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11681  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LotR: The Third Age...anyone played it? on: November 15, 2004, 01:13:20 PM
I put about 20 hours into LotR:  TTA.  I'll give the game this; they captured the LotR atmosphere perfectly.  The graphics, the character models, the armor, the enemies, the music...all of them were perfect.  But the laughable lack of story killed this game for me.  Honestly, you end up fighting the exact same enemies over and over and over again, with little or no story as an incentive to keep playing.  After reading about that joke of an ending, I decided to take it back while I the trade in value was good.  It's fun for a rental, but I wouldn't really recommend buying it.

BTW, the longer I played it, the more irritated I became with the comparison to FFX.  FFX was a great game because of it's story and characters, not it's friggin battle system.
11682  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / College Football! on: November 15, 2004, 12:28:20 PM
Quote from: "GungHo"
Well, Im not sorry to disappoint ya, but I dont think UT loses to A&M.  We've got their # like OU has that game is in Austin.

After watching UT the last 2 weeks, I'm not so sure that game's a lock.   Texas' offense has looked pretty good (Vince Young is freaking amazing), but that defense has been really shaky.  Wasn't that Kansas' 3rd string QB?  And this is a very different A&M team than the one Utah whacked on opening night, so it could be interesting.

Trust me, it's nothing against UT personally.  Hell, if it were Podunk State ahead of Utah in the BCS, I'd be become the biggest fan of whoever was playing Podunk State.

Either bring back the old days of The Wild West, anything goes football, or give me a playoff.  Cause this shit we've got now, sucks.

This, we can completely agree on.  But for a school like Utah with no real football tradition, this BCS shit is pretty exciting!  smile
11683  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Does anybody else need to lose some weight? on: November 15, 2004, 03:48:08 AM
I'm going to try and drop some in the next few months.  Same thing as you warning;  pants are now too tight, too many McD's during the 1/2 hour between jobs, etc.

I'm 6'0" and about 210.  I'd love to get down around 190, which I think I can do pretty quick if I start lifting and jogging.  The dog's gotten old enough that he can keep up with me jogging, so I'll have to start doing that 4-5 times a week.

My biggest problem is quitting the sodas.  I've gotten so used to drinking 3-4 cans of Pepsi a day, and it's damn near impossible to stop.  Need...more...willpower...
11684  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / College Football! on: November 14, 2004, 10:44:26 PM
I know the "probably"s, but I can still hope right?  slywink  Realistically, I hold out more hope for Texas A&M beating Texas than for OSU to beat Michigan.  Funny how a team we crushed earlier this year has now become our best friends.  If one of those happen and we take care of the Y, then Fiesta, here we come!!  

You should see the level of excitement around this city right now.  It's insane how everybody has gotten behind this team.  I'd venture to say that there is actually more support for this team than there was for the Utah basketball team that played Kentucky in the NCAA finals a few years back.  Mainly becase this type of thing has never (and, unfortunately probably will never again) been seen at this school.   Even if Urban leaves, what he has accomplished here is simply amazing.

Did I mention ESPN's College Gameday will be broadcasting here next week?  I'll be at the broadcast all day on Saturday.  It's gonna be insane!
11685  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / College Football! on: November 14, 2004, 03:29:45 PM
Quote from: "GungHo"

But it really doesnt matter; if you're not playing for the NC it's just another bowl game.  Holiday, Citrus, Fiesta...the only difference is how much money they pay.

True, but it's a huge difference.  Look at it from a Utah perspective.  If Texas loses that game, coupled with the Wisconsin loss, Utah (probably) moves up to 5 in the BCS.  As long as they take care of buisness next week by beating BYU, they would still be in the top 6 even if Michigan beats Ohio State and passes them.  As it is now, Utah can crush BYU by 100 and still has the possibility of getting passed by Michigan for the final guaranteed BCS spot.  And that that final BCS spot is the difference between $1.4 million (Liberty bowl) and $14 million (Fiesta Bowl).  It could also mean the difference when Urban makes his final decision to leave or not.

So yes, those little things do make a huge difference to some teams.
11686  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / College Football! on: November 14, 2004, 04:16:09 AM
Well, the BCS rankings this week will certainly be interesting.  Wisconsin gets hammered by an unranked MSU, Georgia loses to an awfully good Aubrun squad, Texas barely squeaks by a horrible KU (that late offensive pass interference call on KU was absolute horseshit, BTW.  Not to take anything away from Vince Young's amazing effort, but KU got jobbed by the refs.), Michigan crushed NW, and Utah is hammering Wyoming 45-14 in the 3rd.

Any guesses on the BCS rankings come Monday?  Here's my prediction:

1.  USC
2.  OK
3.  Auburn
4.  Cal
5.  Texas
6.  Utah
7.  Michigan

At least that's how I hope it ends up. smile
11687  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The GT Pay It Foward Freebies Thread *closing end of 2005* on: November 14, 2004, 03:33:22 AM
Quote from: "greeneggsnham"


Can I claim Stratego and Dungeon Keeper Gold?


DK:  Gold was already claimed, but I'll send yout Stratego.  PM your address to me.
11688  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / This Is Fun Pt 3: This Time It's Personal! (possibly NSFW) on: November 14, 2004, 03:31:43 AM
11689  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / OK I GIVE! IM OVERLOADED on: November 13, 2004, 03:01:34 PM
1998 would have been FF VIII, iirc.
11690  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Baten Kaitos review at IGN on: November 13, 2004, 03:00:13 PM
I almost didn't sell my GCN because of Baten Kaitos, but I just couldn't justify keeping the system for one game that might be good.  Looks like I might be picking up a used GCN now.
11691  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ever go to a concert by yourself? on: November 13, 2004, 02:58:15 PM
Thanks.  Now I don't feel quite so strange for wanting to go by myself.    I'm going to go no matter what, because I really doubt I'll get another chance to see them.

When I told her about it, Mrs. Gratch said she might with me, even though she doesn't like their music one bit.  Damn my wife is cool.  smile
11692  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: November 12, 2004, 10:01:26 PM
+1 to warning for the freebie
11693  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / New Atari Console? on: November 12, 2004, 07:40:45 PM
I'd was initially excited about the Flashback, until they said it only came with about 20 games.  Hell, I can go buy one of those joysticks that has about that many games in it for $20.
11694  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ever go to a concert by yourself? on: November 12, 2004, 07:07:42 PM
Here's the deal.  My favorite band of all time, Skinny Puppy, is playing here later this month.  However, none of my friends are into that type of music at all, and I can't think of a single one that would go with me.  In fact, I can't even think of a distant acquaintance that has ever even heard of SP.  So I'm dying to go to this show, but don't get too excited about the prospects of going to a concert by myself.  I've gone to movies solo on occasion, but a concert is a much more social event.  Anyone done it before?

I'm sure I'll end up going, as this will probably be the first and last chance I'll ever get to see Skinny Puppy live.  But man will I ever feel like a loser.  Oh well...
11695  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Unscrewed cancelled, TSS "morphing". on: November 12, 2004, 12:56:29 PM
Can't say I'm too sad about either of those shows getting the axe.  Unscrewed was only occasionaly amusing, and I could never sit through and entire episode of TSS.  Granted, I never got TechTV so I've only seen the bastardized version of TSS, but it's just awful.  

I will check out G4 occasionally, and actually enjoy Filter (Diane Mizota.  Rawrrrrr...), X-Play, Cinematech, and Pulse.   Could definately do without the other shows though.  The one that baffles me the most is "Arena".  Who in their right mind actually sits down and watches other people play Mechassault and UT2K4?
11696  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Today is Veteran's Day - thanks dbt & others! on: November 12, 2004, 12:50:22 PM
I'm a day late, but huge props and thanks to all you vets.
11697  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Edit: Make me want an Xbox - and tell me what I should know on: November 11, 2004, 06:30:42 PM
Quote from: "juniordan"
I got one on Sunday....
Me of all people mr PS2, Mr sony all the way, Mr PS2 and PC
dont need the damaged box.
I like it and I am even more comfortable with the fact I got the 2 year
warranty with it from best buy $20bucks.
because it break and will break I am sure everyone here has bee thru at least one or more Xbox (owned for over a year at least).
My PS2 is going on 3-4years and no problem.

But Halo 2 and KOTOR 1 & 2 will be worth it.

FWIW, I've had a PS2 for close to 3 years, and an X-Box for over 2 and I've never had a problem with either.  My PS2 probably has hundreds more hours than the X-Box (not many Japanese RPG's on the Box), but they both still run great.

Now that I said that, I'll probably get disc read errors on both this afternoon. slywink
11698  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 11, 2004, 05:07:53 PM
Quote from: "Fireball1244"
We work in your offices. We go to your churches. We have kids in your schools... and we also teach your kids in the schools. We live on your block. We pay our taxes. We serve in the military. We love our country just as much as any heterosexual. We are, by and large, just like you.'ve got teh gay.  That automatically makes you evil.  You should change your heathen, immoral ways and become one of us normal straight folk right now!  I'll loan you my Bible to help get you started.

/heaps and heaps of sarcasm

Great posts, man.  I think many of the basic privlages of married couples that you pointed out get overlooked by the "anti-gay marriage", interest groups.
11699  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / should I get KOTOR on: November 11, 2004, 04:30:48 PM
KotOR is the best Star Wars experience in the last 20 years, including the prequels and all the other games, books, shows, etc.  It really is an amazing game.  You'll definately want to budget a good chunk of time for it though.  I can almost guarantee you'll want to play through it twice (once good, once bad).  It took me about 45 the first time through (playing good, which is much harder imo), but only around 25 the second time because I didn't bother with a lot of the side quest stuff.

BTW, how have we gotten this far in a KotOR thread without the bashers showing up?  I always thought those guys had some sort of radar that detected positive KotOR posts and launched heat seeking missiles to start up the inevitable flamewar.
11700  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The GT Pay It Foward Freebies Thread *closing end of 2005* on: November 11, 2004, 01:12:51 PM
Fafhrd:  I'll take that Etherlords 2 if you don't mind.

PM in a bit...
11701  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 11/10/04 on: November 11, 2004, 01:07:05 PM
Mrs. Gratch and I watched Lost for the first time last night.  Even coming in mid-show, I must admit I'm very impressed.  It had me glued to the set for the entire episode, and I'm even considering watching it next week.  That's pretty huge for me, as I have never in my life watched a TV drama regularly.  If it can actually get me hooked, it's gotta be a pretty good show.
11702  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Vancouver, BC Travel advice needed on: November 10, 2004, 09:08:00 PM
I remember taking a trip to Victoria and Vancouver when I was about 10 years old.  I only remember bits and pieces, but maybe one of you guys can help me out.  We went to some sort of museum (in Victoria, I think) that was entirely dedicated to miniatures.  They had these incredible miniatures of famous buildings, complete recreations of major battles in miniature, and all kinds of amazing stuff on a small scale.  I remember it being one of the coolest things I'd ever seen and have always wanted to go back and see it again.  Anyone know what the name of the place was?

I also vaguely remember Buchart Gardens, which were boredom incarnate for a 10 year old.  I'd love to go back now that I would appreciate it more.  Hmmm, maybe Mrs. Gratch and I need to head that way next summer...
11703  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: November 10, 2004, 03:46:13 PM
+1 to aussie77 for the freebie
11704  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Charlie and the CHocolate Factory on: November 10, 2004, 01:09:25 PM
Quote from: "Sepiche"
Quote from: "Ypmur"
Well, let's hope he doesn't abandon his original efforts in order to keep doing remakes.... I think his originals are what he does best.

This is his next project.  Supposedly it's a new stop motion musical.


A new stop motion musical?  You just made my day.  Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all-time favorites, and I was afraid he'd never team up with that crew (Elfman, especially) to try it again.  Looks like a killer voice cast as well.  Depp, Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Albert Finney, Christopher Lee.  

I absolutely loved "Big Fish", his last original film.  Totally different from anything else he's done, but it was a fantastic movie.  One of the few movies I can remember that honestly brought tears to my eyes.
11705  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Seasonal Affective Disoder? on: November 09, 2004, 05:08:07 PM
I get a lot happier when it snows.  Does that count?  slywink
11706  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Charlie and the CHocolate Factory on: November 09, 2004, 12:03:25 PM
I'm there for anything directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp, and featuring Danny Elfman music.  That's a winning combination in my book.
11707  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Halo 2 - It's ON! (impressions thread) on: November 09, 2004, 03:51:21 AM
Quote from: "dangerballs"
I plan on leaving in a hour or so.  I can hear my xbox downstairs moaning.  She's saying give it to me, baby.  Give me your Halo 2.  Put it inside.  Yes!  Play it, baby. Yes! YES! YESSSSS!!!!  :shock:

OK, you people are now officially way too excited for this game.

/one of apparently 2 people that own an X-Box and has absolutely zero interest in Halo 2
11708  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: ... on: November 08, 2004, 01:06:40 PM
Quote from: "Pharaoh"
A big thing I found is using Benethor at all times. His Leadership abilities, espeically the Immunity to Stun and Spirt resistances are huge, especially when those stupid casters start using Murder of Crows.

I had trouble leveling at that point, but there should be a point near the Worg Queen where a Save Point is in her nest, and you get aggro real fast near it. I just saved (Full HP/Mana), then fought twice, went back, and repeated until I got a few more levels for my characters.

Thanks for the tip Pharaoh.  Since there weren't many enemies in Moria that had stun attacks, I had skipped over that one in Berethor's Leadership skill tree.  Once I picked it up, it made the rest of that level pretty easy.

Regarding game length, I'm a little over 10 hours and it says I'm only at 30% complete (just got to the plains of Rohan).  I've heard it's only 15-20 hours, so is the last half of the game really short, or am I just really slow?
11709  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / College Football! on: November 08, 2004, 05:12:58 AM
Quote from: "Pyperkub"

Fiesta: ??? vs ACC champ

??? = Utah, Michigan, Texas, Auburn

Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please let it be Utah.  Things would really have to fall in place just perfect (mainly a couple losses from teams above them), but I would love to see Utah be the first "BCS buster" to get through the old boys ridiculous system.

Of course, I'm a Utah season ticket holder, so I'm a little biased.  smile
11710  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LOTR: TTA (More impressions please!) on: November 07, 2004, 07:33:19 PM
Wow, this game just took a huge jump in difficulty.  I just got through Moria (that Balrog's a mean bitch), and didn't really have any problems all the way through.  Really, the Balrog fight is the only one that gave me any trouble at all.

On to the next level...and I start getting my ass simply handed to me. These Uruk-hai and Orc parties are strong as hell, their stun attacks are a killer, and I've gotten mopped three times in just the opening section.

Did you guys find this section to be much more difficult, or did I simply not level up my characters enough through Moria?  I'm playing on Normal difficulty, btw.
11711  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The GT Pay It Foward Freebies Thread *closing end of 2005* on: November 07, 2004, 05:05:38 PM
Warning:  I'll take DMC.  Always wanted to try that one and ever got around to it.

You'll have a PM in a bit.
11712  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LOTR: TTA (More impressions please!) on: November 06, 2004, 06:27:47 AM
I picked up LotR:  TTT this afternoon, having serious doubts whether or not I'd like it.  I love both FFX and LotR, but wasn't sure how well they'd go together.

I just finished playing for 6 1/2 hours straight.  Good God, this is possibly the most addicting RPG I've played in a long time.   So far, this game has done absolutely everything right.  The battle system is fun, the graphics are superb, the use of music (it's the movie score) is perfect, the movie segments and McKellen's VO work is well done, and overall I'm having a complete blast with it.  I'd highly recommend it to anyone who even remotely enjoyed FFX or LotR
11713  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 06, 2004, 02:44:54 AM
Quote from: "Rhinohelix"
If the majority is always right i guess we better throw all interacial couples in jail because the majority was against that (ironically it was the same group too!).
 African-Americans and Hispanics are overwhelmingly against gay marriage.  Next stereotype to be de-bunked, please.  :roll:


I think you misunderstood.  This was brought up as an example to show that not too long ago, the banning of interracial marriage was encouraged by the "majority", just like banning of gay marriage is today.  Yet in today's society, interracial marriage is now a very common occurance.  

I don't think he meant that the majority of interracial couples are against gay marriage.
11714  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 05, 2004, 08:49:28 PM
Quote from: "Butterknife"
If that is your understanding as well then what is the problem when the courts say that laws against gay marrige are unconstitutional?

I agree with you.  If the court says that laws against gay marriage are unconstitutional (Supreme Court will undoubtedly hear this one at some point in the near future) then I would support their decision.  Doesn't mean I would agree with it, but I would support it (hopefully that makes sense).

That's good to hear Butterknife.  While I don't agree with your opinion, you've at least taken some time to actually think about it, which is more than what most people do.

Unfortunately, I think you're probably the exception rather than the rule.  I just get the feeling many voters this year simply said, "Well, my pastor/bishop/magic tree frog says it's bad, so I better go cast my ballot accordingly!"
11715  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 05, 2004, 08:09:14 PM
Quote from: "Butterknife"
Now, on to the actual subject.  Homosexuality is morally wrong, as far as I am concerned.  We have every right as Americans to make laws against things that we believe to be morally wrong.  

That's the reasoning that scares the shit out of me.  I just don't understand how anyone could support legislating morality because everyone's idea of "correct morals" is so vastly different.  To me, saying people can't marry because they're gay is no different that saying people who are left-handed can't marry.  Or people who can roll their tounge can't get married.  Or people who are albino can't marry.  Or people who get depressed can't marry.   You're discriminating based on a physical trait, which IMO goes against the entire concept of freedom this country was built on.

For example, I'd say 99% of Americans believe murder to be morally wrong.  Therefore, we have laws against murder.  But, undoubtedly, a small percentage of the population believes murder to be OK.  As far as those few people are concerned, it is "wrong" to make a law against murder.

I gotta disagree here.  There is a law against murder because it is an act that causes very real harm to another individual or individuals, not because it is morally wrong.  Same with theft, arson, assault, embezzlement, etc., etc.  These are acts that have drastic effects on other people's lives.  I just don't see physical, monetary, or any other sort of harm to anyone if two gay people are allowed to marry.

EDIT:  Damn, I type too slow.  In the time it took me to type this, you guys had already brought up all my points.  Please continue and I'll keep lagging behind...  slywink
11716  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The GT Pay It Foward Freebies Thread *closing end of 2005* on: November 05, 2004, 01:35:24 PM
Here's the updated Karma ratings I've got:

Aussie77  +10
Dangerballs +9
Eliot +5
Enigma +7
Ericb +1
Goldenember +2
Gratch +18
Gwen +7
Hitbyambulance +8
Kestrel 0
Laner +7
Lord Ebonstone  +3
None +5
Qbe +2
Ragnarok +18
VynlSol +4
Wanker Jr. 0
Warning +7
Wookie007 +3
Unbreakable +15
Xmann 0
Zarkon +18

As always, shoot me a PM or e-mail if I'm off.
11717  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Thanks CG modorators. on: November 04, 2004, 04:21:06 PM
Quote from: "warning"
I'm sure Jeff Jones will post 5 seconds before me.

You can quit the act know, we all know you're the same person.   I have my suspicions about a link between you and U2K as well...  slywink

Seriously though, thanks for the leeway you guys have shown so far.  I think that, for the most part, everybody has been pretty civil even in the "heated" threads.   It's nice to be able to discuss polar opposite viewpoints without things getting out of control.
11718  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LOTR: Third Age Review!! on: November 04, 2004, 04:14:47 PM
I'm going to pick this up as soon as I (finally) wrap up Shadow Hearts:  Covenant.  Hopefully tonight or tomorrow.

Of course, that means that the copy of Shin Megami Tensai that I picked up on release day and haven't played yet will continue to gather dust.  frown
11719  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Penny Arcade's "Child's Play" toy drive on: November 04, 2004, 04:02:11 PM
Just wanted to give a heads up to everyone about PA's "Child's Play" toy drive this year.  If you're undecided about a charity to donate to this holiday, you might consider this one.

Child's Play

For those who don't know, the guys over at PA decided to start a toy drive for donation to the Seattle Children's Hospital last year.  They wanted to prove that gamers could do some good in their community to combat the horrible media attention that games and gamers tend to receive.  They ended up bringing in over $250,000 in toys and donations for the hospital.  A couple cool images of the donations:

They've expanded it to include a few more hospitals around the country this year, and are expecting to bring in even more toys and donations.  It's pretty amazing what they generated and is definately worth a look if you haven't checked it out before.
11720  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Cosplayers. Are these the alpha nerds? on: November 04, 2004, 02:25:09 PM
Check out this video...

Is there possibly anything that can top this for sheer nerdiness?
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