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2081  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Any Good Freeware Money Management Software Available? on: January 08, 2008, 06:50:29 AM
I just found this one. Seems fairly good...
2082  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Any Good Freeware Money Management Software Available? on: January 07, 2008, 05:04:44 PM
I'm looking for some freeware similar to MS Money. Does anyone know of a solid piece of software for simply managing household finances (credit card payment reminders, graphing of debt, etc.)?

I don't want to spend any money on this New Year resolution until I'm certain I'll actually use the software religiously.
2083  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: FT: (Xbox360) Conan **Updated Requests** on: January 06, 2008, 08:42:28 PM
Added some new requests before I ship it off to Gamestop.
2084  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xbox 360 - 17.7M/Halo 3 - 8.1M/Mass Effect - 1.6M Oh My! on: January 04, 2008, 05:14:07 AM
Any confirmation that MS is going to be the publisher of Mass effect 2? I'm fairly certain that a buyout doesn't invalidate previously signed contracts, but I'm not certain if MS actually DID sign a multi-title deal with Bioware.
2085  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Xbox 360 - 17.7M/Halo 3 - 8.1M/Mass Effect - 1.6M Oh My! on: January 04, 2008, 04:19:17 AM
I've never understood the Halo phenomenon. Maybe it is because I come from a PC gaming background, but the game simply doesn't deserve this level of success. Other games have better mechanics, better graphics and better storylines.

Bravo for MS. I still remember before its launch that the vast majority of the gaming community were certain that the Xbox would be an absolute, astounding failure.
2086  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FT: (Xbox360) Conan **Updated Requests** on: December 31, 2007, 01:53:03 AM
Game is in excellent condition. Sent First Class and with Delivery Confirmation. Looking for "Like New" copies of:

Resistance: Fall of Man

Blacksite: Area 51

NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer
Call of Duty 4
Civ 4: Beyond the Sword

Panzer tactics
Rune Factory
Dragon Quest Monster Joker

D&D Tactics

Wild Arms 5

For anyone interested who doesn't have a trade, I will also take a $29 e-mail gift card from Amazon. It is secure and easy to purchase:
2087  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Any Console Games From This Generation Added to Your Permanent Collection? on: December 29, 2007, 07:45:45 PM
I've always wondered how many people collect games assuming they'll go back and play them again, but then they never do. Gaming turns out to be an expensive hobby if you fall into that trap. If you rent, or buy and then make an immediate auction upon completing the game you can usually get way with only spending $7-$15 on a game.

But if you pay $60 for a game, convince yourself that it belongs in your replay collection, but then never play it again- you can easily burn through several hundred to a few thousand dollars a year.
2088  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any Console Games From This Generation Added to Your Permanent Collection? on: December 29, 2007, 07:07:26 PM
The best games I play are not always added to my permanent gaming collection. For instance, I thought Call of Duty 4 was remarkable but I knew I would never go back and revisit the title. So, what games of this generation have you decided deserved better than rental or auction status?

Here are mine:


1) Uncharted- With the exception of too many gunfights in certain areas of the game, I thought this was an exceptional game that I know I'll revisit at some point in the future. Drake and his gang of misfit friends were very well realized, and their personalities gave Uncharted that extra little spark that is often missing from even today's AAA titles. I also loved that the platforming portions were ridiculously fun without being repetitious or frustrating. I'd definitely love to see Uncharted II.

Xbox 360:

1) Gears of War- I still think this is the best looking game of the generation. Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, and CoD4 have some definite eye-candy, but the level of detail found in Gear's character design and gothic architecture have yet to be surpassed. Despite the severely frustrating final boss, this game had some of my favorite moments of this generation. From the first encounter with a Berserker, to my very first chainsaw kill, this game kept a constant smile on my face. And I absolutely loved Epic's implementation of the combat-cam. If Felix and his band of brothers had been given actual personalities instead of the simple Mater Chief personas, I would have rated this as one of my favorite games of all time.

2) Dead Rising- You don't see this type of game very often. Who knew killing zombies with a soccer ball could be so rewarding.  I hate the punishing save game system, but Dead Rising features the first mall in gaming (or real life) that I actually look forward to revisiting.

3) Eternal Sonata- There are better RPGs out there, but I have yet to see one that is more beautiful. I really did enjoy several of the characters in this game, and combat remained fun throughout the entire experience. Eternal Sonata sometimes fell into the trap of being too preachy, but this game definitely had its moments.

4) Viva Pinata- Quite simply, this is crack cocaine on a DVD. And I usually despise this type of game. But every time I pick up Viva Pinata, I end up playing for several hours at a time.

5) Condemned- Scariest game of the generation so far. The first time you get hit from behind by a steel pipe you'll know what I mean. Plus, there is something incredibly satisfying about tasering an enemy, and then hitting him across the face with a sledgehammer. There are many FPS games circulating in the market, but Condemned's combat mechanics and mood are something slightly different than the rest of the pack.

6) Mass Effect- Bioware does it again. But not without some potholes in the road. My friend calls this game "The Supermodel With A Speech Impediment"- great to look at and wonderful curves, but when it stutters you can't help but grimace. Just remember, this is marked to be a trilogy. I foresee great things to come.

....and there it is. Two years into this generation, and I'm surprised to see that my game collection has not grown very much. I have played a bunch of great games that are simply "one-time wonders": Ratchet and Clank: ToD, CoD4, Crackdown, Stranglehold, R6:Vegas, etc. But I haven't played many games that I would ever go back to revisit.  The lack of RPGs is the most significant reason for the slow growth of my collection. I'm drawn to storylines and characters, but most of this generation has been explosions and simple eye-candy.
2089  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 9/07) on: December 29, 2007, 02:20:59 AM
+1 to mikeg for a quick and professional trade.
2090  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / (PS3) Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction FT ***Sold*** on: December 25, 2007, 06:57:01 AM
This was an absolutely incredible game, easily one of the top 3 games on the PS3. It is quite possibly the closest you can come to playing a Pixar movie. Game is in "Like New" condition, and will be sent with delivery confirmation.

Looking for:


Heavenly Sword

Call of Duty 4

For anyone without trades, I'd be willing to take a $40 e-mail gift card from Amazon:
2091  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Blockbuster just got better on: December 22, 2007, 01:08:51 AM
So how did your daughter like Grindhouse, ATB?  icon_twisted

Another reason I stay with Netflix is that they feature far more anime than Blockbuster, and about 60% of my rentals fall into that category.
2092  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Blockbuster just got better on: December 21, 2007, 02:43:22 AM
I've been a loyal Netflix patron for about 5 years now. My subscription allows me three movies out at a time.  In 5 years my Netflix fees have dropped by $2, and both price drops have come from Netflix initiating the cost reduction. I've never once tried to have my membership fee lowered. In five years I've only had 1 disc that arrived in an unplayable state, and 1 was lost in the mail. I had my replacement disc within 48hrs.

My girlfriend has The BB Total Access plan-3 DVDs out a time, unlimited trade ins. She has been a member for several months. She just received an e-mail that her plan is increasing by $10 per month. In the period of time she has had Total Access she has received 4 unplayable discs, and 1 time they sent the special feature disc instead of the actual movie.

So in five years my membership costs have decreased, and I've only had two delivery problems. In less than a year my girlfriend has had 5 delivery errors and has seen her membership costs spike.

In the end I think the current Blockbuster model offering free B&M movies will benefit them in the short run by way of increased memberships, but harm them in the long run. The online members have now begun cannibalizing the in-store new release section, making it difficult for walk-in customers to get the new movies. And the walk-in customer is more profitable than the online customer. Plus, Blockbuster must also deal with increased consumption by their online members (by way of free store rentals) which continues to erode profits. Netflix has a buffer built in to their system, simply by the delay in delivery via mail. Blockbuster must compete on both ends, keeping the stores stocked and keeping the online delivery service moving at a rate that matches Netflix.

Put another way, when Total Access started people on the 3 OUT plan were probably "consuming" between 12-15 movies a month if they were relatively diligent in turning their movies around. Now they have the opportunity to easily increase that amount by 100%. Those transactions aren't free to Blockbuster.

My sister is probably a horror story to Blockbuster corporate, and I'm sure the number of people similar to her are growing. She gets her 3 movies from the online service for herself, and then turns them in at BB for children's movies for my nephew and niece. Without even trying very hard, she averages 30 movies a month on her 3 OUT plan when you combine B&M rentals along with her online rentals.  Since her husband loves movies, they can easily hit 40-45 movies a month on certain occasions.
2093  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Has Anyone Here Used One of the Game Trading Sites? on: December 17, 2007, 07:36:53 PM
Has Anyone Here Used One of the Game Trading Sites? Namely Goozex or Sayswap?   I didn't see a way to determine the condition of the games available, and I'm somewhat rigid about the quality of the game discs I purchase.
2094  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / PS3: Stranglehold Collector's Edition FT on: December 16, 2007, 06:54:22 PM
In Like New condition. Collector's edition includes the Blu-Ray Movie Hard Boiled on the disc. Will ship with delivery confirmation. Looking for Like new copies of:

Looking for:

Mass Effect

Heavenly Sword
Ratchet and Clank
2095  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Official November NPD Numbers - DS, Wii Lead, 360 Very Respectable on: December 14, 2007, 02:19:26 AM
Uncharted and Ratchet and Clank deserve so much better than their current sales. What a tragedy for the developers of these exceptional games.
2096  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I Turn on My SuperNES only to Learn I have Red Ring Phobia on: December 12, 2007, 05:00:27 PM

Quote from: kathode on December 12, 2007, 04:55:35 PM

The SNES is almost completely solid-state.  Much less to worry about breaking down when pretty much nothing moves other than the power buttons smile  I do remember blowing on many a NES game, trying to get it to work, though.

Ha! I had to do that with Romance of the Three Kingdoms just the other day! My girlfriend was looking at me like I was crazy.
2097  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I Turn on My SuperNES only to Learn I have Red Ring Phobia on: December 12, 2007, 08:20:31 AM

Quote from: Ridah on December 12, 2007, 06:59:22 AM

Consoles these days just have way more going on than consoles of the past so it was inevitable that reliability issues were going to crop up. I mean, if you took a look inside an SNES how many components would you find? One mainboard? Those old systems are way more hollow than the new ones even.The PSX and PS2 had a lot of issues and a lot of it had to do with the disc drives as well as cases of overheating.

I see your point, but I've never been a big believer in the idea that increased complexity=increased unreliability. Superior engineering and design go a long way. It isn't the "more going on" that is the biggest fly in the ointment, it is the cost cutting measures to drive that lower price point.

My newest gaming rig is far more complex than the PS3 and 360, and I'd still bet it will outlast either of them because I chose the premium parts and manufacturers.

Incidentally, have there ever been any poor quality Nintendo consoles? I cannot recall any major complaints with any of their products. The Big N seems to have their house in order.  My N64, Gamecube and DS have all been superlative-not one replacement ever needed.
2098  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I Turn on My SuperNES only to Learn I have Red Ring Phobia on: December 12, 2007, 05:48:40 AM
Well, if there was ever a reason for mandatory backward compatibility, Microsoft just gave us the reason with the xbox 360.  Hopefully their next console will be well manufactured and have full backward compatibility so that we can all play the games we love.

I have faith that MS learned a few significant lessons after taking a 1 billion dollar hit in the crotch.
2099  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I Turn on My SuperNES only to Learn I have Red Ring Phobia on: December 12, 2007, 01:36:09 AM
I still own about 15 games for my Super Nintendo system, and periodically I will go back and replay some of my favorite games. Tonight I pulled the system out to play Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and I had a strange epiphany. I have never, not once, worried about the system breaking down. In fact, I've always imagined myself revisiting a few of these games decades down the line whenever nostalgia overcomes me.

I suddenly thought of my Xbox 360 , and how I just don't trust the system. At all. I absolutely love the console, but whenever the system hiccups or stutters I feel a slight uneasiness in my stomach. Every time I do a software update and hear the system make that abrupt restart, I wince. I'm not even certain it is worthwhile to collect Xbox 360 games, because I just can't see any revision being truly rock solid when I want to power it up 5, 10 or 20 years from now.And I've only had ONE RRoD. I can't even imagine the paranoia lurking in the hearts of gamers who have gone through 4 or 5 systems already.

Yesterday I received my PS3 from Amazon, and for the first time I've had the 360 and PS3 sitting side-by-side. The disparity between the two systems is immense, and stands to highlight that Sony is still a hardware company at its core, while MS is still best at software as seen by the striking superiority of Live. The PS3 is ultra quite, generates very little heat, and just feels more substantial.  Meanwhile, my Falcon version of the Xbox 360 is still relatively loud and does a nice job of warming up my living room on these cold winter nights.

And I know I'm not alone. A few weeks ago my friend burned out his second 360 in 10 months. He has now vowed to buy most multi-platform titles on the PS3, which is quite a departure for him since he hates the PS3 controller as much as I do.

I find it somewhat strange that turning on my SuperNES made me slightly bitter toward Microsoft and their lack of due diligence. I want to turn on my Xbox 360 in 10 years and replay some of my favorite gaming moments. It is a shame that I feel like I'll need to search Ebay for a replacement in order to do so. Meanwhile, I'm certain my Super Nintendo will still be chugging along.
2100  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The rpg/fps on: December 12, 2007, 12:23:04 AM
I just hope their website isn't a reflection of the game's English translation:

There are screenshots of "Precursors" in this section of galery. The section always renewing, so take look into it frequently.

There is set of art in this section. Share about it.

 icon_eek icon_eek
2101  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Amazon December Sale- Buy 40GB PS3 Get BR Remote & Stranglehold CE Free on: December 09, 2007, 01:07:11 AM

Quote from: Calvin on December 08, 2007, 11:32:41 PM

I think the gimp no PS2 BC 40gb version is a total waste of a SKU, but otherwise it seems a good value.

Although I understand both perspectives on this issue, you can buy a dedicated PS2 for the same price as a PS3 with backwards compatibility. Why put PS2 gaming mileage on a $500 console when you can just have a PS2? Unless you are hurting for space, of course. Put another way, if you rely on PS3 BC and your system dies, you can't play ANY games. With a dedicated PS2 and PS3 you can still get your groove on if one piece of hardware pulls a 360 on you.  smile

There are a number of ways to look at the situation. I don't think you can go wrong choosing either route.
2102  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any Recommendations for a 3rd Party PS3 controller? on: December 08, 2007, 09:55:11 PM
I've never liked the Playstation controller, so I'm looking for an alternative. I'd love to see a company release a gamepad with the analog sticks staggered like those on the Xbox 360, but I know that will forever be a fantasy.

I'm considering the Logitech Cordless Precision Controller. Has anyone used this controller, or perhaps its PS2 brethren in the past? Any better choices out there?

I'm also looking at the new Thrustmaster Run and Drive controller:
2103  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Amazon December Sale- Buy 40GB PS3 Get BR Remote & Stranglehold CE Free on: December 08, 2007, 09:31:44 PM
Amazon has begun their Video game "10 deals in 10 days" promotion

Currently you can get a 40Gb PS3 with a free BR remote, the Spider-Man 3 pack-in, and the Collector's Edition of the game Stranglehold (which includes the movie Hard Boiled) for $399. As usual, shipping is free and no taxes. Also remember that you can get 5 free Blu-Ray movies via the ongoing mail-in promotion.

Stranglehold is a relatively entertaining game albeit somewhat mindless. A few of the levels are exceptionally fun, however. For those of you with an Xbox 360, you can try the demo. If you don't like the game you can always get about $35-$40 for it via resale. A fairly good deal overall. With the money you save on taxes, you can even grab the extended 2 year warranty for $29:

I decided to jump on the deal. I had alot of fun during the hour I spent playing Stranglehold at my friend's house. And I highly doubt the two games I REALLY want (Uncharted and Eye of Judgment) will be offered as part of a promotion.
2104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Culdcept Saga demo on: December 05, 2007, 12:04:09 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 04, 2007, 07:55:26 PM

Quote from: The Grue on December 04, 2007, 07:51:15 PM

Why are we arguing this whole silver/gold thing?  It isn't like the demo will never come out for silver members.  Everyone will get to play it.  The people who subscribe to the XBox magazine got it even earlier.  Should gold members bitch?  This game will not be out for a few months, I believe, so everyone will have plenty of time to play it.
... But even though Live has the little advertising windows, going Gold exclusive doesn't really give Namco any benefits that aren't outweighed by the fact that a certain portion of 360 owners are cut off from the demo now and may or may not be aware when it becomes "unlocked" later.

As far as releasing a demo this far out- that's a mistake too IMO and one of many that has been made on Culdcept since it's initial horrendously buggy Japanese release. 

I agree that releasing the demo this far out is probably a poor decision. For some potential borderline purchasers, you run the risk of having the game disappear off their radar before it is ever released.

Also, in response to Purge, I have no problem with Gold members being able to download their demos slightly earlier than Silver members. Give paying customers 72 hours to grab their demo before the Silver hordes devour the resources. I won't become a Gold member because my experience during the trial period was awful. It seemed like I was a magnet for every dysfunctional teenager that had to scream, yell, use profanity or whine whenever things didn't go his way. I did have a few good experiences, but they were outweighed by a ratio of about 4 to 1.
2105  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Culdcept Saga demo on: December 04, 2007, 01:37:13 PM

Quote from: EddieA on December 04, 2007, 01:02:39 PM

A demo for Culdcept Saga is up on XBox Live now.  It's restricted to Gold members for some reason, so I can't check it out.

That is total bullsh!t. A niche game trying to make their potential player base even more niche? What Einstein came up with that idea?
2106  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: My Prediction: Wii Sells Even Less than the Gamecube on: November 27, 2007, 04:29:45 AM
I didn't start this thread. My predictions are always correct. Which one of you rat bastards was posting under my user name back in 2006?! 
2107  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 9/07) on: November 26, 2007, 04:02:43 AM
+1 to Vinda-Lou. Game arrived in excellent condition.
2108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: This is the Way Customer Service Should Be on: November 26, 2007, 03:52:17 AM

Quote from: Ridah on November 26, 2007, 03:20:00 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on November 26, 2007, 03:11:15 AM

Quote from: Ridah on November 26, 2007, 01:39:01 AM

I thought you could tell a Falcon unit if it had HDMI output?

they started putting HDMI outputs on the non-elite 360's before they started putting out the Falcon.

But as far as the non-elite systems go only the Falcon models have HDMI, no?

From what I've read at other forums, several runs of HDMI enabled non-elite systems are still non-falcons.
2109  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FT: (360) Marvel Ultimate Alliance/Forza Motorsport 2 Combo on: November 26, 2007, 02:19:09 AM
Both of these games came bundled with my new 360. I've already played them, so I'm looking for a trade. The games are in perfect condition, with manuals, and are bundled in one case. Both games are very entertaining, and to be clear you receive BOTH games for one of the titles listed below:

Looking for:

Galactic Assault
NWN 2 w/expansion
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Panzer Tactics DS
Dragon Quest: MJ

SOCOM: Tactical Strike
D&D Tactics

Wild ARMS 5

Mass Effect (would like a copy for my nephew)
Blacksite: Area 51

2110  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: This is the Way Customer Service Should Be on: November 26, 2007, 01:32:36 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on November 26, 2007, 12:44:49 AM

A little off topic, but what on the box details it as a Falcon system?

You apparently need all three of the following:

lot 0734 or later
Team: FDOU
Then you need something manufactured after 8/19/2007 (?)  I'm trying to remember that date from my discussion earlier this morning.
2111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / This is the Way Customer Service Should Be on: November 26, 2007, 12:25:03 AM
As mentioned in my previous topic, my Xbox 360 died while playing Mass Effect. I couldn't find my extended warranty receipt through Gamestop, but I went back to a local store hoping they could help me out. After making an extended phone call to some corporate help line, the store manager informed me that my extended warranty expired several days ago. I thanked him for his help, and mentioned that at least I could still get a replacement through MS.

The manager hesitated for a moment, and then mentioned how he knows I'm a regular customer, and that he would hate to see me put through the hassle of dealing with a repair center. He asked me to wait a moment, grabbed his phone, and called his district manager. I heard him mention that I've always been a courteous and faithful customer, and he asked if there is anything that can be done to assist me.

The conversation between them lasted for about two or three minutes, and then the store manager smiled and gave me the thumbs up.
After hanging up the phone he says "Since the warranty just expired, and since we appreciate your business, the District Manager said he would leave the decision up to me if I want to make the exchange. Let me grab you a new system."

Not only did he spend a half hour troubleshooting my problem, but then he even went out of his way to check the box labeling of all 5 of his Xbox systems to make sure I got the new Falcon version. So now I'm the proud owner of a brand new Falcon system with an HDMI input (unlike my old system), along with the included copies of Forza and Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

It looks like customer service is still alive and well in some GameStop stores. I'll be certain to give this guy more of my business since I can now happily play Mass Effect without waiting several weeks.
2112  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect-I'm Cursed. CURSED I tell You! on: November 25, 2007, 03:39:18 PM

Quote from: Misguided on November 25, 2007, 02:03:09 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on November 24, 2007, 03:47:33 AM

BTW, I bought an extended warranty at EBGames last year when I purchased the console in November 2006. I just can't find my warranty receipt to verify what DAY in November I made the purchase. I'm assuming Gamestop will have this warranty in their database? Correct?

If you can't find the receipt, they can track down the warranty info (via phone) based on your serial number.
It can take a little while, especially this time of year, but it can certainly be done.
Giving them as much info as possible will help.
For instance, if you're sure it was November '06 that will be a big help.
Also, knowing which store it was purchased at will be very helpful.

Thanks for the info. I know the store and the month, so hopefully I won't make their job too difficult. I'm praying that I'm not outside my extended warranty window. If I am it is only by a few days or weeks and that would be frustrating. I'd still be covered by MS, but I don't want to wait through the process or end up with a refurbished unit.
2113  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings [DS] on: November 25, 2007, 05:28:51 AM
I can't get into the game at all. Combat is far too easy, the graphics are somewhat lackluster, and the overall ambiance is more childish than I anticipated. Might be worth admission at $19.99, but definitely not at full price.
2114  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mass Effect-I'm Cursed. CURSED I tell You! on: November 24, 2007, 05:14:09 AM

Quote from: gellar on November 24, 2007, 04:27:51 AM

* gellar puts on his tinfoil hat.

2115  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Mass Effect-I'm Cursed. CURSED I tell You! on: November 24, 2007, 03:47:33 AM
5 minutes into Mass Effect I got my first Xbox 360 failure. I'm disappointed because this is the game I've been waiting all year to play.

Luckily it is of the "three ring" variety so I'll be fine. Anyway, I called up my friend and told him about my bad luck. He graciously invited me over to join him in playing Mass Effect at his house. 30 minutes into the game his Xbox 360 gives him three red lights. We've dubbed our misfortune the the "Mass Effect Effect".  It also goes by the term "The Kevin Grey Karma Ripple", as he was the last person I poked fun at who had this exact same problem.

BTW, I bought an extended warranty at EBGames last year when I purchased the console in November 2006. I just can't find my warranty receipt to verify what DAY in November I made the purchase. I'm assuming Gamestop will have this warranty in their database? Correct?

Oh, and to any of you playing Mass Effect-----> A plague of locusts upon you!

2116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Place Your Bets! Will He Get the House Loan! on: November 18, 2007, 08:48:46 PM
Well I had a chance to speak to him today, and I backed out of the bet based upon what was said here. No sense in losing $100 if the odds seem stacked against me.  icon_cry

Yesterday and this morning he was out talking to the builders in his area, and it seems like they really want to lower their inventory on homes ASAP. A second builder was willing to lower one of their inventory townhomes from $175,000 to $156,000. I asked him if part of the reason for buying a home was to eventually get an equity loan and pay down his credit cards. He mentioned that his three reasons were: 1) He'd prefer to get some equity as opposed to throwing away so much money every month. 2) Pay off his credit cards 3) They want to have a child within the next two years, and he really wants a "home" instead of just a "place to hang a hat".

I'm still guessing that his MAIN reason is the credit cards, and I told him it might to wise to speak to a financial planner first before locking into a home. Unfortunately the builder seems to have gotten it into his head that since the townhome price has been dropped by $19,000 he will already be in good shape toward getting an equity loan in the near future. The area he is looking at is growing at a healthy rate, but it just seems like the math is too simple there.

I do see his frustration at paying such high interest rates. He told me today he has $21,000 in credit card debt at 19%-25% interest rates. This was mostly due to medical expenses related to his car accident. By getting a home equity loan he believes he would actually end up having moderately lower monthly payments which he could roll back into the loan's principle. It just seems TOO easy to me, and I'd hate to see him get burned. Who knows what these appraisers will do, and it seems like everyone I know complains about their property taxes rising significantly every year.

In any event, he is one of my closest friends so I really hope he makes a calm, rational decision. I'm ashamed to say that for selfish reasons I hope he backs out.  The area he would be moving to is 35 miles further away from my house, and I'd really miss our gaming sessions and spontaneous dinners that occurred two or three evenings a week.
2117  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3]Uncharted:Drakes Fortune on: November 18, 2007, 12:37:59 AM

Quote from: Pharaoh on November 17, 2007, 11:34:10 PM

As the end credits roll, I have to say, Naughty Dog really fucked up the second half with this one. They really got close.

They crafted a beautiful game, with a decent combat mechanic, but they royally fucked up the plot and pacing as the game moves forward. What starts as a great Indiana Jones esqe treasure hunt quickly devolves into literally running around in circles in the island, fighting respawning waves of troops who never are explained how they got there or why. Every step you make in the game, the waves of mobs are always there too, even to the point of ruining both the climax and epilogue. The end boss "level" is absolutely punishing, not rewarding the player for skill or tactics, but rather just a trial and error gunfight clusterfuck with too few savepoints.

And always succumbs to the worst fucking story crutch in the history of gaming. Nazis. Oh no, not just the cool sub in the middle of the gets worse.

First Half of the Game - 9.5
Second Half of Game - 8.5 - 1.0 from Tears of being let down = 7.5

Overall = I want a sequel from a real writer, less stupid combat, more puzzles and great cutscenes.

What is it with developers ruining the later parts of their games? Uncharted, Assassin's Creed, Vampire: The Masquerade, Gears of War, etc.  I can name  so many games that start out with wonderful pacing, and then end with waves of enemies, a disintegrating storyline,  and/or obscenely hard bosses.

2118  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3]Uncharted:Drakes Fortune on: November 17, 2007, 09:16:41 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on November 17, 2007, 06:08:28 AM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on November 17, 2007, 04:22:49 AM

All the enthusiasm sent me out looking at several reviews, and unfortunately, they all seem to mention the same problem that's been plaguing all the good PS3 releases: they're really short.  I value quality over quantity just like the next gamer, but when games like Heavenly Sword can be played from start to finish over a casual weekend, it's hard to justify a $60 price tag.
-Autistic Angel

Er, PS3 releases?  Welcome to next gen, period.  Call of Duty 4 was only 6-7 hours whether you played it on 360 or PS3 (albeit an awesome 6-7 hours).  Gears of War took me about 7-8 hours and one hour of that was the stupid final boss.  Most of the reviews I've seen for Uncharted mention 8-10 hours which is frankly the norm for most next gen titles and isn't even considered short anymore. 

Also, R&C Future was 12-15 hours which is "long" these days. 

I don't want to derail the thread too much, but as I've become older and gained more responsibilities, I've discovered that I really prefer my games to be tightly woven, shorter experiences. I've noticed that once I reach hour 7-8 in an FPS, or hour 20-25 in a JRPG, I'm usually burned out on the game. There just seems to be too much filler or reused elements if gameplay exceeds these timeframes.

Several years ago, I used to look at a JRPG and loved to see the words "over 80 hours of gameplay!". Now when I see those same words I'm cynically thinking about the 40 hours of that gameplay centered upon mindless grinding or boring recipe collection.

Taken another way (for you JRPG fans) I have passed the point in my life where I'm even willing to consider the thought of recruiting all 108 Stars of destiny in a Suikoden game.
2119  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Atlus supporting the 360 now on: November 17, 2007, 09:02:07 PM

Quote from: EddieA on November 17, 2007, 08:58:13 PM

In addition to The Last Remnant (which is for 360 and PS3), Square Enix also has the 360-exclusive Infinite Undiscovery.  There's also Star Ocean 4, but they haven't announced its platform yet.

A next-gen Persona would be shweet.
Atlus announced a few months ago that they are working on a Persona game for the PS3.

Now that Atlus is supporting the Xbox 360, maybe Persona will find a way over to Satan's console.....
2120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Place Your Bets! Will He Get the House Loan! on: November 17, 2007, 08:38:33 PM

Quote from: gellar on November 17, 2007, 08:27:11 PM

Quote from: pr0ner on November 17, 2007, 08:22:04 PM

I would say it depends on the type of loan they're after.  Also, all that debt plus their credit score means their interest rate will be terrible.

Yep... can they get a loan?  Probably... but it's gonna suck hard.  It's certainly not a loan I'd want.

Here's a tip regarding home buying, folks.  Your house is not going to appreciate further than your credit card interest rates are running.  PAY THOSE FIRST, THEN CONSIDER HOUSE.


Gah, it isn't looking good for me. My nephew is a loan officer, and he thinks they'll probably get a loan, but somewhere around 7.xx percent.

Truthfully, even though I'm betting against him I do hope he gets what he wants. I can see his point to some extent. He hates paying so much for rent when he could be gaining equity in a home for the same expenditure. Also, another of our mutual friends has an interior design business, and he said he would install hard wood floors and other upgrades at cost. I'm guessing after a couple years he would reappraise and take out an equity loan to pay off all his credit cards. I'm guessing this, he never actually stated it. But I saw one of his card statements and it was outrageous-- $7,000 balance at 24.99%. He said he missed a payment by two days, and the card went from 1.2% to 24.99%. OUCH!

Still, I don't know...I just looked at the market and for a 30 year fixed it is 6.24%. If he gets charged slightly over 7% that seems like rape to me. I told him to keep renting. No lawn care, broken items are fixed for free, move whenever you want, etc, etc....

Of course, I know little about home purchasing or the market. I just need to decide by tomorrow if I should place my bet. smile
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