E3 2009: Hardware Sucks

I'm not talking about the Tony Hawk skateboard. I'm talking about the big three's hardware. Microsoft announced Project Natal, Sony showed off a prototype of their motion controls with the eye toy plus the PSP Go, and Nintendo talked about the Wii Motion plus, which was announced last year, and Nintendo showed a picture of the Vitality Sensor. I'm gonna rip them all to shreds. I will also tell you what I like about them. For the most part, though, to shreds I say. To preface, the only fanboy that resides in me is God of War. I am not a fanboy of any company, however I do play favorites. But move on.

Let's start off easy. Nintendo showed off the Wii Motion Plus attachment. It's a little thing that plugs into the back of the Wiimote, and allows you to plug in the nun-chuck also. It makes it so the Wiimote has one-to-one precision, vs. whatever they have now which isn't one-to-one. I'm going to buy at least one probably. If there's a game that uses that I want to buy. Red Steel 2 is close, but it has a lot to prove to me so a lot of reviews will be read and taken in before I purchase. The ripping. I have to spend money for one-to-one controls! Why wasn't this implemented at the beginning!? Just kidding. I just wanted to give you a preview of the ripping. I know why it wasn't put in. Money according to Nintendo. But yeah, it's not a bad thing at all. It's a good thing. But not all the games will use it, and existing games will never use it. So I guess that's a bad thing.

The stupidest thing showed off was the picture of the Wii Vitality Sensor for the Wiimote. What am I going to do with this piece of crap!? I'm a gamer, and I don't care about my heart rate at this point in time! If I think really really really hard, I can think of one cool idea that could be used in a real game. And that is if you are playing a survival horror game, and the environment changes with your heart rate. That would be cool, but does the Wii have the processing power to interpret that? I don't know. It didn't impress me. Alright, the Wii doesn't get that bad of a thrashing. Let's talk about Sony.

Sony showed up to E3 with a wand and a camera... that sounds dirty. Rewind. The Eye Toy was originally released 2003ish for the Playstation 2. It could sense motions, colors and had a microphone. Because of marketing or something, it was a disaster in my eyes. I never bought one. Most of the games that required it were put out by Sony and were some of the largest turds in the shovelware category, even competing with the notorious Wii shovelware. I need to give you a history lesson for both Sony's and Microsoft's thrashings. Cool technology, but again, crappy game magnet. Especially for its time.

Fast forward to the release of the PS3, and we have the Playstation Eye, which is an updated version of the EyeToy. Great, more crap. The Playstation Eye is actually used in several games, but no one cares because it's just to upload a picture of you to your profile in games, such as Burnout Paradise and Rainbow Six Vegas 2. You have some extra features with it for LittleBigPlanet, but no one wants to shovel out the money for it just for an extra. The Eye of Judgement was probably the coolest thing the Playstation Eye has ever done so far, which isn't very cool because it's bringing card games (like Magic the Gathering cards, not poker) to life. When you lay down a dragon card, the dragon attacks the other player's card on screen. Cool, but I'm not that big of a nerd.

And now we are at E3 where Sony has a wand and a camera. I believe that they didn't want to show off this thing this year at E3. I think that they were like "We have a prototype for a motion controller, but we won't show it off unless Microsoft shows off a motion controller." And Microsoft did (they'll get theirs, mate). So two guys got up on stage with prototype. The controller is actually a wand with glowing ball at the end of it... like a microphone. You can hold it in one hand, much like the Wiimote. The Playstation Eye is involved with the motion control process. The Eye is able to tell where the wand is, and interpret it's movements which creates a one-to-one movement. I give preps to Sony for demoing real types of gaming, like the first person shooter, Real Time Strategy, and Sword Fighting. But at the same time they were like "Holy crap! Nintendo is making lots of cash! Let's copy! what do you have. A camera? Alright make a Wiimote that uses the camera." And thus it was born. The accuracy of the writing was impressive, but who writes in games... oh yeah Okami which is one of my favorite games of all time. So that could be good. But like I said earlier, Sony wasn't ready to demo this technology yet. There were no games shown that would use it, or any hints at developers already using it. Not to mention the price point. The PS3 is expensive, and the Eye is 40 bucks. How much for this wand? What games can we expect? What developers? All important questions that Sony didn't know because they felt they needed to show off something.

Jumping to the PSP Go. This little machine is the PSP, except no UMD. Which means it will be the second big game system to go all digital (the IPhone being the first, if you want to consider it a gaming platform, which it is slowly becoming thus). If you already own a PSP 3000, then I wouldn't care. I own a 3000 so I won't buy a PSP Go, but it's cool to think that the gaming industry is taking a huge leap towards digital distribution. I think it's a good thing, and internet service providers need to change as well. I really don't have anything bad to say, except that bit about if you already own a PSP, don't waste your money.

Ah Microsoft. Microsoft showed off Project Natal, which uses a camera with a built in microphone to detect movement... I've heard of this before. Oh yeah, the EyeToy. No controller required. It has facial recognition technology (so a little different) and voice recognition. Microsoft demoed a boy stomping around in his living room destroying buildings as a dinosaur on screen. There was also a teenage girl talking to a friend online on what outfit to wear and demoing the outfit on her avatar... which doesn't make sense because her avatar doesn't look exactly like her, and the dress doesn't look exactly like that. They also showed a boy scanning in his real skateboard deck to be used in a game. There was also racing while sitting down. The whole family was there sitting on the couch. The daughter driving... the dad being the slave laborer and changing her tires. Probably the stupidest trailer at E3. Unless there was a Hannah Montana trailer at E3. It was the worst trailer I watched, but I try to avoid crappy trailers. They demoed game play for painting... because I want to paint apparently. Also showed people doing advance shadow puppetry. Oh and there was Milo, but more on the English brat later.

I give Microsoft points for showing off actual game demos. But that's pretty much all. They were all shovelware. Not one of them was a first person shooter, RTS, RPG, etc. Which means they are gearing it towards non gamers. Kinda like the Wii. So Microsoft successfully copied Nintendo and Sony. Sony just copied Nintendo, so they didn't get it as bad. The problem with gearing Project Natal towards non gamers is the price point. I heard murmurs of a price point of $200. For the camera. Then the non gamers need to buy a $200 XBox 360. And that's the Arcade version. But that's just rumors so it can't be trusted. So let's throw that out the window and point out that Microsoft only showed crapware. Much like the games for the Sony EyeToy. Look up what kind of games were released for the EyeToy, and you'll see what I mean. Maybe Microsoft will promote it better then Sony did, and maybe a really good developer will be able to come up with a really good idea.

Enter Milo. Peter Molineaux, the overhyped person behind Fable and god games, came up with Milo. Milo was a demonstration of the interaction between the person and the game with Project Natal. Milo is a British boy who reacts to Alex (I think that was her name). Alex walked out and said hello to Milo, and Milo recognized her voice and responded with "Hello Alex" or something personal like that. You really need to just watch the demo. I'm sure a google or youtube search of "Milo Project Natal" will bring it up. Milo needs help with homework apparently. Milo didn't want to admit it to Alex, and Alex knew by Milo's action that he didn't do his homework. He needed to draw a fish apparently. Alex helped by doing his homework for him, by drawing a fish of a piece of paper in the real world, holding it up to the camera of Project Natal, where Milo reached toward the camera also, and acted like he grabbed the picture and there it was in the virtual world. Milo threw something at Alex and caught it apparently.

To shreds you say. I'm going to pretend that that wasn't scripted. The problem with saying "scripted" is anything with computers is, in fact, scripted. The programmer gives the computer a few choices to respond to certain situations, and the computer responds accordingly. It cannot stray from the patch that the programmer has created for it. So on a technical level, it was scripted, but so is every video game. So let's forget about scripting. After watching how the game "Heavy Rain" changes with each of the players choices/actions, I wanted more from this virtual person. What if Alex would have insulted Milo, like I would have done? What if Alex threw the object back at Milo? What if Alex didn't catch the object? I think Microsoft should have showed off several different demos of Milo, because the point is to create a virtual being that a real person makes a connection with. Each person is different, thus the connection will be different for each person, therefore each person's actions will be different. I think that's a valid point. I honestly do not believe that saying "It could have been scripted" is valid, but the point of the demo was to make a connection with a virtual character. And they did not succeed in my eyes. Alex created a connection (we assume), but I would not have.

A friend of mine, who is a female gamer, got excited over Project Natal. I have a different mind then her and I look at the entire picture. As we were debating over this, she says "wouldn't it be cool reload a gun like you would in real life, therefore you could actually get faster at reloading your gun in the game, instead of the 'wait a few seconds' approach most games do?" Yeah it would be, but how would you walk in this game? How would the camera know you are pulling the trigger? The camera might be sensitive enough to pick up the trigger pulling, but that has the con of human error/cheats. I say error/cheat because it maybe super realistic and if you do it realistically, it works well, but it could be exploited to work nonrealistically, better. You know? I don't have an example of it because the Wii hasn't had the precision yet to do this. It's been done in games though. The flying thing in Halo is what comes to mind. But that's a glitch, and not exactly what I'm talking about. In the end, I don't think as a standalone thing, a real game will be able to use it. It may work as a gimmick, where you play with the 360 controller, and then the Project Natal adds to the realism with something else, but all that is, is a gimmick, like the Playstation Eye and Burnout Paradise. Will a gamer pay the extra money for a gimmick?

To step away from the shredding, I have to say this. Nintendo's, Sony's, and Microsoft's approach to different controls are all different. Nintendo has a motion control remote that also responds to an infrared sensor. Sony is using a camera and a control combo. All three different approaches to motion controls, and all three good ideas. It's cool to see technology advancing, and I hope that it adds to the gaming experience.

So in conclusions, Wii Vitality Sensor sucks. Playstation Motion Control didn't really have anything to show, so they sucked. Project Natal sucked because it's a gimmick/shovelware magnet. Only time will tell if any of these three can redeem themselves, and they may. I'm Royfuss, and I approve this message.

I really do love God of War.

E3 09: The Titan

E3 Titan So I'm on my main computer again... not as thrilled as you'd think I would be, but I'll tell you that story another time. I will also clean up this news page probably tomorrow... or today as it were. This post is a celebration though of the games of E3. I'll give you my opinion of the new hardware from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft later, because I have to tell you my opinion of them and defend that opinion like a boss. And that could be a long post. This will be a long post. Lots of good games this E3. So let's get this post started, shall we?

My top three picks of favorite games from E3 are God of War 3, Assassin's Creed 2, and Brutal Legend. Hands down my favorite showings. I'm a God of War fanboy (not to be confused with Sony fanboy). Seeing Kratos in HD, and disemboweling an enemy was fantastic. I may be sick. Also seeing him peirce a foes eye with its own horn was also just amazing. Yes it's hyper violent, but it's fantasy violence and I can tell the difference between reality and fantasy. I still love it. Then the fact that a Titan is fighting Helios in the background to show that their is a war going on, and that Kratos is a part of it, but he's not the only one, was just amazing. Usually in games, you feel like you're the only one fighting the war, but the guys at Santa Monica Studios has captured that feeling that you are not alone, but you are very important. So I'm looking forward to that.

Number two is Assassin's Creed 2. The demo was amazing. Climbing to the top of a tower, and finding Da vinci's flying machine waiting for you to use is outstanding. Then flying the thing through the air to reach your assassin target. Landing on top of the building, jumping and assinating someone with your hidden blade looks fun, as usual. The new thing is that you have two hidden blades. You then sneak up on two guards and assassinate both of them at the same time. Good times. By the way, you are Ezio, and Italian who wants revenge and becomes an assassin of sorts. The game takes place in Italy. Going back to my story. You then jump from the roof, into a hay stack. But what's this? A guard heard something and comes over to investigate. He is about to poke his haliberd into the hay, when you pop out, stab him, and pull him in. Then you jump out and fight three guards. But you have no weapons, except your hidden blades. what is a boy to do? Kill one of the guards and take his haliberd to kill the other two, silly. And then you assassinate your target, get surrounded, use a smoke bomb, and dive into the ocean... or sea... or river... it's Venice. I suggest you watch the demo showed during the Sony Press Conference or the Gamespot stage demo of it. I'm excited. I loved the first one, and the second one is shaping to be amazing.

Brutal Legend is looking amazing. I metioned it in my last post, but let me explain to you what this game is about. You play as Jack Black (well the main character is voiced by Jack Black and I can't remember the character's name). You get sucked into a world where heavy metal is the theme. I'm not a heavy metal fan, but I do like Tim Schafer. I also like bloody fights. Tim Schafer is a very comidic writer, who makes fantastic games. He's probably the one of my favorite people in the game industry. You can tell he loves games, and you can tell this is his dream game. Every time I see him talk about it, he has a grin on his face. If the creater of a game feels that way about a game, you know they have poored their heart and soul into the game, and it will be an awesome game because of it. The demo they showed looked great and had a very Tim Schafer vibe, but yet it also felt like a heavy metal album cover. Many people hate Jack Black, but I'm indifferent. You know he loves music, plus I think he's the perfect fit for the main character. It's a perfect match for this game. As the main character, you have an axe and an axe... a guitar axe and the weapon. The weapon slices and dices, while the guitar has magic powers to help you kill enemies. You also have a hod rod to venture around the world. It's an open world by the way. So yeah, I'm looking forward to this one, and I hope it won't get delayed because of this stupid lawsuit. Stupid Activision.

There's also Assassin's Creed Bloodlines for the PSP. It'll be released a week before Assassin's Creed 2, and if you pick this game up and 2 for the PS3, then they link together and you get something. Really not much information was told about it. Which is odd. Comes out before 2, but we get more information on 2. According to one random article I just read, it links AC1 and AC2 together and apparently if you care anything about the story of the Assassin's Creed story, you must get the PSP version. And as you unlock health and what not in one game, it unlocks that in the other game as well... if you link the PSP and PS3 that is. So nothing spectacular, but it makes me a happy Sony owner. Me buying a PSP is looking up.

At the Sony Press Conference, they also showed off a Trailer of The Last Guardian which is being developed by Team Ico. Team Ico created Ico and Shadow of the Colosus (that I can't spell) and Shadow was an amazing game. I need to pick up a copy of Ico. It was just a trailer shown off, but defintely had the developers vibe to it. So Excited for that too. Also showed off at the Conference of Sony was Modnation Racers, which is basically Little Big Planet meets racing. It's cart racing but you can create your own tracks. They created a track on stage in five minutes and it looked simple, so it's something worth checking out. I'll keep my eyes on it.

Three Overlord games were shown off. I loved the first one. A video game that makes you be evil and control minions is a good time. Overlord II for the PS3, 360, and PC; Overlord Dark Legend for the Wii; and Overlord Minions of the DS. All three versions are stand alone games so that's cool. I didn't watch too much on them, but once they are released this summer, I'll keep my ear to the ground for reviews for sure.

Two Metal Gear Solid games were announced. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker for the PSP held my attention. Kojima is working personally on the game. It has Solid Snake. It's a stand alone game that takes place 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3, so that's cool. The trailer hinted at four player coop. So we'll see as more information is unraveled. Metal Gear Solid Rising was shown. It's not a 360 exclusive, but it's the first time the series is coming to the 360. We don't know if it'll be released along side the PS3 version or not, but we do know that it follows the story of Raiden, who turned out to be a cool character at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2. Looking forward to them both and I'm telling my friend to buy a PSP if coop is true. I'm sure he'll want to play God of War and Assassin's Creed on the PSP too.

Speaking of Kojima, Kojima Productions, the peeps behind the Metal Gear franchise, is helping to create the new Castlevania Lords of Shadow. It'll be a 3d adventure, but the trailer looks good. I have high hopes for the game. Other then that, not much is known. They metioned "Rebirth" a lot, but I think that's because the 3D castlevania's have sucked, and they don't want this one to. It made me giddy a little bit.

Speaking of teams colaberating, Team Ninja teams up with Nintendo for the new Metroid game, Metroid Other M. I'm not a Metroid fan, but this just sounds interesting. The trailer looked pimp. Like I said, I'm not a fan and probably won't pick it up, but spreading the word is what I do.

Speaking of Nintendo, New Super Mario Bros Wii. Four player coop. Sweet deal. I loved New Super Mario Bros for the DS. This was my favorite announcement from Nintendo, and made me giddy. The crappy part is it will not support online. The reason? The Wii doesn't have enough processing power. I'm trying to think this through. Sure a little processing power is required for online, but not that much. A very minute amount. You have four players on screen, through online, and it wouldn't take very much less processing power to do it witnout online. So I want to call BS on Nintendo, but I have no proof. If they are lying, it backfired on them. It just brought up the issue of the weak power of the Wii, and when we'll see a new console from them that has better processing power. Maybe they'll come up with a better reason in the future. For now, I'm just excited for a new New Super Mario Bros. game.

There was also Mario Galaxy 2 announced. A trailer was shown with Yoshi. 90% of it is new from the first Galaxy, whatever that means. Well I know what it means. The team at Nintendo had some extra levels created after the first game, but didn't include them for whatever reason, so I guess that's the 10%. Other then that, nothing much else is known about the game.

New Legend of Zelda game announced for the Wii at the round table for Nintendo. No information on it so that's why it wasn't announced during the press conference. Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks was shown at E3. I didn't watch anything on it, but I imagine similar to Phatom Hourglass. I haven't played Phantom Hourglass yet, so that's why I'm not hyped for the new one. I do want to play Hourglass though.

Dante's Inferno. It's a poem. I need to finish reading that poem. Actually the poem is called "The Divine Comedy" and I wanted to ask the protesters at E3 if they knew that. Apparently some idiots were protesting outside the E3 booth because of Dante's Inferno. I don't know if you have read the poem, but the poem is not evil in any ways. It's a man's (Dante's) interpretation of Hell. He travels through hell, and he also travels to heaven in the poem. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's very good thus far. The game is loosely based on the poem, as the poem is not a violent poem. The game is very violent and that's why I like it. It's based int he world created by Dante, but doesn't follow exactly what Dante did in hell. Although it follows through the circles in order apparently. I haven't played the game, but when the developers were asked if they were trying to copy God of War, they said they were thrilled that their game was being compared to such an epic game. I don't mind video game clones, as long as they are good clones. There's nothing wrong with it. So yeah, I'm looking foward to it.

Oh fugde, I seem to have stumbled upon Dragon Age Origins on my list. Dragon Age is a new IP from Bioware, the peeps behind Bulder's Gate and Mass Effect. In fact, they called the Spiritual Sucessor to Bulder's Gate. The game looks awesome. It's very adult like with lots of blood. Very dark apparently. And you get to fight dragons. So yeah. I'm excited.

Borderlands. Nothing new to me was talked about. They changed their graphic style, which I think looks great and still suits the game well. Hundreds of Thousands of weapons. First person shooter meets RPG. Everything Hellgate London should have been. Oh and four player coop. And customizable vehicles. Open world. Epic Story. I'm getting tired to I'm typing extremely short fragments.

Bayonetta. Created by Platinum Games. The people behind Mad World. One of the founders created the Devil May Cry series. This game is basically Devil May Cry, except with a woman as the main character. She's a witch. She's fighting heaven and hell. She has guns strapped to her feet. Her clothes are her hair, which is the source of her magic. Again, tired, fragments.

Darksiders Wrath of War. The video at Gamespot wouldn't play for me, but it was a half an hour demo, so it must be shaping up well. Looks amazing still and apparently he has a gun too. Basically Zelda meets God of War meets Devil May Cry. Looks great. January first release date.

WET. Main character voiced by the star of the TV show Dollhouse. You have two guns. When you jump, it slows down time and one hand automatically locks on to closest target, while other gun is manually aimed and you can shoot both guns. Grindhouse feel to it. Rage mode, I think they called it, everything turns celshaded and red, white, and black and you kill people. Looks fun. We'll see though.

Red Steel 2 I recently got excited for. I read about it in Nintendo Power and got excited. Basically they reinvented the game by giving it new graphics and making the Wii Motion Plus add on a requirement. Making sword fighting awesome. You can also switch between the gun and the sword at any time. Seeing it demoed at E3 made me even more excited, but I'll still wait for reviews because the scars from the crap game I bought the first time around still remain.

Heavy Rain. I talked about it in my last E3 post.

I'm almost at the end of my list. Singularity is a first person shooter, but you are given a toy that can shift time for things you aim at. For instance, you can age an enemy into ashes, make a crumpled barrel new, and etc. The Concept sounds cool and seeing it in action looks cool. Looks like Raven Soft has nailed both the time elements and the FPS elements of the game, which is more then we can say Timeshift did. The game looks great, graphics wise, and has a good story behind it.

That's all I'll mention. I typed this up at 1 in the morning by the way, and I'll be posting it sometime today after I sleep. So that's why I got rushed near the end. I'll post my thoughts on the new Wii Vitality thing, Microsoft's Project Natal,a nd Sony's wand later. Good night.

- Typed but not proof read

The Developer-Publisher Conundrum

Little history lesson on video games and their developers and publishers for you. I was going to type up a post on this after E3, but it can't wait any longer. Developers are the people that make the games. Publishers generally shovel out the money, market, and package the video game. It's a good set up. Developers can focus on the creative prospect, and the publishers can worry about the money. Alas, since publishers have the money, and developers generally don't (exception is Blizzard Entertainment) publishers generally set hard release dates (unless the developer is well known for outstanding games, ie Blizzard). Hence why Hellgate London was full of bugs. It needed to be released. But enough about Hellgate. The developers.

I usually side with the developers on things. I don't think you realize what they go through. Sucker Punch, who made Sly Cooper and Infamous, spent very much of their time away from their families to create the outstanding game inFamous. That's just one studio, but several other studios do the same on various games. Tim Schafer and his team at Double Fine worked very late hours on the game Psychonauts right before it was set to be sent to the DVD factory. So like I said, I have a lot of respect for the developers. Even the ones that produce Petz, Barbie games, and other games of the like. They work hard on those titles. Plus those developers step out of those license games and create new IPs, and look at that and go, "You made us money in the past. You know the systems. Yeah we'll give you time and money to create an outstanding game." An example of this High Voltage Software who made Dora the Explorer games. They are breaking out of that shell, and are creating the highly anticipated game "The Conduit" for the Wii. The game is getting a lot of press, and it's shaping up to be a great game, so I have high hopes.

Some publishers have a history. Good or bad. Electronic Arts has had a bad history. EA was swalloing developers left and right. They were hated, and just kept puting out the same crap over and over again. A few years ago, new management stepped in. Last year they started taking risks, like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge. This year promises the same with more new IPs. IP stands for Intelectual Property which just means new original games by the way. They also have EA partners, which Valve is part of. Basically EA takes care of the disk games, the packaging and what not, even though Valve releases their games on Steam alongside the packaged games. Like I said, EA has a great lineup this year with Brutal Legend, Dante's Inferno, and Dragon Age Origins and many others.

Activision is making me mad now. After Activision and Vivendi merged, they dropped a few developers, such as the people behind Brutal Legend, Ghostbusters, WET, and a few others. Why they dropped Ghostbusters, I don't know. It has the fanbase and hype. But they did. Don't know why they dropped Brutal Legend. They have a legendary man in the industry, Time Schafer. I could understand WET, but that game looks awesome. As a result, EA scooped those developers up. They are still independent, but the publisher is now EA. And EA has been good to them. Brutal Legend has one of the biggest signs at E3 this year. A whole wall dedicated to it. EA has been good to double fine for sure. WET and Ghostbusters have also been very hyped. As a result, the hype behind Brutal Legend has grown. As a result Activision is sueing Double Fine! They say that they own the rights to the game. I shake my head at Activision for wanting to punish the developer for making a great game. Activision abandoned their child, and EA adopted and took care of it. Now Activision comes back from being a drunken father and sues the mother, who for this metaphor is EA. Dick move. Activision shouldn't have the right. They must have violated a contract somewhere along the way. Shame on you Activision. You have lost respect of several gamers. 233 comments on Gamespot on the new article talking about it. All of the ones I read basially said they hate Activision now. I agree with the statement. I want to boycotte Activision but they are rich, and that just punishes developers. I can only think of two games that I want in the future by Activision though, so no loss.

I needed to vent. So respect developers; hate Activision. Good day.

E3 The Big 3 09

So E3 is underway right now. I've been watching through G4 TV. DVR is my friend. So many commercials and crap I don't care about. I've also watched through Gamespot. Good times. This will be a long post. I'm going to share my thoughts on the big three conferences; Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Then I'll share my thoughts on the EA and Ubisoft conferences. Then I'll highlight a few games. Sound good? Gamespot is a good place to watch the press conferences. Go here to check out their E3 coverage. Anyways, let's start out with the Microsoft Press Conference.

I thought Microsoft would have the most interesting conference because Nintendo has had lame ones for the past few years, and Sony can't keep their mouth shut. The conference wasn't good. Some highlights were announcing a Metal Gear Solid game for the 360. Not an exclusive, but Microsoft doesn't care. It stars the lovable Raiden. I liked Metal Gear Solid 2 and thought that Raiden wasn't a big panzy when I got to the end. So that's something to look forward to. Left 4 Dead 2 trailer was shown and announced to be released this November. Good times. The Director can change the game even more, including weather and the path you take. Also some sunshine on a few stages! I like seeing the details of the zombies. All the zombies looked similar in the first one because it was dark. Rock Band Beatles was also highlighted but I don't care. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was also shown. I'm not a big Call of Duty fan. The most interesting part of the Microsoft Conference was Halo ODST, for me anyways. I'm not a big Halo fan, although I do admit that the first Halo changed the FPS for the console, so I give it that. The other two were just copy paste of the first one with a few improvements. But ODST looks interesting. First, no Master Chief. Second, you play as an ODST soldier, which is a cool concept. Third, the game is more open, which is good. I like different. It proves me and a bunch of other Halo haters wrong, so good job Bungie. Fourth, and probably my most favorite part of the game, is the fact that you play as various ODST's and you are peicing together the story through them. So that's good news. The bad news, Bungie has turned into a one trick pony and making another Halo game, apparently based on one of the Halo books, which makes me go, why make a game if there's a book. But it's a cash cow and Microsoft loves its money. I was hoping for a new IP from Bungie because they are a talented developer.

The last thing shown was Project Natal. Basically an advance Eye Toy. Microsoft calls it their version of the motion control. Again, it's an updated version of the Eye Toy. Which failed. Miserably. By Sony. There's voice recognition and facial recognition, but that's the main difference. Microsoft showed off things that could be done with, that has been done on the PS2 and the Eye Toy. Except the thing called Milo. People were impressed by Milo, but I wasn't. Basically a lady interacted with this boy named Milo in the XBox. She drew him a picture, talked to him, and what not. I wasn't impressed because it didn't show the power of this new technology. Basically, the entire thing could have been scripted. I truly beleive that when she put her picture up to the camera, that Milo knew to "grab" the picture, but I am talking about other things. For instance, what would happen if she would have drawn a hippo instead of a fish? Would Milo know? When Milo threw something to the lady, and she "caught" it, what if she would have just stood there? What would Milo have done? Would Milo make fun of her? Mircosoft didn't show me anything that interested me yet. Each person is different and reacts differently, therefore the character on screen needs to also react differently. Anyways, until I see actual games I won't be impressed. Stomping down a street as a dinosaur and swatting at buildings does not interest me.

Next up would be the Nintendo Conference. My expectations and what Nintendo delivered were completely different. I expected the big thing would be the Wii Motion Plus, that they announced last year. I mean, a Mario game was released recently, and they already announced a Zelda game for the DS. They surpised me, just as they said they would. First off was the New Super Mario Bros. Wii, for the Wii. Basically this is like the New Super Mario Bros for the DS, except on the Wii. You can also play four players on any stage. At any point in the game, another person can join the game. It's gonna be sweet. Reminds of the arcade version of Mario Bros, where you were competeing for a high score in the sewers. It's old. It made an appearance in Mario Bros 3. Nintendo also talked about the Wii Motion Plus, and Wii Sports Resort. The Wii Motion Plus attatches onto the Wiimote and detects your movement, 1 for 1. Looks good. I'll talk about Red Steel 2 when I talk about Ubisoft's conference, which uses the Wii Motion Plus. A real game. Nintendo also announced Mario Vs Donkey Kong for the DSi where you can make your own stages. Then another Mario and Luigi game. Then the announcement of Super Mario Galaxy 2! YAY! I like the New Super Mario Bros Wii better, but Galaxy was so much fun. But that's not until next year. They also showed off a trailer for Metroid Other M, for the Wii. They teamed up with Team Ninja. The people behind Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. Intriguing, but I haven't gotten into the Metroid games. Behind closed doors, Nintendo also announced they are going to be releasing a new Zelda game for the Wii next year. And it'll use the Wii Motion Plus. New Conduit trailer also, but no new information. Still excited.

Moving onto Sony. My expectations were pretty low of Sony. Not because they didn't have stuff to talk about, but because they spilled a lot of beans. The Playstation Protable Go was leaked right before E3. But Sony got be excited and made me a very happy Playstation owner. First the PSP. New Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is coming to it. Kojima wrote the script and is producing it so he is very involved with it. A lot of the team from Metal Gear Solid 4 is working on it. Takes place 10 years after Metal Gear Solid 3. An entertaining and humorous trailer. The trailer hinted at four player co op. Sony also demoed Assassin's Creed 2, which is mulitplatform. It looks amazing and looks fun. I love the combat. You go in witout a weapon, take your enemy's weapon and kill them with it. Then Davinci's inventions. Then swimming. Then grabbing a guard who investigates a hay pile you jumped and and you stab him and pull him into the hay. Then there's the two hidden blades that you can stealh assassinate two people at once. Good times. More on that. Maybe. I said a lot. Also an Assasin's Creed Bloodlines is coming to the PSP, and there will be some sort of connectivity between Assassin's Creed 2 on the pS3 and the PSP game. So that should be interesting. Sony also announced an exclusive Final Fantasy 14 for the PS3. Not a Final Fantasy fan. Sony also showed a trailer for The Last Guardian which is a game by Team Ico. They created Ico and Shadow of the Colosus for the PS2. Both highly rated games and Shadow of the Colosus was awesome. I need to play Ico yet. Still excited for the Last Guardian. Modnation Racers also looked cool. Customized tacks. Sweet. It was an interesting demo. He made a track in 5 minutes. Sony also demoed their prototype for a motion control, using the Eye Toy. It's interesting. What I liked about this controler over Microsoft's, was that they showed how it could be used with games. First Person Shooters, RTS, Sword Fighting, among others. It was just a prototype and a tech demo, so nothing special, but they actual showed applicable ideas that don't include painting. I'm not too excited, but at least Sony is trying to keep up. Then there was the God of War III demo. I peed myself. I said "Weeeeeeee!" a lot yesterday, but God of War III left me with a stupid smile on my face that only a God of War game could bring. Seeing Kratos in HD, and seeing him covered in blood, and seeing him rip off a horn and stab it into the same enemy's eye, just brings joy to me. I mean there are no words to describe how excited I am for God of War III. I won't camp out for it, but I might preorder it. I usually don't preorder, but if there's a good preorder bonus (which I am sure there will be) I will. So Sony made me the most excited.

This year wasn't a dissapointment when it came to the press confences. Onto the EA and Ubisoft Press Conferences. I'm proud of EA. With new management, they have cleaned up their act from a few years ago. They are introducing new IP's. First up is Brutal Legend, by Tim Schafer. Tim is behind Secret of Moneky Island and Psychonauts and others. He's a genious. A strange mind creates the funniest and greatest games. He has that mind. And so Brutal Legend will be awesome. They demoed the game, and it's violent and is very heavy metal. I'm excited for it. To be honest, I can't remember anything else from EA. There was more, but I got too excited over God of War III. Ubisoft didn't talk about much either. New Splinter Cell, but didn't demo Assassin's Creed 2. They did demo Red Steel 2. I read about it and got excited, but seeing it made me even more excited. The first one sucked. But they revamped everything, including the graphics for this game. Looks great, and the sword play and gun play looks good. Especially since you can switch between the two whenever you want. Plus the Wii Motion Plus will provide one for one movement of the sword, and more customizable controls. I'll just talk about games now.

Heavy Rain for the PS3 intrigues me still. The game is like an interactive movie. There really isn't a lot of gaming to it. It's basically a never ending set of button prompts. Which sounds lame. But it's the story that's going to draw me. In the demo, there was an FBI agent investigating the Origami Killer and had to check out the junk yard. He was asking question to the junk yard owner and the junk yard owner starts attacking him. The player has to push button prompts to fight back. Certain things would happen with each prompt. If you miss a button prompt, you won't loose, but the path will change. For instance, in the first demo I saw, he got to a part where he's handcuffed in a car and he barely escapes, but the junk yard owner starts fighting him again. But while the player is on the ground, a prompt pops up to protect your head from the junk yard owner's foot. he missed the prompt, and died. In another demo, he got to the same part, and succeeded and there was more of the action. In the end, he kills the junk yard owner and survives and you get to see more of the story through the FBI Agent's eyes. I was rooting for the player to win, since I had seen him die before. Bye the way, when the agent died teh first time, the game continues. You just don't get to see more of the story through that character. We'll see though.

Crysis 2 was also announced for the PS3, 360, and PC. So that's cool. Dragon Age Origins is looking cool. The demo showed you fighting a dragon. Good times. MAG was also demoed. 256 players online FPS. It sounds good. The concept is a good idea, but we'll see what happens after it is released. Anyways, enough of that. I'll report more on E3 later. I covered the 3 press conferences which is important. Bye.

Computer Splode

I've planned on giving you an update, but I've tried like 3 times and they never get posted because of various reasons. So I received my computer stuff. I was giddy. I replaced everything I needed to, and everything worked. I was overjoyed. I ordered a new ATI video card. I got it, popped it in, and my computer stopped working. I was a little mad. I must have a defective video card, I thought. So I replaced my new card with my old card again... computer still didn't work. I was pissed. To say the least. My computer symptoms include of not booting at all, but everything powered on. Not even BIOS, or POST beeps. I the card may have killed my power supply, but after a day of testing (several hours and 3 computers) I deduced it was not the power supply. I did figure out what was wrong with my server though (which also had the same symptoms). Turns out user error on my part. However, no user error on my computer. Tried three different power supplies, and two different video cards, and all power supplies work. Took out all unnecessary RAM, and still nothing. Physically, the processor looks fine (no burn marks or bent pins) but I can't test it because I do not have another motherboard that is compatibile with it. So I deduced the motherboard broke. I RMA'd it and am waiting for my replacement.

So that's my bad news story. Without a main computer, I find myself with a lot of time. I played a lot of Assassin's Creed. I started and beat it within a few weeks. It was very fun. I enjoyed it completely. The exploration, platforming, combat, story, and grapics were all amazing. Some people call it repetative. I can definitely see that, but it was fun. You can't deny fun in games. Each assassination was a mystery and gathering clues was fun. Climbing buildings, and jumping from rooftop to rooftop was just fantastic. I love that kind of platforming (like the new Prince of Persia). I'm just rambling at this point. The point I am trying to make that Assassin's Creed is one of my favorite games for realz not for play-play.

I did every mission, and collected every flag and killed every templar. Good times. I hate informer missions that ask you to silently assassinate people in a certain amount of time. They are generally surrounded by beggars/drunks. Drunks like to push you, and only you. Which alerts the guards when you are being watched, which makes you fail the mission and you have to start over. It was annoyingly hard. There's a good hard and an annoying hard. Good hard is challenging but fun. Other than that, the missions were rediculously easy, which is also a bad thing generally. So yeah. I still had fun.

E3 is around the corner. June 1st I do believe. Pre show anyways. I'll watch all three of the big press conferences, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Microsoft hasn't had an interesting press conference in years, but this year Microsoft has been hush hush. There's rumors of motion controls. Anyways they've made me curious (for once). I'm not expecting much from Nintendo. They basically can't keep their mouth shut. Already know about the Wii Motion Plus. Already heard about the new Zelda game for the DS. There's a possibility of a Mario game announcement. But it's hard to say. Nintendo has had boring press conferences at E3 for the past few years now. Actually after the year the Wii was released was when they started having nothing to talk about, except that they are freaking rich. Nintendo might surprise me though. Then there's Sony. Sony has been announcing some stuff, but they have also said that they have a lot of things not announced in the oven, so they intrigue me. We'll see though. Sony likes to lie, but in the end they create a fantastic product. Announcements aren't their specialty in other words.

Then there's EA (which I am impressed by lately), Ubisoft, Konami and many other publishers. I still don't know exactly why Ativision Blizzard is not part of the ESA (the peeps behind E3) anymore. I can understand Blizzard not to attend E3, but that's because they put on Blizzcon. But Activevision has nothing. Ubisoft had UbiDays and yet they were part of E3. The companies surrouding Blizzard has always been a wierd bunch though. Blizzard isn't part of the PC alliance anymore even though they help found it! Just strange. They create awesome products though so I don't complain too much.

I'll be busy after E3. I have the new Games to the Video to finish before June 23. Hopefully E3 can fill in some release date for me. However I have 8 games with specific release date so I'm not doing too bad. But still so many other games without release dates. And that's my blurb on that.

I think I'll end this post. I was going to talk about web browser stuff, but if I ramble anymore, this post will be long and I won't post it. So have a good day.

Today, I ordered more memory and a new hard drive for my computer. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about something. FML.
-- F My Life

The Beast

Liquid Helium This will be a computer technical post filled with "Hertz," "Megabytes," exact models of computer components, and "Rocket Science" with quote fingers. It'll be a good read though. Just giving you a heads up. So I was examining my hard drive(because the bar that tells me how much disk space I have, in Computer, was red) and I noticed I had 20 GBs left of about 300 GB. Joy. High definition videos are large. So I put all my Videos onto my 1 TB external in hope that would give me more space. I got down to 70 GB left before it was full... crap. That didn't work out. So I used a program called WinDirStat to tell me where all my disk space was going. I was shocked. I expected my home user folder to be the biggest contender, considering that's where my music, videos, pictures, etc preside. I was surprised to see Program Files to be the winner of hogging the most space.

I just formatted my hard drive and reinstalled Windows, so I didn't even have unneccessary programs installed. Well maybe a few but that's because I have troubles throwing away things. A pack rat if you will. But they were small. Turns out a whopping 50 GB worth of programs are installed on my computer. The big 3 are Steam, Unreal Anthology, and Unreal Tournament 3, in that order. My user's home folder takes second, and then I've told you the crap Windows does. On top of that there's a 50 GB file that's used as a restore point. Kinda glad I had that because an update during Windows update screwed up, and had to access that file.

I told you that story to tell you this one. I went to Newegg to look for a larget hard drive. I found a nice 750 GB Western Digital harddrive for 80 bucks so I went for it. I like WD, and it got good reviews. I wanted one of these, a Raptor that is a 10000 RPM hard drive (faster then an average desktop hard drive), but between the price and having to buy two, it would be expensive. So I went with the $80 one. It has a good cache so I was happy with it. I ordered that yesterday.

I told you both of the above stories to tell you this one. Being drawn to Newegg, I got to expirmenting with a new PC build. AMD had released new Phenon II X4 processors last month, so I took a look. They work faster with AM3 motherboards and DDR3 RAM. See I told you this would get technical. I checked them out, and read reviews and was pleased with what I saw. So I slept on it and bought a new processor, motherboard, and memory.

I knew the processor I wanted. I like to call it the Beast. AMD and everyone else likes to call it the AMD Phenom II X4 955. 3.2 GHz quadcore goodness. It's been overclocked with liquid helium at 8.0 GHz, and 6.0 GHz with liquid nitrogen. It overclocks just fine up to 3.7 GHz without any problems. I won't be overclocking this thing, but the knowledge of knowing you can is enough. It's comparible to the Intel i7 at $1000, but this baby is only $250. I love AMD. Making high quality processors for a fraction of the cost. On a side note, at the Gigabyte overclocking compitition, they overclocked the i7 at only 5.7 GHz with liquid nitrogen. So :P to Intel.

The second thing I needed was a new AM3 motherboard. I found an Asus, that looks very nice. Has all the slots I need. Great price, I would say anyways. Asus is a good name. I usually buy Gigabyte, but I was a little shakey on this one. I always have sound problems with Gigabyte boards, even when I had a sound card to it. Plus this Asus is cheaper, getting better reviews, and has a built in video card, which is good if my dedicated video card dies or I buy a new one and it turns out to be DOA. So I'm keeping a positive attitude with this board. Plus a Gigabit port for ethernet. I have a Gigabit router so that could be useful.

A strange thing happened when I went to look at Memory. In the 6 GB - 8 GB guided search on Newegg for DDR3 RAM, there was no 8 GB combo. Just combination of 3 2GB sticks. Buying a 2 GB buy itself for DDR3 is almost the same price of buying all three 2GB sticks. So I went with this combo: OCZ 6GB DDR3. Got a free 8 GB flash drive with it. It had the best CAS latency in its class, and one of the best prices. Not to mention the fantastic reviews. I've never heard of OCZ, but I'm willing to give them a try for $100 for 6 GB of RAM.

I wanted a video card, but I can't make up my mind. I like NVidia, but they are expensive. But they are reliable. But they are behind ATI in technology and price. ATI is cheaper and the processors are faster and they use the new GDDR5 memory. So I've been leaning towards ATI Radeon HD 4890. For off, AMD processors and ATI graphic cards play better with each other. AMD owns ATI. It's expected. I was looking at the X2 versions of this card, but they are running hot, and sounds like people are having problems so yeah. Like I said, I'm leaning towards that card. But there's the Linux factor. ATI has gotten better at making Linux drivers for their cards, but it's not 100% yet. Not to mention I heard Ubuntu 9.04 is having some upgrading issues with ATI drivers. So NVidia would be a better choice with the Linux factor. But a lot better processor speed with ATI. And cheaper. 260 bucks is better than $550 especially for a superior card. I think I will go with the ATI. I'll wait on it though.

After I get my new stuffs, I'll test to make sure everything works and then I'll be giddy. Then I'll transplant my old stuff into my server that's been sitting in the corner. It wants a motherboard that works. Then I have to decide how I want to do this. CentOS makes a great server operating system, and I enjoy having it on my test server. But the server sits next to my T.V. and sometimes I want to watch some video files on my computer on my TV. Plus my friends computer that I have been using to hook up to my TV will be gone in the fall. Plus an extra computer for LAN parties would be nice, plus it would be able to hook up to my TV. Which is sweet. So I might want Vista on their too, alongside CentOS. I could dual boot, but I would have to figure out how to do the hard drive space. I heard CentOS doesn't play well with NTFS, but I haven't tested it myself. I filled up my test server pretty easily with a 75 GB hard drive and I will have a 500 GB hard drive in my actual server. I will need to perform backups to that server from my main computer which is getting a 750 GB hard drive upgrade. I'll run with just CentOS to see how that roles. Starcraft and Unreal 2K4 are the big ones for LAN parties and they'd be able to run in VirtualBox easily.

I think that's enough of that. I'll let you know how everything works out once I recieve my stuff. E3 is coming at the beginning of June, so I'll be posting about that. I'll hopefully get caught up on a few games now that school is over with. Reading is always something I enjoyed in the Summer months so I'll probably post about some books. So yeah.

- Beauty is only GPU circuitry deep

Sound of Mindlessness

Chester Bennington

BEGINNING OF FACEBOOK RANT
Facebook is getting annoying. I'm gonna be unoriginal and rant about the crappiness of facebook. I actually liked the idea of facebook when I first signed up. Then I didn't use it for a few years (adding friends that added me but that's pretty much all). Now I decided to get involved with it a little bit. It's nice to see what people are up to, but man it's getting rediculous. I kinda like these [link removed] rules, to an extent. Take a quiz, every now and then (like once a month) wouldn't be so bad. But these idiots take these quizzes every freaking day! Anyways, story time.

Everything started going downhill when my brother found Mafia. My friend count went up about that time too. He invited my friend to Mafia (he tried me, but 99% of the facebook apps suck, so I didn't even want to partake), and as a result, my friend convinced lots of our other friends to join facebook, and join his Mafia. I deny every freaking request for Mafia. I have better things to do with my time. As a result of this overload of friends, they also partake in quizzes, such as "Which weapon would you be using in a zombie apacolypse," "Which idiotic character are you" "which moronic thing do you do" "what stupid time period are you from", "how brainless are you", "are you dazed," "How many pointless quizzes will you take?" Etc. I was going to go down a line of synonyms for "stupid" but grew tired. The point is that they are pointless, and I DON'T CARE! And changing my Facebook status to "hates pointless quizzes" is unoriginal and no one will take me seriously and still take those quizzes.

Maybe if people only do this once a month, or less often, maybe it would be alright. For instance, I picked 5 top video games of all time, also TV shows. This post won't change anything and is unoriginal, so whatever. Oh and no I do not want a peep, poke, shellfish, pie, cake, or any other rediculous thing that does not do me any good because it's a digital item that's worth nothing in the real world.
END FACEBOOK RANT. BEGINNING OF MUSIC

In other news, I've been looking for new bands to listen to for the past year, and my search has been, for the most part, unsuccessful. Let's see if I remember all the bands I've listened to. Puddle of Mudd, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, UnderOath, Disciple, Decyfer Down, Shinedown, The Fray, The Killers, Coldplay, The Offspring, Nickelback, Evanescence, Julien-K and I think that's all.

I didn't like Breaking Benjamin, although the song "Diary of Jane" was good. But they didn't stand out to me, other then that one song. UnderOath was too hard for me. I know. I just don't like screaming ALL the time. I do like Blindside's old stuff though, but that's because I got into Blindside with the album Silence. The Fray didn't stand out too much for me, (except the songs that were hits on the radio/music videos). The Killers and Coldplay just aren't my kind of music. Kinda like The Fray. I'd have to be in the mood for those bands to listen to them. The only songs of Nickelback that I like, are their hits that they release onto the radio. Their other songs are just crap to me it seems like. There's a few songs from The Offspring that I like, but they are too Blink 182 for my tastes. I do like "You're gonna go far kid" and a few others off their new CD. I haven't listened to enough Disciple yet, so I have no opinion of them yet. They get to be on the "When it's a slow time for music, I'll gander at them again" list.

Here's the better half that I leaned towards likeing list. I looked at Famous from Puddle of Mudd, and it was good, but didn't reach up into my "Awesome band" category. Plus Puddle of Mudd has a lot of albums to listen to, and I like listening to all of a band's music and deciding how they stack up. I just didn't get around to any of the other albums. Maybe when it's kinda on my "When it's slow..." list. Evanescence was also pretty good, but I feel I didn't spend enough time with them so it also goes onto that list. Three Days Grace's One X is really good. I like them a lot. I haven't gotten to their self titled album because I enjoyed One X so much. So I'll probably start listeing to them regularly. Decyfer Down is also really good and I'm looking forward to their new album in May. Shinedown was amazing. I listened to Sound of Madness. Probably my favorite of all those bands that I listened to, and probably will get comfy in "Favorite bands" list. I don't have a top ten bands, just "a bunch of bands I like." I haven't gotten to listen to their other two albums because I have thoroughly enjoyed Sounds of Mandess.

I think I covered everyone on that list, except Julien-K. They just recently released their album Death to Analog and get a their own paragraph. Not because I like them a lot, but because they will influence a CD I will be buying near the end of the year. Julien-K is a different mix of music. I can hear a lot of influence from the 80's and 90's along with some Nine Inch Nails in their music. Like synthesiser 80 music, not hard rock. Crazy huh? I don't know about them yet. But the reason I am listening to them is because a singer named Chester Bennington from Linkin Park is in a side project with them, and if I were to name my favorite singer, it would be Chester hands down. They will release a CD this fall under the name Dead by Sunrise. Anyways back to Julien-K. I haven't listened to them enough, but they are growing on me and I kinda enjoy driving to them. First time I listened to their CD, I was working on something on my computer, and I was like "This kinda sucks." Now first time listens are usually not good, but to give you perspective, I listened to Shinedown once and was like "One of my favorite bands!" At the same time, albums grow on me usually, such as Blindside's Great Depression grew on me. Didn't like it at first, and now it's one of my favorite albums. Anyways, back to Juilien-K (again). I'm on my second play through, through driving in my car while listening (with fun time subs). I like listening to music in my car. My favorite place probably. Julien-K is very bassy (which I likey in my car with my subs). I forgot to add "Techno" in their description. Not pure techno, but there is influence of techno. I think all of their songs are over 5 minutes. I guess I kinda mentioned Techno influence when I said Nine Inch Nails (don't hurt me Nine Inch Nail fans, it just his music has a techno feel to it, but it's not techno).

So to conclude that paragraph, Julien-k is growing on me, but I don't know yet. I also try to picture Chester's vocals which makes me happy. I guess I'll end this post.

"The darkest hour never comes in the night."
- Shinedown

RE: Video Games

Cloud Questionmark Hi everybody. It's starting to get nice again. It's about time. It's almost to Spring temperatures. Anywho. So I've been playing Starcraft, and I finished Broodwar so I'm pretty happy. I forgot how awesome the story was in that game. As a result, I've been brushing up on Starcraft lore. I've ingested so much. A great source of lore is right in the Starcraft manual. If you have any interest, read your manual for Starcraft. It's basically a mini novel. Great information in it though. I've been drawing correlations between the books, the game, and what not too. For instance why they chose the desert tileset for Korhal. It was nuked to death. Makes sense. I need to start reading The Dark Templar saga though. I plan on reading that during the summer. Apparently lots of information is in those, such as Adun, who was a great warrier to the Templar. Speaking of which, if anyone has an issue of Amazing Stories magazine, with the short story, Starcraft: Revelations, can you send me an email? It's issue 596. Also if you have issue 601, with Starcraft: Hybrid. I'd like scans of these stories and I cannot find them online anywhere! I can find summarizations of the stories, but that's not the same for me. I would be very happy if you could.

The Game Developers Conference is over now and there were some things announced that caught my attention. First off is Onlive. Onlive is a great idea, but I don't know if America is ready for it. I know Europe and Asia would be fine with it, but America might be lagging behind. Let me explain what Onlive is first. Onlive is cloud computing brought to the video game world. With cloud computing, a server runs all the software, while delivering the information to the client computer via network or internet. You can have a very low end computer, and run hi end applications doing this. A very simple example is Google Documents. Their servers are running the Word Processor, not your computer. An extremely simple example is Remote Desktop. It's no quite like Remote Desktop, but it illistrates it well. Basically Online has servers that run the video games, and you can access those games on low end PCs, Macs, or their little box that hooks up to your internet and TV, and play these games on-demand. You can rent or buy. Their server runs the game and sends the information to your PC/Mac/OnlineBox, and you can play these games.

The catch is the same catch that makes me not support video streaming. Our bandwidth sucks in the United States. Here's a website that outlines where we ranked in bandwidth ratings in 2007. We rank 12, behind Japans, Korea, Norway, Australia and others. I have done some testing with my Cable Broadband internet. During busy hours, I get about 4 megabits/second. During nonbusy hours, I get 8 megabits/second. That's using test speed sites. Reason why there is a difference between busy and nonbusy, is because cable internet is split up into sections, and your section has a shared bandwidth. My internet provider advertises 10 megabits/second, but my throughput is different because of overhead and what not. Then my upload rates sucks. Less than 1 megabit/second. Reason why I tell you about this is because video games are a lot of information to stream. Online requires a minimum of 2.5 mbit/second. It recommend higher... I think 10 or 15 mbit/second. If you have a lower bandwidth, it scales your video game. So if you have 2.5 mbit/sec, expect 480p video. If you have 15 mbit/sec, you can get 1080p video quality for your games. It automatically scales.

It's a matter of when now though. Our bandwidth is getting better, but I'm not sure if it's there yet. I know rural areas are still using dial up. The small town of Antelope Montana just got DSL. However, I do think Onlive is the future. Probably one console like that, and you can hook up different controlers to it, and play games. That would be awesome. I like downloading games from the Playstation Network, and Steam, so why not get games on demand? I used to be a big "I want my hard copy" before, but now I don't care. I like downloading music from ITunes, I like downloading books in pdf format. I like buying games from steam. I would like to download movies digitally, but so far it can't compete with BluRay... yet. Once file storage and bandwidth gets better, then digital movies will blow BluRay out of the water. Until then, hard copy that.

I rambled again. I have more to say though. Here's an update to Games to the Video 5. Release dates have changed so here it is:

  • Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers - Released
  • Damnation - May 26, 2009
  • Madworld - Released
  • Resistance Retribution - Released
  • inFamous - Q2 2009 (June 2009)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - June 9, 2009
  • The Conduit - June 23, 2009
  • Dark Void - August 25, 2009
  • I Am Alive - TBA 2009

So Dark void got moved to Q3, and inFamous still doesn't have a date. Damnation was pushed back twice. And I Am Alive is TBA so who knows? I updated my personal list too, and look at the second half of the year to make sure that no one has updated the release dates of those games, and no one has so I'm hoping E3 will bring some release dates. As a result, July through the end of the year will be the next Games to the Video Dates, and July will probably bring Games to the Video 6, unless there aren't a lot of games that have given me release dates.

I'm rambling so Bye.

"I like to scramble the fairies!"
- Jorgen Von Strangle