Posts from July, August, and September of 2002.

August 30, 2002...  The Review Project

I figured it was high time to update the cartoon page.  I've also added a review of The Raiden Project for the Playstation and a brief comic I drew several years ago, well before Nature of the Beast officially debuted.  If it's too rough for you, there's a better drawing of Elle on the cartoon page, which I suggest you visit at your earliest convenience (NOW NOW NOW!).

No, Phil, I haven't forgotten about your giant robot reviews.  I just haven't had the time to really look at them yet.  In fact, I'm burning the midnight oil just finishing this update! ^^;

September 22, 2002...  A Friend in Need

This update's a day early, I know... I just have a request I need to make that's unrelated to the commentary you'll find below.

Now I don't ask too much of you guys... just feedback and, if you're a contributor to the site, the occasional article or review.  I haven't asked for donations in years, way back when I was using the original layout for The Gameroom Blitz, and even that didn't last long.  I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not going to start asking for donations again.  What I WOULD like you to do, if you could, is help out a friend of mine.  He's having trouble finding a job in the New York/New Jersey area, and he's nail-bitingly close to running out of food and financial support.  If you know of any job offers in these two states, or one that caters to his skills in another location, I urge you to visit this site and contact him as soon as possible.

September 21, 2002...  Depression Fighter Alpha 2

I'm back, and this time, I've brought some content with me! You'll find a new review in the Game Boy Advance section of the site, and better yet, a detailed opinion of the recently released e-Card reader dropped in with the rest of the features. Yes, there's actually up to the minute gaming coverage on The Gameroom Blitz... you'd better get your umbrellas, because the pigs are flying today!

I'll be frank with you guys... I was too depressed to write much for The Gameroom Blitz in the past month. But you know what? Depression is all just a state of mind, and you can pull yourself out of it if you make an effort. I just started to realize that today, when things seemed their worst. The weather washed everything with an equal mixture of rain and darkness, the friend I wanted to visit was nowhere to be found, and I just caught a preview of the latest Adam Sandler film. It was at that moment that I thought to myself, "Hey, I don't have to torture myself by feeling like this! And I don't have to stop editing The Gameroom Blitz, either! I'm just as good a writer as I've always been, and I can take all this frustration and anger I've felt in the last month and convert it to fuel for some of the greatest articles that have ever been published on the site!" So that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm not going to worry about how the next feature on the site is going to turn out, or what people will think of it... I'm just going to WRITE it, dammit! Even if it sucks, the next one will be better, and the next one will be even better than that, until the articles are excellent and the site is just as fun to read as it was two years ago!

September 14, 2002...  Ippo's Rocky Road to Glory

You've waited this long for an update, and all you're getting is another crappy Zoo Logic comic.  Sucks to be you, huh?

I'm in a disagreeable mood right now so I'm going to make this update short.  I just picked up Victorious Boxers: Ippo's Road to Glory on the recommendation of some friends.  I would have reviewed it... but I'm still not sure if I've even PLAYED it.  I hoped beyond hope that it would have intuitive controls, and of course, since this was a Playstation 2 game, I was sorely disappointed.  It's not as confusing and annoying as Teleroboxer was, but something is very, very wrong when you have to tap up, twice, to make your character duck.  Where's the logic in that?  All the time you spend facing odd angles that can't possibly hit the opponent is a serious annoyance as well.  It's not a complete disaster- the game engine is certainly competant, although a touch bland- but because of the lousy control it's doubtful that I'll play it regularly.  I'll stick around just long enough to mix it up with the bear pictured on the back of the box, but that's it.

One of my readers (a pretty cool guy I met while sifting through the thrift items at Goodwill) offered a theory in response to Microsoft's recent purchase of Rare.  He surmises that there'll be another gaming crash, and that all the corporations that were in it for the money will leave the industry in disgust, just like Atari had in 1984.  Only the companies that care about this hobby as an artform will remain to try to revive it, and the industry will ultimately benefit as a result.  Frankly, I'd actually LIKE to see this happen, but people have speculated about another video game crash since the mid 1990's, and everyone's still waiting for it.  Perhaps we won't have to wait much longer, though... as Deciheximal pointed out, companies are making the grave mistake of pandering to a fickle audience.  Once they get tired of the sex, violence, and pretty graphics in today's games, they'll move on to something else... and the true gamers that felt shut out of the hobby will no longer be there to save it. 

It's gotten progressively tougher for me to stay interested in video games, let me tell you.  Right now, I find (clean) furry fandom more entertaining... it's also a lot more productive, since I spend more of my free time improving my artwork rather than screaming at my television after falling into lava for the sixteenth time.  Yes, Maximo, that was a shot at you.  Whaddaya gonna do about it, Captain Underpants?  I betcha can't even reach me without tripping into a pit or getting gang raped by skeletons first.  Incompetant jerk.

Uh, I was going somewhere with this.  Oh yeah... the Rogue's Gallery is still a ways off, but since I'm eager to get my artwork published somewhere, I'm going to start contributing to the Side 7 archive.  I would have preferred Yerf, but since they're not interested in my work (snif), Side 7 will have to do.  So if you like my crummy artwork as much as you like my crummy web site, stop scratching those lobotomy stitches and head on over to Side 7... I should have something available for you in a couple of weeks.

September 9, 2002...  Baked POTATO!

Well, the Potato Festival just wrapped up yesterday, and it actually wasn't all that bad this year.  They still didn't have an arcade (heck, I haven't seen one there in over a decade), but I did manage to pick up a couple of cool items, most notably that Super Marijuana Brothers T-shirt I've been raving about for the last month.  It's been a real head turner so far... I've had people ask me to stand still so they can read it.  That's when they whip out the handcuffs and police batons and- oh, wait, I wasn't supposed to mention that part.  Heh heh!

I also found this article of clothing, which was pretty surprising.  Most people barely remember SNK, much less one of their more obscure characters from the later Samurai Shodown games.  I was tempted to take this jacket home with me, but it looked pretty shoddy, like something that would have melted off Homer Simpson's back while he reluctantly returned to his job at the nuclear power plant.  Even at twenty dollars, I couldn't justify the price.  I was, however, happy to take home a Ranma 1/2 video for a couple of bucks.  There was a LOT of anime' at one of the festival booths, which was another shocker.  Most of it was just pirated Dragonball Z episodes, probably taped straight from Cartoon Network, but there were nearly as many commercial releases, including a lot of films I've never watched or even knew existed.  I'm kicking myself for not having bought Harmageddon... I've wondered about that film ever since I saw the footage of Bega's Battle in an old issue of Electronic Fun and Games.

So that was this year's Potato Festival, and that also marks the end of our hiatus.  As promised earlier, you'll find Phil Estes' detailed opinions of Kabuki Warriors and Shikigami no Shiro on the review page.  After that, stay tuned for an upcoming Bloody Roar blowout by yours truly... I've become addicted to the series thanks to its fast, straightforward gameplay and beautifully designed animal characters.  I just need to scrape up the money to afford the third game, or at least rent it.  It makes me wish I had a GameCube, because Bloody Roar: Primal Fury is a lot better than its drab Playstation 2 counterpart.

September 6, 2002...  Thinking Inside the Box

All right!  I finally gots me a Super Marijuana Brothers T-shirt!  I've been looking forward to getting one since last year's festival, when I couldn't afford them.  I couldn't really afford one today, either, but I just had to indulge myself.  It's not like there's a Potato Festival every day, y'know.

There's something else I'm forgetting, aren't I?  Oh yeah! The Gameroom Blitz is finally off its hiatus horse, and the first new addition to the site is a comics page.  From this point forward, you'll be able to access old Zoo Logic and Nature of the Beast strips directly, without having to stumble around blindly trying to find the links for them.  In addition to that, there are profiles for the main characters in both comics, featuring previously unpublished (and pretty cool, might I add) artwork.  I can't guarantee that all the links to the comics will work, but if some of them are faulty I'll try to have them fixed by Monday.

Monday's update should be a lot of fun... I'll not only include a new Nature of the Beast comic but several X-Box reviews, written by new staffer Phil Estes.  I think you'll be surprised by what Phil found for the system.  I'd tell you more, but it's more fun keep you guessing.  We'll see you Monday, folks!

August 24, 2002...  Swimming in a Sea of Doubt

Yep, the weekly comic is on hold, too.  I've got too much to deal with right now, and until I've become adjusted to my new work schedule and classes, I need to lighten my load and concentrate on what matters most to me.

It seems like The Gameroom Blitz is what matters least to me right now.  I had a lot of fun with the near daily updates, but that's no longer possible given my current situation.  Moreover, I'm just discouraged.  It's tough to write about video games these days, because I hate the industry more with every breath I take.  If you're wondering why, just look at the results of GameFAQs' recent character polls.  I'm more convinced than ever after Scorpion vs. Pac-Man that most gamers are twelve year old idiots with no sense of history and no appreciation for quality game design.  If a game has blood or tits in it, they're just one "Huh, huh.  Huh huh huh" away from buying the damned thing.  I feel like my own opinion doesn't matter... my concerns have become irrelevant to an industry that spends too much time pandering and nowhere near enough actually making quality games.

It's also tough to keep drawing, because my artwork just seems to be getting worse.  The comic below looked so cool before I inked it... what the hell happened?  It's very frustrating to spend the entire night working on a drawing that could have been done by a more accomplished artist in an hour.  There's clearly something wrong with my technique, and I'm just as certain that an art class would help me address my shortcomings. 

I'm also pretty sure that I need some sleep, so I'll talk to you guys later.

August 21, 2002...  Out of Gas

I'm sorry it's been a while since I've posted.  Now's really not a good time for me to work on The Gameroom Blitz... I just started my fall classes and I'm dealing with both a new work schedule and a car that refuses to run.  Today, I'm completely exhausted because my Oldsmobile gave out on me five miles from my job, forcing me to close the gap on foot.  I didn't like the idea before, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that pulling the plug on the Olds line of cars was a smart move on GM's part.

All's calm on the on-line front, though.  The Gameroom Blitz seems to be getting more hits lately... the counter should be up to 30,000 by now, and if I advertise on the right sites I might be able to hit six figures by the end of next year.  I'm a little more confident about my artwork now (so what if Yerf won't accept my drawings?  There's at least one person I can think of who's willing to pay for them!), and I'm not so worried about what people think of the site's mascot.  Of course, I'm not letting Byron have allthe fun... I'm currently starring in an online survival challenge of my own, competing against Kobun Heat's Chris Kohler and over a dozen other contestants in a contest sponsored by Digital Press.

Sometimes I feel like Job, but his harsh trials eventually paid off in the end, and things will get better for me as well if I can just stick it out.  I just have to make sure not to swallow the poison, or my tounge, or this new set of Rush CDs I bought last weekend.

August 17, 2002...  There's Gaming News in Here Somewhere, I Swear!

And with this update, Byron is out the door and on his way to the magical world of Eleven Will Die, where sword, sorcery, and, uh, squirrels rule.  Eleven's going to be on hiatus for a couple of weeks, so in the meantime, he'll cool his heels in Chris Farrington's other comic Macropod Madness.

This'll be healthy for both of us, I think.  Byron will get to spend some time with other talking animals, and I can stop pretending to have a bear for a son and indulge in a little adult entertainment.  To the nudie bar, Bud!

Uh, wait, that's too far.  I think I'll stay local and just listen to a house band that's performing at Edmore's most popular watering hole.  Be right back!


Wow... I reek of cigarette smoke and my head still hurts from the loud music.  But man, I'd do it again in an instant.  It's been a while since I've logged in some quality bar time...  I usually just buy cola or Shirley Temples when I'm there, but there's something very satisfying about the atmosphere.  The band, Invisible Lisa (which perfectly describes the ideal Simpsons episode), was pretty good, too... a little screechy and way too L-O-U-D, but it was fun listening to live interpretations of all my classic rock favorites.

Games?  Aw, fuck, do I have to talk about them AGAIN?  OK... uh, Sly Cooper's been getting rave reviews by all the lucky bastards who got their hands on demos at E3.  The rest of us are going to have to settle for renting Rocket: Robot on Wheels until Sucker Punch's second game is introduced to the public next month.  On the plus side, it'll give me a reason to dig out ye olde Nintendo 64, and even better, stomp on my crappy Joytech save pack when it fails to work for the sixteenth time.  Heh, Joytech... now there's an oxymoron for you.  Their products never brought me much joy, and they're not technological wonders, either.  I haven't seen anything new from them lately, though.  Maybe (hopefully) the CEO of that company was dragged out of his office, given a much deserved beating, and for that extra special ironic touch, finished off with a dip in his own pretty metallic red joystick paint.

August 15, 2002...  Yes, Eat ALL of Our Shirts!

A quick equation:  three dollar Dreamcast game, minus two dollar Blockbuster rebate, equals one very happy Jess.  I wish it would have been something a little more exciting than basketball, but for a buck, I would have bought just about anything for the Dreamcast.  Well, maybe not that awful Card Captors game where all you do is spin the girl around on her phallic broom, taking pictures of her butt while she flies to the next completely uninteractive battle.

After the redesign is finished and people can actually read the comics and profiles, I'm going to start promoting The Gameroom Blitz.  Not only will you see this site advertised elsewhere, you'll also get the chance to buy GRB merchandise.  Byron t-shirts are, of course, a given, but I'd also like to have clothes with fun, relevant slogans... the kind of stuff gamers would want to wear.  Someone had a doozy of a quote on Toastyfrog's Forum 'o Terror (which is now Nobody In Particular's Forum 'o Terror, since the editor has disavowed any knowledge of its existance) which I think would work really well on a T-shirt.  On the front, it would calmly suggest, "Seriously, Acclaim...", and on the back, the shirt would scream, "STOP SUCKING!!!".

If you guys know of a place where I could get these shirts made that isn't called CafePress, please let me know.  That's the only site I can think of that offers the service free of charge to anyone who needs it, but I've heard their products fall apart faster than a cheap bra on (or a crappy show starring) Anna Nicole Smith.

August 14, 2002...  Before They Were Stars

I'm going to try a little something new on The Gameroom Blitz.  I talked to Fark's Drew Curtis about how I could draw more readers to the site, and he offered a lot of helpful advice and suggestions.  He thought I'd be better off if I made the updates available at the top of the page, claiming that the average reader would stay a lot longer if they could quickly find the new content.  It's a great idea... but to make it work I'd have to completely redesign the page, and I'm kind of attached to the current design.

I'll offer a compromise, though.  I've added two buttons at the top of the index that link directly to the updates, and in case anyone's interested, the comic at the end of the page.  If you've seen the banner a million times and just want to read the new content on the site, the buttons will get you there in an instant.

Look at the time!  I've got to be at the courthouse in another hour... I'm going to change my name to "Acclaim Sucks Donkey".

August 13, 2002...  Another Day at Spacely Sprockets

I remember when I was a little kid, watching The Jetsons... George would come home, complaining that he was dead tired after all the buttons he pressed that day.  I'd say to myself,  "That's just dumb.  Nobody's ever gonna have a job where they press buttons all day, and if they did, they sure wouldn't complain about it!"

Twenty years later, I'm doing IT work at a local college.  Today, I had to take a room full of computers off the network, change their names, and return them to the network.  Twice.  I'm dead tired, and it's largely because I've been pressing buttons all day.  Suddenly, The Jetsons' view of the future doesn't seem so silly anymore.

August 12, 2002...  Sayonara, Summer!

I made good on the promise to write a Mega Man X4 review, but it's probably not what you expected... it's part of a themed set including smaller reviews of two other games.  Oh yeah, coverage of the Pinobee sequel is finally on the Game Boy Advance page, too... even if you hated the first one, you might want to check it out.  It might not have been such a mistake for Artoon to split from Sega after all, although we won't know this for sure until Blinx: The Time Sweeper comes out.

 And now for an uncharacteristically sappy moment.  You're probably sick and tired of the brutally hot weather, and frankly, I am too.  Just try to remember that summer's given us a lot of great moments along with the bad ones.  That magic is almost over, so cherish what little is left of the season.  Splash around in the pool, throw some burgers on the grill, or just spend some time on the porch swing with your partner or best friend.  Better yet, squeeze it all into one day.  You'll be glad you've got those memories later when winter hits and you're complaining just as bitterly about the chill in the air and the ice on your windshield.  I already regret missing out on the fireflies...

August 10, 2002...  National Lampoon's Mascot Vacation

Look, kids, your weekly comic is ready!  I hope you enjoy it... and please, don't hide it in the garage or trade it for a Toaster Strudel this time.

I had plans to review Mega Man X4 and Hudson's sequel to Pinobee (which is much better, yet far less publicized, than the first) today, but it's going to have to wait for Monday... it took forever to finish that comic!  On a related note, Rogue's Gallery is going to be a lot later than I'd previously planned.  The way things are going, I doubt it'll be finished and online this year. 

I'm sure the weekly comics will hold everyone over until Rogue's Gallery debuts.  Oh yeah, that reminds me!  Remember earlier this year when I mentioned that Byron would be a guest star in someone else's comic?  Well, that moment has almost arrived.  I'll give him the proper sendoff next week in a slightly longer edition of Nature of the Beast.  After this, The Gameroom Blitz will be mascot free, and you'll only be able to see Byron in Chris Farrington's comic for as long as he's able to compete.  Once he's voted out of Eleven Will Die by Chris' secret panel of judges, he'll come back.  I suspect that he'll be eliminated quickly, so enjoy the brief Byronlessness while it lasts.

August 9, 2002...  More Sigma Sadism

Well, that's more than enough Mega Man X4 for the day.  I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but Sigma is an asshole.  The kind of overpowered asshole with three different forms, each cheaper and more obnoxious than the last.  The kind of asshole that makes you snap mentally... then snap Mega Man X CDs in half.  Honestly, the game's already difficult enough to give the average player (me) an aneurysm.  There was absolutely no reason to make matters worse by turning the last boss into a three course meal of frustration.  Have Sigma die after the second form, put a checkpoint between the second and third forms; just do something that gives the player a fighting chance.  Sigma's holding all the cards, and it just ain't fair... I should know, because I've screamed the words "that ain't fair" at my monitor repeatedly for the past hour.

I need to watch that copy of Kiki's Delivery Service I just picked up.  I'm sure it'll help me relax, although the fact that Blockbuster was so desperate to get rid of it is in itself a little aggravating.  I can't come to grips with the fact that Yu-Gi-Oh and Klasky-Csupo's poorly drawn schlock are many times more popular than this work of art, which Blockbuster pushed out the door for a few bucks.

August 8, 2002...  When Did This Become The Geopolitical Blitz?

We've got our Hojo working now!  Some changes have been made to Advance Theory thanks to the suggestion of a helpful reader, who had a lot of trouble finding the game I was talking about in yesterday's update.  From now on, fresh reviews in the Game Boy Advance section will be posted on top of the page in addition to being added to the list.  Thanks for the advice, Hojo!

I've been locked in a fiery debate about US/Middle East relations on another forum.  I personally think we should wean ourselves from foriegn oil and use biodesiel (a fuel manufactured with corn oil), and they don't have a problem with that.  However, they weren't fond of my assertion that every country in the Middle East except Israel is our enemy, even if some of them, like Saudi Arabia, like to pretend otherwise.  Now I'm not saying we should nuke everyone in the area, but the truth is, none of these countries like us.  There's no reason for us to be there, and there's no reason we should support anyone eager to stick a knife in our backs, even if it's to our (short term) benefit.

The most obvious solution to the problem, and the only one that's going to keep the terrorists from attacking, is to create our own fuel source.  That source exists, and it could be right next to your house.  Look at that gorgeous field of corn!  It's our ticket to independence from the Middle East.  Wouldn't you love to read the paper every morning and NOT have to see headlines about Scumbag Hussein or the Ayatollah Assahola, or some bastard who tried to sneak aboard an airplane with razor blades in his shoes?  It could happen.  Wouldn't it be great if there were more jobs for Americans, and if farmers could make the money they deserve rather than just barely getting by, if at all?  It could happen!  Wouldn't you be amazed if all this could be accomplished with a fuel you could pour straight into an actual car, rather than a concept vehicle you'll never actually see on the road?  It could happen!  It HAS happened!!!  Biodesiel already exists, and can even be produced at home if you aced your chemistry class.  It SHOULD be thriving, but people refuse to see the variety of benefits this most patriotic of fuels has to offer.  We'll learn to adapt eventually, though.  The gas companies had better accept this and start tapping this market now, because twenty years and one world war from now, their current tap's gonna run awfully dry.

So, uh, where was I again?  Oh yeah, self-righteous liberals attacking my geopolitical views.  Even though I still believe that we're asking for trouble dealing with any of the Muslim nations in the Middle East, I kept my mind just open enough to skim through a book about Islam (hey, I didn't say I left it wide open).  The book "Unveiling Islam" seemed promising, so I spent a little time reading that.  It was certainly informative, even offering quotes from the Koran, but also noticably biased against the religion... so much so that even gullible me started to get suspicious.  So I flip to the front of the book and notice that all the praise on the sleeve was coming from Christian universities.  I read a bit of the prologue and everything came together... the book's "insiders' view of Islam" came from two former Muslims who were converted to Christianity and who obviously had a grudge against the religion they abandoned.  These guys aren't really doing themselves any favors by writing this book... sure, it accomplishes their goal of making Islam seem frightening and barbaric, but it also perpetuates the stereotype that Christians are pushy and manipulative.

Oh yeah, I guess I better throw in some obligatory gaming crud to keep this post relevant.  My friend Brian showed me his collection of Visual Pinball games, and it looked really exciting... I wasn't that interested in Visual Pinball before, but I sure am now!  However, it also demonstrated why nobody bothered to bring Baby Pac-Man home... it would just as quickly have been thrown out with the other disposable, crap-filled baby products.  Take a short pinball playfield barren enough to leave you gasping for water and staple it to an inferior, infuriatingly hard Pac-Man game that very clearly WASN'T designed by Namco, and you've got a blunder so legendarily stupid a waiter would have to serve it with a new Coke.  My other friend Jeremy likes to refer to software created just for the greed of it as "cynical cash-ins".  If "cynical" is the best way to describe these games, Diogenes himself probably designed this one.

August 7, 2002...  Treasure Displeasure

The last update would have made more sense if I'd mentioned that I went to a buffet...

There's a new review in the Game Boy Advance section.  You might want to be careful, though... it won't go down smoothly if you're still a fan of Treasure.  I'm starting to agree with Jeremy that the company's running out of gas.  I'm grateful for all the fantastic games they've made in the past, but it seems like we've been waiting longer and longer for them... and disappointments like Alien Soldier and Mischief Makers don't make the wait any easier to endure.

It might be time for this prodigal son to come back home to Konami.  I think they'd be a lot better off there... that way, Konami could take advantage of Treasure's programming experience and convince them not to make all those weird, self-indulgent games nobody likes.  In my opinion, Treasure does its best work when it puts down the bong and concentrates on making already great genres even better.  Their three best games, Gunstar Heroes, Guardian Heroes, and Radiant Silvergun prove this.  They'd probably make a lot more of these and a lot fewer Light Crusaders and Stretch Panics if they had the benefit of Konami's guidance.

August 5, 2002...  Confucious Say, "He Who Fights Sigma Hates Life."

I went to a pretty good Chinese/Japanese/Americanese place over the weekend while hunting for games.  Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the experience, thanks largely to the enormous amount of sushi they had available.  However, I've got a gripe about the fortune cookie they served (y'know, with the bill, immediately after realizing that I'd polished off over half of their most expensive menu items).  Why is it that whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant, I always get a fortune like this...

"A great adventure awaits
you in the near future."

When I'm looking forward to getting one like this?

"May the Schwartz be with you...
you... you...oh what a woild..."

Oh well... maybe someday, I'll get lucky and Mel Brooks will be there to serve the meal himself!  Hey, we've all got our dreams.

I suppose I tapped the well of luck dry after finding Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for ten dollars at a pawn shop about thirty miles from my hometown.  Jeremy was convinced I'd have a tough time tracking the game down, and there is some truth to that... I couldn't dig up a copy at the sister store in Greenville, or any of its competitors.  In fact, there was only one of them in the store's huge collection of Playstation games, but one's just enough for me!

Just before I'd left, I looked through their library of PC games, and came up with a real winner... a surprisingly good translation of Mega Man X4.  Seems that Capcom couldn't afford to ignore the PC market any longer, and released this game themselves rather than selling the license to Hi-Tech Expressions.  For this we should all be thankful, because it's a tremendous improvement over previous PC versions of Mega Man, going so far as to borrow code directly from the Playstation game. 

Another big surprise is that X4 is excellent... probably the best game in the series.  I often catch myself popping in the disc and blasting my way to the next boss, even though Mega Man X is my least favorite of the Mega Man franchise.  Count on a review of this game in another week.

August 3, 2002...  Almond Joy's Got Nuts, Mounds Don't

Sometimes you feel like an update, sometimes you don't.  Sorry, guys, but I'm taking the weekend off... a friend wanted me to help him design a game, and I've been putting it off for way too long.  I'll be back on Monday.

August 2, 2002...  Thumbs Down

New comic, folks.  It's worth mentioning that I didn't actually see The Country Bears.  If I never got around to watching Scooby-Doo, I'm sure as heck not going to see a film based on a Disney ride...  especially one with a band that's been described by critics as an ursine Lynyrd Skynyrd.  If I had a choice between being mauled by a bear and listening to him sing a few verses from Mr. Saturday Night Special, I'd break out the cell phone and reserve a bed at the nearest hospital.

Anyway, here's the plan for the weekly comic.  I'm going to alternate between Zoo Logic and the tentatively titled Nature of the Beast (if the name's been taken, I'll change it to something else).  The gaming commentary in Zoo Logic should help keep the site on topic, and Nature of the Beast lets me poke fun at everything else while developing the personality of Byron, the site's mascot.  I thought about making Beast a dramatic series, detailing Byron's life from beginning to end, but I don't think my readers are ready for such a comic.  Many of them hate furries with a passion and can barely tolerate Byron as it is.  To be honest, I don't think I'm ready for it, either, so I'll just keep drawing fun, silly comics until I'm confident enough about the quality of my artwork to begin working on something with more substance.

August 1, 2002...  Hey, It Was Worth a Shot!

"Hello, Konami Customer Service?"
"Yes, how may we help you?"
"Well, I picked up this Laser Scope for the NES a few months back, and it's missing an eyepiece.  I was wondering if you stocked replacements?  Oh.  Uh, yes, I'll hold while you and the rest of the customer service department have a good, long laugh at my expense."

July 31, 2002...  Say Your Prayers, Eat Your Vitamins, & Shoot Your Gangsters

Sorry I didn't update yesterday, folks... I had to make up for lost sleep after working through the night on the features section.  If it's any consolation, I've written a new review of a very old NES game.  Warm up those Zappers... then put them down again, because it's time for a trip through Hogan's Alley!  Don't worry about being mugged by a flabby wrestler in a pink tutu; he's busy strangling Richard Belzer.

All right, all right... I'll stop acting like a moron.  I did want to ask you guys a question, though.  The other day, I received an E-mail from a woman who claimed to represent a cell phone company.  She's creating a presentation featuring graphics from various Pac-Man games, hoping to convince a client to purchase a cell phone maze game they're developing.  She wants to include footage from Pac-Mon, a JessCREATIONS*,Co. shareware release from 1996, in this presentation.  While I'm not sure why she'd want to use my game for this (perhaps to avoid paying Namco big bucks to use theirs?), I'd be more than willing to let her. 

I'm just not sure how I should handle the situation... she mentioned paying for the license to my game, but I don't want to lose the rights to it, nor do I want to risk a possible legal battle with Namco.  Sure, I designed Pac-Mon, but it's an accurate translation of a game that's clearly the property of a large corporation.  Alternately, I could just donate the rights under several conditions (that I'm credited for my work in some way and that I retain the rights to the code), but it would be nice to get something out of this deal... you know, a souvenir. 

What do you think I should do?  If you've got an opinion, please post it on the forum.  I'd really appreciate the help!

July 29, 2002...  Let the Sunshine In

It took all of last night, but I've finally finished the features section.  It nicely combines the layout from the old site design with the oval borders commonly used in the new one.  It's very table dependant, so I'm not sure how it'll look on your computers.  I'm pretty sure Netscape won't display it properly, but if you're using an alternate browser and still have troubles, please let me know and I'll try to address them.

I've got just enough energy left to get all this stuff on a disk and talk a little about Super Mario Sunshine.  I was convinced that this game would be another cheesy Mario spinoff, like Luigi's Mansion, but it really is a legitimate sequel to Super Mario 64... it's just as cleverly designed and incorporates many of the same play mechanics.  It's worth noting some of the differences between this game and the previous one, though... Super Mario Sunshine reminds me a little of the Lynx and Genesis game Todd's Adventures in Slime World.  Just like in Slime World, there's a lot of deadly muck lying around, and water is your only defense against it. 

Thankfully, Super Mario Sunshine isn't anywhere near as slow and aimless as that game, thanks to the level objectives that worked so well in Super Mario 64 (you collect shine sprites instead of stars... I'd insert a stupid "Shine Get!" joke here but they've all been used already) and a much more versatile weapon.  I'm not even sure it would be accurate to call the F.L.O.O.D. waterpack a weapon, since it can be used in so many other ways, from propelling canoes to holding Mario in mid-air after he jumps.

The graphics are marvelous in some respects, and not especially impressive in others... some of the playfield objects are built from surprisingly few polygons, and the textures aren't exactly state of the art either (sorry, Nintendo, but blurring them doesn't help matters).  I can't complain about the characters, though... Mario in particular is perfectly rendered and animated, running around the stages with a youthful enthusiasm you wouldn't expect from a New York plumber.  And would'ya look at the special effects?  The water is just as refreshing to the player as it is to Mario, and the paint in each stage (ranging from oily black ink to psychadelic wavy gravy, complete with flowing colors) splatters and leaves trails if you're unlucky enough to walk through it.  Making a mess has never looked so good!

I guess there was something to the E3 hype after all.  I'm still not ready to buy a GameCube, but a few more games like this might change my mind.  It'd be an even more tempting purchase if third parties like Capcom and Konami would follow Nintendo's lead and let their own once popular characters make GameCube exclusive comebacks.

It just occured to me that maybe I should be reviewing some games or something.  I'll try to write some reviews sometime this week, but you know how I am.

July 27, 2002...  Traffic Decongestion

I'd planned to work on the features section of this site and work a little on a game I'm helping some friends design, but after spending countless hours on the comic you'll find below I don't have the energy for anything else. 

If you liked Zoo Logic, you should enjoy this, although some experience with the Crazy Taxi series (particularly the later games) is a prerequisite.  My advice for those of you who thought Zoo Logic was dumb?  Suffer.

Someone needs to give me a reason to keep the forum around.  I'm thinking about removing it and just directing my readers to the other message boards I regularly visit.  Sector: NGP's forums have infinitely more traffic than mine, and the system that site covers hasn't been actively supported for years!  It's pretty discouraging.  I've failed to create a loyal reader base with this site, and it's not fun to have that failure stare you in the face day in and day out.  The few people who DO post already have their own message boards, so the logical solution would be just to offer links to them.

July 25, 2002...  Not So Crazy for Crazy Taxi 3

I'm happy to say that Bubble Bobble Old and New is every bit as good as I'd hoped it would be.  You'll find the review on the Game Boy Advance page.

I didn't have such high hopes for Crazy Taxi 3, but I have to admit that it's better than the second game.  However, despite the likable new characters and impressive lighting effects, it just isn't as enjoyable as the very first Crazy Taxi.  I think great level design is a large part of what made the original so popular... there were beautiful green hills and parks mixed in with the drab grey buildings, and this added definition, variety, and most importantly, freedom to the experience.  All this is largely missing in the rather claustrophobic sequels, which surround you with skyscrapers at nearly every turn.  I've got one other problem with the new Crazy Taxi games, but I'll address that in an upcoming comic.

July 24, 2002...  Thou Shalt Not Pass

I'm surprised... I thought for sure I'd have gotten a nasty response from Something Awful or its readers, but I guess it takes a lot more than what I'd said in yesterday's update to make Rich Kyanka sore.  Kyanka sore?  Er, never mind.

This NES stuff sure piles up fast.  The other day I picked up one of my all-time favorite controllers, the NES Advantage. I loved it when I was a kid but I'll play a few games with it over the weekend to make sure that it's as good as I remember.  At the very least, its larger buttons and easily spun joystick will come in handy the next time I pop in Track & Field II.

I'm having a hell of a time deciding whether or not I really want a Blockbuster Freedom Pass... on one hand, I could potentially rent up to sixty different games, which would give me plenty to talk about on this site.  I just don't know if I'd have the time to play them all thoroughly with my current work schedule!  I'll only have less time next month when fall college classes start, so I'd better make up my mind soon...

Oh, just one more quick note.  If you guys are looking for the site's older features, you should be able to find them by clicking on the icon in the list above.  This will lead you to last year's index, which made the vast majority of the articles on The Gameroom Blitz readily available.  I have similar plans for the new site design... I just haven't finished all the necessary pages yet.

July 23, 2002...  The Kyanka Konflict

Well, that was pretty freaky, Scoob.  The .PNG file I posted yesterday would only display properly in a dedicated graphics editor... all that would come up when you viewed it from an Internet browser was a boring black box.  I think I have the problem solved, but just in case, I'm gonna offer the drawing in three different formats.  For the best performance, stick with premium.

If The Gameroom Blitz was recently featured on Something Awful, I'm to blame for that.  I've been worried that one of my sites, be it this one or the upcoming Rogue's Gallery, would become the subject of a scathing review from Rich Kyanka or one of the members of his thug squad.  I just got so tired of waiting for the axe to fall that I went to Kyanka myself... not so much to complain, "Hey, what the hell is taking you so long?", but to gripe about some of his other victims, ranging from kids starting their first comics to handicapped ladies with polio (glad to know Rich is willing to take a stand against such intimidating figures).  I figured I'd send him a heartfelt, yet intelligent letter, since he likes to remind us (constantly) that the Internet is devoid of any real value and that most site authors are complete nimrods.  His response?

"Didn't read.  Too long."

So it seems that Rich isn't really interested in making the Internet better.  I can certainly understand why, though.  After all, how could he sell us everything from T-shirts to refreshing, grenade-powered Something Awful colonics if the Internet actually had intelligent, thought provoking content?  If that horrible day were to ever come, he'd have to work his poor tail off to survive, offering more of the genuinely funny content people expect from Something Awful rather than picking on depressed teenagers for the rest of eternity.  That sure would suck for him, although maybe the rest of us could visit Something Awful every once in a while without seeing the same repetitive pattern of goth/furry/personal site bashing that's plagued the site for far too many months.

So here's the deal, folks... for the betterment of Something Awful and the Internet as a whole, you need to put on your thinking caps and come up with some terrific web sites people might actually want to read.  If you need help, refer to Ain't It Cool News, then do exactly the opposite of what Harry Knowles is doing.  I want to see at least fifty great web pages by the end of the year, and if my demands aren't met within the next six months, my horde of militant blood-drinking Azyan raccoon poets will be feasting on Rich Kyanka's white facepaint-stained bones.

July 22, 2002...  Don't Worry, Be Happy

I can't believe it!  I think I'm actually... happy!  Happy that I've taken the enormous weight off my shoulders that I've been carrying around for months.  Happy that I managed to find both Bloody Roar II and Suikoden II for reasonable prices at some local stores.  And most of all, happy that I unlocked some of the secrets in Adobe's PhotoDeluxe software.   Take a look at this!

I decided to experiment with PhotoDeluxe a little after drawing and scanning some Section Z tribute artwork, and I'm glad I did.  After discovering that dynamic duo of the color wand and gradient shading, I was able to give my drawing more subtle coloring than would ever have been possible in Paint, in a lot less time.  I like this... I like this a lot.  You can bet that I'll be using it often.  I just hope I don't become one of those PhotoShop- er, PhotoDeluxe, rather- whores that tries to hide his artistic deficiencies with a lot of pretty effects.  I like this drawing a lot, but it'd be much better with a background and more detailed rock formations.

July 20, 2002...  Sinking Friendship

From now on, Saturdays are gonna be the official art day of The Gameroom Blitz.  Every weekend, I'm going to add something new... it could be a comic, a new banner, or a photo from my digital camera, but whatever it is, it should make the site just a little more fun.

Today, I've included a silly little comic featuring Byron, his female counterpart Elle, and myself.  I'm kind of worried that Sinfest has already used this pun, since it is after all the foremost authority on pimp humor.  Nevertheless, I'm going to take a chance and print this comic, because it took me hours- yes, literally hours- to draw, color, and resize it.  There's a reason I'm limiting myself to one comic per week!

Have you ever been so angry with someone that you wished a Darwin Award on them?  That's the way I'm feeling right now.  I'm trying to suppress that anger, though, because as much as I'd like to see the object of my contempt get flattened by his own car while changing a tire on a steep hill, starting another battle with him would only add to my frustration.  What I think I'll do instead is just write him off as a loss, forget that he ever existed, and go on with my life.  Another friend of mine suggested that I just back away from the situation and wait until we've both cooled down.  It's excellent advice, but in this case, I just don't think it's going to work.  There was hostility between myself and this person from the very beginning, and that hostility has only grown over the years, fueled by increasingly stupid and pointless arguments.   Judging from past experiences, it's not going to get better; just worse, and I'm no longer able to tolerate these fights as it is.  So, it's with some grief and a lot of relief that I'm calling it off forever. 

It's game over for this friendship, and frankly, we've both lost.

July 19, 2002...  Me, Make An Ass of Myself?

All right, let's pretend for a second that I didn't miss Friday's update.

I could have sworn that VG Cats was hosting The Misc, but I looked at Scott's page and didn't see a single mention of the comic there.  So either he dropped it like a hot potato, or it was never there at all and I just made an ass of myself.  If the latter applies, I'd like to apologize to the editor of VG Cats for the mistake.

July 18, 2002...  First Thoughts on the Nintendo e-reader

Let's see how long I can keep this up!

I heard about a card reader for the Game Boy Advance in the latest issue of GameNOW!, and you know, I might just get one.  It's bulky, and at fourty dollars, a costly initial investment, but I like the idea of playing really tiny games on really tiny cards for a really tiny price.  It's my understanding that packs of cards for the reader will cost only a few bucks each... of course, not every card will include a game, but if there's at least three titles in the pack along with the GameCube codes, you're still getting a pretty good deal.  I just wonder how well supported the reader will be... it shouldn't be too tough for the manufacturer to supply it with plenty of games, when you consider that hobbyists have already written dozens of homebrews for the system.  In the worst case scenerio, they could always buy the rights to these games, which are quite small and perfectly suited to the card format.  If the reader catches on, however, perhaps Nintendo will publish all of their older NES and arcade games on cards, and my dream of playing a REAL version of Donkey Kong on the go will finally be realized.

I never had much faith in Zoo Logic, but after the last two weeks of reading poorly drawn furry comics and gaming strips best described as Penny Arcade Lite (as in lite in humor and artistic quality), I don't feel nearly as bad about it.  I'm sure you guys have heard about Metal Ice already, but there's another comic out there called The Misc. that looks and reads so much like Penny Arcade that it could pass as its stunt double.  What I find tough to understand is that it, as well as a handful of forgettable sprite comics, is hosted by the creator of VG Cats, a beautifully drawn and colored strip that brings the furry and gaming comic genres together better than Zoo Logic ever could.  I'm convinced that the author could build a strong reader base comprised of gamers and furry fans alienated by Penny Arcade's abrasive, arrogant writer Tycho.  The only thing holding him back are the half-dozen lame-o comics he's hosting.  C'mon, Scott... VG Cats could be big if you'd just lose the dead weight!

July 17, 2002...  Operation: Fan Porn

Am I really updating on a daily basis?  That's so unlike me.

I'm still playing my NES, along with any Zapper games I can find.  I liked Freedom Force before, but after having played Operation: Wolf I appreciate it even more... I think I'll give it another point the next time I update the review page.  You'd think Taito would have been really careful translating Op: Wolf to the NES, considering how popular it was in America... even kids who didn't like video games constantly played this one back in 1988.  I don't think anyone got much mileage out of this barely adequate translation, though, especially if they made the mistake of playing it with a Zapper.  We all remember how tough it is to squeeze the trigger on Nintendo's light gun, right?  Well, try doing it hundreds of times in rapid succession.  In fact, don't... just buy a copy of Freedom Force instead.

My friend's been telling me about a disturbing new trend on the already porn-clogged Internet... erotic fan-fiction, or yaoi (pronounced "yowie", which is what you'll scream if you ever accidentally read some of the stuff).  Evidently, your common, everyday men and women aren't enough to thrill some porn fans... they want to read about their favorite pop culture icons doin' the wild thang.  This has resulted in some of the strangest pairings since the debut of the World Wide Web Fights back in 1995.  Imagine, if you dare, Qui-Gon Jin and Darth Maul shagging rather than fragging each other.  Or, if that doesn't make your pubic hairs fall off in sheer horror, how about Tails and Klonoa (eek!), Calvin and Hobbes (arrrgh!!!), or Godzilla and Mothra?  All right, I made the last one up, but I doubt it surprised you much after hearing about the first three.

It's my opinion that there's way too much porn on the Internet, and normally I wouldn't want to add to this leaning tower of sleaze-a.  However, I'm going to write a yaoi of my own, just to demonstrate how unbelievably MORONIC they really are.  My apologies to Jamie Faye Fenton for dragging her masterpiece through the mud, and to anyone who actually reads this.

July 16, 2002...  Site Design Tweaks (plus, revenge of the Nerds)

I'm back a little earlier than expected, but just to address some issues my readers had with the new front page.  A friend suggested that I should use larger links in the navigation bar, and nobody was happy with the bright purple background.  I've switched over to indigo for the moment... it offers higher contrast and isn't quite as feminine as the color I'd used yesterday.  However, even if it makes everyone else happy, I'm not sure I'M completely satisfied with it.  I guess I'll just experiment for the rest of the month, then pick the color I like best.

According to my friend, there's one more problem with the new site design that I'm not even sure I can fix.  Anyone still surfing the web with Netscape Navigator is probably going to see a confused mess with text scattered all over the place rather than the site as I'd intended it to be viewed (anyone who said "What's the difference?" will be getting a coupon in the mail, good for a free boot in the ass).  I'd take care of this as well, but frankly, I don't know how!  If you know how I can change the HTML to make it compliant with both Netscape and Internet Explorer, tell me and I'll give it a shot.  Also, if you're reading this from other browsers and you're experiencing problems, please clue me in... I won't know unless you tell me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've been a good little web site editor and I deserve a treat.  Let's try a few of these... I used to love them when I was a kid!  Wait a minute.  They're white... and pineapple flavored?!  Ugh, these new Nerds are nasty!  Thanks, Nestle... you've made the very best a whole lot worse since you purchased Sunbelt Brands and its Wonka line of candies.  You won't be catching any SweeTarts in MY beard from now on, let me tell you!

July 15, 2002...  Site Redesign: Red Line

Let's see... the appetizers are on the table, well out of Byron's reach.  Is my tie straight?  Ah, much better.  Everything's almost ready!  I'll just add one more review and... great!  I can finally open this curtain!  Ladies and gentlemen, this is the third edition of The Gameroom Blitz!

After nearly a year of sticking with the old front page layout, I've completely redesigned the index, adding serpentine framework and trimming down the size.  There's good and bad to this... the much quicker load times and easier navigation are the obvious benefits, but some of the personality of the old index has been lost as a result of the new look.  I really hope you like what I've done with the place, but if not, here's your escape hatch.

As you might imagine, the new design that's intended to simplify things for the reader makes things a whole lot more complicated for me... I'm having a tough time deciding just how I'll link to the site's most popular features; fun articles like Fighter's Misery and Mickey Tveter's expose of the television show Video Power.  I'm leaning towards creating a general features link that would in turn lead you to all of The Gameroom Blitz's best columns.  However, that's an extra click for the reader, and I always wanted them to have instant access to these articles. 

Furthermore, I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the staff profiles.  I've been using the same deck of cards for months now, and I'd like to trade them in for new artwork; perhaps something drawn by myself rather than video game screenshots.  Until I've decided on a format, the profiles will only be available from the old index.

Since the topic of staff profiles has come up, I might as well ask... if you write for The Gameroom Blitz, now might be a good time to freshen up your profile, or turn one in if you haven't already done so (Tony, I'm looking in your direction).  I'm not going to require you to do this, but if something important has happened between the time you wrote your last profile and now, this'll give you the opportunity to tell the readers of this site about it.

I have just one more reminder for you guys.  As you can see, the site's currently under heavy construction and as a result some links aren't going to be ready, or won't work at all.  In addition to this, articles I'd planned to write are going to be put on the backburner until I'm finished redesigning The Gameroom Blitz.  John Roche has sent in a terrific review of Treasure's Nintendo 64 release Sin and Punishment, but that's the only new content you'll find here.  I will try my best to keep you regularly informed of my progress on this site as well as other information here in the updates section of the index, however.

I hope I can make your patience pay off.  I want to create a network of JessCREATIONS*, Co. sites in the near future, consisting of not only The Gameroom Blitz, but my art page Rogue's Gallery as well as the ambitious gaming fanzine archive On-File.  I've already been pledged server space for On-File, and it shouldn't be very difficult to find a home for Rogue's Gallery.  Once all that's done, I'd like to create a hub with a relatively simple URL that would direct web surfers to all three sites... it'd be a lot easier to promote them this way, and would give readers alternate sites to check out once they're finished reading one of them.

That about covers all the bases, I think.  You'll see another update next Monday.

July 9, 2002...  Journey Escape

It wasn't just any nerd that travelled with Toastyfrog editor Jeremy Parish to see Journey... it was the ultimate nerd, me!  And let me tell you, for such a "washed up" band, they did a terrific job of bringing in an audience.  Newbie Steve Augeri and the rest of the group filled not only the designated concert space (before we got there... blast it all!) but a nearby shore, half a bridge, and most of the yachts floating under it.  There was even a particularly devoted woman who floated as close to the concert as possible in a tiny inflatable kayak!  I can understand why, too, because Journey sounded fantastic.  They were so great that they'd made victims of the youngest concert goers, who were being pressed into the chain link fence by their parents and the rest of the vast crowd.

I'd have photos of the fans, their flattened offspring, the serene yet smelly Muskegon shoreline, and the yummy Dippin' Dots I had, but the festival didn't allow people to take snapshots of anything.  I felt this was unfair, but since I didn't like the idea of a security officer throwing my brand new Pocket Cam into the nearest portajohn, I only let it come out to play before we entered the festival.  Oh... did I mention that?  I'm the owner of a digital camera now!  It's kind of cheap- you could probably measure the resolution in micropixels- but it performs well enough in ideal lighting conditions, and I love the size and shape.  It's perfect for neuralizing citizens who know too much... either that or just taking grainy, washed out pictures of them.  You'll see a review of the Pocket Cam at the end of the week, and plenty of snapshots in subsequent updates.  Heck, why wait?  Since I'm desperate enough for hits to compromise the privacy of a close friend just to bring in few extra visitors, I'll let you Toastyfrog fans  have a sneak peek of the site's elusive editor!

[Postscript: That was a joke, of course.  I think I pasted the guy from Atlantis into that photo, just in case the link no longer works]

July 5, 2002...  Bored on the Fifth of July (also, new forum rules)

I couldn't have asked for a better fourth this year... I watched some of the best fireworks I've ever seen in surprisingly cool, almost completely mosquito-free conditions.  Heck, people were so eager to start celebrating that I caught a few colorful explosions on the way back from work the night before!  I suspect the only way next year's Independance Day will top this one is if we catch Osama on the third of July.

All right, enough friendly chat... it's time to get down to business.  I didn't think I'd have to lay down rules for the message board, because I figured my readers would be smart enough to know what they should and shouldn't post (if they post at all, which they usually don't, but I digress).  However, a practical joker recently tried to pass himself off as me, posting insults on the forum directed at a former contributor to The Gameroom Blitz.  I'm not going to get into the details of why this former staff member no longer writes for this web site, but needless to say, the prankster's attempt to start another quarrel between us was not appreciated.

So here's the deal, folks.  I'd love to see more people post on the message board, but there are limits as to what you can do over there... there always have been, but I never bothered to put those rules into writing.  That ends today.  Here's the official terms of service agreement for The Gameroom Blitz' message board.  There aren't many rules, and the ones that are there are pretty reasonable.  Anyone who disregards them will be given the punishment proven most effective in Australia... a booting, with a wingtip, through the gates of the US Embassy.

1.  No impersonation or identity fraud, except in cases where the post is obviously satirizing someone else.  By an obvious parody, I mean you'd better sign the post with a MAD-style name rather than the actual name of the person you're ribbing.  Some suggestions for "Jess Ragan" include Cess Ragnacenty and Jizz Rag-on.

2.  No prolonged personal attacks.  This has happened a few times over on the Digital Press forum, and Joe's policy has been to warn the guilty parties, then boot them.  I hope Joe doesn't mind, but I'm adopting that policy too.  Arguments are fine, but if you have to resort to calling someone a fag, you've picked the wrong message board for it.  Don't try to be sneaky about your insults, either, because I'll know... contrary to popular opinion, I'm not stupid.  If you try to get under someone's skin and won't stop I'll settle matters with a pair of tweezers.

3.  No spamming.  It'll be a sad day when someone decides that my Hotmail account isn't good enough and tries to sell their herbal Viagra substitutes on my forum.  It'll be a REALLY sad day for them if I find them.

That's pretty much it.  Don't impersonate other posters (even if you've got the sideburns and sequined jumpsuit for it), don't be a bastard, and don't sell my readers crap.  It shouldn't be too hard to follow these guidelines.  Oh yeah, there's just one more rule... actually, it's more of a suggestion.  If you read this web site and enjoy it, please post on the message board!  A lot of other web sites ask for donations... I don't expect that from you, but I would like some feedback and opinions.  That's always been really important to me, and aside from contributing reviews and articles, it's the best way to support The Gameroom Blitz.