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He killed me with a sword. How weird is that?

By Joshie on June 12th, 2009 under X360,

Joshie gets Red Ring of DeathI'm not sure whether I should be ecstatic or torn apart by this photo really. On the one side my Xbox 360 has decided to commit sinful suicide at the very start of my two and a half week vacation, while on the other I feel I have reached a rite of passage among gamers. Just like a Bar Mitzvah I feel that receiving a Red Ring of Death is a sign from God that I have finally reached maturity and come of age.

This act should be celebrated with a phone call to Xbox support, where a delightful little hindu man will ask if all my cables are connected and whether or not I turned it off and on again. I should then proceed to acquire my own ceremonial packing box, which will be rushed by UPS chariots to the nearest repair center. In two to three working weeks I should expect my box returned to me; a wiser and more complete machine, and one that hopefully displays picture to screen.

Oh happy day!

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Thanks to all who entered Metal Gear!

By Brian on June 12th, 2009 under CBC,

A big thank-you to all who entered Metal Gear--the final tally, after all was said and done, is 15, more than the last contest. It also showed me that I'm not going to give everyone 3-4 weeks to enter...in the first 22 days of the entry period, 9 people entered in dribs and drabs. On the 23rd day, yesterday, 7 more entered.

I'm only gonna give you guys ONE WEEK to enter next time around. ;)

Here are the players, along with how many contests they have played, including this one:

S. Roth
MoonSword (2nd contest)
Alyssa (5th contest)
Rich (a.k.a. MusicalRicardo, 4th contest)
Biccy (3rd contest)
C&T; (10th contest)
Hitman (2nd contest)
Liam (3rd contest)
EyesOfATragedy (8th contest)
Nilfalasiel (1st contest!)
E (4th contest)
Kinie (6th contest)
Saya (9th contest)
Zack (10th contest)
Sumeile (1st contest!)

CrystalGuardian did not enter, so there is no defending champion.

Please print and/or save a copy of your brackets--they are getting wiped off Bracket Maker this weekend!

Contest begins 7:30 PM ET this Monday, June 15. Good luck to everyone!

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Last day to enter Metal Gear!

By Brian on June 11th, 2009 under CBC,

Last day to enter Character Battle 10: Metal Gear! Signups end at midnight tonight!

To begin making your entry, start here!

Signups will not be accepted after midnight.

1 comment

Podcast Schedule for CB10: Metal Gear

By Brian on June 8th, 2009 under CBC,

I've made the podcast schedule for this contest. There are 4 planned podcasts for this contest, just like the last time. If anyone feels like joining me on a night I record, let me know--with some notice, please. Basically, we recap results and provide the current standings at that time, interspersed with some commentary and crude humor. The schedule you're about to see is very subject to change--this schedule assumes that there are no unplanned breaks or unexpected stops in contest action.

Podcast 1, Pre-Contest: Tuesday, June 9
Podcast 2, Halftime: Thursday, July 2
Podcast 3, End of Round 2: Monday, July 13
Podcast 4, End of CB10: Friday, July 24

Recording will begin around 8 PM ET or so, and so there you are.

And because I have to--4 days remain for contest entry! To begin, check out the Contest Page, or, if you've done one of my previous contests and wish to just dive right in, head to the Bracket Maker page and make your entry.

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Duffman gives the people what they want!

By Joshie on June 6th, 2009 under X360, PS3, Wii, PSP,

As the week comes to a close we shut the door on Electronic Three 2009 (or E3 as the kids like to call it). The last year and a recession (you mean the “economic downturn” right?) has certainly taken its toll on the industry, and while we returned to all the glamour, glitz and big breasted booth babes, the sour undertone of the show is a feeling that gamers didn’t vote with their wallets to support new IPs like Mirrors Edge and Dead Space. Instead this year’s announcements and reveals were a conga line of less risky sequels that tread well-known grounds.

I say this because I know we are all part of the problem. I thought the two Metal Gear games, two Halo games and three Mario games looked great and will almost certainly buy them all. That’s not to say I don’t wish for more innovation in gaming, but as long as sequels are well produced and provide something new, I’m more than happy to hand over my (cough) hard earned cash.

In my opinion Sony had their best E3 conferences in years, showing of some hard hitters like God of War 3, Uncharted 2, White Knight Chronicles, Heavy Rain and The Last Guardian. I was equally impressed by their large lineup of PSP titles such as Dissidia, echochrono, PixelJunk Monsters, Peace Walker, MotorStorm and Fat Princess, which along with the announcement that they would finally sort their shit out and release decent PSone games for download (Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid included!) has me hyped for PSP for the first time in years. While I’m certainly not going to buy their atrociously priced “PSP Go” for $250 (you can buy an Xbox for less than that), it did make me buy a larger memory stick from Amazon (those things are pretty cheap now ya know?) to enjoy the new digital era.

Project NatalWhat has me less excited is everyone’s desire to jump on the motion control bandwagon, driving with no hands as they barrel down the street. Microsoft’s “Project Natal” may have blown away some, but except for “Mr Fables’” Milo which is almost certainly a pedophiles wet dream, most of what they showed was a lot of shiny marketing talk with no true real world application. You all laughed when Nintendo announced the WiiWheel a few years ago? Why does anyone think holding your hands and pretending to drive with an invisible wheel is going to be an improvement? Equally, everyone is going to find controlling the dashboard in classic Minority Report fashion entertaining for five seconds before they realize the controller is just far easier. I would even consider Sony’s disastrous tech demo presentation involving coloured wands and N64 animations a better proof of concept than Microsoft’s, as at least they showed us some real application for the control input which looked much closer to what people wanted the Wii to be when it was first announced.

The issue with both these projects however is with neither the concept nor the implementation; it’s convincing people to buy an add on that doesn’t come with the system. Microsoft will no doubt be pissing off everyone who brought a Vision camera in good faith, while Sony will have to sell people both an overpriced EyeToy and a Wiimote knockoff.

Fortunately its more than possible to ignore these announcements and dribble open mouthed at the spiffy graphics in Modern Warfare II, Crackdown II, Halo 3: ODST and Alan Wake. Yes, I’m the problem. But if the future is having to make small talk with my Xbox during the loading screens, then I’m more than happy to stay it.

I’m sure the irony of announcing a camera where YOU ARE THE CONTROLLER, and demoing a “virtual” skateboarding game was not lost on Tony Hawk who revealed his rather less-virtual skateboard controller just moments earlier either.

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