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6281  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Frustrating lockup problem on: November 25, 2005, 12:38:37 AM
I'm having some very frustrating lockup problems with certain games. It started with WoW. At random points (somtimes after 1 minute of playing, sometimes after 2 hours), the screen would simply go black (accompanied by that click you get when you do things like change resolutions) and the computer would no longer respond. Seldomly, rather than get the black screen, the computer would simply reboot itself. It made WoW unplayable and forced me to quit, and now it's happening with more and more games. It happens with Tiger Woods 2005, the Civ4 demo, and once or twice with Dungeon Siege 2. I thought that maybe it was limited to newer games, but I recently picked up an old racing game called 1nsane, and it does the same thing. I've never had the computer do this other than when playing these games.

I've tried every suggestion I've found from the various forums dealing with specific games, but none have helped. Does anyone have this problem with some of the above games or know some common link between them? I have an emachines T2200 and the only thing I changed about it is adding a Radeon 9550 video card. I've thought about reinstalling Windows XP or updating to SP2, but I'm hesitant to do either unless I know they will work. It's getting to the point where I can no longer buy computer games, as I have no idea if they will work or not. Can anyone help?
6282  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts 3 unofficially confirmed for US release on: November 24, 2005, 11:38:49 PM
Next year might even be more full of RPGs than this year - there's Atelier Iris 2, Baten Kaitos 2 (probably), Children of Mana, Disgaea 2, Final Fantasy 3, 5, 6, and 12, Grandia 3, Growlanser 5 (probably), Kingdom Hearts 2, Metal Saga, Mobile Suit - New Saga, Phantasy Star Universe, Rogue Galaxy, Shadow Hearts : FtNW, SMT : Devil Summoner, the PS2 "of Mana" game, Steambot Chronicles, Suikoden 5, Tales of Legendia, Phantasia, and probably The Abyss, Wild ARMs 4, Xenosaga 1+2 and 3, and Ygddra Union between PS2, GCN, and the portables.  Plus, there's Enchant Arm, Blue Dragon, Oblivion, and Lost Odyssey for the 360 :shock:
6283  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rogue Galaxy - Gameplay video on: November 24, 2005, 11:40:12 AM
Worthplaying has a lengthy gameplay video for Level 5's (of Dark Cloud and Dragon Quest 8 fame) upcoming RPG Rogue Galaxy.  The game is looking great, and it even looks like there will be some Dark Cloud-like building.  The game comes out next month in Japan, and hopefully the US localization will be quick.
6284  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Kingdom Hearts 2 world revealed - Wow! on: November 22, 2005, 10:14:57 PM
Another cool addition that should please a lot of people - here (third picture).    Also, since Tetsuya Nomura didn't do the character design for FF9 (I read that  the FF characters in KH1 were limited to the FF games whose characters Nomura designed), this might open the way for characters from other FF games or (dare I hope?) Dragon Quest.
6285  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Should I sell my PSP - I am becoming one of those people! on: November 22, 2005, 07:36:44 PM
"Technically, both titles are due out on the DS soon (4 is 2 in the US, 6 is 3 in the US)."
4 and 6 (and 5) are coming to the GBA, while a remake of 3 in 3D is coming to the DS.  Clear as mud slywink
6286  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 21, 2005, 07:56:05 PM
"They're Final Goddamn Fantasy, they don't have to worry about larger industry trends toward approachability and away from turn or phase based combat."
Huh?  The last Final Fantasy previous to X that was turn-based was released in 1990.  The hallmark of the series is the ATB system, which is what they're using in FFXII.  Ironically, the article mentions DQ8, which was deliberately made simpler to improve "approachability".  FF12 is certainly different, but how is it an insult to anything?  I'm been a FF fan since the first game, and have played them all (some more than once), and I'm excited about the direction the game is taking.
6287  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lines Already Forming for XB360 on: November 21, 2005, 07:47:42 PM
Ironically, they'll spend more time in line than it will take to complete the games they're buying slywink
6288  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 20, 2005, 07:19:14 AM
I finally played the demo, and to my surprise, it does feel somewhat like an MMORPG, but not in a bad way.  I think the main reason for the MMO feel, and the main difference from most console RPGs is that you fight on the same screen as you walk around on.  The battle system still feels a lot like the standard Final Fantasy ATB system, only adapted to be played without a separate battle arena.  I thought the control system worked well.  I shut off all the gambits, and at the beginning of a battle, I'd hit Up to switch to each party member and set their attacks, and then use left and right to issue commands during battle.  I loved the summoned esper, and both seeing the enemies fight each other, and watch the little mandragoras run in terror when the rockeater arrived were great.

I think the new battle system will take getting used to, but also seems like it will help speed up the game.  As much as I love FFX, I found myself tiring of the battles, and I'm thinking this new system will help alleviate the battle fatigue even the best RPGs sometimes suffer from.  I wish we had gotten to see some of the story elements, though.
6289  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 19, 2005, 12:00:18 PM
I finally got to play some more, and I'm really enjoying it.  The game doesn't  make a great first impression, but it gets going quickly.  The battle system, even in the simple early battles, is already fun, and I can see it getting much more interesting once the battles get more involved.
6290  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 19, 2005, 02:43:21 AM
I don't know for sure, but I can't imagine any reason it wouldn't be.  FFX-2 allowed you to choose if you wanted combat to pause while the menu is displayed or not, so I'd assume the demo is just set up with both to allow you to try them out.
6291  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Alias is really good this season on: November 18, 2005, 07:54:25 PM
Anyone else still watching Alias?  The last two seasons haven't been that great, but I kept watching, and now I'm glad I did.  They've turned the show around, and while it's not as good as it was in its early days, it's a huge improvement over the last two seasons.  The new characters fit in well, but haven't taken over the show, the main plot is moving along at a nice pace, and the show has recaptured the heart it once had with Sydney's new baby and her being almost a mother figure to the new agent.  They also did something I thought was impossible in actually making Sloan an interesting character again.  He works much better as a villain with a purpose, and I can't wait to see what happens when he's pushed to do something truly horrible.

It looks like the show may be improving in the ratings, too, as ABC is putting it back on Thursdays after Lost for the remainder of sweeps.
6292  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / So, has anyone played the new Wild Arms game yet? on: November 18, 2005, 08:02:33 AM
I've played through the first prologue (Rudy), and if you liked the earlier Wild ARMs games, then you'll like this one.  It seems that they took the first WA game and redid it with the Wild ARMs 3 engine, even down to similar sound effects and music as WA3.  The music is very good, too, especially the first town piece and the overworld theme.  It's a nice mix of standard RPG music and wild west influences.  
It does have sort of a low-rent feel in some ways, such as the lack of voice acting, the occasionally awkward translation, and the bizarre use of actual landscape photographs as backgrounds for the character intros.  However, the game does look quite large, with lots of cities, dungeons, and side quests.   It doesn't seem like it's going to be a spectacular game, but it's definitely solid, and its mix of exploration, turn-based combat, and heavy use of puzzles are a unique and very enjoyable combination.
6293  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 18, 2005, 02:22:33 AM
"The ability to change your professions based upon the clothes your girls were wearing, REALLY, in my opinion seems about playing dress up."
The ability to change clothes was a great take on the job system from FF5/Tactics wrapped up in a silly package.  The ability to change jobs while in battle is great fun, and makes the battles much more intersting than in most RPGs.  I can understand people getting put off my the tone of the game, but underneath the silliness is a very solid battle system.

I'm looking forward to playing the FF12 demo, but I'm saving it for after a very long day of work on Saturday.  Plus, DQ8, Magna Carta, and Wild ARMs are keeping me too busy to play much else.  I'm not complaining, though slywink
6294  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FFX How arcadey? on: November 18, 2005, 02:21:25 AM
I'd say FFX is about as far from arcadey as you can get.  It's also the best RPG I've ever played, so I'd definitely recommend trying it out.
6295  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Harry Potter console games? on: November 18, 2005, 02:19:42 AM
I played CoS on the Gamecube, and while it was fun, losing your beans every time you got hit infuriated me to the point of loathing the game.  There's also PoA for the GBA, which is a nice turn-based RPG that is completely different from the other versions.
6296  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 17, 2005, 08:07:00 PM
The usefulness of Psych Up depends on the enemy.  Sometimes, it will only do double damage, but against some enemies, it does much more.  I think it has to do with the armor rating of the enemy.  In DQ games, rather than doing double damage, it seems like critical hits ignore the enemy's armor, and I think Psych Up works similarly.  In the demo, fighting the armored birds, my normal damage was very low, so I Psyched Up, and my damage went way up.  I think the damage also goes up exponentially as you psych up more, with the tradeoff of not being able to take another action with the character without resetting tension to normal.
6297  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 17, 2005, 08:00:17 PM
"Good story. Good system.

Stop with the eye candy for 13-14 year old boys."
The Final Fantasy games have always had top-of-the-line graphics, 6 and 7-9 included.  FFX is no more or less about eye candy than the others were.  All 3 games feature amazing (for the time) graphics, solid battle systems, and extensive noninteractive segments.  Other than the lack of a world map, why is FFX singled out as being different from the rest?

Back to FF12, I'm excited about the changes.  Square hasn't made a less-than-great main series FF game yet, and I doubt they're going to start now.  Tradition is fine (DQ8 proves that), but change can be good, too.  Honestly, I'm a lot more excited about FF12 than I would have been if I knew it was playing it safe.
6298  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Kameo Winter Warriors Pack on: November 17, 2005, 07:51:29 PM
"Expansions/sequals 6 months later I can stand. Intentionally keeping finished material out a game to garner more sales, it shit."
That's my problem with it.  Sure, $3 isn't a lot of money, but that's on top of the $50-$60 you've already paid for the game.  I also have the feeling that the reason this one is so cheap is to get people to use the service, whereas future game mini-expansions will be much more expensive.
6299  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 17, 2005, 08:38:32 AM
I've been a Dragon Quest (Warrior) fan since the first game, and have had a big, dopey smile on my face the whole time I've been playing the game  biggrin It's the perfect blend of old and new, with nostalgic touches like the item illustrations in the manual and the sound effects coupled with absolutely beautitful graphics and music.
6300  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Final Fantasy 12 demo impressions on: November 17, 2005, 08:33:35 AM
I haven't played the demo yet, but I've never understood the comparison to MMOs.  From what I've read, the battle system is very similar to that of KoTOR, and that didn't seem anything like the few MMORPGs I've played.  There are elements of FF12 that appear in MMOs, but nothing that hasn't also appeared in single-player RPGs, such as fighting enemies on the same screen (no separate battle area), visible equipment changes, etc.
6301  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 17, 2005, 08:32:48 AM
1. I think R2/L2 is supposed to switch targets.
2. The manual says it's random, so there isn't a set number.
3. ???
4. From what I've read, enemies will respawn a few times in most areas, but only after you've progressed further in the game from that area.  This was a concern of mine, too, but none of the reviews I've read mention the game being particularly difficult, so I'm assuming that if you fight every enemy in a region, you should be fine.
6302  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 16, 2005, 08:00:41 PM
I'll have some impressions in a few hours.  IGN has posted their review - 9/10.
6303  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 16, 2005, 04:57:10 AM
There's only English, but I think the voiceovers are pretty good, myself.
6304  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta Impressions on: November 16, 2005, 12:10:03 AM
I was hoping to have DQ8 impressions today, but alas, that will have to wait until tomorrow.  I do have some Magna Carta impressions, though.  First, the packaging is very impressive.  It comes in a fairly thick and heavy box, with embossed characters, making Reith's chest stick out even more, something I would have thought imposssible slywink  Inside is a shiny-covered full-color 100-page half art-book (with characters, enemies, locations, etc) and half strategy guide.  There's also a very large dual-sided poster featuring two different view of the game's characters.  The DVD insert is also dual-sided, and the manual is 40 pages and in color.  It's definitely the best packaging I've seen this generation, and more than you'd expect for just $5 over retail price.

The game starts off with a dream sequence showing the main character as a child whose village is attacked.  You take control of the character in the present-day and are preparing for a major attack against the enemy Yason.  I got up to the point where you have a tutorial battle, and the battle system definitely seems deep and potentially intriguing.  The thing that sounds most interesting is the choice between the three attack types.  You can choose to have the button-press ring move faster or even guess at the enemies' moves, risking losing your built-up power, but potentially gaining a free attack.

The graphics are good, but not great.  The game reminds me most of a cross between Suikoden 3 and 4 (there are even ????? items you have to have appraised).  The graphical quality is about on par with 4, but with the more detailed environments of 3.  From the little I've seen of the outside world, it looks like there will be some nice background scenery, though.  The translation appears solid, although the text seems more expository than natural.  The load into battle was pretty quick, but the load times between scenes seems to be about 20 seconds.   I'm intruiged so far, especially with the battle system.  I'll post some more impressions after I play some more later.
6305  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 10:24:42 PM
My store won't have it in until tomorrow, but at least I have Magna Carta to play slywink
6306  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Kingdom Hearts 2 world revealed - Wow! on: November 15, 2005, 10:22:51 PM
I've read that they are definitely improving the camera.  It's supposed to work better on automatic, and the manual control is now done with the right stick rather than the R2 and L2 buttons.
6307  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Kingdom Hearts 2 world revealed - Wow! on: November 15, 2005, 08:27:07 PM
FileFront has a new trailer here, showing off some of the new worlds, including TRON.
6308  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 08:17:23 PM
It looks like Square Enix either shipped it yesterday or used some sort of super-fast shipping, as a lot of stores are getting it in today.  Hopefully, mine will have it when I go to pick up Magna Carta.
6309  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 06:56:29 AM
More reviews -
9.5/10 from 1Up
9.2/10 from GameZone
Is it Wednesday yet?
6310  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Magna Carta out tomorrow on: November 15, 2005, 04:45:28 AM
If anyone is looking to pick it up, I got my call from Gamestop that Magna Carta will be in stores tomorrow, rather than Wednesday.
6311  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 04:43:27 AM
I'm more IN than I've ever been smile
6312  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? (11/20) on: November 15, 2005, 04:42:52 AM
Dragon Quest 8, Magna Carta, and Wild ARMs.
6313  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 15, 2005, 02:45:35 AM
Gamespot has posted their review - 9/10  Cool
6314  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / WOW! Devil Summoner [ps2] looks AMAZING! on: November 14, 2005, 11:20:33 AM
I love the character designs of the SMT series.  There is just something about them that is both familiar and alien at the same time.  Devil Summoner is looking great.  If the series has had one weakness, it's that the backgrounds didn't match the beauty of the characters, but it looks like DS might change that.  Next year might be the last year of the PS2, but it's certainly going out with a bang as far as RPGs are concerned, with at least 16 titles set for release next year.
6315  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Post your favorite in-game screenshots! on: November 14, 2005, 08:41:33 AM
The only game I really took a lot of screenshots for was World of Warcraft.  I figured that, after I quit, at least I'd have something to show for my $80 slywink

My favorite shot -

A deer comes up to me to strike up a conversation slywink -

Two of the most beautiful vistas I've ever seen in a game -

6316  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / help me decide which game! on: November 14, 2005, 02:47:07 AM
You can read the whole review (all three paragraphs of it) at GameFAQs.  The other two reviews I've seen were much more positive.
6317  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF7 sequel/remake at E3? on: November 13, 2005, 10:46:52 PM
According to RPGamer, Tetsuya Nomura said in an interview that there "would be a very important presentation related to Compilation of Final Fantasy VII at the 2006 Electronics Entertainment Expo."  It's possible that this is in relation to the PSP Crisis Core game, but it's also possible that this will be the oft-rumored FF7 remake (or hopefully sequel) for the PS3.
6318  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dragon Quest VIII ship date change . . . on: November 12, 2005, 08:53:06 PM
The official website has been updated with new videos, details, and some nice wallpapers, especially the one with the enemies.
6319  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / help me decide which game! on: November 12, 2005, 08:34:28 PM
"Years of Blood" sounds like it might be an interesting title, but it's actually "Tears of Blood" slywink  I haven't played any of them, but Magna Carta is being published by Atlus, so there won't be as many copies to go around as the other two, bigger releases.  If you're worried about availability, I'd go with Magna Carta now, although all 3 sound like great games from what I've heard.
6320  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [Famitsu] FFXII Scans (Airship!) on: November 12, 2005, 09:37:20 AM
From what I've read, the battle system sounds very similar to KoTOR.  These latest previews have me very excited.  The game looks beautiful, the battle system is a big change for the series, and I love the whole style of the game.  It's going to be a looooong wait, though.
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