June 2005 Archives

Riding the Tail

You may have noticed that a couple of weeks went by without any Static Zombie updates. There's a perfectly good explanation for that.

I'm seeing someone else.

She's black, plays games, loves spending nights in front of the TV, and... ok, it's an Xbox. Used, off Craig's List. I finally got one of the darn things, and discovered I was so very right to have resisted for so long.

The good thing about arriving late to the party is that lots of friends have games that are just gathering dust now, so I'm able to moochborrow lots of goodies to try. The three that have been sucking away my sleep time are Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, The Simpsons Hit & Run, and Project Gotham Racing 2.

Prince of Persia is gorgeous and very well-designed. The time-rewind gimmick is a brilliant way to thematically remove frustration at missing jumps or accidentally triggering one of the damn spike traps. The level design has been top-notch, and the enormous chambers that require you to criss-cross them in various ways are very satisfying to complete. I'm about 65% of the way through, and I'll be sad to finally finish. I understand the sequel, Warrior Within, goes overboard on the combat.

Hit & Run is essentially Grand Theft Auto: Springfield. The best thing about it is that it features all-- and I mean, all-- of the Simpsons characters voiced by the genuine television cast. The levels are big, varied, and fun to explore, and the script and voice performances consistently make me smile.

Project Gotham 2 is, surprisingly, less fun to me than the original. I think this is mainly because the UI downplays the acquisition of Kudos, and watching them mount was a big part of the fun. In PGR2, the Kudo count is too small for me to track with my peripheral vision. I haven't been able to finaglefind a copy of the original yet, but when I do I'll likely switch.

All three of the above titles are going on hold for a while, though, since today my copy of Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2 and a pair of dance pads arrived. I got 'em for a song off EBay-- $75 shipped, new, for the whole set, and these are good quality pads with hard foam inserts. I expect to be burning calories like a madman. I didn't expect to like DDR, but after playing it at a friend's house I got hooked. It's addictive, and a great party game. Hmm. I guess this means I need to throw a party...

Comments (5) | last by Stephen Glenn, Jun 25, 5:30 AM

The Price of No Fame

Forget the money, adoring fans, notoriety, fast cars, expensive food, preferential treatment at hotels and restaurants. I don't need to be an A-List celebrity. I'd settle for the C-List. Because then I might be invited to participate in games like the Battle of the Network Stars, Celebrity Poker Showdown, and now, AMC's Celebrity Charades. It's not that Celebrity Charades is a great show. The tone is a bit too casual, and the two-team simultaneous-play format reduces the play-at-home factor. But it hits the AMC audience where they live, is fun to watch, throws together a truly eclectic mix of Hollywood personalities, and darn don't I wish I were one of them. Hey, Frank-- Celebrity Time's Up. Get on it.

Organizing your own Running Charades evening is simple, however, and I predict this to be the next big short-lived fad among party-goers who can climb out from under the mountain of discount poker chips.

Comment (1) | last by Travis Eberle, Jun 23, 9:32 AM

Am I the only one who thinks the whole Tom Cruise / Katie Holmes thing is a little creepy, given that Katie Holmes has said she used to have Cruise's poster in her bedroom as a teenager and would lie in bed at night dreaming of marrying him someday? If I were Jimmy Carter, I might say Holmes had been stalking Cruise in her heart. Although I suppose it would be even creepier if Cruise had posters of Holmes in his bedroom. Though as we've established, that's none of my business.

Comments (4) | last by Peter Frampton, Jun 23, 12:37 AM

I'm Used To It, Already!

Today in my office's kitchen I saw an official company poster advertising upcoming Gay Pride Month activities, which struck me as utterly inappropriate. My feelings have nothing to do with whether or not I believe homosexuality is right or wrong, but rather my belief that what goes on in the bedroom between two consenting adults is their own damn business. I don't view a poster advocating Gay Pride Month as any different from one endorsing S & M month, Bestiality Month, or Menage a Trois Month. None are appropriate for the workplace.

Perhaps my issue is more with the whole "Gay Pride" thing. It's one thing to fight in the political arena for rights commensurate with those for married couples. It's another to thrust your sexuality into my microwaved Stagg chili. One could argue that our culture parades heterosexuality in front of us practically 24-7, and there's certainly some truth there. But that doesn't make it any more right than the presence of a Christmas tree at city hall just because the vast majority of town is uncircumcised. I'm comfortable with a reasoned debate and political action surrounding the issue of gay rights. I'm comfortable with people, gay or straight, showing discreet affection for each other (public face-sucking is gauche no matter how hot I may think you are). I'm not comfortable with what seems like a corporate endorsement for what I believe is a private, personal matter.

I recognize the difficulty of separating the political from the personal. The poster in question has a positive and affirming tone with no baby oil in sight, and advertises community outreach events. But I don't feel it's appropriate for my company to invite me to "Join us in celebrating Gay Pride Month." Call it "Gay Rights Awareness Month" and we're in business. Semantics? Tell that to the sanitation engineers.

Comments (27) | last by cheap nhl jerseys, May 10, 11:04 PM

SURE It's a Leg...

At the supermarket today, I saw this logo at the checkout counter and did a double-take. I'd say prostate cancer's the least of his problems.

Comments (6) | last by Damon, Jun 21, 1:04 PM

Last night we hemmed and hawed for a while, trying to decide what game to play next after a round of Royal Turf ("Go, Nougat!"). Finally I decided we should play a game of Bohnanza with the High Bohn expansion, which I rank as the best expansion ever made for any game, ever. All of my Bohnanza products were stacked on a wall shelf. There are a lot of them these days, and they were wedged in pretty tightly. High Bohn wouldn't slip free. I gave it a tug, then braced my hand against the rest of the stack and tugged again.

Bad move.

The entire shelving rack pulled out of the wall, toppling about 150 medium- and small-box games onto me and the floor. I caught a shelf in the face, and stood holding a couple of shelves aloft until guests could rescue me. Amazingly, only a half dozen or so games spilled their contents. My Knightmare Chess and Knightmare Chess 2 sets are now hopelessly intermingled. King of the Elves, a game I abandoned long ago but never bothered to trade away, mocked me by spewing its coins and chits everywhere. Money from Ravensburger's edition of Last Chance scattered. A cheap chess set dumped its pieces all over. Other than that, everything else stayed more or less intact.

So it turned out our next game was a giant round of 52 pick up, as we resorted pieces and stacked games on the table. The shelves had held for over eleven years. The lesson for when we put them back up? Dry-wall screws. And perhaps it's time to get rid of some of the games on these shelves that I never play.

Comments (12) | last by larry, Jun 8, 5:10 AM

Monthly Archives