Wednesday, March 29, 2006

2IGTV Episode 15

In this Episode we feature the return of news from the Sam Jackson camp with the latest on "Snakes On A Plane" which is already sestined to be an awful movie that will achieve an enormus cult following. Only such cult followers will be excited by the news that SeaQuest DSV is being released on DVD. There's regrettably going to be a third Ocean's flick. Windows Vista is unsurprisingly being delayed. Instead of creating a proper game such as an extension of the Turok licence, BuenaVista Interactive are making a PC game of the most unlikely TV show to warrant a game... brace yourself. And there going to be a certain General returning to Stargate next season.

Tune in now! iTunes Feed / mp3

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Snipers have new scope

Marine snipers at Camp Mercury, Iraq put the Corps’ latest sniper optic to the test and it proved to be spot-on. Proof is one less bad guy planting roadside bombs.

Snipers of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment proved the 3x12 variable-powered Schmidt & Bender M-8541 Scout-Sniper Day Scope’s usefulness a few weeks ago when they killed an insurgent planting improvised explosive devices near Fallujah. It was the first recorded combat kill with the new optic.

“It was kind of a big deal with the sniper community to get the first kill with the new scope,” said Gunnery Sgt. Paul Starner, platoon sergeant for the battalion’s Scout-Sniper Platoon, who squeezed off the shot. “After the kill, we did a picture-perfect extraction. They didn’t even know we were there.”

The scope’s ability to allow Marines to target insurgents wasn’t a one-time stint, though. Marines in the platoon reaffirmed the scope’s combat utility seven times since then, according to Starner.

The new Schmidt & Bender allows better positive target identification, according to 2nd Lt. Jake Cusack, Sniper Platoon commander. The Schmidt & Bender scope has a greater light-gathering capability, boasting a 50 mm objective lens and illuminated mil-dot reticle pattern, better adapted to drop insurgents at a distance in low light conditions as well as daylight.

“We’re here to find the enemy and kill him, and that’s what we’re doing,” Starner said. “Any time you make them think twice about what they’re doing, you’re doing your job. I want it in their heads that we’re watching them.”

Colonel Creedon is reported to have said "I want!"

Monday, March 27, 2006

DiCaprio follows the Colonel's lead

Overrated movie-star Leonardo DiCaprio is copying a recent brainwave I had to sell of some of my Star Wars action figures. It just goes to prove that people like him need strong and decisive leadership and incredible ideas like mine.

I do wonder why is he doing it though? It's not like he needs the money. So he didn't make a movie last year- he's making three this year. He's selling so much stuff now it's as if he's rejecting the "Church of Lucas" altogether!

Perhaps I'm just peeved that he'll make 5 times more money by selling this Jawa with vinyl cape* alone than I did on selling 100 Star Wars figures, and he has dozens of more lots up for sale, see them here.

*The vinyl cape Jawa is one of the most expensive Star Wars figures of the vintage line and was produced in small quantities before it was replaced by Jawa with a cloth cape. It can still fetch a handsome sum outside it's packaging.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Raptor Pilot Looks to the Stars

I always laugh when I read a report about this guy. Don't worry if you don't laugh, it's an in-joke.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Chef Dead!

Only days after 2IGTV exclusively* broke the news that Chef, the character voiced by singer Isaac Hayes on South Park, was leaving the show in protest to the producers satire of scientology, I've just learned of the death of Chef!!!!

Chef appeared to die a grisly death on the show Wednesday night as he was struck by lightning, impaled, shot, mauled by a mountain lion, eaten by a grizzly bear, and, oh, yes, accused of being a child molester. At Chef's funeral, one of the South Park gang says in a eulogy: "A lot of us don't agree with the choices Chef has made in the last few days. Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us. But we can't let the events of the past few weeks take away the memories of how Chef made us smile." Finally, the South Park tyke remarks, "We shouldn't be mad at Chef for leaving us. We should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains." Although Hayes's voice was used in the episode, the dialogue apparently was pieced together from previous episodes. The Associated Press, noting that Chef received "a true South Park send off," indicated that the ending, in which Chef's "fruity little club" tries to revive him, leaves open the possibility of his return.

*It wasn't really an exclusive it just looks good in this context.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Pope Is A Man Of iPod (so is The Colonel)

The Ex-Nazi Pope Benedict XVI has an iPod. He got one as gift by staff at Vatican Radio. Officials have loaded it with his favourite tracks, mostly religious music, plus pieces by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. The pontiff has even been spotted around the Vatican using his iPod and distinctive white earphones. "He is very pleased with the iPod," a spokesman said. "The Holy Father likes to unwind listening to it and is of the opinion that this sort of technology is the future."

Some of the other well known iPod users include the Queen, President Bush, Tony Blair and Colonel Creedon himself. Colonel Creedon has this to say about the iPod:

Everyone should have an iPod. Well that statement may not be accurate, let's say instead that "everyone should have an MP3 player", or at least everyone who listens to music regularly. Bottom line is if you don't have an iPod (in any of its incarnations) or a Zen or some portable device in this day and age- than I have news for you- you're nobody.

I think it should be made law that people are forced to get MP3 players and people who don't want them should be dragged out like dogs onto the street and shot. I personally don't understand how some people can live without them- they're quite happy swapping these giant 4.5 inch discs called CD's in and out of their Sony CD players. How archaic and so 20th century of them. Its backward Neanderthals like these that cling to ancient technology that's holding the human race back from conquering the stars. Christ! They make me puke.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

2IGTV Episode 14

In this episode we discuss why Mark reserves the right to change his mind from episode to episode and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it, Dungeons & Dragons Online which is set to control our lives for a few weeks at least, why scientologist Isaac "Chef" Hayes is a hypocritical bastard, why Hard Boiled shouldn't be remade, Sony's plans to take over the world with the PS3 are delayed, the latest on Milla Jovovich, David Hasselhoff, Howard Stern and John Travolta, television news with Battlestar Galactica, SG-1, Atlantis and the 1st review of The Unit.

iTunes feed Mp3

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

VMM-263 "Thunder Chickens" take to the skies in Ospreys

The future of Marine Corps aviation took a large step forward as the first operational MV-22 Osprey squadron was activated at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

“Commissioning (Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron-263) is a historic day for the ‘Thunder Chickens,’ for our Corps and for our nation,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Moore, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general. “We have introduced a transformational aircraft into our nation’s forces with the ‘Thunder Chickens.’” A transformational aircraft because it capitalizes on both the best aspects of the rotary wing and the best aspects of the fixed wing turbo-propeller, Moore explained.

“The Osprey is much more survivable than the CH-46E ‘Sea Knight’ because of it’s range and it’s speed,” said Moore. “It’s a much more capable aircraft and we expect it to perform excellently in battle.” A capable aircraft that has been in the making since the early 1960’s, some feel the delay has produced the best result.

“I have to tell you, waiting for something this good has been worth while,” said Gen. Robert Magnus, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. “This is a tremendous aircraft. While we are at war, it is a tremendously more survivable platform for the Marines who are in the fight.”

VMM-263, home to more than 150 Marines and the successor to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-263 which cased its colors in June 2005, will carry on the proud name, “Thunder Chickens,” and also the legacy of the former CH-46E “Sea Knight” squadron.

Honored to carry on the name, “Thunder Chickens,” the Marines of VMM-263 are thrilled by the chance to become the first operational Osprey squadron, said Sgt. Maj. Grant VanOostrom, VMM-263 sergeant major.

“They are very excited because they see it as a culmination of those who have gone before them,” said VanOostrom. “They just happen to be the chosen ones who get to bring it into its current existence; we get to reap the rewards of others.”

And VMM-263 can be expected to reap the almost countless rewards, such as being able to travel at speeds of nearly 300 mph, twice the speed of any current helicopter, have up to five times the range of travel and carry three times the payload.

“The Osprey will allow us to self-deploy these aircraft from New River, or (Air Station) Miramar, across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, to anywhere this great nation wants to plant its flag within two to three days,” said Magnus.

Uncertain of the exact date when the Osprey will be supporting ground forces overseas, the squadron feels assured that it will be in the near future.

“We expect VMM-263 to be deployed within the coming year,” said Moore. “We can’t give an exact date, because we aren’t 100 percent sure.”

“There are two things the American people should know about this aircraft,” said Gen. Michael W. Hagee, 33rd commandant of the Marine Corps, during his visit to Marine Corps Air Station New River Feb. 24. “One, it will change the way we fight; it’s faster, larger, air refuelable and the technology is state of the art. Two, it’s the safest aircraft in our inventory. It’s been tested and proven ready to perform.”

And though tremendous efforts will have to made by the “Thunder Chickens” before the first Osprey squadron is ready to deploy, a sigh of relief can be breathed by the Marines, families and friends of the program who sacrificed so much to get to where the stand up could be possible, said Moore.

“We are bringing forth the new capability to replace what has been the backbone of Marine aviation in the CH-46,” said Moore. “With that capability, we take rotary wing assault support, now tiltrotor wing assault support, ahead into the future and assure the success of Marines in battle. We are committing the Osprey to the gunfight.”

Friday, March 10, 2006

SiN Episodes: Emergence

1998 was a long, long time ago, especially in PC gaming years. You may recall SiN, one of that year's most highly anticipated games...until it released closely alongside a little dark horse called Half-Life, which blew it out of the water. Nevertheless after playing the SiN demo I thought it had some interesting stuff going for it if it wasn't as full of bugs as the first release of a new Microsoft OS. Now, after seven years in dormancy, the studio is readying an epic follow-up.

Well while there's not going to be a sequel as such, there is going to be a continuation of the SiN story but in episodic format much like Valve are doing with Half-Life 2. In fact considering that Ritual couldn't beat Valve's Half-Life with SiN they've decided to join them! The upcoming SiN Episodes looks to combine Valve's Source engine with an ambitious business model. Rather than spend months and months slaving away over a sprawling game and competing for shelf space, Ritual has decided to release this new SiN in nine serialized installments for delivery over Steam. The forst will be entitled "Emergence".

SiN Episodes expands on the role of Colonel John R. Blade, a battle worn hero in charge of HardCorps, an elite military strike force with a long history of conflict with SinTEK, a powerful multibillion dollar empire headed up by the nefarious Elexis Sinclaire, a beautiful, brilliant, and ruthless scientist who is out to remake humanity according to her own twisted vision. Joining Blade on his mission are JC, a HardCorps hacker with a secret to keep, and Jessica Cannon, a fiery rookie who can find her way into any secure facility. The action takes place in the futuristic Freeport City, a mishmash of urban elements reminiscent of San Francisco, New York, and Tokyo all lumped together. As Blade, players will fight to expose Sinclaire's evildoing and prevent her from doing more harm to Freeport's citizens. At least, that's the basic gist of the story. Other details will be fleshed out over the game's nine episodes in a three act trilogy.

Visually, Emergence is phenomenal. The main section of it, takes place in a capsized oil tanker as Blade searches for a weapons dealer. Lighting and graphics textures have the future-gone-awry feel that the first SiN captured so well. The game uses the Source engine, so the physics are similar to Half-Life 2, although Ritual has made some modifications and tweaks to the engine to give it a personalized touch. The studio has been adamant about making the experience as interactive as possible. As in Doom 3 (and very much like the original game), players can interact with consoles within the environment. Throughout Ritual's testing, the team has been analyzing where most gamers seem to play around in the game world and they're adjusting elements of these areas to make them even more interactive.

SiN Episodes will also feature sections in which Blade rides shotgun while HardCorps member Jessica Cannon commandeers a vehicle. In a recent demonstration to press on the progressive destructibility of vehicles, the Ritual team put Jessica in god mode and proceeded to shoot up the car until there was virtually nothing left -- no doors, no trunk, even the roof eventually blows off -- but Blade could still get in and out of the car. Besides the usual armed guards that make up FPS enemy fodder, Blade also faces new mutants in SiN Episodes. There are characters that grow in size and strength when they consume extra mutagens, and one of Emergence's biggest boss battles finds Blade up against a colossal mutant out for his blood. If their analogy that Emergence's boss battle is like Alien and the second episode resembles Aliens, then gamers are going to have plenty to look forward to.

One of the finest examples of Ritual's tweaks to the Source engine is in their handling of health power-ups within the game. Health is portable. Rather than just having a wall-mounted station a la Half-Life 2, a player can take a health canister with them and carry it around. If Blade gets caught in a firefight, he can toss down the can, and if necessary, shoot it to create a vapor that will constantly charge his health while he's blasting away at mutations. Weapons within the game seem to be a mixture of different types that should be familiar to most FPS fans, although the secondary fires bring something fresher to the table. Handguns don't just fire bullets; they double as anti-mutagenic agents. A secondary blast from a shotgun allows the bullets to bounce off the walls and theoretically bend corners and hit someone on the other end of a hallway. Blade uses incendiary grenades rather than frags to take down enemies.

One of the most enticing elements of SiN Episodes is the rapidly adaptive AI settings. A circular AI system checks players' stats every two minutes across five factors -- weapons choices, damage, health, NPCs, and pacing -- and adjusts accordingly. Rather than letting players pick Easy difficulty and plow through an episode, the settings adjust in real time. For example, a skilled FPS player who nails lots of headshots early on will find that as he or she progresses through the game, more enemies with helmets will start showing up. At the other end of the spectrum, a novice player who's having a tougher time will find enemies who are easier to battle and more likely to engage in dangerous behavior -- like standing too close to flammable canisters. Additionally, a player's actions in one game will ultimately affect what can happen in future installments, which exponentially increases the replay value for each four to six hour-long episode.

There are no plans to implement multiplayer features in Emergence at the moment, although Ritual mentioned that multiplayer modes should find their way into future episodes. The game is also being released independent of a retail publisher via the Steam service. No actual price point has been announced yet, but the team wants to keep each episode below twenty dollars per download. It is possible that after a few episodes, there will be a packaged retail version, but it's still unconfirmed at this point. Also not officially confirmed, but very promising, is the possibility that SiN Episodes will be ported over to consoles and be available for download on Xbox Live Marketplace. If so, it will be a first for Microsoft's new console, as no one has attempted to release a game of this size and magnitude for Xbox Live download.

SiN Episodes is, if nothing else, an ambitious endeavor on the part of Ritual to create an amazing serialized gaming experience. Novels have done it for centuries; Stephen King did it a decade ago with The Green Mile, and movies are built on it, with The Lord of the Rings trilogy merely being the most recent and profitable example. Ritual is doing the same thing for gaming, and judging by what we've seen, they could have a huge hit on their hands when SiN Episodes: Emergence drops in Q3 of this year.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The Unit, Inspired on the book Inside Delta Force, by retired Command Sgt. Major Eric L. Haney, is a new series which follows an elite covert team of Special Forces operatives as they risk their lives on undercover missions around the world, while their families maintain the home front. Starring Dennis (24, Splinter Cell) Hayesbert and Robert (Terminator 2, X-Files) Patrick.

Full review of the pilot episode on the next 2IGTV!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

X3 Trailer

X-Men 3: The Last Stand has a full trailer now. Grab it here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Earth: We have a problem!

Being laid up for a few days had me reading all sorts of useless crap. Get this for instance:
The population of the planet has grown. The last time I checked- which admittedly was when I was in school, the population was just over 5.5 billion people. Frighteningly, (according to Wired) the Earth has reached an estimated population of 6.5 billion living breathing humans. This naturally presents a whole host of problems which are scary if you ask the question "How many people can the planet actually sustain?".

Thursday, March 02, 2006

MARSOC opens for business.

As I've been reporting now for the past few months- The United States Marine Corps has formed their own Special Operations unit and on Friday it oficially established the separate command devoted to small-unit tactics and stealthy reconnaissance.

It's work the USMC has done since World War II, but never before as part of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). This revolutionary change means that battalions of Marines will be focused on special ops work just as Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets and Rangers are.

The Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made the change official after arriving at Camp Lejeune aboard an Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. He said special ops Marines will help "seek new and innovative ways to take the fight to the enemy."

The demand for highly trained special operations forces has increased as the U.S. war against terrorists continues. "We face a ruthless enemy that lurks in shadows," Rumsfeld said. "It has become vital the Department of Defense and armed forces arrange ourselves in new and unconventional ways to succeed in meeting the peril of our age."

As part of the change, the Marine anti-terrorism brigade (4th MEB) headquartered at Lejeune will go out of business and shift some of its troops to the special operations command. The command will have combat battalions on both U.S. coasts, along with support units and schools to teach special operations skills to U.S. and foreign troops.

Special operations will give the Marines "a role they otherwise would not be able to get, to do counterterrorism," said military analyst John Pike of Washington-based

"The struggle against evil doers is a growth industry and the Marines want a piece of that," Pike said. "The special operations community is getting a lot larger and they need more people."

Not long after he was tapped to lead the first leatherneck contingent into the nation's Special Operations Command, Brigadier Geneal Dennis J. Hejlik was asked if he had settled on a catchy nickname for his troops, like S.E.A.L.s or Rangers; General Hejlik nodded.

"Marines," he replied.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

2IGTV Episode 13

In this instalment we curse unnecessarily while talking about (among other things) Sam Jackson (again), Heather Locklear (single), Paris Hilton (Mother Teresa), James Cameron's Project 880, The new Mac-Mini, MMO games (especially Jim Lee's ill conceived DC Universe one) , CBS ' new show Shark and a lengthy discussion on Battlestar Galactica (the later episodes from the end of the season which may spoil your viewing if you've not see them, don't worry we give plenty of warning) and Stargate: SG-1.

If we had left this go another day you wouldn't have the episode this week as you may have heard me coughing- the first symptoms of a deadly life-threatening virus* which has taken me down. Going back to bed now as the screen is hurting me eyes...

*(mild exaggeration)