So, I’ve been doing my “Where I Read” posts for a little over a month now – now for a brief review to go over a few things we’ve learned about the evolution of this magnificent (heh) hobby we call gaming, from the various magazines I’ve read. I’ll be be doing similar installments every few months, as the series (plural) go on.

As for now, here’s the first 3 things we’ve learned.

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The cover of the first issue of GamePro
The cover of the first issue of GamePro

So, as part of my continuing mission to chart the path of the early days of gaming, and hopefully put those titles available through the Wii’s virtual console or on the shelves of your local game retailer that sells classic games (or available on eBay), I’m also expanding my magazines I’m recapping to GamePro. GamePro is, at present, the only video game magazine on the market that isn’t attached to a retailer (like GameStop and Game Informer). GamePro’s first issue came out in May of 1989, the same month that EGM’s first issue came out. Unlike EGM’s first issue though, the cover art doesn’t specify any particular game, and the magazine is only about 65 pages long, which is a little shorter than EGM’s first issue, but not by much. Our first ad of the magazine is an ad for Atari’s first-party fan club, the Atarian Club. The ad in general looks really dorky – complete with an ultra-scrawny Atari-themed superhero (with cape and Atari-Shield) holding up a moon. The next ad, for Bubble Bobble from Taito, is a step up. (more…)

RBI Baseball Cover Art
RBI Baseball Cover Art

So, for my recap of Nintendo Power last issue, I decided to select RBI Baseball from Atari/Tengen.  In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have chosen to select a baseball game. NES baseball games in general had one major problem – their fielding controls stunk wholly and utterly. Batting usually worked well. Giving instructions to the runners usually worked well. However, I have yet to encounter a Baseball game for the NES that didn’t have absolutely horrid fielding.

As you can tell from the last sentence, RBI Baseball’s fielding is pretty bad as well. Specifically, it runs into 3 problems – well, technically 4 problems, but I’ll get to the 4th in a minute.  Firstly, when you’re controlling fielders, you’re controlling blocks of fielders – you’re either controlling all of the outfield, or all of the infield. This makes getting the ball to the base where it’s needed more difficult, and makes catching fly balls more difficult. For that matter, the fielders you control don’t include basemen, so, among other things, I saw a baseball slide bounce right towards the space between my 3rd baseman and the shortstop. I went to move the 3rd baseman to catch it, and the shortstop moved instead – the computer got 2 runs in.

The second problem is that once the outfielders get the ball, whenever that will be, they never throw the ball to the infield hard enough, even if it’s center field throwing to 2nd base. Invariably, the ball will strike the ground several feet before it reaches the necessary base, bounces in to the basemen. If you’ve ever watched Major League Baseball, you know this never happens. I’d be willing to forgive poor fielding, if once I got the ball, I could get it where I needed to go quickly, and thus do damage control. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Third, getting fly balls is extremely difficult – whenever the ball goes up, it goes out of camera frame, and gives no definition on the arc for the ball – and whether it’s going, going, gone – or if it’s going to plop down a few feet outside of the infield. Again, this leads to more runs given up, and more runners on base, for really stupid reasons.

Finally, the fourth problem that I was saving for last, is that all of the concerns I just raised do not apply to the computer. This isn’t a case of “oh, I suck”, this is a case of the computer playing pro baseball, and because of the difficulties of the controls, the graphics, and the “physics”, I’m playing like Charlie Brown’s team. All in all, it makes the experience significantly less fun.

Now, there is a 7 game season available (one game against each team), and if you lose a game it isn’t a game over – however, there is no option to save your game and no password mode, so you have to play 7 games in one sitting. Just to make things slightly more annoying – there is no one-game two-player mode, just a best-of-7 series. You can still turn the system off or restart it after one game, but it’s still a nusance.  For all the gripes I had playing the Bases Loaded series when I first got into gaming, RBI Baseball is worse. Don’t play this game.

All that said, it is interesting to see this game, and see how baseball games have evolved over the years of play. The genre has improved a lot.

The Cover of Nintendo Power #1
The Cover of Nintendo Power #1

So, I’m going to expand on my Where I Read threads some. Basically, throughout my EGM recaps, I’ve tried to contextualize the content of the magazines with my knowledge of gaming from what was going on in the world around that time, as well as what has gone on in the world since then, and general things that we, as gamers, have learned in hindsight. However, what I’d like to is to expand on that even more, by contextualizing the magazines, even further, it helps to read more magazines. So, to play off this theme, I’m going to basically add a few more gaming magazines to my recaps, not all at once, but slowly over time.

To give you an idea of how I’ll be including these recaps – EGM will be my “lead” magazine – I won’t recap any of the other magazines I do any further than I’ve progressed with EGM. If I haven’t reached the first issue of another magazine yet, I won’t start recapping it until EGM gets there. Oh, and one more thing, I’ll be including “House Organ” magazines in my recaps – Nintendo Power, as well as official Sega magazines as well (if I can find them). For each of those recaps, I’ll be doing a side feature which I’m going to refer to as Quality Control. The purpose of this feature will be to find a game that was previewed in that month’s issue and play it, and see if it lives up to how well the magazine hypes it. The game chosen will be selected by 3 criteria, of which it must fit at least 2.

  1. I must not have played it before.

  2. It must not be a “classic/landmark game” – one which is universally known as being good-to-perfect. None of the first 3 Sonic games, not the first Castlevania game, none of the core Mario Brothers games, not the first Final Fantasy.
  3. It must be interesting. Specifically, it must catch my interest.

I will then play the game, (though I don’t have to beat the game), and then I’ll give my thoughts on the game, and whether the game the magazine in question was full of crap or not.

The first magazine I’ll be recapping is Nintendo Power #1. The first issue came out in July of 1988. At this time, Nintendo Power was a Bi-Monthly magazine, and it’s first issue was only about 114 pages long. It’s first cover was a nice looking clay Super Mario Bros. Diorama, which also got Mario’s hat’s color wrong (on the picture it’s blue with a black M in a red circle – in the games it’s red with a black M in a white circle. It’s a nitpick, but it makes the picture look off. The game getting top billing in the magazine is, no surprise, Super Mario Bros 2, a.k.a. Doki Doki Panic, with the playable characters from that game changed to be Mario, Luigi, Peach (who is getting a name for the first time), and Toad. (more…)

EGM #35 Cover
EGM #35 Cover

We continue onwards with our EGM Recaps, with our review of EGM #35. I’ve also gotten EGM #15 as well from Retromags, but I’m going to hold off on that one for my next recap (as I’ve already unzipped this issue). Our game on the cover this issue is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4 – which has yet to received it’s subtitle of “Turtles In Time” though the time travel element is already evident in the cover art. Our page count for this issue is up from last issue, at about 180 pages. Our first ad of the issue is for Super Castlevania IV, and another ad for Hook for the NES. Now, before I get on to the articles, I just want to mention one little thing that either is an error on Sendai’s part, or a practical joke they did late – on the page for the editorial (Insert Coin), they have the credits for the magazine. For this issue, the credits are mirrored. Now, this issue is for June not April, so it’s not their prank. So, I have no idea what they’re doing here – hopefully they’ll explain later. Moving on…

Insert Coin – Editorial: Our column for this issue is by Steve Harris, about the upcoming Summer CES, which is for the first time open to the public. To Steve’s credit, he does not approach the news with the dread that you’d expect among modern game journalists, that the unwashed (sometimes literally) masses would flood upon the floor, and keep them from doing their job and playing the upcoming games so they could cover them (which is the train of thought that lead to the death of E3 in the first place). We’ll see the EGM editorial staff changes their tune. (more…)

Get Michael Palins Around the World In 80 Days from Amazon.com
Get Michael Palin's "Around the World In 80 Days" from Amazon.com

Travel documentary series, while at times they can be enoyable, aren’t necessarily my thing. Often times, like Travels in Europe, by Portland native Rick Steves, or Globe Trekker,  the people hosting the show are people who travel professionally – they write about it, and often times they take the time to get to know an area, and thus they have all the tricks and tips to pass along to you to make your stay more comfortable. I’ve also found that these end up making the documentary a little less approachable. They’re being told by an old hand. So, in the course of my travels and travails through Netflix, I found a travel documentary series by Michael Palin – Around the World in 80 days. Being a fan of Monty Python (as is any self respecting geek), I watched it. Now, what did I think about it? (more…)

Cover of EGM #34
Cover of EGM #34

So, we continue with our Electronic Gaming Monthly recaps and reviews with issue 34 – the issue after what was, perhaps, EGM’s most famous April Fool’s Joke Ever! Did anyone get the joke, or did people around the world feel the wind rustle through their hair and wonder what that was?

Our cover art this issue is for Super Double Dragon. That’s right, the founding brothers of the beat-em-up are back, and now in 16-bit. Can the Double Dragon franchise (one which is, as of this writing, dead, beheaded, and buried at a crossroads with a wooden through its heart, a holy wafer in its mouth, and a crucifix pressed into its cold hands – right alongside the Battletoads. This issue is about 148 pages long, smaller than last issue. Our first ad is for Ultra Golf, for the Game Boy – from Ultra (which isn’t apparently, as dead as I thought it was last issue). (more…)

US Cover Art for Vice: Project Doom
US Cover Art for Vice: Project Doom

When one thinks of cinematic action-platformers for the NES, the first one that comes to mind is Ninja Gaiden. It is, probably, the first game to feature out-of-engine cut-scenes in-between levels, to frame the story. To be frank, not a lot of games during the 8-bit era aspired to the heights set by Ninja Gaiden in the presentation of its story (which was, to be fair, ankle-deep at best).

One of the few that tried to go where Ninja Gaiden went before was Vice: Project Doom for the NES from Sammy. It tries to expand on Ninja Gaiden both in terms of story and gameplay by changing the setting to something closer to 3o-seconds in the future (with an police officer protagonist), and by adding additional gameplay elements such as driving shump sequences and shooter segments. Does the game achieve the same level of quality attained by Ninja Gaiden, does it exceed it’s quality, or does fail to attain those lofty heights?

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The cover of EGM #33
The cover of EGM #33

So, continuing with my EGM Recaps, I move on to Issue 33, for April of 1992. For those whose calculators are broken, that would be a 6-issue gap from Issue 27. Once I get issues that will fill any of these gaps, I will fill them. This is, currently, the first Street Fighter 2 cover for any issue of EGM I’ve done thus far. Not too surprisingly the art is provided by Capcom. As an interesting touch, it shows Chun-Li fighting Blanka, with Ryu knocked out cold in the foreground. I say that’s notable, because most of the other Street Fighter games after Street Fighter 2 have featured Ryu standing triumphant, as basically the mascot for the franchise. The issue is about 165 pages long which is a bit of a step down.

Our first ad for the issue is for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project – which is the first TMNT game to be put out by Konami, as Konami, rather than through the Ultra brand, which Konami used as, basically, a shell company/label to get more games out through Nintendo’s draconian licensing projects (which I’ve discussed at length in previous reviews). We get another ad shortly afterwards which is notable in a different respect. We have an ad for M.C. Kids, from Virgin Interactive – which is ignoble because it is a McDonald’s licensed game for the NES – we are reaching that point in the NES’s lifespan where, basically, the development teams that made the Castlevanias and the Legend of Zeldas, and the other classics of the 8-bit generation, have moved on to the 16-bit machines, which is what needs to happen if the 16-bit generation is going to thrive. Well, you know it’s April, because they’re fucking with us already on the “Insert Coin” page – the staff list is entirely in Japanese. Not all Kanji (I’m seeing what I think is Katakana), but all Japanese characters. So, if there’s anyone new this issue, you’ll have to tell me. So, let’s move on to the actual content, shall we? (more…)

Purchase The Universe: Season 1 from Amazon.com
Purchase "The Universe: Season 1" from Amazon.com

There have been many excellent documentary series about our cosmos and how it works.  Many of them, particularly Cosmos, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, and The Elegant Universe, have been hosted by noted astrophysicists, astronomers and cosmologists, such as the late Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, and Brian Green (respectively). They’ve also generally been on public broadcasting, or on channels like the Discovery Channel or The Learning Channel – which focus on science programming. The History Channel has now started running The Universe, a series on our universe and our solar system, how it works, and what it’s like, and how we know what we know about it. So, the question is, is the show on par with the documentaries I’ve already mentioned, or does it kind of fumble the ball like The Dark Ages did?

The Premise

Covering everythng from how our solar system formed, to the properties of the various planets, to the threat to our planet from Near Earth Objects and Gamma Ray Bursts, to The Big Bang and how we learned about it, the show covers a multitude of topics about our Solar System, using visual analogies, computer generation representations of planets, asteroids and events, and interviews with cosmologists, physicists, and astronomers to explain how the universe works. (more…)

Link to get the DVD from Amazon.com
Link to get the DVD from Amazon.com

Thanks to the wonders of “Netflix Watch It Now”, I’ve been able to catch up on some great documentaries that I missed because I don’t have cable. I’ve also caught up on some not-so-great documentaries that I missed because I don’t have cable.  This documentary fits into one of those categories, and I’m not entirely sure which.

The Premise

Covering the period from the fall of Rome to the start of the Crusades, this documentary tries to cover basically all of the basics of European History during this period, using accounts from historians who are experts in the period, as well as footage of actors re-creating life during the period known as the “Dark Ages”.

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Taken by Patrick Johnson for the Wilsonville Spokesman
Taken by Patrick Johnson for the Wilsonville Spokesman

So, I previouly wrote a letter to the Spokesman, arguing against those who would reject skateboarders out of hand, and argued in favor of a new skate park. Aparrently I was not the only one who felt this way, as last week Monday some of Wilsonville’s skateboarders and their families came to the city council meeting to argue in favor of a skate park. I can’t give any specific information on what was covered, as video of City Council meetings are only available through their cable access channel, which, as is the nature of the beast, you can only have access to if you have a cable subscription, and the Work Session isn’t covered. Consequently, if you don’t have a cable subscription (or instead have Satellite or FIOS TV), then you can’t watch the meeting if you weren’t able to attend. No, there isn’t any streaming video available.

Isn’t transparency in government great?

Fortunately, the Wilsonville Spokesman did an article about the meeting, so I was able to find out some of what was discussed, and the discussion at the council meeting lead to a seperate meeting with council members Stephen Hurst and Michelle Ripple, as well as representatives of the parks department to discuss what actions skateboarders and their families (and me) can do to get a skate park together. I managed to get enough notice on this one (8 hours notice – from the article in the Spokesman) to attend this one.

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Click to get American Dream - The Dusty Rhodes Story from Amazon.com
Click to get American Dream - The Dusty Rhodes Story from Amazon.com

So, World Wrestling Entertainment, which is currently the largest wrestling promotion on earth, also holds the largest match library on earth, the matches from many of the major promotions in what is known as “the territorial era.” To cash in on this they have put out the DVD “The American Dream – The Dusty Rhodes Story”, following the career the one of WCW’s major stars from their early days (and the second they’ve put out a DVD collection about) – “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.

The Premise: Basically, the DVD follows his career from childhood all the way to his last feud in with his son Dustin against Ric Flair and Jeff Jarrett, with a documentary film, as well as lots of matches and promos covering length of his career. (more…)

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)

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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?

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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.

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.

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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.

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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. (more…)

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).

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.

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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.

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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.

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