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Hi, I'm Jared, a games industry writer, living in the Bay Area who currently has a lot of time on his hands! If you're going to stalk me, do it right and check out my personal site!
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jaredr
12:35 PM on 11.09.2007



11.09.1997







jaredr
1:00 AM on 11.05.2007

Holy cripes on toast! We just picked up a 60" Sony Bravia today! All because of Rock Band! Exclamation points!

After attending Chris Kohler's Friday night jam session, Shelby and I were driving back to our side of the Bay when she asked the most curious of questions.

"How are people without a widescreen TV supposed to play Rock Band?" I turned to her and I said, "I don't plan on finding out."

So we did the research, scoped out some deals and walked away with a disgustingly huge set today. I'd share some pictures but I realized that I'm not very good at taking television pictures. I've seen pictures from other folks who own this set that make everything look completely surreal, yet mine come out looking like a high score shot from a 1980's Nintendo Power. Bah!

We're also keeping this secret from our roommate who comes back from Japan next week. He's going to totally freak out.







jaredr
10:43 PM on 11.02.2007

I'm currently at Chris Kohler's place and damn it, we're having a Rock Band Party.

Check out the Live Blog here!







jaredr
1:48 PM on 11.01.2007

With the start of November comes the last Holiday push of gaming goodness. Here at the GameTap office we're positively buried in titles to cover, review and generally plow through in time for vacation. And this got me thinking ... what does my shopping list look like for the rest of the year? Should my wallet be scared?

Must Buys


Rock Band - There's not a day that goes by where someone doesn't say to me, "Man. I can't ****ing wait until Rock Band comes out." For that matter, not a day goes by where I'm not playing a game and I think to myself, "I'd rather be playing Rock Band." It's the default game of the year.

Mass Effect - Oh, Bioware. How much do I adore thee? You know a game is awesome when trailers of the conversation system make you squeal like a tiny girl. I'm a bit weary of the combat, but there's no way that I'm not picking this up ASAP. Unfortunately, it comes out the same week as Rock Band, so we'll see how that goes.

Sam & Max Season 2 - Viral marketer! Hey, not only is Sam & Max the only true episodic game out there, but it also supplied the best adventure gaming of the year. Season 2 starts next week and while this is technically free for GameTap users, I'll file this under time. Wink.

Fire Pro Wrestling Returns - It's time to remember the good ol' days of wrestling. You know, like a year ago when I wasn't ashamed to still be watching it! My roommate is a huge wrestling fanatic and he's going to freak out when he sees all the options in this one.

Second Guessing


Viva Pinata PC - My girlfriend and I are huge fans of Viva Pinata, but the PC version may get a pass from us. Not only would we miss out on the achievements (we're a Vista-free household ... and I'm Windows-free!), but the lack of new content is discouraging. Sure, there's new pinata to find, but we were hoping for the missing online component to finally show up.

Super Mario Galaxy - Shock and omg! After spending an hour with Galaxy, I liked what I played but I wasn't freaking out like some other folks I know. It was probably the tacked-on Wii functions that killed it for me, but I digress. I'll pick it up eventually, but maybe not this year.

Contra 4 - I've heard nothing but good things about this DS sequel, but I just haven't had the time to pick up my DS. If I'm out, I'm either working or really busy. If I'm on the road, I'm the one driving and when I'm home, I don't want to stare into a DS. Sigh!

Missing in Action


Call of Duty 4 - I really want this, but I'm just sick of FPS games at the moment. For the rest of the year, really. Maybe by the time Call of Duty 4 Gold Edition or whatever Activision calls it comes out, I'll be ready to take the plunge. Until then, I'll just stick to good ol' fashioned Halo.

Hmm.. It looks like I won't be so poor after all!







jaredr
11:36 PM on 10.30.2007



Well, here it is. My review of Hannah Montana: Music Jam for the Nintendo DS! When it initially arrived, purple stylus and all, it made for a good laugh. Of course it did. It's Hannah Montana, right?

Which is exactly why I wanted to cover it. Not only because casual games are a $2.25 billion dollar market in itself, but also because the original sold over 500,000 copies on the DS, making it one of the most successful third-party titles that "nobody" played. The truth is that I refuse to sit here and just review all the hardcore fighters and rhythm titles that I'm perfectly suited for, because that puts us in the minority.

At GameTap, we're hitting a much broader range of folks who may not be up to speed on the world of video games. Heck, they may not even want to be up to speed. If that means we're going to cover the likes of Hannah Montana and Avatar: The Last Airbender (no complaints here!), then so be it. At the very least, they're going to get a fair shake.

And quite honestly, I'd rather have experienced the likes of these titles instead of being another finger pointing cynic.







jaredr
2:44 PM on 10.29.2007

Sir Bettenhausen of the EGM clan held his annual Halloween bash this past weekend and as usual, it was the social event of the season. Hey, even Tiff managed to make it! lawl!

My girlfriend and I had this big, elaborate plan for a Bioshock themed party, but unfortunately they fell through. So instead, we loaded up the Zune with hits from the 1940's and went to Shane's as a pair of Thug Splicers.


click to enlarge

Be sure to check out her blog for pictures of her costumes, props and a tale about lame California laws. Enjoy!

[Update] Tiff has more tales of debauchery over at her blog!