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1:20 AM on 02.16.2008

Magic: The Gathering Online; Hidden Game Within

So here I was discussing with my friend Alan about how awesome Magic used to be back in the day. And he makes mention that we could just play Magic: The Gathering Online free of charge using some pre-made decks or something like that. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me. Relive a part of my earlier years for no cost whatsoever other than some hard drive space? Sure, i'll bite.

Fast forward to just now. I finally brought myself to download the client (I was worried that my Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz processor wasn't good enough for the Pentium II 333Mhz requirement and that my 1440x900 monitor would be incapable of displaying 800x600 at 'high color') and I was treated to something most companies never think to do: entertain you while you install. Normally I would be able to blow through an installation pretty quickly, for larger games I would go make myself a sandwich (and I make a tasty roast beef sandwich) but in this case I was treated to a game before I even installed my game!

The name of the game is Magic Online Install/Update Agent. The premise is simple. You are given a cute window featuring this magical dragon and you are asked to choose your install path before clicking the green checkmark of awesomeness to proceed to your game. The interface is also simple, there is a box in the center of the game box that tells you what file it is downloading and what percentage of this file it downloaded. Beneath this you have a status bar that shows you your overall progress made. It begins to install a few files when the game officially beings.

A window pops up informing you that your connection has been lost while it was attempting to download a particular file. It gives you the choice of either Mr. Green Checkmark or the Ghostbusters logo. As much as I love Ghostbusters, I knew this would cancel my installation and I wanted this game installed so I clicked my old friend Green Checkmark. About 10% later, this same window popped up again, but the window with the checkmark had moved. So I moved my mouse over and clicked it, and not but 1% later it came up again, in a new home at the other side of the window. So again, I move my mouse to click it and it goes another percent and the window comes up yet again, but in a new location. I tried hitting enter but it would not accept that as apparently that would be cheating. As the percentage ramped up and up these windows became more frequent to the point where I broke a sweat trying to keep up. Like a demented game of Simon Says, this window continued to move all around.

This game was rather entertaining, and I have to give it to the creators of this fine game for giving me something to do while I was installing their fine piece of software. Some people just give you pretty pictures to look at, others give you a blue background to stare at while a bar moves up. But no, Magic: The Gathering Online has a bonus game in it's installation file. Fuck the casual gaming market with their simple gameplay and 5 really bright colors representing fuck all. Peggle and Bejeweled don't got SHIT on this. Thank you so much for the fun, the last level at 98% to 100% got really difficult and I actually had to give up. I mean, why bother trying that hard when there's no achievement points at the end of the gate, right? (I keed, I keed).

As a post-blog note, it turned out the problem for some reason was the fact I was using a dual core processor and it just doesn't like that. So I set the affinity to one core and it's been chugging along since then.   read

3:57 AM on 01.30.2008

Rez HD is out, are you in?

Rez HD
Xbox Live Arcade Release: January 30th, 2008 (that means get it now)
Cost: 800 MS Points

So by now you're either in the camp of the rabid Rez fans who have played the game over the last 7 years (6 if you were stuck with the PS2 version) with their Set-top boxes and 2 channel sound. Or you are one of the ones who hasn't played it yet and haven't quite figured out what is so magical about it. Well children, much like sex and drugs, you aren't going to even come close to understanding the experience of Rez by just having it described to you. You have to bring yourself to the experience with an open mind ready to feel the power of a large, throbbing apparatus in your hands as you feel the sounds and hear the sights. But for those of you who like to read stuff, this one's for you.

First things first, you're getting a lot for your money. You are given the option of being able to play Rez HD (the High Def visuals and widescreen display) or Rez Standard (Rez in, well, low res visuals and a 4:3 aspect ratio). You can also access a 'story' pane in the options menu which is two pages (with pictures!) lining out what you are doing there. From here you can blow through the main game's 5 stages in one sitting, whizzing past stage specific creatures, bosses that want your ass the fuck out of the system, and a story of evolution. Gameplay is easy. Hold down the A button, move cursor over enemies to rack up laser shots (8 total per hold-release pattern) and release to unleash the fury on the digital pests. Shoot a box that appears every now and then to advance to the next part of the stage and advance the song, and kill the boss at the end. It's on rails too, so there's no freedom to roam around. But this is never a bad thing, as the game never feels as if it's restricting you at any time. Once you beat the main game you can unlock Beyond Mode which contains two new stages (Lost Area, and Trancemission), a Direct Assault mode (take on all 5 stages in a row, and with various color variations for later playthroughs) and a Boss Rush mode. The nice thing about Rez HD is that if you beat a level and unlock something on Rez HD, you'll unlock it in Rez Standard and vice versa.

New stuff (!) includes a replay theater which lets you view replays of levels so you can see where you went wrong trying to get that 100% shot down on level 5, and Visual and Audio options. Now these aren't just the usual "brightness/contrast" and "volume" options. You get your choice of altering the graphics of Rez HD to further your audio/video experimentation, as well as adding effects that change sound on the fly.

Rez Visual Effects: Sepia, Tile, Blur, Bloom, Glare.
Rez Audio Effects: Cave, Forest, Underwater, Hall, Plate.

These effects are pretty cool and help add a new dimension to the gameplay. Sepia turns everything (except for your HUD, which is not effected by any of the effects mentioned) brown-ish, cutting you off from the rich range of colors each level has. This really fucked with me and almost ended me mid level. Tile turns everything 8-bit and pixelated, which is really nice looking and makes you feel even more nostalgic playing it. Blur makes everything appear as if you are looking at the screen in a Sauna. Bloom turns everything really fucking bright, and when you fire your lasers or blow something up (two things that happen quite frequently, believe it or not) the screen basically becomes a ball of fire, tearing holes in your retinas. Glare is basically Bloom Lite, from what I could gather. Now mind you, all of these effects do nothing to slow the game down, as it never, ever dips below 60 frames a second.

The Audio effects also give you some interesting new experiences. Cave makes an interesting echo which seems to preserve low-end sounds. Forest makes some awesome echo noises which come at you in different directions. Underwater makes the bass muddled and everything sounds a little dull, in a good way. Hall is like Cave, but..with less low-end. Plate, I honestly have no clue what it does and is kind of like 'Glare' on the visual options and is kind of a useless option.

Speaking of the Audio (and pardon me for taking this long to get to it), it is as crystal clear and thumping as ever. New sounds are thrown in to the mix, which will surely make Rez vets turn their heads a few times. The Stereo mix is worlds better than the Dreamcast version (trust me, I booted my copy up just to make sure) and while I would love to say something about it, I was unable to test the 5.1 surround sound. This is fucking killing me on the inside, but I will get to getting one of those cables for this 360 soon. But if the stereo mix is any indication, those blessed with the 5.1 setup and a nice TV will have the most amazing experience yet.

And to tie in with the audio is the rumble. Ok, so you're thinking "Sarge, baby. Every fucking game has rumble these days." To which I say "You sir must be a very lucky individual to have your dualshock 3 for your PS3. But tell me, does any game let you use 3 other controllers as vibration machines?" That's right, riding off of the cult-status of every girl gamer's wet dream is now a wet reality. You can use up to 3 other 360 controllers which will all offer force feedback. This offers even more possibilities to customizing your Rez experience and if you have the spare controllers you should give it a shot. Try placing them in different places each time and see how it changes your feel for the beat, and therefore the level as well.

All in all, this IS your daddy's Rez. With a whole new bag of tricks that will keep you coming and coming for months, or dare I say years to come? Q? Entertainment has brought their baby out of retirement for the 360, and Rez is right at home. With the usual leaderboard and achievements for the totally hardcore (as well as a few unlockable gamerpics, unless those got there before I played the game) this is the total package, and the best goddamn deal on Xbox Live. For your 800 Billy Bucks, you will be getting a game worth $50 for practically pennies. The file size is pretty tiny too, at under 120MB (at least when I first went to the download page) which also somehow makes it smaller than the Dreamcast and PS2 versions. Perhaps Q? took some tips from the masters of compression, the demoscene? It sure seems like they aimed to please, and they have delivered what could easily set the bar higher for XBLA developers. Tetsuya Mizuguchi, my hat off to you once again sir.

FINAL SCORE: Fuck you there ain't no number that can categorize this game. Go read the review or buy it already.   read

7:25 PM on 01.14.2008

Best Street Party Ever: The Aftermath (NVGR)

Warning: Man Nipples Ahead!


So what do you all think? The heroic rebel or total punk-ass kid?   read

9:11 AM on 01.10.2008

Rock Band: Drumstick Blitz

So it's been a few weeks of my owning my own copy of Rock Band and the instruments. Two weeks ago my guitar had blown, and was sent off on it's trip back home on monday (that's how long it took my coffin to arrive). I figured while that was out of commission I would get through my vocals and drums careers and tune my skills there.

So today I'm playing through a rather heated and in-the-zone round of "Go with the Flow" when my drumstick snaps. I tried to finish the song with the now spear-like stick facing my palm and me hitting the drums with the other end of the stick. This proved disorienting and just isn't going to work. So I come to you, fellow D-toiders. Do you have any suggestions for replacement sticks?   read

12:54 PM on 01.08.2008

Tell "Inside Xbox" you hate Xbox Live's DRM.

Xbox 360 owners are no strangers to the problem: The DRM on items purchased from Xbox Live prevents users who purchased the item on a pre-RrOD system from using that content offline on their replacement system. Want to see something done? Post your concern in this thread, and make sure Major Nelson and Trixie get the point. We want DRM gone.

If you have a Digg account, please be sure to stop by and digg the story as well. The more coverage we get on the issue, the more replies we may get, and the sooner we may get to an answer from Microsoft on this issue.   read

7:53 AM on 01.05.2008

New Rez HD videos; 360 looking more like Dreamcast 2

Yesterday a collection of new gameplay vids for the cult hit Rez (now Rez HD), now coming to Xbox Live Arcade some time this year, were uploaded to gametrailers. You can view them here. The game is looking as beautiful as ever, and does not show it's age.

For those not in the know, Rez was first released on the Dreamcast back in 2001 in japan, followed by a European Dreamcast release and U.S. PS2 release in 2002. The game is an on rails shooter in which you are trying to save Eden, an Artificial Intelligence who has become overwhelmed by information and has become self aware. Eden apparently doesn't like the position it's in, and attempts to shut itself down. You're there to stop it, and reboot the system so that Eden can continue it's duties. Along the way, you must fight firewalls, viruses, and all sorts of digital nasties. In other words, kill every goddamn thing that moves.

What made Rez stand out was it's visual presentation. A bastardization of Tron and...well, Tron. A rich array of colors were always on display at any given moment. The music was pulse pounding. So much so that it had a suggestive peripheral released in japan called the 'Trance Vibrator'. Some people took it for what it's name suggests. (NSFW, has a few shots of the device in it's natural habitat) And since the game had so very little copies produced/sold, it's cult status rose up on a pedestal and gamers everywhere soon began hearing rumors about how the game could induce a drug like trance and could possibly kill their mothers while fucking the family dog if you didn't manage to beat the final stage.

Soon enough, the mystery will be unleashed upon the entire Xbox Live going public. And in HD, at a steady 60 frames a second (the Dreamcast ran at 30 frames a second, the PS2 version had a few moments of slowdown) and in 5.1 surround audio. Now if that isn't a way to bring back the magic, I don't know what is. I can tell you, I am very excited. I hope that they do the whole game over again, not just the main stages but the special modes with altered color sequences, the lost area stage and Boss Rush mode. My personal favorite of them all was Trancemission, a never-ending set of levels that would throw you jarringly from one song to the next, in what can only be described as Captain Beefheart gone techno. I hope they will not split the game up into DLC like what happened with Lumines Live! (and subsequently, NOT done with Q's other XBLA game Every Extend Extra Extreme) and just keep it as one payment of 800 microsoft points. But so far the details are slim to none on what's going on with it. So enjoy the videos while I go boot up my dreamcast and get my beat on.   read

11:54 AM on 12.23.2007

Orange Box Soundtrack; Now a reality!

Thanks to the folks at Valve and their love of retail madness, you can now purchase Your very own copy of the Orange Box soundtrack, complete with a special version of Still Alive. It's currently available from the Valve store for $9.95 U.S.   read

12:38 AM on 12.11.2007

Getting Primal with The Smoking Mönkeys

Sitting in a bar, The Smoking Mönkeys may just look like a group of drunks that were just thrown from a hurricane pulling them from various eras. But spending some time with the members, you'd learn that they each have a story to tell and the madness makes sense in the end. Now, guitarist Danny Salamander, bassist Mr. Krinkle, drummer Azn, and vocalist Sgt. Cheesecake all sit on a bench at Bob's Big Boy near Toluca Lake in Los Angeles, California explaining to us the path they have taken.

The Smoking Mönkeys came from an underground music scene in Sweden, where Danny and Mr. Krinkle have lived the majority of their lives. The two met during a JawsomeBand concert, walking out half-way through the show. "It was pure shit," said Mr. Krinkle. "It might have been more useful as a sleep aid than a rock concert." At the time, Danny was beginning a career in amateur porn, while Mr. Krinkle worked as a garbage man. The two began a musical career together when they realized that there was a lot they liked in common, such as beer and women and rock music.

The two had begun jamming together, but had a difficult time finding a drummer they could get along with. "We found this one dude, Phillip Reisler , who was really good at the skins," recalls Danny. "But when he said Megadeath was better than Metallica, neither one of us could even look at him again." Things began to look down, until one day some equipment they had ordered came in from FedEx. They went to the door of their apartment to find the delivery boy, a skinny man of Asian decent, laying down a beat on the boxes as he waited. "I don't even know what it was," Mr. Krinkle adds. "But it blew us away." The two invited him to come in, set up a drum kit made out of hollowed out coffee cans with saran wrap tightly layered over the top, and handed him two drum sticks fashioned out of Popsicle sticks glued together. After an impressive 8 minute drum solo, the drums burst into flames and melted down into a pool on the floor. It was decided, this guy was in.

Sgt. Cheesecake hails from London, and was working as a Chef on-board a fishing vessel. "I tell you, that job was the dog's bollocks. Never once ate seafood on that ship!" He remembers. His years of work with his fishing mates came to an end when the ship was caught in rough seas and thrown far off course. "We ended up becoming beached on the Swedish border. I was bloody near gobsmacked." Having no money on him, no understanding of the Swedish language, and not a clue on where to go, he walked. "David Bowie was my savior. His various characters through his early career set the tone for my adventure." His first encounter with his soon-to-be bandmates took place outside of a bar when he bummed a smoke from a stranger, and asked wandered over asking if any of the three had a light. His position winning moment came when, by chance they heard him singing "Suffragette City" while drunk at a street corner. "They took me up to their flat. I was pretty sure I was fucked, but when I awoke there was a Mic in my face and these three with their instruments just staring at me." After performing an encore of his earlier stunt, his fate was sealed.

The band started off playing cover songs at local Swedish pubs and small venues, while they began writing their own material. "The circuit was relentless," Azn shakes his head, as if trying to fling the memory away. "The crowds loved to throw in requests at shows. The Metallica song 'Blackened' was the most requested. It was very stressful on all of us but we made it through." At the time, the band was known as "The Mickey Mouse Club", because of an odd coincidence where one day at practice they all wore shirts with Mickey Mouse on it. This name stuck for a few months until, at last, a name was decided on. The name was apparently inspired by a Jonathan Coulton album, Smoking Monkey. The band remembers the tough times that they had gone through just to get from gig to gig. "One time," Danny says. "We were going straight from one gig to another, and we had to get to the next town in a matter of minutes. We had no bus, no roadies, and had to tow all of our equipment. Well this night we didn't have the ability to make more than one trip back to the apartment, we had to take it all in one go." A challenge, rest assured, the group was willing to face head-on. "We stepped back and started using our tetris skills," Cheesecake recalls. "Eventually we got all of the equipment in the car. But there was one problem, we couldn't fit in the car. It was 2 A.M. and it was below freezing. We had no choice but to put the top down on the car and ride all the way to the next gig, getting blasted with arctic cold air." He sips his soda, chewing down on an ice cube. No doubt, the memories of the cold rush back. "We threw up the 'Devil Horns', despite the fact that our fingers were freezing off," Azn throws in. All of them agree that it was good times.

As the gigs came more frequently, the band's fanbase grew exponentially. Some gigs ended with a wild finish, with fans jumping on stage during the last song to sing along and really get into the magic. The band was on fire, and soon word spread to some local record labels. They had soon cut a record deal, had a tour manager, a shitty tour bus, and they were living the life. Then one day, they finally nailed "Blackened", the fabled Metallica song that had haunted their earlier years. Nothing could stop them now. Or so they thought. Footage of Danny's early career made it's way online and was spread through the fanbase like wildfire. The Danny Salamander 'Sex Tape' scandal had begun. "I was a fucking porn star in my earlier years, what did they expect?" he says of the press and their venomous reaction to the footage. "That shit was available for years in Sweden." The band didn't let this get them down. It was free publicity, and shortly following the outcry over the tape, they began selling copies of the film at the merch booths at shows. "I think that was our hottest selling piece of merch," Mr. Krinkle says, with a smirk on his face. "I suppose sex really does sell."

It was this tape that turned on the international limelight and had it pointed in the air like the bat signal. This light said "The Smoking Mönkeys" performing tonight! The first time they set foot on U.S. soil they were instantly showered with rock stardom. Fans were awaiting with CDs, T-shirts and on a few occasions breasts to be signed. They were treated like royalty, shows sold out almost instantly. They were the hottest thing in international musicians in America since Beatlemania. But rest assured, no "More popular than Jesus" comments from the boys. They wanted nothing more than to keep up the current pattern. Radio and television interviews were performed quite often. Offers for them to endorse product lines were aplenty. "We even got approached by Phillip Morris, the gentlemen of Big Tobacco, to give the blessing on a brand of cigarettes called "The Smoking Mönkeys"." Cheesecake holds up a pack. "As you can see, we found the idea to be quite entertaining." With their tour coming to a settle with a final show for the year on December 14th, the boys are looking forward to some time off.

"Always gotta relax for the calm before the storm," Danny says. "And that's just what this next album is going to be. A storm that will take the world and pick it up and give it a good one-over!"

Author's note: This is just a little funny side-story for my friends and I's Rock Band group. I do not write for Rolling Stone, though that would be nice. All of the events are fictional. Any likenesses to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. More legal bullshit. Also, cocks. Ect...   read

7:04 PM on 12.10.2007

Phantasy Star Universe? What's that?

In 2001, Dreamcast owners were treated to a console MMO experience that broke barriers for online console titles. Phantasy Star Online was once quoted by an EGM staffer as being "More addictive than heroin laced peanut butter cookies." Hours were logged in exploring the areas, bosses, and missions in the 4 main areas of PSO's world. The missions were goofy, the world was beautifully rendered (for a Dreamcast game), and the rare weapons were what everyone was after. Over various re-releases SEGA added more and more weaponry, character classes, areas, and missions which gave PSO it's unique flavor. It was no everquest or WoW in terms of sales, but it was still a very popular title.

In 2006, it's brother was born. Phantasy Star Universe promised to be PSO2, with loads more depth, a new combat system and the addictive rare-hunting. The game was released to a lukewarm reception, and while it was new and fun for the first week, some grinding problems killed a majority of the population of the game. SEGA locked away months worth of updates on the DVD the game was on, much to the outrage of the more hardcore players who constantly found themselves stuck at level caps and wanting new missions and weaponry. SEGA's ignorance of their pleas scared off new customers as even players were dissing the game on the official forums and the fansite Things were looking grim, and over a year after the original game's release the expansion, Ambition of the Illuminus, came out.

But who was paying attention?

Certainly not the gaming press, which seems to have neglected the silent release. Wikipedia's page for the expansion is bare, and even a portion of the game population seems to not even know there's an expansion out. What is SEGA doing? I guess the immidiate questions that come to mind is "Did they fix anything? Is it any better? Does anyone care?"

Let's answer those three questions.

Did they fix anything?

Yes. There were some netcode problems that seemed to put enemies in different locations for each player. This seems to have been fixed up a little bit, though I will still see someone whacking at air and a creature across the room taking damage. Combat is about the same, but now they have things like "Just Attack" where you can perform an attack at a specific moment to get a critical hit. Drop rates have been increased, and so has Meseta drops. It's also easier to get from level 1-100 now. The latter few improvements were also patched in to the original game, so you needn't worry about slapping down all that money for the expansion yet. Despite the less frequent use of HaXxetta (money hacked from the early stages of the game) the user-run economy is still not quite where it needs to be. A shame, really. But I don't know a lot of honest players who are going to lay down 2,000,000 for a piece of clothing. Another disappointment is how the missions still don't amount to anything more than just killing a room full of enemies to get to the next room or the next key. No "Get through the caves and get a cake from the baker sisters" missions here.

Is it any better?

Yes! New weapons abound, new costumes, new areas, new missions, new enemies, new bosses, new Photon Arts, new rooms, new room decorations, better store search functionality, the list goes on and on. It seems like they really listened to the content mongers, because there is a plethora of new stuff to get. And with the increased meseta drops, you can now afford most of the shit! Whips and Slicers are fun new weapons, as are the mag-like RCSM and TCSM weapons. There are new areas to explore, some of which have become favorite hang-outs for groups. One of the best examples is the Casino area, which features slot machines and a roulette wheel that continues 24/7. Some weapons and items can be received in exchange for winning big at the slots/roulette. New rooms allow you to have more advanced room customization with new items to place around your room and shops can now feature welcome messages for people who come in. Oh, and remember how you used to have to play through 3 different missions just to get to the mission you wanted in the first place? Well no more! For a fee, you can teleport to any midpoint/goal lobbies you have been to (or if someone on your team is there) and get straight to grinding your favorite mission! Which is good, because there are a good batch of new missions with absurd payoffs for such little work. Just bring a group, it really helps things go by so much faster.

Does Anyone Care?

The short answer: No.
The long answer: Only current PSU diehards, or those who are willing to give PSU a second chance through this expansion. $39.99 is a hefty price to pay to see if you want to re-enter the world of PSU, and for some may be just too much after the pure heartbreak that was the original PSU. For those that are looking for that PSO magic, it's sort of almost back in PSU. SEGA is still holding onto boatloads of new content such as costumes, weapons, areas, ect... so that much they haven't learned from. And if you're a PC/PS2 user you're in for some bad news. Finding a party is HARD these days, as no universe goes over 4 stars these days. It's a sad state of affairs since the original had at least 2-3 universes full for the first few months. But when SEGA failed to respond to it's players, they left and haven't looked back. The Xbox 360 users have a bit more players to play with, but let's be honest with ourselves. 360 owners just have so many more quality single/multiplayer titles to be playing right now. Mass Effect, anyone?

To be honest, I forgot about PSU after I quit oh so long ago. I was busy with college, and a little ditty known as Team Fortress 2. I bumped into this game by accident, trying to hide the PC copies of Kane & Lynch at a local Gamestop. I decided to give it a try because I had a rather incurable addiction to PSO back in the day and was hoping that PSU's expansion would fix the problems that made PSU so despicable. For me, it's a bittersweet victory, as I am enjoying the game a lot more now but I can't help but feel that this was what PSU should have been from the very beginning. Apparently SEGA has no hope in the title either, as advertising for the game has been non-existent both online and offline. Without something to call players back and tell them that the expansion is out, I'm afraid this may be one of the last Phantasy Star titles.   read

1:16 PM on 12.10.2007

Invest a little more in your Rock fantasy.

We're all familiar with the battle between the players of games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and the people who shoot them snide comments such as "Play a Real Guitar!" Well earlier this month I received my December '07 issue of GameInformer (a subscription which came free from my friend Mike, who worked at an EB Games and had a few in-store promotions to waste) and tucked away in the middle of the issue was their Holiday 2007 Buying Guide. Upon some truly "DO WANT" things (the Soundwave MP3 Player struck a geek-nerve and almost caused me to rush out and get one. Thankfully Optimus Prime stopped me, reminding me that I would be supporting the Decepticons.) there was one particular diamond in shit. The Art Guitar Controller, coming in at a minor entry fee of $399, gives you the best of both worlds. It is a guitar, gutted and fitted with Guitar Hero guitar parts. Oh, and it's PS2 only. But they don't stop there and let you live out your dream with just a fake guitar. Try this baby on for size:

The AGRiffmaster Pro System comes with:

• 4x10 stereo "Guitar Slack" cabinet with two tweeters
• 150 watts of real Peavey power
• "Guitar Amp" head that holds PS2, PS3 & Xbox 360
• Real amp tone controls: reverb, high/low EQ & 5-band graphic EQ
• Four mic/line inputs for players and microphones
• 2 Riffmaster Controlers
• PVM Diamond Series Microphone

And all of this slides into your hands for a lump sum of $1,999. Quite the investment for those GH/RB parties you and your friends have. Your neighbors hated you before, but now you have an AMP to add to the fun. Sorry, this model doesn't go to 11.

One of my biggest gripes (and i'm trying to restrain myself) is that you can only get them with some of the most unsightly paint jobs I have ever seen in my life. I cringe every time I see Joe Satriani play his guitar with the cover from his album 'Super Colossal' painted on to the front. But that seems to be a priceless piece of art compared to some of these. Why they wouldn't just let you get the guitar in a nice sunburst or even a solid color is beyond me. Sure, you could spend money getting a new paint job, but that's just more money going down the toilet towards your Rock and Roll fantasy. I haven't gotten my hands on one of these, and don't plan to as I really don't have $400+ to spend on such a thing. Nor would I, as the standard guitars do me just fine.

However, now those who get yelled at "play a real Guitar!" when they fingertap their way through "Through the Fire and Flames" can finally say "I AM playing a real guitar, you tool!"

no wallets had holes burned in them during the making of this blog

EDIT: Fixed the URL for the website.   read

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