Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mister Bones' Top 5

Location, location, location! Was thinking about this the other day, about how some games have certain locations, or towns, or even planets that they're known for. Places that as soon as you mention them, everybody already knows exactly what you're talking about. Then I got to thinking, what about everybody else in these places, other than the game's main characters? We all know Chris Redfield is gonna make it out of Raccoon City, he's a highly trained member of S.T.A.R.S. but what bout John Smith who was just in town vacationing? Or Jane Doe who had only flown into town for a business meeting with Umbrella? This lead to my thinking about which video game  places I would most like to visit myself, and that is Top 5 material if I've ever seen it.

Mister Bones Top 5 Video Game Locales I'd Like to Visit

5. Helghan (Killzone) - It wouldn't take much to talk me into joining the Helghast. Not because I believe in Scolar Visari or his campaign to forcefully overtake the universe and crush it in his iron grip of tyranny, but because the Helghast wear the goddamn coolest uniforms EVER. I don't know what it is about the whole gas mask thing that does it for me, but I've always been a sucker for them. You give me one of those uniforms and an assault rifle and I'll follow you anywhere.

4. Willamette Parkview Mall (Dead Rising) - I normally don't do malls, I despise them. I go to the mall exactly two times a year, once at Easter for the kids to get Easter Bunny pictures, and once at Xmas for the kids to get Santa Claus pictures. The Willamette Parkview Mall though? I'd spend my every waking moment there. There's a gun and knife store, toy stores, a gym, a massive food court, a grocery store, a hardware store, a movie theater, a park outside, psychopaths, cultists, zombies, and the list goes on and on. You simply don't find that amount of entertainment in ONCE place often. When you do, why would you ever want to leave? I wouldn't.

3. Castlevania (Castlevania) - A must visit for absolutely anybody who loves the Universal Monsters, they're ALL here. Dracula really brings em out, with zombies, Medusa, Mummy, Frankenstein, Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and even the Grim Reaper himself amongst all other kinds of ghosts and goblins. You have to plan ahead for this one though, as it's more than likely a once in a lifetime thing. Dracula's famous castle only appears once every hundred years or so, and there's always a pesky Belmont descendant looking to throw a monkeywrench, or whip, into the big D's resurrection party. I think I'd be right at home in the middle of this monster mash.

2. Raccoon City (Resident Evil) - Sadly it was blown to hell at the end of the second game, but even though it only got a couple years screen time, it's legacy burned a permanent place in my brain, and I could tell that Raccoon City was my kind of city. The Umbrella Corporation took an average mid-western metropolis and made it AWESOME with little more than a couple of bio-weapon accidents. Zombies, zombie Dobermans, Lickers, Hunters, giant snakes, giant sharks, giant alligators in the sewers, and who could forget the Tyrant and Nemesis? If Raccoon City was a real place, I'd be booking me an extended stay in that infamous mansion today.

1. Silent Hill (Silent Hill) - Hands down the most awesome town in video game history. This one is hard to describe really, as it is apparently different for everybody who visits. I can only imagine what my own Silent Hill would be like. On the outside, it looks like any other serene, small town, but once the fog rolls in and the siren sounds, Silent Hill is literally transformed into Hell. A Hell of your own making. You can count on puzzles, run down hospitals full of faceless, evil nurses and Pyramid Head and his giant sword. Yep if Silent Hill was real town, fuck visiting, go ahead and forward my mail because I'm gonna be a permanent resident.

Those are the top 5, but the list goes on and on. Reach, Lego Gotham, Sera, Rapture, the Ishimura, and you can even sign me up for some mortal kombat on Outworld. There are countless video game places that I'd rather be than here in boring old real life. Got any other suggestions for video game vacationing?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Don't Mess with Kansas

And more importantly,  NEVER mess with the awesome might of SUNFLOWER.

from Marvel Zombies Supreme #2

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Darth Lebowski

So it's actually been a pretty long time since I bought a t-shirt. Amazingly I've been able to keep myself from ordering anything, though that was mostly due to the fact that I've been to four hockey games, and bought Deftones tickets lately. No man could ever hope to resist a Star Wars/Big Lebowski mash-up though! The Force is strong with TeeFury today, man.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Xperia Commercials

Kinda interested in this as a possible successor to my Droid, nevertheless these commercials are hilarious!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Movie Night - Movies I've Bought and Haven't Bothered to Watch Yet

I do this a lot, I'll see something I'm vaguely interested in watching on the cheap and just grab it instead of watching first. I blame Hastings and their selling used dvd's buy 2 get 1 or sometimes even buy 2 get 2. I'm helpless to resist. Sometimes I regret the purchase, looking at YOU Machete, and other times I'm pleasantly surprised. Tonight I'm going to play a little catch-up Bill Lumbergh style and watch a couple.

I suppose you could say I'm a Ryan Reynolds fan. I honestly think the dude is pretty funny, his delivery is overflowing with snark and sarcasm but what can I say, it makes me laugh. He's not as well known for serious roles, but from the few that I've seen him in, he's usually pretty good in those too. Tonight I'm finally going to give Buried a watch. My only hesitation with it was that I know the whole movie takes place inside a coffin he's been buried alive in, and that is enough to make me not want to watch as the idea of being buried alive freaks me the hell out. I've also read lots of reviews that state that the movie doesn't have a happy ending, which will likely bum me out, and I spend enough of my life bummed out already. Almost all of those reviews have been at least somewhat positive though, and that speaks volumes on the internet, so I'm hoping that I end up digging Buried, pun intended.

Following Buried, I will likely fall asleep watching Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. I may lose some horror nerd street cred here, but I honestly didn't love the first one. It was good, but not spectacular, and definitely not the second coming of Evil Dead. Still, it introduced me, and lots of other folks, to Eli Roth and for that I'm eternally grateful. This is another one that I likely would've dismissed completely, but according to the internets isn't a total waste of time. I'm gonna take your word for it internet, and hope that I'm not disappointed horribly.

Two is likely the most I'm going to be able to make it through on a work night, and as stated I likely won't even make it through Cabin Fever, unless of course it's totally awesome and I can't sleep without finishing it, which strangely enough the last movie that ended up doing that to me was Shutter Island which I also bought without viewing first but ended up really enjoying. I also have Inception on blu and The Social Network staring at me from the shelf waiting to be watched. Those are the kinds of movies I have to gear myself up for though, and make sure I won't have kids interrupting every 5 minutes, and that kind of evening is RARE around here. Still, I'll get around to it some day, just like I am tonight with these two.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Red Twilight Hood

Last night I gave Red Riding Hood a watch. This one will be pretty short, as I really don't have much to say about it. I basically knew what I was getting myself into, so it's hard to fault the movie for being pretty much what I expected. Was I disappointed? Sure, but I was disappointed far before I ever watched the movie. If you've seen any of the trailers or tv spots, you've seen the movie. It's little more than a holdover for the Twilight fans of the world to spend their money on before the next movie in that series is released. If you can watch Red Riding Hood knowing that and not expecting it to be a horror movie in any way, you might find a little entertainment.

Me? I was highly entertained, but then I watched it because Amanda Seyfried is absolutely gorgeous, and I would watch absolutely anything if I knew she was going to be in it. Even if it was just a cameo. I would watch a Nicolas Cage movie if I knew she was going to be in it.That's dedication, people. If there's a filmmaker out there reading this, PLEASE do me a favor and write a romantic horror/superhero/supernatural horror/sports/comedy drama starring me as the Range Rover driving male lead in the middle of a torrid love triangle with Amanda Seyfried and Katharine Isabelle. Not only would the movie triple Avatar's box office money, but I could die a happy man. You want me to be happy, don't you?

Aside from miss Seyfried, I took absolutely nothing away from this one. Not even Gary Oldman could help turn it around. The big bad wolf did nothing for me, as it was a "werewolf" in the same vein as Twilight, slightly larger than a regular wolf and absolutely nothing "were" about him. I suppose he was animated well enough, but with only a few minutes of screen time, it was hard to tell. There wasn't a lot of action, there was almost no blood, and I'm fairly certain the only way I could've really enjoyed Red Riding Hood is if I was a 12 year old girl. Unless you're obsessed with Amanda Seyfried like I am, skip this one.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flyers visit Atlanta, Mister Bones follows.

Mister Bones loves the hockey. Mister Bones loves the Thrashers. Mister Bones REALLY loves the Philadelphia Flyers though. Last night I took a trip to Philips Arena in Atlanta to see my Flyers once again battle the Thrashers. It's always weird going into my home stadium wearing the opposition's jersey, but the Flyers are the only team I will root for over Atlanta. That being said, I also went in kinda torn as to who I really wanted to get the victory. On the one hand, I always want my Flyers to win, but on the other hand, the Thrashers are playing with desperation to get into the playoffs, so they need every point they can get right now. Philly is sitting atop the Eastern Conference, with playoffs guaranteed already.

In the end, I couldn't have been happier with how the game played out. The Flyers scored to tie the game at 3 with 1:24 left to force overtime, which guaranteed both teams at least one point. With the game still tied after the overtime period, we went to the shootout. The Thrashers ended up winning the shootout and getting the two points, with the Flyers going away with one. Good stuff, and while I'm always disappointed when the Flyers lose, I suppose this one time it's ok. I have pics again, and this time they aren't all of the ice girls! Also note, I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but my favorite players are always the goalies. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Infinite Playlist - Wild Thing

I have absolutely NO idea why this video popped in my head today, but God bless Youtube...

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Mechanic

On the surface The Mechanic looks like your typical Jason Statham fare, heavy on the action and light on pretty much everything else. It definitely is, but does have one thing going for it, Ben Foster, and that goes a long way toward ensuring that I'll likely enjoy at least some of the movie. I personally think Ben Foster is one of the best actors in movies today, and aside from one or two questionable role choices *cough*Pandorum*cough*, I've enjoyed everything he's done.

Not that you really need any sort of plot synopsis, but here goes. The Mechanic is about a contract killer, or "mechanic" in this case (Statham), who is given a job to kill a friend inside the organization he works for because of a botched job. He reluctantly goes through with it, and runs into the mark's son, Steve (Foster) while visiting the grave a few days later. After seeing the effect his father's death had taken on him, Statham takes Steve under his wing and begins traning him to follow in his father's footsteps.

That's basically all there is to it. Again, it's not like anybody is going into a Jason Statham flick expecting to be challenged with a thought-provoking plot full of symbolism and intrigue. You go to see a balding Adonis beat the shit out of bad guys, shoot guns, and blow lots of stuff up. Ben Foster on the other hand is known for his acting ability, and The Mechanic is a much better movie for it. Whenever on screen together, you almost completely ignore Statham because Foster is constantly working, doing little things that most of the typical audience for this type of movie will unfortunately ignore completely. They'd rather watch cardboard with muscles shoot at anything that moves. Me? I only wanted to see The Mechanic because of Ben Foster, and as per usual he did not disappoint.

That doesn't mean that there weren't groan inducing moments though. In fact there were quite a few. I realize the point here is to turn off your brain and just watch the chaos, but I can't help but attempt to rationalize. It's one of my flaws, and one that keeps me from enjoying lots of these action flicks. For instance, Statham is supposed to be this uber badass hitman who is called in when a high profile job needs to be done quickly and effeciently. Ok cool, so why is he so eager to not only train a person who is clearly not in his normal state of mind dealing with the death of his father, but as far as I can tell is either drunk or high in almost every scene he's in? Not only is he willing to train, but he allows this person to plan a hit and tag along on a target that is deemed "critical" by the person who sends him contracts only weeks into this training? Really? And when the hit goes so horribly wrong, as we all knew it would, and the bullets start flying and cars start exploding all over downtown, there isn't a single cop that shows up? Not even a faint siren in the background to be heard. In the illustrious words of the Fox NFL analysts, "Come on, man".

Still, it's hard not to recommend The Mechanic. Despite rolling my eyes a few times, I actually did like it. There are some decent action sequences, it never gets boring or slows down much, and Ben Foster pretty much carries the movie for those of us who aren't just looking for a shot of testosterone with our popcorn. Just don't read too much into it, and I think pretty much everybody can find something to enjoy here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I remember when I first got excited about the Xbox Live Arcade, and the possibility of downloading old arcade favorites onto my Xbox. The whole downloadable game thing was something that I had never experimented with before, as I've always been a console gamer exclusively. But with this new magic box I could spend "Microsoft Points" and play Smash TV whenever I wanted?! Sign me up! So I took a liking to the arcade pretty early on. I bought things like Gauntlet, Contra, the afore mentioned Smash TV, and even some original stuff like Outpost Kaloki X.

Eventually though, I realized a couple of things, one that most of the games I was buying were both easily available to be played for free online from my PC and I actually still owned most of them, just for different consoles, and two, while 800 Microsoft Points may not sound like much, but 800 MS Points is equal to about $10 in real-life people money. So with that I started getting way pickier about which games I bought and which ones I didn't. I'm not sure if it was just me, or if there was a bit of a lull in the quality coming out for a while, but I eventually lost interest in the Arcade and rarely even looked at it.

For a long time there was nothing worth getting excited about, and then something happened, Microsoft took away the size limit on the games that could be put up for download, and an indie tab opened up where you could check out all kinds of awesome indie games for about a buck or two, and I got all wrapped up in the Arcade fever again. Summer seems to be the time that Microsoft and Sony really push the downloadable titles as it's historically been a slow season for major game releases. Microsoft's now annual "Summer of Arcade" is almost always full of great stuff that's actually worth the points, and I look forward to it every year.

I also look forward to Game Informer's "Impulse" articles every month, and it's the inspiration for this particular post. It's only two pages, and highlights a couple of the upcoming games from the XBLA and PSN, but I honestly could read an entire magazine devoted to downloadable games. At the very least I think it deserves more than two pages. There have been several games that I might not have even looked at if not for reading about them in Impulse first.

So I thought today I'd highlight some of my favorite more recent XBLA and PSN buys. Keep in mind that a lot of the time, I wait for sales and such before pulling the trigger, so most of these aren't going to be all that new release date wise, just recent purchases that I've made. I hadn't intended to ramble on and on here, so I'm keeping this part short as I'm sure most of you have either fallen asleep or just stopped reading at this point.

Shank - Shank is what would've happened if a Robert Rodriguez movie and Samurai Jack had a baby together. In fact if there ever were a Shank movie, I'm pretty sure it would be illegal if Robert Rodriguez didn't direct it, and Danny Trejo wasn't in it. The game is a side-scrolling shooter/beat em up with lots of style, blood, and bullets. It can get repetitive, and the difficulty can be frustrating, but not to the point that it detracts from the fun.

Alien Breed Evolution - Always been a fan of the top-down perspective in games. From as far back as I can remember I loved games like Ikari Warriors, Commando, Project Overkill, Loaded, and it's translated through the years from console to console. Alien Breed is a top-down sci-fi shooter, with some survival horror elements and loads of action. Good stuff , although a little dark as you're running around in a damaged space ship blasting spider-alien things to hell primarily by flashlight. This one also has online co-op but I've never done any of it as I'm the only one I know who has it.

Dead Nation - This one is a PSN exclusive that I just bought last week. So far I'm loving it. It plays a lot like Alien Breed, only with zombies. Sort of a top-down version of Left 4 Dead. Again, this one has online co-op but I haven't tried it out. One really cool thing for stat-whores though is that the game keeps up with how many zombies players have killed by country, as well as how much you've contributed to your country's tally. So far the U.S. is way out in the lead with Japan running a distant second. USA! USA! USA!

Scott Pilgrim vs the World - Scott Pilgrim is as old school as old school can be. The game plays and looks exactly like the old side scrolling beat em ups of my youth. Think Double Dragon! And the mission progression screen looks exactly like Super Mario World. So much fun for so little money, it captures the vibe of the comic perfectly and is a nice throwback to the games of yesterday.

Limbo - I've talked about Limbo here before, but I'm gonna do it again. This is one of the best platformers I have ever played, period. The puzzles are all difficult, but not to the point that they cause extreme frustration. They look impossible at times, but once you figure them out it makes perfect sense and you wonder why it took you so long in the first place. Limbo is done in black, white, and gray, and is absolutely gorgeous. It's atmospheric, creepy, and achieves all this using a "less is more" approach to things. It's deserving of all the praise it's received, and I would love to see a sequel at some point soon.

Ok so I think that's enough for now. This post has gone on for much longer than planned. There are tons of other great games I've played recently that I didn't mention, Splosion Man, Trials HD, Plants vs Zombies, and Hydro Thunder Hurricane to name a few, and still a few more that I'm awaiting price drops on, X-Men Arcade, Fat Princess, Dishwasher Dead Samurai, and most recently Torchlight. I keep a trained eye on the weekly deals tab on my Xbox, waiting for the day that X-Men Arcade hits that magic 400 pt. price mark. Wanna shout out any favorites that I haven't mentioned and may have missed, I'd love to hear them.

Friday, March 11, 2011


from Batman, Inc. #3

He knows how to tango.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Movie Night - Everybody Deserves a Second Chance

This week I though I'd challenge myself to sit through a couple of sequels that I had originally deemed "so awful that they even go so far as to tarnish the movies that came before them". When sequels are this bad, they tend to only be watched once in the Batcave. However, I'm feeling a bit generous this week, and have decided to give two in particular a chance to redeem themselves, and maybe even eventually find their way into my dvd collection. Maybe.

First up, Robocop 3. I so desperately want to like this movie because 1) it has Robocop in it and Robocop is AWESOME, and 2) it was directed by Fred Dekker, of Night of the Creeps and Monster Squad fame. Being that he directed two of the greatest movies of all time, it boggles the mind that his turn with OCP's finest turned out so bad. If I'm being honest, the only things I even remember about this movie are that Peter Weller isn't reprising his role as Murphy, Robocop uses a jetpack,  there was a robot ninja that was the descendent of Bruce Lee or something, and that I HATED it. To be fair though, I was in high school the one and only time I watched it, and I'm a totally different person now, so maybe, just maybe I'll have a newfound respect for it after watching it again. Fingers are crossed.

If I survive that one, next I'll subject myself to Alien Resurrection. Similarly to Robocop 3, I also desperately want to like this one because 1) it has Aliens in it, and Aliens are also AWESOME, and 2) it was written by Joss Whedon of Firefly and Buffy fame. Seriously how did this end up being so awful? Aliens, Brad Dourif, Ron Pearlman, Winona Ryder, and still it sucks? I remember a little more about this one as I've seen it a couple of times, but still not so much that I can call what's going to happen from one scene to the next. Ripley is a synthetic, and I think plays basketball or something in one scene, Aliens swim, Winona Ryder is hot, as per usual, and there's a horrible looking Alien/human hybrid creature that gets sucked out into the vacuum of space through a very tiny hole. This one I'm less than hopeful for than I am for Robocop 3. It's just awful no matter how many times I watch it. Still, I guess one more chance can't hurt.

If this experiment goes well, I have a few other movies in mind to try again. Still would like to find at least something redeemable about Boondock Saints 2, because I love the first one oh so much. Would like to say I enjoyed The Fly II, anything past the first From Dusk til Dawn, The Hills Have Eyes 2, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, and the list goes on. Ok, so I admittedly enjoy Blair Witch 2 for the hot goth chick, but that hardly constitutes a purchase when the rest of the movie is so bad. Got any sequels you particularly hate, I'd love to hear them. But please, no mention of the movie that shall not be named *cough*BatmanandRobin*cough*...

Monday, March 7, 2011

I need to get to Burger King!

Ah, Crazy Taxi. How many quarters did I feed these machines before the coming of the almighty Dreamcast? I probably don't want to know. These games are a shining example of why I love Sega for the pure arcade fun that always brings me back to the days of pumping way too much money into cabinets for way too little play time. The Dreamcast is an absolute treasure-trove of home versions of what feel like the end of the arcade era, at least for me anyway, as games like Crazy Taxi, San Francisco Rush, Hydro Thunder, and 18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker were among the last cabinets I can ever remember dropping tokens into.

If you follow me on Twitter, you've seen mention of a new website that my good friend Mister Binky writes for called No High Scores and if you haven't, you should definitely check that site out. I'm especially fond of Bink's "Don't Shoot the Food" posts, which combine his love of gaming with his love of food. Back to the subject matter at hand though, another contributor to NHS, Danielle Riendeau, did a post last week about the newly released Dreamcast Collection on XBox, focusing on XBLA title Crazy Taxi. Reading it immediately took me back to the days of living in my apartment in Atlanta when the Dreamcast would rarely ever actually be turned off, and we would spend hours playing games like Jet Grind Radio, NHL 2K, NFL 2K, Power Stone, Soul Calibur, and you guessed it, Crazy Taxi.

As we all know, I still have my Dreamcast and play it pretty often. It has a permanent home sitting on my entertainment center beside my Xbox 360. Thanks to Danielle's post though, this week it has seen way more use than it's accustomed to though, as I've been burning up the roads picking up fares and dropping them off at places like the Fried Chicken Shack, Jewelry Department, the Hospital, the Mall, and even Burger King in Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2. With the state of gaming today, focusing on progressing through a campaign full of blood, bullets, and all other sort of mayhem, we sometimes forget the simple fun a game like Crazy Taxi can bring. So I'd like to extend a big thanks to Danielle for the "retro reminder" that these games still exist, are still all kinds of awesome, and I can still play them whenever I want to , I just have to stop dismembering necromorphs every now and then and actually turn on Sega's greatest triumph, my Dreamcast.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Gregg!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away from where he currently resides, my brother graced the world with his presence. The Force hasn't been the same since.....

Happy Birthday G-regg! Love ya bro beans!