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9001  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Funny thing is, my Dad got an xbox 360 before I did. on: January 20, 2006, 10:41:37 AM
Vivi is actually a play on both her first and middle name.  Jenevieve is her first name, Vi is her middle Vietnamese name.  We like calling her Vivi.

Well, I'm borrowing the system while my dad goes on Vacation for a while, although since he's giving me a key to hit apartment I'll probably keep it there to use the HDTV. slywink  Too bad none of the really bit games are due until march, woulda been fun to play it then.
9002  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars rawks on: January 20, 2006, 04:30:06 AM
I'm borrowing my Dad's xbox while he goes on vacation, can't wait to try all these arcade games.
9003  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Of Mice and Lamps on: January 20, 2006, 12:09:35 AM
Disney gave up it's legacy when they fired their traditional animators to focus on rereleases of old movies and merchandise.

Now they're trying to buy back a legacy that isn't theirs.

Honestly, I'd rather see Pixar independant or with another company.

Then again with Eisner gone, as you mentioned, Disney might get back to its roots in animation, and this time I hope they start exploring new stories instead of the same damn story every time.

The last original story they had (excluding Pixar stuff) was Lilo and Stitch.
9004  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Star Wars - Empire at War on: January 19, 2006, 07:26:25 AM
The ground combat was really unsatisfying.  Hopefully in the months since they finished this demo they've improved upon it.

Dreamshadow, I have to disagree with you about the balance not being simple rock paper scissors, at least in the ground combat.  Honestly it's just as bad as Age of Empires when you get past the graphics.  What's worse, it seemed like they couldn't decide between AoE style balance and special abilities or more C&C style placements and instadeaths.

I sent infantry in on a raid to attack the imperials first, then all my infantry were slaughter by those tie figher-like treaded tanks, not because they out shot the infantry, but because of some weird special ability that allowed them to run over infantry.  The rebel light tanks have no such ability.

And those light tanks?  Why aren't they more effective against infantry or AT-STs?  Why are they effective against the tie tanks?  I'd figure those quad blasters would do wonders against infantry, just as they would tear apart the tie tanks.  But for some reason they do less damage to infantry than my soldiers.

If they're going to have balance like this, they need to remove insta-death abilities like the speederbike's thermal detonator and the tie tank's infantry squish.  This allows commanders to focus on making sure the right units are engaging the right enemy, instead of having to micromanage every little ability.
9005  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Auto + Free Faceplate on: January 19, 2006, 07:08:16 AM
In your eyes, how is full auto turning out anyway?

I've heard good and bad things about the game.  Of course, the graphics are great, but what's the gameplay?

Is it racing with guns, or more twisted metal style arenas?
9006  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Indigo Prophecy on: January 18, 2006, 11:25:17 PM
The only saves are between chapters, if you exit in the middle of a chapter you lose all progress.
9007  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2 coming for 360 on: January 18, 2006, 12:35:11 AM
Full Spectrum Warrior and Brothers in Arms.  FSW really is a real-time strategy/tactical game but you command from ground level instead of from overhead.

Although BiA was billed as a shooter more than a strategy game, it certainly fits as a pure strategy game.  In fact, I'd almost have preferred it if I didn't have to shoot at all in the game.

Anyway, we already have RTS games on the consoles, just nothing like traditional computer RTS games.  That's not a bad thing either, as the traditional computer RTS games have been stagnating as of late.
9008  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Thinking of buying NWN Diamond and Indigo Prophecy on: January 17, 2006, 11:05:08 PM
Spoiler for Hiden:

Yep, the cyborg was just plain odd.  However, I think there was supposed to be a much longer endgame area where the cyborg would be explained and be more of an enemy.  Whereas right now it's just some random glowy thing who appears out of nowhere and wants to indigo child.

In the end, though, they really should have just cut the whole AI thing and left it to the orange clan.

I think they should have stuck with a more X-Files style of presentation.  That dark, mysterious, and urban style of horror instead of turning it into a flashy matrix-like ending.  Lucas could have kept most of how powers, but the last thing they should have done was allow them to fly.
9009  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers on: January 17, 2006, 10:06:11 PM
The game itself wasn't made to be a puzzle game, but the developers created levels that were basically puzzles using the game's mechanics to force certain outcomes.  This is the reason why people didn't like it.

What they're doing now is changing it from a real-time military puzzle game, into what it was first touted as, a real-time tactical game.
9010  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 17, 2006, 09:55:39 PM
My router crashed early this morning, probably around 4-5am PST.  I've just reset it and everything is working fine.

edit:  The IP address also changed, use: or
9011  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers on: January 17, 2006, 01:23:39 PM
Yeah, the original was just the same thing.  Round a few corners, spot a lone bad guy in a hard to hit location, find some complex way to kill him.  Repeat.

I figure it'll be the multiplayer that really makes this version.  For all the blandness of the original's single player version, there's nothing like a live human opponent calling the shots to keep you on your toes.

I should also mention that I did see some bigger firefights this time, and I think I saw an actual enemy element of 4 on screen moving together.
9012  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Interesting Japanese sales data 12/26 - 01/01 on: January 17, 2006, 12:35:25 PM
And not surprisingly, I know of several japanese fighting games that allow you to do just that.  Tongue
9013  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers on: January 17, 2006, 10:57:01 AM
I just saw an ad/demo video of the sequel to FSW, called FSW: Ten Hammers and I like what I saw.  The video was part of a side banner, but it was basically one of the developers going through some of the changes they've made to the game in response to all the player feedback.

They've gone back and made it more like the military version of the game, with more fine control over a squad and its elements.  If they actually deliver on these new features, it'll turn what was an interesting military puzzle type game into a more dynamic real time tactical game.

A running list of changes I can remember is:

Dynamic AI, no more scripted enemy placement and reactions.  Enemies will aggressively try to flank you if possible.  Of course they didn't show too much of this in the video since it was a small clip, but if Brothers in Arms could do it, should be easy enough for Pandemic to do it.

Ability to enter buildings, clear them, then fire from windows.  They only showed one particular building that they entered, but it was a short video.  The image was too small to see if other buildings on screen had ways to enter them.  Hopefully they'll make good use of this feature and make almost every building enterable, isntead of just a few arbitrarily placed buildings just to overcome some puzzle-like dilemma.

You can break up the four man elements into 2 man buddy teams for even more area control.  Definitely a much needed feature.  It always seemed silly to waste 4 men to cover a corner then two men could do it just fine.

You can fine tune where individual element members are covering.  Another nice aspect they brought back from the military version.

You can send 1 man ahead to scout for trouble, upon which he'll immediately return upon sighting an enemy.  Also much needed feature, I hated sending and entire element up into blind areas only to have the slaughtered just because I missed one angle.

More orders via a radial menu.

A precision fire mode, to take enemies out without having to flank them or use grenades.

Ability to order other elements while in control of the current element.  No more constant bouncing between elements just to accomplish a simple task.

Adversarial and cooperative online modes.  A big bonus in my eyes since the original was just screaming for an adversarial Vs. mode.  No mention of split screen though.  The coop should be a lot more interesting if they get the AI redone.  The adversarial mode should be great as I've always wanted to play a real-time tactical game where you're controlling an engagment between squads, not entire armies.

Multinational troops.  It's always good to see the fighting men of other nations represented, and not just as enemies.  The video showed some British troops.

More support, including armored vehicles and airstrikes.

Anyway, that's enough hyping of an unreleased game for me, but the changes they've made definitely shows they've listened.  It's up to the full release to see if they've pulled it off.
9014  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 17, 2006, 08:32:13 AM
I think what he was planning was to blitz your starting city and take it.  Sometimes people let their warrior run off to explore instead of keeping it at home to defend from early rushes.  With the way cultural borders work, you can't really get a look at what someone has in their city

For instance, I just encountered an enemy city's borders, Greece I think, most likely his first city.  I was seriously considering doing the early blitz, but decided against it.  I couldn't find a hill close enough to see into his city, and it just isn't my style to rush.  If I want to conquer him I'll do it with massive armies.  That's if he attacks me first... or looks like he'll attack me... or generally gets in my way.

Ah, it's nice to be an Aggressive/Financial civ.

Just build some military units now, kill his warrior, then quickly rush to his home city.  Most likely that warrior was his only unit and either has no defending units or he only just built one warrior to defend.

Knowing that he attacked you so early is a sign he'll do it again in the future, so knocking him out early is a good way to go...

Hm... maybe I should just attack that city, get rid of an enemy early, and I am an aggressive civ after all.
9015  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 17, 2006, 07:23:12 AM
Does he already have units in your territory?

Perhaps your city's borders has blocked him from moving out of his starting area, if so he has no choice but to declare war at this point in the game, as there are no open borders treaties available until someone researches the tech.

I recall that either azzaman or aahzmandius had to do the game to get out of his poor starting position down near the south pole.

It's unlikely he'll be able to take you out so long as you have something defending your city.  Recall those scouts and look around just to make sure.
9016  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Remember gun-kata? on: January 17, 2006, 02:49:28 AM
If the ending fight can top Equilibriums duel then I'm in.

I'm wondering about Milla though, she seems like a decent enough actress.  Has she been in any non-action movies recently?

And yes, they made her look like that Ali girl.
9017  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT - PLEASE READ on: January 17, 2006, 12:44:10 AM
Oh and one more thing.  This is kind of a rip-off of another site called  But basically, they also categorize their board games not just by genre, but they tag games with various features that it includes.

So if a game had a cooperative multiplayer mode, its entry would include a tag called coop that was searchable in the advanced search option.  You could search by number of players, whether it had multiplayer, etc...

That'd be a great way to improve the game database without adding that much more complexity.

I mean, it's pretty common to see a forum post where someone asks for a list of games that have certain properties like coop, or perhaps 4 player multiplayer.
9018  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT - PLEASE READ on: January 16, 2006, 11:31:27 PM
Perhaps you really could go with a One stop shopping solution by having "buy this game here at <so and so online retailer>" links where appropriate?  I recall we do have one of those game databases.

This way, we can support the site directly by buying through referral links.
9019  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / HL2: Aftermath delayed until April 24th on: January 16, 2006, 06:21:42 AM
Technically, none of the current game engines are cutting edge anymore, especially Valve's.

However, what makes them seem cutting edge is that these engines allow the developer to accomplish amazing graphics without having to use all the latest flashy engine tech.

The key is that all these companies have very good art directors that handle their games' artistic design.  Half-Life 2, for instance, if you look at the levels with a keen eye, you'll see that the HL2 world geometry (level polygons, not characters or objects) are not that much more detailed than HL1, it's just that the texturing was improved and the subtle use of certain effects (bump mapping, cube mapping, and various shaders) helped promote the look of the game.

Honestly, it's more how the developer can best use the engine than what's the latest and greatest feature.
9020  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / RE4 - why have "normal" mode on: January 16, 2006, 06:03:32 AM
You're supposed to run into a house with two floors that contains a shotgun.  Grab that and some ammo and you've got more of a fighting chance.

At first you'll just want to run around the village to grab items, don't bother fighting besides kneecapping.  Once you get into the house with the shotgun and go upstairs to get it, stay there and camp at the top of the stairs.

One problem is that they'll use ladders and walkways to climb up through the windows, and there's also a walkway on the side that they'll climb up on then pile through the window.  Just knockdown the ladders as they're put up.

The shotgun is really what will save you in this segment.  One blast from the shotgun will knock over multiple targets if they're close.  Since they'll bunch together while going up the stairs it's easy to knockback many of them at the same time.

So what you do is shoot with the pistol at the top of the steps, if they get too close use the start menu to switch to the shotgun and blast them so that they are knocked back/over, then resume shooting with the pistol.  In fact, this a strategy you should be using through most of the game to concerve ammo.  Shoot with the pistol for vulnerable areas, then switch to the shotgun if they get too close.
9021  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2 coming for 360 on: January 16, 2006, 05:55:50 AM
Anyone remember the game Sacrifice?  Add that to the list of RTS control schemes that could work on a console, alongside Uprising and Battlezone.
9022  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Funny thing is, my Dad got an xbox 360 before I did. on: January 16, 2006, 05:52:17 AM
My Dad isn't much of a gamer beyond Solitaire on his PC.  However recently he bought an Xbox 360 and Call of Duty 2, he doesn't use the system for anything special, and he hasn't played much CoD2 since his game is solitaire.

Technically, he bought it for my lovable 9 year old half-sister, Vivi, that visits him every week.  But considering the list of current and future games, the 360 is not a child friendly console.  I told him to get a racing game and Kameo so that Vivi had something to play.

Strangely enough, Vivi has played CoD2 and it hasn't affected her too much.  She's a real geek though and intelligent.  Dad was involved in the Vietnam war, so he was real intelligent with her about it, answering questions realistically, explaining why Russia and Germany were fighting, the state of Russia then and now, etc...  Still, it was weird and funny to hear her tell me that if I don't pickup my weapons after the Comissar yelled at me the comissar would kill me.  slywink

Anyway, my dad does have a panasonic HDTV, that supports 1080i, I'd say at least a 48" if not 55" and a sound system to match.  Like many, he forgot to set the cable to HDTV mode, and the console to 1080i mode.  I quickly fixed that and everything looked much better.

*sigh* It'll take me forever to get that kind of setup, but playing CoD2 on the widescreen over at his place was really, really fun.

I think I'll try to convince my dad to do a trade, I'll buy her a DS + games, which she doesn't have, but has tons of kid friendly games for her age.  And I get to hold on to the 360.  I have no HDTV, but we do have a nice bigscreen CRT.
9023  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / HL2: Aftermath delayed until April 24th on: January 16, 2006, 02:57:12 AM
Iron sights and leaning are two things that either more realistic or differently paced games have.  Half-Life was designed from the getgo without these features as part of the gameplay.  Remember, Half-Life was never proported to be real, it's just a stylization of a industrial science fiction.

The inaccurate gun is also there for a reason, that being that the SMG would be balanced against the other guns.  This was also deliberate, as the weapon's high rate of fire is counterbalanced by its low accuracy.  This makes the gun very sutiable for close combat (which happens a lot on game) where the spread actually helps you hit targets, especially for those who have trouble aiming.

One thing I really hate, though, is that almost every FPS game out there makes pistols as accurate as sniper rifles.  Anyone else notice this?  The SMG, with the longer barrel, is less accurate than the standard pistol.

Then again, it's actually a little known fact that the SMG originally had a 3 round burst mode that you could choose between.  I think there's a mod out there that reactivated the code left behind for such a feature.

I do agree with the impacts.  I felt like bullets hitting monsters and combine didn't have as much an effect on them as it should have.  Of course this harkens back to the old days of FPS games, like quake 2, where shooting something would only puff up a bit of red (or grey) mist while the thing blindly shot back.  However, I think it's more a need for enemies to react to being shot than for more special effects to be used.  Right now there's a bit of blood, a audible grunt, and maybe a slight flinch when they're hit.  They should make the flinch from getting hit more visible, even making it so that the enemy looses his aim or something.
9024  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Police were told the gun wasn't real.... on: January 16, 2006, 02:46:55 AM
Darwin Award.  I'm glad the kid's genes are out of the gene pool.

I play airsoft, I have airsoft guns that have no tip.  They're no longer required be law now because the guns are no longer classified as toys (a good thing) but in the same category as BB guns (the metal ones).  I'm actually glad their classified this way, not because it's more realistic (I don't mind the tip) but it's more regulated.

When we play on regulated fields we take great care in keeping our equipment in bags until we're on the field of play.  Barrel condoms are in use off the field and safety's on.
9025  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 14, 2006, 07:14:27 AM
It happened while I was starting up the game and the first few turns, but it hasn't been a problem after that.

Just make sure that people don't go into the Player Details (alt-d) menu to avoid it.
9026  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 13, 2006, 11:49:15 PM
A new turn generates whenever everyone submits their turn.  However, there's a 12 hour limit on how long you can take, so if you haven't submitted your turn by 12 hours after the last turn, it'll generate the next turn without you.

Honestly though, so long as you que up orders and buildings, you'll be fine.  Unfortunately the game is full right now.

And I'll include the IP in the next batch of emails.
9027  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 12, 2006, 11:31:28 PM
I've implemented Scree's Pitboss Turn Notifier, an add on program that'll keep track of a running pitboss server and notify anyone in its e-mail list whenever a new turn generates.  This is to replace the broken e-mail notification feature in the normal pitboss server.

Unfortunately, I'll have to add everyone's e-mail by hand, so please either email, reply, or PM your email address to me if you're in my pitboss game.  You can also login to the game and simply type your email addres sin a Chat To All message there, this'll show up on my console.

Oh and a turn generated about 30 minutes ago.
9028  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 12, 2006, 10:51:03 PM
Already working on it.
9029  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 $500!?? on: January 12, 2006, 07:35:16 AM
If I recall, the 360 cost around 700 to make, that's around a $300 loss.  So, MS really is taking that kind of loss on this.  People suspect that's why we're seeing so few.
9030  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / PS3 $500!?? on: January 12, 2006, 05:11:02 AM
The same way microsoft takes a hit whenever they sell one for $300 or $400 USD.

They take a huge hit and go into negatives on console release, but get profit from the games, accessories, and other licenses that are released for the system.

It's in a console maker's best interest to put out a system with hardware that'll last for a long time, or at least make sure that developers make many games for it over the course of its lifespan.  This way, the console has more games coming out for it every day.  The only reason why the PS2 lasted this long was tremendous developer support and for a long period they were the only mature console on the block.  Otherwise its hardware wasn't actually all it was promised to be on release day.

Backwards compatability is also a good feature profit-wise.  This way, not only do you get more willingness to adopt early, you also get more game sales from the sale of older games from the previous system.

In this way, only large corporations like Sony and MS can really put out a next/current gen console nowadays.  The costs for hardware are much too high.

Nintendo plans to lower its hardware specs to reduce the costs, in fact they're known for actually making a profit off their hardware, not just the software.  I mean take a look at the gameboy, that's really, really old hardware.  The main thing that keeps nintendo afloat is that they have a massive collective of hot franchises that all have very good production values.
9031  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / System Shock 3 coming? + Take2 buys Irrational on: January 12, 2006, 03:14:29 AM
Don't forget the advertising depicting products and media from the early 21st century.
9032  Gaming / Analog Gaming / A Game of Thrones the boardgame on: January 12, 2006, 02:57:02 AM
Since the WOW boardgame gets its own topic here, I might as well post about my favorite boardgame, A Game of Thrones and its expansion, A Clash of Kings.

If you haven't heard, they're based on the novels of the same name by George R. R. Martin.

They're great boardgames on their own, but even better if you've read the books and understand all the political and military intrigue going on in the backstory.

The best way to describe the game is a mix of euro style interwoven game mechanics and intricacies, along with a dash of US style wargame, and a chaser of Diplomacy.

Here's the boardgame geek entry:
9033  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / System Shock 3 coming? + Take2 buys Irrational on: January 12, 2006, 01:36:38 AM
System Shock 3 doesn't seem like the kind of game EA would make well.  I mean, EA does make some really flashy games, but the style of SS3 doesn't seem to fit with everything else they've made.

I fear a gross dumbing down of the game to appease the marketing department, another Deus Ex 2.

Thankfully, Take 2 does have a good stack of games that push boundaries, so Irrational's Bioshock should do well with them.
9034  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Civilization 4 GT PBEM on: January 12, 2006, 01:28:44 AM
We went with playing on a pitboss server instead.  See the topic about my massive 18 player civ 4 pitboss game.
9035  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Back on the Big Screen (USA) in 10 days! on: January 11, 2006, 02:13:28 PM
Paint drying on Kate Beckinsale ('s nude body)?

Considering the outfit she's wearing in the movie is latex, I suppose it's as good as we'll get.
9036  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 11, 2006, 07:11:42 AM
I guess everyone turned in their turns early because a new turn just generated 15 minutes ago as of this posting.
9037  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 11, 2006, 04:28:50 AM
Yeah, I was having connection issues ever since my connection reset for no apparent reason.  I restarted my router and the server and everything seems okay now.
9038  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: January 10, 2006, 11:59:40 PM
Turns generate as soon as everyone has turned in their turns, so if everyone turns it in before then it'll change the times.

They need to add more timing options to the server, maybe a way to lock it to generate at certain times.

It's most likely that all the euro players are logging in at the same time and finishing their turns.
9039  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / PC + cooking oil = fanless PC? on: January 10, 2006, 10:21:00 AM
Um yeah, pee does conduct.

I've seen mineral oil used, but not cooking oils.  My main concern is oil contamination.
9040  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Killzone should have gotten more attention on: January 10, 2006, 10:15:07 AM
This makes me ponder... if the PS3 has backwards compatability out of the box, no doubt killzone will be one of the titles... If so, it might actually run better than on the PS2.

Eh, we'll see when the PS3 comes out.  Not to mention Killzone 2's cinematics look great, the how the gameplay remains to be seen.
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