Xbox 360 – Devil May Cry 4 Demo

Lately it seems that I just haven’t been able to get lucky with finding awesome demos on XBox Live.

First it was the Burnout Paradise demo which was aiiiiiiiiight. And now it’s the demo for Devil May Cry 4 by Capcom.

I went into this one with a clean slate as I’ve never played any of the previous Devil games, and all I’ve seen of any of them is videos featuring the main character killing demons in the air using his sword and gun. Personally, I always thought the videos looked cool.

The Devil May Cry Story
By way of the demo on XBL I wasn’t able to figure out the story of DMC 4 so I went to Wikipedia to try and figure out what was what. Two sentences in, I was beyond confused so instead of presenting that information I’ll instead give you my take.

You kill demons. You run around and kill some more. ~end

My Thoughts on the DMC4 Demo
“No sir, I didn’t like it.” Well, let me back up. Graphically, the game looks awesome. Obviously on the story side of things, I don’t know what the hell is going on but I guess that’s not much of a problem given what the game apparently strives for which is hack and slash action. This of course brings to the gameplay…

Eh….
*sigh* I’ve played games that are basically unplayable. Devil May Cry 4 is not such a game. Though the problem is, there is nothing about the gameplay which is particularly endearing. Maybe viewing previous videos of the DMC series, I just expected something different… Something a lot more smooth. See, when you’re trotting (cause your character hardly ever runs) towards hoards of enemies and you start shooting your gun, you basically slow down even further and start walking towards them shooting (inflicting no damage mind you). If you then pull out your sword, it seems really heavy handed, weighing down your character even more…

You know what it’s like? It’s as if you were playing Soul Calibur and you picked the extremely agile fencer Raphael, and somehow ended up with the brutish nightmare, Siegfried. It’s like if you were playing Ninja Gaiden and all of a sudden they took out the katanas and nunchuks and gave him a giant heavy maillot. It’s something that I just wasn’t expecting and really didn’t like.

Conclusions
I CONCLUDE that I won’t buy this game, at least not based on the demo anyway. It’s like the barley of action games. (Sorry barley lovers).

It Finally Came

Yesterday was a big day for me.

I was offered a new job yesterday (that I’m very excited to accept), I got two cavities filled (I’m not sure where those came from) and I got two special items in the mail.

The first was a package sitting on top of one of the cars in the driveway – A late XMas present from my brother-in-law and girlfriend, a mechanical icing bag. You know – So I can make some awesome looking cakes! (Yes I like to bake, WHAT OF IT?)

The second item was this…

That’s right, I finally did it. My first AdSense check came. It only took me about a year to earn it but I really couldn’t be happier. It’s funny too – I told my family and they couldn’t care less. I guess this kind of stuff just doesn’t mean a lot to some people but it means a lot to me ’cause I really work hard at all this stuff. Sure, I don’t know how much of a victory a $100 check is once a year but we all gotta start somewhere so I’m putting this one up in the W column. (#):)

So look – If you’re struggling to get your first check, just keep at it. Keep trying, keep learning, and if you stick with it, you’ll make it.

XBLA – Zuma Deluxe

If you’ve seen ol’ KillSteelah on XBox Live lately, he’s playing one of two games.

The first of course is Guitar Hero III, which is still kicking my a$$ (still can’t get back Raining Blood on Expert but I have finished the rest). And the second one is my new obsession – Zuma Deluxe!

For the last couple of days, I’ve been really struggling on how to describe this game but surprisingly my wife just piped up and said, “It’s like Snood isn’t it?”

“Sure. But with CHARACTER!”
Zuma is a game where you’re an Aztec frog or something and you shoot colored balls, trying to match up 3 or more so they disappear. All the while, the long string of balls continues growing (whether you shoot or not) and if grows TOO big, you’re FINISHED. But if you manage to take out all the balls on the screen, you’re done with the stage. Pretty simple concept I’ll admit, especially since the whole shooting balls things has been around forever and most recently probably in Snood.

But what makes Zuma Deluxe different than Snood is that in addition to just shooting balls for the sake of making them go bye bye, you also try and get powerups to help you out (especially in the later more difficult stages). For example, there’s powerups to make the whole ball and chain go backwards and another to make a bunch of them blow up at once.

And for another thing, Zuma has that cool Aztec theme or whatever going for it. It’s not TOO over the top but it’s cool enough to where you hear the sound effects in your head long after you turn the game off. Add to that varying levels, added difficulty, and the fast reflexes you need to get through this game and you got something special!

AT LEAST Play the Demo
I got onto this game because one of my friends was always playing it so I gave it a whirl. Now YOU know somebody who’s playing it and even though this game didn’t exactly come out yesterday – If you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!

Thanks for a Great Jan 2008 Sponsors!

As many of you know, this was the first month that Bush Mackel.com was sponsored!

Everything went off without a hitch, (though I don’t know how many “hitches” there really could be), and I’m truly grateful to everyone who thought my site was good enough to advertise on.

If you’re interesting in advertising here next month, take a look at the advertising page, and then shoot me an e-mail soon to get the ball rolling!

Dual Monitor Babes

If you need some high resolution widescreen babes for your monitor, this is the site for you. The webmaster is constantly striving to make the site more accessible to you and I’m sure even more ways to search for wallpapers on the site are coming soon. Just a note of caution though – The site is DEFINITELY not safe for work.

Boston Brat

Like her ad says, “Girls like sports too!” And if you like sports, why not check out Angela’s blog? She offers up some great opinions about what’s real’ good in the world of sports and more often that not you’ll read something that’ll make you laugh since she’s always tellin’ it like it is! Oh and to Angela : GL in the Super Bowl!

Fiddy P

If you’re reading this blog and you haven’t read Andy Bailey’s blog, FiddyP you certainly should give it a whirl. His site kind of like mine, talking a little bit about this and a little about that, but all of it usually centered around the good ol’ internet! So if you’re like me and just well… LIKE this stuff!, (affiliate marketing, WordPress, coding) hit up his site and say hi!

Thanks again to all my sponsors!

Saturday Speedlinkin XI

Another week has come to an end and what a week it has been!

Last night I watched Rambo at a great theater and had a great time and today Little Mac had his first competitive event – A diaper crawl hosted by a country station. (My in-laws entered him and forced me to come).

Needless to say, that was a bit of a disaster and a monstrous waste of time but at least I got a “decent” photo out of it. So anyway, here are your best posts of the week imho, you’ve all been stumbled!

Domain Investing Series by Kyle – Kyle does a kicka$$ job with this series. Very detailed and enough information to get you interested AND started. Very very well done my man!

Happy Opposite Day You’re a Jerk by Aaron – For some reason, opposite day over at Aaron’s site always makes me laugh. Maybe I’m really 5 years old. Who knows. (#):)

13 Fashion Color Trends of 2008 to Make Blog Designs Rock! by Rajat – I’m always one to try and improve my design tastes and often that starts with color. If you’re thinking of redoing your site, trying drawing some inspiration from this post. Very cool.

Fill Your Ad Spots TODAY Part 2 Contact by Bush – By who? Yeah that’s right. I’m tooting my own horn here. I’m really proud of this post and I think it’s given me the inspiration for a really good series. I did a bit of guest posting for Casey this week but BEING ME I missed two days! So I hope she’s ok with a quality post to make up for things. (#):D

Internet Party by Ram – Great find. Great video.

Affiliate Marketing Update

I know a bunch of you are saying, “Oh geez – Bush disappeared again…” And I just wanted to make sure you knew that wasn’t the case!

I’m just doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes at the moment, both with this blog, other projects and affiliate marketing.

I told a friend of mine what I was up to (what you’ll learn about soon) and he said that all this work was going to lead to an early end to me. And of course I just laughed the whole thing off. (#):D

Bush Mackel.com
This site is sure going places and next month is going to mark THE OFFICIAL one year anniversary! Now I think up to this point, I’ve pretty much botched every alleged contest I said I was going to have, but next month I’m actually gonna get it done. So stay tuned for details and bear with me as I try and put everything together. (#):)

Affiliate Marketing
So the more I’m learning about Affiliate Marketing the more I’m learning that I’ve been going about things in the wrong way. It’s one of those times where I feel like ideas are finally starting to click and things that people have said to me in the past (see Opal Tribble) are beginning to make more sense too.

Hey, do you remember a little while ago when I broke down all the projects that I was working on? Well it seems that my current affiliate marketing kick is going to put me smack dab in the middle with one of’em! Hot damn things are heating up fast!

The Quick Hits for the Week
Devil May Cry 4 demo … Ehhhhh. Zuma Deluxe is Money. GH3 is still great and Raining Blood on Expert is still kicking my a$$. Little Mac may be in his first contest tomorrow at 8 months of age. It’s freakin’ cold on the East Coast. Don’t remember the last time I was at the gym. Just bought a 4GB iPod Nano for research purposes (I still hate iPods). Trying to catch Rambo tonight. ~end

AdWords and AdCenter and Landing Pages OH MY!

AY! Sorry I didn’t get a post up yesterday!

Since my Pepperjam post, I’ve really been devouring any and all information that relates to affiliate marketing, which means I’ve been on Shoemoney‘s A LOT lately.

It also means that I’ve been trying my … “second” campaign with the mainstream PPC services.

I didn’t get it right in my first outing so this time I gotta, “Make it work”… Tim Gunn style.

I am n00b
I wish I could write some quality posts about all this stuff because I find the whole thing just fascinating. But unfortunately, I really don’t know what I’m doing at the moment and chances are if I said 5 things about this stuff, 4 of them would be way wrong. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I can’t tell you the things I’m trying to learn about and trying to use to meet my nefarious ends right? (#):D

Targeted Traffic + Affiliate Offer = $Money
…Or so the saying goes. And like the other saying says, “The devil is in the details.” And that’s the part that I’m still trying to figure out. I really thought (going into ppc affiliate marketing) that getting your ads shown through AdWords and AdCenter were as simple as putting in a few keywords, adding the copy for your ads and hitting submit.

Then I started reading something about Quality Score. *groan*

But that’s ok. I’m always up for learning something new, and all this stuff is WAY new to me which makes it that much more exciting. True, it sucks that I’m gonna be spending money learning all this but whatchya gonna do I suppose. I just hope I can learn enough before all my “seed money” dries up. (#):) And on a final note, this is turning out to be a bit more work than what I thought it would be… Which I think is a good as it probably explains why it didn’t work out for me the first time.

Ok… I gotta get back to work tweaking that landing page of mine…

Cloverfield Review – I LIKE!

You’d think that given my current situation, the hardest thing I have to do on a daily basis is taking care of my kid. But you’d be wrong.

It’s getting my wife to the movie theater.

Last Friday I started early though, asking her as soon as she got up if she wanted to go to the movies that evening. As the night came along, I then reminded her that we just received some free movie tickets for Christmas so it wouldn’t even cost us anything to go.

Ignoring her final desperate attempts to stay home (“I’m tired”, “blah blah blah”), I finally got her to the theater to see Cloverfield.

The whole movie experience didn’t get off to a great start when we first went to the box office and there was a sign reading something like,

If you’re prone to motion sickness, you may choose to stay away from Cloverfield.

After I managed to get the wife to shrug that one off, the box office didn’t even take our free movie tickets because they were for another theater. But despite all of this (which would normally be deal killers), I managed to get the wife into the movie right as it started with two other friends of ours. And we had a blast.

What’s the Deal With Cloverfield?
I could compare the movie with a couple others… Because of the unique way the film was shot, you’ll immediately think of The Blair Witch Project. Unlike that movie however, stuff actually happens in Cloverfield. And what’s better than that is how Cloverfield takes the de facto “monster destruction movie” and flips it completely by choosing to focus on the people affected by the situation rather than the situation itself. Sure, on the surface that may make the movie sound rather boring but trust me it is not.

Cloverfield

Stuff is happening all over the place, it’s just that you’re seeing it all from the eyes of a small group of people running around on the streets rather than 60 stories up from the missiles of a jet or helicopter. That whole perspective thing really makes for an interesting movie. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll just have to trust me.

Cloverfield

Should You Go See It?
All I can say is I liked it, and my wife liked it. We tend to like Sci-Fi movies and this one didn’t disappoint and was a very refreshing departure from the normal Hollywood fodder. Oh, and those two other people we were with? They hated the movie. When hearing some people in the audience applaud the movie, one of the friends told them to “Stop clapping!” and then said, “I will never go see another movie again…” So there you have it. I’m certainly not saying this movie win an Oscar, but it was really entertaining and I’m glad I saw it in the theaters.

If you want to read a much more indepth review of the movie, check out Big Daddy’s Kev site and interview with one of the stars!

I Need Some PPC Affiliate Marketing Help!

Today should stand to be a fun day for me in good ol’ Maryland.

I feel pretty good, I’ve had a strong breakfast, and it looks like we’re even getting a touch of snow today. PLUS I finally got the processor for the new rig I’m building so I should have more than enough things to keep me busy today.

But outside of all of the above, one of the big things I’m focusing on today my Adwords account that is promoting my Affiliate Marketing efforts!

You May Remember…
That back in the day I tried affiliate marketing for all of a second. Now after I did the Pepperjam review yesterday, I’m really committed to trying to learn how to turn a buck in this industry. The only problem is that I really don’t know what I’m doing. (#):(

And So I Come To You for Help
I figure through the law of averages, that there has got to be SOMEONE out there who will read this who has had more experience with affiliate marketing (and especially PPC) affiliate marketing than I. If you wanted to volunteer some knowledge it’d be much appreciated or if you could point me in the direction of some good resources on the web – It’d also be welcomed.



So far, the best place I’ve found on the web has been Zac Johnson – The Super Affiliate. He has a couple of posts that are really good to get you started but I still feel like there are some steps in the middle that I’m just missing somehow… To be specific, I’m targeting two affiliate offers right now and using AdWords to get people there. Unfortunately, my CTR sucks and I think my impressions are low too. (Currently I’m only targeting the content network).

So again, I’d be very thankful for a little help on all this stuff and I’m sure other readers would be too!

Wii – The Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess Review

With the kid crawling every which way he can now, it makes it just THAT much more difficult to find time to curl up with a good game.

Regardless, when my brother let me borrow The Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess for the Wii, I resolved to find the time…

And some 50 hours later, Hyrule is back in working order and Zelda is safe inside her castle.

But I can’t help feeling that this game could’ve been a bit better.

The Story
Without giving anything away, there’s basically two worlds in this game. One is the world that Hyrule exists in, the world of light. The other one is the world of twilight. And recently, the world of twilight has been bleeding into the world of light, bringing all kinds of baddies along with it. As the hero Link, it’s your job to banish the evil and win one for the good guys.

Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess


Along the way, you go the normal Legend of Zelda (LoZ) route, trapezing about in dungeons and finding various items to help you along the way. The most notable difference between this game and others is your ability to turn into a wolf creature that at times is the only way to advance past certain points. Which brings us to the first problem of this game…

Problem Number 1 – Wolf Link
If you’re a Legend of Zelda fan, the first thing you want to do is start the ol’ dungeon crawling! You wanna solve the puzzles, get the cool items and fight the kicka$$ bosses. But unfortunately, if you’re playing Twilight Princess you’ll first have to deal with Wolf Link. In what you could consider the first half of the game, you basically have to travel to each temple as Wolf Link… Which sucks.

  • Wolf Link doesn’t have a sword
  • Wolf Link has weak attacks
  • Wolf Link looks cool but doesn’t act cool

Wolf Link


PLUS, Wolf Link seems to always have to do stupid things like dig into houses, follow various scents, or killing 12 random bugs to gain entry to the temples. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the super annoying task of having to kill the group of twilight beasts at the same time so the other one doesn’t revive the group. *GROAN* Trust me, after a little while as Wolf Link (when you can’t switch back and forth), you’re going to be asking yourself why they put this in the game.

Ganon GanondorfProblem Number 2 – Ganon/Story
First off, lemme say that I REALLY like Ganon/Ganondorf in the later Zelda games. He’s just awesome. But as I played through Twilight Princess I really had to question as to why he was in this game. It just didn’t seem to fit and came off as a rather lazy attempt to put the LoZ staple in this latest edition of the franchise.

And outside of the whole Ganon thing, the story really seems to come apart as you get closer to the end of the game. It’s almost as if the writer’s strike made its way into the land of Hyrule. Things happen that leave you asking *shocker* “Why is this in the game – Wait, what the hell is going on here?” and finally, “Ugh. Don’t tell me that was the ending.” I WILL say though that after reading the Zelda wiki, it seems to fill in some of the gaps of what exactly was happening with Ganon in Twilight Princess but you know what? That information should be in the GAME and not on Wikipedia where WHO KNOWS if it’s the truth or not!

The Good Things
Don’t think that just because I’m quick to point out the problems with Twilight Princess that it’s a bad game. After you get past the Wolf Link parts, the game really feels like reuniting with an old friend. And even though you’re not going to see the graphics you’d find on a 360 or PS3, everything in the game looks stellar and you’ll often be surprised at some of the graphical effects Nintendo came up with.

  • Side quests are great and you’ll have fun completing them
  • Puzzles in dungeons are hard enough to get you thinking
  • Link controls very well
  • All the items in the game are very cool
  • It’ll probably take you 40-50 hours to beat the game

Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess


Conclusion
And there’s a ton of other reasons as to why this is a great game but I wonder when looking back at the 3D Zelda games, (Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Windwaker, Twilight Princess) how well this is going to hold up. It’s certainly not as monotonous as Majora’s Mask but it’s definitely not as memorable as Ocarina of Time or hold up to the visual presentation in Windwaker. I think in the end if the writer’s really tightened up the story, (again especially towards the end of the game), Twilight Princess would’ve left everyone feeling a lot more fulfilled.

But still get the game! It’s great!