Thursday, April 17, 2008

Catching Up  

Work has kept me pretty busy this week, hence the lack of updates, lack of game playing, and lack of book writing. Let's take care of at least one of those things now...

Random: American Idol is my secret shame, but I have to step into the sunlight for a moment and say that this week's performance by David Cook was nothing short of mindblowing.

With the theme of "Mariah Carey" for the singers to work with this week, I was prepared for all the male contestants to suck -- surprisingly, just the opposite happened. By not being directly compared to MC herself, the men were seen more for their own merits rather than by how closely they copied the originals, like the women.

Anyway, as predicted, all the songs were emotional ballads (snore!) except David Cook's... in a balls-of-stainless-steel maneuver, he rearranged the uberpop "Always Be My Baby" into sort of an emo-rock thing which actually rocked. My mind was completely blown, and this is just one more example out of many which show Cook to be tied for "most musically capable" with David Archuleta. If the Davids aren't the top two for this year, I'll be shocked.

Games: Surprise of the week: Downstream Panic! on PSP.

It looks like a cheapo-crap puzzler on the box and in screenshots, but this little unkown number packs some serious chops. Sort of like a combination of Lemmings and Pachinko (yes, that crazy Japanese game with the metal balls.)
Players manipulate the environment to properly channel a stream of falling water filled with fish. Bomb a hole here, turn on a gusting fan there, and do whatever it takes to make sure the flow being pulled by gravity gets to where it needs to go. It can be extremely challenging and touchy (timing matters and the correct placement of objects sometimes depends on just one pixel) but it's fresh, it's creative, and it's a quality game. Recommended.

Also started Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core on PSP recently.

I'm still way early in the game, but it looks like a winner at this point. I'm not sure the story will grab me the way FF games have in the past, though... I'm sort of over the hyper-styled hair and androgynous male character thing. More thoughts to come on this one, and for those of you who are into such things, check out my friend Doug Walsh's guide put out by Bradygames. Their Signature Series books are always nice pieces.

...Oh, and Persona 3 on PS2 is still going swimmingly. It doesn't top the sheer god-what-an-awesome-game factor that Mass Effect had, but it's absolutely my #2 pick for RPG of 2007. (Apologies to Atlus and R&D1... I didn't have time to get to it until 2008.)

Food: Shameless plug time...
The wife and I just updated our restaurant blog. Go check it out.

Random: This has been all over the intarwebs for a while, but if you haven't seen the FAIL BLOG yet, the pictures there are a mixture of amazing and (mostly) amazingly stupid, in the best possible way. Check it out and the laughs are guaranteed.

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3 comments: to “ Catching Up

  • Anonymous


    Hey, I played downstream panic too! Cool, addicting game that is.


    I think I sold my PSP at the wrong time. Between Downstream Panic and Patapon I really wish I would have kept it.

    Did you see the reviews for The World Ends With You? They all rave about it, despite a very steep learning curve. Going to have to pick it up on the DS.

    Thanks for the plug, by the way. I'm not afraid to say that I think that book is one of the best I've ever done (I had help) and also one of the best FF guidebooks ever published.

  • Anonymous


    Btw, a bit off topic, but I just heard of the most ridiculous upcoming game a while ago. Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe! How crazy is that? I couldn't believe it either, but it doesn't seem to be an April Fool's Joke according to every videogame sites I've read today!