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1641  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dead Or Alive 4 - Time to bring it! on: January 02, 2006, 11:22:58 PM
I think I finally hurdled part of the learning curve today.  I'm not sure if this is decent, but I managed to get to 27 in survival without going down.  That felt pretty good.  I also went 15-6 against the AI in versus mode today.  Not sure what changed, but things just seemed to click.  I did win 1 online match today, but the lag has been awful in pickup matches.  It's like trying to fight watching a slideshow.  It's been like that for me since lastnight.  

I got to alpha 152 in about 7 minutes in time attack, and then spent another 10 minutes fighter her lol.  Her grab moves are crazy.
1642  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dead Or Alive 4 - Time to bring it! on: January 02, 2006, 08:48:13 AM
I earned my 10 hours played and you-suck-online achievements tonight.  This game is clearly not for me.  I do like playing against people much more than fighting the cheap AI though.  I tried time battle tonight and was reminded again how lame the AI is with the mind-reading counters.  And freaking alpha-152 is just the lamest, cheapest fighting game boss I've ever had to fight.  This game would have been a blast if they ramped up the difficulty some, but I know that's not Team Ninja's MO.  

I watched a lot of fights tonight online, and I can count the # of counters I saw executed successfully on one hand.  Yet the normal AI during my experience playing time attack tonight countered at least 4-5 times a match starting at stage 4 or so.  I was even countered on my very first attack a few times!  That's cheap.  The AI juggling combo crap is just annoying as hell too.  I didn't fight a single human player tonight that could routinely pull off 8 hit combos like the normal AI can.    

I know team ninja is all about making their games a right of passage, but for me, it's not worth the frustration.  I have too many other good 360 and pc games that I'd like to play.  This one is going back for some store credit.
1643  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBox360 Tomorrow? Help Answer My Questions Tonight! on: January 02, 2006, 12:55:01 AM
Glad to hear you were able to get the sound working.  If it works, it works!  I almost threw away the mini-plug adapter thing because it was so small, and because it came in seperate plastic wrapping from the main cables.  I remember thinking that I'd need to go back to the mall and buy an s-cable to pc sound card adapter mini-plug, and was happy when I found it attached in a seperate packet with the rest of the packaging.
1644  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBox360 Tomorrow? Help Answer My Questions Tonight! on: January 01, 2006, 06:08:14 PM
Quote from: "Misguided"
Calvin, does your sound card have a line in port on the back?
If so you can do what I did:

I went to radio shack and got an adapter that has 2 female rca jacks on one side and a male 1/8 stereo mini plug on the other (i.e. a normal small headphone plug). I then got an extension (which you might not need) to runthat into the line in on my sound card, which is already set up wiith the speakers.


The MS VGA HD cable I bought has exactly what you described already with it.  In fact, in the package is the adapter to plug in the standard red and white audio s-cables so that I could insert the small single stereo male end into a pc sound card.  My creative labs speakers have that line-in input both on the card and on the volume/bass controller that I have laying on my desk.  I plugged the xbox 360 VGA audio adapter into the line-in on the volume controller and it worked.  

Unless I'm not understanding what you wrote Calvin, I think you should be able to use what already came with your VGA cables, plug in the red and white cables into the little adapater piece included in the package, and then plug that into your pc sound card line-in.

Edited to add:  You may need to do like Misguided suggests and get an extension in case the original cables don't reach to the back of your pc.
1645  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dead Or Alive 4 - Time to bring it! on: January 01, 2006, 05:46:46 PM
Quote from: "Hetz"
Anyway, come join us online for a couple matches! I just had a great time with Starshifter (and Starshifter's kids), VegasD and Devil. smile


Stupid question: how do I find you guys on xbox live?  I'm new to all the xbox live stuff.  My GT is Roguekain.  

Regarding the AI difficulty, Itagaki is a sadastic SOB.  The way he punishes losing or playing crappy just reinforces this.  I never played the expansion or new NG version, but I'm sure I would've been bumped down to the humilating difficulty level he created for that version.  If I remember correctly, my gameplay prowess earned me the title of ninja dog for most of the levels in NG (and I thought I was kicking ass and taking names lol).

I'm looking forward to giving DOA4 a go online.
1646  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dead Or Alive 4 - Time to bring it! on: January 01, 2006, 02:20:03 AM
I managed to complete story modes for La Mariposa, Christy and Jan Lee, and it was a frustrating experience the whole way.  I never had one of those gaming moments where I was like, "wow, this is cool", or "man, what a fun game".  I haven't restarted this many times in a game since...well, Ninja Gaiden.  At least in NG I started to get comfortable with the controls and was able to kick ass after a few days.  In DOA4 you have to be a freaking mind reader to be any good with counters, especially since there's high, mid and low for punches AND kicks.  The problem is that the Normal difficulty AI uses counters like a pro, and is really (imo) way too good.  If you try and counter, the Normal AI will immediately use throws on you without hesitation.  I've been countered by the Normal AI repeatedly on move combinations that most average human foes would never guess right (the moves that alternate kicking and punch strikes high, low, mid, low, high).    

The graphics are superb, but I'm not happy having to fight Super AI right out the gates.
1647  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dead Or Alive 4 - Time to bring it! on: December 31, 2005, 06:16:08 PM
I'm glad someone is finding this game easy.  I'd like to thank Team Ninja for making another hard game where the lowest difficulty, normal, should be relabled "You're farking kidding right?  The CPU is going to wipe the floor with your sorry ass!."

I practiced for a few hours with La Miraposa, and then hit the single player versus mode against the cpu.  Holy crap I got my ass kicked.  The cpu counters like crazy, so any button mashing I tried to do was shoved back in my face.  The only wins I could get seemed to be pure luck, not skill of any sort.

I'm sure there will be a reward payoff like in NG after I started really learning the timing and moves, but damn if it's not frustrating in the process  smile
1648  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / A Huge Public Thanks To Purge on: December 30, 2005, 02:38:37 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience AA, it made my night.  I know there are plenty of good guys out there like Purge, they just don't toot their own horns.  Instead, we get to hear the "success" stories from people making mad $$ on eBay.  Cheers to Purge for placing personal honor and selflessness above profit...and for gift wrapping it, sheesh!!
1649  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Underworld 2: Evolution Jan. 20th on: December 29, 2005, 01:15:39 AM
Kate Beckinsale back in her role as a vampiric Death Dealer is worth a movie ticket for me, even if the movie isn't great...or good for that matter.
1650  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hands-On Playtest with Oblivion - New Pics! on: December 29, 2005, 01:08:06 AM
Quote from: "Calvin"
Yeah there will be no multiplayer. Funny story, I remember when Desslock was in the area playing the game, because Kathode called me one night and were just bullshitting and he just mentioned that some RPG writer guy had been in the office playing Oblivion for a couple days and that he absolutely loved the game. Needless to say we figured out that I knew who Desslock is and now that this preview has come out, it appears that he really did love the game smile

Ok not so much funny as just a story. So there!


Name dropper! Tongue  

Desslock loved both Gothic games, and was a little critical of Morrowind for not having NPCs follow a schedule or seem believable in their actions.  If he's excited about his time spent playing Oblivion, that's a good sign.
1651  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hands-On Playtest with Oblivion - New Pics! on: December 28, 2005, 02:52:34 AM
Cool dryad looking humanoid.  I'm more excited about test driving the radiant AI than I am about actually playing the storyline smile
1652  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / More 360's at Best Buy this week! on: December 22, 2005, 07:02:09 PM
I drove out to a more rural BB this morning at 7:45.  There were a few people waiting in their cars.  At 7:58 I walked to the door and got into a small line with 4 people.  At 8am they asked us to file into the store, and from that point it was exactly as the flyer described.  I was #6 to get a premium unit ticket.  I think they had about 15-20 units.  I picked up a few games, the wireless adapter, another controller, and grabbed my 360 from the manager.  

Thank you for the inside tip!  Most of the folks waiting in line with me had struck out earlier this month at other "360 events", so I think we were all kind of in shock standing in the store with our tickets in hand.

I felt a bit like Capt Ahab after everything was said and done.  I even burst into my bedroom at 9am, proudly showing my wife my trophy kill, like any successful (or lucky in my case) hunter does after spending a month stalking an elusive prey.  She just squinted at the box with one eye open, said something to the effect of "I knew that's where you must've gone this morning...you're crazy", and went back to sleep.
1653  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / More 360's at Best Buy this week! on: December 22, 2005, 01:26:52 AM
Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "coopasonic"
the gamestop I frequent got a big second shipment last week... 2 units! At least they were both premiums Tongue

Yeah, that's the second shipment I know of too.

So...why again has BB gotten so many more 360 consoles than the only chains to take presales? And don't spout the 'EB preordered too many units' bulllarky, as my Gamestop's initial 16 units were sold out back in May.


Is it possible that CC and BB negotiated contracts or agreements with MS increasing and prioritizing their 360 allotments?  Maybe EB/Gamestop weren't able to negotiate a similar agreement with MS.  Pure speculation, but it's the only thing I could think of that makes sense.  Plus, I'm guessing that CC and BB push more MS products and PCs with MS OEM than EB/Gamestop could ever dream of in a given year.  The steady shipment of 360s to BB and CC may be sort of a "we know who's making us $" thing.
1654  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360 anyone?? on: December 22, 2005, 12:16:11 AM
Please don't tease me like that Canuck!  I've been unsuccessful in my attempts today at catching any of the online retail bundles because I'm too slow with my mouse trigger finger (and running out to my car at work to fetch my credit card didn't help speed up the process either).
1655  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360 Update on: December 19, 2005, 06:45:34 PM
Quote from: "Console Games Best Player"
Quote from: "Roguetad"
Just in my part of the line, seeing 8 dejected parents go home at 5:20am empty handed stunk.  


LOL. They can get one on Amazon for $1200 for premiumw/ no bundle if they love their kids enough. LOLOLO.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000B43OY4


Too much sugar this morning CGBP?  Go easy on the donuts and pudding snack packs, or at least wait for the ritalin to kick in first.

We were "lucky" in that our line attracted a small group of profiteers scalping xbox 360s stashed away in their cars.  So concerning your very helpful advice, they didn't even have to click on the internet that night if they did in fact love their children enough, as you suggest.  All they had to do was drop 2-3 times the retail value of the 360 to demonstrate their love.  

I asked all of the scalpers individually why they were working the line in 28 degree weather, why not just sell on eBay?  They all said frustratingly that people were only joke-bidding on their units, or not bidding at all.  They had their units up for auction since a few days after launch.  When I asked why they were still asking 2-3 times retail value that night when they weren't getting any serious hits on eBay, they all seemed to think it wasn't worth their while to sell for any less than 2 times retail value.  Despite the disappointment early that morning, the scalpers left about an hour after the tickets were handed out, with no takers.  I guess we live in a world where parents just don't love their kids enough.
1656  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360 Update on: December 18, 2005, 05:10:34 PM
I waited from midnight to a little after 5am with some very nice and friendly folks.  Most of the people around me were parents that were trying to go above and beyond for their sons.  In an effort to self organize and prevent a mad rush, we even created our own list with our waiting #s.  When 2 BB employees came out at 5:20, they asked that everyone get up from their camp stools and chairs, and form a new line on them.  Those of us in the rear of the line had no idea what was going on, and knew we were in trouble when a mad rush of people all bolted to form up into a new line.  62 tickets were handed out, I was 71.  What's especially frustrating is that the people that were 55-62 in line, who had been patiently waiting since the previous night, none of them got a ticket.  The crazy idea to reform the line allowed people to rush into new positions.  

That particular BB could have handled that much better.  In fact, the first BB I went to earlier that night had calmly handed out their tickets at about midnight, which made it very clear who should stay and camp.  

I have to say that this launch, from November to now, really sucks.  Just in my part of the line, seeing 8 dejected parents go home at 5:20am empty handed stunk.  All of whom had been doing the morning circuit of visiting target, CC, walmart and BB before work.  I'm floored by how far parents will go for their children, to include sitting in below 30 weather for 5 hours to come home with nothing.
1657  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sunday th 18th: Camping Out? When? on: December 18, 2005, 12:13:46 AM
There are about 20 or so folks already camped at the closest BB near me (as of 7pm est).  That store is supposed to get 56 units if you believe the list that has circulated.  I'm going to hit a more rural BB that's supposed to get 58 units early tomorrow morning.  I know that store will have less people camped.
1658  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sunday th 18th: Camping Out? When? on: December 17, 2005, 05:22:56 PM
I was thinking about getting to my BB at 6am for an 8am opening, but now I'm thinking 5 or 5:30 would be safer.  If the BB 2nd shipment turns out to be a well crafted ruse, and I get out there at 5am on a Sun, I'm not going to be happy.  Actually, my biggest fear is that I camp on Sun for a 360, wait in line with 60-70 other dorks like me for 3 hours, and the following week the 360 experiences a surge in shipping and anyone can get one just by walking into stores. Bastards!
1659  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Daily Show On the Xbox 360 on: December 16, 2005, 03:41:22 AM
I have a game on my system at home where I can kill hookers.  Do you think I'll be able to kill hotter hookers on this system?
1660  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 will be scarce for some time it seems on: December 16, 2005, 01:52:58 AM
Quote from: "Jumangi"
Nobody's still shown any proof of MS ever promising certain numbers. That one quote isn't proof its what a single person claimed. To me its still a simple matter of Gamestop and EB just taking money from people before they had any idea of what they could actually offer. Also anybody who put in a pre-order at a store like that and being like say #50 or higher in line but still thinking they were getting one on launch day was dreaming and should have known better anyways.


I think you're on to something. I bet it was MS's plan all along to only ship enough xbox 360s during the holiday season to meet a small fraction of the demand.  Even better (or smarter), continue to only trickle new units to major retailers at 6-10 units every 3 weeks for a month or more after launch.

Does that make any sense?
1661  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Whoever said PSP would outsell DS this holiday season? on: December 15, 2005, 03:28:05 AM
Those are surprisingly good numbers for the PSP, especially considering Nintendo has been absolutely dominating the handheld market for the last 15-20 years.  Both #s look good, which speaks well for portable gaming this season.  I'm not sure why people thought the PSP was going to "crush" the DS, but to match pace and stay fairly close, that's respectable for sony's first entry into the handheld world.
1662  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Arrested Development may be saved... on: December 15, 2005, 02:03:58 AM
It's not that his body is rejecting the hair implants.  His hair implants are rejecting his body...they're rejecting him.  If he doesn't have them removed, they'll kill him.  GVH.  Graft versus host.

Screw this, we're not giving money to GVH!  We'd rather give money to TBA!
1663  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Arrested Development may be saved... on: December 14, 2005, 04:51:07 PM
Wtf?  Not a single golden globe nomination for AD this year?  I know the male musical/comedy category is stacked, but not a single actor from the AD cast?  Wow.  

Here are the shows nominated:
BEST TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY

a. CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO)
HBO Entertainment

b.  DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (ABC)
Touchstone Television

c.  ENTOURAGE (HBO)
Leverage and Closest to the Hole Prods. i.a.w. HBO Entertainment

d.  EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS (UPN)
Chris Rock Enterprises, Inc. and 3 Arts Entertainment i.a.w Paramount Network Television

e.  MY NAME IS EARL (NBC)
Acme Prods. i.a.w. 20th Century Fox Television

f. WEEDS (SHOWTIME)
Lions Gate Television i.a.w. Tilted Prods.


The male actors nominated:
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES - MUSICAL OR COMEDY

a. ZACH BRAFF
SCRUBS

b. STEVE CARELL
THE OFFICE

c. LARRY DAVID
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

d. JASON LEE
MY NAME IS EARL

e. CHARLIE SHEEN
TWO AND A HALF MEN
1664  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Bitch Must Die candidate on: December 13, 2005, 11:01:52 PM
Quote from: "Enough"
I am going to guess that isn't how you really feel, but Roguetad, Nth Power and others seem to be very genuine in their desire for her to profoundly suffer at the hands of the state.  That's just not something we want the state to have the power to do.


My initial reaction was just that, my first reaction to reading about what that lady had done to her child.  Would I seriously advocate for someone to be locked into a cell with their own poop?  Not after my conscious and humanity had time to catch up to my initial reaction of anger and disgust.  Due process goes along way in preventing people like me from making emotional judgments of punishment based on initial reactions.  

I do strongly feel that in this particular case, that lady needs to be accountable for her actions.  After everything is said and done, what the heck do you sentence her with?  Jail time, mental health treatment?  What if her daughter dies in the upcoming weeks from all of her complications and surgeries, or has life long disabilities courtesy of her mother?  The only serious recommendation I'd make is that she not be given the privilege of ever caring for another human being.
1665  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBOX 360 released in Japan today on: December 13, 2005, 08:25:31 PM
I’ll probably never find this out unless someone from MS leaks information, but I’m still curious if the total units produced and shipped for all 3 regions were anywhere close to their projection #s or targets for shipped units in Nov and Dec.  The press releases and interviews by MS have all been very carefully constructed and worded, and contain broad statements like “We haven’t been able to meet demand.”  

From a business case study perspective, I’m sincerely interested in learning why they haven’t been able to meet demand.  Did their forecasters screw up on their market demand projections?  Did one of their vendors screw them during the manufacturing process?  Did their own engineers catch something after the first production runs that needed to be fixed?  I still believe they have too many talented people to drop the ball on things like initial demand projections.

MS signed some big name Japanese developers to work on exclusive titles for the 360.  Maybe they should’ve waited until those titles were ready before trying to launch in Japan.  A 7 month launch headstart doesn’t do much good if there are no titles that generate buzz for the console.  I’m guessing that when the ps3 launches there will be titles that generate buzz in the Japanese market.  I think the NA market is probably the easiest to launch a console in.  Just ensure you have some of the “next gen” franchise titles from the big dogs like EA and EA sports, and you’re set at least for a little while…as long as there are enough consoles available.
1666  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Bitch Must Die candidate on: December 13, 2005, 07:51:49 PM
Quote from: "farley2k"
Quote from: "warning"
Quote from: "farley2k"
I have a hard time with the idea expressed by some of you that tourturing the mentally ill is a good thing.  What the hell, to you kick the shit out of the crazy guy on the subway too?

Only if he's injecting that shit into his kid.



So your response, in all seriousness, to torture is torture?  More over your response to the actions of the mentally ill is to torture them.

I see this kid around town here who has to wear a helmet and he will sometimes start smacking his head at things, maybe you would like to come beat the shit out of him.  I am sure it will help.


As a civilized society that embraces the ideals of compassion and forgiveness through rehabilitation, of course we can’t torture convicted criminals (mentally ill or not).  But if you’re going to argue the idea of acceptable torture, wouldn’t incarceration for life and long isolation periods be considered a form of torture, both mental and physical?  A human having to spend the remainder of their lives in a small cell, potentially abused or raped during this time, seems to qualify as torture to me.  Incarceration seems to be the most civilized form of acceptable torture outside of the death penalty that we’re willing to accept as a society for the punishment of crimes.

At what point do we draw the line between being compassionate and forgiving human beings and not becoming an apologist for the actions of others, mentally ill or not?  It’s easy to make broad and sweeping statements like all forms of torture are bad and evil, but then how do we punish people that violate our laws?  And do the mentally ill get an exception card that grants them sort of a free pass to accountability that “normal people” don’t get?  And when do we stop trying to rehabilitate or help someone?
1667  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 360 rumor: Seems Target are getting shipments in today 12/13 on: December 13, 2005, 06:33:45 PM
The Target near me in Fairfax, Va got 6 in yesterday, and sold all 6 yesterday.  I went in this morning to check.  

They said they weren't scheduled for any further shipments until Jan.
1668  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Gamestop Xbox 360 bundles in stock on: December 13, 2005, 03:24:29 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if gamestop execs were using the xbox 360 eBay sales history to price point their current bundle.  I don't endorse it, but I can see why they would only sell bundles at $1000.  If reselling-consumers are smart enough to push the edge of the margin envelope on eBay, why shouldn't retailers get in on some of the margin gouging action while people are still willing to pay 80-100% over retail?    

I hate it, but it's the world we live in now thanks to easily accessible consumer reselling portals.  I wouldn't care too much if eBay profiteers drove their own prices with no impact on the retail market, but I don't think that's the case anymore.  

Retail market price point set > new eBay reseller price point set > eBay consumer pays reseller price point > retail market adjusts to realtime market demand price point

I hope that’s not what’s happening in this case, but it sure looks like it.  At least BB’s open letter to customers posted on their site states they will not force bundle price points on customers going forward.
1669  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Bitch Must Die candidate on: December 12, 2005, 11:13:40 PM
Ideally, she should be locked away in isolation with no toilet or sink, so she can live in her own waste until she dies of infection or disease.  The prison staff can slide a tray of wheat bread, wheat cereal, lettuce, and water under the door each day.
1670  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Are long load times killing the PSP? on: December 12, 2005, 07:58:18 PM
Having the option to install games on the memory card is a great idea.  If the UMD had to be present in the drive to verify ownership, I don’t see what the obstacles would be.  It might end up driving more sales to the memory cards and newer mini-hard drive attachments too.  I’d gladly upgrade to a better memory card for faster load times.
1671  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360 recall?? on: December 12, 2005, 07:51:20 PM
Only 38,800 Yen, that's a steal!
1672  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Are long load times killing the PSP? on: December 12, 2005, 04:42:25 AM
As far as load times for the newer games, SOCOM:US Navy Seals has been great.  The maps are pretty large for a portable, and there are no load times switching out weapons, issuing orders, going into rooms, and getting updates from HQ.  I picked up NBA Live '06, and it is plagued with some of the stuttering UMD problems (not to mention having to turn off the absurdly frequent replays which also contributed to breaking up the flow of the game).

For some reason the load times in Xmen legends didn't bother me too much.  Having to wait for menus to pull up did get tiresome though.  The development team for SOCOM managed to handle things like bringing up in-game weapons menus, issuing orders, and no load times for large zones, so I don't see why it couldn't be done for other games.  That's dissapointing to hear about the load times for the Sims.  

How are the load times for GTA?
1673  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBOX 360 released in Japan today on: December 11, 2005, 10:44:10 PM
Ship that surplus product over here!  I think they use NTSC format, so you'd just have to change the language on the dashboard?
1674  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Costco has a ton of Xbox 360's in now on: December 10, 2005, 10:15:29 PM
None of the Costco's in northern VA had 360s by noon on Saturday.  I called around and all of them gave me the same response:

"We don't have any in stock, and we won't be getting anymore until February."  

Grrr!
1675  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Narnia = very cool! on: December 10, 2005, 07:27:21 PM
Agreed, she was great as Gabriel.  

I'm not a fan of allegories, but I can easily watch movies just for the entertainment value, regardless of any subtle or overt messages.  I'm looking forward to seeing it tonight.

Edited: Just came back from seeing it with my wife.  Excellent movie.  And Tilda Swinton steals the show, I mean wow, she was perfect as the Ice Witch.  Her costumes were amazing, especially her battle costume (and that's coming from a guy who could care less about freaking movie costumes).  The make-up they did for her was incredible too.  And I completely concur, dual wielding rules.  Again, Tilda Swinton steals the show during the battle scenes too, as her elegance in combat was very well captured and choreographed.  The allegory references were somewhat subtle, or not even noticeable to people not prepared to look for them (like my wife).  There were a few hokey CG effects, but for the most part they were very well done.

Oh, and centaur rule!  Especially centaur that dual wield.
1676  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / XBOX 360 released in Japan today on: December 10, 2005, 04:34:06 PM
They still seem to have a strong sense of nationalism when they consider purchasing products.  Even if the 360 launched with games featuring big headed, little bodied, effeminate teen characters that looked like 8 year old boys and girls, MS would still have to overcome the huge hurdle of not having a Sony or Nintendo label on their machine.
1677  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is it too early to give up on the 360 for Christmas? on: December 10, 2005, 12:35:54 AM
I went 0 for 3 today on the AMEX promotional.  It appears they were only selling 200 total for all 3 slots, not 200 each time slot.

It looks like the best option before the 25th is to camp BB early next Sun morning.  I was one of the idiots that waited in a 200-300 person line at BB on Black Friday.  If the store allocations are correct, my local BB will have 56 units.  Based on the # of people that were waiting in line with me on Black Friday, I'd have to start camping Sat night.  I'm not doing that.  

I'm going to wait until I can actually walk into a store during normal business hours and pick one up...I'm guessing that will be sometime in Feb or March.  I'm trying my best not to be overly critical of MS so early in this launch, but man, it really seems like they screwed up on this one.  There are a ton of people out there that would've purchased 360s in Nov and Dec if the supply was there.  

The only people winning in the 360 launch at this point are MS (for selling out so quick and having the hot holiday item), the eBay profiteers, the lucky folks that catch/caught an internet retailer with stock, the launch day crowd that camped out, and the Mountain Dew winners.  I forgot about Madonna, Paris and half of the Hollywood A&B list, add them too.
1678  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is it too early to give up on the 360 for Christmas? on: December 09, 2005, 05:04:27 PM
I clicked "I want" as soon as their site clock hit 12:00, waited as the message "contacting server" flashed for about 20 seconds, and ended up with the "You missed it" message.  

Next time I'm clicking early.  So at 12:00 and 20 seconds they had already sold out for the first time slot!
1679  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is it too early to give up on the 360 for Christmas? on: December 08, 2005, 10:44:04 PM
I have an AMEX, but it's my corp card. I can't imagine my company would be too keen on me charging an Xbox 360 on it.  Then again, I'm the one who has to pay the bill each month, not my company.  It looks like it's either the premium system or a core with the hard drive according to the item description.  You can't beat either for $150.
1680  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is it too early to give up on the 360 for Christmas? on: December 08, 2005, 08:54:52 PM
There's a link on bestbuy.com titled "Open Letter to Customers".  I've pasted the text below.  Interesting.  

TO: Open Letter to Customers
FROM: Brian Dunn, President - Retail, North America
RE: Launch of Xbox 360
CC:  Best Buy Store, District and Territory Employees
DATE: December 6, 2005


I'm writing to apologize.

While all of us at Best Buy were thrilled to be part of the recent launch of Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game system — one of the most anticipated events in the history of electronic gaming — the launch did not go as we had hoped. We sold out of Xbox 360s nationwide in less than two hours, and most of our stores did an outstanding job of serving our gaming customers. I'd like to thank the majority of our employees, who provided a terrific experience for customers at the launch date. However, our promotional activities in certain cases failed to follow company guidelines. As a result, some of our valued gaming customers had an experience in our stores that was inconsistent with what you've come to expect from us, as a leader in the consumer electronics industry.

Specifically, customers in some Best Buy stores were told that they were required to buy additional Xbox accessories or services if they wanted one of the sought-after Xbox 360 consoles, even though we advertised the Xbox 360 console alone. I want to be very clear that Best Buy does not condone pressuring customers to purchase items they may not want or that may not fit their lifestyle. In fact, these behaviors are in direct conflict with our desire to serve customers' needs better than anyone else, and our values of honesty and integrity.

We are currently investigating all leads about promotional practices that may have violated the company's guidelines, and we will take disciplinary actions as appropriate. We have also reminded all of our stores about our policies with respect to launches of hot products. Meanwhile, on behalf of Best Buy, I'd like to offer a sincere apology to any customers who felt pressured to buy items they did not want.

Customers who are unhappy with Xbox 360-related purchases made in November 2005 may return unwanted items for a full refund at any Best Buy store. In addition, if your Xbox 360 purchasing experience did not meet your expectations for any reason, please e-mail us at [email protected]. (Employees with information pertinent to our investigation are encouraged to call our Ethics Hot Line instead.)

Lastly, I would like to invite you back to our stores, particularly later this month, when Best Buy will receive more shipments of Xbox 360s. While supplies continue to be very limited, we are truly excited about this new gaming platform, and we'd like to deliver the best of that experience to you. We promise an in-store experience that is focused on your needs and the needs of everyone on your holiday gift list.

Brian Dunn
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