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3561  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hangover on: June 11, 2009, 06:04:56 PM

Quote from: LoneStarSpur on June 09, 2009, 03:08:44 PM

Quote from: rittchard on June 08, 2009, 11:48:30 PM

But yes, definitely crude and rude and very nasty, so if you aren't into that kind of humor, you should probably stay away.

Thanks for the heads up. We loved the trailer, but if it's in the same category as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (which may have been the worst 40 minutes of movie I've ever seen), we'll give this a pass.

I think it was actually a lot cruder and ruder than Sarah Marshall actually  icon_cool  However, it was far far funnier, so I don't know if that helps or hurts.  I thought FSS was an OK movie, but it really wasn't very funny.  It was like it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a straight up romcom or a pure comedy.  Knocked Up straddled the line much better IMHO, and ended up being both funnier and sweeter than FSS. 

Side note: that crazy Asian doctor from Knocked up almost steals the show in Hangover.  I read the guy is actually a real medical doctor and was doing standup on the side before he got the break in Knocked Up.
3562  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dragon Age is looking good! on: June 11, 2009, 05:56:46 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 11, 2009, 05:46:15 PM

I'm willing to keep an open mind. I would just worry that this new found emphasis on "blood and boobs" (confirmed by the almost literally blood-splattered official web site that requires you to enter your birthday year (not that anyone actually does that) is coming from EA and not from Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk and Co.

I haven't seen what all the fuss is about, but I don't get why people are acting like this is some shock/surprise or as BJ says a "new found emphasis".  From the earliest announcements of Dragon Age, Bioware specifically said they were going for a deeper, darker, more adult-themed universe.  They specifically indicated one of their inspirations was Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and anyone who's read that knows that it is plenty "bloody and boobs." 
3563  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Grand Slam Tennis on: June 11, 2009, 05:50:31 PM
I played about an hour of this last night with the WM+.  I used to play a lot of tennis many years ago, so I consider myself a fair to average player who at least knows what it really feels like to play.  Thus far the game is a bit hit and miss for me, no pun intended.

When starting out at the practice net with a ball machine,  I really liked what I was seeing.  The majority of my hits were doing pretty much what I intended (slices, drop shots, top spin, etc).  In the ball machine mode it actually tells you if you are slicing or whatnot so you know for certain if you did what you wanted.

I then set it to easy and began Grand Slam mode with a newly made character, but unlike Bullwinkle I lost pretty much every game I played.  Couple of close ones and I think maybe 1 win, otherwise I was getting slaughtered.  Most of the points I lost were due to what seemed like "pickup" accuracy error, either it caught my motion too late, too early or never caught it.  That can be very frustrating particularly in the middle of a point where you think you are doing well.  I also could not for the life of me figure out serving, it just doesn't feel right at all, so that's a bummer as well.  All my serves ended up being really lame. 

The Grand Slam mode gives you a number of practice games and chances to earn a legend's skill (they give you one for free which is cool), before dumping you into the tournament.  The bad news is instead of playing some nobody in the first round, I end up against John McEnroe.  WTF is up with that?  I have no idea how they generate the tournament but sending you in your first real match against an old school legend just seems odd and misplaced.  Not that it really mattered, I actually did better against him than I did against most of the girls.  I haven't found a mode where I can use my dude and pick who I play against, which is kind of annoying.  I'd like to practice with him against bad opponents for testing.  Maybe I should try selecting a top player to see if that helps.

All that said, there were some points and rallies that absolutely felt like tennis without the running, and were absolutely amazing.  I can still feel a bit of the burn from all the swinging right now.  Backhands in particular felt right for me; I hit one killer backhand that was just a thing of beauty and earned me a "gold star".  At one point, I was so into the game that I swung so hard I hit my hand/controller against the treadmill next to me.  Ouch.

All in all it's tough to make a full assessment.  I am wondering if my accuracy issues were due to object interference in the room or a bad calibration, or the odd angle I have my setup at, or even the batteries running low on my controller.  My setup could probably use some work and I really could use more room to be able to swing more freely, so I don't want to falsely malign the software, game controller or accuracy.

If you're a tennis fan, I'd say it's certainly worth a whirl.  Of course as my sister said to me, you could just go outside and play tennis for real  nod
3564  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 11, 2009, 12:06:36 AM
Back to Pimp Mode, here's an article on the 3GS processor improvements:

Makes it comparable to the Pre, and sounds like game graphics are going to jump up a huge notch.  Considering how good the present graphics already are, this seems pretty incredible.

More importantly, all of this added power somehow comes with *better* battery performance, the conjecture being that more efficiency in starting and running instructions expends more instantaneous power but less over time.  Very cool.
3565  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 10, 2009, 11:56:08 PM

Quote from: McNutt on June 10, 2009, 06:17:12 PM

If they sell you a phone at a reduced cost on condition that you pay their monthly fee for 2 years, how are they punishing you by expecting you to abide by that contract?  What's in it for them to let you break that contract?  I'm not a fanboy of AT&T or Apple, but I don't understand that. 

What's in it for them?  My undying devotion and dedication to them lol.

Seriously though, I look at it like this.  Apple and AT&T "invest" an extra $200 in me, and I am giving them a minimum of 1 year (when the next "upgrade" comes out) of fees ($70 x 12 = $840) + who knows how much money spent at the Apple Store (estimate $600 /yr) + free pimpage from me.  This is operating under the presumption that they are *actually* losing $200 per phone to give me this price, don't forget I am still nominally paying $399.  If they keep me happy the entire 2 years, double the amount the 2 companies make on me to close to $3000.  If they lose me, that's 1400% profit they collectively threw away.  I'm pretty sure anyone who wants to make money would invest $200 today to make $3000 in 2 years.  This is not even mentioning the "good will" or "word of mouth" factor which they could potentially generate.

Irony of this post: yesterday I helped one friend of mine complete his purchase of a new iPhone, an hour ago I convinced a co-worker to upgrade, and then even as I was typing this another friend/co-worker came by (longtime Blackberry user) and asked me about Apple Care and such for his new iPhone purchase.  So that's 3 new sales I helped to influence, even when I wasn't pimping lol. 
3566  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 10, 2009, 05:34:18 PM

Quote from: Chaz on June 09, 2009, 02:12:55 PM

Quote from: Destructor on June 09, 2009, 02:08:55 PM

Why do iDiots think that the rules don't apply to them?

Because buying an Apple product makes them special, unique, and elevates them to a level above mere mortals, just like everyone else who owns an Apple product.  How dare ATT stand in the way of them buying an Apple product!  Of course, you'd think that they'd be used to paying several hundred dollars more for their products by now.

I love how when it comes to bitch-slapping Apple fans, suddenly people are happy to side with and support inane corporate policies that wireless companies have  saywhat   (Side note: wtf is up with $0.15 a text message, that's got to be the most bogus ripoff known to man.)

- - -

Anyway, like Ike, I would gladly pay the same price a new user would and sign up for yet another 2-year contract extension without a second thought.  It has never made sense to me, Apple or no, why any company would choose to punish you for wanting to upgrade your hardware (and continue to pay them for months upon end).  Yes yes yes I realize this is how it's been, but as Fireball said, it's a stupid system that we seem to be stuck with.  Why not offer some sort of trade in or rebate program?  There are plenty of ways a company (in this case 2 companies) can acknowledge that they actually appreciate your ongoing business and support.  Instead, they dare you to pay a termination fee ($175).  How stupid is this?  Keeping someone 2-3 months longer nets them more money than the stupid fee.  For Apple, every customer they retain is a potential for limitless music/movies/Apps purchases, and soon for rentals and mini-transactions.  Why not do whatever it takes to keep these customers happy?  

Ultimately these kinds of policies only hurt the companies that continue them.  I have brought in at least 5 people I know of to the iPhone, and at least 10 more are keenly aware of it because of me.  Insignificant numbers, I realize, but every bit counts in a competitive arena like this.  I am a walking talking posting advertisement/demo for Apple (and by default AT&T) - and one should never underestimate the power of word of mouth.  I am not saying they "owe" me something special, but irritating your most dedicated fanbase seems like a poor strategy for the long haul.  The fact is with a little good will, I'm guessing most customers would choose to remain loyal to both camps (Apple and AT&T) - they'd pay the advertised price and sign up for another 2 years.  That's no longer the case, as you can see by many who would normally have jumped on this choosing to wait or switch to the Pre or plan their exit to another carrier.    

As for me, I'm still at this moment a whore for Apple and AT&T's bitch.  But I will say this, any sense of brand/service loyalty I felt for either of them is gone, and I won't hesitate to jump ship (including early termination or whatever it takes) when something better comes along.  

I guess my question ultimately is whether it is/was really worth it for the combined Apple/AT&T machine to irritate the strongest part of their fanbase for the price of $200 a customer?  Again, compare that measily $200 to a year (or 2) worth of monthly fees and Apple Store purchases.  Stupid business decision if you ask me.
3567  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Class of Heroes - a mix of Etrian Odyssey and Wizardry on: June 09, 2009, 08:45:45 PM
I haven't completely given up yet.  I'll try it out some more tonight, and read up on the guy's impressions when I get a chance.

As to other questions/comments here:

Wizardry clone?  Yes indeed, but Dark Spire is even more so, IMHO.

Resting to regain MP?  Unless I missed it, you have to go to the Dorm to "Rest" and they charge you 100g to regain MP/HP, and that's for EACH character - so it hurts bad.

Other odd things?  I got a drop of a piece of food that needed 600+g just to appraise.  Even if I stole all the gold from the premades it wouldn't be enough to appraise this food lol.  And you can't sell the item unless it is appraised!

- - -

I was a Wizardry nut back in the day, so I don't mind a difficult game.  I do mind what feels like an unreasonable game.  Even Dark Spire felt less frustrating (aside from the exploding chests - but at least you could simply choose to avoid those).  If you do try this one, I highly recommend starting with some pre-made characters, or do what that guy did and mix your party at least half and half.  I think it was a gross oversight to not balance your new made characters properly so you could easily jump in with all level 1 characters, or easily get them to lvl 2 as the premades are.  I may start over or mix up my party again some to see if that helps.  Still, a game like this should assume players are going to want to make their own party from scratch, at least I would have assumed so.
3568  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Class of Heroes - a mix of Etrian Odyssey and Wizardry on: June 09, 2009, 05:22:00 AM
First Impressions of Class of Heroes (CoH):

AVOID at all costs - unless you are a true masochist!!!

I really really really wanted to love this game.  After getting a nice retro nostalgia going with a brief stint in The Dark Spire, I was really looking forward to a more casual version of old-school Wizardry type gaming with prettier graphics and more friendly gameplay.  It appeared CoH was going to fit the bill perfectly, with its randomly generated dungeon levels, cute graphics, multiple classes and races - it looked like the perfect fit.  Sadly, after a few hours fighting with the game, unless I did something horribly wrong, this game is actually significantly HARDER and more frustrating than Dark Spire.  The worst part of it is that it seems to be coated in cuteness that makes it appear kid friendly.  Be forewarned, it is anything but friendly and every detail that looks on the surface to be fun/cute/simple is in reality nuanced to frustrate you.

You start the game out either creating a party or grabbing some pre-mades.  If you're like me, and I think most people play this way, you're going to want to build your own party of misfits.  That's half the fun, creating different race/class combos that are personal to you.  After going through a bunch of text-based quest areas (essentially you just keep reading text in different menu locations to acquire more quests and read through tutorial info), you think you're ready for 1 of 2 labyrinth areas.  The first seems geared to be a really easy castle area, I was imagining a tutorial like the one DS had to level you up.  You're given a map that automaps for you, very nice it appears.  Then, abruptly, my first encounter, I can't hit a single thing and I'm completely wiped out by a group of bats.  This is supposedly in "Normal" mode (there is a "Masochist" mode that is supposedly more difficult and harder to recover from.).  Trouble is with the party wipe, there's no way to resurrect anyone that I can tell, though the dead members seem to be around.  I think you can grab another character and with enough money rez them - whatever.  I reload a save and try again.  Second time I beat one group of mobs so I think maybe it's a fluke, but soon enough I run into a "lightning trap" which proceeds to dismantle my party.  WTF?!?  So I go back and try to load the pre-mades, thinking maybe it was never intended for you to play a full party of Lvl 1 newbs.  They are Level 2 at the outset and have 100g starter cash.  This helps quite a bit, but ultimately I run into other problems.  Everything is horribly expensive, even resting to recover spell points costs 1 hefty 100g - and trust me, 100g at the outset feels like a ton.  You have to have your items appraised which costs money you don't have.  Buying even a starter ranged weapon is completely out of reach, so you are generally stuck with a worthless back row (no ranged weapons and out of spells because resting is too expensive).

All in all, an exercise in frustration.  I can't imagine what the developers were thinking, dressing the game up in such a cute and friendly fashion, then shoving a stick up your ass in virtually every department.  I can imagine some things I should have done better strategically, but the game just doesn't seem to reward you with anything.  Visually the game is more appealing (to me) than DS, and I like the race/class diversity.  There seems to be a lot of depth in items, modding items and alchemy, but in terms of actual gameplay, every element seems near impossible to get into.  You can't even "grind" effectively as you do in DS, as the randomness of the encounters seems to be F-ed up.  Since the costs to heal/rest are so pricey, you are essentially stuck with a weakened party.

Anyway, if anyone else gets this and has more success, I'd love to hear about it.  As I said at the outset, I was really looking forward to getting into this game, and thus far it's been nothing but a disappointment.  I'll try to read up some more on it tomorrow.
3569  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Hangover on: June 08, 2009, 11:48:30 PM
One of the funniest movies I've ever seen, absolutely loved it.  I'd say the final third was a little weak, but wrapped things up nicely and was saved by the final credits.

But yes, definitely crude and rude and very nasty, so if you aren't into that kind of humor, you should probably stay away.
3570  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 08, 2009, 11:46:56 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on June 08, 2009, 10:21:42 PM

Well, I was considering upgrading from my 3g iphone to the new one, but apparently for current 3g subscribers, there is no subsidized price. We get to pay the full price which is $399/$499 for the GS. Ouch.

Yeah I'm not happy about that at all, but who am I kidding, I am an Apple whore and will cave in.  I'm considering cancelling and paying the early termination fee and starting a new account, which would save roughly $50 ($175-$5*10 + $36 new activation VS $199 + $18).  BTW, I saw somewhere else that the actual "full" price was yet another $200 more, $599/$699 so they are supposedly still giving a "discounted" price. 
3571  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NBA Playoffs 2009 on: June 05, 2009, 06:45:56 PM
Game 1 was a Lakers fan's thing of beauty.  Aside from a few no shows (Sasha, come on!), this team showed again (similar to Game 6 against Denver) what it can do when it's well prepared and firing on all/most cylinders.  The rest period obviously did them some good, Kobe looked electrifyingly energetic.  I've watched hundreds of games over the years and this was definitely one of Kobe's finest.  Of course it didn't hurt to have little Lee guarding him.  The scary thing is Pau and Odom only had average games, Pau in particular has a lot more to give I believe. 

All that said, I do worry about a Game 2 letdown.  This is the one Orlando has the best chance to steal - Lakers in spite of whatever they tell the press will be feeling overconfident.  Orlando can play with the biggest chip on their shoulders, and if smart will go back to what worked for them in the earlier series (Turkoglu making plays). 

Ultimately it all depends on which Lakers team shows up.  The one that stands around watching the game play around them (in losses to Houston and Denver), or the one that "brings it" every possession (last night and Game 6 Denver)?
3572  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 04, 2009, 09:49:06 PM
Battery life I've found is hit or miss, particularly depending on the apps I use.  My guess is certain apps have memory leaks or some odd behavior that allows them to drain the battery even after you leave them.  Twice now my battery drained out over night for no apparent reason.  Under "normal" usage though, it's hard to complain as I generally need to recharge maybe once a week.  The question is what constitutes "normal" usage in this new era where the one unit can be used for so many things.  With the games getting better and better each day, you could argue this is a portable gaming platform rivalling the PSP and DS.  And this is on top of being your phone and your iPod and your web browser. 

Oh yeah, there is a free App called "Free Memory" which I highly recommend.  It esentially clears out extraneous things in RAM so you have 20MB free.  More importantly, I believe this helps memory life as it kills off any rampant background processes.

All in all I don't think you can beat the iPhone in an overall comparison.  The Pre looks cool, but my guess is if you took all things into account (user interface, gazillion Apps, App Store, music/videos, web browser, etc etc), the iPhone is still a better piece of hardware (with a superior software support system) if you are the type that takes advantage of all its considerable featureset. 

Oh, and as others mentioned, possibly still the best portable web browsing experience.  The responsiveness and intuitiveness of the interface is just unparalleled.  A guy was trying to show off his new PDA (one of the Verizon ones) the other day, and it was just a joke compared to the iPhone.  He had a stylus out, and kept making gestures back and forth but couldn't get it to zoom or scroll or basically do anything he was trying to do.  I just kept my mouth shut.
3573  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: June 04, 2009, 05:22:49 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 04, 2009, 04:51:40 PM

The few programs I tried seemed very responsive, and I came away pretty impressed. Not exactly deep insights, but it was nice to finally fiddle with one.  icon_smile

Keep in mind that there is a major OS upgrade on the way shortly (3.0) so it's only gonna get a lot better very soon.  And more than likely (I'd say 75-80%), a new version of the hardware should be available in a month or two, maybe sooner.  Announcement may be made next week at the WWDC.

Projected features of the new iPhone (all but confirmed):

- 32GB memory
- 2.2MP camera with video recording
- faster processor/overall speed
- built-in compass

I've also heard rumors (less likely) of:

- built-in FM radio
- front side camera for iChat
3574  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 04, 2009, 05:14:31 PM

Quote from: Godzilla Blitz on June 04, 2009, 04:03:21 AM

I've been reading conflicting things about the player's ability to change the town's population...

Can you make up a bunch of sims and just stick them in houses in the town? Or are you limited to four lots/families to play with at one time?

Can you make NPCs and add them to the town's population? Are the NPCs the same every game?

I was able to make new Sims and drop them into my existing saved game.  You can either switch to play the new one(s) as your "main" or allow them to exist in the town.  I can't remember exactly how I was able to do it, but I think there is an "Edit Town" button which lets you add new Sims (another button actually bounces you back to the Sim creation tool).  I added Jack and Kate (from Lost) so far.  I was planning to see if they would eventually get together but I think I put Kate too far across town.  So instead I spent the rest of the night flirting with Jack myself lol Fabulous It was pretty funny when we were dancing together at 1 am and his housemate kicked me out.  I'll see how many Lost cast members I can make before I get bored.

Another oddity I ran into, and it may have been a mistake I made, but I ran into a copy of myself in the park while my "real" guy was at work.  That was kind of creepy.

I don't know if the NPCs are the same every game, but I think they are selected from a set pool.   
3575  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Some kind of Magic The Gathering game coming to XBLA on: June 03, 2009, 11:52:15 PM
This looks really cool, thanks for the update!!!  I had no idea they were working on it.

Here's a link to the website with gameplay footage:
3576  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 03, 2009, 11:40:56 PM

Quote from: Razgon on June 03, 2009, 06:14:16 PM

But, the thing is - IS there any developement?? Other than people getting older? Do they do anything fun? Will someone become a monster and marry everyone in the neighborhood? Will someone try and kill everyone? Will someone just pack up and leave head for the road?

I suppose that's the "point" of playing/watching the world develop (if indeed there is any point at all), or at least one of the aspects to the game/simulation - to see if any of these things happen, with or without your intervention.  I did read certain NPCs may leave, so that's certainly a possibility.  You could always drop in some "evil" trait people to see if they might kill people (that just gave me an idea for a horror movie type of scenario, drop in one evil guy with 10 others and trap them in a building), and you might be able to get someone to not necessarily marry everyone in the neighborhood, but at least do a bunch of them.
3577  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Someone hold Starshifter....... Clash of the Titans Re-Make on: June 03, 2009, 06:02:59 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 02, 2009, 11:45:38 PM

the first pic of a Terminator infiltrating ancient Greece!

Way too much clothing on Sam  thumbsdown
3578  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 03, 2009, 05:51:49 PM
You know what might be interesting if we had enough people playing here - everyone make a Sim of themself and upload it, then we all download each others' Sims so you could throw them in a house/town together and let chaos ensue  icon_razz

First impressions: honestly the game looked/felt very much like what I remember Sims 2 did.  Which is kind of odd since I thought it should be significantly different after so many years.  This is both good and bad, as it feels immediately very familiar but not (at the outset anyway) like a really advanced sequel.  I suppose this might say more about me and the way I choose to play these Sims games more than the game itself.  The fact is the new "open neigborhood" is a major change/enhancement, as is the aging and evolutionary aspects, and I think these will only become more interesting as you spend more time in game.  What I'd like to do at some point is just create Sims and a setup, and then just watch how things evolve without my own tampering.

I loved the Sim creator, very fun to play with.  I could see losing yourself for hours making new Sims or trying to make Sim versions of real people.  Also like the ease of which you can select different outfits (normal, formal, sleep, swim).

My first day was spent following the tutorial advice, which kind of guided the way it went.  I bought a couch, then grabbed the paper and got a job at the theater.  I then headed to town to take a guitar class.  On the way I bumped into a lady and talked about my new job while charming her with my mad funny skillz.  She started to give me the heart symbol which freaked me out so I took off to my class (I was just trying to use her to complete one of my achievements).  On the way home I stopped by the gym to see if I could hit on anyone.  I took a brief swim and then looked around.  There was only one guy there who I wasn't that into, but I still chatted him up for possible future friendship.  Exhausted, I made it home, took a shower and went to bed.

The one thing I wish they had was a town creator (I think you can edit the town but I haven't tried it yet).  I'd like to be able to start from scratch and create more extreme towns, like one filled with bad guys and military bases.  Or as I said drop in only select Sims of my choice.  I think this is all do-able in the present game, but requires more work than I like.

Ultimately while I can't say I'm really into the "game," I love the entire sandbox aspect and the potential it presents in terms of NPC AI and creating living, breathing, evolving environments.  I was commenting elsewhere how I would love to see an RPG that allowed for this type of evolution, blending something like Morrowind or a Bioware game with Sims 3 evolution.
3579  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic announced on: June 02, 2009, 06:33:11 PM
Call me a cynic, but I still don't get why devs love to do these "prequel" games/movies/books.  Particularly for a game, there's something just inherently uninteresting to me to know I'm set in the middle of a storyline which ultimately has less meaning because I know X years in the future how it's going to turn out (this bugged me in both LOTRO and SWG, and on TV, Enterprise).  I'm sure some will argue it's the journey that counts, and while I can understand that, I'd ask why can't I have an interesting journey in a story/timeline where I *don't* know what the future holds?  In other words, would it be so horrible to place a Star Wars game storyline after Episode 6? 

Another thing that bother me about this KOTORO implementation is the class structure.  You have troopers, who generally equate to soldier fodder, and then Jedi, with all sorts of force powers.  Just seems inherently unbalanced for an MMO setting, it's like Nathan vs. Peter in Heroes (I can fly!  Well I can absorb powers, stop time, telekinesis, travel in time....).  And while I like the idea of an MMO that really delves into lore and storyline, it also seems like that style of gameplay might be better served in a single player game.  In AoC, the beginning portion which was very single player-esque worked very well, but the reality is it more or less isolated you from other players.  And it ended fast enough that it didn't impact the MMO-world.

All in all, I've been a Bioware fan for a long time, but I am really not sure this is going to be a slam dunk.
3580  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Sims 3 gold! on: June 02, 2009, 06:14:27 PM

Quote from: hepcat on June 02, 2009, 05:40:02 PM

I picked this up solely for the purpose of creating a race of light intolerant cannibals who I will forcibly breed in the basement of my sim's home.

That sounds fun!

What I'd really like to do is recreate the Lost island and all the Dharma initiative and Others, etc.  Just don't have enough time so I think instead I'll just try to make a bunch of hot guyz, or perhaps a house full of my favorite American Idols  Fabulous
3581  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NBA Playoffs 2009 on: June 02, 2009, 05:55:40 PM

Quote from: Kemper Boyd on June 02, 2009, 05:37:25 AM

I think it will be Lakers in six. I really don't see Orlando winning three in a row at home and I bet the Lakers will win at home. The Lakers are a much better match up with the Magic than the Cavs were plus Kobe actually has a quality supporting cast that LaBron can only dream of.

All of those threes are a bit worrisome, though...

The threes scare the crap outta me, particularly with the Lakers' sometimes lackadaisacal defense in meeting outside shooters.  I hate watching them leave the best 3-point shooters wide open game after game - and in Orlando's case it will be almost everyone on the court!
3582  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / "I'm Feeling Lucky" on: June 02, 2009, 01:53:45 AM
When's the last time you typed your name into Google and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky"?  What did you end up with?

As for me, it pops me into an old old web page I did when I was in grad school - that thing has got to be close to 15 years old lol.  Back then the whole "world wide web" was a completely new thing, and it was a big deal to "publish" your webpage and make it public.  I have no idea why it has persisted so long.

On the bright side, at least it pops up with something that is actually me.  Apparently there are a number of people with my exact name (first and last not middle), and when I hit Facebook, a much younger, better looking version of "me" shows up.  Grrrrrr.
3583  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NBA Playoffs 2009 on: June 01, 2009, 06:44:13 PM

Quote from: Big Jake on June 01, 2009, 06:16:03 PM

No way are the Lakers making the finals the next two years.  Kobe has crossed the 1100+ game mark.  Even as good a job as he does taking care of himself, he's due for a breakdown/diminshed skills.  Both Houston and Denver tested the Lakers, and both will have enough talent to beat the Lakers.

If Lakers can make an off season move for a legitimate starting point guard and/or consistent shooter that can play D, I'd have to disagree.  Kobe may be going downhill, but Lamar and Pau (assuming uninjured) are still close to their prime.  And actually a slower, wiser Kobe may be better than a faster out of control version.  That still gives Lakers a 3 All-Star lineup.  If they can fill their horrible PG spot (move Fisher to backup or just drop him for Shannon Brown), they could still contend.  Bynum is such a wildcard, they can still package him with a couple of others (Farmar, Walton) and trade for a high quality guard.  Doesn't have to be an All-Star but should be NBA starting material.  My dream would be to get Deron Williams but obviously that's just a fantasy.  Not as much of a fantasy is Artest who seems to be dying to come to the Lakers and Houston could use a backup center. 

Starting Lineup:  Kobe, Artest, Ariza, Odom and Pau

- - -

But that's next year.  We still have a big fight this year and I have no idea how it's going to turn out.  Orlando beat the Lakers up twice in the regular season and just looked like a superior team.  Inside/outside game with (at least) 4 incredible 3-pt shooters.  Lakers have.... home court advantage lol.
3584  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: all you horror folks - "Drag Me to Hell"? on: May 29, 2009, 05:53:40 PM
LA Times also gave it a great review, which shocked me since they generally hate everything, particularly scifi/horror.  But the reviewer seemed to love it, Sam Raimi, and compared it to "Evil Dead."  I also read an article about some of the disgusting stuff they did to the main actress, Alison Lohman, like shoot projectile maggots into her mouth and bury her in mud lol. 
3585  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Why do I keep getting MMO's on: May 29, 2009, 05:50:20 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on May 28, 2009, 01:08:05 PM

-The death penalty from Spellborn (or something similar). Getting a bit obscure here, but its a system that rewards not dying rather than punishing the player for dying.

Holy crap!  That was something I was vehemently advocating during WoW Alpha about... 5 or 6 years ago lol.  Finally someone did it?!? 

The thing about MMOs I simply don't understand is the whole "endgame" concept that's been religiously held to.  Every time a new MMO comes out, we talk about this or that feature, but how ultimately it comes down to how good the "endgame" is.  Well, why can't the f-ing entire game BE the endgame?  Make the game fun from the outset and don't deviate from what makes it fun.  Let the players enjoy the features and content you developed, instead of forcing them to jump through a million hoops to get there.  Why spend months building this gorgeous, challenging instance/zone, that only 1 or 2% of your playerbase ever gets to experience?  Seems like a waste of money to me.

Take WAR for instance, they did a great job giving you access to most of the gaming elements at the outset (pvp, pve, rvr, dungeoning, scenarios, quests, pq raids, etc), then slowly upped the ante and difficulty at a decent pace.  People just about universally loved it, and enjoyed the game until somewhere in the middle of T2 where everything came to a grinding halt.  Suddenly everything that made the game fun became a grinding chore of repetitiveness, access to content became gear limited, and people quit in droves.  I'd say WAR has possibly the best first 20 hours in an MMO - but why couldn't that be bottled through the whole gaming experience, or at least extended to, say, 100 hours?

Guild Wars would be my example of closest to giving the best overall MMO gaming experience in terms of all the fun content immediately accessible, allowing people to play together, quick "progress", great mix of pvp and pve, plus NPCs to fill in the gaps when needed.  Unfortunately one of the best features, the GvG aspect, became impossibly competitive unless you had a dedicated team of players.  And the pve, having been balanced for pvp, just didn't provide the kick that a true "loot and level" like Diablo does.  I'm still praying GW2 is not vapourware and delivers what was intended, giving us everything from GW but even more/better.
3586  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Chronicles of Spellborn is out! on: May 29, 2009, 05:29:48 PM

Quote from: Aganazer on May 04, 2009, 01:21:43 PM

So if you play it like WoW, then its gonna feel like WoW, a mindless quest grind where you avoid all text you can in order to accomplish another objective to level up as quickly as possible. That style of play doesn't work in TCoS. It would be like playing City of Heroes and totally skipping the character creator. As an avid fantasy book fan and a MMO gamer since Meridian 59, I am enjoying my time in TCoS more than I have in any MMOG and most single player RPG's.

It sounds really good in theory... but did they fix the creature spawn issues in the opening area?  I really wanted to like this game, and was trying to play it at the outset more the way you describe (as a story based game rather than a levelling game) but was completely turned off at the outset when advancing the main story required a "Kill X bears" quest, and there were no bears to be found, aside from a few being heavily camped.  I tried for 3 days in a row (at release) and then gave up.
3587  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Fall 2009 TV Schedules - what will you be watching? on: May 22, 2009, 09:46:58 PM
Wow, even with the cancelled shows, I will watch way too much TV  icon_razz

NBC: Heroes/Chuck, Day One, The Office, maybe Southland

ABC: Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Flash Forward, V!!!

CBS: Survivor, Three Rivers (maybe, depends on how much shirtless hunks are shown)

FOX: 24, American Idol, Glee, Dollhouse, Fringe, Human Target

CW: 90210, Melrose, Vampire Diaries (yes my alternate personality is a tween girl)

Syndicated: Legend of the Seeker (hunkalicious)
3588  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NBA Playoffs 2009 on: May 22, 2009, 09:33:59 PM

Quote from: Devil on May 08, 2009, 01:11:43 AM

They didn't get the calls in game one so they gave up. Whhhaaaaaa!

This isn't the point at all.  Clearly you watch basketball so you know that as much as it is a game of skill, it's also a game of momentum shifts (in and out of game) as well as mental toughness, player confidence, and as you say "heart".  I don't know what would have happened, but certainly the entire outlook of the series last year would have been different had the Lakers took Game 1 in Boston. 

But that was last year, time to move on.  Denver vs. Orlando in the Finals?  Did anyone guess that at the beginning of the year?
3589  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 21, 2009, 09:41:39 PM

Quote from: Graham on May 21, 2009, 06:45:23 PM

Quote from: Sith Lord on May 21, 2009, 10:45:06 AM

I don't remember the previous years' Idol finales too well, which I think is an indicator that last night's kicked their asses. I was surprised at what a cavalcade of great artists they had on - that show had to cost a fortune. Sure was fun to watch though, especially on TiVo when I could skip past the ones I wasn't too interested in. Speaking of Black-Eyed Peas, aren't they supposed to have a well-endowed blond hanging around? She was the only thing about that group that I ever found interesting.

I asked my wife about this a little bit, and for the show she works with doesn't pay anyone that appears on the show.  They pay for all expenses if someone is coming on as a guest to talk about a subject.  If there is someone coming to promote something, they don't pay for anything.  I can't say that this is the case for American Idol, but I think my wife mentioned that BEP has a new album coming out, so that could explain their screen time and elaborate dancers.

BEP has the hottest single out right now (Boom Boom Pow) which they played last night.  The blond you are imagining (I think) is/was Fergie, who you saw last night and just has her hair died dark at the moment.

Part of the song was indeed bleeped, I read, at the request of Will.i.Am (lead singer) himself.

- - -

Regarding the conservative vote, I don't think it was necessarily an anti-gay/homophobe thing, I just think there is a strong voting block of people who are quieter in general, but good at getting out and actually voting.  They were probably split between Gokey and Kris, and migrated to Kris once Danny was out.  Taylor Hicks benefitted a lot from this voting block, probably Carrie Underwood as well.  I read an article earlier predicting Gokey would likely beat Adam from this block as well. 

- - -

As for Toe's comment about the tour, the top 2 are actually recording during the tour, can't be much faster than that.  Both Davids last year had singles out while the tour was still going on and albums out in November.  I imagine if any of the others actually get immediate deals they could work something out too.  Of course the quality of the albums likely suffered from not being focused, but the producers are definitely striking as fast as they can.
3590  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Survivor Tocantins on: May 21, 2009, 05:56:32 AM

Quote from: Arclight on May 18, 2009, 10:05:42 AM

The right player won in my opinion.
The only person who had any kind of a chance against JT was Taj and she would have only got a vote or two.

Very well played from beginning to end.

I'm beginning to think Steve and JT might have something more going on than just a Survivor Alliance friendship. I think rritch might be onto something with those two.

Obviously a lot of it is fantasy material, but the way the two of them carried on around each other was sometimes more like lovers/partners than just friends.  At the final tribal council, the whole "we talked so much about the final breakfast together" comment (which you could also have read as talking about waking up together from the last night alone together) was interesting and almost embarassing.  And the way they both hurt each other's feelings, at the end completely ignoring everything around them (jury and Jeff) except for each other, was terribly intriguing.  Then at the reunion, watching how each of them puts his hand on the other's knee at different times, and the long whisper from JT to Stephen and hug after hug after hug.  Ok come on guys, I don't even hug my partner that much lol.  We also never saw an ounce of footage from both nights they spent completely alone together (reward challenge and final night).  Intriguing.  I don't think they really had anything going on, but it's pretty rare to see two guys have that much chemistry with each other.  I can almost hear JT saying "I wish I could quit you, Stephen!!"  icon_lol

Either way it was amazing to see someone like JT so universally loved by pretty much everyone on this show, pretty much from day one.  No one ever talked about getting rid of him, just bizarre. 
3591  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 21, 2009, 05:42:50 AM

Quote from: Sith Lord on May 21, 2009, 02:11:40 AM

Holy crap, that was a shocker. Way to go Kris!

Didn't you read my post above yours?  Not a shocker at all.   icon_razz  Swooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!  For the first time in Idol history, the person I voted for in the final won!  Yes, that's right - I've backed every second placer since season 3 lol.

Analysis? Presuming they don't lie when they give numbers, last week's voting was within a million votes.  Even assuming Adam was ahead (which we don't know), it's not hard to imagine Danny's conservative and cougar voting blocks going straight (no pun intended) to Kris.  Moral of this story: never underestimate conservative Christian voting blocks, in ANY election.  And don't forget those Cougars too!

And the moral of American Idol?  Like Survivor, never get complacent or buy too much into your own hype machine.  This killed Gokey, who I contend would also have won over Adam in the final 2 had he not faltered so much in the final weeks. And once you really think about it, Adam himself also became complacent towards the end, maybe even a bit tentative or conservative in his choices.  His early unpredictability started showing as alternating weekly between soft and scream modes, then in the end blending soft/scream into the same performance (One and Change Gonna Come).  His promise to surprise the audience each week was actually left unfulfilled.  I still remember earlier in the thread where love or hate him, you couldn't wait to see what he would do next - something that waned in the later portion of the contest.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, he never defined himself as an artist, it was like he was an amalgam of theater geek, diva queen, emo god, 80s rock star, fab glam guy - but honestly I was left wondering what kind of music he would sing in the "real" world...

And then in the final night, his Mad World redux was almost an exact duplicate of his earlier performance (see last year's Archuleta Imagine reprise which was equally equal) where Kris actually enhanced and improved his Ain't No Sunshine.  His second performance was great but predictable, following the same pattern he used the previous week on One.  And his inability to transform the winner's song (perhaps an impossible task) left him even more vulnerable last night.  He needed something (perhaps like tonight's dazzling and energetic performance with Kiss) to remind the audience of just how exciting and electrifying he might potentially be.

In the end, you might say Adam lost the competition as much as Kris won it.  Not to take anything away from my cutie pie Kris, but it was clearly Adam's to win or lose early on.  Kudos to Kris for staying in it, and just being a consummate professional, upping his game each week to win it all.
3592  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elemental: War of Magic on: May 20, 2009, 11:01:53 PM

Quote from: Farscry on May 20, 2009, 03:17:57 PM

I liked the bots idea too, but if it's not turning out well in playtesting, we're quite possibly better off just seeing that feature chopped now so they can focus development time on better features. smile

It's interesting to say "people hate them" regarding the bots prior to larger scale beta testing.  Who are these people that hated them?  I think it's a bit presumptuous to simply assume the general public will also hate what the relatively small testing base does.  Kind of disappointing. 
3593  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS RENEWED! Chuck vs. The Third Season **spoilers for S2**! on: May 20, 2009, 10:58:21 PM
Hooray!!!!!  Go Chuck!!!

With Chuck and Dollhouse both surviving, I'm pretty happy. Still sad to see Terminator lose out but you can't have everything!
3594  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 20, 2009, 10:55:58 PM
First Round: Though both players chose arguably their best songs, I thought like Simon that Kris won hands down.  Just a much more intimate performance from Kris on Ain't No Sunshine.  Adam was smart to bring out one of his best subtle performances of the year (my personal favorite from him), but I stil think Kris did an incredible job.  If he had saved this for the final performance, I think it might have won the whole thing for him.

Second Round: While I enjoyed Kris more, I though Adam won with more flair and energy and an interesting (though too screamy for me) version of Change Gonna Come.  Kris seemed a bit flat on What's Going On without enough changes to make it his own.

Third Round:  Horrible Kara song sung horribly by both contestants.  Terrible way to end the competition.  Adam was pitchy and all over the place.  Kris forgot a line or two but arguably did a bit better with it.  I think Kris should have switched it up strategically from Round 2 - do a vocal only there and then tried his more comfortable guitar version of this bad song to make it seem extremely different from Adam.  In fact I think he could have really Kris-ified this song and made it halfway decent but oh well.

All in all a decent competition.  I don't think Adam blew it out of the water the way people had hoped or expected.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say Kris gets just enough of Danny's conservative Christian votes and wins in the biggest dark horse/surprise voctory in Idol history.  Go Kris!!!
3595  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Survivor Tocantins on: May 15, 2009, 09:55:14 PM
So nothing too shocking, finally Coach goes home in an episode edited with 75% more Coach.  I loved the Jesus pose he struck on Exile, just classic.  And the poem.  And the constant whining about health issues, you'd think he was 57 not 37.  Hell I thought I was unhealthy at 40 but hearing him cry about all his ailments makes me feel like I'm in good health lol.  Jeff Probst on his blog said he wanted to create a TV show just based around Coach, and that was pretty much this episode.

I know this is totally a gay thing, but I have to say it was a turn on when JT and Stephen get the reward challenge and they pan into the room - one bed.  The sounds JT made in the shower were.... ummm..... yeah baby.   Interesting how most of the reward was edited out in favor of more Coach.  I want to see what JT and Stephen were doing dammit!!!

I fast forwarded through some of it, but it seemed like Stephen made the decision to oust Coach on his own?  Was his boyfriend JT actually pissed at the end?  I couldn't tell.  Interesting strategic move all in all.  JT covers his own ass, not lying to Coach, which will only help him in the final.  Stephen covers his own ass, because like it or not, Coach is still a bigger threat in the immunity challenges than the 2 gals or Stephen himself.  Honestly if Stephen actually wants to win, he should try to team with the gals to get rid of JT.  No one has a chance against JT in the Final 2 so unless something dramatically shifts, the winner is a foregone conclusion.

Don't forget, Finale on Sunday!!!!!

3596  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: May 15, 2009, 09:46:22 PM
Not to go too OT, but I'm surprised you straight guys haven't gotten into that hot demon chick and/or slutty Asian girl.  If I were straight they would be eye candy enough to make Reaper fun smile
3597  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 14, 2009, 05:16:43 AM
Yeah baby the swoonfest continues!!!!!!  Looks like another 2nd place finale for me lol, and I was hoping I didn't have to vote this year.

While I never thought it could happen, I actually wasn't surprised when it did.  I think the Gokester's scream, bad dancing and all around middle of the road performances finally finally did him in.  It's also never good news when you become the VFTW candidate and a joke/caricature as he did a couple weeks ago.  The big question is where do his votes go next week?

Dark horse Kris has his work cut out for him.   As much as I think it's already been decided (wtf was up with Katy Perry wearing an Adam Lambert cape?!?!  Bias anyone?), Kris has been underestimated week after week but has continued to impress when given the opportunity.  Keep in mind Adam was the one in the bottom 2 a couple weeks ago, and if you really think about it there's been a kind of same-y wearing thin of his scream/quiet trade back and forth.  Kris has been consistent throughout and mixed it up with different instruments and artistry, and a good portion of America likes a humble clean-cut contestant.  If he lets nerves get the best of him and plays it conservative like he did with Apologize, he's done.  But if he can pull one more trick out of his hat like he did with Heartless, then who knows?  Should be a fun finale.
3598  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360] Sacred 2 finally gold! on: May 14, 2009, 12:08:24 AM
Here's some very very early impressions of the 360 version:

Last night, Roguetad, Kublai (Skystride) and I have all been playing around with it.

I have to admit in the short burst I played it was quite a bit of fun. There are a lot of nuances and interface things that need to be figured out, but for the most part, it's easy to just jump in and start hack and slashing. It *almost,* and that's a big almost, feels like a Diablo 2 MMO, which I always wonder why no one has ever done. It would be nice if more than 4 (or is it 6?) people could play together online at once, but this is a nice start.

The world is much bigger and less linear than D2 or Titan Quest, which is nice in a MP environment. There's a huge world map which also has lots of small caves and other instances to explore if you so choose. They've added nice touches like the ability to teleport right to your party members on the map, and versatility in using your same character in solo or MP games, with a loot chest that transfers over to your other alts. I believe you can get a mount fairly soon, and there are teleport portals and rez nodes as well, all helping to make the huge world a little less huge and more accessible. Similar to other games of the genre, when you put on a new piece of gear it shows on your avatar in game.

One of the complaints about the game (IIRC) was the overwhelming amount of side quests. I think this was definitely a problem as they almost drowned out the main quest. On the one hand it's nice if you just want to jump in and play 20 minutes and feel like you've accomplished some minor goals. On the other it can get to be a distraction from the feel of a major story. I never got very far on the PC version mostly because of this.

I'm thinking the game is ultimately intended to be a long-term loot and level game, where story and questing is not really the point. You jump in (hopefully with some friends) and slash your way to better gear and cooler bad guys and scarier areas to defeat. There are 4 difficulties, the latter 2 you have to unlock by beating the previous one, and you can level to 200! Clearly the intention is (like D2) to hook you with core gameplay and allow you to build your character up the way you want to uberness and beyond.

The interface takes a bit of getting used to, and things like the skill and inventory system are not as clearly done as many JRPGs. However core combat feels good, and it's interesting how combat has translated to the console. In many ways the game feels like it should be a PC-only game, yet when it comes to combat the console controls feel really good, very much like Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance or Champions of Norrath. One major difference is it uses a timing/regen system for skills rather than mana, and this is something that can be influenced by gear. So you may find a high armor hat with great stats, but it might cause your cast times to lengthen. It's a slightly different system that some may or may not like.

Graphics are top notch for this genre. While it looked better in super high-res on my PC (had to buy the special edition for the high res textures), I can't really complain about how good it looked on a widescreen TV in 1080p. I didn't personally notice the jerkiness or whatever that I've read some people complaining about.

Ultimately because of the Xbox Live functionality, I think this game will be better on 360 than it was on PC. I like what they've done with MP, I just wish it could be extended to more players or a true MMO environment.
3599  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III on: May 14, 2009, 12:01:51 AM

Quote from: ROTC1983 on May 13, 2009, 08:42:15 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on May 13, 2009, 08:25:54 PM

Quote from: Malificent on May 13, 2009, 08:10:28 PM

Quote from: Sparhawk on May 13, 2009, 03:37:28 PM

god god god god god god god god god god god god

please let this come out this year!

Yeah, good luck with that. I'm optimistically hoping for Xmas 2010, but 2011 would not surprise me.

In 2010 they'll release the barbarian version, and then a version for each other class every 18 months after  icon_twisted

Good one Ceekay smile

The sad part is I know I would pay $50 for each new release.
3600  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 13, 2009, 04:23:11 AM
Aside, this from VFTW:

Adam Lambert closes out the show for the third straight week (ya think the show wants him to win?) with some “early Aerosmith” as Kara would say (she’s so stupid). Adam’s performace of “Cryin” is even more off key than “One” because the backup singer is horrendous. Seriously. The woman is screaming things that aren’t real notes. So when Adam attempts to harmonize, he sounds terrible. This is beyond painful to listen to. I guess it’s a slight compliment to Adam though that he isn’t blending with the terrible backup singer. I would suggest firing her, but I’d like to keep her around for next year so all of the performances are even more cacophonous and hilarious. Paula says that Adam set the bar so high, he should be getting frequent flyer miles and flying for free now. Paula is clearly flying high right now, so she knows all about that. Simon then literally begs the viewers at home to vote for Adam. This is the most pathetic show of favoritism the show has ever presented. If people at home don’t vote for Adam, who cares? Simon says, “It’s very easy to assume you’ll sail through to the final next week. The show is about finding a star and I want everyone to not assume that you’ll be there and to vote for you based on talent.” Adam must now lose at any cost. When Simon sells his soul and puts aside his shtick to beg America to vote for someone for the first time ever, you know there’s something wrong here.

I have to agree the pimpage in this season is/was horrible.  Of course I'm still bitter the producers turned on Archie last year but at least it wasn't as blatantly obvious.  And speaking of which, how is it Adam was given the cover/cover story of Entertainment Weekly?  Aren't there any rules against that sort of thing?  Talk about unfair pimpage, ugh.
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