Winner of today's "I see what you did there" award.
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Winner of today's "I see what you did there" award.
We're digging into The Weekly Geek archives this week and presenting you with an authentic Geek experience all the way from 2004! The past! It's like you're a time traveler or something. This week, join The Geek and Frodo back on KCWU FM for the 7AM hour of April 26th. Enjoy some music, hear some old news and listen as someone wins a game that is surely in the bargain bin at a Gamestop by now. We return next week with your regularly scheduled jerkfaces. Enjoy!
You may not believe it, and when I heard it I scarcely believed it myself, but there's more to being a geek than just video games. What! Crazy! I know! The thirst for new stimulation isn't limited to just the digital realm of "veedoo games"! Music is what we crave, and the newest Weekly Geek Music Podcast is just the thing to satiate even the most ravenous of melody fiends. Mike and Chris present to you their top albums for this period in the space-time continuum, with artists like Portishead, Wolf Parade, Death Cab For Cutie and Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps, in listening, you will discover your new favorite band. These things are known to happen.
Full set list and links to purchase tracks after the jump.
Oh hai! Just thought I'd come and check in on you guys, here. What's up? Gearing up for the long weekend? Are you going to be going outside and grilling animal flesh with the rest of the US, or perhaps you will shun the sunlight as I do and partake of some games? Here's what I've been playing recently, what are you playing this weekend?
GTAIV - Of course, this game really doesn't leave my Xbox. I haven't had much time to devote to gaming this week (hence the lack of game diary posts) but when I do get a chance I like to sit down and envelop myself in the trials and tribulations of one Niko Bellic. I'm a good 70% through the game now, just got all my friends to over 90% and I'm spending a fair bit of time just messing around with the side quests, whereas a week ago I was completely into the main storyline. The main storyline continues to amaze, don't get me wrong, but I really appreciate how I can just sit down and do a few side quests in a short period of time. Very good for the hard-casual gamer such as myself.
The World Ends With You - Seriously, you guys need to be playing this game. I have no idea why the gaming press hasn't covered it more because it is completely brilliant. It's the perfect commuter's game, great for short bursts of satisfying play, and is as deep as you want it to be. I want all games to be this thoughtful, precise and engaging. There's little sense in explaining it. You have to experience it for yourself.
Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - Episode 1 - Like any good PA fan, I downloaded the shit out of this game and proceeded to devour it. It's a gorgeous game and genuinely hilarious, though the battle system took me a REALLY long time to figure out. I'm still not sure I understand it. I'm playing the XBLA version, which apparently was designed last as the controls are horrible. It's difficult to target things for one, but it also doesn't help that the UI is slightly confusing at times. It took me a while to make sense of the battle UI and it took me even longer to realize which player was highlighted. I'm also having conflicting thoughts about the massive amount of dialog for every single little thing. On one hand it's consistently hilarious, and on the other hand I feel compelled to check every trash can and mailbox, which feels like a shallow gameplay device. I'd rather the locations I can investigate be a bit more hidden instead of right there in my face. But maybe it will pick up? At the very least, congratulations you guys. It's awesome to be able to say "this dude I know made his own video game". Despite any niggling concerns, you guys did a fucking fantastic job.
This week, Qais, Chris and Ross the Transparent Underground Gnoll meet at the Fortress of Geekitude to discuss the state of video game trade shows, Konami's new Rock Revolution and what a new drum peripheral could mean for crowded living rooms everywhere, making worthwhile games for children, the Great Slipper Collapse of 1985 (includes bonus Fraggle Rock discussion) and then the boys dip into the mailbag. Which isn't a euphemism.
Wolf Parade's debut LP, Apologies to the Queen Mary, from a few years ago was a raw, unhinged explosion of guitars and keyboards - a work that evoked post-punk anger as much as it did peppy bounce. As genius a first album as it was, with Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner's trade-off songwriting, the group was slightly overshadowed by the barrage of good music being exported from Canada at the time - Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, and the like.
After successful side project excursions for both Krug (Sunset Rubdown) and Boeckner (Handsome Furs), the duo reunites with a renewed formidableness. At Mount Zoomer is refreshingly different. They've kept the angularity and intensity, but Wolf Parade adds a welcome dose of subtlety and complexity in this succinct 9-song set.
Tycho from Penny Arcade linked to this today in a newspost. Words cannot describe how cool this is. Just watch.
Italian cartoonist Donald Soffritti is producing this series of heroes and villains in their later years. With Emerald City Comicon just behind us, these seem somehow appropriate.
You may recall my Steampunk Nerf Gun post from a while back, where I painted a Nerf Maverick all metallic to go with a costume I was making. I got an email from the creator of the Grab-it Pack(™!) who saw the post and mentioned that multiple people have purchased this pocketed accessory as a holster for their Nerf Mavericks.
Extra pockets are always nice and the Grab-it Pack actually looks like an incredibly useful pack if you're going hiking, cosplaying as the Man-With-Too-Many-Pockets or raiding a tomb full of ancient treasure and secrets.
They are about 23 bucks and you can order them from GrabitPack.com.
Below the jump, in all its uncensored glory, is a new ad for Sony's Playstation 3. It's below the jump because it is most assuredly NSFW. Looking at this ad I can't help but wonder about just what exactly it is they are trying to imply. Is it alluding to a rare talent that only the discerning PS3 owner possesses? Is it encouraging a new kind of play or is it a call for genetically modified, but sterile gaming supermen? I have no idea but I can tell you that I am afraid.
It's ladies night on The Weekly Geek, as Colette and Jinny join the very manly Chris and the always testosterone-heavy Mack in what is possibly the ladiest podcast ever. Is Guitar Hero IV going to rock Rock Band? Is Lost Winds Colette's favorite game evar? (Protip: it is!) Other topics include mini map dependence, Emerald City Comic Con, Crisis Core, and more great TV. Enjoy the brisk flavor of this special podcast... ladies.
I've avoided making Game Diary posts this last week because A) I've been taking a "vacation" as it was my last week of unemployment and 2) I've just been playing Grand Theft Auto IV. That's not to say I haven't had any fun, I've been enjoying the crap out of it. The story, the game play, everything about this game is a love letter to the video game industry as a whole and if you haven't checked it out for whatever reason, at the very least rent it. You'll most likely enjoy the sandbox as much as I have. Niko, as a character, is one of the most compelling I've seen in a game, right up there with Gordon Freeman for me. He is a criminal, sure, but his motivation for his actions is something you can actually relate to. The dialog wanders from funny to poignant, surprising you in its serious tone.
I'm only about 50% through, as well. The game is just plain massive. I can see it's going to stay in my Xbox for quite some time. I haven't even taken the shrink wrap off of Mario Kart Wii...
What have you guys been playing? Anything interesting I've missed out on?
When I first heard about Midway's 8th incarnation of their Mortal Kombat series Mortal Kombat vs DC I was stoked. As my friends moaned and whined about how illogical it is for the Mortal Kombat cast to go up against the DC Universe I was busy imagining all the ways Batman was going to make Scorpion his blood-soaked, weeping, reptilian bitch.
My keen optimism lasted for about a day. A day which rapidly spiraled into the sad realization that in all likelihood this game would not be the game I was hoping for. Between Midway aiming for a T for Teen rating, DC being obsessively picky about what they'll allow to befall their characters, and the subsequent abandonment of the Fatalities as we've come to know and love them through the years it looked as though Mortal Kombat vs DC was going to be just about as lackluster as the Oracles at Gamephi proclaimed.
But according to Ed Boon, the brains behind Mortal Kombat, that's all a load of hogwash.
There was never any statement on our part that fatalities will be gone or that finishing moves will be gone. We did acknowledge that we won't be able to do the same kinds of outrageous moves, like tearing someone's head off and the spine being attached to it. But there are a lot of assumptions that there will be no blood in the game, that there are no fatalities in the game. It's an assumption that, because the DC characters will be in there, those features will have to be dropped. My response is that, no, we're modifying fatalities. But I have every intention to keep finishers.
That's great and all, but if you're the kind of Mortal Kombat player that I am, tearing someone's head off and triumphantly jiggling the attached spinal column as it drips blood on the viscera covered floor is the highlight of my day. Although to be fair I have been playing Mortal Kombat since 1992 and as we all know violent videogames turn you into a bloodthirsty maniac.
As far as creating a plausible storyline for how Sub-Zero is able to wail on Superman I'm still not concerned. Oh Ed claims there will be one, but let's take a moment to get a little perspective, shall we? Mortal Kombat is a game about magic ninjas using their magic ninja powers to magically ninja their way into the back of your skull by way of the front. Adding a cast of DC superheroes to that mix doesn't shatter my suspension of disbelief and to be perfectly honest, they could do away with storyline altogether so long as I'm able to rip Superman's still beating heart from his chest like I've always dreamed. Everything else is just dressing.
This week New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled it's newest exhibit "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy." As you may have guessed from the title, the exhibit features costumes worn by actors in superhero cinema. In addition to a wardrobe that would inspire murderous jealousy in any comic geek, on display will be outfits created by today's leading couture designers inspired by the supersuits and contemporary sportswear similarly inspired.
The exhibit runs through September 1st, so any Big Apple based geeks would do well to go and have a peek. For those of us not lucky enough to live in New York City the gallery over at DVICE will simply have to do.
Nintendo's insistence on using an arcane series of numbers to connect to friends on the Wii hasn't stopped the majority of intrepid internet users, as yet another website is making it easier to link up to friends for some hot kart on kart action. WiiTransfer has a nifty tool that allows you to share your friend codes with other Twitter users, so if you have a bunch of friends who like to be kept up to date with every single mundane detail of your day, this service is for you.
Now if only Nintendo would bring voice chat into the game, it may actually be playable online.
[WiiTransfer | Thanks, Wade!]
You know those booths at comic book or anime conventions selling game soundtracks? Yeah, those are usually dirty pirated bootleg knockoffs. Same goes with soundtracks you buy on eBay or from *most* websites. Square Enix bootlegs are notorious, considering they have such a vast library of hard to find soundtracks. The official SE store has a sale going on right now, so you have absolutely no excuse not to purchase the official Chrono Trigger Soundtrack for $16.99. Also on sale are soundtracks for Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and The World Ends With You. Sweet!
This week isn't ALL about Grand Theft Auto IV, though it's hard to talk about anything else this week as its been ruling most gamers' lives. In a good way. Chris and Qais discuss the greater value of Grand Theft Auto as a piece of high art, completely without sarcasm! No, seriously! Why don't you believe me?! We then move on to Guitar Hero's brand being diluted, and Qais talks about insomnia and what kind of snacks he likes when he's pulling an all-nighter.
Download the podcast below, and subscribe to the feed! Show notes after the jump.
We all feel that sense of dread when we have to call customer service to try and troubleshoot a malfunctioning product. You have to wait while a computer routes you to a disinterested associate who may or may not solve your problem and may or may not be polite to you. Some dude named Jason has figure out how to get to escalate your problem quickly to someone who is a bit more skilled than your typical call center specialist.
Check out the super simple procedure over at Jason's blog.
[link via Lifehacker]
Wondering how EA and Harmonix were going to make the Wii version of Rock Band successful without all of the amazing downloadable songs? Today comes the announcement of Rock Band Track Pack volume 1, which brings a nice selection of 20 songs previously available for download on the PS3 and 360 versions to the PS2 and the Wii. Set to be released on July 15th, here's the track list.
30 Seconds to Mars The Kill All American Rejects Move Along Blink – 182 All the Small Things Boston More Than a Feeling David Bowie Moonage Daydream Faith No More We Care A Lot Grateful Dead Truckin’ The Hives Die, All Right! KISS Calling Dr. Love Lynyrd Skynyrd Gimme’ Three Steps Nine Inch Nails March of the Pigs Oasis Live Forever Paramore Crushcrushcrush The Police Synchronicity II Queens of the Stone Age Little Sister Ramones Teenage Lobotomy Smashing Pumpkins Siva Stone Temple Pilots Interstate Love Song Weezer Buddy Holly Wolfmother Joker & the Thief
**All 20 tracks utilize original master recordings**
What I'm curious about is whether you have to switch your disks out when you want to play these specific tracks, or if just inserting the disk into the system somehow unlocks them on the original disk? Hm. While this is a great thing for Wii and PS2 Rock Band owners (personally the DLC is the best part of the game for me) I'm really curious as to how it will be implemented.
Full press release after the jump.
"Come Fearless. Come Strong. Come Packing."
Even the back of the box tells us that this game is trying too hard to be something its not - a third-person shooter with profundity. The Club, Sega's latest foray into attempted gaming relevancy, is a title that has some potential. It could be a fast-paced, run and gun arcade-style extravaganza. Instead, it's a frustrating, self-absorbed traipse of a time-trial through a world that shouldn't exist, not even in a game programmer's imagination.
Every once in a while, Woot has a Photoshop contest that really brings out the funny. This week the subject was "an especially inappropriate franchise (an old TV show, comic book, classic novel, ancient myth, cartoon, movie, etc.)" Here's my favorite (and the winner!)
[link via Woot]
Up for sale on Etsy as of today, a painting I did in college called "The Death of Peach".
Mario is grief-stricken in this nightmare scenario where Princess Peach is impaled callously by a giant pirahna plant. Toad watches in horror as Mario prepares to hurl a Bob-Omb and avenge his love. Oil on canvas 38"x36"
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