Two recent developments in the gaming industry have given me new hope for accountability in video game creation.

First of all, Eidos has transferred development of future Tomb Raider games from Core Design, who delivered the last installment of the series in an apparently extremely buggy and crappy state, to US-based Crystal Dynamics, who make the decent Legacy of Kain series of games. You'd think after 6 iterations of basically the same game, Core would have the formula nailed down, but apparently not. I would say it'd be a better idea to drop the series entirely and write it off as a sign of the times of the 90's, then let it die with as little dignity as it has, or let it simply live on in movie sequels.

The funny thing is, Eidos essentially said to Core Design, "Your new TR game was so crap that it hurt ticket sales of the new movie." I may not be totally familiar with media consumption patterns, but typically people, and especially the target market of teenage boys, are pretty likely to see a movie starring Angelina Jolie runing aorund and shooting stuff, even without having played that game, but hey, what do I know. They made a crap game, and so lost their license, good.

Also, 3DO filed for bankruptcy and is auctioning off their franchises. The reason they went out of business is because they haven't made a good game, as far as I can tell, ever. I've never played a good 3DO game. I would happily shell out 15 or 16 dollars to buy the Army Men license just so nobody ever makes another Army Men game ever.

Maybe if this happens enough, companies will stop cutting corners with QA and start making sure their games are actually good. Hopefully.

Apparently some drunken fuckwad driving on a suspended license ran into Bruce Campbell's car. Usually it seems like the drunk person is always the one who leaves the accident unhurt while his victims lie mangled or dead, but fortunately in this case, Bruce only had minor injuries while the drunken fuck is in the hospital with critical head injuries. Good. Although it would have been supremely ironic if Bruce had lost his right hand in the accident, I'm gled to hear that he's okay. That drunk is lucky Bruce wasn't seriously hurt. I don't know what the Evil Dead fanbase would have done to the guy had Bruce been hurt or killed, but I'm sure the movie series provides a few ideas.
(Link via 8bit)


Ugh, I'm feeling pretty ill today, but I thought I should mention just how rad CA Extreme was.

CA Extreme was very rad.

Memorable things include:

Playing Dand Dance Revolution with Ami, and actually getting pretty good at the 2 feet (out of 10 feet) difficulty level, after having only played it a dozen times or so, then having my DDR aspirations crushed by watching Ernie glide across both pads like some kind of whirling nerd dervish. Damn, but that boy can lay down the feet fo shizzle.

Walking up to the Point Blank machine, earning the #1 high score on my first try and walking away. I've got my skillsets too, of course. I'm just more handy with a gat than a dance floor.

The Two Tigers machine. Oh, oh, oh, it was so sweet. It was modified to play Prodigy's "Fat of the Land" while you were madly droppin' bombs and blasting B-52s. It's a good thing I played my fill early. Dave and Ernie set up camp at the control for the latter half of the afternoon. It was on sale for $150, and it was extremely tempting. Dave was also thinking of purchasing it, but we both wussed out in the end. Where the hell am I going to put an arcade machine in my house?

I played the legendary I, Robot for the first time. I have to say I didn't like it very much. Though it marks a historical moment in filled-in ploygons, I found it to be alittle too complex for an arcade game.

I also played the legendary Warlords for the first time. Now that is a dope-ass game. I was playing four player with Ernie, Belle, and Ami and pretty much got worked, but it was still very fun. Ernie said that people were laying down twenties on it earlier. I would have liked to get in on that action with a game at which I was actually good.

The laserdisc game display section had pretyt much every laserdisc arcade game ever made, I'm pretty sure. Even the goofy-ass Thayer's Quest. Why the hell did they make a laserdisc game with a keyboard? I also tried my hand at Cliff Hanger, the game with animation cobbled together from scenes out of the excellent Lupin film series, and found it to be pretty damn lame, aside from the killer animation, of course. Essentially, every time you reach a new action to perform, you just die over and over until you gues the right one. It's a good thing it was set on free play. I'd neevr bother shoveling quarters into that.

kc! and I were getting hypnotized by Tunnel Hunter, which is an old game which throws multi-colored squares at you in a low-tech simulation of flying through a tunnel. The effect is very hypnotic, or nauseating, whichever works for you.

The only pinball machine I tried was this NFL game. I managed to shoot the ball and get it stuck behind this plastic linebacker. I have the worst luck with breaking games. I guess that's why I'm tester.

It was cool to see all the gamers enjoying themselves, and all the dork couples running around playing games together. There were a number of rugrats camped out on some of the machines, but nothing too annoying (except for that one kid who was hanging out by the Prop Cycle machine and kept saying "my turn!" whenever I finished a level. Not yet, you little brat, learn some manners... rrrrr....). I can't wait for it to come around again next year. I think I need a yearlong break besides, the convention gave me a total arcade hangover, but it was worth it.


Now any FPS enthusiast can earn money for playing games all day, just like me! Except, unlike me, you have to be good at them. allows folks playing Return to Castle Wolfenstien to bet actual cizzash on their in-game performance

This site seems likea great idea to me. Now people can finally put their money where their mouth is. It'sa shame I've been out of the online FPS loop for so long, but maybe I'll pick up a copy of RTCW for this. It seem slike they have the system set up well, with payout depending upon the rank of the player you frag and your own rank. You can also earn money for performing helpful actions for the team and reviving other characters as a medic. Entry fees for games can be as little as a nickel apparently, so low-stakes players are not left out, and you can even play for free. The site requires the user to have PunkBuster installed, which I imagine means that the Punkbuster creators get paid somehow. However, when actual money is at stake, I wonder how long before someone comes up with a way around that?

Seems like a very promising prospect if it works as planned, but there are numerous ways in which it could go wrong, and when money's involved, thigns can get sticky. Either way, one thing's for sure, lag is going to suck more than ever.

I've been wondering about this one for a while, since I saw it mentioned in an old Fangoria, according to 8bit, the trailer is now online. I can't view it, because I'm at work, but maybe you can, and with a name like this, you can't possibly go wrong:

Bruce Campbell in Bubba Ho-Tep


I haven't heard their music, and their web site design is pretty unfriendly, but you just can't beat a badn name like Birdie Num Num.

Ugh, Sprite Tropical Remix tastes like carbonated Rainbow Brite urine. "Tropical flavors" indeed, like maybe tree frog juice.

I'm sure by now that you've heard about Bob Hope's death (but what were his last words?? They must have been pretty funny.), but did you know that Jane Barbe also passed away recently? You may not know the name, but you are almost certianly familiar with her work. She was the "I'm sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service" lady. I always wondered who she was; now I know. Oddly enough, I'll bet no other single person's voice is heard more often than hers, and yet nobody seemed to know who she was.