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honestgamer It's not all an elaborate ruse, some misguided attempt to establish for myself an online persona of dubious quality. I really am dull. If you don't find that unbearable, though, this is my blog that examines just how truly boring I can be.

Title: Mario Kart DS Impressions
Posted: November 16, 2005 (12:17 AM)
I'm happy to report that Mario Kart DS thus far has been even better than I hoped it could be. I read the IGN review and the guy who wrote it said that this is the best Mario Kart game ever. I scoffed at the notion... until I played it.

Basically, the thing that sticks out the most to me is the rush of nostalgia. Generally, it's of the good kind. While there are those areas that harken back to games like Mario Sunshine, which I just can't feel as fondly about as some of the classics, there are also more Super Mario Bros. 3 shoutouts than there have been in the series since the original Super Mario Kart. It's really quite cool.

The bottom screen is also pretty cool. I haven't bothered touching it yet because I'm too busy racing, but I've looked at it a lot. What it does is display an overhead look at the map, complete with little icons that let you know where banana peels and such are. Obviously, you don't want to focus just on that, as you won't be able to power slide or make quick dives to the side to avoid impending threats that bottom screen doesn't yet show, but it's really quite a bit more useful than the bottom screen Nintendo developed in Super Mario Kart.

So, you've got really cool tracks that remind me of Super Mario Bros. 3 (there's even a desert level that has a scowling sun), power slides that work like a charm, lots of tracks (four cups with four tracks each, plus another helping in the form of 'retro' tracks) and the WiFi connection that I haven't been able to try yet. This is looking thus far to be a 9 or 10 sort of game. Certainly, I'm happy to own a DS right now. If you can, check this one out!
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Title: A little good, a lot of bad, more good, more bad...
Posted: November 15, 2005 (05:41 PM)
Today has been a rollercoaster sort of a day. First, I woke up depressed because Mario Kart DS totally came out of nowhere and surprised me with its release. Don't ask me how because I don't know. I became consciously aware of its release only just recently.

So I complained about that and my wife said I should buy it. So I went to Best Buy and they didn't have it. Neither did Target. I went to Game Crazy and the FedEx truck arrived the same time I did, so I snagged one of the three surplus copies they got in.

This got me thinking about wireless, because I would definitely like to play the game wirelessly on my DS. Before that, though, my wife and I went to Del Taco. It's a chain I'd not heard of before, but they put a new one in a few weeks ago so I wanted to try it out. Turns out their food is actually really, really good (better than Taco Bell) and the price is affordable (cheaper than Taco Bell). They actually use high-quality ingredients, and the people there were cheerful and quick. I'll definitely be eating there again.

Anyway, I also picked up the new Big & Rich CD because they are awesome.

Then I went home and decided to get wireless enabled on my Qwest modem. I called support and they got it done, but I couldn't get the DS to detect an access point. This is when I should have stopped. I didn't. Instead, I went into the modem configuration and tried changing the channel, to see if that would impact the DS. It didn't, but it screwed my modem. Not only that, but it screwed other things.

I called Qwest again, and they said "Oh, wow, you're hosed, better contact the computer manufacturer because your card is bad." I hung up, then checked the other computer. It also wasn't running right, which made me decide the modem was at least part of the problem. So I called up Qwest again.

This time, I got another lady. She was a little grumpy when I couldn't hear her very well (her voice was quite muffled and my phone is crappy to boot), but we worked through things. Basically, the modem was totally screwed and it messed up my computer. We got one of the computers running online, but I couldn't get my main (gaming) machine back up and running. The lady said that basically, I'll have to contact the manufacturer.

She had become a lot nicer by the end of the phone call, which didn't really make sense, but oh well. I hung up and said to myself, "Well, I'm not going to wait on Dell." So my options as I saw it were to get a new ethernet card, or to try screwing around with the hardware configurations some more. After much testing, I was finally able to uninstall the card, then reinstall it and now it works perfectly. I'm back online.

Of course, Mario Kart DS still won't let me play online. I'm going to just try the offline mode now. Also, the Big & Rich CD is thus far a disappointment. We'll see how it holds up to repeated listens, but the first one was mind-numbingly awesome and this newer one is just... really good. Kind of a letdown, but maybe it'll grow on me.

On an unrelated note, the UPS truck showed up as I was finally getting my Internet running. They had another game, Disney's Chicken Little, which was cool because i wasn't sure I could get the publisher to send it. They did, so I'll review that here sometime in the near future. They also sent a bobblehead doll, made out of pewter or something. Heavy and intricately carved and... broken. The legs snapped off from the base, which kind of sucks because I can't imagine gluing anything together and making it look even halfway decent. Even so, it was awesome of them to send it. First non-game swag a publisher has decided to send. Will it affect the rating I give the game? No, but it was still neat.

Anyway, I'm halfway through the day now. The way it's been going, I should probably go sleep while I'm ahead. You know I won't, though.
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Title: Well, that was quite the streak...
Posted: November 15, 2005 (04:12 AM)
I don't know why it is that the mood to get so much done struck me this evening, but it did. I got a whole ton of stuff done.

First, I set up a feature some FAQ writers wanted. Now they can easily click to leave feedback on submissions, just like reviewers could. Should be cool if they take advantage of it.

Second, I finally fixed a bug that came about when blogs were implemented. Basically, it prevented staff members from receiving their HG Points. That problem is resolved.

That wasn't enough, though. The blog game collection listings had some minor errors in terms of the counts, which tended to be off by one. Those are fixed, provided users update their lists (something that shouldn't take most people long at all). Not only that, but I added a new link so they can finally add new systems and lists, as those items become available. Just in time for the Xbox 360 launch!

Now, most people would've called it quits at this point, and normally that would have included me. But I decided not to. Instead, I added search functionality to the blogs. Now you can search by various topics, and choose which user posts will show. For example, you might want to check out the posts bluberry has made on web design. Then again, you might not. After all, he's not as cool as I am.

Anyway, that wraps things up. I have to get some sleep now, and in the morning I'm sure there will be something or other that isn't working. I'm pretty drained right about now, so any glitches people find might not get fixed right away. Or... who knows? Maybe there won't be any glitches at all. I can always hope.
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Title: Super Viagra
Posted: November 09, 2005 (12:28 AM)
I've noticed just these past few days that I'm now getting spam for an exciting new product called Super Viagra. I don't know when this hit the market, but I don't recall hearing about it even as little as a week ago.

What makes it super, I wonder? Is it one retailer saying "Hey, I have viagra, but I've gotta think of some new buzzword so I can sell mine," or is there actually some medical group that decided the term was appropriate? I'm guessing it's the former.

Anyway, I'm not buying any Super Viagra. I don't need it. But if you need some, I'm pretty sure I can hook you up with a few e-mail addresses. I've deleted all the ones in my mailbox at the moment, but I'm sure there will be another three or four come this time tomorrow. Just let me know. We can keep it our little secret.
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Title: World domination is now within my grasp
Posted: November 01, 2005 (11:56 PM)
Well, something I'd wanted to do for awhile now was make it so that staff members can write one review for a multi-platform game and have it show up on several game profile pages. It sucks that a site like IGN can generate one review, then spread it out amongst its channels and look more industrious than HonestGamers, which might well do the same amount of work or even more.

Well, that's fixed. Now when a site staff member submits a Playstaton 2 review (just as an example), he can say "Hey, this review also is perfectly accurate for the Xbox and GameCube versions of the game!"

There's a little more to it than that, but the days when a staff member would have had to go to each system and submit multiple reviews are gone. The site now tracks such things and displays the reviews accordingly. For a test, I've updated lasthero's review of Medal of Honor: European Assault so that it shows under the GameCube and Xbox versions, even though it's the Playstation 2 version he reviewed.

Why did I pick lasthero's review? It was the newest multi-platform game staff members have currently reviewed. I hope to experiment again soon with a review of my own for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. I bet you're all just tingling with excitement, aren't you?
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Title: I have to play games today...
Posted: October 25, 2005 (10:50 AM)
Yes, I have to play games today. They're not games I would've gone out to the store and bought with the intention of playing. Well, one of them is... but it's not out yet. So, instead of walking outside and staring at the way the sun speckles the lawn with golden rays of warmth, I get to cower in my cave with a Playstation 2 controller gripped tightly in sweaty hands as I cast glances at the refrigerator and wish I weren't too lazy to get up and grab myself a soda.

Pity me.
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Title: AP Stylebook
Posted: October 19, 2005 (03:46 PM)
Today, I picked up a copy of the AP Stylebook from the local Barnes & Noble. I did this for a number of reasons, but mostly it was so that I can win arguments. Picture this scenario:

Jim: I think you are quite wrong, Scott. Clearly, the word 'come' is used improperly in that sentence.

Scott: Pestilence!

Jim: I have no idea what you just said, or what it has to do with anything, but this matter must be resolved. Look, here's Jason!

Jason: Yes, here I am, to save the day! And look, I've brought my copy of the AP Stylebook. Clearly, Scott is wrong.

Scott: Gubernatorial.

And so you see that the book has a multitude of uses. You don't really argue grammar with someone when he has easy access to an AP Stylebook. It's like walking into a Pacific Northwest cave dressed as a spare rib.

Anyway, I'm quite happy with my purchase. It has some fascinating entries and some information that's cool in general. Give it a look sometime!
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Title: Nintendo DS
Posted: October 18, 2005 (12:20 PM)
Nintendo DS,
Oh yes, oh yes!
You give me such glee,
When you play with me.
I hit your screen,
I know it's mean,
But you play so coy,
Like some sort of toy.

Nintendo DS,
Oh yes, oh yes!
Your screens so largess,
Look like such a mess.
I wipe you with a cloth,
I'm certainly no sloth,
But you show my fingerprints,
Like so many dents.

Nintendo DS,
Oh yes, oh yes!
I shout at you at night,
I give my wife a fright.
I blow and blow,
So how do you know,
When I've done it just right,
And the game is won?

Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS...
Okay, now I'm done.
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Title: Mario
Posted: October 17, 2005 (08:43 PM)
Run and jump
There's a
Run, jump, squish, stomp!
A Koopa!

Vibrant rainbows
Chasing clams
Peach is pretty in pink
Koopa, koopa, koopa!
It burns, fire from a
Sad, happy, bottomless pit

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Title: Random thoughts...
Posted: October 16, 2005 (09:35 AM)
Do you ever find yourself just randomly thinking about some spot in a game you haven't played in awhile? I did this morning. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an image sprang to mind.

If you've played Super Mario Bros. 3, you probably remember World 5, with its cloudy levels, dizzying heights, and those beetles you can ride on in that one level. I didn't think of those things, though. I thought of the part in World 5 where you climb the tower that connects the stage's uper and lower maps. More specifically, I thought about the part just after the thwomps and the lamp-lit hallway, where you emerge onto the castle parapats and there are all those bricks. You run to the right, smashing the hopping brick monsters, and then you see it: the pipe leading upward into banks of clouds, and the wall of bricks to your right. I don't know why, but that's the scene that came to mind.

Super Mario Bros. 3 really was an impressive game. I started thinking about the frog suit in world 4 (yes, I know it shows up first in world 3) and the level that was basically just one long row of pipes in world 7. Then I remembered how long the game is if you just try to rush through it all in one day. It's a massive project! I wonder how many people actually beat the game without ever realizing there were warp zones. Not many, I'd wager. Sure, I've done it after beating the game by warping. But somewhere, there must be someone who did it before. Whoever you are, I pity you.
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