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  • Revolution slightly prettier than Gamecube

    Posted on November 30th, 2005 Finster 3 comments

    I saw on EvAv that the Revolution allegedly has only slightly better graphics than the Gamecube.

    Good. Means it will be even cheaper, then.

    Obviously, we have to wait until E3 2006 for more official details about the Revolution, but any Xbox 360 purchases in the coming year have been canceled due to lack of interest, anyway.

    I’m kind of excited. The Revolution sounds more and more like a cheaper alternative to the $400 next gen craziness. And after seeing all the great games Nintendo has put together for the DS, I’m not too worried about the Revolution delivering some quality titles.

    Oh, and I’ve read some comments that bring up the old “Graphics vs. Gameplay” arguments in support of the Revolution. One poster put it well when he said that there isn’t a magic slider with Graphics on one side and Gameplay on the other. Like Sid Meier said, switch Civ IV from 2D to 3D allows more information to be conveyed to the player. People can complain all they want, but better graphics enables better gameplay. It doesn’t guarantee it, obviously.

    I think looking at the great games Nintendo has been able to get published on the DS, and later in the Gamecube’s lifespan, uber graphics or not, the Revolution will have great gameplay.

  • Back from Tryptophanistan

    Posted on November 28th, 2005 Finster 2 comments

    Where do I begin?

    Picked up World of Warcraft at Fry’s Electronics Black Friday sale (along with a bunch of other awesome stuff).

    Xbox 360’s are apparently crashing left and right. Oh, and you can’t get one right now. Well, unless you want the craptastic core system, which are taking up shelf and prodcution line resources that would’ve been better served with a universally supported HDD system.

    What really gets my goat this week, though, is the undeserved adulation that Warren Spector is getting for hiring people for his unannounced Source engine project.

    Have we so soon forgotten the travesty that was Deus Ex: Invisible War? I for one have not forgotten. I don’t want another dumbed-down, shallow, mission-based shooter. For crying out loud, Ubisoft is still releasing Rainbow Six games on the Xbox.


    Anyway, 1.9 patch is coming out for WoW. My co-worker still hates paladins.

    I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! I know I did. PUMPKIN PIE FOR ALL!

  • I hate FilePlanet

    Posted on November 14th, 2005 Finster No comments

    Josh at Cathode Tan posted his recent experience trying to download the World of Warcraft trial from Fileplanet.

    I’m all about free stuff, and admittedly wanted to see what the fuss was, as I’ve downloaded a lot of different things from Fileplanet over the years.

    I have seen the enemy and it is Gamespy.

    For some strange reason, the download stops at 2.0 GB every time. And no, I’m not downloading to a FAT/FAT32 filesystem. NTFS should have no problem with a 2.7 GB file. At least, it’s never had any problems with my Linux distro DVD images before. I looked up their customer support and went through the various options. Let’s see… I was using a firefox browser. Well, what if I use Gamespy/IGN’s very own patented download manager? Same results. 2.0 GB and it just stops downloading. Hmm, not running any firewalls on my machine. I guess I could uninstall Symantec’s Corporate anti-virus client. Oh, wait… how about NO! Especially when I click a link that popped up on Gamespy’s Download Manager for a customer feedback survey that took me to the kind of website you’ve only seen when Gmail warns you of a phishing attempt.

    Forget this, I’m going home.

  • Video Games: The Perfect Escape

    Posted on November 10th, 2005 Finster 2 comments

    (This is part of a roundtable discussion on video games and addiction hosted by Corvus’ Man Bytes Blog. Other entries in the discussion are found at the end of this article.), one of my favorite video game blogs, linked to a video on Google’s Video archive where some kid (we’ll call him “Assass3n” to protect his identity) began berating his (far-too-lenient) mother after she insisted that he stop playing and go to bed. Almost immediately, the thought that went through my head was, “If this were my kid, I’d slap him right in the mouth.” Corporal punishment seems like the answer to everything, especially if, like me, you don’t have kids yet.

    I encourage you to go watch the video. (Be warned, there is some foul language.) It will simultaneously anger and entertain you. It also illustrates a classic behavior. Well, when that behavior is enabled and coddled by a parent. I also suspect that this is a single mother, as if I was the kid in this situation, my dad would’ve walked in, yanged all the cables from their respective sockets, and that would be that. Bedtime for all.

    It is behavior like this that is often cited to show that video games are as addictive as hard drugs. “See, that kid is totally out of control. Only someone who is seriously addicted loses control like that!”

    I’ve wanted to write an article about Video Games and addiction since I first started this blog. It is a topic that has always been at the forefront of my mind, and I’ll get into that in just a moment.
    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Anakin is Clutch

    Posted on November 9th, 2005 Finster 1 comment

    So, I picked up a snazzy Star Wars Episode I watch from Booger King (still feeling somewhat queasy from all the BK food I bought when they were giving away the chibi Star Wars toys). I got to thinking about how much Jake Lloyd bugged, and this led me to think about how Episode III hints that Emperor Palpatine (or maybe his master, Darth Plagueis) was responsible for using the Force to create Anakin. But why? Why did the Emperor need Anakin before taking over the galaxy? What purpose does he serve, besides typical Sith shenanigans of killing Jedi, spreading fear, oppressing innocent people, and such?

    Then, I got to thinking, we could look at this question in the sense of football quarterbacks. A lot of people used to say (unfairly, IMHO) that Tom Brady isn’t that great of a QB, he’s just a regular guy that is in the middle of a great system in New England under Belichek. The argument being that you could put almost ANY quarterback on that New England team and win 3 out of the last 4 Super Bowls.

    Which brings me to Anakin. Was he merely placed in a really good system with a really good coach (Darth Sidious)? I say yes. There is no doubt that Anakin was talented, and probably the most powerful Jedi ever born… er… hatched, er… whatever. However, couldn’t Palpatine taken any young and upcoming Jedi and used him to perform key tasks such as cleaning out the Jedi Temple and killing the Separtist leaders? Yes. Did he really need Anakin to go into the Jedi Temple at all? No, that’s why he had legions and legions of Clone Troopers.

    I will say this, though. Anakin, like Tom Brady, was big in clutch situations (both to the advantage and ultimate detriment of Emperor Palpatine.) The one point where Palpatine faced certain defeat was at the hands of Mace Windu. The Emperor had no problem handling Yoda, especially once they got into an open field, but in the close quarters of the Chancellor’s Office, Mace bottled him up and was ready to lay down the Jedi smacktitude… until Anakin showed up and knocked Master Windu out of the park. Fast forward 20 years and he was also reponsible for saving the galaxy when at his son’s request, chucked the Emperor over the railing.

    Beyond these key plays, Anakin did very little. He got his arm chopped off by Dooku, then Yoda had to bail him out. Obi-wan had the “high ground.” He choked Natalie Portman (moron!) He let the Millenium Falcon escape how many times?

    On the other hand, he did build C-3PO. Oh, wait… that might be a point against him.

    Anakin is like Michael Vick. He’s got horrible numbers, but somehow he wins games.

  • Welcome to the Carnival!

    Posted on November 3rd, 2005 Finster No comments

    The latest chapter in the Carnival of Gamers saga is up at Aeropause. Some good stuff, this month. I had a hiatus from the Carnival for a time, but I am now back in full force.

  • Sony: not ALWAYS stupid

    Posted on November 2nd, 2005 Finster No comments

    I saw on IMDB (via EvilAvatar) that Warner Bros. will be releasing movies on UMD. Meh. Whatever. What really got my attention was this:

    Sony on Monday opened an online store where Japanese owners of the PSP can buy movies that can be downloaded to PSPs for about $9.00.

    Oh, REALLY? Not a bad idea at all. For the price of a single movie ticket (in most markets) you can legally own a movie which can be downloaded and watched on the PSP. Yes, of course Sony will pile on the DRM to keep the movies from being played on anything else, which will last all of a few hours before someone cracks it and allows you to burn these movies to writable DVD, or anything else that is a guaranteed right under Fair Use. The only catch here is that I buy most of DVD’s based on how many special features are included with the film. Yes, I listen to movie commentaries quite a bit, and I assume such features would not be available for your $9. But hey, still not a bad concept.