It's been one hell of a
busy week for me. From 3:30 on Thursday (when I finally closed on my
house) until now...and even until this Saturday...it has been
nothing short of chaotic to be Malik. Between cleaning out an
apartment and moving into a new house, and then there's the
maintenance and repairs, it has been a week of no fun and no peace.
However, at least the hard work will pay off in the end.
I'm already preparing to
make things more geek friendly in the new house. There will be one
room dedicated to all old-school geek things. Between Velveeta's
action figures (and...sigh...dolls...) and my old game machines, the
room will be a museum to all things that paved the way to what we
geeks enjoy now. NES, SNES, Virtualboy, N-64, Genesis, Saturn,
Dreamcast, Playstation, 3DO, Jaguar, Odyssey 2, and many more
consoles all sharing their own living space, side-by-side. It is
already turning into a sight that makes my knees weak as I stare at
the brave entities that gave me such joy as a child.
Then there's the
theater. Ok...it's more of a big renovated basement. However, it's
the right shape and scope to handle the real entertaining. The big
screen, the modern game machines, and all the best comforts. It's
turning into what should be one hell of a nice place to plant my
lazy ass after a hard day of work.
Once everything is
finalized and the big items are moved, I may finally be able to find
my first taste of peace since the whole house buying experience
began...way back in December. However, until that day comes and
passes, I can only promise one thing; chaos. I will make an effort
to post each day (except Friday...the day when Internet service is
transferred and I will not have the net available to my FrontPage
running machine), but that cannot even be promised. This week will
be a weird journey, but I should end up back where I started, and in
better spirits soon enough. Until then, hopefully I'll get a few
minutes so I can slay another boss on Crackdown...
Another day of moving,
another short post. I hate to keep things brief, but sometimes, like
when moving into a new home, it's hard to do what you want. It's
hard enough to even do what you need.
I was determined
to leave my 360 as the final part of my move. Crackdown was keeping
me nicely entertained, so I couldn't pack up my one source of rare
comfort. However, last night I downloaded the Puzzle Quest demo for
the PC (find a link yourself...just google "puzzle quest PC demo"
and you'll find it). I now have a new game to keep me happy. The
demo is way too short, but if things go my way, I'll find the DS
version today during my lunch break.
It would not be a
amiss to say that Puzzle Quest is basically Bejeweled: The RPG.
That's how it feels and how it plays. You have a character that
gains levels, which unlocks new stat bonuses and spells. As you
remove pieces from the Bejeweled-like board, which you take turns
against a computer to do, you can either gain money, experience,
mana (from colored pieces), or cause direct damage to your foe. It's
not what anyone could consider a deep RPG experience...however, it's
a great time killer and stress reliever for any puzzle game or
casual game fan. Which is just what I'm looking for during the chaos
I should find the
DS version today, assuming not all stores are like Fry's. I tried to
find it at Fry's last night (which is located right in the middle of
my old apartment and my new house), and remembered a very important
lesson; for some f#@$ed up reason, Fry's will not carry any game
within two weeks of it's release if it's not the "must have" game
for the week. It makes no sense, but it's this type of stupidity
that forced me to walk away from Fry's many times and into Best Buy
or Gamestop to buy games like Castlevaia: PoR, DBZ (Wii), and Wario
Anyway, I'm very
busy and stressed, so once again I am keeping it short.
...and the stupidity
ensues. I don't mean with my personal station in life (moving at
work and moving at home...which is annoying, but not stupid...ok,
the work part is). I mean some of the following;
The new 360 Elite comes out next month. This is the rumored 360
upgrade that will basically enrage a lot of gamers for various
reasons. For many, it's just the fact that you need this thing to
have HDMI output from the 360, and for other people it will be how
there's a black 360 (which many people seemed to care about...of
course, I care more of what the console looks like on the TV than in
my entertainment center). No matter how you look at it, this 120 GB
HDD enabled 360 with HDMI will only confuse and annoy. It will also
give Sony some extra firepower since it's bringing the 360 price
tage within $20 of the PS3.
rather just delete as needed than even buy the $179 120GB HDD.
Afterall, Live remembers what you've bought, so unless it's a video
rental, you can always download it again later for no cost. The idea
of spending that much on a 120GB HDD just makes my PC-knowledgeable
self rather unhappy.
On another side of
things, the COO of Gamestop believes that the Wii was
intentionally limited in supply by Nintendo. I don't buy this
for a second for one very key reason; the casual gamers. While the
hardcore geeks will stand in a long line for a Wii, if that's
needed, the casual gamer will not. However, it's these casual types
that are making the Wii into the blockbuster that it is. There is
currently less to keep a hardcore geek interested than there is for
casual types, and thus it's these casual types who are bringing in
the big sales.
A great example is
how so many
retirement home types and retirees are getting addicted to the
game systems they have always dismissed as a waste of time and/or
money. I saw it happen to my parents and I've seen it happen in
other cases. However, if a casual type sees a console and then
introduces it to another retiree or whoever (casual gamer
potential), they will want to buy one, in theory. If the supply is
intentionally limited, then this will destroy such a great money
making and customer base building opportunity.
The way I see it,
Nintendo is fueling three or more regions (sorry Australia...but the
game world sees you as more of a less than whole region) with the
quickest selling console. It is not easy to meet supply this easily
when you have such demand and so many places to hit. Also, while the
link evades me, why is it that Nintendo is building a new factory to
pump out more Wiis when they are intentionally holding back the
hardware? That makes absolutely no sense. The real reason behind the
limited Wiis on the market are simple; many regions, demand that
surprised even Nintendo, and the fact that (while Dan DeMatteo (that
COO of Gamestop) may not want to believe it) the US is not the most
important region to Nintendo (instead, all regions weigh in
As for people who
give these claims any credence, I just want to ask one question;
since when can you trust a damned thing out of the mouth of a
On another Wii-ish
note, it's amusing to see what Brian Hastings (COO of Insomniac...a
third party that could not get any closer to being Sony's personal
whore unless Sony finally seals the deal by buying them) says about
the Wii and PS3. Especially since the PS3 is becoming more equal
with the larger installed 360 every day as exclusives move on and
more gamers get tired of seeing consoles that lack games. Once the
major games come along for the PS3, and it will be interesting to
see how many are still exclusives, Sony will have to deal with the
larger install base of the 360.
Also, it should be
noted that Resistance: Fall of Man was the first supposed must buy
for the PS3. It was also an Insomniac game. My point in this info is
simple; can we take the opinion of a pseudo-Sony mouth piece,
especially when he claims the Wii will soon gather dust but he
doesn't mention anything about how his "killer app" is not gathering
However, I find it
amusing that Hastings said that the Wii will gather dust as the
casual crowd gets tired of it. Did this happen with the DS? No. The
DS is a major casual gamer device, and it's still going strong with
the Touch Generation games (Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc). The Wii may
slow in casual gamer sales eventually (I doubt this will be major)
if they are ignored, which Nintendo won't allow. However, as the
hardcore gamer games come along, like Smash, Paper Mario (next
month), Mario Galaxy, Metroid, Fire Emblem, and Treasure Island Z,
the system will only continue to build on the dedicated gamer base.
It's a win-win for Nintendo, and the only way you could dismiss the
powerhouse that Nintendo has become would be if you're nothing more
than a Sony puppet or mouthpiece...like how Insomniac is...hmmmm...
lesson was brought to you by one very tired and worn out geek.
Another day, another
chance to wish that this week would end already. Between moving my
lab at work and moving my home, I just cannot find a chance for much
to do to relax and unwind...besides Puzzle Quest. Big props to my
mom for not only finding this elusive game, but for driving it out
to me late last night so I can feel the small slim bit of fun that
this game can provide while resting between moving experiences.
Once I'm done with
the move, I look forward to resuming some of my lengthier fun
activities, like Civ4. Which is my little transition into both
mentioning that I'm going insane from the stress and to mention
Firaxis's new expansion for Civ4.
Beyond the Sword
should be coming in June, but my excitement is in what it includes.
Yes, it has a few (five) new wonders. I really find that less than
exciting of a number. It also includes a dozen new scenarios...but
some were fan made, which lowers the value in my eyes (not because
fans make bad content, but rather that it's not something that was
as expensive for Firaxis to make).
However, I am
excited about 10 new factions (civilizations) and 16 new leaders. My
favorite part of a good game of Civ is when I encounter someone
beyond the usual (like Ceasar, Cyrus, and Alexander) and meet
someone who normally is not a common occurrence. When you have 16
new leaders and 10 new factions, this makes a more likely experience
for fresh and unique games each time.
The one bit of
content I could go for, but I don't see being implemented in an
expansion (so it would have to wait for a Civ5) would be a more
expanded technology tree. While the start of the game offers a lot
of variety and unique setups for different civilizations, the end of
the game is too vanilla. Everyone, no matter how they play, will
always end up with the same set of technologies at the end of the
game. It's not because everyone will want the same setup for their
people, but rather that the game's technology tree narrows around
end game despite how modern technology is far more diverse (in real
life) than ancient technologies. Plus, too many things are grouped
together in some unusual ways (just look at what all Plastics does
in Civ4) under one technology.
Anyway, there's a
great chance that I'll buy Beyond the Sword when it arrives.
However, I wish there was more variety and uniqueness going into
this expansion. I guess I can just keep hoping for the rumored Civ5,
and keep enjoying Civ4...once my moving experiences are done.
On a final note
for the week, tomorrow I lose Internet (for the move) until
Saturday. So, this is it for the week.
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