29 June 2009

Firefox fans = bullies/jerks

Man, I don't know about you but I'm so fucking weary of Firefox users proselytizing all the time about Firefox. I'm weary of the slack-jawed, eyeballs-rolling-into-the-backs-of-their-heads reactions I get whenever a Firefoxer notices that I'm using Safari. They act as if they've just learned that I have a metal plate installed in my head. 

Then they proceed to tell me all about the marvel that is Firefox in the same manner that one might inform me that I have a second arm and HOW COULD I NOT BE USING MY SECOND ARM???!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUUUUUCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK!

Did it ever occur to you that I might not use Firefox because of the way you goddamn people are always trying to bully me into using it? Did it? Of course it didn't. Because you're too busy smelling your own farts. I don't care how awesome something is. It's a browser. The one I'm using now browses just fine. And it doesn't come with bullies.

Ralph Farts

16 April 2009

IGFR: The Vin Diesel Edition

The latest installments of Internet's Fastest Game Reviews are posted.

So. Woot.

11 April 2009

IFGR: Onechanbara Bikini Samur...

Today on Internet's Fastest Videogame Reviews, I take a look at Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Slayer.

An extremely brief look.

[Rated P.N. for Partial Nudity.]

10 April 2009

There Are Three Boobs In This Video. (Counting me.)

The latest installment of--whoosh--The Internet's Fastest Game Reviews is up on Crispy Gamer.

Today I tackle Tomb Raider: Underworld

There Are Three Boobs In This Video. (Counting me.)

The latest installment of--whoosh--The Internet's Fastest Game Reviews (a.k.a. IFGR) is up on Crispy Gamer.

Today I tell you everything you need to know about Tomb Raider: Underworld in 10 seconds or less.

Impossible, you say?

Just click the link and you'll be instantly transformed into a believer.

31 March 2009

Laundry: An issue when you are traveling for two weeks.

Day Six of my 14-day west coast trip and I was running low on fresh everything. Before leaving Vancouver (Part One) for San Francisco (Part Two), in the name of self-preservation, I decided to do a little laundry. I asked Vic and Marcy if I could do a load or two at their house. Of course, they agreed. (Fact: there are laundry machines everywhere in Vancouver, even in the apartments. It's one of the many lovely things about Vancouver.)

Some friends of Vic and Marcy were hosting a dinner party that night. Vic told me to bring my laundry to the dinner party, and then the plan would be that he and I would cut out early afterwards, head back to their place, and I could do laundry then.

I loaded my lights and darks into a plastic bag, then headed out to meet Vic and Marcy at their friend's apartment across town. I'd never met these people before, so I felt a bit self-conscious showing up with my bag of laundry. I discreetly left the bag by the front door, with my shoes, before being introduced to everybody.

It was basically three couples, their kids--who are all in the three-to-five age range--and me. 

I put my napkin in my lap. I tried not to eat or drink too much. I tried to make a good impression on these people. I was a guest here, and I didn't want Vic and Marcy to regret inviting me along.

About halfway through the meal, a whoop went up in the nearby living room. Something was exciting the kids, who were supposed to be watching a DVD.

"What are they doing in there?" one of the moms said.

"They've gotten into something," one of the dads said.

I noticed what appeared to be one of my T-shirts lying on the floor. I'm thinking, That looks like my T-shirt, when I realize that it is actually my T-shirt.

What the kids have gotten into is my laundry. They've torn a hole in the bag, and they're dragging it around the living room. Laundry is spilling everywhere. A small, very cute boy was throwing my dirty clothes into the air like he was attending a Mardi Gras celebration.

One of the moms chased after the kids, trying to put the laundry back into the torn bag. I tried to do the same, feeling very self-conscious about the visible state of some of my underwear. (I never throw underwear away, no matter how threadbare they get.)

I kept apologizing, because I didn't know what else to do, and the mom kept apologizing, too. We quickly collected everything.

The kids calmed down eventually and watched some of their DVD. And the adults resumed talking over our empty dinner plates at the table. I sat there, trying to follow the conversation, but I had trouble finding my bearings again after the incident.

I never did do laundry that night. It got late, and we never made it back to Vic and Marcy's. A few days later, when I reached San Francisco, I decided to have the hotel do my laundry for me. $130. 

Goddamn it all.

18 March 2009

The Reluctant Traveller: Day 1: The Sweetest Taboo

Terminal 7 at JFK and I've got an hour to kill. I decide to eat, so I browse the $8 cashew boxes and suffocating, Saran-wrapped Granny Smith's in the Balducci's take-away market. Then I spot a new place nearby: Todd English's Bonfire. It looks empty and cozy--two qualities that are typically underrated in airport restaurants.

I take a seat at the bar and ask to see a menu. I order a skirt steak and a seltzer, then begin to wonder who Todd English is.

The bartender disappears (to presumably place my order) and suddenly I realize that I'm alone here, in this bar/restaurant. I notice the slight coat of dust on the bottles of liquor behind the bar. A muted soccer match is on the plasma TVs suspended in the corners. And, of course, Sade is playing through obviously cheap-o speakers on the restaurant's sound system.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard Sade in airport bars/restaurants. What is the deal with Sade? Why is it the soundtrack of choice for people scarfing down a meal before boarding their flight? I boggle my mind by trying to contemplate all the thousands of airport bars/restaurants that are, at this very moment, playing Sade.

My skirt steak arrives. I asked for medium rare. But what I get is a piece of meat that's so raw that the pool of blood it's sitting in merits a lifeguard. I tell the bartender. He takes the skirt steak away. A few minutes later, he returns. This time, it's so overcooked, I can taste the chef's anger. "NOT COOKED PROPERLY? NOW I'LL COOK IT PROPERLY FOR HIM."

I've worked in kitchens. They're very angry places.

I pay my bill, then head to the gate, serenaded by "Smooth Operator." (Smooooooth operatorrrrrrrr.) 

I wish I'd opted for that Saran-wrapped Granny Smith.

13 March 2009

Dumb-ass press release headline pretty much ruins my day.

I opened my laptop this morning to find an URGENT press release from a videogame company occupying my Inbox.


No humor. No self-awareness. No tangible takeaway for anyone.

If this were an art piece in the MOMA, it would be called "ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS VOID NO. 1."

In contrast, my daily dose of Cialis spam is, at the very least, self-aware and often funny. 


12 March 2009

I bought yogurt, but I wasn't paying attention, and I got the prune flavor. Rat farts.

The other night I ran over to the nearby Met Food to grab some groceries. I hate grocery shopping, so I do it as quickly as I can. I practically run through the store, throwing items into my basket, like I'm trying to win on a game show. I always buy the same things. Always. But in the dairy aisle, I made a grave mistake. I bought my usual Activa package of little yogurt containers. Only instead of getting the blueberry kind, I got the prune kind.

This is so bad on so many levels, I can't tell you.

I will eat almost anything--once, in Denmark, I ate cow brains--but prunes are on my short list of things I won't eat. I hate how they look. I hate their name. I hate everything about them. I hate how I can remember the big container of prunes sitting in our refrigerator when I was growing up, which my mom would eat from, to make her more regular.

I'm choking down one of the containers this morning while sorting through a few levels of World of Goo. Bah. Blarrrgghh. Blecchhhhhh.

Prunes. Fuck you.

04 March 2009

Breaking bread with Pete Wanat and Nick Torchia: Dining with Developers Vol. 1

Even though I tend to think of videogames as things that either: A) come from Santa's Workshop or B) are beamed to Earth from Planet Awesome, the truth is that they are made by people like you and me. Well, maybe you. Not me. 

Which is why I wanted to start a new feature called Dining With Developers. The premise behind the series is that Evan Narcisse and I will sit down in a semi-fancy (or barely fancy) restaurant with developers, ply them with alcohol and appetizers, then get them to reveal their innermost secrets and maybe even cry like on a Barbara Walters special.

The idea here is to humanize developers, to hear their stories, and to talk in depth about our beloved medium.

While at the DICE Summit a couple of weeks ago, Narcisse and I (along with Electric Playground's Victor Lucas) took Pete Wanat and Nick Torchia out for dinner at Hachi inside the Red Rock Resort. No one cried. Well, Nick did a little. It was great. How great? Click here. See? Told you. Great, right?

02 March 2009

Internet's Fastest Game Reviews...Take one.

I've been charged with cooking up some original video content for CG. CG staffers Elise Vogel and Ryan Kuo and myself are on the case, along with my friend John Teti, the managing editor of the videogame section for The A.V. Club.

After an afternoon filled with pizza and soft drinks, we dragged a pair of ideas kicking and screaming into the world: The Internet's Fastest Game Reviews.

In less that 10 seconds, or in the case of the first video less than seven seconds (it clocks in at a near-miraculous six), we tell you everything you need to know about a particular title.

Our first attempt at lightning in a bottle is a review of Puzzle Farter.

It's fast. So put down your hoagie and give me your complete attention.

As for the second idea, we're working on it.

26 February 2009

If you listen to only one podcast this year...

...Make it this one.

Yesterday CNET's Jeff Bakalar, Wilson Tang, and Justin Yin invited me to their small but tastefully decorated podcast studio at 28 West 28th Street to be a guest on CNET's The 404.

I brought $2 cookies for everyone from Starbucks. Bakalar was fighting off a case of what appeared to be pink eye (his right eye was watering uncontrollably).

We discussed Crispy Gamer, the upcoming Nintendo DSi, the fogging over of the lady in the bathtub in The Shining whenever it's broadcast on network TV, and my former career as an editor at a men's sophisticate magazine.

The boys also giggled uncontrollably at the term "space docking," which is on my list of things to Google today. If you've got a spare 45 minutes, give it a listen.

17 February 2009

Street Fighter IV, Bikinis & Zombies, and Las Vegas

I've got a review up on The A.V. Club for Street Fighter IV that's polarized people.

Some comments are good, some are bad, and some are just plain insane.

The odd thing about this comment thread is that the commenters are committed to writing about the game. (Unlike most A.V. threads, which go off onto oddball tangents and never come back.)

I appreciate how focused the thread is, but I'm a little alarmed by the affinity some of these posters have for the Street Fighter franchise. To paraphrase Gus Mastrapa, the tin-foil-hat-wearing crazies came out for this one.

Evan Narcisse and I are off to the DICE summit in Las Vegas tonight. We're flying Virgin, a.k.a. The Nightclub in the Sky. And we're lodging at the suspect Palace Station Casino.

Home of the $40/night room, Bonkerz Comedy Club, and all the second-hand smoke you can inhale.

Stay tuned for my reports from L. Vegas as they happen.