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3441  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 12, 2009, 11:42:33 PM
OMG, the VFTW guy's review of last night's ep is pretty funny:

http://votefortheworst.com/blogs/professor_chan/20090311/final_13_results_introducing_anti_vote_worst_rule


Edit:  BTW if you are ever in the mood for a laugh and want to see some of the meanest, bitchiest forumgoers anywhere, check out the forums in this website.  Man these people are harsh, they make the lot of us seem like Paula.
3442  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: How long will my system last? on: March 12, 2009, 10:30:27 PM
"How long will my system last?" 1 month!

Just kidding, you know right now it's a tough call with games.  A lot of it is eye of the beholder type of stuff.  I read somewhere some people don't consider a game "playable" unless it is over 50fps.  Myself, I regularly play games at 30fps or less and it doesn't bother me at all.  I do prefer to play in the highest resolution possible for my monitor.  Looking down the horizon, I haven't really read about any particular must have game that's going to be a GPU killer.  Is there any game in particular you are concerned about?

I'm not sure exactly what you are asking (I'm presuming you've listed your current system and not a full system you were planning to purchase?), but going to a GTX260 would certainly be a significant upgrade, the only question is whether you think it's worth $180.  CPU is pretty important in gaming these days, but you've got a fast one already and could likely overclock if you were concerned.  Not many games are taking advantage of quad core yet (that I'm aware of anyway).

Anywaym just for clarity, are you looking to upgrade in pieces, or buy a brand new machine?  And in either case, about how much are you willing/able to spend?
3443  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle on: March 12, 2009, 06:34:03 PM

Quote from: Crux on March 12, 2009, 03:02:44 AM

Quote from: rittchard on March 09, 2009, 09:28:03 PM

I firmly believe if Kindle was selling at $99 or below, it would be a mass market product.


I hear you. I firmly believe if the Nissan GT-R was selling at $25k or below, it would be a mass market product too!

Ok....  I assume this was meant to be funny which I guess it is, kind of... errr, damn that car is very nice.  The analogy doesn't work well though.  Maybe if you compared it to the Chevy Volt or something it would make more sense, i.e. a game-changing technology that everyone could go for if it were far cheaper.

This is a device that ostensibly is meant to provide a venue into the every day world of books, magazines and newspapers.  It is a serious contender for replacing an entire physical medium (newspapers/magazines) and changing the way people access news and written content.  I could envision one of these (or something like it) on everyone's breakfast table, eventually replacing the conventional physical newspaper.  Not that I want to kill physical newspapers, but clearly they are on their way out.  At $99 I could envision this (or something like it) selling into the tens of millions and killing the paper-based medium.
3444  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 12, 2009, 06:20:51 PM
SO which thread do you guys want to use?  I'm game for either, just let me know smile

PRG was a clear loser so no surprise.  I still thought Jasmine did a better job vocally than many of the others, but perhaps her votes were split to Lil Rounds, and she really didn't stand out enough.  It was just a matter of time either way.  

I love Megan, but it looks like her days are numbered.  I wish she'd let me pick songs for her.  Anoop I wouldn't be surprised if he goes next week.  The 2 white guys will eventually cancel each other out.  Personally I think Kris is far cuter but neither will last too long.  Sarver is just an adorable hunk of beef, but really his singing is just OK.  Blindy I believe will have to go sooner rather than later.  Watching him do the group singing/dancing things is getting torturous already.  If his singing was actually far exceptional, that would be one thing, but he's already shown he's just OK.

So the real battle will be between the judges' favorites, and with the new saving rule I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up the final 5:

Adam, Gokey, Allison, Pinky and Lil Rounds.

I think Adam's gayosity will eventually keep him from winning it all or even making the finals.  Lil Rounds is going to have to step it up to impress me.  She's more likable but thus far less talented than Fantasia.  I think Pinky has great energy and is very cute, but I'm not too sure about her talent.  Allison sings well but I don't like her, still she's young and is kind of like an uglier Kelly Clarkson.  So Gokey remains the one to beat.  I'll predict Gokey vs Allison in the finals, and Gokey wins.

I like the idea of the hidden immunity idol, I mean the judges' save, but I'm dreading having to hear Ryan ask the judges week after week if they want to save someone and explain it over and over again ad nauseum.  Not to mention watching the contestant get voted out by America, have to sing through it, and then get re-bitch slapped by the judges.  Ugh.
3445  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Warhammer Bitter Rivals on: March 11, 2009, 06:16:37 PM
State of the game here:

http://herald.warhammeronline.com/warherald/NewsArticle.war?id=693
3446  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: American Idol: The Final 13 on: March 11, 2009, 06:03:59 PM
I'm pretty sure Jorge (PRG) is done, and possibly Anoop with him.  I don't get why the judges hated on Anoop so much, he pretty much did the same thing he did with My Prerogative that they seemed to love the last 2 times.  Whatever.  I thought Jasmine did a very decent job with her Mariah-ized I'll Be There, but agree she is vulnerable.  Not sure about my cutie Kris, I thought he did a nice job and he is just frickin adorable with the guitar and all.  But definitely a negative reveal on him being married lol.  I didn't like Matt Giraud at all, but seemed like the judges did.  Blindy picked a boring song and to my surprise actually got punished for it.  Interesting.  

In spite of my distaste for Adam, I actually thought he did a good job with Black or White (except for the screeches at the end).  There was a bit of a bitter edge to it which I thought came from the "outing" he had during the week.  I'll be very interested to see how far he goes.  Presently he has the judges in his hands, but public favor could turn on him pretty quick.  I thought Danny did a great job with PYT, I never realized the song could be sung in a raspy voice like that; 2 cool points.  The weird hair chick was good but I don't like her personality or attitude at all; she seems like a drugged out teen at times, though maybe she's just overwhelmed.  Looks like the judges love her so she'll continue to do well but bleh for me.  I continue to love Megan though I can see how people may just not like her style, personally I think she's adorable and I love her voice.  I actually was disappointed in Lil Rounds, I thought the judges were way too easy on her.  I can't even remember what she sang now but I remember being underwhelmed.  Same comment for the last girl, she looked cool but her Dirty Diana was kind of a mess if you ask me.

The judges are whacked out for the most part, and the 4 judge structure is just not working.  Kara was good in the audition stage but now she just seems be sucked into the same sycophantic puppet role as Paula, albeit a bit more well-spoken.  I hate how they just go all lovefest on their favorites, but whatever.

Based on judging, I'll guess Anoop and PRG are done.
3447  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Star Wars Live Action TV Series begins casting on: March 11, 2009, 05:50:59 PM
Which Firefly castaway will get to be on this show?  I vote Nathan Fillion after Castle gets cancelled!
3448  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: March 11, 2009, 05:50:08 PM

Quote from: kadnod on March 11, 2009, 03:28:39 PM


Claire storyline continues to be boring.  The comic book store scene was sort of funny, but I didn't get exactly why she wanted to work there.  Hopefully her side adventures are over now.


So that she could have 10 uber-stereotypical comic book nerds stare at her for 8 hours a day? 

3449  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Warhammer Bitter Rivals on: March 10, 2009, 09:11:15 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on March 10, 2009, 06:55:04 PM

When does the general public get access to the classes without a quest? Thats when I plan to return. If I can find a big crowded server to join.

One more week and classes are open to all.

It's been mentioned elsewhere, but if you want to join some of the remnant players here, we are on:

Order - Ostermark  (Roleplay)
Destro - Dark Crag  (Open PvP)

In general, Dark Crag looks to be a more active server (more people), though this may change with the recent server transfers.  Our guild is much smaller on DC.
3450  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: March 10, 2009, 06:26:21 PM

Quote from: The Grue on March 04, 2009, 09:36:50 PM

Quote from: rittchard on February 17, 2009, 09:44:54 PM

and presumable fugitives on the run from the govt should not have easy access to flights out of the country.

We accept people can time travel and fly and yet this is your sticking point.  Really?  Really?  Why can't you just let that slide as another aspect of the fact that this is a fictional television show?

Just saw this comment.  I was making the point that the writing on this show is completely inconsistent and all over the place, almost like a writer one week hasn't seen the previous week's episode, let alone the previous season's shows.  One moment they are presumably trying to create a feel of "realism" and danger for (self titled season) FUGITIVES, the next they totally ignore this and have people flying all over the place, or in the case I was referring to, they may as well have just teleported.  One moment Matt can turn 3 or 4 trained military units to kill each other and everyone around, the next he has to struggle to control 2 people.  The writers do whatever they feel like whenever they feel like to create "scenes" and moments they think will be interesting with disregard to what's been shown in the past; it's insulting to an audience that watches with their brains turned on. 

Yes, this is a fictional television show and they can do whatever they want, but that doesn't mean the writing and storylines can't be self consistent. 



P.S.  Agree with LoneStarSpur!!
3451  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24: Season 7 (spoiler tags are certain!) on: March 10, 2009, 06:16:29 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on March 03, 2009, 11:34:14 PM

I have a bad feeling Bill Buchanan may not make it through this season.

I blame Jimmy the Fish for this!!!!!!!!    icon_eek icon_eek
3452  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Warhammer Bitter Rivals on: March 10, 2009, 06:12:13 PM
Servers down now and anyone who completed Bitter Rivals should be able to create Slayer or Choppa tonight (hopefully).
3453  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Phantasy Star Universe Portable screens on: March 10, 2009, 06:08:28 PM
depward convinced me!  I picked it up but haven't had time to try it out yet.

Sorry for the newb question but what is the difference between ad hoc and infrastructure?  I was under the impression ad hoc was "online play" but denoginizer seems to imply it isn't.
3454  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Phantasy Star Universe Portable screens on: March 09, 2009, 10:20:49 PM
Anybody pick this up?
3455  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle on: March 09, 2009, 09:28:03 PM

Quote from: Chaz on March 07, 2009, 07:30:21 PM

Quote from: mikeg on March 07, 2009, 05:43:33 PM

I would agree on the Ipod app.  If you already own an Ipod and read in spurts rather than in long extended curl-up-with-book sessions, you could definitely get by with that.  I don't have an Ipod, and won't be getting one, or I would have tried it out before I purchased a Kindle. 

I think if you only read in spurts, you're probably not a potential Kindle buyer anyway.

I'd disagree.  I think in theory, *anyone* who reads anything at all (books, magazines, newspapers, even news articles or blogs online) should be a potential Kindle buyer - at least if I were marketing the product, I'd want to market it that way.  The one stop shop to read anything and everything, not just books.  As newspapers and magazines move into the sunset, people will still want to read new content on a regular basis, and this is one device poised to deliver it in an attractive and easy manner.  I firmly believe if Kindle was selling at $99 or below, it would be a mass market product.

- - -

I also tried the Kindle app for iPhone over the weekend and loved it.  Would be nice to have the purchasing integrated into the app, but I believe/hope that should just be a matter of time.  It was easy enough to go on the website (from the iPhone) to purchase books.  Actually a little too easy with one-click shopping.  In moments I had purchased 2 books.  As suggested above, it's great to read in spurts, and I was actually mesmerized for quite some time while brushing my teeth lol.  I couldn't put it down and ended up reading like 10 minutes or so.
3456  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 06, 2009, 09:47:29 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on March 06, 2009, 09:10:34 PM

I really like Megan's voice. I must be weird. However, I don't think she is going to last long. She certainly would not be considered a favorite.

Well then I am too, because I love her voice as well.  And I like the weird "dance" quirks as well.  But agreed she won't last long smile
3457  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 06, 2009, 07:33:25 PM
Hey, my 3 guesses were all correct, hooray!  Didn't expect the 13th one though.  I wonder if it's basically a "correction" to the Top 12 the judges wanted.  My guess is probably Sarver and/or cutie Kris were not projected to make it (most likely Sarver).

I love Megan, with her weird quirkiness I just think she's so much more interesting than many of the girls who have come and gone.  She gives me kind of an Alanis vibe, but much younger and less angry.  Or kind of like that chick who sang "What I am is what I am" a long time ago.  In fact I think that would be a perfect song for her.  I can see her being a one hit wonder. 

So any early predictions?

My guess is Gokey and Lil are sure things for Final 4 if the judges have any say.  Originally I would have said emo-guy (Adam) but I just saw some horrid pictures of him smooching different creepy guys on the web, and even as a gay guy, it kind of grossed me out.  Unless he comes clean and goes all "out" (no pun intended), I think this will eventually kill him.  Then again, maybe I underestimate the public (though I was correct about that stripper guy last season, just took a couple weeks).  The purple/red hair girl (Allison) they seem to love too even though I can't stand her, so that would be my original guess for Final 4.  Maybe the blond girl can knock Emo guy out if the internet stuff plagues him or his uber gayosity does.  I don't think Lil is special enough to win, which likely leaves Gokey unless purple girl or blondie can pull a Jordin or Kelly like growth spurt.  I could see Gokey singing some sob song in the final like Tears From Heaven or Candle in the Wind and kicking them to the curb though, all the tweens and cougars crying their eyes out as they dial for him.  So if I had to guess right now, I'd go with Gokey.

While I like Anoop and am always supportive of more international contestants, he still feels a bit awkward to me trying to be a "brotha" singing soul.  I don't know, I think his time is limited, maybe Top 8ish (didn't Sanjaya make it to 8?).  Blindy is an X-Factor.  He's had so much promotion now that could roll him a lot further than his actual singing, possibly even into the Final 4.  Even Simon has to be careful about being too mean to a blind guy, so feedback will be interesting.  But let's face it, he's had plenty of off key moments and almost no one said a thing about it.  And I hate to admit it, but when the camera focuses in on him I get a bit uncomfortable. Eventually his singing and awkwardness will run out of charm, people will feel horrible about themselves but relieved he's gone.  I'll put him in the same category as Anoop (middle range), but likely higher (top 6).

Fodder:  Sarver, Kris Allen, the JT wannabe, PRG.  I hope my cutie Kris makes the top 10 so he can go on tour; that would be about the best I can see him doing.  I love Jasmine but she continues to disappoint me with her song choices.  Unless something changes drastically she may go quick, possibly even first.  PRG is interesting but his heavy accent will kill him eventually.  While I personally love Megan, I think she might be too quirky and polarizing to the audience.  Should make Top 10, but maybe not much further than that.
3458  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: March 06, 2009, 12:49:08 AM

Quote from: mikeg on March 05, 2009, 11:27:06 PM

While I am enjoying it like any true Lost fan, I gotta admit it is as convoluted as the Stimulus Bill.  No telling where it will go, but I know one thing, Sawyer is screwed.  And lucky.  Has been with both Kate and the Doc.  But now that Kate is back that is gonna really get complicated.  My oh my. 

Can you say.... 3-way!!!  Or even better, 4-way with Jack!!!  Oh baby!

In other unrelated news, I just noticed I am a GT SENIOR Member now, yay me!!!
3459  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: March 05, 2009, 07:42:04 PM

Quote from: LoneStarSpur on March 05, 2009, 04:40:02 PM

OK, so just wtf was *that* all about?!?! (March 4 episode)

Another AWESOME episode lol.  But you gotta keep your brain on overdrive to keep up with it.

Spoiler synopsis:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I'll give a synopsis a try: The final time jump (right before the one that zaps them way to the past - 4 toed statues anyone?) takes our island group to 1974.  Once there, they bump into Michelle (from 24) whose husband just died.  They save her and she takes them to the newfound Dharma.  Our new leader Sawyer buys time to stay in Dharma through an excellent turn of events involving Richard (great scene in that confrontation where for once, our heroes get to be the cryptic people with all the weird info).  Over the course of 3 years (presumably to match the physical amount of time that has passed off the island for our other adventurers in Team Jack), Sawyer takes over as head of security, and he and Juliet fall in love.  Michelle gets with creepy tree cutting guy (Horace) who impregnates her.  Lame Dharma doctors aren't equipped so Sawyer (with fake identity) pulls in Juliet, who delivers the baby boy with no problem, indicating the baby death thing will occur later (likely they may cause it themselves).  We don't know what Milo and Daniel have been doing, they may leave the island...  Jin has been hanging out til he one day stumbles upon Team Jack.  He calls Sawyer and voila, reunion time!!!  Is 3 years enough time to get over Freckles?  How about Juliet's crush on Jack?  Oh what a tangled soap opera we weave!!! 
3460  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 05, 2009, 07:34:08 PM

Quote from: PaulBot on March 05, 2009, 06:38:53 PM

Oh yeah, this is a thread about American Idol.

There were more than three contestants in that last group that I wanted to see stay around, but such is life.

As for the wild cards: Tatiyana - blech! They are bringing her back just to boost the conflict on the show to raise ratings. If she actually makes it into the top 12 (puhleez no!), she'll hopefully be eliminated shortly thereafter. She may be able to sing, but one must have more than that to be a successful singer. Like a decent personality. She makes me want to wretch every time she is on camera.

I'll give myself a minor pat on the back for picking the 3 correctly  slywink  I'm actually curious if PRG was really the third place guy or if it's possible Blindy was actually third place and not the top guy.  But anyway...  I love how they just got Lil Rounds out of the way early since everyone and their uncle knew she was making it in.

The Wild Card is a little more interesting than I thought.  Are the judges going to pick the 3 tonight?

Anyway, I'd say Megan is a sure thing unless she flat out bombs.  Anoop would be a smart choice for producers in terms of adding another demographic (not to mention riding some Slumdog Millionaire momentum), but I wonder about his song choices.

The last one is the most difficult.  They seemed to pick quite a few of the better singing boys, but to be honest I can't really tell them apart.  I know some of you here liked that Braddy guy.  I think there were 3 rather generic looking guys all with good singing voices, and at least 2 of them were in this batch of 8.  I don't really remember who else was there, but I'd be inclined to pick another girl to help even the ratio out a bit.  Assuming Tatiana is just a stunt, I'm going to go with my original pick of Jasmine.  Kara pretty much tells her what song-type to pick (Rihanna Rihanna Rihanna), so if she comes out and knocks a hot "Umbrella" she could secure her spot. 

So that will be my guess: Megan, Anoop and Jasmine.
3461  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle on: March 04, 2009, 07:21:27 PM
Holy crap, here it is:

http://appshopper.com/books/kindle-for-iphone

I guess that answered my question/comment from earlier in this thread...
3462  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Sing Star on: March 04, 2009, 07:18:57 PM
I have an old one of these I think, but I also have the newer American Idol one.  If you play it on easy mode, it's very forgiving, and it's fun to make the judges (even Simon) keep saying nice things to you lol.  It's actually kind of disturbing but if you need an ego boost every now and again, it's a good way to go.
3463  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 04, 2009, 07:09:45 PM
If you can't FF through the show, I recommend playing your favorite DS game while it's on smile
3464  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no life on Mars on: March 04, 2009, 06:57:34 PM
I've been watching the show, but not at all surprised it's going to be cancelled.  The weekly ratings have been horrendous considering it had decent lead-ins.  But the bigger problem is something I was just talking to a friend about yesterday over lunch.  There seems to be a big disconnect between the best writers, producers, network execs and TV fans. 

I think a lot of the best writers want to write complex, interesting stories and weave them throughout the season (or seasons).  So they'll develop these intriguing, high-concepts for a show (like this one) and likely have some idea of how it will resolve some day in the future from a storytelling POV.  The problem is they have no idea how long the show will run (6 episodes or 60?) so they go back and forth between reveals of the core story and throw away one-shot episodes.  The producers and network execs are all about ratings and money, they don't really care about the quality when it comes down to it (unless of course it brings in extra ratings).  If they think episodic CSI-esque is the way to go, they demand that, or if they want more sex or action, they force that in.  If they want tons of episodes because a show is doing well, they force the writers to come up with filler.  The constant fear of being cancelled has plagued so many recent sci-fi/fantasy (or just high concept) shows, you end up with an inconsistent mish mash that doesn't know where to go from week to week.  So many shows feel like they are scrambling and retooling, they just don't get a chance to be shown the way they were intended by the original developers.  Look at: Heroes, Dollhouse, Terminator, Firefly, The Nine, Vanished, Drive, Reaper, Journeyman, Pushing Daisies.  Life on Mars definitely suffered from this, where it constantly seemed like they couldn't decide if they were happy just being the "fish out of water" 70s detective show, or the Journeyman-esque mystical/sci-fi meta-story. 

The only show that's actually survived this war is Lost.  While their ratings have consistently dropped, they won the battle with the network to end the show in a known amount of episodes, thus freeing the writers to tell their story in a fixed number of hours.  Never been done before quite like this to my knowledge on big network TV.  And it has paid off in spades, the show waivered a bit but there doesn't feel like a bit of "filler" anymore, it's all show, for better or worse.

I wonder if some quality TV shows in general might be better served with a new paradigm more similar to Asian and other foreign countries, where you develop a show from the outset with a finite number of episodes.  Seems to work great for Mexican TV, which routinely has ratings in the 5+ million department, beating out about half of the rest of the nation's shows. 
3465  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 04, 2009, 06:34:15 PM
So shocker of all shockers, Lil Rounds gets the coveted last spot!  I know someone here predicted it...  Anyway she pretty much secured her spot, I can barely remember any of the other girls.  She seems like a more likable version of Fantasia, with even more kids to feel sorry for!  I think I actually like her voice better than Fantasia.  On the guys side, you'd think Blindy is a sure thing (though I'd argue his actual vocals go off key almost every performance at some point), but I wonder if we might get an upset by the Puerto Rican guy (PRG), or possibly the guy who sang Hey There Delilah, if they might bring in their own different fanbase. 

I will go ahead and guess Lil, Blindy and PRG for tonight's 3.

Which now begs the question, what will the judges do for the final 3?  Now that we know it's just a flat out pick from the judges (lame BTW), they can easily be coerced/forced by the producers to do whatever.  If all the 3rd place spots go to men (highly likely), will they choose to pick 3 girls for the final to balance it out?  Bad news for Anoop-dog if that's the case.  You'd think they'd pay close attention to the 4th place voting, which should bode well for Megan Corkey all around (presuming she was 4th last week).  I'd say either way she is in.
3466  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Apple Hardware Refresh on: March 03, 2009, 10:06:00 PM
I know Apple ain't the most popular around here, but thought I'd mention they quietly did a full refresh of their computer line today.  This means new Mac Minis, iMacs and even a new Mac Pro.  I think they also upgraded the Time Capsule with 5GHz capability or something like that.

Surprisingly the Mac Pro gets Nehalem, pretty quick for Apple to adopt a new proc.  The Minis and iMacs get the nVidia 9400m graphics standard, a very nice jump for both series.  The $1499 iMac is a pretty attractive package - 24" screen, 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 640GB hard drive, along with the new graphics.  I'll likely pick one of these up at some point.

With dual-booting to Windows being so easy on the Mac these days, it's not a bad idea to consider them for your main machine.  You get all the benefits of having a Mac for easy-to-use graphics, photos, email, surfing, and general usage - but also a quick jump to a nice PC gaming machine as well.  For under $2000 you can upgrade the 24" iMac to an ATI 4850 512MB and give yourself a legitimate PC gaming machine.
3467  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Reaper, Season 2 on: March 03, 2009, 09:54:32 PM
Did they really have to put it in a suicide slot against American Idol?  I would have been fine with it playing out over the summer.  Why not just cancel it outright, grrrr. 
3468  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24: Season 7 (spoiler tags are certain!) on: March 03, 2009, 09:53:23 PM
That was awesome!!!  Totally implausible (I hope at least) how easy and fast it was to invade the White House, and how people kept jumping around so quickly outside in DC, but what an action packed ride (sorry for the cliche terminology).  All sorts of action teases (who wasn't rooting for Aaron Pierce to go Rambo and take out all the terrorists?) and wonderful torture, fast paced and constantly keeping your heart racing.  And oh yeah, Candyman BITCH SLAPS the Prez!!!!  You go, Candyman!!!  Surprisingly Kiefer didn't do a whole lot of fighting himself, I guess he's reserving all the heroics for next week. 
3469  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24: Season 7 (spoiler tags are certain!) on: March 02, 2009, 09:30:28 PM
But more importantly, how are they going to get Kim (and hopefully the mountain lion) back in the show?!?
3470  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: DQV Impressions on: March 02, 2009, 09:28:51 PM
Wonderpug, twasn't me, I never played Mass Effect, and kathode, I never played DQ4 or any of the DQ games.  I have played most of the older FF series though along with a lot of other wannabes and similar games.

I will continue with this one based on the feedback...

I guess I am still wondering if the combat or levelling/classes gain much more depth later?  Are there any choices to make in that arena?  Does combat become more strategic at any point?
3471  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: DQV Impressions on: March 02, 2009, 07:05:58 PM
I reallllly wanted to like and get sucked into this one, but so far I am just not feeling it.  I'm about 3 hours into the game, somewhere around the third kiddie "mission" involving faeries or some such.

I have to say I just don't get it.  At this point, it feels exactly like every other old-school JRPG with absolutely no defining qualities that make it "special".  By this I mean there is flat out nothing in the combat system that feels unique or especially fun, and nothing in the class/levelling system appears to be worth looking forward to.  Level up.  Some stats improve, yawn.  Level up again, oh wow I get a Heal spell.  OK...  why did I get that in particular?  Who knows?  Add to that the lack of a coherent storyline (I keep presuming something exciting is about to happen, and then.... nothing, off on another side adventure you are forced to complete before allowing the game to advance) and I'm not sure what there is to keep me motivated.  I guess you could argue these side adventures ARE the storyline that are meant to keep you driven, and I guess I'd say that they are at least interesting and somewhat diverse so far.

On top of all that, the game is actually fairly difficult.  Not difficult in the strategic sense, but in the "go and level up some more on random encounters" sense.  Or go and make sure you visit and revisit every single frickin square on the map before it allows the story to advance.  Thus far I haven't used a walkthru but I've been tempted out of aggravation.  Even buying new equipment has been much more tedious than other games at this stage, I'm constantly out of gold.  Not to mention constantly running out of mana and no way to replenish.  It took me about 4 tries to finally be able to beat the second (I think it was) boss.  Each time I died I'd go out and level some more and try to upgrade equipment and buy a ton of herbs.  I barely scraped by in the battle by having my party member cast an offensive spell til she dropped since I did virtually no damage.  And this is supposed to be fun?

I'm actually surprised I even put up with it this long, I must be really desperate lol.  Sorry for the negativity, but maybe someone can give me some teasers to indicate how the heck this game could get such good reviews across the board.
3472  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (3/2) on: March 02, 2009, 06:57:04 PM
I highly recommend everyone buy the Grey's Anatomy and Spongebob games!!   retard
3473  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Party Open Beta on: February 27, 2009, 10:45:21 PM
http://dungeon-party.com/

In Open Beta now.

Weird game, reminds me somewhat of what they are doing with Battlefield Heroes in terms of the cartoon stylings, but in a dungeon instead.

I don't think it's my cup of tea, but I thought it might be of interest.
3474  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battleforge on: February 27, 2009, 07:24:57 PM
I think I posted my initial impressions in the RTS thread, but here they are again:

After a few more hours of play time, I'm finding myself totally enamored with Battleforge.  It definitely plays like a conventional RTS to a large extent, but there's definitely enough strategic twists to keep me intrigued.  You have to capture points to both produce more units and special points ("Orbs" - these are like "Land" in Magic: The Gathering) to access your better units.

What makes it fun/cool is that there are so many units/cards to play around with, and some of them are damn cool to "bring to life." I seriously could not get enough of my big ol Fire Dragon, damn that thing is fun. The problem I see (and this could be because of my newbishness) was that the lower end units seemed really weak in comparison to some of the later ones. I guess this isn't too different from other RTS games but it seemed really pronounced in this one.  The unit designs, and just having so many of them to experiment with (and without a traditional build order), give the game a unique feel/pace on top of the traditional RTS dynamic.

The other thing I love is the ability to mix/match the cards and build your "deck" as it were. While this is M:TG like in principle, in reality all it means is that you choose 20 units or spells/abilities a priori (from a ginormous list, and 4 different "colors") and that's all you get access to in a particular mission/fight. Unlike Magic, you get access to ALL of the 20 cards immediately, although they can only be "played" if you have enough power AND enough orbs (i.e. "Lands") of the right color. So strategically, like Magic, you can try for all low power cards for quicker access, or presume you can capture enough orb spots to access your better units. Lots of strategy involved, clearly. I still don't understand how they determine how many of each unit you get at the start, or exactly the rules of when you can re-access them. For instance, some prelim archer units usually start with 5, whereas the dragon is always 1. The dragon took a long time to get access to again (like a minute or 2).

The Meta-Game is kind of interesting as well, taking a page or 2 from Guild Wars, I guess. You have one Profile/Name and that records all your PvE and PvP progress separately. I *believe* (not sure) any card you "win" in either case (PvE or PvP) becomes accessible to your main deck. There's a main map where you can select single player campaign missions and a variety of multiplayer missions.

Can't wait for release on this one, I hope it does well.
3475  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: February 27, 2009, 07:18:14 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on February 27, 2009, 07:11:57 PM

So I'm finally convincing my wife to watch this show again.  We left off at the end of Season 2 and now we're almost through Season 3.  How good is Season 4?  Will it convince her to keep going?

Season 4 is great, you can feel the writers really hitting their stride as they know exactly how many episodes they have to finish the show.  But... it does start to get more and more sci-fi oriented as well, and the plotlines are even more intricate and complex, so that may or may not be a turn off for your wife.  However there is at least one episode, The Constant (featuring Desmond), that is possibly one of the finest hours of network TV I've ever seen.  Incredibly romantic and well acted and needs to be watched!
3476  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: February 27, 2009, 07:07:50 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on February 27, 2009, 04:33:11 PM

Quote from: Moliere on February 27, 2009, 04:13:34 PM

"When" the plane crashed is going to be an interesting dilemma if they're at a different time then the new Others.

plus the fact that the Oceanic 6 were said to have been back for 3 years.  I wonder how they're going to handle that since the people that stayed didn't seem to have 3 years pass.

My guess is it will be the impact of seeing each other will feel very different for the characters.  Kate hasn't seen Sawyer in 3 years, she's almost married Jack, lost her son, etc etc. - but has also been doing something for him all those years.  But for Sawyer, it was only a few days worth of his "real time" since he kissed her and thought he'd never see her again.  So the emotional impacts and dynamics should be extremely different.  She's moved on with her life and is seeing an ex flame; he is still in the moment and more relieved/surprised than anything else.  Same kind of dynamic for Sun/Jin, I'd think.

Now that you mentioned it, this essentially already happened last episode.  For the Oceanic, they hadn't seen Locke in about 2 years.  From Locke's perspective, he had just seen them on the island hours ago.  They really didn't play this off much at all, though you could imagine this is more of a nuance that the actor has to portray than something they can force into the script.   

Basically I think the actors are really going to have the bigger burden in pulling this off effectively, particularly Sun and Kate who need to convey a ton more of time passage (as well as moving on with their lives) in their performances.
3477  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: February 27, 2009, 06:58:02 PM
While I would have loved to see Megan make it over the other chick, I was glad (and a bit shocked) to see Kris made the cut.  Actually he was the only one I voted for as I wanted my eye candy for the season  icon_cool  PLus I thought he had no chance.  On a side note, I found it amusing that on the VFTW forums, they were (like me at home) commenting on how hot his ass was in the tight jeans (more so than his singing). 

I agree with Zinfan that this new format favors the guys more, as tweens and queens will vote more, and vote for the cute boys.  I don't see why they couldn't have just kept the 2 top guys and 2 top girls each week, but I suppose the lingering "Wild Card" adds to the mystery.  Hopefully it will bring Anoop and Megan back, I think they would add greatly to the mix.  Unfortunately I wonder if it immediately puts those final 3 at a disadvantage since they didn't make the original cut. 
3478  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: February 26, 2009, 07:02:39 PM
Yet another amazing episode in the annals of Lost-dom.  Just when you think you have predicted a pattern or know where they are heading, they twist you around again.  I am now getting more and more anxious about how the show will end.  But mostly in the sense that I believe if they can deliver even a semi-satisfying conclusion, it will become (and remain) my all-time favorite television series.  On to the content:

Spoiler for Hiden:
WTF?  Ben saves Locke from killing himself but then kills him himself.  Although the scene seemed to be building that way, I still was surprised at how quickly it happened.  Was Ben just fishing for a name?  Or was the name of Hawking too controversial?  Since I believe she was the young girl in the past (with Widmore), it's plausible Ben assumed she was with Widmore and John was already "compromised".  Yet he makes no indication of animosity toward her in last week's episode.  Never trust Ben!  But then who do you trust?  Widmore?  Someone call Jack Bauer!

Surprised the plane actually did crash!  Hooray, more redshirts to kill!!

Locke resurrects!  We knew it would happen, but never guessed it would be this soon.  The question is "when" is he and will he continue to elude death/sacrifice since Ben killed him (as opposed to committing suicide).

And Ben made it back to the island?  I thought he could never come back?  Or is he just a renegade gone rogue so he can break all the rules?

Poor Haitian (yes I realize it's not the Haitian but that's what I call him).  Glad he got one more ep as he is too busy in Fringe now smile  At least they let Walt live in what I presume was his finale as well.
3479  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: February 26, 2009, 06:33:14 PM
I continue to hate this new format, but whatever.  The whole show might as well been called the "Adam Lovefest Idol".  As if he didn't have enough footage going in, he gets the coveted final spot as well and a standing ovation from Paula barely before he begins singing?  I am going to have trouble watching this season as he seems destined for Final 4 if not Final 2.  Ugh.  To my ears his "singing" sounds like a bunch of over-the-top screaming and yelling (which apparently is enough to make Paula cum like a schoolgirl), and I do not find him the least bit attractive in his pseudo-emo-punk-vampiric way.  But it looks like the tween girlz will eat him up, particularly after the Robert Pattinson (Twilight) reference.

I thought the Allison girl was just OK (also kind of screechy), the fawning over her was also a bit overboard if you ask me.  Or maybe I just didn't like her braces and purple hair.  I guess this season dying your hair a freaky color or making it look pseudo-punk is the way to go.  I enjoyed Megan more, I thought her singing was decent and her bizarre dancing was quirky and interesting, and she is very pretty.  I agree with the guess it will be the 3 of them to advance.

Sadly, the new format will kill off some decent performers who likely needed another week or 2 to develop a fan base.  In spite of a kind of low key performance, I really enjoyed the Bette Davis Eyes (interestingly that was the song I was humming after the show so clearly she left some impression).  I also liked the cute boy (Kris?) who sang Man in the Mirror - my guess is he would have been a sure bet for Top 12 in the traditional format but in this format he is done.  Jasmine definitely picked a poor song for her style; if she wanted to go commercial she should have sang Umbrella and knocked it out the park.  Would love to see her get one more chance.


P.S.  Was it my imagination or did they already show a group of 4 wild card picks?  Maybe I dreamed it lol.
3480  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Drakensang english demo (win a copy!) on: February 26, 2009, 05:38:52 AM
Any chance we can get this thread title changed to something more generic?  I guess it doesn't matter that much but...

Anyway, some revised first impressions.  The full version installed without incident.  Manual is a bit sparse, as CK mentioned no spell listings, and also surprisingly no class listings.  I believe this game is based on a famous German RPG system, I seem to remember an old game which used this system as well.  I only mention that because I get the sense they've tried to port over a lot of that system into the game, and it is/was fairly complicated and detailed, perhaps more so than D&D.  They try to cover quite a bit of these details in the manual; I wonder how much of it is really applicable to the computer game and how much is part of the PnP RPG system.

With the full version you get access to a ton of classes (over the demo).  It's actually a bit odd they give you so many choices but don't mention much about the classes in the manual.   The bad news is graphically you don't get to change anything, it's completely locked into what class and sex you choose.  My elementalist guy looks like some renegade Aladdin wannabe, I would have loved to be able to change him up a bit but whatever.  I am kind of curious how much difference it makes to choose a different starting class.  Nothing I've seen so far seems to indicate a reaction to a different race/class.

As before, the environmental graphics look absolutely amazing.  This may be the best looking game I've played in a long time, if not ever.  Granted I haven't seen a lot yet but thus far it's gorgeous.  Once I adjusted the camera speed (I like 0.5), I really felt the engine worked very well.  I don't know if the better textures have kicked in, but definitely this is a great looking game (everything maxxed). 

This time around, I took a slightly different path, perhaps more of the "intended" path, and I think it worked out better.  I felt more engaged in the game, and came across more action.  I also picked up a second party member, and it made more sense to me since I was coming across a number of locked chests with no way to open them my first playthrough.  Of course maybe it was just having more time to play or being familiar with the game a bit, or maybe a class I liked better, I don't know.  In any case, I liked what I saw a lot more this time.  There's a nice feel somewhat like a cross between Dungeon Siege 2 and NWN 2.  Obviously a deeper RPG system than DS2 but just a good feel.  The pausable party-based combat is very D&Dish, but allowing it to play real time makes it fairly exciting. 

I don't 100% understand the levelling and progression yet.  Apparently you earn XP and adventure points.  The latter is used for your overall level progress, and the first you can spend points to improve your skills and stats.  Apparently you can do this any time you want.  So for instance you can spend 10 points to boost your stamina or 8 to improve your ability to heal wounds.  It's an interesting system, but I don't know exactly how they determine what you are allowed to improve.  I guess it is all class/race based?

I'm really hoping the story becomes more engaging because I like a lot of what I've seen of the engine.  It's clearly not going to be a substitute for Dragon Age but hopefully it will satisfy in other areas and make its mark as a nice bridge between the D&D games and DA.  If nothing else, the excellent engine should get some good use (it looks like a sequel is in the works and you can download more content).
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