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10161  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Massive Steam sale going on right now!! on: December 27, 2007, 08:35:56 PM

Quote from: Dimmona on December 24, 2007, 08:53:46 PM

Secret admission: I've never played Pirates before - worth it for $26 giving all of the other good games out right now?

Pirates! is a fantastic game, but $26 seems a bit pricey.

I've been itching to replay Dreamfall, and might give it a shot with this sale.  This is assuming, of course, that I can get my Steam connection to work.  Had to reformat over the weekend, and have been having trouble getting logged on ever since.  I keep getting a generic 'Cannot connect to Steam' message.  Irritating...
10162  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [psp] disgaea: afternoon of darkness impressions on: December 27, 2007, 08:28:26 PM
I somewhat enjoyed Disgaea on PS2, but got pretty frustrated with it as well.  I really disliked the mechanic of only the final blow character getting XP.  I can't remember exactly what I did, but I also remember finding out 25+ hours in that I had seriously gimped my characters, and it was nearly impossible to get them up back up to speed.

I've got some x-mas $$ burning a hole in my pocket, and am thinking this PSP version might be worth a second look.
10163  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: December 27, 2007, 12:46:45 AM

10164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: December 26, 2007, 11:20:29 PM
Got to play local multiplayer for the first time today.  Man, what a absolute blast that was.  At one point, I actually had my wife, my mother, and my sister-in-law all playing Say it Ain't So.  Of the thousands of gaming moments this household has seen, that was truly one of the most amazing.  When Mrs. Gratch picked up the mic, I honestly think hell may have frozen over.

Also got to spend a couple hours in World Tour mode with my brother.  It's certainly fun, but some of the difficulty seemed way off.  We tried a random set at one of the first locations, and it threw Flirtin' With Disaster at us.  He's only played a few times, and failed pretty quickly.  Set it up again, it came up with ...And Justice for All, and we failed a second time.  I know it's a random set, but I would think the game would scale some of the difficulty of the songs, at least for the first few locations.  Other than that, we had a great time.
10165  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, what did you get for Christmas? on: December 26, 2007, 04:53:47 AM

Quote from: Chaz on December 26, 2007, 04:03:23 AM

Quote from: Gratch on December 26, 2007, 01:47:47 AM

-  3 new board games

Well, don't keep us in suspense.  What games?

Motley Fool's Buy Low - Sell High
Ark of the Covenant

Haven't played any of them yet, but they are all supposed to be very fun.
10166  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, what did you get for Christmas? on: December 26, 2007, 01:47:47 AM
-  Tickets to see Blue Man Group in February
-  Tickets for me, Mrs. Gratch, and any two other friends of my choosing to attend the remaining 10 University of Utah b-ball games.  (coolest.  present.  ever.)
-  DVD's:  Stardust, Live Free or Die Hard, Ratatouille, Rat Race, Goonies, box set of old Jackie Chan flicks, and a couple others
-  $250 cash/gift cards
-  3 pair of new shoes (soccer shoes, dress shoes, & casual shoes)
-  3 new board games
-  Guild Wars: Eye of the North & Nightfall expansions
-  New comforter for the bed
-  New sport coat

I'm really spoiled.  smile

10167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Quick 360 question on: December 25, 2007, 10:36:37 PM
I know I asked this once, but can't remember how to do it for the life of me.  How do I set it up so it stops flashing "XXX is online" whenever someone from my friends list logs on?  It's quite annoying while watching a movie.

They've hidden this option extremely well, as I've spent the last 20 minutes trying to find it on all the different option settings.
10168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Assassin's Creed Reviews on: December 24, 2007, 12:59:40 AM
Anyone else have trouble getting the AC update to install?  Every time I try to do the update, I get an error that says it can't install and that I should run the network connection tests.    They all say everything is fine, and I have no problem connecting to MP in any other games.
10169  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Test your Sci Fi knowledge on: December 22, 2007, 09:50:58 PM
85%, and I guessed on about half.
10170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Burnout Paradise : DEMO IMPRESSIONS! (newfangled poll too!) on: December 22, 2007, 06:58:22 PM
now here's the thing though...I have never played any Burnouts at any point in time, not even demos.  so this is truly my first experience of the franchise.  I have no idea what you complainers are talking about when it comes to 'Crash mode' or 'Showtime' or anything else.  also, I am a huge fan of open-world games in general, which most of you don't seem to like for some reason.  now as far as the retry issue, I can at least understand that somewhat.  but it seems like a minor issue to me

The open world design (in race structure and especially in crash mode) is a 180 degree change from the previous games in the series.   For someone who has never played a Burnout game, they probably won't be an issue.  For some of us that have, it's a jarring transition that somewhat flies in the face of what the Burnout games have been about:  fast, exciting, straight-up arcade racing without having to muck about with tedious open-world exploration nonsense.  When playing a Burnout game, I want to race...not drive around looking for a race.  But that's just me.

Sounds like the devs were shooting for absolutely no loading screens, which I've never really understood the huge problem with.  As long as loading times are not overly excessive (which the previous Burnout games weren't), I just consider them part of a game.  I find it amusing that people get their panties in such a bunch over them.

Quote from: Misguided on December 22, 2007, 03:40:25 PM

Yup, that's what I was referring to (the part about completionist types).
The demo appeared to be mising a waypoint system and also a way
to quickly see what events you haven't completed/gotten top scores on.

Sounds to me like it's not "missing" those things, they are not included this time.  Hence, my interest in the game going from a "day-one" purchase to a "maybe sometime next year in a bargin bin" purchase.
10171  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What did you save for your Christmas list? on: December 22, 2007, 03:18:26 PM
Final Fantasy XII:  Revenant Wings (DS) and Disgaea (PSP).  I highly, highly doubt I'll get either one, but they're both on 'the list'.

I am fairly sure I'll be getting Guild Wars:  Nightfall from my brother though, so that's a plus.
10172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Which Fall Releases did you end up Buying? on: December 20, 2007, 09:50:59 PM
-  Mass Effect
-  Rock Band
-  Assassin's Creed
-  Puzzle Quest
-  Guitar Hero 3

-  Jeanne D'Arc
-  FF Tactics

-  Hellgate:  London (wish I had that $$ back)
10173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: December 20, 2007, 02:07:26 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 20, 2007, 02:05:56 PM

Quote from: nymanium on December 20, 2007, 04:23:07 AM

the drums are a bit noisy and I'm looking into ways to quiten them a little, anyone have any ideas.

Someone else did a foam mod and said it worked well; but from the instructions it sounds like you need a bit more material than what I did.

Per another forum's recommendation, I bought four cheap-o Staples  Round Mouse Pads and double-sided taped them black side up on the drum pads.

You do have to trim them a bit to fit, but since they're already round and close to the right size, it's not too hard at all.  Really cuts down on the sound, gives a bit extra bounce, and looks good.

I put the mouse pads on mine, and really like it.  A lot less noisy, and the drums actually seem to be a bit more responsive.
10174  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Escapist: Zero Punctuation on: December 19, 2007, 10:48:07 PM

Quote from: Destructor on December 19, 2007, 05:56:47 PM

And before somebody posts this in the console forum (Tongue), here's a link to today's 'review':

Mass Effect.

His first "miss", imo.  Not that I disagree with his points, I just didn't find it very funny.
10175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: December 18, 2007, 09:57:54 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 18, 2007, 03:55:46 PM

Quote from: jersoc on December 17, 2007, 07:36:41 PM

I'm STILL waiting on my replacment over 2 weeks later. Getting pretty frustrated here.

I guess this is the list of games you can get from EA if you fall into the "long wait" compensation category:

Command & Conquer 3
Command & Conquer First Decade
Harry Potter
Medal of Honor Airborne
Nascar 08
NBA Live 08
Need for Speed Pro Street
NHL 08
Rock Band
The Simpsons
The Sims
Tiger Woods 08

This is supposedly from the official forums, but I haven't verified it myself.

Yep, that's legit.  Got my "free game" e-mail this afternoon.  Now I just have to decide between NHL 08 and FIFA 08.

EDIT:  Hmmmm, copies of TW 08 and Skate are going for $45 on E-bay.  Since I'm not really dying for anything on that list, one of those might be a better option...
10176  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What's your GOAT of the year for 2007? on: December 18, 2007, 03:57:55 PM
Somehow Guitar Hero III slipped my mind.  It would run neck and neck with HG:  L as a top GOAT candidate.
10177  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What's your GOAT of the year for 2007? on: December 18, 2007, 03:07:41 PM

Quote from: Purge on December 18, 2007, 02:18:40 PM

Oh, and Zelda PH ... do. not. want. After all the hype here, it just fell way short of it.

I was beginning to think I was the only person on Earth who didn't like Zelda PH
10178  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What's your GOAT of the year for 2007? on: December 18, 2007, 04:13:03 AM
Hellgate London.  They took a genre I typically enjoy, put it in a setting I would typically love...then somehow managed to suck all the fun right out of it.
10179  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Rock Band Impressions! on: December 17, 2007, 06:48:12 PM

Quote from: Zarkon on December 17, 2007, 06:41:37 PM

I may have a guitar issue.  The guitar plays fine, but is somewhat unresponsive for Overpower.  I sometime have to seriously lift and lower the guitar multiple times to get it to work.  Other times, I can be bobbing my body with the music...and set it off.

I had this problem as well.  Couldn't get overdrive to activate at all on my first guitar.  Sent it back and got a replacement that activates at the slightest movement.   I've given up on it and am just using my Xplorer. 
10180  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Whatchadoin over the Holidays? on: December 17, 2007, 03:12:33 PM
Not a lot, really.  My brother and his family are in town, so I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time with them.  I'll even finally get to play some multi-player Rock Band!!  Other than that, it will probably just be watching movies, paying a little attention to bowl games, playing some Guild Wars, and generally being lazy.
10181  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Kid gets detention because he used Firefox on: December 17, 2007, 12:55:04 PM

Quote from: Sarkus on December 17, 2007, 07:32:45 AM

Quote from: Turtle on December 17, 2007, 03:27:32 AM

On the other hand, they should get people who know what they're doing to run the computer labs.

I'm sorry, but if following directions means using an old bug and exploit prone browser, I'll safely go my own way and use firefox.

If anything, the kid showed more initiative which is what'll make him more successful than following directions all the time.

I agree, but I also know that because of past controversies many schools are using modifications and settings on their browser software in order to restrict internet access and keep kids away from porn, etc.  If you allow kids to show up with their own browser, you might as well not bother blocking IE. 

We aren't talking about a college here, it's a high school junior.  A high school junior who refused to follow the teacher's directions to use the school supplied materials.

That's a really good point.  Since school districts get sued for anything at the drop of a hat, it makes sense that a teacher would be required to very strictly enforce the use of "approved" programs.  If Little Johnny was using the "Foxfire" browser and managed to pull up a porn site, I'm sure the parents would have no problem going after the school.
10182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New trailers - FFXIII and FF Versus XIII - PS3 exclusives on: December 17, 2007, 12:49:20 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on December 17, 2007, 06:12:36 AM

yeah, who could forget FFX-2: Charlies Angels!

I'm trying to, trust me.
10183  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Kid gets detention because he used Firefox on: December 17, 2007, 04:24:39 AM
I'm still trying to figure out what "Foxfire.exe" is.  Maybe it's Firefox's malicious twin, in which case, he deserves detention.  Damn punk kids.  slywink
10184  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New trailers - FFXIII and FF Versus XIII - PS3 exclusives on: December 17, 2007, 04:19:41 AM
EDIT:  Never mind, sorry for the derail.
10185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New trailers - FFXIII and FF Versus XIII - PS3 exclusives on: December 17, 2007, 03:48:55 AM

Quote from: Turtle on December 17, 2007, 02:57:39 AM

No problem Gratch, there'll be plenty of other games to play on the PS3 by the time FF13 comes out. slywink

Heh, I'll believe that when I see it.
10186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New trailers - FFXIII and FF Versus XIII - PS3 exclusives on: December 17, 2007, 02:36:37 AM
Looks great, but I'm still not paying $400 for a system to play 2 games.
10187  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What is Your Game of the Year? on: December 16, 2007, 05:04:57 PM
After much thought and deliberation, I'm going with Jeanne D'Arc as my GOTY, with Rock Band as a close second and Mass Effect as number 3.  When I think about it, I simply had more fun with Jeanne than anything else released this year.  isn't that really all that matters in the end?  Hell, Jeanne even got me to rebuy a system that I swore I would never spend money on again.  smile  Rock Band drums and vocals are fantastic, but I'm not crazy about either the lower guitar track difficulty or the guitar hardware itself.  Mass Effect had an incredible main storyline, but the same-y side missions got on my nerves after a while. 

Side note:  Jeanne is the best game I've played that came out this year, but certainly not the best I played overall.  That title would got to either Baldur's Gate II (PC), Dreamfall (PC), or Final Fantasy VI (GBA).  All three of these are heads and shoulders above anything that came out this year, imo.
10188  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL Week 15 on: December 16, 2007, 02:55:14 PM

Quote from: GatorFavre on December 16, 2007, 07:06:40 AM

Quote from: Gratch on December 15, 2007, 10:22:50 PM

Every year, the 72 Dolphins become bigger and bigger a-holes.  This year takes the cake.

I don't get it... what in that article makes them assholes?  A bunch of guys joking around about the situation?  Yeah some of them brought up the spygate crap, but if you were in their situation you know you'd at least be thinking about it. 

From everything I've read about them, I doubt they were joking.
10189  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: December 16, 2007, 04:59:00 AM

Quote from: Andrew Wonser on December 15, 2007, 02:54:22 AM


10190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Burnout Paradise : DEMO IMPRESSIONS! (newfangled poll too!) on: December 15, 2007, 10:33:42 PM

Quote from: Hrothgar on December 15, 2007, 10:28:33 PM

From the IGN hands on:
Something else that's changed quite a bit is Crash mode. Rather than having individual intersections set up and awaiting your destruction, you instead start a Crash Showtime at any point by pressing two shoulder buttons at the same time. Your car will then begin tumbling down the highway, taking out whatever you can manage to smash into. You earn boost for each vehicle you hit, which you can then spend to bounce your car a bit, keeping you on the move at all times. Busses are the only vehicles that will give you a multiplier here, which makes sense considering that we've been able to rack up a 430+ car Crash Showtime outing. We weren't sold on this new design at first, but it's getting more enjoyable as our skills increase.

One element of the design that we're not too fond of so far is the inability to jump to the start of a race. If you enter a race that takes you halfway across Paradise City and wind up failing, in order to try again you'll have to drive yourself back to the start. There is no quick skip option, which is a trade-off for having no load times once the game begins.

That's from playing a 'near final' build.

This version of Burnout is now officially dead to me.  Bummer.  frown
10191  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL Week 15 on: December 15, 2007, 10:22:50 PM
Every year, the 72 Dolphins become bigger and bigger a-holes.  This year takes the cake.
10192  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / L/F: Pirates! and Dungeon Siege (PSP) on: December 15, 2007, 05:46:16 PM
Looking for either of these games on PSP.  Probably have to do $$, as I don't have a whole lot to trade right now.  I do have these if anyone wants them:

-  Warhammer Squad Command (PSP)
-  Mass Effect Strategy Guide

Shoot me a PM if interested.
10193  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 2007: Your Gaming Year In Review? Highs. Lows. The Unexpected? on: December 15, 2007, 03:28:16 PM
High: The Rock Band drums.  I knew they were going to be fun, but I had no idea they'd be this fun.   

Low:  The way Neversoft managed to somehow break the tried and true Guitar Hero formula.  Through their combination of poor design, bad graphics, mediocre note charts, and ridiculous game modes, they were able to actually make a guitar game un-fun.  No mean feat there.

Unexpected:  The fact that Level 5 was able to take one of the most ludicrous game concepts I've ever heard (the story of Joan of Arc, told in anime style, complete with demons and magic) and somehow make it utterly brilliant.  There's no way Jeanne D'arc should work, but somehow it does.

10194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What is Your Game of the Year? on: December 15, 2007, 03:19:32 PM
My frontrunners are:

-  Jeanne D'Arc
-  Mass Effect
-  Rock Band
-  Final Fantasy Tactics:  War of the Lions
-  Puzzle Quest

Haven't decided yet which one takes the cake.  Gives me something to think about today.
10195  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Someone hold Starshifter....... on: December 15, 2007, 01:51:19 PM
Who the fuck thinks that Clash of the Titans needs a remake?   Can someone please just nuke Hollywood so we can start the whole damn thing over again?   finger
10196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] Nintendo announces 'Wii Rainchecks' on: December 14, 2007, 11:48:41 PM
HUGE MAJOR CAVEAT - Assuming that both Nintendo and Gamestop can deliver on these "rain checks" in January - /end HUGE MAJOR CAVEAT...

...I think this is actually pretty cool.  Sure it's just another pre-sell for Gamestop, but all parties could have just as easily told consumers, "tough shit, deal with it".  At least they're making some sort of effort.
10197  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Burnout Paradise : DEMO IMPRESSIONS! (newfangled poll too!) on: December 14, 2007, 03:30:45 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on December 14, 2007, 02:52:23 PM

I understand what you mean about wanting to restart the race afterwards, and I'm not sure if they will have a shortcut like NFS:MW did.  I don't understand the complaints about the minimap though.  Many people are saying it's hard to read and I had no such problem at all.  Foudn my way around town with ease between the minimap and the compass and the street signs at the top of the screen.

Maybe I was missing something, but it didn't look like the actual race starting point showed up on the minimap.  I saw icons for the gas station, paint store, and junkyard (?), but there was no icon highlighting where the race actually started.  I had to open the large Start menu map, see where it was, then try to remember the street route to get there.   If they allowed some sort of fast travel (i.e. selecting the race start icon the Start menu map teleported you there), it would eliminate a lot of the confusion.
10198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Burnout Paradise : DEMO IMPRESSIONS! (newfangled poll too!) on: December 14, 2007, 01:55:54 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on December 14, 2007, 01:22:22 PM

There is still the same racing feel that you loved in the old games, you just have to start an event to get it.  Not sure why people are having an issue with that.

In the old games, I could push 2 buttons and start a race.

In this demo, after driving around for a while I finally found a stoplight that allowed me to start a race.  I ended up coming in second place by a hair, and wanted to give the race another shot.  Instead of being able to do that, I had to try and navigate the roads back to the starting point, which took a few minutes (I was having a hell of a time reading that little map).  That simple gameplay mechanic annoys me enough to not buy the game.

Granted, I typically don't care much for "open-world" games to begin with.  This one just seems very unintuitive and frustrating.
10199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Burnout Paradise : DEMO IMPRESSIONS! (newfangled poll too!) on: December 14, 2007, 12:28:08 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 14, 2007, 05:06:11 AM

The poll seems to be showing a difference of opinion to what I'm reading here (other than Purge's undersized wang or oversized middle finger).  I'm in the not so impressed crowd.  I think the game looks amazing and drives great, but I got bored looking for the right intersection pretty quickly.  Hasn't the "free roaming city" thing EA has been cramming down our throats for years now been dead for at least two of those years.  Give me an effin menu.  If you want to give the people an option to tool around the city driving into paint shacks for shiny new oh-look-it's-orange-oh-wait-it's-green paint jobs fine, but give me an effin menu so I don't have to deal with it.

When I downloaded the demo, all I wanted to do was try out a crash event.  That's it.  Just one little crash event.  Maybe there's one lurking at some intersection with a barely visible stoplight, I don't know, but I got tired trying to find it.  I found the stunt race which I thought sounded cool, but it started in an area with no immediate ramps.  I zoomed around, crashing into things and scored 2,000 of the 50,000 points I needed.  Irritating.  Shortly thereafter I found the beach which has ramps aplenty, naturally.  I tried to call up the menu for a Retry Last Event option. 

The map said, "Tough crap for you, maybe you'd lke to try our great online mode instead." 

I said, "Can I at least set up a waypoint to get back to the stunt race." 

"No," said the annoying map, "but if you're good at reading useless street signs you may be able to find it."

The street map thing was especially bothersome.  In one race, I tried following the mini-map, which is all but useless when you're flying into oncoming traffic at 100 MPH.  I saw a street sign blink at me and assumed I was meant to turn.  I turned.  Another blinking street sign and another turn.  Suddenly, the mini-map screamed at me with a black border showing that I'd driven to the edge of the world.  The Country Club was somewhere up North.  DAMNIT.  Well, I thought, I'll just restart the race...

"Maybe you'd like to try our great online mode instead..."

This sums up my thoughts pretty well.  I really dislike this whole "open world" movement in racing games.  I buy these games in order to race (or crash), so let me jump right into a race.  Don't make me drive around for 5 minutes trying to pick out a tiny icon on a tiny map in order to find it.  I didn't have any problems finding my way during the couple races I tried, but I can see how it would be a major bitch if you happened to get off-track.  And having to look at the map instead of paying attention to the race sucked the fun right out of it.

Pretty disappointed in the demo overall. As much as I have loved the past Burnout games, I'll be skipping this version.
10200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: World of Warcraft II announced!!! Not really, but new Blizzard MMO confirmed on: December 13, 2007, 04:14:58 PM
Oh joy, yet another MMO.
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