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Tangled Up in F U

"Tangled Up in Blue" is hands-down, the worst song ever included in a fake guitar game in the history of the United States. And the World. I have very little patience for the eternally overrated Bob Dylan to begin with but this song is just approximately five minutes, forty seconds of pure boredom.

Based on their minimal levels of interactivity and rampant repetition, there's a few questionable song choices in Rock Band 2 ("So What'cha Want", "E-Pro", among others). Still, none begin to approach the levels of maddening tedium that is "Tangled Up in Blue". As a result, I would like to petition here and now for the post-release removal of the song via a patch. Seriously, if I have to play this song again in a Mystery Setlist, I cannot be held responsible for what I do to my dogs:

Look at them! They're so cute! They're my boys! Don't make me hurt them, Harmonix!

P.S. - Just in case I haven't made my feelings perfectly clear: I DO NOT LIKE THE SONG "TANGLED UP IN BLUE". NEITHER AS A SONG OR AS A ROCK BAND 2 INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE.

GC 2008: They Are Still Making Dreamcast Games

Apparently, people are still making Dreamcast games. I found this game--Wind and Water: Puzzle Battles--on the show floor of the Leipzig Games Convention today, tucked away into a corner of Hall 4. It's coming to Europe from publisher Redspot Games and developer Yuan Works.

It's a pretty standard little puzzle game, playing a lot like Hexic but with Chinese characters on the blocks and cute little anime characters. According to the rep who was telling me about the game, fans can go to the Wind & Water web site and make their own custom avatars which will then be featured in the game when it's released this summer, though it doesn't look like a U.S. release is planned.

Not really my type of game but it's just nice to see the Dreamcast still in action. *Sniff*, I miss 1999.

GC 08: Making Better Multiplayer Games (with info-packed Visual Aid)

Day 1 here in Leipzig for the Games Convention and while we've got a big Gears of War 2 session later in the day, there have been a few more low-key sessions this morning that have been worthwhile. Shaun checked out the episodic game development session while I sat in on a session devoted to successful development of multiplayer games. Hosted by Dan Irish and Stephane Morichere-Matte of Threewave Software, the session discussed the best practices and common pitfalls that come in creating the multiplayer portions of games.

After the session, Shaun, Tyler, Jan, and myself discussed the best way to approach a blog entry to what can be seen as a pretty dry subject. We decided the best method would be through the use of visual aids. Behold, then, our visual summary of what it takes to create a successful multiplayer game in today's tough business environment:

(Click for full screen)

This important Visual Aid copyright GameSpot.

Wall of Zombies

Beyond being a great name for a band, the Witch Doctor's Wall of Zombies ability, showcased in today's announcement for Diablo III here in Paris, made me grin ear to ear, and reminded me of exactly why I love games so much. Who cares about a wall of fire or a wall of ice, when you can summon a wall of the undead from the ground to protect you?

Oh and Diablo III? Looks nice, doesn't it?

The Lineup Episode 4 or "Beat Mike Tyson!"

Episode 4 of our sports gaming video show, The Lineup, is a go! On this show, we keep it simple: boxing and football. In addtion to first looks at Fight Night Round 4, and an X's and O's segment on 2K's Prizefighter, we've got the latest edition of Aaron's annual quest to whip Mike Tyson's butt in Punch Out! On the gridiron front, we're going old school with the first look at Tecmo Bowl Kickoff, induct our first game into The Lineup Hall of Fame, and end things off with Shanker and Aaron battling it out... blindfolded. Yes, it's just as ridiculous as it sounds.

Punching, hitting, and Shanker becoming an apologist for Mike Tyson's criminal career... this show's got it all! We hope you enjoy this episode of The Lineup as much as NBA referees enjoy fixing games... allegedly!

Odd Achievements Bug

So I'm sitting on my couch this morning, playing GRID online with a bunch of folks from Switzerland. Or at least, I think they're from Switzerland, judging by the flags they're rocking next to their names. Could be England. Anyway, we're running a Formula 1000 race (by far my favorite cars in the game) at Donington (except for Spa, probably my favorite track in the game) and I'm holding my own in fourth place.

All of a sudden, as I'm trying to judge whether I'm going to brake on that blind, slightly uphill turn eight, the game goes crazy on me, the screen turns the color of puke, and I'm instantly awarded two achievements: Short Haul (for driving 500 miles in the game) and Long Haul (for driving 1000 miles). This after only having driven approximately 300 miles in the game total. Huh?

Now, a game-crashing bug isn't all that new but I don't think I've ever seen a bug so severe that it broke the achievement system. Not that I'm complaining or anything; I'll take the achievements points however I can get them. But this was new for me. Has anyone else run into anything like this in GRID, or any other game for that matter?

The Lineup: Episode 3 or "Beat Up A Shark"

Hello everyone, I'd like to take a moment to tell you about all of the good stuff that can be found in this, the third episode of our sports gaming video show, The Lineup. I'd love to talk about our full report from the 2008 NFL Draft, complete with first looks of NCAA 09 and Madden 09. I'd like to point you to the debut of a brand new strategy segment in the show, where we break down EA Sports' UEFA Euro 2008. I'd like to even tell you about our interviews with TNA wrestlers like AJ Styles and Jay Lethal.

But, really, none of that matters when compard to The Lineup's Wii Fit tips. Trust me, watching this show will give you an entirely new perspective on Nintendo's new fitness product, how to use your dog to cheat at jogging, and when it's okay to use yoga to beat up the elderly.

I hope you enjoy this episode like Cedric Benson enjoys boating under the influence... allegedly!

The Lineup -- Episode 2

The second episode of The Lineup--GameSpot and SportsGamer's video show--is up on the site now. This time around, Aaron, Shanker, and Brian play a game of cooperative NBA Live 08 to prove that anyone can come out of the Eastern Conference in the NBA playoffs, argue about whether Major League Eating is a sport, and eat a trailer load of donuts in celebration! We also talk sports games, including:

- A first look at THQ's upcoming WWE SmackDown! Vs. Raw 2009
- A preview of the NFL Draft feature in NFL Head Coach 09
- A graphical comparison between Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Project Gotham Racing 4

All that and, of course, we punch Mike Vick in the grill. We hope you enjoy Episode 2 of The Lineup as much as Roger Clemens enjoyed Mindy McCready when she was 15... allegedly!

Lineup Episode Archive:

The Lineup: Episode 1

Alter Ego: Paq Vorkin

I spend way too much time in create-a-player modes. Sometimes I create backstories for my created players. Welcome to Alter Ego.

Name: Paq Vorkin
Game: Top Spin 3
Age: 52
Birthplace: Massapequa, NY
Before He Was a Tennis Player: Ate trash.
Biggest Regret: The facial tattoo. Paq swears the guy who did it "missed" and was originally aiming for his shoulder.
Best Feature: His receding jawline.
Best Feature #2: Moustache. Also, upon reconsideration, Paq thinks the facial tattoo is frickin' sweet.
Worst Feature: All of his pants are two sizes too small.
Patterns His Game After: Any professional tennis player who previously ate trash. Or Martina Hingis.
Current Residence: Unknown
Favorite Book: Whatever Oprah says is good.
Quote: "What do you mean my eyes are too close together?"