Games

Nier Automata

Recently finished my third play through of Nier Automata and I am pretty sure this will be my game of the year. The story is great, the combat fluid and fast, the levels well designed and there are plenty of weapons and upgrades. I played it on a PS4 so I didn't run into any of the PC port issues. I am also glad I avoided spoilers (other than to play it more than once). There are two main characters: 2B, a female android, and 9S, a male android. You start playing as 2B. On the second play through you get to control 9S and see the game from a different perspective. On the third play through you get an entirely different game all together and a new female android, A2, is introduced. There are 26 possible endings of which five are "real" endings. The other 21 endings basically occur at different points in the game when it expects you to do something but you don't. I highly recommend this game to anyone.

Dark Souls and Just Cause III

About a year ago I mentioned Dark Souls and Just Cause III. A year later and I still haven't finished either. I was pretty far into JC3 but lost my save game. There are some missions that are really frustrating because its random if you can do the right thing to pass the mission. Dark Souls is well Dark Souls. I have been watching a lot of LobosJr's Twitch streams and he makes it look so easy.

Bought a PS4 and Horizon Zero Dawn and finished it

I finally broke down and bought a PS4 from my friend. He upgraded to the PS4 Pro so I got his used one. I also picked up Horizon Zero Dawn and beat it in about a week and a half. It is a really good game. Like Far Cry 3 or 4 but with a better story. It has good game mechanics and reasonable difficulty curve in that as I got more powerful there was still a challenge. I didn't 100% clear the game so if they come out with DLC I may revisit it.

Just finished WatchDogs 2

I just finished WatchDogs 2 and had a blast. A great story, fun mechanics, great side missions, excellent characters and voice acting. If you liked Hackers the movie you will love this game. Its as if the spirit of the movie is in the game.

My god Steam support is terrible

Steam is an example that you can be successful with terrible customer service. I mean I guess I already knew that. Look at Comcast.

Dark Souls III

Having played Demon Souls and both Dark Souls I and II - I cannot believe the graphical improvements they have done on Dark Souls III. It is gorgeous. The graphical detail is incredible. The game also plays pretty well. I have noticed minor slowdowns but nothing major. Now hopefully I have enough discipline to finish Dark Souls I and II before playing III.

Demon Souls 2: Dark Souls

I bought Dark Souls when it first came out. I had previously beaten Demon Souls and thought I was ready to dive back into this type of game - I wasn’t. Dark Souls sat in my Steam library up until this passed weekend when Dark Souls 3 was released. Now I thought I could tackle Dark Souls. I have about 12 hours into the game and its slow going. My reflexes have lessened quite a bit. I beat Demon Souls in 2009 so it took seven years for me to recoverHappy

I forgot how frustratedly hard the game can be. Tonight I spent most of the evening fighting the Capra Demon. Google it and you will know how this one demon pisses off so many people.


Well I finally beat him and moved on. Yeah that satisfaction of finally defeating something that has defeated you so many times is the magic of these games.


I probably won’t be playing Dark Souls 3 anytime soon (still have Dark Souls 2 to play first).

Grim Dawn – Best Diablo II clone since Diablo II

I have been playing the hell out of Grim Dawn. I kickstarted Grim Dawn in 2012 and was finally released this February. I never play early access or beta versions so I never actually played it until it was released.

The game is really good. The skill trees are huge and varied. The classes make sense. The loot is plentiful!


The story is so-so. I haven’t been into an action RPG story since Diablo II and that was really due to the cut scenes and without them I find myself not really caring.

Just Cause 3

I bought Just Cause 3 off of Steam on Friday and have been playing it all weekend. Really fun. I am actually enjoying the story missions. I actually want to see what happens next - this is a huge improvement over the first two games in the series. The general gameplay is the same but it has been really refined. I am enjoying all the changes. I never got around to finishing the first two because the story was so bad and blowing up bases and collecting things just got old. I do think I will finish this one however.

Finished The Saboteur

I finished The Saboteur today. What a wonderful game. It makes me sad it didn't do better than it did. Pandemic studios who was did the awesome Mercenaries (and the crappy Mercenaries 2) did The Saboteur in 2009. I was able to pick it up during a Direct2Drive sale before Gamefly took over for them. I played for about 40 hours. After then end of the story you can still play the free play missions and collect the rest of the perks. I like that. So if you get a chance check it out!

Games of 2011

I have been playing games during my blog post hiatus. I really never stop. I love video games.

Games I have played and fully finished are:


  • Bulletstorm

  • Deus Ex Human Revolution

  • F.E.A.R. 3

  • Mass Effect 2

  • Rage

  • Saints Row The Third

  • The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings


Games I started playing but haven't finished:

  • Barman Arkham City

  • Crysis 2

  • Dark Souls

  • Dead Island

  • Dead Space 2

  • Gears of War 3

  • L.A. Noire

  • Orcs Must Die!

  • Portal 2

  • Serious Same 3: BFE

  • SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals

  • Trine 2

  • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Minecraft…minecraft…minecraft

You have probably heard some word of Minecraft, the indie emergent sandbox game, sweeping the interwebs. I have been playing it quite a bit but more surprisingly is my wife has been playing it! The last game she played was Warcraft III.

So why is the game so addictive? In a word: Legos.


Yup this game is basically an electronic version of Legos.


Check it out at
http://www.minecraft.net/ - you won't be disappointed!

Why I hate Infinity Ward games

So I recently picked up Modern Warfare 1 & 2 off of Steam. I had played them on the Xbox 360 previously and wanted to play them again on my PC.

I haven't played even two hours before I am so fed up with the games I am ready to delete them. Somehow I forgot about the utter frustration that is Infinity Ward.


Basically it comes down to their stupid ass scripting system.


Picture this. I am on a rooftop supposed to be heading to an extraction point. I kill every enemy in sight. I then take one step forward and trigger some event and next thing I know there are 20 guys coming out of the woodwork.


For one it really pulls you out of the moment because if feels fake. The other thing is until I get to the next magical scripting point these guys just keep coming...Wave after wave of them. I could literally kill 500 guys but once I cross the "line" there isn't a baddie in sight.


It really sucks.


I know most people buy the games for multiplayer where this wouldn't be an issue at all but I don't play multiplayer. I crave the awesome single player experience.


I won't really delete them but I doubt I will play them ever again.

UPDATE (12/11/16): Can confirm I never played them again.

Borderlands Redux

When I first mentioned Borderlands I was pretty hard on it and ended up returning it.

Recently I bought it off of Steam for $10 dollars and what a difference it makes.


For $10 dollars it is an incredible game. I recently finished my first play through that clocked in around 40 hours and ended up at level 38.


I don't think I gave it enough the first time since I never got out of the first area.


After exploring the game and all the DLC I am having a lot of fun and have even started a second play through so I can get bigger, better weapons.

Russian Shooters and alternate realities

I recently finished Metro 2033 and Singularity. Both are Russian games set in alternate realities. They were both really short I completed both of them in less than 10 hours each.

Of the two I had more fun with Singularity but I liked the atmosphere and weapons of Metro 2033 more.


I played both of them on my PC. Metro 2033 ran pretty well and looked good but Singularity had horrible "Unreal Engine 3" texture pop-in problems and sometimes the textures never popped in making the game look really ugly. This didn't distract from the fun though.


The guns in Metro 2033 were varied and fun and each had its own purpose, in contrast the guns in Singularity are your standard run-of-the-mill FPS guns and I mostly used the machine gun and shotgun.


The time elements in Singularity were a neat gimmick but the fluid shooting and boss battles were excellent. I was also scared a couple of times.


The shooting in Metro 2033 wasn't as fluid but I loved how each mission could be full on run-and-gun or stealth. If I felt like fighting I could but if I wanted to sneak around that was always an option. Singularity was completely linear and there was only one way to do things but it was fun.


I would recommend both games.

Modern Warfare 2: EPIC

I just finished Modern Warfare 2. It was, in a word, EPIC. The single player campaign is pretty short. I finished it on normal difficulty in about six hours. That being said it was a wild ride. I wasn't sure the sequel could live up to the original but it did and surpassed it. This game goes to great lengths to show you a realistic depiction of war while still maintaining that video game feel. More than once I felt uneasy about what I was doing in the game. I was also at times thinking "why the hell did I just go through that?" The plot is dense and twisting. The story was totally believable and there were parts that I predicted and many that I didn't.

I don't want to give anything away so I am being vague on purpose. You really need to experience it without prior knowledge to get the full effect.


My biggest complaint of the first one was how wave after wave of baddies would just keep coming at you until you passed some spot. That is fixed now, yay! I don't normally go for multiplayer but I have been playing the free for all mode and have been enjoying it a lot. I am going to try some of the other modes as well.


I got the XBOX 360 version so the lack of dedicated servers doesn't affect me. I can say though that so far online play has been smooth and easy.

Of Borderlands, Dragon Age Origins and Torchlight

I got the three games mentioned in the title. So far the only one I am really happy with is Torchlight.

Borderlands: Diablo done wrong. Uninspired levels, repetitive creatures and a million weapons that all look and act the same and no armor! So the only loot is weapons; boring.


Dragon Age Origins: If Oblivion was a Porsche then Dragon Age Origins is a Toyota. Its the third day and it still hasn't captured me. I don't feel like I have to play this game.


First of all the story is right out of every single fantasy novel, movie and game you have ever experienced.


Second of all there is this lush beautiful world and you get to interact with none of it. There is a narrow path you can walk along. I loved in Oblivion that I was able to go
anywhere. In Dragon Age Origins the environment seems very small and confining. The gameplay is ok but I prefer the pause based system of Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR).

Finally, if you haven't purchased it yet get the PS3 or PC version; they are both better than the 360 one (which I got) if you can believe that. The PC is the best though because you can zoom out and see a more tactical view.


Tonight after playing for about an hour I felt like playing Oblivion again! I just wish I hadn't completed everything in the game. Oblivion is the only game where I got every single achievement. Right now I am not even sure I will finish Dragon Age Origins. I bought this game sight unseen due to the developers previous games (Baldur's Gate II, KOTOR, Mass Effect) but I wish I would have waited for the reviews and peoples opinions first.


Torchlight: Gorgeous game that looks like Warcraft III and plays like Diablo II. Seriously fun times. I downloaded the demo and played for three hours straight then purchased it. I love it. I will definitely be playing this game a lot. Kudos to Runic games for pulling off a masterpiece. Apparently they are working on a MMO component and I am pretty excited to see what they come up with.

I beat Demon's Souls!

Tonight I finally beat the Archdemon False King and in doing so beat the game. My final level is 89 and total time played was 67 hours and seven minutes.

The game was
hard but very fulfilling. In my opinion it is definitely the best game of 2009.

The other games I will be playing this year:

  • Brütal Legend

  • Dragon Age Origins

  • God of War Collection (re-release of God of War I and II on the PS3)

  • Left for Dead II

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves


Games I am skipping (or at least waiting till I can get them used and cheap):

  • Assassins Creed II

  • Borderlands

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Proud owner of a PSP

I picked up a PSP over the weekend and have been enjoying it quite a bit. I got the 3000 not the Go. I got a used 8GB memory card for it and have quite a few games installed on it already. Games I have been playing on it:

  • Fieldrunners

  • Thexder Neo

  • Final Fantasy VII


The screen is gorgeous, the speakers are so-so but that is okay I got a headset. The controls are quite comfortable. I got a slick custom theme too.

Demon's Souls

Quite simply Demon's Souls is one of the best games of 2009. The game has sucked me in completely. I have been playing for the last week. Some people call it an RPG but I feel it is more of an Action RPG. Yes; you do level up stats and get better weapons but the story is pretty weak. The meat of the game is the combat. It is very tactical and when you die you always know why - you made a mistake. Death's never feel cheap (except for when you fallHappy).

All the character classes can eventually do everything so you never feel like you picked the wrong class. The knights and soldiers do have an easier time of it in the beginning but the magic users get deadly quickly.


You have two states of being: Soul Form and Living Form. In Soul Form you are safe from other players but when you are alive prepare to be invaded. The meat of the online play is cooperative and versus play. In cooperative play you help other players slay demons. In versus play you try to kill the player whose game you invaded.


I experienced an invader tonight. It was exciting. I was just doing some soul farming (repeating an area over and over to collect souls; I do this on level 4-1 since you can get about 3000 souls in five minutes) when my game was invaded.


It was a long battle (at least 10 minutes) but I finally defeated him. It was a great feeling. The great feelings come frequently. Every time you beat a part of the game you feel great. Keep in mind though that this game is hard and you will die a lot but don't give up. You will also feel incredibly frustrated at times but mostly in yourself not because the game is cheating.


If you have been on the fence regarding a PS3 purchase I suggest you get one - the good games are here.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves comes out tomorrow as well. I bought my PS3 to play the first one and wasn't disappointed. I am very excited to play the sequel.

Wolfenstein load freeze

I have been playing Wolfenstein for the 360 for the last week and was having a good time until all of a sudden whenever I loaded a save game past my last one the game would completely lockup and I would have to power cycle the 360. Some googling revealed this is a known problem if you get more than 80% of the items in the game. Being a completion-ist I hit it the 80% mark pretty quickly. So now my options are to:

  1. Wait for a patch

  2. Start a new game and don't collect that many items


I have decided to wait and hopefully it gets fixed soon. It's a wonder how this made it past the Q&A process.

Shadow Complex Completed!

I finished Shadow Complex last night. For those of you who don't know Shadow Complex is a 2D Platformer in 3D that uses the Unreal Engine. It's for the Xbox 360 and available via Xbox Live Arcade. It took me about 10 hours to finish it over three days on normal level.

This is the only game I can remember in a long time that as soon as I finished it I wanted to play it again! Luckily the game rewards this. When you start another game you continue at the level you finished at.


For my second play through I am playing on hardcore level. I am also striving for 100% completion. I had 68% completion on my first play through.


The game costs 1200 points which is about $15. The download size is 800MB. I guess the original 200MB limit is no more.


So if you have a Xbox 360 do yourself a favor and play this game!

A special place in hell for "live droppers"

So over the weekend I got Duels of the Planeswalkers for the XBOX 360. I played Magic the Gathering a lot when it first came out. When I started playing "The Dark" expansion had just been released so I consider myself an old school player. I am rusty though and have been getting my butt kicked all weekend on Live. Tonight finally I am about to win my first ranked match and am feeling good when the host drops. Nice. Instead of loosing a match fair and square and affecting their rank they drop. I don't know if this breed of jerk has a name so I am going to call them "live droppers". I think they deserve their own level in hell right below traitors.

By the way the game is excellent! If you like Magic The Gathering or card games in general its worth picking up for 800 points.

Red Ring of Death E74 – My Turn

So the other night I was playing Fallout 3 and the graphics started getting weird. There were red vertical bands where shading would be and when I went into VATS mode the highlighted body parts looked like TV static. I thought I would power cycle my XBOX and hopefully that would clear the problem - wrong!

Came back up with an error E74.


So I bought a new one last night and will ship the broken one off to Microsoft to get repaired.


Once I get it back I will sell it on craigslist.

Infamous, Prototype and Red Faction Guerrilla

So I have been playing Infamous for the last two weeks and have a love/hate relationship. There are some things that really piss me off but I am still playing so it must be a good game. I picked up Prototype and Red Faction recently so I am going to compare and contrast the three games as they are very similar.

First the similarities

  1. Open world

  2. You're a lone hero/villian against the government

  3. You have special powers (or in the case of red faction weapons)

  4. You can blow shit up

  5. Game play gets repetitive


Now the differences


Infamous PS3

  • Good/Bad system

  • Climb everything


Prototype XBOX 360

  • Very diverse powers including stealth

  • Climb everything

  • Extreme gore


Red Faction Guerrilla XBOX 360

  • Fully destructible environments

  • Vehicles

  • No climbing


All three games have a cheesy story but its passable. Of the three I like Red Faction the least. Something about having superhuman powers, being able to scale everything is just too much fun, Red Faction feels not as fun by comparison but its still a good game.


One of the things that bothers about Infamous and Prototype is you have this super human power, you can fall off of a sky scraper but bullets hurt you; both are kinetic impacts why does one type hurt you but the other doesn't?

In Red Faction you can blow up just about everything except blue barrels and rocks it doesn't make any sense.

Of the three games I think Prototype has the best crowd system. The crowd reacts like I think they should: they run in terror. In Infamous they either boo you or give you the "you're the man" sign. In Red Faction folks just wander about not really caring what you do and they tend to clump up in front of buildings so you have to bully your way in.


In Infamous you can ride the rails and electric wires so you can get around quick. In Prototype you have super speed and in Red Faction you have vehicles. Now Prototype also has vehicles but they are tanks and stuff and not meant to get you around. All three makes it easy to get to the main and side missions.


Of the three I think Red Faction and Infamous have the best side missions but that isn't saying much. Prototype's side missions are time trials. I hate time trials. I want to play the game at my own pace. Any way I want in depth side missions like in Oblivion or Fallout 3 not shallow "kill X things" and "run X maze".


All three have an upgrade system so you can get more powers or better weapons. I like the Protoype system the best then Infamous and finally Red Faction in dead last. Red Faction makes you collect scrap metal like Rachet & Clank. So stupid.


I am still going through the single player missions so I haven't played multiplayer yet.


Finally above and beyond everything I said above all three are great games and if you can only afford one you won't be disappointed with any of them.

PS3, Second Impressions

Well it has been almost a month since I got my PS3 and I thought I would give my second impressions. I still love it. In fact I have to say that I prefer gaming on it to the XBOX 360 because of the noise issue alone. The PS3 is so quiet, it is a refreshing change.

I recently finished Drakes Uncharted Fortune and I had a lot fun playing it. The gun combat was really hard though.


I am in the middle of Resistance Fall of Man and am enjoying it as well.


Aside from the noise issue I mentioned above I cannot tell a difference between the PS3 or XBOX 360 in graphics, sound or performance.


If I had to go back in time and could only buy one system I think I would still choose the XBOX 360 how ever. The online gaming is so much better.

Just got a PS3. First Impressions.

I recently got a PS3 and having been a XBOX 360 user for the past two years I thought I would give my first impressions. Note that I am not a "fanboy" or a "hater" just pragmatic. Up until now I haven't really had extra money to spend on one.

Okay first the good:

1. It is Quiet. I cannot believe how silent it is. The XBOX 360 sounds like a plane landing so I was expecting *some* noise but there isn't any.

2. It is an excellent DVD player. So good I unhooked my dedicated one. It has a really good upscaling feature.
3. I really like the hardware design. It has a slot loading disc drive and touch buttons so there are no moving parts on the outside. It doesn't have a huge power brick like the XBOX 360. It uses a standard, easily replaceable hard drive.

Now the bad:

1. Sealed rechargeable controllers

2. Didn't come with high definition cables (component or HDMI)

Games:

Looks good. Not better or worse than the XBOX 360.


Conclusion:

I like it!

Gametap 4.0 – Worst upgrade ever

This is the second time I have said good-bye to gametap on this blog. Gametap has decided to ditch the fat, rich, desktop client with a web one and in the process went from a service that I loved to one I can't stand anymore. I spent the better part of this morning trying to play a game and finally had to use google to end up in a obscure gametap forum to find the the solution; after that I was done.

Why would any company take a working, well received, product and shit all over it? I am not entirely sure. My guess is they didn't want to pay developers anymore. The site is now also covered in ads - even if you have a gold subscription! They are also now competing with
Direct2Drive and the other johnny-come-lately game download services.

Good-bye Gametap - it was a good run while it lasted.

Left 4 Dead…my new favorite game!

So I have had Left 4 Dead for my XBOX 360 since it came out but I really didn't get into it. I decided to get it on Steam and have been playing it a lot more. I really didn't realize how much I missed the keyboard + mouse combination for first person shooters. I was actually pretty good at the game. I got a nice headset and started playing online. All the folks I have played with so far have been great! (which was the exact opposite online)

The whole Steam setup is really nice. I like all the integrated tools - makes it almost like XBOX Live. Newer games, like Left 4 Dead, also have achievements.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

I just picked up the new Riddick game today:

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

First off the short version: I like it!


Now the long version: Its too similar to their previous game
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay which was one of my favorite games on the original Xbox. In fact I was really upset it wouldn't run under the Xbox emulation on the Xbox 360. Imagine my surprise when my local Game Crazy rep. told me that it was also included with Dark Athena!

Seeing them both, side-by-side, really shows how similar they are. They both are stealth shooters with bouts of face paced FPS goodness. Dark Athena takes place right after the events of Butcher Bay so if you haven't played the original it would be best if you did.


My one complaint is you can't play both at the same time as they both use the same "last checkpoint" slot so if you want to switch between them you will have to start at the last Chapter start even if your in the middle of it.


So anyhoo the games are basically the same in function and look and feel. Dark Athena does have some new weapons but other than that they are identical. Even the story is similar: "Fight the man, do side missions, escape" Dark Athena does have a multiplayer element but I haven't played it yet.


That is okay though! The game is awesome and I don't mind it one bit. For those of you looking for something different - look elsewhere.


For me the fact that Butcher Bay is included was worth the price even if I never played Dark Athena.

Lost Odyssey

My favorite RPG games of all time are Final Fantasy X and Shadow Hearts Covenant. Both were 50+ hour games and the stories were great. I preferred the combat in Shadow Hearts though. They had a ring with a clock hand that spun around and you had to hit a button when the hand was on a certain portion of the ring. There were many different ring configurations. In my opinion this added a bit of 'twitch factor' to an otherwise turn based game. I felt the story in Final Fantasy X was a little better and the graphics were of higher quality.

Now that I have a Xbox 360 again I was looking into what sort of RPGs are available. Since I already completed Oblivion prior to giving up my 360 that wasn't in the running. I know that a Japanese RPG is a lot different than Oblivion (which I guess is an American RPG?) but lets pretend they are both in the same category (I think they are). So I was looking at Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata and Lost Odyssey.


Okay Blue Dragon was just too cute for me and it starred kids. I really don't like playing kids (yes I know the star of Final Fantasy X was a kid - well a teenager more like it). It also got very luke warm reviews. With regard to Eternal Sonata - I just wasn't interested in the story what-so-ever. Finally I came to Lost Odyssey - which also had luke warm reviews but it had something...special?


The team behind Shadow Hearts Covenant and the writer of Final Fantasy were the ones who put Lost Odyssey together. For me, a match made in heaven. So I dug into the reviews - what were people saying? Well for the most part they didn't like the random battles and folks felt it didn't break new ground. More of the same - of my favorite games - sign me up! I did like the random battles of Shadow Hearts so that was no big deal. Okay what about the story?


A world where there was an industrial+magic revolution results in steampunk technology. Two countries go to war and have a massive battle that is interrupted by a meteor strike! Everyone is killed except our hero who has lost his memory - this is where the story starts. The introduction movie is really nice and you get introduced to combat right away.


My only complaint about the game is the dynamic texture system is little wonky. Sometime the characters are really blurred and the high resolution textures don't load unless you zoom in using the left trigger.


All in all I recommend the game.

Off the wagon

So it turns out I couldn't live without my XBOX 360 and so I bought another one. This doesn't mean and I have given up on programming but that I am looking for some balance.

Activations and why they suck

I understand the whole idea behind activations. Your a software company and you don't want people to steal your product. You come up with a way that even if the baddies get your software they can't use it. It makes sense on paper - like Communisim. In practice it doesn't stop the baddies and only aggravates legitamte users - like me.

I had to rebuild my Mac and my game system this weekend because I ran out of space on my Mac and bought some new hard drives. I used the old hard drives out of the Mac to create a three drive stripe in my game system. This meant a total re-install of both the Mac and my game system.


Windows XP activation worked great - I guess it detected that the only thing that changed was the hard drive and activated over the internet just fine.


Adobe Photoshop CS2 on my Mac wouldn't reactivate and I had to call a 1 800 number and plead my case. I was chastised for not deactivating the software first and thereby releasing my existing activation - what? Like I should know how your stupid system works? Well at least I was able to get it working again.


On my game system all the Ubisoft games refused to activate again: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Might and Magic V. When the activation fails you get a nice message directing you to a website,
support.ubisoft.com and to request manual activation. Of course when you get to the site there is nothing, nowhere mentioning manual activation. Not a single item in the knowledge base. I finally had to submit three different tickets for my three games. Now if I was a warez cow pirate I could be playing my games right now. So here I am an honest person that spent ~150 dollars on software that I can't use until the company says I can.

I am sick and tired of being treated like a criminal.


P.S. Fuck You Ubisoft

GURPS

Every Saturday my wife and play roll playing games at a friends house. We started with Vampire: The Masquerade, then went to Middle Earth Role Playing (MERP), Dungeons and Dragons, and finally GURPS or Generic Universal Role Playing System.

We switched to GURPS because my friends wife got an editors job at GURPS and we wanted to support the company.


I must say that I really like the system. It's really simple. Today I picked up
GURPS for Dummies because I am still learning the system and it has some really neat reference cards.

You can also buy just about anything except the two core books in PDF form for a lot cheaper with no DRM.


Check it out if you get a chance.

GameTap keeps getting better…

I haven't been on GameTap in about a week and I come back to Descent III! So cool. I also loaded up Empire Earth which I never played but is a lot of fun. Another one I tried is Wings of War. I love that I have access to all these games for only $10 dollars a month.

Gametap is back!

Well I just spent the last hour on the phone with GameTap technical support and we figured out the problem. It was my video cards running in SLI mode. Turn off SLI and everything works great. I don't know why previous versions worked okay with SLI but the newest update doesn't like it. Luckily it is real easy to turn off SLI. The tech support guy was real nice and while GameTap was loading again we were talking about our favorite games. I like that real gamers work there.

I feel bad that I blamed GameTap right off and didn't even attempt to call tech support. I guess being burned so much in the past by other services and companies I didn't expect anything could be done. So glad to be wrong.


So I got a free month and am happy againHappy


UPDATE: Easiest way to avoid this is run in Windowed mode

Somebody is actually reading my blog!

I got an e-mail from somebody at GameTap explaining they read my blog and wanted to see if I would work with them to solve the problem. How cool is that? Obviously I said yes because I really do love the product. I will update when I know more or the problem is fixed.

Goodbye Gametap

I loved Gametap. I wrote about it more than once. Today I got an update that added all these "great new features" and effectively broke it. In the Arcade simulators there is now a pronounced stutter effect that makes playing the games an exercise in frustration.

GameTap Update – Its still fun

Well I still really like www.gametap.com I just hope they can stay in business. I would pay more than the $10 a month too. My wife is now playing games. She loves Bubble Bobble. I got an itch to play Splinter Cell recently and I saw that GameTap had it - so cool.

GameTap is hella cool

I found www.gametap.com tonight and signed up for a two week free trial. In a nutshell its this. You pay $9.95 a month to get access to 500+ games (and growing). You select the game you want to play and it is downloaded to your system and cached. You then play.

What's the cool part? They have all types of systems: DOS games, Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, Arcade game, Dreamcast, Intellivision, etc...


I have already played the original Zaxxon, Kings Quests 1, Zork 1, Defender, Astrosmash, etc.


I don't know how they are doing the emulators but it is flawless. I am really impressed.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Been playing Oblivion most of the weekend since I hurt my back Saturday morning.  Wow this is a great game.  I play World of Warcraft for a while but stopped because I didn't like having to team up with people to do certain quests - of course the $13.95 a month after paying $50 for the game was hard to swallow as well.  One thing I miss from WoW was exploring and fighting creatures in the wilderness.  You never knew what you were going to find.  Oblivion, for me, is like WoW offline.  Its perfect for me.  Recently my character was bitten by a vampire and so now I am one.  My face has changed, I am stronger and faster, I can't be in the sun without taking damage.  I keep having nightmares about "feeding".  I am really impressed with this game.  Though I said I didn't lilke Morrowind due to its look and feel I think after oblivion I am going to give it another try.  I have the gold edition and one of the exansions lets you be a werewolf!  The down right sexy engine of Oblivion pulled me in but its the great gameplay that is keeping me there.

If you like RPG games at all you must get Oblivion.


Oh, I am about 6 hours into the game and I have only done the first part of the main quest which by itself is like 40 hours.

Update on Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

I am about two hours into the game. It is still fun but not as fun as I hoped. There is a lot of repeat play such as:

  • Avoid these guards by sneaking (over and over again)

  • Keep seeing monsters but the narrative keeps saying "Something strange is going on..." - Yeah like your seeing monsters

  • Have about 100 rounds of various ammunition but no gun

  • Hear the AI speak it's three or four phrases (over and over again)


The atmosphere is very dark and creepy but I think the Gamecube's Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was better.

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth Rocks!

I finally got Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth but not from EB Games. The game was supposed to be release March 27th. Then March 31st. It is now pushed back to April 17th and there are rumors of it being pushed back again until May. Since the developer is basically going out of business I personally think it might not be released in the US at all.

When I saw it got pushed back to April 17th I started hanging out on the
forums and reading about people playing the game already - seems it was released in the UK earlier this month for the PC (the developer is in the UK).

So I decided to order from a UK game site,
game.net, and got it last night.

The game looks fantastic.  I just started so I can't comment on the play as of yet but will in the future.

Emerald City ComicCon and Oblivion IV

I went to the ComicCon on Sunday instead of Saturday. It was a lot of fun. It was my first time going to one. I thought it was going to be like the Con featured in Chasing Amy and it was.

I saw two very cool things:

SoftWire (Rings of Orbis)
In the future a ring system in controlled by a massive computer. A boy has been born that can link with computer using only his mind. This represents a problem for the five or so alien races vying for control of the Rings of Orbis.

What is really cool about this is the author has teamed up with a software developer to create a free MMORPG to promote his books! Very cool.

The Looking Glass Wars
Alyss is fighting against her aunt, Red. She finds a portal to our world and meets up with Lewis Carroll who is fascinated by the girl's tale. Soon Alyss will have to go back.

I got a signed copy of the book and will blog about it when I am finished with Digital Fortress
The one other thing that was strange was the amount of copyrighted material for sale. I couldn't believe it. Movies, TV Shows, Cartoons, Porn. There were at least four booths selling this stuff. I can understand if the shows are not readily available and in fact support that but they were selling stuff that was available. Of course I didn't let that feeling get in the way of buying the entire Seaquest DSV series on 12 DVD's for $45 dollarsHappy I had just season one in my Amazon wishlist alone that alone was $44.99. Now this set was basically burned to DVD from SciFi channel but that's okay. I wanted Seaquest but not enough to pay a premium for it and have the nice transfer and sound.

Based on how much fun I had I am going to try to go to Norwescon 29 April 13-16. One of my favorite authors, Robert J. Sawyer, is the "Toastmaster" (not sure what that means).

I also got The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Direct2Drive this weekend as well. On a side note Direct2Drive is great if you have a fast internet connection. I have 7Mbits down and download the 4.3GB oblivion in about 90 minutes. I then burn it to DVD and its mine. No going to the store. Price is the same but the instant gratification factor too awesome to pass up.

Anyway back to Oblivion. I never got into Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind but I wanted too. I think it was the clumsy graphics. I am probably too superficial when it comes to gaming but if it looks good it helps me enjoy the game more.

Oblivion looks fantastic. The engine uses HDR lighting and it is well used. The game feels faster pace and right off the bat there is a lot to do. I felt in Morrorwind, at least in the beginning, you wandered around too much just talking to people. Within 15 minutes of starting Oblivion I was fighting baddies and getting better equipment.

Finished Eternal Darkness and exercise

Earlier I blogged about the great Nintendo Gamecube game Eternal Darkness. I am happy to say I finished it! I didn't get the uber sword so it was a lot harder at the end - took me three days.

Sixth day of exercising and 7th day waking up at 7:00am (didn't exercise on Sunday). Today is the first day where after I was done I didn't feel like collapsing so I think it might be getting a
bit easier.

My arms and legs feel a lot better too (though still sore) since I moved to the 20 pound weights.

Eternal Darkness and other great horror games

If you like H.P. Lovecraft you have got to play Eternal Darkness for the Nintendo Gamecube. It is in the bargain bin now and I picked up my copy for ~$15. A very creepy game with a unique spell system. I am about 11 hours into the game I have three chapters left.

First/Third person horror games are few and far between. The last great one for the PC was
Clive Barker's Undying. It seems these types of games are mostly the fair of consoles.

You can't mention horror game without talking about the Silent Hill series - of which I think
Silent Hill 2 was the best. Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4 seem all to eager too gross you out and lost the spooky atmosphere.

Gamecube has another great one in
Resident Evil 4 which recently won Gamespot's 2005 Game of the Year.

I am also very excited for
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth to be released at the end of the month. This is supposed a very hard game. For instance if you want to know how much ammunition you have left you actually have to unload the gun and check - can't wait!