Ills of maintenance

Last night some maintenance was done to the server that this site resides on. mySQL was upgraded to a newer version. Since then I have attempted to load this page and found the database to be inaccessible on 4 separate occassions. I have gotten on a live chat with support each time and the database was brought back up. I’m not sure whats going on, but be aware the site is having some issues at the moment. Fortunately, support has been very responsive, but I’d rather not have to contact them in the first place.

Missing Convention Pictures

Botcon 2006 is less than a week away. I have a number of pre-convention rituals and one of them is reviewing pictures from prior years. Since I missed last year’s Botcon in Texas, I clearly have not looked at the Botcon pictures in a while. While browsing through the site today I realized that I never uploaded any pictures taken prior to 2005. So all those vast galleries of friends, toys and nonsense are denied to you, the reader. Naturally, this must be rectified and I am going to try and upload as many of the galleries as I can prior to my departure on October 27th (3 days left and counting!).

DS stands for Detective Stories

I recently got a Nintendo DS for my birthday. I have to say I really have not put it down since I got it. I say this entirely due to one game. New Super Mario Bros. I haven’t actually enjoyed playing a game this much since…well I can’t ever remember enjoying a game this much. I have already beaten it, but now I am going back to every level and collecting all the Star Coins I missed. There are three in every level. Once I have ‘collected them all’ as it were, I will be satisfied that I have finished the game. I have completed about 5 of 8 worlds so far.

But what comes after this? I am a very casual gamer. I find most games today severely lacking or overly involved. I would like a game that is thoughtfully challenging and not just something along the lines of Brain Age (which I will be picking up eventually). I want something thoughtful and fleshed out. When I was much much youger, my sister had a PC game. It was called Under a Killing Moon. I never had the opportunity to play it, but I watched her play a number of times. It was a detective style game and you played the role of a Private Investigator brought on to solve a mystery. Most of the details escape me, but I remember you investigated the crime scene thoroughly in a point and click fashion interacting with the environment. I also seem to recall the P.I. getting trapped or something and he had to figure a way out of the room with only what was present in the room as tools…or maybe he found some piece of evidence noone else found doing that. Like I said details are fuzzy to me and I very well could have added to the memory over time not realizing it. Anyway, my point is that this was a very cool cranial type of game with a story behind it. There is nothing like that out on any console, state-side, that I am aware of. I’m told God of War requires thought to work out puzzles, but at the end of the day its still a hack and slash. I, personally used to have a Star Trek: TOS game for the PC that was very similar to what I’m talking about as well. When on a mission on a planet, you went from setting to setting solving mysteries or helping inhabitants out by figuring out a number of puzzles. Granted the red shirt died on every away mission possible, but that just added to the realism of a Star Trek game.

Reading through all my RSS feeds the other day, I came across this interview. The interview is with the person in charge of localizing a Japanese game called, Touch Detective. From what I can gather, this game seems to be along the lines of what I am looking for. The pictures I have seen seem a bit kiddy, but that doesn’t usually reflect game difficulty and playability. After all Super Mario Bros. looks kiddy and everyone loves that franchise, myself included. The interview even mentions the ability to use the touchscreen on the DS to point at things in rooms to get more information about them. It made me realize that the DS is perfect for this sort of thing since it has the touchscreen. I can only hope that this will be the next extended source of entertainment for my DS and not something I’ll finish in under 2 hours.

The game comes out in early October. I’ll most likely be picking it up, assuming it doesn’t get awful reviews.

Until then, I might try to dig out that old Star Trek game and see if it will install on my computer…

Naruto Ninja Council

Tuesday night I had some free time and was able to sit down and finally open up the Naruto: Ninja Council game I bought over the weekend during the huge toy run with Brendan and Thanh. I think the instant messenger log with Brendan that night sums it up best:

[21:25] Me: irrationaly fury! i just opened the naruto game
[21:25] Me: it has the american voice talking in it!
[21:25] Brendan: boooooo
[21:26] Me: dammit
[21:27] Me: he says ‘BELIEVE IT!’
[21:27] Brendan: hahahahaha
[21:27] Brendan: the ps2 or gba?
[21:27] Me: gba
[22:56] Me: this game is awful
[22:59] Brendan: hahaha
[23:02] Brendan: ‘Thanh (11:02:22 PM): i’m gonna go with the, i turned around and it was in his hand. purchased. just like naruto ps2 game’
methos5104 (11:02:34 PM): hahahah
[23:18] Me: uh
[23:18] Me: i just beat it
[23:18] Me: worst game ever
[23:18] Brendan: already?
[23:18] Me: yeah
[23:18] Me: lame

It was like playing the same level 9 times requiring no skill whatsoever.

The sequel is coming out soon.

Name Droppin

This weekend, Brendan, Thanh and I all went to a antique and collectible toy show in Dedham. It took us about 30 minutes to determine that no dealer at the show was selling anything we were interested. If I paid more than four dollars to get in, I might have been upset.

We decided to get lunch at a nearby McDonalds’, which of course meant that we had to stop by the Toys R Us on the way there. I picked up a Naruto GBA game. After I ate copious amounts of chicken and fries and the others got done with their MarioKart DS game, we headed out. We decided to try and salvage the day and go the Emerald Square Mall and go to Toy Vault, a vintage toy store that has a wide selection of toys from the 70’s and later. They have a very large section for Transformers.

When we got there, we hit up the Marvel Legends section. Brendan picked out the Scarlet Witch, which I had been searching for only to realize that the figure totally sucked. A voice behind us said something to the effect of “They’ve really dropped the ball with the female figures.” As I turned around I automatically asked if she had seen Hasbro’s Emma Frost which will be coming out next year. Half way through the question I looked and realized I was talking to an attractive female behind the counter. I stumbled through the rest of the short conversation, taken off guard and I’m sure made myself look like an idiot. A girl in a toy store is rare enough, nevermind one that can talk about toys with firsthand knowledge. I could see the shit-eating grin on Brendan’s face behind me without having to turn around as we moved on to the Transformers.

After milling about in the area for a while, a guy came over who also worked there and asked if I wanted to see anything. I nodded and asked to see one item in particular and as he handed to me, he asked me if I had seen it out of package before and proceeded to totally talk me out of buying it. Not that I had a problem with that, I was just taken off guard again.

After a while longer the girl came by again and asked if we wanted to see anything and I said I did again. This time I took a couple figures out and decided to get them. Brendan got a figure too. Thanh got some issues of Hobby Japan. The only person I’ve ever met that bought books in a toy store. I digress. I brought my figures to the front and they guy rang me up. While he rang me up, I mentioned that I run a site he might be interested in. He told me to write the url on the back of one of their business cards and he’d check it out. I wrote http://www.powet.tv on the back of the card and handed it to him and took my toys. He looked at it funny and then looked at me. He then asked me if I knew Zac Shipley, to which I responded, “Yeah, I run that site with him.” He said he had seen the site advertised in Zac’s signature on the 2005 boards.

I asked him what his name was on the board and he told me a name he used to use when he was still active on an older board and I recognized it. I told him that I was crazyjaco and he said,”Wow, you’ve been around a long time too.” I nodded. Then I started plugging the site again and he said he’d check it out.

Then we left and I immediately called Zac and left a voicemail telling him his name got dropped.

Word is slowly spreading.

We’re taking this shit over.

Internet Celebrity

So I put up the new vlog for powet.tv yesterday morning around 2:30 EST or so.

As of last night at about 23:30 EST, the video was the 26th most watched video on YouTube for the day.

Last night I was also offered a cross-promotion deal with a popular message board to host my videos. That most likely won’t happen though. While its an honor to know that people are watching my vlogs and actually like them (unlike some people), it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for us at Powet.tv.

So while there isn’t a whole lot of news, its definitely a pretty exciting time for both me and Powet. I think I mentioned this before, but my current goal is to do two vlogs a month. I think its an attainable goal. I’d like to try and release them the same two days each month too. My next one will be my first non-transformer review. I think it will be pretty cool, but it will take a lot of editing that I haven’t done before. Hopefully I won’t get too crunched on time.

[EDIT – Crazy: After actually sitting down and thinking about it, I don’t think that rating on YouTube is really representative. I was looking through and the top 50 fifty videos yesterday were in the 20,000+ view range. I think they must judge the day by a time zone that is ahead of EST (GMT, maybe) and the number of views I had were only from what could be considered the first few hours of the day.]

[EDIT 2 – Crazy: So as it turns out I missunderstood. I was actually the 26th most linked to video in the ‘News and Blogs’ category. That still doesn’t suck. Go me!]

The problem with fandoms

This is a bit of a rant, but I needed to get it out of my system.

There are two types of people in fandoms based around franchises.

The first type is the fan. The fan is a member of the fandom who really enjoys the franchise. By that, I mean they are actively engaged by the backstory and characters. They buy the merchandise because its fun or neat or interesting, in addition to being related to the main story. They enjoy it all, for better or worse.

The other type is the collector. All that matters is the merchandise. They have a language unto their own consisting of acronyms you need a pocket manual to understand. NRFB, MISB, NMOC, VHTF, to name a few. These people do not understand ‘playability’. They are driven to attain ‘completion’, or owning each figure in a certain line no matter its scarcity. Most of them do not even open their merchandise, in the hopes that some day a natural disaster will wipe out the collections of all the other collectors, driving the value of their collection through the roof.

Almost noone fits into any one category. Everyone has some of both types in them, but at the same time, everyone leans one way or the other. I like to think I lean toward the fan. I have had some moments in my past, where I have without a doubt leaned the other way, but mostly I am a fan. I concentrate my interest in the Marvel Comics franchise and the Transformers franchise. I make no secret about this, nor am I ashamed in any way. I enjoy my interests and seek out others who feel similar.

Lately, I have had the utmost pleasure in sharing my interests with others via powet.tv. I made a video showing a very cool toy and what I thought was so cool about it. At the same time, I also tried to share a little knowledge some people may not have known. I plan to continue doing this and have already filmed the second episode. It is currently being edited.

There is a site called TFWire.com. It is a weekly Transformers podcast. I want to preface this by saying that I have only listened to a couple episodes, but I couldn’t really sit through them. The guy who runs it seems like a good guy. A fan, if you will. He did a review here. Very informative and concise. I look forward to the second part of the review. Another guy on that site though, has done about 11 reviews. You can see them here. My next video happens to be on one of the same figures the second guy did. Mine isn’t up yet, so I’ll stay away from that one, but he did do a 2 part review on Cybertron Primus, the same figure I did for the last video.

Compare them to understand why I felt the need to rant.

His Primus video: Part 1, Part 2
My Cybertron Primus Video

I had trouble watching that as an adult, nevermind any child that may come across it. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone so angry during a review, nevermind so off-base. I’m not sure what he was expecting the planet to do, but I don’t think he would have given it a good review no matter what it did short of fellating him. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but come on guy. This is someone I would not consider a fan. I’m not just basing this off of one video. Watch the other videos. He could not be more inconsistent and miserable if he tried. Fan is one letter off from Fun, and that is not what this guy is about.

Whoop-dee-freaking do!

/end rant

[EDIT – CRAZY: Here’s my new video. Here’s his version.]