Friday, December 22, 2006

Se-XXX-y Zune, Orange Zune, and WiiNet.

I got a Zune today (Thanks going out to work & Microsoft!). It will be replacing my 60GB video ipod, losing some storage (that I wasn't using anyway) but gaining an FM tuner, and larger 'widescreen aspect' screen. I came home tonight and decided to surf some Zune websites to see what was in the news.

It seems a 12 year old in Chicago got a little too much luvin' from her Christmas Zune. Her parents bought a Zune for their daughter at the local Wal-Mart only to find that it was evidently returned with some 'eXXXtra' videos on it. Check out the segment from FOX Chicago's newscast, and feel better knowing Wally World is giving a refund, and a $25 gift card for their trouble.

I also found that Microsoft 'hid' 100 specially colored limited edition Zune's randomly inside the shipping units. I guess a couple of pink ones have turned up, and more recently an orange one. Of course these new Zune owners decided it would be better to eBay their limited edition Zune than holding onto it (the pink one I would have too, but the orange one is kinda snazzy (ahhh. Spice Gamecube flashbacks...))

As was posted a couple days ago, this morning I woke up to find my Wii glowing blue again. The beta version of the Opera browser was up for download today, I've read some forums this evening and it sounds like it works well. I'm still not convinced there is a giant market for surfing the net on your TV set, especially with a wiimote and no keyboard, but it's nice to the have the functionality if you ever want to use it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas movie cheer, and I met a strange lady, she made me nervous.

I went to see Deck the Halls last night, as the previews and posters I had seen made it look interesting. While the movie was okay it wasn't overly funny :( or emotionally moving (either of which can make an outstanding Christmas movie). It seemed to take quite a while to get going, and if not for redeeming itself at the end I would easily give it a lower review. It did get me to thinking though about the Christmas movies I do like, and in no particular order my top 5 **** Christmas movies (meaning something I watch at least once each holiday season) would be...

Scrooged, 1988, Bill Murray

The Santa Clause, 1994, Tim Allen

The Family Man, 2000, Nicolas Cage

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, 1989, Chevy Chase

Elf, 2003, Will Ferrell

I was in Target the other day checking out clearance items (which is something I do...) in the Men's section. There was a woman (late 20's blond... If it matters) about two racks over that looked over at me when I walked up, then walked around the rack and was standing in front of me "What size pants do you wear"? "Huh"? I replied, kinda perplexed why a woman whom I didn't know would be asking me this. She unfolds a belt she was carrying in her hand and reiterated "I was wondering what size pants you wear"? So now I figure she must be shopping for Christmas presents, but I hesitate and for a split second and think to myself do you suck in the gut, and shave the number down a bit, or just shrug it off and tell the lady the truth. Being married and old I went with the later. She explains that she doesn't understand the belt tag saying 32-34 "Does that mean the furthest hole is 32", and the closest hole would be 34 inch"? Adding "would this fit you"? I giggle (not really but it sounds good), and exclaim "No" thinking (again to myself...) high school was how long ago? I finally said that I usually pick a belt that I can fasten about in the middle of the holes that way it gives you continued use no matter which way need you go. :)

P.S. If you weren't humming Men At Work, Down Under after reading the title, shame on you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wii happenings, tunneling into GameStop, and Festive Saints!

I finally got my Wii cables yesterday from Nintendo (just a hint don't use 2 day UPS its about $3 higher than Ground, but I think they would have gotten here the same day). I haven't had a chance to hook them up yet today, hopefully later this afternoon. My Wii was glowing blue this morning (indicating I have a message waiting). I was happy to find the forecast Channel is now up and running! A quick update and I was checking the weather locally and overseas, it's easy to read and has quite a bit of information. I don't know how often the info is updated as my current temp, today's forecast, and tomorrow's was from 6am (about 4-5 hours ago). You also have the option of viewing weather via a globe where you can zoom in/out, and rotate all the way around using the Wiimote. It was way more fun than it should have been, and I know the conditions in Paris, Tokyo, and the South Pole. :)

More good news (hopefully) was found at Nintendo Europe which states that a beta version of the Opera browser will be available on Friday December 22nd. I'm sure hoping this is for Europe, US, and Japan but I guess we will know soon enough. A tidbit about the browser is the final version will be available in March 2007 and will be free until June 2007 after which time it will cost 500 Wiipoints ($5) to download.

I've been playing Elebits and it's pretty cool, I've only made it through the tutorial and first level but I like it. I want to try out Super Swing Golf, and hope to when I move the system downstairs and have more room. I've read some impressions on the net, and they said if you liked Hot Shots or Mario Golf then you would like this too.

If you missed it somehow big N has done a 'replacement' on the wrist straps for the Wiimote, you can go here to order replacements (limit 4 per person).

It seems some cleaver crooks decided to burrow into their local GameStop in hopes of obtaining some PS3's disappointed like everyone else looking they decided that thirteen 360's would have to do (good choice! As long as they were premium systems). I hope they picked up some games too, Hexic gets kinda old quick.

Santa Pimp HO! HO! HO!

I dug out my Saint's Row game last night because those wonderful people at Violation have given Xbox live Gold members a free download, the appropriately titled Ho, Ho, Ho pack. Which as you probably guessed let's my on screen thug dress up like Santa Claus, the pack includes the hat, jacket, pants, shoes, and hair so you can be stylin' as St. Nick! Nothing like seeing Santa run around with a assault shotgun blowing people away, and throwing the occasional grenade. I know there are thunderstorms that randomly happen during the game it would have been cool if they could have had it snow too.

Well if you still don't have your Wii or Playstation 3 sitting under the tree, there is hope according to Toys-R-Us their stores will receive thousands of Wii systems, and 6,000 PS3's this week. It's unknown how many thousands include but guessing at least 2 that's about 3 per store on the Wii's, get camping.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Now that's a Pinata, GameStop tidbits, and 360 coming soon...More Xbox games.

It seems as though the Xbox 360 team in Mexico had too much time on their hands decided to try for a Guinness world record. Gamerscore Blog reports they did this by attempting to build the worlds largest Pinata! Yes, they built a giant (48 feet x 52 feet)Horstachio from Viva Pinata outside Six Flags Mexico (there is a Six Flags in Mexico???), the process took 3 weeks to complete and I guess they are still waiting on official word from Guinness about the record.
That's one big horsey!

Gamespot has a article up about Gamestop carrying import DS titles on their website, Jump Superstars, and Naruto: Saikyo Ninja Daikesshu 4. I don't know if the local stores will be carrying these, but it is interesting as I seen both titles last week available at the Best Buy stores here in town.

In other Gamestop/EB Games related oddities I noticed that Kum & Go (Woodlawn & 21st) had GS/EB branded $25 gift cards available at the checkout register. Not a bad idea, especially for those (like me!) that wait until the very last minute (ie. After 6pm Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day) to pick up a gift.

It seems someone over at got jumpy today and for a brief amount of time put up the December backwards compatibility list. Joystiq did us a favor and posted the list of NEW games before the list vanished. There are some neat additions that I know will make some gamers happy including Scarface, Mortal Kombat : Armageddon, Family Guy, Pyschonauts, and some others that seem strange to me Splinter Cell Double Agent, Open Season, and Farcry Instincts which are already available in 360 form. That is the nature of emulation though making one game run inadvertently opens others (Barbie Horse Adventures anyone?) although I hear that the Splinter Cell on the Xbox actually has content not available on the 360 version. Microsoft of course issued a statement neither denying or confirming the leak, stating that with software development things change all the time so it may or may not be correct.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Japanese lining up for 360's!

In an amazing turn of events Japanese gamers are lining up to get a 360. Yep, you read that right lining up to get the new Blue Dragon 360 bundle. had this news story (translated for your convenience) describing today's festivities. It will be interesting to see the sales figures next week to see how much impact this game will have on system sales with the bundle. 1UP also has article up about the bundle mainly with pictures of all the cool goodies packed inside (the faceplate, and figurines look awesome) the bundle. You may have heard some rumblings about this game a while back because it was too big to fit on a DVD, so here you have the first 360 game that comes on 3 (yep three) DVD's. Makes a pretty good argument about using the HD DVD disc for games too if storage is going to be an issue.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Digging into Lost Planet, Wii touching, and other ramblings...

I'm really liking the Lost Planet multi-player demo, although it never showed up on Xbox Live for me. Luckily EB Games got their pre-order bonus cards which enable you to download a version of the demo with an extra map available so I got it that way. I really enjoyed the single player demo that came out last May, and they polished a lot of the stuff from that release. I've put in quite a few games over the last couple of days, and must say it's a lot of fun. Check it out it you haven't yet the game finally comes out in January.

Well I broke down the other day and picked up a Wii. I had been going over the pros/cons of the system for about a week, and since I had some trade-in credit built up I went ahead and got one. I'm not hooking it up to the big TV until I can get a set of component cables (yes Nintendo people do have HD sets, and they like to use them). I got Excite Truck, and of course Wii-Sports but so far have only played Excite. Excite Truck is cool, graphically it's not going to win any awards but it is fun to play, the room it's in right now doesn't have a lot of extra space so I haven't tried Wii-Sports yet. The built in Wi-Fi access is pretty neat too (now where is my web browser...) and makes it easy to link to your friends. The 'always-on' aspect is cool although I have yet to have any Mii's join my parade. :( Post a reply with your Wiicode if you want me to add you to my friends list 5737 2086 3695 2439. Check out this story at IGN where some of those creative folks have taken a Bluetooth dongle, the Wiimote and are playing some Half-Life 2 on the PC!

I got around to some 'hands on' time with a PS3 and Resistance : Fall of Man, I will say it looks really good (on par with stuff I've seen on the 360) and it seems to have a really cool story line. It's not a system seller (although I don't think anything is @ $600) but would be the only title so far that makes me lean that way.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

School's out! Wii-trouble, and PS3 best graphics ever, or not.

Well woke up early this morning with a phone call saying USD 259 is out. I'm thinking we must have got that snow last night after all, so I look outside to see ... Nothing it's cold but that's it. Turned on the TV to find that school is indeed out, because the weather people say it will get bad today, sometime, maybe, they just aren't sure when. WTF!?

Well the Wiimote seems to be a dangerous projectile in the wrong hands. Check out Wii Have a Problem for stories and pictures of the Wiimote's path of destruction!

The PS3 was billed by Sony as the next big thing, 1080p graphics, Blu-Ray technology, and so much more. IGN has posted an article called What the Cell is going on? that contains screenshots, and videos comparing titles between the Xbox 360 & PS3. I don't think any of the screenshots look better, let alone that much different from each other, which is kinda sad since they had 3-6 months more to polish up the PS3 titles.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Birthday! Video invades the 360, it's almost black Friday and Wii envy.

Happy Birthday Xbox 360! Do you remember where you were this day last year? Were you at home playing that shiny new 360? The retail 360 turns 1 today do you still have any of the launch titles left in your collection? I still own Call of Duty 2, and Kameo from launch. Oh yeah it's my Birthday too, but I'm a little older. :)

The new Movie/TV content is officially live on the marketplace now, read today's press release. This outlines the pricing for the content as follows (with price conversions):

  • HD TV episodes 240 mpp = $3.00
  • SD TV episodes 160 mpp = $2.00
  • HD movies (new release) 480 mpp = $6.00
  • SD movies (new release) 320 mpp = $4.00
  • HD movies (classic) 360 mpp = $4.50
  • SD movies (classic) 240 mpp = $3.00
If you purchase an HD movie you can download the SD version at no additional point cost (Why you would want too, I have no idea!?) Come on MS where is the larger HD announcement?

Black Friday is only day's away are you ready? Check out all the upcoming ads at and plan your early morning adventures, looks to be a lot of PC/Laptop/HDTV specials this year. A notable item is will supposedly have 1,000 core Xbox 360 consoles available at 11:00 AM PST (1:00 PM CENTRAL) for $100.00.

I'm trying to figure out how to get enough stuff traded in to pick up a Wii on Friday. I've read numerous forum post detailing the glee of ownership, of course I've also read accounts of flying Wiimote missiles shattering laptop screens.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Here Wii go... and Princess Leia's lady lumps.

Last night/early this morning marked the launch of Nintendo's Wii console. Everyone I talked to today that got a unit seemed thrilled with their purchase, even though there were a lot of people looking for extra controllers. Check out the Joystiq story about the midnight launch at EB Games Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles and watch the video. That EB had 1,000 units up for grabs, a few more than the local stores got I'm sure...

Okay I didn't know Princess Leia could shake it like this, and why is Mr. Solo just watching?

EDIT: Since the video wasn't working here is the direct link.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

PS3 Smackdown, the King is here, and I <3 Bob.

Well incase you missed it yesterday was the big launch of the PS3 console. Numerous people waiting in line all over the U.S. to score that shiny new system, so they could rush home and put it on eBay. :) Checked pricing this morning and since there are so many units on eBay there were about 20 auctions ending at the same time. Most seemed rooted about $1000.00, but there were a couple that you could have 'snaked' for $800, and some of those included as many as four games. I don't think they are the windfall the scalpers were hoping for, I mean the Xbox 360 went for $1000 at launch and it only cost $400 these people aren't even getting back double. Check out this newscast from a Milwaukee station where some pinheaded Wal-Mart manager decided it would be a good promotion to have the 50 people in line run across the parking lot and grab 10 chairs on the other side that represented the stock of PS3's.

Went by Burger King yesterday since I'd read on the net that some of the BK's had already started selling the Xbox/360 games. Sure enough the one closest to work had all 3 games in stock and sold them all with one value meal purchase. Lunch and 3 games for $17.xx not bad, I haven't got to try them yet but will post impressions as soon as I do.

I stumbled across BOB FM the other day (100.5 FM) and really like it. I think I've listened the better part of 3 days and haven't heard the same song once. :) I knew it wasn't an original Wichita idea (nothing is) but sure enough found some BOB FM information on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The look and feel of Wii, more HD DVD, and those crazy Pinatas.

Running around yesterday I decided to stop in the local EB Games and look around. To my surprise there were quite a few customers in the store (kinda weird for a Monday afternoon) and the Nintendo rep was there also. The store has not received the Wii kiosk yet, but the rep said she had one in the car she could bring in for a little bit (Wii indeed!).

She hooked it up to one of the interactive TV's, and fired up Excite Truck on the console. She had two Wiimotes with her (which on first glance are wiieally small) and a small but adoring crowd had gathered in front of the TV. They started up a split screen race, and soon as they finished they passed the Wiimote to the next person so the next group of two could race. I got a chance too and will admit it was pretty neat. Excite Truck is kinda neat because you get points for a lot of stuff (crashing, driving through trees, big air, etc...) not just winning the race so it's possible the person that crosses the finish line first may actually lose in points.

The Wiimote is small, and at least on Excite Truck really sensitive. It didn't require much tilt to steer your truck, and a lot of the people were oversteering at first, but the longer you drove the better it felt. I'm hoping there is some sort of 'sensitivity' adjustment within the games or controller set-up. Comparing it to the PS3 demo of MotorStorm I think the PS3 controller had a more natural driving feel (even with the plastic harness) than the Wiimote, but it's probably all in the calibration settings. Although the guys on 1UP Yours have mentioned a couple times about how loose the PS3 controls felt specifically talking about Lair, maybe the gyro/sensor in the PS3 control is less sensitive than the one in the Wiimote requiring bigger movement?

Well it didn't take long at all, but UneasySilence have posted a entry on getting the 360 HD DVD hooked up, and playing an HD DVD back through Windows. There is only one piece of software so far that will playback an HD DVD (Windvd 8 apparently that is only available from Japan right now) but as more players come out this will only get bigger. I think once this gets out there will be a lot of non-360 owners buying this drive for their HTPC's.

I started playing Viva Pinata the other day, and that might have been a mistake. It's one of games that you get into and just loose track of time, both times I started playing ended up averaging 2 hours. Viva Pinata is a cross between Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and even a little Pokemon added in. I see aspects of all of those when I play, and even though the game is rated E there is a lot of grown up innuendo in there (of course this is the same company that made Conker's Bad Fur Day so we shouldn't be surprised). You start the game by creating a garden and depending on what you place or grow will affect what pinatas you attract. When you attract a pinata they will be B&W but you can select them and it will show you their resident requirements (ie. what you have to do to make them stay). It maybe feeding them a certain fruit, flower, or even another pinata, or something simpler like having a pond, or light in your garden. Once they join your garden they transform from B&W to color pinatas, then once you have attracted two of the same species you can mate them (pending their romance requirements are met) to create more pinatas, and I'm just scratching the surface so far.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I have PS3 cooties, bust a Pinata, and emerge tomorrow...

Well it seems that PS3 systems have snuck into town laying it wait to snag unsuspecting customers. Yep it seems that the local Target stores have set up PS3 interactive units within the last couple days. One of the employees at work came in tonight and told me about it, so after work I headed up the street, hoping there wouldn't be a large throng of people surrounding it (since they closed in 30 minutes I didn't think there would be).

Arriving at the store I looked toward the endcaps thinking this would be the logical location, instead it was just down the videogame aisle looking like the other two interactives there, a widescreen lcd monitor, and little black dualshock looking controller. It was running a video loop when I walked up and pressed the X button, then the display changed to a familiar sight.

Wow! It's a giant PSP. I've seen screen shots a while back of the interface, and sure enough if you've ever used a PSP this will be second nature. There was a lot of the options (settings, internet, and others) that came up Option not available, but there were sample items in the MP3, Movies, and Photo menus on the system. The main draw was the two game demos under the Games menu, ah yes tucked away were playable demos for Motorstorm, and NBA 07. I don't like basketball so guess which one I tried out?

The first thing to do is "activate" the Six Axis controller in the main menu of the game demo there are a couple options under the controller header one of which is to turn 'wireless motion on' or something to that effect. Now the problem lies in the fact that Targets interactives all have the controller mounted to a semi-rigid plastic arm that protrudes 6" from the case. Not to mention your only about a foot away from a 24" screen that your looking up at. It took the first lap of the race to get the feel for the controller (I don't think it was calibrated 100% because driving straight required a 10 degree tilt to the right) and after that was pretty smooth. The crashes were kinda cool as the truck explodes into little pieces, and you will spot individual items (shocks, springs, wheels, etc.) all exploding outward.

The graphics on Motorstorm were good, I've seen better on the 360, but they weren't bad by any means they just looked different, I can't put my finger on it. It looks like the display was set to 720p (when it goes from the 'dashboard'(!?) to the game demo the monitor clicks off and shows the video input/resolution on screen) so maybe the demos wouldn't run in 1080p or the monitor didn't handle that resolution (my guess). Overall it looks kinda neat (not $600 neat mind you), and there are a couple other titles I'm interested in trying with an unteathered controller. The Six Axis control could be really cool for some games, but hopefully all will come with an option to play either way in the settings.

Check out this story on Kotaku about the PS3 Japanese launch, scary stuff.

A couple of the guys on the latest 1Up Yours podcast were saying some pretty positive things about Viva Piñata. It came out Friday, but with such a packed week of releases I think it got overshadowed a bit. What's up with the wired ass package Microsoft? I don't care what kind of outer wrap/package/box/doohicky you put on my game as long as there is a regular DVD case somewhere in there that fits with all the rest of my DVD cases. (I'm looking at you Gears of War... Lucky I had one of the BB pre-order cases to drop my game and manual in). Back to VP, they explained it as almost a cross of Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and Pokemon mixed together. I'm really interested to try it out and see how it plays.

Tomorrow (maybe today)... I'm so confused. Sunday is Emergence Day yes indeed the big Gears of War kick off is on the way. The official Xbox site has a post up listing out all of today's festivities. They start at 12:01am but they don't mention what time zone, I'm assuming Pacific so that will be about 27 minutes from now.

Sick sucks, and the view of HD DVD.

Woke up Thursday morning feeling like crap :( come to find out that afternoon that I had strep throat. A couple days later and about 5 doses of Amoxicillin and I'm felling pretty good.

I was able to pick up the 360 HD DVD add-on drive, and luckily since I couldn't work yesterday it gave me something to do. The initial shipments came packed with King Kong so I had something to watch, although it was an okay movie I wasn't all that thrilled when I saw it in the theater. The HD version looked really good, but some of the CGI still looks fake (another complaint from the theatrical showing). I watched that because evidently no one in podunk rents HD DVD's yet, and over half of the video rental places didn't know what I was talking about... (HD DVD?? no we only carry fullscreen and widescreen.). So I joined a two week free trial of Netflix since they have a very good selection of HD DVD rentals available. I know some people who use it, and have for quite a while (DVD, not HD DVD) for rentals and they seem to be happy with the service. The only online rental place I tried was Gamefly, and it was not by any means a 'happy experience' so I hope this works out better. Back on topic the drive itself is simple to install a USB cable runs from the 360 to the drive, and then the HD drive has two USB ports plus a mounting spot for the 360 wireless adaptor. This allows my wireless adaptor, and vision cam to plug into the HD drive leaving the two USB ports on the front free again. The drive comes with a 360 DVD to install some updates to the dash (but I've read on the net if you hook it up without running the DVD, the update will download from Xbox Live anyway) and away you go.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

360 TV (and movies!), plus Gears of War mania begins!

Well that rumor the other day turns out to be true as Microsoft spilled the beans with a press release. Starting November 22, 2006 (my birthday, and 1 year anniversary of the 360) Microsoft has teamed up with television, and movie studios to start a download service for HD TV episodes, and movies. The above link list shows such as CSI, the Real World, Friends, and Spongebob Squarepants as well as movies like Superman Returns, Matrix, and Nacho Libre. Pricing isn't set yet, but the TV shows will be yours to keep, movie rentals on the other hand will stay on your hard drive for 14 days. Once you start watching a movie you have 24 hours to complete it, watching it as much as you want within that 24 hours. Microsoft is still mum about a bigger hard drive but with HD movies weighing in at 4.5~5.0 GB each there has to be a larger one coming...

Well some lucky peeps are playing Gears of War right now, not me mind you because here in Podunk we don't get same day delivery on games (Boooo!). A lot of reviews (really good reviews) started hitting the web today Gamespot gives it 9.6, Team Xbox 9.6, and 1up awards a 10/10! It's bad enough to read through the glowing reviews, but I have to read through forum post where those lucky peeps are going on and on about GoW. I want this game now, 10 am will not come fast enough. :(

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's Wii-eally Wii-eally coming, and import your PS3.

Well the Wii is coming, November 19th (if you forgot), and the interactive demo units are starting to hit stores around the country. I've heard locally EB Games/Gamestop should be by the end of this week, hopefully this pans out because I Wii-eally want to play one. :) Anyway some of those California guys over at Joystiq stumbled upon a working interactive at their local GameStop. Lucky for us they posted a write up with pictures, and video. Excite Truck was the game loaded in the interactive, and judging from the video it looks like fun.

Missed out on you Wii pre-order? has a guide up with the major players listed, and their launch strategies. Someone dropped a bunch of numbers online yesterday claiming that they foretold the number of Wii's each Target would be getting for launch, then someone came along and built a search doohickey for it. Enter your area code in the little box and you'll get a list of Target stores and their launch numbers (looks like most of the ones in doodah are getting 24 each, with the exception of 21st & Greenwich they get 33 units.

Looks like you can pre-order the PS3 (60GB) from Play-Asia for only $999.99 (the 20GB is $899.99). This is the Japanese version of the console, but will launch on November 11th, so you could have it before the US launch depending on shipping. There was some forum post on CAG that seem to indicate PS3 software, and Blu-Ray movies are region free (letting the publisher opt if they wish to region lock it) although PS1/PS2 software would still be region locked. I can't see the movie studios going for this as the region protection was always a big deal on DVD's I think that Blu-Ray would follow that path also? Worth the gamble? Not to me although the import prices may be less than eBay inflation once the PS3 launches here, we'll have to wait and see.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Attack of the King, Microsoft rentalflix?, and F.E.A.R.

Well those Burger King games that I mentioned a while back come out on November 19th (Wiiday to some of you). Remember they are 360 games that cost $3.99 each with the purchase of a value meal? Well there are a couple trailers up on YouTube so you can check them out. First up Sneak King...

Wow... kinda scary huh? For $4 and 200 achievements (like a LIVE Arcade game) I probably pick it up, the graphics remind me of the Sims. Next up is Pocketbike Racer...

This one actually doesn't look too bad gameplay wise, and isn't quite as scary.

There is a rumor flying around that Microsoft is going introduce HD movie rentals, and maybe purchases via the marketplace. Who knows? They shot down the rumor of the 100GB hard drive, and HD video storage takes up a lot of room just ask my Cox DVR's.

I picked up F.E.A.R. this week and finally got to play a little last night. It looks really nice on the 360 and plays at a solid framerate (unlike the slideshow my PC created...). Someone was talking about it today saying they had watched the pre-order DVD (given away at GameStop/EB Games) and it just looked horrible, so he returned his unopened copy of the game. Now I haven't watched that pre-order DVD so I can't attest to the quality of it, but I think the game looks better than even the demo did a month ago.
PS. Gears of War next Wednesday, I'm sooo excited!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

EA from behind, and Halo 3 cubed.

Ok I've heard the rants about microtransactions on 1UPYours podcast for the last couple episodes, and some I'm starting to believe. For those of you unaware types, microtransactions are the little things you buy from the LIVE marketplace with your Microsoft points. These range from your LIVE arcade games (DOOM, Time Pilot, etc..) to horse armor packs for Elder Scrolls IV : Oblivion, or in the case of EA cheat codes. It started with the Godfather content about a week ago, you could unlock various 'stuff' in the game for a price. Ranging from 75 points to 400 points you could get in game cash, henchmen or weapon upgrades or EA was nice and put up a discount package where you could get all of the unlockables for 800 points ($5). The problem being is all of this stuff could be unlocked by playing the game, that is why you bought it right? Well hot on the heals comes the Need for Speed : Carbon content, yes indeed 11 packs totaling 3940 points that's $49.23 for those of you wondering. That shiny new game you picked up for $59.99 is now running $109.22 not including tax. :( Now in all fairness to EA one of the packs is the collector's edition upgrade for 800 points ($10) you get all the extras from the CE version of the game which is no cheaper or more expensive than getting it at retail. I would say that no one will buy this crap so it will go away swiftly, but even I know that's not true. What is that saying about a stupid person born every minute??

On a brighter note, Halo 3 is now available for pre-order at GameStop/EB Games , coming in 3 editions (regular, collector's, and legendary) hitting your wallet for $59.99, $69.99, and $99.99 supposedly on November 7, 2007. Let's just jump to the monster legendary set, 4 disc packaged in a replica Spartan helmet that measures 8x10.5x11 you can place your pre-orders for $5,$10, and $25 depending on how far you want to go. Did the latest Famitsu magazine in Japan give us our first glimpse of the legendary set in their Halo 3 preview in this picture?

Gears of War video porn... has posted a bunch of multi-player HD videos from Gears of War. There are 13 different videos covering 4 of the multi-player maps (Fuel Depot, Roof Tops, Mansion, and mausoleum would be my guesses) from the game. Thanks to the suggestion from someone on DVDTalk I downloaded the .wmv HD files and burned them to a CD-R stuck them in the 360 and was able to play them from the MEDIA blade (Thanks! Fall update) in beautiful High-def. :) They looked phenomenal, overall the graphics are gray/sepia tone future apocalypse style which lends to the game. The first time I seen a head shot (through a scope), and the curb stomp I was yelling at the screen! This game is bloody violent make no mistakes, I can see now why all of the websites have you enter your birthday before viewing content from the game.

EDIT: As I was writing this I noticed that GameTrailers seems to have taken the multi-player trailers down since last night. :(

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!


360 overhaul and excitement, Saint's pimped, and Saw that.

Well if you haven't turned on your 360 today (shame on you...) when you do you'll be greeted with the Fall dashboard update. It started going live about 2 AM this morning, and adds oodles of new features with the biggest being support for the new accessories (wireless headset, HD-DVD drive, wireless wheel, etc.) and some tweaks here & there for the dashboard. We're almost to November and there are lots of new releases headed out in the next couple months. I'm really looking forward to F.E.A.R. next week, Gears of War the week after that, and other games like Call of Duty 3, Rainbow Six Vegas, and Viva Pinata that I'm interested to see but, I know there's not enough time to play them all. There was a Halo 3 theme posted on the marketplace (150 MSPoints), but I gather it's a free download if you purchase the Halo faceplate that should be in stores tomorrow. I wonder if the other faceplates (Viva Pinata, Forza 2) will have similar offers?

Saint's Row is finally getting a patch (that was mentioned 2 months ago right after the game came out.) which I think mainly fixes multiplayer, and minor problems in single player game play. Just like the Fall dashboard update, when you stick SR in the 360 it will prompt you for the update download.

I finally got around to watching Saw II last week on DVD (the uncut edition was released) for the first time. Luckily it coincided with the theatrical release of Saw III so I went to see it Thursday night when the projectionist was screening it. Part three picks up immediately where part two leaves off so watching them in succession was pretty cool, although overall part three was good it did annoy me a little. It tries to tie all of the movies together by reshowing parts of the first one, and the second (sometimes from different perspectives to it's benefit). Maybe it was because I had just watched the second one an hour earlier (if it had been a year like between the theatrical releases it may have not bothered me so much.) I felt like I was having to re-watch stuff I didn't want to see again. I think this all stems from Back to the Future II while I love the series, part II was the weakest link. I was so annoyed watching 30 minutes of the original over again that it placed part II firmly below either the original or part III in my mind. Saw III overall wasn't as good as either the first or the second, but it's a necessary viewing to get the overall story and continuity of the series. I'll give it ** 1/2 stars.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More on Gears, Cheap points redux, eBay enforcement, and no biggie sized drive.

Gears of War hype is building steady, there was a 'match made in Hell' event last night at the Hollywood Forever cemetery and Siliconera has a report up about the party, as does Gamerscore Blog with lots of pictures. There is also some new free content up on the marketplace, a TV/Movie theater Ad for GoW completely made up of in-game footage that runs about 60 secs. Did I mention it looks freakin' sweet!

I mentioned about this weeks Best Buy ad where you could get a 1600 points card for $4.99 with the purchase of any Xbox 360 game. Well those CheapAssGamers have found that the Gears of War pre-order box will trigger the sale price. Just take your points card, and GoW pre-order box to the front and walk out with a T-Shirt, and 1600 points for $10.72 (depending on your tax rate).

eBay has posted firm guide lines for PS3, and Wii pre-sell auctions. Which basically state 1 auction per eBay account, you must be in good standing (feedback of 60, with a 98% or higher rating, and accepting only PayPal payment), and you must have a picture of your pre-sell receipt in the listing. I'm assuming once the game systems are released, these criteria will be nullified.

It seems the Korean 100GB hard drive announcement a while back was a hoax by some really mean individual. Microsoft has announced that they have no plans at this time to release a larger hard drive unit.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Free Gears schwag, really cheap points, and other ramblings...

If you attended the Gears of War 'After Dark' event at your local GameStop/EBGames (last Saturday) the theme/gamer picture hand out you got is working now. Actually in my opinion they are both kinda lame, the theme has only 2 different pictures that repeat behind the third and fourth blades (plus they are dark and have the GameStop logo at the top) while the 5 gamer pictures include Marcus, 2 Locust, 1 other good guy, and a chainsaw logo. I'm glad they were free because I would be a little upset had I spent the real world $1.87/$1.00 (150 points/80 points) equivalent on them since that's what themes/gamer pics usually sell for. I've never bought any of the themes/gamer pics from the marketplace (those should be pre-order bonuses, or a lot of games unlock gamer pics when you play them) mainly because I've never seen any that were worth money to me. All of that being said I'm liking the Call of Duty 3 themes that were released yesterday primarily the 'pin-up' one (You can see them here (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page)).

I guess that goes right into the points sale I mentioned a last time going on at Best Buy this week. Enterprising gamers have found that if you buy the GoW pre-order box and the points card in the same transaction the register prompts for the package price which knocks the points card down to $4.99 so for $9.99 + tax you can pick up 1600 points, and a cool GoW t-shirt. :)

I got a new cable modem yesterday that I purchased on eBay. The cable guy had informed me that mine was out of date last week and I wasn't getting all the bandwidth that I should be getting. I tried hooking it up last night after work, but was unable to get a signal so I went back to the old modem. I'll try again tonight since it didn't seem like the tech last night knew too much, or didn't really care one of the two. :(

Thursday, October 19, 2006

360 biggie sized, discount points, and movie time.

Gameinside has some pictures up from a Korean press conference today that shows all of the upcoming holiday peripherals for the XBox 360 (ie. 256MB memory card, Wireless Headset, PC wireless adaptor, etc...). The one item on the list that we haven't heard about was the 100 GB hard drive unit, from what I've read on forums there was no price announced. There was a Microsoft show in Canada (Toronto X06) yesterday from what I can gather, and speculation was that the drive would be announced there also, but I can't seem to find any mention of it. Seems weird that it would be a localized Korean thing because I could really use a 100GB drive.

Some deals on marketplace points: Fill in your address at and then sign up for a 7 day free trial at (dating service) once they acknowledge you signed up 360Achiever will mail out a 1600 point card to you, just call in and cancel your trial at before the seven days are up and your not out any $$$. will require a credit card to sign up, but won't charge you until day the free offer expires. There are a lot of success stories over at, I got about half way through the survey but felt dirty so I decided not to do it, but it sounds like a great deal for you single people. :)

The easier deal (although not as cheap) BestBuy will be doing a promotion in next weeks ad where you purchase any Xbox 360 game, and you can buy a 1600 point card for $4.99 (normally $19.99). This makes some of those live arcade games pretty cheap, like Lumines Live (Basic pack) for $3.75 or Galaga, Frogger, Geometry Wars Retro Evolved, and Pac-Man for $5.00?? The website has the offer posted here, but it doesn't seem to be active yet maybe they jumped the gun?

I got around to seeing a movie yesterday (it's been a while... geez) afternoon wasn't to hyped for The Departed, but a friend wanted to see it so I went along. First let me state I'm not much for the 'mob' genre of film, and that's where I had pigeon holed this one based on the preview alone. I actually liked this pretty well, I don't know if its because I didn't expect much or what, but it thoroughly exceeded my expectations! It was violent, bloody, and especially vulgar all good things rolled into a fat juicy ball. The story had a lot of twist and turns trying to keep you off guard I assume, and Leonardo DiCaprio/Matt Damon look to similar to me (my only gripe with the movie).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Home sweet home, cable blues, and maybe more.

Well we got move-in livable at the new house, finally. I'm amazed at the amount of junk still left at the old house though, it evidently isn't even important junk because I haven't needed any of it yet. :) Kids start their new schools tomorrow morning so I have to get up early so we can get there before classes start to get schedules, id's, lockers, etc.

Unfortunately there was some drawbacks I worked really hard to get my computer equipment tore down, moved, and reassembled all in one night only to find that the cable jack in my new computer room was defunct. :( After messing with it the better part of the night I gave up and went to bed. I called Cox the next afternoon after work hoping it was some snafu on their end and everything would be easily fixed, no such luck. I found out my cable modem is out dated (damn) and not compliant with the latest DOCSIS enhancements (so that free speedbump they sent out a week or two ago I didn't gain the extra speed increase). Finally had to set up a service call for someone to come out and check the jacks, as no one was available over the weekend (on my end) I had to wait and schedule it for this morning. Sure enough my jack is DOA, but I did get split off the jack in the bedroom to at least get back up and running until they can come back and run a new cable line. I was starting to have withdrawal symptoms I think, but everything is okay again now.

I guess over the weekend I missed the Phantasy Star Online 360 beta download, and just found out about the Splinter Cell Double Agent demo yesterday. It looks as though Xbox Live is going to be down all day October 17th, although they gave a creative list of 10 things to do without access to Live. They promised some 'new cool stuff', but haven't stated much more than that so I guess we'll have to wait until the 18th to see what it is.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Best Halloween costume ever, and do the math.

I love it! This guy decided to craft his Halloween costume from cardboard, and duct tape (probably a lot of duct tape).

PS3Fanboy has a post where they 'run the numbers' from yesterday's PS3 pre-order madness at EB Games/Gamestop. They come up with some interesting numbers approximately 43,200 units were pre-ordered, 7,200 could have went to employees, and $4,320,000 was deposited into Gamestop's bank account (although that number wouldn't be correct because it doesn't take into account trade-in or store credit that was used).

Moving, moving, mo-ving. PS3 line up, 360 HD, and more.

Okay, I'm getting tired of moving. :( This long, dragged out process is getting to me, I wish it was over, my best advice if you are planning on moving take a week off and do it all at once. This little bit here, little bit there crap sucks especially after 15~16 years, you accumulate a lot of stuff, ummm crap. I'm happy to say we are getting close to at least living in the new house, while everything may not be moved it will be stuff we don't need for everyday living. The kids last day at their current schools is Thursday since it is the end of the nine weeks, so it has 'intensified' the process.

Well unless you were living in a cave the last two days you know that Gamestop/EB Games opened the PS3 pre-orders on Tuesday morning $100 down snagged you a place in line (?) for a system Joystiq has a couple of post about the lines in the west coast, and the east coast editions. In related news shortly after the pre-orders started (and ended 2 mins later...) auctions started popping up on eBay for pre-order systems, it seems most all are being pulled (presumably because eBay says you can only sell items which will be available within 30 days of purchase) and some of the auction posters have been banned, WTF?? Still unknown is any information about Wii pre-orders, although I've read (rumors/gossip/guesstimate) that they will start Friday morning, since there was only about 12-15 hours of lead time on the PS3 announcement I guess it still could happen.

Someone captured the first advertisement for the 360 HD-DVD add-on here. It's okay, but I know a lot of 360 owners through work, and I don't think the approach needs to be that 'urban'. I realize the core (360) market is probably 18-28 year old males, but is that the same market for an HD-DVD drive?

I've been playing a bit more Saint's Row lately, I was hung up on one of the missions (I don't do well driving/shooting at the same time) and was taking a break, but played again the other night went straight through the first try. I can say I now own the Westside Rollerz territory got me a new crib, and some dope wheels. :) I'm currently concentrating on trying to finish a hitman activity, and a couple of these losers are driving me nut trying to find them.

Monday, October 02, 2006

BK on the 360, have it your way! and must see TV.

Gamerscoreblog have posted an article about the Burger King games coming to your Xbox/Xbox 360 November 19th, 2006. I remember hearing/reading a rumor about this early this year, and it looks like its coming true.

BURGER KING® restaurants invite guests to give and get the gift of games this holiday season with three ground-breaking Xbox/Xbox 360 video games available exclusively at BURGER KING restaurants nationwide. For a limited time only, starting Sunday, Nov. 19, the BK® Xbox Game Series a collection of three authentic Xbox video games will be available at participating restaurants for a recommended price of $3.99 per game with the purchase of a Value Meal.

Compatible on both Xbox and Xbox 360 platforms, Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin'’ and Sneak King” are based on some of the most popular video game genres racing, action and adventure and rated “E for everyone. All three exclusive titles blend the popularity of BK® brand icons, such as the King and Subservient Chicken, into visually rich, three-dimensional environments that give players of all ages an entertaining, interactive experience on one of the most popular video game platforms in the world.

Looks like a pretty decent deal lunch & a game for under $10, I wonder if they will have achievements? Check out the link above for details on each game, and check out this flickr link where Major Nelson has posted some screenshots from the games.

I've watched the second episodes of both Heroes, and Jericho and find that I'm really liking both shows. Jericho is about a son who returns to his hometown of Jericho, Kansas (not a real town, but the wikipedia entry has some interesting comparisons taken from the series, and applied to the 'real' world.) trying to start his life over. After a failed meeting with his father he sets out to leave again only to get outside of town and witness a mushroom cloud just before he's involved in a wreck. The story then focuses on the town and how they are coping cut off from the outside world as information and clues trickle in.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

KC Reflections, best Mexican food ever, X06, and 100 movies in October.

Trip to Kansas City went well last Thursday even though we didn't end up with much time. I had printed out directions to Dave & Busters since I wasn't sure where it was, it turns out that Mapquest's directions were a little off having me turn the wrong direction in the last step. The Legends Mall it turns out is a new shopping mall located near the Kansas Speedway race track (Cabela's, Great Wolf Lodge, and Nebraska Furniture Mart are close by too).

We found Dave & Busters after driving around the mall for a bit. The food was excellent (as it was in Denver), and we got the $15.99 Power Lunch special ($10 play card/lunch entree). It looks like D&B pretty much carry the same games at each location, with the exception of 2 Nascar simulator's (most likely due to the proximity of the race track) at the KC location, as well as a roof-top bar. After a couple hours of fun & games we decided to walk around the mall, finding the smallest GameStop ever, it has to be smaller than the Towne East EB Games location locally. I did get a kick out of the Legends store directory listing... Why did they name it GameStop only to refer to it as EB Games? :)

GameStop (NOW OPEN) EB Games specializes in the sale of video game hardware and software, PC entertainment software, and related accessories. EB Games is known for having high-demand titles in stock, maintaining a strong commitment to customer service and providing highly knowledgeable sales associates who are passionate about games.

The next stop was Nebraska Furniture Mart, this place is HUGE two floors of furniture, computers, video games, appliances, carpet, audio/video, CD's, a Quiznos, and a coffee shop. We were there for an hour and didn't finish the first floor, let alone even get to the second floor. Imagine Furniture Row, Best Buy, Ultimate Electronics, Circuit City, and more doubled.

The only downer on the trip was the KC airport, for some reason I found it really confusing to get around (probably didn't help that it was dark out, and I've never been there). My mother-in-law's luggage didn't make it back with her (although I heard they called today saying they had found it and shipped it to her), but she arrived (about 30 minutes late) in good spirits even though she spent most of the day flying.

I had heard from a friend that Abuelos was really good, and decided Friday to try it out. WOW! I had the Fajita Chimichanga, Shrimp chowder, and a very excellent Island Margarita (maybe that's why the food was so good...). I know that's not it, as my wife and kids really liked their meals too.

X06 is over but the Microsoft press conference had some juicy tidbits (although most of the stuff from the Neoseeker post didn't materialize). The HD DVD add-on is $199.99 including a universal remote, and King Kong HD DVD for a limited time. The trailer for Halo Wars (RTS based on the Halo universe) looks awesome, as does the gameplay footage from Assassin's Creed, and Gears of War (check out Xbox360fanboy has links to all of the above.). The only demo we got in Bringing it Home was WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 (whoppee!) although there were a bunch of new videos added.

DVDTalk forum is having its "2nd Annual October Horror Movie Challenge" where the goal is to watch 100 horror movies in 31 days. I didn't do this last year, but I followed the thread and it looked like a lot of fun. While I don't think I'll hit 100 movies (3 per day is a stretch) I'm aiming for 31, and my list will be here if you want to follow along. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kannnssaass CITY! Bye TGS, Hello X06, and more.

I'm headed to KC tomorrow, volunteered to pick-up my Mother-in-law from the airport (she took a trip to Germany). I'm off anyway and will be able to spend the day up there, Dave & Busters here I come. :)

Well the Tokyo Game Show has come to an end meaning that the first part of "Bringing it Home" on XBox Live is over too. There wasn't any stellar content put up, but we did get some cool demos (F.E.A.R., Lego Star Wars II, and Fusion Frenzy 2) if you hadn't tried them yet. Major Nelson reflected on his trip, but there wasn't a lot of big news. Moving on around the globe, X06 in Barcelona, Spain starts tomorrow, and Microsoft's press briefing starts at 6:00pm BST (about 11 am here in doodah). Neoseeker forums had this post where someone got 'leaked' information on Microsoft's planned announcements, and lineup. Most of the info is just rumor at this point, as there was not a credited source for the info, Xboxic, and Kotaku have posted their feelings on the rumor post which is worth a glance.

Some of the highlights include:
A Black 360 system for the holidays, in all regions. (I like my white 360, but choices are nice although Spice would have been a better choice. Besides other system colors, what happened to our holiday bundle (system/PGR3/marketplace points/etc.) that all the other regions got?

A launch price and date for the HD DVD add-on $199.99 US with universal remote, on November 24th 2006 (I like Japan's bundle with two movies included, but the price is okay with me considering a stand alone player would cost $400+).

Halo 3 native 1080p, with 50-64 multiplayer matches. (Wow! Don't think anywhere close to that, but it would be impressive.)

Alan Wake shown, and playable on the floor. (I saw a demonstration of this at E3 2005 and it looked phenomenal then. Looked like a Stephen King novel, turned into survival horror.)

Rare to show off Killer Instinct also playable on the floor. (I pumped a lot of quarters into KI, and KI2 at the arcade, really enjoyed the characters and theme of the game.)

The following demos are supposed to hit with the second half of "Bringing it Home" on the Marketplace.

Splinter Cell Double Agent multiplayer (Cool)
Crackdown (Not interested so far)
Forza Motorsport 2 (Doubt it, since it's pushed to next year)
Sonic the Hedghog (This was supposed to be a TGS demo)
Viva Pinata (Interested to see if it captures the Animal Crossing feel)
Need for Speed Carbon (Cool)
Call of Duty 3 (Really Cool)
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Football?? no it's Soccer)
Mass Effect (Most sites seem to feel this one will be a no show)

All in all it looks like we have the opportunity to see some good stuff if even 75% of this turns out legit.

Watched Heroes last night on NBC, and I liked it. It's a fantasy series that ask what if ordinary people awoke one day with extraordinary powers? In the previews for the next couple weeks it looks like this is almost going to be a comic book/superhero type series. You can check it out again tonight they are re-running the pilot episode again (excuse me it's an encore presentation.).

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tokyo, more 360 HD, not Wii-mpressed, and more.

Well the Tokyo Game Show kicked off today (9/20) and runs until Sunday (9/24). Like this year's E3 Microsoft is hosting a big blowout of demos, videos, and information through Xbox Live calling it 'Bringing it Home'. MajorNelson has a list of today's content, some of which is localized to Japan (but you did set-up your foreign account already, didn't you?).

Some early news from the Microsoft press conference shared via Kotaku includes info that the HD-DVD add-on will hit Japan on November 22, 2006 for 19,800 yen (~about $169.00 US), and even better a new fall dash update will allow the console to display 1080p games, and movies! Now, unfortunately I'm not one of those that have a 1080p capable display, but it's good news none the less. One more thing that the PS3 no longer has an edge over the 360 in.

The more I hear (and see) about the Wii has left me unimpressed. Before E3 this year I was stoked for the system, but since then the impressions of people that played it at E3, and the Leipzig show have left me cold. I think that the $250.00 price tag is too high especially when they throw in a game that is multiplayer centric, but only include one controller. This is even more peculiar when Japan doesn't get the game (WiiSports) as a pack in, but when sold separately comes packaged with an extra controller(!?) for the same price as a normal game. At this point in time I won't be getting one at launch, unless the demo units (hopefully) available before launch totally blow me away. 1UPYours podcast last Friday (9/15) they have a lively discussion on the Wii information, well worth the listen.

Under the more topic, there is a new DS download station (Volume 3 for those of you keeping track) that includes demos of Mario Vs. Donkey Kong 2, Elite Beat Agents, Danny Phantom : Urban Jungle, and Clubhouse Games. Right now all of these are new(!) titles, so this is really amazing. I've been disappointed in the earlier download stations because most if not all of the games were already released. I see a demo as a preview, an interactive coming soon trailer if you will. They are supposed to peak my interest, and wet my appetite so that when the game is released I'm eagerly awaiting it. When the demos show up a month or so after the release I don't care anymore, if I wanted it I've already bought it, and if not by that time I'm not interested in trying the demo because I've already made up my mind. Back to the download station, I've tried Mario vs. DK2, and Elite Beat so far and really enjoyed both, Mario Vs. is almost like a Lemmings game, and Elite Beat is the U.S. sequel(??) to the Japanese Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!
rhythm game is fun, although the demo is kinda short. I hear that Danny Phantom is actually like R-Type, and the guys at DualScreen Radio really like Clubhouse Games.

Closing on the new house was today, so I'm farther in debt. :) That's not a bad thing though because I'm excited to move, and both kids are looking forward to changing schools (okay maybe only one, but they both are excited to be getting new rooms.). Work right now is kinda strange because of vacations, and meetings so I'm working different shifts, and don't have a weekend available to move yet. We will try moving bits at a time, but I don't know how fast we'll actually be living there.

The new TV season is in full swing, and there are a bunch of new shows demanding my attention, as well as some favorites. I'll be updating the sidebar list in an effort to track the stuff I watch regularly. Amazing Race (#10 again for those counting) started Sunday night, this season Phil promised the racers things they hadn't seen before, and we got the first one less than 30 minutes in when the first team was eliminated before the first legs pit stop. I find it hard to like any of the teams this time, but I'm going to say that Erwin & Godwin the Asian brothers will be winning team followed by Tyler & James the rehab models, and Rob & Kimberly bringing up the rear.

I'm still playing Saint's Row even though someone came in the other day and ruined the ending for me. :( There is a lot of upcoming releases in Oct/Nov that I'm looking forward to so I need to work through it a little faster. Microsoft announced their 'platinum hits' lineup for the 360, Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Need for Speed : Most Wanted would be dropping to $29.99 in early October. For NFS:MW this is a good deal, but the other three? Come on, they've been on sale for that price (or lower) already?! Call of Duty 2 for the 360 has sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. alone and it's not a 'platinum hit'? I'm a little disappointed by the price also, I mean $29.99 is 50% off new retail for 1 of them, but the other 3 were $49.99 to start with which is only 40% off (disregarding the fact earlier about sales and so forth). I realize that more of the titles will come from the $60 price point (since Microsoft only has out what 4 titles...) down the road, and maybe $19.99 is too low, but I think $24.99 would have been a happy medium (yes, I'm cheap).

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Soon, you can touch the Wii!

Gamespot has this news article up detailing the Nintendo Wii launch in the U.S. The console will be available on November 19th (two days after the PS3 launch for those of you wondering) for $249.99. It will come with a pack-in game Wii Sports which is a compilation of Tennis, Golf, Baseball, and Bowling. Eurogamer has linked to videos from the Japanese press conference showing off the Wii's menu system.

The more I think about it releasing the Wii 2 days after the PS3 is probably a really good idea. Sony's 400,00 units will easily be gone in two days, and all of those people looking will be finding stacks of Wii's. Nintendo isn't trying the 'worldwide launch' meaning that Wii's will be plentiful in the U.S. since it doesn't launch in Japan until the first week in December.

Edit update, USAToday has confirmed the release info, and here is a link to the Japanese press conference on Nintendo Japan (in English with slides, and videos.).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Dashboard lights, and big news .

MaxConsole has a story with a picture of a new 360 dashboard update that should hit sometime in November.

Joystiq's big news turned out to be craptacular! It seems it was a press release from IBM stating that they had been shipping their Broadway chip (used in the Wii) since July. Whoopee.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

PS3 woops, big next-gen news, and more Row. has an article where Sony announces that they will not do a world wide launch (PS3 to be delayed in Europe until 2007), and only 400,000 units will be available in the U.S. at launch.

Joystiq (and other news sites) have an article that they say there will be some big(?) next gen news they can pass along at 12:01am Eastern (11:01pm here in doo dah).

I'm enjoying Saint's Row a lot (so much so that I'm seeing Blue Honda's here in town and yelling West Side Rollerz suck!). Some people are really creative when creating their gang persona I've seen the following examples of Mr. T, and Chuck Norris. :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Circuit City ask you to bend over, dancing cows, the Eagles baby, and 1upyours!

Okay Kotaku posted this a couple days ago. It seems that one California Circuit City store is charging the low price of $28.99 to install the free backwards compatibility update to your Xbox 360. :( Ummm... yeah.

Finally got around to using my 'raincheck' tickets at the drive-in. If you remember we got half way through Cars before the unpredictable Kansas weather decided to flair up about 2 months ago. We went to Starlite last night, as did a lot of other people, and watched Barnyard, and Invincible. I really liked both the movies, Barnyard had looked funny in the previews, and didn't disappoint. It's one of those animated features that includes enough 'adult' jokes that parents don't get bored to tears sitting through it. I was shocked at the end to find it was a Steve Oedekerk film, whose Kung Pow still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Looking at that credit page on IMDB it seems he actually writes some pretty decent stuff (minus all the stupid 'thumb' features).

The second feature was Invincible based on the true story of Vince Papale. A part-time bartender that got to play in the NFL after a new head coach held open tryouts for the 1976 Philadelphia Eagles. Excellent movie, sure its a overused premise 'root for the underdog', but I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend it if your a football fan, and enjoyed others in the genre like Rudy, and Radio.

I've found another podcast that I enjoy and added it to my listening que. I listen to DualScreenRadio regularly (whenever there is a new episode), and Major Nelson's podcast on occasion (depending on that week's show). Well I found the 1UP Yours podcast a couple weeks ago, and have listened ever since. Great round table group of usually four members who talk smack, and share their opinions on a lot of current gaming issues.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

On the Row, bonus content, road trips and mini-marts.

Finally got around to playing Saint's Row last night for a while. Finished a couple of missions, but was mainly just running around trying to find the hidden CD's. Jumped on top of the elevated train and went around the map like I did in the demo (looks better now with all the textures present). Found out this really isn't for kids (I knew that already, but some of things that come out of their mouths...) so I don't know if I can let my daughter watch me play anymore.

Looks like the EB Games/Gamestops may get the bonus content earlier than September 15th like the insert in the game stated. Depends on when they get the updated 360 demo disc, but you might want to check your local store (and take your memory card). The disc has the Funky Fresh Pack available for download which includes clothes, tattoos, and probably more. These items show up when you go into a store in the regular list with an * next to them, but all cost only $1.00 in game to purchase. I've already added some new drawers (tiger stripe), and a couple tats to my homie (a spider, and biohazard symbol), also changed my shirt out to the Gamestop bonus one (call #42637867 on your in-game cell phone).

The new demo disc also has 4 new keys for Dead Rising which unlock 4 more outfits in the game, 4 unlockable cars for Ridge Racer, Adidas, and Kameo theme packs are also included. This disc also has several demo LIVE arcade titles available including Zuma, Wik, and I think two others.

I would have had more time to play Saint's Thursday, but a friend called because he had purchased an Tetris arcade cabinet on eBay, and wanted me to ride along to Edmond, OK to pick it up. So once he found out he could get it, we hit the road about 2pm for fun and adventure. This really isn't funny until you consider he drives a Geo/Chevy Tracker just picture it...

+= ???

It took us a while to get it properly strapped down including 200 Ft. of rope and 2 2x4's, but we made in back in one piece as did the machine. I found that Edmond is really nice it looks like a newer area with very nice houses. I seen my first Wal-mart neighborhood Market which was really strange, it's like a smurf supercenter. They are basically grocery stores with some additional items that you wouldn't normally find in a grocery store. My guess is this it what the Dillon's at Rock Road and Central is trying to be.

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. :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hello, and welcome to the update. :)

Wow, been over a month since I updated. Lots of little stuff going on but nothing that I was willing to get off my arse and post about.

So lets see, we've been looking for a new house (outgrew ours a long time ago, but hadn't really been motivated to do anything about it.). My wife will be starting a new job soon, and it's even farther NE so it would be nice to be a little closer to that side of town. Have some appointments today so I will see how those pan out. We would like to move before school starts so the kids will start the new year at the proper school, but that August 15th starting date is rapidly approaching.

A lot of new 'summer' series on TV now, and a few new surprises to the ones I always watch (Monk, and the Closer). I really have enjoyed the first 3-4 episodes of Kyle XY (on ABC Family, although now it's also being shown on ABC at the end of the week) a show about this teenager waking up in the woods not remembering anything before that point. He gets taken in by a social worker, and her family. Has some "Lost"esqe moments where each episode opens up a little bit more of his past. I'm also enjoying Blade: The Series, and really liking Psych a comedy/cop show about a fake psychic who joins the police department to help them solve cases. I updated the items on the left side of the page to reflect current reality as some of them were a little out of date. :)

I'm really enjoying the Saint's Row demo (yours free when you pre-order Saint's Row at EB Games/GameStop, or it will be on the August issue of the Official Xbox Magazine. Eventually it will show up on the LIVE marketplace also sometime after the 1st.). This is a next gen GTA clone all the way, but looks good and is a lot of fun to play. I found this video that shows off some of the multiplayer aspects of the game. I can't wait to join a gang, and open up a can of whoop-ass. :P I also really liked Prey, although I heard it was short (single player) it has the 'feel' of those older Duke Nukem games.

Took a couple days off last week and went to Denver, CO. Went to my first Dave & Buster's a cross between Applebee's, and an arcade. The food was great (soup du jour was Smoked Turkey Chowder really tasty, and had a kick to it.) and you can play video games (while drinking alcohol if so motivated.) all in the same place. Come to find out they just opened one in KC not too long ago, makes those 2 hour road trips even more appealing now! We also went through the Denver Museum of Nature & Science specifically to see Body Worlds 2 which was coming to an end last week, but spent pretty much a day looking around at everything. We also went through the Downtown Aquarium which was a great exhibit. The restaurant connected to it was a little pricy (it's owned by Landry's the same company that runs Rainforest Cafe) but the food was good and there is a aquarium that runs down one side of the restaurant. We sit right next to the aquarium glass, and my daughter didn't like the sharks coming by the table. One day we went to Golden, CO just outside of Denver, it was a really nice little town nestled among some mountains. This is where the Coors plant is and they offer free tours, so we took them up on it. At the end of the tour you get three free drinks (depending on your age) in the lounge area. My problem with beer is that I don't like the taste of it. No qualms with alcohol consumption just that damn taste. So I was hoping that maybe they would have something to try that would sway my stance, but their suggestion was "Blue Moon Belgian White" which unfortunately still tasted like beer. :( On the positive side I did find that I like Zima XXX Hard Ice which it turns out is an alcoholic slushee. I really liked the black cherry, and the fruit punch was fair didn't try the orange or green apple. I asked the server who sold them in my neck of the woods, she replied "Graham Central Station" (which of course closed down a while back) but she didn't know that. On an ending note I passed Invesco field at Mile High a lot, boo... Broncos suck.

I updated the movie list on the left side too, but I'm way behind seeing stuff. I hope to catch up today, and tomorrow on some of the ones I've missed (Pirate's, Clerks II, etc.). I did see Lady in the Water last night it didn't really seem like a M. Night Shyamalan film, but I enjoyed it anyway. I read something where he described it as a 'bed time story for grown-ups' he was right on.