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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Last Night I Saw the Future You.

So after a day of feeling the signs of aging, e.i. hurting my neck from rocking out to hard and putting my nose to the grindstone working today, I came home to a package on my porch. Already knowing what was in the package, I brought it inside, and with boyish glee, tore it apart. Inside was this:
The Bully media kit! Some genius marketing as usual from Rockstar Games. So you understand the concept behind what i got, you have to get the premise of the game first. Basically, you are a troubled teen enrolled in the "Bullworth Academy" against your will, and being the "villian" in the game, you do everything from beating up kids, to playing pranks, to actually going to class, so that you can fit in. In the envelope were 2 "Bully" logo stickers, and 2 that say "My child was expelled from the Bullworth Academy". Done before, but brilliant. But the real sell for me was "Whipper Snappers"... you know, those snappers that you throw at the ground and they pop. These aren't the sissy kind either, these are the hardcore, gun shot sounding kind. The perfect kind for causing trouble. Complete with packaging directed toward the game. Rockstar has a great team working on their package design as well... er, they either commission or have some talented illustrators on staff at least. The cover art features vector-like illustrations of the main character Jim and Principle with a comic strip set back tone-on-tone in the background. Beautiful. When you flip the box over... everything kinda falls apart, and it looks like they just threw it together just to get it on the shelves.

Because I had both versions just released for the game, i figured it was only my duty to play a couple hours on both of them and right up a quick review. All together you can see a lot of similarities to the infamous Grand Theft Auto series done by Rockstar Games [New York]. Basically, this was Rockstar's solution for anyone who doesn't make it into the M rating (18+), but is "mature" enough for the T Rating (13+). Because this was originally on PS2, this "Scholarship Edition" is basically a port to the next-gen consoles (ew, sorry that was totally gamer speak). Yeah, they updated the graphics, and added some new stuff, but i'm sure it's pretty much the same. The 360 version looks pretty good. Especially in HD. After playing it on the Wii, i was actually able to see a noticeable difference. On both versions, you see that familiar illustrated loading screen seen in GTA (as i mentioned from the cover). Trading in your guns for slingshots, you run around campus instead of a city, but basically the same idea — with no vehicles to drive (sorry). And of course, a that offbeat sense of humor that Rockstar games seem to have. But this is all fun stuff, so i didn't see a problem. So the Wii version, may look like trash (like the PS2) when you play it, but the controls make up for it. The studio did a good job translating the controls to the Wii to make it work as close to real life as the could. When you make a right handed punch you punch with your right, left, left, etc. I couldn't contain myself from laughing the first time i did it.

My recommendation is, if you have both the 360 and the Wii, buy it from the Wii. It's much more fun, and the graphics aren't THAT much worse... i guess.

Sorry if this was totally boring for people who don't enjoy video games.

-Dusel

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Modern Day Musical

Good-day readers,
By now, i would be half way through the work day, probably staring blankly at a card, distracting myself with AIM and e-mail. But today, thanks to the the passion of MLK, i get to sleep in, make breakfast and be bored and alone at home.

Friday night, i got out to see "There Will Be Blood" with Aaron and John, which is always a good time. We got Aaron's new suit, gorged on Cici's Pizza, and just made it. It wasn't "the best movie of last year." In fact, i feel as if i am still trying to grasp the whole thing. The musical score was amazing, and Daniel Day-Louis is a tremendous actor, so together they did make the movie compelling.

The next morning i got up early to take Aaron to the airport. Basically, sealing my weekend to my apartment.

To go with rest of my brilliant month of January, the only real thing i had planned for this weekend, was play some of my new games for the 360. Of course this was foiled by what they call "the red ring of death". So, i drove all the way down to Best Buy in Oak Park to get a new one... they were fresh out of 360's as of that morning. Best Buy is going to get an ear-full next time i go. So needless to say, that didn't make my weekend outlook very bright.

The highlight to the weekend most definitely was the movie "Once." On Sunday afternoon (before the disappointing Best Buy trip), instead of watching the Patriots win again, i put in this DVD that i have been putting off watching for weeks. I would have loved to watch it with a girl, but it was probably less embarrassing getting all giddy myself. It was adorable. It wasn't overly emotional, but some how you really connected with the characters. It was filmed to look like it was a documentary following the guy who needs the love of the girl, to get him motivated to make music. I was worried the songs would be awful, being that it's a self proclaimed "modern day musical", but i was wrong. I guess the "modern day" is more predominant than the "musical" in this movie. How i feel about this movie is pretty clear; basically, if you could combine my two favorite things together, movies and live indie music, you get this film. Lets just say, If i would have watched this movie last year, it would have definitely made a run at the number one spot for my favorite movies of 2007. The one thing i didn't like about this movie was the poster... i could have even did a better job.

Back to work and loneliness on this gray winter day.

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