WARNING. MINOR INCONVENIENCE AHEAD.
i have a little rant up my sleeve. However, let me start by saying that I FUCKING love my Xbox 360. I never thought that all my entertainment needs could ever be met by a single machine, and Xbox continues to impress me daily.
(Side note to PS3 fanboys. The PS3 is a very lovely machine, but I do not own one, and cannot fairly compare the two consoles. If you want to leave a comment about how much better the PS3 is from the Xbox 360, by all means do so; be aware, however, that I will close my eyes and try to kill you really hard with my mind.)
ANYWAY, back on topic.
As much as I love my Xbox, some little things piss me off from time to time. Little things that shouldn't make me mad, but, hell, I'm one to sweat the small stuff.
Some of you may be aware of Xbox Arcade's Game Room, a fairly new release that features old school video games like Pitfall, originally on the Atari 2600. It's a wonderful idea, something that Nintendo has been building on as well for a while. Nostalgia is a very powerful marketing tool.
The download is free, but you can't do much with the free download. No big surprises here, nothing is ever FREE free. The prices are a bit expensive for games with only 8 colors, but I'm not complaining about that either. If people think it's worth paying that much, go for it. My purpose for downloading this feature was just to explore a bit. Is it really worth it, my time, effort, and money?
The idea is not bad, but here is my main gripe about Game Room...
Visited the Showcase Arcade
A FUCKING ACHIEVEMENT?!?! FOR PRESSING THE START BUTTON?!?!
I don't mind easy achievements, but this is unforgivable. Not because it was easy, but because I can no longer delete the shitty thing from my game list. I was never planning to commit anyway, I just wanted to see what it was!
A little exposition for non Xbox players: If you play a game, it shows up in your game library/ achievement list. As long as no achievements were earned, you can delete that game from your record. Once that window pops up, however, its too late. Your game archive is eternally branded.
Now there is a conundrum. I have a well-compiled list of games that I like to share, and brag about, to my closest buds. But because of the start button achievement, this GROTESQUE OOZING PUS BAG SCAR is spoiling my LIBRARY. UGH.
Fuck start button achievements. Seriously. Go away.
I think it was Gamesradar.com that stated that gamers are the only group of people that hate their own hobby. If you are a frequenter of forums and blogs, you have probably groaned more than once. Maybe you are one of the contributors/trolls.
There is a war going on, and it has baffled me for years. Long ago, when I was a kid and the internet was still new-ish thing, I would frequently go to forums to express my latest excitement for a new and upcoming game/ console. The conversations weren't PhD level, but they were nice:
Person1: "Hey, did you hear the new Final Fantasy is coming out?!"
Person2: "I KNOW! I AM SO EXCITED!!"
Person3: "That trailer was so cool!! What do you guys think is going to happen?"
And, it would continue as myself and my humble group of nerds would theorize many possibilities, from characters, to systems, to items, to plots, etc .
Fast forward 10-15 years:
Person1: "Hey, did you hear the new Final Fantasy is coming out?!"
Person2: "I KNOW! IT'S SO STUPID!!"
Person3:" "That trailer was so retarded! How much do you guys think this is going to suck?"
And then, the posters would continue to complain about how they hate everything, from the design, to the characters, to the system, to the world.
What happened? Certainly not the quality. I just finished Final Fantasy XIII, and found myself just as moved as I was with, say, VI. I felt excitement. I felt sadness. I HAD FUN. Isn't that the most important thing? It's gotten generally positive reviews, so I know I'm not the only one who had fun playing it...
I believe the Gods of Wisdom, the Simpsons, best summed it up in their episode "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show"
"Um, excuse me sir. The thing is, there's not really anything wrong with the Itchy & Scratchy show, it's as good as ever. But after so many years, the characters just can't have the same impact they once had. "
It's very true, and interesting to contemplate. Has this series gotten to a point that it can no longer please fans, no matter what they do?
And it is absolutely NOT isolated with Final Fantasy.
The big three consoles are notorious for waging fan wars against each other. I, for one, cannot fathom what one might gain from being a butt monkey for Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo/Apple. They ALL have their goods and their faults. They are ALL very good systems. One might be more right for you then the other, but that doesn't mean your scenario is the same for me. There is NEVER a one-product-fits-all.
(Yes, and the "Wii is less graphically capable" complaints are getting rather tedious.Also, the Xbox 360 and PS3's games all look graphically similar. The one pixel differences isn't going to make or break anything.)
Grand Theft Auto. Metal Gear Solid. The Elder Scrolls. Fallout. MONKEY ISLAND FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.
This hatred exists with all franchises as well. Why? Is there an intrinsic human need to piss each other off? Is it jealousy?
A forum poster once said the following:
"It is basically how human culture works. This is the way people give themselves identity: by what clothing you wear, the way you knot your tie, what you eat and drink, what computer you use, what social and sexual morals or religion you follow (or do not follow). Part of that is also denouncing those who do not adhere to your culture. The whole (Nintendo/Xbox/Sony) thing is a form of digital xenophobia, really."
I love video games. ALL kinds of video games. Shooters, RPGs, sports, platformers, EVERYTHING. It's a hobby that makes me incredibly satisfied to live in this era of the 21st century.
Gaming however, has become less fun. I can't discuss it with the world anymore. I can't visit forums, and be a total nerd. Despite the overwhelming quality of recent games, I believe this medium has entered its Dark Ages.
May developers avoid forums for the sake of the mediums survival!
Well, it's over. The hype called "Harry Potter" that overtook the world is finally over. But did the final chapter please the fans? Eleven Million copies were sold in the first 24 hours, and we all know what that means. Eleven million bloggers quickly log on to post their review. Eleven MILLION. Can you comprehend that number? Eleven MILLION. I think I just heard Google explode. But, we all also know that none of their opinions matter. There is only one person whose review really matters. MINE. So, suck it up, folks, while I review the book phenomenon of the century: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS! Please be aware that the following review does everything it can to spoil the fun for readers.
The first chapter was definitely the beginning of the end of the Harry Potter series. Through seven "years" , we see relationships grow; none so much, however, as the one explored in the first few pages: Dudley and Harry. It's a great sense of satisfaction to finally see the brute Dudley and the meek Harry kiss and make up. Quite literally. Shippers were obviously stunned as readers were subject to the steamiest make-out scene since Jack and Sawyer went at it in the novelization of LOST. Daniel Radcliffe fangirls are outraged at what the British author is forcing the young actor to do; however, Mr. Radcliffe has come out saying he is especially open minded about the scene, especially after experimenting with new James Bond star, Daniel Craig. In fact, "I may never go back to girls again," said Radcliffe to reporters.
But love is fleeting, and soon the fairy tale ended. In an attempt to flee the vile Death Eaters, members of the Order disguised themselves as Harry and flew off into the night. Despite their efforts, however, the Death Eaters weren't easily fooled. Fleur and Hermione were the first fake "Harry Potters" spotted, mainly because they were having trouble moving around with their new "junk". Ron was later caught for the exact same reason. Meanwhile, the real Harry Potter rode beside a giant bag of whale blubber. Oh, and Hagrid was their, too. Voldemort's army soon overtook them, and then, the action started. Flips and turns! Twists and cracks! Speed and velocity! The action reached its climax when Hedwig the owl's cage flew into the night sky and burst into a brilliant array of fireworks consisting of flaming owl bones and feathers.
Further in the distance, Harry saw another set of fireworks. His heart sank. A valued order member was most likely dead, which was strongly hinted by fact that Mad Eye's head and his body were moving in opposite directions, and the flying enchanted eyeball was falling somewhere near the Ministry of Magic.
Hagrid managed to steer the bike safely to their destination, and they both Apparated to the Burrow. Through his intense despair at losing Mad-Eye, Hedwig, and the only part of George that wasn't retarded, Harry turned his wand on himself and "Avada Kedavra'd" Unfortunately, however, Harry had found several 1ups during his trip with Hagrid. He got back and and started pondering again.
The next major event in Rowling's story was the wedding. But, because no one gives two rat's asses about Bill and Fleur, we'll skip to the interesting part-- Albus Dumbledore's will. Even for me, this was a strange part of the book-- It all started with the appearance of the Minister of Magic with not only the will, but with a Nigerian guy who had a bad grasp of English grammar. The minister then proceeded to inform Harry, Ron, and Hermione of their large inheritance, which can only be withdrawn after they each pay a simple £4,000 customs fee. After selling half of the Weasley spawns into slavery, they managed to pay the dues-- to which the Minister and the Nigerians disappeared and were never seen again.
Then, lots of stuff happened, which I will conveniently skip. Just like the movies!
Harry's trio was now on the run, and for a long time, they pondered. Where were the Horcruxes? Could they really defeat Voldemort? And while they pondered, they were forced to hid in the most unfavorable conditions-- they scavenged for food and slept in tents all while under the protection of Hermione's charms. They even disguised themselves as Muggles, which is much harder than the author made it sound. In interviews post-release, Ms. Rowling described the difficulties of living in another's body.
"I couldn't add it in the book, for, you know, length problems. But living issues, especially with Hermione and Harry, were quite difficult under the polyjuice potion. I had a few passages describing the 'BM' problem, if you know what I mean. Trying to crap in a bush with someone else's hairy ass is no walk in the park. Thank God this book is fiction. It probably was too intense for youngsters, which is the real reason why I cut it out."
Telling words indeed from Ms. Rowling. Beyond that, however, Harry, Ron, and Hermione searched for months and months and months for clues regarding the Horcruxes. Not surprisingly, though, that the search took so long, considering they all are tea-drinking, biscuit-eating British bastards. If the AMERICANS were in charge, Voldemort would sink faster than the Titanic. Which, I should mention, was another brilliant idea by a tea-drinking, biscuit-eating British bastard. And don't mention to me people like "Charlotte Bronte" in an attempt to save reputation. She was a tea-drinking, biscuit-eating British BITCH.
So, after the fourteenth grand escape, this time from Malfoy Manor, Dobby died. Terribly. But because he was the "Jar Jar" of the Harry Potter series, whatever he got was too good for him. I assume we can all agree with that. Plus, he was buried at Bill and Fleur's house, which brought total number of "people living at Shell Cottage that we don't give a rat's ass about" to three.
I'm sure that everything else up to the Hogwarts battle was really boring, which is why I didn't read it. So, off to the Hogwarts battle!
BOOM! EXPLOSION! BANG! A WALL FALLS DOWN! AHH! FRED, NO! LET THE DEFORMED RETARDED TWIN DIE, NOT YOU!
Big epic battles, and heartbreaking deaths bring the climax of the entire series! None was so dramatic as the life and death of the series' bad boy, Severus Snape. Since words can't describe the horror, I've drawn a picture of the scene, which can be seen at the end of the article.
Oh, and I've made a few changes. It's cooler this way. Snake bite equals lame, so I gave Snape the death he deserves. You see, in the struggle against Nagini, Snape lands the wrong way on his knee, which snaps it in half. Nagini then uses his heat vision to burn off both of Snape's arms. And Death Eater robes make Snape look like a fuckin' tool, so he was fitted with a rad outfit from Abercrombie and Fitch. And just to give it that extra bit of awesomeness, Jack Skellington makes an appearance in the corner. AWESOME.
So, Harry finds out he has to die for our sins. And, with his miraculous resurrection, he ascends to heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Everyone wins out in the end. YEAH! To finish the book, Ms. Rowling provides us with an epilogue which takes place nineteen years later. It was a very boring epilogue, though, considering that the world exploded four years before the epilogue.