Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Which I Discuss the New Trailer in Far Too Much Detail

Welcome to another edition of In Which I Discuss the New Trailer in Far Too Much Detail, the column where I dissect trailers like nobody's business.  Today, we're discussing the newest trailer for Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse.

First, we have the standard title screens.  You can hear a crow calling in the background of one of them.  I'm thinking that this is a standard "spooky" sound effect, as opposed to there being actual crows in the game.  I could be wrong, because there appear to be a few forest scenes.

The first shot is of a castle gate.  It reminds of the gate in Disney's Robin Hood, at the very end where everyone has to escape from the castle, only the gate comes crashing down and some people are trapped inside.  It seems similar to the gate from Nancy Drew: Haunting of Castle Malloy, except this one actually has a physical gate that can come crashing down.

Second: generic spooky forest scene. Like all the other shots in this preview, it is in black and white.  The voiceover talks about this being the remote German countryside, where a legendary monster was born.

Third: A girl is in the forest, kneeling down. It looks like she is placing something at the foot of a tree.  A crow caws again, and the girl suddenly looks up, startled.  She looks to the right and gasps, then she gets up and runs away.  As she does so, she loses her grip on her wooden handbasket.  Something inside the basket, which is circular and sort of looks like a potato, flies out of the basket as the basket goes falling.

The question I have here is, "Who is this German girl?"  So far, it seems that we have two German girls in this game, both of whom are wearing traditional German clothing.  The first is the blonde girl from the cover of the game, and the second is the dark-haired girl in a picture on the game page.  The girl in the trailer is wearing a cloth on her head, plus it's in black and white, so it's hard to tell which girl she's supposed to be.  Also, their clothing is similar.

I think it's the blonde girl from the game cover.  On the game cover, blonde girl is running through the forest, and that's exactly what the girl does here.  We have two shots of her running away: a close-up, and one from the point of view of whatever is chasing her.

In the next shot, the girl reaches the castle gate.  Only now, it's closed!  She hits it, uselessly, then screams as something pulls her backwards.  Fade to black.

Okay, so that's it for the trailer.  I'm going to guess that in the actual game itself, Nancy will learn about this legendary monster (which most people are guessing is a werewolf) and start asking questions about it.  Brunette girl will then tell Nancy the spooky story of the first time the monster ever attacked someone.  It was about a hundred years ago, when her blonde great-great-grandmother was wandering in the woods late at night.  And the scenes in this trailer will play, while the story is being told.

The next trailer is being released...tomorrow!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nancy Drew Wordle Art

It's a holiday today, so I'm going to celebrate by not really writing a blog post. Instead, I'll show off some Nancy Drew Wordle Art that someone made.

No, I don't know what Wordle Art is, either.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

May Newsletter

The May Newsletter of the Nancy Drew company has been released, and it has all sorts of information!

  • Going on right now, they're having a memorial weekend sale. The special editions of Shadow at the Water's Edge and Trail of the Twister are abailable for purchase.
  • They released a new trailer for the upcoming game: Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse.  Preorders start June 1, and you can visit their product page for a few new pictures.
  • The next trailer for The Captive Curse will be released on June 1.
  • Their two most recent Nancy Drew computer games both won awards. All right!
  • The company has added a new CEO: Stuart Moulder.  The old CEO, Megan Gaiser, will still remain with the company, though.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Adventures on the Washington DC Metro System

I went to Washington D.C. recently, and I had some misadventures with the metro system.

This is the first time I've used a metro system, and it took a while to get used to it.  The metro system has five lines, and over fifty stops. It's sometimes a puzzle just to figure out how to reach your destination.

Needless to say, it'd be ridiculously hard if they had a different price for each of the hundreds of possible trips you could take on the Metro.  So they have a really simple "dollar per ticket" scheme.  Every time you ride on the metro, you pay a dollar for your ticket.  It's the simplest, most obvious way for them to handle the thouands of daily ticket transactions.

Ha ha ha ha!  That was a joke. Washington D.C. is home to the IRS, which made up the US Tax Code.  So of course, the Metro system payment system is ridiculously complicated.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it's supposed to be something simple, like "one quarter for every mile you travel".  But really, their price list looks like it ran it through a random number generator.

Strange prices aside, the real problem I had with the Washington Metro is that their machines kept rejecting my metro pass for no apparent reason.  This happened 75% of the time.  You're supposed to be able to use the same pass every time you use the metro, but I had to go through four metro passes in two days.

And whenever this happens, all the money on your metro pass magically disappears, because they don't refund you anything.

So maybe the Washington D.C. Metro didn't work so well. But about halfway during the trip, I suddenly remembered that the Washington D.C. Metro is used as the map screen in Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand.


And here's the map of the real metro:



As you can see, the two are pretty close.  The yellow line has been partially extended since the game was made, but I was still surprised that they used the real DC Metro Map instead of making things up.

By complete coincidence, two of the four Metro stops I went to are used as locations in the game.  These two stops are:

#1. The Colonial Hotel, which is the hotel Nancy stayed at.  In real life, this is...



The National Zoo!  That was a lot of fun to visit, needless to say.

#2. The Beech Hill Museum. About 80% of the game takes place in this location. In real life, this is...


The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, at the Catholic University in America!  That was even more fun to visit, and I'll talk more about both in later blog entries.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS

I'm still interested in the upcoming remake of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but the previews I've read about this game are driving me crazy.

First, the previews annoyed me with their talk about how the remake has "new and original" graphics, when in reality, the graphics are "same as the old ones, but updated".  There's nothing wrong with updating the graphics, but to pretend that the graphics are wholly original is simply ridiculous.

Now, previews for the remake are annoying me, because they have big SPOILER ALERT warnings on them.  These spoilers usually consist of obvious information like "Princess Zelda is in this game".  Uh oh, huge surprise!  Zelda is a character in a Zelda game!

Spoiler alerts?  Seriously?  The original game came out thirteen years ago.  I think enough time has passed now.  In fact, I'm declaring this an official rule: there should be no more unnecessary spoiler alerts for this game.

...Sorry to be a spoilsport about this.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Must-Buy 3DS Games

I've had a hard time getting excited about the 3DS system.  I can't think of any 3DS games that I really want to play.  Then again, I only know about four 3DS titles.

So to give the 3DS a chance, I read through the entire list of 3DS games this week.  About 25% of them have "3D" somewhere in the title.  The titles that I have an interesting in purchasing are these:
  1. Phoenix Wright VS Professor Layton
  2. Paper Mario 3D
  3. The newest Disney animated movie, Tangled
That's it. It looks like none of them will come out this year, so I'm going to hold off on buying a 3DS for the time being.

Discussion Question: Does this mean I am a horrible gamer?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Washington DC, Day One

I'm back from my trip to Washington DC.  I'm sure I have enough to talk about for an entire week, but in this post, I'll limit myself to talking about the first day of the trip: Friday.


My ride to the airport showed up approximately one minute after my alarm went off at 5:45 AM. It ended up being a limo, and the limo driver laughed to see me, because I looked like I just rolled out of bed.  I mean, I know I did just roll out of bed, and I know that most people dress up to ride in limos, but in my defense, I didn't know it would be a limo, and I thought he would arrive an hour later.

The airport wasn't very pleasant.  There was a problem with printing my boarding pass, and I had to go from one service center to another.  The good news is that I didn't have to endure the horrid new screening procedures, because I was put into the "families with young children" line.  I don't know why they paired me up with all the kids in diapers, but I didn't complain.  It was more interesting than the normal security line.

There's not much to say about the five hour flight to the east coast, other than it is long and boring and they don't feed you on the airplane.
Paul's brother picked me up from the airport and drove me to the hotel, along with Aunt Muriel.  I don't know if that's the aunt's name, but she sounds just like Muriel who lives next door, so that's the name I gave her.  It was nice talking to them for about thirty minutes, at which point, I got a bad case of heat exhaustion.  Jet lag, waking up super-early and not eating anything all day will do that to you.  So I was sort of in zombie mode for most of the car ride.

The traffic was horrible.  It took three hours to get from the airport to the hotel.  But on a positive note, Paul's relatives are super interesting and hold great conversations.  His brother appears to know about every movie ever made, and it took me two hours to realize that he is the same person as "Paul's brother, the movie reviewer".  He's also a scientific journal editor, which is what threw me off.

I made it to the hotel around 5:00 PM.  I met Paul's mother, got into a room and collapsed for a while.  Eventually, I built up the strength to walk down the street and get McDonald's.  That basically took up all of my remaining energy for the day.

Paul and Co. were doing wedding rehearsal stuff until 9:00 or so.  That's when my mother was scheduled to arrive at the hotel.  I decided that the best plan of attack would be to wait in the hotel lobby.  I'd help my mom check in when she showed up, and when Paul's group showed up, I would team up with everyone at the bachelor party.

At least, that was my plan.  Instead, I fell asleep in the lobby chair, and Mom woke me up.  The two of us went to our room and tried to stay awake long enough to catch the end of the San Jose Sharks playoff game, which they won 4-3.  Yes!  Hooray for them winning, and boo for them playing badly during the last period.

Anyway, that was the first day of my trip to Washington DC.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse Trailers

Here is the new trailer for Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse.



Sorry that the quality isn't perfect. And for those of you who missed it, here is the first trailer:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wedding in Washington

I'm going to leave for Washington D.C. for a wedding today.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to update my blog while I'm gone.

The wedding is scheduled to take place during the weekend.  However, I have just been informed that the spin-off to the High School Musical series, called Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, is going to air on the Disney Channel, also during the weekend.  I may have to leave the wedding early, in order to watch this movie.

Sorry, Paul!

Also scheduled during my adventures in DC are two big playoff games.  Our local team, the San Jose Sharks, have made it to the semifinals for the second time ever.  They're playing the Vancouver Canucks, and they are getting the snot beaten out of them.  The Sharks lost the last game, 7 to 3.

I don't think the Sharks fans had enough time to recover after all the drama in the quarterfinals, where the Sharks lost three games in a row.

Anyway, if the Sharks lose both games that take place during my DC trip, they're out of the playoffs again.  And that means I'll have to shave my spiffy playoff beard. It's a shame, because my playoff beard looks nice.  It certainly looks better than the way our team is playing right now, but then again, that's not saying much.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Sony Playstation Network Shutdown

Recently, the Sony PlayStation Network had a huge shutdown, following an attack by hackers or something like that.  I haven't been following this news story because I don't own a PlayStation 3, but there's one person who has: The Poorly-Informed Movie Reviewer.

The movie reviewer spent most of his time talking about Cars 2: The Videogame, which is going to be awesome, because Pixar is taking the movie in a whole new direction.  Have you heard about this?  Instead of racing, our car friends are going to be international super spies.  Clearly, this will be the best movie of the summer.

When he finally got around to discussing the PSN Shutdown, he did a good news / bad news take on the situation.

Bad News: The PSN shut down, and people had to live without videogames for several days.
Good News: Cars 2 hasn't come out yet, so really, there are no PlayStation games worth playing.

Bad News: A lot of credit card numbers were stolen.
Good News: Most of those credit cards were over their limit, anyway.

Good News: Sony has promised that they will give you the most secure videogame console on the market.
Bad News: This means they are handing out free Wiis to everyone.

Sony's "Welcome Back" program, following the network shutdown, comes with a lot of freebies, like free identity theft protection.  It also gives users the choice of picking out two free games from this list:
  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury
Of course, the movie reviewer was upset to learn that Cars 2 wasn't on the list, and he predicted that this could mean the end of Sony's career in videogames.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cover Art for Captive Curse

We have cover art for the upcoming Nancy Drew game.

And preorders start on June 1st, exactly two weeks from today.

I am getting excited.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Professor Layton 2: European VS American

My latest video walkthrough is for Professor Layton 2, the game where he rides on a train and has a sword fight against a vampire.

I have just started the walkthrough, and I have already received several complaints from British people who think the American voice for Luke is "utter rubbish", which is "not cricket".  I don't see what insects have to do with anything, but I decided to make a video, comparing the European and American versions of the game.




Discussion Questions:
  • Why does British Luke sound like someone is holding his nose shut?
  • Why did they get cut out all references to Pandora's Box in the American version?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Movies

I did some research on the movies that are coming out this summer, just to confirm that I will, in fact, not be seeing any movies at all this summer.  It seems they're making a fourth Pirates of the Carribean movie, because the third movie made almost a billion dollars.

This strikes me as odd, because the third movie was super horrible and made no sense at all.

Also, it seems that instead of getting Spider-Man 4, we're going to have a reboot of the Spider-Man series, because it is clearly old and worn out and needs to be replaced.

Hey, could we get a reboot of the Pirates of the Carribean series?  Or, better yet, just not make any more of them?  Ever?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Summer Goals

I think it's time for me to get started with my summer plans.  There are a number of events going on for me this summer:
  • Trip to Washington D.C. for a wedding
  • Trip to Spain for World Youth Day
  • The Week-Long Youth Retreat
  • Summer School, if they ever get around to accepting my application
  • Retreat in Oregon -- probably cancelled due to lack of time
But above and beyond that, I have general plans:
  • Type up and edit all my sermons
  • Go through all of my school material from the past two years and make summarized versions of them
  • With my language work, I really should schedule two hours of Latin and Greek each week. An hour of Spanish is probably a good idea, too.
  • Go through all of my possessions, with an eye towards having as few possessions as possible
Let me take a look at last year's list of goals for summer...

Yeah, okay, I think I did absolutely none of those things.  Oh well.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beep Beep Beep Beep

I just realized today that I have not taken my cell phone off of vibrate mode for six months.

I always keep my phone on vibrate mode, because I really, really hate the phone company's jingle that plays whenever you turn the phone on and off.  The only way to avoid hearing the jingle is by having your phone on vibrate, or by ripping out the battery while the phone is still on.

With my computer, it's the same way. I mute the speakers before turning off the computer, because I hate hearing the annoying "you just turned off your computer" beeps.  On my old computer, I could turn off those sounds.  I still haven't figured out how to do that on my new computer.

Why can't I choose the "turn on" and "turn off" music?  Forget ringtones!  I just want to get rid of "beep beep beep beep" every time I use my phone.  That's all.

True, I miss a lot of phone calls because my phone doesn't ring, but I'm still not switching out of vibrate mode until I can get around the annoying jingle music.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Matches and Matrimony

My latest and greatest video walkthrough is Matches and Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale. This is a game I alluded to earlier as a game which doesn't neatly fit into a particular genre.  The best way to describe it is as a dating sim, based off of Jane Austen novels.

And it is basically the greatest game ever.

This is a genre-breaking game in many ways.  First of all, the target audience is English majors and romance lovers, instead of "desperately lonely guys who have no chance of dating a girl in real life". Second, you play as a female character, not a male one.  Your character is Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, but you can name her whatever you want.  Of course, I picked "Zombie Killer" as her name.  And third, unlike most dating sims I've seen, this game tries its hardest to have a complex plot and developed characters.

Who are these characters, you ask?  I thought you'd like to know!  Without further ado, let's meet some of the eligible bachelors in this game!

bingley

Mr. Bingley

Mr. Bingley is the "kind" bachelor.  In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley marries Jane, the main character's sister.  So if you want to marry Mr. Bingley, you're going to have to compete with your sister for his affections.  Drama!

collins

Mr. Collins

Ladies, have you ever met a guy who is super-annoying and never shuts up?  And no matter what you do or so to reject him, it just seems to like you more? That's Mr. Collins.  Sure, most people dislike him--heck, everyone who has ears dislikes Mr. Collins--but it adds a touch of realism to have an undesirable bachelor in a dating sim.  Plus, the scene where Elizabeth rejects his marriage proposal is one of the fun scenes in the book.

brandon

Colonel Brandon

Colonel Brandon is actually a character from Sense and Sensibility, but his mustache is just so awesome that they decided they had to put him in this game. You can't go wrong with the dependable old Colonel!  The only problem is that he's fifteen years older than our heroine, and it's going to take some work to get over that obstacle.

darcy

Mr. Darcy

Miles Edgeworth--I mean, Mr. Darcy--is everyone's favorite bachelor.  I mean it.  Everyone is on Team Darcy.  He marries Elizabeth in the actual book, and it's their complicated relationship that made the book a classic.  Darcy may be cold and standoffish, but underneath his harsh exterior, he's a surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable person.
Be warned: unlocking the final ending with Mr. Darcy is going to take some work.  That's because it's the final, special ending.

george

Honorable Mention: George Washington

George Washington stars as Mr. Bennet, the dad who sits around and makes jokes all day long.  He's not a bachelor, but he does a great job in his role as comedy relief and strong supporter of the main character.

There are two more bachelors in this game, and a grand total of nine endings.  The game comes with two helpful skip options--one that fast-forwards through all dialogue you've seen before, and one that lets you start off from the halfway point of the game--which enhance replayability.  If you get addicted like me, you'll definitely try to unlock all the endings.

Some fans of the book will be disappointed that the game doesn't completely follow the plot of Pride and Prejudice. For example, two of the Bennet sisters from the book don't exist in the game.  I never read Pride and Prejudice, so the various changes didn't bother me.  Some non-fans of the book will be disappointed that the game uses 1800's British English instead of updating the language.  You can't please everyone, I guess.
 
This game instantly won a place on my top ten list.  I bought it, just because of the premise that it's a dating sim based off a famous piece of British literature.  The fact that the game is actually good ensured that I will never regret this purchase.  It's only ten dollars (seven dollars on Amazon!), and the hour-long demo is more than enough time to help you determine if this game is for you.  Don't let your pride and prejudice against casual games prevent you from trying it out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Royal Trouble

Recently, I wanted to play an adventure game, so I went to Big Fish Games.  They have literally hundreds of adventure games available for purchase, but when I hovered my mouse over any of their top ten games, I discovered a disturbing fact:

They're all hidden object games, pretending to be adventure games.

Sneaky hidden object games, trying to fool unsuspecting consumers!  Well, I'm not falling for your dirty tricks.  After playing through four different game trials, my hidden object finding skills were so finely tuned that I was able to find one of the few real adventure games on the list.  The game was Royal Trouble, an adventure game which appears to be from Poland, and I'm going to review it for you today.

royaltrouble_03

Royal Trouble stars the beautiful Princess Loreen, and the dashing Prince Nathaniel Hoover.  I mean, Prince Nathaniel.  He is very talented, she is very assertive, and even though they argue a lot, it's obvious that the two of them are going to fall in love as the game progresses.  The plot is that the two of them have been thrown into a dungeon for some unknown reason, and they have to work together to escape the dungeon/castle.

Whenever you switch between the two characters, there is a brief cutscene. There are about twenty cutscenes in all.  These cutscenes usually consist of one picture, complete with a cheesy narrator who details the action.  The narrator is either going to amuse you, or annoy you to no end.  I personally found him amusing, after I got used to him.

The main part of the game is not the plot, but the puzzles.  The game takes about two to three hours, depending on how good you are at adventure games.  90% of the gameplay is solving puzzles, and about 75% of the puzzles are adventure game puzzles, the others being things like matching puzzles.  The game is basically puzzle after puzzle after puzzle, for three hours.  I loved it.  Puzzle puzzle puzzle puzzle puzzle.

royaltrouble_02

I'm not sure what else to say about this game.  It's an adventure game with a solid block of puzzles, and an amusing-enough plotline. There are minor complaints I could make, such as the fact that the claymation-based illustrations strike me as kind of odd, or the fact that Princess Loreen shows far too much cleavage, but I'm willing to overlook those flaws and simply accept this as a lighthearted, well-done independent game from Eastern Europe.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Going Through My Things

Friday was the last day of school, and I had to move out because I'm not returning as a student next year.  I started off by sorting through all of my various papers, keeping the ones I need and recycling the ones I don't.  That took about an hour.  I was going to do the same thing with all my other possessions, but I didn't have enough time to go through everything, so I decided to take all my stuff home, and sort through it later.

It turns out they don't have the helpful cart for moving things this year, so instead of loading things on the cart and taking the elevator, I had to carry them down three flights of stairs.  I think my arms fell off, during the third load of clothes.

Discussion Question: Why do I have over sixty pairs of socks? On average, I only go through three pairs of socks a week.  I don't need fifty-seven backup pairs.  But somehow, despite the fact that I have not purchased a single sock in over a decade, I still have enough socks to supply a small army.

I went back home to my parents' house, and surprise, surprise!  They were having a garage sale on Saturday, and they wanted donations from me.  So I went through all of my clothes and got rid of the ones I am probably never going to wear again.  It was a really interesting experience for me to see all of my clothes at once, because I was immediately able to determine a trend when it comes to what clothes I buy.  Specifically, all of my shirts can be divided into three general categories.
  1. Joke/novelty shirts
  2. Shirt with the logo of a local sports team on it
  3. Free T-shirts I got from random places
I like free t-shirts, but I never realized that they make up at least a third of my wardrobe until just now.  Apparently, I am too cheap to buy t-shirts of my own.

The only clothes that made it through the garage sale purge was, of course, the mountain of socks.  My sock drawer is now filled with socks, and the overflow socks form a small pile, which is about a foot tall, on top of the dresser. These socks will not go away.  Whenever I try to get rid of one sock, they sing the Sock Musical song from Pajama Sam 4:



I also went through various other things I own that I don't need, such as my Nintendo 64.  I felt bad getting rid of it, but I don't think I'll play those games ever again.  I still have to go through all of my books, but I'll save that for another day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hardy Boys Videos

Okay, so here are the first few videos of the Hardy Boys walkthrough. As you would expect, it's a mystery adventure game, with puzzles.







I'm not entirely sure if I should continue recording both screens at once, or if I should switch between the two screens. What do you guys think?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cell Phone Watches

If you watch old TV shows, where people predict what technology is like in the future, most of them predict that we'll have cell phones inside our watches.  Dick Tracy uses his watch to talk to the police.  Videl from DragonBall Z has the same kind of watch.  Even Inspector Gadget had a cell phone watch!

So why don't we have cell phone watches yet?  I think the closest thing we have are those earpiece things.  You know, the Blue Tooth whatchamacallits, which cause everyone to think you're crazy because they make it look like you're walking down the street, talking to yourself.

The best part about a cell phone watch is that you never have to charge it, whereas you constantly have to charge a cell phone. I would totally buy one, just for that feature, even if it doesn't have texting or internet connection.

Speaking of future technology that old TV shows predicted, does anyone remember the Simpsons episode Lisa's Wedding, from 1995? In their version of the future, people didn't have phones at all.  Instead, they do video chats through their flatscreen TV screens.  They had similar future videochat technology in DragonBall Z and Back to the Future.

Is it possible for people to do Skype videochats through their TVs?  My TV is older than I am, so I wouldn't know.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Next Video Walkthrough

Judging from yesterday's poll, the top DS games people want to see me play are...
  1. Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks
  2. Phoenix Wright 3
  3. Professor Layton 2
  4. Super Princess Peach
Thanks to these results, I have determined two things:
  1. People vote in alphabetical order.
  2. Not many people like Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Time Hollow.
The Hardy Boys beat out Phoenix by one vote, Phoenix beat out Layton by one vote, and Layton beat out Princess Peach by two votes.

So here's my official decision!  Things are going on behind the scenes for my Phoenix Wright walkthroughs at the moment, so Phoenix Wright 3 is out. Hardy Boys it is, I guess!  I still want to do Super Princess Peach, though.  Not the whole game, because it's longish and rather boring, but just the first world, so I can show people what its wacky control scheme is like.  For example, one of the ways the Princess' special moves is "cry like a maniac".

Friday, May 6, 2011

Next Video Walkthrough

I think my next video walkthrough will be for a Nintendo DS game. I'm not sure which one to play, though.  Vote for your favorite out of these six:
  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
  • Hardy Boys: Treasure on the Tracks
  • Phoenix Wright 3
  • Professor Layton 2
  • Super Princess Peach
  • Time Hollow
Even if everyone votes for one game, I reserve the right to play a different one.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was on television recently.  It's a good movie, but I've always had a few issues with it.  Why did they decide to make the whole thing just a dream?  Why does the Wicked Witch have water easily accessible in her Fortress of Doom?  Why does water make the witch melt, anyway?  That's sort of random.

And the Munchkins.  What is with the scene where they all fall over and pretend to be dead?  Did they really think that would fool the witch?  Why didn't they just throw a water bottle at her or something?

And Glinda. She goes around, pretending to be the Good Witch, when she's really an evil manipulator who out-and-out lies to Dorothy about the red ruby slippers, just so Dorothy can go on a quest to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.  Why doesn't anybody get mad at Glinda, or call her out on the fact that she was lying about the shoes all along?  I mean, thanks to Glinda's lies, Dorothy and our heroes almost got killed a bunch of times!  Sure, she saved them in the poppy field by making it snow, but still.  She just sat by and did nothing while our heroes went into dangerous situation after dangerous situation.  Where was she when the flying monkeys attacked?

And really, why did snow save our heroes from the poppyfield?  Is it magic snow, or is it somehow impossible to sleep when it's snowing outside?

And another thing.  Those ruby red slippers that Dorothy wears...don't really look like slippers. They're dress shoes, not shoes you wear with your pajamas.

.....

Woah..  I went a little overboard there.

Anyway, the question that I wanted to ask is this.  In the movie, are you supposed to realize that the Guardian of the Gates is the Wizard of Oz in disguise? I think they're supposed to be two completely different characters, even though the same actor plays them both.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Victory!

After massive failure on Super Mario Galaxy 2, I finally managed to get the final, extra difficult star!



...Now back to studying for finals.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Best Player

I recently had the opportunity to watch Best Player, a made-for-TV movie about videogames, starring the supporting actors from the show iCarly.  I want to use a cheesy line to describe it, like "This movie gets a high score from me!", but for the sake of my readers, I won't do so.

Best Player stars Jerry Trainor as "Q", a loser who lives in his parents' basement and plays videogames all day long.  Eventually, his parents get tired of their son being a deadbeat, so they decide to move to Florida.  Now our hero has to win the $175,000 grand prize in a gaming tournament, so he can buy the house from his parents. After all, he doesn't want to lose his awesome gaming setup in the basement.

Personally, I thought this was a funny twist.  Usually in sports movies, the hero has a good reason for needing to win the tournament.  Happy Gilmore has to get the money to save Grandma's house.  The Dodgeball crew need to save their gym.  But in Best Player, Q just wants to save his gaming room, AKA his mom's basement.

Q is a funny character. He's basically the exact same character as Spencer in iCarly, except he plays videogames. I don't think anybody complained, because the actor does a good job at playing the big, dumb childish guy.

Of course, no sports movie is complete without a tough competitor, and Q quickly runs into an unbeatable player. With the help of his crazy gamer buddy, he gets the address of the gaming superstar.  The gamer ends up being a teenage girl, played by Jenette McCurdy (Sam from iCarly).

Q starts dating gamer girl's mother, to figure out a way to stop her from entering the competition.  Over the course of the movie, he tries a number of schemes, such as becoming a teacher at her school and trying to get the nerdy kid to ask her to prom.  The plans all fail, and he's starting to fall in love with the mom, anyway, so he's not sure if he wants to win anymore.

The best part of the movie was the video game competition itself.  I think that's because all four of the characters in the final round were characters who had gotten at least fifteen minutes of screentime previously, so you knew who all of them were.  You just feel more emotionally invested in the competition if you know who all the various characters are, as opposed to a competition where the hero is up against a nameless character you've never seen before.

"Emotionally invested" might not be the correct term. There are emotional moments in the movie, but they weren't too compelling because you knew, duh, that our hero would get back together with the woman he loves, after the tournament.  I wasn't exactly holding my breath to see if she would return his love.

All in all, I liked the movie, and my family liked it, too.  It was a good enough comedy/sports movie.  You can see this movie for yourself, when they rerun it...

...never.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Round Two, Game Two

I went to the San Jose Sharks game yesterday.  I know this is my third blog post about them in the span of a week, but hey, they're doing well in the playoffs this year!  Most people around here are excited.

Round Two has officially begun, and the Sharks are playing the Detroit Red Wings. To my surprise, it has been a very low scoring series.  The Sharks have won both games so far at the score of 2 to 1, in contrast to the previous series where there were scores along the lines of 6 to 5.

The calls that the referees made were sketchy, at best. In the first period, they only called penalties for high sticking and roughing. The players took advantage of this, and they did things like slashing and cross-checking. Those are normally penalties, but none of them were called.

In the second period, the refs started calling a lot of penalties, including a few things that weren't.  By this time, the two teams were furious with each other, and they wanted to punch each other like maniacs.  There actually were some punches, as well as violent pushing and shoving, but nothing that would count as a full-blown fight actually occurred.

All in all, there were fifteen penalties, which added up to a grand total of forty minutes of penalty time allotted.  Keep in mind, the game is only sixty minutes long.  That's enough penalties to take up two-thirds of the game.  All in all, the penalties only took up fifteen minutes of real time (because multiple people had penalties at the same time), but still.  The game was crazy, when it came to penalties.

Eventually, the Sharks won the game, although at the end, they were playing worse than usual.  You could tell that their game plan in the last ten minutes was "don't lose", instead of "let's win".

Right now, the Sharks have won the first two games of the best of four series. Let's hope they can continue to play well against Detroit.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Round Two Opponents

The San Jose Sharks have made it to round two of the playoffs, like I said earlier.  We're excited about beating LA, but nobody was sure who'd we play in Round Two.  There were two possible opponents: Detroit and Chicago.

1. Detroit Red Wings: The team that always seems to win everything, because they have the best players ever. This is the 20th year in a row they have made the playoffs.  It's always exciting to play against them, because they're a great challenge; it's also sometimes depressing to play against them, because they're really good, so it's easy to lose.

2. Chicago Blackhawks: The team that won the championships last year.  They beat us in the semifinals last year, by winning four games in a row.  They are my dad's favorite team, and it is not very fun in our house when our team plays the Blackhawks.

It was decided that our opponent is going to be the Detroit Red Wings. That's going to be interesting.

I went to the game on Friday, and it was really fun and exciting.  The best part was that there weren't too many Detroit fans at the game.  Usually, Detroit fans come in a huge swarm, and they do obnoxious things like pick fights with strangers and throw octopuses onto the ice.  But most of them stayed at home yesterday, which was good.