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3361  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Tonight's 'Lost' spoilers on: December 01, 2005, 04:37:56 PM
First off, because there was onscreen acknowledgement of certain issues. Such as Mike pointing out there was no reason to keep pushing the button....

They're trapped on an island where compasses don't work, invisible monsters tear trees out of the ground by their roots, two unrelated inhabitants (Danielle and Desmond) rant about a mysterious illness whose only cure is a gunshot to the head, entire seventeenth-century slave galleons can be found intact in the middle of the jungle, and a tribe of barbaric "Others" sweep out of the wilderness every once in a while and drag people away forever.

What exactly makes you so sure that there's no reason to keep pushing the button?

edit: oh yeah two other things: As per usual, we find out no one has been telling anyone anything. Mike is all over that bunker, finding blast doors no one else saw, but never asked or was told about those numbers ticking down?

Michael did speak to Locke about the computer console and the timer, which was why he started examining all the other equipment in the room.  The conversation probably could have gone on another five minutes as Locke provided a detailed on-screen explanation of everything that had happened in the first three episodes of this season, but then people would be complaining that they wasted too much time on recapping things the audience already knows.

-Autistic Angel
3362  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [RP] Bush says "Not leaving" on: December 01, 2005, 02:08:50 AM
Once the Bush administration was forced to admit that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, no involvement in 9/11, and no ties to al Qaeda, the mission in Iraq was revealed to be an attempt at nation building: taking an area of deep ethnic and religious divisions and establishing a peaceful representative democracy.  In order to do this, the United States must train and supply enough Iraqi troops that they can maintain the current level of "peace" and defend the government we've created after we leave.

Democrats have asked how many Iraqi troops will be required, but the Bush administration won't answer.

Democrats have asked how long it takes to train a battalion of Iraqi troops to "Level 1" operational status, but the Bush administration won't answer.

Democrats have asked how many Iraqi battalions we're training at a time, trying to determine how many could potentially be ready "soon," but the Bush administration won't answer.

During sworn testimony in front of Congress, General George Casey testified that the number of "Level 1" Iraqi battalions has gone from three to one in the last few months.  Considering that this is the closest thing we have to measure our progess in Iraq, we know that we've lost 66% of the progress we've made in the last 2.5 years.

By every standard, the War in Iraq is a tremendous failure so far: two thousand American servicemen killed in action, scores more *seriously* wounded with life-changing injuries, and absolutely no idea of where we stand, where we're headed, or how long it will take to get there.  The failures in the planning and execution of this operation on every level, from failing to establish order in the weeks after the invasion to the lack of body armor and ammunition for troops on the front lines, are on a scale so epic that it may take decades to fully grasp the level of incompetence at work.

Unfortunately, pulling out is not an option.  For better or worse, Iraq is our responsibility now, and we don't get to abandon it just because Paul Wolfowitz's predictions of flowers and chocolates didn't come true.  We *desperately* need a new strategy, increased participation from other nations, a massive increase in the number troops on the ground to establish order, and a set of measureable goals we can begin to work towards, but shattering this country and leaving its people for dead is not a choice we can make.

-Autistic Angel
3363  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / My Christmas Prediction on: November 29, 2005, 06:39:55 PM
Quote from: "Hetz"
I sense much anger in this thread...

Speaking for myself, I'm disappointed in the situation, but I follow the political situation here in the United States much too closely to have anger left over for a videogame console shortage.  Let me know when people are using E*Bay to profit off of insulin shortages.  smile

That said, I wouldn't judge people too harshly for voicing their frustration.  If I'd been given a free X-Box 360 and then successfully turned around and sold my extra unit for a good profit, I'd probably feel pretty satisfied with the launch, too.

-Autistic Angel
3364  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / My Christmas Prediction on: November 29, 2005, 04:33:22 PM
SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS: They are losing all the launch day hype and quick software sales. Now people will pick up their 360 preorder in 2006 and grumble and MAYBE buy one or two titles, instead of happily buying 4.

Whenever it is that I receive an X-Box 360, I intend to buy Kameo, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Perfect Dark Zero...unless, of course, there are other, newer games out at the time that pique my interest.  Since I know I'm not alone in my predicament, I have to conclude that some of these software developers will be genuinely hurt by limited sales due to hardware shortages.

-Autistic Angel
3365  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Canadian Government Toppled on: November 29, 2005, 03:37:03 AM
Oh no!

-Autistic Angel
3366  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New PC Gamer mag on: November 28, 2005, 03:00:57 PM
In the span of that article, TheVede promises that the magazine has been redesigned to be a million times better than it's ever been before, but instead of going into any details at all, he procedes to squander most of his space in contemplation over the power of orange construction cones on the highway.

Is that really a sign that PC Gamer is now the best, most relevant gaming magazine I've *ever* read?

-Autistic Angel
3367  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Forget 360, may get PS2 to play Shadow of the Colossus! on: November 28, 2005, 02:53:28 PM
As best as I can tell, Hetz and DiamondDecision came to an understanding and set their differences aside about halfway down Page 1 of this thread.  Why are so many people determined to keep slamming Hetz about this thread, and who do they think they're helping by trying to provoke some big confrontation here?

-Autistic Angel
3368  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Would anyone recomend Kameo? on: November 26, 2005, 01:05:43 AM
No, you haven't.

-Autistic Angel
3369  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Would anyone recomend Kameo? on: November 25, 2005, 10:23:30 PM
I haven't played Kameo, but I find that I tend to use Up = Up controls for console games, and Up = Down controls for PC games.  It's just how I was raised.

-Autistic Angel
3370  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST? More like SUCK. on: November 25, 2005, 10:20:23 PM
One of the things that I think has a big affect on my enjoyment of Lost is the way I'll avoid spoilers of any kind, including previews and commercials for the next upcoming episode.  I've taken this approach with every show I watch this season (Supernatural, Grey's Anatomy, Alias, Boston Legal, Smallville, etc.) and I find them all a lot more engaging to watch when I have absolutely no idea what the episode will be about.

On that note, I enjoyed this week's episode of Lost and would continue to rank it as one of my favorite television series.

I'm not sure that the writers are trying to soften Ana Lucia's character so much as looking to offer an explanation for why she acts like such a horrible human being.  Either way, I have no problem with an obnoxious or dislikeable character so long as the other characters react to her in a believable way, and this episode finally saw that happen.

Also, I found Locke's first encounter with Mr. Eko immensely satisfying.  I want to be very clear that I'm not being sarcastic -- I thought their exchange was *perfect.*  biggrin

I'm beginning to wonder if the writers feel they've taken Kate's backstory as far as it can go, or if they're planning to bring her back to the forefront during the last half of this season.  She remains one of the most enigmatic characters to me -- I don't trust her at *all* -- and I hope we'll get to see more of her flashbacks.

Regarding the end of his last episode:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was tearing up when Jin and Sun were finally reunited.  Rose and Bernard are a nice couple, but I am *so* into the Kwon backstory that seeing them back together really got me.  :oops:

-Autistic Angel
3371  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's your GOAT of the year so far - 2005 PC edition on: November 24, 2005, 07:45:18 PM
Yes, we've all played bad games, but rare is the game which actually makes you feel personally deceived and physically angry.  MOO3 for teh win!!!

-Autistic Angel
3372  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What's your GOAT of the year so far - 2005 PC edition on: November 24, 2005, 07:06:30 AM
GameSpot recently inducted the original Master of Orion to their Greatest Games of All Time list.

Quote from: "GameSpot"
Master of Orion III, on the other hand, is akin to the Heaven's Gate of PC strategy gaming. It arrived in 2003 after much development and to greater anticipation, only to dash all the hopes of fans and gamers alike with incomprehensibly bad and busted gameplay. Even after it was supposedly patched, the bizarre design decisions that went into that game make you wonder about the sanity of the people responsible for it.

I couldn't have said it better myself.  That's right: the most God-awful, Obnoxious, Annoying, and Terrible game of 2005 is 2003's:

-Autistic Angel
3373  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Gaming and HD: N00b Questions on: November 24, 2005, 02:40:43 AM
I will be on the market in the next 60-90 days for a 32-37 inch tv. Right now I'm leaning toward LCD...

I think LCD is the superior choice for gaming.  You hear a lot about people gaming on huge plasma screens, but I've read too much about permenant burn-in problems for me to ever feel comfortable gaming on one myself.

Anyhoo- You see HD ready sets and those with HD built in. As best as I can surmise, the former means that you need an HD 'converter' to get an HD picture.

HD-Ready sets are capable of displaying any high-definition signal they're fed, but do not have a converter of their own built-in.  This means that in order to watch high-definition television, you would have to have an external converter box.

For everything else -- DVD playback, gaming, etc. -- you need only to feed the HD signal into your television via high definition cables.  This can include component video cables, a DVI cable, HDMI, and perhaps a couple other standards.

You should be certain to get a TV that supports the three major high-definition formats: 1080i, 720p, and 480p.  Many EDTVs ("enhanced definition televisions") only support 480p, so you should be very clear that you're purchasing a real HDTV.

So lets say I buy an HD ready TV and plug my XBOX with an HD game in it. Does the X act as a 'converter' or would I still need an external box of some sort?

The system is natively capable of producing its own HD signal, so no additional converter is needed.

What would the price difference typically be on a tv- all things considered- that has one that is HD ready and HDTV built in...

I don't know the price difference, but I don't think it would be worth it to purchase a TV with a built-in converter.  In my case, my digital cable box acts as both an HDTV converter box and a digital video recorder, so even if I'd paid extra to have a built-in HD tuner, I would have wound up ignoring it in favor of this external box.

On the other hand, using an internal HD tuner would free up a set of inputs on your television which you could use for something else.  Personally, my X-Box, GameCube, DVD player, and digital cable box are using up all my HD inputs, so unless I spring for an HD splitter, I don't have the capacity to use HD cables with my PlayStation 2.

What type of peripherals would I need to game in HD, I guess is the quesiton...


-Autistic Angel
3374  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Gaming and HD: N00b Questions on: November 24, 2005, 02:06:30 AM
So lets say I buy an HD ready TV and plug my XBOX with an HD game in it. Does the X act as a 'converter' or would I still need an external box of some sort?

No. Cool

-Autistic Angel

Edit: ...providing you use the HD cables for the 360 which are provided with the Premium system.
3375  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GamingTrend OFFICIAL XBOX360 Request Thread [COMPLETED] on: November 23, 2005, 10:26:03 PM

I am in line for an Xbox360. I am located in
West Hartford, CT, United States and am willing to pay shipping and cost for :

( ) Core System
(1) Premium System
( ) Bundled Core System
( ) Bundled Premium System
( ) Other Accessories ______________________________

[Edited 12/19/05] -- Still unfulfilled; camped out twice and came up empty.

[Edited 12/22/05] -- GT Transaction Pending....

[Edited 12/23/05] -- PayPal Payment Submitted...

[Edited 12/23/05] -- Unit Shipped Via UPS...

[Edited 12/24/05] -- UPS Delayed Estimated Arrival Date by Four Days...

[Edited 12/26/05] -- Phoning UPS For Explanation...

[Edited 12/27/05] -- Unit Delivered By UPS In Good Condition.  Transaction Complete.
3376  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lines Already Forming for XB360 on: November 22, 2005, 07:29:08 PM
I waited outside in the rain from about 5:00am until the local BJs Wholesale Club opened at 8:00.  Fifteen minutes before opening, an employee came out, handed ten tickets to the first ten people in line, and told them they were guaranteed an X-Box 360 Premium.  I was second in line at that time.

When the store opened at 8:00, the employee opened the doors only after cautioning everyone not to run or act crazy because everyone with a ticket was guaranteed a system.  Believing him, I didn't bother trying to push to the front of the very short line.

The final X-Box 360 sold to the person in front of me.  The cashier, under the watchful eye of an extremely professional supervisor and an extremely unprofessional assistant manager, had sold ten 360 systems and only collected nine tickets.  The assistant manager, Paula, started by telling me I was wasting my time asking what had just happened, and proceeded to intimate that I had either swiped someone else's ticket or had produced my own from thin air.  This ended somewhat after the supervisor pointed out that the number on my ticket matched in perfect sequence with the others, but the assistant manager succeeded in vanishing without even the most insincere apology.

Actually, if I want to be completely accurate, the last 360 was in the process of being sold when I held up my ticket and asked for an explanation.  Since the cashier couldn't remember if the buyer had given her a ticket, the supervisor tried to stop the transaction from going through until the issue was solved, but the assistant manager wound up ramming it through a short time later.  I probably could have raised a stink about that point, but since I'm confident that the buyer really was entitled to a system, there was no way I was going to levy a bad-faith accusation against him just so I could take his system from him.

Anyways, it'll be a few weeks before I'll be getting my 360, I guess.  On the plus side, I've already spoken directly with BJs Wholesale Club's VP of Branch Management, and while I may have put the supervisor on the fast track to promotion, I think the assistant manager is going to be wallowing in place for a while.  I'll be sure to drop off a duplicate of the formal written complaint at the local store, and I'll get to look the assistant manager in the eye when I do

I don't really care much about waiting for the X-Box 360, but I react badly to being called a liar, especially when every shred of evidence is on my side.

-Autistic Angel
3377  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lines Already Forming for XB360 on: November 21, 2005, 09:32:59 PM

That is going to be a pretty funny video to watch....

Sounds like a pale imitation of that old prank where they took bags full of new, donated toys and methodically destroyed them on the lawns of local orphanages to "teach the kids a lesson."

Now *that* was hilarious!

-Autistic Angel
3378  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: EMERGENCY! SEASON 2 on DVD! on: November 21, 2005, 05:33:45 PM
And, just for the sake of curiosity, what reigns supreme for you between these two?

Star Wars (and all things related)



c) Ellen Pompeo.

-Autistic Angel
3379  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBox 360 - - IN STOCK on: November 20, 2005, 06:10:00 PM
Oops!  Wow, contrary to the evidence, I actually have read this thread.  I don't know how I glossed over the other half-dozen posts that also mention the $400 shipping charge.  Sorry. :oops:

Did anyone whose card has been charged select the one-day shipping?  Did it really go through as $400?

-Autistic Angel
3380  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBox 360 - - IN STOCK on: November 20, 2005, 05:52:32 PM
I'm looking at that Wal*Mart page right now.  It says they still have 360s in stock, it says that one-day shipping can have one at my house on either the 22nd or the 23rd of this week...

...and it calculates the shipping cost *alone* at $400.  That brings the grand total up to $799.92.  This has got to be a bug on the webpage, right?

-Autistic Angel
3381  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Least Objectionable Change to Next 'God Of War?' on: November 18, 2005, 08:41:01 PM
I'm curious who voted for "Prominent Pepsico Product Placement."

Aretmis: Congratulations Kratos: you have bested the two-eyed cyclops and earned your reward: and ice-cold Pepsi One (TM)!

Kratos: Gragh!  If feel so refreshed!  My thirst has been completely quenched!  How are such wonders possible?  Surely this is the nectar of the gods themselves!

Artemis: Alas, if only it were so.  Pepsi One (TM) is not only sweeter in taste and bouquet, but with only a single calorie, our divine figures would be even more divine.  But our respite has past!  Quickly: Chalchiutotolin, the Aztec God of Pestilence seeks to unleash the dark force Kohk'Ehkola against our innocent peoples!  Make your way to the PepsIgloo for a full (and bubbly!) briefing!

-Autistic Angel
3382  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Least Objectionable Change to Next 'God Of War?' on: November 17, 2005, 11:55:58 PM
You have just read a preview of the next entry in the popular God of War series which announced they're planning to "try something new" with the franchise.  Which of the following possible changes would you find the *least* objectionable, and why?

- while there's significantly less emphasis on combat, there's a great many more jumping puzzles

- average time to complete the game is around four hours

- replacing the backdrop of Greek mythology with one adhereing strictly to R. L. Stein's Fear Street series

- soundtrack performed entirely by 80's rock band Wham!

- PepsiCo product placement throught the game

- Wind Waker-esque cel-shading

- new main character: Ellen Pompeo

-Autistic Angel
3383  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 11/16/05 on: November 17, 2005, 11:09:33 PM
re running away: If you are too weak to fight her, then you are too weak to go trampling through a strange jungle(with no map or compass) in the only obvious direction(the beach everyone knows) and keep away from her. You have no way of knowing if that guy who let you out will ever spill his guts that "oh yeah, he said he was headed to the beach".

Sayid walked the beach for several days before stumbling on the cable that lead him to Danielle, and never discovered any evidence of any other survivors.  "The Beach" is not a small area to search.  Assuming Ana Lucia was actually willing to abandon this (apparently) safe jungle haven to go after you, her only reasonable chance at catching you is if you arrive on beach and promptly light a smoky signal fire to mark your location.

So yeah, she is a threat to you as long as she is alive, you HAVE to deal with her. Logically, the best time to do that is immediately before she can find out you have escaped, since her knowing that would put her on her guard. She has a small buck knife, so what? She's a woman for crying out loud! Sneak up on her with a rock and let her have it.

This sort of reasoning is exactly why people making out on the shores of Crystal Lake always go investigating strange noises in the nearby woods.

When someone nearby, female or not, is considering killing you with a knife, you and your lack-of-knife should move in a different direction as quickly as possible.  That's simply common sense.  If you're starving, dehydrated, and exhausted, that's more reason why picking this fight not a good idea.

Then you tell the other survivors she was insane and you are not an 'other', then tell them you will leave and go on your own if they don't feel comfortable having you around. People were sneaking you food, and someone else let you out, obviously they are not comfortable with her behavior at that point.

If the one person sneaking you food were willing to take your side in a fight against Ana Lucia, he would have let you out of the pit himself.  Assuming that the entire camp is willing to join your mutiny just because Person A snuck you a tiny amount of food and Person B was reluctantly willing to help you escape is a bad gamble.

You're on an island teeming with fruit trees, where oysters wash right up onto the shore.  On your own you can recoup your strength, find a weapon, and return to your group later on your own terms, maybe even speaking with people in privacy before Ana Lucia knows you've come back.  It just makes sense.

-Autistic Angel
3384  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 11/16/05 on: November 17, 2005, 04:33:18 PM
Well, "good people" doesn't necessarily have any moral connotation to it.  Desmond and Rousseau ("the French woman") could not possibly have come into contact with each other, yet they each talked about people "getting sick" on the island.  Perhaps a "good person" is someone who is more susceptible to catching that sickness....

I'm also interested in how Claire's baby is developing.  The psychic last season was adamant that she had to raise him herself, yet so far, it seems like Charlie and Locke have been doing most of the actual work.  It seems to me like they're sewing the seeds for something coming down the line with this.

-Autistic Angel
3385  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 11/16/05 on: November 17, 2005, 03:39:29 PM
I thought last night was another solid episode.  I really liked the opportunity to *finally* hear directly from one of The Others, and the revelations put a whole new spin on a lot of the events we've seen so far.

It was...interesting to see a softer side of Ana Lucia, but frankly, unless she spent the entire episode resurrecting puppies and curing them of cancer, nothing was going to turn her into a likeable character.  I know they're going for "hardcore survivalist" with her character, but the continuing fact that she's willing to cut loose anyone who might slow her down makes it unclear why anyone else in her group would look to her as a leader.  Chalk it up to a vacuum of power in their camp -- it doesn't look like there was anyone else willing to make decisions for the group.  If Jack hadn't had Locke or Sayid to consult with or counterbalance his choices, and if his group had been actively hunted all along, maybe he would have turned out like Ana Lucia.  At least, that seems to be the idea the writers are shooting for.

Mr. Eko continues to rule all, and I don't just mean the character.  The actor (whose name I haven't discovered yet), already reminds me of Josh "Sawyer" Holloway best moments: they're such masters of body language, they can practically say more in silence than the others can say in a monologue.

Quote from: "gameoverman"

The guy gets let out of the hole, he gets told the WOMAN is going to 'hurt' him, and he asks "which way to the beach?"? Gimme a break! You know any guy would say "her hurt me? are you kidding me? I'm gonna get medieval on her ass for throwing me down there...right after I kick your ass for not letting me out immediately.".

Let me get this straight: after spending the better part of a week trapped at the bottom of a filthy pit with little water and even less food, you think wanting to escape and run away from the crazy woman with the long army knife is the *unrealistic* response?

I guess I only speak for myself, but I would have done exactly the same thing that Nathan did.

-Autistic Angel
3386  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Arrested Development pulled off FOX, effective immediately! on: November 11, 2005, 04:31:27 PM
I didn't discover Arrested Development until part-way through the second season, and I love it.  To say that Fox gave it a fair chance is like saying they gave Futurama a fair chance -- yes, the two series were both on for multiple seasons, but always in awkward timeslots where they were practically guaranteed to be frequently preempted for something else.

Fox is to be commended for giving quirky, off-beat shows a chance to be seen, but they're also the only telvision network whose programming decisions seem to be made out of pure spite.  I remember one Sunday when the football game miraculously ended at about 6:50, but instead of showing Futurama at 7:00, Fox elected to extend its insipid post-game show until 7:20.  

Also, even in a good timeslot, airing Firefly episodes out of order would have assured a poor response from audiences.  What possible reason could there have been for that except to generate bad ratings and justify cancellation of the show?

I'll miss Arrested Development, though.

-Autistic Angel
3387  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - Release Day! Now with REAL Impressions! on: November 10, 2005, 10:30:17 PM
I'm loving it, too! Don't forget the importance of not diluting your screenwriting pool, too. It may take longer to write a movie, but the quality shoots up.

Wait...assigning one screenwriter yields a better script than having multiple people working on it?  I was assuming that collaboration among multiple screenwriters would make for a better movie, but the game never told me one way or the other.

Maybe this explains why I'm getting consistently stomped in the awards.  frown

-Autistic Angel
3388  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Video games and crying? on: November 10, 2005, 03:15:32 PM
I've never played Final Fantasy VII, but I thought it was "Aeris."

-Autistic Angel
3389  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - Release Day! Now with REAL Impressions! on: November 10, 2005, 04:26:23 AM
Sandbox features are unlocked by performing the relevant research in the single player game.  You can certainly stitch together basic movies from a good selection of scenes right from the start, but none of the more advanced features will be available unless you spend some time going through the campaign.

-Autistic Angel
3390  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Man, I'm so turned off by Nintendo right now on: November 10, 2005, 03:03:20 AM
Nintendo consoles may not have hundreds of games on the shelves, but when they release a good one, it's *really* good.  The Metroid Prime series and Paper Mario alone would justify purchasing the GameCube.

-Autistic Angel
3391  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Video games and crying? on: November 10, 2005, 01:14:22 AM
The P'Kunk in Star Control 2 made me laugh so hard, I started crying.  Does that count?

-Autistic Angel
3392  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - Release Day! Now with REAL Impressions! on: November 09, 2005, 08:34:27 PM
For instance, I think it was the Gamespot review that mentioned that there are 5 genres you can work in the game as it stands now- but they don't say what those genres are!

I haven't played enough to know the answers to most of your questions, but I *can* say that the five genres are Action, Romance, Comedy, Sci-Fi, and Horror.  I'm not sure how your choice of genre might affect your choice of scenes, but in the single player game, certain genres are "hot" or "cold" depending on current events in the world.

-Autistic Angel
3393  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - Release Day! Now with REAL Impressions! on: November 09, 2005, 08:28:39 PM
I've gotten to spend a bit of time playing this afternoon and successfully unlocked the Custom Script Writing Building so I can start creating my own custom scripts.  I haven't played around with that yet, but I can comment some on some of the other gameplay elements I've seen.

Managing your stars and directors during their off-hours seems like a major part of this game.  Whenever they're not actively shooting your latest masterpiece, you can assign them to practice on one of the unused sets.  This increases their stress level somewhat, but I've been focussing on hiring "low-maintenance" stars so far, so I haven't seen anyone freak out.

(The sole exception is when I accidentally assigned my biggest-name star to picking up litter -- she immediately rebelled and changed her emoticon to "Throwning Temper Tantrum!"  Considering she'd only been in one movie at that point, the incident damn near got her canned.)

The interface in The Movies strives to be intuitive, and it largely succeeds.  If your writers are working on a Romance movie, the game will automatically assume that you're interested in the Romance skill level of any star or director you look at.  If you're interested in something else, right-clicking on an individual will tell you everything about them, or you can just hover your mouse cursor over them for a few seconds.

Almost immediately, I find myself wishing I could pull the game camera back further.  Even at the furthest zoom level, I feel like I have to scroll around a lot to determine a good location for the latest set or building.  The space you have available for development feels gigantic at this early stage of the game, and I can imagine that as your studio grows, it could become a pain trying to remember where "Starship Bridge #1" is in relation to the casting office.  On the other hand, I'd *much* rather have a lot of space to develop than to have ration every square-inch of space right from the start of the game, so it's a fair trade-off.

I've already gotten used to checking the Timeline at the top of the screen which tells you about upcoming events.  For example, in the mid-1920's, televisions start arriving in people's homes and the new technology makes them more interested in Sci-Fi, so I made sure to have a movie prepped for release right alongside the new innovation.  It's interesting to me that most movies in this era take 5 - 8 months to produce, and I'm curious if they'll take longer to create as time goes on.

New movie technologies appear on the Timeline as well, so you'll have some advance notice before new sets and costume choices become available.  You can research your own innovations too, and by completing some of the in-game objectives, you can unlock even more buildings and sets.  One example is the Custom Script Writing Building I mentioned before: it's unlocked after you've released a certain number of movies, made a certain amount of cash, and achieved a certain level of prestige.

There's definitely no shortage of things to do in this game: even once your stars are busy and you've constructed all the latest buildings, you'll find yourself double-checking on your prestige level, tweaking your stars' salaries, and placing down some more decorations to make the studio a nicer place to be.  I like the fact that you can easily check on your stars' moods just by right-clicking on their picture at any time, and the game has a simple overlay to let you know when a part of your lot could use some improvements.  The game doesn't seem to care much about which improvements you build near which buildings, but if you ever spent any time matching up the decor in your Sims households, you'll probably wind up putting in that effort yourself.

It's much too early to say if The Movies has a lot of longevity, but at this point, I could definitely see myself replaying to work on designing myself a more efficient studio and working to achieve some of the special rewards a little less haphazardly.  So far my impressions are pretty positive!  Cool

-Autistic Angel
3394  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / X-3 Gold on: October 28, 2005, 04:17:17 PM
Just got back from the shops and am about to install X3, feedback to follow.

I will be *extremely* interested in hearing your impressions.  Speaking as someone who thoroughly enjoyed X2: The Threat despite it's intially mind-bendingly difficult interface, I'm anxious to hear how the sequel feels.

Also, I played Freelancer from beginning to end, and I had a great time doing so.  I've never felt particularly inclined to reinstall it, but I still got my money's worth.

-Autistic Angel

Edited to add: It looks like there will soon be a patch available for X3 which will take it up to version 1.2.  Here are the listed fixes:

There are several fixes and enchancements that are included in this update (some of which you will not even have tried yet), the main ones of which are:

- added support for more joystick models
- fixed random CTD on entering a sector
- voice and audio syncronisation fixed
- performance optimisations including reduced memory consumption and shader enhancements
- gamestart position modified to improve trading options at the start
- complex construction of factory positioning improved
- Tool tips added to assist in learning the menu Icon System
- added ability to scroll menu bars with mouse
- docking made easier, plus additional docking guide added
- plot gameplay improved in key game parts
- cut scenes re-produced, re-directed and optimised
- added content for infostation help dialogues
3395  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / EVERYONE READ!!!! IMPORTANT!!!! PASS THE WORD!!!!!!!!!!! on: October 28, 2005, 01:46:58 AM
The webpage at has been updated:

If you're looking for a great gaming community please visit any one of the following sites:

-Autistic Angel
3396  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Grey's Anatomy <-- I wasn't expecting to like it. on: October 25, 2005, 04:34:58 PM
Ironically someone I was over today and she was telling me she is now hooked on this show.

I'm a huge, huge fan of Grey's Anatomy, but I can honestly say that it wouldn't have occured to me to discuss its merits while I was "over someone."

-Autistic Angel
3397  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Civillization IV Impressions on: October 25, 2005, 01:46:06 PM
It looks like GameStop and Electronics Boutique have both updated their webpages to say that today, 10/25, is the ship date, suggesting that their copies won't be on the shelves until tomorrow.  I hope someone will post if they find out this isn't the case.

-Autistic Angel
3398  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Civillization IV Impressions on: October 25, 2005, 02:32:26 AM
This is the first order I've put in with  It's currently listed as 'Processing' which, considering the fact that I was hoping to receive it tomorrow, seems like a bad sign.  Is this normal, or have other pre-orderers gotten their shipping confirmation?

-Autistic Angel
3399  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Xbox-Farcry Instincts $28.88 at Target on: October 24, 2005, 01:18:57 PM
Jack gets "Feral Abilities" in the X-Box version, allowing him to leap great distances, use his claws for a melee attack, and track enemies by their scent.  Also, even before that point, he can set traps in the jungle to take out mercenaries.

-Autistic Angel
3400  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Toys 'R' Us: Buy 2, Get 1 Free Sale on: October 23, 2005, 03:15:28 PM
Andrew Mallon mentioned in this thread that Toys 'R' Us is having their annual "Buy Two Console Games, Get A Third Free" sale this week.  I don't get the Sunday circulars here, but it certainly seems to be true on the Toys 'R' Us website.

Here's my short list:

Batallion Wars (GC)
FarCry: Instincts (XB)
Fire Emblem (GC)
Indigo Prophecy (XB)
Ninja Gaiden: Black (XB)
Resident Evil 4 (GC)
Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Sly 3 (PS2)
X-Men Legends II (XB)

What will *you* be getting?

-Autistic Angel
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