Thursday, December 09, 2010
I noticed I hadn't updated the sidebar since then either, as I was adding the sneak of The Tourist I watched last night (Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie), a drama-thriller (so says IMDB). It was pretty good, although I felt it moved at a slower pace than I preferred maybe because going in I had it pegged as an action-thriller. I had flashbacks of Salt which was just ~5 months ago, and sure enough this one has a couple of twist in the story to *maybe* keep you guessing.
I will point out a couple of excellent TV shows that hit this fall, Terriers on FX a crime drama starring Donal Logue (Grounded for Life) as an ex-cop turned PI and his sidekick. It's a dark, gritty police/drama that actually had an overarching story for most all of the season, but the worst title in history. The other stand out was the 6 episode season of The Walking Dead on AMC following a group of survivors in the aftermath of a "zombie" outbreak (although they never use that word in the show). It's based off of a comic book series and while there are a couple of great "zombie" attacks/slayings it's a lot more about the characters than the action.
Friday, August 13, 2010
When I got home yesterday afternoon, I turned on the 360 to finish downloading the Mafia II demo (the power went out Wednesday evening to the entire neighborhood, cutting short the download then). It turns out it is the same demo that was on the show floor at E3, but that one I played on the PS3. I've played through it a couple times now (had to find all 5 of the Playboy magazines in the demo), and it's really good. I took more time (the demo has a 10 minute timer) to just wander around, shoot people, steal different cars, and buy weapons. As I stated in my E3 ramblings, this wasn't a title I was looking forward to (I was actually waiting to play Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood multi-player when the Mafia guy handed me the controller) but the demo has swayed me. I was burnt out after GTA IV plus the fact that I didn't like the characters (in GTA IV) so I had let third person open world games slide off my radar then we get Red Dead, and now Mafia. I guess maybe I just need my open world games set in a different time period to get me excited about them.
While the Mafia demo was downloading, I had also added "Irrational's new game announcement-What is Icarus" video to my queue from the dashboard ad. When I finished messing around with Mafia I remembered the video download so I went and fired it up not knowing what I was about to see. The video starts off with murky green background that rapidly changes into bubbles and focusing on what appears to be descent underwater, while the music sounds like a 1900's victrola. I'm thinking OMG, OMG it's Bioshock (I was probably out of my chair jumping up and down at this point). The video continues as the plants, and rocky bottom come into focus then we pass a Big Daddy statue, finally coming over the horizon as a city comes into view... Why are you still reading this? Download the video, and check out the Whatisicarus.com (which now redirects to Bioshockinfinate.com).
Hopefully you've now watched the trailer in all it's splendor, and found that it is an announcement trailer for Bioshock Infinate. The new game takes place in 1912 (and as the video shows fantastically) in the floating sky-city of Columbia, and supposedly is coming out in 2012 if internet chat boards are to be believed. I don't think a game trailer has ever made me this 'giddy' before.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Now I just need to upgrade to a 1080P 16:9 monitor. :)
A friend had a meeting in Tulsa, OK Wednesday afternoon, so I went along for the ride. We knew there was a Dave & Busters now, so we stopped for lunch there after a wonky GPS detour. I've been to D&B in Denver, K.C., and now Tulsa (which is the smallest location out of the three), and have never had a bad meal the food is always good.
After his meeting we decided to take in a movie, so we went to Inception that was showing in IMAX at CineMark Tulsa. It was directed by Christopher Nolan who also did Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight (I still haven't watched either of the last two). I had seen the trailers so I knew it was a sci-fi/thriller/action and it didn't disappoint, and lived up to the praise everyone was telling me.
We also seen the new Quik Trip prototype store with multiple entrances, a coffee/soft serve bar, outdoor patio area, and so many drink choices it made my head spin (there must have been 7-10 iced tea flavors).
I went to a sneak preview of SALT Tuesday night, and came away feeling rather "meh". It was okay, but never really did anything out of the ordinary the action scenes/chases were pretty cool but seemed like standard fare. I can only imagine how lackluster this would have been if I seen it after Inception, instead of before.
The new 'summer' crop of tv shows has started spilling out with some running 4-5 weeks, and others just onto their second week. My current favorites The Glades (A&E), Rizzoli and Isles (TNT), and Covert Affairs (USA). Those that fall somewhere in between Rookie Blues (ABC), The Good Guys (FOX), and Haven (SyFy). Rookie has had 5 episodes now and it's just not 'gripping' me, while Good Guys started off okay (funny odd-couple schtick) it hasn't made any strides lately. I really liked the first episode of Haven, but the second one seemed kinda cheesy, I hope they pick up a bit from here.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
All of these were playable at E3 this year, and I probably played the demo for Lara Croft 5-6 times (why is it releasing last?!) and was already on my "must buy" list. I know I won't get all 5 because watching people play MNC it wasn't something I would play even if I really wanted the other 4. Limbo looks like a cool 2D platformer (which I love) with a weird b&w art style, but I'll need to read some reviews first. I enjoyed playing Hurricane (I loved HT in the arcade, and on Dreamcast), but for some reason can't get over the downloads $15 price tag (especially when history shows it will be on sale for $7-$10 within 6-12 months). Finally the Castlevania game seems more focused towards co-op play, which I'm not a big fan of, although I enjoy the 2D world of metro-vania so it might be my third title if the reviews pan out.
I went and seen Knight and Day today, and don't know what the filmmakers were trying to pull, but I've been to Wichita Mid-Contienant Airport and your visual representation was 'wwwwayyy' off. :( The sprinkling of Wichita jokes were pretty funny though, and it ended up being more of romantic-comedy than action comedy I was expecting. Overall a very fun 2 hour romp with some great stunts, and chase scenes. Think of it as Bourne extra-light less story, less filling, but enjoyable nonetheless!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I'm in the market for a new TV, my current 42" has some minor issues plus I would like to move up to a 52" or 55" screen. I've been looking around trying to get some ideas for now, but haven't really decided on LCD/Plasma yet. I've been skeptical of LCD panels for a while because of the lack of true blacks in the picture (I've noticed this on the TV my Dad bought earlier in the year), but have been looking at a new Sharp AQUOS set (LC52E77U) that people seem to like.
I've recouped from my return trip fiasco (thanks again, United) that you heard about if you followed my facebook posts. I've been back at work a few days, and have been talking about all the amazing stuff at this year's E3. The summer of arcade XBLA stuff was the first stuff on the floor I hit, Limbo, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (my most played at E3, I think I went through the demo 3-4 times), and Castlevania Harmony of Despair all look great. Hydro Thunder Hurricane played great but the $15 price tag for some reason on that one bugs me. Check out this page for more info on these titles, and scroll down to watch a video of them in action! Other download (XBLA/PSN) games I'm now looking forward to include Death Spank a funny action RPG, and Dead Nation an awesome top down zombie shooter.
I tried 3 Kinect demos and unfortunately was underwhelmed, even with what I assume were perfect conditions (extra lights/blank walls behind us) it felt either unresponsive or over sensitive depending on the game, while PlayStation's Move on the other hand I tried with Socom 4 and left really impressed.
I got to try Mafia II and if Red Dead Redemption is GTA in the wild west, Mafia is GTA in the 1950's. It was not a title I was looking forward to, but the demo actually may have swayed my view. Killzone 3, and Motorstorm: Apocalypse were both in 3D, and while they were neat I don't know how long I could play a game in 3D at a time.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
A couple curse words later (did I mention how heavy these are??), and a trip downstairs, my daughter is now playing her 360 in HD chucking the 19" set she had to the curb. The first shot is the Phillips website thumbnail, the second shot is my daughter playing 1943 on the 360.
I upgraded my phone a couple months back (android Cliq) and started playing around with some of the games about a week ago. I've played around with Raging Thunder 2 a pretty cool racing game (which I suck at), and Crystallight (a tower defense game) but so far I'm enjoying Colorix (think Sega's Columns), Gameboid (a GBA emulator), and Shoot U! (a simple physics based 'puzzle' game) the most. One of the podcast I listen to recommended Devilry Huntress (a match 3 game with a horror theme) so I'm looking forward to trying it out next. I went with the Cliq because Motorola had stated there was a 2.x OS update coming March-April this year (plus I wanted the real keyboard) well here we are almost into June and the 2.x update is still nowhere to be found. :( Other than that shortcoming I'm enjoying my phone so far.
I've gotten back into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 multi-player recently, as I never really started playing when it came out. I'm 'jonesing' for the extra map pack (Stimulus) that came out back at the end of March, but I'm having a really hard time justifying $15.00 bucks for 3 new maps, and 2 redo's from COD4. Then (Activision) goes and announces the new pack (Resurgence) set for June 3rd again consisting of 3 new maps, and 2 redo's from COD4 for $15.00 (hmmm... notice a trend here?). I held off buying the Stimulus pack in some sort of hope filled, fairy tale, kitty cuddling universe that when the Resurgence pack goes up there will be a package discount for one or both. The other game that has monopolized my 360 time is Red Dead Redemption or Grand Theft Horse as some like to call it, playing like GTA set in the old west. It gets the look and feel down cold, I'm having as much fun riding around killing wildlife and skinning them for cash, as I am completing the missions.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
E3expo is fast approaching (June 15-17) in L.A. I've got my registration in, and my hotel room booked, plus I somehow got invited to the Nintendo press event Tuesday (6/15) morning. I don't know if it's the excitement build up for E3 again, or the 5 day work vacation...I'm going to guess the later. :)
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
I spent a couple days last week in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO for a basic training graduation. It sets almost smack dab in the lower middle of Missouri coupled with the town of St. Roberts, MO. almost 90 miles from Springfield, and 130 miles from St. Louis. The base seemed larger than McConnell, although probably because it was spread out and situated in the woods. The town of St. Roberts on the other hand seemed to be home to a lot of clubs, bars, and tattoo parlors spread out along the highway.
I found the new Samsung 3D TV was hooked up at Sears the other day so I thought I would try it out. It took a while before it dawned on me that the 3D glasses had to be turned on to function. :) They were playing Monsters Vs. Aliens (part of the starter kit you have buy, 2 pairs of glasses, and the blu-ray 3D version of the movie) on the TV. I didn't see MvA in the theaters so my only 3D experience is with Bob's Big Break short that was on the current blu-ray release and uses the magenta/green glasses at home. Once I turned the glasses on it was pretty stunning and showed a expansive amount of depth, since I hadn't seen it theatrically I don't know if it was a faithful recreation or not. I did notice some characters had a "halo" around them and guess this was probably caused by the viewing angle, something it seems would be a limiting factor at home, like there would be maybe two/three prime viewing locations? That starter kit I mentioned (2 glasses/MvA movie) runs $349.99 although it seems most retailers will give it to you free if you buy a new 3D HDTV, and the 3D blu-ray player. There have been reports that the PS3 will be upgradable (via firmware) to 3D blu-ray capabilities at some time in the future so I'm in a wait and see pattern for now. I found it interesting that COX is actually devoting an HD channel to showing the Masters in 3D right now, if you have one of the two TVs to view it on.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Now, if the PDF wasn't posted on the Nintendo.jp website I would call bullsh*t. This seems like an incredibly stupid move considering the DSi-XL is supposed to launch (in the U.S.) this coming Sunday, way to cannibalize sales there big N. All is supposed to be revealed at E3 in June, already have my pass so hopefully it will be cool!
The items from the press release are all we know to be fact, but the internet has dug around and come up with all sorts of other tidbits (unknown validity at this point). Screens are supposed to be 4", this would make it larger than the DSi, but smaller than the DSi-XL. The screens supposedly have no bezel around them so when open it could work as one big screen, or the two independent DS screens just like normal. Rumors also abound that the system will have a more powerful processor, a new graphics chip (making it on par with a GameCube in power), an accelerometer (tilt control), and built-in rumble (the only thing I miss my GBA slot for).
The 3D without glasses is the most interesting caveat (and we know it's true) although most agree it will be special screens, there is a video (below) that shows a DSiWare hidden object game that's out in Japan already that looks pretty good considering it doesn't require any special hardware. The DSiWare game uses the camera to track you head movement, and changes the view accordingly so you can peer behind/above/below objects.
Went to see the Wichita Troll today. Someone told a friend about it a week or so ago, and he wanted to see it for himself, so we found him today. I wonder what he did to get chained up? :(
Monday, March 15, 2010
My niece was staying with us that weekend so after getting home from the shorts we went out to eat, then ran some errands. On a whim (since we were on the south end of town anyway) we went by the drive-in, and found that they were open doing $10 car load nights. We settled on screen 1 which was The Spy Next Door, The Tooth Fairy, and Twilight: New Moon, mainly because my daughter and niece didn't want to see the shows on the other screen.
I knew we wouldn't stay for Twilight sequel because no one had seen the first one, and I was leery about The Tooth Fairy because I had read some pretty bad reviews. I was pleased when The Spy Next Door turned out to be a Jackie Chan film that I evidently had never heard of, and ended up being okay. Sure it was a little on the campy side, and Mr. Chan isn't getting any younger, but overall a watchable comedy with a side of chop-chop thrown in.
I actually enjoyed The Tooth Fairy. I don't know if it's because I had such low expectations from all the bad reviews, but it was actually pretty good. I like the Rock in comedic roles (I seem to remember liking Game Plan also...), sure it's not going to win any awards, but I liked it.
I went back this last Saturday to catch the features on the other screen, it was a little cooler out this time. I had already seen Sherlock Holmes, but both Cop Out and Book of Eli were new to me. Cop Out is directed by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, etc...) apparently to show he can do a major 'studio' film. I always enjoy Bruce Willis, but I'm not a fan of Tracy Morgan and judging form the reviews I've seen he was the weak link. Cop Out has some decent action comedy going on, but seemed a little to over the top to me. There are other 'buddy cop' movies that are far superior to this one (most of the Lethal Weapon movies, 48 hours, Beverly Hills Cop) it's okay, but that's about it. Lucky for me, I didn't pay much to see it.
Book of Eli on the other hand was worth staying up till 2:30 am for. I had seen the previews, but was thinking it was a post-apocalyptic action thriller. I had visions of Mad Max and a movie version of Fallout 3 (which I was playing when I saw the first trailer...). Turns out that it was almost a post-apocalypse parable in tone. There are a few bloody (*gory*) action sequences, and even though they happen so quick, I can see why it got an R rating. Overall it was a good movie, and except for maybe one scene I don't feel that they beat me over the head with the message. I could definitely see myself picking up the blu-ray when it comes out to watch it again.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I picked up a PSP Go a couple weeks ago (found a smoking deal on a used one). I'm not really on the digital only bandwagon, quite the opposite I'm very material, I want something tangible for my money. I want to buy a movie, book, video game and have a safety net so if I don't care for it, or finish it (yeah like that happens) I know there is resale value there. The total loss of UMD's was a hindering factor, so I had decided not to get the Go, but then the price dropped $50 and I was sold. Evidently I got all the tech savvy in my family. :) It's been about two weeks and so far I'm liking the Go the comics feature is kinda cool, and the fact that some of my blu-rays are coming with portable copies (District 9, and Zombieland) for the PSP is neat. The only game I've downloaded so far is Pinball Heroes (only available from the PSN network), but I'm intrigued that the PSP minis can now be played on the PS3 with the latest firmware upgrade.
I finally got around to trying Borderlands on the 360 and it's amazing, like Fallout 3 with a lot more shooting. I was hesitant when it was released because I kept hearing that to unlock the best loot drops in the game you had to be playing co-op with 1-3 other people. The last GAMERadio podcast they were revisiting Borderlands and mention specifically that he was under that impression, but remembers getting better drops playing solo. This and the rest of their coverage (they also review the first DLC pack the Zombie Island of Dr. Ned) swayed me to pick it up. So far, so good I'm almost level 8 soldier after a couple nights.
I'm getting pretty psyched for BioShock 2. I caught an episode of GameTrailers a while back that was interviews with 2k about single player, and multi-player. The 3 minute plus trailer below aired during Jimmy Fallon show on February 2nd, and looks freaking amazing. I was a huge fan of the first game, and have had my reservations with second (4 different studios working on it, Ken Levine not involved), but over the last couple weeks I've been swayed. I can't wait to get back to Rapture. :)
Thursday, January 07, 2010
CES 2010 is underway in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show will surely be the focus of some updates for the next couple of days. Microsoft kicked things off early last night with a press conference, and evidently leaked video interview footage on a web site earlier yesterday. The coolest thing was their "Xbox Game Room" announcement, an avatar area devoted to classic coin op video games (think one of the cool parts of PS3 home, except you had to wait in line hoping to play). You can head over to Joystiq and check out a video and also download the Fact Sheet for more preliminary info and pricing, which wasn't too bad. $5 (400 MS points) will get you a machine on both 360 & PC, $3 (240 MS points) will get you one or the other 360 or PC, or you can pump $.50 (40 MS points) in for a single game (must be inflation old school games cost a .25 when I was going to the arcade). If one of your "friends" has purchased a game you can also visit their "Game Room" and try a game for free, before purchasing it. Sounds like a neat concept.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Got out New Year's day and decided to take in a movie (half of Wichita seemed to have the same idea), and thanks to Best Buy's Sherlock Holmes/Microsoft promo a couple weeks ago I had a free ticket. The admission ticket was up to $12 so I talked my friend into balcony seats (since mine wouldn't cost anything) at the east Warren. I've never sit in the balcony section so it was a new experience for my friend and me. The over-sized chairs were comfortable and roomy including plenty of leg room, plus they had seat (ie. butt) warmers. I'm still not great on the service staff coming in/out during the feature (I complained about this back in February last year when we went to the Warren Old Town), but there seemed to be more aisle room in front of your seat as well as more elevation between the stadium rows (compared to Old Town). In other words it didn't bother me as much this time maybe because I was only in the auditorium 2 1/2 hours compared to ~6 hours for the academy shorts. Sherlock Holmes was really good, a grimy, gritty period piece with simply amazing vistas of 1891 London. It definitely had a Guy Ritchie feel if you've seen RockNRolla, Snatch, or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.
I went to the Intrust Bank Arena 'open house' Saturday, got to walk around and visit some of areas I'll probably never see again like the Thunder locker room, and the party suites. It reminds me of a scaled down version of the Sprint Center in Kansas City, after being there it just seems so small. It was nice, and the seats were padded and comfortable. They have a bunch of different concession 'themes' scattered throughout I remember seeing BBQ, Pizza, and even a Carlos O'Kellys branded one. I think the parking is going to be a issue though, sure there are a lot of street parking space spread downtown, but are you really going to want to walk 5-6 blocks back and forth?
The holiday drought of TV shows during the last 3-4 weeks is coming to an end with a sprinkle of shows coming back this week (NCIS, and NCIS Los Angeles specifically), and most everything starting back up the week of January 10 (Chuck comes back Monday night 1/11!).