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In a move that is being called a coincidence, but is totally not a coincidence Marvel is rebooting their Ultimate Universe at around the same time DC is rebooting their entire line of comics. Of course there are some changeups in the world, but the most stupid, lazy and just plain moronic change is that there is a new Ultimate Wolverine. It is Wolverine’s son, he has the same powers but he also has organic metal on his claws and skeleton.
This is one of the stupidest moves I have ever seen in a comic book. period. But Michael, you ask, what about the new Spider-Man, he is now a half hispanic/half black kid that has nothing to do with Peter Parker? Yes that is stupid, yes that makes no sense canon wise, but at least I understand why they did it. It is a pathetically obvious ploy to garner media attention by doing something so ‘outrageous’ as to have an ethnic Spider-man. But Marvel, if you want to have a strong ethnic character why not actually pay homage to the dozens you already…
So my son is a big fan of Lego and Transformers right now and he astounded me with his latest creation. He loved Laserbeak in the new Transformers movie and decided to look up the original Transformer to see what it was like:

















He was determined to make his own version, and out of Lego at that. I couldn't believe it as it took form, but he made one that transforms between the retro cassette version:
















And a fully articulating Vulture version. The wings rotate, neck moves up and down, even the legs move. If I recall it is probably more movable then the original G1 Transformer!
















He is also making a Soundwave, can't wait to see how that one goes!!
Mass Effect is one of the best game series out there with Mass Effect 2 being one of the best games I have ever played (3 times). The game boasts stellar visuals, amazing gameplay, engaging characters and a main protagonist that is very nearly perfect. Especially because you can make that character your own by customizing the look with a robust creation editor within the games.

The main character is named Commander Shepard and in all of my playthroughs I create a female Shepard or FemShep as the internet has called it lately. In my mind (as a man who likes looking at attractive women) I wanted to look at a female for my 30-40 hour experiences with the character. She is a phenomenal character because she is battle hardened, reacts in amazing ways to adversity and the voice acting by Jennifer Hale is spot on. My Commander Shepard kept her scars from the rebuild process in Mass Effect 2, had a fairly angular face and shoulder length dark red hair. She also wore understated lipstick…
Wow, I haven't posted an update to this blog since May? For shame! Today's long overdue post is about the band Metric, specifically lead singer Emily Haines.

I am a huge fan of Metric and actually found them in a very weird way, through a Crystal Method album. On their last major release, Divided by Night, one of the standout songs was called 'Come Back Clean' the music was by Crystal Method but the haunting vocals were performed by Emily Haines. I was floored by her voice and wanted to find out more about her.



Turns out she was in a band called Metric as well as having released a solo album called Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton. I bought all the Metric albums I could find, watched videos and fell head over heels fanboy infatuated with Emily Haines.





I have seen them live now twice. My first time was last year at Bluesfest, saw them again yesterday and despite it being a short show and off to a rough start it was a great show. By chance the final act of the nigh…
It’s always interesting writing a Kijiji ad for anything. I finally got a new Xbox 360 after my last one RROD 6 or so months ago, the newish 4GB slim was on a 70 dollar off sale and I figured what the hell. The big benefit is that the new model has built in wireless which meant I no longer needed the wireless adaptor I had for my original x360. So off I went and created the ad to sell this still viable piece of hardware:



That is when all the amazing responses start coming in, responses like:

‘can u deliver’
‘i have 35 dollar firm you call negotiate’

Then a decent response that went nowhere:

‘I am interested in buying this from you. Thank you please email me back.’

Then more idiocy:
‘is price firm’ (Jesus fuck, the ad says FIRM moron)
‘interested but need it drooped off’

Normally I ignore the stupid questions, but this last one finally got my goat:

‘do you want trade your adaptor for my ps3 game’

Graaaahhhhhhhhhh! I had no choise I had to reply:

'Hi there, normally I don't reply to sil…
An open letter to Sony that I sent to Sony Media, Jack Tretton and Patrick Seybold:

Hello, I hope that you will read my e-mail and comment back or at least forward it to a group that can address my concerns.

First off I do appreciate that Sony is giving something away as an apology for the severe outage sustained last month. What I do not appreciate is that the welcome back program is obviously targeted to casual PlayStation users instead of the loyal or hardcore fans like myself.

People like me who buy all cross Platform games on the PS3 even though I have an Xbox 360
People like me who buy all exclusives day one, games like infamous, LittleBigPlanet, Wipeout, Dead Nation and SuperStardust
People like me who can show you a games list that is over 80 strong
People like me who get absolutely nothing from your Welcome Back package.

I can plainly see that Sony felt it was better to please it’s casual fan base then the diehard Sony fans like myself. Once again I naively felt Sony would look at…
For those with an iPhone (or iPad) Superbrothers: Swords and Sworcery EP is one of the coolest and most visually striking, and sounding, games on the platform. A true arthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifistic genius took the look of the game and applied it to Star Wars and the results are magical:

This blog post is a bit of a rant. I am no angel, I have pirated in the past and I will pirate in the future, but this uproar over Sony's treatment and pursuit of Geohot in the PS3 hacking case is driving me crazy and not for the reasons everyone else has.

Geohot is a douchebag, he is not a douchebag because of his anti-sony rap (though it helped), nor is he a douchebag for trying to hack the PS3 for knowledge's sake. He is a douchebag because he publicly released and bragged about his hack of the PS3, but then said, hey don't use this to pirate the PS3 cause that would be wrong!

Sony realized that this is a huge vulnerability and tried to stop it, but Geohot kept the data up about the hack and how to do it. Sony needs to protect their device so they sued him and issued a cease and desist. Since then a few things have happened:

-Geohot begged for money to fight big bad Sony - he got enough to hire a number of lawyers
-Sony subpoenaed the visitors at Geohots site and his co…
With PAX East coming up soon I have been in big time hype mode. Reeving media contacts from the show, setting up interviews, and planning the events I am going to visit. It also made me decide to go back and look at last years coverage and in particular my favorite part of the show, my interview with the folks from Naughty Dog.

This was a major highlight for me for a few of reasons. First Naughty Dog is one of the best developers in the business and the Uncharted games are some of my favorite of all time. Second the guys were gracious and a great group of people, giving me the interview chance because I couldn't make it into their filled to capacity panel. Third the interview went amazingly well, it was an organic and fun roundtable discussion on everything from multiplayer, to design secrets and the talent involved in the game.

This is well worth a listen (again) and shows the passion these guys have for the game and the industry.



PAX East 2010: Naughty Dog Interview
The Sony NGP is Drool Worthy

OK, I kind of take back what I said about Sony being stupid. I still think they should have teased the PSP2 or Next Generation Portable prior to the press conference but by God is this machine delicious!

Specs first:

CPU: ARM® Cortex™-A9 core (4 core)GPU: SGX543MP4+External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth) (tentative, excludes largest projection)Rear touch pad: Multi touch pad (capacitive type)Cameras: Front camera, Rear cameraSound: Built-in stereo speakers, Built-in microphoneSensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compassLocation: Built-in GPS, Wi-Fi location service supportKeys / Switches: PS button, Power button, Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left), Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square), Shoulder buttons (Right/Left), Right stick, Left stick, START button, SELECT button, Volume buttonsWireless communications: Mobile network connectiv…
I am convinced that Sony is inherently stupid.

The PlayStation brand is an incredibly strong one but they completely mishandled it in the launch of the PlayStation 3 years ago. They entered the current generation market with an arrogance that was built on the market dominance of the PlayStation 2 but mishandled nearly every aspect:

-Horrible development policies and a machine that while powerful was incredibly difficult to develop for
-Senior people saying you are basically stupid if you don't buy it and that it is worth any price (I agree but the message was delivered horribly).
-Fairly weak launch lineup with few games that convinced people to spend 500 dollars for the console.
-A non-existent online strategy with no release games and weak multiplayer potentially as compared to the robust Xbox Live experience.

I could talk about many more aspects that failed (including the recent and mishandled PlayStation Move launch) but instead I want to focus on some unreleased hardware that Sony…
I had an EBgames gift card and when I was making a pre-order I saw the recent game Singularity reduced to 10 dollars. I had heard mixed things about the game but for 10 dollars (and just enough left on my card) I figured why the heck not.

I found myself with a few hours free and dug into the game. The premise of Singularity centers around a new material called E-99 that was found in the 50’s era USSR area and experimented upon. The material was found on an island and a research base was founded there and shuttered after a huge E-99 related explosion killed everyone. You are an American soldier on a black op to investigate weird satellite interference centered on the island.

Once you land you discover that the island is devastated but still carries some secrets. E-99 has practical temporal related applications and an aftereffect of the explosion rips you through time to the 1950’s where you stumble upon and save a military scientist named Demichev on the island. This scientist was …
What you see above this text is the first 'official' picture of the X-Men: First Class cast in costume. Left to right, we see: Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, January Jones as Emma Frost, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Lucas Till as Havoc, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, and James McAvoy as Charles Xavier.

I have major fucking issues with what I see in this image. I understand that making a comic book movie property involves many groups who know nothing about comics but this is fucking ridiculous. Not everything is wrong, but what is spits in the face of the parts they did get right:

From Left to Right -
-Alright, this is set in the 60's which would place Magneto in his young 30's, Fassbender fits this bill and I like his look.
-Moira is an old love interest of Charles Xavier, so she looks just fine as well. She is appropriate to the stryline as well because she has always worked towards …
So there is a new Spider-Man movie coming out and it is a reboot of the franchise. I don't even want to talk about that. I understand the need to start fresh with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire out of the picture, but I have to discuss the sheer awfulness that is this reveal of the new costume:


Let's dissect shall we?

-First what is with the look of the actor? Did we not learn that an Emo Spider-man/Peter Parker is bad? The kid (and no offense to him) looks like he stepped out of Team Jacob's camp after Twilight stopped filming
-The suit is all wrong starting with the logo, what is that squiggle on his chest?
-Without a belt it looks just wrong, there is no flow from the top of th suit to the bottom.
-The material makes it look like those Fantastic Four outfits, it is all wrong and looks cheap and not what you would expect from Spider-Man
-No webbing design on the suit at all? Even the top portion looks wrong.

I can't state enough how much I hate the design. Look through e…
Well it is a new year and there are a ton of new games on the horizon. I am playing a weird montage of games right now as I await some new releases.

Batman – Arkham Asylum – I played this and finished it in 2009 and had an urge to replay. This is an amazing game and playing it in hard takes a deliberate skill that is surprising me. Great stealth play, amazing gadgets, and collectibles I love to search for and combat that is fun and challenging (and still the only game that does group combat well).


Final Fantasy XII – Right at the end, about to fight Behemoth but want to finish a number of hunts for swag and some sheer grinding. I may be able to beat Behemoth now but want to enjoy the world for a bit longer.

Final Fantasy XIII – Still digging into this but having an issue putting serious time into it, I am probably about 80% done, so will work through it. The game is ‘open’ now and I can engage in hunts/missions as I explore but playing it in line with Final Fantasy XII makes me real…
Microsoft proudly announced at CES that they sold 8 million Kinects, Sony will soon lie about selling (shipping) a bunch more Move units, I just can’t care about either product. Both technologies are great in their own ways but as a launch and a new innovation it is a completely wasted effort.

The big issue with each technology is the installed user base of the consoles themselves. There are 51.2 million Xbox 360’s and 42.6 million PS3’s in homes around the world. This means that if you are developing a big AAA game for either platform you will automatically choose to make it console native (instead of Move or Kinect native). Why would you spend 20, 30 or even 40 million dollars developing a game that only a 6th or less of your installed base can play? The logistics don’t work and it means we will never see a triple A Kinect game, but we might see a Move one.


Why the Move? Well Kinect is a unique beast, you generally need to stand, there is no controller and it is pretty hard to t…
If you want definitive proof on how badly Square Enix screwed up Final Fantasy XIII look no further then Final Fantasy XII for the answer. Final Fantasy XII was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it is far, far superior to FF XIII in nearly many ways and demonstrates the huge step backwards Square Enix made in the series. Let’s break it down shall we?

Character design - FF XII– While Vaan isn’t the most appealing character he has a boyish charm that comes through. He wants to be a sky pirate and once he sees the life and the horrors of the world he realizes it isn’t glamour and thrills only. Vaan works in this game because he suits the world and the mythos. But in Final Fantasy many times the best characters are the other party members in this case it is especially true. Balthier, Fran and Basch are some of the best games in the Final Fantasy series, especially Balthier. This is Errol Flynn in digital form, he is arrogant, capable, charismatic and 100% rogue with…