Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I consider the original Tron to be one of the great science fiction films of all time. It dazzled us with technological cinematic pyrotechnics unseen before 1982, it featured a great acting performance by the inimitable Jeff Bridges, and the story offerred an introspective exposition on metaphysics and the definitions of reality, God, and subjective human perception. To say that it was ahead of its time, or is more cerebral than many of its sci-fi counterparts such as Star Wars, does little justice to the depth of the Tron vision.
While I am excited that Disney has decided to revisit the property and make an entirely new film 25 years later, with Jeff Bridges as the lead no less - Im apprehensive and cautiously pessimistic. While the trailer footage looks nothing short of astoundingly spectacular, will the film touch the philosophical aspects of the nature of human and artificial intelligence, or will it devolve into a formulaic Hollywood thrill ride replete with a love story and a happy ending? Film making has changed a lot in the last 25 years, and I sincerely hope Tron makes the most of these changes, and doesnt suffer under the crushing weight of focus-group, screen-tested conformism.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
This PS3 exclusive block breaker just got a 9.0 from IGN, with editor Daemon Hatfield calling it "a delight from beginning to end" and "the best block breaking game ever made." If you are PS3 owning fan of Arkanoid, Breakout, or you just enjoy action-puzzle games, make sure you check this out.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In historic fashion, Phil has made the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main event, beating out a field of 6,494 for one of the final 9 spots. Like last year the final table of the Main Event wont be played until November. This gives the media plenty of time to hype up the event and the players time to pick up endorsement contracts. While Phil isnt even close to being a big stack (he has almost 10M in chips, the leader has almost 60M), many winners in years past, such as Joe Hachem, have won the event entering into the final table with a short stack. While winning the Main Event would be a fairy tale for Ivey, who is considered by all relevant parties to be the best all around poker player in the world, just making the final table is undoubtedly an historic achievement in its own right.
Many people think that Dan Harrignton making the final table in back to back years is one of the most impressive feats in WSOP history, but consider this: Ivey has made the final 30 players of the Main Event in 4 of the last 8 years, and has made the final 10 twice! (He bubbled the final table in 2003). Also, consider that Ivey has already won two WSOP bracelets this year, and its hard to argue that this isnt the most impressive WSOP performance weve ever seen. Stu Unger may have won the thing twice in a row back when the field was under 100 players - but what Ivey has done in 2009 is just unprecedented. No matter what happens at this final table, Ivey is making an increasingly powerful case for being the all time greatest player to ever play the game of poker.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Actually, there is more to it than that. LAN gaming isnt dead, its just reserved for ubergeeks and professional gamers these days. With the advent of highspeed internet, most people dont need to goto a LAN party to play an lag-free multiplayer game like Warcraft 3 or Diablo 2. But the fact is, for people living "off the grid" or who dont have access to a high speed connection, LAN gaming is still the only way to really enjoy a game with friends. The world could end in nuclear holocaust, as long as you have a car battery, an AC/DC converter, two computers and a single copy of the original Starcraft, you can enjoy a LAN battle with your Vault-Tec buddy while you wait for the radiation to die down.
Not Starcraft 2. To play this game against another human being, you must be connected to the internet. Why would they do this? There is really, truly, sadly only one possible explanation: fear of piracy. By forcing you to log into Blizzard's Battlenet, they can verify that your copy of the game is legitimate before allowing you to play. Contrast this with the original Starcraft, where Blizzard allowed you to install up to 8 "spawn" copies of the game which could all be played on a single LAN. So you could have 8 buddies over with 8 computers and only need one copy of Starcraft.
Guess what that kind of freedom did for Starcraft's popularity? Now guess what a single install only, mandatory online activation, mandatory internet only play model is going to do for the popularity of Starcraft II? Ive said it before recently and I will say it again now: the Golden Age of videogames is coming to a close. I will elaborate more on that sentiment in a future post. For now, Im going to spend a moment of silence in the memory of LAN gaming in all its greatness.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This video shows the original Turtles in Time arcade game alongside the new remake for XBLA. The gameplay looks quite similar, and while I dont love the art style they are using in this early vid, I will have to wait and see what the final product looks like, because the early vids of Bionic Commando ReArmed didnt look that amazing to me either. The music for the new game is completely unlistenable, unfortunately, I will have to turn it off as the very first thing I do when I download the game. Lets hope this reshelling works out for the best, it has great potential as an XBLA title.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
As a huge fan of the MechWarrior franchise dating back to its origins on the PC platform, and going all the way to the critically mechjacked MechAssault 2, I can only express joy and great astonishment that the franchise is being rebooted, and it is being handled by people who know what they are doing. if you have any real interest in the franchise you should head on over to IGN and read the full interview, which is excellent and contains tons of details. The Cliff Notes are this: coming out for the Xbox 360 and PC, it will feature a 4 player coop campaign, persistent multiplayer stats and abilities, graphics based on a modified Unreal 3 engine, and it still needs a publisher. Im ecstatic they decided to totally reboot the franchise, and that the right people are behind the wheel. Its a great day for Mech fans everywhere.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Arma 2 user video showing off an AI bug. Ironic really, as Arma 2 actually has very high quality enemy AI, however the game was released a bit early and still has some serious bugs. Ive downloaded the demo from Steam and Im checking out how long I can play it before smoke starts emitting from my motherboard. Aside from the absolute hilarity of this video, how about those graphics? I mean, holy crap I think it might look better than Crysis or Gears or whatever game you want to name. Im sure the guy who made the video is using a CIA-level mainframe computer to run the damn thing, but wow its incredibly impressive on purely a visual level, and those sound effects arent too shabby either.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
IGN's Daemon Hatfield gave it a very nice 8.5, calling it "a fun and streamlined multiplayer shooter," and "a benchmark for digital titles." Im really excited to download it later and start blasting. I will reinstall the original Battlefield 1942 (one of my favorite PC games of all time) onto my PC and play some of both tonight and be back with updated impressions later, or possibly tomorrow.
Also, I'll be playing the brand new, free-to-play, online only PC exclusive Battlefield Heroes over the next few days which is finally out of beta and fully open to the public. My impressions for both these new Battlefield games should appear in the comments section of this post over the next few days. Just listening to the music at the start of the Iwo Jima trailer gets me so pumped up to play! Man I love Battlefield!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Man, do I love Bionic Commando. The original game on the NES is easily in my Top 10 NES games ever, and the remake on XBLA is easily the best game on the marketplace. So, to say that I was excited for the brand new 3D version is an understatement. And while the game is far from terrible, it just doesnt meet the incredibly high standards of the original game.
Starting with the presentation, Bionic Commando gets off to a bad start. The cutscenes are poorly directed, the voice acting is dry, and the story is incoherent. The graphics themselves are very nice, but the game doesnt run that well on the Xbox 360, with some V-sync and framerate issues abounding. I think it will look and run much better on the PC version, when that comes out. The platforming gameplay is excellent, and the controls for swinging are great. The main problem is an extremely linear level design, terrible enemy AI, and repetitive boss battles. The shooting also feels like Crackdown, need I say more? However, that game was open world and had a lot of awesome weapons, even if aiming them at idiotic enemies sucked, I cant say the same thing about Bionic Commando.
Very deep in, about 3/4 of the way through, I had enough and put it back in the gamefly sleeve. Shame really, and its not even that the game is that bad. Its fine. Its very old school in an endearing sort of way. But it just didnt make me want to play more. (SPOILERS) The story sets up a showdown between Bionic Commando and Super Joe, who has now apparently turned evil halfway through the story. Besides this making no sense, it just doesnt fit with the original game. It feels wrong. Its just another one of many aspects of the game which were completely butchered. Overall its hard not to feel disappointed, 25 years in the making should have come out better than this.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
WIMBLEDON, England -- Roger Federer hoisted the trophy and celebrated making Grand Slam history, a year removed from an epic five-set final when he left Wimbledon a broken man, his title ripped away and his aura of invincibility shattered.
Federer waged another five-set marathon Sunday, and left as the holder of the most prestigious record in tennis. This time, the winner's trophy belonged to him, with the No. 1 ranking in his grasp again and his reputation enhanced as perhaps the greatest player in history.
Federer won his record 15th Grand Slam title, outlasting Andy Roddick for his sixth Wimbledon championship in a match that went to 30 games in the final set.
Federer served a career-high 50 aces and overcame the resilient American 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 to break the record of major titles he shared with Pete Sampras.
"I'm happy I broke the record here because this is always the tournament that meant the most to me," Federer said. "It definitely feels like coming full circle, starting it here and ending it here."
The match finally ended after 4 hours, 16 minutes when Federer broke for the first time all day, with Roddick missing on a forehand.
Federer jumped high in celebration, punched the air and whacked the net with his racket. Roddick tossed his racket to the side and the two men shared a hug at the net. Federer kissed the trophy and brought it close to his chest.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
So this game finally came out, IGN gave it a 7.8, their main complaint was that the game is still really buggy. Give it a few weeks, maybe a month or two, and this will probably be worth picking up if you enjoy military shooters. Apparently you need a beast of a PC to run it, maybe my ATI 3870 is finally nearing the end of its life?
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The other player who has totally mastered multitabling is Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier, who routinely plays 24 tables of cash online at pokerstars and was the first player ever to reach coveted "Supernova Elite" - an accomplishment so immense many players doubted it could ever be done. It required playing 20+ tables of poker for several hours per day, for a year straight: 1,000,000 FPPs (Pokerstars points) in a calendar year. Now, the site pays him to play in the form of a ridiculous 400% rakeback deal, pays entries for him into several major tournaments, and a complete sponsorship/marketing deal. He also won several large sidebets on who the first player to reach Supernova status would be.
Whats most interesting about these two multitabling experts is their background: both came to the world of online poker from the world of online videogames. In particular, Starcraft. Hevad Khan was a member of Team USA in several international Starcraft events, and Elky is still considered one of the top 20 players in the world - he even moved to South Korea for a few years to persue his pro Starcraft career before taking up poker full time. Something about making fast, efficient decisions that lends itself to both high level RTS play and multitabling online poker. I dont think I will ever earn a millions FPPs or make the final table of the WSOP, but if I can learn to play 12 tables while getting rakeback without going busto, Ill be a very happy man. Maybe it will even help me not get totally pwned when Starcraft 2 finally comes out later this year.