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pup Name: Brian Rowe
Date of Birth: 9/7/1980
Location: Brew City USA

All-time favorite game: Fallout 2 (PC)
Least favorite game: Friday the 13th (NES)

Title: Heath Ledger is dead
Posted: January 22, 2008 (04:16 PM)
This is not a lame pun, or a sick joke. Heath Ledger was found dead in an apartment this afternoon, with sleeping pills strewn about the room.

Read more here

Title: Because you can't collect binary
Posted: January 19, 2008 (12:00 AM)
A few weeks ago, Daff got me one of the best Christmas presents a guy like me could ask for. While I got some very cool stuff, like the ninja-black Wage from Ugly Dolls, and Gamer Theory by McKenzie Wark, he gave me his Nex! Coincidentally, he tossed in Karnov and Legendary Wings. You sir, have serious psychic talents. Legendary Wings was my favorite game for many years.

I had a handful of NES games to begin with, but never anything to play them on. I could have went and bought an NES, but they always look like they've been living in the gutters. Besides, the cartridges are what really matter to me. Screw emulation when you have the real thing. They might look and play exactly the same, but when I look at my bookshelf, The Legend of Zelda glistens and shimmers as though it's looking back. Can a ROM do that?

My store has only recently started accepting older games, and people are finally catching on. These past two weeks have been amazing. I've managed to snag some great games, including Bubble Bobble, Skate or Die, Metroid, and Bionic Commando. Sadly, oh so very sadly, I missed both Maniac Mansion and River City Ransom. All I have to do is find Dodgeball though, and everything will be okay.

Thanks again Daff.
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Title: Just some random things
Posted: January 10, 2008 (12:46 PM)
I've been reviewing a number of DS games lately, with another coming up quickly, which prompted HonestGamer to say, "People are going to start thinking you like the DS or something!" I'm guessing that was sarcastic, because out of 11 DS games reviewed, I thoroughly enjoyed 1 of them. That's a 10-1 record, and although I won't spoil it, I'm about to go 11-1.

So here is a belated New Year's resolution. I will review more DS games that I actually like, so as not to be such a cranky masochist. Looking at my shelf, I could do Geo Wars and Contra 4. Those are both excellent, for the scant time I've had to play them since Christmas (i.e. five minutes each). I could even take on Portrait of Ruin. Who cares if it's been done? I like my DS and don't want people thinking otherwise.

In other news, skate. got the best of me. Yesterday, I went out and picked up a new board and some shoes to go with it. Combat boots aren't conducive to skating. It was foolishly spur of the moment, but if I hadn't done it in a momemnt of stupidity I would have talked myself out of it. I'm glad I rushed in.

I hadn't ridden anything but my monster old-school (circa 1986) in seven years. I was pretty wobbly at first, but that extended hiatus might have been just what I needed to kick out some old habits that were holding me back. Within two hours, I was effortlessly popping ollies and pulled two successful kickflips. I lost my shove-it skills, but I made up for it with my first nollie ever, and even one-upped that with a nollie 180.

Sometimes stupidity pays off.
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Title: It's the little things in life.
Posted: January 05, 2008 (09:40 PM)
We have a back room at work where we have overstock DVDs and the bathroom. Assuming you can read the big red sign on the white door, it's pretty easy to tell that it's for employees only. That doesn't stop some people from trying though. My coworkers and I heard the door's trademark squeak and looked around to realize that all employees were accounted for. Someone was back there. I stomped my way over, slammed the door open, and threw on my hardest pose, ready to get hit with a bumrush. Instead, I caught some guy standing at the toilet with his junk hanging out.

I may have a crappy retail job, but at least it's always interesting.
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Title: Merry Christmas everyone
Posted: December 23, 2007 (03:52 PM)
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Title: Hey Daff
Posted: December 23, 2007 (01:24 PM)
I can't remember which Blu-ray movies you had and which ones you wanted me to watch out for. Sorry, but by the time I remembered, 300 had sold.
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Title: A trash bin of memories
Posted: December 16, 2007 (02:53 PM)
Next to sandbox design and quasi-futuristic body armor, Cineractives are some of the hottest buttons in gaming. Resident Evil 4 supposedly introduced them, God of War supposedly refined them, and they are, supposedly, pushing games to new peaks on the evolutionary scale. If nothing else, cineractives certainly are a welcome relief from the high-school prose posing as proverbs of endless insight (Metal Gear maybe?). I hate to imagine what our beloved hobby would have become had cineractives not appeared in... 1983.

That's right Leon. You may have brought cineractives to the masses, but the honor of originality goes to, this guy-

Okay. Crediting Dragon's Lair with birthing the cineractive might be a bit of a stretch. Timed button presses were the only challenges, and it was closer to being a cartoon than an actual game. Still, it played a large role in paving the way into modern gaming. Without Dragon's Lair, would there have been a Space Ace, Hologram Time Traveler, or the subsequent FMV craze of the '90s?

FMV games are cringe-inducing by today's standards, but there was a time when the grainy images of Under a Killing Moon and The 7th Guest sought to push gaming into a realm that could only be matched by the visual and narrative power of the cinema. They succeeded to a degree, until the novelty of realism wore off and the desire for depth took hold. Designers hit the drawing boards, hired professional screenwriters, and interspersed traditional gameplay with cutscenes of cinematic potential. Eventually, the disjointed experience of playing and watching, as in Final Fantasy VII, lead to the cinematic interaction of modern times.

It seemed good at the time.

Who knows? If it hadn't been for Dragon's Lair, we might have never seen Kratos' beautiful mutilation of Greek mythology, let alone controlled it. That, or we could have skipped the FMV holocaust.

Title: The Movie Line
Posted: December 15, 2007 (04:22 PM)
Newest additions to the collection:
Death Trance
Live Free or Die Hard

I am debating whether or not to purchase Sicko. I saw it in theaters, loved it, and entertained thoughts of moving to France as a result. Call me unpatriotic, but I bet you don't have a body full of deteriorating cartilage. Anyway, Sicko is not my first, or even hundredth choice for repeat viewings. The only reason I have for a purchase is to get other people to see the film.

I get very frustrated with Michael Moore's detractors. Moore has been charged with leaving out important facts, overdramatizing his subjects, and the most intelligent criticism of all, being obese. I agree with these charges, but I don't see him as the mastermind of a devious, liberal conspiracy as many people do. I suppose there could be a conspiracy, if encouraging people to think beyond the CNN news feed is a conspiracy.

Sicko is an emotional portrait of the US's broken healthcare system. Here's the catch. Sicko, almost exclusively, follows citizens who actually have health insurance, and contrasts their experiences with those from countries with universal healthcare. Maybe you have encountered your own problems. Even if you haven't, you may not be so lucky in the future. Sicko doesn't provide absolute solutions, but at least it can help start the conversation leading to one.
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Posted: December 04, 2007 (04:40 PM)
Wayne_Steed just posted a great video from the Protomen. I enjoyed it, but then I made the mistake of watching other Protomen videos, only to realize that they wear, *gasp* motorcycle helmets.

Now, I have nothing against motorcycle helmets in particular, and in fact, find them useful in a variety of situations - running into walls, beating people senseless, or maybe even riding a bike. What shocks me is that another musician would have the gall to challenge the king of all helmeted musical warriors.

I give you Bob Log III.

Someday, he'll be dating your sister.
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Title: Too good to play this game
Posted: December 02, 2007 (11:04 AM)
Linking reviews on the blog started out as a unique way to garner more attention, then somewhere along the line, things got blown out of proportion. Now, anyone capable of hammering three letters into a word processor is out here, screaming, "Look at me! Momma tells me I'm special, so read my review!"

I don't play that game. I'm happy with my 22nd place in the reviewing ranks. Sure, I wouldn't mind being up top, but I took that place fair and square. That means no cheap hype or tricky linking. If you want to see my reviews, you have to look for them. I guess that makes me obscure, hence, cooler than you.

Title: Guess I'll play something else
Posted: November 27, 2007 (07:54 PM)
I was looking for a new MMO to play and came across Cabal Online. I haven't read any reviews, but the game looks like it could be good. Lo and behold, I come across this warning.

"Please note: This game and these downloads are provided for EUROPEAN players ONLY. The game will not work if you attempt to play outside of Europe."

Maybe I'll try Space Cowboy.

That might have worked if the Download section would actually give me way to download the game. Next up, Last Chaos. I just hope my PC can handle it. Yes, my PC is that crappy.
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Title: Opening for music writers
Posted: November 26, 2007 (01:37 PM)
I saw this post on Craigslist and thought someone here might be interested. Emergingthoughts.com is looking for indie-music writers. It's a paid position and the site looks new, so it might be a good chance to get in on the ground floor somewhere.
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Title: Black Friday was a breeze
Posted: November 24, 2007 (10:36 AM)
My first Black Friday purchase ever, and I didn't even have to leave the house. It's a Panasonic TH42PX75 42" Plasma. There may be better out there, but at $400 off, it might as well be the holy grail in my eyes.

I can finally get rid of this crappy 20" mono TV that makes a constant, high-pitched whine, or at least until you hit it. I will be able to play Forza 2 and see the names of the parts, or play Gears of War online and see my opponents before we are face to face.

Just look at those kids. They sure love that TV.
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Posted: November 13, 2007 (10:10 AM)
My freelance article was published by The Escapist today. Here's the link.

This was my first time working with an editor, and it's been quite a revealing experience. I was shocked by how much he was able to trim here and there to keep the article running more smoothly. There are a few parts that received some unwanted changes, but for the most part, his edits were improvements.

As one of my old film production instructors said, "Cut out your mother's face." Sometimes, you have to cut out the one thing that's most important to you, but unimportant to the piece as a whole.
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Title: Dementium: The Ward
Posted: November 10, 2007 (02:37 PM)
According to GameRankings.com, I have given the lowest score out of anyone for Dementium: The Ward. Other than Game Informer's 5.75/10, the average score is 7.5.

Every review makes the same complaints, but then turns around and gives concession points for being on the DS. I shouldn't have to lower my standards just because a game is on the DS. Metroid Prime: Hunters is the perfect example of a game that moved to the handheld market and still kept its standards high. The DS has noticeable graphical limitations, but that has absolutely nothing to do with a flawed game design.

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