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8121  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 30, 2007, 03:37:36 AM
So anyone playing this online tonight?
8122  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.
8123  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.
8124  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.
8125  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.
8126  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.
8127  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?
8128  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...
8129  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.
8130  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.
8131  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Why Insomniac thinks the PS3 is best on: March 29, 2007, 05:41:43 AM
Let me clarify.

I'm not saying Gears wasn't a system seller, just that it wasn't a system seller to me, and that I actually think it's a very overrated game.  Not to say that I wasn't interested in the game or that it wasn't fun to play.

I have a 360 only because my father impulse bought it for my little sister.  She has since taken over my Wii while I have the 360.  On the whole, none of the titles I've played so far on the 360 would have sold me on the system.  Neither alone or taken as a whole library.  With the future release of mass effect, had I not already had a 360, that game would have pushed me over the buy threshold (along with the titles already released) for a 360.

Likewise with the PS3.  I'm interested in resistance, home, littlebigplanet, and a few other games.  But no one game currently makes me interested in buying the system.  That could very well change and games like LittleBigPlanet, Killzone, FF13, etc... could push me over the buy threshold much like Mass Effect.

So while people here are arguing left and right who's system is better and what's a system seller and what's not, my post was meant to remind people that what determines a system seller is different for each person, and often it can either be as simple as a single game that makes someone buy, but also the whole library of current and upcoming games.  What has the PS3 shown that's worth getting so far?  Not a whole lot, but neither did the 360 this many months after its release.  It's taken a year to start getting the really interesting games out, I suspect it'll take the same for the PS3.

It's the same argument that's been going back and forth.  I think in general I'll avoid these 360 vs PS3 threads from now on, these just give me a headache when in reality all I want to do is play the damn games on any system.
8132  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 29, 2007, 02:45:46 AM
Actually, the lead developer said that was the target time he was shooting for.
8133  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Battlestar Galactica - Season 3 finale on: March 29, 2007, 02:40:49 AM
There was a post by the show's composer about the song.  He wrote and recorded it over 3 months when the producers asked him specifically to write a new version of Dylan/Hendix's song.  The idea was that what if there was a musician on Caprica or another of the 12 colonies that just happened to write the same song, but with the musical stylings of the 12 colonies, pulling from the same ethereal inspiration that Dylan pulled from?

So the song will probably be clarified in next season, and is likely to be a big tie in between the 12 Colonies and Earth.  It was also a deliberate decision and a long term one at that.

Also, I like the song, I'll probably pickup the Season 3 soundtrack just for it.
8134  Non-Gaming / Forum and Site Feedback / Re: Need Moderator Action ASAP Re: Reefer Madness-Do not view posts NSFW on: March 29, 2007, 02:25:48 AM
Can someone fill me in on the deal with this Crowley guy?  I'm just curious as to what this guy's problem is.  You can send the info via PM if you want to keep it out of the forum at large.

I got one of his messages before, thankfully I'm not overly disturbed by such images, but I really have to wonder about the mental health of someone who does stuff like this.
8135  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 29, 2007, 02:09:12 AM
Might want to wait a few more patches for the true vision of this game.  It looks like this patch just puts in the current vision of the game that was supposed to be in on release.  There's still plenty of problems.

I think they could actually go a bit farther with the item types and item degradation.  Maybe certain types of food spoils, but some foods have a quality too them that gives more endurance, etc...

I'd also really, really like to see more AI teammates and use thereof.  If I save someone or makes friends with someone through quests and such, there should be more tangible benefits besides trade.  Maybe I can get him, or faction buddies to help out on a mission.
8136  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jump Ultimate Stars for the DS! on: March 29, 2007, 01:41:25 AM
Actually, the video says it's around 1 minute each to download, you don't get a choice of decks, they just randomly give you one of 3 premade decks, and there's only once stage.

So in essence, it's a demo more than full play through downloading, but that's actually what I was expecting.
8137  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 29, 2007, 01:35:53 AM
With the patch, I'm also assuming that guns will now degrade if they didn't before, and will probably degrade at a steady rate.

I hope they keep patching, albiet without invalidating savegames.  If they can add back a lot of the features of the original STALKER specs that'd be perfect.

I took a bunch of screenshots for my AAR, but now I can't find them.  Anyone know where Stalker stores its screenshots?
8138  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 29, 2007, 01:27:42 AM

Hey, you were the guys who were okay with the big push towards fast gameplay.  Five minutes in right?  It's not a rush, it's a mid game main offensive.  slywink

Although seriously, they actually made the game so that multiplayer was over in 10 minutes or so.  The idea sounds good to people used to playing counter-strike, but not so much for strategy or tactical games.
8139  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Why Insomniac thinks the PS3 is best on: March 29, 2007, 01:20:36 AM
Yep.  Not too interested in the PS3 yet simply because not too many games are out for it.  I'm waiting to see what Sony does for its first party exclusives, and what other exclusives they fund in the future.

The only reason I have a 360 was that it was an impulse buy by my father.  Because simply put, I'm actually not that interested in most 360 games despite enjoying playing them immensely, none of the games I've played on the 360 have been system sellers to me.

Frankly, if the games are good, I'll buy a system.  I'm not going to go out of my way to jump on the latest negative news.
8140  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 28, 2007, 06:14:45 AM
I'm actually glad I patched despite being a good ways into the game.  Performance increased, and long with a driver update I can now run the game at 1024x768 as opposed to 800x600.

There's also a lot more stuff to use money on.  Right at the start the trader had an upgraded gun for a lot of money.

It takes fewer shots with the starting pistol to kill a bandit.

I've started my playthrough and taking notes as to interesting happenings.
8141  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Well, they're shutting down Metal Gear Online.... on: March 28, 2007, 06:08:10 AM
Can you still play local games?
8142  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Favorite video game grenades? on: March 28, 2007, 04:53:44 AM
Do Half-Life 1's Snarks count as a grenade type?  Because those little buggers were awesome.  They didn't explode, but they were just plain fun to use, and cute too.
8143  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 28, 2007, 04:51:17 AM
Well, I wouldn't mind a few MP games with the speed set one or two notches lower.  I figure that's about the speed I can handle.
8144  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jump Ultimate Stars for the DS! on: March 28, 2007, 04:21:59 AM
Well friend, that just cinched the deal for me.  I've got a bunch of DS players that also happen to be anime fans here on campus.

I was wondering about the download play (which I assume allows the multiplayer game to be played on multiple DSs with only one cartridge) because no one else here has the game.

Oh and I'm quite sure I'd find the DS very enjoyable, I just also want the PSP too.  But I'll wait for the PSP 2 (ouch, bad pun) since there's a lot of things I don't like about the current PSP.
8145  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 28, 2007, 02:53:33 AM
Well, that pushes this game towards buyable for me, however, can the speed be changed in the single player campaign?

But not quite willing to spend yet unless they have copies at Fry's for sale.
8146  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Battlestar Galactica - Season 3 finale on: March 28, 2007, 12:22:41 AM
They do have a general outline of where to go.

However, not even Babylon 5 planned specific things that far in advance.

Frankly, doesn't matter if they came up with it a year, a week, or a day in advance.  If it's well written into the story then it works.
8147  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 28, 2007, 12:19:16 AM
I may install the patch anyway since I wouldn't mind starting from the beginning again.

However, I want to try recording my play through as an AAR, a kind of journal of the zone.  Spiffy it up to look like a journal and disaster photographer.
8148  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 28, 2007, 12:04:39 AM
My most important question:  Is there any sort of speed control for single and multiplayer modes?
8149  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jump Ultimate Stars for the DS! on: March 27, 2007, 10:14:20 AM
You're probably jumping in on whatever latest gaming fad is going on in Japan.  Tongue

It's getting so hard to resist buying a DS, this game, and some other ones I've been eyeing.

Plus I work at a graphic's shop, so I can customize my DS.
8150  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jeff Green's blog mentions Company of Heroes 2 on: March 27, 2007, 10:09:51 AM
And now some other news sites are reporting that Games for Windows is indeed showing Company of Heroes 2 in the next issue.

I'm intrigued, perhaps this is just a really early first look?

Anyway, if it is a full sequel, they really need to add in some more armies from the beginning.
8151  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jump Ultimate Stars for the DS! on: March 27, 2007, 04:23:57 AM
This is one of the few games I'm really interested in playing for the DS.

Someone needs to do something like this with American/European comics and webcomics.

A Tycho and Gabe team vs. PvP.
8152  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 27, 2007, 02:39:37 AM
Heheh, my computer is an odd beast.  I'm running on an Athlon XP 2000+, ATI 9800 Pro 256MB, and 1 GB of memory.  I don't even get the option of trying dynamic lighting.
8153  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Battlestar Galactica - Season 3 finale on: March 26, 2007, 11:15:54 AM
Yeah, honestly man.  Why are you assuming that they're normal cylon agents when obviously they've been setting up the final 5 as something else entirely?

repost from OO:
I really liked this episode both because it got the show back on track, but because what it setup.

I actually think Galactica will end next year. I actually hope it ends with season 4. If so, it'll be one of the few scifi series that has a well planned and thought out ending. They can plan that ending through an entire season worth of episodes and then make that ending so well executed that it leaves a mark on the scifi community.

Think about it this way, how many other long running scifi series were left to dwindle into obscurity, maybe getting some decent ending miniseries or movie, but that ending still being somewhat rushed. I'm actually hoping that in the future, we'll see TV series that have well defined beginning middles and ends. The show 24 is a pretty good example of how the serial format can work like that, albiet it's only over one season, but the writers have it planned out and can keep the pace going.

And, of course, we know that these "extra episodes" and or season 4 will start with an absolutely huge space battle.

And yeah, I has suspicions that Starbuck would be back on board and that the big news of her leaving and her auditioning for new shows and such to be red herrings. It wasn't until the first radar blip on Lee's dredis that I knew she'd be back. I'm actually glad to have her back, now that the angst is out of her character I actually hope her character becomes a driving force in the show, whereas previously her character was just wasted.

I'm also damn sure that the four aren't cylons as we know them, and as mentioned it has somethng to do with Earth, and the reason why they left Kobol, and why the 13th tribe split away. So, it's best not to try and rationalize them. Of course, they were here before the first 7 were created.

My thought? The people of Kobol created machines, just like cylons. Stuff happens, 13th colony leaves made up of humans and machines co-operating meanwhile the humans and machines on Kobol are at war. They start a plan to try to get the rest of humanity working together again, problems happen and the first Cylon war starts, they prepare Galactica as a backup. And the rest is history.

Oh, and let me mention that I like that Tori will be getting more screen time next season, for some reason I think she's really attractive, not that I don't think the other BSG women aren't, though. Wink

One thing I want that I don't think they'll got to is to give each cylon model an episode or at least a good chunk of one to flesh out his character and see some more human elements in them. Maybe one of the doctor models has some regrets, maybe that first Brother Cabil on BSG, the one that when first confronted actually said that he disagreed with the attacks gets an episode to show how he copes with being a lone dissenter amongst all of his model.

Some more things I loved.  The great characterization that occured during the episode.  I like how these character do change, even if it seems they flip flop.  They're human, they feel emotions, weigh decisions, etc...

Especially so the reactions when they revealed the four Cylons.  I loved Tigh's speech regarding the man he wants to be.
8154  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 26, 2007, 12:24:56 AM
Im running this at 800x600 resolution on medium quality on an ATI 9800 Pro.  It's not pretty, but the game is very fun to me and still oozes atmosphere.  Dynamic lighting is either not optimized at all, or is meant for cutting edge cards beyond the 8800.  And actually what Calvin really said was with dynamic lighting on, his computer averages only 15fps.

On combat.

Ditch the start pistol ASAP and never use it unless it's you're only option.  Later you'll find silenced pistols, and some even better pistols.  And of course, better guns.

Headshots, even with the starter pistol, are almost always instant kills.  If you use automatic weapons the kick of the gun can sometimes give you a headshot if you aim high on the enemy's chest.

Don't bother with iron sights unless you really need to line up a headshot, just shoot the enemy a bunch of times until he goes through a stunned animation, then shoot him in the head or a few more times while he's exposed to kill him.  The iron sight also obscures your view from seeing where the bullets are really going, so only use it when appropriate.  On the other hand, it does zoom in when you use it, which can be helpful to some who have trouble with how small enemies appear on screen.

That brings me to, yes, weapons are strangely inaccurate at first.  But I'm at a point where my military rifle is pretty accurate.  Find a rifle ASAP, if you can't find that, get the SMG.  Early on in the game you can wait around the military patrol until they get attacked by wild dogs and seperated.  Then while one troop is busy attacking dogs, pop him in the head and steal his weapon.

Pressing F with nothing in sight will automatically highlight any items on the ground nearby that can be picked up.

If you have trouble getting health early on, eat food.  Food will restore your health just like bandages and medkits, albiet you have to go into your inventory to do so.  It won't stop bleeding though.

Use cover, mainly high walls and lean around them to shoot.  However, unless there's only one way the enemy can get to you, stay moving as well to keep them from flanking.  And always expect to be flanked.  The enemy is quite good at moving around in this game, especially the more experienced enemies like military troops.

Ammunition is decently plentiful, so don't be afraid to shoot.  Any enemy killed will likely give you a new weapon and ammo.

When you find a sawed off double barreled shotgun, try to keep it in your inventory for a while.  It's good for close in engagements with a smaller number of enemies, and the slug ammo type is nasty.  Basically, while using the shot ammo, use your first shot on the enemy to stun him it it doesn't kill.  Then use the second barrel to kill him.  The slug ammo, on the other hand, turns your shotgun into a freaking 50 cal sniper rifle.  The slug ammo is crazy accurate and powerful.  You can pick off guys and watch them go flying at a distance.  The big amount of damage the double barrel provides early on can be very helpful, but once you start finding the rifles it might not be as useful as simply firing a rifle at full auto.  However, unlike other games with shotguns, the double barrel is still pretty effective at ranges farther than "in your face" experiment with it.

In the first mission fight, go ahead and let your buddies go in first, and you back them up.  If an enemy or a friendly dies, pick up his gun and ammo and use it to fight.  I went in alone only because I did as above and got a military rifle early.

As for long distance fighting, well that's trickier.  The long range combat really isn't as fun, and yet some AI enemies are way too accurate at ranged, all the while your shots seem to do nothing.  Switch to single fire on your weapon (using the 9 or 0 key) and take single shots at the head.  On the other hand, you can fire short bursts at distant enemies aiming for their chest and letting the recoil bring your aim up to the head.

There are actually two crouches, I think this was said already.  Press shift+CTRL to really get low to the ground.  This can help you avoid getting hit at longer ranged fights.

On stealth, there are two meters near your stance indicator in the lower right of the screen.  The left side meter has a purple bar that rises up and down, as you make noise.  it's you're noise meter and depends on how you move.  The meter on the right is deceptive, it has a lightbulb, but it isn't a light meter.  It rises up and down depending on how well you've been spotted by the enemy.  If you see the meter rise up, that means an enemy has taken notice of you, but is curious and hasn't gone into full offensive mode yet.  If it spikes to the top you've been revealed and you should expect a firefight.

That's what I can think of so far.  I you have any questiosn let me know, I've been playing quite a bit and understand how the game works for the most part.

Oh and:
Spoilers upon entering the Garbage zone
Spoiler for Hiden:
Just get through this zone as quickly as possible, there's just too many bandits and they just keep respawning.  I'm serious, you can't thow a brick with hitting bandit and his 5 buddies in this zone.  Do your story mission here and move on.

That first defense mission is nice to do if you need the money, but money is plentiful.  Instead, it's better for you to let that Bes guy die, and take his silenced AKSU.  Unfortunately, there's a lot of stashes here, but I don't think there's anything in those stashes that you can't get elsewhere.

Don't worry however, despite the banditmania that is Garbage, the game WILL pickup its creepy atmosphere shortly afterwards, and trust me, it gets a lot creepier and desolate.
8155  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PSP] Newbie Questions on: March 25, 2007, 11:48:22 PM
It hasn't been officially announced yet, so I suspect it's a while off.  Sony will want to do a major push to get the original PSPs off the shelves before making a new one.

The PSP2 has been confirmed in development by various magazines and news sites, so we know it's out there.  If the console stays at $200 USD I may still buy it if they fix the problems I had with the PSP1.  Namely, of course, the lack of games, load times, lack of dual analog sticks, and the crappy nub that they call an analog stick.
8156  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Jeff Green's blog mentions Company of Heroes 2 on: March 25, 2007, 12:54:08 AM
What'd be even more interesting is if resource and base building was taken out of the actual battle, and what you brought into the fight is what you got.

It's similar to the Axis and Allies PC game did, but they failed on so many levels.
8157  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PSP] Newbie Questions on: March 24, 2007, 07:15:50 PM
Yeah, I've been wanting to get a PSP too, but I may just wait for the PSP2, and any future games that come out.  I don't use homebrew, I'll get a GP32x for that, so version is not an issue.

I toyed with the idea of getting  DS to hold me over, but actually I find most of the DS style games not my style.  Not that they don't seem fun, but I get bored of such games quickly.

Meanwhile, despite the drought of PSP games for the first year or so, quite a few games I'd want to play have come out including Socom and Metal Gear (Acid and Portable Ops).  And there's that recent announcement of some interesting sounding RPGs.

Also my friend who moved away recently has a PSP and plays it online.
8158  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: STALKER GOLD! on: March 24, 2007, 12:02:16 PM
Now that spring break is here I installed my copy on my aging computer and got it running decently at 800x600 resolution and low detail settings.

It's not pretty, but the gameplay is there.

I really really like this game.  For all the reasons already mentioned.

If course, it has problems stemming from its complete overhaul into a more mission based game rather than freeform game it started out as.  Money is too easy gotten, and generally useless since you always find things that are better than what you can buy.  A lot of the smaller items, medkits, bandages, and food are easily obtained.  Those aspects are not a problem, but neither are they an interesting aspect of gameplay.  Would have been interesting if eating certain foods gave certain effects for the "full" time between meals.  But at this point they could have removed the food aspect and no one would have noticed.  Of course, this is still the early area where basic food is in good supply.

Also seems like they were very much limited by technology.

Anyway, I haven't even left the starting Cordon area yet, and I've put in well over 6 hours of enjoyable exploring and soaking up the atmosphere.

If they ever get to do a sequel, I hope they get the money, technology, and manpower to realize their original goal of a more freeform FPS.
8159  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: C&C 3 Impressions on: March 24, 2007, 10:54:27 AM
Well when someone gets this please let us know if there's a speed slider/setting for singleplayer, multiplayer, and skirmish.
8160  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander Strategy & Tactics on: March 24, 2007, 06:09:50 AM
If you make one factory assist another (usually of the same time) the assisting factory will work on the first factory's build queu.  This frees you from having to manage the build queus for multiple factories, making sure you're always building something.
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