Yeah, Dead Rising is great...

...but not that great. I was talking to a couple of people about this game. It seems as if most people who downloaded the 15-minute demo from Xbox Live were pretty disappointed by the full game. This seems to be a combination of the developers' decision to start you off with a basic set of stats (since an RPG stats-building feature seems to be required in all games these days), which means that your character is next to useless at the start of the game. The demo throws you in at the halfway mark, where he can do most things without much trouble.

Then there's also the way the game starts. The zombies invade the mall and you have to escape with everyone else in that part of the mall. Except you can't save them. And so the game throws up massive messages to tell you THIS PERSON DIED and then THAT PERSON DIED. So, within the first five minutes of starting play, you've got the videogame equivalent of YOU FUCKED UP YOU FUCKED UP YOU FUCKED UP YOU SHOULD REALLY PUT THE CONTROLLER DOWN BECAUSE YOU FUCKED UP AGAIN

Describing it as 'disheartening' doesn't even come close. And don't get me started on the save system. Jeez.

Thank God then for Lego Star Wars II! So much fun in such a little box!

Westward Ho!

Well, I've got my pronunciation of "Chowdaaah" down pat, so I'm heading off to Cape Cod and Boston for the next couple of weeks. This means posting will be even patchier than usual around here. Providing my camera behaves (and I can find internet access in Cape Cod - the nearest Starbucks is 13 miles from where I'm staying), I'll be updating my Flickr.

See yis soon!

Best Dressed Zombie!

Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

The Xbox Live Gaming Centre up on South William Street will be running a competition to coincide with the European release of Dead Rising next month. Fittingly, the competition is to find the best-dressed zombie.

From their newsletter:

The Xbox Live Gaming Centre is running a best dressed zombie competition to celebrate the launch of Capcom's Dead Rising (rated 18's) which will be hitting the centre on Friday September 7th. On Saturday 8th September, at 3pm we will be holding the competition in-store. Prizes include €100 cash, "I Love Zombies" t-shirts and limited edition Dead Rising faceplates.

Note: their dates are a little funny - Saturday is actually the 9th of September.

The prizes aren't awesome. Faceplates? No copies of the game? Still though, I'm happy with any excuse to dress like a zombie.

See also: Zombies Invade San Francisco!

Paging Sheldon Turner

In January, I wrote about Sheldon Turner, one of the writers of Snakes on a Plane, and talked about how one of his next movies is about a serial killer who only kills people in the eye of a storm. Awesome idea, and I can guarantee that this guy will go far in Hollywood.

Except when I went to see Snakes on a Plane last night, Sheldon Turner's name was nowhere to be found. And, sure enough, the IMDB page for SoaP doesn't list Sheldon Turner any more. His Wikipedia entry still lists him as a writer on SoaP, and googling "Sheldon Turner" "Snakes on a Plane" gives enough results to confirm I'm not making shit up.

Why was his credit removed for this movie? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Snakes on a motherfuckin' Plane

Let me start this off by saying that Snakes on a Plane is a great movie. A full year since I first wrote about it, a full year of anticipation has done nothing to harm this movie, it's still everything we expected. In fact, it's more than we expected, since we were expecting a cheesy, so-bad-it's-good movie and Snakes on a Plane is anything but - it's an enjoyable, light-hearted action/comedy/disaster movie, and I recommend you go see it now before the only people left to see it are the boring sort that will not clap and whoop their way through the movie.

Now I've got that out of the way, let's change gears.

I left the movie last night (7.30pm, Cineworld) wondering what it was about this movie that appealed to nerds. The nerd quotient of this movie was unreal. Sitting in Eddie Rockets before the movie, I spotted a group of people going past, and just by the look of them, I knew they had just been to Snakes on a Plane (it turns out that one of them was a Googler who knew the Googler in our group and indeed, he had just been to Snakes on a Plane).

The internet is abuzz with this movie in a way that only the internet knows how. Livejournal is unreadable right now because of it. There are multi-page threads about it on every forum I read. And NewsFire tells me I have a terrifying 50 articles about it in my RSS feeds.

So why this movie? What makes it better than other light-hearted action/comedy/disaster movies? Sure, SoaP has a guy getting bitten on the cock by a snake after pissing on it (oops, spoilers!), but Deep Blue Sea has Samuel L. Jackson being eaten by a flying shark (kinda). SoaP may be high-concept, but then, so is Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous, whose similarly endearing concept is stratospheric and too bizarre to properly summarize here.

So why Snakes on a Plane? Answers on a postcard, please.

Toot toot!

So we've all heard about the recent Mel Gibson debacle, right? You know, the one where he revealed himself to be a complete lunatic? Well, not to toot my own horn or nothing, I'd just like to point out that I called this in December of last year. My exact words were

Gibson has officially Lost It and is now certifiably batshit insane

See? It's almost spooky. If Nostradamus had a blog, it would be lowbrowculture.com.

Things to keep me occupied on the long weekend

Download the Dead Rising demo from Xbox Marketplace

It's time-limited to 15 minutes per game, but still. This is one of the games that finally convinced me to buy an Xbox 360. Let's hope it was worth it.

Go see A Scanner Darkly on Monday

Get a coupon from today's copy of The Ticket in the Irish Times. Bring it to UGC today and exchange the coupon for a ticket for two to see the preview of this amazing-looking movie.

Finish reading On Stranger Tides by Tim powers

I bought this because I've got such a boner for pirates right now, and this is the book that inspired Ron Gilbert to write the Secret of Monkey Island. It's a huge story of pirates, voodoo and revenge. And lots of buckles being swashed, naturally. Also recommended: The Bumper Book of Pirate Stories, if only for the chapter entitled "How Half-Arsed Became Captain". Half-arsed being a famous pirate who got half of his ass blown off by a cannon. They don't make 'em like that any more.

Balls to Google

"Hey H., you know what would be awesome? A service where you could register a group of friends' phone numbers, then when you're out and about, you text your location to a server and your friends could text the server and find out where all their friends are."

"You mean like Dodgeball?"

I search for "Dodgeball text" and find out that not only has someone already thought of this, but Google has bought them already.

All the same, someone needs to launch this in Ireland. It would make weekends so much easier to organise. I hope this is built into Live Anywhere.

DVD Inbox

My DVD inbox - movies I haven't seen or whose DVDs special features I haven't watched - has grown to 60 DVDs. I figure this is a good time to take a look through the list and see what's going on. Maybe figure out why I'm having such trouble getting through them. If you're interested, the full list is available on listal.com.

Genre

DVDs - Genre

To be honest, I'm amazed that drama features so highly. From looking at my list, I'd have guessed Horror or Sci-Fi would be the most popular genre. I put this down to shoddy tagging on IMDB. Or a really bad personal definition of "horror". Cutthroat Island is horrific, so that makes it horror... right?

Decade

DVDs - Decade

For an eighties kid, the 1980s are seriously underrepresented here.

(This was the first bar-chart I've ever made in excel. I had to get H. to help me.)

Language

DVDs - Language

I couldn't be bothered breaking this down any further. Although I'd say that the majority of the foreign-language movies were Japanese, from the large amount of J-Horror waiting to scare the pants off me.

TV Shows

DVDs - TV

I've all but given up watching TV now. I tend to do all my TV watching via bittorrent or DVD. This is probably lower than I would have guessed. Still haven't gotten around to watching Six Feet Under yet. Is it wrong that I am completely unable to get excited about this show? Loving Carnivale though.

Wanna be a Freetar Hero?

Someone in work pointed me to Freetar Hero - a free PC-based replacement for Guitar Hero. Nothing really new there, there's been a few out there already. But what sets this apart is the awesome new Freetar Editor, which allows you to create your own levels from your MP3 collection.

As this video demonstrates, the upshot of this is that I might actually get a chance to rock out on my Guitar Hero to Journey!

Looks like Mackers won't have to buy a TV to play this after all.