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.

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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":