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10761  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefront Renegade Squadron (PSP) on: October 24, 2007, 03:16:12 PM
I would be wary of the WiFi MAX brand PSP/DS USB WiFi dongle (dunno if that's what you chose).

I received one as a gift, and it worked sporadically (once I checked forums/message boards for the gadget, I realized how problematic it was for many), and the strange proprietary software proved difficult to uninstall for some reason. I bought a Buffalo WiFi router instead (didn't cost much more), and it worked perfectly until I had to unplug it to replace my UPS, and the router settings didn't refresh properly (and I forgot my WEP password, which I had idiotically not written down). I'm hoping to re-set things up some day, but it was so problematic trying to uninstall the WiFi MAX software, and figuring out why my WiFi Router went awry, that I just threw it all in the closet for now.  crybaby

Until that time I had been playing Medal of Honor: Heroes (has some quick-text keys but doesn't support headset voicecomm) and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (which supports headset voicecomm) sporadically online.

I have this game on my Gamefly rental list, but it's usually not available right now. It doesn't sound like single player is worth much, but the multiplayer sounds fun, so it might entice me to try to get my router installed again.
10762  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jericho demo out on: October 24, 2007, 01:12:36 PM
Eurogamer has a review (albeit the XBox360 version, but most of the observations would apply to all platforms), 7/10:
http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=85883

I think I'll pass (esp. given the apparently quite ungenerous use of checkpoint saves, the "cinematic button pushing" sequence I couldn't solve in the demo, and my wooziness/motion sickness when playing), but it might be worth checking out for some.
10763  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Panzer Tactics DS on: October 24, 2007, 01:00:43 PM
Latest official movie for this detailed Officers and Commandos. (You can only eliminate an enemy officer permamently by assassinating with a commando). Those sound fairly promising. Despite the hex map, it has often seemed more like Advance Wars than Panzer General, but it's definitely on My List (listed as Oct. 30 "shipping," so probably due in stores maybe Oct. 31./Nov. 1 in US).

Panzer Tactics DS Commandos & Officers video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMRp7ZdpbmI

If you're into turn-based stuff, Front Mission (which was a very fun mech-type TBS on PSX and SNES) just released as well:
http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/DS/Front+Mission+DS/news.asp?c=3684&srch=Front+Mission
It's a "remix" of the original SNES version, I think.
10764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 24, 2007, 03:14:52 AM
Clearly the hunger for "pyramid" boxes (I'd tend to call them "trapezoidal", but that's splitting geometric hairs icon_biggrin) Must Be Fed!!!!

When you flipped the panel vertically, you got some pretty incredible stuff, like so...

Tomb Raider


Thief II: The Metal Age

10765  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Finding a local gaming shop on: October 23, 2007, 10:03:28 PM
Wanted to chip in, uh, 13 months late, that Target's PC section seems much improved of late (at least in my area in Virginia). They don't do much in the way of sales but the PC game displays are "box front out" (rather than the increasingly common "spines out" like books), and I've been surprised how quickly they get in new releases now. I bought COH: Opposing Fronts there, rather surprised to see it available there so promptly. They had The Orange Box in quickly.
10766  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: PC Freezing when shutting down via power button. on: October 23, 2007, 05:24:00 PM
I'm new here, I assume Turtle's got his power button figured out OK.

If you go to (for Windows XP):
>Control Panel
>>Power Option (Click this)
>>>Advanced tab
>>>>Power Buttons (drop down menu): This lets you set what the power button does. One of the options is "do nothing," so if the power button causes problems, that might be worth using as a setting (esp. if friends or family share the computer and don't realize using the power button to shut down causes problems).

Just posting this for my own reminder, cause it was news to me. smile
10767  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: FRAPS? Worth it? Better capture program suggestion? on: October 23, 2007, 05:17:52 PM
I have used FRAPS unregistered for years (in that form, it limits your length and video size, but that keeps my file sizes from going totally out of control).

I ran a small military games forum for a while, and at one point I had to put the kibosh on someone who wanted to put his registered FRAPS up as a download link. "I paid for it, so I can give it away for free!" was his reasoning. Sometimes people just don't get it.  Roll Eyes

To share videos online, I use Microsoft's free Windows Media Encoder (there are plenty of others, but most video upload sites work fine with .wmv format stuff) to get them to a reasonable size (often it can get a 60MB Fraps movie down to maybe 5MB or so). It's surprisingly easy (fun even) to use, and you can adjust the .wmv video size, sound quality to get the size file/quality that you want. There's a newer version list there that's designed to work with Vista.

MS Windows media encoder
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx

I was using a video hosting site called Putfile.com for a while that I really liked. Recently though they started yanking my gameplay videos taken from Company of Heroes, City of Heroes and other PC games due to "copyright violations." I didn't really get that - I was trying to help publicize some of my favorite games.  icon_confused
10768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jedi Knight II - How do you kick?! on: October 23, 2007, 12:48:06 PM
Wow - I just re-installed this last night too. Talk about timing.  icon_cool I remember struggling for a decent frame rate in 2002, now it runs like glass at max settings.

I don't see any sort of kick or melee attack in the manual, or in the 1.03 and 1.04 patch notes so I'm stumped too:
http://www.3dgamers.com/dlselect/games/jedioutcast/jkiiup104.txt

Maybe they're just using the Force Push attack? icon_confused Or else maybe somebody created a "kicking" melee attack mod.

I remember having some fun with the multiplayer but ultimately (to me) it felt more like people re-enacting a battle scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (hop, skip, etc.).
10769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Gods & Heroes Rome Rising is dead on: October 23, 2007, 03:54:22 AM
MMOPRG.com has an interesting Gods & Heroes "postmortem" by a former writer/content designer:
http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm?GAMEID=187&PAGE=1&BHCP=1&SETVIEW=features&LOADFEATURE=1520&bhcp=1
Quote from: Michael Fiegel
The game's sudden change in status came as something of a surprise, not just to those involved in the game's development (including many people who had worked on it for much longer than I had), but also to the game's many devoted community members and Beta testers. However, it was not altogether unusual. Cancelled games, it seems, are fairly common in the industry; Wikipedia has a list of over a thousand, and from my discussions with other writers and designers I daresay that anyone who's worked in the game industry has probably worked on at least one title that was held, cancelled, shelved, or otherwise never shipped.
I was in the beta for a bit (a friend -- actually, a falling out we had (not over G&H) drove me from his message board to here  ninja2 -- got me in). Honest, I was excited, and the beta made me lose interest in a week. What the Hellgate demo seems to have done to most people here (squash interest in a game they were keen on because it's not what they envisioned/dreamed of), the G&H beta did to me - but I felt like maybe it just too early in the beta and maybe it would be something special down the road. I love squad stuff in any genre. It seemed tailor made for me. The last interviews I read suggested they realized that a lot of work needed to be done -- that they'd improve the interface, they'd make the quests more interesting etc., but the game had been in development a long time.

It needed serious UI improvements and a whole lot of quest work if it was going to survive in the MMO market. It doesn't seem like an accident that a lot of mmorpgs are either going "totally free" (see RF Online recently), getting delayed many months (Conan and Warhammer Online), getting the plug pulled (Auto Assault) or dying before they get to see the light of day (G&H, or go back to Mythic's Imperator) or they axe the company CEO (See Turbine). My pet theory is maybe publishers are getting scared of just how much work and money a successful, profitable, long term MMO is to launch. Or else they're just so scared of WoW that they've gotten cold feet about the market.
10770  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: October 23, 2007, 02:19:22 AM
I'm still playing a bit, but while I took a sabbatical my relatively large Kinship apparently disbanded.  crybaby

I loved the game (was in late beta and since launch), it's just after taking two characters fairly high (35 and 44), I felt like I'd done most of the content. I didn't quite enjoy the skills and abilities as much as I did the combat and power goodies in City of Heroes (which kept me playing there for years, even when I felt like I'd run through all the content), so the magic sort of wore off me for at that point in LOTORO. I hate to lose the Founder's monthly pricing ($9.99) but there isn't much point if I lose interest.

I'm hoping something like Hellgate or maybe Tabula Rasa (both of which are sometimes compared  in a derogatory way to COH, but that's like music to my ears smile) might hook me, in which case I'll probably bid adieu to this.

I guess nobody here is playing, but if anyone still does on Elendilmir server, I might game for a group sometime.
10771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London Beta Keys on: October 23, 2007, 02:06:13 AM
I'm game. I have a history of enjoying games derided by others as dull and repetitive. Doesn't say much for my personality  icon_lol, but if there are any spare beta keys later I would be interested. Thanks for any consideration.  icon_smile
10772  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 23, 2007, 02:03:48 AM
Alone in the Dark's spartan packaging reminds me that sometimes the best games come in unassuming packaging. You can't really even tell from the outside what magic lies inside.

In fact, it might be the kind of magic the developer finds they can't ever recapture, even when it seems like they spent the rest of their career trying to. And not even all the dev houses in eastern Europe and Russia trying their darndest to copycat it can ever quite capture that lightning in a bottle again. What is it? What's one of those games that haunts the industry even 13 years after its release? *drum roll please*... It's...





If only reading the back of the box was all today's devs needed to do to copy it successfully. There's more to it than that.  Roll Eyes

10773  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 23, 2007, 01:35:11 AM
I'm afraid I couldn't even afford a PC 'til I bought a Vtech-made Laser brand PC in late 1992. Among my handful of 1992 era games I've held onto is Alone in the Dark:


But when I opened the box, I started laughing -- remember how creative (sometimes goofy) they'd get with copy protection schemes? Alone in the Dark provided this teeny, weeny book...


And then you'd open it up to the appropriate page numbers. I think you'd have to enter the items (they are items that really appear in the game) at the copy protection screen to complete installation.  icon_smile

10774  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is there any new PC game like Panzer General? on: October 22, 2007, 09:27:00 PM
*wipes some dust and cobwebs off thread*

If you like PG, you're probably looking for more of a "Beer and Pretzel" wargame (which was always the kind I liked, I wasn't quite up to the harder-core wargames).

The last big hex-based PC release I recall (that pretty much came and went quietly both on PC and XBox in 2005) was Shattered Union:
http://www.2kgames.com/shatteredunion/home.php

Reviews were mixed (to be kind  icon_confused), but if you're starved for this sort of thing, you might look for it in the bargain racks somewhere or on EBay.

Also, it's available on Steam and has been cut to $19.95 for now:
Shattered Union page at Steam Web site
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=game&AppId=3960&cc=US

Back in 2003, Korsun Pocket got quite a few "Best Wargame" awards, and might be worth checking out (I don't know if it's Beer 'n Pretzels but it was supposedly fairly user-friendly):

Korsun Pocket page
http://www.ssg.com.au/KP.htm

Also, while it's not PC, the upcoming Panzer Tactics on DS is hex-based and something of a melding of Panzer General and Advance Wars, from what I can tell.

Lastly, I took some photos of my old game boxes of Panzer General, Allied General and each game's sequel's game boxes. I'll try to post a couple later. smile I get a little weepy that there was a time (1994) when a hex-based wargame like Panzer General could get serious PC Game of the Year consideration in major magazines.
10775  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: EA buys Pandemic and Bioware..sad day on: October 22, 2007, 08:43:38 PM
I mentioned this in the game boxes thread:

This is from one of Bioware's first releases (Shattered Steel for PC in 1996, after Bioware was founded in 1995). What was cool back then was if you posted questions in certain places (I want to say Compuserve's gaming forums, and America Online's [then not nearly as maligned as it later would be] forums), Bioware's Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeshcuk (my memory is foggy but I want to say Zeschuk more often replied there) would reply and were helpful. I think they helped me once when I got stuck at a certain point in the game. I guess you can't go home again, but there's my little peek at Bioware's humble beginning.

And the image is again my cheap joke that the plot of Mass Effect is, it seems, not much different than Shattered Steel's. Well, OK, this time there are *multiple*planets to cleanse... icon_wink
10776  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 22, 2007, 08:25:36 PM
Since there is much grumbling that "Hellgate is no Diablo II," lets go back even further to the source material so we can say "Hellgate is not even a Diablo!"  paranoid

Money - don't even get me started. If I added up the money spent on PCs, upgrades, games (not to mention consoles and handhelds and their various games), then basically you would have enough money to buy an island somewhere.  retard
10777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 22, 2007, 06:10:35 PM
Yeah we could probably start a whole thread on what game manuals used to be and what they are today. I think the first time I got a Windows 95 game with a flimsy little jewel box manual that told me to "open the PDF on the CD for full documentation," I knew the days of big, useful, sometimes spiral bound manuals were going to become extinct - I can understand it from a production cost standpoint, and a "tree-saving" standpoint, but I do miss some things like the big spiral bound manuals in Dynamix's Aces series, and the like.

Or the manuals that were written with a lot of imagination, like a character in the game world telling your character how to play, and what to be careful of (Crusader: No Remorse's manual was like that, but it was written from the standpoint of talking to you in your role as a "Cartel lackey" before you side with the Rebels smile).
10778  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: So, What are your most anticipated games for the rest of 2007? on: October 22, 2007, 12:48:30 PM
PSP
Nov. 6
-SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike (the series veers in a more strategy-oriented, somewhat Full Spectrum Warrior direction)

Nov. 19
-Warhammer 40K: Squad Command (turn-based strategy with destructible environments)

God of War: Chains of Olympus was pushed back to March 2008 (or First Quarter 2008, depending on where ya check), though the playable demo UMD supposedly started going out to those who signed up for it at the official site a while back.

Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice's U.S. debut was pushed back to January 2008 (though UK sites are already reviewing it overseas).

Although I'm a big PSP junkie, beyond the above two, I haven't seen much that interests me on the preliminary 2008 PSP release lists (there's a useful PSP release list at IGN: (http://psp.ign.com/index/release.html).
10779  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SCEA CEO Jack Tretton wants you to buy both a PS3 and a PS2...to save money on: October 21, 2007, 08:39:41 PM
Dear Jack,
I think the PSP has a better games lineup and it's outselling both the PS2 and PS3 now (each, not combined  nod) apparently, so why don't you keep hawking PSP Slim/Lite instead? And after Guerilla finishes Killzone 2 and it turns out to be a good game that still isn't a "Halo Killer" (as if that's a label any game could ever live up to), can you ask them to dig their PSP development kits out of the closet and do a followup to Killzone: Liberation? That will help wash the bad taste of SWAT Target Liberty out of isometric action fans' mouths. ninja2

Sincerely,
Blackjack
10780  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 21, 2007, 07:24:07 PM
The Ultima one's cool -- Origin always did the nicest "supplementary" stuff in their boxes, and it really helped immerse you in the game world even when you weren't playing. smile You could tell they were going nuts with desktop publishing software. Here's the "fold out" that came with Crusader: No Remorse in 1996. Oh that an isometric game could be "Action Game of the Year" in today's FPS-drowned world.  crybaby

10781  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Classic PC game boxes/box artwork on: October 21, 2007, 05:25:57 PM
A few with links to the present might be Myth: The Fallen Lords (Bungie? PC developer? Outrageous!  saywhat), System Shock 2 (Irrational's learning grounds for Bioshock), and Shattered Steel (1996 mech game by the then fledgling Bioware).

Oh, and while viewing the back of the Shattered Steel box, I realized Mass Effect in the end isn't any different in plot than what Bioware was doing 11 years ago. icon_wink See below:
10782  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Classic PC game boxes/box artwork (image-heavy; dialups beware) on: October 21, 2007, 05:20:26 PM
I was going to throw out some folded up old PC boxes today. I had a bunch just folded up and taking space. But then I realized most were from the era when PC boxes got bigger and bigger, with huge artwork, unfolding panels, crazy amounts of detail, and sometimes origami like shapes. And lots are classic games that veteran PC gamers always refer to and that probably still inspire the industry today (so it's almost like a fun history lesson to view these now).

So I took some photos. Heck, maybe I'll do a little Web page some day.

I esp. miss the boxes with the large flip-out panels. Here are just a few memorable ones, for fun.

A couple of my faves were for Tribes and Freespace:


10783  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 21, 2007, 02:51:40 PM
Thanks. I played City of Heroes for 3 1/2 years, so that part doesn't concern me so much. smile

I'm finding some info at official forums, but I haven't so far found an ideal FAQ type thread. I'll keep trying.

10784  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 21, 2007, 02:26:06 PM
You can never be too young, too thin or have have too much hard drive space.  icon_biggrin The recently available 1 Terabyte  drives don't seem so crazy anymore.

I was examining my System Shock box the other day (which has 9 floppy disks), and I wanted to weep.  crybaby

Does anyone know how much space the full game will take? (Hellgate, not System Shock...)
10785  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Halo Wars?! Why not... on: October 21, 2007, 01:24:31 PM
I'd sound a cautionary note that maybe Halo is a great FPS franchise and not a generic brand that should be tacked onto a half dozen games in different genres that water down the source material. You don't want to end up with X-COM: Interceptor and X-COM: Enforcer afterall, or maybe the probably permamently mothballed Starcraft: Ghost.  paranoid
10786  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 21, 2007, 01:18:58 PM
3-D game engines are space hogs. smile The size was probably just because, well, every demo is 1+ gigs nowadays. Doesn't even give me a second thought anymore.

Well, sure, if the full game is nothing but brown, square storage rooms and the ruins of London, I probably won't sign up either (then I'll have flashbacks of F.E.A.R., which had unending warehouse rooms that never seemed to vary). I'm having some blind faith there's more to it than that. I enjoyed the combat, I'm certainly not lauding the demo environs.

fwiw, the Diablo demo was 2 brown, dark, dingy, repetitive (albeit randomizing) dungeons under Tristam. Diablo II's demo and beta were the underwhelming caves and and featureless grassy plains of Act I (and I remember being aghast that it was still basically a 640X480 game that actually seemed to look worse than Diablo I). So I really don't think the former Blizzard North has a reputation for demos that visually blow you away.  saywhat Maybe it *should* blow you away, maybe it's more important now that Flagship's whole future relies on this game.

I would've liked for it to at least be a little longer, or let you do some tinkering with weapons upgrades, so we would get more appreciation for that.

Oh, hey does anyone know what the "Shield Overload" stat means? Or "Shield Penetration" for that matter. Here's a screenshot:

I'm sure I could search around the official forums, but I figured I'd ask here for the sake of conversation. smile
10787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sports games for the PSP on: October 20, 2007, 10:20:40 PM
Has anybody tried the NHL games on PSP yet? I guess I should try to rent one. I always loved hockey games on consoles (going back to NES and Sega Genesis), but I've not tried on a handheld. I'll see if there's any I can try on Gamefly and report back later in the week on it.
10788  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 20, 2007, 10:06:16 PM
I thought I'd prefer the guns, but after a very fun playthrough as Blademaster just now (especially with zombie heads and limbs flying), I think maybe I won't go for guns afterall. smile It's a little harder on my Titan Quest-ruined right wrist though. It just killed me I couldn't wield the "Swirling Scatterscythe" that I found near demo's end (requires Level 9  drool).

And I can't pass up a game where I have a chance to develop a skill that turns me into a "spinning whirlwind of damnation."  ninja2 Maybe some day I'll be playing co-op and people will say "Hey look! There's Blackjack, the "spinning whirlwind of damnation."  icon_smile

I exited City of Heroes recently after 3 1/2 years (my broadsword scrapper "Silverknight" was my only level 50 character), and this could be a good replacement for me, depending on how the full game environs turn out. Here's hoping.  thumbsup



10789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tim Cain shows up at Carbine Studios on: October 20, 2007, 08:24:27 PM
I remember that -- some of the team are from the original WoW development team, it seems, along with City of Heroes' executive producer. So obviously it'll be a mix of WoW, Fallout and City of Heroes. Ugh.  saywhat Hopefully it'll be something new altogether.  icon_biggrin It'll be interesting to see how people from fairly diverse backgrounds mesh.
10790  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Talk me outta buying a 360.... on: October 20, 2007, 08:17:49 PM
It's too noisy, it's too unreliable, you hate Microsoft because of Windows Vista and their inability to make a $400 console that doesn't overheat and break, and you'll hate yourself when the new thinner, quieter-GPU chip versions become the norm. Those might suffice (even if you don't believe any of it is really true Tongue) if you want to merely delay the inevitable.  slywink The last reason tends to be the one I give for continuing to wait, fwiw.  icon_smile

I am just having fun, btw, so please don't shoot me. If you want a XBox360, I would just get one. I think the only place they would talk you out of it is at the official Playstation 3 forums.  nod
10791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dean Takahashi "Sony pleads with Third Parties not to abandon PS3" on: October 20, 2007, 01:00:11 PM
I'm a Sony fan (I don't have a PS3, but I've been buying PSP games like candy this year  icon_smile), but I think it's sort of a Catch 22: You can't really ask publishers to bet their money on a system with such a small playerbase, but even with the price cuts, the PS3's not going to sell like hotcakes until it has some good games unique to the system (and alas, it certainly doesn't look like Lair and Heavenly Sword are the System Sellers fans hoped they'd be).

MGS4, LittleBigPlanet and Killzone 2 will help, but I doubt any of those by itself can boost PS3 sales into the stratosphere the way Halo 3 has (whether you think Halo 3 is overhyped or not, its effect on XBox360 sales has been amazing). If somehow those games prove as relatively disappointing as Lair and Heavenly Sword (being touted as "system seller" pre-release seems like some sort of curse), then I don't know where the PS3's cavalry is going to come from. In that case, I'll hope Guerilla returns to PSP development so I can see a Killzone: Liberation sequel.  drool icon_biggrin

fwiw, I remain on the sidelines in terms of next-gen consoles, content with PSP and PC gaming for now, so I don't really speak from ownership of any of that stuff at this point.
10792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 19, 2007, 05:32:06 PM
UK Pocket Gamer has a review (still negative, 6/10, citing mainly the sluggish pace of play):

Pocket Gamer review
http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/PSP/SWAT%3A+Target+Liberty/review.asp?c=4462
Quote from: Pocket Gamer
That said, the core gameplay isn't horrible, it just fails to be interesting due to slow, monotonous pacing. And when it comes down to it, multiplayer in combination with a great visual presentation keeps Target Liberty from flat-lining.
The sad thing is, most later previews remarked on how sluggish the movement in the game felt. It's a shame the devs didn't take that to heart, ask for a little more time to work on it, and re-work the speed. Basically, the sprint speed feels like what the default movement speed *should* be.  disgust
10793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: H-Gate London Demo.....Can we talk? on: October 19, 2007, 12:54:17 PM
I put a little time in last night (XP system, DirectX9 version). I enjoyed it more than I expected. I prefer playing in 3rd person and wish the character models were a bit more animated when you've got the camera pulled back. I think I also reached the spot where I'm out of quests and not quite sure where to go (maybe the demo just ends there?  icon_confused). I'm not sure if slogging through the hell-ridden streets and underground of London is going to fulfill my preference for varied environments, but generally I had a good time and stayed up too late. smile

I temporarily ruined my right wrist playing the click-crazy Titan Quest: Immortal Throne expansion so I'm actually happy this game uses MMO/FPS style movement controls, and that at least with the rifle stuff it isn't quite as click crazy as I expected a Diablo "spiritual successor" to be.  thumbsup
10794  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 19, 2007, 12:48:37 PM
The shooting controls feel OK after some practice. They are hard to explain in writing without making it sound convoluted.  icon_smile If the PSP had a second thumbstick, I don't think 3G would've resorted to such a strange system to try to avoid making you manually aim.

I think I read 3G has previously only done games for cell phones (this is their first PSP title), so I can't help feeling some of the weaknesses in this are just from lack of familiarity with the PSP, its abilities and its controls. I know Killzone: Liberation was Guerilla's first (and alas, probably only) PSP effort, but maybe going from PS2 to PSP is an easier transition than from cellphone to PSP.  icon_neutral

I liked the mostly ill-reviewed Alien Syndrome (although very repetitive) up to a point, and to me that's the one PSP arcadey action game that has at least a little bit of Killzone: Liberation's energy, if not its polish and fun variety.
10795  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 19, 2007, 02:56:35 AM
This is definitely not another Killzone: Liberation, as IGN's very crabby review (4.5/10) concluded:

IGN review
http://psp.ign.com/articles/828/828488p1.html?RSSwhen2007-10-18_160900&RSSid=828488
Quote
There's certainly room for a tactical isometric shooter, but that game is going to have to be at least half as good as the high water mark set by Killzone: Liberation, and this game doesn't even come close.
So, I'm afraid if you've finished Killzone: Liberation, and have played the downloadable Chapter 5 add-on, then you're better off continuing to wait.  tear The sad thing is, Guerrilla said in their forums that they've already put away their PSP kits and focused all their resources on their PS3 Killzone game. crybaby

But, my own thoughts? I'm not a reviewer, and I have a weakness sometimes for games that get trashed (my disclaimer).

I was wrong about the character models being larger. They are maybe a teeny bit larger, and in certain situations where the camera view zooms in, the character models basically scale up in size. And the viewpoint is a bit more vertical so as to let you see into the next room up to a certain point.

Once you go through the training missions, the controls aren't so hard to figure out, but if you just read the manual, they're quite intimidating.  saywhat Rather than have you manually aim, you press and hold the L button -- this maps up to all 4 of the circular buttons to any targets in sight. Tab the appropriate button, and then you are locked on that target (i.e., even if you move around, you'll remain aimed at that target you locked in on).

The R button is more of an interaction cursor, something like the mouse cursor in SWAT 3/4. Point out a door with it to get the appropriate squad commands, point at a complaying civvy to give restraining orders etc. There are a few options for automating things, like the interrogation of each civvy or terrorist. You can also set the two squadmates to "auto," " Lethal only" and "Less than lethal." I think even in LTF, I've seen them nail a terrorist with lethal weaponry so I guess they retain some autonomy. To some extent, the AI squaddies are too good -- sometimes I can't get a shot in.  Tongue [I know the reviewer complains the AI is awful -- there are some situations where environmental obstructions seem to to block their ability to get an accurate shot in].

While the controls all work OK, I find it a bit too easy to get mixed up. Given the fairly deliberate pace, you generally have time to get things in order (at least on Normal skill). I agree with the reviewer the "fire from cover" mechanic is clumsy and not terribly useful (it looks cool, it doesn't "play" cool in that regard).

The mission maps are pretty long. Start button pulls up a HUD, including a decent 3-D map of the level with cleared areas marked.

Cutscenes are a mix of some somewhat cheesy 3-D render cinematics, and some in-game graphics.

Sound is good, great even. Lots of digitized voices, and the weapons sound OK. Music can be a bit grating but you can adjust it in said HUD screen.

And the game is just sluggish. I guess that's on purpose to get a tactical "feel," but when you laugh out loud at how slow they look when in "sprint" mode, something's amiss.

So, I would probably caution anyone interested in this to try to rent it first if you can. If it doesn't do it for ya, perhaps the upcoming SOCOM: Tactical Strike (which isn't isometric, but seems like it is shaping up better as a tactical squaddie game) will hit the mark better. ninja2
10796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Capt. America back from the dead... on: October 18, 2007, 08:58:42 PM
Wash. Post had a fun article about all this:

Good Guy With a Gun: A Superhero For the Times
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/15/AR2007101501494.html

I like where the comic shop owner mentions that in the 1940s Cap ran around with a machine gun in one hand (probably a Tommy Gun) while Bucky had a flamethrower (!). So it's not like Cap has been running around inserting flowers into enemy weapons and saying "Can't we give peace a chance?" his whole comic book run. icon_smile It has been interesting seeing how different writers handle him, or how different animated series portray him. Some portray him as this "government tool," while others portray him as someone questioning the very idea of a "super soldier." I bought the graphic novel compilation a few years back that had him battling terrorists in a small U.S. town just post-9/11. Pretty powerful stuff.

Although I've been a Cap fan since I was a kid, I'm not all that up in arms about a "new Cap" with a pistol. It just seems like killing is generally against what most spandex super heroes stand for, so I'm not sure how Marvel's writers are going to include a pistol in it unless he just uses it as a tool (like blasting a chandeleir so it drops on some evildoer).

Besides, given that Steve Rogers got blown up in a plane and was buried in the ice for decades, and survived, I just have this vision of his snipered corpse getting cryogenically frozen, propped up next to poor Ted Williams, and then probably getting revived by Reed Richard's grandson in 2148 who magically revives him ... or better yet, swipes Steve Roger's DNA and creates a clone of him. Oh yes, I can think like a cheesy comic book plotter.  saywhat
10797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command on: October 18, 2007, 08:40:46 PM
Gamespy got some hands-on time with both versions (DS, PSP) [preview covers both]:
http://ds.gamespy.com/nintendo-ds/warhammer-40000-squad-command/828169p1.html
By most accounts it'll look and sound better on PSP. Having the map in the DS top screen might be helpful in some situations. The fully destructible environments should be a hoot.
10798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 18, 2007, 08:14:06 PM
That's a good point -- instead of the somewhat random police situations of the PC SWAT games, this has a storyline-bases single player campaign (foiling some terrorist plot in NYC).

I don't think this is as fast paced as Killzone: Liberation, just judging from gameplay movies. The larger graphics and characters mean there's a lot less map area visible on a screen than in Killzone, and movement seems quite a bit slower (though there's a sprint key).

The four squaddies each start with a strong rating in one of the four non-leadership skills (Accuracy; Intimidation; Interrogation; Observation). So I reckon it'll be kind of fun figuring out the best mix for a given mission.

Anyway, hopefully in 3-4 hours I can give it a whirl. smile
10799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SWAT: Target Liberty (PSP) impressions on: October 18, 2007, 06:40:27 PM
OK I'm a little scared of all the things the circle button is used for.  icon_surprised
-Run (hold button while moving)
-Restrain (while near compliant person)
-Interrogate (while near restrained person)
-Report (while near incapacitated person)
-Toggle Sniper mode (when prompted)
-Move-Red Officer (Cursor mode)
-Door commands-SWAT leader (hold near door)

Whew! I hope the PSP Slim's circle button is durable.  icon_cool
10800  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: Do Major Game Releases Result in GT Membership Spikes? on: October 18, 2007, 05:46:52 PM
fwiw, i joined up here cause a couple of other forums I was hanging out at were either completely unmoderated (and thus it was anarchy bordering on chaos, not to mention unpleasant at times  retard), or moderated by one person who was, well, mean; or had so little traffic that I was basically just posting replies to myself.  saywhat So I lurked here briefly, and then decided I'd take a chance on this place. Hopefully my good first impressions are on the mark. smile

So I guess I'm a refugee who wound up here...
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