Saturday, November 29, 2008

A small assortment of Team Fortress 2 rants

I've been playing Team Fortress 2 a lot lately. And by a lot, I mean way more than I should be. During this time, while I've had a whole lot of fun, I've also run into quite a few annoyances. No, not any sorts of glitches or faults of the developer. I've run into a lot of problems with the other players. People being stupid, being jerks, or otherwise just not being fun to play with at all. The following article goes out to all these people.

First of all, y'all gotta stop pushing people off the teleporters. If someone gets to the teleporter before you do, leave them. They got to it first. It's their right to use it. You can darn well wait a few seconds for it to recharge, or just walk to the battle, okay?

Relating to the above, if you're a scout, for the love of all things good, don't use the freaking teleporters! For crying out loud, you're the fastest class by far! Leave the other, slower players to the teleporters, and hoof it! In the time it takes you to run there, the person who got the teleporter will already be there, doubling the fighting power at that moment. If you steal it, all that happens is one measly little scout gets there, while some other player waits and waits for the teleporter to recharge because it would take to long to walk. Not only is it a pain in the ass to have a teleporter meant for you used by a scout, it also hurts the team. So don't do it.

And would it kill you not to use such disgusting sprays in game? Good god, I've seen some stuff on the walls of pl_goldrush I wouldn't even show to my worst enemy. Keep your sick, twisted sense of "humour" to yourself and play the freaking game instead of disturbing all of your teammates.

If you're a spy, don't disguise as a scout. Ever. You move slower than a scout, you can't double-jump like a scout, and you can't use the bat like every other scout does. It's the worst disguise ever. Stop doing it.

A microphone can be a great tool in battle, allowing you to quickly pass information onto other players; and if you want to say something funny, go ahead, we all love a good laugh. But come on, people; Stop being racist, sexist, crass jerks. Stop screaming into your microphones. Stop blasting crappy music over them. And for crying out loud, if your microphone sucks, stop freaking using it. I don't need static and garbled speech blasting into my ears, thanks. Yes, I realize I can mute you with a few clicks, but I'd rather focus on fighting than pause and fiddle around just to stop some pre-pubescent idiot from swearing at me.

We've all heard of sore losers, but there's also such a thing as a sore winner. Yeah, your team won three rounds in a row; That's no reason to act as if everyone on the other team is the worst freaking player in history. And if someone kills you, don't scream obscenities at them. You died in a video game. You'll respawn. Calm down, man. Oh, and if your team is kicking ass, don't go "YEAH WE ROCK" if you're not even in the top ten on a twelve person team. You're hardly helping, pal, don't steal all the credit. Seriously, I've seen people with two points acting as if they're carrying the whole freaking team on their back.

Finally, quit using aim-enhancing programs. You aren't kidding anyone when you use one. You suck at Team Fortress 2 and you need a program to make you any good. It annoys everybody, enemy and ally alike. Turn off the bot, get some practice, and darn well play like you should. Can't get a kill like that? Practice some more. Believe me, it's a whole lot better than sitting back and letting the computer do all the work.

If you're reading this and any of the above applies to you, please take my words into consideration next time you play. We'd all appreciate it.

Discuss This Rant-O-Rama On The Forums

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm through making excuses for the Wii's online shortcomings

I was talking about Animal Crossing: City Folk with a friend online a few minutes ago, and he said he sent me something in-game. He asked if I got it yet, and I said no. Here's how some of the conversation went:

Him: Did you receive my gift on City Folk?
Me: Gift?
Him: Yes, gift.
Me: I, uh... Got money and an apple last week... Was one of those you?
Him: Nope
Me: When did you send it?
Him: Just this morning. Perhaps it takes 24 hours. Who knows, anyways...
Me: Yeah, I'll probably have it tomorrow. Instant mailing would be better, but... Eh, it's the Wii. We just have to make do.

When I said this, I realized... I'm making an excuse for the console. "Yeah, that sucks, but it's just the Wii". Doesn't that seem wrong to you? I know I'm not the only one who does it, either. Heck, the guy I was talking to agreed with me, then said that we just deal with it "Same as we do with [Friend Codes]". We shouldn't have to make excuses or "just deal" with the shortcomings of the Wii. Owners of the other consoles don't seem to do it. It's not as if you hear "Oh, Halo 3 would be better with motion controls, but since this is the 360 I'll forgive it". Why? It's because the other consoles don't have such glaring insufficiencies. Sure, you can say the PS3 is kinda ugly-looking, or that the 360 lacks any sort of motion-sensing, but that doesn't hit as hard as the comparatively pathetic online capabilities of the Wii. After all, consoles have been online since last generation, with even a couple major portables joining in, but the Wii just can't get with the program.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the Wii, but I'm getting really tired of constantly making excuses for its shortcomings. That's just about all I have to say, really. Low-end graphics? Say what you will, but the Wii's still pretty darn powerful. Weak third-party support? That's not even the Wii's fault. But when it comes to the undeniable fact that its online abilities are severely gimped, well, I can't just say "Whatever, it's the Wii. Deal." I'm tired of making excuses, and I'm tired of just dealing with it. Nintendo, I love your products, but please step things up with the Wii 2 (Or whatever crazy name you give it). If things aren't at least as good as the XBox was last generation... Well, you don't want to know what a legion of angry Nintendo fans can do. Lets just say it involves a large monkey wrench and a certain plumber's "drain pipe".

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New poll and banner time

I don't know how I managed to do this, but I actually forgot to make a new poll. Um... Whoops? So yeah, new poll: "Based on looks alone, which DS model do you like best?" To be honest, I don't think the DSi looks quite as good as the Lite. That big camera on top is just an eyesore on the white model, and I don't like how much the shoulder buttons stick out. Still, though, I'm anticipating it for its abilities more than its looks, but that's not the point of this poll. So let's see how y'all feel!

As for the banner, ryanrab1 saw the lack of newness up top and decided to submit the following Midna-themed banner. Why Midna? 'Cause she's flipping awesome! Definitely one of the better new characters this generation.

Th-th-th-th-th-th-th-that's all, folks!

Poll #66: "What do you think of the Animal Crossing series?" results, banner, news

"It's all fantastic!" 7 votes (25%)
"I like it" 7 votes (25%)
"So-so" 6 votes (22%)
"It stinks, it stinks, it stinks" 1 vote (3%)
"It needs a major revamp" 4 votes (14%)
"No comment" 2 votes (7%)

While I sort of agree that the series could use a bit of an overhaul, I'm fairly happy with it overall. Judging by the above votes, I'm not alone.

This week's banner? Nothing new. In fact, it's practically nothing at all. Just the sad little logo sitting up there all alone. The only two submitted banners have a few problems with them, so I'm letting the artists touch-up and resubmit their work.

And hey, about tonight's post... Yeah, yeah, you know what's coming. It ain't happening tonight. I unexpectedly have to go all the way to the other side of the city tomorrow in the morning, and I need to be rested. Toronto? Yeah, not a small city, and the buses aren't exactly stellar (Though they've apparently improved recently, I still don't like 'em). At least I'll be taking the subway partway... Maybe I'll catch up on my sleep then.

Well, that's that. (Insert usual string of "SORRY"s right here)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Post delay until tomorrow *UPDATE*

Sorry about this, folks and folkettes, but I gotta delay tonight's article until tomorrow. I've got some things to do in the morning, so I'd better get to sleep and such. Rest assured, though, that I will have your regularly scheduled article up tomorrow! know, just in case someone out there still gives half a crap.

*UPDATE*: I have the worst freaking case of writer's block EVER. I know exactly what I want to write, but it just won't come out right. Augh, I'm going nuts over here! Sorry, but this'll have to wait until Monday...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Wii's year two report card

While the first year is an important twelve months for any console, the second year can still break the momentum even if it was previously doing well. Did the Wii manage to keep things going strong over the last year, or was its stellar performance in 2007 all for naught? Following the same formula I used last year, here's the Wii's report card for its second year on the market.

The Software

This time last year, we had so many of the Wii's key franchises in our hands already. Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Metroid were all there, firmly establishing the Wii as a worthwhile console. Has the flow of games kept up over the Wii's second year?

When it comes to Nintendo's big franchises, they sure delivered. Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Animal Crossing: City Folk are now in millions of Wii consoles all over the world, bringing three more beloved Nintendo franchises to the current generation. Nintendo also introduced two more entries in the "Wii" series of games with the release of Wii Fit and Wii Music, and even published Endless Ocean by Arika, the diving game that challenged the definition of what a game had to be. Nintendo certainly did their part over these last twelve months.

The third parties also did their job for the most part, hitting us with amazing titles like de Blob, Guitar Hero: World Tour, No More Heroes, Okami and Boom Blox. Many of these developers greatly outdid themselves here, all the while helping to ensure that the Wii continue to be great.

Nintendo also added a new way for us to purchase games with the introduction of WiiWare. Since the introduction of this new service in May we've seen many great games come down the digital pipeline, including Dr. Mario Online Rx, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, LostWinds, Mega Man 9 and Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. Nintendo is working well with third parties to make sure that WiiWare is as great as it can possibly be, and their effort certainly isn't going unnoticed.

However, not all is sunshine and lollipops in the world of Wii software. The frequency of shovelware has increased to the point of being sickening, with even some of the most well-known and respected developers resorting to cheap cash-ins when it comes to Wii development. Coupled with the fact that most third parties still can't grasp the abilities of the Wii remote, the software only earns a...


Online Gaming

Last year the online gaming section of the report card only earned a measly C- due to lazy third parties, laggy play, and a worrying suggestion that we only play with people on the same continent. Have things improved, or gotten worse?

When it comes to Nintendo providing more games to play online, they've certainly stepped things up. Endless Ocean, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, Dr. Mario Online Rx and Animal Crossing: City Folk are all online-enabled and published by Nintendo, showing that the Big N is finally starting to take online play seriously. For some reason, though, Nintendo didn't think Mario Super Sluggers was right for online play, but that's just one game out of many.

The third parties aren't doing any better than they were last year, though. Doing a quick mental scan of all major games released this past year, the only two I can think of that had online play are Guitar Hero: World Tour and Rock Band 2. Although these games did handle online very well, it doesn't make up for the fact that many third party games that should have had online didn't.

Of the games that are online, most of them are fairly quick to connect and boast relatively lag-free play. However, not all is good in the land of the Nintendo WiFi Connection, as Super Smash Bros. Brawl suffered from incredible amounts of lag and made players wait large amounts of time for two minute battles.

In the end, while Nintendo has been supporting online play a lot more than last year, third parties are still dropping the ball big-time. The online gaming scene is doing slightly better than last year, earning a respectable...


Wii Channels

In the Wii's first year, we got the News, Forecast, Internet, Check Mii Out and Everybody Votes Channels, as well as the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption preview channel. The first year was impressive, but how about the second?

When the Wii was first released, rumours ran rampant of some sort of "DS Demo Channel", some sort of mystical piece of software that acted like the DS Download Stations from malls and GameStops all over North America. The rumours finally came true in the form of the Nintendo Channel, providing DS demos and informative videos detailing many upcoming and already-released Wii and DS titles. Finally, we have a Download Station at our fingertips!

Over the last year, Japan has also seen two channels released that no other region has received. First of all is the "Television Friend Channel", which is basically a TV guide built into the Wii. Since most cable and satellite providers around here have upcoming programs listed as a basic feature, I somehow doubt we'll ever get (Or need) this one. Still, it's sure to be great for those in Japan who apparently don't enjoy such features.

Another channel so far exclusive to Japan is the "Digicam Print Channel", allowing users to take SD card images from their camera and make photo books and business cards, which will be printed and delivered for a small fee. This channel is currently scheduled to launch in all other regions at an unknown time in the future. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind a few Mii business cards to keep in my wallet!

Two more channels also hit the Wii this past year, but they weren't distributed through the Shop Channel. Instead, they were pre-loaded onto Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit game discs, from which they can be installed onto the Wii Menu. These channels tracked user performance and could be accessed even when the corresponding disc isn't in the Wii. Both channels (To my knowledge) are accessible directly on the game disc without installation, so while they're kind of neat to have, it's not exactly worth taking up the precious little memory the Wii has.

Overall, Nintendo kept the flow of channels going quite steady these past twelve months, and for that I award them a...


Keeping Promises

In the Wii's first year Nintendo dealt a painful one-two punch of unfulfilled promises, with the delay of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the not-so-automatic downloading of new Wii firmware via WiiConnect24. Did Nintendo manage to keep their word better this time around?

Not if you consider the fact that, despite constant reassuring, Nintendo has still failed to announce any sort of adequate solution to the Wii storage issue. Their revelation of a supposed solution a little while back is most likely a way of avoiding the real problem, as it only allows us to download WiiWare and Virtual Console games straight to the SD card, but still requires them to be in the Wii's internal memory to be played. Come on, Nintendo. Stop dicking around already and give us a real solution.

One other minor promise they broke was the one month delay of Super Smash Bros. Brawl earlier in the year. Just as we thought they'd laid the final delay on us, they jump out and say that it'll be out in March, not February. Sure, this isn't huge, but it's still a promise broken.

Otherwise, though, Nintendo really didn't make any other promises, and with a lack of promises, what's there to break? That being said, in the category of keeping promises, the verdict is...



The Wii has had somewhat of an average second year. Nothing spectacularly awesome happened, but neither did anything catastrophically bad. In the end, I suppose the last year deserves a...


...and the future?
There's a good amount of promising software on the way for the Wii, with a new Punch-Out!, an Endless Ocean sequel, Wii Sports: Resort, and even a new Sin & Punishment on the way. It's not all about sequels, though, as SEGA is hitting us with two brand new games, MadWorld and The Conduit. It's hard to say anything about the future, especially when the time frame is an entire year, but I feel that the Wii will have a respectable showing over the next twelve months.

Now then, Nintendo, about that storage solution...

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Monday, November 17, 2008

Animal Crossing: City Folk impressions

After waiting since City Folk's announcement back in July, gamers all over North America finally have the latest Animal Crossing in their hands. I actually managed to grab a copy on Saturday, beating the street date by a whole day. Sure, not as drastic as some peoples' experiences, but it was still pretty notable. Anywho, I've played this game for many, many hours so far (Over three hours today alone), and while I'm not quite ready to write up the review, I can certainly give my impressions.

The main place where I've noticed some change is with the fish. First off, they're no longer 2D sprites moving around under the water, but full, 3D models that wiggle around far more realistically than in any previous Animal Crossing. Fish seem a little more rare, though, and catching them seems to have become more difficult somehow.

Related to the fishes being graphically upgraded, everything in game is now a 3D model instead of a 2D image. While it's a minor touch, it does add a new level of polish to the game. The fact that the flowers actually have some depth to them also makes it a little tougher to find a bug sitting on top, which is pretty cool.

Of course, the most notable addition to City Folk is, well, the city. Accessible by bus, the city is basically a collection of many visitors from the previous games. Crazy Redd, Katrina, and Dr. Shrunk all call the city home, and even Shampoodle (The hair salon that was set up in Nookingtons in Wild World) has moved towards the bright lights of downtown. There are also a few exclusive features to the city, such as a fancy (And incredibly expensive) store run by fashionista Gracie, the Happy Room Association (Or HRA) headquarters, and even an auction house that uses WiiConnect24 for friend-to-friend bidding and selling. While the city isn't all that it could have been, it's still nice to have.

Also added to City Folk is the ability to take your own screenshots at any time. Conveniently mapped to the 1 button, you can take a screenshot just about whenever you want, even in the middle of a conversation. Below is an example:

While there's a slight quality drop in the conversion (Some jaggies and JPEG "artifacts" are common), it's still an amazing tool to have at your disposal. The photos can be saved directly to the SD card, making it very easy to share them online (As I am right now).

As for new items and furniture, the aforementioned high-class store in the city sells two new furniture sets, but they're certainly not for the faint-of-wallet. I've also caught a couple lobsters in my few days playing (As well as had a friend come over and steal one...), and they're 100% new. Pretty sure the bagworm is, too, but I'm not sure.

I've gone online a couple times so far, visiting two towns and having my town visited once. I've experienced no lag at all (Even when visiting a town in Saskatchewan), and had a generally good time messing around with a couple online buddies.

Overall, I'm enjoying City Folk so far. No, it's not drastically improved or significantly different from Wild World, but so far I'd say it's worth the buy for any Animal Crossing fan out there looking for something with a little more. Tune in later this week for the full review, complete with WiiSpeak notes, thoughts on the motion controls, and more in-depth information on everything mentioned in these impressions.

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Poll #65: "What is your primary gaming system?" results, banner

"Wii" 15 votes (38%)
"Playstation 3" 5 votes (12%)
"XBox 360" 3 votes (7%)
"Nintendo DS" 4 votes (10%)
"PSP" 0 votes (0%)
"PC/Mac" 3 votes (7%)
"Other" 0 votes (0%)
"I play multiple systems evenly" 9 votes (23%)
"I don't know" 0 votes (0%)
"I don't play games" 0 votes (0%)

It's probably just due to the demographic I tend to attract, but it's surprising to see so many people consider the Wii their primary gaming console. I mean, I love the Wii and many of its games, but I just can't see it being my main console. I don't feel many of the developers are treating it enough like a primary console, and it's due to the comparatively lower level of quality software on the Wii that I'm stuck to the PC. Again, I love the Wii, but it's just not primary console material for me.

This week's banner comes from forum member camieman10, and the theme is Bowser Jr. Why? Because he's fantastic, okay? I don't believe any further explanation is needed.

The subject of this week's poll is "What do you think of the Animal Crossing series?" A lot of people have been saying that City Folk didn't change enough from the previous games, so I'm curious as to what you guys think. Personally, I didn't really want much change, so I'm happy with this. That's just me, though.

New article will be up shortly, and this time, I mean it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Games as art: Is it true?

There have been some changes to One Duck's Opinion! See this post for more details (Although you've probably noticed at least one change already).

A popular debate as of late is whether or not games are art. Movies can be art, music can be art, books can be art, and even television can be art, but for some reason people are having a hard time accepting video games as another category in the grand scheme of art. As of now, I think games are just as much of an art form as movies.

Movies can offer epic-length adventures and mysteries, and so can games. Movies can make us experience all ranges of emotions while experiencing them, and so can games. There are movies for everyone out there, and it's the same deal with games. Art is about conveying emotion or a story through some form of media, and that's exactly what many games do. Notice I said "many"; This is where one exception come into play, although it does nothing to discount video games as an art form.

We've all noticed the deluge of shovelware hitting the Wii as of late, and I've heard some people cry "This is what's holding back games from becoming art!". I have a message for all those people: Stand up, get dressed, and go to your local video store. Look at all the DVDs sitting there for sale and/or rent. Now, see if you can find even one video out of ten that could be considered "art". Unless your video store only sells Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Fantasia, I somehow doubt this will be possible. See, the film industry is just as inundated with crap as the gaming industry. The same is true of every other one of the accepted art forms. Every category has masterpieces, just as they all have crappy content, too.

So, how do we decide which games are art and which are merely wastes of disc space? What defining features must be present in a good game? With movies the factors are generally plot, delivery and cinematography. With music it's usually the lyrics and melody that make it great. What are the necessary factors for a game to be considered art among its peers?

The main defining factor has to be gameplay. After all, that's what games are all about. Things can get fairly complicated in this department, though, as different genres can be greatly varied. While a good puzzle game is generally addictive, it will never present you with engaging, ever changing gameplay or innovatively-designed levels. The requirements would have to be tailored to each genre, and even then, some great games would have a hard time being art (Don't expect to see Brain Age in the Video Game Louvre any time soon). That being said, all other defining factors and their relevance are reliant on the genre of the game.

Every form of entertainment media has ways in which it is worthy of being called art, and video games are no different. While some gamers can consider it art now, it's got a long way to go before other people understand as well. I'm sure, though, that someday video games will be looked at in much the same way as any book, movie, painting or television show. Until then, we've got nothing to worry about except having fun along the way.

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two new features on One Duck's Opinion

I did some tinkering around today, and decided to add two little features to One Duck's Opinion.

First, and most notably, is the "Latest Review" section in the sidebar. Every time I post a review I'll edit the image and link here just in case someone's looking for a review for that game. Not bad, huh?

Second, and just for kicks, is the random text box just below the top Project Wonderful ads. Currently consisting of just seven different phrases, this little beauty is here to stop things from becoming too serious. I never started One Duck's Opinion with a serious business in mind, and this fun little feature reinforces this. Special thanks to this site for showing me how to do this after so many months of wanting to.

So, those are just two little updates I made. Nothing big, but nice to have. What do you think? Let me know in the comment section, or this forum thread.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Garry's Mod Scenes: A Day at the Theatre

I feel kinda bad for backing out of updates so much lately, even under these circumstances. I hope you enjoy this pseudo-apology in the form of a new type of article, Garry's Mod Scenes.

I was just messing around with Garry's Mod a few days back, practicing my ragdoll posing and messing with the finger and face posers. After posing one character, I decided to make a whole scene. I call it "A Day at the Theatre".

First off, here's an overview of the scene. After I finished these I realized I probably should have made it in the "dark room" for a more authentic movie scene... Oh well. I suppose it's just an eerily well-lit theatre, then. And, uh... Mind ignoring the cracks in the wall? I was more focused on the ragdolls than anything else, so can you do the same for viewing the scene?

Alyx sure isn't happy... I suppose it's safe to say that she doesn't return the Vortigaunt's feelings. I mean, sure, some Vorts saved her life, but I think a simple "thanks" would suffice for that...

Oh that poor Vortigaunt... He'll never get any, will he? I suppose I should be thankful for this. I'm in no hurry to see a traditional Vortigaunt mating ritual.

I think it's safe to say that Dr. Breen isn't enjoying the film very much (He threw that bag in the first pic, and that can looks like it's next). What's not to like about this?:

Maybe it's just me, but political documentaries are kinda cool. I think Breen's more of a war movie fan.

Poor Eli just can't catch a break, can he? First he loses his leg, and now he ends up having his film ruined. What's next? Is his popcorn soggy?

And through it all, Barney's catching up on his "Z"s. This is actually the first ragdoll I posed, followed by the realization that the chair setup resembled a movie theatre. Barney made it all possible!

I hope y'all enjoyed this little scene I whipped up. I'm by no means a professional at this sort of thing, so I'm sure some Garry's Mod veterans will find a few things wrong here.

Lamaar approves, though!

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rest In Piece, Pooky

At about 1:35 PM today, my cat Pooky fell asleep for the last time. She was diabetic, had a tumor in her head, and a possible second tumor in her foot. She wasn't happy anymore, so we had her put down just minutes ago.

We first got her in the latter half of the 1990s when a family friend decided they couldn't care for her anymore. Since then she's been a beloved part of our family, and not having her around anymore is almost more than I can bear. It was a very difficult decision to make, of course, but it had to be done. We all agreed that her sad times were outweighing the happy, so it was decided that now was her time to rest.

Even with four humans and four cats still in this house, it will always seem empty without her. Rest well, Pooky. Goodbye.

I hope you all understand how difficult this is for me, and that you respect my decision to take the next few days off as a sort of "grief leave". You may not treasure your pets in the same way, but to us they're like family. Like brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, and losing one is every bit as difficult as losing a human relative.

May Pooky rest in peace, and may she be taken good care of in her new life on the other side. Goodbye, girl. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No update tonight

Really sorry about this, folks, but I just can't write for beans tonight. I thought I had an idea, then it fell through, then I thought I had another, but it practically disintegrated. I think it's best I call it a night-Or, seeing as it's 2:06 AM, a morning. Sorry about all this drama and crappy updating over the last little while, my life's been kinda hectic and messed up. If I could do something about it, I would, but I can't. I won't bore you with the details, except to say a lot is going on. I tell ya, I don't know how some of these bloggers manage. Heck, looking back at my insane every single day including weekends schedule I used for a few months last year makes my head spin. Maybe I'm just not as inspired as I used to be... I have been gaming less lately.

Augh, I'm starting to bore you with details now. Okay, I'm going to sleep now. I will do my best to have something ready for Wednesday, I swear.

Until then, y'all have a great time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Poll #64: "Can you wait until next year for the DSi?" results, banner

"Yes" 15 votes (53%)
"No, I need it now!" 3 votes (10%)
"I already have it, I'm in Japan!" 0 votes (0%)
"I've already imported it" 1 votes (3%)
"I don't want the DSi" 9 votes (32%)

While it seems most of us want the DSi, it also seems the majority can wait a little while for it to come to their continent. After all, I'd rather get my DSi six months from now and have it fully-functioning and English than pay a whole buttload more and get it today.

The theme for this week's banner is Fallout 3, and for the third week in a row, it comes to us from forum member ryanrab1. While I love the idea of Fallout 3, I must curse it for the simple reason that I can't buy it right now. Damned holiday gift-giving and its intense strain on my meager income!

As for this week's poll, the question is "What is your primary gaming system?". I glanced at my Christmas list earlier today and realized that of the five games on it, three are for the PC. Not Wii, not DS, but PC. It startled me, too! That got me thinking... What about your guys? Do you read the mainly Nintendo-related articles here, then retreat to your Playstation 3? Do you secretly play nothing but XBox 360 when I'm not looking? Or are you a Wii fanatic, waggling day and night? Now you can let me know! Oh, and if you vote "Other", please specify what you mean in the comment section.

Tonight's article is forthcoming! No, really!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Mac VS PC ads are full of crap

People just love crapping all over Windows Vista. "Oh, it crashes! Oh, so many errors!" Back when I first got it in September 2007, I agreed. I got errors and it crashed about once a day. For quite some time I was seriously considering switching back to XP, but unless I took the illegal route, there was no good way to do it. Okay, I thought, I can deal with this. It's not too bad. And then, come February 4th, 2008, all the problems disappeared with the release of Service Pack 1. Crashes stopped happening, and errors all but disappeared. I even noticed that there were less Mac VS PC commercials floating about. Well, for a while, at least.

The ads came back after a little while, and they were saying all the same crap as before. It's broken, Mac is better, blah blah blah. I wonder sometimes whether the guys at Apple have even touched Vista since the update. Just about everything wrong with the operating system is fixed now. Sure, it's still a RAM-sucker, but otherwise it's just fine.

A few weeks ago, a new Mac VS PC ad debuted responding to Microsoft's new "I'm a PC" ads, saying that they should have used all that advertising money to "fix Vista". See, that'd be a good idea, but the thing is, Vista isn't broken. It works fine. I don't think I've had a single problem since February that was caused by Vista itself. I've had a few errors and such due to other programs, of course, but that's not the fault of the OS.

Now whenever I see a Mac VS PC ad I just get angry. Before what they said was true, but now it seems they're ignoring all the developments since then and continuing to make Vista look worse than it is.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm a PC sorta guy. Now, I'm not at all hating on you Mac fans out there. I'll never look down on people for something like that. However, I am angry at Apple. They lie continually in their ads, making Vista look like the worst thing ever while constantly dodging the shortcomings of their own operating system.

Also, you gotta love their counter-argument whenever you bring up the fact that almost no games support Mac OSX; "Just use Bootcamp and run Windows!". Oh, is that so? You know, Windows isn't cheap, and neither is an Apple computer of any kind. As if consumers weren't paying out of their asses before. Also, Windows XP is nearly extinct nowadays, meaning that you're supporting Vista in a way by suggesting this. So isn't that just admitting that Vista is better than Mac OSX in a way? Admitting that OSX is inferior to Vista in at least one department? Doesn't that make all of your advertising and mud-slinging moot? "Oh, Vista sucks, but you should use it on a Mac if you want to play games". Uh, yeah.

I generally hate when a company resorts to mud-slinging for their advertising. It makes them look like jerks. That's exactly what Apple is doing. Stop yammering about how terrible Windows Vista is (According to you, anyways) and start talking about what your computers do right. That's what an advertisement should be. Any commercial should basically go "Hey, look at our product. It does this and this and this. Buy our product.", not "The competition's product sucks, sucks sucks. Buy our product.".

You know that old saying "Don't believe everything you hear"? Be sure to keep it in mind next time you see a Mac VS PC commercial. Chances are it's nothing but crap, crap, crap. Vista is a perfectly acceptable operating system, and, while it has its shortcomings, it's nowhere near as bad as Apple makes it sound.

What do you think of these ads? Do you find them funny? Angering? Or do you even give half a damn? Feel free to let me know in the comment section, or this forum thread.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random Babbling 4: It's been a long time babbling

I've really not been feeling like myself lately, and I've had a lot of trouble concentrating on much of anything. My mom thinks it's the change of seasons affecting me, but I'm really not sure. Anywho, I can't concentrate enough for a real article tonight, so here's a few random things I feel like saying.

-There are now an additional two big reasons to buy Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers, and they are both in this picture. Can't find them? Here's a hint: Boobs. Hey, sex sells.

-It's really funny killing people and stealing cars in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas while listening to the in-game country radio. Nothing like running down cops while listening to "Heeeeeeey good lookin'... Whaaaaaaaat you got cookin'?"

-Garry's Mod is infinitely replayable. Just when I think I've seen it all, I log on today to find Father Grigori spinning in mid air, some random junk flying out of his chest and a whole lot more flying out his ass. Gotta love that Garry's Mod.

-The election happened. Obama won. This is awesome. That's all I'll say here about it.

-I suppose I should be scared that a big-eyed bobblehead for Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed stares at me while I sleep, but then I just pull the covers over my head and try to ignore it.

-Can you all stop complaining that we haven't seen the next Mario yet? We haven't had more than one main Mario game on a Nintendo home console since the days of the SNES, and I doubt that'll be changing now.

-As for Zelda Wii, give it until at least 2010. If it ain't out by Christmas 2010, then you can start whining.

-My Nintendo 64 died on me, and now I want to play Ocarina of Time again. My luck blows.

-Other than Garry's Mod and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I really haven't been playing anything lately. I've been messing around in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga a bit, too, but not quite enough to be considered "playing". Dammit, Animal Crossing: City Folk, come out already!

-Wikipedia: The bane of my attention span. Go there to look up one thing, then end up on a page about Al Bundy. I'm not sure how it happened either. Heck, I didn't even like that show very much.

Well, I suppose that's it for tonight. Sorry for the lackluster updates, folks. I'll try for something more notable on Friday. Until then, y'all stay healthy and such.

Discuss This Article On The Forums

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A proposition for Rockstar

I've been playing some Grand Theft Auto on the Playstation 2 a bit lately, and as I glanced next to the TV to see the Wii sitting there, it dawned on me; Why doesn't Rockstar make a Wii port of these games? Seriously, it would be money in the bank! I've heard many, many people asking "Why no Grand Theft Auto on the Wii, Rockstar?" and "It's on the DS, why not the Wii?" as of late. The people want Grand Theft Auto on the Wii, but the question is, would it sell? That question could easily be answered by porting Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy to the Wii.

The great thing is, Rockstar would hardly have to do anything! Just map all the controls to the Wii remote, cram all those games onto a dual-layer DVD, and voila! This package could easily prove to contain the definitive Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City/San Andreas experiences, causing many franchise fans to take a fresh look at their favourite classics. Also, it could prove to be an excellent entry point for those who've wanted to get into Grand Theft Auto in the past, but never did. Most importantly, it would show just how much of a demand there is for Grand Theft Auto on the Wii. Who knows, maybe there's more Wii owners interested in that sort of thing than we thought?

So really, there's almost nothing to lose here, and everything to gain. If this were to take off on the Wii, the Nintendo faithful could get their own, exclusive Grand Theft Auto experiences alongside the main series. I say "alongside" because, after all, the grand scope of Grand Theft Auto IV is just too huge to be doable on the Wii.
Any Wii port would be seriously gimped and missing tonnes of what makes Grand Theft Auto IV so... "Grand". It would be more like "Somewhat Pathetic Theft Auto IV" than anything else*.

Nintendo fans get their own Grand Theft Auto games, Rockstar gets more money, and everyone's happy. That's all there is to it!

What do you guys think of this proposition? Does it sound like a great move to make, or are you thinking that maybe this isn't such a good idea? Let your thoughts be heard in the comment section or this forum thread. Or both! Just go nuts if you want to, I won't tell anyone.

*It's lines like these that tell me I'm too tired to be writing

Monday, November 3, 2008

Poll #63: "Have you ever gone Trick or Treating as a video game character?" results, banner

"Yes, multiple times!" 2 votes (8%)
"Yes, once" 4 votes (17%)
"No, but I will this year!" 1 votes (4%)
"No" 16 votes (69%)

I'm somewhat surprised with these results, to be honest. 69% have never, ever done it, and probably plan to never, ever do it in the future? Only 25% have masqueraded on Halloween as a game character at least once? This is nuts. I really expected to see quite the opposite results. Oh well, we can't always be right.

Moving along, this week's banner is from forum member ryanrab1, and the theme is Samus Aran, everyone's favourite bounty hunter in space with two X chromosomes.

As for this week's poll, the question is "Can you wait until next year for the DSi?" While at first I was ready to import that sucker right off the bat, all this news of region locking and the fact it costs $300 to import have convinced me to wait. It hasn't stopped some folks, though, so let's try and get an idea of just how many of us are waiting compared to how many are jumping on it right now.

Tonight's article will be up whenever I manage to think of a subject.