Category Archives: gaming

GeekDad: Halo Encyclopedia

geekdadnewlogoI am a late arriver to the Halo game, but was lucky enough to land a Q&A with Tobias Buckell, consulting editor for the Halo Encyclopedia.

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/12/10-questions-for-tobias-buckell-consulting-editor-for-the-halo-encyclopedia/

Game Informer’s Top 200 Video Games of All Time

Got my Game Informer mag yesterday. In celebration of their 200th issue, they put together their list of the 200 greatest video games of all time. Here are the top 20 and my commentary. Those in bold are the ones that I have played:

#
Game
Comments
1 The Legend of Zelda Agreed! Sometimes I still think I AM Link!
2 Super Mario Bros. Another great classic! No surprise that Nintendo takes #1 & #2
3 Tetris The first addicting puzzle game; the wife loved this before she got addicted to Zuma
4 GTA III Never played it, not my thing
5 Half-Life 2 This came out before I got into FPS, may have to go back and try it out
6 Doom Probably the game that turned me off of FPS in the beginning
7 Metroid I wish I could curl my body into a little ball
8 Final Fantasy III I was not really a hardcore RPG’er either
9 Super Mario Bros. 3 Endless nights playing this one (love you Mario – like a brother)
Ms. Pac-Man One time Ms. Pac-Man champ at Holiday Lanes on East Main
11 World of Warcraft Not ready to shill out the monthly payments for this, plus not much of a quester
12 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past One of the greatest sequels of all time!
13 Super Mario 64 A great introduction into 3D gaming
14 COD: Modern Warfare Haven’t had the pleasure, but MW2 will becoming into the household soon
15 Final Fantasy VII Another RPG, not me though
16 Mike Tyson’s Punch Out The only way I’d ever take on Big Mike
17 Chrono Trigger Skipped this one
18 Resident Evil 4 Not really a zombie fan either
19 Metal Gear Solid Bought the PSone just for this game
20 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Link goes 3D

Android: Satisfy Your Board Game Jones

Trailers for movies. Sure, been doing that for years.

Trailers for video games. Just as popular as movies.

Trailers for books. A new thing, gaining popularity.

Trailers for board games. WTF?!

A friend of mine who is an avid board gamer, pointed me to the Fantasy Flight Games site. FFG does not produce your Yatzhee’s and Sorry’s. No, these folks are serious and the games look awesome. I might have to break off a purchase. But only if I can find some board gamers to play with. Anyone want to play?

New Star Wars MMO Trailer, The Fanboy In Me Shivers With Glee

I may have to break my “No MMO” rule for this…

Via IO9..

About Time!

Now I can be Verdeen!

Now I can be Verdeen!

Welcome to Rock Band EWF!

I have been trying to check the released songs list regularly, but I missed this release on March 17. Shining Star is included as a part of their first Get Out The Funk pack. The pack also includes James Brown’s Get Up and the Average White Band’s Pick Up The Pieces.

If you remember, I ranted about this last year

Africa Has Cities

Sonic saves Africa

Sonic saves Africa

When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself to not speak on racial politics too much. I wanted this to be a blog about technology, scifi, and overall nerdiness from my perspective; a young brotha with kids. There are many more people out there that have excellent blogs where great cultural and political discussions are held everyday. I tend to drop comments out there. But, my kids and I had a great exchange the other day and it prompted this “short” post.

A few weeks back we bought Sonic Unleashed. I had to get this game as Sonic holds a special place in my gamer’s heart as one of the first truly awesome games. My son thought that the werewolf transformation was cool! The premise of the game is that Sonic’s world breaks up and he has to travel to different places to help put it all back together. In each level in the game, Sonic visits different parts of the world and takes down Eggman with the quickness.

In the second level he visits “Africa”. Now in the game it is called Mazuri, but it’s Africa (most likely it’s supposed to be Mali, one of the buildings looks like the Great Mosque of Djenne). And to no one’s surprise, the people lived in a village. Mud huts with thatch roofs, traditional African clothing, barefeet; the works. Now, you noticed I said, “To no one’s surprise”. Even mine. But for some reason, this irked me on the day I played that level. Why are Africans always portrayed as living in dusty villages with with lions and elephants running around? I posed the question to my kids and we had a very good lengthy discussion on the topic.

Now do I think this game is racist? No. Do I think the developers purposefully intended to make the “Africans” seem less technologically mature than the other societies in the game? No. But, it just begs the question, Why? Maybe no one on the staff thought of it? Maybe it’s just an accepted idea, Africa = no shoes, grass huts, beads, and wraps.

I know that Africa as a whole is not the most developed place in the world (why is a whole ‘nother discussion). But, Africa does have cities. Rather nice ones. There are cities with suburbs. There are cities with malls. There are cities with modern infrastructure. But it’s hard to tell in today’s media (games, TV, movies). A suitable analogy is someone only showing people living in trailer parks when talking about Americans. Is that accurate?

A few weeks ago, there was a dustup about the upcoming Resident Evil 5 and its portrayal of African zombies jacking a white woman for some grey matter. I think the argument about this game in particular is bunk and stupid, but my larger question/issue remains. Why don’t we ever see African cities in games or in the movies? Everyone doesn’t live in the bush. Here are some pictures to help those that may not believe me.

Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria

Nairobi, Kenya

Abidjan, Cote dIvoire

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Rock Band Has No Soul (or Funk or R&B)

rb2This Christmas, we picked up RockBand 2 for the kids. We already had Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii and with our addition of an XBox 360 this summer, we wanted to spread the love.

First off, the game is killer. We bought the special edition, so it came with a guitar, drum set, and microphone. We all thought that GH was fun, throw in the drums and the mic?! Killer! I think the band-as-a-game concept is just brilliant. It is interactive, challenging, and quick (most songs are 4 minutes or less). Invite a few friends over and you can literally party for hours.

Now to my gripe. I grew up in the 70’s, so there was that time when a lot of Black people listened to rock. This was the time of pre-MTV, let alone Yo! MTV Raps. So outside of Black radio, much of what you heard in public was what was popular for the main stream. And when MTV did come out, we were bombarded with rock in all its glory: David Bowie, Guns n Roses, Pat Benatar. So I can rock out with the best of ’em. I have a ball rockin’ to these songs in RB2.

But for what MTV did not play, Pops made up for it with LP collection. Dayton, EWF, Parliament, Con Funk Shun, Sly & The Family Stone. These were the bands we grooved to at parties that our parents had in the basement. The deep base riffs, guitar solos, and don’t mention the vocals. To me, just as killer as the rock bands featured in the game. If there were a group of bands that could be featured in RB2, then these would be it.

So it was more than disappointing to find so little soul (or funk or R&B) in RB2. There is a Beastie Boys song or two (does that classify?). But none of the greatness that defines 70’s an 80’s music for a large swath of America (and the buying public, I might add).

But wait! RB2 has downloadable content!

But NO! Even there, I can’t find anything.

I went out to the RB forums to see if there were any announcements about forthcoming DLC that may venture into the funk or soul world. Whoa! I know the internet is famous for enabling pissants to be bigger pissants with the wonderful world of anonymity, but dude we are talking about music in a game. There are some serious bigots on those boards. I found a few forum threads discussing diversity in RB2. Here is a nice gem:

If more country songs are offered for DLC, my rock band is going on ebay! and GHWT here i come. i wouldnt be so angry if they had release at least one or two rock songs as well. but come on guys this weeks DLC is pathetic.

So, this cat is saying that if Harmonix puts more country music out as DLC, he’s selling his game!? First, it is DLC, meaning you have to pay for it and download it. If you don’t want it on your system, don’t buy it! I would hate to see what he thinks about funk or soul music.

Hopefully, HMX has heard of The Long Tail. I think that adding these genres as DLC is a perfect example of how this concept can translate into additional revenue (and satisfaction for lot of people).

I want to be Verdine dammit!

I want to be a Jedi, like my father!

The Old RepublicA few weeks back, Ta-Nehisi Coates blogged about having issues with your special someone if you’re an avid WoW player. I commented that that was the reason I had not signed up for any MMO anywhere. Then came news that you might not get the coveted job you always wanted if you’re exposed as an MMO’er.

And now, BioWare is close to releasing what may be one of the most badass MMOs to date. Star Wars: The Old Republic is shaping up to be a big thrill ride for Star Wars fans across the globe. Check out the latest trailer for some lightsaber goodness.

Do I dare risk the blissful and stress free times at the Calrissian household?

Note to BioWare: Please don’t mess this up!

Thanks to the Penny Arcade for the info…