Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sultans of Swing

Virgin Radio UK has a thing for Dire Straits, because I'm listening to "Sultans of Swing" right now, and last night they were playing "Romeo and Juliet." Maybe it's just the overnight guy, I don't know. In any case, it's a hell of a lot better than anything you're going to get from the non-college American airwaves, and generally better than most of the streamed internet stations out there.

FEAR is still one of the best games I've ever played on the PC, in the shooter genre or not. I've yet to finish it, as work, sleep, and close examination of the game environments prevent me from whipping through it as quickly as I otherwise would. The 'VOSS' mousepads were a nice little Easter egg, so thanks, Chris. I also thoroughly enjoyed the solitary red stapler in one of the cubicles and a Chochki's phone number on a post-it note. That's right, if you've been playing FEAR and you didn't notice this stuff, you're probably the type who inexplicably liked Half-Life 2 better.

Civilization IV is scheduled to ship tomorrow, which means it should arrive at your finer gaming stores (EB Games, Gamestop, anyone who gets their deliveries via FedEx) on Tuesday, and Wednesday or Thursday for stores like Best Buy or Target (due to their centralized distribution networks). I watched some video from the game, and it looks considerably better than Civilization III, though it's a tall order for it to beat Alpha Centauri as my personal favorite in the series.

The release of the Xbox 360 is about a month away, and ... yeah, I'm not counting the days. All of the new graphics processors, CPU cores, RAM, and ... yeah, that's about all it's got on the current Xbox, because it's still launching with a regular non-HD DVD player. Oh, the controller's had the black and white buttons moved to the shoulder-position, but that doesn't change the fact that Madden 2006 on the 360 will still be fucking Madden.

Speaking of Madden, I'd just like to state for the record that the only non-licensed, non-sequel that Electronic Arts released for the PC within the last twelve months is Armies of Exigo. And people wonder why I think EA and all of their products blow. Hell, Armies of Exigo wasn't that good, but at least it didn't have eight sequels, each of which was only marginally better than the previous. In fact, I read one quote from a kid's father today, and the guy was talking about Madden 2006, and he said, "If not for free agency, I don't think these games would sell nearly as well." That's right, it's graphics and rosters, and that's it, and yet people buy the games year after year after year.

Sony is planning to sell between 2.5 and 3 million PSP's in North America over the course of the holiday season, and the company claims to have already sold 2.3 million in the region. I actually don't personally know anyone with a PSP, and so I can't see how it is that one person out of every hundred in the United States has one, let alone getting that number to one in fifty by January. Who knows, maybe it's really fucking popular in Canada, and that just throws everything off.

I watched the show Game Head on Spike (the channel, not the Buffy character, you sicko) last night, and I have to say that it's easily one of the most dreadful hours of television in the history of man. Hell, it might have been a half-hour, but I'll never know because it was as though time had stopped. I now know the type of suffering Malcolm McDowell went through in A Clockwork Orange when his eyes were clipped open, because I really like videogames, but this show was only peripherally about videogames; it was like one extremely long advertisement for two "rock" bands (in quotes because they suck and don't warrant recalling their names), only occasionally breaking up the hellish monotony of asking what a drummer thinks of Nintendogs or some such thing by saying some new game was really great. In fact, every game was really great. It wasn't even like watching G4, where they occasionally say a game sucks (their Aquaman review stands out as a high-water mark of critical journalism). I hated, hated, hated that show. Do not watch it, ever.

And in internet news, one of my friends has started up a blog, and you can (and should) read it at

In any case, I'm going to go now and listen to my friend's radio show. More than likely while I'm doing so, I'll start writing up an Alan Greenspan-esque musing on the state of inflation in World of Warcraft for no other reason than because I can. Sure, there's about eight billion more important things I could write about, but this one requires virtually no brain-power. And then there's the little sub-article about how prices on certain items have fallen through the floor, most notably Swiftness Potions. Yeah, never mind, because you don't play it.

AIM: therbmcc71

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