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Malik (10/26/09)

I suppose there are worse things than breaking even in sports for the weekend. I mean in Seattle, the Seahawks didn't play, the Huskies were destroyed by Oregon, and the Sounders FC won their final game of the season. So, in the end, it's pretty even.

Of course, it helps that the Seahawks didn't play. I mean if they did, I don't doubt for a second that they would have lost. The only real chance they have, as a team right now, is for something to snap during this bye week. In previous years, the Seahawks come off of bye weeks in the worst way possible; lazy and sloppy. I expect that to be the case next Sunday when they play in Dallas...but it seems like the only hope at all for anything beyond a blow out is to either have an opponent even worse than the 'Hawks, or for the odd chance of a good bye week.

Anyway, I have little else to say on sports for today. I would comment on the Huskies game, but I think it's best if I forget all about that. It's one of those events that you just wish for it to not leave a permanent scar on one's psyche.

So, to end today's post, I'll just say that The Ballad of Gay Tony comes out tomorrow. I will not post on it any until Wednesday, but at least it's nice to have something of quality in the immediate future. While I want to say I can have fun with Brutal Legend until then, I'm just having too much trouble getting past the sloppy RTS controls to really enjoy this game. If the game didn't have the RTS elements, or if the controls didn't feel so sloppy, I would probably call this my favorite game of 2009 (so far)...but with these lackluster controls and the lack of real focus that the RTS elements have, I just can't call Brutal Legend worth the effort to learn it's quirks.


Malik (10/28/09)

As anyone who likes GTA4 on the 360 and is expecting some good DLC this week knows, I was wrong on Monday. I thought the next DLC (The Ballad of Gay Tony) was due out on Tuesday. I thought this since I'm still back in the good old days on the 360 in my mind. That is to say, I miss when DLC was expected. New stuff on the 360 came out on Tuesday morning, the Wii saw Friday releases, and new stuff on the PS3 was out before I'd get home from work on Thursday afternoon. Somewhere along the way, the 360 changed. I should know this since Shadow Complex came out on a Wednesday, only a couple months back. However, I just can't get my head around this change. So, I was wrong.

However, to fill the void some, I decided to take a plunge into a franchise I have ignored for a long time...apparently too long. I picked up Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (that's the older PS3 R&C game, not the one that came out yesterday) yesterday. I know, I'm late to the party. However, I was never a fan of Spyro, and that left Insomniac Games low on my priority list. The only R&C game I played was Deadlocked (I think that's the name of the bad third person online PS2 shooter in the series) beta form. I hated every second of that beta test since it made me think that R&C was a very generic game, when it's actually much different.

Needless to say, I'm now hooked on R&C games. I mean I played R&CF:ToD (even the abbreviation is freakin' long...) for about four hours last night and only quit when I had both my roommate and Velveta needing me to quit to take care of things. One person alone was not enough to stop my fun time.

Anyway, the game has been out forever. Then again, I only got a PS3 in January, so it's not like the game was even fresh enough to be on my radar since I got the PS3. Now, however, I'm thinking I'll end up downloading the mini-side game (Quest for Booty, I think it's called) when I finish. Then I'll probably pick up A Crack In Time (the new game released yesterday). I have not been this enthralled with a game franchise for a long time, and I think it feels good to finally have a franchise to look forward to. Even if it may or may not see any more releases (the "Future" series is done now, but the future of R&C is still completely up in the air).

On a final note, the new Rob Zombie RB pack is good fun on guitar. I don't know about other instruments (although vocals typically rock on Rob/White Zombie songs). The guitar, however, when you have the volume pumped up, is a hell of a great joy ride. Nothing too hard, but a lot of good fun with a tiny bit of challenge thrown in.


Malik (10/30/09)

The first MLS playoff game of the season was last night. Even better, it was in Seattle and was the first MLS playoff game in Sounders FC history. Sadly, all the happiness of this subject ends there. It was just an ugly game...very ugly. The Dynamos ended up with something like 18 penalties and Seattle had 6. Then you have yellow cards coming down like rain. Then you have a lack of scoring (the game ended at a 0-0 tie). Lastly, you have a long wait for this series to end when Seattle goes to Huston on November 8th...yes...a week and a half after the first game.

At least some things were great to see. I mean the Sounders have some awesome fans in the stands (not to mention those who are more like I was and just going crazy watching the game from home). You also have Nate Jaqua, who played through a nice head wound when he took a cleat to the eyebrow in the first half...and then proceeded to play the whole game, despite bleeding through a jersey or two and playing the second half without a uniform number (he had a back up jersey) and a massive bandage wrapped around his head. I think the smell of his own blood only made Jaqua play harder.

On a different note, I did buy The Ballad of Gay Tony last night and played a bit. To keep this short and sweet, I will say it's a good expansion. However, I'm now seeing that I am a bit tired of GTA4. It's still the same city, with the same main cast of characters, the same weapons (plus one or two), mostly the same vehicles, and mostly the same radio stations. It's the same game I've been playing for a year and a half...but with a new plot.

Anyway, from the missions I've played (about five or so before the Sounders FC game), it is a well written expansion. Also, the mission styles are pretty good, when they don't glitch on you (I had a nice glitch of needing to follow two friends, and one got stuck, and I was constantly being yelled at by each one to get closer). The early on mission Practice Swing is a nice idea (involves golfing and golf carts) and was pretty fun.

The game also adds some secondary goals. These are along the lines of how well you finish a mission (finishing is the primary goal). For example, you may be scored on keeping a certain amount of health, beating the mission in a certain time frame, and usually you are scored on how many headshots you pull off in any gun related missions. It's a nice touch if you're a leader board type person, since these scores go online to show off your 1337-skilz. I'm not, so I don't really care.

On a final note about DLC for games, Rock Band is going to have something different next week; Dave Grohl! mean he's been on the game a few dozen times already? Then I guess four more Foo Fighters songs are not really too big of news. Same goes with three more Nirvana (still not the three missing from Nevermind). There's also a single from Joan Jett, but that doesn't matter when eight more Grohl songs are coming.

Seriously, I love the music Grohl has been involved in (from his minor parts, like Tenacious D and Queens of the Stone Age, to major Nirvana and Foo Fighters stuff), but Harmonix seems to have some point they are trying to make. Either that, or maybe Dave Grohl is just really cheap to license and likes the game...or it's a way to say "f#@$ you" to Activision since they may not see much more of Grohl's stuff after the who zombie-Cobain incident.

Anyway, I have a lot to do this weekend, and not nearly enough time. I need to play GTA4, Ratchet and Clank Future, watch the Seahawks blow another game against another semi-wounded opponent, and...well, it will just be a busy weekend.


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