July 25, 2006

That time of year . . .

Much like Powerpuff, I am starting to get that football itch. The NFL season is almost here (about damn time!) and my need to play some videogame football is starting to reach its peak. So much so that I even played some Madden 2006 for the 360 this weekend.

This game was just a weak, weak effort by EA. It was far from complete and far from being a next generation football title. I remember initially enjoying the game upon playing it for the first time. I guess it just felt drastically different from Madden - and that is a good thing. I want a change. But over time, the game was just damn boring. It felt shallow. Every game felt just like the last and when you're playing a franchise, that is a game killer. Every opponent felt the same, the game has ZERO atmosphere and the presentation is the worst the series has ever had. I think the original Madden did presentation better.

So, like I said, I fired it up this weekend and tried to continue my Dolphins franchise. I couldn't even complete one game, I had to turn it off in disgust. It's just bad. Player movement is horrendous. It doesn't feel right. Player interaction is pathetic. The radio announcer is awful, and there is no intensity in the game. You get the same lame-ass view of the defense and the QB walking to the line EVERY play. It gets old after the second time. I'm not even going to go into player interaction or tackling, because I have commented on that a million times before.

So, after my miserable experience this weekend trying to play Madden 2006 again, why am I excited for Madden 2007? Do I really believe these things will get fixed? Not really. In fact, I know for the fact we have the same lame radio announcer, no tv style presentation, still no gang tackling . . . yet I am excited? Am I that much of a football addict that against all reason I still hope Madden 2007 plays a decent game of football?

Yes I am. I'm a sucker. I'm a junkie. I'm buying Madden 2007, I'll enjoy it for a few days, and I'll probably be on here after a month complaining about the same exact issues. Then we'll repeat it all next year.

Ah yes, it is great to be an NFL football fan and a gamer.

July 19, 2006


Well I read the NCAA 07 review. Very typical of EA, tweak some things here and there but do not add all the things people want into one version of the game. This ensures fans will be back next year, this philosophy sucks... People just should not purchase this game at all, until they make the game the way its suppose to be..

It appears as though 8/22 is the big day for Madden 07, I can't wait!! My class will be done by then and I can start thinking about the fun kind of x's and o's.

Also there is some major drool factor occurring looking at those psp and graw pics from Tanis. Lucky man !!!

July 16, 2006


I've been sick with a stomach virus for the last four days. Not fun. Anyway, here's some stuff I've been meaning to write about but have been too sick to crawl to the computer for.

- The NCAA 2007 demo is out on the Marketplace. Florida vs. Florida State. I've played the demo about 3 times and I don't know what to make of the game. Why? Because you get fucking 1 minute quarters, that’s why!!!

Why does EA do this? Every damn sports demo (aside from Fight Night) is so compressed that they are practically unplayable. You'd be surprised how fast those quarters go, even for an EA football game that lets you fly to the line to call plays.

This is very annoying. Hello, EA, the point of a demo is to try and convince the player to buy your game. In order to do that, you have to provide enough substance to make the game look like a viable option. 1 minute quarters just doesn’t cut it. I can't get a drive going and I am forced to change my play calling to a two minute drill. I can't get a feel for the game this way. Also, why don't you have instant replays in the demo? Manual ones? Again, the more you handicap the demo, the less impressive it is. I hate to beat a dead horse, but look at the Fight Night and Lost Planet demos (the two best demos available for download). Both are extremely polished and offer an experience that lasts longer than four minutes. Get with the program EA, these crappy 1 minute quater demos suck serious ass.

- There are a few new cool videos on the marketplace. One is a behind the scenes of Halo 3. They don't really show you anything new (just some new camera angles for the current trailer) and they don't give you any story or gameplay details, but still an entertaining watch.

The second video is a "behind the scenes" look at Mass Effect. All I can say about this video is . . . WOW!!! It has surpassed my expectations. This game looks simply amazing. Amazing. Really, if you haven't seen this, go download it now.

- I'm all up in Oblivion again. This is game is fantastic. I've now logged in around 120 hours and I'm not even close to finishing the game. Nor am I bored with it. I have never played a game for that long. It is safe to say this game is well worth the $70 spent for the collector's edition.

Lately however, I have been getting some dirty disc errors while playing. It has only happened with Oblivion and is getting annoying. When I look at the disc, it tends to look a bit more scratched than what is normal for my games (I am VERY careful with them). Don't know how that happened. So, now I am just making sure I save more just in case.

- I also started playing Halo 1 again. I think it was the behind the scenes Halo 3 video that did it. I decided to replay Halo and Halo 2. The game is still fun today, although it takes some getting used to after playing part 2 for such a long time. Your shields take longer to charge up, you have health to worry about, no dual-wielding, and I keep wanting to pick up the energy sword after I kill one of those Elites.

- I got my 2GB memory stick duo for the PSP. Now if I could just figure out how to put songs in it . . .

- I've managed to get some quality games of GRAW co-op in. And like I have said, you need friends to do it. I recently started playing with my buddy Avalon and setting up a match is as simple as 1-2-3. Now, if I was trying to find a match to play in by myself, I'd probably still be looking as I write this.

GRAW co-op is a blast.

Alright, that's it for me. I need to go lay down. I hope I'm back to 100% soon, because this damn virus is annoying the hell out of me.

July 06, 2006

GRAW . . . I hate you . . .

Ok, I have just about given up on GRAW on-line. As if it wasn't hard enough to find a game, now with the new downloadable content - which I will NOT be buying at its ridiculous high price of 1200 MS Points ($15) - it now makes finding a game impossible. Every match you find requires the DL Content. So my chances of finding a lobby to play in went from slim to none.

The sad part is, I enjoy GRAW multiplayer. It looks and plays completely different from the single-player game. And I like the way it looks and plays. For some reason I even prefer the animation of your character in the multiplayer game more than the single player. The character model might not be as detailed, but I just prefer the way he animates.

It is so sad in fact, that I have resorted to playing the co-op campaign levels . . . by myself. Yes, last night I played the Temple level all by me onesees. It was fun. But harder than CoD2 on Veteran. Well, not really, but since dying once ends the level, making it to the end requires a ton of patience. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, but after dying for the 4th time (40 minutes into the level) I had to stop playing. It can get frustrating. Powerpuff!!! We gotta play man!!! Co-op!!!!!!

I'll try to pass the first co-op mission today. I hope it is easier than Temple. Maybe I'll add a few respawns to cut down on the frustration. It is not like I am going to get the achievement playing by myself anyway.

July 05, 2006

Wednesday Blues

Wow, it sure does suck when the 4th of July lands on a freakin' Tuesday. There is nothing like coming to work on Monday, having Tuesday off, then coming right back to work Wednesday.

All day yesterday it felt like a Sunday and now my internal clock is all messed up. Today feels like a Monday . . . but really it is Wednesday.

I'm confused. I just want to be home right now playing Oblivion in my pajamas. Yes, I finally started playing Oblivion again.

July 04, 2006


I finally got around to buying a digital camera (actually, I bought it for my girlfriend) and I figured I'd take some pics of my PSP and my TV (my pride and joy). I'm not much of a photographer, so sorry about the crappy pics.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

My TV (Sony 34 KD-XBR960):

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Powerpuff where art thou?

This is what happens when you decide to change careers in mid-life. When I first entered the college campus, there were no cell phones, or Ipods. No age jokes !!!!! Unfortunately, they just provide more distractions for the students. Any way I digress, currently its summer time I am in Algebra Hell. I avoided it my first stint in college like the proverbial plague. Now it has come back to haunt me.
Its a difficult annoying challenge, just like the library level of Halo. Needless to say, not much game playing is occurring in my life right now. Thankfully, Tanis is here to keep the blog updated in my absence, and he does an awesome job. Any way, keep gaming, and say a prayer for powerpuff, I need at least a C for this class...

July 03, 2006


I have not owned a portable console since the original Gameboy. And I’m talking about the “original” Gameboy - the big bulky one - not the redesigned slimmer version. I never owned a Gameboy Color, Gameboy Pocket, Gameboy Advanced, or Nintendo DS. No Gamegear, or that TurboGraphx 16 Portable system. And obviously, no PSP until now.

I have played all of the above for short periods of time, either at a friend’s house or a store display, but I never really sat down to “play” a portable game since the original Gameboy games I owned.

With all that being said, I am completely floored by the PSP. I own two games, Daxter and Lumines. I have not even tried Lumines yet, because I cannot put Daxter down. I think I am just in shock that a handheld game can look this damn good. Maybe if I would have kept up with handheld gaming I wouldn’t be as awestruck, but wow, Daxter looks absolutely gorgeous.

The PSP itself is a fantastic looking piece of technology. It looks high-tech and I don’t need to mention that the screen is absolutely beautiful. I hear many people complaining that there aren’t as many good games for the PSP as there are for the DS and I would have to agree with them. It seems every developer out there has used the PSP as a portable Playstation (hell, that is the name of the system isn’t it) but that is not a good route to take. Portable gaming is very different from sitting on your couch in front of your tv. You have to cater games to a portable systems’ strengths, and even though the PSP is one powerful little system and can put out practically PS2 quality visuals, that does not mean that every game that works in its big brother will work in the PSP. I mean, the thing has only one analog stick!!!

Recently though, it looks like developers are realizing this and are doing more than just porting over PS2 games. Titles like Syphon Filter show that a dual analog type control scheme can work in the hand-held if developers take their time and do it right. The new Metal Gear game (sequel to Snake Eater) looks to take advantage of the PSP’s abilities as well. And then there is Loco Roco. I just downloaded the demo and I cannot get enough of it. It has the charm of Katamari Damarcy and gameplay that is just as unique. This is the type of game that the PSP needs. I hope it sells a gazillion copies so companies can take notice. The game is fun, looks great, is easy to pick up by anyone and can challenge even the most hardcore gamer at the same time. I can’t wait to pick this one up. And neither can my girlfriend.

I am anxious to try the PSP’s other abilities, such as movie/music playback and storing pictures in it. However, I am having one hell of a time getting it to communicate with my computer. For some reason I can’t get the computer to recognize the PSP. I’m trouble shooting the problem and hope to have it fixed soon, because my 2GB memory stick should get here in a few days and that sure is going to be a lot of wasted space if I can’t get it to work. 2GB worth of game saves? I don’t think so.

So, I’m very happy with my PSP. Since I jumped in late I already have a bunch of quality games to choose from. Up next, Syphon Filter. I also want to check out Exit and the Mega Man remake. Oh yeah, I hear Lumines is pretty good too, I should try it out . . . once I beat Daxter of course.

Superman Returns

I didn't have much planned this weekend. Just the way I like it. Saturday I caught a matinee show of Superman Returns. Now, I'm not a big Superman fan. I never read the comics, but I do have fond memories of the first Superman movie, and being a comic book fan in general, I'm always up for the latest comic book flick. Plus, with Bryan Singer at the helm, I'm always excited.

The movie was pretty good. Not great, not crappy, but very entertaining. Like I said, I'm not much of a Superman fan. The special effects were very impressive and I'm guessing that's where the 225+ million went, because I cannot understand how this movie costs so much money. I thought the opening credits were fantastic. Fans of the original movies will like them as well. I'm getting a little tired of Lex Luther being the only Supes villain they put up on screen though. I mean, c'mon now, the guy is human!! How can he give Superman so many problems?! I don't care how geniusly evil he is or how endless his pockets are.

And I think right there is my biggest problem with Superman. No, not Lex Luther, just the whole Superman fiction. I'm sure it worked great when he was first introduced in comics in 1938, but it hasn't aged as well as other comics.

First up is the absolutely insane concept that nobody can recognize that Clark Kent is Superman. It was cute a first, "Look, he is wearing glasses and acts all goofy, ha-ha, nobody can tell." Sure, that works in the comics and in the first few movies. But by now, it is just stupid. THEY LOOK EXACTLY ALIKE PEOPLE!!! The glasses bit just doesn't work anymore. And to make matters worse, you have Louis Lane, who supposedly is "in love" with Superman, yet doesn't even realize that the co-worker she works with everyday is the same freakin' guy? C'mon now. And the whole disguise thing was even amplified in Superman Returns since after five years away, both Superman AND Clark Kent show up again on the same day. Look, I know a big part of enjoying movies - especially comic book movies - is being able to suspend your disbelief, but this needs to be addressed differently in this day and age. I mean, I DO suspend my disbelief! I have no problems with accepting that there is an alien from another planet flying around, shooting heat rays, and stopping bullets with his eye-ball, but I CANNOT accept the fact that just by wearing a pair of eye-glasses that he can make himself invisible to world, especially the woman who loves him.

My second problem with Superman is that . . . well, he is Superman. As far as super heroes go, he pretty much has all the bases covered. He's as strong as they come, can fly, and is basically invulnerable. If not for kryptonite, he cannot be stopped. So every Superman movie seems to be, expose him to some kryptonite and try to finish your diabolical plan before he comes to his senses. There is no challenge there and it gets boring. Superman is never really in "danger", it is always other people who are in danger and Superman is the all-powerful force that is there to help them. Throw in the kryptonite and he becomes as weak as a child, but to me it is just an artificial way to make him vulnerable. I don't want to feel he is in danger only when he has a shard of kryptonite stuck in his back and he is groveling on the floor in pain. That is no fun. I want to feel that he might be in trouble when he is out there doing what he does best. But that can never be the case because . . . well, again, he is Superman.

In the Spiderman movies, while he kicks some ass of his own, he can get hurt. There is always that vulnerability that can come at anytime, not only with some special object. I think overall that goes a long way in making the movies - as well as the comics - more interesting. But hey, no offense to the millions of Superman fans out there, I'm just giving my opinion. Plus, Spidey is my boy.

I give the movie a 7 out of 10. Well worth the price of admission for the sights and sounds. Plus, help the studio out, they have a lot of money to make up. But, if this series is going to continue they better come up with something more intriguing than Lex Luther with more kryptonite and a new plan. I want to see a villain that can give Superman a run for his money without the need of a piece of rock to give him the advantage. Hell, I want an epic Superman vs Doomsday battle on the screen, with the movie ending with his death. Then you can name the third one Superman Returns . . . Again.