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1841  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2009 on: August 05, 2009, 01:14:18 PM
Latest books I've completed so far this year (and date completed):

"The Last Valley" by Martin Windrow 8/5/09 - A history of the First Indochina War, 1946-1954, with a focus on the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. A very, very good book, with lots of maps and extensive notes. The only downer might be that between all the French, Vietnamese and other foreign person and place names it sometimes becomes hard to keep track of things.

"Building The Suez Canal" by S. C. Burchell 7/29/09 - A history of the building of the canal. Doesn't go into any great detail at all, but does have a nice style to the writing. Plenty of excellent illustrations and period photographs.

"Roberts Ridge" by Malcolm MacPherson 7/28/09 - A very detailed retelling of the seventeen hour ordeals of shot down Navy SEAL and US Army Ranger teams during Operation "Anaconda" in Afghanistan. Very much in the style of "Black Hawk Down". Excellent book, very recommended.

“ENIAC” by Scott McCartney 7/26/09 - A history of the first electronic computer and the people involved. The first half concerns the conception, design and building of the first machine. The second half is about the two main inventors and their struggle to maintain their credit for their concept, and then how they went into business trying to sell them. Only the first half is really interesting, the rest dissolves down to discussions of lawsuits and people arguing over who did what.

"Dustoff: The Memoir of an Army Aviator" by Michael J. Novosel 7/24/09 - Exceptional first person tale of a man (wiki link) who entered the Army Air Force in 1940, rose up the ranks as a bomber pilot (but flew pretty much everything), retired, then re-entered the military early in the Vietnam War. Unwilling to return to the Air Force as a desk-bound colonel, he joined the Army as a warrant officer and ended up flying dustoff missions (combat medical evacuations) during two tours. And even after that there was a lot of interesting things he did. A story so amazing that no Hollywood writer would even consider it, yet it's all true. Very highly recommended.

"What Hath God Wrought" by Daniel Walker Howe 7/23/09 - Part of the Oxford History of the United States, covering 1815 to 1848. Very well done, considering not only the time covered but also the wide variety of subjects. Enough detail in each subject area to be interesting without bogging down in too much analysis or anecdotes.

"Death Ground" by Daniel P. Bolger 7/20/09 - A series of chapters covering various infantry-types in the modern US military, highlighting them by describing actions in which they were involved. For instance, parachutists in Panama in 1989, Rangers in Mogadishu in 1994, etc. Each chapter ends with a discussion of the unit structure and composition, which since publication in 2003 is probably out of date, but the stories are interesting.

"The Bullet Catchers" by Tony Geraghty 7/10/09 - Geraghty, a journalist, has written about the British SAS, mercenaries in ancient and modern times, and the British fight against the IRA in Northern Ireland. In this book he relates the history of bodyguards and other security types, from early in Queen Victoria's reign till 1989, the year of publication of the book. Very opinionated and somewhat reactive in his views, never the less a good deal of the book is entertaining and a lot is eye-opening regarding assassins, targets and the poor blokes in-between.

Link to my complete 2009 list below.
1842  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hearts of Iron III Demo - GT Hosted on: August 04, 2009, 05:45:43 PM
Thanks! Very fast link. It downloaded faster than it's taking to install it!  slywink
1843  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (8/2) on: August 04, 2009, 05:41:48 PM
Just got the demo and installing it now.
1844  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: August 04, 2009, 05:23:38 PM

Quote from: jblank on August 04, 2009, 05:21:38 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on August 04, 2009, 03:03:24 PM

Is it out today? I'm so torn.

Pretty sure the map pack is out on Thursday.....or was it Wednesday?

Just checked, it's this Thursday, August 6th. Cool.
1845  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: August 04, 2009, 04:02:24 PM
I was impressed with the video preview. One medium map and two big maps, all sounding interesting. This is a definite buy for me now. Wonder when it's going to be available, anyone know?
1846  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fallout 3 impressions thread on: August 04, 2009, 01:01:38 AM
Hey I need some help on "The Pitt". I completed the major quest "Free Labor". Now how the heck do I get back to the Wasteland? I went out the main door and got immediately gunned down. I figure there's got to be a better way, right?
1847  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: August 04, 2009, 12:05:29 AM
Video preview of map pack 3 is live now on XBL.
1848  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (8/2) on: August 03, 2009, 07:13:14 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 03, 2009, 06:26:36 PM

This dating shit is hard.

That's why I quit doing it and got married. So much less pressure  nod
1849  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (8/2) on: August 03, 2009, 04:34:53 PM
For those who care, I posted this item over on OO, noting that the HOI3 demo will be available tomorrow, and the complete in-game manual is available for downloading right now.
1850  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (8/2) on: August 03, 2009, 11:01:58 AM
Nothing. I considered getting Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta, but I haven't even finished "The Pitt". I put a couple more hours into it this weekend and realized (sadly) that my F03 fixation is most likely over with  icon_frown. So now it's just waiting till next month's racing games.
1851  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 31, 2009, 06:29:25 PM

Quote from: Boudreaux on July 31, 2009, 05:52:30 PM

Are Sim settings eventually unlocked in the demo?
Yes, after you successfully complete the first mission. You can step up to Realistic or Sim difficulty in that order. Note that nothing is saved from the demo, so once you quit it, you'll have to go back and successfully complete that first mission again to unlock the other difficulties.
1852  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 30, 2009, 03:01:08 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on July 30, 2009, 01:35:28 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on July 30, 2009, 11:34:59 AM

Quote from: marcusjm on July 30, 2009, 11:18:15 AM

Just check sensitivity and it should be ok. I find the scenarios a bit easy at the moment.
Thanks, hadn't considered that for the right stick, I'll give it a try. I don't seem to have too much of a problem with the left stick, but then I also am using Kontrolfreek thumbstick extenders.

Ugh, I thought they sounded like a great idea until I bought a pair. Couldn't stand them.  icon_neutral

Huh, surprised at that. You do need to allow yourself a couple of hours to get used to them, but I could tell the difference. I have big hands and with the normal 360 controller I had to bend my thumbs more than was comfortable and got cramps as a result. With the stick extenders I am able to play without discomfort.

I also got the U-shaped add on's, supposedly good for driving, but the stick extenders work fine for driving as well so I stuck with them for all gaming. The extenders of course also increase the stick travel as measured at the thumb/stick interface, so it allows a bit more precise movement of the sticks. This increases my skill from totally inept to relatively hopeless  icon_biggrin
1853  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: We're almost to the Fall Run, what's on you're buy list? on: July 30, 2009, 11:44:11 AM
September
Dirt 2 (360)
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (360) maybe

October
GTA IV Ballad (360)
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (360)
Forza 3 (360)

November
Assassins Creed 2 (360)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PC)

December
Heist (360)
Saboteur (360)
Battlefield Bad Company 2 (360)

PC purchases are on hold pending purchase of new uber-computer, which is pending Windows 7 release and early bug reports.
1854  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 30, 2009, 11:34:59 AM

Quote from: marcusjm on July 30, 2009, 11:18:15 AM

Just check sensitivity and it should be ok. I find the scenarios a bit easy at the moment.
Thanks, hadn't considered that for the right stick, I'll give it a try. I don't seem to have too much of a problem with the left stick, but then I also am using Kontrolfreek thumbstick extenders.

My problem with the right stick is that when I click it to go into view mode I don't seem able to avoid accidentally lifting and pressing. That's not really an issue for the rudder but it screws up my throttle. I'm thinking that maybe the best fix for this would be to have the right stick dedicated for view, except if the bumpers are pressed. For instance, holding left bumper and moving the right stick fore and aft would adjust the throttle, while holding right bumper would enable the rudder on the right stick. Holding both bumpers would enable both. Not pressing either bumper leaves the right stick in view mode.

Really, even with the 360 stick, there just aren't enough controls available to do everything. My Saitek X52 stick and throttle units were the cat's meow for flight controls (especially for Falcon 4.0) and if I had continued on that game I was going to get the rudder pedals as well. The Saitek PC/360 combo stick is a decent compromise but still would be lacking for the ultimate simhead.
1855  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 30, 2009, 10:32:54 AM
I'm underwhelmed with the demo. Controlling the aircraft at levels above Arcade is near impossible with the 360 controller, especially the combination of rudder/throttle/view all on the right stick. The 360 controller might be good for a lot of things, but not for flying. Even in Arcade I keep finding myself screwing up the throttle.

Also I'm a longtime IL-2 player on the PC, but burned out on it a while ago. Unless you really get turned on by all the eye candy, there's just a lot of repetition in the WW2 air combat sims. And with the PC version of IL-2 Sturmovik being both cheaper and far more comprehensive than the anticipated console version, I'm going to pass on this game come September.
1856  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 29, 2009, 05:11:02 PM

Quote from: skystride on July 29, 2009, 05:01:44 PM

The guy on SimHQ says the Saitek stick is the only flightstick for 360.  Didn't Ace Combat come with a flight stick too?  Or was it HAWX?

I just checked the Gamestop site and the only stick they list is the Saitek stick, so I guess that is the one.

UPDATE: I did see mentioned in the SimHQ thread that the guy did have some difficulties in the tutorial getting the demo to work with the stick. If I remember his words, it was something that even with the stick attached the game still considered it a gamepad. Would like to hear more firsthand about this before I get the stick for IL-2, since it would appear to be the only game I would get it for.
1857  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 29, 2009, 04:42:51 PM
For those who don't want to wade through all those screen shots for the impressions, basically the guy likes the demo and says the game compares nicely with the PC version. And this is SimHQ, guys who live for simulators, so I give their impressions a higher level of respect than the fan-boys over on the Xbox forum.

I just might have to invest in one of those fancy Saitek PC/360 joysticks.
1858  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 29, 2009, 04:14:36 PM
How many missions in the demo? How many aircraft?

UPDATE: Found this thread over on SimHQ forum with tons of screenies from someone actually playing the demo. He walks you through all the content, training missions, the two combat missions and the different game modes.

56K WARNING! Those tons of screen shots are all in the thread, takes a while to load.
1859  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 3 Discussion on: July 29, 2009, 11:56:41 AM
Nice to see that the 'Ring is back.
1860  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 29, 2009, 11:08:46 AM

Quote from: marcusjm on July 29, 2009, 10:45:23 AM

Btw. The initial mode is arcade but sim mode can be unlocked so you get both.

Unlocked how?
1861  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 3 Limited Edition Content on: July 28, 2009, 04:40:00 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on July 28, 2009, 01:35:23 PM

Could we just name this thread "Forza 3" and stick all the news tidbits in one place?  

Done  thumbsup

Quote from: wonderpug on July 28, 2009, 01:35:23 PM

There is also army/virus/zombie tag

Can we do drive-bys? Pleazzze????

Thanks for the info Pug. My gosh, it does sound like they did a lot of rework, it's not just Forza 2 with more cars and tracks. The new PI system is very interesting indeed. And I like that the race cars will now be in the same system.
1862  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 confirmed! on: July 28, 2009, 04:38:28 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on July 28, 2009, 03:07:35 PM

Just like CoD4, I can't foresee the main group going Hardcore, sorry JZ slywink

Then like Horatius at the bridge, I shall hold off the enemy alone. And the rest of you can just go suck a lemon  icon_razz
1863  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 28, 2009, 01:16:47 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on July 28, 2009, 12:06:22 PM

according to CVG the demo will be up tomorrow for Xbox Live,no mention of if it will appear on PSN this thursday

Good move on the developers/publishers part. Console players aren't really in the hardcore combat air sim demographic so it would behoove them to let people get a free look. I'm interested in how much of the aircraft controls are in the console version. For instance, supercharger stage selection, separate fire buttons for cannons versus machine guns, water injection, etc.
1864  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forza 3 Limited Edition Content on: July 28, 2009, 01:09:06 PM

Quote from: Misguided on July 28, 2009, 11:39:30 AM


Thanks Misguided. Wonder why Kotaku just didn't include that info in their article. Weird.

So as a VIP member, I get exclusive access to these five cars:
* 2009 Aston Martin DBS
* 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
* 2007 Ferrari 430 Scuderia
* 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
* 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997)

Not bad, I think that's a nice feature, IF it is really exclusive to VIP buyers.

I found this to be interesting...
Quote
In addition to the exclusive cars, Turn 10 also plans to create a series of new and exclusive designs and tuning kits exclusively for VIPs.
I suck at tuning and so if Turn 10 will give me some nice setups that would be cool. Even better would be an app in the game where I could get a Turn 10 guy to fix the freaking handling of whatever I'm driving at the time!  icon_smile

1865  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 confirmed! on: July 28, 2009, 11:04:27 AM

Quote from: leo8877 on July 27, 2009, 08:37:58 PM

Killstreak = AC130 Gunship!!!!   WOOOT

Watching that AC-130 spray the (surprisingly small) map, I'm wondering how they are going to handle Hardcore mode. Certainly if it's like current Hardcore, any friendly will be in "danger close" range anywhere on the map.
1866  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Forza 3 Discussion and Impressions on: July 28, 2009, 10:50:53 AM
Here's the description via a Kotaku article, and an article with a photo of the limited edition contents. Would be nice to see a list of those exclusive ten cars. From the description I'm assuming that five are cars for everyone in the game, just tweaked and painted for you, but the other five are ones exclusive to the LE. Exclusive, I'm sure, until the first DLC  Roll Eyes

And some eye candy:
1867  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/27) on: July 27, 2009, 11:26:26 AM
Nada
1868  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Red Faction: Guerrilla Impressions on: July 23, 2009, 05:49:44 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on July 23, 2009, 05:21:40 PM

Finally got this and started playing...it's fun as advertised.  I love blowing stuff up for sure.  One question, I got a MOAB and used it...is it gone for good now?

I believe so. Hope you have a saved game to back to!
1869  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Escapist: Zero Punctuation on: July 23, 2009, 09:40:49 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 23, 2009, 05:04:54 AM


He slams RFG a bit, but I view his reviews as more of an entertainment rather than something truly objective. His comments regarding Saints Row 2, which he said he liked very much, made me go watch that review again. He doesn't say that much positive about the game, but compared to how he rips others, it does seem like he almost fawned over SR2.
1870  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony on: July 23, 2009, 03:17:36 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 23, 2009, 12:52:48 AM

they've announced the release date: October 29th.

Great, two days after Forza 3 hits the streets, two weeks before MW2. Would it kill these people to release more games in September? I've got Dirt2 on pre-order, and I'll get IL 2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey if the demo doesn't suck, but really, could ya maybe move some of the AAA titles away from so close to Turkey Day?
1871  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 23, 2009, 03:10:26 AM
I played a lot of this game years ago when it came out on PC. Visually it looks the same and I see in the text in the SIM mode the instructor explaining the use of the trim tabs, so perhaps they have ported over all the nuances as well.

For me the big issue will be my controller. I'm thinking the standard 360 controller isn't going to hack it. Hopefully the new H.A.W.K. stick I saw in a Gamestop today will work with it.

Another issue is going to be frame rate. It would tank at times in the PC version and require elaborate ini settings and slider tweaks to get the right balance between fps and eye candy. While I know the 360 has a lot of graphics processing and this is really a five years or older game engine, still I hope they don't louse it up too badly.

Sure glad there's going to be a demo.
1872  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: IL-2 Sturmovik for Xbox and PS3? on: July 22, 2009, 11:05:02 AM
According to a Kotaku article, there will be a demo in the first week of August.
1873  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: July 21, 2009, 09:51:56 PM
I suck too badly with the RG to continue with it... so it's back to the STG-44
1874  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fight Night Round 4 Impressions on: July 21, 2009, 07:56:51 PM
Now that we are in the summer slowdown I'm thinking of getting this game. For those of you who have it, how well does it stand up after some time? Do you still play? Was it worth getting?
1875  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: July 21, 2009, 06:12:56 PM

Quote from: kratz on July 21, 2009, 05:42:16 PM

Rifle grenades are hard? Since when?

I'm playing Hardcore so there are no aiming cues and I'm lousy at lobbing them through openings or high enough to clear obstacles. My reactions are too slow to be able to win a "shootout" on even terms. I too have been "noob tubed" endlessly in some games and I just want to be able to return the favor!
1876  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: July 21, 2009, 05:34:36 PM

Quote from: msteelers on July 21, 2009, 01:09:35 PM

I didn't pick up the second map pack because I was burned out already on the game, and I'll be passing on this one as well most likely. Still, can't complain about developers supporting the game long after release.

To keep from burning out I've switched from my favorite StG-44 to the Garand and am learning how to effectively use rifle grenades. Not all that easy. At least now I can have people curse at me for being a "noob tuber" icon_wink. They should be happy that this makes me no longer a "Bouncing Betty bastard"  icon_lol
1877  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: CoD: WaW Map Pack 3 on: July 21, 2009, 11:01:12 AM
Unless it misses August entirely, count me in. I too have thought the map pack maps are getting better each time and these new ones look pretty sweet.
1878  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 confirmed! on: July 20, 2009, 01:11:56 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 19, 2009, 06:13:04 PM

the PC game S.W.A.T. 4 did this- any time you fired up any given level you'd never know where the hostiles or hostages were, which made each play session interesting.

Oh great, remind me how great SWAT4 was... I reinstalled it and played it all afternoon  icon_smile. Damn A-Bomb Nightclub mission always did give me trouble  eek
1879  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Must-have Firefox extension - AutoPager on: July 16, 2009, 11:37:30 PM
I just tried Autopager and after I as well "got it" I found it to be easy to add a new site to their database. I used it on Bookmooch's member history page. It has always been a pain to try to find a book since I have to click through multiple pages; now they all load up as one big page. Cool  thumbsup
1880  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 confirmed! on: July 16, 2009, 04:35:41 PM
Some good news for MW2 from an interview with Infinity Ward via Kotaku:
Quote
But what was happening in the level we were shown from the new game was different, the IW guys explained. Absent from that level — and from the game — are the infinite enemy spawn points that were criticized in Modern Warfare. Bowling said the new game's enemies have "dynamic AI," meaning that they are designed to act more independently of what the designers map out. He said a player could expect them to be more sensitive to gamer behavior, going beyond the flanking and cover strategies of the enemies in the first game to break their patrol routes, or take to roofs. They're smarter. And they will adapt enough that a Modern Warfare 2 player won't be able to rely on the enemies being in the same places and doing the same things each time they play a level.

While enhanced enemy behavioral intelligence is a familiar promise made by shooter developers, Bowling's colleague, Drew McCoy, did say that this smarter AI was what allowed the designers to ditch those infinite hordes of enemies. Instead of needing to emit a clown-car's worth of enemies to press the player enough to run forward to a new checkpoint, the smarter AI enemies are now supposed to root out a player, which will push them along.
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