Recommended For Ages Youngling to Padawan

That actually was my name in KOTOR. Call me a heretic but I didn’t enjoy it. Turn based combat just doesn’t make any sense to me. The story was enthralling (certainly better than the prequels) but the game play fell flat for me.

Two toys debuted at CES ’09 that let you get all levitatey with your brain powers. Despite actually carrying the Jedi seal of approval, the Force Trainer seems the weaker of the two. My money is on the Mattel Mind Flex. Instead of just using your brain waves to float a ping pong ball to different heights, you have to navigate it through a series of obstacles.

I’m sure any kid (or adult) that gets one of these will be bored with it after a week. At that point the kids will start trying to levitate other things with it, like hamsters, bullets, poison or medical waste. Adults will (if they haven’t already) find a way to have sex with it. You just can’t say “ping pong balls” and “plastic tube” without conjuring images of deviant acts. You can? Well I can’t. I’m terrible.

UPDATE:

For any new readers that don’t know, Josh is gay. If I use the word “gay” in a comic, I actually mean “homosexual.” I know it’s hard to believe that a COMIC on the INTERNET could actually say “gay” without meaning “lame” or “LOL!!111FAGZ,” but that is indeed the case with HE.

I should also probably mention that Eli is a Mexican.

BenHeck: Mod Scientist

“It’s really more of a sexual fantasy, Doc.”

Benjamin Heckendorn is a nerd after my own heart. He sees things that are well, and he can’t leave well enough alone. He sees the hidden potential in devices to be smaller, better, faster, stronger (our work is never over). You might say his latest project, Modding an Xbox 360 controller into an Atari joystick, is pointless or that he had no reason for doing it. But why do we do anything? Why do we climb a mountain? Because it’s there. Why do we go to the moon? Because it’s there. Why do we put a 24″ LCD screen into a coffee table? Because they were Josh’s and not mine, so I didn’t care if they got broken.The journey of discovery is it’s own reward.

If you arent familiar with BenHeck‘s work, I urge you to browse his greatest hits, his forum (where users post their own hacks and mods) and check out his podcast. He’s like Michelangelo with a soldering iron. He’s also completed several projects to help enable disabled gamers including a one handed controller and a one arm Guitar Hero solution using a foot pedal to strum.

Before I had a child, my living room, office or garage were typically full of such BenHeck-type projects. With most of them, I just enjoyed the breaking and rebuilding (and rebreaking) parts. Once they were operational I generally lost interest. I’d like to post pictures of them for you guys to check out. Josh has a few on his Flickr. I’ll go ahead and list the rest and update this post if pics get posted.

  • NES PC (building a working Via Motherboard into an NES case)
  • The MULEbox/JuiceBox arcade cabinet
  • Josh’s original Xbox case mod with clear dome and LED lights
  • The LCD Coffee Table That Should Not Be (1,2)

Post your own case mods and hardware hacking projects (or the best ones you’ve seen online) in the comments. Then get a Dremmel tool and ruin/improve those old computers and consoles just lying in your closet. Can we coin the term “ruinprove?”

99 Lives And A Bitch Ain’t One

If you outta’ mans, I feel bad for you son.

Yes, I know “99 Lives” is more of a Mario thing, or a Contra 4 DS glitch thing, and the Konami Code only gave you 30 lives in Contra, but I couldn’t resist. My lyrical flow mustn’t be stifled.

I love the idea of an NES pad powered security system that can only be cracked by geeks or nerds. I wouldn’t consider it all that secure, since there are hojillions of us out there, but the idea is pleasing all the same. Maybe you could just have a box full of awesome free candy in your dorm room, and the only way to open it was to divide X-Men action figures into the Gold and Blue teams, or type in at least 3 aliases for Aragorn.

Let’s hear your ideas for “Geek/Nerd locks” in the comments. Some of your fellow Fancy Bastards have already weighed in on the FB Forum.

It should also be noted that the sign on Josh’s apartment door usually reads “Delivery Boys Come in the Back Door.

Spore DRaMa

Turns out gamers don’t like it when games, like Spore, give their computers digital herpes. I know a big part of the overwhelmingly negative reviews on Amazon are driven by “metooism” amoung young gamers that just want something to bitch about, but haven’t publishers already learned their lesson about DRM? The inevitable negative feedback will certainly harm sales more than piracy. At one point Amazon deleted all the reviews, then restored them. Undaunted, EA plans to continue their “we hate our customers” strategy well into the future.

If you are new to HijiNKS Ensue, you might not know about the HE Podcast. Check it out. In the most recent episode (Episode 28 which is probably not uploaded as of this writing but will be shortly) you can learn Josh’s thoughts on Spore’s DRM, find out what the HE crew thought of “Fringe,” learn exactly how hard Eli’s parents party and oh so very VERY much more.

If you are subscribed to the Podcast RSS feed or the Main RSS feed, please update your RSS readers. I moved them over to the Google side of Feedburner to give me more control over them. The updated links are in the sidebar.

Support HijiNKS Ensue with your Donation!