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Saturday, May 03, 2008

TV Watch: Lost, Something Nice Back Home

Firstly, I did watch this late last night post dinner party and I'm willing to admit that might not have been the best route to watch Kate and Jack make moon eyes at each other for half of an episode. When they weren't making moon eyes - it wasn't that bad of an episode. None of it was really bad, actually, this was mostly just classic Lost filler. We get a little bit of insight into how Sun might have escaped without Jin (although it's a bit of a mystery how the final battle for the freighter might go down).

But let's talk Jack. We got a little bit of the chronology that seems like it might fit in between Jack's visit with Hurley and Jack's visit with Kate (when the flashforwards started). The new problem the writers have visited on themselves though is - just how did Jack go from being happy father to be to an angry drunk. It seems to occur almost precisely when Jack gets a glimpse of Christian and if we tie that back to his appendix back on the island, I think we might be in for an awful lot of "The Island Did It" in the near future.

For instance, Claire has vanished. It's been a while since we've seen someone spirited away on the island. But she ended up being A-OK with the Others (and the means of her disappearance never explained).

Finally - rest in peace, Danielle. I really thought she'd limp out of the jungle from somewhere. Instead we find her in a very shallow grave. It seems a kinda unfit ending for one of the more interesting characters on the show - but to be honest she was becoming more and more of a background prop as the focus with Alex went from her back to Ben.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Lost Commentary Slightly Delayed

As I completely forgot to watch it last night.

Just. Plain. Forgot.

It's totally been that kind of week.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The GTA IV "Controversy"

The odd thing about the apparently inevitable controversy surrounding GTA IV is how there really just isn't any controversy about GTA IV. C|Net does a good job of running down the usual suspects of complainers - but for the most part the discussion is more akin to talking about corruption in politics. Some people probably have some evidence to the point, but for the most part it's just a bunch of people talking about how self-evident it is.

Course the difference there is that when political corruption hits the newspaper - there are usually some facts to back them up.

I wouldn't be surprised if GTA IV even marks something of a watershed moment for our favorite crank, Jack Thompson. GTA III was a landmark - but it came out almost seven years ago and there have been something like five titles in the same franchise and an army of clones that would make Lucas blush. And yet - there has been no apocalypse. No "Columbine times ten". The games industry still produces theses games. GTA IV is going to be a commercial blockbuster.

If all of these opponents were right, surely when a game this violent sells this well - something would happen.

In fact, it already would have. And would it be far more apparent than simply having Fox News give Thompson free media coverage when ever anyone goes on a shooting spree.

Oh, and our phrase of the day: moral panic.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Games That Aren't GTA IV

So the entire Internet seems to be afire with one particular acronym that needs no introduction. So allow me to buck the curve here a bit. I actually rented two game recently in the hopes that The Girl would get into them. Fortunately for her (and possibly me), I tried them out a bit first.

First up was Sims 2: Pets for the DS. We found two player Sims 2 almost strangely addictive on the PS2 ... a kind of multiplayer Animal Crossing with a lot more sex, as it were. I figure that if a game removed the coop but replaced it with a puppy that maybe everything would be OK.

What the resulting math actually turns up is a bizarre corner of the Sims world where a person lives in a tiny house, shoves animals in to a big blue container, seems to need either nap or wash a lot, and occasionally tortures the animals with horrific mini-games. There's nothing quite like spraying down some stranger's dog with a hose or trying to force a cat to do a backflip in order to really get your sadism on. In general, the normal Sims micromanagement just gets in the way and the pet mechanics are just troublesome and unrealistic.

Round two was Samurai Warriors: Katana for the Wii. Having read next to nothing about the game, I was kinda hoping for the normal Dynasty Warriors play with Wii graphics and perhaps some change up in the controls. Instead, it's basically a warped rails shooter with a sword ... a rails slasher if you will. Thanks to a weird mashing of gesture schemes the game is mostly just waving the controller around while mashing the A button. The only two player here is that exact same thing, only split screen so that it can happen for two people (separately) at once.

What's weird is that the game highlights one of the odd things about the Warriors franchise. It does a handful of things really well - like allowing you to take one hundreds of enemies, and some things really bad - like character customization, game objectives and voice acting. Katana has more pick and play potential and gold to boost your character - but nowhere to go with it afterwards. Why nobody has taken this concept and made a two player RPG with the traditional trappings still confuses me.

So we might join the HD revolution in the near future - at which point I'll probably buy GTA IV about three nanoseconds later. I'll keep you posted.