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1801  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
1802  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
1803  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.
1804  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!
1805  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?
1806  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
1807  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.

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:
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.
1808  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.
1809  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

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, no, it can't  crybaby.
1810  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?
1811  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!
1812  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 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.
1813  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.
1814  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.
1815  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.
1816  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
1817  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.
1818  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.
1819  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.
1820  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.
1821  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.
1822  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?
1823  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
1824  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
1825  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.
1826  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.
1827  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Saints Row 3 on: March 19, 2011, 01:28:27 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on March 19, 2011, 05:48:41 AM

Holy crow is this game ugly. It's quirky already (just started and got clothes but that's it) but since I literally just started it, I haven't managed to get into the rhythms of the game yet. But it ain't what I'd call pretty.

The 'hood ain't pretty. Word  nod
1828  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Saints Row 3 on: March 18, 2011, 02:37:38 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on March 18, 2011, 02:09:27 PM

I have never played a Saints Row game. Considering how cheap #2 is, is it worth picking up?

I would say yes, if you like open world sandbox games. It's akin to Grand Theft Auto but (I think) more emphasis on doing things than watching cutscenes. It's got things to collect like cars and clothes, plenty of sideline activities, plus a decent main story line. I played it for dozens of hours, so there's plenty of gameplay per buck.
1829  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Saints Row 3 on: March 18, 2011, 09:33:26 AM

Quote from: metallicorphan on March 18, 2011, 06:46:13 AM

no mini map when driving(because the designer doesn't like it)

We'll see how long that attitude will last. I got lost a lot in SR2  slywink

This is all good news otherwise. I played all the way through SR2, something that's unusual for me. I completed all the main missions in Just Cause 2, but didn't get 100% progress because the activities became too repetitive after a while.
1830  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] Homefront on: March 17, 2011, 09:40:12 PM
what's the best weapon against helos?
1831  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] Homefront on: March 17, 2011, 07:12:14 PM
I picked this up today, based on the favorable reviews of the MP. I've installed and fired it up and selected multiplayer. And then it asks for my Battle Code, which I've entered. And now I'm waiting for it to be downloaded... and waiting... and waiting...  mad. I swear, I'm going to hunt down these people and chop them into little pieces if they don't fix crap like this.
1832  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] Homefront on: March 16, 2011, 02:00:42 AM

Quote from: Mithridates on March 16, 2011, 01:48:50 AM

Picked it up for 360, but I can't get into a MP game.  They say the servers are too busy. 

Yup, that's why I'm waiting. I just went through this with Test Driver Unlimited 2.
1833  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PS3] Homefront on: March 16, 2011, 01:43:50 AM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on March 15, 2011, 10:17:25 PM

Yeah, the reviews are all over the board for this one.  Everything from a 50 to a 93, so the Metacritic average is about 72 right now.  I got the PC version so hopefully I will get a chance to try that out tonight and see for myself.

The review scores seems to reflect how much they weigh the disappointment of the SP campaign versus the happiness with the MP. I'd only be getting it for the MP, so I'm leaning towards buying it tomorrow.
1834  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (03/13) on: March 14, 2011, 04:05:03 PM
Perhaps Homefront for the 360. I didn't pre-order like I usually do, since the last game from this developer, Frontlines, didn't turn out to be as good as I hoped it would. I'll be waiting for impressions on the multiplayer; the single player campaign doesn't sound long enough to make it a consideration in my purchase.
1835  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [XBLA]Battle:Los Angeles-another Friday(Today)release on: March 11, 2011, 05:20:37 PM
I've got the demo queued up and will download when I get home, but I'm probably going to be out the rest of the day so no impressions till later. Somehow I'm thinking this isn't going to be the greatest alien battle game, not for 800 points, but it's worth a trial look.
1836  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Test Drive Unlimited 2 on: March 11, 2011, 05:10:45 PM
From a post by the developers on the TDU2 forum for the 360:

Last Update: March 10, 5:00PM PST

Loyal TDU2 Fans,

Thank you for making TDU2 a huge success worldwide. We’ve reached the top of the sales charts in many territories and continue to work diligently on making TDU2 the best persistent-world racing game on console and PC.

The first of our game optimizations for console will be live tonight on Xbox 360 at 1am PT (9am GMT) and PS3 is soon to follow. This update will resolve a corruption issue that some players experienced with their saved game files. In some cases corrupted files will be automatically repaired.

Available on Monday, 3/14 at 1am PT (9am GMT) will be a patch that should address many of the outstanding concerns that some of the community experienced on PS3 and Xbox 360.

List of fixes:

    * Improve login process to allow a higher volume of successful connections
    * Increase online stability across all multiplayer functionality
    * Improve performance and stability of Friends List and Friend Invites
    * Enable Club and MyTDULife functionality
    * Enable Co-Op races
    * Enable weather while offline
    * Address an issue where players can get a Lancia which has no car data (the patch should prevent this from occurring in the future, and restore players who are currently affected by the issue)

We have worked diligently to stabilize the network and address log-in issues. Friends lists will now be populated, invites will work correctly and Clubs will be brought back online. The Casino has been optimized and the bug causing players to lose money has been resolved. We have also addressed many of the exploits in the game and will be monitoring cheating in all its forms.

The TDU2 community has been a great support to the development team and we look forward to rewarding your loyalty soon with free DLC content. We should be able to provide dates once Microsoft and Sony approve the content and will update the community as soon as they are expected to go live.

It all sounds great, but I'll have to actually test it to believe it. Still, what is working in the game is nice. I've finished all the Championships, including the drive around Oahu. Lots of fun. I had quit playing for awhile, but now that the patches are coming today and Monday I'll give it another try.
1837  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle: Kindle 3! on: February 28, 2011, 08:40:03 PM
I have the Amazon Kindle branded lighted cover. I really like that it runs off the Kindle battery, no separate batteries needed. Excellent coverage, clever design.

Oh, and I quickly resolved my Wi-Fi issue I mentioned above. It was indeed because the Kindle will look for the strongest signal, 3G or Wi-Fi, so I just had to move closer to my pathetic wireless router  icon_biggrin
1838  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Test Drive Unlimited 2 on: February 23, 2011, 03:22:37 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on February 23, 2011, 12:12:07 PM

"The Exploration Pack contains new wrecks to be discovered that unlock the Lancia Stratos version Rallye and 1969 Dodge Charger

It's nice that they are giving this to us free, but I hope they add some easier way of finding all the wrecks. I completed all the roads in Ibiza and was still short four wrecks. I eventually found them using a fan created map. It appears that what happened is that I had "discovered" the adjacent sections of road during the various races and so I didn't get the wreck indicator. When I finally started driving the remainder of the roads I hadn't passed over during the competitions I didn't have any way to know which sections of the unlocked roads I had traveled in races and which just in transit. And there's no way to reset the "unlocked" roads either, at least not of which I am aware. And I'm only part way through Oahu right now.

And now that I think about it, I do wonder how they are going to implement these new wrecks. Will it be "OK, you've installed the DLC, now start driving everywhere to find them"? I shutter at the thought of driving all the roads in Ibiza again just to find ten wreck markers.

1839  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Test Drive Unlimited 2 on: February 16, 2011, 08:10:50 PM
Things are going better with TDU2. The MP servers are working, the Casino is up, and the only thing still not accessible are the Clubs. Eden Games is working on a fix for some exploits but they think they will have the patch out today for the PC, by the end of the week for the consoles.

In the meantime...

This link connects you to a PDF download. The PDF lists the TDU2 cars that can be purchased, broken down by class. It also includes price and the in-game ratings for acceleration, speed and braking, plus an average of the three ratings.

In the section below, enclosed in the spoiler tags, is my analysis of the best cars for each class for the purposes of securing the various championships. I have evaluated the cars not just by the ratings, but also by cost versus benefit. Of the three ratings, I consider Speed to be the least important. You rarely have an opportunity to get the car to top speed in most challenges. More important than Speed is Braking. Getting down from high speed to cornering speed in the shortest amount of time is pretty useful. More important than either Speed or Braking, however, is Acceleration. In timed events it gets you off from the start or out of a corner that much quicker. In races versus opponents it might enable you to get in front of an opponent who has a higher top speed and keep him behind you. Acceleration is more important than Braking because you can scrub off speed by sliding or hitting things (like an opponent!) but you can only acceleration by gravity or your engine.

The influence of cost on the analysis is less on the lower end classes simply because prices are lower. Giving up a little performance to save ten grand is less of a consideration than giving up a little performance and saving a million or more.

The analysis is based on my experience of playing the game up through the A5 Championships, so that's all I'm posting for now.  I'll update the other classes as I get more experience with them.

The section below is in spoiler tags because it does reveal that some cars are received as rewards. If you don't want to spoil the surprise, don't continue. However, you might be saving yourselves some real cash if you do continue!

Spoiler for Hiden:
C4 Class - Lancia Delta integrale evoluzione
No real contest here. The Lancia Delta is highest rated in all three categories.

C3 Class - Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole
The Ferrari 308 is king of the hill in C3. It's tied with the Dino in the ratings average, but only because the Dino has better brakes. The 308 is also ten grand cheaper.

B4 Class -  Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Lots of folks over on the official TDU2 forum are bitching about the B4 Championships, saying they are unwinnable. They must be driving the Hummer H3. It has appallingly bad acceleration and lousy brakes. The Land Rover is cheaper than the VW Touareg, accelerates almost as well and has much better brakes. It's the best choice.

B3 Class - Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG
The lowest overall rating in B3 turns out to be the best car for the money. The Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG is as fast as the Audis, has only slightly worse brakes, and accelerates faster. The Spyker D8 is only slightly faster than the ML 63, but costs two hundred grand more.

A7 Class - Alpha Romeo Brera Italia
Although almost twice the price, the Brera has better ratings.

A6 Class - Subaru Impreza WRX STI
The Subaru only has the second best acceleration, but it's much better brakes than the Audi TTS Coupe as well as the cheaper price make it the winner.

A5 Class - Lotus Evora
Here's the first real "trick" in the analysis. The Lotus, while the leader in the average ratings, is down on acceleration to the Audi TT RS Roadster. However, the difference is only slight, and the Lotus has much better brakes. And the deal is sealed when you know that you get the Evora FREE as the reward for winning the Ibiza Cup!
1840  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Test Drive Unlimited 2 on: February 13, 2011, 05:39:37 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on February 13, 2011, 12:38:25 PM

I was looking on the marketplace and saw that there are quite a few pieces of DLC already for the game....

These are the various free bonuses depending on where you bought the game. Rather than making them unavailable to others, everyone else can buy them as DLC. Certainly makes sense. None of the cars are unique, they are just versions of cars already in the game.

Regarding offline versus online profiles in TDU2, it hasn't been a problem switching back and forth. In fact, except for the TDU2 servers being offline a lot, it's been a lot of fun. After completing all the championships on Ibiza, I unlocked and did the Ibiza Cup, which has eight different challenges. The first seven are like the challenges in the other championships (and you need to use four different classes of cars), but the last one is pretty cool, a 74 mile race around around the whole island icon_biggrin
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