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5:04 PM on 04.25.2008

Untapped Market: The 80s - Pt. II (that's Roman!)

We live in a strange world - newfangled consoles have computer brains, controllers vibrate, fatalities are mysteriously absent from my games and who knows how many bastard children the Super Mario Bros. have.

Why don't we take a step back into the 80s when neon was a color that people considered their favorite, when pants were named "parachute."

The arcade is reborn!

Coach the Game would combine all the crazy hijinks from the show. Remember... coach? Why do the people demand such a game? When we're given a different Madden game every year, why not play a football game with no real football, but instead touches on coaching and drinking - I'm almost sure that the show was canceled because everyone was drunk by the second season.

So, why not shuffle your way to the arcade, you lethargic generation, get off the couch and play games in a social environment... which is really anti-social. And then go, "Oh yeah, that show."   read

1:37 PM on 04.24.2008

Untapped Market: The 80s

Any child of the 80s can plainly see their favorite Turtles or Transforming robots being reborn in a new generation. With a plethora of franchises from my childhood turning into "new-again" franchises, where will the next dart land that will steal my greenbacks?

What better game to carry on the Dance Dance Revolution into the new millennium... into the 80s? Breakin' 2 (notice the absence of the "g" from Breaking, thus proving how street this franchise is) is surprisingly the sequel to Breakin'. But what does this franchise improve upon with a second time around (which you'll probably only be able to play on Beta Max or Blu Ray, nothing in between). How about a subheading Electric Boogaloo and lots more Breakin'? I think we have ourselves a license to print money... well American money, so whatever that's worth now.

Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo will revolutionize the dance craze (such a craze that it's named twice with Dance Dance and some sort of revolution).

It's a fever I say!


2:17 PM on 04.18.2008

Mortal Kombat vs DC

Real? Fake? Awesome!



2:17 AM on 08.24.2007

My Rock Website. Let Me Show You Them.

A few friends and myself have an online magazine. Let Me Show You Them. So, big plug!

We just got Rage Against the Machine and we've got a few dozen other bands, including interviews and album reviews.   read

1:53 PM on 07.27.2007

Bring On the Crash

I'm sure I'm not the only person to groan when they see another Madden incarnation. I'm also not the only person who pokes fun at his friends for buying movie licensed games. Big companies slap together crappy games in a matter of a couple of months and call it a finished product. I'm waiting for another Video Game Crash of 1983. The crash was when the market was saturated with shitty games as far as the eye could see and it all went Chernobyl. Today, it doesn't seem as likely, because big companies have enough money to stay afloat like the stools they are. So, are we doomed to play yet another version of Ratatouie?


Just like every drunken monkey who gets his face stabbed in a knife fight, there is hope in the second round.

The news of David Jaffe starting an independent game company with Scott Campbell is a sign that the industry isn't lost. Eat, Sleep, Play is the best news I've heard since Ex-Clover studio members were starting Seeds. Remember Scott Campbell? Of course you don't. You lie! Think Twisted Metal.

Remember Psychonauts? Tim Schaefer started his company Double Fine after he left Lucas Arts. We got a good game out of that whole thing.

What we need is a big crash in the gaming industry, that way all the intelligent game designers don't have to work on another incarnation of Madden or something like that. Nothing too big, just enough to wake everyone up. Am I being too negative? Maybe. Or maybe you're not being negative enough!   read

11:51 AM on 07.24.2007

Army of Two

Ever since me and my cousin would play Contra at our grandmother's house, we would imagine what it would be like "in real life." When we would be driving down the street, I would yell "Fireball!" and we'd throw ourselves into a pile of leaves to take cover. Were we strange kids? Yes. Did we fantasize about shooting terrorist/aliens when we played Streets of Rage? I'm just happy to see some new co-op games that are a throwback to the "RAD" times of the 80s.

It's not gay if you're wearing a headband.

It's not gay if you're wearing a skull mask.   read

8:42 PM on 07.22.2007

The Eggman Speaks and a (Quick) Rant

Roger Ebert has gone on record many a times to say that video games are not art. It's been a year since he first uttered those words from his mighty jowls and here we are. Clive Barker, creative mind behind some crappy video games, has come to the defense of the gaming community. Does he drop the Hammer on Ebert like MC Hammer? Or Does Ebert pull out his lazer and shoot Barker like so many Hedgehogs?

Barker's Response
The Eggman Speaks

And what I have to say... *warning, wall of text. if you read, you will become smarter... or waste about ten minutes of your life.

Only recently has the video game medium come into the spotlight of the media. The idea of the video game has become so massive that it can no longer be ignored. It's like the avant garde who tries to dismiss art that invokes anger or the actor who only appears in plays who dismantles the idea of movies.

Video games have a long way to go before they're accepted by the mainstream media, but they have also made humongous strides in storytelling, technological advancements, simulation and music. You can't make a game on a few hundred bucks and now that the movie industry wants to make games into cinema, it's a sign that they're taking notice.

This generation, those born in the 80s-90s are currently coming into power. We're gradually distancing ourselves from the childhood state and now we're bringing the idea of video games into the mainstream. Those who are over 30 play games in the sense that it's a distraction and it can also be a job.

Ebert is from the older generation, where video games were viewed as senseless past times for children. So, here we have an industry that is treated with a rating system, has countless man hours and is a billion dollar a year machine and Ebert can't make the comparison to the movies. Games like Manhunt 2 are banned because they push the envelope, so now the world takes notice. It's inevitable for video games to stay confined in such a small corner of the entertainment industry. So, cliche as it may sound, we're at a crossroads where the gaming industry is going to make a transition.

And when it's all said and done, Ebert will either have to eat his words or pick up a gaming controller.   read

7:35 PM on 07.22.2007

My Granpa Can Beat Your Grandpa

Across the valleys and through the looking glass, I went to Grandma's house. She was baking cookies and yelling at me for not visiting enough. Grandpa was in the other room, holding a beer begrudgingly because it was warm.

Out of my backpack came the Nintendo Wii.

"What's that?" My grandfather murmured.

"Grandpa!? I didn't see you there in the shadows. Please don't scare me. This, oh this is a Nintendo Wii!"

He stared at me with such ferocity, that I had to avert my eyes from his.

"A what?"

"It's a gaming system." Quickly, the image of the old man holding the Wii-mote came to mind. Nintendo can't be wrong about such a phenomenon. I mean, if one old man can do it, then my grandfather should be able to.

"Here, try it out!"

The beer didn't leave his left hand, so his right hand held the Wii-mote. He flailed with the eagerness of the freshman trying to impress the Seniors on the first day of school. I told him that he was playing a tennis game, but he kept insisting that he was stuck in a forcefield.

"Grandpa, you have to hit the ball over -"

"Don't tell me how to play a game that I invented."

And my grandfather took all three matches. I learned a lot about grand dad that day. One, he can swing a mean virtual tennis racked. Second, his beer is more precious than all of his grandchildren. I haven't been able to get my Nintendo Wii from my grandfather.

This isnt' my grandfather. Actually, my grand dad wouldn't let anyone in the living room when he's playing Wii Sports. He won't let me take a picture, but you get the general idea. My grandfather can beat yours.   read

7:25 PM on 07.22.2007

Falling In Love... Again

You got your Playstation on day one in 1995. You had no idea what that warning about the Laser tray was about. You plopped in Ridge Racer and you crashed. You thought about running out of the track and into the beach, basking in the awesome digital sun, with all its cancer giving rays.

Your eyes were bleeding from the awesome imaginary sun. You passed out for a few hours and when you came to, you were inside the Playstation box, naked and looking for more fun. You stumbled upon a demo disc and on that disc was an amazingly bad fighting game, where you could fall out of the arena. What? How could you lose? Because you fell off a cliff!

Battle Arena Toshinden was like a trial of who could push the most buttons the fastest. With all those new buttons on the Playstation controller, you had even more buttons to push! And we all know that buttons are to be pushed. So, with that, the Playstation became the addictive crack that we all fell in love with. (Unless we were already cheating with the Sega Saturn).

It was only a demo, but it was ridiculously ... ridiculous.   read

1:53 AM on 07.09.2007

Gremlins, Fundamentals and A Guilty Conscience

I just killed like forty minions in Overlord for the 360. I had a gaggle of little baddies running around a rock monster and they just got smashed. They were dancing, attacking, laughing, and just enjoying life. I told them to attack harder. The rock monster was looking a bit annoyed and I told them to persist; the foundations of society are built on persistence.

They died. Poor little guys. I just spawned them an hour before. They had such bright futures. Little minion #4 had guitar lessons this Saturday. And little minion #27 was so excited to get his passport this summer. Poor little fellow was going to Spain.

La vida se enciende.

Oh and Overlord is a medieval version of Pikmin.   read

12:42 AM on 07.08.2007

The Finer Things In Life + Booze

Here's a nightmare scenario. After a long night of clubbing and drinking with a group of friends, we head over to someone's house, because they've got DDR(!) We proceed to dance, with liquor coursing through our veins and we break the damn dance mat. What's a group of drunk gamers to do?

We all pile into a car (don't drink and drive) and to our shock, our local game stores close around 9:30. This is a fairly normal procedure for a high tech store, but what about our 2 am emergency? We need a new dance mat or else we'll have to resort to drunk calling and playing The Anchorman game (You take a drink every time someone mentions foxy or San Diego). So, I ask you, my fellow gamers, what time does your local gaming stores close and what are we to do when we need to gawk at games at two o'clock in the morning?   read

5:07 PM on 07.04.2007

FF Contest: Keychains and Prison

So, here goes and the image is by a friend, not myself.

It’s an endless wall. More like a mirror that stretches to both ends of the horizon. The wall reflects endless valleys that have no vegetation. The only moving object on this sad scene is a prisoner named Xylotal. He’s been imprisoned here for almost four years, but it wouldn’t matter, because time does not pass here. He made an attempt to kill a corrupt government official. Xylotal has to bite down on his lips and break the skin, because he doesn’t want to relive what he did. He’s a prisoner here, because he failed to kill the official.

He heaves a heavy sigh, while conjuring up the image of guards drawing their guns.

He was put before a judge, but he knew it was all semantics. Nothing that he had to say would have made a difference. He was an enemy of the state. When the trial was over, Xylotal was left alone in a room. His sister came to visit him, but she couldn’t get a word in before the guards pulled her away. She left a chocobo keychain in his cell. It’s bright yellow colors contrasted with everything else in the grey room.

Xylotal would never use the word “magic,” because he knew that was something only found in fairy tales. But his beliefs were challenged in that grey room.

When Xylotal was facing the corner of the cell, a man by the name of Tresu walked in. He wore a long blue robe with long sleeves that looped around his wrinkled hands. The deep circles under Tresu’s eyes were those of a person who had not slept in years. In reality, Tresu doesn’t sleep. He stays awake all night speaking in tongues, because he is a warlock. He called the man in the blue robe an artist. Tresu pointed at Xylotal and asked him what his crime was.

“My crime is trying to bring change!” The boy screamed, but it made no difference.

Tresu smiled and spoke the words: “Ultima” and a bright light enveloped the boy.

When he awoke he was a prisoner in his barren land. He’s the king of nothing and infinite space. He bites down even harder on his lips, because he knows that he’s a good person. He pulls out the chocobo key chain, but it’s grey here. His clothes have no color. Nothing is the same.

But he’s been practicing his own style of art. Xylotal has been praying to the gods and many have heard his summons. One night, when he was remembering what it felt like to be near a warm fire, a being named Ifrit appeared. It bore resemblance to a ram or a satyr.

Xylotal showed no fear in front of this being, because he had nothing to lose. Ifrit’s nostrils flared with a flame that ignited the barren land and reflected a great light off the mirrors.

The boy kicked violently when the flame rushed towards him. He fell down with a great headache and dreamed that night of forests burning and people’s skin falling off their bones.
The next night the boy prayed to the god of ice, Shiva. Her summons brought an extreme cold to the land. Xylotal’s eyes glossed over from the bite of the snow. Shiva floated with the falling snow. She stood with a mocking pose in the air, because the boy could not have been the one to summon her.

But he was, because he had to make his way back home. He had to make them know.

Shiva glided to the boy’s side and was burned. The boy’s fury burned with the power of Ifrit. Shiva bowed to the boy and the freezing cold no longer bothered the boy. He was commanding all that was ice and fire.

The next night the boy didn’t pray to any other gods. Instead he prayed to his sister. Her image flickered in his mind, but it was a fleeting memory. He began to cry, because he could see her reflection in the great wall. She motioned to him, but the wall was solid. She was sad. Xylotal became paranoid. What if they were hurting her?

But it wasn’t his sister that was being reflected in the mirror. The reflection was a demiurge named Pari. The monster appeared before the boy as his sister and convinced him that he would break free.

He accepted Pari’s help. The demiurge stole the boy’s soul. The prison grew very dark and the mirror had nothing to reflect.

This morning, Xylotal wakes up with a headache. He stares into the mirror and notices that his face is not reflected. He always knew that he was the good guy. He touches his hand to the mirror and he pushes through the other side.   read

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