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Malik (5/22/07)  

I was out sick yesterday, hence the lack of a post. I'm also still pretty sick today, and that's why this will probably be a pretty short post. It's hard to gather and put one's thoughts to virtual paper when one's head feels like it's in a vice. Oh well...

Blizzard did announce that Starcraft 2 is a real deal. They also showed off some nifty images and movies of the game, as it stands in production. The two bits of info I really want to know, however, are still absent and unaccounted for.

While it would be nice to have an idea of the release window for this game, I don't see us knowing for sure until close to the game going gold. Blizzard is notorious for keeping release dates on the downlow as they always seem to have "just a little tweaking and fine tuning" left on all of their projects until they see the light of day. That's fine. I'm guessing for a release about a year from now. I'll probably be wrong, but that's my guess...for now.

My other question is about the specs needed to run this game. While the images and other media released on the official site make it look not too complex for older machines, I doubt that is true...since many other recent RTS games, like Rise of Legends, look very simple until you get them running on your box and see how much of resource hogs they truly are. I hope Blizzard keeps it simple, as it's the sequel to the game of choice for Korea, which means it's following a game that runs with pretty low system requirements. To change this would be a blow against their largest demographic.

On a different note, I finally saw The Last King of Scotland while I was sick yesterday. This movie is freakin' amazing. If you like history and really great performances by Forest Whitaker (who, sadly, is in too few mainstream movies to really enjoy), this is a perfect movie to watch. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that I understand why Whitaker won so many awards for his role.

I also watched the last episode of season 1 of Heroes last night. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about that as I was for The Last King of Scotland. In all reality, they ended the first season of Heroes prematurely. With how much time was used to setup the final battle of season 1, it should not have been limited to part of the final segment between the last commercial break and the end credits.

The episode kept building up and getting more exciting, and then the final confrontation between Sylar and the good guys was just limited and half-assed. That fight should have, and could have, filled an entire episode. We only had enough time to see each hero attempt one action before either winning or failing. Whoopity-doo.

It also would have been nice to receive a couple of simple who the hell was alive and who died in that lame battle? Did Parkman survive or does the pseudo-self-inflicted gun shot wounds finish him off. Will D. L. survive that nasty gunshot wound? I can see Sylar not being made clear, with the blood trail leading to the sewer, but the rest should have either been answered, or not have been left so damned vague.

At least season 2 had a nice setup. Between the mention by Molly of the person far worse than Sylar being out there and the time shift of Hiro to an earlier day in Japan's history, it looks like some fun things are planned...I just hope the Sylar battle last night would be the final one that is left with so little reward for all of the build up.

Now to continue being sick.


Malik (5/23/07)  

Nintendo has now announced that Super Smash Bros. Brawl is coming out in 2007 afterall. Previously, it was rumored and speculated that Brawl would come along sometime in the first half of 2008. This is definite good news for the non-casual side of the Wii.

That news goes in hand with the confirmation that Nintendo keeps giving for Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3 to come along this year. In fact, this means that Nintendo should have three major titles come along for the Wii in a six month time frame (considering that Metroid Prime 3 is supposedly due out later this summer) for the less casual side of their taregt audience. It just leaves one question; what will be announced next since the calendar for the Wii is now looking good only through this year end, and next year has less steam going for it?

Some friends sent me a few emails about the new GH3 announcement. I reading from them that Weezer and the D are present made me happy. Reading in the link that Cult of Personality and Paint it Black are there...I will no longer speak crap about NeverSoft making this game (at least until after the game comes out and I play it). In fact, this is the best teaser list for a GH game yet. There's only like one or two songs I couldn't care if they were in or out, absolutely no songs I'd hate to play on this list, and many I've felt a need to play for a long time.

I just hope that someone would get some Social Distortion on one of these games (Reach for the Sky would fit perfectly with both GH and Rock Band, as would Story of My Life). They do license their music out, and for worse projects, and it has all the elements of what's needed for these games (good rhythm, lead, and bass guitar work, clear lyrics, and good drumming).

However, the color scheme has me a bit worried. While it may just be color, and placement is all that matters (or else star power would be a game breaker..."They are all blue!!!"), I wonder if they may mess with the buttons on the actual guitar to force you to update. What if they rewire it so that the old green (first fret) is now electronically coded to the third fret, just to force you to buy new hardware? Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but it is something we've all seen before (like how some N-64 and SNES virtual console Wii games cannot be played without the classic controller since the button mapping is so inane if you use a Gamecube controller).

Anyway, I shouldn't dwell of the potential bad, when we have definite good. This game is going to rawk!


Malik (5/24/07)  

I always feel the most sick, it seems, when I have obligations and fun things to partake in. For example, right now I'm still in the middle of feeling like crap (today is actually worse than Monday...the day I was forced to stay in bed all day), and I am in the middle of two very busy weekends and a busy week. I had to skip early on a friend's bachelor party last Saturday because I felt like crap, tomorrow I'm due to help my father build a fence (yeah...that'll be great while sick), and Saturday is a friend's costume party that I am really wanting to attend. However, if I keep feeling like crap, I'll probably help with the fence tomorrow and be too dead for a party the next night. Blah.

At least I had enough of my thoughts with me last night to play some more Oblivion. I also had the brain power to look up how to tweak the ini file for a little more power. Namely, I turned on the options for multi-threading the application and turned down the grass a bit (even an 8800 GTS is no match for excessive grass on the Gold Coast area).

The thing I don't understand is why Bethesda did not release an update that would at least simplify some of these tweaks. For example, why not, with a patch, add a menu option for determining if a processor can handle multi-threading and then to automatically update the ini to reflect this? Why not add some menu options for tweaking the grass so that a computer with high settings and high technology could run the game without stuttering in grassy zones? It all seems so easy, but I guess Bethesda is not exactly on the ball with Oblivion anyway...with first the Form-ID bug (which at least they did patch), and then the animation bug (which they disavow any knowledge of). That's why they have such a strong mod explain and solve these type of issues and tweaks.

I don't have much else to say as I sit here hacking up a lung or something. So, I'll end things with two thoughts.

First off, being sick sucks. I know it's obvious, but I need to say that right now. However, it doesn't suck as much as a few of the things done with the Lost finale. While many exciting things happened on last night's episode, so did many stupid things. For one, I have trouble believe that Jin would miss a simple shot at such close range with two attempts, like he did when he couldn't hit the TNT setup to kill some Others. He was able to cap a couple of Others, but he couldn't make a prepared shot in two attempts from a prone position? Nope...can't believe that.

Also, why exactly did Charlie die? I know, it was "destiny", "fate", or whatever you'd call it. However, he closed the door to prevent the Looking Glass from flooding and killing Desmond, right? Wrong. If he left the room and the door open, he would've still got his message from Penny for Desmond. On top of that, the Looking Glass would need some time to flood, during which, Charlie and Desmond could've swam away just like how they got in (deep breath and swim...but with an easier time out than in since they are not looking for a small opening but anywhere on the surface of the ocean). They even would have had plenty of time since the door to the communications room would've been held closed with the water pressure behind it (it did open inwards). Everyone, and I mean everyone, would've won. The cyclops would've died (or he'd come back again anyway since he keeps dying...), Desmond and Charlie would've survived, and those visions of Charlie's death seem to have ended for Desmond prior to Charlie's death.

While Lost may have given a few interesting plot ideas for the future, I still can't get over the obvious stupidity. There's even more, but I'll try to avoid going into them for now (Why didn't Locke kill Ben while he was at it? Why did Ben try so half-assed to stop the phone call if it means it's his doom? Why can't this Jack, Juliet, Kate, Sawyer love quadrangle bullshit end?). Blah.

Secondly, before I depart, if you did not see FFXIII being pushed back beyond 2007, then you are a blind idiot. Square Enix has taken the lead for developers pushing back titles, and the FF games are their most notorious example of this practice. They may be hinting now at a Spring (2008) release, but I think that this will not play out. In the end, this game may see the light of day in 2008...but definitely not until the second half, if not in "much later" (I'd wager on 2009).


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