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81  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions) on: February 19, 2007, 02:03:51 AM
At level 30, I was able to buy a 1-handed axe called Sledgehammer.  This thing hits for awesome (though inconsistent) damage, but the really cool thing is the chance to apply DISABLE when hitting.  I was off doing some hunts and had Basch (main tank) whacking on a Hunt creature who DISABLED 1/4 of the way into the fight and stayed DISABLED the entire rest of the fight.  It felt sort of like a cheap way to win, but it also felt extremely powerful. 

Sledgehammer + Haste = unstoppable force*

*at least around level 30-34
82  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions on: February 12, 2007, 08:18:43 AM
For me, having 2 parties of 3 that are interchangable is key because, frankly, I'm not very good at this game and I need to have some fresh troops come in when I'm getting my rear end handed to me.

I can set up the gambits alright and I've got good gear and spells, but most of my characters are set to just auto-attack and then when something bad happens, I go in and manually cast the correct counter-spell or whatever. 

In any event, it's tons of fun and I don't really care if I'm not min-maxing all my characters.  After having played MMORPG's for way too long, this game is like a breath of fresh air.

One small tip that may have been obvious to everyone else but I just figured out: I set up all my characters with Auto-"Protect" Gambits and it's made things a lot easier.  Whenever some's Protect drops off, it gets cast right back on.  I stuck the gambit at the bottom of everyone's gambit list, so they don't do it until combat finishes.
83  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions on: February 12, 2007, 01:05:42 AM
I am also really enjoying playing this game.  At the moment, I'm 40 hours in and just bought the accessory which doubles License Point acquisition (Golden Amulet).  Needless to say, I bought 6 of these and equipped them ASAP (needed to open license for Accessory 5, I think).  I bought this accessory right outside of Cat Woman Village (Eruyt Village) from a friendly moogle.  I don't think he had it for sale the first time I encountered him, but after doing some questing and returning to sell some more stuff (like a 100 Couerl Hides! cha-ching!) I noticed the Golden Amulet was available.  Then I went and kicked some dinosaur's ass.
Spoiler for Hiden:
(the second big dinosaur - Grand Wyrm - the one with flowers on his head and a nasty spore attack)

I think I'm addicted to acquiring license points now.  I don't know what I'm going to do when the entire board is opened!  I've also been trying to keep my party level and everyone is at level 26 or 27 right now.  All of the characters have at least 2 quickenings (Fran has 3).

By the way, if you want grind, at around lvl 20-25 go to the Ozmone Plains and grind on the creatures called "Wu"s because they can drop an awesome ninja sword - Kogarasumaru! (58 atk)
84  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Japanese manual...need translation on: January 22, 2007, 10:41:27 AM
I'm doing this on the fly, don't blame me if I get you killed. slywink 

ASSISTANCE (Tank Unit ONLY. NPU setting is also possible)
This is the command you use to receive support from a support unit.  When you select this command, the support unit appears as you can see in picture on the right.  When the display is "ON", each support unit becomes a support target, and you can supply the PLU's support unit as "Support" (Page 16).

* For the NPU's support unit, when the support target is "ON" it automatically comes closer and will supply.

* Depending on the map, some support units do not appear.

All my years in Japan have finally paid off!
I usually charge $100/hr, but I'm providing this sample translation for free.  Tongue
85  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Poor PS3 Sales in North America. on: January 18, 2007, 05:37:00 AM
That wasn't my only unscientific observation, just one of them.   slywink
I could quote ending auction prices for the PS3 on the Yahoo Japan auction site to make a similar point, or mention that I've seen PS3 in stores but never a Wii, or I could link to various articles, but I was just very surprised to see one so soon in a used book/game store.

The good news for Sony is the PS3 is still killing the XBox360 here.   If you want next-gen graphics, the PS3 is really the only game in town.  It's just that Nintendo's DSL and Wii are in a different stratosphere when it comes to popularity right now.
86  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Poor PS3 Sales in North America. on: January 17, 2007, 07:00:56 AM
I saw my first used PS3 in a used book/software store in Japan today.  Selling for 44,000yen (it was a 20GB version).  Through my very unscientific observations, it seems the PS3 is not really doing very well here in Japan either.
87  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GamingTrend Best of PS2 - Prelim on: December 29, 2006, 09:13:10 AM
1. MLB 06 The Show
2. Final Fantasy XII
88  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: FFXI took my MMO virginity - now I wants me some WoW on: December 29, 2006, 12:51:58 AM

Quote from: Purge on December 11, 2006, 04:56:24 PM

There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, as satisfying in WoW that can compete with a well-balanced party in FFXI. It's all about chaining monsters and no downtime.
I also played this for a year (all of 2004 basically) and (fortunately) I can speak Japanese so partying up with Japanese groups was a fantastic experience.  The quote above is absolultely true.  I also played WoW (finished now) for 1.5 years and while it is much more polished, user-friendly, full of content, etc, I still think having a kickass mob-chaining party in FFXI was much more fun.
89  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS2 Slim impressions. (late to the party) on: December 28, 2006, 11:47:57 PM
I am also new to the PS2, having gotten mine about a week ago.

I'm really enjoying FFXII, MLB 06 The Show, Katamari Damacy, and College Hoops 2K7.  I have several other games waiting to play, but I think MLB 06 and FFXII alone should keep me busy for the next few weeks.

I was also surprised how easy it was to get online and play MLB 06.  For some reason I had never really noticed that the PS2 had a serious online component to it.  But I just plugged in my LAN cable and after a few minutes of painless setup I was playing MLB 06 online.  Though occassionally laggy, it was not bad at all.  Easier than playing many PC games online actually.

So far, I give a big  thumbsup for the PS2!
90  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS2]MLB 06 The Show on: December 28, 2006, 02:07:45 AM
Thanks for the feedback.  I think I'll leave the baserunning up to the AI for now.  I can't afford to thrown my controller through the TV.

By the way, I am loving this game.  It's the best representation of baseball in video game that I have ever seen.  I also an surprised at the commentary/play-by-play which actually doesn't suck.  Some of the color commentary can get repetative, but the play-by-play is really well done.  The whole pace of the game just feels right; it feels like baseball.
91  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS2]MLB 06 The Show on: December 26, 2006, 10:47:09 PM
I have just gotten this game for the PS2 and I'm really enjoying it so far.

The question I have is about baserunning.  It seems really complicated to me and in my first few games, I am always screwing it up.  When you hit into multiple "triple-plays" in a game, something is definitely wrong!

So then I set the baserunning on automatic (computer controlled) and it was a so much more enjoyable experience.  I could concentrate on the batting without having to worry how I was going to get my guy home from 3rd on a ground out to second.

Does anyone else play with automatic baserunning or am I just being a wuss?  Do I need to stick with the baserunning and learn it properly or is the computer AI sufficient to handle it?

Also, what are the key game sliders that people have messed around with?  Any recommedations for veteran mode?
92  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Regarding the Japanese Blue Dragon Sales Numbers on: December 15, 2006, 02:15:05 AM
In my local electronics store (I'm in Japan, btw), there's plenty of inventory of special edition Blue Dragon XBOX360's and inventory of the game itself.  The XBOX360's are tucked all the way in the corner of the store too... very low visibility behind the Nintendo and Sony systems.

It's tempting to get a Japanese XBOX360 core system plus Blue Dragon plus the extras (face plate, figures) for around $250, but because the XBOX360 is not region-free, I can't bring myself to justify the expense since I plan on getting a North American XBOX360 once I return to the US.
93  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS2 games -- help me out on: December 13, 2006, 02:43:34 PM
I've just jumped on the PS2 bandwagon for the first time this holiday season as well.

These are the 9 games I've bought in order to give me several months of fun in my favorite genres.

1) MLB The Show '06
2) College Hoops 2K7
3) Final Fantasy XII
4) Dragon Quest VIII
5) God of War
6) Shadow of the Collosus
7) Gran Turismo 4
8) Katamari Damacy

I plan on picking up Guitar Hero I sometime in the near future as well.
94  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Best PS2 Sports Games on: December 08, 2006, 02:40:17 AM
I'm a late-adopter looking at acquiring a PS2 in the near future and would like to pick the best consensus sports games in the following sports:

 - Football (college or pro)
 - Baseball
 - Basketball (college or pro)
 - Soccer
 - Hockey

List your top picks for each.

If there any other sports games in any other sports genres (curling? fencing? etc) please feel free to list those too.

 thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Summary of results:
 - Football college : EA NCAA 2004
 - Football pro : NFL 2K5
 - Baseball : MLB 06 The Show
 - Basketball college :
 - Basketball pro :
 - Soccer : Winning Eleven (latest version)
 - Hockey : EA NHL '07
95  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How much credit card debt does your household have? on: November 22, 2006, 02:17:26 PM

Quote from: warning on November 20, 2006, 06:55:43 PM

No credit cards & no debt.  If we did, Dave Ramesy would kick our asses.
Me too.  Thank God for Dave Ramsey!
96  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Michael Richards yells 'n' word at hecklers on: November 21, 2006, 09:32:44 AM
I'd just chalk it up to a guy freaking out and getting carried away.

He's not a standup comedian by training - he's a comedic actor, and he obviously didn't know how to properly handle hecklers.

The most disappointing thing of all is that he wasn't funny!
97  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 Launch Thread on: November 17, 2006, 04:52:07 AM
I wouldn't be surprised to see a PS3 related murder within the next 24 hours.

This situation is crazy, but like driving by a car accident, I can't look away!
98  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Need advice on which console system to buy on: November 05, 2006, 11:28:11 PM

Quote from: Pyperkub on November 05, 2006, 06:13:13 PM

You could get an HDMI - DVI cable for the PS3, not sure about audio output tho.
Good point.  Is there a way to plug speakers into a PS3 to get audio?
99  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Need advice on which console system to buy on: November 05, 2006, 12:41:38 PM
I've tried to keep my current computer system running as long as I could (4+ years), but it's reached the end of the line.  I can still use it as a internet surfing email box, but unless I want to sink $1000+, I'm thinking it's time to get on the console bandwagon again.
[Full disclosure: I haven't owned a console since the original playstation.]

But here's my dilema.  I live in Japan.  (I'll be here for at least 6 more months - which is another reason why I want to hold off on my computer upgrade)

I'd like to buy a console that is "region-free" because I'll buying it here and taking it back to the US.  My choices are really between the XBox360, the PS3, and the Wii.

I enjoy sports games and would probably go for an XBOX360 if I was back living in the US.
But from my inital googling seems to indicate that XBOX360 is coded to 3 regions (US, Europe, and Asia) which is a big negative.  I wonder if there's an online site in the US to buy a 360 system with games and have them ship it to Japan for a reasonable price.  I kinda doubt it.

So does anyone know if the PS3 or Wii will be region coded?  PS3 goes on sale here next weekend (11/11) and the Wii comes out (12/2), though I'm not sure how easy it will be to get either of those.  I'm not sure about the games available for launch either, but I know in Japan (from the ads I've seen) PS3 will feature lots of giant robot fighting games and some human fighting games (meh.) and the Wii will have family friendly sports games (cool.).

Also, another issue is that I don't have a TV here that I can hook the system up to.  I really only have my computer monitor (19" Dell LCD).  Is there an easy way to hook up these 3 systems to a monitor?

100  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Teen you need to hear more? on: October 13, 2006, 07:29:37 AM
Sorry, Ron.  The Corvette Museum is in Bowling Green, Kentucky, not Bowling Green, Ohio.

I think they oughta charge all of those girls in the car for being flagrant teases:
Angelia said the girls were pretending to flash another car in traffic, but all three girls insisted when questioned by state troopers that they refused to expose themselves when Mr. Campbell and Mr. Long made gestures asking them to do so.
101  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [PC] Winning Eleven Soccer 8 vs WE 9 on: July 10, 2006, 11:41:35 PM
The last Winning Eleven game I played on my PC was WE7.  

I was wondering if there's a big difference between WE8 and WE9.  

WE9 is a bit more expensive being newer, but were there any features added in WE9 that make it that much better than WE8?  Are the requirements for WE9 much higher than 8?  My PC is a bit on the old side (3+ yrs old).

102  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Do you know about's price drop refund policy? on: December 28, 2005, 12:05:32 AM
Good news!
Thank you for writing to

The discounts we offer for items on our web site do vary from time to
time.  I've checked your order, and found that we recently offered a
greater discount on these items than at the time you placed your

Since this item was shipped so recently, I have requested a refund of
$12.02 to your credit card.  This amount reflects the difference
between the price you were charged and the discounted price.  The
refund should appear as a credit on your next billing statement.

You may view returns and refunds by clicking the "Your Account" link
at the top of our web site, then clicking "Go!" next to "open and
recently shipped orders."  Completed refunds will appear at the
bottom of an individual order's summary page.

I hope this is a satisfactory solution.
103  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Do you know about's price drop refund policy? on: December 27, 2005, 07:34:58 AM has a policy whereby they will refund you the difference of an item that has dropped in price within 30 days of your purchase.  

I had no idea idea until I read about it here:

I was checking my recent Christmas orders and noticed the Seinfeld Season 5 & 6 DVD sets are now $6 cheaper than when I ordered.  So I simply used's online interface to request a reimbursement of the difference.  I'll let you know how soon the $12.02 shows up as a credit to my account.

Here's the link for the refund page:

Hopefully the digital camera I bought on December 9th has a sizable price drop before January 8th!

I'm definitely going to be using this feature to help me save more money.
104  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / What would your perfect game be? on: December 25, 2005, 01:59:06 AM
A single player sports game (football/hockey primarily) that felt like a multiplayer game.  In other words, with AI so good and unpredictable that it gave you the same challenge as playing a human opponent.
105  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / To the 4OTP Owners on: December 24, 2005, 08:43:30 AM
After two sims the Phillies still lead Chicago in the NL East!  I'm impressed with my team's effort!
106  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Civilization 4 GT PBEM on: November 24, 2005, 07:31:27 AM
How does PBEM exactly work?  I've never done it before.  How long does a game typically last?


p.s. the patch (1.09) was released tonight!
107  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Black & White 2 .... on: November 08, 2005, 06:54:58 AM
So has everyone finished this game already?  What's the final verdict?  Was the ending satisfactory?

Hopefully it will be heading for the bargain bins pretty soon as I'm interested in picking it up!
108  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - N E W trailer by yours truly on: November 03, 2005, 07:55:33 AM
As much as I'm looking forward to the game, I'm even more looking forward to seeing what kind of movies Orgull makes once he gets his hands on it!  

Keep up the good work. smile
109  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Your choices for best PC game music ever? on: November 03, 2005, 01:54:59 AM
Homeworld had amazing music.
110  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / [WoW] Guess the new Alliance race! on: November 02, 2005, 05:52:00 AM
Quote from: "Semaj"
Quote from: "Purge"
you people are making me want to play again.

shut up shut up shut up....

Dont worry, rather than create a bunch of decent lore and making a real effort into a new class, they took the easy way out and grabbed the models for the elf race and changed em slightly.  When they decided ot make a new race for the alliance side (which they are) they are taking tons longer to make it.  I guess 50 million a month isnt enough to hire people to do this in a reasonable timeframe.

Its still the same game with the same races, just now the horde will have lots more cybering in RP servers.

You forgot to turn off your /bitter mode.
111  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Why didn't anyone tell me NFL2k5 was so much fun??? on: October 30, 2005, 12:59:06 PM
I really need to get a console one of these days.  All the good sports games I'm missing out on makes me feel  frown
112  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Movies - Fan Trailer by Yours Truly on: October 27, 2005, 12:24:32 PM
Link not working for me!  It cannot connect to the file it says.

email please!
113  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Rafael Palmeiro suspended for steroid violation on: August 02, 2005, 03:03:48 PM
Jose Canseco had it right all along.
114  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Hybrid car info on: July 21, 2005, 08:30:14 AM
I've never heard of an issue of batteries needing to be replaced every two years.  My understanding is that batteries are guaranteed for 10 years.

Our company has had 3 of the older model Toyota Prius' as fleet vehicles and the oldest is probably 5 years old.  No problems with it either.
115  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Wow, June 27th... on: July 19, 2005, 06:35:46 AM
I just increased my RAM from 512MB to 1Gig and the lag in Ironforge has decreased dramatically.  There's some lag at the mailbox and AH, but the improvement is incredible. I used to get lockups when exiting the game and those too are now gone.

If anyone is interested in upgrading from 512MB to 1Gig you can do it for around $80 (I got mine at  I wish I would have done it 6 months ago. smile

Good luck!
116  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / One of the oddest web sites I've ever seen on: June 28, 2005, 12:55:08 PM
That's actually quite cool., though quite old, is without a doubt the oddest (and most disturbing) website I've come across.  Just another reason to avoid Burger King I guess.
117  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Airline Complaint... on: June 17, 2005, 02:54:53 AM
118  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW newbie on: June 14, 2005, 07:37:46 AM
Hey Qbert,

I just started a Warlock too and although it's my 3rd character (Rogue-60, Priest-35), I think the Warlock has a lot of potential (I'm on a PVE server, btw).  For one thing, I'm finding my Warlock (currently lvl 10) is leveling as fast as my rogue did early on.  Warlock is a more difficult class to play because you have to manage not only your character, but also your minion.  But a Warlock who plays with skill is invaluable to a party later on.

For your info, here's is my leveling build for my warlock. [This build is to be used to level to 60. At 60, it will be necessary to respec to an "end-game" build.]
It's mainly an affliction build but also there are key pts in the Demonolgy tree to buff your minion.  This build will use lots of life draining for quick leveling and no downtime. Dark Pact will make you very difficult to kill.

Affliction Talents (33 points)

Improved Corruption - 5/5 points
Suppression - 5/5 points
Improved Drain Life - 5/5 points
Improved Life Tap - 2/2 points
Fel Concentration - 5/5 points
Grim Reach - 2/2 points
Nightfall - 2/2 points
Siphon Life - 1/1 point
Shadow Mastery - 5/5 points
Dark Pact - 1/1 point

Demonology Talents (18 points)

Demonic Embrace - 5/5 points
Improved Imp - 3/3 points
Improved Healthstone - 2/2 points
Fel Intellect - 5/5 points
Fel Domination - 1/1 point
Master Summoner - 2/2 points

Order for distibuting talent points:

Level 10-14 Improved Corruption 5/5
Level 15-19 Suppression 5/5
Level 20-24 Fel Concentration 5/5
Level 25-26 Nightfall 2/2
Level 27-28 Grim Reach 2/2
Level 29-33 Improved Drain Life 5/5
Level 34 Siphon Life 1/1
Level 35-39 Shadow Mastery 5/5
Level 40 Dark Pact 1/1
Level 41-45 Demonic Embrace 5/5
Level 46-48 Improved Imp 3/3
Level 49-50 Improved Lifetap 2/2
Level 51-52 Fel Intellect 2/5 (just get 2 pts for now)
Level 53 Fel Domination 1/1
Level 54-56 Fel Intellect 5/5 (get the last 3 pts here)
Level 57 Improved Healthstone 1/2
Level 58-59 Master Summoner 2/2
Level 60 Improved Healthstone 2/2

I gathered this information from various message boards and I think this will be an extremely effective plan.

If any Warlocks out there have a comment about my build, I'd welcome any feedback!

p.s. I think for a final level 60 build, I'll probably go 30Affliction/21Destruction.
119  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / WoW Patch Day! Post the mirrors...don't make us suffer. on: June 07, 2005, 10:30:53 PM
There's a bunch of mirror sites listed here:
120  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Where do you live - and what's so special about it? on: May 24, 2005, 12:37:42 AM
Quote from: "jpinard"
Slackerjoe, are the pachinko parlors fun?  My Dad brought a pachinko machine back from Japan (he was stationed there in the Air Force), and we loved playing with it as kids.  Of course we broke it frown
Personally I can't stand pachinko, becuase the parlors are obnoxiously loud and full of cigarette smoke. Whenever I see parents dragging their little kids or babies into one of those places I want to smack them (the parents, not the kids).  Also I don't like throwing my money away, but many Japanese are addicted to it.

The machines themselves are very cool, with the current generation of machines having combined video displays in the center of the machine, and of course the "flicking mechniasm" is totally automated now (just turn the dial to the trajectory you want and hold it there).
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