Ultima Reborn
Did you know that the first big MMORPG (which, for the uninitiated, stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. This is the best they could come up with. Seriously.) was NOT, in fact, World of Warcraft? Heavens no! It was Ultima Online, which was birthed in the dark, dark age of 1997–when porn was still widely purchased at the gas station, Lindsay Lohan had yet to taste fame, blow, or penis (assumedly), and the Phantom Menace had yet to irreparably tarnish the Star Wars Universe for millions of teary-eyes super-fans.

Now, a decade after the game’s online lumber gathering and cow tipping came into vogue, Ultima Online is still kicking. And as of this week, not only is it still somehow alive, it’s REBORN! Yes, Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn arrives this week with a graphical overhaul and re-jiggered user interface. Huzzah!

While the game still looks outdated, and we’d personally rather spend time blasting mutants with bees from our veins in Bioshock these days, Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn is at least worth a gander for fans of the series and/or genre. A free download is available for subscribers, and those without can check it out free, with a 14-day trial subscription. Lord British awaits at www.uo.com.

File Under: Huh? Joust: The Movie
There were plenty of memorable arcade games in the ’80s that many of us will hold near and dear to our hearts. But looking back, most of them, while taking total advantage of the day’s technology, were total crapola. Fond memories often overshadow the reality, and many of the games were just not that great. And we will go on record as saying Joust was one of them.

So color us baffled when news hit this week that some Hollywood production company has acquired the rights to Joust, the epic tale about, well, nothing cool. At all. It’s a game about riding ostriches and collecting eggs. Lord of the Rings it ain’t. Hell, Moon Patrol it ain’t, for that matter.

Presumably they are just going with name recognition on this one and creating an entirely new universe for the film.

From Gamedaily: “The plan is to launch the new Joust franchise with a graphic novel, which is being penned by Steven Elliot Altman, of DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics, and will be based on Gottlieb’s screenplay. The film has been given the fast track by CP Productions and should be wrapped by June 2008. Several A-list directors are already interested in helming this sci-fi/action project.”


Family Guy Comes to Xbox Live
For Xbox 360 owners who also happen to be fans of drunk dogs, gay babies, and fart jokes (like us!), today is your lucky day.

Beginning Monday, September 3, you will be able to download episodes from the first two seasons of Family Guy, as well as Family Guy presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, for 160 Microsoft points, or about $2 each.

This is significant, as this will be the first time that the popular show is available for download anywhere, somehow beating iTunes to the punch, and is the first Fox property to make it to Xbox Live at all.

From Reuters: “This is our first one,” said Jamie McCabe, executive VP at 20th Century Fox. “We hope to have other content on there, but right now with the launch of Halo 3 and the launch of the new season of Family Guy coming out, the timing really worked well for this one.”

To nerd things up further, the season premiere of Family Guy‘s fifth season next month will be an hour-long episode that features a near shot-for-shot (as much as can be done in an hour) retelling of the original Star Wars. I’ve always wondered how the movie would be with more flatulence. Really.