In The Rest of the World…

•June 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Hello all…it’s been so long…I don’t know what to say.  I’ve been pretty busy running around on vacation (cousin’s wedding and brother-in-law-to-be’s wedding).  My writing over at MVN has been going very well and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it.  I encourage you to take a look and read some of my articles.

However, I wanted to take a quick moment to let you all know about an awesome new site that just opened up.  The site is called “In the Rest of the World” and was opened by a close friend of mine a few weeks ago.  On this site he features and offers, for sale, beautiful and remarkably candid pictures from around the world.  These pictures were mainly taken by him, with a few contributions from his family…but they’re simply incredible.

Take a look, enjoy and buy a few prints…I assure you, you’ll be pleased with the quality.I’ll be back soon with a new update, but for now…fare thee well…

Called Up to the Bigs…

•April 27, 2007 • 4 Comments

Hey everyone. It seems that dreams can come true. I was recently given the honor of writing a guest column on MVN.com, a very up and coming sports website. Still reeling from the excitement, I wrote a very short email to the site’s VP, Dan Benton, asking him to keep me in mind for any openings that come up for Giants 101…the site page specifically designated to the NY Giants.

Around a week later, I received an email asking if I was interested in being a writer for them on a consistent basis. My head spun, my heart pounded and a huge grin stretched across my face.

I obviously accepted and am now an official “author” for MVN.com. I implore all of you who read my blog (and I thank you for that) to turn to MVN.com to support me and one of the best sports sites on the web right now.Will this impact my writing on this blog? Probably…but it’s always been a dream of mine to work for the Giants, so writing about them in a well-respected public domain is a great first step. I wrote my first article as an official author tonight…check it out here.

Fare thee well…

God of War Returning…to PSP!?

•April 25, 2007 • 4 Comments

Well yowzah! Three posts within the last 24 hours…it must be a big day in either gaming or the NY Giants front office. As you can see from the title, it was a good day in gaming. As any of you can now attest to, my love for God of War is something I’m not bashful about. The ongoing chronicles of Kratos are something near obsession for yours truly.

After God of War II, the sadness sunk in as I realized my favorite gaming hero was gone for quite some time. Or was he? Once again crediting Kotaku here, it is now official that God of War is making its way to the PSP (Playstation Portable).

As a quick aside from the game itself, I would like to go on record saying that the PSP has been…well not so successful thus far. Upon its debut, gamers expected the best! The possibilities were endless with a playstation that you could simply slip into your cargo pocket. Unfortunately, the software support just wasn’t there. Gaming companies are finding it difficult to produce titles that are compatible with the unique handheld.

God of War seems to be a PERFECT chance for Sony to show that their first foray into the portable console realm is not a failure. According to Kotaku, this game is a prequel, illuminating core Kratos fans about the history of the ghostly white Spartan. The trailer for the game is narrated by who we now know as Gaia, the Titan of the Earth, who shares with viewers:

“The Ancient world speaks of a mortal that slayed a god. But long before his battle with Ares, Kratos sought absolution from his past sins by pledging himself as a champion to the gods. These brutal crusades in the name of Olympus became legendary.”

Also, Sony is actively promoting the game. While the official game site is yet to go live (beyond the background), Sony is already offering a God of War: Chains of Olympus demo for PSP users. You can enter for one of these limited demos, here.

So that’s it…time for this east coast boy to get pumped about some upcoming titles. At this point, the only problem I see is that I’ll likely be playing a lot of this before I go to bed, which may very well hinder my posting. Now there will be dozens of people without random dribble to read.

Fare thee well…

Activision Read My Mind

•April 25, 2007 • 3 Comments

This is going to be a quick one as it is really just an addendum to last night’s post.  Apparently Activision is already standing by to retaliate against EA’s newest edition of Medal of Honor.  According to Kotaku, the next Call of Duty (Modern Warfare) is slated to be “revealed” during this Sunday’s NFL draft.  WOAH!

Football draft + Call of Duty reveal = my head asplode!

Seriously, this is what I was referring to yesterday.  This is the most direct example of why competition is a good thing.  Medal of Honor is trying to make a run at being the next best-selling WWII FPS, and in turn, the current champion throws a curve ball.  From the sound of it, Activision is going to use their beautiful graphics and brilliant gameplay to design a fantastic modern FPS.  I don’t even know what to say. (Are you drooling yet, Jeff?)

Could this new Call of Duty beat out Medal of Honor Airborne AND surpass BLACK as the best modern warfare FPS??  I think they have a good shot.  More to come on this after the draft!

I apologize for alienating some of you non-video-game fans, but this stuff is just too cool!

Medal of Honor Ready to Recapture WWII Genre?

•April 24, 2007 • 7 Comments

It’s no surprise to anyone who has watched TV or walked through a Best Buy sometime over the last 5 years that World War II video games are booming. This is nothing new. War focused video games have been popular since…Contra?

 In any case, the small players have been widdled out. The movers and shakers have been narrowed down to two: EA Games and Activision. EA Games, the publisher of Medal of Honor, was the first to really hit the WWII FPS (first person shooter) genre and rock the market. Gamers swooned as they were able to travel around Europe taking out Nazi’s in a quest to win the great war. EA won that first battle.

Enter Activision and Call of Duty…an instant rival. Having spent a good deal of time with Medal of Honor, I was excited to play the first installment of Call of Duty (several years ago) when it was released. I was blown away! Call of Duty brought a new look to the WWII FPS genre.  Not that I’m bloodthirsty, but blood is a natural part of war.  Call of Duty was the first FPS I played that featured it.  This wasn’t over-the-top, but just enough to make it more real.  The missions seemed more real, the dialogue seemed more authentic and the fighting seemed more believable.  Call of Duty took the title belt.

Since the debut of Call of Duty, they have released several titles, the last two on the Xbox360.  One was a driver (title created to drive up sales of the console itself), Call of Duty 2, and the other was a mega-jump into WWII FPS brilliance, Call of Duty 3.  Activision seemed to have won the war.

Then I heard about EA’s latest challenge to the champion.  Looking to capitalize on the popularity of WWII within movies, television and video games, EA released the most updated trailer (I can find anyway) for the newest WWII installment, Medal of Honor: Airborne.  WOW!  If anyone has seen the incredible Band of Brothers series on HBO, they know how tremendously talented, brave and impressive these soldiers were.  Now EA is giving gamers the chance to see what it was like through the gaming console.

Check out this really impressive trailer for Medal of Honor: Airborne:

All I can say is that I hope EA is able to deliver with this.  It would be disappointing to see them fail, as it would likely be the nail in the coffin for the Medal of Honor series…and competition is always good.  So (I can’t believe I’m saying this), here’s to you EA…go get ‘em.

PS…for you nerds out there, and you know who you are, I’m not counting Brothers in Arms…squad-based doesn’t qualify in my book.  It’s in a category of its own.

Eastern Motors and the Local TV Ad Revolution

•April 19, 2007 • 3 Comments

There is nothing more annoying than a car commercial. I honestly can not possibly understand why car companies (local or massive) are unable to devise intriguing and enjoyable ads for television. You can actually see the ones that try…and fail. You can see the ones that don’t even try, which become a perfect reason to get up and refill your drink or fix a sandwich. But who are these marketing gurus who come up with some of these crap ads? They should be ashamed. In fact, just imagining those creative brainstorm sessions just makes me wanna burn this…nevermind:

What about those commercials for other local industries such as furniture or insurance? Some of these can be so incoherently thought out that you find yourself blushing because someone was confident enough to place an ad buy for it.

 

 

(Yes, even Crazy Eddie was terrible…)

What I have noticed is the boom of some “catchy” local commercials. Typically these are SO low budget that it’s an automatic tune-out. You see that poor video quality, the horrendous sound levels and usually some gaudy costume or gimmick and your brain shuts off.

But once in a while, you get lucky. Some are so ridiculous that you just have to tune in. If you’re lucky, your area may even have one that you start to enjoy…HOW COULD THIS BE???? I like to call it the “Eastern Motors Theory.”

Eastern Motors is a local car dealership in and around the Washington, DC/Baltimore areas. They have somehow found a way to ressurect the mundane and pathetic stigma and idea around local TV ads. Sure, they use jingles…but it goes beyond that. They have somehow re-engaged viewers in a “I can’t believe what I’m seeing” kind of way. Not creepy, like some local TV spots end up…but something totally different.

I believe it’s better to see for yourself. So please take a look at this very popular (on YouTube) commercial for Eastern Motors. (ExitEastCoast will not be held responsible for this being stuck in your head for the remainder of the day)

Crappy video quality? Check! Silly gimmicks including a suspicious amount of celebrities? Check! So good you watched it twice? Check!

Eastern Motors has given the embarrassing world of local TV commercials a facelift, and incidentally turned them into a national online phenomenon. Oh eastcoastboy, you jump to conclusions. Oh do I?

Try getting that one out of your head, nay-sayers. The “Eastern Motors Theory.” You heard it here first.

Fare thee well…

Wii Play (with your money)? Shame on you!

•April 18, 2007 • 3 Comments

Nintendo, nintendo, nintendo. Tsk tsk! So the Nintendo Wii was quick out of the gates in the next gen race (at least when compared to the PS3) and that was a surprise to many…myself included. I was happy for them tough, Nintendo’s been the bronze medalist for years now and I was pleased to see them catching a break after coming up with a fun, new idea.

One of my close friends asked me, “I wonder if they’ll be able to keep releasing quality games?”

My response was simple and abrupt, “Of course they will. What kind of gaming company releases a major next gen without properly planning their software support? They won’t drop the ball here.”

I’m not here today to tell you they did…but they did pull a pretty sketch move. Nintendo released a game called Wii Play (but I’ll get to that in a moment). This title was supposed to be an extension (of sorts) of the game that came with the system, Wii Sports. Wii Sports was an instant classic and a great 1v1 game…especially after a few pints at the bar. It includes boxing, golf, bowling, tennis, and baseball. Baseball is the worst of the games and even that’s not all that bad. Bowling and tennis are phenemonal…such fun!

So why not take advantage of the response this game was receiving among Wii fans. Nintendo then released Wii Play…a crappy title basically being sold to increase the sale of Wiimotes (game controllers). Okay, the game features a pathetic version of table tennis, a boring updated version of Duck Hunt and a few other beyond crap games.So what is the real hook? Wii Play comes with a Wiimote. When I heard that, I was skeptical, but after a few discussions with people who’d played it…I thought it was a safe bet.

WRONG! Wii Play is horrendous! Do not purchase this game. Better yet, if you’re in the market for a new Wiimote, buy Wii Play and immediately return the game to EB Games or Gamestop. In “mint” condition, you’ll receive $12 back, which is a slight benefit from buying the Wiimote on its own. Put the $12 towards something else and tell Nintendo thanks for the patronization.

Nintendo…get it together…let’s get some quality titles back out there so I don’t end up feasting on a massive crow pie. Fare thee well…

 
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