Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boring Game Alert

What could possibly be the most boring game ever is due to hit stores far too soon. The Beatles: Rock Band. One of the most overrated bands is about to become one of the most overrated games.

I understand the contribution the Beatles have made to music. We've had countless untalented bands to remind us of that for years. I'm glad certain members of society have decided to take their rage out on some of the group's individuals instead of turning that anger on me (you hear me, Chapman)? So, if only because I have been stabbed or shot I'm grateful for the existence of the band.

But a video game? Did the Mommas and the Poppas refuse to license or something?

I get it that the band would be a huge selling point if sixty-year olds trying to relive drug-addled teen dreams were the main demographic, but it's not. It's people like you and me. Good luck with that! It's the Beatles! Yeah, I want to jam on plastic instruments to "Strawberry Fields Forever" or whatever the hell it is called.

Instead of marketing this as a sleeping aid, it's being pushed as a fun, interactive video game that may appeal to those who find Metallica "too wild." God, I can't wait to get the Thomas Dolby hits package with a free code for some Wings DLC.

Please, God, make this madness stop. Next thing you know we'll be getting licensed game versions of The Terminal or Clerks II just because there's potential money to be made.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Rewards

Atari Classics Evolved for the PSP received mixed reviews. I can see why, too. Your enjoyment of it will be directly linked to your enjoyment of the original games. In all, you get 11 Atari games in classic and evolved versions. Each game has four awards that you can win, and if you earn all the awards you open up over 50 classic Atari 2600 games. Therein lies the rub.

These awards are tough as hell to get.

There are no cheat codes that I can find.


The fact that I'd have over 60 games on one UMD was enough to get me to fork over $20 for the game, and if I never unlock all the 2600 games I'll be okay. The awards system also makes me want to play the thing every day. While on vacation I actually unlocked several (and discovered a new love for Warlords), but there are some achievements I'll wonder if I can ever reach.

I've checked out various forums and reviews of this game. All have expressed anger that Atari hasn't made a cheat code available, or even did it that each award unlocked a game (a far better way to go), but in Atari's defense, this may have actually made the game better. It goes from a mere plaything to an obsession. It challenges you in the way the older games did, something that was lost when the NES came to light.

I now want to be the first person to unlock the games. I'll post the list here when I do ... if I do. If someone has already done this, I haven't found it out there.

I just hope E.T. isn't one of the unlockables.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Is This A Joke?

PS3 users who purchase Batman Arkham Asylum are in for a "treat." They will get to play as the Joker. Interesting.

I'm a Batman fan, and I do like the Joker, though I think few writers ever get him right. Alan Moore did a great job on him, as did Frank Miller. For the most part, though, writers misinterpret the character. It appears this video game is no different.

Joker is, first and foremost, a psychological character. He can't go toe-to-toe with Batman, who dominates him in strength. Joker's only advantage is his insanity. Granted, he has gadgets he has used and will use in the video game, but that's still no real match for Batman. All the best Batman stories dealt with Batman wading through the aftermath of Joker's crazed plans or trying to thwart them. When Batman does resort to fisticuffs with the villain (when done by a good writer) it often ends in the most typical of ways (Joker grabbing a hostage or pulling a gun).

I can understand why the developers wanted to do this. Joker is the Batman enemy. It does seem like a cool idea to play as him, and tossing PS3 owners an exclusive is always good. That said, it should've been a different villain. Killer Croc. Bane. Mr. Freeze. Phosphorous Man. None of those are the big names like Joker, but in a video game that will have plenty of fighting they make more sense.

I don't have a PS3, and this game doesn't make me want to buy one. I will admit it seems interesting, but I doubt that if I had it I would ever play as the Joker. Phosphorous Man, however, now that would be damn cool.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tap Out

Midnight. Friday night. Can't sleep. For some reason I thought of Tapper. I never really liked that game, but I knew a girl who kicked ass. I used to run video game tournaments and whenever she would enter I would "randomly" pick that game. I figured the prize was an ice cream cone. I could skew the freaking contest.

I watched her just dominate that game. She would get to some alien bar, if I recall right, and kids would be impressed. Here was a girl playing an arcade game. That was as rare as a girl in a comic book store in those days (mid 1980s). I'd kick ass at Centipede, and she'd own Tapper. She disliked my game, and I hated hers. I tried it a couple times, too, but was never good at it. Her ... Zen.

I don't know if this ever came out on any systems, but I can't imagine it would be as fun. The arcade version had beer tap controllers, which really added to the game. Buttons just wouldn't be the same.

Anyway, this is sleepy video game talk. Tapper. Geez.