Monday, February 25, 2008

Thriftbot: The Sims Online rises from its grave

EA is trying their hand at bringing their PC Game giant, The Sims, back to the online world. Looking to engineer some kind of Second Life-Killer, They've used The Sims Online's architecture to build an updated version of the game that they've creatively dubbed EA-Land.

New updates to the game include larger maps, better use of bandwidth, inclusion of Custom Content and many other features with a focus on community contributions. Most importantly - it's totally free.

I'm in the process of downloading it right now but, be prepared, even with a broadband connection it's probably going to take you a few hours to download.

One bone of contention though, why Comic Sans? Shouldn't EA be putting up websites that look a bit more sophisticated than any given webpage back in '96?

[EA Land]

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thriftbot: Super Paper Mario has another good deal of the day today for Super Paper Mario. It's dropped $20 to $29.99 from the original $50.
This is one of the Wii's better games, so I'd recommend jumping on this while you can.

Also, don't forget, has video game related deals in their gold box lightning deals all day today, so keep your eyes peeled for other bargains, cheapskates.

Update: Their deal of the day, Super Paper Mario, has sold out along with their Lightning Deals for Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Metroid Prime 3 and MySims. There's only one more deal left at 9pm EST for a "super happy fun fun" game. My best guess would be Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. Better be quick if you plan on snapping these up, Metroid sold out in a matter of seconds (before I could snag a copy).

Another Update: the final game was The Simpsons Game. Needless to say, they're all gone by now.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

SSBB: Sonic Shame

The Super Smash Bros series has never hid the fact that it's Nintendo's masturbatory tribute to itself. All of Nintendo's characters, even the ones that have been out of work for years, all get a chance to get all gussied up and get back into the spotlight again with crisp, new 3d graphics, new animations and new, orchestrated scores.

Now that Nintendo is opening the Smash Bros doors to outsiders (Snake, Sonic) are they getting the same treatment? Well... Mostly.

Sonic, for example, does get the new graphical enhancement and animations, but the music - eh, hope you liked the Sega CD era "Sonic Boom" theme (below) that will be burning your ears with the scorching black flame of mid-90s cheesiness.

So what's Sonic's Final Smash? Watching tearfully while Mario takes a dump on a Dreamcast, Saturn and a 32X while giving him the finger? You just can't let the old "Sega does what Nintendon't" commercials go, can you, Nintendo? You trounced Sega years ago, end the shaming and let them have good, new music too. There is such a thing as being a bad winner, you know.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Milk It 'Til It's Dead: Guitar Hero: Aerosmith announced

Activision announced that their next Guitar Hero will have a lot less musical selection and a lot more, well, Aerosmith. The aptly named Guitar Hero: Aerosmith will feature nothing but Aerosmith song after Aerosmith song and GHIII owners will be treated to free Aerosmith DLC on Xbox Live or Playstation Network. You can download "Dream On" for free between 02/16 and 02/18.

Despite the free dangling carrot DLC, I can't say I'm very thrilled about this upcoming release. Not that Aerosmith songs wouldn't be fun to play, but I like selection. Also, they didn't exactly do a bang up job with their last Guitar Hero throwaway title, "Rocks the 80s" which was a repackaging of Guitar Hero 2 with a meticulously selected setlist of 80s songs that successfully ignored every possible 80s song anybody would actually want to play and, instead, replaced them with some of the most forgettable 80s songs ever written and then proceeded to charge full price for it.

We can only hope this Aerosmith game turns out better than the abysmal shooter-on-rails "Revolution X" or Guitar Hero: Aerosmith's developmentally disabled cousin, "Quest for Fame" where you used a bright purple pick on this thing that looked like a broken auto-harp to kinda strum out songs when the pick actually worked. Seriously, that game was so traumatically bad that my memories of it kept me from ever wanting to play Guitar Hero when it was first announced.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Smash Bros Brawl Tournaments Are Coming

Nintendo announced today that they will be holding tournaments for their highly anticipated Super Smash Bros Brawl across the country. Each location will allow for the first 256 people to participate in the tournament free of charge.

Each participant will receive a $10 Best Buy gift card. Regional winners from each tournament will go to New York City for the finals.

Grand prize:
A crystal-coated Wii with a design from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a home theater system from Best Buy and a copy of the game.

2nd Prize:
A Wii, Wii Remote, a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and a $1,000 Best Buy gift card.

A Wii, Wii Remote, a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and a $500 Best Buy gift card.

A Wii, Wii Remote, a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and a $250 Best Buy gift card.

The bad news is that if you don't live in the Northeastern US or California you're screwed unless you really like driving/flying. Dates and locations are as follows:

Feb. 16
Doors open at 3 p.m.
Orpheum Theater
842 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Feb. 23
Doors open at 2 p.m.
Ten15 Folsom
1015 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

March 1
Doors open at 3 p.m.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Olden Hall
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609


March 8
Doors open at 5 p.m.
Best Buy (NOHO)
622 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

Since it's close by I'll probably be trying my hand at the Worcester tournament, failing miserably to the nerds that actually have strategies and tactics for this game and going home a $10 Best Buy card richer (and $30 in gas poorer). Anybody else thinking of attending?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wii Games: They're Just Not Very Good

Next-Gen recently did some scouring around and came to a conclusion that won't be too startling to people who have been paying attention to game releases over the past year - Wii games are horrible. How horrible? 64% horrible, to be precise. That's the average score for games on the Wii. Pretty terrible compared to Xbox 360's 70% and, surprise winner, PS3's 73%.

The article goes on to say that the Wii's low score is likely due to it being a more desirable target for shovelware (Jenga anybody?) and also because reviewers and developers don't fully understand the Wii yet. Though I do agree that the Wii is positively drowning in shovelware and that developers are having a hard time making games that feel like they were made for motion control rather than having motion controls shoehorned into a game that would be perfectly fine without them. I can't say I agree with the argument that reviewers don't understand the Wii though. The whole gameplay-over-graphics philosophy of the Wii is something a lot of reviewers agree with and were happy to hear about. The problem is that outside of a few titles (mostly first party) very few are any that I would recommend as must-haves.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thriftbot: The Orange Box

It's always nice to see an Amazon deal of the day that isn't Hannah Montana or Bratz related, and today is a particularly nice treat.

Get The Orange Box for PC for $30. That's worth it for Portal and Team Fortress 2 alone. Consider Half Life 2 and HL2: Episodes 1 & 2 bonuses. Better act fact before it's replaced with some Suite Life of Zack and Cody game.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Virtual Custom Bestio-Sodomy Rape Not As Common As Previously Thought

The ESRB has released a stats breakdown for the 1563 games they rated last year. In 2007 a whopping 59% of games were rated E for everybody.

The ever-controversial "Mature" games? A paltry six percent.

So, for those of you counting on Fox News and The US Government to do your parenting for you, now you can pick a random game, flip a coin, heads you let your kids play it, tails you don't, and you'll make the right decision 94% of the time. That's a pretty good average and you don't have to do any of that tedious "parenting" or "paying attention to your children". Bullet, consider yourself dodged.


Gerstmann Gate: The Revenge

The internet at large never got any closure on the late 2007 incident where writer/editor Jeff Gerstmann was fired, allegedly due to him not playing ball with advertisers and giving Kane & Lynch: Dead Men higher scores.

Today, I heard from many sources that Gerstmann would be on G4TV's X-Play tonight discussing his dismissal from Here's a quick retelling of that interview:

Adam Sessler: "Can you tell us more about your dismissal from"
Jeff Gerstmann: "Nope."

Aaah - sweet, sweet closure.

At least we did learn that Gerstmann is going to be launching his own blog very shortly (Edit: my mistake, it's already up) over at Poor bastard obviously doesn't know he's going up against the 3,596,826th Alexa ranked website on the internet -

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thriftbot: Hello Rock Stardom, Goodbye Dignity

The Rock Band Stage Kit has shown up at retail outlets across the country and now you can get yourself a smoke machine, some lights and rock out like a real nerd in their mom's basement rock star!

The only drawback? That unsettling $100 price tag. Isn't there a cheaper way to rock out properly?

Of course there is - just pick up a smoke machine and some lights that don't have the Rock Band logo on them and save!

You can pick up a 400w Fog Machine
Moonflower Effects Lighting

a strobe light
from Musician's Friend for a mere $83.

That's a huge upgrade from what appears to be a low grade plastic fog machine and some tap lights and you'll still have $17 left in your pocket.

Of course, the better option might just be to enjoy Rock Band in moderation rather than getting so deep into the Rock Star fantasy that it becomes creepy.

[Via Xbox360FanBoy]

Saturday, February 2, 2008

88MPH Retro-review: Quarth (Famicom)

At first glance, Quarth, also known as “Block Hole”, resembles some kind of no-frills top-down shooter like Aero Fighters or 1942. Then you realize that your “enemies” look like Tetris pieces and your ship shoots blocks. Don’t let looks deceive you, this game is 5% shooter, 95% puzzle game and about as addictive as a bucket of black tar heroin.

The object is to use your block-spewing ship to turn the Tetris-ish pieces floating in space into solid rectangles, thus making them disappear. If you get overwhelmed by the blocks and they pass a dotted line above your ship then it’s game over. It’s easy to blow the game off as being yet another Tetris clone, but Quarth isn’t out to just be just another copy-cat. It takes obvious inspiration from Tetris and innovates, making an entirely new game. The game’s simplistic, fun and addictive gameplay is what makes it stand out among the sea of Tetris clones released in the late 80s/early 90s and distinguishes it not as a clone, but possibly as being a peer to Tetris itself.

Players in the US may not have gotten an NES release for this game, but can take solace in the fact that they can at least pick this game up for Game Boy. There are a few differences between the Famicom and Game Boy versions, most notably that the Game Boy version includes a larger selection of ships and a fun addition to the gameplay: Powerups. In this version you can get different powerups depending on how greedy you get with the block shapes you make. Make a bare minimum-sized rectangle and you get no power up bonus. Press your luck and make a gigantic rectangle, and you’ll get progressively better power-ups that can be saved for later use, but you also risk piling the blocks too high and losing a ship.

As for European gamers, well, you get shafted again. Quarth wasn’t officially released in Europe on any console, but apparently it is available on some cell phones, so you’ve got that going for you, I guess.

You’ll realize once you play it that Quarth is easily one of the most underappreciated addictive puzzle games of all time; And so will your family as they pry you away from the game and into countless Quarth-addiction interventions.

out of 100

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ca$hbot: Buy Our Crap!

The first item has been added into Slothbot's Etsy store!

Right now you can hop over there and purchase this fine Cross Stitch of a rupee-dispensing Moblin:

We'll be adding some new items as soon as they're completed. Hit the link below to check it out:

Slothbot Crafts