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3001  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: HD-DVD, we have a (real) problem... on: January 14, 2007, 04:46:34 PM
I think the idea is that if HD-DVD movies can be easily pirated while Blu-Ray movies cannot, studios will logically migrate all of their support over to the format that promises them the most secure profits.  I don't know if this situation is serious enough convince any movie studio to reconsider their positions, but it's certainly the *type* of thing that could tip the momentum of this competition.

-Autistic Angel
3002  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ever broken something because of a game? on: January 14, 2007, 12:24:34 AM
It's always seemed to me that if I smash something out of frustration, I'll just wind up with two things to be angry about. 

-Autistic Angel
3003  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate:London's multiplayer to be subscription based on: January 13, 2007, 03:49:20 PM
I find it interesting that any time someone says something embarassing, controversial, or false, it's because a reporter took them out of context.

-Autistic Angel
3004  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: A Freespace based Wing Commander game? on: January 12, 2007, 07:22:55 PM
You could probably make a credible showing in FreeSpace 2 using a good game pad, but I haven't tried playing it that way so I'm not sure.  Playing with the keyboard and/or mouse, though, would be out of the question.

-Autistic Angel
3005  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS2] Guitar Hero : 80's Edition on: January 12, 2007, 06:35:42 PM
I thought the guitar controllers didn't work on the PS3...?

-Autistic Angel
3006  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Transformers - The First Trailer on: January 10, 2007, 07:05:47 PM
Quote from: Purge
Modern day : an earthquake woke the Teletraan 1, and it scanned and updated the decepticons first (mostly military targets).

I thought it was clarified during Beast Wars that it was the geothermal energy from a local volcanic event that reactivated the systems on the Ark, rather than the tremors themselves.  I could be wrong, but if I am, then YOU CAN JUST GO TO HELL!!!! mad mad mad

-Autistic Angel
3007  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: space Rangers 2: Help!! on: January 10, 2007, 04:58:05 PM
Early in the game, you're often easy prey for pretty much everybody.  A good opening strategy for beginners is to choose "Merchant" as your starting profession and focus on trading goods between planets and completing Fed-Ex / planetary text missions early on to begin building up your funds.  Between the components you win and the cash you earn, it won't be long before you can start upgrading your ship systems and joining in the combat.  Using your pilot's experience to boost your income from completing missions and interplanetary trading can be an excellent opening strategy to start earning money quickly.

Many people also recommend taking a missile launcher as one of your starting pieces of equipment since it's a good weapon that won't appear elsewhere in the galaxy for a while after the game begins.

Finally, the Faeyans and...um...those yellow guys with the three eyes (whatever they're called) have the highest quality equipment in the game, so being one of those races puts you off on a good foot.

-Autistic Angel
3008  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate:London's multiplayer to be subscription based on: January 10, 2007, 04:47:28 AM
Even if it was...five dollars??

-Autistic Angel
3009  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate:London's multiplayer to be subscription based on: January 09, 2007, 06:36:17 PM
I was just remarking in this thread that Hellgate: London has looked pretty mediocre everytime I've seen it, and that I wasn't really feeling the excitement everyone else had for the game.  This announcement hasn't really helped.

-Autistic Angel
3010  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 -- Impressions part 2 on: January 08, 2007, 05:17:52 PM
Has anyone personally confirmed that the PS2 scaling problem can be fixed by switching the PS3 out of high definition mode?  It seems like an annoying work around, but if it fixes the problem, a work around nonetheless.

-Autistic Angel
3011  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Big HD DVD news on: January 08, 2007, 02:54:58 PM
I am less stoked.  Not because it isn't exciting news, but I was right on the verge of finally buying Battlestar Galactica so I could start watching it.  Now I'm compelled to wait out the HD-DVD release instead. disgust

At least it'll be worth the wait!  Tongue

-Autistic Angel
3012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Never played the Gamecube...which games to get for the Wii? on: January 08, 2007, 01:07:02 AM
Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes are fantastic.  Don't mistake them for FPS games, though!

-Autistic Angel
3013  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Anyone else saying "Frack" and "Gods" now? on: January 05, 2007, 11:45:36 PM
Eric Cartman also pronounces it "poaned."

-Autistic Angel
3014  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (1/1) on: January 04, 2007, 10:41:04 PM
Quote from: rrmorton
Does that game have a co-op mode over Xbox Live?

Yes, Marvel Ultimate Alliance has a regular co-op mode similar to X-Men Legends 2, and a new "competitive mode" which removes any AI team members and tracks statistics throughout a level to see which player is "best."  Both modes are a lot of fun over X-Box Live!, but remember that you can't swap characters in the middle of a level during competitive mode.

-Autistic Angel
3015  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Iraqis Say They Were Better Off Under Hussein on: January 04, 2007, 03:39:57 AM
Quote from: Eduardo X
That poll doesn't ask if people are glad that Saddam is gone. I'm sure most people are.
But being glad he's gone and being glad the US replaced his corrupt, murderous, torturing, warmongoring regime with a corrupt, murderous, torturing regime are 2 different things.

Quote from: Graham
Responding to drivel like this isn't worth my time, but to say that Bush is a warmongering merderous, torturing regime is intellectually dishonest.

It seems clear to me that Eduardo X was remarking that Iraq's former government has been forcibly replaced with one that, thus far, isn't much better for the country or its people.  It's a pretty short post, but I can't find any part of the post accusing President Bush or his administration of being a "corrupt, murderous, torturing regime."

Before declaring whether or not "drivel like this" is worthy of your response, you might want to read it a little more thoroughly.

-Autistic Angel
3016  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Medieval 2: Total War on: January 03, 2007, 07:08:22 PM
Quote from: Turtle
In the original MTW1, changing this setting would only change the number of units on the field of battle.  What happened in MTW1 originally was the default large setting actually didn't display the full number of men in a unit on screen, instead it would only show a percentage of men based on the unit size setting.  Since the fighting in MTW wasn't that detailed, they could get away with this using purely mathematical computations instead of individual men fighting.

In RTW they switched to 1 model = 1 man with individual AI to match.  This made fights more detailed, but in order to get bigger battles you actually had to increase the number of men, leading to the problems above.

Why couldn't they simply adjust the performance of each individual unit up or down depending on the Unit Size setting?  For example, if they're going to add 25% more men on-screen, they could reduce the power of each soldier in the unit by a small fraction.  With the proper adjustments they should be able to achieve battle scenes that include a lot more soldiers, but would statistically operate in the same way.

-Autistic Angel
3017  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Your 2007 PC Predictions on: January 02, 2007, 08:57:22 PM
I share the pessimism about Command & Conquer 3.  The series' graphics, interface, and game play have seemed increasingly antiquated with every new release, and with innovative and proven titles like Dawn of War and Company of Heroes available, it's hard to imagine how anything from the C&C line could hope to compete.

I haven't had the opportunity to try the open beta of Supreme Commander yet, but my fond memories of the epic back-and-forth conflicts in Total Annihilation have me looking forward to it nonetheless.  SuperHiro is correct that the individual units in games like this are pretty much devoid of personality.  Even so, I'd be hard pressed to name another game that embraced combat on such a vast scale.

Bioshock looks extremely promising...so promising, in fact, that I've been avoiding any and all information on it until I can play it for myself.  Unless something goes very wrong, I anticipate it'll be on the short list for my favorite game of the year.

Another possible contender is Spore.  I have a lot of concerns about how the game will stand up once you reach the stage of intergalactic travel -- tooling around the galaxy in a single UFO just to see what there is to see sounds a little anti-climactic to me -- but everything prior to that point sounds quite promising.

I'm somewhat mystified by all the hype surrounding games like Hellgate: London and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.  Hellgate in particular looks more and more mediocre everytime I see it, with weapons that appear to pack little punch against scores of uninspired enemies.  I'm willing to keep an open mind and check out based on its reviews, but I'm nowhere near as excited about it as many other people.

Finally, I'm looking forward to the Dark Avatar expansion pack to Galactic Civilizations 2, the new Sims 2 expansion pack, and I have tentative hopes for Sins of a Solar Empire, all of which are due out sometime this year.

-Autistic Angel
3018  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Medieval 2: Total War on: January 02, 2007, 06:49:34 PM
There's a setting in the game options for "Default Unit Size," but no explanation for what it does so I've just left it at "Large."  Up until now, I suspected it would change the size of the units on the global strategic map.  I take it they actually affect the number of individual soldiers there are in an a given company?

Unfortunately, since I haven't experimented with the setting yet, I don't know the answer to your question.

-Autistic Angel
3019  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no God but Allah and Muhamma------ on: December 31, 2006, 06:06:19 PM
"The real Saddam has a scar!  I am No Scar....dot com!"

-Autistic Angel
3020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Do you do it horizontal or vertical? on: December 26, 2006, 11:17:37 PM
I don't know that there's been any scientific study on this or anything, but popular opinion is that vertical 360s have a higher incidence of scratched game discs, read errors, and eventual red rings of death.  Some people insist that these problems only affect people who are trying to reposition the unit while it's turned on, but the anecdotal evidence has been enough to convince me to keep it horizontal.

-Autistic Angel
3021  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Do you do it horizontal or vertical? on: December 26, 2006, 10:33:14 PM
Definitely horizontal.

-Autistic Angel
3022  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Know What Sucks about Achievements? on: December 26, 2006, 06:22:55 PM
That's interesting because last week I was explaining to a friend of mine how it was possible that the Transformers could have crash landed on prehistoric Earth yet remained inactive until they were awoken in the modern age, and a little bubble appeared near my feet that notified everyone that I'd unlocked the "Wasted Your Life!" Achievement.

-Autistic Angel
3023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/25) on: December 26, 2006, 06:01:42 PM
Quote from: pingwrx
1701 A.D. gonna go pick this up after playing the demo sweet graphics.

I'm very tempted to pick up a copy of this sometime this week, too.  I've been playing more of the demo, and I'm intrigued by the way it seems progressively complex without becoming unmanageable.

-Autistic Angel
3024  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Know What Sucks about Achievements? on: December 26, 2006, 05:56:02 PM
My dog caught a glimpse of some of those "0 Out Of 200" entires before I could switch menus, and now instead of following my commands, he just shakes his head in disbelief and wanders off.  icon_frown

-Autistic Angel
3025  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/25) on: December 26, 2006, 04:43:22 AM
Paper Mario definitely counts.

-Autistic Angel
3026  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 1701 A.D. Impressions? on: December 25, 2006, 04:38:24 AM
I don't know about Best Buy, but I saw a copy in Electronics Boutique a little while ago.  It reminded me of this thread which is the reason I resurrected it.

If you haven't tried the demo, ROTC1983, I highly recommend it.  It's excellent.

-Autistic Angel
3027  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Railroads Impressions! on: December 22, 2006, 02:43:47 PM
Quote
- AI - AI now takes industry potential into consideration when making route decisions.

Wait a minute...the entire game is based on developing potential industries into thriving ones, and the developer *just* got around to teaching the AI how to weigh industry potential?  I don't know anything at all about designing AI routines, but you'd think that would have been pretty high on the priority list.

-Autistic Angel
3028  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Medieval 2, GW: Nightfall, Battlefield 2142, DoW: Dark Crusade - $25 @ Best Buy on: December 21, 2006, 06:25:02 PM
Medieval II

Nightfall

Battlefield 2142

Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

This deal appears to be good for both online and in-store purchases.  Additionally, some people over at Quarter to Three were reporting that they could print out this coupon at home (specifically the part at the bottom) and receive an additional $5 off their in-store purchase.

-Autistic Angel
3029  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Yet another reason ATB is going to hell. on: December 19, 2006, 11:41:30 PM
Quote from: ATB
I was enjoying that game until I got to the bookstore.  I'm a cop, see, and I'm asking the bookstore owner about a murder investigation. He tells me "I'll answer your questions but first you have to do x, y, and z."  In real life the response would be: "How about this: You answer my questions or you spend the night in jail for obstruction?"  But no. I'm sent to find some books.  I said, "Hup. All done with this one."

Wow.  If you thought that was unrealistic enough to ruin the game, it's a good thing you never got to the point where
Spoiler for Hiden:
Carla Valenti has sex with Lucas Kane despite the fact that's been clearly established by that point that Lucas is literally a walking corpse who's been dead for several days, and whose entire body is ice-cold to the touch.

I mean, I enjoyed Indigo Prophecy quite a bit, but...yikes!  :icon_eek:

-Autistic Angel
3030  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gamespy's game of the year + others on: December 19, 2006, 07:41:11 PM
I think it's cool that Dreamfall got Adventure Game of the Year.  It's a fair criticism to say that the stealth and combat portions of the game are clumsy and actually detract from the overall package, but it's still an uncommonly well told story.  If anything, the biggest problem is that I started Dreamfall immediately after finishing The Longest Journey, and seeing how awful everything had gotten in both Stark and Arcadia was really depressing  crybaby

-Autistic Angel
3031  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Yet another reason ATB is going to hell. on: December 19, 2006, 06:28:01 PM
Why is ATB looking to sell Indigo Prophecy *after* the backwards compatibility patch has finally made it playable on the X-Box 360?  I would think that would be a better reason to keep it....

-Autistic Angel
3032  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv II - Dark Avatar Beta 2 on: December 19, 2006, 06:20:52 PM
Kobra, I don't think Knightshade Dragon was suggesting we should purchase Stardock's games because we like Brad Wardell personally or support his political beliefs.  I believe his point was that small independent publishers value our patronage a lot more than the large conglomerates, so people who want to show support for their products should consider purchasing them outright.

If you want to know what I think of Brad's politics, I touched on that topic very briefly in this thread.  If you want to know what I think of the way he runs his business, I'll reiterate that I think Galactic Civilizations II is a phenomenal game which enjoys the sharpest artificial intelligence I've ever encountered, has received an incredible amount of free after-market support, and has been repeatedly adapted in direct response to consumer feedback.  Stardock has *earned* my money, not through the personality of its CEO, but through the quality of its product.

I don't have any idea if I'd like Brad Wardell in real life.  I also don't have any idea if I'd like J. E. Sawyer, Tim Schafer, or Mark Pacini in real life, but I'm quite sure that I'm in love with the videogames they create.  Don't get me wrong: if it turned out that their respective companies were dealing in kiddie porn on the side my opinion on them would change, but for the most part I think Derek K. Smart could act like a jerk all day long if it resulted in a good game.

-Autistic Angel
3033  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv II - Dark Avatar Beta 2 on: December 19, 2006, 01:57:37 AM
I wrote a review of Galactic Civilizations 2 where I talked about how much I liked the dynamic diplomacy system, the fact starbases could develop into powerhouses that drastically change the strategic landscape, and the way that players would often need to pursue a mixture of different strategies to prevail.

The Dark Avatar expansion pack is still in beta and has its fair share of quirks to work out, but from the looks of things so far, it takes all of those elements and ramps them up even further.  Unlike the original game where the player's only real consideration during the early game was whether or not a planet was habitable, many planets are now *potentially* habitable and will only become usable after the appropriate technologies have been researched.  These research projects are quite expensive at the start of the game, so you'll find yourself mentally separating star systems which are valuable from those which could become valuable in the future.

Another major strategic consideration are the new asteroid fields which can be mined to produce significant production bonuses to nearby planets.  These mining bases take time to establish and even longer to upgrade, but the bonus production they generate can transform an otherwise backwater world into a manufacturing dynamo.  The twist is that these bonuses drop off steeply with distance and the bases themselves tend to shift allegiances to whichever civilization is producing the most local influence, so habitable planets near asteroid fields are highly valued regardless of their initial quality.

Another addition is the new espionage system.  In the original game spying was completely abstract, consisting of nothing more than using a slider to allocate some spending and then waiting a while for info to come in.  In Dark Avatar that same slider now allocates money towards training an espionage agent who, in a few weeks or a few months depending on funding, can be deployed to an enemy world to sabotage one of their colonial improvements or used to nullify an enemy agent interfering with one of your own.  This new system has been undergoing a lot of changes to get it properly balanced -- early versions had the player's civilization swarmed with enemy agents infecting every planet five times over -- but it's steadily developing into an integral new tool for undercutting your enemy's infrastructure.

Finally, the jury is still out on one of the expansion pack's other ambitious features.  First, the "Super Abilities" granted to each race are aptly named because, as it stands, they seem powerful enough to upset the balance of the game.  The Super Hive ability, for example, allows the race in question to produce any level of factory in a single turn, giving it the potential to generate *vast* amounts of production in only a handful of turns.  Combine this ability with a strong economic bonus to help finance the near-limitless manufacturing, and you'll create a race which seems to have a deeply unfair advantage.  Other super abilities include the power to make other civilizations go to war with each other, to respond favorably to steeply one-sided diplomatic proposals, and to get a free first strike in combat.  Each of these seems to have so much potential for abuse, it remains to be seen if they can be balanced out in a way that prevents them from combining with normal bonuses to become totally unbeatable.

That aside, I'd say that Dark Avatar is a fantastic expansion to an already great game, and I'm anxiously looking forward to how the product continues to develop over the next couple months!  Anyone who's interested enough to put their money where their mouth is should know that the open beta *should* still be available to anyone who preorders the final product through Stardock's website.

-Autistic Angel
3034  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: TV experts help me out with my Wii :) on: December 18, 2006, 03:54:42 AM
Your television is a widescreen set and your Wii is set to 16:9 widescreen mode, so your television should be set to display the picture in full widescreen mode -- no black bars on the sides.  I would think that if you override it and set it to "Normal", everything would appear horizontally squished.

I'm sure there's a thoroughly technical definition for it, but an "anamorphic" signal is basically a video signal which is natively widescreen.  This is valuable because it means that your source isn't wasting time or signal bandwidth sending your display empty space, like the black bars which would appear above and below a regular TV playing a standard-def widescreen movie.

The Nintendo Wii does not output an anamorphic signal.  That means, even when set to 16:9 mode, it's outputting a normal 4:3 signal...but is only drawing the picture along the widescreen "stripe" in the middle.  It's inefficient, but it's also cheap and keeps Nintendo out of that whole "high definition fad" that people keep talking about.

I've owned three Sony televisions, and my experience says that your TV should probably be in "Full" mode while playing the Wii.  The best way to check would be to load something up that would display a sphere or circle (a sun, a disc, some sort of super monkey-related ball).  If the circle appears oval or oblong, you know your display is set incorrectly.  If it's circular, then you're golden!  icon_cool

-Autistic Angel
3035  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 1701 A.D. Impressions? on: December 17, 2006, 04:39:53 AM
It's been about a month since people started playing this game.  How is it holding up?

-Autistic Angel
3036  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Huge diabetes breakthrough on: December 16, 2006, 03:54:25 AM
Why, what has Canada.com ever done to you?

-Autistic Angel
3037  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/11) on: December 11, 2006, 02:35:53 PM
I've had a preorder down on FarCry: Vengeance since the time I preordered the Wii, but I'll only be picking it up if the reviews are favorable.

-Autistic Angel
3038  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I don't think this guy liked Verizon on: December 10, 2006, 04:40:47 PM
I lists his method for joining the company as a friend who got him in the door.  I sure hope that friend had moved on to a better job by the time that exit interview was turned in....

-Autistic Angel
3039  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: O'Really is going to have fun with this one. on: December 10, 2006, 04:35:39 PM
I celebrate Christmas with my friends and family.  Every year, as far back as I can remember, I've been free to decorate the inside and outside of my home in whatever fashion I choose, free to listen to as many Christmas carols as I like, and free to purchase as many Christmas presents as I want.

Can someone explain exactly why I'm supposed to feel that "my holiday is under attack!" just because my local pharmacy, town hall, or airport isn't decorated exactly the same way?  Why do a segment of conservative pundits believe that my traditions are so weak and confused that unless I see them reflected in every possible corner of my community, I'll somehow forget to celebrate them?

-Autistic Angel
3040  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 -- Keep it or sell it? on: December 08, 2006, 06:54:32 PM
Is there a smiley or emoticon that replicates the image of looking into the Ark of the Covenant?

-Autistic Angel
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