Gamer’s Hangover News Report 01.27.04

Quasi-random thoughts:

This is late because of the miracle of Disappearing E-Mail. This will teach me to blow deadlines. Yeah, right.

Looks like ol’ Sparky Gephardt reads my column. Thank God. I wouldn’t have been able to stand looking at his crypt keeper complexion for the next ten months.

Adjusting much better to the diet this week. Finding sugar-free cookies and salt free sweet potato chips (surprisingly good) helps. My pants are already getting a little roomy.

Re: ESPN.com “Page 3″. Don’t they know when to stop?

Interesting note about the Diet: The last day is Monday, February 23. Strangely enough, that Tuesday, the first day OFF the diet, is Mardi Gras. And with Tuesday being Mardi Gras that means that Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, so if I was Catholic, I’d be on the diet, have one day where I could stuff my face, and then be right back on the diet (or something painfully similar to it) for Lent. Here’s to being Protestant.

I was reminded of this back when I did the Lord of The Rings marathon. It’s the tenets of my old (and only) D&D character.

Teflon’s Laws (Teflon was a Chaotic Good Half-Elf Thief)
1. You never know when a good length of rope is going to save your ass.
2 a. Don’t get busted.
2 b. If you do get busted, bluff, then run at the first possible opportunity.
3. If you can’t kill the three-headed gazillionth level hellhound play fetch with it, then run.
4. If all else fails, run.
5. The group is more important than the self, so the paladin won’t mind if you take a nominal fee’ from his coin purse after having to raise the bastard for the nth time.
6. Golems don’t much care if you remove their heads.
7. A properly trained person CAN pull off a barrel roll on a magic carpet.
8. A thief’s greatest tool is himself, although a ring of invisibility and a bag of holding help a bunch.
9. Always give the Thieves Guild 10% of your take more than their usual cut.
10. Don’t let the paladin start a fight that you can’t finish without him.
11. Strength checks are for fighters. Dex checks are for surviving.
12. Contrary to popular belief, the undead are no fun to party with.
13. Just because you didn’t find any traps doesn’t mean they’re not there.
14a. Guards will sleep through damn near anything.
14b. Except an alarm.
15. At some point in each adventure, your saving throw vs. stupid ideas will be over 20.
16. Thieves are NOT scouts. Let the paladin lead the party through the dark, foreboding dungeon. HE’S got the plate mail.
17. Alignments are like assholes. Everybody has one.
18. Mages are divas by nature.
19. A decent dwarf fighter is infinitely better company than a megalomaniac human mage or an inept elf paladin.
And finally,
20. The whole point of the big score’ is to retire early, so when you can, do.

After attending Wichita State’s spanking of then-#24-ranked Creighton, I’m almost ready to forgive Chuck Koch for renaming the arena. It’s a damn nice place. When I was an undergrad it still had a definite 50’s-60’s concrete-and-not-much-else vibe to it. Now it’s got TVs, a souvenir shop, a WSU sports mini-museum; it’s a hell of a lot nicer, especially on the concourse, and they did it all without dicking with the arena itself. Damn, that place is loud.

Roni line of the week, delivered at the Wichita State/Creighton game: “I think I’m ready to get season tickets for this.”

I’m sorry I missed the last two Bruins/Rangers games, and that’s all I’m gonna say.

Nice to see Darth Cheney could make it out for the State of the Union address. Szulczewski may have already pointed this out, but faux pas by Bush right at the beginning: He addressed Cheney as “Mr. Vice-President”, when he SHOULD have addressed him as “Mr. President”, as the Vice President serves as President of the Senate. I’m still waiting for the U.S. government to adopt a Prime Minister’s Questions type thing.

Anyone catch the gal (the one that wasn’t Tom Daschle) giving the Democrat response to the SotU? Did you catch her flub reading the teleprompter? You could almost hear the party leadership going, “That’s it! No White House bid for you!”

Okay, if I make a big enough contribution to the Republican Party (not that I’m going to) can I fly over to Iraq and take a couple of swings at Saddam Hussein? How much to use a baseball bat?

So the Chiefs have Gunther back defending the camp. He’s already talking about taking the heart and soul’ of enemy offenses. Fujita is on board. Can’t wait for July. And Saunders is staying. Vermeil. Saunders. Cunningham. Oh HELL yeah!

Lines from last night’s Royal Rumble “¦ from Chez Laflin:

“A Bischoff/Heyman fight? Well, it’s not exactly midget wrestling, but it’ll get the job done.”
– Me.

“Look at the size of the genetic freak!!” — Tazz, talking about Steiner.
“Genetics ain’t got nothing to do with it.” — Pat, stating the obvious.

“Look! It’s the Generic Freak!” — Cris, after Matt Morgan came out for his Royal Rumble entry.

“He does the powerbomb and the big boot. Matt Morgan is a wolf sign away from being Kevin Nash at this point.” — Cris, later.

“I have respect for Rico as a human being.” — Deb, with maybe the best non-sequitor of the night.

“Rat boy!” — Pat, on Tajiri.

“Is that Damon Wayans?” — Deb, who was on a roll, talking about Shelton Benjamin.

“GET OUT OF THE SHOT!!” — Us, whenever “whippin’ boy” Randy Orton felt the need to insert himself into the Angle/Benoit fights.

“Test, your role tonight is to lay in the back while we get a great buffalo shot of you.” — Me.
“Hey, works for me.” — Deb.
“PAN UP!! PAN UP!!” — Cris.

“Well, I can go to the bathroom now.” — Me, after waiting to see that the next entrant was, in fact, A-Train.

“Well, THAT was two minutes of my life I’ll never get back.” — Me, on Earnest Miller.

Cris won the Spanish Announcer’s Table pool with 8:20 (it broke at 8:11). I won the “How many people will Goldberg eliminate” pool with 3 (Patrick had 4, Cris had 5).

NEWS

The Only McRae I Want To Hear About Is Named Hal. Not Colin
credit: Gamedaily.com

For those rally freaks out there, Colin McRae Rally 4 has been announced for a March release for the Xbox. The new game will feature over 20 vehicles, 48 tracks across 8 countries, a new “Expert” Championship mode, and “ultra-competitive” (read: cheap) AI. Projected retail price: $19.99. Yes, the same as for Big Mutha Truckers. You have been warned. There’s also supposed to be some Xbox Live ability to upload and download track times. Like anyone will care.

Acclaim Extends It’s Denial One More Time
credit: Gamedaily.com

Hope springs eternal, and for Acclaim, that hope is that their stock price will some day, if they work REEEALLY REEALLY hard, get up as high as $1.00 per share.

Nasdaq has granted them yet another extension to meet the listing price requirements. The new extension lasts until January 24, 2005. If the stock price does not rise about $1.00 per share by that time (unless they somehow get another extension) they will be required to seek shareholder approval for a reverse stock split and execute said split “promptly.” A REVERSE stock split. As of the time of this writing, Acclaim’s stock (AKLM) was at 0.73 cents/share.

But Some Of Us LIKE Programming In The Middle Of The Night
credit: Gamedaily.com

Responding to the widely held belief that working in the video game industry is, “notorious for the toll it takes on people,” the Internation Game Developers Association is asking VG developers to participate in its anonymous online Quality of Life survey. Results will be presented at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference. This writer petitioned his boss to go to that conference to glean new ideas and techniques for sim development, but was turned down.

This Phantom More Intriguing That The One That Starred Billy Zane
credit: Gamedaily.com

Just to let you know what kind of craziness has gone on in the Phantom camp in the last month; first, former Xbox executive Kevin Bachus signed on as President and Chief Operating Officer, then through some purchasing and reorganization, Infinium consolidated itself into the publicly traded company Infinium Labs, Inc.. Finally, their stock had a 4-to-1 split on January 19.

It’s lameness is starting to really come into question with me.

And Billy Zane is one of Hollywood’s great under-appreciated talents. Watch “Demon Knight” and TRY and disagree with me.

Nintendo May Have To Delay DS Deliveries to West. Lucard Now Taking Orders.
credit: Spong.com

Now that we know what this mysterious new Nintendo product is, the problems start to unveil themselves. Seems that a “tight” LCD market may delay production of the amounts of units expected to be in demand in the U.S. and Europe.

“Right now, we are planning to make the product available globally by the end of calendar 2004. However, since the LCD market is tight now, we shall only be able to announce the details at or after our annual financial announcement in May,” is the Nintendo PR monkey speak on this issue.

Nintendo is planning on doing a global launch, which would be a first for Nintendo. I’m putting odds of this actually happening at 15-1. The over/under of the U.S. release date is March 15, 2005. Place your bets now.

PIMP-LICIOUS

Chuck gets the Pimp Coat this week, for the triumphant return of the Thumb.
Moment of Clarity, Like Every Science Fiction Protagonist, Ever. Well, Except In Harlan Ellison Stories, But Those Are More Like Kafkaesque Parables Than Mainstream Science Fiction

Freddie gets the Pimp Stick for shedding the light of knowledge on the seedy underbelly of 80’s arcade games.
Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man are in an incestuous relationship. There. I said it.

A-Will gets the Pimp Boots just because I like the points system.
Do you REALLY expect a bunch of guys to get together and drink a six-pack each while watching softcore computer porn? I mean HONESTLY?

This week’s Ho Train:
Berg SAYS he wants to face me online, but every time I get online he’s “offline.” Uh-huh.
Misha will be taking over the news tomorrow, so read up on the limey and give him some love.
Lucard deals with the normal madness of his fans’ e-mails. Cure lyrics kept to a minimum this week.
Lee brings the anime back home after a short tour of duty on Black. His news report is always a great read, but this week it’s even better for the concept art included about a third of the way down “¦ among other things “¦ I won’t go into here.
L.C. talks about the lamest Mario universe characters. I’m glad to see he didn’t include Toad, that’s all I’ll say.

Short on the other content this week. I’m still working on a new writing schedule to work around the havoc caused by the Internet Nazis at work. My PGR2 review has been submitted and should, barring further disaster, be released sometime this week.

Thanks to everybody who reads and especially everybody who STILL reads even after the Masters, bathroom, and Internet fiascos. Seriously, I’m due for a nice quiet spell pretty soon. Just hang in there, gentle reader.

Next week, more news, and maybe a little retrogaming goodness.

Until then, get some sleep.

-Cory