Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Too Human guy levels out the 360 vs PS3 battle

Mr. Dyack has over-simplified the console wars when talking to San Jose Mecury News.

Essentially, the comparison is put like this: the 360 has more memory, the PS3 has more "processing power", and that makes them even.

Naturally, the consumer has been trained by CPU makers that "processing power" is everything. Pay hundreds more for another Ghz on that processor; it's worth it. Bigger is better, remember?

In the end however, I'm sure consumers have noticed that although clock speeds have been increasing, while perceived performance has not. Hell, a P2 400Mhz is plenty for an XP machine that is only used for surfing the internet. A 3.0Ghz P4 isn't going to completely outshine a 2.5Ghz P4 (Hyperthreading/Celeron considerations aside) to the impatient eye.

What could my point possibly be? Both the 360 have 3.2Mhz processors. The Cell can run a few more threads, but it has less potential memory to allocate to tasks. My point is that processing speed/abilities is only part of the equation. You can have a hot V8 motor, but if it's on a Geo Metro chassis, then it won't do you much good. The PS3 shouldn't be considered as a victim of said hypothetical situation, but it is in a less severe version of the analogy.

Neither console has a complete advantage over the other hardware-wise. Features could be used to differentiate the two, but today's consoles can be updated, allowing for feature addition and removal; the addition of 1080p support to the 360 was a good example.

Lastly, Dyacks opinion on the Wii, mirrors my previous concern; "Will the controller stand the test of time?"

Today is a news medley

Let's see -

Joystick asks us what games are scary (in light of Halloween today). They mentioned AVP which naturally made me giggle like a school girl. I voted for Condemned. Sorry Resident Evil.

The PS3 is going to be short-handed in Japan this holiday. But we all knew it would be. This problem has a high probability of affecting the States as well. Joystiq suggests (surprise, surprise) that Sony is having parts problems.

Sorry Pinky Sony, you can't take over the world (again) quite yet.

Anyone complain about the 360's not-to-be-so-ridiculous-in-a-moment power consumption? Kotaku reports that the PS3 will use over twice as many watts (380) as the 360 does (160). Power brick or not, that is a lot of damn juice. Burn those trees, Sony...burn 'em down fast. (Okay, my computer uses a 450W PS)

Those unscrupulous pirates modders get the "gift of brick" with today's 360 dashboard update. Eh, they probably deserved it, since homebrew isn't a viable excuse yet.

That's all I have time for today kiddies. Apologies of my lack of...well...anything yesterday. You'll live, although my 360 feels different.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Worried about the Wii...

I'm worried about the Wii. Yesterday, I bought "stylus click-pens" for Jessica and myself. For the first time in weeks (months?), I turned on my DS to see if these pens were better than the dinky stick stylus. The immediate consensus is yes.

Then I got to thinking. How much did this "touch screen" mechanic do for gaming? Nothing really; it just proved useful and slightly entertaining for some portable gaming. In the end, it wasn't amazing enough to leave me taking my DS everywhere, keeping up on new releases, and or even wanting to play it.

Now consider that same information with the Wii and the Wii remote as a direct substitute for DS and touch-screen respectively. Will the motion control be fun at first? I fully expect so. But will it last? Will it be something you want to do every day, or once in a great while when friends are around? That I'm unsure of.

Continue reading...

The point I am trying to make is we're all happy to embarrass ourselves on special occasions, doing silly things [...] but can Nintendo really convince us to do it on a day to day basis [...]? I have my concerns.

The above quote came from's hand-on impressions of the Wii. The quote was well said (except the naked part LOL). This quote complimented my DS-induced revelation in all its brevity. While my manly half stomps into the foreground and shouts loud gibberish involving something to the effect of "wielding a Wii-mote is girly", the little kid half will giggle and say, "Play," in a creepy reverberated female child-anime voice.

On that last link, it could be a bit concerning that the Wii is supposed to "attract chicks". What about the times when you don't want to attract chicks. You know, those times when you want to entertain yourself. Is that what the 360 and PS3 are for? While the games will undoubtedly be Nintendo-fun in that strange glossed-over-eyes way, will the controls leave us yearning for "the old ways" for our day-to-day gaming grind?

The report of awkward Splinter Cell controls should also provide a hint to the answer. Multiplatform games are multiplatform because they are games more than one specific console group enjoys. If the Wii remote ostracizes Wii owners from the rest of the gaming crowd, I cannot imagine that being a good thing. At that point, not only will the Wii have to solely rely on original IP from 1st and 3rd parties, but they will need to be triple A titles to hold the console's economy in non-forgotten plains.

Robert Summa made an interesting comment on Kotaku:

I don't know how many times I have to explain to people that the Wii isn't what you think it is. I think a lot of gamers are going to be in a state of shock when they find out the Wii doesn't control as well as they thought it would.

I believe he's alluding to a potential fact that the Wii remote isn't everything it is cracked up to be. It may not be that magical wonderous wand that all the kiddies are hoping for. Will this potentially flawed control fail to revolutionize anything except the ability to destroy hopes and dreams? Oh wait, that's Sony's business plan.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

DISC READ ERROR valiantly tries to save me from the crap heap known as Killzone

Well, I decided to give Killzone more of a chance than the 10 minutes I played it a long time ago. Really, since my Nyko Intelligent 360 remote didn't work with my TV, I just wanted to trade it for a cheap game.

My lovely, high-quality, Sony-powered PS2 decided to think that the game wasn't a PS2 game. "Please insert a Playstation game." I cleaned the disc, and then I got the infamous "Disc Read Error" repeatedly for about ten minutes. The PS2 was seconds away from being thrown out in a busy street when a tenth reboot finally got the game to come up.

Continue reading...

Not that I haven't had this problem before with an Xbox (after playing a burned DVD movie). However, the Xbox is fixable in 5 minutes or less, and is "easy as pie". The PS2 on the other hand, is a long arduous process of disassembly, adjusting, and reassembly...and then possibly repeating those three steps a dozen times. 30 minutes to an hour or more. For what? Crappy graphics on a crappy controller on the slowest loading system on the market? It has the biggest selection! Of games that aren't even worth $5! *shakes head in disdain*

Anyone that wants a PS3 at launch is crazy. Having faith that a Sony Blu-ray drive will be higher quality than the crappy DVD lasers they've been using for 6 years is equivilent to smoking crack. Wait a few months. Trust me.

At the end of the above rant, I finally got to the play the game. Guerilla put forth a valiant effort on this shooter, but even extended play still reveals that this game is far from a Halo-Killer. It's better than say, Geist, but it isn't even in the same class as the typical solid shooters.

While the animation is pretty good on the player's character, the NPC's animation is horrendous, the AI is ridiculously bad, there's only 3 barely-different enemies, and about 4 enemy voice samples (repetitive and annoying). Should I bring up that you automatically cock your gun after ANY action? Whether it's up/down a latter, switching guns, hopping over's really annoying.

I turned the analog stick sensitivity all the way no avail. The damn things are touchy. At least the controls are customizable.

Honestly, Killzone feels more like an advanced homebrew effort than full-fledged monetarily supported video game. While I'm sure it may have amazed those with blinders to non-Playstation consoles, it is actually extremely shoddy to the standards of the last couple of years.

Why exactly...would anyone be excited for Killzone 2? This initial entry was so bad, that it's hard to imagine that anyone would want a sequel.

The best point of the game is the ability of the Shadow Marshall to throw a knife in a Helghast's throat and go retrieve it. Other than that....nothing. Stay away. The only greatest hit of this game was it hitting the bottom of the garbage can.

Note: If you need to know how to fix the "Disc Read Error" problem, or simply don't believe that it's a plague in the PS2 world, here are a few sites to help you rectify you problem: via, via, via, via, or via tweak3D. Google it for more, and check out wikipedia's little stint on it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

1up says sequels are cursed

Kurt Kalata at points out that sequels have problems. The problem with that problem is that the real problem is a problem of familiarity. Redundancy and repetitiveness akin to that last sentence seem to work against a gamers hope for an equivilant-to-the-original experience. Yet, if things are changed too much, it is a problem as well. Are sequels "unbalanceable"?

While I have little to add to this thought-provoking article, I do have a comment and an intriguing thought listed below respectively:

Final Fantasy 8 unfortunately received some flack from this article. Yet, I can understand everything that was working against my favorite game in the series. I know the Junction system and exploitable Guardian Forces ruined it for some. *sarcastic* "THEY SHOULD HAVE PLAYED IT CORRECTLY IN THE FIRST PLACE!" =)

A somewhat interesting thought: What about those who start with a sequel as opposed to the original? I played Gran Turismo 2 before it's predecessor, and I liked it better. The same goes with Halo 2, The Suffering, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil 4. The originals of these games aren't exactly easy to go back to after playing the improved version.

Could all just be a matter of opinion based on a "certain point of view"?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Get your Cell Phone Ringtone Geekness on

My Nokia 6600 phone needs change. The default text-message beep is getting old, and the single Super Mario Bros 2 title ring tone is starting to get old. You know what that means, "It's hammer google time!"

It didn't take me long to find To my surprise, this site contains free midi files for all kinds of games from all kinds of video game vessels (aka consoles/arcade machines/old computers). Even better, there seems to be a song or theme for about any game you could want.

For example, I was sure to get the "Zelda Overworld Theme" from the NES section, "FF7 Aeris' Theme" from the PSOne section, and the "ALIENS Dropship Theme" from the C64 section. And naturally, a myriad of others.

Thankfully, some versions of certain themes are better than others. The more popular games have multiple options, so there should be something for everyone. Stop reading and go customize your blah-zeh phone already.

Will Sony...?

Provide anything similar to MS's web services? These services have resulted in oddball-but-totally-sweet online toys such as,, and so far.

Gather a real community? Xbox gamers have a dedicated gaming community. The only good community in the Playstation world I've experienced is the one for homebrewers and modders. While Sony has some dedicated fans, they certainly don't seem as cut-throat and "interested" as Nintendo or Xbox fans.

Get employees involved directly with the consumers? Microsoft employees place themselves in the Xbox community, and are open for direct communication. We've already wondered who could be a Sony-version of Major Nelson.

It will be interesting to see how Sony goes "beyond the game" other than shoving their published media down our collective throats. Concentrating on gaming rather than media seems like it would benefit the industry as a whole, and so far, Sony doesn't seem to be doing that.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Resistance: Fall of Man is done; the ins and outs

Let's get the bad out of the way. reports the final game size is 16GB. That's quite a bit less than the originally stated 22GB. That's about 28% less thanks to compression for those who like numbers. For those who think Blu-ray is a good thing, that's 2 DVD's, uf data wouldn't have to be duplicated.

"Still, having a lot of space on Bluray means that we're including things we wouldn't have been able to include if we had had to use dual layer DVDs: higher res game assets and more of them, HD movies, higher fidelity sounds, more dialogue, all languages on one disc, etc." -Ted Price

It is still in 720p. Not that this matters at all, since 720p is the standard regardless of what Microsoft or Sony says.

Okay, we're done with that. Now for good stuffs:

Continue reading...

Crecente at Kotaku described a good experience with this game. His comments lighten my earlier fear that the game was Call of Duty with aliens. The idea of an open battlefield with "special moments" that aren't pointed out seems like it could be a cool thing, and allow for surprises when replaying the game.

I also like the idea of being able to target two separate enemies when dual wielding. Halo could really use a feature like that...and Aliens vs Predator 3 (where the hell are you?).

Even better news is that the demo will be available for download at launch. It's too bad I won't have a PS3 at launch, or else I'd be all over this like white on poisoned ninja rice balls. ????

For someone who originally hated FPS games, I'm appalled that I'm looking forward to Resistance, FEAR, and Halo 3...

UMK3 arrives, excitement gets fatality'ed

While perusing the usual marketplace, I saw the advertisement for Ulimate Mortal Kombat 3 and mobbed it up like a PS3 on launch day.

After realizing that the 360's d-pad was still inadequate for these old games, I plugged in the old modified DOA4 arcade stick. Plunging into the 2" deep menu, I came to find that the controls were not customizable. Blasphemy!

This is absurd. Trying to beat Shao Khan with the buttons all over the place was the most aggravating experience I've had in a while. So aggravating in fact, that I immediately stormed into's home base and ninja'd through their horrible support section to leave feedback on this dark and dire situation.

I received a response today, albeit a contrived copy and pasted/macro'ed "We'll forward your feedback to the appropriate department" jive. However, I do give a "Liu Kang Wins" pose in their direction for the brisk response.

Instead of playing this game like I wanted to...I ended up returning to Halo 2 after a long hiatus. It's still cheap, and sniping is still for pansies. =)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Working on my PC rig

Distaste for PC gaming? Me? Never!

Realistically, I need a decent PC. If it plays games, great; if not; no harm, no foul. I've been running this Athlon XP 2000+/768MB RAM for the last three years. The rig has great speed for single tasks, but I use dual monitors for a reason. Since dual core Pentiums are now affordable, so I decided to move forward. (Looks like the CPU is now $35 more; it was $60 on sale when I purchased it).

Since the local PC parts outlet sucks, I ended up with parts from and Online stores still seem to offer the most for the money (plus you can be lazy and avoid the masses of psychotic shoppers).

Continue reading...

I like newegg, but they just didn't have a case I wanted. After days of searching, and finding a bunch of cases I wanted to combine into one cool case, I ended up settling on this sweet little deal. While it's not the highest quality case, it had everything I wanted: a side window, controls/USB on top, a 450 watt PS, and quick release bays. I'm still adjusting to it's look, but overall I'm happy with it. The top USB's are great as I can just set my PSP dock on top and not have cables looped through the rat's nest behind my desk. No more fidgeting for an open USB port in the back, or kneeling down to access extra ports on the bottom of the PC. I don't even have to reach down to turn the thing on anymore.

The real kicker is I've found some customizations that totally suit me. Frozencpu had some items I've never seen before: ALIENS thumb screws and AVP fan grills. As much of an ALIENS fan as I am, it was impossible for me to turn away from these items. Naturally, I purchased one of each different AVP fan grill. I'll have to cut some holes in the case in order to use them. I'm thinking one in the Plexiglas window, one on the front, and possibly one on top.

All of this work is just a reminder of my desire to create a custom case in the vein of this Manga Doll PC. Instead of a porno cartoon delightful tentacle welcoming Japanese doll figure, the same method could be used to create a more interesting Alien version (how about scaled down Queen?). That's a ways off; the time consumption of such a project is beyond my will. The expense of the professional tools needed is slightly daunting (it's not bad, but I'd rather spend money elsewhere).

For now, I'll do a few customizations to what I have. I'll be sure to post pics when the PC is done. I need more parts, but it's time to start saving for wallet-hole holiday season.

Friday, October 20, 2006

No entitlements for the PS3, or achievements

While easy to mock the "entitlements" term that Sony selected, I'm actually disappointed they aren't currently planning on implementing a profile-based achievement system like the 360's.

There was a generous time frame where I didn't care about achievements. The initial 360-owning several months was that time. The point I began to care, was when I was looking for some replay value in my previous game investments. Achievements thankfully came to the rescue. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have gone all-gold in Full Auto and Burnout: Revenge if I hadn't been patted on the back for getting there.

The funny thing now is that I expect the achievements. Playing an Xbox, PS2, or Gamecube game is just that much less fulfilling because it's missing those goals, checkpoints of progress, and replay-to-get tasks. Achievements are a good thing, and promote playing games for entertainment. I hope developers continue to find interesting ways to use them as well.

Getting a difficult achievement is like figuring out how to get a Gold Star for not-so-correctly pronouncing "fhqwghads".

Good Sony news pushed aside; they come back with scandal

The second I give Sony an inch of praise, they once again prove that they are jerks.

Sony seems to be under the impression that without Hard Drives, Xbox Live, and HD-DVD players that Xbox 360s won't function. What do they do with this misinformation? They put out a misleading marketing sheet!

I'm sorry choice is such a bad thing to you Sony. I don't give a flying f@#$ about your Blu-ray drives or useless and soon-to-be-outdated internal 802.11g wireless adapters. I'm glad you included HDMI in the $499 model, because I won't give you any more money than necessary; you don't deserve it.

While it is easy to see what Sony is getting at, the chart they provided is extremely misleading. Before anyone jumps to Sony's undeserving defense, let me point out the problems I see that aren't mentioned in the linked article:

The 360 Hard Drive is a 2.5" Serial ATA. Talk about inconsistent; why try to subliminally suggest that the 360 "merely" has a 20GB HDD when it's the same interface as theirs?

Under 360 Communication, they list "Ethernet Port" instead of 10/100BASE-T. Inconsistency again. Yes, the PS3 supports 1000Mbps and the 360 doesn't; why not list them in the same fashion? Oh yeah, scandalous marketing tactics.

To make matters worse...Sony didn't capitalize in places they could! For CPU and GPU they merely listed "Cell Broadband Engine" and RSX respectively with no specs. Um...what the hell?

I guarantee Sony won't leave this up for long anyway. Microsoft won't take it sitting down. But hey, at least they got the 1080p support part right.

Sony sweetness among a "forced" Toshiba bias

My ears are currently tuned in to Toshiba's assimilation-of-my-company presentation.

On a side note, the best part of this process is being constantly corrected on the pronunciation of "Toshiba". I've always thought it was "Toe-shee-bah" when it is actually quickly said as "Toe-shi-bah".

Since my eyes remain unchallenged by the video stream of big-wig jibber-jabber, I decided to do a quick scan over my favorite gaming blog-sources. Flabberghasted I became, as you surely did by the title of this entry, that there are MULTIPLE good things requiring a golf-clap towards the Sony kingdom!

Continue reading...

Although hardly Sony's fault, it looks like my favorite 3rd party accessory-maker is coming to the Sony-Next-Gen scene equipped with a RUMBLE solution. It seems to be an adapter that will allow you to plug in the "dated" triggerless and motion-control-less Dualshock controller into your PS3 "investment". Whatever the case, we can only hope that software ports to the PS3 retain their "rumble code" so we can retain our current 3-sense feedback from games.

As for the SIXAXIS and my previous concern about non-replaceable batteries, Sony offers the solution of replacing the entire controller if an issue arises. Naturally, they claim their batteries won't have "memory problems" so there's no need for concern. The move deserves short applause.

Lastly, some PSP-PS3 interaction is revealed. It seems that a demonstration involving starting a video on the PS3 and continuing it on the PSP was shown. PSOne games will be downloaded with the PS3 as a hub, and then transferred to the PSP at $15 a pop. Current plans involve the PS3 getting emulation software to handle these games as well. I cannot deny that this is just plain sweet, and may finally justify that $150 PSP I have lying around.

Nothing new on Blu-ray, and no, I won't be getting a free HD-DVD drive from Toshiba.

This entry wouldn't be complete without Sony skepticism, however. I can't help but feel the PS3 is going to be a techno-gadget with too many fluff features that will only be amusing in the short term (like the PSP). Games are what I care about, and unfortunately it will take a bit before any good ones grace the PS3. If I end up investing in purchasing a PS3 sooner than later, at least I can pretend to be cool and show off use all these features for a week or so.

Back to the Toshiba-takeover, my co-workers and I found the Toshiba leaders surprisingly more friendly and less uptight than other Japanese big-wigs. I think Krazy Kaz and Krazy Ken could learn a few things from their High Definition Disc rivals.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Better console exclusives VS lists

Okay, okay. I know listing only the 360 exclusive list was a bit premature.

Siliconera pits the Wii, PS3, and 360 exclusive lists against each other. PC ports seem to be excluded here as well. Theses lists have actually become a good way for me to review how soon I'll need to grab the other two consoles.

From the Wii list, I'm looking forward to:
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Super Mario Galaxy
Wii Sports
Biohazard Umbrella Chronicles (aka Resident Evil)
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Swing Golf Pangya
Red Steel

From the PS3 List:
Heavenly Sword
Resistance: Fall of Man
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy Versus XIII

From the 360 list:
Alan Wake
Gears of War
Halo 3
Lost Odyssey
Mass Effect
*Perfect Dark Zero
Too Human
Bullet Witch
*Dead Rising
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men
Tenchu Senran
Project Sylpheed
*Dead or Alive 4
Dead or Alive Xtreme 2
Splinter Cell 5

*I already have these

As I had assumed, the Nintendo Wii will obviously be my next console purchase. A PS3 will have to show me more goods before I'll drop $500 for it. Unless I get a decent tax refund of course. =) Opinions are welcome.

Another slew of negative news for Sony? NEVER!

I'm sure some readers are getting tired of the anti-Sony banter, whether it's at my site, or dozens of other sites who have "suddenly noticed" that Sony has problems. While ignorance has been purely bliss for the last 6 years, some of us that have known all along are glad that Sony is getting the lash-back it's deserved for a long time.

On to more tear-jerking news. Wah.

62% drop in profit forecasts. Good. Everyone needs to stop buying Sony stuff. Sony TV's, cameras, and video cameras are okay; I won't berate you for purchasing them. =) Anyway, this undoubtedly stems from the battery recall, PS3 up-front losses, and lower-than-expected PSP sales.

Sony still thinks their cracks at other consoles are funny. They are wrong. I'm sure not branding the Playstation online lack of service is going to make it automatically better. It totally makes sense, right?

Continue reading...

To further add suck to the SIXAXIS controller, apparently the rechargeable batteries are not meant to be replaceable. Good job, assholes. As if the lack of rumble, lack of redesign, lack of good triggers, and lack of proper analog stick placement were helping matters.

Joystiq also revisits the "do we need more capacity for consoles" question. This article is rather intelligent, visiting the pros and cons of increased storage. Do we need the prerenders and extra useless features packed in just in order to fill space? Is changing discs such a hassle? Do we want less game and more fluff?

One thing I see that is forgotten, is that the cartridge to CD transition was a much different animal than DVD to [insert next format here]. Multiple cartridges would have been extra expensive, and not worth the investment. Extra discs are cheap. The downside of having to duplicate data on subsequent discs is somewhat of an issue, but it doesn't make discs more expensive.

On a side note, won't the consumer think the game is bigger if it comes on multiple discs as opposed to one disc? Remember, average Joe consumer is naive. At least in America, the APPEARANCE of bigger is better. Ponder that.

In the end, a cliche=-derived statement will do:
This is all by way of saying that when it comes to game storage, it's not the size that matters, but what you do with it that counts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

360 exclusives list + legally sharing XBLA games

Time is forcing me to mish-mash these two topics together.

Check this out: share XBLA titles between two Xbox 360's. Be warned that the "shared" software is locked to the console, not to the account. Only the original purchaser will be able to re-download the software again (for free) if needed.

Planet Xbox 360 has made a list of current Xbox 360 exclusives (not counting PC versions). While being mystified at Lost Oddysey's MIA status on the list, I noticed that Kane & Lynch is currently an exclusive. That one I did not know. About half of those games are praise-worthy; the other half deserves nothing more than a passive shrug.

From that list, I'll be taking away: Gears of War, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Too Human, Bullet Witch, DOAX2, Splinter Cell 5, Bioshock, Kane and Lynch, and Lost Planet. I already have PDZ, Condemned, Quake 4, DOA4, Prey, and Dead Rising. Blue Dragon is currently off my radar, but I want to see some Lost Oddyssey action.

Which will bring me to what I want for the PS3: Resistance: Fall of Man, FFXIII (both), Ninja Gaiden Sigma, and Heavenly Sword. Others will die for MGS4, DMC4, and GT5 as well. Instead, I'd rather take Splinter Cell, Ninja Gaiden, and Forza 2 as replacements, although the last one isn't important to me at all.

Lastly, Metroid Prime 3, Wii Sports, Mario Galaxy, and Red Steel have me going for the Wii. Maybe Zelda; I'm not sure yet.

Anyone have a good PS3 or Wii exclusive list?

Google calendars help us keep track of release dates

I have updated my page to include links to google calendars. They list the release dates for software and hardware releases of our favorite console makers. It is a good way to keep track of what games and hardware are coming out. I already see I'm going to need $120 for games I want this week.

To get the most out of it, I suggest you create your own google home page (which becomes If you already use gmail, you are already on your way.

If you missed it the first time, here are some cool gadgets to add to your google home page.

Lumines; it's about damn time? Or is it?

I missed some self-decidedly important news yesterday. Lumines is finally going to be EASILY playable on my 51" HDTV (of doom) without a stupid PSP2TV adapter. No more squinting at that dinky PSP screen and getting pissed when the battery fades and I have to tether myself to an AC outlet.

Unfortunately, there are some problems being reported with acquiring the hotly anticipated game. Downloading issues from teh sounds of it. I'm sure the high demand isn't helping. My fingers are crossed that this will be resolved by the time I get off work.

By the way, does anyone care about the Advanced pack with the 22 extra skins? I don't.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

20 "pwningest" bosses (to date)

Memorable bosses sure are memorable for how they made us feel at the time. Whether it was Megaman or Final Fantasy, a gamer's disappreciation for the antagonist of their current quest was defined by their valiant efforts against the enemy on screen. Hours and hours behind a persistant gamer always seemed to pay off with the vindication of completing the game that dared challenged him or her.

Sephiroth, the star example (albeit not #1 on this list) made us hate him and everything he stood for, making his defeat the ultimate accomplishment for a gamer for the times. Damn him and his world-and-love-interest-destroying bad self.

I will admit that Ryan's comments about the Genesis were a bit irritating to me. To say the Genesis had no truly unique games was simply blasphemy. Phantasy Star? Chakan? Sonic? Night Trap? Sewer Shark? Yours truly felt that the SNES stayed drowningly targeted on the younger audience. He will get a final good word from me for giving Dr. Robotnik a place on his list, though.

This boss coverage will take some of us back to many memories of plugging away at consoles past. It's a great trip, and I hope you enjoy it. For those not old enough to remember the glory of 8 and 16 bit, I recommend visiting to discuss newer bosses that did more than just challenge you.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Light Sony praise lingers among a throng of hard knocks

I'm going to have do a brief summary to cover everything I want. I apologize, as it's all I have time for.

As my mouth complains about often, apparently Playstation controllers are still going to suck. I'm disappointed that the triggers aren't praised, as they were a welcome addition in my mind. The analog sticks are still bound to be floppy and useless for gaming. Did I mention the SIXAXIS name is unnecessary and silly?

Sony is being naive about UMDs still. Personally, I think they've become a niche product for those who still insist the PSP is worth lugging around for anything.

Someone at joystiq finally decided to mention how the exploding Sony batteries are going to leave a mark. It affects gamers and those with a hard on for Playstation. There's a lot of money to be lost for Sony lately, so any Sony fan needs to be concerned.

As I've covered before, the Sony brand as a whole is in trouble, not just Playstation. In the 90's, I was all about Sony. Dozens of bad PS2s, bad DVD players, crappy car audio systems, and overly-proprietary Vaio computers later, Sony quality has taken a 180 degree turn.

At least (as I've mentioned before), the PSE online service seems promising. Microsoft and Nintendo should dump the "points" system and get real with $$ amounts.

And in other news:

Wii Sonic gets praise of not having the suckitude of the PS3 and 360 versions (which are different games by the way). This "rails" system seems a lot more acceptable than the uncontrollable filth that is the "Next Gen Sonic" that you can experience on XBL with a 360.

People think that a 360 browser is important. People need HDTV's first, and then a good reason not to use a PC for proper browsing. If you don't like using the PSP or your cell phone for browsing, you certainly won't like using a console for it. Stick with the PC (did I just say that?). Honestly, if Microsoft adds a browser to the 360, I'll be disappointed. We don't need it.

Finally, I've been dying for some more exercise-related gaming that doesn't suck like DDR. Joystiq brings up Kinetic and Yourself!Fitness (which have been out for quite a while). I might just have to give the eyetoy a try and give my Vision camera a companion. Personally, I don't know why exercise gaming hasn't exploded. I keep bugging my room mate to find his Nintendo PowerPAD so we can get some Track and Field on. Exercise is great, and the best way to have fun with it is via playing a game.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

'tis the season to be poor

The holidays sure burn up a gamer's wallet. This years is especially tormentous; there's two hot consoles launching, a multitude of great games to purchase, and of course, gifts for others.

To start off, I wanted to get (but cannot realistically afford):

An upgraded PC
A better laptop
360: Splinter Cell: Double Agent
360: Gears of War
360: Tony Hawk: Project 8
360: FEAR
360: Tiger Woods 2007
360: Final Fantasy Universe
A Wii
Wii: Metroid Prime 3
Wii: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii: Trauma Center
PS3: Resistance: Fall of Man
PS2: Final Fantasy XII

That's a lot of money. What, a few grand? It really is time for my to upgrade my desktop PC, so I'm working on that right now. The only games I think I'll be able to get to are Splinter Cell and Gears of War. Getting a Wii is still questionable, and a PS3 will be essentially impossible.

This entry is an open invitation to complain/whine/rant about how you will not be able to afford all the things you are looking forward to. The season of giving sure leaves a lot desired to be received.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Seeking the Ninja?

I know I haven't been as attentive to this blog lately.

My employer moved me out of the server room and onto the floor, so I'm much more accessible to my fellow employees. That means I've been too busy to post anything lately. I hardly even have a chance to peruse the usual blogs.

For now, I'm going to cut out the DS and the PSP during my searches. Not that I said much about them in the last year anyway. I'll try to work something in, as I attempt to fight the man for breaks in opportunity to pursue my hobby.

I've also been trying to work things out with my potential fiance, so we'll see how that goes. Once everything settles down, should be back to regular updates.

I will bring up one piece of news today. I don't have time to go into my thoughts, but Sony's online offering doesn't sound so bad. I will say that real money pricing is much better in my opinion. Kudos to Sony for maybe doing something right for a change.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Putting the smack down on console pre-orders

PS3 pre-orders are available today. Did I skip work to go throw $100 at one of my local Gamestops?


And it's not just because it's a Sony product. You won't see me there for Wii pre-orders either. What the hell is my problem?

I love games. Obviously. If I didn't, I wouldn't have wasted time creating my own blog, reading news sites daily (or hourly sometimes), or playing them a few hours a day.

One thing I don't understand, is how teens and older can still get so damn excited for a new console that they will wait in line hours before a store opens just to attempt to secure the latest console. They're early consoles at that; consoles bound to be wrought with bugs and flaws. Not only that, but the price is at it's peak and the launch titles are usually everything short of exhilarating.

Ebayers, I understand. A plethora of money is rewarded to those who go through the work of waiting in line. Buyers with cash to burn will swallow those new console slash hot Christmas items whole, no matter the price.

The Xbox 360 is the first console I've had on day one. It definitely wasn't by my choice; Jessica went through the unnecessary (but appreciated) labors of making sure I had the right birthday present. That was about the only situation that a new console would leave me as an early adopter.

What about the readership? Did anyone go brave the lines to get the promise ring of a PS3 launch day wedding? How high are your hopes for the console to deliver?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Who would you pick for Sony's "public frontman"? elaborates on Sony's need for a Major Nelson/Miyamoto/Reggie equivalent. My comments are already on the article:

Interesting article, you'll be getting note from my blog as well =)

I think the European Sony "wigs" (not Phil Harrison, but the other ones) prove to be a lot more interesting and a lot less dense than Hirai and Kutaragi. The current "three mustketeers" of Sony just can't tout the PS3 in a fun way. They make it taxing; even painful, whether reading, listening, or watching them.

More importantly, I think Sony needs reps that show interest in their fans (whether genuine or not), instead of directly treating them like full wallets. The attitude of "We sell the most, we're better, you have to buy it," is really sickening. Major/Reggie/Miyamoto leave you feeling like you WANT to buy it, not that you HAVE to.

'nuff said, eh?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dead Rising: Done enough

While completing the "Zombie Genocider" and "Hella Copter" achievements, I realized how much I had been playing this game. Even the frustrating controls really weren't frustrating anymore, because I have been through the game a half a dozen times.

As I'm sure has been suggested before, this is probably the 360's first "killer-app" as so dutifully named. Oblivion may have done it for some, but I have my doubts that it has such a wide appeal. Even people who don't know much about the Xbox or 360 know about Dead Rising.

We'll see if Sony gets something to compete with this fantastic game.


I've only the 5-day and 7-day achievements left, but I think I'm done. It's time for a breather, as I've almost been playing this game for two weeks straight.

Friday, October 06, 2006

FFXII demo: Lame Storytelling

Desperately trying to mash medieval and futuristic times together, we get a hodgepodge that results in uninteresting characters. From my experience since Final Fantasy 7, there's always been some fantastic persona that left you playing on in order to learn more about him or her. Even Final Fantasy 9, which I abhor, had Zidane and Vivi which were weird curiosities.

FFXII feels like a medieval story cliche with spaceships. In my opinion, this is a horrible, horrible thing. During my short time with FFXII...I actually had the thought that the game felt like 3rd person Oblivion with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings aspects.

The controls are problematic as well. FPS fans will HATE that X and Y camera control cannot be reversed. Menus cannot be navigated with the analog stick, and the d-pad cannot navigate your character. This leaves for a lot of frustration control-wise. The floppy Dual Shock 2 analogs will probably drive some gamers insane as well (especially when they find a lack of sensitivity adjustment).

Continue reading...

Not all is lost. My concern going in was that I wouldn't like the lack of random battles. Surprisingly, the new battle system is quite welcome, and I enjoy it. Active Time Battle still exists, so there is some time between your command and when it can be excuted. However, you are free to run around while waiting for your action bar to fill. That doesn't mean an enemy's attack will miss if you move out of the way though.

The graphics are fairly impressive for a PS2 game. Square-Enix did an outstanding job of getting rid of "flat-face" syndrome from Final Fantasy X. They give dimension in the right places on faces and clothing, and it makes a huge difference. Granted, it's still hard to look at all those jaggies and low-res textures after having experienced better. But credit is definitely due for the outcome of the game with the old hardware they had to work with.

I'm glad I demoed this game, because I see no reason to buy it on day one and pay full price for it. Final Fantasy has always been a great story experience from me. But if I dislike the environments and the characters, I already know I'll regret not spending that money elsewhere. I made this mistake with Enchanted Arms, and I'm not about to do it again.

Hopefully, FFXIII will not be in a non-medievalish setting so I can look forward to it. From the teasers, I shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vision camera, Totemball, and thoughts

I finally acquired a Vision camera yesterday, and we spent a couple hours of the late hours playing Totemball. For some reason, my local Wal-mart didn't have them. I had to visit a Wal-mart in another city to get my mitts on this flashy device.

While waiting for the clerk to open the cabinet, I cam upon two other gamers buying late-night goods as well. The first was disappointingly buying a slim PS2 with Call of Duty. Almost simultaneously, the other customer and I said, "We could have sold you one of those."

"We have too many as it is."

That was a little odd. A chuckle ensued, and my fellow patron asked the clerk for NBA2K7 (for 360). PS2 guy continued to praise the 360, but said his friend is buying one so he doesn't have to buy one.

Miscellaneous chatting followed, but nothing else is worth mentioning.

Upon opening the box, I was surprised that the camera itself is much smaller than I anticipated. Small means less clutter, so it was far from being a problem. The capturing framerate for video was better than expected as well.

On to the Totemball.

Continue reading...

For the first time, a game as made me regret having a big screen television. While finding a good location for the camera isn't very hard, trying to look at both sides of a 51" screen at the same time is next to impossible. For those who haven't seen Totemball, the controls consist of up and down movement on both sides of the screen.

Aside from that, I've noticed that the camera doesn't seem too happy with the lack of light in our entertainment room. We have a single lamp on one side of the room for light since the room has no lights of its own. While the game registered our movements, it seemed much happier when I was moving a bright bottle up and down instead of my hands.

The game is immensely tiring on the arms. And there's no apologies for wearing them out quickly. However, if you are looking for some arm exercise, try getting that 20-minutes-without-a-break achievement. Lazies all over the world will probably slug run far from this game and that achievement.

The thought, "Will this be what the Wii is like?" was popped into my mind. My immediate answering thought was, "Not likely." Wii motion control will be based on the controller rather than captured video. There won't be constant readjustment to make sure your hands are in the designated spots on screen. Sit-down-and-play is also likely to be more forgiving than this camera.


Camera's make everyone a dork, including myself. To geek out, I'm considering wearing my ninja mask if video is streaming. Do you want to see my ugly mug? Probably not.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Active reloading for Gears of War?

Pressing "X" anytime is so weak...

When it comes time to reload, there's a choice. Either reload in the traditional fashion, or attempt an active reload. By hitting the right bumper, a minigame starts up. By stopping a moving bar in a specific place on the ammo display at the screen's top right, players can earn bonuses. A perfect stop gives players bullets with extra damage. A good stop gives players an instant reload. Poorly stopping the bar jams the gun, so there's a risk.

That's actually a really good idea. "Free-form" reloading always makes me think of how ridiculous FPS games can get. Throwing a little mini-game in there could liven things up a little bit. (I think I'm getting a call from the Department of Redundancy Department on that last sentence...)

Along those lines, it would kind of be a cool idea if you had to input a certain sequence to reload. Maybe we'll see that in the future.

Metroid Prime 3: I want it, mommy!

Yeah. Give me this game now. My Metroid-hunger must be abated!

Bioshock strangles me for attention; gets it.

Up until recently, Bioshock hasn't been on my gaming radar. From skimming over articles, all I knew about the game was that it was underwater and it was a first person shooter. It looked good graphically, but an FPS has to be fairly spectacular in some way to really grab my attention. Games like Far Cry, Killzone, and Counterstrike don't really strike me in any aspect.

Halo 2 has great multiplayer, AVP2 has great single and multiplayer, the Suffering and Fear are downright creepy, Condemned has a thing for melee, etc. What separated this game from the pack?

Not long ago, this game trailer grabbed my attention. No, it pulled me out of the comfort zone of my daily driver and pummeled me senseless on a busy street. It left me wanting more, which is exactly a trailer's purpose (unlike Sony's incessant use of the Afrika trailer).

A Team Xbox preview enlightened me a bit by providing information on character/enemy interaction, and by explaning some of a demo experience. Bioshock is sounding like a horror movie you play, rather than a lame game based on a horror movie.

Welcome to my game radar, Bioshock.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

PSP batteries to be recalled? Never take candy from a Sony battery-powered device...

My smart-ass mouth opened too soon. Welcome to the age of inadvertent Sony terrorism. They've planted their "special light-show batteries" in more than laptops according to

The culprit behind all of these recalls: lithium-ion batteries made by Sony Energy Devices Corp., of Japan. Sony, the supplier of batteries to many notebook computer manufacturers, has already announced it will be executing a global exchange program for potentially hazardous batteries.

Eek! Guess what "new" controller is powered by a built-in Lithium-Ion battery made by Sony?

"The upcoming Sony recall could very well expand beyond notebook computers and could include DVD players and portable gaming devices,"

Uh-oh. Could they be alluding to the PSP? That's the only "portable gaming device" I'm aware of that's powered by Sony. I bet my fat DS is hiding from my PSP in fear of burning alive right now.

Careful with them Sony products kids. They could blow your hands clean off. In TrueHD. SNAP!

The 7 dwarves tidbit collection

What a boring day as far as news is concerned. Sure, there are little things to talk about, but nothing too impressive.

  1. EGM is going to have some supposedly impressive Halo 3 coverage. Just bring on the damn game already.

  2. PS3's were overheating at TGS (which lacked A/C, so surprise surprise).

  3. PS3 Accessories are cheap in Japan. Will we get similar pricing in the US?

  4. The PS3 is still colossal, and the Wii is still wee. We knew this.

  5. Microsoft confirmed that the 360 can send a digital video signal. This means HDMI is not out of the question.

  6. Someone can "achieve" 3000 gamerscore for you for $300. This scheme is mainly for rich and pathetic individuals who suck at games, are too lazy to play sports titles for easy points, and/or need a confidence boost.

  7. Lastly, FFXII is illegally available via torrents. Even with a modded PS2, downloading for several days, burning the DVD, and destroying your wimpy PS2 laser isn't worth it. Buy the damn game.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Itagaki sticks with 360 - Ninja Gaiden Sigma footage inside

Ninja Gaiden Sigma looks hot! Yes, it is a spruced up Next Gen version of the original Xbox version. But it looks so damn good with the new environments and effects that I think I just soiled myself. Next Gen Ninja Gaiden is just plain SEXY, and finally gives me a reason other than FFXIII to look forward to the PS3.

*remembers I'll have to use that piece of crap PS3 controller and sighs*

Oh well, I'm still excited. Hopefully we get a 360 version down the line.

In the interview, Itagaki talks about the PS2 being far too weak to handle the original Ninja Gaiden. Itagaki says that people even asked him to reduce the quality in order to get the game on the PS2. He refused.

This is just another reminder that the PS2 is by far, the most pathetically powered console of the last generation (Dreamcast not included). PlayStation fans with their Texas-sized blinders (myself included) caused a lot of lost potential with the Xbox with our lack of support.

Itagaki's continued presence in the Xbox line should help ensure a more level playfield this time around. Team Ninja has done some amazing work thus far, and my anticipation level for Ninja Gaiden 2 is off the charts.

[via Kotaku]

Red vs Blue returns with Season 5

Those nut-jobs at Roosterteeth are back in hilarious action with Red vs Blue Season 5. I'm more pumped than the realultimatepower ninja kid.

Machinima is still in its youth, but it's coming a plenty. I'd have to say that Red vs Blue is the best in its class. So much so that I insist on being a sponsor; not only to get early access to their episodes, but because I want to support their efforts. It's good to see that Microsoft supports them as well, with the stock RvB video on the 360's and the "Out of Mind" series on the marketplace.

$10 for 6 months is a small price to pay for belly-ache-invoking comedy provided by the series. It'll "brighten" anyone's day. Even if you can't pay up, the public archives of previous seasons is hours of entertainment. is hoping that future episodes will be put up on the marketplace. Cheers to that!