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Suskie Susquatch

Title: FINALLY. Jesus.
Posted: August 28, 2010 (02:23 PM)

I've been at the top of my Bronze division for almost a week (as you may know), but as I was trying to get promoted, I ran into an interesting speed bump when I was pitted against a Gold player and, um, won. The guy was randomly assigned to Zerg and admitted that he sucked with Zerg (and boy, did he ever), so I won the match and the game automatically assumed that I could hold my own against Gold players. So it started putting me up against people I was most certainly no match for. Eventually it settled on Silver, though, so hooray for that.
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Title: Hey look! I finally contributed something to VideoCritics!
Posted: August 25, 2010 (02:25 PM)
I reviewed Following, Christopher Nolan's first film. So there you go.
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Title: StarCraft II progress.
Posted: August 22, 2010 (08:53 PM)

Hooray. Now how the hell do I move up to Silver league?
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Title: My shortened Red Dead Redemption review.
Posted: August 20, 2010 (11:47 PM)

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Title: Here is the entire conversation I just had with True on AIM.
Posted: August 18, 2010 (09:36 PM)
GregTheTrue (10:39:08 PM): CHARLIE MURPHY!
Tokitikino (10:39:19 PM): I'm not following.
GregTheTrue (10:39:34 PM): I figured you wouldn't. It's a Chappelle show thing.
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Title: This is a good sign.
Posted: August 08, 2010 (09:31 PM)
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Title: StarCraft II's multiplayer is brutal.
Posted: August 06, 2010 (11:22 PM)
Here's my most embarrassing loss yet. It was a 1v1 match and both of us were Terran. The very first thing the guy did was build a Barracks, fly it over to my base, and land it just outside of my field of view. While I was still setting up (building SCVs, getting resource collection underway, setting up some Supply Depots, etc.), this guy was training a platoon of Marines right next to me. Wiped me out before I had the chance to build a single attacking unit, and I had to rely on my SCVs to rally up for one pathetic last stand before the match was over.

Freakin' StarCraft II, man. Some of these people are just insane.
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Title: Oh yeah: I've got two StarCraft II guest passes. Anybody want one?
Posted: August 04, 2010 (07:03 PM)
These guest passes let you download, install and play the full game (campaign and multiplayer) for either seven hours of playtime or fourteen days, whichever comes first. A friend of mine who bought the game on launch gave me one, and it's how I wound up deciding to buy the full game in the first place. Definitely the way to go if you're interested but not sure if it's worth the investment.

So, anybody want one?
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Title: Arcade Fire w/ Spoon @ Mann Center, Philadelphia, PA (8/2/10)
Posted: August 04, 2010 (01:09 AM)

Ready to Start
Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
No Cars Go
Oh It's Such a Shame [Jay Reatard cover]
Deep Blue
The Suburbs
The Suburbs (Continued)
We Used to Wait
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
Month of May
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Keep the Car Running
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Modern Man
Wake Up

What a great show. Arcade Fire has been one of my favorite bands for several years now and this is the first time I've had the chance to see them live. The show absolutely lived up to my expectations.

We made a massive detour for cheesesteaks at Tony Luke's (way on the other side of the city), so we were running a little behind and wound up missing the first few Spoon songs, and by the time I got there, they were playing "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb," one of my favorite songs of theirs. Other than their new single (which sucks), they sounded great.

Arcade Fire actually found a way to incorporate a massive screen into their set without it looking out-of-place, by sticking to the suburban theme of their most recent album and making the screen look like a giant billboard next to a highway. The band took the stage with "Ready to Start," which is probably my favorite song from The Suburbs.

I had no idea what to expect from the setlist, because at the time of the concert, the new album technically wasn't out yet, leaving the vast majority of the audience unfamiliar with the new material. I've had the leak on constant repeat over the last week or so and am pretty intimately familiar with it, and I'm happy to report that they played nearly everything I wanted to hear from it (with the exception of "Suburban War"). It's tough to say which of these songs will turn out to be classics and which ones they'll chuck for future tours, but I anticipate that quite a few of them will grow in popularity as fans become more familiar with The Suburbs.

Of the new songs, "We Used to Wait" was probably the best of the night, and again, I can imagine it only getting better as fans are more familiar with it and are prepared to chant along with "We used to wait for it!" during the song's climax. "Sprawl II" was another standout, just because the song is pretty epic in nature anyway, and thus a joy to watch being played on stage.

Predictably, the Funeral songs stole the show. The absolute high point of the night was the one-two punch of the "Power Out"/"Rebellion" combo, which I'd heard about elsewhere. It started with a brutal extended version of "Power Out," which ended with the band erupting into a mess of distortion, noise and flashing lights, during which the bass drum from "Rebellion" (easily my favorite song of theirs) slowly kicked in. While the audience wasn't overly responsive to the picks from The Suburbs, they were incredibly enthusiastic for the songs they recognized, screaming the lyrics to the many mass-shout-along-ready choruses of Arcade Fire's songs. The aisle next to me quickly filled with people dancing.

Other highlights of the show were "Haiti," which was unbelievably intense live, and "Wake Up," which is probably their most popular song after all of those Where the Wild Things Are commercials last year. The latter was a smart closer and easily the emotional apex of the show. Think about how that song's chorus sounds, and now imagine thousands of people belting it out in unison. It was absolutely beautiful.

I want to stress just how impressed I was by the song selection. Only three songs from Neon Bible (their weakest album by a mile) made it to the show, and they were easily my three favorites from that album. Anything from Funeral was terrific, and I was happy with just about all of the new material. The only weak spots were "Rococo" (which is probably the worst song on The Suburbs) and the Jay Reatard cover, which was nice in lieu of the man's death but not a highlight in a show where people came to hear Arcade Fire songs. And while "The Suburbs" is a nice opener for the album, it's not one of their most engaging live songs, and I can easily see it being tossed for future shows.

Also, "In the Backseat" was the only song that I really wanted to hear and didn't. I guess it's not one of their more popular songs, but it's breathtakingly gorgeous, and I get the feeling Regine would have absolutely killed it live.

One thing I want to point out is just how enthusiastic the band members were on stage. Win and Regine were totally into every song they did (Win even came into the audience a few times), and one of the drummers at one point accidentally chucked one of his sticks into the crowd in the middle of a song and had to go get it. The best concerts I've ever been to have established a real dynamic between performer and audience (I could just listen to the music at home, after all), and that absolutely happened here.

So, this was the second-best concert I've ever been to. Muse still ranks first, but after I saw them in March, I made the bold (and somewhat exaggerated) assertion that every other live show will suck now, and that's certainly not the case. Last night was one of the most memorable nights of my life, and if you're into Arcade Fire's music, I couldn't recommend seeing them more. Their live act really exemplifies the life-affirming power of a great concert.

Pictures of the show are here. They're not great because they were taken with my cell phone, but they're something. This was my first time at the Mann Center, and it reminded me of the Merriweather Post Pavilion, which was where I saw Leonard Cohen last year. Look for a gorgeous view of the Philadelphia skyline. It's worth noting that while the venue looks nice (and was), we had to drive through an awful neighborhood to get there. It is in West Philly, after all.
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Title: This made me laugh maniacally. It is also the scariest thing I have ever seen.
Posted: July 30, 2010 (08:48 PM)

I'm bookmarking this for the next time I'm stoned.
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Title: LEGO StarCraft!
Posted: July 28, 2010 (02:55 PM)

Those Carriers will mess you up, man.
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Title: This is hilarious and fantastic.
Posted: July 25, 2010 (09:30 AM)
So a little while ago, Westboro Baptist Church promised to show up at Comic Con protesting, I don't know, nerdiness or something. So a bunch of attendees protested back and had hilarious pickets signs. Please click here to see some of them. Thank you.

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Title: It's official: Kinect will cost $149.
Posted: July 21, 2010 (01:35 AM)
Also official: This thing will tank.
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Title: Would you like to hear Armond White discuss what he liked about Transformers 2 and what he didn't like about Inception?
Posted: July 19, 2010 (09:01 PM)
No? Oh, okay.
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Title: My Burnout Revenge playlist.
Posted: July 15, 2010 (07:21 PM)
Because the default soundtrack sucks big time.

I actually played the hell out of this game on my original Xbox, but haven't played it in years and found a cheap used copy for 360. Making a custom soundtrack was my first order of business. I tried to pick good driving/racing music, i.e. fast-paced stuff with mad beats, etc. Let me know if there's anything else (good) that I should add.

AC/DC – “Thunderstruck”
Arcade Fire – “Ready to Start”
Arcade Fire – “Rebellion (Lies)
Arctic Monkeys – “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”
The Big Pink – “Too Young to Love”
Broken Social Scene – “Chase Scene”
Broken Social Scene – “Art House Director”
Broken Social Scene – “Meet Me in the Basement”
The Chemical Brothers – “Let Forever Be”
Crystal Castles – “Celestica”
Daft Punk – “Aerodynamic”
The Dodos – “Fables”
Doves – “Kingdom of Rust”
Dredg – “I Don’t Know”
Editors – “All Sparks”
Faunts – “Explain”
jj - "masterplan"
Junior Boys – “Bits & Pieces”
Kasabian – “Ovary Stripe”
The Killers – “Spaceman”
LCD Soundsystem – “I Can Change”
Led Zeppelin – “Immigrant Song”
Led Zeppelin – “Rock and Roll”
The Lodger – “The Conversation”
M83 - "Graveyard Girl"
The Mars Volta – “Goliath”
M.I.A. – “Born Free”
Modest Mouse – “Dashboard”
Muse – “Map of the Problematique”
Muse – “Stockholm Syndrome”
My Bloody Valentine – “Soon”
The New Pornographers – “Crash Years”
Nine Inch Nails – “Discipline”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Over the Mountain”
Phoenix – “1901”
Radiohead – “Bodysnatchers”
Radiohead – “Let Down”
Ratatat – “Lex”
Rogue Wave – “Lake Michigan”
Sigur Rós – “Inní mér syngur vitleysingur”
The Smashing Pumpkins – “1979”
The Smashing Pumpkins – “Rocket”
Spoon – “The Mystery Zone”
Them Crooked Vultures – “Scumbag Blues”
Tokyo Police Club – “Favourite Colour”
U2 – “Where the Streets Have No Name”
The White Stripes – “Conquest”
The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
Wilco – “One Wing”
Wolf Parade – “Yulia”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Heads Will Roll”
ZZ Top - "Sharp-Dressed Man"
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Title: Milestone unlocked: Review of the Week Warlock
Posted: July 12, 2010 (07:42 PM)

Hell yeah.
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Title: The ten best games of 2010 so far according to Mike Suskie.
Posted: July 04, 2010 (11:24 PM)
10. Yakuza 3
9. Resonance of Fate
8. God of War III
7. Bayonetta
6. Red Dead Redemption
5. Splinter Cell: Conviction
4. Just Cause 2
3. Alan Wake
2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
1. Mass Effect 2

Posted: July 01, 2010 (07:20 PM)
Pennsylvania's zit
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Title: I totally forgot I had the download code for this.
Posted: June 29, 2010 (09:54 PM)

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Title: Two excellent articles on The Escapist that sum up some of my biggest thoughts on Alpha Protocol.
Posted: June 25, 2010 (05:58 PM)
For those who are still debating whether or not to check Alpha Protocol out -- and this is something you should definitely be quietly debating with yourself if you're a role-playing fan -- allow me to direct you towards two recent articles on The Escapist that both make very valid and insightful points about the game.

First, there's this week's Extra Punctuation. For those of you who don't know, Yahtzee Croshaw (the guy who does Zero Punctuation, and in fact reviewed the game last week) has a weekly column in which he elaborates on points he made in his most recent video. He's semi-serious about it and he occasionally makes arguments that I agree with.

This week, he talked about why the forced boss battles in Alpha Protocol detract from the game's play-as-you-want attitude, and how offering the player extra freedom in character customization may make the game harder than it should have been. This is essentially required reading for anyone who plans to play the game and doesn't want to run into dead-ends down the road when faced with bosses they can't handle (and I see Fastkilr already ran into this problem, as he noted in the gaming progress thread). Yahtzee also points out that Deus Ex is one of the few games that really does allow players to complete the game however they want. Alpha Protocol should have been that game's second coming, but it fell just short.

Secondly, Shamus Young (who actually beat Yahtzee to the punch on the boss battle issue in the most recent episode of his comic strip, Stolen Pixels) wrote up a rather compelling argument in the game's favor in today's Experienced Points. He tackles the concept of "role-playing," and how Alpha Protocol is still more about choices than most other games on the market. He draws some comparisons between the design strategies of Bethesda, BioWare and Obsidian; namely, he illustrates why Bethesda's games have recently failed to hold my attention, why BioWare's middle ground works well and why Obsidian should by all means rule this genre. He paints a flattering picture of Alpha Protocol which should really sell the game for what it accomplishes.
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Title: In which I rank Pixar's movies from best to worst.
Posted: June 20, 2010 (10:24 PM)
Finding Nemo
Monsters, Inc.
Toy Story 3
Toy Story
Toy Story 2
A Bug's Life
The Incredibles

Their next movie is CARS 2 FUCK NO.
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Title: Question to anyone who uses text messaging.
Posted: June 12, 2010 (05:30 PM)
Does anyone else here use proper grammar when they text? I do, and everybody else thinks I'm weird. I'm wondering if this is writer mentality.
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Title: If you own a Mac and plan on playing Team Fortress 2 on it, you must follow these rules.
Posted: June 11, 2010 (08:09 PM)
1. You may use a teleporter only if there are no PC users who want to use it. If a PC user shows interest in using the teleporter, you must vacate the teleporter immediately.

2. If you are injured, you may not call for a Medic's assistance until all PC users in the area have full health, or near-full health.

3. If you are on fire, you may not ask for a Sniper or Pyro to put the fire out if there is at least one PC user on fire standing next to you.

4. You may not go Spy or Sniper. You are encouraged to go Pyro.

5. You may not request an übercharge at any time.

6. If you are an Engineer, you must assist any PC users on your team in building their sentries, dispensers and teleporters before you proceed to build your own.

7. If you are a Medic, you must heal any and all PC users who may require your assistance before healing Mac users. You may not übercharge a Mac user.

8. If you plan to pick up ammo or a medkit, you must first stop and examine your surroundings to ensure that no PC users are trying to get to them first. If there are, you must yield.

9. If your team loses, you may not attempt to run from winning players who wish to kill you. If your team wins, you may not kill any PC users.

10. You must identify yourself as a Mac user. This means either equipping the earbuds to all nine characters, adding a tag to your Steam name that identifies you as a Mac user, or telling your team that you are a Mac user (repeatedly, in response to the flow of incoming players).
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Title: In which Mario has an epiphany.
Posted: June 10, 2010 (08:00 PM)
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Title: Achievement of the week.
Posted: June 10, 2010 (02:15 PM)
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Title: Oh, great.
Posted: June 09, 2010 (10:49 PM)
The oil well is on fire now. Amidst all of this ruckus, we somehow figured out how to accidentally set the bottom of the ocean on fire. Go team.
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Title: attn Chicago
Posted: June 09, 2010 (09:07 PM)
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Title: Can I run Blu-rays on my laptop?
Posted: June 09, 2010 (08:10 PM)
I was already fairly certain the answer is no, and then when I tried it, my laptop made a whiny noise and couldn't read it. So, case closed, right? But then I noticed this option for the default program settings in my control panel:

Okay, so my laptop is at least aware of Blu-rays, right? Does this mean running them is a possibility? Do I need the right program to do it? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Title: Lost: Via Domus.
Posted: June 08, 2010 (01:34 AM)
This is a bad game.
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Posted: June 07, 2010 (11:54 AM)
"We're pulling our Portal 2 presentation at E3 for an extra special surprise! Oh, no, it's not Episode Three. LOL."
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Title: TT.
Posted: June 02, 2010 (11:57 PM)
Is it happening this year? What's the deal?
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Title: Brief update on my game schedule.
Posted: May 31, 2010 (03:35 PM)
2010 has been a good year for gaming so far.

Just subbed my Alan Wake review. I was really pleasantly surprised by this game, and it'll probably wind up being one of my favorite releases of 2010. Hopefully my review will explain why I was more impressed by it than most.

Blockbuster was out of the new Prince of Persia when I stopped by, so I rented Nier instead, partly because I've had a friend shouting into my ear recently telling me to check it out. Has anyone else played it? It's this bizarre action/adventure/RPG that flew completely under the radar. It feels like it's trying to imitate every game ever made. It's got the combat of a post-God of War action game, the structure of a Zelda title, and the grinding and array of systems found in your average JRPG. Really weird and all over the place.

I'm seven hours in and I'm still not sure what to think of the game. Some things work, some things don't. Some parts are exhilarating, some parts are slow as hell. The production values are lousy and I'm put off by the reports that the second half of the game involves a lot of backtracking, but I'm still somewhat addicted. Anyone else played this?

I do plan to rent The Forgotten Sands whenever they have a copy, and I haven't ruled out Alpha Protocol even though the first few reviews haven't been promising. Obsidian's games aren't known for their polish, and a lot of complaints seem geared towards the cover-based combat, but then a lot of people said the same thing about the first Mass Effect and I thought it was fine.

Question for those who've beaten Red Dead Redemption: Worth buying, as opposed to renting? I'm trying to limit straight-up purchases to games I know I'll get my money's worth out of -- Alan Wake was great, for example, but it was a perfect rental because I beat it within that period and probably wouldn't play it again. Sixty bucks is a lot of money to spend; is Redemption worth it?

On the Wii front, I will be buying Super Mario Galaxy 2 at some point, and still need to check out No More Heroes 2 and Red Steel 2, both of which look cool. By then I think I'll be caught up on 2010 releases I want to play, aside from 3D Dot Game Heroes, which I can't play anyway since I no longer have access to a PS3. I'm kind of interested in it but I won't feel like I'm missing out if I don't get the chance to play it.
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Title: I can't decide if this has potential or not.
Posted: May 25, 2010 (10:25 AM)
A Mass Effect movie is in the works. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
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Title: I'd like to address a very popular and very stupid theory regarding the Lost finale. Spoilers to follow, obviously.
Posted: May 24, 2010 (02:21 PM)

The idea of the island being purgatory has sprung up since the first season, and the producers and writers have constantly denied it. They have said numerous times that the characters are living, breathing people. The afterlife is the alternate universe that was introduced this past season and nothing more. All of the events that took place on the island (and off the island, in the normal universe) actually happened.

I just checked, and it's confirmed in Christian Shephard's dialog during the last scene: "The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people." The most important part of his life. These people. Jack didn't meet any of these people until after the plane crashed.

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Title: So then. Lost finale.
Posted: May 23, 2010 (09:32 PM)
What did we think?
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Title: The best movie of 2010 is
Posted: May 14, 2010 (12:12 AM)
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Title: Yeah yeah, Iron Man 2, blah blah blah. So how about that Inception trailer?
Posted: May 12, 2010 (03:44 PM)

This movie will kick so much ass.
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Title: Guess what I started replaying this week?
Posted: May 05, 2010 (12:18 PM)
Star Ocean: The Second Story.

I'm telling you, this game has still got it.
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Title: Avatar.
Posted: April 27, 2010 (01:38 AM)
I rented the Blu-ray tonight to see if my theory that the movie would become irrelevant without the aid of digitial 3D was accurate.

...Eh. It's still kind of a fun movie, and it looks effing gorgeous in high definition. The writing's still generic and bland and the characters are underdeveloped, but it doesn't completely pull the movie down. I still think a movie can work as sheer spectacle (keep in mind that film is the collaboration of numerous elements, many of which are purely visual). See, Cameron is a much better director than he is a writer; he should be handling other people's scripts. He's got the budget and the skills, and everything in Avatar that isn't related to the screenplay is superb. (This was true for Titanic, too, albeit to a lesser extent. It sucked as a love story, which it mostly was, but once he got down to business it was a damn cool disaster movie, enough to put Roland Emmerich to shame.)

Point is, we can berate Avatar for not living up to expectations and for having a generic, predictable story, but where grandiosity is concerned, the movie delivers. It's great to know that even without grade-A screenwriting skills, Cameron still has an eye for scale and can film a terrific action sequence when he wants to. Compare this to Michael Bay, whose Transformers 2 had horrible dialog... and was also a shitty, poorly shot, unconvincing action movie.

I feel sorry for anyone who didn't catch Avatar in 3D, since so much of the appeal is visual, but still: Go into it without towering expectations and enjoy it for what it is.

MEANWHILE: Cameron is penning an Avatar novel. This is a very stupid idea.
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Title: This review was linked on GameRankings, which probably means GameRankings shouldn't be taken very seriously.
Posted: April 20, 2010 (12:07 AM)
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Title: Splinter Cell: Conviction.
Posted: April 13, 2010 (12:35 AM)
Does anyone else think this looks absolutely fantastic? I just watched IGN's video review and I'm dead set on picking this up at some point this week. I hadn't really been keeping up with this game and I'm surprised they've made so many changes to the traditional mechanics of the series, but it seems they've implemented a faster and more action-packed pace without sacrificing stealth play. Plus, it's apparently got the best cover system ever.

One question, though: I never played Double Agent. Heard mixed things about it. Still worth playing?
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Title: Finally played through the original God of War.
Posted: April 12, 2010 (05:22 PM)
Good game overall, but great god almighty did the platforming ever suck. I'm wondering how many points I should deduct from the final score just for the horrible Underworld bit alone.

I'm about to hit the second game, so could someone give me a heads-up as to what exactly people hate so much about it?

Title: I'm returning God of War III today. Tell me which of these I should rent next.
Posted: April 06, 2010 (08:51 AM)
Aliens vs. Predator
Army of Two: The 40th Day
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Brütal Legend
Just Cause 2
Resonance of Fate
The Saboteur
Yakuza 3

This list is comprised mostly of new-ish titles, so if you have any other suggestions you can feel free to mention them, although the rental place near me has a fairly limited selection. (Like, they don't even carry Uncharted 2, so I had to trudge all the way down to the Blockbuster on Oregon Avenue last semester to play it.)
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Title: March Mayhem (again).
Posted: April 04, 2010 (06:01 PM)
Valve pulled ahead at the last minute and overtook Zynga, and as of now the voting is closed. And I'll admit that this turn of events caused me to breathe a slight sigh of relief, a salute to the (seemingly) thousands of FarmVille and Mafia Wars requests I've ignored. Though I'm less excited about Zynga losing and more excited about the final match-up:


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Title: I don't know if this is funny or sad.
Posted: April 01, 2010 (11:01 PM)
Is anyone else following March Mayhem over at the Escapist? It's an annual tournament-style developers' showdown in which users vote on their favorite dev teams. It's just meant to be fun. Since it's just a popularity contest, no one typically takes it seriously.

This year, though, there's been quite a bit of commotion. For some reason, Zynga was included among the 64 developers. And they're winning.

You might not recognize the name, but you know their products, because you've ignored about a thousand invitations to FarmVille and Mafia Wars. They're the creators of Flash-based Facebook games, and since they've been rallying up their millions of fans to join the Escapist and vote for them, they've been steamrolling their competition. They've beaten NCSoft, Infinity Ward, Rockstar, and Square Enix in that order. They are currently up against Valve. And they are winning.

It begs an interesting question: Do these guys deserve to win? Most of the Escapist community is up in flames over the very inclusion of Zynga, and the fact that they've got a good shot at winning the whole competition is worrying to an awful lot of people. The most common criticism is that their products barely even qualify as games when compared to the titans they've been matched against. Others point out Zynga's history of scamming its users. Their defenders claim that it's telling that the amount of support their games have amassed eclipses that of an entire gaming community.

What do you all think? Personally, while I don't really care about March Mayhem itself, I'm quite intrigued by the uproar Zynga has caused on the Escapist. A lot of (otherwise presumably smart and courteous) Escapist users have been modded or banned over their comments left in the thread for Zynga's matches, and it really seems to be bringing out the worst in the community. Regardless of how much March Mayhem matters to me (i.e. not much), I can't deny that this year's tournament will be remembered as a disaster for the remainder of the contest's existence.

Honestly, I'd have had fun following the contest if it wasn't for the misstep of including Zynga. BioWare is currently beating out Blizzard in the other leg of the tournament, and a final matchup between BioWare and Valve would have been the most epic showdown ever. As it stands... meh.

Title: Two warnings about the Heavy Rain review I just submitted.
Posted: March 31, 2010 (11:28 PM)
1. I used the term "gameplay" a couple of times.

2. It's a very long review. I had a lot to say about this game, and nobody else was saying it for me seeing as how there don't seem to be any other negative Heavy Rain reviews on the web. Though that's probably because most of the people to whom it wouldn't appeal had the common sense to stay away. I wasn't so smart.

By the way, Genj caught that I originally rated the game a 4. I dropped it one more to better reflect my review. My first score was more or less awarded out of pity since the story really does get good, though I wound up dropping it in light of everything the game does wrong. And it does many things wrong.

Edit: HOLY SHIT that was fast. Props to EmP on that one.
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Title: Heavy Rain is exhilarating.
Posted: March 29, 2010 (07:20 AM)


No, sorry. I was thinking of something else. Yeah, this game is boring.

Title: Hey Australians.
Posted: March 21, 2010 (02:31 PM)
How does it feel to be free once and for all?

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Title: Console Fanboyism Is Stupid, Vol. 18,735
Posted: March 12, 2010 (11:28 PM)






Title: Muse @ Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA (3/2/10)
Posted: March 03, 2010 (01:12 PM)
New Born
Map of the Problematique
Supermassive Black Hole
Guiding Light
United States of Eurasia
Feeling Good
Helsinki Jam
Undisclosed Desires
Plug In Baby
Time Is Running Out
Unnatural Selection
Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1 (Overture)
Stockholm Syndrome
Man w/ Harmonica
Knights of Cydonia

I'm not going to bring out the scorecard I wrote up a few months ago since they probably failed big time, but while the setlist wasn't nearly what I would've wanted it to be, this was my first time seeing Muse and it was easily the best show I've ever been to. Part of that was due to our general admission tickets; the entire floor of Wachovia Center was made into a standing section, and we got there early enough to secure a spot, maybe, twenty feet from the stage (about five rows back). Muse fans are known for being fanatical and the crowd at this show didn't disappoint. We started moshing during the very first song and the rest of the night was spent fist pumping, headbanging, jumping up and down and screaming the lyrics to every song as loud as we could. It was tight and sweaty as hell but completely worth it, and really improved the atmosphere of a show that would have been amazing anyway.

I was careful not to look up any of the setlists preceding this one (and I'm glad I did, because Fairfax's was identical, apparently) but I had a general idea of what to expect: All of the popular singles, one or two songs we might not have anticipated, and a slew of tracks from their new album, The Resistance. There were a few lesser known songs I would've wanted to hear (Citizen Erased, Bliss, Butterflies & Hurricanes, etc.), but they pretty much hit all of the big crowd-pleasers, which probably made it a more energetic show in the long run.

Surprisingly, they didn't play a single song from Showbiz, but I'm honestly okay with that. It's got some good songs, but very few (if any) actual showstoppers and nothing I was dying to hear. I only noticed long after the show that none of the Showbiz tracks made it, so I guess it didn't matter to me.

The real measure of a Muse song in a live setting is how much it gets the audience going, and in that regard, Plug In Baby and (to my surprise) Supermassive Black Hole were the clear winners there, with Time Is Running Out and Stockholm Syndrome getting honorable mention. I'd have expected Knights of Cydonia to level the place, and it almost did, but by then we were getting a little worn out. It seems better as an opener than a closer, a song to get people moving right out of the gate rather than to force one last massive rave just before Muse left the show for good. This was just the standing section, though; I'm guessing the people with seats could have gone on for ten more songs. Still, in retrospect, epic ending to the show.

I'd anticipated quite a few tracks from The Resistance, and I don't blame them for at least letting these songs run their course, but the crowd easily responded the least to these. It's difficult to say whether this is because they're still new songs or they're just not as good as Muse's older stuff, but I'm guessing the latter. Taking the stage with Uprising fit the edgy, almost sci-fi theme of the set, but it's not a knockout opener, and going straight into the cheesily-penned Resistance felt like a mistake. (They did Supermassive Black Hole second in many of their previous shows, which made more sense, since it was the first song to really get the crowd going.) Undisclosed Desires was the biggest crowd-sterilizer of the show, to my delight (because that song sucks and I want them to get the message); United States of Eurasia was definitely better in a live setting but still not good enough to be worth keeping for future tours; and I definitely wasn't expecting to hear Guiding Light, but the surprise doesn't make it a particularly great song or anything.

On the other hand, Unnatural Selection (one of the better, more old-school songs from The Resistance) was a smart choice to close the main act, and taking the stage again with Exogenesis was fucking awesome, especially since I'm glad they didn't waste their time playing all three parts. I should mention that the set was absolutely out of this world: Each band member had his own massive tower with giant LCD screens on each side, and each platform would rise and fall depending on the song. Namely, Matt and company would be raised for the more laid-back songs, while the heavier, more riff-heavy stuff had Matt rocking out on our level. They're known for their ridiculously over-elaborate live shows and they did not disappoint in any way here. The Flaming Lips are the only band I've seen that give them any competition in this regard, and even then, the Lips could never match this sort of scale.

The only sore spot on the set was Feeling Good. This isn't a new song, nor was it really a crowd-pleaser, so I don't know why they played it. I like the song, mind you, but I'd rather they'd spent that time playing something else. On the other hand, I'm very glad I got to hear Map of the Problematique. It's one of my favorite songs from Black Holes and Revelations and I can picture it fading from their setlists in the coming years, so I'm glad I caught it.

The show was worth it to hear the big hits in such an incredibly lively setting, and being able to hear New Born, Hysteria, Starlight and the like alongside thousands of people just as eager to hear them is pretty much what I've been living for over the past few years. The only downside to this show is that every live concert I go to from this point forward will seem like a tremendous step down. This show completely lived up to my expectations, and I can't wait for them to come around again.

I'd post some pictures, except MY FUCKING DIGITAL CAMERA GOT STOLEN. I did get a few with my phone, though, so I might post those after I upload them, if I ever do. In the meantime, do check out this video of them playing Stockholm last night. I'll add that I was closer to the stage than whoever made this video.

Oh yes: Silversun Pickups opened the show, and they were pretty good. I'm familiar with both of their albums and I recognized most of the songs. Kinda forgot about them after the main set began, but whatever.
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