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Batman Gotham Knight Review

Disclaimer: I typically review games. I have reviewed one or two movies, but I don't do it often, so bear with me. And since this is actually a series of short films, I won't be assigning it one large score. I will score each short separately. And Finally, while most of you watched the DVD version of the film...I watched the Blu-Ray. I have no idea how big of a quality jump exists between the two, and as such, I won't be mentioning it. Enjoy! Oh yeah...and spoilers are use caution if your avoiding them...

BatmanGothamKnight.jpg picture by G-Prime

Batman Gotham Knight (Anime)

Something of a mixed bag...but mixed to mostly good results...

Best Feature: High production values, generally awesome art. Kevin Conroy. ITS BATMAN DUDE!

Worst Feature: One short falls victim upon a rather generic idea. None of them really seem to connect to the movies aide from a few mentions. (Like I was led to believe), one short in particular is pretty meh...

Now understand one thing, I LOVE ME SOME BATMAN! I love comic book Batman, I really love The Animated Series Batman...I even like Adam West. So when I heard about this Anime/Bat collaboration, I flipped my cowl. Some months later, it's finally in my hands...but is it any good? Well there isn't a finite answer to that. You have to rate each respective short, so here we go!

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Have I Got A Story For You

Now, the very first thing anybody is going to notice about this opening short, is the heavily stylized visual **** This one is is easily the most heavily stylized of the whole lot of em, but this kind of graffiti based animation isn't really anything new. But it gets points for trying.

"Have I Got A Story For You" tells the stories of several kids and their various experiences seeing the still mysterious "Batman," only it's from their own exaggerated point of view. This story tries to go for the childlike innocence vibe, and does it reasonably well, but's hardly anything new. (It actually kinda feels like something I might think of)

That's not to say that it's not entertaining, as I rather like the first story presented by the first child. Where Batman isn't even a being at all...just a living shadow, shape shifting into the floor like T-1000.

Another features him as an actual man/bat creature...flying around, savagely ripping his opponent to shreds. While this one was chock full of good action...the very concept bothers me. As some of you may know, Man-Bat is one of Batman's villains...and is a creature of that very description. Kind of a minor quibble, but it did bother me nonetheless. That and the sorta hokey ending (Which I won't spoil) to this one kinda burned me a bit. A good effort, but not great.

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I love how solid the art is in this one. It's not trying so hard for ****points like the last one, it's simply being solidly drawn. The art is dark and seriously toned like a Batman should be.

Anyway, it opens up by introducing two cops (both good...but one frustrated) as they discuss what their thoughts on Batman. When Lt. Gordon sends them on an errand to deliver a prisoner to Arkham Asylum in "The Narrows" however...things take big turn south, as they get caught in the middle of a gang war.

Pinned down with backup nowhere in sight, who comes to their rescue but The Dark Knight. And this is where things really pick up, the action isn't particularly stylish, it's actually very direct and to the point which works well. But more then that, the imagery used with Batman walking through the growing inferno was nothing short of awesome.

The story in Crossfire takes some pretty predictable turns all the way to the end, but it wasn't any less enjoyable as eye candy alone.

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Field Test

Wowzers! And I don't mean that in a good way. Field Test is easily the low point of this set. The art isn't anything special, seems like basic TV Anime fare. That's not to say it's bad, it's well drawn for what it is, just not particularly engaging or unique.

What really bothers me though, is the plot itself. It begins when Luscious Fox invents a small electromagnetic device powerful enough to deflect gunfire. Obviously thinking it useful, Batman takes it along with him on his next night out, where he out to bust up a gang hit taking place at sea. But before he does that, they are going to stop off for some unnecessary extra conversations with people who don't have much to do with the overall theme of the story.

This is where I fell off the boat, throwing out stuff I don't necessarily need to see, is an easy way to make me bored. But when it finally gets back on track and Batman gets into a fight with some gangsters during the previously mentioned gang hit, his bullet deflection device works too well. That's all I'll say.

I can see exactly what Field Test was shooting for, (pardon the pun) but it's simply shooting for the cost in collateral damage to others to being a super hero angle, which has been done in other much better ways. (Spider Man losing Gwen Stacy I think is the most iconic example of this ever) It's not horrible, but it isn't really good either....

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In Darkness Dwells

This one caught me off guard. How? I had no idea where it was going all the way until the end. It was a very nice way to keep me interested, as it's again passably drawn, it's nothing really special.

The mayhem starts when a church cardinal is abducted during a riot at a cathedral. Batman sets off to look for him while staying in contact with Gordon over an earpiece. Things get violent when Batman catches up to the kidnapper and he is revealed to be Killer Croc, a Batman regular who I thought was a rather neat inclusion.

After dealing with Croc, we are introduced to some psychotic inmates of the narrows and The Scarecrow, who are left over from the riot of the first film living underground. I thought The Scarecrow was portrayed rather well...visually and in personality. Some good action round this one out, but it isn't anything crazy awesome. Just another good one.

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Working Through Pain

Here is where I might get into some trouble with a few of you. Be forewarned, this one has the absolute least amount of action out of any of them. Working Through Pain is almost entirely engrossed in its own theme. But it's an angle I almost never see perceived alongside Batman, and it executes it rather well to boot. So I have a feeling most people will be bored by this one, but while I usually multitask while watching movies, this one stopped me and focused me solely on it, and I loved it.

The overarching theme this one throws at you pretty blatantly, is Batman simply finding the will to keep up his crusade through his physical and emotional they pile up higher, and he buries them deeper and deeper and keeps pressing on.

Through a series of flashback sequences, your sent to an (what I assume) was a village in India where Bruce Wayne trains with an exiled guru, who teaches him to deal with his pain. (Who is a very interesting character in herself) She takes a stick to the face...and doesn't flinch as blood pours out of her forehead. His tenure with her also ends in a very interesting way, when she comes to her own realization.

This short also had a few moments that made me cringe a bit and say things like "Oh Snap!" Not the least of which being Bruce removing a bullet from his own body with his fingers...or even more cringe inducing, Bruce assisting on a surgery...on a fully conscious patient. (Who is screaming his lungs off, watching himself cut wide open)

The art again, isn't anything really scream worthy, but it works. (Though I think Bruce looks to Asian) More about story then action, I really enjoyed Working Through Pain. It had me hooked to my TV for the 15 or so it lasted.


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As much as I enjoyed that last one, I'd would have to say that Deadshot is my most favorite of all of the shorts. And for the most simple reason. It is almost like a lost episode of Batman: The Animated Series. A simple plot with a pretty cool villain at its helm, great visuals and lots of good action to boot, equals a fantastic show.

Deadshot, to put it quite simply is an assassin, who's trademark is his insane accuracy. (He's DC's equivalent of Marvel Comic's Bullseye) Deadshot is hired to eliminate Gordon by some gangsters who see him as a threat. Upon hearing this Gordon is on 24 hour watch, not only by cops, but Batman as well.

A pretty awesome narrow save for Batman culminates in a very rockin train fight with Deadshot, where Batman narrowly avoids death at his hands. The whole thing is awesome from beginning to end, with Deadshot being a very cool villain to see up against Batman. (I almost feel like he'd fit right in were he plopped into Trigun) It really does feel like a lost Animated Series episode with high end production values. (Not just because of the Kevin Conroy voice over either) That rings as a major plus for someone like me, who is a huge fan of The Animated Series. I loved this one.

All together:

Overall, it's not a completely tight package, but it's mostly good, as I enjoyed myself for the large majority of it. For a Batman fan, I'd say yeah definitely get this. If your a casual fan...maybe not, just watch the last two if someone you know owns it. But I would say buy the DVD, even if you have a Blu Ray player. It's cheaper, and while the Blu Ray has a few extra features, they aren't the extra $10-$15 worth of features your gonna pay for. Overall a pretty good pickup that I'm sure I'll watch again...unlike other movies that rot on my shelf. (*Cough* The very pretty, but plot handicapped Final Fantasy VII Advent Children...*cough*)

Metal Gear Online Beta Review

Metal Gear Online: Beta Version (Playstation 3)

*Note: This is a review of a beta product. A product that hasn't been completed. This score may change in the future.

Welcome to Outer Heaven soldier! We're gonna teach you the world's most valuble battle tactic, "THE SPAWN CAMP!"

Best Feature:Beautiful visuals, airtight control and some cool maps. Sneaking mode.

Worst Feature:Lends itself really, really well to cheap tactics, especially "Spawn Camping." Konami's beta servers lag like crazy. It has an autoaim.

Now, I remember the original "Metal Gear Online" on "Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence" for PS2. I played it a few times, and then put it down, never to return. "Why was that?" some of its fans that I've met ask me. And its really quite simple, it had some very annoying quirks that even with as big of a "Metal Gear" fan I was, I couldn't work past. Has the series' next foray into the online community fixed them? Well the short answer would

In my eyes, the original MGO was pretty much destroyed by the auto aim feature. This feature, as you could imagine, immediately affixes your aim on the nearest target. This dissolved the games into a shallow mess of characters running around with the most powerful machine gun they could find, auto aiming the crap out of each other. This was worthy of a resounding "meh." Your other option was the first person aim, while allowing you to aim for precise disabling shots...or instant killshots, you couldn't move while aiming, making you an easy target.

While this feature is back in the new version of MGO, it is offset by only aiming for body shots, which make you have to plug away like crazy for an auto aimed kill. While this helps, it doesn't stop the users from grabbing their M4 and auto aiming like crazy.

At least they have given you an alternitive in the new game. In addition to stationary "sitting duck" first person aiming, you get a handy "Resident Evil 4" ****shoulder cam in which you can aim more precisely and while you can't run, you can strafe, dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge. This is a nice addition that I found to be a godsend. (As I find auto aiming dishonorable and NEVER use it)

Another bothersome feature that MGO comes with, is the Stun Knife. This is an electric knife that upon contact...instantly knocks you out, so all your enemy must do is execute you. It was not uncommon to see people running around with their knives out simply skimming the area near you...and knocking you out. Very annoying.

BUT, if you can believe it, that isn't the largest burden you must wrestle with in MGO. Have you ever heard of the term "spawn camp"? For those who haven't, Wikipedia defines it as:

"Spawn camping is the practice of camping near a spawn location with the intention of killing any player who spawns there. This occurs mainly in first-person shooter games, but can also occur in other games where spawning can occur, such as paintball or airsoft. It is a common tactic and controversial issue in online gaming communities, where many consider it to be a form of cheating, or, at best, an unfair tactic and bad form."

If you enjoy participating in this dubious practice, you'll love MGO. Even in standard deathmatch games, the spawn points are usually set to certain areas. This means "spawn camping" is easy as hell to do. (In one team game, one of my opponents literally was waiting at our spawn point, immidately headshotting us as we popped up...for 4 straight mintues. LAME) You can do this to you hearts content in MGO, and make the game immediately horrible for anyone but yourself.

Now, if you've read up to this point, you may be asking yourself. "Is there anything at all to like about this game?" Sure there is, you just have to find it. There is the occasion where you get into a team game with a bunch of really fun, fair players and it can be especially tactical and fun.

I was in one "Base" game, (Your team must go around the map and capture bases) where another player and I were in the middle of capturing a base, when the other team stormed us. We were surrounded by 5 opposing players. And we got back to back, him with an AK, and me with my SVD sniper rifle. (The only gun I ever use) And in our back to back formation, we won the day...eliminating all ourselves. We captured the base, and moved on through an alley...staying back to back. Moments like that can be insanely cool.

Perhaps the best and most unique part of MGO, is the Sneaking mission games. This puts one player in the shoes of Solid Snake, and the rest of the players are set up as guards. Their mission? Kill Snake obviously. His? Knock out, Hold Up or Kill the enemy guards and retrieve their dog tags.

You must be saying to yourself, "a potential 14 vs 1 game how is that fair?" Simple, that octocamo that Snake has in the MGS4 trailers, the one that mimics his surroundings in look? He gets it, making him pretty much invisible. Only the truly keen eyed will find him upon a first glance. A unique game type like this creates some memorable events during play. The most fun I had, was when I slowly stalked an alley as a guard, my gun aimed, looking for any sign of Snake. I walk to the other end of the alley, when behind me on my left I see the sand colored wall ripple...before I could turn around, he had me in a choke hold. I WALKED RIGHT BY HIM! Things like that, are completely awesome, even when they happen to you.

At its highest high's, MGO shows potential to be something truly great. Unfortunately some primitive problems, (That have been solved by other games already) stifle it in some very key areas. Lucky for us all, this is only a beta run. They do have time to fix it. If they don't repair it all, at least fix the spawn camping problem for me eh? It can still be fun how it is, just not fun enough to encourage me to purchase the full game that will come out after the starter pack we're getting with "Guns Of The Patriots."

Iron Man Review

Iron Man (Movie)

Funny HaHa, but in the best way possible...

Best Feature:Well acted as far as super hero flicks go. Most of the myriad of jokes inserted...are actually funny.

Worst Feature: The End Wraps up sorta fast...

*Note: Possible Spoilers Ahead, read at your own risk

Now I'm not usually one to go to the theater regularly. I don't like it, to many people around being obnoxious while I'm trying to watch the movie. It usually takes a movie I seriously want to see to drag me out. (Or someone else paying for it...) But we were able to get into Iron Man free thanks to a friend of one of my friends...whom I've never met.

As big of a comic book nerd as I am, I've never really been a huge "Iron Man" fan. I don't dislike him at all, I just never payed attention. I love "The Avengers" team as a whole, but never payed attention to ol' Tony Stark by himself. So as such, I was the only person who didn't crap his pants when the "Iron Man" trailer first made its way around the net. Also, after seeing the jokey tone of the trailers, I went in with pretty low but not quite Fantastic Fourish expectations.

I gotta say, I am happy that this move went well beyond them. While its certainly not the best comic movie I've ever seen, (3-way tie: Spider Man 2, Batman Begins and Batman) it's certainly good.

Firstly, "Iron Man" features some better acting then a large portion of hero movies out there. (FF I am SO looking at you...) Robert Downey Jr plays a fantastic Tony Stark, doing good at his lows, (Tony's ethical conflicts with the weapons he creates) and doing great at his highs. (Stark's outragous billionare, cocky personality, where Downey Jr really shines) Gwyneth Paltrow (Who I never like in anything) is very good as Virginia "Pepper" Potts, Stark's do-everything assistant and emotional support. A fine support cast rounds out the rest of the movie.

But now to what people want from a movie like this. Action! "Iron Man" does indeed deliver action, though not as much as one might think. What is there however, is explosive and fun. And its all flows together real well thanks to some simple but effective angles of the action. Too often nowadays action movies have the camera move too fast during the heavy scenes, and it just appears as if the camera man had a seizure while filming. It's nice to see that "Iron Man" takes a conservative approach and lets you sit back and enjoy the digital eye candy. (I heartily enjoyed it every time an armor clad Stark punched a normal human into oblivion)

Now, eariler I mentioned the jokey tone of the trailers for this film. Well, they were all very spot on, cause this movie is littered with sarcastic quips and the occasionally silly moment. But the trailers really don't do these justice as the the vast majority of these jokes are actually funny and are very well threaded sarcastic one liners by Stark into the dialouge. None of them are gut bustingly hilarious mind you, but they range from chuckleworthy (Stan Lee's way more obvious then usual appearance) to full laugh inducing (Stark's initial test run of the repulsor rockets in his boots...leads to an upside down faceplant on the ceiling...only to be sprayed by a fire extinguisher by one of his robot assitants) The fact the most of the jokes work very well rather then taking you away from what could have been a good film is refreshing. (Ahem...FF...)

The only real beef I have with this film is while the ending is satisfactory, it wraps up faster then I would have liked. Especially since the way to the ending is a well put together blast of explosive fun that is smart enough to prepare you for it. The ending was fine and doesn't take anything away from it, but I would have like a bigger blast of a battle.

Now, I probably won't start reading Iron Man comic books anytime soon, I probably won't even buy this movie on DVD right away when it comes out. But I will eventually when I happen to see it in my travels, its good enough to deserve that.

Still indifferent to Iron Man, (But coming around)


I ain't got much in the way of creative juices at the moment, so...

I'll just do a typical, what's going on with me update...which in retrospect, isn't so typical because I've never done one.

Current Mood: Relaxed...but not completely so...

Changes made to my page: I have a picture of my PC in the "My Rig" Image space. And my "Image Gallery is completely redone, only featuring things I made. I like the Ninja Gaiden wallpaper.

Currently Watching:

How you doing next to that Gundam, dumpling head?

I finally finished off my set of DVD's for the original Gundam series, after many years of trying to find the discs. And am now sitting down to watch em all.

I also am watching "Sailor Moon" which is the earliest anime I can remember watching outside of Speed Racer when I was REALLY young. (Sidenote...the movie...I'm not so sure about) I am watching the uncut subtitled "Sailor Moon" which is proper "Sailor Moon" and I highly recommend you watch it sometime. Its a lot better then the dub would lead you to believe. I just watched one episode which was one of the saddest Anime Episodes I've ever seen.

Currently Playing:


Arcana Heart! My brother bought this under the radar 2-D fighter that just came out, on release day. Apparently he'd been tracking it for some time, while I...had never heard of it. Well, sometimes awesomeness comes from an unexpected source. As we are hooked on it, and both frantically trying to get better to one-up the other.

The cast is all girl, but that doesn't mean there isn't a power character. Play the game and you'll learn...the biggest thing comes in the tiniest package. While he has taken "Saki", the katana weilding schoolgirl who looks straight out of "Bleach!" under his control. I have gone for something more bizzare. "Konoha!" The dog-Ninja Girl!

I've also resolved to play through every Metal Gear game, in story order, by June 12. Why? If you asking why...move out from your cave and rejoin society. I am doing it to be ready for MGS4...not that I haven't played these games a billion and a half times anyway. (I have my preorder for the $85 Limited Edition of Guns Of The Patriots) That's a grand total of 6 games, in this order:

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (PSP)

Metal Gear (MSX)

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (MSX2)

Metal Gear Solid (PSX)

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (PS2)

Right now I am nearing the end of Snake Eater. Yeah I'd say I'm a tad behind...but I play on harder difficulties son! So the game still can mess me up, if I'm not super careful. Its more fun that way...

(Side note: I have just found out that the MGS4 online beta which I have already downloaded, has been delayed because of Konami server issues...lame. Aw well, they are announcing what is going to happen tomorrow, so I can wait.)

In other now playing news, I have a few Super Smash Bros Brawl friend codes, but none of them are ever online when I check. (Or forget to register me back...Ale...I mean...anyway...)

Having no one to Brawl with makes me sad!

The last thing I'll touch on is...I'm still unemployed! Though this is from a lack of trying...I may have to get a job now. For my neat little LCD TV has grown a strange blob on the screen which has grown progressively larger and is about an inch long now. It is also getting darker as a small part of it is almost completely black. (Outside of that it works just as well as it ever has. So I think my TV needs to be replaced...which is a pity cause its only 2 years old......and it was $600...:(

But I would like to leave you an image before I go, its also in my gallery, but I want to put it here because I just made it. Behold! The ultimate pizza service!

Dead drop Pizza, whaddia think?

Well I got some possible job applications to put in, girls to throw ninja stars at, Watch more Sailor Moon and Gundam and a nuclear holocaust to prevent. (Six times no less!) I'll see you all later...

Welcome an expensive new member to the family!

Well, I've finally put my second foot into the next generation. The interestign thing is, I'm in two camps. What do I refer to exactly? I just bought a Playstation 3, and as you know the PS3 is very expensive, only an insane $399.99. Such an insane price tag isn't a very good first impression to make, but the first impression has many parts, so lets break them down.

1.) At Purchase -
As predicted, when I asked for a Playstation 3, the clerk was pretty happy. I don't think GameStop employees work on commision, but they are always happy when you spend a large amount of cash. So I bought the 40GB Playstation 3, but whats a console, (especially an expensive one!) without games? Heres a reciept breakdown.

Sony Playstation 3 - $399.99Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition (Used) - $54.99Tax (8.100%) - $36.85Total - $491.83

Thats a hefty chunk of change. Especially for just one game with it. Not a very good start...

2.) Open it up and dive right in! -

In the box we have the unit, a controller, the power cable, booklets and...wait a Composite cable? Are you f***ing serious!? The only system that makes a it a main point to tout its High Definition capabilities, comes with a friggin Composite Cable!? Wow...thats extremely lame...for $400 Sony can't even kick me the right cable. Being the resident techie I am...I already had an HDMI cable, so I didn't have to buy one, but if you don't already...the good ones start at $40-$50. That kinda sucks.

Hooking it up was simple enough, I didn't need the booklet for that even. Though I had to use my PS2 Component Cable at first, so I could set the console to HDMI. Then I noticed about a billion and a half other settings among the many menus. Lotsa functionality! Only...the booklet only mentions a few. What is an ATRAC? Why do I want to enable it? The booklet doesn't tell you. It only covers the bare minimum, such as hooking up the system. Playing a game, syncing the SIXAXIS controller, etc.

On the plus side, the unit itself while large and quite heavy, (sorry 360, the PS3 is heavier) is pleasing to look at. Like the PSP's older more kickass brother who regularly gives swirlys to the poor PSP. And it looks even better when vertical, and I would reccomend placing it vertical should you get one. It cools much better that way.

3.) Complications -

So many settings, and so little explanation. I tooled around for awhile, getting my resolution set to 1080i and figuring out my network settings. After getting my wireless settings together, I figured if its like the PSP, I should update the system firmware, because the moment I put in a game, its gonna make me anyway. I began the update...the first one always takes forever. And forever was about 3 hours.

4.) Before the devil could cry...I had to -

After my update period of 3 hours, I went right to the meat of the system and popped in Devil May Cry 4. And to my prompted me to install it. The line between console and PC has just blurred. Install a console game? Not only that it took up a rather sizable portion of my Hard Drive. 5GB of my 40GB. It bacame clear that I should replace the Hard Drive sometime soon. The install took maybe 20 minutes. Thats a long time for an install. Most PC games take 10 at the most.

5.) Finally, the main event! -

After the install, I finally got to boot the game up. It was definately worth the wait at least. Visually, its really quite stunning. Though only in 720p, everything is crisp, colorful and well animated. And though it feeds you an unfamilliar character in Nero, you quickly get used to him and the usual smooth as butter DMC gameplay experience. After all the trouble setting everything up, Devil May Cry 4 made it worth my time.

A few days later, I would by Folklore on sale for only $29.99. Brand new even, not bad at all. I had an eye on this game, but the reviews I read were mixed so I bought DMC4 first as a sure thing. But at $29 whose complaining? After playing it...certainly not me! I would have easily paid full price for this game after playing it. Its a pretty well put together, quite beautiful action/adventure game...with the fantasy atmosphere of a Tim Burton movie. I am enjoying it immensely so far.

6.) The Future is Now? Not quite... -

I would be lying if I said that the PS3's game library isn't incredibly sparse. Its sad at the moment. Aside from the two games I already have, I can only think of one other that is on the shelf that I want. That being Ninja Gaiden: Sigma. I played the demo and almost crapped myself, what a game. Its rare that in only one stage a game can absolutely blow me away like that. I will have it. (Though I am still enraged by the fact that Ryu is not purple...)

But fortunately, the future is bright! Closest to release, is Grand Theft Auto 4, which lands in April. I am always up for more free roaming criminal rampages, especially since for the first time, it will have good graphics. (Lets face it, the GTA games have always been an inconsistant mess visually) I can't wait for my high-res Liberty City antics.

At the end of the year, Final Fantasy XIII in its many strange forms hits. And even though all we have seen of it is some pretty vauge teaser trailers, I am giddy with anticipation. The game is beautiful, to say the least but I don't really know much else about it. Sounds like a great Christmas gift for me, for those of you already looking.

But again, I'd be a liar if I said I didn't get my PS3 for this one game. I know its completely insane, but I bought the PS3 for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots. Plain and simple. The swan song to the Metal Gear Series, became $400 worth of important very quickly. While I'd hate to see the series come to an end, I wanna be there to experience it on day one.

7.) Was it worth it? -

Not as of yet no. The $400 price tag itsef is a huge weight to live down. Especially compared to my Wii's paltry by comparison #250. Which I think Mario Galaxy by itself made that purchase worthwhile by itself. Games costing $60 apiece is a huge hit to take, especially when the library is slim pickings right now. But I'm really quite certain that this slight feeling of resentment I have for my PS3 will pass as more games come out. Its not worth it now, but it will be soon.