Sunday, September 27, 2009


Today the Cincinnati Bengals finally stood up to the Steelers and beat them 23-20. The first half the Bengals were too emotional, getting outside of themselves, and the Steelers looked like they were going to destroy the Bengals. The Steelers were laughing and happy. The Bengals fell behind 13-0 and let's face it, if you are a Bengals fan, you thought it was over.

Then, the second half began. Jonathan Joseph picked off Steeler QB Benji Roethlisberger and returned it for a TD. Bengals miss the extra point, and you think here we go again. But the defense held on until the fourth quarter. Cedric Benson had a twenty three yard run for a TD, thanks to good blocking. They had finally sacked Benji and the Bengals were able to drive from their twenty nine for a touchdown to go ahead. With a fourth and ten from the Steelers fifteen, QB Carson Palmer found running back Brian Leonard at the nine. Remember him from Hard Knocks? Leonard dove for the the extra two yards to three yards to save the drive. And Carson found Andre Caldwell in endzone for the go ahead score. Coach Marvin Lewis finally gets his first home victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's sweet revenge against a team that has maimed our players and destroyed our playoff chances. Take that you Steeler bums.

Who dey! Who Dey! Who Dey think gonna beat those Bengals. NOOOOBODY. And definitely not the Steelers. Here are video highlights.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Olbermann's Take on the Cheerleading Fox News Producer

Here's Keith Olbermann's funny take from Countdown on the cheerleading Fox News Producer, Heidi Noonan who was filmed urging the crowd at the conservative 9-12 rally to get louder and more animated.

Fox News is a fraud

The Huffington Post is reporting that a Fox News producer was rallying a crowd at the conservative 9-12 Rally in Washington. The producer, Heidi Noonan, is seen rallying the crowd like a conductor to get louder. In front of her is "ace" Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins, who is standing in front of the crowd. Here is the Huffington Post's story with video of Ms. Noonan doing her cheerleading. Fox News likes to say, "We report, you decide." Yeah, right.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bengals Persevere, Win 31-24 over the Packers

Bengals win 31-24, over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Come on, you thought once the Packers recovered the onside kick that the Bengals were going to blow it again. And when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed the pass to get the ball in the red zone, you thought how are the Packers going to score and beat our beloved Bengals. Well, time ran out on them. Bengals win.

This win was a result of excellent line play on both sides of the ball. The offensive line pushed guys around. The Bengals were able to run amd play smash mouth. There was heart. Cedric Benson's third and two run in which he broke at least two tackles to get the first down was a thing of beauty. That was grit and determination demonstrated by a guy who wants to be here. The defense pressured Rodgers all day. And what about DE Antwan Odom? (Pictured.) Five freaking sacks! It's a great day to be a Bengals fan.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stop the Wolfenstein XBOX 360 freeze and crash

Again, here's how to stop and avoid the Wolfenstein XBOX 360 freeze and crash. Activision suggested the best way, though there are is another way to get around the freeze and crash. I have tried both solutions and have successfully completed the game without problems. Freeze and crash fixed and resolved.

Here's some information about what caused my game to freeze and crash. I had reached the large chamber in the "Zeppelin" mission, the one with the portal and superweapon. Once I had powered down the weapon, I was ready to jump through the portal to start the last mission, "Black Sun." I had 100% in collectibles i.e., all the gold, all the intel and all the tomes. I had replayed a mission and was not deleting prior saved games. I jump through the portal. I listen to BJ's report and then the game starts to load "Black Sun." The game starts to load with the blue bar moving through the title Wolfenstein. The game freezes before the bar reaches the "t" in Wolfenstein. It crashes and I can't get to XBOX's dashboard. Mutti!

Here are the two ways to avoid a freeze and crash.

1.) Play the game collecting less than 80% in collectibles. I played the game with 77% in gold, 74% in tomes, and 68% in intel at the time of jumping through the portal That worked. I had also gotten enough gold to substantially upgrade my weapons.

2.) Activision Support via email suggested this method. Delete saved games and start from a point prior to the freeze and crash. That worked. I then decided to start the game from scratch and play the game again with the idea of deleting games as I went through it. By the time I reached the chamber in the "Zeppelin" mission, I had one saved game in the file. I was able to jump through the portal and again finish the "Black Sun" level. So this method calls for deleting prior saved games from the pause and load game menus as you progress through the game. This is the preferred way to fix, resolve, and stop the freeze and crash. Why? You can now have 100% in all collectible items at the end of "Zeppelin." The last intel is found in the control room of the portal chamber.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony Trailer

Gals. Guns. Gays. Stand by for over the top action as Rockstar will release on October 29, the new expansion game for Grand Theft Auto IV, titled "The Ballad of Gay Tony." You play Luis Lopez, the muscle for Tony Prince, night club owner. If you've played GTA IV, and the other expansion game, "The Lost and the Damned", it looks like Luis was the guy involved in the sale of the diamonds that gets stolen by Johnny Klebitz and is also seen in GTA IV's mission, "Musuem Piece." If we're dealing with the gay community of Libety City, let's hope we see GTA IV's Bernie Crane and the hypocritical politician Bryce Dawkins. According Game Informer's October issue (pg. 60), the tank makes a comeback. (Pictured. Okay, it's not a tank but an APC but still an armoured vehicle to create havoc.) Yay. Here's the trailer. Hey is that Gracie Ancelotti? (GTA IV)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to Beat the Bosses in Wolfenstein (2009)

Here's a guide to defeating all the Boss enemies in Wolfenstein (2009). I've also included the Elite in the Bubble at the Airfield mission since she and her Despoiled buddies are very tough. There are spoilers, so you've been warned.

1. Altered Boss (How to kill the Boss, the Altered, at the end of Hospital mission.) You come upon a large room with a Black Sun Portal. You are standing on a landing and the Portal is on the ground before you. In the cutscene, a Nazi officer tells a scientist that he is going to protect him from you, BJ Blazkowicz. (Pictured above.) He throws the scientist into the portal. But instead of a controllable mutant, out comes the Altered. A gigantic, mutated, hulk like creature. He rips up the Nazi. The cutscene ends. However, there is a big hint coming. You see another soldier try to shoot the Altered. The Altered mashes him and the pillar he is standing next to, into pieces. Your objective is to destroy the pillars or columns.

As Yoda would say, "Your weapons, you will not need them." You cannot hurt the Altered with any of the weapons you have. None of your weapons will effect the pillars. Destroying the machinery next to the pillars does not work. It took me a few hours to figure this one out and that was by accident. Here is the solution. Stand behind a pillar. The Altered will rush you and hit the pillar instead. That damages it. Get him to rush you again by shooting him. Make sure, you are behind the pillar. The second time, he demolishes it. Two more times, you complete the objective. The Altered gets sucked into the Black Sun dimension. After the cutscene, get the Empower Crystal. Take out Nazis that will attack you. Don't forget the tome in the back room. Use Empower to shoot through the shield to hit the red barrel that explodes and brings down its power source. Leave the level.

Now, you will face the Altered, two more times in the game. Both occur at the Castle mission. During the mission, you will obtain the Leichenfaust 44, the game's version of the BFG. This gun is powered by Veil energy and can also create anti-gravity zones. Shortly after, you come upon a gate that keeps you from moving forward. You also see that the Resistance and Nazis are fighting an Altered in the courtyard. Use one shot to lift the gate. Use one shot on the beast. Zap. It vaporizes. You come upon another Altered on your second approach to the dinning room. Same process. One last thing. Save your ammo for this gun. Use only against tough Bosses such as the Queen Geist and Hans Grosse.

2. General Zetta (How to kill the Boss, General Zetta, at the end of the Cannery mission.) At the end of the Cannery mission you enter a large room with three Veil pools shooting upwards towards generators. The cutscene has you trying to kill Zetta with your submachine gun. The bullets pass through him. That's a hint. Now the battle begins.

Your bullets pass through him because he doesn't belong to this dimension. Turn on your Veil sight or powers. He's a Veil creature. Cool. Okay, now that you are in his dimension, your weapons do hurt him. Turn on Empower. Blast away. As he gets hurt, he retreats in classic boss fashion to the Veil pools to regenerate. Above the pools a generator opens up. In your Veil sight, it's red. Destroy them. It not only keeps him from recharging but hurts him also. As he does this two more times, destroy those generators. Keep the pressure on him and finish him off.

A couple things to note. Guns will do fine here. With Empower, you can save your heavy weapons. Plus there's ammo lying around for your guns. Use the Veil pools to regenerate your powers. Zetta has two wave attacks. Both you can avoid. One wave is head level so duck! The other is ground level so jump. Keep running and gunning. You should be able to bring down Zetta easily.

3. Queen Geist (How to kill the Boss, Quenn Geist, at the end of the Castle Mission.) Before you begin the Castle mission, you might want to upgrade the damage power of your heavy weapons. You will need extra firepower against this boss.

You reach the top of the Castle. You meet an old friend, Deathshead from Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Before you can have a warm reunion, Queen Geist interrupts the proceedings. Queen Geist is like the queen monster in the film Aliens. Deathshead escapes but Queen Geist is one unhappy mother. She starts to come at you. You look at an anti-aircraft gun. (AA gun) Hint. The scene ends. You are in the seat of the gun. The anti-aircraft gun has unlimited ammo but overheats so take that into consideration.

Okay, the battle begins. As the Queen moves towards you, pound her with fire from the AA gun. I aim for the pink areas. She then staggers and exposes her side abdomen with more pink organs. Those are egg sacks. Destroy one. You won't get a chance to destroy more than one at a time. She then retreats to the other dimension. She then send two types of foes against you. It is random which foe you will face. The easiest one is the crawling ant like larvae. They're slow but watch out for the one you're going to miss chewing on your legs. The second foe is the flying angry geist. They're fast. You can use Mire to slow down time. Here's another way to get them. Listen for the sound cue. They make a popping explosive noise when they enter our dimension. Coordinate that sound with the need to fire your weapon. Use short bursts to avoid overheating the gun.

Once you're finished with that, Queen Geist makes another appearance. This time she destroys your gun. Don't stand there. RUN! Find another AA gun on the roof. Now avoid the Veil pools because these are like mines set up by the Queen. There are Veil canisters lying behind guns but I was too busy to trying to get to a one. Once you get to an AA gun, same cycle. This happens three more times for a total of four. You then get sucked into the Black Sun dimension and are later deposited on the bridge back to Isenstadt.

Whew. You walk back to the truck and mama Geist surprises you by blocking your escape. A little geography is in order here. The bridge structure you are going to fight on is L shaped. At the corner of the L, is a pool of Veil energy.

Take your guns and fire away. Use Empower to pound the Queen. If you get too close she will deliver massive damage with her claws. This is where you might want to use heavy weapons. See, this is why before this mission and Airfield that you should upgrade your heavy weapons. If she gets too close, run. But before you reach the other side of the bridge which is blocked by debris, she appears before you. Again, pound away. Refurbish your Veil energy and keep gunning. Eventually, she stumbles to the ground. Go up to her. Get the signal to plant dynamite. Do it. Kapow!

4. Elite in a Bubble (How to kill the Elite and Despoiled Bosses in the middle of the Airfield West mission.) About half way through the Airfield West mission, you come upon a large hanger. You enter it. Walk up the steps and look to the floor of the hanger. Bill Brown's wonderful music tells you something mysterious and powerful is here. Suspended above the floor is an Elite in a bubble of Veil energy. It's powered by three generators on the ground. Look behind the bubble. There's a pool of Veil energy for you to use. Strewn on the ground are Veil canisters and ammunition. I hope you've upgraded the damage levels of your weapons because a big battle is coming.

As you hit the ground, Ms. Elite tells you she can't be hurt. Your first objective is too destroy the three generators. Doing this causes the Elite to resurrect two Despoiled. These two are fast. They hurl energy balls at you creating massive damage. Pull out your Particle cannon. Go to a Despoiled and half circle strafe. Use Empower. Once you run out of energy, run to the pool. Keep running and gunning. When you eliminate the second Despoiled, Ms. Elite jumps out of the bubble and attacks you. Focus on her. Why? First, she's coming at you anyway. Second, she can raise more Despoiled. Use heavy weapons again. Keep circle strafing. Run to the pool or a canister if you need energy. Once you drop her, watch out for any Despoiled she may have raised before her demise.

ATTENTION: LAST CALL. When you reach the end of Airfield East, you run into an arms dealer. Don't be frugal here. You will not be returning to Isenstadt. And a big boss lurks. Buy upgrades to increase the damage that your weapons can inflict. Before you enter the supply Zeppelin, leave about one thousand dollars since you will get into a firefight. Then go back to the dealer to restock on ammo. Leave the Airfield level and the arms dealer.

5. Hans Grosse (How to kill the Boss, Hans Grosse, at the Black Sun mission.) After you jump through a portal on the zeppelin, you reach an area with another portal to jump through. Before you go, look to the right, there's ammo if you need it. Go through the next portal. You now meet up with Deathshead and Hans Grosse, another nod to previous Wolfenstein games, this one Wolfenstein 3d. Deathshead talks about world domination, yadda, yadda, yadda and then tells Hans, his henchman, to kill you. Hans has the same Veil powers that you do. He also has a chain gun and a rocket launcher. Let the battle begin.

Stage One. You are on a circular arena. At the center, is Hans in front of a Thule machine absorbing Black Sun energy. There are machines orbiting him. These machines spew out Veil energy. Hans boasts about having the same power that you do. He then turns on his shield. He fires his chain gun at you. Now run for cover behind the orbiting machines. If you run out of energy get refills from one of the machines. Pull out the assault weapon and turn on Empower. You shoot him and find out he can be hurt if you use Empower. After softening him up, switch to the rocket launcher and use Empower. Keep moving, using the machines as cover. Remember, Empower allows you to penetrate his shields. Eventually you will bring him down. Walk over to him. As he taunts you, stab him with your Shield Crystal.

Stage Two. You are transferred to a another circular arena. This one has strange moving gears like a clock. There is a pool of Veil energy in the center. You hear Hans taunt you. He is moving at high speed. Firing his chainguns at you double barrel. This is cool because it's a nod to the original Wolfenstein as this Hans movements mimics that of the old one. Use Mire to slow him down. Use ruins for cover. I would use the Particle Cannon here. Hopefully, you have fully upgraded this weapon. The flux arc is helpful since your energy beams bend towards Hans. Eventually, you bring him down. Stab him again, this time with the Mire Crystal.

Stage Three. You are now floating down towards an asteroid like structure. You land on a Nazi camp. Look around. There is more ammunition to reload your weapons. Then follow the path up. You hear Hans taunt you again. This time he rains rockets on your position. Run. Stop under the bridge with the red crystals. Do not move until you destroy the bridge since Hans has the high ground and kills you if you move further. Aim your rocket launcher at the red crystal. The bridge collapses. Continue up the path. Hans unloads on you with his guns. Well, don't just stand there, let him have it with your assault rifle. He weakens and retreats. Continue up the path until you reach a Veil ladder.

Stop and rest. If you need to recharge your energy, you can wait for it to eventually refill. Take out your flamethrower because you can hear a pack of Snifflers. Move up the ladder. Flambe them. More come at you, so be ready. This is where enhancing the range of the flamethrower is helpful but you can still get good use out of it if you didn't. Finally, you trap Hans at the edge of the path. Shoot him with your assault rifle. He falls. Is it over? No, it ain't that easy.

As you look over the edge, you float to the top of the rock. This arena has Thule ruins and Veil energy spewing from some of the walls. At the center is the Nazi machine collecting Black Sun power. Hans is at the top of the machine, again yelling more insults at you. The man doesn't know when to shut up. Okay, let him have it as he is insulting you. Use your rocket launcher. Eventually he comes down to kill you. Bring out the big guns. Use Empower with them. If hurt use ruins for cover and to refill Veil energy. Tesla, Particle Cannon and Leichenfaust are all good to use here. Eventually, you bring him down. Stab him with another Crystal. He and the machine are destroyed. You are transferred to the beginning of the level. Run through the active portal. That starts the final cinematic. Congratulations, you have just finished Wolfenstein. Your reward is a cheat menu when you start a new campaign.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wolfenstein tips for weapons and defeating non-boss enemies

I'm going to give you tips for weapons and beating non-boss enemies for Wolfenstein (2009) I'll cover boss enemies later. But first, don't crash and burn.

1. Don't Let the Black Sun Crash Down on Me. My XBOX 360 game froze and crashed at the last mission, "Black Sun." It wouldn't load. Mein Lieben! At the time, I had collected 100% of all collectibles i.e., all the gold, intel and tomes. I had replayed a couple missions and was not deleting games as I went forward. Nobody told me to. Well, that's the perfect storm for a a game freeze and crash. Here are two solutions to keep the game from crashing. I have tried both and they work.

Solution One. You can play the game and not collect more than 80% in collectibles. Don't replay missions. That means by the time you are ready to jump into the portal to start "Black Sun" you have less than 80% in gold, less than 80% in tomes, and less than 80% in intel.

Solution Two. This is the preferred way since getting all the collectibles is advantageous. As you are playing the game, delete previous saved games. You do this from the pause and load menu. By the time you reach the second to last mission, "Zeppelin" you should only have saved games from that mission. When you reach the portal room, the room you go to power down the weapon, you should have one save which is the area before the portal room. Now complete the task and grab the last intel. Get ready to jump into the portal and get psyched for the "Black Sun" mission. So, why is it advatangeous to collect all the items? Glad you asked....

2. Item Collector. You don't have to collect all the gold to significantly upgrade your weapons. However the advantage to collecting all the gold is obvious as it allows the luxury to buy advanced upgrades.

Collecting the intel unlocks weapons upgrades. It also can give you game hints as to how to accomplish certain objectives. Collecting all the intel gets you all weapons upgrades without paying for them. Okay, that reward sounds good but you can't get all the intel until you finish "Zeppelin" which is the second to last mission. I mean the silencer for your submachine gun is useless in the final boss battle.

Collecting all the tomes gives you a better advantage. If you play all the main missions and side missions before the last mission on the ground called "Airfield" and collect all the tomes you will be rewarded with all the crystal powers! I did this at the early part of the side mission "Radio Tower." Not only can you use your powers for the remainder of "Radio Tower" but they are available to you at "Airfield, Zeppelin and Black Sun." Pretty cool? So what are the most useful Veil powers?

3. Veil Powered by Crystals. First, be aware of veil areas which will refill your personal veil pool. Also note the various cannisters of veil energy which also refills your veil pool. The veil energy is a bright green seen clearly through the trasparent container. Second, note that Mire, Shield and Empower crystals drain veil energy much quicker than using Veil Sight which is a much slower drain. (Parentheticals are where crystals, weapons and enemies are first encountered.)

a. Veil Sight. (Dig Site) Veil sight is the first power you will get. It allows you to enter the alternate dimension. Whlle there you will see enemies highlighted. You will see weaknesses highlighted. There will be geists floating around. When one is close to an enemy shoot it. It will release a discharge of energy hurting your foe. You can also refill while in the Veil.

The first two upgrades I buy are Inner Light and Inner Brilliance. I get these as soon as they are available. They increase your personal pool of veil energy. The other two, Veil Sight Upgrade and Crystal Harmony, are luxuries which you can play the game pretty much without. Though, Crystal Harmony is a good one to get towards the end of the game, before you go to the "Airport." Its power allows you to more quickly refill your pool but the effect is not very noticable. It is helpful against tough bosses.

b. Mire. (Dig Site) This crystal slows down time. Frankly, I used this the least, even against fast moving Scribes. I used it to get through areas such as ones with quickly closing doors.

c. Shield. (Farm) This creates a shield against most damage. It works agains tbullets. Against fire, not so much. The Reflective Crystal upgrade is fun because against infantry it bounces bullets back at them. The Reactive Crystal is really cool against melee enemies who rush at you. It dissolves them on contact. Unfortunately, it is only available after the "Castle" level which occurs late in the game.

d. Empower. (Hospital) This is a power boost to all weapons. Now you can penetrate shields, making it easier to bring down Scribes. It also lets you fire through shields that protect power sources, letting you get through areas. I am not too excited about the Piercing and Penetrating Crystals which allow you to fire through heavy materials to kill enemies. That's because it happens too infrequently to be effective.

4. The Weapons. BE A BIG BORE. On the machine guns, buy the big bore upgrade as soon as possible. These upgrades increase the power of the guns and takes out your enemies quicker. Once scopes become available to the sniper and assault rifles, get them. The scope allows you to take down enemies at a distance. As far as silencers, these are luxuries since you will always get into a firefight after the first or second silent kill.

i. Conventional Warfare

a. MP40. (Train Station) Submachine gun. It's used with Wehrmacht. In the begining of the game it will be the most used weapon. Once you increase the bore, it becomes a good close range weapon against melee enemies such as the Sniffer.

b. Kar98 Rifle. (Train Station) This will become your sniper weapon once you get the scope, available by completing he Dig Site. Stripper Clip allows your magazine to carry more rounds reducing load time. That's your second upgrade. I then follow with improved rifling which makes the weapon more accurate. Big bore is nice but you can wait, though if you are collecting all the gold, get this one. It's really funny when used with Empower. Scribes are hurtled into the air after you hit them. Bayonet is worthless.

c. MP43 Assault Rifle. (Dig Site) Carried by the SS. It will be eventually your weapon of choice. Upgrades should be obtained in this order. Big bore. Then get the scope. (Available after "Cannery" mssion.) I usually get all upgrades on this weapon. With the exception of the Altered, this weapon can take out all non-boss enemies. It is effective against some boss enemies also, such as General Zetta. Though later stages of fighting Queen Geist and Hans Grosse, I would use the heavy weapons.

d. Grenade. (Train Station) Only good against fixed enemies, such as a machine gun nest. Usually when you throw it at a group of bad guys, they run. Save your money on upgrades because soldiers when killed may drop some to restock your supplies so you don't have to buy them. There are also some in the attic of the Kreisau Circle safehouse in Midtown West.

e. Flammewerfer 35. (Cannery) Flame Thrower. I use this is as a melee weapon since it has a limited range. Great against foes who rush you. That usually means Snifflers. One of the last weapons to upgrade.

ii. Heavy Weapons You can wait to upgrade heavy weapons. Why? Because they should be used against the toughest of bosses. Those would be Quenn Geist and Hans Grosse. Those two bosses occur late in the game. Second, upgrades are expensive and ammunition for the weapons are scarce. Towards the end of the game, look to increasing the damage the heavy weapons can do. That's because you will encounter tough bosses in the main missions, "Castle" "Airfield" and "Black Sun."

f. Panzershchrek. (Farm) Rocket launcher. Use against the tank guarding the truck that will take you to the "Airfield" mission. This occurs late in the game. It's also great against stage one of your fight against Hans Grosse which is the "Black Sun", the last mission of the game. I usually buy Lightweight upgrade which removes the blast shield and allows you to move quicker. You don't have the blast shield to mess with your targeting. Ammo pouch and Magazine are next upgrades. But again I would wait until the last missions to upgrade.

g. Particle Cannon (Farm) Cool sci-fi weapon that can vaporize infantry. Used by Heavy Troopers. You will encounter Troopers more often than supplies for the other heavy weapons so taking down a Trooper will give you more ammo for this gun. Upgrading the damage and flux arc which allows energy beams to bend towards targets makes this gun a good one against the final boss, Hans Grosse.

h. Tesla Gun. (Hospital) Remember this one from Return to Castle Wolfenstein? Because it fires arcs of electricity at multiple targets, it makes this weapon effective against bad guys stuck in a room. Where does this happen? Try it in the anti-aircraft room or the control room of the Zeppelin. When used with damage upgrades and or Empower, it's Nazi frying fun.

i. Leichenfaust 44. (Castle) Wolfenstein's version of the BFG. Powered by Veil energy, it packs the most punch of all the weapons. It can also create anti-gravity zones which can lift doors. Ammo for this is rare so use this against the toughest of enemies. It is the only weapon that can defeat the Altered. In fact, it vaporizes them! I would use this only against the toughest of bad guys, that would be the Altered and Hans Grosse. (Black Sun)

5. The Non-boss Enemies List

a. Wehrmacht. Basic infantry. (Train Station) They are armed with MP40 or sniper rifles. I take them down with the same weapons so I can refurbish my ammo stocks when they drop them. Watch out for grenades as they toss them with uncanny accuracy.

b. SS Infantry. (Dig Site) They are dressed in black and carry the assault rifle MP43. Again, I use the same weapon against them to refurbish my ammo.

c. Scribe. (Dig Site) These are occult officers of the Nazis. They are bald and wear dark glasses and a black overcoat. They will alert you of their presence by a deep demonic voice. They often lead a squad of soldiers or Snifflers. They can shield themselves and their allies. Powers include supernatural speed and firing energy balls. They can divide themselves into false targets.

If you encounter a Scribe, take him out first. You don't need his shielded allies peppering you with bullets. You can use Mire to slom him down. Later, when you get the Empower crystal, you can punch through his shield.

d. Heavy Trooper (Church) Armed with a particle gun, they deal out big damage. Listen for mechanical electronic sounds to notify you of their presence.

You could use concetrated firepower. But don't waste that ammo. If you read the intel near begining of the "Church" mission, you find out that the shoulder vents are weaknesses. Turn your Veil Sight on. Those vents are red. Hit them with your sniper rifle. Okay, a power core pops out behind the head. Hit that. Now watch the Trooper struggle and blow up in a flash of blue energy. Cool.

e. Despoiled (Church) You encounter this guy after you destroy the Veil machine at the end of the Church mission. He is a skeletal creature and is pictured on the game box. Usually they are former SS officers. The Despoiled will fire engergy balls at you that deal big time damage. Elite guards also create them, especially ones that will rush at you inflicting major melee injury.

If you can take them out from a distance, do so. Use your assault rifle. If they rush you, you might have to resort to a heavy weapon.

f. Assassin (Hospital, later at the Cannery, Castle and Zeppelin) Mr. Cheap Kill. This guy can turn invisible. Listen for a popping noise when they vanish. They will then laugh. And expect some taunts. "Can you see me?" If they surprise you, be ready for a quick cheap death with their energy knives.

When you hear the sound cues, turn on the Veil immediately. You can now answer his question. You can see him. Any conventional weapon will bring him down.

g. Sniffler (Farm) These mutants are like attack dogs and sound like them. They have no weapons and will rush you if they see you. You can use the submachine gun or the weapon that's best agaisnt them, the flamethrower.

h. Flame Trooper (Cannery) Okay, first listen for their sound cues. Their voices sound like they have been run through a synthesizer so it sounds robotic. Also listen for the hiss of their gas tank. Of course, they carry the flame thrower so keep your distance if you can. They will rush at you.

Hit a Flame Trooper with the assault rifle. A good shot at the fuel tank ignites him and causes an explosion which will also burn enemies close by. Later on, when you get the Reactive Crystal, turn it on. Then get psyched. Mr. Flame Trooper runs into your shield and is vaporized. Cool.

i. Rocket Trooper (Castle) These guys are a neat nod to the "Rocketeer." They have jet packs which allow them to fly. They usually announce themselves with the sound of rockets being fired at your position.

Use Mire to slow them down if you have no cover. I usually run for cover. I peek out and take them down with the assault rifle. They lose control and blow up into Nazi fireworks.

j. Altered (Hospital, then Castle) Hulk like creatures. When you encounter one at the Hospital, you find out your conventional weapons are useless. Of course, once you take out the pillars, you don't need them. But then you run into two at the Castle. What do you do? The Leichenfaust is the only weapon that can whack them. One shot per Altered should do it.

k. Elite Guard. (Paranormal Base, later, Airfield, Zeppelin and around town) There are two types of this sexy female warrior. The brunete carries an energy whip. Kinky. She rushes at you. The blond fires energy balls at you. Both can create Despoiled. They will announce their presence by taunting you.

Take them out immediately. You don't need Despoiled coming after you. Again, later in the game when you obtain the Reactive Crystal, you can have big time fun. Since the Guard likes rushing at you, often they will run itno the shield and then get vaporized.

j. Angry Geists- If you kill too many geists at one time, you may encounter the angry geist. You will hear a popping explosion and then the angry geists attack kind of like Glenn Beck's audience. :) The moral of this is not to shoot too many at once. Wait for the one geist to wander near a target and then shoot it. If caught with angry geists, you can run or try to shoot them as they come at you. Mire may help slow them down but then again the best thing is to not anger them.

Okay, that's it for now. But now you have this intel to become a master at Wolfenstein. Get psyched.

Fixing the Wolfenstein XBOX 360 freeze and crash

My Wolfenstein (XBOX) game crashed at the last mission, "Black Sun." Activision suggested that I play a previously saved game and delete the rest. I went one step further. I did delete all the games except the one I loaded and deleted all games as I went on. By the time, I reached the portal chamber on the "Zeppelin" mission, I had one saved game. After I threw the right switches, I hopped into the portal to start the last mission, "Black Sun." Yippee! It worked. I was able to access the last mission with 100% in collectibles. (Gold, intel, and tomes)

I decided to play the game again from the beginning to test the idea of deleting older saved games to avoid the freeze and crash. I regularly deleted games. There was no order to pick up all the collectibles, (gold, intel, tomes) except a logical one to avoid more advanced Nazi enemies in town. When a section of town opened, I went about collecting the items first before starting missions so I wouldn't face Elites, rocket troopers etc. that are introduced in later missions. By the time I reached the portal room in the mission, "Zeppelin" which is the next to last mission, I had one save. I deleted all the others. Again, I was able to hop into the portal and access the last mission, "Black Sun." I completed the game with 100% in collectibles.

So there are two ways to complete the game without it freezing and crashing on you. You can collect less than 80% in each collectible. The disadvantage doing it that way is you lose the advantage of collecting all the items. Or you can delete previously saved games as you progress. (Deleting saved games can be done from the pause, and load a game menu.) So, when you reach the portal chamber in "Zeppelin", you should have just one saved game. This way allows you to collect every item without the "Black Sun" mission freezing on you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hard Knocks: Rooting for the Cincinnati Bengals

In a bizarre twist Serena Williams lost a match for a conduct violation at the U.S. Open. What? Oh, there was a Bengals game today? Let's face it, you were expecting a heart breaking loss. Didn't you think that Shayne Graham was going to miss the extra point when the Bengals tied it with less than a minute remaining? Come on Bengals' fans you knew they were going to find a way to lose this game. You're a Bengals' fan. This is our lot in life. Did you guess it was going to be a tip pass to the another receiver for the winning TD? I mean the football gods got creative on this one. First, it's top pick Andre Smith breaks his foot. Now this. What will be the next Bengals disaster?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Larry Gelbart , Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

Writer, director and producer Larry Gelbart passed away yesterday. He was 81. His best known work was writing, producing and directing the TV series M*A*S*H during the first four seasons. They were the best seasons of the show. It was witty, funny and had a conscience. You could say that about a lot of his work. He cowrote Tootsie, a comedy about the conflict between art and commerce; men and women. He adapted the brilliant Barbarians at the Gate for TV which depicted the great greed of the eighties. It's almost prescient when you look at the our current economic crisis. Then there was his teleplay for the fascinating and riveting And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. Here's clip from that film. (Larry Gelbart at IMDB.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals, Episode 5 Review

This was the final episode in the series. And unless you're writing tragedy, in show business you should end on a high note. Unfortunately, the large majority of this episode was about the battle for the remaining roster spots. The show should be called "Cuts."

We find out that players who are battling for final roster spots and starting jobs have turned out to like one another. DeDe Dorsey and Brian Leonard who are fighting for a the final running back spot have respect for each other. Rey Maualuga and Rahsad Jeanty have develpoed a friendship. Yet, Rey is determined to start which means Rashad will be on the bench. These are the engrossing and dramatic elements of this episode. It's tough to take because somebody is going to be out of a job. The battle for the final fullback spot is the most riveting since we're rooting for the hard luck underdog Chris Pressley (If you want to see who makes it, check out the Bengals website.)

All is not tragedy. We're talking about the Bengals, the band of misfits. For comic relief there's Chad Ocho Cinco. There is a scene where Marvin Lewis instructs the players on what they can Twitter. And Chad does not miss a beat. In Chad's pad, which has large paintings of himself, Chad says they should just have the meeting with just him since the message was directed at him. Chad bemoans the loss of what he can Twitter and says it's like losing his "Johnson." Bengals owner and de facto GM talks about his late father, the great Paul Brown. He mentions that father was sparse with praise and laughs heartily. That's rare. It would be like a young Mr. Spock telling a dirty joke. The Bengals also show their compassion. Tight End Ben Utecht has suffered his fifth concussion. With the loss of starting tight end Reggie Kelly, the Bengals are very short in the tight end position. They place him on season ending injured reserve rather the risk his health in playing football. If you watch past the credits, you get a clip of DT Tank Johnson pitching a comedy about himself. See, I told you he should have a show. How about "Tank, plus guns and twins." Tank, I'm kidding and by the way, Bernie is not writing this. :)

Again, this show was beautifully filmed. There was use of freeze frame with slow motion. The music was well structured to follow the drama. The writing and direction for the series is on par with anything that Hollywood puts on. I just would not end the series with this type of episode which focused on cuts. That makes this episode a B grade.

But if you are a Bengals' fan there is always hope. Players talk about the upcoming season. Watching Carson work back from an injury gets the blood running. The episode discusses the "Who Dey" battle cry and its' history. We see players do the battle cry. Just saying the chant, gets one inspired. "Who Dey, Who Dey, Who dey think gonna beat them Bengals? NOBODY!"

Three years ago, Chris Pressley shows why he is a good blocker. (Okay, I'll tell. He made the Bengals practice squad.)

Avoid the Wolfenstein (XBOX 360) Freeze

Here's how I avoided the Wolfenstein freeze and crash. My game froze and crashed at the "Black Sun" loading screen, the last mission. Mein Lieben! So, on another profile on the same XBOX, I started a new game. I collected less than 80% of each of the Collectibles. I did not replay a mission. IT WORKED! I was able to get to the last level, "Black Sun" without it freezing and crashing. I finished the game. Update. Sept. 13, 2009. Activision suggested that I play a previous saved game and delete the rest. I deleted games as I went forward. At the end, I had one saved game before I hopped into the Black Sun portal. That worked. I was able to have 100% in collectibles and play the last level. I also started a new game and deleted previous saves as I progressed through the game. By the time I reached the portal room on the Zeppelin, I had one save from the current mission in the file. I was able to complete the game with 100% of the collectibles. I recommend that you use this method as it will allow you to get all the collectibles.

Here's what happened when my game originally crashed. Being a serious gamer, I went about collecting all the items; gold, intel, and tomes on the normal difficulty level. I got 100% of each before I jumped through the portal to start the "Black Sun" level, which is the last mission and concludes the story. I also replayed a mission but I'm guessing that's not what caused the crash since many players probably replay missions without going for the 100% and they haven't crashed, at least I haven't seen people reporting it. The "Black Sun" mission screen appeared and the blue bar that colors the title "Wolfenstein" showing you it is loading freezes in the middle before the "t." The game has crashed.

I then saw on a forum that it was the amount of collectibles. One poster said it was over 80% would cause a freeze and crash. There were also concerns about replaying missions coupled with that. I decided to play on another profile on the same XBOX. I kept my collectibles below 80%, playing the game on the normal difficulty level. The numbers I had before I jumped into the Black Sun portal were as follows: Gold, 77%; Tomes, 74 %; and Intel, 68%. The game progress was at 87%. I completed all missions including side missions before the "Black Sun." I did not replay a level. I chose to load games not from continue from last saved game but chose the load game option. I want to mention that I also play offline. By the way, I still collected enough gold to buy weapons even though I did not get all of the money. Doing the above worked. I got through Wolfenstein. The only problem that you'll have doing it this way is that you can't get certain achievements but I would argue that it's more important to get through the game. (Please see the above update.)

Thanks to all you who post on Internet forums. I got the ideas from you. See, the Internet can give you accurate information. Here are two forums that were helpful.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Keith Olbermann on Glenn Beck, Fox News Art Critic

This week Glenn Beck claimed to have found communist and fascist art in New York. There are conspiracies everywhere! Glenn get your tin foil hat please. Here's Keith Olbermann's hilarious take. Oh, Glenn when Keith says the jig is up, he's being sarcastic.

Oh, and here's Keith's second take on Glenn Beck, Fox News Art Critic. Glenn, he's also making fun of himself by going overboard in his commentary. So, try to understand sarcasm and satire.

Wolfenstein Tips and my game is freezing

Tips for any of you whose XBOX 360 game is working. But my game crashes and freezes at the last level, "Black Sun." UPDATE. Sept. 9, 2009. THE GAME CRASHED WHEN I HAD 100% OF ALL THE COLLECTIBLES. I ALSO REPLAYED A MISSION BEFORE "BLACK SUN" THOUGH I AM NOT SURE THIS IS A CAUSE. ANYWAY, I PLAYED THE GAME WITH LESS THAN 80% OF THE COLLECTIBLES GOING INTO "BLACK SUN" AND DID NOT REPLAY A MISSION. IT WORKED. SO WATCH OUT FOR THE AMOUNT OF COLLECTIBLES AND DO NOT REPLAY UNTIL YOU FINISH THE GAME. Update. Sept. 13, 2009. Activision suggested that I play from a previous saved game and delete the rest. That also worked. I played the game again, deleting games as I went forward. At the end, I had one saved game and was able to hop into the portal. The "Black Sun" loaded. I completed the game with 100%in collectibles.>

I. The Tips

1. Get the Collectibles- As you play the game, you will find gold, tomes and intel. Unlike the gold in Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RTCW), the gold in this game actually has a purpose. You can use the gold to upgrade your weapons at the black market. Intel gives you hints as to how to complete mission goals. By the way, some intel are not in order, i.e. you might collect intel #5 before #4. This happens at the "Zeppelin" where once you collect the intel from the Heavy Trooper, go through a door and turn around to get the intel on the wall which is number 5. Tomes, which make a humming noise, will upgrade your crystal powers.

2. Get all the Tomes- If you collect all the Tomes, all your crystal powers will be upgraded without having to purchase them. Now, this will take almost the whole game but if you save the mission "Airfield" for last and you should, you will have all the crystal powers for that one, and "Zeppelin." Update: WARNING! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! There's buzz on the net that getting too much of collectibles will cause Wolfenstein to freeze. I know I have collected everything before the Black Sun and the game froze. I also replayed a mission. I hope Activision solves this problem. See the links for the buzz.

3. Use the Veil, BJ! Using the Veil puts you into an alternate dimension, one that coexists with ours. In this dimension you will see geists or floating creatures. Shooting one causes an energy discharge that can kill enemies. For example, on the "Farm" level at the beginning, you clear some Nazis in front of a stable. Go to the right and you flank a machine gun nest. Turn on the Veil. There will be geists floating near the nest. Shoot one. German guacamole. No more machine gun nest.

The Veil also highlights targets. These include enemy soldiers, and also areas you need to hit to complete an objective. This leads us to...

4. Tips for Defeating General Zetta- SPOILER ALERT! At the end of the "Cannery" Level, you face the boss General Zetta. In the cut-scene, BJ fires his MP40 at Zetta, and the bullets seem to pass through him without harming him. Then Zetta ala "Goldfinger" explains to you that you don't understand. These are hints. Turn on the Veil. You are now in his dimension and your weapons can now hurt him. In fact in the other dimension, he's no longer human. Pretty cool, huh? There are three pools of Veil energy. When you hurt him enough, he retreats to the pools, turns on a generator above to recharge. You will notice a red area on the generator. Shoot at it. It blows up. Do this to the three and finish off Zetta.

5. Get scopes for the rifle and assault rifle. When you can, buy scopes for the Kar98 rifle which turns it into a sniper rifle and the MP43 assault rifle. Now instead of having to move forward to kill you enemies, you can whack them from a safe distance. Scope for the Kar98 is available at the end of the "Dig Site." And the scope for the MP43 is available after completing "Cannery."

6. Buy the official Wolfenstein guide from Brady Games. Okay, I know it costs you twenty bucks. And there may be a free online walkthrough. You can complete all the missions without the guide. But it's difficult to get all the collectibles without the guide. Just remember that the gold is needed to upgrade your weapons. The Tomes upgrade your crystal powers. The guide gives you a picture and description of where they are at. With the guide, it will be easier to collect all the items. WARNING: DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. Again, there's a thread that collecting too many items can lead to Wolfenstein freezing and crashing. See the links below. I don't know if this is true. If I find out anything more, I'll let you know.

II. The Black Sun Freezes

Okay, I've just completed the "Zeppelin" level. Now comes the final mission called "The Black Sun." I'm watching and reading BJ's report. I then start the next and last mission. The load screen says I'm travelling to the Black Sun and as it starts to load, it freezes. Noooooo. Mein Lieben! I try it again and again, it freezes. Not only does it freeze, it crashes. I can't access the XBOX dashboard. I have to turn off the machine. And before you say it's my XBOX, it's not. I know what the Red Ring of Death is. I've cleaned the game disk. I've loaded the game on my hard drive. I've cleared the cache. Nothing works. See above for update.
Currently, I'm waiting for a response from Activision. By the way from a Google search, some of you are seeing the same problem. Here's a forum discussion. Here's another forum. Feel free to comment and let me and others know if you have a solution.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Glenn Beck finds communist and fascist art in New York

Glenn Beck on his show has just accused the late industrialist John Rockefeller of being some type of communist-fascist. How? He looks at the various artworks Rockefeller sponsored as having communist-fascist symbols. Okay, Glenn where's your proof? I mean did you do any research into the artists to determine that they wanted to spread communist-fascist ideology? Do you have a link to Rockefeller wanting to spread communist-fascist ideology? Do you realize that communism and fascism are entirely two different political systems? And where's your art degree that makes you an expert? I mean you could probably make these arguments about any art deco pieces. Of course, he ties all this to Obama at the end of his story. You know what Glenn? You would be a pretty good guy for Senator Joe McCarthy. Here's the clip.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals, Episode 4 Review

There's an adage about modern movie making and that is to catch the viewer's attention in the first act. This week's Hard Knocks starts out with Head Coach Marvin Lewis (pictured) laying into his team after last week's loss to the St. Louis Rams. It's a cuss word infused speech that probably shook the stadium. Then we flashback a few days earlier when Marvin has trouble getting into the stadium because the gate is broke, an obstacle. The narrator talks about the obstacles that Marvin and the team has faced in trying to win in Cincinnati. It's an introduction to the futility of being a Cincinnati Bengals' fan.

There's less time with the frivolous activities with the players this week and more drama as the team nears the making of final cuts. You wonder if safety Tom Nelson will make the team. Running backs Brian Leonard and DeDe Dorsey are fighting for a spot. The choice is like choosing between strawberry and chocolate ice cream. Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer has a talk with DT Tank Johnson about getting a positive reputation. Converted DT Jason Shirley is starting to come around as an offensive linemen. In one clip from the Patriots game, he annihilates a defensive end. We meet J.B. Brown, a handyman for the team. He's been with the team since Paul Brown and he leads the team into battle every game. Underdog FB Chris Pressley is hitting things so hard that he breaks a facemask.

It's not all drama. You can't have a documentary about the Bengals without the intentional and unintentional comedy. Chad talks about Jennifer Aniston's love life. Then we meet his charming girlfriend. We also see how hard Chad works out. That workout includes boxing. He does a pretty good Muhammad Ali imitation. We get a look at Katie Brown's daughter's crayon drawing of all the Bengals coaches. One has a picture of a football headed right at the noggin of former head coach David Shula, the worst coach in the history of the Bengals. Owner and de facto Mike Brown asks the coaches what do we want a fullback to do. Um, Mike, he bleeping blocks, which is what Jim Anderson says to Mike. Do you realize that Mike Brown has a Elmer Fudd vibe? And Marvin Lewis' laugh is the same as the Simpsons' Dr. Julius Hibberd. We find out that backup QB Jordan Palmer has a website that tells people when to go and pee during a movie.

Of course, there's the third preseason game. This is the dress rehearsal for the season. And it's sloppy. The offensive line is blocking badly. Fumbles. Missed tackles.

All that leads us back to Lewis' cuss word filled rant against his team. He's mad at the sloppiness and the laziness in practice. He challenges his team to reach deep inside and to be a bleeping pro. It's a thing of beauty.

The tension builds as we wait for more cuts. The players walk in for practice. Passing by Director of Football Operations Jim Lippincott, there is uneasiness as Tom Nelson, an undrafted player walks by. Is he going to be taken aside and cut? That's good stuff.

The show ends with top pick OT Andre Smith signing. And like most Bengals's season, there's a disaster. Smith breaks a foot in practice. To you who don't know what it's like to root for the Bengals, that sums it all up. This episode is again brilliant and inspiring, especially listening to Lewis go after his team. I love these misfits. The grade for this episode is A+.

Summer Movies Can Have Quality

Matt McDaniel of Yahoo has written about the biggest movies of the summer. And if you look at the top 10 domestic grossing movies of the year, they're all summer films. By the way, I agree with his assessment that The Hangover was the biggest surprise. Though, it's easy to see why it was popular. It's a funny, raunchy tale of three likeable guys celebrating a friend's wedding in Vegas.

But there always some who decry about the lack of quality in summer movies. Well, this year five of the ten were received favorably. (See And I challenge anyone to tell me where there was a mainstream film like "Up" that starts in such an endearing and sad manner. In "Up", you had the tale of a happily married couple, their life and the death of the wife in the first fifteen minutes. That's not commercial but is certainly courageous. It's also an exciting adventure and comedy. It should be nominated for Best Picture and is the best film made this year. "Up" definitely stands the test of time. So, who says there aren't Oscar quality films in the summer.

Will success spoil Star Trek?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bengals' top pick goes down again

The Cincinnati Bengals have a history of their top draft picks going down in injury. Some went down in the preseason while others went down during the season. There was Ki-Jana Carter in 1995 tearing a ligament in his knee in his first preseason game. Then there was '04 top pick Chris Perry's inability to stay on the field. David Pollack (2005) suffered a broken neck during a regular season game in 2006. In 2007 running back Kenny Irons suffered a torn ACL during a preseason game. It now pains for me to report that Bengals first round pick for this year, Andre Smith, has gone down with a broken foot. Already behind due to a contract hold out, it looks like Smith will be delayed by an additional "few weeks" according to head coach Marvin Lewis. At least according to the Bengals' story, the team can cut his game salary in half if he's not on the active 45 man roster. I don't know if that includes being off for an injury. Regardless, I told you Mike Brown knows money. Anyway, it's now incumbent on second year Anthony Collins to step up and play as if he is going to be the man at right tackle for years to come.

Mike Brown should be Commissioner of Baseball

Make Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. "What, are you nuts?," you say. He may be the worst owner of a professional sports team in the history of man but he knows about money. He voted against the NFL collective bargaining agreement because he thought it was unfair to small market teams like his, he defeated the IRS, and now he has made a stand against the rookie slotting system by not paying his first round pick, Andre Smith, more than the guy that follows. (At least he can claim that if you look at the contract.) We all know that the economics of baseball are out of whack with high payroll teams consistently making the playoffs. It takes a tough, cheap and determined man to force a salary cap on major league baseball. Mike Brown has the same judgment as John McCain in picking Sarah Palin as the person to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. But we're not asking him to pick players from jail. We're asking him to cram down a salary cap on Major League Baseball. Sounds like Mike Brown is the man.