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3041  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii Component Cable - is it worth it? on: June 30, 2007, 01:51:13 PM
I agree.  I was stuck with the standard composite cables during the first few weeks that I had the Wii, and the upgrade to the official component cables even made Wii Sports look better.  I'd say that they're absolutely worth it!

-Autistic Angel
3042  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Weekend Playlist -- A Rare Gift for Obfuscation (6/29/07) on: June 29, 2007, 03:47:55 PM
I'm still playing Zelda: Twilight Princess on the Wii and still having a fantastic time.  I can't say anything better about it than I already have except that those impressions are still holding strong.

I'm also still playing Resident Evil 4 for the Wii.  I'm a lot slower than most people: I've only just reached chapter 3-...1?  2?  I don't remember, but as everyone has stated already in the main thread, this game *rocks* on the Wii and positively should not be missed.  I hope to God the next entry in Resident Evil series handles this well, much less the upcoming Metroid Prime 3...!

Finally, I'm still playing a lot of Galactic Civilizations 2: Dark Avatar and the Sins of a Solar Empire beta for the PC, and I'm strongly tempted to reinstall Civilization 4 in preparation for the upcoming expansion pack.  I have a partial pre-order down for The Darkness for the X-Box 360, but since the combined reviews and impressions here have been little better than lukewarm and I'm having so much fun with the games I'm already playing, I doubt I'll pick it up.

-Autistic Angel
3043  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 29, 2007, 03:36:03 PM
Quote from: wonderpug
I get the feeling they want this to be a combat oriented game, so it's it's a tough balance to make culture a compelling game mechanic without turning the game into Civilization in Space.

In Civilization, culture is a separate concept from warfare.  There are a few combat advantages, such as units that heal more quickly when they're on their home turf, but for the most part, culture is used to define your empire's borders and say, "This belongs to me."

In Sins, culture is directly linked to conquest by boosting your own economy, undermining your enemies, and enhancing your battle performance.  Even the idea of deploying Propaganda Cruisers to undermine foreign morale goes directly towards aggressively and forcibly seizing territory from others.  There's no concept of "imperial borders" because you're only assumed to own the gravity well surrounding your existing colonies.

I think wonderpug is right that Sins is inherently a combat-oriented game and that this focus should be preserved, but I really like Arkon's ideas for expanding the current mechanic.  So long as culture is used as a tool boosting one empire's military performance at the expense of their opponents', I think they'd really need to *radically* overhaul things before it start feeling like "Civ in Space."

-Autistic Angel
3044  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 'Transformers' - Spoilers Flagged on: June 29, 2007, 02:59:48 PM
Quote from: CeeKay
how did you get lucky enough to see it?  Talk before we have to go all Jack Bauer on you!

A friend of my sister works as a movie reviewer, so she gave me a pair of tickets for the press screening here last night.  That part of the story probably isn't very interesting, so I'll tack on a part about how she probably gave me her tickets because I paid to have her cat's jaw wired back together.

Quote from: whiteboyskim
Did you see it at the Alamo Drafthouse screening with the giant fire-breathing Transformer outside?

No, I saw it in Connecticut where the giant Transformer outside was silently weeping about global warming.

I'd like to expand on my criticism of the late-movie dialogue, but I'll flag it because it does delve into some of the plot:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Near the end of the movie, Megatron snarls that humanity isn't worthy of Optimus Prime's protection, and Prime replies, "Humans deserve to choose for themselves!"  Even if we set aside the fact that this is a non-sequitur, it does beg the question of how Prime developed this opinion -- he'd only been on Earth for about 18 hours at this point, and most of the people he'd encountered were acting like megalmaniacal lunatics.

It's true that the Autobots had had more contact with Earth prior to this point, but really: if all you knew about humanity was what you could glean by browsing the internet, would you *really* conclude that this porn-addled species is worth laying down your life for?

Earlier in the movie, one of the Autobots even questions why they shouldn't kill humans who get in their way, and Prime's response is something like, "Because we don't do that."  Okay, fine...but why not?  Is there some sort of Autobot "prime directive?"  Have they ever even encountered biological life forms before?  Optimus Prime seems awfully willing to risk the failure of his mission and even sacrifice members of his team just to protect a native species he's only just met....

We don't need a lengthy monologue on Transformer history here, but a *little* character establishment would have been appreciated.

It's not really *that* big a deal; I'm just opining on ways that a pretty good movie could have been made truly excellent.

-Autistic Angel
3045  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 'Transformers' - Spoilers Flagged on: June 29, 2007, 03:35:47 AM
No spoilers here; I'll flag them in future posts if any come up.

The good:

 thumbsup The plot was a lot more developed than I was expecting.  Based on the trailers you'd think this movie was all about large shards of jagged metal punching each other for two hours, but fortunately there's a clear and interesting story progression that does a good job of setting the stage for the action.  Transformers fans should be pleased.

 thumbsup The pacing was excellent.  Not so much downtime so you'd start crying about when they'll get to the fireworks factory, and not so much mindless action that the whole thing is like watching a videogame.  The movie strikes a good balance between plot development and big explosions; it's fun to watch.

 thumbsup The special effects are absolutely top-notch.  I didn't care much for the new "razor-sharp slivers of serrated chrome" aesthetic when I first saw the trailers, but once you get a chance to see the effects in context with all the incredible detail work they put into making every single piece articulate so precisely, I'm really impressed.  Plus, some stuff blows up.

 thumbsup The action is, on the whole, very good.  I think the sequences near the beginning of the film play out better than the later ones because they have fewer players and happen on a slightly more manageable scale, but I'm happy to say that even the larger battles are clearly defined.  Compared to the later Star Wars movies where there was *so* much happening on screen that everything blended together into one gigantic CGI blur, Transformers is a great summer popcorn flick!

 thumbsup Lots of nods to the original series.  If you're a Transformers fan, there's enough service here to make you happy. nod

The bad:

 thumbsdown Though funny, I doubt the humor is going to stand up to repeat viewings.  John Turturro's character in particular is played with *much* too much silliness, detracting from pivotal scenes where a more mature approach would have better served the plot.

 thumbsdown On a similar note, some of the dialogue is terribly stilted and out of place.  It's like somebody suddenly decided that it wasn't sufficiently clear *why* the Autobots are good and the Decepticons are bad, so the producers decided to cram a few "explainer lines" here and there.  Unfortunately this has the exact opposite effect: by raising the question of why the Autobots want to protect humanity but leaving the rationale so poorly stated, the sloppy writing is even more self-evident.  A little less silly humor and a little more character interaction between the Transformers themselves could have gone a long way here.

 thumbsdown The lack of character development for the individual Transformers means that the audience has little emotional connection to anything that happens to them.  The movie seems to realize this and tries to keep the core of the story centered on why humanity should care about the outcome of this alien war, but it's disappointing to realize that only die-hard fans would be able to name more than three or four of the robotic characters by the end of the movie.

I went into Transformers expecting very, very little, and I was quite pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  Overall, I'd give the experience a solid B.  If you find yourself in the mood for a light popcorn action flick this coming week, check it out!

-Autistic Angel
3046  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 27, 2007, 02:26:19 PM
Didn't I read somewhere that ships in a system that's culturally aligned with their empire allows them to repair hull damage more quickly?  Or did I dream that at some point...I really don't remember!

Quote from: Arkon
If they intend on allowing some sort of cultural victory conditions and cultural war, it would be great to see a support cruiser or even battleship that specializes in cultural warfare, allowing you to spread propoganda, deploy cultural beacons for a short period of time (something akin to a mini broadcast tower, for example that would "broadcast television/radio programs"/somethingl ike dropping propoganda fliers from a helicopter) to an enemy planet, would allow you to covertly take over a planet without having to necessarily engage in combat, or if nothing else it would demoralize the defenses of the planet and make it easier to take.

I'd like to see a ship like that be heavily shielded and have a lot of hit points, but need a warm up time where it deploys in place and becomes totally immobile until the planet is conquered or it's manually packed back up (another significant cool down time).  That would encourage players to set them up at the edge of gravity wells and use escorts and repair cruisers to keep them defended while they set up shop and started blasting propaganda throughout the area.  It might be tough to balance the deployment times against the benefits received by the attacking fleet, but this could add another cool tactical option to the planetary siege phase of the game!

-Autistic Angel
3047  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I fried my Wii, man! on: June 26, 2007, 09:16:47 PM

My Wii has never felt more than vaguely warm on the "bottom" (I keep it in its vertical stand so the "bottom" is on the right), but this thread has convinced me to turn the Connect24 option off just in case.  I'd probably feel a little more adventurous if the systems were in common supply and could be easily replaced   Thanks for the heads up!

-Autistic Angel
3048  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Resident Evil 4 impressions on: June 26, 2007, 07:48:43 PM
Quote from: Kevin Grey
- Use the quick 180 degree turn constant to flip around and run back to get some more breathing space.

For anyone who isn't aware, the quick turn is done in the Wii version by clicking the 'Z' button and flicking the control stick down.  It's absolutely essential when you're trying to get some distance from your pursuers and want to spin around to face them again.

-Autistic Angel
3049  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 26, 2007, 07:44:36 PM
Quote from: wonderpug
Tech Tree Icon Shapes - The tech tree was a shock to the senses.  I love having an expansive tree with many options, but it took me a long while to parse out what my different options were.  What would be great is to have distinctive icon shapes for different types of upgrades.  If I'm looking for ship prototypes, I look for square icons.  If I'm looking for weapon upgrades, I look for triangle icons.  Defensive upgrades, shield shaped icons, and so forth.  This would be a huge help both for initially learning your way around the tree, and for quicker navigation after you've gotten the hang of the layout

I like all the ideas in your post, but this one stands out as particularly good.

I'd also like to recommend a change to how the construction interface displays things that you can't build yet.  Right now, all such options are greyed out and you need to mouse-over the icon to see why they're unavailable.  It would be more helpful if grey icons were items you can't afford, and *red* icons are ones you haven't researched yet.

The same would go for the research interface: grey icons for techs you can't afford to research yet, red icons for techs you would need more research stations to attempt.  It's a small change, but one that would make the interface friendlier to new players.

-Autistic Angel
3050  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 26, 2007, 07:16:43 PM
Quote from: kyro
Fighters actually can intercept long-range missiles according to Blair, though they aren't giving them as high a priority as they should in the first B2 release. That was being worked on yesterday, so I'd expect it'll be sorted when IC posts the first B2 update.

Excellent.  Bombers are potentially helpful against every other ship and structure in the game, so I thought it was more sensible to stick with them.  If fighters can be deployed as swift and versatile defensive units, not just shooting down bombers but actively running down torpedoes as in the "Suicide Kings" missions in FreeSpace 2, I can imagine them becoming much more appealing.

Another idea might be an orbital point defense platform which would have a percentage chance to destroy any enemy missile or anti-planet munition that passes through its area of effect.  Such structures on their own would be easy prey for non-ballistic weapons, but could be very useful for interrupting the Siege Frigate Planet Rush tactic that the marauding pirates like to use.  New research options could include Improved Point Defense techs that would increase the likelihood of destroying enemy munitions, and ECCM enhancements to make warheads more difficult to detect and destroy.  I also think they'd need to have their AoE and Logistics cost carefully balanced to avoid invalidating the effectivness of LRM Frigates.

kryo, you guys have probably heard this a lot lately, but you're doing an *awesome* job of communicating with the beta testers and making us feel our feedback is valuable to the process.  Thanks a lot for answering my question!  thumbsup

Quote from: Multianna
Ill be making a gameplay video of beta 2 around this weekend, id just like to know what some of you prefer the videos to be, like, the length and resolution. Those 2 will ofcourse change the file size and length for each part.

Are anyone interrested in a fullgame length video, that will last for about 2-3hour or so. Or would it be better, just to show like an hour and then skip like an hour, and so on, until the game is finished?

I think an edited video would be the more interesting choice to people who aren't already engaged in the beta, and that the best option would be to narrate it so that viewers will understand what you're doing and why.  For example:

Quote from: Sample Narration
First thing, I'm going to take my flagship here and send it out to this system to take care of those pirates.  It's going to take a minute or two to arrive, so while I wait I'm going to construct my first research platform away from those star lanes so enemies won't have such an easy time getting to it.  And look: once its built, I'll be able to start research on any of these first-tier technologies....

This sort of video would let you show off the game to people who are interested in learning more about it, edit down the redundant stuff so that the audience can see elements of the early, middle, and late game, and clearly illustrate your preferred tactics so that you'll be easy to defeat in multiplayer.  It's a win for beta testers and non-beta testers alike!

-Autistic Angel
3051  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 1up reviews The Darkness (and assorted pleasantries...) on: June 26, 2007, 01:31:16 PM
I think I read someplace that Starbreeze has openly admitted that multiplayer has been thrown in as a fun extra rather than an integral part of the package: a couple of their guys slapped together a few multiplayer arenas and so many people on the development team had fun with it that they decided to flesh it out a little more and include it in the final release.  Personally, I'm going into The Darkness expecting it to be a single player-only experience.

On the other hand, if this game picks up many more scores like IGN's 7.8, I won't be getting into it for a long time to come.  It's tough to justify dropping $60 on a "good" game when I'm currently engrossed in truly excellent ones like Twilight Princess and Resident Evil 4.

-Autistic Angel
3052  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 1up reviews The Darkness on: June 26, 2007, 12:06:57 AM
Quote from: Calvin
Anyhoo-I am not a fan of substantial user made mods-but for BG2, I think Dungeon Be Gone should be absolutely  recommended. God, what an awful way to start one of the best games of all time.

You know, I've never understood the negative reaction everybody has to that first dungeon.  I imagine it would be annoying when you want to experiment with different potential character builds, but I've always done the BG1 -> BG2 character transfer so that was never an issue for me.  I enjoyed the process of reuniting with old friends and encountering new ones...what is it that you dislike so much about that first part?

-Autistic Angel
3053  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 1up reviews The Darkness on: June 25, 2007, 08:22:13 PM
Whoa, whoa...let's all take a deep breath and calm down, people.

Are we going to play Throne of Bhaal with or without the deleted content that one of the developers quietly reactivated with a free patch through  How about all the "unofficial" FixPacks that correct things like Imoen's missing thievery points and random typos throughout the game?

Also, does anyone know of any similar user-made FixPacks for the Icewind Dale series?  I'm not a big fan of mods that drastically alter the course of the game, but I'm all in favor of unofficial patches that correct game elements which are obviously broken....

-Autistic Angel
3054  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv2 Gold Edition Impressions on: June 25, 2007, 08:05:23 PM
Quote from: javahead
People actually take the loan options?

No, never.  Neither does the AI.  That's the problem: it's a game play mechanic that's going totally unused.  One of the goals in 1.7 is to revamp the leasing system to make it more attractive to use, and one of the ideas is to allow players the option to decrease the drain on their economy by choosing to pay off debt more quickly.

-Autistic Angel
3055  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv2 Gold Edition Impressions on: June 25, 2007, 07:11:44 PM
Quote from: Lockdown
UI tweaks?  Is Brad going to let us customize the UI by any chance?

From what I've read, it's more like adding new management tools to help streamline things like constructor management and offer more options for things like paying off loans more quickly.  This screenshot, for example, shows off the potential new "Maintenance and Leasing" interface.

-Autistic Angel

3056  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GalCiv2 Gold Edition Impressions on: June 25, 2007, 06:56:40 PM
Patch 1.7 is supposed to introduce enhanced civilization AI, more intuitive diplomacy AI, randomly respawning anomalies, more starbase construction modules, and several interface tweaks.  I'm really looking forward to it.

I still don't think I have a good grip on efficiently managing my early game economy.  The AI players are consistently able to boast a stronger economy, more scientific output, and a much more advanced military even if I have a similar number of worlds and number of people.  I don't understand how I could be expanding my infrastructure any more quickly considering that I'm running my economy at a steep deficit throughout most of the early game.  icon_neutral

-Autistic Angel
3057  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/25) on: June 25, 2007, 06:31:06 PM
After flipping through the very positive review of The Darkness on 1Up I've put in a pre-order, but I'll cancel it if additional reviews don't follow suit.

I'll also be very interested in seeing reviews and impressions of Overlord and Pokemon: Battle Revolution.

-Autistic Angel
3058  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do I tell her? on: June 25, 2007, 01:39:51 PM

-Autistic Angel
3059  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 23, 2007, 03:08:33 PM
For all my talk about wanting to spend the weekend playing Zelda: Twilight Princess, I actually wound up playing Sins for about four hours last night.  When you consider that I don't typically play games for more than about 90-minutes before I start getting restless, that's pretty impressive!

As betas go, this game seems really mature.  The tech tree has a lot of technologies and takes a lot of time and resources to climb, the existing units seem clearly defined and perform well in their intended roles, and the AI seems capable of launching attacks, retreating in the face of overwhelming odds, and honoring diplomatic agreements.  For example, if an AI ally requests assistance to defend one of its worlds, it's more likely to break the alliance if I ignore it.

If Sins were released right now in its current form for $10-$15, I think it would become one of those subtle niche hits like Defcon.  With more than six months left in its development and soooo much left to come, I can't wait to see how the game develops from here!

I'm having a lot of trouble with pirates who jump large fleets into orbit around one of my planets and pound the colony into smithereens regardless of how many defenses I have present.  Gauss cannons and bomber squadrons are good against individual targets where they can concentrate their fire, but in the face of 10-15 Siege Frigates charging a planet, they simply can't dish out enough damage to save the colony.

I'd like to see fighters gain a role as point defense, tracking down and destroying warheads before they strike their targets.  This could help boost planetary defense by cutting the effectiveness of Siege Frigates until the fighter squadrons are destroyed, extending the length of the attack to allow reinforcements time to arrive and forcing the attacker to engage with planetary defenses rather than just charging past them.

-Autistic Angel
3060  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do I tell her? on: June 22, 2007, 09:08:43 PM

-Autistic Angel
3061  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 22, 2007, 06:43:11 PM
Quote from: Tals
OK purchased it. I now see it in my purchased games in Stardock - but no actions, should I be seeing a download or something similar?

I think you need to click the button near the bottom of your Stardock windows that says "Show Prerelease Versions."  Once that's done, the screen should refresh to show you the latest beta version of Sins plus the button to install it.

Well, that was quick.  Compliments of Blair himself, AA.  Here ya' go....

Awesome!  Thanks for posting that, Lockdown!  I really need some time to spend with the beta this weekend -- once I have some play time under my belt, I'll definitely be checking in with the main forums to offer some constructive feedback!

-Autistic Angel
3062  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 22, 2007, 04:28:34 PM
Do the pirates actually receive the bounty reward when they blow up your ships?  I mean, does it actively benefit their economy and allow them to start fielding stronger and stronger ships, or do they just increase in strength according to a pre-set curve and respond to the bounty level because they're programmed to do so?

-Autistic Angel
3063  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Weekend Playlist: Pillow Pants Join Forces Over Embargo Pylons (6/22/07) on: June 22, 2007, 04:20:24 PM
I intend to spend large amount of my gaming time this weekend continuing in Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii.  I'm a little worried about getting *too* hyped up about my experience so far, but at about the 20-hour mark, I have to say that I am absolutely blown away by the incredible level of quality in this game.  It's everything I liked about Wind Waker but with none of the sloppy, frustrating, or boring filler used to pad out that game's length.  Tedious control mechanics have been swapped out in favor of new options that keep the game play flowing, long travel times have been mitigated by the ability to arrive swiftly anywhere you want to go, and the Wiimote combat and aiming is so satisfying that I can't imagine trying to make due with the GameCube version of this game.

Most impressive of all, the needless downtime between dungeons that plagued Wind Waker from start to finish has been completely eliminated, filled instead by these sweeping gameplay spectacles that challenge you to a fresh new goal set against some epic backdrops.  I'm constantly amazed at the amount of variety there is to this game, and it's all *so* polished and *so* much fun, I get sucked in and wind up playing far too long because I just can't wait to see what comes up next!

The music is fantastic, consisting so far of remixed tunes from previous games along with some great new ones to underscore the most intense plot points.  I think the developers expected a little too much from the poor, tinny Wiimote speaker though -- it's cool to have a few of them, such as Midna's giggle, coming from such a non-traditional source, but other combat sounds would have been better suited to my full blown 5.1 surround system.

I hold the controversial opinion that Majora's Mask was a better game than Ocarina of Time because of how it embraced the time travel mechanic to create something more integral, original, and compelling than the Light World / Dark World split we'd already seen in Link to the Past.  With Twilight Princess, I think the bar has been raised yet again, and if the game continues to progress the way it has so far, it could seize the title as the best Zelda game I've ever played!  thumbsup

Also, I might spend some more time with Resident Evil 4 for the Wii and the Sins of a Solar Empire beta that I just downloaded yesterday.

-Autistic Angel
3064  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 22, 2007, 02:16:50 PM
Quote from: pingwrx
Hey I'm stuck in the first tutorial where they tell you to beat the pirates where do I find them?

I accidentally broke the scripting on the first tutorial, and it sounds like you might have done the same thing.  My mistake was that when the game told me to "move my ships to the end of the connection line", I moved them to the *far* end: the next planet where they encountered and destroyed the pirates before they were supposed to.

Here is how the first tutorial is supposed to go:

1) When told to move to the end of the connection line, move your ships to the edge of the gravity well near where the line begins.  The game will then have a few more tutorial messages to click through.

2) When you're told to, phase jump to the next planet over (a big asteroid) where you should encounter a couple pirate ships.  These are the pirates you're supposed to destroy, and once you do, the game should walk you through colonizing the planetoid with your capital ship.

3) Once that's done, a new enemy ship will jump into that system.  You'll destroy it and then be ordered to retrace its path to take out its base of origin.

Hope that helps!

-Autistic Angel
3065  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Resident Evil 4 impressions on: June 21, 2007, 02:25:37 AM
Quote from: Me
...because turning is handled with the thumbstick even in aiming mode, it's totally intuitive to adjust your viewpoint without losing a bead on incoming enemies.

Let me be more specific.  On the Gamecube, turning in place either meant lowering your weapon, or pushing the aim all the way to the edge of the screen.  The first option gave you more control over how quickly you turned, but forced you to regain your bearings once you lifted your weapon again.  The second option was a little less disruptive to your aim, but your character could only turn at a set speed and it could be very imprecise in a hectic situation.

Using the Wii controls, aiming is always done with the Wiimote while turning is always done with the thumbstick.  This gives you all the precision of adjusting your viewpoint with a steady analog control without ever disrupting your ability to track a moving target with the aiming crosshair.  It works brilliantly, allowing you to sight and respond to enemies on your flanks much more accurately than you ever could with a GameCube controller.

The graphics are better than they were on the GameCube, but as they've said in the reviews, you wouldn't mistake it for a modern high definition game.  It's been upscaled to true widescreen so I can run my TV in "Full" mode rather than "Zoom" mode and enjoy a more detailed image, but as with all Wii games, Resident Evil 4 shines on the virtue of its game play rather than its flashy graphics.

If you enjoyed previous versions of this game, you *must* play the the Wii Edition!

-Autistic Angel
3066  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Resident Evil 4 impressions on: June 21, 2007, 12:42:28 AM
RE4 fills out the dimensions of my widescreen TV just fine.

Also, did they amp up the difficulty to make up for the improved aiming controls?  When I played this on the GameCube, I don't remember getting diced with quite this level of speed and ferocity.

I'm *extremely* impressed with the controls!  It isn't just the aiming; because turning is handled with the thumbstick even in aiming mode, it's totally intuitive to adjust your viewpoint without losing a bead on incoming enemies.  Very positive first impressions!

-Autistic Angel
3067  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: June 19, 2007, 05:16:47 PM
I've prepurchased the CD version for the following reasons:

1) Lockdown's even-handed and extremely informative impressions here, and

2) Stardock's *phenomenal* support for Galactic Civilizations 2.  This company has been routinely releasing free patches which most developers would sell as expansion packs, and the Dark Avatar expansion that they did release makes so many profound changes to the core gameplay that a different company would have released it as a full price sequel.

The next free patch for GalCiv2 is slated to include randomly respawning anomalies, new starbase modules, new leasing options that allow you more freedom in paying off loans, new maintenance and constructor management options, updated AI gameplay and diplomacy behavior, new mega events, new starbase modules....and even more ideas posted by players in the open thread on their forums.

Stardock has firmly established itself in my mind as a company devoted to the highest standards of customer service and product support, and if Sins of a Solar Empire receives anywhere *near* this amount of attention, I don't doubt for one minute that it's going to be an amazing game.  This is the sort of developer that should be enthusiastically supported, and I'm eagerly looking forward to joining in the second beta later this week.

-Autistic Angel
3068  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Gamespy Gives RE4 5/5 Stars on: June 19, 2007, 04:48:01 PM
I've been concerned in some of the gameplay videos that the cursor is jerky and moves erratically, but then, it seems like a *lot* of Wii gameplay videos look like that and then perform perfectly when I play them at home.  Twilight Princess is a perfect example: GameSpot's pre-release gameplay marathon made it look like the cursor aiming was really twitchy, but my experience in that game so far has been pixel-perfect.  It makes me wonder if some people are sitting too close to the sensor bar or something....

I intend to pickup RE4: Wii tomorrow, so I'll post some comments on the control scheme then.

Quote from: warning
Can I walk and shoot a gun at the same time in the Wii version?

No, but you can walk and aim at the same time which makes raising your weapon and squeezing off a few quick rounds much, much easier.

-Autistic Angel
3069  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist: Father's Day Edition on: June 18, 2007, 09:36:16 PM
I played a lot of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii this weekend, and while I'm not yet prepared to join in with the "BEST ZELDA EVAR!!1!11!one!!" chorus, I'll definitely agree that it's *excellent* so far.  It seems to have fixed all the problems I had with Wind Waker, implementing more intuitive solutions to puzzles and eliminating so much of the tedious filler (sailing around, mapping individual islands) with grandiose segments that enhance the emotional foundation of the story.

It's true that I sort of miss the exaggerated detail of the more stylized Wind Waker aesthetic, but just as I realized that the exaggerated, cartoony look was a good match for that game's tone, it's quickly becomming clear that the languid, fairy tale-like feel of Twilight Princess is just as perfect for its own plot.

I'm really looking forward to spending a lot more time with this game!  nod

-Autistic Angel
3070  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So what is there to do in Houston? on: June 15, 2007, 08:37:55 PM
Yes, if you were going to Austin this month, you'd be able to attend the 2007 Rollergirl Calvello Cup Championship game between the Holy Rollers and the Putas del Fuego.  God, I hate those Putas so much, I hope Sister Mary Jane hauls off and gives Venis Envy a proper Lux-style beatdown....

Since you're going to Houston next month...umm....I hear they've got a neat airport.

-Autistic Angel
3071  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: All-time PC gaming disappointments on: June 10, 2007, 02:28:14 AM
Outside of adding program instability or actually causing damage to the operating system, I don't know what could be done to make Master of Orion 3 a worse game.  Maybe if the intro movie showed the designers pointing out at you and laughing....

I really mean this: MOO3 is the worst game I own, and the only reason I haven't thrown it forcibly in the garbage is so that I'll always have a reminder not to get too caught up in name brand nostalgia or pre-release hype.

-Autistic Angel
3072  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie Snubs Paris Hilton on: June 08, 2007, 09:17:08 PM
Quote from: RobbieD
People keep saying she was in solitary confinement but unless the news stories are false they had handpicked another inmate to be in the cell with her.

More recent news articles, particularly those written following her release, have stated that she had her cell to herself.

Quote from:
Hilton was housed in the "special needs" unit of the 13-year-old jail, separate from most of its 2,200 inmates. The unit contains 12 two-person cells reserved for police officers, public officials, celebrities and other high-profile inmates. She didn't have a cellmate.

Most such information comes from the press conference held by the sheriff's spokeman on the morning after Paris' release "reassignment" from jail earlier this week.

-Autisitc Angel
3073  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie Snubs Paris Hilton on: June 08, 2007, 07:18:23 PM

Quote from: MSNBC
LOS ANGELES - Paris Hilton was taken from a courtroom screaming and crying on Friday after a judge ordered her returned to jail to serve out her entire 45-day sentence for a parole violation in a reckless driving case.

“It’s not right!” shouted the weeping Hilton. “Mom!” she called out to her mother in the audience.


Let's be clear: I take no personal pleasure from seeing Paris Hilton, specifically, being thrown in jail, but I *do* take personal pleasure in seeing justice served on a fair and impartial basis. 

-Autistic Angel
3074  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist 8/Jun/07 on: June 08, 2007, 05:54:32 PM
Quote from: Calvin
Some PS3 games and demos!

I don't understand...didn't you just sell your PS3 a few weeks ago?  What prompted you to get another so quickly?

I'm not criticizing; it just seems like an abrupt (and expensive) turn around...?

-Autistic Angel
3075  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie Snubs Paris Hilton on: June 08, 2007, 01:52:46 PM
Quote from: drifter
It costs more money to have her in jail than an average person since they have to monitor her and everything around her.  They even have to monitor employee cell phones to ensure no one snaps a picture of her to sell.

Paris Hilton was assigned to protective isolation, meaning that she was locked in her tiny cell by herself 23-hours per day.  That sort of solitary confinement would be mentally and emotionally torturous to anyone -- there's been decades worth of studies on the long term detrimental effects of denying a person any interpersonal contact -- but it's no more torturous to Paris Hilton than to any of the thousands of other convicts who are subjected to those conditions for months or even years at a time.

But back to your point, they'd really only have to monitor her and everything around her for one hour each day.  Schedule that hour so that she's out in a fenced section of the yard by herself, as any prison would do with an especially dangerous inmate, and I don't see the problem.

And about protecting her from unflattering cell phone pictures, as far as I'm concerned the right to control her own press is just one of many that Paris Hilton sacrificed when she broke the law, violated the terms of her probation, and skipped out on her court dates.  The justice system should be *far* more concerned about its own image than that of a single bratty inmate.

-Autistic Angel
3076  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CBS Un-Cancels 'Jericho' on: June 07, 2007, 11:47:51 PM
Quote from: Purge
I've never seen jericho. what's it about?

From the few episodes I've seen, the show centers on the small town of Jericho following a nuclear "incident" which, at the very least, has replaced Denver, Colorado with a very large mushroom cloud.  The origin and scope of the situation is initially unclear but it seems likely that multiple major American cities have been hit by nuclear weapons, and the episodes follow the residents of Jericho as they try to discover the extent of the damage and cope with the aftermath.

It's an ambitious show, but when the series vanished on a four *month* hiatus in the middle of the season, I lost interest and never revisited it.  Apparently tens of thousands of viewers followed suit and now CBS is willing to give Jericho another shot by re-running episodes throughout the summer and offering it a more regular time slot for the fall season.

EDIT: D'oh, beaten by dback99.  It sounds like he's seen a lot more episodes than I have...I thought the show was set in Colorado.  Tongue

-Autistic Angel
3077  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / CBS Un-Cancels 'Jericho' on: June 07, 2007, 05:55:17 PM
It's a short article, so here it is in its entirety:

Quote from: WCSC
CBS had reversed its decision to cancel JERICHO based on a unique protest from fans.

Viewers sent tons of nuts to CBS headquarters in New York City, a nod to a piece of dialog in the show's final episode back in May.

In the season finale, a character replies "Nuts!" to a demand that the beleaguered town of Jericho surrender. That's the same response that a U.S. general in World War II made to a German demand for surrender at the Battle of the Bulge.

"Wow! Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series," CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said in a letter to JERICHO boosters.

"You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard," Tassler wrote, and seven episodes have been ordered for midseason 2007-08. "In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more JERICHO, we will need more viewers."

There is no firm date yet for the series' second season to begin. As for all of those peanuts, the Network plans to donate them to charities, including one that sends care packages to troops overseas.


Boy, if I'd known this was how you kept shows on the air, I would have organized a protest to send hundreds of computer hard drives to the CW over their decision to axe Veronica Mars.

-Autistic Angel
3078  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie Snubs Paris Hilton on: June 07, 2007, 04:46:10 PM
Quote from: Arkon
My point is that the outrage seems to have more to do with it being Paris Hilton rather than being outraged at the legal system in general for something that has been going on for many many many years.

That's because the legal system in general does not coddle people who are guilty of parole violations and flagrant contempt of court.  This sort of treatment is reserved for a very select, very elite class of citizen, and any attempt to change it is invariably met with cries of "class warfare!" and "wealth redistribution!" from members of a certain political ideology.

Paris Hilton was not put in prison for a single drunk driving charge; she was arrested for a DUI and punished with a suspended license and a requirement that she enroll in an alcohol education program.  She ignored both and was caught again.  She received a continuance from her first court date, simply blew off the second, and showed up late for the third where she was finally sentenced to 45 days in prison -- a ruling that caused her mother to loudly mock the judge in his own courtroom and yell insults at the prosecutor.  Now, after barely three days, she's released to serve out the remainder of her punishment partying with her friends at home.

From the start, certain people have been complaining that Paris Hilton has been singled out just because of who she is.  That's very true: if the name in the above story had been "Jesus Martinez," we'd all by mystified by the incredibly light punishment and the paragraph probably would have ended, "...after barely three days, he's been violently assaulted by someone serving out a life sentence.  Tough noogies."

-Autistic Angel
3079  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie Snubs Paris Hilton on: June 07, 2007, 03:04:23 PM
Quote from: CeeKay
It should.  DOWN WITH THE RICH!!!!!

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but why is it that any time an average American citizen demands that the wealthiest and most privileged people be held to the same laws as everybody else, we're accused of "class warfare?"

This is not a case of "DOWN WITH THE RICH!!!"  Nobody is proposing that Paris be punished more harshly because she's wealthy or famous.  We are, however, proposing that she be held to the same standard as any of us.  Demanding special treatment for the rich because they're somehow above the punishments intended for the common ruck...isn't *that* the actual class warfare?

-Autistic Angel
3080  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Arnie Snubs Paris Hilton on: June 07, 2007, 02:36:13 PM
My issue here is that Paris Hilton has been "reassigned" to serve out the remainder of her sentence in one of her mansions because prison was hard and she didn't like it.  Have anyone else here ever seen an episode of MSNBC's Lockup?  Total isolation is torturous to *everybody* and some inmates are placed in solitary for years at a time, so I just don't understand why Paris gets to plead mental stress after three days.

That electronic ankle bracelet is going to start chafing after a couple days.  The probationary board there had better start working on a tracking locket...and make damn sure it's "hot."

-Autistic Angel
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