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2201  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I have 3 ways to Buy an Xbox 360? Which is the way to go? on: October 22, 2006, 02:30:48 AM
Yay! My insurance company has begun paying me back for my stolem items. One of the things I'm going to re-purchase is the Xbox 360. Considering all of the hardware issues, I want an extended warranty. Which way should I go when making the purchase?

Option 1- Amazon.com

$399.99
No Tax
No Shipping charge
Free copy of Dead Rising ($49 value)
Microsoft 2 year extended warranty: $60
TOTAL= $459.99

Option 2- EB GAMES
System $399.99
Tax $31.00
1 Year extended warranty $49.99
TOTAL=$480.98

Option 3- Costco
System $399.99
Membership to Costco (Acts as an extended warranty? I would probably also use the membership to but my PSP and Microsoft Zune) $50
Tax $31.00
TOTAL=$480.99

Basically, by going through Amazon I get Dead Rising plus the system for $20 less than the other two options, but I would be using MS to service the system if it crashed. EB and Costco are a wash, but I suppose buying the Zune and PSP at Costco throws extra warranties on these items also.
2202  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: WOW! Devil Summoner [ps2] looks AMAZING! on: October 13, 2006, 12:13:36 AM
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Oh crap.  The one thing I was afraid of when I heard about this was that the battle system sounded like it was very limited.  If you are going to do an action game, do an action game (DMC 3 or fighting game for examples).  To have just 'keep hitting x, then once in a while hit triangle' (ie Shining Force Neo) combat sucks.  It completely sucks the fun out of the game.

I'm of the exact opposite philosophy. The LAST thing I want in an RPG, even an action RPG, is the need to learn complex combo attacks and precision timing. If I wanted that I'd go buy Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden or God of War. This is an RPG with action elements, so I think the old adage KISS (keep it simple stupid) applies.

My only disappointment with the game is how combat often takes place within the city environments. I'm acclimated to these areas always being safehavens. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it really is somewhat jarring to be attacked on a city street in broad daylight, and after the battle see everyone just walking around as usual.
2203  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Chaos League becoming one of those "Rare" titles. on: October 12, 2006, 09:47:06 PM
Don't forget about the Sudden Death expansion pack.
2204  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My townhome was broken into this morning. 360 and other items stolen. on: October 10, 2006, 04:16:26 AM
Quote
I think, given how you describe what happened, that the 'thief' may have been looking for your gf

The more I think about it, the more I fear this may be true. The main reason I'm starting to buy into this line of thought is that the first floor still had an HDTV, iRiver MP3 player, stereo, palm, and DVD player that were never touched. Three of these four things are easily portable by one person. Why even chance going upstairs when there is still $2000 of electronics within eyeshot?
2205  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Office XP Professional for $55 shipped. on: October 09, 2006, 10:17:23 PM
I have a copy of Microsoft Office XP Professional w/Powerpoint, Word, Excel and Access for sale via Paypal.

All discs are brand new and never opened. They are complete, full versions of MS software, just branded as "Student Media". These are NOT trial versions. They come in plastic sealed bags with all the appropriate keys. 

The software will be sent to you with delivery confirmation. I'm asking for $55.  I'd really love to sell these to someone who is looking to build a new system or upgrade their own. Lockdown gets first dibs if he wants this set, but otherwise it is open season.

Thanks!
2206  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My townhome was broken into this morning. 360 and other items stolen. on: October 09, 2006, 10:01:40 PM
Quote
That was my thought after hearing about the GF giving the tours alone.  I would suspect they thought they would only be encoutering a female, with all that entails.

I never even considered this, but you could be correct. The room he was about to enter upstairs is my girlfriend's room. (We usually sleep together in the master bedroom, but she sometimes sleeps in the smaller room so that she doesn't disturb me when she needs to wake up in the morning.) Needless to say, she won't be giving any more tours.


Today I learned that if you simply tug on our townhome's glass sliding door the lock unlatches with no damage. You don't even need to put your $%#$ weight into it. I went over to my neighbor's townhome, and his lock is the same way. We did a quick experiment and I broke into his kitchen in 3 seconds by tugging on the door. It merely feels like the door is stuck for a second and then in immediately unlatches. His eyes were as big as saucers when he saw how quickly I got into his place. What's the point of even putting a lock like this on a door? Aesthetics?


2207  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My townhome was broken into this morning. 360 and other items stolen. on: October 07, 2006, 04:14:45 AM
I have a friend who works in the city's police force, but he was not on duty yesterday. This evening he stopped by my house to see how I was doing. He already knew what happened (I'm assuming at the shift start briefing) and he agreed with most of you here that to continue chasing the thief outside was not a good idea because:

1) Most of the home invasions/thefts in our area involve two to three individuals. One or two do most of the heavy lifting while another acts as a sentry. He said that most likely there were two people in my house, but I never saw the second person because he or she evacuated while I was still upstairs. If they regrouped while I was in pursuit, I may have been caught in a very dangerous situation.

2) If I had caught up to the thief and used the sword, I would most likely be involved in a very messy civil suit. If I injured him I could be sued. Even if I killed him his family could still take everything I own in a lawsuit since he had already fled from my property. Strangely, the fact that I have renter's insurance could at that point actually be a liability because there was no good reason to give chase, since everything that was stolen would be replaced.
2208  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My townhome was broken into this morning. 360 and other items stolen. on: October 06, 2006, 09:10:20 PM
New addition to the event:

Taking some of the advice here, I ran down to EB and Gamestop and give them the serial number of my system. I just got back and when I arrive home I see that my damned front door is slightly OPEN. The first thing that ran through my mind was "I can't believe the fucker is back again." I go out to my car, get a tire iron, feel my pulse rising, have my finger on 911 SEND, and rush in expecting to be vindicated. Instead I find a maintenance man putting a new screen door on the back of the house, along with a new bar-lock that holds the sliding door shut.

My first words to him once I realize that the landlord had sent him over:  "Damn, I can't tell if I'm happy or pissed to see you." 

He looks at the tire iron. "I'd prefer it if you were happy."

I'm surprised to see how quickly my landlord has responded to the incident. They changed the screen, gave me a locking bar, increased the wattage of the bulb in the back lamp, and put a better lock on the sliding door. Now I wish he'd just let me know if I could buy a dog. As I mentioned before they are not allowed here, but I've had dogs all my life. I'm personally partial to German Shepherds.

<edit> Looking back, rushing into the house was not very wise. For all I know, the thief could have realized that I saw his face, and was coming back to fix that messy detail. It is a longshot, but stranger things have happened.
2209  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My townhome was broken into this morning. 360 and other items stolen. on: October 06, 2006, 07:31:03 PM
What really upsets me is my perspective on the issue. Instead of being grateful for being alive and unhurt, I'm livid that they got away with about $1000 in electronics. My mind refuses to let me center on the positive side of the scenario. I should be repeating the mantra "I'm alive, I'm unhurt and most of my stuff is intact."  I don't even feel violated,which is everyone's usual question. I'm just furious over my material losses.
2210  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / My townhome was broken into this morning. 360 and other items stolen. on: October 06, 2006, 07:05:37 PM
I could really use some advice from you guys about something terrible that happened to me at about 2:00AM this morning. I live in a two-story townhome, and at midnight I went to take a nap in the master bedroom on the second floor. About 2 hours later, for a reason I still don't understand, I suddenly woke up.  With my head still on the pillow, I looked into the hallway because my door was partially ajar. In front of our second bedroom a man was slowly opening the door to the guest bedroom.

For a few brief seconds I felt like I was in some type of dream state as I watched him cautiously slide the door open. That was quickly followed by an immediate wave of fear which quickly turned into anger. I shouted out at the guy and stumbled out of bed detangling myself from the blankets. At this point I remembered that I have one of those ornamental "Way of the Samurai" samurai swords from the Franklin Mint on the bedroom wall. I grabbed it and he was already running down the steps to the bottom floor.

At this point I chased after him, but a thousand thoughts started running through my mind, the primary one being that he may not be alone. I slowed down at the bottom of the stairs, turned the corner, and saw him bolting toward the back sliding door of my townhome. I shouted again and then he turned to look at me and started to slow down.  I'm not sure if he was disoriented, frightened, or was thinking about attacking me since he wasn't wearing a mask and I'd seen his face twice now, albeit in partial darkness.  After a brief moment he reoriented and then bolted out the back sliding door. I chased him out the threshold trailing about 15-20 feet behind him.

Our backyard (unfenced) sits against a farmer's field. He ran into the dried corn husks. It is pitch black in the back of our house so visibility is very poor, but I got the distinct impression that there were two people moving together through the field. Despite the fact that I had this admittedly blunt sword in my hand, I was feeling scared all over again. I moved back into the house. I called 911, the call dropped once,  and the second attempt a woman stayed on the line with me until two police units arrived within 5 minutes. They had a few other officers moving through the corn field with flashlights, but according to them it looked like the person(s) doubled back. The police took fingerprints from my entertainment center and doors, so I'm hoping they turn out to be helpful.

Three worrisome points:

1) The officer thinks the theft was possibly done by a neighbor in the college townhome complex. His reasoning is that I interrupted the burglary, but no stolen items were piled against the back door. This can be a sign of a "train" where the thief and/or his partner move things to a nearby house as they rob you. (Cars cannot access the back area, and the townhomes are in a long connected chain that basically bars a person from going to the front of the homes.) One other possibility is that one of the people we  brought through our townhome as we tried to sublet it was there strictly to case our house in order to rob it later.

2) They also believe that the person may have been "prepared" for violence, but I managed to catch him by surprise. I guess ordinarily when a thief sees a car in the driveway he will stay on the bottom level of the townhome unit away from the upstairs sleeping bedrooms. The fact that he went upstairs, at the very least, implies he is bolder than many thieves.

3) I offered to give the police the phone numbers and names of the people who came to view our place for the sublet, because according to my girlfriend two of them closely match the description I gave the police. (My girlfriend gave the tour alone. The police asked me to call her because one of her purses was lying on the floor open and they wanted to know if she had credit cards or money in the purse. She is currently staying at her sister's home 4 days a week until we are able to sublet because her commute is so long. She was not here for the incident) Surprisingly, the officer declined to take the information. I felt like they were not taken the situation as seriously as I expected.



Items stolen:

Xbox 360 Premium (and everything with it)
PSP
A few DVDs
My entertainment center is also damaged.


I'm so angry because as I replay the event in my head I feel like I should have done more. I should have pursued him relentlessly, moved faster, creeped up behind him...something. But everything happened so fast, and even with the adrenaline I felt like I was in some sort of dream. Still, I can't help but feel that I somehow fucked up. Every time I think of this bastard using my electronics it enrages me. I hope to God he gets a red light of death within an hour of using the system for which I now have a useles @#$# warranty.

I'm HOPING my renter's insurance covers my loss. The back screen door was torn open, but the glass door showed no clear signs of forced entry. If my insurance uses that as some form of technicality to refuse payment, I think I'll lose it. I don't have alot of money at the moment and I'm trying to save up for an engagement ring. Rebuying the 360 and its accessories would be especially painful. One final problem is that my girlfriend ABSOLUTLEY refuses to live here anymore, especially since I work on second shift. I'm not sure what we can do about our living arrangement because the lease is until next July. I can't buy her a dog because they are not allowed in our complex.

A few quick questions for you all (and this is how it relates to console gaming smile )

1) Is there any way to track the hardware serial numbers of an xbox system via Live?
2) Does EBGames track serial numbers of items reported as stolen before offering trade-in value?
3) Does anyone know how often a thief will attempt to second try a home after a thwarted encounter? He clearly knows that there is still an HDTV, DVD player and computer for the taking.


Thanks
2211  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Kill me now please on: September 29, 2006, 10:21:07 AM
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I might shop at costco if there were one within 150 miles of here.  Kinda like fry's in that way.  Hate seeing all the bargains/deals that I can't follow up on.


I feel yor pain on the Fry's store. There is one just far enough away from my house to ruin the cost savings by driving out to it. You know how they usually release new games for $10 under the MSRP? Well, it costs me $8 in gas to reach the store. Factor in time lost and it isn't worth the drive. Every time I buy a game at EB for $49, I irrationally feel like I'm getting screwed because it is $39 at Fry's. <sigh>
2212  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Paraworld Impressions on: September 29, 2006, 03:51:59 AM
Thank you for the review, Kobra. By any chance, can you pause and issue commands in this game?
2213  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Kill me now please on: September 29, 2006, 03:32:39 AM
Quote
Oh this just keeps getting better and better.  I called on the 25th of September.  They didn't process my repair request until the 27th and now I won't get my box until October 2nd, that is one week from the time I called in the repair.  This is so incredibly frustrating.

Quote
So she transfers me to some guy who speaks english as a second language.

"Sir... how can I help you"

"You can transfer me to your supervisor, because I already know you can't help me"

"But sir, I am a supervisor"

"I know, and you are powerless to help me, I already have been told, so escalate me to the next level, I want to speak with someone higher up the ladder"

"I can't do that sir, we aren't allowed to transfer you to our supervisors, we have to put a case in the system, and THEY will call YOU."


I understand the frustration you are going through. I honestly do. But you need to put this in perspective. It is only a gaming system. They have agreed to replace it. (yes, I understand, AGAIN)  Two days to process a return is actually a swift turnaround. You have a weekend wedged in there which extended your delivery date. That is not Microsoft's fault, it is the UPS business model. You ask for a supervisor, get your request fulfilled, and then immediately brush him off. They offer to have HIS superior call you and it isn't good enough. In most cases, Manager level individuals are not standing around to field calls over a $400 problem. They deal with strategic priorites and high ticket customers, and if every CSR or supervisor called them out of a Six Sigma meeting to resolve an issue for Joe XYZ, the department would come to a grinding halt. That isn't to say that your complaint is not important, it simply means you need to wait. There are other customers of a higher priority than you or me , because they spent $40,000 rather than $400. When I worked for Motorola and I received a call from customer Sarah Beckmen and a different call from Ameritech, I'm sure you can guess who got my attention first. I truly wanted to solve both issues, but prioritization is the name of the game.

You won't have a leg to stand on with the BBB because this isn't an issue of fraud, negligence or non-communication. People think that when they call the BBB and receive a response from the company with which they have a dispute that it was the work of the BBB. In most cases that isn't even true. Despite BBB claims that they contact a company within 2 days, it is usually closer to 3 or 4 days. Then the company has 14 days to respond to the first BBB request. If there is no response, a SECOND request is made followed by another 14 day wait. When you get a call from the company the day after filing a complaint, it is usually because you happened to come up in the company's CSR queue- NOT because some thugs at the BBB strong-armed the ACME Corporation.

Also, the Better Business Bureau is much less intimidating to multinational corporations than most people understand. Again, I sympathize with your frustration. You worked hard for your money and deserve a product of a specific quality threshold.  But it isn't like the piece of machinery that needs repair is the car that drives you to work to put food on the table. Read a book for a week or so. They ARE trying to help you.

This is also why you should own multiple gaming platforms.  smile
2214  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone game on a 23" HDTV? on: September 28, 2006, 10:40:56 PM
corruptrelic:

That Phillips set you linked to is the exact same model that jblank mentioned in an earlier link. smile  It is a decent set for the price point, but if you can hold out an get another $100, you can do much better.
2215  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Anyone game on a 23" HDTV? on: September 28, 2006, 10:33:45 PM
Follow the advice of jblank and others here. Waiting another 30 days is much better than regretting your purchase 6 months from now. I'm Mister Instant Gratification, but I FORCED myself to postpone my purchase until I could afford the Sony SuperFine Pitch HDTV (the last run of their finest CRT models). It was a hellish wait, but I'm pleased with the results.

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Just remember that on an HDTV, regular tv actually looks worse than on a standard-def set.  So if you have cable but it isn't digital with HD delivery, watching regular tv will be a bit disappointing.

This is absolutely true. Regular TV and cable take a significant hit on an HDTV set. Even DVDs tend to look somewhat worse. The flaws are much more easily seen.
2216  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria impressions on: September 28, 2006, 07:49:24 PM
From everything I've read in forums, newsgroups and reviews, unless you performed numerous sidequests or spent most battles defeating the leader to gain extra experience, you are absolutely forced into power-levelling.
2217  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Baten Kaitos : Origins on: September 25, 2006, 01:44:28 AM
After I read a couple reviews saying that combat is slightly faster than the first game, I knew I was out. In the later portion of Baten Kaitos, there just wasn't enough time to properly choose cards. I lost more than one battle because I ran out of time, even though I had the correct cards available to make a devastating attack. You simply couldn't properly scan your entire hand to choose the best attack.
2218  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I want to play through all the major PSX RPG's on: September 25, 2006, 01:39:53 AM
Legend of Dragoon was a fun game. It had an interesting battle mechanic, and exceptional FMV for its time. It is better than 10 or 12 titles on your current list.
2219  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I want to play through all the major PSX RPG's on: September 24, 2006, 10:36:11 PM

I agree that you should keep us all posted on the progress of your crazy-insane mission. Details, man, details!
2220  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I want to play through all the major PSX RPG's on: September 24, 2006, 09:32:04 PM
Legend of Dragoon

Legend of Mana

Wild ARMS 2

Breath of Fire IV

Legend of Legaia









2221  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Will Console Microtransactions Hurt Gaming? on: September 24, 2006, 04:08:33 AM
Do any of you think that the new trend toward Microtransactions will have negative consequences for gaming? I cannot help but feel that we've opened a Pandora's Box with the introduction of this new sales method.

-Developer's will become increasingly pressured internally and by publishers to leave content out of games, so that a series of micro-content can be added later.  In my paranoid mind I had a terrible vision:  Once Activision announced that they successfully sold $1 million dollars of additional add-on maps for Call of Duty 2, I suddenly envisioned developers across the globe pulling quests out of RPGs, weapons and maps out of FPS, and cars and tracks out of racing games. They quietly gutted their games and then made nice, long lists of additional content, terming it as "gameplay enhancers".

-Used games will become less valuable because much of the content will not be on the game disc.

-People who don't have Internet or broadband connections will be forced into the position of playing crippled games.

These are just a few of the problems I recognize with microtransactions. Does anyone know if you can freely re-download a past transaction if your hard drives fails? Can you transfer them to other systems?

2222  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted Arms First Impressions on: September 23, 2006, 10:08:03 PM
Quote
A pet peeve with combat:

At this juncture (about 70% of the way through) it is far less common to end combat in one round. I've had fights extended a number of times recently because I wasn't careful enough about the combo bars. I launch an attack to get a front rank guy out of the way, then unload on the one in back, only to have a combo attack give the one in the back cover long after the meat shield would have been toast, otherwise. It should be avoidable most of the time with a bit more care, but it can happen at inopportune times.

I refuse to put any weight behind the words of someone with the name "misguided".  smile
2223  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Why we game (Okami related) on: September 23, 2006, 06:38:05 AM
Gratch, I've definitely become more discriminating as I've gotten older. I think the reason for this is equal parts burnout, time deficiency, and the realization that my REAL life was passing me by. In my closet I had over 150 games that I purchased but never got a chance to play. There actually came a point recently when I found myself stressing and purposely speeding through a game so that I could move on to the next one in my backlog. At that point I knew that it was time to re-evaluate my gaming habits:

-30 of those games fell into a mediocre category (Project:Snowblind, Evil Genius, Praetorians, C&C Generals, Europa Universalis 2 etc) and I packed them into a box and will probably just toss them out or sell the whole lot on e-bay for $20 or $30 dollars.

-Another 9 games don't play on Windows XP, so those get eliminated. I'm not about to hassle with compatibility issues.

-Some of my mediocre console titles got sent to Amazon or traded in at EB.

There are just too many consoles and too many titles coming out to even bother playing something that is not highly enjoyable. For me, gaming lost some of its magic simply because I was diluted my time with mediocre games or excellent titles that simply didn't hold my interest. But I felt compelled to play them because I spent my valuable money on them. Luckily I've broken that habit.

I'm pleased to see that you're finding several new releases to be so enjoyable.
2224  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Is it gay for a straight, white male to own a pink DS? on: September 23, 2006, 12:20:25 AM
Ever since I purchased my pink DS, I've found myself suddenly and increasingly attracted to men.
2225  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blue Dragon- New Xbox 360 RPG announced on: September 20, 2006, 08:45:13 PM
Quote
MS is funding Blue Dragon so I think that pretty much destoys any chances of a port.  Trust Bell maybe.

Interesting. I didn't know that. Is Lost Odyssey the same?
2226  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Blue Dragon- New Xbox 360 RPG announced on: September 20, 2006, 08:37:45 PM
I think one or both of these games will come to the PS3 eventually. Enchant Arms was published by MS in Japan so I assumed the PS3 would never see the game. Well, once Ubisoft acquired it for the United States they slapped the "only on xbox360" label onto the package and then prompttly announced a PS3 version. I have a feeling these games will follow suit. It would be a stupid move by Microsoft, but I don't think it is an impossibility.


Anyway, I'm pleased to see that the Xbox 360 is becoming the home of some wonderful RPGs:

Oblivion
Enchant Arms
Lost Odyssey
Mass Effect
Blue Dragon
2227  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Did _anyone_ get Dawn of War as a bonus... on: September 18, 2006, 11:15:26 PM
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Oh and whats wrong with returning worn items? I wore a pair of shoes LIGHTLY for a couple months, then returned it.  I had a good reason, the sole started splitting.  I think I am fully justified in a refund regardless of the fact I wore it, because there is no way in hell a reasonable pair of shoes should "Rip open" from casual wear after 2 months.  The markup on cloths is astounding anyway, I am sure it is factored into their 1100%  markups.. LOL

I have no problem when someone returns something of faulty quality. Shoes should last more than two months. I'm referring to the people who buy things to wear to a party and then bring them back. Or the people who decide, after a month of use, that they don't like the way the shirt fits. I know people who will purchase a portable DVD player from Best Buy for a plane or road trip, and then return it as defective when they arrive home.  Well, they've just created more costs for Toshiba over a piece of hardware that is actually in perfect working condition. Not cool.

2228  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Did _anyone_ get Dawn of War as a bonus... on: September 18, 2006, 07:00:50 PM
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So?  By law, they still have to honor it because it was sold on this premise, and many people purchased it under those conditions. It amounts to retail fraud "Bait and Switch" tactics, and is illegal.

Bait and Switch involves intent, which is difficult to prove and is probably not the case here. Also, the DoW add-in technically has zero value (as shown by the selling price of the publisher's UK version- remember this is not a GoGamer special, it is a publisher add-in unavailable for resale), so there is a gray area as to what they would really owe.

When I ordered I specifically asked for the UK edition in the comments, and my order was not shipped when the US release went live. I think GoGamer was just trying to get those preorders out fast.I understand your anger, but in the end I would be  angry at GoGamer AND Relic. Why the hell are US customers forced into this position? I do hope GoGamer addresses people's issues, but I don't think they have a legal need to do so.

Not referring to this case here, but I often feel little sympathy for the buying public. The amount of fraud, unjustified complaints, and theft companies must endure is unbelievable. A friend of mine manages an Ambercrombie and Fitch in Chicago. On any given weekend there are up to 100+ attempts at shoplifting. Then there are the people trying to return items they didn't even BUY at Abercrombie, and the people who try to return obviously worn items, and the people who....
2229  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Did _anyone_ get Dawn of War as a bonus... on: September 18, 2006, 06:15:59 AM
It really wasn't false advertising. It was confusion over the domestic CoH versus the UK import version.
2230  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rule of Rose = Atlus will publish on: September 18, 2006, 06:13:25 AM
I just finished the game. It had a fantastic ending that made up for the horrific combat.

Recommended if you are a Silent Hill fan.
2231  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hell has frozen over - I'm probably getting a PSP on: September 16, 2006, 05:32:55 PM
My buddy at EB gave me a demo of Killzone:Liberation. I'm happy to report that the controls work flawlessly. The only point I do not like is that in order to crouch you must hold the right trigger continuously. You cannot move and crouch at the same time.

The left trigger is a lock-on assist.
Circle is used to throw granades
Square is used to fire your weapon
X is used to interact sith sitches, boxes, etc.


One point I enjoyed is that the enemies do a fairly good job of using cover to their advantage, and an excellent job of using grenades to force you out of hiding. The camera is pulled back far enough to give you a significant view of the playable field. There was only one or two times when I was attacked by an adversary off-screen, but even then the bullets look like small tracers moving across the screen. If you move quickly enough there is time to avoid being hit by incoming fire, and it also lets you know from which direction the enemy is attacking.
2232  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rule of Rose = Atlus will publish on: September 15, 2006, 03:18:27 PM
I've played for another two hours and finally defeated the first boss. Combat is definitely the game's weakest point. Attacking an enemy is clumsy and slow. Often, camera angles force you into a position where you misjudge your attack timing. Luckily, almost all enemies can be avoided, and with the exception of certain instances, enemies disappear from that room after you run past them. This is definitely a positive point because you do alot of backtracking in Rule of Rose.

I believe the difficulty of the boss battles will depend heavily on the amount of time you invest in having Brown search for various items. Certain weapons and most of the health items are available only through discovery via Brown's "find" function.

Overall I'm enjoying the game as I continue to progress deeper into the storyline. My one disappointment is that the game is really not very frightening at all. Its becoming obvious that SCEA refused to publish Rule of Rose not because of the violence or intensity of the game, but rather because the story centered around children psychologically mistreating other children.

Overall, I'm moving the game up to a 7/10, but that is only for horror fans. Silent Hill, Fatal Frame and Resident Evil are much more polished and nail-biting entries into the genre, but Rule of Rose has a storyline that sets it apart from the pack.

2233  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Thursday's Wrap! on: September 15, 2006, 07:10:49 AM
It has been stripped from Ubisoft's North American release section, so I'm guessing the game has been blackbagged for the United States.
2234  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Thursday's Wrap! on: September 15, 2006, 03:47:56 AM
I'm an RPG hound. Is it worth importing Tales of Eternia from Amazon.UK, Dreamshadow? I assume it works on a US PSP?

In reference to your question, if this decision is to keep poor titles from entering the marketplace, they have done a horrific job. The PSP and DS have a large number of terrible games on their respective systems. Sony allows Rengoku II to hit the street, but not a Suikoden Compliation? That is just crazy insane.

I think the decision to limit these older games is based less upon quality restrictions, and more upon perceived disposable income. A flood of ported older titles would reduce the number of newly developed titles being purchased, and thus directly effect the number of new games being developed.
2235  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: $250 on: September 14, 2006, 08:03:51 AM
The should have launched the same day as Sony, so that all those parents who don't realize the P3 shortage exists can just grab a Wii while they're in the store.
2236  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rule of Rose = Atlus will publish on: September 14, 2006, 04:48:23 AM
I see how it is-

First you guys forced me to take one for the team and pick up Enchanted Arms to see if it was worth your hard earned money. Now you hang me out to dry again with Rule of Rose. When is someone else going to start stepping on these potential landmines?  smile

Luckily, Enchanted Arms turned out to be an entertaining title. One bullet dodged. Rule of Rose, however, is something altogether different. After two hours of experimentation I can definitely say that this game is for horror fans only. Everyone else can stop reading right now because you'll only be disappointed with this purchase.

Graphics: Poor to mediocre. This game barely slides its way out of looking like a first generation PS2 title. The closest parallel I can draw is that the game looks alot like Silent Hill 2. The graphics are grainy, dull and muted. The color palette ranges from grey to brown to black. Even the cutscenes are rather unimpressive, although they do have a somewhat ethereal quality to them.

Controls: Based upon some of the reviews, I was expected completely horrific controls. If fact, the game controls much better than I expected. They are significantly better than the old Resident Evil titles, so if you were able to survive that travesty of a movement system, you'll blow through anything Rule of Rose has to offer. Yes, your character runs rather slowly, but at least she can turn on a dime instead of like an oil barge in the Gulf.

Sound: Unimpressive. There are very few ambient noises, and for a significant portion of the opening playtime there wasn't even any ambient music. The background noises basically come in three flavors:  crickets chirping, children laughing, and a dog barking.

Story: Here is the one saving grace to the game. The story walks a fine line between pyschological horror and fairy tale. The game plays out as if the main character is the lead role in some twisted Brothers Grimm story. Everything is strange and surreal. If you enjoyed the atmosphere of Silent Hill, Rule of Rose may be worthy of your attention. It definitely does not share the same level of creeping dread as that line of games, but the pacing and mood is very similar.  Everything is unfolding slowly, there has been very little combat, and I have not seen one real weapon worthy of mention. Needless to say, Resident Evil junkies have no reason to be enthusiastic over this title.


I'll stop here because I've only covered a small portion of the game. So far, I think horror fans will appreciate Rule of Rose, but I'm not sure if it is worth the $49 asking price. I'd be much more comfortable recommending it at $39.

6/10 (subject to change)
2237  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: F.U.R. (Forum UserReview) [x360] Enchanted Arms on: September 14, 2006, 12:34:51 AM
I feel that my initial review was balanced, but I'll reiterate and change some points here.

PROS:

-Excellent map system
-Character interaction is generally engaging and sometimes funny
-Crisp, vivid graphics
-Save anywhere
-Involving Battle System
-Golemn system is very fun
-Promising beginning to the Xbox 360 JRPG release line



CONS
-The very early game (first hour or two) is mediocre
-Some areas are spartan and lack visual punch
-Opening characterization is problematic
-Most battles are too easy to win
2238  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Losing interest in Enchanted Arms... on: September 13, 2006, 03:00:42 AM
Quote
I guess the reviews were right afterall... The need for something new on the 360 or wanting to love the first JRPG on the system blinded us, I'm thinking.

I disagree. I really enjoyed the game, and stand by my rating of 80%. It was a wonderful little gem. Having said that, not every JRPG is for every person. There are many quality JRPGs that I stopped playing because they couldn't keep my interest. Xenosaga, Star Ocean 3 and Baten Kaitos are examples of titles I tossed away.
2239  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: SUV sales TANKING big. on: September 12, 2006, 01:05:19 AM
I can't wait for SUVs to disappear. My Totota Celica GT-S is about 2 feet off the ground so I can't see a damned thing when there is an SUV in front of me.  smile
2240  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (9/11) on: September 11, 2006, 02:46:49 PM
Rule of Rose
Company of Heroes
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