idiosyncrasy Today

Scathing social commentary meets the gamer generation.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bandai Recalls Kids Game

"The company's 'Let's TV Play' series caused a slight burn to a child. The firm has also received 17 reports of overheating cords causing smoke, a Bandai spokeswoman said." - ForbesThe "Let's TV Play" series is one of many in a line of plug and play video games that require no console to use. This particular version involves a wrist strap which picks up on the children's movement mimicking it on screen.

Damn I love when adults give toys to children that light on fire. It makes me warm inside. Have fun kids! Don't burn your houses down!


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

LotR MMO goes to open beta

The up and coming Massively Multiplayer Online game Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar is now accepting people into its open beta.

This comes as excellent news for all those people out there burned out on WoW and those who would like to relive all the exciting moments of Middle-Earth, like walking through swamps for 120 pages and running away from every enemy.

Tell me that doesn't sound like an introvert's dream game!

Full info on the beta here, sign up!


Monday, January 29, 2007

PSP Firmware Downgrader Now Accepting Applications

For those PSP owners out there, a good portion have a mind wrenchingly painful story about how they popped in a new game and accidentally updated their system's firmware to (insert number higher than 1.5).

Time and time again those clever internet patrons have found ways to "downgrade" the system to once again allow the beauty that is homebrew *cough* and pirated games *cough*. Until recently however this progress has been stifled by more persistent upgrading and anti-theft measures taken by Sony.

But now thanks to Noobz, there is a reliable 3.03 Firmware downgrader that will roll your PSP back to a nice, sleek, and sexy 1.5.

Check out the link here.

See, I've personally always been a fan of purchasing my software when I have consoles. I'm odd though, it just feel right if I don't have the box. Something about the disc/cartridge, the shiny plastic case, and instruction booklet make all the issues of money spent fade into nothing.

Now on the other hand, I whole heartedly endorse homebrew games and it boggles my mind to think that Sony doesn't. Last time I checked the PSP wasn't selling overly well. (see: pales in comparison to the DS) Sony should do whatever is necessary to bolster the consumer's interest in their system. Homebrew encourages online community formation which increases interest which is turn boosts sales. It doesn't seem that hard to understand. Maybe I'm just crazy...


Friday, January 26, 2007

Lot Check Day

My project is supposed to go to Lot-Check today so I don't have time to update. Assuming everything goes swimmingly I'll have some articles up this afternoon/evening.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mozilla Firefox Theme of Mario 3

This is quite possibly one of the sexiest themes I've seen in recent history.

For those retro-gaming fans out there what better way to browse the nethers of the internet for hentai and illegal mp3's than with a Sicilian plumber, his lovable lanky brother, and a cadre of Bowser's ilk.

Thumbs up crazy add-on makers, I love it. Download it here!


What cats do in their free time...

This is why I love the internet.

Only on the internet can you find a picture of a cat possibly doing questionable things to itself while playing its owner's sleek and sexy DS Lite.

What I think I love the most is that the cat looks like you just walked in on it wrestling the one eyed snake. Thanks again interweb <3


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Second Life becoming a viable recruiting venue.

With a boom of dotcom 2.0 on the horizon, many companies are looking to entrench themselves in the newest techs and media outlets for advertising their businesses.

One of these new venues is the "game" called Second Life. For those living under a rock, SL is a virtual world where anyone can make an online representation of themselves called an avatar and then meander across a fairly extensive plane of existence. Companies from all over the world have set up shops and people can go to virtual stores to buy goods ranging from cloths, cars, and even in-game merchandise for your avatar.

Well apparently companies are now conducting virtual interviews with possible employees right in SL, some of these positions being brick and mortar jobs and others being bound to the hallowed VR hallways of their online business in SL.

"We are a small community. Someone sent a resume and wanted to meet in SL to discuss job prospects," Jaffe says. "When we met, I realized that we had met before in Second Life when the senior editor of the Harvard Business Review gave a talk on marketing in Second Life." As more of real life pushes into Second Life, corporations and even individuals will tap long-time denizens and gamers for their skills, and Brandon Berger says more work is coming. "We will start to see the need for maintenance, including virtual shopkeepers who need to man the virtual store."
Berger, senior strategist at OgilvyInteractive's Digital Innovation unit, has spearheaded numerous hirings from within Second Life giving these individuals the job of completing tasks for some of Ogilvy's online clients.

You know, ever since I read Snow Crash 10 years ago I knew the internet would one day allow me to katana-duel a punk ass, and Second Life is one step closer to that goal. Once it takes a few steps closer to what Stephenson had envisioned maybe I'll try it out, until then I'll just stare in amazement over the $1 million USD spent within the last 24 hours in the game.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Japan cuts PS3 prices as sales dwindle

Well as most people have heard the sales of PS3's in Japan have been... less than stellar. That state of being has now been downgraded to a level of relatively no purchases. It wouldn't be far from the truth to say that no one is buying a PS3 in Japan.

Reasons why range from "there are no games I want" to "video stores don't rent Blu-ray movies."

Some retailers like Don Quijote are attempting to battle back against this negative trend by slashing the prices of the Playstation 3's 20GB version by 20% bringing it's total down to 39,980 Yen ($329 USD) from 49,980 Yen.

Hmm... no one's buying the system? I somehow feel as though this prediction came up months ago on my part... call me crazy...


Monday, January 22, 2007

Video Game Tattoos

A fellow blogspot aficionado has recently posted an article with numerous video game tattoos, ranging from Mario to Master Chief.

Some of them are really slick, check them out after the jump.

Me? I'm partial to the Forsaken Tattoo on the girl's back.


Friday, January 19, 2007

WoW tops sales US sales charts for '06

World of Warcraft has officially wrung in as the winner in most units sold in 2006, thanks to research done by NPD, selling 969,000 units of their award winning title.

In second place on the list is EA's The Sims 2, selling a respectable 598,000 units.

Here's the full list.

1. World of Warcraft (VU Games)
2. The Sims 2 (EA)
3. The Sims 2: Open for Business (EA)
4. Star Wars: Empire at War (LucasArts)
5. The Sims 2: Pets (EA)
6. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Take 2)
7. Age of Empires III (Microsoft)
8. The Sims 2 Family Fun (EA)
9. Civilization IV (Take 2)
10. The Sims 2 Nightlife (EA)

Overall EA is weighing in fairly heavily with 5 games, all in The Sims IP, in the top 10.

Too bad they don't have all the teenage girls who play The Sims paying $15 a month to watch their Sim go on a date and then get dumped for the prettier girl next door, just like in real life. EA could roll in an even bigger money pit if they figured out how to refer to The Sims as an MMO. You know, allow the players to sit and watch the game play itself while thousands of others around the world also watched the same thing. Talk about riveting gameplay, wow.


It's dangerous to go alone! Take this.

So I stumbled upon this the other day, pretty neat, nothing too fancy, but humorous all the same. Definitely good for a laugh.

Check out the site here.

Here's mine

Frickin' Sweet!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Leave it to the French to ding 70 first

A French WoW player, Gullerbone 24, managed to ding the illustrious and newly available level 70 seemingly first out of the throngs of players world wide.

Just 28 hours after the game's release in Europe Gullerbone's mage Gawell was singing the praises of a combined group effort and how fresh the air at the top truly is.

According to Gullerbone his guildmates from Millenium as well as others had a tag-team effort to drag his character up in the levels as quickly as possible.

"Cau (the 1st European lvl 60) and I planned the exp(erience) route step by step, trying everything to make sure it was the most appropriate, the groups organization with the guild Millenium and their members. Each member rotated using a definite order to help me to grind on mobs, mostly with AE, surrounded with several guildmate healers, tanks, pullers etc..."

"Well at first we had only five (during the first 10 hours or so) so that 10 of the members could get to lvl 62. Then in the morning we were 15 in order to kill the mobs at a faster rate. Finally in the evening, everyone was involved and we could gather a 35 man raid to help me in Netherstorm with our new lvl 62 doing most of the job."

I have to say that this is fairly tech. Not for me of course, but fairly tech. I'll just nod and wave to the crowd from my lowly seat as a level 9 mage. But see, I have a job, and friends and a family, all of which gain precedence over an MMO. Thankfully however there are plenty of people who do not have such a rigorous gaming ethic like me, thus allowing us to have crazy stories like this. Congrats Gullerbone, well played cleric.

One more thing, apparently the first thing he said upon slapping the ribbon on the top of the rope? "Je Ding!"

Image here


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Adventure Time!

Adventure Time... enough said.

Is it just me or does the evil mage remind anyone else of the Snow Miser?

This is what happens when you give crayons to a schizophrenic on acid.


IGN <3 PS3

This makes me nauseous, I just don't understand it. They've judged the Wii for being different. As opposed to praising them for making themselves different and not fighting for the graphics market they tried to innovate. How dare they!

The PS3 is obviously a better system. *shiver*

Full Article here.


Monday, January 15, 2007

0.1% of the world's population plays WoW

Yes, that's a frightening statistic...

With Blizzard now toting around $14.95 a month on 8 million players they have quite the hefty amount of liquid assets to throw around. Apparently so much so that during the Blizzard HQ tour they bring people to the basement and show them their own private Fort Knox.

Check out the image off of the Gamespot page.


EB Games meets blog-style web comic

Thanks to an entrepreneurial youth known only as "DC", outsiders can get a comical yet frighteningly realistic view into the world of video game retail.

My Life at EB Games

Having worked in the retail business at Gamestop prior to my illustrious and cushy job at a games developer, I can honestly say that this "DC" knows their stuff. The world is full of scary people, and no one gets a better insight into that fact than your local retailer. So next time you wander into a Starbucks think twice before being an ass, else you may have your likeness forever immortalized in the tubes of the interweb.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Plush meat now included!

Monster Hunter Portable 2! Yes, a title that is almost popular enough to sell PSP's. Perhaps the best feature of the new game however is the fact that the bundle pack for the game comes with a choice of different plush meats to really get you into the mood to hunt large game mythical beasts.

In other news, Sony is releasing a new champagne gold color for their PSP system. I'd like a list of everyone who cared about the gold system color more than plush meat. Somehow I'm guessing plush meat will outweigh the other.

Come on... it's plush meat! It can sit on your counter next to your plush rhinoceros, only make sure to tell him he's not in danger of being eaten.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Coolest Robot Ever

This robot makes me glad I'm a geek, seriously.

While I'm assuming it's not going to look "high-def" projected onto your wall it's still a pretty neat idea, and it gains bonus points simply because it's shaped like R2.

I bet Mark Hamill has a whole room full of these things, and every night he sits in the middle of them and cries over his lost success and renown. I mean, unless he's going to a geek bar (of which there aren't many) the pick-up line "Hey baby, I'm Luke Skywalker want to see my lightsaber?" lost its validity back in the 80's.

Just kidding, since becoming strangely unattractive and kind of creepy, Hamill has had a fairly lengthy career as a voice actor in numerous cartoons and anime series.

But I so think he's has his own R2 unit.


Japanese developers calling the shots

Thanks to a new list, we can now all see the best selling video game franchises of all time. 10 of these gaming legends are of Japanese decent, with the top 3 places being completely localized to the land of milk and honey.... and Mario.

1. Mario (Nintendo): 193 million
2. Pokemon (Nintendo): 155 million
3. Final Fantasy (Square Enix): 68 million
4. Madden NFL (Electronic Arts): 56 million
5. The Sims (Maxis/Electronic Arts): 54 million
6. Grand Theft Auto (Rockstar): 50 million
7. Donkey Kong (Nintendo): 48 million
8. The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo): 47 million
9. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega): 44 million
10. Gran Turismo (Sony): 44 million
11. Lineage (NCsoft): 43 million
12. Dragon Quest (Square Enix): 41 million
13. Crash Bandicoot (Sony/Vivendi): 34 million
14. Resident Evil (Capcom): 31 million
15. James Bond (Various): 30 million
16. Tomb Raider (Eidos Interactive): 30 million
17. Mega Man (Capcom): 26 million
18. Command & Conquer (Westwood Studios/Electronic Arts): 25 million
19. Street Fighter (Capcom): 25 million
20. Mortal Kombat (Midway): 20 million

Nintendo dominates the top two rungs on the ladder with everyone's favorite Square Enix coming in a weak third compared to the selling power of both the Mario Brothers and Pokemon franchises.

Interesting to note that only one licensed game (James Bond) appears on the list. Also, there are only two Euro developers on the list, Rockstar and Eidos.

Representing the States we have EA weighing in strong at both the number 4 and 5 slots.

I suppose my only surprise on the list is that Legend of Zelda is as low as it is. Sure 8 isn't something to be sad about, but given its illustrious history I assumed it would be been more indoctrinated into both our homes and pocketbooks similar to Mario.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Legend of Zelda: Parallel Worlds

Some crazy guys on the internet have just recently finished (see: released) one of the largest hacks I've seen of any ROM in a long time.

They went into the original SNES Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, rewrote the story, changed the map, updated and changed the art, and added new and different NPC's.

The game, entitled "Parallel Worlds", can be applied to an existing ROM file of Link to the Past with a patching program like LunarIPS. Then you boot directly into the modified world of SNES adventuring goodness.

I highly recommend checking this out, these guys did a great job.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wii Sales in Japan almost hit 1 million

In the opening month of the Wii's lifespan in Japan (Dec. 2-Jan. 7) Nintendo has almost managed to hit the 1 million units sold mark, rounding out with a respectable 989,118 consoles sold according to gaming magazine publisher Enterbrain who surveyed 3500 stores.

The PS3, during its launch, has currently sold only 466,716, despite having their launch on November 11th, a full 3 weeks before Nintendo.

Nintendo really seems to be in touch with the market in this generation's console wars. Sure, their system isn't a rough and tumble mecha like its Sony and Microsoft competitors, but it appeals to a wide audience and in turn is going to reap the benefits. Much like how their DS Lite is sweeping the competition (and in turn printing money) Nintendo is emerging as the definitive console to own this generation. While most hardcore gamers will have an XBOX360 or a PS3 lying around I believe that most will also have a Wii sitting on a shelf. Well played Nintendo.

Wii60 Combo ftw!


Monday, January 08, 2007

Burning Crusade Collectors up on Amazon

Well Blizzard is selling the WoW Burning Crusade Collectors edition on their website for the expensive price of $69.99, while not cheap this is fairly common for CE's. however is selling the highly anticipated expansion for around $290... *cough* wtf? *cough*.

The game has yet to be released, it's official street date marked as January 16th, and somehow it's being sold for quite literally the cost of a next gen system. *shakes head* I just don't understand.


Belmont Hotel!

So after bumping a bit around the internet this morning I stumbled upon this fantastic picture of an actual hotel in High Wycombe England.

That's right, the Belmont family, known for their adeptness at slaying all manner of creatures from mindless shambling hordes to super-sentient mystical undead demons. (see: Castlevania) Now that is a fairly perilous line of work I would imagine, so they must need a nice comfortable bed to go home to after a night-shift of drenching themselves in the blood of evil.

The font is particularly excellent for the flair of the Belmont family, as if it was ripped straight out of the medieval age.

((Sorry for not having the image hosted locally, something is wonky with blogger this morning and it won't let me put the image up. Will dump it on later))


Thursday, January 04, 2007

360 HD movie downloads trumping Amazon

With this new string of next-gen consoles we have seen a bridge from them being simply gaming machines to fully integrated media tools. Microsoft is attempting to work this angle by allowing the download of High Definition movies via a high speed internet connection and the hard drive. Right now the number of titles available through this service are limited but the ease at which the movies are received seems to be making up for it.

In stark contrast there is who is doing the same thing, only via a Window XP enabled computer and internet connection. This then requires the consumer to connect their computers to their HD televisions or burn the movie to a disc in order to experience the true "HD-ness" of the download.

While Amazon is boasting a much larger collection of movies available they are losing in the race against Microsoft most likely due to the ease at which the 360 integrates everything directly to people's high definition systems.

One tidbit of surprising information is that some box office duds are selling quite well in this medium, namely The Perfect Storm, Unforgiven, and even Swordfish.

I personally understand this outcome, my computer is no where near my TV so that rules out running cables along all the baseboards of my house. Then there's the matter of burning discs. Frankly I hate the idea of needing to burn a disc in order to watch it, plus people would need to ensure they have a good enough burner and all sorts of other hullabaloo. Yes, hullabaloo.

I'll take it the easy way please. *pushes the start download button over the Swordfish icon* Ok, so I'm a sucker for Wolverine pretending to be a computer hacker instead of a grizzled adamantium infused berserking super soldier. Silly silly Hugh Jackman, you're Wolverine now. ^_^;


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hold on, I'm making meth, be right out!

Herman Scott Swafford, upon hearing a knock on his outbuilding door, shouted a jolly answer of "I'm cooking meth!". Unfortunately for Swafford, being the clever little guy he is, the knock didn't come from a possible methamphetamine consumer, but rather, the local deputy sheriff.


Apparently the deputy had smelled something fishy and thought someone was possibly cooking meth and decided to investigate, turns out not much investigation was required to get to the bottom of this mystery. Sorry Scoob.

Swafford, 51, was charged with starting the process of making methamphetamine and a probation violation warrant.

Probation violation warrant? What did he do last time? I just seem to get the mental image of him free-basing in front of the police station. Swafford we salute you, without people as orally inclined as you we would never have had Jerry Springer.

Forbes article here


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

30 Seconds to Mars does Ancient China

Awesome video, if you can look past the ever present encroaching lyrical spewings of the emo-generation. The cinematic value somehow shines through the drivel of angst and depth of all sorrows facade the band displays.


Scientists attempt to make a gay sheep straight

Yeah... I don't have much to say about this one outside of people shouldn't try to "fix" everything.

Full Article Here


Sailor Moon Vibrator

So check this out, one of the guys at work found this while wandering around Japan Hero. I know it's probably not what I think it is, and what you think it is. But it is awfully reminiscent of the Hello Kitty Vibrator (which is no longer manufactured unfortunately). It seems as though this particular device has it's primary section and then the remote fashioned into the red jewel on the locket piece.

Those zany Japanese. Well, maybe it's just cosplay of Sailor Moon, but I'm still sticking to my guns, this is a naughty toy, no discussion.


PS3's Not Selling Out.... anywhere

Reports are coming in from numerous sources with stores finally getting a stock of PS3's in. The issue now is that with plenty of PS3's to go around there isn't enough demand to sell through them. Thanks to Digg I've seen stacks of unsold PS3's at both Best Buy's and EB Games.

The image to the right is a stack of PS3's failing to "fly off the shelves" at a Best Buy.

See, everyone always talks about how well systems are selling prior to them being readily available. "Yes! Our system sold out! Albeit there was only 6 of them." Now that there is enough supply the demand shines through. I'm guessing those people who spent a couple thousand dollars on a PS3 shortly after launch are crying themselves to sleep right now.