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Archive for December, 2008

A few months ago, in my spare time, I threw this movie “trailer” together for Super Mario Kart: The Movie.  I showed it to Bird and JPark over the Christmas break and they both wanted me to share it here, so here you go:

It looks much better in “high quality.” Enjoy!

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Wii Causing More Problems

Quick funny story to get this wonderful December 30th off to a bang, check out BarStool Sports with a pretty funny story from the Boston Herald about a woman who clocks her boyfriend for bitching about getting a Wii for Christmas.

This is what I’ve been saying! The Wii just causes problems, and frankly, I can’t blame the bro for complaining. Granted, this dude is 26, lives with his girlfriend’s grandparents, and apparently his disapointment stemmed from the fact that he got a Wii instead of a $1,000 radio controlled airplane. Total nonsense, and even I’m not that spoiled. Either way, who ranks on a present given to them by the grandparents of the girlfriend you live with? Damnit Wii, you suck so much you ruined christmas.

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If you’re like me, then you’re a somewhat casual hardcore player.  A “ha-sual.” Or a “Card-core.”  I’m still working on it.

In any case, if you are indeed like me, then you can’t always afford that fabulous game at launch, especially with rather steep $60 pricetags!  But behold: a bargain!

Target is selling off games at 9.99 to 19.99.  Most of these games are along the lines of “Lego Star Wars DS” or “Avatar” but a gem has been found, ladies and gentlemen.

The Orange Box for the 360.

For a cool 19.99.

Now THAT is a deal.  Twenty bucks for five games.  That means you’re spending 3.99 each!  Now if you’re familiar with this game disc, you’re getting Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 Episode 1 and 2, Portal AND Team Fortress 2, all of which are fabulous, award-winning games.  My guess is that they saw you get five games and roped The Orange Box in with such classics as “Carnival Games!” for the Wii and “Generic Mini Game Compilation” also for the Wii.

My brother snatched this up at the local West Hartford Target, so Targets may vary.  Call ahead and see if they’re in stock or if you’re feeling adventrous, go take a look yourself.   At $60 it was a bargain, but at $20? It’s a goddamn STEAL.

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After some positive reviews I’ve decided to give this another go.  Many of these tips can be applied to any first person shooter for those of you who view Halo as a dinosaur.  For me, this is a classic game that always gives me a sense of nostalgia. Without further ado, here are the top 5.

Halo3.com

Halo3.com

5)  You Fail to Communicate

Do you speak the same language as your teammates?  Are you goading them by making fun of their handles? (I probably am too…)

Look, if you are already wearing your headset and geek’in out like the rest of us, you might as well use it as a tool to help you succeed.  Be a good teammate and you will be rewarded with victories.  Also, good players will want to continue to play with you!  If you aren’t that skilled, this can really make a difference.

people-playing-playstation-5

At least you're not this clown.

Solution:  In lower level games, this doesn’t matter.  Players with high enough skill can torch less advanced players with relative ease (and it’s a helluva lot of fun too!).  However, once you reach players of your skill level, using communication becomes essential.  The easiest way to help your team is just to tell the rest of your team where the enemies are so they can help you kill them (CALL ‘EM OUT).

Hit the jump for the final four… (more…)

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Happy Monday afternoon gamers and gamettes. After playing around with the theme and layout all day (still a work in progress, evidenced by the ugly and out of place legacy banner,) I figured it was time for a word or two of actual content. My roomate forwarded me this Wall Street Journal article about the lack of PS3 sales and how the Wii is dominating the market.

At the end of September, the Wii had a wide lead with nearly 35 million units sold since its launch in 2006 compared with about 22 million Xbox 360 consoles and 17 million PS3 machines. Nintendo last month sold 2 million Wii machines in the U.S., while Microsoft sold 836,000 Xbox 360s and Sony sold 378,000 PS3s, according to NPD.

To think that the little white box with Gamecube-esque graphics and fancy motion sensors is just crushing the heavy hitters makes me naseous. Obviously if you are a frequent nester, you know how the Wii is recieved over here. But, seriously, 2 million consoles for the holiday seasons!?!? In the middle of a recession!!!! It’s impressive, yet equally infuriating.

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So as you can see, we’ve cleaned up the look of the nest (twice!!!) and changed the name. The site is officially known as The Bird Nest now, and I think it’s for the best.

Also we obviously changed the theme, yet I’m not in love with the new one. Highlights do include easier to read text and the name of the author attached to each post.

If you like the changes, leave a comment! If you hate the new theme, leave a comment! If you think I’m a dickhead, leave 2 comments!

EDIT: new banner! took me way too long and it looks really simple but I think it fits. I’ll be tweaking everything though as we go and eventually this will come together. Happy New Year!

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So perusing the interwebs this morning I stumbled across a video that is simply fantastic.  This is a really well done animation using World of Warcraft.  To be honest I have no idea how Percula (handle in vimeo) made this video but this is well worth a watch.  We are getting a lot of traffic from Commonname’s WoW posts so while you guys are here, go check out this awesome video.   Cheers!

Also, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!  I hope everybody got some tasty game treats from their friends and family!

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I was perusing Loot-Ninja earlier today and they had an interesting review up there about Jet Grind Radio for Sega Dreamcast. This got my brain stems firing and I started reaching back to the good old Dreamcast days. Before Xbox, better than N64, and an acceptable alternative to Playstation, the Sega Dreamcast was the system that time forgot about. I personally didn’t get my hands on one of these suckers until a friend of mine let me borrow it when he bought an Xbox. And let me tell you, I was happy enough with the Dreamcast that for two years, I didn’t need to join the next generation (then we went off to college and I bought an xbox immediately.)

The Dreamcast was unfortunately ahead of its time, and ultimately doomed to failure. Part of this was the ease of pirating games for it, and I am ashamed to admit I had my friend’s binder filled with hundreds of burned Dreamcast games. While any physical evidence has been since destroyed, it did leave me with 18+ months of any game I could imagine. And trust me, I tried to play them all.

So, with that in mind, culled from a giant binder full of burned discs, thebirdnest is proud to present a veritable top 10 list of dreamcast masterpieces:

  1. Shenmue
  2. shenmue-cover

    Ahh, Shenmue. A classic Japanese adventure game centered around the life of Ryo,who looks remarkably like Akira, from Virtua Fighter. This game was monumental for several reasons: earth shattering graphics for its time, a innovative weather system, and addictive gameplay. If you have never experienced this game or franchise, I would check it out as soon as possible.

    To see the rest of the top ten, with some favorites as well as some sleeper picks, you are going to have to hit the jump…

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Forgive me for the academic subject for this mornings post, but my colleague MJ clued me in on this from the Economist about the durability of the gaming industry. There are some interesting points in here, including their assessment of the cyclical trending of the industry.

Every few years a new crop of consoles is launched, spurring a wave of sales as gamers upgrade. During the cycle the prices of the consoles fall, bringing in more buyers. Each cycle is bigger than the last as gaming becomes more popular and the average gamer becomes older and richer.

This is a good look at how the current generation is dominating the last one, which dominated the one previous, and so on and so on. The article continues to discuss what I told Microsoft when my Xbox broke – that working males in their twenties “who regard gaming as an important part of their lives, rather than a form of discretionary spending” are their bread and butter. I couldn’t agree more.

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Thanks to Jpark for bringing this to my attention, but EA makes some legitatmately smart decisions here by annoucing a new partnership with Valve’s game distributor, Steam. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hate EA’s download manager, and how much easier Steam is to use. I used the former for Red Alert 3 and Steam for Left 4 Dead and I have to say, Steam dominates any other PC game downloader in terms of download speed, availability, and usability. I mean, they even link you to MetaCritic so you can check out reviews before you post. Needless to say that I will be uninstalling EA’s downloader as soon as I get home, basically a virtual enema. Need to clear out the bowels of my PC from all of the EA related nonsense, now that I can rely on Steam. So far, Mass Effect, Spore, Fifa 09 manager, Crysis and many more are available. EA plans on releasing its more popular games shortly (Red Alert 3, for example) and all new releases will be availble for download from Steam. Good work EA, you finally figured something out.

More EA news today is that they shitstorm created around the installation cap (at 3, then 5) is getting closer and closer to being settled. Check out this over at PCGamer for a good background on the controversy surronding Spore and what EA has done to fix it. The short version: EA announced today that they will ever so graciously allow its “valued” customers to de-authorize machines to “free up” an install slot. It’s a step in the right direction, EA.

Now what EA doesn’t realize, and what has been protested and written about for billions and hundreds of trillions of years, is that DRM (digital rights management) is not going to be figured out by punishing the people who ACTUALLY BUY THE GAME. I know that every time I know a friend who pirates a game (ahem) they download it via a torrent. Guess what the #1 game of 2008 for torrents was? No, it wasn’t Daniel Negraneu’s World Poker Tour, it was Spore. That’s right! Good work EA, not only did you piss off the people who spent their hard earned cash on your game, but you ALSO managed to push piracy to a whole new level. I think people were downloading and seeding it merely out of spite. And ya know, I’m all for paying for games that I love, that I play, that I want to support. But I can’t blame the people who went out and downloaded a copy of this. Send the right message and everything is illuminated. I mean, EA did get the point, even if it was 3 months late.

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