Random Ions

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been here, so let’s dust off the ol’ blog, shall we? I’m going to combine a little bit of the Random Thoughts and a little bit of the ION Update, hence… Random Ions. Not clever? Oh well, it’s my blog…

First, some ION Game Corner business. We have 2 ION Organize Play groups in full swing. The first is the Baz Invitational Madden NFL 13 League for the Xbox 360, which is in Week 15 of the 2013 (2nd) season. Only a couple of weeks remain before the postseason and the competition is pretty fierce. Currently, there are 8 users in the league, and there is plenty of room for more. For more information on the league and how to join, check out the Baz Invitational league page.

The other is the ION Pokémon League. This league, played on the Generation V Pokémon games is in the 5th of 8 regular season weeks. There have been some really good battles so far and the action is sure to pick up even more as the playoffs draw near. One of the players in the league, Steven Walders (Cerulean Stars), has been recording and uploading any battle videos from league matches that have been submitted. Those are up on YouTube, and Steven has set up a playlist for the league videos. Check those out as well as the league link above for a look at how the league is going. I am definitely hoping to run another season at the conclusion of this one.

In ION GameCast news, the most recent episode of the podcast is online and available for your listening pleasure. Nick Oliveira and I were scheduled to play this week in both ION OP leagues, so we decided to play while we recorded the podcast. It was an interesting experiment and I’m looking for feedback from anyone who takes the time to listen to it. Should we try more of these sort of podcasts or did it not work and should be scrapped? Let me know what you think.

There is one more ION Organized Play group that is being worked on, and that is the ION Yu-Gi-Oh League. This is a weekly league that will take place at P&T Sports Cards in Whitman, MA on Saturdays at 2:00 PM. Registration for the league is open, so if you want to join, click the league link above for all of that information. The league will start on Saturday, March 2nd, provided that I have at least 8 people registered. As of now, I have 4, so we’re looking good on getting enough people to get it rolling. The more people we get in the league, the better the prize will be for the top 2 duelists, so sign up and spread the word.

One other ION note before than randomness takes over. I’m going to be starting some work on a super secret podcast project in the next week or so. I can’t get into any details yet, but I will say that it does have something to do with PAX East and it’s something I think at least some portion of the ION forum goers will be interested in. It’s something a little different for the ION GameCast, but it should be fun, so keep your eyes peeled for that as we get a little closer to PAX East in April.

On to the random… a big shoutout to my friend Matt Parker for alerting me that the Joe Schmo Show is back! For those of you who don’t know about this show, you’re missing out on some fantastic television. The basic premise of the show is that there is one person on the show who believes that are filming a reality show. Everyone else in the production are part of this elaborate hoax. The trick is to get through the season of the show without the “mark”, to steal a carnie term, realizing that it’s all fake. The first two season aired in 2003 and 2004 respectively, and now it’s back for another run. This time, the premise is that the contestants on this reality show, “The Full Bounty”, are competing for a chance to be an actual bounty hunter. Each of the actors playing the contestants have some stereotypical reality show personality that they are playing. It is quite a great show and the first 2 episodes of this season were hilarious, or at least I thought so, as Jamie can attest. The show airs on Tuesdays at 10:00 PM Eastern on Spike TV. Definitely check it out.

It’s Conference Championship week in the actual NFL. Aside from the obvious of being a New England Patriots fan, I really do not want to see the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl, especially if the San Francisco 49ers are the team representing the NFC. The Ray Lewis story will be insufferable for the next two weeks. Add to that the potential match-up of John and Jim Harbaugh and it will be vomit-inducing by Media Day.

As far as what I think will happen this Sunday goes, I think the 49ers will defeat the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons did everything but pull their players off the field in an attempt to hand the game to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. I just think in the end, San Francisco is a more complete and tougher team than the Falcons. On the AFC side, I’m not as confident as I was coming into the Divisional Round game against the Houston Texans, but I feel the Patriots should defeat the Ravens. Baltimore does always play them very tough, so I certainly don’t expect a blowout. I just think when you compare the two teams, that up-tempo, run a ton of plays offense of New England’s, and factor in the Ravens playing a double-overtime game on Saturday to get here, I just have a feeling we could be looking at a scenario where the Ravens just run out of gas late. Of course, it could very well be Baltimore vs. Atlanta in the Super Bowl, and I’ll look like a gigantic fool too.

I’ve mentioned the Graphic Audio DC Comics audiobooks on the podcast before, but I wanted to mention the one I’m just finishing now, Batman: Inferno. If you are a fan of Batman at all, this is worth picking up, if for no other reason than the voice acting of The Joker. At the risk of blasphemy for all of The Dark Knight fans, I think this portrayal, albeit it audio only, was so much better than that of the Joker in the movie. Even subtleties like the narration (which is attributable to the author of the novel, Alex Irvine) when the story is following the Joker is fantastic. Highly recommended for any Batman fan, especially those will long commutes. This is a great way to pass the time in the car.

Before I end this, if you’re looking for another blog to read, check out The Wandering Gamer by Lance Vance, if you haven’t already. I put Lance’s posts on the ION Game Corner site as well, but they are good reads about various gaming-related topics. So, check that out.

-Al Basler, ION Game Corner

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