New podcast Monday is here once again and this hour long show is jam packed full of puns and bad jokes.
This week, NinJaSistah and Pandalicious talk about Apple's newly announced (and poorly named) iPad device and their first reactions to the device. The ladies also work in a plug for the new ESH YouTube channel, Flickr account, and FaceBook group... but mostly wrap their minds around the iPad.
To get a better idea of what the show is like, here are some of the titles that came up but were not chosen:
A Braile iPad Would Make Quite an Impression
Pada Says All Her Appliances Are Masculine
Video IS the Radio Star
Comedy – Comment – And Another "C" Word I Can't Think Of
So the trade show behemoth known as CES [Consumer Electronics Show] is nearly upon us all and I haven't even begun to pack. As if 4 days chock full of playing with the latest, greatest, and possibly lamest tech gadgets isn't enough to get my heart pumping, but it's 4 days full of playing with tech in Las Vegas.
I really need to pack.
Both myself and Evermore will be on hand trolling the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center [LVCC] talking with PR reps, VP's, folks taking their own inventions out for a spin and in all honesty I can't wait. Ever since I visited the city of sin to attend my first CES event I have been infatuated with it. If you have listened to any of my previous CES coverage then you already know that I have never been to COMDEX, and reget not going to the show when I had the opportunity back in 1999. Technology has always interested me, and the idea of an entire gigantic event focused on highlighting tech just seemed like a place I should be found at.
CES is huge. I can not stress that enough. I am sure if you took all the square footage that has been rented by all the various companies exhibiting at the show and laid it end to end from McCarran Airport that it would reach across the country to Boston's Logan Airport easily. I have visited CES for the last 3 years now and have yet to even visit all of the halls at the LVCC let alone the various suites among the hotels lining the infamous Las Vegas Strip, so I have no delusions of covering all of the show this year or any year that I visit the show. I do plan on seeing everything I can in three areas: video games, computers and personal tech gadgets.
From January 6th through the 10th I promise to fill this site with as much show coverage as my stubby little fingers can create. My twitter stream as well as the official site twitter stream will overflow with random geek-outs, iPhone pics and probably an intoxicated tweet or two. [Or four]
If you have anything you want me to check out for you while I'm at the show drop me a line either via our email address Questions@esh.mobi or kick me a message via twitter. 2010 will be whatever we make of it. I intend to make it geektastic.
If you haven't heard of Google's new Android mobile phone OS, then start researching it now, because if you thought your iPhone was the shiznit, then the HTC Dream phone might have you rethinking that.
It's being rumored that HTC's Dream mobile phone will go on sale September 23rd through T-Mobile. Sources say T-Mobile plans to hold a press event in New York City on September 23. However, if we've learned anything from Apple's tactics, the date of a press conference may not be the actual release date of the device, but rather a announcement of the release date. So don't get your hopes up.
From what I've seen of Google's Android OS, it quite possibly will give Apple's iPhone some competition. I will definitely keep my eye on the OS and the phones running it and if it pans out to be the "iPhone killer", then I'll either be switching service providers or looking into an unlocked model.
Panasonic will begin production on an extremely thin 150" wall mounted television in 2009. This beauty will include face recognition that adjusts the display and programs according to the watcher. The picture will move with you when you walk and the display will be large or small, depending on your distance from it. It will display a screen saver instead of a black screen when turned off.
The huge display would be awesome for gaming and video chat, providing life-size images while you play your favorite games or chat with individuals.
There's no doubt that this television will be WAY out of my price range, but a guys can dream, can't he?
His story.... over mine... his story will be his story And my story is a waste of time (aaaah-aah-aah) (TLC reference)
Welcome to once again another Throwback Thursday.I'm your host Pandalicious coming to you live [well as live as a post is] from the ever so popular ESHLAND. This Thursday however, I thought I'd slow things down and give much love and much respect to the ladies. You see women are...in two words: simply awesome. All the great men who were responsible for our history,culture and addictions had great women right behind them,,most of which proclaiming that they were fools. However in the gaming world there was one pair that this wasn't so. There is one pair that to this day were seen as equals in my mind. This pair is...you guessed it. Mr. and Ms. Pac-man.
Even though, I as a gamer recognize this pair as equals they were not brought into existence at the same time. Sadly, though not entirely sad, Pac-Man was the first of the pair to be created. As much as I'd like to say that Pac-man was an american creation I would be a bold faced liar. Japan brought him into the world, along with some of my other obviously favorite things. [Cough Anime Cough Cough]. Anyway he was developed my Namco, but brought over here to the U.S by Midway. You might recognize Midway through some other famous titles such as: Mortal Kombat [Deadly Alliance, Deception, Shaolin Monks and Armageddon] Pac-man via Midway hit the U.S in 1980. [So for age reference, Ninjasistah was a little over a year old, and I was still in the pre development stages. Barely on the radar, if you catch my drift ~^]
Needless to say droves and droves of a budding gamer nation were sent in crazes of joy upon playing Pac-man. It was an overwhelming sensation and widely addictive, kind of like any drug you can imagine minus the drooling, hallucinations and uncontrolled bouts of gambling or raging libidos. Thusly Pac-man was flagged as a gamer icon, and a landmark in gaming history...
As much as I like to boast about Pac-Man, I cannot idly sit by and just be content with talking about the male aspect of things. I cannot walk away without bringing a much needed guest to the forefront and give her a voice. She is known as Ms.Pac-man.
Too much of my surprise, the origin of Ms.P did not stem from the same place as her male counter part, which for this senario is idle. So sorry pervs of the world , there is no gamer incest here. Originally rumors were leaked that Ms.P ( game formerly known as Crazy Otto) was a bootlegged copy of Pac-man made by the programers over at the General Computer Coporation. They were highly impressed with what they did, and rushed themselves over to Midway. They liked what they saw. After fighting all the red tape, and buying the necessary sprites to the game. She was renamed and released here in the U.S. This all went down in 1981. Midway had grown fed up with waiting for Namco to release Super Pac-man. Not only did the release of Ms.Pac-Man make Midway happy, but at the time she was also a prominent answer to a question that the gaming community still addresses today: How in the world do we appeal to the female gamer fanbase?!
Like I mentioned previously, the Pac-man game was blood success! It was seen in arcades all over the place so needless to say the game mechanics are simple to the average gamer today. However, taking a seasoned gamer from today and placing them back into primitive forms of gaming is indeed interesting to observe.
Take for instance myself. Add me to say either the Pac-man or Ms.Pac Man game via the technology of the XBOX360. [God do I love ports when done right!] Timing and precision are key as they were for these two games back in the 80's. I came to find that my timing was completely off which once again made the game physically challenging. Since the game's premise was already known. I found my hands to be stressing out faster with each passing level and those ghosts once again pose a serious threat to my existence. ...
This classic will always bring warmth to my gamer soul. If not for the quality hours I spent playing it...then for the personal reason of thriving in it while Ninja did not. [This is why Siblings were made, and why gaming displays the strengths and weaknesses of those siblings.]However, if it wasn't for either of those reasons that it was for the Panda of the 80's...all six years I spent in them.... for desiring to be yellow and round and wanting everyone to play with me...for wanting to rock a styling bow and for [unbeknowst to me at the time...gave me hope that other girls wanted to do the exact same thing]
I went see The Dark Knight movie this weekend and although it was a great film and there were many awesome moments in the movie, I'd say the one part that really caught my attention and stuck with me was when Morgan Freeman pulled out one of the most badass-looking cell phones I have ever seen. I couldn't wait to get home and research it.
All I could make out from the movie was that the phone was Nokia branded. After some Googling, I found out that the phone is one of Nokia's newest models, the 5800 or Tube. I use an iPhone, but if anyone asks me who makes the best and most reliable cell phone in the industry, I'd quickly say Nokia. Although it looks like another iPhone copycat, it's being reported that the fuctionality of the phone is much better than Apple's "Jesus phone". Here's a Q&A video and the specs:
* 3.2-inch touchscreen display with 16 Million colors * 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus * Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900Mhz) GSM/EDGE radio
* Bluetooth 2.0 * WiFi * GPS * 3.5mm headphone jack * TV-out port * 140MB on-board storage * 111 x 52 x 14.5 mm * 104g
No official release date or carrier has been announced yet, but the phone is rumored to hit the market between the end of 2008 and 1Q 2009. Can someone get Batman on the phone? He might have more info.
Panda: With your geekdom combined I AM TINY TECH PANDA!
Pandalicious here donning the "techie" hat to become TINY TECH PANDA! Now what could I possibly have up my tiny tech panda sleeve to share from Gadgetville in the land of ESH? This is simple ladies and gentlemen. Today I have a review of the one and only Razer Piranha!
Now I know what you all are thinking...and yes I dig snakes, but this isn't a snake! It is a headset of awesomeness and extreme comfort! On the rating scale I give this headset a 4 out of 5.
*~Panda Testimonial~* ::Cues spotlight, violins and light snowfall:: When I was a young panda before the days of Machood and true gamer l33tn33z, the only way I could hear other people was to actually have them in my house...or.... they would record themselves via WAV and send them through e-mails [I know what you are thinking! who would do such a thing?!]
However now I have gone through technology puberty and have HUGE tracks of pwn33z! Also I have the ability to access hearing more than just the sounds in the games I play. I can now listen to the people that I play with! Granted, those who have had XBOXes long before me have been using microphones for a while, but when they switch to their PC games what do they don their heads with? If these gamers were smart they would check out the Razer Piranha.
Da Pros +Comfortable on the head + Big cushy earmuffs + Cool Stylish Logo instead of word labels + Nifty Volume control for easy access + long cord for moving around [and the grabbing of the snackage!!] Da Cons - Adjusting headset is a little difficult - Mute button is sadistic and hates you! - For Mac users you will need an iMic attachment to use it since it is designed for uncool Computers that aren't Macs!
Overall Tiny Tech Panda wasn't upset about the death of her third Logitech headset because of this divine piece of sweet head....gear!
To see more than what I mentioned here go to www.razerone.com, and feel free to tell me what you think!
This is Pandalicious and don't you dare say I don't know a thing about gadgets!
When it comes to listing the current sexy [and expensive] cell phone gadgets, there's no denying that the Apple iPhone is seated firmly at the top of the list. If you have an iPhone and are terrified of damaging it, then this post may be helpful for you. I'm going to review the iPhone Defender case for the iPhone by OtterBox.
There are a lot of different cases made by a plethora of different companies that serve can project your precious device in various ways. If you carry your iPhone in your pocket then you probably are looking for a case that doesn't add a lot of bulk to your device, and that will protect it from the other items you may have in your pocket. If you carry it in a bag, you may look for a case that will keep your iPhone from being dented by the heavier items in your bag, or from liquids that you carry along with you during your daily commute. After a month with the iPhone Defender Series case by OtterBox, I can say that the Defender series can be a great protective case for your iPhone. Like many of the cases that OtterBox is known for creating, the iPhone Defender is a water resistant hard case with protection in mind. It features a silicone membrane that slips over the main hard case which aids in your gripping the phone so it doesn't slip out of your hand, or off the dashboard of your car. The hard case itself is made up of two interlocking pieces that once closed leave the headphone jack and dock connector area of the iPhone exposed for easy connection to your peripherals. It's good to note that the iPhone is not dockable when in this case. The texture of the membrane is keeps the phone comfortable in your hand if you have to hold the phone for long periods of time, which you are familiar with if you've ever used the google map feature for driving directions.
The Defender comes with a hard plastic holster with swivel clip that complements the case, but add quite a bit to it's overall bulk and is the first negative thing I have to say about the Defender. While the holster is solid, and firmly locks in place as you swivel, it's hard to overlook how much it affects the footprint of the iPhone. The clip of the holster is broad and not easily swayed from the pocket or belt you clip it on. While in the holster, you will only have access to the sleep/wake button at the top of the phone, the headphone jack, and the volume controls on the side of the device. This is where my other major complaint about this particular case comes in. While a great amount of detail went into this case, you have no access to the silence switch at all while your phone is encased in it. The only way you can turn sound on and off is by using the settings controls on the phone which is tedious at best.
All in all, the OtterBox iPhone Defender Case delivers everything it promises: protection against light precipitation, bumping, dropping, dirt and dust for your 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB iphone. It is not as affordable as some of the other cases that offer similar protection, but $49.95 is a small price to pay for extra protection of your $399 or $499 iPhone.
Ok, I know what you are thinking. Here comes another startup company touting yet another ipod related set of products. The slick hand stitching and custom leather look of Phiaton's [Fee ah ton] Primal Series headphones certainly fits the bill of a company attempting to ride Apple's coat tails to the top of the personal music market.
Upon first look thats exactly what crossed my mind too. But these products boats quite a pedigree. They are made by a company called Cresyn, a Korean company that has made components for Sony, Audio Technica, Kenwood, and many others since 1957. So you have probably already been listening to their merchandise for some time.
The PS-500 series is the performance focused model of the line. These full sized head huggers claim a frequency range of 5hz-30,000hz reaching well above and below what our feeble human ears can identify (perfect human hearing covers from 20hz-20,000hz). You won't catch me complaining about super deep bass response or crystal clear high end. Plus they sport a high level of sensitivity and a huge amount of power handling. In short these things will rock your dome with the lowest lows and highest highs your ears can take before ever coming close to their point of distortion.
For you technological ninjas out there in need of something a bit stealthier, the Primal series offers up their PS 200 in-ear headphones. These lightweights still hit like their big brothers with a range of 8hz- 30,000 hz. They accomplish this impressive statistic by using a tiny woofer and tweeter just like your regular speakers, only these are sealed to your earholes with airtight memory foam tips. The in ear design also offers isolation from whatever's bugging you. Long flights, noisy metro cars or just the creepy guy who won't stop talking to you on the bus. Add to that their distinctive design and you've got a real crowd pleaser.
In ear headphones aren't for everyone though. For those of us who find them annoying but still need some isolation the PS 300 NC offer the perfect solution. Their active noise canceling system uses a custom designed “lithium-polymer” battery to provide 20 hours of uninterrupted listening.. Although I hope for your sake you'll give your ears a break and not test that claim. These are ready to travel with you with extension cables, four adaptors to recharge wherever you're stuck, and an extra battery all in a carrying case.
It’s always been a dream of mine to have a place where gamers and like-minded individuals as myself could hang out share thoughts and opinions. Well that dream has come true!!
Myspace has dominated the online social community for a long time. Although, it’s a good place to hang out, meet people, and share life experiences, it has always been hard for me to find a group that I fit into there. Even with the few gaming, anime, and technology groups that exist on Myspace, I’m very limited to what I can do once I join.
Well there’s a place for you and me now at GAX. GAX is a social community for gamers, movie enthusiasts, anime-lovers, etc. The site is named after the late Gary Gygax (July 27, 1938 – March 4, 2008), the author of the well-known fantasy role-playing game, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). GAX allows members to created and decorated their own page, invite friends, create and join member-created groups of various topics, create blogs, and much more! There’s also an active and live chat running on every page.
Sign up. It’s free! Who knows? Your blog may be featured on the main page of GAX!
Wouldn’t it be awesome to play your favorite mmorpg on a portable device? I know what you’re thinking. “I do that already with my laptop.” Well I’m talking about something just a bit more portable than your average-sized laptop.
How many times have you missed the train or bus to work because you didn’t want to log out of your mmorpg? Have you ever wished you could take your mmorpg with you on that long family trip so you’ll have something to do in the car? Well the OQO model 0.2 might be what you’re looking for. The OQO is basically an ultra mobile PC capable of running XP or Vista and weighs about one pound. You can also play a variety of other pc games on the system.
Here’s World of World fully functioning on the system.
Seeing as how Apple did it, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft decided to make their own version of the “Jesus Phone”. Move over iPhone. The zunePhone is coming.
Just over six months ago, Apple released their revolutionary iPhone upon the world and the cell phone industry has never been the same. Other manufactures have tried to follow in the footsteps of Apple since then, such as HTC’s Touch and LG’s Prada, but only one company can truly bring us the cell phone of all cell phones and that’s Microsoft. Ladies and gentlemen, Bill Gates and Microsoft proudly bring you the zunePhone.
With Warner announcing that they will be moving from title releases on both high definition formats to [eventually] just Blu-Ray, you have to imagine that the HD DVD camp feels a little defeated.
And when I went by their booth here at CES, they sure looked that way. I strolled up to the booth late afternoon and my first impression before I spoke to anyone was, "wow, you look like you need a drink." I'm sure that every journalist that hit the South Hall show floor on Monday made a beeline over to their booth to question every representative about the announcements, but when I got there I just hung back for a moment. I gathered my thoughts and questions and then headed over to the booth.
I could tell that the guy I was heading toward at the booth caught a glimpse of my badge before I was in earshot as his smile started to fade away. When I finally reached him [foot is still a bit gimpy so I don't move too fast yet] after a short introduction I made my first statement: I'm not going to ask that question. the look of stunned amazement and then relief that came over his face was priceless. I wanted to take a picture of it, but I thought better of it. Besides I'm lazy.
Anyways, when he realized I was serious, a smile returned to his face and he began his spiel on HD-DVD. He was well informed about the product he was representing, and honestly believed that HD-DVD had a viable future, and I was happy to let him believe that. Who am I to tell him Santa isn't real and the Easter Bunny is a lie made up by candy companies? Nobody, that's who. I mean I had a lot of questions around the eminent demise of HD-DVD? Questions like, "now that nearly 70 percent of all feature length film studio work as well as television content will be moving to Blu-Ray exclusively, how do you [the HD DVD camp] plan to revitalize your format in hopes of staying alive? How long do you think the HD DVD format will survive if other content providers jump ship? Which in hindsight would have been a great question to ask as the new rumor about Paramount jumping to the Blu-Ray only ship swirls 'round the interweb.
But one of those thoughts that I gathered as I was walking up to the guy was this guy looks like he needs a stiff drink desperately. And while I couldn't give him a drink, I could give him a break. He's got three more days of dealing with awkward question, oppressive journalists looking for sound-bytes, and a never ending swarm of people looking to get free movie discs before they disappear forever. The least I can do is give this guy a break for 30 minutes and let him give the speech that he's rehearsed umpteen million times before getting to Vegas. So that's what I did.
At the end of the tour, I looked him dead in the eye, thanked him for his time and the information. I gave him my card, and went on my merry way. Good deed for the day done. But in case you missed it, HD-DVD = Dead. Especially if Paramount goes exclusive to Blu-Ray. It would leave Toshiba and Universal as the last pair standing and that just isn't enough to make it moving forward. It's sad, because HD-DVD is not a bad format, but when the high definition development camp got split with Sony saying, "we'll roll our own thanks," that it was only a matter of time before bad things happened.
I don't want you to be sad though, so here's a picture of a model of Bumblebee from the Transformers movie.
I landed [after a bit of a delay] in Las Vegas this morning, and after enduring the LONGEST TAXI CAB LINE EVER, I was able to get over to the Philips Press conference.
This year's event is not much more different than last years. The chairs were still covered with white slip covers giving the illusion of being at a wedding reception. There was a lot of talking heads, pumping up the new partnerships here and there. [Disney being one new Philips partnership meaning Philips has jumped onto the Blu-Ray bandwagon and RealNetworks being the other.]
No, the thing that I came away from the event with was the direct marketing to women that Philips seems dead intent on pushing to it's limits. In what was nearly a "did I really just see/hear that" moment, I watched as Stewart Muller Sr. VP US Sales at Philips explained to me how women shop and what we want. According to Mr. Muller, we want heart shaped Swarovski crystal encrusted USB pendants, and earbuds. Oh yeah, they "deliver high quality sound... and look great too!" Blah Blah.
Now, I'm a woman, and even I [along with the room full of nearly all male journalist who scoffed at these announcements loudly with almost with childlike glee] had to kinda laugh to myself on this one.
The iPhone launch has come and gone. People all over are finally able to see and actually touch what is being called “the most anticipated cell phone in history”. I picked one up and I love it, but instead of focusing on what I think, let’s flip things around.
On June 29th millions lined up outside of AT&T and Apple stores around the U.S. to purchase the iPhone. You were probably one of those people or watched the videos on YouTube of others paying big bucks for prime spots in line to get one. I was fortunate enough to get one and I can say that I have no regrets about the purchase. I will say that the phone is overpriced when compared to some other phones that do a lot more than what the iPhone does. Although you can use third party java sites to make the phone instant messenger capable, I would have gladly traded the built-in YouTube application for an instant messenger application.
What I’d like to know is now that most of the hype about the iPhone has died down, what do you guys think about the phone? If you picked one up, do you think it’s worth it? If you didn’t get one then I’d like to know why. This is your chance to let me know how crazy or smart I was for grabbing one on launch day. Let me have it people.
I'm sorry, I'm still recovering from last night and I'm not as witty as I usually am. Suck it up, I have things to share with you.
I'm rolling around Pepcom last night, doing that "intimate one-on-one thing" to learn more about the new tech that we all should desperately crave with all our souls and the things that are so "meh," and I come across a booth for VooDoo. VooDoo makes custom gaming rigs for the people. And when I say custom, I mean custom. Not just paint jobs, not just graphic cards, I'm talking taking your designs, bending metal to your will, pre-installing or not installing software you want... a primo box indeed.
Personally I had been avoiding VooDoo because they only deal with Windows OS machines and as you know I don't game on PC's [I'm a console kinda gal] but after what I saw from VooDoo [and Alienware which will come next] I'm changing my mind. The VooDoo "laptop" I was looking at came in a 20 inch configuration with a custom candy paint job. Yeah, you read that right, 20 inches bitches... I told you they were kinda changing my mind on the gaming+pc front, you should have known it would have to be something big in order to get me to flip the script so quickly on that stance. Dual NVIDIA graphics cards in SLI also didn't hurt the case for thinking about getting one of these boxes. You can click this link here to see what all you get for the box that I priced above... and that's without the custom ESH art that I want on the thing.
Then I went and talked to the Alienware dudes, and the box they showed me really pushed me down the "dammit I need to get one of these boxes asap" road. Hot swappable hard drives, a case texture that can only be likened to the "Bat Suit" dual graphics cards, and built in TV tuner kinda makes my heart go pitter pat.
But don't take my word on it, there is more to come folks.
Now you can. Although Verizon has nothing to do with this post, it's appropriate to use the Can You Hear Me Now guy. You see, we have gotten a new tool to help our podcasts sound better. You can hear it in action in our newest podcast (Episode 33) and in a podcast from mid-November (Episode 26).
The technical stuff: Since our podcasters (usually NinJaSistah, Pandalicious and MagicMysticGrl) are in different locations, they use Skype to connect with one another. This results in a problem with volume that can't easily be solved. Typically, Pandalicious is too hot and NinJaSistah is too light. Now hotness and lightness wouldn't normally be a problem with beautiful, young girls, but it's a real problem in audio production.
Since we don't have the voices on separate feeds, there's been no easy way to adjust the volume -- until now. A great little free, open source program called Levelator fixes the audio problems, bringing Pandlicious down and NinJaSistah up. We appreciate the hard work of GigaVox Media, who created this great program.
If you haven't listened to Episode 26 because of NinJaSistah's light sound levels, we urge you to try it again. We think you'll like what you hear.
Cooking Mama is a cooking sim that teaches you Japanese cooking techniques and recipes. You are given real recipes and they can actually be made after you are done playing the game. I recommend this game for everyone that wants to improve their cooking skills. It is not just a game for little girls. A cook or gamer at any level can enjoy this charming game.
You play as a chef's apprentice. You need to learn the skill sets for preparation. Then you are able to test those skills and make the dish. The game not only teaches you valuable kitchen skills but it is fun, thoroughly addictive and tasty!
The learning process begins with mini-games. You learn how to chop onions neatly and quickly. You get a lesson on how to remove the shells from shrimp, and you are taught how to fold dumplings. You are given an allotment of time to complete the tasks and you are scored on speed and skill.
The mini-games are cleverly designed. You are given challenges for doing things such as mixing. Believe it or not there are plenty of people that don't know how to do that. However in this game you are shown "how to" in surprising ways. The game takes you through each step chopping, then adding ingredients, shaping and combing the food, and then frying and serving.
There are three modes to play: "Let's Cook" is where you are graded. "Let's Combine" is an area where you can make up recipes. Then the "Use Skill" is a practice mode. You begin with a few recipes then the more you cook the more you get.
You do the cooking on the touch screen. To chop you tap the "knife". To grab ground ingredients you circle the stylus around. The controls are easy to do. You get gratification from the ratings. The bronze medal is given for a score of 60-79 points. The silver medal is given for score between 80-99. For getting the gold you need to get a perfect score of 100 points which isn't hard to do.
Graphics aren't anything fantastic. But they are very well done. The game has plenty of color. It is playful while being educational and the graphics of food is accurate without being yucky looking.
This game is lots of fun. It has appeal as re-playability. It is addictive, but it makes you hungry. If you don't have a clue what to make for dinner this will help. I learned a faster, safer and more efficient way to chop onions that I have been using ever since. It doesn't matter if you think you are an Iron Chef (like I think I am) or if you are a beginner, you can find something to love about this adorable little game.
This is very obviously a game that was designed for little girls. It is a fine 'marketing to women' accomplishment, with no trace of sexism.. It is something that both girls and ladies will enjoy. There is no avatar so there is no character to select. It is for women, while being inclusive enough to be fun for everyone. Cooking has become ultra popular with people of all ages and genders. Asian cooking is fantastic and healthy. People from all walks of life can enjoy the cuisine. There are a few American recipes too. I can see just about anyone playing this game and having fun. College kids that are going away from home for the first time could use this game to learn the basic skills.
All of you old school G4 TechTv fans may remember the days when that channel was actually worth watching because you’d learn something new on a daily basis. There were shows that taught you about technology and informed you of new and upcoming games hosted by people WHO ACTUALLY PLAYED THE GAMES and were at least FAMILIAR with what they were reading on the teleprompter. What does this little trip down memory lane mean for you? You guessed it. It's time for another one of Douce's Jewels.
Among the many knowledgeable hosts was one of my favorites, Laura Foy, who co-hosted a show call G4tv.com. They talked about games and technology and gave their input on what was worth your time and what wasn’t. The show was cancelled last year and Laura disappeared from the station. Since then, she has gone on to do other things like hosting an internet radio show and, well, music. You won’t find her being exploited on MTV. I’ve saved that pleasure for this very moment.
With all of the hype over the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii launch, many have forgotten about the initial next-gen console, Xbox 360. Laura Foy has taken it upon herself to remind gamers of which system is the best buy as of right now and what better way is there to draw people together and get a powerful message out to the masses than with the power of song?
I bring to you the latest installment to my internet jewel collection which I’m calling Hey DJ, Bring That Back.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from being a gamer, it’s that the games you enjoy playing say a lot about you. Here at ESH, we focus a lot of our attention on gaming and anime. Every once in a while we dip our toes into other pools like music and technology. Hey, what’s a true geek without a love for gadgets? Well what about television programs?
When my thumbs are sore from button-mashing on a console video game or I’m just too exhausted to pwn-all on World of Warcraft, I like to unwind with a good snack and a great show. Depending on what day it is, I’m enjoying anything in the realm of action, comedy, and romance. That’s right. I said romance. Even the Douce gets a little sentimental at times. I’d like to take this opportunity to get to know all of you a little better. No, I don’t want you social security number or blood type, but I’ll settle for what television programs you just absolutely can’t wait to watch every week and would kick someone out of your home to tune in for.
To get the ball rolling, I’ll list my favorites and the days I watch them. You’ll probably going to laugh at some of them but don’t worry because I’m sure I’ll do the same to yours. Ok here they are:
Sunday: Robot Chicken, Venture Brothers Monday: Prison Break, Heroes, What About Brian, The Closer Tuesday: Nip Tuck, Boston Legal Wednesday: Bones Thursday: Smallville, Supernatural, The O.C., Grey’s Anatomy Friday: Vanished, Las Vegas, Battlestar Galactica Saturday: Adult Swim (all of it)
There are some shows that I watch that air every day such as Attack of the Show, X-play, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. AoTS and X-play are not absolutes because sometimes they aren’t reviewing anything I’m interested in or just being too stupid to hold my attention.
Who’s next to step up and list their favorites and must-sees’. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I got The O.C. on my list. How much worse can yours be?
Animal Crossing : Wild World for Nintendo DS by Geek Woman
Animal Crossing for the Nintendo DS is like a tiny milling MMO of ity bity people. There is a large "E" friendly community surrounding it. In addition to being able to connect and play with other DS owners while in the same physical location, the easy to use wifi capability can connect you with other players world wide.
It is an ingenious game in several aspects. The security for keeping identities secret seems to work and it is fairly easy to screen and block out unwanted parties. The exchange of a Friend Code has to be given someplace out side of the DS. It has to be someone that you physically know or meet through numerous Friend Code listing message boards. Once there though how would someone know if they were communicating with a an adult or a kid? They do require a verifiable email address to register at most forums. But that isn't much protection, so wifi chat should be supervised. Also many McDonald's restaurants and other hotspots permit people to play together wirelessly on the DS.
The game has an understandably "E" rating. However it should be specified someplace that a person does need to be able to read fairly well in order to be able to play the game. Maybe at some point in the future suggestions about the age a kid who would enjoy a game could be made on the packaging. Like "for children 5 and up".
Game-play You would think that game that consists of farming a fruit orchard, fishing and collecting fossils would be relaxing. Not for me. I became obsessed with paying the huge, escalating and continuous morgage(s). Oh no! This is like a nightmare. I suppose it is to teach kids responsibilities but it made me frantic. I picked oranges and gathered shells. I learned how to perfect my fishing skills pretty quickly. In the first day I got it paid off. I thought I would be relieved then. But it was not to be. Tom Nook the owner of the only store in town, extorted me for another mortgage to build me a bigger house, even after I told him I didn't want it. This reminds me of an episode of the Xfiles... At least I could pick a lilac roof. Now I have an even more huge debt! If you do chores for townspeople, dig up some treasure, and discover some of the other secrets hidden in the game you earn lots of gold. There are many little side ‘missions’ in AC:WW.
I consoled myself with fishing. I caught several kinds. Notably I got a Koi and an Octopus. When I returned to the store the next morning they were closed. I am worried that my fish might spoil. I read online that I can time travel and set the time back on the clock to sell the fish. Then I have to reset the clock back to the correct present time so that I don't screw up the game. Heaven forbid that if after you turn the DS on - that you change your mind. A creature pops up and bitches you out with over 30 screens of a harangue about how important it is to save the game before you shut it off. Typing in "Shut up" or other epithets don't help any. I would love to know how to get that dubious feature to quit.
I was penalized for my trips back to the past by loosing trees. Several of my flower plants also looked as if they had been plant - napped by a neighbor and put in her garden. When I switched my clock to February 14th there was snow on the ground and my plants in that time weren't too happy about this.
Fishing is a tricky but fun pass time. The ocean wave sound effect is almost convincing with ear buds. This is a typical RPG. You build stuff, customize things, plant gardens and weed around the town. But the map is tiny. It suffers for only having one little town area to be in - unless you visit other peoples towns to trade items online. Compared to Pokémon which has many of these tiny towns all on one GBA cartridge this game has only one small one. The moon phases and weather are correct for my area. But this game goes in too many directions and is lacking fundamental basics. If space mattered then some of the odd customization features could have been skipped. Making constellations, or designing umbrellas could have been done without for example - to make the individual single person game experience larger.
Customization gives you the option to decide what you want the interior of your house to look like, along with your clothes, hairstyle, outdoors, museum, constellations, and music playing in your house. Compared to the GameCube version of AC, there are more items and more to do in the new DS version. Online, you can buy items from people. That makes it easier to complete sets you’ve been trying to collect.
To make me even more paranoid the game is still playing even though I am not. For example, if you don’t play the game for a month, your town will have weeds throughout. The weird townspeople will forget who you are, and sometimes move out. There isn’t a big reason beyond obsession to continue playing the game after a few days or so. You would have to pick all the weeds, and talk to everyone in your town again which isn't very interesting. I got crestfallen seeing that my trees and plants died. You can only plant one tree per day so many of my fruit trees died. I am glad I don't have as bad luck with gardening in real life. That would be sad. There’s not much motivating you to play this game in the first place, and the punishing mortgages aren't enough incentive to make you continue playing it. There is a thin line between realistic and engaging and reality check and stressing. AA : WW is more like a sim than a game.
Sound and Music The background music changes every hour all of the tunes sound boopey and empty. The animals don't talk, they make odd little noises which you can thankfully shut off. It has a rudimentary sound program in it so you can make your own Town song and online you can use that to play songs that people have worked out and posted the tablature for. Also in the coffee shop in the Museum you can watch a coffee bar act and listen to several unlockable songs there if you are into music on the Nintendo there is plenty of it to be found in this game.
Multiplayer When it comes to networking and people skills the DS is way ahead of the Sony PSP on this so far. Though Microsoft also intends to push Nintendo's hardware out of people's hands, they will be hard pressed to compete with the feel good, goody - good Nintendo. Again another one, a community that springs up like magical mushroom fairy rings around games like this one. There is something about Nintendo characters that make people rabid, and this is one of them.
The game is addictive without being entirely fun. It is an amusing way to kill time. And it will kill lots of time on you in between battery charges. Collecting items can make you crazy. There are several aspects of this game that are vast and endless. Though somehow filling all that empty space sometimes feels daunting rather than exciting. It is all about the grind without really getting anyplace. Skills like fishing have an endcap on them. There is a finite number of kinds of fish that you can catch.
It is a step forward in technology and it plays very stable. It is a solid game and from what I understand kids really like it. There are a number of women playing it. It could be considered a chick game because of the heavy elements of clothing and interior design and the lack of violence. The characters are those cute little badly rendered icons that seem to charm people so much. Not much to complain about here I give it a 4 out of 5
We finally got some cash together and figured we ought to hit a big convention/tradeshow and CES was the obvious choice. CES is the Consumer Electronic Showcase, basically anything and everything electronic that companies could possibly want to sell to you [the consumer] make their debut here. CES has been going strong and growing strong since 1967, so to say that we are excited to become part of this rich tech history would be a slight understatement.
Now you might be saying to yourself, "Why is the ESH crew going to CES? Isn't it just a bunch of TV's on display?" It's a valid question to ask, but it ain't accurate. CES is actually the show that COMDEX and even the former incarnation of E3 were modeled after, and while there will be a lot of new TV technologies introduced at the show there will also be lots of home theater setups, sounds systems and components, wireless technologies, and even video game related items that will surface from the show. I think as gamers sometimes we forget that getting our hands on the latest and greatest game stuff isn't limited to just a console, or piece of software.
No matter who you are you have a gaming rig that you use, be it just a 23" TV or an elaborate setup containing a 7.1 surround sound system, 42" flat screen LCD TV, a chain of UPS', several gaming consoles, a harmony remote, and a theater style seating arrangement. [Huge sigh] With that said, one of the things that you will start seeing around ESH will be our takes on different components that you may or may not want to add to your rig, so it only makes sense to us that we start by going to CES. We are going to be looking at different audio setups, home theater systems, peripherals for both computer based and console based gaming, LCD TV's [this will come in handy for those of you wanting to upgrade that tiny little 25" TV to something a little sexier] mobile gaming, and gaming in general. And we can't forget portable media stuff, mostly because they won't let us. We'll be on the look out for the hottest new gadgets at the show that will help you get the most out of your iPod, portable video player... hell we'll even take a look at stuff for the Zune while we're at it. We are committed to covering your electronic needs, but only in the good way.
While CES is not E3, Microsoft and Sony are going to be there, and there is going to be a separate "video gaming" section on the tradeshow floor, so we aren't going to be forgetting our roots any time too soon. It just seems to us like it's time to take that next step forward in covering the whole spectrum of gaming life, that I think sometimes gets overlooked. You can't use a game console without having a TV to hook it up to. You can't hear the games without some kind of sound system hooked up to [or built into] that TV your connected to, and you have to have some place to park your ass in order to play and enjoy those games you are playing... and in January, NinJaSistah and Evermore are going to bring you some first hand accounts of the new toys you'll want to add to your rig from CES.
This will be one time that what happens in Vegas, doesn't stay there!
Tenchi is a great title for anyone who likes roommate drama, space stories or harem anime. But with so many different storylines it begs the question, "Where should I start?" In case you don’t have the time or money to watch all of the Tenchi series, or maybe you just want an intro to the series, I suggest you check out the Tenchi movies. All the same drama and excitement in 3 compact cheap little single DVD packages.
The bare bones basic Tenchi story is that there are two Jurain princesses (Ayeka and Sasami), a space pirate and her living ship (Ryoko and Ryo-Ohki), the galaxy’s most intelligent mad scientist (Washu) and two Galaxy Police officers (Kiyone and Mihoshi) who all crash land on earth, fall in love with a boy named Tenchi and move in with him. Depending on which series you watch, they meet in slightly different ways and the girls have different relationships amongst themselves. In one of the series Washu is Ryoko’s mother and she scientifically created Ryo-Ohki while in another they are perfect strangers. So basically there is a whole house full of girls who love Tenchi… commence with hilarity and drama.
Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo! in Love (1996) The gang is watching old home movies when the whole world suddenly changes. In this new world the Misaki family has died out and Tenchi doesn’t exist. Luckily, Washu notices a problem and gets a temporal net up just in time and protects Tenchi and the gang from the changes in this new world. Washu investigates and learns that something happened to Tenchi’s mother 26 years ago, that caused her to disappear. The whole gang travels back to 1970 to stop her disappearance.
However, what they don’t know is that the ‘event’ is caused by a demonic creature with unimaginable power. Kain, the galaxy’s most dangerous villain has gotten loose from his maximum security prison cell. One hundred years ago the Jurain emperor joined forces with the Science Police to stop Kain’s rampage through space. Throughout his captivity Kain’s hatred of the Jurain royal family grew. After escaping, Kain used his power to bend space and time to travel to an era when Jurai’s power was weakest. He plans to wipe out those few members of Jurai who exist in 1970 and he’s starting with Achika, a young Jurain woman who would one day become Tenchi’s mother. If the girls let him succeed then Tenchi will disappear forever and their memories will be rewritten.
This movie would be cool for the sole reason that everyone gets to wear sleek Jurain battle suits. But you also get to see Tenchi’s parents when they’re young and you get to see Tenchi actually using his Jurain powers. He doesn’t use them enough in the series. Plus there’s a dragon! Kain turns himself into a dragon, and everyone knows that dragons rock. On top of all that, it’s a story about time travel. Who doesn’t like time travel? All those lovely paradoxes and such... good times. Despite all this, the movie manages to stays true to Tenchi form, meaning there’s lots of bickering and cool space technology.
I give Tenchi the Movie a 3.5/5 because it’s a decent movie, but lacks anything that really makes it stand out as a great movie. I’ll use a Black M&M for a timewarp and a villain with more power than a black hole, Dark Pink M&M for the cute budding love between Tenchi’s high school aged parents and Teal M&M for space aged weapons, technology and battle suits.
It's just about that time of year again folks: Turkey Day [a.k.a. Thanksgiving] is next week, which marks "Black Friday" or as most people know it "The Angry Mob That Goes Shopping The Day After Thanksgiving."
The amount of cool gadgets, gizmos, and games about to hit the market as well as television advertising to guilt you into buying stuff you don't need will overwhelm you. That's why Evermore has been hard at work creating a gift guide based off of previous posts and opinions we have on stuff to help steer you towards getting the right gift for the right person... every single time.
Our hopes are to help all of you awesome and busy people with a way to avoid being stepped on, waiting in line for hours just to get a gift card, or ending up buying socks for a person because the stores you went to were out of stock on the item you really wanted to get. This year, why not shop from home, over the internet... delicious mug of egg nog in hand? I've been doing it for a few years now, and I have to tell you, it sure beats having to try and find parking at the mall between now and January 10th.
But if you are going to shop on the internet, how will you know what is a good buy, and what is a bad one? How will you know which video game titles to stay away from? Or what sub $15 DVD is worth purchasing? That's where our gift guide comes in handy. If you have an anime fan, gamer, or general techie type person to buy for, our new gift guide is a great resource for picking out a gift that won't be re-gifted!
We are proud to announce the launch of the ESH Gift Guide... holiday edition. And as an added bonus for you our treasured visitor, we've added sort options just for you. [*sort feature and bomb guide configuration only available through the wonderful browser that is FireFox. Alternative gift guide option available for IE upon page request.]
So visit the gift guide, and start your holiday shopping from the calm and relaxed environment that is your home or office... don't be like me and actually have to go out to the "stores" next Friday. :: shudders at the thought ::
At my anime club this week we watched some old anime, and by old I mean it was from around 1999. It was called Sailor Victory. Everyone thought it was going to be a parody of Sailor Moon. Well, it isn't.
Sailor Victory is old school. It was made during a time when anime didn't have to worry about swearing or sexist remarks. FRANKLY, THEY JUST DIDN'T CARE about it in all honesty. We [my anime group and I] absolutely loved it no less, which brings me to the point... classics are just that, classics. Technology may indeed make new animes hot and flashy, but they never cross that imaginary line between good and classic.
DO you have a favorite classic? What is it? And why?
How to spend $700 for a Nintendo Wii: The great thing about the Nintendo Wii is the cheap price, right? You won't think so after hearing about tonight's sale on the GameStop.com website. Tonight you can buy a Nintendo Wii Bundle in a GameStop online-only sale for the low, low price of... $694.88, which doesn't include tax and shipping. What do you get for the extra $450 you're spending on a $250 machine? Six games (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Trauma Center: Second Opinion, Red Steel, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz and Madden NFL 2007), an extra controller, a 1GB memory card, a 12-month product replacement plan and subscription to Game Informer magazine.
How to get a Wii for free: GameFly is giving away a Wii each day through Nov. 30. If you're a current GameFly subscriber, just go to the GameFly website and click on the link to the contest. Not a subscriber? You could sign up for a trial subscription or just go to this link. The official rules are right here.
How to win more stuff: While we're on the subject of winning game-related stuff, here are some more current giveaways: Enter here to win a $3,000 package of consoles and games, including the PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and PSP from RewardTV. Enter here for an Xbox 360 package, including 27-inch HDTV and a copy of Gears of War from GamePro. Enter here to win a Wii and a copy of Red Steel from 7-Eleven. Enter here to win a Wii, the games Excite Truck and Legend of Zelda and an extra remote controller from Nintendo. Enter here to win a Wii from Pringles.
Just don't call it E3.1: Some are calling it the successor to E3, but whatever it is, it doesn't have a name yet. IDG, which owns GamePro and many other tech-related magazines, will be conducting a consumer-focused gaming event at the Los Angeles Convention Center Oct. 18-20, 2007, according to the GamePro website. What to call it? IDG has started a contest through Nov. 20 for that very purpose. Grand prize is a free trip for two to the thing.
Negima, Vol. 3: Magic 301 - Practical Application of Magic (Limited Edition): Life at Mahora Academy is anything but predicatble, a theorem which Negi Springfield and the girls of Class 2-A seem determined to test! When a class project incurs the wrath of one of their own, what follows is a virtual, digitally-enhanced popularity contest, no holds barred. How about a little war, World Wide Web style? I understand this Limited Edition version contains a collectible Negima figure.
I have not been around very much lately, I got a little wrapped up in my schooling. I recently had a revelation though, one that would set my path straight. Why am I wasting my time on all this education and things like that when I could be out playing video games? It was this startling realization that brought me here tonight to give you a little taste of a game I like to think of as one of the best RTS' ever made, Rise of Legends.
The premise of Rise of Legends is pretty simple. Long ago a spacecraft broke into three pieces (and I think I saw a fourth >.>) and crashed upon some planet. These three parts (and maybe a fourth >.>) developed into three distinct and equally bad ass nations, the Vinci, the Alin, and the Cuotl. Each of whom have really cool Master Units that you can only have one of. The game is similar in structure to most RTS' except for a few things. You are given a city, much like other games, and you build upon this city. Say you want to have a higher troop capacity, build a military district. If you cap out on how much resources you are gathering, build a merchant district. Each of the three races also has a unique district that only they can build. As you get more districts you can build palace districts to upgrade the cities size. You can go from normal city, to Large, to Great. Each time you go up you get sweeter upgrades.
The first of these cool nations is called the Vinci. They are basically Spanish Conquistadors meets steam technology. They have cool units like Gyrocopters, Clockwork men, and even a Juggernaut tank. They improve their technology by building industrial districts in their cities. These guys are my favorite so far. There is something so cool about leading an army of clumsy robot men and spiders that look like miniature versions of the one from Wild Wild West. You can also build research centers as these guys, which you can upgrade to do all sorts of nifty things. Their Master Unit is called the Land Leviathan. It basically is the huge thing from Wild Wild West. Alas, I have yet to figure out how to get this unit, if any of you can get it, send the info my way.
The next group on the list is the Alin. The Alin are almost straight out of Arabian Nights. They are a magic using desert people. These guys have some pretty crazy units, everything from giants made out of glass to soldiers that can hide in the sand and spring out for an ambush. The Alin use magic and creatures related to three things, Sand, Fire, and Glass. Glass units can be upgraded to Dark Glass, which do some really wicked things. Their special unit is the Magus District, which gives them research points and buffs their hero’s magic beefiness. The Master Unit for these guys is probable the coolest in my opinion, a huge glass dragon.
Finally the last army is the mysterious Cuotl. They are by far the oddest of the lot. Basically they still use much of the technology that was available to them when the space ship crashed, and they worship Gods…. Gods that you can actually get on the battlefield to fight for you. They use a lot of units that remind me of the Power Rangers. I feel the urge to call out beasts and then have them morph into wicked robots. Alas, this is not their Master Unit, though they do have a really cool one. It’s a big floating building called the City of Vengeance. This guys absolutely tears things apart, and he can store troops too! Instead of wealth, the Cuotl gather energy. This means their Merchant District as been replaced with a Reactor District. They also get a Holy District, which allows them to expand their land and it rewards them a free unit.
Rise of Legends is well worth the money I spent on it. I find myself losing hours upon hours playing this game. Not only is it pretty to look at, but it is the most inventive RTS I have ever played. I would recommend this for any fan of the game type, and I think it would be a worthy play for someone who is looking to get into RTS for the first time. Now I shall go and waste more time upon it!
Back from New York, with a few tidbits to share with you.
First off, I found some details on the net about the PS3's online capabilities. You may already know about this stuff, but I did not, and was pleased [finally] to see all of this stuff.
So here's the list of stuffs:
Multiple User Profiles
Web 2.0 Compliant Web Browser
The majority of the online experience is free!
Now lets examine these talking points.
Multiple User Profiles For anyone that will be sharing a system [like a frat/sorority house, roommates, family homes, this is going to come in handy. The PS3 will support multiple user profiles on the system [saved to the hard drive] so each individual user can sign in to their profile and have their account settings and preferences on hand. No worries about saving stuff over on other people's profiles by accident here. Oh joy!
Master Accounts Tied in with the multiple user accounts above, you will be able to set a master account on the PS3 when you get it. Think of the master account as root [geeksters only] the master account gets to set boundaries and admin all sub or associated accounts. This will be a big help to parents as they can set themselves up as the Master Account and allow their kids to setup associated accounts. With their Master Account, parents can limit the amount of time an associated account can spend in the Online Store, or even online I would imagine. This may be a big selling point on the PS3 for families in this day and age of shielding the chillrens from the world and whatnot.
Web 2.0 Compliant Browser This was an interested one to see, a full blown web browser. No crippled browsing capabilities here folks, which is long over due I think. Read your GMail, check out what's going on here at ESH, watch some viral videos, it's all here. I think this feature will prove to be invaluable if Bluetooth keyboards can be used easily with the system. Give me a box that I can game on and take time out to check my email, Myspace, and update this site all at the same time, and I'll be spending a LOT of time in front of the tube on the regular. - and finally, my fav -
The Majority of the Online Experience is Free! Yes, I'm not stuttering... it's free... well most of it is, anyway. All of the online services [which include voice/video chat and normal multiplayer gaming] are free once you sign up. The only things you have to fork over some dollahs are when you decided to buy items from the Playstation Store, downloadable content crap or subscriptions to MMO games, which, I think is fair.
Now, there's a lot more going on in the article I read that mentioned these nuggets of info from, but I found these things to be the most interesting to me because if implemented well these elements will make the PS3 box a strong entertainment box. What? Surprised I said that? You shouldn't be, I'm a gamer first and foremost... so any news on tech implementations that will make my experience as a gamer more enjoyable or easy to manage will get my positive attention. My objections or negative opinions of the PS3 box have always been on Sony's attitude towards the consumer, the price point, and lack of forethought on the launch. I think once the lasers are fixed and working properly, box production is up, development for the box becomes a little easier for game developers, and the price comes down a bit, that the PS3 will be a strong gaming box... just not before then.
Seeing these few facts about the online aspect of the box gives me hope that at least some forethought and conversation about making the gaming experience better for gamers has been going on at Sony in some marginal way. It doesn't wipe out all the previous condescending comments, or superiority complex things that Sony has been inflicting on the gaming community of late, but it's a step toward mending that bridge.
I try not to take up "girl gamer issues" while writing for the site, but I've been asked this question so often that broke down and put this together.
Most of my guy friends are gamers, and ask me how they can convert their girlfriend into a gamer. It has always been my belief that all girls are gamers, it's just finding the right game for the right girl. At the same time, I get asked in conversation by my girl gamer friends how they should break it to the guy they are dating/boyfriend that they are a gamer. I am not "Dear Abbey" or [belch] "Dr. Laura" but I offer this as help.
No. 5: Accessory Love Wear some game related article of clothing or jewelry accessory. Some 1up mushroom earrings, or a t-shirt featuring some well known game character that you like When he notices it, he'll probably mention how cool your earrings/shirt/whatever is and why he thinks it's cool. This is your opening to share your knowledge of games and start the "I've been playing video games since..." conversation.
No. 4: Technology To The Rescue It might seem simple but let your tech speak for you if you [for whatever reason] don't know how or when to start this conversation. Got a computer? Set your desktop wallpaper background to one from a video game you love playing. There are plenty of game wallpaper resources out there. You can visit the official websites of video games and check out their downloads or media sections for wallpapers, Google image searches, they all work. Or, you can change your ringtone to some well known tune from a video game. Many cell phones today can play MP3's as ringtones, so get you a transfer cable [if neither your computer nor phone have Bluetooth] and slap one of these tunes on your phone. I find it's a definite attention getter, and you'd be amazed how many other gamers you'll "out" using this technique. In any case, either of these things will help get the "I enjoy video games" idea passed on to your man.
No. 3: Magazine Oppsies Now I have one friend that was terrified that the guy she had been seeing for a couple of months was going to ditch her when he found out she was a gamer. I don't know why but she was absolutely positive he was going to think she was some kind of masculine chick hiding in a petite girl body. I know, it's stupid, but as she went on and on about how she was hiding her game systems before he came over, I realized it was a serious fear in her mind, so I had to help. I told her instead hiding all of her OPM and Computer Gaming magazines, leave a couple out on the coffee table. When the boyfriend comes over, let him in and offer him a seat on the couch by the mags, then excuse yourself to the bathroom to finish getting ready and leave him there with nothing but the gaming mags to keep him entertained while you are away. When asks when you got into gaming [because he's never seen this stuff before] just be honest. Say you've been into gaming for a while and why, and then just say that you put all that stuff away because you didn't want him to think you were weird. I'll all but guaranty that 10 times out of 10 he'll be excited and cool about it.
No. 2: Don't Hide Your Systems. The same friend from suggestion number 3 was also hiding her game systems every time the dude came over to pick her up. I told her she needed to stop that shit... pulling all those cables out and putting them back a few times a week had to have been a huge PITA. Leave them out. Duh, he'll get the clue. [I told you he would Jenn ;)]
And finally, No. 1: Just Tell Him You're A Gamer. I know it seems over simplistic, but admitting that you are a gamer is not like owning up to a case of herpes... no one's going to start running for the hills because you like Halo2, and if they do they're an asshole plain and simple. Being a girl an enjoying video games doesn't make you any less feminine, attractive, smart, or anything. It's nothing to be ashamed of, or hide. I'm really tired of having to play 20 questions with women that I meet to find out if they are a gamer. Most of the ones I ask directly if they like video games go all the way round the bush, "Oh, I guess they are ok... I don't really have time to play them... My brother has a system and makes me play with him." But once I get to know them, find out that they are as into gaming as I am and I get a little pissed. I think about all the time we missed out on playing together, sharing game tips, raggin' on Sony and their fanboys, and all because of some stupid presumed stigma of being a girl gamer. Get over it already. A lot of other girl gamers have. There are more and more girl gamer clans out there that actually have some hard core gamers in their clan... if they can be proud to be gamers that happen to be girls, so should you.
As I said, I usually stay away from this kind of topic because I hate being in a position to enable these kinds of feelings in other girl gamers. That being said, I'm also getting tired of the look of astonishment on guy gamers when I tell them I'm a gamer. First I get the look, then I get the "you probably play stuff like Nintendogs and The Sims [which I do] but I also play God of War, Devil May Cry, Amplitude, BloodRayne, Dynasty Warriors, and Zone of The Enders. After that list, the next thing that happens is I get a little respect out of them, and then they want to know how to get their girlfriend into gaming. I say ask your girlfriend if she likes video games. Whenever you are dating with people, especially if you are just starting out, you have that conversation where you talk about all the stuff you like and don't and crap. Bring this up then. "I dig playing video games with people, how about you?" It's short, sweet, and to the point. Here's the hard part: listen closely to the answer. If you get the, "My brother makes me play with him, I think they are cool, but I don't really play all that often" lines just follow up with a, "Would you like to play with me sometime?" Put the ball in her court and don't push. Let her decided if this is an activity that she wants to share with you or not. If she says sure, ask her what kind of game she likes or thinks she would like, don't just make her play something that you have because you're the bomb at it. [She'll think your a controlling douchebag]
And that's that. I've done my good deed for the day in trying to help folks out on both sides of this thing, so no more complaining.
Even if you miss it, you probably won't miss it: With an estimated 2 million Wii consoles available for sale on Day 1, do you even need to preorder one? In any case, the Nintendo Gal blog reports that GameStop and EBGames stores will start taking preorders on Friday (Oct. 13) for a $25-50 downpayment. Want to stand in line? At least you might be able to talk to some other avid gamers.
When will Sony's business be profitable again?In a Wall Street Journal story, Fitch Ratings has announced that it expects Sony's financial performance to continue to weaken in the next year or two and that it could incur losses in the videogame business for up to five years. Fitch cites Sony's heavy investment in new technologies, tough competition and the current computer battery scandal. In the last fiscal year, Sony's consolidated debt was $37.13 billion.
The Reverse Hipness of Steve Ballmer: How out-of-it is Steve Ballmer, the head honcho at Microsoft? It's easy to judge by his quote to BusinessWeek magazine regarding the wireless capabilities of his company's forthcoming Zune media player: "I want to squirt you a picture of my kids. You want to squirt me back a video of your vacation. That's a software experience." Squirt? I can't imagine Steve Jobs of Apple telling anyone he wants to "squirt" something to them.
Bottom of the Third, Tenchi Up to Bat It's the end of the third Tenchi OVA as Mihoshi’s brother has come to Earth to pursue a deadly mission. Everything seems under control until warrior Z storms in to kill Tenchi and claim his place as the ruler of the universe! Can Tenchi’s Light Hawk Wings save the day? Only one way to find out.
Newsfree Fridays: No Daily News on Friday. Instead, look for the latest installment of my Robot's Letters to God. This month I'm featuring The Forgotten Robots.
In today's news: -- Nintendo's heading back to the top -- Live a little behind the videogame counter -- There's lots of rumbling, but not from the Sony camp -- A new Ghost volume is crawling out of its Shell
Will Nintendo Win the Next Gen Wars? It's been generally accepted that Microsoft will win the next-generation console wars for 2006, selling about 10 million by years' end, compared with about 4 million sold by Nintendo and fewer than 2 million sold by Sony. But according to UBS analysts Alex Gauna and Steven Chin, Nintendo will have as many as 9 million Wii consoles available for sale before the end of 2006, which could vault Nintendo to the top of the next gen heap this year.
Life Behind the Counter: I always hate going into record stores. The people who work there always act like they're the rock stars. Videogame stores always seemed a little different, though. And now you can find out why in the DayintheLifeofVideogames blog. One of the site's bloggers, Postman, describes a fight in the store that spilled out into the street: "It was over pretty quick, and the leader came back to grab his CD's that fell, and apologized for what happened. I watched as they left, and here's the kicker -- they all get in the same car and drive away together!" Perhaps Kevin Smith is already checking out the site and taking notes for Clerks III.
Let's Get Ready to TILT!: To rumble or not to rumble -- that's the big question about Sony's PlayStation 3 controllers. Sony Computer Entertainment America president Kaz Hirai is quoted as saying, "If we have to come up with technology... to isolate the vibration from the sensing, but if that means that the controllers are going to be so expensive, then we're doing the consumer a huge disservice by coming up with a controller that is not very affordable." Meanwhile, Victor Veigas of Immersion Corporation, the company that holds the patent on the rumble technology, insists, "I'm ready to meet with them and try to work out this issue because at the end of the day it's the gamer that really seems to be suffering."
In today's news: Does the Wii have updatable Linux? Gamers adored -- in South Korea Live in Mario's world Another volume of Gundam goodness
Does Wii Have Updatable Linux? The geeks are dancing in the streets as word leaks out of the Nintendo camp that the new Wii uses the Linux operating system. One tidbit that Nintendo has already released is that, whatever OS it has, it will be updatable. From an interview on the Nintendo site: "Wii is the first system from Nintendo that we can continue to be involved in (via operating system updates) after the customer buys it. This means that Wii will greatly expand and diversify the ways in which people will enjoy games in the future."
Wanna Be a Star? Play Video Games in South Korea: The screams and shrieks from the shopping mall weren't for a new boy band. The hundreds of girls were singing songs and waving signs for a new kind of rockstar: video game players. Dressed in track suits covered with logos, gamers play StarCraft and enjoy the adulation of throngs of women. One woman, a fan of gamer Park Yong Wook, told the New York Times, "I watch basketball sometimes, but StarCraft is more fun. It’s more thrilling, more exciting."
You Can Live in Mario's World: It's not enough just to dress up like Mario to experience his world. The Nintendo Amusement Park in New York City consists of one ride, that's described on the How Stuff Works website as, "a real-life interactive adventure that allows players to dress up as Mario or Luigi, enter the Mushroom Kingdom and perform the actions that the heroes perform in the video game. Players can jump over obstacles, land on and ride moving platforms, and smash enemies. They can even collect gold coins and punch power-up boxes." I bet that little moustache is itchy.
That Gundam Thing: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Vol. 4 was released last week. Here's the synopsis, for those of you actually keeping track: "In the year Cosmic Era (CE) 71, a war between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT (Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty) breaks out. The Earth Alliance catches up in technology after ZAFT has a head start building giant man-piloted robots called mobile suits. Immediately, four of the Earth Alliance's five new mobile suits called Gundams are stolen by ZAFT, with the remaining Gundam falling on the hands of a young Earth Alliance pilot." Got that? Well, get it!
Starting today, you can play a wide variety of video games while you surf the internet, using ElectricSistaHood's new Arcade! It's packed with classic video arcade games, mind teasers, Vegas-style games and much more!
The games include such arcade favorites as PacMan, Asteroids, Sonic, Bejeweled and Tetris. In addition, there are several arcade-like games you'll enjoy, including Siggi the Sea Horse (a side-scrolling racing game), Snowy the Bear's Adventure (similar to Joust), Mysteries of Horus, Bistro Stars and Arctic Quest.
For fans of Vegas gaming, we have Blackjack and Texas Hold'em. If you're into table games, you'll enjoy Chess, Mahjong, Solitaire and Hangman. Like games that challenge your brain? Play Sudoku, Crossword Puzzle, Slither Link and MindMaster.
We'll be adding more games in the future, so keep coming back to the Arcade. You'll love playing with our stuff.
In today's news, Atari wows them with an opera featuring bunnies and Robotech hauls home an award.
Nabaztag, You're It: Atari recently presented the Nabaztag Opera, featuring 100 Nabaztag devices, at the WIRED NextFest 2006. Created by the French company Violet, Nabaztags are the first, interactive wi-fi enabled "smart rabbits" that also double as interactive personal companions. Here's how the Atari news release described the opera: "Composed by artist and programmer Antoine Schmitt and music composer and film director Jean-Jacques Birge, the opera is a musical and choreographic partition in three movements, transmitted via wi-fi, playing on the tension between the music ensemble communion and individual behavior to create a strong and involved showpiece." But did it have a good beat?
New Robotech Film Wins Award: Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles won the Best Animated Sci-Fi Feature Award at the 2006 International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival. The award will be presented at the October 28 screening in Phoenix. Distributor FUNimation's news release describes the film: "A heroic cast of returning characters, led by Scott Bernard and Vince Grant, fight to end a decades-long struggle against an enigmatic alien race known as the Invid. However, the mysterious disappearance of the legendary Admiral Hunter will unfold in a treacherous mystery that could tear apart our young heroes and threaten their very survival!" Although The Shadow Chronicles are not available on DVD yet, here are a number of Robotech DVD's now on sale.
I was tooling around on of my favorite anime sites the other day and I came across a Top 100 list. Immediately I started checking out all the anime on the list that I didn't know, and here is the hidden gem I discovered. For the record, I would just like to say that this is the most blatantly erotic anime I have ever seen and it still manages to not be porn. ::Claps Hands:: Bravo, Sousei no Aquarion, Bravo!
A legend has been passed down from the ancient Alisia Kingdom, the Holy Genesis book records the tale of the legendary hero Apollonius who, 12,000 years ago, together with princess Serian and the Element Users, operated Aquarion and fought against the Shadow Angels.
Holy Genesis Era, Year 0011, the earth was destroyed in the Great Catastrophe and the remaining humans are under attack by the Shadow Angel race of Atlantis, resurrected from a sleep of 12,000 years. Civilization is nothing but wreckage, but the remaining humans are still being hunted by the Cherubim Soldiers. Captured humans are turned into decorative flowers for the Tree of Life. Through uniting their hearts, bodies and spirits as one, pilots are able to combine their individual Vector mecha into one giant Aquarion mecha. Although there are a dozen or so 'elements'(pilots) for the vector ships there are only three of them, so only three people can fly at one time.
Here's where the sexual element enters in. When the mechas combine the characters are shown naked bathed in a bright light and they always say things like, "So Powerful" or "I'm Burning" and at one point Silvia even yells "I'm coming!" when they join. The pilots talk about their first union as if they were virgins talking about what it's like to have sex. "How was it?" In the first few episodes Apollo forces his unions and by the other characters' reactions it hurts when it's forced, even though it is still very pleasurable. Although the show isn't particularly sexual in nature otherwise, any scene in a simulator or in the mechas themselves is highly sexual and involves blushing, high excitement, heavy breathing and the occasional climax.
Now the best part is that it's always a threesome. Aquarion has three parts, Vector Luna, Vector Mars and Vector Sol, when they are combined one of the craft is the head. There are three different Aquarions depending on which Vector is the head, and apparently, considering Silvia's reaction being the head is a whole nother sexual high. She's all oh, wow so THIS is what it's like to be the head.
I totally recommend this series for anyone who is amused or entranced by 'sexual' situations. After just the first few episodes even my normally unruffle-able self is flushed/blushing. Also of note, the ending song for episodes 2-13 "Omna Magni" by Yui Makino is now officially my favorite anime theme song.
I rate this anime a 5/5 1 Silver for Mecha, 1 White for Wing-ed Angels Out to Destroy the World and 3 Dark Pink for that "tingly feeling" you get right after a good mecha melding. Honestly though, I've been totally distracted by the sexuality, maybe I'm just frustrated(>.<), but this is a very solid anime with a good basis and believable characters. So even if you aren't a sex fiend there is still plenty this anime can offer you, cuz I mean technically they aren't having sex, they're just enjoying themselves a bit too much. People are allowed to have fun aren't they? Even if they're supposed to be concentrating on saving the world... Right?
Ok, I know that technically Sakura Wars isn't really all that old school, but it is the first mecha anime that I can recall watching... so that makes it old school in my book
In all honesty it took me a few episodes to warm up to this series. I found the part of the story where the mechas are powered by a combination of steam and spirit power to be very interesting. I mean it is no stretch of the imagination to create a mecha that is powered by electricity, or some kind of radioactive powercell, but it takes a special kind of creative imagination to come up with quasi-steam powered robotic units. Awesomeness! While I could breakdown to you what the plotline of the series is, who all the major players are, I think it would better serve you instead share with you some little known facts about Sakura Wars and then explain why I think it's a series that every anime fan should have in their collection.
Sakura Wars actually started out as a video game developed by Sega. It was originally called Sakura Taisen which caused some confusion in finding it when it was first licensed in the US. ADV Films licensed it here in the US as Sakura Wars and the confusion hilarity ensued. It took me a while to find any episodes on VHS [again, this was back in the day... circa late 1990's] because the video stores I would call didn't know what anime really was, and never had anything called Sakura Taisen in their store. No video game, no movies, and I should stop prank calling them... that's how all the calls ended for a few months. Then I realized I was looking in the wrong place for this stuff. I switched gears and started dogging my local comic stop and that was the ticket. But I digress.
According to Wikipedia there is an official Sakura Taisen shop on the top floor of the Sega "GIGA" Amusement Center, located in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district. Called "Taisho Romando", the store sells only Sakura Taisen-related merchandise... so if you are in need of a Ri Kohran costume, toy models, artbooks, posters, wall scrolls, and even snack foods! [Sakura Taisen pocky anyone?] If you are a fan of collecting all kinds of knick knacks from your favorite series, Sakura Wars surely keeps you covered.
The reason I think everyone should have this series in their collection is simple: Sakura Wars is simply the best version of the bashful but strong girl who, through physical and emotional trials, overcomes her own weakness to become a strong leader. It is a great series for young girls to watch and learn that being smart and strong are things to be valued, that the strength of real friendship is something to strive for in any relationship, and it's cool looking. [Plus the thin box set is under $30 bucks]
That's what a Gamestop manager revealed to Ben Kuchera over at Opposable Thumbs there at the arstechnica website. And by the way, "Opposable Thumbs" is an awesomely clever name for a blog... wish I had come up with that one. But I digress...
Again, having some time to bop around ye olde interweb to catch up on all the news that's out there in between working for the day job, and I came across this article on the arstechnica website. The people that Kuchera talked with paint a very bleak PS3 roll out next month that's for sure. I know it seems like I'm picking on Sony yet again, but I swear I'm not. It's just every time I hit up my regular game sites for news, most of the Sony stuff gives me pause. I don't have to make Sony out to be a bad guy or create a scenario to make them seem like they are out of step with the rest of the next-gen console makers, they do that all on their own on what seems like a daily basis.
From the arstechnica article what sticks out to me at least is this continuing theme of Sony seeming to be less prepared for what is coming than it's competitors. While Nintendo comes across as having a well defined ramp up to roll out and subsequent roll out plan for the Nintendo Wii. Even though at this point I think the code name of "Revolution" will prove to have been a better choice if the system can reach it's potential. Same with the XB360. I make no bones about the complaints I have with the XB360 system [from the pay for tier of the XBLive system, or the freezing issues] but game development is picking up on the platform, and they have adapted to new technologies to try and be even a tiny bit cutting edge. And while I think Sony is well meaning, I can't escape this horrible feeling. To use a sport analogy [because I didn't get to watch any boxing this past weekend] lets say that the next-gen console war that's about to start is a heavyweight boxing match. Well, instead of taking their opponent seriously the "undisputed champ" Sony has come into the ring without going through training camp and having a wild orgy the night before the fight with 4 hookers and some dude that was down at the bus depot: ill-equipped and unprepared.
In today's issue, find out if you can fry an egg on the PlayStation 3, find out if GameTap deserves so much ink, find out if a certain senator is thinking straight and find out just why you're suddenly feeling so old.
More Sony Woes: Two Wall Street Journal articles Wednesday expressed more bad news about Sony. In one article, the Journal revealed that Sony shares had fallen 5.3 percent during the previous week. The company closed down 2.7% to 4,600 yen ($39.09 in U.S. dollars) Tuesday, a day on which the Nikkei Stock Average was nearly unchanged. In a report issued by Macquarie Securities analyst David Gibson, PlayStation 3 units on display at the Tokyo Game Show suffered overheating problems and had to be reset several times. A Sony spokesman told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that the company was unaware of any technical problems with the PS3. In another WSJ article, Fujitsu announced that it would recall 287,000 Sony battery packs from its computers. That brings the total in the Sony battery scandal to more than 7.6 million batteries. Here are the current recall numbers, as of Tuesday, Oct. 3:
Is GameTap Evil or Just Stupid? That's the question asked in two different recent stories. Manifesto Games co-founder Greg Costikyan tells Gamasutra, "I'm skeptical that their business model is sustainable." Meanwhile, on his own blog, Costikyan says that while a $60 price for a video game is too high, $10 is just too low.
Senator Wants to Impose Government Regulations on Game Ratings: U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, last week introduced a bill, The Truth in Video Game Rating Act, S.3935, that would direct the Federal Trade Commission to require that reviewers consider the full content of a video game before issuing a rating. Brownback's press release stated, "Currently game reviewers do not play the games before determining ratings, and their reviews are based on taped segments of the game submitted by the game's producer to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Such taped segments may or may not fully represent the game's content. The bill would prohibit video game producers and distributors from withholding or hiding playable content from a ratings organization." Brownback said, "Game reviewers must have access to the entire game for their ratings to accurately reflect a game's content." Want to comment to the senator directly? Just call his office at 202-224-6521. Tell him the Sistahs sent you.
Brings Out the 1986 In You: Just released, Voltron: Defender of the Universe Collection One focuses on five lion robots and their pilots as they defend the galaxy and planet Arus vs. the forces of King Zarkon and Prince Lotor from planet Doom. You're going to want to own this one, I bet.
Are the Japanese getting tired of Sony's growing battery recall scandal?
That's the way it seems, reading the latest story about the recall in the Daily Yomiuri, a Japanese newspaper.
Takashi Shimomiya and Tomoki Matsubara, staff writers for The Daily Yomiuri, wrote that Sony has been less than forthcoming in its information about the recall: "... Even after its decision to recall all lithium-ion batteries, Sony only released information on the products over the Internet," they wrote. "Its executives did not explain the problem or apologize to the public, bringing to light its reluctance to disclose information even though faults in production safety can be fatal to users."
The two Japanese journalists pointed out that Sony originally placed the blame on Dell Computer's original Aug. 15 recall on Dell itself. The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 16, "[Sony spokesman Rick] Clancy said other factors after the cells are manufactured can contribute to overheating problems, though he declined to elaborate."
On Thursday, Sept. 28, Sony released information through its corporate website that it would be expanding the recall of lithium-ion batteries used by Lenovo, Toshiba and Fujitsu, in addition to its existing recall of batteries used by Dell and Apple. The press release was not available on other Sony websites.
This expands the total recall to more than 7 million batteries, but the fallout could be much worse to the company.
"Given the nature of the relationship, in the real world the way that it plays out is that the [computer manufacturers] decrease what they buy from Sony. They'll say, 'We used to take 2 million from you and 3 million from Sanyo. Now we're going to take 4 million from Sanyo and 1 million from you. And that's punishment.'"
Kay added that the total recall could be as high as 10 million units.
Before Thursday's announcement, Dell had recalled 4.1 million Sony-made batteries and Apple had recalled 1.8 million. After Thursday's announcement, Dell recalled another 100,000 batteries.
Here are the current recall numbers, as of Sunday, Oct. 1:
Dell...........4,200,000 Apple..........1,800,000 Lenovo...........526,000 Toshiba..........830,000 Fujitsu....not announced
As I said in the "God Save this Podcast" episode there are quite a few Naruto filler story arcs. Some of them are decent, some are downright terrible. I've decided to make a story arc catalogue for Naruto.
I'll list the episodes for each arc, the basic storyline and whether I think it's worth watching.
Introduction (1-5): The introduction to Konoha, Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi and the formation of Team 7. This is the painfully typical, but required introductory segment. There just doesn't seem to be any good way to jam all the information about the characters in the first few episodes.
Country of the Wave (6-19): Team 7's first large mission is the protection and escort of a bridge architect to the Land of Waves. This arc has the first big fights and cool techniques as well as the first powerful enemy ninja, Zabuza and Haku. I like this segment because Team 7 is finally starting to gel and work together.
Chuunin Exam (20-67): Naruto and friends are all genins, in order to advance to the next ninja level they must pass an exam. The exam has three parts the written exam, a survival test and a ninja vs. ninja competition. There are introductions to Orochimaru, Kabuto, Gaara, and the Rookie Nine (Naruto's classmates.) I love the mental torture the genins have to go through during the written exam, and I am crazy about Orochimaru and Gaara.
Invasion of Konoha (68-80): This arc covers Orochimaru's invasion of Konoha. Because of the lack of a pause after the last arc, this arc is often considered the second half to the Chuunin Exam arc. This storyline was alright, but there was much more running around and dialogue than there was actual fighting. The stalemate between the Hokage and Orochimaru took way too long.
Itachi's Return (81-85): This arc covers the short visit Sasuke's older brother, Itachi, makes to Konoha in search of Naruto. This arc has an introduction to Akatsuki, the group Itachi is working with, and indicates their interest in Naruto as one of the tailed beasts. This arc also has insight into Sasuke's past and his relationship with Itachi. I loved this arc because it showed why Sasuke was so surly and antisocial.
Tsunade's Decision (86-100): After the attack on Konoha it is deemed a first priority mission to find Tsunade, the woman who was elected as the 5th Hokage so that Konoha won't be left leaderless. Orochimaru also searches for Tsunade in order to heal the wounds he received in his attack. Naruto learns a cool new move, Rasengan. It was cool to see the fight between the giant frog, slug and snake in this segment. "Old Lady" Tsunade rocks!
Kakashi's Lips (101) For some reason this episode is considered a 'special' and not a filler. It is an entire episode devoted to imagining what Kakashi is hiding under his face mask and several attempts to make him remove it. This was almost painful to watch, and has no bearing on the rest of the series. I recommend you skip this one.
Race in the Land of Tea (102-106) Filler 1: The first official filler arc. Team 7 is sent on a mission to protect a runner from the machinations of a cut throat competition. Racers often hire ninja in order to hurt the other runners and remove them from the race. Although this arc is considered a filler I think it feeds directly into "Sasuke Retrieval" in that it helps Sasuke make up his mind to leave.
Sasuke Retrieval (107-135): Sasuke leaves the village searching for the power to defeat his brother. Naruto, Chouji, Shikamaru, Kiba and Neji go after him, but are detained by Oroshimaru's minions. Each of the characters has a chance to show off their repertoire of techniques. The arc ends with a huge showdown between Sasuke and Naruto with each using all of his abilities. This is officially my favorite arc so far. It's just a shame that the art during the big fight was so sketchy.
Infiltrating Orochimaru's Lair (136-141) Filler 2: In search of Sasuke, Naruto, Sakura and Jiraiya track down Orochimaru's lair in the Country of Sand. I liked this arc. It really solidifies the feeling that Sasuke may never return.
Mizuki Strikes Back (142-147) Filler 3: A minor villain from the first episode Mizuki is back and is determined to get his revenge on Naruto. This isn't a very good arc, it's not terrible, but I didn't enjoy it overly much either.
Bikochu (148-151) Filler 4: Naruto, Hinata, Kiba and Shino go on a mission to search for the rare scent bug. This arc shows Hinata's kick ass new techniques. I love this arc just for Hinata.
Curry of Life (152-157) Filler 5: Naruto and Team Guy (Neji, Tenten, Lee) travel to a small town to defeat Raiga, a ninja that has been terrorizing the town. This was a very goofy arc, painfully so at times.
Survival Training (158) Filler 6: Each of the Rookie Nine takes a group of three younger ninja out in order to train them to survive while on missions. I like this episode, Naruto in charge of a mission, how could that not be funny.
Bounty Hunter (159-160) Filler 7: Naruto, Kiba and Hinata are sent out after a thief, only to discover that he is a hardened killer. They are put at odds against a bounty hunter by the name Sazanami, who is also seeking the thief. This arc is pretty good, but there aren't any cool fights, which I had expected.
Green Beasts (161) Filler 8: Two unknown men try to infiltrate Konoha by disguising themselves as Lee and Guy. This episode is hilarious. Everyone teams up to torture these poor guys. It's a must see.
Land of Birds (162-167) Filler 9: A vengeful samurai ghost has been seen lurking around in the Country of Bird. Naruto, Tenten and Neji are sent in as ghostbusters. I really liked this arc. The art and storyline were well done, and the parallels between Sagi and Sasuke's missions of revenge were tastefully done.
As I finish this post up I am watching the episode 166/167 hour long special. I haven't seen any more of the fillers, but they continue on to 199, so far. There are rumors that 200 starts the storyline up again, but there is also information stating that there will be a storyline focusing on Kakashi's history before the second section starts. The Wikipedia article on Naruto says that the Kakashi segment will run from 239-244 and then at 245 a reintroduction will start. According to rumors Naruto II, whenever it starts, will take place 3 years after Sasuke left, so the first few episodes will explain what has happened in the interim.
According to Wikipedia the storyline goes like this: Naruto I (1-135) Filler Segment (136-238) Kakashi Gaiden (239-244) Naruto II (245-???)
However, this may all be speculation because only 199 episodes have been released.
Alright I just finished watching Naruto the Movie 2 and I have a question for you all.
Now everyone knows that Naruto is about a ninja kid and his ninja friends and ninja enemies, right? If you didn't already know that, now you do. Well, in the Naruto Movie all these ninja people are fighting knights, so I just had to post this.
NINJA vs. PIRATE vs. KNIGHT vs. COWBOY
I added cowboy to round out the village people.
Who do you think would win in a battle royal and what weapon/technique would give them the advantage? (Because they are cool is not a good reason for them to win.)
As in, "Where did the accountability go" accountability. This post doesn't directly deal with Anime or Video Games, but please bear with me.
I write this post from my Apple 12inch Powerbook at 1:47 in the morning because my production machine [a 20inch iMac G5 PPC] has once again got issues...and I sit here pissed and disappointed asking myself, "where has the accountability gone?"
Before you can understand how or why that last sentence makes sense let me first give you a little background history. My iMac G5 is one of the early batches of iMac G5's known to problematic logic boards, hard disk, and optical drives. Early on once issues became known and Apple put together a list of serial numbers of affected machines. Initially my machine was not listed among the infirmed, but that soon changed. Shortly after I actually received my iMac and it started displaying issues. I called the AppleCare support number and ran through some troubleshooting steps with the tech support guy [who was very nice, and helpful which is always a plus] and was able to get my issue resolved. HURRAH! But that celebration was also short lived as yet another issue sprung up and I was unable to fix the problem on my own. Not to toot my own horn here but I am pretty well versed in the Mac language. If you ask any of my friends the will tell you, "If you got a problem, yo, she'll solve it...check out the hook while my dj revolves it!" Ok, not exactly those words, but something resembling that will be said. I am not a n00b. There are no PEBCAK things going on here. I consider myself to be pretty dang self-reliant, so believe me when I say it takes a hell of an issue to FORCE me to call AppleCare tech support or even haul my machine into an Apple Store.
With that said, I'll continue.
The next problem to rear it's ugly head manifested itself in a complete non-booting of the system. No start up "bong" noise, no pop of power coming on, just a whole lot of nothing. The only piece of luck that I was having was the day before this happened I had done a complete backup of my computer and purchased the extended AppleCare warranty for my machine. [Which if you learn nothing else from this article know that you should ALWAYS buy the AppleCare when dealing with Apple people.] So yet another call to Apple, a round of troubleshooting, and the tech support guy gives me the "OK" to take my machine into an Apple Store for hardware repair. Sounds easy right? Well throw into this nice little scenario: (1) I am [on a good day] four feet and ten inches tall (2) my G5 weighs around 25 pounds and (3) I do not have a car. So getting my Mac to an Apple store requires me getting my man to rent a car to lug this thing down to the Apple Store where I get to make an appointment to hand my 25 lb paperweight off to a Genius that will run through all the troubleshooting stuff that I did with the tech help guy on the phone before accepting my machine for repair. So we do this. [Again, keep in mind that even though my machine was on the list of those requiring repair or replacement, Apple never replaced the machine with a new machine] After waiting for an hour and a half before it was my turn and going through the troubleshooting for about 20 minutes, the Genius accepts my machine, has me sign a few pieces of paper, and sends me on my merry way. I just keep repeating to myself, "at least it will be fixed now." And I go home, knowing that the next call I get will be from the Apple Store telling me my baby is all better now and I can come pick her up.
Two weeks later I get the call, "...the logic board on your machine needed to be replaced...we got the part it and your machine is ready to be picked up," said the nice kind man on the other end of the telephone. I leapt for joy, I couldn't wait to get my machine back home and get back to work. Let me tell you there is a huge difference between working in Adobe Photoshop on a 20inch screen and a 12inch one! I call my man again, let him know we need to rent a car again [thank Bob for ZipCar!] and pick my Pookie up. We head off to the Apple Store, grab a Genius' attention and say we are there to pick up. They bring out my box with my machine in it [yes my original iMac box with all of the original paperwork and Styrofoam in it, Pandalicious wasn't kidding when she said I was anal] take my baby out and plug her in and start her up so I can see that she's working before I take her home. I tell you I was so happy I almost cried. I asked the Genius if my machine should be exchanged for another since it was on the list of machines Apple said they knew were bad, but he assured me that this new logic board would fix all that ailed me. [And that Apple rarely exchanged whole computers out so I shouldn't even think about that anymore] I had my baby back and she was working so I didn't push it. We slung that puppy in the back seat of the car and headed home so I could get back to work. All was well in the NinJahood for about three weeks.
At the beginning of that third week I noticed that my iMac was acting weird again but in a new and different way. When I would boot the machine, the top half of the screen would be darker than the bottom half. You couldn't miss it. The machine would boot, and the entire screen would be the same color and brightness for a few seconds and then the top half would dim and be darker than the rest of the screen. The machine would still boot to the desktop and run so I didn't think much of it. It would only do it every so often so I learned to live with it. Pookie was booting, and that needed to be enough at the time. After a while I found that if I put the machine to sleep and then woke it up immediately the entire screen would return to it's proper brightness, so that's what I did. At first it was once or twice a week. After a while it was an every day every other boot thing, and it got on my last freaking nerve. But Pookie was still booting so I tried to work around it. Then one day my optical drive decided it didn't want to work properly anymore and it just happened to decide this while I was in the middle of doing a system backup. I ordered a new external burner, had it shipped over night, finished the system backup using that drive, skipped the call to AppleCare and just made a Genius Bar appointment for my machine for the next evening. Back to the Apple Store for me.
I wish I could say that this trip was the one that got my machine fixed but it wasn't. When it was finally my turn to see a Genius, he started up my machine, instantly saw the problem and said he knew what to do. He quickly unplugged Pookie and took her into the back room to fix her. Before I could tell him that the problem wouldn't show up again on subsequent boots because that's how I'd been "fixing" it he was back saying he had cured the problem. When I told him about the machine not exhibiting the issue again until it had been powered down for a while he [very calmly] explained that he could not keep the machine unless it was exhibiting problems and that I had to take it home. "If it exhibits any symptoms tomorrow bring it back and we'll take a look at it." So I loaded up Pookie in the rental and back home we went.
That entire drive home I raised up a silent prayer to Bob that my puter would be ok and I wouldn't have to "bring it back" tomorrow. But as most prayers to Bob do, it went unheard. It was a 36 minute drive home, plenty of cooling off time for Pookie who on first boot dimmed like a sonnofabitch. I was pissed. I knew I couldn't get back to the Apple Store before it closed so we were going to have to keep the car overnight [extra charge] and I was going to have to re-queue for the Genius Bar in the morning...on a weekend...I was fucked. Little did I know I was more fucked than pissed. Back to the Apple Store with Pookie in tow. I was so pissed I didn't even log into their queue "service" as the next available appointment was in six [yes 6] hours. I put my iMac box next to me and proceeded to lay down on the bench in front of the Genius Bar. Sure, it was childish, but I was so beyond pissed that it was ridiculous. After about two hours, the Genius that had dealt with my machine the night before came on duty and remembered my name. [A nice touch, I must say] and directed one of the other Genius' to attend to me right then and there. [An even nicer touch, I do say] This time I changed my tactic; first I told the new Genius about the optical drive not working, then I told her about the dimming. She was very polite and accepted my machine for repair. This time it was going to be fixed, I could feel it. This new Genius some how got that I really needed this to work and she was going to succeed where the others had failed. She was going to hook a sistah up!
Three days later I get a call. "...your optical drive did fail and we replaced it, but we just couldn't get the machine to show any dimming issues at all. We even put it out on the floor to compare it to other iMacs we have and the only difference is that your wallpaper is MUCH cooler." I explained to this new guy [who was not my chick Genius mind you] what the conditions had to be in order to get the machine to show off the dimming problem. He put me on hold for a few minutes and then came back to the line to tell me they were going to keep the machine another day and turn it off for the whole day then kick start it in the morning to see what the deal was. I felt better because I knew he'd see the dimming and then my Pookie would be made to feel better. I guess by now I should have known better. The call came around 10 am. "...we just aren't seeing what you are seeing, so your machine is ready for you to pick up. Without being able to reproduce the problem, we can't fix it." My heart sank, but at least the drive was fixed. Dimming that goes away after a sleep cycle I can deal with...not being able to do system backups to DVD I can not. I would with huge files and huge chunks of data so not doing regular DVD backups is NOT an option.
Another rental, another pickup, another boot at home that immediately displays my dimming problem, but dammit I'm not going back. In all the traveling to and fro I broke my iMac box which was the only thing making carrying the machine around plausible. There was no way I could lug that thing around without it. I would just deal with the dimming. And that's what I've been doing since October of last year until yesterday when my machine froze on me during boot. "OH SHIT!" doesn't even begin to describe the wave of emotion that flowed over me. I'm still working on Magic and Monkey's avatars on this machine. My notes for the podcast are on there, so are all the apps I use to edit the show. This is not happening. Not again, not now. But it was and did. Which brings me up to this point.
It's now 2:54 am as I type this line and I know that later today I will have to call AppleCare on the phone, explain the problem, hope that the machine exhibits the same behavior [earlier when I was on the phone with Apple it booted twice with no problems, after a third restart while I was no longer on the phone it failed and never booted past more than a kernel panic] so I can get yet another "OK" to bring my machine in yet again for repair and I ask myself, "where is Apple's accountability in all this?" At what point does someone say, "boy, you got one of our known bum machines, that's our fault so we'll replace it for you." I get that Apple wants to fix or replace parts as opposed to a whole machine because it improves their bottom line, but when you've already replaced a logic board, optical drive, reset the SMU, done PRAM zapped and permission repaired the hell out of a machine, at some point someone has to step up and say "I'm sorry, I'll make this right."
All I want is for the situation to be made right. When my iMac is working it's a wonderful machine. But I should not have to beg and plead to have my [still under warranty] product exchanged for being faulty, especially when the manufacturer has already admitted they know that it is.
I just want Apple to exchange my defunct machine that has been defunct from day one with an equivalent one [since they no longer manufacture a PPC G5 20inch iMac] so I can get my data off the old HD and on to a new machine that will allow me to get my work done. Is that too much to ask for?
You let me know. It's now 3:18am and I think now that I got that out of my system I might be able to sleep...but I'm not looking forward to my day. Shoot me a comment or two during the day, I'm probably going to need some cheering up.