Monday: without the Nicks and Cuts of a BladeEverything is going into one post today, so here we go.
Item #1: Rocksmith. I still haven't finished the longer impressions post, but this is great. Not nearly great, not almost great. Great.
Ignore the handful of bad reviews that basically consist of people whining that they're too lazy to spend five minutes changing their audio cables. If you want to learn how to play guitar and can't spend five minutes on audio cables, then you're not going to learn how to play the guitar, no matter what method you use. Sell that instrument and take up the mouth harp.
I'm the biggest Harmonix homer anyone could possibly be, and I'll tell you this flat-out: this is far, far better than Pro mode in RB3. It's not close.
So is it worth a few minutes of your time to sort out potential lag issues in order to enjoy what the game has to offer? Yes x1000.
Now, if you already have the game and you are having lag, David Gloier sent this along: http://www.thegamingvault.com/2011/10/rocksmith-how-to-avoid-much-lag-problems/.
I also asked David what he would recommend if someone was interested in buying an entry-level guitar for the purpose of learning. Here's what he said:
For about $169 or $179 new, you can get a Squier Affinity Telecaster. They are decent little guitars and can always be upgraded later. I actually know a couple of guys that use them on stage. Also, just starting out, the little Squier Bullet Strats are decent beginner guitars.
The best deal of all may be the Epiphone Les Paul Junior that retails by itself as well as the pack-in on the $199 Rocksmith package. Basic, single pup guitar that is really a decent player and also a good candidate for upgrades down the road. So for $200, someone gets the guitar, the game and the cable. If they have the game and the cable, Guitar Center sells those Epi's for about $119, sometimes on sale for $99 and they usually have coupons on the website you can print out.
like I said, I'll have more later this week, and EBGDAE is definitely alive again.
Item #2 The Wager.
I played a game several months ago (thanks to RPS) called "The Wager", and it was charming and quite addictive. Sea exploration, basically, with loads of humor, and a game typically took 15-20 minutes.
For months, the game's website has been promising a new version with additional content, and suddenly, it's being released tomorrow. I highly recommend this as an entertaining and clever time-waster, and that was before the new content.
Item #3: One of the Biggest Bad Asses of All Time.
If you don't remember Alex Zanardi, he was a premier auto racer who won two CART championships. In 2001, he was involved in a horrific accident and lost both of his legs (although it was miraculous that he survived-- you can see the wreck here, but be warned, it's difficult to watch).
So what does a championship auto racer who is suddenly a double-amputee do? If your first thought is "give up," I don't blame you--I don't see how anyone could be expected to recover from losing both their legs and what they most loved to do in life.
He did, though.
Alex Zanardi became a champion handcycle racer, and he won the handcycle class of last weekend's New York City Marathon in 1:13:58 (that's an average speed of over 21 miles an hour, incredibly). He has an excellent chance of qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Jalopnik has the story here, and it's a story of courage without bounds.