And Now For Something Completely Different!

Oh hai!

I promise, I have not pushed this blog into a corner and forgotten about it. However, I have pushed it into a corner. Life goes on, we go around bends and all that other wise nonsense about the wheels of time.

I have found employment and I love my job. However, it does take up a great deal of my time. If you miss my ramblings or just want to see what I’m up to; I’m working for I Can Has Cheezburger for their farm sites as a content screener. I know, I squeed when I got the job. So, I’m still around on the netz. I can’t tell you all the places I am, (I’m like and internet ninja…HI-YAW!) but here’s a few:

There I Fixed It – My baby is growing up

This Is Photobomb

FailDogs

140pedia

And many others, but the rest are under the radar for now. ^_~

Feel free to drop by and have a look around. And I haven’t completely forgone my love of games. My brand of snark can soon be found giving gaming news to GEN, so make sure to come Digg me up for the good of all girl gamers. ^_^

Milo And Me…And Aragorn Makes Three

It has begun

It has already begun.

Okay, so yeah. Blog has had to take a backseat to things like “having found a job” and “wanting to stay employed” and “Gee, my house sure is dirty since I went back to work or my standard of living is just higher now”.

My apologies but things are probably going to be sporadic from here on out unless I develop a means of staying awake for twenty-seven hours a day. But anyways, onward to today’s blog. Milo, Me and LotR: Aragorn’s Quest.

First up we have Milo. But before I even get into why this is a bad idea, I feel like we should take a step back and look at the overall failure of the name “Natal”. Yes Microsoft, you have beaten Nintendo’s Wiimote and can now shuffle out your own brand of shovelware crap for consumers to shift through. You can also use it to exercise and blah, blah, blah. Which is pretty frickin’ sweet, I’ll give you that. And if for some reason, my readers have been living in a cave and missed the tech demo for this new technology, see below.

So again, pretty cool and one step closer to the promise of the PS9. But my beef is with calling it “Natal”. Did your marketing reps not take English in college? Or Biology for that matter? You do realize how that word is pronounced yes? If you wanted to call it “Natall” you either needed to to suck it up and put that extra “L” in there or shove a snazzy apostrophe mark over one of the letters or something. Because as it stand right now, when I think Microsoft, I think pre-term babies. And I seriously doubt that’s the image you wanted from your test groups. Just a thought.

But on the meat of this part of my post. MILO.

Holy shit Microsoft! WHY?! I mean, yeah it’s neat that he recognizes faces and movement and can draw a pretty picture and give it to you and then tell you what you drew and it’s all fun and games until he becomes self-aware and starts replicating and telling your toaster that maybe it doesn’t want to be a slave to the whims of toaster strudel cravings and before we know it, SkyNet is live, I, Robot is real and we’re all serving as batteries for the robot overlords. And I’ll have to blame you instead of Japan which is just. Plain. WRONG. So please, think of the children…also, I don’t want to remind the TV to do its homework. I have a hard enough time getting my own kids to do theirs. Although I can’t threaten to unplug them if they don’t…hmmm.

Speaking of kids (I know, a pretty weak segway), there have been rumblings on the internet. The kind of rumblings that speak of angry fanboys rising up as one to protest the rape of a beloved series. And what is the subject of their wrath? Lord of the Rings. EA has finally allowed their death grip on the franchise to expire and Warner Bros. was quick to snatch up the IP. And horror of horrors! They’re putting out a child friendly version of the game called Aragorn’s Quest. Pulling design elements from Mario and Zelda, the game is seriously lacking in blood and gore, which apparently is all fanboys care about. Oh, that and super-fantastic-uber-realistic face renderings. How DARE they make it cartoony!? Want to know what all the hub-bub is about? Here’s the trailer and handful of screenshots. Judge for yourself.

Shire In AutumnAragorn

Personally, I think the naysayers are just missing the times. Not every game coming out these days is aimed at the hardcore gamer and I think we’re having issues adjusting. Casual gamers are like the new baby and we’re all just jealous that that little squalling bundle of bones is getting all the attention when it can’t even GRENADE JUMP yet. But I think this is a great idea. My kids love magic and swords and all that jazz but blood and gore is a little too advanced for them at the ages of eight and four. And as a gamer parent, it’s a way for me to bond with them; to play along and explain the story without fear of emotional trauma or nightmares about Orks.

So with all the gripes, I hope Warner Bros. ignores the cacophony. With all the crap and total dregs of barrel being released for unsuspecting “new” gamers, a quality title would be a breath of fresh air.

Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest for the Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest for the Wii, PS2 and the DS is RP and slated for release in the Fall of 2009.

Science Papa Gets Flack Over Blatant Rip-Off…

and I say, “Who cares?”

Chibi Einstein is creepy.

Chibi Einstein is creepy.

As some of you may recall, I spent an entire post ranting about the lack of quality mini-games for girls. And yes, I know that Science Papa is not aimed specifically at girl gamers, but with a name so eerily similar to the hit Cooking Mama, I’m sure a few of them will be picking this title up.

So who’s responsible for lifting the patented Cooking Mama formula and using it for ill-gotten education? Activision! And WHY is it a blatant rip-off you ask? It takes the formula of “recipes” and tasks kids (or, presumably, adults) with creating a finished product. All while Chibi-Einstein looks over your shoulder to make sure little Jimmy isn’t about to explode the lab. Or, as the press release put it…

…using fundamentals from a wide variety of sciences as a basis for fun skill-based experiments, Science Papa will turn living rooms into virtual laboratories that will fuel kids’ curiosity.

“With Science Papa, we’re taking real-world elements of science and giving players the chance to interact with them in safe and creative ways,” said David Oxford, Activision Publishing.“While the focus here is clearly family fun, the game can stimulate interest and discussion about science.”

In Science Papa, the player is the newest member of Science Papa’s research team, looking to become the greatest scientist in the world. It won’t be easy, however, as players must prove their scientific worth against a crazy cast of rival scientists in intense competitions. Science Papa features over 30 different experiments for players, and by utilizing motion controls or Nintendo DS stylus, players will pour and mix chemicals, pound objects into dust, monitor Bunsen burners, fix and use lab equipment and more. Players can also invite their friends into the lab, and compete against each other in split screen science competitions to see who can finish an experiment first, and with the most precision.

To give you a better visual, I found a couple of screen captures over at Gamespy.com.

Live Slimer! Live!

Live Slimer! Live!

Thanks to Gamespy for these screenshots!

Thanks to Gamespy for these screenshots!

So yeah, I can see the similarities, but realistically it’s not that big of a shocker. Either it’s a slow news month or game journalism is picking up tabloid headlines through osmosis. Damn you Wal-Mart check out lines!!!

Lots of games borrow properties from titles that came before. Hell, every platformer worth its salt borrowed from Super Mario Bros., then Sonic (before he met his tragic fall into Gaming Hell) and so forth. And if my kids are suddenly being tricked into learning like I was when I played The Oregon Trail on my Apple II in third grade, then I for one am not going to give Activision any crap for it.

Science Papa is coming to the Wii and Nintendo DS this July.

PETA Finally Discovers Games…fuck.

...you know, except for that new steakhouse I just opened.

...you know, except for that new steakhouse I just opened.

PETA has never been my favorite group of people. While I do believe that animals should be treated humanely, I draw the line at picketing KFC. I like chicken and for fucks sake, they’re chickens.

But now PETA has decided that killing more animals per year than anyone else, promoting celebrity spokespeople that seem unclear on what their shilling for and harassing rich women in heirloom fur coats is not enough. Clearly, the real threat…is video games. Yes PETA, video games are killing the defenseless animals. They’re also responsible for any child born after 1980 being a degenerate and every mass shooting in the last two decades. All right, I know that sounded snippy, but come on. Let’s look at the how they’re “utilizing this medium to promote their cause.”

Yes. Seriously.

Yes. Seriously.

Back in November of last year, conveniently in time for Thanksgiving, PETA introduced this gem in all its copyright infringement glory; taking players through the “horror” and “graphic-ness” of gutting, cleaning and generally preparing a turkey. In the end, win or lose, the player is treated to a video montage of the cruelty inflicted on commercially raised turkey. I’m not sure who this was aimed at? Is PETA trying to scar kids early in the hopes that their trauma will lead to a vegan lifestyle instead of a phobia of turkeys? Are they aiming for the hard to capture demographic of “Microwaving-kittens-is-fun-but-Dad-said-he-kill-me-if-I-did-it-again”? All this really did, as far as I can tell, is prove that PETA has no regard for brand name property and also doesn’t understand the type of people that play Cooking Mama. On a side note: Cooking Mama also has PLENTY of vegetarian dishes so it seems even more ridiculous. It’d be different if Cooking Mama was hooking electrodes up to cow testicles as a way of tenderizing…but she wasn’t. Side note of side note: I’d totally play that game.

Kill that seal! It's rare and drops epics!

Kill that seal! It's rare and drops epics!

Every year, thousands of baby seals are mercilessly crushed to death by heartless Canadians…according to PETA. In fact, seals are a plague and if only they looked like cicadas instead of fluffy balls of sad puppy eyes, no one would care. But they don’t, so we do. In order to combat this atrocity PETA set up a WoW account and was going to have Horde players killing baby seals. The idea was to get people to “stop” them and thus bring attention to their cause. On a single server. Sadly, PETA again failed to understand their audience and instead of “Stop Clubbing Baby Seals” the event degenerated into flame wars and fights. After all, why the HORDE? Wouldn’t the Alliance be just as likely to kill cute and cuddly creatures? Why is the Horde always the villain? Taurens are a very earth-friendly race and not evil at all and blah, blah, blah…you get the point.

Oh my GOD! Nazi dog...run!

Oh my GOD! Nazi dog...run!

Even history isn’t safe from PETA. This was recently reinforced by their disdain for the way dogs were portrayed in Call of Duty:World at War. Apparently, gunning down rabbid dogs who had been trained specifically to kill people is wrong. Nevermind that it endangers human life;  humans are far less important that the poor, snarling puppies. Never mind that it actually happened. PETA is going 1984 on this shit. If we act like it never happened….it never happened. Wait, is PETA holocaust deniers too? Anyway, in order to show CoD:WoW devs how to properly care for animals, they were all sent a complimentary copy of Nintendogs…that they promptly gave to their daughters and went back to making zombie nazis.

Oh, the humanity!!

Oh, the humanity!!

PETA and the circus have never gotten along. But I think it says something about the state of a game when I don’t even know of its existence until PETA starts to protest it. Such is the case with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus: The Game. Yes. Seriously. And because the circus, by law, abuses any animal in its possession (particularly those uppity elephants. Who do those bitches think they are; all painting and counting and having a complex society?) the GAME is under attack by PETA. They aren’t even trying with this one. They aren’t angry about the game, but the fact that a gaming company would dare to go into business with something as innately evil as a circus. Really, PETA? Really?

And I’m sure there’s more. While only mildly game related, there is the recent debacle over Google using goats to cut their grass. Apparently feeding animals and saving the environment AT THE SAME TIME just isn’t good enough for some people.

Bioshock 2 Multiplayer Unveiled

Mr. B, Mr. B....Big Sister doesn't want you playing with me.

Mr. B, Mr. B....Big Sister doesn't want you playing with me.

Apparently 2K heard that yesterday was my birthday…because they finally leaked out details of the closely guarded Bioshock 2 multiplayer component. Just for me! Aren’t you all grateful to me now? :P

There had been speculation that players would be set upon each other as Big Daddies or Big Daddies vs. players or even a compliment to the single player story where the second player would take over control of the Little Sister (Super Mario Galaxy style). The reality is that none of those theories were true. Luckily for us, the truth is far more badass. At least if you’re as obsessed with learning as much about any fake society as I am.  Side note: I’d be perfectly content with an entire game that just let me explore the history and lore of any fantasy universe, completely sans action. Yes. I’m that sad.

In multiplayer mode, players will be transported back in time; to the very beginning of the end for Rapture. According to 2K:

…assume the role of a Plasmid test subject for Sinclair Solutions, a premier provider of Plasmids and Tonics in the underwater city of Rapture that was first explored in the original BioShock. Players will need to use all the elements of the BioShock toolset to survive as the full depth of the BioShock experience is refined and transformed into a unique multiplayer experience that can only be found in Rapture.

Key features:

• Evolution of the genetically enhanced shooter– Earn experience points during gameplay to earn access to new Weapons, Plasmids and Tonics that can be used to create hundreds of different combinations, allowing players to develop a unique character that caters to their playing style.

• Extend the Rapture fiction– Players will step into the shoes of Rapture citizens and learn more about the fall of Rapture as they progress through the experience.

• See Rapture before the fall– Experience Rapture before it was reclaimed by the ocean and engage in combat over iconic environments in locations such as Kashmir Restaurant and Mercury Suites, all of which have been reworked from the ground up to deliver a fast-paced multiplayer experience.

• FPS veterans add their touch to the multiplayer experience– Digital Extremes brings more than 10 years of first person shooter experience including development of award-winning entries in the Unreal® and Unreal Tournament® franchise.

I get to play as a crazy, Adam addict? Fighting other crazy Adam addicts for space and supplies? In a fully functioning, non decrepit Rapture?! From the guys that did the Unreal Tournament franchise?! Glee!!

Best.

Birthday

Ever.


PlayBoy Game Lets You “Manage” The Bunnies

“Lol what?”

That’s about the only response I can muster. Even faced with overwhelming evidence that this game is going to exist come summer; the official press release, the website complete with beta invites and a chance to win a free lifetime subscription to Playboy magazine, and a Twitter page…I still am having a hard time making my brain grasp the concept of a Playboy MMO.

That’s right. MMO. As in Massively Multiplayer Online Game. Er, my bad…an MCOG (Massively Casual Online Game). WTF is that, you ask? Me too. Let’s read the official announcement shall we? (BOLD is my peanut gallery comments).

“Jolt Online Gaming, the leading browser games publisher, is more than a little excited to announce the launch of Playboy Manager, the Massively Casual Online Game (MCOG) you can play on any Internet browser at any time. (Nekkid girls at work?)

In Playboy Manager, you play a crack talent agent managing the career of some of Playboy’s hottest up-and-coming models. Competing against thousands of other players, you will guide your model’s career toward her ultimate goal: Becoming a world-renowned Playmate with a permanent room in the Playboy Mansion!

“We’ve wanted to do a Playboy game forever,” exclaimed Dylan Collins, CEO of Jolt.“As enormous fans of the articles, (Just the articles too I’m sure)we jumped at the opportunity to bring the game online for a huge audience. Who hasn’t wanted to manage a Playboy model?” (I don’t think the Jolt team realizes that “manage” is supposed to be an euphemism)

“We are delighted to work with Jolt in offering our fans this great new way to experience and enjoy the World of Playboy,” said Scott Stephen, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Playboy Digital.

Combining the best elements of trading card and turn-based gaming(Gotta Catch ‘em all!), Playboy Manager is the only online game to feature exclusive content from Playboy, including videos and photos of breathtaking Playboy models. The game, to launch in Summer 2009, will be playable for free at www.playboymanager.com

If you pre-register right now at www.playboymanager.com, you could win one of several lifetime subscriptions to Playboy magazine– a prize offered only to pre-registered users!

Playboy Manager is a continuous game designed to be played in short bursts from any Internet browser at any time. Play it during a lecture, on your phone or even in the office (when the boss isn’t looking!) (Encourage insubordination. Rally against the man. Rabble, rabble, rabble!)Bookmark www.playboymanager.com now!

Acquire wealth, fame, and a bevy of beautiful models while you compete with thousands of other players — all of them after exactly the same things. Strive to drive the finest cars, throw the biggest parties, and encounter the world’s sexiest women– the luxurious Playboy lifestyle presented in an online game packed full of wit, style, and pictures which can only be described as titillating.”

Of course they forget to mention if you get to do what everyone reading this is wondering…which is sex up the ladies. No word, but since it’d be bad business practice (though probably really common) I’d guess not. Adding to this theory is the fact that on their website they call the girls “semi-naked”. What, no full frontal? What kind of Playboy game is this?

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Because “Mature” and “Nature” Are Mutually Exclusive

Quick post. I promise to do a real one soon, but this just struck me as amusing.

Earlier today, EA announced that EA Redwood Shores would be changing its name to Visceral Studios in order to “…reflect the studio’s culture, identity and focus on creating intense action-oriented intellectual properties. Visceral Games is focused on developing best-in-breed action games with state-of-the-art technology, visuals, audio, gameplay and a relentless focus on excellence that spawned the breakthrough, award-winning franchise Dead Space™. The studio is currently working on the highly anticipated games, Dante’s Inferno™ and Dead Space: Extraction, and two other unannounced titles.”

So I’m guessing the logic goes something like this; “Conjuring images like THESE

Giant Tree

…does not mesh well in the mind with games like THIS.”

OMG WTF?!

Lest you end up with something similar to this aberration. Sorry, but if I had to waste almost two minutes of my life, you get to too.

So, I can see why they’d want to change the name to better reflect the nightmares their developers are planning to wreak on my precious psyche. One can only hope that because, “..Visceral Games is located in Redwood Shores, California at the same site location as the EA corporate headquarters. The same location is also home to The Sims™ studio,” that I will have lots of fun and excruciatingly gruesome ways to kill off my Sims 3 families.


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