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Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #27


Cover for EGM #27 (slightly beat up)
Cover for EGM #27 (slightly beat up)

Moving on with the EGM Re-Cap to Issue 27. The cover of this issue features “Super Mario Brothers 4”, which would be later released as Super Mario World, as well as screen shots of Terminator 2 Arcade and the Lucasfilm Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back games (Lucasarts hadn’t officially been formed yet). Our page count for this issue is taking us to the 200 page area.

The first ad of the issue is Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge for the Game Boy. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, this is one of the Castlevania games that has been removed from the canon, followed by an ad for F-15 Strike Eagle for the NES – most of my prior experience with actual fight sims on the NES demonstrated that the NES didn’t work for that genre at all. We get an ad for “Treasure Master,” another NES game – with one of the hooks for the game is that if you beat the game you get a password you can use to enter in a drawing to win fabulous prizes like tickets to a concert or sporting event of your choice, a fully outfitted entertainment center (which, going by the description, would have been pretty good rig up until HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, at which point you’d have to replace the TV with one that had HDMI connections)

Continue reading → Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #27

Video Game Review – Guitar Hero: Aerosmith


Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for the PS3
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith for the PS3

Guitar Hero: Metallica, the second game the Guitar Hero franchise to be based around a specific musician is now out. I, being a cheap gamer, can’t afford to get that at the moment, and being a cheap bastard, decided to pick up a new copy of Guitar Hero Aerosmith from Gamestop for $10. That and I like Aerosmith. Now, I had my reservations about Guitar Hero 3, particularly with the game’s learning curve, and how well it handled anything above “Easy” in difficulty. Does the Aerosmith-based spinoff of Guitar Hero 3 address my complaints?

Continue reading → Video Game Review – Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

In Memoriam for Beau Jacobson


I don’t think about High School often. High School wasn’t what I would describe as “fun”. Now, I wasn’t a major social outcast or anything like that. I wasn’t emo, or punk, or goth. I was just your basic geek, but school was made stressful by the fact that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and was one of the first people in the school district to be diagnosed with it when I was in Elementary school – and the lions share of High School was spent fighting the school district to give me the support I needed. This was stressful.

However, there were high points. They were, in order of when they happened. Hanging out with my friends in the school’s stairwell (and playing Quake II with them in the computer lab – I got into MUDs, First Person Shooters, and playing games online against people this way), the group of people in my class I circled through my classes with, and the high school Anime Club.

Right now, I’m going to talk about that second group, and one member in particular. Of that group, the ones I remember most were Beau Jacobsen, Sandy Kalik, Kate Boeher, Hap Purden, Mickey Clark, Ian Mclennan, Travis Galbreath, Gary Marcoux, Davey Farley, AJ Bartholemew, and I’m definitely forgetting some others whose names I haven’t already misspelled (and if you’re reading this, I apologize for omissions and misspellings.)

I found out today, that Beau is no longer with us. I don’t know precisely how he died, but I know he drowned, and apparently was diving. Beau and I didn’t hang out particularly outside of school. He was involved in sports, and I definitely was not. However, he made every single class I shared with him better by his presense. He was a very smart man. Say what you will about him, he was not a dumb jock. I always felt that he was interested, involved, and, and in my opinion this is the sign of a great person – when he didn’t know something, he’d ask for help, rather then trudging on regardless. I don’t do that sometimes, many times – and I consider myself a supergenius (and overestimate my intelligence).

Plus, he was interested in other people, and cared about what they were into. Hell, being that I serialized my blog through my Facebook account, and he and I were friends on facebook, he might have read every post on this blog as it came up, from the lame to the awesome. Beau was the kind of guy where if you’d tell him something you’d done that you thought was cool, even if, as soon as you said it it sounded horrendiously lame coming out of your mouth (short of “Let me tell you about my character” level lame), while he might not be interested enough want to listen at length (though me being socially inept in high school would do it anyway), he would at least say “That’s cool” and mean it. Because of Beau, I was actually looking forward to my High School Reunion, whenever that would be, because Beau is probably the non-geek (or one of the few non-geeks in the place) that I could say, when you get asked the question of  “What have you been up to since graduation,” and you have to give your high-point of the last few years, I could say “I review anime and movies for a web page with decent readership,” and he’d say “That’s cool” and might even be legitimately impressed until I mentioned that I don’t get paid – which is okay because everyone does that.

Beau, this world is at least a few shades darker without you in it. But, on the bright side, the other world is at least a couple shades brighter.

Unfortunately, being unemployed, I can’t exactly take my own advice on this, but Beau loved the outdoors and the ocean – and I can’t think of a better tribute than a donation to one of the following groups

Sorry for taking a turn for the serious and sedate here. I’ll try to bring the funny later. But to be honest, even though I haven’t seen Beau for quite some time (face to face), while I’ve been writing all this, by which I mean the blog, from a geeky perspective, I brought my funny, my witty, my snarky, and occasionally my profane not necessarily (the skateboarding article aside) from my aspirations of Hunter S. Thompson/Spider Jerusalem-dom, but from wanting to write something that would entertain my more geeky friends from College and my less geeky friends from High School who might be reading this through my Facebook. OtakuGeneration, Alex Navarro, and Hunter S. Thompson inspired me to start writing, Beau, Hap, Ian, Mickey, Gary, and all of them were, and for those still with us – (which IIRC is most of them) are, the that which keeps me writing (as well as all of you who are putting in comments which don’t contain the names of perscription medications).

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough for tonight, and this is without an appointment with Dr. Funk (who actually I’ve never been to see). I’m going to miss you Beau, but to paraphrase one of my favorite movies – you’re really not dead, as long as we remember you.

Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #6


EGM Issue #6
EGM Issue #6

I’ve gotten ahold of one of the issues of EGM within the 21-issue gap – Electronic Gaming Monthly issue #6. This issue is about 90 pages long, including the covers. Our cover art this time is in-game art from the Batman game for the NES – and it looks pretty good, considering how much it’s been blown up. I’m going be mentioning more ads this time around, though I’ll try to limite them to either ads for specific games that I haven’t seen before, or notable ads that I may have seen before, but are notable because, say, the game got a bad review.

Judging from the list of articles on the cover, coverage of the Mega-Drive Genesis is expanding to include more game reviews. As yet, as mentioned on issue #25 – the SNES is not yet out.

Our first ad of the issue is for WCW wrestling for the NES, featuring the wrestlers of the NWA – that’s right, Billionare Ted hasn’t bought out Jim Crockett Promotions and split it off from the National Wrestling Alliance yet. Aside from the historical curiosity though, the game does have notable thing behind it – it’s the first wrestling game that let you win matches by submission, and the first wrestling game to have finishing moves.

We also get an ad for Fester’s Quest – no “Critics are raving” quotes – either they’re covering their ass, or they’re not reading the reviews.

Continue reading → Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #6

Speaking Truth to Power – Fighting for a new skate park.


The Wilsonville Skate Park, courtasy of skateoregon.com
The Wilsonville Skate Park, courtasy of skateoregon.com

Just another little update… in my home town of Wilsonville, last week, there was a trio of letters written to our local paper fighting the construction of a new skate park in Wilsonville.  The arguments were rather old, worn out, and some of them had holes in them:

  • “Skateboarding is a fad” – It’s about 40 years old
  • “Our existing park is just fine” – It’s two quarter-pipes with a single rail and contains copious amounts of wood, which needs to be replaced every few years
  • “Skate parks attract gang members, drug dealers, and other riff-raff” – Our current skate park is in a somewhat secluded portion of Memorial Park at the bottom of a hill, so it doesn’t get patrolled by police very often, so drug dealers and gang members would feel more safe there. The new site is by city hall and the police station, which would make it very visible to police and the general public. Unless, by riff-raff, I mean teenagers, in which case I can’t help you.
  • “A swimming pool would be a better investment.”  – Well, we’ve got the Living Enrichment Center – no, they closed because the head of the center was embezzling money and defrauding her congregation. There’s Bally’s – you need a membership and I think it’s an outdoor pool anyway. Well, crap, you got me there.

So, with these arguements in mind, I wrote an letter for the Wilsonville Spokesman, and my mother, who was similarly annoyed by the letters in the Oregonian, wrote one of her own as well. Mom’s didn’t get published. Mine did.

Now, my letter won’t be visible next week Wednesday on the site, because they’ll have that week’s letters, so I’m putting the full text below the cut.

Continue reading → Speaking Truth to Power – Fighting for a new skate park.

Video Game Review – Guitar Hero 3 & Rock Band 1


Yeah, I’m really, really, really behind the times, in many respects, but that’s okay. I’m getting caught up.

As part of this, I’m finally getting caught up on my rhythem games. I missed out almost entirely on the DDR craze, and I never played Guitar Hero 1 and 2 when they came out – but finally, after Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour have come out, I’ve played Guitar Hero 3 (and Rock Band 1). So, now for the ultimate question – what do I think of them?

Just as a disclaimer, I have not beaten either game on normal. I have beaten career mode on both games on Easy. I do get into my reasons for that in my review, but I wanted to give a heads up on that first. I am counting DLC (Downloadable Content) in my criteria for each game, but I haven’t bought much of it – I have bought some though. Continue reading → Video Game Review – Guitar Hero 3 & Rock Band 1

Teaser for Assassin’s Creed 2 Up.


I recieved a teaser link in my E-Mail a few hours ago from Ubisoft to a site with their teaser for Assassin’s Creed 2. Not a lot to tell about the plot this time, but I was able to work out a couple things – the main character will have a retractable knife up his sleeve, and from the art style of what we have here – which looks reminicent of the work of Leonardo DaVinci, the game will probably be set in the Renaissance possibly in one of the Italian city-states. No information on who your master will be this time – in the previous game it was the Knights Templar, this time it may be the Roman Catholic church, or a conspiracy group of Templar-in-hiding, or it could be one of the merchant princes in Italy at the time (possibly even the Medici).

How Awesome Is It To Be Renee Montoya?


Renee Montoya IS The Question
Renee Montoya IS The Question

So, recently, I’ve been catching up on my podcasts, particuarly iFanboy, and particularly their episode on Final Crisis. I read comic books, and I like Superhero comics, but often times it’s the lower tier characters who capture my attention. The Green Arrows, the Deadpools, the Booster Golds of the world. For a moderate part, because it’s a little tricky to get into the big heroes and also around the time I was getting back into comics I wasn’t too into the direction the Bat-titles were going at the moment, I never quite got into Superman, and Wonder Woman never really was my thing. I like the Marvel stuff too, but also around the time I started getting back into comics (and getting a pull box started and so forth), Civil War had begun, and I wanted to see how it turned out before I anted back in – consequently, after the Iron Fascist won, I decided not to delve too deeply into the Marvel U (sticking with just Deadpool), and I went more deeply into the DC universe. However, I went with the smaller characters – Green Arrow, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold. I had JLA on my pull list, but it didn’t come out regularly enough that I could follow an arc – it seemed to be coming out quarterly, so I dropped it.

Continue reading → How Awesome Is It To Be Renee Montoya?

Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue #25


My apologies for the delay between installments. Much real life has gotten in the way, and… who am I kidding. I got lazy. Anyway, I’m going to move on to issue 25 for the moment. Retromags has gotten Issue 6 up, but I’ve already got Issue 25, from August of 1991 open, so I’m going to review that one first.

Our cover art for this issue highlights this issues Super NES buyer’s guide – that’s right, in the 21 issues that have passed since issue 4, Nintendo has pulled a 180 on it’s position on 16-bit systems, and is putting out a system of it’s own. This issue also highlights the first appearance of the Sega CD, which we know to be the first what would become Sega’s myriad hardware add-ons for the Genesis. Oh, and this issue is clocking in at about 130 pages.

Continue reading → Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue #25

Film Review – Das Boot: Director’s Cut


Das Boot Directors Cut Movie Poster
Das Boot Director's Cut Movie Poster

This time around I’ve got a review for you for what is widely considered to be one of the best submarine films of all time – Das Boot. Specifically, I’m reviewing the Director’s Cut, being that’s the director’s definitive vision, rather than the longer “Uncut” version that has the added footage done for European TV around the same time.

I’m going to tweak my formatting a little bit this time, by putting the plot summary above the cut. Oh, and I’m putting a movie poster on the right to make things look more perdy – and I’ll be putting my Amazon Affiliate links there too. Make things a little more “elegant”.

The Premise:

In 1941, the third year of the war, Lt. Werner, a war correspondant, comes aboard U-Boat U-96 to cover the crew and their efforts. What he gets is sheer unmitigated boredom, with occasional breaks of absolute terror. The ship goes through gigantic Atlantic storms, a massive lice infestation, depth charges after more depth charges, and occasionally they get to attack something.

Continue reading → Film Review – Das Boot: Director’s Cut

Movie Review – Out For Justice


A lot of Steven Segal’s movies are getting released on Blu-Ray. Now, I like martial arts movies, I recognize that Segal is crap. However, I do also recognize that, like Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, there was a time where Segal was not a joke, and his movies were coming out in theaters rather than coming out directly to video. So, I’m giving those movies a shot.  I’ve reviewed Under Siege elsewhere, so I won’t be reviewing it again here. However, what I will be going with is Segal’s 1991 “classic”, Out For Justice.

Continue reading → Movie Review – Out For Justice

Review of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and other Notes


Before I get into the movie review, I just want to mention that I have gotten approved for a press pass to cover Kumoricon in Oregon for Bureau42.com. So, if any of you reading the blog will be attending Kumoricon, I will be there. Now, I just need to finish getting Linux installed on my notebook and getting it up and running with my Wireless card so I can more easily live blog during the convention. Anyway, on with the review.

Continue reading → Review of “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and other Notes

So, my thoughts on XIII


Being that I don’t, generally, listen to popular music, I didn’t watch the Grammy’s this year. Instead, NBC is running a mini-series based off the French comic book XII. I decided to give this show a try, mainly becuse I hadn’t read the comic book, hadn’t played the video game based off the comic book, and, frankly, I wanted to give a mini-series based off a non-Supers comic book that wasn’t from the US or Japan a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. There are some spoilers below the cut, so be warned.

Continue reading → So, my thoughts on XIII

How Blu-Ray is dropping the ball w/ Special Features


I’d like to take a moment to rant a little bit. Recently, I took advantage of the clearance sales at Circuit City to pick up some Blu-Ray movies – specifically, upgrading some of the titles in my collection – Patton, A Bridge Too Far, and Black Hawk Down. Of these movies, only Patton matches the special features of it’s DVD release. The DVD release of Bridge Too Far has commentary by World War II Veterans who participated in Operation Market Garden, as well as documentary material. The Blu-Ray release has the theatrical trailer. That’s it. The Blu-Ray release of Black Hawk down has all of the commentaries from the Special Edition release of the movie (director’s commentary, writer’s commentary, and commentary of people who actually participated in the events depicted in the movie) but none of the other special features exclusive for that release (an episode of Frontline and History Channel documentary on the events as well).

The big selling point of Blu-Ray is that there is more storage on the disks, so you can have more information on the disks, so that which once took two disks now takes only one (for example, Batman Begins Blu-Ray release). So, why the fuck can’t you take all the special features that were on the special edition DVD release of a movie, and put those on the Blu-Ray disk, so we can leave those imbecilic shenanagans behind us! You do that, so that the special features of the Blu-Ray release are equal to or superior to the DVD release, while retaining picture quality, and you will get more people to adopt the format. If people feel that they’re getting more with the existing format, then they won’t switch.

So, stop ripping me and other customers off by scrimping on bonus features!

RPG.net’s WWE Know Your Role Netbook


In the past few days I’ve been trying to unclutter my room. I have various e-books for Role Playing Games printed out single-sided and bound in, three-ring binders and taking up space. So, to try to free up some space, I’ve been getting those books printed double-sided and bound through Kinko’s – but they need PDF documents. So, I’ve taken just about all the articles from the RPG.net Wiki for WWE Know Your Role – match types, maneuvers, and wrestler stats, and using OpenOffice I worked some Desktop Publishing Fu (Table of Contents, adding pictures, etc.) and whipped up a PDF, giving us the Great RPG.net WWE: Know Your Role Netbook!

I am making the netbook available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licence version 3.0. This means you can feel free to share it, make changes to it (add content to it, correct content, etc.) but give credit where credit is due for your changes. Make sure the RPG.net wiki remains credited. Other than that, have fun, that’s what gaming is for.

Download the Netbook

Oh, and if you don’t have WWE: Know Your Role, Comic Images (the publisher) has stopped printing the book. However, there are some people selling the game used at Amazon.com and on eBay. Feel free to check your Friendly Local Game Store as well to see if they have a copy.

Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #4


On to Issue 4 of EGM, for November of 1989. Before I get too far into this, I’d like to give a shout-out to Retromags.com, as I’ve gotten a lot of these magazines through them. Their collection is insanely expansive, and keeps growing every day. I encourage all of you, gentle (or not so gentle, depending on how you roll) readers, to head over to them, and contribute, whether to discussion or, if there’s a hole in their collection which magazines in your own will fill, scanning your magazines and contributing them to the collection. Which leads me to the gap from Issue 4, which I’ll be covering today, to Issue 25. If anyone reading this has those issues, please contribute those to Retromags – it’s easy and fairly painless to do. So, on with the show.

Continue reading → Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #4

The irony…


Remember when I did that run-down of old game manufacturers in my first EGM recap, and covered which ones were still in business, and which ones had folded? Remember how I said that Jaleco was still in the games business?

Not anymore. (Link is to Kotaku.com)

Ahh, well, that’s life.

Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #2


Alright, and now we begin with Issue 2 of EGM, where some giant steps have occurred with the magazine bringing it towards the format which we’ve all come to know and love. Just a quick mention on the masthead changes before we go to the cut – Ed Semrad is now an associate Editor, and they’ve changed how the game reviews work by rather than separating the reviewers by console, they’re separating them into a console group and a PC group. The Console group is made up of Donn Nauert, Jim Allee, Ed Semrad and EIC Steve Harris. The PC group is made up of Brad Andrews, David Harris, Brad Walker, and K. C. Maxwell. Oh, and now the US National Video Game Team are now the only Strategy Consultants (though, on the other hand, maybe their previous strategy consultants who weren’t on the US National Video Game Team joined the team).

Continue reading → Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #2

Albums that need to be in Rock Band


Somehow, WordPress ate this entry, so I’ll do the list again, but you’ll lose all my insightful and deep commentary, but that’s okay. There wasn’t much of it. Here is my Shortlist of albums that need to be in Rock Band, either as DLC or as Track Packs released in stores (ala AC/DC)

  • Rush – Vapor Trails
  • Rush – Snakes & Arrows
  • Rush – Presto
  • Rush – Roll the Bones
  • Rush – Counterparts
  • Genesis – Invisible Touch
  • Pink Floyd – P*U*L*S*E
  • Pink Floyd – Live at Pompeii
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall

Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #1


In memoriam for the death of EGM, I hunted down a whole bunch of old issues of EGM through *ahem* various means, so I figured I’d go through some of those magazines and go through the evolution of the magazine. So, we’re going to begin at the beginning, Electronic Gaming Monthly #1.

Some quick background – EGM was originally put out by Sendai Publications, and was born out of a series of annual game buyers guides. This lead to the magazine. The journey begins below the cut.

Continue reading → Where I Read – Electronic Gaming Monthly #1