Intermittent Awesomeness

Did you miss my “This Week in Awesomeness” post this week? You know why? Because there wasn’t one!

First, although I would like to put out such a post every week, it depends entirely on my mood. This is my blog, I run it. To witness even more egoism, go to The Best Page in the Universe.

Second, not every week something awesome happens. Wait, actually it does. But not everything is worth blogging about. Your opinion on this may differ, but consider the fact that fighting Zombies is a lot more fun and always awesome.

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This Week in Awesome: Me

Even though in German self-praise is considered to smell badly, once in a while one may self-praise anyway.

First of all, last Saturday was my birthday. Boo-yeah!

I got this awesome gift from my room mate: Jamiroquais new album Rock Dust Light Star

It’s fresh, it’s funky, it’s disco-ey, it’s fast and slow, it rocks.

Get it for yourself!

Moving on: Remember my earlier post about how nerve-wracking work at the Genius Bar is sometimes? Well, forget what I said about that part. This post from another wordpress blog proves the opposite is true! Scroll down a little to see the photo of my happy customer and me.

Clearly, I am simply awesome.

The following wallpaper can be found at intercacelift.com and is derived from Barney Stinsons quote and poster from “How I Met Your Mother”, as I found out later.

yes, you might wanna click on it and download the larger version

Last Week in Awesome: Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice

I hinted at it in last weeks post already, and now I will actually bore tell you about it: The new campaign “The Sacrifice” available for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. And because it’s something that happened the week before, I present to you the first ever Last Week in Awesome post.

For those of you who don’t know what L4D is: this post will not interest you! Or maybe it will. Get the game on Steam for Mac or PC and start playing already.

Yes, you read correctly, L4D2 is now available on the Mac. All you need is a decent Mac, Steam installed and a few dollars (or €uros). Free if you already own the PC version. And that’s probably the most awesome thing about it. Because I have already been playing L4D2 on my bootcamp partition, at no extra cost (minus the wait time until the download was complete) I was able to start kicking zombie ass right away. Thank you, Valve! You’re awesome.

The Sacrifice joins the official campaigns in L4D and L4D2 at no extra cost as well (except if you’re playing it on XBOX 360, but hey, seriously, first person shooters are built for mouse and keyboard. Joypad? No thank you. The only first person shooter I accept and appreciate on a console is Halo, and that’s because it’s epic. The scenery, the music, the story, simply epic! Written for the big screen! Though it was first announced for the Mac… I’m getting off topic. Back to the main story.)

All I’m saying is that L4D and it’s latest add-on The Sacrifice are simply awesome (and addicting). I suggest you grab it if you haven’t already done so. I’m not gonna go into detail here, because if you read this far, you either love by my blind glorification or have already played The Sacrifice so many times, that you’ve already unlocked all 5 new achievements.

Oh, I almost forgot! You must read the four-part comic leading up the The Sacrifice, it’s a piece of art. Check it out at l4d.com/comic or get it on your iPhone (explained here how to get it). Ah yes and follow their blog. And watch the trailer shown below (I hope you wake up from nightmares in the middle of the night!)


L4D The Sacrifice Trailer

This Week in Awesome: Sonic 4

Actually, there are two awesome things that came into being this week: Besides Sonic 4, the new Left 4 Dead 2 campaign “The Sacrifice” came out, and not only that, L4D2 is now available for the Mac! Read more about it in next weeks “This Week in Awesome” post.

As you may have noticed when looking at the App Store, Sonic 4 is out. That’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I” to be correct. I guess this means that there will be more episodes coming, although it is not mentioned anywhere. I’ld welcome more Sonic games in this classic style, because lately, the Sonic games haven’t been so good.

Sonic games used to be all about speed, running and dashing, being accelerated by springs and slides along the way. Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are the titles in question. And now, after a very very very long time, nostalgia returns! Sonic has returned in his classic style of 2D, running through zones and acts, as they are called. It’s out for iPhone and iPod touch already, the XBOX Live Arcade, WiiWare and PlayStaion Network editions will follow in a few days.

As for the iPhone version, I have already played through at least the first two acts of every of the four zones, and I must say it is awesomely entertaining! Here are a few things I like:

  • It’s fast.
  • It’s simple, because it has no story line (besides having to beat Dr. Robotnik).
  • Classic sound effects.

And here are a few things I don’t like:

  • Touchscreen controls (well, duh).
  • You can only play when holding it in the way so that the home button is on the right side. The problem with that is: the headphone port on the iPhone is exactly where I want to place my left hand, and the plugged in headphones cable gets in the way!

Hopefully the latter will be resolved in the future in form of an update, like for example having the game recognize the way the iPhone is tilted (use the accelometer). The former point can of course never be changed, because the touchscreen is given by the hardware. That’s why I’m looking forward to the console version! Hooray for real classic controllers!

Side note: One thing that also threw me off in the beginning was that the screen turns with you when you go through a looping. It makes your head spin (literally). But you get used to it.

Over all, SEGA did a splendid job. Of course it’s nowhere near as fun as the really old classics mentioned in the beginning, but I guess that’s just how it is with us video game conservatives! The best thing about Sonic 4 is when you open the app, the classic “SEEEGAAA!” jingle sounds!


SEGA Jingle

For more info, including videos etc., head over to www.sonicthehedgehog4.com.

This week in Awesome: Nintendo Mixtape

If you are my age, chances are you high you are playing 128-bit games today, stood in awe of 64-bit games, really got started with 32-bit games, but grew up playing mostly 16-bit games, always remembering your very first steps with 8-bit games. And this is where the Nintendo Mixtape grabs your attention, no matter what kind of music you listen to today.

8-bit video games featured simple music because of the technical constraints. But exactly because of this simplicity, everybody remembers those ever-repeating tunes. The rappers from “No Question?” dug out their old NES and sampled those tunes into a 18-track album called “Got Game?” aka Nintendo Mixtape.

For my part, I am not a big fan of Hip Hop, and this album don’t change that. But the mixture of new and old is what makes this compilation awesome. You can listen to all the tracks for free on www.nintendomixtape.com or download ’em to your home computer to make a journey 20 years into the past (or even further!).

Like so many of my posts before, this one too was inspired by my dear friends at joystiq.com (original post here). They suggest to stop what you’re doing and suggest you start with “Double Dragons”.

This Week in Awesome: Serious Sam HD and its Supermercial

This is the first “This Week in Awesome” post I told you to be introducing earlier!

Serious Sam is an old game, but really a game because of its unique ass-kicking overkill. It wasn’t famous for graphics or sound or gameplay or story, but it did a splendid job at kicking ass, I mean, Sam did so.


Sam is very serious about his business, that’s why the game is called Serious Sam. Actually I have no idea why it’s called Serious Sam, it probably just sounds good. The thing that fascinated me the most about Seriois Sam were the huge maps (levels, stages, whatever you like to call them). You, playing Sam in first person perspective, would start out in a cave or something and then come out and see a huge wide and open plane before you, maybe surrounded by a few hills. And it was really huge. You could basically reach every point you could see, because all was part of the map and actually rendered, not like in other games where most of the background were pre-rendered flat images.

Here’s a little example of what I mean

See those little dust clouds in center right? Those are a few enemies approaching. And they are at least as tall as Sam (he’s a regular sized human). Now you get a feel for how far away the enemies are, and how wide and tall the buildings are.

Enough talk!

Serious Sam was awesome, and so was Serious Sam 2. A while ago, when Serious Sam HD and Serious Sam 2 HD were released, Sam continued to be awesome. They are on sale on Steam this weekend (probably outdated by the time you read this). Play it! It’s awesome.

And here is the commercial for Serious Sam HD (they call it a Supermercial!)


Serious Sam HD – Supermercial

More at serioussam.com

Thanks once again joystiq.com for drawing my attention with these two posts!

I want this 38cm tall glowing Super Sonic figure!

If you’re a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog like me, you will also start drooling over the following desirable object:

I found this on joystiq.com, the same website that brought you the eerie video featured in my last post. The original joystiq post for this Super Sonic statue is http://www.joystiq.com/2010/06/23/a-super-expensive-super-sonic-figure/

It’s really more a statue than a figure / figurine, because it’s frikkin’ 38cm tall! (that’s 15 inches for you non-metric people)

And the best thing about it: the sparks glow!

There’s a cheaper version without glowing sparks ($140 instead of $160), but hey, what’s an extra twenty bucks, right? Nevermind that it’s really expensive in the first place, if you grew up playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 like I did, it’s neglectable, because true love does not have a price tag.

Dear First 4 Figures, can you give me a more exact date than Q1 2011?