Archives for April, 2005

G4: All Growed Up

Posted on Apr 30, 2005 under Gaming News, In The Media | No Comment

Before you know it, G4 will be trying on training bras and getting its first period! Is it us or is it blossoming into an actual network? X-Play is tepidly funny these days (darn good Dragon Ball Z: Sagas rant, Adam, we hate to say). “Big C”, that goofy black dude from Street Fury, got arrested on camera after attending an illegal street race – that took a ball or two, homey. And Attack of the Show! scooped everyone on the ATHF movie (and by “scooped” we mean reported on a story no one else in the media gave a shit about, but still, props!).

You guys almost deserve a bump up from a triple- to a double-digit cable channel. Cheers. Here’s hoping we jinx your success!

Popularity: 2% [?]

So Not Money

Posted on Apr 30, 2005 under Gaming News, In The Media | No Comment

A Garnier television ad starring Heather Graham prompted us to do an IMDB search on the bottled blonde. Yeah, she was totally crunk in Swingers. But what’s this? She also did voice over work for EverQuest II, along with Mr. Count Dooku himself, Christopher Lee!? Who’s your agent, sluts, the Archbishop Don Magic Juan?

Popularity: 2% [?]

Weedend Pop Quiz

Posted on Apr 29, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment


Who is Mike Jones? Why is Scott Savol’s fat ass still on American Idol? What is Gizmondo? [GameInformer]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Survival Of The Geekiest

Posted on Apr 28, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment

There’s an exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY, that explores the evolution of video games.

Oops, sorry Bible Belters, of course, “In the beginning, GOD created video games.” We slipped! We denounce Darwin! We lick Jesus Fish! It’ll never happen again! Please don’t hurl fire bombs at us like you did when we visited the abortion clinic! That really hurt! [News 14 Charlotte]

Popularity: 2% [?]

GameFAQs: All Dressed Up And No Place To Go

Posted on Apr 28, 2005 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

There’s something different about GameFAQs … new hair cut? That’s not it. Nose job? No… Oh wait, I know. Its homepage is now puke yellow (swatch appears left)! Neat-o. Hope that encourages even more bile-fueled reviews. Ahh, yes, we found one from yesterday. Here are some closing comments about Xbox’s Star Wars: KOTOR — you know, that game that scored like a 10.0 in every professional review:

I seriously urge anyone not to buy this game or even rent it. It is not worth your money or your time. And if you get the urge to play it, go outside and bang your head on a car’s hood, you will get more enjoyment out of that than playing this game.

Well said, “Death_on_Impact”. Up yours, Lucas, and like those hundreds of zillions of people who bought and loved this game. You’re all too moronic to know that it sucks — your car hood awaits!

[GameFAQs' newlook frontpage!]

A Star Wars RPG That Everyone Should Ignore… [GameFAQs]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Bloody ‘Ell, Governor!

Posted on Apr 28, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment


What happens when Prince Charles and his equine wife Camilla finally procreate (sorry, we just threw up A LOT in our mouth)?

Namco tries to resolve our quandary in its upcoming FPS for the PC:

Hellgate: London is a RPG in the first person perspective set 25 years in the future. Introducing a world filled with demons where the last humans meld science and magic to battle this ancient evil.

Namco’s Latest Has London Burning [GameSpy]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Intervention Time At The House Of Stile (No. 3)

Posted on Apr 27, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment

My God… Stile must be snorkeling around in a pool of Redbull and liquid crack over there as it only took him a week to update his website. Goodie for us, though, ‘cuz that means more flash games including a reality/animated space shooter and a unicycle sim. Oh, and the best one is an interracial version of Donkey Kong. How very progressive, Stile — we enjoyed Guess Who, too!

[STILEPROJECT.COM]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Porn! Online! Finally!

Posted on Apr 27, 2005 under Gaming News, PC Games | 14 Comments


Jenna Jameson has a new online game where players can interactively “simulate sex” with the world’s most famous porn star — let the premature ejaculation amongst gamers commence! When you “recover”, download a free preview or play the full game for $9.95 on her website. [VirtuallyJenna.com]

Popularity: 3% [?]

Ladies, Forget Bra Burning…

Posted on Apr 27, 2005 under Gaming News, In The Media | 13 Comments

… in fact, forget bra wearing while you’re at it! Ah, we kid the womens, but seriously: Were you offended by 1UP.com’s top ten list of “girlfriend-friendly games” (which included Ms. f’in Pac-man)? We totally were. But instead of macing the writer or kneeing him in his woman-hating nuts, why not apply for a scholarship to EA’s USC summer video camp and prove to the world that not only do chicks (usually*) have good taste in games, they can develop them, too:

The company said Wednesday that any female junior or senior student in high school can apply for a scholarship to attend the four-week Interactive Entertainment summer camp organized by USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. The scholarship covers admission to the camp, room and board at USC, and three college credits for successfully completing the program. EA said the inaugural camp in 2004 failed to draw any female students, so it is hoping that the scholarship will encourage more young women to attend. Applications can be sent to ea-usc-scholarship@ea.com until May 15.

* DDR and Barbie Fashion Pack being the obvious exceptions.

EA funds scholarship for USC video game camp [ZDNet]

Top Ten Girlfriend-Friendly Games [1UP.com via Kotaku]

Popularity: 3% [?]

City Of Heroes

Posted on Apr 26, 2005 under Game Reviews | 2 Comments

Why isn’t City of Heroes more fun? It’s a multiplayer superhero game, and yet somehow it’s boring. This is coming from a girl who regularly meets up with a dozen friends for an Abberrant game (for non-gamers, that means we roll dice and pretend to save the world).

CoH has it’s great points, namely the character creation. Players can create all kinds of power combinations. And you aren’t likely to run into someone who looks just like you — all kinds of superhero costumes, from fedoras to circuitry to typical tights, are available, in more colors than Liquitex. Unfortunately, capes, a graphics nightmare, are not available.

And the innocent bystanders are goofy and fun, scripted to run screaming and then come back and thank you for saving their lives.

It’s the “missions” that aren’t any fun. After the tutorial mission, you’re sent to a contact who tells you to kill X of the gang Y and return to the contact, who then tells you to kill the boss of gang Y, and so forth. Lather, rinse, repeat. There are no puzzles to solve, just increasingly difficult bad guys to fight. Of course, your superhero is leveling up, too, so there’s no actual difference, just the bragging rights of having made it through Perez Park.

And CoH is massively multi-player. Which means, for the uninitated, that your superheroes team is made up of other players. Mine is usually a conglomerate of friends, housemates, my boyfriend and his friends, but players can also pick up a team in-game quite easily. But you can’t actually talk to your team. CoH has multiple communication channels, familiar to most MUD players. You know what I mean, one channel for talking to your friends, one for your team, a local channel for all the characters standing near by, a private message system, and a broadcast channel so you can tell everyone on that server that SuperBoy596 sux!!1! Yeah. But the mostly-combat game is too fast paced for much chatter, and besides, you need your keyboard for directional control instead of messaging.

But it’s ok, since CoH isn’t actually a social MUD. There is no superhero mansion, no secret lair. Call me boring, but what’s a MUD without an in-character bar? Your characters have all kinds of cute movement scripts (like reading a newspaper, flexing and a chance to play rock, paper, scissors) but after showing your teammates what Mr. Lightning looks like doing yoga, there’s no place to use them.

One of the traditional problems with a MUD is that new characters can be killed or abused by higher lever characters. Not so with City of Heroes. A determined or horribly unlucky newbie can wander into a battle designed for higher levels, but in general there are enough low-level missions to keep you busy. And there is no PvP combat at all, although this will change with the upcoming City of Villians. The advantage of this that your fireballs and bullets will never accidentally hit a player character. The disadvantage is that your fireballs and bullets will never hit a player character, even if they’re standing in the middle of an area of effect attack. (Wait, am I complaining about realism in a superhero game?)

The sidekick option lets your low-level character go on missions with the supreme being that your even dorkier friend made when you were in class. You get an power advantage while you’re palling around with your mentor, but when he logs off or gets too far away, you return to your former state, as useless as Robin without Batman.

There’s no money in the game, and no “stuff”. I grew up on Sierra games, where Roberta Williams taught me to take everything that’s not nailed down. Plus, I like shopping! If I could get jewelry or new superhero clothes at the end of a mission, I’d be happy. (there’s a rumor of capes as a prize for reaching level 20, but I haven’t seen any yet) I realize that a fashion-focused girl isn’t exactly the target audience, but surely other players would like the option to switch between street clothes and tights? One possibility is that the developers of CoH wanted to avoid having in game items that can be traded for real world money. Think I’m making it up? Have a look on eBay for EverCrack items.

Don’t get me completely wrong, sometimes it’s fun to dress in tights and stand next to a villian spawn point. Maybe my expectations were too high, but City of Heroes just didn’t live up to my imagination. Maybe it’s a girl thing, being a superhero’s fun and all, but I’d like to shop, change my clothes, talk to other players, and go have a drink in the non-existant superheroes’ bar. On the plus side, you’ll be probably be bored of CoH before the monthly fee mounts too high.

http://violeteclipse.blogspot.com/

Popularity: 2% [?]

EverQuest II and the Flu

Posted on Apr 26, 2005 under Game Reviews, Gaming News | 2 Comments

Stick, a candidate for Greatest Boyfriend Ever, got me three months of EverQuest 2 for Christmas. I installed my new game — all 10 CDs of it! It was like an old Sierra game! — and found out that I needed a new videocard. I’d actually just gotten my GeForce 4 when I started dating Stick, so it’s still new and still pretty high-quality. (Am I the only person who measures relationship length in computer upgrades?).

During the installation of my brand-new GeForce 5, Stick did not once tell me the correct way to turn a screwdriver. YEAH! If you’re ever helping me install computer guts, I want to know what needs to go next to the fan. You might even need to remind me to ground myself. But I think, at twenty-three years old, that I’m got a handle on righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.

Another reason that Stick is The Greatest Boyfriend Ever, is that his plans for January break involved bringing my computer over to his house and playing EverQuest until we stare with glazed eyes, argue briefly about whose character is cooler, and fall asleep. My character, who is, actually, the coolest, is Thera. I bet you think I classics-geekily named my EverQuest character after the island just north of Crete. No way! She’s actually named after my Morrowind character who’s named after the Greek island.

All characters start on The Island of Refuge, where you do a couple basic class-dependant quests, get some gear, learn your hotkeys, and get off the island. I was apprehensive about meeting those 300th-level characters who prey on newbies, but it turned out that EverQuest is PvP-free and bad guys respawn fast enough to keep competition down.

Quick sidenote: Who are these people who are level 50 EverQuesters? Do they leave the house? Are they freakishly good gamers, like my roommate Andy, with a high level character in each class? (Andy, AKA the guy who lives in my attic, disagrees with me on the value of City Of Heroes and has a high level character on every server) Or maybe they live in the Artic Circle and they’re housebound with snow for six months a year.

Once on Qeynos (Sadly, a proper noun and therefore no good for Scrabble), you get a room. No, not in the sense that I’m usually thinking about Stick. You get a room at an inn, for which you must pay rent. This room can be decorated, with furniture, books and paintings, and while I know it’s a clever way to keep the in-game economy moving, I love it. I love playing dollhouse! One flaw in the game is that I haven’t seen any really unique clothes yet. That would be a great way to move the economy, to customize your character and to show wealth and rank. Besides, I like playing dress-up.

The quests are a mix of “Deliver this letter to NPC X”, and “Slay 5 sewer rats” (Like all adventure games, EQ2 has a rat-infested catacomb). They seem disappointingly linear now, but there are so many missions that it’s all right. Some of the real highlights of Morrowind or Neverwinter Nights are the social missions. So far, EQ2 has been lacking in fight-or-talk quests, there’s usually only one dialogue option at a time, but that may be a function of character class or level.

There’s also “stuff”. I love Sierra games, and Roberta Williams taught me to take anything not nailed down. One of my big problems with City Of Heroes was the lack of items. But EverQuest is great for this. Rural areas are filled with rocks to mine, plants to pick, even butterflies and feathers to collect. There are “?” icons to search for collection quests, my favorite was the seashell collection.

In my fluish feverish state this week, I started having creepy EverQuest dreams. With a fever, I usually have nightmares. So far, I dreamed that Stick left me for a prettier girl, that Professor Marathon told me I can’t graduate in spring, and that every time I found a little “?” icon, it turned into an item I already had in my inventory. Pretty terrifying stuff.

Even though I was terribly sick, I managed to play EverQuest obsessively. The highlight being the day I dragged myself out of bed, leveled Thera, and went back to sleep for another 12 hours.

Popularity: 3% [?]

The Return Of Earthquake’s GI Tract?

Posted on Apr 26, 2005 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

In 1997, naive arcade owners decided to give the “Hyper Neo Geo 64 Jamma” machines a try, and Samurai Showdown 64 was one of the platform’s only games. Don’t remember that 3D mess? SNK thanks you for having such weed-damaged brains. But SNK Playmore is giving a next-gen version another go, according to GameSpot:

The game will be called Samurai Spirits: Tenka Ichi Kenkaku-den, and will run on Sammy’s Atomiswave arcade platform. This weekend, SNK Playmore will be beta testing the new title in selected Japanese arcades.

SS:TIK has an accompanying official web site, for all you Japanese-reading showoffs.

New Samurai Shodown coming to Japan arcades [GameSpot]

Popularity: 5% [?]

This Would Be Funny, Were It Not For The Dead Granny

Posted on Apr 26, 2005 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

I have a friend that once fell asleep (drooling!) while playing the not-so-thrilling Dungeon Explorer II on my PC Engine Duo-R — but this is ridiculous:

Authorities near Sacramento, California say a teen-age driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel after staying up all night playing video games. The car swerved off the road and crashed — killing the driver’s 87-year-old grandmother and critically injuring his brother.

Police: Teen driver nodded off after night of video games, grandmother dies [KESQ]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Trade In Your Pot O’ Gold For Store Credit!

Posted on Apr 24, 2005 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

Just when you thought GameStop employees couldn’t get any drunker:

Three Irish businessmen have joined forces with video games retailer, GameStop, to roll out the brand in new shops across Britain. The first British GameStop store opened in The Bullring, a futuristic shopping centre in Birmingham, three weeks ago.

Irish join video game retail roll out [The Post.Ie]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Stress Relief

Posted on Apr 24, 2005 under Gaming News, In The Media | No Comment


Why we’re quoting from a Kiwi paper, we’ll never know. But…

The Pentagon has spent US$4m to create virtual reality “video games” that simulate combat situations in Iraq, to help treat traumatised soldiers on their return to the US. The project has been created to help treat the thousands of troops returning from tours of duty suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSS).

It’s like we never got our darn leg blown off by that Iraqi’s remote-controlled bomb — thanks video games!

‘Video games’ used to treat traumatised soldiers [New Zealand Herald]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Late Night With Conan In ’06

Posted on Apr 21, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment

Before Ahnold was an upstanding, Mexican-hatin’ Republican, he was acting much more like a Democrat, groping strange women and frolicking about Hollywood in a furry codpiece. Funcom reminds us of Gov. Krazy Kraut’s better days in its latest MMORPG project, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, due out next year.

Age of Conan is set after the titular barbarian–following many years of bloody struggle and plunder–has become king of the city of Aquilonia. “But,” according to Funcom, “Conan’s rule is on the brink of chaos, spiraling towards the doom of ancient evils.” The game will incorporate the various elements of Howard’s “dark, lush, violent, and sinful universe,” including “cruel gods, mythical creatures, lost civilizations, and a struggling human race.”

Just try and cross California’s closed borders, Thulsa Doom.

Conan the Barbarian to battle online in ’06 [GameSpot]

Popularity: 2% [?]

Say Hello To My Little Over-hyped Movie Port

Posted on Apr 21, 2005 under Gaming News, Playstation 2 Games, Xbox Games | 2 Comments

This fall Scarface (no, not the autobiography of Tina Fey, but the mafia movie) is coming to the PS2 and Xbox. Rent it for the false hope that you’re as cool as every D-list celebrity tard on MTV’s “Cribs”, buy it for the racist Cuban-American stereotypes:

Al Pacino will be lending his likeness, but not his voice, for “Scarface: The World is Yours,” which is based on his 1983 hit film “Scarface.” Although Pacino will be the only original actor seen in the game, “Scarface” cast members Steven Bauer (Manny Ray) and Robert Loggia (Frank Lopez) are lending their voices to new characters. Other actors signed on for roles are James Woods, Jay Mohr, Cheech Marin, Michael Rapaport, Michael York, Miguel Sandoval and Robert Davi.

Call us crazy but with a line-up like that, we’d like to see some really original and innovative advertising to get the word out. Something like, oh I don’t know…posters? Posters that could hang on the walls of college dorm rooms and frat houses across the country!!! Nah, you’re right, it’d never work.

Al Pacino in ‘Scarface’ video game [Canoe Wham!]

Popularity: 5% [?]

Cartoon Games = Satan’s Renaissance

Posted on Apr 21, 2005 under Gaming News, In The Media | No Comment

North Carolina’s bill banning the sale of “graphically violent” and “sexually explicit” games to minors better pass already before America’s impressionable youth get brainfucked by this upcoming filth:

  • Animaniacs [IGN]
  • Teen Titans [Y!]
  • Peanuts [gameindustry.biz]
  • HURRY North Carolina, before Peppermint Patty and Marcie pull something dykey!

    Popularity: 3% [?]

    GameFAQs 101, Lesson 2

    Posted on Apr 20, 2005 under Gaming News, Playstation 2 Games, Xbox Games | No Comment

    Want to add that subtle hint of rage to an already angry GameFAQs review? Start it off in Yiddish:

    Oy…what a game this turned out to be. I, thankfully, rented this game because I wanted to have something to pass the time for a few nights. Too bad that I will never see that 7.25 again. Seriously folks, this game is flawed beyond all belief. What makes me most upset is that it had potential.

    Red Ninja: End of Honor [GameFAQs]

    Popularity: 5% [?]

    New Outbreak Of ‘Who’s The Better QB’

    Posted on Apr 20, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment

    VS.
    Donovan McNabb appears on the cover of EA’s Madden NFL 06; Michael Vick appears in court after allegedly giving herpes to a 26-year-old health care worker.

    We report, you decide.

    Popularity: 2% [?]

    Student Films: By Us, For Us, Embarass Us

    Posted on Apr 20, 2005 under Gaming News, In The Media | No Comment

    Q: Is Michael Highland (shown right) (a) a 10-hour a day video game addict or (b) the darling of Brown’s Ivy Film Festival?

    A: He’s both — but with the glasses, missing biceps, and the unkempt facial, cranial and chest hair peeking up out of his collar, we’re gonna say 10 hours a day of gaming is lowballing it by about 6 hours or so.

    Titled “As Real as Your Life,” Highland’s multimedia 10-minute film is a personal story about how playing video games becomes a surrogate existence. For example, when hearing helicopters in the Philadelphia area, Highland said he will react defensively like the animated character in the video game Grand Theft Auto.

    “Life” imitating “art” — good for you, Michael, ignore our thoughtless scare quotes. And we have our guess about your real life “time laid” stat but we’ll keep it to ourselves in honor of the new pope.

    Video games inspire student’s lauded film [Daily Pennsylvanian]

    Popularity: 2% [?]

    Landing Strips, To Go

    Posted on Apr 19, 2005 under Gaming News, Sony PSP | No Comment

    Is that a PSP in your pocket or are you just happy to read us?:

    Having conquered the iPod, Playboy magazine is setting its sights on the PSP. The magazine will announce plans Wednesday to offer nude and non-nude photo galleries that have been specifically formatted for viewing on Sony’s Portable PlayStation.

    Of course, we’ll only be buying the non-non-nude galleries for the articles.

    Playboy heads to the PSP [CNN]

    Popularity: 4% [?]

    Nintendo Just Blue Our Minds

    Posted on Apr 19, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment

    The world has a new pope; the Nintendo DS has a new color (“Electric Blue”). Oddly, both have Nazi pasts. [IGN]

    Popularity: 2% [?]

    School Am Fun

    Posted on Apr 19, 2005 under Gaming News | No Comment

    When your “college” advertises on late night cable TV, you might be an Art Institute of California student. Ditto if your major is “Game Art & Design”. [gameinfowire.com]

    Popularity: 2% [?]

    Odd Move — If Not Completely Idiotic, Which Of Course It Is

    Posted on Apr 18, 2005 under Gaming News, Xbox Console, Xbox Games | 13 Comments

    Oddworld’s president Lorne Lanning — who at some point OK’d farting and burping as the main means of communication within his company’s high-concept Xbox games and kept his job — announced that “the future direction of the company is not in the videogames industry.” Good thing they’re moving to Berkeley, CA, where a future direction in panhandling is extremely lucrative (God love Cal’s white-guilt-fueled leftist poly-sci majors, armed with nothing but parental allowances to plunk down in a bum’s tip cup on the way to the drum circle at Kip’s on half-priced beer night). [TotalVideoGames]

    Popularity: 3% [?]

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