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3001  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii VC]european games this week on: April 13, 2007, 04:55:59 PM
I was actually just talking to a friend about Actraiser a week or two ago.  I never played it, but I vividly remember that another friend of ours was a *huge* fan.  I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing that arrive here in the States.

-Autistic Angel
3002  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist 13/April/07 Last Non-Marathon Training Weekend Edition on: April 13, 2007, 04:52:32 PM
I'm about 75% of the way through Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and may have time to finish it some time this weekend.  It's been slow going because I'm not using any sort of hint guide, but I've been very diligent about jotting down where I am when I hear that elusive "power up sound" so that I'll remember to revisit the area later.  I think I have something like 85-90% of all scans and available power-ups, though I'm still missing at least two ammo upgrades and two super-missile systems.

Next up will probably be Super Paper Mario and/or Shadow of the Colossus.

-Autistic Angel
3003  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hell's Kitchen - Season 3 on: April 13, 2007, 12:33:11 AM
I'll be watching it, too.

-Autistic Angel
3004  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: You know it's bad for Don Imus........ on: April 11, 2007, 08:23:11 PM
Quote from: Daehawk
Minorities dont want this country to appear equal and fair.

True.  They want this country to *be* equal and fair.

-Autistic Angel
3005  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist: Jesus Christ the Savior is Risen Edition 6/Apr/07 on: April 06, 2007, 01:54:56 PM
I'm playing through Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the first time and having a fantastic time with it.  I'm a little mad right at the moment because I lost about 45-minutes of play last night after neglecting to save for too long, but that's really not the game's fault.  Hopefully I can remember where I got that missile expansion and the ammo kit I found....

I *love* this series.

-Autistic Angel
3006  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: April 03, 2007, 01:47:27 PM
Quote from: IkeVandergraaf
There's a fix to the surround sound problem.  Apparently I'm not the only one who's having it.  It involves replacing a .dll file.  If anyone else is having the same problem, pm me and I'll send you the file and details.

After installing Stalker on my machine, my sound card started behaving really badly.  The problems in Stalker were immediately noticeable since the sound was totally desynched from the video during the opening movie, and the last part of most in-game speech would suddenly cut out.  I tried the tips available on the community forum, such as turning my sound acceleration down and finally off, but nothing made any difference.  I was thinking I could probably just live with it...until I suddenly started to encounter the exact same problem in games like Neverwinter Nights 2 which had always worked perfectly in the past. 

A full format and reinstall later, NWN2 is back to working perfectly.  I'm still trying to decide whether I want to try replicating the problem by reinstalling Stalker.  I guess it's better to try it now since I already have all my stuff safely backed up, but still, it's such a pain....

Has anyone else had any unusual sound problems in Stalker?

-Autistic Angel
3007  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: God of War 2 - Thoughts on Weaponry on: March 30, 2007, 08:35:04 PM
I poured all my points into the Blades of Athena until they were maxed out, then maxed out the lightning orbs, and I stopped there.  Kratos is so unstoppable with just those two that it already felt like cheating -- there wasn't much need to waste orbs on anything else.

Maybe in God Mode I'll try playing more with the Barbarian Hammer or the Staff thing.

-Autistic Angel
3008  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (3/26) on: March 28, 2007, 05:09:16 PM
Quote from: Brendan
Dan Savage appeared on This American Life recently, and was talking about Zack and Cody.  I'd never heard of it, but it sounds like it's pushing some of the wrong messages out there.  The segment is absolutely hilarious though:

http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1176

I'm listening to this podcast right now, and it seems centered around the question of whether television is significantly better now than in the past -- a position I've been taking in recent discussions with people.  The podcast is really great so far; thanks for the link!

-Autistic Angel
3009  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IGN's 25 worst game box art on: March 28, 2007, 04:42:38 PM
"Hmmm...."

"What's up?"

"Carol served me with divorce papers today."

"Oh man!  Geez, I'm really sor-"

"Also, I'm trying to think of what we can put on the cover of Phalanx.  We need something that really draws the eye...something that says, 'Hyperspeed shootout!', but in space."

"Say no more, I have just the thing...."



-Autistic Angel
3010  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Second 'Civ 4' Expansion Announced on: March 28, 2007, 04:34:17 PM
Straight from Firaxis:

Quote from: Firaxis' Website
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword is the second expansion pack for Civilization IV - the 2005 PC Game of the Year that has become a world-wide hit. The expansion will focus on the time periods after the invention of gunpowder and will deliver 12 unique and challenging scenarios created by the development team at Firaxis as well as some esteemed members of the Civ Community. Civ IV: Beyond the Sword will also include ten new civilizations, sixteen new leaders, five new wonders, and a variety of new units that will offer even more fun and exciting ways for players to expand their civilization’s power as they strive for world domination.

Expanded Epic Game: We’ve added more new units, buildings, and technologies to the epic game with a tremendous amount of effort focused on the late game.

New Game Scenarios: The expansion will deliver 12 new scenarios custom designed by the team at Firaxis and some members of the Civ Fan Community.

New Civilizations: The pack will provide 10 new civilizations, such as Portugal, Babylonians, and Netherlands and their associated unique units and buildings.

More Civilization Leaders: Sixteen new leaders will be provided. The list will include leaders for the new civilizations as well as additional leaders for existing civilizations. Leaders such as Hammurabi of the Babylonians, Abraham Lincoln of the United States, and Sitting Bull of the Native Americans will provide the player with even more choices on who they want to play.

Corporations: A new gameplay feature similar to religion that allows players to found companies and spread them throughout the world. Each corporation provides benefits in exchange for certain resources.

Espionage: Now available earlier in the game, this feature offers players many new ways to spy on opponents. Each civilization has the opportunity to fund espionage development, which will allow them to gain intelligence, sabotage structures, poison water supplies, cause rebellions, and much more.

Events: New random events challenge players with unique ways of interacting with the world. Players are presented with interesting decisions to make when faced with events such as natural disasters, pleas for help, or demands from their citizens.

New Wonders: There will be five new wonders including the Statue of Zeus, Cristo Redentor, Shwedagon Paya, the Mausoleum of Maussollos, and the Moai Statues.

Expanded Space Victory: Winning a space ship victory will now require more strategic planning and tactical decision making.

Apostolic Palace: The United Nations will become available earlier in the game providing a way for players to win a diplomatic victory earlier. New resolutions will also be added which will expand the available diplomatic options.

Advanced Starts: A major fan request, this new feature will enable players to "buy" components of a custom-tailored empire and begin play in the later part of the game, allowing them to experience many of the new features of the expansion in a shorter amount of time.

Enhanced AI: The AI has received many enhancements making it tougher to beat on the higher difficulty levels. The ways in which the AI will attempt to achieve victory have also been expanded.

Sounds great!  I'm particularly looking forward to the new corporation and espionage systems -- the latter being something I've always found lacking in the Civilization games -- and the enhanced AI is always a welcome addition!  thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
3011  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jeff Green's blog mentions Company of Heroes 2 on: March 24, 2007, 10:55:59 PM
I'd love to see the setting of Company of Heroes merged with the RISK-like campaign in Dark Crusade.  The single player campaign missions in CoH were very, very well done, but I think they'd be even more compelling if you were also commanding the overall strategy to secure towns and vital roadways for your military.

-Autistic Angel
3012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Oblivion Patch Out! on: March 24, 2007, 03:27:16 PM
I had to remove a mod I'd installed specifically to enhance the distance terrain, but otherwise everything seems good.  I agree, too: the new distance textures look great!

-Autistic Angel
3013  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Austrailia: PS3 launch?... whatever on: March 23, 2007, 01:47:21 PM
Quote from: metallicorphan
well,here in the UK,the papers(damn them)have just been reporting on how we are paying £125 extra than americans and given the fact that the backwards compatibility has been lowered somewhat..and also it works out that we are paying £10 extra for the games as well

Yeah, but you guys got free 46" plasma screen TVs with your PS3s!

Quote from: GameSpot.com
The two London breakfast launch parties this morning for the PlayStation 3 console were low-key--around 300 people came through the doors at one of the two Oxford Street stores that opened early. At the official Sony event last night, inside the Virgin Megastore down the road, Sony made the shock decision to give away Bravia 46" Plasma HDTVs to all those who had been waiting in line for a console.

 icon_eek

-Autistic Angel
3014  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] 75% Back Compat for PS3 in Europe on: March 22, 2007, 05:37:58 PM
Quote from: Hetz
Yep, I downloaded it already. It doesn't gimp it at all. All my PS2 games still work.

Does anything run any better?  Better anti-aliasing, higher resolution...anything like that?

The more I read about the 1.6 update, it doesn't appear to do anything for the American system's backwards compatibility, but I figure it's worth asking....

-Autistic Angel
3015  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] 75% Back Compat for PS3 in Europe on: March 20, 2007, 10:58:14 PM
Quote from: Andrew Mallon
Quote from: Autistic Angel
I have a question about the PS3's compatibility.  I know the 1.6 firmware update isn't officially available yet, but perhaps someone knows the answer anyhow.

Suppose I buy an American PS3 and put in Ratchet & Clank -- it should work great!  Then imagine that a firmware update comes out that's supposed to do the whole software upscaling thing, except it doesn't work right.  There's slowdown, graphical corruption, etc...will I have an option to force it back to hardware compatibility mode?

I know there was a recent interview where a Sony rep said that the "Emotion Engine" chip couldn't be turned off...I'm just unclear on whether or not you're allowed to choose your method of backwards compatibility...?


-Autistic Angel

You can't switch between back-compatibility modes. European backwards compatibility is part software, part hadware. If you buy a current PS3, you'll always have the full-hardware compatibility turned on, because the European and US systems have different hardware. 

The real question is, if Sony adds additional image processing down the line, will current owners be screwed since the software emulator won't run on it? What I would speculate that, since the PS3 already does some post-processing on PS1/PS2 images (deinterlacing them), that if Sony were to add additional post-processing like upscaling or FSAA, it wouldn't matter whether the rendering device is the EE or the Cell.

I don't think I understand.  I thought the big advantage to doing software-based emulation (aside from the savings on manufacturing costs) was that it would allow the PS3 to upscale older games to higher resolutions with better post-processing -- FSAA and so forth.  The fact that the software emulators are being created with the assumption that the unit will not have any native hardware-based compatibility suggests that they will be operating independently from any built-in Emotion Engine chip.

If I put a game into a current American PS3 right now, it automatically kicks over and starts using the Emotion Engine chip.  Once the 1.6 Firmware update is released, there should be a new option where the PS3 will check to see if it has a software emulator it can use to "enhance" the experience.  This could be a very good thing, as with God of War II which is listed as working perfectly, or a very troublesome thing, as with Killzone which is listed as having severe problems.

My question is: how would I tell the PS3 that I'd want it to use the superior software emulator for God of War II, but stick with the more reliable hardware option for Killzone?  Or is my understanding of the 1.6 software-based rendering "enhancements" mistaken?

I'm not arguing...I just don't understand how this shift in compatibility is supposed to work. retard

-Autistic Angel
3016  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] 75% Back Compat for PS3 in Europe on: March 20, 2007, 08:53:46 PM
I have a question about the PS3's compatibility.  I know the 1.6 firmware update isn't officially available yet, but perhaps someone knows the answer anyhow.

Suppose I buy an American PS3 and put in Ratchet & Clank -- it should work great!  Then imagine that a firmware update comes out that's supposed to do the whole software upscaling thing, except it doesn't work right.  There's slowdown, graphical corruption, etc...will I have an option to force it back to hardware compatibility mode?

I know there was a recent interview where a Sony rep said that the "Emotion Engine" chip couldn't be turned off...I'm just unclear on whether or not you're allowed to choose your method of backwards compatibility...?

-Autistic Angel
3017  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Early game appetizers on: March 19, 2007, 11:50:43 PM
Quote
That's not true. You get a whole bunch of new weapons and powers that you didn't have during that first level. (It does kinda suck to lose it all, but that's what fuels your empathy and your inner-Kratos.)

Personally, I don't feel any empathy for Kratos at all. 

He was a god with the power to reform himself and the world that had been so devastated by the brutal campaigns of Ares, and what does he do?  He devotes himself to the exact same course of savage bloodshed and perpetual death that caused the gods to conspire against his predecessor in the first place.  Zeus is kind of a prick, but I can't really blame him for wanting to see Kratos gone.

However much he pisses and growls about how the gods of Olympus have screwed him over, the horrors of Kratos' life have all been the result of his own decisions.  It was his choice to become a warrior, his idea to offer his life in service to Ares, his bloodthristy carelessness that resulted in the deaths of his family, his cruelty and arrogance that turned the other gods against him -- if Kratos had any sense of responsibility for his own actions, he'd realize that his own ruthless vendettas are not the solution to, but the *cause* of all of his problems.

I think God of War III should center on an encounter with Helen of Counselor Troi, a beautiful empath who launches a thousand ships as part of a complex metaphor to help Kratos get back in touch with his feelings.  If he could put as much effort into slaying his inner demons as he does into the outer ones who are always trying to kill him, maybe he could finally make some real breakthroughs...!

-Autistic Angel
3018  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: "You've Obtained The Drigellum of Jack-Assery" on: March 18, 2007, 02:04:07 AM
Quote from: Pharoah
...and you havent even done the Ghost Ship or Super Ghost Ship levels!

Yeah, Rogue Galaxy has been a lot of fun, but I'm a little burned out on the concept right now.  100% of my gaming time for the last several weeks has been devoted to either this or Supreme Commander, so I'm going to take a break and play God of War II for a while.

Quote from: Calvin
I am just about to start the game either tomorrow or tonight, just curious if you could provide a few more impressions or generally how much you liked it and things like that-we had a decent thread going on about the game right after release but after a lot of initial excitement I haven't heard a peep about the game in several weeks.

Sure!  Keep in mind as you read these that I played from beginning to end without any sort of strategy guide or advice, so my experience may have been different from some people's....

1. I really enjoyed the characters in the game.  The voice acting in the game is superb and all of your shipmates have their own side-story which helps develop them into full-fledged individuals.  Some of these stories take the form of quests relevant to the central plot; others are sprinkled here and there as you progress and, while you could probably cut them out without disrupting the narrative too much, they add a lot of personality to the game. thumbsup thumbsup

2. The storyline is good…provided that you reset your expectations from “Knights of the Old Republic” to “better-than-average JRPG.”  The scope of the main plot steadily expands throughout the game until, by the end, it really is amazing to think back on all the different things you were focused on accomplishing in the various chapters.  I don’t watch any anime so you should take this with a grain of salt, but some of the cutscenes are a-m-a-z-i-n-g, and I can truly say that I was always looking forward to the next story point.  The writing team here seems to understand that the best plots are driven by emotion, and even if they're occasionally clumsy in the execution, they get a lot of points for the effort! thumbsup thumbsup

3. The art direction is phenomenal, which is pretty much what I would expect from Level 5.  The cel-shaded graphics are crisp and clean, the combat animations and all the associated special effects look great – especially given how many of them are going on at once – and the game world itself has a cool Treasure Planet motif that keeps everything fresh and lively without sacrificing the emotional core of the story. thumbsup thumbsup

4. The combat system starts off feeling a little overwhelming while you learn how to keep yourself and your comrades alive, soon becomes a great deal of fun as you start bringing in new characters with new fighting styles, and towards the very end of the game, started to feel rather monotonous.  The game does a great job of mixing up different enemy types, each with distinctive attack patterns and special weaknesses, but eventually you’ll see everything the game has to offer and start tiring of the long journeys through enemy-infested territory.  For clarity, I think I’d played for about fifty hours before I started to hit that wall, and when you consider that the combat is about 85% of this game, don’t mistake this for a harsh criticism. thumbsup

5. I don't think the "Revelation Flow" is an effective method of giving your characters new powers and abilities because you cannot see where your choices are going to take you.  It's clear that you need certain in-game items to obtain "Fated Love" and that doing so will unlock access to two new unnamed powers, but there's no way to know what any of them do.  As I played through the game, I felt less like I was making any choices about character development, and more like I was just plugging random items into random slots whenever they became available. thumbsdown

6. In Dark Cloud 2, you could take photographs of things and use them as ideas for inventions.  It was a very creative and unique method for creating new things in the game, and also added to the game play since you’d often find yourself missing a piece and have to think back, “Now where did I see a waterfall I could photograph…?”  This is replaced in Rogue Galaxy by a new system where you talk to people to obtain blueprints for creating stuff in a factory.  Besides the fact that this is a much less innovative idea, the items you create seem woefully uninteresting and nearly useless by the time you can create them.  I once spent about thirty minutes carefully organizing my assembly line pieces to create a spear for one of my party members which was markedly less powerful than the one he already had.  This aspect of the game would have been much, much better if it had been used to create special things that couldn’t be obtained any other way, like stat-enhancing modules you could attach to existing weapons, or pack upgrades to let you carry more potions and elixirs…now *those* would have been cool to make! thumbsdown thumbsdown

7. I did a lot of the bonus hunting missions, but none of the Insectron tournament.  That's definitely something I plan to go back to at a later time -- I just got too involved in the plot and sort of forgot about the whole thing.

And a few spoiler-free tips:

1. If you're about to do something dumb during weapon synthesis, Toady will warn you first and ask for a confirmation.  In all other circumstances combining two weapons always results in one with greater power, so don't fret about straying from his official recommendations.  Even if he says your weapon is really strong and he can't think of anything to combine it with, try something anyway.

2. I played about 90% of the game with my allies set to "Go All Out" where they would automatically use healing and resurrection potions.  You'll want to keep an eye on your reserves and teleport back to a shop to restock from time to time, but at least you won't have to pause the game and heal them yourself all the time.  (The downside is you get so used to your allies healing you automatically, on the rare occasion that you're fighting alone, you might forget to watch your own health for a change.... retard)

3. Jaster is in your party 99.9% of the time.  When in doubt, upgrade his Revelation chart first.

4. Conversely, by the end of the game, you'll really want all of your party members to be as advanced as possible.  When I finished the main plot all of my companions (except one) had the most powerful weapons I could create for them and it really paid off.  Spend some time taking control of the other characters too: they're each different enough that it adds a new spin on the combat.  I'm definitely going to do more of this when I continue playing!

5. Hunter Coins are earned by winning battle challenges and defeating mimics.  Do this as much as possible: you'll want to trade in a lot of Hunter Coins at the Galaxy Corporation...!

6. If you don't die the first time you encounter a mimic, you're a much better player than I am.  This isn't a tip; more of a fact.

7. If you press 'Start' during most cinematics, you'll see an option to skip it.  This is very handy when traveling between planets or cutting past something else you've already seen.

-Autistic Angel
3019  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / "You've Obtained The Drigellum of Jack-Assery" on: March 16, 2007, 11:14:25 PM
End game Rogue Galaxy spoilers:

Spoiler for Hiden:
What the hell is up with Simon?  I'm talking specifically about the end of the game where it's "revealed" (to people who haven't been paying any attention) that the sobbing woman and child who have appeared throughout the game are the wife and daughter Simon has abandoned.  I guess there was some sort of disfiguring accident and he chose to run out on his family rather than deal with the shame of looking like a rat-man alien.

Near the end of the game, when Simon is retrieving his Drigellum, he has vision of the incredible misery his disappearance has caused his family.  I guess that wasn't made clear to him by the fact that they show up on every planet in the game, often weeping in the middle of the most dangerous possible area.  Even if you didn't have him in your party most of the time, he was still present when his wife and daughter first appeared on Zerard, tearfully asking random passers-by if they'd seen him.

Asshole.

Also: holy crap, this game is long!  My final save had a game-clock of 58 hours, and that doesn't even take into account all my deaths or all the bonus stuff you can do after completing the main plot!  eek

-Autistic Angel
3020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 11, 2007, 01:18:29 AM
Are you up for a game this weekend?  Tonight?

-Autistic Angel
3021  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What IS a "kiddie game"? on: March 09, 2007, 11:04:28 PM
Quote from: Gratch
I just finished The Longest Journey, and April Ryan was about as whiny an 18-year-old as I've ever seen in games (with an animal sidekick, no less!), but it certainly wasn't for kids.

One of the things I most liked about The Longest Journey was the fact that its protagonist had a life of her own, and for all of its faults, it was a life she was excited and optimistic about.  In most games, the hero exists solely within the bounds of the gameplay: the simple farm boy whose first 10-18 years of life are totally meaningless until An Epic Adventure(TM) presents itself and he's off to save the land/world/galaxy.

April Ryan is a simple art student who heads out to save the world, but not because she's craving an escape from her humdrum life -- she gets roped into the job because she's literally the only person who can do it.  And unlike the typical videogame hero who never looks back and winds up better off for the journey, it's clear very early on that April's adventure is not going to have a happy ending.  Remember: if everything goes as she expects,

Spoiler for Hiden:
she's supposed to become the next Guardian of the Balance, locked in a transdimensional tower by herself for a thousand years.  The fact that this does not happen, that April completes the most important thing she'll *ever* do at the age of 18 and is then cast aside by fate with no direction and no home -- it's really no surprise to me that she's become so bitter and jaded in Dreamfall.

April Ryan strikes me as a very authentic and sympathetic character, and When you consider all the angst that Buffy and Clark and Claire go through, I don't think she came off as whiny at all.  At least all those others got superpowers as part of the package....

-Autistic Angel
3022  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] Ico/SotC follow-up? on: March 09, 2007, 10:07:40 PM
Man, I would buy a PS3 just to watch a trailer for Ico 2.

-Autistic Angel
3023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: jade empire on: March 09, 2007, 04:54:11 PM
I don't think I'll be getting the PC version because I doubt the controls will translate very well to a keyboard and mouse, but I'm more and more interested in replaying the X-Box version.  Last time through, I focused extensively on my "Thousand Cuts" martial arts style and maximizing my focus ability.  There are so many other ways to play through, like developing my weapon or transformation skills or trying a different set of ethical choices, a replay seems really appealing.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jade Empire the first time through, and I'm looking forward to a second run!

-Autistic Angel
3024  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction on: March 07, 2007, 06:52:16 PM
I agree with Pong: a new Ratchet & Clank game will be a system-seller in my eyes.

-Autistic Angel
3025  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 07, 2007, 12:53:28 AM
There's no Veronica Mars tonight -- is anyone going to be up for a game sometime this evening?

By the way, I posted the replay of the game with Calvin and Thin_J for people to watch.  I obviously still have a lot to learn about growing my early game economy -- I was lagging way behind both of my teammates in terms of production.  tear

-Autistic Angel
3026  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv2 Gold Edition Impressions on: March 07, 2007, 12:51:15 AM
There's also mounting evidence that there's a pretty big bug where non-ideal defensive systems are turning out to be more effective than the one that's supposed to work the best.  In other words, while shields are supposed to be the strongest defense against beam weapons, the bug causes armor and point-defense systems to be even more efficient.

Some of the developers have been looking at the thread on this issue and are probably on the case already.

-Autistic Angel
3027  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Geico Cavemen to Star in New Sitcom on: March 06, 2007, 03:40:45 PM
According to a news story at TV.com, ABC has greenlit a pilot for a new sitcom staring the Geico cavemen.  The author writes that "the resulting nuanced situations could make for some hotly debated, intelligent TV."

We can only hope one of them will go to law school....

Personally, I always thought there should be a series about the Sprint PCS detective guy.  Not the "Can you hear me now?" guy -- the one in the trenchcoat who travels the countryside offering solace to the poor and the beleaguered by demonstrating how a new cell phone service can set their lives on the right path.  It could be like Touched By An Angel, except with a crisp new two-year contract at the end of every episode!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go put my boxed set of Firefly into storage so I'll have room the shelf for this hot and edgy new series!

-Autistic Angel
3028  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes - 02/26/2007 *Possible Spoilers* on: March 06, 2007, 02:13:37 PM
The shapeshifter appears to be more of an illusionist -- not only could she adjust her own appearance, but she made Dead Simone appear to vanish from the bed in Issac's apartment so the cops didn't see it.

Watch the bottom-right corner of the screen when she first changes from Simone back into her normal appearance, and you'll see Dead Simone reappear in the bed behind her.

-Autistic Angel
3029  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 05, 2007, 11:41:50 PM
Quote from: Calvin
Wait, has studio 60 been officially cancelled? If so that effing sucks!

Studio 60 has been placed on hiatus while NBC tests The Black Donnellys in its timeslot.  The network is upset that despite being the #1 time shifted show on television, Studio 60 costs too much for the ratings it's bringing in.  Fortunately, last week's premiere of The Black Donnellys tanked so badly the many people are very optimistic about Studio 60's chances for returning in April.

I only meant that, until then, Mondays at 10pm are open and clear in my schedule. icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
3030  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 05, 2007, 10:38:07 PM
Now that NBC has put The Black Donnellys in place of Studio 60, I'll be available at 10pm too!  Maybe we can have a 2 vs. 2 game?

-Autistic Angel
3031  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes - 02/26/2007 *Possible Spoilers* on: March 05, 2007, 06:04:16 PM
Quote from: Lockdown
I love it that both Sylar and Peter are complete bad-asses.

My personal prediction is that Peter Petrelli will not survive this season, or if he does, will have his powers radically changed or downgraded.  As Stan Lee has always said, in order to have a compelling battle, your villains have to be more powerful that the heroes trying to stop them.  Peter is currently much, much more powerful than Sylar because he'd only need to pass close by in order to absorb all of the abilities that Sylar has slowly collected through a series of painstaking murders.

As of his last encounter with Issac, Peter appears to have perfect control over his flight, invisibility, telekinesis, and from the sound of his voice, is even touching up his skill with Eden's power of pursuasion.  His regenerative skills may not be quite as perfect as Claire's *yet*, but the next time he passes through the same room as Sylar, we might as well start fitting him for his own silver surfboard.  He's exponentially more powerful than any other character in the series so far, and that makes him a big problem in terms of long-term storytelling.

I predict that Peter Petrelli will either have to sacrifice his own life for some reason, or wind up in a long-term coma from superpower overexposure and enjoy a Jean Grey-turned-Phoenix-style resurrection in a future season.

-Autistic Angel
3032  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "Lost" and "Heroes" connected on: March 05, 2007, 02:53:54 PM
I briefly suspected that Prison Break and the short-lived show Vanished might be taking place in the same continuity, but that was because they aired back-to-back on the same network, had a number of behind-the-scenes crew members in common, and had vaguely similar political conspiracy backdrops.  Then someone on Vanished referred to the president as "he" and blew that theory out of the water.

Conversely, the idea that Heroes and Lost are taking place in the same continuity seems about as likely as the theory that the elusive "Mr. Linderman" is actually Mr. Muggles.  Still, it was an interesting article, especially these two points:

Quote from: Boston.com
And the scheduling woes that have angered "Lost" fans made [Heroes creator] Kring extract a promise from NBC: set the schedule in stone. Knowing he would face a pair of six-week breaks, he said, allowed him to plot out a couple of mini-cliffhangers.

Good!  And...

Quote from: Boston.com
And if the characters on "Lost" exist in the world of "Heroes," the chance for a TV rendezvous gets even more complex. Getting them together, after all, would require a trip to the past.

It could only be done by Hiro, the "Heroes" character who has the power to bend time and space.

And Lindelof has a thought.

"If there was ever a crossover," Lindelof said, "he would pop up, appear on the beach for, like, two seconds. He'd look at Hurley and he'd say, 'Hello,' and Hurley would say, 'Hello,' and then he would disappear again. And that would be it."

icon_biggrin

Quote from: warning
Why would he have a cameo in Star Trek XII?

Greg Grunberg is lifelong friends with Felicity / Alias / Lost creator and Star Trek XII director J. J. Abrams, and has had a part to play in all of those series.  Another example: Abrams directed Mission: Impossible III, and Grunberg appeared in that as well.  Before Abrams signed on to help bring Lost to life, there were even some talks of creating an Alias spin-off series about Grunberg's character.

Personally, I like Grunberg a lot.

-Autistic Angel
3033  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 Backward Compatibility for US machines? on: March 03, 2007, 04:54:32 PM
I don't think anyone *really* knows for certain, but from a manufacturing standpoint, it would make more sense if the internal components for the PlayStation 3 were as uniform as possible in every territory.  That would make it likely that future production runs of the PS3 for the United States will not have the same backwards compatibility hardware that the current units do.

-Autistic Angel
3034  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 03, 2007, 12:35:41 AM
Notice: I went to sign onto GPGNet this evening, and a new patch came down.  Here are the release notes:

Quote from: Gas Powered Games
  • Blue screen crashes: Resolved an issue where some users were experiencing hard crashes after applying the 3189->3217 patch.
  • SecuROM: The disc-check security feature has been removed (except for Polish, Russian, and Chinese-Traditional releases).
  • Language Updates: Polish Unicode fix for some missions' localization data.
  • MP Exploit Enhancement System: The game now verifies that an enhancement order is valid before proceeding.
  • Mini UI: Construction manager, Queue manager, and Selection manager now stretch horizontally to fill the bottom of the screen.

In-Game Chat
  • Shift+Enter now sends chat to allies.
  • Incoming messages will no longer prevent strategic zoom function or display factional icons.
  • Messages should no longer disappear in an active chat window.

Special Note: 8-Player Games: A known issue exists for Update 3220, where some 8-player games experience crashes during gameplay. Initial testing indicates a memory allocation issue. However, stats indicate that 8-player games are approximately .5% of all games being played, so our decision was to release the update with this known issue.

Special Note: SecuROM and Mod Users: If you have modified your game in order to defeat SecuROM disk authentication (or performed any modification, for that matter), it is likely that Update 3220 will cause problems for you. To correct this, you must uninstall Supreme Commander, reinstall and then connect to GPGnet to patch up.

-Autistic Angel
3035  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 02, 2007, 10:47:53 PM
Quote from: Calvin
CALVIN IN DA HOOUSEEE??? WHO'S IN THE HOUUUSE? Games tonight, count on it.

Calvin, what is your GPGNet name?  I'm "AutisticAngel" -- add me to your friends list and I'll be on later tonight!

-Autistic Angel
3036  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 02, 2007, 10:44:11 PM
Quote from: Lockdown
I need more info.  Keep it coming please.

I think everyone is probably already aware of the different move options, but here they are anyway:

Right-click = move to this location at maximum speed, regardless of formation, firing on targets of opportunity along the way

CTRL + right-click = move to location while maintaining current formation (moving at the speed of the slowest unit), firing on targets along the way

ALT + right-click = move towards location at maximum speed, regardless of formation, but stop to fire on any enemy target encountered.  This is especially useful for long-range units like mobile artillery and rocket launchers since they'll stop as soon as a target comes into range, often placing them outside the immediate range of enemy defenses

CTRL + ALT + right-click = move in formation, but stop to engage any targets encountered

Shift + any combination of the above = queue up multiple move orders

Hold down right mouse button & drag = set formation & facing for group of selected units.  While holding down the right mouse button, you can click the left mouse button to toggle between line, box, and column formations.  Specialized units like mobile shield generators tend to automatically space themselves in the formation to provide maximum coverage for the most units.

------------------------

GameSpot wrote a really good explanation of how adjacency bonuses work.  Some highlights:

1) Storage units will increase the output of a structure that produces mass or energy.  For example, surrounding a T3 mass fabricator with mass storage units will increase the fabricator's mass production by about 50% without increasing its energy consumption.

2) On the other hand, surrounding a T3 mass fabricator with power plants will allow it to produce the same amount of mass for a much lower energy cost.  Surrounding it on all four sides can lower its energy consumption by as much as 75%

------------------------

Finally, upgrading your commander with better "Engineering Suites" will not only give her more build options; it will *vastly* increase her building speed.  Fully upgraded, she becomes the equivilent of several T3 engineers, capable of building some of the experimental units in only a couple minutes...though attempting such a feat represents an enormous drain on your economy.  Consider installing the "Resource Allocation" upgrades as well to help boost your mass and energy income!

-Autistic Angel
3037  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for Dog Advice on: March 02, 2007, 07:17:32 PM
Quote from: Arkon
For 4 years now we have fed our 2 Alaskan Malamutes Sensible Choice Lamb and Rice dogfood. It is what the breeders had used for our first puppy (although they changed to something else a few months after we got him) and so we stuck with it. Recently it seems as if the formula has changed, the kibble size is different and it is a different color (very light brown instead of a dark brown). Our mail has gotten some sort of yeast infections in his ears which our vet said were most likely an allergic reaction to something. They have also in the last 3 months started eating their own poop.

Mr. Muggles says:



"Mwa ha ha!  My apprentice Sylar gains more power every day!   Everything is progressing precisely as I have foreseen...."

-Autistic Angel
3038  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sony to unveil Playstation HOME at GDC? on: March 02, 2007, 06:46:10 PM
My issue with the backwards compatibility on the PS3 is that, as good as the prospect of upscaling older PS2 games via software emulation sounds, the idea that it's only going to be available for a "limited number of titles" is a total deal breaker.  As long as I own X-Box games that will not play *flawlessly* on my 360, I'll keep a functional X-Box around, and so long as there's a possibility that my PS2 games will not work on a PS3, I'll keep my old PS2 around too!

-Autistic Angel
3039  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Michael Moore's wife kidnapped! on: March 02, 2007, 06:37:25 PM
Quote from: corruptrelic
Actually I did think it was the film maker.. and indeed, found it quite amusing. I highly doubt there will be anything ending in murder here (obviously they're gonna want money) but just the thought of Michael Moore's wife being kidnapped, well, I simply couldn't help but to LOL!

I read the original post in this thread and I thought to myself that there *must* be some sort of misunderstanding.  Even now, with the clarification that you were in fact chortling in amusement at the abduction of someone else's loved one, I feel like there's got to be something to this situtation that hasn't been uncovered yet.

Did Michael Moore's wife foreclose the morgage on your house?  Did she beat your children?  Shoot your dog?  Why on earth would you take such personal delight in the prospect of her kidnapping?  Surely it cannot be that she happens to be married to someone whose viewpoint you find disagreeable...that you hate Michael Moore's stance so much that you would actually takes pleasure in the suffering of those around him!

Or more succinctly, I don't see the humor here, either.

-Autistic Angel
3040  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Impressions/Availability on: March 02, 2007, 05:16:54 PM
Quote from: Thin_J
UEF shield generators are about a thousand times better than the Cybrans'. Especially since the Cybrans don't even get tech 3 generators.

I think you'll find that Cybran shield generators can be upgraded similar to commanders: click on the shield generator, then on the "gears" to open the upgrade menu, and click on the next stage of generator.  You can upgrade each generator twice and they go quickly, especially with an engineer or two assisting.  Each level of upgrade greatly increases the shield radius and the amount of damage it can absorb before failing.

I'll have to log into sandbox mode, but I believe a fully upgraded Cybran shield generator can absorb more damage than the Level 3 generators available to the other races.  The downside is that they don't have any mobile shield generators, and those little guys can be life savers when protecting an ambushed commander....

Pound for pound, I think the Cybran probably have some of the best defenses in the game.  Unlike the point defense towers for the UEF and Aeon which fire on a ballistic trajectory, the Cybran towers are instant-fire lasers which invariably hit their target with a non-stop barrage of damage.  Yes, they require a direct line-of-sight, but that's a small tradeoff for the fact that they never miss.  By comparison, I have a nasty problem with my Aeon T2 defense towers causing heavy splash damage to my own stuff all the time  icon_confused

I'll definitely be up for some more games this weekend!  icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
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