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Zoinks! Magazine | Nerdflood

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

City of Heroes I5 Live

Posted by Nathaniel at 12:44 PM
GamingThe servers are running a bit slow due to the sudden load, but the new update is now available. Most noticeable changes include the free Defiance power for blasters, the new zone "Croatoa", new Archery and Sonic power sets, and the constant wail of idiots in Atlas Park screaming "o noes!!1! i am teh NERFD!!!!111!1!!" which will simply cause me to never again enter Atlas Park.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Posted by Nathaniel at 1:37 PM
ComicsWebcomic print newspaper second volume to launch October 2005

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, August 29, 2005 - Originally published independently in 2001, Zoinks! Magazine makes its return to promoting webcomics, and the talented people who create them, beginning October 2005.

Published bi-monthly in a tabloid newspaper format, each issue of Zoinks! Magazine is filled with interviews, reviews and previews from webcomic creators both large and small. In addition to industry related articles and news, each issue of Zoinks! Magazine also has a large comics section that brings some of the best known, and unknown, web-based comics to the printed page.

“We’re the arts & entertainment newspaper for webcomic readers and creators alike,” says Bill Charbonneau, BoneFlake Studios’ President. “Zoinks! Magazine is one part webcomics industry magazine and one part funnies page, all meant to be a smorgasbord of entertainment and information.”

Unlike the biting commentary often found in alternative arts & entertainment newsweeklies, Zoinks! Magazine was conceived to promote the webcomics industry in a positive light.

“We’re not here to rip anybody a new one or destroy the egos of creators who are just trying to make their way,” says Charbonneau. “Zoinks! is all about showcasing the fun of webcomics. Our goal is to make people want to read more webcomics by showing them the good stuff. It’s really that simple.”

With a webcomic review column from Digital Strips Podcast hosts Zampzon and Daku, a top ten list from TheWebcomicList.Com, and articles written by webcomic fans & creators, each issue of Zoinks! Magazine is truly a webcomics community effort.

“We have been fortunate enough to develop partnerships within the webcomic community that will help make each issue of Zoinks! a much more rounded read for fans and creators alike,” says Charbonneau.

Zoinks! Magazine is currently available only through single-issue orders and annual subscriptions directly from the Zoinks! Magazine website. The website also provides comic submission information and webcomics industry news submission forms.

Volume 2 Number 1 ships September 30, 2005 to all subscribers.

To visit the Digital Strips Podcast website, logon to:

To visit website, logon to:

Saturday, August 27, 2005

GameSpot Interview with Penny Arcade's Robert Khoo

Posted by Nathaniel at 2:37 PM
GamingWith PAX well underway, GameSpot interviews the man behind the scenes at Penny Arcade. It's no secret that Jerry and Michael have an inverse business/gaming aptitude ratio, and Robert Khoo is the brains behind the business. The interview is actually quite interesting to see how he scored the business gamer's dream job: being the strategist for the greatest gaming icons of our generation.
"A week later I had a follow-up lunch with Gabe and Tycho and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. I plopped down a 40-page, five-year business plan for Penny Arcade and told them that if they gave me the green light, I’d quit my job and work for them for two months for free. If I couldn’t pay for myself after that time, fine, fire me. No hard feelings. If I work out, even better. Again, that was three years ago."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Winners of the CoH 2005 Film Festival Announced

Posted by Nathaniel at 3:30 PM
GamingThere are some fantastic winners in this year's contest, which I think is overall better than last year's crop, which was truly excellent in and of itself. I especially like Your Superpowers and YOU!

The Gamestop $1999 Xbox Omega Bundle

Posted by Dacquin at 11:41 AM
Ok, $1999 is a LOT of money. How do you spend $2000 on a bundle like this? I laugh that it says 'Limit 1 per customer'. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind buying more than 1 of these bundles.

You get an Xbox 360 Premium Pack, 19 games, 3 more controllers, and bunch of other stuff that I don't find really important. I think Microsoft is paying Gamestop to do these bundles so as to get the PS2 to raise prices for their consoles. It'd be great if PS3 and Revolution were $300 for the full package. I'd like to see Microsoft fall flat on it's faces due to hefty prices. Not even Halo could help them.

Revolution Controller at TGS?

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:24 AM
GamingI know, I know -- I should know better than to quote Spong on anything, but I'm desperate for good Nintendo news.
Nintendo is assembling key media to attend this year’s show, due to take place between 16th – 18th September 2005. Iwata will make his presentation of current activities at Nintendo. He will outline current projects and will then - unveil the Revolution in all its glory.
So, you know. Take it for what it's worth.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Auto Assault Delayed to Q2 2006

Posted by Nathaniel at 2:30 PM
GamingTwo of my co-workers (the ones who sucked me into CoH) are in the Auto Assault beta. They play it every now and then and let me know the juicy parts. But both agreed and were none too surprised to see it delayed. They both felt there were simply too many major issues remaining for it to be released within the next couple of months, as was planned. I've always been a staunch supporter of developers taking more time to get things right than less time to rush something out the door.

In the meantime, I'll be waiting for my beta invite in the fall.

The $1200 X360 Bundle at GameStop

Posted by Nathaniel at 2:07 PM
GamingYeah, this is what I want. I want to spend $1200 right out of the gates on the next generation of consoles. I especially love this quote:
The Xbox 360 Ultimate Bundle means ultimate satisfaction. With 11 of the hottest XBOX 360 games and all the accessories you will need, this bundle will definitely satisfy even the most hardcore gamer.
How can they be the 'hottest' games when they don't even exist yet?! You will also note that the 1-year product replacement warranty is mandatory. Is that the way of the future? I certainly hope not.

I certainly do hope, however, that any fool fervent enough to purchase this fiscally reckless package realizes that half those games will likely not make launch. But hey, so long as GameStop makes money, right?

The most remarkable part is that if you add up each item separately, it comes out to roughly $1192. So, you know, you're saving about 8 bucks there. That's important.
System: $400
11 Games @ $60 ea: $660
Wireless controller: $50
Play & charge kit: $20
Rechargeable battery: $12
Xbox Live 12-mo card: $50
1-year product replacement: [$8?]

Total: $1200

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Learns to Talk

Posted by Nathaniel at 1:44 PM
SoftwareHot on the heels of a hideous new version of Google Desktop comes a slick little lightweight chat/voice app from Google. You must have a Gmail account in order to use Google Talk, but setup and usage is a breeze.

I've got it installed, myself. If you want to talk at me on GT send a message to Do not add to your Google Talk! That's not the account I'm using. But send a message there, and we'll get each other on our buddy lists.

I've heard that you can use Google Talk over Trillian, but I worked on it for a while last night and couldn't get the blasted thing to work. If you have, please let us know how you did it.

[UPDATE: just discovered that getting GT to work with Trillian requires Trillian Pro. So, nevermind...]

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray: Deja Vu All Over Again

Posted by Nathaniel at 2:12 PM
TechnologyJust like the VHS vs BetaMax war of the 80s--which VHS ultimately won (supposedly largely due to the prevalence of pornography, though who can say for sure)--the battle still rages on in the next generation of media. This go around Sony is still involved, touting their Blu-Ray format. Their rival in this market is Toshiba's HD DVD format. Both formats have their pros and cons, and according to this Yahoo! news article, talks between Toshiba and Sony that could have potentially prematurely ended the upcoming format war have failed with no resolution but another pitched consumer battle.

Do you have an opinion on the next generation media format? Leave a comment and let's yell at each other for no reason whatsoever!

To the arenas!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Peter Molyneux on the Revolution

Posted by Nathaniel at 2:57 PM
GamingQuote from interview at Leipzig European Games Conference in Germany:
"There is a line at the end of the book 'Game Over' and it is: 'Never underestimate Nintendo'. That is all I can say about the controller."
Honest glowing commendation, or just more hype on the heap? We may know sooner than you think.

New Version of Google Desktop

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:51 AM
SoftwareThe browser/search/all-inclusive software wars are really heating up as Google expands its utilities even further than anyone ever thought possible. The most recent updated version of their Google Desktop search software includes such ingenius features as an RSS reader, scratch pad, weather info, photo slides, stocks, and--of course--a Google search utility. With all of this wrapped up into one package, will we even need browsers anymore? Is this functionality the first true signs of Google entering the foray into possibly bringing forth their own Linux-esque desktop? Just download the software and use it for a day, and you, too, will believe that Google is presenting us with tantalizing visions of the future of software.

[UPDATE: it should be noted that this version 2.0 software is still beta.]

[UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: it should ALSO be noted that this version 2.0 software has worthless RSS capabilities, a news reader set to only reference Google News, and nothing else, a photo slideshow that takes up 75% of your CPU when switching photos, and some fairly unspectacular additional plug-ins. To be fair, it should also be noted that these features can be disabled. However, I'd give this software package a pass unless you *really, REALLY* need to be able to search your harddrive that badly. Otherwise, all these features can be found as better-developed Firefox extensions.]

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A neat little trick

Posted by Dacquin at 9:13 PM
Step 1. Go to
Step 2. Type failure in the search box
Step 3. Hit the I'm Feeling Lucky button
Step 4. Laugh hysterically

Friday, August 19, 2005

Won't someone please think of the children!?

Posted by Nathaniel at 3:16 PM
Tycho has subvertly (and graphically) announced that he and his wife are expecting their first child in December, so I think it's only fair to ride the coattails of that announcement and let the Evil Network audience (what few of you there are) know that my wife and I are expecting our second next February. I, however, won't be mentioning my wife's vagina.

Wait a second. Dammit!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New Zelda: Twilight Princess -- 2006

Posted by Nathaniel at 5:54 PM
GamingLooks like Christmas for GameCube owners is being pushed back to late spring 2006. Follow the link above for details.

Starslip,'s all the same

Posted by Nathaniel at 7:36 AM
ComicsUPDATE: Nevermind. It appears as though this is all part of the show.

Looks like someone is having fun at Kris Straub's expense. The truly amazing thing is, the mysterious StarSLIP Crisis had today's strip up before the original StarSHIFT Crisis. So, which one should we be reading?

Friday, August 12, 2005

If you play with fire, you're gonna get burned.

Posted by Dacquin at 7:55 AM
GamingThere are some things are inconceivable. I might be a big fan of DDR, but this is crazy.

If you do well during the game, fire spurts out of the sides into the air. If you make mistakes, fire will shoot you in the face, as if the game wasn't hard enough already. I couldn't not imagine doing this myself. It's strange, weird, and I'm sure a bunch of geeks are going to rally to support this so they can try this out. I myself think fire is a little to dangerous for my blood.

Now, if we got electric shocks for missteps, that's a different story. That'd be entertaining... I mean... Gotta go.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Strategy Guide Episode 4

Posted by Dacquin at 8:14 AM
GamingHave you seen Strategy Guide? Yes? No? Well, go there! Strategy Guide had been on indefinate hiatus and is now back and ready for action!

For those who don't know what Strategy Guide is, it's a Flash toon about an alien who reviews Nintendo games in a quite humorous fashion. There's no real schedule for it, since it's been about 8 months since he's done one, but, nevertheless, these toons are great. I think he's going to try and bi-monthly schedule, but it's just a guess right now.

Are you still reading this? GO! Laugh!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jack Thompson Strikes Again

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:36 PM
GamingComicsOnly this time he's harrassing poor Scott Ramsoomir, not that Scott needs or requests our pity. As you can see by the email exchanges between he and Jack, I don't think Scott has any problems with defending himself in the face of such pitiful accusations. In all honesty, I don't think Jack could successfully debate a 7-year-old, but that's neither here nor there.

Help Nintendo Analyze Your Home Wireless Networks

Posted by Nathaniel at 6:49 PM
GamingNintendo is asking for their members to assist them in analyzing their home wireless networks in order to get some real statistics on the general population's internet services.

The assistance comes in the form of a few simple questions, and then a small download and installation of a mini "Animal Crossing" style clock in the lower right-hand corner of your computer desktop.

The application then performs simple network analysis routines, presumably connecting to Nintendo's network and running statistical programs to capture performance data.

It's pretty harmless, and for a fanboy such as myself, it's great to think that I'm somehow contributing to the potential success of Nintendo's future DS/Revolution WiFi network.

More details as they become available.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Penny Arcade Promo Diceland Die

Posted by Nathaniel at 11:07 PM
ComicsGamingWhile surfing the Cheapass Games website, and their newly-minted Diceland expansion, Diceland: Dragons, I came across something magnificent. When you order any Diceland product, for a limited time, you get a free Penny Arcade Promo Die. Tell me, why haven't the chaps at Penny Arcade mentioned this? Or if they have, how did I miss the news?

In any case, get a Diceland set. Get two. Play with friends. Roll on flat surfaces and perfect tossing maneuvers to get your Terran Destroyer into that deadly position from which it can launch a precise attack on absolutely everything else on the table. Including pieces not yet in play. But get these sets not just for the Penny Arcade treat. Get them because they are a treat in and of themselves.

Go now.

City of Heroes Collectible Card Game

Posted by Nathaniel at 10:56 PM
GamingNot to be the outdone by Penny Arcade, NC Soft has word of a CoH CCG from Alderac Entertainment Group, whose arguably most notable accomplishment would have to be the venerable Legend of the Five Rings CCG, though I could very well be wrong, and let's go ahead and--just for the sake of argument--assume that I am.
"The goal of the game is to take your Hero into the arena and defeat your opponent’s Hero, in this case reducing his health to zero. Through missions, additional powers, enhancements, and sidekicks, you can ‘upgrade’ your Hero, effectively leveling him up.

Although most our named Heroes are going to have determined powersets, we are including generic Heroes who are effectively blank slates for you to build from scratch!"
Sounds like an expensive version of Fight City. But then, doesn't everything?

Coming in November.

Penny Arcade CCG

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:46 AM
ComicsGamingI'm a few days behind on this, but it appears as though those two webcartoonists that are so popular they could probably commit murder and not only get away with it, but actually be praised for the deed are coming out with a CCG based on their property, which pleases the part of my brain that is quietly recanting the ages-old (horrendously dating myself here) Reese's peanut butter cup commercial: "two great tastes that taste great together!"

In any case, the cards as you can see look fantastic--art by Gabe and colors by Hawk--and knowing Sabertooth, the game is sure to please in the game mechanics department, so this CCG is an absolute must-have and a sure-fire huge seller for both parties.

My favorite quote from Sabertooth head of Product Development, Erik Yaple:
"We see the characters of Tycho and Gabe as the Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer of 21st century."

No word on when the game is due.

Monday, August 08, 2005

102 Free Games!

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:48 PM
GamingCGW @ is running a feature outlining 102 free games that come in three flavors: free to download, free to try, and free additional content to existing material.

Not a bad feature, though I decry their unforgiveable ignorance in neglecting to link to Maple Story and the veritable treasure trove that is the entire Garage Games website as well as its archnemesis, the incomperably unnavigatible (but entirely unavoidable) ABA Games website.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

NetSpeak: processors vs. graphic cards

Posted by Nathaniel at 8:53 PM
TechnologyI have a question to pose to our audience, and I thought this would be a good time to introduce a new topic to our meager offerings here: NetSpeak. This is a forum for everyone to contribute as we here at the Evil Network pose a discussion question, and see if we can generate some comments on the subject.

Our topic today: processors vs. graphic cards. There's a very specific reason I chose this topic for NetSpeak. You see, I find myself having to replace the hard drive on my personal computer. I've been forced to use my work laptop (a tasty IBM T42 Thinkpad) for home use ever since the hard drive crashed several weeks ago, and my wife is eager to either get the old computer up and running again, or completely replace it. Complete replacement is out of the question right now due to finances, but a new hard drive is a cinch to negotiate. Of course, surfing New Egg leads me to believe that this is the perfect opportunity to make some associated hardware adjustments as well.

Our home PC is a cranky old HP Pavilion with an 850MHz PIII and a horrendously outdated Nvidia Vanta 16MB video card. I have found a cheap ATI 64MB video card replacement, and I've been dying to upgrade the visuals, however, is it worth it to upgrade the graphics card if I'm still working under the constraints of a clunky 850MHz processor? Will I see enough improvement in that graphics card upgrade to justify a cheap tab, or should I forgoe the purchase altogether and just scrimp for a total package renovation?

Could use your expertise here, people, as I am definitely NOT a PC guru of any kind. Comment freely, off topic is not too terribly shunned around here. And I thank you kindly for your assistance.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Jack Thompson's Goal: Shut Down the ESRB

Posted by Nathaniel at 9:54 PM
GamingIt appears as though Jack Thompson's next rampage (see most recent rampage here) is to actually rid ourselves of the dreaded beast that is the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. His latest threats against the ESRB are more vile than usual. And this time, he's being uncharacteristically blunt.
"Finally, now that millions of units of GTA: Vice City containing that game’s sex mod are in the hands of kids, the ESRB will receive a body blow that it cannot, and probably should not, survive. Cover this up, Ms. Vance, and I’ll personally make sure that the ESRB does not survive."
No, you aren't reading that wrong, he really is talking about Grand Theft Auto: Vice City this go around. I haven't played any GTA game, but evidently Vice City has content that is far worse--in Jack's opinion--than the already controversial "hot coffee" mod of San Andreas. I'll let those in the know come to their own conclusions on that. What truly amazes me here is how Jack seems to be so determined to not so much severely discredit the ESRB as to completely dismantle it. Because we all know what a horrendously dishonest organization it is, right? I mean, sure, maybe it could use a few adjustments to its ratings procedures. Maybe some clarification regarding specific rating category qualifications. But to be completely shut down? Slow down there, Jack. Before you proceed with an attempt to shut down an organization, maybe you should first think about who and/or what should be replacing it? Maybe consider some reorganization steps or some system for improvement? An advisory board even? But a shut down? That's akin to saying: "Hey, the Department of Defense has made some mistakes in the past. Let's completely tear the department to pieces, leaving nothing behind but the charred remains of what was left of our national security." OK, maybe not really like that, but something close, I'm sure.

In any case, Jack isn't here to make friends, I think we can all agree to that.

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