Monday, April 30, 2007

Why the Dallas-Golden State series
is Giving Me Deja Vu
(& Freaking Me Out).

What leaves me dusty & bewildered about the Warriors going up 3-1 on the No. 1 Mavs is the L (& especially the Playoffs!) is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS COLORFUL, at least in REAL LIFE. Witnessing the Warriors is akin to playing NBA Live in a Reviewieran vien.1 Perhaps, in my little NBA video-game garden of eden, shit like this can go down, in the fashion that it has. But not in Real Life.

Furthermore, there's this whole Promise Of the Suns Revolution Fulfill'd shit going down that I didn't see coming. Specifically, an 8-rank Warriors team wielding the harbinger scimitar.

All of this is too much, so I settle for unsettling deja vu hijinx.

Below follows a brilliant mock-AP Wire game report which (me & Fat's mutual friend) Chris Collision wrote almost exactly 2 years ago.

NBA Live 2005 was our nectar, then, Fat tearing around w/ the Nuggs & Warriors, maybe a little 6ers; me w/ the likes of the Wiz, Bucks & Clippers. One lazy afternoon, we whiled away a half-dozen 20-min. games, matching these various squads up versus 1 another. I won every single game, 'cept the last.

I've bolded parts I find downright creepy regarding the current state of affairs.
Coach Loses Game, Cool
(DATELINE: Portland, report filed by UPI stringer Chris Collision)

Following the stunning collapse of Coach D.D. Tinzeroes' normally indomitable Milwaukee Bucks squad, tempers flared and a decades-old relationship between two coaches may be in serious trouble. A rag-tag bunch of misfits assembled to play under the banner of the Oakland Warriors managed to close a double-digit gap in under two minutes of game time last night, forcing turnover after turnover and hitting clutch 3s like Bruce Bowen bitchslapping a Croatian hooker. During this run, the usually cool, calm, and collected Tinzeroes repeatedly lost his cool on the sidelines, screaming helpful tips at his lads: "Rebound! Execute! Oh, Come ON!!!".

After The Zarko Cabarkapa (two-headed President of the Galaxy) hit a tough runner in the lane, improbably putting the Warriors up by a deuce, Coach Tinzeroes smiled thinly and called his final time-out. Surely with 5 seconds left on the clock, the master strategist could come up with the winningest of plays. The playoff-tested veteran had to have the edge over the young, not particularly bright Coach Lafayette "Fat" Contradiction. (Contradiction's major late-game move had been to insert Adonal Foyle into the game, for reasons best left unprobed.)

Inbounds. Moments later, the unthinkable occurred as the final horn sounded, the ball still nestled firmly in Joe Smith's giant paws, proving the ancient hoops adage: truly, you miss every one of the shots you don't take.

After the game, Warriors Coach Contradiction had little to say. "Shit, man, we had to win one sometime. The guy owns me, what can you say?
I was happy to escape with a win, and happier that we won playing the right way. You know, with a shoot-first point guard going for 38. Just the loosey-goosey way I love to run." The irascible coach then strangely kissed his thumb and waved it in the air. Uncapping his 40, he took a mighty pull, grinned like an idiot, and ended the press conference, saying only "After a win like this one, I'm gonna go get tore up. Mamas, lock up your strippers!".

Coach Tinzeroes, however, was considerably more voluble. "Bullshit. Total bullshit. I call a goddamned play, tweak the lineup for total control, and what happens? Joe fucking Smith happens. The only man who makes Marcus Camby's hands look soft. Great execution boys, just fucking great."

When asked about the failure, the multiple-time champion turned from winningest to whiningest: "Well, really, the Bucks have no business even being on the same court as the Warriors. We were at a massive talent disadvantage--I think that was quite clear--and it really just screwed us over in that fourth quarter. I mean, you can only ask Anthony Goldwire to dominate Baron Davis for so long.
Eventually Davis is gonna wake up, take the ball away from you repeatedly, and shove 3-balls into your ears while pushing his thumbs into your eye sockets. I really thought we had 'em when Jason Richardson fouled out. I mean, Fat's a nice guy and all, but he's a horrible coach. Without high-level players, he's sunk. No offensive skill at all, he just sorta lets his guys run around and jack up off-balance jumpers while he eats pizza and pounds tallboys on the bench. Total lack of class, totally unprofessional. A disgrace to this league and to the game that I love to simulate."
Looking over my shoulder.


1 The Reviewieran tendencies toward NBA Live being covered, sorta, here, and here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

outline/timeline III: my beloved little grey box--The Prologue

outline/timeline III: my beloved little grey box--The Prologue
I love my dead grey console: Part 3

Got drunk at work the other night, caught another couple hours of Angel. One episode was a lovely meditation on vampiric evil vis-a-vis the passage of time, personal evolution and even...redemption. Somehow, this rang some bells...

Ended up buried in the basement, pounding Oly and starting up a new game of the truly excellent Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Now that's a take on vampiric evolution! The story blends revenge and redemption in a fascinating way, and has perhaps the best presentation of narrative of any game I've owned.(1) The voice acting trumps any animation I've heard, and the tutorial entwines with character/story development, all these elements scattered amongst standard action/adventure puzzle/exploration fare. This is simply one of the finest, most polished games I've played. And that got me to thinking...

Lotta really good stuff's come up on the 'nets the past couple weeks.

The Dreamcast Junkyard's roused itself from its sad, lengthy slumber to bust out a ton of updates. Highlights include:
a fabulous image they found(2);
a lovely round up of more recent Dreamcast titles, including a bunch of rad shmups, a topic near and dear to my heart.

The prolific and superb Racketboy's been on a mammoth hot streak lately. His Dreamcast stuff includes:
a solid introduction to most things Dreamcast;
a terrific starter's guide to filling out a collection of games for your nifty little grey guy(3);
an insightful where to go next" batch o' suggestions;
and a couple musings on classic bits of Sega, and new wonders to ponder.

All this wonderful work's got me All Fired Up, and over the next two weeks I hope to finish the Wholesale Roundup of All My Dreamcast Games. Excelsior! Allons! GIT SUM!!


(1) As in all things, Metroid Prime rates here. But LoK:SR did get there first...

(2) Can you guess what my desktop is at the moment?

(3) I grade out at an acceptable 7 of 11 of his main titles, and 4 of his 8 slightly more-expensive games. 11 of 19; I can live with that.

(4) Now, 'taint as tho' it's all-'n'-only Dreamcast down in Castle Contradiction's Keep. Also I'm fond of my GBA; barely a week ago, I scored an eight dollar copy of the FUCKING IMMACULATE Metroid II: Return of Samus. Wow. This game is...well, it's radtacular.

I mean, I've spent a couple hours with Metroid: Fusion, by general agreement the finest Metroid radness available on the GBA, and it's not clear to me that it even looks any better than II. (The backgrounds are better...maybe a few more frames of animation...but that's it.) Just a delicious little portal into Samus Aran's world. The world I wish I lived in.

Anyway, my hunger for consumption needs a little reining in--I scored a "backup Dreamcast" not long ago, and then talked myself into a second--MUCH NEEDED!!--copy of Jet Grind Radio. So...let's get technical:

The GBA is my beloved pink handheld. It plays GBA games, connects to my GameCube, and plays older GB games.

My DS is a gorgeous little platinum slab. It plays GBA games...and DS games. It connects to Wi-Fi things, might connect to a Wii, if ever I bought one, but won't play anything older.

My Micro is a gorgeous little black-an'-silver sliver. It plays GBA games, and nothing else. It connects only problematically to any other consoles...

Answer's clear. I gotta sell the Micro. It does what it does perfectly, but it only does one thing: play GBA games. Sigh. I'll miss her.

I'll miss her.