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AAE Podcast co-host makes it onto that Jeopardy thang

This here's a video of my boy B-Dog "What is a Barry?" Peterson. Fans of the podcast may remember him as Barry "Hyperlink" Peterson, but if you've got bronchitis then we ain't got time for intros. Here's a direct link for download just in case the player doesn't work for you (right click and "save as") - bust it..

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Ask An Enemy Podcast Episode 10 brings bad karma

So folks. Apparently talking some shit on the podcast will bring you some bad luck. After finishing up this weeks podcast, Barry got home to undoubtedly play some Call of Duty 4 only to find this waiting for him. I think leaving your console on 24/7 instead of using what most people know nowadays as a little thing called SAVED GAMES, to ofcourse come back to a game later caused this little Johnny 5. What kind of maniac, knowing the history of these machines leaves his on all day to play fucking Wolverine. Maniac Cop 2 maybe. Sorry it's 3 in the AM kids.

Good thing Microsoft's 3 year extended warranty has my boys back. I told him if he's really desperate for some COD4 action tonight he should pull off the old towel trick for the time being. Only temporary ofcourse, but it should definately tide him over till he gets to filling out the paper work and getting his "coffin" on it's way.

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Game U College Tour: Brought to you by Barry Hyperlink Peterson

Here it is folks, the return of Barry "Hyperlink" Peterson.  However this is Barry "Hyperlink 2.0" Peterson, thanks to Masta Coda Tony Homes rigging up the JavaScript for displaying images.  Barry had some free time available this past Monday, so I asked if he would mind covering the Game U College Tour that was coming to UTEP.  His exact words were "sounds like fun, nerds beware! HAHAHAHAHA!!"  Then I heard a chainsaw rev up in background and the call ended.  Nah I'm just kidding he only said sounds like fun.  So the following entry are his thoughts of the experience.  Oh and that pic on the right isn't from the event I just googled college tour and this was one of the first pics to come up.  Maybe the chick found out Starbucks was coming to her campus and she no longer needed to simply walk out of class and around the corner, but simply walk out of class.  By the way what's up with no-neck in the red  coat? 

Ladies and Gentleman, Hyperlink 2.0.

Like most Thursday afternoons, I recently found myself browsing through the pages of my local university newspaper.  This particular newspaper happens to be what we in the journalism business call a "joke." It tends to be filled with a ridiculous amount of ridiculous “news” that is rarely actually news at all.  That and an entire page of weather forecasts for the week.  This week, warm and sunny.  Christ, people pay good money to go to college to learn how to tell us that.

This particular Thursday afternoon was not expected to be any different.  Suddenly, however, I turned to page four.  Well, not really suddenly, I mean I got to it right after page three. Naturally. Anyway, page four of this issue was a full-page ad for the upcoming Game U College Tour, brought to you generously by Best Buy and G3. My initial reaction was “God I hate Best Buy." My second reaction was “does Joe Cruz know about this?” He did. He always does. That’s his purpose. Everyone has a purpose see, like in the Matrix. Joe Cruz’s purpose would have been to tell Neo to go back and get all the achievements for shooting fifty hobos in the face for looking like agents.

The tour was headed over to the campus on Monday, so I decided I’d spend a few minutes of my day checking it out.  I just figured it couldn't be too bad.  And I was curious to see what new games they might be showcasing. The ad promised looks at Gears of War 2, which was definitely something I wanted to check out.  I never actually played the first Gears of War, but that doesn't mean I can't be stoked on checking out the second one.  I figure it’s like Evil Dead 2, missing the first one won’t leave you totally lost on the second.  Get it, all FPS games are the same.  Yeah, even Portal (Editors Note: No, Portal is not the same and yes Call of Duty 4 is all sorts of sick).  But not Call of Duty 4, that game is just sick. (Editors Note: see.)

The first thing I noticed about the tour was the first thing I imagine everyone noticed as they walked into the building, the noise.  I totally get the idea of having to be loud and semi-obnoxious to attract people, but I hate loud noises distracting me from the gaming experience.  If I’m playing Gears of War I want to hear Gears of War, not some annoying dirt bag talking the whole time about release dates and how I can win my very own copy of the game.  If that dude had just shut up I think all the GoW2 fanboys would have had a lot more fun.

The room was set up to look like the living room we all dream of, bunch of consoles running on big plasma screens, comfy couches, surround sound, and ugly college girls pretending to be interested in their boyfriend’s hobby.  Though naturally the girls were being relegated to playing Rayman’s Raving Rabbids on the Wii and generally looking unhappy to be there.  But I admit, that game looks pretty fun.

They had set ups for checking out some of the newest and hottest games of the season.  By this I mean Guitar Hero Aerosmith-fondlers, Madden 09, Tiger Woods 09, Face Breakers, and four stations to try out Saints Row 2.  After playing Saints Row 2 for about twenty minutes I realized that it’s really just a hack job rip off of Grand Theft Auto 3.  Yeah, not even Grand Theft Auto 4.   Seriously, they should be embarrassed.  And so should their children.

The obvious center-piece of the thing was Gears of War 2, and I happened to stumble in just as the tournament was getting serious.  About as serious as a clown fight. The only saving grace was the announcer’s unmistakable misogyny, shining through every time one of the female contestants met a violent end.  Seriously, who do those chicks think they are busting in on a bunch of dudes playing with each other.  She had no right to be there in the first place.  I didn't stick around long enough to see the victory podium, but I have a pretty good idea what it would have looked like.

My entire thirty minute experience at this “event” was pretty lame. Twenty minutes of Saints Row 2 that I’ll never get back, ten minutes of having a lame announcer yelling drivel at me, and no good new games to talk about.  What gives Best Buy and G3?  I thought you were gonna bring the ruckus?  But no, you decided to bring disappointment instead.  And you know what, I got that already.

Thanks again to the boss man for giving me things to do instead of washing dishes. Hope to be back soon.

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REVIEW: Lego Batman: The Video Game (PS2)

NOTE: Hello everyone. From time to time I'll hand games I'm not too fond of an assignment over to a special guest and give them free reigns. Today I present you with the here-for-beer-and-kicking-ass review for Lego Batman: The Video Game (PS2) by my good friend Barry "Hyperlink" Peterson. So here we go. As always feel free to let us know what you think in the comments section.  Thanks Barry.

Okay, to be perfectly honest I considered starting this out with quoting Robin on a really bad “Holy (insert funny quip here), Batman!” But the sheer number of possible Lego-Batman combinations made my amygdale tingle a little bit, so I figured I better stop trying.  Apparently that’s an important part of my brain, I may need it in the future sometime.

So, onward to the business at hand and a somewhat fleeting glance at “Lego Batman” the latest in Traveller's Tales' series of Lego games.  Naturally some of you are probably familiar with the other games in the series, Lego Star Wars, Lego Star Wars II, and more recently, Lego Indiana Jones.  This one’s got a lot of the same irreverent humor and oddball, nay, screwball comedy that made all the other games so much fun.  Heck, what’s funnier than seeing Robin make a total ass of himself throughout the game?  After about three levels you’ll wish Chris O’Donnell  was dead.

GAMEPLAY

If you’ve played any of those games you’ll be glad to know that the control scheme for Lego Batman is the same as all the others, so there isn’t much to learn.  If you’re getting into this on PS2 (like me) or PS3, the controls are simple enough, CIRCLE to build stuff, X to jump, SQUARE to attack.  One new feature for Batman is the God-given Batarang.  Seriously, what’s Batman without the Batarang?  A rich kid with a goth fetish and overwhelming social awkwardness, that’s what.  Hold down attack button and a little Bat-symbol target pops up, just move it around to lock on targets (up to 5 at a time) and let it fly.  Robin’s got his little “R” logo thing to throw stuff too, but that doesn’t change the fact that he seems like he’d be better suited for an upcoming Lego Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Of course there is the usual quest to collect as many of the little Lego “studs” as you possibly can.  The more the merrier, right?  Just smash up a park bench, trash can, flowers, whatever and the studs come flying out.  Collecting a certain number in a level earns you a “Superhero” tag.  That’ really means nothing.  Don’t get too terribly excited about it.  Most of the levels are massively interactive, or as my girlfriend would say “wreckable.”  So there is no shortage of studs.  Just like your mom's house.

Overall, gameplay is pretty straight forward, it’s basically just a glorified side-scroller, with a little bit of 3d movement thrown in.  Unfortunately that causes it to have the same problem the other Lego games have.  Moving around can be a bit disorienting, and sometimes downright frustrating when driving a Lego bulldozer or Robin’s stupid little “watercraft.”  It takes a bit of getting used to, but eventually most of us pick up on the awkwardness of it.  It’s especially weird when you’re trying to do something near the background and can’t quite figure out how to do what you want.  But don’t worry, it happens to the best of us

I like the different suits that Batman and Robin can don, depending on the situation they happen to find themselves in.  Need to fly a little bit? Grab the Glide Suit.  Gotta walk up a wall?  Have Robin throw on the Magnetic suit.  Need to distract someone, throw this one  on.

THAT’S FINE AND ALL, BUT I ONLY CARE ABOUT HOW IT LOOKS

Whatever.  The game looks like a Batman movie, in fact, like every Batman movie you’ve ever seen.  And don’t try to tell me you didn’t see “Batman and Robin,” I know you did.  Don’t be ashamed. That’s back when Alicia Silverstone was still hot. The game has a lot of dark levels, don’t try adjusting your tv’s resolution, it’s supposed to be that dark.  That’s cool and all, but it can kinda make Catwoman tough to see.  I made up for that by imagining it was Michelle Pfeiffer, after that she couldn’t have escaped my gaze with Harry Potter’s invisible cloak thing.  Damn, did I just admit I watch Harry Potter movies?  Don’t tell my D&D clubLosers.

Lots of bright colors and lots of black.  I’m certainly glad they kept the old school Robin color scheme, none of that boy-loving purple crap from the movies.  Again, why isn’t Chris O’Donnell dead?  Or at least completely black listed from ever making movies again?  I imagine he should just be doing really lame stuff like kids birthday parties and made for TV Christian movies.

They’ve thrown in a lot of the visual stuff you would probably expect from anything Batman-related, dreary, dystopian Gotham, tall buildings (for leaping in a single bound; wait, no, sorry, wrong cape), and the most seemingly random assortment of locales. But don’t worry, they all make sense.  You gotta chase the Penguin through a zoo and wildlife park thing.  Makes sense, right?  Killer Croc is in the sewers.  Right on. Catwoman at a strip club.  Nah, just kidding.

BUT WHO DO I GET TO ROUGH UP? ROBIN AT LEAST?

I guess the best thing about the game (and maybe the worst) is that it includes just about all the Batman villains you can name.  Well, maybe more than you can name, what with your limited Dark Night knowledge.  It’s got the big ones, Joker, Penguin (Burgess Meredith style, sorry De Vito), Riddler, Two-Face, and Catwoman.  But it’s also got some of the lesser known baddies like Bane (sans back-breaking ability; look it up chump), Killer Croc, Mad Hatter, Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze (NOT starring Mr. Schwarzenegger) and a couple others characters too obscure for you to wrap your feeble mind around (Hush?).

The regular old goons are a cinch to kick around; you shouldn’t have any trouble with them.  Some of them have guns though, so be on the lookout for them, Batman isn’t bulletproof remember.  The set up is the same as the other Lego games, you die when you run out of your four little heart things.  As long as you’ve got some studs you’ll continue to respawn.  In a one player game, your other half might be getting his ass handed to him, but don’t worry, he’ll stick around as long as you do. 

The bosses are a bit more complicated, but that’s to be expected from any game right?  Except maybe Pong.  But you get the idea.  I’m not gonna spoil any fun for you by telling you how to beat the bad guys, if you’re totally stuck just Google a walk-through.  And no, I won’t include a link to one.  You want me to do everything for you.  The guys aren’t that hard, just take some time and think things through, I’m sure you’ll get it.  Then you’ll be happy

And yes, you can punch Robin in the face.  And yes, it will hurt him.  And yes, he deserves it.

WILL IT STIMULATE MY SENSE?

Well, the game sounds good for the most part.  Like the other Lego games there is no spoken dialogue.  Intelligible speech is replaced by grunting noises and contorted facial expressions.  Kind of like an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.  This may or may not be a good thing, as I for one would be quite happy to hear the soothing voice of George Clooney as the Caped Crusader.  Or even Adam West. Yeah, Adam West.

Sounds in the game are otherwise pretty standard, punches sound like punches, glass breaking sounds like glass breaking.  Don’t expect the sound to win any awards, but it certainly does go perfectly fine with the rest of the game.  It all makes a nice ensemble. 

Mentally the game is challenging enough to not be boring, but easy enough to not be ridiculously frustrating.  A couple hours of play will get you through most of the game, unless you go through on Free Play.  Free Play basically lets you wander around the game without having to worry too much about getting through levels in order to advance the story.  And there is a TON of stuff to do.  It can pretty much keep you occupied for a day.

ENOUGH TOMFOOLERY, BOTTOM LINE!

Bottom line is that if you like Batman you’ll probably like this game.  It’s not the most technically advanced game ever, but that’s what you should expect from the Lego series.  It’s a good time, even if you’re not playing.  It’s pretty fun just to watch the cut scenes, they’re about as funny as any other game that’s come out recently.  I recommend giving it a spin if you’ve got a free afternoon, and you’re looking for something relatively easy.

That’s it for now, thanks to Joe Cruz for letting me do this, hopefully he’ll have me back sometime.  But I guess that’s up to the fans.  Just remember, if you don’t want me back, the terrorists win.

Lego Batman: The Video Game was developed by Traveller's Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  It' was released on September 23rd and is now available from $29.99 to $49.99 for the following platforms: Nintendo DS, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360.  Played through completion on Playstation 2.  Screenshots borrowed from 1UP.com.  Box art borrowed from IGN.com.

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