2009 December

December 21, 2009

Final Fantasy XIII released in Japan

For the 1st time ever a version of Final Fantisy is being released on the PS3.  It was released last week in Tokyo Japan where ppl waited overnight to get their hands on a copy of the game.  The series has come a long way since its inital release back in the States back in 1990 on the Nintendo.  The game has a release date set for March 2010 for sale in Europe and North America.  The link below is a look at how the release went in Tokyo.

PS3http://www.pcworld.com/article/185031/final_fantasy_xiii_video_game_launches_in_tokyo.html

December 20, 2009

Federal Trade Comission Sues INTEL !!

WTF is this gonna mean for gamers?  Wtf is gonna this mean for AMD?  And WTF is this gonna mean for hungry children in Africa?  Probably nothing at all for the latter, BUT this very well could be a kick in da shorts for Intel and show their true colors.  Basically, WTF is the FTC… explanation: The Federal Trade Commission’s principle mission is the promotion of consumer protection and to eliminate what they consider anti-competitive business practices.  With more than 1200 employees I’m sure they would have no problem investigating a company they suspected of not playing fair.  The type of lawsuit they filed is know as antitrust, or competition law.  Check out Wikipedia for further insight into Competition Law, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-trust .

Basically Intel is the worlds largest chip maker.  CPU (Central Processing Unit) chip maker that is.  And they are being sued by the federal government, but the gov representatives are saying that customers have been paying too little for Intel’s products?? Apparently Intel has been undercutting the competition, giving PC buyers prices that may have been artificially low.  This path could lead to Intel stopping AMD in its tracks, and possible allow them to completely corner the market and then raise prices to whatever levels they wanted to. 

So WTF is da big deal?  Well besides the possibility of Intel owing the market and eventually charging inflated prices in the future; it also means that they have not been giving us the performance from our laptops that we should expect by now.  They have charged manufactures less for its Atom chipset with integrated graphics rather than offering a reasonable option to have a laptop with a dedicated video card.  nVidia is happy about the FTC’s lawsuit, believing that it is necessary to prevent Intel form blocking competition in the GPU marketplace.  The sad thing is it could take as long as 10 years for the case to be settled : (  So are consumers the real winners of this lawsuit?  Only time will tell.

December 19, 2009

MOC Gaming Rocks Hard

Moc members list

MOCMOC or My Own Crew Gaming hosts a server that has a special place in my heart.  I have been gaming there for over 3 years and still find it sweet to get a head shot, watch blood go flying in the air, then be able to run over to the victim and piss on their face.  The crew has been around for more than 5 years.  The clan was founded and is lead by Ellis, TheGame, THEKID and KingGrunt, and currently has 35 members.  They can be found on da web at http://www.mocgaming.com/cz/.

Their main server is the the Counter Strike map “cs_office_cz” but has a twist.  Instead of trying to rescue hostages, they Terrorists need to make it to Counter Terrorist spawn and plant a bomb, so the server really is “Original de_Office” de = defuse.  So the CT’s needs to defuse the bomb if the T’s are able to make it to the site and plant.  Yea, yea, this is Condition Zero, which was released Mar 1st 2004, but I would buy CZ again only to play on this server.  And this is really the only server I play on CZ, otherwise I play different Source servers, but for $9.99 on Steam, its worth every penny to play on MOC, even the outdated graphics still look good ;  )

CZI know that there are ppl out there that still find themselves playing older games that they have fallen for.  If it’s because of budget reasons, not upgrading hardware or because of new resource heavy games, or just because your afraid of change, then we’re in the same boat.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to see what new games have to offer, but with a limited budget and having already found something that gets me off, for now, it can’t get much better than MOC’s server.  The crew supports its self from members donations.  MOC’s monthly goal is about $125.00, this is to support their website and server.  Check out their website if you want to make a donation. Live Long and Prosper MOC.

December 18, 2009

McDonalds = Free WiFi aka Free Porn?

As noob2222 so eliquolently put it on www.tomshardware.com

“ya, Id like a happy porn meal please.”
“Do you want fries with that?”
“No, just the porn.”
“Would you like that supersized?”

MCDONALDS4

Starting in 2010 all McDonalds in our great country will now offer free WiFi.  That’s sweet, that means on road trips I’ll be able to stop by to leach off their connection for a few minutes, if lucky it’ll be strong enough from the parking lot so I won’t have to actually enter the building with my laptop, even if I need to take the biggest dump of my life, I would prefer to drop off da kids at da pool, wash up, and head back out to the cold to check my email, rather than stay inside and mingle with the carnies.  (I worked at McDonalds for 3 months when I was 18 : )  So of the nearly 47 million customers McDonalds serves every day, many of them will be able to take their laptop into their restaurant, and game?????  In the 1st place I would never recommend using a laptop for gaming, secondly I would not recommend using a wireless connection if possible.  Thirdly, I would not recommend eating at McDonalds, unless on the rare occasions that you have an unquenchable thirst for watered down DP, cheesy cheese burgers or salty fries.  But wtf, join the wave of da future, set up WiFi and offer it to anyone that happens to stop by ur place, why not, after all, McDonald’s is doing it, and dosen’t McDonalds always do the right thing?

December 16, 2009

The Effects of Crappy Games

TurningPointWe’ve all been there…   reading up reviews on this game for years now, waiting in anticipation of this title.  You’ve pre-ordered it 3 years in advance, dumped your girlfriend, quit your job and moved in with your parents so you could sit down and play this game with no interruptions.   You finally get the the game and run home to install it and hop on the computer to read the review only to find out it is the most abysmal game that has ever been made.  The graphics are horrible, the voice acting is attrocious, the sounds are cheesy, the game is buggy, terrible multilayer that only has one mode of play.  In fear, you startup the game only to realize the the reviews of the game are wrong.  Instead the game is 10 times worse then the reviews made it out to be.  After spending $70.00 on the collectors edition you feel obligated to play through the game.  You try and try but cannot make it even half way through the game without going insane, so in tears you uninstall the game and move back out of your parents house.

This has been a fairly common trend lately as a slew of games have been released that should have been gems but turned out to be horrible.  Some recent ones that come to mind are Starship Troopers, Space Siege, 007:Nightfire and Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.  Personally I feel if i am going to be spending 50+ dollars on a game it better be damn good.  I unfortunately purchased Turning Point: Fall of Liberty for 39.99 on sale.  I played half way through it before I finally couldn’t play anymore.  I will chalk that one up to experience to never buying a game before I sample the demo, find a good review or see one of my friends playing it.  One of the primary reasons we wanted to start this blog was to help people avoid this very situation.

Do you guys feel that bad games make you more wary of purchasing a title? I know I personally will never buy a title anymore unless it’s a) From Bioware or b) Been reviewed.  I consider releasing a faulty product the same as releasing scam software.  The developer is duping you into buying a product that doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do, and for games that is… entertain.  I have no problem paying 50.00 for a title.  I spent  $70.00 on Dragon Age: Origins and I loved every damn minute of it, and for the time I spent playing it *around 50 hours* it was quite a bargain.   So the question I pose is should developers be held responsible for releasing unfinished products?  Have you ever been duped into buying a game you thought was going to rock but sucked so bad you turned it a $50.00 coaster?

December 15, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly : PS3

playstation-3-game-consoleHolding its own with more than 27 million sales worldwide this gaming platform has earned its place in the market.  A 7th generation video gaming console that has a 3.2 GHz cpu.  Yea, this is a review that was supposed to come out 3 years ago, but the site’s new, so here we go. . .  Some very cool features include its vast media capabilities.  One of the coolest things the PS3 offers that none of the competitors have is its blu-ray playing capabilities, this is a great asset of the PS3 considering the average cost of a blu-ray player 2day is around $251.00.  The PS3 slim is now selling online for $299.99 new, and used through eBay at prices around $234.00 with an 80GB hard drive (plus shipping).  This fact alone puts PS3 near the top of my “cool” list.  One sweet feature that PC gamers especially take for granted bill-gatesis its FREE online gaming access.  WTF is up with Microsoft charging to game online, ppl already bought ur system, ur games, use ur OS for our computers, and besides you made more than 17,000,000,000 (billion) in 2008?!?!?  Ahh rant done. . .

Other cool features are PS3’s cool design, built in flash and media reader, and built in Wi-Fi (if you cannot run a cable to your system, wireless gaming not recommended  ) :     Something that may be even cooler than these other things is PS3’s backwards compatibility feature, so if there are some rad games that you loved from PS or PS2, such as these top sellers: PS1 – Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid; PS2 – GTA: San Andreas/Vice City, Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest VIII, Jak and Daxter, u can play them on ur PS3.  Or you’re free to choose from the more than 557 games that have come out since PS3’s release (exclusive – 159 multi-platforms – 395).  This backwards compatibility feature sure is sweet, so if you wanted you could head down to your local pawn shop, pick out some very entertaining PS2 or PS games for 5 bucks a pop, put them in your PS3 and off you go.  So, sounds pretty sweet, right?  But some drawbacks of the PS3 are that some of the best titles out there are not available to play with PlayStation.  This is a huge drawback for gamers, especially when the bottom line is the quality and fun we get outta the games we play.   One possible explanation of this lack of rocking games could be summed up in Valve developer Gabe Newell’s statement, “The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think it’s really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted”.  Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said about PS3, “It’s expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on investment capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation.”  This is a pretty grim outlook of the future of Sony’s PlayStation, but tell that to someone that just spend 10 hours owning then decides to watch a HD movie on the same system with his hot girlfriend after she got home from working all day : )

December 12, 2009

Project Visitor Review

Project VisitorProject Visitor is a game I have wanted to write something about for a long time.  Many of you may have never heard of this game, and if you have you most likely started playing it a long time ago when it was known as 10six.  Project Visitor or PV for short is probably one of my favorite games of all time, I take that back, it is my favorite game of all time.  Originally canceled by Sega, Marty or TheMartian acquired the rights to the game and brought the game back to life with the assistance from people from the community.  The community is always pitching in to help make the game better and help weed out bugs.   It is the only game I have EVER played that keeps drawing me back year after year after year.  It has super addictive game-play and it’s fun as hell and super tense at times.  So where do we start, PV is basically a fusion of Counter-Strike and  Command and Conquer and then it takes the best parts of both those games and makes them even better.

The game takes place on the fictional world of Visitor.  There are four corporations or factions within the game. Those corporations are Toyco, Extreme, Infrastructure and Bruteforce.  Each corporation has certain unique parts that it only can get from buying  jitter packs.  Jitters are the raw form of every unit.  Jitters can be built from a array of different buildings.  Now keep in mind each corporations jitters have slight advantages/disadvantages over the others, you can use other corporations jitters as well.  Now this is where it gets interesting.  You can choose to either buy them from other players in others corporations or you can choose to take them by force.  I’ll touch on that part later.  Within your corporations there are Mutual Defense Networks or MDN’s for short.  Each MDN can have 20 members and those members help each other out and protect each others assets.

The game is divided into thousands of camps.  Each camp has five Transium deposits and those Transium deposits power everything from the smallest weapon to the biggest turret.  Transium is life on visitor and you would do well to protect it.  You start out in a single camp, stake claim and build a base, much like you would in C&C except when you build your base, that’s only the beginning, you can then customize your buildings with all sorts of modifications to make them more powerful, give your turrets more range, more damage, more anything.  Basically you are able to modify anything in this game.  Because of this, the way a camp can be built/laid out can vary depending on your personality, and not only that, the way you build it can determine how quickly you can be destroyed,  camp building possibilities are almost infinite.

The second part of visitor is building vehicles or Rovers as they are called in the game.  This is probably the most fun part of the game.  There are over 30 different types of vehicles in the game varying in shape and size.  Each rover can be equipped with five things: armor, armor modifier, weapon, weapon modifier, and a rover modifier.  Depending on how you build a rover and determine it’s use.  For example, if you want to take out turrets from behind a hill you obviously can’t use a line of sight weapon, you’ll have to use something that volleys, such as artillery.  You can make huge, ultra strong, lumbering rovers that can take a pounding or you can build a fast, ultra quick but very weak rover.  The options are almost infinite.

The game can come off as a little intimidating at first.  The learning curve to understand all the parts  can be quite daunting, it took me a couple weeks to sort of get the idea of how things worked.  But the good thing is that PV has one of the best communities I have ever seen in a game.  People from all corporations are willing to help and educate anyone new.  All you have to do is pop on chat and say “help” and someone is more then willing to guide you in the right direction.  Some players like LordWrathx are always on and trying to help individuals in need.

battle1So you might ask, why build all those fancy bases and rovers?  For fighting of course!  This is where this game truly shines.  The battles can be small or massive.  Each camp allows a max of 20 players to enter.  Each player can bring certain bulk of rovers into a camp.  Generally this means bringing a total of 4  – 10 rovers into any camp.  So as you can imagine, a battle can vary in size from 2 people  and 16 rovers battling it out over an insignificant camp to 15 -20 players with 90 – 120 rovers on average battling it out.  Now any well built camp will have a full array of turrets protecting the base.  Now earlier i mentioned everything is powered by transium and there were 5 transium deposits at each camp.  If the raiders destroy enough of the Transium wells, the camp will start to loose power.  Once the power goes out, the camp will stop defending itself and the defenders will be at the mercy of the attackers.  This is not to say they loose,  but it becomes much harder to defend the camp.   Personally I think large battles are the highlight and splendor of this game.  Watching a camp that has been well built defend itself with all the turrets going off and defenders defending is a site to behold and for  game that’s over 12 years old it’s still majestic.  Battles generally result from wars declared on opposing corporations, wars can be caused by politics, resources or just for fun.  Wars continue until one side surrenders and a cease fire is declared.  Wars are fought in individual camps.  The objective is to take a camp.  A camp becomes open for capture once all enemy buildings have been destroyed, once that has happened the camp becomes claimable.  If the camp is worthless it can just be left destroyed.  Large battles are extremely tense… a simple wrong move in your defense can spell disaster for you and your friends.  A simple move can tip the balance of power from one side to another.  So working as a cohesive team works out the best.  Most MDN’s have a ventrilo channel  that they communicate from this is used to coordinate all battles.

Aftermath

One of the neat things in Project Visitor is that when you start out you can compete with top level players in almost every aspect.  A level 20 player is no less powerful then a level 99 player.  It’s all about tactics and strategy in this game, not about how much time you are able to spend in front of your PC killing the same NPC over and over again.   Each player starts out at level 1 of 100.  Levels determine how many camps you can own and how many rovers you can bring into an opposing players camp.  Leveling is not done by grinding like you would in your typical MMO but by meeting certain requirements such as camps built and Asset requirements.  You gain assets by simply building camps or rovers.  Certain buildings and rovers have certain asset values associated with them.

Earning money in this game is simple.  The more camps you own the more money you can make.  Camps can be built in two ways… powerful and little and poor or lightly defended and rich.  You want to make sure to have a good balance of camps that can defend themselves and money makers.  You don’t want to be in the middle of a war with no good camps but you also don’t want to be stuck with no money either.  Each player can have up to a maximum of 150 camps.  The way you choose to build those camps is entirely up to you.

Each camp is unique from the Terrain to the placement of the Transium spots.  Depending on the Transium placement and Terrain a camp can be very valuable or completely useless.  A camp with close Transium spots is immensely more valuable because it’s much easier to protect.  Aside from your main camp, the one you call home, all camps are open to attack 24/7, so you want to keep this in mind when you build them.  Each camp can be alerted so when it’s attacked and your offline your MDN will be notified and they can go to protect it.  You only want to alert well made camps as your MDN does not want to waste resources protecting a worthless camp.

In short PV can be a fun, rich and exciting experience.  Whether you like to fight, build or make money this game has something for you.  Perhaps you should give it a try?  If you are interested in giving the game a try it has a free trial.  Head over to www.projectvisitor.com to give it a shot.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

December 11, 2009

America’s Army = 32 Million in Tax Payers Doe

americas_army_logo_250This game holds three titles in the Guinness Book of World Records; Largest Traveling Game Simulator, Largest Virtual Army & Most Downloaded War Game.  America’s Army was released back in 2002 and has been available for free download since its release.  It was developed and created as a recuing tool for the US Army.  Has it been successful in its role as a tool to influence young men and women to join the armed forces?  I don’t know of anyone that has admitted that any videogame has played a role in their decision to join the military, but I do know from personal experience that games and movies have a deep impact on the youth of the country.  So the question is; was the 32 million dollars that was funded by you and me worth it?  I’m not sure if there is any way to really know, but the sum of 32 million to promote the Army may not be much compared with other forms of advertising that the government has implemented, such as TV, radio or fairs.  But one thing is certain, they sure hit their target audience.

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