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11161  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I think I need to quit gaming for a while on: October 14, 2005, 05:00:37 PM
I think I might need a break from gaming for a while.  I don’t know if it’s the games themselves, or if it’s the fact that I have become the stereotypical cynical, jaded gamer, but I just don’t seem to be enjoying gaming anymore.  Nearly everything I play has that been-there-done-that feeling to it, and there is absolutely nothing that feels remotely innovative or creative.  Even when I come across a game that I enjoy, there are always these little things that frustrate me and I’ll quit playing.  For example, I was really quite enjoying Digital Devil Saga.  The artwork, music, characters, story…everything was great.  But the encounter rate took the frustration level through the roof, and I quit playing.  A few years ago, I may have soldiered on and tried to finish, but now I simply lose interest and figure the frustration level isn’t worth it.  It is a very rare occasion that I put more than 8 hours into a game, and that seems a struggle even with games I enjoy.    Hell, I recently sold Castlevania DS, Advance Wars DS, and Black & White 2 after only a week.  They received great reviews and I really wanted to like them, but every time I sat down with them, I either got frustrated or bored within an hour.

Honestly, I’m really hoping that taking a break for a while will renew my interest in what has been my favorite hobby for the last 15+ years.  I just wish that there was a game that could give me that ‘Wow’ feeling that I used to get when playing games.  A game that I could sit down to play, look up the clock and realize that 3 hours just flew by.  It’s been far too long since that happened, and maybe stepping away for a while will help.

We’ll see.  frown
11162  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Anyone have Atari 2600 joysticks? on: October 14, 2005, 12:15:47 AM
We just dug my wife's old Atari 2600 out of the basement, but all we have are the paddles.  Anyone have some spare joysticks laying around that still work?
11163  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: October 14, 2005, 12:14:39 AM
+1 to warning.  Great as always.
11164  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / F/S: Castlevania DS, Black & White II, Meteos, more on: October 12, 2005, 12:56:58 PM
Sorry Mytocles, but Warning beat you to it.
11165  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / F/S: Castlevania DS, Black & White II, Meteos, more on: October 12, 2005, 01:15:01 AM
A few newish titles that for some reason or another didn't really grab me.  All prices include shipping:

-  Black & White II (PC) - $30 *sale pending*
-  Castlevania:  Dawn of Sorrow (DS) - $25 *sold*
-  Sacred Gold - $15
-  Baldur's Gate II Collection (includes BGII, BGII expansion, & soundtrack disc) - $18
-  Meteos (DS) - $16 *sold*

Not looking for much in the way of trades, but make me an offer (PC, PS2, DS, XBox) and we'll see if something strikes my fancy.
11166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Didn't preorder the Xbox 360? Have fun camping out! on: October 08, 2005, 06:09:15 PM
You guys did notice the fine print on Ritz Camera, right?

A 4 game minimum purchase is recommended from our supplier with each Xbox console order to be considered for early order allocation. Product will be heavily constrained through the Holiday season and placement of order does not guarantee immediate shipment.
11167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lunar: Dragon Song on: October 07, 2005, 06:19:13 PM
Quote from: "weleavefossils"

The battles are sort of odd, and I don't know if im missing something, but I have yet to figure out how to select who I want to attack first, but I'll just have to check the manual for that.  

My understanding from the reviews is that you can't select enemies to attack.  This and the losing-HP-while-running thing sealed the 'No Buy' for me.
11168  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Just Finished: Fable on: October 06, 2005, 02:05:56 PM
Quote from: "ATB"
So overall, it was great fun at first.  Got very engaging towards the middle and then ended up as a 'I'm going to finish it just to finish it' for me.

I'd still recommend it, but with caution. I would be willing to play a sequel though!

That sums up my feelings exactly.  I also thought the end was a huge letdown, and the last hour or so really took the shine off what had been a fantastically fun game.

I will be picking up The Lost Chapters for X-Box when it comes out.
11169  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What the heck are you getting this week? (Week of October 3) on: October 03, 2005, 04:34:24 PM
Castlevania DS and maybe Trauma Center
11170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Disgaea 2 Japanese Playstation Mag Scans on: October 02, 2005, 03:39:55 PM
Quote from: "Canuck"
Anyone else think the first screen looks like something out of Nightmare before Christmas??

That's a bad thing?
11171  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Do you watch Anime? on: September 30, 2005, 01:02:15 PM
I enjoy anime, but don't watch nearly as much as I used to.  I own most of the 'big name' anime movies (Spirited Away, Mononoke, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D, etc.) and a few series (Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Lodoss War), but I don't really go out of my way to track down new series.  I found that it's simply too expensive to collect anime, and no place around here has a decent selection to rent.  Maybe I'll try Netflix or something...
11172  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Bethesda guarantees Oblivion for XBox 360 launch on: September 30, 2005, 12:57:49 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
Just of note, they could technically patch this game just as easily as the PC version - you'd just have to own the 360 instead of the threeshitty. smile

I really, really, really hope they do not go down this road.  The 'release first-patch later' mentality has all but ruined PC gaming for me, and it would infuriate me to see it bleed over into consoles.  Besides, there are still plenty of us without X-Box Live that have absolutely zero plans of ever getting it.
11173  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lunar: Dragon Song on: September 28, 2005, 04:09:01 PM
While I was initially excited, I'm definately going to wait based on the reviews.  Sounds like an exercise in frustration, so I'll wait until I can get it on the cheap.  

Man, I was really looking forward to an DS RPG though.  frown
11174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Best Game You've Played This Gen? on: September 26, 2005, 06:35:37 PM
Quote from: "Starshifter"
4.  Advent Rising ...<drumroll please> - BEST GAME MUSIC SOUNDTRACK EVER (don't even argue with me!) and it even tops Halo's soundtrack!!!  


Well, I guess if Halo is your basis for comparison...
11175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Best Game You've Played This Gen? on: September 26, 2005, 02:46:27 PM
I'll elaborate later, but my top 5:

1.  Shadow Hearts:  Covenant
2.  FFX
3.  Beyond Good & Evil
4.  Xenosaga (1 only.  2 was a disaster.)
5.  Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Honorable mention goes to:
-  Shadow Hearts
-  Meteos
-  Thief 3
-  Burnout 3
-  KotOR
11176  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Worst Game You've Played this Gen? on: September 26, 2005, 02:41:49 PM
1.  Easily FFX-2.  I loved FFX, FFX-2 was a cash-in of epic proportions.
2.  Drakengard - It was such a cool concept that was sucked down into the depths of mediocrity with it's insanely repetitive gameplay.  The story and cutscenes were great, but when you only have to push a single button to play a game, that's not my idea of fun.
3.  Star Ocean III - Again, this one had a ton of potential.  Unfortunately, we ended up with a juvenille story, needlessly complex battle system, and bar none the worst voice acting I have ever heard.  Blech.
4.  Unlimited Saga - Who thought these game mechanics could ever be a good idea?
11177  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Shadow Hearts 3 unofficially confirmed for US release on: September 26, 2005, 01:01:53 PM
Quote from: "depward"
Which makes me think - I purchased the OST for Covenant a long time ago and it's one of my favorite music CDs.  Is it SO WRONG OF ME to want to already order SH:FtNW's OST now?  Or will listening to the music before playing the game somewhat "ruin" the experience?

I picked up the OST last week.  It is very good, but not quite as amazing as the previous games.  You can really tell Mitsuda's touch is missing, as most of the OST is aggressive, thumping music.  It really could have benefited from a few mellower songs.  It's still good, not quite as good.

BTW, they released a CD comprised of arrangements of Shadow Hearts music by other game composers that is fantastic.  It includes music from all three games, and some of the remixes are pretty amazing.  It's called 'Near Death Experience - Shadow Hearts Arranged" and you should be able to find it on E-Bay.

And, of course, the exclusion of my girl Karin Koenig makes me cry inside, but hey, that's ok   biggrin   I have a poster . . . of her . . . on . . my wall . . . so it's ok.

The exclusion of both Karin & Yuri are the main reason I'm not nearly as excited for this game as I expected I'd be.  They could easily be my favorite video game duo, and replacing Yuri with a 16-year old just feels...wrong.

Anyways, jump on the hype-train with me!  If not now, well, that's OK!  We still have almost 6 months til the train leaves the station . . . a loooong six months   :cry:

I'm still excited about SH:  FtNW,  but I don't want to build it up too much.  There's too many variables that scream 'let-down' to me, so I'll stay cautiously optimistic.  smile
11178  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Digital Devil Saga 2 coming October 4 on: September 25, 2005, 08:39:54 PM
Quote from: "Calvin"
I am waiting for the reviews to tell me if they have fixed the godawful Skies of Arcadia like encounter rate. That single-handedly made me stop playing the first.

Me too.  I thought the characters, graphics, battle system, story, music, and evey other facet of DDS was great, but the insane encounter rate ruined what was otherwise a fantastic gaming experience.  I'll wait and see about DDS2.
11179  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Anyone replaying FF7? on: September 22, 2005, 12:55:55 PM
I've got a FFVII save that I've been working on here and there for nearly a year.  It'm about 30 hours in, and I'll usually get around to playing a couple hours or so a month.  Maybe I'll eventually I'll get through it (it's my 4th time through), but there's no rush.
11180  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The GT Pay It Foward Freebies Thread *closing end of 2005* on: September 21, 2005, 11:38:25 PM
Greeneggs:  Got the AoW collection today.  Thanks much!
11181  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: September 21, 2005, 11:37:18 PM
+1 to greeneggsnham for the PIFF'age.  Super quick on the shipping too.
11182  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox rpg questions on: September 21, 2005, 06:30:09 PM
Quote from: "greeneggsnham"
Chrono Cross -alone- justifies the purchase of a PS2 for an console rpg'er. And it's a PS1 game!

+1.  Chrono Cross is an absolutely fantastic game.

There really isn't a japanese/anime style RPG for the X-Box.  The closest one style-wise is Sudeki, but it's really more of an action RPG than a traditional japanese RPG.  If you pick up a PS2, however, you will have a huge amount of RPG goodness available to you.  It's worth it for the PS2 titles, but if you factor in any of the PS1 RPG's you may have missed, it's a no-brainer.
11183  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Burnout Revenge on: September 21, 2005, 02:26:28 AM
After 6 or so hours, I can admit that many of my initial impressions have been changed, and I really enjoy Burnout Revenge.  A couple more observations:

-  The events I enjoy, I really enjoy.  Races (especially crashbreaker), eliminator, road rage, and Grand Prix events are all absolutely fantastic fun.  However, the events I dislike, I really dislike.  I absolutely loathe the preview lap and burning lap events, Traffic Attack is decidedly 'meh', and the crash mode is now absolutely pathetic.

-  Speaking of crash mode, I can't believe how they took something so fun and so engaging...and completely ruined it.  The huge jumps, wind, car weight, etc, all combine to utterly ruin the crash mode imho.  The beauty of Crash events was simply ramming full speed into oncoming traffic, maybe grabbing a couple power-ups, and sitting back to watch the carnage.  It was simple, easy, and fun.  Now, I have to take into consideration every known law of physics, wind shear, jump to distance ratios, bullshit, bullshit, etc, etc.  They ended up taking a simple concept and adding so much that it just sucked all the fun right out of it.  

Not to mention that the AI of the cars in B3's Crash mode was non-existant...and that was a good thing.  They didn't stop, swerve, or try to get out of the way; instead they slammed full speed into whatever was in front of them.  In this version, however, the cars will actively maneuver to get out of your way during a crash sequence.  During one crash, I managed to make a roadblock pile-up at one point in a roundabout.  I thought I had it made until all the oncoming traffic came to a stop!.  No cars ran into my flaming roadblock, and I ended up having to retry the course.   I dread having to complete any of the crash events now, and am perfectly satisfied with a bronze just so I can get past them.

-  You can tell there is still some rubberbanding, but since it now works in my favor as well as against me, it is much more tolerable and serves to add great tension to most of the races.  It also seems that the opposing AI is not nearly as perfect as last time, and will quite often crash of their own accord.  This makes the races seem much more fair.

-  Now that I'm getting used to it, the sweet spots for takedowns are much easier to find.   I also haven't run into any more 'swing-the-camera-back-as-you-run-into-a-wall' moments.  Maybe that was just an odd happening in my first few runs.

All in all, I'd say B3:  Revenge is a very enjoyable game.  I really wish it provided the option to skip the crash and solo race modes.  Not being able to skip them knocks it down a notch.  A solid B+ from me.  smile
11184  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The GT Pay It Foward Freebies Thread *closing end of 2005* on: September 20, 2005, 06:49:19 PM
Thanks Greeneggs, I'll let you know when I get it if it's the right one.  

A humble request:  Does anyone have a copy of Giants:  Citizen Kabuto they'd be willing to part with?  I played this when it first came out but my system wasn't beefy enough to handle it.  I'd love to give it another shot.

11185  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Nintendo Revolution Controller Poll on: September 20, 2005, 02:11:09 PM
Right now, there's simply no way to know.  It will totally depend on the games.  I will admit that it looks silly, but the concept is interesting and some killer apps will easily make up for any aesthetics it is missing.
11186  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What are you buying this week? on: September 20, 2005, 12:02:05 AM
Yes!  The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree is finally being released!  The graphics may be a bit lackluster, but all the previews point to a rich storyline and a deep combat system that could make it this fall's GBA 'killer app'.  I'll be sure to put up some detailed impressions soon...
11187  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hetz is not the only lucky son of a gun on: September 19, 2005, 09:06:10 PM
Congrats!  biggrin

I've got about 30 points saved up, and am debating which one I should enter.  Anyone know when the promo ends?
11188  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I Fear for my Wallet on: September 17, 2005, 04:01:45 PM
That's alright.  I've been wanting to go back and play through the original game anyways, so added content is just an extra bonus.  smile
11189  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I Fear for my Wallet on: September 17, 2005, 02:58:41 PM
Quote from: "Dreamshadow"

Thanks for the review.  I'll be picking up the X-Box version, so I'm not worried too much about the control scheme.  I thought the X-Box controls worked pretty well for the original game.
11190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / I Fear for my Wallet on: September 17, 2005, 03:44:40 AM
Huh, my wallet is rather thankful then.  The only game that interests me in the near future is Fable, and it's only $30.  smile
11191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The real Revo controller on: September 17, 2005, 01:26:56 AM
Quote from: "Crawley"
I'm very exicted at the possibilites of this. Just gotta get the creative software developers to make the most of it.

And therein lies the problem.  How many developers are going to be willing to develop a truly unique game solely for a platform that (most likely) will have the lowest user base?  In the current gaming world of 'more of the same is the only thing that makes money', will anyone be willing to take that risk?  

If the Revolution proves to be the catalyst that forces a change, I'm all for it.  I just don't see it happening.
11192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Burnout Revenge on: September 17, 2005, 01:13:15 AM
I went ahead and picked it up today.  Impressions after an hour or so:

-  Either takedowns are much more difficult to execute, or I haven't found the 'sweet spot' yet.  In B3, I knew exactly how to hit a car to take them down from either the side or rear, but those same spots aren't effective in B3R.  Of course, it may just be a matter of finding those spots in this version.

-  The rubberband AI hasn't seemed to be a problem yet.  That's a very good thing.

-  Hate the traffic attack mode.  Smacking into all the same-way traffic felt like Pac-Man trying to run over the dots.  Lame.

-  Vertical takedowns are sweet.  I managed to take out 2 opponents using a 'death from above' move that left all kinds of carnage in it's wake.  Neat.

-  The takedown camera sucks.  On 3 occasions during my last race, the takedown slo-mo camera swung back and put me right in front of a wall with no time to react.  Not fun.

-  Being able to run into same-way traffic takes much of the thrill out of the race.  White knuckle driving while knowing I had to avoid everyone in B3 was most of the fun.  Knowing I can slam anyone with no penalty makes the game more dull.

-  Crash mode isn't nearly as fun without all the power ups.  And the golf swing start is stupid.

I don't know yet if B3R is better or worse than B3.  I'm leaning towards worse, but I'm going to give it a few more hours tonight and see improving my takedown abilities will help the enjoyment factor.  Judgement pending...
11193  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Burnout Revenge on: September 16, 2005, 08:58:30 PM
Quote from: "Matt"
So am I really the only one who is very disappointed that they completely took out the road rage single play events? Heck all of the single play events I mean its either you play world play or multipler. Theres no way to just randomly jump into races/road rage/crash mod by yourself just to kill time..

Anyone else upset about this? In burnout 3 after I almost completed the game and world play got boring I could just sit for hours playing single player road rage on random tracks all night. Nobody else has even mentioned this..

I was going to pick it up this afternoon, but the lack of random Road Rage events (or the lack of being able to chose any random events) is giving me pause.  BO3 reached a point where the races were simply too hard and/or frustrating for me, so I spent a ton of time doing random races, mainly road rage.  If that is not available, it is going to seriously decrease the longevity of this game for me.  frown
11194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The real Revo controller on: September 16, 2005, 01:15:28 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
The more I think about it, the more this thing reminds me of trying to play a game like Dragon's Lair on my VCR Remote.

Heh, nice.

That video just made a bad idea look even worse.  So...apparently all we will get on the Revolution with this new controller are motion controlled games?  No thanks.
11195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The real Revo controller on: September 16, 2005, 12:02:48 PM
After staring at it for a few minutes, I think I put my finger on what bugs me about it that controller.  Look how far apart the A button is from the B and C.  Now imagine trying to play a fighting game with that button setup, or any game that requires quick button combos.  Yeah, I can't picture it either.  THe layout seems very counter-intuitive.  Let's face it, we've been using a similar button layout on every controller for the past 10 years, and I can't imagine that gamers will suddenly get used to three vertical buttons.  It also doesn't seem like the thing has any shoulder buttons, or am I missing something?

As always, I give Nintendo props for trying something new, but I just can't see how this controller could be functionally viable.
11196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF Advent Children... on: September 15, 2005, 10:07:24 PM
Uematsu isn't bad, but Yasounori Mitsuda is a far better composer (especially when it comes to game music).  Chrono Trigger & Cross, Xenogears & Xenosaga, Shadow Hearts, Tsunugai, etc.  Some of the most beautiful music (I'm talking all music, not just game soundtracks) I've ever heard.
11197  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF Advent Children... on: September 15, 2005, 03:58:42 AM
More thoughts:

I just watched it again and I must admit that it is even better the second time through. Parts of it still make absolutely no sense, but knowing the overarching story definately helped a few things fall into place.

With this movie, Square has set an entirely new standard in computer animation. Think of the absolute best CGI you have ever seen, then realize that it pales in comparison to the detail, realism, and beauty found in this film. In some ways it's a shame that FFVII: AC isn't more accessable to the masses, because I really think people would start looking at CGI in a whole new light. It's really going to be hard to watching other animated films after seeing what Square has done here. I picked up so many details this time through that I missed the first time. The fluidity and realism of the character movements. The perfection of light, shadow, and reflection. The way characters images are skewed when seen through a certain perspective. It is simply flawless, and the artists are to be truly applauded.

Unfortunately, that if you don't have a basic knowledge of the characters, you will be completely and utterly lost. For example, Aeris is never explained, and if you don't know her significance, all of the emotional punch will be lost. Square makes the assumption that the people that will watch this will be very familiar with who the characters are and their relationships with each other, and offers very little in the way of backstory. While this will probably hurt the overall success of the film, you have to give them props for knowing their audience. Don't let it stop you from seeing it, if for no reason than for the visual spectacle of the thing. You won't regret it. smile
11198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xenosaga 3, Baten Kaitos 2 announced on: September 14, 2005, 07:10:10 PM
I absolutely loved Xenosaga I, but II was an absolute and complete mess.  I hope the 3rd installment can redeem it somewhat.
11199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / FF Advent Children... on: September 14, 2005, 04:06:34 AM
I just finished watching FFVII:  Advent Children, and I will say that this is nothing short of an wonderful, incredible, simply amazing movie.  I have never, and I honestly mean never, seen such a visually stunning piece of work.  Square has perfected every single detail of this film, while preserving the spirit and feel of the game.  The detail packed into every single shot completely astounded me.  If you can let yourself suspend disbelief for a couple hours, you will be witness to some of the most incredible fight and chase scenes ever to be put to any medium.  Game, film, TV...I have never seen anything like this.

Much like the game, the story is completely batshit insane.  But somehow it all  I will say that if you haven't played the game all the way through, it will make even less sense.  If I can pick a very small nit, some of the characters did seem a bit tacked on.  They all came together for a mind-boggling battle, but it did seem a bit like Square decided, "Well, we need to be sure and show Yuffie, Cid, Red XIII, et al, so let's throw them in here."  That being said, seeing the gang all together in a massive throw down brought a huge smile to my face.  When it all comes together at the end, it is a heart-wrenching moment that honestly almost brought a tear to my eye.

The music is fantastic, although most of it has been released before, either on the FFVII Piano CD, The Black Mages, or the FFVII Reunion Tracks CD.  That's nothing against it, and those who have never heard those CD's will be absolutely thrilled by it.  I absolutely love hearing 'One Winged Angel' with screaming guitars and a full orchestra, and the piano arrangements during the few quiet moments fit perfectly.

OK, enought with what probably sounds like fanboy babble.  I'll simply say this.  Square absolutely, completely, 100%, and in all other ways nailed it with FFVII:  Advent Children.  It is an absolute must see for fans of the game, and for anyone who simply wants to sit back and be amazed for a couple hours.
11200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Bard's Tale worth 9.99? on: September 14, 2005, 12:15:14 AM
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Ys isn't even worth $10...

I'll second that.  I absolutely hated that game.

Back on topic, Bard's Tale is certainly worth $10.  I put in about 10 hours before the frustration level got too high, but all in all it was pretty fun.  There are a few laugh-so-hard-you-fall-off-the-couch ("Oh it's bad luck to be you...") moments that are all too rare in games.
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