Saturday, January 31, 2009

Learning and Gaming Expo

OK nerds mark you calendars (because I've already marked mine), the Park Ridge Public Library is having a Gaming and Learning Expo on Saturday, February 28th at Maine South High School from 1:00-4:00 pm. The Expo will include: presentations on gaming research, game design workshops, college programs, game designer signings, and hands-on gaming with Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PS3.

I'll keep you posted on who's actually going to appear at the expo once we are closer to the event.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Youtube Street Figher Sim

Itching to play some Street Fighter IV? Well here's something to keep you entertained until it hits the sheleves in February.

(Bring It!)

Wolverine and the X-Men

Completely by surprise Wolverine and the X-Men premiered on ToonNick or whatever they’re calling the Nickelodeon channel devoted to cartoons and I must say, it wasn’t bad. I will admit that the show has its issues like some lazy animation (not showing certain actions and letting the viewer fill in the blanks), awkward pauses, and mediocre voice acting, but the story is solid. Well the story should be solid since it’s the same old X-Men story that we have all grown up with. The only original spin the creators have put on this series so far is that Wolverine is the leader of the X-Men and even that isn’t too original because he’s been team leader before. It’s obvious to me that this show isn’t intended the hardcore fan, but for the kids who don’t know too much about the X-Men universe and haven’t seen the 90’s animated version (even though they can watch it on toondisney at 12 am CT) or X-Men Evolution.


There is mysterious explosion and the mansion and Professor X and Jean Grey disappear. Without their fearless leader, the X-Men disband and scatter to the ends of the earth. With mutant registration getting out of hand it is up to Wolverine to unite the X-Men and stop all this chaos. The plot is very straight forward, but here’s what strikes me as odd. They are running way too many story arcs at the same time. Right now they are running the Mutant registration arc along with the Magneto and Genosha arc and the Brotherhood of Evil arc. And even thought it makes sense on paper it’s a bit overwhelming when you sit down to watch it. At the end of the premiere they showed a dramatic preview of what’s to come later in the series. In the preview there were clips from the weapon X arc, Age of Apocalypse arc, and the Phonex Saga. Is that all going to happen in the first season or are they going to space that out over three?


What makes me very happy and very sad all at the same time is that they have chosen to bring a lot of mutants into the mix. The problem is that since the X-Men universe is so huge there isn’t enough time to focus on all of them. Only the core players like wolverine (of course), Cyclops, Kitty, Iceman, Beast, Rouge, Storm and Magneto are going to get a lot of air time, but it’s nice to see other characters like Boom Boom, Dust, Rockslide, and eventually Psylocke popping-up (more Psylocke please!!!).

Final Thoughts

There is nothing wrong with the series, but there is absolutely nothing new about it either. So don’t think it’s going to bring a whole new dimension to the X-universe. Take it for what it is, an action cartoon for 10 year olds with reduced violence (apparently an open palm strike to the face isn’t as violent as a close fisted punch) and watered down themes for kids to understand. I will certainly be watching the X-Men run around battling the forces of evil and come on, who doesn’t want to see Storm kick butt with a handful of thunderbolts or see crowd favorite Gambit blow things up with a smile.

I’m giving Wolverine and the X-Men 3 Wolverine growls out of 5

(Dont look so surprised by the review I gave your show Wolverine, you should be lucky you got a 3 out of 5 considering that you're one of my least favorite mutants)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Japanese Game show does Super Mario

This is just another reason why I love Japan. I wish American shows could get away with such nonsense.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Persona 4 Review

A well known on air personality is mysteriously murdered and the only way to find the killer is to travel between dimensions before the killer strikes again. It’s up to you, your gang of angsty friends, and talking stuffed animal bear to save the day. Does it sound like an outrageous plot? Yes. Is it a lot of fun to see how it all unfolds? A resounding HELL YA! Persona 4 for the PS2 is another good reason not toss out your old game system.

Game Play

Persona 4 is an RPG and I know what some of you are thinking, “RPGs aren’t my thing, give me a gun and some Fallout 3”. But the game isn’t all about the turn based fighting; it’s about making relationships with the people around you. Ok yeah, it still sounds lame but keep reading. The game features something called the Social Link System. Think of it kind of like a Sims game. You walk around making friends and deciding what to do for the day. You can hang out with the cute girl down the hall or go to soccer practice with your teammates. The more time you spend with each character the stronger your relationship becomes and as a result the game will let you watch some hilarious or heart breaking cut scenes with the people you chose to spend time with. Some of the people you will encounter include: a female pop star, a sexy nurse, and a fox (yes like the animal, it took me by surprise too).

Seems easy enough right…. wrong. It seems that once you get the hang off the Social Link System everyone wants to be your friend and you have to budget your time and figure out who you want to spend time with. On top off that you need to study, work multiple jobs, and still find time to dungeon crawl in the alternate world. When you add the fact that there are time restrictions such as you can only talk to one person a day or that you have roughly two weeks to rescue victims from being murdered, the game turns into a balancing act which can be quite overwhelming at times.

The Social Link System also has another feature. The stronger your bonds with people in the real world the stronger your personas become. Right, let me explain what a persona is. When you travel to the alternate reality via a TV you are given monsters called personas to help you in battle. You, as the main character, are special because you can hold multiple personas while your teammates will only have one (sucks for them). If you think about it, Personas are like Poke´mon of the soul and you have to find and create new persona if you want to make it through the game. There are 200+ personas that you can create; unfortunately, you can only carry a max of 12 into battle


Your exploits in the real world take place in a small rural Japanese town complete with a high school, a shopping district, and Walmart-esque mega store threatening to put all the small businesses out of business. On the flip side the alternate reality is rather trippy. Unlike Persona 3 where the characters had to climb 263 floors of the same old level design, you now go through bite sized dungeons with their own themes like a haunted castle, a sauna, and a strip club….what!(blush). The ascetics are beautiful and the boss battles are symbolic of whats happening in the rest of the game.


The game's music rocks my socks off. Each level has its own unique soundtrack and some tunes are extremely catchy. The game comes with a CD with 24 tracks and you better believe that I’ve been listening to it non-stop while I drive to work.

Final Thoughts

This game is great. There are many more things I could say about the game like the improvements over Persona 3 which include smarter A.I. or the fact that you can now take direct control of your teammates, but this post would be unbearably long and no one wants to hear me ramble (seriously, I won’t stop). I think the best thing I could say is check the game out for yourself and see firsthand just how weird and wonderful the game is. I’m giving Persona 4 (drum roll please) 5 split personalities out of 5

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Watch for the Watchmen

As reported on G4, a federal judge ruled against Warner Bros. in their case with Fox studios over the distribution rights for Watchmen. Apparently, the script for Watchmen was passed through several studios that believed the movie would be impossible to make. It finally landed in the laps of the executives at Warner Bros. who dared to dream. Unfortunately, Fox Studios, who was the last to have the script before passing it off to Warner Bros., took their sweet time to say, “Hey, we still own some of the rights to this movie.” It’s now feared that the lawsuit will create a delay for the movies March release date. Scott Bowles, film writer for USA Today, predicted that the movie won’t be delayed, but Warner Bros. will have to cut a deal with Fox and split the profits. Pretty clever Fox, get someone else to make your movies then steal thier earnings. But be warned Fox, if you mess with the release date of the beloved Watchmen you may just experience some extreme nerd RAGE from its many fans.

Super Mario Rescues the Princess

It made me chuckle.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Yeah, Yeah, I know I'm a couple days late, but at least I said it right??? So it's a Brand New Day for me and the blog and I was wondering if YOU the reader could help me out. I really want this blog to be more interactive and less about me rambling on about random news stories. So if you have any ideas on things to do with this blog write down some suggestions. I want this to be fun for everyone.