A while ago I was asked what my opinion is on the Netflix price increase, so I figure I'll post it here and kill a bunch of birds with one rock.

So: although I think they could have done a little better in terms of communication beforehand, I think the end result is that the price of Netflix (if you opt for both streaming AND discs in the mail) is still a total steal for a pretty amazing service.

I heard a lot of people grousing about the price hike, but I have a hard time feeling sympathy for them. I myself am on a ridiculously tight budget, and even I can manage to squeeze out another few bucks here and there. For streaming and one disc, it's something like $16. Compare that to what cable costs in my area (between $80-$100/month) or pay-per-view movies of $3-$5 apiece and there's no contest. Besides, if you've got consoles and play games or check in at iTunes regularly, it's pretty likely that you've got at least a little discretionary income for video.

Bottom line, skip one (maybe one and a half) cups of Starbucks a month, and you're all set. Otherwise, pick streaming OR discs, and the price actually goes down. Not much to complain about, in my opinion.

Quick Monster Hunter update: I'm closing in on fully completing the upper ranks of what Freedom Unite's got to offer—I hit Hunter Rank 8 yesterday, and it caps out at 9.

I'm certainly no slouch when it comes to beast-slaying, but the rapid progress has been thanks to having my son along as a constant quest companion. He may be 9 years old, but he kicks some serious monster ass. However, once he goes back to his mom's once summer's over in another week, I'm gonna be stuck without someone to help mitigate the steep difficulty.

He won't be back until the fall, so if you're interested in playing Freedom Unite multiplayer between now and then, drop me a line!

Serious Sam Double D Screenshot

The good people over at Mommy's Best Games have sent me an alpha copy of the upcoming Serious Sam Double D and I've played through the first world. Despite being at a very early stage of development, the game is coming together very nicely.

For those that haven't heard of it, it's basically a side-scrolling 2D version of the Serious Sam FPS games slated to hit PC and the 360. I can think of few developers I'd rather see handling it other than Mommy's Best thanks to their deep, deep love of 2D action, and from what I've seen so far, it appears to be a perfect match.

Apart from translating the sort of action one would expect from Serious Sam, Double D's big hook is the "gun stacker". This device looks a little bit like a wrench, and it does exactly what it sounds like—it stacks guns, literally.

Sam starts off with a peashooter, but by the end of the first world I had that peashooter on top of a Tommy gun on top of some other sort of machine gun on top of a grenade launcher and the whole mess was bolted on top of a chainsaw. The gun stacker is a little bit silly, a little bit crazy, but it's mostly awesome.

More to come on this one as I make my way through it.

Brad Gallaway
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