Imagine: A Rant

Every now and then, when my daughter (who is four) is happily shooting mutants with her older brother or using Princess Peach to smack down Kirby and the Ice Climbers (because Peach is wearing a pink dress and therefore that makes her the best character ever…duh) I sometimes wonder if maybe she shouldn’t be. After all, is knowing how to use a lightsaber or sneaking through a museum in a potted plant really what I want my daughter to learning at this age? Then I look at the alternative and the answer is, “Dear God in Heaven, yes!”

Because games for girls, to my knowledge, mostly consist of vapid pieces of throw-away garbage. It’s not entirely the game developers fault. After all, they’ve been catering to this new and frightening girl market for only a handful of years and probably just figured they’d stick with what was safe. And then there are the non-gamer parents that don’t want little Suzey to learn how to properly defend herself when the inevitable zombie hordes rise to kill us all. But really guys, it’s getting out of hand. I like fru-fru girly stuff as much as the next chick but when even I feel ready to tap out rather than be subjected to another cutesy mini-game collection of “appropriate” girl activities, something has gone amiss.

Think I’m being overly dramatic? Blowing things out of proportion? Well think again. Have you seen this? Ubisoft, I love you…really. You’ve given me Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, Beyond Good and Evil and Resident Evil 4, among many others. But for the love of GOD, please stop putting out THIS!

Yes, little girls might want to be all these things (and any of the other dozen Imagine games you’ve put out in the last year and a half like a puppy mill on crack), but playing ‘what I want to be when I grow up’ is not an all encompassing past-time. Not to mention I don’t see an Imagine: Astronaut or Biologist or Firefighter or Police Officer. Which could just be because they wouldn’t make good minigames…but if you can make an entire game that revolves around dressing up dogs, surely you can make putting out fire fun. Hell, the arcades already did it.

And you got to use pretend hoses and everything! Surely it wouldn’t be so hard to render a girl’s face and splash some pink into an occupation that doesn’t scream “female stereotype”. Or, if you’re hellbent on continuing this crusade, along with encouraging the undulating masses of cheap knock-offs that spill off the local GameStop and Best Buy shelves, at least be an equal opportunity sexist. Start a boy’s line of Imagine games. Imagine: Plumber, Construction Worker, and Lawyer.

So until developer’s realize that girls don’t necessarily need to be coddled due to their sex, I’ll let my daughter play Metroid when she feels the needs to be a girl. After all, a chick with a gun and full body armor doesn’t need a prince.


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WTF Product:Company To End Nintendo Blowjobs

Thanks to 1up.com for this awesome picture.

Thanks to 1up.com for this awesome picture.

Hey, remember how to fix any non-working NES? Barring the Wii and the Gamecube anyway. So any cartridge based NES. Yeah, you blow in it. Now, IGN has a hilarious blog entry about the “types” of blowers out there, and you can find numerous debates about whether getting human spit on the contact points is the equivalent of dropping your game in acid, but the point is…IT WORKS. And it’s free.

But no more! Save yourself the embarrassment of inevitable “blowjob” jokes by purchasing this handy new third party product. (Because third party products are not subject to randomly destroying your system or anything)

There are no words.

There are no words.

It’s the world’s first automated cleaner (assuming you don’t have a functional mouth). It boasts the following impressive features:

The new BLAZE battery powered cleaner ensures that your console and games stay in perfect condition using its unique automated, mechanized action . This 2 part automated device works on both the DS Lite, where it can clean both the DS and GBA game slots as well as game cards, and the DSi where it can clean your game slot and also game cards. How it works is easy; simply plug the device into the appropriate slot, press the “on” button and allow the static free microfibers to clean the internal connectors, thus ensuring years of trouble free gaming. This device is perfect for anyone who likes to take care of their game consoles and game library and ensure their items stay in tip top condition.

Hey kids, don’t forget to pre-order now. This baby isn’t available until May but by then all the cool kids will have snatched them up. Since wasting batteries is totally rad, or something.

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Five Games That Take The Road Less Traveled

Having procured a DSi last night, I felt the need to purchase a new title to go with my system. There were many a fine title (and at least twice as much crap) but in the end I chose “Little Red Riding Hood: Zombie BBQ”.

How could I not? The title alone was awesome and I may get off my lazy ass to do a full review once I finish BBQ-ing all the zombies. But in the meantime, the game got me thinking. What else out there in video game land had an offbeat title and oddball plot?

Good God, there’s a ton! Let’s see…we’ll do five arbitrarily. Annnd, go!

Little Red Riding Hood: Zombie BBQ (DS)

Click here for official site.The premise here is that the world of fairy tales has been overrun by zombies and only you, an extremely busty anime Little Red, can save the world. Using a machine gun and flamethrower no less. Watch out Zombies, she’s got white hair! White hair equals badassness.

WTF: Work Time Fun( PSP)

What the Fuck?

What the Fuck?

Oh those crazy Japanese. They give us the coolest, most random stuff. The premise here, other than giving you another reason to say WTF to your friends and family, is to give you a collection of bizarre mini-games. You use these mini games to make money to buy more mini-games. And thus the circle of life continues. How crazy are the mini-games? Here’s a screenshot that should clear it up a bit.

Srsly, wtf WTF?

Srsly, wtf WTF?

Seaman (Sega Dreamcast)

Watch out for Swallows.

Watch out for Swallows.

Every time I write that, I giggle on the inside like I’m not the mother of two kids. Seaman, Seaman, Seaman. Okay I think I got it out of my system. The premise of this hilarious game on the doomed Dreamcast console was to raise a Seaman (snort), or fish with a human face, to adulthood. Basically, a glorified Tamagatchi pet. And it featured the voice of Leonard Nemoy. What more could you ask for?

Katamari Damacy (PS2)

Run cow! Save yourself.

Run, junior! Save yourself.

I’m still convinced that this game is merely an extended acid trip. Between the crazy Japanese pop music, the overly colorful enviorment and bloody Burger King King as your dad, this game might have wormed its way into the mainstream, but the idea of rolling up giant balls of objects (up to and including whole planets and systems) is  an out there concept in my book.

Custer’s Revenge (Atari 2600)

And I thought Seaman was bad...

And I thought Seaman was bad...

Ah, the good old days of gaming. When the ESRB was just a twinkle in a young Jack Thompson’s eye and quality control was a dirty word. Only at that time could this game be made. The concept is, obviously, Custer getting revenge on those gosh darn Indians (though how he’s doing this is a mystery? Zombie Custer? Ewww, that makes this next part even MORE wrong and I didn’t think that was possible.). He’s going to do this by…running naked across a field of falling arrows to rape a naked Native American woman tied to a cactus. Sadly, I did not make that up. Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t either, so here’s video evidence.

Okay, that’s enough for one day. Seriously I need eyebleach now. Or at least something soothing to look at…

Ahhhhhh, I feel much better. You?

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Team Fortress 2: Amusing Map Mods

So I’m browsing the internet this morning and Kotaku had an awesome link to Techblog.com and their Mario Kart themed TF:2 map. Which is pretty sweet. Either check it out at the link, or below.

But that got me thinking two things. One: I haven’t updated the blog today. Two: It’s Saturday, I’m lazy and hungry.  So I put on my thigh high yellow galoshes and dredged through the internet, risking life and limb (or at least sanity) to bring YOU a collection of cool TF:2 map mods.

Behold!

Ever wonder how Mario must have felt in the original Donkey Kong? What with barrels flying at his head and small fire demons jumping out of oil barrels to kill him? Wonder to no more, my friends.

Continuing the Nintendo theme, here we have a Bomberman map. Not for the claustrophobic, I assure you. The walls man, the walls are closing in on me!!

For those of you that need your World of Warcraft fix but your 3 vs. 3 team is taking a break to eat or clean the house or do homework, hop on this mod. Maybe you’ll actually win since you won’t be against a paladin, paladin, druid group.

And these are just the one I found entertaining or well done. The list goes on; albeit with a disproportionately Nintendo slant. There’s a Pokemon map and a Pac-Man map. Then there’s the pirate map, the “Prison Break” map, and a Halo map. Honestly I could keep ranting indefinately; typing in TF:2 custom maps into Youtube gives you a deluge of videos both awesome and crap.

So enjoy, generic internet

Tricksy Hobbitses

Doh!

Doh!

This isn’t terribly video game related (unless you count the inevitable movie tie-in game) but every since bumbling onto Nix’s site, I’ve been a regular at Beyond Hollywood. And when someone gets me on April Fool’s Day, especially after I did an ENTIRE POST about the calendar challenged this morning, I’ll admit it.

He got me. Him and those meddling hobbits!

No idea what I’m talking about? Here’s the link.

Now, in all fairness to myself, I read THIS ONE first. So my guard was down and I was all too willing to accept a second “leak”.

Anyone else out there in internetland have a “Doh!” moment this afternoon? Come on, I know I can’t be alone on this…right? >.>

Like Herding Cats: Trying to Keep Tabs on April 1st Pranks

Ah, April 1st. The day when those of us that have a concept of things like “dates” and “pranks” take advantage of the gullible and the calendar challenged. But none of that for me today thanks. Instead I’ve decided to take a look at some of the video game prankery and shenanigans spreading throughout the internet today. And believe me, there was so much to shift through already that my brain hurts. Let’s get to it shall we?

First up, we’ve got this gem by IGN. They announced this morning that they had been given leaked information on the next GTA. Grand Theft Auto: Harbor City which was to take place in Australia. The link to the story can be found here. After the over the top Zelda movie trailer (below) from last year, this was subtle enough that some might be able to believe it. Well played IGN.

Next up we have gaming console giant Microsoft. Footage and a new commercial were shown this morning for the sure fire hit music game, Apline Legend. Taking the fun and popular genre of yodeling to the next level, players can sing or play the tri-horn. Want to yodel with friends? Apline Legend is a two player co-op; either local or over Xbox Live. See the trailer!

Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear series, is a regular on the video game prank circuit.  Last year he played with the hearts of MSG fanboys everywhere by ‘leaking’ exclusive footage of the then highly anticipated (but not yet released) MSG4. The video from last year is below.

This year, Kojima and his team continue to taunt MSG fans by releasing a CG trailer for the next entry in the Metal Gear franchise. Unfortunately this trailer is SO new I can’t even find the link on YouTube yet. So the link is here. I don’t want to spoil the awesome for you but go watch it. Seriously. Now. The blog will still be here.

Back? Okay good. I know I’d pay to play that game. But I digress. Back to the tomfoolery!

What April Fool’s would be complete without and entry from Blizzard’s flagship MMO, World of Warcraft? This year they’ve once again managed to make their prank obvious to those that remember the day and subtle enough that tomorrow you’ll have one poor sod of a friend who is giddy that THIS is going to be in the next patch. Honestly, you’d think after the wil’o’wisp as a playable race prank a few years back, people would start to piece the puzzle together.

Not everyone this year is trying to pull one over on gullible consumers though. Take the game news and review site GameSpot for example. There page today is riddled with April Fool’s Day articles but none but the most pathetic of us would take them for anything than what they really are. From the new Bioshock spin-off for the Wii, to the violent hostile takeover of Sega, to Umbrella asking for a government handout, GameSpot is doing its best to have a more tongue-in-cheek satire than full blown “GOTCHA!” Some are more clever than others but they’re definitely worth checking out for a chuckle.

These are just the ones I found at 9 am CST this morning. I’m sure that by now there are dozens more floating around, clogging up the interwebs tubez. If you see one that you loved, or hated, that isn’t displayed here please feel free to leave a link to it in the comments!

Also, I know that this day isn’t for everyone. Some people just don’t like to participate in the active deception of others. These are usually the same people that believe everything they read about Bat Boy. But still, do you love April Fool’s Day or hate it?

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Sony Announces Fix To Backwards Compatibility

What's old is new again!

What's old is new again!

Great news today for anyone that has bought one of Sony’s new Playstation 3 systems that aren’t backwards compatible with PS2 and PSOne games. A peripheral has been released for only $99 that will play ALL of those dusty games on your shelf!

For over a week now, the internet has been buzzing with rumors and theories about Sony’s big announcement. Some thought it would be a sequel for one of their blockbuster titles, some thought it would be a PS3 price drop. Some even ruined the surprise through their network of moles.

Well, I for one am glad to see Sony stepping up and taking some initiative. Too many PS3 owners are hampered by their inability to play PS2 or PSOne games on their systems. But with new and, most importantly, affordable add-on, playing the old games will be a breeze. According to Sony’s website, installation of the “Playstation Two” (interesting marketing ploy that they’re reusing the name of their last generation system) is a breeze:

  1. Connect the flat end of the AV Cable to the AV MULTI OUT connector on the back of the PlayStation 2 system.

    toggle_box(getObject(‘expander_box1_link’), ‘expander_box1’);

  2. Connect the plugs on the other end of the A/V cable to the audio and video inputs on the back of your TV or VCR, matching colors. (If you will be using your PlayStation®2 to watch DVDs, connect the A/V cable to the VCR instead of the TV for best results.) If there is no red input on your TV or VCR, let the red plug dangle.
    Make sure the connections are secure.
    NOTE: Some TV inputs are not color-coded correctly, if this is the case, plug the yellow plug into the VIDEO IN input, the white plug into the AUDIO IN Left input, and the red plug into the AUDIO IN Right input. If there is no input for the red plug, let it dangle..

    toggle_box(getObject(‘expander_box2_link’), ‘expander_box2’);

  3. Connect the AC adaptor to the AC power cord. Connect the AC adaptor to the PlayStation 2 system.

    toggle_box(getObject(‘expander_box3_link’), ‘expander_box3’);

  4. Plug the AC power cord into a working electrical outlet.
  • Set Playstation 2 system on top of Playstation 3 system.

In all seriousness though, what the hell was Sony thinking? Getting everyone all worked up with their super secret secretness about a “Big Announcement” only to reveal it’s a price drop on the PS2. I mean yeah, it is the one system they have that actually SELLS but other than kids and poor saps that sold their systems to buy the PS3, who doesn’t already own one of these?

What do you think?




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