31 March 2008

HATE ATLANTA TRAFFIC

but it did inspire me to make interesting use of my phone's panorama feature...

27 March 2008

Update City

I'm alive, I promise! Ever since Brawl came out, my need to blog has decreased. But no longer! The initial clutches of that warm temptress beckon me no more. I don't know if the game is not as good as Melee, my need to play hours upon hours of Smash has faded with time, or if living outside the college atmosphere demands less devotion to the sport. Whatever it is, after the first two weeks of Brawl, I don't feel addicted to it (this is good.)

And now for random updates:

- I spent last weekend with Lisa and others at a cabin in northern Georgia. It was great fun and I hope we make a tradition of the experience. Hot tubs are swell, the view was phenomenal, and there was much rejoicing. I'll never forget challenging myself to Seven-Eleven-Doubles... and losing.

- Saw No Country For Old Men with Jason. Overall, it was a good film. I was on the edge of my seat for 3/4, but then the movie took a sharp turn at Albuquerque and we were left with WTF? faces. If anyone would like to talk about the moral of the story, please leave a comment. If I had to take a guess, it would be that the inevitable self-destruction of society is a difficult thing for the oldest living generation to accept.

- Started watching a BBC mini-series titled "Jekyll". It stars James Nesbitt as a modern descendant of THE Dr. Jekyll. The guy can act, that's for damn sure. Highly recommend at least watching the first two episodes to see true character transformation on camera. If you're not at least intrigued by the first ten minutes of episode one, you're a boring person.

- Bought and finished God of War: Chains of Olympus. It's a good game, no doubt, but it lacks some of the grandeur of the PS2 titles. The puzzles and locales don't measure up to the kinds found in GOW and GOW2. The combat is spot on. The controls feel natural and the spells & weapons fit right in. If you have a PSP, I'd recommend renting it only because of its brevity.

- StarCraft is still awesome. I've been playing some games lately and it's crazy how I'm still improving, even after being out for ten years. That is certainly the hallmark of a solid game. If I can find a simple way to post some replay files, I'll link to them here. I am bouncing off the walls in excitement for the sequel. Here's hoping we get a release date or beta soon. I expect SOMETHING along those lines to be announced at WWI in Paris this June.

- I filmed another set of interviews for GameTap Watch this week. Look for my re-appearance there soon! I haven't heard anything back yet about the interview I did for the PBS show.

- Speaking of GameTap, there is a brilliant game coming out next Tuesday called Captain McGrandpa: Memory of the Forgotten. It's a GameTap Originals title that I highly recommend playing!

- Lisa is the best girlfriend ever. I'm keeping her. <3 <3 <3

- Rock Band! Boston track pack! Six Boston songs to play! Get it!!!

24 March 2008

Lara and me

Thursday afternoon... why won't you turn into Friday afternoon sooner? shed your cocoon and spread those liberating wings

09 March 2008

Brawl: The First Ten Hours

A brief history of my Super Smash Bros. expertise-

I started playing Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 in my first year of college. The game had been out for two years and I'd tried it once or twice in a GameStop, but I didn't get into it until my stay in the freshmen dorms. Smash was easily the most potent bonding medium for my group of friends in the dorm for the whole year. I never want to know how many hours we spent playing that game, but truth be told, it was for the best because as an activity, it tied us together for many years to come. Short story: I played a lot of Smash on the N64. It's one of the few games I say I've "mastered."

That Christmas of freshman year, Nintendo released the GameCube and shortly after, Super Smash Bros. Melee. At first, I rejected the game as radically different. The pacing was frantic and the power of the GameCube rendered some dizzying levels. It took me a few months to come around and get the hang of the changes made to the series. Six years later, I wouldn't say I've mastered it, but I'm as good as I'll ever be. Melee has been a staple of my gaming essence for many, many years. You could say Brawl has a lot to live up to.

We picked up the game from Walmart at 12:01AM on Sunday morning, raced back to the house, and played it for three hours straight. After a brief nap, we clocked in a few more hours (the game says it had been on for ten hours, but I don't believe that!) and here are my initial impressions...

I agree with the early review statements that this game is a fusion of elements from both N64 Smash and Melee. The pacing has been scaled back, quick KO's seem dramatically harder to execute, and items are 100% overpowered.

Brawl introduces mechanics that make for more "error-proof" play. Characters don't fall off the stage as easy due to slower falling speeds and generous edge grabbing. Air-dodging no longer causes the player to lose control... no more accidental self-deaths due to a bad roll. The reduced gravity coefficient both helps and hinders aggressive offense. It is easier to time a connecting juggle or combo, but characters float away at 64-esque angles from even tiny hits.

I see this change to the core gameplay as a way to be more accessible to the Wii crowd, but ultimately maintains the depth of strategy that the hardcore Melee fanatics crave.

So far, my favorite characters are Bowser, Dedede, and Marth. The heavy characters are extremely viable and Marth is a favorite from Melee that fortunately wasn't nerfed! I'm still getting familiar with the changes to Peach; they aren't too drastic and I think she will remain in my top 5.

We don't actually have a Wii in the house until later this week, but I'll hopefully have some more impressions of Brawl soon!

yep, it's fuckin awesome

I love it. its not exactly what I expected, but its great. new characters are spectacular, levels look great, items are... still broken. more later!

wheeeeeee

about to start playing!

WE GOT IT!

what's better... brawl or 13 Going on 30?

08 March 2008

at walmart

we are at walmart to get smash at midnight! also... intoxicated.

first post of the evening

hey all, im going to try and submit several pictures this evening... the launch of smash brawl!!! we are up in athens for the night, playin a bit o rock band before going to walmart for the midnight launch. more soon!