Archive for October, 2007

Oct 31
Its Halloween! Posted by Matt

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I love the smell of fresh cut pumpkins, eating a ton of candy, and getting to see cool costumes. In the past I’ve always tried to carve pumpkins based on my favorite characters in cartoons, comics, or websites. This year I let KG take the lead and and we did a Gears of War pumpkin. While surfing around for cool pumpkins designs I found these Portal inspired ones: the Weighted Companion Cube and Portal hieroglyphs. While on the topic of Halloween and Portal here are a couple Portal costumes.

Just when I was done I found even more Orange Box madness. Here is a group of nerds dressed as the characters from Team Fortress 2. These costumes are amazing!

Even more pumpkins, the Fark Pumpkin Carving Contest. This is madness? Madness….this IS HALLOWEEEN!

Guitar Hero 3 came out Sunday morning. I spent the better part of the day unlocking songs with Aaron until Metallica’s One royally kicked our butts. Thinking back its pretty sad we let such an easy song beat us because that song is a cakewalk compared to Through the Fire and Flame. The game has several tweaks from GH2, but its overall pretty similar to its predecessor. The new wireless guitar is AWESOME, its so nice to be able to walk around untethered, its especially good for jumping off things while playing.

Brock Lesnar spoke recently to MMA Weekly about his debut in the UFC. Its a pretty entertaining if nothing for the fact he speaks about himself in the third person. I have a real soft spot for athletes who slip in and out of third person when doing interviews. It reminds me a lot of the now infamous Solomon Grundy video.

Even though I was really excited about the possibility of playing Unreal Tournament 3 at this year’s Lan Party, it looks that dream is now completely crushed. Midway announced today that UT3 has golden and will be on store shelves on November 19 (three days after the event.)

Can’t get enough Portal? I know I can’t. Check out these do-it-yourself Portal dioramas. All you need is a color printer, some scissors… and a wife to put them together for you.

Samsung has released info on the new Blackjack phone. This phone is the ultimate. Its a Windows Mobile phone with wi-fi enabled! My little 1st generation Blackjack is hella jealous. As soon as this hits AT&T I might have to double down!

Nightwish has a new video out for Bye Bye Beautiful. They got a little cute with the video having a bunch of hot chicks with similar hairstyle to the band mates replace the original members. The song is pretty cool, and when you think about the underlying meanings, the band recently replaced their female lead singer who was the face of the band, it adds a little more flare.

Here’s a few images from Sunday when I returned home with Guitar Hero 3:

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Oct 26
Congrats Tony! Posted by Matt

Thats Jarrod
You’re engaged. Good luck, we can’t wait to meet her!

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Oct 23
I wanna rock! Posted by Matt

After months of anticipation, Guitar Hero 3 is days away from release. I’m so excited about getting my hands on the wireless guitar and new tracks. If you’re looking for major innovations with this new release, don’t hold your breath this game will no doubt continue a very successful formula. There are some tweaks to the head to head mode, and the promise of tons of down loadable content. Fans of the series will definitely want to pick this up.

With a new publisher, and a rocking new set list, GH3 is gearing up to go head to head with the new kid on the block, Rock Band. Where Rock Band has all the fancy new peripherals (drum kit and mic), Guitar Hero has the polished game play. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle for holiday sales. Its hard to imagine what might have been Red Octane and Harmonix had not split ways.

This weekend after the UFC event, Chris showed us the Robot Chicken Star Wars Special. The stop animation show on Adult Swim compiled a 30-minute special featuring the best of their Star Wars related clips. One of my favorite parts was a short commercial for Admiral Ackbar’s cereal that only the most die hard of Star Wars geeks will understand. While on the topic of Robot Chicken, this is a pretty funny clip about Iron Man walking on non-carpeted surfaces.

The Robot Chicken clips keep rolling in, Matt2 send me this funny spoof of 300 entitled 1776. While on the topic of 300 spoofs, check out the PG version of 300. This is delicious!

Andrew “Hosscat” Reiter, who recently announced he’s going to be a father, is hosting this year’s Lan Party. He put up a informational page on his website.

After listening to Angry Steve rant about how stupid the trailer for Knocked Up looked for several weeks, I took great joy in watching him enjoy the movie Friday night. The film actually wasn’t that bad. Judd Apatow’s signature comedy made for several laugh out loud moments and even though it was definitely a chick flick, I have to agree with KG & Melissa and say it was a good movie. It was a veritable who’s who of actors who’ve been in previous Apatow movies (40 Year Old Virgin, Anchorman), and tv shows (Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared). For someone like me who’s seen everything he’s ever done, I really enjoyed seeing these familiar faces.

I’ve been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2 lately. If you’re interested in joining my team, you can find my profile here. Add me as a friend and you can play along with me, Matt2, Hosscat, and Joe.

A great article on the UFC website on Brock Lesnar’s road to The Octagon.  Brock was the 2000 NCAA wrestling champion going 106-5 in his four years of college.   After college he signed a huge contract with the WWE which made him a household name. Now he’s back to legitimate competition, building on his natural wrestling abilities, learning jiu-jitsu and boxing leading up to his second mixed martial arts fight.

Update: Looks like Rock Band is coming out early! Rethinking a Black Friday release, Harmonix has decided to put Rock Band on sale November 20th, three days earlier and right before Thanksgiving. Guess I know what I’ll be doing to work off the turkey!

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Oct 16
Whats in the box!? Posted by Matt

I recently picked up Valve’s The Orange Box from Circuit City. This has to be one of the best deals I’ve ever seen. The Orange Box contains five games! The full version of Half-Life 2, the first dose of episodic content Episode 1, and the follow-up Episode 2. Team Fortress Classic is back and running on the HL2 engine, and there’s a new mind-bending puzzle game, Portal.

A major selling point for me was TF2, I had such a blast playing the old Team Fortress. This was the very first FPS (first person shooter) to introduce a class system where players can take on different roles to help their team. Previously these types of games involved players running around in death match mode, nothing special. The updated Team Fortress 2 takes advantage of all the innovations in the genre and adds serious style for a well polished, super fun game. Players can assume the role of the slow moving Heavy Weapons Guy or the ultra speedy Scout. You can stealth around as a Spy, or go all out as a Pyro. No matter what your style of play, there will be a class that you’ll like. Check out the full list of classes here.

Occasionally a game comes along and really surprises you, such is the case of the critically acclaimed Portal. One gaming blog proclaims “there are two types of people in the world, those who haven’t played Portal and those who are completely obsessed with the game”. I have to admit being in the latter group. Portal is like playing tag in a MC Escher drawing. This game sucks you in and won’t let go, even when you fail the same mission several times in a row, you can’t stop until you reach the goal. If you’re dying to see what all the hype is about, check out this Flash version. Its not nearly as cool, but you get the idea of the kinds of puzzles you’ll have to solve.

This Space Invaders pumpkin is great, almost as good as the Gears of War pumpkin KG and I carved. Steve and Melissa did a pretty decent job on their Zombie pumpkin as well. Third place in the contest was my brother’s “holiday” pumpkin. Actually thats not true. Aunt Sheri declared us a three-way tie. Here are all three pumpkins lit up.

Speaking of pumpkins, one of my favorite websites around this time of year is Extreme Pumpkins. They have a huge gallery of masterpiece carvings like this collection of horror villains.

There is a big UFC card this weekend in Cincinnati. Its a rematch between former Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin and the guy who pummeled him into submission and current champ Anderson Silva. Rich is a beloved former champ who will be trying to reclaim former glory fighting in his hometown. Kevin Iole has a great article on the lead up to the fight and Franklin’s preparation. Watching the last fight and seeing Franklin take a horrendous beating and now seeing him rematch for the belt in the city where he lives is reminiscent of a Rocky movie. This should be awesome!

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Oct 08
November Lan is coming! Posted by Matt

This year will mark the seventh annual November Lan Party. With three major games being released in the next few weeks, this could be one of the most exciting events yet.

Check out the photos from last years event.

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Oct 04
Halo 3 Posted by Matt

Last Saturday night, one of my friends from work brought his ginormous LCD television, his Xbox 360, and a copy of Halo 3 over to my place. We hooked his gear up to my setup, and using two Xboxes we played through the Halo 3 story mode. Four player cooperative play is one of the big selling points for the third game in the Halo trilogy. The game was pretty cool. There were some very intense moments, some very dramatic firefights, and a cool driving sequence at the end that was just a blast. Unfortunately that same friend from work took it upon himself to clear most of the monsters on all the levels, so we frequently found ourselves running at full tilt, just trying to keep up with him. I like Halo games, and I’ve played the original two, and this is by far the best. Too bad a really good Halo is still doesn’t come close to Gears of War.

Speaking of Gears, its finally making the leap from Xbox 360 to PC. I’m a little peeved that the PC version will contain extra content and missions not featured in the original port.

Apparently Halo 3 is pretty popular, bringing in $170 million on its first day and a whopping $300 mil worldwide in week one. While its still early this isn’t very close to Spiderman 3’s total $890 mil worldwide, it won’t be long before video game releases will start to rival major motion picture releases. Although I don’t have the actual amount I can only imagine the budget for Halo 3 wasn’t anywhere close to Spidey’s $258 mil.

Imagine this if you will… a free Mario Kart game, that you can play online with seven other people, the graphics are on par with the GameCube, and you can earn in-game money (or buy it with real money) to pimp out your Kart. Did I mention it was free? This is the concept behind KartRider a game that is quickly becoming the national pasttime in Korea. The American version just hit the net in the form of a beta, and its pretty dang good. I have raced through all the beginner tracks and unlocked my rookie license and it was a blast. The idea behind the game is that they’ll provide you an addictive gaming enviornmen, and you’ll pay your real money to buy stuff to pimp out your Kart. The game has a buddy list feature, so you can race with your friends. It also features solo and team racing in item-based or speed races. The item-based races are similar to Mario Kart where you throw turtle shells at each other. Like I mentioned earlier, the game is completely free, free to download and free to play. The only catch is that you’ll probably want to buy better stuff for your Kart and thats where you’ll want to pay up.

My favorite new band is Dethklok, these guys are AWESOME!  Don’t look for them to be on tour anytime soon, they’re a fictional band and stars of Cartoon Network’s Metalocalypse.  The writers of the show have taken all the great metal cliches, put them into a blender and turned up the volume.  The result is a hilarious 30-minute rock’n'roll gorefest, this show isn’t for the weak of heart.    If you think you can “hack” it, check out a full length episode of Adult Swim’s website.

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