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Archive for March, 2008

Review #170

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Sega Superstars Tennis
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sumo Digital
Genre: Sports
Release Date: 3/19/2008

I’ve always been a fan of Sega Sports games. They’ve always been superior to whatever EA puts out. In fact, Sega’s last foray into an NFL licensed game was superior to Madden in every way and less than half the cost. EA saw the writing on the wall and then in a total dick and desperation move, pulled off NFL exclusivity, thus ruining video game football for pretty much ever.

Thankfully we still have Sega for other sports. My personal favorite by Sega has always been their Tennis games, specifically Virtua Tennis. So when Sega announced a new tennis game featuring classic characters from across all of Sega’s franchises, I was pumped. I adore the tennis game in Wii Sports and the thought of having a fully fleshed out tennis game made me really excited.

My only concern was if the game was going to be cartoony. I loathe the Mario Baseball/Tennis/insert whatever sports spinoffs. They’re generally too cheesy and not realistic enough for me. Sega characters though? Well, Sega in its pre-Sammy days was my favorite video game company ever. I loved the idea of a Sega all-stars game where I could see some of my favorite characters go head to head. Sure it wouldn’t be like Super Smash Bros, but this had the potential to reintroduce a ton of long ignored characters and also be a quality tennis game. I just wasn’t sure how I’d react if I say say, Vectorman being able to reach across the screen or Xavier from Eternal Chapions using his magic staff as a racket.

Thankfully I didn’t have to see either. Now, let’s take a look at the game.


Taxes Finally Done

Friday, March 21st, 2008

And for the first time in forever I get something back. Yay giant deductable move!

109 back from the Fed
110 I OWE to MN
369 refund from VA.

The moral is? MN sucks. :-P Couldn’t let me go without one last middle finger…

Happy Jesus Died a Terrible, Terrible Death Today Day

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Oh holy crap is my shoulder killing me after two days straight of Sega Tennis on the Wii. This is not a game to play for three hours straight. Yet I know I will also play it tonight for a bit. Ouch. It’s looking at a 6 right now, but then, don’t I always say that?

LOST was good was night. A whole slew of characters came back in one form or another and their were definitely two “OH SHIT” moments. One when Michael woke up in a bed only to see a certain long thought dead character talking to him, and the other at the very end because while the first death was predictable at some point, the second? No, I didn’t see that coming and hope the character is still alive after the mid season break. Fuck.

Talked to Kim for a while last night. She messed up her ankle about a week or two ago and it’s still having issues so our plans to hike Harper’s Ferry next weekend are probably out. However, we’ll find something else to do. God knows I don’t want to be responsible for making the injury worse.

Pretty low key weekend. I have to do some tax addendums this weekend and I’ve got nothing to review, so if the weather holds up, I’ll probably go for a hike and have a relaxing non work filled weekend. Yay!

Busy Past Few Days

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Lots of stuff at work - little time to talk. Monday and Tuesday were ten hour work days and Thursday was finishing up three websites. Oy.

Tuesday - Ate at Pings with Steph before she had to fly down to Arkansas and then Texas.

Watched Justice League: New Frontier on HD DVD. Very pretty animation and a good story, but way too short at only 70 minutes. Great special features though.

Heather Vlad and I also watched the first of Horrorfest 2007 in “Crazy Eights.” Decent film. Good acting, some actual “name” actors, and the plot was interesting, but it all went to shit at the end of the movie with a nonsensical ending and nothing explained. This is partly because it was only 80 minutes long. And it wasn’t one of those “Asian Horror film style movies that does explain things, but not in the Americans need their hands held through the entire film” way. It was a “We’re going to bring this detail up…then kill the character and leave it unanswered. Also, the ending has nothing to do with the first 78 minutes of the film and it’s a clusterfuck fade to black.”

I think we gave it a 5/10 for having the potential, then flushing it down the shitter.

yesterday was nothing but working out and three straight outs of Sega Superstars Tennis. I hate the “classic” gameplay that uses the wii remote like an NES Joystick. I am also not a fan of the Wiimote/Numchuk combo. The straight up wiimote play? Incredible and highly addicting. I’ve yet to lose to the computer though, but it’s not as if the AI is easy. They’ve all been close matches. I’ve finished 38% of the Superstars mode, which is a bunch of tennis and Sega franchise themed mini games. I’ve also only unlocked one character, which is Gum from jet Set Radio. I’ve fully completed the Samba Di Amgio, House of the Dead, and Puyo Pop worlds. I’m nearly done Jet Set Radio and Super Monkey Ball, but I’m stuck on two highly frustrating mini games. Even worse the Superstar mode forces you to use the “Classic” controls, which are unresponsive at best. Yes, the Wiimote has amazing controls and yet a normal controller layout doesn’t. Wacky, huh?

In all, I’m really enjoying it and I’m playing mostly as Ulala from Space Channel 5. I have no idea WHO will like the thing though as sports fans will disavow it and a lot of us are just so used to Sega being synonymous with bad games these days that it will get avoided. Between this, HoTD Return and Condemned 2, it appears SEGA is finally back on track. Happy day!

Also on the video game front, MLB Power Pros is at 19.99 as the Deal of the Day on Amazon.com which, finally made me knuckle down and buy it. What can I say? I’ve wanted a baseball game for a long time for the Wii so I can get some caloric loss while playing and it is either that or MLB 2k8. MLK 2K8 had mediocre reviews on all systems EXCEPT the Wii, but the Wii version is also stripped of all the extra goodies like Minor League play and the Trading Card collecting thingie. EDIT: oops. Forgot to actually finish processing the payment due to work and now it is sold out. Well, fuck.

Also for Vlad, I preordered Battle of the Bands. Fellow Diehard Gamefan staffer Mark mentioned it in his blog today and the two of us were laughing about it last week and the potential for a Marching Band version of “Mama Said Knock You Out.” so I’m sure we’ll be highly amused by it.

I’ll say it again - 2008 is the best year for gaming since I moved back to America.

MSP Business Trip Approaching

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Okay, work wants me to fly out to Minneapolis since I know the area to try and speak with the heads of the charitable giving programs. I figure as I’ll be….”home” I can turn it into an extended trip to hang out with some friends I miss a lot.

I’ll also need to tap said friends to see if they know who I would speak to (for a warm lead) in regards to some of these companies.

Spike - Target
John L - Best Buy
Erin and/or Madeline - General Mills

Etc etc. on down to 3M, NWA, Medtronic and the like.

It’s basically these charities trying to get sponsors for a national meeting of the decision makers and executives of some of the biggest charities in the world. it sells itself sponsorwise which means more time to see friends. yay!

Another Tuesday

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Stephanie and I hung out for a few hours. We ate lunch and I helped her get a dress for the St. Patrick’s Day party at the Irish Ambassador’s house. The only weirdness was when we were at a store called “Black and White” Where we found two dresses she liked equally, the sales attendent kept going (with an algerian accent) “You two are such a sexy couple. You look sexy. she looks sexy! Which dress do you think she is hotter is?” Wow, was that uncomfortable. My reaction was, “We’re related by blood.” But the sales attendent didn’t care. She really want us to get some incest on that day. Creeeeeeepy.

I finished my book, “The Somnabulist.” It was…okay. Maybe it’s just the fact I’m not a fiction reader, but the fact the entire book revolved around an undead Samuel Taylor Coldridge turning into the Hulk and destroying London was a bit too out there for me. Also, two characters heavily plagarized from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere show up towards the end and massacre thousands of people. I liked the writing STYLE, but the story could have used some major work.

How I Met Your Mother was AWESOME last night.

Southland Tales and Justice League: New Frontier HD-DVD are on the way. looking forward to both. Today is also the “8 Films to Die For” release, so if you want some indie horror, this is your best chance to get them. Best Buy has all 8 this week for $70.

A & K - FOGO DE CHOU - When would you like to go?

Back to Work

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Okay. Three things to finish this week at work:

1. Convention teaser website (all done save for last text edits)
2. Credit card acceptance thingie for the site
3. Sponsor websites (All done save for last minute edits)

All in all a pretty easy week.

I’m going to lunch with Steph today. Should be fun. She didn’t get in until late last night and had to go buy a LBD for a work event tonight so that killed our hangout plans. Alas.

I unlocked everything in SSBB Saturday night. Now it means I can put it away and never touch the thing for a few months. Thank bloody Christ.

Saturday was a pretty good day. I talked to Kim twice, played with a squirrel, had an amazing brunch that involved french toast stuffed with caramlized pears, and got a lot of exercise in. Sunday was pretty much a fuck all day as I kept waiting for Steph’s plane to get in and it kept getting delayed. It ended up being a lot of reading and working out. I fell asleep reading at one point and woke up with my right leg completely asleep and petting Baby. I can pet bunnies in my sleep. Who knew?

Nothing really going on this week. It’s very laid back and I have only a single game to review this week. There are 9 DVD’s coming out tomorrow I’m picking up though. Oy. That’s a lotta movies.


Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Review: House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (Wii)
House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return
Publisher: Sega
Developer: AM 1/Wow Entertainment
Genre: Light Gun Shooter
Release Date: 03/12/2008

You know, it’s funny. Out of all of Sega’s franchises, HoTD is one of the few that I love that HASN’T been ruined by Sammy. Phantasy Star, Sonic the Hedgehog, Shining Force, and more of all been dragged through the mud and figuratively raped by the new Sammy owned Sega. House of the Dead though? It’s always been an amazing series. At least the video games. We’ll not discuss the Uwe Boll films here.

I’ve always been a light gun fan. I Hate FPS’ but I love light guns. From the horrible plots and voice acting to the amazingly fun gameplay that anyone can quickly pick up and get addicted to, light gun shooter are easily my favorite rail games. Whether its Mad Dog McCree, Who Shot Johnny Rock, Vampire Night, or Die Hard Trilogy I’ve always managed to have fun with this genre.

Oddly enough though, it is the HotD spin-offs that I love best. Typing of the Dead and Pinball of the Dead are my two favorite games from the franchise, and I’m eagerly awaiting English of the Dead on the Nintendo DS. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the HotD series. I actually imported the very first game for my Saturn. It just means I love how wacky Sega has always been willing to take this series.

So here we are in 2008. We’ve got two arcade ports, one that previously found a home on the Dreamcast, and one that was available as an Xbox exclusive. Are the two repackaged as a compilation worth for $29.99 or do the games show their age when compared to last year’s amazing Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles?


My new friend!

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

This squirrel spent 30 minutes following me around Old Town Alexandria. He ate acorns from my hand and let me pet him. Such a cutie.

Yay Friday!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

My god, I am SO tired today, it’s not even funny. But I’m out of bed and at work and getting things done, and that is all that matters.

Busy weekend ahead. Stephanie called yesterday afternoon to say she’ll be in DC today until Sunday on business and so she wanted to get together this weekend. I’ll have to figure out what to do and where to take her in the area.

You know, the more I play SSBB, the more I want to retroactively knock the score down simply for how bad the Subspace Emissary is after a while. The “Great Maze” was crazy boring. I have Wolf and Jigglypuff left to unlock character-wise.

HOTD 2 & 3 return review will be done some time today. I also have a preview of Dracula: Origin up at Diehard Gamefan. After that, it’s Sega SuperStar Tennis. Not bad. Two sega games in a row.

Pretty laid back today though. No real plans. Probably just read and exercise.

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