Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gamefly Deal of the Week.

I'm going to go with Ghostbusters: The Video Game for Playstation 3 this week. At $12.99, you should get that much out of the game. Voiced by the actual film actors and written by Dan Aykroyd, its not overwhelmingly awesome, but it is fun and you aren't paying that much for it. Gamefly ships the game in full with
case and manual; even though the discs are used, they are usually in excellent condition.

Buy it HERE.

TL;DR Video of the Week.

So apparently Halo still exists. Whodathunkit? In fact, there is a new Halo game tentatively scheduled for a fall release, and if you were a sucker lucky enough to pick up Halo: OSDT, you are privy to the multiplayer beta that goes live next week(?). I shouldn't be a Halo hater; after all, that is the game that brought me over to the Xbox camp for good. It was the first game that brought more than 2 of my friends together for actual gaming-centric parties and events. I kind of feel that with each iteration of the game, the franchise loses a bit of its luster. However, since Halo 3 has consistently run in the top 2 on Xbox Live's most active games consistently, that really ain't bad for a game that is two-and-a-half years old.

Today's video is the live action trailer to Halo: Reach. Bungie has a history of doing some live action films for its Halo franchise, and a lot of them have been pretty good. Here is this one, enjoy:

There is also some news coming out today about Bungie is partnering with Activision on a new franchise.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Commentary, Joint Outsourced and In House Edition.

Before I begin, I just want to say I'm a big fan of Roger Ebert. So, when he came out a few weeks ago and declared that Video Games Aren't Art, I didn't go apeshit and burn every copy of his books I've ever owned. Because I've never owned any but that's really not the point. There has been a lot of hubub about his remarks, and a few people have weighed in, or been asked to weigh in on the statement. I wasn't one of those people who were asked but I wanted to give a few thoughts. First, I'm going to let Ben Croshaw take the mic and give his two cents.

"Yahtzee", as he is more affectionately known, does Zero Punctuation reviews for The Escapist. His game review videos typically run about four minutes long, are crude at times, bitterly truthful at times, a little overly critical at times, and lacking dead air all the time  (hence, "zero punctuation"). He actually takes a pause this time and takes to the written word to comment on Ebert's piece.

Here it is: Extra Punctuation.

Not to be a total conformist, but Yahtzee is, for the most part, correct. Is it really a big deal if Roger Ebert thinks games cannot be art? One shouldn't take someone's opinion as gospel, especially when there is so much room for interpretation and exception. Also his opinion on video games would be about as relevant as me challenging him on why Harold and Kumar is one of the better movies of the last decade.

I guess Ebert may have jogged some insecurity in the games industry and gamers in general. Can an industry that has been competing with film, television, music and print for the hearts (and wallets) of entertainment-thirsty-ADD-ridden consumers actually claim that the product they put out is on the level artistically? Is there a poetic symmetry to me dropping a tea-bag on the face of a vanquished enemy that I smited with Akimbo P-90's?

Yahtzee is dead-on when he says "art is something that provokes emotional attachment". For something so personal and subjective, that means that what constitutes art can be open to interpretation. Thats why someone can drop a crucifix in a jar of piss and then ask the National Endowment of the Arts to fund the follow-up. That's why I can think this song is a masterpiece and you may think its just clambering of loud noises (in which you would be wrong because At the Gates fucking rules). 

The fact of the matter is, as an entertainment medium, video games have proven they can holdtheir own against cinema and music. If you are going to claim that the latter can be art and games aren't, consider that computers are just an integral part in creating what makes those forms art as well as video games (i.e. Avatar). Also consider that like cinema and music, 95% of what is out there sucks. Those that are the cream of the crop can truly inspire great emotion, and make you feel not that you've "won", but that you've completed the journey the story tellers or artists have set forth in front of you. The industry is too new to set along side great poets or painters, but I wouldn't be surprised that 50 years from now there may be some games that are still discussed for their beauty in presentation, and intrigue in gameplay. 

TL;DR- Check the end of Yahtzee's piece. Motherfucker stole my shtick!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TL;DR Old Skool Video of the Week.

Tecmo Bowl Throwback releases today tomorrow Xbox Live Arcade for the not-so-low price of 800 M$ points, or ten dollars for the currency exchange-impaired. At five or seven bucks, I would have been all over this, but I'm going to wait for a demo before I go ahead and throw down. You can customize your team name and player names, so MAYBE I can just go ahead on and create Bo Jackson for the Raiders and do this:

I was a HUGE Bo Jackson fan growing up. However, being a Kansas City Chiefs fan, I hated the fact he played for the Raiders and pretty much blamed his downfall on them. As a Chiefs fan I got use to seeing Bo like runs against us last year. This game comes to mind.

Today is Xbox 360 day at the Amazon Gold Box.

Its all in the title.

Looks like the lineup for the Lightening Deals goes like this:

6AM PST - Bad Company 2
9AM PST - "Prepare to journey to the darkest reaches of space in this RPG hit." (Mass Effect?)
11AM PST - "BioWare’s deepest universe to date just got bigger..." (Mass Effect/Dragon Age?)
2PM PST - "Rock out with your Stratocaster." (Guitar Hero or Rock Band)
4PM PST - "A legendary war between two of science-fiction’s most popular characters." (AvP?)
6PM PST - "Charge up your Xbox 360 controllers."
8PM PST - "This hit franchise comes to life on Xbox 360." (Final Fantasy XIII?)

The Deal of the Day is Bioshock 2 for the 360 and PS3 going for $39.99, which is about right to pay for Bioshock 2. If you are looking to buy, go ahead and click on the Deal of the Day widget to your right. I mean, what the hell, if you're going to buy the game, may as well give me some credit, right? 

Monday, April 26, 2010

REVIEW: Aliens vs. Predator

Its funny sometimes how this whole games review business goes. Last week I kind of trashed on a game that's a critical success. This week, I'm going to give some love to a game that sold well but the critics bombed. Sometimes, its about what you've expected vs. what's been delivered. Tonight, we delve a little bit into Aliens vs. Predator, Rebellion's follow-up (or update) to the PC title of the same name.

In actuality, this should be called Aliens vs. Predator vs. Colonial Marines. Perhaps that was a little to much to fit on the box art, or an acronym that got way out of hand    (AVPVCM? yeah, too much). The single player campaign gives you the option to start out as either species, each with their own distinct storyline that passively weaves in and out of one another. I want to start with the Single Player, because that is what I spent the most time playing, and I feel its the strongest part of the game.

I began AvP(vCM) as the ubiquitous Colonial Marine. Ahh, the Rookie, getting his feet wet with the grunts doing a stand up fight and a bug hunt, of course this chicken shit outfit isn't good enough to guide you along the course, everything is going to go belly up and you're going to have to go it alone with nothing but your handy pulse rifle and your instincts. Don't get too friendly with any fellow grunts you encounter in your travels because they aren't going to last long. For salty veterans, they do tend to die wastefully.

Unlike most people, I actually dug the Marine campaign the best. I didn't mind the constant tick of the motion tracker, and you are given flares to deal with the substandard lighting in the game - which has been a sticking point in many of the reviews. My reaction to that is that you are given unlimited flares. Use them. The lack of lighting is done to build suspense within the gameplay. You hear the xenomorphs in your motion tracker, its actually a little anxious trying to figure out where they are coming from, then you throw a flare and its AWW SHIT. Blerg.

Before I go into the other species, one thing I do like is that once you finish a section of any given campaign, you can pick up another species. I found myself playing all three campaigns at once. The story kind of interweaves through all three, and kind of keeps your interest pretty well.

As an Alien you find out that the Company is full of asshole scientists who just want to study you being the perfect organism. You begin in captivity, and subjected to a battery of tests that serve as your tutorial. However, no man can hold you and you're job is to pretty much bust out and wreck shop. Mother alien sends you on your missions which is pretty much to ruin the Marine's day. You also have a few arsenals of execution moves up your sleeve. There's the old tail spike up impale, the tail spike decapitation, the ol' trepanning maneuver with your second mouth. You can also take those cruel corporate scientists and turn the tables on them by introducing them to your friend Mr. Facehugger.  You also have the luxury of running fast, running on walls (which can be a bit disorientating at times), and stealthing for your kills. The Marines aren't that bright, but they're good in numbers and brought some remote guns to lay down on your ass, so the best strategy is to separate them and take them down one by one.

Predator may be one ugly motherfucker, but he's got the best of both worlds. He's got some ranged attacks, a couple of devastating claws, and multiple views to spot bad guys. Aliens tend to gang up to take him down, and Marines never seem to be able to give him much trouble. He has a few pretty good killing moves on his own. He's also the guy you want to have in multiplayer because he seems to be the strongest overall of all the species at work.

One knock on the game that I can probably deal with is that it doesn't look great. I think that's a little harsh, but I do think it could use some polishing visually. The Alien animation could use some work when you are playing from the perspective of the Marine or Predator. It doesn't look fluid almost cardboard cutout-like. I've read that there is a blandness when it comes to the executing moves--I guess if you've seen one decap, you've seen them all. Ever since I saw early videos and screenshots of the game, I've advocated that the game should go for max gore. For the most part I've been satisfied. I don't think there is an abundant lack of ingenuity when it comes to finishing moves. Perhaps Rebellion should have introduced Babalites.

Multiplayer offers a slew of good modes. I'm kind of skimming over it on purpose because I didn't put a lot of time into it. Its worth checking out, but my only complaint is that when one game is over, you are spit back into your own lobby; the game will not cycle onto a new map with the same room you just played in. C'mon, folks, its not 1999 anymore. We can actually stand to play the same room more than once.

One thing that I'm kind of at odds with has nothing to do with the game itself, but with the reviews. This game scores about a 66% on GameRankings, and sites like 1Up and Gamespot gave the game a much lower review than what this really is. Gamespot pointed out the level design and controls being substandard, and gave the game 5.5. I really don't agree with this at all. I mean, maybe they were expecting too much of this game. I had pegged AvP as a middle of the road shooter incorporating elements of two different franchises (save the horrific AvP movie franchise) that I love. That's what I got. Is it flawed? Yes. Will it be in my top ten of the year? Likely no. But is it worthy of a barely passing grade? No - its worth more. I take a look at reviews like that, and compare them with the reviews Splinter Cell Conviction has been getting, and I'm beginning to wonder if Sega didn't put enough review bribe money in their marketing budget. Its very interesting to see the reader response grade be much higher than the critics' grade. I'm with the gamers on this one. Yes there's room for improvement but you can deal with that over a weekend or two before you send it back through Gamefly.

TL; DR- Like Alien 3: Underrated, but still a rental. (also Fincher rules)

Monday Commentary, Outsourced Edition.

Today's outsourced commentary is actually a bit of old news. Originally published on April 7th, this come from the New York Times Online Edition, and further weighs in on the Bad Company 2/ Modern Warfare 2 battle. While I do plan on posting a Bad Company 2 review soon, its going to be difficult for anyone to review the game or discuss the game without comparing it to the juggernaut in the room which is Call of Duty.

Prior to this year, the whole battle between Activision and EA for what company has the better FPS military shooter franchise was pretty decisively one way.  However, recent developments at Activision (more specifically Call of Duty's developer, Infinity Ward) and EA's release of Bad Company 2 have brought things more in balance by way of gameplay even though the sales figures tend to tell a different story. I have noticed that while Modern Warfare 2 has a solid following, more and more gamers are beginning to defect to Bad Company 2. Now the New York Times is weighing in as well:

In the Electronic War, Momentum Shifts to the Underdog.

To be honest, this article isn't very well written, and doesn't give a lot of insight into what may make Bad Company 2 a better game. Lord Bling actually wrote a more thought out piece in the commentary I posted a few weeks ago. However, I wanted to show the world that the tide may be changing, and maybe also to help set up my review of Bad Company 2, expected toward the end of the week. (I actually have another review coming before that so stay tuned.)

TL:DR - NYT: Hire me as your Video Game blogger.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TL;DR Gamefly Deal of the Week.

Time to put on my corporate whore hat. Big fan of the Gamefly. Their games get to you in a good time frame, they have good customer service, and their games are in pretty good condition.  The main reason I go there is because their used game sale prices are rarely beatable. In addition, if you've used Gamefly for 6 months, you get 5% off all purchases, and 10% if you've been there for a year.

This week's good deal is The Conduit for the Wii. At $14.99, a pretty good Wii title for the non-6 year old Wii gamer. Sega tried to venture in the Wii market with more mature titles like MadWorld and House of the Dead OVERKILL. While I question their judgement for putting out more mature titles on a console that's overly family and causal gamer friendly, I do give them an A for effort. IGN gave the title a good rating, but this one slipped a bit under the consumer radar.

Buy it here.

If you're not a member, sign up. Use me as the referral to get me some cool shit.

REVIEW: Splinter Cell: Conviction.

You waited four years for this. Four years after Double Agent, after Spies vs. Mercs, Sam Fisher is BACK, y'all! And big surprise-he's pissed off. I mean, this guy never seems to catch a break. Can't he just mourn the loss of his daughter in relative* peace?
*-"relative" meaning killing like everyone who could have been responsible.

So here is the latest Splinter Cell that you've all been waiting, and waiting, and waiting and waiting for. Now, I need to admit that I've never been the biggest fan of stealth games. Just call me Han Solo; I always get too impatient with all this sneaking around, (also shooting out lights, choking people, etc.) I've always been the "run and gun" type. So I decided to give it a chance with the new Splinter Cell. 
As William Shatner says in Airplane II, "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes". Ubisoft took all my issues with the series in the past, tinkered with it, changed some aspects of the gameplay, repackaged it and spit it back out at me. And you know what? I don't like it.

Let me start back at the beginning. Forget the story of the Single Player; you won't really be enthralled by it, and will leave that disucssion to someone else. There are some gameplay changes: first off, there is an ongoing tutorial when you first start the game that continues throughout. Mission objectives are displayed on the face of buildings, story elements play like film shorts over head. Gone is the little meter that shows you whether you are properly hidden behind cover, the screen will go black and white when you are concealed, and back to the Land of Oz when you are exposed. Whenever you encounter an obstacle, there is an indicator to press a button to climb up the pipe or wall, jump a box, or look under a door. I thought there was a way to turn those constant indicators off, and tried in the settings menu, but they never did switch off. After you go through the tutorial mission, and having played like four previous Splinter Cells, you get the picture that you hit the A Button to hang from the window, or jump a grouping of boxes. It got a little annoying after a while.

At first I liked the idea that the palette turns black and white when you get into cover. However, for some reason, it make things problematic when the scenery got too dark especially when you are trying to elude bad guys and the camera doesn't quite keep up with the controls. This is especially true during the multiplayer missions, but I'll hit on that later.

When going through other reviews of this game, I got the impression that the single player campaign was the weakest element of the game, and therefore the most dismissable; that the longevity and the enjoyment of Splinter Cell shines through the multiplayer/co-op. My question is this: why? You're Sam Fisher, a bad ass lone wolf stealth operative. Why isn't the single player campaign the driving force behind the game? You aren't Sam Fisher in co-op or multiplayer, why not focus the game on your star and most recognizable character? I ask this because the single player campaign does not do any justice to past Splinter Cell games. Yes, it starts off in classic style, Sam sneaking around, knocking out lights, evading the bad guys using shadows and using gadgets to get the drop on unsuspecting disposable henchmen.

In past Splinter Cells, progressing through missions undetected was key. You didn't want to tip off the bad guys as to where you are otherwise you'd be in a world of hurt. Sometimes it would even mean you'd have to restart the checkpoint. This time, you can just gun your way through the bad guys. The only crutch to that is that you aren't really given a good interface in which to mow them down. Aiming is difficult, even with the mark and execute system (which requires you to first take out someone to earn the marks, then mark guys Rainbow Six style), especially with any weapon that's not the pistol. This becomes even more problematic when you are faced with a level early on in the game where stealth isn't even needed. I'm going to repeat that: There is a level early in the game where stealth isn't needed. I got there and had to even wonder if I was even playing Splinter Cell or some iPhone version of Rainbow Six meets Call of Duty. Thankfully, it returned to "normal" after that, but then rears its ugly head near the end of the game, for a completely un-entertaining experience.

Strolling through co-op is more "stealthy", requiring some actual teamwork to get through the story, but it really didn't make up for the letdown of the single player. Adversarial multiplayer is fun; I played some 1 on 1 hunter mode where you have to not only take out bad guys but a player opponent as well. That gives you your best opportunity to put your inner ninja to use. One thing that supremely pissed me off, though was the lack of Spies vs. Mercs. That was such an entertaining game mode in Splinter Cell: Double Agent that I was sure Ubisoft would bring it back for Conviction. As much as I enjoyed playing 1 against 1, I'm a much bigger fan of team games and would play them more. Judging about your reaction to the game on Xbox Live, you would too.

Now, you can read through all of the above and think that I just hated Conviction. I don't. It was just a letdown compared to my expectations. Yes, the visuals of the game are strong point, and a vast improvement over Double Agent, but that's not a fair comparison, considering Double Agent was a first year 360 title and Conviction had been in development for four years. I was honestly hoping for more; well maybe not more, just better. I said at the beginning that I wasn't the biggest fan of sneaking around, waiting in dark corners, but what funny is the more I played this game, the more I was hoping to do those sorts of things, and what I ended up getting was a feeling that I need to go back to Chaos Theory or Double Agent to get my fill of stealth. Ubisoft had set me up, and let me down. 

I'm very likely in the minority of mainstream fans because the overall critical reception has been overwhelmingly positive. I have to ask all the critics out there whose expectations were surpassed what about this game made them jump for joy. Was it the fact that they had missed Splinter Cell all this time? Was this their first exposure to the series? Of course it looks good as a stealth game, but at times its not trying to be a stealth game, and its piss poor if its going to be a third person shooter. To those that were blown away, and aren't graphics whores, I suggest going back to the game's roots and maybe you'll see what I mean.

TL;DR- Don't drink the Kool Aid, hard core Splinter Cell fans, you won't like the taste.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome 8BitBeerDrinker!

In my effort to spread the wealth of knowledge, I've invited a few contributors to the site, and we have our first victim in-house regular (with all due respect to our outsourced contributors).

8BBD is a good friend of mine from the days at the University of Kansas in Lawrence; former co-worker and troublemaker. He's now in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area keeping busy. He also shares a passion for video games and had collection of games that was pretty impressive. Motherfucker even had a news article written about him, so listen to what he has to say!

TL; DR- Oh hai, new guy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Quick Note about Reviews.

I'm almost at the point to start rolling out some reviews in the next few days. I will also try and keep the blog up to date on current events in the gaming world. Before we get to that, a few words regarding reviews and the site in general.

There will be no distinct format when it comes to reviews. As we add contributors to the site, each person will have their own distinct style of writing and judging how a game is reviewed. Personally, I am going to take the approach of not giving a game a distinct score or letter grade or things like that. I do that for a few reasons: a.) There is no perfect game, no unicorn, no "10" or A++ out there. Therefore, I don't see a need to rate a game based on how it can be relative to that unattainable number. b.) giving a game a quantitative score can bite me in the ass later when games are compared to one another. Say I would have given a game 8.5 and another 8.1, but I liked the 8.1 game better and put it higher on a 'best of' list. Does that make me hypocritical? No, because I'm not going to give a game a rating. And finally, c.) I just don't want to.

I like how Kotaku does their reviews. They say what they liked, what they didn't like and leave the reader to determine on their own based on whether more pros than cons or vice versa were mentions on how the tone of the review went. I haven't quite decided yet if my reviews are going to parallel that style or just go straight forward and summarize the game, and give critiques along the way.

I also want to take a bit and talk about reviewer bias. I want this to be the one post where I explain where I come from in the world of gaming and not after every review or commentary made. It is up to the other now and future contributors whether or not to identify their biases for your amusement; I'm not going to ask them one way or another. The world of gaming appears to have many factions, many divisions. Sometimes, these divisions can be contentious, and like the political climate in this country, people are quick to be labeled and more so dismissed when they appear to favor one division over another. Having said that, I'm going to clarify where I come from, so that you will know where I'm going.

First off, I am in that small divide between the casual gamer and the hard core gamer. I have been playing video games for over 20 years, I've worked on the retail side in the past selling games, determining what the market is looking for, what sells, and what doesn't. This is not my life, it is a hobby (and an expensive one at that).

I own a lot of both current and past generations of gaming consoles. I grew up a Sega kid, owning the Master System, Genesis, and Game Gear handheld. I was always envious of the Nintendo kids, but I didn't own an NES of my own until I was out of high school. In college I was a hard core Playstation guy up until my mid twenties where a good buddy of mine convinced me that the original X-Box was a superior system. Since the release of the current generation of consoles, I am primarily an Xbox 360 gamer. I own a PS3, but the extent of my gaming collection, and gaming networking has been done on the 360. I purposefully do not own a Nintendo Wii because my kids are too small to play one and I am not a fan of 99% of the games out there. Therefore, you will not see a ton of Wii reviews here from me. I will most likely leave that to other contributors or outsource that all together. Now, I'm not saying this to incite a flame-war between Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft fanboys, but most of the multi-platform reviews I will do will be on the 360 version of the title.

My promise to you is this; regardless of the gaming platform I use, I will focus on reviewing the game, and not make any commentaries about why this console is better than that in the course of a given review. There are many positive things to be said about every next gen console out there, and there are a lot of negatives. But I will be honest with you, and sometimes the truth hurts.

TL;DR - We're going to be subjective. Not a surprise.

Oh, Another Thing...

...There won't be release date reviews coming from this site since I have to buy the game, play it, and write a review. I don't get advance copies. If you work for a game company and want to send me one, holler at me and your game will get reviewed ASAP. That being said, I gotta get to work on a few...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Commentary, Outsourced Edition.

Today's commentary comes from my main man Lord Bling over at Ryan the Angry Midget and Friends. Lord Bling and I have been friends for at least six years. A hardcore gamer who works in the gaming industry, he posted a good op-ed about the state of Modern Warfare 2. You can read it here:

I agree with him on all points, especially that Multiplayer is a total glitch fest. While the news regarding MW2 lately has involved drama between Infinity Ward and Activision, what needs to be addressed is the fact that the biggest entertainment release of all time and standard bearer for contemporary military FPS is pretty much being ruined by retards like this. While I did break down and download the DLC last week (peer pressure is a bitch), it definitely has proven not worth the $15, nor has it brought me back to MW2 at all. Lord Bling explains it all for you.

TL; DR- Click the link.

Friday, April 9, 2010

TL;DR Video of the Week.

So one of the latest title updates for the 360 this week allowed the use of USB Harddrives to be used to store game saves on the 360. The guys over at Achievment Hunter did a little experiment to see which one worked best, and here is what they came up with:

TL;DR- Stick with the Harddrive you've already got. Or upgrade to a 120 GB or 250 GB. Like me.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gaming YouT00b of the Week.

Ok, this will not be a longstanding commentary comparing Modern Warfare 2 and Bad Company 2. Nor will it be me complaining about how the new Modern Warfare 2 "Stimulus Package" is fucking bullshit that only stimulates Activision's already fat fucking wallets a wee bit too pricey. The reason I am posting this is because there is a lot of people that have begun to turn to Bad Company 2 in the last few weeks and this is a pretty good video about how to not be a n00b.

TL;DR - If that was too long, then you need Ritalin.

Don't Buy a Westinghouse HDTV. Because they are Pieces of SHIT. (oh, and Hai)

So this is a great way to introduce you to a new gaming site I've devised. There will mainly be posts regarding game reviews and what not, but hey, I may as well start out with a Public Service Announcement.

Don't buy one of these.

Someone wise once told me that you never go cheap on Peanuts and Toilet Paper. Well, you may want to add High Definition Televisions to the mix as well. Now, for some backstory:

Every man gamer values something called his "Man Cave". This is a sacred area (for the uninformed/ ignorant) where dudes go to get away from the ills of the world, the nagging wife, the whining kids, the gunshots outside, etc. Its the reason single guys have two bedroom apartments; the reason your newlywed husband calls the attic or basement as "their space" when getting a new home, you get the picture. Well any decent man area should have the following:
  • HDTV.
  • Mini Fridge.
  • Multiple video game consoles.
  • A few movie posters (preferably of cult classics).
  • Some sports memorabilia to prove that you are manly.
  • Surround sound.
Ok, so in constructing my Gaming area (in my attic), I pretty much have all those bases covered. (Sorry, no pics, not happening.) When it came time for an HDTV, I didn't have a lot of options, and when I priced around at Best Buy, I came across the Westinghouse Brand. I actually did a little research and no red flags popped up, so I thought I was good. For about a year or so, I was. However, one night, something strange happened. Instead of trying to describe it, here are a few videos that best describe my issues. Now, I've been looking far and wide for internet solutions and the best I hear is "wait it out, the screen will appear back to normal", or "LOLZ, you r teh sux. No bai warranty" and I just have to deal. I could go and contact Westinghouse directly, but when you go to their website...well click on their "Contact Us", link. DO IT.

So, instead of writing a letter, or trying to make a phone call, or do something that people used to do in the 80's, I'm taking my message to the internet, and letting you all know that when you're looking to construct the perfect fortress of solitude, just take my advice. It will save you the agony of trying to figure out how to buy a new TV to replace your old POS and somehow buy it so that the wife doesn't notice when the Credit Card bill comes, and also sneak it in the house and replace when the wife isn't home.

TL;DR - Read the title.