Gamer’s Hangover News Report – 05.17.04

News

Here’s the problem with trying to do news the day after E3 closes up. Every site and their owner’s LiveJournal already has everything that was announced up on their front pages and in bold letters, like the release of Burnout 3 is going to have a major effect on the U.S. Presidential Election or the War in Iraq.

So, since you’ve probably already read all of these stories RIGHT HERE AT 411 GAMES, and since I’m nursing an actual hangover from my graduation party Saturday night, I’m just going to give snarky comments about the “news” that came out of E3 this year. Okay?

Celebrity Guest Stars In ESPN NFL Football 2K5
Cracker, PLEASE! ESPN NFL 2K4 was my Game Of The Year last year! If they took out First Person FootballTM for this stupid celebrity challenge thing, I “¦ I “¦ I might have to resort to saying something nice about Madden. I don’t want to, but I will. THAT’S how disappointed I’ll be.

Dammit! Madden is vulnerable! They’ve been reissuing the same game with new rosters for the last couple of years (I’m not counting “Owner Mode” because it just wasn’t deep enough for me, but I have a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering specializing in control systems and simulation, so I’m a bastard at things like that). ESPN NFL had the best shot of anybody to knock them off the top before EA found another toehold (read: Before EA and Xbox buried the hatchet and/or before the new consoles come out) and it looks like they’re pissing it away.

Sega Superstars — The Newest Pimp For The Eye Toy
If you all will allow me to use a pro wrestling analogy here, Sony’s pushing of the Eye Toy reminds me all too much of the WWE’s attempts to push A-Train. It’s lame, everybody knows it’s lame, and Sony doesn’t seem to care and has said that it’s basically building the PS3 around it. And people wonder why I’m looking forward to Xbox2 more than I am PS3, other than the fact that I probably won’t have to mortgage my house to buy an Xbox2.

Viewtiful Joe 2
I’m hoping above all else that the two-player co-op function is in, because it was awful hard to convince my friends that this game was awesome when I wouldn’t get off long enough to actually let them play it.

Halo 2 release date announced
Strangely coinciding with the debut of Season 3 of Red vs. Blue

Nintendo Revolution
And why the hell didn’t Wids and Pank send back pics of Miyamoto in the sword and shield?

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA3: Groundbreaking game. GTA: Vice City: Same damn game, new locale. GTA: San Andreas: Enough already. Bike jacking doesn’t give me enough reason, okay? Maybe if you put cameos by Ice Cube and Chris Tucker I’ll consider it. Put Henry Rollins in, and I’m there. Otherwise, go push yourselves.

Super Mario 64×4
I’m still scratching my head over the whole Nintendo DS thing, but this just seems silly. Not the game concept. I like a multiplayer Mario concept, but it looks like the only thing the second screen does for you here is to give you a constant overhead map. That’s not the greatest allocation of resources I’ve ever seen.

EA goes Xbox Live
And either the class of the average EA Sports player will go up, or the class of the average Xbox Live player will go down. Either way, I’ll at least be able to bitch at them while I’m getting my ass kicked.

Pimp-licious

Misha, I’ve been wrestling with my spleen over whether or not to get my own LiveJournal account. I haven’t yet because I still have no issue with foisting my problems on everybody here.

Yeager, if you go carryin’ pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.

Berg
I don’t know why this line tickled me as much as it did: “The PSP’s appearance remsembles the PS2 somewhat. Cold and soulless are two words that come to mind.”

You know, “Lucard discusses Pokemon,” is a phrase used WAAAY too often on this site.

L.C., I’ve always been partial to the letter Q myself. Q doesn’t get enough play. I think we can blame the whole X phenomenon on Marvel Comics, but I’m not sure.

Eric S. is moving to Emporia. Otherwise known as “about halfway from Wichita to Kansas City.” This brings me well within the 5th percentile ring of carnage from the inevitable killing spree, especially when he has to start dealing with Kansas politics.

Quasi-Random Thoughts

So now I’m a Master. Big friggin’ whoop. I’d love to say that I have a real feeling of accomplishment and appreciation of the discipline but I don’t feel like lying this morning. Truth is, the primary feeling behind all of this is relief. Relief that I don’t have to deal with the Electrical Engineering department at Wichita State University any more, relief that I don’t have to worry about bureaucratic bullshit any more, relief that my career (or part of it anyway) is no longer in the hands of Dr. Pol Pot. (His Arrogance didn’t show up for graduation, which is probably best because I was seriously thinking of burying my mortarboard in his skull.)

The only redeeming thing about graduation is that I got to walk and shake hands onstage with one of my favorite people, former head of the Aero department and Acting Dean, Dr. Horn. For some bizarre reason, he likes me even though I never got anything but B’s in his classes. I like him because he’s a TEACHER, which most university students know is a rarity. I made fun of the guy publicly once in a campus “impersonate your instructor” contest and won. The fact that I was the only person in the whole of Wichita State University with the balls to actually enter does not diminish this at all in my eyes. If the University doesn’t stop jacking around and remove the “Acting” from his title soon I may have to organize a boycott of contributions (which would carry more weight if I, or any fellow alumni that I know, made contributions in the first place).

I think the problem is that I just don’t like engineers all that much. At their tamest they’re boring, and at their most obnoxious they’re smug, pretentious, know-it-all perfectionists who require mathematical proofs to get them to admit that they’re wrong, even if it’s something as trivial as remembering who played Dr. Hathaway in Real Genius. I’ve learned to be wary of anybody with a Dr. in front of his name, especially when you’re not in a medical facility and they’re not wearing a white coat and a stethoscope. (You might say that I should be more wary of those kinds of Doctors, since if they screw up I may not live to say “I told you so,” but remember that they are licensed by the state, and serve residency before they’re completely let loose on society. Any damn fool with enough financial aid and the ability to bullshit can get a Ph.D., even in engineering.)

Meanwhile, all of these Vulcans around me have deep-seated personality problems that a trained psychiatrist could see with binoculars from the parking lot. Most of them have horrible self-esteem issues, the main question being whether it’s too high or too low. Once you get to a certain level of mid-management, you begin to see these horribly intelligent people have to adapt to the common corporate behavior of kissing ass, which is particularly distasteful for an engineer, but is also the surest way to keep from getting fired the next time sales are down. And there is nothing on earth more catty than a group of engineers who are passed over for promotion, especially if somebody is chosen based on anything other than pure technical expertise. The ability to talk, for example. One of my favorite people here gets slammed left and right by the peons simply because he’s younger than they are and he got promoted to be their boss. He was my boss for a little while, and I would’ve moved the moon (or at least designed control surfaces to do it with) for him because he took the time to talk to me. The guy isn’t a dick or an idiot, he’s just younger and more measured of speech, and apparently that makes him an automatic ass-kisser. Whatever.

I know, I know, it’s the same everywhere. I wouldn’t be any happier in any other industry, and in fact I’d probably be less happy, since I wouldn’t be able to walk downstairs at lunch and watch airplanes taxi by.

I finally caught the “Bible” episode of “Penn & Teller: Bullshit!” Genesis “¦ check. Noah’s Ark story “¦ check. Jesus’ miracles “¦ check. Actually, they weren’t too cruel, but they did manage to piss me off in two different spots. One of them was the closing statement about the world needing “more atheists.” That’s pushing their beliefs on us, and there’s really no other way to take that.

Interestingly, the other time was their bit about the parting of the Red Sea, something that has been researched thoroughly and a decent hypothesis put forth on it. You see, the part of the Red Sea where the Hebrews would have crossed is pretty shallow. There have also been observed seasonal straight-line windstorms that have pushed up a sustained berm of water in that area, making the sea even shallower. The hypothesis is that Moses’ parting of the Red Sea was courtesy of a particularly violent windstorm. Now, I didn’t read this in a religious publication. I read this in Scientific American. Somebody was doing actual research into the physical feasibility of this. Did Penn & Teller bring this up? What do you think?

Guys, if you’re going to pull this smarter-than-thou act you might think about doing more research than the schmuck sitting on the couch watching you has done “¦ passively, I might add. Between this and the recycling episode (Glass?) your credibility is taking it on the chin. You made a comment about the Christian researcher “not having the crack research team” you had. Excuse me? Are you not counting the legions of theology researchers who pore over every written account they can find, study the word composition and try to piece together the actual meanings from the original writings (that are in a now-dead language, I might add) or try to find evidence in the historical record to corroborate the events described? Folks, there are people who have devoted their lives, not a few days prep for a half-hour show, their very LIVES, to studying the origins and historical records of The Bible. I said before that there are even people, skeptics, who set out to disprove The Bible and ended up converting to Christianity before it was all over. I’m sorry none of these people showed up on your Yahoo search, but I assure you they’re out there.

I guess the point is that you should stick to easy targets like the New Agers you hammered this week; because when you try to hit something with any sort of substance or complexity you come off looking like agenda-driven morons. Good show, by the way.

Okay. Enough of that.

Lucard and Yeager: Your assignment is to go watch the Minnesota Lynx, the WNBA franchise, play sometime this summer. Why? Because with the sixth pick in the 2004 WNBA draft, the Minnesota Lynx took center Nicole Ohlde from Kansas State University. Clay Center be REPRESENTIN’.

Saturday, June 5th: Phoenix Mercury @ Minnesota. The first ever match-up between Diana Taurasi and Nicole Ohlde.

Another shorty (and late) owing to the graduation party. Thankfully, things should mellow as we head into summer. Maybe I can even get over my depression at the Royals’ standings and finish the ASB ’05 review before the All-Star break.

And I have Fight Night 2004 queued up behind that. For a teaser, I’ll say that I really like the new punching system, and the difficulty settings have some good separation. I was even able to take down Roy Jones Jr. pretty easily. Not as easily as Tarver did this weekend, but almost.

Next week, my plan for world domination using Chewy Spree and PVC pipe.

Until then, get some sleep.

-Cory