Category Archives: old

Russian to Dawn: Grand Theft Auto IV

The reputed granddaddy of this new generation of videogames could be said to be the Grand Theft Auto series of games. These offered not only an entire world (or if you like, Liberty City and its surroundings) to explore, and technically, no plan or mission, if you really don’t want one. It’s similar to Little BIG Planet in that way I suppose.

I popped the disc in, after asking The Bride several times how to turn the PS3 on, and watching intently as she did it to make sure I had it down. Trust me the new technology does not like me. The story plays out through the introduction and the sweeping credits sequence. Two Russian ne’er-do-wells, Nico and Roman, the cousins Bellic, come to the States in search of the American dream, and in Liberty City, that means a career in the mob it seems.

The instruction booklet is another big one, but it is not without its charm. It is set up like a tour guide, and even has advertisements and places you have to see in the city. Niiice. My only complaint, much the same as with most PS3 games, is that it seems I have to read and study for an hour before I can even play the game. Don’t mind me, I’m just a grumpy old man.

The controller for the PS3 still confounds me. I try to drive but fail miserably. Those who know me personally know that I failed my driver’s test several times because I was terrible at parallel parking. I am worse at driving in this game. The game begins at night, and after a while of trying, I merely waited for dawn before attempting to drive again. The daylight really helped, especially when I hit stuff – the headlights are the first to go.

While waiting in the car, I had the chance to just listen to the radio, albeit Russian dance music, but it was intriguing how much music was available for a videogame where the player sits still for many minutes. When I figured out that I could actually change the channel on the car radio, my mind was really blown, and opened up to how much music there really was. And it’s not just the music, the conversation between Nico and Roman is entertaining as well.

After much much practice (see, I been playing so long I even start to sound like Cousins Bellic) I was finally able to get the car to go a little ways, and then finding interesting, most of them against my will, ways to crash the car. I suppose more practice in order. I go practice more now…

Still Old, and Still Not a Gamer

I launched this blog a couple weeks back and my good friend Terry helped promote it in various places, and I thank him for that, he’s a good guy.  He also brought up that I might be delusional in that I’m not the only forty-something who’s not a hardcore gamer.  I’m sure that’s absolutely true, but I’ll tell you, it doesn’t feel like it. 
I am a nerd, and a geek.  I have serious nerd/geek cred.  You’re not going to trip me up on any kind of comic book trivia – I challenge you.  As a matter of fact, I think I could give Mark Waid or Kurt Busiek or Bob Rozakis a run for their money.  Yeah, I am that damn good.  I know my geek pop culture too, the movies, the television, the books, the role-playing games.  I am as at home at a Doctor Who convention, a Star Trek convention, Gen Con or even San Diego as I am on my sofa.  I know my stuff.  But. 
When the conversation turns to gaming, electronic gaming, I am lost.  I might as well be your mother-in-law, you know what I mean?  I want to watch “Attack of the Show” and get all the references, ya know?  I don’t know thing one about World of Warcraft, I have never gotten through even the first Super Mario Bros., and, I confess, although it’s been in my home for weeks now – I still don’t know how to turn the PlayStation 3 on yet. 
It’s not cool to be left out of the conversation like that, especially if the previous topic was comics and I was ruling.  I don’t want to look confused while y’all talk about Portal and Lego Batman and why the DS is better than the Xbox (or vice versa).  I want to be in the conversation, I want to learn, I want to live.  I am prepared to become a gamer, I’m ready for this. 
Now can someone tell me how to turn this thing on please? 

I Feel Terribly, Terribly Old…

“Nevermind,” the album by Nirvana that changed everything back in 1990 has now officially become nostalgia, I suppose. The baby featured on the album cover is now eighteen years old. Wow.

I feel terribly, terribly old now. I was twenty-eight when “Nevermind” came out and changed music and pop culture, and nastily put the wooden stake into the back of hair bands and bubble gum (at least for a little while), and brought grunge and alternative music into the limelight.

Despite nearly two decades passing, “Nevermind” remains just as crisp and innovative now as it did when I first heard it. Clearly it’s in the realm of a “Sgt. Pepper” or a “Pet Sounds” or “Tapestry” and not just a trendy flash in the pan.

I feel even older when I think about the fact that twenty-eight is usually the age when folks give up on new music and settle into oldies mode. Luckily, or unluckily, I didn’t. Hmmm… maybe that’s why I feel so old now…

Give It Up, Old Man

It is sooo time for Larry King to just hang it up and retire. If he can’t even try to keep up with pop culture or current events, he should just not cover them in his show. Can’t his writers, researchers, handlers or whatever at least give him some hint or cue cards as to what is what?

Just for the record, Larry, Heath Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Brokeback Mountain. You couldn’t seem to remember that. He’s not a new face in Hollywood as you’ve said, the man’s been around for a while. Also, The Dark Knight is not a remake of Batman, and Ledger was not playing the title role. Sheesh.