- On Thursday I checked out Ultimate Online Baseball at a modest sized press event. Long story short, the game looks kinda neat and is certainly an idea that’s rather long overdue. Actually, the producer guy pointed out that the reason the big guys have yet to attempt anything similar was due to latency issues, which these guys seem to have figured out, and naturally, their solution is a big secret.
There were other writers and editors on-hand, but I really felt like the odd-man out since everyone were clearly baseball/sports fans, and I am not. Hell, the main reason I went was the promise of free baseball-eque cuisine: hot dogs and hamburgers (and they were pretty damn good…. I would have helped myself to some Cracker Jack but I didn’t want to seem like I was there just for the food).
The highlight was the former baseball pro whose part of the dev team as an advisor. He was this big dude that was clearly a “man’s man” (everyone keeps asking who it was, and I swear, I really can’t remember). Before leaving, I left some kind words for the product, and even claimed that I would give the game a spin if I could (though that will only happen if a OS X version arrives) and he was all “Can’t wait to see your name on the boards and know that you’re kicking some ass!!!”
- Later that day, I still had a craving for hot dogs (well, when don’t I crave hot dogs?) so I went to the corner Papaya stand near SVA for diner. The highlight of that was some crack-head grabbing some woman’s ass and her freaking out. I didn’t see it happen, but I did watch him run off (more like merrily hop) into traffic. He also had drinking straws sticking out of each ear.
- Also found that this (past) weekend marks the 30th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. I don’t play it myself (I’m not that big of a nerd… just kidding, just kidding) though I did try once, though I found it less than thrilling. I would role the dice, get a number, then the “dungeon master” would ramble on for fifteen minutes, and I would ask “Dude, how the hell did you get that from just the number eight?”
Maybe if I had the chance to play with girls like these I might feel differently.
- On Friday, Joe, June, Bryan, and myself all celebrated our friend Jay’s birthday. We all had pizza and cake, watched a really shitty movie, and got drunk. The movie was Dollman vs. the Demonic Toys, a crossover film featuring two Full Moon Productions (actually three). It’s all about Dollman, a tiny cop from another planet, along with some girl that was shrunk by aliens in another Full Moon flick, versus some lousy toys that have none of the charm as the puppets in Puppet Master, yet another Full Moon movie. The best part I guess was the doll trying to rape the tiny girl.
We all had whisky mixers, and as is often the case, everyone else’s was weak and mine super-strong, but I didn’t know this, so I assumed it was simply my weak tolerance that was making me much drunker (and much faster) than everyone else. When June took a sip of my drink, she made a face akin to someone who just gulped gasoline.
- On Saturday I went out to Jersey to catch up with Jason. Right next to his apartment, a new game store is opening up. It’s apparently been there for a while, though it hasn’t been open at all, which is no surprise since the spot has been occupied by tons of sandwich or cell phone shops that are never open for business and simply fades away. So I went to investigate and noticed people inside, but the door was closed. Two adults and one kid who were all black (this is important later on) were inside, and the kid gave me a “we’re no open” signal. But I guess I have a pretty trusting face, which has led to much good (complete strangers often come up to me to seek help and assistance), and some not so good (often these people are total crack-heads), so the guy behind the counter looked at me and gave the kid the okay to let me in.
It’s a small store, the people behind it seem super friendly, and the selection is modest, but priced extremely well. Perhaps too well. Actually, it’s a total front for selling illegal wares: all the boxes for games had color copied labels (okay, by itself, that’s not such a big thing) and some were compilations of Nintendo and Sega games for the PS2 and Xbox. They had a PS2 running with GTA: San Andreas, which some might know was also leaked to the public recently, right after Halo 2. I asked if they had Halo 2, and I got a nervous chuckle and a “yes”. They also do system mods, which is awesome news; finally a possible alternative to Chinatown.
Here’s the “interesting” part of the story. As I exited, I gave a friendly goodbye, and got in return, which was ended with “Later N-word.” Everyone knows what the N-word is, so no need to actually spell it out. Plus, I don’t want this site showing up in some racist’s Google search. I know it’s not that uncommon for a black guy to call a white guy the N-word, but it was clear he really didn’t mean to call me that, since it sounded like he caught it and tried stopping himself. So instead of ending it with “… ga” as it’s popular to do, he awkwardly turned it into the traditional (and somewhat more racist) “… ger” variant. I didn’t say anything, but quickly asked him a question about the hours, which he answered, and again, almost not being able to help himself, called me a N-word ending with “… ger.”
- While hanging out with Jason, we did a bit of brainstorming, and the end result is a possible return to the world of talk radio. I used to do a show at SVA for WSVA, which I really loved, to the point that I seriously considered pursuing it as a career. That was until ever person I encountered from radio turned out to be the most miserable, obnoxious people on the planet. But with the advent of the internet, the landscape is changing. There’s plenty of niche oriented programming out there, but not so much about gaming. More as it develops…
- Later that night was dinner with MK along with my friend Mike who just got a new (and souped up) G5 with the gorgeous 30 inch Apple Cinema Display, so I had fun checking that out. Unfortunately, the system has serious major issues which will require Apple Care, and any savy Mac user knows how shitty that can be. Mike told me some of the stuff that one phone support person told him, and surprise, surprise, not only did it not work, but it made things worse. As I told Mike, and every other friend who has a Mac, if there’s a problem please let me know. Am I saying I’m smarter than the average Apple support person? Yes. And you included people who work at the Apple genius bar and Techserve as well.
- During desert, we all spoke about the new upcoming Transformers film and I was shocked to hear Mike agree with the filmmaker’s assertion that it would be “dumb” for someone like Soundwave or Megatron to shrink when transforming. But even he was able to admit that Orson Welles’s performance as Unicron was amazing. Plus, when I mentioned how pissed I was to find out my 20th anniversary Optimus Prime had shorted exhaust pipes due to the fear of some dumb kid poking his eye out with it, and said dumb kid’s parents’ lawsuit, Mike did point out that it was on par with the frustration that came with red Bumblebees and yellow Cliffjumpers, which made me feel a bit better. Also, Mike pointed out that I had some really dumb He-Man action figures back in the day (like Buzz-Off and Faker or Roboto and Mekanek.
- Later that evening was SNL, which MK and I caught a bit of before turning the channel due to boredom (which I’ve been doing a lot for a while now), so we missed Ashlee Simpson getting caught as a lip-syncher when the wrong song was played, and her doing some bizarre jig in response. All I can say is that it’s a pretty sad thing when watching some dumb teenage pop-star’s career crash and burn on live television was the best thing on SNL in years.
I’ve been a diehard fan of SNL for the past 20 years (I started watching in the first grade), and in that time I’ve seen the show at it’s highest points, and it’s lowest, but I’ve always made an effort to never miss an episode, repeat or not (hell, I even watched the entire run of the absolutely wretched 80-81 season when that’s all that was on during HA!’s debut, over and over again). But the past few years have been really bad, to the point that I just don’t care about it. I’ve been trying to figure this out, and there are numerous reasons.
First off, the writing on the show sucks. I love Tina Fey and all (she’s entertaining and an ?ber hottie) but the bottom line is that she’s the head writer, and a certain degree of the blame has to fall on her lap. Secondly, the performers are not all that hot. Problem is, the show does have some strong talent. I won’t bitch about the lack of Rob Riggle on the show, at least not just yet, since he just started. But even at this early point, I’m still afraid he’s going to be completely un-utilized like Amy Poehler has been. Granted, this year she has more exposure as a part of Weekend Update, but her rambling off really lame jokes is more of a career killer than enhancer IMHO. And Horatio Sanz, whom I used to like, needs to go. Like his now departed buddy Jimmy Fallon (who I’m ever so glad is gone), the guy can’t go through a single sketch without cracking up, and I hardly find performers who can’t stay on script, but not add anything by doing so, to be entertaining. More like unprofessional. Sorry, but I guess years of seeing actually gifted improv performers at the UCB has spoiled me.
But I guess the real reason the show is so lame is that it’s totally lost it’s edge or relevance. It really doesn’t help that since it’s officially become an “institution” for NBC, the show has no fear of being cancelled, hence the complacent tone of show, which might also have a hand in them going no where near the envelope.
- As for Sunday, it was the start of a massive buy two games get one for free sale at Toys R Us. I actually went to the Time Square store earlier this week to figure out what to get (hey you gotta have a plan, even when it comes to buying games). There were no good Xbox games to be found, and just one or two GameCube titles, so I guess it’s nothing but PS2 (no big surprise really). I guess this Christmas season I’ll be buying games from last season (just like last year).
But considering my rather precarious financial at the moment (I’m still recovering from SPX earlier this month), I decided to hold off. I don’t want to feel like a retard for spending money on games when it could be used for something important, like food, and especially when said games are ones I technically already bought years ago (like the Street Fighter and Mega Man collections).
Though when I was scoping out titles, I did managed to grab Dead or Alive 3 for $5 (yeah, yeah… I know I don’t have an Xbox, but for a price like that, I couldn’t pass, but plus I am getting one eventually) and Perfect Dark (another titles I’ve been debating on getting for years) at the same price.
And real quickly…
- One game which I’ve had my eye on for a short while now has been Sega Superstars, the new Sega EyeToy title, and Kikizo just posted a ton of direct feed vids. You know, many people give the EyeToy grief since you “look stupid” while playing with it, but I have to admit, after watching the NiGHTS mini-game, that guy playing does look like a total good. But it still, it’s fucking NiGHTS (the Saturn titles is still one of my fave games of all time), plus it actually looks fun, and even a bit challenging, in addition to not looking like every other EyeToy game out there, which has been the big problem with the thing for me. Too bad the same can’t be said for the rest of the bunch. The Virtua Fighter easily looks the worst.
- Also, I came across this: a 9/11 game. I’ll let the pics do all the talking for this one…
- I logged into Friendster for the first time in a while. I don’t think I missed much. I’m also part of MySpace, and I have even less interest in that as well. Though I have to admit, HySpace does seem cool.
- After looking and asking for years now, I finally found what it: Super Mario on Ice. It’s one of those things you tell people that you remember from childhood but no one believes it because it all sounds so insane. I don’t know what my favorite part is…. hearing Jason Bateman explain the “story” in Super Mario Bros to Alyssa Milano, or Mr Belvediere as Bowser.
- And lastly, here is proof that my dreams of a blissful, robotic future might actually come true. Though first, I think we’ll need to rid the gene pool of idiots like these first.