Thursday, March 23, 2006

Old School Gaming

Argh, still no new contacts! I got some more solution though, but got the cheapskate $4 CVS brand stuff because the name-brands really do jack up their prices! Anyway, on to what you really came here to read about. I ran into an article today just showing side-by-side screenshot comparisons of old games and their new counterparts, and it just felt very nostalgic. I totally remember that cool slam dunk animation from Double Dribble, and getting whooped by Mike Tyson in Punch Out, and other great memories. Things really have come a long way, and not only in graphics. It used to be that games were damn near impossible to beat! Now people just don't beat them because they're lazy and their attention flies to a newer game. It's no wonder that the game industry has grown so much since adults are actually getting more into them than kids, which actually makes sense because I keep seeing people in forums and online games who get all the new stuff, which would only happen to rich kids when I was little. It's hard to blame them though since all you want to do after a hard day of work is chill at home and have a little fun rather than go out clubbing or something. Then you see trailers like this kickass one for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and you nearly piss your pants. I guess part of it thought is just knowing how far Zelda has come. Then there's the vaporware (i.e. games that never actually get released) like the ever-popular Duke Nukem Forever, which Kotaku has some old trailers for. I know it's hard to find time for games at all, but I encourage you to try and pick up an old game (easy to find online, and I'm sure you can get the consoles loaded with games on eBay) and just relive the past. I know that I still have my old NES and SNES (though not here in Austin).

Speaking of video games, Sony had a double-whammy prepared for us in the midst of GDC (Game Developer's Conference) today: they're definitely going to redesign that boomerang-shaped PS3 controller they originally showed off (I personally thought it was horrid-looking) for the next E3 and the PS3 will be region-free (i.e. you can play imported games on your American console assuming your TV is compatible). I hope that both will restore some of the faith that gamers lost in Sony with all the lies about the release date. We all now know that XP can be loaded onto a Mac, but is it worthwhile? Macworld tried it out and managed to get it working and functional within 12 hours, which is a massive amount of time but it's well worth it if you're a Mac user who has had to suffer through Virtual PC. Of course, if you don't already have XP you might as well just get a cheap Dell box with it pre-loaded, but if you do then it could reduce the size of your home computer lab. In fact, XP seems to work better on a Mac than on normal Wintel machines. Of course, benchmarking is inherently biased, but as long as it isn't significantly slower than a normal Wintel box that's a pretty sweet deal. Another very critical hole has been discovered in IE, and you're supposed to turn off active scripting to stave off a possible attack until a patch is released. However, you might as well just switch to Firefox and be on with your life. Lastly, Google Pages has launched into beta if you really need another easy website builder, but I can't say much about it until we get more screenshots and impressions.

Click to enlargeI haven't said much about The Notorious Bettie Page, but it sounds like it'll be a fun look back in time at 50's culture (kind of like the first Back to the Future), and I think Gretchen Mol looks great in the role. You can see some more scandalous new pictures than that one over here. Capone put up a good review of Thank You For Smoking, which I bring up because I've heard good things in general about this flick so it's definitely something to check out when it comes out in theaters for us normal folk. There are numerous rumors floating about regarding casting in Grind House, and I can't say which are actually likely to be true, but it would be sweet if Rose McGowen was cast because she's so hot and would make a great damsel in distress. We do know who's being cast as Harry Knowles in Fanboys, and that would be Kevin Smith! The movie follows a group of friends taking their dying friend to see Star Wars Episode I at Skywalker Ranch before he dies, and I wonder how far Smith will actually go to poke fun at Knowles. Universal will be launching what I'm pretty sure actually is the first download-to-own movie service next month with King Kong as the starter film in the UK, and I'm sure that it will soon come stateside if it's successful. Now the trick is if they're going to smother it with DRM. Lastly, Spider-man 3 will be shooting an outdoor scene in Ohio next month rather than NYC since it's much cheaper to do there, and I just wonder if we'll be able to spot the difference in the movie? Probably not, I'm guessing, though since their visual effects team must be pretty awesome.

I'm trying out the Thursday Threesome meme this week:

Onesome- New: What's new in your life? New car, new house, new job or new person, or even just a new toy you bought for yourself?

The last new thing would probably be my contacts, but my parents paid for that. The last new toy I bought was my camera of course, and I don't know that I've met anyone new as such this week.

Twosome- Car: What kind of car do you drive? What kind of car would you like to drive if you could?
I currently drive a 1996 Volvo 850 Turbo, and I enjoy driving it (despite its a/c problems, which we will be fixing soon). I like Volvos, so I'd probably ideally be driving a Volvo S60 since it has that sweet turbocharger, but it has some room in the back for passengers and transporting my junk. Plus, the interior is way gorgeous (even better than the exterior). I didn't say the C70 because I think it looks too small from the outside, which I don't like. I hate matchbox cars.

Threesome- Scent: Scents are great at bringing back memories. Is there a scent that any time you smell it you flash back to something in your past?
There's the smell of the streets of India I smell randomly every once in a while, and that takes me back to my summer vacation there. There's also the smell of a heater, which reminds me of winters at home when I was younger.

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