Sunday, January 28, 2007
Fearing that my puny human system wasn't up for the task, I thought just for fun I would run the Vista Upgrade Advisor to see how dire my situation was. Really according to it I'm not too bad off the 2 glaring red X's before installation were, my hard drive is too skinny (just wanted some extra space), and one of my programs (cd burning software) evidently doesn't play nice with Vista. After installation Vista say it would run with 512 MB of ram, but it really would like more, and 6 of my programs may have 'minor compatibility' problems (funny enough because 2 of them were MS products...). This of course just said I could run it, not specifying if I would enjoy running it. :)
I'm really in need of an upgrade anyway, Supreme Commander comes out February 20th and they haven't released specs yet but judging from the comments on the 1UPYours show to run nice is going to take a powerhouse. This of course does not include other upcoming titles like Command & Conquer 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl, or Hellgate : London...
I did download the Crackdown demo the other day/night/day (took forever) and finally got around to checking it out Friday night. It's Saint's Row & Spiderman 2 melded together, a free roaming cel shaded wonderland. Okay that might be a bit over the top, but I did enjoy the time I spent with it. It won't replace Saint's but with the superhero abilities it made it fun just to run (and jump) around, the problem I have is it doesn't grab me as a $60 title. I heard both sides of the fence as people at work have either loved it or hated it, doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground, and I had someone today tell me that the Co-op was extremely fun and I haven't tried it yet. Will it sell millions of copies (with the Halo 3 beta dangler) hell yes, if they hadn't tacked it on maybe not so much.
I've updated the sidebar because TV shows are back in season (finally) with some of my favorites starting new seasons Monk, and Psyched. While some of my other faves that were dormant over the holiday seasons are trickling back like Heroes, Supernatural, How I Met Your Mother, and Lost (someday in Feb hopefully). Plus there is a new Amazing Race coming up quick, although to my dismay looks to be another 'All Stars' race. I'm sorry but Rob & Amber were kinda cool in Survivor, less stellar in the first All Stars AR, and now I just don't care. Most of the teams they brought back are in that same boat, some of them may have been fun to watch but I'm glad most of them didn't win (the first time). I did like Uchenna & Joyce a lot the first time around, but they did win, do you really need to offer them another million??
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I also watched Curse of the Golden Flower which I'd never heard of before I saw it in the movie time listing. It turns out it was Oscar nominated (more on that farther down...) for "Best Costume Design", and I went in thinking it was going be along the lines of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Well, no. Turns out it was waaay more drama than chop chop, there were a couple good fight scenes scattered among a period drama featuring the most screwed up family ever. Mothers sleeping with sons, brothers and sisters doin' it, dad trying to drive mom crazy all in a multi colored neon bright forbidden city in China. All that being said judging from their Oscar competition they probably hands down won that category.
That's brings us to the Oscar nods, haven't been keeping up on my movie news (not working at a theater will do that...), so I was surprised to find the nominations had came out Tuesday. This years Best picture category includes some
I came home Friday night after work to find the blue light of love glowing on my Wii. Nintendo had rolled out the news channel and after a quick update, it was available from the dashboard (what does Nintendo call it?). I played with it for a while, looks okay but I think after the new wears off it will be neglected like my weather channel. If they only update every 6 hours like the weather channel, it really cuts down on its usefulness I've found.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Check out the 1UP Show site and check out the latest video podcast (episode 501, 1/19/07). It covers The Crossing (PC) which looks really good, Phoenix Wright 2, Calling all Cars, and a segment on Crackdown. I've watched the last 3-4 episodes (the WMV version streams to the 360 nice!) and since I've listened to the 1UP Yours podcast for quite a while it was interesting to put faces with the voices. None of them looked anything like the pictures in my head. :)
Xbox360fanboy tipped me off that IGN has posted some incredible looking screenshots from 2K Sports upcoming MLB 2K7 for the 360. I also tracked down the MLB 2K7 'Big Game' trailer at Gamevideos.com, check it out. I'm not a big baseball fan and don't buy the games, but it looks gorgeous!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
360fanboy also posted a couple days ago that the Crackdown demo (which had been targeted for the 18th for a while) was not going to make it up by then. Seems certification is taking longer than expected although they say it will be up by the end of the month. This is another title that I dismissed after seeing early screenshots and video, but with all the praise the guys at 1UPYours podcast have been dishing lately it's another one I'm itching to play.
My daughter tried out, and got on the Curtis girls basketball team. After about 2 weeks of practice they had their first game tonight. I'm sorry to say that the Lady Storm outplayed the Lady Falcons and won 40 to 23 at Stuckey middle school tonight.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Today marked the launch of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade the first expansion set for WoW, depending on where you pre-ordered from you may have been able to pick it up at 12:01 am this morning!
1up has this story about the midnight launch in Florida where 250 people showed up (out of 341 pre-orders) to be the first to run home and try out the expansion.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl has finally been given a release date of March 2007. This is stunning news because I played builds of this FPS at E3 2004, and 2005 even then sounded (and looked) awesome, and even back then was looking forward to it. Download and check out the launch trailer from THQ. With S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Command & Conquer 3, and Supreme Commander just to name a few this is going to be a great year for PC Gaming. The only downside is I'm
Discovery Channel has some cool shows and every once in a while they run them in groups and I can catch a bunch of episodes. If you haven't seen them check out Dirty Jobs, MythBusters, and Deadliest Catch.
Monday, January 08, 2007
No mention however of the Xbox 360 v2.0 (even though there was picture & video proof of a modified developer unit) that was supposed to include an HDMI port, and that mythical larger hard drive (this time 120GB).
LG Electronics announced the first HD/Blu-ray combo player, streeting in early February for $1,199.
MyGen.com.au (an Australian videogame site) broke the news that this week (Jan. 10th) there will be 2 new multiplayer maps for Gears of War Raven Down, and Old Bones. The best news is these are sponsored by Discovery channels Gamer Generation show so they will be free!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
First off let me say Happy New Year! to everyone, I hope you didn't party too hard ringing in the New Year. The KC Chiefs got a late Christmas present on New Year's eve, going into their game Sunday they needed to win, and have four other teams lose, well the stars aligned and Indianapolis here we come! Of course the time we met in 1996 didn't go so well, I was at that game damn it was cold. Spent too much on tickets and then we lost by a friggin' field goal. :( Man it really doesn't seem like that was 11 years ago, I remember it had snowed a lot the day of/day before the game and the plastic seats were piled high with snow. Of course our next playoff meeting didn't go so well either. I'm hoping it's just because both games were at Arrowhead, maybe the RCA Dome will be better luck for us. :)
I've made my New Year's resolution (but I can't start until after the 12th...) to stop buying new video games. Yep, that's right no more, zilch, goose egg, nada, etc. I guess I should clarify that means new full priced retail games, I will still buy used games, sale items, and new games after a price drop or two. I buy a lot of games (get caught up in the hype) when they first come out, the problem is though I don't get around to playing them, and leave them sealed sitting on a shelf. We get used copies of almost every game within 2-3 weeks of release at work, why not wait that period and save ~20% off the cost of new? If I could hold out 2-3 months (depending on the game) the new ones may be half-off their original retail. Certain blockbuster titles may take longer to depreciate, but most all games do eventually. Of course I guess if you think about it, since I get a discount on games at work, I haven't paid retail in 4 years anyway... I mentioned the 12th because Lost Planet comes out then, and I thoroughly enjoyed the single player, and multi-player demos so I will be there on launch day.
I got a 'hands on' opportunity with the Playstation 3 last weekend, I got to fondle the system, peruse the manual, and enjoy some Resistance : Fall of Man goodness. My first overall impression of the system was it's really big, all of those PS2 fanboy's making fun of the original Xbox because of it's size whose laughing now? It is a sleek looking case (unfortunately after only 4 days it was showing dust) and its really quiet too, but it did get warm after a couple hours.
The wireless six axis controller was nice and comfortable, but I did miss the rumble feature and any extra heft would have been welcome. It's really light, I wish they would have put room for a couple AA batteries (one in each handle) to make it feel more... like a real controller. The 5 Ft. charging cable (USB A to mini-B, same as a PSP-PC link) is kinda cheesy as it's too short to sit away from the console and play while the controller is charging. Speaking of which, the console has to be ON to charge the controller. I've never used the 360 play & charge kit, but it will work with the system off won't it?
That brings us to the other features, and I found some cool and useful ones. The first which I had heard was the video port is legacy PS2/PS1 vintage that means any Playstation video cable will work. I already had PS2 component cables laying around so I used those and they worked like a charm. The second feature I stumbled upon was the internal hard drive (20 GB, and 60 GB depending on model) are user replaceable. You pull the side door off, slide the cage out, and you can install any Serial ATA laptop drive you want 100 GB, 200 GB you name it. Messing around the menu I found an item to go along with the larger drives, you can partition it and through the menu install another OS. I poked around the net and found people already have Linux distro's available for the PS3 console. It really is just a PC with specific components, and I think it's cool Sony gave you the option to mess around with. The last feature that I found neat was you can create 'virtual' PS1/PS2 memory cards on the hard drive no more proprietary memory cards! There is a optional converter (USB->PS2 memory card slot) that allows you to transfer your saves (if you already have them on memory cards) to the HD if you need it. After playing with both the Wii, and PS3 systems I really think Microsoft missed the boat on Wi-Fi connectivity, I know they want to sell you their $100 networking adaptor but geez. It's so nice to have Wi-Fi built-in especially in the new house where cable runs from upstairs to the basement would suck.
Now onto the games! I downloaded Gran Turismo HD demo, MotorStorm demo, and the Cash, Guns, and Choas demo from the Playstation 3 virtual store (think marketplace) to try out. I played a fair bit of the GT HD demo, and it looked good. I noticed that the bystanders/crowd looked like people not 2D cutouts, and there was some background animation going on that gave it more realism. I found it supported my Logitech Driving Force EX wheel, so I dug that out and hooked it up. It didn't help my driving much, but it was cool using it. I was disappointed that the MotorStorm demo lacked the six axis (wireless) driving mode that is in the demo kiosk, I wanted to try it cord free since you can't do that at Target. It didn't allow you to change the options, and looked like the same level as the kiosk demo. Cash, Guns, and Chaos was a top down run & shoot game where your two analog sticks control you and the firing (meaning you can run any direction, and shoot any other direction). It reminded me of Loaded on the original Playstation, it was fair but not something I would play a lot. Resistance : Fall of Man on the other hand kicks' ass! I enjoyed it thoroughly. I don't know how far into the game I got, but so far the story was really cool. I also tried out the multiplayer and I must say a 40 person deathmatch is insane, I don't know if it was the specific map or settings but man it was frantic. One of the options (on by default I guess) is 'one hit kills' meaning just one bullet can take you out, this coupled with the fact that when you spawn you don't have any protection lead me to a spawn/die/spawn/die/etc. cycle for a bit. Once I got into the rhythm I found that worked both ways because before you spawn you can see the playfield, if someone ran by me I instantly knew where to head. I played another map which was only hosting 25 people, but must have been larger and more spread out as it seemed to take quite a bit of time to find other players. They had it set to start with all the weapons fully loaded so I did get to try some cool ones that I hadn't got in single player campaign yet. I don't know if it's the mechanics of Gears of War or what, but unfortunately at this point in time I much prefer Resistance over Gears. :(
Is Resistance a system seller? To me, yes. I would consider buying a PS3 just to play Resistance, but that leads me to the dark side of the PS3. Personally not needing a Blu-Ray player (since I already have the HD DVD add-on for the 360) I think the PS3 is price prohibitive. In the last week though I've seen a lot of PS3's sold to people who were shopping for Blu-Ray players (Ultimate Electronics is sending customers to us) find that stand alone players are $1000, and they can get a player for $600/$500 and it has other uses to (it plays games)! If I run across a used PS3, and have the funds available I may have to pick it up.