Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sports Entertainment: WWE vs Boxing

In just under a year I've slowly but surely made my transition from buying the high profile HBO PPV boxing matches to buying the WWE PPV's that come every month. Yes, you could say I've regressed to my teenager years but I can tell you that I, unlike the millions watching on HBO and the thousands in Vegas for the live events, get my money's worth.

Now I've been a boxing fan for years. In fact it was the only sport I actually followed and/or cared about for the majority of my adolescence. I spent hours upon hours scouring Youtube and Google to find the must see matches of yesteryear and the classic bouts of a golden age long gone. I've caught myself up and then some to one of the most courageous and physical sports in the world and I've stuck with it through the modern era, which is a something so hard to do I feel I can add to my resume. I love and have loved boxing through its slow and sad decay over the years, just like any sports fan should, but I've once again been dealt a hay-maker that has me out on my feet, ready to walk away from the sport entirely.

It came on Saturday the 9th, in one of the few matches that actually reach mainstream media and garner the "hype" of boxing's lost past. Manny Pacquiao is one of boxing's only superstars left. Its hard to say who is bigger, Pacquiao or Mayweather, but that is irrelevant. They are boxing's biggest stars and the only star power that the sport has left. Therefore they have the most to lose and boxing has the most to lose by this fight and fights of this caliber.

Now mind you, I followed the fight on Twitter and didn't actually see it live, so my review/critique/rant is coming from a new place. Now, I'm not much of a Twitter guy, I rarely go on Facebook, and I just recently got an iPhone so for me to follow the fight online like this made me feel modern. I mean, I felt so "modern" I went out and dyed my hair neon green, bought a 3D TV, snorted some bath salts and ate a guy's face.

Anyway, I watched round by round and almost punch by punch described on the Twitter-sphere. It was unanimous that Pacquiao was not only winning, but it wasn't even close. And don't worry I could weed out the difference between the true boxing fans and the casual boxing fans. Usernames are a dead giveaway i.e. @MikeTyson as apposed to @xxassbaby92folife.

But no matter who was Tweeting, it was a sure thing that Pacquiao was winning and was going to win HANDS DOWN.

But he didn't. And my phone almost exploded.

The outcry from the decision that gave Bradley the win was so fierce and so powerful and so dumbfounding that it almost seemed like a Twitter joke. Like the monthly Bieber is dead thing - gets me every time! Immediately conspiracy theories were abound, riots broke out, babies were sacrificed and the fabric of space and time were ripped irrevocably. Even Teddy Atlas spoke out on Sports Center saying that boxing is a corrupt sport. Now this isn't news to me, the hardcore boxing fan, but I would dare to say that it is to the majority of casual boxing fans out there. This is such a blow to boxing that it has shaken it to its very fragile core, threatening to lose even the most faithful of us.

Now, I've titled this post WWE vs Boxing because the two sports share much in common. Besides the obviousness of two guys in a ring, the colorful commentating, and the elbow drops off the top ropes, there are many "story" and "character" similarities the bleed between the two sport entertainments. Most of wrastlin' and boxing involved two men or women or divas going toe to toe, talking smack, beating the shit out of each other, all for the hopes of winning the belt. Now where you think they might differ would be that one if fake and one is real. But is that even a difference anymore?

With Bradley's win over Pacquiao its hard to say that boxing isn't rigged/scripted. Before the fight Bradley tweeted a picture of a Pacquiao Bradley 2 poster already made which seemed to support the fact that the fight was fixed. You can say that Bradley was so confident that he had a poster made up since Pacquiao would need a rematch or you could say that Bradley is a fucking moron and he didn't put SPOILER ALERT on his tweet. Either way the lines of real and fake or getting very, very blurry.

So this is my send off to the world of boxing, of sorts. Or perhaps a persuasive letter to the sport I love. For I have found a "sport" with the same themes, the same action, and the same heart. Wrestling is what boxing should be, what it could be and what it will never be, all wrapped up in one oiled up and flashy bow. Wrestling has what boxing has lost, the thrill, the excitement and the characters. Where once we loved Ali vs Foreman, we can now love The Rock vs Cena. Where once we'd pay out of our asses to see Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler beat the fuck out of each other from the nosebleeds, we'd pay out of our asses to see the Funkasaurus beat the fuck out of Heath Slater with the "Aww Funk It" splash. No joke, that's what it's called. Aww Funk It.

And you know what, aww fuck it, I love it! And the soul reason why is because it's entertaining. I laugh, I cheer, I shout, and I always want more. How could something so fake, so OBVIOUSLY fabricated, hook me so more than a REAL sport, with REAL people and REAL stakes while generally consisting of the same stuff? It doesn't make sense, and I don't care.

So here is it boxing, we stand at a crossroad. Either you get your shit together or I'm gone. And I'm not the only one out there, believe me. There is something better and cheaper out there that is much more satisfying and respectful to the audience than your shitty sport.

And if you're looking for me, I'll be at No Way Out at the Izod Center this Sunday, shouting my dick off and Aww Fucking the nearest Cena fan off section 230 to their death 30 feet below.

Can you dig it, sucka?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Totally Top Ten: iOS Games of 2012

Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices have opened the market immensely for game developers to design new and immersive ways for users to interact within video game worlds. While the open market system results in thousands of shovelware titles flooding into the App Store on a daily basis, every so often a game rises up and reminds us that the late and great Steve Jobs’ tablet devices are just as relevant a platform as the handhelds we’ve seen from Sony and Nintendo over the last ten years.

The following are the definitive ten greatest iOS games of 2012 in order of greatness. I am so confident in the accuracy of the following list that I am certain there will be no debate across the Internet or in the comment section below on any of these titles or the order I’ve placed them in.

10. Adventure Bar Story
What’s cooler then running your own restaurant in the style of a traditional food-sim while simultaneously fighting monsters in loot-filled dungeons to gather the ingredients as the game sneakily transitions into an experience-based RPG? Absolutely nothing should bar you from playing this game – it’s the coolest.


9. Minecraft Pocket Edition
Anybody who’s played Minecraft before knows it’s the best video game ever made. If you’ve played it for PC, you’ll be disappointed by the Xbox Live Arcade version but love it nonetheless. If you’ve played the Xbox Live Arcade version, you’ll be even more disappointed by the iOS port but hey, fuck it! It’s Minecraft and it’s all mine, now it’s time to make it yours.

8. Feed Me Oil
Finally a video game emerges setting the player in the role of Daniel Plainview. Using rotating platforms, fans, wind, windmills, and oil-magnets, you guide gallons and gallons of oil into the mouths of large-eyed cartoon creatures. Curses, oiled again!

7. Grand Theft Auto 3
There’s something utterly unbelievable about having a fully functional port of the 2001 PlayStation 2 classic on your phone. Driving through Liberty City, with all the original radio stations and music, setting fire to innocent bystanders - it’s an unrivaled experience.  At the low price of $4.99, this game is a grand theft application.

6. Tiny Tower
Upon your first load of the game, you’re greeted with a small one-story tower. From that moment on, the only place you’re going is up. Choose from hundreds of residential, retail, food, service, creative, and recreational businesses to truly make your tower scrape the sky. The heart and soul of Tiny Tower though comes when you start moving in residents, helping them reach their personal dream jobs, and checking up on them via their virtual status updates on “Bitbook.” Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing tiny about this game.

5. Scribblenauts Remix
In Scribblenauts, your only goal is to reach the star at the end of every level. The beauty is how you reach it. At any point you can type in the name of any object, (excluding trademarked items and penises), and then that item will instantly appear, (unless it’s a penis), to help you complete the level. The depth of the game’s dictionary is astonishing and definitely will naut leave anyone disappointed.

4. Infinity Blade 2
Infinity Blade 2 is gorgeous. It sets a new standard for all other iOS games out there and it’s hard to imagine another coming close any time soon. This is a rare example of a game where the touch controls actually add to the experience as you slash through hundreds of battles earning XP and Gold while increasing stats, new weapons, and equipment. After experiencing how immaculate this sequel was, the potential of the Infinite Blade franchise seems infinite.

3. LEGO: Life of George
Life of George is the world’s first interactive game combining real LEGO bricks with an iOS app. The application requires a $29.99 LEGO box set to play, but keep in mind your not only paying for the app itself but for a collection of 144 individual LEGO bricks as well. With a console worthy list of modes and options, brand new gameplay paradigms, the most expansive list of model creations from a single set in series history, and new customization depth on behalf of the open-ended My Life puzzle creation tool, it certainly lays down the bricks to being the best LEGO set ever.

2. Draw Something
Draw Something is neither a challenge nor a competition – there are no winners. It’s an online multiplayer experience in the rawest form imaginable.  Through the structure of a cooperative Pictionary match, two players journey together volleying back pieces of artwork, as simple, complex, innocent, or filthy as they desire and win coins for correctly guessed artwork based upon how difficult a drawing they attempted. It’s an amazing exercise in learning the inner workings of your closest friends and Internet strangers. Although this masterpiece won’t draw in everybody, it certainly is something incredible.

1. BBQ Pro
What makes BBQ Pro the best iOS game money can buy? I’m glad you asked. Grilling virtual meats on a virtual BBQ is an experience you can’t replicate anywhere else. Every day for the last 6 months I’ve been grilling hot dogs, sausages, kabobs, chicken, hamburgers, and steaks on a fictional grill for no reason and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Look how beautiful and real that meat looks. Listen to the juice sizzle. Feel the spatula in your hand as you flip each piece of meat. Smell it. You seriously can almost smell it. For 99 cents, BBQ Pro is a must-have game. I’d easily pay 99 dollars. Fork over the 99 and I promise you won’t get burned on this purchase.