Video Day: The Mario Paint Edition

Ok, not much going this week so far, so I'm just going to post my Top 5 Mario Paint vids. In case you don't know, it's an old Super NES game that some more creative nerds have used to re-create popular songs & themes. So here's 5 of the better ones I've seen:

Still Alive (From Portal)

The theme from "The Office"

The Legend of Zelda Overworld Theme

Mike Tyson's Punch Out!

And finally, CHRONO TRIGGER!

And I'll end the whole thing with the FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Tangerine Panic


A Crisis in Midgard

Christ, sorry for now posts until now, but I had an incredibly hectic week at my real job in addition to moving to a new apartment that thankfully is much closer to my work and just had no energy.

So, Britney Spears' guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother was this past Monday, and it was surprisingly subtle. She was completely innocuous, and there were surprisingly no obvious jokes about her or her troubled life. She was even funny. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing her on the show in a recurring role if they do continue to go to back to the office where Ted's new love interest (the always amazing Sarah Chalke) works. And, as a awesome bonus, the best of Barney!

Final Fantasy VII came out way back in '97, and yet many a rpg fan will still tell you that it's the best rpg ever, and many will also claim it's the best game ever. I am far from in that camp. It's a very good game, and was certainly groundbreaking when it came out, but there are better rpgs that came before it (like Chrono Trigger), better rpgs that have come since (like KOTOR, Mass Effect & Kingdom Hearts), and better games in the FF series itself (personally I liked VI & IX better, with IX still being my personal favorite in the series. But more than really any other game, fans have cried out for Square to do either a direct sequel or at least a remake. Oddly, Square has done everything but that, releasing a wretched straight-to-video movie and a mediocre shooter spin-off starring a secondary character. But now, they may have finally made something that will actually please the fans somewhat in Crisis Core, which acts as a prequel, taking place 7 years before the events in VII. I picked it up today and have played a couple of hours. I will say that the combat is a little stiff, but very engaging and fun, and the camera could use some work, but the presentation and sheer fan service makes it more than a worthwhile purchase if you enjoyed your last big adventure in Midgard, and a damn good excuse to pick up a PSP if for some insane reason FF Tactics and Chains of Olympus weren't already enough of a reason.




Granted, the Season 4 premiere is still a little over 2 painfully long weeks away, but you can ease the pain a bit by refreshing yourself on one of the best shows, with the season 3 release of Battlestar Galactica. And for a quick general recap, check out this video:

And yeah, that's really it for things to actually talk about today, but I do have two other very cool videos to leave you with. Firstly, the Dark Knight Trailer nicely matched up with the '89 Batman that starred Keaton & Nicholson:

And the second is this fairly kickass music video that I made for GTA IV (normally I'm a little more humble, but I'm pretty damn pleased with it):

And as awesome as all this is, I'll throw in the FREE GAME OF THE WEEK as well: Family Restaurant


EA will soon own the Universe, continued...

EA took their attempt to own Take 2 up a level by officially trying for a hostile takeover. Take 2 is asking shareholders to not accept, but I wouldn't be surprised if their pleas fell on deaf ears. EA will pretty much have all the major American gaming franchises if this does go through. Hopefully, in spite of all this, EA head John Riticello's recent comments about a commitment to a higher quality of game won't be forgotten.

Pretty much the only movie worth mentioning at all for this weekend is the latest Dr. Suess adaptation, Horton Hears a Who. The history of Suess on the screen is certainly a muddled one, but this latest has the best reviews since the original animated Grinch way back in 1966. Seems like a solid film to take the kids to that won't liquefy your brain, but I'll probably take the opportunity to check out The Bank Job since that's gotten really positive reviews and seems like a fun time.

Looking for user created content for Brawl? Check out IGN's Super Smash Bros. World. You can check out user-created stages or upload your own. I may try and throw something together, though I admittedly never seem to have enough of an attention span when it comes to level editors.

And finally, The Hulk trailer is here! How is it? I'll post it for yourself to judge. I'm not completely sure I buy Edward Norton as Bruce Banner (even though the Ang Lee adaptation was horrendous, Eric Bana was well cast and did a great job), and the CGI does look a little iffy, but I do see potential. As long as it can avoid the seemingly obvious pitfalls of the disastrous previous film (like say, having a giant electric ghost as the final villain), it should be a decent film. Check out the trailer for yourself and judge:



Before it was just rumor, but now it's been confirmed by none other than Dr. Cox himself, John C. McGinley, that Scrubs is indeed coming back for another full 18 episodes on ABC next fall. This is beyond awesome. I personally hope it becomes the mega-hit on ABC it has deserved to be for so long, possibly resulting in even more seasons. This show has managed to stay fresh this long, Bill Lawrence can probably keep coming up with good ideas for at least a couple more years.

And in just plain bizarre news, former singer & current waste of humanity Britney Spears will be doing a guest spot on another one of my favorite sitcoms, How I met Your Mother (which you can read about in the article I linked about Scrubs new season). I really don't understand the reasoning behind this at all. The woman is a complete disaster area. It might've been one thing if she was still a pop idol, but if you're going to have washed up strung out psychotics barely hanging on to their careers be on your show, take a page from Scrubs and have Gary Busey do a cameo.

I'll post it next time I update, but tomorrow, the long-awaited trailer for The Incredible Hulk should pop up online. Why should we be excited when the last Hulk film was a giant atrocity? Because Edward Norton has one hell of a track record and this is a film that will not act like the rest of the Marvel universe doesn't exist, which is pretty awesome.

Finally, though I'm sure all of you Wii owners are still madly playing Smash Bros, you can't take it everywhere, so if your looking for a good new portable experience, you should probably check out Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles-Ring of Fates comes out for the Nintendo DS and fixes the issues with the Gamecube original-namely not needing an ultra-expensive setup just to play with your friends. I want to pick this up, but I ignore my portable systems enough as it is, this may wait till I beat some more games and can prioritize playing them at home.

FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Drunken Masters


The Sky is falling

Ugh. I think I'm Smashed Bros. out for a day or two. I spent basically the whole weekend unlocking characters & beating the Subspace Emissary mode, which was just a chore and not much fun. The good news is that the core fighting element is extremely fun still, and online actually works fairly well once it gets going, even if the setup is rough (much easier for friends than with someone anonymous). I've unlocked all but two characters-Wolf and Jigglypuff, and I don't mind waiting on either of them. I would definitely say the new characters are al pretty good and fun to use, my personal fave probably being Meta-Knight. This is the multi-player party game for the Wii. It's too bad they don;t have a smooth online setup or games like this, Strikers & Mario Kart could make the Wii the online system of choice by a long shot.

10,000 B.C. was horrible. Plain & simple. I'm actually sort of shocked that a movie this big can fail on so many fundamental levels, but credit to Roland Emmerich, the Uwe Boll on non-video game pieces of utter crap.

360 owners have something to be excited about this week, as the first downloadable content for Mass Effect is out at a pretty reasonable $5. Again, the price seems very reasonable, but I might just wait for more content and some kind of bargain all-in-one pack for around $20 or so, just doesn't seem like enough as it is.

That's really it for today as I've got an early start at work tomorrow. But here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Step Brothers


Historical Accuracy is for losers

This weekend's biggest release is Roland Emmerich's "historical" epic 10,000 B.C. and it's not getting too kind praise from critics, nearly all of them bashing it for it's historical inaccuracy. Really? That's what people are bashing a dumb action flick for, whether it got all the facts right? Is the movie critic industry just filled with failed geographers & anthropologists? Because historical accuracy doesn't mean jack squat to me unless I'm watching a documentary or reading a historical textbook. That's like bashing 300 for not being historically accurate when it was based on a loose comic book interpretation of historic events in the first place. It's a movie people, not a college course, lighten up! Of course, if the movie sucks on other fundamental levels, I'll revile it as much as the next cinephile, but given most of even the bad reviews praise the action & effects I think it'll be a fun dumb experience just like it's supposed to be.

Another movie based in loose historical accuracy opens this weekend with The Bank Job, your seemingly run-of-the-mill heist film with the big twist being that it is based on actual events. I'm admittedly a little tired of heist films in general, but I'm also a huge Jason Statham fan and this is actually a well-reviewed heist film so it will probably be a good way to kill some time on Saturday before a certain mega-title hits at midnight.

And yes, I have a rare weekend (in fact a 4-day weekend) off, so I will most definitely be grabbing my copy of Smash Bros. Brawl at midnight on Saturday and probably not sleeping for the next 48 hours. Assuming I can tear myself away at some point I will give some hands-on opinions and my friend code for the game on Sunday or Monday.



Is the PSP actually good now?

We all remember how this little portable war started. The DS came out with it's unimpressive lineup and weird dual screen/touch screen setup that nobody really got and it was thought to be a failed experiment by Nintendo much like the Virtual Boy. Surely, the PSP, which was superior graphically and had many multimedia functions right out of the box would easily dominate the handheld market. But I think by now everybody knows better than to scoff at anything Nintendo does. The DS is the hottest system in the world, with a plethora of great games that really appeal to all audiences, while the PSP, while generally selling well, can't ever hope to catch up. A big part of the reason was that while the DS started off slow with a poor library, that was remedied quickly. And the PSP's lineup of good games has always been few and far between. But now, that seems to finally starting to be remedied. The last few months of 07 saw quite a few worthwhile games such as FF Tactics, Castlevania & Disgaea. And this month, we have two more titles actually worth checking out, the portable adventures of everybody's favorite murderous servant of the gods, Kratos, in Chains of Olympus, being the first. Between this and Crisis Core coming later this month, I may have to actually pick up my PSP every now and again. Hell, maybe I'll go nuts and trade in my crappy old used one for a nice new slim one.