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12:35 PM on 11.09.2007

Never Forget



1:00 AM on 11.05.2007

Priceless

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.   read


10:43 PM on 11.02.2007

Rock Band: The Liveblog

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

Check out the Live Blog here!   read


1:48 PM on 11.01.2007

Closing It Out

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!   read


11:36 PM on 10.30.2007

Hannah Montana: The Review!

[embed]51904:4177[/embed]

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.   read


2:44 PM on 10.29.2007

A Spliced Up Halloween

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!   read


5:38 PM on 10.26.2007

Best Weekend Ever



HELL YES!   read


3:26 PM on 10.26.2007

Perfect Strangers

There are times where I miss being a news blogger. Oh, sure, access was tough and the pay was even worse, but the headlines. Headlines that send my heart a flutter and turn Photoshop into a paradise of impossible dreams. So when Jason Booth goes on a rampage against the PlayStation 3, I get excited. It may not be a shopped project, but man, why didn't anyone post this-

[embed]51183:3993[/embed]

Too obvious, my friends! Too obvious!

On a GameTap related note, we have new neighbors! I walked into the office today and before me stood the editors of the new, Future owned Official PlayStation magazine. I immediately got back in the elevator, thinking I had the wrong office.

If you're familiar with our cast of characters, you'd know that we contain three of the former Official PlayStation Magazine. I'd say there's a West Side Story brawl on the horizon, but I think we'll all get along just fine!

That is unless they don't wash their hands. I swear to god, no one in this building washes their hands. We're clean, of course, but I forgot how frightening a shared office environment could be! I've started opening doors with paper towels and shrieking uncontrollably every time I hear a toilet flush.

Dear Turner: send Purell, plz!   read


6:18 PM on 10.22.2007

Deal or No Deal

Monday's aren't that hard. At least, not until you go to Chili's for lunch and land yourself smackdab in a food coma.

My girlfriend Shelby and I (featured in last Friday's Art Attack!) swung by our local Toys R' Us this weekend to take a late advantage of their buy two games, get one free event. We had a good idea of what we were looking for but our hopes were low. It was the last day of the sale, after all.

I quickly found one of the games I was looking for: Project Gotham Racing 4. Shelby was on the hunt for Eternal Sonata, but as it turns out that store "never even got a single copy" according to the game jockey behind the counter. Instead, she settled for Drawn to Life for the DS. This left us to our free game.

The problem should be obvious. Seeing as how she had to settle for her choice, pickings were definitely slim. We already own most of the great, recent titles and we weren't in the market for a fourth (!) copy of Halo 3. I contemplated getting the (shoddy) port of PaRappa the Rapper for PSP, but thought better of it. Defeated, we got hopped in line and decided to just pass on a free game.

At the counter, however, the game jockey wasn't about to let that happen. "You have to get something" she pleaded. "Anything to take advantage of it. That's why you're here!"

Utterly frazzled, my eyes darted about the glass window behind her. Blue Dragon ... too easy! Final Fantasy Tactics ... too hard! Time slows as the eyes of the shopkeep cast judgement upon my hesitation. Shelby tugs on jacket, wondering why we're not eating ice cream already. Somewhere, a baby cries.

"NINETY-NINE NIGHTS!" I blurt out.



Stunned, I blacked out and came to at home, a mint flavored ice cream shake frosting my hand. I initially thought that I had given the Gooch a sale for his tepid Dynasty Warriors clone, but the joke was on him.

It was free.   read


4:19 PM on 10.19.2007

Human After All [Update]

I met up with everyone's favorite Tiff of Destructoid last night at EA's [blank] event. I have to say [blank] event because it's to remain under wraps at the moment, but don't worry. It's nothing you folks don't already know about.

The event itself was held at an indoor paintball range here in the city of GameTap West, San Bruno. Tiff says it reminded her of "a middle school birthday party" and I have to agree. We were treated to sour patch kids and soda while we waited on a dinner of In & Out. That's not to say we didn't have a great time though! We just like giving our good buddies at EA grief :)

In fact, we had such a great time that we couldn't even take time out from playing whatever fantastic game we were there for to take a picture. We'd like this to be -- now and forever -- the stock photo for news agencies when they talk about the video game industry. No need to credit me for the caption, AP!


GAME ON!: GameTap's Jared Rea and Tiffany Chow of Destructoid are video game industry experts.

Update: I almost forgot about this! My better half is the subject of this weeks Art Attack Friday! Her feet are probably more well known than my whole being, which is so totally awkward that you've got to check it out!   read


7:10 PM on 10.17.2007

Thoughts on Street Fighter IV



Finally, we talk out loud about Street Fighter IV. Okay, maybe not so much, but it's nice to finally have an official announcement after just sort of giggling like an idiot for the past year or so. Oh, come now. Like you didn't know!

So, allow me to word vomit all over you folks with my thoughts on Street Fighter IV.

- Regardless what it looks like in the end (keep in mind the trailer we saw wasn't indicative of actual gameplay), it will most likely remain a 2D game. Maybe not sprite based, but the base Street Fighter series isn't making any sort of crazy, 3D leap anytime soon.

- If you're like me and you've been playing 3rd Strike religiously for the past 8 years or so (Wow I'm old), you probably don't want it to change. That said, I don't really want to see them take any big risks. I also don't want to see techniques like the UOH and parry go away, either.

- That goes for the cast, too. I know that the casual crowd want to see it return to the original line-up, but the 3rd Strike cast is too good to give up. Sure, replace Remy for Guile and toss in E.Honda, but dear god man, they can't ditch the likes of Necro, Urien and Makoto. They brought a lot of unique styles to the series and in someways, better defined what characters should be (see: Yun & Yang to Fei Long). A mix of old timers, 3rd Strike vets and original characters would make me happy ... even if I know Hugo won't make the cut.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. It should turn out pretty good, though in typical Capcom fashion, don't expect them to nail it the first time.

Tomorrow, I should be hanging out with Destructoid's own Tiffany Chow at the EA event. Photoshop fodder to follow.   read


3:43 PM on 10.14.2007

Polysics: Live in SF Tonight!

The house Excelsior is making a trip out to San Francisco tonight to go see Polysics at Bottom of the Hill. Normally, seeing a show in the city isn't a big deal, but you don't understand! This is Polysics! I'm really not big on Japanese music, but you really can't go wrong with new wave, hard rock inspired by DEVO.

[embed]49095:3327[/embed]
Polysics - Electric Surfi'n Go Go

To keep this on the gaming tip: when I was making videos for my good buddies at GameTrailers, my roommate and I put together a Johnny Cage tribute video to "I My Me Mine" by the band. It always comes back to Johnny Cage.   read


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