Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From Joystiq.com




Fanboys, start your drooling.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Height of boredom


Today I discovered 500 points remaining on my Wii account, so I decided I better make use of it. I bought "Super Mario Bros. III" which may or may not have been the basis for some of the badass stuff we saw in "Super Mario Galaxy." In any case, I'm at the height of my boredom today and decided I needed a diversion. I seem to remember Nintendo put out an updated version of this for the Super NES, with enhanced graphics. Why the company couldn't include this version in its NES download is a mystery. The game certainly has a nostalgic feel- maybe a little too nostalgic. (Its kind of like the way you remember the Wizard of Oz- when you were a kid you didn't notice all the painted sets, etc. As an adult the movie does not quite match what you remember.)

Alas, that's the case with the Wii download version of "SMBIII." It renders horribly and, while still a great game, it leaves me feeling cheated by a company that is probably one of the few video game makers not hurting in this economy.

I think someone got cheap on us.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Call of Duty: World at War"


Picked up a copy of "Call of Duty: World at War" at the suggestion of my brother, who usually has similar taste in video games. For the most part this game is World War II stretched over the skeleton of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare." That's not a bad thing per se, but gives you the impression that you've been there, done that.

I think the level design is beautiful and "CoD's" match-making system really is something other shooters shouldn't be afraid to emulate. It's easy to understand and matches you up to other players very quickly, which I like. I like the online co-op options and was amused by a "Nazi Zombie" co-op mode (as if Nazi's weren't bad enough.)

I spent much of tonight playing with some kid from Great Briton. I love playing with the Brits. Mostly because they're so polite and don't run their damn mouths all the time.

Full review coming this week.

What's up with Blu-ray.

So lately, I've realized how much I love movies directed by Wes Anderson. I finally saw Darjeeling Limited last night at my friend. Its probably his best to date.

Because all of his movies look gorgeous anyway, I just knew his studio would be cranking them out on BluRay. But not so much. As it turns out I can't find a single one of his movies on the format. This really bites, particularly because his movies are excellent and beautifully shot.

So while I'm a huge fan I likely won't be buying his movies on DVD. There's just no point, when I know eventually they'll get around to releasing the films on BluRay. But I have to ask; with the economy slumping and people being picky about how they spend there money is it really wise to NOT release a film on BD? I mean, you're just alienating all of your customers who signed onto the new format.

Oh, and they also need to put Scarface on BD. Why they haven't is a mystery.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

So I got this fancy phone ...

All of my cell phone carrying life, I've always had the freebie you get with a new plan or new contract. When the iPhone came out, I drooled with the rest of the world and wanted to get my grubby paws all over it. But my husband and I are with T-Mobile and we've been with T-Mobile for many years. I have never had a problem with their service really but their phone selection was always less than desirable.

Along came the G1, Google's response to the iPhone...and T-Mobile has it! I figured I had found my answer. Rather than leaving a company that hadn't really done me wrong for a new one and a bigger phone bill, I could stick with T-Mobile and still get a fancy new phone (and only slightly bigger phone bill).

The G1 was my 27th birthday present but stores around here don't actually have the phone in stock, so we had to order it. Due to holidays and all, I didn't receive the phone until Jan. 5, but no big deal, that's how mailing stuff works. The nice woman I spoke to when I ordered the phone told me I should wait until I have it in my hands to call and activate the $24.99 data plan so I wouldn't be charged for it without having the phone. Made sense to me.

So I finally have the phone and I call and tell them to slap a data plan on me while my shiny new toy is charging up. Nice woman #2 sets me up and then tells me it could take up to 24 hours for my data plan to completely activate. I think, okay, well I can still use my phone as a phone, I just won't be able to play on the internet or what have you.

Phone is charged, I power it on and attempt to set up my account, which involved logging into your Gmail account (or creating one if you don't have one). I put my log in information and hit "send" and get an error message. Can't communicate with Google servers. Buh?

So I figure this is the whole data plan activation that will take a few hours so I start looking for ways to push the whole logging in thing to the side so I can just make a basic phone call. Er, nope.

For some reason, you absolutely must sign in to your Gmail account before you can do ANYTHING else with the phone. This annoyed me. Maybe because I had been waiting 7 days to get said phone in the mail. Maybe because I think, once I get a phone, I should be able to, yanno, use it to call people. Anyway, I think there is something wrong so I call T-Mobile again and this time get PDA supports. Super nice guy helps me out and explains that the data plan activation is key and can take 24-48 hours. BUH?!?!?! Finally get fancy new phone and cannot use it possibly for 2 days? Sad face!

So I thank the guy and plop back down on the couch with my new pricey paperweight for the time being. I try to log on every 30 minutes. I go to work and keep trying. I look up other people's rants on T-Mobile forums and try every trick in the book: take my battery out for 2 minutes, put it back in, try to log in every 30 minutes...nothing. Finally about 9 hours later, I open my G1 for the nth time and take out the battery and SIM card (the phone came with a new SIM card, which I was trying to use) and I put my old SIM card in, put the battery back in and tried one more time. Success! Not sure if the SIM card had anything to do with it or if my data plan activated at that moment...but it worked! And I didn't have to wait 2 days!

As I played with all the features and made phone calls and texted and e-mailed, my prior annoyances melted away. I love this phone! The applications available for download are pretty nifty. I especially like one where you can calculate tips in restaurants and one where you can scan a bar code of something and get prices in other stores in the area! There is even a visual voice mail application (which was something I wanted most from the iPhone) but I haven't tried it out yet.

It's rather easy to figure out and I love the fact that it has both a touch screen and a QWERTY keypad.

So, despite a rocky start, I'm really enjoying the G1 but I do hope T-Mobile can somehow make the activation process faster. I don't know any other company that tells you it might take 2 days for you to start using your new phone!

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's going on

Guess what? Life sucks sometimes. To give you a complete recap of what's been going on and why I haven't been posting as much would take awhile. Some general things:

1) My father died over Thanksgiving. It was a very painful time for me and my family, but we got through it. I know he's in a better place.

2) With the economy going bonkers it seems the trival superficial things, like playing video games, don't have as much importance in my life. Of course I write a column and I still review a game every week. But I haven't felt as OCD about it lately.

3) Holidays. Yeah, they're time off from work but they're also a pain in the butt. My Christmas, boiled down, is basically a shopping list and an intenerary.

So there you go. I've got what I think is a pretty good review of "Perosnal Trainer: Cooking" coming out Thursday and I can't get by without giving some props to my fellow-columnists Chris Pittman and John Dietrich. Without these guys this column would be once every other week instead of once a week.

S'all right? S'all right. I'm back in the loop now.