If you don't know and
you have a 360, the N3 (Ninety Nine Nights) demo is now available as
a download. When this game was announced, I must have been on the
can because the excitement felt by so many just went right by me. I
saw a Dynasty Warriors clone, but with more enemies on the screen at
a given time.
Well, I downloaded the
demo and gave it a shot, and my opinions changed a bit after playing
it. In reality, N3 is not just a DW clone with more enemies on the
screen. Nope. It's a half-assed DW clone with a lot of bland enemies
on the screen at a time. I have never felt so compelled to delete a
demo as quickly as I have with this game (ok...I felt that way with
Rumble Roses XX, but let's just pretend that game never existed).
I played through about
half of the demo before I died. It wasn't as much that the enemies
killed me off as I just stopped giving a shit. N3 may not suffer
some of the limitations of DW (like the game doesn't slow down when
more than five characters are on the screen at a time), but it lacks
all of the refinement in controls and the assortment of enemies. I
saw mages, archers, and swordsmen. I also saw a lot of them. I also,
and most importantly, saw myself being bored beyond belief.
I am one of the few
people out there who doesn't look at a new DW game like, "YET
ANOTHER Dynasty Warriors...?!". However, with N3, all I could see
was that sort of feeling washing over me. I would never consider
this a worthwhile game purchase...especially at $50-$60. Hell, I
would not consider this a worthwhile game to buy at $20.
Speaking of poor games
for the 360, I have to wonder something. Every source I've read has
said that the new Bomberman (Bomberman:
Act Zero) will not feature multiplayer offline. I am stuck with
my first impression of the game (that it sure as hell doesn't look
like Bomberman) and my new impression (no offline multiplayer makes
this game into a complete joke) fighting it out to convince me which
reason is more important to avoid the game.
To change tracks a
little, I watched a couple of my friends playing Rockstar Games
Presents Table Tennis this weekend. I downloaded the demo to this
game and honestly didn't care. I read the previews (way back in
February and March) and didn't care. So, I have to say I was
completely surprised when I watched my friends play this game and I
was drawn into the action. Hell, during some really involved
volleys, I was finding myself literally at the edge of my seat.
I doubt I'd buy this
game. If I did, it would have to be going for about $20. However,
Table Tennis is one hell of an interesting game. It reminds me of
something like Monkeyball. No matter how silly it sounds on paper,
and no matter how much you would like to bash the game, it can
actually be very exciting when you're in a game and not playing
against the computer.
Well, I don't have too
much else to talk about today. I spent the weekend doing maintenance
on my car, so I have little to really say...except there's nothing
like the feel of freshly conditioned leather under your ass as you
suffer through rush hour traffic...words to live by...I think.
Before I go, check
this link "out" (yeah...I'm funny...). I hope it works. It's
been acting funny all day, but it's worth a read.
I didn't get a chance to
post yesterday. It's pretty obvious, since the date for the post
above this one is definitely not yesterday. Anyway, I was caught up
in a few things that I couldn't get out of. I had the fun of an eye
doctor appointment in the middle of the day. However, even better
was my fighting with my computer...
Monday night, I
noticed my video was really messed up (think 1980's scrambled cable
picture quality). So, I rebooted my PC. The problem persisted. I
reinstalled drivers, and I reinstalled video utilities. However,
after running for about 5 minutes, the picture would always revert
I was left with
one obvious conclusion (which has since been proven either wrong, or
at least only as a part of the problem); the video card was fried. I
had a Radeon 9800 and it was a wonderful card for what I liked to do
(both for gaming and for running a second desktop on my 52" DLP to
watch videos on). I had previously avoided ATI cards since they had
caused many problems in the past for myself, but I used the 9800
because of advice from a friend.
Well, I went out
and got a new Radeon X1600 Pro (512MB DDR memory, multiple outputs,
and one hell of a nice price when I factored in some gift cards for
Best Buy). At first, this card was nothing short of sweet. However,
as soon as I attached my DLP I could see a problem...or 10.
It started with a
simple fact; the ATI Radeon X1600 Pro likes to always use the DVI
output as the primary monitor. There is no way around this. Well, I
use DVI for my secondary (the DLP TV) and I run my primary
antiquated PC monitor on the VGA port. So, I had some issues on that
side of things, since the monitor serving as the default secondary
display required me to jump through some hurdles every time I booted
up my PC.
This issue can be
resolved. If you own a X1600 and you want the same similar setup as
what I am running (the multiple displays), here's a simple bit of
advice; boot up with only the monitor attached and wait to add your
TV until after the PC has loaded Windows. I have to do this
everytime I boot up my PC (which is a pain in the ass over the old
method...of always leaving both devices plugged in and letting
Windows and the ATI software remain logical)...and so will you.
The second piece
of advice for the X1600 (or any other card running the ATI Catalyst
software to configure your video settings) is simple...when you are
done f#@%ing around, and when you are ready to use your video card
without fighting your PC for over an hour at a time, UNINSTALL
I spent the first
two days of running the X1600 with most of the time being spent on
either using one display (the PC monitor) or with my fighting
Catalyst and it's enjoyment of crashing Windows. However, when I
finally uninstalled the software utilities, I was finally having
better memory use, better visuals, and far less headaches.
In the end,
however, I will give even better advice, if you're in the process of
buying a new video card...NVidia. That's it in a nut shell. ATI may
brag on the back of their video card boxes about how Catalyst is an
award winning software package, but the only awards I could see it
winning are not the type to brag about ("Worst video utility of
2006"). Considering how smooth and simple to use the 9800 was (and
other cards in the ~9600 range), along with Hyrdavision (a real
video utility), I don't understand how ATI could've gone this
route...the route of greatest stupidity and user-unfriendliness.
Like I hinted
above, it turns out that my PC has a few more issues than the video
card. I think my power supply is burning out and that it has
possibly effected my motherboard and/or CPU...which means a lot more
of a monetary investment (board, CPU, and memory since I'm at DDR
right now) than I can really afford right now, but I'll need to
afford it anyway. I just wish that cosmetics were so damned
important in the PC world. While I once could get a new power supply
for close to $20, I now am left paying about $60 (if I luck out and
find a good sale) since they all have to either be overly pretty
(with glowing fan lights) or overly elite. There are no longer any
simple down to Earth PC power supplies that can get the job done
without being considered a real "investment".
For a little game
news (besides that the X1600 Pro fails a real road test), here's
some fun links and info;
The Saint's Row
demo is now on the Live Marketplace. Download it! You've got nothing
to lose, and the demo is some of the most entertainment you'll get
from a free item on the Marketplace.
Lastly, some game
industry (and non-game industry) people were
reported on Gamespot of their reactions to the smaller E3 plan
for the future. While most of these responses are so damned canned
("We fully support ESA"...amazing how almost all game industry
people said that same exact line), the response from Ken Levine, one
of the cofounders of Irrational Games, was great. I like it when a
smaller company speaks up since it's far less likely to be
sterilized by 15 layers of PR before it leaves the office.
Well, I'm off to
Fry's to look for a power supply...and probably a mother board...and
CPU...and memory...and to see how quickly this fool and his money
are parted...pity me.
I think I'm back. You
may have noticed a second day in this week (yesterday) in which I
didn't post. This was definitely not by choice.
After I upgraded
my CPU, motherboard, and memory, which was added to a new video card
on Monday, I found my computer was incredibly unstable. I was left
with one option left...my HDD was shot. So, I once again hit Best
Buy and had to replace my dying HDD with a SATA drive.
Once the drive was
installed, I was left with only one very painful option...it was
time to flatten the box. The old master drive was removed from the
picture, and the new one was installed with a completely fresh copy
of Windows XP. That is one of the most painful experiences I know of
as a computer user. I don't mind reinstalling Windows (it's just a
slow process), but it's the reinstalling of all registry involved
programs that kills me.
That meant I had
to reinstall my virus scanner (which I had lost my registration info
for), my hardware drivers (annoying, but possible), FrontPage,
Office, most of my games, all of my video codecs (that one is going
to be painful), all media players (Real, Quicktime, BS Player),
iTunes (for my iPod), and a dozen other programs that I'll probably
not remember until a month down the road. The worst part of this is
the time suck it poses. I have only just begun...and I have a lot
more to do.
Anyway, as you can
tell, I placed high priority on keeping the site fresh, so all of
the FrontPage/web authoring stuff is done. I am back!
If you haven't
checked yet, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting is on the Live
Arcade...and does it suck. Well, the game is one of the oldest and
most antiquated versions of SFII, and we really should've seen Super
SFII to have Fei-Long, Cammy, and the two useless players (DeeJay
and Tomahawk). However, more than that, the 360 controller is NOT
meant for 2D fighters. The d-pad is sloppy (I know I'm not so bad as
to pull off a classic down-diagonal-forward+punch once ever 5
attempts), and the analogue is even worse. 3D fighters may work good
on a modern controller, but old-school games on new-school
controllers is not a good idea...ever.
The game itself is
not too bad, since it offer online support, but this can't make up
for the lack of control. I also won't go into the price ($10) being
too high for a game that you can get better of on the PS2 for the
Speaking of the
Marketplace, there's word that
Gears of War will not have a demo prior to it's release. I
personally find this to be some bad news. The game may be near the
top of the hype machine, but I still have reservations. How many
other hyped games have come out and proven to be crap? Full Auto,
Prey, and The Outfit all come to mind. In fact, it's the simple fact
that hype is not being a good thing lately that will steer me clear
of GoW until either I play the game at a friend's home or until I
have a demo.
Anyway, at the
same time as when we see GoW, we will also have some new consoles to
contend with. In particular, I'm looking towards the Wii, and the
more I hear, the more I'm excited. Especially, I say this, since
Ubisoft is planning to have
seven launch games for the Wii. While most of them will probably
suck, it does mean that the Wii is going to get some support up
front that the GCN and N-64 both could find. Viva Nintendo!
One other bit of
news...this time it should be good.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is being planned for a
tentative Q1 2007 release on the Live Arcade. Since playing PSX
games is becoming less enjoyable, and since the original PSX disk is
becoming harder to find, this is some definite sweet news. Hopefully
this will remind Konami what a good Castlevania game should look
like and they will decide to make a real Castlevania (read: not 3D)
for the 360 or the Wii.
Well, I'm off to
return to the trenches of installing shit on the PC. I'll probably
start with a good tech-demo type of thing...probably the Half-Life 2
demo. After all, while I need media players and all of that fun
stuff, I really want to see what my new X1600Pro-Dual Core setup can
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