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22 Nov. 04

Day of Decision
There is a lot of interesting gaming things going on, but before I get to that I want to talk about a personal issue real quick. Today, I was nearly separated from the Academy due to PRT failure. Fortunately, I passed the make-up test this morning and was retained by the academic review board. This incident has been kind of tough on me, as it potentially represented a disastrous end to 3.5 years of hard work. But hey, I passed, I was retained, and so it is behind me now. Suffice to say, this episode has scared more than a little of the ever-loving snot out of me, and I will work that much harder to prepare for the spring PRT.

Now on to the gaming stuff!

First, I got my DS yesterday. I was going to take my own pictures and post them, but Lik-Sang did such a nice job with that part of it that I just decided to link to them instead. When I haven't been fiddling with my DS, I've been working my way through Half-Life 2. This game taxes my poor 3 year old  Academy-issue computer to the max, but I am still suitably impressed by the game. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sample the multiplayer (in the form of Counter Strike: Source) thanks to the Academy's new policy of allocating a tiny amount of bandwidth to internet gaming. Oh well. Expect some sort of impressions/review of the game in the not too distant future.

I also wanted to take a second to weigh in on the new JFK assassination simulator. Ugh. This just ticks me off on so many levels. As a gamer, I'm naturally concerned with gaming's image with the general public. This kind of thing is so outrageous that it has gotten picked up by the main stream media outlets. Consequently, this game will undoubtedly help to generate a lot of negative press for gaming in general. There are no such genre as assassination simulators, but quite unfairly this game will lead to that impression. Without even playing it I can assure you that this game is a steaming pile of compost. Why? It is selling for $10. Most new PC games sell for around $50...that's the standard going rate. Seeing a game being sold for $10 is like seeing a new car advertised for $1,000...yeah it's cheap, but anyone who knows anything about cars would be able to tell you that you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, many people who have never played a game in their life will look at the news reports about this game and think that it somehow represents gaming as a whole. On top of that, the developer is some no-name studio from Scotland that doesn't appear to have ever made a game before. I smell a lot of cynical opportunism here, and in fact I wonder if this all might be a hoax. However, even if that is the case, the damage to video gaming's image has been done. Swell.

Counteracting that, however, is the 2nd-annual Child's Play charity drive being run by the creators of Penny Arcade. This is a really worthwhile even that seeks to enlist the help of Penny Arcade readers and gamers everywhere to buy games and toys for hospitals that specialize in the treating of childhood cancer. Please take a look at their website, and contribute if you are able. It is a really worthwhile cause.


18 Nov. 04

The DS Is Almost Here!
I had a great time last weekend in New York, but being gone for 4 days naturally put me behind in a big way. However, I'm finally starting to get caught up, and so I am finally getting around to updating.

Yea, the DS launch is nigh. Prepare thine selves! I have had the chance to play the demo units that have now proliferated into many stores, and these experiences have only served to increase my anticipation for this little gem. The first time was when I went to the Pokémon Center in New York, and then again tonight when I went to the local EB Games to grab my copy of Baiten Kaidos. I have put together some quick impressions in my on-going DS coverage, so be sure to check that out.

In addition to playing the DS demo and picking up Baiten Kaidos, I also helped myself to a copy of Half-Life 2. I bought this game on the strength of recommendations from friends as well as sources on the internet. My poor ol' issue computer has just enough going on under the hood to run the game. I'll have some impressions when I get around to it. Lord only knows when I'll get to Baiten Kaidos, especially since I'm only about half way through Tales of Symphonia.

Going back to the Pokémon Center, I had a great time at that store. It was a really interesting departure from the average game/toy store, in that everything was Nintendo related. I took a bundle of pictures, and I've posted them in a gallery below.

NYC Pokémon Center Photo Gallery
Nintendo DS Coverage UPDATE: Hands-On Impressions

10 Nov. 04

Off to NYC
The time has rolled around for the Catholic Choir's trip to New York... city so nice they named it twice. I really enjoy this trip, and truth be told I could really use the break. Before I leave though, I wanted to put up a quick DS update. As a side note, PlanetGameCube has been doing some really good coverage of the system, so I encourage you to check that out if you are interested.
Nintendo DS Coverage

2 Nov. 04

Whoa...election night. I can hardly believe that it is here already. Time has really been flying by! You can probably tell which way I am leaning from the headline, so I'll leave it at that. No reason to get too partisan!

The Halloween Concert went off pretty well...we had two sold out showings, and despite a few technical glitches I think it is fair to say that no one went home disappointed. Now that the show is over, I suddenly find myself with a lot of time that had been previously been tied up. Just in time too, because on top of all the gaming and updating I have to do, I have a lot of schoolwork to tackle this week, too.

Well, here it is, three weeks out from the launch of Nintendo's new portable, the DS. I am getting really pumped for this game, so much so that I have put together  a small special about it where I discuss my views on it. I plan on adding bits and pieces to it over the course of the next few weeks, so keep checking back for updates.

Nintendo DS Coverage
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