I started off Sunday
thinking that I didn't want to see the Seahawk game. Ok...I actually
started off Sunday wondering why the pre-game show wasn't on...and
then once I realized daylight savings time was doing it's thing, I
was thinking about how much the Seattle vs. KC game would be a
completely disappointment. However, as much as I didn't want to see
the game, I needed to...it was like getting another beer after
having 10 drinks earlier in the night; it was going to be good, but
I felt compelled to do so.
I definitely wouldn't
call it a good quality NFL game. With the level of playing, I
wouldn't even call it a good BCS ranked game. I would, however, call
it one hell of a fun game to watch; even with Seattle falling just 7
points short. After all, despite having quarterback injuries on both
teams, no MVP rusher on the Seattle offense, , absolutely no
defensive action on the field, and some confusing calls (and some
lack of calls), it was one hell of an old fashioned shootout.
I can now feel a little
more confident about seeing Seneca Wallace on the field for the next
three or so weeks. I just still have the same feelings I had when
the season started; Seattle's defense is nothing short of pathetic
compared to what they had last season. Which, on it's own, is pretty
pathetic, since Seattle's D was pretty weak last year as well.
Anyway, hopefully the
Seattle defense can do something decent for the next couple of
weeks, as injuries come to an end for some of Seattle's main
offensive players. Maybe the season can be saved...maybe the season
won't end with me suffering some horrible breakdown watching Seattle
live up to the "Superbowl Curse". Who knows...?
I also got in some more
time with Tales of the Abyss this weekend. In fact, I got in a
little more time than I would have liked. I enjoy playing that game
like few other RPGs, but not when I have to load a save from 2 hours
before my most recent...all because of glitches. As a bit of advice,
if you have TotA, please listen to this;
Once you get to the
point in the game when you're told of a moving source of fonons
(magical particles) on the ocean, go there and enter the damned
place. Get it so that it will show on on your world map as a
dungeon. If you go to it, so that your party discusses the location,
but then you don't enter the place, it will vanish forever more. I
learned that the very hard way, and I'm glad that I'm at least smart
enough to have multiple saves. I looked for the damned location for
about two hours and could not find it ever again...until I reloaded
an old save.
Anyway, it's this type
of glitch that really does turn me off from games. It's more now
than ever before that these issues arise, and I hate to think of the
next generation starting...when patches can be distributed like
candy to fill the hunger of the incomplete games. Blah. Maybe I'm
just getting too greedy, but I just feel like games should be better
checked for obvious problems (like dungeons vanishing, the fact that
one or more titles in TotA are not possible to get in the North
American version of the game, some side quests not properly starting
due to timing errors, etc).
Anyway, I'm tired and
out of it. Between the Seahawk game confusing me with actually being
good, and my internal clock being screwed over (to those who live in
daylight savings time exempt areas; I envy you...), I am just not
able to think too coherently. So, on the note of me being confused,
away I go.
Yesterday I was unable
to post. I don't just mean I didn't feel like it or felt like I was
too busy. I had my eyes dilated, again, and when that happens, I
can't focus on anything less than three feet from my face, making
using a keyboard or a monitor into an exercise in futility (type
something, stand far back to see if it was typed correctly, fix the
errors while not seeing them, repeat).
However, I'm back
and full of...something...excitement?
The new update for
the 360 is out and seems to have
a unique side effect when installed on modded 360s. Basically,
the new Fall Update will brick modded systems. Interesting approach,
assuming Microsoft did this intentionally. Unfortunately, the new
update is also bricking some legal 360s...I guess Microsoft can't
I haven't done the
whole update thing, since my 360 is sitting without any love at the
moment as Tales of the Abyss has continued to claim my geeking soul.
However, I have to say that I'm a bit anxious to do the update.
After all, I have a launch 360 that is working perfectly right now.
It almost sounds like tempting fate to put on the update that will
rarely brick a normal system. So, for now, my 360 will sit, as
usual, with no affection from me...and hopefully by the time I
update, Microsoft will stealthily update the update so that no legal
systems will be bricked.
On the other side
of things, Nintendo has sent out a more finalized list of what
Wii games will be ready by the end of December. I am actually
impressed. Many of the titles may just be mindless ports, but then
again there are a lot of solid looking unique titles. Between Zelda,
Monkeyball (I have a soft sport for this king of party games),
Elebits, and Trauma Center there is definitely going to be some
goodness to go around. That is, of course, assuming that Nintendo
gets enough Wiis to market and there isn't a massive hardware
shortage. I guess this will be Nintendo's only real challenge, since
the software side of the launch is looking far better than any past
Nintendo console launch (especially versus the GCN and N-64).
However, to make
this library seem even more solid, the first
list of Virtual Console games has been released as well. Like
the other list, this will be the games that will be on the VC by the
end of December. All I can say is two little words; "Gunstar"
However, I am
especially pleased to see Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine making
the rounds this quickly. I have many fond memories of this game. By
"fond" I should explain that they are memories of people playing one
game with me and then swearing to never play against me again.
Nothing like a game that naturally clicked with my thinking process.
Now if only the VC
can have some Columns 3, I would be set. In fact, I really hope this
game comes along before a year has passed. C3 was to the Genesis
what Tetris DS is to the DS. It was the multiplayer puzzle game to
end all multiplayer puzzle games. With support for 4 players, back
when other puzzle games didn't go beyond 2, C3 was a sweet ride. Not
to mention the little extras in the game, like the "poison bricks"
and their effects on multiplayer games. I probably spent more time
in battles of C3 with my brother than I played any other game in
multiplayer until Smash Bros came along.
On a final bit of
news, for those who are not too familiar with me, as a geek, Final
Fantasy XII is out. I started like that to explain why this wasn't
the first bit of news today, and why it didn't included such 1337
speak as "1337", "roxor", "teh uber" or any other crap like that.
I was once a proud
Final Fantasy fan (not fanboy, but a solid fan), but then FF8 came
along. This game, which may have an interesting plot to some (I
found it derivative), had one of the worst battle systems to grace
the Playstation. I'm talking about the draw system, the junction
system, and the fact that I found thousands of battles before the
last dungeon and was still only level 12 when I got to the final
boss. I also should add that the idea of bosses not giving gold and
experience was pretty damned weak, as well.
I recovered some
of my FF love with FFIX (the most under-rated FF game), but that
couldn't last forever. Right after Square showed that they still had
some talent with both creation of a compelling plot and the use of a
fun battle system, FFX came along with the Sphere Grid bull shit and
the plot to end all FF plots; an emo "hero" along with an emo
"heroin" who both spend as much time feeling sorry for themselves as
they do in completing anything useful in the quest to stop an emo's
It only went
further down after FFIX. We had FFXI with it's MMORPG blandness (if
any MMO didn't deserve the precious gift of life, it was this rehash
of everything that's been done before), and there was FFX-2 with
it's dress-up system and story of three rebellious women who are on
a quest to find a long dead emo! Yippee...?
So, when FFXII was
announced, I was less than excited. However, as I heard more about
it, like how it takes place in the land of FFTA (the first portable
game with a FF label on it that I honestly hated), how the battle
system is now in the spirit of MMORPGs, and that the license board
(leveling system) is basically a rehash of the Sphere
Grid...well...I'll just say this right now;
drastic happens, like someone literally forces me to play FFXII, you
will not hear anything else about it on this web site. I have seen
the light, a few too many times, in that Square Enix is just milking
the FF cas cow, and that there are better franchises out there (Grandia,
Tales of..., Shadow Hearts, and so on). True, some of these
franchises will and have come to a stop, but more new ones will rise
from the ground. I think I honestly can be better off just
pretending almost anything new from Square Enix never happened (with
the exception of Dragon Quest). I also think I'll be far happier
I guess Wal-Mart had
some pre-order Wii bundle thing going on. It's amazing to now see
bundles selling out in almost no time. Considering the largest
reason to pre-order is to ensure a console without going the bundle
route, this seems anti-intuitive. Oh well...I guess when the Wii is
so desired, this type of thing can make sense...assuming nonsense is
a type of sense.
officially recognized the bricking issue from the Fall Update to
the 360 dashboard. It's nice to see Microsoft admitting there is
something not right in Redmond, Washington. I also, for some reason,
imagine that we wouldn't see that type of announcement from Sony
without a class action lawsuit.
is planning on putting out an update to the update in a short amount
of time. Meanwhile, they want anyone who's 360 died after being
updated to call their tech support line, so that these people can
also go through the joy of sitting on Microsoft customer support
hold-hell to add some insult to injury. In the end, Microsoft isn't
even sure if they will repair or replace 360s that died from the
update. I imagine replace will probably be the way that they'll go,
just like when they "repair" (read: replace) a defective 360 sent to
their repair service.
For Microsoft to
repair these bricks, it would just be too much of a hassle.
Considering this code is hard written into the 360 after it is
installed, it would just be less of a headache for Microsoft to
replace defective systems...which usually is the start of a common
cycle of having a defective 360 replaced with a refurbished
defective system, which is still defective. At least that's the
feeling I get from the 360 message boards on most gaming sites.
In the end, I am
waiting to use my 360 until after the update is updated. I haven't
played the 360 for a couple of weeks, but that will soon end when I
complete Tales of the Abyss before the weekend is done (probably
tonight even) and I once again need my Arcade fix. I just want to
see if my 360 can avoid death and be the first system I have bought
with an optical storage drive (CD/DVD/whatever Dreamcast called
their disks and whatever GCN called theirs) to never suffer any
problems. I know, it's a hopeless battle, but I've never shied away
from this type of fight before...and I sure as hell won't start this
On a final note
before I go (too much work to do and not enough time for posting
today), I just want to say one thing...and those who missed Lost
last night should walk away now if you fear the old spoilers...
Lost spoilers are
...and then end
when this post ends...
What the f@#$ is
going on when they decided to kill Eko. On one hand, the show has
almost no minority characters, and most of them who had been
regulars on the cast have all been boring and one-dimensional.
was put on MSNBC.com; "That instantly makes "Lost" a little less
interesting, since the pretend priest was one of the most creatively
complex characters on the island."
I mean we had a
character that not only was one of the most fleshed out of all Lost
characters, but we also had a character that was always a driving
force in one way or another. Whenever the plot would slow down in
any way, it seemed like injecting Eko into the story made the show
pick up a bit.
More than that, we
saw something from the Eko character that is just not seen on
American TV...ok, two things. We saw a minority actor playing a
minority character who was not a stereotype in any traditional
sense. The other thing we saw was a philosophical and complex
character that actually put forth some good questions on the nature
of good and evil. Since Eko was constantly in a position of killing,
yet he was repentant, it showed a nice amount of how one good deed,
no matter how the ends or means try to justify the other, can lead
towards evil. Then we saw how one can walk from evil, but still take
some lessons from the darkness along the way.
However, more than
the show losing a good character (unless, as MSNBC says, "But unless
resurrection is among the island's many mysterious gifts..."), it
lost a good character in one of the lamest ways. Seriously, the
"beast" or "darkness" or whatever it's to be dubbed has not been a
real force in the show for a whole year...and then it comes back
just in time to kill off a cool second tier character (who should
have been more important to the plot, in my mind at least, than
Locke) that brought the most depth to the show. However, we now get
to put up with the couple that were with Eko's group when he
died...the couple that will probably be forced on us as the guy
constantly whines and moans about everything he does. Sigh...
Last night I thought I
was going to finish Tales of the Abyss. However, once I got to the
final "point of no return", I decided to finish up a couple of side
quests. I didn't realize, until it was too late to stop my
compulsion, that this would require facing the option mega-boss that
it required in all modern Japanese RPGs.
I have to say,
without adding any major spoilers, that this boss really changed my
mind about TotA. I figured the game's difficulty was a little
skewed. Normal mode is typically a little too easy for it's own
good, and hard is just a bitch. Well, even on normal, the optional
boss was making quick work of me and my party. It was the first time
in TotA that I actually thought I'd witness the game over
screen...and I nearly did.
The battle took me
about 15 minutes, which is epic for a game which has normal battles
ending in 2-15 seconds and boss fights lasting about 2 minutes (if
you know what you're doing, but are still a little lax in your
playing). That was 15 minutes of playing out my best combos and
using items like the world was ending. In fact, that's what almost
did me in...just not having enough items. I can out of the battle
using about 30 of my HP restoring items and all but 2 of my life
bottles (raise dead items). I also came away with one character
still dead at the end, and every other active party member with
about 10% of their HP.
While I'm usually
one who frowns on pointless optional bosses (since most of the
strongest optional RPG bosses yield no rewards), this one felt
different. For one thing, I got some rewards. In particular, I got
the best C. core in the game (items which will boost your stats a
little at a level up...in this case, one that boosts all stats by
4). However, the main thing I got was a real feeling of
accomplishment. Not only was it an epic battle (that will probably
make the final boss fight seem like a cake walk), but it also
unlocked the ability to see a few extra story related segments.
Anyway, I aim to
lay TotA to rest this weekend...probably tonight (assuming my
geeking crew doesn't cut too much into my TotA time tonight). A
review will probably, assuming everything goes well, be on it's way
in the next week. Also, this will free me up for some major Guitar
Hero 2 time when GH2 launches next week.
One last thing
before I go. If you've been wanting a bit more news on Smash's
successor, there's a
trailer of SSB Brawl out there. It shows a nice bit of Mario,
Link, Kirby, Pikachu, and the five recently announced new characters
(Wario, Samus Zero, Metaknight, Pit, and Solid Snake) all in action.
Nothing like seeing Snake pull out his big guns. Also, it's been
fully revealed (like there was any doubt) that Fox will be
back...like that's cheese-fest would ever be gone...
Thanks to Metro
Ninja for sending me that link. It made my day, and just makes me a
little more anxious for the Wii.
Anyway, not much
to really talk about today. It's a great day for anticipation. I'll
be watching Borat tomorrow, and next week will see GH2 in my greedy
hands. Also, we're getting pretty close to the US debut of the
original real FF3...well, original as in it's the upgraded version
of the original on a system that was not even logical to think about
when the original was released in Japan. I've beaten the game
before, but it will be nice to soon have a true translation...even
if I have to deal with the hell that is the Mog-net quest.
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