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3161  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / New Xbox 360 Premium - $300 website on: July 17, 2006, 04:05:37 PM
They also have a few other 360 bundles, such as a 360 premium with 5 games for $350.00.

Mr. Eko-Logic says:

"It's a miracle!!!"

-Autistic Angel
3162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (7/17) on: July 17, 2006, 03:54:51 PM
I have a copy of the never-before-played Eternal Darkness for the GameCube arriving early this week.  Does that count?

-Autistic Angel
3163  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lamenting on the past - Favorite RPG of all time on: July 16, 2006, 03:51:17 AM
Are there any fan-made patches for Fallout or the sequel to fix up any of their lingering problems?  I tried the first game last year and got stuck very early on in a mission which didn't seem to trigger its scripts properly.

I have no problem enjoying older games.  I'm currently playing The Longest Journey for the very first time and having a great time with it.  I do, however, start to get frustrated if I have to replay a section of a game again and again because something outside of my control isn't working correctly.

-Autistic Angel
3164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lamenting on the past - Favorite RPG of all time on: July 15, 2006, 10:15:00 PM
If Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate are both disqualified, I'm going to act as though Icewind Dale is off-limits, too.  I think of those as being "separate games" in the same way that Buffy and Angel are "separate shows."

With Ultima also off limits, I'm going to have to go with Daggerfall as the game that leaves me with the fondest memories.  I really spent a *vast* amount of time with that game one year, and even though I could never revisit it the way I could many of these other games, I can remember my adventures in that game much more clearly than several more recent games.

For the record, though, I've never been able to get into the Wizardry series, nor have I ever played the Bard's Tale games, so none of those were in contention for me.  Actually, I've really enjoyed Wizardry VIII every time I've tried it, but for some reason something else has always distracted me away from it by the time I finish that first dungeon.  :oops:

-Autistic Angel
3165  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Osama pardonned on: July 05, 2006, 07:15:57 PM
I havent listened to AA in over a year. Not that it actually matters.

Hey, that's pretty uncalled for!  I-

Oh, you meant Air America....never mind, then....

-Autistic Angel
3166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Need PSTwo Slim Power Supply on: July 04, 2006, 10:16:40 PM
Have you checked for a used one at a place like GameStop?

Also, I don't know the difference, if any, between the original PS2 and the slim line "PS Two", but would this fit the bill?

-Autistic Angel
3167  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Osama pardonned on: July 04, 2006, 10:03:29 PM
unbreakable, what will you do if Osama bin Laden *is* captured or killed by U.S. forces within Bush's presidency?

-Autistic Angel
3168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / DS Lite... denied! on: July 04, 2006, 01:27:57 PM
I was through a Toys 'R' Us just yesterday, and they had stacks of DS Lites.  If I were motivated to get one yet, it would probably be there since their return policy covers any defect, including dead pixels, up to about 45 days.

-Autistic Angel
3169  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Superman Returns! on: July 03, 2006, 02:29:57 AM
Spoiler for Hiden:
Where was all of that super-advanced Kryptonian weaponry that was going to help Lex defend his new continent?  I never really understood where he got the idea that his island was going to come with its own stockpile of crystalline WMDs.

-Autistic Angel
3170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Anyone know a place to get Video Game Character Costumes? on: June 27, 2006, 11:57:57 PM

-Autistic Angel
3171  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies: Your Flix, Post here. on: June 27, 2006, 04:13:47 AM
I posted my movie this morning at, and they made it one of their two "featured videos" which means it's been prominently placed on their main home page and their forum index.  For all I know, though, the featured videos are chosen completely at random.  :oops:

Anyways, you guys can check it out here.

-Autistic Angel
3172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Further idiocy from someone inside Sony on: June 22, 2006, 03:49:38 PM
I think the issue with Sega is that they'd turned a lot of people off by racing to be first on the market with hardware that proved to be poorly conceived and unsupported.  I can't guess at what percentage of people might have passed on the Dreamcast because they'd been burned by becoming an early adopter of the Sega CD, the 32x, or the Saturn, but after watching Sega release three failed platforms in a row, I had zero interest in the Dreamcast.

By contrast, both Sony and Microsoft have strong reputations in the gaming market that are fairly untarnished.  There have been a few missteps like the PS2's hard drive, and some people might question the success of the PSP, but overall, consumers could reasonably expect that both companies know how to build a successful console.

I think there's a sizeable portion of the market who *would* be willing to pickup a PS3 based solely on the namebrand.  What I can't predict is how many of them actually *are* willing to pay $500-$600 for something that, at best, isn't any better than the $400 Microsoft console that's already available.  Exclusive game franchises are the best way to convince people to make that price jump, so Sony is just trying to spin their little hearts out when they try to claim that losing their lock on Grand Theft Auto IV isn't going to sting.

-Autistic Angel
3173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GalCiv2 Expansion Details on: June 22, 2006, 02:51:59 PM
GameSpot has posted an interview with Stardock's Brad Wardell where he talks about some of the new features in the upcoming expansion pack for Galactic Civilizations 2.  Some of the discussion includes:
  • espionage is being completely overhauled to include spy agents who can be assigned to different sorts of missions
  • players can now create custom races for the AI to play
  • new technologies will allow the colonization of previously uninhabitable worlds
  • asteroid fields can be mined to provide bonuses to the closest colonized planet, and some will even provide special or unique enhancements
  • the expansion pack will be available through digital distribution only

I'm really looking forward to this one!

-Autistic Angel
3174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Prey demo is out... on: June 22, 2006, 02:40:57 PM
Ditto.  Anyone who balks at the large size of the download should realize that this demo is surprisingly long and does a fantastic job of demonstrating what makes Prey such a unique game.  This game wasn't even on my radar until eveyone started making such a hooplah about the forthcoming demo, and now that I've played it for myself, I'll be putting in a pre-order for the full version.

-Autistic Angel
3175  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Dateline's Child Predator Shows- Entrapment? on: June 13, 2006, 07:27:24 PM
Thank you: that's what I thought you meant, but I was hoping you'd make it more clear.  I can't hope to debate whether or not Chris Hansen is "smarmy" or not, but I would take exception to someone who actually did suggest that the only thing as bad as a child rapist is a smarmy journalist.

I thought the interviews with the would-be rapists was the part of the show that made it worth watching.  These guys engaged in some pretty extensive self-delusion to convince themselves that what they were doing wasn't all that bad, or that they wouldn't get caught, *or* that they could somehow talk themselves out of this situation, and I thought it was interesting to hear what they had to say.  For example, many of them professed to be "very religious" and one even taught children in a Catholic school.  I suspect that these guys turned to religion hoping to purge themselves of desires they recognized were sick and wrong, yet there's no indication that they ever made the jump to seeking out professional help.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's an aspect to this phenomenon that wouldn't have been brought up if the entire show was just the pedophile walking into the house and Chris Hansen shouting, "Get 'im, boys!" while the cops tackled him on the spot.

Besides, I think having the on-camera confessions from several of these guys is going to aid in their prosecution.

-Autistic Angel
3176  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Hell's Kitchen Premier on: June 13, 2006, 12:52:53 PM
I agree that it's a very entertaining show.

Spoiler for Hiden:
That girl Heather is really something else.  I'm still not sure whether she was more distressed about the fact that she dumped a quantity of boiling hot grease over her hand, or about the idea that this would prevent her from continuing to cook with her team.  I don't even know what to say about the fact that she continued to delegate responsibilities from the sidelines until the ambulance arrived.  If she doesn't win this competition outright, I bet it'll be because Ramsey wants to hire her for one of his restaurants personally -- that woman *really* wants to win, but she's got a fantastic attitude that makes her easy to root for.

I didn't see the big deal about that brunette cheering, "Yay!" when Heather's first try at appetizers finally passed Ramsey's taste test.  Yes, it was unprofessional, but she wasn't cheering for herself -- she was cheering for Heather.  That's good for morale.  I would have urged her not to do something like that a second time, but I don't think it was worth chewing her out over.

I wonder why that one guy was completely sidelined during the second part of the premiere.  First he was selected by Ramsey to sit out of the meat eating competition, and then he was assigned to wait tables instead of cooking with his team.  Did Ramsey want to see how the rest of the team could function without him, or was he completely removed from the competition for some other reason?

Finally, I'm surprised that there wasn't at least one or two people who had really snide comments about that one guy who had to leave the competition for medical reasons.  In a show like this, there's usually someone who'll say something like, "Heh, I guess he just didn't want it enough!  He's gotta toughen up if he's going to let a little thing like a mild heart attack get in the way of his dreams!"

-Autistic Angel
3177  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Dateline's Child Predator Shows- Entrapment? on: June 13, 2006, 03:36:31 AM
Quote from: "Devil"
I was disgusted by the people on both sides of the table. I really couldn't keep watching the show because that clown soured the 'real' story for me.

I already knew I hated child rapists going in (no shock). Hansen made me like the 'good guys' a lot less.

You want to drive your point home? Have the cops come out cuff these jerks - end of story. The sensationalism of Mr. Tough guy coming in and making small talk detracted from the real issue.

Okay.  I think it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if you truly feel "acting tough" runs about equal to raping children on the list of "Things That Are Annoying," I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.  For the record, I saw a lot less harm in Hansen's questions than in the would-be pedophiles' intent to have sex with a fourteen year old girl.

-Autistic Angel
3178  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Dateline's Child Predator Shows- Entrapment? on: June 12, 2006, 01:16:11 PM
Quote from: "Devil"
I found myself hating Hansen as much as the guys they are setting up.

He's a real tough guy with 5 cameras on him and a swat team waiting outside.

Smarmy bastard.

Seeing someone whose demeanor you dislike triggers the exact same level of distaste as seeing a Catholic school teacher, a parent of a young child, or a 60-year old man sneaking into a house to have sex with its 14-year old inhabitant?

Sometimes we all write things on the internet that come out a little differently than what we intended.  I know I have.  Perhaps you should consider rewording this post.

-Autistic Angel
3179  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Dateline's Child Predator Shows- Entrapment? on: June 11, 2006, 08:14:37 PM
What surprised me about the most recent Dateline special I saw was how many of the suspects had seen identical sting operations on TV before.  I think my lack of pedophilic tendancies puts me at a disadvantage for trying to understand this mindset, but how badly would you need to have sex with a child to knowingly risk walking into a trap set on national television??

Even if you were somehow able to convince yourself that there's anything healthy or harmless about meeting up with underage children from the internet, you'd think the increasing risk of getting caught would convince you to find a new hobby.

Entrapment or not, the dozens and dozens of guys they're able to catch during these televised sting operations really opens your eyes to how pervasive this sort of online sexual predation is.  :shock:

-Autistic Angel
3180  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Transformers: Cybertron on: June 11, 2006, 08:02:30 PM
I would like to add that although G4TV advertises Beast Wars as part of their weekday morning "Action Blast," they do not appear to be airing actual episodes of the show.  Instead, the network has....

...wait for it....

...decided to reduce every 22-minute episode of the show down to about ten minutes by editing out all of the story elements.  That's right: the braintrust at G4 thought it would be a good idea to remove all of the backstory, character interaction, and plot development that made Beast Wars such a great show so that they could air a solid block of CGI robots shooting at each other for no discernable reason.

If you decide to watch Beast Wars, please try to acquire the series on DVD.  It deserves a lot better than what you'll see on G4TV.

-Autistic Angel
3181  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [War] al-Zarqawi has been killed on: June 08, 2006, 09:23:46 PM
This is certainly good news, but the issue I have is that some people are using al-Zarqawi's death as "proof that we're winning the War on Terror."  If al-Qaeda somehow successfully assassinated Donald Rumsfeld, would these same people be taking to the airwaves calling it proof that we were losing the War on Terror?

-Autistic Angel
3182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ground Control II on: June 06, 2006, 02:45:10 PM
Reading over my own post, I think I should have been more clear.

I'm currently trying out Ground Control II, and although I can pause the game by hitting the 'Pause' button on the keyboard, I'm unable to interact with the game in any way except to scroll the map.  I'm wondering if anyone's aware of an .ini toggle or unofficial patch that might add the ability to queue up orders while the game is paused.

-Autistic Angel
3183  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ground Control II on: June 06, 2006, 12:38:00 AM
Does anyone know if its possible to issue orders while Ground Control II is paused?  If there were ever a game crying out for such a feature, this is it!

-Autistic Angel
3184  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sony: Who needs marketshare? on: June 05, 2006, 07:30:32 PM
Blu-Ray technology has one legitimate advantage over HD-DVD media: the discs can hold significantly more information.  This would theoretically allow for studios to maximize the video quality without having to sacrifice special features like commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes documentaries.

The biggest downside to the technology is that its marketed by Sony: a company so draconian in their copy protection schemes and so uncompromising in their pursuit of profits that they produce music CDs that install rootkit viruses in your PC and once teamed up with LucasFilm and Circuit City to push DivX players which would require home users to pay money everytime they wanted to watch a movie they owned.  

One popular rumor suggests that PlayStation 3 games will hardcode themselves to the first machine they're put into, becoming unplayable on all other PS3 consoles and eliminating the sale of used games, game rentals, and even loaning games out to friends.  Sony flatly denies any such feature, but the reason the rumor persists is that it's *exactly* the sort of thing Sony would push out onto the marketplace.  This company wants to establish a stranglehold on the world of digital media, and they're fully prepared to redefine the concept of "ownership" to get it done.

I own a PlayStation 2.  My television, DVD player, and camcorder are all from Sony because my research indicated they were the best in their fields for what I wanted to do.  I think that when Sony embraces an established electronic standard, they're frequently able to do it better than most of their competitors.  What I *don't* trust is their attempts to create new standards, especially one that they would retain exclusive rights over.

I'm really hoping HD-DVD is the next standard of choice.

-Autistic Angel
3185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Microsoft and Backwards Compatibility... on: June 01, 2006, 10:16:03 PM
Just a few days ago, I started playing Indigo Prophecy for the X-Box and I think it's an amazingly fun and inventive game.  I picked up Mark Ecko's Getting Up for $10 at that big Circuit City sale this week, and I'll be keeping a careful eye on the availability of that new Dreamfall game so I can snatch it up before it vanishes from store shelves.  At some point this summer, I also intend to finally play the X-Box "Director's Cut" version of Fatal Frame 2 all the way through.
Backwards compatibility means a great deal to a person like me who enjoys playing older games that were missed the first time around.  I guess I'm too far in the minority for Microsoft's bigwigs to care about, but I consider the backwards compatibility feature of the Wii and PlayStation 3 to be one of their biggest selling points (or *only* selling point in the case of the PS3....)

-Autistic Angel
3186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hitman: Blood Money impressions on: June 01, 2006, 09:20:08 PM
Unfortunately, this is the thing that always kills the Hitman series for me. Trial and error gameplay with limited saves (though I'm playing at "easy" to eliminate that, but then you don't even get a notoriety meter) makes it too freeform for me.

Hitman holds a lot of the same appeal for me that the Thief series does: although it's possible to stumble your way through a level, knocking out or killing anyone who discovers you, the challenge is in figuring out how to slip in and out of a heavily guarded compound before anyone even knew you were there.  Any game lets you take center stage as you run and gun your way through waves of opposition; precious few reward you for inconspicuously casing the joint and sliding in and out of cracks in the security system like a ghost.

One of the things that bugged me about the demo for Hitman: Contracts was that I could *not* figure out any way to blow up that damn submarine without raising an alarm and causing collateral deaths.  If I wanted to blow things up, I'd play Black.  I want a game where I can leave behind a dead body in a room surrounded by guards and sealed from the inside....  :twisted:

I do have a question though: the demo for Blood Money had an option for "Simple Strangulation" or "Easy Strangulation."  What exactly does that option do?

-Autistic Angel
3187  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hitman: Blood Money impressions on: June 01, 2006, 01:15:10 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Every level seems to have about a half dozen very non-obvious ways of dealing with your intended targets. Very VERY freeform. So far, I'm finding it very challenging without being obscene. Its good to have a game with a little difficulty behind it.

You've just sold me on this game.

-Autistic Angel
3188  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / DVD Tuesday - 05/30/06 on: May 31, 2006, 03:18:06 PM
Is this the same Riddick that escaped a prison ship to fight crazy night-demons? The same Ridick that single-handedly took down the TechnoGoth Empire? If so, when did they make a third movie?

There was some animated feature that was put together at one point, but I've never seen it so I can't comment on its length or quality.

-Autistic Angel
3189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Picked up PoP: Warrior Within ... on: May 30, 2006, 06:53:13 PM
As far as I can recall, I also saved before and after just about every time portal in the game and I still finished it successfully.  I played the X-Box version.

-Autistic Angel
3190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Picked up PoP: Warrior Within ... on: May 30, 2006, 05:14:53 PM
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "Autistic Angel"
I don't think it's considered a spoiler if I tell you that the beginning of The Two Thrones actually dares to pretend that Warrior Within ended in a completely different way. I would have thought that a planned trilogy specializing in the intricacies of time travel would have a little more respect for whopping continuity flaws than that.

Actually, TTT assumes that you got the relatively rare, *good* ending for Warrior Within. Most gamers got the "bad" ending.

Fair enough: I didn't realize there was an alternate ending to Warrior Within, so the opening narration to Two Thrones was quite a surprise.  I'm happy to hear that I was the lazy one, not the developers.  Cool

-Autistic Angel
3191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Picked up PoP: Warrior Within ... on: May 30, 2006, 02:37:04 AM
I would have jumped right into the third one if I didn't think I was missing some decent gaming and part of the story.

That's what I thought, so I played Warrior Within from start to finish.

I don't think it's considered a spoiler if I tell you that the beginning of The Two Thrones actually dares to pretend that Warrior Within ended in a completely different way.  I would have thought that a planned trilogy specializing in the intricacies of time travel would have a little more respect for whopping continuity flaws than that.

I loved the original Prince of Persia for its beautiful Arabian fairy tale setting, its gorgeous animation, its engaging storyline, and its daring acrobatic gameplay.  I disliked Warrior Within because it attempted to reboot the franchise into something X-treme and frequently interrupted the acrobatic puzzle-solving with battles which were about as engaging as fighting the innumerable random monster encounters in a Japanese RPG.  My initial impressions of Two Thrones were very positive, but I stopped playing after only a few hours because I had *just* completed PoP:WW and was worried about ruining the game by burning myself out the franchise.

My advice: you should definitely continue with Warrior Within for as long as you're having fun with it.  Hopefully that'll carry you through the entire game.  However, if you reach the point where you're just slogging your way through because you want to see how it ends, I think you'll discover that it *really* doesn't matter.

-Autistic Angel
3192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Lost Game Coming video games on: May 29, 2006, 12:29:55 AM
Speaking as someone who continues to enjoy Lost, even I have to say that I thought these posts were really funny.  biggrin

-Autistic Angel
3193  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 28, 2006, 05:10:18 AM
Ehh ... I think most people would rather be paid off and be wealthy than be deep throat.

Why not be both?  What's to stop a person from taking their payoff, squirreling it away someplace safe, and then setting up a rendezvous with a couple reporters in a dark parking garage?

I would figure that anyone that had a hand in such a secretive operation would have something at stake in its success.

Everybody?  Even the guys who unbolted the streetlights and toppled them across the highway?  What about the guys who closed off the highway so nobody would see the work being done?  Or the insurance adjuster who goes out to look at that big crater in the Pennsylvania prairie and asks, "So where's the plane?"

What about all the "victims" who got on planes headed for the west coast and were informed that they all had to go missing for the rest of their lives?  Are they all sealed up in Guantanamo someplace, or was the Bush administration able to pay enough that they were willing to accept the idea of never seeing their friends and family again?  At that point it would be cheaper to forget about the secret remote-controlled jetliner and just use the real things.

And why pin the whole thing on al Qaeda?  Had *you* ever heard of them before 2001?  Most people hadn't.  Why not pin the whole thing squarely on Iraq and skip the whole spiel about weapons inspectors and U.N. resolutions?  It seems to me like the war in Iraq would be a whole lot more popular if they were actually some sort of reason given for why it was necessary.

-Autistic Angel
3194  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Can you Read This? on: May 27, 2006, 07:56:54 PM

Mr. Eko-Logic says:

"You just made the list."

-Autistic Angel
3195  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 27, 2006, 07:46:04 PM
Right, but none of that was the result of any devious ingenuity or skill -- the neoconservative Republicans in control the house, senate, and presidency have correctly ascertained that the average American is more afraid of giving gay people equal civil rights than of losing their own.  The Bush administration isn't getting away with things because they're just so good at it; they're getting away with them because they control all the mechanisms of power and know how to focus public attention on divisive wedge issues.

The 9/11 Conspiracy Theory shares the same fatal flaw as the Liberal Media Conspiracy Theory: there's just no way that the hundreds or thousands of people needed to pull them off could all be compelled into secrecy.  People like to be famous.  They like to be heroes.  They like to go down in history as the one who revealed the truth to everyone.  The Bush administration is so cocky and arrogant about their ideas and so grossly inept at executing any of them that I just can't accept the idea that they could manage an operation of this size.  Secret remote controlled aircraft painted up to resemble passenger airliners; missiles launched against the Pentagon; streetlights yanked out of the ground and dumped across the highway; large smouldering craters being dug in the Pennsylvania fields and strewn with bits of metal...and *NOBODY* has come forward to say, "Yeah, I was part of the crew that did that?!?"

If the Bush administration is so good at shutting people up, why are their own inspector generals the ones reporting billions of dollars in treasonous war profiteering in Iraq?  Why are we learning more information every day about their so-called "anti-terrorism" domestic spying programs?  Why haven't they been able to buy off the career generals who are stepping up and demanding Rumsfeld's resignation, and if they tried, why have none of those generals said anything about the attempts to shut them up?

If you want to say that the Bush administration is a vile and destructive force to everything inherent to the American system and way of life, you'll get no argument from me.  If you say that 9/11 has benefitted their schemes tremendously by convincing people to unquestioningly follow the same "leaders" failed to prevent 9/11 in the first place, I'm with you 100%.  But I just can't accept the idea that these bungling, arrogant idiots were capable to faking something on the scale of those attacks.

-Autistic Angel
3196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rise of Legends Impressions ?? on: May 26, 2006, 07:31:10 PM
Quote from: "Earlier, I"
I am having fun with this game so far. However, it's *very* different from Rise of Nations and I would need more time before offering advice on whether or not I would take responsibility for convincing anyone else how to spend their money.

As promised, I've spent a great deal more time with the game and posted my full review here.  I'll be happy to expand on it here if anyone is interested....

-Autistic Angel
3197  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 26, 2006, 04:12:47 AM
Let me put it this way:

Let's imagine for a moment that Bush administration faked the plane flying into the Pentagon by firing a cruise missile from a military facility at the building.  To help create the illusion, several light poles along the path of approach were pulled up to make it look like they'd been knocked down by a plane, and to help with the cover up all of the surveillance tapes in the area were confiscated.  Witnesses, including cleanup workers who came to clean up the debris field were all either in on it or too busy to ask any questions about how an entire 747 managed to squeeze itself through that hole.  And finally, Donald Rumsfeld was so confident in the flawlessness of this plan that he volunteered to be in the Pentagon during the strike, even though he was "safely in his office on the other side of the building."

Here is my question: In six years, what has the Bush administration ever accomplished that would make you believe they're capable of successfully executing something this complicated?  Seriously, what is the biggest acccomplishment these people have had?  They'd have to be pretty damn good at getting things done before they could worry about getting away with the bad stuff, and when you consider the number of whistleblowers trying to call our attention to all the sneaky, suspicious stuff they're doing, frankly they suck at both.

Regardless of whether or not George Bush, Karl Rove, or Dick Cheney would have wanted to fake 9/11, they're simply not competent enough to have pulled it off.

-Autistic Angel
3198  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 23, 2006, 07:22:09 PM
My problem with this sort of thing is that it suggests we need some serpentine conspiracy theory to get up in arms about.  The reality is that the Bush administration has violated our trust on topics ranging from tax relief to domestic and foreign civil rights violations to our urgent need to start a war in Iraq.  Why waste any time at all piecing together circumstantial evidence with a web of conjecture when the things we can actually prove are continuing to happen...and, apparently, beneath most people's notice?

President Bush said that terrorists are *only* ever hunted with the assistance of a court order.  Then it turned out that he was secretly wiretapping overseas phone calls, but only of known terrorists.  Then suspected terrorists.  Then "persons of interest," but still only when they were overseas phone calls.  Now we know the U.S. government is also collecting millions of purely domestic phone records to map out who is talking to who, how often, and for how long.  How comforting that we have an all-new assurance that *that's* as far as it goes....

Actually, demonstrably breaking the law wins out over forty-year-long conspiracy theories any day of the week.

-Autistic Angel
3199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / World of Warcraft to PS3? on: May 23, 2006, 05:39:00 PM
There have been a lot of rumors swirling around that Star Wars: Galaxies will be coming to console systems or that World of WarCraft would be released for the X-Box 360.  Failing an official announcement, I remain a skeptic.

-Autistic Angel
3200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hitman: Blood Money demo is out! on: May 23, 2006, 05:32:27 PM
Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
That said, I'm not sure much would have changed based on your impressions since most of your complaints seemed to center around tutorials/hand-holding which is honestly the type of stuff I'd expect out of the first level of a game.

I must say, in general, I find most demos to be crap and I can't remember the last time that I played a demo that convinced me to buy a game I wasn't otherwise interested in. I think most demos suffer from being removed from the context of the full game.

I don't want to "take over the thread" by authoring every second post, but I have a lot to say about this demo.  Therefore, please understand that the following are only my opinions and I'm not out to denounce Hitman: Blood Money in the face of any upcoming positive reviews or to change anyone else's mind.  Cool

The demo for Hitman 2 absolutely sold me on that game.  It's a perfect example of transforming an upcoming release that I previously had absolutely no interest in into one that I was eagerly awaiting the chance to buy.  My ideal Hitman game would be one in which they allowed you to play three dozen levels with the same multitude of choices and complexity that you had in that first demo.

System Shock 2 and F.E.A.R. both served up pre-release demos that convinced me to preorder.  Both did a fantastic job of showcasing the game play mechanics that made them such unique titles.  Whatever issues people took with the final products, their demos did a fantastic job of showing off some of their best features.  Thief is something of an odd duck -- like I said, I hated the demo when I first tried it, but after reading weeks worth of rave reviews after the game's release, I gave it another shot and fell in love.  Why?  I have no idea.  Maybe I was approaching the whole thing with the wrong mindset from the start.  Regardless, that's another example of a demo which (eventually) sold me on getting the game.

Other demos have piqued my interest enough to get me to pay careful attention to the reviews (Star Wars: Empire at War), while others still have convinced me not to buy a game at all.  I can see what other people would enjoy about games like Ghost Recon or SWAT 4, but I have neither the reflexes to survive in a one shot/one kill environment, nor the patience to learn the subtle differences between a half-dozen variations on the concept of an "automatic rifle."

At *best*, this Blood Money demo seems to exhibit the worst elements of the franchise.  Eliminating the on-screen hints altogether would still leave us with an exercise in rote, lifeless puzzle solving carried out in an environment only slightly more interactive than the original Myst, rendered with a fancy new graphic engine slapped over the same animations we saw four years ago.  There may be a great game here, but you wouldn't be able to tell it from this demo.

If other reviews are as positive as your OPM article, Kevin Grey, I'll be first in line to give the full retail version a fair shot.  And, by "first," I mean "first to buy a copy from the eighth or ninth shipment sent to my local Electronics Boutique because their new official policy is never to stock more than four copies of any PC game."  I'd love a really excellent version of Hitman, so here's hoping... :!:

-Autistic Angel
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