Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the retail life

I mentioned below the in-store consoles that are a regular part of my work environment and I get to "enjoy" the various demos and previews that loop, let's call it, every 10 to 25 minutes. On five different monitors/TVs within about 100 square feet. So today I shall share some of them with you all so you can envision the excitement of my life working in the video game industry.

"The Metal" by Tenacious D at the VGAs (my personal fave):

Lego Indiana Jones

Sweet Touch of Love axe commercial:

That's just three of the many, many 5 minute segments I get to enjoy over and over again. Now you can too!

i'm such a hypocrite

All right, I have railed like crazy against the rhythm-music games out there but am now eating my words in a tasty, tasty breakfast of rocking out with Guitar Hero II. I picked up the game used plus two of the white wired guitars released with that title and amazingly was able to use credit from four trade-ins (plus various discounts) to completely cover the purchase. I admit it, it's way more fun that I thought it would be and I need to remember that the lame kid playing at Best Buy with the sound off is not necessarily showing the product in its true glory. I started out using Pandora but think I'm gonna switch to Casey Lynch permanently (see pic for her hotness) and want to mention that I love all the awesome girl characters. Smart not to make them all anime-style bodacious hotties. I've gotten pretty awesome at easy in the last few days and plan on switching up to medium although I've sucked hard at the ones I've tried so far. Thankfully I have unlocked Carry On Wayward Son, the song that pretty much made me want to try the game out. Sadly I don't get to play Livin' on a Prayer (which I get to listen to customers playing all. damn. day on the in-store consoles) but am looking forward to rocking harder as the level goes up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

mass effect is very cinematic

I really love the blending of movies and video games as well as the coming together of the two industries, which is why I especially love games with awesome plots and great cinematic scenes. That's why I've been enjoying watching my boyfriend playing Mass Effect, an rpg from Bioware, the company behind hits such as Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The battle elements are extremely strategic and take a lot of Marine-like tactical thinking, while the plotline is engaging and freaky with vivid and dynamic characters who are also amazing to look at in HD. Sometimes it feels a bit like Star Wars just from the amazingly detailed alien race characters and the ships flying around. It's the first released title of a trilogy apparently (view inevitable internet debate here) so I'm sure the story goes even deeper than we know yet. I'm not sure this is the kind of game I love playing but I'm definitely enjoying the movie-like aspects of it as a spectator anyway.

xbox on the pc monitor!

We've taken our co-gaming to a whole new level thanks to the Xbox 360 VGA HD/AV cable we just picked up. With the Xbox and the Wii both plugged in to our TV, what are we to do now that the boy is done with Fallout 3 on the PC and deep into Mass Effect and I have many Wii games I'm fixing to try out? Stream the Xbox to the 22" flatscreen HD monitor of course! This actually improved the graphics despite a small decrease in size, and we're lucky to already be working with a small enough space that the wireless 360 controller works fine and the cords all reach. We can now play 360 and Wii games simultaneously and since we're big dorks we've got many options on both. Technology these days! At right: Xbox 360 PC tower case complete with red ring of death (sort of).

harvest moon just as awesome as ever

I was always a fan of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life on the Nintendo GameCube, so I am happy to have gotten to play quite a bit of the newest title in the series this weekend. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility for the Wii is just as good as I remember the GC game being: pastoral, tranquil and very cute. I love that you can choose to be a girl character in this one as I don't remember that being an option before. The shipping system is very cool and easy to use and the farming is as painstaking yet rewarding as ever. I just bought my first two animals, a calf (Moobie) and a lamb (Fuzzy) and my farm's vegetables thrive with the awesome power of the 3x3 watering can charge which is definitely a welcome innovation. The graphics are nice to look at but the game gets slow during rain and I would say about 15 to 20% of my gameplay time has been watching loading screens which seems like it could have been avoided. Nevertheless this is a very fun game with much to see and do and lots of interesting directions in which to go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

will wright is cool has a fun feature on Will Wright, co-founder of Maxis and brain behind SimCity, Spore and all the Sims franchises (full article link below). I'm a big fan of pretty much everything he does so I enjoyed this article and look forward to any future projects he's working on.
Fantasy career: It would involve large construction equipment or being a helicopter pilot.

Favorite game he didn’t design: It’s a call between Civilization and Grand Theft Auto. One makes you think of history in a different way. The other is a playground where you can wreak havoc and don’t have to clean up afterward.

Unique gift giver: I buy these pins that were designed to help you keep track of your radiation exposure. They kept them in bomb shelters during the cold war. They make great gifts.

shaun white for the wii

I spent some time playing Shaun White: Road Trip this morning and it is in fact pretty fun! I used the Wii Fit balance board which definitely adds an element of difficulty not found in just controlling your guy with the remote. The levels are cool and fun to look at with plenty of opportunities for sick jumps, flips and grabs off of "kickers" as well as rails and stuff to grind on and speed trials as well. The interface is a little too kid-friendly for me in its cartoony-ness but it also has its funny moments in the form of goofy spam emails and totally stoned-sounding phone calls from Shaun himself. I think that the better I get at controlling with the balance board the more fun this game will be. I also am determined to try out the Xbox 360 Shaun White Snowboarding as the commercials look really good and the graphics look a few steps up from the Wii version, plus it appears to be a much deeper game with more customization and more goofy stuff to do with your characters like snowball fights. Of course in the Wii version you have moose running amok all over your courses which is pretty cool too.

sims 3 vip!

Of course I'm a Sims 3 VIP. So anyway, here's a little sampling of the ultra-exclusive (actually not really, you just had to put your email in) benefits of being a Sims 3 VIP. Cool screenshot from the game at right. Grant, a Sims 3 producer, also shares some of the daily life and trait info of his self-Sim Grant Duders:
I almost always create a character based loosely on myself, perhaps because I can empathize with him, or maybe I just have a fascination with seeing how my life could turn out differently. Grant Duders is typically a Workaholic who Loves the Outdoors, is a Green-Thumb and Bookworm. Why these Traits? For starters, Grant works extra hard to make ends meet while trying to make it as a professional writer. Writing is difficult though, and writer’s block a common foe, so he frequently spends his time outdoors gardening in the sun. It’s a great stress reliever!

Every writer needs a muse and Grant is no exception. The town is full of attractive singles and few locations are better for mixing and mingling than the gym. It’s the perfect plan – the Sims there are in shape, outgoing, and exactly where Grant is! Unfortunately, the conversations don’t go so well after Grant’s charming introduction. Grant frequently talks about work (yawn), relies too heavily on the fact that he’s an aspiring writer (who isn’t?), and frequently stinks (from working out).

Being single is hard!

Find out more about the Sims 3 here

Thursday, November 20, 2008

sims 2 mansion & garden stuff

Electronic Arts released the 9th and (what can only be assumed to be) final Stuff Pack for the Sims 2 this week with Mansion & Garden Stuff. This add-on features mostly new and improved garden plants, flowerbeds and decorations as well as some new building options. Piggy-backing on the addition of building embellishments from Apartment Life is a whole new Build Mode section for Architecture, which includes the new vent systems and other structural decorations. The new pack also comes with three new building themes: Moroccan, Second Empire and Art Deco. I haven’t built much yet with these new themes but I do love the new garden stuff and also that kids can now slide down stair banisters! Cute. Still, perhaps a little tacked on and maybe overflow of leftover AL additions, but if you’re like me you want the whole collection so you’ll get it anyway. I will always prefer EA made content to custom so honestly if they came out with another TS2 pack before the Sims 3 comes out, I’d probably buy it.

wii fit = the tickle-me-elmo of 2008

If you’ve been searching fruitlessly for a Wii Fit this holiday season, rest assured that it’s not just you that can’t find one. The Fit is definitely this year’s hot Wii item to score and, like the Wii itself last year, it’s getting harder and harder to find stocked in stores as we approach the holidays. My tip for those of you looking is to check in stores early afternoon as shipments come in around noon. If you’re sick of prowling the mall however, my real recommendation would be to use the Wii Fit tracker, which is how I got mine. Act quickly and you might find that it’s easier than you thought to score a Wii Fit before your gifting holiday of choice. Good luck, it’s totally worth it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

trying to find dogmeat?

Okay, I've been enjoying the steady traffic I'm getting from the keyword "fallout 3 companions" so I figured I'd post something actually useful to those of you trying to figure out how to accrue a posse in Fallout 3. You can find several useful characters who will fight for you and follow you around as you fight super mutants and blow stuff up. The Vault, an excellent Fallout 3 wiki, has a section featuring each of the available companions and how to find them and use them to your advantage. Enjoy!

Unlike previous Fallout games, the followers don't level up independently, but they are scaled to the level of the player character. The PC will receive full experience points for enemies killed by the companions provided they cause some damage.

It is possible to have more than one follower.

The Vault: Fallout 3 Companions

october's top ten games

Sales-tracking research group NPD released its list of the top ten best-selling console game titles for October last week. Nintendo continues to dominate, proving that games with accessories sell amazingly well especially before the holidays with Mario Kart, Wii Fit and Wii Play making strong appearances. The Wii also sold 803,000 consoles in October, compared to 371,000 Xbox 360 and 190,000 Ps3 systems, proving that people really love cheap options and also that the casual gamer demographic continues to expand. Here's the rest of the top ten best-selling console game titles for October 2008:
  1. Fable II (Lionhead, Xbox 360) - 790,000 units
  2. Wii Fit (Nintendo, Wii) - 487,000 units
  3. Fallout 3 (Bethesda, Xbox 360) - 375,000 units
  4. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo, Wii) - 290,000 units
  5. Wii Play (Nintendo, Wii) - 282,000 units
  6. Saints Row 2 (Volition, Xbox 360) - 270,000 units
  7. SOCOM Confrontation (Slant Six, PS3) - 231,000 units
  8. LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule, PS3) - 215,000 units
  9. NBA 2K9 (Visual Concepts, Xbox 360) - 202,000 units
  10. Dead Space (EA Redwood Shores, Xbox 360) - 193,000 units
A Closer Look at October's Strong Game Sales
October Console Game Sales: Fable II Tops The Charts

the unicorn is free again

I ended things with the unicorn in my Oblivion game when I finally got around to downloading some expansions for it from Xbox Live and came to the sad, sad realization that I couldn't outfit the unicorn with armor from the Horse Armor Pack. He was just a little too at risk of being killed at all times and I just couldn't have that on my conscience, so I set him free to return to his grove. And no, I will never do Hircine's quest, which involves killing the unicorn for its horn. So now I am back to the super fast Cheydinhal black horse and it has lovely gilded Elven armor to protect it, so now I'm on a quest to find a full set of Elven armor for myself. Gotta match the steed, for sure.

left 4 dead out today

Survival horror first-person shooter Left 4 Dead is available in stores today for the Xbox 360 and on PC-DVD. It sounds pretty awesome and got a 9.0 on IGN; full review linked below. Check out the E3 trailer as well, which shows some of the environments as well as the extremely fast-moving Infected! Love the cornfield scenes, and the fatty zombies. Sounds like the real important features in what makes this a cool game are the cooperative gameplay mode which allows up to four players to control the team of Survivors, and the interesting cinematic style given to the levels requiring completion:
Each scenario is presented like a movie, which is a nice touch. At the beginning there's a movie poster showing the cast. If you survive, the "credits" display the statistics for the game, like who killed the most zombies, who inflicted the most headshots, who delivered the most friendly fire, and the like. The final credit shows how many zombies were killed in the making of the film, and a nice touch I really like is that if only some of the survivors make it to safety, the film is dedicated to the memory of those who didn't.

IGN: Left 4 Dead Review

Monday, November 17, 2008

neopets for the ds

Many years ago I totally joined a small startup online community game based on buying cool alien-like pets and doing fun stuff with them. I played it for awhile and enjoyed it but eventually all of the "games" morphed into basically clicking on ads for sponsors so I dropped out. Well, I probably should have invested in it or something because Neopets has become crazy huge with toys and other products as well as an upcoming DS game, Neopets Puzzle Adventure. This game will be out December 9th and looks like it might actually be a pretty fun puzzle game that, while aimed at kids, is still enjoyable for anyone. Definitely my kind of game! I also found a good preview-review of it on a site I just discovered called Very cool site with a lot of good info and seems to mostly be populated by adorable gay boys so if that's your thing, check it out.

animal crossing: city folk

One of this week's big releases is the Wii premiere of the newest in the classic GameCube and DS series Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing: City Folk looks like it will be a great game for anyone who hasn't played AC before but might seem a bit.. familiar to those who are long-time fans. Though the Wii title doesn't claim to necessarily be a sequel to the DS hit Wild World, it does have a new name and a few new cool features. Like the DS version you can visit online friends but in the new one, any custom textures you creature for people to wear or catchphrases to say can be virally spread to other towns, which is pretty nifty. IGN's review says it is a pretty fair blending of the GC and DS games with some cool new Wii specific features, and for anyone who is coming into the series new it will be a lot of fun. I think I might give this one a shot although I definitely have played the GC version and never really got into it. Full review linked below.

Friday, November 14, 2008

omg so awesome, 50 cent blood on the sand

So if you're 50 Cent and you have tons of bank to spend, and you already made a shooter video game that made you more bank but was pretty crappy, what's a dude to do? Make a sequel of course, but if you're as much of a 50 fan as I am (srsly) you know that he loves to be flashy and go over the top. That's why I can only be excited for 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (not much info there unfortunately). It has a great name to begin with but it turns out that the name reveals more about the plot - it's set in the Middle East! Read on:
Set in the Middle East, Fiddy is on the hunt for a bejeweled skull that's owed to him as payment for a concert. "Where's my skull?!" Mr. Cent demands in what is certain to be a classic voice over performance. Because his skull has been stolen, Fiddy and crew (Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and DJ Whoo Kid) do the reasonable thing -- they brandish guns and blow the $#^@ out of the Middle East.
OMG. So. Awesome. Sounds like someone went and saw the new Indy movie a few too many times. I want this game, like, today. Apparently it's actually pretty fun and thought to perhaps be "2009's guilty pleasure", according to IGN. I love the mention of what shall be a classic voiceover by Mr. Cent. Loves it!

fallout 3 companion site

Whether you've played Fallout 3 yet or not, check out this awesome companion site to Bethesda's newest game title, Prepare For The Future. You can view preview videos of game aspects and in-game items and tools in awesome grainy 50's style. Also, turns out Fallout for the PC shares a cool feature with the Sims - you can customize the radio stations with your own songs. Personally I actually think the Fallout radio songs are pretty awesome, so here's the extended trailer with my favorite one:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

left 4 dead looks cool

Scheduled for release on November 18, Left 4 Dead is a survival horror cooperative first-person shooter made by Valve Corporation and distributed by EA. Looks like if you're a fan of Resident Evil this game could be a lot of fun while introducing cool new aspects like 4-player co-op where you actually have to work together to get through difficult situations. The plot pits the four Survivors (either player controlled or AI bots) against the Infected, humans afflicted with (of course) a mysterious virus that makes them act zombie-like. There's also an alternate playing mode where you can control up to four Infected Bosses to work together against the Survivors! That's cool. The preview on the L4D page is pretty awesome, so check it out. Left 4 Dead will be released for the PC and for the Xbox 360 and makes a great Christmas present for your young children. Psych!

WoWers rejoice

Because World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is now available in stores! Although the true fans out there totally got it at a midnight release and have been playing for 8 1/2 hours already, so hats off to you guys, and don't forget to shower at some point today. Of course, any WoWer worth their mined gold or whatever picked up the Collector's Edition, which includes:

  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King on DVD-ROM
  • The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, a 208-page art book
  • An exclusive in-game pet. It's a baby frost wyrm called Frosty.
  • Over an hour of developer interviews, the WotLK intro cinematic with director's commentary, and more on a DVD
  • An official soundtrack CD with 21 tracks from the game as well as bonus tracks
  • A mouse pad with a map featuring a map of Northrend
  • Two World of Warcraft Trading Card Game March of the Legion starter decks, as well as two exclusive cards only in the collector's edition
Okay, a baby frost wyrm named Frosty does sound kind of adorable. So to all the WoWers calling in sick today to dive headfirst into Wrath of the Lich King, enjoy your day in front of your monitor's warm glowing warming glow. I envy your new game enjoyment!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

5 reasons to buy a wii fit

If there's one product I push more than any other to people looking for more stuff to buy for their Wii this holiday season, it's the Wii Fit. To put it into holiday context, if Nintendo is god and the Wii is little baby Jesus then the Fit is, like, the gift of dying for all of our sins that Jesus gave us thirty years later. Or something. Anyway, here's a bunch of reasons that make it totally worth buying a Wii Fit:

1) Posture and balance. You can indeed lose weight using the Fit but easier than that is getting a better feel for your own posture and way of carrying yourself. The Fit's center of gravity tracker is super cool and very revealing. If you're reading this blog you probably like video games enough to sit in a poor-posture-inducing gamer position so it's even more important to pay attention to the Fit's balance measurements.

2) Discipline. There's nothing more frustrating than having a perfect excuse for not having worked out when you meant to yesterday and having no ears for your excuse to fall on but instead the perky little balance board guy is all, "Too busy to work out yesterday, eh, Emdroid?" Bastard! ...But totally motivating.

3) Fun/Stress Relief. It's getting colder and crappier out and everyone's bound to move around a little less and carry a little more stress around. The Fit's balance games are fun enough but even just doing yoga or strength and challenging yourself to do better than last time can release a lot of tension and make you feel refreshed and more relaxed. The higher-intensity stuff is fun too - I spent much of my first days on the Fit hula-hooping my butt off and still enjoy the cute island runs surrounded by Mii friends.

4) New games. This is my main selling point to customers, because it turns out that the balance board is really more of a Wii accessory than a Fit accessory. Shaun White Snowboarding, Wii Music and Raving Rabbids: TV Party are only a few of the titles incorporating the balance board into their control systems, not to mention the various exercise game offshoots, and I think we will see more and more coming out in the future.

5) Health and weight. I touched on these briefly and ultimately, a gym is as good or better, but if a product is encouraging gamers to get healthier, I say do it. Gamers should be cool and enviable, especially awesome gamer chicks, so lets all work together to not be the South Park boys after they got addicted to WoW.

So, not sure why you're still reading this when you could be out finding a Fit! Go!

call of duty 5: world at war out today

The latest installment of the Call of Duty series hits shelves today for PS3 and Xbox 360 (a PS2 version will be released later this month) and will definitely be a hot seller this holiday season. My store actually got to sell our copies early yesterday as soon as they arrived so I saw firsthand the steady traffic of pickups and an equally large group of walkins hoping to get a non-reserved copy. Anyway, this is the first Call of Duty title to include a co-op play mode and also is the first CoD to enter the as-of-yet unexplored realm of the Pacific theater of WWII (one of my expert subjects in school, yeah history major!) as well as the Soviet struggle against the Nazis in the later years of the war. As usual, IGN has an excellent profile of this game up already and hopefully will have some detailed reviews live before long.
Call of Duty: World at War throws out the rulebook of war to transform WWII combat through a new enemy, new tactics and an uncensored experience of the climatic battles that gripped a generation. As U.S. Marines and Russian soldiers, players will employ new features like cooperative gameplay, and weapons such as the flamethrower in the most chaotic and cinematically intense experience to date.
IGN: Call of Duty: World at War

Monday, November 10, 2008

ea seeks to hook kids early

Like so many Joe Camel ads before them, Electronic Arts understands that its main market lies with the 18 to 36 year olds but knows that the real money is in that elusive non-credit-card-holding child demographic of future brand addicts. That's why they've been teaming up with Hasbro to bring the most popular toys and board games that kids are enjoying onto the small screen in the form of interactive video games like Monopoly, Nerf and Littlest Pet Shop. I can tell you first-hand that kids love these games and parents seem less afraid to buy games with titles they recognize from crap they've already spent money on at Toys 'R' Us, so I think EA's master plan may be working.

How EA Markets Video Games to Kids

obama bad for video games?

Now there's an inflammatory and attention-grabbing headline if I ever saw one. Personally I doubt that president-elect Barack Obama will be bad for the video game industry (he was happy enough to spend money on ads for Xbox Live encouraging gamers young and old to vote) but apparently some people feel that he's made comments here and there indicating that he might not love video games as much as some of us do. Still, I do worry that mass media assumes too often that video games represent what's wrong with society:
A Web site called GamePolitics, established by a pro-gaming consumer advocacy group, pointed out in February that Mr. Obama had given campaign speeches in which games were used as a metaphor for underachievement.
“We’re going to have to parent better, and turn off the television set, and put the video games away, and instill a sense of excellence in our children,” Mr. Obama said then. One post on the site reminded others that Mr. Obama “is not anti-gaming, he is pro-better-parenting.”
Some Video Gamers Leery of Obama

i have ridden the unicorn

When I found out that you could adopt the unicorn in Oblivion as your own steed I of course decided I wanted to do so but it has not come without its price! First of all you have to kill a bunch of Minotaurs, but even once you've ridden the unicorn it will totally attack you any time you have a weapon drawn, including when you are defending its stupid ass from bears and mountain lions. Still working on figuring out how to build my disposition with the beast. Fleeing and fast-traveling helps and the unicorn does have an awesome attack and good resistance against magic and weapons but it's also pretty slow if you're used to one of the awesomely fast black horses. We'll see how long my relationship with the unicorn can withstand his deep hatred for the presence of any weapon in my hand.

Friday, November 7, 2008

sims 3 collector's edition yaaaaay

No, I don't have it yet, obvs. Sims 3 will be released in February but until then I am pretty psyched! I got a preview package thing from GameStop for having reserved a copy of the collector's edition and it came with a map of the new neighborhood Sunset Valley, some previews of families and some of the new features that will come with the upgrade. It also came with some sweet plumbbob logo stickers and an exclusive car download for the game once it's out. I'm super psyched for this game's release and also for the 2 GB keychain USB flash drive shaped like a plumbbob :D My Sims collectorhood will be official! And officially ridiculous. Sooo, if you're like me and you reserved the Sims 3 Collector's Edition, go to your GameStop and get the preview package thingy.

quantum of solace game = meh

I am a longtime fan of the 007 shooter games and have logged many hours in multiplayer mode with pals although I haven't done much campaign mode as I kind of suck at accurately aiming and prefer to just go running about with a grenade launcher or an automatic rifle or something blazin' up the place. Anyway, Quantum of Solace opens in theaters today and of course there is already a game title for it. Unfortunately it looks like the Bond games of the past are, well, the past, and this one is a pretty typical (mediocre) movie game. IGN says:
The explosions don't look good. At all. They almost look cartoony at parts which is a real shame because there are explosive canisters everywhere. Even where they don't make sense, like on the inside of a museum or at a construction site, there will be a bevy of explosive options.
Hmm.. Sounds like the multiplayer is still probably pretty fun but you can beat the game in about 5 hours which is kind of dreadful. But IGN does say that Daniel Craig's voice work is dreamy so at least that's something!

IGN: Quantum of Solace Review

Thursday, November 6, 2008

tom clancy's endwar looks kinda cool

The latest installment of Tom Clancy war games features optional voice control of your troops and tactics. Endwar dropped on Tuesday and already appears to be cementing itself as the next great war simulation game. Taking place in the same 'universe' as the previous Clancy games (Ghost Recon, H.A.W.X., Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell), players can opt to use a headset to direct troops with voice commands and can even use these controls for complete gameplay. While I am not a huge fan of war sims I do admire Tom Clancy's work and love that he made the leap into game development with his subsidiary of Ubisoft called Red Storm Entertainment. People I work with have been psyched for this game for weeks and anyone who didn't reserve a copy may find him or herself looking far and wide, at least for the next week or so.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

employment is a good thing

Well, I went from having no job to having two of them and my free time has become a precious commodity so I will no longer have all day to post about games. Sad face! I have no intentions of letting this blog die a sad death though so I will still be attempting to post at least once a day or at least as many posts in a month as there are days in a month. Yeah. Oh, one of my jobs is totally with a certain vendor of video games (you might say you would Stop there to buy a Game) so hopefully I'll have tons of new material to write about. Until then I will leave this post with a query: did anyone out there know that there is an Ed, Edd & Eddy game? Because there totally is.

Monday, November 3, 2008

horror shorts on xbox live? glee!

GameSpot has a cool article out about the premiere on Xbox Live of several short films made to promote the HD video capabilities of the Xbox. The first film to make an appearance was "Janitor", which has brought some newfound fame to its relatively unknown director, John Clisham. Perhaps his problem is that his name is only two letters different from someone already really famous, but I digress. Clisham is totally making it though, as he is currently working on what will surely be a blockbuster, James Cameron's Avatar, which is also in development as a 3D game title. Anyway, there will be five more short films debuting on Xbox Live later this month and will feature some bigger names including James Wan and Leigh Whannell of Saw infamy. I may actually have to plug our Xbox into the internet to check these films out; "Janitor" sounds totally cool:
...the 9.5-minute horror-thriller is a throwback to the gore-spattered slasher films of the 1980s. It profiles a young student who finds her very soul in peril after the custodial engineer at her school undergoes a "paranormal transformation."
Horror filmmaker spooks Xbox Live

fallout 3 is ridiculously huge

Nerds over here! Many hours this weekend were spent "co-gaming" as we call it with me playing Oblivion on the Xbox and the boy finishing Dead Space for PC. He totally beat it and immediately wanted to go get Fallout 3, so we did! He's logged quite a lot of time already and seems to be rapidly sliding down the "good" scale, hehe. It's impressive but not surprising how similar to Oblivion it is in some RPG aspects, but of course it has a very different feel to it and a much bleaker landscape and general storyline. It seems to have a lot more emphasis on your conversations with people than Oblivion does, which is intriguing. Also I love all the Atomic Cafe style music and Big Boy-esque logos, all the ruined American monuments and the beautiful graphics, which are super smooth and amazing to look at on my sweet 22" widescreen monitor. Still, it's fun playing my fairy-tale like game, riding around on my black steed and slaying goblins, while the boy blasts Radroaches and fiends with a double-barrel shotgun and deals in bottle caps and cigarettes. Also, the official strategy guide to Fallout (which we did not buy) is YOOGE, apparently because there are literally 500 possible endings to this game! Craziness. I may eventually make a character but I'm not sure, because I really do like my games more cute than terrifying. Anyway, check out IGN's awesome Fallout 3 section for reviews, screenshots and more about this cool new game.