April 27, 2009
There was a time when the right music, photo, or creatively arranged words would send me into a euphoric state of mind where my bones and blood would work together to ensure what happens next would be absolute bliss. I find a great deal of trouble in even writing a blog entry these days. For someone who has always had "so much to say", what could be the problem?
Do colours and sounds fade in beauty as you age? This is the biggest fear I've had in a long time. But I'll consider my situation for a minute before saying I'm all grown up and boring. I've never had such a challenge in school as I do now. I spend more than most of my time at school, on the bus to school, or at home doing school work. My whole life school was just down the street, now it's in another city, 2 hour bus ride each way. The bus is the easiest mode of transportation on my metaphorical wallet, and I need as much ease there as is possible. I don't want to talk details about my money woes here, or my longdistance lovelife, as my point is simply this: this is the first time I have lessened in creativity as things got rough.
I don't know what I was planning on saying here. Is this a call for advice? Cry for help? or just a warning?
I'll choose a condition. This is a public realization. Music, literature, photography, great films; they are not in any short supply. But as I've been scanning through every picture by the thousands, I've taken fractions of a millisecond less of a look each time. So, I guess here is my wondrous thought for the night, give art a second. I'm a freaking student, what am I doing taking shit so seriously. We all know we've seen and heard a million great things. We are trying to fit as many in before we die as we can. (This is where my blood starts going) Never let appreciation become habitual, love diluted, never pass anything up.
(this is old and outdated, for some reason was never posted.)
This isn't going to be one of those rants about the PSP having no games or anything. I love my PSP, and have gotten a lot of use out of it. Sure it could use some more games, but I don't get a lot of time to play games as it is and still haven't got around to God of War, Crisis Core, or Loco Roco 2. This post is more about features and updates that I would like Sony to put out for the PSP. They add things quite frequently, but most of the time it's stuff that I'll probably never use, so I'm suggesting these things:
1. Flash Support/Youtube Support
The PSP isn't ideal for internet surfing, but occasionally when the computer is occupied or I'm out of stuff to read while taking a dump, I enjoy using it for that purpose. So it would be nice if things like flash was supported. The Wii's web browser had this from the start, so websites that had flash games designed specifically to be played on the Wii began popping up immediately. If Sony is putting out updates on such a regular basis, they might as well work on this so that I can play some flash games or watch Youtube while in the john.
I'm not sure how feasible this is but it'd be so nice to be able to do multiple things on the system at once. When I'm playing a game, I can turn off the PSP whenever I want and be able to turn it back on and pick up right where I left off whenever I want. It's a feature I love, and one that I wish the DS had, because it allows me to never have to watch loading screens or intro titles. Plus I don't want to have to look for a save point on a handheld game because sometimes I have to be able to turn it off at a moments notice. Along the same lines it'd be nice if I could minimize my game and then pick it back up from that spot later. While I love being able to turn off the PSP while playing a game, that means that the next time I turn it on I better be willing to keep playing until I find a save point. It'd be amazing if I could surf the internet or watch a UMD movie or something and then go back to the game from where I left off afterwords.
3. Set Schedule for PSN Releases
I'm really loving the feature to download games to the memory stick. The problem is that I have no idea when new games are going to be released. All 3 of the consoles have a certain day every week that new downloadable games are put up, so why can't the PSP? I'd love to know that every Tuesday I can log on and see what's new, and not have to log on 5 times a week hoping that they finally added Suikoden 2 or Wild Arms 2.
4. Any Japanese PSN Releases
They have what over in Japan?!? I'd buy that in a second! So why don't I have that opportunity?
5. Better Online Support
Games that take advantage of the online features of the PSP have seemed to disappear. I'd love to be able to play more games online. I will never use the Ad Hoc multiplayer modes because the only people I know with a PSP, never buy the same games as me. On the same note, how amazing would it be to able to play online PSN titles against PS3 users with the PSP? Sony should release some PSN games simultaneously for PS3 and PSP, then allow multiplayer between the two systems. Fat Princess comes to mind. Didn't the PSP Socom game have voice chat support for online play? They could get bluetooth headset support going on PSP so that players could use voice chat while playing online. Where is Trophy support for PSP games? Hell, they could even make Playstation Home available for PSP and I'd be happy that they were at least trying to give a better online experience to it. There are so many cool things they could do. I'm crossing my fingers that the levels uploaded from the PS3 Little Big Planet will be downloadable to the PSP version and vice versa.
Well there you go Sony, some helpful suggestions. I would absolutely love to have these features added to my PSP experience. Anyone else have any ideas?
April 22, 2009
I was talking with a lapsed gamer friend about old RPG game series we used to enjoy and he mentioned how he was surprised that none of them had sequels yet on the newest console generation. It got me thinking, is this generation just too costly too develop for if you aren't making a triple A game? The Persona series hasn't been shy about saying that they keep putting out sequels on PS2 rather then PS3 because of the cost of development.
It certainly seems as though that's the big reason that many developers are moving to handhelds. A awhile back, SquareEnix made a huge announcement that the next sequel to their Dragon Quest series would be exclusively for Nintendo DS. Dragon Quest has always been a huge series, on par with Final Fantasy, in Japan, but here in America its never done amazing numbers. The Castlevania series had many experiments into a console version during previous generations but none were as successful as the handheld ones, so that's what they've been sticking to entirely in this generation.
More and more we are seeing once popular series that can no longer equal out their development costs with their sales numbers moving to handhelds to save development costs. So will this be the trend throughout the current consoles lifespans? The original Playstation as well as the Playstation 2's lineups were filled with second and third tier game series. Its looking more and more like that won't be case for the Playstation 3.
Maybe the Xbox 360 is cheaper enough to develop for that some of these series will move there, or maybe they will dive into the ocean of Wii titles and try to stay afloat, but I have a feeling the majority will move to the PSP or DS. This isn't a problem for me at all. I find myself playing more handheld games nowadays then console anyway. Its just easier to play something that doesn't require hogging the main tv or leaving the room when you've got a 1 year old running around. So bring on the games, handhelds are definitely my saviors of gaming.
April 21, 2009
This weeks cover brings another return of the Bat-Hound. We first saw Bat-Hound nearly giving away Batman's secret identity. Now we see him protecting some not-so-scary looking monstrous beast. Also the very touchy scientific ethics topic of killing monstrous beasts on the spot is brought up. Why is Bat-Hound protecting this beast? Could he also know Batman's secret identity and Bat-Hound needs him for more proof? Or does Bat-Hound not believe in the killing of monstrous beasts for science?
April 19, 2009
Nobuo Uematsu has been called the John Williams of video game music. It's quite clear why. From early on he composed rich and complicated music that had to be squeezed out of the NES's severely lacking sound chip. He would make themes for different moods, or characters within the games, some of which have carried over into each subsequent installment. Well before the music in a game was thought of as an important part of the game, Uematsu brought importance to it.
On Tuesday last week, I had the pleasure of attending a live symphony orchestra playing music of his. I stumbled upon this event less then a week before it was to occur, and was somewhat hesitant to go. While I've played Final Fantasy games since I was a kid, I'm not normally one who buys the soundtracks and listens to the music during non-gaming parts of my life. Still, I've always been a sucker for orchestrated music and full choirs and all that so I thought I'd give it a try.
I was quite impressed. This was definitely not just a cheap cash-in on the success of the game franchise. They could have done only music from the more recent installments, and probably more popular ones, that would have been easier to translate to an orchestra, but they pulled out a lot of surprises. One of particular note was the epic opera scene from Final Fantasy 6. Where on the SNES, it was almost archaic sounding by today's standards, in the translation done here it was brilliant and amazing. Everything I'm sure Uematsu imagined when he first wrote it.
There were lots of neat little touches to help bring gamers who have probably never been to a symphony before into the show. A large screen behind the orchestra would play clips from the games that originally featured the music being played. It was a great idea and wonderful to have something to watch other then tiny people playing instruments, but there were moments that shined greater then most.
During one song, they started up a clip of FF8 that was merely the characters talking. Then they took off and before you knew it the screen flashed, signifying a random battle, at the same moment the orchestra started into the song, which was the boss battle music from the game. Moments like that left me wanting more. Most of the clips they showed were just collections of the cut scenes from the games, but if they were all like that battle music it could have been so much better. That's what live video game music should be. Imagine watching an event from a game you love play out on screen, while a live orchestra is playing the music to it.
If shows like that were around for a bunch of popular video game series, it would certainly help draw the fans out to watch the show. Even so, Distant Worlds did not disappoint me, and it definitely helped draw in a crowd. The show I saw was the show that the orchestra had sold the most tickets to out of any of their performances the whole season. Gamers are clearly interested, so I hope more events like this come about. Just a tip of advice if you are thinking about going to something like this though: dress nice. Nobody cares about your Mario t-shirt that you think is giving you gamer cred. If we want people to respect games, we have to dress respectfully. We're at a symphony, not some cheap bar.
April 16, 2009
Before this blog was created there was a forum. And this forum was made by dedicated Mars Volta fans who wanted to keep low key. They soon became a close knit unit of fans. Blog creator and contributor Alex then posed the idea to create a blog with the forum members as contributors and thus RTGMediphiles was born. So it is with honor that I create the first Mars Volta related topic.
The music website Pitchfork.com has reported that their new album entitled Octahedron will be out June 23rd this year. It will be at a length of 49 minutes, which is a bit short for Mars Volta standards. Jeff Jordan, who had done the artwork for their albums Amputechture and Bedlam in Goliath previously, will be doing the artwork for Octahedron. And no the title picture is not from the album. The album will contain 8 tracks, hence Octahedron, which I have listed below. I'm sure there is more to the title than just how many songs are on the album. I'm guessing the number 8 must fit into the story of the album if it is indeed a concept album like most all their previous albums. I have to say that I am extremely excited for this new album. Anything they put out gets me excited regardless but their most recent album Bedlam in Goliath left me a little empty. I loved the album, but it didn't do what De Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute did for me. Amputechture was a good departure from both De Loused and Frances, but I wasn't expecting them to keep departing in that fasion. Although I still dig it, it isn't their best work. I am excited to see where they will go on this new album.
The first song off of Octahedron, entitled Since We've Been Wrong, can be listened via YouTube by going here. It is a live version from their new years eve show in 2007. A friend of mine was at the show, but he missed a couple acoustic songs and this was one of them. I like this song a lot. I wonder if it will be in acoustic fashion on the album or not.
Here are the track lists:
1. Since We've Been Wrong
3. Halo of Nembutals
4. With Twilight as My Guide
6. Desperate Graves
So, thoughts on Since We've Been Wrong or the new album in general?
April 14, 2009
The first trailer for the indie film Moon has been released and it is a good one. Moon is directed by Duncan Jones and as stated in the title stars Sam Rockwell. It has some 2001 and Event Horizon and Solaris type elements in it which are right up my ally. I am a sucker for sci-fi movies and this indie sci-fi movie looks very promising. As always thanks to Alex over at Firstshowing.net for the updates and info. It will be in limited theatres June 12th this year. This summer is shaping up to be a great one for movies.
We return after a week absence and this weeks cover gives us a glimpse of the future and answers the question: What will happen when Bruce Wayne is old and starts listening to ZZ Top? The thing I love about these silly Batman covers is that there is usually someone around to tell us just what the hell is going on. And if not we are left to come up with our own theories. This apparently is the first time Batman has even heard that there is a new Batman and Robin team. Not only that but the old Batman is still walking around in his Batsuit and his mask can accomidate his beard. And thus the sillyness continues.
It got me thinking, what ever did happen to revolution? The last time I remember hearing something revolutionary was lover the lord has left us by the sound of animals fighting.
Growing up I wanted to be a punk, someone to look at a make people think "oh he's weird". Now I could have a pink mohawk and be called trendy. Everything that we've ever done in rebellion is now simply labeled "trendy". What the fuck can we do to stand out without being called trendy?
This article didn't leave me hating hipsters. It left me hating what we as youth have left. We don't have anything that scares the older generation. They've either seen it or worse before. So I'm wondering, asking again, what the fuck can we do.
"If you're not offending anyone you're doing it wrong" - anonymous
Who should we be offending and why? What would it take to offend them? Instead of waiting around for a cultural revolution start one. No more pussyfooting around, start making people mad.
April 10, 2009
I just recieved the most shocking email of my life and I just HAD to share it. It's truly eye opening people. Make sure you're sitting down, although I'm sure almost who uses computers tends to sit down while doing so. If you want to go about living your nice happy little ignorant life and not be exposed to the lies and deception out there then just ignore this. You'll have to wake up and see the truth sometime though. Here is the email, word for word.
IT IS NOT A SPAM, but if you received that message second and plus time JUST CLICK ?DELETE? button and have a nice day. Don't feel bad, please understand original Scarlett's family very desperate to shut down that humiliating antichristian "actress" clones line career development.
Hello dear Ladies and Gentlemen!I would like inform you that Scarlett Johansson ?actress? actually is a clone from original person Scarlett Galabekian last name, who has nothing with acting career,surname Galabekian, because of adoption happened in 1992. Clones was created illegally by using stolen biological material. Original person is very nice (not d**n sexy),most important - CHRISTIAN young lady! I'll tell you more,those clones (it's not only one) made in GERMANY - world leader manufacturer of humans clones, it is in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Rhineland-Palatinate, Mr. Helmut Kohl home town. You can not even imaging the scale of the cloning activity. But warning! Helmut Kohl clone staff strictly controlling all their clones (at least they trying) spreading around the world, they are very accurate with that, some of them are still NAZI type disciplined and mind controlled clones, so be careful get close with clones you will be controlled as well. Original person is not happy with those movies, images, video, rumors and etc. spreading on media in that way it would be really nice if we all will try slow down that ''actress'' career development, original Scarlett will really appreciated that. Please remember that original Scarlett Galabekian family did not authorize any activity with stolen biological materials, no matter what form it was created in it was and it is stolen. It all need to be delivered to authorize personals control in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Original Scarlett never was engaged, by the way!Her close friend Serge G.
P.S. CONTROLLING ACTIVITY OF ANY CLONES IS US MILITARY OPERATION.
Well there you go. You now know the truth. Can you go back to living your nice normal life? Probably not. Knowledge is power though.
I've been playing a lot of older RPG's lately and something caught my attention. Maybe when I was younger I didn't notice, but there are some ridiculous sound effects in these games. Maybe they just had a cd collection of random sounds and they found a way to shoehorn them into the games.
I've got three examples to give here. 1. The dragons in Suikoden sound like elephants. 2. Some monsters in Wild Arms sound like monkeys and 3. others sound like cats. The combination of these three occurances makes me want to believe that back in the 90's, when someone was making an RPG, they'd pull out their animal sounds cd and figure out which sounds to use. I'm sure thats not what happened, but thinking that it did makes me smile, and that's all that counts.
Just listen to the sounds this monster makes when it attacks and when its hit.
April 08, 2009
I've previously mentioned that Shadow of the Colossus is probably my favorite game of all time. So you'd think that news like this would thrill me. At this point however, I'm just wonder to what degree of awful this movie will be. Now, I'm not the kind of person that immediately writes off video game movies, though I probably should, so let me explain to you why this will be horrible.
SotC has a style of storytelling that is extremely subtle, the visuals are very stylized, and things are left open to interpretation. You feel sorry for these giant beasts as they collapse to the ground, and how that emotion is conveyed is through the music and the open endedness of your reasoning to fight them.
So who did they get to mold this subtle and beautiful story into something right for the big screen? Justin Marks, the man behind the screenplay for the recent box office bomb, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Now granted, this isn't confirmed, and maybe he's got more in him that we've yet to see, but I just can't see this man handling this movie in anyway that could be described as subtle.
Maybe things will change before they start shooting. Perhaps the screenplay will defy expectations. We've yet to hear of a director as well, maybe they'll bring in somebody that can really nail a visual style that matches the artisticness of the game. Still, there are so many hurdles to making this movie amazing that we might as well set our hopes to crushed mode now and save ourselves the heartbreak.
If ever there was a sign that Nintendo just doesn't seem to understand why gamers are constantly saying they've been abandoned, here it is. An interview with Nintendo of America's president, Reggie Fils-Aime by Venture Beat. I'll provide a brief excerpt to show some of the most ridiculous parts.
VB: Used games are coming up as a big issue again. Why?
RFA: More and more retailers are experimenting with the used game model. We don’t believe used games are in the best interest of the consumer. We have products that consumers want to hold onto. They want to play all of the levels of a Zelda game and unlock all of the levels. A game like Personal Trainer Cooking has a long life. We believe used games aren’t in the consumer’s best interest.
RFA: Describe another form of entertainment that has a vibrant used goods market. Used books have never taken off. You don’t see businesses selling used music CDs or used DVDs. Why? The consumer likes having a brand-new experience and reliving it over and over again. If you create the right type of experience, that also happens in video games.
VB: Could this be rectified if the retailers share some of that used game revenue with the publishers?
RFA: That could make it more palatable. But we just think it’s a bad idea. The one retailer that has a substantial business in this has figured out a way that is effective for the consumer. That’s tough for other retailers experimenting with this, in part because their employees don’t have the expertise in this market.
What? So much of that made no sense. They make games that consumers want to hold onto? I've been sick of Wii Sports since 2 days after I bought my Wii. Almost everything put out since then has been some sort of minigame collection or party game. Granted, a couple of them make for a good time when guests are over, but thats all that my Wii ever gets used. They haven't put out a Zelda for me to "play all the levels of and unlock all of the levels" (I won't even attempt to mock that line, it's too easy) since launch.
Still, I can get past Nintendo's new commitment to casual and party games. As I said they can be entertaining when people are over, despite the fact that thats hardly worth $250 when it gets played 3 times a year tops. What I can't get past is his comments on used games. Thats because Nintendo doesn't ever lower their game prices. Mario Kart has been $50 since it came out over almost a year ago. It's not worth it to me to pay that much for it when I'll only play it 3 or 4 times a year, and since they'll never lower MSRP then that leaves me with used games.
Don't shit on your consumers Nintendo. Its a recession! If you want to say that you don't think the used game market will hurt you because people hold onto their Wii games for family occassions and such, then fine, but don't try to say Zelda is something that people want to play still, and don't try to say that saving money isn't in your customers best interest. If you cared about your customers best interests then you would lower the prices of your games as new ones came out. You wouldn't put out 10 games and then expect those to keep people happy for 5 years or more.
I've come to a conclusion in this. This is how Nintendo sees their Wii lineup.
Zelda Twilight Princess
Metroid Prime 3
Big Brain Academy
Thats it. Look! We've got something for everyone! There's no need to ever put out another hardcore adventure game because we put out Zelda and our consumers like to unlock all of those levels.
They think they can ride off of the success of a game for years, and the sad part is they probably can.
April 05, 2009
Brüno was my least favorite character on Da Ali G Show. Almost every one of his segments were at some fashion show or high end clothing store. So even though I loved Borat, and I'm a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen's brand of satire, my expectations for the Bruno movie weren't through the roof. Then they released this trailer, consider the roof blown off. This movie looks hilarious.
More importantly, I look forward to Cohen shining a bright light on the ignorance that still exists in America today. Most movies featuring gay people are just completely moronic stereotypes of them or shameless Oscar contenders. Bruno should put homosexuality right out there in the mainstream, while mocking people who shun it or are afraid of it.
This has definitely become one of my most anticipated movies of the summer.
April 04, 2009
Well, April Fools Day has come and gone. Sure I was too lazy to think up a joke, but instead heres a summary of some of the jokes played by much bigger sites around the net. All provided by aprilfoolsdayontheweb.com. Just click the pictures to go to the sites themselves.
It seems that not many big sites are willing to outright trick their users for fear of pissing people off. Thats the case with YouTubes prank, upside down videos. Possibly some people thought that something had gone completely wrong, but most likely everyone just chuckled a bit and then went about trying to see if they could get them normal again.
This one I don't know about. Really Facebook? Remember when I said big sites don't like to trick their users for fear of pissing them off? This is why. Even if it was always meant to be a joke, the fact that they have to say "No really! It was always a joke! Seriously!" pretty much means that the joke failed. Sorry Facebook, try again next year.
This one amuses me greatly. I can't wait to get out to the clubs and hear "Coffin on the Dancefloor" or crank up "Pussygrinder (Featuring Sheryl Crow)" in my car and sing along.
And there we go, some of my favorite April Fools jokes this year. Anyone else have any favorites?