Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Simpsons is dead. Long live The Simpsons!

I'm of the camp that holds that The Simpsons should have called it quits about 10 years ago. At some point, the show stopped working as the smartest sitcom ever and became a loosely connected series of winking pop-culture jokes. Still, I suppose even a tired Simpsons episode is still better than many shows out there.

Nevertheless, I'm dazzled by this website that provides online access to every episode. Relive the good ol' days with seasons one through seven, or so. You can even check out every Futurama episode here. The Scrubs-y pop culture riffing in Futurama doesn't grate on me the same way it does in The Simpsons, maybe because it had a nice run and then packed it in before it began a long, moldering decline.
[Thanks Marc!]

[UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long. Both sites are gone as of 10/2/06, after pressure from some bullying lawyers from Fox, apparently.]


Monday, September 25, 2006

I H8 Preorders--And I Have Serious Problems With Gamestop, Too

I just spent 14 hours this weekend playing Okami. It was a beautiful little burst of gaming that reminded me of the marathon playing sessions of my youth. I started Friday evening, but I wish I could have started earlier because, from what I hear, I’m only halfway through this gorgeous game. According to Capcom, Okami was released on October 19th, and I was at the local Gamestop, ready to get it then. But Gamestop, really the only option in my area for day-of-release purchases, told me they wouldn’t have it until the 20th. No biggie, I thought. Shipping problems, maybe. So I returned on the 20th, and it was then that I faced the beast of Gamestop idiocy head-on.

“I’d like Okami, please,” I tell the clerk.
“Okay,” he says, and begins bending down to retrieve it from behind the counter.
“Did you preorder?” asks the manager, standing nearby.
“No,” I say.
“Then you can’t have it yet,” the manager says, making no eye contact.
“When can I get it?”
“Two days.”
“So you have it but I can’t get it because I didn’t preorder?”
“Can I preorder it now, then?”
“No, we’re not taking any orders, you have to wait until Friday.”

I walk out, surprisingly mad. Then I return on Friday, get the game, and hear a different Gamestop monkey pushing every kind of preorder on customers in line in front of me. Just bought Madden ’07, maybe you’d like to preorder Scarface? Or, how about rumors that Gamestops in Hawaii are asking for $50 in trade-ins (at least a few games) to preorder a PS3? This place is so fantastically committed to locking up customers, taking advantage of their excitement about games and forcing consumers into stupid arrangements. I’d love to purchase games somewhere else, but outside of Gamestop and EB Games, I don’t have many choices.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Billy Madison Declares This Friday Freenis "Clack-tastic"

Jay Is Games has been running a competition for flash puzzle games and they have just announced a winner. It is a truly engrossing and quite pretty game called Clack, designed by one Sean of Lousiana. I suggest jumping in and experimenting to figure out how it is played. I actually stayed up past my bedtime last night after getting hooked on this game.

Make sure to check out the other entries in the competition, which you can access by mousing over the lower part of the window on this page. There's lots of fun to be had, and it makes me wish I could make games instead of just being a writing parasite.