Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bobo the Idol

Say Hi to Bobo, boys and girls. Bobo was the winner of the first season of Primate Idol. Bobo insisted that We, the Staff (TM) post his picture to promote his new album, "Feces Hurler Number B". He also insisted that We, the Staff (TM) state that he has infinitely more musical ability and talent than Fearless Leader. And that ain't the first time a so-called human has been outdone by a chimp. Trust us, we knows...

-The Staff

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Morning Post

As some of you know, I purchased a sword roughly 2 years ago. It has been hanging on my wall for most of that time, but lately I noticed the blade was looking a little dull so last night I decided to polish it.

My sword was forged in the same style of old, except instead of proper steel, stainless steel is used for the blade, thus I used a generic stainless steel polish.

Everything worked fine and the blade is now shiny and a marvel to behold, but I simply found the process of polishing that steel to be an enjoyable experience (and if any of you make any phalic jokes right about now, I'll run you through).

There's something about a sword in general, the strength felt from holding the hilt, the nobility that surrounds it, and the fact that it's a great way to scare off Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some girl guides to go pillage of their cookies.

A thoroughly Childish affair

Two children, one a meek-looking scrawny geek (herein called Scrawny), the other a fatass pompous bully (herein called Fatass), are having an argument. From time to time, as is the case today, the scrawny one has developed a backbone. The fat pompous bastard, of course, is having none of it.

This all revolves around an object of contention between Scrawny and Fatass. Scrawny owns this object, and lends it to Fatass on a regular basis, but lately Fatass has taken more and more advantage of Scrawny's generosity. Fatass demands more and more possession of contentious object, to which Scrawny has typically obliged, as he believes he can get certain things from Fatass in return.

However, Scrawny has finally realized that Fatass is taking advantage of him. He now brings in the authorities (an older boy named Pedro... don't ask why) who has the power to instill fear in both parties. Pedro tells Fatass that the nonstop whining of both Fatass and Scrawny is wearing thin. Despite the fact that Pedro seems rather imposing, he is notoriously easily distracted by shiny objects, and one soon conveniently appears to avert his attentions.

Although Fatass has had a certain fear of retribution instilled in him by Pedro, Pedro's lack of focus causes him to forget what he was on about. The crafty Fatass takes the opportunity to claim that it was all Scrawny's fault that Pedro got involved and could spend less of his time staring at Shiny Objects. This rather displeases Pedro, and so Pedro gives Scrawny a thorough thrashing. The moral is, Scrawny gets screwed 'cause he relies on someone who doesn't really pay attention to settle his conflicts.

This entirely pointless story was somehow inspired by the North American softwood lumber dispute. Scrawny = Canada. Fatass = U.S. Pedro = NAFTA. Consider yourselves edumicated.

-The Staff

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Gladiator: Extended Edition now available

DreamWorks SKG has released the Extended Edition of Gladiator to DVD this past week. It contains about 17 minutes of restored footage, and I think this version aired on CBC about a year ago.

You can pick it up at Future Shop and Best Buy for $31.99. Future Shop's page is here.

Gladiator is one of the greatest films I've ever seen, so I'll probably pick this one up replacing my regular DVD copy.

X-Men: Legends for $29.99

X-Men: Legends has had a price drop to only $29.99 at both Future Shop and Best Buy (and probably elsewhere to).

X-Men: Legends is an action RPG that was released about a year ago to excellent reviews. It was developed by Raven Software and they're presently finishing off it's sequal, Rise of Apocalypse.

I rented the game shortly after I got my Xbox, however though it had some fun moments I found the controls of your 4 man squad to be a little awkward and some of the voice acting was pretty bad (Magma anyone). The inventory system was also a little strange. While it wasn't a bad game by any means, it wasn't something I liked enough to run out and buy. At a much cheaper price though (it was $69.99 at the time), perhaps I should give it a try again; though probably a rent first.

Editorial - Games to Movies & the Big Three

Instead of a morning post I've decided to start today off with a short editorial, this one regarding video games that are adapted for the silver screen.

As you're all aware, there have been several game to movie translations over the last decade: Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, Alone in the Dark, Double Dragon, etc. I could go on, but you shouldn't need me to, and you also shouldn't need me to point out that all these films suck. In fact, as far as I can recall, the best game to movie adaptation to date has been Resident Evil: Apocalypse, not for the film itself which was rather awful, but because there was a brief shot of two topless zombie strippers; and when a boob shot is the best thing that any of these films have to offer, that's pretty pathetic.

So why do most game to movie adaptations suck? Simple, it’s all in the presentation. All of these movies have awful pacing, sub-par plots, and a lack of quality that scream "I was cobbled together to briefly entertain the ADD-riddled youth of America."

If Hollywood continues this trend, and also continues to hire sub-par directors (Paul Anderson) to create these films, they will continue to suck.

This now brings me to the "Big Three." The second half of 2004 saw the three biggest first person shooters of recent memory have a sequel released: Doom 3, Halo 2, and Half-Life 2. Two of these three franchises already have movies in the works; Doom being released late October '05 and Halo set to release summer '07.

Doom is heavily based off of Doom 3, which in itself is the 4th Doom title and a remake of The Ultimate Doom (Doom 1). The basic storyline behind Doom is the same as the original game back from '93: Scientists are conducting secret experiments on Mars and accidentally open a way for demons from Hell to invade the research base. A team of soldiers are sent to eliminate the problem and secure the facility. If the trailers are any indication, Doom is going to follow the same trend as all the other game movies before it; in other words, I expect it to suck and jump from one pointless "shoot everything" scene to another. The only saving grace I can see for the film is that in the final trailer, many shots were first person in traditional video game style; something that to my knowledge has never been done on the silver screen before.

The Halo movie is being targeted for summer of '07. The script has been completed by the writer of 28 Days and Fox and Universal are the studios behind it, however that's all we know at this point. The basic story around Halo: Combat Evolved is that humanity is fighting a loosing war against an alien empire known as the Covenant, and as one ship escapes the destruction of a key human world they stumble across Halo, a gigantic ring floating in space. The humans, mainly focusing on the super soldier Master Chief (his rank, not his name) and the Covenant then battle for control of the ring only to discover the terribly truth about Halo's existence.

It's too early to tell how good Halo can be expected to be; even the actual story to the film has not yet been released. However one interesting thing is that some big name directors have been tossed around, such as Ridley Scott. Imagine someone of the calibre of Rid Scott doing a video game film; with the high quality acting, plot development, and style of such an accomplished director. Something like this would create a great deal of hope that Halo would actually be a good film.

Then there's Half-Life. Released in late '98 with it's sequel in late '04, Half-Life has been regarded as an interactive movie. The entire game is seen from the POV of the player character, Gordon Freeman; never once, not in the game's intro or ending does it deviate. Gordon also never once speaks (grunting excluded) to add to the sense that you are Gordon Freeman. Seeing as how it's regarded as one of the greatest video game stories of all time, would Half-Life make an great film? Well in truth I'm not sure. Why, because Half-Life is the story of Doom with aliens instead of demons, on Earth instead of Mars, and staring a scientist instead of a nameless marine; it was simply presented much better and that's the key.

From video game story perspectives, Half-Life is leaps and bounds ahead of The Ultimate Doom, with virtually the same story, because it was presented to the player in a very realistic fashion that took the medium it had to work with and crafted a world that was so teeming with life the player felt a part of it. This kind of presentation was so successful it revolutionized how FPS games were made afterwards, including titles like Doom 3. This is the sort of approach that needs to be taken for video game to film adaptations.

The plot, whether the same or different from the game, needs to be fleshed out and presented well with characters, true to the game or not, that an audience can care about and empathize with. Rushing from one action scene to another with no real purpose doesn't work, it becomes tedious and boring and that's why the current crop of video game films fail. Even if that's how the game is, a game can get away with this more simply because the player is actually experiencing the events, he/she has a stake in them which is not the case when watching a film; instead of a participant the audience members are observers.

At present there is no Half-Life movie to speak of, and I have little hope for Doom. However there is potential for Halo. In general, the future of game movies will all depend on how they're presented and how seriously Hollywood execs. want to take them. If they keep churning out crap than that's all game movies will ever be.

Many video games have solid stories these days, with characters and plots that rival most big budget flicks. If the Halo film is actually executed with care, perhaps it can raise the bar enough for video game flicks to be taken seriously before they're made and thus have them made well.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Halo Triple Pack Official, Release Date

Saw over at TeamXbox and IGN Xbox that Microsoft has officially announced the Halo: Triple Pack, and that it'll hit retail shelves on Oct. 4th for about $59.99 (US).

You can find out more details about the Triple-Pack here.

Morning Post

I was gonna post something very profound this moring. Something so important, so serious, so radical that it would have changed the world as we know it forever.

I was gonna post something very profound this morning, but then I saw a shiney object and now I can't quite remember what the hell it was. Fear not though, it just might come back to me.

Until then, I'll leave you all with something equally fascinating:

Thursday, August 25, 2005

PayDay Winning Numbers for Aug. 25th


My numbers were either correct to 5 off.

So damn close this time; I could actually see myself in that blue shirt selling high def. TV's. Go slacker dream job.

EALA and the Make-A-Wish Foundation

I thought this was kind of cool. EALA, the developers of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, recently teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant a 9-year-old his wish of touring a video game development company.

The child got to chat with the developers, record some game audio, and help design a game map. He also walked away with some nice loot.

You can check out the article here.

Doom Movie Trailer - The Flick's an FPS!?!

Saw over at ActionTrip that Yahoo Movies has released the final Doom movie trailer, which can be viewed here.

One very unique thing that this trailer shows if is a large number of shots in FPS-style first person view; very much like you're playing a Doom video game. This might actually work to the film's advantage, and if the FPS element is used through a large part of the film, it could actually make it interesting.

Oh sure, I do expect the film to suck and be some fast paced, no plot piece of junk meant to entertain a 14 year-old; however excessive use of these FPS shots I think might be a first for a feature film; which would make Doom unique and even worth a watch.

Morning Post - Lego Star Wars Complete

So I finished Lego Star Wars: The Video Game last night.

Overall it was a good deal of fun and just a great, novel idea. The game has good graphics and sounds, but is held back by simple, repetative missions (though this makes it kid friendly) and bad camera angles; which more mostly a problem with the game's jumping puzzles, notably at the end of the game.

Also Yoda jumps a lot like he does in Attack of the Clones, and that's pretty annoying. I'm not talking about when he's fighting, I mean when he's simply moving with his Light Sabre drawn. I found the best Episode, both in design and sheer fun, was Episode II, followed by III.

Anyway, there's a really funny sequence with Commander Cody and Obi-Wan when they're trying to find Grevious on that sink hole world, some head knocking going on there, and killing Clone Troppers is great as their helmets (well, their heads) bounce away. But it's Lego so it's okay.

The only thing I haven't done in the game is the secret level, but I wasn't able to unlock it. I know how, but going back to do so is too much work.

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game makes a great rental, but in my opinion isn't worth buying for $49.99 (unless you have a Star Wars loving kid). When it drops to a $19.99 Platinum Title, that'll be a different story.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bungie Talks Halo Movie

Jebus, tonight's a Halo posting night.

Saw over at Bungie's web site that they've finally made a real comment on the upcoming Halo movie, and it's a good length, insightful read.

Highlights include:

- Why they rejected making a Halo movie 6 months after the release of the original game
- Why they chose Alex Garland to write the script
- What they're doing and looking for to make sure the film doesn't suck
- And most interestingly, a page from the Halo bible that's going along with the script to make sure things stay official and on the up and up. I believe this is a page (revised seeing as how there's Halo 2 screen shots in it) from the original Halo bible, the one they wrote before making the first game which had the entire universe and storyline fleshed out.

Overall good news for Halo fans.

Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox) on sale at Future Shop

Future Shop is selling Halo: Combat Evolved for the Xbox at a discounted price until Aug. 25th.

You can pick up this FPS classic that revolutionized shooters on the console market for only $19.99 (Canadian), and you can find it here.

It seems to be sold out online, but most of the stores should still have them in stock. Go grab a copy.

Halo Triple Pack coming to Xbox this Oct.

Saw over at Team Xbox that Microsoft will be releasing a Halo collection for the Xbox, called the Halo Triple Pack, to ship this Oct. 4th.

The set will contain Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 2: Multiplayer Map Pack. The collection will retail for $59.99 US, subject to change of course.

If you have an Xbox and for some reason don't have Halo or its sequal, this'd be a great set to pick up.

You can find Team Xbox's article here, and Ebgame's page here.

Halo Movie to release Summer 2007

Saw over at ActionTrip that the Halo movie is being scheduled for release during the Summer of 2007.

They spotted the news on Variety, which you can read here.

I really like the storyline to the Halo series, so I'm really hoping Universal and Fox don't screw it up.

6 StarCraft: Ghost Screenshots

Blizzard Entertainment has officially put up the 6 new StarCraft: Ghost screenshots I mentioned quickly last week. You can find them here.

It doesn't specify which version these are from, the Playstation 2, Xbox, or Game Cube; however I would imagine Xbox since it's the most powerful of the 3, and thereby should produce the highest-quality images.

Morning Post - Lego Clone Wars Edition

So I won Episode II - Attack of the Clones in Lego Star Wars last night, and I must say though a chapter (level) shorter, it was much better than Episode I.
There was no annoying Pod Racing sequence that was piss-assed hard, instead there was a gunship sequence more reminisent of Space Invaders; which was fun. The Dooku battle also happened a lot sooner and didn't take forever to get to as Darth Maul did.

There was also this great part right at the beginning of the Episode where, on Tipoca City (The city on Kamino where the Clones were being created) where you could get a couple of Kaminoans to disco dance with the flashy floor and lights and everything to a disco version of the Star Wars theme.

Great fun, and the space battle that opens Episode III was very well done as well. I figure I'll have the game beat in another day or so.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Staff gets Opinionated

So, everybody's favourite Mr. President, George "Dubya" Bush, has emerged from hiding - er, vacation - whilst anti-war sentiment has grown in the U.S. of A. He engaged in the usual rhetoric, going on about "Staying the course", "staying on the offensive", "we will not be attacked again", etc. etc. This all sounds noble enough, though We, the Staff (TM) call it rhetoric because We feel that Mr. Bush is still gravely misguided. His policies still ignore the root of "terrorism": disparity between the prosperous West and the squalor of much of the rest of the world. Hateful ideologies flourish under such conditions.

Celeste Zappala, the mother of a dead soldier (killed in the ongoing Iraq conflict), was quoted as saying: "We all know that noble cause for war that Bush talks about has changed several times", referring to the Bush administration's ever-changing cause for invading Iraq.

"Weapons of Mass Destruction!" Nope, no WMD's here!

"Regime change!" Swap One ruthless dictator for destroyed infrastructure and an ongoing and bloody insurgency.

"They were linked to the terrorists!" Al-Qaeda referred to Saddam and his cronies as secular heathens. It has, in fact, only been since the invasion that Iraq has become a haven for Al-Qaeda.

It's fine for Dubya to state he and his country have such an iron will. But it disturbs We, the Staff (TM) that he still follows such a flawed logic. Consider this remark from Mr. President: "Fighting the war to its end will keep Americans safe for generations to come." Fighting the war to its end? He obviously doesn't grasp the concept that he is locked into a cycle which continuously propogates hatred and violence. Do you really think that will result in an end of the "War on Terror", Mr. Bush? But no, El Presidente soldiers on, cowing his public when necessary with a little good ol' fashioned fear-mongering:

"If we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war." EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN. We fight them there or they blow you up on your way to the grocer's. And they'll get little Timmy too!

Blargh. Sometimes We, the Staff (TM) wonder what it will take to bring about any sort of change to this never-ending cycle of death.

-The Staff

Fable: The Lost Chapters (PC) has gone gold

Saw over at ActionTrip that Fable: The Lost Chapters for the PC has gone gold and will be on store shelves Sept. 20th.

The Xbox version will be released as a Platinum Title, expected retail price of $29.99, later this fall.

As I mentioned back in July, when this comes to Xbox I'll give it a rent and see if it's an improvement over the original Fable, and by that I mostly mean that a proper save game system has been implimented. Otherwise, I'll let this one pass like it's predecessor.

Morning Post

Remember when you were a kid and you're mom told you that you could be anything you wanted to be?

Guess what? She lied.

Welcome to another Monday morning.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game

So last night I rented Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. The game takes the Lego Star Wars toys and puts them in an action/adventure video game based on the prequel trilogy. In the game pretty much everything is built of Lego blocks: your characters, droids, buildings, and even some plant life.

Also, no one talks in the game at all. There's still some Gungan sounds and the Battle Droids say "Roger, Roger," but otherwise it's mostly gibberish or all done through character expressions. The game is also presented in a comedic/satirical fashion; which is one of its strong points.

To date I've played through the Episode I section and the game has some strong points and some weak points. Let's go over the strong points first.

Overall the game looks very well, and all those Lego characters have fluid animations. This is generally a kid's game, so it's very simplistic in it's controls and it's also impossible to "die." Upon player death you just magically respawn and keep on trucking, with the only penalty being lost Studs (essentially the game's "money" that you can trade in at Dexter's Diner for stuff or more characters to play as). The simplicity is a great strong point as it's simple, plain hack and slash fun... with Lego. Let's face it, many of us wanted Lego Star Wars toys as a kid, but never got it. Well in this game you can play with them in a more contemporary fashion that won't make you look 5.

Now some cons: The simplicity can also be a negative as things get too repetitive and thus a bit boring. Other areas of the game were insanely hard, i.e. the Pod Race. Who the hell designed that stupid level?!?!??!?! I swear, if I were 5 I would have put my controller through the TV; designed for a kid my ass. I've also noticed the music can cut off abruptly for no apparent reason on many occasions which gives a lack of polish feel to parts of the sound mix, in great contrast to the beautiful graphics.

One other problem I encountered was crashing and the locking up of my Xbox. I think this has to do with my rental disc being scratched up a good bit on it's bottom, but in only a few hours the game locked my Xbox twice and today when some friend's were playing we had a few weird bugs were a death sequence would keep repeating itself.

Overall a fun game and good rental, though nothing I'd want to run out and buy for $40.00 to $50.00. If I found it for $20.00 though, I'd probably pick this one up. It's got enough humour and simple fun to be entertaining.

Liberals take it to the Wild, Wild West

Those crazy control freak government-types are headed to the Liberal-hatin' west (Regina, Saskatchewan to be precise) to hold a summit and hold up a big sign saying "We ain't all bad!" Meanwhile, resident westerners will respond with an even bigger sign saying "DIE LIBERAL TAX-HAWKING SCUM!!!" After that, the Liberals will hastily craft the mother of all signs, which shall state: "STEPHEN HARPER IS GAY." If that don't sway a few Western voters, nothin' will.

-The Staff

New York Fries has Potato Chips

Hey kids,

So I went to New York Fries yesterday and noticed that they were selling their own brand of potato chips.

They only have one flavour, California Sweet BBQ, and the bags are 150 grams for $3.25 each. I decided to give them a try and they're not bad at all.

They're very much like Miss Vickie's Sweet Chili and Sour Cream chips, but without the Sour Cream tang.

Apparently New York Fries' chips are around for a limited time, so if you're into some good Canadian snack foods (New York Fries is a Canadian company and they use all Canadian ingrediants for these chips, oh and there's also no trans fat for those of you concerned about that) pick up a bag.

Morning Post

Went to Tucker's Market Place last night; great buffet. One thing I love about buffet's is how there's no waiting, you can just go and get plate after plate after plate, stuffing your face. Great food, great fun.

It's also nice how you can top everything with gravy, go gravy.

Oh, I feel I should mention, since I'm a junk food junky, that I ate my first entire plate of Caesar Salad yesterday (topped with bacon bits and shredded cheeder). It was pretty damn good.

Friday, August 19, 2005

PayDay Winning Number for Aug. 18th, 2005


I got jack shit again. All I want is a grand a week so I can semi-retire and take up the most noble of professions: A part-time Best Buy sales associate.

Cheap electronics = yes.

Morning Post - More thoughts on the 360

Morning kids,

So, here's the thing with the Xbox 360, and why most people will want the Hard Drive. It's all about the backwards compatibility. In English, that means current Xbox games that will be able to be played on the Xbox 360.

From how things sound now, only "top-selling" Xbox titles will be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360; such as the Halos. Also, it sounds like Microsoft is going to allow these in waves, but what you'll need is a Hard Disk and an Xbox Live Silver membership.

Essentially the Xbox 360 is going to emulate the Xbox, mostly where the GPU is concerned seeing as how the Xbox has a nVidia GPU but the Xbox 360 will have an ATi GPU. Microsoft will be releasing whatever content is necessary to allow a title to be backwards compatible over Xbox Live, which you should be able to download for free with a Silver membership (which also should be free), and this content, from what I hear, must be stored on the Hard Drive.

So at least for me, the Core Package described yesterday makes no sense, seeing as how I want a Hard Disk and I certainly want backwards compatibility.

Presently, for my Xbox, I own:

- Doom 3: Limited Collector's Edition
- The Ultimate Doom
- Doom II
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Halo 2: Limited Collector's Edition
- Jade Empire: Limited Edition
- The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords
- Star Wars: Republic Commando

With the exception of The Third Age and Republic Commando, I expect all these titles to be backwards compatible; which means when the time comes I might be able to sell my Xbox and get, say maybe $50.00 for it (it is in mint condition after all and not even a year old).

Overall, that's reason enough to not even consider the Xbox 360 Core Package, however the cost on the Premium Package is a lot.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Xbox 360 Launch Packages

So Microsoft has released the details on the 2 types of packages that the Xbox 360 will first be available, the Premium and Core editions.

You can find a great article on Team Xbox that goes into the details between the two here.

In a nut shell, the Premium Edition (pictured left) comes with Component Cables, a Hard Drive (20 GB), a wireless controller, and an Xbox Live Silver Membership for $100.00 more (US).

The Core Edition comes with a regular controller, and composite cables; that's about it.

For myself, I intend to wait a while and not pick up a 360 at launch, but if I had to decide tomorrow I would take the Premium Package simply because I want a hard disk and component cables. You can, of course, buy most of the Premium extras, well extra, but they cost more seperately.

One thing I don't understand though is the Xbox Live Silver Membership. Originally Microsoft said anyone with an Xbox 360 could log onto Live, create an account for free and have a Silver Membership. This would allow them to chat with other players, download patches, content, and demos for free. If they wanted to play games over Live with other players and compete in tournaments they'd have to pay for a Gold membership.

However there is no mention of the Silver Package for the Core system, so I don't know if Microsoft's done a 180 on their 360 (har, har) and if the Silver Package is free anymore. This unto itself would piss me off as really the Silver package should be free.

Oh well, we'll see what's ahead in the coming months as we get closer to the November launch.

Update: I found the official press release and Canadian pricing at You can view it here.

All I'm gonna say is Jebus! The pricing on this thing is nuts! The Premium Package is $499.99, while the Core Package is $399.99. Seeing as how the Hard Drive sold seperately is going to be $129.99, that alone would raise the Core system to roughly $30.00 more than the Premium Package.

For this kind of pricing, the 360 had better be the best damn console ever released, 'cause I can get a great PC that will simply do more and ultimately look prettier for similar costs.

Morning Post

I gotta rush off to the old grind as usual kids, but there is a little happening in the news. I'll hopefully post about them in a bit more detail tonight, but for now the really short versions:

- Xbox 360 has been priced and the two different retail models revealed. Check Team Xbox for more details.
- A couple new screen shots for StarCraft: Ghost have been released. Check IGN Xbox.
- Apparently some kid's mom caught him posting on the World of Warcraft forums at 3:00-ish in the morning simply because she plays the game to, and she replied to the thread essentially grounding him. Check ActionTrip.

That's about it for now. More when I get around to it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"Politics... How tiresome."

So it seems there's more a-doin's a-transpirin' over at Parliament Hill and Rideau Hall. Governor General-designate Michaelle Jean has come under fire because of some supposed separatist ties that those crafty Quebecers have supposedly uncovered. Note the use of the word "supposed" and/or "supposedly" there. After several days of silence, both the GG-D and the PMO (Prime Minister's Office, for those uneducated baboons out there... and we're looking in your general direction, fearless leader...) "cleared the air", as it were, denying any past allegiance that Jean had with the Separatist movement in Quebec.

The "evidence" the rumour-mongers had come up with seemed somewhat circumstantial at any rate. The first example showed Jean making a toast with known Separatists, and the second was a recorded statement of her saying "Independence is not given, it is taken", though with no context.

In We, the Staff (TM)'s humblest of opinions, we think this is just more politicking on behalf of the Separatists in Quebec. The appointment of Jean, a prominent media figure in Quebec, is engineered to foster support in a territory where support for the Liberals has severely eroded thanks to Adscam. Naturally, the opposition in said territory (i.e. the Separatists) are going to try to make the appointment look like a blunder. We repeat... "Politics... How tiresome."

-The Staff

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Staff gets musical

We, the Staff (TM) did something last night that we hadn't done for a while. We went to a concert. Good for we.

The main act was Def Leppard (meaning the bulk of the people in the audience were reliving the glory of the 80's) but the main reason We, the Staff (TM) were there was for the opening act, The Tea Party. It had been about five years since we had seen them live, and as always, they put on a very solid live show. The highlight of their set was when they played "Psychopomp" off the 1997 album Transmission, quite possibly our favourite Tea Party song. Overall, the set was somewhat brief (about an hour, but they were just the opening act) but they still got through a lot of their great material, without focusing too much on one particular album. They played about one to two songs from each record. We, the Staff (TM) will have to check out their website for future headlining tour dates in the area. Conveniently enough, said website is linked to the right. So go check it out. All of you. NOW!

-The Staff

The Phantom Menace

So this past Sunday I decided to complete my Star Wars Saga DVD collection. I already purchased the originally trilogy in early July, and with Revenge of the Sith being released November 1st, that meant picking up The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

Later that night I sat down and watched The Phantom Menace, my first time seeing it in a couple of years, and I'm scared. Why am I scared? Is it because Jar Jar is damn annoying? Is it because Jake Lloyd should have shut up through the whole film? No. I was scarred because I actually didn't hate the film; I was rather entertained by it.

Maybe I've softened up over the years, maybe I've become less bitter, or maybe I've just become less critical, but I actually enjoyed sitting there watching The Phantom Menace. While not an amazing film and one of the worst of the Star Wars films to be sure, I simply had fun.

Yes, Jar Jar should never have been written and Lloyd can't act for shit (a cardboard cut out could have played his part better), but overall it did have that Star Wars feel.

I found it was paced well for the most part, the lightsabre battle between Maul and the 2 jedi was very well done (much better than the lousy Yoda/Doku fight from Attack of the Clones), and the plot wasn't that aweful (though still needed work).

I can't really explain it. When I first saw this flick and after a few subsequent viewings I hated it; really hated it. Hell, maybe I'm just getting too damn old or something.

Oh, and I should point out that Gungans>Ewoks. Why? While Jar Jar and the Gungan leader are annoying as hell, the rest of the Gungans were at least trained warriors with energy shields and energy based weapons, though used in a more primitive fashion. They had a realistic chance against the Trade Federation's army; while those fucking fuzz balls should have been crushed under the Imperial might. Twigs and pebbles my ass. Damn Care Bears ruining Return of the Jedi.

Morning Post

Hey kids,

Sorry for the two day hiatus. Aside from my Staff being too lazy to fill the gap, there's a very, very good and rather awe-inspiring explanation. You see, it all started Sunday morning when I ha...

We interupt this post to bring you an interuption. That is all.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Corpse Bride Site and New Trailer

The Trailers section of Apple's Quicktime web site for some reason has never added the new Corpse Bride trailer that premiered with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, however the official site (which is very basic at this point) has.

Click the Video link at the top left of the page here and it's the second trailer.

Of all the films coming up (well, all being Corpse Bride, Serenity, and Doom), Corpse Bride is my most anticipated. Helena Bonham Carter is ever hot, even as a claymated corpse. What?


It's the attack of the barnyard, man!

-The Staff


Jade Empire on Sale for $29.99 at Best Buy

Jade Empire: Limited Edition is on sale at Best Buy for $29.99; regular $39.99. Not sure how long this sale lasts, but if you have an Xbox and are looking for a damn good RPG, then pick this one up.

Morning Post

So yesterday a massive "we need a computer" emergency sprung up at work, so I valiantly took a cab about 30 minutes north to a mall which had the only such computer available. The most interesting thing about this mystical journey was the cabby.

Shortly after the trip started, he started telling me about how he hates renovation people and how he paid a reno guy extra to get a job done quickly at a house of his in Croatia. Apparently the job hasn't been finished and the cabby wants to blow the guy up and blow up the guys place; a very interesting comment to, shall we say, aggresively go on about to a customer. Yes indeed.

Crazy cabby actually got me there and back in under an hour and a half (with 20 min. spent in the mall), so I gave him a very good tip, and you can all rest easy, he didn't blow me up.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Staff's semi-quasi-bi-daily news update

So those folks at NASA are busy these days (and no, We, the Staff (TM) are not official NASA spokespeople... we're just space nuts). They've sent a new orbiter on its way to study Mars. This one will orbit the red planet for four years, making it the most extensive study of our neighbouring orb to date. This is all, of course, in preparation for the day when we'll have primates on other worlds. And then will come the time of the dominion of apes. Not men - Apes.

In other news, the U.K. has banned one of its residents, a hate-mongering Islamic cleric, from returning home. Omar Bakri Mohammed left Britain shortly before the government instated new anti-terrorism measures. This raises a pertinent question, however - should anyone found to be a hate-mongerer (anti-semitic, racist, violently homophobic, etc etc etc) be deported and/or similarly expelled from a given society? Is simply banning someone from one particular place going to prevent them from spreading their ideologies? Or do we still need to tackle the root of this problem rather than dealing with the most obvious of its manifestations?

-The Staff

PayDay Winning Numbers for Aug. 11, 2005


I haven't even broken even in a while; kinda sucks.

Morning Post

Well there's not a whole lot going on in Judgement land this morning kids; just the rush to work as usual. Sounds like the weekend's gonna be rainy too, which kind of sucks, but perhaps it'll cool things off.

Shooting some pool tonight with some old friends, and may be into a little poker before the weekend's through. Either way, there'll be beer, so it's all good in the end.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil Xbox Screenshots

Activision has released the first few screenshots of Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil for the Xbox. You can check them out here.

I'm really looking forward to this one, as well as wielding the Double Barreled Shotgun again. It provided some good times back in Doom II.

Gears of War

An upcoming Xbox 360 title due out in 2006, Gears of War is being built off the Unreal III engine. Looks beautiful and has some potential. Until we can truly see the Xbox 360 in action though, everything about that system is potential. And I don't mean an E3 demo, I mean a finally, fully developed product with a completed launch title.

Check out Gears of War though, especially the trailer. This might be the first title to actually give need to going out and buying the next Xbox when it's released should it's style and gameplay match the appeal of its visuals.

Morning Post

What the hell are you doing reading this text instead of looking at her!?!??!! Seriously, if you need me to type something out to go with the above pic, then you're gayer than the time I had sex with a man; and let me tell you, that was pretty gay.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Scheduled Maintenance

Just a heads up to everyone that Blogger is performing maintenance on their database around 9:00 pm tonight. Thus you will be devoid of the ever present news of Useless Crap that has helped you find meaning and peace within your soul.

Try not to do anything crazy in our absence, like eat pez without a Yoda dispenser; 'cause that's just irresponsible.

Morning Post

So I cam to the conclusion that I must be a Tolkien Elf. How so you ask? Am I not a son of the race of men? Well, look at it this way: In Tolkien's Middle-earth, the Elves have created many vast and wonderous cities, structures, and wonders; so much so that one of the key catch phrases in all his works is "they laboured long."

Well, if they labour long all the time on this or that, then how come you never see any of those lazy bums doing anything more than standing around and singing or chatting. And there it is, Elves don't really seem to "labour long" as the works suggest, they're simply lazy and it's all a union ploy.

Perhaps all the need is one "peon" to build them an entire castle, and he can do so in about 2 minutes like in Warcraft, because Warcraft has Elves, and it's all the same crap ain't it.

So, since I was just standing around yesterday I must be an Elf, 'cause I also labour long on many things.

Now stop reading this and tell me how beautiful I am!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Serenity Movie Trailer

This is old news, but I didn't notice it until this past Monday: The upcoming feature Serenity now has it's trailer online.

The film is a continuation of the ill-fated Fire Fly TV series. I really liked that show as it was an interesting concept, a sci-fi western. I thought it was beautifully written with some excellent humour and dry, sarcastic wit as well as really well developed and simply interesting characters.

I'm looking forward to the film, as it looks like some light will finally be shed on many unanswered questions from the series.

Just because We like proving Fearless Leader wrong...

We, the Staff (TM) aren't lazy! So here's a smattering of news updates. Why, you ask? Because we're the professional staff, that's why! We do professional stuff! Now sit down and read!


Those silly primates over at NASA can pat themselves on the back... or pat each other on the back... or groom each other and pick out those nasty insects. Er, where were we? Oh yes, NASA. Yes, the space shuttle Discovery has landed safely in California, where the Barbarian King resides. Why California and not the usual Kennedy Space Centre in Florida? Because those crazy Floridians had lousy weather. The next shuttle launch was scheduled for September, but the whole issue of foam insulation falling from the shuttle's fuel tank needs to be resolved first. At least this isn't the end of Monkeys in space. Not yet.

In other news, the surging price of oil has consumers (i.e. anyone who drives) concerned yet again. Instability in Saudi Arabia (the recent death of their King and the constant threat of extremist attacks on pipelines), constantly increasing demand for the black stuff, and an overall shortage in western markets are causing the soaring cost. We, the Staff (TM) have long thought that the world will have to be weaned from oil in some way, shape or form. If not for the sake of the economies of the world, then certainly for that of the environment. Hopefully (there's that damn "hope" word again) this uncertainty will force us cursed capitalists to realize that we have to be willing to part with certain practices and find some real solutions to our energy woes. Even if it does mean the collapse of certain corporations as we know them...

-The never-lazy Staff

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil Confirmed for Xbox

It's too late for a morning post kids, work's been very consuming over the last few days, however I do have some good news!

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil has been confirmed as a stand-alone expansion for the Xbox. Saw it over at Team Xbox here.

No news on a release date, though with it being shown at QuakeCon this week there'll probably be screen shots and more info to show soon.

I'll keep you posted as if I didn't, I wouldn't have much of a blog. And we all know how lazy my Staff is. Lousy lazy Staff who's gonna loose his job to Phil.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Media Filled Weekend

I had the most restful and wonderfully simplistic weekend, filled with, you guessed it, games, movies, and beer.

It all started Friday at the end of work when a co-worker surprised me with a free beer, the first Stella Artois I ever had; very nice, good tasting beer. The only downer was that it was from a can, and therefore had that aluminium after-taste.

Throughout the rest of the weekend I ended up having some Sleeman Cream, Keith's, and Coors Light. I didn't go overboard mind you, but it was a good time.

I also checked out some "Making of" documentaries. I finished watching Empire of Dreams, the documentary that came with the Star Wars Trilogy DVD Set. It was very comprehensive and revealed a good bit of info I didn't know, such as all the trouble with the Director's and Writer's guilds that Lucas had after releasing The Empire Strikes Back and how that prevented him from hiring Spielberg to direct Return of the Jedi. The documentary has appeared on TV, so you might be able to catch it there.

I also checked out the G4 Special on the making of Jade Empire, as well as the making of Halo 2 doc. that came with the Limited Collector's Edition. Interesting enough, that last doc. tells me one thing, Bungie was very disorganized, a bit lazy, and screwed up their original vision of Halo 2. That being said, seeing as Halo 2 is a superb game, it makes one wonder what it would've been like had they been able to create the game the way they wanted.

I also watched Predator 2 with Danny Glover. I always found the ending to that film a little strange, seeing as how it took the barbarian king of Cali. resorting to "boy scout" tricks to beat the Predator in the first film, yet Danny Glover could take one down with brute force (and I suppose a little luck). Still doesn't seem perfectly believable, but whatever; good fun.

Game wise, I played a lot of Doom II, mostly on Saturday. While there're certainly some fun moments, id really messed up the level design in it. Too many damn pits and the atmosphere, the dread and surprise of the original classic masterpiece, was totally absent.

I also tried the Star Wars: Battlefront Demo, which was the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi. Star Wars: Battlefront is the best selling Star Wars game of all time, however I just couldn't get into it. Granted playing from the Imperial side and blasting the shit out of those %$&^#^$ Ewoks was a joy I can't begin to describe, however I found the controller setup not to my liking and it honestly seemed rather boring without any intensity or feeling of anything at stake. However the game's single player is supposed to be shitty, and its team-based Multiplayer is apparently where the game is at. Perhaps I'll get a chance to try that, but since the sequel's due out Nov. 1st, and it looks like it's going to feature a really good single player mood where you control a group of elite clone troopers (possibly ARC Troopers), I may just wait for that. There'll be a demo on the Revenge of the Sith DVD.

Morning Post

Fearless leader is once again late. Go fearless leader. He's probably off galivanting with Phil once again. Lousy Phil and his go-getter nature. We still think he's just out for our job. But We, the Staff (TM) mustn't let him take it. No, preciousss.

-The Staff

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Russian Naval incident...

...That doesn't end in tragedy. A small Russian submarine got itself caught in deep-sea cables in the North Pacific, and was stranded about 190 metres (almost 650 feet, for all you imperial-loving folkses) beneath the surface.

With help from British, American and Japanese rescue crews, they recovered the sub and her crew. This is a vast improvement in comparison to how the Russkies handled the Kursk disaster five years ago. Back then, they allowed their pride to prevent them from seeking international help. In fact, they flat-out denied that anything was wrong, even though the massive explosions from the Kursk's torpedos detonating registered on seismic monitors in the U.K.!! Consequently, all 118 sailors aboard the Kursk died, even though several were known to have survived the initial blasts and sinking.

As a response to the fact that the Russians still needed to seek international assistance for this latest incident, Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov stated "If we can't make effective rescue equipment ourselves, we need to buy it abroad." We, the Staff (TM), can't help but see a trace of irony therein, as once upon a time the ruling Communists would never have so much as considered purchasing equipment from abroad, thereby supporting the "Capitalist Pig Dogs."

-The Staff

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil coming to Xbox?

Saw over at IGN Xbox that Activision might have plans to publish Doom 3's PC Expansion as a standalone for the Xbox.

Resurrection of Evil, the expansion to the PC version of Doom 3, was released on the same day as the Xbox version of original Doom 3 in early April '05. Shortly afterwards, id Software's C.E.O. Todd Hollenshead said that id was examining options of porting Resurrection of Evil to the Xbox via an Xbox Live download, but nothing was for sure.

While we still don't have an official confirmation, this is all good news, and the prospect of getting a hard copy of the expansion instead of having to download it as a Premium Download over Xbox Live is something I greatly prefer.

I greatly enjoyed Doom 3, as it combined a cutting edge graphics engine with an amazing sound mix to remake one of the greatest video games of all time. Doom 3 has classic style, late '90's-ish FPS gameplay and a lot of people criticized the game for this, however since id was straight-up about it being a remake of a 1993 title I had no problem with it; I knew what I was getting and loved most every minute of it.

Should they truly bring Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil to the Xbox, I'll greatly enjoy taking another stroll through Hell.

The official Doom 3 site has more info on Resurrection of Evil (there's no direct link with it being a flash site, so you have to navigate through a few menus).

Please note that the screen shots here are from the PC version, as there is no official news/media from an Xbox version at this time.

Update: With Resurrection of Evil predicted to hit Xbox this fall, it makes perfect sense for Activision to release it on or around Oct. 21 when Doom hits theatres. Extra marketing for both properties. Again, no official word on this, just my own speculation.

Morning Post - The Eternal Conflict

Hearken now and hear what there is to tell of this Tale of Old. Know that not all has been well within this fair land we call T Dot, for in the long forgotten ancient times of 2 years ago a great evil came to plague the land, setting its blight upon us. This malice was wrought through great skill and craft, and it was so well veiled that few marked where the shadow upon their hearts came.

There was one, however, who did perceive the truth. He brushed aside the tangled webs and found the true Enemy, and thus it was that the Eternal Conflict began. For long now, our valiant Staff has engaged in mortal battle with the great Dark Lord himself: Montana Tom.

Tom could use his fowl corporate marketing magic and cloak himself in a form fair and true, with winning smile and perfectly spaced eyebrows, but Telly would not be so easily deceived! Our hero knew that the only hope for T Dot would be to challenge this great evil, and after a few pints of courage, he snatched the milk shake container from a nearby 4 year-old boy, in which the Dark Lord's power and sleepless malice resided, and strove with him.

Tom's will is strong, but so is Telly's, for it is said few can withstand his gaze when his will is bent upon a task and his breath smells of Guinness, and for long they stared into the mind of the other, and Dark Lord Tom put forth his power and summoned his fearsome minions, the Little Troopers to aid him, but Telly could not be daunted. And at the last, Telly cried a great cry, and the 4 year-old fled in terror, and Telly threw the milk shake container, the heart of the Dark Lord's power, into the Trash Bin of Doom beside the Bar of Drunken Sorrow, and so it was believed that the Dark Lord perished.

However, many ages later, whispers have begun to surface that the Dark Lord was not ended and indeed was biding his time. For in his absence, his Little Troopers, cartoon-ish moose, bears, and racoons, prepared for the return of their Lord. They returned to their dark land of Cookhouse, and fortified it with all manner of fearsome creatures and beasts until it became a place of great dread. And indeed, Dark Lord Tom returned and behold! His plans our now in motion, his defences prepared, his armies swelled with the might of many cartoon monkeys, for what manner of creature can truly resist the Dark Lord's call!

The shadow now spreads through T Dot once more. Will Telly take up this quest and attempt to vanquish the Dark Lord once and for all? Will he embark upon the Dark Path of... The Trooper Trek?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Xbox 360 FAQ's and Backwards Compatibility

Team Xbox has put up some comprehensive FAQs on the upcoming Xbox 360, which you can find here.

IGN Xbox has also put up an interesting 2 page article regarding the Xbox 360's backwards compatibility with current Xbox games. You can find that here.

PayDay Winning Numbers for Aug. 4th

The winning PayDay numbers for Aug. 4th's draw are: 31, 47, 61, 75.

Half-Life 2 (Xbox) Official Page/Expected Release Date

The US Xbox site now has an official page up for their upcoming port of Half-Life 2. You can find it here and Valve's official, original site here.

There's also an extra page on the US Xbox site not linked that I got from the US Xbox Newsletter. You can find that here.

The release date shown is October 2005. At this point, since I wasn't blown away by the PC Demo, hate Steam, and didn't like how Valve's carried itself on with the PC version, I doubt I'll run out and buy it right away, though I will rent it. If I enjoy the rent perhaps I'll pick it up. If it's bundled with a port of the original Half-Life or Half-Life: Source (a redone version of the original that uses the Source Engine) that would be a good bit more incentive for me to get it since the original game is one of the best FPSes of all time.

My PC's over 3 years old, but it will run the PC version of Half-Life 2 well enough, however I've long since refused to purchase it as I will not use or support the use of Steam. That "content distribution" system is a piece of shit, violates Half-Life 2's own license agreement, and is illegal in certain parts of Europe. Valve's gone power hungry.

Morning Post

Well it's Friday kids, and sounds like the heat wave (at least the humidity) has broken a bit. That's all good news. What I seriously could never understand was how most people prefer scorching heat to freezing cold. Seriously, it's so much easier to get warmer than it is to cool down. Plus when you get out of the cold, the chill in your body goes away after a little while, but the excessive sweat from heat and humidity'll dry on you, feel crusty and smell bad.

When will people learn that everything doesn't have to be hot, happy, and cheery; that cold, collected, and dark is a perfectly viable path for life? Hell, look at Phil, he's doing fine... 'xcept when he's on fire.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Morning Post

The problem with getting to sleep in an extra hour on a work day... is actually getting up and going to work. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. Blarg.

Oh, Future Shop is already taking pre-orders on Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Really though, there'll be no need to pre-order it, plenty of copies will be available the day of release.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Diablo II 1.11 Patch

Blizzard Entertainment released the 1.11 patch for Diablo II a few days ago. I used to play this game a lot back in it's day, but you can only play something so much for so long. For a 2000 release, however, it's good to see the company supporting it still, and with new content to boot.

Patch details here and a new wallpaper here.

The Staff gets useful

We, the Staff (TM) decided we had had enough of harping on poor, defenseless fearless leader. So, we shall once again endeavour to bombard You, the Reader (no TM), with some current events.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has chosen a new Governor General, a Quebecois journalist by the name of Michaelle Jean. Like the outgoing GG, Adrienne Clarkson, this one also comes from a long career with the CBC (anyone catching a trend here? Work for the CBC! You get cushy government gigs after a while!) We, the Staff (TM) are relatively neutral on the matter of the Governor General. It is a rather ceremonious position which illustrates our continued link to the British Monarchy. While the Staff are not devout monarchists, we are not expressly against Canada's continuing ties to said monarchy. To us, it represents our continued good relations with our primary "parent country", and is symbolic of the comparatively bloodless way we grew into an independent nation (as opposed to the Americans, who always do things with their guns).

-The Staff

Xbox 360 Release Date Leaked?

Saw this over at Team Xbox. Apparently Wal-Mart employees have leaked the Xbox 360's release date and US Dollar price.

According to the unofficial leak (that's why it's a leak. Who knew), the Xbox 360 will release on November 4th and sell for $299.00 US.

I expect I'll end up snagging on, though not at launch. Most likely during their second wave of titles in late spring/early summer when it's expected Halo 3 and Jade Empire 2 will be released.

Morning Post - That actually comes in the morning!

So lately I've been having these apocalyptic dreams, mostly involving zombies. I'm usually either stuck in the city, a specific building, or mysterious installation X. I had one dream where it was alien invasion and the city was getting butchered, but it's mostly zombies.

Sometime people I know are there (including my multiple personality disordered Staff), and I always manage to survive myself, yet I find one thing very strange: Not once have I ever had possession of the traditional zombie killer. The shotgun.

Lousy, low budget indie dreams. I bet Phil has something to do with this; always on the go an such.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Morning Post

We, the Staff (TM), would like to distance ourselves from some of the inane and nonsensical posts made by our employer in our absence. He gets a little squirrely when We, the Staff (TM), are not around.

-The Staff

This once again proves our theory...

...that NASA continues to send monkeys into space.

"It will be a gentle pull with my hand, and if that doesn't work, I have some forceps. I'll give it slightly more than a gentle pull. If that doesn't work, I saw it off with a hack saw." - Astronaut Steve Robinson, re. the repair of loose material on the Space Shuttle Discovery's heat shield.

Does anyone else find this as amusing as we, the Staff, do? Either NASA is dumbing itself down to make itself easily understandable to the average American chimp, or there really are just a bunch of apes in suits up there.

-The Staff