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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

HEY YOU GUYS!!!! Baby... Ruth?

Dear Pat Riley, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and anyone else in the Miami Heat organization whose attention I can attract:

Pick me.

I know you don’t have your entire roster solidified for next season, and you’re in need of a few valuable assets to round out the team.

Pick me. Sign me. You need me.

No, my basketball skills are nowhere near that of anyone else in the NBA, though I know some players average about 2 minutes a game and make millions of dollars. I am aging by NBA standards. I’m not exactly. “In Shape”. I can’t dunk. I’m not particularly fast.

I do however, play some street ball and am more or less familiar with the basics of Basketball. And I can definitely dribble up court and dish the ball to one of the “Big Three” that you now have on your team. Though let’s be honest – You don’t need me on the floor, you need me on the bench. You need me as part of the organization.

Here’s why you need me: Now that you’ve acquired a team that at the very worst should have a cakewalk to the NBA Finals, if not the title, everyone in the free world outside of Miami hates you. What you need is a PR move, a feel good story that everyone can get behind, and bring the fans and the media back to your side.

I’m that PR move. I am sure you’ve seen the clip of the autistic high school kid hitting 20 points for his team.

(If you haven’t: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6cOp6EDFlI)

I’m not autistic, nor am I handicapped physically or mentally (not officially, anyway) but to have me on your team would still have a similar effect. Something you don’t see everyday that people can root for. An out of shape 30-something white guy who has no business on an NBA court. Hell, I’m not even an NBA fan, but if you don’t think that an NBA arena won’t go nuts when you put me in with the team already up by 30 in the 4th quarter, you’re mistaken. My mere name being called would send the building into a frenzy, and god forbid I actually make a shot. I would be living the dream of practically every NBA fan out there (Most NBA fans are white and unathletic!) and every one of them could see a little part of themselves in me.

Average NBA Fan

Here’s what I can bring to the table:

I will work for the league minimum, because I don’t think I would be allowed to take nothing, which I would do if I could. HOWEVER – I will donate my entire salary to the Boys and Girls Club of America.

I am from Schenectady, which is the same city Pat Riley is from. People in this city already adore Mr. Riley, but hey – why not add a little something to the hometown hero’s resume’?

Schenectady also happens to be in the state of New York. Sure, New York fans are temporarily annoyed that LeBron turned them down (Can you really blame him?) but as soon as there is a New Yorker on that Heat roster, well… let’s just say… have you heard of a little thing called 9/11? New Yorkers tend to rally to support eachother. It’s kind of a big deal. Once you have New York in your pocket, you have the media networks, and then – most of the world on your side.

Once I am on your team, you will have undone the damage caused by “The Decision” and most of the other ill-will being felt towards the Heat in general. The trick will be maintaining that positive emotion, because as Cleveland fans have shown us, you can go from hero to zero awfully fast. Feel free to have this list of things I will not do put into my contract, under penalty of death. Or at least penalty of having to sleep in the laundry basket after a game. Which probably would result in my death. What size socks does The King wear, anyway? Moving on…

I promise to not do any of the following: Pinky swear even.

1. I will not bet on any sporting events. I will absolutely under no circumstances bet for or against the Cincinnati Reds. You know what? I won’t do any gambling of any sort.

2. I will not chew anyone’s ear off. Nor will I get any facial tattoos. We’ll call this the Tyson rule.

2a. I will not rape anyone.

2aa. I will not sexually harass, abuse, or assault anyone. In fact, I will stay abstinent the entire time I am on the Heat roster. (The Kobe Corollary)

3. I will not use steroids, HGH, or any other sort of growth hormone. I’ll also avoid any sort of processed meats, just in case.

4. I will not have a god awful television show. And if once I retire from the NBA I do decide to have a TV show, I assure you it will be better than the Magic and TO shows combined. In fact, we might be able to get that autistic kid to do a show better than those guys.

While we're at it, I will also never pose with Rachael Ray.

5. I am an animal lover. There will be no dog fights, cat fights, chicken fights, or any other animal fights. I can make no promises about my bettas though.

6. I will not kill my ex-wife and her lover and flee in a white Bronco with LeBron driving. Everyone knows LeBron’s a shitty driver. I’ll get Bosh to do it.

7. And most importantly, under no circumstances, will I cut a rap album.

Look, if you put me on your team, I won’t even leave the arena. I can sleep in a janitorial closet. In fact, if you put me on the team, I’ll work as a janitor during the day, so you’ll get extra value!

After seeing how much value and goodwill I will bring to the franchise, it’s obvious you can’t afford NOT to pick me up. Remember, the Big Three may win you some titles, but if you want a place in history, you need to kick up your media hype and PR campaign, otherwise you may as well have never bothered winning a championship at all (San Antonio who?). I will make you immortal! I’ll await your offer sheet.

No one in the universe other than San Antonio Fans know who these guys are. But those six fans will never forget them.

-LAG

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Richard Abowitz, a known Vegas writer and contributor to the Daily Beast has recently put up an interesting article on why Pornography as an industry is dying.

Reason #4? Online gaming. Here’s the excerpt –

4. Online Gaming

One of the strangest challenges porn faces is competition from online games like World of Warcraft, though the connection may at first seem random. “It is all entertainment that you are getting involved in the same way as porn is entertainment,” said Aiden. “I won’t say everyone, but a lot of people in the industry play videogames. The games are competition for porn. Fans jerk off to porn and are done, but you can keep playing a game.”

Aiden (no last name, this is porn!) should know, as he is also Webmaster for his wife Belladonna’s successful site EnterBelladonna.com. As for his online gaming, his wife wants him to cut back. “Yeah, my wife and I occasionally argue about the amount of time I spend playing.”

—-

Read the full article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-01-10/top-5-reasons-porn-for-profit-is-dying/full/

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It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks for me, between working my yobs and the holidays winding down – So after beating Borderlands, knowing I had a couple road trips come up – I decided to eschew any serious gaming, and play some light fare. That light fare involved a WHOLE LOT of Plants Vs. Zombies which I snagged off of Steam a while back due to some strong recommendations, but never got a chance to get into.

The game is very fun, very silly, and very addicting. Also, for a bargain title, it offers a surprising amount of replayability. In addition to the main mode, it also rocks several mini games, challenges, and survival mode (Probably my favorite). I also liked the Beghouled mode. If you’re into tower defense games, or just into something a little lighter but still fun, this is a very strong game.

I also had some buds over and got to play some Guitar Hero Smash Hits and Metallica with them. I got the World Tour kit about a year ago, and just rarely get a chance to play because I rarely host gaming sessions, and it’s a shame – I like it, its fun – But it’s obviously more fun with people who get into it and want to get better – Can be tough for a super casual crowd who don’t really buy into it or feel a little silly playing. That being said, I enjoy it a great deal.

Also, I’ve been picking at World of Goo – which I like, but find it hard to play for more than an hour at a time. This is going to sound whiny, but my wrist actually starts to get sore after a while. So I am about halfway through the game which some people say can take under 10 hours to beat. I love the style, the humor, and the gameplay, but I can’t help thinking maybe I didn’t make a mistake by getting it/playing it on the PC. And since I paid for it on the Wiiware, I feel compelled to play it there.

As an addendum, when in god’s name is Wiiware going to offer something in the way of fun 4 player party games for those over the age of 6? For the love of god, it’s been 3 years. Come up with some sort of decent party/group game for a more mature gamer.

Similarly, I went to look for Mario Party 8 as a gag gift for someone – and this is a nearly 3 year old Wii title with generally mediocre reviews. Yet, the game still sells for $50 off the shelf, $45 used, and even in Ebay, you’re looking at 30$ plus shipping. NO GAME 3 YEARS OLD SHOULD BE $50. Come on! Also, since I decided not to buy it, I went to my local Blockbuster – I don’t ever go to Blockbuster, and in addition to being stickershocked (2 games for $15 rental) they didn’t look to even carry this title. Probably because it’s too old. So a bust all around.

Also, on my DS I’ve been rocking some Space Invaders extreme, following the light gaming trend – but let me tell  you, despite the simple gameplay this is one of the more challenging games I’ve played in a very long time. If you’re into classic arcade action, give it a shot. Doesn’t offer a TON of depth, but the replayability is high if you’re into high score chasing.

Next week I’ll probably be snagging the Island of Dr. Zed DLC for Borderlands. I also need to dig into Torchlight.

-LAG

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Off far too long…

Between the holidays and my jobs, I’ve been away far too long and I apologize for that – Will get some more regular content flowing soon.

A couple of things all gamers should be aware of: Steam has been running some pretty insane holiday sales on must have titles like Torchlight. They’ve also been offering some great prices on probably should haves like L4D2, Borderlands, TF2, etc.

I haven’t gotten to play much TF2 since the Demo/Soldier update went live – But I’ll have some thoughts on that soon. I have played the HELL out of Borderlands – I’ll give a full review soon, but I will just say despite its flaws and its frustrating multiplayer, the game still is a ton of fun single player as well.

For those into CO-OP play – COD MW2 (Which I don’t need to hype) offers a Spec Ops mode which is tailor made for bite sized Co-Op gaming. It’s a lot of fun, challenging, very well implemented – and something I hope to see more of in the future .

More to come soon.

-LAG

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After suffering through a lack of good co-op titles this past summer, my gaming cohort Brian and I are suddenly overloaded with games to play. Some brief thoughts and a recap:

NBA Unrivaled: (http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/n/nbaunrivaled/)

It’s never a good sign when a game is released, and by afternoon, Metacritic still shows 0 reviews. No one said a peep on the 1UP user blogs, and there were 200 user reviews on Xbox Live itself, giving the game 2 out of 5 stars. Despite this, we gave the trial a download. Touted as a 5 on 5 NBA Jam, Unrivaled offered some quick get in/get out sports action that tends to be missing from more modern full licensed sports games. I think there IS a market here and this is a good idea, but all in all, Unrivaled is a missed opportunity. The 5 on 5 action is decent, though the controls feel a big sluggish and everyone seems to be moving at half speed until you press turbo. The repetitive “ACTION ZOOMS” could have used a bit of touching up, and the lack of any fun announcer voice yelling “IS IT THE SHOES?!?” would have been appreciated as well. Priced at $15, we just can’t justify a full purchase – It feels like a $5 game, though I do hope they learn from this one, touch it up, and come back with a sequel, because the idea and foundation for a good fun game are there.

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It looks better in freeze frame.

South Park Tower Defense: (http://xboxlive.ign.com/articles/103/1031444p1.html)

Co-Op gaming is a huge part of what makes my purchasing decisions, and it’s a huge part of why I game to begin with. Sure, I love a good one player game, but almost all of my best gaming memories involve other people with a controller by my side or a computer nearby. Finding good Co-Op titles is hard enough, finding great ones is an incredible challenge. SPTD would be a fine single player game, though probably a bit too hectic and frustrating for some – But add 1-3 buddies, and if anyone is remotely a South Park fan, they will enjoy this game. It’s funny, paced well, chock full of South Park goodies, and get this, it’s a good game. I know Tower Defense isn’t for everyone, but if your goal in gaming is to have a good time and play with some friends, this is a fantastic bargain title. The end boss surprise was amazing as well, and now the phrase “PERFECT WAAAAAVE!” has entered into our daily gaming vernacular.

south-park-lets-go-tower-defense-play-20090723094610508_640w

PERFECT WAAAAAVE!!

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2: (http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3176856)

Brian is a way bigger FPS fan than I am. I like to do my FPSing on the PC when I can, I prefer mouse and keyboard control – But he loves ’em on his 360, so we play all the Halos, the GoWs, the CoDs, the Rainbow Sixes. Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t offer local campaign co-op, but it does offer “Spec Ops” which is a pretty awesome idea – Bite sized COD missions with tough but attainable challenges that can be done in a reasonable amount of time and offer great replayability. If you’ve played a recent CoD or MW1, you aren’t going to be shocked with newness, but this is a good looking, easy to play fun title that definitely offers some Co-Op goodness. There seemed to be at least 20 of these Spec Ops missions, and we only dipped our feet into the water, doing about 6 of them and at only the first level of difficulty, but we had a blast doing it.

blackboxco-op1

Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2: (http://l4d.com/)

Left 4 Dead 2 is coming out in about a week, and I definitely have given the demo a couple runs. I love the new physics engine, the new enemies, and the new guns, I am pretty excited to see the full title. I think the game looks and feels “right” and if the demo is any indication, this is going to be a smash. Similarly, I never felt I got all I could out of my L4D, so I’ve spent a majority of my homing gaming time playing IT, and I finally got to try the VERSUS mode, which is a ton of fun!! 4 players play the survivors, the other 4 player various spawning zombie specials, and you go at it. The long respawn time for the zombies may turn off some, but if you are hanging out with buddies and chatting via voice chat – strategizing, playing, and making fun of eachother, you’re going to have a good time with it. I am looking forward to getting more versus mode in with L4D2. But if you’re into shooters and or Zombies, and are looking for something a little different, it’s hard not to get behind this little franchise that could.

left_4_dead_2_survivors

Borderlands: Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to play much more Borderlands, but I expect we’ll get a couple long sessions in in the next couple of weeks. I’ll update you more on that when we do, though 1UP.com reported that a Borderlands sequel is a “No Brainer”. Let’s hope they work out the kinks next time around.

World of Warcraft: I have sadly decided to finally inactivate my WoW account which had been draining my bank account slowly for the last 7-8 months. Maybe I’ll come back to it someday, but I doubt it. I don’t like a lot of the changes they’ve made, most of my friends have moved on, and at the end of the day, it’s a game that’s showing its age with repetitive gameplay. Still tough to say goodbye after being there since launch.

Super Mario Deluxe/Heroes of Might and Magic II: Oh yea, on my DS (which will get a work out this weekend) I’ve been obsessed with Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, which is still awesome – And on my Retro PC – I’ve been rocking some Heroes of Might and Magic II. The game still has too much of a “going fine until you’re screwed” curve, but it’s still addicting and a lot of fun even today.

The IT Crowd: For those with Netflix access, I strongly urge you to check out a British sitcom called “The IT Crowd” we catch a couple episodes on Instant Queue every gaming session, and the nerd set will love it. The show is hilarious, and the female lead is quite a babe.

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Not the best shot of her, but she's a babe.

I also plan to have my booty on the couch for The Prisoner premier this Sunday night. Early words on it are encouraging.

-LAG

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Interesting Week In Gaming

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This has nothing to do with my post. It was just the coolest picture I saw today.

Despite nearly being driven from the hobby by Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, I have continued to game – though I’ve gone lower tech, as I received a Cyclo DS Evolution and have been going through classic Gameboy and Gameboy Color games – Beating Mega Man II in a couple hours through a couple sittings. I am also still hammering away at Age of Empires: Mythologies on my DS, but getting a tad tired of it – The Scenario maps are all pretty large and open, and take a fair amount of time to complete. I’ve also played some Halo ODST multiplayer, downloaded Contra: Rebirth on my Wii, and messed with a little more Earth Defense Force 2017.

So, what’s been going on? Blizzard COO Paul Sams has bought into the Pittsburgh Steelers, an interesting mesh of sports and gaming.

Speaking of World of Warcraft, “reSTART” – an addiction center for gamaholics has opened up and not suprisingly, it’s first inhabitant is a self described World of Warcraft Addict.

The PSP Go has been announced, and it has sent some ripples through the gaming community who seem to be resisting the world of downloadable content.

On the subject of DLC, Direct2Drive has an amazing sale going on right now with several titles for just $5, including World of Goo, which is great fun.

And, for fun – check out this game from Kongragate – called Multitask.

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