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3881  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.
3882  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.
3883  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.
3884  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.
3885  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.
3886  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.
3887  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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
3888  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.
3889  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.
3890  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. 
3891  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!
3892  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 
3893  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.
3894  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

3895  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...
3896  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!?!
3897  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. 
3898  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.
3899  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. 
3900  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.
3901  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: iPhone/iTouch app and game thread on: May 04, 2009, 08:12:45 PM
Lots of cool new releases:

Myst looks pretty incredible for a portable (but takes up over a gig, ouch!)

Tiger Woods Golf

and a Mass Effect game coming for you Bioware fanboys!

Also heard Apple hired a former Xbox bigwig, supposedly indicating their seriousness in hitting the gaming market.

3902  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Reviews] X-Men Origins: Wolverine on: May 01, 2009, 10:20:42 PM
Damn you, GT Review Effect!!!  I would never have considered this but now all I want to know is which version I should try to buy!
3903  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Runes of Magic on: May 01, 2009, 10:16:09 PM
Yup, TCoS is definitely level limited, so my guess is that was the one you were thinking of since they were around the same time.

I thought the textures looked OK - about WoW quality without the artistic touch...
3904  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Survivor Tocantins on: May 01, 2009, 10:09:14 PM
I was kind of disappointed to see Sierra go last night.  I hate that Deb bitch, she's such an obnoxious c-word, yet acts like she's this sweet lady who everyone loves.  Yuck yuck yuck.  Not to mention she's clearly a conniving backstabber and liar, they were stupid to not get rid of her.  I loved that Sierra called them on the flat out lying and hypocrisy.  Don't they realize everything is being taped and spouting how honorable you are will just make you look worse down the road?

It must be the editing, but I really didn't see why everyone (apparently) hated Sierra so much.  I mean it looked flat out like no one liked her, and aside from being kind of whiny and stupid, it was hard to see why.  A bit like Sugar last season,  but maybe even more pronounced.  If you asked me, taking her to the Finals would be a free win.  If it's 3 man, try to get her and Coach.

Also of interest in this group is how much everyone seems to just love JT (and Steven).  I mean everyone just LOVES him, while in the mean time he lies and plots away left and right and gets away with it.  I guess it's the cute Southern accent.  You would think by now one of these factions would talk about eliminating JT or Steven, as they are the strongest final alliance there.  But everyone seems content to just love them.  They are pretty damn cute though.
3905  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NBA Playoffs 2009 on: May 01, 2009, 09:10:13 PM

Quote from: Big Jake on April 30, 2009, 11:25:53 PM

* My one bitch: Kendrick Perkins imitating a bulldozer everytime he goes for a defensive rebound, and never being called.  Karl Malone didn't shove people around that much.  Pat Riley's Knicks didn't brutalize us this way.  It's absolutely insulting to watch him put both hands square on the back of Noah, give the two handed shove as the ball comes off the rim, and no call gets made.  This is compounded then when they call a hand foul (on either team).  Seriously, I won't be watching game 7 (Bulls are winning tonight, without question) because I know the Celts aren't losing at home to a first time playoff team, and the refs will probably help at least some of the way.

Yeah that series is absolutely insane, some of the shots have been just crazy!  As to the comment above, it's playoff basketball - but Celtics style, which means they get away with anything and everything they can, and don't apologize for it.  That's the way they are coached to play, and until the NBA decides to do something about it, that's what we're left with.  Lakers were robbed in Game 1 last year on so many plays it makes me cringe just to think about it again.  This is not just me being biased, even my friend who is a Celtics fan couldn't argue the calls weren't insanely biased that game, which ultimately set the tone for the Lakers losing the series.

Last night just for kicks I freeze-framed a shot of Rondo literally bear-hugging Brad Miller on a defensive rebound and took a picture of it.  Even the pic doesn't convey how blatant it was, as he just grabbed and dragged Miller out of the play.  No call.  There were so many more non-calls against the Celtics that it got to be laughable.
3906  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I feel the need to apologize, even if I'm not genuinely sorry? on: May 01, 2009, 09:03:22 PM

Quote from: kratz on May 01, 2009, 03:48:33 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on May 01, 2009, 03:02:07 AM

Compromise is always required in relationships, giving up who you are and how you feel isn't a compromise.

If you think that trying to smooth over a minor incident like the one he described is in some way compromising his identity, it sounds like you think he must have a very weak identity and sense of self.  

Wow, that's pretty harsh on Hark, and this is coming from someone who loves to harsh on Hark slywink  Still, I have to say for once I'm in total agreement with Hark on this.  How is having principles and standing up for those principles somehow a "weak sense of self"?  If anything it's the exact opposite.  How many times can you say sorry (when not truly meaning it) before everything you say starts to become meaningless?  It makes me think about my 4 year old nephew, who's always getting into trouble attacking his sisters or throwing or destroying things.  He gets yelled at, forced to apologize, says "I'm sowwy" in a super cute voice, then 10 minutes later he's doing the same crap again.  At some point you become an adult and for me at least, your apologies should actually mean something.  I guess different people just look at it differently.

It is interesting though, in a completely unrelated conversation last night, my partner claimed that I *never* apologize for anything.  Which is just not true - though I will admit I do so very rarely.  But what I told him was that when I admit I'm wrong, you can be guaranteed I actually mean it, I won't say it just to end an argument or placate someone's fragile ego or to get laid.  I am a big fan of compromise, but there are ways to compromise and resolve issues without, as Hark mentions, feeling like you are compromising a core belief that is fundamental to your personality.
3907  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Should I feel the need to apologize, even if I'm not genuinely sorry? on: May 01, 2009, 12:01:55 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 30, 2009, 05:33:43 PM

I apologize when I make mistakes.  I hold myself accountable for my shotcomings.  And I am always sincere when I apologize.  I never apologize out of obligation or because I am pressured to do so.  And so I stated quite plainly to my wife that I would not apologize as I felt I did nothing wrong.  I felt Dana overreacted and I would not apologize out of obligation and play some stupid game because she's too overly sensitive to conduct herself in an adult manner.  I was told that I was ruining yet another relationship with "one of the few people who actually like you."  Oookay. 

Am I wrong here?       

I haven't read through the whole thread but I did read the entire story and based only on the telling of it, it sounds to me like you are definitely not wrong.  I'm a bit surprised how many people here seemed to want you to simply give in or give up on your ideals or whatever.  Seems awfully emasculating.  This is not to say I don't believe in compromise, but there are certain fundamental things I personally find difficult to compromise on.  And similar to you, I find it very difficult to apologize for something which I just don't believe I did anything wrong.

In all honesty, and you probably don't want to hear this, it sounds to me like the issue is really between you and your wife.  Now granted this story is only from your POV, but what seemed odd to me is that she never stands up for you or sides with you or even seems to think about it from your perspective.  Everything seems to immediately be your fault and thus your responsibility to clean up or apologize.  Maybe I'm reading it wrong from your description but onestly I would not tolerate that kind of attitude from my partner/wife/husband, or whatever.  I expect my partner to respect me and my point of view at least as much as his/her friends', and it doesn't sound like that is the case, at least with this aspect of the relationship.

Just my 2 cents.  
3908  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / OCZ Vertex SSD with Windows 7 on: April 30, 2009, 08:06:19 PM

I've been obsessed with SSDs of late, and have slowly but surely started bringing them into all my computers, portable and desktop.  Last night I finally replaced a Ritek in my desktop with the fastest (120GB) OCZ Vertex.  Then did a clean install of Win 7 and let her rip!  OK it wasn't as quick and easy as all that, there's quite a bit of pre-work with the Vertex to update the firmware and then "align" it correctly (though I'm not really sure this is all 100% necessary, I figure better safe than sorry).  Crystalmark gave me close to 230MB/s read and I think 120MB/s write (forgot the exact number but it was decent).  Still need to run HDTach.

Regardless of that, startup and shutdown times are simply sweet, due to (I believe) the combo of Win 7 and the SSD (Win 7 appears much better optimized for SSDs straight out of the install).  Startup from button to workable browser was less than a minute.  That's not stellar, I realize, until you factor in the majority of the time was for the motherboard to boot up; for whatever reason, it took 20 seconds just to get to the initial splash screen, then another 20 to exit POST; I'm estimating the actual hard drive access time to load Win 7 was about 20-30secs tops.  Shutdown takes less than 5 seconds, it's a thing of beauty.  Compare this to Vista which was taking about twice as long to load up and maybe 50 times longer to shutdown (no exaggeration).  I have no idea what Vista had been doing lately but shutting down/restarting was horrendous.

In any case, SSD prices are finally coming down into a reasonable range for price/performance.  Obviously can't compare with a standard hard drive for price/space, but getting to the point where they can compete against something like the Velociraptor.
3909  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 30, 2009, 06:36:57 PM

Quote from: hepcat on April 30, 2009, 06:24:14 PM

It's a well known fact that I'm an idiot, so could someone help a brother out here?  What happened to Faraday after he was done time trippin' with Sawyer and the rest of the Scooby gang?  I'm drawing a blank when I try to remember.   icon_confused

They never explicitly showed it, but the implication (from last night and another ep) was that he went back on the sub to the mainland for further research.
3910  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 30, 2009, 06:04:48 PM

Quote from: Qantaga on April 30, 2009, 11:19:40 AM

Since we're free of the time zone factor, I won't use the spoiler tag.
I enjoyed the episode quite a bit, too, although I am a bit confuzuled by it all. I can't quite wrap my mind around why Faraday's mom (or Widmore, too, for that matter) wanted to send him to his death at her own hand, but surely that will be addressed in later episodes. I'm also a bit sad because Juliet, Desmond, and Faraday have always been my favorite characters and I hate to lose one of them. frown

Given this is Lost and he's not buried in the dirt, I'd say he still has a small percentage chance of living.  Don't forget Jack the miracle doctor is right around the corner, as is the healing power of Richard and the miracle cave.  All that said, this time I do believe we really lost him, as if he survives it will completely ruin the impact of an incredible final scene.  I could see it coming a mile away and I kept yelling at the screen she was going to shoot him, yet when it actually happened I still felt my heart sink.  It did bug me he ran in with the gun, which made no sense to me whatsoever as he was never a gun type of guy.  As much as I enjoy Twitchy (loved that too), I do hope he stays dead as that could be one of the most impactful deaths in the show, if not the most.  Certainly seemed like it from the previews as it appears Jack wants to go forward with the plan.

It's definitely confusing, but my guess is it will prove out to be that his death was yet again something that just "had to happen" for everything else to happen, as the mom already knew it would.  She didn't make a mistake as he thought.  I really don't think they'll be able to change the past and re-write the show as it were, as that would really suck the impact out of the whole show if it turns out they prevent the crash from ever happening.  That said, I read the finale "The Incident" would leave many in jeopardy and set up the show for the final season (as well as finally revealing the statue for us statue fans lol), which could plausibly mean they do intend to change things Back to the Future style.

Love this show.  Love love love!
3911  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 30, 2009, 05:54:54 PM
Wow, definitely an interesting results show.  Adam in the bottom 2?  This means Gokey remains the only person left who hasn't hit Bottom 3 (keeping in mind the winners like Carrie and David/David never see the Bottom 3 even once).  Has the gayosity and interwebs pix FINALLY caught up to him as I predicted weeks ago, or is this just a fluke of the voting and he'll recover even stronger next week?  Time will tell but certainly the show becomes more (and less) interesting now.  Why less?  Because if the voters hold steady as a much more conservative/boring block (you know, the ones who annointed Taylor Hicks), Gokey will sail into the winners spot, possibly against Allison.  (I wonder if by examining performances he was referring to Taylor Hicks, who he resembles the most in terms of bad dancing style.)  That would be a sucktastic finale but whatever. 

I saw one prediction of Gokey vs. Adam in the finale, but they still picked Gokey to win 55/45 due to the conservative audience.  I guess the question is who really are the people voting the most - even though the tweens are notoriously cited as the biggest voters, I don't see them choosing Gokey over Kris or even Adam and Allison.  Which means there are other, quieter, voting blocks, like the Cougars (for Cook) and the conservatives/country fans for Hicks, which are all hard to predict.  I know the cougars are Gokey fans - maybe they are the true controllers of the phone voting.

Speaking of Hicks, was it me or did he look even creepier/mass-murdererish than before?  I think the weight loss makes him look even less accessible.  I couldn't stand the song and skipped half of it.  Natalie Cole?  I usually love her but I hated whatever it was she sang, I had to fast forward through it as well.  And Jamie Foxx looked like he should blame his horrible messed up sound on the alcohol.  What a horrible triad of performances, makes you long for disco week and Lady Gaga again.

Anyway, I think Kris is done next week, as it's rock week which plays to Adam and Allison, and apparently Gokey is heading for the finals regardless.  He may sipphon some remaining Matt G votes, but I don't think it will be enough and I don't see him suddenly rocking out very well.  Fourth place is not bad, it's as good as I thought he could possibly do, so I'm happy/proud he made it that far.
3912  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Guild Wars is 4 on: April 29, 2009, 11:38:26 PM
I'd like to be optimistic but I am suspicious.  I just checked and the original announcement for GW2 was in March 2007!  That's over 2 YEARS now after making the announcement and there has yet to be any solid look at the game or anything more than verbal tidbits.  At least with D3 Blizzard made the announcement and clearly have an already  playable game engine and awesome gameplay footage.  Even if it takes 2 more years to finish polishing it I have no doubt it will be released and be a stellar game.   

With GW2 I have a little less faith as we simply haven't seen anything.   Did they run into some major hurdle which kept them from progressing?  My concern would be that they run out of money before they can complete it, or they've bit off more than they can chew in terms of game design.  I suppose they may have forced their own hand into prematurely making the GW2 announcement, since they needed an explanation for ending work on GW. 
3913  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: April 29, 2009, 05:50:22 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 29, 2009, 05:45:50 PM

The they'll fix hiros powers and send Claire back with him in time to save Nathan, this kicking off alternate timeline 324.

This is the timeline where she becomes Weapon Y and then gets Adamantium, I mean Aluminum claws, right?

On a side note, that just made me want Champions Online even more!
3914  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 29, 2009, 04:03:12 AM
Comin at you live again...

Rat Pack week - huh?  With Jamie Foxx - double huh???  Looks like they gave up on doing 2 songs each, probably better that way so it's not that rushed.

Kris - singing The Way You Look Tonight.  Camera zooms in on his face and I'm already melting.  An absolutely delicious vocal and he just croons the vocals right into my pants, errrr, heart.  Oh those eyes, those lips.  Mmmmm.  The end he speeds it up a bit, which I thought was a little odd, but all in all it was gorgeous, particularly the last notes.  All the judges except Simon love it, Simon calls him wet.  I think Simon was wet from his sexiness, as was I.

Allison - Someone to Watch over Me.  One of my favorite songs, it should be interesting to see what she will do since she can't rock it out.  Wow, I think it might be her best vocal of the competition, I loved it.  Could this take her into the top 3?  Simon gives his "you may be in trouble" line which can only help her.  Plus she's the last girl, that's gotta mean something.  Can she eliminate Matt G?

Matt G - and here he is, right after with My Funny Valentine.  I wish I could chop that stupid ass hat right off his head.  Matt says this (jazz) is his specialty, interesting.  There's something off about it for me, I can't say what.  Still pretty good all in all, I'm not sure how this will work against Allison.  Judges are split, Randy/Kara vs. Simon/Paula.  Very interesting.

Goker - I really like his voice for this genre, plus no horrible dancing.  Uh oh I spoke too soon, he's freaking out.  Say what you will but man he is a vocal powerhouse.  I didn't really like the song, but the audience is going crazy.  Judges all love it, even Simon.  I'd agree his confidence and showmanship finally showed he had some charisma, but personally he's not my choice and nothing compels me to buy something he released.

Flamebert - lot of pressure in the final pimp slot, like he needs it.  Feeling Good with a "rock edge."  Pimped out in an all white silky suit, nice, struttin down the stairs.  Seems kind of diva-esque to me, I like it.  Holy shit he holds the last note incredibly long, wow.  Though I'm sure he can hold his breath a long time, if you know what I mean.  In all honesty I don't think it's as good as the audience's screaming would indicate or as much as the judges fawning.

Tough call this week, pretty stellar Top 5 all around.  I'd like to see Matt G go, but I wouldn't be surprised if Allison or even Kris went this week.  Ooops, better get to voting!!
3915  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: April 28, 2009, 08:51:54 PM
BJ, I'd love it if you posted more, I love reading about the game since I can't seem to get into beta.

Also, isn't the official release date in July, mid-July IIRC?
3916  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Runes of Magic on: April 28, 2009, 08:49:03 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on April 28, 2009, 07:22:21 PM

I agree it's misleading.  took me awhile to catch it too.  all of a sudden I wasn't getting any xp at all and noticed my level was capped so I went and read in more detail.

Can you confirm when this happens and/or provide a link to what you read?  I think I made it to around level 15 (relatively low, I admit, but still a lot of hours of free play when you consider dual class) and never saw anything like what you are describing.  Are you sure you didn't confuse this with another game, or perhaps you were playing your secondary class (which is capped to the max of your primary)?
3917  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heroes Season 3 (spoilers for our less fortunate European friends) on: April 28, 2009, 06:30:55 PM

Quote from: The Grue on April 28, 2009, 05:57:21 PM

I am thinking Peter can only have one ability at a time (he used to have more, but the storyline took care of that for him).  Since he can only have one and he has the morph, it doesn't make sense for him to be Nathan. The reason being that Sylar can absorb memories, but Peter cannot.  This makes Sylar the better Nathan.

Ahhhh I forgot about the memory power thing so that does make some sense.  I'm glad they actually made use of it btw, I was always wondering why they had bothered with that scene.

That said, I do think Peter (perhaps with Matt's telepathic help) could easily have handled a few weeks of Nathan posing to take care of the details and then quietly drop out of sight.  Instead you have the most powerful, evil/insane and dangerous mutant (errr abnormal, errr "Villain") who has already shown resistance to the Haitian, the Puppetmaster, AND Matt - poised to regain his abilities and in a position of power.  I like the concept (stolen as it was) but it's just a bit too risky for me. 

Oh yeah, someone just stopped by my cubicle to explain they probably tranq'd Sylar, not necessarily hit his weak spot.
3918  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: April 28, 2009, 06:16:43 PM
This petition was straight off of Zachary Levi's site, so it should be legit (I think):
3919  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: CHUCK IS BACK! Chuck vs. The First Date Spoilers! on: April 28, 2009, 06:05:44 PM
There are a couple of "Save Chuck" campaigns out there, supposedly the decision will come down to the wire in the next week or so.  From what I read, it's not an NBC-produced show which probably means it's pretty expensive and/or they have less control over it.

Edit: good read here:

Chuck really got hammered when Fox moved House to the same slot, and then ABC's stupid Dancing show too.  Possibly one of the worst hours to air, aside from maybe Friday night and/or against Idol.  Someone suggested a Thursday night at 8pm right before the Office.  I think that would be a great slot for them.

Sometimes it seems like a bunch of inane morons run the TV studios.  They make stupid decisions based solely on one stupid rating number (and who even knows how accurate these are?) a week.  Any moron should be able to see not only the quality of a show like Chuck, but the fact it carries a huge, faithful geek/internet ($$) audience.  Not to mention 2 incredibly attractive and marketable stars (well at least one, I can easily see Yvonne Stravinski (?) making a couple movies and becoming the next Katherine Heigl - It Girl).  Dropping the show now would be flat out stupid.  Not that they haven't done stupid things before.
3920  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 24: Season 7 (spoiler tags are certain!) on: April 28, 2009, 05:56:26 PM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on April 28, 2009, 02:08:58 PM

I'm thinking Chloe may meet up with Edgar by the end of this season as a capper of Tony's evil deeds. Don't know why exactly but I think it was the parting shot of her and Morris split screened that did it in my view. I hope I'm wrong but you never know.

Spoiler for Hiden:
I hope it's not a spoiler to say Chloe's already signed for next season.  As is the Prez and the redhead, I think I posted this somewhere.  But I guess just in case I'll put it in a spoiler.
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