the-inbetween yearly archives for: 2008

Windsor, Ontario

Driving down Ouellette Ave. you get the sense of being in a metropolis. Buildings tower higher and higher above the street the further north and the closer to the downtown you seem to get. Then Oulette opens up to Riverside and you realize that a wide river divides you from the rest of the skyline and that between where you stand and where the city continues is an international border. You see that where you are is all there is.…

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix Demo

My review in brief: zero out of ten. As a demonstration of the game, this is the biggest failure in the entire XBox 360 marketplace. A caveat, first: I am a long-time fan of Street Fighter II. Many quarters were spent on it in convenience stores and many, many more quarters — and I had to save for a long time — were saved to purchase Street Fighter II Turbo for the SNES. It cost a little over $100 after…

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This Week in Digital Downloads

If you haven’t played Rez yet and you have an internet enabled XBox 360 and you’re in the US, then there’s no excuse now: it’s on sale. If you are in the rest of the world, no such luck for you. In a bizarre decision, Microsoft’s online sale is restricted to the US. Now, I understand it when they can’t offer content or features here — like Netflix — because of all the copyright and ownership restrictions, but not discounting…

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Site Tweaks

Those that only see this weblog through an RSS reader might not have noticed that I’ve made a few tweaks around here. The second column of links, imported from delicious, has been moved to the bottom of the page. Since there’s only the one core column now, I’ve merged the wordmark, which sat above the second column, with the header image and centered everything. I haven’t changed a single thing in the main body since I was happy with the…

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Essen Spiel Report, Part Two

After discovering that I missed half of the bloody show, I started wandering some more. These lost halls were quite a bit different, in content and atmosphere, from the big boardgame publisher halls. They were the Kentia Hall equivalent for boardgames. Here you’d find all sorts of games by small game makers and two-person companies looking to get noticed. This is where all the comics were stashed, which I ignored. There were also a few jewelry and knick-knack sellers here…

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Brief Thoughts on the NXE

Microsoft saw fit to unleash their NXE acronym, which I assume stands for “New XBox Experience,” upon the masses today. This major XBox 360 OS update, which completely revamps the system navigation and appearance, adds a few welcome features, and one that no one was clamoring for: avatars. After minutes of using it I have to say: “I want my old experience™ back.” The old system wasn’t perfect, it had a lot of flaws with organization (especially in the online…

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I Did 99 Laps and the Trophy Ain’t Won*

I have a love em/hate em relationship with Achievement Points and, now, Playstation trophies. On the one hand, as I’m sure you’ve noticed with my nods to Geometry Wars Evolved 2, I am a very competitive person. Trophies and points are a good measure of that. On the other hand, these rewards feel like artificial extensions for the games they are attached to. There are exceptions. Some are very well designed, getting people to try different things with the game…

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Catching Up: Quick Impressions of Some Games I’m Playing

Over the last two days I’ve been gorging on videogames. I’m indulging now before reality hits me and the worries of money, finding work and finding my own place take over. Before then, I can numb it all down with a barrage of new and old games. Here’s some brief impressions. Geometry Wars Evolved 2. The original Robotron-inspired twin-stick shooter, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, was the game that was played on my XBox 360 on more days than any other.…

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November 4th, Playstation 3

Tuesday was an important day. It was my first full day back in Canada after four months of being down and out in Paris and London. It was my sister’s 21st birthday (not a big deal in Canada, but it does make me feel old.) There was that whole election thing south of the border. And, as I maintained that I would, I purchased a Playstation 3. I am finally 100% new console generation compatible, unlike my old Playstation 2…

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Essen Spiel Report, Part One

I arrived at my hotel in Essen, conveniently right next to the station, at a quarter past noon. I was ten minutes late. After spending six and a half hours in stations and on trains (I was in the Metro station at a quarter to six in the morning), there was nothing that I wanted to do more than lie down and rest. That, however, would have wasted the reason why I was there. I dropped off my bags in…

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Essen SPIEL

I’m probably going to Die Internationalen Spieltage SPIEL in Essen, Germany this weekend. For those not in the know, this is essentially the E3 for German boardgames. Actually, that’s not exactly a fair comparison. The “Nuremberg Toy Fair” is probably more akin to E3, as they’re both trade shows (though E3 might not be exclusively that anymore, maybe?) The Spiel is a consumer show[1]. Semantic differences aside, if you like boardgames it is the place to go. I do. So…

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The DS: Under the Radar, Above the Moon

Every time Apple makes any announcement about the iPhone, whether it’s new functionality or sales numbers, the internet goes abuzz. Rumour mongers, Apple blogs and tech sites make a lot of noise. The mainstream press follows suit and everyone everywhere hears how great the iPhone is and how successful it is and how sexy it is. Apple does a good job of marketing itself in this regard. Now, I’m not about to rag on the iPhone — I like it…

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CD Shopping in Paris

I walked the Avenue des Champs-Elysees a couple of times, up towards the Arc de Triomphe and back down to Place de Concorde and Tuileries, covering both sides of the perpetually busy road. The Avenue was what I expected it to be: lined end to end with designer shops, restaurants, tourists and image-obsessed locals. A couple of Starbucks rounds out the picture. In all my time there I stopped in two shops, the FNAC (French Best Buy, basically) and the…

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