The 2008 Four Star Gaming Awards

Welcome to the 2008 Four Star Gaming Awards. This is the award show that takes the place of this week’s blog, because who want to work right now. For these awards, I wanted the input of the various people who read my blogs on 1UP, All Games, and on So I reached out to those people and asked them for their assistance. Unfortunately only one person responded, Travelinfool. However, that has not stopped me from going through with my vision. So, here now are the awards as stated by Travelinfool and myself.

Downloadable Game of the Year
Hunter Red: Portal: Sill Alive
Travelinfool: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Winner: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

Travelinfool said of this game, “By far the most addictive game I’ve played this year. Putting the next highest player on your friends list in the corner was ingenious” and I agree with him. Geometry Wars 2 took the game that was a runaway hit when the 360 Live Arcade launched and improved on it in ways that enthralled the gaming public. While my vote did go to Portal: Still Alive, I must agree that Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 is the 2008 Four Star Gaming Awards Downloadable Game of the Year.

Wii Game of the Year
Hunter Red: Super Mario Galaxy
Travelinfool: Mario Kart Wii
Winner: Super Mario Galaxy

Yes I know this game was released in 2007. Yes I know this game was a Wii launch title. Yes I know that Mario Kart Wii may be the best Wii game of 2008, with Travelinfool saying “a blast to play with my family.” However, I don’t care. No game released in 2008 comes close to the awesomeness that is Super Mario Galaxy. I’m not a Mario Follower or a Nintendo Lemming, but I love this game. Its kiddish graphical style and storyline hide a deep and addictive gameplay experience. Super Mario Galaxy continues to stand as the must have Wii title. That is why Super Mario Galaxy is the 2008 Four Star Gaming Awards Wii Game of the Year.

Playstation 3 Game of the Year
Hunter Red: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Travelinfool: Little Big Planet
Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Before MGS4 came out, I jokingly said that the PS3 would not get a great game until 2009. I also, in all seriousness, said the Playstation 3 had no elite games. That all changed with MGS4. MGS4 is a game that I would not only suggest to anyone, if you asked, I would lend it to you. Little Big Planet is almost as good, with Travelinfool saying of it, “It is a blast to play with my kids and is helping my son learn level design.” However if I had to choose one game as the best game on the Playstation 3 thus far, it would be MGS4, with LBP a close second. As a result, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the 2008 Four Star Gaming Awards Playstation 3 Game of the Year.

Xbox 360 Game of the Year
Hunter Red and Travelinfool: Grand Theft Auto IV
Winner: Grand Theft Auto IV

There are great games that come out and change the way games are played. Grand Theft Auto IV is not one of those games. GTAIV takes the gameplay, storytelling, and general awesomeness of the previous games and makes them bigger and better. Not only that, but you can do things in this game you would hesitate to do in real life. Namely pick up hookers, get lap dances, and jump off the roofs of very tall buildings. Travelinfool called Grand Theft Auto IV, “The most immersive and well thought out open world game to date,” and I could not agree more. That is why Grand Theft Auto IV is the 2008 Four Star Gaming Awards Xbox 360 Game of the Year.

Console of the Year
Hunter Red and Travelinfool: Xbox 360
Winner: Xbox 360

For much of the year, this award was a tossup between the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. Then Microsoft rolled out the New Xbox Experience, and while some aspects are a disappointment, overall the NXE greatly added to the Xbox gaming experience. Travelinfool and I agree, “Yet again the most games, the best online system and now Netflix.” That is why the Microsoft Xbox 360 is the Four Star Gaming Awards Console of the Year.

Worst Gaming Moment of the Year
Hunter Red: Old Snake Smoking
Travelinfool: All Games Interactive stopped broadcasting
Winner: All Games Interactive stopped broadcasting

On August 15, 2008, Scot Rubin left popular internet radio show All Games Interactive and said that there were plans to continue the show after his departure. These plans have yet to materialize, and fans of the show have been griping ever since. AGI is a unique show that is as much about the gamers who play games as the games that they play. While Dead Pixel Live and ZapAttack! have tried to fill the void, there is a large gap in Video Game Internet Radio that only All Games Interactive can fill.

Best Gaming Moment of the Year
Hunter Red: Jack Thompson Getting Disbarred
Travelinfool: Everyone playing GTAIV when it came out
Winner: Jack Thompson Getting Disbarred

I hesitate to give an award for this because it amounts to kicking a man when he’s down, but this was a long time coming. Jack Thompson has been making ass backward statements about media he finds objectionable longer than many of us have been willingly consuming media. From 2 Live Crew to Cop Killer to Doom to Manhunt to Grand Theft Auto IV, Jack Thompson has been at the forefront of douchebaggery. Finally Jack Thompson has lost his credibility as a lawyer, and hopefully his credibility in general. I just hope that people continue to spite him by playing games like Grand Theft Auto IV.

Non-Gaming Thing Most Deserving of an Award
Hunter Red and Travelinfool: Barack Obama
Winner: Barack Obama

After eight years of general incompetence under the Bush Administration, people were loudly asking for some relief. We got that relief in Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is a person worthy of the respect that comes with the office of the President. I am proud to say that I supported, contributed to, and voted for Barack Obama.

Overall Game of the Year
Hunter Red: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Travelinfool: Little Big Planet
Winner: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Of all the games released this year, Metal Gear Solid 4 was by far the best in my opinion. I’ve never played a game with this level of graphic storytelling, cutscenes, and music. Metal Gear Solid 4 led a renaissance for the Playstation 3 that, along with Little Big Planet, turned it into a game machine worth buying. Travelinfool said of Little Big Planet, “Overall we’ll get the most gameplay and also learn a thing or two about designing a game.” Overall this was a good year for games, but one has to stand tall as the best of the year, and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is that game.

That’s it, the first annual Four Star Gaming Awards is complete. I’d like to thank Travelinfool for his input into these awards. Although I am disappointed that he was the only one to provide input, I look forward to next years awards and next years insights. I’d also like to thank Google, 1UP, and All Games for providing the platforms for the Four Stars Blog, a blog that is directionless and damn proud of it. Also, thanks to Derrick Hopkins, for without him would not be a reality today. Finally, thanks to you, my readers. For without readers, all this would be is a lone red head screaming pointlessly at the darkness. Please join us next year for the 2009 Four Star Gaming Awards.

Batman and the Ruining of the Franchise

It was reported last week that Eddie Murphy was set to play the Riddler in the next Batman film. This comes on the heels of the same publication reporting Cher was set to play Catwoman in the same film. In response, Warner Bros. has decided to announce the current cast and crew of the next Batman film exclusively here on The Four Stars Blog. Here it is.

First of all a new director has been hired for the new movie. Christopher Nolan has been brushed aside for the more well known director of such films as Pearl Harbor and Bad Boys 2, Michael Bay. When asked what he plans to do with the next Batman film, Mr. Bay said, "First of all, I plan to start the movie with an explosion. Then that will lead into another explosion, which leads into a bigger explosion. It's gonna be all like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, BOOM!" When asked about a plot for the film, Mr. Bay replied, "Plot? Plot! Here's your fucking plot! Shit! Blows! Up! The End!"

Controversy arises again in the choice of the actor to play Batman. Christian Bale is out. Instead, another actor has been chosen who breaks the mold of actors to play the caped crusader. This actor is not athletic, not physically attractive, and is generally repulsive when not acting in a comedy. The new actor cast as Batman is none other than Danny DeVito. When asked about this role, Mr DeVito said, "I've wanted to play this role ever since Batman Returns. I even wanted to play Batman in that, but no, they had to go with Michael Keaton. Well, how did that turn out?" When asked about when filming is scheduled, Mr. DeVito said, "Right after filming for the next season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ends." When asked what It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is, Mr. DeVito attempted to punch me in the face. However because he's five foot tall, all he accomplished was punching me slightly below my breastbone.

Another controversy comes in the choice of the actor to play Robin. Speculation and rumors have abounded for years about the nature of the relationship between Batman and Robin. It now appears as if Michael Bay is ready to tackle these rumors head on. Mr. Bay has cast the proudly gay Canadian musician Rufus Wainwright as Robin. Mr. Wainwright did make a statement about this, however because of his heavy Canadian accent, I was unable to understand it.

Other roles in the new Batman film, Batman and the Ruining of the Franchise, has yet to be set or cast. Neither has a release date, but expect on that date for nerds across the world to lead a revolution against DC Comics, Warner Brothers Entertainment, and all things connected to Michael Bay. Los Angeles, California is expected to the the first city to be burned to the ground in a style reminiscent of a Michael Bay film.

Peta To Gamers: I'm Not PETA

Recently the political group PETA made waves in the gaming universe by asking for a vegetarian version of Majesco's popular Wii title Cooking Mama. Many gamers reacted in a rage to this call. Some even sent emails to PETA expressing their outrage. As it turns out the rage of gamers may have been directed wrongly.

On his blog, a gamer known only as Fantafan encouraged the outraged to send mail to As it turns out has nothing to do with People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals. In fact is the official website of La Femme Nikita star Peta Wilson. Seymour Birkoff, who maintains, said, "Traffic to Miss Wilson's site since the Cooking Mama story broke have gone through the roof. This month alone Miss Wilson has received 30,251 pieces of mail, as opposed to the year before where she received 8."

In response, Miss Wilson has posted the following message on her site.
"I feel the need at this time to clear up some rumors involving myself. First, I am not connected to the political action group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The fact that our names are the same is just a coincidence. Second, no, I will not send you a signed nude photo of myself. Third, and finally, there are no pland for a sixth season of La Femme Nikita. Stop asking!"

Mistakes like this are common, but apologies for this kind of mistake are rare. When I contacted Fantafan to obtain an apology, the only response I got was, "Wanta Fanta, Doncha Wanta?" When pressed further no other response was given. This incident further proves that the internet is filled with a great supply of annoying little shits.

Leopold Stoch Has Nothing To Do With This Guy

This week, Utah state Senator Chris Buttars proposed a non-binding piece of legislation that would compel retailers to say "Merry Christmas" as opposed to "Happy Holidays". This act caused Mr. Buttars to gain national notoriety, most notably on Countdown With Keith Olberman as the "Worst Person In The World".

This is not the first time Chris Buttars has made a comment that embarrassed himself and the people of Utah. Chris Buttars referred to a bill he did not like as a black baby "a dark ugly thing". Mr. Buttars also said that a judge who ruled against a major contributor of his was a activist judge. Finally Chris said that his opponent in an election was gay.

Now these comments alone would be enough to fill a career in politics, but the three comments I referenced are things Chris Buttars has said THIS YEAR! This very year!!! The black baby comment came in February, the activist judge comment was revealed in May, and the opponent is gay comment was revealed this November.

All of this begs one question. Not why Buttars make these comments, but why did the people of his district vote for him? What do they not read the news, not listen to the radio, or even not go outside? How do these people not know who this guy is and what this guy has said?!? HOW?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Save Me from My Senator