Well, over the
weekend, I did manage to put Rise of Kasai to rest. However, instead
of feeling glad to be done with this poorly designed game, I'm
actually feeling the opposite. I've never before seen a game in
which the plot can be so interesting that it'd make an almost
unplayable game into entertainment. However, that's what RoK did.
The game play was horrible, especially thanks to the infamous AI,
all the way until the final battle of the epilogue, yet the plot
leaves me wanting more.
So, I've started putting
together my review, but this will probably take a little time. In
fact, I wouldn't count on too much coming from me this week in any
account. Today, I simply feel like crap, for no particular reason. I
guess I'm just rebelling against the return of the weekday. Either
that, or I'm sick...but I think it feels more like a sleep
deprivation type of thing.
However, I was
expecting that type of feeling to hit me the most tomorrow and
Thursday. As an explanation of how I do things, I write my posts,
typically, in the morning before I start my day job. However, due to
time issues, I don't actually get these posts edited and uploaded
until I get off of my day job. It's my personal juggling of
responsibilities and enjoyment. The reason I'm saying all of this is
as an explanation for what will happen on Tuesday and Thursday of
this week...when I start my day job around 3 AM...I will be so
damned out of it from lack of sleep that I expect my posts will fall
into one of two categories. They will either be funny as hell (not
in an intentional way), or they will make absolutely no sense.
Either way, it will be interesting.
Before I call it
quits for today, I have a little more left in me. I saw Batman
Begins this weekend. I knew to expect better than when Ah-nold was
Dr. Freis/Mr. Freeze, and when we saw the Cloony-est Batman of them
all (sorry, but I can't get over the lack of range that Cloony shows
with all his acting roles...he's always the same ER-inspired
character...just with some Desert Storm era weaponry, a Batsuit, or
some other toy that Dr. Ross should not be using). However, I wasn't
too sure of what else to expect. After all, even if you don't look
at Batman itself, DC has not had a good comic book movie since the
late great Christopher Reeves donned the red tights back in the
Well, I was
surprised. Batman Begins is pretty damned amazing. There are some
parts that obviously feel tacked on and pointless (enough with
people seeing the Batmobile and saying, "nice car"...it's
dumb and not worth being in this movie), and the origin story of
Batman did get nicely skull f#%$ed (not as bad as with Joker killing
his parents in Tim Burton's attempt), but the majority of the movie
was sweet. Nolan gave the film a feel that is perfect for how Batman
should've been from the beginning of live-acted Batman. I mean the
villains and Wayne all had a nicely twisted and insane look on
things. We didn't have the standard set of how we typically had seen
Batman's surroundings pointlessly twisted, while the people involved
were just looking mainly like they turned a small grudge into a
major hobby (like we had with the Riddler). Bruce Wayne was twisted,
Scarecrow was slimy and scary as shit, and Ra's Ah Goul (I spell
bad, forgive me) was a sick and brilliant man. No one was cartoony.
That is the bottom line and the most important part of bringing
Batman to the big screen. The only person who should be cartoonish
is the Joker (who will probably be in the next movie, if the usual
stretch of sequels follows this movie).
however, the part I liked the most about this treatment of Batman
was how it focused on realism. Batman has no powers, so to see him
flip off of walls and shit like that in the past films just went
against that premise. In this movie, Batman was keeping it real. The
Batarang was a piece of sheet-metal that Bruce Wayne took to a
grinder to shape and sharpen. His fighting was fast and frenzied,
but involved no silly flips and wall running. Even Bruce Wayne had
the problems of fitting a night-time persona into his sleep schedule
when he had his standard billionaire duties during the day. Hell,
Bruce Wayne even got bruises. When was the last time a super hero
got more than a glancing wound that healed itself in the next camera
angle?...not counting Wolverine being shot in the head in X2.
Maybe I just, as a
minor Batman fanboy, needed a Batman film that didn't suck 100%.
Maybe I'm blinded to some flaws due to this feeling I have. However,
I'm thinking I may just be enjoying seeing the correct treatment
being applied to one the most interesting comic characters of all
time. I just hope that the obvious hint at a sequel that is attached
to the end of this movie comes to be...I just hope they make sure to
keep things true to this style.
Anyway, as I said,
I feel like crap, so I'm out.
As I write this,
it's 3AM. Yes, it's going to be/was posted in the afternoon, but
it's early as hell as I write this damned thing. It's just an
explanation, in case I become completely lost in my own sleep
I did learn an
important lesson in this excursion into removing sleep from my life.
Well, two lessons. The first, and least important, is that I don't
function well on little sleep if the reason is not a good one. For
example, a LAN party, playing games, or just screwing around on a
weekend are all great reasons to go with little sleep. Going in to
work about 5 hours early, all so I can still quit at my regular
quitting time, is a bull shit reason. Sorry, I'm bitchy about
The second lesson
is that waking up at 3AM is actually a good time to wake up on a
Tuesday morning. I mean it's still dark, it's cold, and it's easy to
fall back into the seductive lure of slumber, but at least I can
wake up watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force...a show that's normally on
between bed time and the annoying screech of my alarm. At least
things could be worse.
thing I did this weekend, but didn't mention yesterday, is that I
had a fun time at a friend's LAN party with Battlefield 2. I never
did play the first Battlefield, mainly due to a combination of how
my PC was not up to par when it came out, and the fact that I find
playing a game based on real wars to be disgusting. It's not that
people who play these games are evil, but I feel like I'm a sick
individual if I play a game based on something in which real people
died, all for the sake of fun and entertainment.
Anyway, with that
in mind, Battlefield 2, the demo at least, kicks major ass. I can't
believe how fun this game is, and how easy it is to get into. I
started as a complete newb, with a newb style of playing. However,
it only took a couple of games before I was in a squad with the
other LAN party people, jumping walls along side them, planning
joint strikes, and taking flags. I was told it's new, or maybe I
just didn't listen too well, but the squad game play of B2 is
awesome, and makes this game even more addictive.
When you join a
squad, you have a leader that you can use as a spawn point. So,
despite how I had a habit early on of getting my ass blown off (or
ran over, or capped, or burned beyond recognition in a flaming helicopter
as it crashed), I was always able to come back in in my leader's
vehicle, or on his current attack run. Combine that with the need
for certain player kits on certain missions (for example, if you
want to take out some artillery, you need to bring the C4 to the
party), and you have a great ability. Just commit suicide, with your
virtual character, and rejoin as the person you need, mid-strike. It
also makes capturing a flag a far more interesting challenge, since
you no longer have to worry about everyone being at the flag, at the
same time. You just need to make sure your squad leader remains
Anyway, B2 is
supposed to come out this week (I think...sleep dep took away my
sense of time), so I'm thinking I may pick it up. I don't know how
much I'll play it on my own, but it's a definite LAN party game.
Plus, for those who don't want to shell out the $50+, the demo is a
great game on it's own. This is the first PC demo I've played in a
long time that I actually felt was a must buy...and this is from
someone who passed on Half-Life 2 since it felt like it just
wouldn't entertain me long enough.
Anyway, if you're
wondering, I don't know when my Rise of Kasai review will be up. I
was aiming for this week, but that was not taking into account the
sleep deprivation I'll be having both today and on Thursday. I
figure a review of a game of this ambiguity deserves a little more
thought and consideration than a sleep deprived mind can give it.
I'll aim for early next week...but who knows, I may still get it out
In the meantime,
I've started a new game+ on Tales of Symphonia. I decided with it
being a game I knew inside and out, that it would work well with the
whole sleep issue of this week. Also, I never gave it a second
attempt, despite how it has a great new game+. With a second play
through the game, you can use your grade (which is acquired via
beating battles with a little flair, and very little death to your
party) to retain some characteristics of you last game, like your
gald, your skills, your EX-Spheres, your tech usage numbers, etc.
You can also start with some bonuses, like gaining experience
quicker (2X or 10X, depending on how much grade you want to/can
afford to spend), having 30 of a given item instead of 20, or
earning more grade (which always carries over to the next new
Anyway, as I said,
it's early, and I need to work...the bane of my existence.
By the way, at the
end of the day (this is being written around 12 hours later than
that last stuff), I can now say it's good I wrote my post while I
was merely tired, since I am now beyond that point and in a state of
pseudo-hysteria brought on by too much work, too little sleep, and
too many damned weird things (if it wasn't for me being in Seattle,
one of the most f#%$ed up cities I've ever known for randomness, I
would say I'm hallucinating...sadly Seattle says I'm not insane, but
rather this place is). Viva no sleep and a shit ton of work!
I have, today, a
brief respite from the insanity caused when a night person, like
myself, has to do 12-hour shifts at work on two almost-consecutive
days (yesterday and tomorrow) in a single week. In other words, my
brain is actually in a sane frame of mind, however, I'm not sure how
well it will last.
As for anything
game related, there's no real news today. Well, there is the fact
that Battlefield is still a newly released game. I know this has me
excited in a way that few PC games could make me excited. However,
it's not too important, in and of itself. I still whole-heartedly recommend
to anyone who likes a good team based FPS game to check out the
download for the demo. I forget the link I used, but it's easy
enough to find on EA's website, Gamespot, or by just typing in
"Battlefield 2 Demo download" in just about any search
engine. Yes, I do sound lazy with my lack of links...
Also, there's a
funny thing I saw in regards to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) on Gamespot.
It seems the new contract for the SAG and the game industry is being
rejected. You know what? It matters nothing at all. In all realism,
how often do you buy a game because a certain actor plays the voice
of a character? If you answered with any number above zero, you have
a serious problem (mentally), and you should seek help in
understanding why your game collection probably sucks. No, the real
reason a gamer buys a game is for the game itself (or a part of the programmers'
work, like the visuals). The actors who whine about not making
enough money on doing a game's voice, or on how they should get
royalties for their voice work are full of a little too much ego,
and way too much bull shit. Seriously, if no actors from the SAG can
be found to do a voice for a game due to contract/financial crap,
the game industry will do a simple thing; they will find non-SAG
voice talent. Plus, they run equal chance with this method to find
real talent as they do with using the SAG...after all, how many
games have you played in which the voice acting, done by a
SAG-member, was beyond approach? I don't even need to ask; the
number is greater than it should be, I bet.
keeping things short today since I have some work I need to get done
with my Rise of Kasai review. I still don't know if I can finish it
this week, but I should at least take a stab at that before I jump
into a little more Tales of Symphonia. I should also toss out that
ToS is hella fun the second time through when you can take advantage
of the grade you earned on the first play through.
Some news today.
Well, the first bit of news isn't as much news as it's the US being
hosed, or Japan getting some extra love. Some more details of the
launch titles were released from Microsoft Japan for the 360's
Japanese launch. So, to put things straight, in Japan the 360 not
only has more details on launch games than in the US, but it also
has a firm release date, which the American 360 only has a vague
speculated launch date. Nice.
Also, it looks
like, according to this link at Gamespot,
that the PS3 we saw at E3 was actually running at 75%. Ummmmmmmmmm...so...let
me get this one into my sleepy head (as I write this, it is, once
again, 3AM); the PS3 games that we didn't see since all we saw were
pre-rendered video clips (which are as much games as if I drew a
picture by hand and called it a "screen shot") are
actually going to be more powerful than what we didn't actually see.
That makes as much sense as me telling you all to close your eyes,
and then to show something behind a closed door that is now a door
and a set of eye-lids away from you seeing, and then saying
"the real thing you didn't see is more powerful!".
Sony, let's get
over it. You and Microsoft are in a console war. We get it. You
don't need to tell us that there are no good emotions between the
two companies. We so f#%@ing get it. We don't need to hear it
anymore. Sony and Microsoft, in the end, you will both have consoles
that will max out in terms of technology long after the next
generation becomes a thing of the past. We don't need to be told how
powerful your consoles will be. All we gamers will ultimately need
to care about come down to two simple facts (as I pointes out last
week); how much memory is in the machines and what good games will
there be. That's it.
Man, this whole
thing is turning into one of those Kindergarten battles of half-wits
in which one says that his dad is stronger, then the other says
"my dad can pick up a car", and then the other one, to top
that comment, says "my dad can pick up our
house!"...eventually it all ends when they both agree that
"well, he can lift more, but he never wants to show off".
This is not sleeplessness speaking. I've seen this, and 99% of
people who went to a public school have seen it. The important fact,
however, is that we've outgrown it...can Sony and Microsoft?
As for some REAL
and awesome news; Check out psphacker.com.
If you have a PSP, and you haven't upgraded to 1.51, this is the
link for you. KXploit has been released!
Basically, in the
last weeks, some really awesome dudes had released a method to play
homebrew apps on the PSP using 2 memory cards. Basically, each card
has game data, but they have to have been altered by a certain
program (swaploit). Then as the game loads from one memory card, you
have to quickly pull it out and put in the other card. This leads to
a few things; first, if you short of a second memory card, then your
hosed. Second, you do run a minor risk of frying your memory card.
Thirdly, this method is as much fun as having a swap-hack for any
console (in which you have to swap your local game disk out for your
import/illegal game, all in a limited time window).
Well, as someone
who has had his 1GB card on backorder for the last 3 months, I was
not going to buy another card while waiting (and the price was too
good to ignore for the b/o card), so Swaploit was not going to work
for me. Well, with KXploit, you can put both cards' data onto a
single card, and then play the program/game like it's nothing.
I tried out this
method last night, since I'm a skeptic and since I've downloaded a
ton of homebrew apps that I've been waiting for a chance to try out.
Well, the KXploit program is really easy to use, and even puts all
the data on your PSP without you having to do more than name the
folder that will be made on your memory duo, selecting a PBP file
(PSP application file), and telling the system which drive letter is
the one for your PSP. Then, you just have to copy over any extra
files from your PC to the PSP memory that also go with the program
(like sounds, add-ons, etc). That's it. It's that simple, and it
works! I was playing a good old-school Arkanoid clone on my PSP in a
matter of minutes from when I started my download. I also tried out
an emulator or two (with some homebrew games...I won't say my
opinion or the facts on pirating ROMs...it is illegal, but that's as
far as I'll touch this subject), Sinobi (an awesomely fun old-school
platformer, homebrewed), and some other fun things. Every program
worked. Plus, you can actually fit a lot of these programs on the
32MB included memory duo that comes with the PSP.
To make things
worse, and I hope it's not just sleep dep that making me imagine
cool things, I could swear I just got an email from buy.com saying
my memory duo pro is no longer on backorder, and I can expect it
shortly. Perfect timing.
Anyway, I have
things to do, like a looooooong day of work. So, I'll leave off with
these final thoughts. The Rise of Kasai review is progressing.
Expect it in a few days. Tales of Symphonia is so much fun when you
carry over your EXskills from the previous game, and give your party
the ability to earn 2 times the normal experience (plus, keeping all
your previously acquired recipes and cooking skills are a cool
thing). I can't believe it took this long to give ToS a second
Alright. I have
sleep dep and a long list of work to do. Peace.
There's a good
deal of stuff I could talk about today. If you check out Gamespot's
news page you'd see countless things I could bitch about.
There's how a double murder (with a house a-sploding) was linked to GTA3
in Japan, there's the news about how the DS is doing well and
is not doing so hot in Japan, or even how there are G-Phoria
nominations. It's all pretty pointless, to me, overall,
I mean when it
comes to G-Phoria, I can't help but wonder why G4 is getting any
attention. Seriously. This is the channel that has no truly decent
gaming programs of their own (the closest stuff is the shows they
took from TechTV in the merger of a year ago). I'll call Formula D
good entertainment, but when the closest thing to games it involves
is showing a sweet ride with a PS2 or an XBox in the car (usually
not on the cars that are doing the drifting even), it's not "TV
for Gamers". G4 is a channel that, several years after it's
launch, is still not living up to the high standards that were set
for it when the channel was announced. So, quite frankly, I don't
get why this type of programming (G-Phoria, that is) is getting any
attention from anyone outside of G4. If you want real awards, then
you check out the GDC awards, the E3 awards...hell, you should even
check the Spike Game Awards before this type of kiddy friendly bull
shit. Ok, I'm in a crappy mood from my weird sleep schedule this
week. Forgive me if I go over the top too many times or sound too
As for the DS
doing better than the PSP in Japan. Whatever. Let's look at a few
things. First of all, both handhelds are kicking ass. It is that
simple. Second, the margin of sales between the two systems are
really close. Third, this generation of handhelds have just begun.
Plus, as I like to say, both handhelds are for different purposes;
the DS is for casual gaming, and the PSP is for more geeky things
(like hardcore gaming, and homebrew apps). Because of that, they
aren't really in competition, as much as they share the same
location in Best Buy, if you get my meaning.
Lastly, read the article
on the GTA3 linked homicide in Japan. The only link was this; the
kid played GTA3 and really liked it. I should mention that this
applies to millions of people around the world. However, he was
humiliated, supposedly, by his father, so he felt like taking
revenge. This was not a GTA3 linked homicide as much as it sounds
like an abused kid (whether or not he actually would have been
"abused" is not the point...what the kid perceived is, and
humiliation is a form of abuse in some peoples' eyes). As for why he
killed his mother...well, it sounds like this kid was not
"mentally stable", and he kept hearing how his mother
wanted to die because of her work. He thought, from how it sounds,
that he was doing her a favor. As for blowing up his home...well,
either he wanted to hide the evidence, or he just liked blowing shit
up. Either way, it was done with home made explosives.
So, GTA never
shows you to make home made explosives, GTA3 never has you blow up a
building, and GTA3 doesn't deal too much with humiliation.
Ultimately, GTA3 is being blamed for only one reason; that this kid
liked the game. I call this jumping to the easiest solution. I mean
it's harder to blame a victim of murder for being the trigger to a
crime than a couple of big faceless corporations (Rockstar/Take Two
and Capcom). Blah.
As for something
else that's not just me picking apart the crap that goes for news
right now; I am surprised at Sony. Sony, from the looks of things,
is going to start forcing a gamer to download the latest firmware
versions for future games. I firstly find this inane due to the fact
that not everyone has access to wireless internet, and not everyone
can figure out the PSP network connection menu (it is a little less
straight forward to even play in ad-hoc mode than to play some
multiplayer on the DS). However, even if you live miles from
wireless (think of a farming community or something like that), you
still might have access to a Fred Meyers, Target, Wal-Mart, etc, to
pick up some games. So, if you're out in the middle of nowhere, but
you can buy games, you may be screwed when you can't play Coded
Arms, a game soon to be released, on your very recently released
PSP. That is not right, Sony.
Secondly, I like
how Sony is comparing the PS3 to a "supercomputer" (cough::bullshit::cough),
and they speak of making their systems as computers rather than
toys. So, why are they forcing firmware upgrades? The obvious reason
is to make it harder for homebrew apps to be played on the PSP. For
example, if you have v1.0 or v1.5, you can now play homebrew apps,
but v1.5 only got this a couple weeks ago (after being out for about
2.5 months). v1.51 is still out of luck. So, it's obvious that Sony
is trying to prevent people from taking full advantage of the
technology and computing power of the PSP.
I'm getting at is that if Sony wants to call their consoles more
computer-like, then they need to allow true freedom of use to the
gaming world. You can't just say, "we make supercomputers"
and then limit people from having the ability to program for your
system. It's one thing if you're trying to prevent people from
pirating games, but it's another entirely if your trying to prevent
homemade games and useful applications. For example, if someone can
get a fully function web browser on the PSP (and I'm not talking of
the limited functionality of the Wipeout browser) that doesn't
require anything more than a memory card, that would expand the
number of people who'd want a PSP (if you were on the fence between
getting a PSP and a DS, and you learn that the PSP now can do web
browsing for free, this could easily push you over to the Sony
side), which is good for Sony. It'd also make the PSP more like a
"supercomputer", which is good for Sony's image. Lastly,
it would make the gamers happy, which is good for both Sony and the
Blah. This is why
I'm not in the game industry. I can understand logical situations. I
think a pre-requisite of being in the industry is that you can't
understand logic. A kid killed someone...well, I doubt he could just
be a f#@%ing head-case, because he liked GTA. Sony makes
"computers"...so let's not allow any homebrew
applications, which are common features of real computers. G4 is a
joke of a channel (which is the only real reason I watch it...for a
good and cheap laugh...ok, Cinematech is a good white-noise show
since it is free of the kiddy friendly atmosphere)...so everyone
naturally will follow their award show. I don't even want to get
started on the current 25 to Life fiasco involving the American
government trying to stick it's nose, once again, in a place it
doesn't belong; before Washington DC tries to pick another fight,
maybe you should handle the huge messes you've already made in the
last couple of years...like Afghanistan, Iraq, the tarnish of the
international image of what Americans represent, illogical security
concepts that fail in application, revoking rights that have long
been held as the "freedoms" that Americans were once so
proud to have...the list is way too long, and I think 25 to Life
just isn't important enough to anyone outside of the game industry
or parents to make a dent. Sorry to get political, but I just don't
think 25 to Life is a worthwhile fight, especially when the Legislative
and Executive branches of the government really need to end some of
the fights they have already started.
Anyway, I'll try
to get the Rise of Kasai review up on Monday.
Before I poof, I
just want to say that I won't have my Memory Duo until Monday.
Why, you ask? Because FedEx is about as logical as a pile of
dog shit. Seriously...they tried to deliver my memory stick
today at 8:15. 8:15!? At this time, few apartment
management offices are open, and most people are in the rush hour
commute (if not at work, like I was). Why not wait until
9AM? By then apartment offices tend to open, so I'd at least
have it delivered to them. Plus, to make things lamer, since
they only operate M-F, and their hours are only until a damned early
time, I can't get it with how they are located, in Seattle, at the
middle of a giant construction nightmare. That, combined with
rush hour, would equal a 3+ hour commute to only get there in time
for them to be close. So, to FedEx, I send out a big
Plus, while I'm
bitching, Car Toys still can go f#%@ themselves...if they remove
their heads from their asses. They still have my money from
the wipers they were too incompetent to properly ship. I wish
people would just stop being so f$#@ing lame.
For Those Who Don't
Have Flash Plug-Ins...
This Site Links
Contact Us The