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PS3 Releases: week of June 23, 2008

Jun
27

on the shelves

06/23: Battlefield: Bad Company (and Gold Edition) (metacritic) – although the ads seem to focus on the single player mode, with the different characters in your group and the ability to blow up just about anything, the reviewers rave more about the team based multiplayer mode. Game is generally well received, with criticism pointed at the AI intelligence (which is solved in multiplayer) and the lack of a multi-player story mode (which seems natural given your group of four people.)

06/23: Top Spin 3 (metacritic) – inverse of the other tennis games: hyper realistic, tough to pick up and play. Reviews vary wildly depending if the reviewer could pick up the control system. Everyone agrees that it takes a lot of time and practice. Real rosters, though I find it utterly bizarre Nadal would be a PS3 exclusive (apparently he’s going to be DLC for 360.)

06/24: Hellboy: The Science of Evil (metacritic) – game released to coincide with movie, so, yea, not good.

06/24: Wall-E (metacritic) – see above! not reviewed as much but apparently slightly better.

06/24: Hail to the Chimp (metacritic) – not wildly reviewed, but not well reviewed. I’ll hold out hope for another week.

06/24: Overlord: Raising Hell (metacritic) – an XBOX 360 port from 2007, you’re a fantasy villain trying to create your horde of followers. I’m not sure what to make of it. Some reviews call it unplayable due to massive graphic issues, others say they’re minor.

in the store

Downloadable Games

PS1 Classics (2 weeks)

Add on Content
– PAIN: Nigel character {$1}
– Guitar Hero III
* “I Am Murloc” by Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain (World of Warcraft Single)
– Rock Band
* “Crackity Jones” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Dead” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Debaser” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Gouge Away” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Here Comes Your Man” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Hey” – the Pixies {$2}
* “I Bleed” – the Pixies {$2}
* “La La Love You” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Monkey Gone to Heaven” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Mr. Grieves” – the Pixies {$2}
* “No. 13 Baby” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Silver” – the Pixies {$2}
* “Tame” – the Pixies {$2}
* “There Goes my Gun” – the Pixies ($2)
* or buy the whole album for $19, saving $9
* “Dreamin’” – Weezer {$2}
* “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” – Weezer {$2}
* “Troublemaker” – Weezer {$2}
* or buy the 3 pack for {$5.50}

Game Demos
– Hot Shots Golf Out Of Bounds
– Top Spin 3

Game Videos
– Battlefield: Bad Company (TV Spot, character blog)
– Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway (trailer)
– Call of Dusty: World at War
– the Incredible Hulk
– HAZE (song, launch trailer for a game that came out a month ago?)

Movie/Blu-Ray Trailer
– The House Bunny
– So I Married an Axe Murder
– Men In Black

PS3 Theme
– PAIN: Nigel
– Playstation Network

PS3 Wallpaper (2 weeks)

over the horizon (last updated 06/13)

06/24: Hail to the Chimp (metacritic)

06/29: Guitar Hero Aerosmith and bundle (metacritic)

07/08: Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (metacritic)
07/08: Beijing Olympics 2008 (metacritic)
07/08: Monster Madness: Grave Danger (metacritic)

07/15: NCAA Football ’09

07/25: WipeoutHD (download only)

07/29: Soulcalibur IV and Premium Edition

08/12: Madden NFL 09 and (20th Anniversary Edition

08/15: Afro Samurai
08/19: Rapala Fishing Frenzy

08/31: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
09/01: Pure

09/02: TNA Impact!
09/03: FaceBreaker
09/03: NFL Head Coach ’09

09/08: Lego Batman
09/09: Legendary: The Box

10/01: Baja

11/01 (maybe): Hei$t (metacritic)

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Game 65: Cubs 10 – Braves 5

Jun
27

Cubs 41-24
Braves 32-33

POTG: C Soto (HR, 2H, 2R, 3 RBI)
Runner Up: LF Soriano (2H, SB, CS, IBB, 2R, 2BB), 1B D Lee (HR, 2 RBI), 3B A Ram (3 R, H, RBI, 3 BB), RF Fukudome (2 H, SB, R, RBI), 2B DeRosa (2 H, RBI), CF Johnson (H, 2 RBI, SF)

Good old destruction. The thing about Lilly’s starts during this stretch is you’re almost always going to have a chance at a comeback, because he’s going to give up a multi-run home run to start the game, and then hold the line there.

The Cubs got plenty of offense from a lot of the lineup. It helped a lot that Tom Glavine’s got very little left and probably shouldn’t have stuck around for this season. It got a little intresting when Howry got poked around enough to give up two rounds and make it a game, but the Braves bullpen is not a strength and Soto was able to bust the game wide open.

Eyre’s one out appearance to stop the Braves produced this fanastic set of quotes:

“I didn’t even know who I faced,” Eyre said. “By the time I got to the mound, Geo was talking to [ Aramis Ramirez] when I go, ‘Hey, who are we facing here?’ He goes, ‘[Ruben] Gotay.’ But it wasn’t Gotay. He came up the next inning. I don’t know who I faced. I wasn’t paying attention. I was trying to make sure I got an out.”

Good thing we’re all professionals here. Eyre’s “scoreless inning streak” is such a joke, it’s been nice that it’s been barely mentioned. Eyre’s been good this season, but he’s also been in for less than an inning most of the time – tough to give up runs when you’re not facing more than one batter. If anything, it’s a testament to not giving up base runners – only five so far this season.

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Game 64: Cubs 3 – Dodgers 1

Jun
27

POTG: RP MARMOL (1.2 IP, 2 runners marrooned to preserve the lead)
Runner Up: SP Jason Marquis (6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2K), 2B Mark DeRosa (3 H, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR)

It was really three guys providing all the effort – DeRosa was responsible for the offense, Marquis had an usually good starting effort, and Marmol escaped the jam and set up an easy save for Wood. I could’ve gone with any of those guys, but Marmol’s outs felt like the biggest ones of the game.

The problem with doing this so delayed is I can’t remember the things which really stick out to me. This was the Sunday night game, but was it the “Al Oliver” game? I lost my mind for about 15 minutes after that conversation. I loathe that broadcasting team.

Last 16 games
3 Soriano
2 D Lee
2 Z!
2 Edmonds
1 Dempster
1 Gallagher
1 The Riot
1 Lilly
1 Fukudome
1 none
1 Marmol

Season Total
9 Z!
7 Soriano
6 D Lee
5 Soto
3 Fukudome
3 Marquis
3 Dempster
3 Lilly
2 Fontenot
2 A Ram
2 Johnson
2 The Riot
2 Marmol
2 no one
2 Edmonds
1 Lieber
1 Hart
1 Hill
1 Cedeno
1 Lieber
1 Howry
1 Wuertz
1 Gallagher

Game 63: Dodgers 7 – Cubs 3

Jun
27

Cubs 39-24
Dodgers 30-32

POTG: LF Soriano (HR)
Runner Up: none

I choose to remember this game as Z going along fine, and then an error unfairly deraling things. It totally couldn’t be his fault, that’s impossible. 13 hits is surely an acceptable number.

I just talked down Maddux as a pickup, but how about Lowe? He’s looked pretty effective both times the Cubs have faced him, and the Dodgers are going nowhere. He’s not a long term solution and he’s got a rep for not handling pressure well, but he’s still in his contract year on a team that seems to be scuffling and may not want to keep him around (especially since his price will surely be going up.) A groundball pitcher in Wrigley always seems like a good idea.

Offense was really spread out and not so great. Alas.

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Game 62: Dodgers 3 – Cubs 0

Jun
27

POTG: none
Runner Up: none

I’m sure I watched this game. But I was so tired a this point, I may have just been staring at a blank screen for 3 hours. I recall nothing happened, and the box score indicates that’s pretty much right. I’m no scientist, but you’re not going win many games with 4 hits and no walks. Kuroda was just plain awesome.

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Game 61: Cubs 5 – Dodgers 4

Jun
26

POTG: RF Fukudome (HR, 2H, 2RBI, BB)
Runner Up: SS The Riot (3 H, 2B, R, RBI), CF Edmonds (2 H), 2B DeRosa (2 H, HR, BB)

This was a bit of a crazy finish. Just like Dempster, Wood’s control is always going to be the worry spot for his saves. Of

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Game 60: Padres 2 – Cubs 1

Jun
26

Cubs 38-22
Padres 24-37

POTG: SP Ted Lilly (7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K)
Runner Up: SS The Riot (2 H, 2B)

Yea, they got owned by Maddux. No, this doesn’t mean they should sign him. This was more the Cubs making him look by going after him too strong. Maddux can still beat you if you let him average 10 or less an inning, and the Bell/Hoffman combination is still strong enough to shut the door when the Padres are capable of getting the  that far.

Maddux Game Scores:
Good: 70, 74, 71
Okay: 64, 65
Below Average: 49, 45, 32, 50, 47, 59
Horrible: 16, 26

Yes, he can still throw a game game, but he’s throwing a lot of disappointing ones and he’s relying a lot on the his team to get the outs for him.

The whole “do you need another starter” argument is another one entirely, but if you agree that the Cubs should trade for one, you ought to be aiming higher than that. When the Cubs brought Maddux back last time, it made he was four years younger and hadn’t declined nearly as much. It was decent tactical move that happened to have some nostalgia thrown in. Picking Maddux over other options would be all nostalgia now, and that’s not something a playoff team can afford. I’d be happy for him if some other team picked him up for One Last Run, but I also wouldn’t mind the Cubs facing him during that run.

Meanwhile, in a season where Lilly’s pitched bad and won, this was an actual good perfomance. He may have hung around just a little too long, but he did enough in this game.

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Game 59: Cubs 9 – Padres 6

Jun
26

Cubs 38-21
Padres 23-37

POTG: LF Soriano (HR, 2B, SB, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R)
Runner Up: SS The Riot (2 BB, SB), 3B A Ram (2B, 2H, RBI), CF Reed Johnson (2 H, 2R, 2B, 2 SB), RP Scott Eyre (1.1 IP, H, K, 0 R, 1 stranded)

Lots of walks, and a few steals. The Cubs really didn’t do a lot to Wil Ledezma, but getting him to 100 pitches before the end of the 5th is quite something. A lot of it was just talking the walks he was giving, because the cubs didn’t start getting hits until the relievers came in. (And then they started getting big hits.)

Any game your team steals six bases is a fun game. I so do not miss Barrett.

Hart sealed his fate for the time being by coming in and being completely ineffective. Cotts was no wonder himself, but he did get the ground ball they were looking for. Marquis was as really just as bad as Ledezama, but his bullpen was just a bit stronger, thanks to Eyre, Howry and Wood.

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PS3 Releases: week of June 16, 2008

Jun
21

version history: 2.36 is out with unspecified fixes. Sony confirms 2.40 will have in game messaging and trophies, neglects to mention when it’ll actually be out.

on the shelves

last week: NASCAR 09 (metacritic) – a roster update and not much more, unless you need photo-realistic Jeff Gordon in your life.

in the store

Downloadable Games
– Fatal Inertia EX {$30} (metacritic) – fun but not special arcade racing; cheaper than on 360 (because it’s downloadable?)

PS1 Classics

Add on Content
– Hot Shots Golf: Out Of Bounds Oceania Course {$5}
– Metal Gear Solid 4 Database {free) – an encyclopedia of the series. MGS4 plot points can be blacked out until you finish the game if you want to avoid spoilers.
– The Incredible Hulk six two player missions (free} – sounds like the original game had none, so maybe this is something they got done late?
– Guitar Hero III – Coldplay Combo {$6.25}
* Violet Hill
* Tank
* God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
– Rock Band
* “Rock ‘n’ Roll Dream” by Crooked X {$1}
* “Afterlife” – Avenged Sevenfold {$2}
* “Critical Acclaim” – Avenged Sevenfold {$2}
* “Hammerhead” – the Offspring {$2}

Game Demos
– Fatal Inertia EX (actually a trial instead of a demo)
– NCAA Football ’09
– Wolf of the Battelfield: Comando 3
– Hail to the Chimp

Game Videos
– Linger in Shadows (trailer)
– PAIN: (new characters teaser)
– Fatal Inertia EX Titan (trialer)
– Prince of Persia (trailer)
– Hail to the Chimp (Campaign Trail Madness trailer)

Movie/Blu-Ray Trailer
– Step Brothers (x2)

PS3 Theme
– AST Dew Tour Theme

Game Music
– Pain Theme Song (loading screen music, but at least it’s free)

PS3 Wallpaper

over the horizon (last updated 06/13)

06/23: Battlefield: Bad Company (and Gold Edition) (metacritic)
06/23: Top Spin 3 (metacritic)
06/24: Hellboy: The Science of Evil (metacritic)
06/24: Wall-E (metacritic)
06/24: Hail to the Chimp (metacritic)
06/24: Overlord: Raising Hell (metacritic)

06/29: Guitar Hero Aerosmith and bundle (metacritic)

07/08: Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution (metacritic)
07/08: Beijing Olympics 2008 (metacritic)
07/08: Monster Madness: Grave Danger (metacritic)

07/15: NCAA Football ’09

07/25: WipeoutHD (download only)

07/29: Soulcalibur IV

08/05 (maybe): Vampire Rain: Altered Species

08/12: Madden NFL 09 and (20th Anniversary Edition

08/15: Afro Samurai
08/19: Rapala Fishing Frenzy

08/31: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
09/01: Pure

09/02: TNA Impact!
09/03: FaceBreaker
09/03: NFL Head Coach ’09

09/08: Lego Batman
09/09: Legendary: The Box

10/01: Baja

11/01 (maybe): Hei$t (metacritic)

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Game 58: Cubs 7 – Padres 6

Jun
20

Cubs 37-21
Padres 23-36

POTG: SP Z!! (5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, ER, 4 BB, W; 3 H, 3B, RBI)
Runner Up: SS The Riot (3 H, R, RBI), 3B A Ram (2 H, R, 2B), CF Edmonds (2 RBI, 2 2B)

You can’t hold the short start too much against Z; this was a rebound thing after the 130 last time out, and they understandably wanted to get him out early if at all possible. After an iffy first inning, Z was solid for everything after the Gerut pickoff, and more than made up for the 1st inning with his hitting.

This really shouldn’t have been a close game, but Marmol struggled when he came out for his second inning – this time runners were on when he gave up the home run.

Despite scoring 7, it seems like the Cubs left some runs on the table. At least they took as much advantage of a replacement pitcher as they could, and you always like it when the team puts a heavy load on the bullpen in a the first game of a series.

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