Video Game Blog
January - June 2006

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06/23/2006
Haven't really had alot to talk about.  This is the dead period for video games.  It is after all the hoopla of E3 and before the holiday season.  Not alot is going on in the industry.  Few new releases and nothing to talk about except for E3 and what was going on.

I was really looking forward to the Jaws game for the PS2 and XBOX.  But the reviews so far have been bad.  May have to wait on that one.  There are too many good games that are getting cheap to waste money on a bad game.

I am surprised that there has not been a new Magic the Gathering game for the consoles.   Last one was that awful Battlemage game for the XBOX and that was years ago.  The card game continues to do well and you would think it would be out on the consoles, especially with the online play.  Who knows.

I remember years ago, stumbling on some online Magic clone.  It was a card game that also had war game strategies as you had to move around characters to do battle.  I read about it in a magazine or something.  If you went to the site, you got a free deck of cards and one booster pack to start with.  But then you had to buy more cards to qualify for tournaments and stuff.  I started with my free cards and played for a bit.  I pretty much got hammered as I did not have all the cool cards that only came by spending $2.95 a pack for cards.  It was a scam to get people to pay out big time.  I cannot tell you how many people I talk to on there had bought over a hundred packs trying to get all the rare cards.  It just amazed how they could spend all this money for something that could be lost with one hard drive crash.


06/01/2006
Been a bit since I blogged here so I have alot to say.

First bit of news.  Word is that some Targets and Walmarts are selling the new Nintendo DS lites already.  The street date is June 11th, but with the large turnaround in employees and the limited training at these stores, mistakes like this happen.  So if you cannot wait, you may want to look into it. 

I have read that G4 is slowly phasing out being a video game network and becoming more of a guy's network.  Seeing how they added Star Trek and Star Trek Next Generation as well as stuff like the Man Show, I can see it happening.  As much as I will miss having a video game channel, it wasn't very good.  Most of the shows were fair at best and it just was more of a disappointment.

Speaking of G4, I watched the whole E3 Special.  It was three hours long and it had maybe 15 actual minutes of game footage.  It was probably one of the worst things I have ever watched.  Most of the show had them going from one person to another talking about this or that.  Outside of a few decent interviews and a little game footage, it was more of a waste of time than anything.  I laughed when they did a segment on all the great third party support coming to the Wii.  All they showed were a whopping three games.  It was laughable how they would say there were all these games at the convention and they pretty much showed about a dozen games.  Yes, I understand that Halo 3, Gears of War, Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, Madden, Mario Galaxy and a few others are popular games, but there is more to the show than just the big games.  With shows like this, maybe it is best they switch the network to a guy network instead of a video game network.

Was reading about a new Marvel game coming to the XBOX that allows you to create your own super hero team from a huge roster.  Finally someone who is figuring it out.  Every comic fan has dreamed of making their own super team.  I remember as a kid having debates with friends about what would be the best Avengers line-up.  We would go on about either having a super powered team that would have guys like the Hulk, Thor and the Thing in it to a more balanced team that would have people like Dr. Strange, Storm and Captain America.  It was great to come up with different teams and dream up stories.  Depending how well they do this game, it could be huge.


05/20/2006
The new Superman game looks really good.  The screen shots are great and the wide open gameplay sounds like a winner.  I will hold reservations as they have not made a good Superman game since the Atari 2600 version.  Superman has been anything but super when it came to video games.  Maybe this one will reverse the trend.

Saw footage of Super Mario Galaxy and the next Legend of Zelda game.  They look nice but nothing amazing.  Hopefully the gameplay with the new controller will make up for it.


05/11/2006
Been reading all the latest news from E3.  Still waiting for a price on the Nintendo Wii.  With Sony's very high price, it has a chance to grab some major market share.  Parents will be heading to the stores this holiday for a new system for the kids (especially if the economy continues to rebound) and if the Wii is  at $199.99 as predicted, it could really get some parents to choose it over the PS3.  Think about it, a system for $500.00 or a system and 5 or 6 games for the same price?  Yeah, the PS3 will play Blu Ray movies, but that will not be much of  a factor this holiday.  How many Blu Ray movies have you seen for sale?  How many people do you know that are asking about them?  It may be a factor next year, but this year I don't see it as an advantage.

Don't get me wrong, I think the PS3 will do well.  I just don't see it doing as well early.  It is the system of the future with specs to die for, but it will need a few truly amazing titles to get the average consumer to bite on the high price.  The early adopters and Sony fans will buy it and it will most likely sell out during the holiday, but the sales in the spring and next fall will be the test.  And with XBOX 360 building a sizable lead (nearly 5 million units sold already) and the Wii getting major buzz from the controller, the price and the downloadable game library, Sony will have its work cut out to claim its third title.

05/10/2006
Was shopping at Costco today and saw a mountain of XBOX 360 systems for sale.  Guess the drought is over.  Now it will be interesting to see how well they sell with all the news of PS3 and Wii coming out of E3. 

I had a bummer moment at Disney Quest (it is a giant arcade on the Disney properties that is in a word, awesome).  I just had my best score ever on Mr. Do where I broke 100,000.  I was sure that I would have the high score, but found out that the high score on it is actually 350,000.  I was bummed.  But I still did have my best score and that is pretty cool.

05/09/2006
Back from my annual family vacation (for the third year in a row we went to Disney World) and back in time for the E3 news.  Things are really getting interesting with the next generation console war.  The XBOX 360 has announced that Grand Theft Auto 4 will be released on it at the same time as the PS3.  Now that is a big blow to Sony who used the exclusivity of this and other games to dominate the last generation.  Add in Halo 3, Gears of War and a Final Fantasy game coming and things are looking much rosier for the XBOX 360.

Prices for the PS3 are now official.  $499.99 with a 20 gig hard drive and $599.99 with a 60 gig hard drive.  Why you need an extra 40 gig is beyond me, but maybe it means more downloadable content or possibly it works like a Tivo.  Who knows but there is probably a good reason to pony up another $100.00 for the extra room.

The next Mario game will be called Super Mario Galaxy for the Nintendo Wii.  So Mario is going from the sunshine to space, probably a good move.  I would like to see them maybe incorporate Starfox into the game. 

Early reports are positive for the Wii controller.  I hope it really does live up to the hype as video games need a shakeup.  Speaking of controllers, I see that Sony has gone back to the same style of controller that the PS2 had and dropped the awful looking boomerang controller.  Good for them.  I just hope they did a few modifications to make it better.

05/01/2006
Just watched the latest episode of Robot Chicken and they had a hilarious take on Spy Hunter.  They kept jumping in as a news cast to the car chase that featured the Spy Hunter vehicle.  It was quite funny.  If you are not easily offended, it is a hilarious show.

Speaking of Robot Chicken, the previous episode had Dragon's Lair the Middle Ages.  It featured Dirk the Daring driving to work in traffic.  Very funny stuff.

Still trying to warm up to the new name of Nintendo's system, but it just is not happening.  Hopefully the system itself will be good enough to make us forget what is possibly the worst name ever for a video game system.

This fall is shaping up to have some great games.  With the Marvel game from the makers of X-Men Legends and the Justice League game, we are seeing some really promising super hero games.  Let's hope they are as good, if not better than the most recent games.  It is becoming a good time to be a comic book fan who plays video games.


04/27/2006
Just saw that Nintendo changed the name of their next generation machine from the Revolution to the Wii.  Maybe it is me but I really liked the Revolution.  With the unique controller, the name really fit.  And it had a cool, rebellious ring to it.  But the Wii?  I cannot figure that one out.  I know it is supposed to mean "We" as in it is for everyone, but it makes me think of something else.  And you will have people think it is "Why" instead of "We" and may ask "Why would I want it?"  I don't like it, but then if the system is good, you can call it anything you like and have success.

Wonder if Nintendo will do a new version of Nintendogs for the Wii?  Think of what you can do with the new controller and a game like that.  You could play tug a war, play fetch, pet them, use it teach them tricks, it could be really cool.  And it could be the kind of game that gets people who are not game fans interested.  It is one thing to do it on the DS, where most non gamers are not interested in a portable system, but one on the TV that would really feel more interactive could be cool. 

04/22/2006
Want to see alot of video game commercials?  Then watch wrestling.  One of my sons is really into wrestling and I was watching it with him.  While I have no idea who these guys are, the commercials were cool.  The new Tomb Raider commercial is very good.  It got my interest in the game and I really had no interest in the game before that.  Now that is a good commercial.

Another good commercial was for Oblivion.  I wanted the game before but now I really want the game.  Still not enough to get me to dish out $400.00 for an XBOX 360 but it gets me interested.  That game looks awesome.  And word is that it plays just as good.

I see that the XBOX 360 will have an add-on for the HD-DVD drive.  But it will not be used for video games, just movies.  First they make the hard drive separate and now this.  Is it me or is Microsoft making some major mistakes?  If the PS3 comes with the Blu Ray and a hard drive and is under $500.00, look for the XBOX 360 to fall way behind.  I do not understand why Microsoft does this. 

04/17/2006
Been getting a ton of traffic from Gamespot.  Not sure why but it is a ton of hits.  Thank you Gamespot! 

Been playing alot of an online game called Adventure Quest.  It is an old school RPG.  The graphics are about Sega Genesis quality but there is a ton of stuff in the game.  You can play for free or you can pay a one time fee of $14.99 to become a guardian and get all kinds of bonuses.  Yesterday, they had an easter egg hunt in which you could trade in the eggs for special weapons and armor that was Easter themed.  The only bad thing was they only lasted as long as you were connected.  It is a great game with updates weekly.

04/16/2006
Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it!  It amazes how many kids these days get big presents in their Easter baskets.  Stuff like video games and DVDs.  When I was little, you would get candy and maybe a small stuffed animal.  But that was it.  To be young again.  Anyway, enjoy your holiday and hope the bunny was good to you!

04/15/2006
So far the reviews for Tomb Raider have been positive.  That's good for the game industry as she is one of the few recognizable characters to people who are not gamers.  I can still remember playing the original one on the Playstation.  I was so impressed with the game that I bought the sequel without reading a review.

Saw a new Justice League game is in the works.  About time that DC Comics has a game about their most famous super hero group.  I am still surprised that there has not been a game based on Green Lantern.  With that ring, you could make an awesome game.  It would be tough to implement the power ring and make it great, but if you could figure it out, you would have an awesome game.

E3 is right around the  corner and this year will once again be huge.  With the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Revolution debuting at the show, things should be exciting.  Add in the XBOX 360 with the next group of games, ones that should better take advantage of the power of the system.  I cannot wait to see some actual Playstation 3 and Revolution games in action.  Plus we always have the surprises.  Will Microsoft do some kind of bundle or something to keep the demand up with the new systems?  Will we see the next Grand Theft Auto game?  Will they give a release date for Halo 3?  Which companies will sign exclusive deals to release their games for just one system?

I see the PSP (playstation portable) is getting a price drop.  It will now be $199.99 but they are taking away the memory card and headphones (I think).  Wonder how this will affect sales, especially with the new DS Lite arriving.


04/09/2006
Looking through the Sunday circulars for video game deals and saw some games that I did not know were coming out or coming out so soon.  The first was "The Bible Game."  I completely missed this one.  Part of it could be that I am not in the market for a religious video game, so it is easy to miss what you are not looking for.  While I have my doubts on how good it will be, I hope it is better than its predecessors.  Pretty much every religious game in the past was garbage.  They took a game that already existed and changed some graphics and text and called it a new game.  Gotta love a religious game that steals.  I know nothing about this one, but hopefully it is at least an original game.  Probably will end up being a trivia game or something like that.  I'm sure Rod and Todd would approve.

The other game that caught my eye is the new Tomb Raider game.  I knew there has been alot of hype surrounding the game.  After the last few games that were pretty bad, the game is being made by a whole new development team.  What will be more interesting is whether the gaming public will care about Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, whether the game is good or not.  It has been awhile since there was a new game and even longer since there was a game worth playing, so I doubt there are many people who are waiting with bated breath for the game.  But I could be wrong.  My personal prediction is that the game will be heavily discounted within three months after lackluster sales. 

The first reason to want to own an XBOX 360 has come out, at least for me.  That is Oblivion, the Elder Scroll game.  The reviews are very positive and it looks like the improved some of the problems with the last game (fighting, getting lost easily).  It is not enough to get me to buy it, but it is a move in the right direction.  I always need at least five must have games to want to buy a new system.  So I need four more.

There has been like zero talk about the next Grand Theft Auto game.  I am sure there is one in the works, the company needs one.  But with all the lawsuits, it is possible that they want to keep a low profile. 

Speaking of Rockstar, wonder which movie they will make a video game of next?  The Warriors did very well and showed they can do a great game based on a classic movie.  Here are a few ideas for you - Escape from New York, Island of Dr. Moreau, Valley of the Gwangi and Conan the Barbarian.  Probably not the most mature list that most people would expect, but ones that offer cool experiences.  Think of an Escape from New York game which would be similar to The Warriors, but more futuristic and crazy.  The Island of Dr. Moreau could be more of an exploration game with you trying to figure out what happened to the disfigured creatures and how to get off the island.  Then you could have a fun third person game in Valley of the Gwangi where you and other cowboys are in the land of dinosaurs.  Last, you have Conan the Barbarian that could have a Morrowind type game based in the Conan universe.  It could borrow from the two movies, hundreds of comic books and dozens of novels.  With the tons of monsters, bad guys and women it could be a great game.  The goal could be to eventually become king.

 
04/01/2006
Received this email from a girl named Elizabeth who says she is the newly minted AOL Games rep.  She sent these news tidbits for me to post in the video game blog.  They are all April Fools jokes (if you follow the links, you will see that they say it on the bottom, not that any affluent gamer would need to be told, they are pretty far fetched) but they are pretty funny so I thought I would share them with you.  Enjoy!

"Nude Cheat for 'Madden '06' Released"
http://videogames.aol.com/canvases/articles?id=20060331100609990001
Popular football game gets an unexpected and eye opening patch.
By Michael Mullen, AOL GAMES

  The team of EA Sports and Madden has long been synonymous with gaming.
Fans look forward to new rosters, new players, better graphics (in most
cases), new modes and, each year, a new cover athlete destined to fall
victim to the 'Madden' Curse.

The AOL community boards lit up on Friday after one post revealed a
patch for 'Madden 06' called "The Full Monty Madden" which apparently
shows off how well the full motion capture people did their work -- the
patch removes each player's outfits.

Reportedly, the patch offers no features or enhancements other than
full-on streaking football, besides a few game balancing issues where
tackles are a little less brutal and diving to get the football is a
little more "reserved."

Industry analysts say that this while this is not a "Hot Coffee" style
patch that would allow players to simulate sex, it has been downloaded
almost 40,000 times in one day. Oddly, 'Madden' fan sites and other
?Madden? players don't seem to be talking about it or posting any
screenshots of the nude patch.

For the record, this reporter has not downloaded the patch which
depicts shockingly realistic representations of musculature and skin
tones (especially cover athlete Donovan McNabb's tattoo on his upper
hamstring is expertly rendered.) If you've downloaded the patch, please
feel free to enter the AOL Games boards to talk about your experiences
and opinions.

###################################################################

Konami Set to Launch 'DDR With The Stars"
http://videogames.aol.com/canvases/articles?id=20060331095809990001
The Dance Dance Revolution craze that got gamers off the couch may sit
them back down again.
By Michael Mullen, AOL Games

Konami's ?Dance Dance Revolution? has single-handedly removed the
spongy backsides of many gamers from their sweat-deformed couches to
the dance pads in front of their TVs. The game has helped its devotees
lose weight... an amazing feat since gamers usually have one hand on
the controller as the other explores the recesses of a Doritos bag.

The rhythm 'n' dance game has been picked up by 24 Hour Fitness who
wants to entice younger patrons into their clubs, mostly meat markets
consisting of balding men and chubby female divorcees devoted to a
lifetime of working out.

Building on that craze, Konami has been shopping around a new pilot
called "DDR with the Stars," a show that will build from the popularity
of the network's popular "Dancing With The Stars" show where one
celebrity and one professional (and often scantily clad) dancer work to
perfect their DDR dance technique and then compete using several dance
styles to test their versatility.

So far, Kevin Federline (Mr. Britney Spears), Evangeline Lilly (Lost),
Allison Janney (The West Wing) and William Shatner (Boston Legal) have
been announced as possible celebrities on the show sometime this fall.
Hosted by Subway's super slimmer Jared Fogle, the show will also
promote healthy lifestyles through better eating habits and activities
like DDR dancing as a viable weight loss method.

While the sets for 'Dancing with the Stars' looks like a mock ballroom,
'DDR with the Stars' will feature live bands and several live DJs in a
set that a Konami representative said will showcase a combo of
"high-energy dance party, large crowds and lots of lasers."

In concert with the show, Konami intends to ship a special 'DDR With
The Stars' game pack will allow users to compete with virtual
celebrities over the Internet or, alternately, give dancers a way to
find new dance partners around the globe. Konami's footloose feature
pack will also include a web cam that will let players grade each
other's style.
################################################################

Simpson Divorce Settlement Cites Lachey's 'World of Warcraft'
Addiction
http://videogames.aol.com/canvases/articles?id=20060331101509990001

Divorce papers call out 98 Degrees crooner's WoW addiction as cause for
breakup.
BY MICHEAL MULLEN, AOL GAMES

Recently unveiled court documents pertaining to the divorce of Jessica
Simpson and Nick Lachey recast the former 98 Degrees crooner as a
massively multiplayer role-playing game addict.

Court filings discovered by celeb gossip Web site TMZ.com showed that
Lachey had begun playing Blizzard's highly-addictive MMO game, ?World
of Warcraft? on the advice of his brother, Drew. Apparently, he began
playing over the course of a weekend and soon began spending
four-to-eight hours a day leveling-up his character, communing with
fellow in-game players and, apparently, ignoring his wife.

The court documents did not indicate Lachey's character name, class or
level. In a deposition, Simpson revealed some details regarding
Lachey's avatar when she asked,"why would my husband want to play a
game as a short blond orc thing wearing a leather skort?"

##################################################################

Uwe Boll Secures Rights to 'StarCraft' Movie Trilogy
http://videogames.aol.com/canvases/articles?id=20060331100209990001
The man who imspired gamers to hate film-makers secures one of
Blizzard's finest.
BY MICHEAL MULLEN, AOL GAMES

Teutonic movie director Uwe Boll has gathered the rights to more films
based on gaming franchises than any other director. Having already
produced movies like ?BloodRayne? and ?Alone in the Dark,? he's also
working on five other video-game based movies. You might say Boll is on
a roll.

Boll announced that he had secured the rights to create a film trilogy
loosely based on the popular sci-fi real-time gaming franchise
?StarCraft.? Publisher VU Games and Blizzard, the game?s developer,
released a joint statement that said they were "tickled pink" by the
Boll?s scripts and said his vision for the trilogy would only make the
?StarCraft? brand stronger.

Boll has not announced when filming would begin for the first of three
movies but said that the net has been cast for actors like Tara Reid,
Eric Roberts and Zeus 'Tiny" Lister to portray characters from the
Terran, Zerg and Protoss races.


03/31/2006
Curse you Gametap!  At $14.95 a month, it was easy to say no thank you.  But now you dropped the price to $9.95 a month and I am getting very tempted.  A very smart move on their part and one that I advocated a long time ago.  It was a good deal at $14.95 but it is a great deal at $9.95.

Been spending alot of time (probably too much time) playing an online RPG called Adventure Quest.  While I am normally too cheap to pay for an online game, it was a one time fee, so I ponied up.  It is a simplistic old school RPG but it has a ton of charm.  There must be a few hundred different monsters in the game alone.  Alot of time and a fair amount of humor went into the game and it shows.  They have free play if you want to try it.  Just be warned that if you liked RPGs from the 1980's to early 1990's, you may find yourself hooked.  I know that I am.

03/27/2006
Watched Tron the other day.  Have not seen it in at least 20 years.  Was skeptical at how much I would enjoy it.  I thought it was a very good movie in its day, but that was before there was the ability to create such stunning special effects that are so commonplace today.  Just look at how revolutionary the first Jurassic Park movie was.  But it looks very primitive as compared to a movie like the new King Kong.  With that in mind, I watch the movie with a bit of a negative attitude.  Know what?  It didn't matter.  I still enjoyed the movie.  It was still alot of fun.  Sure the effects were very archaic.  Sure the plot and acting was nothing spectacular.  But it was still a darn good movie.  I am glad that I finally did watch it again.  It was especially fun to see all the scenes that inspired the many different Tron games.  There was Discs of Tron, the many scenes from the main Tron game.  I even saw the inspiration for Tron Solar Sailor.  It was cool to see all that.  It is a movie that should be remade.  It would not take much to do it.  The story with a few tweaks is still very relevant.  Just add some improved effects and maybe a few more action scenes and you would have something that is much better than the majority of video game movies made.  I wouldn't be surprised if Disney is not working on something.  With it appearing in the newest Kingdom Hearts game, it may be a way to gauge the interest.

Speaking of Tron, there is a new comic book based on it.  How cool is that?  I have not read it yet, but I see it is made by Slave Labor Graphics, a company that has been around for ages.  The cover looks nice and with the right exposure, it could do well.  Here is a link http://www.slavelabor.com

 
03/23/2006
Just read on Gamespot that the Nintendo Revolution will not only offer all the old Nintendo games for download, but also most of the Sega Genesis games as well as some of the Turbografx games.  Talk about a killer line-up!  Now all they need to do is add some classic arcade games and some good old card and board games and you have a killer line-up without ever putting in a game disc.  Wonder if this will make third party companies think twice about bringing games out for the system.  With so much available via download, will it make people less likely to buy new games?

We still need a really good Tarzan game.  And not one based on the Disney movie, but one where you go through the jungle and battle animals, natives and other stuff.  It would take some work to make it great, but there is a ton of material throughout all the Edgar Rice Burroughs books to choose from. 

I still wish someone would pick up the Legends of Wrestling license and make a real game out of it.  I know it will probably never happen, but I must keep hoping.

I saw a preview box for Bully the other day.  After hearing about it a year ago, there was nothing.  Now it is just popping up.  Will this help Rockstar out or will it flop?  It is a hard title to gauge.  It is Rockstar and it is unique.  But it also is a bit odd.  And it could send a new wave of lawsuits.  Just think if kids start imitating the stunts in the game and blaming Rockstar.  "Why did you give that kid a swirly?"  the teacher asked.  Little Billy says "I saw it in the video game, Bully."  Better get your lawsuits in now while they still have money.

I am still surprised that Microsoft didn't bring a version of Flight Simulator out for the XBOX.  Maybe they will do one on the XBOX 360.  I doubt it.

03/17/2006
Got the latest Game Informer and read some interesting stuff in there.  The one story that really caught my eye was that Rockstar was having financial problems.  The lawsuits from the Hot Coffee mod really hurt them and they still have a bunch of lawsuits pending.  That and they did not have any new GTA game last year to boost sales.  That is really a feast or famine company.  When a new GTA comes out, they are rolling in dough, but between games they don't have anything else to boost them up.  Yeah, Midnight Club sells well, but not like GTA.  And don't bother telling me about Liberty Cities.  It is a PSP game which means it cannot have huge sales as the sales of the system are not that big.  What is even more interesting is that EA, Activision and the other big companies have no interest in trying to buy the company.  How far the mighty have fallen.

Speaking of Rockstar, I do hope they get over this.  While you may or may not like their games, they do make great games.  The subject matter may not appeal to everyone, but if you play them, you will usually enjoy them.  The Warriors is a very good game.  The GTA series is great.  Midnight Club is alot of fun.  Manhunt was different.  OK, I will admit that State of Emergency was bad.  Everyone has to have a clunker.  Which makes you wonder why anyone would do a sequel to that game.  But then there are three Carnosaur movies, so I guess anything is possible.

Happy Saint Patricks Day to everyone who celebrates it.  And be responsible with your drinking.  If you must drink and drive, then play Pole Position.


03/13/2006
Found an online game that I have been enjoying.  It is just a basic RPG with static pictures.  Nothing fancy but it is also free.  It is Phantasy Star Online and it is fun.  Not amazing or anything but alot of fun.  Gotta do something between working on websites.  Here is the link:

http://www.indocron.com

I can still remember when I first played the Colecovision.  At the time it was a huge deal.  Donkey Kong look almost like the arcade.  Zaxxon was very well done.  It was quite amazing how much of a leap it was over the Intellivision and especially the Atari 2600.  I am also amazed at how I only had two games for it for the first few months, Donkey Kong and Zaxxon and was happy.  It was a few months before I bought another game.  It was a great system that is still very playable (despite the crummy controllers).

I think it is interesting that Geometry Wars for XBOX Live is getting more coverage than any of the games released.  It does sound like a fun game and the whole idea of having affordable games that you can purchase and play is a great move.  What better way to get a few extra bucks here and there out of people.  And consumers today have shown they are willing to spend more if it is a little at a time.  Just look at cell phones.  People buy new faceplates, download and pay for wallpaper, ringtones, songs, games and more.  And I just found out that you have to pay monthly for ringtones.  Download a new one and it expires in a month.  I was shocked by this.  But then I am one of a dozen Americans without a cell phone, so I had no idea.  I am trying to see how long in my life I can go without one.  I am still so amazed that people have that much to talk about that they need to be on them constantly.  They cannot drive anywhere without talking.  They cannot go shopping without a call.  They cannot go outside without it.  It just amazes me that people have that much to talk about that they cannot go anywhere without them.  Guess I am missing out.


03/12/2006
Three games I want for the XBOX are almost at the price I am willing to pay.  I saw that Circuit City had Gun, Half-Life 2 and Farcry at $19.99 each.  Cut that price in half and I would be all over it.  I am very tempted at that price, but I must be patient.  Plus, if I buy them now, they will come up with a greatest hits version with more content.

Speaking of greatest hits with more content, I see that Devil May Cry 3 and Metal Gear Solid 3 are both now greatest hits titles and both feature more content than the original game.  In the case of Metal Gear Solid 3, there is alot more content.  Glad I waited on those two games.

Wonder if a greatest hits version will ever be worth more than the original?  They will most likely sell less copies and come with more content.  Sounds like a recipe for a possible collectible down the road.  But if gamers are like most collectors, they will want the original.  The more produced and with less content original.  I never understood collecting.

Just added some more content to my other website, Arcade After Dark.  Really enjoy doing it.  May have to come up with something similar for this website.  But this site is so huge that stuff gets lost in it.  I really should have broken it into at least two different sites, one for video games and one for comics.

I see they are creating comics in the UMD format for the PSP.  I have been saying for years that comics need to adopt a different format.  Paper comic books are so last century.  With declining sales, they really need to find a way to boost interest in comic books.  It is a dying industry if it remains the course.  I am not sure that UMD comics is the answer, but it is a step in the right direction.  Make them more interactive and you have a chance.

03/09/2006
Know how there are collectible variations of everything out there.  Comic books and baseball cards are the most popular with this.  But you also see multiple covers of magazine and other things that are made to get you to buy multiple versions.  Wonder when this will hit video games?  I know there has been a few examples of this, most notably the gold Zelda carts for the N64.  But if they made a video game and featured three different covers and each one had a slightly different bonus with it, do you think people would try go buy them all?  Let's use Legend of Zelda as an example.  When the next game comes out, imagine if they did four different versions.  Each one had a different cover artwork and a bonus.  One would come with a bonus CD with the NES versions on it.  Another would have the Super NES games on a CD.  The third one would have the N64 games and the last one would have the Gameboy games on it.  Think people would buy more than one version to get all the limited disks?  And then you make one of them rarer than the rest but don't tell anyone which one it is. 

Know how there are expensive versions of most things.  You can go to the grocery store and buy a steak for $10.00 or you can buy one for Omaha Steak for three times as much.  Or you can buy a good car for $15,000 or spend $100,000 on a sports car.  Well, imagine if a video game company did that.  They assembled the best talent and made just a few titles, but they would be incredible.  They would feature great story, great graphics and a ton of great gameplay.  But instead of paying $50.00 for the game, they instead charged $100.00 or $150.00.  Would you pay it?  If the game received awesome reviews and really lived up to the hype, would you pay the extra money?  And how about if they made a limited number of them, so the chances of the game dropping in price were lessened, would you consider it?  I figure it is a matter of time before someone takes this direction and creates "gourmet video games."

It is almost time for the second generation of XBOX 360 games to come out.  These are the games that should be better as the programmers had a little more time to learn the system.  Games like the next Elder Scroll game, Gears of War, Halo 3 and others.  These should be games that were not just rushed out ports to take advantage of the new system owners.  It will be interesting to see how much these show off the potential of the system.  It will also be interesting to see if these games take advantage of the hard drive or not.  I still think it was a huge mistake for Microsoft to sell systems without the hard drive. 


02/28/2006
Well, my new video game based website is up!  Arcade After Dark is live and ready to check out.  Here is the link, let me know what you think -  http://arcadeafterdark.com

Been considering a few of the online RPGs.  I see there are a few free ones out there that look interesting, including one based on Phantasy Star Online.  I used to enjoy playing PSO on the Dreamcast online before the PKers ruined it.  Had quite a few fun adventures on it.  Remember battling with some people to defeat the dragon.  It was alot of fun.

Speaking of online RPGs, I am very tempted by the Dungeons & Dragons online.  It is more than I want to spend on the game and the monthly fee, but I was a huge D&D fan in the day (way back in the late 1970's to the mid 1980's).  I still have one of the early boxed sets that came out.  Back before Monster Manuals and Dungeon Master Guides.  I have so many stories to tell about that, but I will not bore you with them.

A new issue of Video Game Collector was just released!  I return to it after a one issue hiatus.  A great magazine for fans of video games, whether or not you are interested in the values.  Check it out at the following address:

http://vgcollector.com

Wonder how well those stand alone arcade machines that were mass produced did.  I know I saw two different ones at BJ's Wholesale and there were at least two others at Target.  Wonder how they were received.  I was tempted to buy them, but never did make the commitment.  Maybe next Christmas I will consider it.

I hope more people consider doing plug n play consoles like the Atari Flashback 2.0.  As I said before here, I would love to see one for the Intellivision with authentic controllers.  A Colecovision one would be cool as well.  Or a re-release of the Vectrex would be awesome.  Heck, even an Odyssey 2 would be fun but probably would not sell.

02/27/2006
I see that G4 is selling space to informercials.  This with reruns of Star Trek, The Man Show and others proves that a 24 hour video game network is not yet viable.  That or they are doing a poor job of it.  Start off with the lame name.  What the heck is G4 and how does this tell the average person that it is a video game network?  Simple names like Video Game Network or Games TV would work better.  Anything that says video games.  Then they need to have something besides those two hosts that seem to be on every show.  They are obnoxious, dull and try to hard to be cool.  Yeah Morgan Webb or whatever her name is shows promise, but take it down a notch or two.  And the other guy just needs to go.  How about a rumors show.  Go through all the rumors on the net and either shoot them apart or prove they are right.  How about game shows?  Video game based game shows.  A Jeopardy one that is video game based.  Do an Icons like show that talks about the great stories of video games.  Do a show that talks about video game values.  Sorta a antique roadshow for video games.  Do one where collectors show off their collections.  Have a show that shows the different cheats and easter eggs for different games, from classics to modern.  Have a show that focuses on a different game system each episode.  Don't just cover the famous ones like the NES and Atari 2600, but also stuff like the NEO GEO, the Turbo Grafx, the Master System and others.  Do a history show that shows the evolution of different genres from RPGs to Fighting Games to War Games.  Show where they started, how they evolved and where they are headed.  There are some ideas, run with it.  Anything is better than more informercials with Chuck Norris and Billy Blanks. 

With the success of Marvel video games, how long before they start doing justice to the DC heroes?  I want a great Justice League game.  How about a Superman game that does not suck?  Maybe a playable Aquaman game.  Green Lantern screams for a game.  There are so many great characters to tap into.  I just hope a good company gets a hold of the license and does something with it.  And DC needs to keep an eye on the games and not let any piece of garbage to hit the market.

I am not holding out hope for the new Tomb Raider.  We went through all this hype with the last game and were let down.  She may bounce back and be a great game again, but I am not expecting it.  I figure it will be lame and leave it at that.  I hope I am proven wrong.

With all these virtual pet games out there like Nintendogs, Dogz and others, when will we see a virtual Sea Monkeys game?  You can raise the sea monkeys and teach them tricks.  A virtual ant farm is also another possibility.  These would be more fun than another dog game.  And you don't have to worry about the ants breaking out and getting all over the house.


02/24/2006
Still no screen shots for a Nintendo Revolution game.  Talk about keeping it tight lipped.  I know it is still a ways off from the launch, but usually by now there is something.  So far we know it will have a unique controller, will be supposedly be backwards compatible with the Gamecube, have internet gameplay and be able to download and play all the classic NES, Super NES and possibly N64 games.  That is it.  Granted that is enough to make most gamers salivate, but what format will it be?  I hear DVD, but will it be normal DVD or a special version?  What will the price be?  What will the internet experience be like?  Inquiring minds want to know.

02/23/2006
Finished another video game movie sequel.  This time it was Resident Evil Apocalypse.  It was decent but I liked the first one better.  Some good parts but the whole Nemesis stuff was a turn-off for me.  Give me a straight zombie movie and not something with a bunch of super powered creatures.  At least it had a return of zombie dogs.  Never thought I would say that I enjoyed House of the Dead 2 more than Resident Evil 2 but I did. 

I see a Bloodrayne movie is coming.  At least that sounds better than the supposed Crazy Taxi movie that was supposed to be in the making.  How about a sequel to Super Mario Bros?  Or on a more serious side, what about a Legend of Zelda movie?  Has to be better than that lame Final Fantasy movie that came out a few years ago.  You know the one where they put all the money into making the people look realistic and forgot about a story or the fact that people think of Final Fantasy as a fantasy movie instead of science fiction.


02/21/2006
Finally finished watching House of the Dead 2.  The movie was much better than I was expecting.  Not a great movie, but for a made for cable movie, it was pretty good.  I laugh at the commercial that says "How do you kill an enemy that is already dead?" or something like that.  The answer was given way back in the movie that transformed the zombie genre, Night of the Living Dead.  You shoot them in the head.  Pretty simple.

Word is the Playstation 3 may be delayed.  Good news for Microsoft who is trying to build market share and having problems getting enough systems out there to satisfy demand.  Bad news for Sony as the Playstation brand has become one of their best performing lines.


02/13/2006
With Doom recently released on DVD, it makes me wonder what video games would have made a better movie.  What great ideas are still sitting out there.  One that jumps to mind is Castlevania.  It would be more expensive to do than your basic zombie movie with the costumes and sets that fit the period, but it has potential.  It would have to be done right so as not to end up as Van Helsing.  Another one that comes to mind but may be too trippy for the average movie goer is Psychonauts.  The concept is good and it could be really cool but it is probably too niche to get green lighted.  How about God of War?  Ico?  I really think Ico could be a great movie.  Granted you would have to add dialogue or you would alienate about half the movie audience.  But that would ruin the basic premise of the game.  I know there was talk of a Crazy Taxi and Grand Theft Auto games, but there are enough car chase and hoodlum movies out there.  You need something that would stand out.  How about a live action ToeJam and Earl movie?  Or Phantasy Star Online has promise for a good movie.  You have space, monsters and guns.  Sounds like a hit. 

Speaking of making video games into fine art, I am working towards making "Pong the Musical!"  All I need is a few hundred thousand to get it off the ground.  It would be bigger than Cats!  Just need some backers.


02/09/2006
Awhile back I spoke about how they should use country music more in video games.  Well, now I see that they are doing a Karaoke Revolution with country songs.  How is that for service? 

What is the longest you went from when you bought a game until you actually played it?  I was looking at my PS2 games and saw that I still have Hobbit sealed.  I knew the reviews weren't great but I really loved the book and the game was cheap ($8.00), so I bought it.  That was last summer and it still sits unopened.  I am tempted to open it and play it but there are so many other games I want to play more. 

Wonder if they could do a worthwhile rodeo game?  Bull riding is cool but the average ride is only about 7 seconds, not exactly a fun game.  Maybe being a rodeo clown would add to the game.  Talk about a crazy profession.  Your job is to get a 1,000 pound bull that is very mad to chase you.  I salute them, even if they are quite insane.

I am sorta bummed at the whole gladiator genre.  Last year we had a variety of games come out and now there are no more.  I really wanted to see some new games that fixed the problems and incorporated some of the good features from the different games.  But it looks like it was a quick fad.

What is one of the worst things about the coming Olympics?  No, not how you cannot escape coverage.  No, not how it takes over the network and pushes your favorite shows into oblivion.  It is the stack of rushed out games to capitalize on the popularity.  You know there are a bunch of games coming that only the foolish would buy.  But they must buy them as they come out every time there is an Olympics.

Speaking of the Olympics, is it me or does there really need to be an Official Snack Food of the Olympics or the Official Soap of the Olympics?  The same with professional sports, do we really need an official car or whatever.  Does it influence your opinion at all?  Have you ever thought about which candy bar to buy and thought "Snickers is the official candy bar of Major League Baseball, I think I will buy that one."  Does anyone think like that?  I sure hope not.

Word is that November is the month that the PS3 and Gamecube will hit the market.  If you want one at launch, now is probably a good time to reserve yours.  Quit reading this and go reserve yours now!

Rumors are spreading about Microsoft doing a portable system.  It has been speculated in the past but it is gaining steam.  What can Microsoft bring to the table that is not out there?  It will be interesting to see.

Speaking of portables, the next Gameboy is supposed to be due soon.  The DS was not meant as a successor to the Gameboy but a whole new system.  But there is little about the next Gameboy.  My guess is it will arrive next year.  I don't think that Nintendo expected the DS to do as well as it has.  And with the Revolution coming, it may be too much to bring out two new systems in one year.  But stranger things have happened.

I saw a commercial for Sonic Riders, a snow boarding game with Sonic the Hedgehog.  Is it me or is that character being overused?  Is there that much of a demand for the blue rodent or does Sega not have anything else? 

I am still seeing commercials for Gametap.  Either they are doing better than I expected or they have alot of money to spend.  I also see they made a deal with SNK to bring in more games.  This is good news for fans of fighting games as SNK made about a thousand different ones.

02/03/2006
I hate to say it but I really want to see the Doom movie.  Sure I read the reviews and they were not good, but so what.  I still want to see it.  I am hoping it hits the dollar theatre next week when I am off work, so I can see it. 

Speaking of video game movies, I see that they made a sequel to House of the Dead.  This time it is on Sci-Fi channel.  Now that is a price I can afford.  I will probably Tivo it and watch it.  Most of the Sci-Fi original movies are enjoyable if you don't expect alot.  I saw one called Manticore and another called Cerberus and both were enjoyable.  Typical monster movies with basic plot and lots of action.  And it was good to see Greg Evigan get some work.  Wonder how long before they get released on UMD.

Wonder how long before Nintendo copies the UMD format for their Gameboy or DS.  It is becoming a very profitable area for the PSP.  I know they had those Nickelodeon cartoons but that is not the same as a full movie.  But the big question is that would they be able to get movie studios to commit to another format.  Sony had the advantage of already having a large library of movies to pull from.  And it was a stroke of genius to give Spiderman 2 with the PSP to get people to try the UMDs.

01/30/2006
Had some credit left at EB Games and didn't know what to do with it.  It wasn't very much, but enough that I did not want it to go to waste.  So I bought ESPN Baseball 2K5 for the XBOX.  After discount and credit, it cost me $1.50 out of pocket.  What a great game!  While my hitting is still only decent and my fielding is subpar, my pitching is quite good.  There is still so much to check out on the game.  I am a sucker for a good baseball game and have not played one in ages.  I think the last baseball game I bought was World Series Baseball for the Dreamcast.

Best Buy has a few good deals going.  You can get Gun for $19.95 and King Kong for $29.95.  Two games that clocked in at about 8 hours each of gameplay and not worth paying $50.00 for such a short game.  But 16 hours of quality gameplay for $50.00 is a much better deal.  Still a little too expensive for me but definitely a much better deal.

Are you like me and a little miffed off at game companies?  You go out and get a game at full price and then six months later it is not only a greatest hits at $19.99, but sometimes it comes with more features.  What a bunch of crock is that.  The latest is Fable.  A great game and one that is probably worth the full price.  Now you can get the Lost Chapters as well as the full game for $19.99.  This is just one of many games to do this.  Virtua Fighter 4, Metal Gear Solid 2 and others have given you more if you waited.  Makes a man never want to buy a game right away.

I think Pac-Man and Mario are the only characters to star in original games in every single era of video games.  By this I mean they starred in a game during that era that was not just a re-release.  Think about it, Mario was in Donkey Kong during the early days, Super Mario Bros in the 8-Bit, Mario Kart among others in the 16 bit, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and on.  Pac-Man had Pacman in the early days, Pacmania in the 8-Bit, Pac in Time in the 16 Bit, Pacman Worlds in the 32 Bit and modern age.  Q*Bert missed the 8-Bit era, among others.  Ditto for Frogger.  Actually Donkey Kong may have done it too.  Donkey Kong 3 may not have come out until the 8-Bit era.  Then you had the Donkey Kong Country games and his N-64 games.

01/26/2006
I saw that Kingdom Hearts 2 will feature a Tron level.  This can be very cool if done right.  This game is really going for the weirdness factor with a Pirates of the Caribbean level and now Tron.  And throw in a possible black and white Steamboat Willy level and you have something that will attract attention.  Let's hope it is good attention.  The first one was a great game, so I am holding out hope for an even better game.

The more I read about Shadows of Colossus, the more intrigued I am by it.  I really loved Ico and completed it twice.  I know this game is much different but that is a good thing.  I would like to see other game designers take this games sense of scale and put it to effect in other games.  Imagine a Dungeons and Dragons game where the dragon was really done to scale.  As fun as the Diablo type games are, I really want a game where I look up and see a giant and I mean giant dragon, darkening the sky.  Imagine being a small child and having your first plane fly overhead.  You know that sense of awe as you see this giant thing flying in the air above your head, now put that feeling into creating a dragon for video games.  The same can be said with giants in games, they are rarely as imposing as they should be.  A giant should feel like a full grown African Elephant would to a toddler, both exciting and also very scary.  Look at a child's face at the zoo when they see an Elephant up close for the first time.  Before then it was only in a book, where they cannot imagine the sheer size of the majestic beast.  But put them up close to the bars so they can see just how huge they are and you see a sense of amazement and fear in their eyes.  We need to have that feeling as some twenty five foot giant is bearing down on us.  There should be that sound of the giant coming, an almost pounding sound as his mighty feet come down on the ground.  And then as you see trees move aside, he would come out and would fill the screen.  And you would feel a sense of mortality that would make you hesitate.  That is what great mythological creatures should feel like in video games.

Will dating games ever catch on in this country?  I really think someone should give them a try.  There are alot of young girls (and boys for that matter) that are looking for a reason to play video games.  Most of them don't bother as they are not interested in the usual destructive nature of video games.  But games that focused on relationships and friendship could be what it takes to capture a large audience that is being ignored.  The hard part is to make a game that is not dumbed down to them.  They are not stupid and will not buy any garbage.  It needs to be linear enough that they don't get lost but open enough that they don't blow through it in a few hours.  Then when you make a good game and I do mean a good game, advertise it in the magazines they read.  The worst thing would be to advertise it in video game magazines.  Put it in Teen and other mags aimed at girls.  Oh and get some good music in the games.  Spend a few bucks to get some real music, not that crappy canned music you so often hear in games.


01/20/2006
I see there is a bunch of Grand Theft Auto wannabees out there.  We all knew it would happen.  Sure there were a few at first but it seems like there are a bunch that are either out or on their way.  I saw one that I think is called "Saint's Row" that lets you drink booze to gain health.  And games wonder why they get a bad rap.

One thing I never understood.  With the run of religious games that came out for the NES and Super NES, why didn't they do a game based on Davey and Goliath?  You know the claymation characters that taught wholesome values instead of violence like most cartoons.  Would be a better game idea than some of the dreck they pushed out.  Don't believe me?  Try playing Super Noah's Ark which is just Doom with biblical themes.  I know that sentence is funny in its own right.  But it is true.  You move around Noah's Ark and shoot food at wild animals.  This puts them to sleep.  I never understood the game as the story says there are two of each animal on the ark.  But as you move from level to level you will see there are like fifty sheep on this boat.  Guess accuracy isn't necessary for religious games.

Been playing a classic game.  Introduced Lemmings to my kids and they are loving it.  A great game for young minds as it teaches strategy and forces them to think before they move.  Not as deep as Chess but more fun. 

Getting to the end of Oddworld Stranger's Wrath.  Been a very fun game and one that I recommend.  I look forward to finishing it and investing time into either Jade Empire or The Warriors and make that the next game I finish.

01/18/2006
Construction is underway for my next website.  It will be video game related but different.  Look for it to launch in March or April. 

Have looked at the game Land of the Dead: Fiddler's Road but have been reluctant to buy it.  Sounds fun but they say targeting is bad.  Will watch and see how cheap I can find it.  There is a good zombie game coming for the XBOX 360 but I will not own that for another year or so.

Now that Nintendogs has done so well, how long before we see either more dog packs or other animals.  Maybe Nintencats or Nintenbirds.  Heck if they do it right, they could get people to buy Poke-Pet where you gotta collect all the different pets and win pet shows.  My pet goldfish is so cool and I only have to get all forty different versions to have one of each goldfish.

Seeing good reviews for the Taito Legends compilation.  With 28 games and alot of good ones, it is getting good reviews.  If it wasn't for the fact that I do not own a joystick for either the XBOX or PS2, I would consider it.  But the thought of playing Zookeeper and others with a gamepad just does not sound good.

Cannot believe that I have an interest in Guitar Hero or whatever that new game is called.  The one with the cool guitar controller that even has a whammy bar.  As strange as it sounds, the thought of playing a guitar controller and wailing through some truly classic songs sounds like good fun.  But the price is pretty steep. 


01/10/2006
Why is it that you see all kinds of video games that feature rock stars or rock soundtracks and a bunch that feature Rap and Hip Hop soundtracks, but none with country music?  They put a few here or there but why not a video game that puts it front and center like Def Jam Vendetta.  Country is very popular and has a ton of marketable people.  I think they are missing on a big marketing opportunity.  Sure Rap is the music of the young generation but there are a ton of country fans out there. 

Back in the 1980's, there was a series from Marvel Comics where the super-villains all switched which heroes they fought.  So Spider-Man's villain may fight Daredevil and the Hulk's villain may battle Iron Man.  It was a good series and made me think that could be fun to do in video games.  Imagine Mario's surprise that when he got to the castle instead of Bowser, he would be facing off against the Covenant.  Or Samus would end up battling the Triad from Grand Theft Auto.  You could have all kinds of fun with this.  Granted it would be next to impossible to get the companies to agree to it, but it could be a blast.

01/09/2006
What a bad time to be trying and save money.  I am saving to pay for another website (besides this one) as well as some software for it.  I need a good screen capture program.  Any suggestions out there.  I tried some free ones and they suck.  Anyway, the reason it is a bad time to save money is Best Buy is having a good sale on video games.  They have a stack of great games at 2/$60.00.  Included is Grand Theft Auto Trilogy for the XBOX as well as King Kong.  That is the two I have the most interest in, but I must be good and not go spending money I have earmarked for my new site.

You may want to check the Toys R Us near you and see if it is one of the stores that is closing.  Toys R Us is closing over 70 of their stores and there will be some good clearance prices.  Granted on video games, it will start at 10% off and people will still go nuts over it.  I never understood why people buy carts full of stuff at a going out of business sale when it is only 10% off?  You can sign up for a credit card at many places and get 10% off.  That is not a big deal.  I don't start shopping until it is at least 50% off and by then they put the garbage games that were in the clearance bin before at $9.99, out for half off the original retail price.  So instead of paying $9.99 for the game, you can buy it at half off for $25.00.  What a wonderful sale!

Speaking of sales, I went to an Ames clearance sale about four years ago.  And there among all the garbage they pulled out of the back was shrinkwrapped Nintendo 8-Bit and Turbo Grafx games.  Got some decent stuff and made some money on ebay with it.  But you have to wonder how bad their inventory was that they still had NES games in their inventory. 

That reminds me of when I was at a K-Mart back when the PS2 was brand new.  I was going to see if they had any good clearance prices on PS1 games.  To my surprise, they still had brand new Sega Genesis games in the case and at $39.95 each.  I even had them check the price to see and that is what they rang up at.  They were almost all sports games that are worth about $10.00 a ton, so I passed on them.  How a retail store can waste valuable space like that is beyond me.

01/06/2006
Work on the website is slowly coming along.  Adding bottom borders to pages, adding banner ads and fixing links.  Will take some time to get it all back up, but a little here and a little there.

Why is it that bobble heads have been such a craze but no one is making ones of classic game characters?  Nintendo has released some like Mario and Donkey Kong as incentives to preorder games but how about ones with all the classic characters?  What about Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man?  How about Q*Bert and Frogger?  Tell me there is no market for these.  If people will buy ones of Squiddly Diddly and other classic cartoon characters, why not video game characters? 

Speaking of video game merchandise, I received a cool Pac-Man shirt for Christmas.  Nice to see some video game merchandise can be found a mass market retailers (my wife bought it at Target).  I know I can get those crappy ones that are found on ebay and are illegal as heck, but I would rather get a professionally made one that will not disintegrate with each washing.

While on the subject of video game merchandise, tell me this is not a good idea.  Know how they have those characters that move and play music when you push a button.  I think it all started with Billy the Bass.  You know that fish that was mounted on a plastic board and would move and sing songs like "Take me to the River."  How about one of Pac-Man that sings Pacman Fever when you push the button.  Tell me that wouldn't sell.  Much better than the Hip Hop Santa I saw at a drug store.  People, I am throwing out the ideas, now go get to work on them.

I really want to see a good space exploration game.  Something where you would take your crew like in Star Trek and land on planets and investigate.  Some would have life and others wouldn't.  They could be friendly or hostile.  You could choose to stay there for awhile or move on.  As you went through space you would come across other ships, creatures and other things.  I just love to explore places and know there are others like me.  But I do not want to read fifty pages of a manual on how to dock a space ship to do it.  You can keep the realism, I just want the fun.

Speaking of space games, what has happened to the Wing Commander franchise?  I have not seen anything since the PS1 days.  Granted the movie did not help the franchise but if Mario and Mortal Kombat can overcome a bad movie, why not Wing Commander.  With the new generation of systems, they could really have fun with it and enough people remember it that it could sell on nostalgia alone.

I was amazed to find that UMD movies are now popping up everywhere.  They have a row of them at the toy stores and even at places like Costco and BJ's.  Looks like Sony may not do well with the PSP but it make kill with the UMD.  Sometimes things happen like that.  I remember ages ago buying Coleco stock for a second time because I though the Coleco Adam was going to be a big hit.  It wasn't and it looked like I was going to lose alot of money.  Then came along the Cabbage Patch Kids and not only did I not lose any money but I made a nice profit.  I better stop this as I am now rambling like Rosanna Danna from Saturday Night Live.  Maybe they should do a video game based on all the Saturday Night Live characters.   Signing off for today....

01/02/2006
First blog of the new year.  Hope your holidays were good to you and the games were plenty.  I did not get any video games for Christmas but I did get some money.  Went to the used game store and spent $5.00 and came away with Splinter Cell and ESPN Football 05 for the XBOX.  Yep, $2.50 each!  Played the first game of ESPN as the Cleveland Browns and was demolished by the Chiefs.  I really should have read the instruction manual first.  I realized that when my team was trying a field goal on first down from 70 yards away.  I know they say you should try to call plays that your opponent doesn't expect, but that may have been the extreme.

With the holidays done and the kids going back to school, I hope to get some game playing back in.  I need to finish Oddworld Stranger.  The Warriors is also sitting there waiting to be played and I have yet to open Sid Meier's Pirates.  I really need a month off from work to play games, but something tells me that will not be happening anytime soon.

One thing that I wonder about.  There are all these racing games but I have yet to see one use any Bruce Springsteen music.  Maybe it is just me but the song "Born to Run" is made for a racing game.  It may be a licensing issue or they are too busy concentrating on newer songs to get the younger generation.  Too bad as it would be perfect.