TALKING POINT: Is warping cheating?
Jeff: If I was James Lipton, this is the last question I would ask everybody. It reveals so much about who you are.
Steve: If it's in-game warping, I say it's cool. It's part of the game's world and therefore respectable (like the warp whistles in Mario Brothers 3). If you have to hit a secret series of buttons, you're a cheater.
Steve: I couldn't agree more.
Jeff: Unless you're doing a speed run, like to impress a girl or something. Then it's okay. Otherwise, you should relax and enjoy one of the best video games ever. Some of those middle levels never get any love. World 4's Giant Land, anybody?
Steve: I imagine frequent warpers are the same people who started reading Jurassic Park, only to give up and go see the movie.
Jeff: When we all know the best part of Jurassic Park is its moving prose. Okay, let's switch it up. Let's say it's a sick kid and his last wish is to beat Contra, but he's all sick and stuff so he can't even get past that wall in level 1. Is it then okay for the kid to use the 30 lives code? I say it depends on the disease.
Steve: If he's truly sick, I think he'll have bigger things on his mind than beating Contra. Like, "Is there a Contra in heaven?"
TALKING POINT: Best sound effect in a videogame?
Jeff: I'm trying to decide what videogame had the best "WRONG!" buzzer noise, so I can emulate it to describe how off you are. The correct answer is the sound Mega Man makes when he dies. BOO BOO BOO BOO!
Jeff: When I hear the "Segaaaa" sound in my head, it still has that graininess to it. I'm not sure if it came either from the Genesis's' crappy sound or the 13'' tv I played it on.
Steve: A sound effect that definitely outgrains that is NBA Jam's "BOOMSHAKALAKALAKA!" Its quality is so poor, I wondered if I picked up the Spanish version of the game.
Jeff: Which would be crazy, because in Spanish boomshakalaka translates to shakalakalakaboom. The game wouldn't make any sense. To get back to actual sounds, nearly every sound effect in the Mario games is a classic. That 1-up noise is it's own little reward.
Steve: I'm a big fan of the digging sound from Mario Brothers 2. I know that's what I hear every time I pull a radish out of the ground.
Jeff: Or a rocket ship. I'm pretty sure I'm going to name my first born after the "you found a secret area" sound effect from Legend of Zelda. "Come on boo-doo-do-doo-doo-dee-doo, let's go fishing. No, I don't know why your mother left us."
TALKING POINT: This week, Sony revealed that the backbone of the PS3's online experience would be a virtual world called "Playstation Home." What the hell is this thing?
Jeff: Playstation Home is Sony's answer to Microsoft's Xbox Live. It's a free service for Playstation 3 owners that let them roam around in an online virtual world and, presumably, solicit each other for cybersex.
Jeff: You'll have a virtual trophy room where you can show off your accomplishments, if you want to call ten hours spent unlocking Yoda in Lego Star Wars II an accomplishment.
Steve: Which will inevitably create virtual jocks with their stocked trophy rooms, and virtual nerds with their Geometry Wars.
Jeff: Plus it's got video chat, so by signing up at all you are accepting you are going to see somebody's balls. I'm not saying they should nix the video chat, but the balls are an unstated part of the user agreement. At the very least, this thing is bold. There's no way to show somebody your balls on Xbox Live. Is this enough to revive the already wounded Playstation 3?
Steve: It seems like it has potential, but Sony may have invested too much in the long-term. They're in trouble now.
Jeff: I think it's stupid. I'm sure it will have its fans, but I still think most people with a Playstation 3 are interested in games not a virtual world. I don't want to go outside, even in a virtual world. That's why I spent several hundred dollars on a console in the first place!