Friday, December 28, 2007

'Dogs face uphill battle at Maples v. Stanford

Its all on you KB, we need 20 and 7 outta you


Dogs head to Palo Alto to face No. 22 Stanford:


The Bulldogs will head up to the Bay area to play the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion at 2pm Saturday. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net with Ted Robinson as the play by play and former Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery with analysis. Both the Cardinal and Bulldogs have been off since Saturday, December 22nd, with each team coming away with key non-conference wins.


This will be the ninth meeting in the two schools history, their last meeting was an action packed, heartbraeaking game in Fresno which the Bulldogs dropped 69-67, this will be the Dogs first trip to play the Cardinal in Palo Alto since 1954.


The Cardinal Coming in:

Stanford enters off of last Saturdays victory over Texas Tech 62-61, their sixth straight win. After the Red-Raiders used a 21-6 run to close the 1st half to lead 33-26, Sophmore Center Brooke Lopez, in only his 2nd game of the season, led the way in the 2nd half scoring 17 of his team-high 19 points. Joining Lopez in double figure scoring was guard Anthony Goods with 10 and fellow post player and brother Robin with 10.


The Cardinal come into the contest with a 10-1 record, their best start since 2003-04, and they also enter with a 7-0 home record. Key wins for Stanford are over UCSB, Colorado, Santa Clara, Northwestern, and Texas Tech. The lone loss was an early season road game at Siena, a 69-57 defeat.


The Cardinal feature 4 players in double figure scoring, led by newly reinstated Brook Lopez (19.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.5 blks), guard Anthony Goods (12.5 ppg, 3 apg, 41.3% 3pt), Robin Lopez (10.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 30 blks), and Lawrence Hill (10.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg).


Key Cardinal team stats:

-76.8 points per game (56.8 opp)
-49.5 Field goal % (38.8% opp)
-40.2 3pt % (33% opp)
-239 Free Throw attempts (181 opp)
-+ 12.5 rebounding margin
-16.3 assist per game to 13.5 turnovers
-4.8 steals per game (6.5 opp)
-4.7 blocks per game
-Outscored opponents by 137 in the 1st half


The Bulldogs coming in:

Fresno State enters the matchup with Stanford off of what was their most complete performance of the season at home against the University of Pacific, a 75-58 victory. Besides the opening 4 minute stretch of the 2nd half, the Bulldogs outplayed the Tigers and showed that there is potential for this team to win big games. The Bulldogs were led by Senior all-everything point guard Kevin Bell who finished with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.


Also contributing with solid games were Hector Hernandez with 10 points and 4 rebounds, and guard Eddie Miller who finished with 15 points on 5-9 three point shooting. Miller leads the WAC in made 3 point field goals with 4 per game. Tyson Parker also played a key role off the bench with 4 points and 4 assists.


As a team the Bulldogs shot a blistering 51.1% from the field, 39% from three, and 78% from the charity stripe. There were only 9 turnovers for the Bulldogs while they were able to force 7 steals and hand out 15 assists as a team.


On the season Kevin Bell leads the way averaging 17.5 points per contest while Eddie Miller comes in at 13.5 points per. The most troublesome season stat that has plagued the Bulldogs all season, and will continue to, is a -5.2 rebounding margin per outing. This is where the Bulldogs must make some improvement but will also have to shoot very well from three to overcome these deficiencies. Against a team like Stanford, the status quo in this area will net you a double digit loss without a doubt.


What to expect:

A loss, but hopefully a close one under double digits and some positives to build on heading out on their first WAC road swing of the season. Getting off to a good start in Ruston and Las Cruces to open WAC play will be crucial for the Bulldogs, and how they play Saturday against the Cardinal may dictate some of that. The Bulldogs will get pounded on the glass, it will take a great shooting effort from the guards, and some semblance of solid contribution off the bench.


MBs Take:

I really don’t know what to expect here, but I do see the Dogs dropping this one in Palo Alto. Bell and Miller keep it close but the size of the Twins and the pounding of the offensive glass takes its toll and the Dogs lose 71-63.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fresno State at Arizona Preview

You want to win at Arizona? Can you make 10 threes?

The Fresno State Bulldogs travel to Tucson to take on the #21 Ranked Arizona Wildcats on Sunday at noon in the McKale Center. Arizona enters the contest at 6-2 coming off of a victory over Illinois 78-72 in overtime. The Bulldogs are coming off of a loss in Las Vegas at the hands of UNLV 84-71. Fresno State leads the overall series 3-2 with the last game a victory in Tucson

in 1980.

Arizona will be without legendary Coach Lute Olson for the remainder of the season, the decision was made final on December 7th. Taking over the Head Coaching duties for Olson will be Kevin O’Neill. O’Neill had previous Coaching stints at Marquette, Tennessee, and Northwestern.


Where the Bulldogs stand:

Coach Steve Cleveland brings his team into this difficult contest with Arizona with many unanswered questions and have been plagued by deficiencies. The biggest issue that has hampered the Dogs all season has been getting off to slow starts and falling behind early. From the second game of the season this has been the trend in nearly every outing. The most glaring was against UNLV where they were effectivelty out of the game in the first 10 minutes.

To have a chance of even being in the game with a much more talented Wildcat squad the early going will be of the utmost importance, Cleveland must have an extremely quick timeout call if even the slightest Arizona run is made. Kevin Bell will need to control the game in the early going by slowing tempo, penetrating, and getting teammates open looks in the. Turnovers plagued the Dogs in the first half in Vegas and must be kept to a minimum Sunday.

It will also take a very good shooting effort to stick around with U of A. Guards Eddie Miller and Bryan Harvey will have to have the stroke going from three. It will take a huge effort by the entire lineup, including the guards, to keep Arizona off of the offensive glass. Controlling Arizona Center Jordan Hill will be difficult but it will have to be done by committee.


A look at Arizona:

The Wildcats come in with the momentum of a big overtime victory over Illinois. The Wildcats were led by Jordan Hill (23 pts, 14 rebs, 3 blks) and Jerryd Bayless (20 pts, 6 assts, 6-6 fts). Both players came up with huge efforts and played their best late in regulation and into overtime. Hill’s performance earned him Pac-10 player of the week honors.

The Wildcats feature 3 players that are posting double figures in scoring, led by guard Jerryd Bayless (19.9 ppg, 4.9 apg), forward Chase Budinger (17.1 ppg, 5 rebs) and forward Jordan Hill (12.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg). Following closely and a key contributor is senior wing Jawann McClellan (9.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg).


Key Wildcat Stats:

-50.6% from the field
-39.8% from three
-77.1% from the line
-Outrebounding opponents by 3 per game
-Averaging 18 assists and 14 turnovers per game
-Scoring 79.5 points per game while giving up 68.8


MBs take:

The Dogs are reeling, I predicted a 12 point loss at UNLV and was pretty close, but the game was never in question. I dont think this one will be either without a poor shooting Wildcat team and a extremely hot Bulldog squad. Neither is likely to occur.

Dogs lose 85-70.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2009 Cars That Can't Seem To Stay Hidden

Hmmmmm.... looks like this picture of the 2009 Dodge Ram is real, but where have I seen this before? ohhhhh... right..
I realize that you can't change too much from model to model in the truck business as not to offend customers, but I didn't think you went backwards in time when designing new models.
and there is the '09 CTS-v caught and posted on Edmunds. The car overall looks good, but the rear end has some weird looking angles at times. Side view is beautiful.

Go Take a look of the rest of the photos.

Big things are expected for both of these vehicles from both of their respected manufacturers. With gas prices not declining, will this new Ram appeal? What is this CTS-v going to cost? Many questions, and many more auto shows in a matter of a month.

Friday, December 07, 2007

FSU vs. UNLV (Yes, they are an actual D1 team!)

Yes, our leading scorer is under six foot, problem?


We must first thank the baseline official for not watching Tyson Parker jump from 6 inches out of bounds to save the ball to Bryan Harvey who thankfully forced overtime with the desperatation three. Without his lack of attention we would be face with writing to you about the most embarrasing loss in school history. As the old saying goes, Id rather be lucky....


FSU vs. UNLV Preview:

The Fresno State Bulldogs will hit the road to face their toughest opponent of the season thus far, UNLV, at the Orleans Arena Saturday night at 7pm. This is the first meeting between the Bulldogs and Runnin Rebels since 1998 when UNLV defeated the Dogs 77-67 in a WAC tournament semifinal game. This game will also be televised locally on CW59 pregame at 6:30.


UNLV Coming in:

The Rebels enter off a road victory in Flagstaff, Arizona over the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona 83-74. They had 4 players score in double figures, but the key to their victory was their ability to get to the free throw line 32 times and make 27 of the attempts. Junior guards Wink Adams (16 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast, 2 stls) and Curtis Terry (16 pts, 8 rebs, 6 ast) led the way. Terry is the brother of Dallas Maverick guard and former Arizona standout Jason Terry.

On the season individually the Rebels have three double figure scorers (Terry 13.6, Adams 13.3, and Darger 12.5). Terry leads the team in assists at just under 4 per game, Darger leads the team in rebounds at 6.3 per game, while Terry and Adams share the team lead with 11 steals.


UNLV Team Stats (opponents):

-74.1 points per game (66.1)
-42.3% field goals (41.7%)
-31.9% 3 point field goals (28.1%)
-7.6 3 point field goals/game (5.4)
-72% free throws (65.8%)
-35.4 rebounds per game (39.5)
-13.5 assists per game (12.5)
-12.1 turnovers per game (16.5)
-8.9 steals per game (4.9)
-3.1 blocks per game (1.9)


Fresno
State
Coming in:

The Bulldogs come in to Saturdays matchup narrowly escaping what may have been one of the worst losses in program history against Cal-State Monterey Bay. It took a desperation 3 from Bryan Harvey to force overtime after a controversial save by Tyson Parker in which he was clearly out of bounds. The Bulldogs eventually prevailed 85-80 in overtime. They were led by Kevin Bell’s 24 points and 5 assists, Bell battled cramps in the second half and overtime.

Hector Hernandez had a much improved shooting touch going 4-7 from three on the way to an 18 point, 9 rebound effort. Bryan Harvey had a very nice game scoring 19, collecting 9 rebounds which was key, and added 4 blocks. Most importantly he forced overtime with the deep three. Not to be forgotten, guard Tyson Parker turned in an all around game scoring 4 point, had 5 rebounds, and led the team with 7 assists. He distributed very well after Coach Cleveland moved him to the free throw line area in the halfcourt offensive sets to allow him to be a facilitator.


What to expect:

The Bulldogs have what seems like everything going against them-a road game, a very good opponent, an embarrassing near loss prior at home, and a lack of confidence coming in. The only question is how will they respond to this tough test? How can the Bulldogs leave Vegas with a win? It will take the starters staying out of foul trouble and keeping the Rebels off the line, they must compete on the boards, and they will have to come up with 10+ made threes. Lastly, as always on the road against an opportunistic team, they must value the basketball and keep turnovers down.


MBs take:

Well, since I predicted a 23 point victory against the Otters and was not even close, I see the Dogs waltzing into Orleans Arena and losing to the Rebels by 12. Why or how, Im unsure but they had to escape a D2 team at home so how can I give them a chance against a top 40 D1 team?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

FSU vs. Cal State Whaaa? Monterey Bay?

Yes Greg, we played and beat the mighty Otters!


FSU vs. CSU Monterey Bay Preview

The Fresno State Bulldogs will host the California State University Monterey Bay Otters Wednesday night at the Save Mart Center at 7pm. The Bulldogs come in not having played a game since November 27th, a 74-64 victory at Winston-Salem State, led by Eddie Miller’s 25 points in front of friends and family that bussed down from Maryland. That was the second part of a two game road trip, the Dogs fell to Sam Houston State in the first game 68-57.

The Bulldogs will play at home Wednesday night and then travel to Las Vegas to play UNLV at the Orleans Arena Saturday at 7pm.

CSUMB enters the game off of a road loss at Cal-Poly Pomona 77-66. The Bulldogs and Otters do have a common opponent this season in Western Washington. The Bulldogs defeated WW on Nov. 4th at the Save Mart Center 97-67 on a 61 point second half effort. CSUMB played Western Washington twice, losing at home 82-77 and in Bellingham 87-75.


Scouting CSUMB:

The Otters will come in very undersized, their tallest player being Jacob Kernodle at 6’7, the next players down in size are 6’4. Its looks as though Ryan McBride, who was scoring 12.7 ppg is no longer with the Otters. The others scoring in double figures are Augie Johnston (16.3 ppg) and D’Shon Cannon (15.7 ppg) and Joe Mitchell (13.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg). An interesting note is that 6’4 junior guard Jose Sanchez who is averaging 8.1 ppg listed his last school attended as Fresno State.


Some team stats of note for the Otters:
-Averaging 70.4 ppg while yielding 76.4
-Shooting 46% Fgs, 34% from three, and 79% from the line on 112 attempts
-Getting outrebounded by around 1 per game=
-12 assists per game, but 15 turnovers per


For the Bulldogs:

The Bulldogs continue to be led by senior Point Guard Kevin Bell with his 17.4 ppg and his just over 6 assists per game. There are 4 players posting double figure scoring that are available, though Dwight O’ Neil was averaging 13.5 ppg before his wrist injury.

Hector Hernandez has had difficulty in the early season shooting the Basketball but still is at 10.3 ppg and a team leading 7.9 rpg. Hernandez is the player that needs to make strides and improve his play over the next few weeks. He is critical to the Bulldogs success.

This game should not be a contest that is ever in doubt. What this matchup does is allows the Bulldogs to work on sets offensively, get some confidence shooting the basketball, and utilize this as an opportunity to go into the UNLV game with a clear idea of that they want to do. It wont be a physically demanding game so they will be fresh for Saturday, a game that will be extremely difficult.


MBs Take:

Yes this game has everything-a D2 opponent, a fellow CSU school, a rare opponent mascot (Otter, would a Bulldog beat an otter in a fight? Furthermore, can otters come on land and compete physically?), and a team with no player over 6'7.

This is quite the matchup (not so much) but what really matters is no getting decimated and embarrased in Vegas Saturday.

Through extrapolation, I say the Dogs win this by 23 points.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FSU vs. WSSU preview-Just win please!

Remember when.....


FSU vs. Winston-Salem State Preview:

The Bulldogs will finish out their road trip with a game in North Carolina versus the Rams of Winston-Salem State. This will be the two teams second meeting in as many years, the Bulldogs beating the Rams 85-63 on November 10, 2006. The Rams are in their 3rd year of the 5 year transition to Division 1 Basketball. They are competing in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference but cannot compete in the postseason tourney until year 5.


WSSU Coming in:

The Rams enter with a 1-3 overall record and enter on the heels of a loss to Wake Forest 73-53. They were led by Brian Fisher’s 18 points and 8 rebounds. The Rams were dominated in the paint by the much bigger and more physical Demon Deacons.

The Rams are averaging 57 points per game and have only one player in double figure scoring in 6’2” sophomore guard Brian Fisher. Surprisingly, Fisher also leads the Rams in rebounding at 3.8 per game which doesn’t bode well for WSSU.

As far as team statistics go, they tell a very distinct story of why the Rams have a 1-3 record and also what the Bulldogs need to do to exploit WSSUs weaknesses.

-Rams shoot 32% from the field
-Rebounding deficit of 10 per game
-Average 17 turnovers per game
-Assist to turnover ratio of -7

The Rams do shoot the three quite effectively at a 36% clip and are actually outshooting themselves from 2.


The Bulldogs coming in:

FSU enters off of a tough road loss at the hands of the Sam Houston State Bearkats 68-57. The Bulldogs put forth a terrible shooting effort which did not allow them to stay in the game late. When you shoot 28% from the field and 3-24 from three you just aren’t going to win many games at all, especially road games. Couple that with being outrebounded by 10 and there just isn’t a way a team can stay in a game that way.

The Dogs were only able to stay around 10 because they were able to force 24 turnovers and get to the free throw line 24 times which was very promisining for a perimeter oriented team. The Bulldogs were led by Kevin Bell’s 16 points and 7 assists and Hector Hernandez and his 17 points and 9 rebounds.

For the season the Bulldogs are scoring 70 points per game, shooting 42% from the field, 31% from three, and 70% from the free throw line which is very repectable. The issues are the -7.3 rebounding margin and only 12 assists per game as a team which isn’t going to allow the team to be very successful unless those two areas show marked improvement.


Whats at stake:

Self respect. The Dogs cannot trip up against an opponent like WSSU. This team is on the schedule as a sure win. After a dismal 1st road effort the Dogs must find a way to improve road shooting and get the job done. With a shorthanded roster with many holes, every game is going to be a fight so Cleveland and staff must find advantages anywhere they can and exploit them. This team just needs wins against whoever and wherever because they are going to be hard to come by all season long.


MBs Take:

The Dogs continue to struggle but force enough turnovers and make enough 3s to come home with a W.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dogs Return home-FSU v. MSU preview

Gut check time? You bet your a** it is!

Fresno
State vs. Montana State Preview:

The Bulldogs return home to the Save Mart Center Wednesday night to host the Montana State Bobcats of the Big Sky Conference, tipoff set for 7pm. The Bobcats and Bulldogs played twice last season with the Bulldogs winning both, highlighted by an overtime win in Bozeman. The Bobcats are coached by Brad Huse who is in his second season at MSU.

Montana State coming in:

The Bobcats enter on the heels of a very impressive home win against Boise State 86-84. MSU led by 13 at halftime but did enough to hold off the Broncos. The Bobcats hold a 2-1 overall record with the 2 point win over Boise State, an 18 point victory over Long Beach State, and an 11 point road loss against UNLV.

They have 3 double figures scorers in their three games-Guards Casey Durham (13.3 ppg, 6 stls) and Carlos Taylor (13.7 ppg) and Center Divaldo Mbunga (10 ppg, 7 rpg). As a team they are averaging 75 points per game, shooting 46% from the field, and 32% from three point range.

What to expect from MSU:

The Bobcats feature a very experienced backcourt and will rely on them to carry a fairly young team outside of their trio of guards. They have a very defensive oriented system and coach Huse stresses excellence on that side of the floor. They also have a true center in Mbunga, a facet they have not been accustomed to. Expect him to cause problems on the interior for a thin and weak Bulldogs frontcourt.

Fresno State coming in:

The Bulldogs enter off of a painful and embarrassing loss down in Bakersfield at the hands of first-year D1 team the CSUB Roadrunners. Not only was it a road loss against a very winnable opponent, but during the game Junior Guard Dwight O’Neil fractured his wrist and will miss at least 8 weeks. Senior forward Alex Blair was limited because of a very nagging heel issue. Couple this with the indefinite suspension of Rekalin Sims and there is definite reason for worry in Fresno.

Guard Tyson Parker will give up his redshirt and make this his senior season as he felt it was best for the team. Both Tyson and Coach Cleveland wanted him to come in as an experienced guard in 08-09 to be a leader on what will be a young team, but he has elected to play now.

The Bulldogs are averaging 70.5 points per game, including 4 double figure scorers in Kevin Bell (19.3 ppg, 6 apg), now injured Dwight O’Neil (13.4 ppg, 2 spg), Eddie Miller (11.8 ppg) and Bryan Harvery (11 ppg). With the loss of O’Neil for an extended period of time, these three need to increase their scoring load, moreso from Miller and Harvey who will see increased minutes.

The obvious issues for the Bulldogs are the 7.5 rebound deficit per game, the 61% team free throw shooting percentage, and yielding 44.5% field goals to their opponents. The fact remains this shorthanded team needs to find ways to win and must do all of the little things to stay competitive. They must make a concerted effort on the boards and improve the overall defensive effort.

What to expect from the Bulldogs:

There isn’t really such a thing as a “must win” this early in the season, but the Dogs need a win to stop the bleeding not only following a 2 game skid, but to help ease the tension surrounding the program both on the court with injuries but also off the court with suspensions.

It is up to Kevin Bell and the guards to lead this team over the Bobcats. Coach Cleveland needs his team to come out with energy and show a spark on both ends of the floor, getting the positive vibe going. They will be forced to motivate themselves most likely, due to what will be a sparse crowd at SMC. This is a role where freshman Ned Golubovic could really help his team.

Its gut check time for the Bulldogs, how will these players and coaches react when their backs are inching ever closer to the wall?

MBs Take:

The Dogs find a way to win and grit one out, but they will struggle and may even be sluggish early, in fact I expect it. They key is to keep the deficit under 10 and not allow momentum to grow for the Bobcats.

Dogs win 71-66.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Random Thoughts

Push through the Crowd, Altair
Assassin's Creed came out last week, This week we see the releases of Mass Effect(XBOX 360) and Rock Band(PS3/360). Assassin's Creed is not what it appears to be on its surface. All of the screenshots show you as the "main" character, Altair, but the first moments of the game reveal that it is actually set in the year 2012, and your name is Desmond. You use a machine to assume the roll of Altair. I won't even try to explain. With its engrossing story that leaves you wanting more throughout, Creed is one of the large titles that can live up to the hype.

The game at first seems repetitive, and for the most part, it is. But the further into the story you get, the better you get at sword fighting, counters, and silent kills, the more fun there is too be had. Just running across the rooftops and killing guards has taken up alot of my time lately.

I am sure I won't get around to Mass Effect for a while, Creed is a long offline game(something the highly touted Call of Duty 4 is not, online only there). But Rock Band releases tomorrow, and I am crossing my fingers I can get a bundle for PS3.
LA AUTO SHOW
Picture above in the Orange, this is a coupe version of the Genesis Sedan Concept we saw way back at the New York Auto Show. The car is overall not bad, and looks close to production ready. Supposedly the E46 M3(previous gen M3) was used as a benchmark. That was one hell of a car, and if they got anywhere in the ballpark, there could be some wonderful things to come from Hyundai... Wait what? I guess....
Our old friend the BMW 135i is back, now priced. It has not our friend any longer, now it's a distant cousin that comes to visit and wants to have deep conversations with you when you're just trying to play video games. Starting at $35,675, and fully optioned at or around $52,000, Why wouldn't you buy the 335i? Give yourself the extra leg room(lord know I need it). The still competent 128i will start at a slightly more reasonable $29,375.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Battle of the Valley-FSU v. CSUB

The leader of this group searching for answers


FSU @ CSUB Preview:

The Fresno State Bulldogs will make the trip south down the 99 Freeway to play new Division 1 entrant the California State University Bakersfield Roadrunners at Rabobank Arena. This will be Bakersfield’s first home game as a division 1 team, and it will be the teams first meeting since 1978.


Fresno State coming in:

The Bulldogs come into Bakersfield winning two of three games in the World Vision Invitational in Fresno, losing in the would-be championship game to San Diego State 89-72. They were never able to find their stride during the tournament and are still looking to define roles and find an adequate rotation, especially in the frontcourt.

The Dogs will also be without forward Rekalin Sims, who was set to play Saturday coming off of an academic suspension. Sims was involved in an incident early Monday morning and arrested on robbery and conspiracy charges. He is suspended indefinitely from the team and will most likely never play a minute for the Bulldogs this season.

The Bulldogs enter with 4 players in double figure scoring led by Senior point guard Kevin Bell (19.3 ppg, 6 apg), Dwight O’Neil (15.7 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 spg), Eddie Miller (13.3 ppg, 50% 3pt) and 6th man Bryan Harvey (11.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg). One issue may be Kevin Bell leading the team in shot attempts. Coach Cleveland alluded to the fact that he didnt like that stat from his distributor, and although he has been effective, its all about shot selection and that must continue to be emphasized.

On the inside, the Dogs have not found much success at all in three games. Senior Hector Hernandez had an abysmal tournament, shooting 27% from the field, and was very disappointed in his own play. He needs to pick things up on both ends of the floor because if he isn’t providing an offensive spark, how many minutes can he get? Sean Taylor has played sparingly and will look for increased minutes where he has two purposes: defense and rebounding. Alex Blair (6 rpg) will continue to get the start.


CSUB coming in:

The Roadrunners enter Saturdays matchup coming off of two losses (92-75 @ CSUF, 94-66 @ SMC). Junior guard Terrence Johns led the way in the first two averaging 22.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. The other two in double-digit scoring is Junior Forward Santwon Latunde (10.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Freshman Center Cory Brown (12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg).

One issue for the Roadrunners has been their ability to take care of the Basketball. They have 24 assists to 36 turnovers in their 2 games. CSUB is also having to deal with replacing the bulk of their scoring from last season as they lost the top 3 scorers from last years team. This early part of the season will be important for the Roadrunners in establishing who will be the complimentary players to go with Johns and where the secondary scoring will come from.


What to expect from the Dogs:

The Bulldogs will need to establish themselves early, especially this being on the road against a winless, hungry opponent, and an arena full of fans looking for a big upset for this new D1 program. Coach Cleveland will need to have his team on an extremely short leash over the first 3-5 minutes. The opening 3 games for the Dogs have featured slow starts highlighted by stagnant offense, poor shot selection, and an inability for anyone to step up and make a play on the offensive end. They cannot continue to dig themselves a hole every time out.

Another key will be on the defensive end of the floor. CSUB has shown they are turnover prone early in the season. The Bulldogs need to keep the pressure on the perimeter constant to make entry passes that much more difficult. They must continue to work on interior defense and rebounding, this is most important for Hernandez. This may also be a good opportunity to get the Freshman Brandon Webster into the mix. Since Cleveland has decided not to redshirt him, it would make sense to get him 6-8 minutes per game. Also look to see Ned Golubovic get into the mix, he has provided a spark off the bench early in the season and brings a cerebral game with him.

Another facet the Bulldogs need to establish is some scoring while attacking the rim. Bryan Harvey has a tendency for too much east-west dribbling, he needs to turn the corner and get to the rim. Dwight O’Neil will need to do much of the same, but he needs to cut down on his team-high 11 turnovers. Eddie Miller needs to shoot more than 8 shots per game, especially when he is shooting threes at a 50% clip.

This looks to be a good opportunity for the Bulldogs to go on the road and work on defective parts of their game, continue to develop new wrinkles, and to get minutes for young players. Coach Cleveland must take a very cautious approach to the development of his team, this will be an extremely delicate early season for him and one where he earns his money. He is dealing with a team that undoubtedly lacks confidence and is fragile in its mindset.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

2007 World Vision Classic Preview

Games that actually count on the W-L record are here!

This Friday night will be the tip of the 2007 World Vision Classic presented by Pape’ at the Save Mart Center. This years field includes host Fresno State, San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference, Portland of the West Coast Conference, and Liberty of the Big South Conference. Each team play all three opponents in a round robin style tournament. Below we will give a brief overview, who to look for, and what to expect from these 4 teams.


Portland
:

Portland comes in from the West Coast Conference led by second year coach Eric Reveno. Last season the Pilots posted a 9-23 overall record (4-10 WCC). Reveno played for and coached for Mike Montgomery at Stanford, and he is trying to employ much of what Montgomery utilized and succeeded with during his tenure as Cardinal head coach. This is an extremely difficult rebuilding job for Reveno, Portland’s last winning record was during the 94-95 season.

Guard Jamie Jones would have been the leading returning starter for the Pilots, but he was ruled academically ineligible and left school. They will also feel the loss of All-Conference guard Darren Cooper who exhausted his eligibility during a superb senior season.

Portland will come in with one statistical lead over their tournament opponents, 10 of their 13 players on the roster are freshman and sophomores. The early development of this young team will be critical to their success, just how quickly can this team adapt to Reveno’s system and playing at a high level?

The Pilots areas of success will be rebounding and solid interior defense and overall defensive toughness. Robin Smeulders, who was ineligible last season, and Kramer Knutson will be the inside presence and rebounding force the Pilots need. Add freshman Luke Sikma, son of former NBA star Jack Sikma, into the mix on the inside.

Areas of weakness include outside scoring, a lack of a players that can create, and overall athleticism. If the inside game isn’t on or teams force Portland into shooting jumpshots they could be in for a long night. They were the worst 3 point shooting team in the WCC last season.

Taishi Ito will return to point guard duties after starting his freshman season. Ito averaged 7 points and 3 assists per game. At the other guard will be Walter Thompson (4.6 ppg .276 3 pt %). At the small forward will be Sherrard Watson (9 ppg, 3.8 rpg).

Off the bench look for Luke Sikma and guard Nik Raivio, brother of last seasons West Coast Conference MVP Derek Raivio of Gonzaga. Nik isn’t quite the shooter his brother was but he is a smart player who may be starting early into this season for Portland.


Liberty
:

Liberty participates in the Big South Conference and comes into this season off of a 14-17 overall record (8-6 conf) with new head coach Ritchie McKay, who was fired from New Mexico. He brings experience and name recognition to Liberty which boasts the conferences largest athletic budget. They Flames are picked sixth in the Big South’s preseason poll.

Liberty lost leading scorer Larry Blair (20.4 ppg). Blair left Liberty as the conferences all-time leading scorer. The guards must pick up the scoring in his absence, but maybe the scoring by committee will be more beneficial for the Flames as unselfishness will equal greater success.

The backcourt will be led by TJ Bannister, a Virginia transfer with one season of eligibility left. He will be one of the top point guards in the Big South and will be hungry with one final year to prove himself. As he goes, so go the Flames, but can he add the scoring punch this team needs since he never showed that ability at Virginia? Joining Bannister in the backcourt will be Anthony Smith (11.4 pp, 39.3 3pt%), who is also a defensive stopper. Look for BJ Jenkins to come in at times and allow McKay to employ a three guard attack.

On the inside will be Forwards Armon Jones and Rell Porter, and Center Alex McClean (14.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg). Jones and Porter will be very inexperienced and the lack of depth behind them is a real concern for the flames. McKay had to scramble to fill the roster because of the late hiring and lack of opportunity to recruit regionally.

The Flames have a challenging non-conference schedule and the depth concerns will be very difficult to overcome. This team is in flatout rebuilding mode with 3 talented players coupled with question marks at the forward spots and a bench that may not provide much help at all.


San Diego
State
:

Steve Fisher is entering his ninth season at San Diego State (127-117 at SDSU) and coming off a 22-11 overall record (10-6 MWC). Will the departure of guard Brandon Heath and Forward Mohamed Abukar mean the door is closing on Fisher to make another NCAA run?

Another issue is the dismissal of Jerome Habel, the loss of his 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds will be felt, Habel was to be a main cog in the Aztec attack. Couple that with the fact that point guard Richie Williams may be suspended for the tournament and you have quite a few early season issues. Habel, Abukar, and Heath accounted for 61% of San Diego States scoring last season.

Junior Forward Lorrenzo Wade (10.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 39 blks) is a very talented player. Fisher will count on Wade to shoulder a much larger load this season and take his game to a new level with all of the departures. The Aztecs will also need guards Richie Williams (7 ppg) and Kyle Spain (6.6 ppg) to step up. They will need to elevate their perimeter accuracy and show the ability to score from the outside to compliment the Aztecs inside game.

They will also look for contributions from newcomers F Ryan Amoroso (Marquette), G Kelvin Davis (UTEP), F Tim Shelton (Local product from Clovis West), and PG DJ Gay right away. They must establish themselves early and gain experience in the non-conference. Gay was a prolific scorer in high school (29.4 ppg).

The Aztecs will struggle in the early going as Fisher tries to solidify a rotation and players fight to establish themselves and for minutes. There is talent on this team but it is unproven and lacks experience so the speed of that development will be key for the Aztecs.


Fresno State (Season Preview):

Steve Cleveland enters his 3rd season with the Bulldogs on the heels of a momentum building season in which the Bulldogs finished 22-10 overall (10-6 WAC) and lost in the first round of the NIT on the road against Georgia.

The Bulldogs main challenge will be replacing the contributions of Forwards Quinton Hosley (13.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and Dominic McGuire (13.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 3 apg, school record 114 blocks), who entered the NBA after his junior season. Although the Bulldogs have yet to find a true inside presence under Cleveland, Hosley and McGuire provided defensive intensity, rebounding, and a tenacity on both ends of the floor that will be difficult to replace.

First mention will be the fact that FSU will be without transfer Forward Rekalin Sims for the tournament because of academic reasons. Sims should be back Monday, but his absence will provide an opportunity for players to get extended minutes and minutes they may otherwise not have accrued. This may be valuable early in the season.

This team begins and ends with Senior point guard Kevin Bell (9.6 ppg, 5.6 apg). Bell enters as the favorite to be 1st team all WAC as he is the conferences leading returning assist man. Bell will be looked towards to distribute to an outstanding perimeter shooting team, disrupt opposing PGs, provide some scoring punch, and not to mention be the emotional leader of the Bulldogs. Bell is in phenomenal shape and even looks to have added a few pounds of muscle which can only help as he will be called on to play extensive minutes, partly due to the loss of USC transfer Kevin Galloway who fell behind on classwork and transferred to a JC.

At guard with Bell will be Eddie Miller (10.5 ppg, 87 3pt Fgs). Miller led the team in 3 pointers made last season and will pick up where he left off. Coach Cleveland expects Miller to make 4 3 point field goals per game. Miller will be asked to help on the defensive boards with his athleticism, and will need to improve his on the ball defense. Hopefully, his confidence off the dribble has improved and he is more willing to put the ball on the floor when opponents fly out at him. His confidence is of the utmost importance and he must be mentally strong all season.

At the third G/SF spot will be Dwight O’Neil. He is coming off of a redshirt season and will provide instant toughness for the Bulldogs. He will be asked to penetrate and slash to the rim, backup Bell at PG, play tough defense, and help on the glass. He seems to have improved his shooting touch which if true could be deadly for an already perimeter oriented team, and also open up more lanes to penetrate.

The Forwards will be Alex Blair and senior Hector Hernadez (11.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg). Blair will fill in for Sims while he is suspended and until he earns his spot back. Blair is an energy player that has defined and narrow roles-rebound the basketball on both ends, play solid defense, and finish when afforded the opportunity to score. Hernandez got valuable experience playing with the Mexican National team in the FIBA Americas tournament. He is in the best shape of his career and will be called on more than ever to provide some semblance of a post presence. He will continue to be a solid three point shooter, but he will be asked to rebound and defend the post also as the Bulldogs are thin in the frontcourt.

Off the bench on the perimeter will be Bryan Harvey, the Louisville transfer, and there may be very minimal minutes for backup PG Myles Green. Harvey brings size to the wing at 6’5” and very solid perimeter shooting. He will have to show an ability to get to the rim and be versatile on an FSU team that needs all players to expand their roles to fill in for obvious shortcomings in multiple facets of the game.

Frontcourt reserves include senior Sean Taylor, freshman Brandon Webster, and fellow freshman Ned Golubovic. Taylor needs to step up in his last season, he will be asked to show improvement in post defense, rebounding on both ends of the floor, and in his general court savvy. Another welcome addition would be Taylor’s ability to hit the jump hook occasionally and show some sort of post game with his back to the basket. His roll is very defined and not much is asked of him. Webster is a long term project who has the ability to become very good. He needs to continue to get in better shape and adjust to the physical nature of the college game. Any court experience he can gain in the early going can only be beneficial as the season progresses. Golubovic was thought to be redshirting but that may not be the case as he has shown the ability to step out and shoot to go with his size.

Lastly, we will focus on who may be the biggest key to the season in Rekalin Sims. Kalin is a transfer from Kentucky with one season to play. He is considered more of an old school player who will not wow opponents with his athleticism but uses his skill around the basket and court sense to make things happen. He is crafty around the basket and possesses the ability to step out and knock down the open jumper. He will have to come up big on the boards and also be able to step inside and show the ability to post up and shoot the jump hook with both hands. He should be extremely focused and hungry as this is last opportunity to leave his mark on college basketball.


Of Note:

Fans attending the tournament games are asked to bring new or gently used basketball. There will be storage bins provided by Papé and World Vision at each of the entrance and there will be one big storage bin collected all the basketball at the end of the day.

The Bulldog Football team will be on the Islands to play undefeated Hawaii, lets keep this thing respectable and get home without any more injuries, this team has suffered more than enough in this season. Ball control, forcing turnovers, winning the special teams battle, and an off night by Colt Brennan and Hawaii will be the necessary recipe for an upset.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Guitar Hero III, The Simpsons Game reviews..

The Simpsons Game is out for all Major Systems(PSP this week), and reviews have been generally around the 7 out of 10 range. I have the game, and tend to agree with the reviews for the most part. It is one of those games that doesn't have the best gameplay, can be repetitive, but overall is very fun. The Simpsons TV show writers were used, as opposed to some of the past Simpson console games, and the humor is great.

If you are as big a Simpsons fan as I am, and play video games as well, there is plenty to like in the Simpsons game. At the very least, I would say give it a rental, because there is alot to like here.
When it was revealed that Harmonix(Frequency, Amplitude, Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II) was no longer apart of the Guitar Hero franchise, alot of people wondered what would happen with Activision's hit. Activision put Neversoft(Tony Hawk Series) in charge of development for Guitar Hero III, and many people, such as myself, were a bit nervous with the decision.

Guitar Hero is a franchise that really can't receive a bad review. Take the same game, put new songs in it, and there you have it. The song list is obviously extremely important, and that's where this game falls short for me, even with 70+ songs.

The New Guitars (Gibson Kramer for PS2, Les Paul for PS3/360/Wii) are great. Can be tough to hold at times while standing, but the buttons feel great, the strum feels equally impressive.

The Boss Battles Suck. The Multiplayer battle mode sucks. I won't elaborate, they should have stuck with ALL encores, not thrown in Boss Battles.

It's not that the Songs featured are overall BAD(although sections 3-4-and 5 are pretty weak), it's that alot of the marquee songs are songs I can turn the radio on and hear on a daily basis. I like Welcome to the Jungle as much as the next guy, but do I really need to hear it more than I am already subjected to in normal life?

The real gems are Cult of Personality by Living Colour, Raining Blood by Slayer, Stricken by Disturbed, Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson, and OF COURSE, One by Metallica. Everybody's musical tastes differ, but overall these songs are challenging and FUN. And the Dragonforce song, Through the Fire and Flames, is freaking impossible. Alot of people considered Jordan on GHII hard, and it was, but Dragonforce is harder, longer, and doesn't have an easy loop to recover from the hard passages.
Going back to little old Harmonix. They have this game, called Rock Band, coming out in less than 20 days, I have talked about it before. They have MTV and EA behind them, and they have a nice little track list of almost 60 songs, and they have promised some lofty downloadable content in the way of Whole Albums, and many other songs. They have the better Metallica Song, better Weezer song, Better Queens of the Stone Age song. They have Soundgarden! STP, Bon Jovi, Blue Oyster Cult.... ALOT to look forward to playing.

And you won't just have a guitar, you have the EXTREMELY fun drum set, and a microphone as well, and you have a fresh series that may have something going for it. Check your local Best Buy for the demo, it releases Novemeber 21st. I will post impressions when this one is out, because the demo units I was banging on have alot of wear on them.

P.S. Rock Band went gold. It is so close....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Open Practice Pics from Wednesday

Your 07-08 Bulldogs

True Freshman Brandon Webster

Bryan Harvey, Hector Hernandez, Coach, Eddie Miller

Senior Leader Kevin Bell

Reinhart Giving Some Instruction

5 on 5 Defensive drills

Arizona State transfer Sylvester Seay

The new and streamlined Dwight

Ill try to get some thoughts on players and what to expect from this team in the next few days. In short, who will rebound? Who will defend the post with any effectiveness? Who will be the go to guy when the team needs a bucket? Will the defense be as good without Schroyer?


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sony is at it...Again

I am a little late on this, but better late than never I suppose.
First on Deck is the return of Rumble. The DualShock 3. Sony is bringing back rumble into their controllers after claiming it was a last gen feature, pretty hilarious stuff here. Coming out next month in Japan, sometimes in '08 for North America. But! No region lock means importing is inevitable. Sign me up for a white, just for fun.

NEXT UP: The long rumored 40GB PS3 is no longer a rumor, it is releasing here in North America November 2nd, with a price tag of $399.99, with Spiderman 3 bundled(the movie).....

Avert your eyes, the white 40GB model isn't planned for us. Yet.

Now, here is the catch(it's Sony, there's always a catch). The unit retains built in Wi-Fi from the 60/80GB models, but loses backwards compatibility with PS1/PS2 titles.

Let me say, I think this is a mistake. If you want true backwards compatibility, you need the emotion engine chip built into the 20 and 60GB models, while the 80GB model relies on software emulation.. Something XBOX 360 fans can tell you isn't always the best. I don't personally see a need for playing the old games on mine, and eventually I don't think stopping the backwards compatibility is a bad thing, but not this soon, not when PS2 titles are still being made.

The New Slim PSP's (PSP-2000) is also out, Available in 2 Bundle packs, and a core.
The first Bundle is the Ice Silver PSP featuring Daxter, Family Guy, and a 1GB Memory Stick.
The other bundle is the Star Wars bundle, with a Ceramic White PSP(with silk-screened Darth Vader on the back:pictured above) , and that one comes with the new Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron game.
The PSP Core is available in black, for the good old MSRP of $169.99. The other 2 bundles are $199.99 each.
As a previous(current) PSP Owner, let me assure you that the "Slim" moniker is not just for show, the redesigned PSP is much lighter and slimmer than it looks. Playing for extended periods of time with the PSP-1000 can yeild aching wrists, and overall arm fatigue. The PSP-2000 virtually eliminates this, and the White PSP is quite good looking. Also one last feature for the new one, Video Output! Video A/V cable or Component Cable, you move from the small screen to the big screen now.

Pictures from Kotaku, Engadget, and Joystiq.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pontiac G8 Coming at Good Price

Pontiac G8 Concept

During a small media even in New York recently, GM announced the pricing for the good looking Australian Sedan with Pontiac face, and alot were surprised by the affordability.

The 3.6 liter V6 model will come in at $27,595, and the V8 G8 GT will start at $29,995.

The fact that a car of this caliber is starting at under $30,000, with some of the praising reviews it has gotten abroad, we may see some good things to come from Pontiac. Only disappointing item is the apparent lack of Manual Transmission, with the V6 getting a 5 speed and the V8 getting 6 speed Automatics.. Hopefully the G8 GXP (if/when) does have a Manual option box to check, because it may not be popular, but damnit it's fun.

Best of luck to this car and the Pontiac division.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Halo 3

As some of you may know, the third game in the Halo series was released on the 25th.

Many stores had midnight releases, and many people stayed up way past their bed time to get this game. People showed up to stores hours in advance to wait in line.

So what is the fuss all about? Did grossing somewhere around $170million in the first 24 hours of its launch mean anything to anyone? Well it does mean it was the #1 selling game on the first day, ever. That's a big accomplishment.

But how does it play? It plays like a Halo game, fast paced, first person, and fun to watch. But the campaign is lackluster. After the rushed Halo 2, the story mode on Halo 3 needed to be a big hit. My impressions are that they simply ended the story to tie up loose ends, but that the story mode was just a precursor to get more people to pay a monthly fee to play on XBOX Live.
Don't get me wrong, it's still fun as hell, and the new weapons are fun to use, but the Campaign leaves you wanting more, and not just because of the story itself.

Multiplayer has been changed too. They now have a save films feature, where you can go back and actually watch entire matches and see how that guy sniped you, or where he threw the grenade from. You can also do a bit of map editing, for instance, moving weapon placements or even flags in different game modes to change it up and let people have a different gameplay experience online. Also, there is a spartan editor, so you can change your armor color, helmet type, and many others.

Some of the reviews have been high, but I think because of the changes they have made, despite a lacking campaign, it deserves a 9/10.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Long Overdue

With all the promise in the world to have a competitive game against the Ducks, Fresno St. got thoroughly dominated. I am going to keep it short.

Clifton Smith=bench.

Fresno St. scored 21, Michigan 7 on the Ducks. Lets just say I think Fresno St. could walk into the Big House and possibly lose by 5 touchdowns RIGHT NOW. Thought I was going to say Fresno could beat Michigan because they scored more on Oregon? I'm complex.

Bye week coming at a good time, Hopefully the Dogs can regroup for Nevada next week on the road.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wild One In College Station

Fresno. St lost to Texas A&M in 3OT by a 2-point conversion.

I don't really want to recap the game, but I want to say a few positive things about the team.

For one, the defense played a hell of a game. Linebackers were all over the field. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, but they looked sharp and up to the task, as long as it wasn't Jorvorskie Lane running towards them. Other than Lane, I think the Dogs had an answer for everything A&M did.

I have to give it up to freshman Ryan Mathews. Hopefully his injury is not too serious, but before he entered the game in the 2nd half, with the absence of Lonyae Miller(who we all hope can overcome the ankle) there wasn't really a running game to speak of. He brings a much different look because of his cutback ability, and he is a tough runner. And to think, he was a high school quarterback months ago.

QB TB also had a good game. Down the stretch he made good decisions, didn't lose his cool, and put his team in position to win it. If not for a somewhat questionable 2-point conversion playcall(or Marlon Moore and his tiny hands), who knows the outcome.

I don't want to be too negative, so I won't go there, I just want to say that Clifton Smith does not belong in the backfield, and hopefully Miller and Mathews are alright.

Next week Fresno travels up North to meet the now ranked Oregon Ducks. The Ducks looked impressive against the now fading Michigan Wolverines, who can't seem to stop anybody. Dennis Dixon didn't make many mistakes, but the Bulldogs will not be intimidated by the Autzen Field crowd, and hopefully they can end the Oregon losing streak.

P.S. watching NFL, the Redskins Eagles game ended within 30 seconds of the Packers Dolphins games, both were 16 - 13 final score... Both ended on field goals. How boring.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's Been Awhile.

Man over a month since a blog post.

Sad.

Currently it is about 97 here, partly cloudy, lightning filling the sky, and HUMID. It's a sight to behold, rain during sunlight.

College Football kicks off in a little over an hour, and Fresno St. On Saturday.

It is supposed to be about 108 on Saturday, so we can look forward to a fun time in Fresno.

I have been playing the newly released Playstation 3 title Warhawk. It is an exciting Online Multiplayer 3rd person shooter. Not only can you fly the "Warhawk", or the rival plane, you can drive jeeps and tanks, grab a myriad of weapons ranging from assault and sniper rifles to flame throwers, and even climb into Flak guns and SAM sights.

There is no single player story mode included, but if you have the chance to experience it online it is a very fun console shooter. You can hop into a server with 31 other people with rockets and missiles flying every direction, fast paced and never ceasing.

So that is what I have been doing. We will hopefully be posting more now that there is more going on.

Friday, July 20, 2007

E3-07

E3 has come and gone. We laughed, we cried, we were dumbfounded by Sony(the hallowed price change, which turned out to be a clearance to clear 60GB stock, and possibly the 80GB going down to the $499 spot, WHO KNOWS?!?!?), and there was alot of stuff coming out this holiday season and beyond that will be impossible to pay for with a minimum wage job.

No, SERIOUSLY. Lets think about this for a second.

On my E3 "preview" I mentioned 7 games that are coming to XBOX 360 this holiday season. Each of the 7 will run $59.99,(I won't even add in the guitar or drum cost for Rock Band) with tax in my neck of the woods this would run about $450. But guess what, there are other games worth purchasing. I didn't mention Halo 3, Mass Effect, and many other can't miss titles.

And although there isn't as many PS3 holiday games, there are still many on the horizon, promising that up until summer of next year, any gamer will be BROKE.

G4 TV called Call of Duty 4:Modern Warfare best of show. And after seeing how good this game looks visually, and the promise of weapon upgrades and other customizable aspects makes this sound downright cool. Anything that can get something like my most hallowed Battlefield 2142 onto a console is good in my book.

With Tokyo Game Show right around the corner, hopefully we have some more surprises to be seen. Only time will tell.

We Have Hit the Century Mark.

Since beginning back in October of last year, we have now put up over 100 posts, and have hit over 10,000 visits since I put the sitemeter up sometime in December.

Thanks to all the people who have been here, whether on purpose, accident, or some kind of weird coincidence.
This one is for you, if you're into that sorta thing.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

E3

The once big Electronics Expo is next week, giving us just as much info on all the future games as it did before, with alot less people in attendance. But that doesn't mean you can't keep up with it, and if you are a big enough Geek like me you will probably be watching G4 (DirecTv channel 354) at the wee morning hours or checking Joystiq.com or Kotaku.com for all the E3 coverage you could ever dream of.

But what am I looking forward to?

Rock Band- Guitar Hero on steroids as I have seen it referred. The original developers of the Guitar Hero series added drums and a microphone. Fun ensues.
Ace Combat 6- Former Sony exclusive, looks as good as ever, and hopefully plays like it too. Apparently you can not only command your fellow squad mates, but you can command ground troops and naval fleets as well, or something of that nature.

Heavenly Sword- affectionately reffered to as Goddess of War, over the top camera control reminds people alot of God of War, and apparently so does the gameplay to a certain extent.
Gears of War- For the PC.

Turok- it has been a long time coming, but this Dino murder fest looks fantastic
Call of Duty 4- same great gameplay, in the future! Modern Warfare, thanks for doing something different, this game looks good.

Warhawk- Online only multiplayer war. Be a ground troop, be a bomber, do it all, on the PS3.
Two Worlds- anything that isn't the shooter on 360 is something to look forward to.

Army of Two- EA shooter that focuses entirely on cooperative play. Insert homophobic comments if you will, good too see developers trying new things.
Mercanaries 2- Open warfield in Venezuela, with any building able to be reduced to ruble. count me in again.
Simcity Socities- When has Simcity let us down before?

Grand Theft Auto IV- heard of grand theft auto?

Not to mention what Microsoft and Sony is bringing. There are so many good titles(especially ones that have been pushed back so many times people have lost count.....timeshift...) So stay tuned, as I try to sift through the truckloads of info and spew forth my own analysis as if anyone is reading.

Friday, July 06, 2007

PS3 Price on the way down, While 360 Warranty on the way up


Look, I have talked about it a few times here before. And although I am sure nobody really read what I wrote (nsc I am looking at you) I will remind everybody that there is something wrong with the XBOX 360. Sure it looks okay, and when you pull it out of the box you like it. It now has a sizeable library of good and affordable games.

But then it hits, the Red Ring of Death. There weren't any warning signs, I mean your 360 was just as loud as all of your friends. The DVD drive hummed just as beautifully playing Gears as your neighbors. And still, it is flashing red at you, red means stop, red is bad. But we still love it and miss it!

Red happened all too often for too many people, and listening to its customers and the blogosphere, Microsoft has answered the call. If you are stricken with three flashing lights of doom for 3 years after the purchase date of your console, they will fix it for you. Not only is this for new customers, this extends to anybody who has purchased one, since launch. That would mean someone who bought a launch 360 would still be covered for over another year.

Granted, this isn't a full coverage warranty, that is still a year, but this is a big step that needed to be taken, and although the cost may be immense for Microsoft, it will bring them good press, and regain the trust from alot of the consumers.

On the other side, we have Sony. Everybody hates you when you are on top, especially when your higher ups make stupid statements often to the press, as has been well documented.

The PS2 was a success. A HUGE success. It redefined the console market, and their will be new software being developed for it well into next year. It dominated from top to bottom, and still sells up there. But here comes Nintendo. Last month reported selling Wii to PS3 at a 6 to 1 ratio in Japan, a region that Sony dominated.

The "experts" have been calling for a price drop since the price was announced, but many have taken the plunge, including myself. Recently a Circuit City add for the Week of July 15th that had PS3 listed with a $100 price break. $499.99? Believe it. It has been seen at Target Stores in many areas inside the United States for the price, and it has been confirmed.
Nevermind that Sony's President said it wasn't true, people are buying it in stores for $499.

So, does this change anything? Will people be more likely to purchase it at $499? I have always said that people would have been more likely to take the plunge if the catalog of games was larger. I still believe this, even with the price drop the PS3 needs more software. But isn't this exactly what happened to the 360? wasn't $399 too high for it on launch?

Pushing it out a year earlier than Nintendo and Sony may have led to plenty of money lost in warranties for Microsoft, but while Sony didn't have many games at launch, and Nintendo bundled the only game people really care about inside the box, Microsoft was sheilded from their shortcomings by the new industry whipping boy, the PS3.

What did the 360 have at launch? Perfect Dark? When the PS3 has double the titles than are currently out by spring, and people realize it is $100 cheaper, let the games begin. Sony may be down, but there is absolutely no way they are out.

P.S.
May I also add that the Discovery Mini-Series Planet Earth looks spectacular on Blu-Ray.