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PS3 Releases: week of November 26, 2007

Nov
30

on the shelves

Nothing! It’s like summer’s back, except it’s a little colder outside. There’s only one game coming out next week, as well. If you’re the desperate for new stuff, the ATV/MX demo is fun enough for a five minute game.

in the store

Downloadable Games:
* Pain {$10} – includes mini game called Spank the Monkey. The link is associate producer failing at explaining the game, but showing a video of gameplay. As a downloadable game, it’s barely reviewed – gamezone.com is the only one I can find. Bascially, your character is loaded into a slingshot and you fire him into targets/objects. The more damage you do, the more points you get.

Add On Game Content:
* Resistance: FOM Map Pack #2 – 2 more maps for multiplayer. This pack is $5, or pick up the first map pack at the same time for $8

* MotorStorm: Vehicle/Skin Pack {$2} – two more vehicles and more paintjobs

* Guitar Hero III: Boss Battles Track Pack: {FREE!} – Devil Went Down to Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band and untitled songs from Slash and Tom Morello.

* Rock Band: three David Bowie songs (Heroes, Monnage Daydream, Queen Bitch) for $2, or all three for $5.50

* Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles PSN: instead of buying a disc for the expansion, you can download it for $30.

Game videos
* Ratchet & Clank (Behind the scenes)
* Timeshift (gameplay)

Movie/Blue Ray Trailers
* Stop Loss
* Resident Evil: Extinction
* Memoirs of a Geisha

Wallpaper
* Aquatopia
* Pain
* Resistance: Fall of Man

over the horizon
(card subject to change)
12/04: Golden Compass
12/13: the Orange Box
12/18: NCAA March Madness ’08
01/10: NFL Tour
02/08: Turok
02/20: FIFA Street 3
02/21: Dynasty Warriors 6
02/28: Lost
03/05: Grand Theft Auto IV
03/31: Hail to the Chimp
04/08: Star Wars: the Force Unleashed
06/30: LEGO Indiana Jones

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tuesday odd thoughts

Nov
28

Things to type instead of doing mindless stuff on the wiki. That’ll be later, right after I figure out a better name for these and for the CMLLBlog

– I ordered Fire Pro. It’s in the mail. It may actually be outside my door right now, I’m not right there now, I can’t tell. Ideas for spending December doing “created CMLL midcarder of the day” are forming.

Also, if someone wants a PS2 Memory Card to PS3 converted thing-a-mob, I might have accidentally ordered one when planning to get a PS2 Controller to PS3 converter.

– Back on August 28th, I wrote this blurb on Warhawk

Looks like it’s getting really good reviews, though they warn against a steep learning curve (especially since there’s no single player to warm up.)

Why don’t I listen to myself? Somehow, this ended up my GameFly queue and turned out to be even steeper than I had figured. There’s absolutely no way to learn the game at this point besides being killed many many times by on-line players who’ve been player for 2.5 months, and hoping you learn something from your death. There’s no tutioral, there’s limited help, and even playing split screen versus someone doesn’t work because of the claustrophobic screen split. (With a game relying with as much close turning to see your opponent, plus the backwards feeling controls, it would’ve been a lot better with a horizontal split.)

What the game really needed, if it had to skip a single player mode, is some way to create CPU drones to fight and ally with. The options screens were just confusing enough that I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed that choice, but it didn’t seem likely. Without any sort of train wheels, this game is worthless to rent at this point – you’re either going to be quickly killed by the people who’ve spent the last two months figuring out where the flamethrowers spawn from or you’re going to be a determent to your team while you’re figuring out stuff. It sucks.

– So the Simpsons was next in my queue, and I got the game much faster than I was figuring. I kinda planned Monday night around getting stuff done so I could spend an hour or so playing it, only to open the GameFly envelope and find out they sent me Elder Scroll IV. For the XBOX 360. Not so much help there.

The best part is I’m sure I’m paying GameFly for these few days where I don’t have a GameFly game because GameFly didn’t send me the correct one. GameFly can be such a scam (and yet I’m still thinking about jumping to 2 games at a time.)

– I was very surprised when Kerry Wood resigned. As soon as Fransico Coredero got the insane 4 years/46 deal, I was talking with people how Wood was surely not coming back because someone would inevitably offer him more years and more money than the Cubs did, because the bar had been set. It sure sounds like that’s what actually happened, and Wood just said no. This is an incredible risk on his part, because there’s little recent proof he can make it thru a full season, and he could’ve gotten that second year guaranteed. If he pulls it off, he’s going to get substantially better deals for ’09 and beyond, but it seems as safe as putting his whole salary on red in roulette.

Part of that strategy for next off season is obviously getting some pretty save statistics (though, in usual Hendry fashion, his incentives will all be for Games Finished), so all the speculation about him becoming closer is probably accurate. I don’t know that Kerry is going to be a dominating closer. It doesn’t really matter to me, as long as Carlos Marmol is still being used in the critical late game pre-save situations. Dempster wasn’t the difference maker last season; it was Marmol and Howry keeping the Cubs in the game and with decent leads before they got to Dempster most of the time. Kerry doesn’t have to be much to be as good as Dempster the last couple seasons. As long as everyone else in the pen is fine with him getting the overyhyped counting stat, it doesn’t matter to me.

Dempster returning to the rotation still sounds like a half baked idea that’s going to fail, but hopefully they figure it out in Mesa and not in April.

– If the Cubs can receive compensation for giving someone else the right to talk to Craig Monroe before he hits the market, I’m pretty sure they can get do the same with Mark Prior. The more I read, the more it sounds like that’s going to end.

– High Noon was good, but I liked Liberty Valance better. At points, I wasn’t sure if the movie was trying to say Everyone In Town Is A Cowards Except This One Man or if the Sheriff had actually wronged some of these people and it was coming back at him at the exact wrong time. (It did become clearer by the end.) I guess the lesson is “Police work is hazardous and unrewarding! Go run a store!”

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Nov
25

So now I’m on a movie kick. These things happen. TiVo needs a Wishlist option based on star ratings, so I would always have 10 ***+ movies sitting around for me to watch. Much better than reruns.

I find I can’t really stand Jimmy Stewart when he’s doing the Jimmy Stewart voice, but I really liked the other leads and even the bit characters seemed good. It’s not like it was just the obvious people – Liberty Valance was great till his end and Dutton Peabody’s speech at the territory convention was by far his best moment.

You could see the swerve coming, but I don’t think it’s as much expected that sort of things nowadays, because they clearly wanted the audience to wonder about the specifics of it for the twenty minutes before it’s confirmed. Even at the end, you’re left to decide for yourself if Hallie knew what really happened that day, though thinking back at the pre-flashback portions of the show, it now seems pretty obvious that she did.

The school scene was probably the slowest part of the movie, but just as much for how they got there as anything; the movie skipping three weeks ahead was jarring, especially since the movie doesn’t let you know it happened until the tail end of the scene. It was almost worth it for the “a lot of people forget that part of it” line.

The metaphors they were making were so obvious, I think I got them. Who names their kid Ransom, anyway?

My TiVo’s got High Noon, The Searches, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon waiting for me, an odd collection of movies I haven’t seen. Instead, I’ll likely be watching AAA Lucha Libre (or football) tomorrow. Don’t be like me.

Enter the Dragon, in brief

Nov
23

So that’s where people got THAT idea. And THAT one. And THAT one. And THAT one. And THAT one, though it’s never been as good as it they just did it. And pretty much Street Fighter’s core characters (Ryu is Lee, Ken is Roper, M. Bison and Vega are both Han, Chun Lee is Lee’s sister and/or Mei Ling – this is all so obvious to me, but wikipedia seeks this despite having tones of stupid trivia), not to mention all the other obvious connections.

(this is part of a continuing series in ‘person who never watches movies watches movies they should’ve watched long ago’.)

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PS3 Releases: week of November 19, 2007

Nov
21

(I’m working on getting FirePro. It’s on the Things To Buy At Amazon When I’m Bored And Need Another Baseball Book list)

Happy PS3 Birthday. It’s gonna get better, right?

This might not be a good week to wait ’til Friday. PS3Fanboy notes the best places to get sales on PS3 stuff this post-Thanksgiving. If you’re a buying a new PS3, I’d say to go Meijer, pick up an second controller while you’re at it, and get whatever game you want for free. KB Toys is doing a buy one/get one free deal, which might actually get me in the mall on Friday.

on the shelves

* Rock Band [reviews] The only noted downside is only 45 songs to play, which you’ll overplay by the end of the Tour. You can buy more songs off the PS3 Store, naturally. There’s no many reviews out, and less comparisons between this and Guitar Hero. From what I can read, Rock Band has a better presentation and is the better cooperative game. And everyone will want to play the drums.

The box set, with a microphone, drums, and a guitar is $170 for those who have way too much money. You’ll need to have one more guitar than is sold in that pack if you want someone to play bass – the thought was the Guitar Hero guitar would work, but that’s apparently not the case. The Rock Band people are blaming the Guitar Hero for not programming their Guitar correct, but this basically means you have to buy two copies of the game. This could be resolved, but these companies don’t seem on friendly terms.

* Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune [reviews] Fun good looking third person shooter, even if the story’s cliched (Indiana Jones) and the puzzles are quiet easy. Very favorably reviewed.

* Time Crisis 4 [reviews] First person arcade style shooter. Game comes with gun, which is oddly not wireless. (You’ll have to use a USB cord.) It’s got more replay value than you’d expect for an arcade game and sounds fun enough.

* College Hoops 2K8 [reviews] So I have a friend who went to Best Buy on Monday to get the PS2 version of this, and despite listing it as being released on Monday, it wasn’t there. So he went back Tuesday, and was told they had it in stock, but they didn’t want to put it out yet. On a Tuesday. DUMB. I think he’s going back for it on Wednesday, but not to Best Buy. Looks like they’ve been adding features here, and I like the idea of a High School Tournament for recruiting purposes. However, this is yet another sports game having frame rate issues that aren’t on the 360.

If you haven’t checked it out, the free demo is pretty fun for a 3 minute game.

* Medal of Honor: Airborne [reviews] Another World War II. The gun battles can be fun, but the AI can be stupid.

* Soldier of Fortune: Payback [reviews] Like the previous games in this series, but the story is bland and corny. Everyone notes Call of Duty 4 just came out and is significantly better.

* Timeshift [reviews] FPS. The gimmick to slow, stop, or reverse time is interesting, but the story is lacking and the AI is worse. Game gets quite repetitive as you move on.

in the store

Downloadble Games (both requiring the Playstation Eye)
– Operation Creature Feature {$5} – Sony tries to describe it.
– Aquatopia {$2} – a virtual fish tank

Also, Calling All Cards, flOw, Pixel Junk Races and Everyday Shooter are on sale at $5 till 11/29.

Demo
MX vs ATV

Add On Content
– fLOw Expansion Pack – new campaign and playable creature {$3}
– Need For Speed ProStreet – more cars, longer career {$10}
– Rock Band Songs – all $2 each, and some in three packs for $5.50
** “3’s and 7’s”, “Little Sister”, “Sick Sick Sick” by Queens of the Stone Age
** “And Justice for All”, “Blackened”, “Ride the Lightning” by Metalica
** “Can’t Stand Losing You” , “Roxanne”, “Synchronicity II” by the Police
** “Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways
** “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival
** “Joker and the Thief” by Wolfmother
** “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner
** “My Sharona” by the Knack
** “Bang A Gong” by T. Rex

Game Video
– Battlefield: Bad Company (trailer)
– Snakeball (trailer)
– Ratcher & Clank Future (2, behind the scenes)

Movie Trailer
– Superbad

over the horizon
12/11: the Orange Box
12/18: NCAA March Madness ’08
(perhaps more games here as people start nailing down their 2008 1Q release dates)

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Monday night randomness

Nov
19

More stuff backlogged in to my brain:

* I don’t know if everyone else talked about it and I was just to caught up in Playoff Fever, but last week’s mention of Angel Guzman’s surgery caught me by surprise. It’s not a national story as Prior and Wood have been, but it’s just as much a disappointment. Angel is now just another failed top level prospect whom the Cubs can not count on for next season and is unlikely to ever contribute. And unlike the other two, Angel’s never really gotten paid. It’s too bad.

* As much Jacque deserves to be free from the torture rack that wearing the Cubs uniform was for him, Jones, Floyd and Monroe are taking some power with them and no one seems primed to replace them.

The saving grace is those three were not adding much power last year and may not add it to their new teams next year. It’s still a hole that needs to be filled. Maybe Soto or Pie can step up, but this has to be in mind when the new outfielders are strong.

* Kaz Matsui signing with the Astros is not only good because it tricks the Astros into playing an over valued player for many games until they figure it out (and settling for average in the meantime), but it also saves the Cubs from a long term commitment they would end up very unhappy with. My biggest worry now is – well, if the Cubs were silly enough to think signing Kaz Matsui to a three year deal was the best idea possible, the second best idea might really be scary. (David Eckstein? oh no.)

* ESPNZone charged us ten dollars per person per hour to watch football on Sunday. Never watch football at ESPNZone. Go to a local sports bar. Might be good for other stuff.

* The Bulls……..eh

* One more call to make tomorrow. It’s the day before Thanksgiving, so I think I’ve passed thru. Now I just need my car.

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PS3 Releases: week of November 12, 2007

Nov
16

on the shelves

* Assassin’s Creed stats] – aka that video game commercial that uses the music from House. There seems to be more of a variance than usual on reviews for this one. 1UP says the game gets repetitive and holds back a decent ending to set up a sequal, while gamespot is blown away by visual details. Note this game actually has better frame rate on PS3 than XBOX360.

* Beowulf: The Game [stats] – aka the only other commercial that was airing during TUF this week. I would not advise playing the game to use as your book report, because it’s farther from the plot than even the movie. Actually, I hope this does great and starts a trend of High School Lit standards as video games. The world needs to play as Tom Joad. Hopefully that wouldn’t suck as much as this game apparently does: “Ubisoft Shanghai and Tiwak did a magnificent job of butchering the reimagining of a classic tale and providing plenty of disposable, derivative gameplay to go along with it.” (ign)

* Kane and Lynch: Dead Men [stats] – sadly, not THAT Kane. Third person shooter with a great story and characters (and many four letter words), but the game play doesn’t keep up. There are some parts that are quite fun, and points that are immensely frustrating.

* WWE Smackdown vs RAW [stats] – yes, that Kane! And other people. Too bad the game has not only stopped improving in most areas, but has gotten worse in others. The PS3 is not much different from the other versions. The Collector’s Edition gives you a DVD with a game trailer and behind the scenes footage, a book of finishers, and Rey Misterio and Kelly Kelly trading cards with a password for the game. Pass.

* Need For Speed: ProStreet [stats] – 1UP says “Need for Speed just got great again”, IGN says “Need for Speed ProStreet is a disappointing effort in a franchise that has generally been rather solid.” So I dunno.

in the store

Demos
– Blazing Angel 2
– Toy Home

Game Video
– TimeShift (gameplay?)
– Battlefield: BC (trailer)
– Burnout (tour video)
– Ratchet (behind the scenes, 2)
– Time Crisis 4 (trailer)
– Uncharted (behind the scenes)
– High Velocity Bowling (trailer)
– PAIN (trailer)
– Toy Home (trailer)
– Playstation Network (teaser?)

Movie/Blue Ray Trailers
– This Christmas
– The Dark Knight
– Remember That Night

Wallpaper
– Uncharted (4)

over the horizon
11/19: College Hoops 2K8
11/20: Rock Band
12/11: the Orange Box
12/18: NCAA March Madness ’08

leftover half post material

Nov
15

Random things that probably should have been extended in to separate posts themselves, and posted long before. That’s just not the way it went.

I’m stuck in a two week period where I don’t have my car and I have to call in every night to see if I head downtown for jury duty. I’ve never been under house arrest, but I think this is what it feels like. Minus the ankle bracelet, so far.

My car is in the body shop for some work on the rear passenger door. It was the stupidest one car accident ever, but the damage seems minimal. Yet, it is going to take two weeks to repair. I am borrowing cars in the meantime and quite dislike having to put people out. Should have just ignored them and rented a cheap car, so I don’t feel indebted.

I’ve never had jury duty, and am not looking forward to a six am wakeup call to catch a train. Otherwise, I’m fine with it. I like my chances at avoiding it. Veterans day and Thanksgiving take care of three of the ten eligible days and I have been skipped over for three so far. Hope this doesn’t jinx me.

After playing thru most of it, I sent Final Fantsay V (GBA) back to GameFly earlier this week. It was not at the level of the other FF games. That’s seems completely unfair to hold it to, because a game can be good (like this one is) and not meet those standards, but it does say FF on the front of it. IV (II US or whatever) has a better story and felt deeper (though it could just be nostalgia speaking.) FFV felt like they wanted to quickly squeeze out another version of the game while people were happy with the prior version, but threw a B-Team crew to reuse graphics from IV while the A-Team did VI. It’s a dip between those two, without a doubt.

I did beat the game and started wandering thru the bonus dungeon before stopping. Pointless miniquests to get special items didn’t seem like fun enough to keep slugging thru monsters. I generally liked the job system and the options it opened up, but I didn’t want to complete more tasks just to get the final bonus job – it’s kinda pointless to get another way to fight after you’ve fought and done all you can. I’m not that bored.

When I was moving along on the game, it was enjoyable, but I felt like I lost all momentum leveling up before facing the second huge climatic boss battle and I had to repeat the process before the end game. At least the job system allowed me to fool around while leveling up, but it was just as boring as any other RPG leveling up.

As something to squeeze in for minutes during lunch breaks and sitting around waiting for things, it worked pretty well and kinda makes me think I should up my GameFly plan to two at a time, so I can always have an GBA/DS game to take my time with while trying out more PS3 games.

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goodbye, red bat

Nov
12

IT’S SO HARD
TO SAY GOODBYE
TO YESTERDAY

[does double finger point wave]

——-
– Jacque’s first interview mentioning how much he hated being in Chicago will take – 24 hours? 48 hours?
– Omar Infante? Really? ehhhh.
– I guess the Tigers are trying to beat the Christmas rush!
– Project Make Felix Pie Stop Sucking is actually far more interesting.

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PS3 Releases: week of November 5, 2007

Nov
09

on the shelves

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (The W at Amazon) (gs, avg 9.5) “Fantastic mutliplayer game” seems to be consensus. If you want a FPS for the PS3, you can’t do better than this.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (gs, 7.8 but lightly reviewed) – not much new to offer those who’ve played the previous game, but it’s still solid.

Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War (gs, 5.6) Real Time Strategy game that doesn’t really take advantage of being on a PS3. Not deep enough to make up for it.

Blazing Angels 2: Secret Missions of WWII (gs, 6.0 based on one review) – a flying game that came out weeks ago on the other next gen systems. Much the same as the original.

in the store

Demos:

Unchated: Drake’s Fortune
College Hoops 2K8

ADD ON
* MotorStorm: Devil’s Weekend (new track, new vehicles, 9 new races) [$6] – there’s also a video of this to preview
* Guitar Hero III: Foo Fighters (The Pretender, All My Life, This is a Call) [$6.25]
* Guitar Hero III: Velvet Revolver (She Builds Quick Machines, Slither, Messages) [$6.25]

Game Trailers
* Rachet & Clank Future
* Devil May Cry 4
* WWE SmackDown vs RAW 2008
* Burnout Paradise (Carson GT & Manhattan)

Movie/Blue Ray Trailers
* One Missed Call
* Sweeny Todd
* Hostel II

Wallpaper
Call of Duty 4 (5 different, all free)

over the horizon

11/13: WWE 2008
11/19: College Hoops 2K8
11/20: Rock Band
12/11: the Orange Box
12/18: NCAA March Madness ’08
——-

I’ll be downloading the Hoops demo tonight. I’m not into Guitar Hero, but that’s an interesting way to open a new revenue stream.

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