Archive for March, 2011

Ham City Kev’s Top 10 All-Time TV Shows

Anybody out there give a shit? Me neither. But for the hell of it, here it is. Let your judgment of my taste begin.

Honorable mentions: American Dad, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Beavis and Butthead, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Robot Chicken, South Park, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Wire.

10. Reno 911 (86 episodes; 2003-2009)
Favorite Character: Terry
Favorite Quote: “I’m just goofin’. I’m just new boot goofin’.”
Quick reasons why: Making fun of every race, color, and creed; awesome character development.

9. Married With Children (261 episodes; 1987-1997)
Favorite Character: Al Boondy!
Favorite Quote: “I’d say it behind your back, but my car’s only got half a tank of gas!”
Quick reasons why: Lightning quick wit; top notch insult humor; kinship with Al.

8. Mystery Science Theater: 3000 (198 episodes; 1988-1999)
Favorite Character: Tom Servo
Favorite Quote: “ooh, right in the store!”
Quick reasons why: Vast range of humor, from Bronze Age references to dick jokes.

7. Family Guy (150+ episodes; 1999-2002, 2005-present)
Favorite Character: Peter Griffin
Favorite Quote: “Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Lois this is not my Batman glass!”
Quick reasons why: All the Gen-X references are hysterical, why else?

6. Star Trek: Enterprise (98 episodes; 2001-2005)
Favorite Character: Captain Archer.
Favorite Quote: “Optimism doesn’t alter the laws of physics.”
Quick reasons why: The greatness of Season 3; Archer’s deathwish; plugging holes in the canon; underdog Trek show.

5. Star Trek: the Next Generation (176 episodes; 1987-1994)
Favorite Character: Captain Picard.
Favorite Quote: “Spot! Come here!
Quick reasons why: Science fiction at its finest.

4. Seinfeld (174 episodes; 1990-1998)
Favorite Character: George Costanza
Favorite Quote: “Jerry, the Mets lost.”
Quick reasons why: Greatest quartet in TV history; brought everyone’s neuroses to the surface.

3. The State (29 episodes; 1993-1995)
Favorite Cast Member: Kevin Allison
Favorite Quote: “I’m in your home, covered in lotion!”
Quick reasons why: Literally 99% of the sketches were epically funny; greatest soundtrack in TV history (not on dvd)

2. Twin Peaks (30 episodes; 1990-1991)
Favorite Character: Coop!
Favorite Quote: “There was a fish—IN the percolator!”
Quick reasons why: Amazing ensemble of characters; can still give me chills every time; beautifully walked the line between funny and strange.

1. The Simpsons (450+ episodes; 1989-present)
Favorite Character: Homer.
Favorite Quote: [Homer singing] Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the ballllllllllll-ahhh!
Quick reasons why: I’ve seen all 450+ episodes, and never ever, not once, have I said “that episode sucked.” Truly, the greatest, most remarkable show in history.

Ham City Kev’s 30 Favorite Movie Antagonists

Nothing fancy, just a list. Tweeners like Hannibal Lecter, Sgt Hartman, and Tyler Durden were disqualified; as were real-life villains such as Amon Goeth and Adolf Hitler.

01 The Joker (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight)
02 Stansfield (Gary Oldman, The Professional)
03 Big Ern McCracken (Bill Murray, Kingpin)
04 Biff Tannen (Tom Wilson, Back to the Future)
05 Lee Woo-jin (Yu Ji-tai, Oldboy)
06 John Doe (Kevin Spacey, Seven)
07 La femme (Beatrice Dalle, Inside)
08 Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds)
09 Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman, Superman)
10 Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon, Sleepers)

11 Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper, Blue Velvet)
12 Alex Forrest (Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction)
13 Bohdi (Patrick Swayze, Point Break)
14 Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix)
15 T1000 (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2)
16 Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, Die Hard)
17 Night Porter (Michael Elphick, The Elephant Man)
18 Lil’ Ze (Leandro Fermino, City of God)
19 The Borg (Star Trek: First Contact)
20 Predator (Kevin Peter Hall, Predator)

21
Ivan Drago
(Dolph Lundgren, Rocky IV)
22 Ace Merrill (Kiefer Sutherland, Stand By Me)
23 Pat Healy (Matt Dillon, There’s Something About Mary)
24 Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka, The Karate Kid)
25 Oliver Lang (Tim Robbins, Arlington Road)
26 T-Rex (Jurassic Park)
27 snakes (Snakes on a Plane)
28 Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates, Misery)
29 Teddy KGB (John Malkovich, Rounders)
30 Jerry Hathaway (William Atheron, Real Genius)

 

And to think Darth Vader, formerly my all-time favorite, didn’t even crack this list. That’s how damaging the prequels were to me.

MLB 2K11 First Impressions

In case you didn’t already know, we’re huge baseball fans here at gordtep.com. We’re also pretty passionate video game enthusiasts. With that said, every spring, we’re not just craving baseball, but we’re also anxiously awaiting the annual release from the MLB 2K series. Since the demo was available this morning on XBox Live, I am now prepared to give my first impressions of this year’s game.

Before we get into 2K11, I think some background is in order. I’ve been playing baseball video games dating back to the early 1980s on the Atari system. So without further ado, you get a bonus in this blog: My Top 10 Baseball Video Games

  1. BASEBALL STARS, NES, 1989
  2. MLB 2K8, XBOX 360, 2008
  3. MVP BASEBALL, PS2, 2005
  4. BASES LOADED, NES, 1988
  5. HARDBALL, C64, 1985
  6. EARL WEAVER BASEBALL, PC, 1987
  7. HARDBALL 5, PC, 1996
  8. TRIPLE PLAY BASEBALL, PC, 2000
  9. R.B.I. BASEBALL, NES, 1987
  10. ALL STAR BASEBALL 2005, XBOX, 2004

Yeah, Kev would say it’s blasphemous that I ranked RBI Baseball so low on my list. It was groundbreaking because it was the first NES game to use real players, but I preferred playing all the ones ranked ahead of it for one reason or another.

So here’s the quick and dirty review.

It doesn’t exactly knock my socks off.

HITTING

From the demo, it’s just “meh.” If the actual game allows, I’ll probably get a different camera. I just never really got into that “catcher’s perspective” view that World Series Baseball introduced in the mid 90s. If I can change that, maybe I can just go with the standard broadcast, behind-the-pitcher view. The analog hitting controls don’t really do much for me either, so I’m switching to basic which lets me time the swing better. It seems to eliminate the power swing — not sure if that means anything. Maybe it just hits home runs if you time a pitch perfectly, with the right hitter, in the right situation? Whatever. Hitting seems to be OK on the surface, I guess. I’d need to play with it some more and see how the results turn out.

PITCHING

The analog pitching is complete crap. The pitch selection, followed by the gesture is so dumb. Why not one or the other? I won’t really hold this against them though because it lets you switch back to classic controls very easily, and those work just fine.

FIELDING

I’ll hand it to them on this. The fielding felt like it was much improved. It also allows for analog or classic controls on the throwing. My preference was actually the analog here. Kudos, 2K, you got something right.

GAME SPEED

I’m not even talking about frame rate or any of that here (though that seems pretty smooth to be honest). What I want is to be able to skip all the worthless cut scenes and random nonsense that prevents me from completing a game in 15-20 minutes. The Demo does a good job of letting you skip in between pitches with a tap of the A button. However, the rest of it seems to take a bit too long for my taste. I want to move along as fast as possible after each pitch/play/inning. In previous years, they had some sort of “hurry-up” mode. That was a great idea, but I just remember that it prevented me from seeing any sort of statistics during the game. Just because I want to get through games quickly doesn’t mean I don’t want to know the pitcher’s ERA and the hitter’s batting average. I guess we’ll see about these options once the game is officially released and people can really test it all out.

FRANCHISE/ONLINE

This is all still unanswered, and it’s a critical component. For some reason, year after year, they can never get this aspect right. Here’s what we want: ONLINE FRANCHISE WITH A MIX OF CPU & HUMAN PLAYERS. Why is that such a difficult program to implement? Oh, yeah, we also want online play to actually work — not some laggy, buggy mess. The ability to condense the league and shorten the schedule would be tremendous as well. This stuff seems so simple to add, yet they avoid it and keep coming up with crappy Home Run Derby modes that aren’t even any fun.

VERDICT

I’m still on the fence. Will I buy it? I probably will because I don’t have any other options. They have the exclusive MLB license on Xbox 360, so my only alternative would be to purchase a PS3 for MLB 11 The Show (which I hear is terrific). I guess that’s an option, but my preference is to avoid stacking dozens of electronic devices that cost hundreds of dollars, ya know? It is what it is.

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