Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Very late to the party, but…

All it took was a plain looking remote stick to make me desperately want a Nintendo Revolution. I'm ready to say it's my #1 most wanted console at this moment. Of course I’m still excited about 360 and PS3, but controlling games in such a new way is ridiculously exciting. So will this odd controller truly spark a revolution and bring in new gamers? As a pseudo experiment, I’ve shown the TGS Revolution video exclusively to women (in the office and my wife at home) and they all “got it” immediately. I find myself waving around pens to simulate how I would play certain games. It is a little sad.

Speaking of Nintendo, I was surprised to read on the message boards that new GBA SPs in stores now are backlit. Previous ones were sidelit so they’re not nearly as bright. There’s a big tag on the new boxes indicating the new feature. The only reason I wanted a Micro was for a brighter screen, so I would much rather buy a backlit SP. I also don’t really enjoy playing GBA games on the DS, so I mostly play on my NES edition SP. I doubt they will re-release that version just to add backlighting, which sucks because I LOVE that one.

UPDATE: I went over and tried one of the new SPs in the office. Holy cripes the screen is bright. There are two settings, bright and super bright. Colors are a little saturated at the higher setting, but it looks damn good. Definitely need to get one eventually.

Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament

Day 11 has finished and Bulgarian sekiwake Kotooshu is still undefeated. Local Japanese TV news only shows the top four or five matches, so I’m not as wrapped up in the excitement as I usually would be. True story: At the height of my enthusiasm many years ago, I bought a sumo game for the Megadrive (the Japanese Sega Genesis) and ended up having to buy an import system just to play it. Earlier import Megadrive games were playable with an adapter with the US system, but later titles had region coding built into the carts. The saddest part was the game totally sucked. I played the hell out of it anyway. I was never the same again.

Worldly Troubles

There’s a lot to make one worry in the world, but a real nuclear threat would have to be tops on the list. It was welcome news this past Monday when North Korea agreed to scrap all nuke programs in a 6 nations deal. BUT, one day later, North Korea totally backed out and made brand new demands. It’s this sort of unstable relations that make the world nervous, and continues to show why that area is where all the WMD attention should have been in the first place.

I didn’t know anyone personally affected by Katrina, but I do know quite a few people who will be caught in the middle of Rita. As we all know, the endangered areas are not bowl shaped and won’t fill up like a pool, but hurricanes do all kinds of crazy damage aside from flooding.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Workout period coming

I’ve been slacking lately on my workouts and the time to reverse that trend is eminent. I just need to plan out one that works with my new schedule. That time not bettering my physical health has been put to good use playing games and watching TV. I’m still tinkering with the Age of Empires III demo and finally got around to playing the single player F.E.A.R. demo. It’s amazing how good it runs on my PC.

I’ve been playing Killer 7 off and on and I definitely like it. To me, the game is like a feverish dream. The kind you’d have after watching an all-night marathon of new wave Japanese gangster movies. Stylish, hyper violent, and sexy. Like a dream, there are things you wish you could control better, but you deal as best you can. The world reminds me of the anime Serial Experiments Lain. The game is not nearly as cool as Lain, but it’s an interesting place to be nonetheless. It’s only $30 now at most places, so give it a try if you’re open to some nuttiness.

Just when the second season of Battlestar Galactica really started cooking, I find out next week is the finale. Well, it’s the summer finale anyway. There are supposed to be 22 episodes, so folks can take a few weeks (or more likely months) breather to take in the DVD season one set that ships this week.

Due to a taping snafu, I ended up not watching the reruns of Firefly on Sci-Fi channel (sorry Sean). It looks like I’ll wait till Serenity is on DVD and make it a marathon in some distant weekend.

The majority of new shows start this week, so I’ve set the DVR to tape Lost, My Name is Earl, and CSI. I’m not looking to add any more shows outside of those, except for the family edition of Amazing Race that starts next week. It sucks CBS is one of two channels Alameda Cable doesn’t carry the High Def feed of. I might need to write a letter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

GBA games in DS cases

I mentioned before that Phil was a bad influence on me, regularly enticing me with some cool bit of geekiness that I either need to buy or spend time doing. Last week, he pointed out that DS cases have slots that can hold a GBA game. I remember noting it when I got my first DS game, but have totally forgotten about it since. It turns out a large community is dutifully scanning, resizing, and performing intricate Photoshop work to create converted covers. Phil specializes in converting Japanese GBA game boxes, which are especially troublesome due to their more rectangular shape.

I told him it was cool and all, but seemed like too much trouble. Still, I kept thinking about it and my resistance lessened as the days wore on. I ended up ordering two packs of ten empty DS shells from the Nintendo online store and just got them today. I have more GBA games than that, but I only wanted to give that royal treatment to about 15 of them. They really look nice on the shelf I must say.

While I’m sort of talking about DS games, like most folks I’ve been playing my dual screen handheld a lot lately. Nintendogs, Meteos, Ouendan, and Advance Wars are in the regular rotation. Nintendogs and Oendan are especially relaxing after a long day of work.

PlayStation explosion averted

I checked my serial numbers on the PlayStation site and it said my Slim PS2 is not one of those in danger of exploding. You should check yours out just in case.

Age of Empires III

While I’m relieved Age III runs pretty darn good on my desktop, I’m a bit disappointed with the demo. It’s not nearly as cool as I was hoping, but it is just one level right? It sounds like the super snazzy graphical stuff is not fully in the demo, so there’s still a good chance the game will really tax my rig.