Sunday, April 30, 2006

Top 5 Ways Gaming is Better Than...Part 1

As a proud advocate for gaming, I'm starting a new Top 5 series that demonstrates how gaming is better than other forms of media. Don't get me wrong - I love music, movies and TV as much as anybody. Its just that sometimes people don't realize how much fun gaming can be.

Top 5 Ways Gaming is Better Than...Going to the Movies

1. Refunds - If you don't like a game you can either take it back or at least get store credit for something better. If you don't like a movie, don't bother whining to the manager, you're screwed. Although I can think of plenty of movies (Wild Wild West, Catwoman, Batman and Robin) that I would like the 2 hours of my life back that I spent watching them.

2. Better Actors - You will never find David Spade or Rob Schneider doing voice over work in a video game. At least I hope not.

3. No Lines - If you want to play games, just turn on your system and go. If you want to go to the movies get in your car (don't forget to pay $40 to fill it), park 50 yards from the theater (at least on a weekend) and wait in line to buy tickets, get popcorn and go to the bathroom.

4. More Interactive - Talking is discouraged while watching a movie. Trash talking is encouraged while playing video games with friends.

5. Cheaper Snacks - Cost of popcorn, candy and a Coke at the theater - $10. Cost of popcorn, candy and a Coke at home - $2. Cost of pounding your brother in Halo 2 - priceless.

These are my 5 reasons, what are yours?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Cheat Me Once, Cheat Me Twice, Cheat Me Deadly

Here's some great cheat codes for Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Unfortunately, these only work for the PC version.

Console menu functions - While in the game, hit the tilde key [~] at any time to bring up the console. With the console open, there are multiple commands that can be used, some that require targeting by selecting an object with the mouse while the console is open.

Click any human or creature, type "kill" - Instant kills
Click a locked door or chest, type "unlock" - Unlocks target object
Without targeting, type "tgm" - God Mode
tfh - Toggle Full Help
player.additem 0000000F 'XXX' -Adds the desired amount of gold. Replace the 'XXX' with the amount wanted.
modpcs skill 100 - adds 100 points to the skill
modpca luck 100 - adds 100 pointsto an attribute (here luck)
player.setlevel 1 - Changes player level to desired number. Use 1-255
advlevel - forces a level up with the levelup screen.
advskill skill # - Forces a skill level up of # levels, example: advskill blade 4
showclassmenu - Allows you to change your class
Showbirthsignmenu - Allows you to change your birthsign
caqs - Completes all quest stages
psb - Add all spells to player
SexChange - Changes your gender
TAI - Toggle AI
player.setAV <#> - Increase (Or decrease) Ability or Attribute
player.additem - Gives the player the given item and amount of the item.
player.setcrimegold 0 - Removes Bounty on your head. NOTE: If being chased by city guards, you must leave the city and go back for it to work on them.
player.payfine - Guards stop attacking you and bounty is paid off.
help - List console commands
lock [1-100] - Lock selected door or container
showfullquestlog [quest id] - Show all log entries for indicated quest
coc testinghall - Teleports player to an area with all objects, monsters, and NPCs in-game.
stopcombat - Immediately stops the combat of the selected friend/foe.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Mole: Let the Madden jinx go into effect

The latest news and rumors in the world of gaming.

Alexander getting ready for a horrible season - The annual Madden cover boy hex continues. This year's victim? NFL MVP Shaun Alexander. The over/under on his season ending injury? Week 3.

PS2 drops in price, nobody cares - Sony has announced that it has lowered the price of the Playstation 2 by $20 to $129.99 effective immediately. Forgive my lack of enthusiam but to date, over 100 million PS2's have shipped worldwide. Is there anybody on this planet with a TV that doesn't own one? And if they really want to help financially strapped people out, lower it to $50. Which is about the price I can pay for a used one.

Hello Mr. Cipriani - Rockstar will be releasing its PSP hit "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories" on the Playstation 2 June 6th. If that weren't cool enough, its going to sell for a measly $20. This almost makes up for the news of Rockstars upcoming Table Tennis game.

Joanna Dark update - Microsoft has announced new downloadable content for "Perfect Dark Zero". The updates will load automatically (as usual) when you insert your PDZ disc and include eight new bot personalities and four new multi-player maps. The new bot personas include Judge Bots (attacks the player with the most kills) and Bully Bots (attacks the player with the least kills) among others. No word yet on a Cleaner Bot (runs around picking up bullet casings).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Top 5 Things You'd See at E3

Its almost that time of year, time for E3, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo held in Los Angeles. Its a gamers Disneyland. This year events for E3 are running from May 9th - May12th. While I won't get to go this year (I begged and pleaded with my editors to no avail) I did go in 2001 and I know some other gaming journalists who are going to give me all the juicy details for this year. If you're one of the lucky few who get to experience this event, here is what you can expect, no matter what year you go.

1. Seas of People - Every year E3 seems to get bigger and bigger with more and more people dying to attend. The lines are long and the crowds are huge. Get used to doing alot of walking and standing in line.

2. Booth Babes - In a place where the guy to girl ratio is a ridiculously unhealthy 1000:1, Booth Babes can bring a little bit of sanity. These are the beautiful women who hang out at gaming booths and are paid to be nice to you. They even let you take a picture with them so you can prove you can get within 5-feet of a hot babe without puking.

3. Hype - They hype machine at E3 is even worse that at a political convention. Its loud as heck and is the perfect example of style over substance.

4. Parties - It seems like almost any company with any relation to gaming whatsoever has a party during E3. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, gaming publishers, gaming magazines, online gaming sites - you name it and they're partying on. There are usually multiple parties a night. They're just as much of a reason to go as E3 itself.

5. Big Announcements - Every year there is some hot new thing everybody is dying to see. Getting a chance to be one of the first ones to see what's going to be the next groundbreaking thing in gaming is a thrill.

So there you have it. If you've been to E3, or know somebody who has gone, share your story.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Mole: Uh, oh another Superman game.

Superman or Superdud? - Gaming giant EA announced that "Superman Returns: The Videogame" will be released in conjunction with the new movie this summer and will feature the voices of Brandon Routh (Superman/Clark Kent), Kevin Spacey (Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane) and Parker Posey (Kitty Kowalski). I just hope this game doesn't stink as much as the N64 Superman game, which still ranks as one of the worst video games of all time.

PGR 3 Speed Pack - A new "Project Gotham Racing 3" Speed Pack is now available for download on Xbox Live Marketplace for 400 Microsoft Points (roughly $5). The pack includes 12 new cars, new Xbox Live Achievement points and other new game play enhancements.

Colton White on the move - "Gun" will get its debut on a handheld system when it is released this summer on the PSP. While no details are certain, it looks like some slight improvments will be made to game play but the portable version will be a little shorter. Unlike the console version, there will be some multi-player options available on the PSP version.

Call of Duty PC update - The Xbox 360 version of "Call of Duty 2" recently received an update and now its the PC versions turn. The release date has not been confirmed but will include anti-cheat software and two new multi-player maps. Expect it within the next 3 weeks.

Monday, April 17, 2006

All the Cheats are Brown and the Sky is Gray

These games just came out last week, yet here I am, digging up cheats for you. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! (Yes, I have way too much free time.)

Tomb Raider: Legend (Xbox 360) - While in game, pull and hold the Left Trigger. These codes can only be used after they are unlocked.

Hold LB: and press RT, B, X, LT, X, A - Infinite Shotgun Ammo
Hold LB: and press B, Y, LT, RT, A, B - Infinite SMG Ammo
Hold LT: and press A, RT, Y, RT, X, LB - Bulletproof
Hold LB: and press Y, A, B, RT, Y, LT - Wield Excalibur
Hold LB: and press A, RT, B, RT, LT, X - Wield Soul Reaver
Hold LB: and press LT, Y, RT, B, LT, X - Infinite Grenade Launcher Ammo
Hold LB: and press A, B, A, LT, X, Y - Infinite Assault Rifle Ammo
Hold LT then press Y + A + Y +X + LB + B - One Shot Kill
While holding LT, press: LB-A-B-A-Y-RT - Textureless Mode
While holding LT, press: X-B-A-LB-RT-Y - Draw Enemy Health

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (Xbox 360) - In the middle of gameplay in the campaign mode.

Hold the left and right bumper buttons and press right, right, down, up, left, left on the D-Pad - Unlocks all Weapons

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Top 5 Things Gaming Could Live Without

While I'm the first to admit its a good time to be a gamer (I even wrote an article on it), there are plenty of things in the gaming world that could either be improved or just eliminated completely. So today I rid myself of my normal sunshine and roses gaming outlook and share my Top 5 things gaming could live without.

1. Sports Game Price Gouging - Every year our favorites sports titles come out with a new version of last years model, with updated rosters seemingly the only difference. I feed into this machine by making sure I get my copy of Madden the first day its released - but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. Gaming companies (this means you EA) should sell their sports games for about $10-$15 less than other new releases.

2. Subscription Fees - If I buy a game, why should I have to pay anything else to play the complete version of it. Star Wars Galaxies is a great example of this. A $15 monthly fee to play a game I already bought? That's nuts.

3. Console Exclusivity - Any game thats made should be available on every system. When I only owned a PS2, I missed out on Halo. When I bought an Xbox, I had to wait a year to own GTA: San Andreas. It was only available on the PS2 at the time. Its torture.

4. Rude Online Gamers - There are way too many online gamers who feel free to curse up a storm or spew homophobic and racist diatribes. I guess the anonymity of playing online is just too great of a temptation for some people. I can't stand these guys.

5. Gamer Bashing - Gamers, despite the fact that the vast majority of us are intelligent, good looking folk, have a bad rep. For some reason we're sterotyped as nerds obsessed with only one thing - games. While there is certainly some truth to this, I hate the fact that identifying myself as a gamer automatically stereotypes me as someone with no other interests but to hold a controller for 12 hours a day. People who adore TV and Music as much as the typical gamer cares for video games don't get this much grief.

Its time to embrace and love the gamer! There are many more of us out there than you think, we just keep our dirty little secret to shame. I have news for you, gamers don't have a typical look, we could be anybody. Sure, there are nerdy gamers out there who wear Bungie shirts and don't wash their hair (I'm referring to myself on weekends). But there are also gamers who are accountants, lawyers, teachers and professional athletes. So be careful what you say about us, you just might be talking to a gamer.

Dishonorable Mention - Most movie based games, condescending video game store employees, Grand Theft Auto bashing (people who've never played this game take it way too seriously), Halo bashing, the incomparable Roger Ebert (for saying gaming is not an art form).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cheat Like An Egyptian

Anytime I can get my man David Ortiz (the cover boy for MLB 06: The Show) on the blog is a good thing. Here are this weeks cheat codes.

MLB 06: The Show (PS2) - Codes must be entered in the Menu, the controller will vibrate to confirm the correct code entry.

All Uniforms - Press Up, Down, Right, Left, Down, Right, Down, Up at the main menu.

All Teams - Press Left, Right(2), Down(2), Left, Up(2) at the main menu.

All Players - Press Left, Up, Left, Right, Down, Right, Left, Up at the main menu.

All Stadiums - Press Down, Up, Left, Right, Up, Right, Up, Down at the main menu.

Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition (PS2) - From main menu, select Options, then select Cheats

dfens - Special move Agro
getheadl - Bunny ears
roadtrip - Unlock all cities
ontheroad - No damage
allin - Special move Zone
R04r - Special move Roar
getheadj - Yelloew Smile
getheadk - Pumpkin Heads
haveyouseenthisboy - chrome body
trythisathome - flaming head
getheadm - snowman head
getheadn - skull head
crosscountry - All cities unlocked in arcade mode
urbansprawl - Faster pedestrians/All cities in arcade mode
hyperagro - Increase car mass in arcade mode

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Mole - You want me to pay how much for a PS3?

Brother can you spare 73,500 dimes? - Bust open that piggy bank, cash in those savings bonds and check your sofa for loose change - the PS3 is going to set you back, alot.

According to reports released by a radio interview on French radio station Europe 1, Sony Computer Entertainment France (that's right we're getting breaking gaming news from the French) and VP of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's George Fornay said that the PlayStation 3 would retail in Europe in the range of €499 to €599.

This adds up to be between $611 to $735 in US dollars. Read that again $611 - $735. While there hasn't been any confirmation on the U.S. retail price, the price points between Europe and the States are usually very similar. Hopefully we'll find out more at E3 next month.

Gentlemen, start your Xbox 360's - Would you like to visit the Lamborghini factory in Italy? All you have to do is win the Xbox Live Project Gotham Racing 3 online tournament. Registration is open now and competition starts April 17th. The tournament final is at the Lamborghini factory in Sant' Agata Bolognese, Italy. To sign up, go to

Doctor, do you have a cure for my Achievement Addiction? - If you're one of those Xbox 360 nuts who works hard for those beautiful, ego inflating achievement points in 360 games (I'm not bragging but I have over 5000), I have good news for you. The website was made for you. This site offers a complete list of 360 games and the achievements for each one.

Mario fans rejoice! - Nintendo finally announced a release date for The New Super Mario Bros on the DS. Put on your red hat and trim your mustache, make sure you're in front of your favorite gaming store May 16th.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Top 5 Xbox 360 Games

Now that Microsoft was kind enough to double its production of Xbox 360's, those of you who have your shiny new systems might be wondering what games to buy. Before you spend a dime, check out this list of the best games for your next-gen system. And don't forget to pick up Halo 2 as well. It should always be in the rotation.

1. Call of Duty 2 - Beautiful graphics, a great setting and fun game play make this shooter a blast. The newly improved online play bumps this game to the top of my list.

2. Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter - That's right, two third-person shooters are in the top 2 but for different reasons. The weapons at your disposal and the power you wield in G.R.A.W. is just plain exciting. The single player can be outright redonkulous (Yes, I meant to spell it that way) but I enjoy the challenge.

3. Project Gotham Racing 3 - Photo-realistic cars, controls that are just difficult enough and lots of multi-player action. Every new system has a great racer and this one is it for the 360.

4. Fight Night Round 3 - There is no better game to play with a friend. Its like virtual rock 'em sock 'em robots. You'll both be worn out after a fight.

5. Madden - The most realistic looking (key word: looking) sports sim ever. Except for Jake Plummer, he looks like crap.

Games to look forward to in 2006: The Godfather (After playing the PS2 version, I know this one will be awesome), Saints Row (GTA killer or GTA wannabe?), Tomb Raider: Legend (Can Lara make a comeback?) and Scarface (Say hello to my little friend!)

These are my top 5. If you're an Xbox 360 gamer, share yours.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Mole: Pikachu hits double digits

Pikachu turns 10 - Much like Barney before him and The Wiggles now, Pikachu (that annoying Pokemon that blasted lightning and repeated his name over and over) was at one time the most annoying kids obsession on the planet. Pokemon recently turned 10 years old?!? I felt about 60 after finding that out. The Pokemon franchise, currently worth $25 billion, proves that sometimes really dumb ideas can make money.

So long Playstation One - Sony has finally yanked the cord on PlayStation One production. The console was originally launched in Japan in December 1994, selling more than 100 million units worldwide. Personally, I'm amazed these were still being made. And who was buying them?

PSP movie sales stink - Before you rush out and buy "Big Mommas House 2" for your PSP, you might want to know that the future of UMD movies looks bleak. According to an article in the "Hollywood Reporter", UMD movie sales are so poor, many companies (Universal and Paramount included) are getting out of the UMD business.

Evidently the gamers purchasing the PSP are looking at it as only a gaming system, not something to watch movies on. How will this effect the future of the PSP? It's possible future PSP models will be enabled with TV connectivity or possibly even Blu-ray discs. We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Leave the guns, take the cheats

Here are the most recent cheats I could get my hands on.

The Godfather - PC
Go to the Pause Menu (by pressing ESC) and, using the keyboard, type:
corleone - Full Health
stracci - Full Ammo
cuneo - $5000
tattaglia - Unlock Movies

The Godfather - PS2
Enter while game is paused.
Circle Square Circle Square Square L3 - Unlocks all movies
square,circle,square,square,circle,L3 - $5,000
circle,left,circle,right,square,R3 - Full Ammo
left,square,right,circle,right,L3 - Full Health

The Godfather - Xbox
In the menu screen where you can click on viewing the "Movies" enter the following codes
Y,X,Y,X,X Click Left Analog Stick - Unlocks All Movies
left, x, right, y, right, click left analog stick - Full health
Y, left, y, right, x, click right analog stick - Full ammo
X,Y,X,X,Y, click left analog stick - $5000

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter - Xbox 360
Press start during the game and while on the pause menu hold the back button, Left Trigger, and Right trigger and enter the password.
LB, LB, RB, X, RB, Y - Put your life at 100%
RB, RB, LB, X, LB, Y - Unlimited Ammo
X, X, Y, RB, Y, LB - Team Invincible
Y, Y, X, RB, X, LB - Scott Mitchell Invincible
Y, RB, Y, RB, X (Input on the Mission Select Screen) - All Levels