Wednesday, May 23, 2007

360 gettin' Dirt(y), and Halo man cannon goodness.

According to this blog entry the demo for Dirt is supposed to be up on the marketplace tomorrow morning. Although the post states it's for European users, Xbox360fanboy believes it will show up on the US marketplace as well. I'm really looking forward to this, as all of the screenshots, and videos I've seen thus far look freaking gorgeous. It will still probably land in the pile of racers I suck at, but anyway.

I've played a little more of the Halo 3 beta, and while still getting my ass kicked in matches I do enjoy it. Other FPS shooters I can usually hold my own various PC Half-Life titles, Unreal, Quake, and even some console shooters like Lost Planet, and Fear I end up being in the middle of the pack. I'm not the best, but certainly not the worst player in the match. All the Halo titles have been the opposite though I'm always hovering towards the bottom of leader board. I would think it's just PC versus console controls, but since I don't suck at every console shooter I don't know what it is.

If you haven't had enough of the beta Bungie put the Halo 3 multiplayer beta shirt (the one that shows the man cannon) up on the website, so you can be stylin' if you want.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Halo 3 ... finally, 28 Week's Later, and the end is near.

Well I got up yesterday promptly at 6:55 a.m. before my alarm went off, and started my wondrous adventure into the land of Beta software, and fairy tales. Went downstairs popped in my Crackdown gateway disc only to be greeted by the same 'greyed' out option as always.

The first update came on the homepage at 5:22 a.m. Pacific (7:22 a.m. doodah time) acknowledging the problem, and saying they had notified Live and were working on a solution. The next update on the homepage was at 3:55 p.m. Pacific, sure there had been some updates here and there in the forums section, but who wanted to trudge through 10 pages an hour of fanboy hate, and commentary? For a while it seriously looked like it would be 24 hours late, and not hit until 7 a.m. Thursday morning. When the 3:55 p.m. update was posted it said they had figured out a solution and were 'testing' it, and it would be implemented in 3-6 hours.

It finally hit Live evidently about 9:05 p.m. (doodah time), but I was busy watching C.S.I. New York. I was trying every commercial break but couldn't get Crackdown to update, after the show ended I did some more net reading and found that clearing the update cache on the 360 HD was working for people. About 10:10 p.m. (15 hours later than planned...) I finally started downloading the Halo 3 beta. Luckily my download went pretty quick, and didn't have any of the problems that some people were having. Right after 11 p.m. (watched Lost during the download) I started my beta experience. :)

It didn't take long for me to realize that it's been a long time since I played a Halo game. I pretty much suck online, although I did manage to pull off a couple kills in the 2+ hours I spent with it. I also got to play all 3 of the beta maps, and 5-6 different game variations (still like slayer (plan ol' death match) the best, and territory (sp?) not so much). I'm still undecided about the matchmaking setup, it seems to take a little bit to find a game then fill it with players, but it seems like you can 'tag' a group of players and you will move from game to game together. Because of the snafu with the download, Bungie/Microsoft have extended the beta till June 10th now, so a few extra days of Halo goodness.

I had some free time Tuesday after work (didn't work Wednesday (see big plans above)), so I went and saw 28 Weeks Later. I had seen the first one 28 Days Later before it hit theaters here. It was a European release and was already available on DVD over there before it played theatrically here. I had read so many good things about it that I went ahead and imported the DVD, and even watched it again at the theaters thinking maybe I missed something. It was supposed to be a 're-imagining' of the zombie movie (or at least that's what I gathered), but what I got wasn't ... that. It was okay, nothing real special. I thought the story moved kind of slow, and I don't remember it as being action filled.

Anywho I caught the preview for the new one about a month ago, and it showed promise plus I figured it had to be better than the first one. Overall it was much more enjoyable than the first, although it had it's problems. I didn't like the fast action soft focus cuts, that felt like a montage of still photos. I also didn't see that they tied it to the first movie at all (other than basic premise), but there is some grey area there as I know the DVD version had at least one, if not two, alternate endings, and I can't remember what the ending of the theatrical cut was. I think I'm remembering an alternate, and not the real one (damn, now I need to go back and watch it again...). Weeks is definitely a step in the right direction, and the ending poised this one for another follow up, maybe the third time will be a charm.

Seems like just yesterday the fall tv season was upon us, and now some of my favorite shows have already had their cliff hangers, while others have another week to go. Now that the cable channels seem to make their own seasons, at least I can take comfort in the fact that other favorites will be coming back in the upcoming weeks to take the vacant slots. On a side note I noticed Cox has added TNT HD to my box, so something new to watch, oooh maybe The Closer in HD this summer. :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Even more 360 goodness oozing out...

Got home from work to find there was another demo up on marketplace today, Midway released a 'demo teaser' for the upcoming FPS BlackSite Area 51. What's a 'demo teaser' you might ask? Well it seems that in encompasses about ~5 minutes of game play, just a teeny taste to get you hooked.

I enjoy first person shooters a lot, and had seen some screen shots (and a video I believe) from this a while back so I was eager to give it a shot. I wasn't too far in when judging from the controller setup, I seen words that sent shivers down my spine, squad commands. As much as I like FPS games, squad based games and me just don't jive. I'm lucky to keep myself alive without having to worry about 2-4 other dinks running around. Once I got into the game it wasn't as bad as I feared, you only have the one button for squad commands, and depending on what your cursor is targeting that decides what they'll do when you hit the button. For example if you target a door they will breach the door, if you just target a position on the ground they will move to that location, etc. It reminded me of the mechanic used in Star Wars Republic Commando on the original Xbox. I've haven't spent much time with it yet, but I'm going to mess with it some more tonight.

There's a site called which offers custom gamertags for Live, and over at Cheapassgamer LinkinPrime has a bunch of his custom creations that you can see. I really like the 'super deformed Venom' card and was going to use it in the sidebar to the left, but it's too big so I'll just post it here...

I guess Microsoft let a press release spurt out about a new live arcade title, called Aegis Wing described as a four-player "2-D side-scrolling space shooter that combines epic space combat with fantastic visuals... set to a rich symphonic soundtrack.". The other highlight of the press release was it's free, and supposed to be available next week on May 16th. As of now the press release has been pulled, and replaced with info about next week's actual (overpriced $10 bucks??) title Soltrio Solitaire. You can see the full post that someone managed to copy and paste before it was vaporized via Kotaku.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Updat-a-palooza, Simpsons box Mmmm..., and even more!

Well I've been meaning to throw some post up here, but never got around to it. I've updated my movie sidebar, as last week I played catchup on quite a few. First off I watched Hot Fuzz this is by the same guys that brought us Shaun of the Dead, and it was just as funny. It leans towards British humor (since they are British, go figure) as does all of their comedy.

Next up was The Invisible which looked pretty good from the trailer, unfortunately that was most of the good parts. I thought I was going to see a murder mystery/suspense thriller, but what I got was wasn't even a who-dun-it they showed the murder happen with all parties involved. Not to mention scenes in the trailer weren't even in the movie?! Go see Disturbia much more enjoyable.

Then I finished the week off with a sneak of Spiderman 3 last Thursday. Umm, yeah. I really like the Venom character, and was a big fan of the symbiote story line in the comics. I don't know what happened Sam Raimi did a great job on the last one, and while the action scenes here were good, they were spaced apart by a lot of touchy feely dialogue. It felt drawn out to me, it didn't help that the Venom storyline was only the last ~20 minutes either.

Gamespot posted a first look the other day at the new Simpson's game coming out this fall. I originally thought it was going to be based on the movie, but it seems as though it is "lampooning" different video game genres. Personally I enjoyed Simpson's Road Rage, and Simpson's Hit & Run a lot so I'm looking forward to a new game. Then today I find that Microsoft issued a press release about 360 tie-ins with summer movie releases. The best part of this release was they will be making 100 limited edition 360's to give away in as of yet unknown contest over the summer. Check it out below, I want it.

I think I posted about it a while back, but my new power supply was wonky and I had to RMA it back to the company. I finally got a replacement today in the mail, and happy to say the new one is whisper quiet and my new rig is up and running at full speed. I transferred World of Warcraft over promptly set all the graphic sliders to high, and pushed it up to 1600x1200. It looks nice, and runs so much smoother than it did on my old system. I snapped a picture of the guts below, which don't really do it justice because you don't get the lighting effects.

The new demo for Forza 2 is up now on the marketplace. I tried it out a little bit tonight, and yes it looks really pretty. I still, however, suck at racing games. Forza was always a little to "Sim" for me to get into I like my racers more arcade-y which means I can usually control them a little better. The new spring dashboard update is also available now, I haven't played with it too much yet. I sort of like the marketplace blade, but I wish they hadn't put it back to the left of the main blade. The only other thing I've actually come across so far was the achievement upgrade. Now while playing a game it pops up with the achievement name and how many points it's worth. :)