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10761  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3]Uncharted:Drakes Fortune on: November 14, 2007, 07:37:55 PM
Maybe this one'll get me off the fence. Takes a third-personer for motion sickness-ridden me.  thumbsup
10762  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 14, 2007, 06:21:59 PM
I've been trying a few different Marksman things. I really don't like the first available hand grenades (the one that bounches around like a Super Bouncing Rubber Ball from a gumball machine), but the Phase grenades (which stick in place on hard surfaces) I'm finding far more useful and plan to gradually put some more points in.

I love the Sniper mode's damage and ACC buffs, and the scope view, and definitely need to boost that up (you don't technically have to use a Sniper Rifle with it but I am for the most part). And I love Napalm, I just seem to keep mistargeting with it.

As with most games like this I've lost track of what my "real" character stats are, and what they are boosted by equipment. So, I haven't put enough points into strength, and now I've got two or three solid armor pieces I can't wear for a couple levels because of Str requirements.  disgust

I experienced a couple wild treasure rooms and secret passages yesterday where the grenades/Napalm combo really saved my bacon (due to sudden spawns of many nasty things  icon_surprised).

I still lack anything remotely impressive, damage wise. I've got some Arc rocket thing that I've gotten to about 120 damage but it's mostly physical and doesn't seem very effective so far.
10763  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: System Sellers-what games convinced you to get a console or handheld? on: November 14, 2007, 02:16:53 PM
Cool lists, I'm glad it got some memories going. smile I know in a lot of cases there's no one game that pulls one to a system.

I think too much pressure is put on PS3 titles to become "system sellers" and nothing can really live up to that (there's no PS3 Halo 3 in the stables, not even Killzone 2, MGS4 or Little Big Planet, imho). I think what it maybe needs more than some A+ game is just 5 B+ games unique to the system (call it whiteboyskim's rule  slywink) -- that might convince me to get one. smile Otherwise I'll keep sitting on the sidelines, or perhaps Mass Effect will get me to take a chance on the not exactly consistently reliable XBox360.

Little aside: Gears of War was almost the system seller for me in the spring. I was ready to order a "Gears of War bundle" from Circuit City for in-store pickup. However, Titan Quest: Immortal Throne on PC was causing me severe wrist tendinitis (I had to see a doctor, wear a splint, take Aleve, almost had to get surgery but I quit TQ:I cold turkey) at the time, and I talked myself out of it at the last minute. It was the best move for my health at the time, but sometimes I wish I'd given in. nod
10764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 14, 2007, 02:06:40 PM
The PC version (demo) of Full Spectrum Warrior ran like a pig on my system, so I never was able to get into it myself either. I also felt it really had too many units to shepherd. I'm happier with maybe 4-6 squaddies to control, whether it's tactical strategy, or more of a tactical shooter (SWAT, Ghost Recon etc.).

I put some time in on the Instant Action missions in SOCOM: Tactical Strike last night. What I didn't realize is just reaching a mission unlocks the two instant action "mini-missions" on it that you can play when you don't have a lot of time to play. Also, you earn a modest amount of skill points for completing an instant action missions and getting at least a passing grade (if you get an F, you get nada) -- you can then use the skill points in the campaign so there's a good reason to put some time in on Instant Action.

The instant action missions use the same environment of the main mission but just on a small portion of the map. There's some decent variety as you go. Like one's infiltrating a bunker, another's defending a warehouse that has multiple entry points (I got slaughtered and got an "F" grade on that one on my first try  crybaby). These are also pretty good "training on the fly" for mastering your squad orders and proper placement.

Also, when I added some more points into extra equipment slots, a second attachment slot opened for primary weapons. A new item is a bipod attachment (for assault rifles, sniper rifles and heavy machine guns) that improves accuracy. I don't know yet if the troops actually drop to the ground to use it.  icon_cool

I probably should've compared this more to Brothers in Arms. While flanking and suppressing often isn't necessary in this, the same principles of BiA are sort of at work in this.
10765  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Assassin's Creed Reviews on: November 13, 2007, 11:29:59 PM
Nah, Eurogamer does that.  Tongue

Gamespy's is mixed but not entirely negative:
http://xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/assassins-creed/834669p1.html
Some quotes if you don't want to weed through 3 pages:
Quote
There really isn't another game quite like it. Unfortunately, there isn't another game with issues quite like Creed's, either. Assassin's Creed tries to be a stealth game, an action game, a stealth kill game and a platformer, and to innovate in each category. But for each amazing step forward, Creed takes a half-step back.

Unfortunately, this is symptomatic of Assassin's Creed; each element of the game sacrifices too much in order to squeeze other major elements in. Instead of a true stealth engine, you have awkward "hide spots" to accommodate the free roaming. Combat is either too easy or too hard, lacking the brilliance of a dedicated action title. And the free-roaming, bound as it is to mission objectives that would be fine in a more linear game, is just unsatisfying. Each element of the game is individually interesting, but as a whole the package feels incomplete and patchwork more than innovative.
10766  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command on: November 13, 2007, 11:10:30 PM

Quote from: Misguided on November 13, 2007, 06:19:29 PM

Look at the article. DS version is NOT shipping yet.
Man, I can't get away from copyeditors even at a gaming forum.  icon_lol OK I changed my post.
10767  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command on: November 13, 2007, 06:14:36 PM
This has begun shipping on PSP for now (DS shipping later, or maybe just getting its own press release later, apparently):
http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/071113/20071113005661.html

Though I realistically wouldn't expect to see it in Gamestops (they usually get stuff earliest) until maybe this Thursday.

I agree there was some weirdness going on in the demo, and just hope that maybe it was early code or something.  icon_confused
10768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / System Sellers-what games convinced you to get a console or handheld? on: November 13, 2007, 06:07:35 PM
I suggested in the Mass Effect thread that it could be a system seller for me (I can't play FPS games on TV w/o severe motion sickness, plus I'm better with a mouse/keyboard, so it really limits the console game pool for me). So I thought maybe we could share our "system sellers," at least in the cases where there was one particular game that you just *had* to play, so it convinced you to get the system or handheld. If you're like me, the system seller often doesn't end up being the one you were most addicted to (so share those too if ya like). smile

A few of mine (most of which are weird games) going waaay back:

NEC Turbografix-16 (bought in 1990)
System Seller: Splatterhouse (fun sidescrolling basher, but not a whole lot of replay value)
Most Addicted: Military Madness (hexagon, turn-based strategy/wargame)

Atari Lynx (1990)
System Seller: Blue Lightning (excellent air combat game that I saw on rolling demo display "behind the glass" at a Toys R Us. I just had to have it. I still break it out to play, from time to time. smile).
Most Addicted: Jimmy Connors Tennis (fine tennis game, one of the few Lynx games to make extensive use of voice)

Sega Genesis (bought in 1991)
System Seller: Strider (fun sidescrolling sword-slasher with what then seemed revolutionary parallax scrolling backgrounds)
Most Addicted: EA's then awesome NHL hockey games; and their Desert Strike/Jungle Strike isometric helicopter combat games

Atari Jaguar (bought it on Valentine's Day, 1996; never go console shopping when you're depressed about something  Tongue)
System Seller: Defender 2000 (a disappointing remake imho)
Most Addicted: Nothing, really. Well, Aliens Vs. Predator when I could make out what was going on, on screen.  icon_confused

Sony Playstation (1997)
System Seller: Vandal Hearts (a turn-based squad-level fantasy combat game with a surprising amount of gore). The producer of the PC game Incubation (Wolfgang Walk) said this was one of their key inspirations so I bought a PSX and then a used copy of this. It was quite fun, easier to pick up and play than the deeper FF Tactics.
Most Addicted: Front Mission 3

Sony Playstation 2 (2001)
System Seller: Ring of Red (an alternate post-WWII history, semi-turn-based wargame). Varied between a turn-based strategy map, and fun mech-infantry real-time combat sequences. I briefly ran a little fan site for it (Ring of Red Central)
Most Addicted: ...

Nintendo Gamecube
System Seller: Metroid Prime (which I couldn't play extensively because of motion sickness problems. Doh.).
Most Addicted: Battallion Wars

Gameboy Advance (?)
System Seller: Advance Wars
Most Adddicted: Ogre Tactics/Final Fantasy Tactics (though ugh, hurt my eyes to play them on such tiny screens)

Sony PSP (bought in 2006)
System Seller: Killzone: Liberation
Most Addicted: Killzone: Liberation (ah, they finally match!  nod). Although SOCOM: Tactical Strike might wrest the label away soon.

I traded in my GBA towards a DS, but I don't recall a system seller at the time. My NES was a surprise Xmas gift from my brother in 1985 (the first and last time he was ever so obscenely generous with me  icon_biggrin). I have not entered the "next-gen" system arms race at this time.
10769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: November 13, 2007, 04:07:12 PM
Cool, thanks.

-The Treeback would make an awesome pet.  icon_cool

-Love the chat window caption.  icon_lol
10770  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Assassin's Creed thread - brought to you by Jade Raymond on: November 13, 2007, 04:03:19 PM
The true spoiler is that it ends like "The Crying Game"...

Yes, Jade Raymond is the assassin, and she's a MAN, baby!  eek crybaby
10771  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 13, 2007, 02:07:42 PM
We probably won't see something like Tactical Strike on PS3, alas -- Slant Six spent 2 years on the PSP version with the idea of making something specifically for PSP's controller limitations and for a handheld (this is what they tend to say when asked if something like this would also make its way to PS3). In a way, that lack of a 2nd thumb stick sometimes helps encourage more unique games for the system rather than PS2-direct-ports. That's my glass half full view. smile

You will get both an online-only PS3 game (Slant Six's SOCOM: Confrontation) and a "full" PS3 SOCOM akin to the PS2 games in terms of a campaign game and campaign-multiplayer (SOCOM 3, by original dev Zipper Interactive: http://www.us.playstation.com/News/PressReleases/258).

I don't know what it says though that at least some of the time, the PSP outsells PS3 (esp. in Japan, less so in U.S.). I'm actually hoping Slant Six will return to PSP after finishing SOCOM: Confrontation, and that Guerilla (Killzone: Liberation) returns to PSP after completing Killzone 2 for PS3.  icon_smile

I share discomfort with the buttons-for-aiming in Syphon Filter, but there's a target lock (Trigger key I believe) that makes aiming pretty easy though it can get a little klutzy when there are multiple targets.
10772  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Show us your loot! [56k warning] on: November 13, 2007, 01:56:47 PM
My Marksman finally got a decent Legendary helm (though the Minion health buff is useless-my engy could sure use it):


That qualified as a bit of an improvement.  ninja2
10773  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Micro Center: Buy DS Lite, Get Coupons for 2 Free DS games on: November 13, 2007, 01:52:02 PM
Got this offer in my e-mail today (it's good through Xmas). It's nice, but one coupon's only good in December, and the other in January.
Quote
Offer expires 12/24/07.

Purchase any new DS Lite system and receive two coupons, each redeemable for any NEW or USED Nintendo DS game $29.99 and under at no charge or receive a $29.99 discount off the regular retail price of any higher price NEW or USED DS game. First coupon valid only during 12/1/07-12/31/07 period.

* Second coupon valid only during 1/1/08-1/31/08 period. Recipient responsible for any remaining balance and applicable taxes. Not valid with any other discounts or offers. Limit one promotion offer per customer. Offer subject to change or end at any time. Limited to in-stock items only. See sales associate for details.
I've been looking for a discount or bonus of some sort to get a DS Lite (I've got the original DS).
10774  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 13, 2007, 04:38:19 AM
Gamespot's positive but not ecstatic (7.5/10 review) seems like about the most thorough I've seen:
http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/socomusnavysealstacticalstrike/review.html?sid=6182397&om_act=convert&om_clk=multimodule&tag=multimodule;picks;title;3

I agree about the camera, and the movement "skimmer" occasionally just, well, seems to have a mind of its own when you're inside buildings or next to one.  saywhat It doesn't sound like online works all that smoothly, alas.

I'm roughly through about half of the 9-mish campaign now (about halfway through mission 5).

Lastly (I'm going to play a little more before I hit the hay smile), I dug around Gamespot and found a fairly useful interview with Slant Six's designer director for this:
http://www.gamespot.com/video/939493/6176793/socom-us-navy-seals-tactical-strike-interview-2
The big video size distorts PSP movies though -- it look better than it does in the footage but you get some idea of how it plays.

Slant Six is also developing SOCOM: Confrontation, an online-only SOCOM game for PS3. They previously did Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror for PSP (Sony Bend, Syphon Filter's original creators, did the recent followup Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow).
10775  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Hellgate London Name and Server List on: November 13, 2007, 12:20:07 AM
fwiw, I plan to play a lot tonight as "Blackjach" so look me up (since he's not in the guild, and the game won't let us add folks to friends list so they're online). That's my pathetic plea cause some of these nastier bosses are really painful to solo with this type of character.  paranoid
10776  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Borderlands interview..co-op fps / rpg on: November 13, 2007, 12:16:55 AM
Although I bought both Brothers in Arms games and even the Halo PC port (so I'm not some anti-Gearboxx troll, truly), I truly think Randy Pitchford spends too much time bragging about how great their next games are going to be and not enough time working on making it so.  disgust Tongue
10777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSP 2007 Game of the Year babble on: November 12, 2007, 10:53:45 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on November 11, 2007, 08:06:35 PM

I must be an aberration for not even wanting to play all of those JRPGs and tactical type games on the PSP when that seems like all anyone else is interested in.  I feel like such a square. 
Square!  Tongue Nah, everyone responds to different things. Doesn't make you weird. smile I like hanging out at this board because generally so far people don't say "How can you like that, you must be an idiot!" and I have had to deal with that other places when I say what do or don't like to play.

At the other board I hung out at the other PSP players only played puzzle games. It was inscrutable to me why they'd pay $200 (then the price) so they could basically play Lumines and Lumines II, but I didn't make fun of people there for feeling that way.

And Puzzlequest PSP version was great (generally was better reviewed than the DS version even though one might think it would work better with a stylus). In fact I should add it to my GOTY nominees list. smile

Also, I should add D&D: Tactics (which I was so excited about but generally disappointed by) to my "Biggest Disappointment" list.

I bought Monster Hunter Freedom 2, but I really found the inventory and tiny equipment items too frustrating to deal with. I haven't given up on it though. It's one of those things I'll try harder to get into some day.

Anyway, I know there are other PSP players here (it was one of the things that attracted me to this board smile) and we just didn't have much general chatter going on. So chat chat away. If you disagree with my GOTY suggestions, that's fine, just love to keep some general PSP talk going.  icon_cool

If you don't want to pay full price, people are trading PSP games into Gamestop constantly. Do examine the UMD discs carefully for scratches and stuff -- you wouldn't believe the condition some of the PSP game UMDs I rent from Gamefly are in (just scratched beyond belief, as if on purpose).  paranoid

Also, I might be interested in doing some PSP game trading soon. I'm really piling up a few PSP titles that didn't hook me (even when they're well-reviewed).
10778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Capt. America back from the dead... on: November 12, 2007, 10:40:30 PM
I think part of the reason the death of Phoenix in X-Men, Gwen Stacey in Spider-Man, and the death of the "real" Flash (Barry Gordon) had some real emotional impact is that they were Really Dead (their demises seemed organic to continuing storylines) and it wasn't a cheap temporary trick to try to drum up sales. Too many other times I've seen the big comic companies do a big "death of" simply as a cheap publicity stunt, or to get rid of a character fans never gained an affinity for (the "2nd" Robin, whose name escapes me) rather than do the hard work necessary to make the character appealing.

As for Cap, I say this as someone who subscribed to the comic for many years in the 1980s and who wanted to name his shield-skills focused character in Titan Quest "Steve Rogers."  ninja2

For me, that was part of my problem with NBC's "Heroes" this season (which even the creator admits is a mess this year), because last year's season ender suggested two characters really had sacrificed their lives to save New York City. I was actually haunted by the ending of season 1. And episode 1 this season it's like, "No! Ha, ha on you! It was just a cheap season ending stunt!" It was like "Bobby in the shower" in Dallas fercrissakes. I stopped watching after that.  icon_evil
10779  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Panzer Tactics DS on: November 12, 2007, 10:24:06 PM
I loved Panzer General and even the more flawed Allied General, and I've been distraught I can't seem to get People's General or Panzer General 3-D Assault to run in XP (at least not on my system, regardless of compatibility modes). So, your impressions so far are like music to my ears. smile

Speaking of Panzer General, ooooh that a turn-based hex wargame could battle the likes of X-COM, Doom, Tie-Fighter and System Shock (1994 was a very good year, as they say) for Game of the Year, though mostly the awards went to X-COM and Doom II (some mags considered Doom a 1994 title). *cue weepy nostalgic music* Oh wait, I'm in the wrong section for that kind of nostalgia. Never mind.  tear
10780  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: November 12, 2007, 10:03:42 PM
Thanks - that sounds at least an adequate improvement to me. I liked COH's chat where you could configure multiple tabs, and then filter each tab to the type of info you want in it (LOTORO's is somewhat like that too).
10781  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: November 12, 2007, 08:20:34 PM
How's the chat system these days? It was a real mess when I was in it. But looking at some latest screenshots they seem to have added some tabs and other UI tweaks (it just felt far too command-line-fixated for me, though I know "old school" players are content with that).

I was thinking I might ask for this for Xmas. By then I might be gone from LOTORO and be MMO-less, and the games devouring my time right now might've loosened their hooks a bit.  icon_biggrin
10782  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 12, 2007, 06:31:27 PM
1UP wasn't so keen on this (6/10). I don't think the game's as unfair as the reviewer paints it as, but perhaps he's playing it on a tougher difficultysetting than I. I do think if they labeled what waypoints are in fact save checkpoints and what aren't, that would save some frustration over checkpoint pacing. I think once you realize which ones are save checkpoints, you can make decisions about when it's a good time to work over to one.

There are various scripted sequences (usually after a checkpoint save) where a few soldiers are sent into the area. Sometimes they are sent in pretty aggressively and you basically have to defend an area through a wave or two, but as along as you've got decent cover and your flanks protected, you should be OK. smile

Other times they are sent into the area more subtlely, and you just need to take your time taking them out or working around them to the next waypoint, objective or extraction point. I've only had maybe one or two times in 4 missions where troops showed up unexpectedly behind me. I like the unpredictability, and then it also pays to keep at least one troop set on "field of fire" behind you. I could see someone not liking that though -- sort of how people have mixed opinions about enemies "respawning" in some RPGs/hack'n'slashes when you've cleared out an area.
10783  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 12, 2007, 06:09:38 PM
I re-did the tutorial yesterday cause I wasn't quite understanding the "move while covered" orders.

The squad members and health meters are always shown vertically in the lower right corner. The top two comprise (I think) Able team, the lower two comprise Bravo team. You can "swap" individuals if you decide mid-mission that you'd prefer to pair up different soldiers, it seems.

Although I haven't used the "move while covered" stuff, it seems to work this way:
-While you have Able team selected, move the skimmer to where you want Bravo team to move [the idea being Able will cover them as they move]. I found this a bit confusing, so it helps to do it in the tutorial a few times.
-Press "circle" button for the orders menu.
-Choose "Bravo Team Move With Cover" (something like that - I can't seem to find a screenshot with the movement orders list at the moment)
-Bravo Team will move to the skimmer point, while Able company provides covering fire [I'm not certain, but I guess this set it so Ablefires on anything that starts firing on Bravo team] if any surprises pop up.

There's probably not much point in using this command during more stealthy missions. If you need to pull one team out of the fire, so to speak, it can be handy.
===============
You can certainly configure the four troops anyway you want (you can have 4 snipers, or 4 heavy machine gunners, and probably have a lot of success, but I find it's a little more fun to have some variety, and pour the skill points into one or two weapon types for each soldier).

I've generally made Able have a sniper (who uses SMG automatically when not taking sniper shots) and an assault rifle guy. Bravo is usually heavy machine gunner and an assault rifle guy. I try to make sure each team (pair) has at least one medkit pack (2 uses) and at least one set of HE grenades (2 uses). If you only have one sniper, be sure to give him the "extra sniper ammo" kit (allows about 16 shots total).

At the lower difficulty settings at least, ammo seems quite plentiful for the assault rifles and HMGs, so I have't felt much need to bring extra regular ammo (If they run out, they will switch to their backup SMG automatically -- or, you can pick up a rifle off dead mercs).

I've been pretty happy with the Swiss assault rifles that you unlock after a couple missions but there are tons to choose from (even an old M-1 Garand is unlocked eventually).
10784  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone else getting tired of the bugs in Hellgate London? on: November 12, 2007, 05:34:45 PM
Oh, ha, I guess I got confused on that too because it almost looks like all the wall textures have failed to load properly so I too thought it was a bug. I don't recall getting a helmet with a light on it, I probably was in too much of a rush to sell it.  icon_biggrin
10785  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Games Finished in 2007 - Console & PC on: November 12, 2007, 04:01:38 PM
Medal of Honor: Airborne (PC).
-Finished that SOB finally!!!!!! *guttural scream of victory* icon_twisted
I never uninstalled a game so fast (about 5 minutes after watching the closing credits).
In the finale, just remember to climb the ladder onto the little fuel tank to get an angle on those Germans above you. It'll make sense if you get that far in the game.  icon_smile
10786  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: gow: chains of olympus demo on: November 12, 2007, 03:59:39 PM
I'd like to believe that when this gets closer to release (about February 2008 is the current release date), they'll make a downloadable demo available officially.

I'm hoping this'll become a real system seller for PSP even though my heart is more into more strategy-type stuff (actiony stuff is a little clumsy to do well on the PSP's single thumbstick-config but it really just requires devs to give some careful thought to control set ups, optional configurations).

I feel stupid btw. I swear I'm registered at Playstation Underground but apparently it was just for their forums and not as an actual member (and demos like these are the key perks).
10787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 12, 2007, 02:08:17 PM
It took some digging, but I found the official U.S. forums for this at:
http://boardsus.playstation.com/playstation/board?board.id=socomtacticalstrike

Thought I am on call for any questions here. smile

Some bits:

Difficulty Settings
-It has 4 difficulty settings. To be honest, I don't remember choosing one when I started up my campaign so I'm not sure what difficulty I'm playing on. I'm thinking maybe it defaults to "Lieutenant" and that I just didn't see the setting cause I was eager to play. smile

-Ensign (easiest)
-Lieutenant
-Commander

-Admiral (this is toughest, and you "unlock" it by completing at Commander difficulty)

Instant Action
Completing a mission (the campaign has 9 missions -- the first one is relatively short but after that they are pretty massive things) unlocks two "action missions" on parts of each mission map. On the first one, it's just a couple different "defend this area" mission where the AI sends in lots of mercs and you battle them off.
10788  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (11/12) on: November 12, 2007, 01:44:06 PM
Panzer Tactics DS, which is belatedly now in full stock at most Gamestops (and hopefully other chains too now). smile
10789  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone else getting tired of the bugs in Hellgate London? on: November 12, 2007, 01:41:58 PM
It's getting less buggy, albeit at a sloth-like pace. I still have to start the multiplayer client twice (the first time you just see it as a "process" in the alt-tab task menu but it otherwise does nothing) to get it to run -- it used to be 3 times, I guess that's progress.  icon_confused

And whenever I do co-op, we always get separated if we enter a door into a new zone (very tiresome bug).

And I constantly get stuck on vehicles in the environments (best off steering clear of them). The "/stuck" command is handy but it seems to just teleport you back to the start of the zone (sometimes a loooong way from where you got stuck).

I'm just voting with my dollars (I'm not subscribing until the bugs list is shorter than the features list  Tongue), but I do quite enjoy the game in spite of everything.
10790  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect Impressions on: November 12, 2007, 04:38:24 AM

Quote from: Turtle on November 11, 2007, 11:35:59 PM

Gah, so it looks out they did take out the pause and issue orders with a detached camera mode.  What a loss, that could have made the game a lot more tactical and teammates more useful.  Plus, people don't have to use it, but it would have been nice for people who arne't good at shooters, but are very good at commanding.

Why oh why do all these big 360 games simplify themselves towards the shooter mechanics?
I'm interloping (don't have a 360 but have been reading about this). My understanding (see Gamespot's late October hands-on preview from Bioware's offices: http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/masseffect/news.html?sid=6178928&tag=topslot;title;1) is you can play it as a third person shooter *or* you can play it more like KOTOR, using the right bumper to pause the action, give orders and then see how things play out. I would be baffled if Bioware yanked that feature out of the game weeks before it went gold. smile

From Gamespot:
Quote from: Gamespot Sept. 17
Hitting the right bumper lets you pause the action and strategically coordinate your squad's attacks, whether they are physical or biotic. Once you target your enemies and assign your attacks using the game's easy-to-grasp combat wheel, you release the bumper then watch it all play out.

Though the pause feature can be used repeatedly, you can also choose to battle in real-time fashion, third-person-shooter style, if you're not big on planning. It's not the most efficient road to success, but it's possible to play through what appears to be a good chunk of encounters. We came to appreciate both ways to fight because some enemies could be easily dealt with via some old-fashioned shooting, while others required coordinated attacks mixing firearms and biotic powers.
The official site also describes it as such (http://masseffect.bioware.com/gameinfo/), so maybe it's just not intuitive as to how to pull up the pausable mode. icon_confused

IGN's review tries to explain this (I do get the impression from their impressions that it's easy to not even know that you can pause, assign targets etc. esp. since the game's marketing emphasizes the "real time" aspect so much):
http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/834/834262p2.html
Quote
The three primary classes, (biotic user, soldier, and engineer) each have their own list of powers that can be called into use at any time by using the right bumper to call up the power wheel. Holding this button down pauses the game and allows you to use your powers, as well command your squad members to use theirs. Unlike KOTOR, there is no stacking of commands -- you can issue one command at a time to your allies.
I'm hoping it's good. It really is the kind of deep game that might get me over the fence finally. smile FPSs on consoles give me serious motion sickness, and I'm less incomptent with them on PCs. So something melding a few genres like this has a lot more appeal for me as far as being a "system seller" for me.

OK that's enough interloping. I'm fleeing. smile
10791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: (Hellgate: London) Who's in? on: November 12, 2007, 03:02:10 AM
I was lukewarm about Marksman in the demo, but I'm working on one now (Blackjach) and quite enjoying it, esp. mastering the Super Bouncey Ball grenades and the "air strikes" (though it's a bit silly hearing a radio voice comm for an airstrike inside a ... room?  saywhat).

And battling this guy with a relatively low level Marksman was a real adventure. I don't want the whole game to be this tough (afterall, half the fun of Diablo games is splurching hordes of low level vermin), but I'd like challenging enemies like this to show up at least a little more often. A carrot at the end of some zones perhaps.  icon_cool
10792  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London - Show us your loot! [56k warning] on: November 12, 2007, 02:57:53 AM
These boots are nothing much to crow about but I was happy to find some lower level (for L8 Marksman) Legendary loot finally:
10793  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 12, 2007, 02:52:01 AM

Quote from: TheMissingLink on November 11, 2007, 09:38:45 PM

That is pretty damn cool, Blackjack.  Once I have some money, I'll definitely be grabbing it. 

Have you jumped online at all?
No. *sigh*. Long story but I bought this Buffalo Wi-Fi router just so I could do PSP stuff online. It set up fairly easily and worked great for months. When I decided to replace my PC's UPS unit, I unplugged the router. I lost the paper I'd written my WEP code on, and then basically I couldn't remember how to set up the router anyway. Some day I'll try it again.  crybaby I mostly played Medal of Honor: Heroes and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (which supports the PSP voice-comm headset; MOH: Heroes and the new sequel don't) online when I had my router working properly.

One of the reviews mentioned that part of the problem online is that the multiplayer games for this reward more just glomming your squad together and throwing it at the enemy or objects. It doesn't sound like it has the deliberately paced, strategic-feel of the single player missions. This screams out for a co-op experience (even if it would maybe have to be limited to Ad Hoc wireless local play), and the PS2 games offered that, but I guess they didn't feel they could pull it off on this.
10794  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Turn based strategy/tactical game. on: November 11, 2007, 07:44:01 PM
Silent Storm was pretty awesome, I still play from time to time. I think they goofed in not better supporting mods and mod-conversion projects (everyone wanted to do an X-COM type game mod with the engine, and nobody in the end came up with anything, afik). And stay away from the poorly reviewed followups, which managed to botch up what should've been a succesful franchise.
10795  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: New PC game sales at CC - Crysis for $30 on: November 11, 2007, 06:19:44 PM
As we were commiserating in the Hellgate thread about CC's miserable PC shelf conditions these days, you'd probably want to either order it online for in-store pickup (which they seem reliable about arranging in my experience), or ask at the service desk (they just don't bother to put new PC games on the shelves much anymore, nor do they bother to remove pre-order boxes, which sit and rot on their shelves months after a game's release  thumbsdown).
10796  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360]medal of honor airborne demo up now on: November 11, 2007, 05:53:53 PM
Gah! I finally finished today. I'm promptly uninstalling to make room for, well, anything. smile

Pics from the grand finale tomale (nobody here is playing this so I'm probably not spoiling anything):


Kaboom.


Closing credits.

Thank *bleep* that's over...
10797  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 11, 2007, 02:36:52 PM
I thought if I sort of described a playthough (if you watch a gameplay video, it might not be clear what the player is doing, and that it's not a twitch shooter), it might help explain things. I know it'll sound boring to "read" this, without the visuals, it's hard to get the thrill across. smile

Setting:
-Stronghold of Columbian drug warlord
-Night-time mission so night-vision is enabled (when controlling an individual soldier you can shut this off, possibly handly when indoors in a lighted building)

Objectives
-Disabling power and all forms of possible "escape transportation" (located throughout the huge map), and then capturing the warlord.

Tips:
-A "subsonic" (stealth) Russian sniper rifle is "unlocked" for this mission and is a good one to equip at least one squaddie with.
-If equipped with sniper rifle, the squaddie is smart enough to switch to his secondary SMG until you call specifically for a sniper shot.

Walkthough:
-Mission starts outside the stronghold. Selected my designated sniper, moved him a big into a road, put the targeting cursor on a guard at the entrance, hit the "square" button [pulls up inventory, including remaining sniper shots if the squaddie has it equipped], chose Sniper shot. Squaddie gives a quick voice confirmation ("Taking the shot", I think), scope view zooms in and he takes him out.

-I reselected the entire squad (4), moving them from cover to cover (it just pays to always move in stealth mode). The game remembers the last movement mode (stealth by default) you chose so you don't need to fuss with it.

-I plop the cursor on a car at the entrance and a squaddie disables it (just press "X" when you see the "disable icon").

-Moved the squad west from the entrance towards a guardhouse. I could see a "security computer center" building objective in the distance but it's well lighted and my earlier attempt at a straight-on assault was disastrous.  Tongue

-A roving guard walks under a canopied platform outside the guardhouse.

-I repeated the sniper sequence from above to take him out quietly.

-Just to explore, I moved one duo along the side and then back of the guard house, where there turns out to be a door (you could also move in via a door and windows up front, but being a little sneaker is usualy good). I regrouped the fireteam (Hold the "triangle" button down briefly, and choose "regroup fireteam") near the door. I placed the cursor on the door, hit the "X" button (for the breaching menu). Usually "breach and clear" will suffice, as 3 line up around the door and the last squaddie kicks it in, they'll rush in set automatically at "fire at will" mode, but you can have them toss in a frag grenade or flashbang first, or just quietly open the door without firing.

-3 bad guys inside, and my squad takes them all out pretty quickly. One's wounded though. So I use the "square" button again to pull up inventory and choose "use MedPack on self" to fix him up.

-Hit "select" to pull up the overhead map (objectives are listed, and checked off as completed) -- "circle" button will jump you to the map location of whatever objective you've highlighted on the list. Red X's mark enemies. I decide to work back to that well lighted security computer house, this time from the back of it.

-I sneak the squad behind and then to the far side of the security center. Seeing there's only one guard outside it (and one inside), I use my sniper to take out the one outside in the street. I reselected the squad, point the cursor at the window and hit X (to "use" the window, which means one squaddie will bash the window glass out with his rifle button, and then the squad will fire at any visible targets inside the window in "fire at will" mode). The squad takes the guard out.

-I move the squad inside and hit "X" to "use" the computer and turn off system security for the stronghold (something like that).

-Next is a power center for the island. I sneak the squad over. I decide to go with a door breach/clear (a window's available, there's usually multiple routs into a building), the squaddies zap the two guards inside, and then I use "X" again to turn a power handle that shuts power off for the stronghold (fortunately, this isn't Commandos where probably doing this would flood the area with 25 Germans and German Shepherds. disgust) HQ's lovely female voice acknowledges and says we should be able to walk right into the Leader's house unseen.

-I move the squad up to the second level of the power building which has a couple doorways opening into a courtyard of sorts.

-A couple guards walk back and forth towards the area but can't see us. I wait until both are walking away. I select my sniper (who has a few "stealth" points in his stats now), target the nearest guard, hit "X" and choose "Stealth kill." He sneaks up behind the guard and takes him out (knife). I move him back to the squad. The other guard walks towards us a bit then moves away again. I do the same thing to take him out.

-I disable another car, and then work my way to the other side of the map to disable a power boat. In this case I was able to get one good "field of fire" situation (you can set the squad or duo to only fire when a target enters a general location -- you can also use this so they basically spread their fire evenly across multiple targets close together, rather than at a single individual). My squad's behind a big rock. There's one guard fairly nearby, than another strolls back. They're not that close together, but close enough for a field of fire command to work.

[I grabbed this image off a site. I don't think it's from this mission - thus no night vision green - but it was similar to the good "field of fire" opportunity I blabbed about here smile]

-I select the whole squad, hold X down to get my firing options. Chose "Field of Fire", placed the wide cursor so it covered both guards, and tapped X again to activate. The squad spreads fire evenly across the two guards and takes them out fast.

BLAH BLAH BLAH. smile Anyway, that's an idea of how it plays. It's a lot more exciting and tense than my turgid prose makes it, but I thought maybe that would get across that isn't a shooter, and is instead a really deep tactical strategy-type game.
10798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sign the Hellgate anti subscription petition on: November 11, 2007, 01:55:52 PM
Why, why, why did you have to give us a Visual like that?  eek Tongue

I'm going to start a petition called, "The anti-Hellgate-petition Petition."  icon_wink No, not really. I just want to see the game get its 47 kinks worked out so we can start seeing what sorts of content updates they can do, and then subscribing might really appeal to me as well. smile

I wish they'd have more quests like in Diablo II's expansion. They seem to be cribbing too many MMO-like "Get me 3 of the Alfredo Monsters' ears, and 14 tongues from a Golaith Frokazoid etc.." Can't we have a quest that involves something more interesting than harvesting guts? Someone do a petition on that...
10799  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: SOCOM: Tactical Strike (PSP) impressions on: November 11, 2007, 01:48:07 PM
What he said smile, though you give orders to 4 soldiers (not like 10-20 as in Full Spectrum Warrior).

It really has nothing in common with SOCOM, R6 Vegas etc. in terms of play. It's not a 'twitch' game [which you may or may not find good news, I find twitch shooters hand-cramping and tough to play on PSP]. The PSP attempts at R6: Vegas and Ghost Recon: AFW have been terrible. So I think it was smart for SOCOM to go to something very fresh and more of an "actiony" squad-strategy game. smile A more typical SOCOM shooter type game's under development for PS3, fwiw. Once you give squaddies orders, combat is a bit like the early Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon games (fast and furious, combat is rarely drawn out).

Here it's more you're making decisions upon when to fire, there's a lot of sneaking around, finding the best shooting angles, and then deciding when to let 'em rip, when to sneak up and do a stealth kill, and getting the "duos" and individuals to work together (via timed, coordinated attacks etc.). It's a very tense (in a good way) game, and it's not one where you have to feel rushed to work through the mission (you can be really thoughtful, and try different things).

I admit it's a tough game to describe, and it isn't probably for fans of the previous SOCOM games because it plays so differently and so much more like a tiny-scale real time squad-strategy game. When people say "you don't control individual soldiers," that's not entirely true. You can select one squaddie, tell him where to go, have him attack a specific target (you have to do this to use a sniper shot), you just don't have to worry bout being some sort of FPS whiz kid (just tell him what to shoot and when, and he'll do his best  icon_cool) as he'll take care of the dirty work.

In a way, it's a shame they used the SOCOM name for this because it'll scare off people who would love this type of tactical/strategy type game, and long time SOCOM fans who haven't read about how it's different will probably feel lost if they don't give it a chance.
10800  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PSP 2007 Game of the Year babble on: November 11, 2007, 04:05:54 AM
We're nearing the end of the year. And I think about the only remaining PSP game that might be GOTY material is the PSP version of Warhammer 40K: Squad Command (we'll know how that shapes up next week - it's due around Nov. 13 or so).

My sort of "guess forecast" for PSP GOTY nominees includes at least some of these. I dug up Sony's official site for each game, for info's sake (beware some obnoxious Flash intros that take a while to load). I tried to break them down a bit by category, but there some genres (sports, racing, I don't really play or pay much attention to on PSP to this point). I put an asterisk by games not quite released, or just barely out (MOH: Heroes) that seemed to be shaping up well.

RPG
Jeanne D'Arc
http://www.us.playstation.com/Jeannedarc/

Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
http://na.square-enix.com/fftactics/

Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness
http://www.disgaeapsp.com/
[Not really my cup of tea, but I've read a lot of

Puzzlequest
I dunno-is it an RPG or just a fancy puzzle game?  icon_confused

Strategy
SOCOM: Tactical Strike
http://www.us.playstation.com/SOCOMTacticalStrike/
[I know I'm rambling on and on about elsewhere - it's so much fun and such a nice change from the relatively brainless SOCOM shooter PSP games to date, really. smile If something like this was on PS3, I'd finally get one. IGN disagrees with me, but I still expect it to get some "votes" smile]

Warhammer 40K: Squad Command *
http://www.squadcommandgame.com/
[Just based on a pretty fun demo, but who knows how the full game stacks up].

Shooter
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
http://www.us.playstation.com/logansshadow/
[I haven't gotten it only 'cause I'm still trying to finish the first game  icon_lol]

Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 *
http://www.ea.com/mohheroes2/features.jsp
[Based on some really strong early reviews, and lots of improvements over the well rated MOH: Heroes]
Anyway, the next time some out-of-touch dunderhead slams your PSP because "there's nothing good on it," you can politely thrust this list in their face with my blessings.  slywink

I'll update this later. Man I spent an hour on this post. Gah. If you read down this far, you are rewarded with...

Blackjack's Most Disappointing PSP Titles of the Year thumbsdown! [These were disappointing to *me*, so I apologize in advance if any of these is your Favorite PSP Game of the Year  saywhat It's all in good fun.]

SWAT: Target Liberty
http://www.swatpsp.com/splash/
I think I'm maybe the only person who bought this.  disgust As much as SOCOM: Tactical Strike gets right about a tactical, actiony game (including a rich variety of environments), SWAT gets it wrong. Stick with Killzone: Liberty if you want an isometric PSP shooter, and go for SOCOM: Tactical Strike (just hitting shelves now) if you want a rich tactical-strategy/action game done right (imho). And write Guerilla Games about doing a Killzone: Liberty followup when Killzone 2 fails to be a "Halo-killer" (a 900-pound gorilla label, right up there with "WoW Killer" and "Diablo Killer," that probably no game can live up to.  icon_neutral)

Alien Syndrome
http://www.sega.com/gamesite/aliensyndrome/fullsite/index.html
I hesitate to call this Most Disappointing "game" because in its own way, this got me back into PSP gaming (mine had gathered dusts for months until I rented and then bought this). But the environments are numbingly repetitive, the loot is actually excessive for such an arcadey shooter, and that the guy [Larry Holland] behind classics like virtually all of the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games, Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe and the under appreciated Star Trek: Bridge Commander is reduced to doing a conversion of an ancient Sega arcade shooter-thon on Wii and PSP is... well.. sad.  tear The disappointment isn't the game, so much as that someone with that creative a track record isn't getting to do something a whole lot more ambitious (on any platform). I mean, imagine if Sid Meier did SWAT: Target Liberty.  Tongue (I know, maybe then the game would've been GOOD!)

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
http://www.lucasarts.com/games/swbattlefrontrenegadesquadron/
I'm renting this now. The controls are sloppy, the graphics are just not very good [especially compared to terrific looking titles like the Syphon Filter series, SOCOM: Tactical Strike, and the demo of next year's God of War: Chains of Olympus], the space combat's a mess, and most reviews are only lauding it for its multiplayer. Devs can do great work on PSP, but this just isn't a game I'd use to show off the system to a friend (just about anything listed above would better do that). It boggles my mind that Sony is bundling this game when there are so many excellent titles that better show off the system and have better thought-out control schemes.

A scaled down Knights of the Old Republic (turn-based stuff works better in PSP's limited button set) would seem like a great fit for PSP. I really wish they'd explore something like that instead of making a relatively mindless shooter that just demonstrates how clumsy this kind of game is on PSP if not done carefully.
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