Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Patrick Antonius - Sniping

Considered one of the top 5 cash game players in the world, Patrick Antonius knows a thing or two about bluffing and picking off bluffs. An expert sniper, Antonius has been known to make insane calls in huge pots with almost nothing. This is the type of play which separates poker players from poker legends. Most people can make a decent bluff, but calling off a huge chunk of your stack with garbage requires precision, timing, and complete knowledge of how your target moves. It also requires balls the size of Finland. Luckily, thats where Patrick Antonius is from. Sick, sick call.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Asteroid Impact - Goodbye Cruel World

Courtesy of Fnordinary, aka umopapisdnpuaq. Thanks Bender!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nascar: Burnout Style

Last lap of the Aaron's 500 at Talledega, Carl Edwards has the lead but Brad Keselowski gets a tailgating boost and goes right for the takedown on the final turn. An epic crash ensues, with Edwards #99 car flying up into the air and almost into the stands. Edwards, never one to let a bad beat get him down, hops out of the flaming car and runs through the finish line, Ricky Bobby style. I love Nascar.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ikaruga: Two Ships, One Guy

The final stage. You have to see this to believe it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Battlefield 1943: Wake Island Trailer

So apparently this game is coming to Xbox Live Arcade, which was news to me, as I thought it was PC only. Well, thats good news and bad news. The good news is, Ill be able to play the game with all my XBL friends, if any of them decide to pony up the $15 this will go for when its released. Knowing none of my friends are big Battlefield fans, this is kind of a mixed blessing. The downside to buying the game on XBLA rather than PC, is A) there will not be deciated servers and B) there wont be more than 12 people per team, which feels more like "BF lite."

Battlefield 1943 is built on the framework of DICE's 2002 epic masterpiece, Battlefield 1942. This was the first massively multiplayer military game that really captured all the elements of WWII combat and blended them all together in a seamless online package. You had 64 person dedicated servers, tanks, jeeps, attack planes, bombers, AA guns, parachutes, submarines, destroyers, battleships, planes launching off aircraft carriers - everything. It was, and still is to this day, amazing. It blew us away and we were never, ever the same.

Can Battlefield 1943 have this paradigm shifting effect on the gaming landscape? It seems highly unlikely. The scope of the game seems to have been toned down, the maps are smaller and there wont be as many people running around, not as many mid air collisions which fall on top of the enemy jeep which was about to run you over (yes that actually happened to me in 1942). OK, so we know it wont be as epic. But will it be fun? I think its highly likely, barring some design catastrophe, it will be great fun, and I will almost certainly be buying it. See you on Wake Island this summer.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Industry Not In Need of a Bailout

Happy 4/20!

The US Government, financed by taxpayer money, wastes billions of dollars every year on The War on Drugs, which has been documented as a complete and utter failure. The price of illegal drugs, relative to the strength of the dollar, has only gone down, the availability is the same as it was 25 years ago, and quality has gone up. What Americans need to do now is acknowledge that The War on Drugs is a total failure and find a way to extract ourselves from it as quickly as possible.

Tobacco, which is by far the most lethal recreational drug available, and kills more people each year than all illegal drugs, drunk driving, and homicide combined, is taxed and regulated by the US government. For drugs like marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy, which are far less harmful to society, to be criminalized reflects a total ignorance on the part of Americans as to what the actual impact of illegal drugs is. Most of the violence surrounding the illegal drug trade is a reflection of its illegal status: you dont see executives from Phillip Morris or Pfizer doing drive bys on their rivals.

America, wake up. We are wasting billions and billions of dollars on a Drug War which cannot be won. Its impossible, and the past 25 years of failure have proven that conclusively. Those are billions of dollars which Americans desperately need right now. When you combine the billions we would save in interdiction costs, incarceration, and aid to foreign countries like Columbia and Mexico, and add that number to how much the government would take in if illegal drugs were taxed and regulated like tobacco and alcohol, the net gain would be astronomical.

Despite the country being in a depression the scale of which nobody has seen in several generations, the market for illegal drugs is as profitable today as it has ever been. Marijuana growers in California posted a record haul in 2008, generating billions of dollars in cash - more money than was made on any other agricultural product in the state. The cocaine and heroin cartels in Mexico essentially control the government and all of its law enforcement divisions. Americans want to get high, and they are not going to stop anytime soon. While other entire industries collapse in on themselves, the illegal drug trade is flourishing as well as it ever has. If there is one major industry in the world that is not in need of a bailout, it is the illegal drug trade in the United States of America.

Further Reading:

How America Lost The War on Drugs

Budgetary Implications of Marijauna Prohibition

Mexico: The Making of a Narco State

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mega Packey KongTroid TetraKombat Man

Random youtube clip thats hilarious for retrogamers.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Demigod - IGN Video Review

Gas Powered Games latest RTS gets reviewed by IGN PC.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bionic Commando - GT Preview

Im cautiously optimistic about this game.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Phil Ivey - Bluffing

Bluffing has nothing to do with what you have. You could be bluffing with 7-2 offsuit or pocket aces. Its all about what your opponent has, and more importantly what he doesnt have, given the texure of the board, the betting sequence, and the stack sizes. Nobody in poker is better at putting all these factors together to make a huge play at the right time than Phil Ivey. This is why he is the best.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My New High Score - 805,000 - Contra NES

So during some downtime from a poker session I decided to do a Contra run. The plan was to beat the game without continuing - old school 1CC style. I knew I could do it because I remember beating it on one credit as a kid, but then again I remember beating Kid Icarus and TMNT and Ninja Gaiden 1,2, and 3 for NES, and those games kick my ass these days. Finally doing it took me 3 weeks of trying 4-5 times a night. You do the math: this game is tough.

Well, lets just say I had a good day for a 32 year old man because I made it all the way to the Energy Zone without losing a single life. That was by far my best start ever, and although the ridiculously tough Energy Zone got sketchy with 2 lives lost, I recovered and stormed into the Alien's Lair like a man possessed. I blasted the Mother Alien and started the game's brutal second loop, making it all the way to the Snow Field before losing my last life with a final score of 805,000. I didnt beat the game in under 12 minutes like the guy in the video above, but I wasnt far behind that time, probably 13-14 minutes. I had the spread gun, a turbo controller, and I wasnt taking any prisoners.

It really strikes me how Contra was the Gears of War for the NES. Big bad ass dudes with machine guns invading the Alien Base to blow it all up and save humanity. And you could play the whole thing coop, which of course was a huge draw then as it is today. While its hard if not impossible to say which is the "best" overall NES game ever, Contra really holds up with the best of them 22 years later. It is quite short (see the speed run above), with furiously intense pacing and the perfect difficulty curve - finishing this game on one credit, after trying dozens of times, really felt like an accomplishment. The 805K was just the icing on the cake for one of my proudest moments as a retrogamer. Next up? Beating Mike Tyson. One time! I mean holy crap, he makes the Mother Alien look like Mother Teresa.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Sounds - Dont Want to Hurt You

Classic song from an amazing band.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Virtua Tennis 2009: Reality vs Game

Virtua Tennis 2009 - Real Life V Gameplay - Funny home videos are a click awaySo I guess there isnt as much diving in VT2K9 as VT3, where a Roddick vs Blake match looked like bellyflop compeition. Thats fine with me, as long as Hewitt & Nadal are still two best defenders in the game.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Godfather II - GT Review

Yeah, Ill be playing this game soon enough. The imrovements to the game look great, the production values are top notch and it has online multiplayer. Now send it quickly gamefly!

Friday, April 10, 2009

lol ftp $1-2

Full Tilt Poker Game #11605669360: Table Vespertina - $1/$2 - No Limit Hold'em - 5:52:16 ET - 2009/04/10
Seat 1: fligan ($306.70)
Seat 2: TotallyWired ($198.95)
Seat 3: nemesisalmighty ($81.30)
Seat 5: mmateo1 ($100)
Seat 7: ooo chronic ooo ($381.15)
Seat 8: RoundersClub ($284.60)
Seat 9: pungster ($161.15)
RoundersClub posts the small blind of $1
pungster posts the big blind of $2
toona is awesom sits down
mmateo1 posts $2
The button is in seat #7
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to ooo chronic ooo [9d 9s]
fligan folds
TotallyWired folds
nemesisalmighty raises to $4
mmateo1 adds $2
mmateo1 folds
toona is awesom adds $80
ooo chronic ooo has 15 seconds left to act
ooo chronic ooo raises to $17
RoundersClub folds
pungster folds
nemesisalmighty calls $13
*** FLOP *** [2d 3h 9c]
nemesisalmighty checks
ooo chronic ooo checks
*** TURN *** [2d 3h 9c] [4d]
nemesisalmighty bets $16
ooo chronic ooo raises to $32
nemesisalmighty raises to $48
ooo chronic ooo raises to $64
nemesisalmighty calls $16
*** RIVER *** [2d 3h 9c 4d] [6c]
nemesisalmighty bets $0.30, and is all in
ooo chronic ooo calls $0.30
*** SHOW DOWN ***
nemesisalmighty shows [Kc Td] King Ten high
ooo chronic ooo shows [9d 9s] three of a kind, Nines
ooo chronic ooo wins the pot ($164.60) with three of a kind, Nines
nemesisalmighty adds $40
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $167.60 | Rake $3
Board: [2d 3h 9c 4d 6c]
Seat 1: fligan didn't bet (folded)
Seat 2: TotallyWired didn't bet (folded)
Seat 3: nemesisalmighty showed [Kc Td] and lost with King Ten high
Seat 5: mmateo1 folded before the Flop
Seat 7: ooo chronic ooo (button) showed [9d 9s] and won ($164.60) with three of a kind, Nines
Seat 8: RoundersClub (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 9: pungster (big blind) folded before the Flop

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bioshock 2 Gameplay Trailer

I thought the story in Bioshock was one of the most interesting and well executed I had ever seen in a videogame. The gameplay itself, while fun in bursts, left a bit to be desired. Where were the 50 foot tall tentacle bosses, the undersea exploration parts, the hidden treasures, the speargun, and the jetpack upgrades for my Big Daddy suit? OK, Bioshock 2 might not give me everything I want in a videogame, but if the writing is on par with the first, and they evolve the gameplay to a more RPG-like, Fallout 3 level, and also improve the enemy AI to match the top games on the market (Gears of War 2, Ninja Gaiden 2, God of War 3), this sequel should be a layup. If.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

AVGN: Metal Gear

I remember the pain I went through trying to beat this game. This was back before the internet, when all we had was some hints from Nintendo Power magazine and maybe tips from your friend who knew a kid who might have beaten the game. Just trying to get past the dogs took me weeks. By the end of the game, I had a notebook with at least 20 of those ridiculously long double cypher encrypted codes. Really, I think about half the time I spent with Metal Gear was transcribing and entering those damn codes. Kids these days, now they have it soo easy. Quick saves, autosaves, regenerating health.

"We had to walk uphill to school both ways back in the day I tell you! Both ways!"

Police Intelligence Fail

Monday, April 6, 2009

Longest Offseason Ever

The Yankees last meaningful game was played August 26th, 2008. That was 7 months ago. To say that it was a long offseason doesnt really do it justice. The Yankees had been playing meaningful baseball well into October for over 12 years before 2008. For the season to end so abruptly in August, without a trip to the postseason, was a huge disappointment to say the least. The winter months saw the Yankees build a new stadium, massively upgrade their starting rotation, add speed and power to the lineup, and improve their outfield defense, while their archrival, The Boston Red Sox, fumbled in their attempts to replace the irreplaceable Manny Ramirez. All things considered, Im very optimistic going into the 2009 season.

Im going to go on the record and say the Yankees are going to win 100 games this year, and in convincing fashion. Here are the key factors:

A) The best starting 5 in baseball: CC Sabbathia, AJ Burnett, Chien Ming Wang, Andy Pettite, and Joba Chamberlain. They all have to perform, and they all have to stay healthy.

B) Arod - he is still the best player in the game, even though during the offseason he admitted to juicing while with Texas, and had hip surgery in March. Can he overcome these mental and physical obstacles to keep his spot as top dog when he returns to the lineup in May?

C) Mo - Mariano River is the greatest reliever in the history of baseball, but hes not getting any younger. He turned 39 this past November, so we have to expect to finally see some sort of decline set in soon. But, people have been saying that about Mo for the past 5 years, and every year he has proven them all wrong. History, statistics, age - those things just cant be applied to Mo. Hes always been different, and always will be.

D) Posada - Coming off shoulder surgery, at the ripe age of 37 (ancient for a catcher), who knows what to expect from the veteran Clipper catcher. He hit .338 with 20 homers and 90 RBIs in 2007, an epic year by any standards. If he stays healthy and doesnt spend too much time behind the plate, he could have another couple of solid years left.

E) The Kids - Cano, Melky, Gardner - these guys have to step it up this year. After a heated competition for the starting center fielder job in spring training, Gardner won it by a nose. Look for him to have a hot start, or be riding the bench by June.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Battlestations Pacific Trailer: Epic Battles

I have to say, I really enjoyed the first Battlestations game. It wasnt the most polished effort in the world, but its mix of strategy and action was quite unique. Now with the success of that game behind them, Eidos Hungary has set out to truly raise the bar with Battlestations Pacific. The first thing that catches me about the trailer is the graphics - they are really a generational leap beyond the first game and clearly utilize 100% of the resources of the Xbox 360. Also, the map interface has been totally reconfigured, they added dozens of new units, damage modeling, day and night cycles, weather changes, and now Japan has its own playable campaign where its possible to defeat the allies. The developers have promised "double the content" of the first game. Awesome, count me in.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Do a barrel roll !

Peppy provides some pro tips for the N64 masterpiece Starfox.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Explodemon Trailer

UK developer Curve announced a new downloadable game for the Wii, PS3 and PC (no details on a 360 version) called Explodemon, coming this fall. Inspired by Japanese developed games for the NES, SNES and Genesis, Explodemon is a 2D action platformer with 3D graphics. The game has been described by its creators as "what Treasure would create if they mixed Yoshi’s Island with Half Life 2." Inspired by games such as MegaMan, Super Metroid, Street Fighter II, Halo, and Banagi-O, the title promises a fast paced, super intense platforming challenege.

Its a lot of name dropping and not much gameplay in the video, however it appears that the developers hearts are in the right place and this will not be a rushed job but rather a polished, carefully executed effort. I really hope the game is great and goes on to be successful, because it can help further revive retro 2D gaming for the masses and all the great gameplay ideas that go with it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Ting Tings - Great DJ

Great band, awesome song, cool video.