06 May 2005

Episode III on PS2, Livan Hernandez, Papi to His Mami...

So, Mother's Day is coming up, and over at MLB.com, they have a special little section set up devoted to it. There's Papi's note to his wife. Surprisingly, in the photo montage of baseball wives (and some moms) at the site linked, there are some real K-9 specials- just a few out-and-out dogs.

Also, David- wacch-tssccchhh!

So, as promised, I'm gonna give a quick review here of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for PS2.

Great game.

Really, it's one of those "fight bad guys from platform to platform, advance, unlock stuff, repeat." That's not bad, but it's not great. This game though, has lightsabers going for it. To my knowledge, this is first game to really nail the whole fighting-with-a-lightsaber thing. I know there was a game that tried it with Obi Wan a few years back for Xbox, but not only do I not have an Xbox, I heard real shitty things, across the board.

But this one is really fluid, really fun- I've always liked the games that take your performance in a level and use it to make your abilities progress as the game goes on. As you beat a level, your abilites grow. Plus, you have "Force powers," including a really cool healing mechanism. Maybe the most fun you'll have in your life is the moment you figure out the "lightsaber toss" attack. Fucking terrific.

There are downsides though- a couple of the earlier levels (haven't beaten it yet) have some forced perspectives that are tough to get you squared up on bad guys- a somewhat common complaint for this type of game. One of my all time favorite games- Star Wars Bounty Hunter was so fluid, and so perfectly put together- but got to a point of such ridiculous difficulty that I never even bothered keeping it. Now, I'm probably something like a third of the way through this one, and it has already gotten fucking hard. Not a great sign, given my experience with Star Wars video games. Hopefully it doesn't become prohibitive, but it does have the option of knocking down the difficulty level.

I am also having a tough time watching all these (fairly lengthy) scenes from the movie during the game. I mean, I can avoid them somewhat, but this game really sells some plot points out pretty quick. So if that bugs you, definitely wait until you see the movie.

Other than that- cool shit. You have a multi-player option that allows you to double team or actually do a Street Fighter: Jedi Edition as you unlock more characters. Some of the levels are really just totally unbelievalbe looking- really, really cool. Awesome shit. It's a really great game, I'd recommend it. Not to ruin anything (even though you'll realize the inevitability of what I'm referring to almost immediately after buying the game), but there are unlockable Star Wars characters you can fight as later on that simply can't be denied. Their presence alone is almost worth the price of the entire game. When this is unlocked for me, it will be all sorts of fantastic. You know who I'm talking about.

Also, for what it's worth- judging from what I've seen in the game thus far- this movie is going to be fucking crazy.

Gettin' a little sick of Buster Olney. The creator of the "Productive Outs Percentage," or, "POP," Olney is no stranger to absolutely head-scratching inaccuracies and totally ridiculous leaps of logic. His article extolling the "conventional logic" in baseball and how, in relation to the (now first place) LA Dodgers, it made their moves "total head scratchers," was a really funny one. Meanwhile, as recently as last week, he was holding firm on his belief (in an ESPN.com chat) that the Yankees "would still win 100 games."

Anyway, he does this daily column called "Forward Thinking" where he makes some calls about that evening's contests, including a little snippet called "The Reverse Lock Game," where he looks at the two mismatched pitching duels and picks the underdog because it is, of course, a "reverse lock."

Here's the Reverse Lock snip from Thursday:

2:05 p.m. ET: The Reverse Lock of the Day will be in Chicago, where Jose Contreras always seems to pitch well. He averages more than six innings per outing at U.S. Cellular, with an ERA of 3.32, and opponents are hitting .216 against him there. Plus, he'll be facing the Royals and Zack Greinke. All logic says the White Sox will win, so look for the Royals to break out.

Really? All logic? How about the fact that Zack Greinke is a better pitcher now than Jose Contreras? I mean, I know Chicago is going well, and Jose pitches well at home... but "all logic"? How many times is he gonna get burned on that before he starts to question what he finds to be "all logic"? Of course, he was wrong, and Greinke's bullpen blew it for him. But for the wrong (right?) reasons.

Every year, Mike and I pick an NL team to follow, just for fun. Last year, I was all about the Braves, the year before the Cardinals, year before that the Giants. Mike's the same- I actually think he was on the Cardinals last year, but he can correct me on that.

Anyway, he's informed me he's going with the Nationals this year, a real solid choice. Some fun players to watch on that team- Brad Wilkerson, Nick Johnson, Jose Vidro, Brian Schneider. Most fun of all, of course, is one Livan Hernandez.

Watching Livan pitch is just so god damn fun. He'll throw anything- 91 MPH fastball, 50 MPH floater, cutters, sliders, curves, changeups, sinkers. He reserves the right to suck sometimes, but since leaving San Francisco, he rarely does. A baseball MacGyver sort of. He'll invent a pitch, it seems, to get out of a jam. Plus, he can really hit- with Mike Hampton as the best hitting pitcher in baseball- he can field his position, and for a guy of such tremendous girth... he can move! That and he is a fine equine. Look at these innings pitched over the last 6 years:

1999: 199.2
2000: 240
2001: 226.2
2002: 216
2003: 233.1
2004: 255 (!)

And he keeps getting better- 2004 was a great year, but 2003 was much better- a 155 ERA+ over 233 IP. That was Cy Young worthy, but pitching for Montreal, no one noticed. Plus, he's ten times cooler than his douchebag brother.

Anyway, I picked the Dodgers, personally. Although, for obvious reasons, I'll be checking the Mets out all season (when I can- it's not often- and Cablevision can go fuck themselves for that).

Don't the "faggots with AIDS" and the
"hippies" wear their hair that way?
What? You're still a millionaire? Oh.
OK, fair enough...

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