PSN Account

I've had the PS3 for a year now, I finally got around to signing up on the website.

Spore Creature Creator!!

I removed the contents of this post because it had an old spore thing in it, and its html sucked, and messed up my new page... Sorry

GTA IV is soulless fun

GTA IV is all over the news because you can:

  • Drive Drunk
  • Shoot Cops
  • Score with Women
  • Go to strip clubs
  • Cause complete chaos and have the cops forget about you a few minutes later
  • Of course, steal cars
  • And, hit monstrous jumps

There are a bunch of groups that are going after the game, like MADD, who has turned from an anti drunk-driving group into a prohibitionist group trying to get alcohol banned again. Good luck with that.

There's also other people addressing the violence.

Any of those things I mentioned above, you would not be able to survive in real life. It's what makes it a game. In other games I've also ran through burning buildings and lived to tell about it, or have taken thousands of bullets and all I have to do is find cover and I'm fine. One time in GTA IV I drove my car off of a 80 foot drop straight down. The car flipped numerous times and wound up hitting a pole straight on. I didn't even lose any health.

People need to lighten up, but damn that game's fun. And I wasn't driving like a maniac after I played for a few hours. I just drive the way I normally do. In fact, I have a difficult time "escaping" reality in that I don't just go running over pedestrians or shooting people. I try to find one car and stick with it as long as I can. I don't even like to get into accidents where all I do is side swipe someone. Sometimes you can't help it though and it will turn out to be some hilarious death of some poor sucker who just happened to be between your car and some pole or wall at the most inopportune of times.

It is soulless fun and it takes some really screwed up minds to come away affected by it, more than just dreaming about it. I've played Railroads! for hours, which is the least violent game ever, and I've dreamed about it. If you have no imagination, then you obviously can't think this kind of stuff up to keep your idle mind entertained. If you have video games, you don't need an imagination to have fun (unless they're the really old games that expected you to still use your imagination). However, if you look at games as *practice*, then you're screwed up.

Ahh, Video Game Addiction

AIM IM with Zatko Zatko: 25 hours
Zatko: won by space race
Zatko: it was total annilation though
Me: jesus
Me: year?
Zatko: like 2045
Me: my last big victory was a space race in 1957 on warlord
Zatko: nice
Me: 13000+ points, abraham lincoln
Zatko: how are points calculated
Me: no idea
Zatko: i annilated everyone but 2 countries
Zatko: i was at war most of the game
Zatko: which is why it took so long
Zatko: i found the option to turn off battle animations on hour 24
Me: but if you hover your mouse over your name, you can see how your points are broken down... population, technology, land, wonders
Me: yeah, i turned them off recently
Zatko: yea, big time saver
Zatko: every turn was taking like 15 minutes
Me: and it'll tell you what your score will be if you won on that turn
Zatko: i wonder if nuking people helps that score
Me: i don't think it hurts
Zatko: i nuked the shit out of the indians
Me: haha
Zatko: i was clearly winning, but my lead kept diminishing
Zatko: the indians were trending up on me
Zatko: apparently the nukes made them go broke
Zatko: what a game
Me: it's great huh
Zatko: that sins game is gonna be the same thing
Zatko: dude my whole 3 day weekend can be summararized by civ4
Me: haha
Me: addicted once again
Zatko: yea, majorly addicting
Zatko: i was dreaming about it at night
Me: yup, been there
Zatko: i'd wake up at 5 in the morning, clenching my fist and cursing the russians
Me: once i play Pain on the ps3 for a whole day, and i'd dream about throwing mimes into glass
Me: haha
Zatko: ha, the mime game
Zatko: well i'm out
Zatko: maybe for next weekend i'll get sins
Me: aight, i might start up a game
Me: k, i can get it
Me: i'll just get it like i did with gears of war and wait for you to get it 
Me: i bought that game months ago
Zatko: yea, that'll probably be some good coop action with that
Zatko: later
Me: later
Zatko: has gone offline.

An even bigger week

So, some big weeks lately... This week:

Monday: Paid off my car on Friday and got the title on today!

Tuesday: Received second iPod Touch that I didn't order, and assumed I'm on some sort of iPod touch weekly subscription, for only $400 a week! I sent it back. (It was Amazon's fault, not Apple's :P )

The rest of the week... I will finally be buying my house! My parents sold their house and move on Halloween. They are hiring movers.

My keyboard's kinda screwed up because soda was spilled on it (not me!!). The keys were really sticky, so I pulled a bunch of them off and wiped behind them with a wet paper towel, but my "I" key will never be the same (although it works fine, it just sticks up a little more than the others), and my "0" (zero) key (and hence, my "close parentheses" key) makes some weird noise when pressed.

This month and next are big months for gamers:

Crysis Collector's Edition DVD-ROM with Bonus! PC Pre-Release
Ships 11/13/07 $59.99
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men with Bonus! PC Pre-Release
Ships 11/20/07 $49.99
Sim City Societies with Bonus! PC Pre-Release
Ships 11/13/07 $49.99
Super Mario Galaxy Wii Pre-Release
Ships 11/12/07 $49.99
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune PS3 Pre-Release
Ships 11/20/07 $59.99
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure Wii Pre-Release
Ships 10/23/07 $39.99


That's my shopping cart at EB games.

This Friday will be the first time all of us from work head out to the bar since we hired a bunch of new people, including me! We're gonna get wasted.

I'm 3-3 in Fantasy Football this year, winning the last game by 2 points! Tony Gonzalez had a huge game, and Muhsin Muhammad has finally started scoring for me. My team stinks, though. It will be miraculous if I finish over .500. I only had 76 points, and really only got points from those two and the Eagles D. No one else contributes. This week I play my brother Scott. He'll be at the Eagles game so I'll have to call him and tell him I'm whooping his ass.

I joined Netflix finally. It's gonna be a great way to finally watch all those movies I haven't seen yet.

I'm also trying to quit smoking. It's rough, and I know drinking will make it really hard, but the trick would be to go back to quitting after a long night of drinking with a few smokes here or there. Drinking in Philly is a lot easier than in the suburbs.

This post has a little of everything.

Shipped

BioShock GameStop Exclusive Limited Edition 1 Shipped

Adventure games are where it's at lately

Outside of binge sessions of Company of Heroes (best game ever) I've been looking for something to relax and play. Something with a story, puzzles, where I can put my feet up and my heart rate doesn't go out of control. I'm not sure if I was looking for that or if I started playing some adventure games lately and have just been enjoying the experience to think that it's what I needed before. Either way, they're good times.

A few quick notable ones then I'm watching "The Good Shepherd" while I try to fall asleep. It all started when I looked at my Grim Fandango disk, and decided I didn't want to get into something really long right now. This was a few weeks ago. As some may know, I'm a subscriber to Gamespot.com, and they've been reviewing these games over the past year that have looked different but I thought they might be like Ratchet & Clank or whatever that game is called on the PS2. But then I watched a gameplay video and realized that "Sam And Max" is indeed an adventure game. So I bought the first season for $35. Six episodes in all. I played the first 4 over a weekend, and the next one a few days later, and the last one is now available for download. These are short games because they're just episodes. Each about 3-4 hours long if you don't cheat. Sometimes I have to though. The reason I'm not downloading the last episode right now is because I'm playing another game. The Longest Journey.

The Longest Journey is cool. It's a full adventure game as opposed to episodes like Sam and Max. You start out and there's truly nothing that you *have* to do right away. You are in the future, living in Venice as an art student. You have two weeks before you have to get your painting done for the show. It's an interesting story so far. I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I also got the sequel for when I beat it. Should be good times.

Adventure games are very hard though, for me. I sometimes don't examine every nook and cranny, and so sometimes they're harder than they should be, because some puzzle might be obvious if I just checked a drawer and found some item that would make it so. Some of the puzzles just seem downright impossible though. I have to open up a walkthrough to help out on some parts. It's brutal. A lot of the puzzles I figure out though. An example of one that I didn't figure out was in The Longest Journey, you talk to the land lady and she found a ring of yours. You go outside and there's this machine, and on it is a severed wire. Just saying that now, though, you'd be like "Use the ring to connect the two ends of the wire, dumbass!!" But it doesn't even enter my mind. Some people maybe, not me. I guess I'm not creative or imaginative. Who knows. It's a testament to the variety and creativity found in Adventure games though. You never see the same puzzle.

I picked the wrong handheld!!

DOH! I recently began to question my wisdom when looking at the best games for the two common hand held gaming systems on the market. I have the Sony PSP which has games like Tiger Woods and Virtua Tennis. The other one is the Nintendo DS. It of course has two screens, hence the "DS" for "Dual Screen". And one is a touch screen.

I was checking out the list of the best games, obviously sorted by rating descending. Out of the top 10 or so games for each system, I found myself wanting more from the DS and already having all the ones I'd want on the PSP. That blows. I'm not going to get a DS soon because I don't really have the time for either anyway. But I chose the wrong one or I am in the wrong profession and should have been able to buy both and determine for myself which one is better. This way would likely be the best way. Oh well. That would surely be a luxury item and I can't buy luxury items now. Only after I have tons of loot saved for a house.

Speaking of luxury items... I'd love to have a file server running on Linux or Mac (preferably something cheap to set up), with tons of space on it, like a terabyte or two. For one thing, I'd love to be able to import all of my DVDs and store them on there, and of course have all of my music on there. Then buy an AppleTV and have my Mac reference all of these things in iTunes. Then of course be able to watch any movie I own with a click of a button on either my TV or my Mac. That would be ideal. I've researched ways to import DVD into a format that iTunes and AppleTV can understand. It's possible but the legality is questionable. They're my movies though, and as long as I keep the disks I should be fine. Although the MPAA and RIAA want to make it as difficult as possible to do that, so Apple really isn't allowed to provide the means, I have to find a hack.

Railroads!

I mentioned in my last post that Railroads! looks great on my new computer. Here are some screens in a game which I am totally dominating two computers. (In fact, I had bought them out YEARS [in game] ago!!) I'm playing on the "Mogul" difficulty which is where it starts to get hard.


In this one, you can see the train's reflection on the water. Also, notice my freaking cash!! $128 MILLION and I'm worth $194 million.


This one was taken a few minutes later and in game time about a year and a half later. Notice the cement holding the bridge, you can see into the water and see it go down to the bottom of the river.



On this one, the water has moved a bit and I have trains on the screen carrying tons of stuff. Well, one actually has no cargo.


This is where I started the game. You can see the relative location on the map screen. I actually started in Harrisburg. I noticed right away that Lancaster had a steel mill and York had an automobile factory. That's like, JACKPOT!! Cars are the most expensive cargo in most scenarios where they appear. I had two coal trains dumping off coal from two different mines to Lancaster, and a single train just loading up as much steel as it could carry to bring to York... very short distance. The next problem was shipping the cars. The only city at the early stages of the game that demanded cars was Washington DC, which, on the map, is the bottom-left-most city. It cost a pretty penny to get down there. But you can see, I bought the Automobile factory in York (which is why it's blue), and it had made $2.8 million. So it was well worth it.

Great game in terms of beauty and fun. Definitely playing again tonight :D

[Update] I just finished the game and, after my career in the rail business, I decided to run for president. That basically means that you played the best you could play. Of course, that's where the game ends. You can still play but you don't run for president :( That would be awesome.

Going strong after three days

It's actually five days with a slight lapse (one smoke) three days ago...

Part of the trick to quitting smoking is that you need to disassociate stuff that you used to smoke a lot while doing. For me it's most things besides going to church or sleeping. Disassociation takes a lot of doing everything that you smoked during, doing it more often and longer than you did when you smoked, and doing it without smoking. The first of the disassociation process for me was video games.

This weekend Beaner and I played the Wii pretty much all weekend. It was indeed another "Wiikend". Tanks on Wii Play is awesome. We pretty much played three games on Wii Play the whole time, which were Tanks, Shooting Gallery, and the one where you have to find Miis. I'm not sure what it's called. Bean made a Mii, too, which looks a lot like him.

Besides the Wii, I played a lot of STALKER, Rainbow Six Vegas, Company of Heroes, and Sid Meier's Railroads! The latter game was played the most because I bumped up the difficulty from where I'm used to playing, and I bumped up the graphics to 1280x1024 with anti-aliasing on. It looked f@%#@$ing beautiful. It's a slow paced game where smoking would be easiest. You're not always doing something with the keyboard and mouse. You'll set up a route and wait until you're able to make enough money off of it to set up more routes. It's a good financial strategy game. Lots of time to sit back and smoke, which is what made it all the more worthwhile to play it a lot.

Did I mention that my new computer is a goddamn beast?! I think it actually runs cooler than my liquid cooled PC. And I'm telling you, Company of Heroes never looked so good. I have it maxed, but the thing that makes the biggest difference is having the effects maxed. So when my rifle guys are shooting their Browning Automatic Rifles, they kick up dust next to the German soldiers they are shooting at. Or when I drop a howitzer artillery strike on an enemy base, the dirt, concrete, and dudes that it hits all go flying. And I'm so damn good. Zatko and I played a multiplayer game at about 12:30 am Sunday on Seine River Docks. It was him, me and a hard computer vs. an expert, a hard, and a normal computer. Zatko was backed into his corner sucking his thumb, while I was trying to make forward progress the whole time. :) It was a brutal match, but I finally broke through the computer's defenses across from me, and eventually made my way through to the other computers. All without smoking. The only bad thing about online multiplayer is that you can't tell which computer is which. Meaning, I would love to know if I had at least the hard computer across from me. Zatko and I were split with the hard computer between us, and the hard computer wasn't doing anything. So he had a good opponent across from him. I know the CPU player across from me was getting help from someone, so it's not like I couldn't take out a medium. The expert was definitely helping. Anyway, after an hour and twelve minutes, the match was over and we emerged victorious.

Rainbow Six Vegas is a fun game, and it also looks terrific. I had started it on the old computer, but decided that I wanted to go through it from the beginning when I got the new computer up. Well worth it. The combat in it is fun. First person, or even third person, shooters haven't really innovated in terms of combat. I can name a handful... FEAR, Max Payne (1 & 2), Brothers in Arms, and Rainbow Six Vegas.

In FEAR, it was just incredible. I have to install that again. Running up to a dude in slow motion and bashing him across the face with your gun could never be equaled in any game. Or throwing a proximity mine then switching to slo-mo and watching it jump up and explode at eye level with enemy. In Max Payne, again with slow motion, diving and watching all the bullets fly was great. Max Payne 2 introduced a more interactive environment with physics, which became apparent from the start when you shot a dude into a tray full of medical supplies in the hospital and watched it all fly all over the place in slow motion. Brothers in Arms had a less interactive environment than both of those games, and no slow motion, but still it was very innovative. You couldn't kill a guy unless you suppressed and flanked. You could sometimes score a lucky shot, but you had to use the situational awareness (pause and view from above the battlefield) to find the best place to suppress from and the quickest path to flank. Each map was like a puzzle. The third one in that series is sure to be a blast, with a more interactive environment (built on Unreal Engine 3, with destroyable buildings and the like).

I just noticed I'm missing some movies. Sometimes my movies will make their way downstairs. I like to watch them on my MacBook Pro, so the best ones are usually in my bedroom. But sometimes my brothers will take them downstairs where they'll pile up until I collect them. Tonight I collected about 30 of them and brought them back upstairs. That's like half of my collection. But I know that I'm missing some, like Minority Report. I should really keep a better catalog... but once I buy a house, it'll be easier to keep track, since I also have some movies in Jeff's room, like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'll collect them tomorrow. I'll probably end up buying Delicious Library... if there's a way to export it to some format that can be put onto a website easily. That would be a great use of a webservice... send an image with a barcode and get back the details of whatever it is you scanned. Or just a website with an exportable format where you upload images of the barcode (or ISBN for books) and it adds it to your library. The new applications will not be run on my computer, which is what Google has figured out. There's no need for anything but computational intensive applications, or just stuff that you can't do on the web, to be running on my computer. Figure it out, already, stupid internet. I'm out.