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  • Kutaragi Watch: Ken’s dad can beat up your dad

    Posted on October 28th, 2005 Finster 1 comment

    Kutaragi Watch

    And his console can run games at 120 fps (frames per second)! That’s better than Microsoft’s crappy 30 fps!


    (And if you can read Japanese, here are his actual quotes. Right now, we’re just going by whatever Joystiq and Gamespot say he said.)

  • My Warcraft tastes like Burning

    Posted on October 28th, 2005 admin No comments

    After watching this *double* postage stamp sized preview trailer, I couldn’t help myself. I must post about this latest Blizzard bid.

    Let’s take a look at the added feature list point by point.
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Civilization IV: Not Realistic

    Posted on October 28th, 2005 Finster 1 comment

    Well, at least according to this article on Tech Central Station, which my father posted about on his blog.

    The gist:

    But as much as I love Civilization, I can’t embrace many of the historical assumptions that the designers coded into the game. A Whiggish progressivism permeates the game’s outlook; civilizations invariably grow and flourish unless outside forces stunt or destroy them. Governments and religions have only utilitarian value; freedom and decency are not uniquely useful in Civilization IV. The superiority of the modern to the medieval is everywhere assumed, and the atomization and ennui of contemporary life is thoroughly ignored. To be sure, the game takes cognizance of unhappy citizens and social unrest, but civil wars, religious schisms, and collapses into barbarism simply don’t happen in Civilization IV. These absences make for a smoother and more entertaining game, but not a more realistic one. . . .

    In the great Civilization IV game that is the modern world, the West is in no danger of losing to an outside civilization. Osama bin Laden will not beat us to Alpha Centauri. China will not acquire cultural hegemony over the world with its thrilling movies and catchy pop tunes. Africa will not send tank columns to capture our capital cities. But the West may lose to its own self-disgust. Our appetite for wealth outpaces our willingness to produce it; our sense of justice grows ever more rarefied even as our capacity for self-discipline declines; and our achievements cannot keep pace with the speed with which we forget our own history.

    A fair indictment, to be sure.

  • Oh no… not ANOTHER Video Game Awards show…

    Posted on October 26th, 2005 Finster 1 comment

    SpikeTV sent EvilAvatar a press release announcing… Ah geez. Yeah… another Video Game Awards show.

    I was hoping the first one was bad enough that they wouldn’t make any more.

    Well, here’s the press release, followed by some comments from me. (Darn, I didn’t get nominated for the blog award.)
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • What I played: Quake 4 and F.E.A.R.

    Posted on October 24th, 2005 Finster No comments

    I was sick all weekend, but did pick up F.E.A.R. and Quake 4. Finished them both while I ate soup and consumed massive quantities of orange juice.

    The graphics in both were excellent. Quake 4 looks and feels like Doom 3, only with a lot more enemies on the screen at a time, and also, the levels are more opened up than they were in Doom 3. I would equate the levels in Quake 4 to Quake 2.

    The A.I. in Quake 4 is horrible. I guess Raven’s idea of A.I. was, “If I am getting shot at. Choose a random direction and jump in that direction.” So, firefights ended up being about how much ordinance you could throw in their general direction. The tactics of Quake 4 consisted of knowing where the enemies were going to spawn from, and then launching grenades/rockets/dark matter in that direction, and then run through and pick up the dropped ammo. I will say that the shotgun in Quake 4 is always fun. Not sure why, but the shotgun is always a FPS fave of mine.

    If you were thinking that Quake 4 multiplayer would somehow be new and improved, guess again. It is literally Quake 3 with a few different weapons. And most of the weapons are EXACTLY the same as Quake 3. I played through Quake 4 and rather enjoyed the railgun’s new clip-based paradigm. I also liked that the rocket launcher could fire homing missiles which would travel slower until you released the “homing” button and let them fly free. So, when I switched to multiplayer, none of these cool new weapon enhancements were even in multiplayer. That’s just crap. As far as I’m concerned, the Quake 4 multiplayer should’ve been released as a free weapons mod for Quake 3. At least then there would be bots… because Quake 4 HAS NO BOTS! Pah-the-tic.

    Quake 4’s story… sheesh. Basically, it borrowed from every other popular FPS of the past year. It stole Half-Life 2’s vehicle sequences and “train ride”, and it stole Halo 2’s “play as the enemy” gag. And the plot was less than original. Quake 4 is essentially a sequel to Quake 2. Annoyingly, though, they decided to resurrect the end boss from Quake 2. “ZOMG! HE’S NOT DEAD! OH NOES!!!!” Then, they have you spend a good chunk of the story trying to maneuver an EMP to take out the Strogg’s communications net. Well, after that endeavour fails miserably, it is then revealed that it wouldn’t have worked anyway, even if they had a dozen EMP’s. There is a lot of collect this and then return here, but at least the levels were pretty enough that I didn’t mind the back and forth so much.

    So, I chalk Quake 4 as another ho-hum FPS that everyone will be playing online a whole bunch, so go buy it anyway because all your friends will be.

    On the other hand, compared to Quake 4, The firefights in F.E.A.R. are absolutely dreamy. Otherwise, not much else of value.

    Much like Quake 4, I found the story in F.E.A.R. to be… lacking. There were many plot points that either didn’t make sense or were significant, and then non-chalantly waved aside for no apparent reason, other than writer’s fiat. There was a notable creep-out factor in F.E.A.R. but nothing compared to System Shock 2, or Half-Life 2’s Ravenholm.

    So, F.E.A.R.’s story did not deliver, but the firefights made up for it in spades. The A.I. wasn’t top-notch, but it was light-years better than Quake 4. If the A.I. in F.E.A.R. was predictable, at least they still moved like real soldiers. Firing from cover, throwing grenades to flush you out, laying down suppressive fire while other soldiers moved in, are all examples of what half-decent A.I. is capable of. And the level design was usually set up in a such a way that the enemy could easily flank you if you weren’t watching your back VERY carefully. F.E.A.R. would be absolutely perfect as a co-op experience. Here’s to hoping someone creates a co-op mod for this game.

    Alas, I have not had any oppurtunity whatsoever to try out the multiplayer in F.E.A.R., but looking through the maps and options, I saw nothing that stood out as bringing anything new to the bloated FPS multiplayer landscape.

    Quake 4: Middle of Average
    F.E.A.R.: Bottom of Cool

  • Celebrity Deathmatch

    Posted on October 18th, 2005 Finster No comments

    I demand, DEMAND, I tell you, a no-holds-barred grudge match between Derek Smart and Jack Thompson.

    Who ever wins, hilarity would ensue.

  • I’m so tired of Jack Thompson

    Posted on October 17th, 2005 Finster No comments

    But I’m going to comment on him anyway.

    Some of you may or not be aware of the current spat between BatJack and the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF). NIMF was also one of the most vocal groups complaining about the Hot Coffee mod.

    Well, in response to David Walsh’s (head of NIMF) denouncement of Jack Thompson, he responded (quoted from Gamespot),

    “I am a Christian. As far as I know, Dr. Walsh is as well,” Thompson wrote. “There is a very clear passage in the New Testament in which believers are admonished that if they have a problem with someone, to go to that person in private and try and work it out. He didn’t do that. He did not want to do that. What he wanted to do, it seems is ingratiate himself with some of the folks that fund his organization, so that he will continue to be considered ‘a responsible critic’–one who can be counted upon not to go too far with his criticism.”

    Mr. Thompson, did the Bible also tell you to call Gabe a pissant?

    Penny Arcade also has some interesting commentary posted up today. My favorite part is the part about VG Cats.

    UPDATE: Jack Thompson sics Seattle police on Penny Arcade. I guess free speech is overrated.

  • Super Turbo Ninja Gaiden Black ZZ: Chapter The Third

    Posted on October 13th, 2005 Finster 2 comments

    I’ve gotten past chapter 2, defeated evil horse guy with a relentless hail of arrows.

    Now, I’m on the next chapter of Ninja Gaiden, and I feel a bit sheepish for being so… unforgiving. The game has turned out to be great fun, and chapter 3 is excellent. Yes, I’m currently stuck on the giant lard guy, but I’m not tossing the controller across the room anymore.

  • Serenity Online

    Posted on October 11th, 2005 Finster No comments

    You can see the first 9 minutes or so of Serenity. Yes, legally. Universal has made it available, so if you know anyone who is still not sure if they want to see it, give them this unprecedented sneak preview.

  • Microsoft follows the Sony business model…

    Posted on October 11th, 2005 Finster 2 comments

    Of ripping off consumers on accessories.

    Here is the Xbox 360 wi-fi adapter, which interestingly enough, plugs into USB. Those of you with PS2’s may recall the crap rip-off fest called the “Sony Broadband Adapter“.

    The wi-fi adapter from MS is retailing for $100. The Sony Network Adapter is currently retailing for $40. (I think it debuted at $50.)

    The best part about the PS2, is that it uses normal USB ports. Yes, there is a whole list of standard wi-fi ethernet adapters that work flawlessly for the PS2, none of which are sold by Sony. If the Xbox 360 is the same, then expect a similar list to materialize for it. Nice thing about that is, USB wi-fi and ethernet adapters are about $10 on ebay.

    So, unless MS includes some kind of bizarre encryption into the wireless adapter (which I doubt, because the Xbox 360 wi-fi adapter is more likely just re-branded MS broadband hardware), I’m going to slap anyone silly that forks out a C-note for this crap.