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Malik (10/9/06)  

It was an interesting weekend for football...especially considering that the Seahawks were not playing, and thus I normally don't give a shit. However, watching the Bears dominate against the Bills at least gave me a slightly better feeling about the slightly less painful ass-kicking they gave Seattle a week ago. I mean, if the Bears want to be this unstoppable force, I'm fine with long as Seattle is not the final game on their win streak.

When you also throw in how Green Bay threw away the their game with one hell of a poorly timed That game...just watching it, I could imagine how painful it must have felt to be a GB fan and to watch a loss appear from such a poor move. Hell, a field goal was entirely possible (and probable) and would've forced over time. Wow. I didn't pay attention for most of the game, but that final Green Bay possession was a true heart breaker.

I think, on other geek matters, that I'm about done with Lego Star Wars 2. I have enjoyed the game, and I feel ready to review the thing. However, I think I'm just getting to that point that I've over played that game a few dozen times. It's fun...but I've also spent a good thirty or so hours on it in a single week.

While I've been nothing but happy with the game, I think a sneak preview of my review would reveal a somewhat low score for such an addictive game. LSW2 falls into that rare occurrence of a fun and addictive game that has to be dealt a little harshness in it's review. If it wasn't for how buggy the damned thing is, I could easily smile more favorably on it. However, constant freezing issues don't help it all that much. Also, when you throw in that the 360 version (the one I'll review) requires money to unlock characters that are on the game disk, and that you have no way to fully enjoy the customized characters (you can't make a force lightning user, nor can you use prequel parts, besides Maul's head) it just becomes hard to be anything but brutal in a review.

On a different note, I am really getting tired of having the chance to order a pre-order possibility for pre-ordering the Wii. So many places (EB/Gamestop,, and so on...) are having special deals of one way or another to get a pre-order chance for the Wii. With some places, you just have to sign up to be on an email list and then they will email you when you can pre-order. Some of these, like Yesasia, will give incentives, like $20 coupons for the Wii. Other will simply offer stupid deals, like if you pre-order a Wii game you'll be notified and then expected to show up immediately to fill out the actual paperwork and put some money down.

While I'm all for eliminating the stupidity of the 360 launch/pre-order situation, sometimes a line must be drawn. For one thing, the number of Wii consoles expected by the end of December are so large that unfulfilled pre-orders will only have to go at the most a month before it's all taken care of. Also, this is dragging out an experience that is just not needed. I would be more than happy to put some money down and then either get a system launch day, or to find one elsewhere and collect my deposit back.

On that note, it's only about 6 weeks until the Wii launches, and it's now or never for pre-orders. Any longer of a wait on this thing and it just won't make sense to offer pre-orders. Plus, I just want to place some money down and know this damned thing is as good as mine. Is that too much to ask?

At least I do have a pre-order of Tales of the my mind can be at ease on getting one damned good game this Fall. A damned good game that comes out tomorrow/Wednesday (depending on how quickly it's shipped). I think this game should easily get me through until the Wii or FF3 (DS), depending on if I can find a chance to get in some vacation anytime this month.

Ok. Not much else to say today. So, on that note...I'm out.


Malik (10/10/06)  

As many fools as possible and their money have probably all finished doing their little dance by the time this is posted. Yes. EB/Gamestop is doing their pre-order deal for the PS3 starting in a few hours (well, it's the future as opposed to when I typed this, not when I posted it). For $100 you can reserve a system that will probably have nothing going for it, besides the ability to brag that you can play movies that you need to buy all over again.

Do I sound less than enthusiastic about the PS3? Good. Since I still don't understand the appeal of this system, now that exclusive titles are becoming a thing of the past and since all of the quality exclusives will not come out for at least a year. Anyway, if you have $600 (+tax, money for a game, money for accessories, and whatever other moneys are needed)...I'd like to say that you may be happy with your decisions. Then again, I'd be more likely to say that it's money wasted and that I am envious of those who can even afford this beast.

Either way, the PS3 pre-order will definitely not be something I want to witness. I can already imagine that the lines outside my nearest EBs are probably rather silly and gut wrenching. Considering how Gamestop's email about these pre-orders mentioned that they expect to sell out of pre-orders in a matter of minutes, it's probably rather silly looking outside of my local EB about now.

Personally, I'm more excited about possibly, depending on shipping date versus actual receiving date, getting Tales of the Abyss today. I will be more than happy to enjoy my "antiquated" PS2 over the prospect of a large deposit on a $600 console. Although I expect that TotA will probably not hit the stores until tomorrow, since it's an RPG that's not from Square Enix, and thus it's not considered a potential blockbuster. It's been done with most RPGs, and I wouldn't expect anything different from this one.

However, I am left with a deeper question; when will the Wii pre-orders begin. Considering that the Wii launches only a couple of days after the PS3, it would be most logical for the Wii pre-orders to begin in a couple of days. However, it would also make sense for Gamestop to already start the pre-orders since it would ensure more people would pre-order Wii games right now. I know the only reason I have thought about pre-ordering Zelda is because of the fact that I know I may get stuck with a bundle that includes Zelda, if I don't score a pre-order. In that case, I'd probably end up with Zelda in the bundle, since it will probably be the most popular bundled game.

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wii pre-orders happening between now and next Tuesday. Since the release is so close to the PS3, it makes sense for them to open soon. Also, with how Tuesday is the day that seems to be the most hectic and frustrating day of the week for game store employees, it would only make sense for Gamestop to make it worse, like they are doing with the PS3 pre-orders.

Well, I have little else to say today. I think it mainly comes down to me feeling like crap. I love this time of year...the start of cold and flu season. It's a perfect time for you and your co-workers, neighbors, and complete strangers on the bus to all share a nice little gift that just keeps on giving.

However, before I call it quits for today; a little humor.  Just check out on eBay (that link) how many people are selling PS3 email addresses.  When they say PS3 email addy's, they mean one's that are as retarded as something like (I am making this up and I apologize for singling you out if you're f#@%-tarded enough to have bought or made this) "".  If you are dumb enough to pay $50 for something like that, then I simply wonder how you manage to avoid killing yourself each and every day...maybe Darwin was wrong?  By the way, if you're internet illiterate enough to think this is an auction for a real PS3, then you should see that last comment.


Malik (10/11/06)  

Lumines Live will not be free. That's what a misprint is saying, at least. In reality, I don't see this happening. For one thing, the game cost full price on the PSP and sold quite well when it was released at the PSP launch. So, for Lumines Live to be free seems about as logical as giving away Project Gotham Racing 4 when it eventually and inevitably is released in the future.

Plus, when you consider that Dig Dug will cost about $5 in Marketplace Points, when it comes along today, it doesn't make sense for a current game, that actually requires far more coding than to simply port it, to cost anything as cheap as free.

On that note, it's about time that something changes with the Live Arcade. Is it just me, or is there no reason why we should only be seeing releases of gimmick games (ones that require the Live Vision camera) or very old arcade games? I think, with how the Arcade was so much fun when the 360 was still in it's infancy with games like Marble Blast Ultra and Wik: Fable of Souls, that it's about time we see some new games. At the very least, some somewhat new games (like Castlevania: SotN) would be very much appreciated. I have not even downloaded as much as a demo for the Arcade and enjoyed it since I downloaded Zuma a few months back.

The Arcade is a wonderful idea and a great way to bring casual gamers into the 360 audience. However, if the games are not going to show any signs of innovations, at least those that are gimmick free, then maybe something was just not thought out. Especially when these Arcade games are often times ones you can play for free at a local nickel arcade. Dig Dug? Scramble? Time Pilot? How about something that was not featured on Starcade? It's good to have some old games, but let's keep things fresh with a mix of old and trusted games along with new and interesting games that are simply too small to account for a full boxed release but too much fun to see them go completely without a release. The same also applies to games you can play for free off of internet gaming sites...they are fun, but they should not be all there is to the Arcade.

Since Tales of the Abyss didn't show yesterday, I played some more Lego Star Wars 2. What can I say...the game is freakin' addictive. However, the bugs in this game are literally killing my patience. For example, I played the second chapter of Episode VI last night (the pit of Carcoon...or however it's spelled). I was having a blast and managed to find every minikit, along with the power block. I was having a blast. However, my blast soon ruined the experience.

My custom character, Dark Jedi Boba, managed to throw a thermal detonator, when I meant to perform a force choke on a Gamorrean. Well, next thing I know, the turret at the end of the stage (which you need to finish the stage) was in rubble. However, unlike other turrets, this one did not either respawn or sit in pieces to be reassembled. Instead, it was gone. Completely and irreversibly. I had to abandon the stage, along with all that I had collected, just to play through again. At least, after deciding my special Fett should stay at home, I got through. However, this type of bug really should have been more completely tackled in the testing phase of this game...along with any of the other bugs which can pop up so frequently in the game.

Seriously, if LSW2 was not so addictive, I'd be very pissed off. At least the game is fun enough to justify me being passive and not aggressive in my tolerance of this type of bullshit.

Tonight, I should be starting my joyous romp through TotA. Considering how well received the game was in Japan, and considering it's a new Tales game, I think it's safe to say that LSW2 will not be seeing much of my love for awhile.


Malik (10/12/06)  

A lot of people wonder why some non-official game sites (like this one you are currently on that I hold so near and dear to my heart) like to keep giving "publicity" to Jack Thompson. Well, I really don't see it that way. No matter how much we'd like to see that either Jack gets destroyed in the press or that he just gets ignored and goes away, it just won't happen. While he does make his own news, he is still in the news. When it is simply Jack (I refuse to use his proper name if he is not going to act proper and respectful to others) making news about nothing, I could easily ignore him. However, it's when he makes news that is actually more than his own witch hunt, then I feel obligated to discuss what he's doing.

For example, when he got a Miami area judge to force Rockstar/Take Two to give the court an early release of Bully, then the US government is involved, and thus it is no longer Jack throwing his own pity party. In this case, the judge will watch someone play the game, to completion, behind closed doors, with Jack present (of course) to see show that...wait...why the f#@$ is this happening?

Probably it's happening to show that Bully does or doesn't deserve a T rating when the game is played to completion. Personally, I'd love to be witness to this little exercise in stupidity. It would be funny to watch a judge, who probably has limited gaming knowledge, watch a game being played for 20+ hours with Jack constantly yelling in his ears about how evil the whole experience is. It would also be funny to see the judge ultimately telling Jack to shut up and also commenting that the game has earned a fair rating.

Say what you will about the ESRB, but they do a good job. They could do a better job, but then again they have only thousands of often times very long games to get through each year, in a manner that's timely enough for a game's release to not be delayed. While many people say they could do a better job...I'd doubt it. It's not easy to wade through all of the games, and to review them in an unbiased position, despite how bad they may be. Yes, they don't usually play the games and instead sort through material submitted by the publishers, but they still do have a lot of crap to get through in a fair and proper fashion.

Anyway, I'm serious when I say that I would love to be a fly on that wall. It would probably rank up there in unintentional comedy like few other instances in life that don't involve Mike Tyson giving a sound bite.

Also, while I don't like Jack's approach to being so much holier-than-thou, I do think there is a little good that comes from it. In particular, since it's sometimes best to be optimistic, we can easily say that no other force has so united us all as gamers. We have console wars, flame wars, genre battles, tirades over franchises and the like. However, we can almost all agree on how Jack has done wrong in his approach of forcing his own ideals on a nation. He is one man, and he is usually in as much trouble as he is in the spotlight trying to earn respect of a blind populace that will believe him. However, we are almost all united and happy to join hands in a force that is amazing. There is no group or individual out there who can get Star Wars fanboys and Trekies to put down the pitchforks...but Star Wars video game fans and Trekie gamers can join that's saying something.

Anyway, I got Tales of the Abyss last night. It's hard to form a complete opinion after three hours, but here's some thoughts...

The load times are horrible. Between each combat there is a long and exaggerated load time that can go from 5-10 seconds, despite a battle usually ending in just 5 seconds. There's something wrong with that picture.

The visuals are rather bland. They don't destroy the game or anything...but they are not as nice on the old eyes as ToS and it's cell shaded style. In fact, I can't help but think that TotA looks like either a very old PS2 game, or a very high quality PSX game. However, the fact that the visuals are not FFXII quality does nothing to ruin the fun or to do my most hated of gaming events...make you think of reality.

The camera controls suck. I wish I could be nicer, but it takes about 15 seconds to rotate, when in the field, the camera an entire 360 degrees. It's sometimes more fun to just not know what's barely off the screen than to rotate the damned camera and wait.

The game is also a lot more serious in tone than ToS. While this isn't bad...well, I really enjoy a less serious and dramatic RPG. I have enough drama and serious content in my daily life to not need more during my virtual life. Also, your main character is an idiot. I mean he didn't understand you pay for stuff before you take it. I don't mean he's dense...he's just a f$#%-tard.

However, despite these flaws, the game is still damned fun. I can easily see this game taking 50+ hours, and me not caring one bit. For the price of admission ($40), this game more than meets the requirements to be called a must buy for RPG fans. Hell, if the game was $60, I wouldn't complain one bit...ok...that's more than other PS2 games, so I would...but you get my meaning. In fact, I think this will keep me nicely occupied until Zelda comes along...too bad I may have to ignore FF3 (DS) just to give TotA the full level of attention is is earning.

Also, if it's any surprise, EB/Gamestop will be taking Wii reservations tomorrow morning at opening. I think this is not really news to anyone since the rumors of tomorrow being the Wii pre-order days has been widely accepted as fact by the geek community since the PS3 pre-order announcement was sent out on Monday.


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