Most of my gamer friends know that although I've been trying to keep myself busy with whatever games PS2 currently has to offer, I've definitely been suffering Xbox live withdrawal in a major way, and it's really hit bad this week with the release of the Halo 2 expansion pack. For $12.00 online you get a bunch of new maps to play with that should massively extend the shelf life of the best FPS of this console generation. And for $20 at your local software dealer, you get all of the recently released maps (although half should be free online by now) along with useless extras like artwork and videos (hey, I appreciate the stuff, but if it'll keep costs down, chuck it!). But the thought that I'll probably be able to get all that stuff for pratically nothing and pick up Halo 2 again for dirt cheap if I feel like it in November (which will probably only happen if Perfect Dark Zero is a letdown) helped calm my nerves a bit.
In the realm of "I want to believe": Although Xbox live was clearly a far superior service, the PS2 had it won hands down in one online arena-The online RPG. Between the Baldur's Gate games, Everquest, the upcoming Phantasy Star Universe and especially FF XI, Xbox gamers were left wondering why our only option has been an old Dreamcast game (Phantasy Star Online). With the 360 focusing even more on it's likely online advantage, rumors are flying about what Live will offer in the online RPG arena. The only confirmed offering is once again, a game that's been available to PS2 and PC owners for a couple of years already-FFXI. But strong rumors for City of Heroes and World of Warcraft along with some other original properties have been floating around. The interesting thing is that Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for their high-profile MMORPG cancellation True Fantasy Live Online. Now granted, this most likely is just because Microsoft just wants to keep the rights so no one else can use them, but we can dream!
Moving on to this weekend's movies, neither of which I have high hopes for. Fantastic Four seems to have a pretty good cast going for it. Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans & Julian McMahon all seem perfect fits for their respective roles. Jessica Alba is a decent actress and undeniably the hottest woman on the planet, but just seems miscast as Sue Richards (maybe in about ten years she could do the role). And although Ioan Gruffudd looks like Reed Richards, he's hardly been tested in terms of carrying a film, with only a major role in the forgettable King Arthur under his belt. Add to that cheesy-looking special effects and a large majority of poor early reviews and it looks like we have the next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen rather than the next X-men.
But it seems like a much better choice than this week's other big release-the latest crappy Japanese horror flick turned into an even crappier American one; Dark Water. And once again we have the latest in a string of high-profile Oscar Winning actors/actresses slumming it in the cheesy horror genre with Jennifer Conelly starring. She must be getting bored of all her acclaim and serious work, either that or it just doesn't pay enough.
That's it for today, but my copy of Killer 7, the latest bizarre release from Capcom (you play a wheel-chair bound assasin who has seven personalities that can manifest themselves, going up against an invisible gang known as the Heaven's Smile, ooookaaayy) should be in my hands by Monday, so I'll definitely have some thoughts on that if nothing else earth-shattering comes up in the entertainment world over the weekend.