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10681  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (It's Golden!) on: May 01, 2008, 01:06:21 PM
Though I'm passing on the pre-orders cause, well, I'm out of town, saw a pre-order listings page at the official forums:
Covers about every country they can think of to this point.

I've been trying to search their forums but the "image verification" anti-spam stuff is indecipherable no matter how many times I refresh it. icon_confused
10682  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: May 01, 2008, 12:32:23 PM
Hey, lots of theaters are showing advance screenings at reasonable hours tonight (8, 8:30, 9, etc.). I just reserved an advance ticket for an 8 p.m. show tonight, big digital theater.  icon_biggrin Just don't ask me if it'll be worth $5.75 an hour ($11.50 ticket with the online purchase fee  disgust icon_razz).

The sucky thing -- at least with AMC's online tickets -- is you used to be able to print your ticket and bring it in (they were supposed to use a scanning wind, but most just tore the page in half like a stub). I guess people were abusing it, cause now all it does is reserve you a regular ticket that you have to pick up at the box office and show your credit card as proof/ID. Kind of defeats the point (though it at least guards against a sellout of a given showtime).  icon_neutral

Entertainment Weekly posted its review today (B+):,,20196644,00.html
Quote from: Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly
The fun of Iron Man, a Marvel adaptation in which a routine arc has been burnished with great elegance and skill, is the way that it heals the split, soldering the two halves of its hero into a single organically driven figure.

Too often, superhero films feel like a different species of entertainment from the smudged comic books that spawned them. Iron Man takes you back to the days when you sprawled out in front of those books, flipping through the adventures of a dude who was too vital, and vulnerable, to ever be a mere F/X object.
fwiw, he wasn't much of a Spider-Man movie fan, so his fawning isn't coming from a direction of liking these kinds of things. Sort of a good sign perhaps.

I decided I really wanted to see it today before the deluge of reviews (good, bad, indifferent) hit tomorrow. And my Thursdays are quite boring.  icon_smile 

Actually, I kind of have fun leafing through reviews, because so often you see people lauding something in a movie that someone else saw as a weakness (or vice versa). I've seen that a lot with the early IM reviews so far.

I reviewed films for my college newspaper, but in the end (like game reviewing too), it's a thankless job, and now thanks to the Internet (it wasn't around in 1987, but sometimes fellow staffers would tell me they liked something I made fun of in my review) everyone can tell you what a chump you are for liking or not liking something. The Internet: bringing hatred and intolerance of reviewer criticism to the masses! icon_razz
10683  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Vista Impressions/Gaming Issues on: May 01, 2008, 02:45:13 AM
In case anyone else runs into this maddening "Vista 64 thrashing the hard drive like the Atlanta Thrashers" problem, this guy's advice at a Vista forum worked for me (make sure your control panel is in "Vista view mode," not classic, otherwise his directions don't make sense). It's to disable the Windows Indexing, and make sure it's stopped.

I imagine there's some advantage to letting it work, but I've not the patience to wait hours for it to stop indexing.  disgust I don't even have much on my 1 terabyte of hard drive space. God knows how long it takes if you filled that up.  icon_razz
10684  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (It's Golden!) on: May 01, 2008, 01:50:10 AM

Quote from: Hamlet3145 on April 30, 2008, 06:29:30 PM

Anyone hear any word on server names?  Most times they will release this info early so that guilds can get organized and agree on something.  Hmmm.
Saw a forum poll, and it looked like players were voting heavily in favor of "God names" for the server names. Apparently they plan a second poll with some suggested names in the winning category (God names).

Here's the thread at official forums (started by community manager):

Official Poll: Name the Server (Phase 1)

Phase 2 poll isn't up yet, so I imagine they're still finalizing server names.
10685  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (It's Golden!) on: May 01, 2008, 01:22:03 AM

Quote from: Razgon on April 30, 2008, 04:19:22 PM

Btw, the updater is working now, in case you want to download the patch before tomorrow and playtime
Thanks for the tip, am patching up now.  icon_smile

I'll spend the rest of the evening exercising my nipples, so I'm ready tomorrow...  saywhat
10686  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: good freeware pc game site? on: April 30, 2008, 09:36:43 PM
This isn't a site per se, but Games for Windows mag (and CGW before it) did a nice annual "101 Free Games" article. Here's the 2007 version online:

101 Free Games 2007: The Best Free Games on the Web (they don't mean "Web browser" games btw)

Most of these have download links courtesy Filefront.  icon_smile
10687  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: April 30, 2008, 08:55:44 PM
Official site mentions interview with the lead writer, with some tidbits on the new "contextual" NPC conversations system:
Contacts can now know specific things about your character or the state of the mission you’re on and give you appropriate dialog to match it. I think almost every new story arc uses it in one way or another.

For example, in the Origin of Power arcs you talk to a representative of each of the five origins. When you get to the contact who is the same origin as you, he or she will have more in depth information for you regarding your specific origin.

This new tech also allows for us to make NPCs in instanced maps feel more like actual contacts in the zone. We’re now able to change their dialog depending on events going on in the mission. A great example of this is the Sybil you speak with at the beginning of Imperious’ first mission in Cimerora. She has three different dialog states depending on where you are in the mission.

This tech actually has the potential to replace our current system for handling missions.
10688  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is 'The Movies' worth 13 bucks? on: April 30, 2008, 07:19:16 PM
>>>Although, I got a kick on 'The Rescue' at seeing Saturn in the background as the helicopters zipped.

No, that's on me.  icon_razz The problem was, even if you built every set available (and the blue screen and green screen sets that Stunts and Effects added), you couldn't necessarily find just the right background. I had to use that "planet scape" background for my helicopter miniatures scenes because I couldn't find a "plain jane mountains" type background. I was hoping the viewers would just think the sun was looking kind of ring-y.  icon_cool

It still galls me Lionhead never made any effort to make user-created mods easy to install. There are entire Web sites devoted to them, but you need to be Stephen Hawking to understand how to install them, and most ones for the original game weren't updated to Stunts and Effects expansion compatibility.

If you really get into making the movies, and the frustrations don't send you over the edge of madness (I highly recommend digging up Stunts & Effects somewhere because it fixes so many frustrations in the original game, movie-making wise; and adds a "manual camera direction" feature that I never got comfortable with) you really can have an endless amount of fun with it. But it's true -- after five hours, you may want to turn the game disc into a FrisbeeTMdisgust icon_lol

A couple of times I have actually clipped out newspaper obituary stories that sounded like good fodder for a "The Movies" project. A couple I would really like to tackle some day was a Native American who served with special forces in Vietnam; and a Belgian women who worked in the French Resistance underground during WWII helping downed Allied service men get back to Allied lines safely. You can find probably 25,000 war-time flicks at the site, but the number that try to do anything more than have everyone shooting aimlessly and stuff blowing up -- something with at least a little heart, or some sort of real story to tell -- is pretty meager.

It's just, when I was really into making movies and editing them in it, I could start at 10 a.m. Saturday, and find myself still editing my work at midnight. I'm not sure I can commit myself like that anymore.  drool It just veered into obsession for me, and some of the fun factor would get lost in exhaustion.

I do miss the kick I got sharing my work with non-gamer friends. It was sort of a rare opportunity in that regard.  icon_smile

I do wanna get back into it someday, and I'm sure the program would run a lot faster on my new PC. If I get anywhere, maybe I'll even recruit some voice actors here. Stay tuned.  icon_smile
10689  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (It's Golden!) on: April 30, 2008, 06:10:18 PM
I scoped out a Best Buy pre-order box today. The mount sounds almost strictly PVP-oriented, so I'd probably take a pass. Plus I'm on a business trip the 3 days before it launches. Naturally.  disgust

At least when I return, I can check here and see whether the pre-release hype delivered or if just deteriorates into a bunch of bored players with "nipple envy."  icon_razz
10690  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Crysis and UT3 (PC version) bombing? on: April 30, 2008, 06:02:13 PM
Blue's pointed out an interview with Crytek's prez that touches on piracy, and the "is it moving to consoles?" question (his opinion is they can't do Crysis on any current console but they don't plan to do any more PC-exclusive titles):
Quote from: Crytek's Cevat Yerli
We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin, a chart leading that is not desirable. I believe that’s the core problem of PC Gaming, piracy.  To the degree PC Gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform.

Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us and I believe we wont have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are going to support PC, but not exclusive anymore.
It's interesting to juxtapose this sort of knee-jerk, "hair on fire"  reaction [piracy was a problem 15 years ago, and Crytek just realized it now?  icon_confused] to Ironclad Games, whose copy protection-less Sins of a Solar Empire is selling briskly, and their publisher Stardock who plans to release Gas Powered Games' Demigod with no copy protection either (in both cases with the idea that even if you are a scalawag initially, you'll still buy to get updates and enhancements to the original game and perhaps just to support the idea of non-copy-protected games).

I don't know that that publishing model could've worked for Crysis, unless they found some way to make pirated versions unplayable online or perhaps incapable of playing mods or something.

Supposedly Crysis has sold a million copies, but that's presumably "worldwide." If he asked me, I'd tell him not to do any more shooters that the vast majority of the PC gaming populace can't get a decent frame rate on. Video card companies may love the idea of a system-crushing game, but gamers aren't going to wet their pants and buy a new system to play one game, when the world's economy is in the doldrums and gas prices are insane.

Sorry -- it's me being creepy and digging up musty old threads again.  icon_razz
10691  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 30, 2008, 01:32:23 PM
IGN's US interview is a bit more enthusiastic, fwiw:

Downey Jr. makes a suitable Stark in this solid comic book adaptation

I was scoping out action figures (movie tie-ins) at Marvel:

Most seem pretty small, but I like "big" action figures, so, I think *this* one is truly geek-fulfilling  icon_biggrin:
10692  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [news video] 1,089 pound frozen squid found on: April 30, 2008, 01:22:58 PM
495-kilogram giant squid defrosted

Good lord. Think of how much calamari you can get out of that!  icon_eek

I'm kidding, but the scientist does say late in the interview it's the type of squid that does "taste good."  icon_lol

Technically, a fishing boat caught it off Antarctica last year, and I guess a New Zealand museum is now thawing it.
10693  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 30, 2008, 02:59:08 AM
I don't recall seeing this exclusive (supposedly) Nickelodeon clip. Thought I'd share it in case others missed it (I saw it linked on a fan-mini-review at Aint It Cool News):

Nickelodeon clip from Iron Man ("learning to fly" I reckon it's called)

I like to temper my fanboyism with negative reviews now and then, so here's a disappointed IGN UK review:

Full of great moments, but dramatically unsatisfying
I really don't go to comic book movies to be "dramatically satisfied," but to each his own.  icon_neutral I do find it interesting that among the couple more negative published reviews one complained the movie was too long and didn't have enough action; and the other that it's too fast paced, crams in too much action, and doesn't develop the drama enough. Did they see the same movie? Maybe one reviewed a "beta version."  icon_confused icon_razz

I do think "origin stories" tend to get hamstrung by needing to cram in "the origin" story and "the first story after the origin" story into the same movie. So I hope the movie succeeds enough to get a 2nd try, and then have the freedom to do a "non origin" story.
10694  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PC Voice Chat? on: April 30, 2008, 02:37:54 AM
I used Ventrilo for one of the Tabula Rasa guilds I was in for a while. Once I figured out that I had a connector disconnected behind my computer  icon_redface, it worked very nicely.

I guess my problem is that my warped sense of would-be humor works better in writing, or perhaps in person where you can see the smirk on my face. Over a headset? It just gets lost in translation. So I'm not a big headset fan, even if technically, they generally work pretty great these days.

My other extensive experience with headsets was in Planetside around early 2003, I wanna say. I was in an outfit (guild), called Rebel Nation Soldiers. And we used Ventrilo rather than the build-in headsets. The bummer of that was the built-in headset function blinked an icon next to your name on a squad list when you spoke - very useful. The other bummer was about a 13 year old kid in our group who kept screaming in a high pitched voice, and a couple other outfit members who cussed like sailors for no particular reason. After a while, silence seemed pretty appealing.  disgust icon_lol

You can also end up with the haves and have nots not communicating (headset users ignoring voice chat, text chatters ignoring voices), which sort of defeats the purpose.

The catch is a Ventrilo server costs some serious bucks so people tend to kiss up to anyone they know who actually owns the server. For our TR guild, the guy hosting the server was letting lots of people use it, and just set up separate channels for the game or purpose.
10695  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: April 30, 2008, 01:31:37 AM
I certainly haven't received one, but supposedly NCSoft is sending out TR "reactivation e-mails" to lapsed accounts...
Their "Reactivation Week" begins at 11am EDT on May 2nd, and runs through Friday, May 9th at 5pm EDT. During that time anyone who has had an account in the past can log back in to check out the many changes the game has undergone since launch.

The email also references another upcoming promo for Tabula Rasa: Double XP in Squads. Starting on Wednesday, May 5 at 11am EDT and running through Monday, May 12, 2008 at 5pm EDT (nicely overlapping with part of the reactivation week), players who adventure in a squad will get twice the normal XP.
To me this is all much too little, too late. You could already level faster in the game than any other mmorpg I could think of. That wasn't the problem. Lack of endgame content (heck, lack of enough 35+ content), lack of more variety in mission lines, a useless crafting system, the ballyhooed PAUs never arriving, etc., etc. Oh well, I'm just beating a... deadhorse
10696  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dead PC - Need some help on: April 30, 2008, 01:20:22 AM
If he wasn't familiar with precautions to prevent static (ask the brother if it's a good idea to pry a Pop Tart out of a turned-on toaster with a metal fork, and you'll know  icon_wink), perhaps he fried the momma board that way. I think I managed to fry an old memory chip that way once.
10697  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Vista Impressions/Gaming Issues on: April 29, 2008, 09:50:00 PM
I am creepy, so that's true.  icon_biggrin I've only been here a few months now, so I am prone to occasionally digging up old threads where I wasn't around, or didn't have the game/OS/system at the time of the thread's "prime time." I just got a Vista Ultimate PC recently so that's why I am running around being creepy. Certainly I hope people don't mind.   paranoid
10698  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Vista Impressions/Gaming Issues on: April 29, 2008, 06:53:37 PM
So now I've got an E-Peen to go with my Age of Conan "Mangina."

Clearly my cup runneth over...  saywhat icon_smile

10699  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 29, 2008, 01:08:37 PM
Superherohype had a pretty extensive interview with director Favreau (there's some spoiler-stuff, clearly marked/warned, near the end, fwiw; when you see the little Iron man photo on the left there, you may want to stop reading paranoid):
SHH!: Do you expect to get a call on Saturday, May 3rd saying, "Okay, get ready…"?
Favreau: I hope so. I would love to, because I feel like I finally know what I'm doing.

SHH!: And you already have all of the R&D (research and development) done and out of the way.
Favreau: And the cast, the hard part, you know, so we know how to do it now. Now it's just a matter of what story we want to tell.

SHH!: The movie's pretty awesome and I think that you've set a new bar for which everyone else will be aiming for now.
Favreau: Oh, awesome.
If I see it and hate it, I don't know what I'll do.  paranoid icon_lol Anyway, it's fun. He had to fight tooth and nail to get Downey approved for the role, but Marvel was won over after his first screen test footage. Now they can't really envision anybody else in the role. And he's apparently sort of putting future directing plans on hold, to see how the movie does and if they greenlight sequel(s).  icon_smile

He sounds excited about The Dark Knight, and grateful they aren't directly competing on the release date sked, or even close for that matter (TDK opens July 18).
10700  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 29, 2008, 12:52:28 PM
AP weighs in:

Review: `Iron Man' a blockbuster with a brain
"Iron Man" is a blast, too — the perfect start to the summer with its shiny mix of visual effects, elaborate set pieces and plenty of humor within its intelligent script.

And Ain't it Cool News' aussie contact's review (though the review is so vague, it could just as well have been a trailer review):
I have a problem with giving films star ratings, or, really, any sort of numerical rank, but I do appreciate that some people may want a quick summation without reading too much, so here it is: yes, IRON MAN is everything you were hoping for.

To qualify that statement, I should point out that it will only be what you were hoping for if, in fact, you were hoping for one of the most enjoyable superhero movies ever made, with no weak spots and brilliant characterisation. Fanboys with impossibly high standards who are only happy when they're poking holes in things are going to have their work cut out for them.
There are some consistent mild complaints that the finale is something of a special effects-heavy letdown, and that maybe it's a bit long (it's about 2 hours, 6 min. run time).

Still, I knew Spider-Man 2 was something special because I had no problems finding reviews and little fun snippets to share at a board or two. Spider-Man 3? Not so easy to find good things in the reviews.  icon_neutral So, I figure it's a good sign I really have to work to find bad reviews of Iron Man so far.
10701  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains Issue 12: Midnight Hour on: April 29, 2008, 03:52:31 AM
Open beta testing for Issue 12 starts May 6!  drool
The calendar also includes an Anniversary message from Matt “Positron” Miller, along with important dates for the next year, including:

    * May 6th, 2008: Issue 12: Midnight Hour enters Open Beta Testing
    * July 18, 2008: Double XP Weekend Begins
    * October 20, 2008: Halloween Event Begins
    * December 15, 2008: Winter Event Begins
    * January 23, 2009: Double XP Weekend Begins
I know, it won't be enough to drag us (including me?) away from the "nips," boobies, see-through-loincloths, hairy pecs and other quote-unquote "mature" (i.e., junior high school locker room) stuff in Age of Conan, but it's something.  icon_razz  icon_lol
10702  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Vista Impressions/Gaming Issues on: April 29, 2008, 03:46:43 AM
Well, I started having problems tonight (sluggish Web browsing, lots of hard drive thrashing, and some occasional hiccups in games). I knew it was too good to last.  crybaby I'll have to keep an eye on things. I'm trying the "Oh it's that stupid Aero theme that's causing it" suggestion for now.

So I dunno if I buy this "Windows Experience Index" that's supposed to help you figure out if your PC can handle a game or not. But, for the hell of it, here are some of the ones in my "Games" section on the Vista 64-bit...

(Higher number means higher system requirements)
My HP PC's rating: 5.4

My Installed Games:
  • 5.0: Gears of War PC
  • 4.8: Age of Conan Fileplanet beta
  • 4.0: Company of Heroes/Opposing Fronts
  • 2.0: Bioshock
[this seems off, as Company of Heroes ran OK on my old PC but Bioshock was practically a slideshow)
[/list]Infinity Ward I guess decided not to play (COD4 doesn't have an Experience Index rating), and COH/COV was before its time I reckon.
10703  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (It's Golden!) on: April 29, 2008, 01:48:53 AM
That's also the Fileplanet beta signup page artwork, so don't get too excited. They're using it for everything.  icon_razz

Although I still go back to logic. If you know bad guys are coming after you with pointy things, why are you wearing thong underwear and loincloths without at least a brass baseball player's cup, eh?  paranoid
10704  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Dual boot XP/Vista on: April 28, 2008, 10:07:35 PM
If you can stomach $50, you might look at something like Acronis Disk Director Suite (multiple OS manager):
(they have a free trial, and you can download the users manual and other background to see if it would help your situation).

It claims (I can't vouch):
It allows you to install 100 or more multiple operating systems (OSes) on one computer. You can boot an OS from any partition on any hard disk or have several multiboot systems on the same partition.
I haven't used it, but it interests me since I have a couple of major 64-bit Vista compatibility problems.

I did use to use Acronis disk transfer software when upgrading hard drives and can vouch for that, but was some years ago.

I might read the manual on this myself to see if it works with 64-bit Vista.
10705  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: City of Heroes/Villains: Player-Created Missions/Arcs on: April 28, 2008, 09:19:26 PM
Take a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with water (Preferably not from the toilet), and the feeling will go away.

Dr. Barium
I think my first mission will be called "Confusion in the Gaming Trend Directory," and you'll have to find all these boxes representing threads lost on page 37 because they have a weird subject head no Search will ever find.

Or would that be of isolated interest?  icon_razz
10706  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan sex on: April 28, 2008, 09:17:07 PM
Mangina baby! Sounds pretty scary.  paranoid icon_razz
10707  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / City of Heroes/Villains: Player-Created Missions/Arcs on: April 28, 2008, 06:38:56 PM
Talk about stealth bombshells.  eek Positron/Matt Miller threw this in towards the end of his 4th Anniversary letter to players:
Quote from: Positron/Matt Miller
I can’t tell you how excited I am for our game’s future, and although we have some major announcements yet to be made, one of the things I can talk about is a feature that we are planning.

Similar in concept to our character creator, it allows you, the players, to create missions and story arcs for your characters and others to participate in.

You’ll be able to pick the map, villain group, and objectives, as well as write the dialog and any clues needed for the missions. When you are satisfied with it, you can upload it and have other players across all servers play it and rate it.

Fame will come to the players whose stories rate the best overall. It is features like these that we never dreamed of including when we first shipped, but are excited to be able to offer players very soon.
This opens up a bazillion questions (not to mention exploits opportunities in the ratings), and fan-created content didn't save Saga of Ryzom from obscurity and cancellation. But, oh, I would've had so many ideas for this a couple years back...

After all these years of griping the missions weren't interesting enough, maybe I can finally "walk the walk" and "put my money where my mouth is."  icon_cool Unless they're limiting the player tools to clicking glowies and escort missions.  disgust icon_lol
10708  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan (It's Golden!) on: April 28, 2008, 06:06:59 PM
Actually, according to a mature friend of mine in City of Heroes/Villains, the most important thing about Age of Conan is that "It has boobies!"  eek icon_razz

fwiw, I finally got to a speedier Fileplanet server last night, got the beta event stuff downloaded, and installed. Now, barring some massive May 1 patch (naturally!  icon_razz) I'll be all set on Thursday.
10709  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 28, 2008, 05:07:00 PM
London Free Press doesn't quite have a review, but their entertainment guy purports to have seen a sneak preview and come away pleased (fwiw).  icon_smile

Iron Man to the rescue
We managed to snag a sneak peek a week ago, and while the official reviews don't start coming out until tomorrow, we can tell you that Iron Man is firing on all cylinders, especially where the special effects and Robert Downey Jr's vigorously inspired performance are concerned.
I think it had a premiere in London, so reviews might start appearing in the UK earlier. While part of me prefers to just stick my head in the sand and see things without the baggage of having read reviews, I did have reservations about IM (even if I loved the trailers), but the few early reviews are generally pretty positive.

But lots of people don't like summer movies period, and you'll see some like this...
Overly sarcastic new packaging with rusty ideas.
That's to temper my tendency towards fanboy-ism. He probably hated Raiders of the Lost Ark and Spider-Man 2 as well.  icon_razz

10710  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 28, 2008, 12:51:11 PM
Fox has an early, pretty rave review as well:

'Iron Man' Rocks: First Review,2933,352793,00.html
"Iron Man" plays like an old fashioned hit, full of character development, witty dialogue, and a plot that plausibly makes sense.

The fact is, Favreau’s "Iron Man" is damn good, and should kick the summer box office with a bang.
10711  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Class Poll on: April 28, 2008, 12:14:22 AM
I'm usually into archer types (my highest, 45, in LOTORO is an archer), but the footage I've seen suggests you have to be in first person view to fire. Anyone know if that's the case? (I'm mostly a third person guy due to motion sickness issues).  icon_confused

Addendum: Thanks for that first post link. I looked up the Ranger interview, and it mentioned the first-person firing mode is available but optional:

It also mentions that mounted archery is limited to basic directional attacks.
10712  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (It's Golden!) on: April 26, 2008, 02:47:35 PM
Did anybody else have any Fileplanet mid-way download problems? I had maybe 5-6GB downloaded when I went to sleep. When I got up and checked the computer, there was a "File failed to save because file could not be read" error message (sounds like something Confucious would say disgust). The Zip download was empty, and there was a separate 3.38GB "" labeled a "PART" file. It's good to know Windows remains baffling...
10713  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 26, 2008, 05:40:11 AM
Not to be a Variety parrot, but columnist Anne Thompson has a piece on director John Favreau, and it sounds like she had seen the movie, so it's sort of a semi-review too:
Quote from: Variety's Anne Thompson
Downey's Iron Man may be the robust action fantasy hero movie fans have been waiting for, a contemporary complex male who isn't carved from the same block as archetypes Batman or Superman. While Iron Man comics fans are legion, this is a new modern movie hero who kicks ass. And he's not a nice guy.

Favreau sets emotionally real characters in a stylized fantasy universe inspired by the '60s James Bond/Modesty Blaise era that spawned Stan Lee's original anti-Communist comicbook tale. Downey as Stark is brilliant, irreverent, buffed up, sexy, scared, lonely, messed up and dangerous.
10714  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: April 26, 2008, 05:09:18 AM
Fairly enthusiastic early review from Variety (often they're pretty hard on summer flicks, so I do think it's worth something  nod). He seems to be a little disappointed with some of the supporting characters being one-dimensional (he likes Paltrow's performance as Pepper Potts), but I guess "origin films" don't leave much room for that in general.

Variety Video Review:

Variety text review:
Quote from: Variety review
Having an actor as supercharged as Robert Downey Jr. at the center of such a tech-oriented enterprise reps a huge plus, and Paramount should reap big B.O. rewards by getting out ahead of the summer tentpole pack with such a classy refitting of an overworked format.
Snapping off lines as crisply as Bugs Bunny might bite into a carrot, the sculpture-bearded Downey invigorates the entire proceedings in a way no other actor ever has in this field. Initially conveying Tony's Matt Helm lifestyle as if it's second nature, Downey possesses a one-of-a-kind intensity that perfectly serves the character's second-act drive and obstinacy.
That's what I would pull out for the inevitable advertising blurbs.

I've loved Iron Man as a character since... Well heck I remember getting a copy when I was 7 in early 1973 and visiting my late father in the hospital. I have a really strong attachment to it.  icon_smile My brother was a big fan his first couple of years of college, and when he was visiting during break, I'd leaf through his issues -- that was during the fairly famous "Demon in a Bottle" era of the character battling alcoholism (I bought a compilation of some of those issues a couple years back).

And my Metal Mandroid character in City of Heroes is a pretty shameless Iron Man wannabe -- thankfully NCSoft never saw through it. icon_lol

btw, there are some awesome wallpapers at the official Iron Man site if you are a hopeless Iron Man wannabe geek like me  icon_biggrin

This is my current fave...

While the flick obviously uses tons of computer animation, I'm so glad Stan Winston (Terminator 1/2, Aliens etc.) developed the actual "real" Iron Man armor suits. It just sounded like Stan doing the suits, and ILM the effects (according to some articles, once ILM landed the project, employees were all but clawing for a chance to work on the project) and the animated suit, was a match made in heaven, even just on paper.  icon_smile

While I'd love to see a midnight show next week, my current 10-6 job won't allow it. With my newspaper job's wacky hours, back in summer 2005 I was able to see a Wednesday, 12:01 a.m. show of Batman Begins, and I had a great time, even if I stumbled back home after 3 a.m.  icon_razz
10715  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is 'The Movies' worth 13 bucks? on: April 25, 2008, 09:20:25 PM
Stunts and Effects added more of a true sandbox mode. You could set the dollar limit to something insanely huge, turn off all the "warning notifications" etc. and pretty much make it so you could afford every single set, and just focus on the movies.  icon_cool What I hated though is even then, your actors still age. If you watch "The Rescue," you might notice a couple actors looking extremly craggy by the end of the film.  icon_lol

Oh I feel your pain on the costume stuff. If you watch "Wars End," you'll see some ridiculous costume continuity problems I couldn't figure out how to fix.  icon_razz

I think my understanding was that the 3 "primary" actors would keep your costume in place until you changed it for a scene. But the supporting actors, I would have to choose their costume for every scene, or else one might suddenly be wearing a bikini.  icon_razz
10716  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is 'The Movies' worth 13 bucks? (some examples) on: April 25, 2008, 09:05:40 PM
Actually, the studio tycoon stuff is half-baked, warmed-over, "Sims/Rollercoaster Tycoon" wannabe.

The moviemaking was the only thing that made it worthwhile (imho icon_razz), and is the one thing that still gives it life today (Lionhead still lets you upload movies, and they have occasional contests still):

This gives me a little opportunity to share my creations from a couple years back without feeling too shameless.... icon_cool

My Studio ("Blackjack" wasn't available)

YouTube versions of my most ambitious war flicks (The Rescue consumed my life, and I don't think I was able to retain my interesting in The Movies much longer after it):

The Rescue (made *with* Stunts and Effects expansion)

Wars End (made *before* Stunts and Effects expansion)

For the YouTube versions I used Windows Movie Maker to do opening and closing credits (those functions are pretty limited within The Movies itself).

Most of us who loved making movies with it felt that was where its magic was. Stunts and Effects wisely focused more on enhancing it, but the sales never really added up and Lionhead got acquired by Microsoft, which wanted them to do Fable for XBox360 ad nauseam.

Although the more technically inclined created thousands of mods for the game, I never could figure out how to install them.

I loved "voice casting" for my movies, and I got help from gamer buds (one knew how to use mixer distortions to get a "radio" effect for The Rescue) and from helpful folks at forums devoted to The Movies. I miss all that, but ultimately for me, getting any sort of decent film together took up more time and frustration (The Movies' editor had various flaws that made revising a film really frustrating), and more willingness to deal with criticism (honestly, I'm a wuss, and some of the insults hurled at my work truly hurt my feelings) than I could deal with.

For anyone belatedly interested in it, I would get both the game and the expansion (which remedies many problems in the editor, and lets you do a lot more interesting stunts and special effects scenes, including blue and green screen work). I cherish my memories of making movies with it, and anybody with the slightest interest in movie-making or machinma would love it, I think.  icon_cool

If they did the game now, I could see someone using microtransactions (maybe real money for special props) or even a modest monthly fee to let the dev earn enough revenue to keep improving it.
10717  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (It's Golden!) on: April 25, 2008, 08:04:48 PM
I got through for a Fileplanet key finally. Whew.

12GB. Ugh. icon_razz I'm already envisioning how long it'll take for that much to install off DVDs.  paranoid icon_lol
10718  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (It's Golden!) on: April 25, 2008, 06:38:54 PM
I'm still trying Fileplanet. I installed their Comrade IM yesterday which is supposed to notify you precisely but it didn't seem to do anything (I did add the proper "contact" for it).

I'll go ahead at work today and keep tapping F5 (refresh in IE). I just wish for the sake of people having to keep the page open at work, that they didn't slather the page up with half-nekkid Amazonian warrior women. My boss almost walked in on me with that on screen.  eek  icon_razz
10719  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Server Poll on: April 25, 2008, 06:34:40 PM
Good poll idea.  icon_cool Maybe another one might be whether people think they'll plan to play on an East Coast, West Coast or European server? (I know technically the U.S. servers are on east coast, but I was under impression they still plan to divvy them up as East Coast/West Coast servers).

I'm generally not into PvP, or having to avoid UO-style ganking, though I have had a few fun times in PVP zones in City of Heroes if I'm on a large team that works together.

Although I'm more excited about the PvE and supposedly interesting quests in AoC, I do realize that having solid PVP and interesting PVP modes is in the game's best long term interest so I really do hope it delivers on that.

Anyway, my vote was the "prefer standard but will follow the crowd."  icon_smile
10720  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Delayed (It's Golden!) on: April 25, 2008, 03:42:54 PM
TenTonHammer had the interview where the Funcom rep mentioned all U.S. servers will be located on the East Coast (I was speculating maybe in Dulles, Va., which is awash in data centers, and is where some WoW servers are, I believe, located). But I get teh impression there will be servers labeled East and West U.S. more from a time-zone perspective.

This French forum mentioned you get 8 characters per server.

This item mentions the server farms are geared to handle 500,00-600,000 subscribers at launch. It'll be interesting to see whether it sells that many pre-orders or not:

If you read the actual investor's update, it actually warns Funcom investors to expect technical problems during the launch, just based on what most large-scale MMOs go through at launch. Or maybe they're just referring to Anarchy Online's initial, disastrous launch (though they probably learned a lot from that experience).
Funcom has, in the opinion of Management, prepared
well for the launch. However, most MMO’s on the PC
platform have experienced technical issues of various
severities during launch. The investor community
should therefore be prepared that Age of Conan may
also experience technical issues during the launch.
That's smart to be realistic like that so the investors don't freak out if some things crop up at launch. It also indicates they're working with some heavy duty networking partners (including Cisco) and can add more server capacity fairly quickly if they have to.

But so far, my Internet search skills haven't turned up the actual number of servers at launch. retard
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