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3881  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
3882  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.
3883  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.
3884  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
3885  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!
3886  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.
3887  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.
3888  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. 
3889  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.
3890  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.
3891  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)
3892  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?
3893  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.
3894  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. 
3895  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.
3896  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. 
3897  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!
3898  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!!!
3899  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!!!!!

3900  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
3901  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.
3902  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.
3903  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.
3904  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.
3905  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 13, 2009, 04:08:24 AM
Final 3 - here we go!

Judges' Choice

Gokey - prances around, decent vocal but the dancing became a bit distracting.  Not great but good enough to keep him in.

Kris - gee I wonder who the producers don't want to continue?  Stuck in the crappy middle slot, what's he gonna do?  They give him Apologize, I'm excited!  But... he seems tentative and does a rather distant version only at the piano, David Archuleta style.  Judges agree, it's too similar to the original, not very Kris-like.  I still loved it much more than the Gokefest.

Glamby - So he gets the pimp third slot along with Simon's choice?  Gee I wonder who the producers DO want in the competition?  Simon gives him an awesome song, One - also one of my all time favorites.  Adam does a mixed slow/scream version and integrates all his mad skillz into one great performance.  Personally I love his voice when he does the soft pretty Mad World side, I almost wish he had just stuck with that.  But he knows his audience, so he shows off the screams as well.  Should be a sure thing.

Singers' Choice

Gokey - singing You are So Beautiful.  Decent vocal, but nowhere near as great as the judges seem to think.  I found it nice sounding but actually kind of boring.  The judges pimp him so hard his own big ego almost explodes.

Kris - goes with Kanye's Heartless.  Nice semi-risky choice - I just heard The Fray version of this song, I presume he did too and that's what he's gonna do.  He goes totally alone, acoustic - wow.  Now this is the Kris that we want to see.  He did his own version, I love it, as Randy said, better than The Fray and the original.  He proves himself an artist again and redeems himself for the competition.  Not enough to stay in it, but an awesome swan song for him.  Love love love is all I have for him.

Dambert - you know he has to have something big up his sleeve doesn't he?  Commercial break, lots of antici --- pation.  He goes with Cryin' from Aerosmith, hmmmm.  Whew, nice ending there!  I actually thought the range was a bit off and the beginning was kind of weird with some chick's voice messing the sound up.  But the second half was cool and some nice controlled screaming.  I actually think he could have done something more interesting, but this seems to be the zone they like him in, so in that sense I'd call it a pretty safe performance.

All in all, in spite of a brilliant artistic performance, possibly one of the best in Idol history, I don't see Kris taking Danny's slot, so it should be the predictable Gokey/Adam finale everyone expected from about week 2.
3906  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Fisher should have gotten suspended more games,along with Kobe on: May 11, 2009, 05:36:08 PM
While I think Scola flopped big time, I wish Fish had been suspended more games to give the Lakers a chance to win without his sucktastic lack of defense or offense.  Lakers biggest weaknesses (point guard and defense) are being exposed nightly.
3907  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Harper's Island (TV) on: May 11, 2009, 05:32:50 PM
I find myself looking forward to it in a guilty pleasure sort of way.  I constantly bitch at the screen at how ludicrous everything is, then I get disappointed the episode is over.  But seriously, let's look at it from the groom's point of view:

Spoiler for Hiden:
- Uncle disappears without any word (OK chalk it up to him being a flake)
- Find a dead animal carcass in the bathtub (TIME TO LEAVE!!!!!!!!!)
- Another guest or 2 disappear (OK there are a lot of people, flake theory can still apply)
- Local chick commits suicide (bad karma, I would LEAVE)
- Find dead body on a boat with a ton of cash (even worse karma, someone slap this boy in the face)
- Bride to be almost drowns (BAD SIGN, LEAVE!)
- one best friend in charge of hiding cash never shows up to bachelor party (does he even give a crap?)
- yet ANOTHER dead animal carcass IN THE CHURCH (get the F OFF the island now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
3908  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA? on: May 07, 2009, 06:27:38 PM
ALso keep in mind amongst other arcane rules, the regular IRA you can take up to $10k our for new home purchase without penalty, the Roth IRA I believe you have to wait 5 years before you can do this.
3909  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 07, 2009, 05:15:36 AM

Quote from: rittchard on May 06, 2009, 08:11:28 PM

Quote from: Kemper Boyd on May 06, 2009, 04:41:01 AM

I'd love to see arrogant Gokey go home, but my gut tells me Kris is gone. He is a really cool street musician type guy, so he should be able to pull off some type off career out of this regardless. Plus I will miss rittchard's swooning...

lol, yeah typically my swoon picks get knocked off early.  As I said, Kris actually lasted a lot longer than I thought he might so that's cool. 

swwwwwooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!  Yeehaw the swoon continues one last week!

I was really surprised when Kris was announced first, though if you think about it, it's not too shocking.  Allison had been in the bottom 2 and 3 so many times, she likely never had the devoted voting blocks necessary.  That said, I would not be surprised at all if she ended up being more commercially successful than any of the others.  She has a great, raw voice, and great confidence for her age.  Give her Pink and Kelly Clarkson's songs/producers and she could have some major hits.
3910  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 06, 2009, 08:11:28 PM

Quote from: Kemper Boyd on May 06, 2009, 04:41:01 AM

I'd love to see arrogant Gokey go home, but my gut tells me Kris is gone. He is a really cool street musician type guy, so he should be able to pull off some type off career out of this regardless. Plus I will miss rittchard's swooning...

lol, yeah typically my swoon picks get knocked off early.  As I said, Kris actually lasted a lot longer than I thought he might so that's cool. 

BTW, I think I mentioned it before, even though I classify Adam as "screamy" it doesn't mean I didn't think it was good, just that he screamed a lot instead of doing his quiet "Mad World" thing.  As we all know now, there are definitely levels of good screaming (Adam) and horrific terrifying screaming (Danny).  What bugs me about Adam is that he seems too much to just be strategizing, switching from one persona to another, leaving me actually wondering what exactly his true persona is.  Goth rocker?  Wounded crooner?  Power screamer?  Elvis inpersonator?  Broadway showman?  You could argue it's fun that he "surprises" you every week, but that in itself starts to become predictable.  Just who is this guy really, and what kind of "artist" would he be? 

Speaking of artistry, it intrigues me that the "artists" in the competition, the ones that try to stay true to themselves, rarely win.  Kris, and I would argue Bird Girl, were the only notable "artists" who seemed to hold some sort of consistent style.  Daughtry was another good example.  I suppose Carrie and Ruben might be examples of winners who had definable styles.   Another interesting thing, as much as Randy insists it's a "singing competition" the best technical singers also seem to lose.  I'm thinking Melinda Doolittle and David Archuleta as 2 prime examples, though Carrie would be a good counter argument.   I suppose a lot of it is luck of the draw in terms of who you compete against in a given year. 

Anyway, it does bug me how the show is more and more producer driven/controlled.  The pimp slots, the pre-footage (aka sob stories), the judges' save, some of the special arrangements, the judges biases, etc - the last 2 years have dominated more and more.  This Final 4 aside from Kris is clearly what the judges and producers wanted from the getgo (Lil was likely the original choice) and lo and behold here they are.  Once Kris goes it's pretty much the 3 they wanted.   I wonder now, though, if after seeing last night's scream debacle plus the fun duet potential, the show/judges will turn against Gokey and go for a much more entertaining finale of Allison and Adam. 
3911  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: May 06, 2009, 04:12:32 AM
Interesting episode tonight, energy was kind of odd.  Obviously some weird stuff pre-show and backstage negating the dress rehearsal.  Then the surprise addition of duets between two pairs of Idols.  Combined with pimp slotting and judge favoritism, this definitely adds a new dimension.  Whether it affects voting is doubtful, but all in all it made the show feel off.  I would have preferred the standard two songs per contestant.

Adam - no surprises, back to screamy.  I didn't care for the song or performance, it all seemed pretty obvious and predictable to me.  Did he do a good job?  Sure he did but this is clearly his thing, so no stretch at all.  Of course the judges practically get on their knees and worship him.  Sickening. 

Allison - new hairdo and looking better as it covers up portions of her babyface cheeks.  I wasn't familiar with the song but I thought she gave the overall best vocal of the night.  Confident and powerful.  I never would have thought I'd say this since she was one of my least favorites all along, but if it were based on tonight, I think she should win. 

Duet - Kris and Gokey

I thought they sounded really good together, but poor apart.  Their voices harmonized well, Kris's softer voice taming Gokey's harsher sound.  I really liked that and Randy agreed.  Rest of the judges didn't seem to care.

Kris - I love him and I liked the performance overall, but the song just seemed too powerful for him, or his voice just wasn't powerful enough to control the song.  Still he was freakin hot in the tight black jeans and his guitar playing was good.  But... he looks like a sad puppy dog when the judges critique him.  Likely he knows his time is up and the judges have deemed him the sacrifice.

Gokey - I thought it was horrible from beginning to terrifying end.  First part was off and pitchy, some OK moments in the middle, but the final scream was just hideous and an abomination.  It made me want to cry.  Judges still give him a free pass.  His arrogance is starting to annoy me more and more, but I'm sure he realizes he has the votes.

Duet - Adam and Allison

I'm not sure what's up but unlike the other duet, I did not think they sounded good together at all.  Obviously completely off what the judges heard, oh well.  I love when he says she's like his little sister - of course.  They can dress up in each other's clothes.

All in all pending a major surprise, Kris's time is done.  I would absolutely love to see Gokey go but this show is far too predictable and rigged for that.  Oops, better go vote for Kris while I still can!
3912  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: X-Men Origins: Wolverine on: May 06, 2009, 12:07:37 AM

Quote from: McNutt on May 05, 2009, 08:13:30 PM

If I remember correctly, the assault on the island was to eliminate the kid with the anti-mutant power that was used for the "cure."  So Magneto, who believes mutants are better than humans and fights for them sacrifices a ton of mutants (even referring to them as "pawns") in a battle that is painfully mismanaged.  All he had to do was drop the bridge on the building.  Instead he sends wave after wave of mutants to their demise while Pyro turns falling cars into burning falling cars. 

There's a reason Xavier and Magneto were written out of most fights in the first two movies.  They're so powerful that if you include them the fight is over immediately.  So the writers of X3 give us a Magneto fight that is allowed to go on because they change Magneto into a bumbling moron who now doesn't care about mutants.

It's tough to play the "powers game" in most comic books, particularly with the X-Men, and even more so in the movies where effects are limited (see Storm in X1, egad was she depowered).  Once you go down that road, you could argue all sorts of things.  And then a writer can always come up with some sort of cheap counter. 

I always liked my theory that aside from the psychic folk (Xavier/Phoenix/White Queen), Kitty/Shadowcat is arguably the most dangerous mutant around.  When intangible, nothing can touch her, yet she can touch you and make you intangible.  She can hide underground as long as she wants (though they made it that she had to hold her breath to do this).  So at any given time she just has to reach you, drag you into a solid object, and leave you there to implode in an utterly gruesome death.  This would work against even the most physically powerful mutants, like Magneto, Wolvie, Colossus, Sabretooth, Storm, Cyclops, etc.  Flying to avoid her doesn't help because in intangible form she can "walk on air".  So arguably the only way to stop her is with a psychic attack.  So then all she has to do is grab Magneto or Juggernaut's magic helmet and she becomes invincible  icon_razz 
3913  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NBA Playoffs 2009 on: May 05, 2009, 08:07:13 PM

Quote from: Devil on May 01, 2009, 11:25:54 PM

Ha! You're blaming the refs on the Lakers loss last year!?! That's hysterical.

Kobe never gets calls.

Go back and watch Game 1 of the Finals and try to do it objectively (I realize this is very difficult to do because in general everyone has a bias).  But watch how many times Boston uses moving screens, elbows, slaps, jabs, jersey pulldowns, etc. and compare that to how many Lakers get away with.  Pierce and KG both use this weird elbow jabbing move to get their inside position.  Heck if you let me stick my elbow into every guy's chest, I could probably get good position too.  The moving screens are even more egregious.  Even the announcers commented on some of the bad calls in that game.  I've been told Boston defense coordinators have studied officials' calling tendencies to see what they can get away with the most, and use that knowledge to maximum effect.  I used to think it was just against the Lakers, but I watched them do the same crap against Chicago.

But anyway, it doesn't matter now because this year Lakers are sucking it up big time.  Last night was absolutely horrible, and I definitely can't blame the officials for that one lol.
3914  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: X-Men Origins: Wolverine on: May 05, 2009, 07:58:51 PM
Seriously, why did he bother bringing an army of pawns if he wasn't going help them?  

- Because he's Magneto and he's above that sort of thing.  Like Phil Jackson, he wants them to work it out by themselves.

Why did he leave Wolverine and Colossus unmolested when they are the easiest heroes for him to deal with (not to mention the ones most dangerous to his army)?

- Because Ian McKellan is gay and he wanted to "molest" the 2 hottest X-Men in a different way later.  Not suitable for PG-13.  Also because in the comic books he always throws Colossus into Wolverine and it was getting boring for him to use the same strategy.

 icon_surprised   icon_twisted

3915  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Joss Whedons Dollhouse starts Friday on: May 05, 2009, 12:04:21 AM

Quote from: Chaz on May 04, 2009, 11:05:45 PM

I'm wondering if I didn't watch the preview for last week's, or just didn't watch it close enough.  I knew that Wash was going to be in the episode, but I didn't pick up on the twist.  Really glad I didn't, because it was awesome running into it blind.

The preview was pretty spastic, but showed Wash in it, and showed (IIRC) Fred/Illyria (what are we calling her anyway?) saying "Alpha!" or some such, so as the ep played out and there were no other guest stars showing up, it kind of just struck me...
3916  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Joss Whedons Dollhouse starts Friday on: May 04, 2009, 10:59:12 PM

Quote from: Chaz on May 04, 2009, 04:14:33 PM

The twist took me completely by surprise.  I was yelling at the TV.  Brilliantly done.

They kind of gave it away in the preview unfortunately, so I wasn't as surprised as I should have been.  Still I loved how it played out and the acting was great.  I've always loved Alan Tudyk but damn is he getting HOT or what!?!
3917  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Survivor Tocantins on: May 04, 2009, 10:57:16 PM

Quote from: dfs on May 04, 2009, 04:21:15 PM

JT really comes off looking good. I don't know if it's the editing, if he is just that good, or if the other players are that blind. If he gets to the final three, I have to think he's a shoo-in.

JT is definitely an intriguing character.  As PaulBot noted, he's running the show and has been running it for a long time, even though multiple times he should have been in jeopardy, and normally a physical threat like he is would have been taken out the first chance they got.  But he is apparently just incredibly damn likable, possibly even more so in person, and this has carried him.  The reward challenge game really tells a lot about what the people think about each other.  "Who would you trust with your life?" - I think every single person answered JT, that's gotta mean something.  Steven admitted to having a man-crush on him I think close to day one, and it looked like every other guy on his tribe had one as well.  Even the opposing team!  Really interesting to see. 

Then with Sierra, it just seemed like everyone flat out hated her.  I really felt bad for her, it's rare to see so many people just being mean to someone on the show.  But again this must be one of those editing things, as I mentioned, similar to last season's Sugar, where the editing does not show how/why they got under everyone's skin. 
3918  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: X-Men Origins: Wolverine on: May 04, 2009, 10:48:14 PM
That's odd, I consider myself a HUGE X-Men fan (been reading the comics for over 30 years now) and I enjoyed X3 quite a bit.  There were some disappointments of course but I didn't have anywhere near the hate or dislike that a lot of people seem to.

I thought Wolvie was OK, but all in all I was a bit disappointed.  I shouldn't have been, as the comic book geeks told me to keep my expectations low (well what they said specifically was keep my expectations at X3 levels or below).  But I still thought I'd like it more.  I would have loved to see more of Deadpool and Charlie and the early team.  I thought there might be some nod to Alpha Flight or maybe the Japan stuff, but seems like all that was left to future(?) films.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I guess I just wanted... more.  Even Hugh Jackman who rarely disappoints me seemed to be dialing it in more than I thought he would.
3919  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Next fall's tv schedule starting to come out... on: May 04, 2009, 10:37:43 PM

Quote from: PR_GMR on May 04, 2009, 10:32:03 PM

'Fringe' is actually very good. It started iffy, but it found its groove. It's the rightful spiritual sucessor to 'The X Files'.

It's OK, quirky and interesting at times.  But let's be honest, without the pimp slot for JJ Abrahms right after American Idol, it would likely have failed.  On Fox, I would save Sarah Connor or Dollhouse over it without hesitation. 
3920  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Demigod on: May 04, 2009, 08:59:15 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 04, 2009, 08:31:06 PM

I would have jumped on the game already, as I do enjoy RTS. However, I'm generally a single player type of person and from what I've seen the game seems to be focused almost entirely on multiplayer.

I mentioned this already (I think), but for the first couple weeks I played this exclusively single player learning how to play.  Recently I've been playing online, but when the MP botches too much, I just host my own game and essentially play solo (but online), similar to Diablo 2.  So both modes are viable as a single player.  

Now keep in mind there is no campaign or story mode as in most traditional RTS.  This game is all just competition, either in custom game setups (where you can determine variables such as how fast everyone levels or gains gold) or in a tournament style.  Still, with 8 different champions that all have their own style, there is plenty of replayability.  Each match takes around 30 minutes to an hour depending on the map and difficulty, AI settings, etc.
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