Finally able to finish the fight...

YES! It wasn't exactly an agonizing wait thanks to other distractions (like my new Sony toys), but I can finally play Bioshock, Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata & of course, Halo 3. It is not my old system, so I'll assume that one has been put down like an animal, but hey, it's just a console and I welcome my new one with open arms (as long as it keeps working anyways). So expect to see me back online on a much more regular basis.

So, I still haven't popped in Resistance on my PS3, but I have played a demo for the upcoming rpg Folklore, and it's not half bad. Granted, the graphics look like a decent PS2 title and there is no voice, which already makes it sort of underwhelming. But the soul-catching aspect, especially using the remote almost like a fishing reel to pull in souls, works surprisingly well. I couldn't recommend this for a $60 purchase if that indeed turns out to be the price, but it seems like it'd be worth it when the price does go down.

I realize I'm a day late on this (attribute it to being exhausted), but let's get on to this weekend's movies. I like the Rock. A lot. He's a very charismatic actor who's willing to take a lot of chances. That should get him plenty of plum movie roles. But so far, he's mostly been relegated to schlock action films which have mostly flopped. So now, he goes the embarrassing Disney family movie route with The Gameplan. Didn't we do this with Hogan, Schwarzenegger & Diesel? Hopefully more daring fare like Southland Tales will turn it around for Mr. Johnson.

The only other movie this weekend worth talking about is The Kingdom. An apparent murder-mystery set in Saudi Arabia, with hostile culture-clash thrown in for good measure. It looks great, and has gotten some good reviews, but just as many bad ones, so it makes me a little weary. But I'll most likely check it out this weekend anyways if I'm not too into the gaming haze I plan to get into.

FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Fugitive Takedown


The anti-anti Halo 3 hype

So, Halo 3 has come out and busted all kinds of sales records and of course with any game this popular comes the small but vocal minority of haters, which has always puzzled the hell out of me. I mean, there are plenty of popular series I'm not a fan of. Silent Hill being the most noteworthy (because I think it's a horrible series), but the revered Metal Gear Solid series doesn't exactly give me a hard on like it does most gamers either. But if this is news to you, it's because I don't make a big deal out of things that aren't my cup of tea. I may say my piece on them briefly, but then I move on. This vocal minority, like so many, think their belief is law, and anybody who thinks otherwise is not just wrong, but an idiot or a mindless sheep. It's that sort of thinking that makes them look like the complete idiots.

So, my PS3 did arrive yesterday, but to be honest, I was extremely tired, so I just made sure everything was functional and pretty much went to bed. I downloaded, but haven't played the demo for Folklore. Which reminds me, I really hope Home smooths out the online system, because right now is is the clumsiest, ugliest online system out there right now. Suddenly I feel a whole lot better actually paying for Xbox live if it's helping fund the far superior setup. I was able to get my account going though, and as you can see, right under my 360 gamertag is my PSN ID, Eradicator31. So feel free to send me a friend request. Right now I just have Resistance for online play, but I may get Warhawk in the near future as well.

That's pretty much it for today. I'll certainly be back tomorrow with a look at this weekend's movies, and in the meantime here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:



The "I'm in denial, but ready to crack" phase

I keep thinking it's not gonna be a big deal, but as the release of Halo 3 crawls closer, I'm starting to think crazy thoughts since mine's still at the repair center with no real idea of when it coming back. Ranging from seeing if I can simply rent it from somewhere to outright buying a brand new one. I'd be even more likely to follow through on the latter option if I wasn't positive the minute I did that I'd get notice from MS telling me to expect my console back in a few days and something would happen to the other console to where I couldn't return it. I realize this whole line of reasoning sets me up for a nice suite at Bellevue, but it's just the way my mind works, especially since when I do finally get my 360 back, I'm probably be working double time just to make some headway in Bioshock, Blue Dragon Eternal Sonata & Halo 3.

Speaking of Halo 3, will it live up to the massive universe of hype behind it? Probably not, as MS is pushing the game as the second coming. But it will be a title with a solid campaign mode and a multi-player so chock full of stuff that you may not even notice when major competitors like Call of Duty 4 hit.

That's really all I have to say for today, but I should be in possession of my PS3 either tomorrow or Tuesday, so I'll definitely write something about that.



A Weekend Chuck full of Promise? Not r'ly...

Ah, another weekend of seeming disappointment. I mean seriously, the only thing that could save Good Luck Chuck from being a complete waste is a long scene of full frontal nudity from Jessica Alba. Hopefully this will cement Dane Cook's fall from his ridiculously undeserved stardom. I want to believe Eastern Promises will be one of those powerful. meaningful movies that deserves heaps of Oscar praise. But David Cronenberg's last effort, A History of Violence, is not only one of the most over-hyped movies in recent history, it's also one of the worst films I've witnessed in recent history. How that trash got so much praise is beyond me and I feel Promises will be of similar caliber. And do I really need to elaborate on why it's bad that a third Resident Evil movie even exists? I mean, the first wasn't horrible, but c'mon, this should be a direct to Sci Fi channel franchise at best, not a major movie trilogy. Well, I still haven't gotten around to seeing 3:10 to Yuma and I actually have a lot of free time on my hands this weekend, what with no 360 and all (more on that in a bit).

I previously mentioned that I acquired a PSP at a great bargain, and I hinted that I may be having a PS3 soon as well for a similarly great deal-This has happened. I am expecting to get the system on Monday and got it at quite a discount. And yes, I did get the 60 gig, because no way in hell would I get the gimped 80 gig if I had another option. I've already picked up Resistance so I have something to pop in when it arrives (and then realized how sad it is that the only title I want of the current selection is something that came out last November) and I may pick up Stranglehold as well if my 360 shows no signs of coming home anytime soon.

Now onto my 360. HEY MICROSOFT! THERE'S THIS GAME COMING OUT NEXT WEEK! MAYBE YOU'VE HEARD OF IT? STARS A GUY IN GREEN BODY ARMOR WHO FIGHTS ALIEN MENACES? I mean fuck, I'm a patient person, but I know that my fucking system has been sitting at the repair center since LAST MONDAY. And I have heard no update aside from that the console has been received and it is being repaired. If it's taking this fucking long, I should at least receive a loaner, especially at this fucking critical juncture. I've really been working too many hours the last 10 or so days to try and get some sort of explanation why I'll be missing out on what is easily the biggest console release of this holiday season. No disrespect to Nintendo, but I want to finish the fight way more than I want to travel the galaxy with Mario or beat up a bunch of friendly mascots. And suddenly there's the very realistic possibility of that not happening in any sort of timely manner. And that makes me one incredibly unhappy and pissed off 360 owner.

I know the Tokyo Game show is in full swing right now, and I've seen plenty of cool videos for stuff that once again probably isn't hitting until next year. Really only two important news bits so far: Sony is apparently bringing back rumble, which is funny considering they derided it so much in the past. Again, I've never considered rumble a big deal, but when you make a point to mock the competition for considering this feature important, then make a huge splash about adding it, you look like a total jackass. The smart move would've been either to say it was something you might be looking into adding (which we all know you were) or just stay mum on the fucking thing. I mean really, have you guys ever heard of "no comment"? It'd save you a whole ton of trouble. The other is that Sony's much vaunted "Home" system won't be appearing until sometime next year. I just have a huge feeling this is going to go from something that could've potentially been cool to an ugly mess that never gets it right.

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Southland Tales


The myth and the reality

Joining the likes of Ubisoft & EA, Capcom recently reported huge profits thanks to their Wii efforts. This, like so many real facts flies in the face on the anti-Nintendo crowd as one of their long time claims was only Nintendo makes money on their systems. If 3rd-party companies make titles that are more than licensed crap, people will actually buy them. It's an edgy idea, but there you have it.

I am now the proud(?) owner of a PSP, but only due to an extremely generous discount. I still think the system is massively flawed at best, but there might be just enough quality titles on it now (such as Jeanne d'Arc) to warrant the extremely low price I paid (hint: significantly less than a DS). With a little luck, I may be playing Drake's Fortune on the cheap this holiday season as well.

This weekend's selection is nothing short of pure shit, so I won't talk about it. I haven't gotten a chance to check out 3:10 to Yuma just yet, so this weekend seems like a perfect opportunity.



We may never fly the Crimson Skies again...

FASA studios has officially closed its doors. Makers of such great games as Mech Warrior 4 (one of the few Mech games I have ever enjoyed) & Crimson Skies (which is easily the best air combat game made for consoles in the last 5 years or so).But their most recent project, the massive failure that was Shadowrun is what most likely killed the studio. I had high hopes that we would see a sequel to Crimson Skies in the not too far off future. But if the guys at FASA aren't doing it, I'd rather it never be made.

Fans of fun horror & mystery would do well to check out the 2nd season of Supernatural. I admit, I initially regarded this show as WB/CW's desperate attempt to lure some back some Buffy/Angel fans; and while not quite up to the caliber of those shows, it has its own fun spin on the horror genre.

Easily the biggest game release this week is the latest disappointing PS3 exclusive, Heavenly Sword. But it may have never had a chance in the first place, with everyone expecting it to be a next-gen God of War. I did see promise when I played the game at PAX and it seemed mostly solid, but the reported 5-6 hour length killed any interest for me.

While everyone is talking about the big rivalry between Guitar Hero III & Rock Band, Jam Sessions, released for the DS this week, might actually be the dark horse that wins it all. I mean it turns the DS into a guitar! Not some crappy controller that is like a guitar, but a real freaking guitar! I know, it sounds like this is one of those improbable things, but just check out these vids:

Gaming sites have gotten their hands on the kinder, friendlier Manhunt 2. What's changed? Not a whole lot, surprisingly. Just removal of the fairly unnecessary ability to rip a guy's balls off and making the kills a little blurred, which seems ridiculous. I mean, if they are being killed in a brutal manner, would simply censoring the act make it really any less disturbing? It's like when they censor the middle finger on TV. We all know what it is. Blurring it out doesn't make it not there or any less "offensive". Hopefully in not too distant future we'll all look back on this stuff and laugh while we are decapitating infants while running over hookers in GTA VI.

TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The Hunting Party

Three journalists return to Bosnia five years after the end of the war to search for the most wanted war criminal, who is still on the loose. Based on a true story.


Boom Boom, Bang Bang

There are two movies opening worth actually talking about this weekend. Both feature overwhelming amounts of testosterone with many manly men doing manly things in a way that isn't seen much in the age of the Metrosexual. First up, there's the remake of the classic 3:10 to Yuma, this time with Christian Bale & Russell Crowe. Granted, it's probably nearly impossible to improve on the original, but I love a really good western, which hasn't happened in quite a few years, and this easily looks like it will fill that much needed void.

But I'm more more pumped about the unapologetically mindless action thriller Shoot 'Em Up. Granted, there's a possibility this could just be a cleverly marketed bomb like Snakes on a Plane, but gloriously over the top action films that don't take themselves seriously tend to work, and I'm more than willing to bet this falls in that category rather than the just plain awful over the top films like XXX.

FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Year of the Snake


The journey begins

So, the box to ship my crippled 360 arrived today. I quickly dropped it off at the nearest UPS location, and it's apparently already on its way to the repair center (gotta love tracking numbers, I'll definitely check every few days). With a little luck, I could be back harvesting ADAM by middle of next week if all goes smoothly.

Let the Playstation 3 volley of exclusives begin. Factor 5's much-hyped Lair hit this week. It was supposed to be one of the games that not only gave the six-axis controller some real validity, but justify your purchase of this powerhouse that's the most expensive of the current crop of consoles. Well, if you've checked out most reviews, it does neither. Now of course, some moronic Sony fanboys are just responding with cries of reviewers being prejudiced against Sony games (and just as idiotic 360 & Wii fanboys are pointing to this one game as evidence that the console is a colossal failure), but that's too be expected. What's really sad is Factor 5 is basically admitting it sucks, but blames everyone but themselves. So very pathetic.

Luckily, 360 owners get the cinematic masterpiece that is Stranglehold while PS3 owners have to wait for their version (though it does come with Hard Boiled, so that may be worth the wait). The reported 8-hour single-player mode probably makes this a solid rental for me when I do get my 360 back as I have little interest in the MP aspect, but all action junkies should give this one a look.

And congrats on Metroid Prime 3 selling over 400,000 copies in its first week. No hardcore audience on the Wii, huh? Hopefully this & the universal praise this amazing game is getting will prove that developers can make good hardcore games for the platform and gamers will buy them.


My Kid Could Paint That


Funniest Tuesday Ever?

One thing I've sort of been ignoring lately is the weekly releases on DVD. Part of it is because I've usually already said how I feel about certain movies when they are out in theatres and don't feel like repeating myself. Another reason is that many weeks see no truly noteworthy releases. But I'll try and talk about these a little more often. This week is a particular rarity in that now you can enjoy the latest (or in some cases first) dvd release of four of the funniest shows on TV in the last decade or so (with video evidence of why they are so great).

First up is the most obvious and easy choice, the brilliant third season of The Office. It's amazing how this went from a lazy retread of the British series it was based on to its own brilliant animal. Just goes to show what can happen when you actually give shows a chance to develop.

There's also the wildly off-the-wall 2nd season of Robot Chicken. Somehow it's managed to do what SNL hasn't been able to do for 20 years: Make sketch comedy funny again. Granted, it's probably easier getting great comedic performances out of plastic dolls than it is to get them out of people like Kenan Thompson, but it's still quite an accomplishment given all the failed attempts at re-launching sketch comedy over the years.

If there is one show that might be more insane that Robot Chicken, it's the chaotic genius that is It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's sort of like a Seinfeld for our generation, with characters so self-centered and flawed they create truly cringe-worthy moments of comedy without ever really verging into just truly tasteless territory. Double kudos for giving Danny Devito his best and most despicable role since his Taxi years.

And the last big release is a series I was incredibly slow to warm to, but has quickly turned into a show I genuinely look forward to every Thursday night. 30 Rock started off bad. REALLY bad. It didn't help that I had a fairly low opinion of Tracy Morgan from his "work" on SNL. But magically, the elements somehow began to gel. Morgan is still arguably the weak link of this cast, but they play to what few strengths he has, and Alec Baldwin shows some true comedic genius, with both Tina Fey & Jane Krakowski providing brilliant backup.

All of these are well worth your money. If your wallet feels a little tight afterwords, just remember it's going to a good cause: KEEPING STUFF THAT'S ACTUALLY FUNNY ON TV!