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Malik (12/13/06)  

Firefly has been licensed and is coming back!...for an MMORPG. Yup. I really wish I could feel excited, but that's about as good of new as hearing that Star Wars was coming to MMO...or Star Trek...or any other prolific sci-fi show that needs more episodes or movies, and not just some half-assed game that will not show the true brilliance of it. In the case of Firefly, that brilliance is in the form of the writing...which would not exist in some lame MMO.

At least that news seems appropriate for today. Today is a special type of day in which I feel like shit, the Seahawks were defeated by the only team in their division that is completely out of the picture, and I'm now the proud owner of a Wii nunchuk...yes, a spare nunchuk and yet my spare wiimote is still on back order. Can it get better?

Well, it can if you like seeing more technology patent lawsuits. Interlink is suing Nintendo over the trigger (B button) used on the bottom of the wiimote. According to patent filings, Interlink first filed for this trigger patent, used to help people manage PowerPoint presentations, back in September of 1997.

I just want to say one thing really fast before I talk about this; Nintendo should, if they were back in their 1980's-sue-everyone mentality, sue Interlink for copying their N64 controller. Afterall, the N64 controller had the same trigger mechanism (found on the bottom of the controller in the same general style of control) with their N64 Z-button...and that came out, of course, back in June of 1996...a full year and a quarter before Interlink first filed their patent. It's the same button scheme as found on the wiimote, but with a clunkier and lamer controller attached to it.

Anyway, I think it's time for these technology patents to get some serious re-organization. We've reached the point when it seems that everyone has been done before, but new patents just keep coming along...usually for the same damned thing, but with a new grip, a new color, a new location, or some other effect that does not change the fact that it's been done before.

While the protection of one's intellectual property is a very important thing (I've been published a few times...ok, 6 as of this year...for my day job and I understand that I wouldn't want to be ripped off), so is keeping some sense of integrity and keeping things sane for the legal system. However, if things keep getting patented without being novel, it will continue to lead to this; a very frivolous lawsuit. I know Interlink is probably just worried about their property and their ownership being maintained (assuming their not just suing for an easy buck), but Nintendo has used that part of the technology for longer than Interlink had filed the patent.

I hope this is not another time when Nintendo settles for a quick and easy end to some legal hassles. In fact, with how this is a complete waste of time, I hope their counter sue just to limit any more of this action from Interlink (who could come after Sony and Microsoft next, as well as Sega, for claiming that the shoulder buttons on other controllers are close to the same trigger device). Afterall, and above all else, Interlink is essentially claiming they have the sole right to putting a button on the bottom of a remote device or maybe any trigger not on the top in general. Will their next try to sue Smith and Wesson for putting triggers on their guns?

Hoe can this technology, that was part of firearms over a hundred years before Interlink filed a patent, even able to be patented and not part of the public domain? It's like me claiming that the ability to light a fire with some sort of fuel and a spark is my intellectual property. In fact, anyone who uses a Bunsen burner, a pocket lighter, a Zippo, or any other thing like that...beware...I'll file my fire patent and sue you all (/sarcasm).

Anyway, I don't have much else to say today. Like I said, I feel like shit. Adding in that the Seahawks play on Thursday this week isn't going to make me feel any better. In fact, I hate the NFL for even trying that. Maybe a Saturday or a Tuesday game would make some sense. However, isn't Thursday about as removed from the rest of the football week as humanly possible. Thanksgiving is a special occasion (since most Americans are not working that Thursday) and a tradition...the 14th of December, however, is just pushing it.


Malik (12/14/06)  

Last night I tried to put TVersity on my main PC. The simple goal was to get a proper translating (of video files) server in my home to stream videos to the 360. I currently use a more archaic method for watching PC video files on my big screen. By archaic, I mean I use a DVI cable from my second video out on my PC to put it on my HDTV in widescreen (as a second desktop) while sound still pumps out of my PC speakers. It's not too bad of a setup, since my PC speakers are actually a surround sound system running at 2.1, but still facing the wrong direction for TV viewing.

TVersity was supposed to solve that by allowing PC video files to stream to the 360 with the newest patches. The PC sees TVersity just fine, and any other computer on the network can find my TVersity stream...but the 360 refuses to see it. I've gone through a dozen different setup options, and had wasted about 3 hours on the thing. However, no matter which step by step tutorial I use, none of them give me results with the 360. I suppose this is a sign that the best I can hope for, for the time being, is to use my Media Center laptop to stream the unused video formats (WMV, etc) and to use my archaic method for anything I actually care about (AVI, etc).

Anyway, if any of you out there know of a solution, feel free to drop me an email or to post in the forums.

Last night I did get a little time with Zelda: TP. Actually, I basically did some searching for heart container pieces and I cleared the bonus dungeon. The bonus dungeon would be the 50 floor "Cave of Ordeals". Every 10th floor has the great faerie who will unleash faeries to each of the springs of the world (for easy bottling access). The other floors are just monster filled madness. Each floor is unique, and each one has the potential to kick one's ass.

For example, there's a floor with two of those giant ice breathing creatures from the Yeti house, while you face off against a half dozen of those ice javelin throwing soldiers, and there's some frozen skull-bats flying around. Another floor has two flying lizard soldiers and a darknut. To wrap it all up, the final room has three darknuts, at once, in a massive battle royal.

To round out the difficulty, there are no hearts that fall in the dungeon. There's also no arrows (unless you keep catching ones that reflect from flaming archers). There's no bomb pickups. There is only money (nice for using the magic armor), and occasionally a chuchu, if you can catch one before it merges with a purple chuchu (which turns it into less than ideal for bottling and drinking). It is long, difficult, and will truly test you each step of the way. It will also require you to use almost every possible weapon in your inventory (including wolf form as you face ghost rats and poes). In the end, your only reward is a faerie supply at every spirit spring and one bottle filled with great tears (and the ability to refill that one shot of great tears at the Lake Hylia spring whenever you run out). Still, the effort required and being able to beat this difficult challenge (in an otherwise easy game) is plenty of reward on it's own.

Anyway, I aim to finish Zelda tonight or tomorrow, depending on when I'm geeking with people and when I'm geeking along tonight. I then should be free to enjoy Elebits (which is due to show up in my mail tomorrow) and Trauma Center, without the interruptions of a game that's too epic and fun to put down.

On a final note, before I depart for the night, I just want to say it's fun seeing the Rams go down in defeat again. Go Seahawks!


Malik (12/15/06)  

When the DS first came along (over two years ago), it seemed like nothing good would ever hit the system. In fact, the only exciting sounding game announced at launch was the recently released FF3 port from the NES. However, with a little time, the situation changed. We now face many unique and fun games for the DS, but it still seems limited in what we could expect.

True, FF3 is nice, and the usual assortment of standard issue portable genres are fun, but there's nothing to really make one think of owning a DS and treating it like a serious game machine. There's no ground breaking "must own" games that make a DS seems like a system, and not just a portable diversion.

Well, that was the case until yesterday. If you haven't heard yet, I have one game title for you; Dragon Quest 9. Let me say that better; Dragon Quest 9 is a DS exclusive!!!!

Not much is really known about the game, yet. However, I think this little bit of news is more than enough for any RPG fan to go ape shit. Also, considering the direction of recent DQ games, it only makes sense to make the game for the DS since it is the most likely system (besides maybe the Wii) to offer a good environment for a nostalgia driven franchise, such as DQ.

On a different note, and far less "teh awesome"...the German government is now thinking about fines and jail time for gamers who enjoy virtual violence against "human-looking characters". True, this is the type of anti-game bill one would expect a state in the US to pass and for the courts to quickly terminate...but this is the country in which games like Gears of War, Dead Rising, and many others have been banned or horribly mutilated in order to even see the light of the German day.

I wish I could comment on this, but I'm pretty much stricken with too much of a "WTF" reaction to even think of words...well, besides this; it's freakin' video games! Maybe Germany should call up Jack Thompson, since I'm sure he'd love to help out the crazy Germans (I should note, I, as well as Velveeta, have a strong dose of the old German blood in my veins) in their mission of destroying the concept of fun.

Anyway, I didn't get to finish Zelda last night since I was geeking out with some friends. However, I will say that the final dungeon is an amazing experience, since it's the first dungeon of the game that really stops holding your hands throughout the entire experience. In fact, if you're not overly tenacious, you could easily expect to be stuck in a quest for small keys.


Malik (12/16/06)  

Found the following link via, but I've heard this story a few times already. If you haven't here's the basic idea; Sony is once again trying to do some "hip" and "now" type of viral advertising for the PSP. Yes, they first brought us the racist bullshit that was those damned "squirrel" and "dustball" characters being as blatantly racist (VG Cats is awesome) as possible without crossing any unofficial lines. They also brought us the graffiti campaign that enraged many states and communities. They even brought the (subjectively) racist PSP white and PSP black ads in Europe.

This time it's instead a less offensive (to common standards) in some ways, but more offensive (to their audience in general) in other ways. They are simply trying to pretend that we don't deserve any respect or honesty. Whatever...they can go f$#@ themselves for all I care. Afterall, isn't that what they've done with the PSP already? It's not like they made a real be-all end-all gaming machine. They made a simple little joke...but they are the only ones laughing...despite not knowing the joke is on Sony.

At least, in the end, Sony has "apologized" for the a way. In reality they are trying to keep up the same general attitude that they think we f$#@ing care about their attempts to "entertain" and "educate" our sorry consumer asses.

In the end, this style of advertising is not really deceptive enough to warrant any investigation or anything (although I think this has been investigated to some extent by government agencies), but it more shows a sign of poor taste. Also, if you actually thought this forced level of 1337-speak and the attached video/rap of how much a PSP is needed for this "urbanized" lifestyle was presented by anyone besides a poorly thinking ad agency or mega-corporation, then you should watch some more UPN (or CW) to understand the real urban lifestyle of America. Yes, this is as blatantly not real as humanly possible. From the random swapping of an "e" with a "3" to the obvious advertising bend, this is as fake as it gets.

Anyway, if it was up to ads alone (like the confusing PS3 TV spots), then Sony would be pretty f#@$ed right about now. Luckily for them, they also have their products. They have a multimedia portable system that has no real exciting must-have games, and they have a ultra expensive console that is not possible to obtain and has no great games (as well as no support for some TV models). They also have a great track record of quality to fall back on (like the massive number of DRE plagued PS2s).

Ok. I have gotten a good amount of entertainment from Sony. However, I feel like the Sony designed side (in other words, games from third party developers DON'T count) of my personal entertainment has been very stale and devoid of content for a good couple of years. I do enjoy one or two of their consoles...but I really am starting to feel like Sony may be setting themselves up for a fall. I don't like to constantly bash a company that has brought me some good times in the past...but it's hard to find praise for this lame duck.

For me, it doesn't really matter anyway. I've been having enough fun with my Wii that I couldn't give a shit of what's been happening to the rest of the game world. If it weren't for my attempts to try TVersity, my 360 would now be a month into it's period of not being played (good system...just no games right now that I need to get). The only systems I've used since November for anything serious have been the DS (for Final Fantasy V Advance) and the Wii (for...well...Zelda, Trauma Center, Monkey Ball, Wii Sports, and soon for Elebits). The landscape changed in the last month, and Nintendo has been offering the greener pasture to play in.

Speaking of which, I finished Zelda (Wii version...of course) last night. I can't believe a Zelda game could do it, but without obsessing over finding every hidden Heart Piece, poe, or golden bug (collectables are plentiful), I still managed to clock nearly 50 hours! That is something I never would have expected from a Zelda game. I also would've never expected quite so easy of a Zelda game, but I can forgive the lack of a challenge for offering some really amazing dungeons, awesome puzzles, and a solid plot (for once). Plus, just the final dungeon and the final series of boss fights were enough to blow my mind. I will try to get a review up sometime soon (probably next week). A sneak peak; somewhere in the 9-10 range (out of 10).

Next up, I'll be playing Elebits, if my order ever arrives. In the meantime, I will be getting some more time with Trauma Center. If I ever get another controller (to go with the spare nunchuk I already have...sigh...), then Monkey Ball should be getting some more love.

Anyway, that stuff doesn't matter tonight. Tonight is the lamest thing to happen to football (well, it's been this way for a few weeks); Thursday night football. I hate this idea since it means both teams have not had enough time to rest, some players who are barely injured will miss the game since they need more than 3 days to rest, and it's so damned random when you consider Sunday and Monday are the football days for the NFL.

At least, once again the Seahawks are playing a game that's not on a Sunday, in Seattle, and the weather may be a little extreme. The first Seahawks Monday game for the season was Seattle's rainiest day for the year (over 3.8 inches), the following Monday night game was a blizzard in Seattle. Tonight we are expecting wind gusts to start this evening, and possibly get up to 60-70 MPH before tomorrow morning. If this hits before the game ends, it should make for an interesting battle ground between two good rushing games, and two amazing rushing players...Alexander vs. Gore.


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