Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Saints in the house, and location, location, location.

Well Tuesday marked the release of Saint's Row on the 360. I've got my copy, but haven't had a chance to play yet. I've heard a lot of positive buzz from people at work, and on the net so I'm looking forward to it.

It's official (not including the rest of the paperwork...) we found a new house, and made an offer. After a wee bit of negotiation we settled on a price, and supposedly will have a new place to live come September 29th. Timing works out pretty well as the Wichita schools end the first 9 weeks on October 13th, so they will go until then (actually the 12th because they are out the 13th & 16th for inservice.) and start a new school that Tuesday. Trying to make the transition smooth as possible. They both actually seem pretty happy about the whole deal, and I'm ready for both of them to ride the bus. :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Represent the Row, and Lite palette changes.

Saint's Row roughs up the streets on Tuesday 8/29. If you've read any of the back post you know I played the demo a lot, and really enjoyed it. Filefront has a 161 MB video review from GameTrailers up, check it out if your on the fence about the game. The multiplayer looks like it will be awesome with people creating their own gangs (clans?) and taking them online. The EB Games/Gamestop versions of the game have a bonus you can get an free in-game t-shirt, and around September 15th you can get a 'clothing pack' from the in store 360 kiosk. You will have to take your memory unit into EB Games/Gamestop, and download the pack from there (like the Burnout Revenge cars, and themes).

Finally (like we didn't know it would happen...) Nintendo has announced that two new colors will be joining the polar white DS Lite on September 13th here in the states (that evens up with Europe!). Starting then you will be able to grab a new onyx (black) Lite, or a coral pink (pink, duh.) one. I'm not sure on the pink one, unless they are trying to target a female audience (although I don't think the pink GBA SP sold that well). Check out N-Philes for the pics, and announcement.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mine is this big, red hot poker, 360 playtime, and Leipzig!

TeamXbox has a post about Samsung's newest addition to their LCD HD television, which is to be shown at the International Meeting on Information Displays (IMID) 2006 which opens today in Korea. This thing is huge, 70 inch widescreen supporting 1080p. If you need an HD set look no further, and invite me over often.

Hope you all downloaded your free Texas Hold'em from the marketplace this morning. I was playing poker at 5:15 am (don't ask) not very well mind you, but it was fun and has single player if you don't want to play on LIVE. has an interesting video walkthrough of the upcoming 360 accessories shipping this year. Click the page to get larger download versions in WMV, or MOV formats, or just click below.

It looks like the Leipzig Games Convention 2007 runs Thursday-Sunday in Germany. This seems to be the German equivalent to E3. I could only find a link for the 2006 show, so maybe the 2007 one isn't up yet. Just search for 'Leipzig Games Convention' under Google news, or click this link and I already did all the hard work. There should be more news stories coming in the next couple of days once the show actually opens.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

F.E.A.R. this, and I (don't) C U.

I got my new Official Xbox Magazine in the mail today, got all the points and unlocked the extras (Dead Rising gamerpics, Japanese demo (see below), and screenshots from Sonic, and Small Arms). Am I the only one that's sick of the Roland advertisements? I'd rather watch 4 60 sec. Commercials (that I've already seen) than these 4-minute pieces of crap.

F.E.A.R - I thought it was great! It looked beautiful, and I loved the atmosphere. I caught myself twice twitch shooting at apparitions. It seems like the AI is really good. I love how they scattered from grenades, and would take positions behind walls then duck and move to different cover. Of course all of this from someone who really wanted to play it on the PC, but the slideshow I ended up with was no fun at all.

Zegapain (unlocked when you get all of the points) - Reminded me a lot of Zone of Enders for the PS2, the graphics were really arcadey/colorful. Pretty straight forward even with all the menus in Japanese (just hit A to progress through the menus). Finished the mission with a B rank, which probably wasn't all that good. I'm not a big fan of the ZoE type games anyway so I would skip this even if it were released here. Here is the Japanese site if you want to take a look.

It seems that some (Eastern states mostly) Toys'r'us stores already have the 360 LIVE Vision cameras for sale. Take into account they have a release date of 9/19/06, but it's unknown whether it's a street date (not to be sold until then), or they have started shipping to retailers already. The most likely scenario Toys'r'us began selling them on 8/19 just mistaking the street date, as they haven't shown up anywhere else. I tried locally but they said they didn't have them in stock (yet), the clerk suggested I try later in the week. These retail for $39.99 and include the camera, manual, (another) headset, 1 month of LIVE Gold, and a download code for UNO.

Sony for the girlie-man, Madden, and Arkansas thieves got nothing on us.

Well it seems that the Pink DS launch (Japanese Famitsu site) went so well, that Sony Europe decided they too needed to release some girlie colored systems as well. So on November 8th they will release a Pink slim PS2, and a Pink PSP on October 8th. So for those keeping score, that's 2 colors in Japan (white/black), and soon to be 3 in Europe (white/black/pink), and here in the US? Yep we get 1. Here's a shot just to entice you...

Well I picked up Madden 07 this morning, couldn't pass up the Circuit City price of $47.99 for the 360. I also couldn't wait until 10am for them to open so I price matched at Wal-Mart about 8am this morning. :) So far it's not too bad (I always preferred 2k's NFL offerings), although thinking about it, this is the first Madden I've ever bought. Haven't got any achievements yet, and it looks like they made them more difficult than last years (which I read were pretty easy).

I thought this story from the Carroll County news was funny (and all too true), here is a snipit...
BERRYVILLE - Two Berryville men have been charged with theft of property for allegedly stealing $1,200 worth of video games from Wal-Mart and selling them next door at the "Game Stop" store.

You mean that sort of thing goes on (in other cities??), I thought that was only here. :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Microsoft Zune in the buff, okay artistic b&w...

Gizmodo has a article up about the Microsoft Zune (think video Ipod) here. Someone leaked a picture of a Zune prototype unit, and if you follow the link in the Update at the bottom there is some hands on info. I'm assuming this is supposed to be out by Christmas, and word is at work that EB/GameStop will carry the player and accessories.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Free F.E.A.R., and Poker!

Okay, the first one is a little misleading... Sierra has released F.E.A.R. Combat for the PC which is basically the multiplayer portion of F.E.A.R. as a stand alone product. Did I mention it's FREE? You can go to to get the necessary install key, and links to the 1.8 GB exe file. This would make me happy except that my PC wouldn't run F.E.A.R. worth a crud, so I don't think the multiplayer would be any different. I'm happy it's coming out on the 360 (supposed to be a demo on next months OXM), and heard today it's also been announced for the PS3.

Numerous sites are reporting that Texas Hold'Em on the Xbox Live Arcade will be FREE for the first 48 hours on the marketplace, otherwise after that you will have to part with 800 MP points ($10.00!). had this to say...

Microsoft isn't bluffing: Log on to Xbox Live® within the first 48 hours after launch and download Texas Hold 'em completely free of charge! This full-featured poker title for Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360™ will launch on Wednesday, August 23, at 0800 GMT (1:00 A.M. Pacific Time).

For 48 hours only through 0800 GMT (1:00 A.M. Pacific Time) Friday, August 25 a special limited-time only promotion, all Xbox Live Gold and Silver members can download (and own) the game at no charge.

So if your up next Wednesday at 3am Central grab this, if not at least you have 48 hours to get it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

They're coming to get you Margaret... Strap on HD-DVD, and movielicious!

The dead are rising (all over the freaking place) as yesterday was the release of the new 360 game Dead Rising. I think it's been one of the biggest (hyped!?) selling titles yet on the 360, there were quite a few people lined up to get it. Pretty much most of the reviews sum it up correctly great fun to play, but the save system sucks. I haven't had much time to play yet :( and won't have this weekend, but the kids will be back in school next week so I should have some more free time. Check out the penny arcade below. :)

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Here is a shot of the Microsoft HD-DVD add-on for the 360, Gizmodo has a link round up of information (or lack thereof) presented at the DVD Forum in L.A. (That Halo faceplate is pretty cool.).

Seen the sneak tonight of Accepted. Didn't have high hopes for this one although the preview looked funny. In the back of my mind I was putting it with Old School, and Van Wilder which wasn't far from the fact. Anyway, I absolutely loved this! Way funnier than I expected it would be, and the rest of the audience seemed to be enjoying it as well. This sneak was evidently not on the same level of advertising as the Talladega Nights sneak, I counted ~20 people in line when they let us in about 6:45pm. When we went to TN we got there at 6:30pm (1 hour before the show) and the line was outside to the corner of the building. We got seated at 7:20pm that night and were in the last group of 8-10 to get in, although there were probably at least 100 more people behind us. Luckily this one was no where near that, although by the time it started the theater had a nice sized crowd ~150 I would guess.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

360s bundled up, more rising dead, and musical puzzle games.

Seems like the rumors floating around the last couple of months about the holiday plans of Microsoft are coming clearer. A lot of people were looking (hoping?) for a price drop on the 360 hardware this holiday season, while others were saying the price would stay the same, but you would get additional goodies for your hard earned $399.99.

Looks like the later group was onto something as it looks like our northern ***dies in Canada will be able to pick up the lovely Project Gotham Racing 3 bundle pack starting August 9th.

The pack will still retail for the current premium cost, but will also include a copy of PGR3 (~$39.99 value), 1250 marketplace points ($15.62), and a 3 month LIVE gold subscription (~$19). Not too bad of a bonus, around $75.00 of savings as long as you wanted PGR3.

While our European friends (at least the French ones) will be getting the Saint's Row bundle on September 8th. This one doesn't seem to get the LIVE gold/marketplace points, but they are getting a brand spanking new game. Does it say something negative about their culture when one gets a blood drenched gang warfare game, and the other gets a nice leisurely driving game though?

Of course here in the US we haven't heard anything about a possible bundle pack. I'm sure Microsoft is still deciding what to put up against the Sony PS3 launch in November.

Played a little more (yeah, right) of the Dead Rising demo. I've lost track how many times I've went through it now. Wednesday can not get here fast enough, waiting sux. :(

I have seen a couple sites posting the upcoming release schedule for Xbox LIVE Arcade Wednesdays, and it looks like Lumines Live will be up on September 6th! This will be the first arcade title I've actually used marketplace points on. I already have Bankshot Billiards 2, and Joust, but they were 'download codes' packaged with gold subscription kits, not actual marketplace points.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Talladega, Dead Rising, and sell this G-Unit!

Well I caught the sneak of Talladega Nights : The Ballad of Ricky Bobby Thursday night. I guess it was okay, no Elf by far (my favorite Ferrell movie so far), but enjoyable. It seemed like one of those where they tried so hard it turned out stupid to the point of being funny. There was some good laughs here and there, but I'm happy I didn't pay to see it.

The Dead Rising demo finally hit the LIVE Marketplace on Friday. Woo hoo! I've lost track how many times I played through the demo (it's not very long about 15 minutes if you don't trigger a cut scene to end it earlier) now. Each time was enjoyable, and I'm always finding something new while going through. There are a couple of 'hidden' weapons in the demo including a katana, and a machine gun. There are so many things to use in the demo that I still don't know if I've tried them all, and the demo only houses one wing of the mall (about 20 shops). I'm really looking forward to picking this up next week!

On a gaming related note check out the video from this story at Kotaku! If you ever wanted to work at a video game retailer (or currently do) check it out. :P This one is really over the top stupid (although unfortunately most of it is relevant at any game store) and it's not even that old (2004 roughly). If a perspective retailer showed me this before I started working there I would have to think twice about taking the job. I guess I'm glad we haven't got any Game Crazy's here in Wichita because these people scare me, I sure hope this video has been retired/replaced already. For those who don't know Game Crazy is a subsidy of Hollywood Video, and I believe are usually situated within the same buildings.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Movie time, HD inches forward, and Saint's Row.

Well I've caught up on some movies over the last couple days, first off there was World Trade Center last night. Oliver Stone directed this film based on the true stories of two 9/11/01 survivors. Nicholas Cage plays a NY Port Authority cops that was pulled alive from the tower rubble, and the movie recaps his experiences. Not a lot of 9/11 stuff in the movie, it's more of a character look into the lives of these Port Authority cops that go into the towers to help. Overall I enjoyed it, but definitely not something I would watch over and over again.

Next up was Miami Vice, unfortunately this one was somewhat of a let down. The movie is really dark compared to the tv series, while not a bad thing necessarily, it felt out of place.

Finally I got around to seeing Clerks II this one was the best by far. I seen the original a long time ago, and for the most part have always liked Kevin Smith films. This one just expands on the first one, and really picks on everyone. I don't think any ethnic group escapes some sort of racist slur. A very adult film, but also really funny.

I have passes to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby tomorrow so I'm hoping it turns out to be really funny, but Will Ferrel movies are hit'n miss.

I did find an interesting article at ArsTechnica that led me too this story at High-def Digest. There are finally some comparable movies available on both Blu-Ray, and HD-DVD it looks like right now HD-DVD has the visual edge.

I played quite a bit of the Saint's Row demo over the last week. I heard on the net that you could get past the demo barrier (a red wall that encloses the demo area) so spent the better part of a night trying to get through. Finally I came across a video that showed an easy way to do it. While there are a lot of glitches on the other side you can pick up an AK-47 which is a fun gun to tote around, and I think you can enter some of the stores. I'm sooo looking forward to this game. :)