Welcome back to PC World's weekly celebration of slack. For this installment, I stand in line and wait patiently for the next summer blockbuster ... and later, I get infected with love for EA's Spore.
Waiting on Solid Snake
"Excuse me ... what is everyone waiting in line for?"
Metal Gear Gear
I've learned all sorts of lessons from Solid Snake. For example, put a giant cardboard box over yourself--in an office, in the middle of a fancy restaurant, it doesn't matter--and nobody will notice you! So it only makes sense that if I buy a $60 Bluetooth headset crafted to look like an aging supersoldier's earpiece, it will work with military precision, right? Wrong. Salespeople tried hawking these bum Bluetooths to people in line for MGS 4. Fortunately, I already knew better. The fine folks at GadgetMadness got one in the mail to test, and according to their reports, the audio is MIA. It works decently when paired with a PlayStation 3 (for special use during the game's single-player campaign and online multiplayer matches), but the second you try pairing the headset with a phone, you'll likely not hear anything except the occasional "!" you'll be yelling because of the lousy sound quality.
I have some good news for you Windows Mobile phone owners, though: I found a collection of MGS sound effects made for plugging into your handset. Trust me, nothing boosts your geek cred like having your phone chirping the incoming-message sound from a game. I will upload the .zip file here soon, but in the meantime, big props go out to the folks on the PPCgeeks.com forums (free registration required to download mgs.zip).
In PC World's ongoing efforts to celebrate sloth, we're taking a high-tech detour this week. I mean, yes, we'll find cool ways to kill time and slay spies--but how about, as well, some top secret tech that will show you how not to get caught while doing it?
NATURAL BOURNE KILLER
Everyone knows Bond, James Bond. But Jason Bourne? Before the movies, you probably never even heard of the pulp fiction star. Well, this week marks Bourne's first video game treatment, and here's the shocker: It ain't half bad. Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy (available on PS3 and Xbox 360) retraces steps from the first flick while filling in blanks along the way. Do I miss not seeing Matt Damon's likeness? No.
Welcome back to PC World's ongoing effort to celebrate sloth. This week, we're monkeying around in one epic, action-heavy online game for which you won't mind paying the $15-per-month fee. First, though, buckle up for a few massively multiplayer online games that won't cost you one red cent. We're talking completely gratis online gaming--no hidden items to buy, no shenanigans.
The Free-MMO Patrol
Don't feel like parting with your paycheck just to goof off? Here are couple of free online games that I'll probably spend the rest of my weekend playing. Give 'em a try--it's not as if they'll cost you anything.
Welcome back to PC World's weekly effort to celebrate sloth. Today, we're shaking things up a little bit by exploring a serious topic (albeit in a barely serious way): your health. So are you ready to get your lazy duff off the sofa and onto something a little less comfortable?
Kicking the Habit
Right now, according to the Surgeon General, 12.5 million overweight American kids lead sedentary lives of quiet inhalation of Slushies (if someone else is going to Seven-Eleven anyway...) and Cheetos. Mmmm, Cheetos. No doubt, video games are on notice for inducing indolence, encouraging antisocial behavior, and breeding killing machines. Or so I'm told. That's right, games provide all sorts of bad influences--and they have for ages, but you may not have noticed the signs.
Welcome back to PC World's weekly effort to celebrate sloth.
Operation: Cellular Slack
Games on your cell phone--lame, you say? You're obviously looking in the wrong places, friend, because this ain't about 8-bit blackjack or playing Snakes on a plane. I'm talking awesome puzzle games, graphic adventures, shooters ... wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.
The HTC home screen is handy, as is its TouchFLO interface. But I need to tame them and show them who's boss. Here are some must-have tools if you too hate the status quo.
9. PointUI Home: iPhone this, iPhone that--I'm tired of people talking about Apple's cool, no-stylus interface. My advice: Download this free (and amazingly smart) smart phone application to make your mobile more manageable.
PC World knows you need a break after a long week. Here are the latest items we've found in our ongoing efforts to celebrate slack.
Olaf Kopetsch, who lives in Germany, always tries to get his hands on American video games and movies--partly because he wants to play the unedited versions of U.S. titles, but mostly because he wants to learn some slang. No, I'm serious. This practicing neurosurgeon uses video games to pick up English.
In our ongoing efforts to celebrate slack, here are a few great new ways to kill what little free time you think you have this weekend and beyond.
GTA's Softer Side
Search for "Grand Theft Auto IV" and Google spits back about 37,400,000 hits. Included in that flood of verbiage are multitudes of glowing reviews as well as screeds from hack reporters, politicians, and wannabe pundits blaming GTA for the end of Western civilization. What the heck can I say that hasn't been said already?
Grand Theft Education
And now, as a service to folks who want a little background on felony, I've got a few things for you to check out. First , the fine folks at Rockstar Games now provide the original two games in the series free for download. That's right, games that I played during my juvenile delinquency are right here and ripe for the plucking. Both these games are extremely simple by comparison to today's entertainments, but they set the 2D tone for things to come.
Also, a lot of whippersnappers may not know that Ron Howard got in on the original straight-to-drive-in action. Yep, that classy guy once directed and starred in a Roger Corman-produced shlockfest that will complete your next Man Movie NightTM. The 1977 film's name: Grand Theft Auto. Here's a little taste of what you've been missing.