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9561  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Family Guy Star Wars parody on: June 06, 2007, 01:55:01 PM
Apparently Family Guy is doing a one hour Star Wars parody in September in honor of Star Wars' birthday.  There was recently a 10 minute sneak preview:

http://www.devilducky.com/media/62681/

Good stuff.
9562  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 05, 2007, 01:08:07 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on June 05, 2007, 12:17:14 PM

I so wish I could join in this "multiplayer" club you guys got going.  I feel like an outsider looking in.  icon_frown  Sounds like a lot of fun.  My problem:  I hate racing with a passion.  I tried the Forza demo and about 1/3 of the way through my first lap I quit and deleted the demo.

I'm curious.  How do you guys find "fun" in these racing games - single player or multi???  icon_confused

Fun: Going fast, collecting cars you're a fan of in real life, tuning a car to fit your driving style, seeing everyone's mismatched different car styles and having them go at it, perfectly nailing a tough turn sequence, winning money to buy more upgrades to win more money to...
9563  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: June 05, 2007, 03:51:43 AM
Wow, so glad I finally picked this up today.  Playing online with you guys tonight was a blast. (I was Wik 27.)  My moment of glory for the evening was almost closing the gap in on Harkonis' shelby mustang in my little hatchback, but other than that I've got a lot more tuning to do to get mine handling the way I want.

Here's my attempt at an Initial D paintjob:


Good enough for government work, but I'll still do just a little bit more tweaking.  Kind of frustrating how on the track the decals don't come out quite like they do in the paint room, like some white artifacts you can see on the third and fourth characters that weren't there when I laid them out.  But for the most part the decal system works pretty well.

Now to figure out how to give her a bit more horsepower for the next run at Nürburgring....
9564  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: All-time PC gaming disappointments on: June 04, 2007, 06:08:37 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on June 04, 2007, 06:05:29 PM

Quote from: Calvin on June 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM

Dragon Quest 8 is massively high on my list considering my life long love for the series and my tremendous dissapointment for 8.

How depressing!  This is in my backlog of games I want to play eventually on my PS3.  You just bummed me out, Calvin.

Don't worry, he's crazy. slywink  DQ8 is a very faithful continuation of the series, tons of fun.
9565  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (6/4) on: June 04, 2007, 03:20:44 PM
Read the list too fast, I thought they were introducing S&M to the Sims.

Nothing for me this week, trying to save some money.
9566  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: All-time PC gaming disappointments on: June 04, 2007, 03:18:08 PM
Lords of the Realm III - Why oh why couldn't they just make minor upgrades to the LOTRII formula?

Star Wars Galaxies - A Star Wars MMO?  This should've been as easy as selling snow cones in hell.  Apparently SOE doesn't want my money.  If Blizzard had handled this I'd probably be happily paying $20/mo + expansion purchases for the rest of my life.

Arcanum, Rise of Legends - Magic meets steampunk, sign me up.  I know there were fans for both these games, particularly RoL, but they were just missing something for me.

Battlefield 2 - Had some fun with it for a while, but I really wanted the magic of BF1942 to be reborn.

Freelancer - Was worth some fun, but I wanted to see more of the innovative features that were promised in the previews, like loading different autopilot evasive maneuvers and flying above cities.
9567  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: June 03, 2007, 11:02:02 PM

Quote from: rrmorton on June 03, 2007, 10:00:58 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on June 03, 2007, 08:37:28 PM

Why would you keep your survivalist in the front line?

I thought she did more damage up front (is that right?) and my Protector protects her when the going gets tough.

Melee weapons do more damage up front, but the bow does equally as well front as back.
9568  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Photography Questions (56k) on: June 03, 2007, 07:15:54 PM
Interesting, your camera has a very robust set of features, but it doesn't include a specific macro setting. 

You've got a number of settings that'll help you with your focus issues:



Looking at the row of buttons just to the right of the display, the second one shows a box with a circle and a dot in the middle.  This is mainly used to change how the camera measures the light exposure, but it can also affect the autofocus.  If you press it until the display shows a box with just the single dot in the center (no circle around it) the camera will adjust both the focus and the autoexposure to look at just the center of the viewfinder.

Your camera also has a manual focus feature.  Referring to this photo of the side of your lens:

If you hold down that MF button and press the up and down arrows with your right thumb, you can try to manually adjust the focus.  Press the MF button again to return to autofocus.

Another feature your camera has to help you is a focus bracketing mode.  The camera will take three shots when you press the shutter button, one at your set focus, one closer, and one further away.  To do this:
  • Press the FUNC. button
  • Scroll down to what looks to be the option just below the timer.  The icon should show the word OFF with three overlapping boxes underneath, a shaded one, a white one, and a dark one.  This is where you can set the type of bracketing you want.
  • Scroll right or left until Focus-BKT appears, and hit the SET button.
  • Use the right and left buttons to adjust the range of the bracketing (how much difference you want between the three focus settings.
  • Either shoot your photo from this screen, letting you adjust the bracketing while you shoot, or press the FUNC. button to close the menu and shoot with the MF manual focus setting.
  • *Bracketing will not work with the flash
.
If all else fails, another trick is to simply focus on something else that's the same distance of your subject.  If you're trying to shoot a tiny flower bud, for example, half press the shutter on a nearby leaf that's the same distance, then turn the camera back to the flower and press the rest of the way.

Good luck, have fun, let me know if any of this helps!
9569  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Photography Questions (56k) on: June 03, 2007, 05:12:28 AM
Be careful that you don't get too close to your subject.  Each lens has a set minimum focal distance, if you get closer than that distance, it's not physically possible for it to get in focus.  The minimum distance should be in your manual, but if you find the exact model number I can try to look it up online for you.

Second, are you familiar with doing half shutter presses?  Point at the subject, half press, frame your shot, press the rest of the way.  For your macro shots, this will let you half press until you manage to get it in focus, and then snap the shot.

Many cameras, including point and shoots, let you change the target area to focus on.  If you have the ability to change it from an area focus to a point focus, you can more precisely target where you want the camera to be focused on.  I think the "flower symbol" macro setting on cameras usually set it this way for you.

On those blurry flowers you posted, I think the point focus would help a lot, but your main problem is likely my first example--you're just too close.  Get a little further away, use half shutter presses to get the focus right, and shoot away.

Oh yeah, and if you're using the zoom feature on your camera, keep in mind that zooming in will also affect your minimum focal distance.  Most point and shoots I've seen typically let you go 2x without changing the minimum, anything past that and you have to be further away.
9570  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Colin McRae: DiRT [360/PS3/PC] demo on: June 01, 2007, 06:56:53 PM
I'm getting pushed further and further into the BUY column.  One question though:

Any other rally racing games on the horizon this year that should be in the running for my $60?
9571  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii Console & Control Issues? on: May 31, 2007, 10:38:17 PM
Do you have any light sources or anything reflective like a window or a glass cabinet near your TV?  Try using the Wii remote calibrator and you can see if it's picking up any extraneous IR sources, and you can try to drop the sensitivity so they get ignored.
9572  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: May 31, 2007, 01:12:43 PM
Here's my party review (lvl 34):

Protector: Absolutely must have for me.  Smite does great damage if I just want to kill something fast, but for big fights it's all about Defender and F/B Guard.  Defender greatly reduces everyone's damage, and if someone's in trouble the F/B Guard works great to keep them alive in time for the heal to come.  I regret getting Provoke, it's just too unreliable and too slow to be effective.  I got Fortify as a prerequisite, it gives the Protector an insane defense boost, but I rarely use it.

Landsausage: He's been great, second only to the alchemist for damage.  I got Hell Cry instead of War Cry, and I'm not sure if I like it.  Hell Cry boosts his damage, but reduces both his defense and his max HP for 5 rounds.  Cleaver is his bread and butter one-target attack, but it doesn't activate his 2-Hit skill, sometimes I wonder if he'd do more damage if I just did a standard attack.  Allslash is huge, he hits harder than Cleaver against all enemies, just a devastating attack. 

Medic: Essential, of course.  Immunize is a must-have skill, it's like the elemental version of the Defender skill.  I regret getting Regen.  Maybe it's better at higher levels but it just seems too wimpy.  I mostly use Cure II and Salve I&II, I just started bringing up Refresh, and Revive helps with the hospital bills when things go wrong.  Don't ever get Patch Up HP Touch, I don't have it but I heard it heals your party -up to- the 25% mark, and no higher.

Alchemist: Essential for my team.  Biggest damage dealer.  I've focused on fire spells, the higher single target spell puts out huge huge damage for me.  I have Ice as a backup for critters with fire resistance.  I have Sight and Warp as utility spells.  I use Sight every time I hit a new level, so that I can mark all the FOE positions right off the bat.  Warp saves me from buying warp wires, it warps me back to the last geopoint so I can save the game or return to town.

Survivalist: He's been more useful than I expected.  I gave him 3 points in each gathering skill, but he contributes a lot to a fight.  He almost always outspeeds the enemy, so I can rely on him to kill a weakened enemy before it gets a shot off.  I used to rely on Trickery to reduce enemy accuracy, but I find myself using it less.  He mostly uses Trueshot for good single target damage, Apollon does wonderful damage against longer FOE fights, and I just got Multishot for groups.

Landschnitzel and Survivalist are soon to be replaced by Ronin and Hexer.
9573  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: May 30, 2007, 08:31:17 PM

Quote from: juniordan on May 30, 2007, 07:50:59 PM

More expensive because it will have to be imported. Your part for the upgrades will cost you more too.

So it's the same as Forza 1?  They didn't implement some kooky region (game region, not real life region) exclusivity in the game to get us to trade with each other?
9574  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: May 30, 2007, 07:35:38 PM
I keep seeing articles mentioning that the mechanic of having seperate regions (N.A., Euro, JP) was to induce Pokemon style trading with people who chose other regions.  Did they actually make some cars impossible to buy for certain regions, or is it like Forza 1 where it's just more expensive or harder to unlock.  I'm going to be cranky if they did the former, I don't want to have to go to the auction house just because I chose Japan and I want a Shelby Cobra.
9575  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Colin McRae: DiRT [360/PS3/PC] demo on: May 30, 2007, 03:01:38 AM

Quote from: Misguided on May 30, 2007, 02:52:09 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on May 30, 2007, 02:44:23 AM

Quote from: Calvin on May 30, 2007, 02:27:23 AM

I am sure there is a reason for this-do races of this type not normally have more than one car on a track at a time?
Rally racing typically has people start at staggered intervals so that you're not near other cars.  You race for time.

True, but DiRT has other types of events, including multi-car affairs. There's a buggy race in the demo that would be a blast online.

Ninja inserted Calvin's question that I was responding to.  I have no evidence, but I would guess that that version of multiplayer is just for the point to point races, not the buggy free-for-all races.
9576  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Colin McRae: DiRT [360/PS3/PC] demo on: May 30, 2007, 02:44:23 AM
Rally racing typically has people start at staggered intervals so that you're not near other cars.  You race for time.

I really really don't understand why the sport isn't more popular in America, it's so much more fun to watch than NASCAR.  Better crashes, too.
9577  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Odin Sphere on: May 29, 2007, 10:42:13 PM

Quote from: rrmorton on May 29, 2007, 09:46:37 PM

I was out of town for the weekend and Gamestop gave away my preordered and paid-in-full copy. Now they're out of stock.  mad

See, you should've preordered!  Wait...
9578  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: May 29, 2007, 08:57:59 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on May 29, 2007, 08:54:08 PM

Can you retire multiple times for even more bonuses?  Unlikely, but it would be kind of amusing.

Fraid not. smile
9579  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: May 29, 2007, 08:31:34 PM

Quote from: semiconscious on May 29, 2007, 06:42:26 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on May 29, 2007, 05:51:22 PM

What's the benefit of retirement?  Do you get big boosts on the new character?

depending on the character's level, up to 5 bonus points, which i guess is kinda nice if you really wanna have a ronin or hexer, but, other than that, & a boost to one stat (depending on which character class you're retiring), not much benefit at all, really...

Here's a rundown of the benefits at different retirement ages:
Level 30 - 2 extra skill points, 1 extra stat point
Level 40 - 3 extra skill points, 1 extra stat point
Level 50 - 4 extra skill points, 2 extra stat points
Level 60 - 5 extra skill points, 2 extra stat points
Level 70 - 6 extra skill points, 3 extra stat points

The stat point that gets the boost depends on the pre-retirement class:
STR: Landsknecht, Ronin, Dark Hunter
VIT: Protector
TEC: Medic, Alchemist, Hexer
AGI: Survivalist
LUC: Troubador

It may seem like a minor upgrade, but I get the feeling that the end-game fights that are going to get thrown at us are going to be challenging even for a party of level 70 characters.  Those few extra skill points could end up making a big influence: 5 skill points can mean 28% more HP, an extra element to attack with, or a bigger arsenal of utility spells.
9580  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: May 29, 2007, 05:48:33 PM
Did anyone rest or retire in their 30s and regret it?  My team just hit 31 and I'm very tempted to rest a few characters to respec them.  On the other hand, my party feels fairly powerful as-is despite some bad skill point allocation, and a part of me wants to plow ahead to unlock the Ronin ASAP.

Once I do unlock Ronin & Hexer (both of which I want in my party) I can't decide if I want to roll them from scratch or put someone else into early retirement for the extra few skill points.

Decisions decisions.
9581  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pirates 3 Impressions (Spoilers) on: May 29, 2007, 03:48:54 PM

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on May 29, 2007, 01:51:48 PM

I think my favorite part is the audio during the fade-to-black right before we see Jack the first time. From the first sound straight out of the ride I was grinning from ear-to-ear and laughing like a kid. When the oh-so familiar "Deaaad Meeeen Teeelll Noooo Taaaaaaaaales" came on, I absolutely lost it.

My fiancee and I absolutely loved that part, but the whole rest of the audience (in Boston) didn't seem to react at all.  We grew up in California and thus the original Pirates ride in Disneyland, is there no Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disney World for the east coast people?
9582  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: May 29, 2007, 03:38:31 PM
Team Xbox review is out.  I'm pretty sure they liked it, but I was only able to read two paragraphs before the terrible writing gave me a headache.
9583  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How Big of a Star Wars Fan Are You? on: May 29, 2007, 03:01:07 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on May 29, 2007, 02:52:34 PM

Quote from: ATB on May 29, 2007, 01:59:23 PM

Quote from: Starshifter on May 29, 2007, 01:53:34 PM


THAT is what Star Wars is all about.  If you were not sitting in a theater on May 25, 1977, you cannot know what you missed.  Thankfully, I was there and I'm part of a special club and I'm an uber fan.  thumbsup

Well I guess, by that theory, you're ruling out everyone born in or after 1972.  So I guess it's an old man's trilogy.

Yep.

I grew up watching a recorded-from-TV version of Star Wars and Return of the Jedi over and over on Beta.  The commercials were edited out via the pause button on the original recording, but to this day I still anticipate where the commercial breaks should be when I rewatch the movies.

It wasn't until Jr. High or so that I finally rented the non-TV version of the movies, and it was like Christmas seeing all these new scenes that I had always missed due to TV editing.

Despite not seeing them in the theater until the 20th anniversary remakes, between the Beta recording and the tons of toys that came out in the 80s, an uber-fan was still created.
9584  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: May 28, 2007, 06:58:38 PM

Quote from: Destructor on May 28, 2007, 06:37:50 PM

Quote from: Ralph-Wiggum on May 28, 2007, 01:24:48 PM

Quote from: unbreakable on May 28, 2007, 04:04:33 AM

I'm still thinking of getting an alchemist, they seem pretty damn good.  I dunno, this game isn't very long, is it?  Maybe I'll play around with things on a future playthrough.
It's not short. I think there are 30 levels and every character can reach level 70.

30 floors and 100 levels possible for your characters (with the ability to 'retire' them to make a better character back at level 1).

I think Ralph is right about the level 70 cap.
9585  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I am amazed that I have 14 Virtual Console games. on: May 28, 2007, 04:39:32 PM
Been tempted by a lot, but have only broken down to buy:

Zelda 1
Zelda: Link to the Past
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario World
9586  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (5/28) on: May 28, 2007, 02:33:36 PM
Forza 2!  Champing at the bit to get that.

Didn't realize Mario Party was coming out this week.  Gonna have to find some piggy banks to bust open to get that as well.
9587  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: DM of the Rings on: May 26, 2007, 02:54:22 AM
I love the one from a few days ago where the DM realizes he forgot to give Aragorn the magic sword.

Er, uh... Elrond shows up
Elrond: "Hi"
He gives you the sword
Elrond: "Here is the sword"
And then he leaves
9588  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Big Screen Theatre flicks on: May 25, 2007, 04:29:53 PM
If I limit myself to movies I was too young or unborn to see on the big screen:

Yojimbo, Alien, Aliens, Dr. Strangelove, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Godfather, and Jaws are the first to come to mind. 

If I had to pick one of those I'd probably go with Alien.
9589  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii] VC Info for 5/21 on: May 25, 2007, 01:12:16 PM
Yeah, Mario 2 is the one where they slapped Mario Bros. elements on some other Japanese franchise game.  I've been hoping this one would come out soon.  Although it's the odd-ball Mario game, it's got it's own charm, not to mention some of the best video game music of all time.
9590  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Strategy games that give you troops on the walls? on: May 25, 2007, 01:00:58 PM

Quote from: EngineNo9 on May 25, 2007, 02:18:04 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on May 25, 2007, 01:30:06 AM

A bit more of a stretch...but, Rampart!  Woo, that's one I'd be willing to pay for if it showed up on the Wii's VC.

It's available on the PS3 Network, so I doubt we'll see it on either of the other systems.  It got pretty bad reviews on the PS3 for bad control, though.

Dang, hadn't heard about that.  All I wanted was a straight port of the SNES version. :(

If they really wanted to update it for online play, in a perfect happy fairy fantasy land the new Rampart would have improved graphics, the PS3's resolution, the 360's Live matchmaking, and Wii controls.
9591  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Strategy games that give you troops on the walls? on: May 25, 2007, 01:30:06 AM
A bit more of a stretch...but, Rampart!  Woo, that's one I'd be willing to pay for if it showed up on the Wii's VC.
9592  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Strategy games that give you troops on the walls? on: May 24, 2007, 08:48:33 PM
Age of Wonders I or II might scratch your itch as well, depending on what kind of itch you have.  The troops don't go on the walls, but firing from behind walls and using siege weapons destroy walls and gates are a part of combat.
9593  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Car porn (Forza 2) on: May 24, 2007, 07:20:50 PM

Quote from: gellar on May 24, 2007, 07:06:39 PM

I wonder if there is an Impreza or EVO in the demo that I can try.

The closest that I'm remembering in the demo is a Subaru Legacy.
9594  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Buying new car questions on: May 24, 2007, 06:21:46 PM
FJ Cruiser Forum post with fancy pants pricing spreadsheet

Same FJ Cruiser Forum with people listing the deals they got recently.
9595  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Strategy games that give you troops on the walls? on: May 24, 2007, 06:04:47 PM
Lords of the Realm II
9596  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Buying new car questions on: May 24, 2007, 05:11:45 PM
Also, depending on the type of car you want, check if there's an online community that can help you know what kind of deal you can get.  When I bought my WRX, I was able to use several Impreza forums to find which Subaru dealers were better or worse in the Bay Area, and that people had been getting theirs for $X under invoice.  With that knowledge, I was able to get a much lower price than if I had gone in with just info from Edmunds.
9597  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [ds] etrian odyssey impressions on: May 24, 2007, 03:19:32 PM
Just found out you can check skill prerequisites in-game.  Go to Custom and select a greyed out skill for a character.
9598  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Odin Sphere on: May 23, 2007, 06:44:49 PM
I hate game stores pushing pre-orders as much as the next guy, but in the case of Atlus games it's not bad advice.
9599  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Colin McRae: DiRT [360/PS3/PC] on: May 23, 2007, 06:11:04 PM
Where does this game fall on the realism scale?  I love rally racing, but I haven't played a rally racing game since the original WRC on the PS2.
9600  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [All] Guitar Hero 3 Confirmed and Announced on: May 23, 2007, 04:02:49 PM
Quote
In addition, players will experience an incredible number of newly added features and explosive content including a new multiplayer action-inspired battle mode, grueling boss battles,
"Boss battles" raises a couple warning flags.  I hope they don't meddle with the game formula too much.

Quote
The exclusive Gibson guitars will include . . . a new button color design that will be integrated for an even greater authentic feel and rock experience.
I wonder if they have to change the button color scheme because Harmonix managed to keep control of it as a trademark for use in Rock Band.  Those colored frets have certainly become iconic enough to warrant it.  It's going to be hard to rewire my brain, if the new colors are too different it might be like switching from Qwerty to Dvorak.
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