Archive for the ‘Gritskrieg’ Category

Staple! and the Reckon Crew, the Aftermath

Monday, March 7th, 2011

The ladies were a hit with the crowd at Staple!

This past weekend, the Busy Gamer Reckon crew attended the Staple! Independent Media Expo. Hosted at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, the Staple! Expo was held on Saturday and Sunday and is one of the favorites on the Crew’s list of events we visit, year after year.

The Staple! event was created by local Austin artists and saw a humble beginning as a congregation of like-minded individuals meeting in coffee shops to compare works, learn from one another, and generally just share their love of art. It has grown over the years to an event that spans two days, sees artists from all over the world attending, and has become the event of the year for new and established
artists to exhibit their works.

Staple! has seen some famous attendees and speakers (infamous in the case of the Crew) such as Danielle Corsetto of “Girls With Slingshots???, Scott Kurtz of “PvP Online???, Stan Sakai of “Yojimbo???, and James O’Barr, creator of “The Crow???. This year we were seated alongside the likes of Monica Gallagher of “Lipstick Press??? and Brian Cleveinger of “8-bit Theater??? and “Atomic Robo??? fame.

Saturday night, the Staple!’s attending artists put on a live art exhibition at the Club Deville in downtown Austin where they showed off their talents in front of an audience. Once they finished their pieces, they were put up for auction for the charity of keeping KOOP radio, an Austin co-op radio station, up and running. It’s an admirable goal and one that the Crew supports wholeheartedly by purchasing the pieces and drinking heavily at the exhibition… we’re not actually sure how the heavy drinking helps them but we’re doing our part. For charity.

We're fairly certain this is one of the coolest con pics ever...

Sunday saw most of the attendees a bit hungover. There was a lot of charity going on the night before… a lot. We don’t judge. But for the most part, the energy from the prior day was recaptured and everyone was able to enjoy themselves for a second day of the event.

There was plenty of swag to be had at the Crew’s table. The yearly koozie made its appearance and we had sci-fi trivia questions for those who were brave enough to pit their knowledge against ours with a t-shirt as the prize. Hats off to the winners… if I’d been thinking about it, I would have gotten their names to send out some congratulations but I’m certain they will wear their shirts as a badge of honor.

After all was said and done, a good time was had by all. Some of the ladies who honored the Crew’s table were first timers to Staple! and to conventions in general but reported enjoying themselves immensely which is testament to the power of Staple! as opposed to our hosting talents.

We’d like to thank Chris “Uncle Staple” Nicholas for having us out again and to all of our fellow exhibitors for coming out and making the first two day expo one of the best we’ve attended.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Steve Jobs Announces iPad 2, Pricing and Specs

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Say hello to Steve's Little Friend, the Apple iPad 2

There had been some doubt as to whether or not Steve Jobs would be at the Apple Press Conference today after taking a leave of absence for medical reasons. There was, however, absolutely no doubt at all as to what would be announced at the event regardless of whether Steve was there or not.

The iPad 2.

Speculation on Jobs’ absence was put very quickly to rest as he came on stage… and confirmation was given on the new tablet. As the crowd rose in a standing ovation, Jobs said, “We’ve been working on this product for a while and I didn’t want to miss today”.

Specifications of the device were no surprise to the tech writers in the audience… the new dual-core A5 processor, iOS 4.3 at launch, front and rear facing cameras, Facetime support, and a design that is “dramatically thinner and lighter”.

Improvements on the original iPad were made all around. The new iPad battery clocks in with a ten hour life in standard use and a reported month long standby. The new processor will make the iPad 2 twice as fast as its predecessor with graphics that are up to nine times faster.

Pricing was announced for the new tablet as well. The base model is 16GB and will cost $499, the 32GB will run $599, and the 64GB model will set you back $699. In addition, if you want to have 3G capability (no word on 4G at this time), there will be an additional $130 added to the price tag at purchase.

Models will be available for both the AT&T and Verizon networks.

As for the launch date, we should see the devices available at Apple Stores, retailers, AT&T, Verizon, and the Apple online store beginning March 11th.

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Microsoft, just say you messed up and move on

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

If you have one of these, it's possible you haven't been making many calls on it

On Monday, there were reports of “bricked??? Samsung Windows phones due to a patch Microsoft had released. As you can imagine, this was not a stellar beginning for Microsoft considering this was the first ever patch they had released for the devices.

Instead of owning up to the “oops???, Microsoft has chosen instead to point out that it was only 10% of users that were affected by the glitch. Considering that back in December Microsoft announced that 1.5 million phones had launched in the first six weeks, that’s 150,000 users potentially affected by the glitch. Maybe that’s a “small number??? in some circles but to me, it’s still a significant amount of people you’ve dismissed by saying only a “small percentage??? was affected.

Microsoft’s track record with accepting blame hasn’t exactly been stellar. We’ve seen them dump blame on others when it comes to Internet Explorer problems. We’ve seen them dodge the question about whether or not Bing is mining data from Google. They’ve never gone so far as to say, “you’re holding it wrong??? but I think they’ve come right up to that line and then backed off a little.

Here’s the thing… I think as a virtual whole, users are tired of big businesses minimizing or trivializing their mistakes when it causes issues with devices or software they’ve purchased. There was a time not so long ago when product stability overrode the incessant need to profit by launching an incomplete product. There was a time when quality meant something and companies went the extra mile to make sure the product they were launching was tested thoroughly before it ever saw the light of day.

I’ve heard the arguments that postponing a launch can cost a company millions. I’ve heard the arguments that the longer a product is tested, the more opportunity there is for corporate espionage. And I say to all of those companies… YOU’RE doing it wrong.

I’m going to give an example of someone who does things right… or as close to right as one can get when dealing with technology or software. Blizzard Entertainment has an amazing record when it comes to keeping a product secret and then turning around and launching a product that very rarely fails when taken out of the box.

How they do it is something of a mystery and perhaps we’re better off not knowing.

That’s not to say Blizzard doesn’t have its own mishaps. There have been times in the past when a patch has essentially made a game unplayable for a portion of their playerbase. When it does happen, however, Blizzard doesn’t trivialize their own fault. They admit it, they own it, the ‘fess up to it. When World of Warcraft was first launched and there were issues with patches that made the game unplayable, they gave me free subscription time. In one case, the game was unplayable for several hours and I was surprised to find they had added three free days to my subscription. Along with their apology, they’d given me something for free without hemming and hawing about it.

That’s rare in this day and age when it takes weeks and sometimes even months for companies to admit their fault and actually do something about it.

My advice to Microsoft is to stop pushing blame off on other parties or issuing statements saying that only a “small percentage??? of users were affected.

Own up to the mistake. I, for one, will be much more forgiving the next time it happens.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Mario Named King In Survey Of 13,000 Gamers

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Mario celebrates his victory... or he's jumping for a coin, we never can tell

With all of the iterations of Mario Bros. and the spin offs it has produced, it should be no surprise to anyone that Mario has been voted as the greatest video game character of all time.

Easily one of the most recognizable characters throughout several generations of gamers, the familiar red hatted plumber has become an icon among even those who would be considered casual gamers.

Mario edged out fellow Nintendo character Link (of “Legend of Zelda” fame) to take the number one spot in a recent survey performed by the Guiness World Records’ website. The survey took the answers of 13,000 gamers to produce the book “Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition” and a list of the top 50 video game characters can be found below.

It’s worth noting that out of the top 50, Nintendo had an impressive 11 characters on the list.

1. Mario (Donkey Kong, Nintendo, 1981)
2. Link (The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986)
3. Master Chief (Halo: Combat Evolved, Microsoft, 2001)
4. Solid Snake (Metal Gear, Konami, 1987)
5. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII, Square, 1997)
6. Pac-Man (Pac-Man, Namco, 1980)
7. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, Eidos 1996)
8. Gordon Freeman (Half-Life, Valve, 1998)
9. Kratos (God of War, Sony, 2005)
10. Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega, 1990)
11. Crash (Crash Bandicoot, Sony, 1996)
12. “Soap??? MacTavish (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision, 2007)
13. Nico Bellic (Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar, 2008)
14. Samus Aran (Metroid, Nintendo 1986)
15. Ratchet (Ratchet & Clank, Sony, 2002)
16. Nathan Drake (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Sony, 2007)
17. Captain Price (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision, 2007)
18. Kirby (Kirby’s Dream Land, Nintendo, 1992)
19. Marcus Fenix (Gears of War, Microsoft, 2006)
20. Pikachu (Pokemon Red/Green, Nintendo 1996)
21. Yoshi (Super Mario World, Nintendo, 1990)
22. “CJ??? Johnson (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar, 2004)
23. Mega Man (Mega Man, Capcom, 1987)
24. Sam Fisher (Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Ubisoft, 2002)
25. Shadow (Sonic Adventure 2, Sega, 2001)
26. Jak (Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Sony, 2001)
27. Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem, Apogee, 1991)
28. Dante (Devil May Cry, Bandai, 2003)
29. Naruto (Naruto: Konoha Ninpoch, Bandai, 2003)
30. Altair (Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft, 2007)
31. Zelda (The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986)
32. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII, Square, 1997)
33. Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong, Nintendo, 1981)
34. The Prince (Prince of Persia, Broderbund, 1989)
35. Ezio (Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft, 2009)
36. Leon S (Biohazard/Resident Evil, Capcom, 1996)
37. Ash Ketchum (Pokemon Red/Green, Nintendo, 1996)
38. Guybrush Threepwood (The Secret of Monkey Island, LucasArts, 1990)
39. Spyro (Spyro the Dragon, Universal, 1998)
40. “Ghost??? Riley (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision, 2009)
41. Goku (Dragon Daihikyoe, Epoch, 1987)
42. Max Payne (Max Payne, Rockstar, 2001)
43. Jill Valentine (Biohazard/Resident Evil, Capcom, 1996)
44. Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 1985)
45. Larry Laffer (Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, Sierra, 1987)
46. Augustus Cole (Gears of War, Microsoft, 2006)
47. Bowser (Super Mario Bros., Nintendo, 1985)
48. Eddie Riggs (Brutal Legend, EA, 2009)
49. Ryu (Street Fighter, Capcom, 1987)
50. Sackboy (LittleBigPlanet, Sony, 2008)

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“Friday Night Lights” Star Adrianne Palicki Cast As New Wonder Woman

Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Adrianne Palicki appears to have a lock on the role of Wonder Woman

Adrianne Palicki, Wonder Woman.

We’ve been hearing some buzz for a while now about the new “Wonder Woman” and who should be cast in the role. It appears we have a winner…

According to rumors around the web, Adrianne Palicki, who starred as the character Tyra Collette in “Friday Night Lights”, was the only actress invited to test for the role. As such, it appears she’s landed the coveted role for the NBC pilot written by David E. Kelley (of Ally McBeal fame) and will be the first TV Wonder Woman since Linda Carter retired the golden lasso.

In the conversations the Reckon Crew had in regards to who should play the role of Wonder Woman, the most repeated argument was, “No way, she’s too short.” Standing at 5′ 11″, that argument can’t be made for the casting of Palicki. She even went so far as to play basketball in high school if you were thinking about going the athleticism argument route.

There are sure to be some rants and raves about who would and wouldn’t be a more perfect choice for the role of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman but it would appear that this is the final choice. And it may very well be the right one but only the pilot will tell.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Gamette Tafetta Darling On G4′s Attack Of The Show

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

And here’s some news about another one of our lovely ladies, one who isn’t afraid to go toe to toe with the Reckon Crew when it comes to drinking, Taffeta Darling.

Taffeta was our September 2010 Gamette and is an avid gamer, accomplished cos-player, and general know it all when it comes to comic books. And I say “know it all” with no small amount of respect.

Taffeta reported on the Dallas Burlesque Festival in a Viewer Army segment from G4′s Attack of the Show. We might be a little biased but we think she was fantastic in the segment.

Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself:

See, what did we tell you? Fantastic.

Plus, while you had the distinct honor of watching the lovely Taffeta, you were treated to some good old fashioned Burlesque.

Now go tell Taffeta that you think she’s awesome before we help her steal your comic books. And your booze.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Gamette Katrina Hill In The Running For PoP! Fangirl Of The Year

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Katrina PoP!

Katrina was the PoP! Fangirl of September 2009

The lovely and multi-talented Katrina Hill, aka Action Flick Chick, was our December Gamette for 2010 and one of our finalists in our Gamette of the Year contest this past year and is just an all around bad ass when it comes to nerdery and action movies.

I’m telling you all of this in case you somehow forgot.

Katrina is currently in the running for PoP! Fangirl of the Year and we’d be absolutely overjoyed if our readers would go and vote for Katrina and show her some BG love.

You can register here, vote here, and check out Katrina’s interview with PoP! here.

We know from personal experience that a lot of you aren’t fans of registering on websites in order to comment or vote but just take the extra time to do it this time so I won’t have to hunt you down and make you watch “Prayer of the Rollerboys”.

And I’ll do it, too.

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We’re Back Up. Damn It.

Monday, February 14th, 2011

We're not fans of spam

Some of you may have noticed the distinct lack of *us* on the web over the past few hours. Well, we’re back up and running and I have a little announcement to make.

We’ve seen an increase in the amount of “spam” comments over the past two weeks. Initially, it was little more than a nuisance but it’s gotten to a point where we’re getting more and more every day which not only slows down the page but causes problems in doing anything in the backend. It’s okay to chuckle about me saying “backend” if you were wondering.

As such, the open nature of our comments section will be seeing some changes. We’ve been more than happy to weed through the spam to determine which comments are actually legitimate and need to be posted and which need to go to hell and die.

We’d been putting off changing the comments section to see if things would slow down but we’re literally seeing thousands of spam comments per hour and the database starts getting squirrely unless someone sits here and manually watches the queues to make sure they don’t get overloaded. Don’t panic. We promise the change won’t interfere with your ability to read the site… or peep the Gamettes.

Stay tuned.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Meet Our First Gamette Of 2011, Little Miss Liv

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Little Miss Liv by Clem KellerWell, due to some scheduling issues (mainly hangovers and too much late night WoW), we’re a little late on introducing the first Gamette of 2011… an oversight we’d love to apologize for but we think once you meet her, you’ll be willing to let us off the hook.

Little Miss Liv is no stranger to nerdom and professes a love for all things zombie and a distinct desire to run with the Hulk should they ever actually get it together and cause that whole Zombie Apocalypse thing they’ve been plotting for years now.

Harboring a not-so-secret crush for the NES game console and MIDI soundtracks, we’re fairly certain Little Miss Liv is going to blend in just fine with the rest of the geeks… except she’ll be the one sporting the Harley Quinn costume and making it look good.

So, without further ado and just in time to be an early Valentine’s Day gift from us to you, we are proud to introduce our readers to Little Miss Liv.

What is your current favorite game right now?
Well, I currently have 3 favorite games that I have been cracking out on. 1st would be Worms 2: Armageddon. The reason I LOVE this game is because I love blowing worms up and it actually takes some thinking and strategy. Now that being said, I am also completely addicted to Plants VS. Zombies. I don’t know what it is about this game but it is such a happy game! I love the disco zombies!! I would love to dance and eat brains! The last game which I just honestly discovered 2 days ago is ZOMBIES on COD! I LOVE ZOMBIES! I guess I have anger problems or something ’cause I love killing shit. :P

We hear you like dressing up as comic book and fantasy characters…
I love Harley Quinn, she’s hands down the best! She is the craziest, sexiest FREAK EVER! She is a lot like me (I decided that if I ever have a little girl, I’m naming her Harley Quinn, HAHA). But really I love dressing up like any fantasy or comic book characters. My dream job would be to get paid to go to conventions and dressing up like sexy characters. My life would truly be complete. <3

You get to be someone, real, fictional, or otherwise for one day. Who is it and why?
Michael Jackson, because I like touching little boys, too…. JUST KIDDING! If I could be anyone for a day, I would be Superman! But with tits… so I guess SuperWoman. LOL I think it would be awesome that I could fly anywhere in the world and not have to pay for over priced airplane tickets or go through security check points. Just the fresh air in my face as I fly to a tropical island.

What can the geeky man do to get your attention and keep it?
I love it when guys talk geeky to me. Start talking to me about games or technology and I am hooked. I worked as a tech agent for T-Mobile and then Google for years and was completely in my element there. Tech Geeks EVERYWHERE! It was heaven!

After looking at some of your pics, we have a sudden fondness for fuzzy leg warmers. Is this normal?
Absolutely! ‘Cause I have quite the fondness for them as well :P .

Complete this thought: “There comes a time in every man’s life when he must…”
“Get belligerently drunk, light his fist on fire with rubbing alcohol, and scream ‘Falcon Punch’ while striking his nemesis in the face.”

Read the full interview & see the complete pictorial with Little Miss Liv here!

Ken Turns To Facebook For Advice On Barbie

Monday, February 7th, 2011
Star Trek Barbie and Ken

We never, ever owned one of these...

Far be it from me to criticize someone looking for relationship advice on Facebook.

It happens almost every day… one of my friends status updates lets me (and their other 1000 friends) know they’re having second thoughts or troubles in the relationship they’re currently in. But when a page created as an advertising ploy for a 50 year old toy line starts asking people what they think should be done in a relationship, I have to say something about it.

Sue me, I shouldn’t have an opinion on Barbie’s former beau Ken. I’m a guy so the only interaction I had with the Barbie and Ken dolls were when I needed some bodies for my G.I. Joe “hostage scenario???. Poor Ken rarely made it out alive but the noble rescuers were always there to comfort poor Barbie in her time of loss. Look, my imagination is a soap opera. Don’t judge me.

Mattel actually is looking to fans of Ken’s Facebook page to determine where the two former lovebirds will be reunited in coming years with a poll on the social networking site. For those of you who didn’t know, Ken and Barbie apparently parted ways on Valentine’s Day seven years ago. I’m willing to bet she finally got with one of the Joes because they were way more macho. I mean, have you seen Ken? Every time I see him, he’s got like a pink sweater tied around his neck. Totally un-macho.

But Mattel said that after the split, Barbie hooked up with some Australian surfer doll named Blaine. Blaine. Surfer or not, Blaine is a lame name for a rebound boy.

Ken’s aiming to win back Barbie’s heart next week when Valentine’s Day roll’s around and according to Ken’s page, it’s up to the fans of the toy line to ultimately decide the fate of the plastic lovers.

There’s no word as of yet on how the Facebook poll was looking or if there was any word on whether there was a page for a jilted Joe who’s had his heart been broken while he was off fighting a war he couldn’t win while Barbie snuck off with some Australian surfboard jockey.

Soap opera imagination, I tell ya. Bite me.

Gritskrieg – End of Line