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Archive for May, 2008

News Stories

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Never pay full retail price at stores again. I approve this article because it is exactly how I shop.

Colleges dropping SAT/ACT requirements.

Japanese homeless woman lives in closet undetected for a year!

111 countries agree to ban cluster bombs. Of course the US is not one of them. Is there anyone out there that really doesn’t see why things like THIS are why the rest of the world views us as evil?

60,000 lbs of accidentally cooked lobster.

HUGE drop in airline traffice between this year and last. 41 MILLION.

LOST - Spoilers ahoy!

Friday, May 30th, 2008

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Thursday!

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

OMG OMG OMG DOUBLE LENGTH LOST SEASON FINALE NIGHT. Obviously nothing else matters.

Dracula: Origin arrived on Tuesday and I’ve been playing through that. It’s a pretty awesome adventure game, and at only $19.99, it’s a must buy for fans of vampires, point and click games, and all that rot. I still think The Lost Crown is a better game over all, but I think D:O will be the game my DHGF staff ends up preferring.

The first four volumes of the HP Lovecraft Film Festival collection arrived yesterday. I watched the first volume entitled, “Cool Air” and it was okay. The feature film was made by the old “Tales From the Darkside” staff and it was a well done B&W 40 minute movie with better production values and less cheese. Very slow and it is in no way a horror film, but enjoyable on its own terms.

The other four films in this collections were

A) Nyarlathotep which was decent. It was basically acted out footage while someone read the story. 20 minute B&W 8mm film that turned the Crawling Chaos into a weird Nikolai Tesla variant.

B) The Hound. Same style at Nyarlathotep, but not as well done.

C) A color movie based on the first of the Re-Animator serials. Like the rest, it wasn’t bad. Just merely okay. It never really went anywhere per the problem withonly filming one part of a serial.

D) The Hapless Antiquarian. Very funny short movie but it was just non connected dark comic bit after darl comic bit.

Overall, for $13.50, it wasn’t bad.

Arrrgh! I am going to KILL Pokemon USA’s clueless staff. Saturday and Sunday I have to spend a good part of the day running around doing stuff with kids for Darkrai day, but Pokemon’s website still hasn’t updated how one collects their Darkrai. Thus my inbox has been flooded by emails from Pokemon fans expecting me to explain the process to them. Le Sigh. They’re such a clueless bunch - especially with their website maintainence. Thank Cthulhu I work for Pokemon Company and not the semi-retarded Pokemon USA marketing branch that seems utterly incapable of you know…marketing the most succesful video game/anime/TCG franchise EVER.

Rant over.

Anyone else in the DC area interested in doing this?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/05/28/work.for.food/index.html
Joining a CSA sounds like a lot of fun, exercise and free yummy fresh food!

Monday! Oh wait…no.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Good day so far. A lot of trying to fix some stuff that was tinkered with (in a bad way) by the previous IT manager and so it’s trying to put out fires before they get started. Thank Cthulhu for the new guy. He’s awesome.

The Wii Fit review has been linked to by a lot of different reviewers (note the DHGF one is a vit different from the rough draft I always put in here first). With no surprise, the fitness and medical websites linking to it are giving a thumb’s up to my critical analysis and a few gamer sites are pissed because I pick on them for being roly poly lazybones that can’t do a pull up. I’ll admit my review is pretty antagonistic in tone towards the average gamer, but this is one time where it needed to be.

I tried the demos of Overlord: Raising Hell and DBZ: Burst Limit last night. Guess what? Both were pretty fun! I also booted over my SD vs Raw save from the PS2 to the PS3 and played a couple matches of that. Thanks to Mark for alerting me they made the PS2-PS3 save adapter.

I’ve been at work today since 7:30am due to construction going on today around the house. Oh man, could I go for a nap.

This should be a pretty laid back week. No reviews to write. My Pokearticles are done. Just exercise and relaxation. I’m looking forward to it.

Long Weekend

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Thursday Night I did an interview for DHGF. It went really well and it was nice to hearthe original DHGF staff likes what we’re doing.

Friday I was in NYC and Kent, CT as a bit of coming full circle to where I was 6 years ago at this exact point in my life.

I also got a call at 6pm my time aka 5pm MSP time that the person who ran a red light a year and a half ago causing me to hit them at a whopping 10 MPH has decided to go after my insurance company for lingering injuries related to the accident. Insane, but yet more proof that Minnesota wants to get one last fucking me up the ass before we’re finally done with each other. This of course means I might have to testify in court as to what happened. It’s a bit annoying and stressful because for all I know they’re going to want a Zillion dollars and claim paralysis for their own ineptitude, but I can’t see this really going anywhere if only because you know…they ran a red light. Still, just something more to add to the plate.

Friday night I stayed at Hotel Belivdere, which is a beautiful hotel in the tiny hamlet of Belvidere, NJ. It’s honestly the best hotel I’ve been to in the US. Perfect room, perfect small town, perfect bed. And like all small towns in New England, they had an amazing pizza N’ pasta place which crazy cheap New England prices.

Saturday I attended Becky’s wedding. She looked gorgeous and I kept my promise not to have sex with her sister. :-P Meanie. Beautiful wedding and I hope Jason and Becky are super happy together. Also, I met the “new” Brock for the Pokemon cartoon after Pokemon USA removed all the awesome high quality voice actors. That was a bit odd.

On the way home, i took a quick detour to White Castle to pick up a CRAVE CASE for Vlad. He and Heather have only eaten 1 burger each. Booo!

Sunday K + B came over to test the Wii Fit out and give the game a second opinion from another intense exercise person. For those of you who don’t know Anarcha, she’s a lawyer-gothie type who also engages in running and who used to teach Step Aerobics and knows yoga pretty well. She was even meaner to the game that I was and the three of us had a huge snarky snotty laugh fest about how bad the game is, how it gets yoga pose names wrong and teaches you some AWFUL stances for things like the Sit-up/Plank combo.

Sunday night was fnishing the review. Today it’s just taking tings easy.

Review #187

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Wii Fit (Wii)
Publisher; Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Simulation
Release Date: 5/21/2008

Here’s the thing – everyone else in the industry that has reviewed Wii Fit so far? Well, thery’re not what one would call in shape. Most gamers have earned their reputation as being sedentary sacks of flesh that can’t do a single pull-up. That’s what made the Wii Fit so appealing, even with its $90 price tag – exercising and video games combined? Great!

The problem is that for most gamers, merely walking a flight of stairs in a day or doing a jumping jack or three is considered exercise. In fact, that’s not just gamers. This can also be said for a lot of Americans as we’re in the middle of what is being labeled an “Obesity Epidemic.” The sad hard fact of the matter is most Americans are so out of shape it’s sad and pathetic. So of course these scrawny twigs or gigantic corpuscles of extra skin and goo we call gaming journalists are squealing that they are able to put in ten minutes of “exercise” and call it a day compared to their usual routine of sitting on the internets and eating fast food.

Then there’s me. As my staff and friends can tell you, I’m a bit of an exercise-aholic. In fact, I’m considered to be arguably the most in shape reviewer in the industry. Nintendo themselves really wanted me to review Wii Fit because they knew I’d give it more of a thorough workout than any other reviewer.
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Ten Reasons Why the Wii Fit Sucks

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Okay, I have to run around to various Staples now to try and find certificate folders for a mass marketing mailing i’m doing but first.

Wii Fit.

It’s cute, it’s fun, but only a complete and total moron would use it as their main means of exercise. List of problems.

1. I played for three hours yesterday. Of that time “playing” only one hour and 32 minutes were actually playing. The other half of the time was watching demos and loading. When half your exercise session is cool down, that pretty much ruins the entire point of the exercise.

2. Severe detection issues. Some games have hair trigger balance detection, which is great for the Yoga and strength training. Some games have VERY noticeable lag, like hula hooping and Soccer ball deflection. So again, not good.

3. The game preaches the importance of posture, center of gravity and balance, but then many of the balance games encourage you to hunch over which is the exact opposite of the aformentioned message.

4. The jogging exercises would be great if not for the fact the “nice pace” it wants you to go at is slower than my FREAKING WALKING SPEED and god forbid you run faster then your guide, because of no, it will scold you, give you a lower score and make you trip and fall. So no actual exertion here. I would love to get Anarcha to come over Sunday and give the two player jog a workout with me so I can have another long distance runner’s take on how AWFUL this game is in regards to proper running techniques. You up for it?

5. Several of the games encourage actions and movements that prolonged practice with will leade to ankle, heel, and knee issues.

6. The game uses BMI to determine how fit you are. Yes. Body Mass Index. The thing every nutritionist, doctor, and fitness guru will tell you is shit that will only end up hurting you in the long run.

For example, the game gave me a BMI of 24.15, which means it says I am nearly overweight. Yes me. With the body fat percentage of 7%. This is because BMI doesn’t take into account that muscle weighs more than fat. The game says to reach my perfect BMi of 22.00 I need to lose nearly 14 lbs. Okay. Not only is that INSANE, but taking into account my body fat %, I only have 12.4 lbs of body fat on me, meaning WII FIT IS ENCOURAGING ME TO LOSE MUSCLE MASS. Nice.

Considering how BMI is considered one of the leading factors of eating disorders because of erroneous it is and how idiots with no knowledge of the human body use it, I can see a lot of girls (and guys to a lesser extent) picking this up and gaining a few issues from it.

7. It is exceptionally easy to cheat if you want to. Which totally defeats the point of exercising. This means a lot of fat loser gamers will cheat in order to have high scores on the game to impress their friends. You think I’m exaggerating? You obviously don’t work in the industry.

8. The game tells me a loss of five lbs in two weeks in a horrible goal that will lead to it just coming back. By the end of my workout (both normal and Wii), I dropped from 155.6 lbs to 152.2. 3.4 lbs in a day. AND THE GAME GAVE ME A BIG THUMBS UP! Mixed messages anyone?

9. The gave measures only how still you are for a lot of exercises, meaning if you are doing them incorrectly, or worse, in a way that can lead to injury, there’s no way of you knowing.

10. None of the balance games will actually lead you to losing weight or getting in shape. They’re just fun silly extras thrown in to show how the balance board works. So of course, most gamers will go to these instead of the Aerobics, Strength Training, or Yoga activities because they are “fun.” This means most of the people using Wii Fit, thinking they are being healthy and getting exercise AREN’T.

As a game, Wii Fit is cute and fun even though the controls are pretty broken since it doesn’t actually measure how you are exercising. As exercise equipment, the game is a piece of crap and if you buy it for that reason first and foremost, you’re an idiot and about to partake in several activities that will actual hurt you rather than help you later on in life.

The game’s pretty much getting a 5.5 from me and I’m sure this rant will go in the review. For now though, the game’s no different from paying $90 for Guitar Hero or Rock band. You’re paying extra for a controller that gives you the illusion you’re doing something, but really, you’re gain no skills or talents whatsoever.

Review #186

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Castle Shikigami 3
Publisher: Aksys
Developer: Alfa System
Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Release Date: 05/13/2008

The first two entries into the Castle Shikigami series failed to impress me. The first one was butchered when it was brought over as Mobile Light Force 2 and had the heart and soul of the game ripped out. Awful example of localization right there if you ever find it.

Castle Shikigami 2 was an underwhelming and also under-produced shooter on the PS2. It’s wasn’t a BAD game. It was just a boring shooter that tried way to hard to be the Guilty Gear of bullet hell games.

So you may be wondering why I picked up the third one for review. Well, there are several reasons…

1) I buy every shooter that hits US shores just to support this genre. It’s not my favorite, but it’s in my top three and we get so few of them stateside these days that every purchase counts.

2) It looked a hell of a lot better than the first two games

3) I don’t have enough shooters for my Wii (even if my Virtual Console is filled to the brim with them…)

Aksys offered to send me a beta copy for the Wii, but alas it never got to us. (Hint hint Aksys as I know you’re going to read this) Being the devoted connoisseur of the bullet hell genre that I am, I sally forthed to the nearest purveyor of electronic entertainment and brought it home post haste to devour until I found the game worthy of being the first Wii shooter to stay in my collection, or if this would go in the slag pile along with the reprehensible Star Soldier R

So how was it?
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News Stories

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Hello Kitty chosen by Japan to be the country’s Ambassador to China. No. Seriously.