Monday, May 31, 2010

Seriously, how fucking stupid are marketing people? Well that is probably a silly question. I am already sick of ads of people playing games where it is obvious that:

A) They have never played a game before in their life
B) The system isn't on or there reactions are inappropriate to the type of game.

This image from a promo shot of the new EA NHL Slapshot game featuring Wayne Gretzky (glee) goes a huge step further:



They deliberately put the back of the TV and Wii to the viewer and didn't run any cables from the TV or even connect the Wii to the television. Plus there isn't even a WiiMotion sensor. Really idiotic marketing people? You are that lazy and stupid? Hey Wayne and kids enjoy the game with no action or even a signal to the TV.

FAIL

Friday, May 28, 2010

So I mentioned that I bought DJ Hero, it arrived in days and Canada Post left the big ass box (3 feet high) in front of my apartment door....Yikes!

Luckily the building is full of old people so it was safe and I unpacked it. I got the renegade edition which comes with a case that turns into a stand, a 2 disc Jay-Z/Eminem mix and the turntable has metal faders and is reportedly better constructed.



A few thoughts about the package in general:

  • The case is amazing, custom cut foam inserts and it clasps closed on both sides very securely. Plus it has a handle and the legs can fit inside the case for great portability
  • The turntable is amazing, the fader feels really solid and click nicely when in the middle. The tuner for effects is smooth and spins well and the euphoria button lights up when active which is a great touch.
  • The platter itself spins really easily and the buttons are a good distance from each other and grooved for your fingers. Button presses are easy as are green spins, blues are a little trickier as they are on the inside row and the platter feels heavy when you scratch blue sections. I am adjusting and trying different grip techniques to compensate.
  • The 2 disc mix is really quite amazing and a bit surprising. The liner notes are censored, the game is censored but the music is most definitely not, I lost track trying to count the f and n-bombs being dropped. It is appreciated as the music needs to be raw when not re-mixed DJ Hero style...these are pure Eminem and Ja-z tracks, any bleeps or fades when swearing occurs would be noticeable and jarring.
A few thoughts on the game:

  • People are right about the game being minimal as far as modes go but no one could fault the music at all. The mixes are truly great so far, my favorite being the Queen/Daft Punk mixes I have heard.
  • Gameplay is really cool and at times requires fast hands and eyes, when you hit the cues and nail the crossfades it is very satisfying, when you miss and music stops you know you have messed up. The nice thing about the great mixes is I don't mind replaying songs to get the 5 stars.
  • There are really jarring ads in the game, in a Block Party setting there was a crazy bright green TD ad on the wall and I kept looking at it, I don't mind ingame ads if they are there and subtle, but make it fit the subject matter. How about clothes? Music? Movies?
  • I really do feel like a DJ standing above my stand mixing music, the effects knob and ability to insert freestlye effects is really cool as is the scratching and crossfades.
Verdict? Love this game, I love the culture of DJing, I like the music and the scenarios and I really enjoy playing this.

Friday, May 21, 2010

If I had an iPad (and nothing really makes me want one...yet) I would buy this back Decal in a fraction of a heartbeat:

I love these, Propaganda posters made using idiotic statements made by videogame executives. My favorite is this one by Peter Moore when pressed on the failure rate of Xbox360's:


More at Kotaku, I remember all of these statements and they are pure gold. There are many more that could have been used like this one from Sony Chief Jack Tretton (he actually said this!):

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meant to do this earlier, but here is my Iron Man 2 Micro Review:

Loved:

-A closer look at Tony and his life, he is an interesting character and it was nice to see that further explored.
-The briefcase suit, perhaps one of the coolest scenes in a superhero movie ever.
-The tech used, it was fantastical and yet seemed feasible for a genius like Tony.
-Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. nails this character, he is Tony and he is Iron Man, it is a perfect casting and acting role
-The suits, by and large they are amazing and represented the genre perfectly. Tony's looked sleek and unique, Hammer's looked like cheap knockoffs
-Whiplash, I have to say I really liked these villain, not nearly enough motivation behind his actions or enough buildup to his staggering intellect but he was well handled by Mickey Rourke.
-Nick Fury, I know it was cheeseball, but Sam Jackson did his homework, for the most part, he had the Ultimate universes of Fury's confidence, but not his dangerous edge. I hope he gets to show that in later projects.
-The action sequences, mostly great, the Rhodey/Stark fight was weak, but the rest were great.
-Hammer, Rockwell is a great actor and he nailed the character...I have to wonder if it was his idea to give Hammer a blatantly fake tan...



Hated:

-The pacing...Gad, there were some sequences that severely dragged, while it was nice to see more character it could have been handled more deftly with better writing and or motivations.
-Whiplash showing his face at the end...really? Why anyone thought the villain would drop his helmet in the final battle? To see Rourkes face? Not necessary and blatantly stupid. Plus while I like the character overall his sheer perfection and skill was odd without any preamble...where was he the rest of his life?
-The drunken in armour scene. That was as painful as the dancing scene in Fantastic Four 2...should never have been in this film.
-The habit of having the helmet half-open, it looks bad, is unnecessary and never makes sense as other scenes have the helmet off.
-Rhodes, I hate putting him here, but for the most part the character is badly handled, not by Cheadle, but by the writing and scenarios. He was better represented in the first film and made slightly ridiculous in this one.
-Black Widow, Scarlet tried to hard, the fight scenes were a little contrived and her civvie clothes were poorly chosen. She looked amazing, no doubt, but did not work in the role.
-Costume choices, the men all look great and comfortable, the women all have dresses 2 sizes small. Scarlet had no chest in many scenes, who was the costume designer? The producer?
-Dragged too long, while the final battle was great, the constant back and forth chases took too long to payoff.



Overall I like it, I have seen it twice and will own it on Blu-ray but it is a flawed movie that could have been much better. It is hard to live up to the outstanding first film, but it could have been more.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I like electronica, techno, trance and house music a great deal. I have reviewed artists in this genre, I listen to the music to relax and workout and I am a huge fan of the genre. DJ Hero was a game I have been incredibly interested in for quite some time, but I had refrained from getting. Looks like the renegade edition is now just a 100 dollars on Amazon (down from 200).

This is a really cool edition of the game with an enhanced turntable, a case that converts to a stand for the turntable and some remix soundtracks from Jay-z and Eminem. Recently I traded in some Aeroplan points for an Amazon.ca card, looks like I know what I will e getting once the card arrives...I mean the renegade turntable has gold knobs for Pete's sake!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It has been a long time since updating and there have been a lot of changes in my life. I don’t generally delve into my personal life on this blog and I won’t delve deep but some things bear mentioning.

After 12 years at Magma/Primus I have finally left and joined a new company, Telus. This was a huge move for me as I was comfortable, happy and competent in my role as a Sales Engineer at Primus. I joined Telus for a few reasons, challenge, growth and training being the main ones. I have started at Telus and think I will enjoy it, I have a huge amount to learn and have hit the ground running to try and become a key member of the team. I also had to take a dorky picture for my fancy smart card ID.


The other major change is that I have my own place for the first time in my life. I will be bringing my boys over from time to time and my girlfriend is over occasionally as well, but I have a home that is mine to control completely and that is a cool feeling. I have the majority of the living space setup (couch arriving in a couple of weeks) and cosmetic/finishing touches will roll out over the next couple of months. My DSL isn’t working (ANGER) but thankfully there is a strong unsecured wireless signal nearby that keeps me from showing Internet withdrawal symptoms.

On the gaming and hobby side there are ups and downs. My Xbox 360 RROD some time ago and I am having it repaired soon, but man does that make me angry. There is no reason that my 360 should have failed so quickly again. I received a new unit after my last RROD less than two years ago, I have friends that are on their 4th or 5th X360 since launch. That is truly shameful and I really hope Microsoft fixes this for any future hardware deployments.



On my trusty launch PS3 (that has never failed…knock on wood) I am digging into the incredibly hard, sometimes frustrating, but completely addicting Demon’s Souls. I think I have a handle on the game now and will hammer through a couple of levels and get a solid character in place to progress through the game with. It is definitely a complex game and I needed to get a feel on how to move through, level and engage in smart combat. The initial dozen or so deaths, in particular the one by the Dragon near the end of 1-1 as I had 3200 souls were anger inducing, but I feel I am stronger for it and will persevere.

Movies and media wise I am reading through a review novel called Never Look Away. It isn’t a bad book, moves quite slowly though and while it is labeled as a thriller it does not have a lot of tension or hooks that make you flip page after page. I am also listening to Sia’s new album (We Are Born) over and over and getting ready to write up a piece on that album (early spoiler, it is great!). I am working through Fringe with my girlfriend and Castle each week as it comes out.