Friday, April 28. 2006
I have to say I was very disappointed in Nintendo's choice to name the Revolution the Wii (pronounced we). I see this going down in history as the most made fun of console name ever. Imagine someone not knowing about the Wii hearing someone say "I want to play with my Wii," or "I played with my Wii all day," or a kid asking "I can have a Wii for Christmas?" Put two consoles together and you have yourself a WiiWii. Joy. It's just bad. Bad Nintendo. I think it represents a like of foresight in naming and taste for company that has always prided its self on being family friendly. Nintendo says the the two "i"'s in Wii are suppose to look like to people standing next to each other and representing togetherness.
Tuesday, November 22. 2005
My Xbox 360 is in Mather, California and is scheduled to be delivered today. I'll through up some impressions after I'm able to put some time in with it.
Tuesday, November 15. 2005
I added my Xbox Gamertag to the right column. Obviously it won't have much action utnil I get my 360 on Tuesday.
Thursday, November 10. 2005
A couple months ago I bought a nice 50" HDTV that I hooked up to a HTCP running Windows Media Center Edition 2005. The set up works pretty well but I'm starting to get really frustrated with game companies not including custom resolutions or, like EA, only allowing the game menus to run at 640x480 or 800x600. Normally this isn't a big problem but unless I run my games at 1840x1036 (I'm compisating for overscan) I get huge black bars around the edges of the screen and the menu and or game is too small to play. Most monitors will stretch the image from the computer to fit the screen but not always on a TV. I'm stuck with a really small screen that takes up about one ninth of my screen and is surrounded by a lot of black. I don't expect older games to be able to do such high resolutions at a 16x9 aspect ratio but even some of the newest games on the market seem to lack this ability.
So far I have been able to get the following games working perfect:
Call of Duty 2
World of Warcraft
The following games have been a headache for me:
X-Men Legends II (I changed the resolution in alchemy.ini but it did nothing)
Tony Hawk's Underground II
Need for Speed II: Hot Pursuit
Need for Speed Underground
Need for Speed Porche Unleashed
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (the game is hard coded to run only at 800x600)
If any one know how to get any of the above working at 1840x1036 drop me a note in the comments and if I can get it working I'll move it tothe working list.
If anyone is wondering I'm using a BFG gForce 6600 GT connected to my TV through component cables. I tried using the VGA input on the TV and it gave me a small black border at the suggest 1280x768 resolution. I have not tried using the HDMI input on the TV since I don't have a DVI to HDMI cable.
Wednesday, November 9. 2005
I was very happy today to receive an email from EBGames saying that Dead or Alive 4 is being delayed until December 1, 2005 and because of the delay Call of Duty 2 will be substituted for DoA4. The email went on to say that orders placed for the premium system before August 30th, 2005 should ship November 21st. I ordered my Xbox 360 on August 23rd so it looks like it should be arriving on my door step November 22nd.
EBGames also stated the all core system orders placed before October 28th would ship November 21st as well. Considering the two month difference in order cut offs it looks like most people are doing the smart thing and order the premium system.
Monday, November 7. 2005
I picked up Guitar Hero last week and this game rocks in more than one way. The list of songs is amazing. The game is the inverse of the norm. Usually there are maybe one or two song in a game I like. With Guitar Hero it is the opposite. There are only a few songs that I don't like but I'm will to tolerate them. Guitar Hero includes songs made famous by Pantero, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bad Religion, Blue Oyster Cult and many more. The songs aren't being played by the original artists but just like Karaoke Revolution they sound very close and won't prevent you from getting your rock on.
I have Guitar Freaks and Guitar Freaks 2nd Mix, or whatever they called it, and a Konami guitar. I played Guitar Freaks way too much back in the day and the music wasn't bad but you don't get the same feeling jamming away to music made just for the game as you do when you're jamming to White Zombie or Pantera. It's like playing air guitar, only cooler. Guitar Hero also feels more like a real guitar in that there are five buttons as apposed to the three used in Guitar Freaks. This makes you actually have to move your hand up and down the frets unlike in GF.
This game officially comes out Tuesday the 8th but if you want to try and snag an early copy Best Buy has been selling them since the 1st. The website says it's on back order but if you check store availability you may find one in your area. That's what I did.
Saturday, November 5. 2005
I pre-ordered my Xbox 360 (premium edition, you're an idiot if you buy the core version) way back in August the first day EB Games put up for pre-order. It cost a bloody fortune but I'm sure it'll be well worth it. Having to buy systems in bundles is really starting to irk me. I bought the four game bundle that will tentatively come with Project Gotham Racing 3, Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero and Dead or Alive 4. I'm really looking forward to the first three but I've been pretty burned out on the Dead or Alive series since the Dreamcast incarnations.
In my opinion the biggest thing going for the Xbox 360 is the improved Xbox Live. Sony's online strategy is a joke and Nintendo barely has a strategy at the moment.
Here's to hoping I get it close to if not on launch day.
Thursday, July 14. 2005
This whole Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas hot coffee controversy has gotten way out of hand. First off, you shouldn't be playing the game unless you're 18 and second you have to run a patch that alters the game from its original state to allow access to the mini games. Both the ESRB and Rockstar games have been taking a lot of heat the past week because of this patch.
I can't see how the ESRB is responsible in any way for the content of an altered game. Now if Rockstar had left a secret code in the game that allowed you to play these mini games then I think the ESRB should be partially responsible. To gain access to the mini games you have to run a third party patch.
Rockstar is saying that the mini games were never in the "source code" and the patch creates the mini games from scratch. I find this extremely hard to believe as altering a binary file that much would be one hell an accomplishment. I believe for some odd reason Rock Star had the mini games programmed in to the game, possibly by bored programmers, and instead of removing them completely from the final code they just removed the links in the code.
Now to get to the Clinton part of this. Hillary Clinton said today that she is going to author a bill that would make it a federal crime to sell mature games to minors. I see no wrong in this. I was personally told by an eight year old that he liked play GTA 3 because he liked killing cops.
Clinton said, "No wonder these games are falling into the hands of our children and no wonder so many parents feel everyday like they are fighting this battle with their hands tied behind their backs."
Where's the everyday battle? What's so hard about look at the front of the box before purchasing a game for a child? Are these parents' lives so busy they can't see what their children are playing? The only reason the parents have their hands tied is because they are so damn lazy. It's unfortunate that we have make laws so that parents will do their job.
Clinton goes on to say, "We need to do better. We need to do everything we can to make sure that parents have a line of defense against violent and graphic video games and other content that go against the values they are trying to instill in their children."
We already have this line of defense. It's the bloody parents. She doesn't want to say it because it might piss off some voters.
Monday, July 11. 2005
Technically they haven't raised the price but keep removing features that will cost the consumer more in the long run.
Today it was reported that the PlayStation 3 will not come with the previously announced three port router. Previously announced by Sony was the fact that the hard drive would no longer be included and would be sold separately. I don't know about you guys but the dual HD output should have been the first or second thing to go. I'm sure most people out there will be using a single standard definition television. If Sony keeps this up the PS3 will cost a fortune. To make the machine equivalent to what was announced at E3 it looks like you'll be playing $450 - $650. That is with estimating the machine at $300-$400, a hard drive at $100-$150 and a router at $50-$100. They'll probably make you tack on another $40-$50 for a memory card and $30-$40 for a second controller. If they don't throw in the cables for hooking it up to an HDTV and A/V receiver add on another $40-$50. Of course you'll need a game if you want to enjoy it so add on another $50-$60. Ouch!!
Sunday, July 10. 2005
Last weekend I picked up a copy of Meteos for the Nintendo DS last weekend and it's absolutely fantastic. Finally a must own game for the DS. I haven't played a puzzle game this much since Tetris Attack/Pokemon Puzzle League. Meteos is created by the same developer that brought us the fabulous Lumines on the PSP.
Meteos is a fast paced puzzle game in which you are fighting to save the planets from the evil Meteos planet. In Meteos you launch blocks off the top of the screen by matching three or more like blocks either horizontally or vertically. All blocks above the matching three are lifted up as well. When blocks are launched off the top of the screen they are sent to your opponents screen as dead blocks. If your screen fills to the top you lose.
Meteos offers a slew off unlockables that are purchased with the blocks you send of the top of the screen. Purchasable items have to first be unlocked by meeting specific goals such as fighting a specific planet, playing for a given amount of time or launching a set number of blocks off the screen.
Monday, May 30. 2005
I finally broke down and bought all the major parts I need to start building a HTPC for our HDTV. This is something I have been meaning to do for some time but was waiting for all pieces I needed to come out. I plan on using the HTPC for HD/Standard video playback, games, emulators, music, photos, etc. For the curious here is a list of the parts I have purchased so far.
Abit AN8 Motherboard
Athlon64 3000+ CPU
BFG 6600GT PCI Express Video Card with HDTV Out
1Gig DDR400/3200 RAM (2x512)
The rest of the parts are going to be left overs from old computers that I'll slowly replace. I did not purchase a capture card as I plan to keep using the TiVo for ease of use. Living in a rural area we only get CBS-HD reliably so I'm still debating on getting a HD capture card.
I plan on purchasing an XMystique sound card with Dolby Digital Live Real-Time encoding which outputs DTS-ES, DD-EX 6.1/7.1, DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 over S/PDIF and coaxial outputs. I'm still debating on the remote but right now I'm leaning towards the ATI Remote Wonder II RF. For game inputs I have a USB to PS adaptor that I plan on using wireless Logitech controllers with. I have a wireless keyboard but I have yet decided what to do about a mouse for gaming. I'm left handed so finding comfortable mouse is a little harder since over half of them out there are designed for the right handed.
I would like to run a Linux distro with MythTV on the box but it looks like I'm going to have to go with XP Pro or XP MCE for compatability and games.
Saturday, April 23. 2005
A couple of images supposedly of the new Xbox 360 have been floating around the net. The first two images I first saw on Engadget and the third is from OurColony.net.
From the images it looks like the Xbox 360 may have a 40GB hard drive, two memory card ports, an infrared sensor for remotes, a frickin' huge power button and wireless controllers due to the lack of any controller ports. It also looks like the unit may be able to stand on its side much like the PlayStation 2. The small button to the right of the memory ports looks like it could be a wireless training button like those found on wireless keyboards, mice and controllers or possibly a reset button. What I can't figure out is what the large button/flap is to the right of the power button.
Thursday, April 21. 2005
Wrestlemania XXI Online Play Broken Posted by Wilda in Video Games at 21:56
I'm not a huge wrestling game fan but I know a lot of you out there are. I don't own Wrestlemania XXI so I can't personally confirm this but according to Gamespot and several other sources including the Xbox forums it seems that current copies of the game cannot connect to Live. Explanations vary from the servers not being up to the net code being broken and not even sending out packets. If the game did some how get out the door with broken net code THQ and Microsoft need to be drug out in the street and shot. According to Gamespot the preview copies that went out worked fine online.
Just a word of warning. If you plan on visiting the Xbox Wrestlemania XXI forum the maturity level is well below average but there are some good informative posts which do make it worth checking out.
Update: THQ has made the following statement:
Dear Valued Customers:
It has come to our attention that, due to a manufacturing error at the disc replication facility, gamers may experience problems utilizing the online feature in WrestleMania 21.
We are currently working to issue an auto update that will be available for download on Xbox Live as quickly as possible. Please be assured this is an isolated incident and we apologize for the inconvenience.
We appreciate your patience while we work to address this situation.
THQ Customer Service
I think the comment that gamers may experience problems is an understatement as it seems that no one can connect to Live with this game.
Update: It looks like the problem has been solved with a content update from Live.
Tuesday, April 12. 2005
It looks like Eletronic Arts is at it again. Today they announced that they have purchased the exclusive rights to college football teams, stadiums and so on for the next six years. It's pretty sad when a company has to pay so much money to wipe out the competition as apposed to using that money to make a better game. EA can now make the same game every year but with updated stats and a new title screen and if people want a football game with known properties they'll have no choice but to buy this slop. Wait, isn't that what EA has been doing and the lemmings are still buying it every year?
I don't know how many this effects as I don't know anyone who plays college sports games. I know I haven't played any since the SNES days of NCAA Basketball. It's not college football but I'm going to be playing ESPN NFL 2K5 football for at least six more years.
Tuesday, April 5. 2005
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