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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.

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