Mid-Week Mid-Boss v2.10

Well, look at these morose motherf*ckers right here. Looks like somebody shit in their cereal. – Ben Affleck, in probably his greatest line ever

I meant no disrespect to anyone by that quote, but that’s how I feel. There’s a lot of sadness going around these parts, and I won’t shit on that by any means. But by the same token, I’M not going to get all sad. I hope everybody can respect that. I look at death as moving on to a better place. So, without further adieu…

Hey yo. Flea was wrong about me. I wasn’t the next to go. Sorry to disappoint you guys.

Anyway, it’s another week here. We are a mere week away from one of the most hyped video game launches I can remember, and a lot of people are pissed because there just isn’t enough to go around. I may end up being one of those pissed ones. I thought the fact that I preordered the day that Walmart.com put the sumbitch up was a guarantee that I’d get one. My confidence has been shattered though.

Bah, who cares. If I don’t get one, I don’t get one. I’ll live, and it’ll actually give me time to play the games I’m going to be getting in this week, imagine that! So lets get on with the shizzow.

Microsoft has released the full Launch Compatibility List for Xbox 360
Ok, before you ask, no, I’m not going to post the list here. But you can find it HERE. Despite what people previously thought, it isn’t just “popular” games. Yes, there are titles such as Halo and DOA3, but there are also titles that AREN’T on the list that should be. Such as Splinter Cell. It seems they were able to emulate certain game system, but not all of them. Of my 4 Xbox titles, only Fable is emulated, and I probably won’t be able to play them.

There are a couple of things you NEED to know though. First off, to play any Xbox game on the 360, you need a hard drive. And it will need to download the code through Xbox Live. And more games will be available in the future. One problem people will have is that none of your saved games or downloadable content will be able to be transferred from your Xbox to the 360. And any purchased content will have to be purchased again. While this may piss off some people, it’s really no surprise after the lack of true backwards compatibility. But there you have it.
(Credit: Evil Avatar)

Microsoft Announces the OFFICIAL List of Launch Titles
Here’s the titles on the list: Amped 3, Call of Duty 2, Condemned: Criminal Origins, FIFA 06, GUN, Kameo: Elements of Power, Madden NFL 06, NBA 2K6, NBA LIVE 06, Need for Speed Most Wanted, NHL 2K6, Perfect Dark Zero, King Kong, Project Gotham Racing 3, Quake 4, Ridge Racer 6, Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’06, Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland.

Wow, there are a total of 3 completely original games on there. Too damn many sports games. Of those, the only games I’m interested in (and will either end up buying or renting) are THAW (on preorder), GUN (still debating buying it or not), Condemned (the other choice in place of GUN) and Kameo. I’m still sad that Oblivion was pushed back, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t preorder it and DOA4, because DOA4 was also pushed back.
(Credit: Games are Fun)

Activision holds rights to Spider-Man and X-Men titles until 2017
Previously, Marvel and Activision had signed a deal giving the latter exclusive rights to make X-Men and Spider-Man titles until the year 2009. There isn’t really a whole lot else to say about it, really. So far, the most recent games from both titles (well, not Spider-Man Unlimited) were pretty good. And I can only assume they did this to make sure that EA didn’t get the rights. That’s not a bash, but just observation, considering that EA made the totally dreadful Marvel Nemesis.
(Credit: Evil Avatar, Gamecloud)

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Delayed + Voice Acting!
Ok, for the first part of this, I may have reported it previously (because I knew about it a few weeks ago), but FFVII Advent Children has been delayed until 2006. No other real specifics on it, but it is rumored that it may have something to do with adding bonus features to the UMD version of the title. If so, they can kiss my ass since UMD is officially LAME. I will be getting the DVD version, however.

In regards to the English voice acting, there hasn’t been any official word yet, but IMDB lists many voice actors from the movie. Keep in mind, since it’s IMDB, it could be TOTALLY WRONG. And if it is true, it’s relatively bad news (or good news, depending on how you look). In every case, they are listing the same voice they used for Kingdom Hearts. Cloud is played by Steve Burton, who I didn’t really know, but he was good in Taken. Aerith is played by *sigh*, Mandy Moore. And Sephiroth is played by *sob* Lance Bass, who is quite appropriate for playing a gay guy, though Sephiroth is supposed to be a badass gay dude, which Lance is NOT. The only English voice they list is Michelle Ruff as Elena. But to be honest, I don’t remember the voices from Kingdom Hearts, and it makes a lot of sense for them to keep continuity with the voices. I just hope the people that are cast that WEREN’T in Kingdom Hearts are good people.
(Credit: Games are Fun, IMDB)

Welp, I FINALLY got Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, so I’ve been playing that for a forthcoming review, so keep an eye out for that.

I will also be receiving Fatal Frame III this week, and I’m actually going to purchase Dragon Quest VIII, which comes with a Final Fantasy XII demo (which I will probably write about next week). So I’m going to be pretty busy. Oh yea, and a little system comes out next week called the Xbox 360. The question is whether or not I’ll actually get one. Walmart sent me an email saying that they weren’t going to be able to ship the first part of my bundle this week (the extra controller, Xbox Live Gold for a year and the charge and play), but none of that is as important as getting the system itself. I mean, I WANT that stuff since I’m paying for it, but it just isn’t quite as important.

Ok, unfortunately, I do not have any anime to review this week. I know, I know, you’re heartbroken. But you’ll be happy to know that I have anime TO review.

Yes, I received a box from ADV that had some goodies. In case you missed it, they had a sale a couple of weeks ago that was insanely good. I ended up getting all of Aquarian Age, 3 discs of Noir, the RahXephon Movie + box, a Noir wallscroll and a deck of Noir playing cards for like $70 AFTER shipping. Since 1 anime disc usually costs $25, to be able to get that much was a great bargain. And the reason they were so cheap? Because the place where the UPC code was on the cases had a hole in it. On all the cases. That’s nothing off my hide, for that price. I probably would have accepted the discs alone for that price, because cases are cheap.

So anyway, sometime this week, or next weekend, time permitting, I should try to watch Aquarian Age. It is only 3 discs, so it shouldn’t take more than 6 hours to watch. So hopefully next week I can review it here for you. Keep an eye out for it.

When I got Blockbuster Online, my dad kept telling me, “You HAVE to rent Taken! You HAVE to!!!” So I did.

Steven Spielberg’s Taken (discs 1, 2, and 3 of 5)
My first impression of Taken was “WW2 and Aliens, right up Spielberg’s alley”. That being said, it’s taken me 3 of the 5 discs to really GET what it’s about.

The show is, of course, about aliens and their abductions. But it’s much, much more vast in scope than that. It starts off in WW2, where a B-52 gets shot and is going to crash, but is “saved” by alien lights. The crew is abducted and experimented on, but the captain fights back and kills their abductors, and they make it out. But since that captain fought back and survived, the aliens became even more interested in him.

Years later, in Roswell, New Mexico, an alien craft collides with a prototype surveillance craft and crash lands. The Army finds it, puts it in a hanger, and runs tests on the bodies of the occupants. They quickly realize that there should be 5 bodies, but there are only 4, so they go on the hunt for the 5th alien. But the aliens are able to act like chameleons and the 5th seduced a woman and impregnated her. And the man who is in charge of the alien project will stop at nothing, not even murder, to further his career and find out how get technology from the alien craft.

So here you have three separate people (the captain in WW2, the woman impregnated by an alien, and the ruthless Colonel) who become inexplicably connected. And time progresses. Every episode I watched was usually several years after the previous. It starts out with these three, but then goes down the line by generation. The pilot gets married and has a son, but goes fairly crazy thanks to the constant abductions. His son is also abducted often, as is his son. To further his career, the Colonel marries his boss’ daughter, and he has two children. One he loves much more than the other, but the irony is that the one he loves more ends up going against his father’s wishes, while the other son worshipped his father like a god, and ends up taking his father’s place. And the pregnant woman has a half alien baby (though he looks perfectly normal) who is capable of doing things with his mind, such as causing intense fear, but every time he does it, it hurts him as well. He ends up getting married and having a daughter himself.

The story is really good and very well written. The time period begins with 1942, then progresses to the 50’s then the 60’s and so on, until it gets to the 90’s. I think the majority of the final two discs will take place in the 90’s, since the narrator’s (Dakota Fanning) character was born in 1992. The acting is good for the most part, but some of the actors are somewhat rough around the edges.

I only had two problems with this show thus far: 1) There are several women who have been so poorly written. Some of the main female characters easily let themselves get into a bad marriage and then spread their legs at the first guy who looks at them sweetly. It seems to run in the family though. All in all, most of the main female characters just bug me in how they were written. 2) The pacing, at times, is soooo dreadfully slow. There are two episodes per disc and each episode is 1 hour 30 minutes. That’s the length of an average feature length movie, so they usually try to pack it with tons of action. Since this is one big story, overall, they drag things out a lot more, and make it a lot more boring. There have been plenty of times where it didn’t seem like it was going anywhere, and I would keep glancing at the clock, wishing for the show to hurry up.

All in all, this is a great show so far. It’s just very, very long. But I’d say it’s worth it.

Overall Rating: B+

As for TV, well, it was a pretty slow week I suppose.

What a great episode of LOST. The flashbacks were pretty pointless, but it showed us an important connection. My brother pointed out to me that in the hospital, as Shannon is first walking in, Jack walks past. And Shannon’s father is killed head-on by an SUV, that SUV happens to be driven by Jack’s future wife! Nice connection there. I personally didn’t think they had the balls to kill Shannon, but it was really too obvious considering the episode was about her. They swerved you from thinking it’d be Sawyer that would die, but it was too obvious that it WOULDN’T be him, and I thought it was too obvious that it WOULD be Shannon, but I guess not. My swerve detecting skills failed me. I will now commit seppuku.

Oh wait, I can’t die. I’m invincible. No seppuku for me. Check out Duran for your LOST recap goodness.

I had to work late on Friday night, so I missed the first half of Ghost Whisperer, and because of the downward spiral the show has been taking, I declined to bother with it. So I guess I’m done with it. It’s a pity, too, because it’s ruined primarily by JLH. Unfortunately, Threshold didn’t have a new episode this week, which made my Friday free!

Speaking of free Fridays, they may become free every week. For whatever reason, CBS may be moving Threshold to Tuesdays. Or at least, it’ll be on Tuesday the 22nd. I don’t know why, but if they move it there permanently, I will NOT complain. I would love having another night completely free, especially since Thursdays have become my anime night with my friends.

With the addition of this category, I can officially be the one man IP band. Except for music. I don’t listen to anything that is played on the radio nowadays. Most of it is garbage. Call me old or whatever, but it’s the truth.

Anyway, I recently signed up – yet again – with the Science Fiction Book Club. You know, they’re like Columbia House for geeks. Anyway, I got my shipment in today. There was some pretty good shit. I got the Crisis on Infinite Earths Graphic Novel (counted as 2 books), The Talisman and Black House (by King and Straub, counted as 1 book), Rosemary’s Baby, The House Next Door, Ghost Story and The Haunting of Hill House (all counted as1 book) and Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. In addition, I’m still reading Jordan’s Knife of Dreams. Oh, and on the way is Jordan’s New Spring, and King’s Everything’s Eventual and On Writing. My brother has become a big King fan, so I’ll let him have all my King books when I finish reading them. I don’t have the damn space for them anyway.

So let’s see our first entry into this new category…

Crisis on Infinite Earths
Before I begin, I must admit, I am heavily biased. I’ve been a Marvel fan for much longer than a DC fan. DC has had some great characters (Batman primarily) but for the most part, DC has been extremely cheesy and hokey. Marvel is guilty of plenty of cheese, but still, their cheesy was a lot better than DC’s, in my opinion. But I warned you.

In the Introduction, Marv Wolfman claims that his own Crisis on Infinite Earths was the first “mega event” story in comics, and that all the imitators are basically crap. He may be right about the first part, but not the second. Personally, so far, I think Crisis is heavily overrated. It was written to connect all the continuity and make all the other universes into one, but is kind of lame how it is all done. For one thing, why is the Earth that most of DC is based in “Earth 1”? At least with Marvel, they don’t try to make ours super important, and call ours Earth 616 (which I believe was established in the ever awesome Excalibur, but I could be wrong).

Anyway, I think Wolfman’s writing is pretty cheesy, and is about on the quality of Stan Lee’s writing in the 60’s. And what is up with so many lame ass “heroes”? Oh, it’s Aqua Lad and Aqua Girl! Super Girl, Bat Girl, Wonder Girl. Can we buy some originality here?

The problem that this series faces is too many super people that nobody gives a shit about. As for it being the best “mega-event” series? I beg to differ. I didn’t read comics that long, but in my time, there were a few really good ones. I enjoyed the Infinity Gauntlet series (and the Thanos Quest lead-in, though Infinity War and Crusade were pretty lame), and Kingdom Come on the DC side was great as well. Oh, and I loved Age of Apocalypse. And I’ve always heard Secret Wars (though not SWII) was good.

But Crisis just wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t like the writing at all, and it didn’t serve any real purpose except to do stuff that Wolfman wanted to do. He thought things should be a certain way, so that’s how he wrote them. He thought Superman should be the only survivor of Krypton, so he killed off Supergirl.

So overall, I just think it is highly overrated. But like I said, I’m not a big DC person. And it pisses me off whenever they have one of these big things and focus entirely on Superman. Give Batman his due! He’s the most interesting character they’ve got!

Alas, my friends, I shalt not be linking this week. To put it simply, I’m lazy. I’ve got a review to write, and other stuff.

You know my M.O. Check out Lucard, Eric S, the guys who recap Lost, the whole games section, and any good movie reviews for the week. That should do ya.

Ok, that’s it for this week. Come back next week with more evil, dirty, wrong fun. And if I find out that I won’t be getting a 360, I may even throw in a curse word or two (additional to all the ones I normally throw in!). Enjoy the week, peeps.