The 404 Box

A Random, infrequent Blog

So... I've been working, on and off, on this project of mine ever since I closed the "Harley's House" union here on gamespot. The idea is the same, a site dedicated to strong female characters in gaming (and beyond) but I'm looking to push it to a much more ambitious scale. I plan on releasing it as a blog $tyle page (tho, the layout will be quite different from a normal looking blog, the posting articles will be the main connection to the format) and Hub for news, media etc and a forum for everyone to discuss the topics at hand. It will all be wrapped up with a domain name and that's what I need your help with.

I need a name for the project. A name that is simple and easy to remember, but also catchy. I also need to make sure the domain is not in use, so any name you think of please run in by a google search to see if the name is already take. I plan on making the domain a .com suffix.

Any help in the matter will be greatly appreciated.


I've just had the pleasure of sitting down to a viewing of a fan made movie (or rather a part of one) by a group of Italian film school students. The movie, just released to the masses via their website (as of Sept 27, 2009), is based on the characters and myth of the Metal Gear Solid series of video games.


Titled "Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy" the movie has been in production on and off for a few years now and the team plans to release it in three parts for free as a tribute to the source and to fans. Part one of the series is subtitled "The Overnight Nation" which introduces us to the character Snake and the group he is currently aligned with "Philanthropy", who's sole mission (in this instance) is to rescue a man of importance from a disclosed location. From this introduction we assume that CG will play a heavy role in the course of the film... and while that is true, the implementation of said effects are less apparent as the picture roles on.



Leaving the safety of his plane, Snake drops into the territory where the story will take place. Taking out soldiers, sneaking around and communicating via his codex Snake feels exactly how you would expect he should in a movie based on the series.



During the plot Snake meets up with two other group members who will assist him in his quest to track down and rescue the man of interest. A male sniper who seems to take his job halfheartedly, constantly joking and carrying on; as well as a female soldier who's shady past causes Snake, and the audience to question her ability and motives.




The three make their way to the location which they believe to be a remote village where the hostage is being held... only to find something much more sinister at hand.



Without saying too much more about the plot, I'll just guarantee you'll see lots of action, soldiers, sneaking and even a couple metal gears thrown in for good measure.



The locations all feel like they've been stripped straight from one of the video games, with some emphasis on close quarters, combat and over all war torn environments for you to feast your eyes on. Like mentioned above, CG is heavily used to make some of these locations look believable but it's so well done that most of it has you questioning what is and isn't CG.



Special attention was given to the moves of Snakes' character to ensure he acted just like the video game character would, but all of the other characters in the movie move and act in a very tight military combat fashion, no doubt a labor of work for each and every actor.



The voice acting is hit and miss at times. Originally (as far as I can tell) shot in Italian and then voiced over in English, a lot of the voice acting can lack some enthusiasm from time to time. That said, the actor who did Snake's voice was SPOT ON. You couldn't find a better David Hayter impersonator anywhere. In general the acting isn't bad, not by a long shot... just not exactly perfect.



Huge props to the composer and audio team need to be given. The score of the film is beautiful, sweeping, appropriate and has the ability to stir up emotion on a much grander scale than if the movie was without it. The action sequences are all spot on with gun shots, explosions, soldier chatter and the like; enveloping you into an ambiance up to par with some Hollywood productions. It really takes the movie a step past what it could of been to something incredibly special.

I am extremely pleased that I got wind of this project and was able to download it for a viewing. I will be eagerly awaiting the next two parts with baited breath.



**Sadly, I didn't see any (in part 1 at least) use of a cardboard box for cover, but we'll just have to see what parts 2 and 3 bring our way. Also, make sure to continue watching the film after the credits roll as there are some mega funny bloopers/ messed up voice overs that nearly made me cry. "TO THE MALL!!!!! .... 25% OFFFFF!!!! YAAAAAAA!!!!!"

Download at the: Official (english) website
Official Site of Hive Division
Wikipedia page
.
A few posts back I mentioned my plans for getting a 360, that being: taking a portion of my tax return and using it to purchase the machine. Sigh. I just got my info regarding my tax return for this year... and it seems a 360 wasn't in the books for the cheap-0-government when they were dulling out mine. I guess I made more money this year had much fewer tax deductions to claim and eventually wound up with about a fourth of what I've been getting in previous years. Thus the 360 is put off again, for now but... It's ok! as Jeff (a cousin of mine) offered to play the game in full on co-op with me one of these days on his 360 - so I can get the story. Mega kewl.

That said, I went and got a few things to "treat" myself with the money I did get back from the government. Two PS2 games which I missed playing till now: God of War 2 and Persona 4. I finish God of War 2 and completely LOVED it! (Scored it a 10/10 on gamespot) and have about 8 hours in Persona 4 - which is really unique and fun... tho I hate keeping track of the weather :P As well as the new Lamb of God CD Wrath - which came with a crazy kewl bonus disc with all of the songs split into vocal, guitar, bass and drums all on MP3 files.

However the most special thing I've picked up is something I've wanted for a very long time. A little item that has been (thankfully) falling lower and lower in price (from like $500 initially) to something I can both afford and not feel horribly guilty about buying.

*Click to enlarge

An (8.5") 1/7 scale figure of Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell) in one of the best outfits and poses I've seen!

I absolutely love it! It joins my small collection of other figure (mostly Ghost in the Shell) on my desk/shelf. If I ever decide to spend more on figures, a much larger Tachikoma would definitely be in consideration. Here's the rest of my small figure collection (hehe, you can see random crap behind it all as my desk currently resides in our hallway/dining room as we renovate my room):

*yep, click to enlarge
Ahh, so I did one of these back a few months ago and 2 of the games on the list have already come out so, here's a revision with my adjusted list, some new comers, new explanations and so on.

**Afterwords, there is a mini list of games which I am looking out for but either missed my top 15 or I'm not sure of just yet. Explanations included.


Top 15

-
#15 (last time not on list) -
(T) - MotorStorm Arctic Edge
(S) - Playstation Portable
(I) - This game was just announced at Playstation Destination and looks to excite. I've enjoyed the other two motorstorm games on the PS3 and this one looks to be just as fun! About time we got some good racing on the PSP! I've been searching for something since burnout legends!

-
#14 (last time not on list) -
(T) - Heavy Rain
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - Last time this game was pushed to the "looking at but didn't make the top 15" list which was reserved for those games I was iffy about. It's moved up slightly and made it onto the top15 as I'm continually impressed by it's unique game play, story ideas, visuals and more over the entire package that seems to be like a playable movie. I'm very interested to see how it pans out.

-
#13 (last time not on list) -
(T) - Brutal Legend
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - The idea is crazy and I like it. You play a Roadie in this weird alternate universe, metal music the underlying tone and subject of the game, with the twisted Tim Shafer behind it all. Color me interested at least :P The style looks very unique and it could end up being a diamond in the rough... or at least that's how I see it. Will continue to follow it.

-
#12 (last time not on list) -
(T) - Team ICO's new project
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - Ok... so this game isn't even announced and I'm ready to slap down my $60 for it! :D All we know is that the team is working on a project, a small teaser image showing a well of some sort was shown and that's it thus far... but I'm really really really eager to play what ever it is! ICO and Shadow of the Colossus (the teams other games) were incredible pieces of art that I loved dearly.

-
#11 (last time #11) -
(T) - Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
(S) - Playstation Portable
(I) - I enjoyed Kingdom Hearts 1&2 on my PS2 - more than just about any RPG game (Oblivion and Fallout3 not withstanding) and am excited to see such a gorgeous game gracing my little hand held. Havn't looked much into details but from what I picked up - it's a prequel staring Roxas. *It's very possible that it won't make it out this year :(

-
#10 (last time #12) -
(T) - StarCraft 2
(S) - PC
(I) - The only PC game to make my list, I have been waiting for SC2 for AGES! Kinda wacky that the game is being split into 3 separate campaigns - thus you have to buy all 3 to get the story, but I'm still drooling over it regardless. I built my new PC last spring just for this puppy. Still waiting for a release date from Blizzard.

-
#9 (last time #9) -
(T) - DiRT 2
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - The original DiRT (Colin McRae's of course) was awe inspiring. Simply the best racer this generation. It was the perfect mix of arcade racing (something like MotorStrom) and simulation/realism (like Gran Turismo) with top notch visuals, vehicles, damage, tracks and on and on and on. DiRT2 looks to improve on that and I couldn't be happier.

-
#8 (last time #14) -
(T) - inFAMOUS
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - inFAMOUS (it's fun to write it like that), is an idea I love, but would love to see more! Slowly the info trickles out detailing bits of what we'll be doing with the main character. One of the first games I've seen where you play a super-hero like character who has nothing to do with the established super-heros like superman, batman, spiderman etc. Very kewl idea.

-
#7 (last time #4) -
(T) - Mafia 2
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - While info on this latest game has slowed down a bit (I'm sure it'll pick up closer to release) I'm still very excited for it. Banking on how much fun I had with the first title (on the PC) I'm expecting great things from the team. I'm hoping for more old 30's tunes to rock the soundtrack - as they were a very special thing for me back in the first game. I also hope such attention to detail, the story, voice acting and sound will be present. While looking for a pic to represent this game, I found that a number of new screen shots (beautiful ones of course) were released just recently.

-
#6 (last time #5) -
(T) - Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - Bioshock was such a special experience. Back in the beginning of the summer (2008) I picked up the PC version - as announcement of a PS3 port was nill at that point - and it took a while for me to get into it, starting the first part off a few times and leaving it each time before diving head first into it and spending about 4-5 days of non stop bioshocking. The atmosphere just sucked me away and it'll be something I'll never forget. It should be a no brainer that I want more. Some new info released gives some vague info about big daddies, big sisters and such ... nothing incredibly concrete tho. I'm crossing my fingers that timed exclusivity doesn't play a role in the release of it on the PS3 this time around.

-
#5 (last time #10) -
(T) - Ghostbusters: The Videogame
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - Ghostbusters, for me, is a big thing. I grew up with the movies, cartoon, toys - you name it. I even owned a "echo 1" toy (like 20") which sadly got smashed later on in life :( Anyways, every time I read about, see videos of the game in action or poke at some pictures of the project in action I get a smile on my face. At first I was weary of the dev team behind such a project... as their track record is an odd one but I'm totally stoked by what I've seen, and hope to get a bustin this summer.

-
#4 (last time #8) -
(T) - God of War 3
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - I've gone through the PSP iteration of Krato's adventure again, then started up a game of God of War 2 and it's stirred up my love for the franchise. Going online checking out some videos, screen shots and info I've had my anticipation for the next game in the series jump up quite a bit. Last time I was sure that I would like the game but wasn't incredibly anticipating it - this time however is a completely different story! I can't wait to get my hands on Kratos.... just wonder if the game will be out this year or not?

-
#3 (last time #6) -
(T) - The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - I've been waiting for AoDA for a long time! I picked up the original game "Escape from butcher's Bay" for my Xbox last year and loved the experience. I love the work, character and have been stoked.... prob even before I had my PS3 for this title. The game is said to ship with a completely re-tooled version of Escape from Butcher's Bay along with the new expansion like "Assualt on Dark Athena" portion which is said to add 10hours to the story at the very least - which is just about a game in itself, as some games don't last that long on their own. Jumping up from 6th place.

-
#2 (last time #3) -
(T) - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - The original Uncharted game was spectacular and I've recently gone back to play it once again just to confirm those beliefs! The new game looks to up the visual style, action, introduce us to new characters, environments and broaden the experience beyond the jungle. I can't wait to take Nathan Drake on his new adventure!

-
#1 (last time #7)-
(T) - Batman: Arkham Asylum
(S) - Playstation 3
(I) - This game took a giant leap from 7th place all the way up to first! When I first heard of the idea in place behind the game I was very excited and even though there was nothing but that bit of info behind it... I knew it would be a buy assuming it didn't fail as a game. From the looks of it, it's not only going to skip the "fail" hole but quite possibly be THE BEST batman game ever! Sure that's not hard to do considering all the crappy batman games that have plagued us for years, but it looks like the dev team is really serious about the project; which is coming along very nicely. Can't wait to see Batman, Joker, Harley and the rest of the cast duke it out in the worlds best insane asylum! :D


Titles that just missed the list:

Demon Souls - Looks like Shadow of the Colossus meets Oblivion! Hella kewl idea, gonna watch it.
Doom 4 (PS3?) - It's DOOM4!
Red Faction: Guerrilla (PS3) - Loved the other titles, this one looks equally kewl, still iffy on it tho :P
Quantum Theory (PS3) - Gears of War with a Japanese twist? Color me interested.
Rockband (PSP) - Dude Rockband on the go? Hells yeah! I just hope I can transfer songs from PS3 to PSP.
Dead Rising 2 (PS3) - Looks like a lot of fun, will follow it more closely.
Short one!

So! I was clicking around the internet, randomly looking at stuff and eventually I was lead to the Wiki page for the upcoming game Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3/360) as to see when exactly the game came out. Pretty quickly I found out that it's suppose to come in May, which is great! But after reading through some more of the page I found something even better! :D

My fav girl ♥Harley Quinn♥ WILL be in it!!!!!! :D :D :D


♥Soooo happy!♥

It makes me even more excited to play the game!!!

Did you know the actress who plays (and always has) Harley, Arleen Sorkin is married to Christopher Lloyd (aka Doc Brown)??
"The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"

BTW, I'm prepping a new banner (only applies to those reading from gamespot) for my profile, featuring... you guessed it! Harley Quinn ;) But I really really really love my current one (the ♥ music one) what do you think? Should I keep or change it?
Sony recently hit a milestone with their first hand held gaming system, the PSP, when they announced the sale of 50 million PSPs worldwide since it's launch in 2005. That's a big deal, as no competitor (against Nintendo's series of hand helds) has ever reached such numbers in the market. With word from Sony that they're going to push full force into making 2009 an amazing year for Playstation (including PSP), announcements of numerous franchises making their way to the machine and anticipation from fans - it's no wonder rumors start to fly.

One rumor that never seems to slow down is the suggestion that Sony is currently working on the successor to the PSP, naturally dubbed PSP2. As usual, Sony just waves the hand and raises the "Those are just rumors" or "No comment" flags, going about their business. But as of late it seems more and more likely that the Playstation family is about to welcome a new baby into it's Home (pun intended).

I give you PSP2:


or... at least one fan's home made image of what a PSP2 might look like. Incredibly stylish, without a doubt. We'll go into detail about various rumors that makes this image a very believable picture of what we may see from Sony, possibly in the very near future.

Sony being secretive and vague:

First, straight from Sony Japan, a request for testers for "A new game machine" was placed on their website. QJ.Net is quoted on the matter:

"Well, translations of the job description vary, but the common thread here is that the people they hire will be tasked to evaluate and assess the new hardware which is to be part of the PlayStation brand"

- which leaves things open for suggestion as to what exactly they are testing... but with PSP2 rumors getting major fuel for their flames lately we can send a nod in that direction. Also noted on the page is

"Part of the job description also notes that those who get hired will "test game machines not yet released or new functionality of PS3 peripherals before they are released."

Which again can lead right into Sony's strategy of pairing their systems up for branching functionality. While the PSP initially didn't have a lot of different ways to interface with the PS3, functionality has been on the rise with the ability to stream media to and from the machines, transfer downloads, PS1 games, control PS3 games with the PSP and vice versa, unlocking extras in games when linking the two, and the list continues. With PSP2 Sony could open up a whole new can of worms in that the system could more or less function like your PS3 away from home. Boasting the ability to connect to all the services and media your PS3 can access - like Home, PSN, Video Download services and so on.


Where the sliding screen idea comes from:

Next, in a nod to the fan made sliding screen image, we've got this article from VG247 who cite a "highly-trusted source" detailing a new sliding screen feature for Sony's third update to the PSP's design. Labeled for the PSP 4000 update (see series updates) as an aesthetic overhaul... I was very skeptical. Why put so much effort into making the current PSP's image change? Which leads this blogger to believe that if said information is actually valid, it would make more sense if it was for a PSP2 model, rather than an update for the current system. The article also goes on to mention that the model would be released this year, 2009.

Insiders info, speculation on built in hard drive etc:

The most recent rumor/news bit coming from Shiny Entertainment's (founder) David Perry who opens with:

"I hear Sony FINALLY has the PSP 2. And thank goodness, they've removed the stupid battery-sucking UMD disc drive. I'm excited!"

on his twitter page earlier this week. The UMD, for those not in the know is the disc format the PSP uses for it's games and something Sony tried promoting for movies too... fairly unsuccessfully. Now as the UMD is used mainly just for games, Sony has been making strides to move those games to download (as a number of titles are on PSN already) as a cheaper alternative and much more efficient distribution method; especially for a portable machine. Later, speaking with Kotaku, Perry explained his update:

"I spoke to a developer who is working on it right now," he said. "I know this developer is already working on it, so that means they have a prototype. That would sound like a fall release to me."

excited he continues:

"I've been pounding on Sony for a long time to make the Playstation Portable relevant and not to let Apple stroll away with the portable game market," he said. "Look at what Apple is doing now. Why are so many investors investing in Apple game development? Trying to pitch a PSP game to investors right now is brutal."

Thus, if this info is to be believed - we could very soon see the system. Perry continues in the article, most of it just pure speculation mind you. He claims that Sony will initially ship games on memory sticks as a companion to the download service and eventually phase them out in favor of download only on the device. Which makes me think... not everyone will necessarily have a connection capable to handling such bandwidth intensive downloads... (which might be a smaller population... but still potential buyers).

He also goes on to say that retailers might be resistant to see such a device because they don't make a great deal on the markup of the system and make their money off of the games and resale of games... which is again another legit concern. However I believe that a simple kiosk set up within retail chains such as Gamestop or EBGames could have a system in place where you purchase a download code and input it into a kiosk (located in store) allowing you to download the game to your medium (hard drive perhaps?) right there.

Senior Editor at Gamesutra; Brandon Sheffield had less harsh words for the UMD format but agrees with Perry:

"Regardless, a PSP with a flash drive just makes sense, what with the ability to download PSone games to it, and all of that. The pitfalls are piracy, which may increase (and is already rampant), and retail anger. I think it's coming though."

He goes into further detail about how retail stores (such as GameStop) would be a little under-impressed to learn that they won't be making any money on used game sales - as download only titles... wouldn't have a physical medium to be on if Sony does decide to go digital only.


Sony leads us with more vagueness:

Which leads us into another item that popped up on the internet in the form chit-chatty contemplation, from Sony themselves. Mulling over the idea of a Hard Drive for the PSP as PSN titles make their way to the system, it shows that Sony is at least in the know that a 4gb memory card isn't going to cut it in the world of digital downloads. With their PS3 machines now shipping with 80gb and 160gb built in, many people going out and buying 250gb and 500gb drives themselves for the machine - it seems you can never have enough space. David Reeves, Head of Sony Europe, more recently confirmed that Sony is indeed looking to hard drives, quite possibly built in, as a form of storage for the hand held.

Graphics core group claims to be working with Sony:

Taken from an article on EETimes.com:

Imagination Technologies Group (licensor of graphics processor cores) announced Monday (Nov. 24/2008) that it has signed a license agreement with a new partner, a major international consumer electronics company, for a forthcoming member of Imagination's POWERVR SGX graphics processor family.

There were no names and no values ascribed to the licensing but the hint that it is materially insignificant. As a publicly held company Imagination is under pressure to disclose events of material significance via one or more of the many regulatory news services.

According to sources today's announcement by Imagination is for an upgrade to the Sony PSP2 and the SGX core is expected to be the SGX55x.

This information can be taken as a lesser point of interest, but still something worth thinking about. The company, currently is working with Apple as Apple licensed the same kind of technology in the iphone for it's graphical needs.

Conclusion, more speculation:


So as you can see there is no short pile of rumors stacking up to flame the boards across the internet these days... and these were just some to of the more concrete and believable ones I could find! Each article I picked from will be listed below for source references, so go ahead and check them out to get the full articles.

Some gamers and industry "experts" claim that touch screen functionality may make it into the next outing of the PSP. Some people scream their brains out to keep such functionality out of their system, preferring to keep the traditional style of game controlling in place... but I believe that touch screen can be something incredibly beneficial to the system and not just for games. I believe that it would make joining games, browsing the internet, pictures, ebooks and so on much easier and we can't forget that when done right; touch screen gaming is a lot of fun and a fresh way to be entertained.

I also believe that a pack in hard-drive or other similar device with multitudes of gigabytes will be a standard of the new system as Sony moves more and more to digital downloads. Being able to download movies on your PS3 through Sony's ever growing movie download service and packing them up on your PSP2 on the go sounds extremely enticing. Also, having your PS3 act as a hub for any and all other media - including games, you could jump on any wi-fi spot and download any game you forgot to slap onto your portable's drive. The technology is already in place, controlling your PS3 and transferring files with a PSP is already a feature we enjoy with the current PSP - but it can be expanded much further.

Of course I can't forget the single most important update a PSP2 would need: a second analogue nub! The exclusion of the nub's twin on the original system really threw people for a loop and caused some pretty hefty control issues with various genres of games. If nothing else, Sony needs to add that second nub.

In closing, what other features would you like in a successor to the PSP?

Sources:

http://pspupdates.qj.net/For-hire-Sony-Japan-looking-for-new-game-machine-testers/pg/49/aid/129018

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_Portable

http://www.vg247.com/2009/02/23/source-psp-4000-has-sliding-screen-is-complete-aesthetic-overhaul/

http://kotaku.com/5160320/perry-psp-2-is-real-could-hit-this-fall

http://vgtribune.com/rumor-shiny-entertainment-founder-says-psp-2-will-not-have-the-stupid-battery-sucking-umd-disc-drive/

http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/PSP/Sony%20PSP/news.asp?c=3637

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/gc-sony-hasnt-ruled-out-psp-hard-drive-reeves

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=181396&site=psm

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212200099

http://pspupdates.qj.net/Sony-wants-you-to-know-more-than-50-million-PSP-units-sold-worldwide/pg/49/aid/128888

Ok, so this blog post comes from my choosing to read up on an actor I seem to like more and more these days; Keanu Reeves. To cut the story short, I was reading through his wiki page and noticed something dealing with "Cowboy Bebop" - very curious I read on and as it states: Keanu Reeves has been confirmed as playing the role of Spike Spiegel. It has also been confirmed through Variety in a January 15, 2009 article, that the production company, Sunrise, Inc., will be "closely involved with the development of the English language project"

*Thud*

That's the sound of my Jaw hitting the floor. :D My heart began to beat like crazy and pepsi oozed from my eye balls! ... erm ok, so that didn't happen, but it got me really excited! First off, a live action Cowboy Bebop sounds incredibly enticing and to have Reeves play Spike really finishes the deal for me.

Personally I find Reeves to be hit and miss with some of his performances. Some times I feel he does great jobs, other times it feels like he's a manikin who can't show emotion... but for the most part I really really dig a lot of the movies he does. Maybe it's the content in the movies I like more than his acting? I don't know. Either way I'm excited of the prospect of a live action Cowboy Bebop, it's set to hit in 2011, who's with me!?

Speaking of Reeves and anime... I watch a movie last night titled "Johnny Mnemonic" staring, you guessed it! Keanu Reeves! Ha. Anyways, it's about a futuristic world where some people can carry data in their heads with implants and such, the rest I'll just not get into, but that's the setting you need to know. Anyways, through out the movie it turns out a woman had her consciousness digitized and placed in these files that Keanu's character is supposed to transport (inside of his head) to a location half way around the world. It touches on a lot of ideas and subjects that makes the base for what Ghost in the Shell is.


(Kind of a long segway huh?) Which makes me think back to the long awaited and very slim on news, making of a Ghost in the Shell live action movie headed by Stephen Spielberg; who's apparently a fan of the anime/manga. The movie, is to be released by Dreamworks and as mentioned above, directed by Spielberg. A rumor (again news is slim) is that it will be shot entirely in stereoscopic 3D, which Spielberg is a fan of. Set for release in 2011 as well (same as Bebop) I seriously hope it pans out and is done well. Following that I will melt ;)

I have grave hope that these titles rely zero percent on the success of the upcoming DragonBall live action movie..... cuz that looks like it'll be BAD!

Do you know of any other anime to live action gigs being planned? What else would you like to see done? Akira perhaps? Some La Blue Girl? (kidding).
"We're here to make coffee metal. We will make everything metal! Blacker than the blackest black, times infinity!" - Nathan Explosion.

It's a weird thing really, right now I'm fascinated by a very kewl band, their songs have been the only thing playing in winamp and my ipod for days now... and yet... the members are fictional and the band... really a product of a cartoon. But I love em!

I'm of course talking about Dethklok - the retardedly popular band from Metalocalypse (an Adult Swim cartoon). I've known about the show for a while (I remember Justin highly recommending it) but I hadn't seen any of it or got into it's awesomeness. Until now! Jeff (a cousin of mine) showed me some eps; new years eve I believe it was and recently came over with the remainder of the set to view (I believe it was season 2) and we watched them all, roaring the whole time.

The whole show itself is twised, filled with jokes and great music. So afterwards I jumped online to see if I could snag myself a copy of the album released titled "DethAlbum" and did find a few copies around but decided on a torrent instead - may buy the actual CD some time in the future, but right now the MP3s suffice. To fuel the desire more, I just read about DethAlbum 2 being already in production!!! :D

Anyone with any love for Metal should check it out! The show first tho, it give you better appreciation of the music I believe.
So... who's idea was it to jack up game prices this generation? I want the name of the douche bag who I can kick firmly in the head, please.

Ugh. Buying new games puts this like... wormhole in your bank account these days, and when you're grabbing games for 3 or 4 systems... it becomes a game (ironic?) of "Check MetaCritic first" and "Leave it till it gets cheaper" rules that you live by.

This all comes from... well, the opposite situation that I ran into today. Whilst browsing our local Super Store's electronic section (one of the better places for games around here btw) I happened to notice a few things. The first, Bioshock for $39.99 - which is roughly $20-$30 off of it's original price. Tempted, I left it, solely because I've got it for the PC and have already enjoyed it; $40 saved! :D So my eyes dart around to the other games, with Spiderman3 on for $20 (I had it before, it made me dizzy, lol), a few older Hockey titles on for $10, $20 and $30, the oldest being 07 (something I will be asking Jeff his opinion on). But what really caught my eye is a $10 copy of "Dark Sector", a game I had some knowledge of. Some knowledge as in I knew the premise, the "unique" draw of it... and also generally knew it got "Meh" review (as in not great, but not bad either).

Just then it occured to me that: $10 is a great price for a game and it would take a horrid game for me to believe that I wasted those 10 dollars. So... I snatched it up, looked over the box and continued my browsing. Down the asile, around a corner and I get to the PSP section - which sports a few titles I've been looking to get and play... but all (to my disappointment) at tip top $39.99 price tags. But sitting on the very top - and I mean very top, as in on the actual shelving unit - with a price tag hanging just underneith it, is "Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters". Also conveniently priced at $10 ($9.99 if you want to get techincal) - I thought "I enjoyed the demo, why not" and placed it beside Dark Sector in my hands.

Finishing the corner and heading down the second asile, I stop to look at some PS2 games with gems like God of War 2 on for $15, various sports games on for $10 & $20 and so on, I decided to skip that section for the time being - but to remember it for future reference. At the end of the asile I hit the DS section and scaned around the games. Brain age $20, Mario 64 $34, Mario Kart DS $54!!! Ugh, money money money. So I finish my browsing and head to the cash with my $20 worth of games and happy that I didn't spend a fortune.

I'm just tired of ploping down $60 or more for a game! Is anyone with me? Depending on where in the world you live - you'll have different currency, but I bet it's a very similar situation. One thing that made this subject really stand out in my mind is the game "Afro Samurai" which came out... I think last week and had me interested, as the show is spectacular, but at $69.99... I had no choice but to leave it there; I mean come on! $70+ tax (here it's 13%, thus $69.99 eventually equeals $79.08) is A LOT of money for a single game.

Thus, from now on (tho I have practiced it in the past) I believe I will be somewhat of a froogle shooper when it comes to my games. Maybe hit up ebgames or blockbuster more for used games, perhaps trade in more titles (I've actually made quite a nice bit trading in old games to pay for new ones in the last year or so) and just wait for titles to come down in price. Granted there are going to be some games I WON'T wait for (have Killzone2 and StreetFighter IV already pre-ordered) but I will still try to hold off on some.

I've had insane amounts of fun with inexpensive (I don't say cheap anymore thanks to that Nissan commercial ;) ) games. IE - Prey (PC) $5. Actually a lot of the games I have for PC I got rather cheaply, rarely do I get PC games at full price.

As an end note, I'm really digging Dark Sector and R&C feels like it could be very kewl.

SO BOOURNS!!! To Expensive games!
After spending an afternoon watching some anime & movies I decided that I'd pop in a game. However: I wasn't up for some continuation of a big story, I just wanted something to slap in for an undetermined amount of time and enjoy. Standing back looking at my games I thought "why not throw Killzone in for shits n giggles?" and so I grabbed the case, popped it into my PS3, selected the correct virtual memory card that had my save file and jumped into an already started campaign; wanting to kill some foolish helghast. To my surprise the game still looks stellar!

It's a PS2 game and you wouldn't know it! Sure it's resolution is nothing but 480i and it's textures a bid muddied when compared to what we're use to this generation but just to sit and look at it... is something to behold. Honestly, if it had a resolution upgrade and a fresh coat of texture work you'd be hard pressed to not think it a current gen game (hint hint Sony, nudge nudge). The gun models are sharp and detailed, the characters well envisioned and defined; even the environments fit the build of visually impressive.


It's visual prowess does effect the frame rate at times but over all - I'm pleasantly pleased to see that even after nearly 5 years this game still looks great. Coming from the same team; it's no wonder that Killzone2 is looking so visually impressive. It seems the group at Guerilla games are rather talented. Perhaps next I should go back and play some Killzone: Liberation to see how that fares, hmm?

It gets me pumped to play Killzone2 once it drops on the 27th. Sadly I won't be getting a taste of it with the demo (that's suppose to hit PSN this week). I believe I can wait for the full fledged experience. The reviews are coming in quite a bit lately and they're just about (if not) all positive. So I'm excited :) *Fingers crossed I get hooked up with broadband soon so I can jump into some of the game's multiplayer functions too.
In this Blog
|Intro| - Randomness, what's up, etc
|Movies| - See what I think of various views.
|Games| - What's up, what I'm playing etc
|END BIT| - Final thoughts, shout outs, question.

|Intro|
Hello boys and girls, I am your DJ for the evening and Lamb of God is on tap. It's been a while since I've done a blog - tho there's no shortage of topics I could of covered in this time... I just havn't had the ambition to bother writing anything down. The blog title this time around is a song title by one of my fav bands - Lamb of God. Not only is it an awesome song but it also kind of fits the blog subject - coming back after a bit to hit the world with a new post, and (if you've noticed) a new look too.



The new look is something I like (especially the Headphone logo :) )... but I feel so limited by customization in blogging sites. I even went off and joined up on wordpress, hearing that they had better "theme" support... and I wasn't really impressed, so it's blogger where I stay for now. It keeps me thinking about getting back into webpage creation again tho. As it was something I enjoyed doing back years ago with many a fanpage, clanpage and the like being run all at the same time. Sadly I lost interest in keeping them up they're all history now but I still love the idea of creating stuff... which is why I spend time with photoshop creating sig, profile goods and even boxarts - but again I still itch for that website side of things. I fear it too tho... because of my lack of skill (or knowledge) of the interactive and dynamic conditioning that most sites now implement - that I won't be able to make what I want, which would lead me to learning those said skills and - well that is just a lot of time I just don't have or want to dedicate.

Even though I speak of time limitations I do seem to be finishing a number of things lately, each with their own values. I finished up "The Long Halloween" - the Batman collection book I talked of in my last blog, Syberia 2 - a wonderful PC adventure game that cleaned up the loose ends of the first (game) and delivered a very enjoyable experience. I finially got around to finishing up Lego Star Wars for my PS3 and thought it was good... but not near as kewl as Lego Batman - prob only cuz I dig batman much more than star wars. I finished up the second set of Ghost in the Shell manga and questioned many a crotch shot and full nudity - almost for the sake of nudity but over all enjoyed it. Anime wise I finished up Speed Grapher and add it to my favorites list - as it was spectacular all the way through. Delivering on solid & unique characters, a decent story and enough action and silliness to round it all off it beats many an anime I've seen.


|Movies|

I've had some time to catch up on some movies, both good and bad.

To start things off I watched Step Brothers, a movie by and staring Will Farrell and John C. Riley. It was ok. A lot of it felt forced and/or already done in other similar movies (even ones the duo did) - a few things made me laugh or just smirk and it wasn't bad.. just nothing unexpected. 3/5 (yeah I've just decided I'd rate em out of 5 :P).

Thankfully the next movie; Horton Hears a Who, was 1000 times better :D The CG film with Jim Carey at the helm as the voice of Horton the elephant is a remake of sorts of the old half hour long Dr.Sues cartoon - of which I have very fond memories of and does a very clever job of bringing the story and some good humor to the big screen. I give it a 6/5 - yeah it was that awesome.



A Scanner Darkly is the next in line and I must say I really dug it. It's an odd story of this undercover cop like guy who is more or less sent to spy on himself (the cops don't know his identy) and not wanting to spoil anything I'm just going to say it's gold. Much like the Matrix (also starting Keanu Reeves) you have to follow it very closely to understand it but once you do it's really nifty. With a totally unique style where they filmed the movie entirely like a normal movie and then painted over it with a computer to make it look almost like a comic book and a cast of great characters - I'm just very impressed. Turns out the mind behind the actual story is a guy who's name I keep running into - Philip K. Dick. I'm going to have to do some more research on this author and perhaps get a few of his books or something as it seems I really dig his stuff. Oh yeah Scanner Darkly gets a 4/5.

Then it was back to shit - with Disaster Movie. Sigh, I really wish they'd stop making these "making fun of" movies... cuz their SO BAD. Ugh, I thought Epic movie was the lowest they could go... but this one is even worse. 0/5 is too high of a score for this "movie". No wait! It gets a 0.5/5 because of the awesome chipmunks doing dethmetal bit! :D

Things didn't get much better with "Burn after reading" - which I though actually might have something to it. I didn't expect too much from it and didn't even get that. I kept wanting to leave it and say forget it... but then I kept saying to myself "Nah it'll prob get better" and it didn't. For a movie that was suppose to be funny.... the only thing I laughed at was George Cloony's home made dildo chair. Everything else just felt like a poorly done (low budget) spy or cia themed movie.... which just didn't work. Ugh. 1/5.

Then on a recommendation of a Co-worker I sat down to Labyrinth staring David Bowie as a "Goblin King" in a title where most of the cast were Jim Henson muppets :) A goofy 80's kids/but good for adults kind of movie it had some humor in it that made me laugh and some horrible 80's rock/techno pieces all done by Bowie. Ha. Very weird stuff but with enough charm for me to like it. They could of done away with the very tight fitting trousers that they put Bowie and... erm less crotch shots showing off those trousers... but all in all I enjoyed it. 3.5/5 (thats for the movie not Bowie crotch shots :P).


I also watched my copy of The Dark Knight on Blu-Ray again - totally awesome. 666/5. :D

Army of Darkness - is a title I already love but my bro tossed it in the other day and we sat and laughed at it once more. Haha, sigh, Bruce Campbell rawks. 5/5.

That segways me right into what I'm reading! Boo yeah! lol, I knew there was a reason for watching AoD! Recently our local CDPlus had a going out of business sale - which sucks balls because it is literally the only place left for music other than that generic crap that walmart sells - thus I'll have to start ordering online for my music or... head to say Halifax for some good stuff. But anyways, I went it and got some CDs, DVDs and a crazy awesome book tittled "If Chins could kill - Confessions of a B movie actor" by none other than Bruce Campbell. :D I'm not too far into it but I love it already. Very kewl find.

To round up the "finishing" and "doing" part.


|Games|

Currently I'm awaiting February to arrive and with it Killzone2 and Street Fighter 4 :D Both of which I have pre-ordered. Before those drop I'm trying to go through some other games, finish up their stories, unlock their goods and so on. I tried to give Gears of War a go againg but to no avail. I did manage to play the into... for the like... 10th time lol, but then it was acting weird and crashing so I quit, restarted and the it asked if I'd like to login to Windows Live and I said sure! Linked the account to it and tried to put in my gears code and it told me it wasn't any good and then booted me from the game and now the game doesn't work! UGH! POO!

So I grabbed my "Clive Barker's Jericho" disc and slipped that into my PC's drive and plugged a few hours into that sucker. It's kinda nifty as they let you switch between characters (you have 6 team mates) at any time, each with their own weapons, magic and attributes. I don't know if the story is going to hold up yet or not but we'll see in the future I guess :).

I've also become rather addicted to some SimCity4 on my PC too. Spending hours staring at my little city grow and curse at the fact that people get mad at me raising taxes which meet the percentage I pay in real life! lol.

PS3 wise I've been rawking some MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - trying my hand at completing some more races to unlock more stuff. Still rock the RockBand2 - ha, even destroyed my voice one night while I had a bad cold but had an insane urge to sing in the game! 3 Hours and I had sung to a point where I couldn't make the largely high or low tones - my voice just cut out lol. Have some titles I should finish up with the system too like Prince of Persia and Mirrors Edge.

Handhelds are spouts of Brave Story: New Traveler on the PSP, Pokemon Diamond and Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the DS.


|END BIT|

Ahh the end of the blog (did you question it's arrival?) :D. Just wanna shout out to all the sukkas I havn't heard from in a bit like Cloud737, Boot, Liz, SexyPansas - miss talking to you guys. An just for the hell of it I'm a shout out to a few more fools: Roy, Cameron, Jeff, Ahmed, Prince (of GB fame), Curtis - I could go on, ha if you sukkers see this hit me up sometime.



Have had thoughts of getting a 360 for a while. Still iffy on it. My biggest reason are a few exclusive like gears, fable2, Mass Effect - biggest concern is the ol RROD shit and my biggest reason for not getting it is $300+. :P I had plans on sellin off my laptop and using that cash to get a system but it didn't pan out - w/e, I'm not upset at all, actually feel my laptop is worth more to me than i was planning on selling it for - so I may just keep it - break it out when ever we get hooked up to high speed - with may be another month or two it seems - but it's looking VERY promising. Anyways, back to the 360 idea - perhaps coming income tax return time? Mmm? I'm saving for school and that's going well - but I know last year I had nearly $1200 return and if it's close to that this year... I could snap me up a system and some goods and still have loads left. I dunno, wuddya all think?
What's better than some Batman and Anime? Nothing my friend - and it's what this blog post is all about.

Batman, has always been a big thing with me - from childhood with the animated series, the live action movies, figures, Halloween costumes, you name it! However, one place I have not delved into is the world of comics - which is odd eh? Seeing as batman came from that world. That ends now, with "The Long Halloween" a superb collection (I believe it's a collection) book of about 370 pages of insane batman action. I received the book as a gift this holiday season and didn't both to start going through it until now. To put it short, I'm really liking what I see. I can't wait to go through it more and see what's in store :D

Another thing I've been putting off is the anime series "Speed Grapher" - which I randomly picked to watch out of a late night search for a new anime. I've finished up to the end of episode six and I'm hooked! A talented and believable voice cast matched up with an apealing illustration style and great characters and different premise makes for some great entertainment.

The story revolves around a war photographer who stumbles upon a secret society for the uber-rich and/or famous (in Tokyo, Japan) where members pay an insane amount to secretively live out dirty pleasures they're interested in - which would otherwise ruin their public image - if being done in the light of day. Murder and extreme sexual practices are only the begining of what this society partakes in and at the center of it all - a mystical girl who is used to awaken powers within people by means of a kiss. People who do not have the potential for a power will instantly die - while those who do show potential will have their "Greatest desire granted". This desire is not something you choose, but rather something thats deeply routed within you - example - one woman had an insane lust for diamonds and her granted "power" involved her being able to consume diamonds and then pretty much become diamond herself. The main character of the story however crashes the party, nearly gets himself killed and accidentally gets kissed by this mysterious woman - who "grants" him the power to use his camera to destroy stuff. Literally, he looks through his camera and what ever has been shot explodes before him. Turns out the mystic girls is doing this in a trance like state against her will and the main character sets out to rescue her from the clutches of this society.

Like I mentioned, I'm ready to start episode 7 and thus far I love the series.


Another anime I started at the same time as Speed Grapher (but have put aside for a bit) is Witch Blade - which was recommended by a friend. It's interesting to say the least... but honestly believe that there's a much better anime underneath the gratuitous massive boob shots. ha. I'm all for the attractive ladies... but it's comical - the size of the main character's breasts and the amount of attention given to them in every episode. Sad, as the characters seem to hold up very well, the animation is incredibly crisp and pleasing - and the voice acting just as spot on. Will have to view more to give a final verdict... I'm just hoping it can get past the idea of shocking the viewer and deliver more story, else I may be majorly disappointed.
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