Author: Michael Kwan

Ten Video Game Weapons (Video)

While countless soccer moms are out there to censor our love for violent video games, we as a video game playing community will never back down. It’s not up to the industry to take away our rocket launchers, shotguns, and proximity bombs. With so much creativity in the “interactive entertainment” industry, there have been so many cool video game weapons. The good people at have put together a video compiling what they consider to be the top ten BEST video game weapons ever, taking into consideration level of destruction, “coolness” factor, and level of innovation. It comes as little surprise that the lion’s share of the picks come from first person shooters. Titles that immediately come to mind are Halo, Goldeneye 007, Half Life, Doom, Duke Nukem, Quake, and the like, but the list also includes entries from old school shoot-em-ups and other popular games from so long ago It is a little interesting that they have gone as far back as the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) of the 1980s, and as current as contemporary PC-based online shooters and the Microsoft Xbox… but little to nothing in between. The generations consisting of the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Neo Geo, and the like have been omitted from the list. A few of the weapons found in the video below throw me back...

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New Saab 9-5 2.3t to burn cleaner with BioPower engine

While it may seem a little self-serving to find a more fuel efficient vehicle in an effort to reduce annual gas costs (it ain’t getting any cheaper at the pump, folks), in the grander scheme of things, it seems more important to protect our withering environment. All those horrible exhaust fumes can’t be good for Mother Nature, but the good people at Saab are trying to clean up emissions thanks to the new 2.3t BioPower engine destined for the automaker’s 9-5 range. They took a fairly standard looking 2.3-litre engine, threw a turbocharger in there, and made it capable of developing 210 horsepower. To be unveiled at the British Motor Show next month, this new engine can either run on the conventional petrol you find at your local Chevron, a more eco-friendly E85 bioethanol (also used in special versions of the Chevy Tahoe, for example), or a mix of the two. They’re saying that it can reduce emission by up to 70%, and at the same time, produce 14% more power. No word on pricing, but look for the 9-5 2.3t BioPower Saab to hit showrooms later this year. Source:Top...

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Nintendo Wii: October 30

Okay, so nothing has been confirmed yet, but this latest report sounds well within the realm of reason. The Wii, Nintendo’s next generation home video game system, is reportedly gearing up for an October 30th “announcement”. While I was hoping to get my hands on one sooner, the realist in me realized that I probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy the motion-sensing goodness of this Xbox 360 and PS3 competitor until the time when Santa Claus makes his rounds. This report goes on to sock me one, however, saying that the actual “launch” wouldn’t happen until the end of November in Japan, with European and North American launches coming “a few days later”. But I want my Wii now. I want Super Smash Brothers Brawl with Solid Snake. I want to jump into the Yakuza-infested world of Red Steel. I want to run around a tennis court mindlessly with Wii Sports. C’mon Shiggy, gimme my Wii! Here’s where I got the above information: Gizmodo And in the meantime, you can enjoy a fan made music video featuring our favourite heroes from Nintendo: Shigeru Miyamoto (aka Shiggy), Reggie Fils-Aime (aka the Regginator), and Satoru Iwata (aka I’m too cool to have a nickname)...

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REVIEW: Archos 104 MP3 player

Thanks to my affiliation with Mobile Magazine, I got shipped an Archos 104 MP3 player direct from the manufacturer for my review. To go on sale the first of next month, this thing looks and feels a lot like an Apple iPod nano. Well, the review has been posted: Archos doesn’t have the same level of market penetration as Apple (well, no one does these days), Creative, or Toshiba. In fact, their products are pretty hard to come by here in Vancouver, with only the odd outdated PMP popping up at the local Future Shop or Best Buy from time to time. Myself, I have never had the opportunity to fiddle with an Archos product, so I jumped at the opportunity to test out one of the company’s latest DAPs – the Archos 104 – and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised with the hard-drive based player…. Click here to keep reading the rest of the review at...

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Millenium Falcon Transformer??

Okay, this might be a little random, but it almost seems like the perfect marriage between two otherwise disparate groups of geeks. What do you get when you combine Optimus Prime, Megatron, Grimlock, and the rest of the Autobot vs. Decepticon universe with the likes of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca? I’ll tell you what you get. You get the Millenium Falcon Transformer. Yes, a transformer version of everyone’s favorite intergallactic fighter. Arguably, this is the best toy of all time and it ain’t for the kiddies in the crowd. Check out this link over at Gizmodo if you don’t believe me. This toy…er, action figure (?)…collectible (?) is the real deal and apparently, for the time being at least, it’s a Canada-only release (apparently through Toys R Us). Take that, Yankees! We’re geekier than you… wait a...

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Screech is broke! Saved by the Bell star begs for donations

Whether you are willing to admit it or not, if you grew up during the 80s and 90s, there’s a good chance that you’d rush home after school each day to catch “Saved by the Bell”, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris and Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski. That said, the geek with the strange voice that always stole the show was Samuel “Screech” Powers as portrayed by Dustin Diamond. Well, it turns out that real-life Dustin is broke and is getting kicked out of his home in Wisconsin. Unless you buy a t-shirt. Diamond has set up a website — at — where he further expounds his story. He’s already expressed his woes on the Howard Stern Show. In a nutshell, he got served with a notice to foreclose, demanding $250,000 or the bank will take the house back. He got screwed by a lawyer-type, and is now desperate for funds. So, he’s asking you to buy a t-shirt. For $15 (plus shipping), you can a snazzy white tee featuring the Saved by the Bell star turned broke stand-up comic. For an extra five bucks, he’ll even sign the thing, giving you a priceless (well, $20) piece of autographed memorabilia. As this for real? I can’t say for sure. Contrary to popular belief, he can’t ask Michael Diamond (Mike D) of the Beastie Boys for a...

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WiFi music browsing and downloads with MusicGremlin

Get past the Rio-esque design of the MG-1000 and you’ll discover an incredibly portable music playing machine that can download new content on the go thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Of course, you have to pay for MusicGremlin’s subscription service (MusicGremlin Direct) — currently fetching $15 a month — but that’s not much more than what satellite radio is asking for, and here you get to pick and choose your content. They’re calling this 8GB device the world’s first WiFi-enabled, service driven digital audio player. Find yourself in a wireless hotspot or set up an ad hoc WiFi network, and you’ll be able to browse MusicGremlin’s library in its entirety. They’re reporting over 2 million songs at this time, a fairly beefy selection if I say so myself. You can even share your DRM goodness with other Gremlin users nearby. The 2-inch QVGA display is colorful, the 802.11b connectivity isn’t the fastest but is fairly adequate, and it throws in USB 2.0, line-in, and FM radio for good measure. Plop down three Benjamins and you’ll be able to enjoy the wireless browsing and downloading on the go with the Gremlin MG-1000 WiFi DAP. Source:...

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Smart Car crash test video. Verdict: Goes for a tumble

Worried about the safety issues surround the Smart ForTwo from DaimlerChrysler (marketed through Mercedes-Benz in Canada)? If you’re an American looking to save a few bucks on your annual gas bill, while being able to squeeze into the tightest of parking spots downtown, the Smart Car just might be for you because they’re expecting to launch the golf-cart sized vehicle in the States pretty darn soon. We already have it here in Canada, of course, as well as certain areas in Europe. Check out this video of the Smart Car going for a head-on collision against a Mercedes S-Class. Let’s just say it goes for a tumble and I’m glad I don’t have a part-time job as a crash test...

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The perfect resource website is slowly, but surely, undergoing a site redesign. I hope to have the new look up sooner rather than later, so expect some fairly substantial changes to the main site in the days, weeks, and months to come. Whenever that happens, I’d like to expand the branding to other sub-websites, if you will. In a way, Beyond the Rhetoric can be thought of as the first of these, being the official blog of, but what other “sections” would be most valuable to the lookey-loo web surfing community? I’m totally up to suggestions and opinions on this matter, because, well, it is you, the internet surfing public, that will be served by these new sub-sites, if you will. They will serve several purposes, of course. For starters, I’d like to get my name “out there”, so that I become a little more prominent as a freelance writer and editor, being able to land a few more projects. Don’t get me wrong, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with Mobile Magazine and LoveToKnow, but I’m always itching for more. And hey, making a little coin along the way is more than welcome. This blog will remain as probably the most frequently updated section of the site, but I’d like to throw out a “resource” section or two. Some of the possibilities that I am considering include: Shakespeare: Helping...

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Motorola Q running Pocket NES

While there was a whole lot of hub-bub yesterday surrounding the launch of the Nintendo DS Lite, those of you who want to get your old school gaming on while still rocking the latest and greatest that technology has to offer… well, you guys just got a whole new toy to play with. Launched in the United States through Verizon Wireless, and seemingly available to Canadians through Telus Mobility (though it’s not on their website, I did get a flyer the other day telling me they had it), the Motorola Q is said to the be the world’s slimmest smartphone and this puppy sure has a whole lot of tricks up its sleeve. Smartphones are growing in popularity because they add so much more functionality to an otherwise strictly-for-communication device. Sure, SMS and MMS may be fun and all, but isn’t it great to watch some TV on the go with Slingplayer Mobile, rock the satellite tunes with XM Radio, and all the while keep up with your work-related things using light versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer? That’s what the Motorola Q smartphone is all about. Regular cell phones are so yesterday. Check out the video below of a user that got Pocket NES working on the Motorola Q. He’s playing a hit from a legendary sereis, and arguably one of the single greatest games of...

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Michael Kwan
Hi, I'm Michael. By day, I'm a freelance writer. By night, I'm still a freelance writer. I'm also a proud father, a voracious foodie, an avid traveler, a gadget geek, and a thinker who thinks he might be thinking too much. Beyond the Rhetoric is a reflection of my eclectic entrepreneurial life.

Read more about me and what I can do for you.


Beyond the Margins, by Michael Kwan