Frogger should be banned!

Some guy in South Carolina decided to play Frogger earlier this week, but he wasn’t playing the original arcade version or any of the console or handheld ports. This guy actually ran out into a 4 lane highway and started trying to dodge cars. It ended how you’d expect, and he was struck by a car and sent to the hospital. This wasn’t some stupid 6 year old kid, either, it was a 23 year old man. Obviously the temptation to copy what we see in video games is too strong.


New Xbox 360 coming…packed with some stupid decisions

What is this? Everybody knows that the d-pad on the 360 has been terrible since day one, and it’s nice that they’re finally doing something about it (only took 5 years, congrats engineering team!), but why do they have to dumb up the rest of the controller? Take a look at the video and I’ll whine after.

So this thing is going to cost $65 because the morons at Microsoft feel like they’re only offering the controller packed in with the play and charge kit. Why do I need another one of those? I don’t. This is another lame cash grab by Microsoft. Why would they remove the face button colors? Sure, it looks kind of neat, but the button colors no longer line up with in game prompts. That’s stupid. Why can’t they implement the new d-pad into all of their controllers? Why not make that the default design going forward? This doesn’t make any logical sense.

Ugh, after the price increase on Xbox Live and now this, I really have to wonder what kind of monkeys they have making the decisions over at Microsoft’s Xbox division.

I’m going to buy every NES (NA release) game ever made

Yeah, it’s a stupid thing to try and do, but dang it, I’m going to try. Over the next few years I’m going to try to collect the entire run of NES cartridges that were officially licensed and released in North America. By my count that is 731 games that I’ll need to collect, though I already have around 100 of them. I’ve done some looking around and there are some rare ones that might give me trouble, but for the most part it isn’t too hard to do this sort of thing. The real challenge is just staying focused enough on it to make it happen. Obviously I’m not concerned about tracking down the games that only saw 4 or 5 copies leak to market, I’m talking about full scale releases.

I’m not aiming to do this as quickly as possible, so I’ll be pretty casual about picking stuff up. But be on notice used game stores of Utah, I’m going to be like a bloodhound each time I see NES carts for sale. Obviously resources like eBay will be a big help as I go about this, so if you have anything particularly hard to find, let me know.

Over time I’ll post updates about how this little project goes. I might set up a site to allow people to more easily track my progress, but we’ll see about that. I wonder how my wife is going to feel about this one…

Yep, PC gaming is still pretty awful

Man, what a letdown today has been in regards to gaming. StarCraft 2 showed up in all of it’s collector’s edition glory today and I couldn’t have possibly been more excited to play. As it turns out, this game is still a PC game. Right from the get go I had issues. While installing the game I got an error at 94%, and I had to restart the installation process. After getting the game installed, I was informed that I needed to update my video card drivers to avoid less than perfect performance. I download the drivers, install them, restart my computer, and fire up the game once more. I decide to start a new campaign. As soon as that new campaign is nearly loaded, the game crashes and I’m asked to submit a bug report to Blizzard. After doing that I go and finally get into the single player campaign and play the first mission. I check my options, and the game recommends I run everything at Ultra settings (so it’s DEFINITELY not an issue of my computer being underpowered). After finishing the mission I click continue to move onto the second, when the game crashes again and once more I’m filling out a bug repair to send to Blizzard. Lovely. After that I try to restart the game, and I’m told that my installation is corrupt and that I need to run the repair utility.


I saw more of the image below and the install screen than I did anything else on day 1. PC gamers love to talk about the superiority of the platform, but holy jeez I won’t ever fault anybody who refuses to play on anything but a console when there are issues all over the place. It’s not like Blizzard didn’t have the last decade to get this thing right…

So yeah, PC gaming is a terrible thing. It’s too bad, because there’s a lot of awesome stuff on the PC, but once you venture beyond the friendly confines of Steam, it gets real sketchy real fast.

But I thought sales were strong…

Activision’s new Modern Warfare 2 ad is here, and aside from giggling 13 yr. old boys, I don’t think it’s going to be much of a hit. So typically people resort to lowbrow comedy when they need a cheap sale…but I thought sales were strong for MW2 still. Either way, here’s the ad.

Pretty lame.

Activision is obviously run by idiots

Modern Warfare 2 has sold enough copies to line the coffers of Activision for quite some time, so how does Activision show their appreciation to Infinity Ward, the developer of the game? They do it by firing Jason West, head of the studio. Not only that, security guards were sent over to the Infinity Ward studio without explanation of what was going on. It’s unclear if other people were sent packing, but it’s obvious that Activision’s top executives are drunk on pride and power. If this sort of thing eventually leads to a split between the studio and the publisher, I think it would be for the best. More than likely, however, it’s going to just be a rough few weeks for Infinity Ward before everybody starts falling back in line. With the economy as it is, it’s not the best time to rock the boat.

Hey Sony, your insecurity is showing…

In response to the release of the DSi, Sony’s PR wonder (or is that blunder?) team sent out releases to a variety of gaming outlets that attempted to sway journalists to see the DSi in a particular light. Here is how the release reads:

If Nintendo is really committed to reaching a broader, more diverse audience of gamers beyond the “kids” market that they’ve always engaged, there isn’t much new with the DSi to support that. Significant gamer demographic groups are being ignored, and there continues to be limited opportunities for games from external publishers to do well on the DSi. Compare that with the PSP platform, where we have many blockbuster franchises from our publishing partners launching this year, representing a wide variety of genres and targeting diverse demographics. Games such as Rock Band Unplugged from MTV Games, Assassin’s Creed from Ubisoft, Dissidia Final Fantasy from Square Enix, and Hannah Montana from Disney demonstrate the commitment that publishers have to the PSP. From our own first-party studios, we’re launching unique versions of LittleBigPlanet and MotorStorm, and we’re also planning a steady stream of downloadable games — both new titles and PSone classics — to add to the content that PSP owners can already purchase wirelessly through PlayStation Store.

There’s a lot of things wrong with what Sony has said there, but the act itself is more concerning than the actual message. Why send this out to journalists? Is it going to be received in any other manner than just outright mockery? Is anybody actually going to create their own stories supporting this sort of nonsense? Well, if you’re not a Sony dedicated fan site, then the answer is no. The DS is by far recognized as much more of a hardcore platform than the PSP, and that’s not something that Sony can change with a silly little press release. To their dismay, it’s also known as a far better platform for mainstream releases. It’s a shame, because I really try and like my PSP, but honestly I pull it out and play it once every 6 months for maybe an hour or two. There are good games on the PSP, but they are buried under generic and watered down console ports or remakes. The PSP has no unique flavor to its library, and until it gets one, software sales are going to continue to be terrible.

I think it’s time that Sony makes an appointment with a shrink or two, they’ve clearly got a severe inferiority complex that they’re dealing with right now. I guess this can happen when for the first time ever you find yourself behind in all aspects of the gaming hardware and software wars.