Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You seen this?: VGHS

Ring the bell--school is in, sucka.

YouTube sensation Freddie Wong has leveraged his talent as a VFX guy, film editor, and professional Guitar Hero into creating the Kickstarter-funded web series, Video Game High School.

It's pretty much Harry Potter seasoned heavily with the ass-clenching horror of Xbox Live chat, and it totally works for me. The writing is generic, but the concept, execution, and special effects should be more than enough to capture the interest of anyone reading this.

The series tells the story of Harry Brian D.--your average teenage gamer and assault rifle-wielding Canadian--after he's recruited into VGHS following an accidental victory over the school's number-one FPS jock, "The Law." (Like I said, it's no Grapes of Wrath, but it's definitely entertaining.)

Check out the first episode here, and the rest of the ongoing series at Freddie's website, RocketJump.com

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 5 List: Catchy NES Songs

The brain is a funny thing. I might have a hard time remembering how old I am, but I'll never forget the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Speaking of catchy tunes, I've compiled a list of five classic NES songs that have taken up permanent residence deep within my gray matter. What are some video game songs (NES or otherwise) that have stuck with you? Leave a comment, and thanks for watching!

Stadium Events

It's 2012. We've suffered long enough with a mere 24 hours in the day. How are we supposed to accomplish anything when we're given just 1,440 minutes? I demand more minutes.

That said, my last post was 44 days ago. That's 63,360 minutes. What have I been up to with all of those minutes? Sadly, not much video gaming. Instead, I trained for and completed my first half-marathon.

I won't lie: it wasn't easy--and I didn't do as well as I would have liked--but that's why I'm so excited to be competing in another at the end of September.

And speaking of disappointment, I truly regretted casting aside my blogging duties to become a better runner. But hey--there's only so many minutes in the day.

But let's not get too down and out--after all, I'm back! However, the hours I'm training are hours I'm not blogging. And I'm okay with that.

The good news is that I'm more inspired than ever to keep up with this silly blog of mine. The bad news is that posts and videos won't be as frequent as they once were. More good news: if I'm not blogging, I'm probably running.

Fun fact! Today's a recovery day, which as far as I'm concerned is a green light to play as many games as I like. Time to record some footage!

So what have you been up to for the last 44 days?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Batman (NES) Review

How can something so simple be so difficult? This question can apply to both playing Batman on the NES and uploading a Batman review onto YouTube.

For any number of reasons, it required no less than 10 attempts at rendering and a separate three tries at actually uploading the video. All in all, I think I spent more time watching scrolling bars than the time it took to develop the game.

Good news: the review is up and my favorite to date. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blast Corps Video Review

Mayhem! Destruction! Banjos! All of this and much more in my Blast Corps video review. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Recent Pickups Episode 6, Part 3: Insert CD

Welcome back to recent pickups, episode 6! Part 3 is all about the random disc-based games  I've picked up all around town. Not a stinker in the bunch. Of course, I do my best to avoid (or sell) games I have no intention of playing. Here's what made the cut:

Rhythm Heaven Fever
Console: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: February 13, 2012
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Acquired From: Target
Condition: Bought new!
Notes: If you buy this knowing what the Rhythm Heaven series is all about, you're going to get exactly what you expect. Short version: lots of fun. Long version: watch my review!

Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Console: Xbox
Release Date: October 21, 2003
Developer: FASA Interactive
Publisher: Microsoft
Acquired From: Goodwill
Condition: Good...no, great!
Notes: Heard a lot of good things about this game from a coworker, and according to the cover, it's the best Xbox live game. For a couple of bucks, how could I resist?

Sega GT 2002/Jet Set Radio Future Combo Disc
Console: Xbox
Release Date:  October 15, 2002Developer: Sega
Publisher: Microsoft
Acquired From: Half Price Books
Condition: Sealed...until I unsealed it.
Notes: For $5, how could anyone with an Xbox and thumbs pass this up? I've never played wither of these games, but I have played their predecessors. Based on that, I can safely assume that I'm in for a treat. Two treats, in fact.

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
Console: Game Cube
Release Date:  October 15, 2002Developer: Victor Interactive
Publisher: Natsume
Acquired From: Half Price Books
Condition: Not half bad!
Notes: How am I going to explain this to my wife? "Yeah, honey, I'll mow the lawn in a little bit. Just let me finish what I'm doing here in this yard work simulator."

Gotcha Force
Console: Game Cube
Release Date:  December 3, 2003
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Acquired From: Gamestop
Condition: Hey, at least they didn't try to tell me it was new. It ain't.
Notes: Picked this up after reading an interesting post over on the Racketboy.com forums. Some believe that this game is going to be worth a buttload of money (for reference, I paid $12 and it sells for $20-$50 on ebay right now). Regardless of all of that, It's Pokemon with robots, so who cares what it's worth? 

Modnation Racers
Console: Playstation 3
Release Date:  May 25, 2010
Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Acquired From: Goodwill
Condition: Was once possibly in a dog's mouth.
Notes: Dudes. Seriously. If this isn't the world's best advertisement for shopping at Goodwill, I don't know what is. I bought Modnation Racers for one dollar. One. And there's probably only a little hepatitis on it.

Child of Eden
Console: Playstation 3
Release Date:  June 14, 2011
Developer: Q Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
Acquired From: Target
Condition: New (gasp!)
Notes: Usually I like to clean up and peel the stickers off of my recent pickups. This, however, is a special case. I bought Child of Eden at Target on clearance for $12 and I want you to know about it. Go! Get yours now! Go!

That's it for tonight! I hope you guys like Dreamcast, because it's going to get shot all in your eyeballs for part 4. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recent Pickups Episode 6, Part 2: Eu-N64-ia!

Once up a time, I had an extra Dreamcast. My brother sent me a super minty console a little while back, leaving me with my old and busted example as trade bait. Here's a portion of what I got for it as part of a deal I struck on Racketboy.com.:

Extreme-G 2
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: October 7, 1998
Developer: Probe Entertainment (heh.)
Publisher: Acclaim
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: Extremely Good (clever, right?)...until my vigorous scrubbing took part of the label with it. Damn you, extra strength Goo Gone! Damn you!
Notes: The sequel to what I thought was a pretty competent N64 racer. And hey, you can break the sound barrier in this one. SONIC BOOOOOOOM!

Perfect Dark
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: May 22, 2000
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Rare
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: Perfecto!
Notes: Believe it or not, I've never played Perfect Dark. By the time it was released, I had moved onto the Dreamcast. That said, I can't wait to give it a whirl. According to many, it's one of the diffinitive N64 shooters, and with its Goldeneye pedigree, I believe it!

Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: October 31, 1996
Developer: William's Entertainment
Publisher: Midway
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: Goooooooooooooal!
Notes: It's NFL Blitz...with sticks! Don't let the full-on Canadian title fool you, this game is ridiculously fun and addictive. Big head mode, anyone?

Automobili Lamborghini
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: November 30, 1997
Developer: Titus Software
Publisher: Titus Software
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: Bull shittyish
Notes: I remember having a lot of fun with this game back in the day. Strangely, Automobili Lamborghini doesn't feature any actual Lamborghinis. Regardless, I'm looking forward to giving it another play. Hopefully this game about old Italian cars doesn't disappoint me like an old Italian car.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: December 3, 1996
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: Nintendo
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: Grrrwarrrh warrrrh garh (wookie for "ew.")
Notes: This was the first game I owned for the N64. It starts with an excellent snowspeeder level, then goes straight to the garbage smasher. But hey, it's still more entertaining than Episode 1.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: December, 1998
Developer: Iguana Entertainment
Publisher: Acclaim
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: All N64 cartridges should be black. They stay so much cleaner.
Notes: Cerebral bore. That's all you need to know...until it drills into your brain and explodes. Then you're on your own.

Winback: Covert Operations

Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: October 20, 1999
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: That'll do, pig.
Notes: Was always curious about this game, but never got around to play it. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Winback is the great grand daddy of the now ubiquitous 3rd person cover-based shooter. That's enough to get me interested again.

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: August 30, 2000
Developer: Acclaim
Publisher: Acclaim
Acquired From: Racketboy.com trade
Condition: Amazingly good
Notes: 100% honest? I didn't even know that Turok 3 was a thing before I got it as part of this mega trade. For the price (essentially zero), how could I resist? I'm sure Turok 3 will answer all of my nagging questions surrounding the original trilogy's rich plot points. (roll eyes.)

Cruis'n USA
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: December 3, 1996
Developer: Midway
Publisher: Nintendo
Acquired From: Goodwill
Condition: Foine, girl.
Notes: Take your pick: Cruis'n USA or Killer Instinct. If you bought an N64 on launch day, there's a pretty good chance that one or the other sold you on the system. Happy to have Cruis'n in the box--since N64 games are conspicuously lacking top labels, boxed is the best way to keep them organized...just not the cheapest.

Weirdly, I'm getting a pretty nice N64 collection going without much effort on my part. Unfortunately, most N64 games haven't stood up well against the test of time, but it's still a blast having these gems in my collection.

Next up, a nice smattering of disc-based games. Stay tuned!