idiosyncrasy Today

Scathing social commentary meets the gamer generation.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Blu-ray format blowing away HD in Europe

Recent tallies have shown that the Blu-ray format is outselling HDDVD in Europe, accounting for 73 percent of total High Definition movie sales.

I was actually surprised by this. Before the numbers started rolling in I assumed that any Sony backed media would end up floundering (see: UMD), but apparently that's not the case anymore.

In turn I'd like to publicly apologize to Sony, I was wrong, well played. In all honesty though I'm glad seeing as how I don't have an HDDVD player but I do have a Blu-ray player, which means that if sales continue to follow the current trend I will be able to play most new movies.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pokemon Bread

Well, why not?


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

GameGirl's take on the best Video Game Commercials has compiled a list of what they believe are the 7 top video game commercials of all time. They are all good, I'll give them that, but frankly the list should state "funny" game commercials as these are all comedic and I've always been a fan of the Gears of War commercials.

Here's their list.
The Mr. T one is pretty good, Night Elf Mohawk!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My currently list of games

I just realized that it is not very often that I mention the games that I am currently playing. For a blog intended to give my feedback on new titles and gaming trends I often find myself merely reporting on news blurbs and such which is not entirely what I want this site to focus on.

As such I will now post my overly verbose rant on what has recently been in my systems.

For the XBOX I currently only have 2 words to say... Mass Effect. Being the avid fan of the Space Opera genre as a whole these game appeals to my inner space geek. This game combines the best aspects of the Knights of the Old Republic series with the frantic shooting of Gears of War. There is a myriad of equipment to build up your character (though most of it is garbage and you will end up breaking most into omni-gel) and enough diversity in the skills to make replaying with other classes worthwhile. The world is quite vast leaving plenty of exploration possibilities open. I can see this game being a bit too daunting for some people out there, what with the large assortment of options, side quests, equipment, dialog options and story variants, so I wouldn’t recommend this title for anyone faint of heart.

Currently I’m trudging through Assassin’s Creed, yes trudging, to trudge, as the game seems to flounder through monotony as well as actions that are very unbecoming of an “Assassin”. The game has some merit however, being one of the most visually stunning games I have played to date, and the ability to climb through such meticulously crafted cities contains hours of solid enjoyment. The downfalls however become glaring problems once you decide to return to the story. I’m an assassin, why am I grabbing someone off the street to “interrogate” (see: beat with fists) only to later let them go hoping they don’t spill the beans on my activities within the city? Combat can be hard at the beginning of the game (see: once your upgrades are stripped away) but once you get the ability to parry and counter attack back all combat loses value as you can effectively fight off the swarming city guards indefinitely. All in all I don’t know what I wanted from this game (it certainly wasn’t a normal mapped high poly rendition of Veronica Mars) but it seems to fall short of my nondescript expectations.

The only decent traditional game to come out for the Wii in a while has been Mario Galaxy, and thank goodness. It pains me to see any Nintendo platform collecting dust, it verges on being sacrilegious. Enter Mario Galaxy. I’m enjoying the game, though I believe the fevered hype surrounding it is a bit much for what it is. (see: Mario 64 on curved worlds) While the game is good the more I play the more I wish it was simply an expansion pack to Mario 64, one of my favorite games of all time. I want to be traversing a flat world, and that ideology is reinforced every time I am forced to navigate one of the smaller circular planets where I could no sooner pull a rabbit from my fanny then accurately land a jump on a goomba. The game is addictive and fun however despite this inherent flaw, but overall I believe the general media consensus of 95-100% is abour 5-10% into the realm of fanboy instead of an actual rating. With that in mind, it’s average of 97% on Gamerankings makes it the “best game of all time” beating out Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. Mario Galaxy is good, but would I say it’s the best game ever? Not in any way.

I’m currently playing through the PSP version of Final Fantasy Tactics, my number one pick of best overall games, judging solely on the hours I’ve sank into the PS version of the title. Across the years I have dumped over 1000 hours into the game (found after tallying my accumulated save games). The PSP version delivers the same merit and flaws as the original, but this time there are beautifully crafted 2D cinematic sequences within the rich storyline that bring together the characters much better than the now dated 2D sprites (though the sprites still hold much of their previous charm). The game is hard however and should not be taken on as a leisure activity. The game will be challenging from start to finish your first play through, and you may even see a character you have spent 30 hours building up die horribly at the hands of an errant red chocobo using meteor. But the experience cannot be dissuaded by the loss of a comrade. The story is one of the finest tales of royal subterfuge I have ever found in a game and it will keep you guessing the entire time.

My DS has been a strong competitor in recent history in vying for my spare time with powerful candidates like Heroes of Mana and Puzzle Quest. Currently though my DS is heralding the most recent defeat of Ganon with The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass… wait, it wasn’t Ganon? I don’t understand, what’s a Bellum? Where’s Ganon? Well with Bellum defeated my DS is now the home of Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon to get out my strange urges to farm crops in dangerous monster-filled caves. After I was attacked by that jabberwocky in Howe Caverns I’m leaving pioneering caves for rare breeds of onions to the electronic realms.

The PC market is always an odd one for me, namely because my computer is rarely up to snuff to run the biggest and baddest games on the market, and those that it can run I usually have to take a hatchet to the graphics settings. I guess this stems from my utter refusal to spend $400 on a graphics card. A piece of plastic and solder should not cost the same as an XBOX360. With that in mind my PC experience has been comprised of games that allow me to embark of truly epic adventures of self discovery, no more WoW for me, yes you’ve guessed it, I have been partaking in heaping sums of Team Fortress 2 and Portal. Ok, so it’s less about self discovery and more about pulping my enemies clad forever in red, both in life as their banners ring crimson and in death with their thick pasty blood caking their clothes. Portal was particularly interesting as a designer however because it was remarkable to see how Valve took the idea of an FPS and converted it into a dystopian science fiction story reminiscent of Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”. The puzzles were well thought out and the ending included a song which rang in my ears for weeks after beating it. There is a massive treasure trove of awesomeness to be had in the small Orange Box packaging, oh yeah... I guess there was also this fairly popular game in it too, something about Half-Life 2? I don't know, maybe you've heard of it.


Pac-Man, Best of!

An article over on looks into the world of pac-man and attempts to rate the top PM clones and spin-offs.

All in all the article is pretty thorough, with it's top two being mine, which obviously means this guy knows what he's talking about.

At the top of the list we have Pac-Man Championship Edition for XBOX Live. The game's fantastic, it combines the best of the old with the new. For any pac-man fan not capable of getting a slick (see: ancient) copy of Ms. Pac-Man should add this title to their collection.

Only slightly below this rendition is Pac-Man Vs. for the Nintendo Gamecube. The concept behind this game involves marketing on the failed Nintendo concept of "connectivity" between their handhelds and consoles. Me? I loved the idea. I'm using my GBA SP playing a game of Pac-Man, only the AI aren't horrible, they are my friends sitting next to me playing the game on the Game Cube. Their vision is limited making it harder for them to find me, whereas on my screen I am playing the standard game with full vision. If I get eaten play passes to the ghost who caught me, who then becomes the Pac-Man.

The document then goes on to discuss other titles which are have varying levels of merit, including Pac The Man X, a pretty polished title for Mac OS.

Check it out!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Desert Bus for Hope

So I'm a sucker for fund raisers... always have been. While I am not "well to do" by any standard I have some extra money, a few pennies here and there and occasionally a nickel. In turn I try to give to good causes as much as possible to those less fortunate than me, because there are plenty sadly.

Well now there is a new slap of paint on Child's Play Charity. Thanks to Desert Bus for Hope attention is being brought to the charity to further stream in money. This group is playing a game called Desert Bus constantly for charity. Basically as they receive donations to CPC they continue to play this mindless game. Their website allows you to watch the people sitting in the room playing the game or watch the gamescreen itself. As of right now they have tallied over $11k in donations.

Desert Bus for Hope

CPC is an organization that provides entertainment resources for kids in children's hospitals throughout the US. Bringing joy one pixel at a time.


Street Fighter IV 2D vs 3D debate

A video over at Gametrailers has broken down many of the subtle hints in the new Street Fighter IV trailer to attempt to determine whether the game will be a classic 2D fighter, a modern 3D fighter, or some mixed child of the two types, yielding a 2.5 amalgamation with aspects of both.

Personally the art style looks amazing and I'm whole heartedly looking forward to the title.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rock Band Reviews start streaming in

Well, as reviews start to pile up in the tubes, Rock Band looks to be shaping up as a five star title, with reviews hovering in the 90's. One particular review however gave this bulleted list of pros and cons which I think will be useful in determining whether or not the investment is worth it.

Full Arstechnica Review

Pros and Cons List:

  • Each instrument is high-quality and feels great
  • Band World Tour keeps everyone motivated to play their best
  • Drumming teaches you actual rhythm and coordination
  • The song selection is top notch
  • The level of customization for the characters is much deeper than it first appears
  • The presentation is great, with more realistic characters than Guitar Hero
  • Guitar Hero controllers work fine
  • The Fender adds a few neat tricks to the experience
  • The single-player experience isn't as fun as Guitar Hero
  • Only launches as a bundle
  • Needs more choices for faces in character creation
  • Needs a lot of space to play properly
  • The song list could use more songs with female vocals
  • In your group of friends, there will be a person who doesn't think they can sing and can. There is also someone who thinks they can sing and can't.
Read the reviews and decide for yourself, but me, well I don't have 3 friends so this title most likely isn't for me.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Avatar proving once again that Gamerpoints mean nothing

The new title Avatar: The Burning Earth shows why Microsoft truly needs to give developers guidelines (see: strict rules) for determining how many Gamerpoints can be awarded for things in game.

The fact that the game only has 5 criteria for gaining points, none of which are "beat the game" shows that THQ phoned in adding Gamerpoints to their new title based around the popular Amerime.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Ubisoft sues webmaster of SomethingAwful

Yep, it was bound to happen, with the internet still buzzing about Jade Raymond and Assassin's Creed, numerous articles and images have surfaced referencing her as being "sexy". Yes, that's right, the Assassin's Creed figure-head is attractive and the internet has decided to come forward and say it. Heaven forbid.

Well apparently both Ubisoft and the vixen in question have decided to blame Richard Kyanka, the webmaster over on for infringement of Assassin's Creed Mark and Jade Raymond's Person, Privacy, and Publicity Rights.

You can check out the full Article on the forums of SomethingAwful. I'd recommend reading some of the forum posts, they're pretty funny.

Oh, but before you do, perhaps it would be wise of you as intellectual readers to go to the source of the comic. You know, as opposed to quickly lashing out at the first forums board you found with the image.
T3h Dave over at Chugworth made the comic as his update earlier in the week. It's still hosted on his site, and heck he's continuing to parody the whole thing (as he should).

Comic in Question (Vastly NSFW, depicting rather morally depraved acts of hilarity)

It's not hard to find where the image came from, thus I question Ubisoft in their rather Cheney'ish firearm aiming. Perhaps if they really feel the need to sue someone, they should target the person actually guilty of defamation. So theoretically T3h Dave could be held libel for the comic, though the first part about Infringement of Assassin's Creed Mark... Well reviewing the comic thoroughly I can't seem to find any copy of the Assassin's Creed Mark. While the font used on the bottom right panel is similar to the actual font it is clearly different than the official version seen here.

Now I'm not condoning the comic in any way whatsoever, but I do wish Ubisoft went about the process in a more legitimate fashion. But maybe I'm wrong and this lawsuit will cause everything to collapse and the mental image of the comic to be ripped from everyone's mind. I highly doubt it.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ghostbusters 3 to be released as video game?

According to an article on Shacknews, the new Game Informer magazine cover is giving away quite a lot about the highly anticipated third installment of everyone's favorite ghost zappers.

Looks as though the game will be hitting multiple platforms though information on the movie is still limited.

Check the article and judge for yourself.

Shacknew Ghostbusters


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Possible 3D remake of Zelda: A Link to the Past?

According to Nintendo Wii: Advanced Media Network, the possibility of a 3D remake of arguably the best Zelda in the franchise may be on the horizon.

Article Here

I'll leave the rumor mill to you, but here are my two cents.

There is no reason Nintendo shouldn't. Personally the Zelda series has a tiered quality system. The two titles that people tend to place on top are Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. My assumption as to why this is? First off the games both take place in Hyrule, not some fantastical land of high seas or even evil shadow realms. Secondly they both had the illusion of Link being a teenager, not a cherubic santa's helper. When I play Zelda I want to feel like I'm a BA elven warrior, not a 7 year old.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Hey everyone, between it being my birthday and a milestone this week there won't be an update today unless I magically find time later.

See you all tomorrow!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Mass Effect alien lesbian love scene

Yep, it happened. It was bound to. Well hey, the game is rated mature and the scene seems to be done tastefully, no Hustler smut here folks. The scene appears like something you would see out of Captain Kirk, you know, if he was a caring lover as opposed to someone prone to drop kicking aliens.

For some reason I can't find the video on, so I'll just link to the Kotaku article with the video.

Kotaku article and video


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Best Buy possibly breaks release date on SMG

I know it seems hard to believe that a company would break the release date of a highly anticipated game by almost a week, but word on the internet is that numerous Best Buys have broken street date and have begun selling Super Mario Galaxy.

As the reviews continue to roll in for the title it's shaping up to be the best Wii game of the year and a must have for all Wii users.

In turn I would highly recommend calling up your local BB and see if they are actually selling the title right now to possibly get your grubby little hands on it prior to the weekend.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

EA Confirms closing of its Chicago office

Coming just a small amount of time after its downsizing of Mythic, EA announced officially that they are closing their Chicago branch.

Here's an excerpt from the internal memo from Frank Gibeau, President of EA Games:
"Within the EA Games Label, we are committed to running each franchise and facility as a city/state, teams with unique creative identities as well as responsibility for product quality, ship dates and profitability....Unfortunately, EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard....Closing EA Chicago is the toughest decision I've made in my career - one that in no way reflects on the talent and dedication of the people who work there."
I may be reading this incorrectly, but his first statement that EA Chicago has failed to meet their standards of product quality, ship dates and profitability seems to contradict his second sentence that it's not the doing of those that work there. Sounds to me as though they developers there weren't churning enough money for the beast and in turn it was shut down.

While sad this is a fairly common occurrence within the games industry. Each studio must earn enough to stay in business. When owned by a larger corporation they must earn enough to personally stay afloat while also feeding the giant looming above. It's a tough thing to do, which is seen in the amount of start-up studios that flounder fairly quickly. I guess Def Jam isn't the cash cow EA was hoping. Who would have thought?


New physics based flash game

N3wton, a new physics based flash game will not only challenge your itchy trigger finger, but will also make players think quickly about the laws of physics.

In the game the player takes the role of a non-stationary cannon who can charge up a ball to fire at opposing cannons. The ultimate goal is to knock the enemy cannons off the stage. The trick here is that by firing you push your own cannon backwards with recoil from the shot. So you will often find yourself aiming in different directions to gain a tactical advantage over the enemies.

Check it out here at Kongregate.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Assassin's Creed Interview

As the magical date of November 13th comes closer, the hype for the highly anticipated title Assassin's Creed reaches a crescendo.

Ubisoft's Jade Raymond is at it again as the figure head for the title with the interview and sneak peak at both the XBOX360 and PS3 versions of the game due out on my birthday.

The interview also mentions a bit about the game's "twist", frankly I don't know what to make of it, but I'm curious to find out.


Monday, November 05, 2007

HL2 Goes Techno

What do you get when you take some creative film makers/avid gamers, a Paul Oakenfold record, and too much Apple advertising? Simple. A HL2 techno remix with art stemming from those iPod commercials.

All in all pretty fun :)


Friday, November 02, 2007

Thinking with Portals on Something Awful

The Portal craze continues and with the help of some photoshop'ed images Something Awful has collected a series of images where people solve modern day problems with the use of the aperture science.

I'm personally a fan of the hockey portals causing players to score on their own team.

Thinking with Portals


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Portal Papercrafting Made Easy

Portal is one of the biggest things to hit clever development in a long while, as represented by the din of internet speak going on about it. In turn it branches away on some occasions into the real world. Here we see a neat print out to make a paper model of a Portal scene.

Use thick paper though, standard printer stock is a bit weak, you'll just end up wasting a decent amount of time.

If you do this correctly you should end up with something vaguely resembling the image below.


Video Gaming Meets Hidden Camera Show

Leave it to the Japanese to have an elaborate setup to make unsuspecting gamers go from zero to terrified in .1sumo seconds.

Well... all except the one guy who continued to play the racing game despite the rather burly man looming at him.

Is it bad of me that throughout this entire video I was wondering what game they were playing? Possibly Forza? Oh that's right, the video also had a sumo leaping through a wall via a spring board.