Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lite Brite! Woops we lost the cargo, and podcast.

Well I got my DS Lite the other day, and I must say WOW this thing is sooo bright. I started putting in my old cartridges to "see" the difference new technology makes. It was amazing, I've found that light setting 3 seems to be the best level for me. Setting 2 seems too close to the phat DS, but man 3 makes the colors so vibrant. I can't use setting 4 for any length of time it's way to bright I see spots when I look away (okay maybe not that bad, but you get the idea).

The nice thing about the vibrant colors is it makes all your old games seem new again. I put Animal Crossing Wild World in and it looks great. My animals were nice enough to tell me that I had neglected them for 3 months, but they were happy to see me and a couple new ones had moved in. There are bugs everywhere, although I'm looking for the "finned" fish like the sharks right now.

All of these snazzy DS Lites lead to one thing, theft. :) Play-Gadgets has a story about a cargo container shipped from Hong Kong full of Black DS Lites on there way to a European launch that went missing. $2.32 million worth of Black DS Lites soon to be appearing on eBay.

I'm still listening to DualScreen Radio, and the current episode 6/10/06 is a pretty good one. There is about an hour rant on Gamestop/EB Games, that is entertaining to listen to. They don't really say anything I haven't heard before, but I found it funny. I've also started listening to MajorNelson's podcast. He works at Microsoft and keeps the above blog, and also is the one that announces all the new content that gets placed on the marketplace. His podcast is mostly about the 360, and he usually has one interview each episode with someone within Microsoft. He has a DS (and loves it) so it comes up from time to time in his show.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I really should post about something...

Been a while since my last post, so I decided it was time to get off my ass and do it.

Took a mini vacation (since I didn't go to E3 this year I missed my "spring break" :( I was getting used to spending some time in California every year.) and went to Branson for Memorial Day weekend. Been there, done that but it was nice just to get away for a while.
Went back to Celebration City this trip, as we hadn't been since it opened a couple years ago. Think of it as a really nice/clean up-to-date Joyland, more of the "carnival" type rides, shops, and they do have a couple of shows. They had added the go-carts, and mini golf to your admission (so you no longer had to pay again once you were inside the park) which was cool. Their big ride is the Ozark Wildcat The ultra-compact wooden coaster reaches speeds of 45 miles per hour and has a toe-tingling 8-story drop with a one-of-a-kind 310-degree spiraling double-down drop, a high-speed swoop turn with a rabbit hop midway and a finale that'll leave you screaming for more! It's pretty cool fairly quick ride, that's a little on the rough side (that may just be me, as I get older it seems that wooden coasters rattle me more.). Probably the coolest thing about CC is the show they have at the end of the night called Ignite the night held in their man-made amphitheater with lawn seating. They created a rock wall canyon that serves as the back drop, with a water pool in front of it with all different sorts of fountains. The show includes stills/video (projected onto the canyon background, and mist created by the fountains), fireworks, laser lights, and of course music. It's kinda hard to describe, but it looks really neat in person.

The next day was Silver Dollar City which added a new area this year called Grand Exposition which is aimed at family rides. They consist of 3 (really) little kid rides, 4 older kid rides, and 3 even older kid rides. By far the best was the Electro Spin (pretty poor video representation, but gives the general idea). It's a giant disc with 24-30 outward facing bicycle style seats that rotates, and rolls back and forth like a pendulum on a U shaped track.

Does freakin' awesome do it justice!? My daughter and I rode this at least 8 times I think, highly recommended.
They still have two really good steel frame coasters though, Wildfire!, and Powder Keg. Keg is the newest, opened just last season. Silver Dollar City's blurb The new $10 million roller coaster sends riders into a thrill zone within seconds of climbing aboard, launching riders from 0 to 53 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. A thrill ride unlike any other in the history of the theme park, PowderKeg combines the shocking speed of the compressed air-launch with spiraling turns, negative gravitational or "G" forces, and "floater" hills at speeds up to 64 miles per hour for a truly wild ride experience.. I really like the "blast off" at the beginning it is amazing, it rivals my favorite coaster Mr. Freeze at Six Flags over Texas.

Okay enough of that, lets see... The Nintendo DS Lite launches June 11th (Sunday) for those of you who forgot. I guess they started arriving in stores about a week ago, and some overzealous clerks put them on the shelf. A couple of message forums I visit were buzzing with stories of people who found them early. I did finally get some "hands on" time with the enamel navy import unit, I like the size and feel of the new unit, but was put off by the casing. It's just like my PSP casing, a finger print magnet. As anal as I am with the PSP I can't imagine how much I would be cleaning the DS Lite. :( The good news is the crappy white doesn't seem to have that particular affliction, so I'm happy with that aspect. The new screens are sooo bright and colorful I can't wait to try some of my older games out on the Lite.

I played through the demo of Titan Quest on the PC (twice!). If you ever played Diablo or Diablo II the game will be instantly familiar to you. The only differences are you deal with more mythology based characters than D&D types. The demo plays really nice, and looks great too. The full game comes out at the end of the month, but if your a Diablo fan at least try out the demo.

As good as Titan Quest looks, it's time to update my PC a little bit. The easiest will be adding a stick of 512MB ram to hit 1GB of memory which is usually the "recommended" quote on all games now. My Nvidia 5900SE is still working okay (I can play Half-Life 2, DOOM 3, and others fine, not at the highest res and settings mind you, but perfectly playable) but its time for some more umph. My video card ***get or "limit" if you will has always been around $150.00 that is my break even line on performance vs. price. I just can't bring myself to pay $300/400 for a video card, so I live a little on the trailing edge of technology. I can also get one more upgrade out of my processor going to 3.06 GHz then that's it my motherboard will have to be put out to pasture. The only game I haven't been able to run lately was F.E.A.R. but since it's coming on the 360 I'll just wait for that, although I'm hoping to get another year out of the upgrades.