Monday, January 28, 2008


Review: The Simpsons Game
Score: 4.0
Scale 10 - everyone should own this. 1- Don't even rent it.

The Simpsons have had quite a history in video games, stemming from their debut on the NES all the way to today. As a rule of thumb, I only buy games that have the writing staff and voice actors of the Simpsons doing all the work. Well, The Simpsons game had all of this, so I was ready to play. Let's just say the Simpsons staff help up their end of the bargain.

This game is hilarious. The plot is ridiculous: The Simpsons discover they aren't living in real life but in a video game, giving them super powers they didn't know they had. The real gem of this game is the level design. In this game you will see: The French retreating over and over again, Sonic and Mario powering video games, Homer in an eating contest, Marge destroying violent video games, Moe as an Elf, Lisa saving the trees and God playing DDR. I'm telling you, I was constantly laughing while playing the game. Which wasn't very helpful because.....

THE GAME-PLAY SUCKED!!!!!!!! I cannot emphasize that enough. This was the hardest game I played (based on controls) in 15 years. Some puzzles were challenging. But most of the time I was pissed because I couldn't make a simple jump. This happened all the time. Levels that were supposed to take 15 minutes took 45 minutes. It was ridiculous.

My recommendation: If you are a Simpsons collector you should buy this game. Otherwise just rent it or borrow it from someone who has beaten it (like me). Instead, I recommend Simpsons: Hit and Run (for the PS2, XBOX I think). This game is hilarious as well, but it plays really well and is a lot of fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Could I be so white and nerdy?

So, I had my birthday this weekend. Thank you to all that messaged and called me. We didn't have a party this year, so I got to work my schedule around all the stuff I wanted to do.

I watched lots of sports. I watched Arsenal beat Fulham and the US beat Sweden. I watched Mizzou lose to they-who-must-not-be-named. And I watched the 3 quarters of the Patriots game and the last quarter+ of the Giants game. Throw in some Wii action with my family, and it was a good weekend.

Which proves what we already know: I am white and nerdy.

Seriously, who knew Weird Al could rap so well? Unfortunately, I have participated in at least half of the references in this song. Donny Osmond is obvious in the video, but did you catch the Seth Green cameo?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The State of the Leagues

I should note that I was inspired to write about this after Mike and Mike in the Morning brought this point up on monday.

MLB and the NFL couldn't be in different situations this week. Football's greatest players are getting set to battle for a spot in the Superbowl. Baseball's greatest players are gearing up to testify in front of Congress. The NFL is clearly the most popular league in the nation. Howie Long put it best during his Hall-of-Fame speech "Baseball is the national pastime. But football is its passion."

It's like the fans were Baseball's date to the dance for years, but one year Baseball called in sick with the flu. No sooner did the fans hang up the phone when Football showed up at the door, dressed in a tux. The fans haven't been returning baseball's calls.

Both football and baseball have had stars busted for steroids and HGH, yet only baseaball is taking the heat. How did we get here? I believe it can be traced to 1994.

Baseball was clearly hurting. The players strike damaged the image of the sport. It seemed to be "all about the money." I think if they could have salvaged a World Series the pain would have been less, but that hole in baseball history will always exist.

Football was reaping the benefits of their frugalness. They were expanding for the first time in 20 years. They were moving franchises out of shaky markets and planning to keep teams in solid markets. They had branded themselves world-wide so that Europeans at least knew what American Football was. And, probably the biggest point, they became the No Fun League. They had rules. Lots of them. If you didn't follow them you were suspended or fined. If you were too much trouble, teams could cut you. This helped keep the focus on the game and not distractions. These eliments have lifted the NFL to one of the top 3 leagues in the world, if not number 1.

The results carry on today. Baseball's "dirty laundry" is out for all to see. Since the players and owners can't agree, every dispute is out in the open. Which means when the steroids/HGH stories break the media sees everything. There is no sympathy towards players, maybe because they have guarenteed contracts and don't fear getting cut. Still, even if a player wants to apologize they are persecuted.

The NFL's problems are veiled behind their rules. They have drug testing in place and players could lose their jobs at any moment. Does the NFL have an HGH problem? Who knows? Because the NFL has a steroid policy we assume they are hard on HGH. That makes it so when NFL players get busted and make an apology we are glad the system worked and can learn to forgive the player.

To me, it is all about the commishioner. Paul Tagliabu and Roger Goodell have been strong and proactive. Bud Selig looks like the type of guy that has troubles ordering his lunch. Is it fair the way we treat the NFL and MLB? I don't think so, but baseball has noone to blame but themselves.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I rock harder than Slash. I got the proof.

REVIEW: Guitar Hero III - 9.0

(1 - 10 scale
1 - don't even rent it
10 - Everyone will enjoy this)

I love the guitar. I play it. I can sing more guitar parts than lyrics to my favorite songs. I also have played Guitar Hero 1 and 2 and thouroughly enjoyed the experience. Guitar Hero III has many changes but still gives meaning to the phrase "You Rock."

If Guitar Hero 2 was the "break out hit" then GH3 is the high budgeted and highly anticipated follow up. It was given a facelift as different producers tried to give the presentation a new feel without changing the gameplay. I will say they did a great job. The "story" behind the career mode was a nice addition, as was the new venues.

The other major addition was the battle mode where you can go head to head with Tom Morrelo, Slash or just a buddy. It is a fun addition, but if you never use this feature the game is still awesome.

The best feature for me was the new songs. Great variety of new and old ranging from 1970 to 2006. I personally enjoyed the inclusion of Pearl Jam, Metallica and Smashing Pumpkins. Long overdue in my mind.

The only detraction for me is you have to unlock songs in co-op one by one, unlike the previous games. So I can't just go straight to "One" by Metallica with a friend. Still, a minor complaint in the grand-scheme of things. I beat the game on medium and I found it challenging enough to think twice before playing on hard.

For all those who think I play too many video games, here is someone playing through fire and flames on expert. Simply stunning.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Feel of Cotton.

It's a little late, but I wanted to give my response to the butt-whooping we dropped on Arkansas. The SEC has played well this bowl season, but we dominated the Razorbacks. Tony Temple set a rushing record, not Run DMC. This win didn't help Chase Daniel's career, but helped cement Mizzou as a team to reckon with next season. But what I REALLY want to talk about.......

THE ANNOUNCERS! When the coverage started and I saw Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger I said "This is going to be terrible." These two are bad at NFL games, let alone college. Pat can't see and Baldy can't think. Here are the worst/funniest moments I can remember.

Summerall: "I beg your pardon." He couldn't get the names right. Couldn't see the numbers, and when he did he was calling defensive players when we were on offense. It's like he just showed up that day to prepare. Also, he is an Arkansas alumn and called it like it was an Arkasas home game. "No big plays today....except if you are a Mizzou fan...."

Baldy: (while talking about the new Cowboy stadium) "Those Arches are bigger than the one in St. Louis that crosses the Missippi River." No way that just happened. Fire him. Immediately. Besides the fact that the stadium "arches" were NOT as big as the STL Arch, if the real Arch DID cross the Missippi it sure as hell would be bigger than the stadium arches!!!!!!

Combined effort: "Tony Temple has 180 rushing yards which is good for second all time in Cotton bowl history." This had me scratching my head. I said to my dad that with all the Running Backs in Cotton bowl history there had to be a 250 yard rusher. My dad said "I bet number 1 does have 250, and there was just a gap in between." Well, he was right. Later in the game they showed a graphic when Temple held the record. The top 5 had 280, 250 all the way down to number 5 with Ricky Willams rushing for 202 with Texas. Which of course means that Temple was NOT number 2 at 180. I don't like to rip on announcers(i prefer to rip on refs), but this was a joke for the biggest bowl game of my life time.

National Championship is tonight, I think LSU will beat Ohio State. To me these are now legitimately the two best teams. If there was a 4 team playoff this year, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma would have both been killed. (both lost bowl games.)

Good news is I think Mizzou will finish at #3!!!!

EDIT: Looks like Mizzou will only get to #4 in the AP. I forgot that the BCS doesn't give a final standing. Even better, Mizzou is being projected to open at #4 next season.