Crispy Gamer

I Call Bullshit -- Episode 1: The Crispy Menace

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Pop some popcorn, put the kids to bed, and gather around the warm, hearth-like glow of the PC screen. It?s time for the inaugural episode of I Call Bullshit. This is CG?s platform for shining a 1,000-watt spotlight on anything and everything in the videogame industry that, you know, just doesn?t smell right.

Why are we doing this? The gaming world is stuffed to capacity with misinformation, crap reportage, hyperbole and rampant boasts. Indeed, it takes a strong stomach and a sturdy backbone to see past the college-fresh PR girls in short skirts, the booth babes in even shorter skirts, and those fresh-out-of-the-Photoshop-oven screenshots.

With inflated review scores, previews that read like puff pieces, and fan boys masquerading as card-carrying journalists, you might be wondering to yourself, Hey Self, where the hell can I get a decent corned beef sandwich around here?

Oops. We meant, Hey Self, where can I hear the hard, cold truth about the videogame industry?

We?ll tell you where.

Right here, baby.

So cue up "Thus Spoke Zarasthustra," pour yourself two fingers of Tang, and bang a spoon on a pot, because it is time ... for the official calling of the bullshit. Viva la Crispy! Viva, viva!

Holiday Wii Bundles: Ripped off and pissed off

Several retailers -- obviously hailing from Planet Scumbag -- saw this year?s Wii shortage as an opportunity to make some extra cabbage, prey on desperate consumers, and clean out their warehouses of crap games, all in one fell swoop. Yes, you could actually get a Wii this Christmas ? as long as you were willing to part with $500 to $600, which meant purchasing landfill-bound tripe like Red Steel, Chicken Shoot, Ninja Breadman and Alvin & the Chipmunks. To the retailers? credit, some of the packages shipped with bonus items, like a broken VCR, a can of corn and a used diaper. We?re calling bullshit.

The New York Times: Gray Lady Chases Gamers Off Her Lawn, Shuts Off Lights at Halloween, Pretends Not to Be Home So She Won?t Have to Give Out Candy

First came the reference to a game titled "Bio Shot" on page 49 in the Dec. 9, 2007 paper. Who would have guessed that this was merely the calm before the unholy shit-storm to follow? A Dec. 31, 2007 story (written by Eric Taub) confused DS and PSP features, misspelled Reggie Fils-Aime?s name (not once but twice); and then reported that the Wii will be able to transmit or download entire DS games -- which, it turns out, is a lie. Alright, Gray Lady, you can go back to sipping your tea, dozing beneath your afghan and watching your afternoon stories now ... because we call bullshit.

Putting the Word "Ass" In Mass Media: The Mass Effect Controversy

Self-help writer Cooper Lawrence -- author of Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry (we wish we were kidding) went on FOX News last month and shot off her mouth about Mass Effect?s sex scene -- something about which, the world would soon discover, she admitted to knowing absolutely nothing. Ms. Cooper would later recant her judgment, and admitted that "somebody" told her that the game was "like pornography" before she went on the air. And lo, the King decreed that henceforth all "experts" appearing on FOX News shall be approached with only the most jaundiced of eyes. So it is written, so it shall be. Bullshit = Called.

Gamer Mode on HDTVs: Fiction? Or?Fiction?

If you?ve recently purchased an HDTV -- congratulations, you rich bastard; your penis is still small -- no doubt your shiny prize comes with something called Gamer Mode. The idea here is that when you?re playing your fancy, high-def videogames, you switch your TV into this mode, and voila! -- something wonderful will happen. The TV-pimping yos at Circuit City will have you believe that this mode works to eliminate lag time; in other words, when you press the X button your DualShock, Ratchet or Kratos or whoever will do their dance/kill/float around lickety-split. Around Crispy Central, we?ve used HDTVs both with and without Gamer Mode. Newsflash: THERE?S NO DISCERNIBLE DIFFERENCE, PEOPLE. NONE. ZIP. Dial 1-800-I-Call-Bullshit to collect your prize.

Red Rings Still Giving Gamers Red Ass; Xbox Live Outages Over The Holidays Make Upstate New York Man Wish He?d Saved His Money, Taken His Wife to Hedonism Instead

With plenty of cardboard coffins filled with dead 360s still being shepherded across the River Styx to that mysterious repair facility in Texas (two Crispy staff members recently "buried" their beloved 360s), and the typically reliable Xbox Live service suddenly becoming less stable than Paula Abdul (many gamers reported periodic outages over the holidays), Microsoft continues to shoot itself in the foot -- again and again and again. With the PlayStation 3?s slow-as-molasses start, Microsoft should be pinning a KICK ME sign on Jack Tretton?s back by now. Instead, despite some obvious progress here and there, Microsoft continues to give itself a wedgie and steal its own lunch money, making rookie mistakes in its sophomore season. That?s right -- you guessed it -- we?re calling bullshit.

Well, kids, that?s all the time we have for bullshit right now. Tune in the next time something riles us up -- same bullshit time, same bullshit channel -- for even more bullshit!

If you?ve got bullshit to report, tell us about it.

Send your bullshit to: stopthebullshit@crispygamer.com. You?ll be glad you did.