Medium Entertainment's totally pointless year end wrap up!

I didn't really mean to go this long without updating, but as can be expected, not a whole lot happened in the last week, but I thought I should post at least one more time and what better way than to offer my insanely unqualified opinion on the best in entertainment in the year that was 2006.

Best Movie I saw:

This movie was cynical, harsh and totally freaking hilarious. I was busting a gut the whole way through as Aaron Eckhart pulls of the role of a lifetime flawlessly as a complete scumbag that you try to hate yet find yourself rooting for because he's so good at what he does and is completely unapologetic about it. It's incredibly hard to do cynical, biting comedy that doesn't turn preachy and, Thank You for Smoking makes it look easy.

Runner up: The Departed

Favorite new show:

There have been numerous attempts to do some sort of live-action comic book over the years on TV, the result have usually been disastrous at best. But so far, Heroes manages to have a compelling plot, mostly great characters, and manages to put a new twist on what could've been a cheap X-men rip-off.

Runner up: Studio 60

Best Wii game I played:

No big surprise here. Twilight Princess is simply one of the finest games ever made. It improves on every facet of the classic Ocarina of Time and delivers a wondrous, haunting experience only enhanced by the Wii's unique setup.

Runner Up: Rayman Raving Rabbids

Best PS2 game I played:

It's rare that you have a game that can stand up to the best Zelda ever, but Okami is arguably the finest PS2 game ever made. The brush-style look is just incredible, and proves that even the aged PS2 can surprise you in this age of much more powerful next gen systems. The combat is actually much deeper than Zelda as not only do you learn many new and actually useful combat maneuvers, but the magic brush is much more than a gimmick as it has battle uses as well.

Runner up: Final Fantasy XII

Best DS game I played:

As cool as all these fancy new graphical or revolutionary games are, sometimes nothing beats classic gameplay, and DS easily had the strongest line-up of ANY system this year. But as he does nearly every year he has a game, Mario jumps right to the top by sticking to what made him a star in the first place-classically perfect 2D gameplay with just a bit of tweaking here & there. Add in some kick-ass multi-player minigames and you've got the best Mario title since Mario 64.

Runner up: Brain Age

Ok, that's really all I feel somewhat qualified to give an opinion about this year. Since I've only had my 360 a little over two weeks, I decided not to include anything on it as I obviously haven't played much.

Free Game of the Week: Ivan Drago: JUSTICE ENFORCER!


Don't play it again Sam

Though thankfully nobody's been stupid enough to try and make a straight up remake of the legendary classic Casablanca, The seemingly inseparable team of Soderbergh & Clooney are trying to emulate the same feeling with The Good German. Problem is it isn't the 1940's anymore, and as good as Clooney is, he's no Bogey (though to be fair, nobody is). But there's just a certain magic in that legendary film that you can't emulate, and it's being shown in force with the overall critical response for The Good German being pretty low.

Almost as high profile and getting nearly the same critical response is The Good Shepard, all about the beginning of the CIA. It's sort of hard to believe a modern spy tale with such a high-profile task could be boring, but the 3 hour running time does seem fairly daunting to keep interesting.

Ben Stiller stars in his latest completely unfunny movie (which is saying plenty considering it also has Robin Williams and Owen Wilson), A Night at the Museum, which basically seems to be another lifeless Jumanji rip off.

And finally we are mining the sports field once again, this time with a the twist of a real tragedy! How touching! Let's make a big Hollywood movie to make money off of it!!! Seriously, aside from the rather depressing aspect that it's based on the tragic tale of rebuilding a college football team after a plane crash killed nearly every team member. We are Marshall just screams another sappy run of the mill manipulative piece of drivel that every other sports film has been over the last several years.

That's pretty much it for today, and probably my last post until after Christmas, so happy holidays and for your last Christmas... Thing of the year: MR. HANKEY THE CHRISTMAS POO!!!!


Punch Drunk Love

We all made jokes about this. Who the hell actually expected there would be a Rocky VI? (or a Rambo IV!). But the seemingly impossible has happened, and Rocky steps back into the ring tomorrow in Rocky Balboa. And granted, the initial reaction is to think Stallone's just embarrassing himself at this point, but to be honest, the trailers have looked surprisingly good and the general critical response is that this is best Rocky since the original. Let's face it, everyone loves a good underdog story, and Rocky is the heavyweight champ of underdogs. I'm planning on checking it out this week, so I'll let you know what I think when I get around to seeing it.
In other probably unnecessary sequel news, the trailer for Shrek the Third is out, and although this maybe dipping into this well way too often, I think it looks hilarious:

In gaming news, seems like Nintendo is starting to get their act together on this online stuff as the weather channel became available today and the internet browser should be available on Friday. I'm not really sure how much practical use anybody would get out of the weather channel, but it would be interesting if it could be implemented into gameplay somehow (i.e. when Animal Crossing for the Wii comes out, you could have the local weather be the weather in the game). I'll give my impressions on the Opera Channel after I've downloaded and fooled around with it some, but my guess is it will be a generally cumbersome experience without a USB keyboard handy.

And the release list for the VC downloads isn't completely out, but it has been confirmed that TOEJAM & EARL will be available Christmas day. If you don't appreciate the pure awesomeness of that statement, you need to turn in your gamer card. I still have this on the Genesis and it is simply one of the greatest titles of all time (and it could use a freaking online mode! Get a goddamn clue Nintendo!!!).

Christmas... Thing of the DAY: Mr. Garrison's MERRY FUCKING CHRISTMAS:


Eradicator30 is dead. LONG LIVE Eradicator31 !!!!

Yep, I got my 360. Eradicator30 was my old Gamertag, so I just changed it a little bit to Eradicator31 and as you can see it's now constantly displayed to your left. If anybody wants to add me be my guest, but I give fair warning that I probably won't accept friend requests from someone I've never heard of. Anyways, although I technically bought a 360 last year, since I immediately sold it on ebay I never have really tried it out. I'm actually very impressed with the overall new setup of Xbox Live and just how well everything works. As far as games, I did end up picking up Gears and Halo 2 because well let's face it, the alternatives pale in comparison right now. Halo 2 is still awesome, but I am definitely extremely rusty, as I haven't even really played a competitive game of anything other than a few relaxing DS games in the last 18 months or so. My initial impressions of Gears are that it's pretty awesome, but also that I completely suck at this more strategic style of duck and cover play as I'm getting destroyed even on the easiest setting (Hopefully that'll improve with practice). But so far I'm just really enjoying the whole marketplace aspect. I can keep myself busy with unimpressive demos for weeks (seriously though, most of the demos are uninspired at best).

Really the only other thing I have to talk about today is the release of The Simpsons Season 9
out tomorrow. I was heavily tempted to pick it up as got several really good episodes, but the cracks definitely started showing in season 8 and are gaping wounds in season 9 as the several good episodes are mired in a number of fairly mediocre ones that just don't make the entire season worth it. And it only gets worse from there, so it's safe to say my Simpsons collection is complete.

I'll be back tommorow with my thoughts on a certain boxing movie coming out on Wednesday, until then, your christmas... thing of the day: CHRISTMAS WITH THE JOKER!


Jumping in

I'm probably picking up a 360 this week. I was going to wait til Mass Effect actually hit, but with Toys 'R US offering a $100 gift card if you buy one before Christmas Eve, and it seems like way too good a deal to pass up. I'm also highly anticipating Blue Dragon, the 360's first real big Japanese-developed RPG, which should hit stores next month. I know the biggest games on the 360 are Gears of War & still Halo 2, but I am definitely way overloaded with actual games on the single-player side to dive into online real soon, so I may hold off on those titles and the almost mandatory year of Xbox live till my game to do list clears up a bit.

In the "let's hope it's a momentary lapse of judgement" category: Pokemon Battle Revolution apparently uses the dreaded Friend Code system. What this of course implies is that every game for the Wii might use the friend code system. Which means in addition to your Wii console number, you may have to register a code for each & every online game you buy. This is beyond moronic, so I really hope that Pokemon is the exception to the rule here, because it would pretty much be a shining example that Nintendo just has no clue when it comes to online and never will.

Of course, Sony's racking up so much negativity they it may balance out things like Nintendo's online ineptitude. Their latest offense? Creating imaginary fans out of thin air. The said thing is this is hardly the first time something like this has been tried. and without exception every single time it comes off as lame and inauthentic and most likely something set up by a overpaid advertising company before it's even revealed to be exactly that. Did Sony just not get the memo that this crap never works? Maybe they should just go back unsubtle racist ads....

Free Game of the Week/Christmas... Thing of the Day: ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OLYMPICS


Let's make some bacon!

Quick site update-From now on, whenever I'm promoting something (like say the premiere of 24) on my site, instead of posting just one video, I will try and post something new every update until I stop promoting it, so check what I like to refer to as the "header video" every update as it should be something new.

Seriously, I am getting a little tired of these cutesy animal films, especially ones starring pigs. Sure, Babe was charming, but that was the rare exception. And although Charlotte's Web has obviously been around way longer than that movie, it's obviously taking most of it's inspiration from it in this new remake. This almost must be Dakota Fanning's 400th movie in the last 5 years, somebody from child services may want to check in on her to see if she's being overworked.

Sadly though, it's probably not nearly as desperately sappy as Will Smith's latest: The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith is a tremendously gifted actor in my opinion, but the utter predictability & ridiculous amount of tearjearking make it pretty much the equivalent of a tired sports movie, only without the sport.

One movie I was initially excited about this weekend was Eragon, as I have read and really enjoyed the novels, but the mostly unappealing cast (aside from Jeremy Irons), lackluster trailers & overwhelmingly negative reviews will probably make me skip it this weekend.

In case you haven't checked your virtual console yet this week, Ice Hockey, Gunstar Heroes, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine and Alien Crush should all be available for download. I highly recommend Gunstar Heroes as I still have it for the Genesis and it's one of the best action games to ever grace a console.



Gotta Catch 'em all

Several big titles out for the Wii this week, potentially the biggest being Konami's sleeper title Elebits. Sure, it's definitely an oddball title, but it could easily be the next quirky hit like Animal Crossing or Katamari Damacy. It's also the first Wii game to feature some form of online functionality as you can use the level editor to create new levels and send them to people on your friends list. But these oddball titles sometimes don't completely deliver on concept, so I may be waiting til I get some sort of general consensus, especially with Zelda & Rayman still keeping me plenty busy.

FPS Wii fans should also be excited as Far Cry hits this week. Hopefully, it'll follow in the footsteps of Call of Duty 3 and make good use of the Wii's setup as opposed to the disappointing Red Steel.

Anybody looking for some classic side-scrolling gameplay should check out Metal Slug Anthology. Metal Slug offers some seriously hardcore old school gameplay, but this is one of those titles where it seems that co-op online play would greatly benefit and help drive sales beyond those who will basically buy it for a good dose of nostalgia.

Finally, those tired of playing the fun but limited Wii Golf out of Wii sports will get a crack at a full-fledged golf game in Super Swing Golf. It's no Tiger Woods, but who wants a stuffy realistic golf sim when you can have a more fun Hot Shots-inspired game?

The Xbox 360 has a potentially huge title out this week as well as Trekkies everywhere are drooling over Star Trek Legacy. easily the most ambitious Trek game to date, as you can play several races and all the captains from the various shows (although why anyone would want to play as Janeway or Archer is beyond me) in massive ship battles. One thing that seems to be noticeably absent is anything outside of ship battles, though. Being able to beam aboard starships and have phaser fights or explore planets on away missions should be an integral part of any Star Trek game. Well, let's hope the developers got the ship combat right so they can focus on those other features for the sequel if it takes off.

Is competitive gaming going legit? As legit as something on late Saturday afternoon can be! The World series of Video Games has gotten a major broadcast deal with CBS and a couple of cable outlets to broadcast regular episodes of the competition. But aren't video games boring to just watch? I'd say the same thing about Baseball, Golf, Poker, Bowling, NASCAR, etc. Besides, geeks like me will show up in force in the Nielsen ratings to try and get this thing off the ground, so it should at least have a better chance at succeeding than the XFL.

Your Christmas... thing of today is also your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: CANDY CANE CRISIS


Blood from a Stone

Couple of potentially huge movies out this weekend. Blood Diamond, which I've more or less said my piece about, seems primed for an awards run, but whether people will buy into it is pretty much up in the air, as reviews are a little mixed.

Even if I hadn't already seen Blood Diamond, I'd be much more interested in checking out Mel Gibson's latest-Apocalypto, about the end of Mayan civilization. I realize some people probably won't go see it because of his recent issues, but considering there are people in the industry who have done much worse than say something anti-semitic while drunk and still have a steady career (like Roman Polanski), it hardly seems like a real issue, and Gibson's efforts are always at least interesting, so I fully intend to check it out this weekend.

I will definitely not be checking out The Holiday or Unaccompanied Minors this weekend. As both seem like a manufactured mishmash of similar films, but lacking the charm and originality of those they copied from.

Maybe Joss Whedon should rename it Phoenix, as Firefly just seems to keep kicking. Granted, it's hardly been dead since it's initial cancellation, with a movie, a role-playing game and several comics, but now it's also being turned into a full-fledged MMO. Whether or not it'll actually be successful is anybody's guess, but if there's one thing that could pull me back into the MMO universe, this would definitely be it.

That's really all for me today, but I should be back later this weekend, in the meantime, here's your Christmas.... thing of the day: PINKY & THE BRAIN CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!!!!

Top Ten not so obvious choices for the Virtual Console

Everyone has been talking about what games they'd like to see Nintendo load up on the virtual console. It's easy to pick out huge favs like Goldeneye or Kid Icarus, but really, what the Virtual Console should offer in addition to those huge hits is hidden gems we've mostly never heard of or forgotten about, so without further ado, here's my top ten in no particular order:

Sonic CD

For the few Sega owners who were unfortunate enough to buy the Sega CD (or at least convince their parents that they had to have it for Xmas, which I did), this was not only one of the systems few bright spots, it's also generally considered the best of the Sonic titles, and gamers should definitely get another chance to experience this classic. It would be a good way to remind gamers that Sonic hasn't always been horrible (which he has been since the move to 3D) and a good way to pump people up for Sonic & The Secret of the Rings.

Earthworm Jim

Much like our old buddy Sonic, Jim was a a brilliant 2D superstar that fell hard when he tried to make the jump to 3D. Featuring hilariously memorable characters like "Professor Monkey-for-a-head" and a sidekick who looked like a cute puppy but would turn into a raging mutant ready to kill you if he got angry, EWJ's off-the wall humor and great gameplay should known to a whole new generation of gamers.


It's been repeatedly stated that the Wii seems perfect to be the rebirth for the ailing adventure genre. What better way to test the waters than with one of the greatest adventure games to ever grace a console? Flashback features one of the better plots and mind-bending puzzles right up there with some of Sierra's greatest point and click titles, but features a little more action to boot.

Zombies ate my Neighbors

Consider it the grandfather of games like Dead Rising. It features similar zombie/monster bashing action, only in a much funnier manner. You use a wide variety of what would normally not be considered real weapons (like a squirt gun & silverware) to fend off hordes of the undead (and a few other monsters like were-wolves) and hopefully help some other survivors along the way. Sound familiar? Pretty much the only real difference between the two is you don't take photographs in ZAMN. It's classic fun with a good humorous twist.

The Simpsons Arcade game

Possibly the best arcade game to never appear on a console (due to lame licensing issues) and the best Simpsons game by a longshot, this classic deserves to finally be available somewhere other than a dingy arcade or the back room of a movie theater. It's filled with brilliant beat-em-up gameplay similar to the equally awesome TMNT arcade games, but with the great humor the series was known for in its early years.

Wing Commander Series

I tired to pick one, but the entire Wing Commander series is just too excellent to single any one out above the other. Good flight games are few and far between (the only recent one on consoles has been Crimson Skies) and I always considered the Wing Commander games superior to the Tie Fighter/X-wing games. They created a fairly original universe, with some great innovations, such as your choices & performance in missions (i.e. you could lose a mission but it would affect how the story played out rather than just simply losing the game) having real impact along with voice acting that didn't suck (still a rarity today) and some of the best space dogfights in gaming history make this series a seemingly obvious choice, but considering it's mostly been forgotten since it's initial heyday and may be overlooked in favor of more popular series like the Tie Fighter/X-wing games, I feel it deserves a chance to be rediscovered through the virtual console.

image hosted by ImageVenue.com

RTS games on consoles have an ugly history. But Dragonforce is the one game that truly got it right, as it's not only the one good console RTS game, but one of the best RTS games in history. However, being on the Saturn, it didn't really have a chance to find much of an audience. Putting it on the VC might give developers a good blueprint on how to make RTS games work on the console. Granted, I still have my copy, so I wouldn't buy it, but I'd sure as hell convince others to, considering the going price is nearly $200 and this would obviously be a much cheaper way to experience it.


Licensed games suck as a rule. But when you get a good development company behind it, occasional magic happens, and Capcom did that with a series of excellent Disney titles in the 8 & 16-bit days, and Ducktales is one of the finest examples of this. staying true to the clever Disney cartoon while providing excellent Mario-esque gameplay. It's simply a must-download should it ever appear on the VC.

Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers

And this would be another example of Capcom's ability to take what would normally be a shoddy kiddy title and make something special out of it. The basic gameplay is pretty much lifted from Mega Man (minus getting your enemies weapons) but add in flawless and fun co-op gameplay and you have yourself one of the best titles to ever grace the NES and yet another I would instantly download if it became available.

Goonies II

Goonies is such a revered classic with such great characters that anybody would love to see the gang in a brand new adventure, as long as it did justice to the original, and that's exactly what we have in Goonies II. Featuring fairly identical but equally good gameplay to Metroid (travel around a map, find gadgets that help you access new areas of the map), this might have been forgotten in subsequent years, but it still ranks as a classic by anybody who played it.

Ok, there's your top ten not so obvious choices for inclusion in the hopefully soon to be vast VC library. Will they still hold up after all these years unlike many so-called "classics"? I guess we'll only really be able to tell when & if they are available, but I'd be willing to bet they are definitely worth your Wii points.

Christmas... thing of the day: Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


Over a million served

Congrats to Nintendo for selling over a million Wiis in just over two weeks. Let's hope they can keep this huge enthusiasm for the system going by actually keeping up the quality releases (hint, Mario Galaxy BEFORE Christmas would be a good idea, Reggie!!!).

One area that admittedly has gotten off to a rough start is the Virtual Console, with a rather inconsistent release schedule, but Nintendo has officially standardized it, promising 4 new titles every Monday at 9 am pacific time. I'll be sure to post every release as soon as I get my hands on it. Here's the expected releases you can try out in a little under 9 hours (let's home some original titles start showing up in the not too distant future):

* Donkey Kong Jr. (500 Wii points - NES*)
* Victory Run (600 points - TG-16)
* Columns (800 points - Genesis)
* Ristar (800 points - Genesis)

Wanna fill up your Mii plaza with celebrities (or just don't have any friends you can make)? Then check out http://miiplaza.net/. It's fairly new, but it's already racked up and impressive number of creatively done Miss (my personal faves being the cast of Buffy & Firefly in the Sci, which I added immediately) which is being added to daily.

And for my last bit of Wii-centric stuff today, somebody made a pretty badass commercial for the Wii spoofing the somewhat freaky PS3 commercials:

Starting today MS is opening up the registration for Halo 3 multi-player beta. I admit, it's awfully tempting to go run out and get a 360 as soon as my nearest EB opens up just so I could at least try to get in.

I was able to catch a sneak preview of Blood Diamond. While it featured strong performances from Dicaprio & Hounsou, it's fairly predictable and it's really nothing films like The Constant Gardener haven't done better.

As you can see, I've started promoting the upcoming premiere of 24
in my header. The release of Season 5 is out on DVD tomorrow, so be sure to catch up quick. One cool thing the do is release a short about what happened in-between the two seasons. So for those who don't want to bother with buying/renting the season just to get that video, here it is:

And for my Christmas video today, Eric Cartman sings "O Holy Night":



All Scrubs all the time

Ok, being that nothing truly noteworthy has happened the last couple of days and this weekend's theater offerings look grimmer than Sony's profit margins, today is all about the return of the best sitcom on TV, SCRUBS (and finally in a prime Thursday night block with other brilliant comedies where it truly belongs). So I'm just going to post a bunch of great clips to get everybody warmed up for the premiere (starting with an Xmas-themed clip):


Buyer's Remorse

I bought Mario 64 off the virtual console knowing full well that I probably wouldn't get around to playing it until a dry spell hit, and I was fine with that. Mario 64 is a timeless classic that's perfect to hold me over anytime be it in a few months or years down the road. But of course a big part of my excitement about the virtual console feature was getting to play classic titles that I missed out on (and hopefully some original games down the road). I mulled over what was currently available, and if I should wait, but I decided what the hell and bought Bonk's Adventure. I tried it out, enjoyed it, then realized I have no real urge to play this beyond my initial attempt. This is simply a shining example of a game that is long past it's prime and what was good over 15 years ago, probably won't hold up today (see Altered Beast, also available on the VC). Granted, it's definitely partially my fault for thinking some old TG-16 platformer would still hold my interest, but it wouldn't be a horrible idea if Nintendo offered some sort of trial offer where I could play just a couple of levels. Just a friendly reminder to be really, really, REALLY sure that you definitely will get your money's worth (even if it's only the $5-$10 you spent).

Congrats to Nintendo on selling over 600,000 Wiis (and over 450,000 copies of Zelda) in their first week. Definitely a much bigger demand than the Gamecube, where you could pretty much walk into a store anytime and pick one up. If this trend continues past the holidays, they will probably be number one in no time.

But just how important is being number one? Not very, according to a great editorial in the New Yorker. While MS & Sony lose billions fighting their high-end tech war, Nintendo's sort of chugged along in a solid third the last two rounds, but raking in the cash while doing so. So if and when Sony is number one in a few years again, they still may be hemorrhaging money while Nintendo continues to thrive regardless of it's position in the console race.

That's all I got for today, but here's your next dose of holiday cheer: A Dragonball Z XMAS (courtesy of Robot Chicken):


Medium Entertainment rings in the Holidays

Ok, I really have no specific big topic to post about, but several little ones. I finally did get some quality time in with Zelda over the last couple of days, and it's a truly breathtaking title. I'm usually a little underwhelmed on games most places proclaim as "teh best game ever" (and IGN, 1up, Gamespy and tons of other sites and mags have proclaimed Twilight Princess as one of the finest games ever made), but so far, at only 8 hours in, I've been riveted by all the amazing stuff. Most notably the integration of your gadgets, as they all have uses well beyond what the game initially informs you of. It's that rare game that really entices you to explore and experiment with the tools at your disposal, and you'll be surprised at how second nature this line of thinking becomes. I'll have to play some more before a final verdict, but this is definitely one of the best games I have played in a long while.

But, equally addicting is that damn Mii feature. I love receiving Miis from friends and sending others out. I love checking the Mii parade for new Miis everyday, and I especially love making celebrity Miis. I made Einstein, JD & Turk from Scrubs, Dilbert, Mario & Luigi, and even Al Roker (cause he was real easy).

That's all I really got today, but to ring in the holidays as my header states, with every update I will be posting some sort of Christmas... thing (some will probably be NSFW, so you are forwarned). Today it's nearly 10 glorious minutes of Christmas clips from The Simpsons. ENJOY:



Being hard headed can be a good thing...

Especially when your head is literally your only weapon, such as in Bonk's Adventure, which was released on the Wii's Virtual console today along with the classic Bomberman 93. Both were released for the TG-16, which is great for me as I never got into that system, but always wanted to try out many of the titles, especially Bonk.

It being Thanksgiving week, several big movies are opening tomorrow, and surprisingly, not all of them look like complete crap. Deja Vu, starring Denzel Washington, has him essentially playing a Timecop sort of role, but obviously Denzel's acting is well above Van Damme's, which should make for a much more entertaining movie.

Potentially more fun is Jack Black & Kyle Gas in Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny . The band certainly has a devoted following, but early buzz is that only the most hardcore will get any serious enjoyment out of this film, and I'm merely a casual fan, so I'll probably just rent it on video.

Of course, not everything opening this weekend holds promise. Danny Devito and Matthew Broderick make us question why anybody still pays these guys to be in movies in the horrible holiday shlock Deck the Halls. I mean seriously, the last time Devito was entertaining was when Taxi was still on the air, and Broderick has been on nothing but a downhill slope ever since Ferris Bueller. They really both should just disappear before people stop remembering them fondly.

And finally the much-maligned The Fountain opens this week. After being booed at a venice film festival, the outlook was not very good, and the reviews so far seem to support that early reaction. Granted, I'm curious what could be so bad that a high-profile crowd actually negatively reacted, but that's hardly a reason to spend my hard-earned money on seeing it in a theatre.

Ok, seeing as we are only 9 days away from the season premiere of Scrubs, this will be my last Scrubs clip until the end of the season (and possibly the last one if this turns out to be it's last, which has been heavily rumored for awhile). But it's a goodie as it's some of Cox's best moments:


Never thought the game I played least would be Zelda

And Zelda absolutely rocks, but whereas you know Zelda is going to be a marathon gaming session of at least a few hours to get anything truly noteworthy done, quick games of Wii Sports (especially bowling) or a few quick but exhausting minutes with Rayman are ridiculously tempting. I rented Madden and haven't even touched it so far today. And that's in addition to creating a lot of my friends and family as Miis in order to populate Wii Sports.

But the launch does still carry a lot of questions. The VC console is off to a good start, but is Nintendo really going to just leave these classics completely untouched? Sure, they'll still sell for nostalgia's sake, but if Nintendo's really looking to broaden their audience, they can't just offer the same old game we played years ago. Multiplayer could be added to nearly every title (F-Zero being a shining example since it is available for download and is only 1 player period). And at the very least, some sort of gamer online scoreboard for most would boost the life of these considerably. Nintendo's always seemed to riding the short bus when it comes to the real potential of online (how many games actually support Wifi on DS now?). I really hope they realize the potential of what they have here.

A second more interesting thought did occur to me. Even if it's massively successful, is the Wii Nintendo's last console? Probably not, but consider the revolutionary style of play and Nintendo's message of gameplay over graphics. The Wii could be around a lot longer than most consoles. I mean really, where does Nintendo go from this point? If they release a system that has much prettier graphics, it'll make them look like hypocrites. They'd basically have to come up with an entirely new way to play yet again, which I don't see coming for a long time (course nobody really saw the Wii coming either). Just some food for thought.


FINALLY! Picked up my Wii along with Rayman & Zelda at around 12:30 am (along with Def Jam: For NY & Smash Bros to test out GC functionality, and they work flawlessly) and have just been fooling around with it for the last couple of hours (creating Miis is a complete blast). To be honest, I was still sort of worried, sure I tried out the Wii, but it was in a Nintendo-controlled event-for all I know it was some very fancy trickery mimicking my movements there. The virtual console lineup is...interesting. Sure, you have some solid classics like The original Zelda & Mario 64, but Wario Woods? Ooook. I plan on getting a few Zs before any lengthy gaming sessions though, so I'll give a more full report this evening.

And I did see Casino Royale before picking up my Wii (wonderful convenience having a movie theatre right in the same mall as the EB I go to. It was pretty goddamn awesome, my only complaint is that the villains were way too numerous and not really memorable. Hopefully, they can stick with one major villain in the next one.


The dark side of a system launch

Well, the PS3 launch is done. Probably won't have anymore available for quite awhile. Plenty of hopeful gamers/profiteers went home empty-handed. But that didn't stop enterprising thugs from trying to rob/steal in order to get a huge payday. It's easy to point the finger at Sony for sending out such a ridiculously low amount of units, but they didn't create the insane demand or the ridiculous ebay prices. You can almost guarantee that the Wii launch won't have this happen thanks to the low price and much higher availability (although I wouldn't be surprised to see a few soccer moms duking it out a few days before Xmas because they weren't smart enough to snag one earlier).

More reviews are coming in on the major Wii launch titles, and the overall opinion is very positive, including games I thought for sure would be poorly done ports such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance (which got a 4/5 at Gamespy). Verdicts haven't come in on kiddy fare such as Spongebob or Avatar, but I doubt there are high expectations on those. One title that has gone mysteriously quiet is Red Steel. The latest previews talked of big improvements, but with almost no reviews of what was supposed to be one of the biggest launch titles (and the one that initially got me interested in the Wii to begin with) makes me think it will unfortunately be very underwhelming, making the Wii lacking in an exclusive FPS that was truly built for the system. Oh well, Madden is looking like a very solid third option to round out my library.


Best. Weekend. EVER.

It should be pretty obvious why this is the best weekend ever, as not only are two huge system launches happening within 2 days of each, but we've also got Daniel Craig in Reportedly the best Bond in a long while (though I really enjoyed all the Pierce Brosnan ones), Casino Royale, which is not only a reboot for the series (based on Bond's first adventure), but reportedly a more dark & serious take. Now granted, that's the direction they tried to go with Timothy Dalton, and it nearly killed the franchise, but the trailers look sweet and I can't wait to check it out Saturday before I pick up my Wii.

Of course, it wouldn't be the holidays without crappy kiddy fare, and we have that in the seemingly banal Happy Feet. When Robin Williams was cast as the Genie in Aladdin, it was inspired, but throwing him in any animated film nowadays is tantamount to admitting your movie sucks and you desperately needed his comic improvising (which has gotten tired by now anyways) so the kiddies wouldn't leave the theatre in droves out of total boredom.

Those searching for comedy may be intrigued by Let's Go to Prison, especially since it stars Will Arnett from Arrested Development & is Directed by Bob Odenkirk, but there have been no advance screenings, which speaks really poorly for a movie with this caliber of cast & director, and the trailers looked incredibly weak.

Finally there's Fast Food Nation. What was a disturbing and chilling book is no turned into a movie, and you know how it goes-The movie almost always sucks, which seems to be the case here as well. Considering the book is nowhere near a coherent story or characters, I'm not even sure how they thought this could be a movie.

Been thinking about an Xbox 360, but the price is still to steep? How about one for only $100? It looks like a done deal as Amazon is having their customers vote on it, but there's only going to be 1,000 available for this, so you'd better act quick when it happens in about a week. If you think this sounds too good to be true, keep in mind that core systems are essentially dead weight as nobody buys them, so Amazon may be trying to just unload whatever they've got of that stock. And of course you'll still have to buy a hard drive, headset, a year of xbox live and a game, but that should still only run you around $350, which isn't a bad deal by any means. I will certainly try and get in on this, but considering I'll be a little short on overall funds due to the Wii launch, I may just buy the system to start and wait til my next paycheck to buy the rest of what's required.

Lastly, it really seems like Nintendo's truly dragging their feet when it comes to this whole online thing, as the only thing you'll really be able to do launch day is download games, the weather, news and internet browser will be available in the near future. Granted, I'd rather have that they are sure everything works properly before it's out, but it would've been nice to try and do a blog post from my Wii on Sunday...

My totally illogical best bets for launch

Even though the system isn't out til Sunday, I have my first Wii title. Rayman was out at my local EB, so I figured I should just go ahead and pick it up. Of course, now it practically taunts me, sitting on my desk since I can't even play it. Oh cruel evil rabbits! HOW YOU MOCK ME!!!!!

But moving on to today's main topic, just what should you get if you procure either a PS3 or a Wii come this weekend and don't plan on making a tidy profit? Well, based on nothing more than conjecture and other people's opinions, I'm gonna try my darnedest to sort out the cream of the crop for both with what at least seems to be the the top 5 titles for launch (with video clips!). I'll start with PS3, which admittedly won't be easy since it went from an unoriginal but solid 25 or so titles to around 15 mostly questionable titles in just the last few days.


Resistance: Fall of Man

Sony has never had a Halo. In fact, it's never had a mega-franchise it can truly call its own. Sure, there are hits like God of War & successful shooters such as SOCOM, but they don't have the ravenous fan devotion or mega sales that a series like Halo (or Gears of War) seem to generate solely for their system. Resistance, easily the most promising launch title, is set to change all that. It features unprecedented 40-player online, reportedly extremely intelligent A.I. (which is long overdue), and some great alien-ass whopping. And the resume of developer Insomniac is virtually unparalleled, with the few good games in the Spyro series and the brilliant Ratchet & Clank titles under their belt, this is one title no PS3 owner should be without.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Ok, maybe Ultimate Alliance seems like a questionable choice, especially when it's available on older consoles for $20 less and graphically, it's really not much of a step up. But It's easily the best bet for anyone looking for a fun and easy multi-player (especially online), and it's any comic-book fan's wet dream. It's also probably the best choice for any rpg players as Oblivion got dropped til next year and Untold Legends isn't looking too impressive.

Fight Night Round 3:

If you want a launch title that'll look damn sweet on your HD setup, look no further. One the best-looking 360 titles will probably look even better on PS3, and it's not too shabby a boxing game either.

Ridge Racer 7

Easily your best option for a racer at launch, Ridge Racer 7 may not have the flash of the Need for Speed series, but it makes up for it in customization and features. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of racing games unless the words "Mario" & "kart" are involved, but simply put despite a weak showing at E3, this game has gotten some really solid reviews (especially when compared to the latest Need for Speed title), and seems like a solid choice for fans or car racing and/or deep customization.

Call of Duty 3

I'm totally sick of WWII titles myself, and COD3 may suffer from all the hype Resistance is getting, but this is a very solid secondary choice for a shooter. It has great 24-player online warfare (for those who find 40 too hectic) offers several viewpoints of the war to try and keep things fresh, and COD2 is still one of the best titles available on the 360 (and a major reason it sold well), so the pedigree should easily be maintained here. And of course it's a perfect fit for anyone who isn't sick of WWII games.

So there are what I think are the top 5 choices for any PS3 owners this Friday. Of course, other than Resistance, I don't know how many of these are almost sure bets, I guess we'll see come launch day.

Moving onto to Wii, before I get started I'll just say that although I think it's great, Wii Sports won't be included, seeing as it's a pack-in, that clearly defeats the purpose here.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:

This is just a no-brainer. Zelda is usually nothing short of amazing, and it promises to be no different this time around. Plus, I've actually played the game, and it completely rocks. I imagine I'll be spending lots of time in this latest adventure in the land of Hyrule, and so should anyone buying a Wii.

Rayman: Raving Rabbids

Simply put, Rayman is going to be wacky fun. This is one of the few games at launch that was truly built from the ground up to use the Wii controller in a lot of fun and creative ways. You just can't beat things like cow tossing and plunger shooting! Plus, Rayman as a series has been pretty excellent overall. I fully expect this to be the arguably best title on the Wii, and it's the only one I reserved aside from Zelda.

Madden 07

This is the first time I've probably been excited about a football game since the brilliant but short-lived NFL2K series started on the Dreamcast. Why? It's the first football game in ages that by it's very existence will fundamentally change the way you play football. Granted, the eventual 08 version will probably feature online play and improved controls over this initial offering, but I'm still very intrigued and I think EA actually trying anything truly innovative is more than worth checking out.

Metal Slug Anthology

While everybody is touting new shiny 3D graphics and revolutionary gameplay, sometimes classic is the best way to go, and Metal Slug is about as classic as you can get and it's great to see traditional 2D gameplay represented on a modern system. Hopefully games like Metal Slug popping up on the Wii are not an uncommon occurrence, as there's still plenty of great games to be culled from the field of 2D (and the $40 price tag makes it all the more attractive).

Trauma Center: Second Opinion:

Probably the launch title that seems to be the most natural fit for the Wii remote. Granted, I'd probably be as good at that as I am at Operation, but this seems like the style of gameplay truly best suited for the system. And hopefully Nintendo can use it as a basis for content downloads, as I could see lots of expansion possibilities (like how about a Scrubs one where your character has wacky daydreams and has a psychotic mentor that constantly berates him!).

And those are my Wii choices. Although it didn't make the list, I would like to say that I think Red Steel is probably going to be a solid title, but the lack of online play really hurts it's appeal more than any of the titles I choose. But ultimately, the bottom line is that there are at least several very solid choices for gamers getting either system this weekend.


What's worse than only 400,000 units at launch?

How about having them slashed YET AGAIN!!! BY AT LEAST HALF!!!. Although this is some analyst talking out of his ass and not an official statement, it certainly fits with Gamestop/EBGames having at least 40% of their expected units cut. Should be real fun when the early technical bugs start showing up and people want a replacement....

And it's a shame, as a PS3 demo unit was at my work today and I got some good time in with Motorstorm, which not only was extremely fun, but looked pretty damn good. Too bad it's not a launch title. As for the controller-it did feel noticeably light, but I felt it responded really well and I've never been a fan of the rumble feature to begin with (oooo, the controller shakes! yeah, that's immersive!). But Sony sure as hell can't make money without any systems to sell.

And as bad as the launch seems to be going, PS3 is hardly the worst launch, not by a longshot, as shown by Gamedaily's list of the 10 worst consoles ever (although I still love my Saturn, it was definitely a massive failure in most aspects). It's kind of sad how many of those horrible systems I've actually owned over the years...

Sonic makes his next-gen debut this week, and only on the 360. I wish I could say I was excited, but Sonic's been on a steady downhill slide since he went 3D with no end in sight. Plus, Sega just doesn't seem to get that nobody cares about his furry friends, as now they've added a lame psychic hedgehog! Memo to Sega: Drop all the saturday-morning quality buddies and just give us Sonic, and make him fast. At least the Wii exclusive Secret Rings holds some promise of a return to former glory.



The reviews are pouring in...

Although still several days off, early review are starting to pop up on some of the higher profile Wii & PS3 games. I just got my new issue of EGM with the Halo 3 blowout on the cover (which honestly, I haven't gotten around to reading and probably won't til the launch mania has settled down), and their full on reviews of Monkeyball & Dragon Ball for the Wii are actually fairly solid, along with some quick favorable impressions of Zelda & Resistance for the PS3. Gamespy has a glowing review of Zelda up and IGN has an almost equally glowing review of Resistance along with favorable reviews of Wii Sports and Trauma Center. Of course, most of the early reviews are of the premier titles for each system (especially with Zelda & Resistance). It remains to be seen whether these early solid games indicate a good general lineup, or are a few gems standing among what is mostly a giant pile of dung.

So, think you all set because you got your PS3 pre-order from Gamestop/EB Games? Might want to give your store a call to be sure, as their launch units have apparently been slashed by at least 40%. Sony claims they'll be able to fill all pre-orders by Christmas, which I'm sure is extremely comforting for people who stood in line for hours in the early AM so they could get one this Friday...

And that's not the half of it. Many highly anticipated titles have been cut from the launch-Sonic, FEAR, Oblivion & Full Auto 2 are all delayed until some vague time next year. Some much for all those high-profile games, all that's really left now is Resistance unless some sleeper hit comes out of the woodwork.

That's really all I got for today, so here's your SCRUBS CLIP OF THE WEEK (SEASON PREMIERE NOVEMBER 30TH!!!):


Yes Virginia, there are still Sony fanboys (and plenty of them)

It's real easy to look at all the bad press Sony's gotten over the last several months in the internet vacuum and believe that the Sony faithful have been abandoning their company in droves and they are destined for a huge downfall. But back in the real world, Sony's still a massive juggernaut, and despite all my bashing, it pleases me to see so much enthusiasm for any system. My real problem with Sony is their complacency, which just comes naturally with a stranglehold on the home console market like they currently have. Nintendo had the same problem when they were dominating the home market, and it ended up with them just barely competing for a solid 3rd place in the console wars. Domination by any one company is bad for the industry as whole. I'm hoping for a much more even market share for all three systems this time around (admittedly though, I hope the Wii has a slight but definitive edge over the other two).

In all the hoopla this week over Gears of War, Microsoft's other potentially big console exclusives were virtually ignored. Viva Pinata is an obviously blatant attempt to have something to try a compete against Nintendo's own massive hit series Animal Crossing, with a breeding mechanic thrown in. Everybody will drool over GOW, but assuming this title delivers on its simple but addictive potential, this will probably be a huge sleeper hit.

And the 360 HD-DVD hard drive is finally out. Now you can play high definition movies on your 360 just like the PS3. Unfortunately, the $200 price tags makes a new system with the player just as much as a high end PS3, and if you add in an almost necessary year of Xbox live, it's suddenly $50 more. So much for that price advantage. As much as I don't think either format is going to take off anytime soon, at least Sony's integrating it into their hardware to give it a solid shot. Historically, add-ons are a disaster (see the PS2 hard drive, the Sega CD, the Super Scope, etc.), I don't see the HD-DVD drive going much differently in the long run, especially if the movies aren't there to support the format (which they aren't for HD-DVD or Blu-Ray right now).

I've been meaning to post the trailer for the guaranteed to be completely awesome for season 6 of 24 for quite awhile now, so here it is if you haven't seen it:

And also the almost as awesome (cause nothing's more awesome than Jack Bauer) trailer for Spider-Man 3:

That's it for today, but with less than a week until two of the biggest launches in history, I'll be sure to be posting something almost daily in the meantime, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Puzzle Bobble


Wii Video Day IV: Electric Wiigaloo!

That's right! It's another Wii video day! WHETHER YOU WANT IT OR NOT!!!!!

If you thought the offensive maneuvering in Madden 07 for the Wii was sweet, just check out this video featuring how the Wii changes the way you will play defense:

And most of today's other videos can be found at local retailers on a special promotional DVD, but why take the trip when you can see then all right here? (with another awesome Zelda Trailer included):

And finally, last week, South Park was (almost) all about the Wii, but did Cartman ever procure his beloved system even after being propelled 500 years into the future? Find out in GO GOD GO XII!!!!!:


Will Ferrel is a drama queen

Will Ferrel goes the Truman Show route with his own mind-bending, semi-serious dramedy in Stranger Than Fiction. Early buzz is that Ferrel shows some serious depth and it's a good film, but let's hope he doesn't exactly follow in the footsteps of other once-great comedians who had a great dramatic turn and then quickly did a long stream of duds.

Somebody apparently forgot that Halloween was last week, and that The Grudge was already out last year! Because here we have The Return, yet another film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar about a violent incident that haunts a place and kills people or some nonsense. I'll take a wild guess that Santa Clause 3 is scarier (and probably has a plot that is more grounded in reality even if it is about Jack Frost trying to take over Christmas...)

And Christian Bale tries to stretch his acting chops even further in Harsh Times as a psychotic ex-army guy on the edge. It seems pretty promising, but the reviews are split 50/50, so I may just check it out on video.

Finally, Russel Crowe is back in A Good Year, which sounds like one of the most boring and tired setups ever. I mean, how many times before have we seen this where some guy in a position where he makes a lot of money can't possibly be happy? He must be missing something in his life! He needs to conform to some antiquated idea of simplicity in order to be happy! What a complete and utter crock that is.

That's really all I got for today, as not much in the way of news has happened, but I'll probably be back Saturday with another Wii video day and post again on Sunday about anything else.


MS' Holiday Salvo

Easily the Xbox 360's biggest weapon in this holiday season finally hits stores tomorrow. No game this year has had more hype behind it than Gears of War. We can all agree that the 360 has been lacking in a true system seller. Sure, Call of Duty 2 looked nice, and Oblivion was pretty sweet, but none of these, or any of the current 360 library is what anyone would consider a system seller. Assuming GOW delivers, this could be the next mega-franchise. The game looks incredible, and if I wasn't saving for the Wii which is only a little over a week away, it's probably what I would get a 360 for (of course, when Mass Effect is out next year, that will most likely be when I finally cave).

But while GOW is the biggest gun on the Game front, the 360 has other weapons. Namely that it's broadening it's functionality with the ability to download movies & tv shows. I'm not sure if this will really take off, but it's a very nice option for those of us who don't want to plunk down for cable & a DVR.

I did manage to catch Borat while I was out of town, and it was pretty damn entertaining. I'd say calling it "funniest movie in years" a stretch, but it's definitely one of the more entertaining ones in awhile.



Santa Clause Must Die(t)!

I never thought I'd see the day that the Godfather movies and the Santa Clause movies had something in common. But now the Santa Clause franchise is a full trilogy much like the Godfather trilogy with the release of Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause out in theatres this weekend. Now, I like Tim Allen and really enjoyed the first Santa Clause film and the second was mildly entertaining, but aren't we bored of this whole concept by now? I admit, I'm mildly curious to see them wrap up this trilogy (and I'm a sucker for holiday films), but this screams "straight to video" effort that is only justified in theatres by the fact that the last 2 made a lot of money.

Also competing for families this weekend is yet another fish-out-of-water CG tail in Flushed Away. Cue severe yawn. This is the latest of a seemingly endless-"character is thrown out of his natural element" story, and it's even more tired than 3 movies about being Santa Clause. It sure features a great cast, with Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet & Ian Mckellen all providing voices, but it's seems to be a trend of these films that the more star-studded they are, the weaker the film actually is.

Finally, probably the best bet for anybody over 10 this weekend is what just might be the funniest movie ever (at least according to early reviews): Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Or just Borat: The Movie for short. It's hard to explain to the uninitiated (which I admittedly was until I started hearing all the buzz for this movie) just why Borat is so brilliant, so I've posted a little bit of his best work:



Wii Video Day-Episode III: Revenge of the Koopa

Trying to be a little bit more creative with the headers for these... Anyways, I'll be out of town from Saturday until Tuesday and may not have time to post, so I'll do the weekly Wii video post today.

First up is Wii Skins, a completely fabricated, but really awesome view of all the different possible skins you could make on your Wii. Somebody could make a killing doing custom designs like these:

Then, we've seen how easily modern titles can be played on the Wii in various vids, but what if you want to play an old school 2D game? No worries, as SNK proves that it can be done with ease by putting Metal Slug Anthology on the Wii. With no less than 5 different ways to play:

And since I haven't done nearly enough hyping of Zelda (which will be remedied soon), here's a very cool 7 minute trailer for it:

And finally, South Park has once again proven how tapped into the geek community they are, making a key subplot of this week's episode about Cartman not be able to wait any longer for the Wii and taking drastic measures, so here's the full episode (and I'll post the conclusion when it airs, hopefully next week):



That's right people, I HAVE PLAYED THE WII. And not just ten little minutes, I'm talking several hours of pure awesomeness, while shitty bands played loud music in the background!

The Controller(s)-It's definitely a little awkward initially, especially since many games handle the controls in different ways, but you quickly really get into it. The remote is really light and sleek, and the response is damn near perfect on everything.

The Games I played:

Excite Truck-Unfortunately, this for me was the one real disappointment. It controlled really loosely, turning was a complete bitch, and it after a few cool jumps, it gets really old. If they can tighten up the controls and add a good variety of trucks with differing abilities, that would help immensely.

Wario Ware: Completely bizarre beyond definition, but totally fun, and probably gets the most variety out of the controller, as you do things like hold it various ways and at various points on your body depending on the minigame.

Wii Sports: Ok, anybody expecting a solid & realistic sports sim on any level should just go and buy and actual full blown sports title. This is simply meant to be a fun, but very rough interpretation of these genres of sports. That being said, everything was fun and really easy to pick up. Baseball is very simple, as one person bats and one pitches, and you do actually swing and throw, the computer handles out-fielding and there is no stealing bases or anything of that sort. Team AI was definitely flaky and some questionable calls, but it doesn't spoil the fun. Tennis is the simplest, as aside from serving and swinging the racket, all other movement is taken care of for you. Very fun, but surprisingly simple, perhaps a little too simple. Bowling is perfect, you can affect spin and speed and it's just very satisfying to hit a strike. Finally, Boxing is the most intense and most complex, as you really, really box-you dodge, left hook, keep your guard up, all with actual movements-This is the only game that really made my arms tired, but it was also the best use of the controller out of what I played. Unfortunately, golf was not playable.

Zelda: YES, IT WAS PLAYABLE. It's essentially a the level you've seen in all the gameplay videos. The swordfighting is tremendous and works flawlessly. The bow unfortunately was hard to aim, which wasn't a huge problem until I faced a fire giant boss who had to be hit in the eye with the bow while he is rushing at you very fast.

Bottom line-the whole experience was just incredible, and I can't wait to play it some more when it's finally out.

I'm about 5 hours into FFXII, and it's pretty damn good so far. I really like how the new battlefields play out, as not every monster is an enemy, and some are even extremely helpful. My one real complaint is how far they they take the license board system. Essentially, you use it to gain new abilities, but this aspect is taken to far as you need it for things as simple as being able to upgrade your equipment.

Already salivating at the mere mention of Halo 3 even though it's nearly a year away? EB Games is counting on it, as they are officially starting in-store pre-orders tomorrow. I think it's jumping the gun a bit, as we've all seen that games over a year away can get easily delayed, but then again, with the legendary edition supposedly coming in at $100, might be smart to start putting aside a little money right now.