Thursday, July 29, 2010

Top ten worst video game box art: Part one

You know what's more entertaining than good videogame box art? Bad videogame box art. I decided to track down ten of my favorite terrible pieces of "art" and put them in a single (or double) post. You're welcome. Following are the first five in the collection.

Most of these serve as a sort of “history of bad,” bridging the decades and multiple consoles, yet united by a common sucktitude.

Don't forget to click on the image to see a larger, more gloriously terrible version.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Review: Blockade Billy, by Stephen King

Blockade Billy is an odd sort of book. First of all, it’s hard to call two short stories a proper “book.”

Secondly, clocking in at about 150 small pages with words typed in large font, you can cruise through this outing in either one longer sitting or two bite-sized sittings. In other words, you’re not getting a whole lot of mileage for the fifteen dollar price tag.

Then again, people pay that price for a two hour movie every day so, you be the judge on that one.

As for me, I say fans of Stephen King’s work, especially those who enjoy sports, should definitely give it a go.

First off, I have to say a few words about the book’s presentation. It’s the amazing cover that drew me to the title in the first place. You don’t see book covers like this nowadays and I want to frame this one and put it on my wall.

Despite the package, however, the two stories are not suitable for the younguns, even if it does look like something little Tommy could read and then share with the rest of his little league team. Parents, you’ve been warned.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lack of scarcity breeds greedy gamers

As is the case with most of these rants, I read something online the other day that finally pushed me over the edge, forcing a self-indulgent post out of me.

I know it’s the job of each generation to hate the one coming up behind it, and I swore I’d never be that guy (as I’m sure most people do), but I can’t help it when it comes to the “modern gamer.”

As I began Ratchet and Clank, I decided to click on over to gamefaqs to get an idea of about how long the title is.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Review: The Dragon Factory, by Jonathan Maberry

Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series is quickly becoming one of my top recommendations to friends looking for something new to read. Being the nerd that I am, the second installment, The Dragon Factory, crams in just about everything I could hope for in a novel.

The chapters dealing with our main character, Ledger, are told from the first-person perspective in a voice that's tough as nails and full of pulpy goodness. The bad guys, Otto Wirths, Cyrus, and the Jakoby twins, are all varying degrees of street rat crazy. The toys Joe, Echo Team and the Department of Military Science(DMS) get to use are fun and the vast majority of things being shot (and there are lots of them) are genetically crafted monsters...Cool, right?

While the first Ledger novel, Patient Zero, focused most of its attention on Ledger and his team of soldiers, The Dragon Factory is a multi-layered tale involving a large, but manageable, cast of characters, locations and events. The first third of the novel can get a little overwhelming with the amount of information you have to keep straight, but once the stage is set for the real action, secondary players fade into the background while the main cast steps up to really shine.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday mini-movies: Barking dog edition

The first time I saw this, I laughed until I was crying, my sides were hurting, and I thought I might pee my pants.

Most folks I show it to don't have the same reaction, but perhaps you, dear reader, will get at least a little enjoyment out of it.

Watch with the sound on and up.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer blog-cation blowout 2010!!!

That's right, friend-o. Echo is taking a blog-cation to interact with people and the outside world.

We'll see you back here in a week (or so). Stay golden!

Games to get in July

Sweet, sweet relief. We now enter month two of the summer gaming drought and, yeah, I'm still pleased as punch about it. My backlog is losing some weight and I no longer feel like I have to blaze through every single title just to keep up. While not stuffed to the gills, July does offer some sweet, sweet games for those who have managed to hang on to some of their 2010 gaming funds.

6th- Crackdown 2 (360)
6th- Persona 3 (PSP)
11th- Dragon Quest IX (DS)
27th- Star Craft II (PC)

I don't usually include PC, but when a title is as big as Star Craft II, I have to make an exception. All of Korea is literally going to shut down for a year after this one hits so, yeah, it's kind of a special case.

The PSP version of Persona 3 is sure to delight those who missed the PS2 original and there's always reason to cheer when a new Dragon Quest gets unleashed. Also, there's the follow-up to the 360 mega-hit, Crackdown 2.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've still got games I purchased this time last year to get around to.

Movies to miss in July

Wow has this summer has been a snoozer for films. It almost feels silly writing about the ones I have such low expectations for when, really, I don't have high expectations for anything hitting the silver screen anytime soon. Still, there's a few that require special attention and that's why I'm here.

It feels like this is the type of movie Angelina Jolie SHOULD be making, but nothing about Salt feels right to me. This feels way too much like the lady version of Travolta's From Paris, With Love. I would happily follow Angelina Jolie to the ends of the earth...So long as they aren't showing this movie when we get there.

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
I seriously doubt my readership is the intended audience for this out-of-nowhere sequel, but just in case, I felt it was worth mentioning.

Let's get one thing clear: I desperately want this movie to be good. More so than any movie ever put in the movies-to-miss category, I want to be wrong about this one. However, even with A-Bro leading the cast, I have a sneaking suspicion viewers are in for another unneeded raping of a beloved franchise. After AvP and it's follow-up, though, can it really get any worse?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reviews: Transformers and ModNation

Both of these games deserve a lot more attention but I'm officially back against the wall with vacation time coming up. So, you lucky reader you, I'll be keeping these reviews brief(er).

Transformers: War for Cybertron
I recommend this game in two different ways. If you enjoy a solid third-person shooter with some unique tweaks to gameplay, a fun story and solid controls, as well as a robust selection of online options, you should get some decent mileage out of the new Transformers game. If you are in any way a fan of the Transformers, especially the original generation, or the 80s in general, you absolutely must play this game.

Review: Red Dead Redemption

Calling Red Dead Redemption “Grand Theft Auto in the wild west” isn't too far off base and, since it's from the good fellows at Rockstar, you know you're in for a quality piece of work.

You play as John Marston, a former outlaw who is brought back to his old ways of tomfoolery when the U.S. government kidnaps his family and will only release them when he has hunted down and killed/captured all the members of his former gang.

The game starts on a small ranch, having you perform simple tasks while teaching you all of the mechanics. Before long, though, the map opens up and lets the player run wild. While there are two to three story missions available to progress at any given time, the real meat of the game comes in the form of all that extra stuff you can do on the side.