After a longer than expected vacation (quick question for all the Ohio State supporters out there, is there some sort minimum weight requirement? Seriously, lose 100 lbs., immediately.) I’m back in the saddle.

Not so Solid on the release date

One of the great joys of playing video games in my younger years was being able to advance far into games, while my friends quit in frustration. They’d play and never get past the first “act”, while I solved that puzzle or defeated the boss that everyone thought was impossible. What made it more rewarding, was doing it without the help a or the Nintendo helpline (imagine having that gig on your resume). For me, one of those rewarding games was Metal Gear.

I wore Metal Gear as a figurative gaming badge of honor, as opposed to those actual patches you could buy from Nintendo (like my brother need more incentive to kick my ass). But despite my love of Metal Gear (and hatred of Snake’s Revenge), I never got into the Metal Gear Solid series so this week’s announcement that Metal Gear Solid 4: Grumpy Old Men has been delayed until mid-2008, has less of an impact on me than it does on the PS3 owners dying for more exclusives.

At this rate Metal Gear Solid 4 will be a launch PS4 title.

Now how am I going to explain all these kids in my shed

This week, children in Australia, at a Nintendo sponsored event, broke the world record for most people simultaneously playing a DS in a single area. Yeah, I guess I could get bitchy about the fact that it took me about ten minutes to understand what record they actually broke, but it’s kids and they’re having fun with their Pokemons, so I’ll lay-off.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t also report what has to be pretty sad news for the Austalian children. Immediately following the event, organizers in Australia received a video tape showing 382 douchey prep-school children in Florida (I’m assuming they are in some kind of private school due to their similar dress of leather jackets and stars-and-stripes ties) breaking the record. 

A Moderate Response

Yesterday, a story in Florida surfaced about a boy who was arrested after attacking his mother and the officers who came to arrest him. Now what set the boy off? He was told that he had to playing Halo and go to bed.

As reports indicate, the incident began when after refusing to turn off the game, his parents removed a part of the 360, disabling the internet and hid the part in the house. The boy soon after began searching the house, and upon discovering the part, was confronted by his mother. During this confrontation, the boy cold-cocked his mom and then locked himself in his room with the 360. Police arrived soon after causing the boy decided to go all B-button on them as well (love to hear the Live Chat log on that one).

What is amazing is that I can completely understand the scene. Halo 3 multiplayer is video game heroin, it’s pure addiction (which makes the fact the campaign mode is staggeringly terrible that much more mind-boggling). Add in a hormone saturated angry teen with parents attempting to be responsible and you get a situation that probably happens more often than any of us want to admit.

About as Hardcore as the other Duchovny show on Showtime

Last week, someone questioned Nintendo on its hardcore (or lack thereof) titles. Responding to the question, Nintendo UK GM David Yarnton, said: “[i]t’s important to know that we’re not ignoring the hardcore gamer. They’re still very important to us.” Yarnton then reminded the press that Nintendo, by years end, will have released three titles from its key series for the DS and Wii: Metroid Prime 3, Mario Galaxy and Phantom Hourglass. Because we all know that nothing says hardcore gaming like Bee Mario (hell, maybe that’s what passes for Hardcore in the UK).

Hopefully, what Yarnton meant was that Nintendo was not forgetting the longtime gamer. What I don’t get is why Nintendo would even try to explain their hardcore stance. Why not just say, “we make games that appeal to everyone from casual to hardcore”. Why try to portray very good, broad appealing and clearly non-hardcore games as hardcore?

DS College of Law

Speaking of games I can’t get into, the reason I don’t play Phoenix Wright is that I’m an attorney and frankly, the entire concept creeps me out. People are always shocked that I don’t enjoy lawyer shows, but I don’t. I can never buy into the premise.

As an example against my belief, there’s a story floating around of how a law professor “told” Capcom exec Minae Matsukawa that he is recommending Phoenix Wright to his law students citing its ability to act as a teaching tool. Great, learning law from a video game. That just makes the Appalachia of debt I stare at each month all the more ridiculous.

GameStop Boss Battle

Remembering the silliness I went through to pre-order and receive a copy of Halo 3, I decided to not pre-order Guitar Hero III and just pick it up on the release day. As I was feeling completely lazy, I called the nearest game retailer, the local GameStop, at 8 pm on Saturday to see what time they were opening on Sunday.

First, they asked if I had pre-ordered the game, which I told them I had not. Next, they informed me that they were only filling pre-orders and people without pre-orders had to wait two weeks. I filled with frustration. Why not just order a bunch of copies, why force the pre-or… “but, if you come down right now you can still pre-order the game.” Huh?

So at 8:15 pm, 3 hours and 45 minutes before the release, I “pre-ordered” my copy of Guitar Hero III. While they reminded me that they would be hosting a line-up at 11 pm because they were opening at midnight, for pre-orders only, I picked up the game the next morning. While walking out I overheard the manager on the phone saying “Did you pre-order the game? Awww, well we’re only filling pre-orders now, we’ll have the game in a couple of weeks…”

That’s all for now.

*One final note, this weekend I’m hitting up the VideoGame Expo in Philadelphia. Hopefully, in the next few weeks I’ll be able to share with everyone whatever goodness comes from that experience (or at least some funny cosplay pics).