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7881  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: MS Disc Replacement Plan on: April 03, 2007, 08:49:38 AM
It's on the Xbox site, and everything seems legit.

At a glance nothing seems wrong, and it's practical business sense.  You're required to send in the legitimate damaged disc in order to get a replacement, they're not losing anything except the disc cost and cost for a netflix style return envelope.
7882  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Preview] Enemy Territory: Quake Wars on: April 03, 2007, 04:06:43 AM
Those missions that the map gives various classes is a great idea, along with the more story based missions.  It's very much the asymmetrical kind of online FPS gameplay I've been looking for.  Instead of simply dropping all this stuff for players to run around crazy with in MP (e.g. BF2), they use each asset more like in a SP game, structuring the missions to be more interesting.
7883  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: April 03, 2007, 04:04:02 AM
Well I don't think anyone has pointed this out yet, but the game was already toned down in pacing from the demo.  I recently played the mission from the demo in the full game and it was decidedly more manageable.

I think I know the problem with the game.  The starting, and nearby tiberium fields in all multiplayer maps is more than enough for a player to tech up to max tech quickly.  All he has to do is build multiple refineries and harvesters.  There's no reason to go forward except on certain maps where the only extra tiberium field is in the middle of the map.  They could slow things down a bit by tweaking how much cash each load of tiberium gives, or how much each bundle of tiberium is worth (thus depleting a field much more quickly).  However, because the game is balanced that units simply don't last all that long, this is problematic.
7884  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I officially love the PSP on: April 03, 2007, 03:48:53 AM
MGS portable ops sold me on the PSP.
7885  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted ARMS- Caution to PS3 owners on: April 03, 2007, 03:46:37 AM
Thankfully, because of this it's one more reason to avoid the most horrifically flamoyantly gayest RPG character ever.

Now, before you yell at me for because such a bigot (is that the right term?) let me say that the gay character in Enchant Arms is such a ridiculous and almost offensive stereotype of gay people I know.  I really couldn't stand the character especially in regards to my few gay and lesbian friends.

Of course, the rest of the characters were just as bad, poor archetypes, poor motivations and story.  Really bad dialogue.

I hear the RPG gameplay was good, but honestly it wasn't worth sitting through.
7886  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PSP] Core system (finally) $169.99 on: April 03, 2007, 03:34:31 AM
Yeah actually I was looking at the DS and the only thing I really really wanted for that system was Jump Ultimate Stars, Castlevania, and maybe Elite Beat Agents. 

The PSP's library has really increased since I last checked, some good series games, and some new originals.  The MGS portable ops really has me excited, along with the wipeout games.  A few new pickup and play games came out.  And there's some new strategy games that's pretty interesting.

Actually knew for damn sure that they'd be dropping the price soon, and that it was likely going down to $170.  It's not so much a drop from $200, but just enough for people to take notice.  And it's still well above the DS $130.  Also, I knew they'd drop the price so that PSP1s would start selling out of stores.  Once enough were off store shelves, they could announce the PSP2.

It's getting harder to resist buying one right now.  Even though I know the PSP2 is likely less than a year away.  If enough of those listed games come out, I may just buy and upgrade when the PSP2 comes out.

I'm actually hoping that the PSP2 actually comes out with a touch screen, not so much to copy the DS (although frankly, that's what it'd be doing game-wise), but so that I could possibly use it as a PDA.  The 4-8gb of flash memory would help in that regard.  And we'd start to see some more DS style pickup and play games on the PSP.  Heck, maybe even some nice real time strategy or tactical games.

That's a bit one sided to say that just because the DS is selling really well means that if the PSP lowered to $50 it wouldn't sell.  That's just as much hyperbole against Sony as certain others get flak for having for Sony.  If the PSP dropped to $50, it'd get snatched up, and by a market that's different from the DS crowd.  There'll then be some overlap, not to mention a lot more users in general, prompting developers to take notice and develop for the system.  Of course, the psp is not $50, and its target audience isn't quite the same as the DS.
7887  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Enchanted ARMS- Caution to PS3 owners on: April 03, 2007, 12:47:17 AM
Such is the problem with any port done solely for profit under strict deadlines.

Besides, Enchant Arm really wasn't that good of an RPG.
7888  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: April 02, 2007, 11:07:53 PM
Actually, I'm already finding a lot of the MP game getting old.  It's basically the same stuff we've seen.

The common tactic is to just hunker behind turrets with a small defensive army, pump out tons of refineries and harvester and quickly tech up to walkers, mammoths, or the carriers with the scrin.  All with upgrades.

That or rush early, or use some cheesy move like mass army of venom aircraft with lasers.

Otherwise, there's no middle combat unless someone really tries to take the tiberium fields.  Unfortunately, because of the pacing, its very difficult to continue an offensive unless you've already broken the enemy and it's just mop up time.  Better just to sit behind lines, rapidly consuming as much tiberium as possible before one big strike.
7889  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: OO/GT CC3 Clan? on: April 02, 2007, 09:26:15 PM
I'm Vertrucio in C&C3.

Actually, I think I may be switching my entire online identity over to that name.
7890  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: April 02, 2007, 06:10:42 AM
Hamachi adds some extra overhead that you don't get in a lan.

First, with the basic version all packets are encrypted and there's no way to turn this off.  This has a problem in games where latency is an issue.
7891  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: April 02, 2007, 04:17:07 AM
What happens with triggering is that once that block is triggered, the whole block of IPs you list is directed to you.  So essentially it's the same as port forwarding.
7892  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: April 02, 2007, 02:10:53 AM
What's even more stupid, is when you look on their site to see what ports to forward on your router, it basically tells you to forward all of them to your PC, ports 8088 and up.  Of course when you do that, everyone else stops working like ICQ aim, etc...

How hard is it to just put up a list of what ports their game uses?  It'd go a long way to help clear up their online lobby.
7893  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Miyamoto-san calls out 3rd parties on: April 02, 2007, 01:24:22 AM
On the other hand, the Wii now has quite a user base, and that's expanding rapidly as via word of mouth and play.  We may see more high quality 3rd party games on the Wii soon if only because companies can take more risks with so many potential buyers.
7894  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: April 1st FTW! on: April 01, 2007, 09:44:05 AM
 paranoid
7895  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Children of Men - what has been better? on: April 01, 2007, 04:15:25 AM
What I loved was that it didn't glorify the violence shown in the movie, nor was it trying to use that violence as a blatant message.  Instead, it simply showed it and its aftermath in a kind of horrific reality.

Some spoilers, which I won't bother to spoiler box because everyone in the topic has seen it.

The initial scene with the bombing was sudden and intense, but all so horrific with the woman shrouded by haze coming out of the shop holding her severed arm.  And what really made it poignant was that they didn't linger on it for too long and it cuts away.

Then there's all the shootings in the movie.  People get shot and they just fall and die.  No hands flailing, no wailing and screams, no slow motion.  People get shot, they die.  Just dead.  The people in the building at the end, while they're moving down the hallway, random people are getting hit by bullets through the walls and they just get hit and fall over.  That's really horrific in my mind, it's just over.

Oh, and that baby was all digital, they were carrying around a doll on set, pretty crazy.

One thing with science fiction movies like this is that you have to stop focusing on the setup.  The real question isn't why the world no longer has children and how it came to be, but instead the question is how such an extreme situation affects the people who live through it.  That's what good science fiction is supposed to do.  Present new and interesting situations, and see how humans react to it.
7896  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: April 01, 2007, 01:47:31 AM
Actually, when an avatar cannibalizes a stealth tank, not only does it take the stealth unit, it also takes the rocket pack, allowing the avatar to for missiles at air targets too.

Of course, that's a seriously large amount of cash, and the avatar really can't stand up to much punishment.

However, support them with an army, and make sure to have engineers behind the attack line to bring fallen walkers back up, the avatars can seriously help an offensive.
7897  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 31, 2007, 08:42:40 PM
Someone already mention Half-Life 1 for that title?
7898  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 31, 2007, 08:41:39 PM
It's under the tab where all the turrets are.
7899  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 31, 2007, 09:51:43 AM
That's after the AI creamed us on the previous map.  slywink

Deny resources is the primary goal of comp stomps.  Also turn down the speed a bit to give you time to react to the AI.  The thing about the skirmish AI is that it does everything at the same time, unlike a human that can only do one thing at a time.  So toning down the speed to about 3/4ths is about right to give you enough time to react to all of the AI's moves.

Don't bother going for the power plant kill either, the AI always rebuilds them too quickly for it to be of use.  Instead if you have a way to blow up buildings, just go ahead and take out prodicers and tech buildings.

Once you deal with the speed, worry about the tiberium.  Once again, the AI does everything at once, so it is always building, always, and it perfectly manages its economy too.  So if you let them get a small taste of extra tiberium outside their base, well expect to see that field with turrets and lots of units coming your way.

But, at the same time the AI doesn't keep watch over its harvesters, so while they're outside the base, blast them with tanks.

Once again.  Nod is all about their turrets.  Best turrets in the game.  Use them to defend areas so that you don't waste precious units on defense too much.
7900  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jump Ultimate Stars for the DS! on: March 31, 2007, 09:39:16 AM
So now that more have the game here, any further impressions after longer play time?

Anyone know of anything comparable coming out for the DS?
7901  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 31, 2007, 08:07:05 AM
The AI was having trouble with so much going on.  Also, the easy AI was right next to me, so being the most experienced, I had no trouble dealing with its advances along the bridges.  Leaving me open to secure the middle zone with turrets, thus grabbing all that blue tiberium.

Next game we might try all mediums, with one set to the rush AI to get some early fighting.
7902  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 3 Nippon Ichi games coming to North America on: March 31, 2007, 07:56:43 AM
Wow, more PS2 games.  Cool.

Disgaea for the PSP?  There goes my free time.
7903  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 30, 2007, 11:27:36 PM
More impressions after playing some games with Tals and his friends.

The game is growing on me, however pacing is still an issue.  Thankfully, and sometimes not, network latency automatically slows down the game most of the time when playing online.

My experiments with nod have given me some insight into how to use them.  Nod definitely benefis when the speed is set slightly lower than max.

To play nod, you need to decide early whether to pursue one of two paths, by first going up the infantry side of the tech tree, getting the higher end sneaky infantry like shadows.  This can be done somewhat quickly and a few combined strikes of shadows from the rear knocking out power and key buildings, with infantry and vehicles assaulting from multiple angles while the defenses are down.  The infantry boosted with various add ons becomes a lot more resilient, while your basic vehicles help soak up initial damage.  Since Nod infantry are cheaper, just keep sending them in waves and don't let up.

Or you can go the vehicle route, where you build scorpions, raider buggys, and maybe some scout bikes if you're dealing with enemy stealth.  Lots of riflemen and some flame troops to deal with enemy rockets.  Upgrade the scorpions with lasers and a plow to make them even more resilient from the front (dozer blades act as armor) and more deadly too.  To do this you'll have to go for the tech center early as otherwise the scorpions are quickly outmatched by GDI and scrin units, and the beam cannons will really help.  Oh and don't forget the buggy EMP upgrade, very useful to knock out enemy vehicles, like the mammoths, giving you a short time where the enemy can't fire back.  Very useful.

In either case, use the Venoms to good use, they can scan for stealth, shoot down aircraft and infantry, and don't require a return to base.  The vertigo bombers are your "strike" power, and are useful for punching a hole in the enemy lines or taking out a building that the shadows didn't quite blow up.

Nod abilities are interesting.  For a quick $500 you can use the decoy army ability, which makes a decoy clone of everything in a certain radius and instantly projects them somewhere else.  These decoys look real to other players.  They can also reveal terrain.  So for a cheap $500 you can know exactly what's up ahead and at the same time fool your enemy into thinking you've wasted your attack force.  And of course, they're also useful as decoys, since they can be projected anywere else it's easy to pop them on the other side of a base you want to attack, drawing away all enemy forces.  Then launch the real offensive.

I'm not sure how effective the radar jamming missile has been since it's effect is subjective to enemy players.  Just use it, and the enemy can't use his radar for a short time, much like if he'd lost power.  I suppose it can't hurt to knock out the radar just before a big attack, it'll only add to the confusion.

Cloaking field is both a vehicle boost and anti infantry weapon.  It'll kill basic infantry types and reduce heavy infantry to half health.  Even better if said infantry is right next to friendly tanks.  So give those tanks a force move on top of the enemy infantry, pop the cloaking field ability on them, then drive those vehicles behind the enemy tanks to hit them from the rear.  Easier said than done.

Shadow strike team is just that, it builds shadow teams, as I've explained below, I love these guys.  This ability brings in a team of two already in hang glide mode.

Mine drop is kind of useful.  But I don't use it often.  Most of the time enemies just blow up the mines as they approach.  I suppose seeding the area around an enemy factory with mines will really be a nuisance, or when you really really need to delay the enemy quickly.

I've never really used the chemical plant, so I don't know any tactics for that.

Nod turrets are just plain nasty.  Put the control unit behind a building or similar, then put the turrets on the other side towards the enemy.

Oh and I'm in love with Nod Shadow troops.  They small stealth squads that can deploy hang gliders that allow them to glide quickly over terrain while still stealthed.  Land them behind enemy lines, next to their power stations, then use their demolitions ability to blow up the power.  Then slip slip away to some unreachable location using the hang gliders.  It takes two uses of demolitions to blow a power station, so I like having a group of 4 shadow units landing behind the enemy to take out two power stations.  If I have the money I bump that count up to 6 so I can later take out even bigger buildings like the tech center.

Saboteurs I don't use that often, but from what I've seen they're a very effective tank rush deterrent.  Forcing the GDI to buy more anti infantry units

Oh, make sure to use the Planning mode (ctrl+z) with nod to execute well timed coordinated strikes.  It's just really important.

Anyway, Nod's just fun to play if you can get over how weak your troops are.  However, they're still at a disadvantage on very small maps like the 4 player brawl.  There's no room to maneuver on that map, and that's what nod needs the most.  So when starting that close you're forced into a direct fight early and that usually spells death for nod.

GDI on the other hand is a versitile army in that their units can be upgraded to handle various threats, from APCs with their variable infantry loadout to Mammoths with

edit:  Notes on Scrin.

The Scrin right now are powerful because no one knows how to handle them, let alone identify what the heck each of their units are and what their weaknesses are.

So right now a lot of Scrin players all they do is build lots of turrets, then sit back using their enhanced tiberium abilities to quickly tech up to their air units.  Then they just build the carriers, upgrade them with shields, and march over the enemy base.

So far, there's no stopping the carriers.  Rocket troops are somewhat successful, except the fighters on the carriers wipe out ungarrisoned infantry.  I don't think scout bikes will fare any better.  AA turrets work wonders thankfully, but that's a defensive option mostly.

The only thing to do is to keep attacking them, which is a problem since when you go to attack the scrin, you don't know what's killing your units most of the time.  If it's not buzzers that respawn from towers killing off infantry, it's weird bolts of light blowing up your tanks.  Then you don't know what to target.
7904  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: For the fans of 28 Days Later..... on: March 30, 2007, 07:42:02 AM
Wow, that actually looks good.

Notice that most of the scenes shown are primarily of the small group running.  Meanwhile the military ones seem there just to setup story points like the one where they decide to kill everyone.

And I like how one of the soldiers is actually a good guy this time.

One thing that makes me worry is that there's a lot of running and action scenes this time.  Making me think it's another "Escape from..." movie where it's all action running away from threats.  The orignal 28 days later had some downtime between events to rest, mourn, and ready for the next bit of action.
7905  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Children of Men - what has been better? on: March 30, 2007, 07:37:56 AM
This is out on DVD?!  I think I'll just buy this movie before even renting it.  I rarely buy movies at all, let alone rent any.  But the theme of this movie and these kind of movies in general strike a chord with me.
7906  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GTA IV Countdown on: March 30, 2007, 07:26:51 AM
I wonder if they're going to make the game a bit more serious this time around or stay with the more whimsical theme of past games.
7907  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [DS]final fantasy: crystal chronicals: ring of fates on: March 30, 2007, 05:48:00 AM
That looks interesting.  I suspect the voice is only for cutscenes, I don't think those DS cartridges can hold that much voice info, but who knows, maybe they're using one of the gigbyte cards.  Anyway, I'm interested in an good co-op RPG.  The original crystal chonicles on the GC I passed over due to the need for both a GC and gameboy.  If they've skipped the GC requirement alltogether, well then I'll already have a DS.

Hopefully it'll have online co-op.  Purdy please.
7908  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: GamingTrend Xfire Clan/Guild on: March 30, 2007, 05:31:44 AM
I applied for the clan.  Let me in!  Let me in!
7909  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: A Journal of the Zone - A S.T.A.L.K.E.R. AAR on: March 30, 2007, 05:23:51 AM
Day 1 continued.

The beeping of my PDA brought me out of my reverie and I set my mind back to the matter at hand.  Steering a wide berth around the anomaly, I set out for the meeting point.  Upon arrival, I met with three other stalkers waiting just over the crest of a hill from the car park.  One of them looked to be the leader, who until my arrival had been watching the park through a set of binoculars.  He turned to me and let me know what the situation was.

There were about seven bandits inside the car park, while Nimble looked to be held in the westernmost building.  Two bandits rested inside with Nimble, another two were cooking on a fire in a larger building to the west.  The rest patrolled around the parkís perimeter.  The plan was to wait for an opening in the patrols and hit the closest group of two, the ones cooking, then sweep the rest of the park in pairs.

The leader turned back to the other two stalkers before I could get a word in, he nodded to them, and they nodded back.  The leader motioned me to follow and we all crouched down low behind the crest of the hill.

I was already sweating and my heart beat twice as fast.  The leader popped his head over the crest, looking intensely through his binoculars.  He raised his hand in preparation.  After what seemed like an eternity, he motioned for us to charge.

We ran over the top of the hill and I was surprised at the silence.  Our leader had timed things right and we made it to the outer wall just in time to hear one of the bandits inside shuffle his feet and ask, ďdid you hear something?Ē  That was our cue to attack and through two entrances, one open garage door and a large hole in the wall, we burst in and gunned down the two bandits inside before they could stand.

As I reloaded my pistol the park burst into noise as shouts of alarm echoed through the building.  Our leader quickly moved off around the east side of the building with a black masked stalker, leaving me with the third stalker, a young thin man, covering me as I reloaded.  Full clip in place, we moved west which would take us through the center yard and towards the building Nimble was in.

Moving forward cautiously, there came the sound of gunfire to the east, which meant our leader had found some more targets.  We took our places near the doorway and took a quick look around.  It was clear as far as we could see, my teammate told me to stay put and cover him as he went forward.  As he ran across the yard, I saw a bandit poke his head up over the western buildings second floor balcony and take aim, I fired at him with my pistol, failing to hit but forcing him to take cover.

However while I was firing at him, my teammate had troubles of his own.  As he reached the western building, I saw him turn to his right and raise his pistol.  He fired twice before he was struck by two bullets from a bandit out of view.   He dropped, clutching his side.

Cursing, I moved forward using a busted old truck as cover and rounded it hoping to catch the bandit off guard.  We saw each other at the same time and we both fired his shot went wild and his gun clicked empty, while my first shot missed and my second shot hit him squarely in the chest as my gun also clicked empty.  The bandit staggered back, but did not fall, I saw he had a bulletproof vest on and cursed some more as a reloaded.  He grinned at me, standing in plain view as he reloaded faster than I could and took aim, just as he raised his pistol, shots rang out from my right and the bandit fell over dead.  Looking over to see who had saved me, I saw our leader giving me a condescending look, motioning me to get moving while he fired some rounds at the bandit on he balcony.

I rushed to the side of my teammate, trying to see where heíd been hit.  There was only one wound, as the first shot bounced off his vest, but the second had caught him in the side.  I took out a bandage and applied it as best I could.  The bleeding stopped instantly as the fast acting chemicals and powder stanched the wound.  I opened up a fresh medkit and gave him some local anesthetic to get him on his feet, and also applied a strange white powder from the medkit, which seemed to congeal around his wound, forming into a layer that seemed like flesh but not.  The young stalker looked better right away, grabbing his pistol while I helped him get up.

By now, our leader was working his way through the western buildingís connected garage and it was up to us to attack through our entrance.  Taken the lead I peeked inside and a bandit shot at me for my efforts.  My teammate responded with a hail of bullets, hit accuracy affected by his wounds, but the bullets were enough to force the bandit behind cover.  I moved inside the building, surprising another bandit as he came down from the stairs to help.  He drew a double barreled shotgun, but I was faster and with one shot to the head he collapsed.  Seeing an opportunity, I grabbed freshly loaded shotgun and charged forward.  The bandit guarding the entrance was just about to return fire on my teammate when I surprised him from the side and unloaded both barrels into him.  It was a mess.

With that last shot, the park became silent again save for the ever present sound of the crows.

Our leader met up with us inside, and we quickly confirmed the amount of dead bandits, weíd killed them all and with no losses.  Just then came a meek voice from around the corner.  It was Nimble wanting to know if it was alright to come out.  I almost laughed.

Later, when the park had been thoroughly searched and bodies looted, I got a chance to talk to these other stalkers.  Nimble, provided me with a flash drive containing the information that Sidorovich wanted.  Also in thanks he provided the location of a stash he knew about that contained a suit made for exploring the zone.  I found my teammate sitting by the cooking fire,  along with the other two stalkers from our battle, eating the meal that the bandits were preparing.  His name turned out to be Lyova, he was thankful for the help Iíd given during the fight and for saving him.  He let me know if there was anything I needed in the future I should stop by the camp.  It was good to know I had a new friend in the zone, everything else was so hostile.  I later asked him about his wounds and he showed me the purple scar, seeing that I was amazed by his quick healing he told me about the powder in the medkits was made up of a ground up artifact that had regenerative properties.  It would be some time before he fully healed, but he was in no danger of getting any worse.

The leader, who I still donít know his name, decided to stay with the masked stalker and Lyova.  It was getting dark and it would be dangerous to be out at night, especially with Lyovaís wounds.  Nimble, on the other hand, wanted to be away from this location as soon as possible.  I decided to join him and I parted ways with my comrades in arms and headed back to see Sidorovich.  Nimble lived up to his name and kept up a fast pace back to the stalker camp.  He seemed to know how to avoid the anomalies better than I could, especially in the dim light and our path back took a few wide turns before we finally arrived.

Safe and back in the camp, I saw Wolf again.  Once again he motioned me over, he thanked me for the help and gave me some money for my troubles, then told me to get my ass over to Sidorovich because the cranky fat man wanted to see me ASAP.  With money in hand I was happy to comply.

7910  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PSN Update for 3/29 on: March 30, 2007, 03:47:11 AM
Sony should really go ahead and pay the warhawk developers to put in a good single player campaign, even if it just copies the original warhawk's campaign.  That'll give Sony another good game to its line-up instead of a much more limited appeal multiplayer only game.

They should also try ressurrecting older series, like Wipeout for the PS3.
7911  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 30, 2007, 03:37:36 AM
So anyone playing this online tonight?
7912  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 vs 360 Elite $$$ Breakdown. on: March 30, 2007, 01:40:29 AM
Actually, superior gaming is subjective system-wise.  The PS3 and 360 have pretty comparable capabilities.  So right now the 360 leads in games, but that could change in the future.

In Hetz's list, if you take away the HDDVD reader it drops the system price down to about $100 less that the PS3.  However, that makes it unequal to the PS3.  People have stated that they don't care about the HDDVD and that's fine.  Others have stated that they wanted Sony to include an optional DVD version.  I think Sony actually made a good choice sticking to only one version of the disc drive, this way they don't fracture their gaming audience into DVDs and Bluray.  It's the same reason why there will never be HDDVD games for the 360, despite now having a HDDVD reader.  Still, that does mean that you're getting a Bluray playing for about a $100 extra.  Some people may not like paying that extra, but it's certainly nice to have for future use.  A lot of the PS3 is future proof, but the problem is that they lack the most important thing for the now, which is some good exclusive games for the PS3.

Overall, it's best not to have any sort of brand loyalty and simply play the games if you find them fun.  I know I will.
7913  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 30, 2007, 01:18:50 AM
Yeah they just released the 1.2 patch which allowed my friend and I to get two games in.

I should note that the only reason why I bought this was that my two friends are big into the C&C series, so to get any playtime with them it's this game or nothing.

First game was me as nod and him as GDI.  I got off to a good start by sending in an infantry assault force that put him on the defensive.  There were four tiberium fields, two in each opposite corner of the map along with the two base nodes.  A player could either go across land to one field, or cross the only bridge to get to the other.  Well I managed to secure the fields that my friend could reach via land, and used a saboteur to c4 the bridge crossing it.  Well when he sent a small force to take the fields accross the river the bridge blew up.  We played for a while but he conceded defeat after a while.  I had control of a whopping 5 tiberium fields although I was only harvesting from 3, whereas he only had his starting 1.  Needless to say, by controlling all those resources I would eventually win.

Game 2 had us against medium AI, one balanced, one geurilla.  Ugh, we got wasted.  Early on we did okay.  A small attack force I sent made it into the Scrin base in front of me and blew something up.  I'm not sure what it was though.  And was destroyed.  But after that we were simply overwhelmed with too much stuff happening, nor did I know how to deal with scrin units as NOD.

I've been playing nod simply because they're different.  But, I think they suck.  Almost completely underpowered.  They're a trick army in a game that's all about pure damage ability and crazy fast pacing.  So as nod you either rush before your opponent gets out all his nasty damage units, or bend over and take it because none of your units can do anything about it.

Plus your own units are weaker and die more, making you spend more to keep a standing army.  That means less tech upgrades to match the enemy.  Forget about using the abilities too, way too costly for how little they do.

The whole armor being stronger from the front deal may have hurt NOD the most.  Since they shrunk down the map sizes to fit in with their fast paced gameplay, it's difficult to get tanks around the side without running into more enemy troops of defenses that'll just blast you.

Best early strategy I can think of is attack with infantry up front, move tanks forward near enemy infantry, pop the cloaking field ability to kill the enemy infantry and make your tanks invisible.  Move tanks behind the enemy tanks and fire.

The scout bike is useless, keeps rushing in front to die.  The recon buggy with the anti infantry gun is also useless for the same reason.  It's crap compared to the GDI APC.

I haven't tried the scrin, but I don't really want to until I learn how to actually win with Nod.
7914  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 29, 2007, 10:10:59 PM
Tried to get in a game with a friend several states away.  Turns out the EA online service is down.

So we try Hamachi to get us on a VPN so we can use the lan mode.  Well it turns out he patched to 1.1

So I go looking for the patch to download, and lo and behold, there is no seperate patch.  You can only update via the auto updater.

So I try using the autoupdate feature, and it says there's no patch.

So I try going to the support site, there's no mention of a patch.

So I look at the forums, it turns out the forums are down.

Seriously, if I could return this game right now I would.
7915  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 29, 2007, 08:00:34 PM
Well, true.  Perhaps they should allow stealing from dead units then.  This way they actually have to kill something first.
7916  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 29, 2007, 07:49:08 PM
Man, that seems like a waste of an ability.
7917  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 29, 2007, 07:44:18 PM
What about taking apart a GDI mammoth for its weapon?  Can Avatars steal weapons from enemy units?  Can the avatar take from destroyed units?

It seems to me that with cloaking, the idea of the avatar is to get the jump on some enemy unit, rip off its weapon and take it, and attack, or use stealth to get away.

Perhaps a cheaper unit would make it better for killing Mammoths?  Do the Nod have some sort of small rocket truck that can hurt mammoths in numbers?  If so, upgrade an avatar with 3 of them?
7918  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / A Journal of the Zone - A S.T.A.L.K.E.R. AAR on: March 29, 2007, 07:40:17 PM
SPOILER WARNING:  This whole journal is one big spoiler.  So read at your own risk.  A lot of it is interpretation too, so don't get all miffed if I don't follow the plot exactly.

Day 1

This is my first entry of my journal of the zone.  I figure since this PDA has a Diary function, I may as well use it in case I have another memory lapse or worse.  I should explain.

Today I woke up not knowing who I was or where I was.  It was even more disconcerting when some fat guy told me to get the hell off his table.  He told me his name was Sidorovich and that he was a trader in the Zone.  One of his associates brought me in after finding me at a crash site along the road, what I was doing there no one knows, not even me.

He asked my name, but I didnít know that either and we settled on a name he had used for me earlier, Marked One, referring to the tattoo on my arm.  It was a little odd sounding, but I agreed for lack of a better alternative.

He went on to mention that the truck Iíd been found near was a death truck, one that occasionally brings corpses out from deep within the zone, he looked like he hoped I could tell him about those trucks, but I remembered nothing of that.  Of the zone, however, well that stirred my memory a bit.

Some time after the Chernobyl reactor meltdown, and after the core had been sealed in its concrete sarcophagus, there had been another disaster.  Where once Chernobyl and its dead zone was another ecological disaster, overnight it became something wholly worse.  The zone expanded, and bringing with it all sorts of strange phenomenon that we called anomalies.  These were deadly pockets of warped physics, where fundamental laws we thought unbreakable have been twisted.  Gravity may turn on itself, fire and heat appears out of thin air, and even electricity is generated with no source.  These anomalies were dangerous to any life that entered them, and whatís worse they shifted on a daily or weekly basis.  Then, if it werenít the anomalies that killed you, over time the zoneís strange radiation and harsh environment had mutated animals into perverse, deadlier versions of what they had once been.  And from deep within the zone there were stories of some even more horrific mutations inside that were hostile to all life.

And here I was, in the thick of it.

Then there was Strelok.  Who was he?  I didnít know, but my last PDA entry said that I should kill him.  Sidorovich didnít have much more information.  Strelok was a stalker, like many others.  Somewhat high profile by the sound of it.

Sidorovich said that since heíd saved me, I might as well do some work for him while I recovered.  Good idea, and while Iím working for him for pay, heíll see if thereís any info he can dig up on Strelok.  A fair trade.  The first task he sent me on was to find a scout who went by the name Nimble.  Nimble had disappeared after obtaining some information, Sidorovich wanted that information.  Without much to go on, he told me that a Stalker named Wolf ran the nearby stalker camp, and if anyone knew how to find Nimble itíd be him.

I left Sidorovich to talk to find this Wolf, thankfully I didnít have to travel far.  The camp Sidorovich had talked about was setup in an abandoned cluster of houses right next to the entrance of his bunker.  There were guards posted, and one pointed me over to where Wolf stood.  As soon as he saw me, he waved me over to speak.  Turns out Wolf had already heard of me from Sidorovich via radio, not wasting time he told me that Nimble had been captured by bandits.  From a message Nimble snuck out, they knew he was being held in a car park down the road.  There was already a small group of stalkers waiting nearby to try and free him.  Wolf wanted me to help.

The idea was crazy I thought at first, I didnít know if Iíd even handled a gun let alone shot another human.  But I agreed to help however I could, telling him that I didnít know if Iíd be any help in combat.  Wolf handed me a pistol anyway and as soon as I gripped it, the weapon felt natural in my hands.  I loaded and chambered a round.  At this, Wolf grinned and said Iíd be fine.

Before I left, Wolf let me know that there may be extra supplies lying around in the camp, as stalkers come and go in the cordon, some are bound to leave their stashes behind.  A quick search of each of the houses netted me several bandages, two med kits, and enough rations for two days.  It was a useful find, but nothing special until I decided to search some more and hidden away in an attic I discovered an old bullet proof vest.  It was dirty, and had a bullet hole clean through the side, but I felt safer wearing it than without.  With everything Iíd gathered I left for the car park.

Walking along the road I couldnít help but feel strange.  The area was dead, there were no sounds of humans, no cars, no birds chirping.  Buildings were left empty, all their belongings left in place.  Instead, all I could hear was the constant calls of the many crows circling overhead, and even worse, there were many howls of creatures I knew I didnít want to meet.

That was when I first saw it.  I didnít think much of it at first, it was kind of like an odd haze, like something at the edge of my vision.  I didnít quite realize something was wrong, but my eyes kept on wanting to look at it.  It wasnít until I had neared when I realized what was wrong. It was an anomaly.  My PDA began to beep and I could feel ever so slightly a strange pull in its direction.  It pulsed in a rhythmic way, creating ripples in the air and along the grass around it.  At its center was a dark stain in the ground were various debris and particles had been sucked in, and compacted.  From within my jumbled memory I recalled that this was some sort of gravity anomaly.  Now that I knew what I was looking for, my eyes swept the landscape around me and saw many such distortions, easily missed if someone werenít paying attention.  No wonder the zone was so empty, only the cautious could survive here.

To be continued...
7919  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: March 29, 2007, 07:19:17 PM
Ah, good.  This game is looking to be a day 1 buy.

Can I still get in on the beta?  And does the beta have multiplayer?  I'd love to try this out with you guys if possible.

Edit:  Ah nevermind, just found the info.  SP only, but the beta is still available.
7920  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sins of a Solar Empire - Beta Musings on: March 29, 2007, 05:27:08 PM
One thing they touted was the ability to pay to train your capitol ships to give them upgrades, or some kind of benefit.  This was supposed to let less militaristic empires pay to have their ships be of much higher quality without going to war constantly.  Can you check if training is in the game?

The training element is really lost in a lot of these kind of games, I've only seen it in X-Com Apocalypse.
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