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3161  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie]Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince impression on: July 20, 2009, 09:38:47 PM

Quote from: cheeba on July 16, 2009, 04:52:15 AM

Just got back from seeing it.

The anti-climactic ending very nearly killed the entire movie for me.

The rest of the movie was pretty good, if a little disjointed. It's a 2.5 hr long movie, but it actually felt a little rushed to me, and many of the scenes didn't flow together too well. Some of it was great, much of it was touching, subtle and nice. The action scene in the middle is just confusing as hell to me. I have no idea what the point of that was. Then the ending, oy. I don't need the movie to re-enact the book scene for scene, but jesus they pooched the ending. It's just an anti-climactic bore and it should have been spectacular. This movie needed another half hour or something.

I'd have to agree with this assessment.  I felt like the movie had a split personality.  First a light-hearted, funny relationshippy one (which I felt was portrayed very well and was enjoyable to see the cast get to have a little fun and angst), and then a darker, more serious one in the final half hour or so.  The latter one I felt fell flat, and/or needed another half hour or so to do justice to.  I was expecting something a bit more epic for the conclusion, involving more of the primary characters, but it seemed rushed and cut.  And then it was just over.  Makes me a bit nervous for the last movie, because I absolutely loved the book and so much happens with ALL the characters in the big battles, I really hope they don't cut a lot out.

I keep hearing a major plot point was cut out of the book - what exactly was it?  I only read the last few chapters of Book 6.
3162  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Goodbye iTunes! I've got something better.... on: July 20, 2009, 09:31:54 PM
As much as I am a fanboy of Apple, I admit I have had plenty of issues with iTunes over the years.  Lots of weird things like songs duplicating, checked songs not appearing, non-checked songs appearing.  Nothing that I couldn't get around, but lots of strange problems that I couldn't put my finger on.  Here's a recent example: I brought in/converted about 5 CDs from the same artist; as far as I noted they all came in checked, and I'm pretty sure I had synced.  A few weeks later I was planning to listen to one of the songs and not a single song from that artist had shown up.  No idea why.  I checked in iTunes and they were indeed checked to be sync-ed, but for some reason were never placed in the Recently Added playlist.  I've never had any problems with new songs in the Recently Added playlist, or for that matter with any playlist that I've specifically checked to sync.  But for some reason there are some songs iTunes seems to decide I wasn't serious about wanting on my iPhone or iPod. 
3163  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How to get skinny? (toned) on: July 20, 2009, 09:24:21 PM
I need to see a picture with your shirt off to make a proper evaluation. 
3164  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: League of Legends & Heroes of Newerth on: July 20, 2009, 09:21:46 PM
Here are some comments and impressions on LoL from this weekend, first from a friend (Ayngel) who describes it pretty well, and then from me.

Quote
so i got one game in this morning while the servers were open to the public, and as one might expect there aren't that many surprises, its basically dota.

The first thing i noticed though is that the lobby seemed pretty decent, and you could check your profile, see how many wins/losses you had with each character, and check out your level/stats. It appears that regardless of which character you play during a game your overall account gains levels and abilities, and even has WoW like talent trees. My assumption is that these new runes/powers/talents are global to your account and can be used by any character you choose. I did start with 2 powers, a heal which healed me for 500hp or so every few minutes, and a nuke that insta killed 1 creep every few minutes. Looking over the talent trees very briefly yielded things like 2% less mana, 2% faster cooldowns, stuff that could certainly be applicable to any character.

After looking over those a bit i decided to just play a game against some bots to figure out what it was like, forgoing the "join now as solo" and "join now as group" options, i created a custom game added some bots and away i went. Once the game starts you get like 2 minutes to configure everything, which character you want to play, which powers/runes/talents etc you want to bring. I choose the fallen angel, a caster type character and the 2 starter powers i had.

Once you're in game you'll notice its exactly like dota, creeps are marked on the maps, the lanes and towers are near identical, the only difference is that there appears to be only a single shop. The shop however is nice. It has all of the items broken down by category, damage, armor, movement and consumable, with sub categories under each. Once you drill down to the lowest level you'll see all of the items available, how much they are, their stats, and even the items that these can be upgraded too. On the right side it even shows you "recommended" items for your character. The coolest thing (much improved over dota) is that lets say you hover over the "uber sword of killing everyone", it shows you with a tree exactly what items are needed to combine into this uber sword, and from that tree you can see their individual stats, price, and even purchase them.

Once i had picked the "big staff of lots of magic" that was recommended and seemed to fit my character i bought 1 of the first items needed to build it, and off i went, from here on it played pretty much exactly like dota. creeps met in the middle, heros fought near by, gold is awarded for killing creeps, you gain xp, level up, increase your powers, rinse repeat. One thing i noticed was that the consumable shop didn't seem to offer a TP scroll, but instead every character has a permanant button on the UI that teleports you home after 8 seconds of no damage. This seemed kind of nice actually. You get a free port home whenever you want it, provided you can stay safe for 8 seconds, and you get all of the benefits that it comes with (healing, defending, upgrades) but the penalty is that you have to hoof it back to wherever you were, possibly giving your opponent a minute or two of free time to push.

As for my character specifically, she had 3 normal powers and 1 super power (go go dota clone). a bolt ability that would root/dot the first thing it ran into, a ground target aoe dot and a hero targetable damage absorb. my super ability sort of went with the theme of doing dot damage and rooting someone into it for max effect, what it did was provided a dot on my target for 4 seconds doing OK damage, but if i stayed close to them it did bonus damage. If i stayed close to them the entire duration it would explode for extra damage and a stun at its climax.

by the end of the match (against easy bots) i had compleded 3 or 4 of the recommended items, and had tons of mana, and my spells did pretty good. but as you might expect, if the enemy could withstand my dot barrage i was pretty squishy and could get taken out easily. even with all my items my melee damage never got very good, but i could drop a wave of creeps with my aoe dot in a few seconds.

so my very first impression summary is that if you like dota, you'll like this. My first thought was "why would i play this, if i could just play dota instead" but after thinking about it more, having an account that all your deeds are tied too, and levelling/upgrading that account might eventually lead to better matches and more accountability, alleviating my biggest complaint about dota, which is matches where people leave after 5 minutes.

Quote
From what I remember of DoTA, this (and HoN) are definitely the more "pure" DoTA clones, almost to the point as Ayng says of why not just play DoTA. But I think they both are trying to add more of a metagame and probably more distinct characters and more modes of play and variations. Gameplay and graphics wise, they are much closer to DoTA than Demigod. Demigod definitely has a different feel in terms of the maps and graphics, possibly because of the level you can zoom out to, I think it tends to feel more RTS-y on a board, as opposed to RPG-y on a map. While I like the quality of the Demigod graphics/effects much better, I think I like the "feel" of the more close-in perspective of LoL and HoN. Granted I only got to test one map but I think you can pretty much get the gist it's going to look a lot like WC3 and WoW in terms of graphics.

Ayng covered most the game details very well. I definitely like the store much much better than Demigod's. Characters-wise, I've only tried 3 so it's hard to say yet. They are certainly very distinctive and can play differently. One thing I wish one of these games would do is go Champions like, and let you pick your own powers from powersets (with limits of course). Even tougher to balance, but I would love that kind of customization. Unfortunately each of the characters I played so far had a couple of powers I just didn't find that thrilling or useful, and if the game goes longer (most of mine did) you just end up maxxing all 4 powers which is kind of uninteresting. I'm also not sure I like the 4 power limit, in that sense I think Demigod was better and character builds within a match felt more interesting and distinct. LoL feels much more like it becomes very gear dependent, or how you choose strategically which gear to get and when. You may or may not like that.

On the metagame, I really like having it there (the levelling and WoW-esque talent trees, plus the rune book system). My concern would be in balancing, as even though you only gain slight advantages with these, that coupled with more player experience and skill can turn things even more lopsided. The first match I got into had me at level 1 (first game) matched with others in their teens. So not only was I completely noobish skillwise, but also starting at a disadvantage from stats as well. This is something that definitely has to be watched, I would say a really good matching system should watch not just level but wins/losses and games played.

Unfortunately these games all tend to boil down to who you play with and against. A single asshat can make the whole game suck. I played 3 5v5 matches and each time there was at least one asshole, and usually more than one. Combine that with leavers and leeches and it makes for a less than satisfying experience. Here again I think Demigod has got the other guys beat with a much stronger AI/bot system. Although Ayng seems to say he found a way to play bots in LoL, I was unable to (maybe they closed it last night).

All that said, and even having only tested this partial beta build, for some reason I think I am going to like this better than Demigod in the long run. Just a feeling I get.

I had a better play experience in LoL than I did with HoN, but I need to give the latter more of a chance.  I got into a game and the people I played with were all a bunch of jerks and it kind of ruined the whole thing.  That and the fact I hadn't played anything like this in quite a while, it was a bad way to "warm up".
3165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Old Timers - [Enter Here] on: July 20, 2009, 01:17:07 AM
I couldn't get Wizardry or Ultima to fire up properly, but finally got Olympic Decathlon to run.  Oh man that brought back some inane memories of my friends and I whacking away at the 1-2 buttons to run lol.
3166  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple tells M$ to stop with the ads? on: July 19, 2009, 08:32:47 PM

Quote from: Hamsterball_Z on July 19, 2009, 07:48:38 PM

Quote from: th'FOOL on July 19, 2009, 05:05:46 PM

Honestly, in my opinion, you get what you pay for. When you factor in the quality of the components and the actually usable software, I feel that Macs are worth every penny.

Now that Apple has switched from PowerPC to Intel chips there really isn't anything in a Mac that isn't an off the shelf PC component.  You can even run OSX on PC hardware.  Anyone want to build a Hackintosh?  The only thing unique to a Mac is that fruity logo.   Tongue

I think the Macbook Air is still one of Apple's finest hardware achievements, and definitely not a PC off the shelf build.  It's all around the most enjoyable laptop experience I've ever had, from the feel of the keyboard, to the eery weightlessness (yet sturdy) feel of the build, to the gorgeous screen and the backlit keyboard and the multi-touch touchpad, it's just a joy to use.  My only complaints would be on heat (rarely) and battery life (no surprise given the weight).  I've owned about 10 different laptops (all PCs til now) and none of them have gotten the use this one has.

- - -

Also, I think I mentioned this on another thread, but in terms of bang for the buck.  I recently bought a new iMac after getting great use from my older one the past 2+ years.  The "old" one, after spending $20 on RAM, re-installing the OS, and wiping the screen clean, literally looked and felt like a brand new unit as I put it back in the original box.  I gave it to my niece as a junior high graduation present and sitting in her room, again it seemed as good as new.  Point being I can't imagine doing anything like that with any of my PC hardware over 2 years old, since most of it has died or been junked.
3167  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: League of Legends & Heroes of Newerth on: July 17, 2009, 09:41:23 PM
Sweet!  Thanks for the updates in this thread - I was able to get into both betas!! ninja2
3168  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple tells M$ to stop with the ads? on: July 17, 2009, 08:12:14 PM

Quote from: Chaz on July 16, 2009, 11:34:16 PM

I suppose the difference, and the point of the ads, is that while the low-end Macbook may (now) be comparatively prices with PC laptops of that spec range, what if you don't need those specs? Well, if you're looking at PCs, there's an incredibly wide range of models available at a huge range of prices, going down to a few hundred dollars.  If all you need is basic word processing and web browsing, then you can get away with a low-end machine for a cheap price.  If you're looking at Macs, the lowest price you can find is not cheap.  Yes, you may be getting a decent price for what you're getting, but that may be more than what you need.  That, I think, is the point of the ads, that you can get the laptop that actually fits your needs.

I think you did a much better job in your description here than any of the ads do, in fact if they created the ad more clearly the way you've expressed it - emphasizing choice/options, I think it would come across more intelligent  icon_cool

The ads as they stand, for the most part feel misleading to me, and in some cases the comments made are flat out stupid (I assume it's scripted but either way some of the people come across as morons) like when one of the chick says she wants something good for graphics editing or the one where they say the macbook is "too cool looking" - huh? 
3169  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Goodbye iTunes! I've got something better.... on: July 17, 2009, 08:05:21 PM
That looks interesting but how does it handle Apps?  Or do you still have to do that separately?
3170  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Outer Empires - iPhone/PC Browser Space MMO on: July 17, 2009, 06:53:55 PM
Just caught my radar, looks very promising and should hopefully be out fairly soon:

http://outer-empires.com/Index.asp

I've been hoping to see some convergence between the mobile and desktop world in terms of online gaming, this looks like a good start.
3171  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple tells M$ to stop with the ads? on: July 16, 2009, 10:51:57 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on July 16, 2009, 04:24:53 PM

I love my windows pc and I love my macbook, but come on, apple crap is so ridiculously overpriced it borders on criminal.  F the Apple tax!!!  Their lowering of prices was nothing.

I don't know if I believe this story is true, seems pretty sad if it is.  That said, if you take a really hard look at the Macbook line, it is not the overpriced monstrosity some like to make it to be.

Take the entry $999 Macbook.  Go and look for something comparable in the PC world and you'll be surprised at what you find.  But don't forget to take into account the processor, the graphics capabilities and the size/weight (most often ignored).  The 9400M chipset is Apple's biggest strength at the moment, as it has allowed them to lower their prices but challenge the cheaper mainstream laptops which generally feature Intel GMA4500 at the best, which is still behind.  In the $700-800 range you'll find some good laptops with similar processors, more RAM and a bigger hard drive, but with less graphics power.   YMMV as to what that's all worth, but it's not as clearcut as some people seem to think.

Same thing goes with the Macbook Air - you can say it's incredibly overpriced compared to similarly specced laptops - until you do a real search and find out there is nothing out there in the same weight class that has the same performance; a couple of competitors have come close, but fell short in either the processor or graphics again.

As you get to the higher end Macbook Pro line, the comparisons start to become more interesting.  But again, it's important to compare everything - size/weight, screen size, resolution, battery life, processor power, etc when you are doing these types of comparisons.
3172  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: July 15, 2009, 09:17:28 PM
I dunno about all the complaints, but I just watched Roper's recent video on Character Creation and almost spooged in excitement.  Absolutely cannot wait for this!  Just playing with the character creator looks like it will be worth the purchase price IMHO.  (And BTW I thought CoX was pretty awesome for character creation as well).  I almost wish this was not an MMO and you could create a full team of your own heroes.  Or that they'd use the same engine for such a game.  About 30 years ago I used to write my own comics and of course I had created full teams of heroes that I would love to re-create.
3173  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: is 10,000 RPM vs 7,200 RPM really that noticeable? on: July 15, 2009, 06:33:18 PM
One word answer: yes!

But it's the kind of thing that if you didn't consciously fret about, it probably wouldn't make that much difference.  It all depends on how serious you are about speed.  If you are really impatient and get annoyed that Windows 7 isn't coming up in a matter of seconds, or some game is taking 2 minutes to load up instead of 1 and a half, you probably want to make the plunge.

Also as mentioned, I would look at SSD as well at this point if you are most interested in booting up quickly.  OCZ's Vertex line is getting more and more reasonable; I think they just came out with a new one too.
3174  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Would you buy the Crunchpad? on: July 15, 2009, 06:28:04 PM
Touchscreen web tablet, about 12", supposedly less than $300 with comparable web performance to a Netbook.  Looks pretty cool to me, the pricepoint is pretty attractive. 

http://gizmodo.com/5307487/crunchpad-web-tablet-landing-as-soon-as-possible-for-less-than-300
3175  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion, anyone heard of this MMO? on: July 15, 2009, 05:48:35 PM

Quote from: Hotfreak on July 15, 2009, 01:24:39 PM

I'm with you on the class customization aspect.  I like competitive shooters, but not in my MMO.  Leveling, loot and customization are the most crucial aspects of an RPG for me.  I'd love to hear more about how Aion addresses these.

I only played a few hours during the last weekend beta, and in spite of having that general MMO addictive style gameplay, it was all in all pretty disappointing.  Keep in mind I only got to level 10 where I got my class specialization.  But in terms of customization, etc it was as generic as generic could be.  Every two levels I got a spell or 2 (whooppee).  In between, nothing.  Not a stat point to distribute, nada.  Maybe access to a different piece of gear, which also seemed pretty sparse and uninspired.  Again, this is all beginner content only.  Still, compare this with Runes of Magic (free game) and it actually falls quite short.  In RoM you choose how to specialize in particular skills or not, saving points or not, and have the entire dual class system as well.  In fact all in all RoM was a much more engaging experience in the beginner's zone from that standpoint.

The only thing I felt Aion did well at the outset was move you through the beginner zones back and forth fairly well, using a "Campaign" quest line to keep you engaged.  In fact aside from that, and of course the addition of flight, I really saw nothing special in the game whatsoever.  Now maybe it doesn't really rev up til later levels, but certainly the beginning portion was pure MOTS.
3176  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harper's Island (TV) on: July 14, 2009, 06:14:29 PM
I did see the finale, and was pleasantly surprised, and pleasantly creeped out as well.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Soul gets the win for calling Henry - it really never occured to me until he suggested it, and then it was like, oh man that would be so cool - and then they actually did it!!  If I were to think about the plot, it probably wouldn't make much sense, but this being a horror show I decided to ignore it.

One thing that bugged me was just how presumptuous the killers' "plan" was.  At the point when there were 2 or 3 guns on Wakefield, there's no way they could just flat out know no one would kill him.  I mean this guy had just put them through Terror 101, there's no reason to presume at least one of the good guys would not freak and kill him.  Hell after all the scares, I'd be like, shoot him, cut his head off, burn the body, and nuke the remains from space, it's the only way to be sure  retard

I do have to admit I was uncomfortably turned on by Evil Henry.  That actor (Chris Gorham?) I've always found "cute" but not necessarily sexy (even after seeing his cut bod in Ugly Betty).  But man after he turned evil it seemed to do something for him, I noticed how tight his jeans were and his ass looked great in them, I loved the tone of his craziness.  If I was Abby I'd be like, hey let's get it on...   saywhat  But I digress.  I think it was a good turn for him career-wise, he gave me a bit of a Christian Bale/American Psycho vibe and it was nice to see him play against type for once.

The end sequence was definitely a bit bizarre and the timeline seemed very skewed, but it was fun in a creepy incestuous way.  I love the line when he says "I did the math."  I thought Abby was disappointing though, I thought she could have brought more to the conclusion than just stereotypical running and screaming and crying.  I guess you're supposed to presume she was in shock from having to deal with this guy who she had known and loved for so long.

All in all, agree with Q, fun ride that kept me watching.  Sadly I don't think it did well enough to warrant any kind of sequel.  I really like this format with a beginning and an end, but I wonder if American audiences just aren't into that kind of storytelling any more.  Mini-series don't seem to fare as well as they used to, and thus far, this kind of maxi-series doesn't seem to float well here.
3177  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How I Finally Beat my Credit Card Debt on: July 14, 2009, 05:59:13 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on July 14, 2009, 05:48:42 PM

rittchard was fresh out of high school, got suckered into candy-like credit card offerings, got addicted to the "free money," then had trouble getting out of the ever-increasing spiral of debt and purchasing addiction.

It didn't help that I was dealing with a lot of deep seeded depression from neglecting coming out issues - but that's just an excuse which I had to eventually take ownership of.

- - -

Thanks all for the words of encouragement, it's been a pretty crazy journey, and I realize I am very lucky to have got this far.  I was actually afraid to talk too much about it for fear of jinxing myself.

- - -

Lettuce - yeah we did buy the house, which kind of means I just traded one debt for another, as one of my friends immediately reminded me   icon_smile  But at least I feel like I am doing something more responsible with my finances now.  I think.   icon_confused

- - -

Arc, I completely agree it should be more difficult to get credit cards.  I still remember in college the tables all lined up from CC companies waiting to prey on all the newbs.  I thought I was smarter than all that, but it just became so addictive and so easy.
3178  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / How I Finally Beat my Credit Card Debt on: July 14, 2009, 03:52:28 AM
Now for something kind of different from me....

I don't know the etiquette for this kind of thing, but I posted this on my blog because it's so damn long I didn't think it would be appropriate to dump in a post here.  It's the story of, and I guess you could call it the method I used, to finally get through a ton of crappy credit card debt:

http://rittchard.wordpress.com/2009/07/13/breaking-down-debt/

Don't know if anyone here suffers from the same kind of issues (shopoholics with tons of debt), but if you do, or if you know someone like that, it might be worth a read.
3179  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Venting: It's not going to be me this time. on: July 10, 2009, 08:12:45 PM

Quote from: Chaz on July 10, 2009, 07:08:13 PM

Not in the garden.

I wound up talking to her about it, and we're speaking again.  She did mention her thesis as something that was causing her a ton of stress.  We've smoothed things over for now, and I didn't admit more than fifty percent culpability in the fight that led to  the silence thing (which I think was a 50/50 thing). 

In other news, I think this is my first personal problem/venting post that's gotten anywhere near two pages, let alone past that, so hooray! biggrin

Congrats on all the above!  Sounds like a win win win! 

Hope you have a good 5-year anniversary too - of course at 5 years isn't it about time to "put a ring on it"?
3180  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Free Re-Evaluation Period on: July 10, 2009, 05:56:02 PM
Is there a particular server people are playing on here?
3181  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Venting: It's not going to be me this time. on: July 08, 2009, 10:14:01 PM

Quote from: Chaz on July 08, 2009, 09:36:55 PM

I think this is firmly in the "stupid" category, but even with arguments in those categories, it's up to me to break the silence, as she simply won't.  She went without speaking to her mother for six months (and they lived 20 minutes apart at the time) over something trivial when we first started seeing each other.  In retrospect, that should have been a big red flag.

eeek, definite red flag material!!  But I guess something compelled you to keep moving forward and stay together this long.

Quote
Normally, I probably would've smoothed this over the next day, and I probably still can at any point.  This time though, I'm starting to wonder how many more times I want to do this.  Does she value our relationship so little that she'll just refuse to talk to me for the rest of our lives? Part of me says that she would, and part of me thinks that she's got some kind of mental block about it, and that it's not entirely within her control (she has some serious anger management issues as well).

This is kind of scary and may be worth talking about as a topic in general.  It sounds like she has some personal issues independent of you that she needs to work out. 

Quote
I just have to decide if I want to smooth this over and carry on as normal, smooth it over, but say "this is it, I'm not doing this anymore" (which would probably eventually result in the relationship ending), or just not break the silence (which would probably also result in relationship ending).  And then the biggest question, which is "would I be okay with the relationship ending?"  Honestly, sometimes I don't know if I'm staying in the relationship because of the relationship, or because of the pain in the ass it would be for us to split to separate living arrangements.

Honestly I think everyone (or most people anyway) go through periods like this.  I've certainly gone back and forth a ton of times over the years.  But every so often my partner does or says something (without even knowing) that reminds me why I've stuck with him this long.  Love is whacked out some times.

Quote
Complicating matters is that she's stressed with writing a thesis and I suspect she's going through a bout of mild to moderate depression (which she won't see anyone about) that is probably negatively affecting the relationship.  If that's the case, do I stick this out in hopes that things improve when she comes out the other side, or are the two things independent?
 

Now THIS changes everything!  Is she working on a PhD?  Because PhDs/theses will generally drive ANYONE insane and no one should he held accountable for how they behave during said period  icon_razz  But seriously every person I've known who's gone through it has had a hell of a time in one way or another. 

That said, I do believe that while the thesis is certainly skewing things beyond a normal level, the parts of her you don't like or have problems dealing with will still be there after.  They may not surface in the same ways or be as challenging to deal with, particularly as you (hopefully) grow and evolve together, but more than likely they will always be a part of her - if she chooses never to face them head on and deal with them.  I started dating my bf since we were both in grad school, and there were times he was so stressed out with finishing his thesis, I could hardly believe it.  I always told myself it would be different later, but guess what?  14 years later and he's still the most stressed out person (only now over his job) I know.
3182  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Venting: It's not going to be me this time. on: July 08, 2009, 09:12:53 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on July 08, 2009, 09:08:21 PM

Quote from: SkyLander on July 08, 2009, 09:01:25 PM

Dude, girls are weird.

That's exactly what my wife says.

Well, not exactly.  Her words were more like, "chicks are fucked up."

Well, there's always guys you whiners! Fabulous
3183  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Venting: It's not going to be me this time. on: July 08, 2009, 09:12:08 PM

Quote from: DamageInc on July 08, 2009, 08:52:13 PM

Most arguments are not about what you are arguing about. How many people could raise their hand right now if they can remember arguing about small meaningless crap.
This is what eats away at most relationships.

You have to uncover what the real issues are and either solve them, accept them or move on.
If you move on, you will most likely run into the same cycle again.

I have to agree 100% with this.  In general with my partner, I'm the "always right" guy and he ends up apologizing.  And in general our arguments are about small meaningless crap; we've been together so long now I can generally tell when it's evolved from a deep-seeded issue or is just a momentary lapse.  Here's an example: couple nights ago he gets back from work and out of the blue starts bitching at me about why I "never" do the dishes and "never" clean the kitchen sink area.  It's a short tirade, and I pretty much say "do you really want to do this again?" because we just had the same fight a few months ago, wherein I started counting how many times I put the dishes away and he soon realized it was just a perception thing based on his stress level.  That was easy to smooth over, I don't know or even care if he apologized.  But last weekend we had a similar "out of the blue" type of argument, and this one I realized was in reality due to one of our big issues (involving my family, too complicated to talk about) and he was just venting.  We ended up not talking about it and he smoothed over as soon as I got home, but as Damage said we will likely run into the same cycle again.  I could have chosen to bring the "real issue" up again, but we have fought over it ad infinitum and it seemed kind of pointless at the moment.  We will face it again soon enough.

So anyway, I'd be curious to ask just how "stupid" was the original argument - if it was really meaningless, it really doesn't matter who apologizes or gives in first, it should just blow over with a few words or a simple gesture.  But given the length of time of the silence, it seems like it could be more serious than you thought?  If it was truly stupid, my guess is you could smooth it over without a true apology, maybe just an acknowledgment it was a stupid fight and you are ready to move on.
3184  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Transforsmers: Revenge of the Fallen on: July 07, 2009, 12:18:30 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 06, 2009, 05:34:06 AM

wow, you are way overthinking things, and I don't feel the need to defend the movie to any of you here so I'll just say I liked it like PR_GMR did and leave it at that.

Count me in as someone who definitely enjoyed it.  A little too long for my taste and maybe a few more slower moments would have been nice, but all in all a great time at the movies.  FWIW, most the entire audience clapped at the end.  The only other time I got that this year was for The Hangover.
3185  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harper's Island (TV) on: July 01, 2009, 05:45:06 PM

Quote from: Qantaga on July 01, 2009, 02:57:24 AM

Surprisingly, each week I tell myself that the show really isn't all that great, then I find myself locked in for the entire show and wishing I didn't have to wait a week for the next episode. smile

Hey Q, how are ya!  This is EXACTLY how I feel about the show.  I make fun of it, say it's lame, and then get completely wrapped up in it on Saturdays.  When I realized they were delaying a week I got pissed I'd have to wait lol.

Soul - love that theory, never occured to me!  If they could pull that off it would be sweet.
3186  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: True Blood season 2 on: June 29, 2009, 06:01:19 PM
I am really enjoying Season 2 thus far.  There's a very different energy and spark to the show, even though the main cast is pretty much the same.  The additions of Eric and Jessica have been excellent, and of course Ensign Ro is awesome as always.  While I liked Season 1, it always felt like something was missing to me, or maybe it was too mired in the murder plot which I didn't find particularly interesting.  This season seems full of surprises, new demons, intriguing characters, and more interesting sub-plots (including the Light camp which I thought I wouldn't enjoy).  Maybe once they knew they were doing well and picked up for another season, they were able to relax and really let loose with the plotlines.
3187  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [HBO] Hung starts tonight on: June 29, 2009, 05:55:22 PM
Yeah, kind of a slow start, but enjoyable.  I'm not sure exactly what kind of audience they are gunning for.  Is the show supposed to be a drama or a comedy or just kind of undefinable?

Thomas Jane does a pretty good job with the role coming across sympathetic, and at times just pathetic enough you can believe it.  I was afraid he might be too goodlooking/charming to convince me he had to go this route, but actually the good looks work to his advantage well since you have to buy him as being attractive enough to want to pay for.  He definitely seems like he could be an ex-high school jock who didn't get far career wise after failing out in sports, and all he has left is his looks.
3188  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Aion, anyone heard of this MMO? on: June 28, 2009, 09:01:07 PM
Pre-ordering the game on Gamestop seems to automatically get you into the preview beta weekends.  There's one coming up for the long weekend (starts the 2nd or 3rd I think) in case anyone is interested.  I think once you get the code, though, you can't cancel the pre-order, so beware.
3189  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ron Moores Virtuality on: June 28, 2009, 08:52:30 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on June 27, 2009, 09:25:29 PM

Quote from: rittchard on June 27, 2009, 07:50:45 PM

It was clearly a pilot as it leaves you hanging with tons of interesting sub-plots ready to be explored for all the characters.

And that was my biggest problem with this, not having a clue that was the case coming into it. I kept thinking, what kind of a conclusion can they possibly come to in the next 30 minutes? 10 minutes? Dang, then it just ended after laying all that groundwork and starting to get to the interesting bits. That's fine for a pilot with a series coming but to do it when there's basically only a snowball's chance in hell of the series getting picked up just didn't seem right to me.  icon_neutral

Reading afterwards online I saw that they really just wanted to get their work out there in front of people and perhaps to raise a groundswell of support for the series itself. But then, as noted, even if they green-lighted the series Fox would have killed it in its infancy.

Sadly, I think it was intended, or even assumed, that the series was going to be green-lighted, and thus the pilot movie, even edited, was very much a pilot.  I remember the first time I read about this, a long while back, it sounded like the series was already in production.  I guess Ron Moore had less cache from BSG than people might have hoped/imagined.
3190  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harper's Island (TV) on: June 28, 2009, 08:48:25 PM

Quote from: Alefroth on June 24, 2009, 07:17:26 AM

Quote from: Frogstar on June 23, 2009, 05:46:00 PM

Just curious -- is anyone still watching this?  I feel like I'm the only person on the planet who watches the show.

I watched the first episode and that was enough. Too much like network TV for me.

Ale

While we can certainly argue about the quality (or lack thereof) of the show and the writing, plot holes, etc. I would have to say in fairness, one thing it is NOT, is "too much like network TV".  This is a show whose premise is, for better or worse, an elongated horror film, and as such is willing to kill off major and minor characters without apology.  I can't think of a single traditional network TV series that used this format.  If you said too much like a long-ass generic horror movie, I'd probably agree.

- - -

This last episode was possibly one of my favorites, keeping up the tension and continuing to have you guessing at whether or not the main killer (now revealed) has had help.  And the writers finally were successful in having me give a crap about whether some of the side characters lived or died, which is really the most difficult thing to do in horror films.  That's really been the downfall of this series, IMHO.  Too many characters introduced at the outset, and not introduced with enough depth, such that as they died one by one, you couldn't really care less.  Even some of the later deaths felt more like fodder, which is pretty sad after so many weeks.  As a counter, look at how well Scream did in just the opening minutes with Drew Barrymore giving you a compelling death sequence that had some resonance.  That said...

Spoiler for Hiden:
I was completely annoyed with the Chloe and Brit guy plotlines from the getgo.  I thought they'd be one of the first to get knocked off, but each week it looked like they were the writers' favorites and could make it to the end.  This week they finally had me rooting for them, and I thought they had perhaps the best, most dramatic, death sequence of the show.  I actually had some feeling for them (also last week's scene with the sheriff dad), something which had really been missing up to the last few episodes. Now this being TV, I could see them saving the 2 of them in the finale, since the girl just jumped and the guy just got stabbed again after being shot, they could still make it.
3191  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [HBO] Hung starts tonight on: June 28, 2009, 08:33:35 PM
The first time I saw Thomas Jane emerge shirtless from the water in Deep Blue Sea, I nearly jizzed in my pants.  I was really THAT stunned by how gorgeous he is/was.  Needless to say I've been a fan ever since.  I know I drool over a lot of people, but he is/was definitely something special.

Not sure about this show though, it seems like a one gimmick kind of thing, but who knows.
3192  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Trailer] Daybreakers on: June 27, 2009, 07:59:46 PM
Looks great!  Gives some nice counter balance to the romantic vamps of True Blood and Twilight.
3193  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ron Moores Virtuality on: June 27, 2009, 07:50:45 PM
I had little to no expectations for this, and it was almost a fluke I even noticed it was on.  There was a small blurb review of it in the LA Times which I had skimmed and seemed favorable.  

Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a really fascinating and interesting show, well written and well acted.  It's incredibly disappointing to have it killed before given a chance, though given Fox's record they would likely have killed it in a few episodes anyway.

The premise is a blend of various sci-fi elements that on paper doesn't really sound nearly as good as the end result shown last night was.  There's definitely a Sunshine vibe to it, but it's mixed with Star Trek holodeck (and the original movie Virtuality) intrigue, and then wrapped in a Real World reality TV-esque package, complete with confessionals.  Basically you have a spaceship going into deep space for the first time, possibly humanity's last hope to find a planet to colonize as things on the earth have gone south (maybe).  The whole shebang is being filmed and edited and beamed back to earth for the greatest ratings bonanza ever, and the pilot movie/episode focuses on the go/no-go decision to take the mission into deep space past Neptune.

The virtual reality comes into play immediately, as much as in TNG, they possess technology that allows the crew to escape into individual (or combined) fantasies, nominally to keep people sane and allow privacy through the long (10 year) journey.  But of course there's some kind of glitch (or is there?) that allows them to explore the nature of "reality" and virtual behavior and touch on issues like virtual death, rape, fidelity and personal relationships.  

The cast is/was all around excellent, I really found no flaws and I can be pretty picky.  CG effects were adequate but definitely not the emphasis of the show.  It was clearly a pilot as it leaves you hanging with tons of interesting sub-plots ready to be explored for all the characters.  Standouts include the sexy David Boreanaz-ish captain (I think he was in New Amsterdam), the sexy lead female (some hot blond chick with a cute accent), her psychologist husband (some blond dude with a cute accent) and Clea DuVall (Heroes) who is always good in everything she's in.  Gay fans were initially excited to hear it was the first sci-fi show with an openly "married" gay couple, and their sexuality being a complete non-issue.

There's some effort to save the series for pickup, but chances seem pretty poor given the weak amount of publicity for the show, then being shown on a random Friday evening.

http://virtuality-tv.info/
3194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Archon Classic - now on iPhone!!! on: June 24, 2009, 06:07:46 PM
No Archon fans out there?

Impressions: this is an awesome initial release of the classic game.  Graphics and sounds are updated but the gameplay is very much the original game.  All the pieces, all the spells, are back.  This game is truly a masterful mix of chess-like board game strategy with arcade skill/timing blended together.  I had some issues with the action portion of the game in terms of aiming and shooting in my first game, but by the second game I had a much better grasp of the UI/controls.  I'd say they could improve the responsiveness a bit more, but again, for a first version I was very happy to get the old Archon feel.  One thing they may also want to do for beginners is have some sort of tutorial or explanation of all the spells and the individual creatures' strengths and weaknesses.

What's missing?  The most glaring thing is multi-player.  Presently this is a single player vs. computer game.  This is actually fine for me, but clearly the game was always intended to be a 1v1 experience (used to play side by side on a single keyboard, those were the days).  1v1 via internet would be very cool.  Oddly I don't see any talk about MP, but they do mention 2.0 will have a single player campaign mode.

Edit: I think they really want to expand to other consoles - I could see this being huge on XBLA.
3195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Archon Classic - now on iPhone!!! on: June 23, 2009, 10:19:44 PM
Hot off the presses:

http://www.archonclassic.com/generic/136/

I am so excited, I used to love this game!   Sadly it won't let me download over the regular network so I have to wait til I get home to try it.
3196  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harper's Island (TV) on: June 23, 2009, 09:51:46 PM

Quote from: Frogstar on June 23, 2009, 05:46:00 PM

Just curious -- is anyone still watching this?  I feel like I'm the only person on the planet who watches the show.

I'm still oddly obsessed with it, it's very comforting to watch for some reason even though it can feel incredibly lame and predictable at times.  I'm pretty sure I guessed correctly who the killer(s) is/are fairly early on, from the looks of the preview last week I think I'm going to be correct.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I always guessed there would be 2 killers (a la Scream).  My theory from about the 3rd or 4th ep was that Jimmy was the bad guy, along with Wakefield.  Just a guess based on it needing to be one of the main stars to be more interesting, and someone who appeared to be a good guy.  So maybe Jimmy is Wakefield's son, the only problem being that he would be the girl's half brother, which might be too incestuous for TV.
3197  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 21, 2009, 08:55:35 PM
I wrote up first impressions/comments up on my blog if you are interested, kind of wordy as usual smile

http://rittchard.wordpress.com/2009/06/21/another-year-another-iphone-3gs/

I'm also trying out that Nextworth website to sell off the 3G, will keep you posted on how that goes.  The initial setup is seamless, they even generate a postal label for you so shipping is free!  Quote for "like new" condition is $250, it drops to $216 for "normal".  They also ask for accessories but really don't give you much of anything, so unless you were going to throw them away there's no point to including them.
3198  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I want my...I want my...I want my M:tG on: June 19, 2009, 10:25:31 PM
I've been playing against the White deck in the campaign, on the easiest AI level, and still keep losing.  I think I had a good chance to win once but I made 1 or 2 mistakes and it was not forgiving, again, even at easiest AI.  I'm not saying I'm a pro or anything but I've played enough matches to do OK.  The White AI just infuriates me with its abundance of fliers, and units that heal when played.  Grrr.  I think I had a better shot at winning with the Red deck, any suggestions?

I do wish they'd at least allow you to delete cards out of the deck, there are some I just don't want to appear at all and it's just a waste.  Also seems like they are overloaded with land, but that could just be a luck thing.
3199  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 19, 2009, 08:42:47 PM

Quote from: Teggy on June 19, 2009, 05:39:45 PM

I am posting this with my new 3GS. That is all smile

(the forums look really nice on it)

Me too!  took a while to get synced and activated but all in the comfort of my own home instead of hours in a long line smile. Definite speed improvements. Browsing on wifi is getting close to my PC.

Still have to try cut and paste.   cut and paste. Ahhhhh very nice!
3200  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: V Returns on: June 18, 2009, 06:07:23 PM
Nice trailer!!  I love how they've taken sci-fi TV favorites (or leftovers depending on your point of view) from everywhere!  Of course most/all of them have bad track records of keeping shows alive.

Morena - Firefly/SG1 (I love her!)
Alan Tudyk - Firefly/Dollhouse  (I love him!)
Juliette! - Lost (I absolutely love her!)
Joel Gretsch - The 4400  (I absolutely love him!)
Scott Wolf (go Bailey!  used to love him!) and Lourdes Benedicto - The Nine (ack)

Hmm, aside from Juliette, everyone here has prematurely cancelled shows lol. 
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