Modern Warfare 2

If you hang around the message boards you’ll know that I kind of sorta hate first person shooter games these days. Well, it isn’t so much that I hate them, I’m just tired of them. I haven’t sat down with a FPS since Half Life Episode 2 because I’m just tired of the genre as a whole. I have never in my life touched a Call of Duty game. I always intended to try one of them out, but the yearly release schedule always put me off.

Then there is the fact that I hate the whole “bro” attitude around games like Call of Duty and Halo. I feel like I hate the gamer stigma attached to those types of games so much that it actually turns me off from playing them period. Is that wrong of me? Maybe I’m some sort of gaming snob, I don’t know. Then again, this is the guy who has been playing a shit ton of old Gameboy Advance games on a GBA Micro for the last four months and have been in my glory, so, yeah.

Anyway I had a small bet made on the smorgas board with long time member Dante369. It blows his mind that I have no interest in these games (especially Modern Warfare) and it blows my mind that he has no interest in Metroid games (especially since I know he’s made it through a personal let down of mine, Shadow Complex). We made a bet that if I played a Modern Warfare game, that he would in turn play a Metroid game.

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While my love affair with Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker continues to flourish, I had the chance to pick up another highly anticipated title of mine, Super Mario Galaxy 2. As I continue my slide further and further into the realm of the “casual gamer”, I’m finding that my consoles are collecting and ever growing coat of dust. Believe me, it’s not for a lack of wanting on my part. So when I had a few minutes to kill the other day, I stumbled into the Best Buy in Union Square (open 24 hours no less), and picked up a copy of SMG2.

Yesterday, after pulling my hair out trying to coax my rechargeable batteries into actually charging, I popped it in my Wii and gave it a spin. Like I said, it has been some time since I picked up a Wii remote. I plugged in the nunchuck and was smiling to myself as I played through the opening little cinema. However, I instantly noticed one of the biggest flaws with the remote and nunchuck set-up that has plagued me since I first played Zelda: Twilight Princess at the Wii’s launch, and that is which it is not friendly to left-handed people such as myself. Allow me to explain.

Historically speaking, a large majority of home consoles all have similar button layouts. Since at least the NES, all major platforms have a controller where the directional D-pad is situated to the left, and a varying set of secondary buttons to perform actions are to the right. Meaning, to move a character onscreen has always been done using my left thumb, and jumping and shooting is done with my right thumb. This has almost always been the case. Then the Wii comes along.

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As big a Metal Gear fan as I am, I have to admit I was not at all interested when Konami first announced Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP. There were a few reasons for this. After playing MGS4 I felt very satisfied and complete with what Kojima and company created. Despite the winding plot line, I felt like I had a really good handle on everything that happened through the course of the series, and I didn’t need to know anything else. I have also heard from numerous sources that previous MGS games on the PSP have been less than stellar. Then, there is the matter that I personally don’t own a PSP. It’s just another mouth to feed in my dwindling video game family, so please do not read any bias into this, ok? Ok!

That being said, I was hardly keeping up with MGS:PW as it progressed. In fact, I was outright ignoring it. However, when it was finally released a few weeks ago, I started reading reviews giving the game praise, and suddenly I started caring about my old friends again. After splitting it with Phil and borrowing his PSP (hey, he gets to keep it!), and spending around 30 plus hours into it, I can firmly agree that its one of the best in series. There’s a lot to love about it.

At first, I found myself wrestling with the stripped down controls that are a necessary evil to port it to a hand held. I actually considered myself quite good at sneaking bad guys on the home console versions, so it took me some time to acclimate myself to the new button layout. One of the biggest adjustments I had to tackle was the placement of the Equipment and Weapons selections. This has traditionally been mapped to the shoulder buttons, however in Peace Walker (PW from now on) these are now relegated to the D-pad directional buttons. Re-locating almost over ten years of muscle memory from my index fingers to my left thumb took some getting used to. The shoulder buttons in PW are used for aiming and shooting much like MGS4 and the Resident Evil series, and that works just dandy actually. My other gripe, which actually never went away really, is getting used to the PSP’s analog nub. Its a horrid little beast and I find it not to be very responsive.

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Despicable

Despicable Me – Steve Carell voices the evil mastermind Gru who is constantly thwarted by the local superhero. When a trio of orphan girls show up on his doorstep, his plans to steal the moon are thrown into chaos. Along with his Minions, he must figure out a way to get it done. Additional voices by Jason Segel, Russell Brand, and many more.

Preds

Predators – a group of elite warriors are dropped into the jungle with no recollection of how or why they are there. They soon find out they are part of a game where a predator species will hunt them and they must use their unique skillsets in order to survive. Starring Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, and more. Produced by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City). Directed by Nimrod Antal (Vacancy).

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Just wanted to let you know that clicking on the Episodes tab will magically transport you to our new (and currently updating) episodes page.

So this is like what, the 40th time I’ve redone the episodes page? It was a hard decision to make, but I’ve decided I want to stop hosting the shorts as a swf format here on the site, instead I’ll slowly be uploading all of our shorts to our YouTube channel.

I said it before a few weeks ago, but YouTube’s encoders have gotten much better and I feel like the HD versions of our shorts look really nice through the service. Plus, YouTube also has all sorts of cool little stats I like looking into to see what points in the videos people generally like (and dislike). Never thought I’d see the day where I rely on YouTube to be the main destination to watch Shamoozal videos, but that’s the way it’s going to be for the time being.

Anyway the new page is very simple. The latest cartoon will always be featured at the front of the section while the rest of the shorts lay below it. Not all of our shorts are up on our YouTube account yet, so you still have access to the old layout in case you want to watch something we haven’t covered yet.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Finest – three veteran cops in Brooklyn, New York played by Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke, each are dealing with personal demons and professional dilemmas. Their stories intertwine when they are each dispatched to a notorious housing project. Also starring Wesley Snipes. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day).

Also on DVD and Blu-Ray: A Single Man, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Steamboat Bill Jr.
On DVD Only: Lost Keaton: Sixteen Comedy Shorts, Columbia Pictures: Film Noir Classics Volume 2, Project Runway Season 7, ER Season 13, Life on Mars entire series, Battlestar Galactica Season 4.0 & 4.5, Squidbillies Volume 3, Dragnet Season 2, The Game Season 3 and Rhoda Season 3.
On Blu-Ray Only: Jason & The Argonauts, Ladybugs, Love and Other Disasters and Jimmy Hollywood.

Airbender

The Last Airbender, which opened Thursday, is officially a success. Yeah, you read that right.

It might be one of the most critically panned films of all time, but M. Night Shyamalan‘s first non-original picture racked up a huge 70 million dollar figure since it’s debut. Even if bad word of mouth comes from the people that walked away, the film will break 100 million domestically, and that’s not to mention what it’ll do overseas. Airbender, for better or worse, is a hit.

Having seen Airbender on Saturday night, I for one can say I’m happy about this. I’m sure most of you that hate the film and Shyamalan with a passion will now consider my opinion invalid, but hear me out first before you judge me.

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This popped up in my inbox this morning and I had a good laugh.

Not exactly sure why and how this happened, but I love it all the same. Thanks to the people that made it! Good stuff.