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6281  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / We just got a Gamestop in town - a good thing? on: November 28, 2005, 12:08:52 AM
"Our little town of about 50,000 just had a Gamestop open up."
My town is about the same size and we have 2 Gamestops, an EB, and an Exchange (used games and DVDs/CDs store) all within 1 mile of each other.  I guess we're just lucky smile
6282  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones on: November 28, 2005, 12:05:27 AM
"The original voice actor for the Prince returns"
I'm pretty sure the original actor will voice the Prince, and the actor from WW will voice the Dark Prince.  I'm so glad they're getting rid of the ridiculous music (which would have seemed too extreme even for something like Burnout) and the whole "designed by a horny teenager" theme of WW.
6283  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 27, 2005, 08:38:51 AM
If anyone (for some strange reason slywink) is still on the fence, Circuit City has the game on sale for $39.99 this week.
6284  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Frustrating lockup problem on: November 26, 2005, 09:02:39 PM
I tried several things, and I was able to run the entire 100 turns of the Civ4 demo with no crashes last night, so I'm hopeful my problem has been solved.  Thanks for the replies.
6285  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone else remember the "Read All About It" show? on: November 26, 2005, 12:15:50 PM
It was originally on in 1981, but I would have watched it around 1986-87.  It  was shown in Ontario, Canada, but I don't know if it was only shown there and my teacher somehow found a copy of the show, or if it was also on PBS.  I've found a couple fan sites for the show, so I guess I'm not the only one in the world who remembers it slywink
6286  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone else remember the "Read All About It" show? on: November 26, 2005, 10:40:10 AM
When I was in sixth grade, my class watched a TV show called "Read All About It!".  It was about 3 kids running a newspaper and trying to expose a conspiracy led by Duneedon, a disembodied head who was the ruler of a distant galaxy.  I don't know why, but I've always remembered the show, and now I'm watching them all again, and I'm surprised by how much I remember.  Anyone else ever watch this show?
6287  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Who sings this song? on: November 26, 2005, 10:34:58 AM
I'm not sure which version you heard, but there was a cover of the song done this year by a woman (or group?) called D.H.T.  Yahoo Music has the video here.
6288  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 26, 2005, 03:57:54 AM
I'm hoping for a DQ5/DQ6 bundle.  The graphics are a big improvement over the SNES originals, but nowhere near DQ8-quality, and I've read that the games are short compared to the longer games in the series.
6289  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 25, 2005, 11:47:05 PM
I'm sure we won't get the PS1 version of DQ4, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it someday on the DS or PSP.  It's usually several years between releases in the DQ series, so I'm sure SquareEnix will do whatever they can to take advantage of the series' newfound popularity in the US.
6290  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Any DQ8 impressions yet? on: November 25, 2005, 10:03:57 PM
There are lots of little nostalgic touches for people who've played the previous games, but you're not missing anything if you've never played one before.  I'm assuming the US will now get the remakes of the earlier games like DQ4 and DQ5, and it will be interesting to see how those new to the series react to those.
6291  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Frustrating lockup problem on: November 25, 2005, 08:37:00 AM
All of the computer's fans are working, and it doesn't seem to be overheating.  I've checked the lsass thing, and even after trying the solutions people listed, it still occasionally comes up.  I'm just going to chalk that up to a glitch, I guess, as I haven't seen any correlation between that problem and the black screen lockups.
6292  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Interesting thing about Xbox Live on: November 25, 2005, 05:34:11 AM
I believe you now have your first groupies!
6293  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Frustrating lockup problem on: November 25, 2005, 02:49:09 AM
Thanks, I'll try the driver remover and reinstalling.  I've tried that before, but lately, I've just been installing new drivers over the old ones.  I've never overclocked, and I've never had the computer lock up at any time other than playing these certain games.  Also, it only locks up when I'm actually doing something in the game.  I can leave the game sit for hours and it won't crash, but if I actually play it for more than a half hour, it will crash.

There is one weird thing that my computer does, though.  Every so often, when the computer attempts to start I'll get an error message with an "lsass.exe" error.  Usually, if I restart, it'll start up, although sometimes the message persists through a few restarts.  I've tried various things to remove the error or virus or whatever it is, but nothing has worked.  It doesn't seem to be related to my crashing errors, but it also appears randomly, so I'm mentioning it just in case anyone has any experience with this error.
6294  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?
6295  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:
6296  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.
6297  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.
6298  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
6299  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.
6300  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
6301  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.
6302  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.
6303  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.
6304  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.
6305  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.
6306  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
6307  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.
6308  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.
6309  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.
6310  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.
6311  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.
6312  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.
6313  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.
6314  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.
6315  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.
6316  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.
6317  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.
6318  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
6319  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.
6320  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.
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