Theft Auto games on the horizon, but it is still a very solid company.  Another one is Electronic Arts.  It is trading around $27.00, which is about 60% of what it was trading for earlier in the year.   Activision/Blizzard is trading at about 40% of its value with the stock over $10.00.  Sony is at a yearly low with its stock selling for around $22.00 a share, about 60% less than its high for the year.   And for you investors on a tight budget, Atari is trading at $1.66.  But I wouldn't touch it.  If it hits about a quarter, then I would bite.  That is the price I am waiting for Six Flags to reach.  It is currently at about 45 cents.

10/08/2008
I see that Take Two has decided to stay independent.  That is great news as they are one of the few great companies.  Yeah, people may not like their games due to content, but they are great games nonetheless.  And the last thing we needed was an EA or Activision ruining their games.

Speaking of Take Two/Rockstar games, my kids are still playing the daylights out of Bully.  This is the first non Nintendo made game to keep their attention for this long. 

I am still bummed that Banjo Kazooie is only coming for the XBOX 360.  If Microsoft wants to recoup some of the money they spent on acquiring Rare, they should make a Wii version of the game.  It would sell millions of copies and they would get a big chunk of their money back.  That and re-release the earlier games with updated graphics and new controls.  I know they want people to buy the XBOX 360, but that title will not sell anywhere near the amount of copies it would on the Wii.  But then it isn't like Microsoft is hurting for money.

Little Big Planet is almost here.  Good, cause I am tired of seeing it as one of the most anticipated titles each year.


10/01/2008
Saw another lame online ad starring Pac-Man.  This one was for insurance.  It wasn't the real Pac-Man, but a cheap clone.  Poor Paccy, he finally is in vogue again and it is for the wrong reasons.

I am still waiting for Crystal Dynamics to sue Geico.  That Geico lizard is a clone of Gex the Gecko.  Who knows, maybe they already have a deal.  If that is the case, maybe Aero the Acrobat can work a deal with Safe Auto.

Is it me or is there not enough pancakes in video games?  Someone needs to add more flapjacks to their games. 

I am surprised with all the hunting and fishing games out there, there are no lumberjack games.  Not since Timber has there been a lumberjack game that I can think of.  Oh and what about bullfighting games?  They need one where you can fight bulls.  Maybe they can combine the two games together and have a lumberjack/bullfighting game. 


09/29/2008
I have a good idea for a Halloween costume.  You can go wearing nothing but a barrel and tell people you are a stock market investor. 

People looking for bargains should see them this holiday season.  Look for companies to dump stock of slower moving video games with some drastic price cuts.  I also expect to see companies on the edge of bankruptcy to be aggressive to save themselves.  By this, I am talking about Circuit City which is on its last legs as well as Toys R Us.  We all know that Walmart will be very aggressive in their price cuts this year, but to what level is the big question.  If they go full tilt, it could be the last Christmas for the aforementioned companies.

Now to some video game talk.  Fable 2 has gone gold.  So it will be out this year, which is good news for the XBOX 360.  It gives it another exclusive game that it needs in an age of few exclusives outside of the Wii.  While I really enjoyed the last Fable, I hope this one actually is everything that the last one was supposed to be.  Not holding my breath.

Saint's Row 2 is coming and it looks good.  The first one was well received and it will be interesting to see if they can build on the success.  Very few companies outside of Rockstar and Bungie can keep improving a franchise.  Let's see if this one can join the list?

A game that I have been hearing about forever or so it seems is finally coming out.  Deep Space is due in October.  Gotta be a little worried when one of the big features they are hyping is the ability to fight in Zero G.  While it sounds fun, I personally would not buy a game for that reason.  Now if it had Sea Monkeys, maybe, but Zero G does not do it for me.


09/19/2008
I saw a message on a site about  Nintendo making a deal with Six Flags.  At first I thought someone was finally going to listen to me about a Nintendo themed amusement park.  But it turned out to be a deal where they help promote a new Wario game.  Too bad as the first amusement park that listens to me will make a killing. 

Speaking of amusement parks based on video games, you could do one based on Sega games as well.  Think of a crazy ride that emulated Crazy Taxi.  Would be fun.  Or a water ride with Ecco the Dolphin.  A Sonic coaster!  A Space Harrier themed ride.  Granted, most people wouldn't know the games, but it could still be cool.

Been seeing alot of ads for the new Golden Axe video game.  I just hope that Sega puts as much money into making the game as they are advertising it. 

The DC Universe game coming for the PS3 looks intriguing.  A MMO starring Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and other DC characters could be really good.  Or it could be really bad.  But then you can say that about any game. 

Speaking of comic universes, why hasn't anyone done a game based on the Image universe?  With Spawn, Wildcats, Shadowhawk and whoever else is part of it, you could do a decent game.  I think it would be a better team-up with Mortal Kombat than the DC universe.

I have seen a ton of ads for the Pirates of the Caribbean game that is online.  Since it is free, exactly how are they paying for all those ads?  Must be a ton of ads on that game.  Imagine dialogue like this "A vast mateys, prepare to board the Staples Ship.  We the IBM pirates are here to plunder your booty and invest it in our Charles Schwab account.  Prepare to taste our steel swords that are available on QVC."

09/16/2008
My kids have been playing the daylights out of Bully.  It helps that they had the last two days off from school because of no power at the school.  They finally got into the city and are amazed at how much gameplay is crammed into the game.  Gotta give it to Rockstar for making games that give you your money's worth.

Two of my most hated words in the English language are "up to".  Nothing is worse than seeing a sign on a sale that says "Up to 50% off video games."  You know when you go and look at the selection only to find that the only games that are 50% off star either the Olsen Twins or Raven Simone or whatever her name is.  All the games you really want are more like 10% off, which is not much of a sale.

Speaking of sales, why is it that when a store goes out of business and start the sale at 10% off, people line up to buy shopping carts full of stuff.  People, 10% is not that good.  In fact, it is pretty bad.  The problem is that when the prices actually get good, all the merchandise is gone.  And people wonder why they are so broke.

Rock Band 2 is coming out and the hype is already starting.  Personally, I am waiting for the Weird Al version that includes an accordion controller.  Now that would be cool!  OK, it wouldn't be cool, but it would be fun. 

09/09/2008
We actually picked up a few games for the Wii over the weekend.  Let me restate that, picked up a game and a quasi-game.  The wife wanted Wii Fit and I finally found one at Target.  Yeah, I have now seen a Wii and a Wii Fit in the wild.  So I bought it for her.  Then while I was up there, I saw that they had Bully on clearance.  $50.00 was too much to pay for the game, but at $25.00, I could take the plunge.  Still more than I want to pay, but I knew my kids would love the game.  And they do!  They have played the daylights out of it.  I know there are parents out there who are freaking out at the thought of kids playing a Rockstar game.  But if you raise your kids right and let them know the difference between right and wrong, then there is no problem with it.  My kids enjoy doing things they could never do in real life.  That is what video games are all about, doing things you cannot do in real life.  Most of us would not last a minute in a swordfight, but we are having fun in Soul Calibur.  Very few of us could play in a professional sport, but we can live those dreams out in Madden or MLB or whatever.  Sure, the Rockstar games can be violent, but if you understand the difference between right and wrong and know the consequences of your actions, then they are a great form of escape. 

It has been a long time since I pimped my other sites in this column, so here we go.  My Arcade After Dark site has over 300 pages of comic strips based on video games to read.  And new ones go up every month.  One of the strips, On Tapp, recently hit its 50th strip with several others nearing that number.

My third site, KZ Comics, has a new comic book on the site.  After more than 20 years since I did a comic book, I am finally taking the plunge again.  It is just an internet comic right now with six new pages a month.  I found that by having it small like that, it is easier to find and keep an artist.  Doing a full comic each month is a big financial commitment on my part and a big time commitment on their part.  So check out Tabloid the comic book, which is up to 16 pages.

Time for a few plugs.  The first is for the ACEC Vintage Computer and Video Game Swap Meet being held on
Saturday 09-13-08 from 9 am to 3 pm in Columbus, Ohio.  Tables are free and it is a good way to pick up some games or get rid of some that you don't want.

The second plug is for a World Record Weekend at Challenge Arcade.  Here is their press release:

JUST ANNOUNCED: -Aart van Vliet of The Netherlands to attend World Record Weekend to take on the Ms. Pac-Man world record!

World Record Weekend will be a historic event in the realm of coin-operated video gaming.

Announcing the first ever “Frog-off”. Undoubtedly two of the best Frogger players in the world, Donald Hayes and Pat Laffaye will be competing head-to-head (simultaneous starts) on two Froggers. In addition to playing for a new world record, should Don or Pat beat the fictitious “Seinfeld” Frogger score of 860,630 , they will win a complete Frogger upright video game.

World records on various coin-operated video game titles will be attempted by the world's best coin-operated video game players. Both classic and modern video game records are sure to fall at Challenge Arcade. Just a few of these titles include Ms. Pac-Man, Frogger, Burgertime, Mr. Do!, Zookeeper, Mortal Kombat, Need for Speed Underground, Metal Slug, and many more...

The first multi-marathon (12 hour-plus game) on classic coin-operated video games since 1985 will take place at World Record Weekend.

Several cast members from the “Jackass” movie (and TV series), including Brandon DiCamillo, will be at World Record Weekend for the duration of the event. Look for them at Gamecasa.net, a website dedicated to all video gaming for the common man. They will also be signing autographs and filming an upcoming TV pilot during World Record Weekend.

Challenge Arcade is planning a few unusual attractions in live, coin-operated video game competition at World Record Weekend. Challenge Arcade will feature big screen scoring information as soon as the data is entered at Challenge Arcade Headquarters. Contestants will see their best scores on a big screen TV as they endeavor for a new world record. Challenge Arcade is also planning on streaming live video of portions of World Record Weekend via their website.

Challenge Arcade will feature giveaways for its contestants and customers during world record weekend from the many sponsors of the event. These items will include soda, t-shirts, mugs, posters, and much, much more. 

09/05/2008
Microsoft just dropped the price of their XBOX 360 units.  The lowest end one, the XBOX Arcade will sell for $199.00, making it cheaper than the Nintendo Wii.  This may stir things up a bit this Christmas.  I was thinking of getting a new system this year and this definitely sways me towards the XBOX as opposed to a PS3.  That and Fable 2.  Let's see if Sony counters.

Speaking of Christmas, let's see if this is the year when they start bundling games with the systems.  This is one of my favorite reasons for waiting to buy a system, you pay less and get more.  That and all the lower priced games.


09/01/2008
I saw an ad that read "The Ultimate Pac-Man for your Arteries."  Something is wrong when Pac-Man is used for an artery declogger. What is next, have him hawking Liquid Plumber? 

I have had a dozen people email me and tell me that I should see The Wizard.  Either I am missing out on a good movie or a bunch of people want me to make me see a bad movie.  I think I will request it from the library and see.

Watched the Dungeon Siege movie from Uwe Boll and I was disappointed.  No, it wasn't because it was so bad, rather it was because it was pretty good.  I actually enjoyed it.  There were big name actors and the story was not bad.  The monsters looked like something that would battle the Power Rangers, but otherwise it was a pretty good movie. 

08/27/2008
Did you know that Rachael Ray endorses Wu Yi Tea?  I do because I have received a few hundred spam mails about it.  Do you know what kind of tea that I will never drink?  If you guessed Wu Yi, then you guessed right.

I just realized that I have never seen the video game movie, The Wizard.  The game is famous for being the first place you could see Super Mario Bros 3.  Maybe I should get it out of the library and see it.  Then maybe I shouldn't.

It always sucks when there are games you are looking for cheap, but they never show up cheap.  One of those is Land of the Dead for the XBOX.  It did not receive good ratings, but being a zombie fan, I am willing to overlook those.  But the game is always $25.00 or more.  Maybe one day I will have to bite the bullet and buy it.

I still wish there was a sequel to Gun.  I really enjoyed the game and finished it ages ago.  Maybe I will have to play it again.  It was alot of fun, despite killing every living animal in the game.


08/26/2008
One of the things I like to do is every so often pull out the old video game magazines I have (ones from the last few years) and read them.  It is always interesting to see if hyped games like up to expectations and if some of release dates were accurate.  As I was doing this, I saw Little Big Planet was one of the top games for E3 for two years in a row.  So I decided to check and see if it is actually coming out this year or if it can make it three years in a row.  It has a release date in October, so it may finally be coming out.  Dare to dream.

I have finally seen a Wii in the wild!  I spotted one unit for sale at a Target near my house.  It has taken only three years for me to finally see one.  Next up is to see a real Bigfoot and not some frozen gorilla suit.

The Jason and the Argonauts game looks really good.  I always loved the story of Jason and the Argonauts.  Heck, most of the Greek and Roman mythology is cool.  I am glad to see it coming into vogue in the video game world.

Time for a few plugs.  First off, TooManyGames is having a second video game show this year.  It will be held in Reading, PA on October 18th.  Here is some of the stuff the show offers"

- Live musical performances by nationally recognized video game inspired
bands and chiptunes artists!
- Artwork for sale, inspired from video games all across the gaming
timeline!
- Guitar Hero National Championships sponsored by Jolt Energy Drinks!
- Video game CosPlay competition!
- Tabletop gaming including Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, HeroClix,
Warhammer, and many others!
- TMG FANels, a chance for the gaming community to hold their own
discussion panels and demonstrations!

You can find out more about the show at the following website: www.toomanygames.com

Was there ever something in the real world that you didn't have an interest in, but you did in the game world?  For me it is horse racing.  I have never had any interest in the sport.  But I loved the Gallop Racer series for the Playstation and PS2.  I would have a great time trying to win races and breed horses.  Maybe it is just more fun to be in the race than to watch it.  And since I am over six feet tall, my chances of being a jockey are about the same as being crowned a king somewhere. 

One more plug before I go.  Ever want to see video game and movie themes played on strange instruments?  Then this link is for you.  It has a dozen or so people playing these themes on different instruments.  I would send a video, but I am not sure if doing the Donkey Kong theme on your armpit counts.  Anyway, here is the link and enjoy!

http://www.clearly-av.co.uk/blog/movie-and-video-game-theme-tunes/


08/20/2008
Bought a subscription to Nintendo Power for my kids and was reading it and saw some awesome news!  Well, it is awesome to me.  Dead Rising is coming out for the Wii.  That is one of the games that made me want to buy an XBOX 360.  But now I can play it on the Wii and they are adding stuff and fixing some of the problems.  Yeah, it won't have as good graphics, but so what.  It is gameplay that matters to me and the chance to battle zombies with golf clubs and cash registers is too cool.  So I now have one game on my wish list for the holidays.

They should have a program that you can combine the elements of two games together.  I know it is impossible in theory, but so is time travel and we all go in the past and hunt dinosaurs, right?  You don't?  Anyway, imagine if you could pick and choose what elements from each game you wanted and then this magical program would blend them.  A big video game concept blender.  You could take Duke Nukem and throw him in Frogger and see if he could get across or if he would just blow away all the cars.  Or take Luigi with his ghost vacuum and drop him in Pacman and really watch him sweep up.  Or have Bionic Commando as a receiver in Madden Football.  The possibilities are endless and a lot of fun.  Guess I will have to keep it in my dreams.  Maybe I will think about more scenarios tomorrow when I take my flying car back to Ancient Greece and scare the people.  Good times.

The more I read about the new Ghost Busters game, the better it sounds.  I think it has a lot of potential and can be a great game.  Maybe this will get them to make video games for other older movies.  I really want to see another video game for Krull.  And that last Porkys game was pretty weak.  How about letting Al Lowe do this one?

I have been seeing that new commercial from JC Penneys that is pretty much like a remake of a trailer for Breakfast Club.  It is pretty clever, even if most kids do not get it.  As I watched it, I thought about how there was no video game based on that movie.  I thought about it and wondered if someone should do a video game based on The Breakfast Club.  After a minute, I came to a conclusion.  No.

While we are talking about movies and TV shows that could make good games, how about a Saturday Night Live game that is a bunch of mini games based on skits?  You try to keep Toonces the Cat from crashing.  Or you have to keep Mr. Bill from being smashed.  Throw in the Cone Heads, Wayne and Garth, Church Lady and some others and if nothing else, you would have a game with a ton of buzz.  But now that I think about it, the royalties you would have to pay all those people would be killer.  Can that idea.  Now a game based on the Kids in the Hall sketch where you squish people's heads would be a winner.

08/16/2008
Been so busy this summer that I haven't played many games.  Something about sunshine and amusement parks and swimming pools to put the games on hold.  But fall is coming and the call of the XBOX is great.

Despite common sense, I put a request to rent Dungeon Siege at the library.  For anyone who doesn't know, it is based on the computer game of the same name and is done by one of the worst directors since Ed Wood, Uwe Bolle.  At least it is the library and as long as I return it on time, I don't have to pay anything.  All I lose is time and self respect. 

Speaking of video game movies, why hasn't anyone done a live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie?  I know it would be dumb, but the concept is so bizarre that it may work.  A better idea would probably be a Toe Jam and Earl movie.

Went to Kennywood Amusement park last weekend and was in their arcade (yeah, I play games at amusement parks and anywhere else that has arcade games) and put up high scores on four machines.  Granted, none of the high scores were all that high, so it wasn't like some great event.  But it was cool to own the high score on Frogger, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong and Ms. Pacman. 


08/08/2008
Went to Dave & Busters for the second time in my life.  Fun place but it can eat up money very fast.  Between food and games, we could have bought three new video games for what we spent.  And their ribs are pretty weak.  The BBQ sauce is probably Kraft, which is just glorified ketchup.  At least they had some good games.  I was enjoying playing an Ultracade on a big monitor.  The joysticks were too loose for some games, but it was cool to play them on a large screen.  Played mostly Robotron and Klax.  And the Ms. Pacman is still way too fast.  It is like the old girl is hopped up on speed.  Too bad that I found the Donkey Kong combo machine (DK, DK jr and Mario Bros) as we were leaving.  Would have played a game or two.  Yeah, I go to a place like D & B and play classic games.

Is it me or are there just four kinds of games anymore?  I looked around the arcade and all I saw was shooters, racers, dancing games and sports games.  Seriously, is that all people want to play?  Makes me wish for the old days when there was plenty of variety.  Again, it may be just me, but having all four House of the Dead machines in one arcade is a bit overkill.  But what do I know.

My one son was playing Mario Kart GP 2.  Didn't know there was a second one.  He is the one son who gets his money worth at an arcade.  He can play that for hours and use little money.  My other kids (I have three sons total) play those "skill games" and I use that term loosely.  You know the games where you drop a ball or hit a button to stop a light and hope you win a bunch of tickets.  Then you take the tickets that you spent $40.00 on and come away with about $3.00 worth of candy and plastic toys.  If you cannot tell, I am not a fan of those games.  Would rather take them to the dollar store and let them do a shopping spree, and still come away with spending less.

Speaking of my kids, I must send a note of praise to Jenette McCurdy from the television show, iCarly.  One of my kids is a big fan of the show and saw she had a Youtube account and sent her a message and she wrote back.  He was ecstatic to receive a message from her.  Good to see some people who are famous that still take time to connect with their fans.  (It may have been someone sending messages for her, but either way, it was a classy move).

Was reading a post someone put in a newsgroup about how two years later, you still cannot find a Wii.  One person thought the reason you cannot find them in the US is the weak dollar.  They said they are around in Europe and in Japan.  Not sure if this has anything to do with it, but anything is possible.  Better than my theory of aliens stealing all of them.

Wonder if they will do a special edition Madden version that features Brett Farve in a Jet's uniform on the cover? 


07/30/2008
Saw the trailer for the new Watchmen movie and I was impressed.  So impressed that I went and pulled out my graphic novel and read the entire thing in one day.  While it still is an awesome read, it was not as awesome as when I read it back in the 80's.  Part of it is probably because the quality of comics has been elevated.  Back in the days before Alan Moore, Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman came into comics, there were comic writers.  But now there are writers who do comics and they were among the first group of people who took comics from being super powered heroes and funny animals and showed the medium could be so much more.

Took my one son to the used game store to buy Theme Park for the DS.  While I was there, I looked through the used XBOX games and saw Serious Sam for $3.99.  I was in the mood for a mindless shooter and thought about what was a better buy, Serious Sam or a gallon of gas.  I chose Serious Sam.

Games can tease you.  I found that out when I put the used Serious Sam into my XBOX.  It loaded up and I created my character (which pretty much meant giving him a name) and went to the first level.  But then it would hit about 95% loaded and stop.  It would go no further.  I hit every button on the controller with no luck.  I took it out and cleaned it.  Still the same results.  So I had to return it.  Of course, they did not have another copy.  So I ponied up some more money and got Serious Sam II.  It worked fine and I was able to have have some mindless shooting fun.


07/25/2008
Good news from the ComicCon in San Diego.  No, I am not there, but I have been checking out the news.  Besides the preview of the Watchman movie (looks great) and another Wallace and Gromit video game, there is the news of a sequel to one of the best video game movies of all-time!  No, I am not talking about Super Mario Bros 2, I am talking about Tron 2!  Yes, the Disney movie from the 80's is finally getting a sequel!  I for one am looking forward to it.  Let's all chant, Bring Back Bruce!  Bring Back Bruce!

One thing that readers of the blog always ask me is for overlooked gems.  They want to know about games that I really like that are not the obvious ones.  One thing to know is my tastes tend to be strange, so what I like you may not like.  But here are a few games anyway.  On the Playstation, I really liked the following games - Tail of the Sun, Master of Monsters (an updated version of the Sega Genesis game) and Intelligent Qube (expect to pay a fortune for it as it is quite rare and in demand).  For the PS2, the games I really enjoyed are - Gallop Racer, Everblue 2, Road Trip, A Dog's Life and War of the Monsters.  Now I should get hate mail from people who bought these and think they suck.  As I said, my tastes tend towards the odd.

I am a bit upset with myself.  I wanted to play King Kong so bad for the XBOX.  I finally got it cheap about six months ago and still have not played it.  Hopefully in the fall, I will have more time to play games.  Summer has been so busy.
 
07/22/2008
Got the latest issue of Game Informer and saw there are finally some information on the sequel to Marvel Ultimate Alliance.  I  like the look of it so far.  There are some good combo attacks that could be fun to execute.  One they talked about was Hulk grabbing a chunk of ground and having Iron Man heat it up.  A burning projectile!  That is so medieval.  I just hope it lives up to the hype.

I am considering downloading the Spore Creature Creator and having some fun with it.  Yeah, it is $10.00 for the full version, but it could be alot of fun and maybe I can create a comic strip out of the characters.

It is amazing how comic book based movies are tearing up Hollywood.  Batman is monster huge.  Iron Man was huge.  Hulk did very well.  Even Hellboy is not starving at the box office.  Too bad video game movies cannot do as well.  Outside of the Tomb Raider movies, there is alot of movies doing well.  Maybe when the movie companies return my emails about my Super Mario the Musical, they will have a hit on their hands.

I don't think I ever talked about one of my all-time favorite games in this blog.  Crazy Climber is possibly my favorite arcade game.  I still remember how amazed people were that I could do two joysticks simultaneously to move the character.  Once you completed a few buildings on the game, people would be amazed.  It really is not that hard, just practice.  And games like Robotron gave me plenty of practice for Crazy Climber.

07/20/2008
Did you ever work with someone who is such a geek about something that they are annoying.  I mean really annoying.  I work with someone like that who is so into Star Wars that he cannot go a day without talking about it.  He thinks he is the biggest fan in the world and knows everything about Star Wars and asked me to come up with a trivia question for him to test his knowledge.  While I liked the original Star Wars movies (what are they, numbers four through six), I am not a big fan.  But I needed to get him off my back for awhile, so I gave him a trivia question to answer.  I asked him "The character Han Solo from Star Wars.  What is Han short for?"  It totally stumped him.  That should keep him looking for awhile as I would not give the answer. 

Picked up a Nintendo DS at a garage sale for $30.00 with a game.  It is the original version but one of my sons broke theirs and it is alot cheaper than buying a new one.  They are very handy on long trips.

Bought my wife Boom Blox for her birthday (along with some other stuff).  She has not played it yet, but from all the reviews I read, it sounds like a game for her.  And for me for that matter. 

07/15/2008
I see the Max Payne movie is coming out and will star Mark Wahlberg.  I am not a big fan of the Max Payne games, so I can care less.  But I am glad to see that Uwe Boll is not associated with it.

Speaking of video game movies, there are also movie versions of Gears of War and Bioshock coming.  This could be good as both have legitimate directors.   Len Wiseman who last did Live Free or Die Hard, will do Gears of War and Gore Verbinski who did the Pirates of the Caribbean movies will do Bioshock.  It is good to see that video games are getting better treatment from Hollywood.

Microsoft has dropped the price of the XBOX 360 on the 20 gig version to clear them out.  I was hoping for a price cut on all of them that would hopefully get Sony to follow suit, but no such luck.  That may change as E3 starts, but I am not holding my breath.  We all know the Wii will not lower its price as they still cannot keep it in stock.

07/09/2008
There was a computer game called Lion.  It was the sequel to Wolf.  I know, they put alot of work into the titles of those games.  Anyway, the game involved you being a lion.  You had to roam around and hunt food, drink water and mate.  As dull as it sounds, I actually liked the games.  I would like to see a newer version of the game made.  Not sure if it will happen, but it really was a fun game.   Really.

Saw some screenshots for the upcoming DC vs Mortal Kombat.  The graphics look good, but then that was expected.  They only announced six fighters so far, three from each universe.  From the DC side, we have absolutely no surprises - Superman, Batman and the Flash.  On the Mortal Kombat side, we also have zero surprises - Subzero, Scorpion and Sonya.  Maybe we will get a few fighters we don't expect, but I doubt it. 

Put this one under cool!  A remake of Splatterhouse is coming!  That's right, the classic horror game is getting a remake.  All I can say is "what took so long?"

One game that I really enjoyed on the XBOX was Far Cry.  It was alot of fun running through the jungle and killing people.  I decided to check out the sequel that is due and I must say it is looking good.  Let's hope it plays as well as the original and has all the expected upgrades.  In other words, let's hope it doesn't turn out like the new Turok did.

Did you preorder your Soul Calibur game yet?  I am amazed at how excited people are to play as Darth Vader or Yoda.  I cannot wait til they do the Star Trek version.  The ability to battle with a Klingon or Bones is too much to pass up.

Let us hope that Aliens Colonial Marines captures the feel of the movie.  Aliens can be done well.  The PC had a good series of games and even the Jaguar version of Aliens vs Predator was good.

I see they are making a game about Nolan Bushnell starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Sounds like another movie for me to watch out for.

07/03/2008
Time to give some more personal plugs.  I have plugged all your sites enough, time to plug some of mine. 

First up, my twin boys have their own site and now they started to add video games to the site.  Not just any video games, but ones they made with the program, Game Maker.  The first few are fairly basic, but they are working on a Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart fan games.  Look for some interesting things to go up and they are all free!  Can't beat that price.  The games are in the section aptly titled "Games".  Here is the link:

http://zjabatwins.com

Now for a link to one of my other sites.  My Arcade After Dark now has over 300 pages of video game comic strips!  And it is growing.  I put up anywhere from 5 - 10 more pages a month.  With five different comic strips to read, there is something for everyone.  Here is the link to that:

http://arcadeafterdark.com

Why is it that we finally get a Batman video game that has almost all his best villains in it and the game is a stinking Lego game?  Nothing against Lego games, but us Batman fans have been waiting for a game that puts the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Mr. Freeze,  Catwoman, Scarecrow and more in one game.  All we need is Killer Croc to make it complete.  Guess we have to hope that the next Lego game is Spiderman so we can finally get a game with all his best villains in it.  I am sick of Shocker showing up in every one of his games.  He is not a good villain.  He is lame. 

Speaking of Lego games, the trend so far has been to have games starring Harrison Ford.  We had Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones.  But now we have Lego Batman.  What is wrong here?  If they kept with the trend, they should have made Lego Witness next.  Amish Lego characters would rule!

I cannot believe how advertising failed me.  I saw the Haze ads and I was very interested in the game.  Not that I could get it as I do not have a next generation system, but it looked real cool.  Well, good thing I don't have a system as I may have been duped into buying it.  The reviews have been real bad so far.  At least the ads were good.  And I think I will just watch the ads and bypass the game.

Speaking of characters who need their own video game, when is Captain Caveman getting his own game?  I want to control him and be able to yell out "Captain Caveman!"  But I have a feeling that I am in the minority.

07/01/2008
Lots of interesting information is going around the net.  First off, there is talk of a Chinese company making a Blu-Ray player for the XBOX 360.  I have seen rumors where it is an add-on and where it is a system with it built in.  Either way, I think it is too late to matter.  If there is one thing that gives the PS3 a big advantage over the XBOX 360, it is the Blu-Ray player.  It gives PS3 programmers so much more room to add video, music, levels, graphics and whatever else they want.  And it limits the amount of times you have to swap discs, something that people hoped would be a thing of the past.

The other big news item is how Sony has created their own version of the Achievements called Trophies.  This will please the online gamers who love showing off their accomplishments to the world.  Whether it is as good as Microsoft's Achievements is yet to be seen.  But it is a good step in the right direction. 

I still remember going to a mall years ago and they had a bunch of Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx set up for free play.  It was a totally random thing, I just went there with my girlfriend (who later became my wife) and ended up staying hours playing video games.  It was alot of fun and it gave me a good taste of each system.

06/30/2008
I am always amazed at who reads this blog.  I received an email from Maxim magazine about their video game blog and an article they did on Call of Duty and what they want in it.  If you are a fan of the game, you probably feel the same way.  Personally, I want a super soldier power up, so I can become Captain America, but that is not very authentic.  Anyway, here is the article:

http://www.maxim.com/Eight-Things-We-Want-in-Call-of-Duty-World-at-War/BFG/blogs/2479/26639.aspx?src=dx19:mtd

I see a new Crash Bandicoot game is coming out and it is for all the systems.  I can still remember when the game was called Sony's answer to Mario.  While he did well, old Crash wasn't even in the same league.  But that is still alot better than Blinx.

Will someone please tell me there is a sequel to Marvel Ultimate Alliance in the works.  The game was great and begged for a sequel.

"We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun."  Just felt like singing that.

Speaking of music, I see the Aerosmith Guitar Hero comes out this week.  I think it is a great idea to do one based on a band.  I hope to see some more bands doing this.  What would be even cooler if they could do some for Rock Festivals.  Think of one where you could play as the various bands at Woodstock or Monterey.  Or even cooler, if you could do the old Monsters of Rock tour.  That would be cool.

I am still surprised that no one else went with the Kingdom Heart idea.  I still think Hanna Barbera or Warner Bros could do a great game in the same vein.  Too bad as many gamers like myself were waiting for the Sid and Marty Krofft version of the game.  When you are done laughing, admit that it would be cool to go from the world of Land of the Lost to HR Pufnstuf to the Bugaloos.  It would be so ridiculous that it would be a big hit!

06/28/2008
It has been a long time, but Blizzard has finally announced that Diablo 3 is coming!  For fans like myself, this is good news.  I only finished the second one back in...how long ago was that...oh yeah, in 2000.  Yeah, it has been eight years since it was released.  That puts it on the frequency of releases for Boston albums (for anyone who does not know, the rock group Boston was famous for taking a very long time between albums).  They now have a website for it, so we call all check out the progress.  http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/

I read the USA Today's review of Space Invaders Extreme for the handheld systems and it sounds like fun.  Good to see that the ancient...make that classic game still has some legs.  I think many classic games could be redone and improved.  One of the big things to keep in mind is to stick with the original concept of the game that make it a classic to begin with.  Most classic games were good because they were simple in design, challenging to play and also fun.  Alot of times when they make remakes, they try to add too much to the game and end up ruining it.  Perfect example is the many bad versions of Pitfall that came out since the classic and even the very good sequel.  You remember Super Pitfall for the NES, Pitfall the Mayan Adventure for a bunch of systems and Pitfall 3D for the Playstation. 

Speaking of Pitfall, there is a new one under development for the Wii.  It is called Pitfall The Big Adventure.  Sounds more like Pee Wee's Big Adventure mixed with Pitfall, which could be fun or really bad.  I looked around the net and found a few pictures of the game and to be honest, I am worried about it.  Once again, they make Pitfall Harry look dopey.  It may be good, but I will wait for the reviews before even thinking about it.  Here is a link to the site with some pics.

http://www.joystiq.com/2008/05/12/pitfall-wii-vived-for-the-big-adventure/

Rumors are flying about a Kid Icarus game for the Wii.  It would be really cool if it happened and it looks like the chances of it happening are getting better.  I think Nintendo should look into redoing more of their classic franchises.  I mean how many more Mario games can we play?  What is that?  Oh yeah, there are more of those coming as well.

Speaking of a game that is ripe for a new version, it is Popeye.  There was a forgettable Popeye game for the GBA a few years ago, but it was just a platform game.  What we need is a real good Popeye game with all the classic characters.  I probably talked about this before in this blog but I write so much, I forget what I write.  So if I am repeating myself, skip to next paragraph.  Anyway, they need to have Goon Island in there.  The goons were a great adversary that was not including in the classic arcade game.  You need the Sea Hag and her vulture.  Brutus/Bluto is a given.  I would do a level based on the Sinbad the Sailor cartoon.  I would also do one based on the Ali Baba and the 40 thieves cartoon.  Both are classics and you can find them on pretty much every Popeye public domain cartoon set.  There is alot of stuff you can use.  And you could even throw in some mini games like a Burgertime clone with Wimpy.  There is alot of possibilities there.


06/22/2008
For anyone who has read this blog for any period of time, you know that I have not made a decision on my next generation game system.  My kids have a Wii and it is fun but I still have not chosen between the XBOX 360 or the Playstation 3.  That may change in the coming year as one of the games that I have been waiting for, Fable 2, is nearing completion.  I loved the first one, even if it did not meet all the expectations we had for it.  It was still an awesome game and alot of fun.  The sequel looks to be even better with a ton of improvements.  But as much as I want to play this, I still wanted the other game that Peter Molyneux announced when he did the original Fable, BC.  Maybe we can get him to do it yet.

Another new game that shows alot of promise is The Lord of the Rings: Conquest.  I know that most of you are sick of LOTR games.  We have been bombarded with them over the past decade.  But this one sounds like it is worth another trip to Middle Earth.  The best part of it is you can be the bad guys and start the game from where the Nazgul kill Frodo and take the ring.  I don't know about you, but I would like to kill some hobbits.  While I am at it, I would also like to kill some elves and dwarves as well.  At least this game is coming out for the PS3 and XBOX 360, so I don't have to choose a system to play it.

I see that the new Iron Man game received bad reviews.  Too bad as there was a string of good Marvel games.  The Ultimate Alliance and the X-Men Legends were great games.  Spider-man have been pretty good and the Hulk was good fun.  I guess they were due for a clunker.

Anyone who says all the good games come out during the holiday season would be wrong this year.  When you have Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Mario Kart Wii all come out within weeks of each other, you have an awesome spring. 

Wouldn't it be cool if there was a program that you could take any old 2D video game and it would make a 3D version of it?  It would be awesome to play games like Joust and Frogger in 3D (and I do not mean those crappy Hasbro games).  Or how about a 3D version of Jungle Hunt or even Pitfall.  I know it will not happen, but I have to dream.

Know how people are always talking about flying cars?  I for one hope they are never invented.  I see too many drivers that cannot handle having four directions to go in.  I do not want to see them have two more directions (up and down) to deal with.  If this ever happens, sell all your insurance stock.

I hate to admit it, but I like Klax better than Tetris.  I know Tetris is the original, but I just find Klax more enjoyable.  That and the woman who does the voice sounds sexy.  "Klax wave."

06/17/2008
The work on converting the banner ads over has gone better than expected.  Still have alot to do, but I have the majority of them done.  So I decided to talk a little about games as it is good therapy.  And unlike Lucy from Charlie Brown, it does not cost me a nickel.



I see that Wacky Races is coming back to video games!  For anyone who does not know, this is the third time that I am aware of that the classic cartoon series is graced with a video game.  The first was for the NES and unfortunately it was mostly a side scroller featuring Muttley.   Then much later, there was a very good Dreamcast version.  Using cell shading, it really looked alot like the cartoon and was a racing game with all the different cars.  So you could decide if you wanted to be Penelope Pitstop, the Arkansas Chugabug or my favorite, the Creepy Coupe.  The game was alot of fun and one more reason why the Dreamcast was a great system.  Now, they are releasing a version for the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii.  I hope it is good as I really did enjoy the Dreamcast version, but the pics I have seen for it look pretty bad. 

Metal Gear Solid 4 is finally out!  The commercials for it are quite good and really get you interested in the game.  Not that the game needed commercials to get people interested.  They have been waiting for this game for years.  Early reviews are very good for the game as expected.  The first review was a 10/10, which is as good as it gets.  This gives Sony another big reason to get people to buy the system and word is the Metal Gear bundled systems are selling fast.

Years ago when this video game battle had not begun, I wrote an article about how the market could support three video game systems.  Historically, there were always two dominant systems and any others were doomed.  From the days of the Atari and Intellivision battle, it has pretty much been that way.  Those two dominated while systems like the Odyssey 2, Bally and Emerson Arcadia struggled to survive.  Then later, you had the NES and Sega Master System dominating while the Atari 7800 floundered (it can be said that the NES pretty much dominated and the SMS also floundered, but that does not help my point).  Once again, you had the SNES and Genesis as the top dogs in what was the most even match of systems.  And while those two battled, the poor Turbo Grafx struggled.  But this time, I felt the market had grown enough to be able and support three systems.  And know what?  It has!  All three have sold very well.  All three have alot of great software out.  And all three have bright futures.  Shows that history does not have to repeat itself.

Here we are a month later and you still cannot find a Wii Fit in the store.  Not that it matters as you still cannot find a Wii system to play it on.  I have never seen a system stay so hot so long.  Sure, there have been shortages in the past.  There have been systems that could not stay in stock.  But that always lasted for a holiday and within six months, they were readily available.  But this is two years and the systems is still hard to find.  This is absurd.  With the success of it, you would think that you could hook it up to your car and it would double your gas mileage.  Or that it printed money or turned scrap metal into gold.

 
06/12/2008
I know it has been a bit since I wrote here, but I have been extremely busy.  eBay decided to switch their banner ad business from Commission Junction to handling it themselves.  It happened on June 1st and I found out about June 5th.  So all my free time has been spent switching the banner ads over to the new format.  Since ebay banners are the main source of revenue for my sites (and the reason I can keep it free), it is critical.  And when you have 4,000 pages, it is alot of work.  So you may not see alot of updates until I get it done.

My kids got their Mario Kart game a few days ago for the Wii and they have already gotten their money worth.  The only problem is they occupy the best television in the house (my wife wanted to Wii on the living room television as she likes to play it as well).  But it is summer and it gives me a reason to get some sun and it opens up the computer for me to do more work.  But to the game, from what I watched of it, the game looks very good.  There are a ton of different tracks and characters.   The graphics are nice and it plays well.  I know people will say how can the graphics look good, since it is on the Wii.  But how good do you want it to look?  It is supposed to be cartoony and it does a great job at that.  The only thing I would have liked added was some of the stuff from the Mario Kart arcade game.  In that version, you had Pac-Man as a playable character.  A few guests like they did in Super Smash Bros would have been cool.  Maybe Sonic and have some fun and throw in guys like Q*Bert.  Or even better, dump the Mario Kart name and called it Nintendo Kart and add all the Nintendo characters.  Wouldn't it be cool to add in Samus, Pikachu and others?  Just a thought.

It has been a bit since I spotlighted a few sites, so here we go!  The first one tells about how movies drive up the value of video games based on the movie.  It is interesting and gives you a reason to be like me and wait.  But anyway, it is an interesting read:

http://blog.videogamepricecharts.com/2008/06/summer-movies-increase-game-prices-go.html

Did you ever want to say you were among the first to discover a cool new thing?  Whether it is the next upcoming band or an indie movie, it is always cool to say I heard of that before it becomes big news.  Now this site may not become that, but it has a cool feel to it and someday people may say, yeah I remember him when he was doing strange cartoons on the internet.  Chris Blundell is starting a few machinima cartoons.  They are done on the Amiga computer, which was way ahead of its time.  One is called Fragile Man and stars a hero who can come back but it so fragile that anything kills him.  There is alot of comic possibilities there.  The other is called the the Hit Squad and right now it is just a opening title but it shows promise.  I know that I will be checking back to see when he posts more.  Oh and you have to like a guy who is willing to do a video with his hair messed up. 

http://thesimulatedcity.com/

Time for some video game memories.  One of the games that I remember having alot of fun with on the NES was Bases Loaded.  I used to play alot of games against my one cousin.  We both had our teams and we would simulate a season.  There was one pitcher who was ridiculously fast on my team.  His fastball could reach 115 miles an hour, faster than anyone has been recorded (at least officially).  But the problem with him was that after about three innings my cousin would adjust to his speed and pound him.  So I did what any good coach would do, I made him a reliever.  I still remember my cousin's face when after facing one of my junkball pitchers, I brought him in relief.  It made his already ridiculous fastball seem even faster.  It was great!


06/04/2008
Watched King of Kong yesterday and I must say it was better than I expected.  Being a documentary about video games, I did not have high hopes for it.  But these guys did it differently than expected.  They took something that 95% of the population could care less about (getting the high score on Donkey Kong) and made a compelling story out of it.  Did they take so liberties?  Probably.  Did they purposefully make Steve Wiebe out to be the hero and Billy Mitchell as the villain?  Most definitely.  But then this is a movie and the first goal of a movie is to entertain people (some would say make money, but if you do not entertain, can you expect to make money?).  Yeah, they did skew it to make Billy look like the villain and to make Steve look like some poor guy who had everything go wrong and this was his chance to redeem himself.  It was a classic Hollywood story with a hero you could root for and a villain you could boo at.  Was this fair?  No.  Was it accurate?  Probably not entirely.  But it made for a good story and that is what matters.  I am sure that Billy is probably a little upset about his portrayal, but if you look at the big picture, he stole the show.  He will long be remembered after everyone forgets about Steve.  We always remember a good villain and Billy played the role very well.  Good job, you were the main reason that people watched something that they would normally not even bother with.

06/02/2008
I started taping and watching a series on VH1 called Classic Albums.  They take a classic rock album and talk about the making of the album from both a technical standpoint as well as the stories of the band at that period of time.  It is very interesting to see how these albums came to be.  It made me think of how it would be interesting to see a similar thing with video games.  I know that G4 did a series called Icons where they talk about games and systems, but they really did not get into the nuts and bolts of the games.  What it mostly was is a handful of video game journalists spewing stuff that anyone can easily google.  You know the stuff like how the Playstation was created or the inspiration for Pac-Man.  Yeah, we all know that.  What I want to learn about is the guys at Bungie dealing with the challenges of following up two very popular Halo titles with a sequel that had ridiculously high expectations on a new platform.  Or I want to hear about the excitement and the challenges of making Final Fantasy VII on the Playstation.  How it must have felt to move towards CD with so much more space to work with and also the challenges of trying to keep within a budget.  I think it would be interesting to hear from numerous people involved from the programmers to the marketing department who have to figure out the best way to sell this game to even play testers who can talk about how they felt about the game as it was in development.  Not sure if there would be enough interest in a show like this, but I think it has merit.
 
05/31/2008
I was reading through some newsgroups and came across a discussion about another video game crash.  The guy talked about how the glut of FPS, the high prices of consoles and piracy were going to kill the market.  After reading this, I laughed.  I had a real good laugh.  Why?  Because someone comes out on the internet every six months and says the same thing.  People have been predicting the next video game crash since the days of the Sega Genesis and probably earlier than that.  And guess what?  It has not happened.  If anything, the market has gotten bigger and stronger.  And it will continue to do so.  Can a crash happen?  It is possible.  But I think the chances are remote.  The players are too big, the penetration is too great and it is part of the culture.  Just like buying and renting movies, video games are a leisure activity that is part of people's lives.

I can see a change in the video game market down the road.  While the industry is supporting three consoles, I can see a day where there is only two.  But then it can change and we get a fourth console.  Who knows, the market has grown so much that it can probably support four consoles. 

One change that will be interesting to see is how quickly video game downloads take over the industry.  It is starting and it is growing.  Look for it to keep growing as it drops the cost of development.

05/30/2008
Is there any company greedier than Major League Baseball?  First, the force little leagues to either pay them or stop using their team names.  Now, they are suing to get money from fantasy leagues.  Makes me glad I did not go to any games last year and doubt I will bother this year.  Would rather buy a video game than make the overpaid players any richer or the extremely greedy owners any more money.

I see that the game, Legendary: The Box is dropping The Box part and just being called Legendary.  Probably a good idea as the old name sounds like the name of an adult film.

Saw an ad for the new Hulk video game.  The last one was quite good and this one looks to build on the last one.  Hope they do not stray too far from a winning formula.  All we need is more of everything.  More destruction, more villains to fight, more cities to topple, get the idea?

I set my DVR to tape The King of Kong.  I have heard about it from many people and have been wanting to see it.  But being cheap, I waited to see it for free.  It is debuting on G4 this weekend and I have it set to tape.  Now if they could only get the Howard Scott Warshaw Atari DVDs on G4, I would be happy.

Is it me or does online gaming on the Wii suck?  I watch my kids battle people on Super Smash Bros.  The problem is there is no talking, you have no idea who these people are.  For all I know, it could be computer controlled characters and we would not know any different. 

I see Bioshock is coming to the PS3.  Wonder if they will do any changes to it?  New levels or other stuff?  That was one of the games that made me want a XBOX 360 over a PS3.  But now that Bioshock and Elder Scroll Oblivion are on the PS3, I may leaning more towards that system.  Still not getting either until this Christmas or next year. 


I see the Wii Fit is still sold out everywhere.  They are going for $160.00+ on Amazon.  When will people ever learn?


05/25/2008
Mark this under the strangest pairing in video game history (OK, maybe not the strangest, but still strange).  We have Mortal Kombat vs the DC Universe.  Get past Batman, which makes sense and what do you have?  Alot of super powered heroes in bright costumes battling a bunch of dark and dangerous fighters.  Maybe it is just me, but it is silly.  Superman could easily beat the whole Mortal Kombat universe himself.  Ditto for Green Lantern.  If you want it to be realistic (I know the last time they made Mortal Kombat realistic, we ended up with a live action movie), then you need to keep it to the heroes who are not too powerful.  Or you can do what they always do in every super hero fighting game, make them all equal.  And what is more pathetic than that?  It is like the Justice League fighting game that was on the SNES and Genesis, the one where Aquaman could beat Superman in a fight.  Or Green Arrow could beat Wonder Woman.

While I am still getting used to the concept of Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, I have a few suggestions for them.  Add in some not so well known DC Heroes.  We all know that the big eight will be there (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Robin), but what about some of the other ones?  My suggestions are a few weapon based ones who could add to the game.  I know Mortal Kombat is not about weapons, but who cares.  First off, I would like to see Travis Morgan, the Warlord.  He is one of my favorite characters and unfortunately, he is pretty forgotten.  But with his gun and sword, he would make an interesting character.  And if you gave him his own level, you could have dinosaurs in the background.  Another one I would like to see is Sgt. Rock.  Yeah, he is a soldier but anyone who could kill about five thousand Nazis himself is worthy of inclusion.  Another one I would like to see is Changeling from the Teen Titans, also know as Beast Boy.  With his ability to turn into any animal, he would be a cool addition.  Probably drive the programmers crazy, but who cares. 


05/22/2008
I see that the Wii Fit is not only a huge hit, but is sold out everywhere.  And this is not enough, people on Amazon and ebay are hawking it for ridiculous prices.  I have seen it go anywhere from $150.00 to $300.00.  All I can say is ...WAIT!  You went this long without having it and there will be more in a week or so.  And more after that.  This is not a limited edition item.  It will not guarantee you to lose weight.  It will not turn scrap metal into gold.  It is just a piece of software that came out and sold out of its initial run.  Once again, Nintendo severely underestimated the demand.  That or they are once again trying to create hype for their product.  I am starting to wonder about a company that keeps having shortages. 

Read an article about Fallout 3 and it is looking like a really cool game.  I really like the idea of having a dog roam around with you.  But then Bethesda has a great reputation for making really good games that give you a ton and I do mean a ton of gameplay.  Now if we could get them to make a Dawn of the Dead game.

Now that Grand Theft Auto 4 is out, we all are asking, what is next from Rockstar?  I am sure the shareholders are asking this as the company is too dependant on that title and we are at least a year, if not more from another installment.  Most likely a few years.


05/20/2008
Just read an article where a person talked about how Sega should make another console.  Their argument is the company is losing so much money as a third party publisher that it is a way for them to rebrand themselves.  While i will admit that the Dreamcast is among my favorite systems of all-time and I love Sega as a company, I think this is suicide.  The video game industry is too strong for a new player to enter.  With Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, you have three companies that have tons of resources, strong brands and solid franchises.  There is no place for a third company.  Especially a company that is financially weak like Sega.  If Apple decided to get in, there would be a chance.  They have the money, the ability to make cutting edge products and the brand name.  Sega does not.  Now a merger of the two, could be something.

To be honest, if a company wants to get into the video game business, they would need to do something very different.  One possibility would be moving towards virtual reality.  If you could make a system that could utilize a tracking helmet and a suit that allowed you to move and control the character on the screen, you may have something.  The big problems is the technology is not really there.  And the cost would be outrageous.  But something like that could give a company a big advantage. 

A better choice for Sega would be a handheld unit.  They had some success with their Game Gear and if they could do a game system that was a blend of the PSP and the I Phone, they may have something.  Have the big screen and the capabilities of the PSP but also some of the uniqueness of the I Phone.  Touch screen, ability to do multiple things (surf internet, gps, etc...) and just look and work really cool.  And it would be easy for them to port alot of their classics on the handheld market as well as update them. 

I still think Sega's best future is to be bought by someone other than Sammy.  That was a mistake.  If Nintendo or Microsoft bought them and gave the development teams the resources and the time to make great games, I think Sega could rise again.  But I don't think they have a solid game plan in place.  And I don't think they have the resources and the time to really do things right. 

05/19/2008
I miss the old days of the internet.  I have been on the internet since about 1992.  I remember when I would go on the newsgroups for classic video games and they had newsgroup auctions and people would trade games.  It was a fun time.  I also remember paying by the hour to go online and having slow dial-up and almost everything was text because any picture bigger than a postage stamp took hours to load.  Come to think about it, maybe I don't miss those days as much as I thought.

I still remember when I got my first unlimited internet provider.  I switched from AOL to Compuserve WOW because it was unlimited for one monthly fee.  It was fun to be able to go around the internet and not look at a clock.  It was alot of fun until they went belly-up and I ended up back at AOL who then added their own unlimited plan.

Enough talk about ancient internet, let's talk video games.  The Wii Fit comes out this Tuesday.  There is alot of talk about how it will be a huge seller and get even more non gamers into gaming.  I am on the fence about the game.  Personally, I have zero interest in it, but then I don't need a video game system to keep in shape.  But if it gets people in better shape, then I am all for it.  But will it become a fitness craze?  Probably not.  But Sweating to the Oldies was a big hit, so what do I know?

Speaking of the Wii Fit, maybe they should have signed Richard Simmons as a spokesperson.

I keep hearing hype about the new Hulk movie.  I have seen the trailers and I must say that it does not make me want to see it.  It looks fun, but not fun enough to get me to part with my money.  But then I am cheap and generally wait for movies to come out on DVD so I can rent them from the library for free.

I went to the grocery store and saw a DVD rental machine outside the store.  You put in your credit card and they charge you a dollar a day to rent.  You just drop the movie off at any of these machines when you are done.  I actually thought it was a good idea.  It made me wonder if they will eventually do something like that with video games.  I think the only thing that would limit it is there are three video game formats where there is one movie format.

05/15/2008
As if we had any doubt, Grand Theft Auto 4 is a big hit.  They said it sold $500 million worth the first weekend.  Guess that means a fifth one is a given.

Speaking of Grand Theft Auto 4, I just saw the commercial for it.  To say I was not impressed by the commercial is an understatement.  Not even sure why you need to bother with commercials for a game you know will sell big.  Oh well, at least the game is great.

Right after the GTA4 commercial was one for the video game, Haze.  Unlike the GTA commercial, I thought this was very good and made me want to find out more about the game.  But then they probably need a commercial more than GTA.

While writing this blog, I received a call about how I won a Caribbean cruise.  I said it before and I will say it again, if you buy anything from a phone solicitor, you deserve to lose your money.  One of my rules is to never buy anything from a phone salesperson.  While I am sure there are some legit ones out there, more are crooked.  The quickest way to get ripped off is to deal with them.  Just do what I do, as soon as they start their speech, hang up.  The sad thing is that I am on the don't call list, but it still does not stop them.  And with the economy going south, look for even more of them.

The only thing more pathetic than phone solicitors are the people who put signs on the side of the road.  You know when you are getting off the highway and someone has a sign selling a hot tub or they will clean your carpet for some really low price.  If you do your shopping from some sign on the side of the road, then you are even dumber than the people who buy from phone solicitors. 

Back to video games.  I think I am going to buy my kids Mario Kart this weekend.  Got that government stimulus money and figure I will give a little to the economy.  Most of it will go into savings, but we will spend a little. 

Speaking of the government stimulus money, next time they do this, they should make sure that everyone spends it.  And the best way to do that is to give people a Visa or Mastercard preloaded with the money.  That way they have to spend it.
 
05/11/2008
That was odd.  The text on this page went from white to black.  Not sure why, but it is fixed now.

Happy Mother's Day! 

Just received some bad news.  The Classic Gaming Expo has been cancelled for this year.  For anyone who does not know, this is the biggest video game convention for classic games and while I only attended once (in 1999), it was a blast.  I keep wanting to get back but being in Ohio and the show being in Las Vegas, I find it hard to go.  And with three kids that are too young to gamble, Vegas is not the best place for a family vacation.  But here is hoping this is just a one year thing and they are back on track next year. 

People who saw the Iron Man movie said at the end there is a bit after the credits that hint at an upcoming Avengers movie.  That sounds great.  And that would mean an Avengers video game, which could be very cool.  Or it could be a recycled X-Men Legends. 

Speaking of Iron Man, the movie is getting really good reviews and doing great at the box office.  The video game is not faring as well, at least in reviews.  It sounds like a paint by number movie game.  You know, the rushed out to be released in conjunction with the movie and being average in every way.  Too bad as Iron Man has alot of potential as a character, but it sounds like they are wasting it.  Sorta like every licensed game during the NES era, where they just changed the main character and the background, but they all were the same side scrolling Mario clone. 

05/06/2008
The reviews are pouring in for Grand Theft Auto 4 and Mario Kart.  So far, GTA4 is getting rave reviews as expected.  People can say what they want about Rockstar (and they do), but the one thing they cannot say is they make bad games.  With a few exceptions (State of Emergency), you always get a top notch product with a ton of gameplay. 

Now Mario Kart on the other hand is getting good to average reviews.  Like all Nintendo products, it is well made.  But also like quite a few Nintendo products, it is recycled.  The word is that it is not the leap forward people expected.  Super Mario Galaxy took the Mario franchise to new heights.  The new Legend of Zelda was a big step forward (and no cute kid as the lead player) and really showed the potential of the Wii controller.  Super Smash Bros for the Wii took what worked and added a bunch of new characters, levels and power-ups.  But Mario Kart doesn't do that.  In many reviews, it is a step down from the Gamecube version.  Oh well, no one can accuse Nintendo of not recycling.  Let us hope they have some better games coming or it will be a bad year for Wii owners.  When Wii Fit is one of the big releases for your system, things do not look that good.

Speaking of the Wii, one game that does intrigue me is Boom Blox from Steven Spielberg.  From what I seen, it looks like a fun game and with his name on it, the quality should be there.  The guy has enough great movies to make me willing to buy the game just on his name.  That may end up a mistake, but I am going to consider it.

I must admit that I am addicted to Puzzle Quest.  The game is a ton of fun and there is alot to the game.  One would expect a puzzle game to get old quickly, but this one has enough thrown in to keep me interested.  From different characters with different abilities, to branching storylines to different challenges, the game is great!  Good to see them take a tired genre and breath some new life into it.

Maybe it is just me, but shouldn't there be a new Diablo game already?  I know Blizzard is busy getting filthy rich of World of Warcraft, but some of us really enjoyed the first two Diablo games and already beat them.  So how about a third one?  Or did I miss it along the way?
 
04/24/2008
I hate to say this, but I am actually excited by the Aliens game that Sega is working on.  It looks really good and sounds like they are going to be true to the franchise.  Unlike that lame set of action figures that came out about a decade ago.  Not sure if you remember, where they had a Rhino Alien and a Gorilla Alien and some Predator with goat horns.  Glad to see they are going to stick with the very scary original aliens.  But what I fear is that it is being done by Sega.  At one time, Sega was my favorite game company.  They made unique and original games and were not afraid of being different.  Granted, that was when the Dreamcast was out, which is like eight years ago.  Since then, they have made some good games and a whole bunch of bad games, most of which have Sonic in the title.  Guess I should be happy that it is not Sonic vs the Aliens.  Now that would suck.

It will be interesting to see which game sells more copies, Grand Theft Auto 4 or Mario Kart.  One would think that GTA 4 would easily win this, but the Wii has outsold both the XBOX 360 and the PS3 by a big margin and the percentage of Nintendo owners who buy Mario titled games is pretty high.  Wonder what the odds at Las Vegas would be?

Awhile back, you may remember how I signed up to try and be the Gamer Guy for G4.  Well, I did not win.  It was basically a popularity contest where the person with the most internet friends that were willing to vote daily would win.  Good way to pick talent.  Anyway, the problem I have now is that I get a ton of junk mail from them.  They want to know if I want to sign up for the Cutest Pet Show or the Date a Redneck Show.  I had no idea there were so many bad television show jobs out there.  Guess I will have to add them to my block file.

04/21/2008
Finally played Puzzle Quest on the Wii and at first, I hated the game.  The controls were terrible.  Using the pointer was a mess.  Then I switched the controls to the Nunchuk and it is a whole different game!  Slower moving but more precise.  And in a puzzle game, precise is the key.  Now I find the game very addictive.  So that is 3 good games out of three that I bought for the Wii (for those keeping track at home, the games are Fishing Master, Endless Ocean and Puzzle Quest). 

I also played some of the other game I bought, Safari Photo Africa for the PC.  It is a fun game and the animals move fairly realistic.  Well, some of them do.  Others do the same thing over and over and remind me of the animals on the Disney Jungle Cruise ride.  But overall, it is a fun game.

Finally bought a webcam to do video blogs.  Just have to learn how to use it.  I got it working, which is half the battle.  But there is a bunch of stuff I can do like create avatars, change backgrounds and other stuff.  Give me a few weeks of trying it out.

Remember Nintendo Power magazine?  As far as I know, it is still coming out.  Anyway, our friends at T-Minus World did a spoof of it that is supposed to be the lost pages.  Some pretty funny stuff, if you don't mind a more adult humor.  Anyway, check it out and have a laugh.

http://the-minusworld.com/2008/04/20/the-lost-pages-of-nintendo-power-magazine/


04/18/2008
I am looking for investors for my new video game musical.  It is titled, Super Mario the Musical and stars Mario as he makes his way through the mushroom kingdom to save the princess.  So far I have the title and the person I want to star as Mario.  I need someone with a strong mustache and a good singing voice for the lead role.  Who better to fit this role than the one and only, Tony Orlando? 

   

Tell me that he does not look like Mario, only more suave.  And the man can sing.  It is a perfect combination.  Now all I need is someone to play Princess Peach and especially Bowser.  Then I am ready to work on the songs.  So if you are looking to invest in a can't miss opportunity, this is it.

In my quest to get all the games that no one else buys for the Wii, I picked up another game on the recommendation of a friend.  Puzzle Quest combines puzzle games with an RPG.  Sounds unique enough for me.  Picked it up used at Gamestop and used my Edge card to get that additional 10% off.  Now all I need is for Geometry Wars to go down in price. 


04/15/2008
I cannot believe that Madden the video game series is going to be 20 years old this year.  Madden the person wishes he was 20 years old this year.  Anyway, I can still remember when that game first came out.  I wonder if that makes it the longest consecutive running video game series?

If you bought a video game that was supposed to be created by one of your favorite programmers and you later found out that they had absolutely nothing to do with it, other than lend their name, would it change your opinion of the game?  I ask this because I remember when a ton of people really liked Milli Vannilli and then they found out someone else sang the songs.  After finding that out, they threw out their records.  I always wonder why.  The songs still sounded the same.  I guess if you were really in love with the guys who you thought sang it, maybe you were let down, but it still does not make sense to me.

We are mere weeks from Grand Theft Auto 4.  We all know it will be a big seller, but the questions I want to ask are will it sell as well as the previous series and which system will sell more copies?  I am betting on the XBOX 360 selling more now, but the PS3 selling more in the long run.

Besides Grand Theft Auto, we are nearing the release of Metal Gear Solid.  The game that looked like it would be delayed to infinity, is finally going to be released.  Add GTA 4 and the new Gran Turismo and you have some serious system movers for the PS3.

I bought a computer game.  A game called Safari Photo Africa Wild Earth.  They have a ride based on it at the zoo, but I was too cheap to pay the $7.00 or whatever they charged to play it.  So I ended up buying the game for just about the same price.  Yeah, it doesn't come with a motion simulator, but then I can also play it over and over.

04/03/2008
Want to own every NES game and not have to hunt?  Have a trust fund that you can easily tap?  Then check out this auction. 

NES Ebay Auction

Want to know what a video game cost and are too cheap to buy one of the magazines out there?  Then check out this site with a ton of prices.  Just keep in mind that prices of video games fluctuate and the Final Fantasy you were saving for your retirement may not keep going up.  Anyway, check out this site and see if you are rich yet?

www.videogamepricecharts.com


04/02/2008
I think it is time for someone to make a sequel to the Goonies game for the NES.  I know it was based on the movie and its not like a sequel to that is in the works.  But maybe a new game could lead to a new movie and then Cyndi Lauper could do a new song.

Speaking of the 80's, why didn't Billy Idol ever get a video game?  This man was perfect for a side scrolling beat-em up.  And with cool songs like Rebel Yell, you have a good sound track for the game.

It took a bit, but I am finally getting some votes on the Gamer Guy contest.  I was averaging about 3 votes a day, but the last few days I received 7 votes and then 11 votes!  Too bad the contest is almost over.  At least I made a late run.

Here is a strange article about how much video game money is worth compared to real money.

http://www.maxim.com/7VideoGameCurrenciesStrongerThantheUSDollar/articles/22332.aspx?src=dx2:mtd


03/31/2008
Tired of wading through thousands of pages on ebay for video games?  Well, you can either create a time machine and go back to 1996 when all the video game stuff was in one section (the good old days) or you can check out a new site that is trying to compete with the Big E.  But unlike ebay where you can find corn flakes that look like states and Britney Spears hair for sale, this one only sells video games.  It is new, so don't expect alot of listings yet, but they are giving you $15.00 in free listings, so you can put up your stack of Super Mario/Duck Hunt carts that you bought years ago at Funcoland at a dime each and hope for the best.

http://chasingthechuckwagon.com/

I am amazed at how many people are into World of Warcraft.  I know it is THE online game at the moment, but it still amazes me.  People that I never thought would be gamers are playing this game. 

Why is it that in America, we all drive on the right side of the road, but when it comes to walking in a store or anywhere, we walk anywhere and everywhere?  You would think we would follow the same pattern as driving, but no, that would be too smart.  Instead you have people going left and right and stopping in the middle.  Just go to a department store or supermarket and watch people walk.  It is pretty funny.

A PC game that I am really excited about is Sims 3.  The thing is that I have no interest in actually playing the game.  I could care less about playing The Sims.  But I am excited about the character creator the game has.  I want to use it to make characters to use in comic strips on my other sites.

Great news!  In case you have not heard, there is a third High School Musical coming out!  That means it will soon be followed by yet another High School Musical video game!  Time to reserve your copy now!  Hooray for more shovelware, which will probably end up on the Wii and DS.  Now all we need is another Drake and Josh game and we can all die happy.
 
03/28/2008
Finally making some progress on
Endless Ocean for the Wii.  After spending hours trying to find the whale shark (who would think a fish as big as a whale shark would be hard to find?), I finally came across it and that opened up a new section.  Now I have an underwater ruin of a city to explore.  Led to a bunch of new fish and some other stuff that hopefully will unlock more sections.  Really enjoying the game.  Now I need to find the giant squid.  I saw it once, but did not get to add it to my book of creatures.

Are video games an investment?  This article shows how buying some video games gave a better return on investment than popular stocks like Apple.  But keep in mind that this is just for fun.  I would not recommend investing in video games.  Unlike stocks, they are not as easy to sell. 

http://blog.videogamepricecharts.com/2008/03/chrono-trigger-better-investment-than.html

I was playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii with my son and saw there was a character you could play that made me break out laughing.  You could play as the R.O.B. the Robot from the original NES.  I had to play as the character, even though he played pretty lousy.  Or was it me?  Still it was fun to see the character in there.  Kudos to Nintendo for making me laugh.  Or as they say on the internet - LOL.

I was thinking about Super Smash Bros and came up with a good idea.  They should talk to Midway about teaming up next time and adding some of the classic Midway characters and especially games for levels.  Think of battling on the classic Joust level or Moon Patrol with the ships flying overhead dropping bombs.  They could even have a cool battle in the bar of Tapper.  There are alot of cool possibilities.  Or maybe they can make it downloadable levels that you can buy online.


03/24/2008
Decided to get serious (as serious as I can get) about the G4 Gamer Guy position.  So I uploaded three videos and some new photos.  If you want a good laugh, check them out and vote for me. 

Click Here to View my Profile

Went to the NEOVGCON and came away with mixed feelings.  I thought the foundation for a really good show were set and it was really good to see a show that was more for modern gamers than classic gamers (which most shows are geared towards).  There was alot to do at the show and it was well worth the admission price.  But it was also very empty.  The attendance had to be a disappointment and the vendors were pretty much big corporations.  If you were looking to buy, you would have left disappointed.  But if you came to game, you had a great time!  They had a bunch of computers set up to play.  There were three Wii's set on Super Smash Bros.  There were also a PS2, XBOX and XBOX 360 set up for play.  Add in some arcade machines and plenty of tournaments and you have alot of bang for your buck.  I hope the show will return next year as I enjoyed it.  But they need to leave the sports players for the card shows and concentrate on advertising. 


03/20/2008
If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?  Would you buy all your family houses?  Would you give a big portion to charity?  Would you tell your boss off as you walked out the door?  If you are a true gamer, you would try to top everyone on this list.  Here are some seriously crazy game setups.  These are for the people who like their gaming cutting edge and their debt sky high.  Check them out!

http://www.geekabout.com/2008-03-17-503/9-home-gaming-setups-better-than-yours.html

I don't know why I am excited about the new Iron Man game.  I know it will be a letdown.  And I don't have any of the systems it is for, but I cannot help it.  I have been an Iron Man fan for a long time.  When I was a kid, I remember doing those Marvel subscription deals and my four books were Amazing Spiderman, Conan, Incredible Hulk and of course, Iron Man.  Looking over that list, that would be a cool super hero team as well, though Conan would be a bit out of his element.

Speaking of the Hulk, I see he has another game coming out and it looks awesome!  His last game was great fun!  I hope they build on the already great game and make it even better.  Oh and the movie trailer looks pretty good as well.

Talking about movies, when is Gamera getting a video game?  Godzilla has had about a dozen games but where is everyone's favorite turtle that doesn't yell cowabunga?  Give the dude a video game and make it snappy!

Remember the Beavis and Butt-Head game for the Sega Genesis?  You know where you had hock a loogey contest and other juvenile stuff.  Maybe it is just me, but I think they need another game.  I know it would be stupid, but what were you expecting from them?  Half-Life?

Speaking of old games, another one I remember was Ranma 1/2 on the NES.  Based on the anime, it was nothing special but fun.  With this in mind, they should think of doing some kind of big adventure game with all the popular anime characters.  Think of a game with all the Ranma characters and Fist of the North Star, Astro Boy, Tobor the 8th Man, Speed Racer, Star Blazers and more.  Just leave the Legend of the Overfiend behind.  We don't need no stinking tentacles. 


03/17/2008
Time to mark my calendar.  On June 17th and 18th, they are having an auction for the Geauga Lake rides and other stuff left at the park.  Time for me to measure my backyard and see which rides would fit.  Wonder how I would get zoned to put a Dodgem in my backyard?

The NEOVGCON show that I have mentioned here a few times has even more on their website.  If you can make it to the Cleveland area on the weekend of Easter (yeah, that weekend), this show looks amazing.  They have a ton of tournaments now as well as former and current Cleveland Browns players, Arena football players and cheerleaders.  They are going to have a bunch of Wii kiosks set up for free play and more!  I will be there on Saturday.  You can find me as I will be wearing my custom made t-shirt for my Arcade After Dark site.  I had it made for events like this.  Gotta advertise!

Whatever happened to the next Gameboy?  Remember how Nintendo said that the DS was not replacing the Gameboy, but rather it would be its own brand.  Maybe it is just me, but I have not heard any news of a replacement for the very long in the tooth Gameboy. 

Anyone hear any more rumors about the Apple video game system?  Awhile back, rumors flew around the internet about how Apple was thinking of getting into the video game market.  I think it would be a crazy idea, but Apple has already proven with the Ipod and Iphone that they can compete in pretty much any market they want.  But they would have their hands full battling Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.  Talk about some serious competition.

Wonder how long it will take before we see games released on Blu Ray for the computer?  It took forever for game companies to switch from CD to DVD. 

I really want to see some more Burger King XBOX games.  For the cheap price, they were not that bad.  Maybe they could make Wiii games this time.  They could have a Burger King mini game collection where you could use your Wii controller to do various jobs at Burger King.  You could have burger flipping contests, filling the condiments contest, making sandwiches where you have to remember the right ingredients for each sandwich (cheesburger with lettuce, tomato and mustard only).  That way they can train the next generation of workers.  And with the way this economy is going, there is going to be alot more people applying for jobs at Burger King.

With the high price of oil, aren't you glad your video game systems run on electricity instead of gasoline? 

Ever think how Frogger is pretty much the same story as the Warriors?  You have to battle your way back home.  OK, maybe Frogger doesn't really battle anyone, he more dodges them, but you get my point?  You don't?  Oh well, forget it. 

What is Jeff Minter up to these days?  I have not heard much about him.  I miss his great games like Llamatron and Tempest 2000.  They should have these games for download on the Wii or XBOX 360.  Who knows, maybe they do and I missed it.

03/10/2008
Just read that Ziff Davis has filed bankruptcy.  For anyone who does not know, Ziff Davis publishes magazines.  A few you may have heard of are Electronic Gaming Monthly, PC Magazine and Games for Windows.  I will miss getting my free subscriptions to EGM that you can always find on the internet.  While the magazine was not great, it made for an enjoyable read.  But like most print publications, the internet and the general lack or reading are hurting it.  Not to mention the much higher cost of paper and the extra costs of distribution (ie: higher gas prices).

When I went to buy Super Smash Bros for my boys, I looked around for the best deal.  I knew they wanted the game that day, so internet ordering was out of the question.  The only deals for the game were Circuit City giving you half off the strategy guide if you bought it (with the internet, does anyone really need a strategy guide?) and Toys R Us gave you half off a second game with the purchase of Super Smash Bros.  The problem was the games you could get at half off were pretty lame.  Mario and Sonic at the Olympics.  Sounds like a Marx Brothers movie.  The Bee Movie game.  Yeah, like I would buy that.  They had a few other games that were either games we had or bad games.  So I ended up going to Best Buy.  At least I could use the Best Buy rewards card and get closer to a $5.00 gift certificate.

While at Best Buy, I took a look at their XBOX games.  They had a ton of games priced between $5.00 and $10.00 each.  Know how many I bought?  Zero.  All the games pretty much sucked.  That or I had no interest in playing them.  And why is it that whenever I see cheap XBOX games, Enclave is there.  Exactly how many of this game did they make? 
 
03/09/2008
For the heck of it, I put myself in the running for the Gamer Guy position on G4.  I figure I have like almost no chance as I am probably too old and not cool enough for the position.  But what the heck, I stuck it up there and have 16 votes so far.  So if you want to push me to the top (yeah right), go to
gotcast.com and vote for tomheroes.  If nothing else, you can laugh at my photo.  Maybe I will make a video with me and my Ms. Pacman hand puppet and put it up there.  It may get me the sympathy votes.

My sons (yeah, I have twin boys and an older son, three total) bought Super Smash Bros. Brawl today.  They used their birthday money to get it.  I watched them play it for awhile and it looks pretty cool.  A ton of characters, levels and more from the start.  They are still trying to unlock Sonic.

Speaking of Sonic, there was a time when someone said Sonic and I thought of the hedgehog.  Now I think of the fast food restaurant.  Is it the fall of Sega's most famous character of the quality of the Sonic hamburgers?  Probably a little of both.  The last Sonic game that I cared about was Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast. 

We went to a place called Kalahari for an overnight stay.  It is one of those indoor waterparks and I must say that I was very impressed with it.  It is huge and has a good selection of rides.  They had one ride that gave you the feeling of being flushed down a toilet, but in a good way.  I can sympathize with goldfish and baby alligators now.  Anyway, I was at their arcade and saw some new Sega games.  There was a new Afterburner game that looked pretty cool.  And there was some Jungle game where you pretty much drove around and shot giant insects.  At first the giant spiders and other bugs were cool, but it grew old quickly.

Speaking of Sega games, for the umpteen time, when is Sega going to release Jambo! Safari for the Wii.  Even a downloadable game would be cool.  Come on Sega, enough with the lame Alien Syndrome remake, we want Jambo! Safari.  OK, maybe it is just me, but that is a start.

Finally got the Wii online enabled.  May have to check out the diving feature online for Endless Ocean.  Not sure how it works, but I guess I can figure it out.
 
03/03/2008
Did you ever want to get a job where you are paid to talk about video games?  Is the thought of being on television sound exciting to you?  Not sold yet?  Let's try this angle.  Want to be closer to Morgan Webb?  I see that I have your attention now.  Well, if you want to get as close to Morgan as possible without fear of a restraining order, you may want to apply for a job as a Gamer Guy on G4.  They are looking for someone for their network and it could be your big break!  Just follow this link and see if you have what it takes to be a Gamer Guy!

http://www.gotcast.com/castings/G4-Tech-Correspondent/50417

While I am plugging sites, let me tell you about a very funny site if you are not easily offended.  If you like your video game humor raw and raunchy, then this site is for you.  If you are reading at work or around kids, you may want to not follow this link.  There is some very funny stuff here.

http://www.the-minusworld.com/

And one last plug for the week.  The site is still new and not a ton of content, but it is off to a nice start.  It is called The Colecovision Critic and as you can guess, he reviews games for the Neo Geo.  Just kidding, he does Coleco reviews.  So check out this site for one of my all-time favorite systems (the first system I bought myself with money I made from selling Coleco stock).

http://www.colecovisioncritic.com


02/27/2008
Awhile back, I talked about a new video game show in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  It is called the NEOVGCON and has changed dates.  It was originally due to happen last year, but now it is moved to March 21st and 22nd, which is probably a better time for the show.  While the website still has some under construction pages, there is enough stuff to get your interest.  They are having the US Army there with a simulator and free dog tags!  They have a ton of tournaments announced and will have some systems and arcade games available.  Unlike the other Cleveland show, CCAG, this one is more slanted towards modern gaming.  And I will be there on Saturday to check it out!.  I will be bringing one of my kids and enter him in the Super Smash Bros tournament.  To check out what looks like a really cool video game show, click this link:

http://neovgcon.lan2unow.com/html/home.html


02/24/2008
A while back I was talking about stocks (11/19/2008) and one I mention was Take Two Interactive.  You know the guys that make Grand Theft Auto.  Well, I said their stock was a good buy because Grand Theft Auto was delayed and it would go down.  Well, not only is Grand Theft coming out, but Electronic Arts made a bid for the stock.  So if you bought some shares, be prepared to make some money! 

The thought of Electronic Arts buying Take Two is scary.  While I don't always agree with all of Take Two's ideas (for starters, Hot Coffee), they are one of the few companies that consistently releases great games.  You may not like the game itself, but they are well made.  The Grand Theft are awesome for the amount of game you get for your money.  Bully and Manhunt are the same.  The Warriors was one of the better movie based games.  These guys know how to make great games.  Sure, they push the envelope and piss off everyone in the process, but they have been good for the industry.  And the thought of how they will get neutered by EA is scary.  Don't get me wrong,  EA does make good games.  But they are a safe company.  Take Two is the exact opposite.  I /don't see a perfect union there.  This is not good, not good at all.


02/21/2008
The Blu Ray vs HD DVD war is over.  Blu Ray has won.  What does this mean to everyone who bought a
HD-DVD Drive?  Well, it means you will get some real bargains on movies in the next few months as stores start to blow them out.  There are even rumors that the HD DVD player for the XBOX 360 is going down in price to $50.00.  Is it true?  Who knows, but it would be a good player for the money.  There are alot of HD DVD movies out there and it can play regular DVD movies, so it is a good deal!

Ever feel like your taste in games is pretty uncommon?  Well, I looked at the sales for two of my favorite games at the moment, Endless Ocean and Fishing Master and they are bad.  Endless Ocean sold about 17,000 units it opening week in the US and Fishing Master did about half that.  If you have a desire to see how bad or good a game you like is selling, check out this website:

http://www.vgchartz.com/

It has sales for all the systems as well as the consoles themselves.  You can see how your favorite games are doing.  Very cool site!

Saw a trailer for the Iron Man movie and it looks cool!  Hope the video game is good.  I would like to see a recreation of issue #128, where Iron Man battles a ton of his villains in one issue.  Great comic and a favorite of mine as a kid.

Was checking out the official Super Smash Bros website and saw some cool new stages added.  There is one for Luigi's Mansion that lets you destroy the house, only to have it rebuild itself.  And there is a cool stage that is from Mario Bros and is in 2D.  It is looking like another classic!

I see that Sega is doing an Aliens game.  Let's hope they capture the feel of Aliens and don't mess this up.  Their track record since the end of the Dreamcast is not the best.  Some good games and alot of bad ones.

Remember in the 90's when they were recreating all the classic arcade games?  You had new versions of Frogger, Centipede and even Pong.  Wonder why that stopped?  Was it lack of sales or lack of titles to redo?  Too bad as I wanted to see the remakes of Wizard of Wor and an American release of Crazy Climber.  I know they did one for Japan, but what about the rest of the world? 

 
02/10/2008
A sequel to Dead Rising is coming out!  Being a fan of zombie based games, I am ecstatic.  No word on whether it will be only for the XBOX 360 like the last one or will also come out for the PS3.  Hopefully they will fix a few of the problems from the past game, namely the save system.  I do hope they keep the sense of humor and the ability to use almost everything as a weapon. 

I know that Red Steel did not do well for the Wii and was considered not very good, but I would like to see someone take the sword fighting from the game and run with it.  Maybe a Three Musketeers game could make good use of it.  Or a pirate game would be cool.  You could use your controller to sword fight, dig for treasure, aim your cannons and more.  It could be pretty cool.  Or in the same vein, maybe they could redo Defenders of the Crown for the Wii and implement the controller.  Anything would be better than the lame remake they did of Defender of the Crown for the PS2.

Speaking of fun games to remake for the Wii, how about if someone did a first person version of Food Fight?  You probably don't remember the arcade game from Atari where you had to run across the screen and dodge chefs who threw food at you.  You could also pick up food and throw it back.  Edible ammo ranged from tomatoes and pies to watermelon which never ran out.  It was a fun game.  They could also add a multiplayer version where you either team up to take down the chefs or have an all-out food fight!  Sounds like alot of fun!

Speaking of Wii games, I see that Rockstar is adding extra content to the Bully game for the Wii.  There are added missions, extra mini games and more!  It is good to see Rockstar giving Wii owners a real reason to pay $50.00 for the game.  Not like many publishers that add a few segments of motion sensing and try to push off their old titles for full price.

I still remember how much fun I had with a TurboGrafx that I bought off my brother so many years ago.  I bought it right before they started to clearance them out and was able to get a bunch of games for low prices.  Many hours were spent playing Devil's Crush, Bonk, Legendary Axe, Dungeon Explorer and even JJ and Jeff.  One of the things I really liked about the system was how the games came on those tiny Hu-Cards.  I could put my whole collection in a small baseball card box and put it on the shelf.  It was a good system that never really had a chance in the states.  The combination of Nintendo and Sega was too much for it to overcome.
 
02/05/2008
Been playing more
Endless Ocean.  I must say they did make alot of diverse locations to explore and I have yet to cover half the map.  I went from underwater caves to kelp forests to more.  And I have seen a wide variety of different sea denizens.  I was just in an area full of seals and sawfish.  The seals were diving up and down as they traveled around the water.  The sawfish stayed on the bottom of the ocean.  One thing I noticed is there is a variety of different behaviors for the different animals.  The only complaints are the fish don't scatter like they do in real life.  Also, none of the animals are hunting others.  I know they are trying to portray a friendly ocean like in the Little Mermaid, but it is not real life.  It would be cool to see seals and dolphins chase down and eat fish.  But it is still pretty cool.

A new  Devil May Cry 4 is coming out.  It will be interesting to see how this once Playstation exclusive sells on the XBOX 360.  This is one of the titles that may help determine what others do.  I know there are quite a few on the fence about whether or not to remain exclusive to one platform. 

So can we finally say that the PSP is the most successful handheld released that was not made by Nintendo?  I don't know the numbers, but from I can tell, it is still selling well and there are still a ton of games coming out and it is what, three years old?  This has to easily put it ahead of all other handhelds with the only possible exception being the Sega Game Gear.  But it will surpass that one soon, if it has not already.  Wonder how long before they come out with a new version?

I see there are two more Lego games coming.  With the success of the Lego Star Wars, they are making Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones.  Maybe they will next make a Lego Superman, so we can finally have a good Superman game.  Personally, I am waiting for Lego Doom.  Now that would be cool! 

01/30/2008
Finally got my 
Endless Ocean  in from Amazon.  Played it for about three hours yesterday and have some mixed opinions of the game.  While I do really like it, I would like it much more if it was on another system.  It wasn't until I played a game like this that I realized how much I do not like the Wii controller.  Sure, it works great for a baseball game or even a shooting game, but for many games, it is cumbersome.  I can see why they change some of the stuff found in the PS2 prequel, Everblue 2.  In the previous game, you had limited amount of air and had to watch where you were going.  If you were on a sunken ship or something and your air was running out, you needed to get out, so you could get back to the ship.  Also, sharks would attack you and you had to avoid them.  But with the clunky controls of the Wii controller, it would have been difficult to have these elements.  So they made you invincible. 

Another bad point about the game is the whole petting fish thing.  I understand they want to get a message across about the beauty of the ocean and preserving it, but is making the gamer go around and poke every animal in the sea a good way to get this across?  In Everblue 2, you would take pictures of all the fish to catalog them.  But now you have to keep poking and prodding them until they let you know what they are.  Sometimes they need to be fed to let you know.  I can imagine the possible lawsuits when people go scuba diving and try to pet fish that are less than friendly.  Once they get zapped by a jellyfish or poisoned by a lion fish or have their hand bit off by a barracuda or moray eel, they can go and sue this game for making them think it is alright.

On the plus side, the graphics are very nice.  There are alot of different places to explore and a ton of different fish to find.  There are alot of side missions where you take divers to find certain fish or photograph fish.  The game is pretty cool, but with the PS2 controller, it would be alot better.


01/29/2008
USA Today had a list of the top 8 games upcoming games and it had some games you expected like
Grand Theft Auto IV and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  Then it had Wii Fit?  I guess it has a chance of selling quite well, but it is a training game.  I guess all you need is for Oprah to endorse it and it will be a big hit.  Maybe Nintendo can give her some to give her audience members along with systems.  And they can have Richard Simmons come on and test it out.  Nintendo, are you listening to me?  We have a gold mine of an idea here.

Speaking of the Wii, I think Sega should consider releasing their arcade hit, Jambo! Safari for it.  With the Wii Controller, it could play like the arcade.  Granted, they would have to expand on the game as it is too short.  There are only like five levels on the game, fine for an arcade game, but not for a home game.  That or they could bundle it will a few other games like Ocean Hunter or Crazy Taxi.

 
01/24/2008
There is finally a confirmed release date for
Grand Theft Auto IV.  It will be on Tuesday, April 29th and will be coming out for the XBOX 360 and the Playstation 3.  This could be the game that starts the Playstation 3 ball rolling.

I was looking over the rosters for the new Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  I think that there are probably some good characters that did not make it, but as I look over the list, I really like how they added some different kind of fighters.  I really look forward to battling with Pit and his arrows.  I think between his wings and arrows, he will be a cool character to battle with.  I also look forward to seeing how Lucas' psychic powers play out.  If done right, he could be a real pain to the other combatants.  It will also be very interesting to see how Sonic the Hedgehog's speed plays out.  If done well, it could give him a very big advantage.  Or it could make him a very hard character to play as it is one thing to be running through a stage in his game, but a whole other thing to be in combat with that crazy speed.

Speaking of Super Smash Bros, I think it is high time for them to put some forgotten characters into the game.  The characters I really want to see are Stanley the Bugman from Donkey Kong 3.  The poor guy needs a break. And with his long range bug spray, he could be a formidable...who am I kidding, he would still be a pushover.  But at least he would be in the game.  I also want to see Mario's original girlfriend, Pauline in there.  Then we could have her battle Princess Peach.

Back in the 80's, rock band Journey had their own arcade game.  I still wonder how Journey got a game, when so many cooler bands were overlooked.  I think a game with the original members of Black Sabbath would have been eons better.  The soundtrack would have been better and with a eerie gothic look to it, it would have destroyed the cheesy Journey game.  But then I guess it could have been worse.  It could have been a game based on the Bay City Rollers or the Osmonds.  Shudder.

01/20/2008
Been having alot of fun playing Fishing Master on the Wii.  It is a fishing RPG of sorts, if you can imagine that.  You have to catch alot of fish to open up new areas and enter tournaments which will open special areas.  You then use the money you earn from fishing to buy better lures and rods and different kinds of bait.  It is easy to hook fish, but it can be hard to pull some of the big boys in.  There are over a hundred different fish to catch and they range from small fish like minnows and bluegill to large groupers and sea bass.  I have not gotten to the parts with the sharks yet.  For thirty bucks, it is a fun game and one that will take some time to beat.

I was thinking about the Wii and wondered what is left for the system?  There are two big Nintendo releases due in the next year; Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart.  But after that, what is left?  If Nintendo follows the trends of the last few systems, there will not be another Mario game for this platform.  By that, I mean a Super Mario Galaxy type game.  There are still a bunch of lesser Mario games like another Mario Party and probably another Mario sports game.  But what other big system selling games are coming out?  There may be another Legend of Zelda game, but when?  How much interest will another Metroid game bring?  Sure, there are some Pokemon games due and probably another Donkey Kong or two, but what else is there to keep the momentum?

If you look at the other two systems, there are quite a few games coming.  Grand Theft Auto and Devil May Cry will come out for both systems this year and that should change the momentum.  Playstation 3 still has the big boys to come.  I would guess the next Final Fantasy will be out this year.  There is probably a Kingdom Hearts in the works (though I think this could do very well on the Wii).  And the next Metal Gear should be out sometime this decade.

I was watching the Conan movies the other day.  I had not seen them in a long time and decided to record them on my DVR and watch them.  The first one was still enjoyable.  The second one sucked.  But as I watched them, I came up with an interesting observation.  I would like to see Conan get stranded on the Planet of the Apes.  I think it would be cool to see Conan with his sword, battling the apes.  Granted, they have the advantage with their guns and numbers, but if you add in all Conan's friends from the two movies, then you would have a cool battle.  Sure would beat the second Conan movie or any of the Planet of the Ape movies after the first two.  I know it isn't Aliens vs Predator, but it would be cool!

01/13/2008
I am toying with the idea of doing a video version of this blog.  I have to look into a good camera to get and other things, but I think it is a possibility. 
Let me know what you think.

I was watching a show on Animal Planet called Champions of the Wild.  It is a show where they highlight someone who is helping a specific species.  The show I was watching was on the bonobo, a relative of the chimpanzee.  They are considered smarter and look a little different.  Anyway, the researcher was talking how she was teaching these apes to understand our language and do rudimentary computer skills.  They then showed the bonobo playing Ms. Pac-Man on the computer and doing quite well.  It was pretty cool!  Wonder what it would have thought of Donkey Kong?

 A co-worker told me a hilarious story.  He said that years ago, when he worked at Chuck E. Cheese (to give you an idea how long ago, it was when they arcades at Chuck E. Cheese was not full of ticket games, but actual arcade games), that a fellow employee showed him something both disturbing and hilarious.  He would go over to the ball pit when it was full of kids and throw a handful of tokens into the ball pit.  He would then sit back and watch the kids beat the daylights out of each other as they tried to grab the tokens.  I laughed so hard when I heard this as I have taken my kids to Chuck E. Cheese and the place can be crazy.  Nothing like a bunch of unsupervised kids running around, hopped up on caffeine and sugar to make a place dangerous.  I know you will hear mothers talk about how they are supervising their kids, but when you give the kid a handful of tokens and then sit around and talk to a friend or on a cell phone, you are not supervising.  I have been there and there are plenty of kids that run wild.

I saw a game that really caught my eye.  It is called Legendary: The Box and it comes out for the XBOX 360 and PC.  It deals with a guy who opens Pandora's Box (if you do not know the story, go google it or better yet, read the original) and releases all kinds of mythological creatures like Minotaurs, Griffins and more.  While it is a first person shooter, I think the premise is good and it could be a really cool game.  Or it could be a lame version of Doom.  It does somewhat remind me of a story that I have been doing on my KZ Comics site.  It is called Dominant Species and while the basic story is different, the premise is similar.  I have some kids use a magic lamp to change the world to a world like Dungeons and Dragons as opposed to Pandora's Box. 

EGM just gave Endless Ocean an interesting review.  It received the non game review as they pretty much blasted the game.  I personally think it sounds great, but that is me.  I guess most reviewers have a problem with a non violent game that has a relaxed pace.

01/06/2008
A new year is here!  Next month, this website will be 11 years old.  That is a long time in the world of the internet.  Maybe I will buy some Shasta and celebrate with my all Rush mix tape.

Was watching a special on the Animal Planet channel and it made me think of a video game idea that I had a long time ago.  It is not a full fledged game idea, but more of a flash game or something small.  Maybe something to download on XBOX Live or something.  Anyway, the idea of the game is you are a baby sea turtle and you just hatched from your egg and along with dozens of other baby sea turtles, you have to get back to the ocean.  Sounds easy?  Well, there are numerous creatures that are out to eat you.  The first screen has you moving across the beach.  There are birds that are running around and eating up turtles.  There are also crabs and some other creatures that want to make you into a snack.  So you have to try and get past them and to the ocean.  The second level has you going through the ocean, where big fish are looking to chomp on you.  You have to get through the water and try to get to the sea weed where you can hide.  It is just a two level game, but it could be fun to see how many baby turtles you can save.

The kids are loving the Wii.  Super Mario Galaxy is as good as advertised.  You are pretty much always safe with a Mario game.  Legend of Zelda is also a great game.  The kids are even loving Donkey Kong racing game, despite the bad reviews. 

 

Even though it is the kid's system, I have ordered my first two Wii games.  Yeah, I know that I always talk about how I only pay $10.00 or less for a game.  Well, I broke my own rule.  The first game I bought was Fishing Master.  It is a quirky fishing game from Japan that has you not just fishing, but opening up new areas and doing tasks for your grandpa.  And you have a ton of fish to catch as well as strange stuff like boots, cans of cat food and more trash.  I have been playing it and really enjoy it. 

 

The other game I have coming is Endless Ocean.  It is made by the guys that made Everblue 2, one of my all-time favorite games and it is like a sequel.  I cannot wait for it to come as I think it will be awesome!  Awesome enough for me to pay full retail for it.  Yeah, you heard me right, I am paying full retail for a game.  Granted, the retail price is only $29.99.

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