Which is More Awesome: Japanese TV or American TV?

May 30, 2007

Hey everyone. Hope you had plenty of burgers and caught some of the 500 this weekend.

Today, we tackle the boob tube. We all watch it, mostly because we are bored. In the beginning, it was just the three major networks (NBC, CBS, ABC). Fast forward to the nineties, and suddenly we have over 100 channels on cable, with the option to buy a satellite dish and pump even more cathode-ray goodness into your brain. And today, our options have exploded with bit torrent downloading and, of course, the glory that is YouTube.

YouTube has let us take a peek at all kinds of crazy stuff we either forgot about or have never seen. Old GI Joe episodes, classic SNL sketches, and dancing little people from Bollywood films.

But the biggest sensation to sweep YouTube is Japanese Television. From the insane game shows to ‘Soccar’ to ‘Silent Library’, a new clip pops up every day that blows our minds. Plans are in the works to include an all-Japanese station on common cable providers, and ‘Most Extreme Challenge’ is the best thing about Spike TV.

Meanwhile, America still has it going on. ‘The Office’, ‘The Sopranos’, and ’24’ have given us plenty of reasons to slack off on the couch, while ‘American Idol’ at least gives us something to talk about.

No doubt that American TV is the best overall product. Americans watch more TV than anybody; we spend more money on TV than anybody; hell, we invented the damn thing.

But Japanese TV sometimes seems to have a lot more fun with the medium. So the question becomes this:

Which is more awesome: Japanese TV or American TV?

Flinchbot Says: American TV is more awesome because I can understand what they are saying.

Kidney PondActually, any TV show is better when I can understand what they are saying. That’s why my favorite show is Sunrise Earth on Discovery HD. It’s not because of the fabulous imagery of the world waking up, presented to me in High Def fabulousness. It’s because there is no talking. No over dubs, no screaming, no talking, no bright lights. Just calm soothing images and the sounds of nature.

It’s kind of boring, though.

But I’ll take that any day over the Technicolor super-ultra-extreme-total-happy-fun TV that is being exported to the US.

Here is all of the Japanese TV that I see: Make people do something that causes them to get hurt. Or at least fall into a big pool of water. Then everyone pretend that they hoped to make it past whatever obstacle.

I don’t like reality TV at all, unless you can bet on it. At that point, it’s called “sports”. Apparently the Japanese are also reality-tv obsessed, but their reality TV involves obstacle courses.

Or at least that’s what I’ve seen so far.

I guess I’m here defending American TV and all that it has to offer. You know, top quality programming like American Idol. A show that has yet to really produce an American Idol. I guess that one chick that one is having a successful career in Country music. Carrie Underwood? Is that it?

Ruben StuddardBut what about the other 7 or 8 winners? I can’t even name last years winner. There was that Ruben guy but I think he actually lost to that little gay kid. He also had that one really, really terrible ballad about counting down a year or something. It was unlistenable.

Rupert SurvivorThen there is that other heavily watched program called Survivor. I can’t name a single Survivor winner other than Rupert and that’s only because he’s from Indiana and they parade him out every so often at some Charity event.

American TV is best when it takes chances. Shows like “The Sopranos” or “Entourage” or “The Larry David Show”…actually any show on HBO rocks.

Really, here is why American TV is the best TV in the world: HBO original programming, ESPN, and that one decent sitcom every decade that ends up getting shown in 132 countries in 74 different languages.

Has there ever been a Japanese TV show that has been reworked for American TV in the way that “The Office” was reworked from British TV to American?

Nope. Therefore, Japanese TV is just a bunch of silly obstacle courses.

Therefore, American TV owns.

FlavaDave Says: When is the last time American TV made you say “holy shit!”?

When is the last time you said, “Good lord, what a great idea for a show?” What about “Man, I wouldn’t have thought of that in a million years?”

It just doesn’t happen. Did you hear about the new show that’s just like American Idol but for celebrity impersonators! Wow! I don’t even know the name of it, and I refuse to give that show the dignity of Googling it.

But Japanese TV? Holy hell, Japanese TV. Every damn week I see a new clip of mind-blowing inventiveness. Entire blogs are dedicated to the phenomenom (like Japan Probe).

American TV has no pop. No juice. It is like the Tim Duncan of national television markets. Mostly classy, consistent, gets the job done. Hell, Duncan is the best player in the NBA and American TV is the best in the world. But we’re talking awesome here, and Japan is the LeBron James, tossing crazy passes and posterizing the Spurs front line.

Can you find me some American TV clips as awesome as these?

Flinchbot Says:




And yes, I know it’s a preview for the movie, but that is just to point out how massively aweseom this TV show is. Just showing a silly clip doesn’t fully point out the awesomeness.

FlavaDave Says: Now, ‘The Simpsons’ is my favorite show of all time. No question. But is it awesome? Especially now?

The Simpsons haven’t been awesome in 12 years. Let me know when you can whip up an example from within the last decade. Automatic DQ if you post a Family Guy clip.

And by the way, did you see Sexy Jogging? Come on!

Also, Japanese commercials are way better, too.

Flinchbot Says: So if you insist, let me point to Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network as awesome television. You should especially like this one:

 Then, there is the Good ol’ Daily Show. And the Colbert Report. Don’t tell me those shows aren’t awesome.

And finally, there is this. If this doesn’t prove the awesomeness of American TV?


Worst Movie Ever.

May 24, 2007

There have been a ton of bad movies made. Really, 90% of the movies suck. Badly.

So with all of the crap movies I’ve seen, there is one that just makes me throw up in my mouth a lot more than any other film:

Dirty Dancing.

Dirty Dancing

That move blows chow in ten different ways. It blows so much that Wind Turbines are put up outside each theatre to help power 30,000 area homes.

That movie sucks so much that the Electrolux corporation is considering a patent infringement lawsuit.

That move is so bad that other bad movies say to each other “Damn, that movie is bad!”.

That movie is so retarded that it makes the Special Olympics look like the height of human athletic achievement.

That movie is so stupid that one time it tripped over a cordless phone.

That movie is so dumb that mute’s are offended by what it has to say.

TrophyAnyway – Flava: it’s up to you to prove to me that not only is Dirty Dancing NOT the worst movie ever but that there is clearly a worse movie out there that deserves to be awarded with the coveted F vs F Suck Ass Movie of All Time award.

The floor is now yours.

FlavaDave Says: 90% of movies suck? Bah humbug, Flinch. I know you’re old, but I didn’t know you had become curmudgeonly so quickly. Shake your fist at Blockbuster! SHAKE IT!!!As for your All-Time Suck Ass Movie pick, I’m not feeling ya. Does ‘Dirty Dancing’ suck? Yeah, it does suck.It sucks like a fox.Consider these moments that, although I’ve never seen the movie in its entirety, I can pull off the top of my head:

  • “No one puts Baby in a corner”
  • The “I’m a maniac, maaaaaaaniac” scene
  • The backalley abortion

dirty-dancing-poster-c10315512Were these scenes actually good? Hell no. Were they supposed to be funny? Nope. But were they hilarious? Yes. And that, my friends, is what we in the ‘snarky blogger’ world like to call ‘Unintentional Comedy’.

You see, no movie that is unintentionally funny can be the ‘suck ass movie of all time’, because in the end it’s still funny. Even though the movie works on a completely different level than they were shooting for, it still works to a degree. Hell, I paid money for ‘Plan 9‘.

Do these kind of movies still suck? Yes. But they can’t be the worst of all time.

Here are the rules:

  • Shouldn’t be a drama, because bad dramas are almost always funny
  • Shouldn’t be an action movie, because explosions are always a little bit cool
  • Shouldn’t have any bloody murders/deaths, because there’s always a cheap thrill in that
  • Shouldn’t have anything laughably bad at all

This narrows the field down to two types of contenders: boring art films and romantic comedies.

I’ll share my pick after the jump (and after lunch).

FlavaDave Says: Okay, I’m full of sushi and ready to unload some cinematic science up in here. My first instinct for the F vs F Suck Ass Movie of All Time was ‘The Blair Witch Project’. So, so boring. No awesome murders or explosions, and no hilariously bad acting. ( Yes, the acting was terrible, but not in a “weird, overactive nerdy kid putting his heart into a school play” kinda way, but in a “semi-competent but ultimately uninspiring normal kid in a school play” sort of way.) But the really tight, up-the-snotty-nose confessional shot is a comedy classic, and the very last scene is kinda cool. So it’s not the worst. I also have high hopes for ‘2001: A Space Travesty, but I’ve never actually seen it. (That’s the other flaw with this debate; I’ve seen a healthy percentage of the great movies, but I haven’t seen but a fraction of the awful ones).For some reason, a particular movie has been showing up on TV alot recently. The movie is so bland, that I can’t even tell you what channel it was on (I’m thinking Comedy Central or HBO). I’ve left it on while using my laptop, and hours will go by without a single thing catching my attention. The acting is indistinguishable, the direction is thoughtless, and the jokes are punchless. The plot is so standard that I can’t even remember why the events are occurring.And that’s it. That’s all I can possibly think to say about this movie.What movie, you ask? Well, I had to IMDB the title, but apparently its:

Good AdviceGood Advice

According to an IMBD user, the plot is this:

Ryan is a womanizing stockbroker whose unethical business practices cost him his job and his trader’s license. Unable to find another job, he is forced to move in with his equally self-involved (and completely oblivious) girlfriend, Cindy, an insensitive advice columnist on the cusp of losing her own job due to her poor advice and slow work habits. Ryan decides to stay in the apartment and earn a living by doing Cindy’s job. Initially as hopelessly inept as Cindy in giving advice, he nearly gets the column canceled. However, he rapidly grows into the job………………….

Blah blah blah, you get the idea.

And that’s it. That’s all I have to say about the movie. I’ve seen all of it, and

  1. I forget how it ends
  2. I can’t remember a single joke
  3. I was only 65% sure Angie Harmon was in it, even though she is a lead character

This movie went straight to video (big shock). The real clincher is that the user rating of this movie isn’t that bad (it is a 6.0). Accounting for typical internet poll inflation, that is a solid 5. Right in the middle.

You see, actual movie quality is not on a 0-10 scale. It is a ’10-to-negative 10′ scale. But the dirty little secret of Hollywood is that extraordinary suckage still counts as entertainment.

‘Good Advice’ is absolute zero on that scale. And that makes it the F vs F Suck Ass Movie of All Time.

Flinchbot Says: While it’s true that almost all bad drama’s are funny (See the TV show 24 for proof), it takes an all time crap ass movie to break that theorem. Not only is Dirty Dancing not funny, it’s not even remotely funny. There is no campiness. Certainly, there is cheese. The state-of-Wisconsin-amounts of cheese. But none of it is good cheese. It is all rotten, horrible, stinky cheese.

I mean c’mon. The line everyone knows from that movie is “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

1.) I’ll put that bitch in the corner pronto, complete with my boot straight to her chin, a la Jennifer Gray’s kick to Principal Rooney’s noggin in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

2.) What the hell does that exactly mean? Putting someone in the corner? Did anyone ever really say that? Who says that? Who said that? I’m confused.

As you pointed out, the soundtrack also blew donkey dicks. The big hit single on that was by the musical powerhouse of Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley. Hey Bill, sing me a fucking Medley of all your solo hits. You can’t.

I have to correct you. The “I’m a Maniac” song is by Michael Sembello from the movie Flashdance. Two things here.

1.) I knew it was from Michael Sembello off the type of my head so you better start worshipping my freaking 80’s one hit wonder awesomeness.

2.) That further adds to how much Dirty Dancing blew because you can’t even remember what freaking songs were on the best-selling soundtrack.Eric Carmen

How about “Hungry Eyes” by blowhard Eric Carmen. Yeah, that song didn’t suck. Not! The soundtrack’s only redeeming value is “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes. Not even hip-80’s-band-for-28-seconds The Blow Monkeys could place their one moderately useful song on that soundtrack. (For reference, the song was “Digging Your Scene”. Bow lower before my 80’s Awesomeness – I didn’t have to Google that one either.)

The movie Good Advice isn’t even close to most suck ass movie of all time, even though it does feature some of the most suck ass actors of all time. Charlie Sheen – If you aint’ playing a rebel cowboy (see Young Guns) then stay off my movie screen. As for Denise Richards, I’d like to ask you one question:

Spell “vapid”.

If she can spell that correctly on the first try without stopping twice and looking up to the sky as if the word were written in the clouds, I’ll give her a hot dog.

The reason why Good Advice doesn’t qualify as worst ever movie is that, even though it no doubt sucks, it does have this candy to look at:

Denise Richards

And even though I think I lose IQ points every time she opens her mouth you can’t help but thinking that she does have a great body and a certain “come hither” look.

“And let’s not forget Angie Harmon:

Angie Harmon

Meanwhile, Dirty Dancing had this:

Jennifer Grey

I mean holy hell – not even the camera wanted to be focused for this shot. At least Jennifer Grey knew she had no chance of looking hot. So she finally got some plastic surgery done and now looks at least decent.

And we can compare Charlie Sheen to Patrick Swayze. Look, Charlie Sheen is a terrible actor, but at least he has a fetish for high priced hookers and partying like it’s 1999. In this world of digging up dirt and paparazzi and all that, at least his personal life is entertaining.

What has Patrick Swayze done? Other than being a terrible actor? I mean golly, he sang “She’s Like the Wind” on the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. He’s been married to the same woman since 1975, so that’s honorable.

In all possible ways, Dirty Dancing is the epitome of terrible. Good Advice most certainly sucks, but there are wonderful nuggets of entertainment in there. Or at least, Denise Richards and Angie Harmon are eye candy and from my primal male point of view, that alone keeps the movie from suckage.

FlavaDave Says: What has Swayze done? WHAT HAS SWAYZE DONE???

This is how I knock that crazy question out of the park like Jack Crews:








The fact that I even need to explain this to you proves that you have a fundamental inability to grasp the glory of the cheese. You can’t smell the difference between the Limburgers, the French Bries, or the plain ‘ol Kraft cheeses of the cinematic world. It’s all the same to you, so you just look at DVD cases and go with whichever one gives you the smallest boner.

Well Flinch, there’s more to life than boners my friend. And for your lack of cheese comprehension, you are (for the sake of this conversation) impotent.

Flinchbot Says: While it’s true that I should be boxed around the ears for forgetting that Swayze was in Donnie Darko, we must remember that he was a supporting actor in that movie, and not the star.

In Dirty Dancing, he was most assuredly one of the two stars. And that cracker can not carry a movie.

I mean holy mackerel – His starring roles are Dirty Dancing, Point Break, and whatever Black Dog was. This doesn’t exactly put him in the realm of, oh, Brando with Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfathers, and On the Waterfront. And if you choose to counter that no one can match Marlon Brando and that it’s an unfair comparison, then I’ll use Charlie Sheen.

Men At WorkGiven the choice of having to watch Dirty Dancing, Point Break, and Black Dog (WTF?) or Young Guns, Good Advice, and Hot Shots! Part Deux…that’s a no brainer. Gimme the Charlie Sheen Movie Marathon any day of the week, double-triple because it also includes Being John Malkovich. And Major League.

Clearly, taking his whole body of work as one, Charlie Sheen has done much better movies than Patrick Swayze. Remove Dirty Dancing from Swayze’s resumee, and his movies still suck balls (except for Donnie Darko).

So, since Patrick Swayze is about one of the worst actors going, isn’t it becoming more and more clear that the unending suckitude of Dirty Dancing ends up not having an end. It’s an endless amount of suck.

It is the black hole of suck.

Once Stephen Hawking fully figures out black holes, he can then point his efforts at addressing the suck all vortex of doom known as Dirty Dancing. However, I fear that it is this immutable challenge that will kill him well before his ALS gets the better of him.

Oh, and I’ll take a Denise Richards film festival over that of Jennifer Grey. Sure, J-Grey did Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But the mindless Denise Richards was a Bond Girl, and that about trumps all.


FlavaDave Says: For your sake, I’ll give you a mulligan and pretend that you didn’t just say that Richard’s Bond movie was better than ‘Ferris Bueller’.

I also don’t know quite how this got twisted into a Sheen vs. Swayze debate, but as Steve alluded to in the comments section, I’m holding the trump card in that sub-argument:



It is the Citizen Kane of cheese. If the real ‘Kane’ is the Alpha, ‘Road House’ is the Omega of the negative side on the “10-to-negative 10” movie scale.

Do you deny the truth of the cheese scale, Mike? Or can you not appriciate delicious Fromage when you see it?

Flinchbot Says: It turned into Sheen vs. Swayze when you were unable to repudiate the fact that Dirty Dancing is not only more sucktacular than Good Advice, but that it is also the most suck movie of all time.

And because that movie sucks at record levels, it’s tainted the entire career of Patrick Swayze with such a stench of failure that not even a guest appearance in the fantabubrilliant Donnie Darko can clear the smell off his filmography.

Now, my friends and family in Germany have a fond spot for Road House for two reasons (I’m big on giving two reasons, aren’t I?):

1.) They appreciate American Cheese as much as anyone

Rothaus2.) The local preferred brew of theirs is by a brewery called Rothaus. Now, we English speakers would pronounce that “rot house” as in “That animal carcass is rotting”. However, in German the “rot” is pronounced very close to the way we pronounce the word “road”. As such, they essentially claim the movie Road House is even more bad ass than usual because it shares the name with their favorite beer.

Or something like that.

Now for the sake of full disclosure, I have never seen the movie Road House. I have been told by numerous people that “it’s better than you think it would be”. And it better be. For the one worse actor than Patrick Swayze is Keanu Reeves.

The directors of The Matrix trilogy tried really hard to hide Keanu’s flat as a flour-burrito acting “skills” but really, they screwed the pooch by even casting him as Neo. So that a no talent ass clown like Keanu is also in the movie seriously makes me wonder if Road House is not in fact a worse movie than Dirty Dancing.

But as I have not seen Road House, I can not make that claim. Further, it is absolutely impossible to make a worse movie than Dirty Dancing, so Road House can be no worse than the second worst movie of all time.

Also, considering the testimonials of Flave Dave, my cousin and friends in Germany, and our first commentor Steve, I’d have to say that Road House is at worst tolerable, at most a joyous celebration of fromage.

So even if I were to give Road House it’s proper due and consider it a good movie that Swayze has been in, he has still done many, many fewer good movies than Charlie Sheen.

Good movies by Patrick Swayze:

  1. Donnie Darko

  2. Road House

  3. Red Dawn

  4. Youngblood

  5. The Outsiders

Good movies by Charlie Sheen:

  1. Being John Malkovich

  2. Major League

  3. Red Dawn

  4. Scary Movie

  5. Hot Shots!

  6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

  7. Platoon

  8. Wall Street

  9. Eight Men Out

  10. The Arrival

There, that’s 10 movies with Charlie Sheen that I would watch and enjoy. That’s five for your boy Swayze.

So it’s clear, even with Road House and Donnie Darko, Charlie Sheen is twice the actor that Patrick Swayze is. Or something.

And since Patrick Swayze is half the actor that a blowhard like Charlie Sheen is, that is more proof that Dirty Dancing is the worst movie ever. EVAR!

FlavaDave Says: So I got the analogies thing, and you got the ‘two reasons’ thing, huh?

Well, I’ll give two reasons why your Swayze-hating, Road-House-with-Point-Break-confusing, Mrs. Seahorn-boner-growing ass lost this debate to Flava:

  • Deez
  • Nutz

“Calling Flinch the winner is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don’t belong.”

Road House 

Killing the Clock

May 21, 2007

Due to paycheck-related circumstances, F versus F won’t be new again until Thursday. Check back with us then because it is sure to be a special one.

In the meantime, we gotta kill the clock a bit. So in honor of Spamalot‘s recent run at Indy’s Murat Theater, I present to you a classic sketch about our favorite pastime (arguing, duh). Enjoy.

A man walks into an office.

Man: Good morning, I’d like to have an argument, please.
Receptionist: Certainly, sir. Have you been here before?
Man: No, this is my first time.
Receptionist: I see, well we’ll see who’s free at the moment.
Mr. Bakely’s free, but he’s a little bit conciliatory. No.
Try Mr. Barnhart, room 12.
Man: Thank you.

He enters room 12.

Man: Well, Well, I was told outside that…
Man: What?
M: Yes, but I came here for an argument!!
A: OH! Oh! I’m sorry! This is abuse!
M: Oh! Oh I see!
A: Aha! No, you want room 12A, next door.
M: Oh…Sorry…
A: Not at all!
A: (under his breath) stupid git.

The man goes into room 12A. Another man is sitting behind a desk.

Man: Is this the right room for an argument?
Other Man:(pause) I’ve told you once.
Man: No you haven’t!
Other Man: Yes I have.
M: When?
O: Just now.
M: No you didn’t!
O: Yes I did!
M: You didn’t!
O: I did!
M: You didn’t!
O: I’m telling you, I did!
M: You didn’t!
O: Oh I’m sorry, is this a five minute argument, or the full half hour?
M: Ah! (taking out his wallet and paying) Just the five minutes.
O: Just the five minutes. Thank you.
O: Anyway, I did.
M: You most certainly did not!
O: Now let’s get one thing perfectly clear: I most definitely told you!
M: Oh no you didn’t!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: Oh no you didn’t!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: Oh no you didn’t!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: Oh no you didn’t!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: Oh no you didn’t!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: Oh no you didn’t!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: No you DIDN’T!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: No you DIDN’T!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: No you DIDN’T!
O: Oh yes I did!
M: Oh look, this isn’t an argument!


O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn’t!


M: It’s just contradiction!
O: No it isn’t!
M: It IS!
O: It is NOT!
M: You just contradicted me!
O: No I didn’t!
M: You DID!
O: No no no!
M: You did just then!
O: Nonsense!
M: (exasperated) Oh, this is futile!!
O: No it isn’t!
M: Yes it is!
M: I came here for a good argument!
O: AH, no you didn’t, you came here for
an argument!
M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
O: Well! it CAN be!
M: No it can’t!
M: An argument is a connected series of statement intended to establish a
O: No it isn’t!
M: Yes it is! ’tisn’t just contradiction.
O: Look, if I *argue* with you, I must take up a contrary position!
M: Yes but it isn’t just saying “no it isn’t”.
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn’t!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it isn’t!
O: Yes it is!
M: No it ISN’T! Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just
the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
O: It is NOT!
M: It is!
O: Not at all!
M: It is!

The Arguer hits a bell on his desk and stops.

O: Thank you, that’s it.
M: (stunned) What?
O: That’s it. Good morning.
M: But I was just getting interested!
O: I’m sorry, the five minutes is up.
M: That was never five minutes!!
O: I’m afraid it was.
M: (leading on) No it wasn’t…..
O: I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to argue any more.
O: If you want me to go on arguing, you’ll have to pay for another five
M: But that was never five minutes just now!
Oh Come on!
Oh this is…
This is ridiculous!
O: I told you…
I told you, I’m not allowed to argue unless you PAY!
M: Oh all right. (takes out his wallet and pays again.) There you are.
O: Thank you.
M: (clears throat) Well…
O: Well WHAT?
M: That was never five minutes just now.
O: I told you, I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid!
M: Well I just paid!
O: No you didn’t!
M: I DID!!!
O: YOU didn’t!
M: I DID!!!
O: YOU didn’t!
M: I DID!!!
O: YOU didn’t!
M: I DID!!!
O: YOU didn’t!
M: I-dbct-fd-tq! I don’t want to argue about it!
O: Well I’m very sorry but you didn’t pay!
M: Ah hah! Well if I didn’t pay, why are you arguing??? Ah HAAAAAAHHH!
O: No you haven’t!
M: Yes I have!
If you’re arguing, I must have paid.
O: Not necessarily.
I *could* be arguing in my spare time.
M: I’ve had enough of this!
O: No you haven’t.
(door slam)

Nintendo vs. Sony Week: Wii vs. PS3

May 18, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

So this is it. The last day of the wildly successful Nintendo vs. Sony week. And we’ve certainly saved the best for last, as we dive head-first into the hottest debate in the console gamming world: Nintendo Wii vs. Sony Playstation 3. We wanna say thanks for all the new readers we gained, and a special shout out to all the original OGs who were there from the begining. Play on, playas.

WiiAt this moment in time, a console battle is being waged which will go down in the annals of console battledom. Lo, we have before us the mystical Wii, a device so creative as to redefine creativity. A fully cable-free controller that moves as you move, reacts as you react.Is the Wii actually redefining how people interact not only with gaming consoles, but with machines? Is the Wii brining society closer to the machine, ultimately leading to a Matrix-like human/machine coupling?PS3

Meanwhile, Sony once again is attempting to bring raw, brute power to the gaming console world. Begone ye underpowered chipsets. Step aside old load technologies. ( I spit in your general direction, cartridge. I fart in your general direction, compact disc. DVD? Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!)

Here comes the awesome power of the PS3, a device more powerful than many home computers. A device destined to define home entertainment. A device destined to cost over $600.

A device destined to change the way we think of gaming more than the Wii. Like everything else Nintendo does, the Wii is a fun little toy. Enjoy swinging your arms playing Tennis or Baseball. Enjoy watching those oh-so-cute avatars on the screen. Enjoy having no mental challenge at all.

Enjoy the new Mario games. Yawn.The Nintendo Wii is the vitamin enhanced white bread of consoles.Meanwhile, the Sony PS3 is the multigrain all-natural wheat bread. It’s complex, high in fiber, and all around good for you. It engages the body and the mind, and the spirit is not far behind.

Instead of mindless arm swinging, the PS3 has the most realistic graphics and gaming engine ever put out to the mass market. When you walk through the electronics store, it’s really hard to tell if that football game in the far corner is a real game or two kids playing a PS3.

The PS3 can also take full advantage of your newly purchased HD ready TV. Not only do the games show up in full HD glory, the “jury is out” inclusion of a Blu-Ray drive sets the visual enjoyment of movies to maximum warp speed.

Look, I’m not into cutesy cartoons. I’m into serious games that take me to another world, away from the day’s stresses and troubles. The PS3, like no other platform before, accomplishes this.

Now Flava, please bore us with some BS about how all of this doesn’t matter, because playing cartoon games is (oh my gawd!) so much fun!

When I was mulling the Nintendo vs. Wii debate over in my head, I did what I always do: try to think of an analogy. It is my bread and butter. I’m the analogy guy. And so my brain did its apples-and-wolverines thing, and my mental computer spit out this gem:The PS3 is like Radiohead, and the Wii is like the Black-Eyed Peas.I know. This shocked me as much as it surely does you. Did I paint myself in a corner? Has my love of all things Nintendo been misplaced? Do I even exist??? How can I like the Fergie of video game systems?But then I had an epiphany. And I went all Allen Iverson:

We’re talkin’ bout video games! I mean, we’re talkin’ bout video games! We’re not talking about art! We’re talkin’ bout VIDEO GAMES!!!

Repeatedly throughout the week, you have dismissed Nintendo’s products for being fun. What? Seriously? It’s no longer okay for video games to be fun? Isn’t that the whole point?

Sometimes, I’ll get sucked into playing Call of Duty or some crap. The first couple levels go well, and I’m having fun. But then I get to level four or something and I die. So I play it again. And I die. And again, die. And between the time it takes to load the level, play the level, fail the level, go back to the menu, choose the level again, load the level again, and repeat; I’m approaching an hour of the same crap. And I think: why? Why am I doing this?

I guess I am supposed to feel a deeper sense of accomplishment for defeating a difficult level. But I never do.

Here are the levels of gratification for video game accomplishments (from least to greatest):

  1. Beating a video game
  2. Beating your friends at a video game
  3. Beating the original Ninja Turtles NES game (that shit was impossible)

And that’s it. I don’t care if the game is Lego Star Wars or Devil May Cry 2. When I’m done, I’m done.

Once a week or so, I gather some friends, some beer, and a pizza in a room together to have a video game night. Teriffic fun, I highly recommend it. When we started, I assumed that we would be playing mostly PS2 games like Madden, NBA 2k7, Star Wars Battlefront, etc. And we did at first (with the help of a multi-tap).

But every game we played fell into the same pattern: out of four people, one guy dominated the game, one guy really sucked at the game, and two guys were only having a mild bit of fun. It was okay, but it wasn’t the riotous fun that we were hoping for.

But then something magical happened: we aquired a Game Cube. My roomates had one, because I never would have thought to buy one myself.

Yes, that’s right Flinch. I was once like you. Flava was once a Playstation snob.

Anyhoo, we started playing games like Mario Party, Mario Cart, the new Bond game, Super Strykers, etc. The competition was intense and everybody was having a good time. No, wait. Everyone was having a great time. Teams that won gave each other high fives; teams that lost talked trash about how they were going to win the next one. The room was alive, and video games turned into something that I never knew they could be:

They were fun.

So we’ve been doing this for a long while now. We’ve upgraded to a Wii via one of my friends (I hope to get mine soon) and it is even better. Now that we are all standing and moving around, the energy in the room is even more electric. I look forward to these days all week.

Every once and awhile, I’ll need a gaming fix while by friends are busy and I’ll fire up the ‘ol Playstation 2 to remember the good times. I sit down in my room by myself. Maybe grab some Baked Lays and a PBR. I fire up the machine and wait for it to load. I play the next level, I die. Restart. I try again. I die again. Back to the menu. Load. Wait. Try again. Die. Try again……………………….

Screw this. I’ma go and ride my bike.

Flinchbot Says: Actually Flava, I agree with you. If we spent more time riding our bikes, and less time rotting our brains with video games, we would be healthier, wealthier, and wiser.Which means we’d get laid. I mean, we’d get laid more. Yeah…that’s what I meant.More.

FlavaDave Says: And there it is. When arguing about video games, there are no real winners.Although, I should point out that playing Guitar Hero II at my house got a friend of mine laid. But that’s a story for another time…………

That’s it everybody, go home.  Nothing more to see here.  Go hit the showers and come back ready for a clean run at it after the weekend. Thanks for visiting us, and we will see you bright-and-early Monday morning for a fresh new topic and a cripsy, crunchy, delicious new edition of F versus F.  Later!

Nintendo vs. Sony Week: DS vs. PSP

May 16, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

Day Two of Nintendo vs. Sony saw Flava take a strategic retreat while Flinch, confident in his obvious victory, decided not to run up the score and instead explored the faults of the PS2. As a result, for the second consecutive day we set an all-time record for hits here at F versus F. Granted, we’ve only been around a month, but we are proud regardless. On to Day Three!(Note: Flinch had a server crisis at work and was out of commission yesterday. So Day Three has stretched into Day Four. Thanks for sticking with us)

I love me some PS2, so when I heard that Sony was making a portable version of the Playstation I was kinda juiced. All that GTA goodness to go? Hell yeah.So a friend of mine got it, and I asked him about it. “What’s it like?” I said. “It’s just like a portable Playstation”. Awesome!So I got a chance to play it, and he was right. It was………….exactly like a portable Playstation. Same kind of games, same buttons, same look. Only portable.Now, if you are a video game-crazed kid, this might be pretty cool. But I’m (sort of) an adult. I don’t need a 20 minute diversion while my mom drives me to school. I want a cool game system that I have the option to take with me if I go on a long road trip (which is rare).So why would I play the exact same games that I can play on my PS2 with worse graphics, a smaller screen and tiny buttons?Oh yeah, I forgot. I can watch movies on it, too. But how do I fit my DVDs in there? What’s that? I gotta buy a disk that can be played only by my PSP at full price? Uh, no thanks. I’ll stick to my video iPod, thanks.

This is the problem with the PSP. It can do lots of cool stuff, but everything that’s cool about it is replicated by other, better machines (and those machines do it better). The gameplay and games can be experienced on the PS2. The portable movies thing can be done by a video iPod. And the portable games deal is done better by the Nintendo DS.

All the bases are covered by the DS. The graphics look really cool, it is obviously portable, and you can WiFi play with other DS owners. Sweet. But that’s just the start.

The DS has two screens, which is all kinds of handy. Pulling up maps in adventure games without stopping gameplay, activating extra items in Mario Bros., or just simply getting to see more of the action. It is an innovation that isn’t replicated by any other company’s game system, portable or no.But the coolest part of the screen is the fact that it is a touch screen. Cooking Mama is a brilliant game that is done entirely by touch. In fact, the game would be impossible without it. Are there any games on the PSP that would be impossible if the PSP never existed?

Plus, the DS gave us New Super Mario Bros., which is an absolute joy to play.

But don’t ask me. Ask the consumers. The DS has sold 40 million copies so far, while the PSP has shipped only 24 million units so far (they understandably won’t release the actual numbers sold).

So Flinch, since there is nothing new about the PSP, what void in my life does the PSP fulfill?

Flinchbot Says: There’s nothing new? Well try this on for size.

You want to play portable games, so you grab your DS.

Video iPodYou want to watch movies on the go, so you grab your video iPod.

Video iPodYou want to listen to music on the go, so you grab your (video) iPod.

Cell Phone (Closed, Small)You want to browse the web on the go, so you grab your cell phone.

Palm TreoYou want to check in on RSS feeds on the go, so you grab your (much nicer) cell phone.

T-Mobile DashYou want to watch live TV on the go, so you grab your…uh…PDA (or really, really nice cell phone.)

Meanwhile, I just grab my PSP.PSP

You are grabbing your PDA/Phone comboT-Mobile Dash, your video iPodVideo iPod, and your DS.

Of course that’s a slightly unfair comparison, because my cell phone Cell Phone (Closed, Small)goes everywhere I go, so really you only need to grab your DS and your video iPodVideo iPod. You also better have a kick ass cell phone if you want to match me for on-the-go entertainment. I also recommend you pick up a pair of Dockers Mobile Pants to hold all of this stuff.But hey, if you only want to play a cooking game on a touch screen with your fellow 6 year olds, then go get your DS and head on down the road.What I have not compared so far are like features. Both have 802.11b Wi-Fi, both allow for network play. I’m guessing the DS also has the features where if you don’t have a game I can beam it over to you and then play you head to head?You also ragged on the UMD disc that is on the PSP, saying how you wouldn’t buy one to watch movies. I have yet to buy a UMD movie as well, though I’ve tried and failed to get a few low-ball bids through on eBay. However, I have ripped DVD’s to my 1GB memory chip and watched full movies that way.Good luck doing that with your DS.

And the DS has outsold the PSP, by far. It is a cheaper device. It is also great for stressed parents to give to their kids to get them to shut up for a few hours. What with thrilling games like Cooking Mama I’m surprised I didn’t run out and buy one so I to could “follow real recipes or experiment with your own combinations to create a culinary masterpiece with your stylus. Let’s get cooking, mama!”

And much like our PS1 vs. NES discussion, it also boils down to games and the ability of Sony to get games for kids and adults alike, while Nintendo is great for kids. I’m not a kid. I don’t want no damn Mario anywhere near my gaming console. I want realistic sports games. I want to be able to maul some dude with ultrarealistic blood and guts spewing from ultraviolent activities (Grand Theft Auto, anyone?). I also want to play silly little time-wasters like Lumines (think Tetris).

With the DS, I would have a full world in front of me silly little time-wasters. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to surf the web, listen to music, or watch movies all in one. And that all-in-one makes the PSP the only choice for anyone over 6 years of age.

FlavaDave Says: The DS can surf the web.  Like you said, everybody already has a cell phone, so that’s comming no matter what.  And I take my video iPod with me all the time anyway.

And if you don’t want anything to do with Mario, I don’t know what to tell you.

Nintendo vs. Sony Week: N64 vs. PS2

May 15, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

We just finished Day One of Nintendo vs. Sony Week, and I am happy to report that we are off to a terrific start. We gained a few new commentators, and we would like to extend a warm welcome to them. The people have spoken, and NES has scored a decisive victory in round one (Flinch Edit: Hardly…). As a result of Flava’s domination (and Flinch’s game efforts to resist the inevitable), we logged an all-time high for most hits in a single day. (Go us!) With the wind at our backs, we dive right into Round 2 of Nintendo vs. Sony. Today, the Nintendo 64 clashes with the Playstation 2. It is the second of two battles featuring ‘old’ systems. Don’t worry, the epic Wii vs. PS3 is in the queue. But for now, on with Day Two of Nintendo vs. Sony Week.

FlavaDave Says: Ah yes. The PS2. By far the best piece of equipment Sony ever made. Everybody bought it, rappers made songs about it, parents screamed bloody murder over all the bloody murders depicted in pixels.The PS2 made the first truly great sports games. And we will never forget the unbridled joy of playing Grand Theft Auto 3 for the first time. Genius.And I acknowledge that genius. So today on F versus F, I am refusing to pull a Flinchbot. Instead, I’m admitting this right out the gate: the PS2 is better than the N64.Now why would I do that? Doesn’t that run contrary to the spirit of the site?No my friend, it doesn’t. Remember, the argument is over the greater gaming company: Nintendo or Sony. Flinch will win this battle, but I shall win the war.Instead, I tell you this: The Playstation 2 is the only worthwhile piece of equipment that Sony Games ever made.While you mull that over, let’s explore the cool things that the N64 did:

  • It was the first 64-bit system
  • It was home to GoldenEye 007, universally aclaimed as one of the greatest games of all time
  • It was capable of four-controller play right out of the box, which is great if you have, like, friends.
  • It had plenty of cool games, like Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, 1080 Snowboarding (a Flava favorite), Star Wars, Star Fox, Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda (another universally acknowledged classic), and Mario Kart (of course).

So it was a fun little system. The graphics were cute, and the gameplay was intentionally family-friendly (except for Quake II). You should have saved all the BS you spewed at the NES and used it for the N64, but its too late now.

But what’s wrong with fun? Games are supposed to be fun, right?

Flinchbot Says: Flava – I’m glad you’re finally figuring it out. It’s best to just quit than to engage me in a battle of wits.So for fun, I’ll tell you what sucked about the PS2.I bought one of these things SSX Trickyabout 6 months after the massive stupid hype that this thing got (something Nintendo has never seen). I bought it, I played games, I got addicted to SSX Tricky, my roommate Derek and I had epic FIFA battles, and I rolled all who dared enter m y house boasting their abilities at Madden (I don’t care which version. Hell, Bring in the NCAA Football game and I’ll smoke you at it too. (And for fairness, my record is something like 87-1. I did lose last year finally.)The PS2 keeps going with Guitar Hero. And Guitar Hero II. And Guitar Hero: Hair Metal. And Guitar Hero: Sonny and Cher. It’s worse than freaking CSI:Muncie.But you know what? I didn’t buy a PS2 just to be a game system. Remember when Sony advertised this thing as a home entertainment center? Sure, my PS2 was my first DVD player and we still use it as the CD player for piping music out on the deck during long, drunken summer nights.But adding in a DVD player hardly makes a device a home entertainment center. Can I stream crap to it like the XBox can? Can I record TV shows like a Tivo? Nope. It can’t do any of that crap.Microsoft-1979And that was the dream I was pursuing when I bought it. Any dumbass can make a video game console (See Nintendo). But it took someone with vision to really get the concept together of making a game system a home entertainment center. And that visionary genius was, gulp, Microsoft.

The PS3 seems to have caught up, but we’re talking PS2 here and to me, the PS2 has always been a disappointment to me because I expected so much more and all it did was give me a gaming system.

FlavaDave Says:

Flinchbot Says: Two words: David Lynch

Nintendo vs. Sony Week: NES vs. PS1

May 14, 2007

(Note: Throughout the week, Flava and Flinch will be battling it out controller-to-controller, cartridge to CD as they determine which gaming company is best in the land: Nintendo or Sony)

When we decided to debate the merits of the Wii versus PS3, the argument quickly evolved into which gaming company was better overall. There are alot of terrific systems and classic games in the stable of both companies, so we decided to explore the studio space with this one by having an entire week of joystick goodness. And what better place to start than at the beginning?With that in mind, we kick off Nintendo vs. Sony week with the immortal Nintendo Entertainment System squaring off against the Play Station One. FlavaDave gets it started after the jump.

FlavaDave Says: Day One contains the biggest mismatch of the week, if not the biggest mismatch in ‘F versus F‘ history. The original NES versus the PS1? Seriously?Now, I know Flinch well enough to know that he is going to make a valiant effort and come up with some crazy angle to save a little face. But you (the reader) know as well as I do that this battle was over before it started.

But I’m not going to pull a Mayweather and just go through the motions. Let’s give the greatest gaming system of all time the respect it deserves:

The Nintendo Entertainment System was released on October 18, 1985. At the time, video games were mostly the domain of arcades. Home computers were not a common thing yet, and the Atari was only acceptable because it was the only thing available. However, all that soon changed.

I still remember playing Mario for the first time. I sat in my friend Nathan’s living room for about 8 hours every single day, only taking an hour break at 11:00 to eat some PB & J while his mom watched her soaps. It was so addicting because, at the ripe age of about 5 years, we finally got a little bit of control. We had grown up watching TV, but now we got to play it.

It is very telling that now, in the year 2007, the Super Mario Bros. theme song alone has a greater impact on our culture than all the games released for the PS1 combined. I don’t even really remember any of their flagship games. Crash Bandicot? He existed right, I’m not just making that up? I sort of can’t remember. I certainly don’t remember the game.

Conversely, I dare you to find anyone who loves video games who can’t remember every detail of the first level of Super Mario Bros. I bet I could draw a map of it that is accurate to at least 85% purely from memory. And you know what? I never even owned my own NES.

Speaking of owning, almost all of my friends still own and regularly use their NES. That’s right, these machines are almost as old as we are and they are still relevant. I still play Tecmo Super Bowl to this day. Seriously. On Saturday, Bo Jackson ran for 455 yards and six touchdowns as he/I led the Raiders to a crushing 55-7 victory over the once mighty 49ers.

And that’s only a few of the classic games birthed by the NES. The Legend of Zelda, Contra, Mike Tyson’s Punchout, Metroid, Mega Man, TMNT 2, Duck Hunt, Ninja Gaiden, River City Ransom, Final Fantasy. When you think of video games, these are the titles you think of.

I ate lunch with my mom and went with her to see Spamalot on Saturday. I was behind a girl in line that had an unusual purse. It was an NES that was hollowed out, and she was using a power chord as a strap. I said it was cool, but I asked her how she could bear to destroy her NES in the process.

“Oh, of course I didn’t,” she said. “I bought two more off of eBay. One so I could make the purse, and another one in case my original one breaks down before Wednesday NES night.”

Flinchbot Says: The NES sure did revive home-based video game consoles. The first major flurry, featuring the classic Atari and Intellivision models, was seriously fading at the time Nintendo showed up. Nintendo brought in a howl new generation for graphics, gameplay, and crappy controllers to the market. People bought the hell out of them and everyone played Nintendo. My roommate in college my sophomore year had one. I don’t think I ever beat Tyson but I got to him. I think the semester ended right at the point when I could consistently get my ass kicked by him.

My roommate played Zelda a lot. Talk about the most boring video Yawngame of all time. And Super Mario Brothers? Yawn. It was like Pitfall for the Atari and just as boring.

I had another roommate with a Nintendo. We had epic battles with that little hockey game. It was a quaint little game.

That’s my whole deal with the Nintendo line (even through today). It’s so darn wholesome and family friendly. They even released one of the hockey games back then without the fighting. Lame.

PlaystationSo Sony rolls in with their Playstation. It features massively more complex graphics and game play. This is because they decided to ditch the quick-but-limited cartridges and go with the slow-but-high-capacity CD format. Sure, it took 2 minutes for a game to load but when it did it was totally worth it.

Do you really believe Tecmo football is better than any Madden version? The Madden series revolutionized football gaming. Did the Nintendo have a basketball game? Because anything they could offer was smoked by NBA Live. I’m sure the Nintendo had some gay Mario Karts racing game. Meanwhile the Playstation dropped Ridge Racer and Need for Speed.

Street Fighter, anyone? I’m sure the Nintendo had some really swell Mario vs. Luigi fighting game that involved hitting each other with bright red mushrooms.

Look the Nintendo came first and it changed the way people though about home gaming. But when the Sony rolled in, it changed what people thought home gaming could do. Instead of just being some mind-numbingly boring cute-as-a-rainbow game system, it was a complex system that really brought virtual worlds into the home that you could believe in. Plus, the games weren’t retarded.

FlavaDave called this one a mismatch, and he’s right. It’s just not fair to compare a cutesy little toy like the Nintendo with a solid machine like the Playstation.

FlavaDave Says: And there’s the debate in a nutshell. The NES is a legendary system that changed the face of home gaming and is still played to this day, and the Playstation is “a solid machine”. That’s a ringing endorsement if I’ve seen one.

No one is going to buy into you cutting down the NES. The sustained greatness of the machine is unquestioned. Any arguement claiming otherwise is based on a false premise and, therefore, wrong.

I mean, you might as well be arguing that Journey is the greatest band of all time because the Beatles were quaint and the sound quality of Journey’s records is better.

Flinchbot Says: You bringing up Journey is a freaking act of desperation. Are you serious? You have to play that card already?

As commenter OwningXylophone correctly stated, there was a time when Sony and Nintendo were working together to produce a CD-based NES. A combination of bad contracts and corporate politics lead to the dissolution of that and the beginning of the Playstation.

Young Girl Playing Video GameTaking that into account, the original Playstation was clearly a superior product than the original NES as it was designed to be an upgrade to the NES. Plus, the games that came out for it weren’t boring and made for girls. And what it really comes down to are the games. The Playstation had them in abundance for everyone. The NES had them in abundance for 6 year old girls. So if you’re a 6 year old girl, go at it with your NES. It’s a system that can’t be beat.

FlavaDave Says: And New Coke is clearly superior to Coca-Cola, as it was designed to be an upgrade to Coca-Cola Classic. (BTW, I’ve never heard of “the Journey card”. It’s called an analogy).

In all honesty, name me five people who still play Playstation One to this day. I can list all of the people I know who still play NES:

  • All of my friends except for you.

Do PS1 fans even exist? Have you ever seen a PS1 T-shirt? Is there a YouTube clip online of some Asian dude playing the Spyro The Dragon theme song on a tuba through his nose? Does anybody remember what games the PS1 launched with?

Here, I’ll tell you what. Go find me an active PS1 fansite. I’ll wait.

And as for the girl comment, I suppose the rest of us don’t get our masculine identity from a video game.

Flinchbot Says: You want PS1 games? Well, you can get them on your PS3 now and you will be able to play them on your PSP (over 7,000 titles expected to be available).

Yes, 7,000 titles.

I dunno, can all of those classic Nintendo games be played on a DS or a WII? Did Nintendo ever have 700 games, let alone 7,000?

And while there are plenty of PS1 forums alive and kicking (here, here, and here) most of the Playstation sites cover the PS1, PS2, and PS3 (with the PSP usually thrown in as well).

And I’ll back off on saying that all Nintendo games are for 6 year old girls. They did have the ultra-violent thrill-a-minute Duck Hunt which made 7 year old boys excited too.