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1841  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / AC2 Implodes; Gamers ask, "What's AC2?" on: August 27, 2005, 07:57:52 AM
I liked how Horizons outsourced their billing site to a porn pay service. I thought that was a nice touch.
1842  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / AC2 Implodes; Gamers ask, "What's AC2?" on: August 26, 2005, 12:29:30 AM
I'm surprised Horizons is still around.
1843  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Siege II: Anyone care? on: August 25, 2005, 11:13:00 PM
The other night I set the first hotkey slot, F7, for my single target high damage boss killing powers/spells, and the 2nd slot, F8, to aoe powers/spells.  Now I can have the entire party switch quickly back and forth to their aoe or single target powers/spells together by just pressing F7 and F8.  I'm probablly late figuring that one out, but it's helped a ton since I set it up.
1844  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Siege II: Anyone care? on: August 25, 2005, 07:45:25 PM
A sword and board tank becomes almost indestructible.  Provoke is a great power, and ranks up nicely.  I had my sword and shield tank spend some time as an archer ranking up Survival to about +35% resists.  He had the cool title of "Raider" for awhile, now he's back to being a Knight.  He's like a cockroach now, even nukes don't kill him.
1845  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Great new Oblivion screens! on: August 23, 2005, 04:07:26 AM
The daedra(sp?) armor looks incredible in the last screenshot.  You get to join the dark brotherhood??  Wow.
1846  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Siege 2: Widescreen Support? on: August 17, 2005, 07:02:17 PM
I’m embarrassed to ask this, but for 1280X1024, would height be 1024 and the width 1280?  I took “Calculus for Liberal Arts” in college, and only managed to get a C-, so I’m definitely a mathematical retard.  

Thanks for the tip on adding the resolution change to the command line.
1847  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Need an action rpg recommendation for Xbox on: August 16, 2005, 09:25:49 PM
For action rpgs on the xbox I enjoyed both BG:DA 1&2.  I really tried to like Xmen, but for some reason I found it really boring (and I like hack & slash games).  

I liked Sudeki too, especially since it fit in nicely between the action rpgs and the more epic rpgs at around 16-19 hours.  The ending was pathetic, but everything up to that point was fun.

For the longer, more epic rpgs, I liked the last 3/4 of Kotor 1, the last half of Jade Empire, and the first 3/4 of Kotor 2.  I enjoyed playing MW, but to this day I've never remained focus enough to finish that damn game.  

Hope you find a good one in there somewhere Xmann.
1848  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / This Just In: Jade Empire Sucks on: August 15, 2005, 05:43:59 PM
I enjoyed it, but I can appreciate the bad quest design and slow-pacing comments.  I think the Chinese mythology setting made up for some of the negatives for me.  While Kotor 1 & 2 had their share of boring fed ex quests, Jade Empire seemed to have more.

I played through JE twice, and found myself skipping the side quests, or just sticking to the main storyline quests the second time.  While I really liked JE, the pacing is rough for the first half of the game.  But, I had the same opinion of Kotor 1 also.  The cast of characters is ok, but doesn't really get too deep (other than a cool love triangle that develops later in the story - if you're playing a male).  The pacing picks up considerably the latter half of the game.
1849  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Anyone try the PC version of Advent Rising? on: August 15, 2005, 05:29:35 PM
Crossposted from OO:

Just finished it on the PC, very cool game. It's a short one though. Cinematically this is one of the best games I've played in a long time. The story is great, music is superb, the dialogue and voice acting are above average to good, and the gameplay is fun. Whatever issues the xbox version had with the control scheme seems to have been worked out for the PC. I remember reading about how annoying "flick targeting" was on the xbox. On the PC you don't have to use flick targeting, but all you have to do to use it is roll the mouse wheel up or down. Piece of cake. I alternated throughout the game using flick targeting and just blasting freely. The framerates were good on my rig, with most of the graphics options (minus shadows) set to their highest. I typically got about 35 - 65 fps (p4 3.2, geforce 6800 gt, 2gb ram).

I can definitely see the comparisons to halo, but Advent Rising is a 3rd person shooter with more in common with the jedi knight action games than to halo. Your character, Gideon, will start the game using ranged weapons, but will gradually start awakening powers that are very jedi-like. About 1/2 way through the game I stopped using weapons and relied mostly on his powers.

The cut scenes, story, and music alone could almost justify the $30 PC price tag imo. That's not to say there aren't negatives though:
- short game
- graphics are excellent, but not superb
- no save anywhere, checkpoint save system
- towards the very end you can exploit a certain power to bypass a lot of fighting
- some of the boss fights can be frustrating until you figure out their attack patterns, and what powers you should use to exploit their weaknesses or openings

I didn't encounter any bugs or crashes, but it looks like some folks are having problems with the cut scenes stuttering on the pc version.

I bought the game Fri night, and completed it by Sun night. I didn't play more than 2-3 hours each night this weekend. I'm guessing the game was around 7-10 hours long (if that), but it was a good ride. If you complete the game, make sure you let credits roll. After the credits you’ll see 2 more cut scenes, fight 1 more boss, and play another very short level (not in that order).
1850  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 05/04/05 on: May 05, 2005, 09:57:03 PM
I don't know why I find this so funny, but everytime they show a scene that has a bunch of no-name island extras in it, I start laughing.  I saw an extra this episode that looked like the red Swingline staple guy from Office Space.  Look, it's the island extras!  Woot!  It's almost like the "extras" are their own entity at this point.  I loved it when Sawyer started yelling at the extras 2 episodes ago when he was getting headaches.  I would've lost it if he mumbled under his breath after his yelling outburts, "damn extras".  Keep it down extras, we're trying to do a show!
1851  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ever Find a Game that You Were Just NO GOOD at? on: May 05, 2005, 04:37:55 AM
I really enjoy playing RTSs, but I'm too slow with economic and military build-ups to ever be any good.  In scripted missions and RTSs that don't have an economy I do a little better.  I tend to spaz when I have more than 1 hot spot at the same time, which apparently makes for a bad RTS player.  I usually get frustrated with RTSs, and will stop playing them faster than any other genre.
1852  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire Credits on: May 03, 2005, 11:11:10 PM
Segacius Zu's commentary in the credits was classic.  I also liked Dawn Star's "dramatic" audition lines.

It took me about a week and a half of 2+ hours of play most every night (on average) to complete JE.
1853  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Combat in Jade Empire on: May 02, 2005, 05:45:06 AM
There are definitely some tough fights later in the game, but they are the exception.  


Spoilers....















The 2nd to last arena fight is a bitch.  I thought it was the hardest fight in the game actually, with the last fight in Dirge tied with the pre-final fight for 2nd.  The final fight can be tough too if you don't use PP or any other stunning support style.
1854  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ever find a game you were TOO good at? on: April 26, 2005, 11:55:08 PM
I'm normally a modest guy, but when it comes to thumb wrestling, I've yet to meet my match.  I don't think my thumbs are abnormally long, in fact, my hands are kind of small.  But my thumbs seem to be able to almost launch themselves out of their sockets and successfully attack and pin all opposing thumbs.  

Oh you meant video games, well then, not really, none come to mind.
1855  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW: Casual Player = waste of time in PvP? on: April 26, 2005, 11:39:06 PM
It's weird to me that the end game in WoW (both pve and pvp) is geared towards rewarding almost exclusively the player that can commit hours and hours at a time, when most of the game (into the mid 50s+) can be enjoyed by casual players.  I imagine there's a lot of people that don't have the time to do the same 3-4 hour raid every night hoping for the off chance that they'll get the class item drop that they wanted.  I personally don't think grinding through 20+ three hour raid runs sounds even remotely fun, just to get better equipped so you can go to the real 40 man raids...and do them over and over again.  It just seems like a really weird break in the game concept.
1856  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Screw Octopuses on: April 26, 2005, 04:11:47 AM
"The name earwig is derived from a European superstition that these insects enter the ears of a sleeping person and bore into the brain."
1857  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Screw Octopuses on: April 26, 2005, 12:37:38 AM
Would you rather have an earwig in your ear or a spider that spins webs in your inner ear canal?
1858  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Xbox 360: So ya want backwards compatability? It'll cost you on: April 25, 2005, 05:47:37 PM
My thompson drive xbox is on the verge of dying after 2 years.  I've been hoping that the drive will make it to December, but based on how Jade Empire played, I'm guessing it's days are numbered.  With that said, I need backwards compatability, since my original xbox will be dead by then.  I'm willing to pay extra, although I think they're crazy not to include backwards compatability with the main baseline unit.

I loved having my xbox serve as my dvd player, which helped motivate my wife to jump on board with purchasing it at launch.  If the PVR comments are true, I'll use that to get her on board again smile
1859  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 25, 2005, 01:51:38 AM
I finished tonight, great game.  The pacing and story get A LOT better after the Lotus Assassin Fortress.  Character level - 22; total hours: 24.  

Bioware did a good job of resolving all of the sub and main plot lines.  

If you finish the game, make sure you sit through all the credits!  There's a very funny running commentary by Dawn Star and Segacious Zu.  Some of the Segacious Zu comments are hilarious.
1860  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire Character Choice on: April 24, 2005, 08:06:35 PM
I don't mind not having inventory to manage besides the gems, but it would've been nice to have a couple of outfit choices or changes throughout the story.  I found it a little silly that they would let my character run around in his normal clothes in the Lotus Assassin HQ for example.
1861  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 23, 2005, 10:41:17 PM
Quote from: "Freezer-TPF-"
Quick question on upgrading styles:  I am starting Ch. 2.  Should I put anything into Heavenly Wave, or should I save the points and wait until I get a better support style?


It really doesn't matter, but I'd recommend maxing out 1 martial style, 1 weapon style, 1 magic style, and the duration effects for 1 support style.  By the end of the game you'll have enough points to do all of the above, and have points to train up another 2-3 styles.  

Heavenly Wave is a great support style that I relied on heavily for triggering HCs until the latter part of the game.  Storm Dragon and Paralyzing Palm are both excellent support styles.  Storm Dragon you can get relatively early in the game, and works very well against a single target to keep them incapacitated for several seconds while you pummel them.  Paralyzing Palm is received through a quest series at the Black Leopard School off the Imperial City.  PP is a very good support style against almost all foes (it works against all humans and most spirits).  It's almost overpowering when you consider that a PP user can lockdown boss characters for the entire fight by timely use of PP and a WS or martial style. To answer your question though, the only support style I spent training points in was PP, and that was just to max out the duration.

It's nice being able to switch between multiple martial styles, or a couple of weapon styles, but you don't need them.  If you just max out LS, 1 magic style, a weapon style (I'd recommend waiting until you get dual sabers or twin axes to do this) and 1 support style, you'll be in great shape.  As far as the weapon styles are concerned, since you can't get dual sabers or twin axes styles until later in the game, I'd suggest maxing out the focus cost reduction on your staff.

If you have a martial style damage option, a magic damage option, a weapon style damage option, and a support style you like, you'll be in great shape. The only martial style that I would absolutely train up the chi damage option for would be thousand cuts, since that is the least damaging style, and each hit would benefit from the chi strikes.  


Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
In fact the lack of options that seem to truly adhere to the Closed-Fist philosophy vice being outright evil is a huge missed opportunity.


Agreed.  The way of the closed fist, as it is explained in Twin Rivers, is not necessarily by definition evil.  According to the game lore, the closed fist path is based on personal strength and encouraging others to find their own strength.  The best western comparison that came to mind for me was "tough love".  Unfortunately, there are very few decision paths in the game that offer choices outside of good vs evil.  I originally wanted to play a closed first character following the philosophy outlined at Twin Rivers, without being evil.  There's absolutely no way to make progress far into the closed fist meter without choosing most of the evil options.  I thought initially that Bioware had created an alignment system not based on good vs evil or even tied to morality, but in the end, that's exactly how it works.  It seemed almost like the writers either didn't have the creativity to develop more solutions that were in keeping with the closed fist philosophy, or they took the easy way out and reverted back to the old good vs evil system.
1862  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 23, 2005, 01:33:16 AM
Quote from: "AttAdude"
Did you ever try out white demon with paralyzing palm?  For it to be an effective combo you have too up the speed on demon and up the duration of palm.  Once you get it right, its almost unfair.


I was using that combo last night, PP + white demon (speed & damage maxed), and it was oh so sweet.  I have duration maxed on PP and start with the 3 hit combo to stun, power attack to trigger HC (if enemy is vulnerable to HCs), white demon power attack (enemy is now petrified!), and then 1 more normal hit will explode the enemy.  If the target isn't vulnerable to HCs, I'll start with 3 hit PP, white demon x3, tiger style x3, PPx3 and repeat until dead.  

PP HCs drop either a chi or unblockable power up.

If you want to see carnage, try chaining back and forth between the twin axe style and white demon.  The twin axe style can hit enemies near the targeted enemy during the 3 hit combo.  It's a slower WS than dual sabers, but it seems to do a lot more damage (even compared to the artifact dual sabers).  

The further I get into the game (18 hours now) the better the combat gets.  The romance love triangle is getting pretty heated too…great character development.
1863  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ron - Dump Kelly!! Amazing Race - 4/19 - Spoilers on: April 21, 2005, 11:16:12 PM
Quote from: "Frog's Honey"
Well, I was sad to see Lynn and Alex go, but I like all the teams except Romber.  I was especially sorry to see Joyce go through with cutting her hair off - it grows back, but as a woman, I am sure that was a little traumitizing.  But good for her for going through with it!

LASTLY - Ron needs to dump Kelly NOW!!!!!  Dump her Ron, Dump her!!  The preview for next week - shows her saying that he has issues with commitment.  Ending with - him saying - what about my military career, what about commitment to the military?  She has the GALL to answer - you got out of that by being a POW.  WHAT!!!?!?!?!?!?!?  :shock:


Ron dump her now!!  For your own good!


My wife and I were speechless for a few seconds after hearing Kelly say that during the preview.  Based on that unbelievably absurd comment, I'm not sure if Kelly is:
a) a moron
b) beauty queen on the outside and a cold bitch on the inside
c) both a & b

I'd like to think she's just a complete moron, and has absolutely no clue or understanding of what she said.  If she did understand what she said, and made a conscious choice to make that statement, I agree, Ron needs to get out of that relationship asap.  I think it's probably a lot of A and a little of B combined.

But yeah, that had to be one of the most idiotic and ignorant comments I've heard in my entire life.  If that quote doesn't end up in Entertainment Weekly's "They said that" weekly quote section, I'd be shocked.  

In her mind, there were a heck of a lot of pows from WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and most recently in Iraq, that got out of their military commitments by being lucky enough to be pows.  

"You got to be a POW", as if it's some kind of selection process that you win.
1864  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 21, 2005, 08:59:26 PM
Quote from: "AttAdude"
That arena comment was aimed at the last qualifier for the championchip fight right?  That was one hard ass fight.  i actualy had to do that one 3 times before i won.

Exactly.  It only took you 3 tries?  It took me about 5 attempts, very tough fight.  The humans weren't too bad, but throwing in the demons, that's what made it tough.  That little monkey-looking guy (1 of the 3 brothers) can drop your health in seconds if you're not paying attention.  That fight, plus the one just after, made me realize that trying to scrap with demons in melee range is a bad idea.  Horse demons and their damn damage shields!   Better just to blow them away.  I'm glad I picked up maribelle too, although I would've loved to have Sky with me to regen focus.  



Quote from: "AttAdude"
By the way just for comparisons sake, i like the conversations, the story, and the conversation options.  I thought the baker bei quest was very light hearted and funny in the face of such a grave main quest.  I appreciated it for the small funny distraction i thought it was ment to be.  I say this only so that this style of gameplay is not counted as a mistake, for people like me, this is exactaly what we want.

I think Bioware did the best they could to try and cater to all types of players.  At least I can just skip through dialogue when I don't want to read it, and I'm not forced to read it.  A quick example: In the debate part of the Sir Bastard quest, I didn't even bother to walk around and talk to all of the judges, I just started the quest and winged it.  It took me all the way to the 6th question, but I was still able to get a majority vote by mixing up the answer types.  I loved his dialogue, but it was late, and I didn't want to read through all of the different judge dialogue too.  At least for the dialogue impatient like me, I can still complete quests like that.
1865  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 21, 2005, 06:25:10 PM
I'm about 16 hours into the game, and while the pacing does get better as far as action vs. reading/listening to dialogue is concerned, it's still clearly an rpg, and not an action game.  At this point, if it's not dialogue concerning my party members or the main plot line, I tend to just fly through it or skip it.  I'm sure I'm missing some good backstory and fluff dialogue, but it's becoming a little tiresome for me.  I do appreciate Bioware's effort to include all of the scrolls, history, and spoken dialogue, I just tend to lose interest if that's all I'm doing for an hour.  

Btw, if you thought the combat was too easy, wait until you get to the imperial city and fight through all of the arena matches.  Single human foes are not too tough, but wait until the final matches :twisted:

Any tips for fighting demons in general?  Magic and support styles don't normally work against them, the A+X martial style doesn't work against some of them, leaving only martial and weapon styles.  

Any tips for fighting golems?  The ones I've fought are immune to martial attacks, magic, and most status effects from support styles.  Once I run out of focus fighting golems, the only way I've been able to kill them is by using spirit thief in chi mode, which takes forever.
1866  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 20, 2005, 08:00:56 PM
Quote from: "Sepiche"
Quote from: "Arkon"
I think he was my favorite NPC interaction Atta, just wish I remembered his full name.

I can't remember his name in the game too, but I'm 90% sure he was voiced by John Cleese.  He sure was a tough fight though... man he loads that rifle fast!

s


He was great, I loved that part.  His name was Sir <something> Bastard, I forget what comes before bastard.  On his breastplate was the symbol of a fork stuck through a piece of cheese.  His rifle does a ton of damage, but I was able to get in close and keep him paralyzed while I ripped him t shreds.  Now Mirabelle(sp?) is mine, and man does she rock at range, giving a nice focus ranged option.    

Atta:  thanks for the tip on the martial styles, I'll have to try that.  I use tiger style, and exactly how you described with paralyzing palm, I have to move forward to close the distance after the PP combo.  Something I thought was curious is that Tiger Style if bought from a merchant is significantly more expensive than either Thousand Cuts or Legendary Strike (10,000 compared to 6000 and 7500 I think).  Not sure if price equals value in this case, but I thought that was interesting.  You mentioned you just picked up White Demon, have you found a use for that style?  It didn't really fit with my play style, but it seems strong.
1867  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ninja Gaiden Tips? on: April 20, 2005, 07:03:12 PM
I played through the first time using sword almost exclusively, except for the level with the ghost fish.  I did ok against the black ninjas using only sword, mainly relying on wall jumps and constant moving to stay alive.  Blocking the black ninja attacks is a lot easier said than done, and requires excellent timing and reaction speed.  Someone suggested to me to try using nunchucks on the black ninjas (and any other fast enemies in the game).  I wasn't a fan of using nunchucks, but I gave it a shot.  For me, I found the black ninjas easier to fight using nunchucks.  Not only were they easier for me, but I started racking up a ton of essence because of how nunchucks can keep the combo count rapidly increasing, especially compared to using a sword.  I still mainly recommend using sword for most parts of the game, but nunchucks can make certain foes a lot easier imo, and are excellent for farming essence due to the combo strings.

One of the more frustrating levels for me was the level with the ghost or spirit fish, mainly because I was trying to get through it using my sword.  As soon as I switched to nunchucks (based on a tip) that level became much, much less frustrating. Just before you leave that level, there's a large doorway that has respawning fish.  If you use nunchucks and just mow through each spawn of fish (run away from that spot after clearing and run back) you can rack up enough essence to keep you stocked up on potions and lives for the latter part of the game.  

Nunchucks are situational, but can be very effective against certain foes.  I wouldn't discredit them until you've tried them out and see if they fit your play style.  You may find a certain section much easier using them (or not).
1868  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 18, 2005, 11:55:04 PM
Quote from: "Sparhawk"
I'm holding you to that Atta. Though, when I get home from work tonight I'll have to fight the urge to play EQ2 and sit down with JE.  :lol:


Atta is right, those 3 quests are basically non-stop combat each, and they're not short.  In fact, each of those quests may end up being a reality check for your comfort level with the combat system.  I thought I knew what I was doing in combat until I hit those quests, and then I really had to learn smile

Harmonic combos are your friend! Not only do they kill baddies faster, but they also supply you with a reliable source of power-ups.  

Something I've been wondering since I started seeing most of the starting martial styles show up for sale by certain merchants:
Is there a reason to buy additional martial starter styles other than for looks?  None of the starting martial styles do anything special, other than ending harmonic combos.  And if you've spent training points at level up for your starter martial style, it seems kind of waste to buy another martial style.  Am I missing anything here?
1869  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Ninja Gaiden Tips? on: April 18, 2005, 09:54:50 PM
For the fastest enemies in the game (black ninjas - ghost fish, etc) nunchuks are the best and safest option.  The best general advice I can give is to do everything you can to keep your potions stocked up to the max as much as you can.  Anytime you find a location that has respawning baddies, break out the nunchucks and start kicking ass (they allow you to rack up insane amounts of combo points - or whatever they're called...I forget).  

Next, I'd recommend having the patience of Jobe when you play, because there are some insanely tough boss fights that you may need to come back to numerous times (on another day even) to try again.  Also, don't take stock in the difficulty of one boss being easy just because someone said it was easy/hard.  An easy boss to you may be incredibly hard to someone else, and vice versa.  If you don't have potions saved up for the boss fights, you may be in for a really frustrating experience.  

Third, the platforming sections of the game, especially the timed one near the end, may make you want to rip your hair out and stab someone.  All I can say on those is again, be patient and stop playing and try again later if you start getting pissed.  I found that NG is one of those games that if you play pissed, it'll kick your ass and make you even more pissed. Tongue

Always try and keep moving, and master the jumping on baddies heads and attacking from walls moves...they help alot, especially against certain bosses.  
 
Finally, don't try and understand the ending smile  

It was a very frustrating and rewarding gaming experience for me.  I haven't sworn more playing a game in the last 15 years than I did playing NG.  

Good luck smile
1870  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 15, 2005, 06:20:40 PM
You can switch styles during a combo at any point, and as long as you keep pressing A the string will continue.

I have no freaking clue what the aoe ice attack does either.  Snow falls doing seemingly nothing, and a few seconds later a big ice chunk will fall on a random bad guy for minimal damage.  The baddies in the aoe radius don't have any status effect applied from the attack either, so I really don't know what it does.  On the other hand, the dire flame aoe is nice, and will damage and immolate all within the radius. Immolate functions kind of like a stun, preventing enemies from attacking while they have that effect.  

I was also worried about ice shard being overpowered, but even in normal mode baddies and bosses later in the game seem to be able to dodge out of the way pretty easy (unless they're engaged by an active follower!).  

I'm still trying to work the transformation styles into fights.  I haven't relied on them much just because of the fast chi drain.
1871  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 15, 2005, 05:50:59 PM
I'm discovering that style switching mid-combo and many times during fights is the way to go.  You can string together almost non-stop combos if the enemy doesn't bother to block by switching back and forth between martial and weapon styles mid combo. I like switching to weapon style first because of the range, start the combo, then switch to martial in close and keep the string going.  I also like starting a combo with weapon style, switch immediately to heavenly wave, and then switch to martial style.  The aoe heavenly wave slow is very helpful against multiple foes.      

The easiest harmonic combo I've found early in the game is using the power move for ice shard which freezes the target in place, and then following up immediately with a martial style power move.  Dire flame is a little trickier since the baddy isn't frozen, and can interupt or block your martial power move.  The ice shard harmonic combo drops a spirit power-up and dire flame drops a health power-up.
1872  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Is it wierd to want a system for just 1 game? on: April 15, 2005, 04:19:17 PM
GoW does look incredible, and I'm also tempted to get a ps2 just to play it.
1873  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 14, 2005, 09:24:22 PM
I just figured out last night that you can use the first support style while hitting the aoe attack and have an aoe slow effect on all the baddies around you.  I never used that support style until I figured out that aoe trick, now I use it at the start of a fight and then proceed to unleash claws o' fury on soon to be dead baddies.
1874  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Jade Empire - Official Impressions on: April 13, 2005, 09:28:46 PM
I'm really enjoying it so far, and love the eastern mythology and characters.  I do have some nitpicking though:

- This is going to sound crazy, but I wish Bioware recorded all of the spoken language with authentic chinese voice actors, using english subtitles.  They could have even used a different dialect for the "Old language" distinction.  Playing the game right now feels like I'm watching Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon with english dubbing, it just doesn't feel right (even if it's a hell of a lot easier on the brain than reading subtitles all the time - which for some reason I do anyway even when they're speaking english).  It's a small point, but I would've loved to hear the characters actually speaking chinese.    

- Part of what makes the recent chinese martial arts movies so great to watch is the artistry and gracefulness of the violence in their fighting scenes.  A lot of the cinematic brilliance of their fighting revolves around their blocks, parries, and counter attacks. The design decision to have a single animation, large glowing orange shield serve as "blocking", seems so counter to capturing the chinese martial arts feel.  It really would've added to the game if they had built in a visually exciting blocking and counter system, with animations to match.  

Aside from those 2 nitpicks, the game has been great.

Btw, if you bought the LE version of the game, make sure you put your 2nd cd in and unlock the monk character.  His model is very cool, and really puts the other male character models to shame.
1875  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Oldest thing ever found on Earth on: April 11, 2005, 11:06:22 PM
1876  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Lords Demo available tommorrow on: April 11, 2005, 06:45:49 PM
They were insane to release that demo, unless they didn't want people to buy the game.  Did they even play the demo?  I have no idea what the final game will be like, but wow, that was a stinker early impression.  I can't remember the last time I've had to manually delete a folder to uninstall a game or demo.
1877  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / First Person Shooters - Inverted or "normal" on: April 07, 2005, 08:34:16 PM
Inverted for all of my fps, also inverted for any game that has a camera that I can pan around, and of course for flight sims.

My wife plays normal for Halo2, and when I pick-up her controller to try and help her through a tough spot, the normal config wreaks havoc on my brain.
1878  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 3/30/05 - HOLY COW! (WBS shoutout) on: March 31, 2005, 09:20:44 PM
I got the impression that the father in any other circumstance would not want to be bothered with Locke's existence, much less maintain a relationship.  The only way he thought Locke would offer to give up a kidney would be for him to play the father-son bonding role long enough for Locke to volunteer.

To make matters worse for Locke, his newly introduced mom was in on the scheme, with her payoff being even worse...just $.  "Feeling used" would probably be an understatement.

The plane full of heroin seemed like a really cheap plot device for a future Charlie-gets-tested episode, which I hope isn't the case (although there seems to be another round of character testing occurring).
1879  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 3/30/05 - HOLY COW! (WBS shoutout) on: March 31, 2005, 08:46:51 PM
And here I was hoping his mom wasn't a nut and Locke was Jesus smile  

A lot of religious references last night both subtle and obvious.


I suspected the setup by the father, but I thought he was working Locke on his own, not with help from nutjob.  I think Locke tried to kill himself in the last flashback scene in the car, smashing into a tree and paralyzing himself.  The guy was raised in foster homes his entire life with no adopted family, and as an adult finally reunites with his mother and father only to be used by them for money and an organ.  I imagine he took the entire reality of all of that pretty hard.  

Great episode.
1880  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Troika is no more. :( on: February 25, 2005, 10:53:25 PM
I've never seen a string of recent games by 1 development studio with as many bugs, both game stopping and small, as Troika's last 3.  The content in their games was never in question, it was just their ability to actually make a working game.  ToEE was an absolute mess, and vampire:bloodlines was unplayable for many, even with patch 1.2. I hate seeing rpg developers go down, but when they can't even make a game that works in their last 3 tries, something is wrong.
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