Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Christmas Haul

Well, Christmas is the season of giving, and we certainly ensure there is plenty to open on our Christmas morn....(especially for those animals)...

We have 11 separate smaller videos to post on Google Video, and I'm sure they'll all make their way onto the blog.

We got quite a haul this Christmas. Movies galore (they're easy to ship and both of our Amazon wishlists were full of various videos) and our HD movies list sky-rocketed. Counting the 5 "rebate movies we got (which arrived on Christmas Eve) we scored over 20 new titles, including: the new Blade Runner 5 disc-set, the Ocean's trilogy (11,12,13), The Bourne Identity, Shrek the Third, The Transformers, Training Day, Road Warrior (woohoo!), Lethal Weapon, Swordfish (the prior 4 in a four-pack), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Casablanca, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick, Blazing Saddles and We Were Soldiers - all on HDDVD....then on Blu-ray I gave Christina the Die Hard Collection, Fifth Element, the 300, and Final Fantasy. And that doesn't count television series, where Christina scored the first 6 season of That 70s Show, Daria, season 3 of Medium; while I got Lost - Season 3, Prison Break - season 2, and Smallville -season 6. Hollywood writer's strike? What strike? fellas I won't know the difference for months!

The more traditional haul included lots of LL Bean socks and warm things (get cold here ya know), a couple of throw blankets, Christmas ornaments (again we each got the other the same Santa in the Service military one....our fleet of ships continues to grow), books (Freakanomics, The World is Flat, The U.S. Intelligence Community, one on Kim Jong-il, and a few others including one by my favorite fantasy author Raymond E. Feist: Murder in LaMut.

As for the Eagles stuff: the folks scored me a new 75th Anniversary Dawkins #20 jersey (and it worked btw - they beat the Saints when I wore it), a little clock and a 2008 calendar.

We also got a crock-pot from Christina's aunt and a note that our crockpot inventory has doubled because the folks got us one as well. So we went from no crock pots to two in the span of a few days.

But what about the games??!! Well it was good year for Microsoft, because our XBox 360 collection expanded quite nicely. I got Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed, while Christina got the Simpson's Game (its co-op), then after Christmas we went to the BX and lo' and behold, they not only had Guitar Hero III, but also plenty of Gibson guitar controllers....SO we used the money Christina's grandmother sent us to get GH III and two guitars (one for each of us ya know - its another Co-Op game!). Guitar Hero III is a little hard, and I still think I might get Rock Band (the OTHER musical rhythm game out this year), but her friend Annabelle has GH III, so they can play online now. I also downloaded about 5 "new" games from XBox Live - I didn't realize that most of the coin-op classics were just five now I have some games like Contra, Jetpac, Tempest, Smash TV, etc to help ween away those spare minutes....

Nothing new for the PS3 - they just don't have as many cool games. Though the download PAIN is awesome! Good thing I don't depend on it for my gaming entertainment.

As for the DS - Christina got Sudokuro - which has both Sudoku and Kakuro games. Oh, and Scott, you got me a lot with those Amazon gift certs man....another book (Joel Rosenberg's Paladins II, the Transformers score, the Matrix Trilogy on HDDVD plus two DS games: Orcs and Elves, and Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command).

Videos to come soon

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jump-Starting ye ole Blog

Well folks its been awhile and that probably means that I've lost whatever meager viewership I actually had. Oh well. Easy come, easy go.

So what have I been doing?
Working, getting ready for the holidays, and playing lots of Call of Duty 4.

But you know plenty of stuff has been going on that requires comment:

First the ridiculous: The assertion that Mike Huckabee deliberately put in a subliminal cross symbol in his recent Merry Christmas ad. Did you catch it? Perhaps....since you were probably looking for it. The supposed cross is the bookshelf behind Huckabee....look folks, I am not a Huckabee fan (I don't "heart" Huckabees - that MOVIE SUCKED), but I think folks are going over the line trying to parse everything in every single candidates' lives.

And who the fuck is Ron Paul, and why is he even commenting about this? Get a last name douchebag.

Second, I found a great website for the old Commodore 64 - perhaps the greatest computer-gaming platform in history. Check out!

Third, a complaint. What game developer in this day and age creates a game with a fixed camera? Take Conan for instance.
Conan for the XBox 360 is pretty good, but implementation could have been a whole lot better.

Lets go down the line:

Graphics - a bit of letdown. I believe that the designers are trying to emulate the visual style of the many fantasy paintings done of Conan, and it sections it really works and looks outstanding. In other areas, especially the Queen/companion and other cutpieces - the graphics are laughable and the water effects are some of the worst this side of a PS1.

Gameplay - the fighting can be fantastically fun at time. The different fighting styles (two-handed, dual-wield, sword-n-shield) all have their own special moves. Lately I\'ve been partial to the Shield, which allows for some nasty Parry-then-attack death blows. And any game that tracks the number of limbs hacked off earns points in my book.

Voice-Acting - I didn't mind Ron Perlman and Claudia Black is good. The game definitely could've used a few more quips here and there and you'll hear every single one within the first 30 minutes of play.

Is it fun? - This is the real kicker, because at its core - hacking and slashing waves of itching-to-lose-limbs-enemies can be both extremely entertaining and satisfying. HOWEVER, sometimes the action gets bogged down by a truly dismal fixed cinematic camera. How any game designer in this day and age could believe that a fixing the camera and torturing players with some retarded perspectives is the way to go is beyond me. In many places you can forgive it. But when the came doesn't track properly and you forced to do one of the multitude of jumping sequences near-blind. Well, lets just say that the curses start to get dropped rather liberally in my household. It REALLY detracts from my pleasure with the game. Please game developers, listen to us gamers, give US the option to play the game HOW WE WANT TO.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Every Team Won but the One I WANTED

Jeez folks, had a great, absolutely great football weekend....except for the fact that the only team I truly care about fucked things up and handed yet another potential win to the opposition.

I mean Saturday was a tremendous football day. Navy crushed Army alma mater Pitt pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year, stunning West Virgina 13-9 in the Backyard Brawl and ending WVU's BCS title hopes, and Hawaii (my most recent home state) stayed undefeated, going 12-0 by coming back to beat Washington 35-28 in front of a raucous home crowd.

BOTH of my fantasy football teams rocked the house as well. I made the playoffs in one league, and looked to secure a spot in the final four in another....

and then the Eagles lose and its all suddenly worthless...dammit A.J....shithead...

oh what to do....perhaps shoot the shit out of some noobs in Call of Duty on my new 61" Panasonic HDTV! Hell yeah...Games and movies in 1080p! This shiznit is off da hizzle, my bizzle!
oops sorry..translation - that means its really good.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Eagles Piss Away Another Win and With it - Probably the Season

I have a real hard time blogging after a game like today's.

Where to start?

Well the clamoring for A.J. Feeley should cease. and Yes. For the record, I felt A.J. had done enough to merit a start, to earn a shot. You know the saying fool me once - shame on you, fool me twice - shame on me. This was twice. Many of us were more than willing to delude ourselves after the Eagles' close-shave-loss to the Patriots. They'd played inspired and we thought...well damn, if only A.J. hadn't spotted the Pats 7 points with that stupid "pick-6" interception, we'd have had 'em.

Well folks - if only A.J. hadn't spotted the Seahawks 14 easy-as-pie first quarter scores - this game, like last Sunday night's, would have played out much, much differently.

That's not the only low-light:
- I think A.J. thought the Eagles had signed a new tight-end. Lofa Tatupu. I can't question Feeley's accuracy. He drilled the ball right to Lofa three times. Hell, it looked like Tatupu was the intended receiver on a couple of those (By the way, our actual TE L.J. Smith, caught 3 passes as well)
- Four piss poor interceptions is four too many. These weren't acrobatic defensive plays folks....these were sophomoric, rookie-level, stare-down-the-receiver or throw-it-right-to-the-defender plays. Literally. There were Seahawks players just waiting for the ball in a couple of situations.
- The absolute stone-motherfucking-hands of our Linebackers....The play after Tatupu pretended to be our tight end to start the game....Hasselbeck drills Takeo Spikes in the chest with a pass (musta been the lighting, that wrong uniform this was contagious). The only difference - Spikes drops the ball. Later in the game, Omar Gaither performed a similar favor for the Seahawks QB. Unfortunately, the Seahawks players were not so courtesy (lousy guests).

- The play-calling. What did we have 50 passes? 2 to 1 pass/run on a day of freezing rain/sleet. Gimme a fucking break. Phil Sheridan is right. There were long runs all day. Including long TD run by Buck and Westbrook (and Morris for the Seahawks). Yet the Eagles kept going bombs away. Sigh.