So, back in 2003, Devin
Moore allegedly killed three people. His defense used GTA3
playing as an excuse for his actions (since the game is supposedly a
killing training sim or some lame bullshit like that). Well, he was
found guilty recently and sentenced to death. I bring this up
because it's a great example that saying a video game made you do
something is not a good legal excuse, and it has to end.
It will not get
you off the hook for doing something retarded (I use that word to
not be discriminatory to mentally disabled or delayed
individuals...rather I use that word to be derogatory towards people
who would think that popular media should serve as an alibi for
one's own actions). All this type of thing will do is cast unfair
bias towards the gaming industry, while it is not guilty of anything
(at least anything not related to corporate crime). This type of
crap needs to just come to a halt.
Anyway, I played a
lot of Castlevania DS this weekend. I can now officially say I'm
done with the game. I didn't beat it. I have no shame in saying
that. I am simply sick of it. For the first 99% of the game, it was
awesome...however, the final less than 1% of the game (the point
that you have defeated the HP of the final boss but you need to draw
the lame magic symbol to seal it) is unbearable.
happened; I fought the final boss, and despite taking some damage, I
was able to blast it apart. Then the game was requiring me to draw a
10 line connect the dots type of thing on the touch screen...which
is definitely not an activity I think of when I think of
Castlevania. Well, I failed to draw the symbol correctly (actually,
I should say that the game failed to recognize the symbol I drew),
and the boss came back with about 25% of it's HP. I killed it again,
and the game failed to recognize what I drew. The boss came
back...this went on for about 25 cycles. I eventually died.
So, I reloaded and
fought the boss again. I went through the same crap for about 10
cycles. At this point I paused the game, went to a menu that allowed
me to practice drawing the magic symbols. What do you think
happened? I practiced 10 times and drew it correctly 8 times
(including my first attempt). So, I unpaused, and attacked the boss.
I went through another 5 cycles of failing, and then I paused and
practiced for 5 more times (got it right 4 times). I unpaused and
failed for five more cycles.
At this point, I
used my special attack. This attack leaves the entire game world in
darkness. No enemy can survive. Magic symbols be damned! I used the
power button. Then I put that damned game away. There is something
seriously wrong with this picture. I should not be able to get the
symbol drawn correctly, in practice but during the boss fight, 80%
of the time, yet I failed 45 out of 45 times. This is simply saying
that when I try to draw the symbol in the game, it's more selective
than when I use the "practice" option. Does this mean that
the practice mode has an easier difficulty? If so, then f$@#
I still am getting
ready to write a review of this game, and I will write a hell of a
favorable review. Castlevania DS is one hell of an awesome game. It
is, without a doubt, the first game I'd call must have for the DS.
However, it will receive a lower score than it could have. If the DS
was used simply as a two screen system, then this game would have
been one of the best games I've played since SotN. However, since
Konami had to use the touch screen in retarded (using the meaning of
the word that is "to slow or delay"...like how drawing
symbols delays one from progressing in this otherwise streamlined
game) new ways, I have some serious problems with this game.
is what makes me weary about the Revolution controller. It may sound
like I jumped subjects, but hear me out. The DS is a great system,
but it's only true failing (besides a lack of games) is that nearly
every game uses the touch screen, despite how many of the games
could have done better with no/limited touch screen use. The
Revolution will probably suffer the same problem of many good old
school styled games requiring motion to play, despite how the
easiest and most natural controls being those using an analogue
stick and a few buttons.
The bane of
Nintendo fans is that while Nintendo can come up with some awesome innovations,
no third party developers seem to fully grasp the concepts and
instead make half-assed games that could have been so much more
using only standard game technology. Castlevania DS would have been
one of the best Castlevania games, if it didn't use touch screen
technology. The same applies to many other franchise games that
failed on the DS but did so well on the PSP.
My Castlevania DS
review is going along nicely and should be up by the end of
tomorrow. Sadly, since it's DS, I'll be sans images on this one.
That's the only real problem with these new handhelds; I cannot take
good images with the technology, as it currently stands. However,
the PSP2TV may end up in my hands one of these days (if I can find
it for a little cheaper than the current price is looking), and I
imagine that when the Revolution arrives (next year...probably), it
will probably soon have an adapter to play DS on the big screen
(especially since the remote of the Revolution should be able to
handle DS abilities). Until then, I just refuse to waste my time
with half-assed digital camera images for a game review. I mean, it
just wouldn't look right if I'm trying to explain what the game
looks like and the pictures look too bad to make any decisions
However, on the
note of the DS, I finally decided I needed a truly addictive game
for this system. I thought that Castlevania would fulfill that
requirement for me...but I didn't take into account the poorly
conceived use of the touch screen for bosses. So, with that game
soon to collect dust in my pile of played out games, I needed
something new. Since I can't get that help from America, I decided
to finally look in the right direction; Japan.
Last night I
ordered Shonen Super Stars. If you don't know about this
game...well...it is exactly what the DS needs. It's probably the
closest we'll see of a Smash Bros. on the DS, unless Nintendo wakes
up to the obvious desire of gamers for this genre. It uses a wide
variety of Shonen Jump (a monthly anthology of manga that includes
the likes of Naruto, DBZ, One Piece, Yu Gi Oh, and Bleach)
characters. It allows for up to four players with one card, and it
allows more room for fun with using multiple cards.
In the game, you
basically must make a page of manga by using different characters
from these various mangas. Then when you make a page that has enough
room for about 20 characters (where some take up to 7 spaces), you
have your battle line-up in the bottom screen. As you play, and as
you build your special attacks, you can select the characters you
filled the bottom screen with to perform special attacks and so
forth. It plays much like Smash, and it's exactly what is needed for
this handheld; a fun and quick multiplayer fighter that can be
played with simplistic controls and doesn't go beyond reason in it's
touch screen applications.
Sadly, the game is
a little too popular in the import market, so it'll take a couple of
weeks to arrive. However, once it does, I know what I'll be playing
until the 360 comes out. It'll also be nice to write another review
of a great Japanese game (since I'm tired of writing bitchy reviews
of the crap that comes to our shores). Plus, I always feel a little
better when I can write a review for a game that I cannot fully
understand. I don't know why this is so...but it's always fun.
Speaking of such
topics, the American version of We Love Katamari is just as awesome
as the Japanese version...assuming you don't play co-op. If you do,
the Japanese version has a leg up by displaying the analogue sticks
of both players on the screen. Other than that, I still give WLK the
same love and high regards that the Japanese version got when I
reviewed it. There is nothing like a game this addictive and
wholesome (assuming making giant balls out of people and animals can
Ok, one last thing
before I head out. I just want to say that the PS2 Naruto game (the
original one) is coming
to the US. I point this out, not as a good thing, but rather as
a load of bullshit. I love how when an anime based game comes from
Japan to the US, we don't get the best ones (Naruto 3 for the GCN is
the current champion, unless you like RPGS, then all of them for the
GBA and DS win). No, we get the oldest ones. For example, by the
time this game comes out in the first half of 2006, Japan will have
the third game in the Naruto: Narutimate Hero series, and a total of
four PS2 games. Yet, we will have the oldest one...one that hit
Japan back two and a half years earlier (it's almost 2 years old
right now). The only reason they did this is so that the storyline
in that game will match what is on the anime as shown on Cartoon
Network. That may be fine, but all it means is that the game will
feel dated, like so many other anime-based games have felt in the
past. I just hope that at the very least we can get either the GCN
versions of Naruto (which are awesome party games), or a genre that
feels less dated with age, like the portable RPGs.
Ok, now I am
seriously out of here.
I finally beat the
American version of We Love Katamari. I guess there is another
difference between the American and Japanese versions of the game.
When you beat everything (except the one million rose level) you
will have unlocked the entire game movie for the original Katamari
Damacy. In fact, you unlock it twice. I'm not 100% on what the
Japanese version had (I think it was the Korean and American
versions of the movie...in other words, the dialogue was spoken in
English and Korean), but the American version has the Japanese
version for beating the standard game, and the Korean version for
beating the extra cousin level. It's not a major difference, but it
is a minor one and worthy of mention.
I think, since I'm
low on games to entertain me, I may see how far I can get on the 1
million rose goal this time. On the Japanese version I managed to
get about 75,000 roses (which took a loooong time), but I think I
may have the time and boredom enough from other games to give it
another go on the American version.
Ok, there's been a
bit of news about how Ah-nold signed the violent
game bill into effect in California. I'm a firm believer in
preventing censorship, and a firm believer in keeping pointless laws
out of action (like my home state, Washington, which had a law prohibiting
games with violence against law enforcement officers, despite how
they could be evil...like the agents in Matrix qualify to make the
crappy Matrix games illegal to sell to minors despite a T rating;
luckily that law was found to be illegal). Any law that states it's
illegal to sell a game with violence to a minor, has a
problem? Simple; to ban a violent game is a subjective thing. What
is excessive violence to one person is actually slap-stick comedy to
another. Some people see the Three Stooges as violent, while others
see that it's slap-stick humor. What about Bugs Bunny? He keeps
dealing what would be fatal injuries in the real world to characters
who may just end up with a few soot marks on their faces as they
walk off the "injury". "Violent" is far too
subjective of a term to use as a guild line for prohibiting sales of
On the other hand,
if there was some sort of law that took an established guideline,
such as the ESRB ratings, and made them into legal limitations on
game sales, that wouldn't be too bad. I honestly believe that if a
parent is not watching their 13 year old kid, then that kid should
not have GTA. I don't think it's because the kid will imitate GTA,
necessarily, but rather that it will give firepower to a potential
lawsuit against Take Two when one of these unsupervised kids does
something stupid (and in all honesty, kids do stupid things; with or
without video games).
In other words,
why not make a bill that actually will go along with the game
industry (which supports the ESRB ratings) and simply make a law
that states that it's illegal to sell a M or AO game to a minor?
From the game industry perspective, it would go along with the
standards that you set in place. From a government perspective, it
would force the game industry to put up or shut up about their
commitment to their ratings board. Best of all, from a gamer
perspective, it would limit the potential problems that may come
down the road from leaving things overly unregulated.
political types, who are usually trying to get their faces out there
so that people will remember to vote for them and their firm stances
against the "evils" of gaming, may argue that the ESRB
failed us with Hot Coffee. All I have to say about that, in the end,
is that even the Motion Picture Association failed a few times. If
you don't believe this, then
check out this link (warning, slightly objectionable material
including minor nudity). Yes, in the Disney film "The
Rescuers", there was a shot of a topless woman. This was in the
movie despite it being widely accepted as a wonderful children's'
movie. If this can escape into entertainment designed for kids, then
why go off the deep end about sexual content in a game with a
"Mature" rating? There's no damned reason.
Ok, I've bounced
around on enough topics. I do have the Castlevania:
DS review up. Check it out.
After sitting on
this for a couple of days, I humbly present; a rant about the
annoyance of the week...
So, the master of
over-exaggerating and turning facts on their heads...yes, I'm
obviously talking about Jack Thompson...has decided to make a
proposal to the game industry. Basically, he will donate a
pathetic (in terms of how much it costs to make a video game,
$10,000 is little more than a drop of piss) amount of money if a
developer makes a game in 2006 that fits his proposal...his very
sick and f$#@ed up proposal. I'm sorry to say it, but as of today
(after reading this proposal), I am more terrified of Jack Thompson
that I am of anything else on this planet.
First off, if Mr.
Thompson is indeed calling video games "Murder Simulators"
(and I doubt there's any doubt to him doing so with all he's said in
the last several years), and he's asking for a game in which you go
to the "Long Island home of the CEO of the company (Take This)
that made the murder simulator on which his son's killer trained.
O.K. gets "justice" by taking out this female CEO, whose
name is Paula Eibel, along with her husband and kids", and when
the real CEO of Take Two is Paul Eibeler, isn't this actually
saying, by his logic, that he wants to train kids to murder the CEO
of Take Two? That's what this sounds like to me. It also sounds a
lot like a threat against Mr. Eibeler's life.
I may have only
paid slight attention during my logic classes in college (needed
something to satisfy my financial aid requirement of a full
course-load each quarter), but the logic here seems to fit. Just to
walk a Thompson supporter through this logic; if a violent game
trains people to kill, and if a game is made with an intended target
with a nearly identical name and job to a real person, then that
game is made to help someone kill said person. Even if you want to
say that the name of the fictional "Take This" CEO is
different than Mr. Eibeler, isn't it saying that this game will
train people to kill someone with the real name of "Paula Eibel"
(and in this world of billions of people, I bet that name probably
fits a few people)?
I guess you could
say, from the gamer perspective (which is one that views Thompson as
someone of little logic), this is good news. Yes, the idea of Mr.
Thompson turning against his own views so sharply is not only
hypocrisy. It is something seen often in history by many of the most
unbalanced (a euphemistic phrase for "psycho") fundamentalist
nuts. This is what fascists do in order to justify their brutal ways
of removing "brutality".
All of this is
insanely...well...ummm...insane. Depending on your views and your
own feelings of paranoia, this open challenge by Thompson can be
viewed, quite easily, as a thinly veiled threat. Beyond that, it
shows he's out of touch with the concepts behind the industry he is
supposedly an expert on. $10,000? That doesn't even cover the cost
of a single employee on a project like this.
Anyway, with his
prior stance on the removal of violent games from the market, I
think his idea of creating more violent media is exactly the
opposite of what someone in his position should be doing. More than
that, one should never turn away from their beliefs if it's these
beliefs that they are trying to push onto the common man (not to
mention an entire industry).
Of course, this
comes as no real surprise. If you want a better understanding of
this man (I'll refrain from using slander...he is a lawyer, after
all) and a good laugh, just check his
wikipedia profile. For more laughs, I'd check out Penny-Arcade
later this week since Gabe has had some dialogue with Thompson and
some good comics are probably going to come from it in the next
week. Some of the best examples of his "unique" view of
the world include these quotes;
doesn't promote killing innocent people," Thompson said.
"Grand Theft Auto does. Islam does."
Wow...I won't even
begin (and I will say, as I rarely do, I am a Christian) saying how
there are numerous accounts from history and the Bible on violence
being inspired and endorsed by Christianity (ever heard of the
promotes the killing of innocent people," Thompson said.
"The Quran requires the infidel, whether Jew or Christian, to
be killed. … That's a core essence of the religion. … Muhammad
was a pirate who killed infidels and who advocated the killing of
infidels. Not a nice guy. Osama bin Laden is in keeping with his
...and here I
thought the core essence of Islam, much like with other monotheistic
religions, was to praise your god, to serve said deity, and to...it
goes on, but I don't even know how killing others was thought of as
a core belief for any commonly found modern religion.
Florida Supreme Court ordered that [Thompson] undergo psychiatric
testing during this campaign
right...I think he needs one of those about now as a requirement to
be able to make himself heard in the media.
I won't even go
into his crusade against EA and The Sims 2 earlier this year. I
especially won't go into how he, off of no real evidence, stated
that The Sims 2 showed human genitalia and was a bad game for
minors. I definitely won't even touch that bringing false
accusations against a person or organization in an effort to lower
their business and to tarnish their reputations is illegal.
Plain and simple,
it is about time that the regular media takes the same stance that
the independent game media has taken; Jack Thompson is an annoyance,
a contradictory hypocrite, and a man who looks like he is simply out
there to make a name for himself. More importantly, government
people need to see this. This man needs to stop serving as the voice
for anything. A person with this distorted of a view of reality
needs to just be pushed to the back corner and ignored. If a random
person came along and told the AP that games were evil, this person
would be ignored...so why does the media listen to Thompson, who is
obviously just trying to get some attention?
Hell, if he wasn't
trying to just make a name for himself, he would have probably gone
the simple and logical route. What is this simple path? Don't try to
get into a slander war over games when you could easily just call
for major reforms in the ways that games are accessible by minors. Mainly,
call for more bills and laws dealing with fines for companies that
sell violent games to minors. At least that way you don't look
insane and you are actually matching one of the popular opinions of
I just feel sorry
for someone so misguided by their grief that they would hire this
man after the loss of a loved one to a violent crime. Thompson has a
strong history (at least seen on wikipdeia) of losing cases and
campaigns. However, for those who lose a loved one and then decide
to try to milk some money out of the game industry for your
loss...actually you deserve to go with someone like Thompson as your
lawyer for such a fraudulent claim.
newest "get my name in the press" attempt by Thompson is
what it looks like from my perspective; a FINAL act of desperation
by a man who has lost touch with reality. True, he'll probably be
back, and he'll have support from the right vocal minority to keep
himself in the press, but it is a nice hope.
The PSP is getting
another update for it's firmware. The new patch, for version
2.50, is looking like a mostly Japanese only release. The main
added feature is to let users watch TV on the PSP by using an LF-PK1
remote TV tuner with the system...which would be why I think it's
mainly a Japanese update since these location free tuners are not
exactly a common American entertainment item.
Also, this new
update will store form histories for the Internet browser...which
may be one of the best features found on this new update.
Considering how slow of a job it can be to input text on the PSP,
this will probably be a nice time saver for those who actually have
a fondness for turning a perfectly good homebrew player into an
Internet browser only system. If you could not tell, I'm still
running 1.50 and loving the freedom of playing Doom and other
homebrew PSP apps. Ok...I don't play Doom all that much, since the
controller is not set up for this type of game, but I still enjoy
some of the other homebrew apps.
another add-on for this update is probably one to remove the
potential bypass found in altering background wallpaper files. If
anything, you should always count on upgrading your PSP will result
in, primarily, a new security lockout. So, if someone finally gets
homebrew working on 2.0 (it may have happened...I just haven't been
paying attention since I have 1.50), it will be pretty useless, I'm
betting, on 2.50.
The only thing
that might entice me to upgrade, beyond the requirement that GTA:LCS
will probably have for a more recent firmware version than 1.50, is
if they actually make the system more user friendly for those who
like to go beyond gaming on their PSP. For example, if they included
either the ability for people to easily run homebrew apps
(seriously, the PSP would sell better if it had this ability) or if
they updated the video player to accept more file types than the
uncommon ones. Seriously, is it that hard to add some support for
MPGs that are not MPEG-4 or some AVI file codecs? I don't think
toss out one more observation before I call it a week. Since it
effects both movie stuff and potential games, I
just have to say I'm afraid. I can understand that EON wants a
new face for Bond, but I think they missed their mark. True, they
wanted an unknown (and the only thing I can think of that I've seen
with Daniel Craig in it was how he played the whiney little bitch in
Road to Perdition...not too Bond-ish if you ask me), and they wanted
to replace Brosnan (who was pretty good, despite how he was in some
pretty lame Bond movies due to bad writing, and was willing to go in
for one more film), but I think this misses the mark completely.
Namely, I just don't get the image of Craig playing the character
who is supposedly the ideal of suave, mysterious, and ready for
action. I see Craig more in a role of playing a banker in a scene
where some mastermind steals a priceless
from a high security bank at the start of a Bond film.
Well, that's my
take on it, at least. As a fan of politically incorrect movies
(especially those of 007) I'll still see it, but I have to be weary
with this choice...
Anyway, I've got
little to actually discuss today. I would talk about my gaming
exploits, but all I've done in the last couple of days is play the
million roses level of We Love Katamari, which is pretty damned dull
to play. I wouldn't even play it, but I have nothing else to play
right now that can hold my attention, and I feel like I need to do
this to show the King of All Cosmos who is in charge. I guess I'll
wrap up today by saying that if you know someone who wants the DS
and Mario Kart DS for the holidays, there's good
news from Nintendo. Ok...I'm out.
For Those Who Don't
Have Flash Plug-Ins...
This Site Links
Contact Us The