Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Real Estate for Sale in Middle-Earth

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(AP Photo/HO/Turbine)

You'll soon be able to own your own virtual home in Middle-earth. That's because "Lord of the Rings Online" is introducing player housing on Oct. 24. The homes will cost up to 20 gold pieces. The interiors can be customized and decked out with hundreds of items. Dwarves will dwell in Ered Luin. Men will maintain residences in Bree-land.  Elves will exist in The Tower Falls. And hobbits will hang in The Shire. How precious! 

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Name of the Game

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(AP Photo/HO/World Cyber Games/Marcus R. Donner)

As you might have heard, The Slug was in Seattle last weekend. One of the reasons we traveled to the Emerald City was to attend the World Cyber Games Grand Final. It's sorta like the Olympics for gaming geeks. More than 700 competitors from 74 different countries battled in games like "Gears of War" and "Counter-Strike" for $448,000 in prize money. Team USA ended up nabbing the most medals. You can see our report on the action in this week's "Up Down Left Right," the AP's weekly video game video.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Let the World Cyber Games Begin

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(AP Photo/Derrik J. Lang)

The World Cyber Games Grand Final — could that name be any longer? — kicked off here in Seattle last night with an Olympic-like ceremony. We've covered gaming competitions before, but we've never seen any video game contest as epic as the WCG Grand Final. Competitors from all over the world are battling each other  in multiplayer matches in games like "Gears of War," "Counter Strike" and "WarCraft III" throughout the huge Qwest Field Event Center. You can be a spectator online or in person. The action continues through Sunday.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sleepy in Seattle

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(AP Photo/Cheryl Hatch)

So how much did you love "Pushing Daisies" last night? And who won "Top Chef"? You'll have to tell us later because The Slug is on assignment in Seattle for the rest of the week. Posts will be more sporadic than usual. In our absence, keep yourself busy with some AP reading material about a reality TV tussle, a "Desperate Housewives" controversy and the latest chapter in the Britney Spears custody trial. Check back later for our first report from the World Cyber Games Grand Final, which is being held at the Qwest Field Event Center this weekend.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Kane & Lynch: Dead Men" at Work

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(AP Photo/HO/Eidos)

Already finished "Halo 3" and ready to move on to another first-person shooter? Well, The Slug recommends "Kane & Lynch: Dead Men," which comes out Nov. 20 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. Earlier today, game publisher Eidos gave us a firsthand sneak peak at the game's violent action, inspired by the likes of "Heat" and "Pulp Fiction." We like that "Kane & Lynch" feels more like an interactive movie than a sprawling game. And we're sorta sick of battling aliens and German forces, so bring on the hasty hoodlums and contemporary coppers!

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's a DigitalLife Afterall

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(AP Photo/Hillary Rhodes)

Yesterday, we attended the first-day festivities at the DigitalLife technology, gaming and entertainment event here in New York. As far as video games go, there wasn't anything new. "Lord of the Rings Online." "BioShock." "Gears of War." Been there. Played that. (Of course, that didn't stop us from playing them again in this week's installment of "Up Down Left Right.") What was new at DigitalLife was a barrage of robot products. Spy bots. Cleaning bots. There was even a robotic Elvis. No thanks, DigitalLife. Didn't we learn anything from the "Terminator" movies?!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ring! Ring! It's "Heroes" Calling!

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(AP Photo/HO/Gameloft)

While everyone else was waiting in line for "Halo 3" last night, The Slug attended a preview event for Gameloft's "Heroes: The Mobile Game" at the Nokia flagship store in New York. Granted, the game looks more like "Double Dragon" than "Bioshock," but it's kinda cool 'cause you can fly around the city as Peter, teleport through a museum as Hiro and kick butt in a casino as Jessica. Most partygoers were bogarting the phones, but we did get to play the Jessica levels, which were far less annoying than any of Ali Larter's scenes last season.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Is the Letter Opener as Mighty as the Sword?

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(AP Photo/Derrik J. Lang)

We get some weird and sometimes awesome mail here at The Slug. Definitely file the above object under awesome. It's a letter opener from Sony in the shape of the "Heavenly Sword," their new "God of War"-style action game for the PlayStation 3. However, we don't think we'll be slicin' open your letters with this baby. That's because we played the game this weekend — it was good, not great — and learned that the cursed sword actually drains your life force when you wield it. So please just e-mail us your letters 'cause we need all the life force we can get. For more video game news, unsheathe the latest episode of "Up Down Left Right."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Put Down That Controller and Design a T-Shirt

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(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

We don't usually do posts about contests or sweepstakes. We're a pop-culture blog, not the freaking Publishers Clearing House. However, we wanted to tell you about Threadless' "E for All" T-shirt design competition for the following three reasons: First,
we had a chance to visit Threadless headquarters a coupla years ago for this asap story so we know they're on the up and up. Second, the prize is truly grand: a $400 airfare gift card, lodging, Nintendo Wii, $2,000 and admission to the first-ever "E for All" video game extravaganza for you and a friend. Third, looks like we probably won't get to go to "E for All" so maybe you'll let The Slug be the friend you take since we're the ones that told you about the contest in the first place. Pretty please? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"BioShock" Rocks

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(AP Photo/HO/2K Games)

The Slug ain't the only one heralding "BioShock" as the perfect example of how video games can be compelling, artful, engrossing and intelligent. However, we're pretty sure we're the only ones out there who think "BioShock" is this generation's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." For the full argument, navigate your Wonkavator to this "Up Down Left Right" review.