Last month Cisco announced they were killing off their popular Flip line of camcorders. This came as a shock to gadget geeks because the Flip brand represented a third of that market and was a best seller on Amazon. Parent company Cisco said they wanted to get away from consumer products and refocus on their profitable networking business. Take a look at your router. It's probably from Cisco. From a business point-of-view, yeah, it makes sense. But it's a shame to see a great product die...
Review: The Rainbow Fish
A "Classic" With a Bad Lesson
I know this is supposed to be a critically acclaimed children's story about sharing but I read this to my niece recently and I have major problems with the story. It's supposed to be about a fish that discovers the joy of sharing by giving his shiny scales to the other fish.
But these fish didn't want to be his friend until he gave them his scales. Before that they shunned him. That isn't... more
Go into most stores (and online) and you can find Rock Band 3 for $20. Not a sale. This was announced as a permanent price drop for a AAA title that's only a few months old. An awesome deal for fans of the music game series, of course. If you think about it, it says a lot about the once popular music game genre. At the height of its popularity, when Rock Band 2 was released in 2008, executives once boasted it was going to save the music industry. So what happened? By all accounts Rock Band 3...
Review: Costume Quest
The Spirit of Halloween Anytime You Want
The ideal game for anyone who really, really loves Halloween. Doesn't matter if you're a kid or adult. There's a secret wish in every trick-or-treater's heart that they could actually become what they're dressed as. This game runs with that concept and lets you fight monsters. The costume's are creative home made affairs that beat out anything bought in a store. But where it shines is when you... more
It Wasn't as Simple As "Darwin Published His Book"
From history class we've learned that Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species" and introduced the theory of evolution to the world. This excellent movie shows it wasn't as simple as that. Darwin was deeply conflicted that his work would undermine religion. He was very moral Victorian man brought up with those beliefs and his own wife was deeply religious. He was so torn that his... more
Dipping into my pile of games I've been meaning to play, I've been spending
a lot of time with Assassin's Creed II. The game takes place during the Italian
Renaissance. Between the assassinations and conspiracy theories the game
manages to squeeze a decent amount of history. A little window pops up in the
upper-right corner asking if you want to hit the back button to learn more when
you come across real life locations, people, art, or inventions. Damn you, Ubisoft!...
Mafia and Demons
With all the hype for the upcoming The Darkness II, I wanted to recap the original. Think of the most violent gangster movie you know. Multiply it by ten. Hitman Jackie Estacado runs afoul of his mob boss Uncle Paulie. Just as he was about to get wacked, the clock strikes midnight on his 21st birthday and he inherits the family curse – the Darkness. The Darkness, voiced by Faith No More lead... more
I went to PAX East 2011, the big video game convention in Boston. Aren't vacations supposed to be relaxing? To take it all in you have to wake up at the crack of dawn and stay until 2 o'clock in the morning. Just so you get an idea how big it is this is just one view of the main show floor. That doesn't include the equally big table-top gaming area, the meeting rooms converted into game playing areas, or the panel rooms. Convention veterans will tell you the bigger the show, the bigger...
Review: The Maw
Smart Game for Kids and Adults
The thing that immediately grabs you about The Maw are the characters. With almost no language, just body language, you immediately understand and like the two main characters. Frank is puny but good hearted alien. Maw is like a loyal dog except he's a blob with teeth that eats everything. The pair team-up escaping from guards collecting alien animals.
The Maw is set up like a Mario-like... more
I've been reading Halo: Cryptum, the latest novel in the series of books based on the popular video game. One of the tentpoles of Halo fiction has been all the alien races of the galaxy fighting over left over technology and the intent of a long, ago forgotten alien race known as the Forerunners. That's a fairly standard basic concept in sci-fi and fantasy. But here's where it's getting out of hand. The Halo folks hired legendary sci-fi author Greg Bear to write a story taking place...
The New Lightsaber of 2011
Tried this out in the store and, well, if you wanted to see an adult act like big, goofy kid, you should've been there. It looks big and but feels light. The thunder and lightning sound effects are loud and give a sense of power that boys are going to love. The designers know it was going to be used to hit things (hopefully only play hitting other kids) and it feels designed to take a few... more