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1321  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] L.A. Noire - Impressions Start Page 5 on: June 06, 2011, 09:44:43 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on May 28, 2011, 12:54:09 AM

I'm surprised no one here has mentioned the most shocking discovery in the whole game:

People from that time period had to renew their licenses yearly!  Yearly?!  Dear Lord, I complain having to go near a DMV every half decade or whatever it is.

Here in Florida until this year when they introduced the new security enhanced driver's license, it was possible to renew by mail and later internet if you had a clean driving record. Basically they send you something to stick on the back of the old license with the latest renewal and expiration dates, plus a couple of other things. Up till about two months ago I was carrying my license issued in 1986 icon_biggrin. Got a lot of questioning looks when I presented it, and I always had to tell them to turn it over to get the latest info.  Still, I got to go a quarter-century without visiting the DMV, always a plus in my book.
1322  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] L.A. Noire - Impressions Start Page 5 on: May 18, 2011, 02:35:27 AM
I managed to sneak in installing the game and getting about thirty minutes of playing before I had to stop so we could pack for vacation.

I really like the opening credits, very well done. I do see what people have said about the car handling. It's funny, when GTAIV came out people didn't like how sluggish the cars felt, now they seem too lively. I'm sure I'll get used to it.

I only got through the tutorial mission, but boy is this so different from most games I've played. I think I like it  nod
1323  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] L.A. Noire - Impressions Start Page 5 on: May 17, 2011, 06:27:59 PM
Good news - picked this up at Gamestop today. Clerk tried to convince me to get the guide as well, telling me how hard a time he had playing the first investigation. Well, if I can't do better than a Gamestop clerk, you can take back my gold shield!

Bad news - We are about to go on vacation till Memorial Day  crybaby
1324  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: May 13, 2011, 01:31:20 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 13, 2011, 01:17:12 AM


Drag racing? Hmm. Wasn't my favorite in Forza 3. I might have to wait for some reviews.
1325  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty:Black Ops [Impressions start @ page 12] on: May 03, 2011, 11:27:46 PM
The new map pack is out. So far I've played on three of the four new MP maps.

Stockpile: Not that interesting. Reminds me of the CoD:World at War map with the brewery in the middle. The doors you can operate don't have that much bearing on the gameplay. Maybe when I play it more I'll find some new locations that make it more appealing.

Zoo: Very excellent map. Several interesting elevated locations and some cool hidden passages. The bear cave and the "dungeon" with a trap door are unusual.

Hotel: Also an excellent map. Very large with some clever paths along the outside of the maps. The elevators are very cool. First map in the CoD series where I can remember someone yelling "He's behind the piano!"  icon_biggrin
1326  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: April 28, 2011, 11:52:59 PM
The new Legends pack is now available on XBL for 800 points:

Quote
It's official, the Legends Pack for SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is available now on the Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points, so if you've got a hankering for the golden age of racing, grab it today.

Featured in the Legends pack are 13 classic cars:
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA (1965)
Austin Mini Cooper S (1965)
BMW 3.0 CSL Gr.5 (1975)
Ford Capri RS3100 Gr.4 (1974)
Ford Escort Mk1 RS1 600 (1971)
Ford GT40 Mk1 (1965)
Lotus Cortina Mk1 (1963)
Jaguar E-Type Lightweight (1963)
Nissan Fairlady 240ZG (S30) (1971)
Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (C10) (1972)
Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 (1974)
Porsche 914/6 GT (1970)
Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (1965)

As well as five of the world's most challenging classic race tracks:
Dijon-Prenois (1972)
Hockenheim (1982)
Monza (1958)
Rouen-Les-Essarts GP (1966)
Rouen-Les-Essarts Short (1952)
Silverstone (1975)

A special note to the folks who play SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED on PlayStation® 3: given the current outages on the PlayStation Network, the DLC is currently not available, but we'll keep you posted.
1327  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty:Black Ops [Impressions start @ page 12] on: April 28, 2011, 04:05:20 PM
New TV trailer for the new map pack.
1328  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 28, 2011, 04:01:14 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on April 28, 2011, 05:47:10 AM

I was hoping to do coop with the wife, but she watched me play for about 5 minutes tonight before shaking her head and walking out.  Can anyone who's played it say if there's anything inappropriate for an eight year old?

For just a moment, I thought you meant that your wife was an eight year old. Just a moment.
1329  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 27, 2011, 01:11:07 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on April 27, 2011, 01:06:08 AM

Eep might want to spoiler some of that!

Sorry, thought I was vague enough, but I put it in spoilers just in case. Since it's now in spoilers I'm adding details for those who also who completed it.
1330  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 27, 2011, 01:01:31 AM
Finished the single player campaign  thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup

Don't read unless you have finished the game! UPDATED with specifics
Spoiler for Hiden:
Loved the post final battle cut scene sequence, especially putting the portal on the moon. The final elevator ride is kind of emotional since you know that the game is over. The sentry gun pipe organ is very clever.  Also the very final, unexpected moment in the outdoors when the companion cube is pitched out made me smile. However, I do have to say I prefer "Still Alive" to the Portal 2 end song.

I'm going to go back through the SP campaign with the commentary. I really liked this in Half-Life 2.
1331  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 26, 2011, 10:31:37 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 26, 2011, 10:10:59 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on April 26, 2011, 10:07:14 PM

Arrgh, stuck again, the last boss battle...

Spoiler for Hiden:
I've attached two of the spheres to Wheatley. I have 1:27 left and I see how I can use the red gel and a portal to put the last, pink sphere in place, but I cannot figure out how to get that last sphere down from where it's hanging  crybaby I tried jumping but that hasn't worked for me so far. Help!

Spoiler for Hiden:
portal on the wall that the red gel leads to, portal on the floor under the sphere.  the speed from the red gel should be enough to propel you up.

Thanks very much. I was so proud that since the last time I asked for help I was knocking out the puzzles and hey, I was even doing well in the boss battle, then I got stuck. Have to say though, absolutely amazing game. Well worth the $60, so much play content and so stylish and brilliantly written as well.
1332  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 26, 2011, 10:07:14 PM
Arrgh, stuck again, the last boss battle...

Spoiler for Hiden:
I've attached two of the spheres to Wheatley. I have 1:27 left and I see how I can use the red gel and a portal to put the last, pink sphere in place, but I cannot figure out how to get that last sphere down from where it's hanging  crybaby I tried jumping but that hasn't worked for me so far. Help!
1333  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 26, 2011, 09:59:07 AM
On Portal 2's Axed Puke Gel, from Bluesnews.com:
Quote
There's a brief interview with Valve's Erik Wolpaw talking with the lead writer on Portal 2 about the puzzle/platformer sequel. When asked about any features they cut from the game, he explains that they removed some nauseous wall walking gel: "At one point we had a new Gel that allowed players to walk up the side of walls. While this added a new twist to the game, the effect was so disorientating that it made people nauseas [sic]. While working on a first-person game you always have to be aware of that issue so we removed that Gel. We also made changes to frame rate and movement that will help anyone play Portal 2 even if they do experience a feeling of nauseas [sic] while playing other first-person games." Thanks Joystiq. Also, this trailer shows a level that was cut from the game because it would be too difficult, featuring more delicate timing than most levels in the game.

This is the link to the trailer mentioned at the bottom of the item. The mind boggles....
1334  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 25, 2011, 08:25:29 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 25, 2011, 08:21:58 PM

I think you're looking at the wrong spot:

Spoiler for Hiden:

ARRGGHHHHH!!!!  icon_biggrin Great thanks. I was so fixated on the red herring I was sure I would eventually go mad trying to fire my portal gun perfectly a half dozen times in a row. Nice drawing btw  nod
1335  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 25, 2011, 07:58:20 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 25, 2011, 07:45:31 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on April 25, 2011, 07:34:00 PM

Damn, damn, damn, I am stuck  icon_frown in single player. I am NOT smarter than a 5th Grader either, apparently, but that's another story.

This is apparently really near the end, so only look at the spoiler if you have completed the game.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I am in the test chamber that starts you off on a catwalk above a big open roofed square room with white gel being poured into it. I've figured out how to get out of the room, by spraying the gel outside and portaling. I've also seen the diagonally angled plate on the ground that faces towards an elevated platform with the railing removed from that side. So I'm thinking I'm supposed to get up there from the angled plate, but I can't get enough velocity. Or maybe it's a complete red herring. Anyway, I've spent over an hour in the one chamber and I'm admitting defeat. Please help  crybaby

if it's the one I think it is it is indeed kind of a red herring.  this should get you going in the right direction.

Spoiler for Hiden:
there should be two columns to the left of the angled plate as you face it.  you need to get the white gel covering those.

Sadly, I've already had that done for the past half hour of trying.
 
Spoiler for Hiden:
I figured that somehow I'd have to fire the portal gun in mid-air so I've covered the columns in white gel and have been jumping from a yellow portal (colors mentioned for clarity) on the ground at the base of the column facing the angled plate, through a blue portal at the top of the column. As I'm falling I fire a new blue portal onto the angle plate, so as I fall through the yellow portal I come out of the new blue portal and arc upwards. This however isn't far or high enough, so I try to fire a new yellow portal into the ground where I'm about to land. This so far has been impossible for me to do, so I was thinking that maybe I'm going at it the wrong way. If this is indeed the right way to go and it's just a matter of super good aim and timing I may be stuck  icon_frown
1336  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 25, 2011, 07:34:00 PM
Damn, damn, damn, I am stuck  icon_frown in single player. I am NOT smarter than a 5th Grader either, apparently, but that's another story.

This is apparently really near the end, so only look at the spoiler if you have completed the game.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I am in the test chamber that starts you off on a catwalk above a big open roofed square room with white gel being poured into it. I've figured out how to get out of the room, by spraying the gel outside and portaling. I've also seen the diagonally angled plate on the ground that faces towards an elevated platform with the railing removed from that side. So I'm thinking I'm supposed to get up there from the angled plate, but I can't get enough velocity. Or maybe it's a complete red herring. Anyway, I've spent over an hour in the one chamber and I'm admitting defeat. Please help  crybaby
1337  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 24, 2011, 06:22:35 PM
After several hours of play (seven? nine?) I'm in the final chapter. I have to say, it really is worth the $60 for the 360 version. While the play time is short compared to a Fallout 3, the SP campaign goes quickly from interesting puzzle to intriguing challenge to perplexing conundrum, yet so far none have been so hard as to be frustrating. And there is a real sense of satisfaction when you figure one out, although sometimes to my embarrassment the solution turns out to be less of an enigma than I had made it out to be. And only a couple of puzzles so far required split second timing and even those had some "slop" to them.
1338  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 23, 2011, 12:38:03 AM
The Aperture Science Surprise Deployment Initiation System

I don't know what it's about, but there's only 24 minutes left on the timer!
1339  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 22, 2011, 07:35:37 PM
Broke down and picked up my 360 copy today and pre-ordered L.A. Noir, err, Noire. Through chapter one. Liking it so far, but that's not really far is it?
1340  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLA] Section 8: Prejudice released! on: April 20, 2011, 09:16:33 PM
I'm playing the campaign (about two hours in) and am happy too. Lots of guns, other weapons and gizmos, just like I like  icon_biggrin
1341  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [XBLA] Section 8: Prejudice released! on: April 20, 2011, 04:26:28 PM
Section 8: Prejudice item at Major Nelson's blog.

Quote
Prejudice is a sci-fi first person shooter with dynamic combat, where every decision drastically impacts the battlefield. Discover the sinister series of betrayals that threaten humanity’s survival in the 5 hour single-player campaign, battle up to 32 players as you complete various Dynamic Combat Missions in Conquest, compete online with up to four players in the all new Swarm co-op mode, and unlock a devastating arsenal of over 60 weapons, equipment, and upgrade variants.

The original Section 8 had some nice points, but wasn't all that engaging. According the to the Gamespot review, this new edition adds a single player campaign, a co-op Swarm mode, and has a number of fixes in it. And it's only 1200 M$P ($15 USD). I'm downloading the trial to give it a look.

From the review:
Quote
There isn't much that Prejudice doesn't do well. Just about every element of Section 8 has been improved in some way, resulting in a refined shooter that never fails to entertain. Even though the core mechanics are solid and the weapons are varied, Prejudice lacks the creative spark that could have made this something special. The expansive campaign does a fine job of mixing up your objective types, but it doesn't do anything you haven't seen before. It's fun while it lasts, but you'll be hard pressed to remember anything specific that occurred when the ending credits roll. And the competitive offering is guilty of the same problem. Prejudice won't change the way you play shooters, but it's still a really enjoyable game, and at 1,200 MS points ($15), it's a great value.
1342  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution - Finally, some info! on: April 19, 2011, 11:10:49 PM

Quote from: Turtle on April 19, 2011, 07:24:43 PM

I hate those CE DVDs with making of movies, they never actually give anything interesting about the process. Instead, it's just the same thing as an advertising video usually, not worth the money.

I wish they would actually put interesting stuff, including spoilers material, so players could really get neat info about the process they had to go through to make the game.

I seem to recall that the last game CE that had a good "making of" video was Oblivion. IIRC, they visited with the various folks and showed what they did step by step, including visiting the QA guy who sat on a couch playing all day.
1343  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 15, 2011, 04:23:46 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 15, 2011, 04:07:13 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on April 15, 2011, 04:06:07 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on April 15, 2011, 04:01:45 PM


It says 93:54:27 right now, at least for me. That's a Tuesday release, right?

I think the more people who play the games listed the faster the countdown will go.  it's all in the hands of the PC gamers now.

When I posted earlier there were zero CPUs playing the games, that's why I was wondering. I just checked back and there is a little bit of activity on all the bars. Cute. Still, I'm getting it on the 360 so this is all moot for me. Unless my 2002 computer can handle Portal 2 of course... well, according to Game-Debate.com, no, it can't  crybaby.
1344  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 15, 2011, 04:06:07 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on April 15, 2011, 04:01:45 PM


It says 93:54:27 right now, at least for me. That's a Tuesday release, right?
1345  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle: Kindle 3! on: April 12, 2011, 04:55:01 PM

Quote from: rshetts2 on April 12, 2011, 04:42:55 PM

One of the major draws of an ereader, for me, is the ability to carry an entire library of books in a package thats about the size and weight of a single trade paperback.   

Truth be told, I keep a canvas bag with about a dozen books in my car, just in case when away from home I finish reading a book or decide I'm giving up on it.

Also, congrats on your thousandth post!
1346  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle: Kindle 3! on: April 12, 2011, 04:52:55 PM

Quote from: iloveplywood on April 12, 2011, 03:55:09 PM

I've stopped going to used book stores as well.  That's a market that's going to get killed by e-readers.  I feel for the used book store owners, but I guess I'd rather put money in the author's hands.  It's not like books are this monumental expense to begin with.

Regarding used book stores, it depends on the books you look for of course. I'm very much into history of all types and there are many, many more books out there that don't have Kindle versions than ones that do.

A month or so ago I was in Jacksonville, FL at the two Chamblin locations. Each one has an incredible number of books, although the Bookmine location is far larger. If you are a bookaholic, either one is worth the trip.

I also belong to a couple of bookswap websites. You get a credit when you send a book to someone, and you can use that credit to get a book. So basically for the cost of media mail postage, you get a book.

I really use my Kindle in conjunction with retroread.com and Google Books to find pre-1923 books of interest. I download the ones that have epub versions (most of the ones I'm interested in do) and convert them to mobi at Retroreads and can send them directly to my Kindle. The conversion is a bit ugly but isn't really a detriment to me.
1347  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLA/PSN] Red Faction: Battlegrounds on: April 06, 2011, 09:01:01 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 06, 2011, 08:36:56 PM

so, anyone try out the trial yet?  I'm going to try and grab it tonight, provided I can tear myself away from Netflix.

It's not very good, just an isometric racer/shooter on a limited size map.
1348  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 05, 2011, 09:47:15 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 05, 2011, 09:25:58 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on April 05, 2011, 08:53:15 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on April 05, 2011, 05:57:27 PM


The voice sounds like J.K. Simmons of "The Closer", "Law & Order" and those Farmers Insurance commercials... oh, it is! I just read his IMDB credits. Cool.

how could you not recognize J. Jonah Jameson without help?  Tongue

Crappy speakers on my computer? Yeah, that's it.
1349  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Portal 2 on: April 05, 2011, 08:53:15 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on April 05, 2011, 05:57:27 PM


The voice sounds like J.K. Simmons of "The Closer", "Law & Order" and those Farmers Insurance commercials... oh, it is! I just read his IMDB credits. Cool.
1350  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: April 01, 2011, 08:12:21 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on April 01, 2011, 06:55:21 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on April 01, 2011, 12:28:50 PM

For instance, no odometers on the car you own...

I may be mistaken, but I thought there was an odometer in my car if you look at the gauges in the dashboard.

You're quite right, some cars do have odometers. I should have made myself clearer. What I was trying to say was that a car in your garage has not attributes showing whether it's been driven or not, unlike Forza 3.

The in-car view is amazing, isn't it?  icon_biggrin I've tried the "helmet cam" but I tend to misinterpret the turning motion of the driver's head looking towards the corner as me starting to slide sideways  icon_eek
1351  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: April 01, 2011, 12:28:50 PM
I got in another couple of hours last night and have some more observations. There are a few nits that annoy me about the interface. For instance, when you go to the Car Lot, you are not shown if you already own an example of a car. Not a big deal at first, but later on you might end up buying a second one of the same type of car if you aren't careful. I'll probably look up an online FAQ listing all the cars in game and print it out so I can tick off the ones I have.

There are also some things not in S2U that you are used to in Forza 3. For instance, no odometers on the car you own, and no "experience level" of the car, that zero to five number a car gets as you use it for events. However, since these details would have no gameplay effect in S2U, it's a moot point. Another example, I cannot find any way to alter the color of vinyls added to the cars. Not just the manufacturers vinyls, but all vinyls. Maybe that capability is unlocked later on? Frankly, unless you're really into the visuals on a car, it's not that much of an issue.

The car "Visuals", as they call it, consist of several categories. There's paint, but there is no color wheel or layout. Rather you get three sliders for Hue, Saturation, and Brightness. I don't think you can paint a car brown even if you wanted to. You do get choices of Glossy, Metallic or Candy for your paint selection. You also can change the rims, which apparently all weigh the same and have no cost. Again, a simplification compared to Forza 3, but unless the visuals are your thing, it's sufficient. Each car has four or five default racing liveries so you can jazz up your car's looks with little effort, that's good enough for me.

One nice touch is in Setups. There's an Advanced option, which has a number of screens where you can tweak a bunch of things. There also is a simplified setups page with only four sliders; understeer-oversteer, speed-accel, steering, and downforce. You can eschew playing with all the advanced variable entirely. For me, I'm happy with this, I'm not much of a setups guy.

In Forza 3, the career mode consists of two different ways to select races. One is where you are presented with three choices at a time and have to pick one of them. The other is the big matrix with all the possible events shown, most of which are unlocked right at the start. Off the top of my head I seem to recall that it's something like two hundred different events, with differentiation by class and race type. And each event consists of three or more races (I think three is the minimum number, if some only contain two there aren't many of them). In S2U there are I think 40 events and a number of them contain only a single race. The most "races" I've seen in one event is ten, that was the Drift event. As I mentioned before, in some events you are loaned a car in which to complete, so you don't have to buy a car for a single event.

Now the above S2U career mode is ok, but there are some problems. One is that you go from the introductory "D" events to the "C" events pretty quickly, and I think that was my problem on the first day. I had barely gotten the hang of the game when I'm thrown into specialized events with souped up cars. There is a alternative solution to this, that is the "Quick" menu option. Quick lets you use any car on any track, with any race type, with any number of laps (or time if you are doing Time Attack), in Day, Dusk, or Night conditions, against zero to fifteen opponents who are driving either the same class of car or cars identical to yours. Cash rewards for these Quick events aren't that much, but you do earn XP. I didn't explain XP enough before, so here goes. XP gained will eventually allow you to level up. Leveling up gives you are cash bonus, which by level 13 was I think $160,000, no small potatoes. It also may reward you with new vinyl categories, new rim manufacturers, maybe even a reward car. You don't get them on every level up, but usually at least one type on each. Rims and vinyls aren't that big a deal to me, but the reward cars are cool and the cash is most welcome.

What Quick mode does for me is let me drive what I want, where I want, with upgrades or not, in the light conditions I prefer or want to try out, against as many opponents as I wish. About the only limitations are that the opponents are either in the same class or driving the identical car, I can't make them use certain cars or specify a Performance Index min or max number.

For someone like me, who isn't as interested in the B and A class cars or long races, Quick mode means I can enjoy the game as I like while still earning XP. As I mentioned in an earlier post, for the 360 you can go on Xbox Live and buy the option to make all cars free. This means I only have to spend my in-game money for upgrades. I did this so I can select from the Car Lot any car I'm interested in, upgrade it if I wish, then race it on any track that appeals to me. I'm finding this mode to be a lot of fun.

For instance last night I got a VW Golf, a D50 car, the lowest PI car in the game. I upgraded it with tires and other options to bring it up to the D limit of 499, then raced it against 15 D class opponents on a nice tight windy course. It was a riot. There is one point on the track where a 180 degree hairpin exits to a road bordered by big barriers and tires. The AI drivers would push each other off into the barriers as they came out of the corner side by side. The barriers were car sized but not fixed and not that heavy, so by the third lap one of them was in the middle of the track. The AI cars would come around the hairpin and force the guy next to them into the barrier, which would then bounce down the road a bit. It was great. The AI are much more fun in this game than in Forza 3. If you dive inside them in a corner and then try to force them off the road they will do a PIT Maneuver on you rather than just cave in; hey, it's what I would do to them if I could. The AI while try to outbrake you at times, even if it means they screw up the line for a corner. Cool stuff.

If I still have reservations about the game, it's with the more powerful B and A classes. They are such a handful to drive, even with ABS, TC and Stability Control. However, it seems to me now that the knife edge you seem to be driving on isn't random or unpredictable, it's just very narrow. I'm going to try using some of the Simplified Setup settings to tame my Works Nissan 240SX (PI 1490!) to see if I can make it more manageable.
1352  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: April 01, 2011, 12:36:35 AM
I didn't get a chance to play yesterday but I did get in a couple of hours today. I decided to explore the handling some more. First of all, turns out there *is* a menu page where you can adjust the controller deadzones and sensitivities on my 360. The brake and gas deadzones default to 15%, which is too much for a controller in decent shape, so I set them to 5%. The steering deadzone was 10%, I set that to 5%.

For gameplay options I set Difficulty to Easy (since I suck). I set Handling Mode to Elite. I had tried it on Easy and frankly I can't really tell the difference in the handling, but maybe it's me. I set Braking Assist and Acceleration Assist off. Finally I set ABS, Stability Control and Traction Control off.

For my test car I used a Nissan 240SX (S13), with a performance index of D 70. It's rear wheel drive which is more fun  icon_biggrin. D runs from 1-499, C 500-999, B is 1000-1499, A is 1500 on up. So my D70 car is pretty basic. For my test track I used Ambush Canyon which has a nice mix of tight corners, long sweepers and one relatively short straight.

I wasn't interested in lap times, rather I wanted to get the "feel" of the car when pushed. Was it's handling predicable? Could I four wheel drift the car? Are there fuzzy dice?

In stock configuration the car handled quite well. It was easy to follow the driving line assist (I left that on). You could mash the gas and brake with little concern about breaking loose. It felt very much like driving an "F" (lowest) class car in Forza 3, predictable yet fun.

For the next test I upgraded with the biggest turbo and then added several engine updates to bring the PI to 499. No suspension or tire upgrades. The car was a handful to drive, going into oversteer on most corners if the gas was gunned. Aggressive driving was very tough. It was possible to stay on the racing line if you were very, very easy on the throttle. In all, this was what I would expect.

For the final test I removed the turbo, which dropped the PI quite a bit. I added racing tires, good brakes and a couple of tweaks. I was able to lap faster than either of the previous two tests and the car felt manageable when driven hard.

So in all I have to say I'm much happier with the game, now that I understand how the handling works. For yucks, I upgraded the car with a number of items until I reached the point when I could convert the car to a Works car. Prior to this, all upgrades can be sold back to the game for as much money as you spent, so you are never committed to keeping them. However, if you convert to a Works car, it costs $60,000 and the other money you spent on upgrades (about $40,000 in this case) is gone forever. So for $100,000 I took the car from a D 70 to a B 1497. The cockpit is completed converted, the car gets spoilers, skirts and air dams. And it's freaking fast  icon_eek. Driving it on Ambush Canyon required a lot of concentration and caution. I turned on Stability Control, ABS and Traction Control and it was better,  but still kind of insane.

So all in all, I'm a lot happier with the game.
1353  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: March 30, 2011, 02:16:10 AM
I've spent about four hours on S2U today. I still have this Jekyll and Hyde feeling about it. Since I've never played the first Shift, I'm going to compare it to Forza 3.

Cars... only about a fourth as many, but lots of supercars. All have unique in-car views. Cars can be painted. There are vinyls, but they are more limited and the placing of them is more awkward compared to Forza 3. Cars are acquired by buying them using prize money, plus there are some reward cars.

Tracks... there are 36 locations, some with only one configuration, some with several. A few are ovals, a few are dedicated drift courses. Still, that's a lot of tracks to race on. Tracks are appropriately pretty.

Events... These are unlocked in Career mode by winning lower class events. Events can consist of a single race, or several. Sometimes you are loaned a car to use, but usually you have to provide your own. Events are restricted by class and/or by region/type. Classes are D, C, B and A (slow to fast). Like in Forza 3, cars can be upgraded. Region/type restrictions are by origin or by type (drift, muscle, etc). You have to place in the top three of an event to unlock further events.

Quick... these are events like races, time attacks, etc. These are non-Career events,  but you can still earn XP and a bit of cash. You can race any car on any track (I think, I didn't test all combinations).  Opponents can be of the same class or the identical car. I didn't figure out of by "identical" they mean with the same upgrades you have on your car.

The Racing... Like Forza 3 you can use assists, and they are pretty much the same. In S2U, you not only earn XP by good results, but also by accomplishing certain goals in a race. For instance, taking a good line through a corner, or making a clean pass, or leading an entire lap, will earn you XP. It's a nice idea, but during a race you're so caught up driving you really don't have time to think about what will earn you more XP.

The AI race pretty well, with three different levels of difficulty. I've only raced against easy opponents, for reasons I'll get to. On Easy (and maybe on all settings), the AI will botch the occasional corner, slide off, and some times even crash into another AI car. Also, they will bump you if you crowd them. They aren't the Forza 3 AI who can be forced out of the way. The AI can be MEAN.

The Handling... sheesh, this is where the Jekyll part comes in. I've played Forza 3 for countless hours, and I can drive comfortably fast, sensing at what point I'm pushing too hard. I think I get real good feedback from the car. In S2U, after four hours, I feel like I'm racing on ice a lot of the time. And it doesn't matter if I'm using a Mustang muscle car or an AWD Audi with racing slicks, it just seems like the car is balancing on a knife edge. Another bad habit of the game is that you can get into a "tank slapper" far too easily.

I'm using the hand controller and there are no sensitivity settings in the game. Maybe having a wheel will help. It just seems that you have much less of feel of the road than you do with Forza 3. 

On the lower class cars, the control isn't such a problem, but up at the B and A class level, even with full traction control, ABS and Stability on High, the cars are difficult to control and unpredictable. Maybe with more experience in the game I'll be better at control, but boy it seems like a steep learning curve. Just fair warning for everyone.

So, conclusions? More tracks, fewer cars, iffy handling, lots of fun touches. More time with the game will most likely help my handling issues, and maybe I just had bad luck with my car and upgrade choices. It speaks well of the game that I didn't mind doing the same race several times so I could get in the top three, because the racing just seems fun. I would have to say that's a plus over Forza 3, S2U just seems like it's more fun.

Also, no rewind function like Forza 3/Dirt 2/Grid. That's a bummer. I know some folks think it's some kind of cheat or crutch, but some of us don't have the free time to play long races over and over. I like having the choice.

On the other hand, S2U does offer a way for those short of time to unlock all those cars and events. For some Microsoft Points on XBL (I'm playing the 360 version), you can unlock five cars, or all the cars (except the reward cars) or all the cars and tracks, the latter choice for 1200 M$P. What this does is let you buy any car in the game for free, so no need to win a bunch of races to buy that Veyron you know you want. Optionally, you can also buy a single car with M$Ps, but with prices ranging from 40 to 120 each, that can build up fast. When you spend the M$P, the car becomes free in the game.

The above might sound like a way for M$ to get you to play an extra $15 for a game, but it's just an option. Considering that there are still about 200 cars I haven't acquired for my garage in Forza 3, being able to get all the cars I want when I what them might not be a bad idea.
1354  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: March 29, 2011, 06:40:17 PM
I picked this up today, have installed and played about a half hour. I'm not really 100% sure what to think. I never played the first Shift, so I can't say if it's like that. It's not quite like Forza 3 either. More later once I've put some time into it.
1355  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (03/28) on: March 28, 2011, 10:03:16 AM
Shift 2 Unleashed: Need for Speed for the 360.
1356  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: EA Sports saying buh-bye to manuals on: March 23, 2011, 04:26:03 PM

Quote from: Larraque on March 23, 2011, 03:56:51 PM

I haven't read a manual in 10 years, but it's not like a manual for a game has been good in a long time. Gone are the days of games with epic quality manuals like falcon 4 and Baldur's Gate 2.

The Falcon 4 notebook wasn't just a manual, it was the reading material for a graduate course on how to flying a freaking jet. I spent hours just going through the flight exercises on the computer with the manual propped open on the desk. It was (and is) pretty as well.

A long time ago my brother-in-law worked for Sierra Online as an editor for the newsletter and website. I remember when MissionForce: Cyberstorm was released, it had no printed or PDF manual, instead there was an in-game reference encyclopedia. He said they received a massive amount of letters complaining about it and threatening that they would never buy a Sierra game again. Sierra did continue including printed manuals in their games after that.

Oops! This is wandering off into PC Gaming territory. Now I'm trying to remember the biggest manual that ever came with a console game, but I can't think of any that were memorable. Any suggestions?
1357  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle: Kindle 3! on: March 23, 2011, 04:05:08 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 23, 2011, 03:13:41 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on March 23, 2011, 10:49:45 AM

One new Kindle I would go for is a new version of the DX with both 3G and WiFi, basically the Kindle 3 but in a bigger size. And a lower price  slywink.

I have a first or second gen DX (they changed it at one point but kept the look the same, unlike the third generation with the graphite) so I'm keeping an eye out for the DX4.  they already have 3G though, and it's free so I'm not sure why you'd need WiFi.

Out where I work 3G is pretty weak to non-existent, but there's a nearby McDonald's cranking out the WiFi. My Kindle 3 of course has both which give me the best of both worlds, I'd love that on a DX sized reader. And, hey, throw in color e-ink and I'm all over it!  nod
1358  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Just Cause 2 on: March 23, 2011, 11:13:14 AM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on February 06, 2011, 09:25:06 PM


No, I meant Guy wires

If Guy Wire isn't a great name for the main character in Just Cause 3, I don't know what is  nod
1359  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle: Kindle 3! on: March 23, 2011, 10:49:45 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on March 23, 2011, 03:23:31 AM

isn't the Kindle about due for a refresh anyways?

It's up to version three so there have been a number of hardware and software changes. The AT&T-T-Mobile merger should give me better 3G reception in some places, maybe  Roll Eyes. I just don't want them to think "boy, we ought to put out a color version" and jack up the price. Let people buy tablets if they want that.

One new Kindle I would go for is a new version of the DX with both 3G and WiFi, basically the Kindle 3 but in a bigger size. And a lower price  slywink.
1360  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Shift 2 Unleashed on: March 21, 2011, 10:00:08 AM
I've got it pre-ordered for the 360. I liked Forza 3 as well, my big complaint with that game was that I'd prefer more racing venues even if there were few cars. It seems that S2U is the answer, 37 different locations, with about one hundred different configurations in total. My concern would be how these get unlocked. I'm not a good racer and I would be unhappy if I wasn't able to access tracks until I had achieved some absolute requirement. The game Fuel did this and pissed me off no end. I can't really figure out how S2U is going to do it, but I'll pick it up and see.

No doubt some people are going be unhappy about the car list and the lack of some favorite make or model. I'm fine with that, no make is that important to me.

More S2U info is available at this site.

I've had the wheel for the 360 on Forza 3 but didn't really enjoy it. I know a lot of people swear it makes the racing better, which is probably true, but I never could get comfortable with it. I never had had any issues with using the hand controller for racing, but I think that's something they build into the game, I know they did this for Forza 3.
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