Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Vegas Baby!
Honestly, my week-long trip to Vegas has little to do with this site being so infrequently updated. I'm just busy and/or lazy. But yeah, last week I headed off to Las Vegas for the second time in six months, and just as it was last time, it was on the boss's dime for a work-related Con. This was my first trip to GAMA, the game industry trade show, and I'd been primed to expect something huge. What I got was indeed big, but when you've been to a half-dozen San Diego Comicons, you have a certain expectation for the phrase "Big Con" that GAMA didn't really meet.

Which is good, because had it been any bigger I'd be exhausted. The show was a lot of work, both in terms of the amount of walking and the amount of work involved. Some of it was a loss (the first day seminars were almost universally awful, saved only by Joe Field's engaging panels, and even those were aimed surprisingly at newer retailers, when you'd expect most of the folks at GAMA to be retail vets) but I got to see some cool new games (the Spycraft CCG is going to be great, the D&D Minis Titans of Legends are amazing looking and the Nocturnals book from Green Ronin looks terrific as well) and take in a bit of Vegas as well (love those Bellagio water shows).

In other news, right before Vegas, I discovered my favorite new show of the season: Wonderfalls. I'm not a fanatical follower of AICN (although I do read the @$$holes Talkback reviews religiously), but I do occasionally check in on Hercules' Coaxial side of the site, and it was his constant badgering about how good Wonderfalls was going to be (along with Firefly/Angel vet Tim Minear's name) that got me to check it out. I'm so glad I did, because the show is quirky, snarky and hilarious, with a great cast and smart writing. While it reminds me in tone of Dead Like Me and my late lamented Cupid (the one with Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, not that reality shit), it is very original and unusual.

It is also probably doomed. But I continue to hope that Fox will realize they've got something special here and move it from the self-fulfilling prophecy Friday death slot into a better place. Not to mention marketing the thing more effectively. I don't watch a great deal of TV commercials these days, it's true (thank you Tivo!) but still... I didn't see a single ad for this new show.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Video (Games) Killed the Radio Star (And All My Free Time):
Been playing some video games lately. I got the Warcraft III expansion for X-Mas, and since my computer had crashed last year, I had to play through Warcraft III original flavor to get back to the point where I could play the expansion. I just finished it recently and have installed (but not played) much of the expansion yet.

And that's because I got a subscription to Gamefly, a Netflix-like service for PS2 (and XBox and GameCube, but I don't have those) games. Since then, I've been spending way too much of my not-too-copious free time playing these rented games. Loved SSX 3 and Need for Speed: Underground, had fun playing Burnout 2 and returned both R: Racing Evolution and NFL Street within minutes of opening them and playing them.

The really fun find, though, has been James Bond: Everything or Nothing. 3rd person James Bond game that feels like a modern Bond movie. Has its quirks, like a slightly off-kilter auto-targeting system that sometimes has me popping caps in a wall while some nameless mook shoots me in the back (not very suave, that), but is generally a blast to play. Such a blast, in fact, that I play too long, and since I've got the unfortunate physiological quirk of becoming nauseous when playing videogames (almost immediately with first-person, takes longer with 3rd), sometimes I wind up having to turn off the TV, etc. and lie there, wishing I had stopped playing the game about fifteen minutes earlier.

Given that I love videogames, I'm very annoyed by this particular physiological quirk. But not as annoyed as I am with myself every time I push the limits too far. But even knowing it might make me feel like vomiting, I love this game. How many reviews of a PS2 game are you gonna read with *that* qualifier?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Priorities? What are those?
McSupersizes to be phased out - Soldiers are still dying in two countries that we invaded, a shockingly large number of people in the country think gay marriage should be outlawed, the Catholic church is still fondling little boys like it's a national sport... and *this* is where the public pressure is?

I swear, these days I just want to throw my hands up about the American public, and maybe humanity in general. Perhaps we're all too stupid to live. C'mon... eating McDonald's every day is bad for your health? Are there actually people out there who don't know that, who need a documentary or a lawsuit to clue them in? If so, I think being fat is the least of their problems. Fat and stupid and skinny and stupid really isn't that far apart, in terms of quality of life.