Game Review: Guitar Hero 3

It seems long overdue to return to the roots of my web personality. It’s been a good long while since I’ve reviewed anything in full, or made fun of something for that matter. With a slew of new games for Christmas, now that I’ve put a good dent in most of them, it’s the perfect time to start up the sarcasm engine and take a ride into review town. Hold onto your mullets kids, first stop is Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.


Halo 3 and Skate

September and October are what many would consider a “perfect storm” of video gaming. Not only are there too many triple-A titles coming out to count, but there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to play them all. On a personal level, I had to be picky in my game selections. I don’t have the income to simply purchase all of my gaming desires, at least not all at once. I decided to go with Halo 3, an obvious choice, and Skate, which was receiving quite warm reviews. I could have certainly picked up PGR4, Eternal Sonata or Half-Life: Orange Box (which drops tomorrow), but I figured PGR would eventually be a “greatest hit” and I could pick it up for $20 and Half-Life was probably more suited to the PC.

So… does Halo 3 live up to it’s expectations, and just how much fun is Skate?… you’ll find out, right after the jump.


Review: Call of Duty 4 Beta

Cross posted at

This weekend I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a token to download and play the Call of Duty 4 beta thanks to the nice folks over at I’m a big fan of both the series and the “modern combat” genre and I was more than willing to dig in for the weekend and get my hands dirty with the beta. I’m glad to report that with a few minor areas of potential polish, CoD4 looks like it’s shaping up to be a serious multiplayer contender this holiday season.

Read on for the full review…


Xbox Live – Continued

To answer some of Nagle’s questions, I figured it would be easier to write up a whole other post solely about Xbox Live. Initially, when I got my 360, I had to think about what I was going to do with Live, accessories and my initial game purchases. I searched all over for what I thought was the most cost effective solution. I learned a few things a long the way.


More than Meets the Eye

Going into Transformers I had very mixed emotions. Every geek part of me wanted to scream “giant robots are awesome!” but every fiber of my movie going bias was saying “oh shit, it’s a Michael Bay film”. I had high geek pride and low movie expectations. I’m happy to report that Bay didn’t completely fuck this one up. Actually it was good, really good. He hit it out of the friggin’ park.

Walking out of the theater I had a gigantic smile on my face. The kind of smile a 12 year old has when he opens a shiny new toy for the first time. Giant transformable robots are something that as a child, playing with the toys, you were left to imagine in your head. What if this thing was real? What if my parents car in the drive-way was really a 50ft ass kicking machine? When you’re a kid you love to imagine things like that. Before seeing this movie I pulled up every memory of what I thought giant walking, talking, fighting robots would be like and the effects team in this movie pulled it off perfectly. That’s not surprising, especially considering it’s ILM we’re talking about.

The story itself is slightly off from the cartoon, but is a non-issue. Instead of trying to collect multiple “Energon Cubes“, the movie focuses around the fight over a single”god cube” from which all life sprung. 6 of one, half dozen of the other. It’s a cube and they’re fighting over it, that’s good enough for me. I was also not really bothered by the paltry acting from the human aspect of the movie. In reality, they’re just there for backstory. The real movie is hot robot on robot action, and man does it deliver.

The action sequences in the movie are almost too awesome. When you finish seeing one, you brain doesn’t have enough time to digest it before the next one starts. A great example, and I’m trying not to give anything away, is the awesome highway fight scene you see in the trailers, which when completed, flows immediately into a city wide brawl. The former is so compelling that by the time more carnage has started you’re only part way through saying “holy crap, did you see that?” There are a few kinks in the armor, I won’t lie to you. It’s far from a perfect movie. There is a heavy amount of “shaky cam”, so shaky that you’re often confused. Coupled with that is the fact that the robots themselves are far more complex than simple cartoon versions. So complex in fact that when things start to get intense and robots are tangled up in high-speed wrestling matches, it’s hard to tell which part is whose. There are pieces flying every which way and if it weren’t for the occasional blur of color you’d have no idea if Optimus Prime was fighting Megatron or if a building was coming down… or both. Basically, they went from this to this.

That said, the real only distraction was the human acting. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy as an actor, but casting John Turturro as some sort of special agent is just silly. The special-ops guys did a good job, and so did John Voight, but the kids got on my nerves a little. In the end, they did a good job and I think it worked well. Personally it would have made a little more sense to make Sam the mechanic (as in the cartoon) and not the girl, but whatever. I was actually very happy with the way this movie turned out. The CG was really top notch, the action scenes were well put together, the pacing was good (read: non-stop). It was a great experience and a great “popcorn flick” as people say. It’s a really fun movie to see, especially when you grew you in the 80’s. It’s all those good geek memories brought to life.

Way to go Bay, I’ve almost forgiven you for Pearl Harbor… almost.



By now, most of you will have heard of Twitter. That horribly slow, painful to use “instant-mini-blog” piece of internet 2.0 bloat that everyone seems so attached to lately. Essentially IM, only slow and unfriendly, Twitter makes mini-blogs out of “what you’re doing at this exact second”. Perfect for 12 year olds, functioning alcoholics, people with ADD and geeks in general. Heck, even I have succumbed to it’s wiley ways, though indirectly. I started a mini-feed with one of it’s direct competitors, Jaiku. I don’t use it. It’s simply impractical for me to keep a browser window open 24/7, or near me at all times. I don’t live at my desk, I’ve got shit to do. Plus, while I don’t think anyone cares about what kind of food I’m eating at lunch, I could never think of anything more meaningful to put on those damn things. You’re not supposed to. They’re “mini-blogs”, snippets, tiny pieces of what you’re doing. They’re also horribly boring and I don’t give a crap. Neither do any of you.

There is however, something a bit more interesting. Pownce. Brain child of Kevin Rose and various Digg crew members, they’ve come up with something I might actually use. Basically, Pownce is a few things rolled into one. It has Twitter mini-posts. It has IM functionality, although it’s more along the lines of PM’s. It has link sending, event planning, feed tracking, all sorts of goodies. Most importantly, they’ve written an Adobe AIR wrapper around it, so you can use it as a desktop app. Personally, I can’t be checking web pages all day, but I can respond to messages from this little gray and green box in the corner of my screen. So, basically, take MeetUp or EVite, add Twitter and (insert IM system here) and basic ftp, and you’ve got Pownce.

The main appeal for me is that I can use this at the office. I can send files back and forth between the people here, they can do the same, we can send each other notes, reminders, links, all that good stuff, and it’s not nearly as distracting as IM. IM is, by definition, instant. So, if you get an IM you feel compelled to answer it, you’re having a “conversation”. Sending someone a note saying “remember to buy more lighting gels” isn’t exactly a conversation, so the distraction isn’t there. Pownce just sits there quitely until you’re ready to use it.

I’m sure some people will love Pownce because it’s exactly like Twitter, perhaps Twitter on steroids, which in some ways it is, but I like it because it has the convenience of IM and file transfers, only with half the distraction. That, and my boss in on board, so, I get to actually use it.

As an added bonus, I signed up for an invite the day it was announced, so, just a week later, I have my invite codes. Plus, as an early adopter, I get first dibs at the cool screen names.

If you’d like an invite, let me know. I only have a few, so I can’t send’em out all willy-nilly. If you have an account already and you’d like to add me, the screename is simply: Doc. That’ll be my home account. My work account I’ll keep secret until you sign up and I can add you as a friend.

Check it out at, and let me know if you want an invite. Also, check out my profile here:

Matt out.