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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Steam users are exeptionally smug today.

It seems like Steam is snowballing into quite the console competitor. Not really though, Sony and Microsoft could take Newell with both hands tied behind their backs GTA V sold 39 million copies without a PC version at all, but the number of active users under Valve's belt is staggering. There are 65 million of us now, at least 30% of which joined in the last year.

This whole "Steam Machine" business may have a better shot than I dared hope. And this is all coming from a guy who couldn't wipe it off his hard drive fast enough. A guy who only saw Steam as the epileptic gatekeeper that would only let him play New Vegas between the hours 1:00 and 6:00 AM. Fast forward 3 years later and I've saved at least, at least, $300 dollars off of Steam sales alone. I'm not logging off anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hey! So Mike Rowe was in this crappy 90's video game...

Everyone's favorite blue collar emcee and opera singer (seriously) went through some pretty lean years... come to think of it, he may be there again. But either way, we need to talk about "Radio Active." In that, I'm gonna let Rowe talk about Radio Active:

"And so it came to pass that I auditioned for and won the coveted the role of Bobby Arpeggio," Rowe wrote on Facebook, "the central figure in what the producers called 'the first truly interactive gaming experience designed exclusively for the personal computer — the music trivia adventure called Radio Active!" (I called it 'Name That Tune,' but whatever.) I packed a bag, flew to San Francisco, and slipped into the wardrobe that was waiting for me. A week later I had a check in my pocket, and was off to the next gig."
What prompted all this? A fan showed him a screen grab of him in the game and got him to open up about it a little.

Don't look directly at it. You actually need one of those mirror boxes they make for solar eclipses.

"When I saw this image, mixed in with all the other kind expressions of support, it made me laugh out loud, and reminded me that when a man can't deny his past (or his outfit), he might as well embrace it."

Thanks Polygon!

Monday, October 28, 2013

So it's been a while...

I have been reasonably busy the past week, what with a new night job and other nagging responsibilities... I kinda forgot about the crackpot. But no more! I guess I could talk about Netflix shows I'm trying to get into. Scandal is shaky, soapy, and ridiculous. But I can't shake the fact I kinda like it. In Bruges just popped up and I highly suggest you all watch it. It's both the funniest and most sympathetic performance of Colin Farrell's career. Plus he punches out Zeljko Ivanek. It's delightful.

Gaming wise I'm back on a self destructive Civilization bender. It's taken me almost 8 years but I've finally got one of these:
I  managed to pull off a science victory on normal mode. I feel like I finally "get" Civilization. Again, it's taken me quite a few years to get here. Game after game of me stumbling around in the dark tripping over feature after feature and slowly figuring out what to do with it all. Diplomacy? the hell do I do with that? Why do I have so many spies? Why is my entire empire represented by a red frowny face? But I think I get it now, maybe in another 10 years I can give hard mode a spin.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Games for Windows Live is irritating even in death.

I hate GFWL. I've hated it ever since it made Fallout 3 run slowly, locked me out of dlc in Bioshock 2 seven times, and just generally acted like a fidgety piece of garbage designed by people who live in a place that just rains bandwidth. But thankfully Microsoft is finally driving a stake through it's desiccated corpse.

Good news right? Well it turns out all GFWL save games are encrypted... so all of your saves are going to get wiped. Three days after I got back into Arkham City, BAM! The 30 some-odd hours I put into it's riddler trophies and challenge rooms evaporated. I love that game, but there was no way I had the patience to go through all that again. Thankfully my save files were still there, but I'd have to do some coding back flips to get steam to read them again.

The wages of sin in pc gaming is hexadecimal... and death.

After a solid three hours trying to untangle GFWL's wires I had nothing. But the great thing about PC gaming is there's always someone more talented than you out there working on the same problem. That person's STEAM id was Andrew and he patched up my files good as new.

Thanks buddy. I won't forget this.

He's one of the good ones, folks.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ubisoft's delay of Watchdogs hit em' hard.

According to a up and coming indie rag called The New York Times, Ubisoft's stock has plummeted by a quarter following the decision to delay the game Watchdogs for would could end up being six months.

I'm all for new franchises and taking your time to get them off the ground right, but to the public it seemed like copies of the game would be ready to ship in a couple weeks. They even offered bundles of the game for the new Xbox and PlayStation. Something is seriously wrong with this company and the market has already said as much.

The rift between production and marketing was fatally massive in this instance. The left hand didn't know the right hand was months behind schedule and the whole company is taking the hit. The thing is, if the game really is as good as I hope it is, (I've got the same wait and see stance I had with Beyond: Two Souls on it) no one in the gaming community will care.

Like most art, nobody remembers if something was late, just that it was good.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All is Lost is apparently one of, if not the best, movie of Robert Redford's career.

So why is this the first I'm hearing about it? There I was this morning on the lovely rotten tomatoes casually trying to remember what The World's End's box office was, and bam! A 93% film pops up that I've heard absolutely nothing about.

I pride myself on my nerdly fact checking ways. I'd like to think I have my ear to the ground with most things pertaining to news, movies, and games. In that order. I'd written Redford off years ago as his stint as a director dried up in the late 90's. He wasn't bad or anything, just not worth keeping an eye on. Now he's in a one man perfect storm with rave reviews? Shame on me, I guess.

Would you just look at that righteous crag? The man was born to be nautical.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Episode 1-4 Review: The Most Lovable Kind of Bonkers.

Hand to god... this does not suck.

The first few minutes of the pilot were off putting. The haphazard conveniences that throw the main cast together was even harder to sit through. From the first time I heard about the show's premise I was out for blood. This was all so ridiculous, so stupid, why was I doing this to myself? I don't really know. I could have spent those three and a half hours somewhere much more productive, but I didn't. You know what? I didn't mind.

Sleepy Hollow knows exactly how silly it is, doesn't care, and makes the very best of a bewildering creative situation. It's pretty good. As funny as it is scary. Nothing on the level of someone like James Wan, but there are very good ideas behind the show's monsters. A resurrected witch whose skin smolders like ember. A Native American sand man that takes on all the properties of actual sand. A physical performance behind the headless horseman that is just so ludicrously bad ass I rewound almost every scene he's in at least once.

The show simply does not deserve the actors it has. Tom Minson as Ichabod Crane and Nicole Beharie as his sidekick... wait, that's not right. The roguishly handsome British lead is totally second fiddle to the black female sheriff. I kinda love that. They are both everything the show needs and more. They can talk about things like headless zombies and apocalyptic prophecy as if they almost believe it. But they nail the levity harder than most dramas do. Ichabod messing with a car's power windows in awe had me chuckling in spite of myself. 

The show speaks to the child in me. One that grew up on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps, and Power Rangers. Sleepy Hollow is the blackest possible sheep those shows could produce, with more than twice the budget of all of them put together. It's a pretty good time If you turn off the side of you that loves Breaking Bad and French New wave, pour a drink or two, rip open some pretzels, and curl up under your favorite blanket in the dark.

It ain't Fringe, it ain't even The Walking Dead, but it's not bad. And as a guy with a violent allergy towards reality TV; I'll take well acted and executed hokum over Toddlers in Tiaras any damn day of the week.

Can we talk about how much I missed Orlando Jones?