: Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: April 15th

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Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: April 15th

If only X-Play was as cool as Van Wilder...

Off the bat, I'll admit that I'm not the biggest TV watcher. The only time I turn my TV on is for Scrubs, Entourage, or when I'm extremely bored and the only cure is some MTV drama from The Hills. Yes, I'm a closet chick like that. Go on judge me all you want. But what if there's nothing on TV to watch, then what? Well then I start flipping through 350 channels until I find something remotely interesting. In this week's case, I stopped at G4 when X-Play was on. I thought to myself “let's see how Morgan Webb's looking lately.” Admit it, Morgan Webb is the only reason you watch too, God knows it isn't for the content and especially not Adam Sessler.

And so begins my latest rant of the week. Yes, Morgan Webb, you are hot...and not because you're a girl-gamer, you're just hot - period. But damnit, why are you part of such a poorly written, abysmally bland, gag-inducing show? Yeah, I bet you thought this was going to be some verbal shrine dedicated to Morgan Webb, didn't you? Well it isn't. This week's column is solely dedicated to one thing: the suck that is X-Play. It's bad enough that Spike's videogame award show is an absolute embarrassment to every member of the gaming press outside of Spike, and thankfully it's only once a year. But why does G4 punish us with this X-Play rubbish on a nearly daily basis?

The show is so poorly executed; the "wit", "sarcasm" and "satire" feels painfully forced -- every word out of Adam Sessler's mouth is like dozens of cracked and crusty nails scraping on a chalkboard, with every syllable more painful than the last. Is it that hard to read an f-ing script and present it like a normal individual? Do you have to make every sentence sound like a quip? You're not Ryan Reynolds, dude...there can only be on Van Wilder.

And Morgan, as gorgeous as she is, attempts to pull off the same shtick as Sessler. To her credit, she pulls off the satire much better than Sessler does, which shouldn't surprise anyone considering women have essentially perfected the craft of satire -- satire and bitchiness aren't exactly polar opposites, you know. I kid, I kid. In any case, why haven't the producers of the show stepped in yet and told them to add some contrast to their presenting? What kind of half-assed production team do they have over at G4? I don't want to see two of the same personalities presenting on my screen. How about some friendly debate? Conflict? Contrast of opinions? Contrast of presenting styles?

I think the biggest problem I have with the show is that it tries too hard to be witty, yet it all feels horrifically forced. I've seen/met Sessler is person, and I know that's not what he's like in real-life. I've heard him speak long enough to know that he doesn't talk like a puppet. So why does he present himself like one on TV? Maybe it is the production staff at the end of it all, I don't know. What I do know is that in its current state, X-Play is an embarrassment to the gaming community. I'm glad that G4 is somewhat tucked away in the cable and satellite world, which means that not everybody is being exposed to X-Play and that's a good thing.

Call me, Morgan. My girlfriend doesn't have to know. =)

More good news for Sony...

So how about this…It looks like Sony is coming back around in terms of content here in the States and in PAL regions. Stock is at an all time high, and it looks like faith in the company is actually increasing, as opposed to the tales we've heard of the opposite. Lair looks mighty promising, doesn't it? I've been following the game closely, and it's a very impressive title. Visually, it may be one of the five best games in development - the water is downright insanity. The best part about it is that Lair is set to hit this July. From Sony alone, there's so much 1st party content making way for the PS3 in 2007 that it makes me one happy gamer. But I still wish that Japan was receiving that same attention as the other two territories are.

All Pro Football? More like Featureless Fun For All!

Finally, I heard about the details on Visual Concepts' newest 2K football game: All Pro Football 2K8. When VC first started talking about the game, they made it sound like some sort of God send that'll really make all of us avid fans of the sport elated. Yeah, well...so far, it looks like we've been lied to this whole time. While I'll reserve final comments until I play the game, Visual Concepts said the game won't allow for the editing of team names, player names, and that there will be no franchise mode.

Seriously? The most basic game mode in sports games since the tournament mode won't be present in a game that is attempting to succeed *without* the use of the NFL license? 2K Sports and Visual Concepts better re-think that entire strategy, otherwise, they'd better have something so monumental up their sleeves that it'll really make us forget about Madden. But at this rate, it surely doesn't look like it.

If 2K Sports fails to position All Pro Football 2K8 as a notable competitor to Madden NFL '08 without an NFL license, then they can forget about the series gaining any sort of momentum thereafter. Don't eff it up, VC.

4/15/2007 Arnold Katayev

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