Saturday, September 15, 2007
Oh my God I hate the Pinehurst course in Tiger Woods 2K7. It’s taken me two weeks to finish the Southern Major because I keep having to replay rounds. I started the final round 5 over par, but managed to win the bastard finishing 9 under.
Speaking of games, tell me why I need Call of Duty 3. I saw nine people - at the same time - on my friends list all playing it. Is it that great?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Led Zeppelin , one night only
Led Zeppelin are set to announce their reunion gig this week.
A press conference has been called for 4pm BST on Wednesday, September 12 in London.
NME.COM will bring you full, live coverage from the announcement so make sure you come back tomorrow.
As we revealed last week, singer Robert Plant confirmed that the rumours about Led Zeppelin reforming were in fact true.
He explained that the band had a meeting about show last week (September 5) and said the reunion will be for one night only.
“There’s not a lot to work out as it’s only going to be one-off gig,” he explained.
First of all let me say that to this day, Led Zeppelin are my all-time favorite band. First record I every paid for was Zep. I could not love a band’s body of work more. That having been said, what the fuck are they thinking? Plant lost his high end years ago. The man simply cannot sing the songs properly anymore. No way can Jimmy keep up his intensity. Not too worried about Jones, but - and this is the big issue - John Bonham is dead. His son Jason is a pathetic, pale imitation who has been living off his dad’s name forever, so I dearly hope he’s not the fill-in. No one, and I mean no one, played like John Bonham. There was a passion and a heaviness to his playing, a raw power coupled with amazing skill, that no one has ever duplicated, and likely never will.
This is a bad idea from start to finish. I wish it wasn’t happening.
Bonham’s son Jason will wield the drum sticks for Led Zeppelin, joining its founding members: singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones.
Now it sucks more.
Monday, September 10, 2007
OK. So get this. I’m assembling this from about 15 different stories: At the VMAs last night, Kid Rock is sitting at a table with someone...I can’t find a damn story that says for sure who it was, but some say Diddy. Tommy Lee walks up to talk to that someone, and Kid Rock does his best to pretend Tommy isn’t there. Tommy gets pissed and starts antagonizing Kid Rock, who eventually gets pissed. Tommy stands up agressively, so Kid Rock up and backhands Tommy Lee in the face.
Let that sink in. Tommy Lee got bitch-slapped by Kid Rock. A backhand, no less. I’m sorry, bitch-slapped is the wrong term. Kid Rock pimp-slapped Tommy Lee.
Tommy gets all puffed up and thwap; Kid hits Tommy in the face again. Oh my God in heaven, Tommy Lee got pimp-slapped twice in the face.
Rap producer Rich Nice, who had a front-row seat to the melee, told the Associated Press that the Mötley Crüe drummer was the instigator of the fight, though it was the “Bawitdaba” singer who landed the only connecting punch.
“It looked like Tommy Lee initiated it because Kid Rock was ignoring him,” he said. “And Tommy Lee kind of antagonized him. And then when Tommy Lee stood up, it looked a little weird, like, ‘Yo, what?’
“When Tommy stands up is when Kid hit him the first time with a backhand,” Nice told the wire service. “And then Tommy Lee looked like he was trying to get at him to aggressively retaliate and then Kid Rock hits Tommy Lee again—bong. And then security grabs Tommy Lee in a headlock and pulls him off.”
After the fight, security allowed Kid Rock to remain in his seat for the remainder of the show, though Lee was thrown out of the ceremony and deposited in the hotel’s main casino amid a throng of fans.
Oh that’s rich. Now, if you can believe this, bad-boy Tommy Lee, of Motley fucking Crue, went crying to the police and pressed charges against Kid Rock. Wow. Bad enough that he got pimp-slapped over some imagined beef due to them both banging the dried out mess that is Pamela Anderson. But to cry to the police to press misdemeanor assault charges? It’s just a punk bitch move. If Tommy Lee had any cool left...he just spent it. Oh, and he tells a different story, of course:
“I was minding myself and then he goes and punches me on the cheek,” claims Tommy. “I was trying to be the bigger man, but he was acting childish.”
He added that after Kid came up and punched him, he “was ready to go in the alley and kick his ass. “I was about to put Kid in the emergency room when security grabbed me,” says Tommy. “They said, ‘If you move, we will break your arms.’”
Tommy went on to express why Kid probably acted the way he did, saying, “This is what people do when they have shitty albums and their careers are going down the drain.”
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Red ring of death strikes at my heart
It’ll be damn near a month before I see it again...but we had planned a second box for upstairs anyway so Donna can play when I’m hogging this one, which is almost all the time. Guess that’s about to happen...in about 15 minutes. By the way, in case anyone was wondering, it was Command & Conquer that killed it. I really thought Bioshock would be the one, but it lived long enough to let me finish that game, so some small comfort there.
Donations can be made in it’s name to me. :)
Well that was an adventure. The bitchy clerk at Walmart apparently didn’t want my money. I suppose this is just another confirmation of why I rarely shop there.
“I’d like to buy an Xbox 360 Premium system.”
“Whassat? We got the black one and the white one.”
“Umm...(pause and stare at her) The Premium system? The one with the wireless controller and smaller hard drive?”
“We got the black one or the white one.”
“Are you kidding me? OK, look, the white one? It comes in two kinds: Core system, which has a wired controller and no fancy extras, or the premium system, with a wireless controller and hard drive and so forth. I want that. I looked it up online and this store has them in stock.”
“I dunno what you saw on the computer but we ain’t got that. And I don’t appreciate you giving me shit about it.”
“What the hell? Are you crazy? I want to buy this system from you and you swear at me? You’re lucky I’m not in the mood to stand around and wait for your manager, because I would totally tell him how useless and rude you are. Instead I’ll just buy this at Target. Fuck you.”
And I left. I tried Gamestop, figuring I’d patronize a gamer-centric store, but that idiot told me Premiums with HMDI weren’t being sold yet and didn’t even have a SKU. So I just went to Target and bought the thing that the Gamestop guy says doesn’t exist. Build date of 7/23/2007 with HDMI and a new heatsink. Here’s to hoping it lasts longer than the others. :)
When my other one comes back, Donna gets it as her very own, with all the bits and parts from this system. And now my credit card is bursting at the seams. I don’t care. Must have 360. :)
Sorry Agent, the Agency is not interested in your services anymore.
This won’t be a feature in Crackdown 2, however - in fact, Realtime Worlds isn’t working on a sequel at all, Wilson confirmed.
Although the team is in some respects “heartbroken”, “Microsoft were a little late in stepping up to the plate to ask for Crackdown 2, and by then we had already started working on bigger, better things.”
Friday, August 31, 2007
More Bioshock musings
First of all, Tim is brilliant with the gaming humor. Between him and Penny Arcade, everyone else should just stop writing gaming comics.
I’ve been playing C&C3 in order to decompress from the Bioshock experience. The story was so deep that I want to think about it before I play through again. Now, either I’m so brilliant, or the writing and design were that good, because virtually all the elements, motivations and themes discussed in this interview with Ken Levine (warning, massive spoilers) were things I either wrote about already, or definitely thought while playing.
I suspect it’s the creators and not my genius. Although, as you well know, I am a genius. At something. One day I might even find out what.
Here’s something that I guess some players aren’t picking up on: You, the main character, are genetically engineered from Ryan. You have to be in order to make the Bathysphere keys and the bot shutdown systems work. Remember the lower wharf? Atlas told you that the system was keyed to Ryan, but anyone in his family could make it work. Until you get to the end, you can assume that you are just a distant relative or something, but once you know the secret, when Atlas/Fontaine spills the beans, you realize that Ryan, for all intents and purposes, is your father, and you just bashed his head in with a putter. And he damn well demanded that you do it.
That’s just one of the three bajillion layers of intriguing story this game contains. No, it’s not a revolutionary evolution of the first person shooter. It’s just well and truly written with depth...no pun intended. I hope that the success of Bioshock will make other game designers go out on a limb and try some real stories with a real narrative. I also appreciated that very limited use of cutscenes in Bioshock. You are teh story. You act out the story. Almost every moment is spent doing something, not just sitting back and watching a ten minute, badly-acted scene play out. Like...well, Command & Conquer 3. Grace Park and Jennifer Morrison may be nice to look at, but they certainly didn’t bother to act in the cutscenes. And Michael Ironside is simply horrible. I haven’t played the Nod side yet, so I don’t know how Tricia Helfer does, but I’m not expecting it to be very good.
Cutscenes suck. Bioshock has almost none. Good choice.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Stuff. And things.
- Would you like to see someone turn themselves from a normal person into a freak? Someone who isn’t Jenna Jameson, that is? Well, here you go (neither link is really safe for work). By the way, I don’t call Jenna a freak because she had her massive jubblies reduced to pre-implant status. I call her a freak for what she has done (through surgery) to her face and skin and body and just oh my God what a national tragedy she’s turned out to be.
- I haven’t been mentioning the whole diet/exercise issue lately because I’m just chugging along. I’ve settled into a pound-to-two-pounds a week loss. My workouts have increased in intensity and my back pain is much lower than it used to be. There are days when my right elbow (arthritis) hurts a lot more than my back.
- Anyone want a box of Molto Tanzania Peaberry coffee pods? I didn’t realize I bought two, and I will not suffer through another one. I also have a full box of Baronet French Vanilla pods you can have if you’re interested. I’ll mail them to you. It’s either that or I throw them out.
- Bioshock has managed to piss me off but good. SPOILERS AHEAD!
OK, so a long time ago, back in the days of the Playstation, when there was no PS1 or 2 or 3, just Playstation, I played one of the Final Fantasy games. I don’t remember which one. One night I played it for about 10 hours straight. Whereupon I came to some event for which I needed a special item. Said item was passed up about 6 and a half hours earlier and now UNATTAINABLE. Without this item I could not proceed. And there was no way to go back and get it that didn’t take another ten hours.
I never played another Final Fantasy game again. That shit pisses me RIGHT off.
Well, Bioshock has a moment like that. It happens in the wharf area.
So you’re bopping around the Upper and Lower Wharf, and the guy in your ear says “Go see this dude at the fishery. My fams is all in a hidden sub in the basement of that place.” Only when you get there, the cranky prick at the door doesn’t want to let you in quite yet until you do him a solid...he don’t trust you. You need to go collect a research camera for him, and then take pictures of three spider splicers. One is located in the Upper Wharf, one in the post office and one in the bar area. Well, in traipsing around the Upper Wharf I find a room with a broken window. I step through, jump down onto a tin roof, then another, then some boxes, then the floor. To find myself trapped on the other side of a locked gate with no way of getting back to the Upper Wharf. Your character can’t jump very high, and against all pretense of physics, or bioengineered ability, cannot use his hands to climb. PISS-POOR GAME DESIGN. I should not be allowed to lock myself out of an area that I need to be in. If I can, there should be a hard-but-do-able way to get back. I have to take these pictures or I don’t advance. Period. Now I can’t. Since I was saving over the same save point, I lost the ability to backtrack before I went out the window. I was, to put it simply, screwed.
So I started from the end of the previous level. Which sucks. I will not walk through that window until I have photographed the god-damned spider splicer in this area, you can bet on that.
The rest of the game is so good that I am not going to put it down forever, but I am sorely disappointed in this kind of glaring flaw.
Scratch everything I wrote. I’m the idiot. I found a room that I did not see before, that led to another, and lo and behold, the spider splicer came after me. I photographed it and then killed it, and when I eventually backtracked to the blocked area, it was open. My humble apologies, Mr. Ken Levine. I apologize for doubting your level design. :)
- Lastly, I thought this was hysterical:
Posted by JimK at 03:45 PM on August 23, 2007
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Categories: Entertainment, Gaming, Xbox 360, Celebridiots, Personal
Tags: Bioshock Xbox 360 gaming diet Jenna Jameson Sabrina Sabrok
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
A coupe of hours with Bioshock (for Xbox 360)
Random thoughts on Bioshock so far (with one spoiler):
- Not *exactly* as cinematic a feel as the demo, but that is understandable. The story needs to play out over the course of the 20-plus hours it will take you to play through. Plasmids don’t come as fast, you are forced to deal with the balance issues, use money, pay the price for bad hacking, get at least two bots on your side, beat a Big Daddy, make a game-altering decision about the Little Sisters…
OK, given all of that maybe it is as cinematic. I was using the wrong term. It is paced differently, that’s all. Even so, I feel like I have experienced a full game already and I’ve not even left the medical pavilion yet!
- The game looks great on the 360. I can only imagine what a PC running a top video card can do with this.
- The aiming system is pretty good, for a 360 FPS. I’m not a Halo player, I prefer third-person shooters, but this works.
- Telekinesis is cool. The way the game teaches you to use it is really organic, not hokey like so many games and their training methods. See, one of the docs is clearly a big tennis player, and there’s a hallway with trophy cases...and a ball launcher. I think you see where this is going. :)
- The atmosphere is absolutely creepy. In some places it’s downright sinister and gruesome, with a high gore factor. Mostly it’s just depressingly, hauntingly decayed and beautiful, a monument to the dream of self-governance without interfere from massive egos and the rule of a state. You can feel the results of failure all around you. You can hear the cries of anguish and anger from what is left of the citizenry as the runaway science of bio-engineering abilities into their bodies eats away at what is left of them. And you are running around doing exactly the same thing. It’s definitely a Hitchcockian ticking bomb thing, loaded with suspense. In case you’re not following me, Hitchcock believed that showing you a scene with two men at a table having a coffee, then seeing a bomb blow them up is shock, but that’s not how you build suspense. If you really want to build suspense and keep people on the edge of panic, tell the audience that the bomb is there, and have the two men act as if nothing is happening. The whole time they chat and sip coffee, you’re thinking “OH MY GOD THERE IS A BOMB UNDER THE TABLE! RUN!”
Well, the whole time I am eagerly grabbing the ability to upgrade my DNA, I know that it will drive me insane and eventually kill me via a horrible, painful death. Unless...maybe I’m the only person in Rapture who can survive the process? Hope springs eternal.
- SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!
- Regarding the big choice you have to make: You can rescue Little Sisters or choose to “harvest” them. Exactly how it sounds. Harvesting kills, rescuing turns them good...or so we think, so far. Rescuing results in the creator of the Little Sisters promising you a big reward, but it means less ADAM, the magic juice that allows you to do stuff and is “the thing that runs Rapture.” Harvesting means you piss her off, but get a lot more ADAM. I’ve chosen to play it by helping the Little Sisters, as I suspect it will be turned around on me later and I am curious to see what happens. I’ll play it the other way when I play through again on a harder setting.
So far? Best FPS I’ve played in a long, long time.
Friday, August 17, 2007
You may have noticed my absence…
...all three of you that read this blog. It’s been a tough week around here, and on top of that I just didn’t feel like blogging anything.
In the larger sense you may have noticed my political content dwindling away. I’m fed up, and how many times can I write the same thing? I hate reading blogs that repeat the same political crap day in and day out. Every story comes back to one of two boogey-men - Bush or Clinton. Sometimes it’s Rove or Pelosi. I’m so sick of it. I have a limited amount of “political capital” to spend before I need to get silly or look at boobs. These past few months it has been spent on Moore, health care and Cuba. Not to mention the fact that worrying about a presidential race this early has driven me, and most other people who are getting tired of it, insane.
I realize that there are some people who are obsessed with being angry at every perceived injustice by the government, they other side, people on their side and so forth. Some folks seem to have an infinite well of angst and bile from which to draw, and can turn any story into a political rant against whosoever it is they hate this month. I don’t. Besides, most of ‘em can’t think unless someone else tells them what opinion to have. If the “uberbloggers” and political rags stopped publishing tomorrow, half the political bloggers on the intertubes wouldn’t know what sock to put on first without direction. I’m fed up with it all. Right, left, center, you can all fuck off until next summer. I am out of caring, and the caring store is fresh out of refills.
I’d rather write 3000 bitterly sarcastic words about Bret Michaels than one more fucking blog post bemoaning the state of our Union. Because it’s a hell of a lot more fucking fun. Of course, you just know I will be bemoaning the state of our Union again...because I can’t help it. So everything I just wrote is total bullshit.
See, it’s my consistency that keeps you coming back. I just know it.
On the diet/weight loss front: Holding even. OK, truth is I re-gained almost a pound, which seems like it shouldn’t be measurable on a lump as big as me, but it’s reading the same every day, so...it must be there. I’ve actually stayed under 1700 calories a day on average this week, so it’s not the food intake. I’ve not been sleeping well at all due to a miscalculation in my BiPAP (a miscalculation I made), and this week it has caught up to me. I have been noticing that I am more and more physically exhausted both before and after a workout. This week it got to the point where I had to lighten up on what I was doing because I simply couldn’t move my arms. I wasn’t in pain, I was just completely exhausted. I’ve slept better the last couple of nights, and I will be going to the pool to try to do another quarter-mile this evening, so we’ll see if things have improved. Although I gotta say, I’m feeling both exhausted and dizzy right now, so...yeah, that means caffeine. Mmm...coffee. Only not this coffee, about which I will write tomorrow.
So anyway, I will make a bigger effort on all fronts next week. Let’s just call this a really shitty vacation. One where I didn’t go anywhere and no relaxation was accomplished at all. And I had to have my cell phone replaced again, as the front screen went dead. Again. Just like it did twice on the previous model I owned. Is LG making these things out of gossamer? What the fuck?
Oh! You know what I did accomplish? Shooting a -26 at Pebble Beach in three rounds. In Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘07, of course. It’s not like I would actually walk a golf course and do that for real. That would involve both going somewhere and the day star, plus his cousin Fresh Air. We don’t do that here. Fresh air and sun are for boy scouts and migrant farm workers. We simulate. I swear to God, I will volunteer for the Matrix when the Robot Day Of Atonement comes. Anyway, that;s a pretty good score, I think. You may begin worshiping me whenever it is convenient for you.
Lastly...BIOSHOCK! Oh my GOD! Has a game every promised such a deep (no pun intended) story with such creep-tacular elements and cool retro-steampunk action? The answer, in case you are curious, is no. The demo is so awesome I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. I haven’t paid full price for any Xbox 360 game since Crackdown. I ordered Bioshock with no care for the price. It’s beautiful, fairly easy to control, has amazing amounts of creep factor, and to top it all off, seems to be telling a truly film-worthy story in a cinematic way that no other game to date has been able to pull off. I’m really interested in playing not just to see what weird and wonderful powers the plasmids will give me, but also to know what happens next in the story. I am really interested in this story. It’s basically the story of a man, sick of governments of all kinds, who attempts to create a libertarian paradise under the sea, only his ego and domineering ways turn it into a combination of a morality-free science experiment-plus-social free-for-all and a dictatorship. You, the player, come in as the last remnants of Rapture, the underwater city, are coming down around your ears and the citizens - what is left of them - have mutated into...something else. Much of the story is told in the details strewn around the world, like protest signs, newspapers, film clips that play on screens, etc. As someone who appreciates libertarian philosophy but believes that it must be limited or it will result in chaos, I’m looking forward to seeing where they take the story. It seems to have been written to my specifications, with some gross-factor, a high amount of creeping me out and a decent backbone of reality. Plus, did I mention it looks simply amazing? I can’t believe that I ever thought Gears of War looked good. Gears looks like a sixty-year old transvestite in a dirty chiffon skirt and a pair of torn leggings compared to Bioshock.
Recently Roger Ebert got into it with gamers, saying that video games couldn’t be art. Well fuck you, Roger. If no other game before it could truly own that label, Bioshock wears it deservedly. As Tycho from Penny Arcade said
It is my intention to secure two copies of the game, entire - one Collectors’ edition, and one exclusively to shove up Roger Ebert’s ass. If Bioshock isn’t “art,” then art is the poorer for it.
Preach on, brother.
Posted by JimK at 03:27 PM on August 17, 2007
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Categories: Entertainment, Gaming, Xbox 360, News, Politics, Personal, The Blogosphere
Tags: gaming politics blogging Bioshock
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The World’s Largest Breasts
I love big boobs. I’ll gladly say it. I’ll stand in front of the world’s most hardcore feminist and say, looking her straight in the eye, “I love to look at big boobs. Suck it, feminazi.” OK, maybe I’d leave out the “feminazi” part. I would ask to see hers though, if they were big .
Given my complete admission that I am in fact a pig, even I think this is completely insane (NSFW!). Below, a semi-safe-for-work image of Ms. Ferrari. More at the link, including Maxi Mounds and - someone you just have to see - Chelsea Charms.
Can you imagine the doctor that put those in? Just an utter lack of medical ethics. It’d be almost sad if it weren’t so damn comical. Turns out this is the more conservative end of the large implant movement. Chelsea Charms is sporting implants so big that they weight 26 pounds each.