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Archive for the ‘Snapshots’ Category

August 3, 2011 2 comments
In my youth I used to play a lot of video games. Well actually I still play a lot but that’s a whole different story. Well anyway as I was saying, in my youth I played a lot of video games and typically I’d play with a select few friends. Now by select few I would actually mean only three friends. Of these three friends, I only keep in touch with one. The other two have long since fallen by the wayside and I have not talked to them for many a year. Now Stephon I still keep in touch with even though we actually live quite literally a thousand miles apart. I would go so far as to say he is my best friend.
Recently he came to visit me and my family and it was a time that I was excited for yet dreading. Now I was excited because it had been over a year since we had last been in each other’s presence. We talk on the phone often but really it’s not the same as enjoying the weather with beer in hand or visiting a local restaurant for lunch. What I was dreading was the hand off of all of his gaming hardware and software to me. Now this may sound like a good thing to most of you but here’s the problem with it. It signals to me that he has officially moved on from the gaming scene. We have discussed it before but through this physical exchange, it has become official and ultimately set in stone. My one greatest gaming ally has moved on and it saddens me to no end. It’s like ToeJam without Earl, Marcus without Dom or even Ratchet without Clank.
Anyway enough of the sob story. I’m sure you’re only reading this to find out what was handed over so here’s what was in the official exchange. I’ll even post some pics for you to enjoy.

Game Collection Handoff

 

Atari Jaguar and games

Atari Jaguar Console CIB
Alien vs. Predator CIB
Raiden CIB
Tempest 2000 CIB

 

NES Compact and games

NES Compact Console (NES ver2) CIB
Castlevania CIB
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse CIB
Contra
Donkey Kong Classics
Gradius
Life Force  CIB
Mario Bros.
Rad Racer CIB
Rad Racer II CIB
Rush ‘N Attack
Super Contra
Super Mario Bros. CIB
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3 CIB

 

Playstation 2 and games

PS2 Slim Console CIB
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence  CIB
Devil May Cry GH CIB
R-Type Final CIB
Resident Evil: Code Veronica GH CIB

 

PSOne and games

PSOne Console
Castlevania: SotN GH CIB
Metal Gear Solid GH CIB
Resident Evil 2 CIB

 

SNES Compact and games

SNES Compact Console (SNES ver2) w/Kirby Super Star CIB
Axelay CIB
Castlevania: Dracula X CIB
Contra III: The Alien Wars    CIB
Final Fight
Final Fight 2 CIB
Firepower 2000 CIB
Gradius III CIB
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy CIB
R-Type III CIB
Street Fighter II Turbo
Super Castlevania IV CIB
Super Mario All Stars CIB
Super Mario Kart CIB
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island CIB
Super R-Type CIB
Top Gear CIB

It pleases me that he thought of me to hand these off to. Unfortunately it still was a sad day for me. The end of an era so to speak.

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E 74 Error

April 2, 2011 2 comments

E 74 Error

Great. I rarely if ever use my 360 Elite (If I’m lucky I average 3-4 hrs a week on it). I tend to play my PS3 more for the simple fact that I’ve had it longer and it has free online play. Now while watching a DVD on my 360 I noticed some vertical bands across the screen and the video seeming very low res. This is even considering it’s always looked fine with the HDMI connections to the HDTV. I decided to check the video settings to see if something was amiss. Everything looked proper. I decided I’d just restart the system. Typically that would fix any issues but what ended up happening was that I got a flashy quarter red ring and a screen that said I had an E 74 Error. I am not pleased at all. If anything I’m pissed! I’ve probably not even logged in a tenth of the hours into this system as my PS3 and it has failed me. I don’t have it enclosed in an entertainment stand and I dust it often. There would be absolutely no reason for it to fail considering the way I baby my systems. Totally unacceptable no matter how you look at it.

According to the xBox site, the warranty for this type of error is 3 years from purchase date. Get this, I have the original receipt and guess what? It was purchased by my wife as a gift to me exactly 3 years and 21 days ago. Coincidence? I think not. I’ve contacted xBox support regarding this issue. I guess we’ll just have to see how they respond on Monday or Tuesday. I’m really not expecting much from them considering they pretty much still deny they had any wrong doing considering bad consoles. This kinda $#!t infuriates me! Today I hate Microsoft almost as much as I hate Gamestop.

Dead Space 2 Collector’s Edition

March 1, 2011 4 comments

I’ve not updated anything in a long while and I’d like to say that I’m lazy but that would mean I have time to waste. Totally not true. Family always comes first and the past few months have been family heavy. It’s been tough. Anyway we’re not here to discuss family, we’re here to discuss my opinion on Dead Space 2.

Dead Space 2 Collector's Edition

First I’ll fill you in on what’s in the Collector’s Edition. First and foremost it comes with the game (manual, case and all) but as a bonus it’s the Limited Edition version of the game. What makes it a limited edition is that the disc comes with a full copy of Dead Space Extraction on it. If you don’t know what this is, it’s essentially a HD version of the prequel to Dead Space that was originally released on the Wii. It’s a great bonus to an already awesome game. I had always wanted this for the Wii but never got around to purchasing it. Now I have it for the lowly sum of FREE and it has a full trophy set also. EA dun me proud.

Plasma Cutter

Secondly it comes with a little plastic replica of the plasma cutter in Dead Space 2. Now when I say little… that’s exactly what it is. It seems to be about 1/2 – 2/3 scale model of what you’re using in the game. Makes it look comical and actually feels rather comical when equipping it in real life 😀
Lastly there is a soundtrack CD and art cell in the box which aren’t a big deal on their own but a nice bonus overall.

I finished up my platinum in Dead Space 2 last week so I figured I’d comment on the game. Simply put, it’s great. If you loved the original, there isn’t a darn thing about this game that you wouldn’t like. It’s everything you loved in the first one but more of it… Oh and there isn’t an asteroid shooting gallery to slow you up this time round ;P
Story is pretty good though can get old on multiple play throughs. Wouldn’t be a problem but you can’t skip through scenes or anything. You just have to let everything play through on its own. Kinda sucks but but overall not bad considering that’s my only gripe. Make sure to stay through the entire credits. There’s a little bit at the end of it that I’d say is an important piece of the puzzle.
Gameplay and controls are essentially identical to the first one with very minor tweaks. I guess they felt that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. One nice fix is that you can now reload without having to hold the aim button at the same time. Simple change but helps tremendously when you are trying to skeedaddle away from some necromorphs.
Music and sound is just as good as the original. It’s excellent. Surround sound is the only way to go when playing this game. I feel sorry for any of you who only have your tv speakers. Just the thought of it makes me sad.
I won’t comment on multiplay. I never tried it and don’t really intend to.

I honestly can’t say there was much that was added that was new. Basically if you liked the original, you’ll love this sequel.

I’d give the Collector’s Edition a $75/80. The game with bonus Extraction is already worth that amount. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
I’d give the standard edition wo/Extraction a $55/60. Definitely a great game and worth your time.

Well I must be off. Dead Space Severed just got released today. Gonna go kill me some more necromorphs… or would I be RE-killing them? Who knows? It’s gonna be a great ride anyway!

A Season of Making… then Giving (Kindle Style)

December 28, 2010 4 comments

Well Christmas has come and gone and as I age, I realize it’s not the same as it used to be… But that’s not the story today. Today I just wanted to share my gift giving endeavor.

To start off, my wife has been wanting a Kindle for quite some time. This was even before the most recent Kindle version (third generation). Anyway I decided to get her one for Christmas. Now financially it’s not really within our budget but through cashing in different credits from different programs, I was able to procure one for roughly half price. This was great but when purchasing anything “nice” for a clumsy person, you better have a way to protect that investment.

In spending quite a bit already on the Kindle itself, I really didn’t feel the need to spend another $35-$60 on a case. I’m frugal (or cheap if you prefer) like that. I decided to consult the interwebernetz for possible ways to hand make a case. I found quite a few creative ways that people have made cases for their Kindles and it amazes me to see how everyone has used their own personal strengths and skills to do so. Every homemade case I have seen is so unique and creative. One thing that my search did was it got my creative juices stirring. I studied design in school and am a package designer by day. I have the necessary skills to make my own sweet case. I work at a company that does book binding and custom packaging so all of the materials are at my disposal. Why the heck did I bother the internet anyway?

So there I was. I had an idea, I had the necessary skills, and I had all of the supplies. It was time to design. One beneficial thing when designing a package is to have the item in hand to be packaged. Unfortunately at the time I had no Kindle so I had to build around dimensions that I found while searching the internet.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

First off, in looking at different pre-made cases, I considered a standard book style but that would leave an opening on the right of the case. I felt an extra panel would be extra protection. I came up with a very clean mini Tri-fold binder. The right panel somewhat interferes with use but I felt the extra protection was well worth it.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Next step would be the closure. I considered velcro dots but I personally think velcro tends to cheapen any product. I considered magnets but through testing, the adhesive tended to fail before the magnets. Also I am unsure if magnets affect e-ink screens. I couldn’t find any solid information on the internet either so I decided not to take the chance of having my protective cover be the actual thing that destroys the item I was protecting. My final decision was to use an elastic band. I went through many different options to attach the bands to the binders but I eventually came up with a rather elegant solution. Hope you would agree.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Final step was to find a way to attach the Kindle to the binder itself. I didn’t want to use any adhesives because I hate the residue that they can leave on plastics. I wanted it to be secure yet easily removed if need be with no damage to the Kindle or the case. I had already used bands as the closure and knew that the bands themselves wouldn’t damage the Kindle. I think I found a rather clever way of piecing everything together into a nice package.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

Through the entire process I was essentially using extra materials from previous mockup requests. The great thing about that was using up waste materials. Also it gave me a variety of materials in which to cover my binders with. I mean really, you can’t go wrong with faux white snake skin or whatever it is.

 

Handmade Kindle Covers

I was quite pleased with the final products. If there were only one thing I would change, it would be to add another elastic band across the center (below the screen) for added support and peace of mind. Well that will be for my next version 😉

The lady was pleased so I guess that’s all that matters right? If the lady is happy, everyone is happy 😛

My Saweeet PSPGo Deal

August 16, 2010 3 comments

Pearl White PSP Go

Current prices at Dell.com & PSN as of August 16th 2010:

PSPGo = $249.99
PSPGo Cradle = $24.99
PSPGo Soft Case = $11.99

SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo = $39.99
Little Big Planet = $19.99
Ratchet & Clank = $14.99

Grand Total (excluding shipping/tax) = $361.94

Price I got it for on June 11th 2010:

Pearl White PSPGo (Dell Special)= $149.99
PSPGo Cradle = $24.99
PSPGo Soft Case (Dell Special)= $10.99

SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo = PSPGo 3 game promotion
Little Big Planet = PSPGo 3 game promotion
Ratchet & Clank = PSPGo 3 game promotion

Shipping = free
Tax = $11.16

Grand Total = $197.13

Exchange of 17,498 Sony Rewards Points for $174.98

Final price for the entire package = $22.15

I’m sitting pretty 😀

-MY- Demon’s Souls Review

July 28, 2010 6 comments

Been sitting in my “to publish” list for over 4 months now. Figured I might as well publish it.

Demon's Souls: Deluxe Edition

You know, I’ve actually beat this game twice (which is unheard of lately for me) and have yet to write a review on it. Why you may ask? Well the fact is that I consider it such a great game that I don’t even know if I could do it justice in describing it. I know this will be a long winded review so I’ll put my rating at the beginning rather than the end for your convenience ;D

I’m saying the deluxe edition of this game is well worth $80/$66.99 <— what I spent on it

For the standard edition that is currently available I’d say $60/$60 Totally worth the full price

What I consider so great about Demon’s Souls:

The biggest thing that makes this game great is that it doesn’t try to be any other game out there. It is its own unique creature. I guess you could lump it into the category of action rpg but it’s so much more than that.

Gameplay is superb. I love fighting the enemies in this game. Granted there are a few boss battles that I wouldn’t mind just not ever battling again. There is a definite weight to the battles. Each enemy seems to have substance. It’s like you are actually fighting something real. When your sword hits them, it feels like your hitting an object and not just swinging at air. When they block, you feel that block. Same when they swing at you. If you block or parry, it feels real. There is a true sense of accomplishment to defeating enemies because of this. In contrast, most hack and slashers allow your weapon to go through enemies like a hot knife through butter. This is rather unrealistic and it actually makes killing enemies kind of boring. It’s kinda like, would you rather swing a sledge hammer against a car door or a pile of pillows. Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin bout.

People complain about the difficulty in this game and I say shadddup ya babies. Difficulty is quite high but not impossible. What makes the game hard is that we’ve been spoon fed so many games that once we are forced to work for our food, we don’t know how to handle it. It’s only as difficult as YOU make it. Playing it like a standard button mashing hack and slash will kill you quickly. Hell the first enemy will kill you if you try the button mashing technique. This game forces you to relearn how a game is played. It forces you to be patient and alert. Running into the fray will only get you killed. Once you get surrounded, there is little chance of escape. This is even with the easy enemies.

This comes to another point about this game… Unlike in… well most if not all other games, enemies were put in Demon’s Souls to kill you… they weren’t put in the game for you to kill. This is a huuuuge part of why this game is different from many many other games out there. You have to constantly be alert and aware of your surroundings. It’s almost certain death if an enemy pulls a backstab on you.

The musical score is minimal if any. I only recall a little bit of music in the intro movie. In game I don’t recall any music at all. I only recall the sounds of enemy armor clanking, dragons breathing fire, barrels exploding and my own spirit being lifted away when I die. This is by no means a bad thing. There is more of a sense of loneliness and realness to it. I mean seriously, how often do you hear music blaring in the background as you’re taking a walk or working? I guess that’s where mp3 players come in. Anyway I feel it adds to the ambiance and it feels great.

Graphics are beautiful and dark all at the same time. It’s a lonely dirty world and Demon’s Souls portrays it perfectly. There are areas that are so dark in fact that you can barely see a car length in front of you. That’s of course if they had cars in the game. In these areas you need to be extra careful because enemies can get the surprise on you. Depending on the enemy it could be certain death. It creates tension almost all the time. Perhaps too much tension even.

Online play is unique to say the least. While playing online I still feel as if I’m playing solo. It’s the only lonely online multiplayer game that I have ever played. By lonely I mean that even though you have 2 others by your side in battle, they are distant. There is no traditional chat system. You can’t talk to them and you cant text them. It’s strange but in an odd way satisfying. You don’t have to get to know them. You just need to know if they have your back. It may be considered a flaw to some but I rather like it.

I really could go on and on but I won’t. Just wanted to say that this is definitely on my top 10 favorite games of all time. Even so I don’t think this game is for everyone. In fact I don’t think it’s for a large sum of the gamers out there. It’s for people like me. Some of the 30 somethings who grew up on difficult games like Contra, Ghosts’n Goblins, Ninja Gaiden, and Rush’n Attack. We never gave up. If it was tough, we’d try harder. If we died a lot, we’d just keep dying but we didn’t care. There was a simple goal. Beat the game even though there really wasn’t a story or even a real ending to most of those games. It was punishing but fun. This is what Demon’s Souls is to me. An updated version of the games I played back when. I’ve got no complaints.

My Thoughts – Darksiders

January 25, 2010 3 comments

Darksiders

Well I have finished it… On Apocalyptic mode I might add. Twas much easier than expected but I would have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s a great third person hack and slash game. Anyone who has played any Devil May Cry or God of War will be comfortable in the apocalyptic lands of Darksiders.
Actually, anyone who has played either of those should jump straight to apocalyptic mode. It’s a much easier and forgiving game than those.

Controls are tight which is one of my favorite aspects of the game. There was just enough story to keep my interest but not too much to detract from the core purpose of the game. That would be to just kick ass all over the place (don’t even bother with taking names). Considering that this game is about the apocalypse or end of days or whatever you want to call it, the art style had a punch that I didn’t expect. It looks amazing! Sharp details and bright colors aplenty. The contrast of gritty demons to bright and vibrant angels looks pretty awesome. I especially liked the glow of War’s Sword with different enhancements. Purple flames look pretty sweet on his obscenely large sword.

The one thing they could have done away with was Mercy. Seriously guys, what would War need with a revolver? Couldn’t you have thought up some much cooler projectile weapon? The only time I used the silly thing was to kill the worms… which was unfortunately the ONLY way to kill them.

Anyway, this game is a great fill in before God of War III gets released. Don’t expect anything new here though. Darksiders plays it safe. It takes the great parts from so many other games and melds them into one tight little package and it does a surprisingly good job at it.

Overall I’d give it a $55/$60 for the mere fact that it tries nothing new but does an excellent job with combining the tried and true.