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10681  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (9/25) on: September 25, 2006, 02:07:48 PM
Nothing.  Still too busy with Okami.
10682  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Recap: What'd You Play? 25/Sep/06 on: September 25, 2006, 02:06:29 PM
Okami and a little bit of Titan Quest when Mrs. Gratch was watching TV.
10683  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Okami impressions on: September 25, 2006, 02:05:15 PM
Put in another couple hours yesterday, and Okami is far and away my GOTY.  Hell, it's probably my GOTDecade if it stays this good throughout.  This game continues to amaze me at every level and is an absolute joy to play.

I just beat what I assume is the second boss:

Spoiler for Hiden:
The Spider Queen in the ruins.  Took a few minutes to figure out what I was supposed to do, but it was a blast trying to tie her down with the vines.  I quickly realized how crappy I am an accurately controlling the brush!

What a fantastic battle!  The only problem now is that my house is a mess because I'm too busy playing to get around to any of the housekeeping I should be doing.

Huge props to Clover & Capcom for this amazing gem.
10684  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Will Console Microtransactions Hurt Gaming? on: September 25, 2006, 12:00:15 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on September 24, 2006, 08:12:44 PM

don't believe that we'll see devs shipping some bare-bones game with chunks missing.

Then you have much more faith in developers than I do.  My gut feeling is that microtransactions are going to end up as a developer excuse to release unfinished games.  Don't have time to wrap up that last dungeon?  Make it a microtransaction.  Didn't have the extra month to properly balance the enemies?  Sell a more powerful weapon as an add-on.  They won't make it that obvious, of course (marketing message will be more along the lines of "Having trouble with Green Ghoulies?  Now chop through them in no time with the Goulie Fucker 2000!  Only $2.99!!!"), but you know that it's going to end up getting abused.  I'd like to think that we as gamers wouldn't stand for this and vote with our dollars, but you know that if the game is popular enough, people will buy it.

As was shown with what Sony proposed with GT, I think we're well on our way towards buying nothing but an interface and then paying for content.  Take something like a Pokemon game, for instance.  They sell the interface and a 'starter deck' for $25, then you pay $.99 per deck/card/whatever (not real familiar with Pokemon) after that.   Basically, you purchase the storefront that allows you to buy more stuff.  If marketed correctly, something like that would be a huge seller, and no amount of ranting or raving from us gamers would have any effect on it.

Unfortunately, we've let the beast in the door and there's no way to shoo it back out again.  We're stuck with microtransactions for better or worse, and I have the bad feeling it's going to be worse. 
10685  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NSFW Myth Busters:Kari Byron NSFW!!! on: September 25, 2006, 03:41:14 AM
She doesn't do much for me, but I'll admit that her au naturale pictures are far, far better than the overdone glam shots.
10686  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Baten Kaitos : Origins on: September 25, 2006, 03:39:42 AM

Quote from: JCC on September 25, 2006, 02:00:44 AM

I really thought BK would have been plenty of fun without any timer at all. A simple turn based version of the card battle system would have rocked and I would have stuck with the game. But, my frustration at the lack of time to properly choose cards, coupled with the horrid voice acting and mediocre story drove me away. Too bad, I loved the graphics and really liked the battle system - minus the timer.


Sums up my feelings exactly.
10687  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I want to play through all the major PSX RPG's on: September 25, 2006, 03:38:34 AM
 eek

Wow.  Figuring that each of those games take minimum of 40 hours to beat (some a lot longer, some shorter), you're looking at 1400 hours or 58.3 full days to beat them all.

Good luck, there really is some fantastic gaming to be had in that list.
10688  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / FS: Lego Star Wars 2, Summon Night, more on: September 25, 2006, 12:48:20 AM
Trying to raise a little $$ for some releases coming out in the next month.  All prices include shipping, boxes & manuals included unless specified.  PM me if interested:

-  Lego Star Wars 2 (original X-Box - NOT 360) - $30
-  Summon Night (GBA) - $22
-  Battles of Prince of Persia (DS) - $11
-  Brain Age (DS) - $11
-  Tactics Ogre (GBA - No box or manual) - $20

Thanks!
10689  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: September 24, 2006, 03:05:10 PM








10690  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Infant Drowns in Mother's Vomit! on: September 23, 2006, 03:51:24 AM

Quote from: VynlSol on September 23, 2006, 03:09:00 AM


That is quite possibly the worst thing I've read since...well...ever.
10691  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why we game (Okami related) on: September 23, 2006, 02:59:55 AM
I put in about 6 hours into Okami tonight, and had somewhat of an epiphany while I was playing. I probably should have put this in the Okami impressions thread, but it goes a little further than that.  Let me wax gamer-philosophical here for a moment...

In all honesty, games like Okami are why I still play video games.  I've become a bitter, jaded gamer and after countless 'meh' gaming experiences, I sometimes wonder if maybe the hobby has passed me by.  I can probably count the times I've been truly amazed by a game in the last 10 years on two hands.  It seems to happen less and less often as I get older, and those truly great gaming moments become fewer and farther between.  However, there are the rare occasions when my passion for gaming is reignited.  It happened to me while playing Beyond Good & Evil, it happened the first time I look down a Colossus, it happened the first time I played 'Ziggy Stardust' in Guitar Hero, it happened when I watched the sun rise over a lake in Oblivion...and it has happened again tonight.  One of those rare moments when I can grin a childlike grin from ear-to-ear, completely immerse myself in something incredible for a short time, and I can forget all about the day-to-day crap for a few hours.

As gamers, we gladly sift through mountains of crap to find the the rare, few, nuggets of solid gold.  While our definitions of a great game certainly differ, it's these rare games that make suffering through crappy sequels, uninspired gameplay, lack of innovation, Jack Thompson nonsense, fanboy rantings, and all the "50 Cent:  Bulletproof" games worth it.  When a game truly comes together - creativity, talent, originality, story-telling - and just clicks with you it is an amazing feeling.

To me, Okami deserves every bit of the stellar reviews it's receiving.  Simply put:  If you have a PS2, you owe it to yourself to at least try this game.  Maybe it won't click with you the way it did for me.  Maybe you're not as jaded as I have become.  But this one is truly something special and deserves not to be missed.

Game on, fellas.  Game on...
10692  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Okami impressions on: September 23, 2006, 02:37:26 AM
A couple minor questions:

1.  In battles, what is the wolf symbol down in the bottom left?  Time bonus, maybe (red, yellow, or green depending on how long the battle takes?)

2.  How does the astral pouch work?  The manual says that once it is full, it brings you back to life when you die.  However, the one time I died (fighting the french-sounding dude), it kicked me back to the last checkpoint.  How do you know when it's full and will bring you back to life? 
10693  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: September 22, 2006, 09:18:44 PM

10694  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist 22/Sep/06 on: September 22, 2006, 03:22:20 PM
Okami, Okami, and then maybe a little more Okami.  Can you tell it finally 'clicked' with me last night?   icon_biggrin

I might throw in a little Titan Quest if Mrs. Gratch wants the TV.
10695  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gran Turismo HD: Classic to cost $426.50 to $975?! on: September 21, 2006, 08:36:50 PM

Quote from: The Grue on September 21, 2006, 07:58:47 PM

My point here is that there is certainly a fine line to be walked here.  I would love it if all these companies gave us this exta stuff for free, but I don't expect it.  I also expect to get enough content for the $60 I paid for the game and only have supplemental, non-important content be offered via paid download.  This is acceptable to me.  Downloading extra maps or gameplay types is acceptable.  However, when I begin to feel like I should have had this content for my $60 or that you are forced to buy it to be on a level playing field, that is when I begin to have a problem with it.

The main problem I see is that the definition of "acceptable amount of content" is going to have a very different meaning for developers/publishers than it does to gamers.
10696  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gran Turismo HD: Classic to cost $426.50 to $975?! on: September 21, 2006, 07:29:00 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on September 21, 2006, 07:23:32 PM

Comparing Bethesda to what Sony may be trying to do with GT is just plain retarded, period. Even without any of the add-ons a game like Oblivion is still just huge with dozens of hours of quality gameplay right out of the box. What is possibly being attempted with Gran Turismo is so far from that saying otherwise is stupid.

QFT

While I don't like Bethesda's microtransactions either, what they're proposing for GT is on a whole 'nother level.
10697  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Speaking of Neverwinter Nights 2... on: September 21, 2006, 07:18:07 PM
Wow, this seriously looks like ass:

10698  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Trusty Bell screen shots on: September 21, 2006, 02:29:51 PM
Sure looks purty.  That premise seems a little goofy, but the more JRPG's the better.  They keep releasing these, I may actually have to break down and buy a 360.
10699  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Gran Turismo HD: Classic to cost $426.50 to $975?! on: September 21, 2006, 01:23:06 PM
Just another example of why I absolutely despise the movement towards microtransactions.  If this trend continues (and I don't see any reason why it won't), it will end up driving me out of this hobby for good. 

The biggest problem I have with microtransactions is the fact that it will essentially let developers released unfinished games, then charge for 'special bonuses/features' that they should have been included in the first place.  It could lead to a bad, bad situation for us as gamers.
10700  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Okami impressions on: September 21, 2006, 01:18:20 PM

Quote from: TheMissingLink on September 21, 2006, 12:14:52 PM

Gratch, you can always go to your quest log (or whatever it's called) and it'll basically give you the most important convo's which essentially steer you in the right direction.

Thanks TML, I missed that.  My brain was mush last night, so I'm hoping tonight's time with the game will leave some more positive impressions.
10701  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Okami impressions on: September 21, 2006, 12:09:16 PM
My initial response has been similar to ATB's.   As a work of art, Okami succeeds on every level.  The graphics, music, setting, & characters are all incredible.  As a game, however, it didn't click with me at all after an hour.  Couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it just didn't seem like much fun to me.  I'm chalking it up the fact was simply exhausted last night and my brain wasn't working right.  I'll try it again tonight and see if I fare any better.

My biggest concern is that it will suffer from my least-favorite game malady:  now-what-itis.  A game can be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if I'm constantly wondering "what am I supposed to do now?", I won't play it for very long.  The gibberish voice-overs are already driving me insane.  Is there a way to turn them off, or at least translate them into King of all Cosmos language?
10702  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Reviewer trashes FF III (DS) on: September 20, 2006, 07:18:55 PM
Thought this review of FF III from Planet Gamecube was interesting.  I wonder if the game is actually that bad, or if the reviewer just had a hard time with it.  Will certainly warrant keeping an eye on the reviews.
10703  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is your home page? on: September 20, 2006, 04:39:18 PM
MSN for me
10704  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: lego star wars II impressions on: September 20, 2006, 04:36:01 PM
I'm having a great time with this game, but the camera is driving me insane.  I was falling off unseen ledges in the ESB levels at a ridiculous rate.  It's much more challenging than I expected, and some of the puzzles have taken serious brainpower.  I doubt I'll play through it more than once, but it's certainly a fun little diversion.
10705  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioware to Start Developing for the DS on: September 20, 2006, 04:31:48 PM

Quote from: olaf on September 20, 2006, 03:05:00 PM

I am gonna cry if the art style is anime with kids and big heads.

Being Bioware, I highly doubt it.
10706  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Book recommendations? on: September 20, 2006, 02:25:20 PM
If you guys don't knock it off, I'm going to be reading nothing but Tad Williams for the next year.   icon_wink
10707  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: September 20, 2006, 11:54:25 AM

Quote from: Blackadar on September 20, 2006, 11:10:37 AM

Quote from: ATB on September 20, 2006, 11:00:11 AM

Quote from: Gratch on September 20, 2006, 01:47:28 AM

Terminator one.

I don't get this one. Is that an aircraft part? I seem to remember there being a faulty part on some plane that crashed some years back that looked like that...but that would be in horrible taste...

No, that's a terminator for a coaxial cable.

Winnar
10708  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: September 20, 2006, 01:47:28 AM
















10709  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Book recommendations? on: September 19, 2006, 09:29:12 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 17, 2006, 11:32:07 PM

Quote from: Gratch on September 17, 2006, 09:45:08 PM

This is going to be my next series after I finish re-reading 'War of the Flowers'.  i've been meaning to ask if it's any good, so I'm glad to hear some positive feedback about it.   icon_smile

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn remains my favorite fantasy series to this day and most still consider it Tad Williams' best work.  FWIW, George RR Martin has cited MS&T as one of his inspirations for Song of Ice & Fire. 

I bagged finishing 'War of the Flowers' and just got started on 'Dragonbone Chair' last night.  Only got through about 75 pages, but it's certinaly got potential.
10710  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Bioware to Start Developing for the DS on: September 19, 2006, 09:27:18 PM
Excellent news!  The more RPG's for the system, the happier I am (assuming, of course, that they'll be developing RPG's).
10711  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Rolling Stone is Retarded. on: September 19, 2006, 04:34:09 PM

Quote from: warning on September 19, 2006, 04:15:00 PM

I think Dylan sounds fine.  Maybe a little worse for wear now but I don't have room to talk - I listen to Opeth.

Opeth's singer actually has a pretty good voice when he's not in Cookie Monster mode.
10712  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The New Monday Night Football Broadcast Team on: September 19, 2006, 02:09:54 PM
On a side note, how long has it been since there was a really good MNF game?  Even games that look good on paper have turned out to be complete duds on MNF.  The first game last week wasn't bad, but most of last year's matchups were a complete disaster, and both the OAK-SD & JAX-PIT game were dreadfully boring.
10713  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The New Monday Night Football Broadcast Team on: September 19, 2006, 12:34:40 PM
I've always liked Turico and think he's very solid.  Kornheiser is OK - not too good, not too bad.  I absolutely can't stand Theismann, and have a very hard time listening to any game he is calling.  His nasally whine drives me nuts.

So far, I'd give the team as a whole a C+ grade.  Get rid of Joe, that would go up to a B+.
10714  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Jackass 2 the movie on: September 19, 2006, 03:04:06 AM
Jackass always amused me, so I might eventually check it out.
10715  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (9/18) on: September 18, 2006, 02:13:32 PM
Definately Okami and maybe the Dragon Quest DS game if the reviews are decent.
10716  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: September 18, 2006, 02:10:20 AM
+1 to stiffler.  Uber-quick payment for Disgaea 2
10717  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Disgaea 2 for sale on: September 18, 2006, 12:36:58 AM
PM'd back
10718  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii 250.00 In or Out on: September 17, 2006, 11:08:35 PM

Quote from: The Grue on September 17, 2006, 10:16:38 PM

Quote from: Gratch on September 17, 2006, 09:38:00 PM

Out, for now.  While the system may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, there's simply no release games that interest me in the least.  Just as with the 360, once the library gets stronger I'm sure I'll pick one up.

It's the one guy in the world who hates Zelda!  Get him!!!!!!!!!

Heh.  Zelda is really hit and miss for me.  I bought a Gamecube the first time specifically for Wind Waker.  I ended up regretting it, as I really disliked that game.  I sort of liked the Minnish Cap game, though.  The new one looks very cool, but I'm wary about getting sucked in by the hype like I did with WW.  It's certainly nothing I 'have' to have right when it comes out. 

FWIW, I'm also the one person in the world who hates both the GTA series and Halo.  I just have strange gaming tastes, I guess.
10719  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Disgaea 2 for sale **SOLD** on: September 17, 2006, 09:54:13 PM
**SOLD**
10720  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Book recommendations? on: September 17, 2006, 09:45:08 PM

Quote from: Purge on September 17, 2006, 09:25:54 PM

Another great fantasy series is the Sword of Truth; I know Gratch wouldn't recommend it beyond book 2 or 3, but the later ones actually fill out the main character a lot more. I am 2 books from the end of whats out ( www.terrygoodkind.com ) and there is a few more books out IIRC.

Actually, I'd strongly recommend it up to book 5 (Soul of the Fire), and would tentatively suggest book 6.  I was a huge fan of them up until that point (as my handle testifies), but I think it degenerated into a preachy mess after that.

One other series I'd highly recommend is Greg Keyes' Kingdom of Thorn & Bone series.  Currently at 3 books (The Briar King, The Charnel Prince, & The Blood Knight), and they just keep getting stronger as the story progresses.  A fantastic series with a well developed world, great characters, and some wonderful political intrigue.  It's not nearly on the level as, say, GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire series, but there aren't really any that are.

Quote
Tad Williams (mentioned above) also has a terrific series of fantasy novels. The series is called Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, and starts with "The Dragonbone Chair" IIRC. An amazing story. It's worth the money for the 4 paperbacks or 3 hardcovers.

This is going to be my next series after I finish re-reading 'War of the Flowers'.  i've been meaning to ask if it's any good, so I'm glad to hear some positive feedback about it.   icon_smile
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