All I want for Xmas....

IS A SYSTEM THAT CAN PLAY ITS OWN FUCKING GAMES!!!! Ok, here's the story, after whizzing through the light side of KOTOR II in a mere 2 and a half days (although it's an amazing game I plan to go through it several more times), I decided to treat myself to Working Designs latest treat, Growlanser Generations for the PS2. Working Designs is responsible for bringing some of my favorite rpgs of all time over here (namely the Lunar series), so I was expecting a great experience. What happened? Blue fucking discs, that's what. Sony is notorious for fairly crappy hardware, but the kicker is that a lot of early games don't play on the older PS2s because they are cd-based (which have a blue/purplish underside) rather than dvd-based. Now what possessed working designs to release their collection on this format when they know it would cause problems for a fairly good percentage of PS2 owners is beyond me, but the real fault lies with Sony. Since I bought mine only a few months after release, it's far past warranty, so Sony won't replace/fix it for free (and don't even get me started on trying to play most dvds on the damn thing). I tried cleaning the discs, the system, and I even took my ps2 apart trying a "gauraunteed to work" trick that was on the G4techtv website, and all that led to was a couple of hours of setting it right just so it would play normal games again. PS2 is the pretty much the only system in history I'm aware of where games made specifically for it have a serious possibility of not working because a company deicided to use a particualr format that's suppossed to work on it's anyways. This pretty much ensures I won't be first in line for a PS3 since it's bound to have some horrible technical issues such as this.


The waiting is the hardest part...

So, I finally beat Shadow Hearts: Covenant last night. The last boss wasn't much of a challenge (what is it with games and final bosses either being a sinch or nearly impossible?) and the ending was very weird (something like the heroine travels back in time and actually is the hero's mother and the hero travels back in time to meet his lost love again for the first time so they can start anew). I still highly reccomend it as a good under the radar purchase (although buying the original first will help clear up much of the plot, hell I beat the first one but it was awhile ago and my memory is pretty fuzzy about it, so I was still lost at some points). But what this mainly creates is a problem. I'm an rpg nut and I pretty much always need to have one I haven't beaten handy. I have money down on Knights of the Old Republic II, but that isn't out for a few more weeks, leaving me with a pretty big void and several interesting options. There's Baten Kaitos, which looks sort of interesting but has a card based battle system and I loathe those.
Then there's Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. This is one of those very weird titles from Japan that somehow makes it's way to our shores, but it's got a fairly interesting hook: You can't save the world, it ends ten minutes into the game apparently. You are instead integral in the rebuilding and you recruit demons to help you in your cause by negotiating with them in battle. It's sort of like Pokemon with an extremely twisted dark side. But it also has that hint of being way too Japanese for any but the truly hardcore to get into.
Then there's also Growlanser Generations. This is the LONG time coming latest release from Working Designs (note that their last rpg port was for the PS one) this is two games in one and looks to have some strong battle roots, but the last WD releases haven't exactly been quality (namely the horrific Arc The Lad Collection), although since all they really do is translate and publish, I shouldn't hang it on them, just question their judgement in brigning it over here.

Of course, I still haven't beaten Halo 2 or Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal yet, I may decide to do the reasonable thing and beat at least one of those before getting anything else (note that if I concentrate on one in particular, I'll probably have it beat by this weekend, so that may not matter much).

And on another note, the Nintendo DS finally relases next week. I'm not buying it, and I don't really plan to. Same goes for Sony's upcoming PSP portable system. Has anybody seriously looked at the release list for either of these systems? It's either kiddy crap or downgraded versions of stuff we can already buy on consoles (and don't even get me started on what a horrible idea a card-based Metal Gear game is) And while the DS' dual-screen setup is an interesting idea, I haven't seen any real inventive uses for it, even from Nintendo. Of course, I also said that I wasn't planning on getting the game boy, the super nes (diehard genesis fan at the time), the ps, the xbox, the ps2..........


Dear God Do I hate EA

You know, I've never really liked Electonic Arts. They can pretty much be noted as the company that started the idea of yearly updates of games with at best minor improvements (see all their series for example, but especially sports). And they never really supported Sega after the Genesis, which is definitely a big factor in why Sega isn't a contender in the console wars anymore (although to be fair it's just one in a long line of factors that were mostly Sega's fault). But I at least used to respect them because they usually put out some quality software.
Apparently, EA, the biggest publisher in the U.S., is getting sued for having almost sweat shop like conditions in their workplace. Now, I'm not nieve. I know that putting a game together takes a whole lot of dedication and man hours, more than most people would really be willing to commit. But what EA is doing is pretty much illegal, not much mention extremely disrespectful to those people who make the big wigs at the top so rich. And while it's unfortunately not a uncommon occurance, EA as the big dog on these shores should really be the one to step up and show that it actually gives a rat's ass about their hardest-working employees.

On a side note, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to music, but I noticed that Britney Spears just released a "Greatest Hits" album. I'm not judging on quality, but I really think you should be in the industry at least a couple of decades in order to have the right to release a greatest hits album, less other similar artists who not only suck that haven't even been around that long follow suit.


It's raining games! Hallelujah?

It's been a few days, my only excuse is that between the games coming out this week, Shadowhearts & Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (which is my early pick for best PS2 game of the year), and planning for the big release of Halo 2 has taken up plenty of my time.

A quick movie note: Since the Incredibles is out this weekend, I thought I'd check out director Brad Bird's previous animated effort: The Iron Giant. I can easily say that this is one of the best animated films I have ever seen. Anybody who is a fan of animation or great 1950s style adventure movies should check it out, it's a great underrated classic.

Ok, so november has started, and with it a huge avalanche of high profile (if not high quality) games are coming. This week alone Up Your Arsenal, Raw vs. Smackdown & Lord of The Rings: The Third Age are out. In the next 25 days we have Halo 2, Jak III, Metal Gear Solid 3, Goldeneye :Rogue Agent, Prince of Persia 2, Blinx 2, Baten Kaitos, Viewtiful Joe 2, Metroid Prime 2, Killzone and Call of Duty: Finest Hour. And those are just the major titles. Even if you have the money, who has time to play more than a couple of these? (I'm personally just sticking to Up Your Arsenal & Halo 2 this month, maybe if I have any time Prince of Persia 2). This many titles packed into such a short time span is sure to make many deserving games not get noticed by the public. I know christmas is the big release season, but most gamers aren't little kids who depend on santa for their games anymore. They have jobs and can afford games on their own, so the game industry should really take a cue from the movie industry and spread the releases out more throughout the year. It puts less pressure on companies, allows titles to grow an audience andmore importantly, gives gamers a chance to discover and be able to afford them. Just some food for thought.


Surviving Bad Box Office

So after torturing us with wave after wave of fairly awful films, lots of people are saying Ben Affleck's career is done and over with after Surviving Christmas failed to scare up enough to cover paying the janitorial crew at your local cineplex.
I actually consider this a shame, cause I actually like Affleck, which I know immediately makes me the enemy of about 99% of hate-filled cyncial internet geeks out there, but I still remember the great performances he gave in films like Chasing Amy, Mall Rats, Dogma, Boiler Room (even though he was only in that for a few minutes) and Sum of All Fears was pretty good as well. He's hardly the only talented actor to be in a string of rotten films. Granted, I wasn't dumb enough to go see Surviving Christmas (not that the Grudge was a much better choice, see my review here), but I'll be more than willing to see his next film as long as the previews are decent. He said he's done with action films, that's probably a good start. Maybe he should go the Robin Williams route and start doing mostly creepy psycho roles that are against what people generally think of him. But I'd hate for someone to skip a great movie just cause they don't like the star in it (aside from guys like Rob Schnieder and David Spade, just about anything they do is just plain unwatchable).


Rollin wit' my krew...

Well it's officially tommorow, so I thought I'd update (hell, maybe I'll do this several times a day if I have enough to say). GTA: San Andreas hits most stores today, I will definitely rent, but don't plan on buying it. Sure, it's a lot bigger, but does that just mean you'll be running over hookers in different cities or will it make a difference in actual gameplay? I enjoyed Vice City, but reckless mayhem is only fun for so long and the missions weren't that entertaining. And in case you haven't heard, they have this whole diet system where you have to eat to keep up your stamina, but you also have to exrecise to keep off the weight. I think that's one of the stupidest ideas in game history. Games should never be that realistic. I don't want to have to worry about food or water supply in a game. If I want that, I'll go to the desert for a few days with nothing but a backpack and a canteen. It's sorta lame that I could arguably fail a mission because I took one too many trips to Burger King. Well, I guess we'll all find out in a day or two.


Start with a joke...

So I'm now playing a game where you actually have to search all over the place for gay porn in order to get powerful dresses for a doll. The joke is that this isn't a joke. The name of the game is a quirky but brilliant rpg called Shadowhearts: Covenant.
Hi, my name is Eric Chrisman, and this is my first atempt at a blog. The title has to do with what I'll mainly be talking about on here, the entertainment medium. Video games, movies, music, tv, dvds, etc. (honestly mostly video games). There won't be any big reviews on here, you can check those out at the websites I write for-rawfeedvideogames.com & rawfeedmovies.com. I probably won't update this daily, but I'll try as often as possible, so let's start with a couple of quick comments on gaming as of late and on a very odd film.

Having beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door in a mere 5 days (somehow I managed to squeeze in 35 hours in 5 days and I have no idea how; it's really freaking me out) I recently picked up Phantom Brave for PS2, now as it wasn't available at any of the 3 main rental chains I go to, I didn't really get to play it for full review in a timely manner (within a couple of weeks of release), which is a rule I try to make for myself. This is from the same geniuses who made Disgaea & La Pucelle, so I was expecting it to be great. I won't say it sucked, but it definitely wasn't up my alley. The lack of grids is very confusing, they put weird limits on how many guys you can make and drag into battle, the fact that you have to restore guys who aren't even damaged after every battle is a costly and annoying thing, and finally I hate that your guys can only be on the field for a limited amount of turns. So, I claimed my copy didn't work and got Shadow Hearts instead :), despite the whole thing about gay porn, it's a rather brilliant rpg that any fan of the genre should pick up.

I saw "I Heart Huckabees" yesterday (mainly because the last 3 showings of "The Grudge" were completely sold out, I'll have a review up at my website on monday of that one), this is one of the wierdest fucking movies I have ever seen. It's basically about existential detectives who try and figure out how everything is connected. It was entertaining and I laughed a lot, but there were many moments where the movie completely lost me.

Ok, that's it for today, now I have continue on my quest for gay porn (uh, in Shadow Hearts I mean).