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Malik (6/13/11)

When it's all said and done (and it is), I just didn't get the same vibe from E3 as I normally do when new hardware is being announced. I am trying to see things in a better light, but realism is setting in too much.

On one hand, the NGP/PS Vita is not looking like something I'd really care about. For all the talk of what it can do from a technological perspective, I just see a gadget with a high price and a lack of interesting games in the pipeline. Since I'm not a child, I tend to do a lot of driving when going on the old family style vacations (and down time typically is not away from my nice old couch and TV). The only time I can see this thing being a must have item in my life is if I was in the passenger seat on a long trip. If the main selling point is that it does multimedia...then I have that taken care of in my home setup. If I want PS3 quality games, then I have a PS3 hooked up to a 50" TV, which simple trumps the screen on a PS Vita. If I'm supposed to use it for music playing, then I have my iPod. No matter the reasons for having a PS Vita, I have something better (and with a less silly name) to do it.

The Wii U is an even bigger problem in my eyes. It's not that I have something else to do what it does. It's more about how I have something already to always play games on (give me some good promised titles for the Wii U and don't make them multi-platform games and don't have then arrive late to the party if they are multi-platform). However, larger than that issue, Nintendo is talking about launching within nine to eighteen months...and no price is in sight. I can't even get hyped for something that I cannot plan for. Of course, considering the technology involved and how Nintendo never launches as a fiscal loss, then I take no announced price to be especially frightening.

At least I can say I don't even need to worry about being hyped for games. When real life is owning a majority of your time and energy, then fantasy will have to take a backseat. Plus, when the Mariner's are interesting to watch (Olivo had two homers last night, Smoak is an amazing player for being so young, and the starting rotation is still amazing despite a few recent issues), I'm fine with getting my entertainment from less involved sources.


Malik (6/20/11)

After three games against the team with the best record in all of the MLB, Seattle came out with two wins. When you consider that the Phillies look a lot like the Mariners, but far more refined, this was a great weekend for the M's. I mean like with the Phillies, the M's have an incredibly strong starting rotation and a less than amazing offense. However, unlike the Phillies, the M's have almost no offense and the Phillies have an above average offense with nothing too strongly worthy of noting for being incredible or mediocre.

What really matters is that the M's are keeping pace with the Rangers. While the AL West has turned into a pretty miserable division (once again), the division is still remaining tight. Seattle and Texas keep going back and forth on Seattle being 1.5 or just 0.5 games back. When you see how Texas has been going south since the season began, and with Seattle looking at a good schedule in the near future (with a trip to the Nationals to start things after the series win against the Phillies), things are looking bright.

Of course, it only looks better when you see how Seattle has made some strong moves with the roster. Peneda, Ackley, Halman, and Smoak are three of the most amazing rookies (or nearly rookies...) I've seen with the Mariners since Felix Hernandez arrived. Then when you see some of the veterans coming in with new found vigor, like Olivo at catcher, you see what makes for a strong major league team; a core of young players who are being guided by some veterans with definite leadership potential.

The true question is if the M's will remain healthy. Sadly, a rookie is always a likely target for an injury when they are quickly thrust into the forefront of their team. However, assuming a lack of freshman slump after the All-Sar Break and injury, the M's are looking like a team that is post-season bound. If that can happen (of course, the M's have blown their chance to make the post-season a few too many times for any M's fan to comfortably recall), then it's all open. After all, in the post-season, every team starts 0-0. Moreso, if the M's can keep up what they are doing, I see a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year in Peneda, and even a few votes on the Cy Young ballots.

Is it too early to get hyped? Yes. Can my hopes be dashed pretty quickly? With the M's, that goes without saying. Can they end up last place in the AL West? Yes. Can they end up last place in the entirety of MLB? Yes. However, I think this may be a year to turn things around, and even not coming in first is a huge step up from the absolute hell that was 2010.


Malik (6/24/11)

Being way too busy with life to keep up with not-so-reality based things, I've got to keep this pretty short for today. However, a few things just have to be said before my mind completely wanders away.

First off, I think Nintendo must hate people who use Amazon. I say this because of the Zelda soundtrack offer for buying Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. The game came out on Sunday, the 19th. If you registered the game by the 20th (or 21st...the detail on the offer being extended due to technical issues is a bit weird and vague), then you will receive the soundtrack in a month or so. However, if you bought the game on Amazon, it wouldn't ship until the 20th. By the time it arrives, assuming you don't pay for express shipping, it is well past the deadline. I mean I pre-ordered the game, but with free shipping I didn't receive the game until the night of the 22nd. Too little, too late. All because I just didn't have the time to waste going down to Gamestop, Best Buy, or any of the physical stores that I just don't like to frequent when Amazon is so convenient.

At least Amazon was cool enough to give a $20 credit for a future 3DS purchase with a Zelda pre-order.

Secondly, Qwest Field (home of the Seahawks and Sounders FC) is no longer Qwest Field. I'm no fan of corporate sponsorship in arena/field/stadium/whatever naming rights. I liked the Kingdome, Seahawks Stadium, and the Coliseum (former name of Key Arena...the former home of the World Champion Sonics). However, for a corporate name, Qwest wasn't too bad. Mainly it worked since it was simple (one sylable) and it resembled a good name in how Seattle is on the West Coast.

Now it is Century Link Field. That is definitely not a name that rolls off the tongue. It's a bulky name that ranks up their with other overly corporate sounding stadium names. Still, I think it will remain Qwest Field in the mouths of those who saw some of the best of times (Seahawks making the Super Bowl for the first time ever, Sounders FC initial season, etc.) under the Qwest Field name.

At least the game that was the first ever played in "Century Link Field" was one hell of a great game. Last night was a time when I could feel happy to be a Sounders FC fan. Watching the Sounders pull up 2-0 over New York in the first 13 minutes was great. Watching the game equalized to 2-2 was not that great, but action packed. Then watching Roger Levesque score two goals in the second half, as a sub, to bring the game out to a 4-2 victory was nothing short of what being a MLS fan is all about; action, drama, and excitement throughout the entire game.


P.S.  I guess I have a correction to say.  I hate to say I'm wrong, but sometimes even the best of us either have to admit to it or admit to being a jerk who just cannot say those horrible words..."I was wrong."  I actually got an email today from Nintendo saying my Zelda Soundtrack order has been processed.  I guess the system or whatever was expanded.  I give a tip of my mighty hat to Nintendo and am glad to see they know how to treat all customers how Nintendo does usually treat them; like appreciated customers.  So, to Nintendo; Thanks!

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