Friday, October 12, 2007

NHL 2K8(360) - Review

It's time to sharpen your skates and get your fingers ready for one of the most acurate depictions of hockey I have ever played. I'm talking about NHL 2K8, the newest edition and one of the most complete to boot. Graphically, statistically, and a VERY deep franchise, this game will keep you busy all season long, especially with all the new features.

So lets start off where we left off from last year. Last years edition was great in its own way, and this year they have improved upon it. I think we should start where all hockey does...the face off. This year they have put together a new face off system that adds realism to the game. So, in short if you do something wrong like going for the puck when your not allowed or your timing is off, they restart the face off. Now here is my complaint on this. There are no drills whatsoever and VERY little documentation for the new face off system, which makes it a tad difficult to master.

Gameplay almost remains the same, although with the addition of special moves, like in their NBA series during the slam dunk contest you can now perform a trick before taking a shot at the goal. This is a neat feature although a bit cumbersome with everything that's going on. This year the 2K Reelmaker makes it's debut on the NHL series, although if you want to use it, it's gonna ding you 400 points in the Microsoft Marketplace to purchase the software to make your own reel.

The graphics have greatly improved as well as the presentation, it feels like a hockey game, with really good replay on behalf of 2K, it makes the experience that much greater. There is a very good amount of multi-player in this edition. There are leagues, tourneys, and a lot more. Up to four people can play at once, although I wouldn't as the servers are unforgiving on lag and will kill the game. So make sure no one is cruising the net or downloading music when playing.

This years franchise mode has to be the deepest I have ever seen, from scouting, watching minor league teams, signing and trading players; this game has it. YOU are the man, you tell them when to practice or tell them not to practice. This game should have a good 20 page section in the manual on how to run a team(more on manuals in the end). The franchise mode is not going to disappoint those who like fantasy hockey or hockey in general. You can spend hours micro managing your team(sorry no blood pressure medication available). I think they did a real nice job with this mode.

My last bit concerns the game overall and is more of constructive criticism and not being mean. This is something that kind of ticks me off a bit each year and with each 2K sports title, and that is the manual. I find the game great, and a lot of deep features like the franchise mode, but VERY little or no documentation. I know a lot of people who don't bother, but when it comes in the game where you need to trade players to balance your team, wouldn't it be great to have a better understanding on how to negotiate? The drills in the game do off shoot a bit, but they don't really help you when it comes to a certain defense or offense on the ice when calling plays. Some plays are pretty straight forward but some are not. So that is a big negative for me.

Rating: 8.9(Great)
Learning Curve - About an hour.

Monday, August 20, 2007


When I have a really good experience with something I'm going to write about it. No question whatsoever. Jim told me about this site called Goozex which is a peer to peer game trading site.

Here is how it works. Lets say you have about 10 games you no longer play and you don't want to get the crappy trade in values that certain game stores give you. Well, you to Goozex, post your games in "Your Library" section. Now from there you will see what the point value of the game is; they don't use a dollar value. You will also see your turn. The turn is your place in line to trade your game.

Once it's time to trade your game, Goozex sends an e-mail to both you and the buyer indicating that a match has been made. Goozex provides address information, etc. You mail it off, then wait for your positive feedback. In the beginning of your account you need positive feedback to get your points. After a few trades you don't have to wait.

Once you have points, you need to pick up trade credits which are a buck a trade and sell in blocks of 5. Now pick your game, wait in line. Now you may say "Hey! I'm in the 50th spot, well that may not hold true because the people ahead of you may not have credits or points and they will be skipped. But this is REALLY cool, I have no complaints, this is something to check out.

By the way my first trade was for "Halo 2" for 300 points, which equates to $15 bucks! How can you not go wrong. But do research on the game you want, and make sure you're getting the deal.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Review: BioShock(360)

When I first saw screen shots of this title it really intrigued me. And now I can tell you after drooling, it is my own personal nightmare, in a good way of course. Before I get into the guts(pun) of the game, let me warn you that this game is the most gruesome, bloody; hell, it makes "Gears of War" look like Alice in Wonderland. Shall we begin?

You are a passenger on an airplane over the ocean, which is specified as the Atlantic in the year 1960. Your plane out of nowhere rips apart(ala "Lost") and you find yourself swimming to this pedestal jutting out of the water. You swim to it, as, well where else is there to go, certainly the plane has made it's final stop.

Now I'm not going to try and spoil it, but it's kind of hard to explain the environment, and what to expect out of this game without some morsels to give you an idea. So now you're warned.

Let me spell some things out right now so you know what kind of game this is, then I'll feed you a little story. This is not an open-ended game, ie. you can't go everywhere. It's between a rail, and puzzle shooter. So it's "Resident Evil 4" with MAJOR modifications. There is nomulti player over XBOX Live, however the case I received did mention downloadable content, so that is something to look forward to.

The game makes you "use" your environment. After you have been exploring the city of "Rapture" you come to a point where you must re-write your DNA using a method of injecting "Plasmids". So the first one is electricity, no really, you can shoot electricity out of your hands, kind of like the Emperor in "Jedi". To give you an example of using theenvironment , say there are 3 people in a pool of water(did I mention it takes place underwater?") well shoot some electricity into the water and you fry all three of them, very cool.

This is a fantastic game, download the demo for sure, even for those skeptical. This game has a lot of potential with future downloadable content. The only thing holding it back is multi player or even co-op, but then it wouldn't be YOUR story. Another nugget is you get a new experience every time, the game is not the same experience for everyone. There are different paths and ways to kill people that work in many ways.

This is a must game, so make sure you get your copy on the 21st, this is not for the faint of heart.

And the Final Score is 9.2 out of 10.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Review: The BIGS

Charlie George and Jim Ness

Do you get confused with the words RBI, ERA, or IP? Well fear not baseball onlookers, The BIGS is here to help. This is 2K Sports first foray into adrenaline/arcade baseball that, believe it or not, does not take away the excitement and realism you would expect from a baseball game.

I decided to take a look at a couple of the game modes and chalked up the good and the bad.

The 360 version is by all accounts for the "Armchair Athlete". Here is how I rated it and why. On the 360 I started things off in Rookie Mode(Probably one of the most addicting aspects of the game). Essentially "Rookie Mode" sets you up as an up and coming Minor League player who has been called up to the team of your choice. You do some training, and assign skill stars as you progress. During this mode you will be put in 3-5 inning games where conditions, such as stealing a base and winning the game is mandatory. If you fail, its back up to the plate for you. Throughout the Rookies season you play other teams where you get opportunities to "Steal" players from them and such, The end result is you go in the Worlds Series(Naturally I chose the Cubs, yeah, the Cubs in the Worlds Series, definitely fiction). This was by far my favorite mode in the game.

Other modes are Exhibition, Home Run Derby, and Home Run Pinball, which puts you in Times Square where it's pretty much a Home Run Derby. The more you smash up with the balls the higher the score.

Now with all the good there was some bad. The pitching, batting, throwing, and in-field mechanics are great. However the outfield is very glitchy in the area of player response. The ball would be hit right to them and they wouldn't do much. I though maybe it was just my copy or I was playing badly, I played a few games on XBox Live and asked if they were experiencing the same thing so I was not the only one.

Now speaking of XBox Live, it's great to see the rosters updated, and the game play for the most part is REALLY smooth, so props for that.

If you want the info on the Wii edition, then it's time to get out of the La-Z-Boy and get physical with the Wii, so to put it short; you will be moving a lot. The game is requires you "to get physical". The Wii version does make a good showing though there is a pretty steep learning curve as you are going to be getting physical as we have mentioned. The Wii version gets a 7 for innovation, however graphics do take a little beating, nonetheless, this is an improvement on Wii Sports baseball, and sure to be a good time.

So when it comes down to it in the end, this game really does a great job of bringing that baseball experience to you. So my rating is a solid 8. It would have been a 9 if it wasn't for the outfield issues. But all in all, its a great title and hope next years edition comes out next spring!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Tangerine Dream

Tangerines are sweet, whats even more sweeter is an app that can provide music for you from your iTunes library based beats per minute, intensity, and other factors.

The folks at Potion Factory have put this app in beta. It's a Mac app and I am loving this, no longer do you have to dredge through thousands of songs to pick the right mix, Tangerine does it for you.

Right now they have a free 15 day trial, so check it out. I like it and anyone who likes to work out or doing any kind of physical activity with appropriate music will appreciate this.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tired Thumbs #59 - Suprise!!

I'm trying some new software with the new mic. Tell me what you think.

Show Notes

  • Intro - A New Kind of Show
  • Contact Info
  • tiredthumbs [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Free to Roam
  • Installing Movie Magic for the Wife
  • Podsafe Song: My Sword's Anger by Apostle of Hustle
  • Video Game Talk
  • Podcasts and You
  • Podsafe Tune: Out of Sight by Uncut
  • Closing Thoughts

    To subscribe to the enhanced version of Tired Thumbs click here:

  • Monday, March 19, 2007

    Tired Thumbs #58 - The End

    Show Notes

    This is the final episode of Tired Thumbs. It has been a great two years. Big thanks to the folks at The Tech Podcast Network who got me going. Thanks to Veronica Belmont who shared hosting duties with me for awhile.

    And of course all the subscribers, you have made the show what it is.

    I have other irons in the fire check them out:

    The Wii Show

    The PS3 Cast

    Around the Controller

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    iTunes Refresh Issue

    Hi Everyone,

    I have received your e-mails about not getting recent shows via iTunes. Well, the feed is working fine, but iTunes is not refreshing, so you are not getting the latest show right away. If you are using iTunes follow these steps:

    Open iTunes

    Click Advanced

    Click Subscribe to Podcast

    Enter this:

    And you are all done.

    If you have any questions please e-mail us.

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Tired Thumbs #57 - Why Rapala, oh Why!

    Show Notes

    Snow Blowing
    No Internet
    Crackdown Review
    Rapala Tournament Review
    Wii Play
    Grand Theft Auto 4
    Halo 3
    Marvel Ultimate Alliance
    God of War 2

    The Quiet Trial

    Download "To Have a Crush" (mp3)
    from "The Quiet Trial"
    by Cassettes Won't Listen
    Dope Lotus Records

      More On This Album

      Wednesday, February 28, 2007

      New Info on Bust A Move Bash

      Majesco seems to be really taking advantage of the Wiimote controller with the latest installment of "Bust A Move Bash". Here are some of the features of the latest title:

      *Four Game Modes, including Puzzle, Vs., Endless, and the new Shooting Mode
      *Vs. Mode supports up to 8 players simultaneously(WOW)
      *500 levels in Puzzle Mode
      *10 different characters, including the ever lovable Bub and Bob, plus many more

      If that wasn't enough, here are some of the latest screen shots! This game looks like a lot of fun. I'm hoping it will be a nice compliment to Wario Ware: Smooth Moves.

      Tuesday, February 27, 2007

      Movie to Avoid

      This has been out for a little over a month I think. I just finished watching "Crank" and have to say I am really disappointed. I expected maybe too much from a Jason Statham flick. I loved "The Transporter" flicks, and of course hope there is another one. I always thought he could have been a good James Bond. But back on topic. Avoid this movie. It's tries to live up to so many expectations and I felt cheated in the end.

      Monday, February 26, 2007

      New Cooking Mamma Cook Off Screen Shots

      We just got these new screen shots for the upcomming game "Cooking Mamma Cook Off" for the Wii. They keep looking better and better. Tell us what you think.

      God of War Beaten

      Ok, I know what you are going to say. "Dude, the game is two years old, and NOW you're ddone with it?" Well yeah I'm a little behind on my gaming but hey, I'm proud of myself. The rewards are just as sweet. When you beat the game there are a bunch of unlocked videos about the making and about the game. If that wasn't enough it unlocks "God Mode" which I'm sure is no walk in the park. But if you beat the game in God Mode than you unlock even more to quote them "secret" stuff. So now I think the next game is going to be Final Fantasy XII or Marvel Ultimate Alliance. What to do, it's crazy.

      Monday, February 19, 2007

      Tired Thumbs #56 - Going with the fl0w

      Show Notes

      Supreme Commander
      Other Releases
      Some Classic games we can't get enough of

      National Anthem of Nowhere

      Download ""My Sword Hand's Anger"" (mp3)
      from "National Anthem of Nowhere"
      by Apostle Of Hustle
      Arts & Crafts

        More On This Album

        Saturday, February 17, 2007

        Technical Issues

        We are having technical issues with the RSS for the PS3 Cast on this feed. If you are subscribed to the cast via Tired Thumbs, please subscribe entering the following URL into your podcatcher:

        You can also subscribe via the iTunes music store by clicking this button:

        Once again we are sorry for the technical problems. Please feel free to make those adjustments.


        Charlie and Jim

        Friday, February 16, 2007

        PS3 Cast #4 - Lets go to Europe!

        Show Notes

        New Web Address
        We go all out on the PS3 launch in Europe
        List of Launch Titles

        Modern Currencies

        Download "Out Of Sight" (mp3)
        from "Modern Currencies"
        by Uncut
        Paper Bag Records

        More On This Album

        Thursday, February 15, 2007

        Warhammer Press Conference

        We were invited to a call in media press conference to discuss "Warhammer Online Empire", which is a brand new MMO coming out this year, we had the opportunity to talk with the folks from EA Mythic. This is going to be a great game, this could be the "World of Warcraft" killer.

        Wednesday, February 14, 2007

        Old School

        So we talk a lot about games on the show and articles that we post. But I feel that movies, and music also play a part in small way. Movies and music give game developers the ideas that we see when we play the latest Grand Theft Auto or Halo. These two things, music and movies influence the way we play and interpret games.

        So anyway I DVR'd "Old School" during the Super Bowl, well because I was watching my Chicago Bears getting nailed by the Colts(Next state over). As I was a part of the way through watching the movie the news station cut in with coverage and the only way to switch to the movie was going to their digital channel which is cable only and not sattelite.

        But man this is a funny movie, it's a must rent if you want to laugh your ass off. But of course not for the kids.

        Happy Valentines Day!!!

        So I'm about 40 minutes to midnight as of this posting on the East coast. But it's 8:20 on the West coast. So there is time to say to everyone "Happy Valentine's Day". Make sure your significant other gets the gift of games!

        PLEASE DIGG: Virginia High School Student Missing


        The search is on for 17-year-old Eric Gordon Murphy. The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Murray High School student was last seen at his Lakeside Apartment complex Tuesday morning.

        Tuesday, February 13, 2007

        Wii Play

        So Wii Play is out in the U.S. How are you enjoying it. I was stupid and didn't pre-orer it, so I must wait until it comes in stock at my local gaming haven. Let me know how you are liking/disliking it.

        A Perfect Reason to Stay Inside

        This is the ultimate reason to stay inside, keep your hands warm around your favorite controller!

        New Cooking Mama Screen Shots

        This is the latest screen shots for "Cooking Mama Cook Off". If you are a fan of the DS version than looking at the screen shots for the Wii version should have you salivating for a second helping of gaming fun. The graphics look smooth and the implementation of the WiiMote looks REALLY promising. Let's get cooking!.

        Tired Thumbs #55 - Lone Podcaster

        Show Notes

        Jim will be on the show at the end
        Contact Us Should be up
        Send an e-kiss through the Love Hub Contest
        Western Developers Leading the Industry
        Careers in Gaming
        Online Interactive Book Taking the Consoles by Storm
        Oblivion on the PS3
        NVIDIA and Transgaming Joining Forces
        Televised Tournament Gaming in the U.K.
        Game Developers Conference '07
        Last Weeks Releases
        Upcoming Releases
        Reviews Pushed Back A Week
        Interview with Mike and Leo who took part in the NHL 2K7 Tourney in Dallas

        Podsafe Tune

        Big Black Hole And The Little Baby Star

        Download "3 A.M." (mp3)
        from "Big Black Hole And The Little Baby Star"
        by Sean Hayes
        Sean Hayes

        More On This Album

        Friday, February 09, 2007

        What Gives?

        Ok, I am a HUGE "Legend of Zelda" fan, and after looking through the proposed virtual console release titles on Wikipedia, I have to say I'm a tad upset. Today Europe received a "Zelda: The Adventures of Link". Which was the sequel to the original one. This was the title that strayed totally away from the previous titles interface, and thus made it unique.

        Well Europe got it today and here in the U.S. it's not even slated to come out. Ok, you're asking what do we have that they don't. Well they don't have "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past", but it is slated to come out Q1 2007.

        So what gives Nintendo, show us some love. Keep the VC titles coming and don't be afraid to tell us whats coming out like on Friday or something to that measure.

        PS3 Cast #3 - Motorstorm is nice!

        Show Notes

        Motorstorm March 6th
        Oblivion: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
        Metal Gear Movie on the Way
        Activision Increasing thier Estimated Revenue
        Genji for 23 bucks!

        Podsafe Music

        Tepid Peppermint Wonderland:  A Retrospective

        Download "Who?" (mp3)
        from "Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective"
        by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
        Rubric Records

        More On This Album

        Thursday, February 08, 2007

        Calling All Gamers

        Tired Thumbs is once again expanding in a big way. Right now we can't tell you what is going on as it's going to be a surprise and we want everything running like a smooth oiled machine.

        So...we're looking for writers who love writing about video games, or people who would like to write about video games but never really thought about really doing it. This is your chance. We want enthusiastic people who love gaming as much as we do to write, and even talk, yeah, that's right you could be on the Tired Thumbs podcast. But lets start with writing first.

        While the requirements are low at this time, here is what we would prefer, though it's not necessary. We are willing to train:

        Have some blogging experience.
        A deep passion for gaming and all that it is.
        A positive attitude.

        If you can't make the latter of the requirements please do not apply. We want happy people, and not people who are going to make people miserable. Once again, if you have never written before, we will work with you.

        Currently we are not paying anything at the moment. We are working on something that is bigger than this site, so there is going to be some MAJOR announcements. But we need to have all of our ducks in a row. We're not going to rush a thing through just to have it going.

        But we will let you know more as the we get things lined up. Send your writing samples, ideas, why you want to write to:

        This is exciting!

        NHL 2K7 Interview

        On this Monday's show, we will be interviewing Mike and Leo who were finalists in the NHL 2K7 Tournament that was held at the NHL All-Star Game in Dallas. Looks like its going to be a good time. Stay aggregated, fun stuff on the way.

        Tuesday, February 06, 2007

        The Blue Glow

        Well, about five minutes ago the wife said that our Wii just started glowing blue while in stand by mode. Those with Wii's and have an Internet connection know when you have it in stand bye mode and it just starts glowing blue that Nintendo has given us an update. Unfortunately I don't know what the update it, but I'm going to guess that the update will include the following channels:

        • Movie Channel(Get local listings)

        • Trailers Channel(Movie Trailers)

        • Stock Channel(Stock Market)

        I know there are more, but I will wait until "House" is over to check it out, and I will post it. Man it feels like Christmas!

        Onto My Next Conquest

        Ok, so I finished "Resistance", so now I have been playing with "God of War and I have to say...WOW.

        This might be a bit of a spoiler, but I can't help but mention it. After you kill the Hydra on the ship in the opening level there is a cut scene at the end of it that shows naked woman. Lets further that there is a sex mini-game where you receive red orbs by correctly hitting the buttons in sequence.

        This reminds me of a little game called "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" and the "Hot Coffee" mod that allowed players to do what you do in "God of War". Rockstar got so much flack for it, why hasn't Activision gotten the same treatment, it just doesn't make sense. If you're going to wave your finger at someone for doing something wrong and not the other, than that's plane profiling. What do you think?
        So Jim sent me a copy of "The World Series of Poker" for the Wii, and it wouldn't be so bad if the difficulty levels were not so apparent during game play. The only way to REALLY enjoy the game is on the Hard difficulty setting. I recommend you take a look at it if you have a chance.

        Monday, February 05, 2007

        Time to Unplug

        Well my dear Chicago Bears really tried, and screwed up in doing so. But enough of sports.

        It seems that I have been constantly attached to my craptop(my laptop with a broken heat sink)for the last week. I have been constantly checking my e-mail(s), browsing sites for information, reading other blogs, and press releases that relate to gaming.

        Before I give further details on my unplugging, here is my personal gaming recap of the day. I already posted that I beat "Resistance", so I need to pick another title in my library to start. I did play a great deal of the original "Legend of Zelda" yesterday as well as "Super Mario Brothers". Man I still can't believe that those games are over 20 years old. According to my Wii Yesterday(Saturday), I played a total of 1 hour and 43 minutes under the daily accomplishments. Today(Sunday) there was not much gaming going on, only 35 minutes. This was of course due to the Super Bowl.

        So I think today, Monday I am going to completely unplug. Well sort of unplug. I watch my daughters as my wife works the graveyard shift at the hospital and sleeps during the day.

        Here is what I am not going to do:

        • Check my e-mail.

        • Turn my computer on(Yeah it's Monday as of this posting, but this is the end of my day).

        • Do anything Internet related(Except talking to Jim, some cool things on the horizon....shh).

        Here is what I AM going to do:

        • Do my medical coding studies so I can get this course done with in 4 months.

        • I WILL play video games, when I have done enough studying.

        • Pick up my latest Stephen King book, "Lisey's Story"(It's a slow start kind of book).

        • Take a nap when the kids do, because hey, I'm unplugged.

        Well it's almost 1 am in Chicago, so it's bedy bye time. Night Night!

        Sunday, February 04, 2007

        Tired Thumbs #54 - Lets Play!

        Show Notes

        Why didn't Sony make more 1080p Games?
        Golfing Twosome
        Asta La Vista Baby
        Ultimate Baseball Online
        Penny Arcade Expo
        Microsoft's Losses
        Rumble on the PS3
        PS3 Price Drop?

        Friday, February 02, 2007

        PS3 Cast #2 - Da' Bears

        Finally a New Game
        Saints Row Making a PS3 Appearance
        Sony has a big mouth
        Force Feedback for the PS3
        Sony Losing Money and Pimping the PSP
        PS3 Price Drop?
        New PSP Firmware
        New Cell Processor
        Blu-Ray Releases