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Archive for May, 2008

Sinus Headache

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Thankfully it’s not to Migrane status yet.

I went to bed with a headache setting in and proceeded to have an awful night’s sleep. I woke up with the same headache only to discover the reason for it was the rain and huge drop in temperature. Arrgh.

Hopefully it will clear up by the end of the day so I can mow.

Shikigami review coming some time today. Wii Fit arrives today. A ton of stuff actually arrives today and tomorrow. Yeesh.

In my headache induced agony while driving to work I noticed something odd. The Electric Hellfire Club’s cover of “Shout at the Devil” has the same opening drum rift as MC 900 Foot Jesus’ “If I Only Had a Brain.” How weird is that?

I caught Leo downstairs last night trying to mimic Mr. Chewie Biteums, which was cute. I guess as Chewie is the only other non-human male, Leo is looking for a daddy figure. Of course what he was imitating was Chewie’s nibbling on the dry way, which Leo couldn’t really do at all do to the jaw differences, so he just licked it, made a face, then noticed I was watching him and hightailed it up the stairs.

Review #185

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Star Soldier R
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Release Date: 5/19/2008

The Soldier franchise is back baby!

I was so excited about this. The Soldier series is my #3 shooter series of all time after R-Type and Gradius. I’ve missed it so. Titles like Soldier Blade and Blazing Lazers are what made me love my Turbo-Grafx so very much as middle schooler.

I was ecstatic when I learned this was a launch title for Wii Ware in Japan. I was even more excited to learn Hudson would be bringing it Stateside. Then I learned the game was no longer than five minutes and I was well…I was irate. It’s a FIVE MINUTE GAME? What the hell kind of ripoff is that? Eight dollars for a five minute play is worse than the old cruel arcade games of my childhood.

As you can imagine I was deeply conflicted. How good could a five minute, two minute, or THIRTEEN SECOND game be? At the same time, I love Soldier and I knew if I didn’t download it, that would be one less vote for a full length entry into the series.

So like an idiot, I downloaded it on the 19th as soon as it was available, and…I quickly took a top spot on the scoreboard. I have no idea if I still am by the time you read this, but I am the one with 10.6 shots per second, approximately 2 million in 5 minute mode, and 700K in 2 minute mode. Please note unlike the sad little geek wank fest that is sure to occur over the game, this is not me saying “I AM AWESOME,” it’s me saying I did pretty good at this game, so if I get a single “You don’t like this game because you’re not any good at it.” emails that most negative Shoot ‘Em Up reviews get, then congratulations, I will point you back to this opening and bestow upon you the title of illiterate boor.

Obviously my distaste for the shortness of the game compared to the cost and memory space on your Wii keeps me from recommending it fully to any one, but how is the game itself?
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Halloween Costume Query

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Since I’ve already booked my tickets and hotel for Salem, I now have to choose the costume.

Help me out here people.

Cobra Commander or Space Ghost?

In the Process of Booking…

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Halloween in Salem, MA with Dan (Eatstoomuchjam on LJ).

Let’s hope this goes saner then last years Holiday trip. Ugh.

Four Day Work Week

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Yay for Having this Friday off!

Busy weekend of sorts. Friday even though I had the day off, I was asked to come in and put some hours in simply because no one else was here that could do something that needed to get done. Go being ultra responsible!

Friday night I did watch Frontier(s) which was pretty violent. Like “The Hills Have Eyes” remake level of graphic brutality. Vive Le France?

Saturday was a day of exercise and making two dates. The first one was planned, the second one wasn’t. A friend came in from out of town and she was like “I’m here tonight and I have a redeye tomorrow. Wanna get together.” I said sure and then did some scrambling to make it all work. One step away from an episode of Three’s Company I suppose.

Date 1 was a movie down in Shirlington. We saw “Norman De gare” which was an excellent French Comedy/Mystery/Thrille/Drama/Romance. An excellent piece of work I’ll no doubt end up buying.

Date 2 was just hanging out, talking, and getting frisky.

Sunday was a do nothing day. One I sorely needed. Just a lot of exercise, learning the hard way that “The Kingdom” has not aged well at all in the past 14 years.

Busy next two weekends! One in NY, NJ, and Philly, and the other playing Pokemon ambassador.

Review #184

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Square-Enix
Genre: Simulation
Release Date: 5/12/2008

Wii Ware launched on May 12th, with the most anticipated title being Square’s latest spin-off to the Final Fantasy Series. The odd thing here is that this is a spin-off of a spin-off. The original Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles was a odd but fun little game for the Game Cube that involved using the Game Boy Advance as a controller and allowed for up to four people to play at once. However, it was a pretty expensive game that involved needed four GBA’s, 4 GBA to GCN connectors and the fifty dollar GCN disc. It was yet another drop in the “grey area ethics issues” that Squaresoft is known for by industry insiders like the blatant obscuring and lying about the fact Quest actually made Final Fantasy Tactics for the PSX and then burying Quest as a company and the Ogre Battle franchise. If you ever wonder where my utter lack of respect for Square as a company comes from, do a little digging into their business practices. They’re only a hair above EA in my book.

But I digress. The FF:CC game for the DS received fairly decent reviews. It, like the original, was a co-operative action RPG where the emphasis was on hack n’ slash gameplay over story. Which is what makes this third game in the Crystal Chronicles franchise so interesting. It’s is neither a multiplayer game, nor a role playing game, even though it takes place firmly in the continuity and world of FF:CC. Instead the game is a combination of SimCity and Metropolismania. The concept intrigued me, and I loved that Square has finally been trying to break the FF series out of its boring clichéd rut. Last time I reviewed a FF game was back in November 2006, with which was the first FF game in 9 years I could actually recommend, the first since 1990 if you count FF games actually made by Square. Can Square strike gold twice in a row with me?
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Weekend!

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Whoo! Three day weekend! And so of course I’m spending it writing. Always busy. Always too busy it seems.

LOST was awesome last night. My two favorite moments were seeing Sun be as evil as she is hot (well except for the preggers belly) and Hurley in the car when he looked at the odometer. I wish Jack had found out about Claire being his sister in a totally different way though. A week off and then the two hour season finale. Whoo!

Finishing up my FF:CC review today, then it’ll be Castle Shikigami III and Wii Fit I believe coming next.

Crazy week at work as I already put 40 hours in. I really don’t want to have to hit that level of busy again. I’ve jusrt come home too wiped to work out or talk to anyone. Hopefully this weekend will be a bit wacky.

(Retro) Review #183

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Retro Review: Justice League Heroes (PSP)
Justice League Heroes
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Developer: Snowblind Studios
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: 11/22/2006

I picked JLH up a few weeks ago for ten dollars used at an EB in Fairfax, VA. I had my Edge card and a 25% off used PSP games coupon and they stacked so I decided to try the game. After all, Snowblind studios gave us Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 which was our 2004 RPG of the year. I also liked Activision’s Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and have always preferred DC to Marvel, so I decided to drop the ten spot.

Let me just say this. My Justice League is not the big 7 that are featured in this game. My league is Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Mister Miracle, Guy Gardner and Rocket Red. I understand however, that this won’t sell games, so I’m fine with that. Except for the Guy bit as they included every other GL from earth but the awesome one.

So how does the game hold up a year and a half after it came out? Does the game pale compared to M:UA, or do we finally have a quality DC based game for the first time since the NES Batman?
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Chipotle Day!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Yay!

Man, yesterday I had a headache so bad it made me vomit repeatedly. It wasn’t the pain. it was the location. It made my sniffer even more hyper-sensitive than normal and pretty much everything set it off. I came home and took a two hour nap and it was fine. Still, that makes two days without exercising and I am NOT happy about that.

Amazon.com has all three seasons of house and the book on sale today only for 69.99. I’m tempted to get it as I Love Hugh Laurie as Prince George and all his other British comedy stuff. Not really a big medical fan though. Is it worth the investment?

I’m on Day 12 of My Life as a King and god help me, I’ve now liked TWO Final Fantasy games in a row. Of course it’s only a 6/10 at most, but it’s better than the usual crap they churn out. I have a severe issue that the add-on content, if you purchase it all, is more than the game cost on its own. And it’s the only way to get certain things like other races. Ugh. Very uncool, but I do like making cities and seeing my adventurers evolve. Except Boris, that pussy ass lazy existential crisis having slacker.

Three books came in today. One was a gift for Heather, which was the Cakelove book. I think his stuff is only mediocre but Heather and Vlad love him, so I knew they’d like it. Too bad Vlad’s currently unable to eat dairy. The other books were “My Last meal” which is a coffee table book featuring 50 famous chefs and what they want their last meal on earth to be like. it looks cute and we all laughed at some of the pictures and comments like the great god of Japanese cooking himself Nobu’s favorite music being Kenny G.

The third book I actually finished last night in two sittings. It’s “Adventures in Larryland” by the Living Legend himself, Larry Zybysko. Holy crap do I own a lot of wrestling biographies even though I don’t watch wrestling. Still Larry was an ex world champ and one of the most over people for WCW during the Monday Night Wars, so I picked it up. He’s a good writer, as he is an amazing promo guy, but the book is exceptionally short at only 200 pages (compared to bret Hart’s 800 page omnibus) and it focuses really only on his WWWF and AWA days. Very little detail or depth or gossip or any personal info. Just wrestling related stuff, and a single chapter devoted to the Monday Night Wars. Alas.

Man, haven’t seen one of these in a long time… 10 pages, 35 games. Oy.

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Retrograding 05.14.08

On Monday, I went to download my first game from the newly launched Wii Ware line of games. For those unaware, these are original downloadable titles for the Wii rather than the re-released retro titles on the virtual console.

Imagine my surprise when I received a notification that my entire Wii hard drive was full! It turns out I completely filled the game with virtual console games – 35 of them to be exact.

This was both amusing and frustrating to me. I never would have guessed that I would will up my Wii in a little over a year of owning it. My Xbox hard drive was pretty empty, and my 60 Gig PS3 has R-Types, Q-Bert and Puzzle Fighter. My Wii though? Chock full of over $200 of VC purchases. At the same time, how sad is that the Wii can hold that paltry amount of games? Even worse is the fact that you have to do some creative management with the SD card in a way that in both inconvienient and poorly thought out.

For example, in order to get Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, I had to copy King of Fighters ‘94, which was my largest game memory-wise onto the SD card. Then I had to delete the game from the Wii’s internal memory. Both the copying and the deleting took some time. Then I had to download the new FFCC game, which again took some time. Now if I ever want to play KoF ‘94 again, and we all know I will, I have to do the following steps.

1. Copy a game from the Wii memory to the SD card.
2. Wait for copy to finish.
3. Delete original game from the Wii memory.
4. Wait to finish.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 until there is enough room with the Wii memory in order to move over KoF 94.
6. Copy KoF 94 from the SD card to the Wii Memory.
7. Play the game.

That is a pretty intensive and time consuming process. I am still flabbergasted that the Wii can’t play games directly from the SD card. You would think that the Wii system updates would have covered this by now, but of course they haven’t. The Virtual Console and Wii internal memory were great ideas on their own, but it’s obvious that no one in the design team thought about how they would work TOGETHER.

At the same time, this really won’t be a problem for the VAST majority of Wii owners. According to Nintendo (as of a press release marked 02/06/2008), there have been ten million VC games downloaded worldwide. Sounds impressive, right? Not really. There have been 24.5 million Wii’s sold worldwide. That’s a hair over 0.4 games per Wii. Obviously space constraints are not going to be an issue here.

As well, you can always delete previously purchased titles completely from your system and download them again at a later date for no charge. This is a nice little deal, but again it adds a lot more time to the equation than just sitting down and playing a damn game. I’d love to see this issue resolved in the future with either a Wii internal memory add on (there are those USB ports in the back after all), or a Wii system update to allow the SD card saves to be played by the Wii.
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