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.