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Metal. New England Patriots. Games. Guitar. Wanton assholery. Put these things in a blender, and...well, that'd have to be a pretty fuckin big blender to hold an entire football team.
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Ladies and gentlemen…I’ve traveled over half our state to be here tonight. I couldn’t get away sooner because there was a final piece of intel to be captured and I had to destroy the sentry guarding it. That intel is now safely stored in the RED base where BLU shall never see it again. I have more intel stored and more on the way. So..Ladies and gentlemen, if I say I’m a demo man you will agree.

Now you have a great chance here, but bear in mind, you can lose it all if you’re not careful. Out of all the men that claim they are worthy of the uber to destroy the sentries, maybe one in twenty will be demo men; the rest will be soldiers- that’s men trying to get between you and the demo men to get some of the intel that ought by rights come to you. Even if you find one that has stickies, and means to destroy, he’ll maybe know nothing about demolition and he’ll have to hire the job out to a spy, and then you’re depending on a spy who may get distracted and try to knife a medic. That is the way this works.

I do my own demolition, and the medics that uber me uber only me and they’re medics I know. I make it my business to be there and use their charges. I don’t have my stickies bounce off the turret and then abandon the mission. I don’t allow my stickies to be shot away by an engineer. I’m a family man. I run a family business. This is my son and my partner H.W. Plainview(SENTRY NOT DESTROY SELF). We offer you the bond of family that very few demo men can understand. I’m fixed like no other demo man in this field and that’s because I recently procured BLU’s intel. I have two fully loaded launchers ready to put to work. I can load extra stickies onto carts and have them here in a week. I have business connections so I can get a medic for the ubercharge- such things go by friendship in a rush like this. And this is why I can guarantee to start demolishing enemy sentries and secure the intel. I assure you ladies and gentlemen, no matter what the others promise to do, when it comes to the showdown, they won’t be there.



(If I had more motivation, and knew how to take and edit video from tf2, I've already got the basic storyboards for a trailer in my head. Maybe when I get some downtime I'll explore this further.)








So as much as I rag on my friend Kevin for not finishing games(for example, he's never finished Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Not only is it heralded as the greatest game ever, but it's been out since 1998.), I've realized that I myself have quite a few games that I haven't finished. I'm not talking about a bunch of sidequests and item collecting, but the main story mode or whatever. So in an effort to motivate myself so that they weren't wastes of money, I've decided to compile a list of them all, hoping that seeing the grand total will motivate me to actually finish some. The reasons have all been different, ranging from boredom, to being distracted by another game, to being turned off by glitches or whatnot.



Wii
Elebits
Super Paper Mario


Gamecube
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes(I'm at the final boss, but I ran out of beam ammunition right as he had a sliver of health. And of course it's next to fucking impossible to kill him without the beam, as it requires a ton of missles. I haven't touched it since snapping at being so close to victory, only to get pummeled)


Game Boy Advance
Final Fantasy VI
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past


PC
F.E.A.R.(No knock on the game, it's great. I just happened to get TF2 midway between it)
Halo(I started getting this bizarre error a while back, and it would crash at the main menu)


Playstation 2
Shadow of the Colossus
True Crime: Streets of New York
Medal of Honor: Frontline
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 4(I haven't really touched this because I want to finish SH2 first)
Manhunt
Final Fantasy X(At the final boss, just need some major leveling)


The following games I don't give a shit about and regret purchasing:
Midnight Club 3
Need for Speed Underground 2(My thoughts on both games here.)
Gran Turismo 4
Metal Gear Solid 2(I'm sorry, this game bored me to shit and had terrible fucking controls. Maybe I'll try it again someday, who knows.[b]











Everyone's aware of the problems that plagued those that hoped to indulge in a harmless match of SSBB with their 12-digit friends: the lag, the dropped connections, the complete inability to have a smooth game unless you waited till about 4am and bribed someone at the power plant to cut electricity to 1/4 of the country. But given that similar problems occurred in Japan, and that the game had been out in North America for 15 days, you'd hope to assume that Nintendo wasn't caught off guard and was doing something to remedy the problem. You'd hope...

This past Monday, the 24th of March, myself and 3 of my friends were attempting to set up a free-for-all match. We'd pretty much all played against each other individually, but with Smash , the saying "the more the merrier" rings quite true. Initially I'd been conversing with the other three parties using both Steam and AIM, but at 4:16 we all made our way into an AIM chat room to simplify things. After swapping friend codes and random chitchat, we all logged online to make this happen. Luckily AIM logs chats so I can present you with the oh so wondrous obstacles we were facing in our attempt to Smash.

Joey(4:27:29 PM): It says I am awaiting registration.
Joey(4:28:14 PM): Join my game. I am hosting.
Kevin (4:28:21 PM): Let's just wait for them
Kevin (4:28:52 PM): It says you're awaiting registration
OD (4:29:34 PM): Wait
Kevin (4:29:40 PM): Andale
OD (4:29:43 PM): Joey, lemme get you my friend's cODe, that way four of us can play
OD (4:30:01 PM): Either that, or join my game, since he's in it
Joey(4:30:15 PM): K.
Kevin (4:30:20 PM): Just join OD's it's faster
OD (4:30:21 PM): Wait, shit
OD (4:30:22 PM): It's his game
Joey(4:30:27 PM): LoL
Kevin (4:30:27 PM): Fgt
Joey(4:30:32 PM): You host, and I will join.
OD (4:30:41 PM): K, I'm makin one
Kevin (4:30:47 PM): OD you host
Kevin (4:30:49 PM): Word
Kevin (4:30:53 PM): I'll be out there
OD (4:30:56 PM): Joey, says you're still awaiting registation
Kevin (4:31:04 PM): What does that mean
Joey(4:31:06 PM): It says the same about you guys...
Kevin (4:31:16 PM): It says it for Joey on mine too



OD (4:38:08 PM): Once Joey tells me he's online, I'll start it
Joey(4:38:13 PM): I am connecting to WFC.
Joey(4:38:39 PM): Online...
Joey(4:38:57 PM): Tell me when the game is made.
OD (4:39:10 PM): Do you see me as online?
OD (4:39:13 PM): I'm about to make it
Joey(4:39:21 PM): Yeah. I see all three of you as online.
Kevin (4:39:27 PM): WORD
OD (4:39:30 PM): Room made, everyone join
OD (4:40:13 PM): Join in yalls
Joey(4:40:19 PM): It wouldn't let me.
Kevin (4:40:22 PM): wtfhax
OD (4:40:23 PM): Damnit
Kevin (4:40:24 PM): y?
Joey(4:40:28 PM): I got booted. <_<
Joey(4:40:33 PM): Nintendo really needs to fix this shit.
Kevin (4:40:37 PM): Racism
Kevin (4:40:55 PM): Finally
Kevin (4:40:57 PM): I'm in
OD (4:41:02 PM): It just said you left
Joey(4:41:05 PM): It isn't letting me in. It is taking ages to load.
OD (4:41:11 PM): Wait, there you are
OD (4:41:17 PM): What the effin crap
OD (4:41:24 PM): Jeff, havin any luck?



OD (4:43:53 PM): Success!
OD (4:43:58 PM): Everyone's online, everyone join joey
Jeff (4:44:02 PM): k
Joey(4:44:03 PM): You joined my game.
Kevin (4:44:20 PM): joining
OD (4:44:26 PM): Shit
OD (4:44:32 PM): Ok, now Lemmy's got one, and Joey's is gone
OD (4:44:36 PM): Everyone to Lemmy!
Joey(4:44:36 PM): The timer ran out... -_-
OD (4:44:43 PM): Ah
Kevin (4:44:51 PM): It says unable to join the game
OD (4:45:00 PM): Lemmy's or Joey's?
Jeff (4:45:24 PM): wow
Jeff (4:45:24 PM): wowowowowowowowowowowowowowow
Jeff (4:45:26 PM): Everyone turn off all their downloading stuff
Kevin (4:45:33 PM): fucking bulllshit
Kevin (4:45:33 PM): Some error cODe kicked me off wifi
Joey(4:45:58 PM): Who are we gonna join.
Joey(4:45:58 PM): Everyone go to the lobby.
Joey(4:45:58 PM): I am joining Lemmy's.
Joey(4:45:58 PM): I can't join Jon's...
OD (4:46:03 PM): Ok
OD (4:46:08 PM): First, wait for everyone to get on
Joey(4:46:10 PM): Alright. Everyone to the lobby.
OD (4:46:14 PM): Then we're just gonna pick one person to make the game
OD (4:46:19 PM): And we all rush it asap
Joey(4:46:26 PM): Kev is Brawling. Lemmy and Jon are online.
OD (4:46:34 PM): Yea, quit brawling mang
Joey(4:47:28 PM): It isn't gonna let me join, I bet...
Joey(4:47:34 PM): This is ridiculous... x_x
OD (4:47:39 PM): It doesn't even say he's hosting one
Kevin (4:47:44 PM): I had to restart because I couldn't connect to wifi
OD (4:47:55 PM): Are you connected now?
Kevin (4:47:57 PM): No
Kevin (4:48:01 PM): It's connecting
OD (4:48:03 PM): K
OD (4:48:07 PM): Soon as it does, join Lemmy
Joey(4:48:10 PM): Everyone is offline now. <_<;
Jeff (4:48:13 PM): Wow
OD (4:48:15 PM): o_o
Jeff (4:48:16 PM): I am in shock
OD (4:48:18 PM): SWEET MONKEYBUTT
Joey(4:48:19 PM): How do you extend the countdown timer?
Jeff (4:48:19 PM): Of how bad this is
OD (4:48:27 PM): You can't, you just gotta be quick
Jeff (4:48:28 PM): Ok
Jeff (4:48:31 PM): I am starting over



Kevin (4:49:27 PM): I can't get it to work
Joey(4:49:36 PM): Be ready to join next time.
OD (4:49:39 PM): You have 30 seconds
Joey(4:49:41 PM): Random FTW.
OD (4:49:49 PM): If not, then join the next go round
Joey(4:52:49 PM): Get ready to join Kevin.
Joey(4:53:06 PM): Join Kevin Join!
Kevin (4:53:45 PM): It said I was taken off the person's friend's list or he was disconneceted from wifi
Joey(4:53:51 PM): o_o;;;
Kevin (4:53:53 PM): Then it took me to the main menu
OD (4:53:54 PM): o_o
Kevin (4:54:02 PM): And I get the error cODe again
Joey(4:54:08 PM): Restart again or something...
Joey(4:54:14 PM): We are doing a 3 man survival.
Joey(4:57:54 PM): Get ready Kevin.
OD (4:58:17 PM): GoOD match
OD (4:58:32 PM): Dagnabbit
Joey(4:58:35 PM): Indeed.
OD (4:58:39 PM): Kevgonow
OD (4:58:41 PM): Damnit woman
Jeff (4:59:13 PM): MR WIN AND OWN
Kevin (5:05:22 PM): Everytime I join the game it says there is no one in the game and it just says seeking for everyone and then comes up with some error saying the host left
Kevin (5:05:32 PM): Or I get some error trying to get on wifi



Joey(5:18:18 PM): Whoever is the first to die, Tell Kev to go and wait.
OD (5:18:21 PM): k
Kevin (5:18:22 PM): joining again
Kevin (5:19:08 PM): It says my friend status has been changed
Kevin (5:19:12 PM): And I can't join
Kevin (5:19:18 PM): I think I'm in it right now
Kevin (5:19:22 PM): But it doesn't say anyone's name
Kevin (5:20:23 PM): I'll try making one
Kevin (5:20:29 PM): Because I can't join them



At this point, we all agreed to just abandon ship, because this wasn't going anywhere. So taking into account that I'd started planning this on Steam a good 10-15 minutes before we went into this chat room, we spent well over one hour trying to get a simple 4 person matchup going, and we were unable to do so for a vast multitude of reasons. Either someone was online but being seen as offline, we were getting random connection errors, or the window for joining a friend's game was too short given the fact that it takes a good 10 or so seconds for each person to jump in. As I said before, we'd all had matches before this, with me having fought against the other three within the past hour with essentially no lag or problems, so this isn't something that can be attributed to one person's connection being flawed.

The entire system that Nintendo has set up is riddled with problems, and it goes beyond whatever server issues they have. Blaming it on friend codes is insanely stupid, because once you add a person, they're on your list and it's no longer an issue. It's the fact that you see people as offline when they're online, the fact that there are all sorts of connection errors that seem to strike only when trying to join a game(and of course, with the short timer, once you get disconnected, there is no chance you'll make it back online to join said game). I mean, the few times that I have been able to play error-free(or mostly error-free) games, it's been great. The game's been balanced and it's incredibly fun to be able to play with people across the country(and the world). It's just a shame that the technical issues will leave a sour taste in the mouths of most and keep them from truly appreciating this game.







Mursinary
3:41 PM on 02.13.2008

Everyone's familiar with, or at least heard of the Need For Speed series. High quality arcade-style racing games since 1995. They pretty much started the police chase aspect of racing games and NFS III capitalized on it. The series hit its peak with 2002's Hot Pursuit 2, one of the best non-simulation racing games, if not the best. But then The Fast and the Furious(the movie) happened. And all of a sudden, you could just see the dollar signs popping up in everyone's eyes.

The next Need For Speed game was Need For Speed: Underground, and they might as well have dropped the NFS name. Gone were the exotic sports cars I'd never see in the real world, replaced with Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas. Gone are the beautiful mountainsides and Greek sunsets, replaced with narrow city streets and no long stretches to completely floor your car(But when you're driving a Dodge Neon, it's not like it'll get that fast anyway). And honestly, trying to give a racing game a story? It works in other genres...no one plays RPGs because they love a million and one menus and cutscenes, they play for the stories. But people play racing games because they want to take a car and drive. I don't care about the underground gang that runs the streets, and the ragtag group that just needs someone to come in and lead them to respectability. And why was this all added in? The cashcow of course. The people behind the movie neglected to plan ahead and make a videogame, so every other game company stepped up to the plate with their own offering.

In basically every genre of gaming, there's always been variety. No matter what your preference, you were never really limited to the exact same experience over and over. If you liked shooters, you had the war games(Medal of Honor), humorous shooters(Timesplitters), and the ones with depth, aka staying power(Half Life). Racing games were no different. Extreme simulation fanatics had Gran Turismo, gamers that question the purpose of a brake button had the Burnout series, import fans had Midnight Club, and the casual crowd in between had the Need for Speed games. But instead of building on the amazing Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, EA completely abandoned that game and jumped into the tuner business...aka, where the money was. So the next time you're driving around Tokyo in your Nissan, do a few donuts in honor of the Hot Pursuit games.