Sunday, March 31, 2002

I'm hoping to have a new HD or burner or both by the end of the week. My puter will be growing stronger! Energy X... increasing power!

(note to self: stop playing Freedom Force)
Oh, I saw Death to Smoochy this weekend. Very warped, but ultimately good movie. Ed Norton is quite good and I love the Irish Mafia :)
Freedom Force still rocks. I just haven't been able to play it this weekend ;P
This weekend I beat Fatal Frame. Great horror game for the PS2... it's very innovative, subject-matter-wise (ghosts now instead of skinned dogs or zombies) and there are tonnes of extras unlocked when you finish it. I'm happy. I also got a little further in Devil May Cry. I'll beat that game one of these days.
I had a nice time home for Easter.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

I'm just showing my wife what Blogger is.
Here's the spam I got today.

We are introducing ourselves as an Estate Agent in Karachi. If you required any kind of Property in Karachi We are ready to give you services. We are specialist in Karachi Properties. If you required Sale/Purchase/Rent in Following. Shops, Showrooms, Offices, Flats, Bungalows, Plots, Town house, Hotels, Petrol Pump, Roofs, Pent house, Buildings. We also have full furnished Guest houses on Reasonable Rent.

Hmm... I wonder if I DO need any land in Karachi...

Freedom Force rocks. More to come later!

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

I think I've been bitten by the "You Suck At Fighting Games" bug. I was working on one of the fighters in VF4 (Kage the ninja, to be exact), and I am getting my arse whooped!

I've even tried a couple of the other fighters that I was doing well with yesterday and now I can't seem to do anything right with them. Oh well. I guess I just have to get back into a groove. I should also spend more time with the training mode.

Monday, March 25, 2002

Well, I picked up VF4 today. Man, it's great. I spent the afternoon playing it with my brother and we had a blast. It's easy to pick up and play, but there is a lot of depth to it once you get past the button-mashing stage and start to actually try to pull off various combos and so forth.

There is also a neat tournament/ranking system that lets you build up one of the fighters and unlock all sorts of hidden items and so forth. You can then play with your personalized fighter against people in Vs. mode or in the several different single-player modes.

Beautiful graphics and amazing levels. I love the snow level. You actually make deep tracks in the snow and can clear it away from the tiles it's on top of as you play!
I AM taking Arcanum back today. I'm still torn between VF4 and Freedom Force though. I'm kind of leaning towards VF4 first because up here in Canuck-land, games cost a heck of a lot more than they do in the states. Down there, it's $50 for VF4, $45 for Freedom Force. So there's not much of a difference. Up here it's $75 + tax = ~$85 or so for most PS2 games, and only $54 for Freedom Force... and since I've got a bunch of money from the trade-in of Arcanum, I should probably just get the expensive PS2 game first.

Granted, if both were in the store today, I would likely pick up Freedom Force. But since FF isn't in the stores till at least tomorrow or Wednesday, and VF4 is in the store, coupled with my thought process above, I think I'll get VF4.

See how my mind works? Kind of sick, isn't it?
Now, I hate SUV's, but I can sometimes justify them. THIS is an abomination and should be removed from the Earth!

But it's just a joke... phew!

Sunday, March 24, 2002

Check out the talk from Sony's R&D team about the PS3 and other things. Neat article.
I'm liking Arcanum, but I'm tempted to take it back and use the credit to buy Virtua Fighter 4 or Freedom Force. Sort of depends on what happens to my computer when I get the guts up to swap out the video cards.

Though I might just wait and see if I can get my cards back from my wife and then I'd just use that money for one of those games instead. Ah, we'll see.
My friend Luke is a freak with a capital PH!

Check out what he did to his computer. Sadly, I cannot match his sheer technogeekiness.
Run, don't walk, to your nearest theatre and see Blade 2.

Friday, March 22, 2002

I think there's a reason I tend to like Squaresoft RPG's more than most Computer RPG's... they don't hurt my brain as much :)

Arcanum is great, but there's just SO much to work on and you've got to think about 50 hours down the road to see how the choice you're making with the character will evolve and turn out... arg!
Arcanum's a pretty spiffy game. Lots of depth and many different ways to go about things. I rerolled my character tonight and made him into a wimpy, yet incredibly smart human who's following more the techy route than the magick route. So far I can make lightbulbs and refine ore... but just watch out!

Best thing I've done so far in Arcanum:

This rummy came up to me in the bar and wanted me to rob the bank. I told him I would but if I didn't show up the next day w/ his cut he'd tell the cops who stole the money. So I get the safe combination, then I go to the cops and tell them that this rummy was trying to get me to rob the bank. They lock him up...

THEN the bank gets robbed by a gang of other thieves and I'm recruited to help stop the robbery. I do so, and I'm the hero of the town...

But wait...

The door to the vault is open. I go in once everyone has left, use the combo for the safe and take all 500 gp and nobody says anything about it because I'm the hero of the town and I've already implicated the rummy AND stopped the bank robbers :)

Hee hee... fun stuff.

Moments ago, Brock beat No One Lives Forever on his computer, allowing him to bring closure to a great spy movie of a game and bringing a big smile to his face. This also allowed him to start to curse and swear about the fact that the sequel isn't going to be out anytime soon! ARG!

Very cool game, loads of fun, and the story is incredibly strong. I have played RPG's with weaker storylines than this. And for a FPS to have such a strong (and funny) storyline rocks.

It's got a great plot twist at the end too. Just wait till you see who is behind all of the nefarious goings-on...

Now to start working on Arcanum again. It's a great game, but dear god, it's complex... At least with the Baldur's Gate games I knew the core rules like the back of my hand. Arcanum has a 184 page manual and I'm getting the sneaky suspicion I'll be reading it all before I'm through.
It's been a kind of stupid last few days at work, but I'm still alive and most of my staff isn't quitting... yet...

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Well, I've had the last few days off. I'm getting every closer to finishing No One Lives Forever. Excellent game. While the AI might not be up to Half-Life standards, it is probably one of the most fun games I've ever played, and that's what matters in my book.

Went out tonight and was able to get Julie to help pay for most of the cost of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magic Obscura and the Tron Special Edition DVD at EB, which in my mind constitutes a great birthday present.
It's my birthday it's my birthday it's my biiiiirthday!

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of ye. Don't do anything too silly!
Blogger was acting up a bit last night, so I couldn't update.

Went out and looked at a house. It was pretty messy inside, but with care it could be quite nice. We're going to keep looking around though.

Saw Resident Evil (der moviefilm) today. It wasn't bad. It could have been a LOT better had they not resorted to the cheapo cut-away shots whenever something gory was about to happen, especially since the movie was rated R anyways. It was a pretty tame R, for all the 'violence' in it... ah well. I liked it though. Definately wasn't the crap-fest that was Boob, er, Tomb Raider.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Oh man! I found this totally by accident today, but they're making a Gamecube and GBA game of Rave: Groove Adventure (my current favourite anime). Check out the pics... alas, the sites are in Japanese, but that's nothing Babelfish can't fix.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Man, NOLF is BIG! I've spent a good portion of this week playing it and I thought I was getting pretty far, but I checked a FAQ and I'm not even halfway through it! It's still interesting and funny as hell, and I am going to keep working on it for as long as it takes to finish it.

Interesting level of the day: First I had to escape a sinking ship, then I had to go back and swim around it in scuba gear... fun stuff, especially when you can use your spear gun to nail the baddies to the wall :)

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Looks like Sony has finally posted some hard news about the upcoming Broadband Adapter/Modem for the PS2. Unfortunately, it won't come bundled with the Hard Disc, but we'll have to wait for that. I don't mind waiting, but I was expecting, based on Sony's own claims back at launch, that we would have had the HDD/Modem deal by late fall 2001 at the latest. Oh well. Such is life.

I got stuck working the overnight shift tonight. Oh well. I'm just going to go back upstairs and read for a wee bit and then sleep. This means I get more time off next week :)
This is kind of neat. In Japan, at least two stores have pulled the Xbox due to the unit being defective. Sad thing is that I would have used to gloat (well, I still will) but after playing Jet Set Radio Future today on the Xbox, I have to admit it is kind of nice. Granted, I got to use the Japanese controller, which is made for people with hands that aren't 6 feet wide, so that was an added bonus.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

I've chosen the Soil for the likes of you!

The absolute boredom of the Golf Channel,

Intesely Ambivalent Plaid!
Now the Rave anime series. That's a cool one.
I mentioned a couple days ago that I wasn't terribly impressed with the Final Fantasy: Unlimited anime series.

I've been watching more of it over the last day or two and it is getting better. From episode 4 onwards the story really tightens up, the animation has improved and the characters are getting more interesting and less annoying. It's still nowhere near the quality of something like, say, Trigun or Cowboy Bebop, but it's now worth watching rather than just suffering through.

I do wonder if anyone would watch it had it been released without the Final Fantasy name on it. Granted, it has some neat ideas and since the story has matured and set down roots, I'm getting hooked on it. However, it seems too much like a Digimon reject for my critical tastes. But so long as the story holds up, I would be interested to see how it turns out.
I had the day off work today and spent most of it playing No One Lives Forever. I'm getting pretty far in it and so far I love it.

An example of just how cool it is: I'm on an airplane. It's just been taken over by the agents of H.A.R.M. I'm trying to escape but there are no parachutes left... just as time is running out, the tail of the plane explodes and I'm sucked out... I then have to fight off the baddies AS I'M PLUMMETING TO MY DOOM and also try to catch up to the one guy WITH a parachute who is below me and trying to avoid my pilfering his parachute... simply awesome.

There are all sorts of cool missions... some are more sneaky, like in Thief, while others are flat out combat. And there are tonnes of different approaches to a level. I can use my gadgets to avoid detection, or simply run through with guns blazing.

Thankfully I have the next 4 days off too, so I'll have even MORE chances to see what the game has to offer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

This is some neat news for those of you science geeks out there. It looks like some scientists have developed some smart nanotubes which they say are the first step to true nanotech. Nifty, I say.
I traded in a bunch of stuff today and picked up Fatal Frame for the PS2. I was expecting a kind of creepy Pokemon Snap with Zombies.

I couldn't have been further from the mark if I'd tried. This has got to be THE scariest game I've ever played. I'm only an hour into it, but so far I've been creeped out far more than I was in Silent Hill 2 and I can't wait to have the next few days off to really get into the game. It's even scarier than the original Silent Hill and it looks like I'll have an easier time following the story than in the 2 SH's (which needed the excellent online plot guides to approach some semblance of lucidity!)

It's not Resident Evil though. If you're expecting zombies and gun-battles, go elsewhere. This is a game for those who like their scares to take place more in the imagination than on-screen. Heck, your weapon? An old camera that you use to 'capture' and stun ghosts and expose hidden clues around a decrepit old mansion. The presentation and sound is amazing. You know a game is scary when the sudden silences leave you more freaked out than the disturbing breathing sounds you'd just been listening to.

And don't even get me started on the vibration in the controllers. If you thought the heartbeat in the Silent Hill games was creepy, you ain't felt nothin' yet!

I'm very impressed with Fatal Frame (if you couldn't tell) and am even more impressed with the fact that it's such a high quality game for having so little hype. A nice change after the disappointment that was State Of Emergency... sigh.
Looks like there's a bit more news on the Nintendo/Square issue. Hmm... FF Tactics on the GBA? Sweet!

Monday, March 11, 2002

I love the Penny Arcade guys. And this news (which I posted about on Friday I do believe) is great for gamers everywhere... well, except me, because that means that I supported the wrong Nintendo console (sigh... N64 is gathering dust while the GC and GBA are actually turning out to be great systems! Looks like Nintendo is going to finally get back on the good games train :)
I'm watching the anime: Final Fantasy Unlimited. I'm kind of ambivalent towards it so far. Only 2 episodes in, but it hasn't really grabbed me the way, say, Scryed or Rave have. It seems almost like a sort of low-rent Digimon rip-off set a sort of Final Fantasy universe with really crappy CGI every so often. It's not horrible, but definately not the greatest thing ever to grace the screen... I'll see how it goes later in the series (I've got 10 eps so far)
I just remembered something. I was watching a commercial for the new Xtreme Sports specialty channel on TV and I was trying to figure out where I had heard the one little clip of music... then I realize it was from Jet Grind Radio! Scary...
I'm off to play some No One Lives Forever before I collapse. I just got home from work (did an 11 hour day) and I had to drive 2 1/2 hours or so up to the camp to drop a couple guys from work off for the week and it was pretty much white-outs the entire way and then 2 1/2 hours back in the same conditions... (blowing snow... zero visibility... 100+ kilometer/hour gusts of wind... whee!)

Sunday, March 10, 2002

It's really windy outside. A tree fell on my parents' house! At least nobody was hurt, though there's a big hole in the roof. I have to drive up north tomorrow for work (in order to take the guys to camp) so hopefully the wind and weather will calm down a bit... no rush though. I'll just take my time...
Now that Front Mission 3 is out of the way, I'm playing No One Lives Forever on the PC. Loads of fun. It's a First Person Shooter that's a bit of a mix between James Bond and a female Austin Powers.

Very campy and funny AND it plays great too. I'm only on the first assignment, so we'll have to see how it goes from here, but I like it so far (I got a little further than I am now about a year ago when I first got NOLF, but this time I'm planning on playing the game through).

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Went out and saw Men With Brooms tonight with Julie. Funny movie about curling. And it's so Canadian it hurts. It wasn't the BEST movie ever, but it was definately worth seeing and all of the bits that were about curling (rather than backstory or love story) were excellent. The other parts were somewhat uneven at times, but on the whole I enjoyed the flick... which is what matters, really.

In other wacky Canadian sports news, check it out. We've inducted currency into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
I just finished the Emma storyline of Front Mission 3. Clocked in at around 45 hours. I'm sure there was a lot of stuff in the in-game virtual internet that I didn't access. This is likely because I didn't have all the passwords, or couldn't figure them all out in any case. Ah well. I'll work through the Alisa storyline in a little while when my thirst for primo Mecha Turn-Based-Strategy games is once again primed.

Now I must go to bed. House-hunting begins in earnest tomorrow!
Hey... Blogger is actually "remembering" me now. Woo! No more worries about losing my posts mid-post...

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Well, I was busy yesterday being interviewed (on camera!) for a little documentary and study on Massively Multiplayer Online RPG's... Easiest $40 I've ever made. And then I went out today and bought the DVD of A.I., which I thought was one of the best movies last summer. Unfortunately it wasn't really promoted well (it looked like an update of the old movie D.A.R.Y.L.... which it is most definately not. It's a rather dark movie, but I loved it.

I also saw the DVD for a movie called Series 7, which is a very violent parody of reality TV (people are randomly selected to receive a gun and then have to go kill all the other people in the contest... or something to that effect. Right up my alley :) but alas, I only had my $40 and I will have to *gasp* wait to get Series 7.

Otherwise I've just been busy dealing with yet another mess at work (I go in, I have *1* day to get about 10 quotes for various house projects... and did I mention they'd all have to be finished by March 31st at the latest? Give me a break...) and trying to CONTAIN MY RAGE!!!

Oh, 24 was great last night. I really hope they put the whole season on DVD because I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

I also realized tonight that I've had a real dearth of good adventure games in my life lately. There were a few good ones last year (The Longest Journey, Monkey Island 4) but so far this year, nothing... Ah well.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Well, I've finally found a game to get into.

Front Mission 3 for the PSX. It's a great game, and it brings the beauty of turn-based strategy alongside the sheer joy of great big robots blowing each other up. And for a PS1 game it looks quite nice, especially when you turn on the enhancements on the PS2.

I've heard it takes about 90 hours to beat FM3. And that's just for one of the two storylines. Granted, the thing has an entire virtual internet, complete with passwords that need cracking and e-mail that you can read and respond to, so between that, the long missions and the endless tweaking and customizing of my mechs, I'll be working on the game for a bit.

Oh, and did I mention it's a Squaresoft title? So the story is great by default, even though it's more tangled than a parasitic tapeworm.

Friday, March 01, 2002

Gitaroo Man is an excellent music game, if you're into wierd Japanese music games. Think of Parappa the Rappa, then increase the wierdness. I love it!

According to the recent japanese commercials for Kingdom Hearts, there's going to be at least SOME Nightmare Before Christmas content in this RPG. I can't wait!

I'm currently in that sort of in-between phase of games where I have started a lot of different games, but none to any extent that I am hooked and MUST PLAY UNTIL I FINISH IT. I'm also not sure what kind of game I want to play right now. I've got my music games for quick fixes, there's Maximo or Devil May Cry to work on, though part of my reptilian brain is nagging me to get back into one of my older PS1 Square RPG's... Vagrant Story, Xenogears, Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy Tactics are all vying for my attention at the moment. Arg! Part of me also want's to work on Deus Ex or No One Lives Forever on the PC... curse you, Serious Sam, for rekindling my love of First Person Shooters!

Add to this the absolutely insane amount of anime I've been downloading from my buddy lately and I don't have time to game if I'm to enjoy it all! AHHHH!

Oh well. I could be a lot worse off.

Wish us luck tomorrow as my wife and I go off to le bank to try to get a mortgage so we can stop paying our landlord's with our insane rent... whee!

(why am I so goofy? Long week at work coupled with only having to work 2 days in the next 8 is a start.. and I'm not even sick this time! )

Cheers for now.