the Evil Network

Not necessarily evil, but not necessarily good...

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nintendo Records? Yeah right.


Posted by Dacquin at 9:03 PM
GamingThere are two interesting sites.

http://bisqwit.iki.fi/nesvideos/
Nintendo Records

Both of these sites contain avi files of NES games being beaten as fast as people could. It's interesting to see some of these, but most of these files involve cheating. I mean, it's amazing that people memorize games this well, but if you really wanna impress me, don't cheat. Then, you'll be a true gamer.

Except for the person who beat Legacy of the Wizard in 21 minutes. Beating that game to me is impossible since I could only find two @$#@ crowns. Memorizing that game is impressive. I'd allow the cheating for that game.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Castlevania Comic Underway


Link: http://www.idwpublishing.com/?path=titles&view=issue&id=271&IDWid=134f6ec11f0f7a0a4e08c27415d2dc25
Posted by Nathaniel at 1:04 PM
Comics Since this item involves both comics AND games, I had a hard time figuring out what category to attach it to. Evidently, IDW Publishing will soon be coming out with a comic based on the Castlevania series of games, and chronicling the epic exploits of the Belmont family.
It is 1576, and the legend of the Belmont family’s vampire-hunting prowess still echoes through the Romanian countryside. While Christopher Belmont celebrates his nuptials, dark forces conspire to raise Count Dracula from his unholy slumber. With this ancient evil unleashed once more, young Belmont must to prove he is worthy of the Belmont legacy.
I am definitely looking forward to this endeavor, as the Castlevania story is always one that I thought took very well to fan fiction and should really have a canon storyline attached. Looks like we'll have to wait a couple more months, as the first issue isn't slated to arrive until March 2005.

Monday, January 24, 2005

OverClocked Remix Torrents


Link: http://www.ocremix.org
Posted by Nathaniel at 1:19 PM
Music This weekend I downloaded the entire OverClocked Remix mp3 library via their available bit torrents that divide their library into three easily-digestible torrent files. It was my first experience using a program called Bit Tornado, and I have to say, I walked away impressed. I'm more impressed, however, that in the span of about 5-6 hours I downloaded roughly 1,208 mp3 files. That's the benefit of having high-speed internet in a relatively secluded rural area. I think it helps that at one point I was connected with 25 peers and 17 seeds. Whatever that means. At least, I think that's a good thing. It sure sounds good.

If you haven't already been listening to OverClocked Remix, you should check it out. Various artists submit remixes of new and old video game music. A panel of judges decide what gets posted, so I can concur that almost the entire library is excellent. I could do without a few of the Sonic songs, but that's personal preference. In any case, the torrents are worth the download just to have all that music conveniently stored on your hard drive. Or, if you prefer to stream, you could always give OCRemix@ormgas a try. I did, and loved their service completely.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Look into the Cell Architecture


Link: http://www.blachford.info/computer/Cells/Cell0.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 10:36 PM
Technology The STI Group (Sony, Toshiba, and IBM) have been pretty quiet about the technology that is going into their upcoming Cell processor, expected to be a major influence in the entertainment industry once the Playstation 3 hits store shelves. A France-based Linux distro programmer has put together a fantastic explanation of the STI patent filing, a USPO application that is so technically detailed, it has succeeded in allowing the Cell technology to remain a secret for some time.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Family Gamer: Exclusivity


Posted by Nathaniel at 9:26 PM
The Family Gamer: a view of the gaming world from the perspective of an aging gamerdad who has three problems: he loves video games, he has no time for video games, and he can't shut up about it.

This is a rant about exclusive licensing in video games. Now, before you turn away, this really has very little to do with EA snatching up the NFL Players, Inc exclusive license, or Take-Two Interactive going after Major League Baseball, though those recent events may have been the catalyst for this rant. Actually, my hatred in this case is pointed directly--almost exclusively, one could say--towards Capcom.

Before I get into this, let me remind my audience of what exactly "exclusivity" is. A quick search on Dictionary.com gives us a perfect definition of the word: Not divided or shared with others: exclusive publishing rights. So, for example, if a company says that a game will be "exclusive" to one console, that means it won't be shared with others. Correct? Are you with me so far? Don't worry. Even if you are, I'll say something at some point that will make you want to leave. It's inevitable.

Back in November of 2002, some of you may recall, Capcom had announced five games (which gaming news sources quickly dubbed "the Capcom Five" /shudder) that would be Nintendo GameCube exclusives. They were (in no particular order):

Viewtiful Joe
Killer 7
Resident Evil 4
Product Number 3 (P.N.03)
Dead Phoenix


Capcom's announcement of five potentially fantastic exclusive games was at once alarming and gratifying to fans of Nintendo's GameCube console. A masterpiece of a line-up, complete with the next greatest installment of the Resident Evil series--traditionally a PS2 exclusive--now solely belonging to the GameCube. We were all thrilled, astonished, and excited.

Then, it slowly began to fall apart. Or, it's probably more accurate to say, Capcom woke up.

Of those games on their list of exclusives, Dead Phoenix is dead, P.N.03 was laughably mediocre (and that's putting it nicely), and the rest...all going to be or have already been ported to the Playstation 2.

Now, I'm not starting a console war. I'm honestly not flaming the Playstation 2. I'm pretty much a Nintendo fanboy, but not to the extent that I want the other consoles to fail, I just really want to see Nintendo succeed.

It started with Viewtiful Joe sales, which weren't great, but they were okay. Capcom said that they thought the game was so fantastic that it was suffering on the GameCube due to its much smaller installed user base. All right, I can definitely agree to that assumption. So, they decide to port the game over to the PS2. At or around the same time, they announce that the sequel to Viewtiful Joe would come out simultanteously for both consoles. This way, they believe, a much wider audience can enjoy the absolute gaming masterpiece that is the Viewtiful Joe concept.

The appalling truth. Halfway down the page is this post:
The original Viewtiful Joe sold 275,000 copies on GameCube and an additional 46,000 on PlayStation 2. Meanwhile, through December 2004, the GameCube version of Viewtiful Joe 2 sold through only 61,000 copies and the PS2 build a mere 18,000 copies.
Ouch. So, Capcom--in an effort to increase lackluster sales--ports Viewtiful Joe to the PS2, and it fails miserably, selling almost a fourth of what the game sold on the GameCube. And then the sequel does poorly on both systems, but fairing slightly better on the Cube.

Now, before these sales figures came out, Capcom had also announced that Resident Evil 4 would be ported to the PS2, alongside Killer 7. Resident Evil 4 would go on to achieve amazing scores to become one of the highest-rated and sought-after games ever. What will be in store for its PS2 successor? What about a simultaneous GameCube/PS2 launch of Killer 7?

The reason I rant on this topic is basically directly due to the fact that I AM a Nintendo fanboy (to a certain extent). When I see publishers snub the Cube for one reason or another, I take it personally. And before you scream at me for that, realize that as a consumer, this is a freedom I'm allowed. There was actually a small glimmer of satisfaction felt when the sales for Viewtiful Joe (both 1 and 2) showed much slower sales on the PS2 than the Cube. Their idea failed. Though they did increase their sales some by porting VJ to another system, I'm sure it far undercut their expectations given the PS2's staggering installed user base. But in so doing, they also screwed themselves over in another aspect: Nintendo fans don't trust them anymore. Giving us the hope of exclusive games that only we can enjoy (elitist? yes, so what?) and then ripping those tender, juicy morsels right out of our hands, giving them over to someone else. It's just wrong. Capcom is the girlfriend that told us we were an exclusive couple, and then I saw her at that restaurant, being manhandled by another man. It's that feeling of betrayal that hurts, the knife in the back that reads "Courtesy of your friends at Capcom". That's the part that's painful.

Now, I'm all for games coming out for multiple consoles. I have no problem with enjoying a game that someone else is enjoying on another system. I'm also all for a game publisher wanting to make money. That's the reason they exist: they are businesses that are looking for ways to make more money. But don't make promises that you have no intention of keeping. We GameCube owners get beaten enough as it is by our own merciless masters. We don't need big game publishers joining in the festivities. I picture board room conference calls between publishers where they discuss things like: "so, now that we have a design for our next big game, how can we make sure we really stick it to the GameCube owners?" I know it's not really like that, but that's the feeling we get sometimes.

All I'm really looking for is a little bit of decency. Not just from Capcom, but from the entire game publishing industry. Don't intentionally screw over the GameCube. We pay money for games, too. Don't make promises you don't intend to keep. It will make us hate you. And please, on a side note, for the love of God, don't make any more throw-away games just to make a quick buck. We're smarter than that.

Well, some of us are.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Contra Review (NES)


Posted by Nathaniel at 9:25 PM
by Dacquin

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

Ok, now that that’s out of the way, on to the review

----------------------------

4.9/5.0 Awesome

I swear, no matter how many times I’ve played Contra, I still love it. And who wouldn’t? This is the best side scroller in history, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

Your task is take down the Red Falcon who is inhabiting an island at some mysterious location.
Your arsenal can include your basic gun, your flame gun (stinks even more than your beginning weapon), the machine gun (decent weapon), the laser gun (my personal favorite), or the spreader (everyone else’s favorite). With whatever weapon you get, you must take down the forces that are protecting the Red Falcon.

I never really thought about the environments, but on this island, places you fight include two bases, an extremely tall waterfall, a hangar, and… a snow field? On a mysterious topical island? Well, despite the odd settings, everything is wonderfully designed and each level has unique enemies and weapons that you have to deal with. All bosses have their annoying ways of taking you out, including turrets and enemies that pop up just to say “Hi, I’m here to kill you!”

The game never lets up on the fighting. Around every corner, there’s always something you have to face, which makes it hard to stand still, even for a moment. On some occasions, some of the light gunfire can’t be seen and you’ll die and wonder how that happened. Albeit, it doesn’t happen frequently, but you’ll revert back to your regular gun, which when you get to boss fights, makes it that much more difficult to take them down.

So, if you haven’t played Contra, for some bizarre reason, go and play this game. NOW! It's truly a classic game for the NES. It's one of those games that will never ever die.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Can you get out?


Link: http://www.fasco-csc.com/works/crimson/crimson_e.php
Posted by Dacquin at 9:18 PM
InternetI introduced you to a Dark Room. Now, can you get out of the Crimson Room?

These are two different games, just a coincidence that they're both puzzles that revolve around one room. Also, you've probably noticed I love puzzles. So, if you've found a game on the web you'd like to see posted, email me at evilnetblog@gmail.com.

I'll have my classic video game post up tomorrow.

Search Engines Battle Comment Spam


Link: http://www.google.com/googleblog/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html
Posted by Nathaniel at 1:52 PM
Internet I'm not really sure how big a problem blog comment spam is for everyone else. Here, our dedicated readership is so small, well, we're lucky to get any comments at all. We'd actually appreciate a bit of comment spam here and there.

But, Google and its other search engine cronies are putting a stop to comment spam. Actually, to be more precise, they aren't stopping the comment spam problem, they're just making it obsolete. They're evidently adding a piece of code to every link in every comment on every blog so that they can't be followed by search engine "spiders". It's a great idea, and I applaud their efforts.

But, then again, you have to remember: I'm a Google whore.

BlogSnob sucks


Link: http://blogsnob.simpleads.net
Posted by Nathaniel at 11:14 AM
Evil Network I don't know if anyone visiting ever even noticed the BlogSnob ads down on the right-hand side of the site. Well, you needn't look - I'm getting rid of them. I checked the reports for the past month. In 30 days our blog ad has appeared almost 1,000 times. Click-through ratio? Zero. I did some searching and found that others had ditched them as well, and there are numerous complaints regarding their inclusion of paid advertising, something I have noticed and really didn't pay too much attention to since, you know, it's free and all. But basically, my stance is, if it doesn't appear to be helping, why take up the space?

My question to you is: does anyone know of a really good blog-share or blog-link service, (preferably free) that we could hook up with? Let us know if you do. We're in the market.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Google Releases Picasa 2.0


Link: http://www.picasa.com
Posted by Nathaniel at 1:35 PM
Software Most people know Google for its search engine, but did you know that for the past few years, they've been snatching up start-up software companies that utilize searching as a foundation for their applications? Most people don't.

Last year, they purchased Picasa, an image storage/organization application that I've been using very happily for a few months now. Ever since we got our digital camera, I've completely relied on Picasa to maintain the overwhelming number of photos through a simple, clean interface that uses thumbnails to manage your images.

The reason I mention all this is because Google just came out with the 2.0 version of Picasa that cleans up the interface even more, adds some excellent image modifying features, and also includes some additional items that I have yet to experience. If you want a much easier way to organize and manage your images, you really should give Picasa a try. As an added bonus, it integrates seamlessly with your Google Blogger blog!

I'm such a Google whore.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Axis & Allies Review (PC)


Posted by Nathaniel at 9:25 PM
by ArshrAAm

Finally, after some time without a working computer, I'm able to write something here. I had my eye on Axis & Allies for some time now and bought it shortly after release. This month, I was finally able to play it.

The game has challenging campaigns for both sides, a nice variety of maps and options for skirmish play and turn-based action in a version of the board game. The interface is pretty clean and simple. Most of the controls are at the bottom. Special abilities are in the top-left and the team bar next to it. Money comes in automatically, which I like. The build area is restricted to the supply area that grows as you place more buildings down. That area allows your units to repair and resupply. All buildings start out as trucks and can be unpacked and repacked as often as you like. Sometimes you get an AI on the same team. You can issue orders to them and get/give money or you can just let it go on its own.

The units are pretty neat. They're divisions of regiments and as long as they're linked to a regiment building, they can be resupplied. There's a variety of infantry, half-track and tank units to play around with. There's two airfields. One drops paratroopers and the other will send out a recon plane or a bomber. Units can be set to be passive or aggressive via 3 formations. They have a certain amount of morale. Usually, they'll start to retreat when most of the division is gone. Sometimes you might have to force them to run. The enemy will always run, so it's best to surround them if you can or be ready to adjust formation, so you can catch them.

This is a great change from the usual RTS games I've played. So far, I've played through a good chunk of the Allied campaign and a little bit of the Axis. Skirmish is nice. I still have to try out their version of the board game. I give it a 4.5/5.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hit the motherload


Link: http://www.xgenstudios.com/play/motherload/
Posted by Dacquin at 8:03 AM
Internet The curse with good internet friends is that they have many things to show you on the web. I've gotten kinda addicted to this game where you drill around, collecting ore and upgrading your driller, all thanks to a friend who showed this to me.

Anyway, back to the game!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Dark Room


Link: http://www.woolythinking.com/
Posted by Dacquin at 9:03 PM
Internet Ok, I'm not going to tell you anything about this game. It's one giant puzzle and I found it to be an awesome game. Really ingenious.

Enter The Dark Room


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