Is Mario being outed ??

September 19, 2007

It appears that someone might be trying to out Mario via the cover of his new game “Super Mario Galaxy” for the Nintendo Wii. If you look at the letters that spell out “Super Mario Galaxy” on the cover, you’ll notice that a few of them have a little sparkle on them – on one of their corners. If you put those letters together… it spells out U R MR GAY.

I’d say this is pretty much non-coincidental. I can’t say that it’s very surprising, as I’ve always thought that Mario was kind of village-people-ish. Have you ever seen a plumber wearing white gloves ? Is Luigi “really” his brother ?

(If you think this is a hoax, go ahead and check the image out on, EB Games etc)

Beautiful Katamariage

September 11, 2007

I think I have reached a limit to how much Katamariage I can amass with the Beautiful Katamari demo. I’ve actually rolled 5m69cm Katamari, but didn’t have my camera available to take a shot of it.

I’m kind of frustrated now because I can’t figure out what I should be able to roll up next. After you roll up the fruit stands, there doesn’t seem to be anything that you can roll up to get bigger. I think if I just focused on getting more of the small stuff, I could probably get over 5m70cm.  Anyone know what the key is to getting a larger Katamari ? I have seen some say they have got a 6m Katamari, but have not seen any pictures or videos to substantiate that.

Wii Sports Workout

September 6, 2007

Wii Bowling

My son Jacob got a Wii for his birthday, and it came with Wii Sports that features Tennis, Bowling, Baseball, Boxing, and Golf.

I really don’t have too much interest playing games like Madden football or Grand Theft Auto with a controller like this. But bowling is simply the perfect game for this kind of controller, and it’s easily the best bowling game ever in my book. It doesn’t have all the stats tracking and online league capabilities that I am dreaming of now, but it feels like real bowling.

Another plus is that these games take physical exertion, and the other night I was drenched with sweat after about 30 games of bowling. Unlike most workouts where I am ready to stop before my body is, with this workout my body couldn’t continue but my mind wanted to.

The simulation/control is so accurate, that I think my scores are pretty consistent with my real life bowling prowess. I occasionally break out a 200+ game, but for the most part I am bowling in the 150-199 range. 

They really need to get an online version of this game, as it’s a perfect fit. I would definitely join an online league.



Beautiful Katamari Demo – Why can’t I stop playing ?

September 6, 2007


A few years back I picked up Katamari Damacy on the Playstation 2 and became completely addicted to the game.  A year or so later when selling some of my games on ebay, I sold it for some reason that I really can’t comprehend now.  I guess I figured I’d never play it again.

Fast forward a few years and I noticed a downloadable demo for Beautiful Katamari available on my Xbox 360. It’s one friggin level, but somehow I’ve played it more in the past week than any of my Xbox 360 games. I’m once again hooked on this game, and I actually went out last night to blockbuster and gamestop hoping to find a copy of the PS2 game to rent or buy… no luck.

 The Gamestop manager said that based on his computer there is a copy available in Palatine, about 20 minutes away. So I have a feeling I’ll be in Palatine today. If you have a Xbox 360, don’t download that demo unless you can wait until October 15th when it releases. I am having Katamari dreams.

Madden 08 (Xbox 360) – Better than NCAA, but turnover happy

August 20, 2007

Madden 08 I rented NCAA 08 a few weeks back and was pretty much disappointed in the game, and became worried that Madden 08 would have the same issues. I was relieved that it didn’t have all the framerate stutters between the playcall and regular gameplay. Whenever there was a camera transition to show off the stadiums you’d get a really noticeable framerate stutter. I just don’t like the feeling that the $500+ that I spent on the system that was supposed to provide me with a next generation feel is actually giving me a headache due to a framerate stutter. You only go to the playcall menu.. uh… EVERY PLAY!!!  Luckily, this is not an issue with Madden 08.

I am actually going to go on the record as saying that in terms of animation and feel of the control this just might be my favorite Madden ever. It’s a bit faster than previous versions of the game, and I suspect that some might not like that. I personally prefer the speed and more arcadish feel for some reason. In the past I have been more of a simulation type guy, but I found myself really enjoying the pumped up speed.

 Unfortunately, there is a pretty significant turnover issue. Fumbles are just far too common and it really detracts from the game in all modes. At first I wanted to believe that maybe I just needed to protect the ball more, but after creating a player  with 99 carrying rating and employing more protect ball techniques it was obvious that this was still far too common an occurrence.  Perhaps it’s that the strip ball weighting wasn’t correctly tuned and it’s far too effective.  Last year the Bears were “strip ball” happy, and maybe they wanted to make this more of a factor in the game this year…. and maybe went a bit too far.

 Otherwise, I’m pretty happy with game especially the Superstar mode. Playing the game from the perspective of one player was a bit more enjoyable than I think I could have imagined. It really changes the game in that you start to really get upset with your coach and other players. If your QB throws a int, you feel far less responsible than playing the traditional way where you pretty much control whoever has the ball. When the coach is calling pass plays when he should be giving me the rock to get the job done on the ground, it kind of gives you that feeling that maybe you are unappreciated or being overlooked. 

 I did manage to become a hall of fame lock in 2 seasons and pretty much destroy all single season rushing records that might have existed. But somehow, we still couldn’t manage to win a super bowl since Lovey seemed quite intent on continuing to pass with Grossmann. Ironic ? Kind of reminds me of last year when the Bears went to the Super Bowl and Lovey decided we were going to try and win by passing against one of the best teams against the pass, instead of running on them since they were one of the worst teams against the rush,teams against the pass. 

 Ok.. I got off point, and I still have some issues with Lovey over last years horribly coached Super Bowl where we featured our weaknesses for some unknown reason.

 Ok.. back on point… Online I played oh.. about 5 games and my opponents quit on me all 5 times.  That was enough to have me pretty much decide on not wasting anymore time online. Somehow I didn’t even get rewarded with wins, it seems that somehow they can quit and I don’t get a win.  I think if I am up 21-0 in the first quarter and someone disconnects or quits…. I should be taking in a win, not just ranking points. By the way I’m not really a powerhouse, and I’ll have to admit that turnovers are what put me in a good position in all of these games. So, I guess I can see where maybe they were quitting because they felt cheated by the mass turnovers in the game.

I’m sure my opinion will change some in the coming weeks as I play more, but for now I’m really enjoying the game more than in the past few years.



Hooked on Brain Age

April 20, 2007

Brain Age BoxI recently got Brain Age for my son Jake’s Nintendo DS, and now I am hooked on it. The game tests your brain with various exercises, and then gives you a “Brain Age” based on how well you did. The optimum Brain Age is 20 according to the Doc.

So far my best score has been 22, which is quite an improvement over my initial 70 I got the first time I played.  Actually, in my opinion, my handwriting was that of a 70 year old, and my brain was probably closer to 40. Some of the exercises rely on you drawing out numbers or letters with the little stylus pen, and that can sometimes lead to making you look really dumb if your handwriting sucks.

There are also some exercises that rely on voice recognition which is kind of impressive for a little game like this. It also tracks your progress with little graphs that you can compare to other people’s data. I have been playing it with a few people in the office, so it’s fun to see ho you compare against co-workers.

Sometimes the doc also has you draw picturs of things like a firetruck, kangaroo, and even Mona Lisa. Then he’ll show you other people’s drawings as compared to yours. Thankfully he doesn’t grade you on your artistic ability, cause my pictures are pretty bad.

Brain Age Screenshot