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Archive for December, 2008

Back to the Grind

Monday, December 29th, 2008

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break. I’m back at the office nursing a finger I sliced on a pair of scissors this morning. Man it’s been self injury week for me, with two ingrown toenails I had to remove, the aforementioned finger, picking a giant piece of glass out of the bottom of my foot, burning a knuckle on a finger, and a lot of blistery toes from doing about 12 miles on Friday. Poor little body o’ mine.

So what have I been up to?

Thursday
Seeing as I don’t celebrate Christmas, I got in a two hour run, ate some gourmet fusion Chinese included cheese fried rice (instead of egg, making it double awesome!), worked out, played some video game and generally relaxed. Still coming down off the high that was Tuesday’s encounter and offer of importance, but I’m waiting for things to be cemented before I talk about that publicly.

Alas, this was also the day Vlad’s dad had to go to the hospital and so he and Heather had to miss out on Friday’s festivities. In fact they were up and out the door EARLY this morning as he went under the knife, so here’s hoping things go well.

Friday
I discovered a straight 3 mile line from my house to the Pentagon City metro, so I walked there in the morning, had an early lunch at Nando’s and then met up with Kim for an 11 hour romp fest. I had tickets to 12th Night and we both really enjoyed it. As with any performance of this play, Malvolio and Toby Belch stole the show. It was a good performance all around, although I’ve never seen one that emphasis the tit and dick jokes this much. Viola also had a weird face where she had a Jack Nicholson Joker-esque smile on her face, even when expressing sadness. I think someone worked at Ajax Chemicals…

After that we didn’t want to part, so we walked around for a bit, found a place selling half price tickets and we got tickets for a SECOND play, this one being something called Shear Madness. We ate dinner at Oylamel and I finally had the Grasshopper tacos. This disturbed Kim, for obvious reasons. Then we walked all the way to the Kennedy Center where we saw Shear Madness which turned out to be an interactive Murder Mystery done in a hair salon. It was okay, but nothing amazing. I’m actually kind of surprised it’s played for 15 years non-stop.

After that, we both hopped the comp bus to Foggy Bottom and parted for the day. This was about 10:30pm. I was dropped off at the Pentagon City metro and walked home, although about a mile in it started to rain. Ick.

Saturday
This was kind of a fuck all date filled with writing, working out, hanging out, and that’s about it.

Sunday

I kind of got sucked into the Saber Rider collection yesterday. I watched the first DVD straight through. That still remains the best theme song (and entire score) of the 1980’s cartoon series I’ve sat through. I managed to track down both soundtracks too. WEP also threw in a set of the figures from the series since I was one of those rare Americans that adore the show. It still hurts my brain that the guys behind Voltron and Saber Rider are the guys who made Denver the Last Dinosaur.

Yesterday was also the multiple injuries day. I also used up 20 or so of my credits finally on Swapadvd.com so I have a shit load of weird free DVD’s coming like Wrestlemaniac, the Rey Mysterio Jr. as a psycho killer who stalks porn stars and eats their faces (I know, right?), Executive Koala, Calimari Wrestler, some bad indie horror, a bunch of documentaries, and more. Whee.

Review #244

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Wind and Water Puzzle Battles
Developer: Yuan Works
Publisher: Redspot Games
Genre: Puzzle
Released on 11/10/2008

Ladies and gentlemen, it is the last week of December 2008 and I’m reviewing a newly released game for The Sega Dreamcast. Isn’t life awesome? For those of you who may be surprised by this, I’m happy to tell you that the Dreamcast is still receiving new games, even though the system has been dead for several years. In 2007, I purchased all three new games for the system: Last Hope, Trigger Heart Excella and Karous. Of course THE came to Xbox Live this year and Karous is coming to the Wii the first quarter of 2009, but what can I say? There’s something about owning shooters and the Dreamcast that makes my heart go pitter pat.

So here I am with this year’s only release for the Dreamcast. There were other that were supposed to come out, like Dynamite Dreams, but they never came out. So far for 2009, we know a shooter by the guys that did Last Hope is coming out named Dux which you can already pre-order on sites like Play-Asia or directly from the manufacturers. This game is made by Yuan Works, a company based in Costa Rica and thankfully Wind and Water Puzzle Battles is in both English and Japanese, and is also region free, so any Dreamcast can play it. Heck, you can even go on to Amazon.com and purchase this game for $39.99 and it’s eligible for Amazon Prime (Which is what I did!).

You’re probably wondering why I’m covering a game for a dead system, right? Well, it’s because it’s NOT DEAD. As long as people are still making games for a system out of love for what was, then the heart of the console is still beating. Plus, this gives you, the DHGF reader, a chance to learn about a game you might have otherwise not known about and even more importantly, gives you the impetus to go buy it because you want to experience the surrealism of playing a new game for the Dreamcast, whether or not I enjoyed it.

Oh that’s right. This is a review. I should probably tell you what I thought of the game, no? Then read on my intrepid reader, for it’s time to let loose that Sega scream one last time…or until I review Dux next year.
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2008 Gaming Award Nominees

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Below is a list of the 31 awards and the 5 nominees for each category we’re doing over at Diehardgamefan.com. We’ll have the official winners and staff commentary around the first-second week of Jan, so keep checking the site for that.

For now, peruse the winners, and click on a name to see a review (Not necessarily by me, thank god!) to see what you might have missed out on this year.

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Review #243

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Cate West: The Vanishing Files
Developer: Gamenauts, Inc.
Publisher: Destineer
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: 12/17/2008

Cate West is one of those games I picked up on a lark. I hadn’t seen much, if any coverage on the DS version, and new it was a port of a PC game where you found objects littered around your screen similar to The Lost Cases of Sherlock Holmes. In fact after re-reading Mark’s review in writing this, I find them to be very similar.

Anyway, I’m a sucker for mysteries and the type of puzzle games where you spot the differences between two pictures or have to find hidden items in a picture, and the MSRP was only $19.99, so I thought, “Hey, why not?” and picked it up.

As we’ve seen in the past, PC to DS ports haven’t worked out so well. Both Syberia and MYST are two of the most famous Adventure games ever made…and both DS versions were horrible. But Cate West is a puzzle game, not an Adventure game…so was it able to make the migration to DS successfully or did I have to sit through two back to back underwhelming handheld games?
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Monday!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Here we are, just a few days before Christmas for some of you and Hanakkah for the Hebrew Nation. Hope you have a merry holiday planned for you and yours.

Kim will be coming down to hang with Heather, Vlad, and myself on Boxing day. I’m taking them all to 12th Night. I also hear this place called Nando’s is nearby…

I’ve been sucked in to The Vanishing Files as of late. Look for my review of that shortly.

I’m going to be going back to my New Year’s Reolution from a few year’s back about reading 1,000 pages of books a month. This year was pretty much just me whipping out gaming stuff to get DHGF off the ground, but as we’ve been doing it for a year, I can relax a bit - especially as I’m always bringing in new people. I’m also thinking about doing a DVD of the day considering I’m close to 500 DVD’s in my collection and this would be a good way to get me totake stock of what is worth keeping and what isn’t.

It’s fucking cold today! I thought my nose was telling me it was going to snow today, but in fact it just dropped about 30-40 degrees overnight. BRRR! Thankfully there was no precepitation or I’d be laid up today.

Oh, the movie Gamers? Holy shit was that funny. Five of us watched it on Friday and I think we laughed our asses off through the whole thing. Far far better than any of us expected it to be.

Review #242

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War
Developer: Global A
Publisher: UFO Interactive
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date 12/10/2008

Once upon a time there was a movie called Teen Wolf. It was a funny little comedy starring Alex Keaton aka Michael J. Fox and it was an outside the box comedy – even for the 1980’s. Well a few years later along came Teen Wolf Too. Now this sequel featured Justin Bateman instead of Michael J Fox, but it did boast one bit thing in common with the original film – the script. Yes that’s right – it was nearly the exact same script. The movie featured the same plot, same characters and even some of the same exact lines of dialogue. Sure there were a few changes, like TWT featured boxing instead of basketball and it took place in college instead of high school, but that was about it.

After twelve hours with Dungeon Maker II, I found myself having that Teen Wolf Too déjà vu (Hey, that rhymed!) all over again. It was the same exact game. The same weapons, same monsters, same exact town layout. I had never before experienced a game this close to the game that had come before it, and I’ve played a lot of Street Fighter 2 variants! Thankfully around the fourth dungeon, we started to see some slight changes to the game. But was it enough to give Dungeon maker II a positive review, or was this the most shameless retread I’ve ever played?
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Friday!

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Yay for weekend. I’ve got to play Dungeon maker 2 and hopefully Wind and Water Puzzles Battles arrived. Yay Dreamcast!

Deep Throat dies. I’m kind of surprised more people are talking about a bit character from Star Trek dying over a person who exposed massive government coruption.

Equally disappointing is a recent CNN poll showing 45% of Americans think Guantanamo Bay should be kept open. Ouch.

I have no interest in seeing “The Wrestler.” From the clips I’ve seen and bits of the script I’ve read, its basically the Jake “The Snake” Roberts bits from “Beyond the Mat.” Although if they redid the movie with Mickey Rourke playing Marv again, I’d be up for it.

I’m trying to figure out what the fuck to do for Christmas. I don’t have Spike to go engage in wacky Jewish party crashing. I might go see the Spirit, but I hear aside it’s crazy bad. It’s always hard to figure out what to do on this holiday considering I’m not Christian and don’t celebrate it.

Pokemon article writing weekend. Whoo!

Anyone want a free copy of City of Heroes for the Mac?

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

This came in for us at Diehard GameFAN, except it appears none of us are Mac users. If you’d be interesting in getting this game in exchange for a review of it, let me know.

Review #241

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People Episode Five: 8-Bit is Enough
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 12/15/2008

Well it’s finally over. Five months and five episodes later the Homestar Runner series of games have come to a close. The first one was by far the best, the next two were fun but there was a drop in quality and Dangeresque 3 was a flat out disappointment. You check all four reviews below.

Episode One: Homestar Ruiner
Epsiode Two: Strongbadia the Free
Episode Three: Baddest of the Bands
Dangeresque 3

8 Bit is Enough however offered a bright light of hope at the end of the tunnel with a promise of Trogdor the Burninator. Many fans on the flash cartoon series and these games had been hypothesizing that you would finally be able to play the Trogdor video game in this episode. Alas, it is not to be, even in post play mode. Even with this letdown of a revelation, is the final episode of SBCGFAP worth playing or has Episode Five followed the same downward spiral of ever increasing bugs and sloppier storytelling that the rest of the series fell victim to?
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Hi-Def Barney Stinson Christmas Carols!

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Lyrics for the you tube disinclined…

Pulling down her pants…
Yanking off my own…
Underneath the Mistletoe,
I’ll make your sister moan!

Oh Heather’s hot!
Heather’s hot!
We’ll go all the way!

*****

I wish I could see her naked
I wish I could see her naked
I wish I could see her naked
And down on all fours.

*****

Ted has a little sister
She gets hotter every day
And if I ever meet her
With her boobies I will play