April 29, 2010

My Name Is Score Setter, And I'm An Addict

Far be it from me to recommend you try crack, but have you heard of Bejeweled Blitz? It's a phenomenal, quickfire game distributed by Pop Cap through a dealer known as Facebook.

Bejeweled set a standard for match-three games a long while ago with its rapid pace, colorful gems, and pick-up-and-play style. Blitz takes it a little further by limiting games to one minute matches. Just one minute! It's always frantic playing against an ever-dwindling clock, but limiting it so much really narrows down the "just one more game" scope.

And fighting to be above your Facebook friends on the leaderboard is a big plus too. Allow me to brag with my screenshot above of my best score (note that it was before boosts were introduced). Ego turning off now: 25,000 isn't that bad of a score ::shrug::

-- "I mean, sending me down here to play games! Who does he calculate he is?"

April 28, 2010

I Wanna See Her Morph Ball

Hot on the heels of my emulated defeat of Mother Brain, here are some amazing cosplay pics of bounty hunter Samus Aran. And before you think the title's sick, I meant it as a verb...or something just not sick, sicko.

Besides the famous Metroid killer, you can find some other serious cosplayers with some amazing outfits at Marcelo Colin's flickr page. Altaïr of Assassin's Creed, Hellboy, and some random Darth all make appearances.

-- "My name is Domino Harvey. I am a bounty hunter. You're probably wondering how a girl like me arrived here. What I say will determine whether or not I spend the rest of my life in prison."

April 27, 2010

Law-Abiding Engineer

Did you see Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx? Good flick. Well someone decided, "Hey, I think that film trailer needs more TF2!" And then you get Law Abiding Engineer.

I only caught eight of the nine classes showing up though. Where was Pyro? I think she could've played one of those females. But the Scout's death scene? I think he may have Bonk'd! his last victim.

-- "In my experience, Nick, lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten."

April 23, 2010

Greatest Film I've Ever Seen...In Dutch

Have you ever heard of Ben X? No, not the cartoon on Cartoon Network, Ben 10. It's a Dutch film based on a true story about a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome who tries to fight back against his bullies.

Aside from plot synopsis, this film touches social injustice and relates a story through the main character's only attachment to the real world: his online game, Archlord. The actual game wasn't well-received, but it was a useful tool in conveying the effects plaguing the young man's mind. I would never have thought to really love a film constantly displaying MMO graphics. And though I wonder if it relates as well to those who don't have my gaming experience, people were obviously affected enough to offer it up as Belgium's best candidate for the Academy Awards (though it didn't get nominated).

Anyway, I was tied to the character and was empathizing to his forlorn moments. Everything seemed well-constructed, and I couldn't be happier to have seen it. Chalk another one up for Netflix recommendations!

-- "I've never loved anything the way he loves music."

April 22, 2010

JRPG Redux Reduced: Synopsis Quest

Want the killer without all the fluffity, puffity filler? Try Fluffy Puff Marshmallows Synopsis Quest! It's an old-school JRPG not concerned with epic storylines, treasured treasures, or XP grinding!

If you truncated a NES-style Final Fantasy into 25 mini-games spanning about 10 minutes, it wouldn't be better than this. It has humor, excitement, and very few times of frustration (see "Find the Sunken Treasure"). Just remember to have patience with some of them too; they can be stupid-easy if you just wait sometimes.

"Talk to the Princess" and "Act Like a Hero" are my favorites.

-- "The Princess will be up the stairs in the highest room in the tallest tower."

April 21, 2010

Just Cause I Can

I've prematurely gushed over Just Cause 2 for a few months now and can now attest to the absolute fun I'm having with it. There's way too much to do, so it definitely feeds A.D.D. tendencies. Whilst flying to a location on the other side of the island, "Ooo hey, that boat looks fun!" or "Let's crash this into that bridge while climbing onto a car that's attached to another car!"

It's really that silly and features so much more than ever expected. And to get the hang of base jumping and seeing some other achievements, I've resorted to faithful YouTube submissions (which also feeds A.D.D. tendencies). Which is how I found the video below.

Seriously silly.

-- "In 1945, peace broke out."

April 20, 2010

The Star Wars of Iceland

Earth has a plethora of spectacular vistas and events to see, too many to witness in one lifetime. But having the internet helps, right? (You may want to mute that.) Tack on another instance of our amazing world: the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland.

It's simply phenomenal, and the captured images are astounding. I wanna be one of those photographers! But seriously, some of these images look like the emperor just died!

-- "And now, young Skywalker... you will die."

April 19, 2010

I Beat The Greatest Game Ever...Again

What is your favorite game of all time? Gamers of my generation usually look back to the early days of Nintendo's dominance, and the game I usually pronounce as my fave stems from that era too: Super Metroid.

What's odd is I've never owned a Super Nintendo or beaten it on that system; all my play-throughs have been via emulator. The fidelity has always held up on keyboard compared to the controller counter-part. And I am still reminded why it's my go-to answer for that oft-asked geek question: What is your favorite game of all time?

-- "I've set my laser from stun to kill." "Oh, great. If anyone attacks we can blink em' to death."

April 16, 2010

Scott Pilgrim? Looks Fun!

I never read the comic Scott Pilgrim, but the upcoming movie looks awesome! Michael Cera plays himself...with super powers. So that's kinda new. Also, the style in terms of video games' sound bites and references is pretty cool.

Now I understand why I've heard this coming up among some of my geek friends' conversations. Definitely heading to the theater for this.

-- "Give me a scotch. I'm starving."

April 15, 2010

Far From A Triumph

Ever wonder about the origins of Aperture Science? Sure, it's a fictional company that creates ridiculous, fantastic technologies, but how did it come to be making GLaDOS and portal technology? Would you believe shower curtains?

Well until it's supposed destruction, Aperture Science seemed to be living the life of unethical experimentation and future world domination. Hopefully it hasn't been set back too far.

-- "If it isn't Leopard Boy and the Decepticons."

April 14, 2010

Coheed Surprise!

I haven't really been paying attention to my favorite band of late. But thanks to some random friends, I found that Coheed & Cambria just released their newest album, Year of the Black Rainbow. And now I'm left waiting to drive to the store after work and buy it.

In the meantime I'll be checking out some of the songs and wondering where this new album's story fits in with the overall life & death of the fictional Coheed & Cambria.

-- "9, you shall protect the future."

April 13, 2010

Step Brothers Buddy Cop Movie

Will Ferrell movies tend to be hilarious. But would the addition of Mark Wahlberg and classic "buddy cop" trope (y'know, that old thang) continue the hilarity? Worse things have happened.

Other guys looks to add Ferrell's magic to the mix as he has the unwitting innocence of a cop who should not be, the unrelenting luck of scraping by ludicrous situations, and the uncommon impossibility of bagging Eva Mendes. Apparently humor is the one of the top things women look for in a man, right?

I've linked enough; enjoy the trailer below.

-- "His wristwatch thought the single Windsor made his neck look fat, but said nothing."

April 12, 2010

Children's Horror Book

In the spirit of recent genre-mixing novels the likes of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, a new children's story is available to read online: Alien Vs. Pooh. Join Winnie the Pooh as he deals with facehuggers, and the 100 Acre Wood deals with the resulting mess. It's a bit disjunctive but full of disturbing images for a highly-regarded children's series making it well-apt to open up the new genre.

Although I'm not quite sure the children's section at the library is quite ready for this version of Christopher Robin.

-- "This box is full of stuff that almost killed me."

April 08, 2010

Next Generation of Music Gaming?

This year's Game Developer's Conference didn't bring us a whole lot of exciting announcements. But an idea that I'm sure has been floating around the heads of many a guitar-playing gamer looks to be settling into place. Seven45 Studios is introducing a real guitar amongst the Rock Band Hero competition.

Power Gig: Rise of the Six-String looks to bridge the finger-gaps between video games and real-life rocking. It has real-life guitar players in their booth, so that must be true, right? It purports not to train someone into becoming a guitarist, but it has to include something for the would-be shredder. My only frets lie with the quality of guitar used to make it cost-effective and interface design & functionality of reading correct notes/button presses.

Plus, I can already imagine the great tuning and re-stringing mini games to come with it. "Ahhh, you broke a string. Time to go buy some over-priced ones at our online store and hope they don't break while you string it back up trying to beat the best time!"

-- "Loads of elevators play Celine Dion - that don't make it right."

April 06, 2010

I'm Right Here!

Was away for a little over a week, but it wasn't a week of me being lazy (just kinda lazy). I was down in Mexico chillin' out, maxin', and relaxin' all cool. But no, there was no "b-ball."

My first time outside the States was amazing, only made so because of the infinitely great company I kept whilst there. She and I almost got swept into the sea by 10-foot waves, rode ATVs through the desert and on the beach, and rode a "banana boat" inflatable tube next to the rocky outcroppings of the southern tip of the Baja California. And there were free drinks at pool-side bars at our hotel. Simply fantastic!

Now to get back to this dull, dull, dull real world and lose myself in Mass Effect 2.

-- "I need a lift in your el truck-o to the next town-o!"

March 26, 2010

Massive Interest In MMOs I'll Never Play

Along with Lego Universe, there's another upcoming MMO that's piqued my interest a few times: The Secret World. Unfortunately like the former, I probably will never get around to playing it. It's too much time I'd rather spend playing other games that actually end and whose mechanics evolve at a quicker pace. All that said, it's a promising, fresh experience in terms of MMO landscapes.

The Secret World takes place in a "What if?" realm within our own. Three mysterious factions (templars, illuminati, and the dragons) vie against each other to reclaim the fantasies and power of the underground, magical forces surrounding us all. The occult is true, Cthulhu and the Elder Ones are real, and the terrors are unimaginable. As with most MMOs, the scope seems tremendous and daunting.

And the first glimpse through the hidden doorways is being revealed in the first trailer. Enjoy.

-- "Now quiet in the theater or its gonna get tragic. We're about to get taken to a dream world of magic."

March 25, 2010

The '42' of Burritos

If you haven't heard about Taco Bell's new Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, please edify and sate yourself the next time you're there. It is a delightful bazaar of bliss with the simplest of meat-cheese-tortilla combination upon which I can faithfully satisfy my gastronomical hungers. It embodies the essence of scrumtrulescence.

And it's only 89 cents!

-- "It tastes like... cheese sauce. Yum."

March 24, 2010

Gaming on my Amazon Kindle

You read the title right; I said "Gaming"! The first purchase I made for a measly $1.99 was a small collection of sudoku puzzles that use the free wireless internet access and javascript. It was okay, but I felt a bit swindled when only getting 10 puzzles to try out (5 being on the Easy setting). Compare that to websudoku which has over 1 billion puzzles.

But as I was browsing around trying to change the screensaver images that come up featuring Jane Austen and other authors, I stumbled on a list of shortcut keys telling me my Kindle had a pre-installed version of Minesweeper! Loading that up rather quickly, I was elated to also find GoMoku, a Kindle version of popular pastime Go.

It's not much of a gaming sensation in any sense, but it's a nice respite during reading doldrums.

-- "Bastian made many other wishes, and had many other amazing adventures - before he finally returned to the ordinary world. But that's... another story."

March 23, 2010

The Science of Mass Effect 2

Seeing what the scientists of today think about the science of tomorrow or other fictional 'verses is always fascinating. Will it be possible to make a lightsaber? How much of the Harry Potter world could be real? Or what about Syndrome's zero-point energy in Pixar's The Incredibles? Well now there's a short clip on Gametrailers featuring the science that goes into the Mass Effect universe.

The games, books, and comics all feature incredibly realized galaxies filled with starships, negative energy, and faster-than-light travel. But how much of this could actually come true? Give it maybe a couple of decades for an invisibility cloak and maybe a couple of centuries for something of the starship variety says the physicist in this clip featuring scenes from Mass Effect 2.

-- "Behold, the Underminer! I'm always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me!"

March 19, 2010

Lego My MMO

Though closed beta testers can't actually talk about their experiences within it, the Lego massively, multiplayer online game is open for an early look to some lucky masses. I'm signed up but haven't played more than a few minutes and made one character. The restrictive, available play times don't leave me much leeway, but who can really complain if they're given the option to play an unreleased game.

In the meantime enjoy this trailer for the game. Like most Lego ventures, it looks fun!

-- "I HATE coconut. Not the flavor, but the consistency."

March 18, 2010

Snort the Crackdown 2 Vidoc

This forum wasn't around for me when I played the original Crackdown, so I'll just say right now, "I loved Crackdown." It was an unexpected hit (probably only so because of the Halo 3 beta attached to it) with the ridiculous premise of being some super-cop that could throw cars, jump buildings, and juggle enemies in the air for a long time with explosives. Amazing fun I can't wait to re-live in the upcoming sequel. This video documentary is rife with new co-op destruction and Scottish accents.

Crackdown 2 looks to expand on the sandbox super-romp with everyone's favorite villains, zombies!!! ::sigh:: That aside, it's going to be more of what came before and better. So it'll be sick when I can super-jump around the streets destroying bad guys in truly fantastic ways with 3 other friends on Xbox Live.

-- "Dead or alive, you're coming with me!"

March 17, 2010

Sushi? No. Sushi Cat? Yes.

Having plenty of time to waste at a job in recent weeks, I've turned to internet gaming. Rather than enrich my mind with reading or expanding my metaphysical philosophies, I found Sushi Cat.

It's kind of like a slow Peggle where the object is to grab a fat kitty with a pair of chopsticks and drop it through a series of puzzles to vacuum in as much sushi as it can inhale. In terms of timesinks, it's not the worst thing you can do.

-- "Ohh, the anger sharks are swimming in my head!"

March 15, 2010

Rock Band the Thirde

Harmonix casually let slip Rock Band 3 would be shipping this coming holiday season without a press release, a video, or any teaser tracks. The only thing noted: it will "innovate and revolutionize the music genre once again."

As long as it includes my Rock Band 1, Rock Band 2, Lego Rock Band, and all of my downloaded tracks, I'll be on board. The added expectation of updated interface functionality (Beatles: Rock Band already improved on #2's a ton) will have me planning a launch party, no question.

-- "Gimme a powerslide. Full throttle!"

March 11, 2010

PS3's Heavy Rain via YouTube

Picture an interactive movie about a some slick sleuths in a perpetually rainy town and you have what the PS3 hopes is a great, exclusive new title, Heavy Rain.

I can't personally tell you if it has lived up to the hype, but thanks to a YouTube demonstration, I can play a bit of the film game without the console. If only they could put the whole game up there now...

-- "You haven't been around lately. I thought maybe you were an amnesia victim or something."

March 10, 2010

Blur Beta Battles! Better than Burnout?

Okay, so Blur is a much different game style than the open-world structure of Burnout: Paradise, but the intense, edge-of-your-seat feel seems quite familiar. Take those feelings and mix in some Mario Kart mechanics; that's Blur (sans Song 2, of course). And it is a thrilling multiplayer, action racer.

I'd hesitate to call it innovative only because it uses familiar tropes of yesteryear games, but the style and design focus makes it stand out to me as another unlikely must-buy. Partying up with up to 10 friends and racing a few tracks is easy (though a private Xbox Live party can only hold 8?). The layout for modifying your experience (choosing cars/colors and modifications for the way you race) all seem well-refined for the beta.

My only hope is that a limited amount of track variation and gameplay types don't wear out fast. Thankfully, the experience-based system (like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) makes losing even a little fun. Which is good when a simple crash on the last lap can drop you from 3rd to near 20th in a matter of seconds.

-- "That was very good, Bishop. Remind me to make you an honorary blind person."

March 09, 2010

More Gushing Over Just Cause 2

I've written before on how much I plan on loving the soon-to-be-mine Just Cause 2, and yet another video recently released for my viewing pleasure. Sure, I won't be getting the PC version on March 23rd, but I still want to gush a little more over the rippling waves, dynamic shadows, and accurately hazed-out landscapes.

Just be sure to wear a bib before hitting play.

-- "I always feel rejuvenated by a touch of adventure. For heaven's sake, don't you get any younger or I'll have to find a wet nurse."

March 05, 2010

20 Questions with Akinator

Ever tried to stump one of the Internet's 20-questions robots? I remember these things from a long while ago but was recently introduced to Akinator, a web-djinn who knows everything!

The database seems pretty stout with many-an-obscure characters and people. A friend even tried to stump it with Thomas Pynchon; I'd never heard of him. But Akinator picked him out of a lineup of thousands with a few simple questions.

Thanks, Internet, for another waste of time!

-- "Oi! Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck!"

March 03, 2010

DICE Awards

Joystiq recently posted about the DICE Awards going down near Las Vegas. I checked out the Jay Mohr opening monologue and decided to watch the rest while I was at it. Best video game award show I've seen.

It was all about the developers with a lot of humor and homage to gaming greats. Crude though it may be, it had a lot of great moments. The categories seemed aptly filled and well-adapted for gaming today. Social Game of the Year with winner Farmville? You may not like the game, but it definitely holds some clout with 83 million monthly players. And the Action Game of the Year category was especially nice because it didn't allow Uncharted 2 in, AND it recognized some lesser-nominated games like Red Faction: Guerrilla and Prototype (both stupid-fun games).

-- "Yeah, well, uh, just keep your Power Gloves off her, pal, huh?"

March 02, 2010

Dragon Age & Amazon: Or Why I Didn't Get Mass Effect 2 on Day One

I've pronounced my love for Amazon on more than one occasion. It helps to not pay full price, and no shipping fee/tax is always a plus. But in the waiting time for my next true love (Mass Effect 2), Bioware's other step-child came on sale and slipped into my gaming collection.

Dragon Age: Origins has been tempting me for awhile, and Amazon always finds a way into my wallet and makes me succumb to the temptation of low prices. The week before the most anticipated game of my life comes out, lightning deals strike and overthrow my willpower. At least the game isn't a disappointment. The graphics and combat mechanics aren't that enticing, but the stories are enthralling with your choices affecting the outcomes of huge events just enough to make you wonder "What if?"

Amazon, I hate you. (Don't believe the master; we loves you, Mistress!)

-- "You have the voice of an angel. Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus."