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UNGH
July 2, 2007
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Biker Scout Stormtrooper 4-LOM Plo Koon

From left to right: Biker Scout Stormtrooper, 4-LOM, Plo Koon. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 422nd installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Ratatouille: Good

DisneyHey Kids, it's Patton Oswalt!We went and saw Pixar's latest feast for the eyes, Ratatouille, on Sunday. We were pleased and odds are you will be too. For a G-rated movie, it was surprisingly sharp, with snappy humor, character designs that reminded us a lot of the Muppets in places, and top-notch voice talent. The animation was so perfect that you could just eventually ignore it, because the plot distracted you from the craftsmanship of hundreds of individually crafted cans, tubs, spoons, tiles, and other unique odds and ends on the screen. On paper, the film's story is almost insultingly simple-- a rat wants to be a cook and can't, because he's a rat and not a human. A human chef cannot cook, and the rat uses him as a conduit to prepare fine dishes. Also there's a sinister plot involving frozen food, inheritance law, and the garbage boy. In the hands of less-skilled craftsmen, this would be dull, but because all the right people were brought on board odds are you're really going to enjoy the ride. A truly smart family film is a rare thing, and while it almost seems that this one will go over younger kids' heads in places, you'll probably enjoy it a great deal. If you read this site and buy toys and are a bit snobby when it comes to the funny, this may be right up your alley.

It was #1 at the box office over the weekend. Rotten Tomatoes has it pegged at 95%. We just know it's going to get buried under the hype for Transformers, so do yourself a favor-- if you have the time and money, go check out Ratatouille. We're fairly convinced you won't be sorry. Plus, again, it's got Patton Oswalt, and that's reason enough for us to shell out money for almost anything.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up, Post-Botcon: Part 1

TransformersNEWA lot of things happened at Botcon, and there are good reports all over the web. Here's what we think you need to know.

Hasbro proper posted tons of updates this weekend, making up for not doing much on their site the rest of the year. You can find stories on the Target Scout Exclusives Wave 2 and 3, the Target Exclusive Legends Set (which we saw in-store yesterday), Wal-Mart's Exclusive Masterpiece Starscream, Target's Optimus Prime Titanium Gift Set, yet more Target exclusive G1-style movie repaints, and a lot more. Very little "normal line" stuff.

We're still sifting through all the panel information and will write that up tomorrow. (It was a busy weekend.) In short: Classics to return in 2008, Beast Wars Robot Heroes are coming, Titanium is dead, Alternators are dead, and all non-"Transformers Animated" items will be under an umbrella currently called "Universe."

--AP

Anniversary Joes Hitting, Sort Of

G.I. JoeCOBRAAAAA!Don't get excited yet-- but one guy over at Toy News International on their forums found 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe single carded figures at a Wal-Mart. We went hunting over the weekend and didn't see any on our travels and your mileage will undoubtedly vary, but it means it's going to be very, very soon-- just don't send us a nasty email when you don't see them in your neighborhood, because odds are they aren't there today yet. Happy Hunting!

--AP

Shoot To Maim
July 3, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 422

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the Desert Sniper Tusken Raider. As the first-ever prequel-based Sand Person, he's got a rifle and knows how to use it. Should you fear him? Or become his friend? Read on!

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiMario MadnessFrom the NES: Super Mario Bros. 2, a game that breaks from the formula but is quite an excellent title that deserves your attention-- if you don't have the similar-but-superior Super Mario All-Stars for the Super NES. From the Sega Genesis: Sega's Ecco: The Tides of Time. Dolphin fun at its 2-ee-est. Also from the TurboGrafx-16, it's Dragon Spirit, a shooter where you get to pilot a freaking dragon. They got our attention.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeMissile CommandThis week's arcade download is a brand new HD remake of (and the original version of) Missile Command. Which may be very exciting to some of you. But not us. Because there's no wacky awesome sprites to love, and well, uh, we don't care for the gameplay-- but it's going to be 400 Microsoft Points and that ain't too bad. Plus it has Dolby 5.1 surround. Yes, Missile Command. Kudos for remake overkill though-- we appreciate seeing this kind of attention lavished on a classic, even if it isn't our cup of tea, and can't wait to see what's next.

--AP

Extensive Cobra Commander Review at GeneralsJoes.com

G.I. JoeCOBRAAAAA!We love Cobra Commander in a way you'll never be able to understand. But you can try to understand if you can read this review at GeneralsJoes.com and check out the many pictures. We can't get ours yet (not for lack of trying), so we'll go drool at this one some more. Oooooh. Aaahhh.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up, Post-Botcon: Part 2

TransformersNEWYesterday we were tired and decided going to bed was a good idea. Now we have to tell you what you missed at the show.

As far as we're concerned, the most exciting/annoying news was the return of Transformers Classics. Exciting because we love it. Annoying because we didn't buy the BotCon set and therefore we don't have Thundercracker, Dirge, and Thrust. (Although we're probably gonna start watching eBay. We don't care about the clear Mirage-- but we need those jets, dammit. We're patient-- we'll wait you out.) Currently, this new line of classics is on deck for 2008 under the new "Universe" line. It should include Octane (triple changer), Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Galvatron, Prowl, Ironhide, and Jazz. It's a good mix. See more at TheAllspark. They also say there will be some sort of combiners in Universe/Classics, or at least they're likely. We're quite pleased with the lineup, even if we can't get our remaining three jets due to the convention exclusiveness of them and our desire to keep our $300. (Sniffle.)

6-inch Titanium is dead. Alternators is dead. We're fairly sure Attacktix is dead, too.

The new TV show toys are going to closely match the animation designs.

Actually, just read this over. Seriously, don't make us rewrite it, this is all good, important stuff you should know, so get readin' kids.

--AP

Duh, Who Put The Lights Out?
July 5, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 423, 424

Today at Galactic Hunter we start with a look at the first Episode II Obi-Wan Kenobi figure, which first came out in 2002. While not super-poseable, the figure had some good accessories and was reissued a couple of times, ensuring fans who wanted one could get one. Did Hasbro do its best work the first time around? Read on!

And who could live without a four-armed General Grievous from Revenge of the Sith? With four lightsabers and a blaster, this figure has more weapons than he can carry-- a nice change of pace, to be sure. And would you believe he has an action feature that basically works? Read on!

--AP

Wii Metroid: No Online Multiplayer

WiiWHUT?A number of outlets, like GamePro, have information that while Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is coming to the Wii in 2007, it won't be online. Nintendo, eager to make money for Microsoft and the Xbox, has opted to leave this out.

--AP

25th Anniversary Assortment Info + Black Timber

G.I. JoeCOBRAAAAA!One of the perks of our day job is getting to molest examine products as they enter a vast, cavernous warehouse, and we got to do just that on Tuesday. Lots of the first wave (not first revision) of the individually packaged G.I. Joe figures hit, and the assortment we saw in the box we opened had 3 Snake Eyes (2 grey Timbers, 1 black), 2 Storm Shadows, and 1 each of Flint, Cobra Officer, and Cobra Commander. (We've also heard the case would be 2 Snake Eyes, 2 Storm Shadow, 2 Cobra Commander, and 1 each of the rest.) We haven't yet received ours, but will post impressions and possibly reviews when we do. Also, if you didn't notice, Timber is the same sculpt used in the final wave of Valor vs. Venom, where he was a medium grey wolf. (Oh, and we didn't examine multiple cases-- just one. So we dunno the distribution of variants for certain across the line.)

For those who haven't seen them, the figures are packaged on cardbacks very similar to the vintage (1982-1993ish) figures, but the border, G.I. Joe logo, and the area behind the figure are now a shiny silver instead of the usual, non-metal looking colors. (We think it's overkill.)

Naturally, you can find out more about these from our corporate overlords where you can also order/pre-order a case. Prices are expected to be $4.8X at Wal-Mart and $5.99 at Target, with Toys "R" Us and other stores still being an unknown.

--AP

Reach For It
July 6, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 425

Today at Galactic Hunter we start with a look at the only Revenge of the Sith Padme figure, and she be preggers. With decent articulation, soft goods, and a less-than-thrilling costume, this figure has been released in two unique packages so far. So should you get one or not? Read on!

--AP

PS3 Price Drop Imminent, Xbox 360 Warranty

Video Games$$$?If you're looking to spend a whole mess of money, Joystiq and other news outlets have reason for you to smile-- after eight months, the Playstation 3 is going to get its first price drop. The $599 one is going down to $499 on or around July 12. We believe this makes it the cheapest Blu-Ray player on the market once more, although the reduced price and still iffy software line-up make us still not care yet. We need something more, or more accurately, we need it for a lot less.

Also, as you no doubt have heard, Microsoft is now offering a 3-year warranty on the Xbox 360 rather than 1-year, or the industry standard 90 days it started out with. 3 years is shockingly long, but hey, more power to them. They can afford it.

--AP

25th Anniversary Reviews (not ours)

G.I. JoeCOBRAAAAA!We're crazy excited to get our hands on the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe line, and we're already prepping to do some reviews on the first 5 individually carded figures which, according to our slide rule, we'll have tomorrow. While you're waiting, you may be curious to read additional reviews now so you can ignore ours next week.

Generals Joes has reviews of the Cobra battle pack and 4 of 5 individual figures. Joe Battle Lines looked at a selection of figures from the 5-packs. Overall, it seems they look good but might not hold up quite as well as toys, borrowing a few pages from the Star Wars design book in some respects. Still, crazy posable Cobra Commander = woooo.

On the bright side, we're really not sure what to make of the figures based on what we're reading. Which should make it interesting for us to get them and review one or two, just 'cuz.

Oh, and another new podcast is coming up soon. Be sure to get yer podcatchers ready.

--AP

Entertainment Earth Podcast (powered by 16bit.com)

Podcast #53: July 6, 2007

Transformers Optimash Prime! New Gentle Giant, John Waters Hairspray dolls, Botcon 2007 Transformers news, movie round-up, video game price cuts, and what's going on with Metroid and the Internet. This show has a lot of stuff crammed into it, as an added bonus, it's a shorter one.

Click here to visit the Episode #53 page at Entertainment Earth.

--AP

How to sign up

For starters: You do not need an iPod to hear a Podcast. Podcasting is just a fancy word for "hack job internet radio show," which is exactly what we're aiming to produce here.

If you have iTunes 4.9 or above: You can subscribe to it for free. Just search for "Adam Pawlus" under Podcasts in the iTunes music store, or just go to "Subscribe to Podcast" and paste in "http://www.entertainmentearth.com/podcasts/podcast.xml". And you should be all hooked up.

If you're using an RSS reader: Subscribe to this feed: "http://www.entertainmentearth.com/podcasts/podcast.xml".

If you are using Safari: click here.

That's OK
July 9, 2007
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Darth Vader Leia & Bail Organa C-3PO

From left to right: Darth Vader, Leia & Bail Organa, Santa C-3PO. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 429th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Xbox 360 Prince of Persia Classic: We Beat It, It's Good

Xbox Live Arcade$$$?As kids, we had Macs, and on these Macs, we had Prince of Persia. (It should be noted we weren't very good at it, and for most of the time, all we had was a brief demo.) This new version for the Xbox 360 from Ubisoft is basically that old game that we installed the demo for on every computer in our school library, but with some enhancements. The sound has been amped up, the graphical facelift now matches the Sands of Time games, there are "checkpoints," and there's the ability to replay levels to get a better time, which is necessary, because you're supposed to beat the game in 60 minutes. (The story: you need to rescue the princess of Persia within an hour, or she's going to get married to a very tall man with a very large stick.)

The gameplay is very different from most platforming games, probably mostly because it was designed for computers first and the ports to every console on the market came months or years later. You run, you jump, but here's where it gets special-- you can grab on to ledges, hit tiles in the ceiling and poke for weak spots to sneak through, explore secret passages, and more. These are the kinds of things many games boast, but it really was something special to suddenly discover that the innocuous tile on the other side of the screen masked a secret basement with a potion, or a bottomless pit. (Yes, this game has bottomless pits! Remember those?) You'll also find swordfighting, a few puzzles, a little magic, and a rat. Combined, all of these things add up to a satisfying experience marred only slightly by a lot of memorization and, at times, awkward controls. (It could just be our spastic thumbs.)

We've only had the game for a week but it seemed appropriate to let you know we really enjoyed it and, so far, we haven't had any weird bugs or anything hang our console. (Like, say, Doom.) We never beat the original, but we beat this one-- and we liked it. Given that we've purchased countless games that we never had the time or patience to complete, we're glad to say that frustration didn't really set in, the game felt challenging enough to be fun, but we're just happy that someone out there remembered to make a game for us gamers who rarely get to play more than an hour or two a week unless we get really, really lucky. (This was a lucky week.) It's fun-- if you played the original, you'll probably get a lot out of this, especially if you forgot the layouts of the levels and how to beat the various puzzles.

If you haven't memorized the original, you're going to die. A lot. If you enjoy the challenge and are the kind of person who will keep coming back for more, you'll find a lot to like here-- there's a lot to find and explore, there's a definite feeling of satisfaction when you finish a level (well, after level 3 anyway, the first twp are a snap). As we are not youngsters, we're not sure of the ages 4-20 demographic will get a lot out of this. After all, it's an Apple II game from 1989 with spit and polish to make it look fancy for today's older gamer, and we honestly don't expect people that grew up on the Nintendo 64, what with its many unlockables in every game and many hours of gameplay, to love this. We do though. We want to play through it some more and better our time-- we just plain dig it. But we freaking love this style of game and would buy Prince of Persia 2 if they ported it to Xbox 360, too.

The game, available exclusively (currently) through download only via the Xbox Live Arcade service, costs 800 "points." (This means if your Xbox 360 can't be connected to the Internet, then you can't get this game.) A point costs about $0.0125, US $10.00 in real world money-- you can't buy games directly, you have to buy points, and you're going to need some basic math skills to determine how many points you should get. (We find the denominations of point cards available at retail far friendlier to making a purchase and ending up with 0 points in the end than ordering points directly online.) The game was published by Ubisoft.

Want to read more? There's Microsoft's profile of the game, a review at 1up.com, another one at IGN, and one more from GameSpot. There's also this Metacritic page for the game.

(We're spending a frankly frightening amount of time with this new console, due in no small part to our best college buddies also having one. If you have friends and like games, you might like it too. Two words: Aegis Wing.)

--AP

Transformers Movie Makes Lots o' Money

TransformersCash Cow In Disguise!According to Box Office Mojo, the Hasbro/Dreamworks/Bay/Spielberg movie has made $152 million in the USA and about a grand total of $246 million worldwide, in less than a week. Wow. Hopefully this means we'll see a careful cultivation of Hasbro's intellectual property to create a vast portfolio of characters and brands that will entertain the world for generations.

(And not, you know, Mean Girls redubbed with new voices and called Jem: The High School Years.)

--AP

The Cobra Coast
July 10, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 429

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the Imperial Scanning Trooper, a hastily made pack-in from 1998 based on the AT-ST Driver mold. As little more than a ploy to get you to buy a second (or perhaps third) Millennium Falcon carry case, this figure doesn't do much to excite or to amaze-- but we bought it anyway. Are we stupid, or is there something endearing about this grey suited techie from a galaxy far, far away? Read on!

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiYoshiFrom the NES: Yoshi, a fairly simple puzzle game with falling pieces that you match up and capture inside two egg pieces-- it was on the original GameBoy too, and it's actually somewhat fun. For a portable game. For a console game, you might not like it. There's also Mach Rider, which you probably don't want. Also from the TurboGrafx-16, it's Air Zonk, which is Bonk, but not as awesome.

--AP

25th Anniversary Assortment Impressions

G.I. JoeCOBRAAAAA!We got our case of 25th Anniversary singles today and are working on reviews for you. Here are some fun facts we haven't seen reported on the Joe sites yet:

The figures have a new size peg hole in their feet. Rather than the same size we've seen since 1982, they are now the same size as modern Star Wars figures, and you can swap the stands between them and they fit just fine.

There are no Flag Points. There are also no Battle Points, America Points, Joe Points, or any such points-- nada. Zippo.

Weapons do not necessarily fit in holsters. Snake Eyes' small knife doesn't properly fit into his sheath, nor does Storm Shadow's larger sword.

There are no images of the toys on the packaging. There are no images of the action figure anywhere on the package-- you get painted character art, and that's it. This is in line with the old series, but in this day and age it's quite surprising-- not out of line with Joe packages of old, but we're used to seeing the toys on the toy packaging. Call us new-fashioned.

Most figures have about 16 points of articulation. Joes typically have had 12, the new joints are usually an extra pair of knee joints and two wrist/glove joints. Figures have a little difficulty sitting in some cases, although this is due to a design which favors aesthetics over play-factors.

The backpack hole in the back is now gone. All 5 figures have "normal" backs-- Cobra Commander has a holster of sorts on his back you can plug his blaster in, but the other figures are devoid of a place to stick a backpack. This isn't necessarily a great thing, or a bad thing-- we're just letting you know.

Cobra Commander's left hand is a fist. Nothing too bad, but it's worth noting-- this is on both the multi-pack figure and the single figure.

Most figures have little problem sitting in the few enclosed vehicles we've tested them with. The new DTC/Mail-Order/Black Box HISS? Yes. (But you need to take the Cobra Officer's helmet off first.) The Locust? No.

By and large, though, they're fun to mess with but they are very different. The figure designs seem stronger, and this new revision of this scale is stronger than what we got around 2002, what with the T-crotch joints and beefier sculpts. The 2007 Joes seem to have much more in common with recent Star Wars figures than other Joes of the past, which makes for an interesting new toy line. As we said, pictures are being process, impressions are being made, and we're kinda busy with the whole thing so we hope to have your first new figure feature in quite some time ready this week.

--AP

After That
July 11, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 430

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the 2006 edition of General Grievous, a repaint of a figure that was actually pretty good when it first came out. This release improved the coloring, added an accessory, and basically changed how fans look at the character-- as a toy, anyway. So is it right for you? Read on!

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeSonic vs. Golden AxeTwo games in one week? What the hell? We're shocked, but hey, if Sega wants to put out two games in a week, we'll take 'em. Well, maybe one. The original Sonic the Hedgehog is up, bringing you the blue mascot character from back when he was cool, and not a symbol of a legion of ubercreepy fans. Also exciting (potentially) is Golden Axe, which features online gameplay. (Oooh, ahhh.) While we're mostly Nintendo dorks here, we're more than a little surprised to see games from the Wii Virtual Console on the Xbox, with more features, at a lower price. Of course, the system was a heck of a lot more expensive, so.

The demo for Golden Axe was pretty good-- it felt like the original, only with more online enhancements. It even let you play a few levels of the game, which is more than we expected from a simple demo. Kudos, Sega.

Sonic is, well, Sonic. No real significant changes from the Genesis version other than onliney stuff and a smoothing option, or at least that's what we're seeing in the demo.

What has us very excited is the lineup for future downloads. Why? Bomberman Live and Marathon: Durandal this summer, which satiates our console nerd and Mac nerd gaming sensibilities. Now, where the heck is Puzzle Fighter, hmmm?

--AP

Xbox Updates from E3

XboxLIVEFor starters, let's look at this big blow-by-blow live coverage from Joystiq. That's the keynote, which is going to tell you most of what you want to know. If you want it in an official Microsoft blog format, check out this Gamerscoreblog posting which has all the new game news, the Disney download news, and everything else. No price drop was announced tonight, which is probably Microsoft's way of saying "your price drop means nothing, NOTHING!" to Sony.

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Female Cobra Trooper

G.I. JoeCOBRANot only did Master Collector/The Joe Club post the full packaging of the 25th Anniversary Convention Box Set, but they previewed several figures as well! Click here for their preview page which shows 3 different female Cobra troopers as well as the fairly nifty box art for the set. It's worth a look if you like Joe stuff.

--AP

Ad: Much New Hasbro Star Wars at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthEntertainment EarthOver at Entertainment Earth, the fourth exclusive figure in the 14-figure EE Exclusive Star Wars Mystery Pack Action Figures Set. This time, it's Rav Bralor, a female Mandalorian hired by Jango Fett to train the Clone Troopers-- and she's a brand new mold from Hasbro! The figure is extremely well articulated, has a removable helmet, and averages under $5 when you buy the full set. Be sure to click through for a nice big photo of this figure, and stay tuned for the next 10 which will be revealed over the next few weeks!

And as always, buying through these shameless plugs means we get a nickel or two, and we appreciate your shined nickels and loose change.

--AP

COBRAAAA
July 12, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 431

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the 2006 edition of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a barely new update of the Episode I figure using mostly recycled parts. Exciting, eh? You know you want to read on!

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Female Cobra Officer

G.I. JoeCOBRAWant to see what people assume is a good uniform for women in Cobra? Click here for the preview page showing the leather wearing laced-up redheaded Cobra Officer! Nice.

--AP

E3: Mario Kart Wii Coming, Online Too

WiiSuperbWe just got word from, well, everywhere that Mario Kart Wii is coming in 2008, will include a steering wheel accessory, and can be played online. We even found some screenshots of this new game. It looks good, at least from what little we've seen. There's more to read at Gamespot, too.

--AP

E3: Sega Vintage Collection Coming to Xbox Live Arcade

Xbox16bitThis is the kind of news our site was named for-- Sega put forth a mighty press release indicating it would be releasing a Vintage Game Collection for Xbox Live Arcade. Two games, Sonic and Golden Axe, were released yesterday. Upcoming are: Sonic 2, Ecco the Dolphin, and Streets of Rage 2. What we find particularly notable is that these games are basically the same software as their Wii counterparts, but will be a couple of bucks cheaper and should offer more features.

--AP

Review: 25th Anniversary Cobra Commander

G.I. JoeCOBRAWell, it's about time we did another review! Today we look at the new, individually packaged Cobra Commander from the 25th Anniversary G.I. Joe action figure line. The figure is yet another attempt to modernize the Joe line, and brings in new kinds of joints seen on Star Wars and Marvel Legends to the Real American Hero line. Does it work? Is it worth your five or six bucks? Did we take a lot of pictures? Read on!

We also got our 5-packs. Early impressions are mixed. Overall, the first wave of these classic Joes doesn't seem to match the quality we got in our classic Transformers last year. More as we get the time.

--AP

Beware Death=Adder
July 13, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 432

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the mechanic version of Anakin Skywalker, a figure with decent articulation and added accessories-- like a pit droid. Is it worth it? Just read on!

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Rock N' Roll

G.I. JoeROCK N' ROLLDo you like the Rock N' Roll, kids? Click here for the preview page showing the new figure, which seems to be reusing the comic book pack head sculpt (which is probably for the best). We're sure another one is coming soon.

--AP

E3: EA's The Simpsons Game

SimpsonsHmmWhile the franchise has really managed to outlast its competition, one thing has remained consistent about the Springfield clan over nearly 20 years: and that's video games. Specifically, bad ones. However after hearing Matt Groening is a boss and reading short features like this one and this one, we're curious to hear more. We still expect it to suck, but we're all ears to hear more about what could be a... "special" game. Apparently you can unlock game cliches, and there are 8,000 lines of dialogue they recorded for the show. Hmm.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade Golden Axe: Multi Means 2

Xbox Live ArcadeGolden AxeBefore you waste five bucks like we did, be warned: Golden Axe has a multiplayer mode, where "multi" means "two." We bought this with the intention of doing some 3 player action and, well, obviously it didn't work out.

We did get some 2-player in later and, well, it's Golden Axe. With what seems to be unlimited continues, finishing the short game isn't rocket science and if it weren't for the fact you can play it online with friends, we daresay it isn't worth the 400 points unless you really love the Golden Axe. We had fun with it but mostly because of who we play with. We're snobs. I

--AP

Ad: Big Moving Sale at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthEntertainment EarthFrom Entertainment Earth: After more than 11 years in business, you've helped us of outgrow our warehouse! Rather than moving all of our stock to our new and much larger facility, we've slashed prices on hundreds of items up to 90% off while supplies last! Toys, games, and select collectibles like statues and busts are available at our lowest prices ever, starting as low as $1.50! But hurry... this sale ends Tuesday!

And as always, buying through these shameless plugs means we get a nickel or two, and we appreciate your shined nickels and loose change.

Yoda Monument McFarlane Dragons Chaos Gate Jingai Makyo Ignis 1:7 Scale Statue Star Wars Kotobukiya Commander Bly Model Kit

From left to right: Yoda Monument, McFarlane Dragons, Chaos Gate, Koto Commander Bly. Click through for pricing and availability. Thanks for reading! (But mostly stuffing our coffers.)

--AP

Yes, Harry Potter Was Good
July 16, 2007
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Vulture Droid Elan Sleazebaggano Jawa

From left to right: Vulture Droid, Elan Sleazebaggano, Jawa. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 435th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Doc, Clutch, Zap

G.I. JoeMANYThree for the price of three. (Times three.) Click here for the preview page showing these three new action figures over at Master Collector, which seems to be a mishmash of new sculpts, comic sculpts, and old parts. Nifty!

--AP

Weekly Specials: Video Games at Your Local Stores

Video GamesEvery week, stores in the USA put ads in the Sunday newspapers to let you know what special deals they're offering. Since we're looking these up anyway, we figured we'd share what we see-- and don't see.

Best Buy has nothing of note this week-- everything in the ad is full price as far as console games are concerned. You can, however, get a $5 gift card if you buy Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. As each is $49.99-$59.99, well, not exactly a stunning deal.

Circuit City is offering a free year of Xbox Live Gold with the purchase of an Xbox 360-- an excellent deal. They also have wireless Xbox 360 controllers for $39.99 (was $49.99), a $10 gift card if you buy NCAA Football 08, and a bunch of $12.99-$19.99 games marked down to $9.99. (It doesn't specify which ones are chainwide markdowns.)

It looks likeKmart, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Wal-Mart have nothing new in their ads.

--AP

Ad: Moving Sale at Entertainment Earth Ends Tuesday

Entertainment EarthEntertainment EarthAfter selling out of hundreds of items, Entertainment Earth's big moving sale is almost over! Less than 1,200 items remain, many of which are almost gone.

And as always, buying through these shameless plugs means we get a nickel or two, and we appreciate your shined nickels and loose change.

Sideshow Jabba the Hutt Revoltech EVA-01 Butterscotch Pony Shuffle Asa Shigure

From left to right: Sideshow Jabba the Hutt, Revoltech EVA-01, Butterscotch Pony, Shuffle Asa Shigure. Click through for pricing and availability. Thanks for reading! (But mostly stuffing our coffers.)

--AP

For Freedom
July 17, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 436

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the Hoth pilot that found Luke and Han in a snowstorm, Zev Senesca! He came with a Snowspeeder last year, so you can't get just the figure usually-- he comes with a new (retooled, at least) ship. So how are you going to know if you should get him or not? Just read on!

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Shock Viper Commander

G.I. JoeClay MooreThe name of the file card is "Clay Moore." I can't be the only one who smirked. Click here for the preview page showing this new character, who seems to have turned out quite well.

--AP

Alpha Trion, Weirdwolf at Club Store

TransformersTil All Are RepaintedOver at the club store: convention overstock! Limited to 1,400 sets, the Weirdwolf, Vector Sigma, and Alpha Trion set is in stock for $150-$180 (depending on if you're a member or not). While it's a little rich for our blood, it isn't too bad considering the edition size-- if you missed out on the show and want a licensed Alpha Trion of your very own, this may be your only chance-- at this price.

--AP

Challenge Mode 2
July 18, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 437

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at a revised (post-Clone) revision of the Scout Trooper! He's super articulated, has a flip-out helmet, and a face of Jango Fett under it. How are you going to know if it's cool enough to buy Just read on!

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiBalloon FightFrom the NES: Balloon Fight, which is available a number of other ways and is not worth the $5. From the TurboGrafx-16, it's Silent Debuggers, which we own an actual cart of and don't like. Making up for it all from the Nintendo 64: Paper Mario, a very clever RPG which is probably worth your $10.

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Grunt

G.I. JoeGRUNTIt's Grunt! Click here for the preview page at Master Collector, which shows this figure with his two giant freaking guns.

--AP

Marathon Durandal info for Xbox Live Arcade

Xbox Live ArcadeApple vs. MicrosoftOriginally best known as one of the Mac's finest in the 1990s, the Marathon series brought Bungie to its earliest big fame-- before Microsoft bought them and Halo was born. If you care of such things, Bungie has a big article on the Xbox Live Arcade remake of the second game in the series, and we have to say it looks pretty good. (Much better than the Doom port.) Check it out, yo.

Also, Bomberman Live and Yie Ar Kung Fu should be going live today, possibly before you read this. We'll be back with impressions on those tomorrow, time permitting, if Pac-Man Championship Edition doesn't eat up another night.

--AP

Bombs Up!
July 19, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 438

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at a young Padawan known as Jempa! She's small and cute, but carries a lightsaber and wears a helmet. When you read on, you can determine if this fierce warrior-to-be is worth your hard-earned cash.

--AP

Rygar for Wii

WiiRygarWe're not sure why, but they're making another sequel to Rygar. Over at The Magic Box, you can see this game for the Wii-- for what it's worth, anyway. We found the original to be an amusing diversion and incredibly difficult-- what the new one will offer remains to be seen.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeBombermanShortly after 1:00 AM Pacific, Microsoft posted Bomberman Live and Yie Ar Kung Fu. One has nearly limitless appeal and is 800 points. The other is... Yie Ar Kung Fu.

So, Yie Ar Kung Fu is a fighting game with no online versus mode. The sound stinks. The control is bad. The graphics are upgraded, but I believe the best phrase to describe it would be "turd polishing." For some reason this game has gone on to get some amount of recognition in recent years, although we never really heard of it during its initial release. Obviously, we don't like it-- but all we did was play the demo. If you want to see something crappy that provides fun for less time than it takes to download, you too should try the demo.

On the flipside is Bomberman, which is pretty good despite having been developed in North America. We hopped on with two friends of ours and had a great time, although the single player mode isn't nearly as fun. Most deaths were accidental suicides, but the game is loads of fun with friends and absolutely worth the price of admission-- you can try the demo too if you aren't convinced. These aren't extensive impressions, but sometimes the first reaction is the best one. For example, we still hate Sonic and think Golden Axe ain't half bad.

Rumor has it Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD is next, and boy oh boy, do we hope it is. We can't wait!

--AP

Yes, Harry Potter Was Good
July 23, 2007
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

G2-4T Chief Bast Holographic Obi-Wan Kenobi Hoth Leia

From left to right: G2-4T, Chief Bast, Holographic Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hoth Leia. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 435th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Convention Set Figures Revealed: Sparks, Flash, Group Shots

G.I. JoeSPARKSOver at the G.I. Joe Convention Page you can see a lineup of the seven "Joe" molds standing side by side, looking awesome, and reminding you why they charge an arm and a leg for these things. They look totally well done, with some great new takes on older characters. Be sure to check 'em out.

--AP

Weekly Specials: Video Games at Your Local Stores

Video GamesEvery week, stores in the USA put ads in the Sunday newspapers to let you know what special deals they're offering. Since we're looking these up anyway, we figured we'd share what we see-- and don't see.

Best Buy is offering a $15 gift card when you buy Playstation 2 Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s or Guitar Hero II, which isn't half bad. PS2 Surf's Up is $19.99 and aside from that, we don't see anything special.

Circuit City is offering a free copy of God of War or Ratchet: Dead Locked with the purchase of a Playstation 2. There is also a selection of $4.99 games which is quite impressive: Playstation 2 True Crime New York City, Motocross Mania 3, Casino, Bad Boys. Xbox Half-Life, Rainbow Six 3, Pac-Man World 3. PSP Bomberman. GameBoy Advance Strawberry Shortcake, Shark Tale (Video), Namco Museum.

Kmart has $5 off the following Nintendo DS games, making them all $24.99: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Shrek the Third, Spider-Man 3.

Toys "R" Us is offering some $149.97 "value packs," which we don't think are so hot. You can get a Nintendo DS with a starter kit and your choice of game, or a Playstation 2 with an extra controller and Ratatouille. Also, a number of games are on sale. For the Wii, Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End are $39.99. Also, when you buy the system and one of three games, you get a free controller glove. If you buy an Xbox 360, you get a $50 gift card-- a mighty fine deal. If you pre-order Madden 08 for pretty much any system, you get a $5 gift card when you pick it up.

It looks like Target and Wal-Mart have nothing new in their ads.

--AP

Ad: Star Wars Battlefront II at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthEntertainment EarthNot content to just carry one awesome exclusive set, Entertainment Earth has Diamond's Battlefront Sets! Yes, that's right-- more figures you didn't know you wanted are coming, featuring 13 figures spread across two boxed sets. You'll get six unique Clone Troopers, and seven members of the Droid Army. It's just $74.99 per set, which breaks down to $5.77 per figure. Order yours today and bring the battle home!

And as always, buying through these shameless plugs means we get a nickel or two, and we appreciate your shined nickels and loose change.

--AP

David Bowie from 1986
July 24, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 443

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the Special Edition... edition... of the Sandtrooper! He's beefy, because he's from the 1990s, but he has a droid buddy. Still, he's the only Sandtrooper with a droid buddy-- does that make him worth snagging? Read on!

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiKirbyFrom the Super NES: Kirby's Dream Course, a golfing game with Kirby that we hear was good and we want to try. From the TurboGrafx-16, it's Devil's Crush, which we're going to be downloading soonish. From the Genesis: Shining Force, an RPG which was enjoyable for its day.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeSuper Contra vs. Wing Commander ArenaTwo games in one week? Again? Wow, we must've been good this year. If last week is any indicator, these will be up at roughly 1:00 AM Pacific, so stay up late tonight and snag 'em.

Game the first: Super Contra, aka Super C. A sequel to the classic Konami run-and-gun title, it's expected to be loads of fun and is a mere 400 fake Microsoft pennies, or $5 in real money.

Nobody seems to be sure what to make of Wing Commander Arena, which boasts 16 player fun, nine maps, and no FMV cut scenes. It's going to be $10, or 800 MS points. We haven't played either yet since they aren't up but will no doubt get back to you on both when we need filler for the site.

--AP

You Can
July 25, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 444

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the Special Edition-era dancer Greeata! This dancing Rodian came in a Cinema Scene set from 1998, and she's today's Figure of the Day! With six joints and a lot of bumpy green skin, she's a fanboy's dream, right? Read on!

--AP

Drew Carey to Host Price is Right

TVDrewIf you haven't already heard, you might be interested to know CBS has signed Drew Carey to host The Price is Right. We saw Mr. Carey in Burbank recently (and left him alone as we're very awkward when it comes to seeking autographs) and were wondering what was next for the comic, and now we know-- Plinko!

--AP

Metal Gear Mega Collection Coming (to Japan, because USA sucks)

Video GamesSolid!For less than $70 American, Konami Japan is putting out a big box set of Metal Gear goodness for the Playstation 2. You get all 3 Solid games, the two original pre-Solid games (MSX versions, we presume), a PSP disc of Portable Ops, a DVD, and a bunch of other stuff.

--AP

Canned Update #1: We're Working in San Diego
July 26, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 445

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the first modern version of Bespin Han Solo! He has a black jacket, as at the time, Lucasfilm told its licensees "Han wears black." End of story-- no "blue or brown" business, it was just black everywhere. Is it black enough for you? Read on!

We're busy working the booths at Comic-Con in San Diego, and updating news at Galactic Hunter. As such, these updates were mostly written last weekend so you have something to scan while you spend 2.8 seconds on this page. We'll be back with news from the show on Monday or Tuesday.

--AP

Bomberman Impressions from Xbox Live Arcade

Xbox Live ArcadeKABOOM!In the second of what will no doubt be an ongoing series of comments, we did a lot of hard work over the past week to play Bomberman Live for you, trying out various modes to find out just what it is this game has to offer. There were some things which surprised us, some which did not, but overall we're quite pleased with the 800 MS Point ($10) game, and if you have an Xbox Live Gold account, we think you'll probably like it too.

Pleasant Surprise #1: With no single player "story" mode to speak of, there are several unique multiplayer twists to try, like a "paint bomb" mode where you can change the color of the floor tiles with your explosives, and numerous upgrades. You can decide which power-up (or -down) settings to use, and there's a great degree of customization out there, which is good as the game supports up to 8 players.

Pleasant Surprise #2: You can play a "mixed match" which incorporates your friends over Xbox Live and your friends in the room. What does this mean? We played a match on Sunday which involved one 16bit.com staff member and the staffer's spouse in LA on one Xbox, while playing with a friend in Phoenix via the Internet. So you can have one or more players per Xbox, which is a nice touch given that we couldn't figure out how to make that happen on Doom.

Pleasant Surprise #3: You can adjust the music settings. If the tunes drive you insane, turn them down-- you can still hear the explosions.

Pleasant Surprise #4: There are dozens of costumes to unlock. You start with a Pirate, a Ballerina, and a Roman Centurion (or at least we did), and you can unlock more as you play single player. As far as we can tell, they just dish them out to you as you go-- we couldn't find reasons that we were getting these upgrades. Currently, we're playing with a Bomberman with a viking helmet, a labcoat, and a cigar. It's classy.

Image stolen from Microsoft's site

It's a hard game to say much more about. It's Bomberman, designed primarily for multiplayer-- if that means nothing to you, download the demo or ask some friends about the franchise. We had a pleasant experience in an online test match too-- our first game online with strangers featured four players: one from Germany, one from Japan, one from the UK, and us. It played smoothly and it really, truly is amazing how gaming technology has progressed to the point where you can just up and play with anybody anywhere in the world, and without having to wait six months for someone to localize the game for each unique territory. (We should note, we played this match sans voice/headset-- we figured it was for the best given potential linguistic issues.)

In light of PSP Bomberman being on sale at Circuit City for $4.99 this week, you might be torn-- which to buy? We say both, maybe. The single player mode in Live is just the multiplayer, with bots-- which is fun, but not exactly a variety-filled endeavor. It's an excellent game if you have the means to play it, and have friends to play it with. If you're in high school and your buddies all have it, it's probably worth getting. If you're in college and your pals in other dorms have it, it's a sensible purchase. If you're a bitter, friendless 30something, well, it all depends on how competitive you want to be with total strangers on the Internet. It certainly is fun, but this is a game best enjoyed with loved ones, we find.

Want to see more, including screen shots, reviews, and trailers? Check out Microsoft's page for some quality pics and video. When you're done with that, check out some reviews at our favorite sites like 1up.com and Gamespot, as well as the Metacritic page which shows overall favorable feedback for the game.

--AP

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